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Opinion: Should AC be betting on the A220 with the B737Max currently a disaster

Opinion: Should AC be betting on the A220 with the B737Max currently a disaster

Old Dec 17, 19, 4:28 pm
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Opinion: Should AC be betting on the A220 with the B737Max currently a disaster

I'm curious to see if we can start a healthy debate here (I know I know, FT Aeroplan / Air Canada forum 375 is not exactly known for that but let's try).

Is AC making a good business decision with the purchase and introduction of the A220 with the current fleet constraint issues the 737max disaster has caused?

The A220 is also a new aircraft, and while of course unlikely, still possible they could see a grounding with the heightened attention that new aircraft are now getting post-737max crashes.

AC is one of the larger operators of the 737max and lost a hell of a lot of capacity with the grounding. They are now introducing the A220. What if something happens that grounds the A220 as well? Is AC making a smart decision bringing in the A220 with the current grounding of the 737max? Are they risking too much? Should they just buy up some older 320's or similar until the 737max is in the air and then look at introducing the A220?

Looking at the RA I think they are risking too much to bring in the A220's before the 737max is flying.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 4:33 pm
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In my opinion, yes, the A220 is the best possible aircraft for AC right now.

I think they can bet on it, especially given the fact that it has been flying for quite some time now with various airlines (encountering almost no issues). We thought that it would be very difficult for AC to handle losing all of those MAX aircraft, which it certainly was at first, but they were able to adjust fairly quickly. I am sure if anything happened with the A220, it would follow the same course as the MAX did in terms of fleet constraints due to the grounding.

I would go so far as to say that AC should cancel the remaining MAX orders, and instead order more A220s. I have lost all faith in that aircraft (and even Boeing to some extent) because of how the company has behaved throughout the whole process of getting the aircraft recertified.

I am interested in seeing where others stand on this!
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Old Dec 17, 19, 4:36 pm
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"almost no issues"?

Except for the engine issues limiting performance in some cases. Oddly enough, being blamed on software.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 4:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Bohemian1 View Post
"almost no issues"?

Except for the engine issues limiting performance in some cases. Oddly enough, being blamed on software.
That was the only one I could think of off the top of my head, but I wasn't aware of the severity of it.

Looks like I should have done a little more research.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 4:39 pm
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I don't think they're making an undue risk. While no manufacturer is free from inefficiencies & systemic corporate problems, the cultures between the three (now two) airplane builders are widely divergent.
The A220 is a clean-sheet airplane and most of those are well thought out from the get-go. The Max is a derivative of a fifty-year old design and there's only so far (and we found the tipping point) one can push the capabilities of a basic 60s airframe. Air Canada has little choice when ordering any new airplane - they'd be in much worse position if they decided to delay the introduction of the A220 for any reason. Besides, when AC committed to the A220, the Max problems weren't known to anybody but the closest Boeing insiders.

Hindsight is 20/20, but I honestly feel the arrival of the A220 is going to do nothing but provide relief to AC - even though they've publicly stated the new airplanes will not be pressed into covering Max routes during the grounding. If anything, AC could consider ordering a further 15 frames...

Originally Posted by Bohemian1
"almost no issues"?
I'm struggling to think of a commercial airplane type that encountered no issues during its teething stages.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 4:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Sean Peever View Post
Is AC making a good business decision with the purchase and introduction of the A220 with the current fleet constraint issues the 737max disaster has caused?
In my opinion, it is the right and only decision for AC... I feel they should run as far away as possible from the 737 and order more A220 planes.

I have no desire to step on to a 737 if and when they are reintroduced... I will do everything I can to avoid that plane in the future, at least until it has been flying incident-free from some time.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 4:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Plumber View Post
In my opinion, it is the right and only decision for AC... I feel they should run as far away as possible from the 737 and order more A220 planes.

I have no desire to step on to a 737 if and when they are reintroduced... I will do everything I can to avoid that plane in the future, at least until it has been flying incident-free from some time.
The A220 can't replace the Max, as they possess different capabilities. Boeing's NMA project is now under threat due to the recent Max production suspension & employee layoffs, and that (plus whatever Airbus is countering with) is what airlines should be running towards. I believe all customers should flee from the Max, but with 5000+ ordered, is that even possible?

If the Transat acquisition occurs, it'll be very interesting to see how AC regards the A321 Neo. If barely-competent, Montreal execs will have been talking to Toulouse in regards to the feasibility of acquiring alternate delivery slots for that type.

I sense your personal choice to avoid the Max will be shared by many, insiders and laypersons alike.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 4:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Plumber View Post
In my opinion, it is the right and only decision for AC... I feel they should run as far away as possible from the 737 and order more A220 planes.

I have no desire to step on to a 737 if and when they are reintroduced... I will do everything I can to avoid that plane in the future, at least until it has been flying incident-free from some time.
I don't think you will be the only one doing that Plumber

If I can, I will avoid it at all costs. The A220, on the other hand, I will be trying to fly on whenever I can!
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Old Dec 17, 19, 4:51 pm
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Old Dec 17, 19, 4:54 pm
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It appears the 737 MAX will not be returning to the skies any time soon (and that's a good thing, since Boeing still holds the attitude that they should just patch up a couple of things and get approval for ungrounding ASAP, rather than taking the time to really scrutinize everything). Air Canada should focus on the marketing of A220s in its fleet, especially come the Spring break and summer.

If AC and other airlines can manage the Christmas holiday peak travel without the 737 MAX, then they will have demonstrated that they don't need the MAX. After that, with introduction of the A220 (and I hope AC lines up some orders of A320/21neo if opportunities present themselves), AC will have a good leverage with Boeing to either cancel the remaining MAX and/or get a few more DreamLiners at heavy discounts.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 5:03 pm
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Originally Posted by YYT82 View Post
If AC and other airlines can manage the Christmas holiday peak travel without the 737 MAX, then they will have demonstrated that they don't need the MAX. After that, with introduction of the A220 (and I hope AC lines up some orders of A320/21neo if opportunities present themselves), AC will have a good leverage with Boeing to either cancel the remaining MAX and/or get a few more DreamLiners at heavy discounts.
AC has already demonstrated it can survive peak travel periods without the Max. That doesn't mean they don't need the services of an airplane with those particular capabilities; it's just that flexibility, profitability and efficiency all suffer. Dreamliners won't be a reasonable alternative for the Max routes (overkill), nor will A220s (inadequate).

AC may have some leverage with Boeing, but where are they in the queue for compensation or replacement aircraft? Can Boeing provide replacement aircraft that would suit AC's needs? Are AC in a queue - with other Max operators - for Airbus replacements?

This is a very messy situation indeed.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 5:49 pm
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Originally Posted by YYT82 View Post
It appears the 737 MAX will not be returning to the skies any time soon (and that's a good thing, since Boeing still holds the attitude that they should just patch up a couple of things and get approval for ungrounding ASAP, rather than taking the time to really scrutinize everything). Air Canada should focus on the marketing of A220s in its fleet, especially come the Spring break and summer.

If AC and other airlines can manage the Christmas holiday peak travel without the 737 MAX, then they will have demonstrated that they don't need the MAX. After that, with introduction of the A220 (and I hope AC lines up some orders of A320/21neo if opportunities present themselves), AC will have a good leverage with Boeing to either cancel the remaining MAX and/or get a few more DreamLiners at heavy discounts.
There are only so many hours on the 320 airframes, and AC has units over 30 years old... C-FDQV, ex fin 201 is long since taken its one way flight to Tucson.

If GM pisses you off, you can call up Ford and get 200 F-150's in a month. Its not that easy to get a ~150PAX aircraft.

The 220s will help on the low end, for sure, but if the MAX don't return to service there are going to be a lot of people walking for xmas 2020.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 6:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Sean Peever View Post
Is AC making a good business decision with the purchase and introduction of the A220 with the current fleet constraint issues the 737max disaster has caused?
As you know, the C series wasn't ordered because of the Max grounding.
Regardless of the Max grounding, the C series would still be introduced to the fleet on it's current schedule.

Are you asking if C series deliveries should be delayed because of the Max grounding?
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Old Dec 17, 19, 6:58 pm
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I can't speak to ACs risk management strategy, but they won't be the first customer to get the A220/C Series. For AC at least, some of the teething issues with the plane will already have been dealt with via other airlines. I had the chance to fly a C Series last year IIRC on LX, and as a consumer, I can tell you I'm very much looking forward to AC getting them as well.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 7:29 pm
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Seeing how the A220s flying at other carriers for a while donít seem to be suicidal like the MAX, they already seem less risky.
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