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Old Feb 19, 12, 3:26 am   #31
 
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One thing is for sure - a replacement for the 737 is probably 10 years or more away. The oldest NG's will be coming up on 20 years old then so the timing would work.

In the meantime, the MAX will use the basic 737NG fuselage with aerodynamic tweaks and possibiliby a taller nose gear. GE claims that it's GenX engine minimizes fuel burn differences by tailoring the fan blade design for the diameter so it's MAX engine will be within 1% of being as efficient as the larger diameter fan Airbus is using for the neo. They point to the 787 and 747-8 versions of the GenX as proof.

In general, I think you're right about the eventual replacement value of the 350 and for shorter term the 332/787 for the 757. First, there's not an airline that has enough variety in it's fleet to pull out a plane with the exact capacity needed on a given day or route round-trip - neither manufacturer builds planes with only 10-20 seat capacity differences. So gaps in capacity of airplanes in a fleet is a given. So not having a replacement the exact same size as the 752/762 is not critical by any means. Then traffic is forecast to generally grow over time no matter whose forecast you use, so a plane that may be bigger than currently needed won't necessarily be too big in 5-10 years even for secondary European cities.

As is the case so much of the time, US' small longer haul fleet causes US to have problems that bigger competitors don't have - given the number of planes involved it's hard to have much variability in size for the wide-body fleet without getting the inefficiency of a small number of several airplane types. With the 330/350, since US seems to be sticking to Airbuses, you're basically looking at 250/300/350 seats for all trans-Atlantic ops and maybe Hawaii once the 752/762's leave the fleet.

As always, merging with a bigger carrier would solve a lot of US' problems, but a bigger carrier wanting to merge with US is less likely.

Jim
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Old Feb 19, 12, 7:56 pm   #32
 
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Originally Posted by BoeingBoy View Post
One thing is for sure - a replacement for the 737 is probably 10 years or more away. The oldest NG's will be coming up on 20 years old then so the timing would work.

In the meantime, the MAX will use the basic 737NG fuselage with aerodynamic tweaks and possibiliby a taller nose gear. GE claims that it's GenX engine minimizes fuel burn differences by tailoring the fan blade design for the diameter so it's MAX engine will be within 1% of being as efficient as the larger diameter fan Airbus is using for the neo. They point to the 787 and 747-8 versions of the GenX as proof.

In general, I think you're right about the eventual replacement value of the 350 and for shorter term the 332/787 for the 757. First, there's not an airline that has enough variety in it's fleet to pull out a plane with the exact capacity needed on a given day or route round-trip - neither manufacturer builds planes with only 10-20 seat capacity differences. So gaps in capacity of airplanes in a fleet is a given. So not having a replacement the exact same size as the 752/762 is not critical by any means. Then traffic is forecast to generally grow over time no matter whose forecast you use, so a plane that may be bigger than currently needed won't necessarily be too big in 5-10 years even for secondary European cities.

As is the case so much of the time, US' small longer haul fleet causes US to have problems that bigger competitors don't have - given the number of planes involved it's hard to have much variability in size for the wide-body fleet without getting the inefficiency of a small number of several airplane types. With the 330/350, since US seems to be sticking to Airbuses, you're basically looking at 250/300/350 seats for all trans-Atlantic ops and maybe Hawaii once the 752/762's leave the fleet.

As always, merging with a bigger carrier would solve a lot of US' problems, but a bigger carrier wanting to merge with US is less likely.

Jim
Is US getting any more 332's in the meantime or have they all come in?
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Old Feb 19, 12, 8:17 pm   #33
 
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Is US getting any more 332's in the meantime or have they all come in?
I believe 15 332s total were ordered, 7 delivered, and remaining 8 scheduled for delivery in 2013/14.
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Old Feb 19, 12, 8:35 pm   #34
 
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I believe 15 332s total were ordered, 7 delivered, and remaining 8 scheduled for delivery in 2013/14.
Which is interesting, as that does not allow for complete replacement of the 762 fleet of ten aircraft. Presumably they have options that could fill that gap though.

I could also see some of the A350s potentially being A333 replacements as well - though they're being overhauled now, they'll be roughly 20 years old by the end of this decade.
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Old Feb 19, 12, 8:41 pm   #35
 
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More specifically, 5 A332's in 2013 and 3 in 2014 as per the latest AboutUS weekly employee newsletter.

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Old Feb 19, 12, 8:52 pm   #36
 
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Which is interesting, as that does not allow for complete replacement of the 762 fleet of ten aircraft. Presumably they have options that could fill that gap though.

I could also see some of the A350s potentially being A333 replacements as well - though they're being overhauled now, they'll be roughly 20 years old by the end of this decade.
There really is no comparable aircraft to replace the 762's - according to Wikipedia the 332 is the closest you're going to get. Perhaps the 332's will replace the 762's once the 358's and 359's come in.
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Old Feb 20, 12, 3:09 am   #37
 
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Since the biggest problem for the short term is the 757 - any that can't have the lease extended as it expires or a replacement 757 found goes away with no replacement on the West side and they need them to fly the Hawaii routes.

East can only do one Hawaii route, and the "route" could be important since it could be defined as multiple flights to the same Hawaiian airport. With 2 flights a day to a couple of Hawaiian destinations that leaves some slack but Parker has said at crew news sessions that the 767 is not a suitable replacement for the Hawaiian market since it's better used for trans-Atlantic routes with a better mix of leisure and business. However, if push came to shove the East could in theory operate up to 4 flights/day to Hawaii.

However, as more 332's arrive US could do some up-gauging if needed - put 767's on routes like Hawaii or the current northwestern Europe 757 routes, put 332's on some 767 routes, etc if they don't need the 332's for additional service. The limition on East operating PHX-Hawaii would still affect how much they could do that on those routes but the trans-Atlantic is a lot more susceptible to up-gauging for any East 757's that go away.

Jim
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Last edited by BoeingBoy; Feb 20, 12 at 3:16 am.
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Old Feb 20, 12, 4:47 am   #38
 
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With only 8 more A332's on the way until the A350s appear then I would hope US would defer retiring any 767s. Why put itself under any unnecessary fleet inflexibility or competitive short-term disadvantage?

Whether any suitable ETOPS 757s with RR engines are even on the market I have no idea. I've wondered before if the five 767ERs that UA/CO is retiring this year would even be available - or even worthwhile - for US to acquire in the event of needing to surrender any existing 757s.

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Old Feb 21, 12, 4:40 pm   #39
 
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You have to wonder if US really wanted to expand its international routes at all. I would think airbus could have found a couple of A340s to allow US to use until the A350 comes on line. The A340 would have allowed US to expand its international routes and possibly retire the 767s

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With only 8 more A332's on the way until the A350s appear then I would hope US would defer retiring any 767s. Why put itself under any unnecessary fleet inflexibility or competitive short-term disadvantage?

Whether any suitable ETOPS 757s with RR engines are even on the market I have no idea. I've wondered before if the five 767ERs that UA/CO is retiring this year would even be available - or even worthwhile - for US to acquire in the event of needing to surrender any existing 757s.

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Old Feb 21, 12, 7:17 pm   #40
 
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This begs yet another question: how long will the ETOPS 757s remain in the fleet? I surely hope US isn't planning to draw down their ability to be a competitor on TATL routes where traffic is too thin for an A330. Sure, the 767 has a similar capacity but to replace one 757 for each new A330 that enters re fleet is just a zero-sum game.

Has US articulated any plans about this or their ideas for TATL between now and the first A350s?

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Old Feb 21, 12, 8:43 pm   #41
 
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You have to wonder if US really wanted to expand its international routes at all. I would think airbus could have found a couple of A340s to allow US to use until the A350 comes on line. The A340 would have allowed US to expand its international routes and possibly retire the 767s
The quad-engine A340's are not the most efficient fuel-wise, which had a lot to do with their unpopularity with airlines and recent discontinuation by Airbus.

There weren't many of them made, but the 340-200 might not be a terrible stopgap until the A350's come in... or any of the ex-CO 767's... (hey, unlike our 767's they'd also have PTV's)
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Old Feb 21, 12, 9:57 pm   #42
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Originally Posted by kudzu View Post
I believe 15 332s total were ordered, 7 delivered, and remaining 8 scheduled for delivery in 2013/14.
What about A321 will delivered this year? How many?

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Originally Posted by BoeingBoy View Post
More specifically, 5 A332's in 2013 and 3 in 2014 as per the latest AboutUS weekly employee newsletter.

Jim
You read the employee newsletter? How do you know? Is that US will accepted delivery this year? Why can't have wait for any much longer. The entire 767-200 is almost 30 years old. I think it's time to retired.
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Old Feb 22, 12, 12:28 am   #43
 
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Off the top of my head, there are 12 A321's coming this year with delivery in the 2nd half - 6 in the 3rd quarter and 6 in the 4th quarter.

Yeah, so far US lets retirees have access to the daily and weekly newsletters, crew news edited video, etc.

The next 330's won't start coming till next year and I don't know if the 5 for 2013 will be spread out throughout the year or not.

You're right, the 767's are getting pretty old, although the newest is not much over 20 years old. That's because of the 3-4 year gap in deliveries because Colodny cancelled the outstanding orders during the PI/US merger then had to reorder them.

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Old Feb 22, 12, 3:27 pm   #44
 
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The entire 767-200 is almost 30 years old. I think it's time to retired.
Delta has ex-NWA DC-9's that are pushing 40. Keep it in perspective

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Old Feb 22, 12, 3:31 pm   #45
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Delta has ex-NWA DC-9's that are pushing 40. Keep it in perspective
Do those still require a second officer?
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