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blackheart2502

Southwest 737 Blog Post

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Very interesting read Hiram, thanks for the link. I was excited to learn Southwest has left the Ice age and enabled autothrottle, VNAV, and the proper display of new style PFD on their glass cockpits in the NG (instead of making the NG PFD look like a glass guppy 300/500)It means I can relax a little when I simulate Southwest flights in the NGX, instead of forcing myself to downgrade to the older tech look and manual control of the autothrottle that Southwest had until recently made their protocol.My favorite quote from the story:"We won't have to go to someone and say "can you re-program the software to make this look like a [737-200], oh can you disconnect the auto throttles and VNAV we don't use all those things." People would have laughed at us." This article also demonstrates that there are real costs involved with every aspect of an airliner's operations. Heck, some airlines stopped carrying peanuts on board because of the weight costs when added up over the course of a year, so it was no surprise for me to learn that Southwest's modernization scheme on the NG cost them $175 million. It is a reminder to us simmers that the things we take for granted (changing the appearance of cockpit displays, having access to AIRAC SID/STAR info for EVERY airport on the planet) has an impact on the real world airline's bottom line. That is why I appreciate PMDG implementing an airliner option package for the NGX, so that we can use the exact same equipment options that the real world airline chose to pay for, making our simulation that more relevant to real world ops.:(

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I really hope they stay with Boeing for new aircraft...

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I really hope they stay with Boeing for new aircraft...
Not an Airbus kinda guy eh Ryan? JK. biggrin.gif

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I really hope they stay with Boeing for new aircraft...
Are they hinting otherwise?

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Are they hinting otherwise?
Did you read the linked FlightGlobal article?

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Did you read the linked FlightGlobal article?
Yes, maybe I didn't understand it correctly, (I was reading fast), but I didnt really see them talking about AB. Again, maybe I just didn't understand it right.

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Yes, maybe I didn't understand it correctly, (I was reading fast), but I didnt really see them talking about AB. Again, maybe I just didn't understand it right.
Well they mentioned the A320Neo but anyway, when looking for jet transport for between 150-190 SLF then there isn't really much of an option for anything other than Boeing or Airbus, Embraer are too small, bombardier's C-Jet aren't really anywhere on the horizon yet so then there is only the Sukoi Super jet in a year or two, but I don't know if the Americans will take well to Russian jets...

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Ronan, the Sukhoi Super Jet was certified last month and has started flying revenue services with launch customer Armavia. The Super Jet is a 90-100 passenger plane. I think you are referring to the Irkut MS-21 which is supposed to fly in 2015-16. There is also going to be the COMAC C919 from China. The chances of Southwest buying a Chinese or Russian jet are slim to none. They just don't have enough experience building modern airliners. In all honesty the planes are probably fine. Most of the components of the Super Jet aren't made in Russia. If you look at the cabin you can't tell you're not looking at a western made airliner. They use the same interior manufacturer that Embraer does. All modern commercial airliners are international amalgamations now. The main problem in my opinion will be whether or not they can support the product once it's in the field, not whether they can build a great jet.I don't think Southwest will leave Boeing. They are most likely just making noise to try to get Boeing moving. There is nothing out there that will provide the efficiency gains that Southwest wants. If they buy the NEO it would probably cost them more to have a third different fleet of airplanes than it would save them in fuel costs. Bringing on a new fleet type from a manufacturer that you've never done business with before is a massive ordeal. It's not like intergrating Air Tran's 717 fleet. That will be a relatively simple process. Those airplanes already have an established base of pilots, dispatchers, mechanics, instructors and mangaers. They'll get new uniforms, ID, cards and paint the planes. No biggie. Buying Airbus is almost the equivalent of starting a whole new airline. The plane is the polar opposite of the 737 which is the entire culture and knowledge base of all the Southwest employees. It would be extremely expensive. Another reason I think Southwest is just blowing smoke is the VP's comparing the 737 NG to any other jet. He says that since SWA switched to the PFD/ND format and is using atuo throttle and VNAV that it's just any other jet now. The 737 is an anachronism! The whole cockpit other than the avionics has barely been changed since the 737-100 in the mid-1960's. The reason it still looks like a 707 with glass is because of Southwest!!! They insisted when the NG came out that their pilots had to go from the 200 to the 700 with no problem back and forth day to day since they still flew the 200 at the time. Boeing went along with it because they knew Southwest was going to buy a boat load of 700's. Now in 2011 Beoing is still selling an airplane with a museum piece cockpit. Can you just imagine what it would cost an airline the size of Southwest to retrain the whole airline on the Airbus way of doing things? The pilots, mechanics, dispatchers, crew schedulers, fuelers, baggage handlers, lavatory servicers, caterers, etc. All those tens of thousands of employees that are accustomed to efficiently performing their jobs on a 737 would now have to start over. It's absoloutley doable, but teaching thousands of people a whole new airplane leaves room for mistakes that are bound to happen. That's just going to cost more money.Boeing will build a new jet at the end of the decade, and Southwest will buy hundreds of them. There is nothing else out there that is worth the cost of switching. Besides, you KNOW Boeing is going to make it worth their while to wait. Boeing would never let their most important, loyal, gold plated narrowbody customer walk away from them.Hiram Hunt

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Maybe they want to join with Ruinair and court the Chinese and the Russians

In January 2011 it was reported that Ryanair is speaking with Russian and Chinese airplane producers, saying that these alternative manufactures could be a viable option for Ryanair. Possible candidates may include Irkut MS-21 and COMAC C919

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Maybe they want to join with Ryanair and court the Chinese and the Russians
Ryanair won't go with the Chinese or Russians, Airbus perhaps, but I believe they will stay with Boeing, besides they probably won't need anymore than 50-75 aircraft over the next 10-15 years IMHO.

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Yes, maybe I didn't understand it correctly, (I was reading fast), but I didnt really see them talking about AB. Again, maybe I just didn't understand it right.
Southwest hasn't, as far as I'm aware, talked directly about going to another company. However, they have said they can't until 2020 for a new plane (which is the date mentioned for a new plane from Boeing), to replace their 737 classics, and that they don't feel a re-engined will bring them the efficiency increase they are looking for, either. Throw in that they'll have a second fleet of planes once the AirTran 717's are integrated in, which is a huge hurdle that was stopping Soutwhest from looking elsewhere in the past, and I'd say they'll at least consider it a little bit. I don't really think Soutwhest buying Airbus has any chance of happening, but it's something to keep an eye on.

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Southwest hasn't, as far as I'm aware, talked directly about going to another company. However, they have said they can't until 2020 for a new plane (which is the date mentioned for a new plane from Boeing), to replace their 737 classics, and that they don't feel a re-engined will bring them the efficiency increase they are looking for, either. Throw in that they'll have a second fleet of planes once the AirTran 717's are integrated in, which is a huge hurdle that was stopping Soutwhest from looking elsewhere in the past, and I'd say they'll at least consider it a little bit. I don't really think Soutwhest buying Airbus has any chance of happening, but it's something to keep an eye on.
Thank you for the really nice review. That article seemed never-ending. :(

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