US Airways RJ Orders On The Way

Tue Aug 24, 1999 9:47 pm

US Airways has a few dozen regional jets flying around the country operated by affiliate carriers Chautauqua Airlines and Mesa Airlines. According to this morning's announcement, they now seek over 400 regional jets (with a firm order of 100 to come very soon) from 30-69 seats:
The following news report may not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of Reuters Ltd.

"US Airways Express has issued a request for proposals for up to 100 small regional jets and options for 300 larger aircraft for its subsidiary and affililate operators, Flight International said in its latest issue.

There is a firm requirement for an initial 100 jets seating between 30 and 40 passengers, with options for 100 more with 40 to 50 seats and a further option for up to 200 regional jets with 50 to 69 seats, Flight added.

It said potential suppliers are Bombardier Aerospace , Embraer and Fairchild."

What will US Airways a major/"regional" carrier do with 400 regional jets? Would these eliminate the requirement for DC9's, 737-200s, and F-100s - Thereby causing US Airways to furlough hundreds of MAINLINE pilots? Or will US Airways reallocate those pilots to new, longer range Airbus routes, while the RJ's increase frequency to the old DC9, F100 routes.
Its going to be tough negotiating - but you want MY opinion?
WHen Steve Wolf came to US Airways he told the employees that the company was too big - and too small. Too big to operate as a regional carrier, and too small to survive for very long as a major. I suspect that this is yet the next step in his plan to grow US Airways into a global airline. With 400 Airbus on the way, you can bet they wont be flying them to Elmira, New York or Charleston, WV. I expect as more and more Airbus come on the property you will see US Airways add more large midwest and west coast cities...all feeding into Philidelphia and the growing, formidable international operation (a mere 6 months from now the first A330's arrive). As mainline pilots are reallocated to the Airbus to fly the expanded route network, the commuter pilots will pick up the short range, high frequency, (but also high load factor!) routes that used to be the mainstay of old Allegheny Airlines. Now, as those of you who are students of airline history know, this cant happen overnight. I predict this change over the next 5-10 years. Just one man's opinion...but I think it makes sense.


RE: US Airways RJ Orders On The Way

Wed Aug 25, 1999 12:09 am

So as I understand it, US Airways will put in an huge RJ order on behalf of its regional affiliates? Is this common practice? The way you worded your post, it sounds like you're trying to say US Airways will be taking on regional jets, but that is not how I read the quoted article.
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RE: US Airways RJ Orders On The Way

Wed Aug 25, 1999 12:16 pm

If US Airways really wants to become a large player domestically, they will need another hub that is west of Pittsburgh. I don't think it matters HOW many midwest and West Coast cities they add-- if passengers have to connect through PIT, then the flights will only serve people leaving from / going to the East Coast.
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RE: US Airways RJ Orders On The Way

Thu Aug 26, 1999 4:43 am

A large number of RJ's for USAirways Express makes more sense than not for growth. As Racer stated, US can get the big jets out of cities such as Binghamton, Elmira, Ithaca, Harrisburg, and other small/medium sized markets. At least the RJ's will allow for more and conveniently timed departures from these cities. I think US is looking for the best package deal for "families" of jets, from either Embrarer (135, 145's, and 190's) or Fairchild-Dornier (328, 428 and 728). I like the Fairchilds, myself. It seems that the smallest US jets will ultimately (3-5 years?) be the A319 at around 125 seats, which is too big for jet service at many of their stations. And, I agree with Dw that US needs another hub west of PIT. Maybe Kansas City?
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US Airways

Fri Aug 27, 1999 8:37 am

I think it is unlike that US Airways will open up any west hubs to expand its operations. US Airways' core market is in the East Coast and this is what it does best. Experience shows it is worthless trying to compete in areas where the airline does not dominate the market. For example, American Airlines closed its hubs in San Jose, Raleigh/Durham and Nashville because larger trunk-airports like Los Angeles and Atlanta, would attract most traffic generated in the region are in. I think US Airways will be better off to merger with another airline and we may discuss this later if you wish.

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