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Commutair To Get Saab 340s (rumor)  
User currently offlineSaabFA71 From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 94 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6179 times:

I heard some scuttlebutt recently that Commutair (Continental Connection) will acquire Saab 340s sometime this year.

If this is true, will these be used to supplement the Dash 8 Q200s that they already have or will Commutair phase out the Dashes and operate only Saabs? Also, where will these birds come from? The only place I can think of where they might get them from is Colgan Air since they are already painted in the CO Connection colors. Maybe Mesaba? Pinnacle? AA Eagle? Any thoughts?

I was surprised when I first caught wind of this. Having been a crew member on these planes, I haven't found them to be the most user friendly: Weight restricted, especially with int'l connections; limited cabin space : only 1 row of overhead bins with 1 bin already taken up to accomodate the first aid kit, O2 bottles, life vests, AEDs; no APUs to run air cooling or heating systems; maintenance headaches: electrical system layout was a nightmare, something was always not working whether it was in the cabin or the cockpit. I don't remember hearing crew complain that much about the Dash having this many issues.

Commutair should give the Saabs another look before signing on with them, in my opinion. Unless these birds are in mint condition, the company should just stick with what they have and maybe upgrade to Q400s down the road. To me, getting Saabs is like going from a Toyota, Honda or Hyundai down to a Yugo. Sorry if I offended any Saab (or Yugo) fans out there, just my two cents.


I used all of my sick days, so now I'm calling in dead.
43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKingAir200 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1630 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6158 times:



Quoting SaabFA71 (Thread starter):
Maybe Mesaba? Pinnacle? AA Eagle? Any thoughts?

Pinnacle's SF3s have been gone for several years and I don't think that NWA/DL are looking at getting rid of XJ's Saabs quite yet. Eagle has parked all of their Saabs as well, although I don't know the disposition of the fleet.



Hey Swifty
User currently offlineTDubJFK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6129 times:



Quoting SaabFA71 (Thread starter):
I was surprised when I first caught wind of this. Having been a crew member on these planes, I haven't found them to be the most user friendly: Weight restricted, especially with int'l connections; limited cabin space : only 1 row of overhead bins with 1 bin already taken up to accomodate the first aid kit, O2 bottles, life vests, AEDs; no APUs to run air cooling or heating systems; maintenance headaches: electrical system layout was a nightmare, something was always not working whether it was in the cabin or the cockpit. I don't remember hearing crew complain that much about the Dash having this many issues.

Commutair should give the Saabs another look before signing on with them, in my opinion. Unless these birds are in mint condition, the company should just stick with what they have and maybe upgrade to Q400s down the road. To me, getting Saabs is like going from a Toyota, Honda or Hyundai down to a Yugo. Sorry if I offended any Saab (or Yugo) fans out there, just my two cents.

If you object to the Saabs so much, then explain your screen name. Hmmmmm.  sarcastic 


User currently offlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7775 posts, RR: 27
Reply 3, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6112 times:



Quoting SaabFA71 (Thread starter):
Maybe Mesaba? Pinnacle? AA Eagle? Any thoughts?

Not Mesaba's, they are going to be in the NW/DL fleet for another ~5 years. The interiors are all going to be refurbed this year.

As said, Pinnacle got rid of all of theres and the remaining 11 were transferred to Mesaba but have since been withdrawn from their fleet.

Quoting SaabFA71 (Thread starter):
Unless these birds are in mint condition, the company should just stick with what they have and maybe upgrade to Q400s down the road.

Its not a fair comparison between the Saab and the Q400 as the aircraft aren't even close in terms of capacity. That's comparing a 34 seater (30 under most operating conditions) to a 70-seat turboprop. Second-hand Saabs can be obtained for a fraction of the cost of a new Q400.


User currently offlineAcidradio From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1875 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 6068 times:
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Quoting SaabFA71 (Thread starter):
Sorry if I offended any Saab (or Yugo) fans out there, just my two cents.

I happen to be greatly offended, I am both a Saab and a Yugo fan!

From what I've heard, the Saabs are a bit less complicated than the DHC-8 counterpart and are cheaper to run from that angle.



Ich haben zwei Platzspielen und ein Microphone
User currently offlineSaabFA71 From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 94 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 6010 times:

TDubJFK

I happened to use that screen name because I worked for two airlines that used Saabs (after phasing out other aircraft)......it just seemed that I couldn't get awy from them......they almost followed me I think. So just because I have it as a screen name does not automatically mean I'm proud of it........just a screen name to set me apart from everyone else.

peace



I used all of my sick days, so now I'm calling in dead.
User currently offlineSaabFA71 From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 94 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 5981 times:

Acidradio,

Yes, the Saabs may be cheaper to run,........ but less complicated how?



I used all of my sick days, so now I'm calling in dead.
User currently offlineToltommy From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3311 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 5958 times:



Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 3):
As said, Pinnacle got rid of all of theres and the remaining 11 were transferred to Mesaba but have since been withdrawn from their fleet.

I think XJ rejected the leases on the straight B models in Ch11, and gave them back to Pinnacle. Pinnacle then placed the planes at Colgan and are in use today.


User currently offlineJustlump From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 158 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5918 times:
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Quoting SaabFA71 (Thread starter):
Having been a crew member on these planes, I haven't found them to be the most user friendly:

From the ground crew's perspective, the Saab is very user friendly. Not as easy as the Brasilia, but superior to the ATR and Dash 8 100/200.

Quoting SaabFA71 (Thread starter):
Weight restricted

If you think the Saab is too often weight restricted, try working a Brasilia in the heat or at altitude! Why do you think that the SkyWest Brasilias were replaced by Colgan Saabs in IAH?

Although old and slow, the Saab is a workhorse and is in greater demand now then 5 years ago.


User currently offlineMasseyBrown From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 5604 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5893 times:

Unless the Saabs are a huge bargain, I'm not sure why CommutAir would want to complicate things with a second aircraft type that is not too different in capacity from their Q200's. The earlier rumor was that they would acquire more ex-Horizon Q200's, which seems to make more sense.

The rumor raises the question of whether CO plans on parking more E-145's ahead of plan, which would be costly.



I love long German words like 'Freundschaftsbezeigungen'.
User currently offlineSaabFA71 From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 94 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5868 times:

Justlump

User friendly on the ground? You gotta use a friggin belt loader or bag cart or something to climb into the cargo bin. With the Dash you can at least hoist yourself up to get inside without using anything.......the cargo bin height from the ground is just slightly above chest level, roughly, not over your head like the Saab or Bad-zilia.



I used all of my sick days, so now I'm calling in dead.
User currently offlineFlyinryan99 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 2033 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5699 times:



Quoting SaabFA71 (Thread starter):
The only place I can think of where they might get them from is Colgan Air since they are already painted in the CO Connection colors. Maybe Mesaba? Pinnacle? AA Eagle? Any thoughts?

I highly doubt they would get them from Colgan. My guess is, there are plenty in storage from when Eagle phased them out. I'm sure MQ wouldn't mind leasing them out to make a few extra bucks.

The question comes then, where and who would they fly for? I would think they are going to keep the Q200s, though.


User currently offlineJustlump From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 158 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5608 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting SaabFA71 (Reply 10):
User friendly on the ground? You gotta use a friggin belt loader or bag cart or something to climb into the cargo bin. With the Dash you can at least hoist yourself up to get inside without using anything.......the cargo bin height from the ground is just slightly above chest level, roughly, not over your head like the Saab or Bad-zilia.

SaabFA71
You bring up a valid point. It is very true that the Dash's cargo bin is more accessable from ground level. However, we've always loaded directly from flatbed carts into the aircraft, so the Saab/Brasilia height is actually a better match. Also, with the Dash being a high wing A/C, it often can be dangerous on the ground due to careless rampers taking unwise short-cuts under the wing. Another advantage of the Saab is that it can use a standard jetbridge. We used ours daily without any modifications. From a passenger's perspective, I think that makes the boarding process a little more user friendly.


User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16909 posts, RR: 51
Reply 13, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5587 times:



Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 9):
The rumor raises the question of whether CO plans on parking more E-145's ahead of plan, which would be costly.

I doubt it since they have to cover for the 737-300s and 737-500s leaving the fleet.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineWillbdsp From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 303 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5530 times:

What about the Shuttle America Saabs? Where did they go?

User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23309 posts, RR: 20
Reply 15, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5403 times:



Quoting Willbdsp (Reply 14):
What about the Shuttle America Saabs? Where did they go?

They're all over the place.

MSN 90 is privately-owned
5 went to 8P
3 went to 8S
1 went to KS
2 went to 9L
4 went to 3B
4 went to Bearskin (Canada)
1 went to Fast Link (Egypt)
1 went to Sky Bahamas

MSNs 40 and 152 are in storage.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 16, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5306 times:



Quoting SaabFA71 (Thread starter):
I haven't found them to be the most user friendly: Weight restricted, especially with int'l connections; limited cabin space : only 1 row of overhead bins with 1 bin already taken up to accomodate the first aid kit, O2 bottles, life vests, AEDs; no APUs to run air cooling or heating systems; maintenance headaches: electrical system layout was a nightmare

I've got nearly 15 years working on the Saab 340 and find none of what you say to be true. Much of what you're talking about has to do with how a single airline operates the aircraft...not the aircraft itself. We gave up no overhead bins to emergency equipment. It was stored elsewhere in the aircraft. Maintenance headaches...??? Name some...! Electrical system nightmares...??? Name some....! Weight restrictions are established by the airline flight operations department. We flew under very diffrent restrictions then other Saab operators.

I'm also not aware of any Saab 340's currently on the open market.



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineFlyinryan99 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 2033 posts, RR: 13
Reply 17, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 5285 times:



Quoting EMBQA (Reply 16):
I'm also not aware of any Saab 340's currently on the open market.

They may not be on the open market, but quite a few MQ's are still stored

http://www.airfleets.net/listing/sf3-5.htm


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23309 posts, RR: 20
Reply 18, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 5260 times:



Quoting EMBQA (Reply 16):
Weight restrictions are established by the airline flight operations department. We flew under very diffrent restrictions then other Saab operators.

The weight restriction issues are, IIRC, a bit of a recent development related to FAA changes after the ZV crash in CLT in 2003.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineJBo From Sweden, joined Jan 2005, 2381 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 5246 times:



Quoting Toltommy (Reply 7):
I think XJ rejected the leases on the straight B models in Ch11, and gave them back to Pinnacle. Pinnacle then placed the planes at Colgan and are in use today.

I'm pretty sure Colgan acquired their Saabs well before Pinnacle bought Colgan.



I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.
User currently offlineAzjubilee From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4031 posts, RR: 27
Reply 20, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5088 times:

Not really... after XJ got rid of the "killer B's" they sat in Millington, TN for a long time. Then after Pinnacle corp bought Colgan, they transferred the planes to Colgan... IIRC.

User currently offlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7775 posts, RR: 27
Reply 21, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5061 times:

Wheres the ditch-witch, hah. Killer-B's, I hadn't heard that one before.

Where are the recently retired MQ Saabs at these days?


User currently offlineAzjubilee From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4031 posts, RR: 27
Reply 22, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5051 times:

Killer B's and B-minuses were our nicknames for the ex-PCL saabs. I believe the ditch witch is indeed at Colgan. I've seen a few of the PX's at CRW and IAD.

User currently offlineLatinaviation From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1279 posts, RR: 14
Reply 23, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5038 times:

There are about 16 S340A's being listed on SpeedNews:
http://www.speednews.com/EquipmentRe...arch=Aircraft&Aircraft=Saab%20340A

And 8 S340Bs:
http://www.speednews.com/EquipmentRe...arch=Aircraft&Aircraft=Saab%20340B


User currently offlineAccess-Air From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1940 posts, RR: 12
Reply 24, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4954 times:

Is this the second time the "Commutair" has flown the SAAB 340s?

Correct me if I am wrong....Commutair can trace its lineage back to the original Air North based in Burlington, Vt. They initially flew Twin Otters and a Heron for Mohawk as a Mohawk Commuter in upstate NY. When Allgheny and Mohawk mergerd in 72, Air North then became an Allegheny Commuter carrier. Eventually Air North went independant from Allegheny but continued to operate the same routes. The Also bought and flew some Shorts 330s. In the mid early to mid-80s Gulfstream American came up with a stretched version of the Corporate G-159 Gulfstream I designated G-1C Commuter, to which Air North was a customer. I believe that they ordered two but only flew one, N159AN.
Eventually, Air North pulled out of the smaller upstate cities, dumped the Twin Otters and the G-1C but kept the a few Shorts 330s but also picked up three used Fokker F.27-600s that were parked after the demise of Swift Aire of San Luis Obispo, Ca.'s after a merger with Golden Gate Airlines went bust.
The three F.27s were flown on a heavier routes with the Shorts 330s on some of the smaller runs.
Meanwhile, In Plattsburgh, NY., one of the cities abandoned after Air North dumped their Twin Otters, a new company was formed called Clinton Aero flying Beech C99s. They were operating the upstate NY routes.
Clinton Aero was eventually purchased by Brockway Paper Company and their named Brockway Air. The dumped the C99s but started flying Beech 1900Cs and infact flew the very first 1900C built.
Air North had meanwhile replaced their last two Shorts 330s with two more used Fokker F.27-600s formerly from AeroPeru to bring the fleet to 5.
Brockway Air and Air North decided to combine their companies and soon the Air North name would disappear and it would all become Brockway Air.
Brockway operated for a few years independantly, but when Piedmont Airlines went on a buying spree and bought Utica, NY Based Empire Airlines and a turned Empire's Syracuse hub into a small Piedmont hub, they signed Brockway Air on as a Piedmont Commuter carrier. Soon, the Brockway colours disappeared and the Fokkers started sporting the Familiar light blue PI colours as did the Beech 1900s. When Brockway decided to rid themselves of the Fokker F.27s (One went to Mesaba the other four to elsewhere in the world, three of which ended up crashing) some SAAB 340As were brought online. These were operated for a few years until the agreement between Brockway and Piedmont ended and Piedmont pulled down the former Empire SYR hub. Brockway then became a Trans World Express carrier for a while.
Behind the scenes Brockway also acquired another airline called Crown Airways which was an Allegheny Commuter/USAir Express carrier that served the Pitytsburgh hub. Its name was eventually changed to Liberty Express.
Back to Brockway....After their stint as a TW Express and probabaly because of their inclusion of Liberty Express with USAir, if I recall, got rid of their SAAB 340s and stuck with the upstate NY routes once again with Beech 1900s and themselves came full circle and rejoined as a USAir Express carrier. By this time I believe that they changed their name to Commutair and continued to operate those upstate cities of Burlington, Plattsburgh, Saranac Lake, Massena, Ogdensburg, Watertown to Syracuse and Albany until a few years ago....
That is about the last that I kept track of this carrier....

Access-Air

P.S. I hope that I didnt make too many mistakes......



Remember, Wherever you go, there you are!!!!
25 Alias1024 : Wouldn't a Dash be a closer height to the flatbed than a Saab or EMB-120? Also, the Dash 8 can use a standard jet bridge with the same adapters used
26 Post contains links Access-Air : Speaking of Brockway Air, here is one of their Fokker F.27-600s. This is one that came from AeroPeru... http://www.airlinehobby.com/listings...etails/
27 KLM672 : No, CommutAir are not getting saabs. Source: I have connections to that company and a spoke with a pilot last night after reading this post and he spo
28 JBo : The Saab carts Mesaba uses here have a step welded across one end of the cart, and standing on that step puts you at the perfect height to the bin
29 EMBQA : They have been going to REX in Australia. The Brockway Saab's ended up with Business Express...
30 Alias1024 : So there is a special Saab cart? I was thinking of the golf carts with a flat deck on the back that a lot of regionals use to move bags at small airp
31 KingAir200 : The carts XJ uses are like open topped bag carts. As said above, they have a step attached to the end of the cart. They use them on both CRJ-200s and
32 Pnh2atl : I flew 1900s for Brockway in the late 80s. They were two separate certificates one had the 1900s (West) and one had F-27s then Sabbs (East). They both
33 PSU.DTW.SCE : It is only Mesaba stations that use these carts? They're a pretty slick operation and make loading the Saab very easy. I've noticed 9E-operated stati
34 KingAir200 : I think so, although it's been awhile since I've been to a 9E station.
35 Access-Air : Thanks for the clarification on that..I somehow thought that the Part 135 and the Part 121 operations were separate...I think the 121 was from Air No
36 Pnh2atl : Yes that is correct. Since we flew the "little" planes we always wanted to get to fly the Sabbs, but we would have had to go over as a new hire.
37 Bhmdiversion : I was in LFT the other day and saw a CO Ex prop there... Was this a Commutair plane?
38 Slider : Colgan Saab, from IAH.
39 Mortyman : I was so lucky to fly the Saab 340 with Air Rarotonga ( Cook Islands ) back in 2006. First time on a Saab and so far the only place I have flown it. A
40 N6168E : Nope, Commutair started with 1900's and stayed with them until the Dash 8's. They did renew their fleet at one time, trading old 1900's in for new on
41 Northwest727 : I remember when I was at CommutAir (C5), there was a rumor about getting new Q400s in Fall '08. It never materialized, though I did hear rumors betwe
42 Access-Air : More than a few but thats cool.....I appreciate your corrections. I wouldnt want to look too foolish....From ytour location I can see that you have a
43 SuperDash : Horizon still has a couple of Dash 8's left in the fleet. Not sure if they have a buyer for those last birds. Seems to me Commutair should find the ca
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