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Author Topic: What is the best aircraft in the 100-200 pax category?  (Read 875 times)

Offline Andre

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What is the best aircraft in the 100-200 pax category?
« on: September 22, 2012, 09:32:08 PM »
What is the best aircraft in the 100-200 pax category?

Right now I'm operating MD-90-30/ER and B717-200/HGW and a handful of B737-300/400/500. The best solution would be to merge these fleets into one. I've looked at both B737NG and A320 series, but both have pros and cons. The B737NG is a bit cheaper, has versions with larger range, but uses a tad more fuel. The A320 series are more fuel efficient but costs more. Both have long cues. I've also considered waiting for B737MAX or A320neo, but I'm not even sure if they arrive in this game?

The fuel economy of the B737-800 and the A320-200 isn't that much better than the MD-90-30 that I'm already flying. And none of those have any aircraft with less than 120 seats (in standard config). Is it worth spending billions of dollars on merging my three fleets? I know fuel prices will be extremely high in the last part of this game world.

Any suggestions?

Offline Infinity

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Re: What is the best aircraft in the 100-200 pax category?
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2012, 09:49:34 PM »
Well, the MD-90 isn't a half bad, it only has four major disadvantages:
1) It only comes in one size, so the only way to upgauge a route is an additional frequency. 737 and A320 both come in different sizes and can be switched for a larger aircraft without even having to adjust schedules.
2) The MD-90 isn't as sought after as the other types. This has the advantage of it being more readily available now, but it can turn nasty when the production line closes (may or may not happen) and you want to expand your fleet.
3) It has shorter legs than the other types.
4) It is slightly slower than the others.
If these are non-issues to you, the MD-90 might even be the ideal aircraft. Oh, and if I was you, I would replace my 717 and 737Classic fleets anyway, most 717 routes can also be done with an MD-90 and some less dense ones are probably not making enough profit to warrant for an additional fleet type anyway.
The 737NG and the A320 in particular win in about every single category (if only slightly), but they have the problem of not being easy to lay hands on.

Offline EsquireFlyer

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Re: What is the best aircraft in the 100-200 pax category?
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2012, 09:53:23 PM »
In my opinion, the A320 family is the best in this category, because its many variants offer a wide variety of options without adding fleet commonality types. Unlike the 737NGs, whose shrink versions burn just as much fuel as the stretch versions, the A320 family's shrink versions burn less fuel than the larger versions do, making them viable options.

Thus giving you several great options:

A321: Best for making money on big monopoly routes
A320: Best for making money on moderately competitive routes
A319: Best for long, lean routes; can also be a good choice on highly competitive routes
A318: Best for p***ing off 738/739 operators because you can frequency-bomb them and the 737NG family has no viable shrink version to counter with.

The only advantage of the 737NG family is that the 737-700ER can be quite useful for lean routes in the 3000 nm - 5000 nm range, which the A320 family cannot reach.

Offline Andre

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Re: What is the best aircraft in the 100-200 pax category?
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2012, 10:23:08 PM »
Thanks guys, you both have some interesting points.  :)

If I went for A320 family, I could put A318 on the B717 routes (roughly 100 pax routes), and A320/A321 on the MD-90/B737 classic routes.

If I go for B737NG, I'd have the option to fly those thinner longer routes with the B739ER and B737ER, but most likely I'd have to keep the B717 because the B736 isn't any better.

HMMMMMM..... *rubs chin*..

The Bombardier CS series is also very tempting as a replacement for the B717 because of their exceptional fuel efficiency.

Oh.. and do you know if the B737 MAX and A320 neo will be available in this game world?

I tried to see what the delivery schedule would be if I ordered 50 x A318 and 50 x 320. That's 9 years of double fleet commonality costs... dammit.

The preliminary aircraft delivery schedule is following:
Airbus A320-200
First delivery at 30-Jun-2002.
Last delivery at 31-May-2011.
Airbus A318-100
First delivery at 24-Jan-2005.
Last delivery at 10-Jul-2011.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 10:33:55 PM by AndreBue »

Offline Kadachiman

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Re: What is the best aircraft in the 100-200 pax category?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2012, 05:52:08 AM »
Problem is that everyone knows the same thing - A318/319/320/321 family is near unbeatable in this game....hence the long queues.
I like the MD90 for the reason that you can actually get your hands on a decent aircraft in a reasonable time frame.

However I like the Mitsubishi Regional Jets so hopefully they arrive soon.
But I do not know their fuel efficiency, range, etc....I just like the looks of them....lol
I am assuming that being Jap designed and built that they will be competitive.

Offline LemonButt

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Re: What is the best aircraft in the 100-200 pax category?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2012, 02:53:45 PM »
The better question is where are you based?  If you are in the US, the MD-90ER should be enough plane to reach any airport in the continental US.  If you are based in Russia or Australia, it is a different ballgame.

If you are looking to merge 3 fleets into one, your best bet is going to be the MD-90 simply due to availability.  It sounds like you're paying an arm and a leg for commonality costs right now and the slight increase in fuel costs should be offset by a huge decrease in commonality costs.

Offline Andre

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Re: What is the best aircraft in the 100-200 pax category?
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2012, 03:58:21 PM »
I'm based in China, so the MD-90-30ER reaches the furthest corners of the country. So that's not really a problem. I have a fleet of about 170 aircraft now, including 65 x MD-90-30/ER, 33 x B737 classics, and 70 x B717. I'm expecting another 30 x B717.

The Airbus is so hard to get hands on, I don't think flying another aircraft type for 9 years in the transitional period is going to pay off. Same goes with the B737NG.

The B717 has the advantage that it can fly routes with just 60-70 pax demand with a profit. The MD-90 can't do that. So the B717 still has a role in my fleet. I think my plan will be to replace the B737 classics with MD-90s. At least that way I've gotten rid of one fleet type. I also have some An-140 turboprops on order to cover the 30-60 pax routes (which there are plenty of).


Offline Andre

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Re: What is the best aircraft in the 100-200 pax category?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 05:40:14 PM »
I just made an executive decision to order 35 x A320-200 to replace my B737 classics. They'll arrive between 2005 and 2008. I might get some more later. Hopefully I won't regret this.

Offline Infinity

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Re: What is the best aircraft in the 100-200 pax category?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 06:07:18 PM »
Now you have 3 different fleet types for pretty much the same thing. That's bad. You should get that down to one (two at the max if you don't operate anything else for longer routes). Now you are only replacing one fleet with another fleet. That's not gaining you anything, the 737 classics are no bad aircraft. What's gaining you is harmonization of the fleet.

Offline Andre

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Re: What is the best aircraft in the 100-200 pax category?
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 06:25:17 PM »
Now you have 3 different fleet types for pretty much the same thing. That's bad. You should get that down to one (two at the max if you don't operate anything else for longer routes). Now you are only replacing one fleet with another fleet. That's not gaining you anything, the 737 classics are no bad aircraft. What's gaining you is harmonization of the fleet.

I know they're not bad aircraft, but they use 20% more fuel than the Airbus. Also, I can't get hold of 170 Airbuses right away. It will take 15 years of deliveries. So the plan is to start with replacing the fleet that has the fewest aircraft, and that is the B737 classics. Then I'll start slowly replacing the MD-90s. There's also a financial aspect to it.

The only other option is to continue operating MD-90s. And it's not like I'm flying 2 x B717 and, 4 x B737 and 8 x MD-90, I actually have quite a large number of each type.

You don't know the full story either, I had a large fleet of old B727-200adv which I started with 5 game years ago, and to be able to replace them fast enough when the fuel costs boomed, getting MD-90s wasn't enough (because of the delivery line), I had to get another more modern type. The B727-200adv were barely breaking even because of the fuel. So the B737 classics are a temporary solution.

 

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