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Airtran Says 717 Saved Them Millions

Fri Oct 06, 2000 4:13 am

Link below:

Ok how come the orders aren't pouring in if the 717 is a good plane like Airtran says?

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RE: Airtran Says 717 Saved Them Millions

Fri Oct 06, 2000 4:35 am


Take a good look at what AirTran started with for a fleet and you'll see why the 717 is saving them so much money now. Before the new 717's arrived, their fleet consisted of the much older DC-9-30 series (many of which were picked up after Eastern went belly up). It seems as though some start ups can't resist the allure of the low initial acquisition cost of used equipment. Given the scrutiny that ValueJet's maintenance received from the FAA after the Everglades crash, is it any wonder they chose to renew their fleet? It was either that or quit flying.

I'll wager AirTran could have chosen 73NG's or A319/320's and shown similar savings. I doubt they would have been able to get as good a deal with Boeing or Airbus as they did with McDD when they initially placed their order.

I'm not arguing the economics of the 717, but you need to understand that just about any fleet of new aircraft is going to save an airline money over the maintenance costs associated with older aircraft.


RE: EyeSky

Fri Oct 06, 2000 4:42 am

Valujet(b4 it was AirTran) got the bulk of their DC9 from Delta, not Eastern, but I may be wrong.
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RE: Airtran Says 717 Saved Them Millions

Fri Oct 06, 2000 4:49 am


You are right, I believe ValueJet did pick up DC-9-30's from both Delta and Eastern. If I recall, they were able to buy Eastern's 30's for a song.

Delta definitely took better care of their equipment than Eastern did, but the point remains that it is still going to cost more to keep up a fleet of older aircraft.

RE: Airtran Says 717 Saved Them Millions

Fri Oct 06, 2000 5:22 am

Air Tran should be pleased with the 717, they got even more than they paid for. The 717 met all its performance targets, and exceeded several such as fuel economy, which is 1.5% better than forecast. For an airline like Air Tran, where fuel is proportionally a much higher part of their costs, this saving will be very useful to them.
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RE: Airtran Says 717 Saved Them Millions

Fri Oct 06, 2000 5:55 am

If you look at the history of our Aircraft the lower # birds (801) etc.. are former DL a/c these feature a front and rear lav and do not use the beverage carts that the f/a mow down pax that try to use the restroom with. These have a short front bin (bin 2 is very small) and have a longer range then the higher # birds. The majority of the hihg # birds (830ish) are from THY. These have much more bin space and both lavs are in the aft. These use the beverage carts. We ahve a few odd ball birds from Alailtila and British Midland. Our 737 fleet consits of birds from many opeprators including BahamasAir AirCal Air South etc etc etc... IMHO the 717 is a great planebut, does not share crew commonality with any other bird, the engines share no comonality with anyhting else, and though it's roots are a DC-9 the a/c requires a differnt parts collection to keep them running. So if your an airline do you buy NG 737s that you can common rate your crews on and have common parts for various series and lengths or Airbuses where you can do the same, or do you buy the odd ball that requires its own support and everything. For airtran the 717 came at the right price ad if one aircraft is opperated it would be great, but as airlines grow they need biger planes and this means more parts training etc.. The same problem casued the MD-90 sales to be so low...
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RE: Airtran Says 717 Saved Them Millions

Fri Oct 06, 2000 6:09 am

Pilots type rated in the DC-9 require fewer days of training to pick up a 717 rating than those who don't have a DC-9 rating. Pilots that fly MD-88s or MD-90s that have EFIS cockpits require even less training. And it does share some commonality with the DC-9, though not all that much.
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RE: Airtran Says 717 Saved Them Millions

Fri Oct 06, 2000 7:17 am

I don't think any of Valujet's DC-9's came from Eastern. When everyone was trained on the DC-9 fleet, they were given differences between the "Delta" aircraft (which were former Delta) or the "Turkey Birds" (which came from Turkish). There may have been a former Continental or two but I don't recall any Eastern.

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