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Cheapest Way To Start An Airline  
User currently offlineARGInMIA From Argentina, joined Nov 2001, 487 posts, RR: 5
Posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3312 times:

If you had a very limited budget to start an airline in the US (lets say 2 Millons) What would you do? Airplane? Routes? do you think is possible? I thought about the Yak-40.. can you fly that airplane for commercial service here?



Alto.. Mucho mas alto.. hasta la cumbre
25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePH-BFA From Netherlands, joined Apr 2002, 562 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3226 times:

Some reasons why not the Yak-40:

1. Don't know if it is approved by FAA
2. Americans would not like to fly on it(maybe some American aviation lovers)
3. Very expensive, since nobody flies those aircraft in the US, so maintenance have to be carried out in Russia
4. No(or maybe very limited) spare parts available in the US if anything brakes down

PH-BFA


User currently offlineARGInMIA From Argentina, joined Nov 2001, 487 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3207 times:

so what other aircraft can be used.. staying withing that small budget? lease?


Alto.. Mucho mas alto.. hasta la cumbre
User currently offlineRogueTrader From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3193 times:

For 2 million you could start a helicopter service giving tours of the Grand Canyon. You could maybe start a very small charter service providing semi-regular airline- like service to....small islands in the Caribbean or perhaps in the Alaskan tundra. But, that amount is way too low to start anything like a 'normal' airline.

If I had money to start an airline, I wouldn't. The odds of success are worse than the odds in Vegas: you'd be better off just putting your money in the bank and earning the interest.

kind regards,

RogueTrader


User currently offlineSlawko From Canada, joined May 1999, 3799 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3182 times:

Declare bankruptcy before you even start and avoid all of the headaches that would have occured in between your start up date and you shut down date  Smile


"Clive Beddoe says he favours competition, but his actions do not support that idea." Robert Milton - CEO Air Canada
User currently offlineSearpqx From Netherlands, joined Jun 2000, 4343 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3158 times:

Having worked (briefly) for one of the undercapitalized startups in the mid-late 90s, I have a simpe answer for you - There isn't a cheap way to start an airline.


"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3146 times:

As I am living in Lithuania, I would aquire Tupolev Tu-154 and start a charter service since Lithuanian Airlines B732s can't fly to such destinations as Canary Islands or northern Africa/ middle east, so air tours organisations has to hire Polish airlines to do these routes.
However, I don't know if I would succeed. Yes, in summer that bussines most likely would give profit, but what to do with that plane in winter?

Another bussines plan, but this is even more risky -- get old Ilyushin Il-62 (I knew flyable ones were being sold just for 1 million Litas (250000 bucks) after collapse of Soviet Empire) and do transatlantic and long range routes, also charters. Vilnius-Chicago would be the only proftable one I could think of though, and that's only because there are maybe half a million Lithuanians in Chicago region. But because other long range routes from Vilnius doesn't seem to be profitable, this is why no airline aquires long range plane.


User currently offlineJonPaulGeoRngo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3126 times:

Hate to be a naysayer...but that $2M will likely be gone before you sign your first gate lease or hired your first employee.  Sad

User currently offlineThirtyEcho From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1643 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3120 times:

Easy; here is how its done:

1. Wait for a major World War to end.
2. Buy military surplus transport aircraft, cheap.
3. Refit them for civilian use.
4. Hire ex-military pilots, again cheap.
5. Bribe politicians to get slots.
6. Undersell any competition until they go broke.
7. Raise fares when competitors die off.

This is a proven plan. Enjoy!


User currently offlineCVG777 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 1251 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3082 times:

Or you could do like Dogbert did in a recent Dlibert cartoon strip....

Start an airline with no airplanes, sell 'non refundable, passenger has absolutely no rights to anything if anything happens because of anything' tickets, and when the people show up say that there is no plane because of mechanical difficulties and it is somewhere far away in maintenence. Then send them home...  Big thumbs up

It might work.


User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3049 times:

With numerous aircraft parked in the desert right now, a good leasing deal could be had. Lease a few DC-9s or MD-80s and start a charter service. If things go well, you lease more planes to meet the demand, then eventually, when the time is right, turn your more profitable charter routes into scheduled passenger runs.

User currently offlineSixStarAnsett From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3048 times:

Well,

I'd get a tin of paint and slap some lettering on the side of my laundry cart. Then I would start charging my pets money transporting them around the yard...knowing my skills I would fold in a day. Wondering where the $2m went? Well the tin of paint I bought would be an "unconditional" tin of paint...no conditions to the use of the paint.

SixStarAnsett  Big thumbs up


User currently offlineB737-700 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3046 times:

Lease a few DC9s or MD80s with 2 Million ?? How long ? For 2 hours ??

@Sonic : You could route them to Egypt or Kenya in winter.


User currently offlineKonstantinos From Greece, joined Jun 2001, 389 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3033 times:

You can start off an airline with less than $2 million!

It all depends on where you want to start it, where you want to fly, what plane or planes you want to use and the number of them, if you will lease the or buy them etc etc etc.

If you are intrested in starting an airline and you have the $2 million dollars then please do contact me. I will be very intrested in starting one up with you. You will not even need to use your 2 mill. All you need is $100,000 and I'll put in my $100,000 and go 50/50!
So, what do you say ? Waiting for your e-mail.


User currently offlineJonPaulGeoRngo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3013 times:

Let's see how that first $2M will be spent...

Lawyers/Contracts/Mumbo Jumbo $1,999,999
Aircraft/Leases/Salaries/Advertising/Etc. $1

Heck, it took $6M to build the "Steve Austin - The Six Million Dollar Man" and that was 1977.  Smile


User currently offline767-322ETOPS From United States of America, joined May 2001, 324 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3002 times:

I think JetBlue has shown the way, and among other things they teach us to:

- Use a lot of other people's money. Airlines are very capital intensive, so you need some deep pockets backing you up. If you know what you're doing and know the right people, then like David Neeleman you can get a hedge fund manager to invest some cash for equity in your airline.

- Forget the jalopies sitting in the desset (DC9, 727, etc.) and play A v. B for all its worth for new, fuel efficient a/c. JetBlue's original plan was to fly the 737, until Airbus made them an offer they couldn't refuse.


User currently offlineDelta777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 656 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2981 times:

I want to get a Cessna Caravan and fly non stop flights between Youngstown and Atlantic City. You would not believe how many people gamble here In the Y-town. we have MD-11 flights to Las Vegas every year. and Sun Country 737-800s to Atlantic City, so there would be enough people.

D E L T A 7 7 7


User currently offlineCaravelle From Norway, joined Aug 2000, 666 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2972 times:

Myself,l I`d spend the money on a two-seat WW2 type Messerschmitt, and just roar... Too little money, too great an ambition. A great pity, now, initt...

- caravelle



Trains and boats and planes....
User currently offlineARGInMIA From Argentina, joined Nov 2001, 487 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2938 times:

How about just a charter company? any idea for how much you can lease or buy a Fokker f-28 or something similar?


Alto.. Mucho mas alto.. hasta la cumbre
User currently offlineDesert_Dweller From Canada, joined Apr 2002, 92 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2935 times:

you can lease a few cessna caravans...





for a day or two.


User currently offlineCloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2931 times:

There are no Russian aircraft that I know of that are currently certified for Airline operations in the United States, not even the modern Tu-204. Yes, they are allowed to LAND here if certified in their own countries, and they are sometimes used in the US for cargo charters, with foreign registration and certification.
And some individuals have registered MIG-15 and other Russian planes as experimental aircraft for personal use.
But none have been certified to be owned and operated by US carriers for passenger service . That kind of certification is very difficult and expensive to achieve. So forget the Yak-40.

There are, however, a bunch of cheap and very efficient used turboprops out on the market. They have been displaced by RJ's. I have thought that perhaps you could pick up a couple of these and start service between city pairs in the Northern Great Plains that have business connections. Fargo, Bismark, Boise, Cheyenne, etc. The operating cost of a 72-seet turboprop might be competitive even with driving if you did a good job in it (I have no expertise to back this statement up - it is a pure shot in the dark  Smile ). High frequencies, cheap prices, ya know - the Southwest model - regional style.


User currently offlineThe Coachman From Australia, joined Apr 2001, 1425 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2924 times:

The cheapest way to start an airline is in your own head. Don't touch real money, because it's a highly risky business and returns are not all that great, especially at this point in time with economic uncertainty.


M88, 722, 732, 733, 734, 73G, 73H, 742, 743, 744, 752, 762, 763, 772, 773, 77W, 320, 332, 333, 345, 388, DH8, SF3 - want
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16793 posts, RR: 51
Reply 22, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2916 times:

Some kind of drug smuggling airline that operates between Miami and South America, lots of profits there.


Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 29
Reply 23, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2909 times:

Drug smuggling? It's too competitive... American Airlines has that covered.

JET


User currently offlineIndianguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2903 times:

I would try leasing a fleet of 4-5 Cessna Caravans and start up a small feeder carrier? Fly commuter pax flights in Early mornings and Evenings, and rest of the day and night fly Cargo.

A C208 could carry 12 pax easy, or around 2000 kgs atleast.

What do u think?

Another Idea: Pick up some old DC3's . You could probably get them cheap. Some days back, i saw an ad in the local paper for semi-airworthy WW2 vintage DC3 Dakotas withough Engines and Avionics going for $2000-$3000 per airframe! Probably could do a lot of tourist flights and cargo as well, if you could find the engines!

What do u think?


- Roy


User currently offlineSAS23 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 25, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2888 times:

It's clear how many people here have business experience - none have mentioned the fact that if you have two million in equity, you can generally triple that amount with debt. That means you have six million dollars to play around with.

I'd stay out of the US regional business because that's the area which will be hardest hit by the increased security - no one is keen to spend as long (or longer) hanging around airports as they would have done driving from A to B.

Scheduled passenger operations consume megabucks, unless you can find a niche market and serve it well. Your US$6m isn't going to go very far on that at all.

Rather, I'd recommend either passenger charters - buy (rather than lease - there are amazing deals out there that won't be around much longer) Chapter 3 DC9s or B727s and then operate a low key service (don't grow too big or flashy, and don't get any grandiose ideas about operating schedules!) or alternatively cargo charters. This latter is my personal favourite at the moment since cargo picks up earlier than pax coming out of a recession.

Whatever you do, you're legally required to make sure you have sufficient cash to cover six months operating expenses with nil income - so bear that in mind!


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