Agree on all points. And I believe these reasons underscore the CS300's importance in an economic downturn. Once E190s and older Airbus' are returned/parked, the seat gap stretches even further, from 76 to 169. This implies all current routes flown by E190s and 319/320s are now reduced to an RJ705/E175, or upguaged to a 78M.TheStig wrote: ↑Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:30 amThere is something to be said for the value of older 'cheap' aircraft, just look at the number of MD-82/B717's flying with Delta and American. The side benefit to having some older aircraft in the fleet is flexibility, insofar as when there is a downturn in the economy they can be parked. The 767-200's left the fleet in 2008 for that reason. Having too many large financial commitments seems to be a big concern for the BOD as well as investors.
Today Air Canada has commitments for 61 MAX's and 45 C Series, it currently has 135-140 narrow body jets in the fleet by the end of 2018, and 10 of its A321's are relatively new. As much as I'd like to see AC continue to grow, there was a recession in the late 70's, 80's, 90's and 10 years ago...when the next one hits the 190's, 767-300's (which are essentially flying as big A321's) and/or A320's can inexpensively leave the fleet as the ability to profitably fly them disappears with the TSX.
Fleet flexibility is key, airlines make major economic projections months and years ahead and the picture gets more focused week to week. In early 2009 I remember someone in marketing telling me that advanced bookings for the upcoming summer had fallen off a cliff, while the airplanes were currently flying at respectable load factors they had no idea what was going to happen over the next few months! When you're talking about billions in cash flow that's a pretty scary position to be in. Since then when you look at the changes to scope language, crew manning bids every two months, aircraft orders/options and leases structured you can see that the focus has been on planning for the long term but also not getting caught with your pants down.
Some have stated that AC flying around 3 narrowbody types (once the E190s leave) makes no sense, I see it as a strength for AC to deploy the right aircraft for the right missions. 321s for trunk domestic/transborder routes, 78Ms as the backbone of domestic/TB feed from secondary cities to hubs, CS300s for longer/thinner routes that justify mainline product (and there are many) but don't support 169+ seats.
As for training costs with multiple fleet types, AC has this locked down with the course right system.