g500 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 752 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 7460 times:
One of the best articles i've read in months.
"Twenty years after the delivery of Bombardier's first regional jet, a change in market dynamics has caused orders for 50-seat regional jets to collapse and production to cease, with no successors planned.
Airlines have shifted towards using larger aircraft and turboprops on routes previously served by 50-seat regional jets. This change in strategy was largely dictated by fuel prices, as well as changes to scope clauses in the contracts between US airlines and pilot unions"
SWALUV From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 85 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 7427 times:
In my opinion, I think for the short flights, there is no reason why you should burn more fuel, IF you can use a turboprop that goes approximately the same speed! The same thing if you can carry more passengers.
Another fact is that airlines are cutting schedule's. Why waste more fuel (which means more cost) if you can cut the time and upgrade aircraft?!?!?
Hmelawyer From United States of America, joined May 2011, 48 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 7224 times:
One potential reason to use the RJ even with a higher cost is if you can extract higher revenue. There are plenty of passengers who may bypass a regional airport if service is only on turboprops, but will pay a premium for RJ service. UA has started using some Q400 (mixed with mainline, and RJ) at my home airport, AUS, and the loads for the prop flights are much lower than the non-prop flights (and if you believe it is a time of the flight issue, the load factor has decreased for that flight since the props were inserted).
SuperCaravelle From Netherlands, joined Jan 2012, 219 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 7133 times:
The article rightly mentions a lot of the RJ demand was artificially driven. The vast majority of the 50-seaters went to North America, where scope clauses made them viable, while fuel costs were not yet prohibitive. There are some small operators of the type (excluding Air France and Lufthansa, I think the only major operators of newly delivered ERJ's and CRJ's?) outside of the US, and I think that might be the future of the aircraft and that is their place realistically.
The problem is that there aren't many city pairs with high yield opportunities, but low traffic volumes. In many cases, a bigger jet or no service suits better, assuming no labor restrictions.
DesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7680 posts, RR: 18 Reply 4, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 7073 times:
I remember being somewhat excited for my first CRJ flight back in the summer of 1999 (I was much more excited for other reasons not relevant to the topic at hand). PHX-EUG-PHX on one a CRJ-200.... which was one of the first routes America West started using the CRJs flown by Mesa Airlines. I think the logic at the time is that a long-thinnish route like that would be viable if the airline could add a whole bunch of those routes to the PHX hub. In an era of cheap fuel it probably made (some) sense.
Quoting SuperCaravelle (Reply 3): The problem is that there aren't many city pairs with high yield opportunities, but low traffic volumes. In many cases, a bigger jet or no service suits better, assuming no labor restrictions.
i think this is almost 100% true. These routes only existed at the time because of relatively low labor costs and unprecedentedly low fuel costs.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
Exactly, in an era of cheaper fuel the RJS made sense, but now when jet fuel is well over $100 a barrel it is uneconomical. Now turbo-prop may still be around for the time, but with them being a tad bit slower and the general public preferring to fly in a jet and save some time they may not be around forever.
PC12Fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2263 posts, RR: 5 Reply 6, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6924 times:
It is fascinating to see the ride this category has been through. I still think there is a market for them, but it kinda falls in the category of the A380/748i - a very niche type. There could be routes that are waaaay to long for turboprops to handle, yet are desirable for some markets. And IMO, the configuration of these aircraft could be upgraded to suit the demand. IE, pitch greater than "sardine can" in economy, and even first in a 50 seater. I know I've played around with an ERJ145XR for fun that only holds 37 total - 4 first / 33 economy. I just have a hard time believing that if that service was offered, there would be no takers.
(preparing myself for the lashing I'm presumably about to get)
Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!
usdcaguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 764 posts, RR: 2 Reply 7, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6924 times:
If the CRJ goes out, what happens to its variants, such as the CRJ-700/900? Those are still viable types, I believe, but the CRJ-700 feels just like a stretched-out CRJ-200 along with all the associated unpleasantness (stinky lav, narrow seats, low ceiling, poor lighting). I wonder how long that one will last. If that disappears, what happens to frequency in various markets? Just look at XNA, for example. If it weren't for the CRJ and ERJ, I doubt that place would have the service it has today in spite of Wal-Mart.
brj From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 258 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (1 year 2 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 6584 times:
I used to avoid the non-jet flights when booking as well. Now, I try to avoid all CRJ-200 flights, usually ends up being a miserable experience. I have flown the -700 variant once, and was pleasantly surprised compared to the -200. Riding the -900 variant for the first time in May, MSY-SLC with flight time of 3:40. Should be interesting.
AADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 1864 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (1 year 2 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6154 times:
Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 8): Last retail jet fuel price at DAL I checked was close to $7 per gallon - $294.00 per barrel.
I find that very difficult to believe. JetA is traditionally cheaper than gasoline and it has lower taxes. $7 per gallon is closer to European gas prices. Perhaps it is some kind of non-contract retail price for GA or something. I doubt any USA airline pays anywhere close to that price.
PITrules From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 2714 posts, RR: 3 Reply 14, posted (1 year 2 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6154 times:
I think what's missing from that article is the impact of the rapid expansion of low cost carriers in that time frame, who BTW never intentionally operated regional jets for the most part.
A CRJ might make sense for United on the CAK-ORD route for $700/seat. When a LCC comes in and adds CAK to their network for an average fare of $120, the incumbent carrier will match the new competition. CAK-ORD for $120 no longer is profitable on a regional jet.
I am so over the CRJ 200 as well. I always hit my head against the overhead bin. I used to loathe the ATR 42/72, but now I miss them. I am flying in the CRJ700 and CRJ1000 with AF for the very first time soon, so I am curious to note the differences between them and the CR2. I'm not sure if I'd do the 3h40mins you are doing to SLC, though... kudos to you for doing it, though!
Just last week I flew BCN-BLQ-BCN on two Air Nostrum's CR9s. Very pleasant. Way better than their CR2s. But, of course those flights took less than 1.5 hours. Not so sure about spending 3+ hours in one of them... I still have to try their 1000s.
DLX737200 From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1851 posts, RR: 23 Reply 18, posted (1 year 2 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5831 times:
Quoting Hmelawyer (Reply 2): There are plenty of passengers who may bypass a regional airport if service is only on turboprops, but will pay a premium for RJ service.
Ehhh... maybe sometimes. But most of the time I don't think passengers have ANY idea what kind of plane they're flying on. Sure people like you and I look at aircraft types when we choose flights, but I think most of the general public, with no interest in aviation, does not care until they get to the plane. I was a gate agent in my last job for several years and I cannot count how many times people came up to me asking what kind of plane they were on, or if there was a movie/meal, or if they could upgrade to first class, all the while they'd be booked on a CRJ-200. So many people only look at ticket price and maybe times and then book the flights. I flew MCI-OMA once on an Air Midwest Beech 1900D and I overheard a passenger ask the gate agent, "We're not flying on that little Cessna are we?" to which the gate agent replied, "It's actually a Beech 1900. It's only a 150 mile flight, ma'am. How big of a plane did you think you'd be on?" The passenger responded, "I dunno. Like a Boeing 747 or something?" I died inside...
The public: They always know better, even though they often know nothing
Hmelawyer From United States of America, joined May 2011, 48 posts, RR: 0 Reply 19, posted (1 year 2 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5563 times:
Quoting DLX737200 (Reply 18): Ehhh... maybe sometimes. But most of the time I don't think passengers have ANY idea what kind of plane they're flying on.
The kind of passengers that the airlines really care about (business passengers w/ good yields) usually know what plane types they are going to be flying if for no other reason than upgrade potential. At that number of passengers is far more than just those that visit these boards.
I agree with points throughout this thread that with the current price of fuel and the LCCs serving smaller stations the number of routes that can economically be served with RJs will get smaller. I just do not think that a return to props will be the answer for most routes. I also do not see unions giving enough on scope clauses for the type to go away totally. I also agree with a point about that having at least a few premium seats on even 50 seaters would be a good strategy to increase yields. I know there have been times where I have downgraded the class of ticket I was going to buy because there was a regional leg on my itinerary where a higher fare class would have no benefit.
RobertS975 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 896 posts, RR: 0 Reply 21, posted (1 year 2 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 5290 times:
One of the main issues that I have with the CRJ900 is the fact that most carry-on luggage needs to be tagged and placed in the cargo hold. Then there is a crowd of passengers waiting for their planeside carry-ons on arrival.
The E175/190 are far more comfortable and allow most roll aboard carry-on luggage to be placed in an overhead bin.
apodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3653 posts, RR: 6 Reply 22, posted (1 year 2 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4623 times:
Quoting RobertS975 (Reply 21): One of the main issues that I have with the CRJ900 is the fact that most carry-on luggage needs to be tagged and placed in the cargo hold. Then there is a crowd of passengers waiting for their planeside carry-ons on arrival.
I actually like this. It makes boarding a lot quicker since no one is searching for precious overhead space, and what I would put below my seat on a Mainline jet, I put in the smaller RJ overheads instead, which gives me a little extra legroom on the CRJ.
This is having an effect on the regional operators themselves though. We all know about the Pinnacle Bankruptcy. Comair is in hospice care at the moment. Skywest is losing money, in part because they thought they could get better rates through merging, and the merger is costing them more than they though. Also their Delta contract had a second cheapest carrier clause in it, which Delta invoked to lower the rates that they pay SkyWest for the actual flying. With Delta pulling that on Skywest, who else are they going to pull that on?
And the Mainline pilots are not in the mood for easier scope either. I believe the Delta pilots are about to file a motion to begin negotiations on a new contract with Delta. United and Continental still don't have a joint contract, and they are about to ask a mediator to release them from Mediation which I believe would begin a cooling off period, putting them closer to a strike. And I don't need to say anything about USAirways. The key thing in all of this is the AMR bankruptcy. If the contract that is imposed by the Bankruptcy court preserves scope for AA in its current form, then all bets are off and suddenly United and Delta pilots have leverage in their own negotations.
The last question is, if a regional goes belly up, what happens to the flying? There are regionals who would love to grow if they had an opportunity that made sense (Think Air Wisconsin or Trans States). However, there are regionals that grew too quickly and ended up in bankruptcy (Think Pinnacle and Mesa). How much willingness is there for the regionals to take risks? Historically a company like Air Wisconsin has avoided risk like the plague, where other companies such as RAH have done just the opposite. We shall see how it all plays out.
bkircher From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 185 posts, RR: 0 Reply 23, posted (1 year 2 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3419 times:
I just dont see what can replace the 200, if you replace them with 700/900/1000s/170/175/190/s your gonna flood those small markets like Yuma for instance. United Skywest is in a bit of a bind because they dont want to replace the e120s yet because they are so much cheaper than a 200, but they need to because they are becoming a liability. If you replace a plane that on a good day will take 28 people with 50, or in this case ive heard talk of even q400s, so 70 seats. Look at what it will do to that market. Surely its uneconomical to bring a plane in with 70 seats and only on average 10 paying passengers in the afternoon.
mhkansan From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 395 posts, RR: 1 Reply 24, posted (1 year 2 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3407 times:
I know that in my market our 50 seat RJ's are still profitable. It also means a small city like mine can support five daily departures to two major hubs. This is only because we're a good market that can fill the planes. In markets with lower loadfactors I'm sure the flights make money, but throw in any extraordinary circumstance and 50-seat RJ's profitability goes way south.
I think the primary benefit of them is that it lets major carriers sell expensive transatlantic tickets in these small markets where they otherwise wouldn't sell the trip. Basically, RJ feed is an expenditure they're willing to loose money on for access into lots of smaller markets, or access to frequency driven business traffic a la MQ @ ORD.
baje427 From Barbados, joined Jul 2011, 405 posts, RR: 0 Reply 25, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2518 times:
Its funny how much you guys loathe the CRJ we don't get these aircraft here in BGI I have always wanted to fly on one of the smaller jets. For those of you who have been on the Q400NG and ATR-600 series how do these aircraft compare cabin environment wise to the older RJ's in your opinion and does the cabin environment negate the noise and vibration of the prop vs the older RJ's
RyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 2674 posts, RR: 2 Reply 26, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2462 times:
Quoting baje427 (Reply 25): For those of you who have been on the Q400NG and ATR-600 series how do these aircraft compare cabin environment wise to the older RJ's in your opinion and does the cabin environment negate the noise and vibration of the prop vs the older RJ's
Having flown both the Q400 and NG ATRs quite a few times, I would say that the Q400 doesn't feel any more cramped than the 200, and the ATR actually feels very spacious (think EJet size). I would definitely choose the ATR over a small RJ any day, and this from an avowed ATR hater back in the 90s.
Re prop noise/vibration, I think the Q400 is louder inside than the ATR but it isn't too much of an issue. Both frames experience very little fuselage vibration other than start-up and generally allow for a very smooth flight (weather permitting). Overall, especially for short flights, I really cannot find any reason to 'hate' on either of them. Even on longer flights I don't really mind them. A couple of weeks ago I flew CBR-BNE on a Q400 which is 593mi and had a block time of 2 hours, and didn't mind the experience at all even though I obviously prefer the 737s which QF usually use on that route.
lightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 10895 posts, RR: 100 Reply 27, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2391 times:
Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 8): Last retail jet fuel price at DAL I checked was close to $7 per gallon - $294.00 per barrel.
You must have a non-contract price. In bulk, jet fuel is wholesaling at $3.30/gallon before trucking/pipeline fees. Of course one has to add fueler profit margins, cost to hire someone to pull the fuel to the A/C, etc. But that is under $1/gallon. (Heck, way under...)
Flighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 7508 posts, RR: 2 Reply 28, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2363 times:
Of course production has ceased. There is a glut. That does not mean the 50 seat RJ is obsolete or withdrawn from use. The B-2 is also out of production. It doesn't mean the aircraft is worthless or not useful.
LHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1376 posts, RR: 1 Reply 30, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1987 times:
Quoting SWALUV (Reply 1): In my opinion, I think for the short flights, there is no reason why you should burn more fuel, IF you can use a turboprop that goes approximately the same speed! The same thing if you can carry more passengers.
Given the different performance envelopes of the Q400 at ATR, could we see high-performance, Q400-style props serving the true "jet substitute" roles where the speed is important, and then ATRs (or similar short-range specialists) taking over the shorter routes where the 50-seaters are really out of their element?
B727FA From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 562 posts, RR: 0 Reply 32, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 1846 times:
Gas issues aside, it kills me to hear the vitriol for the lowly-RJ. I worked that plane when they were still the "Darling of the Industry." People PAID good money, significant premiums to be on the ONE flight to city XYZ to be "on a jet" and not a "puddle jumper." We had little plastic tabs (remember those gate signs) that said, "THIS flight on a (in logo font) Regional Jet!"
I'm not saying there's no reason to get rid of them, but make it about costs (the real issue)...not some perceived annoyance with them. I personally never minded the turbo-props...but it was a marketing boon to use a "jet." But for people to say they "miss" the props smacks of saying "I miss the days when a car was built tough...like when I was a kid in the 50's--No air-conditioning, AM radio, standard transmission, crank-down windows." Props aren't IN AND OF THEMSELVES "better" just because their NOT RJ's. There are plenty of crappy things about props--even today. They're not exactly a wide-body bird. You'll gate check your bags. You'll have narrow seats. You'll have modified jetways that take longer to place. You probably don't have FC.
I will acknowledge that the 200's especially, feel more cramped, than the newer -700s and the NextGen a/c. And, the airlines have "over used" them (esp the 200s) on routes that aren't appropriate and missions that don't make sense. But for RJ "haters" make sure you aren't doing apples to oranges with the PHYSICAL attributes of the planes you're wanting "back" (props) in their place. Keep in mind, Concorde's cabin was scarcely wider than many RJ's flying today.
Route planning aside, capacity/seats/flights per day, can be a driver in their use. I'm not saying that ECONOMICALLY the RJ's rarely "make sense" but from a "raw" pax experience, it won't be replaced with a turbo-prop no matter how much cheaper they are or how much people say the "want them back."
My comments/opinions are my own and are not to be construed as the opinion(s) of my employer.
redzeppelin From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 296 posts, RR: 0 Reply 33, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 1837 times:
As a DL silver medallion (this is my first year ever with any status), I've come to appreciate DL's fleet of 76 seat RJs. The CR9s and E175s are both configured with 12 F seats and 64 Y, which is about the best ratio you will find on domestic aircraft. I don't expect to get many complimentary upgrades as a silver, but I've had good luck with the 76 seaters and I've started to look for them specifically when booking flights. I selfishly hope they stick around. I still can't find much good to say about the 50-seat CR2s.
DesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7680 posts, RR: 18 Reply 34, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1771 times:
Quoting B727FA (Reply 32): Gas issues aside, it kills me to hear the vitriol for the lowly-RJ. I worked that plane when they were still the "Darling of the Industry." People PAID good money, significant premiums to be on the ONE flight to city XYZ to be "on a jet" and not a "puddle jumper." We had little plastic tabs (remember those gate signs) that said, "THIS flight on a (in logo font) Regional Jet!"
It didn't hurt that there were several high profile turboprop crashes that turned the public perception away from the so-called puddle jumpers -- American Eagle 4184 being the prime one. They were perceived as unsafe or at least less safe than a jet.
The problem came when their usage went beyond those early thinish routes. A route like PHX-EUG, which wouldn't have been possible with then current turboprops and too thin for a 737, or PHX-FAT made a lot of sense. It was after the post-9/11 downturn that routes that were previously mainline went in part to 50 seaters. PHX-LAX on United being an example.
Now on the other hand the regional jet did serve a purpose in helping to retain and/or improve air service to smaller market airports. When I lived in upstate New York SYR was my local airport and CRJs/ERJs made up the bulk of the flights. And believe me that these aircraft were improvements over the turboprops they replaced. I remember flying up for the interview for that job. I had a CRJ from IAD on the way up and a J41 on the way down. The CRJ was by far the better flight experience (even though the FA on the J41 flight was pretty cool -- free booze for our delayed flight).
I've never been one to really slag on the use of 50 seaters and claim they are torture devices. I've taken more than few ~2hr long flights on them. I think the industry overused them, in the US market in particular, and not really until this current round of consolidation did the majors really begin to address the major issues facing the industry. The 50 seaters were merely a bandage to a bigger problem.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
Viscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 21690 posts, RR: 23 Reply 37, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1659 times:
Quoting yyz717 (Reply 36): Quoting brj (Reply 9):
Now, I try to avoid all CRJ-200 flights, usually ends up being a miserable experience.
I try to also, they can be very unpleasant. Jazz used to fly YYZ-IAH in the CRJ -- you were often on-board from gate to gate for 4+ hours
Did Jazz ever use the CRJ-100/200 on YYZ-IAH? Wouldn't that be beyond the effective range? I thought it's always been the CRJ-705 (CRJ-900 with fewer seats). They're much better with repositioned windows and the same IFE system as AC mainline aircraft and a proper 3-abreast J cabin. They still use the CRJ-705 on YYZ-IAH, and YYC-IAH which is over 400 nm further.
toltommy From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3224 posts, RR: 4 Reply 38, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1635 times:
Quoting Hmelawyer (Reply 2): UA has started using some Q400 (mixed with mainline, and RJ) at my home airport, AUS,
For now. but the Q's are leaving the fleet, so will UA replace the flying or reduce capcity since the overall LF was down?
Quoting PC12Fan (Reply 6): I know I've played around with an ERJ145XR for fun that only holds 37 total - 4 first / 33 economy. I just have a hard time believing that if that service was offered, there would be no takers.
Problem in the USA is that nobody actually buy FC anymore. It's all elite upgrades, so can you make the configuration revenue positive?
Quoting gothamspotter (Reply 15): A lot of them won't be replaced, and a lot of smaller US cities will no longer have commercial service.
Not at first. But opportunity breeds innovation. Someone will develop a new type of aircraft to serve the market.