On a pu liredepuis des mois quela décision de Boeing, concernant l'évolution de ses MC sera largement dictée par l'avis de ses clients ... (Customer driven)
Eh bien, SouthWest,leur meilleur client ne sait pas ce qu'il veut, et ne formulera pas de demande précise, avant 2012, c'est clair, absorption de Airtran d'abord, et digestion des flottes maintenant multiplies d'abord, aprés on verra !
C'est ce que déclare leur VP OP's, Jeff Martin !
Ce n'est pas SW qui va aider Boeing à prendre une décision cette année, visiblement !
----------------- Repris par Jon Ostrower, FlightGlobal, L'article et le lien ---------------http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/flightblogger/2011/05/southwest-vp-2020-is-too-long.html
top vice president at Boeing's biggest narrowbody customer, Southwest
Airlines, says the end of the decade is "too long to wait" for an
all-new airplane to replace its 737 Classics, but giving the US
airframer an idea of what it wants will have to wait as the carrier
turns its attention to merging with Atlanta-based AirTran Airways.
"We've got fleet of 200 airplanes out there at some point we're going to
have to do something with and we can't wait until 2020," says Southwest
Airlines vice president operations coordination center, Jeff Martin in
regard to the carrier's aging block of 737-300s and -500s.
Martin spoke to ATI on the sidelines of the Air Transport World's Eco-Aviation conference in Washington, DC.
Boeing has said it plans to provide additional clarity at June's Paris
air show on whether it plans to proceed with development of a mid-decade
re-engining of the 737 or proceed with an all-new aircraft with an
entry into service pegged for 2019 or 2020, though direct input from
Southwest, suggests Martin, may not yet available until next 2012 at the
With its recently completed acquisition of AirTran
, Southwest is turning its attention to integrating the two carriers, a departure from its historical methodical organic growth
, which includes - for the first time - seeing if it can operate multiple types for the first time in its history with the introduction of the Boeing 717
along side its 737s.
Martin says the AirTran acquisition has "changed our whole philosophy"
now that Southwest has jumped to a multiple fleets, which "perks up
everybody's ears" eliminating the sole barrier to entry for
manufacturers other than Boeing to sell aircraft to the carrier.
"We're going to manage multiple fleets, but what we're really going to
look at is who can bring us 25% efficiency," he says, adding that a
re-engined 737 Next Generation aircraft won't deliver that benefit over
Southwest's 737 Classics, despite a willingness to look at that option.
"We've squeezed the turnip, there's nothing left in the NG. It now goes
back to the airframe and the engine. We'll look at re-engining, but
we're waiting for someone to tell us what [Boeing is] going to do," says
Martin of the incremental improvement it has sought through technology
updates to its 737s, including having installed winglets on 80% its 737 fleet
"Once we get through AirTran we've got another year's work I think then
we'll come up and start looking around and determine what we're going to
do," he says of selecting a new narrowbody. "Right now, it's all hands
on deck for the integration, but we know we've got a subfleet of
airplanes that we need to address and that's the classics and there's
200 of them."
If Boeing does move forward with an all-new narrowbody to replace the
venerable 737 at the end of the decade, it aims to offer 20% improvement
in fuel efficiency and 10% better cash operating costs over today's
The challenge to the airframer already believes it can deliver 15% fuel
burn improvement with a new engine and a modest investment, but the cost
of advancing fuel efficiency an additional 5% places the development
cost skyrocketing with an all-new jet.Technology Opens The Door
Southwest's $175 million investment to move from round dial displays on the 737-700 flight deck displays to the primary flight display/navigation display (PFD/ND) arrangement
for precision navigation has also allowed the low-cost carrier to
expand its search beyond Boeing for an aircraft to replace the 122-seat
737-500 and 137-seat 737-300.
"From what I had told [CEO Gary Kelly] the automation changes that we're
making on the flight deck and going PFD/ND opens up any fleet type we
want. Not just Boeing, but we understand all cockpits look like this
now," says Martin. "We had placed ourselves on an island flying round
dials without automation, so this will provide us benefit when we go
into the marketplace.
"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."
Though despite this "level playing field" for the Bombardier CSeries
arriving in late 2013, Airbus A320neo first delivering in October 2015
and potentially even an offering from Embraer, the strong relationship
with Boeing, adds Martin, is well intact.
Adding, the need to replace its aging fleet of 737 Classics combined
with Boeing's timing for a new narrowbody may be incompatible for
Southwest, but that has not disqualified its sole aircraft vendor for
the past four decades from the competition.
"We'll give them a shot just like everybody else, main thing is as any
partner you have to communicate with them exactly what you want. Not
sure we have on our side have fully defined that for them."
Exactly what Southwest wants in a new Boeing narrowbody aircraft will
also be guided by the 2012 introduction of the larger 737-800 into the
airline's fleet, a boost of 40 seats over its 737-700. The first 737-800 equipped for extended operations (ETOPS) is set to be delivered to the carrier in March 2012
"We haven't told [Boeing] what size we would want yet, we haven't
defined that yet," says Martin. "So, in their defense it's pretty hard
when the customer says well "we think we want this many seats, we think
we want that many". Well I don't blame them, how do you design to that?
So it goes back to that, we'll know more after we have the -800 in
service for a while."