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Report: Delta considering trading 717s to Boeing for 737MAX jets

Report: Delta considering trading 717s to Boeing for 737MAX jets

Old Apr 22, 20, 5:24 pm
  #61  
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There are a lot of Endeavor CR9s sitting for the foreseeable future. On a route like ATL-MDW which is frequently 5x717, they could easily go 3xCR9 for a couple of years, there is no need for a 220. Same with the nightly mainline on routes like ATL-MDT that files back at 6am.

Making this swap and retiring the entire MD subfleet now and the 319/320 in a few years when the 737 MAXes show up lets DL and its regionals standardize the narrowbody fleet to 321/737/220/CR9/CR7. It keeps Boeing around to keep Airbus honest, achieves some sort of crew schedule and maintenance efficiency, and gives Delta another chance later to flip the MAX frames and delay for another Boeing product in the 2028 time frame if the market doesnt rebound or the MAX never overcomes its challenges.
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Old Apr 22, 20, 6:05 pm
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The 220 (or 717) is needed on some of those potential CR9 routes due to scope clause and requirements around mainline % vs DL connection % in the pilot contract and how many can fly on long stage flights vs short <900mi flights
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Old Apr 22, 20, 7:25 pm
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Yellowjj View Post
This will also help cut down maintenance. The accelerated retirements of the MD series and now the 717, will alleviate 2 pilot pools and 3 oddball engines types. Kinda sad to see all the tail mounted engine jets going away though.
It would cut down on maintenance even more if they'd just order 321s.
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Old Apr 22, 20, 7:34 pm
  #64  
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian View Post
It would cut down on maintenance even more if they'd just order 321s.
It could be cheaper too, but they don't need them for a long time. By the time the MAXes (and even the NEOs) come online most of the kinks will have been worked out (hopefully). If they can get a sweetheart deal on a plane that's more efficient than an A321 they might as well. One would expect one of these newer-generation planes to outlive the "classic" A321. (Then again, many of us expected the crew of the last A320 retirement to be flown home on a DC-9... )

-J.
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Old Apr 22, 20, 7:41 pm
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian View Post
It would cut down on maintenance even more if they'd just order 321s.
More 321's doesn't absolve the 717 leases. The problem will still exist.
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Old Apr 22, 20, 8:15 pm
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian View Post
It would cut down on maintenance even more if they'd just order 321s.
Do they even need something as big as a 321 anymore? Maybe they could order the 320NEO or more 220s, but I think a 321 will be too much plane for a long time.
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Old Apr 22, 20, 8:30 pm
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Originally Posted by SJC ORD LDR View Post
Do they even need something as big as a 321 anymore? Maybe they could order the 320NEO or more 220s, but I think a 321 will be too much plane for a long time.
Airbus is largely irrelevant here (even if I would rather them swap the 717s for A220 or A32X planes). This whole exercise is about leveraging an existing lease to try and turn it into cheap acquisition of new planes. Boeing holds the lease so the only transaction that is realistic here is 717 for 737Max/787/777 (and of those 737Max is the only one that makes some sense).

DAL is basically trying to see if Boeing needs cash flow less than DAL and is willing to trade current cash flow for future cash flow from DL plus the big marketing/confidence boost they get from adding DL to the 737Max program.

It's not like DL is actively looking to spend money topping up on net new planes. Airbus only comes into play if they were somehow willing to take over the DL lease of the 717s in return for an A32X order (and I'm not sure that Boeing as the lessor would allow DL to transfer the lease to Airbus -- would likely require Airbus to be the 3rd party matchmaker that moves the 717s to HA or QF)
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Old Apr 22, 20, 8:30 pm
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It seems that the play of a low/no cost early termination of the 717 leases in exchange for an order for 737-MAXs could be a win-win. Delta can save near term on lease payments and maintenance for planes they dont need and get planes when they need them and Boeing can (likely) borrow against the order today to help their cash flows.
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Old Apr 23, 20, 1:39 pm
  #69  
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Well, that is a move that ought to help entice folks back on to airplanes in a "we hope it's post-Covid" environment.

I have spent my career helping folks assess and control technological risks.

Inherent in my profession is the application of the concept of inherently safer design.

Greatest priority is placed on designing the hazards out of the system so that they are not there needing to be controlled. That didn't happen with the 737MAX. The aerodynamics of the design were inherently unstable.

Further down the list of options is the application of engineered controls (compensating systems) that are supposed to mitigate the hazards. These are less desirable, since they can fail when called upon. These added controls failed in the case of the two 737MAX crashes.

At the very bottom of the list of options is administrative controls (human intervention). This is at the bottom of the list since it is the most unreliable form of protection, no matter how much training and drilling is provided. Of course, with the issues surrounding the 737MAX, insufficient training was provided.

I have seen no indication that Boeing is going to remove the basic problem -- the inherent aerodynamic instability in the 737MAX design.

And, nothing has provided me the basis for confidence that Boeing and the FAA, collectively, can be trusted to be capable of layering on enough controls, of sufficient reliability, to adequately mitigate the risk associated with the basic design flaw inherent in the 737MAX.

I am not saying that the technology can't be developed. I am saying that I don't trust the responsible parties to deliver it. There are organization culture issues that, from my perspective, need to be addressed before trust can be regained.

If there are DL 737MAXs at some point in the future, I won't be flying them.
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Old Apr 23, 20, 2:06 pm
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Originally Posted by StayingHomeIsBetter View Post
I have seen no indication that Boeing is going to remove the basic problem -- the inherent aerodynamic instability in the 737MAX design.
There's no reason to fix this "problem", as others have pointed out, the MAX is perfectly stable.

The MAX's issues are adding redundancy, software and training (and now PR). Those issues are fixable.
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Old Apr 23, 20, 4:00 pm
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Originally Posted by StayingHomeIsBetter View Post
...
I have seen no indication that Boeing is going to remove the basic problem -- the inherent aerodynamic instability in the 737MAX design.
...
This is my point. YOU ARE WRONG. This has nothing to do with aerodynamic stability or instability. Stop parroting that. It is not inherently unstable. The larger nacelle produced more lift than previous versions did. This increase in lift caused a larger-than-linear increase in stick force. MCAS was designed to provide linear stick forces for the pilots at high AOA. Were there a lot of absurd design choices that went into MCAS? Absolutely. But MCAS was not correcting aerodynamic instability.
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Old Apr 23, 20, 4:16 pm
  #72  
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Starting to wonder if this is FlyerTalk or A.net with all of the misinformation and armchair pilots saying it's InHeReNtLy UnStAbLe

This is a great opportunity for Delta to lower their costs. It really just boils down to that. Lease costs, maintenance costs, cost of new airplanes down the road, etc.

If Delta gets the MAX, then eventually major airline in the USA will have some variant of it (AA, DL, UA, WN, AS... even North America if you include AM, AC, and WS). So good luck finding another way to get where you need to go (unless it's one of the like ten places JetBlue flies to or you are willing to take a ULCC).

-J.
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Old Apr 23, 20, 4:25 pm
  #73  
 
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I think that this move makes since as the FAA ordered DL a few years ago that they needed to replace the Zodiac slimline seats on their 717s and MD-90s by the end of 2022. Last year, DL announced that it would retire all MD-90s by the end of 2022 (which coincides with this order) and their were rumors that the 717 would get refreshed with AVOD, etc. Now that we have entered the "COVID era" DL has probably decided that its not worth it to pay for an expensive mod (which would probably need to start by this fall in order to get the entire fleet done by 2022) on the 717 and they will shed the lease payments on these aircraft early, helping DL preserve some cash in the recovery. In return, Boeing will give DL a bargin deal to place a future order the 737 MAX which DL was going to eventually need to make one more narrow-body aircraft to replace some of the older A320s and 738s.
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Old Apr 23, 20, 5:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Newman55 View Post
There's no reason to fix this "problem", as others have pointed out, the MAX is perfectly stable..
If the MAX were “perfectly stable”, it would have been launched without a system that no other 737 variant has ever needed.
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Old Apr 23, 20, 5:41 pm
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Originally Posted by sleuth View Post
If the MAX were perfectly stable, it would have been launched without a system that no other 737 variant has ever needed.
The system was there to save airlines money in pilot training costs by simulating the behavior of a different airframe. This was probably a bad idea, in retrospect, but it doesn't mean the system was necessary for the aircraft to fly - just that it was necessary to get a single type rating with the 737NG.
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