From the article in the thread starter:
However, he did highlight higher maintenance costs on the Rolls-Royce engines powering the 717s.
I was working at FL
when they first started getting the 717, and I remember hearing that those engines ran a few million a piece back in 1999. In the early months of 717 operations, they had to replace a few engines as well as having to cancel flights due to some engine issues. They were babying the 717s early on, but after several months, they gave the greenlight to the rampers at ATL
to start doing powerbacks with them as there were so many in the fleet that they didn't have enough pushback units on the concourse (They also still had the 732s which required a pushback.). Those powerbacks definitely put some wear and tear on those engines, and those increased maintenance costs coupled with the rising fuel costs made buying more pushback units for ATL
and ending powerbacks a necessary option.
|Quoting TVNWZ (Reply 19):|
First they were happy to get the 717. Now they see no future beyond 2024. My bet is you will see the time frame come down as buyers are lined up. 2024 today. 2015 tomorrow. Tick...Tick...
AirTran back in October of 2009 was already looking at options to replace them, possibly starting in 2014.
AirTran Studies 717 Replacement (by Olympic472 Oct 7 2009 in Civil Aviation)
I actually would not be surprised if WN
starts retiring the oldest frames around that same time period. Had FL
not been bought out by WN
, they would have retired the 717s before 2024.
The thing about the 735 is that its' NG
replacement is the slow selling 736, and it doesn't look like Boeing is going to offer anything in that size with the 737REs, so for that sort of capacity, WN
is going to have to go outside of Boeing to fill that niche.