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Point-to-Point SkyWest Routes For United  
User currently offlinesimairlinenet From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 917 posts, RR: 2
Posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 6004 times:

Looking at United's domestic route map, there are a few non-hub routes that I thought would be interesting to learn about.
-MMH-SAN/SNA: makes sense, ski market to big metro areas
-SMF-ACV-CEC: political connection for Northern California?
-LAS-FAT/PSP: facilitate crew/maintenance bases?
-PDX-EUG/LMT/OTH/RDM/SEA: intra-NW connecting operation, from the schedules?
-Any others?

General questions:
-How long have these routes been around?
-What purpose do they serve? My guesses are above.
-I presume they are at-risk? I thought these flights are in United livery. Compare this to at-risk routes sold by Delta, all in SkyWest livery.
-What others have there been in the past?
-Some routes seem to be missing from these themes: PDX-MFR, SMF-SAN/SNA. Why aren't these flown?

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineflyingalex From Germany, joined Jul 2010, 1016 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 5918 times:

Quoting simairlinenet (Thread starter):
SMF-SAN/SNA. Why aren't these flown?

Southwest flies both of those routes. UA might have a hard time competing against big-jet service with an RJ. I know which I would prefer to fly on!



Public service announcement: "It's" = "it is". To indicate posession, write "its." Looks wrong, but it's correct grammar
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25518 posts, RR: 50
Reply 2, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 5882 times:

At the moment 25 of the 34 Brasilia's in the United system are under Skywest own pro-rate flying.

For the CRJ200 - 17 of the 78 are under Skywest own risk.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineOH-LGA From Denmark, joined Oct 1999, 1436 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 5762 times:

My knowledge is perhaps a year or so old, but should still hold true. With the exception of routes out of MMH, all of the routes you mention are operated at-risk by SkyWest utilizing UA flight numbers, for which OO pays UA a fee for handling passenger transactions (reservations, departure control, etc.), while taking the financial risk for operating the flights in question.

OO operates both EM2s and CRJ200s on at-risk routes, while CR7s are exclusively operated under fee-per-departure agreements with UA. EM2 & CR2 aircraft are used on fee-per-departure routes as well, but the number of EM2 frames under fee-per-departure are quite small (single digits, if I remember correctly?) EM2 aircraft are painted in UAX or in OO house colors. They're used interchangeably on UA-coded at-risk routes.

The routes have been around for varying lengths of time. I can only speak back to when I started working for OO back in 2001, but SMF-ACV/CEC, LAS-FAT/PSP and PDX-EUG/RDM/SEA have been operated for sure since then.

UAX/OO used to have a fairly substantial operation out of both PDX and SEA (SEA-PSC/GEG/YVR/MMH have all been flown at some point), but as RJs became more available and routes started to be operated from other UA hubs, the entire Pacific Northwest UAX operation became unnecessary. United was going to cut the Pac NW operation completely but OO decided to keep the operation running on an at-risk basis under the UA code.

SFO-OTH/LMT began in 2008, and PDX-OTH/LMT connections began a few months later. AS/QX pulled out of both cities in October 2008 as the Q200s were being phased out and the Q400s were too much airplane for those cities. PDX-OTH isn't operated any more (discontinued a little over a year ago) but service is provided currently by SeaPort Airlines. PDX-LMT sees a single daily flight. Both OTH and LMT service by OO has really always focused on SFO.

PDX-MFR was operated up until a couple years ago, and as the EM2 retirements continue that was one of the routes that was cut as a result (MFR also has service to both DEN and SFO under the UA code, so PDX flying wasn't really needed).

SFO-MMH began in late 2010, and SAN/SNA-MMH began a year later, so they are both relatively new. They do meet the ski market demographic, and linked to fairly high-spend areas as well. Decisions regarding MMH routes for UA are handled by UA as it's a fee-per-departure market.

SMF-ACV-CEC is indeed considered a political connection to the North Coast, and it's often a popular connecting point for passengers returning from the East Coast (connecting from DEN/ORD-SMF flights) to avoid the ATC delays, etc. that are common in SFO.

OO has to toe a fine balance between its at-risk operation and it's contract operations. Operating intra-California routes such as SMF-SNA/SAN would not only pit it again the juggernaut that is WN (operating with uncompetitive aircraft with high seat costs such as the CR2 would render the service loss-making immediately) but also steal traffic from UA that would connect over SFO (in the case of both SAN/SNA) or LAX (SAN only).



Head in the clouds... yet feet planted firmly on the ground.
User currently offlinefutureualpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2605 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 5678 times:

From what I hear the OO Bro at risk flying is the biggest money maker, or second biggest behind the -900 flying. Not surprising given the economics of the airplane.


Life is better when you surf.
User currently onlineYflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 1039 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 5542 times:

Quoting simairlinenet (Thread starter):
-SMF-ACV-CEC: political connection for Northern California?

I'm sure the political connection is a big part of it, but for those who aren't familiar with the region I'm sure another factor is that there is really no good, direct route to drive between the two points. The drive from SMF to ACV requires a looong streatch of mountainous, winding, two lane highway. It's quite scenic if you're not in a hurry, but it is slow going.


User currently onlineSANFan From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 5440 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 5448 times:

Quoting simairlinenet (Thread starter):
MMH-SAN/SNA: makes sense, ski market to big metro areas.

   This is the second winter for these Mammoth routes so they must have done okay last time.

Also, UA (Shuttle) used to fly SAN-SMF (and maybe SAN-OAK but I don't think so) several years ago. I think it might have lasted one or two years but that's it. Would LUV to see some competition in both markets but WN certainly would be tough to go up against even though they have reduced capacity in both markets over the last few years.

As I recall, SAN-IPL is about the only other local/express market that UA has flown in the past from Lindbergh.

bb


User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6049 posts, RR: 14
Reply 7, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 5250 times:

PSP-LAS is one of the few remnants of SunAire (along with PSP-LAX). FAT-LAS is a remnant of WestAir.

Quoting OH-LGA (Reply 3):
EM2 & CR2 aircraft are used on fee-per-departure routes as well, but the number of EM2 frames under fee-per-departure are quite small (single digits, if I remember correctly?) EM2 aircraft are painted in UAX or in OO house colors.

Until the new new pilot contract comes into effect, OO has to abide with the provisions of the old UA pilot's contract, which allows a certain percentage of flying to be pro-rate.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineWingtips56 From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 398 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 5172 times:

The Northern California routes go way back to WestAir, taking over from previous bug-smashers in 1979 (which is when I began working for them in SMF). WestAir grew out of STOL Air at STS, which had acquired what was left of Golden Eagle and NorCal, with BN Islander and BN Trislander on the STS-SFO runs, and the predecessor C402s on the SFO-SMF/CIC/RDD runs. Then VB (later OE) added ACV and CEC in 1980, after the demise of Air Pacific. WestAir several years later became United Express, with Bandeirantes, Twin Otters, Shorts 360, Jetsteam 31 and Brasilias. (We used to call the Shorts 360 "the box the Twin Otters came in.   )

After Pacific Express was spun off, leaving a financial pinch, and WestAir started Atlantic Coast, Mesa's parent acquired WestAir. But when the western contract was up for renewal, United went with OO (which had started as SunAire in Southern California, merging with SkyWest of Utah [GQ???]) and so SkyWest ended up with the WestAir/Mesa Jetstreams and Brasilias. WestAir just packed up its tent and called it a day. And now here we are today with OO filling out California and Oregon routes.

Anyway, OO flies both CEC/ACV-SFO for the hub and the CEC-ACV-SMF route for State Capital business and non-ATC-impacted connections, and a lot of us ex-Sacramentans fled the heat for the Coast, generating VFR traffic. CEC is 350 road miles north of downtown San Francisco and around 400 twisty road miles to downtown Sacramento. I prefer to fly it.



Worked for WestAir, Apollo Airways, Desert Pacific, Western, AirCal and American Airlines
User currently offlinekgaiflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 4287 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 5172 times:
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Quoting simairlinenet (Thread starter):
MMH-SAN/SNA: makes sense, ski market to big metro areas

I flew MMH-SNA and MMH-SFO over the Christmas holidays. Who knew?

Btw, SFO was *packed.* SNA had a few seats open.



[Edited 2013-03-27 13:51:13]

User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25518 posts, RR: 50
Reply 10, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 5085 times:

The United MMH winter routes are funded by Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Summer flying is also funded by the Town of Mammoth, Mono County, and Mammoth Lakes Tourism.

Same with the Horizon Air flying they subsidize.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6049 posts, RR: 14
Reply 11, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 5078 times:

Quoting Wingtips56 (Reply 8):
which had started as SunAire in Southern California, merging with SkyWest of Utah [GQ???]

Bought out, but you got the code right! SunAire was bought for $8M in 1983.

Quoting Wingtips56 (Reply 8):
so SkyWest ended up with the WestAir/Mesa Jetstreams and Brasilias

SkyWest never flew the Bandairante or Jetstream.

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 9):
I flew MMH-SNA and MMH-SFO over the Christmas holidays. Who knew?

Amazingly, the weather around Christmas and New Years was VERY cooperative.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlinesimairlinenet From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 917 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 5024 times:

OH-LGA: really great information, thanks for sharing it.

Quoting LGA" class="quote" target="_blank">OH-LGA (Reply 3):
EM2 aircraft are painted in UAX or in OO house colors. They're used interchangeably on UA-coded at-risk routes.

Does anyone know why SkyWest doesn't have any EMBs in Delta livery?

Quoting LGA" class="quote" target="_blank">OH-LGA (Reply 3):
SEA-PSC/GEG/YVR/MMH have all been flown at some point

Victoria too, I think?

Quoting LGA" class="quote" target="_blank">OH-LGA (Reply 3):
Operating intra-California routes such as SMF-SNA/SAN would not only pit it again the juggernaut that is WN (operating with uncompetitive aircraft with high seat costs such as the CR2 would render the service loss-making immediately) but also steal traffic from UA that would connect over SFO (in the case of both SAN/SNA) or LAX (SAN only).

Fair, but I would counter that connecting traffic would be much lower yielding if willing to add a connection on such a short distance.

Quoting Wingtips56 (Reply 8):
WestAir grew out of STOL Air at STS

I wonder if United has thought about LAX-STS. It would draw traffic from SFO though.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 10):
The United MMH winter routes are funded by Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Summer flying is also funded by the Town of Mammoth, Mono County, and Mammoth Lakes Tourism. Same with the Horizon Air flying they subsidize.

Sounds to me like these routes wouldn't be there without it--MMH came out of nowhere the last few years.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25518 posts, RR: 50
Reply 13, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 5001 times:

Quoting simairlinenet (Reply 12):
Does anyone know why SkyWest doesn't have any EMBs in Delta livery?

All the SLC EMB flying is at Skywest own risk, not contracted by DL.

Quoting simairlinenet (Reply 12):
I wonder if United has thought about LAX-STS. It would draw traffic from SFO though.

I don't think, UA thinks much about smaller intra-CA flying these days. Most of what exist is at OO own risk including the EAS flying they pursue.

For STS specifically, they do have a SCASD grant monies available, however its for eastward air service to a hub like DEN. Frontier at one time looked interested, but nothing came of it.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineWingtips56 From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 398 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 4935 times:

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 11):
SkyWest never flew the Bandairante or Jetstream.

OK. I had long since moved on to AirCal by then so I couldn't remember if the Jetstreams were still with WestAir at the time...it was close. . The others were all historical to WestAir. (Pity I never got to fly the Trislander.)

When I was working at LAS in Jan.-Apr. 1982 (AirCal SMF furlough #1), the original SkyWest/GQ was there with Piper Navajos, IIRC, while SunAire/OO was flying the Metroliners. Sunaire did briefly fly into SMF, with one of the former SwiftAire guys being their station manager, but I don't know at what point they became SkyWest...was that around the same time SkyWest morphed into the Western Express feed (with the bare metal/blue/red livery similar to some of the EMB-120's still flying)? That, of course is how they eventually became DL Connection. A friend of mine, former Apollo Airways/Pacific Coast station manager later became the OO station manager. Ah, history.....



Worked for WestAir, Apollo Airways, Desert Pacific, Western, AirCal and American Airlines
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6049 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 4930 times:

Quoting simairlinenet (Reply 12):
Does anyone know why SkyWest doesn't have any EMBs in Delta livery?

SkyWest painted them originally to be similar to the DL livery, as did other DLC carriers as they came along. My thought is that DL figured that the CRJs were much closer to a mainline experience (i.e., not a prop) so they wanted them branded closer to the DL livery, although, there was still some variation until the early 2000's when DL started making the regional jets match their mainline counterparts with the rebranding.

This was from the first year of ops:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Gary Chambers



Then the wavy-gravy repaint:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mark Abbott




Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineOH-LGA From Denmark, joined Oct 1999, 1436 posts, RR: 19
Reply 16, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4527 times:

Quoting simairlinenet (Reply 12):
Victoria too, I think?

To my memory, SEA-YYJ wasn't operated. SEA-YVR didn't even last that long (a few months, perhaps). And when I mentioned MMH in that list of SEA flights I actually meant MWH (Moses Lake, WA) - oh the perils of being off by a letter!

Quoting simairlinenet (Reply 12):
I wonder if United has thought about LAX-STS. It would draw traffic from SFO though.

SFO-STS was 2x daily and LAX-STS was 4x daily up until October 2001, when the station was closed. As a small aside, I initially applied for a position with OO at the STS station, and the day I was to mail it off they announced the station closure. I refilled the application for SFO   The station was closed as a result of EM2 aircraft being repositioned to DEN (which given the hot and high conditions in DEN didn't work out all that well), and then with the EM2s being retired STS service never restarted.



Head in the clouds... yet feet planted firmly on the ground.
User currently onlineBeardown91737 From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 4358 times:

Quoting SANFan (Reply 6):
Also, UA (Shuttle) used to fly SAN-SMF (and maybe SAN-OAK but I don't think so) several years ago. I think it might have lasted one or two years but that's it. Would LUV to see some competition in both markets but WN certainly would be tough to go up against even though they have reduced capacity in both markets over the last few years.


UA made a move for West Coast traffic in the late 80s and early 90s. They used to fly ONT-OAK, ONT-SMF, BUR-OAK, SAN-PDX and other point to point routes with 735 and 733s. Some of the routes were even in competition with PSA. Eventually, WN and HP won out, but UA and AA continued with service to their hubs of the day, and AS to PDX and SEA.



135 hrs PIC (mostly PA-28) - not current. Landings at MDW, PIA, JAN.
User currently offlineRWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3299 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4237 times:

Quoting OH-LGA (Reply 3):
CR7s are exclusively operated under fee-per-departure agreements with UA

All OO flying for AS is operated by CR7's, so not exclusively.

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 4):
From what I hear the OO Bro at risk flying is the biggest money maker

When I was regularly paying upwards of $400 r/t to fly SFO-RDM-SFO even ten years ago, when I lived down there and the family is living in Redmond. Planes were always packed, only 30 seats on the EMB-120's.

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 11):
SkyWest never flew the Bandairante or Jetstream.

The carriers that were flying J31's and EMB-120's up in the Northwest during the 80's into the 90's was NPA or Westair.

Quoting Beardown91737 (Reply 18):
UA made a move for West Coast traffic in the late 80s and early 90s. They used to fly ONT-OAK, ONT-SMF, BUR-OAK, SAN-PDX and other point to point routes with 735 and 733s.

In the early 80's PDX-PDT-BOI/SLC, PDX-EUG-MFR-SFO, PDX-SLE-MFR-SFO were run on 732's



AA AC AQ AS BD BN CO CS DL EA EZ HA HP KL KN MP MW NK NW OO OZ PA PS QX RC RH RW SA TG TW UA US VS WA WC WN
User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3460 times:

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 19):

I'm pretty sure he was being UA specific. Meaning all CR7s under the UA contract are fee per departure.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlinemtnwest1979 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 2464 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2605 times:
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Quoting Wingtips56 (Reply 14):
SkyWest/GQ

SkyWest's code was QG. Big Sky of Montana had the GQ code.



"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5815 posts, RR: 28
Reply 21, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2602 times:

Quoting OH-LGA (Reply 3):
I can only speak back to when I started working for OO back in 2001, but SMF-ACV/CEC, LAS-FAT/PSP

LAS-FAT dates back much further than that. It was flown by SkyWest as a DL route before it moved to a UAX flight, it might even have been part of the SunAire routes when OO bought them.

I'd have to do some digging around in my storage to get exact dates. But I believe SkyWest began operating LAS-FAT in the late 1980s or early 1990s. There was at least one interruption of SkyWest service in the late 1990s on LAS-FAT but it was later resumed.



"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlineWingtips56 From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 398 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2509 times:

Quoting mtnwest1979 (Reply 24):

Quoting Wingtips56 (Reply 14):
SkyWest/GQ

SkyWest's code was QG. Big Sky of Montana had the GQ code.

Thanks. It was 31 years ago, so the memory fades. Do I get points for at least getting the right two letters?

---
Back to UA pre-United Express, SkyWest, etc.: Before airlines shifted focus to core Hub activities, UA flew lots of western p2p routes. UA did venture early into codesharing in the Pacific Northwest. UA used to fly SMF-PDX/SEA but first ceded the SMF-PDX route to Cascade Airways (CZ), operating BAC-1-11 on behalf of UA. When CZ folded, Horizon was brought in to serve the market (with ex-AL/US F28). Eventually QX and UA separated on the agreement. I could of course be wrong, but I have a faint recollection of HP briefly handling the QX flights, before QX opened their own staffed station in SMF, eventually expanding to handle the AS mainline flights, and the rest is history.



Worked for WestAir, Apollo Airways, Desert Pacific, Western, AirCal and American Airlines
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