What if Southwest's main aircraft was not the 737? (And other budget airlines)

[ I’ve changed the topic title, so instead of asking “what if Southwest operated more than just the 737”, I’ve changed it to “what if Southwest’s main aircraft was not the 737?” Which aircraft do you think Southwest would use if not the 737? Would they have different routes/hubs if they operated a different flagship aircraft? Would it help/hurt their revenue compared to their current situation? Would nothing really change at all? ]
[ You can also talk about other budget airlines with similar fleet strategies if you’d like. ]

I’ve never flown on Southwest Airlines before, so I know close to nothing about it.

But one thing I do know is they only operate variants of the 737.

So do you think this is a good decision on Southwest’s part? Again, I don’t really know anything about Southwest, so I don’t know what kinds of routes they fly or which variants of the 737 that they use to fly them.

But for those who do know, how do you feel about Southwest only operating 737s? Do you think they could be more economical if they added other aircraft to their fleet (for example, the A320 family), or do you think their current fleet/route strategy works very well? Or is there a gray area in between? I know that there are some aircraft that closely compete with the 737, so what are your thoughts on those aircraft? What do you think would happen if they began operating other models?

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By only operating the 737NG family, Souhtwest only have to train their maintenance, pilots and cabin crew on one aircraft, saving a lot of money. Ryanair take this one step further, having only the 737-800 variant of the family.

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Oh, I didn’t know Ryanair only operates the 738. Interesting…

That is a great point, they get to cut down on operating costs in this way.
Do you think that is superior to buying a different type of aircraft?

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Southwest is a budget airline (i think). Budget airlines typically only operate one aircraft type for reasons previously stated.

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As the others said, Southwest is a budget airline, and they typically operate aircraft that are all in one family, like Ryanair and Easyjet. Southwest and other low cost carriers, also follow that principle, but to a lesser extent. JetBlue mostly operates the a320 family, as well as Frontier, Spirit, and Allegiant. They buy these aircraft new, and use them roughly 18 hours a day, that way, they can settle the low life of the aircraft, with the money they make using it. Therefor, they don’t need other aircraft if current aircraft in their fleet already meet their standards. While other carriers like American and BA also heavily use the family, but have aircraft bigger and smaller to fit more high demand routes. Like on southwest, they do a flight from KSJC - KSNA 3 times a day, while American would probably put something like a 757 on that route if there was that much demand.

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Ok, I guess I don’t know about airlines as much as I thought, I didn’t realize that most budget airlines took this strategy. Sorry about that…

But let’s say they only operated another type of aircraft, like an Airbus aircraft for example. Do you think this would be better/worse or even make a difference? (I changed the title to fit this new question, hopefully this new question can create some good discussion! :D)

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If Southwest’s main aircraft wasn’t the 737 it would be the A320 I guess.

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First off, no need to be sorry, your making good topics on the forum, being a contributing forum user.

Second, I think that it would hurt the airline, since now a days, the 737 max family, and the a320 NEO family are both pretty much the same.

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For the general passenger it wouldn’t be that different, they won’t even notice it. Maybe for the staff and avgeeks, but that aren’t many compared to how much people fly every day. The B737 and A320 burn almost the same amount of fuel, it depends which manufacturer offers the best deal (not only the price, also maintenance costs, interior options, crew training). Potentially, bigger Embraers or the A220 could be an option for carriers flying point-to-point on low demand routes, but the 180-200 seats aircraft are simply the best for low cost carriers like Southwest, Spirit and Ryanair.

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Back in the 70’s. Southwest Airlines had a 727 in there fleet.

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Back in the days Ryanair used to operate an ATR-45…( amoungst others) …however as shown above part of the LoCo’s business model is to operate an one type fleet to save on crew and maintenance training. Also whilst SouthWestern operates a few older models, most LoCos will have brand new aircraft, again saving on maintenance but also improving fuel consumption.

A good topic by the way! Lots of god discussing

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Southwest actually did threaten boeing by saying they’d switch to Airbus unless Boeing made a new 737. It’s one of the reasons Boeing went to develop the MAX.

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Wow, Airlines can be very aggresive😂. (I find that extremely hilarious).

Does the 737 perform better on short field ops? Because I know SWA flies out of smaller fields. Can the A320 family perform better out of some of the airports SWA fly to?

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The 737 typically handles better on shorter runways, as far as I know.
SW’s main aircraft probably will be the 737 series until Boeing stops producing the line (or SW goes bankrupt), as the 737 fits the business model of Southwest, which is not the traditional hub-and-spoke service provided by the legacy carriers but more of a “fill in the gaps” kind of thing. SW, being an American airline, would face a lot of crap from Americans if they switched over to Airbus.

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I think, for one, that it could be easier to integrate new aircraft into a fleet, if they went for the Airbus ecosystem, Say SW first starts with the A320 family, and then decides to begin long-haul ops (albeit very unlikely). They purchase an A330, and pilots can transition easily, because of a similar cockpit. Compare the same fictional situation to an all Boeing SW, and a transition from a 737 NG or MAX to a B787 (or other Boeing wide-body). It would be a long change, which could affect how long the pilot can fly for while training. Just my two cents, take this with a grain of salt.

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And one 737-700 :)

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Well,if Southwests main aircraft wasn’t the 737,it would be the A320. However,when Herb Kelleher founded Southwest in 1977,the A320 didn’t exist yet. Herb actually wanted small props,and fly short haul routes around Texas. But the demand increased,so he used the 737 family instead. If the A320 did exist at the time,the airline’s funds could have dipped a little more,as Airbus aircraft are more expensive than Boeings.

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If big operators like SW and Ryanair already control the regional market, they could have the chance to take airlines like Nowregion and Scoot on a run for their money, though it be more expensive, I think they might pull it off, utilizing aircraft like a 787-9 (I think both the liveries would look good on the aircraft)

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They did operate 717s at one point. What if southwest only operated 717s? A little discussion starter.

Was it a 727 or a 717. I think my last comment mightve been wrong then. Whoops.