The MAX’s first mission: Cross the Atlantic

By Bjorn Fehrm

14 September 2016, ©. Leeham Co: During 2014, we wrote several articles on what could be a good replacement for the Boeing 757-200Ws operated on trans-Atlantic missions. One of the aircraft we looked at was Boeing’s 737 MAX line.

We found that the most promising variant was the 737 MAX 8. It has a standard range without extra tanks of 3,600nm. Its practical maximum network range would be critically dependent on the cabin configuration. The best configuration would be with a light cabin such as that an LCC would use for transatlantic service—that is, not including heavy, lie-flat seats, but rather seats that might be configured with extra legroom and perhaps greater reclining ability. At the time, we looked at Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS) as an example.

Norwegian NSB 737-MAX Rendering K65549

Figure 1. Norwegian Air Shuttle 737 MAX 8 artist impression. Source: Boeing.

Flight International now reports in their 13-19 September print magazine that Norwegian might be the first taker of the 737 MAX and that the missions would be trans-Atlantic.

The MAX 8 program is running ahead of schedule. Planned Entry Into Service (EIS) was summer 2017 with Southwest Airlines. Southwest still plans to take delivery of their first 737 MAX 8 at that time with operational service starting in September.

But Boeing is ready to deliver 737 MAX 8s as early as March 2017. The customer for these aircraft would be Norwegian and the planned use should be flights between Europe and US East coast. This means the first mission for the “short haul” 737 MAX should be to cross the Atlantic.

Norwegian announced when they ordered the 108 737 MAX 8 that they foresaw that some of them could be used to open up trans-Atlantic service on thin routes. Now the company’s Chief Commercial Officer, Thomas Rahmdal, told Flight International that it plans to use all six 737 MAX 8s that it will receive in 2017 to fly across the Atlantic. Destinations will be New York and Boston from bases in Ireland and the UK, with service to start in June.

In our analysis of the 737 MAX 8 as an LCC long-haul aircraft, we found that 3,400nm still air range was the practical maximum with a cabin of 168 seats divided as 18 Premium economy and 150 Economy.

Dublin-Boston is 2,600nm and Dublin-New York 2,800nm, so Ireland-to-New England works. London Gatwick to the New York area is 3,100nm. Now it starts to be tight during some winter months with stronger westerly winds. Flight times go from seven hours to eight hours or more. Manchester to the New York area is less than 3,000nm and therefore fully realistic in winter.

Economics of 737 MAX 8 on long haul

In our article, we compared the operational economics of a Norwegian 737 MAX 8 to its Boeing 787-8 long haul aircraft. We configured both with Norwegian’s long haul cabin with 11% Premium economy seats at 46-inch pitch and 89% Economy at 31-inch pitch. The MAX 8 then carries 168 passengers and the 787-8, 291.

We flew both on typical London to New England/New York trips and found that the operational per seat costs of the 737 MAX was not higher than for the Dreamliner. When capital costs are considered, the costs of the MAX 8 were better still. That the aircraft trip costs would be lower was self-evident, but that the seat mile cash and direct operating costs were lower was an eye opener.

The 737 MAX 8 has clear limitations when operated on trans-Atlantic routes. Its practical still air range is around 3,400nm. We found that there was not much point in installing extra cargo bay fuel tanks like for the Airbus A321LR.

The 82 tonnes Maximum Take-Off Weight is reached before we can fill this tank when we have good load factors, so the extra tank is only useful when we want to fly further than eight hours and are prepared to block off seats. But at routes of up to eight hours, the standard MAX 8 will be an interesting aircraft.

73 Comments on “The MAX’s first mission: Cross the Atlantic

  1. file:///C:/Users/Bjorn/Downloads/leehamnews.com-737%20MAX%208%20could%20be%20enabler%20for%20some%20LCC%20Long%20Haul.pdf

    Are we getting access to your hard drive? 😀

  2. Sounds good, why is no one else doing it?Does it work work even better with a Neo? Great for the image of the Max, but isn’t it a tiny bit risky that early into service?

  3. Routes on the limit of the MAX and a bit short for the 787. I suppose you can say it is a case of maxing the MAX, while underusing the 787s range ability. Gatwick-NY is probably 787 territory by traffic. (A330NEO even better, but no sense buying them just for a couple of routes) Other UK/Ireland/US routes are all a bit shorter, and much thinner. Good for Norwegian.

    The other airline which will be happy that MAX can handle these routes might be Icelandair. How does Keflavik-Orlando look, it always seems a stretch for me?

    • Maybe with the slow down in widebody sales the moment is coming for Michael O’leary to buy some bargain A330 neo’s, as he has talked about. Although it does sound like this idea was hosed down by the board.

    • I don´t think even Boeing would suggest that the MAX could do KEF-MCO without a significant payload hit, that would make it very uneconomical.

  4. Off topic at Flight International: SIA will not extend lease of first (five) A380

  5. Can’t keep a good plane down. The 737 has been written off by many but it seems to live on and the latest iteration opens up new routes in the busy western Europe-New England market. I see PVD and maybe MHT getting some of these routes in the future, their close proximity to the Boston market and ease of flying in and out of make them very attractive.

    • “The 737 has been written off by many but it seems to live on.”

      If the 737 has been written off by many, including myself, it is because the 737-8 is its only viable variant. I am of the opinion that it is a must for a manufacturer to be able to offer a family of aircraft for a given category; e.g., the CS100, CS300 and CS500 for the C Series; or the A320 and A321, with potentially also an A320.5, for Airbus. The 737-8 has de facto become an orphan since no other 737 family member remains viable today. But don’t take my word for it. Instead, let the statistics speak for me. If you examine those figures closely you may see in there a business case for a clean-sheet design.

      • The sweet spot seems to be the 737-8, A320neo size. Boeing seems to working on a MOM but in the mean time, the 737MAX while not selling in the range of the A320NEO, has still garnered many orders with a strong backlog. If the 737.75MAX or whatever it is called goes forward,it could prove to be a good selling family member.
        Boeing tends to move more slowly and that has led to lost sales while Airbus is quicker in making decisions regarding new types and upgrades.
        It remains to be seen if the A321LR will really match the 757 in range, it will not match it in runway performance.

        • “it will not match it in runway performance.”

          but runways are getting longer, outside of a couple of inner city airports like London.

          • Some runways are in the high and hot class and are not able to be extended due to terrain. Others will never get longer,SNA 5700 feet. Airports have always faced opposition when attempting to extend runways. It took BOS 20 years to add a commuter runway entirely on its own property. The 757 was known for its ability to operate off short runways and have considerable range. The A321 was never designed to be a long haul aircraft and its latest iteration may be its limit. Just my 2 cents worth.

          • I’d agree. The 757 is a remarkable airplane regarding both low and high speed performance. Nothing else comes close.

          • I agree that some will never get longer, but they are in general getting longer and the rest just don’t pay for a B757 replacement. We all love race cars but I can’t afford a Ferrari.

    • MHT to London/Dublin would be phenomenal. I am about equidistant between BOS and MHT, and usually fly out of BOS because MHT doesn’t have good flights for where I need to go… but to be able to bop to Europe from MHT would be excellent.

  6. Wait, see the illustration above. Those aren’t the “real” Max winglets are they?

  7. Nice story, but unless original Boeing documents/manuals for 787 and 737MAX Weight & Balance, Performance and Maintenance were used, the conclusions are questionable, no matter whose “proprietary” methods are used. If it was so easy to develop precise performance and weights data using schoolbook methods, there would be no need to spend millions of dollars on wind tunnel and flight testing or even weigh the airplanes to determine the MEW.

    I’ve seen comparisons where theoretical fuel burns (derived by Aero engineers) have been 11% off from those based on actual certified performance. Parametric models for maintenance costs are not worth the paper they are written on, and with so many different assumptions that can be made for airframe, engine and component direct and indirect maintenance, the results can be almost anything. When analyzing route performance/economics, consideration must be taken to airports and alternates, actual track, typically 50% probability winds at all altitudes (for economics), applicable airport fees, all navigation and overflying fees, etc. For a complete analysis, capital costs of airplane, spares, GSE, etc, must be included. If there are significant differences in trip times, the effect on airplane and crew productivity must be included. For profitability analysis, passenger preference, demand and competitive issues must be included in revenue calculations, as well as any incremental profit from cargo.

    I could go on, but so what. My point is that there is much more to it than “proprietary” and secret methods.

    • A lot of good points there, I learn a lot from reading this stuff and I enjoy a good argument. Obviously the plane is still in testing, but I think that a lot of bright people will have been thinking about this.
      My point is that you come across as a little bit aggressive and I’m not sure that you mean to. Keep writing, as I do think that we all learn something from each others posts.

    • I’m not going to debate modelling but the article says:

      “Norwegian announced when they ordered the 108 737 MAX 8 that they foresaw that some of them could be used to open up trans-Atlantic service on thin routes. Now the company’s Chief Commercial Officer, Thomas Rahmdal, told Flight International that it plans to use all six 737 MAX 8s that it will receive in 2017 to fly across the Atlantic. Destinations will be New York and Boston from bases in Ireland and the UK, with service to start in June.”

      Now I can’t help but suspect Norwegian had the B737 performance guaranteed by Boeing when they ordered MAX, as that was one reason for putting their signature on the dotted line. If that is true not meeting this mission might even allow them to rip up the contract and get their money back.

      I guess airport fees, crewing, weather and overflying fees are in the public domain, and I suspect after 5 years in service Leeham might have found access to B787 documentation by now, though I’m sure nobody will verify that. Confidential it might be but a lot of people have access.

      • The 787 and 737 are for different markets. If the 737 is the right size, then that’s what you use. If the 787 is the right size that’s what you use. It depends on city-pair demand, market share and other factors. All that matters is profit maximization and growth.

        • With respect Andy I don’t think what you say is difficult to grasp. The essential issue is that if economics are similar for the two differing options or tip in favour of the MAX then there is considerable scope for a fundamental change in the way in which transatlantic travel may operate. Much akin to the existing B757 routes to lower capacity city pairs but potentially ever more significant going forward. Particularly with a view to opening up more competition from alternative carriers.

          • My point is that much more analysis is required than just a simple “economics” comparison, which does not even identify the cost accounts included.

  8. Can someone with the knowledge compare the mission and per seat (adjusted for seating density) fuel consumption of this to the first trans Atlantic 707s and DC-8s (the ones with the turbojet (no bypass) engines). Amazing.

    • @Dan F.
      I’ll bite. Lets say a 6 hr sector. Quick “back of the envelope calculations”,
      but somewhere in the ballpark…

      DC-8-63 240 seats. Fuel burn pr seat 161 kg/355 lbs
      B757-200W 180 seats. Fuel burn pr seat 113 kg / 250 lbs
      B737-8MAX 160 seats. Fuel burn pr seat 88 kg / 194 lbs

  9. If the MAX 8 is going transatlantic what does that mean for the A320neo? I have been wondering why the wing of the A321neo is not grafted onto the A320neo as a relatively cheap fix to allow an increase in the MTOW.

    This would increase the capability of the A320neo to extend deeper into Europe/South or Midwest opening considerably more thin transatlantic city pairs. Or is it simpler to push the A321neo as the single option in the range for this.

    • I think it’s as you say – a calculated bet that either a) an A320 NEO LR would cannibalise more existing A321 NEO LR orders than it would land new orders, or b) it just wouldn’t get enough new orders of its own. The A321 NEO would seem to be the smarter choice. It’s already long way to push tin with less pax. It’s the new 757 plain and simple, unless Boeing do something about it.

  10. Ha. Within a few years, when the airlines wake up to their need to reduce carbon emissions, or are pressured into it by public opinion and/ or government regulations or carbon tax, they will need to fly 350-500 passengers in single class (at say 31-32 inch pitch in slimline seats) each flight across the Atlantic
    ,

    • not really. First class is a big money maker. Planes are getting more and more economical and environmentally friendly. Hybrid electric engined planes will eventually come onto the scene.

      They may fall prey to propaganda that convinces the public otherwise though, as well as economic decline partly driven by over-regulation and corruption.

    • You can do much more by getting people out of single occupancy cars and closing large coal fired power stations than going after airline travel.

      • Here,Here! Globally (which is the only measure that matters re CO2) aviation produces only about 2% of total emissions. It certainly has higher value than the “right” of us North Americans to drive around in empty 3 ton pickup trucks.

        A refunded (per adult) carbon tax or even just a crude oil tax would help push an orderly and rational transition to more fuel efficient aviation (and all other fuel use).

        But to really work it would need to be global which really isn’t (yet) plausible given the tribal nature of our brain wiring

      • A recent FAA paper indicates total AGW forcing of around 3.5% from aviation, so a bit worse than the 2% just from carbon (issues like NOx, cirrus cloud propagation).

        That said, what is needed is a global climate tax regime. If passengers (or their businesses that buy many of the more spacious and heavy seats) want to pay the added tax, then they will. I don’t see premium and business seating going away long-haul.

        The combination of a Climate Tax market mechanism and sensible investing of the tax revenue should help offset the climate forcing. The issue is whether global politics can ever get there on a tax.

        • “What is needed is a global climate tax regime.”

          Personally what I would like to see is a carbon tax that airlines would have to pay to acquire the right to pollute. This tax would force airlines to buy more efficient equipment and that would be good for aircraft manufacturers who invest billions of dollars to design more efficient airplnes like the 787, A350 and C Series.

    • The solution to this is what I call negative incentives, for lack of a better expression. By this I mean that airlines would be forced to buy more environment-friendly aircraft because those who dont would have to pay some sort of carbon tax, or whatever. Just like high fuel prices are a negative incentive to buy more fuel efficient airplanes. The beauty of this is that environment-friendly and low-fuel-burn go hand in hand, because one automatically comes with the other.

    • Better yet, get celebrities, grandees, etc. out of their private jets and into coach with the rest of us. That’ll save a lot of carbon. Until then, let the market – minus artificial carbon “markets” – decide what planes the airlines fly. (My climate model includes those guys as the only true indicator that the climate change/global warming/global cooling is taking place.)

      • Climate/global warming/cooling, etc, is an ugly excuse for CO2-tax and other socialist tax-to-the-max policies to distribute wealth and make everybody equally poor. The planet has gone thru ice ages and warm periods since day one and will continue to do so, no matter what we do. In my opinion, any attempt to try to control the climate, which is something we know very little about, and can not predict with any accuracy, is foolish and risky. If there was a real concern about sea levels and temperatures rising then the proper action would be to start building sea walls around Florida, ban development in lower lying areas and change building codes to better handle higher summer temps. Fully agree that the global warming elite who has made millions of dollars on this scam don’t really care or believe in their own prophesy considering the amount of CO2 produced by their life style.

        • Off course ever increasing turbulence might end the whole airline industry and so reduce airline CO2 in another way.

          • Not an issue at all. Just add stability augmentation systems which will take care of turbulence. Seems that those who believe that global warming is caused by CO2, and not due to coming out of the latest ice-age, should take responsibility for it and pay CO2 taxes on the CO2 they exhale, typically 2.2 lbs per 24 hours.

  11. Bjoern — some questions.

    What are your contingency and reserve fuel assumptions?
    What about fuel and time allowance for engine start, taxi out and taxi in?
    What fuel density are you using?
    Fixed Mach or LRC based on weight?
    Regarding North Atlantic — how do select which track to fly? Or do you assume GC, even if GC may not be the best when winds are included?
    Are you using nominal fuel burns, or guarantee tolerances plus mid-life mark-ups?
    What passenger + baggage weight are you using? 100kg?
    Regarding seat counts:
    Are they based on similar service levels, comfort, galley and lav ratios?
    Are seats, galleys and lavs of comparable design? As you know, seat weights can vary quite a bit. Do you include the weight of ETOPS equipment when not basic for the airplane? Do you add guarantee tolerance and weight growth to nominal OEW?
    Which costs do you base your economic conclusions on? CDOC, CTAROC, CTOC or DOC, TAROC and TOC, including airplane and engines price, spares, training, GSE and other intro costs? What assumptions do you use for airplane hull insurance costs? When it comes to allocation of all fixed costs to individual trip what assumptions are used for airplane utilization? How are ownership costs calculated? Depr + intr, with different periods and residuals as appropriate? When there are significant block time differences between airplanes, is the calculation of flight and cabin crew costs based on duty time limits and supernumerary crews required? What maintenance is done in-house and what is contracted? What method is used for maintenance overhead? Regarding the various airline overhead costs, which methods are used to allocate those to airplane trip cost? The only reason to fly any commercial airplane is to make money — so what assumptions are used for pax and cgo demands, spill, yields, etc? What about cost escalation, NPV analysis and time value of money?

    I could go on, this is just a start.

    • Yes, please go on. It seems like you could have a million different questions to Bjørn to challenge him on his calculations. It would be interesting to see you answer some of your own questions so you could come up with a better overall comparison between the B787Max and the B787-8 between the New York area and the Great Britain area/other places in north western Europe.
      Because it seems you have an idea what would be the most profitable, less expensive plane or whatever, to fly, for Norwegian in this case, between the two aforementioned areas, no?

      • I no longer work with airplane evaluation and don’t have access to the restricted documentation, manuals, required labor contracts, or software to do the job right. But I know how it is done, been there, done that. Only the airplane manufacturer can do that, in this case Boeing, or airlines which have the expertise, software, documents and experience. Many airlines don’t. I’m now talking about a full blown evaluation starting with LOPAs, followed by Weights, Performance and Economics/Financials, fleet plans, system simulations, etc. It is not rocket science but requires dedicated software and specific cost data.

        • Interesting point, but perhaps the people doing this sort of work don’t want to go into too much detail about where the data comes from?

          • To do a good airplane evaluation job requires precise data, appropriate software and knowledge of subject matter. Airline specific evaluation uses cabin layouts, weights, performance, economics, fleet plans, etc to airline rules and requirements, the study airplanes are spec’d and priced to represent airline configurations, weights are based on airplane spec and detailed info from the manufacturers of airplane, cabin interiors, seats, galleys, etc, performance, incl take-off and landing from specific airports and runways are based on manufacturers performance documents and airport/runway/obstacle data, economics reflect airline cost levels, labor contracts etc. That’s in a nutshell what is normally done when making airplane investment decisions worth billions of dollars.

            Then we have generic type of analysis, where cabin layouts are based on consistent rules, weights are based on certain assumptions and allowances, performance is based on generic ground rules, such as 15 minute taxi time, step LRC, 5% contingency fuel, 200 nm alternate, 6.7 lbs/USG fuel density.
            Economics are generic, probably derived by detailed analysis of DOT Form 41, AEA or some other such data. Weights and performance are still based on manufacturer proprietary data, and the economics are about as good as the formulae derivation based on reported statistics by airlines. Typically, economic formula derived from airline reported data is based on a group of airlines and does not represent any one airline. In the coarsest sense the formulae could represent the average for European flag carriers, just as an example. That average would be far off low cost operators….

            Then we have the “proprietary” and secret methods. Unless I know what they are I can not comment, but knowing what is involved in professional airplane evaluation for mega billion dollar investments, I have my doubts. Some are based on schoolbook methods, which can be far from reality. One of the worst examples I’ve seen was the assumption that first class passenger yields are equivalent to international air mail rates.

        • I WAS ASSOCIATED WITH THE Laker organisation when Freddy started Skytrain 340Y on DC10 in the winter west bound with a full load we often diverted to refuel in New England because of unfavourable winds. One day he said vome down to the hanger GE are modifiying the engines so we can go direct every day We got to the hanger and the guy was finishing the first aircraft That was wuick said FALwhat did you do? I SAMPED /A on the engine number he said the new manuals are in the office…!!!!!!!!!#!!!!!#!!!! FAL

          • The information available says it slightly differently. The DC10-10s were from a cancelled order from ANA.
            ” The airline (Laker) concluded it could fly non-stop from the UK to any point east of the Rockies by keeping the baggage limit at 15 kg and reducing single-class seating from 380 to 345 The saving could be used to carry more fuel. The calculations had shown that even with reduced seating, it had to fill only 52% of the seats to break even”. -Wikipedia

        • I guess to make the analysis super precise and reflect what the “real” cost/profit would be, all those elements you describe have to be taken into account.

          But if you just compare two types, wouldn’t it be fair to say, that if you assume the same/similar values for both types, you can simplify the analysis and work with the most important variables. Of course, the result will be somewhat imprecise, but it will most likely not be completely wrong, no? After all, from what I read out of this article, it’s not to say that you will make X amount of more profit (up to a 3rd digit after the comma) if you use Y type for a certain flight. It’s trying to show that a 737-8 MAX is competitive with a 787 on certain transatlantic routes in terms of cost per seat.

    • Clearly we are not going to go into the public domain about the detail of the modeling used. Suffice it to say that nothing Andy lists here is a surprise or an unknown to the methodology used. What is a surprise is that after complaining bitterly about LNC’s alleged bias against Boeing, even when there is a favorable piece, Andy remains critical and dissatisfied.

      Hamilton

      • Scott, those of us who have acknowledged experience in airplane evaluation in support of billion dollar investments well understand why you guys are hiding your “proprietary” method and talk in generalities. Too bad you don’t realize that it hurts your own credibility. Why don’t you just publish all assumptions, methods and data sources that you use? It is not rocket science and knowing what is really involved in airplane evaluation and the resources required, you have nothing to be “proprietary” about [Edited}

        • Why would they put their “proprietary model” into the domain? You could equally ask Boeing/Airbus and all the other OEM to publish their details out in the open so that everybody can do the math themselves on “real” values.

          Or how about Coca Cola publish their recipes, so you can “verify” those too?

      • Scott, you don’t understand. I don’t care who the “piece” is favorable or unfavorable to, as long as it is based on honest, open, balanced, arms-length and professional assessment based on facts, data and full disclosure. Further, I don’t appreciate your personal attack. My comments were regarding your “proprietary” secret method and not personal attacks.

        • Wow, I am stunned at the hypocrisy.

          Thin skinned and throws out insults left center and right.

          And insists he knows it all when he doesn’t even know about the dropped fuselage in Charleston.

          And yes Scott, let me know if I need to ban myself and how long.
          You are guilty of attempting to interject logic into this when there is none with Andy.

          • TW, careful now. Your personal attacks are getting too much. The fuselage drop in Charleston was long time ago, when the plant was not even owned by Boeing. But you blamed Boeing mgmt for that.

    • Andy, I think if you want that level of detail, you need to start paying Scott for access to his data, he is, after all, a professional consultant to the aircraft industry, who has been making his living doing this for quite a while.

      We moochers on the free part of his service get access to high level abstracted data, not the nitty gritty, and I, for one, am grateful to Scott and Bjorn for sharing their knowledge.

      • I believe in what President Reagan said: “trust, but verify”.
        I don’t take anybody’s claims on face value unless I know how they were developed, and I have no interest in this so-called “proprietary” method other than a high level description of assumptions, methods, what data they are based on, what type of calculations they can do, and software capabilities. I have not even seen which cost accounts they include in their “economic” analysis. Do they have a crew scheduling program to determine the number of crews required for airplanes of different speed capabilities? Last I checked there are about 6 such basic programs required to accommodate most of the crew contract variations on this planet . To keep everything under wrap could be due to substandard methods or use of data they are not authorized to use. All consultants that I have dealt with over the years, as well as done some of it myself, everything is done to customer’s specific requirements, whether it is done directly by the consultants (who usually have very limited resources in terms of data, software and, sometimes, expertise), or by the manufacturers, or by the airline. A typical consultant job could be to work with the airline and manage the analytical process with all data generated by competing manufacturers to airline requirements. Part of the consultants job would be detailed reviews of material submitted by the manufacturers to make sure it is consistent and comparable and to advise the airline, as required. Typically, smaller operators use consultants. Big airlines have all the software and expertise to do the job and require very little help from anybody. But they still need certain airplane specific documents from manufacturers for airplanes of interest.

        • @Andy: any consulting work performed gets to “see the math.” Readers of this blog do not. It is you who do not understand this. While you claim you are not engaging in personal attacks, the very words and premise you use is highly personal and offensive.

          Hamilton

          • You may want to relax a little. I said “could” not “are”. Big difference.

            I hope you are not using airline specific methods to make general claims. That would be highly misleading. Not being able to even provide a high level description of your “proprietary” method for “general” conclusions which have no value to individual operators says more than you think. This is not rocket science and I would not pay a cent for another “economic” method, yours or anybody elses. [Edited]

          • Andy, you don’t need all the details to give good indications based on realistic assumption and objective data. And yes, been there.

            I makes me suspicious if people start saying its all far more complicated, they try to discredit sources/ persons based on very general wisdoms and dive when asked for input. Often they’re hiding / mystifying unfavorable outcomes. The lawyers of technology.

          • I have not seen any “realistic” assumptions or “good” data which is why I’m questioning the conclusions. Airplane evaluation is a disciplined and detailed analytical undertaking since the investments are huge and the business risk is not trivial. No responsible person makes such investments based on “common” knowledge and “gut” feel. Assume you are only $100 off in trip cost. Per year that would be millions of dollars for a 50 airplane fleet. Not negligible by any measure.

        • @Andy, if you want to verify his methods, pay Scott to see his methods and data. it cost him time and money to develop, the very definition of proprietary.

          don’t expect the keys to the castle for free.

          likewise if you have a contrasting study using all the factors you have outlined, why don’t you share it with us (for free)?

          at the moment you are just spouting off and insulting the integrity of our host and not bringing anything of value to the conversation.

          • bilbo,
            I agree completely.

            Since it seems like Andy has so incredibly vast knowledge I think it is time for him to start sharing some of that knowledge and not almost exclusively dragging down others effort to come up with reasonably good calculations.

          • You are correct that I have much more experience and knowledge than those using so-called proprietary methods, and I’ll be happy to share it for a price which will be high to match the quality of my knowledge. Again, my interest in this so-called proprietary method was only to establish credibility for the claims made and nothing else. My standards for accepting claims are high. My acceptance of any claims made goes hand in hand with my acceptance of the methodology used to arrive at those claims, and any claims not supported by adequate methods explanation will not be accepted by default, especially when it comes to complex multimilliondollar products like airplanes.

            I hope the above adequately explains my position.

  12. The B737NG and MAX does not have FANS 1/A capability and Boeing does not plan to have that until 2019 IIRC. So unless a 3rd party soloution is used it will be restricted some on the NAT tracks. Could be make or break on some sectors, due to Flight Level restrictions.

  13. Data Link Communications. CPDLC = Controller Pilot DataLink Communictions.
    Without it, less than optimum routeings and Flight Levels in the NAT area.

  14. What is the chance of Boeing increasing the MTOW by a couple of tons (say) to allow a belly tank to be better utilized, and how much extra range would this give?

    • What would that do to runway performance? The 737-9 is not known for its short takeoff rolls. I don’t know how much more Boeing can squeeze out of the 737 frame, although they have done a good job over the decades.
      I rue the day they dropped the 757, perhaps if they kept the line open for a few more years, demand might have improved when it was seen that the 757 was a great Trans Atlantic and South American plane and nothing can beat its runway performance. It also shined at hot and high airports.

  15. Interesting to have a thread this long and not one comment on passenger experience. I realize that in some basic ways, the 737max8 will not be all that different from a 757W.
    But the reality is that either offer a rather poor paxex, particularly in Y. Now, at the prices Norwegian charges, I don’t think coach passengers can expect much in terms of comfort/space. But their 787 premium product is quite nice. Will they go 2-2 on the 757? Of so, that’ll be decent.
    What worries me is that we will see US legacies follow suit. It won’t be that long before UA, DL etc will be running 737max8s out of BOS, I suspect. We will also see legacies and LCCs flying the max8 LAS-HNL, and in theory DL could run it SLC-HNL. Economical, but not all that pleasant.
    I know many passengers prefer nonstops on long and thin. But as I’ve indicated here more than once, the 707/737/757 fuselage diameter is really unfortunate given 21st century passenger diameters!

    • RaflW “Interesting to have a thread this long and not one comment on passenger experience.”

      The passenger experience is fully dependent on the airline, not the aircraft OEM. It seems some extol the virtues of some new aircraft such as the CS series and the good passenger comfort. Take any plane and add more rows and what do you have, Spirit airlines. AA is adding more rows to its 737-800’s and the companies hype it that we want to remain on par with Delta who is doing the same thing. It used to be that airlines wanted to go one up on their competition, such as AA’s M.R.T.C. or more room throughout coach.
      Now they are all clones, same planes, same seat pitch, less for the customer.
      I have flown both the 737 and A320 and do not find any real difference between the two.
      No matter what the OEM’s come out with new airliners, airlines will find a way make the travel experience that of a Trailways bus.
      I shudder to think of what the airlines will do when oil goes up to $100.00 a barrel, what new fees can they dream up? A fee for the restroom, carry on bags, water as did Usairways for a while, adding a fee for obese people, more weight, more fuel, etc.

      • “It seems some extol the virtues of some new aircraft such as the CS series and the good passenger comfort. Take any plane and add more rows and what do you have[?]”

        If an airline wants to add more rows than the standard configuration there is nothing Bombardier can do about it. On the other hand the C Series has wider seats, especially the centre one, and a wider aisle. And that cannot be altered. There is nothing Airbus can do about seat pitch either, but the A320 fuselage will always be larger than the 737’s, and this has a positive impact inside the cabin.

        Have you ever been inside a 737 cockpit immediately after going inside an A320 cockpit? The difference is more than cosmetic. In a modernized 737 you can put only three 15″ screens whereas the C Series comes with four, plus a fifth one in the centre console. The passengers in the 737 cabin have it easier though, for they are not stuck with a control column between their legs.

        • Normand Hamel, “If an airline wants to add more rows than the standard configuration there is nothing Bombardier can do about it.” That also applies to Boeing and Airbus. When an airline finds a way to add seats, the customer has to bear the cattle car layout.
          Given time the airlines will find a way to ruin the trip on the CS series. Being I am not an obese person, I find the flight experience on the 737 and A320 the same.
          When the 747’s first came on line, piano lounges and bars were featured along with large open areas, that vanished very quickly when it was seen as a waste of space and perhaps it was. But over the years airlines have gone to other extreme. I chuckle when some say they prefer one airliner over another when in most cases in not the plane but airline configuration that makes the difference.
          The 767 has been commented on in a negative sense in the past, but I always enjoyed many trips on the small widebody. Only one seat away from the aisle made it better than 3-3 seating.
          In the end its the airlines, not the OEM’s that determine the level of comfort or lack of it.

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