Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
User avatar
flyingturtle
Topic Author
Posts: 6002
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:39 pm

Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 3:19 pm

Carrying over from viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1452799 - where the OP asked about the worst military procurement program - I just want to be curious and ask:

Did any airline purchase an aircraft that turned out to be a disaster?

- One possible contestant would the A380. Marvellous, comfortable, spacious and modern. But if you can't fill the seats...

- Only twelve Dassault Mercures were built. The most serious drawback was their 1125 nm range. On the other hand, they flew from 1971 till 1995, and with a very high reliability rate.
Last edited by flyingturtle on Tue Nov 03, 2020 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
KFLLCFII
Posts: 3608
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 7:08 am

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 3:30 pm

Concorde.
"About the only way to look at it, just a pity you are not POTUS KFLLCFII, seems as if we would all be better off."
 
Antarius
Posts: 2942
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 3:34 pm

Production hasn't ended, but the a338 is high up there. 8 frames ordered, out of which 6 were cancelled by the original purchaser.

Of course, there is the MAX, which so far has literally been a disaster.
2020: SFO DFW IAH HOU CLT MEX BIS MIA GUA ORD DTW LGA BOS LHR DUB BFS BHD STN OAK PHL ISP JFK SJC DEN SJU LAS TXL GDL
 
User avatar
smithbs
Posts: 540
Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 6:09 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 3:47 pm

Antarius wrote:
Production hasn't ended, but the a338 is high up there. 8 frames ordered, out of which 6 were cancelled by the original purchaser.

Of course, there is the MAX, which so far has literally been a disaster.


I would say we keep the scope to programs whose total output was a dud. A330 and 737 in the whole have been very successful, and knocking on variants therein isn't in the spirit of the OP question, I think.

In which case, unfortunately, I suspect several British programs in the 1950s and 1960s might rank high on this list.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
Posts: 1161
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 3:59 pm



The VFW 614 was just...well...what "SST: Death Flight" was for aviation accuracy, the VFW 614 was the same in terms of design and aesthetic. And equal amounts of "chemical enhancements" by someone in charge thinking "hey, this is a BRILLIANT idea!"

But the worst part: isn't it bad enough to have a window seat overlooking the wing? Now you get the blockage of your view AND increased noise, all at once!

The Deutsche Marks that went into that design...for a total of 19 aircraft produced over ten years.
 
User avatar
SR380
Posts: 857
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:57 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:00 pm

The BAAD 152! It was East Germany (only) civilian jet program and was quite a failure:

https://fr.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baade_152

I never encountered the aircraft, but if it was as bad as the Trabant P601 (trust me I drove one for 3 years), I can asume it was the crappiest plane there was! :-)

Cheers guys.
 
Antarius
Posts: 2942
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:10 pm

smithbs wrote:
Antarius wrote:
Production hasn't ended, but the a338 is high up there. 8 frames ordered, out of which 6 were cancelled by the original purchaser.

Of course, there is the MAX, which so far has literally been a disaster.


I would say we keep the scope to programs whose total output was a dud. A330 and 737 in the whole have been very successful, and knocking on variants therein isn't in the spirit of the OP question, I think.

In which case, unfortunately, I suspect several British programs in the 1950s and 1960s might rank high on this list.


Fair enough.

Yes, definitely some british programs in the 50s and some USSR variants like the TU-144
2020: SFO DFW IAH HOU CLT MEX BIS MIA GUA ORD DTW LGA BOS LHR DUB BFS BHD STN OAK PHL ISP JFK SJC DEN SJU LAS TXL GDL
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 8759
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:10 pm

Is the OP looking for biggest commercial flop, or what proved to be a poor choice by carriers?

What was the A345/A346 program expense, $3 Billion? A total of 129 deliveries.

On the customer side, although the MD-11 it had its fans, observe that AA ordered fifty, only took delivery of 19, and didn't keep those long. The NYT described DL's order as 'first placed by a major domestic airline,' but didn't call it the launch order. Nine firm, options for 31 more; 17 went into service.
 
jeffrey0032j
Posts: 881
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:11 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:12 pm

Air Asia X A330neo order. A plane begged for by the airline bosses, then with less than ethical behaviour (as suggested by European authorities) from Airbus, then a case of over ordering by the largest customer and now with the airline being restructured. Airbus walked in with their eyes wide open into this hole, believing that Tony's lofty ideas would all turn out right. Basically a plane born out of both parties massaging each other.
 
LH982
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:28 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:17 pm

The DC7 at KLM. Started receiving them in 1957, and by 1960 they were already converting them to freighters. The march of the jet age
 
holczakker
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 7:34 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:20 pm

Mitsubishi?
 
Antarius
Posts: 2942
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:21 pm

holczakker wrote:
Mitsubishi?


Ooo.. we might have a winner
2020: SFO DFW IAH HOU CLT MEX BIS MIA GUA ORD DTW LGA BOS LHR DUB BFS BHD STN OAK PHL ISP JFK SJC DEN SJU LAS TXL GDL
 
mxaxai
Posts: 2146
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:29 am

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:29 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
Did any airline purchase an aircraft that turned out to be a disaster?

  • MH and the A380
  • PR and the 77W (too heavy for their airports)
  • GA and the CRJ-1000 (needed longer runways than expected)
  • Everybody who bought/wanted to buy the Concorde
  • Everybody who bought the early Comet
  • Most who bought the SSJ, e. g. SN (Interjet and Aeroflot are exceptions)
  • Braniff and the 747-100
  • SR and the 747-300
  • AV, F9 and the A318
  • AA, SQ and the MD-11
  • BE and the E-195
  • AB and the 787, A339 (orders cancelled)
  • AI and the 77L
  • AC, TG, TAM and the A345
Most of these are specifically bad matches for the airline even though the aircraft itself was fine.
 
DfwRevolution
Posts: 9307
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:31 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:36 pm

Didn’t AF buy the 777F only to realize it didn’t fit the cargo containers they wanted to use?
I have a three post per topic limit. You're welcome to have the last word.
 
User avatar
sassiciai
Posts: 1128
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:26 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:37 pm

This is currently a very inconsistent thread, with the above posts being apples, pears, and potatoes. The OP should spell out what the real question is, so that everyone tries to answer to the same question

Procurement means that someone is buying something, worst procurement implies that the customer achieved very little with the purchase, reality was much less than expectation. Worst procurement strictly has nothing to do with the lifecycle or cost of the product or service being purchased

Concorde and A380 both delivered largely on what was expected by the purchasers, even if the producers took a bath on both. As a procurement, what is wrong with the A338? It may not sell well, but that is not the question

It seems we need to focus on purchases that didn't deliver to the customers' expectations. I suppose it can be limited to aircraft only, rather than services or other civil aviation products. There are a number of airports that were purchased by public authorities that never made it into real service, despite enormous costs, one in Canada, one in Spain - they must be up there as worst civilian <aviation related> procurements
 
User avatar
flyingturtle
Topic Author
Posts: 6002
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:39 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:44 pm

sassiciai wrote:
This is currently a very inconsistent thread, with the above posts being apples, pears, and potatoes. The OP should spell out what the real question is, so that everyone tries to answer to the same question


Yes, I meant any aircraft that absolutely did not work out for a specific airline.

But my own example (Dassault Mercure) I already digressed... for Air Inter, it was a good choice.
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
User avatar
OzarkD9S
Posts: 5755
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2001 2:31 am

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:46 pm

The history of airlines is littered with carriers choosing the wrong aircraft for their needs, buying too many and going too big too quickly.
"My soul is in the sky". -Pyramus- A Midsummer's Night Dream
 
Antarius
Posts: 2942
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:51 pm

OzarkD9S wrote:
The history of airlines is littered with carriers choosing the wrong aircraft for their needs, buying too many and going too big too quickly.


*cough* TG *cough*
2020: SFO DFW IAH HOU CLT MEX BIS MIA GUA ORD DTW LGA BOS LHR DUB BFS BHD STN OAK PHL ISP JFK SJC DEN SJU LAS TXL GDL
 
User avatar
aemoreira1981
Posts: 3683
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:17 am

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:56 pm

I will go the other way onto engines and say the PW6000 is up there as it was developed only for the A318. The CFM56 nearly ended up the same way before airlines decided to re-power stretcher DC-8s...there would be no LEAP if not for that decision around 1978, which produced 110 Super 70s.

At least the A345/6 was a stretch and the Trent 500 is basically a derated 700. The Mercure also had a service life over 20 years.
Last edited by aemoreira1981 on Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
User avatar
smithbs
Posts: 540
Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 6:09 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:57 pm

Antarius wrote:
holczakker wrote:
Mitsubishi?


Ooo.. we might have a winner


:bigthumbsup:

I would put them in the winner column until they actually deliver an airframe to a customer.

Note, in 2010-2011, I worked on avionics for that jet. We were all ready to go with our black boxes at that time. Now it's 2020 and...
 
User avatar
aemoreira1981
Posts: 3683
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:17 am

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 5:00 pm

Antarius wrote:
OzarkD9S wrote:
The history of airlines is littered with carriers choosing the wrong aircraft for their needs, buying too many and going too big too quickly.


*cough* TG *cough*


CityBird might also have been a similar competitor there. Their fleet matrix made no sense.
 
Yflyer
Posts: 1734
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 4:05 am

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Tue Nov 03, 2020 8:31 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
Yes, I meant any aircraft that absolutely did not work out for a specific airline.


A good example would be the many airlines that jumped on the 747 bandwagon in the early 1970s, only to find them way too big for their needs and dump them after the 1974 oil embargo. Delta is the first airline that comes to mind, although I'm sure there are others. It's really very analogous to the A380 example in the OP.
 
User avatar
BawliBooch
Posts: 1539
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:24 am

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Wed Nov 04, 2020 1:38 am

Desi carriers PIA (Please Inform Allah) and AI(Already Informed) have got poor aircraft choices down to a fine art. Almost from the beginning but by the 70's they were masters at this game!

PIA with the Connies - many experts at the time felt that DC6's were a better fit overall for the nascent airline back then, but it was important to KUWI (Keep Up With the Indians) so it was Connies that entered the fleet. AI itself would have gotten the DC6's but the Maharaja was having a one night stand with TWA at the time so...!

Cut to the 70's, AI buying the 747's. Yeah! I know! Their Palace livery looked really cool on the Jumbo but that decision meant for the next 3+ decades, AI was a BOM focussed airline, operating sub-daily frequencies to most places out of BOM. Other stations like TRV, BLR, CCU, ATQ would not see significant international service till the 90's effectively paving the way for foreign carriers to walk in and take away the traffic. Imagine if AI had gone for the smaller DC10 instead and later replaced them with AB6/767 aircraft in the mid 80's. More flights, to and from more stations in India connecting nonstop to smaller cities with traffic flows. AI could never make SYD work with the 747 despite trying many times. It might have worked with the AB6/767's?

Same applies to PIA! It would have been a very different airline today if they had gone the DC10-AB6/767 route. They had DC10's but they just HAD to get a bunch of 747's Jumbos because of the KUWI factor!

77L's - AI underestimated the 77W and over-estimated the 77L! Bad configuration choices with the 77L meant that it was never economical to operate. And when AI found that in practice, the 77W could carry more passengers on the North America routes, even with load restrictions one way, the 77L was toast! VERY expensive toast!

PIA ofcourse just had to repeat that mistake! Blood brothers after all no?

KingFisher with their "5 of each type" ordering policy also has to rank right up there! Guess we can chalk that down to all the beer and Mallya Jr's drug habit?

Our former colonial master doesn't seem to have the same systemic problems though! BA (Bleddy Awful) does reasonably well!
Mr.Kapoor's favorite poodle!
 
Philippine747
Posts: 338
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:54 am

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Wed Nov 04, 2020 4:16 am

mxaxai wrote:
flyingturtle wrote:
Did any airline purchase an aircraft that turned out to be a disaster?

  • PR and the 77W (too heavy for their airports)
Most of these are specifically bad matches for the airline even though the aircraft itself was fine.


I think that was Garuda... CGK had inadequate pavement strength for a heavy 77W, hence the SIN fuel stop for Europe flights.
A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 A343 AT75 AT76 B732 B733 B738 B744 B752(M) B763 B772 B77W DHC7 DH8C DH8D D328 MA60

2P 5J 6K CX DG EK GA KE MI PR VN OS QR A3 OK TG RA U4 JL GK UB K7 WE BR
 
steveinbc
Posts: 351
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:30 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Wed Nov 04, 2020 4:56 am

To me the question is procurement not design/manufacturing decision. Hence the logic to me suggests what operator procured an aircraft choice that was simply disappointing on all levels. To me, Interjet of Mexico selecting the Sukhoi Superjet is a glaringly bad choice. Additionally, "vanity" choices like Concorde for BA and AF may qualify (but these airlines were government owned at the time and had little economic choice). Aer Lingus purchased B747s and were (reportedly) the smallest nation by population to fly them....apparently they were never full and ended up doing charter flights.
A319 320 321 330 340 380 B707 727 737 747 757 767 777 787 BAe1-11 Trident 1, 2, 3B Viscount Lancaster VC10 HS748, ATP DHC-1, 3 Dash-8 Dash-400 Shorts 330 360 Embraer Banderiante Brasileria 175 190 BAe146 Saab 200 DC-3 -8 -9 -10 MD-11 ATR42-72
 
dstc47
Posts: 1468
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 1999 3:53 am

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Wed Nov 04, 2020 9:36 am

steveinbc wrote:
). Aer Lingus purchased B747s and were (reportedly) the smallest nation by population to fly them....apparently they were never full and ended up doing charter flights.


Actually EI did well with the 747, including leasing out when this was unusual, except for the problems of the N.I. troubles on US traffic and impact of world recessions.
The 330's were, of course, huge money spinners until recent Covid events.
 
User avatar
klm617
Posts: 5370
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:57 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Wed Nov 04, 2020 7:47 pm

Yflyer wrote:
flyingturtle wrote:
Yes, I meant any aircraft that absolutely did not work out for a specific airline.


A good example would be the many airlines that jumped on the 747 bandwagon in the early 1970s, only to find them way too big for their needs and dump them after the 1974 oil embargo. Delta is the first airline that comes to mind, although I'm sure there are others. It's really very analogous to the A380 example in the OP.


National and Continental as well.
the truth does matter, guys. too bad it's often quite subjective. the truth is beyond the mere facts and figures. it's beyond good and bad, right and wrong...
 
User avatar
klm617
Posts: 5370
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:57 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Wed Nov 04, 2020 7:47 pm

Ariana Afghan DC-10-30
the truth does matter, guys. too bad it's often quite subjective. the truth is beyond the mere facts and figures. it's beyond good and bad, right and wrong...
 
User avatar
CrewBunk
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:12 am

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Thu Nov 05, 2020 9:32 am

Yflyer wrote:
A good example would be the many airlines that jumped on the 747 bandwagon in the early 1970s, only to find them way too big for their needs and dump them after the 1974 oil embargo. Delta is the first airline that comes to mind, although I'm sure there are others. It's really very analogous to the A380 example in the OP.


I’m showing my age, but I remember the early 747 days well. From a service point of view, it was revolutionary. And, in those days, it was on board service that attracted customers.

You either had a 747, or you didn’t. And you’d better get one, because there was no way a passenger was climbing onto your DC-8 or 707 if your competition was flying a 747 .... at any price. By comparison,40 years later, the A380 was not “better enough” to lure passengers away.

Before my time, but it was similar to the introduction of jet transports. If you didn’t have a jet on a route and your competition did, you may as well shut down till you did. That’s why you could fly a 747 on AA from ORD-PHX, or DL from ORD-ATL, or EA from JFK to MIA.

The introduction of the DC-10 and L1011 eased the pressure a lot, as they too garnered that all important bold faced type in your timetable indicating wide body equipment. (It was a great time to be a passenger).
 
VSMUT
Posts: 4882
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Thu Nov 05, 2020 9:49 am

Berlin Brandenburg Airport.
 
blandy62
Posts: 330
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:47 am

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:36 am

mxaxai wrote:
flyingturtle wrote:
Did any airline purchase an aircraft that turned out to be a disaster?

  • MH and the A380
  • PR and the 77W (too heavy for their airports)
  • GA and the CRJ-1000 (needed longer runways than expected)
  • Everybody who bought/wanted to buy the Concorde
  • Everybody who bought the early Comet
  • Most who bought the SSJ, e. g. SN (Interjet and Aeroflot are exceptions)
  • Braniff and the 747-100
  • SR and the 747-300
  • AV, F9 and the A318
  • AA, SQ and the MD-11
  • BE and the E-195
  • AB and the 787, A339 (orders cancelled)
  • AI and the 77L
  • AC, TG, TAM and the A345
Most of these are specifically bad matches for the airline even though the aircraft itself was fine.


The 77W weight issue is with GA at JKT not with PR at MNL
 
bohica
Posts: 2454
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 3:21 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Fri Nov 06, 2020 4:38 am

Delta and the A310. They were only operated between 1991 and 1995. Replaced with the 767-300.
 
User avatar
Phosphorus
Posts: 1087
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 11:38 am

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Fri Nov 06, 2020 11:24 am

bohica wrote:
Delta and the A310. They were only operated between 1991 and 1995. Replaced with the 767-300.

Did they actually order them? My memory tells me Delta got A310 in a single-shot purchase of Pan Am routes to Europe, and they had to choose between taking 747's (world's oldest), DC-10's or Airbuses. A310 wasn't the worst option.
AN4 A40 L4T TU3 TU5 IL6 ILW I93 F50 F70 100 146 ARJ AT7 DH4 L10 CRJ ERJ E90 E95 DC-9 MD-8X YK4 YK2 SF3 S20 319 320 321 332 333 343 346 722 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 744 74M 757 767 777
Ceterum autem censeo, Moscovia esse delendam
 
VSMUT
Posts: 4882
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:09 pm

blandy62 wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
flyingturtle wrote:
Did any airline purchase an aircraft that turned out to be a disaster?

  • MH and the A380
  • PR and the 77W (too heavy for their airports)
  • GA and the CRJ-1000 (needed longer runways than expected)
  • Everybody who bought/wanted to buy the Concorde
  • Everybody who bought the early Comet
  • Most who bought the SSJ, e. g. SN (Interjet and Aeroflot are exceptions)
  • Braniff and the 747-100
  • SR and the 747-300
  • AV, F9 and the A318
  • AA, SQ and the MD-11
  • BE and the E-195
  • AB and the 787, A339 (orders cancelled)
  • AI and the 77L
  • AC, TG, TAM and the A345
Most of these are specifically bad matches for the airline even though the aircraft itself was fine.


The 77W weight issue is with GA at JKT not with PR at MNL


How do they get around that, because I still see them flying to and from Jakarta. Do they operate with reduced weight and extra fuel stops?
 
bohica
Posts: 2454
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 3:21 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:39 pm

Phosphorus wrote:
bohica wrote:
Delta and the A310. They were only operated between 1991 and 1995. Replaced with the 767-300.

Did they actually order them? My memory tells me Delta got A310 in a single-shot purchase of Pan Am routes to Europe, and they had to choose between taking 747's (world's oldest), DC-10's or Airbuses. A310 wasn't the worst option.

They did get some from Pan Am. Then they ordered more A310's directly from Airbus.
 
User avatar
klm617
Posts: 5370
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:57 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Fri Nov 06, 2020 4:16 pm

CrewBunk wrote:
Yflyer wrote:
A good example would be the many airlines that jumped on the 747 bandwagon in the early 1970s, only to find them way too big for their needs and dump them after the 1974 oil embargo. Delta is the first airline that comes to mind, although I'm sure there are others. It's really very analogous to the A380 example in the OP.


I’m showing my age, but I remember the early 747 days well. From a service point of view, it was revolutionary. And, in those days, it was on board service that attracted customers.

You either had a 747, or you didn’t. And you’d better get one, because there was no way a passenger was climbing onto your DC-8 or 707 if your competition was flying a 747 .... at any price. By comparison,40 years later, the A380 was not “better enough” to lure passengers away.

Before my time, but it was similar to the introduction of jet transports. If you didn’t have a jet on a route and your competition did, you may as well shut down till you did. That’s why you could fly a 747 on AA from ORD-PHX, or DL from ORD-ATL, or EA from JFK to MIA.

The problem with the A380 was that it was just a bigger sardine can while the 747 offered more comfort and space for customers. Amenities that the 707 and DC8 couldn't offer.

The introduction of the DC-10 and L1011 eased the pressure a lot, as they too garnered that all important bold faced type in your timetable indicating wide body equipment. (It was a great time to be a passenger).
the truth does matter, guys. too bad it's often quite subjective. the truth is beyond the mere facts and figures. it's beyond good and bad, right and wrong...
 
User avatar
eta unknown
Posts: 2897
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2001 5:03 am

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Fri Nov 06, 2020 4:24 pm

The French state provided subsidies to Air Inter to keep the Mercures in service. British Airways also received state support to continue flying certain British manufactured aircraft.
Ariana's DC10: there was nothing wrong with this order- just bad timing- in service briefly before the Soviet invasion.
Aer Lingus 747: only full during transatlantic summer- completely empty rest of the year (similar to Sabena's transatlantic routes). I never understood why EI procured their 3rd 747 (ex LH).
 
Philippine747
Posts: 338
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:54 am

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Sat Nov 07, 2020 3:00 pm

klm617 wrote:
Ariana Afghan DC-10-30


I would say... political instability after they arrived on property made them unsustainable, plus Soviet pressure on management didn't help either. The power would've helped with heavy takeoffs out of Kabul though.

VSMUT wrote:
How do they get around that, because I still see them flying to and from Jakarta. Do they operate with reduced weight and extra fuel stops?


Pavement work to correct that issue at CGK began in 2016 and I think it should've been finished by now.

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-as ... sh-in-2018
A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 A343 AT75 AT76 B732 B733 B738 B744 B752(M) B763 B772 B77W DHC7 DH8C DH8D D328 MA60

2P 5J 6K CX DG EK GA KE MI PR VN OS QR A3 OK TG RA U4 JL GK UB K7 WE BR
 
petertenthije
Posts: 4026
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 10:00 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Sat Nov 07, 2020 5:43 pm

Most examples listed thus far are programs that where an (economic) failure for the manufacturer, but did fairly well for the airline that bought them.

Some examples from the top of my head of purchases airlines regretted:
  • Various airlines that bought the MD-11, since it did not meet performance estimates;
  • Various airlines that bought early 747s for the prestige;
  • SABENA going on a massive shopping spree for Airbusses. They were probably the right planes for the job, but way more then needed.

Speaking of SABENA. The worst purchase of any civilian airline... Swissair buying SABENA, LTU and a few smaller basket cases. That brought down Swissair, an airline that used to be nicknamed "the flying bank"!
The first thing to remember is always treat your kite like you treat your woman.
Get inside her five times a day and take her to heaven and back!
Lord Flashheart, 1989
 
trent768
Posts: 186
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:32 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Sun Nov 08, 2020 1:14 pm

BawliBooch wrote:
Desi carriers PIA (Please Inform Allah) and AI(Already Informed) have got poor aircraft choices down to a fine art. Almost from the beginning but by the 70's they were masters at this game!

PIA with the Connies - many experts at the time felt that DC6's were a better fit overall for the nascent airline back then, but it was important to KUWI (Keep Up With the Indians) so it was Connies that entered the fleet. AI itself would have gotten the DC6's but the Maharaja was having a one night stand with TWA at the time so...!

Cut to the 70's, AI buying the 747's. Yeah! I know! Their Palace livery looked really cool on the Jumbo but that decision meant for the next 3+ decades, AI was a BOM focussed airline, operating sub-daily frequencies to most places out of BOM. Other stations like TRV, BLR, CCU, ATQ would not see significant international service till the 90's effectively paving the way for foreign carriers to walk in and take away the traffic. Imagine if AI had gone for the smaller DC10 instead and later replaced them with AB6/767 aircraft in the mid 80's. More flights, to and from more stations in India connecting nonstop to smaller cities with traffic flows. AI could never make SYD work with the 747 despite trying many times. It might have worked with the AB6/767's?

Same applies to PIA! It would have been a very different airline today if they had gone the DC10-AB6/767 route. They had DC10's but they just HAD to get a bunch of 747's Jumbos because of the KUWI factor!

77L's - AI underestimated the 77W and over-estimated the 77L! Bad configuration choices with the 77L meant that it was never economical to operate. And when AI found that in practice, the 77W could carry more passengers on the North America routes, even with load restrictions one way, the 77L was toast! VERY expensive toast!

PIA ofcourse just had to repeat that mistake! Blood brothers after all no?

KingFisher with their "5 of each type" ordering policy also has to rank right up there! Guess we can chalk that down to all the beer and Mallya Jr's drug habit?

Our former colonial master doesn't seem to have the same systemic problems though! BA (Bleddy Awful) does reasonably well!

I heard MH did the exact same thing as well, basically copying what ever SQ did. For the sake of national pride since Singapore used to be part of Malaysia and now the former is way ahead of the later. That's why they ended up with several A380s sunbathing in the scorching Malaysian sun.
 
User avatar
flyingturtle
Topic Author
Posts: 6002
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:39 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Sun Nov 08, 2020 3:38 pm

petertenthije wrote:

Speaking of SABENA. The worst purchase of any civilian airline... Swissair buying SABENA, LTU and a few smaller basket cases. That brought down Swissair, an airline that used to be nicknamed "the flying bank"!


Ugh. I belong to the idiots who invested in Swissair shares months before it collapsed. I was absolutely sure they are going to save that national symbol. But no. I had to donate my shares to the broker in order to pull out of my trading adventure...

In extension, it was the Swiss democracy that doomed Swissair. In 1992, the voters decided against joining the EC (the former EU), which seriously disadvantaged Swissair because as an EC airline, it would enjoy equal access to European airports. But a merger with an EC-based airline was rejected because Swissair was deemed too precious. At one time, Swissair could have bought Lufthansa, but... well. Ya know.

In the end, the Swissair managers decided to buy stakes in small airlines like LTU, Sabena and Air Littoral, and wanted to grow them. But no.
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
User avatar
DrPaul
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:21 pm

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Sun Nov 08, 2020 6:38 pm

CrewBunk wrote:
You either had a 747, or you didn’t. And you’d better get one, because there was no way a passenger was climbing onto your DC-8 or 707 if your competition was flying a 747 .... at any price. By comparison,40 years later, the A380 was not “better enough” to lure passengers away. Before my time, but it was similar to the introduction of jet transports. If you didn’t have a jet on a route and your competition did, you may as well shut down till you did. That’s why you could fly a 747 on AA from ORD-PHX, or DL from ORD-ATL, or EA from JFK to MIA.


I can understand why a passenger would prefer using an airline that had jet airliners rather than one that only had piston-engine ones, as the former were a lot quicker. But did the average passenger really favour a 747 over a 707 or DC-8 or other jet airliner, considering that the journey time would be much the same? Was flying in a 747 that sufficiently different than flying in a smaller plane to make people prefer to fly in one?
 
User avatar
CrewBunk
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:12 am

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Sun Nov 08, 2020 7:46 pm

DrPaul wrote:
I can understand why a passenger would prefer using an airline that had jet airliners rather than one that only had piston-engine ones, as the former were a lot quicker. But did the average passenger really favour a 747 over a 707 or DC-8 or other jet airliner, considering that the journey time would be much the same? Was flying in a 747 that sufficiently different than flying in a smaller plane to make people prefer to fly in one?

It’s very hard to describe, but what amazed me was that everyone knew what a 747 was and it was so different and perceived so much “better” it was a huge marketing tool.

Remember these were the days before deregulation when airlines competed with service. Especially domestic US flights. It’s hard to imagine, but I remember when American carriers had the best service on the earth. Really!

The mystique of the (gasp) upstairs lounge and the (no way) spiral staircase was very alluring. These were the days when one didn’t want the flight to end. (Don’t forget the Coach lounges with a piano!) It’s very hard to imagine looking at today’s hell of a 17” wide seat with 30” pitch where everyone is miserable.
 
blandy62
Posts: 330
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:47 am

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Mon Nov 09, 2020 1:26 am

VSMUT wrote:

How do they get around that, because I still see them flying to and from Jakarta. Do they operate with reduced weight and extra fuel stops?


yes they had to stop in Singapore for fuel
 
User avatar
T18
Posts: 649
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:28 am

Re: Worst civilian procurement

Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:42 pm

holczakker wrote:
Mitsubishi?


Yep LOF and the MRJ makes my list.
“Racing's important to men who do it well. When you're racing, it's life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.” ― Steve McQueen (Le Mans) 1971

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], flyingclrs727, SirMS and 10 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