User avatar
compensateme
Topic Author
Posts: 3279
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:17 am

Why Didn't DL Order the MD-95 & Save Long Beach Assembly?

Tue May 21, 2019 8:20 pm

In 1986, DL placed the first of its orders for the MD-88, agreeing to take 80 firm.
https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm ... story.html

In 1988, DL became the first major airline to order the McDonnell Douglas MD-11, agreeing to 9 firm orders and 31 options. The first MD-11 was delivered in 1989.
https://www.nytimes.com/1988/09/23/busi ... delta.html

Although DL had some growing pains with the MD-11, in 1989, it agreed to acquire 50 firm and 110 options for the MD-90. Deliveries began in 1995.
https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm ... story.html

Obviously DL was a loyal McDonnell Douglas consumer. In the early 1990s, McDonnell Douglas was shopping around the MD-95, but couldn't find any takers. It would take several years until the type found its first order, from ValuJet. The delay was long enough that the plane was renamed the 717 (after MD's merger with Boeing) and, before the first one was delivered, ValuJet would become AirtTran. In 2012, AirTran merged with Southwest and DL agreed to take over the leases to its 88-fleet strong 717. DL loved the 717 so much that it acquired every available frame it could put its hands out!

So why didn't this love story pan out in the 1990s? Why didn't DL order the MD-95? And if DL ordered the MD-95, would the former Long Beach Assembly still be open?
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
User avatar
OzarkD9S
Posts: 5370
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2001 2:31 am

Re: Why Didn't DL Order the MD-95 & Save Long Beach Assembly?

Tue May 21, 2019 8:36 pm

Many people were betting on NW ordering some as DC-9 replacements. That would have been THE prime order for the MD-95 at the time.
Finally headed to DORKFEST! Sept 7, STL-LAX-PHX-STL. :cloudnine:
 
IWMBH
Posts: 301
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:01 pm

Re: Why Didn't DL Order the MD-95 & Save Long Beach Assembly?

Tue May 21, 2019 8:37 pm

Because DL apparently didn't want them at the time for the price that was asked. In the early 90's their MD-80/90's where brand-new and DL didn't need a replacement. When these planes grew older and the 717's came available at a good price, DL picked them up.

If DL wanted to replace all MD-80/90's outright with 717's in the 90ties is still wouldn't be enough to save longbeach. MD was in too much trouble to be, and with their demise the faith of Longbeach was sealed.
 
BoeingGuy
Posts: 6264
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:01 pm

Re: Why Didn't DL Order the MD-95 & Save Long Beach Assembly?

Tue May 21, 2019 8:39 pm

Same answer as to all these kind of threads. Same reason DL stopped flying to HKG and FUK. Because they made a business decision to do that, or not do that. That’s why.

Airlines like DL don’t make fleet decisions based on a love story. They make fleet decisions based on well thought out business decisions. At that time DL has chosen the 737NG and made a business decision to make an exclusive supplier agreement with Boeing (later negated as a condition of the Boeing/Douglas merger).

The LGB factory would still be open if there were enough other orders. DL would have had to order a lot of airplanes to keep the factory open for 25 years.

I pulled for the success of the 717. If it got a better wing, I personally think it’s a much better airplane than a certain other model that won’t mention. I’d like to have seen updated versions still being produced by Boeing.
Last edited by BoeingGuy on Tue May 21, 2019 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
ILNFlyer
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:34 pm

Re: Why Didn't DL Order the MD-95 & Save Long Beach Assembly?

Tue May 21, 2019 8:39 pm

Yes, DL was a loyal MD customer, but I doubt if the Long Beach assembly would still be open, even the MD 95 (717) came to an end. Outside of AirTran and a couple of other customers, it simply didn't have enough orders to sustain production.....I dont think a 100 frame order from DL would have extended it much beyond another year or two. Deliveries peaked at 49 in 2001, and there were only a trickle of orders after that point. There were only a total of 18 deliveries the last two years of production (2005-06) with substantial room for more that that, so perhaps 2006 would still have been the last year even with a 100 frame order from DL.
 
User avatar
KGRB
Posts: 734
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:19 pm

Re: Why Didn't DL Order the MD-95 & Save Long Beach Assembly?

Tue May 21, 2019 9:23 pm

compensateme wrote:
So why didn't this love story pan out in the 1990s?

Simply put, DL was in love with the CRJ-200 more. What started out as a replacement for the SAAB, Brazillia, and ATR ended up replacing mainline on myriad routes that were previously flown by DC-9s and 737-200s. By the mid-2000s CRJs were flying ridiculous routes that they had no place being like LAS-CVG and DFW-OAK.

It wasn't until Richard Anderson came along that the "up-gauge to mainline" strategy was put into effect and the used MD-90s & 717s were acquired to grow the mainline.
First flight: NW DC-10 MKE-MSP December 1996
Most recent flight: DL/OO CRJ-900 ATL-GRB April 2019
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 7268
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

Re: Why Didn't DL Order the MD-95 & Save Long Beach Assembly?

Wed May 22, 2019 12:30 am

Despite the tone of the thread and snarky responses, I actually am genuinely curious on the topic.

I didn't pay as much attention to aircraft orders and DL fleet strategy 20 years ago, so I'm actually interested in a serious answer.

- Where they a serious contender for 717s in the late 90s?
- Was there a falling-out between DL and McD with due to the lackluster MD-90 & MD-11 performance?
- Did DL not need a small mainline aircraft at the time? (e.g., were the 73S still sufficient?)
 
User avatar
SierraPacific
Posts: 281
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Why Didn't DL Order the MD-95 & Save Long Beach Assembly?

Wed May 22, 2019 12:42 am

PSU.DTW.SCE wrote:
Despite the tone of the thread and snarky responses, I actually am genuinely curious on the topic.

I didn't pay as much attention to aircraft orders and DL fleet strategy 20 years ago, so I'm actually interested in a serious answer.

- Where they a serious contender for 717s in the late 90s?
- Was there a falling-out between DL and McD with due to the lackluster MD-90 & MD-11 performance?
- Did DL not need a small mainline aircraft at the time? (e.g., were the 73S still sufficient?)


I am not sure as that was before my time but I think the issue was simple Delta loved regional jets at this time and was sending every flight they could to their regional partners. This killed their demand for an aircraft the size of the 717's when they were still in production so I don't believe they were ever a serious contender even without any other outside factors considered.

As the poster above me stated, Richard Anderson got the ball rolling on taking back flights to mainline with the 717's that were acquired on a cheap lease from Southwest after the Airtran merger
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 7268
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

Re: Why Didn't DL Order the MD-95 & Save Long Beach Assembly?

Wed May 22, 2019 12:50 am

Granted, there really only would have been a small window were DL would have even considered the 717.
They would've had to have been a launch customer essentially or have placed an order on or before 9/11/01.

I thought that DL really didn't go down the path of mass-RJ mainline replacement until 2001, as much of the early CRJ flying was essentially replacing turboprops and/or part of the CVG build-up. Or, did DL start down that path much earlier?
 
User avatar
Polot
Posts: 9377
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:01 pm

Re: Why Didn't DL Order the MD-95 & Save Long Beach Assembly?

Wed May 22, 2019 12:53 am

There is also a massive difference between liking a plane when you are paying used prices for them versus paying the asking costs for new builds.
 
User avatar
rj968
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:57 am

Re: Why Didn't DL Order the MD-95 & Save Long Beach Assembly?

Wed May 22, 2019 3:03 am

KGRB wrote:
compensateme wrote:
So why didn't this love story pan out in the 1990s?

Simply put, DL was in love with the CRJ-200 more. What started out as a replacement for the SAAB, Brazillia, and ATR ended up replacing mainline on myriad routes that were previously flown by DC-9s and 737-200s. By the mid-2000s CRJs were flying ridiculous routes that they had no place being like LAS-CVG and DFW-OAK.

It wasn't until Richard Anderson came along that the "up-gauge to mainline" strategy was put into effect and the used MD-90s & 717s were acquired to grow the mainline.

Sorry you had to remind me of the DL CRJ’s DFW-OAK :D 4 miserable hours. I used to have to fly that regularly on Delta business. If I had the time I’d fly to SFO on a real plane, then take BART over to OAK.
 
User avatar
Floridaguy74656
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue May 30, 2017 8:59 pm

Re: Why Didn't DL Order the MD-95 & Save Long Beach Assembly?

Wed May 22, 2019 4:28 am

Because Delta really could care less about Long Beach or any other production plant. That is an issue for the manufacturer. Delta only cares about what makes them the most return on an investment. They didn't think it made sense for them at the time so they didn't do it. And I would bet not one bean counter at Delta cared at all that Long Beach production closed up.
God Bless the United States of America
 
BoeingGuy
Posts: 6264
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:01 pm

Re: Why Didn't DL Order the MD-95 & Save Long Beach Assembly?

Wed May 22, 2019 4:49 am

Floridaguy74656 wrote:
Because Delta really could care less about Long Beach or any other production plant. That is an issue for the manufacturer. Delta only cares about what makes them the most return on an investment. They didn't think it made sense for them at the time so they didn't do it. And I would bet not one bean counter at Delta cared at all that Long Beach production closed up.


I’m trying not to be harsh towards the OP - although he unjustifiably slammed me other day - but I think the premise of the question is amusing. If DL ordered some 717s in 1999, would the Long Beach factory still be open in 2019. That’s a heck of a lot of airplanes they would have ordered to keep the factory rolling for 20 years.
 
User avatar
seabosdca
Posts: 6471
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:33 am

Re: Why Didn't DL Order the MD-95 & Save Long Beach Assembly?

Wed May 22, 2019 5:24 am

No one has mentioned that MD tested DL's patience to the breaking point in the last years. First there was the MD-11 fiasco, where the type badly missed spec and had trouble operating some of the service Delta had planned specifically for it. Then there was the disastrous MD-90 EIS, plagued by constant electrical problems and poor support. After two consecutive horrible experiences it's very difficult to imagine that DL would have signed up for more pain, especially when the 737-800 entered service so smoothly.
 
User avatar
Blimpie
Posts: 300
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:48 pm

Re: Why Didn't DL Order the MD-95 & Save Long Beach Assembly?

Wed May 22, 2019 8:06 am

As I have gotten older, I've devolved a soft spot for DC/MD planes. Sorta saddens me to see their numbers dwindling.
Now get the hell off of my lawn your dang kids!
 
User avatar
MD80
Posts: 744
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:29 pm

Re: Why Didn't DL Order the MD-95 & Save Long Beach Assembly?

Wed May 22, 2019 7:38 pm

compensateme wrote:
Obviously DL was a loyal McDonnell Douglas consumer.


Yes, a large number of companies were loyal customers of McDonnell Douglas, not only Delta. For many operators, the twin-engined jetliners were faithful workhorses and the durability and overall economics of the DC-9 was also a hindering factor for MD-95-sales. During the first half of the 1990s, some important DC-9-operators opted to refurbish their DC-9s, most notably Northwest Airlines. In Europe, Finnair, JAT, Aviaco, and Iberia discussed the idea to modernize their DC-9s for up to 15 additonal years of service. Air Canada also refurbished a large portion of their fleet.

compensateme wrote:
In the early 1990s, McDonnell Douglas was shopping around the MD-95, but couldn't find any takers. It would take several years until the type found its first order, from ValuJet.


The DC-9-X-project was probably no great help to stimulate sales of the planned MD-95. SAS also opted to hushkit their remaining DC-9s. In March 1995, SAS announced their order for Boeing 737-600s instead of the much anticipated order for the MD-95. McDonnell Douglas worked closely with SAS to size and shape the MD-95 and the loss of SAS was historically a huge blow for McDonnell Douglas.

During this critical time, most operators continued to operate either both the DC-9 and/or MD-80 and their economics were quiet competitive compared to Boeing 727s etc..

It´s strikingly evident, that the MD-95 was never mentioned prominently in connection with Delta. The MD-95 (between 1991 and 1996) was often mentioned with Northwest, USAir, Aviaco, Alitalia, Korean Air, SAS, and during the second half of the 1990s up until the early 2000s with Aerolineas Argentinas, Aeromexico, British Airways, Debonair, Cyprus Airways, Wuhan Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Hawaiian Air, Vanguard Airlines or Iberia, but I can´t remember Delta.

Delta still operated the Boeing 737-200 Adv./-300 (the 737-200 Adv´s even with Delta Express in later years), had a rather big order for Boeing 737-300s (later cancelled?) and finally retired their last DC-9 in January 1993 while the MD-88-fleet became a big fleet with 120 frames. I think, that Delta had a different strategy during this time, including their up-gauge of CRJ´s.

The general situation resulted in the demise of MD-jetliners, and I don´t think, that Delta would have changed this direction with a large order for MD-95. However I think, that a blue-chip customer like Delta (or British Airways) could have generated more confidence among other potential customers, but the fate of McDonnell Douglas was already sealed with lack of sales for the MD-11 and MD-90.

Regards
Dedicated to the MD-80, MD-90, MD-95, and DC-9: www.MD-80.com

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: hoons90 and 14 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos