3 Links I Love: Returning the MAX to Service, Sun Country Cargo, Jetlines Tries Something Different

Links I Love, Southwest, Sun Country

This week’s featured link

Southwest Airlines Prepares to Return Boeing 737 Max to ServiceBloomberg
The re-launch of the 737 MAX continues to be pushed further out, but when the time finally does come, it won’t be easy to just put all the airplanes back in the air. Here’s how Southwest is planning on reintroducing the airplane into service.

Image of the Week: This shot was from an Ontario Airport press release this week talking about Frontier’s growth at the airport. I love the little flamingo on the winglet poking his head above the fuselage. Frontier is adding daily flights to Miami (part of a big Miami expansion) along with Guatemala City, San Salvador, and Vegas. It’s amazing that the airline keeps growing high-cost Miami, but things must be going well.

Two for the road

How Tiny Sun Country Struck an Unlikely Deal With Amazon to Transport PackagesSkift
Here’s a weird one. Sun Country is going to operate cargo airplanes owned by Amazon for Amazon. This article looks deeper into why.

Jetlines Announces Business Combination with Global Crossing AirlinesJetlines
Uh, right. This is most definitely what an airline does when it’s actually going to start flying. Or not. Sounds like it’s all a shell game at this point.

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12 comments on “3 Links I Love: Returning the MAX to Service, Sun Country Cargo, Jetlines Tries Something Different

  1. Very interesting article on Sun Country. I’m not from the MSP area, so while I have heard of them, I’ve never flown them, and am not very familiar with them, but I enjoy reading about how some of the smaller airlines are trying new things to help differentiate themselves and make money.

    I was fascinated to learn that Q1 is Sun Country’s busiest time of the year… The logic as to why makes sense, but it’s not anything I ever thought about. That definitely creates some potential opportunities to shift the planes to other uses (charters? intra-Caribbean flights? lease some planes for a few months to fly pasty northern Europeans to beaches?) during the summer months, and it sounds like other creative options will be considered if they have the potential to help the airline improve profitability.

    1. Yes, Sun Country has been “sharing” aircraft with Transavia in Europe.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Country_Airlines#Current_fleet

      “The Sun Country Airlines fleet consists of Boeing 737 Next-Generation airplanes. Seasonally, additional aircraft are leased between Transavia and Sun Country: During its slow summer season, Sun Country occasionally leases planes to Transavia and during Transavia’s slow winter season, the airline leases planes to Sun Country.”

  2. It is a good move for Sun Country to take this type of contract on. They need consistent revenue beyond ferrying us cold people out of the snow and this will help. I do wonder who or what will buy them in long run – once the Max comes back, their planes will not be worth much, their route network goes through a lot of flux and their operational reliability is sketchy for now (that will get better, I hope) but they have stranded how many people this year with no notice? Yeah, still too many. With all of that said, Tip o’ the Cap to Sun Country for doing something different.

    As for Southwest, the Max will slot back in and be a uncomfortable, underpowered but reliable workhorse for them. The planning is needed but I think that they will be able to slot the planes right in fairly quickly. The hysteria will calm down……. I just wish 737s were comfortable.

    I want a repowered 757 for Christmas instead of all of 737s!

  3. A 50+ year old airframe with modern engines not designed for it. Boeing may have pushed its engineering too far. Why would I want to risk my life to fly on a 737MAX? As an EXECPLAT on AA, if I have to I’ll move some of my flying to Delta.

  4. Flew SW over thanksgiving vacation. During the (increasingly rare) pre-flight chatter from the pilot about flight times and what not, I was surprised to hear him confirm that the plane we were on was not a MAX, but also added that he would “never fly a MAX ever again” which got a cheer/applause from the cabin.

    One rogue pilot does not corporate policy make, but SW’s weirdly tone-deaf hard-on for a fundamentally flawed aircraft is really against type for an airline that has always been amazingly attuned to market and customer forces.

  5. I saw where United pushed back the MAX’s return to June. I’ll have no problem flying on a MAX when it returns to service. At that point, it’ll be one of the most heavily scrutinized aircraft in history.

    1. But it’ll still be a 737 and, therefore, inherently uncomfortable in the back, regardless of how safe it might be.

    2. Exactly. By the time the Max is allowed back into the air, it will have had more testing and scrutiny than any model of vehicle, ever. Beyond those who will travel in the plane, many careers and lives (in the sense of people going to prison for negligence, real or scapegoated) depend on the Max being safe.

      1. No one went to jail the first time. The crisis happened because Boeing ignored FAA regulations and cut corners. They separately cut corners on lightening protection on the dreamliner despite direct FAA protests. Boeing stock today is still well above Jan 2018 numbers. The CEO who was fired is getting $60M. The FAA did not even want to ground the planes, it was global pressure that did it. Who exactly at Boeing suffered because of this? What exactly were the material consequences to that company and its leaders? From where I am sitting it was 0 consequences. There is no foundation upon which to build an argument that Boeing has learned, or has been supplied with incentives to change. These comments like yours are merely wishful thinking. It is a shame planes cant stay aloft on hopes and wishes though.

  6. The 737s that Sun country will fly for Amazon aren’t owned by Amazon. They’re owned by GECAS and dry leased to Amazon. The 767s that are flying for Amazon have a similar arrangement with a different owner.

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