Flying-Tiger From Germany, joined Aug 1999, 4160 posts, RR: 36 Posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 1624 times:
For many projects which want to start up at one stage or the other the question arises, which plane to choose. Especially Regional Airlines are able to choose from a large varity of planes: B1900, Metro, D228, EMB-110, J31/32 in the 19-seat sector; Dash 8-200, EMB-120, S340, D328, J41 in the 30-seater range and the ATR42, F50, Dash 8-300 in the 50-seat sector.
Whilest most sectors which are viable with a 50-seater are occupied by one of the major carriers or their affiliated, the 19- and 30-seater routes are usually left aside as they are too small. Here for most regional start-ups a market opens: point-to-point traffic with props.
Whilest 19-seaters might be the cheapest option they are the least comfortable option. A key fact are the missing flight attendants and thus the low degree of service which is offered. Even though a route might be more profitable on the paper with a 19-seater passengers are getting less and less likely to accept this type of service.
A 30-seater looks quite a lot more promising, especially a modern one. A flight attendant is on board, you can actually stand in the cabin and the plane is not too crampt - for a 1-2h flight acceptable. Whilest you are for sure not able to advertise the comfort of a 19-seater you might be able to do this with a 30-seater.
Taking a lookon what is available, you will soon come to the conclusion (IMO) that two planes will stand out of the 30-seaters: the Dash 8-100/200 and the Dornier 328.
The Dash 8-100/200 have the advantage that they have a larger brother, the -300 and -400 and are thus part of a family. The problem: they are a bit slow. Here the Dornier 328 wins hands-down, with its high speed you might be even able to put in another sector. And it´s jet brother, the 328JET might appeal as a jet upgrade if customers in the future start to avoid props even more.
Costwise both are quite close, however it is likely that Dornier 328 leasing costs will start dropping soon with 18 currently being in storage and 38 being earmarked for retirement. Maybe an opportunity for start-ups?
Uadc8contrail From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1782 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 1588 times:
good question flying tiger, but i would stay with the dh-8, i know zw(air wisc) has gone all crj/146 and the last 328s are still parked at the zw hanger in cos.....have pix on request,,,,,i was under the impression that dornier was insolvent, as in impossible to get parts....this per conversations with the zw mech in cos.....i know the 328 had 777 seats in it and flew like a jet(my favorite) but you should be able to pick up some dh8s cheap which is the only logical prop(shud u wanna upgrade later) and isnt mesa trying to unload some????
Flying-Tiger From Germany, joined Aug 1999, 4160 posts, RR: 36
Reply 3, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1444 times:
Sorry for answering so late, I was out for the past few days.
You need to differ between the S340A and the S340B (B Plus). The S340A is one of the oldest 30-seaters around and is quite limited in terms of range and has high operations costs. Not really favourable in today´s environment, even though they are really cheap.
The S340B or B Plus are available in larger quantities, however they are mostly still a bit expensive IMO. The product support is good, what they lack is the chance to move to a different type without thrwoing everything inherited from the SF3 overboard. The larger cousin, the S2000 is a different aircraft and again, you are moving into 50-seat territory which includes some dangers.
EMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1399 times:
The Saab 340 is a great choice. My old airline flew both A's and B's ALL in 34 Pax configuration. The range is fine for the nitch it fills...2hrs Max. Any more then that, your talking jets. The A (sn:001-159) is the older of the three SF340 models, but if you stay away from the early serial numbered a/c they are exactly the same as the B, except for the engines. Some where around s/n:80 Saab did a major upgrade to the interior creating the GenII Interior. This gave the passengers a modern look, better lighting, better ventilation / cooling and nicer PSU's. With the B (sn:160 to 320ish.?) came the improved powerplant from GE, the CT7-9B. Last was the B+ (320ish- 459) Extra long wing tips where added and the 3rd major upgrade came to the interior..the GenIII with a noise activated system.
Product support is NOT good, its OUTSTANDING..!! I have had dealings with both the US Office and the corporate office in Linkoping and they are top notch. Yea, I'm a little biased toward the 340, but its what I 'cut my teeth' on.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"