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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 10:53 pm

The Future Of RJs

Mon Mar 11, 2002 1:22 am

So far, RJs have been successful beyond anyone's expectations but can this last? The passengers flocked to them over turboprops but will they be greeted so favorably in comparison to the heavy metal they are now replacing? Will travelers eventually go back to preferring jetways (used for RJs in only a handful of places), larger overhead bins, and generally more room and amenities found in 717s, 737s, and Airbuses? Also, operation of RJs still seem to be a major point of contention with labor so how long will their lower operating costs be a factor? Finally, are they built to the same standards as larger aircraft as far as durability and long life? I've heard that Canadairs are wearing out rather quickly. What do you think?
I work for Southwest, but the views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Southwest.
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2001 12:04 am

RE: The Future Of RJs

Mon Mar 11, 2002 1:27 am

I think still the RJ will be popular. The only thing is the possibility of totaly replacing the propeller planes but i guess only time will tell.

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RE: The Future Of RJs

Mon Mar 11, 2002 1:51 am

Actually the comfort issue has been adressed by both Embraer (EMB170/175/190/195) and Fairchild Dornier (728/928) who have both developed aircraft families which will offer at least the same level of comfort to the passenger as the B737, A32X and B717 do.

Here an example, the seat width:
Embraer 170 family: 18in
FD 728 family: 18in
B737 family: 17in
A320 family: 18in
B717/DC-9/MD-80: 17.9in

Both the Embraer 170 and FD728 pass the Boeing B737 and B717 in terms of seat width, the aisle width is with 19in the same in the FD728, EMB170, the A320 and B717, the B737 has 20in. Thus we can see the cabin layouts of the RJs as equal or better then what is provided by the heavy metal.

I think the future success of the RJs will heavily depend on the market they will be deployed in. The US market is scope clause constrained and heavily limits the number of RJs allowed even though an airline is able to offer more point-to-point connections with RJs (Smaller size=smaller market needed). Europe for example is mainly scope clause free, this is why the RJ business is currently booming here.

Flown: A319/320/321,A332/3,A343/346, A380,AT4,AT7,B732/3/4/5/7/8/9,B742/4,B762/763,B772/77W,CR2/7/9/K,ER3/4,E70/75/90/95, F50/70/100,M11,L15,SF3,S20, AR8/1, 142/143,...
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RE: The Future Of RJs

Mon Mar 11, 2002 1:56 am


If you want to know something of RJ's, ask it to a Brussels spotter. He will know everything of it. Brussels is Avro paradise.

Well, about your topic.
It is so that the Avro is too big and too small for the most routes. That is the reason it is not popular at the moment. In Europe, it is only good for destinations like London City and Florence.

BAe-systems knows that too, and that is the reason they stopped production of their new RJ.

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RE: The Future Of RJs

Mon Mar 11, 2002 1:58 am

As long as the RJ provides non-stop service vs connecting, comfort issues are not important. There is a place for many more RJs in markets where a mainline aircraft would be too large.
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RE: The Future Of RJs

Mon Mar 11, 2002 2:16 am


The largest market for regional jets world-wide. Scope clauses being in place have heavily limited the orders flow for the new generation RJs. Depending on their relaxation the market for the NG RJs with regional carriers is big as more and more passengers demand seamless airliner style service, especially high-yield business and first class pax.

With operating costs close to the 50-seaters 70-seat RAs (“Regional Airliners”) become an interesting option. Major carrier might find RJs to be a suitable 100/120-seat mainline aircraft replacement, espcially when costs with regional airlines will continue to rise in the future and the cost difference will shrink, Northwest Airlines, Delta Airlines and US Airways being the most likely canidates. Alaska and northern Canada have to be seen as markets for Convertibles.

Due to relatively high leasing costs and the still less rigid noise restriction in the US it is considered to be unlikely that many new 70/100-seaters will be used by start-ups.

How the announced QC- and Cargo-versions of the 728/EMB170/195 will impact on the express freight market is difficult to predict, they are a potential B737-200C and DC-9-30F replacement.
Taken from: "The new generation of regional jets"

Flown: A319/320/321,A332/3,A343/346, A380,AT4,AT7,B732/3/4/5/7/8/9,B742/4,B762/763,B772/77W,CR2/7/9/K,ER3/4,E70/75/90/95, F50/70/100,M11,L15,SF3,S20, AR8/1, 142/143,...
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RE: The Future Of RJs

Mon Mar 11, 2002 2:25 am


You bring up a very interesting subject. Most business travelers will tell you that given the choice, they'd rather fly on a mainline aircraft mostly due to the possibility to upgrade to 1st class. I would argue the jetway use issue with you. Both Continental and Northwest operate nearly all RJ's at the hubs from Jetways and I'll tell you that Continental uses Jetways at over 88% of the cities served with ERJ's. The Delta Connection carriers use Jetways the least with CRJ's and the DO-328's. That is mainly due to the configuration of the airplane doors. Northwest, another CRJ user has had the foresight to configure existing jetways and design a whole new terminal in DTW allowing the CRJ to use the boarding bridges.

I think that the longevity of these aircraft as far as duribility is getting better. Initially the CRJ and ERJ's were built with an expected shelf life of around 12 years. The 170/190 and the CRJ700 and FD728's will be built with shelf lives similar to the Boeing.

My take on the marketing strategies for the 50 and 70 seaters in the future is as follows:

Regional hub bypass like route structures and lower cost point to point high frequency flights into secondary airports. The big 5 will market two kinds of products. Mainline service through mega-hubs on 150 and up seat aircraft offering 1st class etc. The second will be smaller jets like the ERJ/CRJ series offering 1-3 stop service coast to coast and into smaller markets. Full service flights with meals and all but bypassing hubs and making a stop or two like SWA. The customer will have the choice of how they would like to travel between 2 cities and there will be a difference in the fare structure between the different modes of travel. The big thing will be the frequent flier points regardless of routing. This is where I think they will be able to go up against the mighty SWA. Lower cost travel options with full meal service on a new clean regional type jet all while earning miles on the major airline for free upgrades or free tickets to those INT'l destinations not served by SWA.
That's my take and I certainly could be wrong.
Any other thoughts?
Actually flown: EMB-120 EMB-145 B717 B737 B757 B767
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RE: The Future Of RJs

Mon Mar 11, 2002 6:19 am

Hi !

I'd nearly three hours ago an inner-european flight with an Avro
and the loading factor was appoxiamtly 80-90 percent,
so I think on many european destinations these kind of aircraft fit's very well (wasn't my first flight with an Avro you could imagine) on many destinations and with the faviour that they could land (some-)where only an ATR or something similar (Turboprop) is able to do but for example an Canadair have to pass ...

Ciao Ju
Kind Regards, Jutta.

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