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HA_DC9
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HA Cutting Pilot Bases & Other Tidbits...

Sun Aug 31, 2003 4:50 pm

http://starbulletin.com/2003/08/30/business/story1.html

Interesting...
"However, Gotbaum did leave the door open that Hawaiian might consider another type of plane than the 717 for its interisland routes. Glasgow, in his letter to the pilots, alluded to the same thing, saying that "the future interisland aircraft is still unknown."

Some of Hawaiian's pilots have been discussing the possibility of the return of the McDonnell Douglas MD-80, which Hawaiian flew a decade ago. Aloha Airlines, by comparison, flies Boeing 737s for its interisland routes."

HA could get their hands on second hand MD-80's pretty cheap. Or this could be a ploy to get Boeing Capital to loosen its grip on the 717 lease rates.
 
ha763
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RE: HA Cutting Pilot Bases & Other Tidbits...

Sun Aug 31, 2003 5:11 pm

Truthfully, I would have kept the LAX base open and closed the SEA base. I would think that it would be easier and faster to send replacement pilots from LAX to most HA mainland stations.

As for the MD-80's, it is a contingency plan in case HA loses the 717's as well as a bargining tool. I believe it has the same type rating as the DC-9 and 717, plus operations and maintenance are highly compatible with the current operations. One of the reasons that the MD-80 was dropped from the fleet in the 80's and not chosen as the DC-9 replacement in 1999 is that it was not as economical as the DC-9 or 717 when flying the short interisland routes. Plus, it is too big capacity wise for an interisland market that is shrinking. Remember the DC-9-50's could seat 133 pax while the 717's seat only 123.
 
Trvlr
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RE: HA Cutting Pilot Bases & Other Tidbits...

Sun Aug 31, 2003 5:17 pm

Perhaps they kept SEA open because partner AS gave them a good deal for transporting HA employees. LAX is definitely closer to the majority of mainland HA stations (ONT, SMF, SFO, SAN, Las Vegas, PHX), and United flies to each of these airports. Alaska cooperates extensively with HA, though, and flies to each of these destinations, as well, from SEA.

Aaron G.


[Edited 2003-08-31 10:18:01]
 
T prop
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RE: HA Cutting Pilot Bases & Other Tidbits...

Sun Aug 31, 2003 9:36 pm

MD 80's? HA used to operate MD 81's some years ago, hope the contingency plan is not for these again. To big of an airplane for interisland.


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HAL
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RE: HA Cutting Pilot Bases & Other Tidbits...

Tue Sep 02, 2003 8:21 am

Truthfully, I would have kept the LAX base open and closed the SEA base. I would think that it would be easier and faster to send replacement pilots from LAX to most HA mainland stations.

and

Perhaps they kept SEA open because partner AS gave them a good deal for transporting HA employees. LAX is definitely closer to the majority of mainland HA stations (ONT, SMF, SFO, SAN, Las Vegas, PHX), and United flies to each of these airports. Alaska cooperates extensively with HA, though, and flies to each of these destinations, as well, from SEA.

The company's stated reason for closing the LAX and SFO bases is entirely economic. It has nothing to do with other airlines, or factors like getting pilots to other destinations. They say they are looking at the costs involved with layovers, hotels etc. SEA is too far away (flights too long) to get the pilots enough rest before having to fly out the next day, so a three day trip is required (two nights in a hotel each trip). They figured it was cheaper to keep SEA open then close it. By juggling flight schedules (and, say, having pilots fly into LAX, then a van trip to SAN to fly out the next day), the company says most pilots will still only have to spend one night each trip in a hotel.

All that said, the union (as part of our contract) has the right to oppose any proposed base closure. We did our own financial analysis of the base closures and found the company was WAY out of line on some of its proposed dollar savings. The end result is that the issue is going to arbitration, so it isn't a done deal that they are closing. IMHO, since the company is trying to work out of bankruptcy and doesn't even have a business plan that goes more than six months into the future, spending the $2M+ required in moving and other costs involved in the base closure makes no sense at all. If we get new investors and start expansion, we may very well need those pilots back on the west coast, costing the company another bundle if they have to open them back up.

As far as the MD-80's go, I believe it was actually brought up by Boeing, possibly because Hawaiian is discussing a lawsuit against Boeing because of corrosion and manufacturing defects on the 717 that have cost us a lot in lost revenue when the planes are grounded. However I seriously doubt we'd do it in the end, because we tried it once, and the MD-80's nearly sent us into bankruptcy the first time. They are MUCH too big, heavy, and expensive to run for us to use in interisland service.

Just my 2 cents.

HAL
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
 
penguinflies
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RE: HA Cutting Pilot Bases & Other Tidbits...

Tue Sep 02, 2003 10:45 am

I wonder how fast Hawaiian can get their hands on a CRJ-700/900 for interisland ops. Just a thought...even leasing them from Horizon or something...hmmm.
 
ha763
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RE: HA Cutting Pilot Bases & Other Tidbits...

Tue Sep 02, 2003 4:53 pm

HAL, I remember some of the problems HA have had with the 717's. I also believe that the corrosion could be partly due to the way they were operated, being that they are being used in a salt air/water environment.

As for HA flying RJ's, don't count on it. It would involve negotiating with the unions to fly the plane, they wouldn't be able to use the jetways, etc. Plus, HA needs sufficient cargo space to transport all the luggage and cargo between the islands.
 
gkirk
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RE: HA Cutting Pilot Bases & Other Tidbits...

Tue Sep 02, 2003 6:41 pm

Why not consider the A319 for inter-island ops?
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HAL
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RE: HA Cutting Pilot Bases & Other Tidbits...

Wed Sep 03, 2003 8:55 am

Why not consider the A319 for inter-island ops?

For the same reason the MD-80, 737 & others don't work: They're too big, heavy, and expensive to run on 20 minute legs 12 times a day. And before you correct me saying Aloha flies the 737, they are losing a lot of $ on the interisland flying. It's their transpacific trips that keep them afloat.

The problem for cost comes in the weight of the plane. For every flight you have to lift that weight up to cruise altitutde. Each additonal pound costs in fuel, engine wear, etc. The lighter the plane, the better for short frequent service. The climb, and landing are where the most wear & tear (most cost) comes from. If you fly a couple legs a day, a little extra weight doesn't matter. But on our schedule, every pound is crucial. The A-319 is designed as a much longer range plane, as are the others I listed above. They have much heavier structures, engines, etc than the ideal plane. The 717 works (barely) in that is the lightest and cheapest to run. A 100 seat RJ would probably be good, if the reliability of the engines and compnents could be guaranteed beforehand. Advanced turboprops like the Dash 8-400 would be perfect, except that the flying public in Hawaii expects jets and wouldn't fly us if we offered anything else.

HAL

[Edited 2003-09-03 02:02:19]
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
 
MidnightMike
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RE: HA Cutting Pilot Bases & Other Tidbits...

Wed Sep 03, 2003 9:07 am


Why is not Airtran having all of problems with the 717 that Hawaiian is having? If Hawaiian is having trouble with corrosion on the 717, perhaps they have to increase the wash cycle? Forgive a stupid ground pounder, but I am curious.


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HAL
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RE: HA Cutting Pilot Bases & Other Tidbits...

Wed Sep 03, 2003 9:11 am

A wash is great, and we do it much more often than other airlines (almost nightly), but you can't do it between every flight when you have only 25 minutes on the ground to unload & reboard the passengers. And almost every airport our 717's fly to are within feet of the ocean, so the salt spray is continuous. Plus AirTran doesn't fly their planes with near the frequency we do, which puts much less stress on the airframe, engine and accessories. Think of Hawaiian as an accelerated stress testing facility for the plane!  Smile

HAL
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.