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Holy Smokes.. What Were They Thinking?  
User currently offlineMrSkyGuy From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1214 posts, RR: 3
Posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 16585 times:

Threre is no question now as to the age of jet efficiency.. that age has long since arrived and been established as status quo. But looking back, I can't help but wonder if some made that leap too soon or entered the "battle arena" right out the gate with a long-term solution. Please chime in.. I'd be interested what you think.

LEAP TOO SOON EXAMPLE:
ATA, with one of the most-likely candidates for explosive growth in the late 90s and well into the 2000s, suddenly dumped it's 727 fleet in favor of 737-800s. Smart move on paper, but the equity rollover was weak and the capital investment was enormous.

RIGHT OUT OF THE GATE EXAMPLE
SkyBus had a radical business model for the domestic USA, and it's operation and failure was widely discussed. One of my personal observations of SkyBus's flaws was it's entry into service with an insufficient fleet quantity. Compounding the issue was SkyBus' choice to operate with modern (expensive) single isle Airbii vs. choosing a fleet type with a planned progression, yet a much lower initial capital investment..


"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee." -- Gunter's 2nd Law of Air
39 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 16541 times:

Add ExpressJet to that list

User currently offlineContrails15 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 16444 times:

Would airlines like Kiwi and Carnival fit onto the list? To this day, I don't know how Kiwi survived for as long as it did.


Giants football!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
User currently offlineJbernie From Australia, joined Jan 2007, 880 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 16428 times:

Just look at AA, if it were cheap & easy to drop all the mad dogs and run the latest 737 variant to be more "green" then they probably wouldn't have one mad dog in the fleet right now. A plane with no money owed on it is highly desirable.

As to a new airline starting up, there is some benefit in having absolutely brand spanking new aircraft, you are less likely (though still possible) to have tech issues which would see flights cancelled when you have a small number of aircraft and less flexability in the schedule.

Then again, it doesn't really matter if you go old/new aircraft if you don't have the right business plan etc.


User currently offlineKhobar From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2379 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 16294 times:



Quoting MrSkyGuy (Thread starter):
RIGHT OUT OF THE GATE EXAMPLE
SkyBus had a radical business model for the domestic USA, and it's operation and failure was widely discussed. One of my personal observations of SkyBus's flaws was it's entry into service with an insufficient fleet quantity. Compounding the issue was SkyBus' choice to operate with modern (expensive) single isle Airbii vs. choosing a fleet type with a planned progression, yet a much lower initial capital investment..

What is a fleet type with a planned progression and much lower initial capital investment? IOW, could you be more specific?


User currently offlineObserver From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 15801 times:

SkyBus's problem was that it went from nowhere to nowhere. Like Bellingham to Columbus. And then it created a Greensboro focus city. Continental Lite proved that didn't work.

User currently offlineMtnWest1979 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 2473 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 15729 times:
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Quoting Observer (Reply 5):
Like Bellingham to Columbus

Hey now, I resemble that remark! LOL. I spent the whole $10 to buy that ticket, but never did fly it. I did try 'em out from Springfield,MA to Columbus.



"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
User currently offlineQ120 From Canada, joined Aug 2008, 279 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 15706 times:

I followed Skybus, and frankly I believe the North American market in general was not suited for the routes they offered. They should of started much smaller, shorter hops, better customer service and better marketing would of gave them an opportunity to at least stabilize.


However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3069 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 15656 times:



Quoting Khobar (Reply 4):
What is a fleet type with a planned progression and much lower initial capital investment? IOW, could you be more specific?

I think perhaps Allegiant with their used-but-cheap-to-buy MD-80s is a good example.



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4520 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 12977 times:

Would Independence Air fit into this thread?

User currently offlineThePinnacleKid From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 725 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 10843 times:



Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 1):
Add ExpressJet to that list

Really??? ExpressJet isn't in the same category as ATA and SkyBus... ExpressJet is still a strong carrier with over 235 planes still flying... albeit back to just Corporate flying and Continental Express... but their reasons for starting their independent carrier weren't so much of wanting to get into that market as it was self preservation when facing Continental and their strong arming between XJT/CAL/CHQ....



"Sonny, did we land? or were we shot down?"
User currently offlineAAMDanny From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 363 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 10627 times:



Quoting Observer (Reply 5):
SkyBus's problem was that it went from nowhere to nowhere. Like Bellingham to Columbus. And then it created a Greensboro focus city. Continental Lite proved that didn't work.

Works great in Europe with Ryanair!


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15780 posts, RR: 27
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 10589 times:

Skybus was the absolute dumbest idea this century to not come from Bud Selig. They didn't go anywhere and wouldn't let you buy a connecting ticket. How many people choose their vacation destinations by seeing where they can fly for the cheapest and then find something to do there? (I hear that Columbus is nice this time of year.) And to go back to my tired pizza analogy, Skybus was trying to sell pizzas by removing the cheese. The whole idea was stupid, they never had a chance.

Expressjet and Independence were a different sort of bad idea. Do you know why nobody bothered to fly between Tulsa and Ontario? It's because there isn't enough traffic to support a nonstop flight! Especially on a high CASM 50 seater. These two airlines tried to position themselves as bieng low cost, yet flew some of the highest CASM airliners out there. Don't you think that there is a reason that no low cost airlines in this country fly jets with fewer than 100 seats? The reason is that RJs don't fit with the model. RJs are more useful for filling in hubs or cherry picking on proven routes not for starting ill advised point to point service.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineADent From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1390 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 10393 times:

Didn't Eastern get a bunch of new planes before they flamed out?

User currently offlineDualQual From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 776 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 9909 times:



Quoting AAMDanny (Reply 11):

Works great in Europe with Ryanair!

True but it's apples to oranges. The European market is different from the US market's buying patterns. Not to mention the fact that the train/transport system in Europe is far more robust in making travel easier from outlying places to the city proper. From Bellingham to SEA a rental car would be the easiest way to go but at the time with gas as high as it was you were probably better off just getting the ticket to SEA.


User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16883 posts, RR: 51
Reply 15, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 9645 times:



Quoting ADent (Reply 13):
Didn't Eastern get a bunch of new planes before they flamed out?

No their last order was for the 757 they placed in the late '70s and took delivery of starting in '83, they hadn't taken delivery of any new aircraft for several years when they finally ceased operations in '91.

The Texas Air corp did have a large number of 737-300s on order which they planned planned to split between CO and Eastern, Eastern never received any due to the strike and the eventual split of Eastern and the Texas Air corp. The whole 737-300 order went to CO, IIRC the 737-300s were to replace some of EA's DC-9s.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineAtomsareenough From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 566 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 9118 times:



Quoting DualQual (Reply 14):
From Bellingham to SEA a rental car would be the easiest way to go but at the time with gas as high as it was you were probably better off just getting the ticket to SEA.

And yet Allegiant seems to make BLI work for them....

I'm not saying you're wrong, that Skybus should've gone to more populated places with some O&D demand, but it's interesting that Allegiant seems to do okay flying mostly to those outlying places.


User currently offlineTheGreatChecko From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1130 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks ago) and read 8377 times:



Quoting Atomsareenough (Reply 16):
I'm not saying you're wrong, that Skybus should've gone to more populated places with some O&D demand, but it's interesting that Allegiant seems to do okay flying mostly to those outlying places.

SkyBus connected Columbus to these outlying places, Allegiant connects outlying places to Las Vegas, and sunny destinations. They know their market is leisure travelers and can actually afford to stimulate demand with very low fares.

Checko



"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
User currently offlineVanguard737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 684 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks ago) and read 8377 times:



Quoting MrSkyGuy (Thread starter):
LEAP TOO SOON EXAMPLE:
ATA, with one of the most-likely candidates for explosive growth in the late 90s and well into the 2000s, suddenly dumped it's 727 fleet in favor of 737-800s. Smart move on paper, but the equity rollover was weak and the capital investment was enormous.

I am a former ATA employee. ATA was NOT a victim of jumping the gun, we were a victim of September 11, 2001. The fleet modernization was an absolute requirement. Our 727 fleet had reached a point of such high unreliability coupled with unacceptable operational costs. ATA was well-positioned for growth and had a practical expansion plan. We took delivery of our first 737-800 in June of 2001. Then 9/11 happened. Overnight we found ourselves with a fleet order geared towards pre-9/11 traffic figures and operational costs.

Hindsight is always 20/20. Had we opted for a smaller, more conservative fleet of 737-700's, I still highly doubt our financial situation would have been much better. Perhaps we would have had a slightly-larger pin-hole to fly through in order to avoid bankruptcy, but that is about all.

It is important to remember that ATA was an established carrier even back in 2000, having been around for over 25 years at that point. We were not a Valujet or Skybus or AccessAir. ATA was poised for great things, and I believe we also were a conservative company that planned for rainy days. But. in the end, no one ever predicted a storm as massive as 9/11.



320 717 722 732 733 735 737 738 744 752 753 763 772 DC9 DC10 MD80 B1900 S340 E120 ERJ CRJ CR7
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15780 posts, RR: 27
Reply 19, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks ago) and read 8265 times:



Quoting TheGreatChecko (Reply 17):
SkyBus connected Columbus to these outlying places, Allegiant connects outlying places to Las Vegas, and sunny destinations.

Well, painting Vegas and Columbus with the same brush is a stretch. Las Vegas is a major tourist market where a lot of people go each year. Columbus well... isn't.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineVANGUARD737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 684 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks ago) and read 8171 times:



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 19):
Well, painting Vegas and Columbus with the same brush is a stretch. Las Vegas is a major tourist market where a lot of people go each year. Columbus well... isn't.

That is exactly what he is saying. Read it again.



320 717 722 732 733 735 737 738 744 752 753 763 772 DC9 DC10 MD80 B1900 S340 E120 ERJ CRJ CR7
User currently offlineBeertrucker From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 7156 times:

one thing you need to remember about columbus is the amount of Buisness there. It is not a vacation place but it is very much a buisness destination.


Fly HI
User currently offlineDualQual From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 776 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6996 times:



Quoting Atomsareenough (Reply 16):
Allegiant seems to do okay flying mostly to those outlying places.

How do their costs stack up against Skybus? Is Allegiant soley scheduled now or are they doing any charter work? I honestly don't know. Do they make money at BLI or does it work from them because the rest of the system as a whole generates money? Again, I don't know. What I am driving at with it is Allegiant's model may allow them to serve the market with more breathing room financially then Skybus did.


User currently offlineUpcfordcruiser From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6499 times:



Quoting Vanguard737 (Reply 18):
We took delivery of our first 737-800 in June of 2001. Then 9/11 happened. Overnight we found ourselves with a fleet order geared towards pre-9/11 traffic figures and operational costs.

Hindsight is always 20/20. Had we opted for a smaller, more conservative fleet of 737-700's, I still highly doubt our financial situation would have been much better. Perhaps we would have had a slightly-larger pin-hole to fly through in order to avoid bankruptcy, but that is about all.

Great post!

Hindsight is indeed 20/20 and it's very easy for an outsider looking in to point their fingers at the cause of death after everything is said and done. The bottom line is you have to fly where people are wanting to fly. They're not going to fly from Columbus to Timbucktoo just because you offer a cheap fare.


User currently offlineIrobertson From Canada, joined Apr 2006, 601 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4636 times:



Quoting AAMDanny (Reply 11):
Works great in Europe with Ryanair!

Big thing here too is population density - there just simply is more people in Europe in a smaller space. Thus, you can make those secondary or tertiary airports work.


25 BMI727 : I would guess that G4 has lower costs, even when the oil was really high. That fleet of shiny new Airbus planes wasn't cheap. If Skybus was going to
26 TravelExec : Although it is true that mass transit is more developed in Europe than in the US (and easier to develop due to shorter distances etc), in fact the ty
27 Post contains links Thestooges : Well so do a lot of European low-cost airlines as well !!! Actually A LOT of people in Europe literally go to the Ryanair website and go through ever
28 BMI727 : European city centers tend to be historical and charming. In many US cities the city center is historical and only charming if you're looking for dru
29 ADent : But it was the payments for the new planes (757s and Airbii) that lead to the sale to Frank Lorenzo in 1986 - 3 years after the first 757 was deliver
30 Post contains links and images Fanofjets : I can think of three strange concepts from the 1980s - three start-ups that tried to cash in on the "family values" and "traditional values" social tr
31 KELPkid : Here's one: "Hey, let's buy some used KLM 747-200's and start flying from our hub in Phoenix to Hawaii and Japan" And, at the same time, hire the Engl
32 Logos : That would be America West Airlines, I believe. Cheers, Dave in Orlando
33 KELPkid : You believe correctly, sir! Talk about a hair-brained decision...
34 Viscount724 : Your Europe population number is much too high. You must be including the population of all of Turkey, Russia and other countries in the Asian part o
35 Antoniemey : If you're an eskimo, yes. How much of America have you been to? Granted, we've got nothing on the wide-scale cultural differences between, say, The N
36 Post contains links Brilondon : Quoting Vanguard737 (Reply 18): I am a former ATA employee. ATA was NOT a victim of jumping the gun, we were a victim of September 11, 2001. The fleet
37 BMI727 : I would dispute the reasons that the OP gave for ATA's failure. They just had the misfortune of getting into the scheduled market at the wrong time I
38 Vegasplanes : They do a decent amount of charter work for Harrah's Casinos, Buloxi, and RNO. I am not sure the exact size of the business, however, they have their
39 Post contains images Thestooges : This is by far the funniest thing I've read on A.net !!!    No in fact its surprisingly correct, even if a little bit low. Type in Europe in Wikipe
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