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146 For LCCs

Wed Mar 26, 2003 6:47 pm

A lot is said about how the Bae146 is no good for Low Cost Carriers. Indeed, the carriers that have operated the 146 have not fared very well, those that spring to mind immediately are Buzz and Debonair.

Why is the 146 no good as a low cost aircraft?
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RE: 146 For LCCs

Wed Mar 26, 2003 7:21 pm

Maybe it's not economic to have four engines? It's save though...
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RE: 146 For LCCs

Wed Mar 26, 2003 8:12 pm

Looking at the tremendous inefficiency of the established carriers, it would be fairly easy to operate a fleet of 146s on a low cost base, even when the aircraft is not perfect for this kind of operation.
lmml 14/32
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RE: 146 For LCCs

Wed Mar 26, 2003 8:31 pm

The fuel consumption of a 146 is as much as that of a 737. More engines = double the maintenance expenditure of a twin. Then there is the little question of capacity. 146's are not suitable for LCC's IMO.
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RE: 146 For LCCs

Wed Mar 26, 2003 9:13 pm

You must also consider the fate of Buzz and Debonair... Debonair is no more and Buzz just has a few days left. And Buzz had plans to replace the BAe's with more 737's so I don't really know if you can say that the plane really worked well for them.

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RE: 146 For LCCs

Wed Mar 26, 2003 9:27 pm

You also have to take into account that load-factors at Buzz and Debonair were not really good, it would certainly possible to operate those aircraft profitable on a low-cost basis if one had load-factor of 75-80% ...
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RE: 146 For LCCs

Wed Mar 26, 2003 10:31 pm

I wouldn't doubt that 146 costs are higher per seat-mile than, say, a 717 or a 737. That said, I think sometimes people get caught up in the myth of aircraft costs -- reality is, direct aircraft operating costs aren't the majority of the airline's net cost.

Southwest, for example, was built and thrives on doing things one could consider "wrong" -- flying 737NG's on short hops. Yet most, if not all, airlines would kill to have WN's operating costs.

As others have pointed out, it's a question of total cost, and total yield. The airplane's not an impassable hurdle.

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RE: 146 For LCCs

Thu Mar 27, 2003 12:32 am

The acquisition price / lease cost would have to be so low that it made up for the operating cost differential. In a down market like this, there is no sympathy for the inefficient.
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RE: 146 For LCCs

Thu Mar 27, 2003 4:29 am

For one the BAe146 is a slow aircraft, many airlines have complaned about on time efficeincy because the aircraft's slow speed. A lot of pilots refer to it as an "Air Plow." THe 146 how ever seems to use a small amount of runway. It also is an aircraft Ideal for quick turns, pop open the door (2 passenger boarding doors, unlike most regional aircraft) when it stops and swing out those little air stairs, the plane can on its way in 20 mins. The 146 also is versitile. Its seating arrangement means the aircraft could be used as a high density charter aircraft, or a spacious bussiness jet. I'm also starting to notice cargo airlines taking light of the little 146. Also The 146 is supposed to be a cheap aircraft to aquire, and somewhat that to operate.
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RE: 146 For LCCs

Thu Mar 27, 2003 7:17 am

I don't think a slow jet would work as a business jet. Although with 4 engines you could promote it as a "mini-A340".
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RE: 146 For LCCs

Fri Mar 28, 2003 3:53 am

The 146 looks like it will see a resurrection as a cargo bird. The STOL characteristics make it a good replacement for the older turboprops used to feed FedEx, UPS, and other parcel carriers, since they could use short fields. I think the main reason why the a/c has not been as successful as a passenger a/c is that airlines didn't know what to do with it. So have used it as a mainline a/c, others as a regional jet (which was what it was being touted as when BaE closed the Avro RJ program down), and it never really filled either role too successfully. The only U.S. carriers currently operating 146s (or the Avro RJ versions) are Air Wisconsin (for United Express) and Mesaba (for Northwest Airlink). The a/c is really an aircraft without a defined niche, and newer small jets basically took away operators or potential operators (ASA is an example of one that dropped the 146 in favor of the CRJ).

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