State of the Airlines

Monday, February 28, 2005

NEWS: US Airways to Park Some 737's

US Airways has decided to park 11 of their older 737's as they continue to restructure themselves. Total fleet size will go from 282 to 271, something made possible due to concessions reached with the pilots union last fall. Prior to that agreement the contract required US Airways to operate a minimum of 279 aircraft. Its likely that US Airways will take the opportunity to park some older aircraft that are coming up on more costly maintenance requirements.

The net effect of removing these 11 aircraft from service is a reduction of 14 flights...I'll pause while you ponder that. Now, am I the only one that thinks if you can take 11 aircraft out of service but only lose 14 flights that maybe, just maybe, you have a few too many aircraft period? People this is the first time since entering bankruptcy last September where US Airways has finally made a move to shrink its operation. Here US Airways is at the doorstep of the Spring and Summer flying seasons and they are just getting to cutting some dead routes? I mean what took them so long to pull the trigger on this? But I digress...

The odd thing is that US Airways' seat capacity is expected to increase 4-6% in May despite shrinking the fleet 5%. On the surface that seems good as it would indicate a more efficient operation...but does the industry really need more available seats?