Fleet Reductions

Flybywire44

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U.S. Airlines Grounding 500+ Planes This Fall
Posted by Scott McCartney -- WSJ
September 22, 2008

JP Morgan tallied up all the U.S. aircraft on their way to the desert, to Russia or the Third World this fall, and it’s a rather staggering number. All told, U.S. airlines are grounding 512 airplanes. That happens to be the same number of passenger jets in Northwest Airlines Corp.’s entire fleet.

In essence, airlines are taking a carrier the size of Northwest out of the skies. They are grounding about 10%-12% of U.S. capacity, which means fewer flight choices and higher fares for travelers. With the slow economy, there’s less demand for air travel. And continued high fuel prices mean carriers have to raise ticket prices to earn profits. But higher prices mean even less demand for tickets, so the only way for airlines to sustain those prices is to take seats off the market and ground planes.

At the end of 2007, U.S. airlines had 3,972 mainline jets in their fleets and 2,836 regional jets and turboprops, according to the Air Transport Association. The grounding of 281 mainline jets takes 7% of the total out of the skies. Regional jets suffer a bigger loss, with 11.4% of those small jets being grounded; so far, only 2.5% of turboprops will be retired, at least among the airlines who have reported fleet plans.

The loss of regional jets may be something to celebrate if you’re among those travelers who dislike the cramped quarters of 50-seat jets. But the disappearance of those jets is concerning for small communities that rely on those planes for air service.

Here’s a breakdown of reductions by carrier, courtesy of JP Morgan:

Continental: 67 mainline jets (737-300s and 737-500s); 64 regional jets

Delta: 15-20 mainline jets; 100 regional jets

United: 100 mainline jets (94 737s and six 747s)

American: 40 mainline jets (30 MD80s, 10 A300s);37 regional jets and 26 turboprops

Northwest: 47 mainline jets (14 757s/A320s and 33 DC-9s)

US Airways: 12 mainline jets

JetBlue: four regional jets
 

Soverytired

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Looks like M. Boyd was right about the downsizing of the CRJ fleet. Interesting.

Something not listed here but is also interesting is the average age of the larger airline fleets. That, coupled with the above fleet reductions, probably gives a quick and dirty idea of who'd doing well and who's doing no-so-well.
 

sstearns2

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What about deliveries? Skywest is getting a couple 900s and 19 or so 700s in the next year. I think Delta is getting some 777s and Continental is getting some airplane... Southwest is probably getting some... etc. What's the net number?

Scott
 

rickair7777

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What about deliveries? Skywest is getting a couple 900s and 19 or so 700s in the next year. I think Delta is getting some 777s and Continental is getting some airplane... Southwest is probably getting some... etc. What's the net number?

Scott
There are few RJ deliveries industry-wide, and they will probably all be 70/90 seaters replacing 50-seaters.
 

dispatchguy

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Plus, DL just took delivery of the 4th B737-700 last week (3104) and is on its first revenue flight today

Mmmm, new airplane smell...
 

N2264J

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Regional jets suffer a bigger loss...
Actually, it's about the same as a percentage, right? 281-286 mainline aircraft from a total of 3972 and 231 "regional" airframes from a total of 2836.

And if you just use the raw numbers, mainline is losing more airframes.
 

WalterSobchak

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Mmmm, new airplane smell...
I did love that smell when I was with TRS and they were taking 73G deliveries.

Of course, the same ship would be back a week later and already look/smell worn out by nasty pax who treated those planes like crap.
 
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