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Delta to Lease Southwest/AirTran B717s

The Wall Street Journal has reported that a tentative agreement has been reached between Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines for the lease of 88 Boeing 717s currently operating for Southwest's AirTran subsidiary. ( More...

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Daniel Compton 5
Its great to see them going somewhere other than an Arizona boneyard. I will be sorry to see the 5 sports team painted planes go though, but they probably would eventually under Southwest too. I kind of was looking forward to seeing what a 717 would look like in Southwest colors.
gary stevens 3
What's sad is that these are great planes. DL is still flying ex NW DC9-50's. Had NW been persuaded to buy the 717, a number of years ago, the line might have stayed open. I'm not a pilot, but I'll bet the dispatach reliability of the 717 is pretty good.
AccessAir 1
I totally agree....Boeing was too busy wrangling it out with Airbus and the A320s trying to sell 737s than to put some effort into a deal with Northwest that could have resulted in a HUGE fleet of replacement aircraft for their DC9s...
The switch over from the DC9 to the 717 would have minimal, I am assuming....
JD345 2
The 717 was born at a bad time. Boeing didn't merge with MD to market their planes for them and the 717 just got lost along the way. If the market was a little different, I don't doubt there would have been variants that directly succeeded the MD-80s and competed with the other mainline jets on the market.
David Brooks 1
The B717 (previously known as the MD-95) was carried over during the merger. The MD-80/90 and MD-11 were agreed to end as part of the merger too. MDC's CEO Harry Stonecipher was an advocate of the MD-95. After the merger, Stonecipher became President of The Boeing Company and Phil Condit was Boeing's CEO at the time of merger. Stonecipher was very persuasive and the MD-95 became the B717. Even the long standing logo from Douglas Aircraft company continued to be the Boeing logo.

Your right Jack about it being born at a bad time. It conflicted with the existing Boeing product line (B737s) and Boeing marketing never pushed it. Several B717 pilots I have heard like the B717 flying and handling characteristics.
AccessAir 4
Well at least the 717s wont be going to some 3rd world airline and end up killing people because of shoddy maintenance...
JD345 -1
That's tasteless. You get a thumbs up.
David Brooks 2
I think that the B717s will have a good niche in Delta's fleet. Would hate to see them go to the bone yard so going to Delta is a good thing IMHO.
sparkie624 1
WOW, that is a surprise... Hope they paint them. Should fly real close to the MD88's they already have.
kyle dunst 1
No Bright Blue 717's :(
Bill Menzel 1
I believe that the 717 holds the same type rating as the DC9/MD88. That should work nicely as Delta phases out the aging DC9s they inherited from Northwest.
David Brooks 1
That is correct. The original DC-9-10 is the original type rating and all others work from it. From DC-9-10 series, the -20, -30, -40, -50, -80 (Super 80), -90, -95(B717) series.
Yazoo 0
Does SWA have enough 73's on order to still absorb all the the AirTran 717 pilots? SWA has 150 on order for delivery over a 10 year period. SWA states that the planes, to be delivered from 2012 to 2022, will be used primarily to replace older, less-efficient jetliners, such as 737-300s, many of which were built in the 1980s and '90s. They have 168 737-300's so there is a negative of 18 aircraft before you factor in the 88 717's that they will not take delivery.
AccessAir 1
Actually Air Tran had a like amount of 737s on order from Boeing, and with Southwest blasting away all the niche routes that Air Tran flew with the 717s, yeah, there wouldnt be a problem. I just feel sorry for the mess that Southwest has gotten itself into jumping into delay ridden Atlanta...I guess being an on-time airline doesnt matter to them anymore....
Yazoo 0
It is a different working environment for SWA as they usually prefer to work from the smaller/satellite airports where they can have more control over the flow. Not the case in ATl where you have 140-170 operations an hour. I was interesting to see them change their tune once they starting flying out of ATL. They said they would keep AirTran's 1st class seats, raised fares 2 or 4 different times, and pulled out of 10+/- markets. There is a demand for SWA business model but perhaps not in ATL.
I'm worried more for the AirTran 717 pilots that might get squeezed out of a job.
JD345 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Just kidding.

I like the 717 and it'll be cool to see them around here more often.
concord977 -3
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Delta to take Southwest's 717s

(AP) MINNEAPOLIS - Delta Air Lines (DAL) plans to add 88 Boeing 717s to its fleet, picking up planes that Southwest Airlines (LUV) didn't want anymore.

Delta said it will start leasing the 717s next year as long as its pilots approve a new labor contract, which isn't certain. Also, Southwest said some of the deal's details still need to be worked out.

Delta said it will begin taking three planes a month starting in mid-2013.

With 117 seats, the 717 fills a hard-to-fit niche in Delta's fleet. Delta will use the 717s to replace 50-seat regional jets, which are increasingly unprofitable at higher fuel prices. They'll also replace the DC-9s that Delta got when it bought Northwest. Those planes were similar in size to the Boeing 717, but they are getting close to retirement age. Planes in that size are often used for domestic flying on routes that aren't busy enough to fill a larger Boeing 737. Some of Southwest's 737s seat as many as 143 people.
Brian Bishop 0
Someone please explain to me why the UNION basically has veto power over an airline deciding what kind of equipment to use in their business? I understamd about type ratings, and pay differences for differnt types, etc. etc. I just find it ridiculous that seemingly every BUSINESS decision has to get union approval.
sstuff 1
1) Brian, that’s my question as well. Someone please . . . ?

2) Though I did not see this coming, I am delighted that the DC-9-95s (717s) have found a *good* home. IMHO, both WN and DL have made smart business decisions.
Yazoo 1
It's not a question of veto power. They could still buy the 717's without a contract although the actual pay rates wold have to be agreed upon. The 717 deal is in part based upon the Delta pilots (ALPA) agreeing to the proposed contract because the operating costs that Delta will need over the next 3 years. You base what car, house, and lifestyle you buy/have based upon your projected income and expenses. In a similar manor, Delta's future expenses are greatly affected by a labor contract decision.
s2v8377 -3
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Southwest finds taker for AirTran 717s in Delta

We now know what Southwest intends to do with all of those Boeing 717s it inherited with its purchase of AirTran: lease them to Delta.

The airlines announced today that Delta plans to sublease all 88 of the Boeing 717s in the fleet of Southwest's AirTran's subsidiary.


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