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Author Topic: Old aircraft vs new aircraft  (Read 3238 times)

Offline Andre

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Old aircraft vs new aircraft
« on: October 19, 2012, 02:14:26 PM »
I have a question that I haven't quite figured out:

- Does aircraft age have anything to say for pax preferance?
- Do old aircraft use more fuel than a new aircraft of the same type?
- What other factors than increasing maintenance costs indicate that you should replace an old aircraft with a new one?
- At which age should you start replacing your aircraft? 20 years?

Offline schro

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Re: Old aircraft vs new aircraft
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2012, 02:26:23 PM »
1. My understanding is that plane age is one of the factors considered in pax preference, but I don't think that it is very significant in the grand scheme of things compared to other variables.

2. No.

3. Escalating maintenance costs tends to be the main reason to replace an aircraft. There is also a hard limit of 35 years within the game that you will be told that your plane is getting too old to fly. While I disagree with this in the case of the DC-9, cycle/hour limits have not been factored into the lifespan of the plane (and my related feature request got slapped with a [-]).

4. I would say this depends on whether the planes are leased or owned and whether you are in an expansion or maintenance with your airline. If you are still expanding, it will probably be more beneficial to fly the paint off of any plane you can get until it starts to significantly impact your bottom line. Then you'll usually hit a phase where you are cutting costs and working through the hanger queens to improve your bottom line, so your deliveries will go towards replacing the older planes rather than expansion.  As for the lease vs own side of things, I usually aim to replace most leased planes by the time they are in their early 20's, mostly driven by D check timing - while I'll usually pay for an 8-12 year D check, if you go much past that the price goes up to the point you're better off just replacing it with another slightly newer one from the used market. For owned planes, I'll usually fly them until the first D check in their 20's and then park them out on the market to collect dust.

Curse

  • Former member
Re: Old aircraft vs new aircraft
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2012, 02:44:06 PM »
I have no fear doing 16+ year D-Check on leased widebody aircraft like DC-10 if I know I will use them another 4 years. Usually my used market slots are full, so I can't go there and easily replace 2-3 aircraft per week.

As schro mentioned you should stop doing this when you have ended your fast expansion.


However, I would never throw out an aircraft I could somehow utilize due to a 8-16 year D-Check as long as my airline isn't nearly out of cash. Old aircraft still make money and 10 Million D-Check costs plus 15 Million lost sales in 80 days are flown in soon again by an aircraft that makes 1-2 Million per week.

Offline Andre

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Re: Old aircraft vs new aircraft
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2012, 02:50:45 PM »
Thanks for the answers guys. I have a follow-up question:

- Does aircraft age have anything to say for your company image?

Curse

  • Former member
Re: Old aircraft vs new aircraft
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2012, 03:18:00 PM »
At least not this big you'll notice.

Talentz

  • Former member
Re: Old aircraft vs new aircraft
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2012, 05:49:03 PM »
Hmm... must have been JA3...

I flew my Britannia's till the end of the game (from the start). Some were in the high 20s as far as age. Maint was higher then a normal airline... but I had owned them since the early years of the game. Since I bought them, 20+ years of no lease payment really adds up over time. The profits gained over time made D checks seem like a bargain. Some of those aircraft went through 3 D checks too.

Benefits of ownership make older aircraft attractive despite popular opinion. The game's (different) mechanics don't have a big enough negative effect on very old aircraft, so it becomes a question of cost trend over time.

Now, if your leasing... that's a different game. If you can replace an aircraft as the lease ends, it's probably best if you did. A 20+ yr aircraft is about 3x maint cost vs a new one(of same type).

At that point, new aircraft have a lower cost trend over time vs leased, older ones.


Hope that helps.


Talentz

Jona L.

  • Former member
Re: Old aircraft vs new aircraft
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2012, 04:31:17 PM »
Monthly leasing rate is always about 1/80 of sale price (0.0125x sale price) so in other words, after 80 months (6yrs 8mths) you paid the money you'd have spent buying it. To think further: operating a plane for 20yrs on lease, you paid it 3x !

Just as a hint towards the buy/lease question that came up subliminally. So, if you have the cash to buy an aircraft (and you don't need 20 instead for expansion) and you want to operate it for more than 7yrs, buy it. Including lease out income till scrapping age (15yrs) + the 25% of remaining value for scrapping, you save the price of the new a/c about 3-4 times.


To get back on the initial topic: I tend to replace a/c over 10yrs with newer ones (except, if mentioned by others above, I am in expansion), but that is eyecandy :P

cheers,
Jona L.

Offline FlyTO

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Re: Old aircraft vs new aircraft
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2012, 07:39:57 PM »
Yep I also like replacing old aircrafts with shiny new ones because it's a preference thing and much easier using the same fleet type. It's a personal preference thing.

The old aircrafts are leased out to others in need while I replace them in my fleet with new deliveries.

At the starting stage you will be leasing more than buying for expansion, but once you're pretty much done filling all your demand and have cash, buying is the better investment.

Offline Andre

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Re: Old aircraft vs new aircraft
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2012, 12:45:27 PM »
I wish Sami would make pax preferance matter more than it does now. That newer aircraft would attract more pax than an old aircraft. It would be another incentive for switching out the fleet. Another way to do it is linking aircraft fleet age with company image. I don't know if that's done now.

Offline schro

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Re: Old aircraft vs new aircraft
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2012, 01:38:24 PM »
I wish Sami would make pax preferance matter more than it does now. That newer aircraft would attract more pax than an old aircraft. It would be another incentive for switching out the fleet. Another way to do it is linking aircraft fleet age with company image. I don't know if that's done now.

Sorry, but I strongly disagree with linking pax preference to age of aircraft. Pax only care what the interior condition of the plane is and judge age based upon this. I have been on 35+ year old DC9's numerous times in the past year listening to people as their boarding talking about how "big" the plane is and how "new" it is, probably in reference to the blight of CRJ-200's flying the nation's skys.

In Delta's case, I would argue that their current MD88 interiors (a fleet type that is 20-24 years old) are in far better shape than their 73W fleet (which average 3 years old). They have nicer seats, winged headrests, LED lights in the PSU, etc.

Of course, interior condition isn't a factor here in AWS, but it is the driving passenger preference as most don't know that the plane that they're flying on them is old enough to drink (until I tell them).

Offline Andre

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Re: Old aircraft vs new aircraft
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2012, 03:12:31 PM »
Sorry, but I strongly disagree with linking pax preference to age of aircraft. Pax only care what the interior condition of the plane is and judge age based upon this. I have been on 35+ year old DC9's numerous times in the past year listening to people as their boarding talking about how "big" the plane is and how "new" it is, probably in reference to the blight of CRJ-200's flying the nation's skys.

In Delta's case, I would argue that their current MD88 interiors (a fleet type that is 20-24 years old) are in far better shape than their 73W fleet (which average 3 years old). They have nicer seats, winged headrests, LED lights in the PSU, etc.

Of course, interior condition isn't a factor here in AWS, but it is the driving passenger preference as most don't know that the plane that they're flying on them is old enough to drink (until I tell them).

"Pax only care what the interior condition of the plane is and judge age based upon this" simply isn't true where I come from (Norway). People are very much aware of which companies have the oldest fleet, and what kind of aircraft they're flying. I think there are several reasons for this. One is that the aviation market is much smaller. There are two main competitors, Scandinavian Airlines Norge (SAS) and Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian).

The other reason is that people seem much more interested in environmental effects of air travel, and airlines flying more environmentally friendly aircraft are seemingly more popular (at least that's how the media projects it). The fact is that the two main competitors both fly B737NG and B737 classics, but Norwegian is phasing out their old B737 classics faster which makes their average fleet age younger.

There are many factors that determine an airline's popularity in real life. Prices, service, routes.. even a charismatic CEO has an effect (impossible to model in AWS.. hehe) . In my opinion, aircraft age should matter more in AWS than it does.

We simply don't agree, which is fine.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 03:16:43 PM by Andre B »

Offline Infinity

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Re: Old aircraft vs new aircraft
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2012, 08:42:29 PM »
Well you gotta take into account, in the US people don't always have a choice. The country is so vast and there are just a ton of minor cities with only one regional airline servicing them, and even cities with mainline service frequently have very little choice, so they just got to take these old crapheaps AA and DL are flying around the country.

Offline schro

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Re: Old aircraft vs new aircraft
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2012, 08:46:58 PM »
Well you gotta take into account, in the US people don't always have a choice. The country is so vast and there are just a ton of minor cities with only one regional airline servicing them, and even cities with mainline service frequently have very little choice, so they just got to take these old crapheaps AA and DL are flying around the country.

I can't speak for AA, but have you at least personally experienced the onboard product that DL offers on their so-called "crapheaps"? I bet you'd be rather surprised how nice the 80's vintage 757s and MD88's are on this side of the pond.

Curse

  • Former member
Re: Old aircraft vs new aircraft
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2012, 08:53:10 PM »
Personally I'd always prefer a good maintained very old aircraft from, let's say Lufthansa, over some manufacturer new aircraft from some 3rd world airline like, let's say Air France.

After D-Check an aircraft is basically new, so an 16.5 year old aircraft might be superior to one that's 7.5 years old. I don't think many airlines will put old entertainment equipment etc. back in the aircraft after such a major overhaul.



Also, most customers don't care about such things. They don't even know the difference between Boeing and Airbus, widebody and narrowbody. Most likeley they even don't care about airline reputation as long as they aren't frequent flyers.


It's like the guys in computer forums always are confused most people don't care about AMD or nVidia. Joe Random just want to reach his destination.

Offline Andre

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Re: Old aircraft vs new aircraft
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2012, 08:58:11 PM »
Personally I love the old DC-9s and MD-80s. My dad used to pilot them when I was younger, and it was very sentimental to see the last DC-9 being phased out. Now SAS is getting rid of their MD-80s too, many of them have been taken over by Allegiant Air I think. Aircraft sold by SAS are very popular on the used markets because of the good condition they're in, since SAS has had maintenance on them more often than the regulations say.

(Sorry for my crap english btw, just hoping people understand what i mean.)

Troxartas86

  • Former member
Re: Old aircraft vs new aircraft
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2012, 06:58:51 PM »
The last two planes I flew on were both older Southwest 737s. The first one was 27 years old and close to retirement and it was pretty obvious to everyone on board. The return trip was on a plane that looked very new but turned out to be nearly 17 years old when I ran the tail number. It's all about perception. I haven't been on any of those ancient MD-80s you still see all over the US recently but I hear most of them look great inside. Outside, not so much what with all the smoke and dark stains around the engines, especially noticeable on American Airlines jets due to the paint scheme.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 07:00:53 PM by Troxartas86 »

Name_Omitted

  • Former member
Re: Old aircraft vs new aircraft
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2013, 11:24:30 PM »
How much will a D Check restore a aircraft's maintenance level?  I am looking at the used market and seeing some pretty inexpensive aircraft with D Checks a few years out, and with pretty low levels of maintenance.  I am considering buying the aircraft and putting it in D immediately, and wounding what I would be purchasing at the end of the day.

brique

  • Former member
Re: Old aircraft vs new aircraft
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2013, 04:34:13 AM »
D-check returns an aircraft to 100%, as its a total strip/repair/re-build. Add the cost of the D-check to the purchase price and see how that compares to a similar aged aircraft with 100% condition : that's the basic way to do it : of course, your aircraft will still be better for the fresh 8yr of D-check it will have. I've certainly done this with a radically under-priced low-maint% aircraft from the market, saved a reasonable sum and got what was effectively a new aircraft for it.

In the end, the 'worth' of an aircraft, and how much money its worth spending to buy and in bringing it up to scratch, is subjective : if its a 'rare' type and you need more to expand or consolidate your fleet, that's a different incentive to when its just another bog-standard type with dozens on the market each month.


Offline schro

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Re: Old aircraft vs new aircraft
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2013, 02:18:44 AM »
How much will a D Check restore a aircraft's maintenance level?  I am looking at the used market and seeing some pretty inexpensive aircraft with D Checks a few years out, and with pretty low levels of maintenance.  I am considering buying the aircraft and putting it in D immediately, and wounding what I would be purchasing at the end of the day.

Honestly, restoring the plane to 85-90% should be sufficient and require at most a C check to be included with it (and in many cases, just a B check and 2-7 days in the shop). Once your condition is into the 80% range, it will fluctuate through a level high enough to avoid any game penalties for having too low condition. Restoring to 100% requires the D check, is expensive, and takes forever - simply not worth it.

ReedME

  • Former member
Re: Old aircraft vs new aircraft
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2013, 05:09:05 AM »
I think what Name_Omitted was saying is that if he sees one of those cheapboxes with D check 2.3 years away on the market would it be better to D check it straight away to bring it up from 60%.

To which, I believe you should in that situation. You're going to be spending the money in 2 years anyway especially if its insanely cheaper than its worth like most these days.

 

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