View Full Version : Why A320 over 737 for LCC?

20th Nov 2003, 12:16
Just wondering if anyone can offer reasons the A320 was chosen over the 737? (Apart from crewing rumours) I have not read any articles on the reason for the choice.

20th Nov 2003, 12:46
because the A-320 is nicer:ok: .

20th Nov 2003, 12:48
Because the A320 is cheaper!

20th Nov 2003, 14:16
........and not by just a few $$.

20th Nov 2003, 14:49
Buy one, get one free :}

20th Nov 2003, 15:13
And a set of steak knives !!

20th Nov 2003, 15:22
Fruitloop , don't be ridiculous !
It's not just any old set of steak knives, It's a Knetski knife set !!!!!!!:D

von Mises
20th Nov 2003, 15:57
I suspect it's at least partly about making the LCC seem completely separate from mainline and in a sense quarantining it from mainline pilots and possibly the F/As also. Rather cynical I realise but there you go.

I'm sure QF would be well aware that there are plenty of eager ex-Ansett A320 pilots either still unemployed or O/S and itching to come home.

I don't believe they want the same type for the LCC as they operate at mainline because they intend to gradually downsize and eventually close mainline domestic in favour of the LCC.

By operating a different type they could avoid any moral (and legal) requirement to rehire displaced crew at the LCC since they would not be type rated. QF probably believe that the ex-Ansett pilots have been conditioned by circumstance to be less demanding and obstreperous than their QF brethren and would therefore be prepared to accept even lower salaries than DJ. The recent Impulse offer setting the new benchmark.

I hope Im wrong time will tell.

Good luck to all.

20th Nov 2003, 16:34
Heard an explanation why NZ now has A320. A poop load were ordered by AN/NZ when the Kiwis had ownership? Rather than get killed by "fines" for cancelling contract, they took the option of taking delivery, at the much reduced price negotiated by AN/NZ back then. :ok:

The orig deal was apparently a ruddy ripper - Airbus really wanting the order, trying to get a frog-leg into the region - and was too good to leave.

QF with the impending tie up with NZ, prob got a rip snorter deal too due to the very real likelihood that they will be the big sister in a a big combo airline in NZ/OZ before too long?!
Specially as, depsite being told NO by both govts, both airlines are appealing... :eek:

20th Nov 2003, 16:42
.....and correct me if I am wrong;

The A320 can also carry $$Freight$$ in pallets/containers which the 737 can not do.

20th Nov 2003, 17:37
I hope those steak knives are endorsed by chef Tony :}

20th Nov 2003, 18:33
The 320 is more efficent in the cruise than the 737, something like 16% more efficent the the 737OG, and 4% better than the 737NG.

The 320 is not as much a runway hog on takeoff as the 737NG (lower V speeds).

The 320 does not climb like a 737, does not have the same excess power, common complaint is that the 320 does not perform in a climb like a 737 above FL200.

Another downside would be with the introduction of these new aircraft will be a new engine, the V2500 which only powers the 321.

Another downside, taller gear legs than the 737, different ground equipment required.

The 321 is the same rating as the 318/19/20, and allows 200+pax, no 737 equivilant, the 737-9EX would require a seperate endorsement, new cabin crew (diffent doors at the rear), not certified etc etc.

320 track/flight path angle NPA's, allows the pilots to basically fly a NPA with ILS precision, constant 3 deg app, no dive and drive.

No 320 sim in Oz now .....

Easy to convert a 320 driver into a 330/340/380 driver, days not months.

Almost forgot, the 320 will burn about a 1000kg less fuel than a 737 SY-PH.

20th Nov 2003, 18:50
...and let us not forget that the A320 is simply, by far, a more superior A/C than the 737!

I mean , you didn't know that?

Haven't flown one obviously!

20th Nov 2003, 19:48

You seem to know a bit about the types, w.r.t. more excess power and climb performance, what sort of loads and crz speeds are we talking? Fairly similar, or is the bus heavier/slower?

Sheep Guts
21st Nov 2003, 04:44
Plus I bet they got a good deal. Airbus will outsell Boeing by a mile this year. The sales boys at boeing are hiding from the CEO behind their desks......:ugh:

Also JetBlue found that the seating was roomier than the 737 ie wider and was consistent through the length of the fuselage. Unlike the 737 where I think its get close twowards the rear, maybe wrong..:ouch:


21st Nov 2003, 04:54
AND, Lots of current available ausy crew available at short notice.

Pete Conrad
21st Nov 2003, 05:03
Air NZ are starting to see the benefits of the A320.And you can carry paletised cargo in the belly unlike the 737.

Home Brew
21st Nov 2003, 05:04
Simple really. Dicko wants to be like Ansett, multiple aircraft types, multiple crews, multiple types of equipment, more multiple spares, multiple duplicated bungling management!! So much smoke and mirrors stuff to hide what his real agenda is - money in his pocket while he screws the workers more. Already the nopulse guys are rumoured to have sold themselves to fly skimpies jets for a slab of light beer!!

bitter balance
21st Nov 2003, 05:17
Been sampling a bit of your namesake have we?

21st Nov 2003, 06:10
I thought a 319/320/321 fleet for QF mainline would have made a lot of sense, common endorsement , training ground for the 330 and a replacement for the 717s.This would have released the 737NGs to the LCC.
I guess smarter people than we have done the figures, I HOPE?

Pete Conrad
21st Nov 2003, 06:13
Looks like QF may be going Airbus long term anyway Home Brew. A330, A380, A320 - don't think QF will have as varied a fleet as AN in five years.

VTM- it is a big selling point that Airbus have a CCQ and keep everything similar (apart from the amount of thrust levers) right from A319 to A340 and above.

At the Paris airshow this year, just look at how many Airbuse's were sold compared to Boeing?

I just hope that whoever ends up flying them, QF realise that there are experienced AN guys around and that the Nopulse way of desperation is seen as the gutter selling of ones soul that it is.

Cap10 Caveman
21st Nov 2003, 08:06
You'll call me a hypocrite for going off the topic here Pete, but it's good to see you posting constructive, relevant replies. Keep it up. :ok:


Pete Conrad
21st Nov 2003, 09:21
And yours is just as constructive caveman. And yeah, you are a hypocrite aren't you?

21st Nov 2003, 10:12
Von mises,

I agree. Using a non QF type makes it much easier to crew externally.


Not sure what relevance there is in the climb perf A320 vs 737. Who cares.
Also, the V2500 can power all narrow busses and the CFM is still avail on new aircraft.
737 NG is fully capable of GPS NPA but CASA are the stumbling block, not the aircraft. CASA still think DC3 mentallity. Idiots.

Home brew,

You dont get it do you. The new type will not be added to the QF fleet at all. And more importantly, some of the most successful carriers in the world have many types eg BA.

21st Nov 2003, 10:15
If you want the truth, visit both the Boeing and Airbus websites.

The NG has only one advantage, higher service ceiling. Apart from that and with reference to the two websites, the Airbus is by far superior.

Climb performance is irrelevant when you are climbing at a constant mach number (i.e. crz speed).

Apart from all the other advantages already mentioned (lower cost IS an advantage), the cockpit is sensational and the systems are designed for professional pilots, not farmers.

Finally, have you ever heard of a pilot, who has flown the Airbus, say anything other than they "love it"? :=

21st Nov 2003, 10:24
Yep. Me. Its Booooring to fly. But it is a good machine.

21st Nov 2003, 10:49
So I take it you find the 737 more exciting???

21st Nov 2003, 10:59
never flown the 737. would love to though - manual trimming, a big wheel, lots of round dials and buttons - what flying is really about. Sick of pushing buttons - hardest part is staying awake.

21st Nov 2003, 11:27

The A319,320,321 first

Max cruise = 487,487,487
Fuel consumption(kg/hr)=3160,3200,3550

Fuel consumption(kg/hr)=1980,2100,2100


Max payload=1355, 1637,1955
Max fuel =4158,3672,2602 (hence 319 is better for long overwater)

Fuel/pax/nm (kg)=0.0553,0.0443,0.0465


Max. seats (single class)=153,179,220
Two class seating=124,150,186

Max takoff wt=64000,73500,89000
Max payload =17390,19190,22780
Max fuel payload=15360,13500,19060

Hold volume(m^3)=27.00,38.76,51.76


Note the the 738 is basically a 734 with new wing and engine, similar with the 700 and 733.

Max cruise = 491,492,?
Fuel consumption(kg/hr)=3890,3307,?

LRC=429, 430, 452
Fuel consumption(kg/hr)=2250,2377,2186


Max payload=1578,1950,?
Max fuel =3187,2830, 2927

Fuel/pax/nm (kg)=0.0341,0.0395,0.0465


Max. seats (single class)=149, 170, 189
Two class seating=128, 146, 160

Max takoff wt=56470, 62820, 78220
Max payload =16030,17740, 14690
Max fuel payload=8705, 13366, 15921

Hold volume(m^3)=30.20, 38.90, 47.1

Sorry dont have all the numbers, have not had a play with a 737NG.

The Fuel/pax/nm figure, the higher the better, and as you can see the 737NG is about as efficent as a A321. 737NG 189 pax, A321 220 pax.

The airbus has a lower takeoff weight for the number of pax/payload, this gives lower airways and landing charges for a similar sector.

The airbus numbers I have are for the older engines, newer engines are now available which has reduced fuel burns. Also the 321 has mod available for IGW which gives to more range again.


21st Nov 2003, 11:58
Thanks SWH, a walking AFM library :) Congrats to whoever does end up crewing them!

21st Nov 2003, 14:03
Ok,please explain max fuel figures. Are they in gallons (US) or what ???

21st Nov 2003, 14:22

I've been flying 320s now for 5 years with V2500s. Have I been missing something? Also beg to differ on the T/O wieghts. Having flown about the same time on both types, the T/O weights are typically signicantly higher (comparing 734 to 320) on the 320.

21st Nov 2003, 15:12
I've flown both types and have to say the economics of the A320/321 makes a compelling argument in favour......
Most pilot's enjoy flying the 320, and yes you can disengage the A/P & A/THR and poll the thing, but it'll be in Boeings CWS mode.
Making every pilot a smooth operator , if he/she understands the FBW consept.
At the end of the day accountants don't care, if it's cheap to buy and operate it's the best A/C .;)

21st Nov 2003, 18:04
Those fuel figures look like kg to me ....

propaganda & knackeredII

The MTOW for the busses swh used look like the -100 (basic unmodified) ones to me.

Different buses have different weights, eg

basic 319-100 MTOW is 64t, including mod 27112 gives you 75.5
basic 320-100 MTOW is 68t, for the 320-200 it varies between 73.9t-77.4 t (007,010,and 012)
basic 321-100 83t but varies to 85t (mod 24899), 321-200 81t-93t (mod 28960)

Knackered if your on the V2500 bus, you would have higher MTOWs.


21st Nov 2003, 18:31
the points they made in the meeting over the preferring A320 to 737s are:

* lots of A320 endorsed pilots out there waiting for work
* 737 tapers in at back (?) resulting in it being cramped or smaller at back of a/c..
* Obviously DJ fly 737 so this is something different
* A320 has larger lockers, is an extra foot bigger (widthways) and has the option to have a huge aisle (2 cart size) and small seats (good for really quick turnarounds in terms of boarding etc) or a smaller aisle and bigger seats (comfort for long flights)
there was something else but i cant remember. looks like we will have to wait and see!

22nd Nov 2003, 00:28

With no offence intended I feel you may have too much time on your hands !!

rescue 1
22nd Nov 2003, 07:51
Obviously DJ fly 737 so this is something different

I don't think that the customers are too worried at that end of the market. Thay are value driven, and hence are looking for a good cheap price. They know and understand that they will need to sacrifice space for price.

The only people interested in the type of aircraft are the accountants and the Pilots.

22nd Nov 2003, 08:15
One of the main reasons they will be going for the A320 is there isnt the risk of the pilots jumping ship to Virgin since Virgin pay suddenly looks great after what the LCC are going to offer. It is a sad day when Virgin pilots are considered highly payed and on a good thing!! Guess the days of good check and training are gone, and the days of paying for your own endorsement are here. Sound familar!

Somehow I dont think you will find ex-pat A320 drivers busting to get home for the money on offer.

22nd Nov 2003, 11:14
Engine choice will be very intersting - CFM already long established in QF fleet but the V2500 selected for ANZ's new busses.

BTW - both engine choices available for A321's contrary to earlier post.

22nd Nov 2003, 16:07
Buckshot, you are correct on the 321 engines, I stuffed up.

luna landing
22nd Nov 2003, 20:41
Hey Payload777 - the ex-pat A320 drivers won't be busting to get home for the money on offer or the fringe benefits on the side that they'll lose.

Guess they could always keep a little appartment rented in Cabramatta;)

23rd Nov 2003, 11:21
is it true Airbus have Danos Direct selling a "buy one get one free" deal on the Bert Newton show!!! You must call now and have your credit cards handy!!:O

23rd Nov 2003, 18:25
No credit card required!

Airbus will even lend you the $1 to buy the first aircraft....

That will cost you your soul for the rest of your airlines life!


23rd Nov 2003, 18:42
Just a quick question.....

One of the reasons offered for Ansett"s demise was that they operated too many different types of aircraft, causing high maintenance costs
Is this cr:mad: p ? or if not how do Qantas, and most of the US airlines get on when they have heaps of different aircraft?
(and now thinking of A320"s with the lcc).


ps didnt Qantas operate some airbuses about 5-6 years ago, and then phase them out to keep an all Boeing fleet?

If it aint Boeing......it aint goin :ok:

Sheep Guts
23rd Nov 2003, 21:14

I think youre right, with youre first assumption it was c$%^&p! Most Airlines can sustain Multiple different fleets. The costly thing is educating maianteneance and flight crews, but it is possible. Look at Cathay for example, B747,B777,A340, A330.There are many examples of it. But QANATS are now again a true AIRBUS customer A330 , A380S on order and now their new LCC with A321.

So I think Aibus is sstayer


24th Nov 2003, 06:28
Freedom have just run into a bit of trouble with the A320 bought by Air NZ.

Word is that it won't do the Melbourne to Dunedin sector. Not enough gas. (Gas vs freight vs people).

That's all I heard. Don't know the full story but someone with a bit of knowledge on the aircraft could help out here.

So Freedom won't be going to the A320 anytime soon until this is sorted out.

Maybe that's why Air NZ isn't going to be flicking off their old 737's just yet?

24th Nov 2003, 06:43
Aint it amazing that people dont check things like that
before handing over $millions!?:rolleyes:

24th Nov 2003, 08:31

Whats amazing is that people believe the BS they read on pprune, such as the A320 cant do a-b, the A320 blah blah blah.

24th Nov 2003, 08:46
Dude, this is a rumour network...l i g h t e n u p:ok:

24th Nov 2003, 09:15
Kavu, By way of response to your last post :

Freedom have just run into a bit of trouble with the A320 bought by Air NZ.

I don't quite know what this means?? Since FRE is not yet (but will be) operating the A320, it can't as yet have "run into a bit of trouble"

Word is that it won't do the Melbourne to Dunedin sector. Not enough gas. (Gas vs freight vs people).

"word is ...... WRONG !! - basically anything the B733 can do the A320 can do anywhere on a scale of sligtly better to a lot better.

So Freedom won't be going to the A320 anytime soon until this is sorted out.

Maybe that's why Air NZ isn't going to be flicking off their old 737's just yet?

ANZ's B733's are far from "old" all being acquired brand new ex factory in 1998 and onwards. And ANZ never had any plan to get out of B733 ops - always planned to maintain a fleet of at least 10 for the foreseeable future for NZ Domestic ops, and this number may now be slightly increased (by 3-4) following the success of the domestic LC model.

As to the questioin that initiated this thread - ECONOMICS !! - Not just cost of operating, but cost of acquisition, leases/repayments, etc etc etc - QF like any sound operator makes commercial decisions - I realise JFK's anniversary brings out the conspiracy theorists, but really - to see a decision to buy airplane x v airplane y as a tactic to undermine working conditions ........????? -

24th Nov 2003, 15:26
Make some comparisons of your own...



Good sites, even for those who fly 'em :)

24th Nov 2003, 15:48
At a meeting with engineering staff in Mel today senior QF management advised that NO aircraft type had been selected for LCC as yet.


24th Nov 2003, 22:13
ETOPS approved by whome?


Ramboflyer 1
25th Nov 2003, 05:58
All the Information on the LCC is all speculation, nobody knows what the pay will be like ,it will certainly be competitive .
Most A320 drivers have had jobs for 1-2 years now and many F/Os are now Captains in good foreign airlines, and more than 50% at a guess will not come back . There will easily be enough jobs for the AN and Impulse guys the only bunfight will be how the commands get dished out. I also think there will not be enough F/Os availiable.
My guess at pay more like $150,000 for a Captain including O/time + allowances. QF arent stupid they already proved that by starting the LCC.