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Alaska Airlines is leaning towards an all-Boeing 737 fleet after the coronavirus

Alaska Airlines entered the coronavirus pandemic at a major fleet crossroads: Airbus or Boeing? A decision the crisis may have made for the carrie ( More...

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Steve Western 7
....... It’s one thing if Alaska could benefit from operating just Boeing 737 aircraft with this adjustment, though the reality is that no matter what, the airline is keeping at least 10 Airbus A321neo aircraft. Therefore there aren’t any real synergies to be had in ordering the 737 over the A321, since they’ll have both planes in their fleet regardless.
-One Mile at a Time
Peter Fuller 1
Economies of scale matter in the historically low-margin airline business: “Go big, or go home.” American, Delta, United operate both the 737 and A320 families, when just one would do, because their subfleets are large enough to be operated efficiently. Alaska really isn’t big enough to fly both in the long term.
linbb 31
Have a friend who worked for Alaska way back when he was asked by management about that exact thing. His response was its easer to have only one brand of aircraft to service rather than several due to tooling required to maintain them and people who did the same. Its a known fact in maintain anything its a fact.
Larry Toler 15
I'm not sure why you got down voted, but you're spot on. Southwest flies all 737's and it is a lot easier to maintain than having three or four different types of aircraft. While I still flew we had EMB145'S and J41's and two. ATR's left. By the time I resigned we only flew EMB145'S. MX guys were happy because there was just one type they had to work on. I do have to say after we got rid of the turboprops they were replaced by semi new jets. The workload didn't go down but at least everyone was on the same sheet of music in a type rated way.
linbb 1
Could be that they think am blowing smoke about the fact I know the fellow very well and is not a BS person. He also is helping restore the B29 at BFI in Seattle. Oh and by the way is also home to some other things that I worked on years back, names of people I knew too like the Crew Chief on the gear door of the SR71 who was my married to my cuz. Clayton Scott and a few others. But hey its my past and was fun meeting people there.
Richard Orgill 15
It is strange you got voted down on this. You are correct and something that SWA has proven over the years.
Kyle Beller 2
didn't know this info required having a friend on the inside... seems like common sense if your airline is similar to Alaska, SW, Frontier, etc.
Wasn't Alaska "Proudly all Boeing" there for a little while anyhow??
Steve Drake 12
They inherited A320s when they bought Virgin America.
Not really. Angry Puppies in the fleet, including the infamous ASA261.
conmanflyer 5
angry puppies have been gone since 2008, so they had an 8 year streak with all boeing produced airplanes.
E170s, E175s, Q400s.. remember, they own all of QXE.
Torsten Hoff 4
Except for the Horizon Air fleet, which Alaska absorbed.
They'd better hope that Boeing can get that MAX back in the air or they're doomed. The reduced cost of operating one airplane series from one manufacturer is undeniable. I do have to point out, however, that Airbus has great commonality across its entire range of aircraft.
USA752 1
One problem if they went all Airbus is their 737-700 freighters that they use in Alaska. So if they went the all Airbus route they would still have the 737 freighters left in the fleet.
darjr26 1
Regardless of what they decide, that Airbus, in their paint scheme, is a pretty good looking airplane.
Brian James -3
Had a conversation with an Alaska pilot not long ago. Airbus planes fly higher and faster and are more comfortable. Given Boeing's failure with the MAX, I'm not sure this is a good idea, especially when the A321 Neo is proven and the MAX is still on the ground
Weren't they almost exclusive DC-9, MD's? And then that crash happened, and it was discovered they sort of wrote their own maintenance procedures.

I see this going south, but the good thing is that it's not likely to fail right away. Wait until they get all sure of their ability to cut those corners again, and they will have another crash. It's prologue. Look at the decisions that led to the deliberate substitution of inadequate grease that cause the jack screw to fail. You can't drive prices low beyond the point where you can;t afford the damn grease to do the job right.

Some thing has to give, and it's usually passenger and crew safety.
WhiteKnight77 1
Why would having the same plane for the entire inventory have things go south? Standardized repair procedures are there for only one type of aircraft, not two or three. The same goes for the tools required for those maintenance procedures. One set for one type instead of two or three again.
Discovered by you maybe, but the FAA was well aware. It's ok to sort of write your own procedures if the FAA approves them.
paul gilpin 0
didn't alaska airlines have an inkind trade with the seahawks? the seahawks were spokes holes in commercials and they got a sweet deal on transporting the team.
that transport was a 787 with a tricked out paint job of a seahawk, based out of seattle of course.
what happened to the 787?
It was a 727-200

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Greg S 12
Physics hasn't changed since the 1960's, and the airlines know exactly what all the trade-offs are in terms of passenger comfort, maintenance costs, crew costs, and costs per mile. The 737 is still a winner for many airlines not flying internationally.
Steve Western 2
The 737NG’s have the best safety record of any single aisle aircraft. It’s an aircraft that doesn’t fight the pilot for control or have a series of “odd” crashes, plunges into the sea etc. if that makes the 737 archaic and out of date, then give me a Archaic and out of date 737-800 to fly and I’ll be happy.

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That logic doesn’t hold up Sir. The B52’s have been around since 1953 and they’re still flying and doing their mission. The design gives a functional and durable plane. The issue came around when they decided to ‘improve’ on it, to computerize more of the aircraft. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Sure you can improve on length, distance and even the power plants, but the avionics were working just fine.
The B52 doesn't have to be adapted to "new market conditions" subject to greed. Same as all those DC-3s hanging around that still fly just as well as they did in the 1930s!
John D 8
Never understand why people associate general business decisions (whether good or bad) with greed. Businesses are in business to make money.
Dx Houck -2
No metal fatigue issues with (oldish) B52s? Just wondering; I remember the Hawaiian airlines craft with the peeled back roof . . .
mdburd 1
That was Aloha 243, a Boeing 737-200. Not Hawaiian Air.
Steve Western 2
The Aloha incident was so unique you can’t use it to make a point regarding the 737 Classics and certainly not the NG’s or MAX. The average Alohia flight was about 20-25 minutes. In that time the aluminum envelope expanded, and quickly contracted in salty air. Aloha failed to inspect the skin thusly missing any cracks that indeed started and would lead to the loss of a major part of the fuselage and the tragic death of a flight attendant. Of greater importance is that the aircraft remained as flyable as before with no further cracking or damage. It’s maintainance not age that determines the safety of an airframe. I couldn’t even guess how many 10s of 1000s cycles classic 737s have been flown in Canada and Alaska in some of the hardest weather on earth, and safely so. The difference is maintainance.
Steve Western 2
The Aloha 737 had 89,000 cycles under its belt, far beyond was it was originally thought to be capable of.
WhiteKnight77 1
If the Air Force is anything like the air wing in the Marines/Navy, there are 3 levels of maintenance for aircraft. O level or organizational at the squadron level where minor issues with the aircraft or engines or applying a patch to the skin (if able) are handled. I or intermediate where say an engine is overhauled due to FOD injestion or avionics might get tweaked or repaired for slightly more than minor issues. D or depot level maintenance is where major overhaul of all aircraft components are handled. More thorough and in depth repairs are made and possible upgrades to new models are made.

There is no reason why a few ribs can't be replaced if it shows to be worn out. As a crew chief on Vietnam era CH-46E models, I have never seen patches on any bullet holes in any of the birds I flew on. That was the one they had at BHC at NAS Memphis in Millington, TN. Somewhere along the line, birds can be completely reskinned. Ribs that need replacing can be made at that time.
John D 8
It's worked for SWA

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the hobbs 14
Seeing comments like these shows that you know absolutely nothing about what actually happened in those accidents.

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the hobbs 14
Go read the official report on the lion air accident, improper maintenance, crew training and crew reaction were all major factors in the crash. Crew reaction and improper recovery method was another major factor that popped up in the Ethiopian airlines crash as well.

Say it's because of an updated 1960s design but other operators flew the max for over two years without them falling out of the sky.
For one thing, you missed the part where the instructions did not say "mash both throttle levers forward as far as they will go and leave them there"

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Edw Sanderson 4
whats with the nasty language ? Your ignorance is showing
If its any airline's fault, wouldn't it be American, who if I understand correctly pulled Boeing's line of thought away from a clean sheet design?
linbb -6
See that you are kind of low brow on here that is not needed there are other ways of making a statement so you must be a troll then.
While I agree with what you're saying, the same can also be said for you. In short, pot, kettle, BLACK.

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Marilyn Tully -6
Thats disappointing.


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