padcrasher
Posts: 1815
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:17 am

Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:17 pm

I read a few posts on another messageboard that alluded to USAirways using different equipment on their Shuttle routes? Going to a mainline F/Y configuration as well. Anyone heard this? This seems crazy.
 
gigneil
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:24 pm

It seems crazy to me as well.

DL's switch to 738s and US's switch to A320 series allowed for earlier departures from DCA to LGA and BOS, and later landings from those.

If they switch back to 737s, they might get their 6am flight permissions revoked.

N
 
ContinentalEWR
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:26 pm

I think the previous threads discussed US Airways' use of A319 and larger A320 aircraft on the shuttle routes. During the transition from the 727 fleet to the Airbus aircraft in the US Airways shuttle fleet, the carrier did use the DC9
and the 737-200 and 737-300 as a stop gap until all the A320's dedicated to Shuttle were available and converted. This was around 1999-2000.

Delta has an all 737-800 fleet on the Shuttle.

ContinentalEWR
 
gigneil
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:32 pm

ContinentalEWR-

Huh? I missed the point of your post.

N
 
padcrasher
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:38 pm

The posts I read had to do with future changes after they emerge from BK. It said that to streamline their fleet and lower costs they would not have a dedicated Shuttle aircraft.
 
gigneil
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:44 pm

I think that'd be catastrophic. It'd be continuing to cede its already eroding DCA market to Delta.

I think having the A320 vs 738 battle on the Northeast corridor is a key differentiator. Also, the business travellers like the extra room and the little coat hooks.

Without those, its a loser. They should just sell the thing before downgrading it to just mainline service.

N
 
padcrasher
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Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:17 am

RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:56 pm

I doubt this is true.

But, if yields have really deteriorated and the DL Shuttle has further increased their yield premium over U's product. Then maybe they have just decided to compete just on price. Undercut DL further and increase volume.
 
ouboy79
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Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 1:48 pm

RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:25 pm

The changes that will be coming to US Airways Shuttle are as follows. The A-320s and 319s will be removed from Shuttle flying and redeployed into the mainline system. The 737-300 will be refitted and put into Shuttle ops. The reason being this. The Airbuses flying the Shuttle routes are EOW aircraft and would be ideal flying longer haul flights to the Caribbean. Everything is about making money now. The Shuttle routes, both US and DL, are getting killed by Amtrak. AA has the right idea to do it with RJs -- don't be too shocked to see the incumbents starting replacing the larger 737s with RJs.
 
Lindy
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Fri Jan 03, 2003 12:52 am

Shuttle flights with RJ if introduced will not last even a month. Remember that we are talking about Business Class Pax on those flights.
US Airways introduced B737-300 on Shuttle flights DCA-BOS-DCA in 1998/1999. It didnt work out. US management had idea to put A320 on DC-NY flights and 733 on DCA-BOS flights. But some industry analists came up with the idea that US will loose money on DCA-BOS route if they will use it with 733 equipment. (They compared A320 with B733). They were flying to BOS -with 737-300 for about 6 months. Operations with 733 were stopped and A319/320 were introduced on DCA-BOS route.


BTW - I've been living under path to runway 19/1 for over 3 months and I would appriciate if American Airlines switch 6:45 equipment from MD-82 to at least B737-800. I cant sleep!!!!

Rafal
BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
padcrasher
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:12 am

Delta's Shuttle enplanements are running about 2/3rds what they were before 9/11. Very good case for replacing 150 seat 737-800 with a 200 or 300. But going to an RJ would be too much of a cut in capacity. Also I would not credit the train for explaining the entire loss in passengers. LGA and DCA business is down overall 15% and 24% respectively.
 
ouboy79
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Fri Jan 03, 2003 2:35 am

Rafal - the 733s were put on the Shuttle flights simply because they did not have enough of the 319s/320s to dedicate to Shuttle. They were more worried about getting them on transcons to relieve the heavily restricted 733s/734s.

Also on the RJ note...how is Eagle making it work with the RJs then?  Smile

Padcrasher - All be it the train does have some effect, but you are correct...it didn't cause it all. May I correct myself if that is what I implied.
 
padcrasher
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Fri Jan 03, 2003 3:01 am

Time will tell if AA has made an impact. I rarely see their flights sold out even on the heavy travel days. It surely is an inferior product. 10 flights vs 17 flights each way, business class seats vs run of the mill RJ seating, etc. But that's not the point. AA can make it work on less than 50% load factors. But who knows what their yields, load factors, etc. are? I can tell you this. The big Media, Financial corporations are not setting up Shuttle contracts with AA.
These passengers have average incomes around $250,000 and they will not fly an RJ to DC when DL or US have plush accomodations.
 
deltairlines
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Fri Jan 03, 2003 3:11 am

US Airways would not that intelligent in taking off the new A319s/A320s from the Shuttle. Yes, Amtrak is winning right now, but who knows how long that will last. The Acela has had documented problems, who knows when another will strike. Also, Amtrak is just as financially unstable as US Airways is at the time. Remember David Gunn's "Give us $250M or we perish" quote from July?

As for Eagle's RJs, I would expect them to be working? The logic is simple: AA has large bases in BOS, NYC, and WAS. They would prefer to get extra miles on AA and consolidate their FF miles into one account compared to splitting them with AA and another carrier. And, looking at BOS-LGA, it seems like many of the ERJ-135s are going up to ERJ-140s, which is a good sign (Eagle has no ERJ-145s on the Eastern Seaboard yet).

Jeff
 
Lindy
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Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 10:42 pm

RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:09 am

Ouboy79, remember that B737-300 were introduced when B727-200s were still in Shuttle service.

Rafal
BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
AA717driver
Posts: 1502
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:23 am

padcrasher--Maybe AA is using the RJ's at a loss to gain a presence and recognition in the market prior to running MD80's eventually. Market building is what commuter airplanes are for...right? Do you remember that airline managers? Sorry, I got off track Smile.

If AA gets in the door and USAir has problems, they can jump in with mainline and snag some pax. I would think the -80's with the MRTC would be very attractive to the business pax.

Or they could just be screwing up using RJ's.TC
FL450, M.85
 
gocaps16
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:32 am

I never recalled hearing or seeing a USAirways Shuttle 737-300. Maybe they used the 733s on the DCA-BOS Shuttle runs. IAD used to operate DC9s on the shuttle runs but were replaced by the CRJs once the DC9s were retired.

Kevin

Fly Navy!
 
gigneil
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:37 am

They did used to use 733s on the DCA-BOS leg, and I could have sworn I saw shuttle 733s at IAD.

I never flew the shuttle from IAD, even when I lived out in Fairfax. When did they discontinue it?

N
 
ouboy79
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 am

Everyone is missing the point of removing the Airbuses. They are alread configured and certified for longer range, over water operations. The company is wasting money by leaving these on the Shuttle routes. Granted, maybe if they get more 319s to at least get the 320s off that network it would be a fair trade off. However, US Airways must do what it can to maximize income. The Shuttles are no longer cash cows and are barely making any money for anyone.

Gigneil...I think you are right about the shuttle 733s being in IAD at one point. I think there was a mix depending on the destination.
 
sllevin
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:56 am

AA's intention for the shuttle is to provide a service for their loyal frequent flyers. They aren't looking to pull in the person who does the majority of their flying on the shuttle; rather, they want to keep the customers who occassionaly need the shuttle but are often flying the AA mainline service.

Given the typically high yield on shuttle seats, the service can certainly be profitable running just RJ's.

Steve
 
gigneil
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:57 am

I realize they need to maximize revenue.

But if they remove the Airbus, the shuttle will die. That's my honest opinion.

N
 
Lindy
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Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 10:42 pm

RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Fri Jan 03, 2003 5:59 am

I can assure all of you that US Airways NEVER had Shuttle operations from IAD to any destination with Boeing 737-300s. The only Shuttle aircrafts that were at IAD were DC-9s.
Couple of months ago US Airways Express resumed Shuttle flights out of IAD to LaGuardia. They are using DHC-8-100/300.
You probably saw at IAD 733 with Shuttle titles when they returned to Main line operations.

A319/320 in Shuttle division wont leave Shuttle for cross-country operations.
US Airways is trying to get rid of B737-300s.
Boeing 737-300 can cary the same amout of passengers as Airbus A319. Airbuses are much younger and more fuel efficient.
US Airways Shuttle its still a Cash Cow. Airlines still carry more pax than Amtrak from DC area to NY area.
On the weekends when load is light on flights DCA-LGA-BOS, US Airways Shuttle aircrafts are used on charter flights and East coast operations. On the weekend you can see at DCA 3-4 aircrafts doing Shuttle runs. But when you go to DCA on the weekday you can log at least 7-8 different aircrafts.

Rafal
BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
gigneil
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Fri Jan 03, 2003 6:35 am

Delta Shuttle uses their planes on weekends as well, in all coach configs.

Also what we're missing is that if they change to an older model plane, they'll lose their earliest AM departure from DCA and their latest PM arrival due to noise regs.

N

 
Lindy
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Fri Jan 03, 2003 7:05 am

I forgot to add that US Airways is storing its aircrafts at LCQ (Lake City Florida). They parked there A319/320/321. Around 12 aircrafts.
And thats why I dont think that US will put B737-300 on Shuttle flights and move Airbuses to cross-country flights.

Rafal
BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
ouboy79
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Fri Jan 03, 2003 8:40 am

Couple things to clear up...some sources quoted herein are from USAviation.Com:

US Airways is trying to get rid of B737-300s.
False. 8 737-300/400s have been or will shortly be coming out of MHV and reactivated into the US Airways fleet.

US Airways Shuttle its still a Cash Cow.
Do you have the figures to back up that claim?

A319/320 in Shuttle division wont leave Shuttle for cross-country operations.
Why would they put a 320 on a cross country route when it is already configured for over water flying? The planes will be head to the sunny and warm Caribbean - not LAX or SFO.
 
Flaps
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Fri Jan 03, 2003 3:03 pm

Let me see...I have a choice of being jammed in with 150 other people on a one hour flight in an A320 or jammed in with 50 other people on a one hour flight in an RJ? Option 3 is a 2-3 hour ride on Amtrak with double the seat space, triple the legroom and minimal security hassles. In my book that comes out as:

1 - Amtrak
2 - The RJ
3 - The A320

Ive been in this business for over 15 years. The main factor in airline decision making right now is reality. Cost is everything. In terms of passenger comfort and convenience the A320/319/737 come in a very distant 3rd no matter how you slice it. The A320/319/738 are best utilized on longer haul routings. The 733's are best utilized as beer cans and spare parts. It sad but true but in this economic climate the passengers' "preference" is secondary to that same passengers willingness to pay.
 
gigneil
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Fri Jan 03, 2003 3:23 pm

The A320 are a distant third in comfort?

That's honestly crazy. The US/DL A320s/738s have greatly increased legroom and comfortable leather seats.

The RJ's have normal seats, with normal Eagle legroom. In other words, not particularly comfortable.

I don't care for flying on RJs personally... I don't mind particularly, but they are far from the most comfortable of planes.

N
 
usair330
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Fri Jan 03, 2003 7:54 pm

What's all this talk about US Airways Shuttle planes in IAD. US Airways never flew Shuttle flights out of IAD. They fly shuttle flights out of Reagan National. Of course though there is that chance your confusing the Shuttle with the Long Gone Metrojet
 
Lindy
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Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 10:42 pm

RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Sat Jan 04, 2003 12:26 am

USAir330, US Airways had and have right now Shuttle flights out of IAD.

First they started with DC-9s

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Joe Pries


Just to show you how US aircrafts looked. There is more pictures on A.net of USS DC-9s but this picture is from quick find search.

Ouboy79

US Airways is trying to get rid of B737-300s.
False. 8 737-300/400s have been or will shortly be coming out of MHV and reactivated into the US Airways fleet.

-maybe they are back in service but they are up for SALE.

US Airways Shuttle its still a Cash Cow.
Do you have the figures to back up that claim?

-unfortunately I dont have any written proof that they are still Cash Cow, but not long time ago I had discussion with WashBalt Spotters Club members about it. And please dont quote me on this that "this is rummor from some spotters". I dont want to go into details on this.

A319/320 in Shuttle division wont leave Shuttle for cross-country operations.
Why would they put a 320 on a cross country route when it is already configured for over water flying? The planes will be head to the sunny and warm Caribbean - not LAX or SFO.

-Ok, what I meant was that they not going to remove any shuttle aircrafts and place them in the service with mainline. They might use Shuttle equipment on weekends but thats it.



I still dont understand why they putting back in service 737-300/400s and putting in storage A319/320/321 ?

Regards,
Rafal
BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
AA717driver
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Sat Jan 04, 2003 12:40 am

Re:I don't understand why they are putting 737-300/400's back in service and putting the busses in storage.

Which airplanes are leased from GECAL? They got 350 million bucks from GE yesterday. Maybe it just became more effecient to operate Boeings than Airbusses.TC
FL450, M.85
 
ouboy79
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Sat Jan 04, 2003 3:36 am

GE controls 111 or so planes in the US Airways fleet. These include both 737s and 319/320/321s.

Another interesting note is one Dave made a month or so ago. Any 737 lease that couple be brought down he would seek to have it thrown out by a judge and would then pick up a 737 that is in the desert under a cheaper lease. The 37s aren't going anywhere fast. US Airways is contractually obligated to maintain a mainline fleet of 279 aircraft now. I'm not going to get into the whole contract thing - that'll take another paragraph or so. LOL Anyway, US Airways is currently focused on introducing the Embraer 170/175 this year and next into the fleet. GE will be the main financial backing for these aircraft and has already secured delivery slots. They aren't going to have the time/resources to look at picking up more 320s to replace the 737s - at this time.
 
contrails
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RE: Changes At USAirways Shuttle?

Sat Jan 04, 2003 9:39 am

I'm sorry to hear about the switch. I understand the economics behind it, and it makes perfect sense from that perspective. I fear, however, that it will ultimately lead to pax defections to both DL and AA. And I agree with other posts that US going to RJ's on shuttle routes would be disastrous. I believe AA, being the opportunists they are, started their shuttle service either to get their foot in the door in case US didn't stay around or as a bargaining chip to allow them to buy the US shuttle some day.

I would recommend to US that they completely refurbish the 737's, and install either new "quieter" engines or noise suppression kits on the engines - if that's possible. The main things I like about the A320 is that it is comfortable and quiet. If US uses planes that look on the inside like they've been around the circuit a few too many times and cabins with so much noise that conversations are difficult, then, IMO, the US Shuttle will become a thing of the past.

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