Re: 757-300?

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works
Date:         29 Mar 93 12:15:49 PST
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In article <airliners.1993.281@ohare.Chicago.COM> h andrew chuang <chuang_hsin@ae.ge.com> writes:
>Depending on the market needs.  For short-haul operations, cargo requirement
>is usually low, a narrow-body airplane serves the market requirement well.
>For long-haul operations, cargo requirement is often, but not always, high.

Good point.  I recall reading that even with a large number of open
seats on 747SP flights between SFO and NRT United would smile all the
way to the bank as they just filled up on cargo.

>Therefore, a wide-body airplane may be desirable.  If an airline is
>targeting long-haul, tourist-oriented routes, then 757-300's lower cost
>should make sense.  However, most airlines are more eager to attract higher 
>yield full-fare economy-, business- and first-class passengers, 757-300's
>configuration definitely doesn't make sense.

Yes, but I think you may be thinking of the "757-300" as the long haul
757.  It's not at all clear to me that this is the case -- they may be
working on a longer-range 757-200 for the charter operators, while the
757-300 is aimed at shorter work.  Both require increased weights but
for different reasons, somewhat like a DC-8-61 vs. DC-8-62.

I could see the stretched 757 being somewhat interesting for a variety
of moderate length, heavily travelled routes.  Chicago to New York for
one, perhaps some of the eastern shuttle routes, and maybe vacation
travellers to Florida.

>Just as an example, Singapore Airlines chose to replace its very
>young 757 fleet (~ 5-year old and only 4 planes) with the A310 a few
>years ago.  If the 757 really has a significant cost advantage, that
>would not have happened!

There's more to cost than just operating cost.  Singapore already had
the A310 (six A310-222s delivered about the same time as the 757s) in
its fleet so the additional A310s (A310-324) which appear to have
replaced the 757 could also represent fleet simplification, with what
may be for them a more versatile aircraft coming out the winner.  Of
course Airbus may have sweetened the deal too, especially since they
were trying to win an A340 *after* Singapore had signed for the MD-11.
(Singapore cancelled the MD-11 order and ordered the A340.)

The A310, with a mixture of JT9D and PW4000 engines, also represents
greater fleet commonality for Singapore since their 747 fleet also
uses these engines, though not the same exact version.  The 757's
PW2000 was something of an orphan.

>>While the 757 got off to an exceedingly slow start, deliveries caught
>>up with and surpassed the 767 about a year ago.  
>> .....
>>I'd think the 757 is doing quite nicely for Boeing.

>Well, I don't agree.  The 757 owns the 180-passenger market by itself (that
>is, before the short-haul A321 was launched, but I don't think the A321
>should be classified in the same class as the short- to medium-haul 757),
>while the 767 is competing directly with the A300/A310.  Therefore, if one
>looks at the total sales of the 757 and the combined 767/A300/A310 sales ...

If size of market is your criteria then you must consider the 747 a
dismal failure -- ten years after first delivery only about 400 had
been delivered, versus over 500 for the 757 at the same point.

The airliner manufacturers will slit their own throat to beat out a
competitor for a sale.  Given that attitude, if I were in the business,
I'd be *far* happier having a moderate-sized market to myself than a
portion of a larger market.  Obviously we're working from different
standards of success here -- mine is simply the bottom line, and I'd
bet Boeing's profits from the 757 prorgam are ahead, probably well
ahead, of those from the 767.

BTW, while I'd agree that the A321 isn't serious competition for the
757 is most markets, don't ignore Tupolev and their Tu-204.  With both
RB.211-535 and PW2000 engines in the works and Russia's need for hard
currency driving some aggressive marketing and deals, this could be a
good plane to watch.  (Perhaps we could get some of the Boeing folks
to say something publicly about their views of the Tu-204?  8-) )

>one must question how on earth did Boeing come up with the 180-passenger
>design, especially when it was supposed to replace more than a thousand
>727's!

For political reasons Boeing wanted the British Airways order, and BA
wanted a 180-seat aircraft.  Nobody else wanted it nor could they
understand why BA did, but Eastern reluctantly went along with it as
the financial incentives were the only way they could afford any new
aircraft.  So, to get BA's order, Boeing built too large an aircraft.

>from engine manufacturers' standpoint (IMHO), PW2000 would need a lot more
>757 sales to make business sense, because PW2000 has only one commerical
>application (and the military application is not doing that well, either)!

What's the military app?  The C-17?

>the 757 pie is simply too small for three engine manufacturers!

Agreed.  It's not clear that it's even big enough for two given that
the PW2000 isn't used on much else.

>Therefore, I still think the 757 is the least successful Boeing jet program
>because it did not achieve what it was supposed to achieve (to replace 727).

By that metric perhaps you're right.  But what about the 720?  That
seemed to do fairly poorly at meeting its goal as well.  (We'll be
kind and not drag out some real disasters like the 757 Combi!)

>The 737 program became so successful, again IMHO, because of Boeing's
>inability to convince customers to replace their 727's with 757's.  That
>was when Boeing literally resurrected the 737 program by modernizing the
>737, and hit the jackpot.

Interesting observation.  The 737-300 has certainly replaced a lot of
727-100s.  I'm not sure how well the 737 has fared in replacing the
727-200 though.

>I think the 737 has replaced more 727's than the 757, and I don't
>really think that was Boeing's envision when they lauched the 757.

Without looking up numbers I'd suspect Delta and later American and
United have really driven the 757, perhaps even accounting for the
majority of 757 orders.  Delta's 727s were pretty new, while the other
two kept even their older 727-200s until very, very recently, so I'd
have to agree that a lot of 757 orders were for fleet expansion and
not for 727 replacement.  (Actually United's first 30 757 were for
replacement, but of the DC-8-71 and not the 727.)

-- 
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