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Midwest pilots think all 717s will go by next year

Heavy Set

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Friday, October 24, 2008


Pilot: Midwest’s remaining 717s could be grounded


The Business Journal of Milwaukee - by Rich Rovito




Midwest Airlines plans to eventually ground the nine remaining Boeing 717s in its fleet in 2009, according to a Midwest pilot.
Greg Uselmann, who has worked as a pilot for 25 years, including the past 10 at Midwest Airlines, said he believes it is Midwest’s intent to take the remaining 717s in its fleet out of service in 2009, a move he claimed could lead to even more layoffs at the airline.
Uselmann, who is set to be laid off from Midwest by mid-November, claimed that Midwest entered into short-term leases for the remaining 717s, which he said shows Midwest’s intent to remove the aircraft from the fleet in quick order.
Midwest Air Group Inc., Oak Creek, which operates Midwest Airlines, recently entered into an agreement with Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings Inc. that eventually will result in Midwest replacing all but nine of the 25 Boeing 717s it had in its fleet with smaller Embraer E170 regional jets that it is leasing from Republic.
 

maxblast72

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Did the Midwest guys really think Northwest/Delta would throw anymore money at Midwest to keep them around in any major form? Northwest threw in over $200 million earlier this year to keep Airtran from getting a foothold in MKE and building a 200 departure a day hub in MKE. Northwest and the declining economy have prevented Airtran from doing just that, so the need for Midwest is decreasing every day.

I would bet the plan now is to minimize losses in MKE. With the declining economy, I would bet the E-170's lose less money than the 99 seat 717's Midwest was using.
 

ultrarunner

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Yep, the 717's will go..all pilots and FA's will be laid off. End of story....

It will remain to be seen if a MidEx pilot ever crews the Republic 170's...or if they ever get transferred to the MEH certificate.
 

ultrarunner

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An entire 717 program to run a few shuttle airplanes? Nope, not gonna happen. Delta just announced a fleet simplification program.
 

Scapegoat

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I believe that the Midex 717's are still configured for only 88 seats. If thats the case then the transition to the E170 would make financial 'cents' for the mismanaged airline.
I am still surprised by the lack of response by the pilots to this whole thing. I know that they picketed about a month ago but that is all I know of. I have even heard that some pilots, (maybe training pilots) are already in the sim for the 170?
 

anewunion

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For what it's worth, the top line check pilot for the M88/M90 program just had a 717 check ride. He told everyone this at the last airmen meeting in NYC.
 

ACL65PILOT

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FWIW, nothing is official until announced..... Leave it at that.

On the Midex issue, all of their jets were announced to be reconfigured in the normal configuration with Super Saver in the back and a "First Class" section up from. Plus, even if they were not, it is a two day change, max.
 

~~~^~~~

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Separate category? Same type, isn't it?

If the MD90 is too small a fleet, how could fewer 717's make good sense?
 

General Lee

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Separate category? Same type, isn't it?

If the MD90 is too small a fleet, how could fewer 717's make good sense?



Right sizing planes to routes? Maybe 100 seats is perfect for the Shuttle?

Bye Bye--General Lee
 

On Your Six

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Maybe keeping the 717s away from AirTran is the priority issue? Delta needs a 100 seater anyway and there are plenty of 717 mechanics in ATL...
 

ultrarunner

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Right sizing planes to routes? Maybe 100 seats is perfect for the Shuttle?

Bye Bye--General Lee

Interesting thought. A historical search of the shuttle load factors would clear that right up.

General, what's the minimum number of airframes required to support a program at Delta?
 

PeanuckleCRJ

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If I remember correctly... the fleet min is around 6 or 8 airframes.

Remember DL only had 8 777's running around (between mco and atl mostly....ugh) for a number of years.
 

ultrarunner

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All right General...you could snag some 717's, put in a single-class setup and run those on the shuttle and put the rest, in a two-class setup, and dump the DC-9's.
 

johnsonrod

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How many 717s available?

How many 717s could Delta potentially buy including the Midwest aircraft and the aircraft stored in the desert? Are we talking 30+ total aircraft available? I remember reading about a bunch of ex Australian 717s now stored in the desert.

Why couldn't Air Tran just buy the aircraft in the desert if it wanted to grow too? Is it purely financial (can't afford to add airplanes)?
 

General Lee

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All right General...you could snag some 717's, put in a single-class setup and run those on the shuttle and put the rest, in a two-class setup, and dump the DC-9's.

Well, I still don't know if this rumor is true or not. No confirmation. But, it is interesting, and plausible. I think the DL Shuttle has around 16 airplanes on it, and less fly on the weekends. I have read that Midwest is getting rid of 16 717s soon, and MAY get rid of the rest (they have or had 25 total) next year. If we do get some of their planes though, and we have to hire as a result, we should hire some of their pilots too I think.

Bye Bye--General Lee
 

maxblast72

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Why couldn't Air Tran just buy the aircraft in the desert if it wanted to grow too? Is it purely financial (can't afford to add airplanes)?
Fornaro has made it very clear that returning to profitability and fixing the balance sheet are higher priorities than growth right now. While the company and the analysts are predicting profitability for 2009, it will take a while to get the $600-800 million cash on hand for Fornaro to feel comfortable enough to crank up the growth plan again. Latest ASM projection from management for 2009 is down 3-7% from 2008 levels.

Now if the right deal was available to acquire some 717s and we could sell some more 737s, we would probably do that to increase our cash on hand by monetizing the value of our 737s. The company is happy with the performance with either airplane according to the last earnings conference call. Obviously the 737 has more alot more demand in the worldwide aircraft market.
 

Heavy Set

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Fornaro has made it very clear that returning to profitability and fixing the balance sheet are higher priorities than growth right now. While the company and the analysts are predicting profitability for 2009, it will take a while to get the $600-800 million cash on hand for Fornaro to feel comfortable enough to crank up the growth plan again. Latest ASM projection from management for 2009 is down 3-7% from 2008 levels.

Now if the right deal was available to acquire some 717s and we could sell some more 737s, we would probably do that to increase our cash on hand by monetizing the value of our 737s. The company is happy with the performance with either airplane according to the last earnings conference call. Obviously the 737 has more alot more demand in the worldwide aircraft market.

My Delta neighbor here in Boca told me that Delta may have purchased 4 Air Tran 737-700s. Have you heard anything like that?
 

captain007

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This would be sad if true. Used midwest for the first time a couple of weeks ago, first class airline all the way. Crew was great, flight was great and treated real well. Good luck guys and as soon as NetJets starts hiring again, I hope to see you all over here!
 

Gear Down

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I believe that the Midex 717's are still configured for only 88 seats. If thats the case then the transition to the E170 would make financial 'cents' for the mismanaged airline.


MidEx has their 717's configured at 99 seats, not 88. By late November, only 9 airframes will be operating. The rest of their will be contracted out...:(
 
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