VC10er
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Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 1:20 pm

I believe I am safe in assuming that all airlines put a lot of rigorous thinking into which aircraft models to add to their fleets. They are, after all, often a multi-billion dollar decision and one that is difficult, if not even embarrassing to change after the deal is made.

With that fact established, are there any glaring cases where an airline placed an order, took delivery and realized what they ordered was a bad decision and are (or have been stuck) flying aircraft models they regret ordering?

Part 2: if there are indeed good cases to point at, what was it that made XX airline select (for example: A000 or B000 or MD00 etc) and what was it about that ac which made them kick themselves for ordering?

I do have another follow-up question, Part 3: should the above questions be answered affirmatively; what do the airlines do with the regretted aircraft they have? Optimize them somehow in a way not originally intended? (Making lemonade from the lemons) ...Somehow get rid of them ASAP?

Thanks zillions in advance!

R
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FSDan
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 1:28 pm

Air India and their 77Ls come to mind... They have gotten rid of most of them. Although now that DEL-SFO seems to be doing well for them perhaps they'll change their tune.
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Tan Flyr
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 1:29 pm

American and the Fokkers..not a well thought out decision.
 
golfradio
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 1:38 pm

Quoting FSDan (Reply 1):

Actually, AI (by that I mean its fleet planning committee) never wanted those. The then Government used executive decision to buy them. So I wouldn't term AI's complaining as buyer's remorse.
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UltimateDelta
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 1:39 pm

One case that comes to mind is Delta and their A310s- in addition to the ones they got from Pan Am, I believe they ordered a not-insignificant number of new-build -300s in 1992, only to dispose of the whole fleet of 30 or so in 1995 or '96.
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enilria
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 1:39 pm

Q400s seem to have a degree of that, probably because of engine reliability...
 
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Polot
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 1:41 pm

DL, AA and the MD-11.

HP and the 747 (not new builds, but still).

Various airlines and the 747 in the early 70s.

The number of 50 seat CR2s, ERJs US carriers ordered in the late 90s/early 00 that came back to haunt them.

[Edited 2016-05-13 06:43:20]
 
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euroflyer
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 2:00 pm

RAM and their A321 fleet. I guess they kept those only 4 or 5 years. They were the black sheeps in an all Boeing fleet
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MIflyer12
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 2:05 pm

Quoting Polot (Reply 6):
DL, AA and the MD-11.

There was even this 'LA Times' article where AA was very public - if not specific in public - about its dissatisfaction with the MD-11.

http://articles.latimes.com/1991-02-...siness/fi-2404_1_american-airlines
 
[email protected]
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 2:12 pm

Upon reading the title I immediately thought of Iberia and their Boeing 757's. I don't think they kept those in the fleet very long at all.
 
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 2:15 pm

AA & buying TWA maybe
 
apfpilot
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 2:20 pm

Singapore, Delta, and AA with the MD-11 jump right out. But there are also some cases of airlines buying aircraft that were just too big for them. America West and the 747 for example.
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factsonly
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 2:29 pm

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
believe I am safe in assuming that all airlines put a lot of rigorous thinking into which aircraft models to add to their fleets. They are, after all, often a multi-billion dollar decision and one that is difficult, if not even embarrassing to change after the deal is made.

Though you are correct for most well run airlines, you'll be surprised what fleet management decisions are made with little to no analysis in this world.

Pretty much any smaller airline with a diverse fleet, which includes obvious performance overlaps, has no or a highly questionable fleet management department.

- 4x A318 and 8x B737s = TAROM
- 4x A321 and 27x B737s = RAM (at that time)
- 15x A320 and 24x B737s = Egyptair
- 2x A320 and 3x B737s = Air Zimbabwe
- 10 B738 and 8x MD80 = Meridiana (small fleet sizes)

You also have a the one of each fleet strategy, which does not make much sense either.

- 2x B737 / 1x BAe146 = Air Comores
- 1x A300 / 1x A310, 1x B737, 1x DC-9 = Air Mali
 
AirbusCanada
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 2:30 pm

Republic/Frontier Cseries.
 
shankly
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 2:31 pm

Back in 2009 a quiet chap called Mr Akbar Al Baker said he would throw away his A340-600's if he could.

7 years later they are still ploughing the airways, no doubt making cash for QR

That's remorse, AAB style

The A380's will have brought bucket loads of remorse to the Boards of Thai and Malaysia

Quoting [email protected] (Reply 9):
Upon reading the title I immediately thought of Iberia and their Boeing 757's. I don't think they kept those in the fleet very long at all.

Of course at that time IB had Boeing, Airbus and MDC products in its stable....just order everything and something should work out OK
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 2:44 pm

Ordering a particular plane 5 years before you get it, and then flying it profitably for another 20+/- years breaks every general rule of business. But it has to be done, and airlines suffer a high percentage of failures as a result. Black swan events are almost the norm in the industry. Deregulation, 9/11, EK, Berlin Wall .....
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RRTrent
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 2:46 pm

EI and the A319. 3 or 4 years ago they retired three A321's and replaced them with A319's. Now the 19's are gone and rumor has it EI are looking for 21's
 
klwright69
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 2:59 pm

I believe way, way back, CO regretted the 757-300. They thought they didn't need a domestic plane with lots of seats with the stumbling economy. Then they changed their minds with the emergence of more low cost competitors. Also the new UA saw this plane as a good fit for routes like SFO and DEN to DCA with the limited airport access there, as well as Hawaii flights.

What are some good routes for the A340? I took the plane on EY and I believe RJ also. It seems inefficient with 4 engines. Didn't RJ park them?

It is good someone took failing TW. But why did AA do it and was it really what they needed? But god bless the TW people that kept their jobs. Sorry for those that didn't.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 3:00 pm

In the MD-11's case, it was because the airframe seriously missed promised performance. So of course the airlines regretted buying them, but if the MD-11 had hit her marks out of the gate, they might have been flying them until recently.
 
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 3:25 pm

Allegiant and their 757s
Whatever
 
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 3:38 pm

Quoting Polot (Reply 6):
DL, AA and the MD-11.

Meh I'd say pretty much everyone and the MD-11. Outside KL, no one held onto the passenger variant for much more than a decade.
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cougar15
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 3:44 pm

SQ and the 340-300 they sold to Boeing to trade on tripples.....
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VC10er
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 3:46 pm

I do recall an article, perhaps 15 years ago, put to VARIG about their huge MD-11 backbone fleet. VARIG said that despite other airlines having had issues with them, that they were very happy with them. In fact, I recall flying renovated VARIG MD-11's in First Class, (one row) and while it was not a fancy seat, it was a new and seat and a very comfortable bed. At the window there was just one seat.

Shortly after they had about 8 777's I believe, and made great fanfare about them. We all know what happened to VARIG in the following years, but I don't know if their MD-11's contributed to their demise. I flew RG MD-11's often, to and from the USA and Europe, and they were always packed...that was up until RG's last year of life, when they and the 777's were empty.

Many went into HORRIBLE disrepair. I flew one from LAX to GRU in business (it was an ex-Swiss MD-11) and easily the WORST flight of my life! I was only happy to have landed alive. That was my last RG experience- sad ending!
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VC10er
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 3:49 pm

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 8):

Interesting about the MD-11 and AA. Ultimately, I recall they were part of their fleet for a while, how did AA get past it's issues with them?

What about UA? They had them too, right?
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Polot
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 3:55 pm

Quoting VC10er (Reply 23):
Interesting about the MD-11 and AA. Ultimately, I recall they were part of their fleet for a while, how did AA get past it's issues with them?
AA had them for 11 years- up to to 2002. Some of them were only ~4-5 years old when they sold them though (mostly to FedEx)

DL kept them until 2004.

Quoting VC10er (Reply 23):
What about UA? They had them too, right?

No, UA was the launch customer for the 777 and heavily involved with its design from the beginning.

[Edited 2016-05-13 09:01:26]
 
chiki
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 3:57 pm

Quoting factsonly (Reply 12):
2x A320 and 3x B737s = Air Zimbabwe

an aside, Flew a UM 737-200 from JNB to BUQ this month, was so good flying a classics really enjoyed it.
 
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 4:01 pm

Most 340-600/500 operators who bought them directly from airbus.
 
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 4:07 pm

Quoting VC10er (Reply 23):
Interesting about the MD-11 and AA. Ultimately, I recall they were part of their fleet for a while, how did AA get past it's issues with them?

I believe McDD sorted out much, if not all of the range shortfall that was present in early 1991, at the time of initial deliveries.

This being said, I have heard that the MD-11's general system reliability was subpar, leading to late departures and cancelled flights at a higher rate than expected.

Quoting VC10er (Reply 23):
What about UA? They had them too, right?

No, UA skipped the MD-11 and became one of the launch carriers for the 777, having significant input into its design and development.

I'd be interested to hear inside stories regarding UA and the MD-11. Did they sense some negatives early on?
 
anstar
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 4:38 pm

Virgin and their A340-600's! Should of got 777-300ers or A330s - which they ended up getting 10 years later to replace some 346's!!
 
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 4:59 pm

AF A380
WN B717  
AS A320  
 
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seabosdca
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 5:09 pm

A few fleet decisions that I expect were regretted pretty quickly for reasons other than the OEM not meeting spec:

CO - 762
AC - 345
CX - 346
NW - very-late-build 752 (they really needed more 753s instead)
KE - 748 (rather than more 77W)
TG - late-build 306
FX - converted 312/313
G4 - 752
HA - 338 (not yet in service, but I expect if HA could do the order over again knowing what they know now, it would have been for 788 and 789 with 763 interim lift)
MH - 388
QF - late-build 744/74E (should have been a 77W launch customer)

The difficulty of finding these examples reflects well on airline fleet planners. Most airlines do a great job most of the time.

[Edited 2016-05-13 10:11:37]

[Edited 2016-05-13 10:12:35]
 
VC10er
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 5:11 pm

Quoting anstar (Reply 28):

Wasn't Virgin (Branson) still very "4 Engine" focused for a long time? Did that desire cause them to get the A340 and delay them getting twins?

I see a Lufthansa A340-600 (I think) at EWR, I've wondered if that model ac is right for that mission? I was under the impression the 600 was for much longer routes?
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 5:18 pm

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 30):
HA - 338 (not yet in service, but I expect if HA could do the order over again knowing what they know now, it would have been for 788 and 789 with 763 interim lift)

What does HA know now that would make them not want the A338?

Quoting VC10er (Reply 23):
What about UA? They had them too, right?

UA was a long time DC-10 operator, but never flew the MD-11.
 
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 5:22 pm

Quoting apfpilot (Reply 11):

Singapore, Delta, and AA with the MD-11 jump right out. But there are also some cases of airlines buying aircraft that were just too big for them. America West and the 747 for example.

I know SQ ordered the MD-11 but I thought that they never took delivery because of the failure to meet promised fuel consumption and range figures.
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seabosdca
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 5:23 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 32):
What does HA know now that would make them not want the A338?

What they wanted was a small longer-range aircraft to start some ULH-ish routes, which is why they ordered the original, optimized 358. But Airbus didn't get the orders to build either that or the later "straight shrink" 358. The 338 won't have the range the 358 would have, and will basically be a replacement or augmentation of their current 332 fleet. If they want to go long-range they'll have to step all the way up to the 359, which is very big for their needs.
 
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 5:25 pm

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 30):
A few fleet decisions that I expect were regretted pretty quickly for reasons other than the OEM not meeting spec:
CO - 762

CO did buy additional frames for their Tel Aviv service so they must not have hated it too much.



Quoting seabosdca (Reply 30):
CX - 346

CX leased their three and I don't believe they disliked them, but the 77W just proved to be generally better for them.



Quoting seabosdca (Reply 30):
KE - 748 (rather than more 77W)

KE's use of the 747-8 exactly matches what Boeing's suggested use is - a configuration that favors more Economy seating than premium. So I expect KE is pleased with them, which is why they have doubled their initial order from 5 to 10.



Quoting seabosdca (Reply 30):
HA - 338 (not yet in service, but I expect if HA could do the order over again knowing what they know now, it would have been for 788 and 789 with 763 interim lift)

I've heard HA are very happy with their A330-200s so they were natural customers for the A350-800 (more capacity) so while they're not going to be able to grow with the A330-800, the economics will be much better.
 
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 5:34 pm

Didn't Garuda order the 777W only to find that their home runway at CGK can't handle the weight?
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Polot
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 5:45 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 35):
CO did buy additional frames for their Tel Aviv service so they must not have hated it too much.

CO never ordered any additional 762s after their initial order for 10 in 1998.

I think you are confusing them with the 777s, where CO bought 2 that were delivered before the UA merger but ~5 years after their previous 777s. At about the time those 2 were delivered CO bought 2 more which were delivered about 6 years ago.
 
helhem
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 5:47 pm

Quoting factsonly (Reply 12):

I wish I were more knowledgeable here but i am just a passenger. This made me wonder. This is often the case. Really small airlines have often diverse fleets. Maybe it is because they are more likely to get second hand planes and just got what was available. Or they are growing fast and are yet to streamline their fleets. Previously they flew only one or two routes and then are morphing into a bigger regional airline. I always read the inflight magazines which often have written things about the origins of the airline. So you get two generations of props and then later the usual boeing airbus narrowbodies or even some regional jets. Ryanair went pure 737 of course.

Unfortunately I don't remember details but vaguely put these into this category. What were ryanair like in the 80s? Norwegian? Air Baltic? The now defunct lithuanian airlines and estonian air also were very much like this at some point with having operated small numbers of different types. Later they were streamlining I think. Tarom Estonian Lithuanian started of as privatizations with soviet airplanes. Air baltic was started of as some joint venture with SAS in the 90s. Very different history of the airlines but the fleet development seemed to have similarities in the 90s. Maybe these joint ventures or subsidiaries explain some of the diversity in fleets .

What about SAS? It is not the smallest operation so maybe in a different category but they seem to have had a lot of plane types.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 5:55 pm

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 34):

What they wanted was a small longer-range aircraft to start some ULH-ish routes, which is why they ordered the original, optimized 358. But Airbus didn't get the orders to build either that or the later "straight shrink" 358. The 338 won't have the range the 358 would have, and will basically be a replacement or augmentation of their current 332 fleet. If they want to go long-range they'll have to step all the way up to the 359, which is very big for their needs.

Keep in mind: the 338 is a 14h aircraft. Where does HA need to go that's more than 14 hours away?
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BoeingGuy
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 5:58 pm

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 34):
If they want to go long-range they'll have to step all the way up to the 359, which is very big for their needs.

Or they can buy 787s.   What kind of ULH routes are HA looking at? Europe-HNL?
 
727LOVER
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 5:58 pm

DL MD-90

Now there's 2 ways to look at it.
1.They canceled the remaining 14 orders so were they disappointed in the aircraft?

or

2. They, years later, went out and got a bunch of used ones, so they regretted the cancellation



The 14 that were canceled...were those built and went somewhere else?

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 33):
I know SQ ordered the MD-11 but I thought that they never took delivery because of the failure to meet promised fuel consumption and range figures.

I read that this got canceled over a paper napkin. True?
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intotheair
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 5:58 pm

I'm surprised nobody hasn't yet mentioned F9 and the A318, B6 and the E190, a lot of the early A300 operators, or Air Inter with the Dassault Mercure.


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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 5:59 pm

Frontier and the A318. Weren't some of the frames scrapped after being in service for only four years?
 
AAIL86
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 6:08 pm

Quoting VC10er (Reply 23):
Interesting about the MD-11 and AA. Ultimately, I recall they were part of their fleet for a while, how did AA get past it's issues with them?

What about UA? They had them too, right?

American never got over their issues with the MD-11 and couldn't wait to get rid of them.
I was there for the end of the Mostly-Dead 11's reign. I remember my manager at the time had a chart in his office of the D+0 (basically departing on time) and one month MD11 flights had a D+0 of 25%.
I loved the interiors though - great airplane for passengers when it finally the left the gate, lambskin and leather seats in First and business and 35" pitch in economy! Personally flew her DFW-SCL-DFW back in 2001, great flight.
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seabosdca
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 6:08 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 35):
I've heard HA are very happy with their A330-200s

As have I, but I expect they'd be equally happy with 788s on the same services, and having 788s would enable easy operation of 789s for the longest routes.

Although the 338 may be a blessing in disguise if it prevents HA from opening a service that ultimately wouldn't perform well...

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 39):
Keep in mind: the 338 is a 14h aircraft. Where does HA need to go that's more than 14 hours away?

They wanted to fly to Europe. LHR is the only European destination that makes sense to me, but their plans seemed to indicate more than one destination.

Quoting Polot (Reply 37):
I think you are confusing them with the 777s

   I think within a couple years of getting the first 762 CO realized that it should have bought 763s instead.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 35):
KE's use of the 747-8 exactly matches what Boeing's suggested use is - a configuration that favors more Economy seating than premium. So I expect KE is pleased with them, which is why they have doubled their initial order from 5 to 10.

They doubled the order before taking delivery of their first frame. Later, rumor had it they were trying to get Boeing's help in unloading the last 4 frames (which, if true, obviously didn't happen).
 
n562wn
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 6:28 pm

HP and BN and the 747 spring to mind.
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Devilfish
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 6:34 pm

Not the aircraft itself, but PR must be ruing their order for high-density A330-343s. Instead of acquiring the smaller A332s for their second batch of orders, they're now having to reconfigure the single-class A333s. Might have been better still had they ordered the A338NEO for much improved economics and longer-range flexibility...plus they could've availed of launch pricing and needn't have to defer deliveries nor make early payments other than for deposits.
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kanban
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 6:40 pm

While some equate a less than 20 fleet life as a sign that the wrong purchase was made, I would suggest that two other factors were involved.. the plane they needed wasn't available, or they weren't confident the the newest was going to produce the revenues they needed.. (I also would not count planes acquired by merger as"bad picks")
 
azjubilee
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RE: Airlines And "Buyers Remorse"?

Fri May 13, 2016 6:44 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 39):
Keep in mind: the 338 is a 14h aircraft. Where does HA need to go that's more than 14 hours away?

Considering PEK pushes 13 hours for much of the winter, there are lots of places HA could potentially go in and beyond the 14 hour range. Further into China, SE Asia and potentially Europe, all come to mind.

And in general, I'm not sure that one can consider it "buyers remorse" when time, changing business climates and current events alter the course of an airlines business model.

[Edited 2016-05-13 11:46:32]

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