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NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken  
User currently offlineacidradio From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1874 posts, RR: 10
Posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 16932 times:
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"When Flying 720 Miles Takes 12 Hours"
By JAD MOUAWAD
Published: May 2, 2012


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/03/bu...ares.html?_r=1&emc=tnt&tntemail0=y

It took Josh Hunter three separate planes, two connections and a two-hour drive to get from Mobile, Ala., to Cincinnati at Easter. When he added it all up, his 720-mile trip had lasted 12 hours — about the same it would have taken him to drive.

“The whole point of flying should be to save a lot of time, and I didn’t,” Mr. Hunter said.

For anyone trying to fly between the smaller cities in the United States, it’s not easy to get from here to there anymore.


This article probably already echoes a lot of discussion that we already have on here but I think it is significant when the NY Times reports on it. A lot of small cities have lost all or much of their service. The service they have left is expensive and often inconvenient (kind of like the guy in this article who had to connect 3 times, drive 2 hrs at the end and still spent a lot of money to get to where he was going). The medium sized hubs are losing a lot of service. The current regional model - feasible at lower fuel prices - is facing a lot of problems with how the economy is and with the price of fuel. And with regional carriers bound by contract to whatever their partner carrier wants to do, lots of competition for that business and an ever-spiraling race to the bottom for price they are starting to drop like flies (OK bad pun when talking about airplanes but you get the idea).

I'd ask what you all think but there is only so much you can do. Labor costs are generally cut as low as they can go. Fuel costs are outside of anyone's control in the industry. What is next? Eventually something will have to change (Multi-hop mainline jets? Scrap regional jets for turboprops? Tell people "too bad - move to a bigger town"?).


Ich haben zwei Platzspielen und ein Microphone
79 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinebhmdiversion From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 460 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 16903 times:

This guy purchased the ticket knowing what he was getting. End of story.

User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8707 posts, RR: 43
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 16865 times:

Quoting acidradio (Thread starter):
It took Josh Hunter three separate planes, two connections and a two-hour drive to get from Mobile, Ala., to Cincinnati at Easter. When he added it all up, his 720-mile trip had lasted 12 hours — about the same it would have taken him to drive.

A) What on Earth did he book?
B) How much was he delayed by weather?
C) A 60 mph average from door to door over 720 miles? Does that include rest stops?



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinecedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8124 posts, RR: 54
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 16847 times:

It's the size of the planes that are a problem. A city like Kalispell used to get one Delta 727 a day, now gets several ERJs and god knows what. With high oil prices (that will only go up and up from here on), the business model of frequency trumping every other consideration has GOT to be consigned to the rubbish bin of history. One or two flights a day would do the trick.

Even on trunk routes - do we really need fifty flights a day between NY and Chicago? How about 0700, 1030, 1300, 1600, 1900, 2100? Doesn't that cover every eventuality? All operated by 767s (1030, 1600, 2100) and 777s / 747s / A380s at peak hour (0700, 1300, 1900)? God, imagine how much more profitable that would be than the flotilla of narrowbodies?



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15749 posts, RR: 27
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days ago) and read 16688 times:

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 3):
Even on trunk routes - do we really need fifty flights a day between NY and Chicago?

Considering that people pay to be on them, yes.

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 3):
Doesn't that cover every eventuality?

No it doesn't. Doesn't help me if I want to leave at 11:00. Do you really expect people to just wait around for a couple of hours doing nothing?

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 3):
All operated by 767s (1030, 1600, 2100)

Good luck filling those at noon on a Wednesday.

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 3):
777s / 747s / A380s at peak hour (0700, 1300, 1900)?

And those planes do what for the rest of the day?

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 3):
God, imagine how much more profitable that would be than the flotilla of narrowbodies?

Buying expensive planes to operate a few flights at peak times would drive airlines into bankruptcy at an alarming rate.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinekbmiflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 128 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days ago) and read 16668 times:

As the article points out, he had several options to fly that would have been as little as 3 hours and 38 minutes, he chose to fly a route requiring 2 stops, and chose to fly into CMH instead of CVG adding a 2 hour car trip to the journey. He chose to trade longer time for a cheaper fare, that is a tradeoff that could be made for most trips to smaller locations. Especially airports like CVG which have historically high fares.

That being said, the rest of the article is not too far off, just a really bad "real life" example to try and personalize it. The cost advantage regional airlines may have had 10 years ago don't exist now, and many smaller cities (including my home airport of BMI), are in jeopardy of losing more service.


User currently offlineGolfBravoRomeo From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 137 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days ago) and read 16589 times:

Open the graphic, "Airlines do offer some faster options between Mobile, Ala., and Cincinnati, but at higher cost." 3:38 on DL via ATL, not bad at all.

User currently offlineEagleboy From Niue, joined Dec 2009, 1844 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days ago) and read 16529 times:
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Quoting bhmdiversion (Reply 1):
This guy purchased the ticket knowing what he was getting. End of story.
Quoting kbmiflyer (Reply 5):
..........he had several options to fly that would have been as little as 3 hours and 38 minutes, he chose to fly a route requiring 2 stops, and chose to fly into CMH instead of CVG adding a 2 hour car trip to the journey. He chose to trade longer time for a cheaper fare,

Using him as an example of a 'broken' regional airline model was a bad idea.

Why give out about a choice you made?


User currently offlineTWAL1011727 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 630 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days ago) and read 16421 times:

Am I missing something......How convenient that the cost of the airfare wasn't shown.

KD


User currently onlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6049 posts, RR: 14
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days ago) and read 16424 times:

This article is a mish-mash of ideas that do not belong together.

The guy's poor routing choice to save $150 ends up costing hom 9 hours of time, but it's the regional airline industry's fault because the model is supposedly broken?

Or to put it another way:

Tommy wanted to see Lord of the Rings at the movies, so he took the bus to get there, but it took all day because McDonald's ran out of chicken McNuggets.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently onlinerampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3142 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days ago) and read 16382 times:

BMI, I think you are arguing just to argue. I have some very simple answers.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
Considering that people pay to be on them, yes.

I assume that people will also pay for the same seats at somewhat less frequency, but in bigger planes. On the example given, the alternative to flying NYC-CHI is driving or train. Yes, people will still fly, at somewhat lesser frequencies.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
No it doesn't. Doesn't help me if I want to leave at 11:00. Do you really expect people to just wait around for a couple of hours doing nothing?

So it's impossible to consider leaving at 10:30, half an hour earlier, or is there such a lack of self-direction that you can't be productive or otherwise amuse yourself for a couple hours until the next flight? If your time is that sensitive, you seem to be candidate for a biz-jet charter. Not accusing you, mind you, just your example.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
Good luck filling those at noon on a Wednesday.

OK, then how about a somewhat smaller plane at Noon on Wednesday? (The teenager in me says, "duh!") Or, how about dropping Noon on Wednesday if it really has that little demand? But if a flight previous and after are consolidated onto that noon flight, maybe there will be demand.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
And those planes do what for the rest of the day?

How about flying it somewhere else that needs a flight? You know, fleet management? (Again, "duh!   .)All told, fewer flights on bigger planes does eventually require fewer small planes. But isn't that what's needed to help with congestion?

-Rampart


User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days ago) and read 16300 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
No it doesn't. Doesn't help me if I want to leave at 11:00. Do you really expect people to just wait around for a couple of hours doing nothing?

You need to plan your time better.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
And those planes do what for the rest of the day?

Avoid wasting money by flying at break even

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
Buying expensive planes to operate a few flights at peak times would drive airlines into bankruptcy at an alarming rate.

Or collect more revenue during a single flight with less cost (per passenger) that the smaller planes bring over their multiple flights.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15749 posts, RR: 27
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days ago) and read 16303 times:

Quoting rampart (Reply 10):
I have some very simple answers.

Most of which are wrong.

Quoting rampart (Reply 10):
On the example given, the alternative to flying NYC-CHI is driving or train.

Business travelers will love that.

Quoting rampart (Reply 10):
So it's impossible to consider leaving at 10:30, half an hour earlier,

Businesspeople aren't in the habit of hanging around more than they have to. Some of these people will make several bookings to account for when they may be able to leave.

Quoting rampart (Reply 10):
is there such a lack of self-direction that you can't be productive or otherwise amuse yourself for a couple hours until the next flight?

Time is money.

Quoting rampart (Reply 10):
If your time is that sensitive, you seem to be candidate for a biz-jet charter.

Money is money.

Quoting rampart (Reply 10):

OK, then how about a somewhat smaller plane at Noon on Wednesday?

Which airlines will not get for free. Now you have three planes one for peak times, one for off peak but still popular times, and one for the slow times. Not so efficient.

Quoting rampart (Reply 10):
How about flying it somewhere else that needs a flight?

Because short routes that can fill an A380 are just so plentiful? And there's a good chance that if it's the slow part of the day or week for the busiest routes, it's probably the same for the others.

The way airlines do it now is the best you'll get. If I know I need 450 seats at this hour on this day, I can send three narrowbodies. After those flights, I can send one plane to Cleveland, one to Orlando, and one to Detroit. And all those flights will be full, and I have one pilot pool and one maintenance pool. Buying multiple types for different parts of the day or week is mostly a waste. And the simple fact is that if airlines thought they had a better way, they'd do it. And those flights stay so obviously people are on them and paying a nice price to be there.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineplanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 6201 posts, RR: 35
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 15949 times:

Quoting rampart (Reply 10):
BMI, I think you are arguing just to argue. I have some very simple answers.

Oh, I would say that he is. Some of the responses don't make sense or are pithy one liners.



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offlineERJ170 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 6771 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 15711 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Business travelers will love that.

Actually, business fliers will do what they have to do to get where they need to go. That includes flying the day before, flying connections, taking the train, video conferencing. If there is no 11:00 flight then guess what, they won't take the 11:00 flight. They WILL take the 10:00 or the 10:30 and adjust accordingly. It is only because it is offered that a business person will fly the 11:00. I don't think you will find significant number of business travelers that will get ticked off because a flight is not offered at a determined time. And believe me, business travelers are USED to connections.. even the high and mighty New Yowkers!

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):


Businesspeople aren't in the habit of hanging around more than they have to. Some of these people will make several bookings to account for when they may be able to leave.

Right. Business people are used to planning their schedules according to a timeframe. So if they have to take a 10:30 flight, they will get there at 10:00.. If they don't have a flight until 1:00... guess what! They will do lunch or schedule their meetings accordinly. And SOMETIMES.. just SOMETIMES, they will hang around the airport to get some work done in semi-peace and quiet.. or they used that time to make business phonecalls in the airport lounges.. those things are not full for a reason..

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
The way airlines do it now is the best you'll get. If I know I need 450 seats at this hour on this day, I can send three narrowbodies. After those flights, I can send one plane to Cleveland, one to Orlando, and one to Detroit. And all those flights will be full, and I have one pilot pool and one maintenance pool. Buying multiple types for different parts of the day or week is mostly a waste. And the simple fact is that if airlines thought they had a better way, they'd do it. And those flights stay so obviously people are on them and paying a nice price to be there.

Let's compare. Say, just for sake of arguing, AA has 8 flights a day to ATL. 3 738, 1 MD88, 4 ERJ.. Let's say WN has 5 flights a day to ATL.. 3 73G, 2 73H.. Both get their passengers their. Both have plenty of business travelers on it. Which airline is profitable? AA may have more options, but WN is making a profit. Think about it.

And that's all I got to say about that...



Aiming High and going far..
User currently offlineBAC111 From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 15568 times:

I didn't read the entire article, I got the gist early on and from OP's comments.
My question: Did NYT actually propose a solution? A plausible solution?


User currently offlinethreeifbyair From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 687 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 15532 times:

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 3):
Even on trunk routes - do we really need fifty flights a day between NY and Chicago? How about 0700, 1030, 1300, 1600, 1900, 2100? Doesn't that cover every eventuality? All operated by 767s (1030, 1600, 2100) and 777s / 747s / A380s at peak hour (0700, 1300, 1900)? God, imagine how much more profitable that would be than the flotilla of narrowbodies?

You have a pretty bad example.

First, airports are all different. Some (LGA, MDW) can't accomodate large widebodies. Others may seem close (EWR and JFK) but serve very different local markets - unless you live between them, they are not good substitutes for each other.

Second, if you want competition at all, there will be "duplicative" flights. NYC-CHI is not 50x daily on one airline.

Third, not every flight is between the largest and 3rd largest metro areas in the US. Airlines would have severely limited fleet flexibility with so many widebodies - you can't fly half an A380 anywhere, but you can fly 2x 738s to different cities and at different times. Large widebodies are poorly suited to short-haul operations given their long turn-times, so they will also be sitting on the groud a lot between flights, earning $0 for their owners. A small sub-fleet of widebodies for certain routes would be extremely inefficient.

Fourth, widebodies put huge strains on airport infrastructure with huge peaks of traffic followed by lulls with no passengers. More flights on smaller aircraft evenly spaced throughout the day allows airports to design smaller terminals (no A380-scale gate areas used only 1x daily) and supporting facilities.


User currently offlineECFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2012, 30 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 15461 times:

*Note:another multi-year lurker just became a member*

Part of the reality here is that many of these second and third tier American cities are just less economically relevant today. That divergence has really accelerated since the beginning of the recent financial crisis. While key coastal markets are recovering, and specialty markets are stable or growing (think North Dakota oil, for example), many interior cities are in bad, bad shape.

Take upstate NY: once upon a time, economic activity justified a fair amount of point-to-point air traffic. Not so now. I recently needed to go from Rochester, NY to Toronto. Once upon a time, an easy task.


User currently offlineplanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3527 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 15392 times:

Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 14):
They WILL take the 10:00 or the 10:30 and adjust accordingly. It is only because it is offered that a business person will fly the 11:00.
Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 14):
Right. Business people are used to planning their schedules according to a timeframe.

Exactly.

Quoting BAC111 (Reply 15):
Did NYT actually propose a solution? A plausible solution?

No ... they're just reporting. And if an article (outside of an Op-Ed) mentons a solution, it's a solution suggested by an expert ... not the paper.

That said, the article was not super well written ... like someone else said, it was kind of a mish mash of ideas:

- this guy had a hard time getting from point a to point b
- it demonstrates that the regional airline model is broken even though the airlines do offer a much easier routing alternative, ableit more expensive
- Small cities have lost out the most
- Labor contracts have hamstrung airlines



Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offlinefrmrCapCadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1720 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 15338 times:

Up and down the west coast between major cities flying makes sense over a few hundred miles. Flying in almost any direction involving one non major city driving gets tempting. Two non major cities, up to 1000 miles gets tempting.

Bing maps shows Mobile and Cincinnatti 10 hours and 20 minutes apart. If flying involves having to rent a car, the expense of it all begins to make driving look better, which may have been the lesson the guy learned.

Thirty years ago WN had a business model of getting people out of cars and into their planes. It doesn't make as much sense anymore. But I think all of us have hopes a model will arise which makes flying into smaller towns economical and popular. I see in now as a fond hope. But here's wishin'



Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offlineplanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 6201 posts, RR: 35
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 15332 times:

Quoting planespotting (Reply 18):
No ... they're just reporting. And if an article (outside of an Op-Ed) mentons a solution, it's a solution suggested by an expert ... not the paper.

Of course, one expert - NASA, has been advocating air taxis for about 15 years and they were quite excited when there was a burst of VLJ and CFRP turboprop prototyping that was going on a while back. At the time the concept looked promising. Unfortunately there were very few air taxi ops and it all petered out. Of course, there are still modified revival plans that come to light every once in a while but the underlying problem is cost... all the way around. It costs too much to design and certify and it costs too much to operate. Until the cost barrier is broken it appears that there won't be a solution.



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently onlinerampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3142 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 15256 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Most of which are wrong.

In your opinion. Others have responded with some sensible solutions counter to your hyperbolic ones. Which I won't say are wrong, just wrong headed.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Business travelers will love that.

Then you completely missed my point. They won't likely take a car or train, so their alternative is to still take the plane, offered at not quite as often frequency, on larger planes.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Businesspeople aren't in the habit of hanging around more than they have to. Some of these people will make several bookings to account for when they may be able to leave.

I've heard that happens, never met ANYONE who's done that. Well, those few who do (really, what percentage do?) and can afford to, can do so on a fewer choices. I sometimes travel on business, balance convenience and real price (including commuting and terminal hassle time. Sometimes the schedule just isn't perfect for my day, but I make do. I don't subscribe to the pedantic example of hanging around. I DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE. That's what most reasonable people do.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Time is money.

See above, as well as better responses from other posters. My time is money. I make use of it. I don't give up and whine about it, or make up hyperbolic excuses.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Which airlines will not get for free. Now you have three planes one for peak times, one for off peak but still popular times, and one for the slow times. Not so efficient.

People smarter than you or I can work this out. This is why many airlines have different sized airplanes. Japan makes it work. Sure, keep some regional jets. I don't think the model is broken. I do think it's overused.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Because short routes that can fill an A380 are just so plentiful? And there's a good chance that if it's the slow part of the day or week for the busiest routes, it's probably the same for the others.

If you are proposing the A380, or are suggesting that I proposed it, you aren't living in a rational debate environment. Troll elsewhere.

-Rampart


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19807 posts, RR: 59
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 15192 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
No it doesn't. Doesn't help me if I want to leave at 11:00. Do you really expect people to just wait around for a couple of hours doing nothing?

Yes.

Ten flights per day, even 20 (about one per hour) would be better than 50.

And then we wonder why our skies are so congested.


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13166 posts, RR: 100
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 14992 times:
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What is the talk of too many flights NYC to Chicago? That is the busiest city pair in the US! Scroll down to the yellow horizontal bar chart, 3.4 million passengers per year.
http://www.transtats.bts.gov/

If you want to break into that market, you offer service at a time that is in demand. The issue is one has AA, UA/CO, B6, and probably five other airlines on that routeing pair of LGA/JFK/EWR to ORD/MDW. Fifty flights seems seasonable.

Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 19):
Up and down the west coast between major cities flying makes sense over a few hundred miles. Flying in almost any direction involving one non major city driving gets tempting. Two non major cities, up to 1000 miles gets tempting.

I wish I could argue against you. Due to the required early check in times, I've avoided flying.

Quoting aloges (Reply 2):
C) A 60 mph average from door to door over 720 miles? Does that include rest stops?

   When I was a teenager, we couldn't get much back 45mph average despite cruising at... a higher speed. It is amazing how much time topping off gas, using the restroom, and going through the drive in eats up. That was with 3 drivers too. That is more like a 15 hour drive solo assuming no sit down meal.

Quoting TWAL1011727 (Reply 8):
How convenient that the cost of the airfare wasn't shown.

Good point.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
Buying expensive planes to operate a few flights at peak times would drive airlines into bankruptcy at an alarming rate.

   Not to mention a widebody has worse cost per passenger than a norrowbody over that route length.

Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 14):
It is only because it is offered that a business person will fly the 11:00. I don't think you will find significant number of business travelers that will get ticked off because a flight is not offered at a determined time. And believe me, business travelers are USED to connections.. even the high and mighty New Yowkers!

Buying a widebody to keep up the seats yet reduce the frequency requires finding ways to fly that plane 13 to 15 hours per day at a profit. Too many short hops on a widebody also will be expensive from a maintenance/depreciation point of view.

If the seat isn't offered within 2 hours of when the business traveler selects to depart... they will go with a competitor. Heck, for some its within 1 hour. And heaven forbid this makes a competitors connecting flight more appealing...

Quoting threeifbyair (Reply 16):
Second, if you want competition at all, there will be "duplicative" flights. NYC-CHI is not 50x daily on one airline.

  

Quoting planespotting (Reply 18):
- Small cities have lost out the most

Sad but true.

Quoting ECFlyer (Reply 17):

*Note:another multi-year lurker just became a member*

Welcome. You had a good point, many of those mid-America cities haven't grown enough to still be as relevant for aviation with the loss of short haul flying.  
Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 19):
But I think all of us have hopes a model will arise which makes flying into smaller towns economical and popular.

Unless one can show up at the airport 20 minutes before the flight again... forget it. These small towns were dependent on quite a few short flights for their business health. Thanks to long check in times, the sub-250nm market in the USA is dead. Part of the reason is that automobiles are so much more reliable.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 20):
Unfortunately there were very few air taxi ops and it all petered out. Of course, there are still modified revival plans that come to light every once in a while but the underlying problem is cost... all the way around. It costs too much to design and certify and it costs too much to operate. Until the cost barrier is broken it appears that there won't be a solution.

Unfortunately true. I was excited about the air taxi market. But costs have been over double early expectations and by elastic market theory, that means 10% of the potential market (assuming an elastic market is purely price and not time based).

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently onlinerampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3142 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 14986 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 22):
Ten flights per day, even 20 (about one per hour) would be better than 50.

However, I can see that multiple airlines want to compete on that route. If the competing airlines each want 10 flights per day, that's still maybe 50 flights for all.

Larger slot restrictions on heavy city pairs, like this one, would force the use of bigger planes. Draconian? Maybe. Maybe necessary. Anyhow, save the RJs for the smaller markets. If necessary, maybe even the smaller or medium sized markets will have to suffice with 3x service on bigger more efficient planes rather than 5-6x service on RJs. I find myself flying hub-hub or major city-hub more often on RJs. I have nothing against RJs, I actually enjoy them, but their use on heavy markets for the sake of hourly frequency is silly. (EWR-ORD-DEN on 2 UA RJs recently. I mean, really!)

-Rampart


25 MillwallSean : yes the regional airliens model is broken. Oil prices saw to that. the fact that a traveller chooses to go around SE US to save 100 dollars doesnt pro
26 Post contains images rampart : Of course I was told that was "wrong". Great point. Here's a question to everyone: at what point might milk runs make a comeback, using larger aircra
27 Post contains images BC77008 : I non-rev a lot between Chicago and NY, so yes, we do need a lot of flights. Agreed. He sounds like he might be an anetter. I bet he has a trip repor
28 stlAV8R : Normally I don't comment because these forums get out of hand but I must say, BMI is getting hammered and I feel that people are missing the point. No
29 Sevensixtyseven : Um...LGA can take 767-400s. 246 passengers.
30 freakyrat : Actually in my home town of SBN back in the early 70'2 United used to run a combination of 737-200's and a 727 flight a day between SBN-ORD for 10 fli
31 freakyrat : Someone mentioned the North Dakota markets of which I have experience with ISN where the oil shale boom is. They are served by Great Lakes Airlines DB
32 BMI727 : Or if there is one airline with an 11:00 flight and one that doesn't, guess which one I'm booking? Yep, the one that works best. Do you want to be th
33 Cubsrule : Every airline forces customers to plan their schedules around the airline's schedule because no airline has hourly flights to every destination. Any
34 Post contains images rampart : Actually, between visitors and e-mail, I'm more productive somewhere other than my office. I do value that productive time while at the airport or in
35 BMI727 : Do you want to be the airline that has a schedule with flights when the passenger wants to leave, or do you want to be the competitor with less conve
36 rampart : I live in a metro area with several hub airlines (but use just one of the three airports on a regular basis). Going to places that connect anyhow, I
37 traindoc : Every time a person flies, she/he has to decide which combination of time of day, cost and convenience they want to buy. If you opt for low cost, you
38 catiii : No offense because I understand the spirit in which your post is intended, but you're using a 40+ year old example from a time when the United States
39 Cubsrule : Which airline is always the one with more convenient flights? It's a route by route question, at least outside of the CLT and MSPs of the world. But
40 solarflyer22 : Bingo. I would say even up to 500 nm, trains, bus and car are a better option. Problem is the highways suck and we did not invest in Trains or high s
41 catiii : Which brings up a good point: how does an airline do a market analysis and choose what times to schedule? It seems like it could be a chicken or egg
42 Cubsrule : You are splitting hairs. We can say 1105 and 1220 if you like. The point is the same. But far more people travel 250nm because there are far more big
43 blueflyer : Yes, Virginia, the regional aircraft model is broken. Oh wait, wrong newspaper, sorry. That depends immensely on your target population. I can't imag
44 PHX787 : Ok this whole "regional airline model" is pretty much old news.. This isn't really a result of the business model, but more of CVG's flight cuts. What
45 stlAV8R : Thank you. What I think a lot of people fail to realize is that tolerance plays a huge factor in the airline industry. Before regional jets, it was c
46 jimbobjoe : Not to mention DC-10s and L1011s which were regular visitors to LGA.
47 Sevensixtyseven : Correct. And even if 246 passengers per flight isn't all that many, by comparing it to an A380...it's still nothing to scoff at. Maybe both United an
48 Nutsaboutplanes : I dont understand why people simplify the capacity vs. frequency argument to the extent that they do. The only way that voluntary flight reductions in
49 Post contains images boilerla : A 767 has terrible CASM for LAX-ORD. Why do you think AA is replacing their 763s on their transcons with the Airbii when they arrive? Because custome
50 catiii : Amen. You said it.
51 xdlx : Go ahead and try it....book a DOMESTIC ( to make it easier ) MIA-ANC with the Mix & Match scenario on Expedia. And compare it with the few airlin
52 SurfandSnow : This article makes for a good laugh. This article's title led me to believe that it would focus on the issues facing regional airlines. It then procee
53 LonghornDC9 : Amusing thread. Just a word of advice, I would never hire you with that attitude. Everything in this world can be improved upon. If you want to get ah
54 MasseyBrown : Fifty may be too many, but six isn't nearly enough. Companies don't want to pay $1000 an hour to have their lawyers sit in an airport.
55 ECFlyer : A lot of salient points have been made on the structure and history of route planning and frequencies. Another facet of this discussion--one that has
56 delta2ual : Some analysts actually do say that. A few months ago, the Boyd Group had an article about the "regionalization" of airline service (I'll see if I can
57 PPVRA : Let's change that, then. 1. Privatize all NYC area airports, as well as LAX and ORD. 2. Give airports complete pricing freedom like almost every othe
58 HKG212 : Not sure what point you were trying to make here; if you can operate widebody aircraft economically in a small country, why wouldn't that be relevant
59 Cubsrule : The US' lack of "good rail service" has nothing to do with the US' air service infrastructure and everything to do with low population density. The n
60 Flight152 : Really? New York to LA is more then double the distance (2150 mi) then to Miami (950 mi) with flight times that aren't even close.
61 Flighty : What a complainey article. NYT was truly off base with the sentiments in the article. Almost no industry achieves the high effectiveness and efficienc
62 Post contains links frmrCapCadet : This is not actually true. The figures below may not be exactly an apples to apples comparison, but likely close enough. Europe covers approx. 3.93m.
63 Cubsrule : Not really. Like in Europe, there's a pretty big disparity in population densities here. Many more Europeans than Americans live in dense areas. The
64 cmf : Do you have something to support this?
65 SouthernDC9 : If airlines cut back frequencies and flew fewer flights with larger planes it wouldn't be long before the NYT and others started working on articles a
66 frmrCapCadet : Why not provide some actual information. Europe does not have the vast uninhabited mountain areas of the Rockies, the deserts, and the rapidly vacati
67 Flighty : It's just been my experience. Airlines understand the choice sets and are able to select the best (route, aircraft, price) because their choices are
68 Post contains images HKG212 : No one is talking about building HSR for transcontinental services. Of course that wouldn't make sense. By that logic, the U.S. would still be stuck
69 Burkhard : If the train brings from NYC Center to Chicago city center in about 4 hours, as the trains in Japan and France would do, and the business traveler ha
70 sbworcs : I am sure that overall passenger numbers on routes would not drop, even individual airlines numbers would not significantly drop because using your l
71 Goldenshield : EWR-ORD, okay, since that's not hub-to-hub per the pilot contract. However, ORD-DEN is hub-to-hub, so there was no way anyone but mainline would fly
72 cmf : So a claim without substance. The average passenger load factor is about 80%. Cargo is less than that. How many manufacturers do you think will accep
73 usdcaguy : It's important to remember that Amtrak owns NONE of the infrastructure it uses, so all tracks would need to be built from scratch. The freight operat
74 Goldenshield : You sure about that? AFAIK, all of the electrified lines NE of Washington are all owned by them.
75 Burkhard : Thanks for this detailed explanation. I'm completely that building a HST network in the eastern US is a 50 year 500 billion $ project, but it still i
76 ckfred : There are benefits and drawbacks to any sort of system of scheduling. Hub and spoke can offer a myriad of destinations for any one departure point. Th
77 Cubsrule : Certainly. Let's pick 300 people/square mile (115 people per square kilometer) as an arbitrary floor. Roughly 65 million Americans live in states wit
78 freakyrat : ckfred (Reply76) Pretty much said what I said earlier in his comments in regards to Sen. Snowe. "She questioned why some flights couldn't operate out
79 Flighty : It's solved... doesn't mean it is worth doing. Innovations in route planning, dispatch, financal analysis, pricing have been few in the last 15 yrs a
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