AA wrestled with this question in the early 90s. It used to be that almost every flight out of ORD
to beyond the Rockies was a wide-body, either 767 or DC-10. This included, SAN
, and SEA
When the airlines started losing money, a lot of DC-10s were grounded. So, a number of 767s were pulled out of domestic service and switched to trans-Atlantic routes. This meant that some 757s and a lot of MD
-80s started flying long-haul domestic routes out of ORD
. A lot of cities then saw their frequencies increase. For example, ORD
went from 10 or 12 round trips per day to 16. ORD
went from 14 to 23 round trips daily.
The only reason this worked was that a lot of MD
-80 pilots, particularly F/Os, were on B-scale for wages. Between the B-scale for the F/O, a typical MD
-80 captain making less than a DC-10 captain, and no F/E on the MD
-80, it made economic sense to drop DC-10s from a route and operate a larger number of flights with MD
got rid of the two-tiered pay scale for pilots, then the advantages of flying so many narrow-bodies on a route decreased.