Suspension of flight of the Boeing 737 MAX, a logistical headache for companies

Suspension de vol des Boeing 737 MAX, un casse-tête logistique pour les compagnies

The decision is extremely rare to nail to the ground the Boeing 737 MAX brand-new represents a logistical challenge for the companies, but the abundance of the world fleet is expected to enable, in the short term, to cushion the shock to the air transport.

Even before the official announcement Wednesday of the United States to banish from the sky those planes after two fatal accidents, the carriers have begun to turn to rearrange their programme of flights and find replacement aircraft to the MAX, which were to ensure.

“No company has had in stock. And each aircraft is planned in a program of flights” organized long in advance of the crews are dedicated, ” says Addison Schonland, an expert in air transport. This makes complex any reorganization.

The approximately 371 Boeing 737 MAX, who flew up to Wednesday, represent a small part of the 27,000 aircraft in total in the world, relativizes Richard Abulafia, an expert in the aerospace sector at Teal Group, considering the fact that “a replacement is a problem provisional.”

Airbus had estimated in recent data that there was a 19,000 aircraft over 100 passengers in service at the international level, all models.

A 737 MAX 8 of Ethiopian Airlines crashed on Sunday, doing 157 dead. At the end of October, this is an aircraft of the same model of the company’s indonesian Lion Air, which crashed in the Java sea, killing 189 people. In both cases, the accident occurred a few minutes after takeoff, a similarity that has led the authorities around the world to suspend its operations.

The american company SouthWest, which has the largest fleet of MAX in the world with 34 aircraft, relativize, because these devices are part of a fleet of medium-haul more than 750 Boeing 737.

“They represent only 4% of our flight program, which consists of about 4.100 flights per day”, explained to AFP a spokesman.

“More than 95% of our total fleet is not affected,” he added, specifying that the MAX will be replaced by other aircraft in the company.

– Scolds passengers? –

For all that, “this poses a real problem”, which could affect the passengers, all the more that companies could be tempted to complete most of their other planes, writes Didier Brechemier, an expert in air transportation firm Roland Berger.

He adds that this could result in some cases by the removal of one or more frequencies (the number of flights of the same airline on a particular route) to the detriment of users.

“The airlines sell their flight programs 360 days in advance”, stated Addison Schonland. “The customers buy their tickets on the basis of this program. If the company can’t provide it, the client must be compensated”.

However, the passengers may be even more unhappy once their original ticket refunded, they may be required to pay a new trip much more expensive, the supply of flights being reduced.

If the companies did not have the planes to spare, they could “use the ACMI (air, crew, maintenance, insurance), that is to say, the rental of aircraft and crew,” says Didier Bréchemier.

But the delays of the deliveries of new aircraft to make the aircraft leasing difficult,” says Addison Schonland.

In Europe, Norwegian Air Shuttle, whose financial situation is tense, it is not simply a question of rent of other equipment. The company’s low-cost uses for its other models, such as the Dreamliner on long-haul and the Boeing 737-800 for short and medium-haul.

On Wednesday, Norwegian, constraint of nail 18 Boeing 737 MAX 8, announced that she was going to demand financial redress from the american manufacturer for these additional costs of operations.

If it is not possible at this stage to have an estimate of Norwegian on the cost of the item of MAX, an analyst with DNB Markets has rated between 5 and 15 million crowns (between 0.5 and 1.5 million euros) per day.