Sir - After reading the article "SAS defects to Boeing from MDC" (Flight International, 22-28 March, P5), I felt I had to make some comments from an aircrew point of view.

It may seem to SAS fleet-development vice-president Ulf Abrahamsson and his board that the correct course of action is to buy what they consider to be the right aircraft at the time - the Boeing 737-600. I do not consider this a bad choice but, in the same article, Mr Abrahamsson is quoted as saying that the Airbus A321 is "very well suited" for the European route system.

Does this mean that SAS would have a mixture of 737s, A321s and, possibly, McDonnell Douglas MD-80s/-90s?Any mixture of such a fleet would create havoc for training, maintenance and rostering. Surely it is better to have a mix of aircraft that are compatible in operation, such as the MD-80/-90/-95, the A319/ 320/321, or the 737-600/-700/-800. A pilot is interested only in the mark of an aircraft he or she is to operate during a working day.

Crewing can substitute large, medium, or small versions without having to call out a separate crew endorsed only for a particular aircraft. The saving on reserve crewing is also significant.

I would be interested in all the reasons - other than stating that it is "only a paper aeroplane" - why the MD-95 was dismissed. The CFM56 is getting to be a technically mid- to old- engine, whereas the International Aero Engines 2500 and BMW Rolls-Royce BR.715 series are new and markedly better in both fuel consumption and noise.

T A SEEDSMAN (Captain)

Seeb Airport, Oman


Source: Flight International