3 Links I Love: Really Cheap 737s, Jet Bridges, Germanwings Crash In Depth

This week’s featured link:
In strategy shift, Boeing backs 7 MAX: sourcesLeeham News
Though this article is about Boeing trying to support the 737-7MAX, that’s not actually what grabbed my eye. United recently purchased some 737-700s from Boeing and apparently is topping that order up instead of going with the Bombardier C-Series or Embraer E-jet. Other than fleet commonality, it’s hard to see how an airplane nobody wants anymore (the -700 series) would get an order from United here. But then there’s this:

Then Boeing swooped in and sold 40 current generation 737-700s to [United] at what [Leeham News] was told was priced in the low-to-mid $20m, well below what [Bombardier] could offer.

According to Boeing, the 2015 list price for a 737-700 is $80.6 million. Nobody pays list price, of course, but that is one insanely hefty discount. And it certainly explains why United shunned what is probably a superior aircraft in the C-Series or Embraer. It’s hard to turn down prices like that.

Links I Love

Two for the road:
A short history of the much-maligned jet bridgeUSA Today
This is a great look back at the history of the jet bridge. It’s fun to read, and it explains why we don’t have glass-walled jet bridges in the US like they do elsewhere.

The Real Story of Germanwings Flight 9525GQ
I actually find the title of this story misleading. Yes there’s something in this long piece about what actually happened onboard, but the more interesting bits talk about what happened before and after. Who should have caught what and where before this pilot went on his suicide mission? Should Lufthansa have done more for families after the fact? It’s a long read, but it’s worth it if you have 15 minutes to spare.

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17 Comments on "3 Links I Love: Really Cheap 737s, Jet Bridges, Germanwings Crash In Depth"

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Bob S.
Member
Having first traveled by air when you had to board through stairs from the tarmac (on ALL aircraft), the jet bridge is a fine invention. That said, I recently flew on Turkish from IAH to ODS via IST and back from ODS through IST to ORD. In Istanbul the jet bridge is rarely utilized, even when available, and when it is used, you often travel through the jet bridge just to climb down the stairs to take a bus to the terminal even when parked adjacent to the gate. It must be a fee for usage thing … or is… Read more »
A
Guest
The Germanwings story is interesting, but it really doesn’t go into detail as to how or why Lufthansa would allow someone so young with so few flight hours the right seat in an A320, budget carrier or not. It should go without saying the bigger the plane is the more experience the flight crew is. I know this is not a hard and fast rule but you don’t go from a Cessna to a 777 overnight. The article glosses over this rapid rise. I get that when I step aboard a CRJ the cockpit crew may not be the most… Read more »
Sims
Member

I love the Burbank Airport ! You still go outside and board the plane. When you exit the plane , you can imagine what it was like to see photographers ready to take pics as you step out, and descend!

matt weber
Member
My guess is that Boeing had unsold 737-700’s available at the end of the -700 production run. If these aircraft are not already under contract, they tend to be hard to sell, so big discounts are common for the ‘tail end charlies’ and/or if you want the business badly enough. Lead times on materials are long, and my guess is Boeing already was committed to buying the parts to build these aircraft. I would not be surprised if Boeing was prepared to lose money on these 737-700’s aircraft to keep the C-Series out of the United inventory. This is not… Read more »
Kilroy
Guest

Very interesting analysis, Matt. I would love to see more thoughts like this from you or Brett. Thanks!

Anonymous
Member

I agree with Matt – I believe the Boeing philosophy was not just to keep the C series out of UA, but to knock it out of contention completely.
It was interesting to note that the CEO of IAG recently visited Belfast, and one of the thoughts was that they might order some either for the Vueling operation, or for BA to use out of LCY. He praised Bombardier for “taking on” Boeing and Airbus and adding more competition to aircraft manufacturing.
When the order didn’t materialize Bombardier announced 1,000 redundancies.
Such is the way…..

Alex Hill
Member

Any idea what the justification for fire codes preventing windows in jet bridges in the US until recently was? It makes no sense to me, if for no other reason than you want passengers in the jet bridge to be able to see if there’s a fire right outside that may affect them.

Andrew
Guest

I think you meant to say, “United recently purchased some 737-700s from Boeing,” not “United recently purchased some 737-700s from United.”

David M
Guest

And there goes United copying Delta again. ;)

Buying a less popular aircraft at bargain prices is a move we’ve seen Delta do a few times. I’m not sure how many times they’ve done it with brand new aircraft, but their recent acquisitions have made them the world’s largest operator, by far, of both the MD-90 and 717. And actually, they’re close to being the world’s only MD-90 operator; it looks like Uni Air might still have two, but I’m not sure for how much longer.

David
Guest

I’m probably being stupid, but why does the USA not have glass jet bridges, compared to Europe ?

Captoza
Guest

Wichita’s (ICT) New Terminal has All-Glass Jetways/Airbridges at all locations in use. Gates 10-12 are still blocked by demo of old terminal.

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