Multiple aircraft types

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  IanFromHKG 4 Sep 2019
at 05:39
.

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  • traveldoc1
    Participant

    Given the huge expertise available on BT – and being a regular traveller myself – perhaps someone can help me with a persistent question. To my simple mind, B737s compete with the A320 series and – but perhaps to lesser extent – B787 competes with A350. So why would an airline (eg AF; TK) choose to run both B737 AND A320 aircraft in their fleet? In terms of maintenance, spare parts, flight deck crew etc it must make operations much more costly and less efficient. Have never understood this.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    I imagine they don’t want to be beholden to one supplier as it reduces negotiation power.

    Many airlines operate fleet from both manufacturers.


    AircraftLover
    Participant

    Airlines used to operate many different aircraft types, tailored for each specific market
    Due to environmental reasons, aircraft technical maintenance, crew training, and fuel-costs, airlines are renewing and simplifying their aircraft fleets

    This transition takes many years to be accomplished, so many airlines still have a big mix of old and new airliners
    For example, American Airlines operates 11 aircraft types in a 967 strong fleet

    Many airlines like to operate with different aircraft manufacturers, because they all offer great planes, and because they do not want to put all the bread in the same basket


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    Opportunism if a good deal appears and possible political pressure (notably in Europe to buy Airbus planes) could also play a role. KLM for instance was 100% Boeing when A330 were ordered. Now the new group’s CEO put the house in order. Soon KLM will be 100% Boeing again.

    BA short haul is 100% Airbus now, but it seems WW accepted a good deal from Boeing (200 737Max). Why on earth however did BA order 18 A350s is a reasonable question for for an airline already flying 30 B787s (plus 12 on order) and that, excepted for the lorry of the air, has a 100% Boeing long haul fleet.


    MarcusGB
    Participant

    I wonder what the future of Emirates will be, with their simple 2 type 777’s or A380’s for Long haul, now that the A380 will be discontinued?!
    Phasing out the A380 is fine for some Airlines such as AF, as they have only a few, but such a huge fleet, must be quite a dilemma.

    It really does seem that most Airlines are now operating and awaiting orders, of the Boeing Dreamliner 8/9/10’s or A350’s?


    SimonS1
    Participant

    I wonder what the future of Emirates will be, with their simple 2 type 777’s or A380’s for Long haul, now that the A380 will be discontinued?!

    Phasing out the A380 is fine for some Airlines such as AF, as they have only a few, but such a huge fleet, must be quite a dilemma.

    They have already ordered 40 A330-900 and 30 A350-900 this year.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    nevereconomy
    Participant

    Swissdiver – are you suggesting that in the US there is no pressure for airlines to buy Boeing ? Airbus tanker contract cancelled, Bombardier C series fiasco ???
    Boeing IS the US government making planes.


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    Swissdiver – are you suggesting that in the US there is no pressure for airlines to buy Boeing ? Airbus tanker contract cancelled, Bombardier C series fiasco ???

    Boeing IS the US government making planes.

    Military: of course, the US government decides.

    Civil: Probably not. Look at Delta for instance that is becoming a joystick airline…

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    Although the A32x and B737-x are superficially similar there are significant differences in terms of capacity, range and other factors between variants and, of course, operation costs (typically expressed as CASM). The issues with the B737-Max, for instance, were caused not just by Boeing’s tragic late-stage design errors but, if you look further back in the decision process to see WHY they designed the modifications in a way that led to those errors, you will find that the B737 was initially designed (in part) for use as a commuter plane for small airports that don’t have jetbridges, and therefore sits very low to the ground so that (to give just one example) baggage handlers can load bags manually. Instead of lengthening the legs for the main undercarriage in order to raise the fuselage so that the new and larger engines would fit in the same position as in the original design, Boeing decided to maintain the length of the main landing gear legs (although I seem to remember reading that the front leg was lengthened somewhat) which meant the engines had to be mounted higher and further forward (which, as we now know, led to its inherent instability, the introduction of MCAS, and all the problems that followed). However, the Max could still be used at airports that could handle the previous generations, without modification or extra equipment being required at the airport. So, when you get past the obvious price/size/range/CASM comparisons you can see there are many other factors that can lead to such decisions, and an airline which thinks that in all other respects an A32x would be preferable may be pushed to buy B737s because of the destinations they fly to – as well as, of course, the passenger demographics, route profiles and so forth.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
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