kalakaua
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Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:58 pm

Island Air may expand to Vegas
The interisland carrier has signed a letter of intent
to begin short-haul flights on the mainland

By Dave Segal, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Island Air, seeking to reduce its risk in the crowded interisland market, has signed a letter of intent to conduct mainland operations with an undisclosed party using the 78-seat Bombardier Q400 airplane that Island Air recently took out of service and two other Q400s ordered but not yet delivered.

Chief Executive Robert Mauracher confirmed the deal yesterday but said final contract negotiations were still being worked out, and he wasn't prepared yet to disclose the location of the operations or the routes that will be served.

However, a person familiar with the situation said Island Air was going to be operating out of Las Vegas, possibly from a regional airport, to other cities in the U.S. West.

Mauracher said he could neither confirm nor deny the hub city. He said Island Air will be flying on behalf of another company.

"It will be very similar to what we do here, except that we'll do it on the mainland," he said. "It won't be Island Air, but our contract will be an outsourcing of services to a different party. The name will be different, but it will be operated under an Island Air certificate using Island Air employees. If things materialize like we assume, we hope to be operating by the end of the first quarter of next year."

Mauracher said Island Air still plans to remain in the Hawaii market. The regional carrier operates 103 daily interisland flights with eight 37-seat Bombardier Dash-8s. Island Air had planned to bring the three Q400s to Hawaii, but later reconsidered that move after the new interisland carrier go! stormed the market with low ticket prices.
...to finish article

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[Edited 2006-10-24 17:00:31]
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wedgetail737
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:15 am

Very interesting! I wonder if they'll work with fledgling Vision Air to expand service.
 
Bluewave 707
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Wed Oct 25, 2006 1:48 am

Definitely a great way to out the Q400s to use. Smart move on WP's part.
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SANFan
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:30 am

Do I see a pending tie-in with those Animal-Tails from DEN?...

I guess if Mesa can GO! Hawaiian, then why shouldn't the Islands go to Vegas...

The plot continues to thicken (and boil!)

bb
 
PVD757
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:42 am

I too instantly though about an F9 partnership - but if it's Vegas - maybe it's US(HP)?

A longshot could also be a tie-in with WN (I know it's unlikely, but you they seem overdue for one of thier 'surprise' announcements).

How about Allegiant Express or Allegiant Connection???
 
N1120A
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:45 am

Quoting PVD757 (Reply 4):
I too instantly though about an F9 partnership - but if it's Vegas - maybe it's US(HP)?

That is possible, but Frontier has already gone to work creating a wholy-owned subsidiary to do the Q400 flying. I am thinking more of a HP/US thing to reduce their CR2 flying with Mesa and improve economics on a lot of routes.

Quoting PVD757 (Reply 4):

How about Allegiant Express or Allegiant Connection???

Not a chance. It doesn't fit their business model
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ikramerica
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:51 am

This might just be a stab at Mesa. You come into our turf, we'll go into yours.

For all those who said Go! would help the hawaiian market, what do you think now? You are now about to lose your newest airframes to Las Vegas, and they have been replaced by old CRJs instead. The fares are too low to sustain, and you will see fallout.

You want something but expect to pay next to nothing? Expect to get next to nothing in the long run.
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:53 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 6):
This might just be a stab at Mesa. You come into our turf, we'll go into yours.

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense too

Still, someone needs to learn their geography, because Vegas isn't on any coast.
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T prop
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:20 am

Check out this article from the Denver Post dated 9/10. It doesn't say any thing about Island Air but look at the pictures of the Q400 in Denver carefully. Click on the small picture in the article. Interesting...

http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_4316084


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PVD757
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:28 am

from the above posted article:

"It won't be Island Air, but our contract will be an outsourcing of services to a different party. The name will be different, but it will be operated under an Island Air certificate using Island Air employees."

Maybe Lynx is the "differant" name (party) and the planes will be wholly owned by F9. Maybe Island Air will "operate" Lynx for F9 "under an Island Air certificate using Island Air employees."

seems to match up pretty well to me...
 
A340Spotter
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Wed Oct 25, 2006 4:44 am

Question for the DEN spotters...

Was this N539DS or the second one that never made it out to HNL? The pictures on the post don't shed a clue as to the tail number.

Thanks
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Wed Oct 25, 2006 4:47 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 7):
Still, someone needs to learn their geography, because Vegas isn't on any coast.

But the claim was they would be flying to the west coast. Vegas to LA/SF/SD, etc. Maybe Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, SNA, etc.
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SANFan
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:07 am

On a recent thread, there was a discussion about F9 announcing SFO-LAS service. I proposed the idea of a F9 mini-hub/mini-Key/mini-Focus in Vegas with service to other F9 cities in CA. This thread's announcement, and my post earlier on this thread...

Quoting SANFan (Reply 3):
Do I see a pending tie-in with those Animal-Tails from DEN?...
I guess if Mesa can GO! Hawaiian, then why shouldn't the Islands go to Vegas...

...more (smaller cities) than I originally envisioned... more puzzle-pieces fitting together?

What do ya' say, Mariner?...

bb
 
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:41 am

Quoting Kalakaua (Thread starter):
78-seat Bombardier Q400

What is the seat pitch with that many seats? A normal QX Q400 has 74 seats at about 31" pitch, so Island Air's must be around 30". That's pretty cramped! Q400 service to LAS from other western cities (TUS Big grin) would be nice. I'd probably buy a ticket just for the ride.
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mariner
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:54 am

Quoting SANFan (Reply 12):
What do ya' say, Mariner?...

I'm scratching my head. It certainly fits - but for one thing:

Quoting Kalakaua (Thread starter):
Island Air was going to be operating out of Las Vegas, possibly from a regional airport

A "regional" airport? That isn't the standard Frontier pattern, they would use LAS. Or, let me correct myself, they always have. But life is about change?

Hey - it's possible, it would make a great deal of sense and fit in with Frontier's new California/West strategy.

It wouldn't answer the question about a provider for regional jets (CR7 or E170?) for Frontier Jet Express, though.

 confused 

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rw717
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:35 am

Maybe they will be serving VGT to various short hop citys. I personally have seen a 737 at VGT, and it is right next to numerous smaller hotels and casinos. Not to mention, it is only 20-30 minutes from the Strip.
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:47 pm

N539DS "Island Beauty", was the Q400 that was flown in Hawai‘i. N814WP "Island Style", was supposed to be the next Q400 to arrive. Each of the Q400s would have each of the 3 tail designs.

If there is an F9 connection, it could also tie into the Hawai‘i market, since AQ and HA have a code-share alliance with WP. One thing is certain, F9's Airbus fleet would have to be ETOPS-certified, should they plan to expand westward.

Should be interesting to see what continues to evolve out of all this.
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mariner
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Thu Oct 26, 2006 4:34 am

I've thought bout this one, and I've asked around - and I'm still scratchin' my head.

If it is Vegas (or near), then the simple answer is to assume that it isn't for any airline, but for a hotel/casino operator - Harrah's? - and that it could as easily be out of Bullhead/Laughlin.

Against that is the fact that it is only a 3 x Q400 fleet, which is not necessarily a problem if it is, say, IFP or a regional Vegas airport.

I guess it could be a major, but it is only a three aircraft fleet, with little chance of getting more for a year or so.

Which leaves - Horizon?

They are losing 16 (?) x Q200's but getting back (over a year) 9 x CR7's from Frontier. They already fly the Q400's, so a sub-fleet of 3, even operated by someone else, could be a nice addition to the fleet, and cover any schedule issues from the loss of the Q200's.

But somehow, it doesn't feel like Horizon's style. Nor - quite - Frontier's.

The big virtue is it means that they could get Frontier Express flying in time for the busy summer.

Presently, the first (F9) Q400 arrives in May, and the second in July. Buena fortuna getting any halfway decent network up before the end of summer.

Tom Nunn of Lynx has said that the first destinations will be "non-mountain". That would be right for Vegas, but this would mean that Frontier's "western dreams" are as big as some hoped, but bigger than we had all suspected.

The small Island sub-fleet could be flying from March but against that - would it take the gloss of Frontier's own operation?

Then again - a few of us have been wondering what Frontier is going to do with all their aircraft, in the sense of where to put them.

Assuming everything goes to plan, Frontier will be adding a minimum of 30 and probably as many as 40 aircraft over the next two years.

Is there room for all these aircraft at DIA given the gate space limitations of terminal A? I have assumed that some of the aircraft (some of the Jet Express fleet?) will be based "somewhere else".

And if it is Frontier/Lynx/Island, then Frontier, with all those Q400's on order, could easily assign a couple to Island if they wanted to build up that fleet.

And if Island is based in (say) Vegas, then it provides some clear sky between the Frontier/Lynx operation at DEN and the Lynx/Island sub-fleet at LAS (or where ever).

But - would it be overly complicated for Frontier/Lynx and, again, would it take the gloss of that? So - I can argue my way around both sides of this, and the simple answer is:

I'm still scratchin' my head.

 Smile

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SANFan
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:55 am

Mariner, I'd be scratchin' my head too if wasn't spinning so fast! Yes, I think you covered every pro-and-con of every situation possible; very complete coverage of a large and growing puzzle... Thank you.

I could certainly envision lots of Qs running around the desert to/from and in between LAS, PHX, LAX, SAN, FAT, including places like Bullhead, Yuma. Flagstaff, Kingman, St. George, El Centro, Palm Springs, Bakersfield, Palomar/Carlsbad, etc. Eventually, more intra-CA service would logically follow...

Kinda reminds me of the route maps in the old days of Bonanza and their fleet of hard-working F-27s buzzing all over the Southwest corner of the country.

bb
 
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Thu Oct 26, 2006 9:48 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 11):
But the claim was they would be flying to the west coast. Vegas to LA/SF/SD, etc. Maybe Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, SNA, etc.

I really doubt they could compete with the much larger traffic from the majors flying on Vegas-LA/SF/SD/SNA. SBA and SBP are possible, though they already have competition at SBA and SBP already is being drawn from by G4's SMX-LAS flights.
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Thu Oct 26, 2006 9:55 am

Quoting Wedgetail737 (Reply 1):
Very interesting! I wonder if they'll work with fledgling Vision Air to expand service.

Very much doubt it; the beauty about Vision Air from IWA to VGT is no TSA involvement, which would happen with the larger aircraft.
 
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mariner
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:29 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 19):
I really doubt they could compete with the much larger traffic from the majors flying on Vegas-LA/SF/SD/SNA.

But - who couldn't?

If they - whoever "they" are - have any Harrah's (say) backing, they'd probably be okay, especially if it was for Bullhead/Laughlin. Or Elko, perhaps?

If it is Horizon, they could probably compete. And these do seem to be changing times.

I was checking Travelocity SFO-LAX earlier today, and, for the next three days in that direction, Frontier was not the cheapest fare.

The majors - UA, AA and AS - were all undercutting, by $10, the LCC.

 Smile

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ikramerica
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:53 am

Quoting RW717 (Reply 15):
Not to mention, it is only 20-30 minutes from the Strip.

That's 1 hour of not gambling and drinking. Doesn't fit with the vegas vacation model for regional flights. Is it all business they are after?
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:01 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 21):
If they - whoever "they" are - have any Harrah's (say) backing, they'd probably be okay, especially if it was for Bullhead/Laughlin. Or Elko, perhaps?

Laughlin is a different place than Las Vegas. The last casino backed airline flying into Vegas, National, failed despite using very low CASM, mainline aircraft that they could actually sell seats on.

Quoting Mariner (Reply 21):
I was checking Travelocity SFO-LAX earlier today, and, for the next three days in that direction, Frontier was not the cheapest fare.

The majors - UA, AA and AS - were all undercutting, by $10, the LCC.

And don't forget OAK, which is just as easy to San Francisco as SFO.
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:11 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
Laughlin is a different place than Las Vegas.

But we only have an assumption by the reporter - or the "person familiar with the deal" - that it is Vegas, or a regional airport nearby.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
The last casino backed airline flying into Vegas, National, failed despite using very low CASM,

I doubt that Harrah's would back (at least, entirely) an airline flying into LAS. I'm not sure they need to.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
And don't forget OAK, which is just as easy to San Francisco as SFO.

Sorry, I am probably being dumb, but I'm not sure how that affects the point that I was making about the majors versus the LCC.

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Alias1024
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:38 am

I agree with Mariner. This doesn't feel like Frontier or Horizon.

What about AQ? Wasn't there a rumor that Aloha was looking to expand their west coast presence, but not from Hawaii? Perhaps they are looking to use the Q400 to feed their Mainland-Hawaii flights. I'm not sure how Las Vegas would tie into this however; I'm just thinking aloud.
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:02 pm

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 25):
What about AQ? Wasn't there a rumor that Aloha was looking to expand their west coast presence, but not from Hawaii? Perhaps they are looking to use the Q400 to feed their Mainland-Hawaii flights. I'm not sure how Las Vegas would tie into this however; I'm just thinking aloud.

Something to link cities that cannot support direct Hawaii service or are too far awya for the 73G's? Aloha only operates 4x weekly to LAS though, and it's from OAK. Could they get slots or gate space at SNA since they have 3 daily flights from there. They have 11 daily flights out of OAK, so connections would be even better there, even though the flight there would be longer. I think possibilities could be TUS, ABQ, SLC, PDX(?), SEA(?), DEN(?).

PHX could be a possibility too but they could reinstate the continuation flight they used to have from SNA instead of having two to SMF. Why does SMF have 2 daily to SNA continuing to Hawaii and PHX none? Did the PHX flight have poor loads?

[Edited 2006-10-26 05:03:52]
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clickhappy
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:46 pm

any connection to this
RE: Unknown Airline Plans Hub At CHD/IWA (by Thegooddoctor Nov 26 2005 in Civil Aviation)

And wasn't there a thread about some British charter outfit flying to IWA? Could these be feeder flights for that?
 
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:07 pm

I'm beginning to lean toward Wedgetail's thought in the 1st post.

Vision Air has wanted to develop a network of small cities to Vegas. They've started flights from Williams Gateway. But other cities that have been mentioned in the media as being in Vision Air's sights such as Logan keep getting put off.

Maybe Vision Air and Island Air are putting something together, either short term or long term.
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Sat Oct 28, 2006 4:05 am

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PVD757
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Sat Oct 28, 2006 4:12 am

so if the first aircraft has already left, we should hear something pretty soon about what is actually going on - no?
 
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Sat Oct 28, 2006 6:56 am

I think that US would be the best choice. If they're going to use these
planes to fly out of smaller markets on the West Coast to LAS, then they
will need the greatest possible connection traffic. And I doubt that they
would consider teaming up with WN. Connecting to F9 flights out of DEN
from the West Coast might be to long of a ride on these planes, and if they
did point-to-point flying on behalf of F9 then 3 Q400s doesn't really seem
adequate.

Being a feeder carrier into a hub seems less risky for them.
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mariner
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Sat Oct 28, 2006 7:09 am

Quoting PSA727 (Reply 31):
I think that US would be the best choice.

Sorry, but I don't see that one, and for a reason you state.

As far as I know, US has no other Q400's on order (?), so it would be that - a sub-fleet of three, which doesn't seem adequate for much.

Frontier has up to 20 x Q400's on order (10 firm, 10 options) so a sub fleet of three based at or near LAS might make sense. And, as noted above, Frontier could assign any of the ordered aircraft to build that fleet.

Remembering too, that Frontier is clearly expanding in the west.

Even so, my hunch is that it is someone else, but I surely wouldn't grieve if it proved to be Frontier.

 Smile

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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:39 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 32):
Frontier has up to 20 x Q400's on order (10 firm, 10 options) so a sub fleet of three based at or near LAS might make sense. And, as noted above, Frontier could assign any of the ordered aircraft to build that fleet.

Frontier does make some sense. The Island Air aircraft could be used to help jump-start their Q400 operation, and once Lynx gets their own Q400 fleet up to size, the Island Air operation would end -- and hopefully go! will have go!ne away and the planes will make sense in Hawaii again. :-P
 
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:22 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 32):
As far as I know, US has no other Q400's on order (?), so it would be that - a sub-fleet of three, which doesn't seem adequate for much.

Actually, I believe that USex carrier Piedmont is looking at the Q400s
as a replacement/upgrade to some of their Dash 8s.
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:45 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 24):
I doubt that Harrah's would back (at least, entirely) an airline flying into LAS. I'm not sure they need to.

Harrah's got burned by National, and they are doing fine with charters.

Quoting Hawaiian717 (Reply 33):
Frontier does make some sense. The Island Air aircraft could be used to help jump-start their Q400 operation, and once Lynx gets their own Q400 fleet up to size, the Island Air operation would end -- and hopefully go! will have go!ne away and the planes will make sense in Hawaii again. :-P

I can't see them jump-starting F9's operation. It would not be a long term $$$ maker for Island Air. Who would want to be a temporary filler?
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mariner
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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:51 am

Quoting PSA727 (Reply 34):
I believe that USex carrier Piedmont is looking at the Q400s

I'm sure that's so. I'm sure a lot of people are looking at them. Someone called the E170/E190 an "industry changing aircraft", but I suspect the real industry changer is the Q400.

Still, it would be a while - a year? - before they could get any even if they ordered them today.

So it would still seem odd to have a 3 x Q400 fleet for that year.

Nothing is impossible, of course. I think we're all just guessing here. I know I am.

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RE: Island Air Signs LOI For S/H On West Coast

Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:03 pm

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 35):
I can't see them jump-starting F9's operation. It would not be a long term $$$ maker for Island Air. Who would want to be a temporary filler?

Island Air. At least what I take away from the press reports is that Island Air really does just need something short term. go! has destabilized the inter-island market to the point where the Q400 at the moment doesn't make sense there, but they're stuck with the aircraft. I get the impression that they want to get the plane back in the islands at some point, so this type of short term operation actually would make sense.

Quoting Mariner (Reply 36):
I think we're all just guessing here. I know I am.

Me too.