Securing extended range twin-engine operations (ETOPS) certification for more Boeing 757-200s is part of US Airways’ strategy, despite the Star Alliance member’s substantial standing order for Airbus A330s.
Asked if the eight other 757-200s from its “East” operation will get ETOPS and new winglets, management in its latest employee newsletter said: “A/C 942 is scheduled for conversion this May for use during the 2008 summer season. A/C 941, 940, and 939 are confirmed and planned for modification starting the fall of 2008 for completion prior to the summer season of 2009.”
Flight’s ACAS database shows that 939 was built in 1994, while 940, 941 and 942 were built in 1995. All four aircraft are leased from Q Aviation.
US Airways notes that the decision regarding the other four (of eight) aircraft “is still to be determined”.
A prior $15 million investment allowed US Airways to convert six 757s to ETOPS, and add winglets to certain aircraft.
The additional ETOPS-certified 757s enables US Airways to grow its transatlantic operations while it waits for the delivery of new A330s. The carrier in November 2007 announced it will acquire a further five A330-200s and lease two more of the type. Combined with the ten A330-200s currently on order from Airbus – due for delivery through 2009 and 2010 – US Airways’ A330-200 fleet will grow to 17 by 2011. Airbus A350 deliveries to US Airways begin in 2014 and run through 2017.
Meanwhile, a FAA advisory circular, for which comments are due on March 4, provides guidance for certifying an airplane-engine combination for ETOPS, as well as guidance for ETOPS reporting requirements. The draft document is available here.
And here’s a look at the inside of a US Airways 757 ETOPS aircraft –