Brussels Airlines' fleet renewal

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TUB023

Re: Replacement of SN's Avro RJ and B737 fleet

Post by TUB023 » 23 Jul 2010, 23:24

from what i've heard today, and this is just a 'rumour' i DO NOT know this for certain, it would be airbusses

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tolipanebas
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Re: Replacement of SN's Avro RJ and B737 fleet

Post by tolipanebas » 23 Jul 2010, 23:29

That's the rumour indeed, but that is obviously not really related to the full fleet renewal of the RJ fleet.
It's just something that (might) happen almost simultaneously to it as SN feels the need for some up-to-standard 150 seaters... Fingers crossed for our first A320! ;-)

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RoMax
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Re: Replacement of SN's Avro RJ and B737 fleet

Post by RoMax » 24 Jul 2010, 11:53

Airbus could be a replacement for the RJ's leaving the fleet this year. SN could get them faster than brand new aircraft and (but that's my opinion) I actually see SN with a bigger A32S fleet than they have now combined B737 and A319 (9 B737 and 5 A319 = 14). So not only replacement of the 737's by A32S but also some extra. But that's my feeling about it. :P

Well after your explenation about the E195, I aggree. If they choose E-jets (with I think is a very high possebility) it should be E170 and E195.

About the Cseries, the leasing contracts could be solved. That wouldn't be the biggest problem (I think BAe would be happy with SN still wanting their RJ's).
The CS100 could have a future with SN, as it has the same capacity as the E195. So ok, Cseries could be a good possebility too.
But what about the 70-80 seater than. Bombardier has the Q400 (78 seats maximum), could be used for the short routes (btw, it's faster than the ATR's)but I don't see SN operating Q400's to BUD, WAW... So wouldn't that make the CRJ700 a better choice if they go for Bombardier? I don't know the comfort on CRJ700's, but I've flown Zagreb-Zadar (domestic flight in Croatia) with a brand new Q400 of Croatia Airlines and that was a nice aircraft for such a 45min flight, but I wouldn't like to be on that Q400 for 2hours or more.

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Re: Replacement of SN's Avro RJ and B737 fleet

Post by Air Key West » 24 Jul 2010, 12:28

Propeller aircraft are ok for short flights, indeed. Maximum 1 hour (I'm even tempted to say maximium one hour block time). Such aircraft would be fine to fly to Strasbourg, perhaps Bristol, and maybe some new (mainly feeder) destinations like AMS, DUS, LUX and why not LCY. However, to all these destinations there is a need for a 50-seater not a 70-seater like the Q400 or the new ATRs (I don't find any mention on ATR's website of an ATR 42-600, which could be ideal for the really thin and short routes).
As a first step, b.air should definitely consider wet leasing a 50-seater propeller to offer feeder services to/from AMS instead of the ridiculous bus service.
As to the AvroRJ replacement, why not a mix of E170-175-190-195 to give the airline more operational flexibility (and I presume there is crew commonality for these four types of aircraft). However, I have experienced some serious "air conditioning" problems inside E-jets recently (on three different airlines, Finnair, Lot and Air Europa). So, for me, as a passenger caring also about passenger comfort, the E-Jets are out.
So, what's left in the smaller jet league ? Unfortunately nothing, I'm afraid. If b.air is going for Airbus, let's not forget the smaller A318 (117 seats in a comfortable 32inches layout, but 32inches is maybe too generous for b.air).
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Re: Replacement of SN's Avro RJ and B737 fleet

Post by RoMax » 24 Jul 2010, 12:41

Isn't a mix of all different E-jets a bit too different. I suppose SN could use 25-35 of them, if you have to split this in 4 types wich have not that much different seat capacity. I would go for E170 and E190/E195 only.
About comfort, the E-jets are the most comfortable regional jets you can get at this time, altough it can be much better of course.

The A318 could be a choice, but I don't think SN will go for that. The ony advantage for such an A318 is commonality with the A32S. Actually the A318 is too big and heavy for the amount of pax, so not that fuel efficient. Because SN also need something smaller they can better go for Bombardier or Embraer. Than you have commonality between the regional jets. If you only have for exemple E170 and A318/A319/A320, than the E170 would be a too small sub fleet.

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Re: Replacement of SN's Avro RJ and B737 fleet

Post by Air Key West » 24 Jul 2010, 12:50

Are you saying there is commonality between Bombardier and Embraer ?
As I've said, my recent experiences with E-jets have been very negative in terms of passenger comfort. Have you ever flown or recently flown on E-Jets ?
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Re: Replacement of SN's Avro RJ and B737 fleet

Post by RoMax » 24 Jul 2010, 13:00

Air Key West wrote:Are you saying there is commonality between Bombardier and Embraer ?
I said SN should choose Bombardier OR Embraer. Not both. But if they choose for exemple E170/E195/A319/A320 there is much more commonality than they would choose E170/E318/A319/A320. The E170 would be a too small sub fleet. So they have to choose a whole regional jet fleet Embraer (E-jets) or Bombardier.
Air Key West wrote: As I've said, my recent experiences with E-jets have been very negative in terms of passenger comfort. Have you ever flown or recently flown on E-Jets ?
No I've never flown E-jets. The reason why I say they are the most comfortable regional jets (currently available) is because I've heard many good reactions about it. I know several people who have flown several times CRJ (200, 700, 900), Q400 and E-jets. Almost everyone says the E-jets are way more comfortable.
Maybe I should test it myself, before commenting on the comfort of the E-jets. :P

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Re: Replacement of SN's Avro RJ and B737 fleet

Post by Air Key West » 24 Jul 2010, 14:26

Actually, I don't know know any regional jet which is comfortable, except for b.air's Avrojets with their 2x3 configuration. Too bad, they will be leaving, but I understand it is necessary to replace them with more fuel efficient aircraft.
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Re: Replacement of SN's Avro RJ and B737 fleet

Post by tolipanebas » 24 Jul 2010, 22:20

Air Key West wrote: As to the Avro RJ replacement, why not a mix of E170-175-190-195 to give the airline more operational flexibility.
Why would you do that?

There's only one resp. two row(s) of seats extra on the XX5 version compared to the XX0, so that's not going to make the difference in operations really: A/C types are spread by about 25 to 30 seats in medium haul fleets and about double in long haul fleets, because practically that's about as precise as you can plan ahead.
The only reason both types exist in 2 versions each, is because they happen to sit right on popular scope clause numbers and Embraer didn't want to risk loosing customers because it's plane was a few seats too big, while it also wanted to make sure it could offer a plane as big as possible to other customers who's scope clauses are a tad different.

If you are going to bet on the fact that you'll just have let's say 72 pax and not 76 showing up for a particular flight, I can assure you you'll be going to be pay out a lot of denied compensation settlements; much more than you can ever make from the minor operational cost difference between the E170 compared to the E175.
Don't forget SN is a business oriented airline and ticket flexibility is important to our pax: booking numbers (even a couple of hours before the flight) never match the exact load we go out with in real so there's really no operational benefit in having both versions of each type...
Actually, I know of only one airline that does this: LOT seems to be having E170s as well as E175s, for god knows what reason!

if you want to save some money on operating cost, better artificially derate some planes of your fleet to a lower MTOW, so you pay less landing taxes. It's what SN has done on their RJs as well: some RJs can only make it fully loaded as far as WAW, whereas others can make it to DME, simply because they have different MTOW, allowing us to save some serious money.
Air Key West wrote:let's not forget the smaller A318 (117 seats in a comfortable 32inches layout)
You must be kidding, I hope?

better don't read on then.... ;-)
Air Key West wrote: I don't know know any regional jet which is comfortable, except for b.air's Avrojets with their 2x3 configuration
Your right. Although the Embraer is a very fine plane and offers great headroom and large overhead bins, it is feeling a bit cramped inside after a while even though the seating itself is quite comfortable.

However, although not available yet, the Cseries is a WONDERFUL regional jet, if one is to call it that way still. I don't know if you have a good idea of what the 2 types offered are similar too?
the Cseries is to have a cabin as wide as the current AVRO RJ, and is offered in 2 types:
the C100 is a true A318 equivalent, but then an efficient one,
the C300 is a real A319 equivalent, but far more efficient even,

IF SN were to wait a couple of years to take Cseries, I'd say they should take not only the C100 to replace the RJ100s (allowing for some growth), but also the C300 and thus ditch their A319 fleet!

Okay, the C300 is going to have less thrust and so is somewhat performance limited against the A319 on demanding segments, but we're not in Phoenix here, nor are we going to fly to the eastcoast of the US (or central AFI... LOL): for what SN does with its A319s, the C300 is a perfect alternative, much cheaper in operation even!

The Airbus fleet at SN could then just be limited to bigger A320s and A330s, a few of them each, operated in mixed fleet crewing mode, like is done today. Add a handfull of turboprops (most likely Q400 then, given they come from Bombardier as well), and you'd have a very nice and efficient fleet, able to be used without having to be ashamed in it for much more than a decade!

TUB023

Re: Replacement of SN's Avro RJ and B737 fleet

Post by TUB023 » 24 Jul 2010, 23:13

this is how i see it, just how i think it's going to happen:

SN has 32x certified pilots and mechanics, i think certifications for another yet (e.g. embrear, bombardier,...)
isn't really what they are planning for. i think they just wanna stick to airbus because they have the trained people for it.

but that's just me thinking :)

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Re: Replacement of SN's Avro RJ and B737 fleet

Post by brusselsairlinesfan » 25 Jul 2010, 00:33

TUB023 wrote:this is how i see it, just how i think it's going to happen:

SN has 32x certified pilots and mechanics, i think certifications for another yet (e.g. embrear, bombardier,...)
isn't really what they are planning for. i think they just wanna stick to airbus because they have the trained people for it.

but that's just me thinking :)
... so that would still leave a little chance to the A318 entering the SN fleet? I would love seeing one of these birds wearing the brussels airlines livery...

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Re: Replacement of SN's Avro RJ and B737 fleet

Post by cathay belgium » 25 Jul 2010, 01:05

Hi,

A318 at SN ?
LH has none,
no *A partner has one..
only AF-TAROM?-MEXICANA-and some other french related..
Altough it's a great aircraft, to heavy to operate so forget it!
Best chance EMBRAER ! (IMHO )

Altough I got my first CRJ experience and altough the bad revieuws it has from other
members on this site I quite liked the experience.
( only small overhead storage, but great leg/seatings !! )
Pity the windows weren't that clean,.. (AZ / BRU-AHO )

Since the're (CRJ200/700) into LH maybe the CRJ could fill the gap between the AVRO and the delivery of
CS/Embraer.
What about another AVRO-lease expansion for filling the gap between the 2 types..
Is this a possibility or can we forget it, is it cheaper to lease some CRJ or so with a lesser
fuel burn-maintenace..
What about crews for this gap, is there a serious problem in this case?
Or will SN definately go for a new/another plane ..

CX-B
New types flown : A223,AN24,AW139,B737MAX8,B763nonER,DH Dragonrapide,EMB110 Bandeirante, Shorts360,Autogire MTOsport2010

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Re: Replacement of SN's Avro RJ and B737 fleet

Post by SN_fan » 25 Jul 2010, 10:49

British Airways also have 2 in their fleet for the London City - New York Business Class flights

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RoMax
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Re: Replacement of SN's Avro RJ and B737 fleet

Post by RoMax » 25 Jul 2010, 11:08

Look, we can be almost 100% sure that SN will not buy A318, altough I like the A318. SN will choose E195 (maybe E190) or CS100, these have almost the same capacity but are way more efficient. Actually I would like to know the difference between the A318 and CS100 when we talk about fuel efficiency, I suppose the difference would be big.

Altough I still give the highest chance to the E-jets, the Cseries are very possible too. I'm verry curious to see what happens later this year (or early next year) when SN announce his order. :D
Last edited by RoMax on 25 Jul 2010, 11:12, edited 1 time in total.

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tolipanebas
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Re: Replacement of SN's Avro RJ and B737 fleet

Post by tolipanebas » 25 Jul 2010, 11:09

Yes, with CFM engines, amid a huge fleet of RR powered A319/A320/A321, imagine that!

Just shows you what a nichemarket plane the A318 is and why it would be poor judgement to take it as the backbone of the fleet renewal.

If SN wants an efficient and comfortable plane the capacity of the A318, they need to take the CS100, just as SWISS will be doing and if they really want the most efficient fleet possible throughout (and don't mind the higher acquisition costs), they also should take the CS300, so they can get rid of the old and thirsty A319s even...

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Re: Replacement of SN's Avro RJ and B737 fleet

Post by brusselsairlinesfan » 25 Jul 2010, 11:39

tolipanebas wrote:Yes, with CFM engines, amid a huge fleet of RR powered A319/A320/A321, imagine that!

Just shows you what a nichemarket plane the A318 is and why it would be poor judgement to take it as the backbone of the fleet renewal.

If SN wants an efficient and comfortable plane the capacity of the A318, they need to take the CS100, just as SWISS will be doing and if they really want the most efficient fleet possible throughout (and don't mind the higher acquisition costs), they also should take the CS300, so they can get rid of the old and thirsty A319s even...
Severe judgement towards the Airbus A319, as it still remains an "actual" bird isn't it?
Regarding the Airbus A318, does it not make any sense regarding the cargo/luggage capacity especially for the european feeder flights (with PAX connecting through BRU to Africa)? For example, I saw that the BRU-CDG leg is only operated by A319 / B737 because the RJs can't operate such an amount of luggage/cargo...

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Re: Replacement of SN's Avro RJ and B737 fleet

Post by RoMax » 25 Jul 2010, 11:54

brusselsairlinesfan wrote:
Severe judgement towards the Airbus A319, as it still remains an "actual" bird isn't it?
Regarding the Airbus A318, does it not make any sense regarding the cargo/luggage capacity especially for the european feeder flights (with PAX connecting through BRU to Africa)? For example, I saw that the BRU-CDG leg is only operated by A319 / B737 because the RJs can't operate such an amount of luggage/cargo...
I wouldn't go immediatley for a A319 replacement by CS300.

About your remark on the cargo/A318, the E-jets or Cseries would not give a serious cargo problem. Especially the Cseries would not give a problem on most routes as he has a pretty wide fuselage. So every route where a RJ can do it, a Cseries can do it (and normally a E-jet also).
CDG is a different case as it is almost only AFI connecting, but currently there is more than enough demand for two daily A319/B737 on this route and with the only expanding AFI network there will no need anymore for smaller aircraft on this route. So no need for any A318, not even for the CDG route. ;)

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Re: Replacement of SN's Avro RJ and B737 fleet

Post by Air Key West » 25 Jul 2010, 17:38

The replacement of SN's fleet is really a brain-racking operation. I cannot wait to know what decision will be made by those who are or will be in charge. Actually, given b.air's situation (60 % Load Factor on average), there is probably no ideal solution. Even if/when SN totally belongs to LH, SN will not need larger aircraft (except perhaps for one or two routes), but even if one can expect more pax thanks to Star and LH, you still have to fill (still on average) 40 % of the current capacity (which is very similar to future capacity with a new fleet).

You could operate with two manufacturers only it you go for Embraer + Airbus, which gives you the advantage of having a seat capacity ranging from 39 to 200 seats per aircraft, but you will not have the most fuel efficient aircraft.

Or you could imagine just one manufacturer, Bombardier, which will give you a seat capacity range from 70 to 140 seats (approximately, depending on the seat pitch the airline will choose). The only snag with this option is that you don't have an aircraft with more than 150 seats, but how many larger aircraft would you need for European (+ TLV ?) operations. Not many. So, too bad if you don't have one, two or three larger aircraft you could use on a couple of high density destinations.

Although I am not a big fan of Bombardier, I could understand the Bombardier-only option : The Q400 for short flights, the CRJs NextGeneration (70 to 100 seats) and the C-series (100 to 150 seats, 150 seats however in high density = cramped seating configuration).

I don't know how fuel efficient the CRJ NextGeneration is. And what about the MRJs. Mitsubishi is claiming that their new aircraft will be 20 % more fuel efficient than any other currently operating regional jet.
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Re: Replacement of SN's Avro RJ and B737 fleet

Post by RoMax » 25 Jul 2010, 18:17

About SN's loadfactor. I can say you one thing, a thing that's very important in the strategy of the LH group. When you have a departure close (lets say one hour) to a departure of a low cost competitor you must avoid operating a smaller aircraft than this competitor. A smaller aircraft will mostly have the result that you have higher prices and that's not good. So SN must avoid operating their RJ's when they have a departure very close to the departure of for exemple EasyJet. Even when it's a bit overkill for that route. When you operate a bigger aircraft (or with almost the same capacity) you can offer lower prices than when you operate an RJ but you offer way more comfort/service than the competitor. Result is that your amount of pax will rise. This is what happened with OS, during their worst period they operated the smallest aircraft to the high demand routes because of the competitors on the route. Since LH took control over them, they operate bigger aircraft (sometimes with lower frequentie as result, but not always) when there is a departure of a low cost competitor close to their departure. The result is lower prices on these flights, rising amount of pax and rising load factor => OS started its long way to making profit again.
This strategy is the reason why LH is phasing out their ATR's, CRJ 200's and OS his smallest Fokkers and their CRJ 200's.

SN need an aircraft smaller than the RJ85, but I don't think they need something smaller than the E170/Q400. Of course you don't have to operate an A319 to Newcastle for exemple, but a bit overkill on a route is not that bad, at least not when you have competitors on that route.
That's why a CS100/E195 would be a good replacement for the RJ100 with a bit lower capacity.

I hope I made it clear, because it can be a bit confusing. If you don't get it I'll try to explain it in another way, if you still don't get it, I'll give up.

NCB

Re: Replacement of SN's Avro RJ and B737 fleet

Post by NCB » 26 Jul 2010, 11:28

There is something truly interesting about Farnborough this year, some of you may have noticed.
It’s been a very long while since SUH has ordered anything smaller than an A320 or B737 as chief executive of ILFC, and suddenly he is on the order books for 20 E-Jets’s and 10 ATR 72-600 with his new leasing venture Air Lease Corp.
Air Lease Corp’s ATR72-600 delivery are scheduled starting December 2011 which suggests that the customer is already secured.

I have no knowledge whatsoever on SN’s board’s decision on the narrow body replacement yet. I only suggest to discuss a possibility. The Airbus A320 rumours are related to B737 replacement, not Avro RJ.

The size and timing is about right and SN will start to kick-out a significant portion of the Avro RJ fleet starting 2011/2012.

I have heard that Embraer has been offering E-Jets’s at very low prices as it is suffering of significant gaps in its backlog and that it is more lucrative to offer additional jets at lower prices than to decrease the production rate. Though I like the looks of the E170/190, I am no fan of it, but for SN it will be a very nice luxury to work with a cost-efficient aircraft that cuts cost by more than 25% and it would be far nicer than the Avro RJ in many aspects. Switching from the Avro’s to the Embraer could turn over the company overnight and would definitely help the African expansion plans.

About the ATR’s, I think that at this point the ATR72-600 would be a reasonable choice for SN. Compared with an RJ85, its trip fuel would be over 60% lower, maintenance cost far cheaper, crew and capital cost about the same. We’re comparing a 85 seat aircraft with a 74 seat aircraft, yet it makes sense when the Avro‘s are not flying at full capacity. SN serves a multitude of sectors below 500 nautical miles and if the right mix is used for the E170/190 fleet, I can see SN serving many routes with the aircraft. The ATR-72 is told to break even below 50% load factor.

Though I personally believe that SN’s board will replace its actual fleet with E-Jets or a mix with ATR’s, I dream of MRJ’s, and more realistically I would prefer to see it take a regional feeder approach and replace all its Avro RJ’s and partially the B737 fleet with Q400NG’s and the new 90 seat stretch Q400X.

The Q400NG’s range can take it all the way to Vilnius to the East (or even Moscow) or Lisbon to the South, the cruise speed approaches that of a jet by being only 20% slower. The ATR72 has significantly less range and is 25% slower than the Q400NG but it’s more fuel efficient and a better choice for sectors lengths below 400km, which are limited within SN‘s operation.
The Q400NG can even replace B737-300/-400 capacity by frequencies, while decreasing seat-mile cost mainly through lower landing fees. Capital cost is higher than the ATR but its higher cruise speeds can cover it thanks to higher utilization in terms of sectors per day.

In terms of cost, the Q400NG offers over 15% less seat-mile cost than an E170 and over 5 % less seat-mile cost than an E-190. The Q400X will only increase that advantage.
Besides alot less fuel, lower capital and maintenance cost, landing fees are cheaper and by my guesstimates they would reduce SN’s shorthaul expenditures by over 45% compared to the actual Avro RJ operation, saving over 150 million Euro’s a year.
While yields may decrease by less than 10%, the move would increase revenues because SN will afford to increase movements as it will afford to gather a larger fleet for the same capital cost, compared to an RJ fleet.
SN would be able to operate more frequencies at about the same seat-mile cost as LCC B737-800 operations, giving customers more reasons to chose them over LCC operators.

My opinion is that SN would be a better airline with a shorthaul fleet consisting of (besides the 6 A319’s) 40 x Q400NG/Q400X than it would be with 30 x E170/190 or 20 x E170/190 and 10 x ATR72. Heck, I'd even prefer a mix of Q400NG/Q400X and 10 ATR-72 for the shorter sectors.
Less ego on shorthaul, more pride on longhaul.
Eventually, as more longhaul aircraft come in, they can shift some Q400NG’s to Korongo to replace BAe-146 and add routes to large Congolese cities with short runways, to bring in more A320’s to BRU. The ATR-72 is not very suitable for African operations.

Pilots, mechanics and perhaps some customers would not be very happy with the turboprop aspect, but the airline would thrive. The model works, as proven by Flybe.
More importantly, as oil prices rise, the CEO’s will afford to smile and wait for the clouds to clear.

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