Actually, the scope clause that NW
pilots have in their current contract calls for unlimited number of jets with less than 50 seats (hence the 44 seaters). The amount of 50 seat jets will be a function of the current mainline narrowbody fleet (increase = more 50 seaters, decrease = less 50 seateres and more 44 seaters). The 69 seat avros we're grandfathered into the current contract after the NW
pilot strike and the clause says only 36 jets with no more than 69 seats can be operated and will only be operated by Mesaba Aviation. BAE Aerospace no longer manufactures the a/c so no new ones can be bought. However used ones can be brought online should they become available and the scop is relaxed over at NW
The avro is the second generation Bac146 - with FADEC engines, more powerful engines, almost entirely glass cockpit, higher service ceiling, digital pressurization controls, faster cruise speed and other enhancements. So Tonyctnyc - it's not just a pretty name for the 146 - it's the same airframe but very very different. The loud fan you hear in the back is only the recirculating air fan - not an engine. This a/c is one of the quietest in the sky, that's why it's called the whisperjet. The fan usually gets turn to "fresh" once airborne, so the sound decreases. Who cares what it looks like? Airlines don't buy planes to satisfy the eye, but to satisfy the bottom line.
The avro, being twice the size and weight and having twice as many systems and engines is only 25% more fuel INEFFICIENT than the CRJ. This straight from the engineers in Woodford at the factory. It is the most profitable in the NW
fleet right now - making NW
TONS of money.
Meals are indeed served on many routes! No ovens onboard, so the same cold meals are served that NW
serves on alot of their flights. Some meal segments are (in FC only): MSP
-ASE (probably MEM
when we start in Sept). There were many more meal flights, but they were cut back post 9/11. Some meal flights were DTW
and prior to 9/11 MSP
! The avro is jjust a small mainline a/c operated by a Airlink partner. The planes are catered as if it were NW
, look like NW
on the inside and are serviced at jetways by mostly NW
employees (depending on station). So there is VERY VERY little difference between NW
and the avro service - ecept maybe being a little better.
I'm sure NW
would in a heartbeat expand the 70 seat fleet if they could - but the NW
pilots have a say in that. As IP said - the reason for these restrictions is for job protection. Even though currently, the majority of mainline pilot jobs have been lost to the widebody fleet adjustments, not because of airlink services. This came straight from NW
ALPA. It's unfortunate though, that when times were good for NW
they had no interest in befriending their "regional" brothers and sisters. Now that things are awful at mainline, they want to dance with us.