Not BK related - Airbus vs Boeing Dispatch Reliability


Aug 20, 2002
AOG-N-it said: The B737 is likely the easiest aircraft in world aviation history to support
I really enjoy flying the A320 series aircraft but how do they compare to the 733/734s for reliability?
At my station we have 757,737-400,319,and 321 overnighters.I would say from a mtc perspective its a draw.Sometimes the AB can be cranky in the morning.Just give it a pat on the butt and wipe its nose and its good to go_Over all they all leave on time in the A.M.98% of the time.But once in a while they all have their moments.
From an operational stand point I think it is a wash too. Each fleet has their problems. AOG can probably speak volumes on problems getting parts for the Airbus airplanes. Sometimes it seems like when you have a problem with an Airbus it is a pretty quick fix, if we have the parts.

The Boeings are more of a problem when they are in for their heavy checks. The older they get the more corossion and repair time you will need in heavy checks. We are 100 steps farther ahead with the planes we have left versus the poor DC9's we were nursing along. I don't know how NW does it with thier huge fleet of DC9's that they still have left.
75 fixer,
What is the relative spread on the age of the a/c, as defined by them being either Boeing or Airbus?

The average 73-400's gotta be at least 7 years old w/the 75's even older, compared to the average of the 320 family being at most 2.5 yrs.

One of the reasons that you may not experience a difference would be due to the age of the aircraft. Another reason would be that if the airbii are under lease w/mx costs covered by the lessor, the lessor may be keeping the logistics pipeline full and the mx schedule set for a more intensive level to maintain the dispatch reliability above a contractual set-point.

From my experience with the A-300R, both ER and domestic, they take more mx hours per flight hour than the Boeing to retain the same amount of reliability.

The relatively short stage length historically flown by U really puts it on the birds regardless of their origin.

As another wrench in the field, and, for whatever an unsolicited opinion is worth; you guys have done well by your company and your trade. As a newby, I was trained and never turned away or given poor advice by the "dinosaurs". Since then, I've had occasion to see the sun come up while working adjacent to some of your guys.

Whatever you guys feel you have to do, good luck.
The comparison of A319's to a B737 is laughable. Example the eldest A319 we own is N700UW...The Acft is not even 4 years old yet (Aquired 15 October 1998). The B737 are all in the 15 to 17 yearold range. Imagine the comparison if we used your automobiles for comparison. The Airbus is hard to support...NOT a poor aircraft!!!. The aircraft will however , be harder on us as it ages!!. N700UW has already shown flaws , due to a leak in the forward Lav. Not exactly something you would see on a Boeing that's twice it's age. The Airbus product is great in regard to Pilot/Passenger appeal. No arguements there. Here's the kicker...It's about supporting the thing when it breaks people!!!. The Airbus AOG system is very basic....and very limited!! The Boeing support is excellent by comparison....Then you look at the number of operators of the type. We beg , borrow and steal (LOL) from one another daily. My counterparts at UA,NW,HP and Jet Blue , all share the same view. A call about a broken always a nervous moment. The best aspect we have going is the CFM Engines on them....but that bites you depending on location (City)of the noted defect. The A321 and the A330-300 are by far the biggest headache...We are the only US based operator of the types. We can hardly afford to stock everything these planes might require. Airbus hardly stocks anything of need at its Ashburn Va. (IAD) Logistics Center. So the options are in Canada with AC...or in Toulouse France or Hamburg Germany. WE are bitten again by AOG Fees...Customs Issues/delays....and added time and distance. How something flies..or how something looks?, is hardly the issue. How this Aircraft is going to serve us , over an alike amount of time is (i.e.) the B737 , is the issue. The early indications...and encounters with the Arbi , is not looking good compairatively!!
I agree with AOG about how the AB might not age as well as the Boeing fleet.As I said ,from my little corner of the world,right now its a wash between them and the boeings.The AB's are more labor intensive.Weather that remains the same or increases as time goes by has yet to be seen.
Just for fun...I have run a report on A319 (N700UW) The Daily Utilization is currently at 9.75 Hours per day. This is in direct relation to not having seen prolonged downtime in "Scheduled" "Heavy Maintenance". These figures will drop accordingly when this takes place. 700's current figures , are as follows (TSN) Time Since New 12,376:40....(CSN) Cycles Since New 6,238.....Average Cycles per day = 5.0. The lower cycle per day average is a reflection of it's range advantage over the B737-300's....This is a definate plus in the Arbi's favor..............AOG-N-IT[;)]
Here is something to think about; Airbus operators: U, UAL, AWA, NWA and JB. Boeing Operators(NG): SWA, DAL, CAL, AMR, ALAKSA. Which side is the most profitable and which side has,had or will have the most Chapter 11 companies? Is it the airplanes or is it the fact that the airbi are cheaper and the weak companies don't have the money to buy the NGs in the first place? Very interesting.
Autofixer, Interesting observation Sir!!. Lets examine this further. Airbus Industries made thier entrance into the US marketplace by courting struggeling carriers to begin with. Remember the supposed sweet deals that Eastern and Pan Am got on the origional A300's?...Where are they..or the aircraft now? Awnser= In the Archives!!. I'm not suggesting for a moment that one is predicated on the other...but it is historically interesting. I will sight a recent example of how Airbus can facilitate low Introductery pricing. The re-couperation is in logistics pricing. Here's but a small example...I was called about needing the "Roller Tube" for an A319's Lav's Toilet Tissue Dispenser..This is a small but needed item in our passenger serving business. The Unit cost was in the nieghborhood of $300US...The same item on the Boeing was around $27US..That's a big difference..Then you have to pay duties on the importation of this item...and await Customs clearing of it upon arrival in the US. Last night was a classic example of Airbus related follies..Acft 673 (A330-300) had an MEL for a "Flight Warning Computer"...This is a very restrictive item for time of deferal (24 to 72 hours??). I was told that the aircraft would have 1 hour remaining on this deferal upon the aircrafts arrival today in PIT. This is not a problem ..If you have units on the shelves? We had unfortunately issued our last "Serviceable Unit" to the same aircraft , only 4 days prior. This computer is $160,000.OOUS. I had to make arrangements to borrow the only other unit in the western hemosphere from AC in Vancouver B.C. (YVR)...and then have it moved across the border to SEA...then flown to PIT. The cost of borrowing the unit is one thing..then we have a Courier Service involved...Then a Customs broker gets his cut..Imagine if we had not had any advanced warning on this "Drop Dead Item". Some will say..Why did we not have any spares?...We do!!...but they are all out for Vendor Repair. The Turn time on Airbus Gadgetry is horrible!!...Dependence on "Vendors" Vs. In-house repairs is a nightmare...but all the "Bean-Counters" see is this. I bought a cheaply priced aircraft...and I'm avoiding paying a qualified "In-House" Technician any benefits. You have to ask yourself..What does European bargains upfront ..and outsourcing really save?...I think the history of things , will proove , they save absolutely nothing!! I also contend that the Airbus Fleet , Given the chance..will only last 75% or less , than that of a Boeing product. I think the A300 Vs. say the DC-10 or L1011 history lesson will offer a starting point for my theory of longevity ..and precieved value. [;)] [:(]
I thought AMR has airbus anyway I would say that is just coincidence....

but time will tell

Wow! I learn something new every day! I had no idea that parts for the airbi are considered imports. No wonder AMR and Delta are using the NG Boeings (besides they are better anyhow,JMHO)! Just another in the long line of the Wolfman's legacy at U.
1ab..AA does fly the A300-300R.(widebody) This is but a tiny portion of thier fleet. The AA pilots have placed pressure on the company via thier union , to "Ground" the type , pending the findings of the crash outside of JFK this year. The FAA..NASA and the NTSB have not determined the actual cause yet..but early indications are leveled at "De-Bonding or De-lamination" of Composite materials in the tail area. The final findings will be interseting reading. American Airlines refuses to act upon the pilots wishes...and Airbus of course , will not support any actions without a final conclusion either. Based on not having "tangible results" beyond a single crash..Historically thier actions are sound. I'm usng the history of the Comet,DC-10,L-188 Electra and a few others that sustained more than one crash ..before sweeping action took place. That's where safety and business part company. [:blackeye:] [:knockout:]
One thing I have not read on the boards or seen in print: what is the fleet mix planned for U after BK?

From the posts on this thread, it seems that the bus is more costly to operate. If a bus fleet requires more mx and is more costly to support; will the fleet mix after bk still contain a large number of airbii?