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Author Topic: MD90?  (Read 410 times)

Offline rntair

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MD90?
« on: November 12, 2016, 09:30:16 PM »
I've always had a thing for the (in my view) stunning MD90. Taking my attraction into AirwaySim, I began an experiment where I leased 12 used MD-90-55s, between 9 and 15 years old. My experience has been quite positive...

I only configure my aircraft with Premium Economy seats, so I chose the largest MD-90-55 to be my test subject. It can hold 124 premium economy seats, 12 more than the other MD90 variants. The rest of my fleet is composed of 737-900s carrying 135 passengers.

I am making a lot more money with the MD-90 than the 737 on the same routes. In my case, this works because the lower lease price outweighs the higher fuel consumption. This might not work for everyone however.

Has anyone ever run a large airline successfully using primarily MD90s? I hope to do that in the next game world I join.

Thanks!
"Check out my route map"

CEO of the Viva Group

Offline schro

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Re: MD90?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2016, 10:10:16 PM »
I currently operate a small regional airline with over 900 MD90-55s and they are doing just fine for me.

Offline Vebbe

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Re: MD90?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2016, 10:18:07 PM »
I currently operate a small regional airline with over 900 MD90-55s and they are doing just fine for me.

That feels like something else than a "small regional airline"  ;D
First introduced to AWS in 2009, still working on how to build an airline.

Offline rntair

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Re: MD90?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2016, 11:09:11 PM »
That feels like something else than a "small regional airline"  ;D

The MD-90 also gets an added bonus- you can operate 717s as regional jets without adding another fleet type. And the range is just enough you can do transatlantic flights from Boston or Montreal with a slight payload reduction.
"Check out my route map"

CEO of the Viva Group

Offline rntair

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Re: MD90?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2016, 11:09:53 PM »
I currently operate a small regional airline with over 900 MD90-55s and they are doing just fine for me.

How well do they compete with newer 737 NGs and A318/19/20/21?
"Check out my route map"

CEO of the Viva Group

Offline wapp11

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Re: MD90?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2016, 11:15:27 PM »
I'm in GW2, bouncing between 4th and 15th on airline score. Also have a fleet of 767s.

Offline schro

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Re: MD90?
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2016, 01:20:48 AM »
That feels like something else than a "small regional airline"  ;D

* schro coughs

33.1 billion in revenue for the past quarter. Second place is at 19.5 billion. So, not quite double ;-)

How well do they compete with newer 737 NGs and A318/19/20/21?

The MD90-30/50's are somewhat between the economics of the 737-classics and 737NGs (thus, also a bit worse than the A32x's as well). The MD90's are limited on the top end with the -55 being the largest, realistically carrying about 165 passengers (depending on your C/Y mix), whereas the 739/321's get much closer to 200 passengers. Operating costs of the -55 are on par with the 321-200, but carries a few fewer passengers. The 321neo uses about 10% less fuel and is even larger in comparison. The MD90's also do not have a NEO/Max engine option later in the game, sot hat can be frustrating. Having the 717 as an option for highly competitive routes where you'll be lucky to sell 100 seats is also great as its costs are far lower than operating an A320-200 on the same route.

Pricing is where things really hit home. A new A321neo in GW3 is priced at 170-175m, a 320neo at 145-149m, but a MD-90-55 is at 112m. 737-Max8's are at 147m, Max9's at 157m.

At the end of the day, they're "close enough for hand grenades" when compared to the 737NG and A32x planes in my book to be able to treat them as equals. As they're less popular, they're also a bit easier to get ahold of...

Offline gazzz0x2z

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Re: MD90?
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2016, 08:22:24 AM »
(.../...)
Pricing is where things really hit home. A new A321neo in GW3 is priced at 170-175m, a 320neo at 145-149m, but a MD-90-55 is at 112m. 737-Max8's are at 147m, Max9's at 157m.
(.../...)

This.

This is the main thing, often overlooked by so many players. When you aim for a purchased fleet, it's a big difference. And when you lease, it's the difference between life and death. Unlike Schro, I'm really playing regional, so I'll illustrate with another airplane, the A148, I'm usually the only one to use in big numbers(Had 600 in a previous game, nearly 500 that one)

I often begin regional lines in 1995 with CRJs. Good planes, but costly. The 100/200 models make sense early in the game, but as the 2000s are advancing, they're getting too costly per seat. So the logical step is to upgrade to 700s, and, later, to 900s. But it's a costly step. In this era, it's common to see a CRJ700 priced new at 35, or even 40M$. For a 68 seater. While a A148 with 2 more seats and quicker to fly can be bought, in the same era, for 15M$.

I know, I know, the A148 costs 13% more in fuel, weighs 17% more(with impact upon airport & flight costs), and costs double in maintenance and commonality. And? When you reach that level, a common limit when you play medium-sized airports, of 8-10M$ of weekly profit, You can perfectly order bought A148 in an endless line of order. While with CRJs, either you have to slow down, or lease half of them. Lease. Lease a very costly plane. For a limited profitability. The difference between both is ultimately paying 120k$ per week of lease, or 12k$ of depreciation(without even the cash flow drain). Even if the CRJ spares you 3 k$ in maintenance, 15k$ in route fees, 22 k$ in fuel costs, and trinkets in commonality(compensated by insurance), you're still 60/70 k$ more costly overall than the A148.

This on a market where margins are low. My typical A148 makes 400k$ of apparent profit per week. Take off the personal costs(a bummer in the USA), the taxes, and I'm more around 150k$ of real profit per bird. Which would reduce to 110k$ with a leased CRJ700(deducting taxes here too). That's nearly one third of extra margin. When suddenly oppositoin decides to lead a price war, this can be the difference between life and death.

I've also seen an alliance fellow member die because he was flying leased, new 777 on transatlantic routes, against old A310. He had no chance, and when I saw it, it was too late for him to restructure.

In current GW3, I've bought countless A321neos for filling the used market. Companies who bought them are still alive. Companies who leased them all died. It's not random. Leasing old crap works wonders - but needs a lot of your time, and you are limited in size. Leasing shining new, popular planes, is plain suicide. Not that much for crappy families, paradoxally. Leasing an A148 is not that much costlier than buying them(though it's still better).

All that to say, that once your drowning under money, you can afford the best money can buy. Until then, better weigh carefully your options, and suboptimal but cheaper planes are often an excellent strategy(MD90, J928, A148, A330, even A310 in some situations, A140...). In current GW3, I went Long haul with 16B$ cash in reserve, 25 years after the game began. I could afford to buy 777-9X, Rolls-Royce of UHL, riskless. But it's typically the kind of plane that is insta-suicide when you lease new. You just cannot make money with such a plane when leased. It's already 10 years of RoI when bough in packs of 49.

Note that in the late 2010s, I also switched to 737-MAX for my single aisle fleet. I was interested in C919 for the same reasons, but my position offered countless 3000/4000NM unopposed routes with 120/150 demand, and this market is always nice to fill. And only MAXes make money on those lines. Not as much as shorter lines, but it's a good complement to the other lines. Plus, I've got a few lines where, due to slot limitations, 200-seaters are all full. A 150-seater like the C919 would not make as much money on those few, but precious routes. 2 of my MAX9 make 3.9M$ of gross profit per week on those lines. Even taking off staff cost & taxes, it's still 2.4M$ per week. For a 150M$ bird. C919s would simply not make as much, by far, due to smaller size. But a newcomer with limited money could do very nice things with those cheap birds. In the 2020s, it's just better than a MD90-50 in nearly everything(but range) : 20% fuel spared, 10% maintenance, nearly 30% cheaper to lease/buy, etc..... If you don't have very, very juicy short-range lines, then you don't need the MD90. Go C919 instead. And the very-long range lines are to do later in your game, when all SR options are already used. So if you begin in the 2020s, you don't care.

 

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