Re: Sunday Ramble-JBR
JBR: "As for Delta taking over the 717s I don't think that is likely. They like new stuff. They got hurt before in buying up distressed equipment. MD90s come to mind."
In fact both DAL and their DNA implant NW have a long good history of buying used unwanted equipment and making it work. (A business plan carried to an even higher level by ALGT:) Delta did cancel their MD90 order years ago when the model had problems; now that the kinks have been worked out and the model orphaned they are buying MD90s from all over the world, updating them, and using them. They now (or soon will) own the majority of MD90 frames in the world. One of my pipe dreams was for AAI to do this rather than buy new 737s.
I also thought at one time AAI could/would specialize in acquiring unwanted 717s from around the world. I think the fly in the ointment for AAI, LUV, and DAL is the costly maintenance of the RR engines. This has already been a factor in driving down the price and utility for this model in the used market. AAI under Joe was shrewd enough to obtain maintenance contracts on these engines but these won't last forever nor apply to additional acquisitions. Another factor for LUV is that it contradicts their One Fleet Type creed. Their statements about integrating the 717s belong in the same bin as their implication of retaining AAI cities.
Bottom line: a deal could be done if all three parties want it, Boeing, DAL and LUV. There is no incentive for anyone to write new engine maintenance guarentees so the price of the frames will have to be discounted to cover this. Boeing's leasing department doesn't want that many parked aircraft; it is in their interest to sacrifice on price and make replacement 738 lift available to LUV. Some of this might-could come from DAL delivery slots. A BIG thing SouthWest could demand out of the deal is what Delta denied to AirTran for so long: more gates on Concourse C! If this is in fact unobtainable I can imagine LUV confining all connecting traffic to the part of C they control, and only useing D gates for planes parking overnight and originating in the A.M.
Ten more day and hopefully I'll be ambulatory!