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Norwegian business plan shows use of single aisle aircraft

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posted on Dec, 2 2015 @ 04:19 PM
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This is an interesting change, and may potentially impact the Boeing MoM plan for a 757 replacement. Norwegian has released a business plan, showing how they can successfully use single aisle aircraft on long range flights. The plan is to use their 737 Max aircraft to fly to the US from Manchester and Birmingham in the UK. Both of those airports are places where widebody aircraft aren't feasible. Norwegian would be able to fly their Max and Airbus neo aircraft on routes serviced by 757s, with a 20% lower seat mile cost.

Currently, routes over 2500 nm are serviced by the 757, which is no longer built. Turkish Airlines, Copa, and Norwegian are the rare exceptions, using 737 and A320 sized aircraft on longer routes. Copa uses 737-800s, in a 154 seat configuration on routes up to 3000 nm. The Max would allow them to fly up to 3500 nm, going as far as Seattle and Vancouver from Panama. Turkish uses 737-900ERs in a 151 seat configuration to fly to areas not serviced by other widebody aircraft, such as Istanbul-Dar es Salaam.

This would be a great idea, and good news for smaller airports, because they could operate international flights, and flights to and from areas they can't currently because they can't operate large aircraft. But at the same time, flying a single aisle on a long flight sucks if the seat configuration isn't done right. So it's a trade. You can get cheaper seats flying from smaller spoke airports, but you're going to be crammed in like cattle on some flights.


News that Norwegian may use its Boeing 737 Max fleet to open up new long-haul transatlantic routes confirms the expectation that airlines will capitalise on the greater range offered by new-generation narrowbodies like the Boeing twinjet and the Airbus A320neo.

Data from Flightglobal's schedules specialist Innovata shows that Norwegian is already among the leading group of airlines using single-aisles on long-haul routes. Speaking to Flightglobal at the Future of Air Transport conference in London on 30 November, the budget carrier's chief executive Bjorn Kjos outlined plans to use the re-engined narrowbody for new services from Europe to "secondary airports on the transatlantic [market]".

The UK city of Manchester is a "very interesting area, especially if you think about India", says Kjos. He suggests that the Max could be used to start flights to the USA from both Manchester and another UK city, Birmingham – a widebody being "too big" for such services.

www.flightglobal.com...




posted on Dec, 2 2015 @ 04:39 PM
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Interesting news, Thanks Zaphod58... a nail in the coffin of the A380 ??



posted on Dec, 2 2015 @ 04:44 PM
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a reply to: manuelram16

And another one in the 747 coffin. I think we're seeing the end of the large widebody.



posted on Dec, 2 2015 @ 04:58 PM
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Maybe, but they are talking specifically about "long thin" routes. Ones on which A380's and 747's would never be considered in the first place. Many wide bodies use Manchester on a daily basis, on other routes with other operators, so the wording may be slightly misleading.

2016 will see Virgin add an A346 to the two 747's a day they fly from MAN while Emirates will add a third daily A380, changing from the current morning 777-300, with hopes to add a fourth.



posted on Dec, 2 2015 @ 05:03 PM
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a reply to: waynos

Yes, but look at the sales of both the A380 and 747, compared to when the 744 entered service. There are a total of almost 700 744s, both passenger and freighter that were built, as recent as 2009. The 748 has less than 100 built since 2008, until October of this year, and only 119 ordered. That includes freighters. The A380 has less than 200 in 10 years, and only 317 ordered, and no A380Fs on order right now. Twins are in, and are doing well, especially the widebodies.



posted on Dec, 2 2015 @ 05:15 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I agree, airlines will only buy four-holers if they have to, but they'll be around for years yet, albeit in smaller numbers. There is still a need.

I was responding to the line that wide bodies aren't practical from Manchester. It's not the width of the body, it's the number of passengers on a route. The old A310 was the same size as a 757 but nobody builds twin-aisle airliners that small any more. That's why the single aisle types are flying such routes. There was pressure recently on Boeing to build a proper 757 replacement. I don't know if this is a response to that.

edit on 2-12-2015 by waynos because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 2 2015 @ 05:19 PM
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a reply to: waynos

I wasn't suggesting they were going to go away immediately, but that we're not going to see another clean sheet four engine design. There will be 747s and other four engine aircraft flying for a long time to come. But the 748 and A380 are the last of the clean sheets we'll see I'm willing to bet.



posted on Dec, 2 2015 @ 05:21 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I don't doubt it. It will be interesting to see how long the A380 programme can be stretched out for and what sort of numbers it will finish up with.



posted on Dec, 2 2015 @ 05:27 PM
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a reply to: waynos

If they do the stretched or neo versions, they can stretch it into the 2020s.



posted on Dec, 2 2015 @ 09:46 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: manuelram16

And another one in the 747 coffin. I think we're seeing the end of the large widebody.


Being caught in the middle seats of a 747 (3-5-3 seating arrangement) is worst. Doesn't matter where you sit (window or aisle seat), the nightmare is being crushed by a human mountain with the physique and upper body width of a weightlifter and blocked from getting out of your seat for 8 or more hours.

With European continental flights, getting around just involves a few short-haul flights at most. You check-in through security, visit the shops, get on your flight, then get off, move between terminals, wander through some more shops and board for the next flight; Amsterdam, Paris, Oslo, Madrid.



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 12:18 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

So when is Boeing going to throw a single-aisle fuselage tube on a set of 787-8 wings and give us the 757 2.0 that we're all dying to see. Low-volume long-distance airlines like LAN and Icelandair would be all over it, and I'd bet that Delta and AA would also jump at the opportunity to replace their 757's and bring their high-volume domestic and low-volume international routes into the 21st century in a way that no 737MAX or A321NEO can.

Capacities of ~150-200 passengers with 787 fuel economy and range opens up so many possibilities. You might even see Asian carriers like Hainan, ANA, and JAL jump on them as a way of opening secondary cities like Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Guanzhou/Shenzhen, Chengdu, Chongqing, etc to direct routes to American and European cities. Even SA, Quantas, and New Zealand would probably spring for a few of them to open secondary US and European cities to direct routings.



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 12:22 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

They're years away from the 757 replacement. They're still looking at interest, and all the other factors. They might not go ahead with it if the Max ends up filling that market between the 737 and 787 that the 757 falls into.



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 12:41 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

My question though is whether the MAX will end up having the range for the low-volume international routes.

For example, as a case study of sorts, I know Icelandair's buying a bunch of them, but most of their routes (so far) only involve 4-6 hour flight times to northern US cities. Even then, the MAX's may not have the range for existing routes to Denver, Vancouver, and Orlando.

A 787-based 757 replacement would allow them to fly routes to big southern American cities like LA, SF, and DFW where there's likely a a ton of potential tourist volume. Icelandair's also becoming the quickest/easiest way to get from Northern Europe and Scandinavia to any city that's not New York or DC, since KEF is way less painful of a layover than Frankfurt, Heathrow, or Schiphol, and something with the same capacity as a 757 but with 787 range and fuel economy would allow Icelandair to open up these cities to 2-leg seasonal service to the Caribbean and Mexican resort destinations, another area where there's likely a large amount of passenger volume to be had.

Icelandair's a little obscure, but my point is that there are dozens of other airlines out there with weird low-volume, long-distance routes and potential routings where a 757 replacement would be a real magic bullet of sorts. It could either be an all-new single-aisle tube on 787 wings with a 787's cockpit and empennage like the 757 was, or it could be a short-fuselage 787, an A310 2.0 if you will, depending on which one offered the better combination of fuel economy and development costs. Either way, there's a market for that [hypothetical] bird.
edit on 7-12-2015 by Barnalby because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 12:53 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

The range between the 757 and the different Max airframes isn't that great. The 757-200 has a range of 3900-4100 nm if winglets are added. The -300 is 3395-3595 with winglets added. The Max 7 comes in at 3800 nm, the 8 at 3600 nm, and the 9 at 3595. What hurts is the seat differential. The 757-200 is 200 in a dual class, and 239 single class, and the -300 is 243 dual, and 295 single. The Max tops out between 126 and 220 between the three types.



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 01:30 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I realize that there isn't a huge range difference as-is, but it's also a major case of apples to oranges. The 737MAX is a 4th-generation frankenstein job running pretty much at the ragged edge of it's core airframe/wing spar design is capable of producing in terms of fuel economy, and it's turned a former regional feeder jet design into an ETOPS powerhouse. The 757, on the other hand, is pretty much a Carter-era design, RB211's and all, and a winglet kit is pretty much the only upgrade it's ever had in terms of fuel economy. Boeing never even built an ER variant.

The range of the non-ER variants of its parent airframe the 767 were pretty much identical, at around 3800-4000nm. Now look at the range of the 767's de facto replacement, the 787. That trick composite airframe, those fancy bleedless engines, and those crazy swooping CFD wings bring it's range up to nearly double that of the old 767, with non-ER ranges in the 7000+nm range. Numbers even a 777 would be jealous of. As a result, the 787 has opened up dozens of long-distance routes that never would have been profitable before.

Now, I'll bet there are even more potential international routes where it's still hard to fill a 250-300 seat airliner regularly. Now throw a 6-abreast tube on a 787 wing box, and Boeing would now have a 180-250 passenger aircraft that can manage the same or better per-mile fuel economy as the 737MAX has, while having damn near double the range. The routes that it could open up and make profitable would be downright revolutionary. It would be the most disruptive thing to happen to long-distance air travel since the 747.
edit on 7-12-2015 by Barnalby because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 04:16 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

They are a lot closer to the 757 follow on design than you might think. I know a manager within the project. They are examining interest right now, yes, but they've got a pretty good idea of the form of the plane as well, essentially a composite 757 with some interesting control surfaces. And no, they are not expecting to have the 737 do any filling in. It's of a different class entirely and they are not interested in stretching it beyond its sweet spot. It wouldn't be good for the airlines or Boeing.

Once there is a real need for it, 3+ years. They will be able to start building these very quickly - they've learned a lot since the -87 and triple 7.



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 04:22 PM
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a reply to: aholic

I don't see them having the slightest interest in two major launches of two designs at the same time. Their focus right now, after the Max is the new Triple, which is eating a lot of their resources. I don't see a 757 replacement until into the 2020s.

The airlines are driving the 737 use. They fit their business model, so they're using them. Boeing doesn't have to stretch them any farther, as the airlines are finding uses for them that work. The 737 NG and ER helped kill interest in the 757, so the airlines were already looking at ways to fit the 737 into new markets.



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 05:15 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Well the 757 follow on is being designed with Southern Asia/Asia Pacific/South Pac in mind. Medium body jets make a great deal of sense there.

Only the 380 can make it from Asia Pacific/Australia to the Arab states non-stop and Boeing wants in on this. A composite airliner will do that leg multitudes more affordably. With that said, the -57 follow in isn't being thought up for US and EU airlines almost at all.

I also believe they intend to do simultaneous builds of the triple 7x and a 757 replacement proto. But yeah we are talking 3-5 years. So on the later end of that estimate we are in 2020, but I'm betting money on it rolling out sooner quite a few years earlier.



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 05:34 PM
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a reply to: aholic

The 777-300ER, and 787 can easily make Australia to the UAE with range left over.

According to statements by Boeing the range increase over the 757 won't be huge, which is what it would take for a 757 class airframe, even built out of composites to make that flight. According to Boeing the airlines polled want around a 25% increase in range, putting it into the 5,000 mile range.



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 05:57 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

They never did an ER because when they shopped it, no one wanted it. Boeing has said a couple of times that 95% of current 757 routes can be covered by the Max.




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