ATWZW170 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 904 posts, RR: 3 Posted (6 years 7 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1797 times:
With all the talk about the CRJ/ERJ being an a/c that is going the wayside -- what direction can regionals go? I read where Mike Boyd (can't say I enjoy him) is saying that regionals are neither airlines or regionals -- doesn't make a lot of sense. Air Wisconsin is very much an airline -- we have our own planes, ground handlers, ect --- but with the 50 seaters catching such a bad rap right now, what do we do?
I don't see how so many regionals can stay around. Everyone is undercutting everyone else -- lead by Mesa then Republic Holdings --- other regionals aren't able to get any new work.
So what's next? At some point do the legacy carriers hold their express carries to the same level of service or do they continue to allow substandard service?
Success is getting what you want...happiness is liking what you get
Doug_Or From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3309 posts, RR: 3 Reply 1, posted (6 years 7 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1777 times:
The regionals will be in a very interesting position in the next few years. They won't have any pilots. Every regional except QX is having trouble filling classes. Some have reduced experience requiremetns to 250 hours (the bare minimum for a commercial certificate). Some have introduced signing bonuses in the thousands of dollars. While supply and demand may mean an increase for pilots the real problem is finding enough of them. Right now mainline hiring is just begining to restart- when it goes to full swing attrition will skyrocket. If the regionals can't fill classes now, how will they do it when they need 2-5 times as many people AND they've already hired all the kids with wet commcercial certs?
As far as equipemnt goes I think we'll see the parking of some 50 seater jets- if you can't staff all your flights why not let go of the least profitable ones? We're already seeing this at PSA (parked planes) and at Pinnacle (who has not only cancled flights but actauly droped routes while insisting on fully staffing the DL 900s regardles of damage to NW ops). It will interesting to see if more airlines follow COs lead in getting Q400s, or if anyone takes anotherstab at a new generation of regional turboprop equipment- I would think there has to be a market for replacing the 30 and 50 seat segments.
9252fly From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1369 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (6 years 7 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1727 times:
Quoting ATWZW170 (Thread starter): I read where Mike Boyd (can't say I enjoy him) is saying that regionals are neither airlines or regionals -- doesn't make a lot of sense.
There is a certain amount of truth to what he says. Regionals are really just wet-lease contractors providing lift for major airlines. They have no marketing,scheduling,pricing or sales departments. The future is very uncertain with fuel prices and as mentioned a desperate lack of pilots. The 50 seat RJ flying in the current environment is unsustainable and I suspect we will slowly start to see more and more of them parked over the next few years. It's very unfortunate that economics have caught up to this capacity segment of jet flying. There is always hope that scope clauses will relax somewhat and these carriers will be in a position to provide lift primarily in the 70-100 seat market. The competition amongst these lift providers is fierce and employees seem to be paying the price. Not much can be done to change that as long as they will enter bidding wars for contracts in a declining 50 seat market.
ERJ170 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 6697 posts, RR: 18 Reply 3, posted (6 years 7 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1714 times:
I can see 2 options for Regional Airlines...
1. Convert their CRJ/ERJ to Cargo planes and try to hitch on with FedEx, UPS, DHL, or another cargo airline...
2. Start more at-risk flights to small communities from non-hub airports that are within the 400 mile radius... it can be done... and they can probably do well at it.. or start flights on routes that are a bit thinner and just charge a bit more.. but still, at risk.....
ATWZW170 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 904 posts, RR: 3 Reply 4, posted (6 years 7 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1711 times:
Some "regionals" were our own airline for sometime -- AWAC served markets in the midwest -- we had our own reservations office, marketing, yeild management...everything....we entered into an agrement with United -- they took care of all that -- yes it sucks that we no longer fly for them --- but I think it's important to remember we were an airline. Our identity stripped away from us, just as much our former owners fault as United's. Who knows what we would look like -- maybe a different version of YX.
Something needs to happen -- regionals can no longer keep fighting each other.
Success is getting what you want...happiness is liking what you get
JBo From Sweden, joined Jan 2005, 2295 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (6 years 7 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 1691 times:
As for the 50-seat commentary, I have a feeling that as CRJs and ERJs go by the wayside, we may see a comeback of high-efficiency turboprops to fill the role, such as an improved Q300.
There are always going to be markets that demand air service with aircraft of a size below the 70-seaters and larger than a 19-seater.
As far as the companies themselves....it's more interesting. It seems like there are just SO many different operators these days, and a big reason for that comes from the scope clauses with the mainline carriers. The mainline carrier will place restrictions on the regional contract limiting what aircraft they can fly and for whom. Since the regional wants to diversify their business, they'll either create or buy out another regional to fill those contracts (see: Republic Group, Pinnacle/Colgan).
I have a feeling it'll come as something of a cycle and we'll see some of these companies re-consolidate as contracts change.
I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.
9252fly From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1369 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (6 years 7 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 1681 times:
Quoting ATWZW170 (Reply 4): Some "regionals" were our own airline for sometime
Yes,that's correct but again the economics of going alone and offering regional connections to major carriers on a pro-rate basis never offered enough of a return on investment to sustain their operations,hence the current dog-eat-dog capacity purchase agreements. The worst thing about these regional carrier's is that they've allowed themselves to become prostitutes to the major airlines and are in turn treated that way.
Apodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4033 posts, RR: 6 Reply 7, posted (6 years 7 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 1675 times:
There was an article in an employee news letter about this that I tried to start a discussion about, but the thread got deleted, thats a different story.
The article reffered to the carriers that the regionals fly for getting a free pass in ontime performance because the express numbers aren't included. What this means is if you are flying domestically (And these days unless you are flying between two hubs, ie ORD and LGA, there is a very good chance its on an LCC or a Regional) you could be looking at five flights on United between lets say RDU and ORD. I know this is an extreme, but you could look at Uniteds ontime numbers and say oh wow, they are reliable I will book them. The truth is, none of the flights would be operated by United. One could be on Skywest, the next Shuttle America, then Mesa, GoJet, and Trans States. So in order to find the real ontime record for supposedly one airline between these city pairs, you have to not look at the airline, but five regional airlines statistics. This is a farce in my opinion, and contributes to the problem. When you have an airline such as United, not having to include express in their statistics, then your numbers will always look good no matter how bad mesa is performing. What this means is that they are able to pit regional carriers against each other in a race to the bottom. And this also allows them to pay on incentives. While they would like their flights to be on time, bottom line is, if they are a little late, its a good thing for the bottom line. And this system also causes airlines like mesa to hang on to flights they should cancel, which screws up the whole operation.
I am picking on United, but its similar at other carriers. Not sure how the other agreements are. Also by doing this, they are giving money to regionals that can ultimately help their rivals. For example, Uniteds money to Air Wisconsin ultimately kept USAirways from going under when ZW paid them out in exchange for a home for the RJ's. CO's money that was used on the ERJ's is now paying for ERJ's in service with Delta. Money that Skywest was paid by both Delta and United is now helping Midwest make money. There are just way too many conflicts of interest at the regional level these days. And its now ironic that the company that started this trend, Mesa, is now the one losing money. Hmmmm.
As for the pilot shortage. This is going to be a serious problem if it isn't already. I am seeing guys in class now almost right after their Multi Check ride. And its very scary. I read one safety report where an F/O was more worried about his crosswind technique then his speed, and thus he got a stick shaker at decision height. Captain had to assume control of the plane to make a safe landing. The problem isn't just a Pilot shortage. There is a dispatcher shortage now at the regional level too. Now a days, 60 hour weeks for dispatchers are the norm, not the exception. Dispatchers now at the regional lever are being asked to do 80-100 releases a shift. Thats 100 flights or ten an hour that they have operational control over. How can you flight follow, or deal with emergencies when you are constantly pumping out releases, which you have to be careful with, but you can get rushed on when stations ring you off the hook looking for paperwork. And this is costing the regionals money. I thought when I got here that I would be making about 28k while I got experience for a future mainline job, now I have lots of seniority and I am making over 40K, in just three years?
And mechanics are in short supply as well. But you guys should get the point by now.
I agree, this is going to be a big problem for the regionals. I thought for a while that you would be looking at a big three of Mesa, Republic Air Group, and Skywest. With Mesa's problems though, now it looks like it could be Pinnacle instead of mesa. But this trend is going in the wrong way, and this will be bad news for smaller communities in the future. Word of advice, unless you are flying hub to hub, fly an LCC. Otherwise you could be booked on a regional, and if that happens, who knows if the flight will operate at the rate this industry is going.
Doug_Or From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3309 posts, RR: 3 Reply 8, posted (6 years 7 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1618 times:
Apodino- I didn't know how tight the dispatcher market was? How long does it take to train to be a dispatcher? IS this the kind of thing that an increase in salary might help remedy? Over worked/inexperienced dispatchers + new/inexpereinced captains seems like an easy way to miss a small detail. I know at a lot of stations we have trouble getting releases (gate agents not familiar with our ops [or their own]). By the time we get one its often getting close to push- not much time to make sure there are no "gotchas" hiding in there.
As far a big 3- I don't know how far Pinnacle will go. As it is now they can't staff their 50 seaters. I can't imagine that adding all these 90 seaters in new bases will go smoothly. In addition Pinnacle and Colgan are being kept seperate ala SkyWest/ASA and Mesaba/Big Sky. And then there's ALPA- the lightning card drive @ Colgan seems to have been a wild sucess- expect a petition for vote soon. Mesa's contract is up for negotiation soon- I can't imagine the pilots playing nicely on this one. I'm not in the loop, but as it stands their contract sucks and there seems to be a geniune hatred for J.O.
I'm not sure about the conflict of interests. The regionals are essentialy wet leasers. Is it wrong for a traditional leas company (GECAS, ILFC, etc) to lease to multiple companies? Where is the actual conflict? I think if there is a problem its in the cheapening of the product as crewmembers struggle to rember weather they are US Airways or United Express today.
NorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2908 posts, RR: 39 Reply 9, posted (6 years 7 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 1598 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW CHAT OPERATOR
well the older CRJs and ERJs (CRJ-100s, early 145s) will get retired. Props will make a small comeback, well they already are i guess. It will be more a split of the 30-40 seat market and the 60+ seat market. The 50 seat market is just not cost effective anymore. Look for more Q400s and a comeback for the Q200/ATR42 would be my guess, but more likely the EMB-120, Dash 8-100 and Saab 340 will be pulled back into service more from long term storage. In terms of cost, a 50 seat RJ and a 70 seat Q400 share very closely costs, yet the Q400 gains 20 seats to generate more revenue with, and has a bigger cargo capacity, without any significant time differences on stages up to around 450nm. Horizon, FlyBE have both proven the Q400 is an efficient, cheap to operate aircraft.
Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 3): 1. Convert their CRJ/ERJ to Cargo planes and try to hitch on with FedEx, UPS, DHL, or another cargo airline...
Forget it, the costs wouldn't be competitive. Cargo doesn't care about the jets, and there is such a glut of props on the market that the market is well oversaturated already. The ATR family is already doing well for FedEx, and the ATP, Fokker 50 and even the Saab 340 are used fairly successfully in Europe. Not to forget the still large fleet of Convairs flying cargo. I would next expect to see more 30 seat class props (EMB-120s, Dash 8-100s... even Jetstream 41s) get converted to cargo.
Otherwise look for the larger regionals to slowly creep more into the 90-100 seat range in the US, more EMB Jets, CRJ-700/900/1000s. The under-20 seater market for the main regionals is probably a dead breed. That kind of flying will go to even smaller carriers, who are more likely to fly PC-12s and King Airs than Jetstreams, Metros or B1900s of the current ilk. I for one would not be surprised to see EAS get eliminated entirely in the next decade in the continental US. State programs may replace them in some areas, but by and large the current EAS system seems like a money waste to me.
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
Doug_Or From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3309 posts, RR: 3 Reply 10, posted (6 years 7 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 1565 times:
Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 9): Otherwise look for the larger regionals to slowly creep more into the 90-100 seat range in the US, more EMB Jets, CRJ-700/900/1000s.
This is really a big question mark. Delta pilots have negoitated rates for the CR9 and EMB-190/5, US is flying the 195, B6 is flying the 190, and CO has stood firm on the 50 seat scope (for jets at least). I don't know what will happen, but mainline may try to take back the flying that was traditionaly theirs (F28/100, dc-9-10, 732).
If so then I think the argument is that if someone can do a roundtrip with you and not realize they've flown Air Wisconson, than are you a "real" airline? Sure the technical requirements may be met, but then there are regional airlines that mean the technical requirements of a "major" airline. We don't refer to them as that because there are conotations to major that regionals simply don't meet (welcome aboard Chautaugua flight 7 with non stop service to from Buffalo to London's Heathrow.... or not).
I think Boyd's point is that regional USED to be airlines setting schedules, selling tickets, advertising, and painting all their aircraft in their own scheme. That has changed and now with a few exceptions regionals function as wet leasers and a way to outsource light feed. We are not code shares on an equal footing, we are a tool that majors use.
Graphic From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 15, posted (6 years 7 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 1460 times:
Quoting ATWZW170 (Reply 13): As for being our own airline -- yes -- we are -- we have tkt stock numbers, an IATA code, ect.
an IATA code does not an airline make. Nor do ticket stock numbers, etc etc. I know you used to be an airline, but my questions were worded in present tense. I'm not saying that Whiskey isn't good at what they do, I'm just pointing out semantics really.
You don't sell your own seats, nor do you market them to passengers, and you don't set your own schedules. You lease out your aircraft to a larger airline, you use their brand, they tell you where to fly and when, and you provide a plane and the crew, hence the term "small jet providers."
Cloudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 744 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (6 years 7 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1377 times:
Maybe it's because I don't work in the airline industry, but I really don't get why so many people get upset over whether or not a regional airline is "really and airline" or not. These are old terms anyways - throwbacks from days when everything was government structured and you had to operate a certain way and everyone was segregated. Modern times now mean that we have new ways of doing business. Heck - we are starting to get to a point now with logo jets and code shares where you don't know which airline you are flying on when you fly the majors.
About regional carriers, I think it is just another case where traditional b usiness practices are so revered that the airlines would rather fall apart than give up and try new operating models. There is no reason to have regional versus national carriers anymore. Protected markets should have gone out hte window decades ago. But the traditional model of a large national flying big planes and small regionals flying small planes is too hard to let go. And this is as much a fault of the unions as the airlines, who still insist on segregations for protection of wages. It's ironic how pilot unions are so scared of loosing jobs with the majors, and yet are essentially leaving all these positions wihtthe smaller airlines unfilled.
I don't suppose you will ever get the industry to make a substantial change quickly, but I think it is time to stop the idea of flying under someone else's flag. Simply run what are the regional airlines as airlines themselves - however they want to (whether that is regionally, nationally, or however), and let them do simple codeshares with the big airlines. If hte big airlines are that concerned with their product image, then they should operate the smaller planes themselves. If I book a flight on Delta, I want to fly Delta and hold Delta responsible. I don't want to book a flight on Delta and then e told they are not responsible because it wasn't really their plane. Too bad. Their mname - they are selling the service.
This industry is too entrenched in backwards thinking.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
ATWZW170 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 904 posts, RR: 3 Reply 18, posted (6 years 7 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1309 times:
I did mean "were" -- past tense --- I still think of AWAC as our own airline -- I guess I don't know of any other regional who started out independent only to transform into something else --- did skywest ever have their own res, yeild, ect.... -- or even comair? I'm not that schooled on their history.
When it comes to the future of regionals -- I have to agree with many of you -- regionals need to start more at risk flying and avoid the hub and spoke. By offering flights that can be markets as "avoid the hassel of the hub" -- DAY-MCO, DAY-TPA, DAY-LAX, CMH-TPA, CMH-LAX --- maybe even offer a better onboard product.
I just thinks so many of us are getting the shaft --- told where to go, forced to lower wages to substandard levels, onboard products removed ---- at some point a stance needs to be made. At some point the regionals have to come together and agree that more risk will be assumed but there needs to not be a decline in the product.
Success is getting what you want...happiness is liking what you get
Apodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4033 posts, RR: 6 Reply 20, posted (6 years 7 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1276 times:
Quoting Cloudboy (Reply 16): About regional carriers, I think it is just another case where traditional b usiness practices are so revered that the airlines would rather fall apart than give up and try new operating models. There is no reason to have regional versus national carriers anymore. Protected markets should have gone out hte window decades ago. But the traditional model of a large national flying big planes and small regionals flying small planes is too hard to let go. And this is as much a fault of the unions as the airlines, who still insist on segregations for protection of wages. It's ironic how pilot unions are so scared of loosing jobs with the majors, and yet are essentially leaving all these positions wihtthe smaller airlines unfilled.
ALPA has bend over backwards to keep wages artificially high at the major, and for scope clauses, but I haven't seen them do much for the pilots at the regional level, and I don't even believe they are doing much to get furloughed pilots back to work either. The only problem is, if ALPA gets wages too high at a Mesa or an Air Wisconsin, Skywest and GoJet are going to win all the flying as non ALPA airlines. You are seeing this already with ComAir.
Quoting Cloudboy (Reply 16): I don't suppose you will ever get the industry to make a substantial change quickly, but I think it is time to stop the idea of flying under someone else's flag. Simply run what are the regional airlines as airlines themselves - however they want to (whether that is regionally, nationally, or however), and let them do simple codeshares with the big airlines. If hte big airlines are that concerned with their product image, then they should operate the smaller planes themselves. If I book a flight on Delta, I want to fly Delta and hold Delta responsible. I don't want to book a flight on Delta and then e told they are not responsible because it wasn't really their plane. Too bad. Their mname - they are selling the service.
The funny thing is, it never used to be this way. In the old days, the Majors owned the planes, and the regionals just operated them. Nowadays, the regionals are expected to own the planes as well as operate them. Also remember, in the old days there was no such things as RFP's. If Delta wanted more flying out of CVG, they didn't put out an RFP, they simply called Comair, no questions asked. And most of the regionals were tied to one and only one big airline. In the early 90's, you had Business Express flying only for delta in the Northeast, ComAir out of CVG and MCO, ASA in ATL and DFW, and Skywest in SLC and the rest of the west. Northwest always had pinnacle and Mesaba, but they also had precision and northeast express. USAir had allegheny and commutair I believe. Air Wisconsin was always a United Carrier along with ACA. I believe Trans States was TW Express. ETC. It was simple. One Major per regional, all flights out of only one or two hubs. Nowadays, the only Major left with this type of agreement is American, who has American Eagle practically everywhere save STL, which was inherited from the TWA merger.
As we all know, the ComAir strike eliminated the one regional per hub concept. I think that ComAir strike had lots of ramifications, all of them bad for the industry.
1. Delta looking to possibly dump ComAir, and put lots of experienced pilots on the street looking for work. And seniority is not protected. (I have major issues with seniority in this industry as well)
2. By having a few regionals having flights into a hub, it requires regionals to open more crew bases than they should, which drives up costs.
3. Additionally, this creates routing issues up the wazoo. It is not uncommon these days for a plane to fly four days without seeing a single maintenance base. Also, since ZW has no mx facility in CLT, how would you like to be the passenger stranded in CLT because ZW has to ferry an airplane to a mx base. And how do you explain that to the passengers, who would be irate that there is no mx in a major USAirways hub.
4. And if something happens to a crew member in an odd hub, you have to find a reserve guy and deadhead him in. And unless you have readys, thats a two hour call up before you can even get him on the plane. ZW for example runs several flights in focus cities such as BOS, LGA, and PIT, but none of them is a crew base. Even CLT is not a crew base. It just makes it that much more difficult to move crews around.
5. With the routing problems, if a plane breaks somewhere, instead of cancelling a return flight to a hub, now you have to cancel 4 or 5 flights. These cost the majors money too.
I know airlines fear strikes, and thus don't put all their eggs in one basket, but maybe the majors ought to look at what i have talked about and reconsider it. It would make for a much more efficient operation of all the regional flights.
ATWZW170 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 904 posts, RR: 3 Reply 21, posted (6 years 7 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1227 times:
Every regional needs to have it's own focus flying. ZW had the majority of flying out of ORD -- makes it much easier when IRREG ops occur. It doesn't help out of PHL where you have ZW, EN, PSA, CHQ, Republic --- certain markets should just be one carriers --- take ZW out of MCI, STL, MSP -- just have RP --- remove EN out of LGA, just have ZW --- would make more sense.
All of this goes back to the fact that regionals need to ban together -- provide a product that each airline can be proud of -- and be the proud of who they are.
Success is getting what you want...happiness is liking what you get