SW Air to pay $140 million to convert 717 to Delta specifications!

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Talk about a win-win-win for our airline! Not only are a ton of CRJ’s 100/200 going away, but SW Air will be paying for the conversion of the 717’s to Delta specifications according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Delta shareholders sure should be proud of all the recent choices Delta is making to improve the bottom line.

I also applaud Delta for not just making these an “upgraded” CRJ fleet of 88 jets, but fully integrating these birds with 1st class, EC seats, better galleys and wifi. It will be interesting to see just how many seats they do put in, but we can compare to the old arrangement with AirTran at SeatGuru.

The range on these is comparable to the CRJ’s but will offer much more comfort for longer flights should Delta want to use them in this roll on certain routes similar to the CRJ 700/900.

I like the MD’s as for just Lisa & me we can pick the 2 seat side rather than the 3 either side configuration of the 737 & 757’s. The leg room is nice in the back exit row and I will be sitting a bunch in this same seat on my coming mileage runs.

What do you think. Are you looking forward to the “new and improved” Delta 717’s? – Rene

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5 comments

  1. ANything that will get rid of CR2’s (aka, The Devil’s Chariot) is good in my mind! Definitely looking forward to the 717 coming on board.

  2. Don’t measure your legroom (or pitch) until it actually flies. The folks at SWA are not fools – as evidenced by who has turned in more profitable quarters in the last 8-10 years. The B717s acquired with AirTran did not fit their business model. With only ~88 in the fleet, it is in SWA’s interest to off-load these airplanes as fast as possible, yet at a fair price. Ever wonder why SWA continues to operate AirTran as a seperate entity th is long after the merger/acquisition? It is not really about the East/West pilot groups and a lot more about having to provide maintenance support for two, very different airplanes. SWA has done very well by sticking with one baisc aircraft type through its various modifications in enlargements. If there is a B737 expert, it is SWA. Delta may be getting a good price on the Air Tran B717 fleet, but SWA keeps what it knows – and knows how to fix. The $140MM tag for modifications on ~88 airplanes is not a big deal for SWA. As for the curent East/West pilot groups, I think neither group has anything to fear. Despite SWA’s industry label as a LCC, the flight crews enjoy some of the best packagegs in the industry. Both groups have been resistant – and one expects that. When the former AirTran pilots have literaly nothing to fly, most of them will gladly adopt SWA’s usual pay scales (often with a raise) and the old-hat SWA pilots will admit them to the seniority lists with little or no penalty. It just takes time. SWA’s decision to eliminate the B717 will speed up the process and they will all be kissin’ cousins before you know it. Underestimating SWA is a serious mistake! They usuallt make a profit, they have not filed for bankruptsy (as far as I know) and they compensate their pilots better than do several of the legacy carriers. In the end, continuing to call SWA a LCC is a mistake.

  3. I am VERY happy with the upcoming Delta 717s! I live near MKE, which was home to Midwest Airlines, which merged into Frontier. Very little, if anything, of Midwest is left at Frontier, so I greatly welcomed AirTran’s large presence at MKE. I always enjoyed flying the 717’s to Orlando or Tampa during the summer. Then I found out Southwest and AirTran decided to merge, and I was very unhappy, as I want to stay as far away from Southwest (and Frontier) as possible. I was unhappy because I wouldn’t be flying the 717’s with my favorite carrier anymore, but now Delta is my favorite carrier, and I am happy that all of the 717s are going into their fleet. I’ll still be able to fly them for years to come!

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