Re: Delta/American fleet composition

From:         Stefano Pagiola <>
Organization: worldbank
Date:         24 Jun 96 12:24:51 
References:   1
Followups:    1
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Steve Lacker wrote:
> What is Delta's actual fleet strategy for the next few years? Are they still
> buying 757's or not? What will they replace the L-1011's with, if not the
> MD-11?

Not sure if they currently have any 757s on order, but it sure wouldn't
surprise me.  As for the L-1011s, Delta has ordered some additional
767-300s to replace some of them.  But clearly a long-term replacement
has not been selected yet.  Its unlikely to be the MD-11, which is a
long-range aircraft whereas Delta's L-1011s are primarily domestic.  The
777 or the A330 would be better replacements.  That doesn't mean Delta
won't get more MD-11s, but that depends on the success of overseas routes,
not L-1011 replacements.

> What about the Delta Shuttle 727's- are these still the ex-Trump planes,
> or did Delta mix them with their own fleet of 727's. What will become the
> aircraft of choice for the shuttle once the stage-2 727's are verboten? MD-80s?
> 737s (I don't think Delta owns enough post-200 series 737's to do this)? Any
> rumors of Delta planning to hushkit the shuttle 727's or other 727s?

First, Delta Shuttle's 727s are NOT ex-Trump.  The USAir Shuttle has the
ex-Trump (ex-Eastern) 727s.  Delta took over the Pan Am Shuttle.  This
came with some 727s, but most were leased and, I think, have since been
returned.  The 727s I see on the Shuttle runs these days are all from
Delta's own orders.

As for the future, I wouldn't be surprised to see MD-80s take over those
runs when the 727s leave.  The MD-80s are quiet, and their 5-abreast
seating is comfortable.  And critically, in terms of economics, early
MD-80s are now 15 years old so there should be many fully-depreciated
aircraft around.  Right now, though, the MD-80 is probably still too
valuable for such use.

> I also have similar curiosities about American's fleet plans, given the
> apparent unhappiness with their MD-11's and the fact that silver MD-90's are
> conspicuously absent at DFW. Will American begin to replace their sizeable and
> mostly early-production MD80 fleet with MD90s, or something else? If so, what?

American is still embroiled in negotiations with its pilots over their
contract; don't expect any long-term fleet choices until that gets
resolved.  I wouldn't be surprised to see AA get MD-90s, but to replace
their remaining 727s, not their MD-80s (which are by no means all -- or
mostly -- early-build, BTW).  Additional 757s will probably also play a
role here.  Then again, AA may hushkit the 727s.  Recent rumors coming
out of AA are that they'll probably keep the MD-11s they have left.  AA
has also expressed interest in the stretched MD-11 Douglas is talking