There are a lot of questions that business travelers ask when booking airline flights, such as arrival times, connecting flights, leg-room, window seat, etc – but now maybe one ought to be asking what type of aircraft and how old is it. Why – simple due to the recent 737 which had a small section of the top of the fuselage come apart at a lap-joint at 34,000 feet. Any of us that fly a lot realize that there is a big difference between the types of aircraft we fly on, as to comfort and amenities.
In fact, there was an interesting article recently in the popular news of MSN on April, 8, 2011 titled; “Older planes safe, but maybe less convenient – Southwest incident shouldn’t be cause for worries, experts say ” by Allison Lynn (Senior Staff Writer) who suggested that not all of the older aircraft have all the amenities, and some ride a little noisier. Further, she suggested that older aircraft might have more frequent delays or even some cancellations due to equipment issues. Is she right about that you ask? Well, yes, those are issues. Are they big issues, well they could be if you are in a hurry and cannot afford such a delay.
On March 23, 2011 in Aviation Week and Space Technology there was an article titled; “More Capacity Cutting At United Continental” by Darren Shannon, suggested that due to the cost of fuel skyrocketing and merger consolidation many of the older aircraft of these larger airlines are being cut out merely to save money on fuel costs, maintenance costs, and thus focusing on more efficient and economical newer aircraft. On April 8, 2011 the Wall Street Journal also reported that United Continental was removing a good number of 15-20 year old aircraft from its fleet 737s and 757s.
The Boeing 737 is one of the most popular airliners ever built and they’ve been building them for some 30 plus years now. There are over 6,600 of these aircraft out there, and they are building them still at a rate of nearly 45 per month – impressive. “It’s a solid little bird, a real workhorse” say airline executives, and that’s the truth, it surely is. Personally, I feel very safe flying in any Boeing Aircraft and the safety record of the 737 for number of flights, and hours flown shows it is one of the safest in the world today. Indeed, perhaps you will consider all this and think on it?