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Author Topic: any practical advantage of 737NG vs 737 Classic?  (Read 1204 times)

Offline Andriy

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any practical advantage of 737NG vs 737 Classic?
« on: March 13, 2012, 04:17:29 PM »
I am running a large fleet of 737-400s and considering if I should replace them with NGs. There seems to be a lot of general comments around that "cant survive with 737 Classic", but so far I failed to see what would be the meaningful advantages of NG

(comparing "base" models)
-- 737-400 consumes 16% more fuel compared to 737-800. My -400s spend currently in the range from $200 to 300k on fuel per week with fuel price ~750. The fuel economy on -800 thus would be $30-45k max per week at current fuel prices, at 1000 it would be in the range from $40-60k/week 

-- Monthly lease for -800 is $852k vs $633k for -400, which would give you ~$55k saving per week on -400. That would basically offset any higher fuel consumption for the price of up 1000. Even at 1200-1300, the net gain for -800 would not be more than $10-20k per week at best

-- -800s have about 5% higher speed that could give you some extra 40-60 min per day but I wonder how this could be "qunatified" into a real advantage - this would not be enough for extra flight a day and flying simply slighly longer routes would not bring youthing materially better

-- IRL, passangers would probably opt for a more modern aircraft, but in AWS they dont seem to bother:)

-- On the other side, you can get new -400s much faster into your fleet. There is ~50 Classic's on order while more than 1000 NG's

Any different opinions?


Online schro

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Re: any practical advantage of 737NG vs 737 Classic?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2012, 07:31:23 PM »
I'm generally a fan of using the older but economically viable planes as they are easier and cheaper to acquire than the latest and greatest. One thing your fuel calculation didn't consider was speed - fuel burn is given as rate per hour, so if the plane takes longer to fly there (as a result of a slower cruise speed), then that means fuel economy is actually worse (i.e. in a situation where the fuel burn per hour is the same, the slower plane actually burns more fuel per identical trip).  Of course, that example can also be mitigated depending on how you utilize the fleet - if you're doing tons of short hops, speed and fuel burn are a bit less relevant as the plane will spend its life getting turned for the  next flight.

I fully disagree with the "can't survive with the 737 Classic" comments, as the 734 especially has very good cost per seat economics, especially for the lease rate/purchase price they are offered at. The only true advantage in my mind to the 738 is commonality with the 739, which eats most other plane's per seat economics for lunch.

Actually, IRL,  passengers usually can't tell how old a plane is. I hear comments on DC9's and MD88's all the time about how "big" and "new" looking the plane is, when its easily 30+ years old (in the D95's case), yet the newer planes with beatup interiors feel older to general pax.

L1011fan

  • Former member
Re: any practical advantage of 737NG vs 737 Classic?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2012, 04:31:05 AM »
I'm generally a fan of using the older but economically viable planes as they are easier and cheaper to acquire than the latest and greatest. One thing your fuel calculation didn't consider was speed - fuel burn is given as rate per hour, so if the plane takes longer to fly there (as a result of a slower cruise speed), then that means fuel economy is actually worse (i.e. in a situation where the fuel burn per hour is the same, the slower plane actually burns more fuel per identical trip).  Of course, that example can also be mitigated depending on how you utilize the fleet - if you're doing tons of short hops, speed and fuel burn are a bit less relevant as the plane will spend its life getting turned for the  next flight.

I fully disagree with the "can't survive with the 737 Classic" comments, as the 734 especially has very good cost per seat economics, especially for the lease rate/purchase price they are offered at. The only true advantage in my mind to the 738 is commonality with the 739, which eats most other plane's per seat economics for lunch.

Actually, IRL,  passengers usually can't tell how old a plane is. I hear comments on DC9's and MD88's all the time about how "big" and "new" looking the plane is, when its easily 30+ years old (in the D95's case), yet the newer planes with beatup interiors feel older to general pax.

Agreed!

thange

  • Former member
Re: any practical advantage of 737NG vs 737 Classic?
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2012, 11:16:38 AM »
Another +1 on schro's post

Offline knobbygb

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Re: any practical advantage of 737NG vs 737 Classic?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2012, 12:38:34 PM »
One other thing you may not have considered are the maintenance costs.

There is currently an 8yr old -800 for sale and, comparing that with an 8yr old -400 (both in good condition and with several years to D-Check) the -400 is around 25% more expensive to maintain.  The yearly total for the -400 is $1,780,000 vs $1,329,000 for the -800.  This equates to an extra $37k per month for the -400.  Not a huge amount, and it still makes the -400 cheaper, but just something else to consider.

If you compare a brand-new -800 with the 8yr old -400 it comes in at $1,116,000 vs $1,780,000 and so the old -400 is 59% more expensive to maintain - an extra $56k per month.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 12:41:36 PM by knobbygb »

Offline Meicci

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Re: any practical advantage of 737NG vs 737 Classic?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2012, 03:47:17 PM »
The only true advantage in my mind to the 738 is commonality with the 739, which eats most other plane's per seat economics for lunch.

I have to disagree with that. Why is the 739 so much better than 738 in your mind? Default seating is higher in 739, but both have a maximum capacity of 189 seats.

Offline alexgv1

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Re: any practical advantage of 737NG vs 737 Classic?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2012, 04:15:37 PM »
I have to disagree with that. Why is the 739 so much better than 738 in your mind? Default seating is higher in 739, but both have a maximum capacity of 189 seats.

Don't forget the -900ER!
CEO of South Where Airlines (SWA|WH)

Offline Meicci

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Re: any practical advantage of 737NG vs 737 Classic?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2012, 04:25:35 PM »
Don't forget the -900ER!

Wow :o

I didn't even realize how big that thing is..

Offline alexgv1

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Re: any practical advantage of 737NG vs 737 Classic?
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2012, 04:31:00 PM »
Yeah they added another emergency exit to take the capacity up to 215 maximum. A longer wait but everything that the 737-900 should have been  8)
CEO of South Where Airlines (SWA|WH)

Online schro

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Re: any practical advantage of 737NG vs 737 Classic?
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2012, 05:00:58 PM »
I have to disagree with that. Why is the 739 so much better than 738 in your mind? Default seating is higher in 739, but both have a maximum capacity of 189 seats.

When I say 739, I mean the non-gimped version, aka the 739ER referenced by Alex.

Offline jejudo

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Re: any practical advantage of 737NG vs 737 Classic?
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2012, 09:28:53 PM »
Why is the default seating on the 737-900ER 162 pax, even though you can configure it to be 186 pax without affecting the seat quality (still 'Good')?

 

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