Empty 757's and lots of MD-90's. Fuel costs, anyone?

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by Mike Reed, May 8, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    This week seems to be a 757 week for me. 757 on AA from DFW-STL, 757 on DL from STL-ATL, and now a half empty 757 from ATL to MCI. 96 open seats on the bird, 13 open up front. Sure, it's a positioning flight to have her in MCI overnight for a full flight back to ATL in the morning, but it's a big bird to spend the fuel on... :)

    That plus all the MD-90's DL has... what's the strategy to drive down fuel costs? The newest Sky magazine has the CEO looking for a 2% fuel use reduction per year, but that doesn't seem like much (and is probably saved through aggressively but safely low fuel loads per flight).

    AA is doing the fleet redevelopment. Delta says they're ordering some 737-900's. Anything else I'm missing to help their fuel situation (other than buying a refinery)?
     
  2. USAF_Pride
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    USAF_Pride Gold Member

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    Jeff just sold $1.9M in stock. He is getting while the getting is good.
     
  3. MSPeconomist
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    How much stock does he still have? Options?
     
  4. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    The MD-90's are actually relatively fuel efficient, at least compared to the MD-80's. I believe its mostly due to the difference in engines. The MD-90's IAE V2500 engines are the same engines that are on the current generation A320s, while the MD-80s use old JT8D's.

    But yeah, no clue on why they're flying half-empty 757s.
     
  5. USAF_Pride
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    USAF_Pride Gold Member

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    Does anyone know the minimum # of passengers to break even with a 75? GRR has received 75's from time to time when flights have been cancelled out of DTW/MSP to GRR. The flights come in full, but leave with the equivalent MD/DC/A319/20 loads. I assume these flights are still profitable, just not as much as they could be. (or it was cheaper to fly the plane than over night people.)
     
  6. MSPeconomist
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    I haven't seen empty seats on a DL domestic flight since about January except for two CRJ-200s.
     
  7. MSPeconomist
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    I would guess that at a small outstation like GRR, more than half of the passengers would be locals. This, and families sharing rooms, might mean that they would only need to provide about one third as many rooms as there were passengers on the cancelled flight, even assuming that no one can be reaccommodated on another flight that day.
     
  8. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    Exactly. I don't think a couple of sample flights on one day by one guy among thousands of daily flights represents a real picture of reality.

    Delta had a great Q1 compare to most other US airlines and they have older planes than the ones mentioned above. DC9s and MD80s come to mind and the almost worn out 320s from NWA. The 757s and MD90s are actually good airplanes, as you know 757s are being kept longer at both UA and AA, and both of those airlines had a lot worse Q1s this year. (over all, I think every airline in the US, except AA will make money over all this year. Q1 is always the weakest.

    So fact: almost 80% of all seats on all Delta flights in Q1'were filled. The complete report here: http://news.delta.com/index.php?s=43&item=1593
     
  9. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    I'm not downing Delta - I was just as surprised as the crew was. Either the 757 was swapped in because something else was out of service, or there was a heavier load the next morning from MCI to wherever it went next (SLC, ATL, CVG, etc.).
     
  10. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Was there a special event? Sending the 757 to solve a MX IROPs situation sounds unnecessarily expensive, especially since it would then be used not just for the one flight but for several more until it can be swapped back for a smaller plane in the schedule.
     
  11. enichols22124

    enichols22124 Silver Member

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    Sounds like picking up for a much longer flight and either getting in position or got a price special on parking it there?

    I'm guessing. I was picked up in Austin in an International Class of plane just to hop to Dallas, but it was because they used it instead of a smaller plane, and the Dallas to Madrid flight was the real reason it was headed there, I was just a pickup flight of some sort.

    But in general, I also haven't seen an empty seat this year, every Delta flight has said they were overbooked while we were at the gate. Today, it seems impossible to be able to get on standby and have any hope of a flight in some regions. Maybe smaller areas are different, but I don't travel out of a particularly large airport, and it's always full and overbooked.
     
  12. MSPeconomist
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    With PMNW, I once flew ORD-MSP on a 747. It was a Friday afternoon when smaller planes on this route were all cancelled due to extremely strong cross winds. NW pulled their reserve old 747 from the hangar at MSP and sent it down to fetch us, so that people could get home for the weekend. My upgrade was preserved and I was assigned to the upper deck, which involved a curved staircase and a very old-fashioned chandelier, plus tiny overhead bins. Lots of credit to the airline for creative problem solving for this one.
     
  13. misman
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    misman Gold Member

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  14. United747&777Expert

    United747&777Expert Silver Member

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    They do that all the time with 777s in Asia, like PEK-ICN, too many people & strong winds
     

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