Time To Retire The MD80s….

On May 6, 2010, in Uncategorized, by admin

…American. With all of the turmoil in the airline industry these days, it would seem there is little room for error when it comes to airline operations. This comes to you from 32,000 feet, somewhere above West Texas. Technology is a good thing. That is precisely why it is time for American Airlines to retire its entire fleet of 350 or so MD 80 aircraft. Yes this plane was/is a workhorse, and yes American has a bunch. But the aging of these planes, combined with their incredible fuel inefficiency, and high maintenance costs has to make this a cash bleeder for American. I am sitting on my third MD80 tonight, a product of a 4 hour departure delay from Dallas in a normally routine flight to Las Vegas. Two planes had to be taken out of service….four hours delay (time is money), free drinks for all aboard; the costs go on and on. And while this may be quite the unusual case, I have been on many MD 80s with maintenance delays with few taken out of service. I am not certain what the financial analysts are doing at AA, but it appears they are not analyzing this issue close enough. Combine those costs with the incredible loss of good will on a flight like this, and you have total financial failure. I know new planes are costly, but the payback when comparing to these old bags has to be fairly quick for such a big ticket item. Let us also remember that these planes have been out of production for years. Costs to support them will just continue to grow exponentially. AA states they have a replacement plan in place; the pace of this has varied with the tough market for airlines.

I think American needs to take a hard look again. As capacity continues to shrink, it better first come from sending an MD80 tot he Arizona desert…..and then, it is time to lay of the rest of the MD80s, and move to something new and efficient.

Grab you bag, its not on!

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