Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
US Commercial Aviation Crisis?  
User currently offlineStarrion From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1126 posts, RR: 2
Posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 2321 times:

This topic has been brought up a couple of times, but regardless of how bad the situation is, nothing seems to get done about it.

Over the last couple of months there have been repeated stories in the US media about passengers stuck on aircraft for anywhere between 6-12 hours. These stories have been news pretty much since the 1999 Northwest Blizzard.

This story in the New York Times:
Story link

This story is that delays this year has been the worst in years:
Link to video

The common threads in are that the airlines are the victims of their own success (or failure) because they have been aggressively reducing fleet size to provide the market with the approximate number of seats that they usually sell. This eliminates extra seats that would otherwise be available to fix weather delays or cancelled filights. Because they have less capacity to deal with these problems, they are more hesitant to cancel flights and let people off- the "let's wait this out syndrome". The airlines have also been scheduling aircraft for minimum downtime, so a delay in one part of the country causes delays thoughout the system.

Now add large numbers of smaller planes, an antiquated ATC system, and vastly reduced customer services to deal with the weather related problems.

We do not seem to be headed in a direction that will make this better.

What is going to have to happen to turn it around?


Knowledge Replaces Fear
8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineATLAaron From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 1023 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 2259 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Starrion (Thread starter):
What is going to have to happen to turn it around?

A disaster or some sort of loss of life. That is the only thing that gets the US government's attention to make change.


User currently offlinePlanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 6193 posts, RR: 34
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 2254 times:

Quoting Starrion (Thread starter):
What is going to have to happen to turn it around?

There are the obvious short and longer term bandaid solutions but the only way to really turn around the industry is to allow it to rationalize. There are way too many carriers - domestically and internationally!

[Edited 2007-08-16 18:50:23]


Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 79
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2073 times:

Quoting Starrion (Thread starter):
What is going to have to happen to turn it around?

Y passengers will have to decide they're willing to pay more for additional customer service. Then, and only then, will the airlines be able to profitably put those resources back in the system.

Tom.


User currently offlineIndy From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 4568 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2055 times:

Quoting Planemaker (Reply 2):
There are the obvious short and longer term bandaid solutions but the only way to really turn around the industry is to allow it to rationalize. There are way too many carriers - domestically and internationally!

Loads remain high. Delays are not a product of competition. Delays are a product of frequencies. It doesn't matter whether you have 1 carrier flying 10x a day, 2 flying 5x a day or 5 flying 2x a day. As long as people are filling the seats you are going to need the seats. Perhaps the focus should be on the equipment used. NW flies three CRJs daily from IND to LGA. One 757-200 would handle the same number of seats. That frees up 2 slots. People want frequencies. People however cannot always get what they want.

Now I don't know the amount of time that is allocated per slot so I'm pulling these numbers out of my ass. Lets pretend that the average busy time slot is 5 minutes at LGA. Increase it by 20% to 6 minutes. This should help reduce nasty delays and perhaps force airlines to schedule more responsibly in tight markets.



Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
User currently offlineBLUG From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2051 times:

The simplest and perhaps the best way is to raise fare. Nowadays the carriers simply can't afford to have a low load factor.

User currently offlineRichierich From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 4263 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1957 times:

The problems highlighted by JetBlue in February (planes spending 6-10+ hours on the ground) have, unfortunately, been repeated many times across the US over the past 6 months by many different carriers. Delayed and cancelled flights are way up and it seems that if you are flying out of any major metro area (NYC, for example), just about every day is subject to GDP and increased delays. Airlines definitely pad their block times, but rarely enough to compensate for the current delay averages. I honestly don't remember any stretch like this in recent US commercial aviation history, including the 'crowded' summers of 2000 and 2001. I think it is as bad as it ever has been.

However, I wouldn't go as far to call this a "crisis". The number of flights that have been stuck for 5 or more hours is still extremely low, and the chance of actually being stuck in a plane on the ground for more than 2 hours is remote. Obviously I appreciate the argument that it shouldn't happen at all. At least B6 had an excuse: a really bad ice storm. Most of the chronic delays since then have not had the crutch of weather to lay blame on.

As much as it pains me to say this, I think the government is going to have to intervene at some point. Hopefully it won't take the loss of life to motivate them, but clearly the airlines themselves cannot fix the situation (which, arguably, is not entirely their fault either). I'm not sure of an easy fix though. If the gov't pushes through a Pax Bill of Rights, it either won't go far enough or airlines will be forced to cancel a lot of services in order to avoid the costs associated with BoR penalties. Its not a good situation.



None shall pass!!!!
User currently offlineStarrion From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1126 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1920 times:

Part of the issue is that the Airlines are rewarded for flying smaller aircraft. Loads are kept high and it keeps empty seats to a minimum. It's about the only thing that is giving the airlines any pricing power at all.

What if the airports were encouraged and allowed to increase the landing fees at congested airports? If it became more economical to fly 73G/319's instead of CRJ/ERJ's, the airlines would have to reduce frequency in order to keep the number of seats down.

That would increase the price of tickets as well. The hyper-competition resulting in $39 fares does not do the infrastructure any good.



Knowledge Replaces Fear
User currently offlinePlanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 6193 posts, RR: 34
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1864 times:

Quoting Indy (Reply 4):
Loads remain high. Delays are not a product of competition. Delays are a product of frequencies. It doesn't matter whether you have 1 carrier flying 10x a day, 2 flying 5x a day or 5 flying 2x a day. As long as people are filling the seats you are going to need the seats. Perhaps the focus should be on the equipment used. NW flies three CRJs daily from IND to LGA. One 757-200 would handle the same number of seats. That frees up 2 slots. People want frequencies. People however cannot always get what they want.

There are too many carriers fighting for the same number of pax. Cut the number of carriers in half you still maintain frequency but cut the number of slots used.



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Commercial Aviation In 2007 posted Mon Jan 1 2007 07:17:58 by Speedbird747BA
What Happened To Commercial Aviation? posted Wed Nov 15 2006 00:05:27 by Speedbird747BA
Northwest Florida Commercial Aviation posted Tue Sep 19 2006 03:37:41 by Speedbird747BA
Traffic Growth In Commercial Aviation Since 1940s? posted Thu Aug 24 2006 19:29:48 by A380900
Best US Civil Aviation Displays? posted Wed Aug 9 2006 17:22:17 by DAYflyer
Commercial Aviation In Africa The Future! posted Mon May 22 2006 02:39:25 by Georgiabill
The Future Innovation Of Commercial Aviation.... posted Sat Mar 18 2006 04:35:36 by Scalebuilder
Commercial Aviation Daily Down? posted Mon Nov 14 2005 17:29:43 by JoFMO
Commercial Aviation Today posted Wed Aug 3 2005 23:44:44 by Planesailing
The Effect Of WW II On Commercial Aviation? posted Tue Mar 8 2005 06:29:00 by Pdxtriple7