Alaska Airlines may keep leased Airbus fleet

By Olivier Bonnassies

Airfinance Journal

Oct. 9, 2020, (c) Airfinance Journal: Alaska Airlines is believed to be working on a solution regarding its narrowbody fleet composition after initial talks failed with lessors regarding an early phase-out of Airbus A320-family aircraft.The US carrier approached leasing companies in the summer with a large request for proposals (RFP) to replace its entire leased current-generation A320-family fleet with Boeing 737-800, -900ER, Max 8 and Max 9 models over the next few years.

Alaska Airlines may keep a mixed fleet of Airbus A320s and 737s at least through 2025. Lessors are balking at early returns. Photo: Alaska Airlines.

According to Airfinance Journal‘s Fleet Tracker, Alaska has 10 A319s with leases expiring between 2021 and 2023. Another 41 A320s have leases expiring between 2020 and 2025.

But the objective of the RFP is to accelerate the exit of the carrier’s 51 A320-family aircraft ahead of lease expirations as well as sell 10 owned A320s that were manufactured in 2015 and 2016.

But leasing sources talking to Airfinance Journal say the approach was not “well received”.

“They may keep those aircraft to scheduled redelivery dates,” says one lessor.

Alaska still considering single – or dual fleet

Another lessor confirms plans are off the table.

He comments: “They may have realised the difficulty in finding feedstock, but also the costs associated with the rents and return conditions on their existing Airbus fleet. This could prove a very expensive exercise.”

The leasing source adds that 737NG are easier to remarket than A320s at the moment because of cargo appetite for the former.

Alaska Air told Airfinance Journal: “As we resize our fleet to reflect the reduced demand environment, we will prioritise efficiency to determine which aircraft to operate. It’s too soon to call whether that means single-fleet or dual-fleet for the long run.”

Earlier this week the carrier said it expect to incur impairment charges of between $115 million and $125 million as a result of the accelerated retirement of 10 A320s.

In the summer, another leasing source told Airfinance Journal that while the approach made sense, finding the aircraft to accommodate it was difficult.

“Lessors will need feedstock for this RFP. We don’t have a Next Generation aircraft available before 2022,” he said.

Still, the US carrier could proceed with plans to sell its 10 owned A320s.

One source tells Airfinance Journal that some lessors could be interested in trading those aircraft back, given their age, and placing some Max units on operating leases as a trade.

Alaska Air is also rumoured to be in negotiations with Boeing regarding its delivery schedule for its Max fleets.

Should the carrier keep its A320-family fleet until lease expiration, its intention would be to match incoming new aircraft with retirements. Boeing on the other hand may push for earlier placements to eat into the large inventory of Max aircraft it has accumulated.

In its RFP Alaska Air was targeting 737-800 and 737-900ER replacement aircraft of seven years of age or less, but was also considering new Max 8/9 aircraft, white-tails or lightly used aircraft of those models.

One source says that reconfiguration costs could be key in any discussion with Boeing.

Boeing declined to comment.

 

 

61 Comments on “Alaska Airlines may keep leased Airbus fleet

  1. Its annoying that they do not address the specific aircraft.

    There are 10 A321CEO in that mix. That is a very interesting sub group in that no 737 can match them.

    I believe Alaska owns those and they got a good deal.

    They also have 30 A320 options (which should include the A321NEO)

    The A321 keep or drop is an indicator of how viable it is to mix a fleet that is otherwise all 737 and if its capability is worth it.

    • Actually Alaska’s A321s are NEOs, not CEOs.

      Just because an A321NEO can outperform a 737 doesn’t mean that Alaska’s mission requirements need that extra performance. A 737-9 could probably equally support all of Alaska’s routes.

      • Sure, it could be 89t A321neo too. Many airlines don’t need range or only few planes with better range.
        As TW said it would be better to know the exact weight type. Are there websites which show these infos?

          • Thanks,
            before the merger Virgin had already 4 A321 of the 10 ordered. Were these 93.5t too?
            The other 6 A321 went directly to Alaska. Were these 93.5t too or did they change it?
            #921 was delivered Apr 2017
            #922 May 2017
            #923 Oct 2017
            #925 Dec 2017 delivered to Virgin
            Dec was the merger.
            #924 Jan 2018 delivered to Alaska
            #927 Mar 2018
            #926 Apr 2018
            #928 May 2018 till May 2018 all with 8/18/159 seats
            #929 Jun 2019 16/24/150 seats
            #930 Oct 2019 16/24/150
            Maybe for #929 and #930 Alaska changed the MTOW too.
            If there was an MTOW change it would show if Alaska is interested in range or not.

          • N921VA and all later aircraft delivered at 93.5t

          • Re: “seems range isn’t very important to Alaska.”

            One thing Alaska won’t need long range aircraft for anytime soon, unless their new partnership with American Airlines ends in a messy divorce like their previous partnership with Delta, is to fly any long range route where they would compete with American Airlines, thus London is already off the table for Alaska. The excerpt below is from the 2-13-20 Dallas Morning News Article at the link after the excerpt.

            “Alaska also plans to join American’s Oneworld alliance by the summer of 2021.

            With the expanded deal, American will start flying from Seattle to Bangalore, India, in October and from Seattle to London Heathrow Airport in March 2021.

            The two airlines have been collaborating since 1999, but the relationship fizzled when Alaska bought the assets of Virgin America in 2016. That gave Alaska too many overlapping destinations with American in the United States. In October, the two sides decided to scale back their mileage partnership.

            Now, they’re back together.

            American’s vice president of network planning Vasu Raja said the new flights gave the company the opportunity to expand out of Seattle, a market where it didn’t previously have enough connections to justify flights to places like India and the United Kingdom.”

            https://www.dallasnews.com/business/airlines/2020/02/13/american-airlines-is-rekindling-its-partnership-with-alaska-and-adding-flights-from-seattle-to-india-and-london/

          • Robert,

            it seems their partnership is good for AA, but how is it good for Alaska. It seems the merger was a waste now, but so many Virgin planes were leased and Alaska has to pay a lot for them now. How can they survive. I wonder how much money they lose each month.

          • Re: “it seems their partnership is good for AA, but how is it good for Alaska. …. How can they survive.”

            By focusing on regional flights to and from their strong US West Coast hubs or West Coast airports that they are trying to develop into strong hubs, instead of launching, during a massive downturn in long range international travel, new long range international routes that would put them into high stakes and potentially very costly direct competition with airlines like American and Delta that are much larger and have much deeper pockets? They should also get additional business from people in small and medium US cities who are going to cities not served by Alaska, domestically and overseas, who would have previously flown with a competitor, but can now book an itinerary to their desired destination (for instance London or India), on either the Alaska or American websites, that includes a connecting Alaska flight to an American Airlines hub. When I lived near Seattle for 4 years, I found that Alaska had the best route network for regional travel in the US Northwest, and a decent one up and down the US Pacific Coast, but that if I was traveling east across the US to anything other than a very large city, the American, Delta, or United networks would get me much closer to where I was going much faster than Alaska’s network did. It would take many years and $$$ for Alaska to buildup their network to be as comprehensive as American, Delta and United, and right now I’m pretty sure they don’t have the $$$, so for the time being I think the marriage is a good deal for them. Note that while most US airlines have been cutting routes, Alaska has been adding US Domestic routes, many of them short and medium range regional routes. See below.

          • Alaska Airlines new routes 9-1 to 12-31-20 – Part 1

            Palm Springs (PSP) – San Jose (SJC) December 17, 2020
            San Jose (SJC) – Palm Springs (PSP) December 17, 2020
            Los Angeles (LAX) – Reno (RNO) December 17, 2020 1x daily
            Reno (RNO) – Los Angeles (LAX) December 17, 2020 1x daily
            Los Angeles (LAX) – Cancun (CUN) Dec 17, 2020 – April 12, 2021

      • that is true for “capabilities”. ( range, payload )
        but it breaks on a more efficient product ( NG = more blockfuel )

        Nixing the A320 part of the fleet looks very much like
        another “model too simple” MBA dream.

      • Lets look at the MAX-9.
        I don’t know the OEW, Boeing is hiding so much haha. On wikipedia the MAX-8 is described with 45070kg for a 162 seat cabin. ET302 had 47090kg OEW in a 160 seat configuration. Compared with the A320/321 the MAX-9 should weight 2240kg more than MAX-8.
        I will calculate with 2000kg more for the MAX-9. I always calculate with 100kg/pax and use the payload/range curve.
        MAX-8:
        3467nm = 144 – 164pax (OEW 47090 – 45070kg)
        3500nm = 135 – 155pax (OEW 47090 – 45070kg)
        4000nm = 42 – 62pax (OEW 47090 – 45070kg)
        MAX-9:
        3170nm = 186 – 206pax (OEW 49090 – 47070kg)
        3500nm = 110 – 130pax (OEW 49090 – 47070kg)
        4000nm = 16 – 36pax (OEW 49090 – 47070kg)
        A321neo (97t but not the LR):
        3500nm = 213pax
        4000nm = 114pax
        A321LR:
        4000nm = 180pax

      • Typo on my part, yes I knew that. LEAP engines.

        That is why they are particularly attractive and interesting how they might or might not fit into AK route structure.

        Seattle to East Coast and the longer one to Florida come to mine. Listed range has to be adjusted to the various fuel reserves.

        Very possibly for AK it does not matter.

        But I believe the A321NEO was an outright purchase on very good terms as are the 30 options.

        But you need to either go bigger than the 10 or sell all at once as 10 leaves you in a weird place.

        Selling all at once to one buyer is not in the cards. Another year and a whole different story likely.

  2. In addition to “Transworld” comment, it gives the Airline a great negotiating space with both Boeing and Airbus, and measure with time, which Mfg. gives the Airline the Economy, Reliability Attention, Service and Pricing in the overall operation, besides clients’ Satisfaction.

  3. If the lack of 737 feedstock is an issue in the lessors’ reluctance to substitute aircraft, perhaps Boeing could provide that feedstock from the existing inventory of 737 MAX, or new production. That would seem to present a solution for both lessor and airline.

    But I don’t know what the viability is for the A320 & A321 that would be returned, perhaps in the current market there is not an immediate demand for them. In that case the lessor would be reluctant to take them back, when Alaska is responsible for them at present.

    So to purchase new MAX would introduce additional aircraft and create further surplus for the lessor. I could see why that would be a poor business case for them.

  4. If the lack of 737 feedstock is an issue in the lessors’ reluctance to substitute aircraft, perhaps Boeing could provide that feedstock from the existing inventory of 737 MAX, or new production. That would seem to present a solution for both lessor and airline.

    But I don’t know what the viability is for the A320 & A321 that would be returned, perhaps in the current market there is not an immediate demand for them. In that case the lessor would be reluctant to take them back, when Alaska is responsible for them at present. So to purchase new MAX would introduce additional aircraft and create further surplus for the lessor. I could see why that would be a poor business case for them.

    • “If the lack of 737 feedstock is an issue in the lessors’ reluctance to substitute aircraft, perhaps Boeing could provide that feedstock from the existing inventory of 737 MAX, or new production,”
      Its ironic how the success of A320neo coupled with the B737max debacle and the COVID-19 pandemic caused the A320 family to be a worthless aluminium tin can now.
      I’m sceptical if releasing feedstock from the max inventory would help because airlines are in cash conservation mode and may not be interested to lease a newer more efficient aircraft for a higher cost. Unless the efficiency benefits can surpass the higher lease rate in which case you will need to keep flying the aircraft to keep its utilisation high (which in today’s market is something hard to achieve), otherwise on paper it should be cheaper to keep the older B737NG on lease.
      Airbus on the other hand is still churning out 40 A320neo per month and because there are minimal delivery delays, airlines are obligated to take delivery of new aircraft and releasing older A320ceo as per plan into the 2nd hand market. With no takers for the large amount of 2nd hand A320ceo, the market naturally collapse and many of these aircraft which are relatively young are now sent to scrapyard as they are worth more for parts rather than as a whole.

  5. If you go on the Planespotters website and search by Model for the 737 Max, then sort by airline – you’ll see that Boeing currently has 14 white tails listed. Some of those, I’m sure, are test aircraft.

    Boeing is reportedly trying to move 40 white tails and has had talks with various carriers.

    I’m wondering who the other 30 belong to, that aren’t going to take them?

    • Have to keep in mind that there are X number of the built and painted 450 that are stored could be White Tails as well.

      It wold be interesting to see if they are rejected per contract (failure to deliver a Certified aircraft).

      New build ones that meet a purchase date within a year do get delivered or the penalties apply (or are negotiated out) (and assumes certification’s soon)

      Who takes what all depends on where we are at of course and as we are seeing with AK, one day they are dumping A320s and the next they are not.

      Phew. We need a Cray computer to keep up with all this!.

        • No, not that detailed.

          However, I can tell you some were Jet Airways (ceased operations), some were for lessors whose lessees no longer want airplanes, I’d have to look to see if any Garuda MAXes are included (canceled most of its MAX 8 order, swapping to MAX 10 and 787), and so on.

  6. According to wikipedia, Alaska made a decision in Feb 2017 to replace their Airbus fleet with Boeing. Why does it take so long. There should have been ocasions in the past to get rid of Airbus planes.
    When they got the Virgin Airbus planes they installed Alaska cabins instead of selling these planes.
    For sure Alaska has money to burn. They want to do this because they think they could earn more with a Boeing fleet, so these Boeings shouldn’t be expensive (MAX whitetails?). This makes me think that the decision is new and not over 3 years old. Which Boeing airline is not thinking ($$$ greedy) about cheap MAX whitetails.

    At least Alaska can sell the planes they own. That shouldn’t be difficult at the moment with low plane values, if they want to sell at low value. Especially when values should rise soon because of less flight hours flown and vaccines available next year.
    Will they sell them or is this only hot air.

    At least Airbus can forget about Alaska and don’t need to make good offers.

    • “Why does it take so long.”
      Only 10 of the 60 or so are owned by Alaska, the rest are leased, as in the contract is over many years and expensive to unwind, retrain all the crew, change over all the in house maintenance or unwind the maintenance contracts .

      • From Planespotters I get the idea that they own 11 A320ceo ond 1 A319ceo. Alaska extended lease contracts for Airbus planes on Sep 2019, they will keep Airbus.

          • No, when Airbus announced the future NEO they named the present version at that time Current Engine Option. Now CEO is the older generation.

  7. Below is an excerpt from a 10-8-20 Reutuers story at the link after the excerpt. I wonder if Boeing might be very willing to take any unwanted A320’s off of Alaska’s hands in return for a 737 MAX order?

    “SEATTLE/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Boeing Co BA.N is in discussions to sell 737 MAX jets to Alaska Airlines once the plane returns to service following a lengthy grounding, three people familiar with the matter said.”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-boeing-max-alaska-air-group-exclusive/exclusive-boeing-in-talks-with-alaska-airlines-for-potential-737-max-order-sources-idUSKBN26T3A4

  8. Re: “Still, the US carrier could proceed with plans to sell its 10 owned A320s.”

    According to the excerpt below from the 10-5-20 Motley Fool article at the link after the excerpt, Alaska airlines has already taken a 115 to 125 million USD impairment charge for early disposal of its 10 owned A320’s.

    “In an SEC filing last Thursday, Alaska said that it had decided to go ahead with borrowing up to $1.9 billion from the federal government under a secured loan program included in the CARES Act. Buried near the end of the filing was a statement that “management has authorized a plan to retire 10 owned Airbus A320 aircraft earlier than previously scheduled,” leading to an impairment charge between $115 million and $125 million.

    The filing doesn’t say when the A320s will be retired, but chances are it will be sometime in the next five years. (It wouldn’t make sense to take an impairment charge now for a retirement expected in the late 2020s or beyond, simply because so much could change in the intervening years.)

    As noted above, only 10 of Alaska’s A320s are owned: The rest are leased. The 10 owned A320s were delivered new to Virgin America between 2015 and 2016 and are just under five years old, on average. Setting plans to retire aircraft that still have two decades of life left would only make sense in the context of fleet simplification.”

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/10/05/alaska-airlines-big-hint-going-all-boeing-again/

    • AP:

      Thank you, your usual good work.

      I thought the A321NEO were direct owned as well?

      • Re:”I thought the A321NEO were direct owned as well?”

        See below for the owned vs. leased breakdown and average ages of the Alaska mainline fleet as of 12-31-2019 according to their 2019 annual report (see page 26 at the link below).

        B737 Freighters: Owned: 3 , Leased: 0, Average Age: 18.9 years
        B737 NextGen: Owned: 153, Leased: 10, Average Age: 8.9 years.
        A319/A320: Owned: 10, Leased: 51, Average Age: 9.7 years
        A321 neo: Owned: 0, Leased: 10, Average Age: 1.7 years.

        https://investor.alaskaair.com/static-files/16b87b83-b3bf-4e33-8ef5-148cf48b336b

  9. According to Planespotters some of the lease contracts are just 1 year old.
    So Alaska wanted to get rid of Airbus planes in Feb 2017 but then installed Alaska cabins instead of selling the few A320 they own and then extended lease contracts of other A320/321 still in Sep 2019. Makes me think they are playing with hot air and not that they don’t have a plan.
    Alaska must really love the NEO 🙂
    They have MAX-9 on order, they might renegotiate the price.
    I would like to know how many A320 pilots were trained for 737, was this hot air too? Soon we might hear that they canceled MAX-9 orders.

  10. Re: ““Lessors will need feedstock for this RFP. We don’t have a Next Generation aircraft available before 2022,” he said.”

    I suspect that Boeing may have some white tail 737 MAX’s available earlier than 2022.

  11. Re: “Alaska has 10 A319s with leases expiring between 2021 and 2023.”

    According to the excerpt below from the 10-5-20 Motley Fool article at the link after the excerpt, Alaska Airline’s A319’s have all been permanently parked.

    ” Earlier this year, the carrier disclosed that it had permanently parked 12 Airbus jets, including all 10 of its A319s. In conjunction with that move, it retrained 240 of its Airbus pilots to fly Boeing 737s. Management indicated that these planes would eventually be replaced by 737 MAX jets already on order.”

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/10/05/alaska-airlines-big-hint-going-all-boeing-again/

    According to Alaska’s most recent SEC 10-Q filing on 8-4-20, its fleet consisted of the following aircraft as of 6-30-20. There are no A319’s listed (see page 40 at the link below).

    B737 Freighters: 3
    737-700: 11
    737-800: 61
    737-900: 12
    737-900ER: 79
    A320: 49 (7 retirements planned for 2021).
    A321neo: 10
    The only deliveries planned for 2020 and 2021 were 3 737 MAX-9’s in 2020 and 15 737 MAX-9’s in 2021.

    Total B737’s as of 6-30-20: 166 (with 18 deliveries and 0 retirements planned in 2020 and 2021).
    Total A32X’s as of 6-30-20: 59 (down from 71 pre-COVID, with 0 deliveries and 7 retirements planned in 2020 and 2021).

    Too me, it is pretty obvious both that a decision has already been made, and what that decision was.

    https://investor.alaskaair.com/static-files/1a111acb-2d5b-4496-be90-2dfa2824a54b

    • “”According to Alaska’s most recent SEC 10-Q filing on 8-4-20, its fleet consisted of the following aircraft as of 6-30-20. There are no A319’s listed (see page 40 at the link below).
      737-700: 11″”

      Question is which ones are older, A319 or 737-700.
      Alaska has many stored planes, bur all A321neo are active.

    • How can they retire A319 which they don’t own? The A319 are also only 12-14.4 years old. They might not use the A319 till the lease contracts expire.
      The lease payments might be cheaper if the A319 are not flying if maint is included in the lease payments. So they keep flying the much older 737-700 which they own.

      Seems it was expensive to buy Virgin for $4b with mostly leased planes. Virgin owners made a steal.

  12. i don’t get it.

    The A320 CEO fleet is on leese and pretty new.
    Whole world was demanding A320Neos, foremost A321neos before Corona, and now Alaska want’s to kick them, though they would have to take a huge loss?

    They also have 30 A320 Neos on order, they won’t get that away cheap and easy if they announce going all Boeing.

    • Re:”They also have 30 A320 Neos on order, they won’t get that away cheap and easy if they announce going all Boeing.”

      According to Alaska’s most recent SEC 10-Q filing on 8-4-20 (see page 40 at the link below), Alaska’s has “cancelable purchase commitments” for 30 A320neo’s but does not have any firm orders for A320neo’s. Cancelable purchase commitments may be good for running up bragging rights for booking the most orders, but perhaps are not so good for an OEM when a traffic downturn forces airlines to cancel aircraft orders.

      “As of June 30, 2020, we have firm orders to purchase 35 aircraft. Alaska also has cancelable purchase commitments for 30 Airbus A320neo aircraft with deliveries from 2024 through 2026. We could incur a loss of pre-delivery payments and credits as a cancellation fee. Alaska also has options to acquire 37 B737 MAX aircraft with deliveries from 2021 through 2024, and Horizon has options to acquire 30 E175 aircraft with deliveries from 2022 through 2024. In addition to the 32 E175 aircraft currently operated by SkyWest in our regional fleet, Alaska has options in future periods to add regional capacity by having SkyWest operate up to eight more E175 aircraft. Options will be exercised only if we believe return on invested capital targets can be met over the long term.”

      https://investor.alaskaair.com/static-files/1a111acb-2d5b-4496-be90-2dfa2824a54b

    • It’s more expensive to have a mixed fleet. Alaska will save money in the long run by eliminating Airbus. The problem right now is that the Airbus aircraft have greater value to the lessors being leased to Alaska, than sitting unused in their inventory. So they are reluctant to amend the leases without penalty.

      This means that Alaska will likely defer their plans to eliminate Airbus for now, but continue as circumstances allow. They may choose to incur penalties at a lower rate over time, or the Airbus value to the lessors may increase over time.

      • I believe the 30 x A320NEO are acualy options that can be switched to A321NEO

        Virgin was going toward A321 as the first NEO were the A321.

        A mixed fleet is not a serious issue. Offsets on competition between A and B can bring down the price and I believe the Virgin orders were on very very good terms.

        A small group of Airbus in the MAX fleet is not good vs an all one type fleet.

        But to dismiss a mixed fleet is also not right, A220 operators will disagree as the A220 has nothing in common with the A320/21.

        And in fact AK operates a very mixed fleet with Embraer and DH (and yes go ahead and try to explane (sp intended) Horizon!)

        How large a duplicated type mix fleet needs to be to balance out I won’t begin to try to guess.

        South West likely could do it if they wanted to. And may at some point down the road with A220 as it has some huge advantages on slimmer routes and more so as the fleet moves up to -9.

        Of course South West gets their million dollar a plane discount over the MAX disaster so that weights in.

        • TW, I was just repeating the position of Alaska Airlines as reported in their SEC filings, as well as various articles and interviews. Also confirmed here by AP Robert. It wasn’t my opinion, it was their stated goal.

          If you believe you know their business better than they do, that’s fine. Time will tell, but the fact that they are asking to end their Airbus leases early reinforces their statements and the reporting. The lessors may block those transactions, but they remain desirable to Alaska going forward.

          • Rob:

            Part of my job was to do original thinking to solve problems that came up or were long standing. I worked on one problem for 25 years no one could solve.

            Its not just solving it, its solving it withing what money can be gotten for it.

            While I did good solid work, I was not normally brilliant. But I did come up with a few over the years.

            One was a solution that was brilliant in its simplicity and cut the cost by a factor of 10x.

            Why me and not someone else? They were not focused on it, if they had been it would have cost us $ upwards of $20,000 (we had more than one engineering study that cost us that and still did not come up with solutions).

            A lot of good people looked at it, but they were boxed in (which for what I was working on is a major pun) by linear thinking.

            Why did I come up with it? I was given a budget and some money to correct a very limited number of high impact units.

            Ok, but we are constrained by the impact on the occupants due to demolition and its mess and even with the money I can’t change that. So then its at night, OT for the contractor and less done.

            Is there any way to change the demolition issue?

            What if we gut it, abandoned in place and use it as a pass through plenum and move the work to an accessible area with an adapter?

            Not only solves demolition, the cost goes down hugely and when all was said and done we were able to do all of the problem units and we did it easily withing the budget we had for a few.

            Unless its changed, I believe Leeham allows for out of the box thinking and even speculation. None of it is a given or will come rue, but it is thoughts and ideas.

            We know what AK is saying, and Boeing and the FAA.

            That may be true now (AK) or not at all true for what is going on and happened with Boeing and FAA.

            The most valuable people in the world are people who can analyze and break out the facts and what is really going on from the chaff.

            AP has presented some vary valuable facts that can then lend themselves to the discussion.

            But those clearly are facts, what they mean and where it goes can change, but its the basics right now.

            We have just seen AK go from statements about getting rid of Airbus to we can’t get rid of them right now.

            Or Scott who presented the factual comparison of the A321NEO and what the possibility with that capacity , range and airfield performance.

            Speculative yes but also factual in what could be done.

            But what someone says without the context of what was going on, what happened is copying and pasting.

            AK has one set of problems and those are ideas that might work.

            Boeing and the FAA has another that has lead to repeated failures and doing the same thing over and over again gets the same result, be it the DC-10, 737 Rudder Issue, 787 meltdown, MAX debacle.

            Splitting the FAA up is not my original idea, people have known it was needed for a long long time.

            And its not a sole problem solver, any more that the ODA back to the FAA is. But like any solution its part of the pieces that can make it better and if it stops the occurrences even if its still has hiccups, then its a solution.

            Yes we had problems with my solution, but I had two really good people at the point of attack and they took the basis of the solution and its goal and applied it to the specifies higher problem ones and got the job done magnificently (and yes, I gave them full credit for the execution end that was every bit as important as the idea that got us going, without the problem solvers at the point of the spear the best idea is worthless)

            I worked with an architect who was given in insurmountable barrier (access to equipment that we had to have through a fire rated stairwell wall that was not allowed).

            One day he was workign with the Muni people and asked, what if we alarm the hatch?

            Yes, that works. He worked on it for 3-5 years. It took that long for something that seemed obvious but was far from it.

            What he knew was there was 24 hour monitoring, he put that with the Muni mandate together and came up with a simple and elegant solution (most problems are more complex than that)

          • Business leaders are men. They make mistakes daily. For instance Boeing, well, forget it. Too obvious. The Minnesota Vikings! A few days ago, they lost to your guys Seahawks. Not because they could not get a first down on a fourth and one and keep the ball out of Russell Wilson’s hands. They lost the game because the GM signed an average QB to so much money they had to let go 4 starters on DEFENSE to pay the @#$&!

      • Rob – Re: “This means that Alaska will likely defer their plans to eliminate Airbus for now, but continue as circumstances allow. ”

        I agree that this seems to be what is happening. According to the excerpt below from the Motley Fool article at the link after the excerpt, two thirds of Alaska’s Airbus leases expire between 2021 and 2023. If this is true, then I believe that it is very likely that the two thirds of Alaska’s Airbus aircraft whose leases expire between 2021 and 2023, will leave Alaska’s fleet as their leases expire. Of the 59 Airbus aircraft that Alaska listed in its fleet as of their 8-4-20 SEC 10-Q filing, 49 were leased. Two thirds of 49 is 32.7.

        “All but 10 of Alaska’s Airbus planes are leased, and about two-thirds of those leases are scheduled to expire between 2021 and 2023. Thus, Alaska has a unique opportunity to rapidly transition away from its Airbus fleet over the next few years if it wants to.”

        https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/10/05/alaska-airlines-big-hint-going-all-boeing-again/

        • It makes sense, but the A321NEO and the 30 options also is a path that can be followed.

          Truly interesting to see where it goes.

  13. 10 A319 are 12-14.4 years old, all stored. Could be that #530 is owned.
    11 B737-700, 20.1-21.3 years old, one 17.7 years old, all owned, 2 stored.
    11 A320ceo. Could be that #281-286,362-365, 637 are owned, 4.4-5,3 years old, one 12.6 years old.
    A321neo:
    #921: leased from GECAS Jan – Jul 2018, then leased from Merx Aviation Jul 2018
    #926: leased from GECAS Apr 2018 – Sep 2019, then leased from Jackson Square Aviation (JSA) Sep 2019
    #927: leased from GECAS Mar – Dec 2018, then leased from Banc of America Leasing Dec 2018
    I didn’t check the other 7 but they are all leased.

  14. On a sort-of related note:
    Delta will be retiring the last of its 18 777s on October 31 (flight 8807, New York – LAX).
    Ed Bastian: “Our Airbus A330s en A350-900s, which are more fuel- and cost-efficient, will carry out our longhaul flights when international demand returns”.

    • Bryce:

      Fuel efficiency right now is pretty low aspect though they keep listing it.

      Future? Not going to guess, I never though I was see 3.5% mortgage rates.

      With the warranty on the newer aircraft that is a cost factor vs the 777s.

      Delta is one of the odd and very interesting operations. Along with their own Maint center they own (or did) a refinery that I don’t think worked out all that well.

      Still quite the variety of aircraft though they seem to be on a long term plan to get that down to mostly Airbus in the owned fleet.

      • 3 different McDonnell Douglas planes are out, 737-700s, in time the 757s, as noted all 777s, A319s, 767s – all before too long, and different reports say the A320… The maintenance centers have much fewer planes to work on.

    • Delta had 777-200ER and -200LR.
      Imagine United, they got 2 new 777-300ER this year.

  15. I don’t think that Planespotters, which Leon refers to in several posts above, is as reliable or up to date as Alaska’s SEC (Security and Exchange Commission) filings. Alaska is subject to civil or criminal penalties or investor lawsuits for inaccurate SEC filings. According to Planespotters as of 10-10-20, Alaska A320 N634VA MSN 3359 (12.8 years old) is stored and leased from “hidden”.

    https://www.planespotters.net/airframe/airbus-a320-200-n634va-alaska-airlines/e54g5g

    According to the website of aircraft salvage yard TDA, they have acquired the above referenced Alaska A320 for teardown. Apparently the highest bidder for a 12.8 year old A320 was an aircraft scrap yard.

    “TDA is proud to announce the acquisition of MSN3359, an Airbus A320 from 2007. The former Alaska Airlines Airbus will go in the books as the one of the youngest Airbus A320’s ever for disassembly. It’s not the first time TDA breaks records with the disassembly of an A320. In 2016, we acquired MSN2137 for teardown: an ex-AirAsia A320 of just 12 years old, which then was the youngest teardown project ever.

    MSN3359 shall be disassembled at Pinal Park in Marana, AZ, USA. The high-quality parts we harvest from this jet shall be shipped to our well-known strategic hubs around the world for exchange and sales purposes.”

    https://tda.aero/teardown-a320-msn3359-exalaska-airlines/

    • In the current market, all older aircraft (Boeing or Airbus) have diminished value and are at risk for retirement. Airlines will consolidate around their newer aircraft, and where feasible, will replace older with newer. Lack of demand presents an opportunity to do that at lower cost.

      We should see that the global fleet will be both reduced and rejuvenated at a higher rate than normally possible, but this will leave it in better shape as travel recovers.

      • Bit of a head scratcher.

        Airlines also have to pay for their newer aircraft.

        I don’t see Delta dumping their 737-900s and may add to them (-9)

        Some that are older for sure.

        But a new build 737-800/900?

        And what you can do with government support right now and maybe next year vs going back on your own changes the cost factor.

        And when they cite fuel efficiency when that has dropped as a factor there is more going on as that is just a drop line.

        At $100 a barrel fuel was a high percentage of operating costs.

        At $30 a barrel that is vastly reduced.

        Boeing and Airbus can only go so low, they still have to make money and setting the bar really low means raising it in the future is almost impossible.

        Another interesting set of variable in play.

        • My comment was an observation that airlines are retiring older aircraft in favor of newer aircraft, while also leaving some new aircraft on order. Deliveries of new aircraft will still take place, have taken place, and those deliveries will displace older aircraft since there is no market growth at present.

          Also we know that airlines have renegotiated the type, volume and price of new acquisitions in light of the current crisis. Thus the above is taking place at lower cost, and will continue to take place at lower cost for some time.

          Therefore the result will be a smaller but newer fleet, as I mentioned. No other outcome is possible.

  16. I think the market showed what are the more efficient frames.. Still I could see Alaska selling of everything non-737-800 and tell Boeing to come back in 5 years, because of the 737 MAX is the 737 MAX & they can do without. If more aircraft are needed at a few 10-15 dirt cheap -800 and overhaul them.

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