Re: TWA and the A318 and 717

Date:         17 Jan 99 02:37:45 
From:         Vince Lanza <>
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  or MIME structure wrote:
> In article <airliners.1999.1@ohare.Chicago.COM>, Vince Lanza <> wrote:


> > new aircraft type, TWA is buying into the A320 family of
> > aircraft and will be phasing out the DC9/MD80 family. On TWA
> > press release web page they discuss that the number of
> > aircraft types will remain basically the same with the
> > retirement of the 727's by the end of 1999. Since the end of
> > the DC9/MD80 product lines is near it makes sense to invest
> > in a newer aircraft with a broad family offering simplifying
> > maintenance and training later on.
> If simplifying maintenance is such an issue, then why does TW
> just run with an airbus family only or a boeing family only???
> Why didn't they consider then buying the 717 and the MD-90
> or A-319/320/321s?  Since TW will receive 24 MD-83s next year,
> you can hardly discount the longevity or presence of additional
> MD aircraft.

I see your point but I don't believe that it is any secret
that Boeing wants to get rid of the MD-XX/DC-9XX line and
derivatives, their time is limited. I think that if TWA
could have gotten the Airbus A/C sooner they would not have
placed the Boeing order. Time and availability were two of
the greatest factors to be considered. Also, one must
remember that by the time the Airbuses start arriving, the
MD-80's from the early 80's will be upwards of 25 years old
and ready (possibly more than ready) for retirement. By
placing the order for the 24 MD-83's TWA is able to stretch
its investment in pilot training and all associated
maintanence (training/parts) at the same time. As the new
MD-8X aircraft age, they can be replaced with more Airbuses
(all of those options TWA has) when needed. This way, TWA is
covered now and into the future.

> > TWA has become an all P&W airline, with the 318 and A320
> > family that will continue. Of course the 717's will not have
> > P&W engines, but they will account for a smaller share of
> > the fleet. Also by choosing the engines for the 717's they
> > are covering the order of engines that would have gone on
> > the 330's, this way everyone is happy.
> 50 aircraft is not a small number when your fleet is under 250.

Granted, not small, but still smaller.

> > TWA's on-time performance has been number 1 the past three
> > months, and within the top 3 I believe for the rest of the
> > year. Start flight performance is up and schedule completion
> > is higher than it has ever been. As newer, less maintenance
> > needy aircraft come online, these should improve even
> > further.
> Unfortunately, wait until the december figures come out.

One can only hope.