FlyPNS1
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Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:13 pm

Effective 1/7/08, Big Sky will abandon all East Coast operations. All flights operating as DL connection to BOS and CVG will be gone.

http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/071219/20071219006073.html?.v=1
 
elmothehobo
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:19 pm

Shame.

The big question is who is going to take over this flying, be it on behalf of Delta or independently.
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:33 pm

Wow, maybe DL can start renting out Terminal A for apartments. Silly
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
pilotboi
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:06 pm

At least no more Delta flyers can compain about buying a Delta ticket then flying on a silly little B1900.
 
MAH4546
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:18 pm



Quoting ElmoTheHobo (Reply 1):
The big question is who is going to take over this flying, be it on behalf of Delta or independently.

Probably nobody, is my guess. Only a handful of the routes (IIRC, just three - BOS-YFC/YQB/BGR) replaced previous DL flying.
a.
 
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knope2001
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:20 pm

Wow...this is pretty serious news.

Big Sky is essentially getting out of the flying business, so it would seem. Their non-subsidized BOS flying is ending, and they're simply pulling up stakes in six EAS cities...Watertown (NY), Massena, Ogdensburg, Cape Girardeau, Jackson (TN) and Ownensboro. Also in the press release they say they will continue their Montana flying just until a replacement can be found. If they leave the EAS flying in the west (MT/WY) as well as these six other EAS cities, that leaves them with just a couple routes around Missoula and Boise.

I think we're reaching a point of crisis in EAS 19-seat flying. In the past 18 months or so, Air Midwest/Mesa, Scenic, Skyway, Commutair, Regions and now Big Sky have all ended (or announced an end) to their EAS flying. That essentially leaves Great Lakes for 19-seat flying, and they have already demonstrated an inability to pick up some of the routes they've been awarded in a reasonably timely manner.

Just 4 weeks ago Big Sky bid on the four northern Michigan EAS routes up for bids, and they were the only airline even bidding on two of the cities. Now it seems highly doubtful they're interested.

If this means more Saabs and Embraers in more EAS cities, that's probably good for passengers and demand. However those aircraft are a lot more expensive and may well price more EAS cities out of the network, including some really remote places. Not to mention that some airports in EAS are not readily able to handle 30+ seat aircraft.

[Edited 2007-12-19 14:24:59]
 
Tornado82
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:00 pm

Colgan might just hang on to those B1900's yet. You never know with them.
 
mtnwest1979
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:27 pm

Well, this is bad news for me as I work @ BOI and have friends that work for GQ. Found out of this in a text msg. Too bad for all employees.
I wonder how long it will take to find a replacement carrier for MT EAS locations? Perhaps they will let GQ fold and leave these places without service until one is selected. Assuming, of course, anyone wants to. Maybe Great Lakes will get into Sidney,MT yet.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
 
ScottB
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:32 pm



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 4):
Only a handful of the routes (IIRC, just three - BOS-YFC/YQB/BGR) replaced previous DL flying.

BOS-TTN and BOS-BTV were also prior Delta Connection routes.

Quoting Knope2001 (Reply 5):
I think we're reaching a point of crisis in EAS 19-seat flying. In the past 18 months or so, Air Midwest/Mesa, Scenic, Skyway, Commutair, Regions and now Big Sky have all ended (or announced an end) to their EAS flying.

Well, if you look at the numbers MAIR published for the third quarter, Big Sky's CASM was up at just under 40 cents/mile, while RASM was around 31 cents/mile. As far as I can tell, GQ was generating losses of roughly $1.4 million/month, and this is during a quarter which ought to be strong (although to be fair, they were probably incurring significant startup costs).

As I've said in other threads, their reliability out of BOS was terrible. I'd see the departures screens in Terminal A with practically every Delta & Comair flight showing at or near on-time, while the Big Sky flights would have multi-hour delays or outright cancellations.
 
Tornado82
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:59 pm



Quoting MtnWest1979 (Reply 8):
I wonder how long it will take to find a replacement carrier for MT EAS locations?

Umm... they're cutting the Delta Connection out of BOS / CVG flying. Not the western US EAS. Or did I miss something?
 
HPAEAA
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:16 am



Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 10):
Not the western US EAS. Or did I miss something?

yeah, they said they are searching for a replacment on the west coast flying...
Why do I fly???
 
Rcardinale
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:32 am

Wow that sucks! not even a year after they started flying out of BOS they are quitting too bad it didn't work out I enjoyed seeing their planes here. Maybe Cape Air can pick up some of the slack now that they are starting to expand their horizons to places like VT.
 
Tornado82
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:42 am



Quoting HPAEAA (Reply 11):

yeah, they said they are searching for a replacment on the west coast flying...

Oops, yes I see now.

Quoting Rcardinale (Reply 12):
Maybe Cape Air can pick up some of the slack now that they are starting to expand their horizons to places like VT.

Serviceable 402's aren't that easy to come by these days.
 
BatonOps
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:04 am

So what happens now to Watertown, Ogdensburg, and Massena in New York state? Will someone else move in to these three cities???
 
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knope2001
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:17 am

Most likely they'll be out of luck until another airline bids and is selected. The DoT could order Big Sky to continue to serve these markets, but I'm not sure they'll play hardball like that because Big Sky is closing up shop in that corner of the world, and seemingly, closing up in general. They can order all they want, but short of litigation there's not all that much they can do against Big Sky.

If I had to guess, it will be like the cities which lost service when Regions Air shut down in March. It was 7-8+ months for service to return.
 
RJNUT
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:29 am



Quoting Knope2001 (Reply 5):
think we're reaching a point of crisis in EAS 19-seat flying. In the past 18 months or so, Air Midwest/Mesa, Scenic, Skyway, Commutair, Regions and now Big Sky have all ended (or announced an end) to their EAS flying. That essentially leaves Great Lakes for 19-seat flying, and they have already demonstrated an inability to pick up some of the routes they've been awarded in a reasonably timely manner

EXACTYLY!



how about this solution?

a massive order for q400s, code sharing w/ some legacy to a big hub and tag -ending the EAS cities to another mid level city and everbody's happy///..EAS pays the difference to fly from, say MBS-APN from ORD-APN and there you have it!


a re-entry of good sized turbo props will have to be part of any picture to serve these smaller communities~
the nineteen seaters are dead!
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:40 am



Quoting RJNUT (Reply 16):
a massive order for q400s

The Q400 is a 70 seat aircraft, and new aircraft are expensive as it is

Quoting RJNUT (Reply 16):
code sharing w/ some legacy to a big hub and tag -ending the EAS cities to another mid level city and everbody's happy///

They are codesharing, although a city like BOS wasn't a true hub operation for DL.

Quoting RJNUT (Reply 16):
a re-entry of good sized turbo props will have to be part of any picture to serve these smaller communities~
the nineteen seaters are dead!

Before we jump to a 70 seat turboprop, a 30 seater from a reliable operation may be more of the answer. The problem is that many EAS markets are not properly connected to true hubs.

Quoting RJNUT (Reply 16):
EAS pays the difference to fly from, say MBS-APN from ORD-APN and there you have it!

APN isn't an EAS city and its already served from DTW on XJ. Places like ORD don't need anymore small aircraft jamming up ATC as it is at the moment.
 
SpencerII
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:18 am

Heres an article about it from a Billings TV station

http://www.montanasnewsstation.com/Global/story.asp?S=7521701
 
flyingcat
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:52 am

I can see all the politicos lining up to force someone to fly these routes. Maybe this will be the impetus to overhaul the entire EAS program.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:36 am



Quoting Knope2001 (Reply 5):
That essentially leaves Great Lakes for 19-seat flying, and they have already demonstrated an inability to pick up some of the routes they've been awarded in a reasonably timely manner.

ZK seems to drag their feet when it suits them and move quickly when it suits them; they ramped the STL operation up from just MWA to 5 destinations surprisingly quickly.

Quoting Knope2001 (Reply 15):

If I had to guess, it will be like the cities which lost service when Regions Air shut down in March. It was 7-8+ months for service to return.

If they can work something out with the government for EAS money, ZK might be able to open CGI and MKL sooner than that. They have the much of the infrastructure in place in STL already. It would probably require a third aircraft, as ZK is currently running 20 daily flights with 2 aircraft (16 on Saturdays). Of course, that presumes that XJ isn't interested in either city (XJ provides EAS service at PAH, another 3C casualty).
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
acidradio
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:44 am



Quoting Flyingcat (Reply 19):
I can see all the politicos lining up to force someone to fly these routes. Maybe this will be the impetus to overhaul the entire EAS program.

If all of these airlines cannot make it happen, even with all the subsidies, doesn't this demonstrate the lack of viability of serving these market in the first place? I'm sure that these are all remote areas, but still, if nobody wants to go there, that kind of speaks for itself. If there is no population to speak of in these places, could there be a reason for that?

I guess I have to ask - why are we spending federal tax money to subsidize porkbarrel flights to these places? Well we know the reason for that, and it's always a senator or congressman who pulls that off. Now if the individual cities, or counties or states would be willing to subsidize flights, that's alright. But why should we as a nation subsidize service to places which there is obviously little or no demand to go, and which serves very little purpose for the rest of the nation? Someone will argue that those places also pay federal taxes, like the rest of us. But I don't have federal taxes directly subsidizing the cost of fares from MSP to places that I want to go!
Ich haben zwei Platzspielen und ein Microphone
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:49 pm



Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 20):
Of course, that presumes that XJ isn't interested in either city (XJ provides EAS service at PAH, another 3C casualty).

XJ has bid for the EAS flying on some of these cities in the past, and may likely do so again for Watertown (NY) (DTW), and Cape Girardeau (MEM), Jackson (TN) (MEM) and Ownensboro (MEM). However, Mesaba is not cheap and is always the highest bidder whenever they go for EAS flying. For example, they bid on the WV EAS flying but were more than double anyone else. Considering they fly 34-seat Saabs versus 19 seat B1900's and also have more overhead than some of these other carriers which have all been plagued by operational difficulties, retaining employees, and being able to run any sort of reliable service.

Quoting Acidradio (Reply 21):
If all of these airlines cannot make it happen, even with all the subsidies, doesn't this demonstrate the lack of viability of serving these market in the first place? I'm sure that these are all remote areas, but still, if nobody wants to go there, that kind of speaks for itself. If there is no population to speak of in these places, could there be a reason for that?

True, there are some EAS cities that no longer make sense in today's world. Other cities have poor enplanements because the existing service has been very poor. This includes connectivity, where the flights go to airports that offer limited connecting options and also includes service reliability. The service has been simply unreliable - cancelations, significant delays, start-up issues - to the point where the local communities have turned their backs on the EAS service.

If an airline comes in and offers reliable service to good connecting hubsites, branded as a mainline's regional carrier (e.g., Connection / Airlink / Express ) then some of these markets can be successful with a limited about of subsidy.

Other markets have no hope and simply need to be ended.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:41 pm



Quoting DTW.SCE" class=quote target=_blank>PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 22):

XJ has bid for the EAS flying on some of these cities in the past, and may likely do so again for Watertown (NY) (DTW), and Cape Girardeau (MEM), Jackson (TN) (MEM) and Ownensboro (MEM).

I think XJ would probably have a hard time making MKL work even if they were to get an EAS contract. It's too close to Memphis for any meaningful local traffic, and Saabs are, as you pointed out, fairly large for EAS. Of course, ZK may wind up making this a moot point, as they would almost certainly underbid XJ.
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commavia
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:54 pm



Quoting Knope2001 (Reply 5):
I think we're reaching a point of crisis in EAS 19-seat flying.

It's just not economic anymore. It's not realistic.

With Jet A prices where they are, the threshold for economic viability in smaller markets and smaller communities around the U.S. is significantly higher than it used to be. It's becoming more and more difficult to fill 50-seat props, to say nothing of 50-seat jets. In this type of environment, it's really hard to justify the operation of an entire flight, along with many of the same costs associated with flying bigger planes, and yet they can only fill 19 seats.

Even at 100% load factors day-in, day-out (good luck), it's hard to make these flights work - and the market realities keep telling us time and again that the fare levels necessary to support the higher operating costs virtually guarantee that filling all 19 seats on these planes, when flying in and out of some of these smaller cities, is just not going to work.

The only way they could ever keep this EAS thing going, in my opinion, long-term, is to actually all-out subsidize the flights: i.e., direct payments and revenue guarantees, at higher levels, to make these flights profitable.

Otherwise, for a lot of these EAS cities' air service levels, it's just over.
 
Dalmd88
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:07 pm

Sad to see GQ leaving BOS. I was hoping to see them start BOS-SYR for my own use, but now I'm stuck driving five hours or ID90 on US. I too noticed a lot of CXD flights on the board for gate A1 in the past few months. When they first started they were doing pretty good. I heard the loads into ART were actually good. There is a fair amount of government traffic into there with the Army base. I'm sure this EAS city will get service soon. I'm suprised ALB and SYR didn't show much traffic. When I worked for Mohawk back in the 90's there were three airlines doing these routes. Back then there was enough traffic to fill all three operators. I guess the Upstate Ny economy is even worse now than when I lived there. I imagine DL will get someone to fill the gap in a few of the cities GQ was flying to, but not many.
 
masseybrown
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:19 pm



Quoting Knope2001 (Reply 15):
it will be like the cities which lost service when Regions Air shut down in March. It was 7-8+ months for service to return.



Quoting Flyingcat (Reply 19):
Maybe this will be the impetus to overhaul the entire EAS program.

Two choices:

1) Raise the EAS subsidy.
2) Greyhound.
 
EMB170
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:50 pm



Quoting Commavia (Reply 24):
Even at 100% load factors day-in, day-out (good luck), it's hard to make these flights work - and the market realities keep telling us time and again that the fare levels necessary to support the higher operating costs virtually guarantee that filling all 19 seats on these planes, when flying in and out of some of these smaller cities, is just not going to work.

The only way they could ever keep this EAS thing going, in my opinion, long-term, is to actually all-out subsidize the flights: i.e., direct payments and revenue guarantees, at higher levels, to make these flights profitable.

Otherwise, for a lot of these EAS cities' air service levels, it's just over.



Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 26):
Two choices:

1) Raise the EAS subsidy.
2) Greyhound

 checkmark   checkmark   checkmark 

Where are these smaller turboprops going to come from? Setting consumer preference aside for a moment (the whole don't-you-dare-stick-me-on-that-little-plane-with-the-spinny-things-on-the-wings factor), are there enough birds on the market (and in good enough condition) to be able to offer the service? Anymore, for a small market, your choices of new (or like-new) build birds boils down to 4: Q200, CRJ-200, EMB-135/145, and the ATR-42. Moreover, with few exceptions, airlines are fairly reticent to introduce new types into their fleets, so unless the city can profitably support a CRJ or ERJ, the list of operators willing to blow money for purchase/lease and the subsequent training of Q200/300 or ATR-42 pilots becomes dreadfully thin.

Add to this our rapidly deteriorating air-traffic-control system, and the fact that airlines are shedding 50 seat RJ markets, despite high load and profitability factors, and the picture looks even darker. Hey, if BGM, ERI, TUP, and MGM are having a hard time holding onto their CRJ-200 service, what does that say about communities like CGI, and MKL that are hanging onto B1900 service by their fingernails?

What could happen is one of two things (IMHO):
1) It could just mean that the new reality is that fewer cities have air service. Unless you're large enough to profitably support 50+ (and more likely 70+) seaters at your gates, AND are also the only ballgame in town for a couple of hundred miles, don't expect many takers.

2) We could see a new generation of hub cities...secondary hubs that really aren't hubs, but are more meant to take the low priority, EAS and smaller city markets away from the big hubs so that the big hubs can send out flights to the more important (read: profitable) destinations. CO is already moving in that direction; they're adding flights at CLE so as to relieve pressure from EWR. The problem with this approach is that it creates a customer service problem in that many customers are forced to double connect... in turn creating a "vicious circle" effect where the city loses even more traffic because it's not well-enough connected, and the loads and yields fall off even further.
IND ORD ATL MCO PIT EWR BUF CVG DEN RNO JFK DTW BOS BDL BWI IAD RDU CLT MYR CHS TPA CID MSP STL MSY DFW IAH AUS SLC LAS
 
masseybrown
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:35 pm

Actually there are more choices, one being to force the big carriers to resume cross-subsidization of these routes. That choice might appeal to a more leftist government than we have today.
 
mtnwest1979
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:16 pm

Well, should be no problem for ZK to get more 1900s, they can just use the ones GQ will be getting rid of. Maybe someone like Frontier Flying Service from Alaska could try an attempt at some EAS service in the lower 48. They seem to have good experience with 1900s. I mean it would not be new to them.
Or, Some Johnny-come-lately put an old Navajo in use on some of these routes, never being able to make money and leave after 2 years. Will be interesting to see what happens.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
 
PVD757
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:59 pm

Comair is going to replace BOS-BGR with 2X CRJ. I wonder what other BOS markets will get RJ service again?

Maybe BTV, YFC, YQB, and TTN? I doubt ISP, ALB, or ABE will see RJs to BOS.
 
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knope2001
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:03 pm

A fundamental problem is that as the 19-seat aircraft has become nearly economically unviable, fewer and fewer airlines can fly EAS as an add on to their for-profit flying. That increases costs very dramatically, and makes airlines uninterested in EAS flying at all.

There’s a huge difference in cost between doing EAS flying by adding a few trips to your existing nearby regional network versus setting up shop in a new place. Back when there was for-profit 19-seat flying at many hubs, the cost to pick up EAS flying was relatively small. With existing infrastructure of the for-profit flying, adding an EAS market meant the cost of the new station, and the addition of a bit more pilot and aircraft time.

Now that there are almost no 19-seat flying networks left, the full financial burden rests on the EAS subsidy. The full cost of the aircraft, the full crew requirement, the full cost of the stations (including the hub) etc, all go to the cost of the EAS flying.

And even if an airline were to bid and win an EAS market with the very high true subsidy cost approved, there’s no guarantee that in two years they might not lose that flying to another carrier or have it dropped from EAS. EAS subsidy is not going to cover the cost of closing those stations, disposing of those aircraft, laying off those employees, etc.

In this way, there has been a loss of economic viability not directly related to rocketing fuel prices nor weak traffic. EAS is not simply a program to subsidize flying to Podunk places, but rather guarantees a minimum level of service to scores of communities. Not-so-small places like Lincoln, Charleston, and Bakersfield all fall under EAS, and if the airlines find those cities unprofitable to offer at least X level of service, EAS will pay somebody to meet that minimum level. Cities like Columbia MO, Escanaba MI, and Joplin MO were never subsidized until recently. As small-aircraft flying decreases, we may well see more airports that averaged 100 or more passengers per day still needing subsidy.

Certainly the argument can be made that the market alone should decide on where air service is available, and some do make that argument. However in some regards air service is viewed more as a utility, and that was the goal of EAS in the first place to determine where air service was justified even at subsidy. Most everybody agrees that EAS is screwed up, and perhaps the structural shift in the aviation network will force a change.

Getting back to Big Sky, I suspect that they bid for the eastern EAS markets believing they could spread their costs over a larger operation by doing some for-profit flying for Delta. That has not turned out well for them and is also ending in January. The subsidy they receive for their six EAS cities probably comes nowhere close to meeting the actual cost if they were to just serve the EAS markets. They’ve decided they’re better off just closing up shop than trying to cover their costs with the contracted subsidy amount.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:11 pm



Quoting PVD757 (Reply 30):
Maybe BTV, YFC, YQB, and TTN? I doubt ISP, ALB, or ABE will see RJs to BOS.

I would be very surprised to see any of these get RJ service considering the current operating environment.

BOS-TTN used to be flown with a CRJ and was a terrible money-loser. Passenger loads were often only around 15-20. It will not be coming back. Given how DL has cut a number RJ routes out of ATL & pending for SLC, I highly doubt any of those will continue out of BOS. None of them are important or strategic to DL.
 
jetlanta
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:22 pm



Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 32):
I highly doubt any of those will continue out of BOS. None of them are important or strategic to DL.

Agreed.
 
MAH4546
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:29 pm



Quoting PVD757 (Reply 30):
Maybe BTV, YFC, YQB, and TTN?

Doubt it. They were switched to Beech 1900Ds for a reason.
a.
 
A330323X
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:42 pm

Here is the DOT's emergency RFP for the eight communities, as they don't expect Big Sky to be in business for the 90 days it is statutorily required to provide service for. Of note:

Quote:
Regarding specific levels at the eight communities, we expect proposals consisting of service with two-pilot, twin-engine aircraft offering at least 15 passenger seats with service levels comparable to those in the existing contracts. Specifically, we expect three round trips a day at Massena, Ogdensburg, Plattsburgh, Saranac lake/Lake Placid and Watertown, NY, and Cape Girardeau, MO; and two round trips a day at Jackson, TN, and Owensboro, KY, to any suitable hub. Carriers are also welcome to propose more than one service option, if they envision other, potentially more attractive service possibilities with subsidy requirements that remain competitive. In addition, because of the current industry shortage of 19-seat aircraft and pilots, we would even entertain proposals that do not meet the technical requirements for EAS provided that the affected community is supportive. Examples could include one round trip a day with a small regional jet, provided that the subsidy rate is reasonable, or multiple frequencies with eight- or nine-seat aircraft. As always, we would solicit community concurrence on such options before making a long-term carrier-selection decision.

I'm the expert on here on two things, neither of which I care about much anymore.
 
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knope2001
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:59 pm



Quoting A330323X (Reply 35):
In addition, because of the current industry shortage of 19-seat aircraft and pilots, we would even entertain proposals that do not meet the technical requirements for EAS provided that the affected community is supportive. Examples could include one round trip a day with a small regional jet, provided that the subsidy rate is reasonable

Now that IS interesting. I wonder what they consider "reasonable". The recent bid amounts for 19-seat flying have been going through the roof. With a larger network to spread costs over, I wonder how much it really would cost someone like Pinnacle if tagged Watertown NY onto the end of an Erie, Rochester or Syracuse CRJ flight, or did something like DTW-BGM-ART-DTW. The Mesaba service to Jamestown, Devils Lake, and Thief River Falls are all tagged SF3's onto non-subsidized trips, and that seems to be a way to serve EAS cities without spending as much aircraft time flying 40% full.
 
azjubilee
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:32 am

Poor BigSky... without its big brother Mesaba feeding mama MAIR, it couldn't survive. Maybe they shoulda worked WITH us instead of AGAINST us back in 2003/04. They wouldn't have been scoped out of flying more than 19 seats and forced to fly in dying markets. I guess this is one way around the MAIR letter... just disolve the airline and give the money to the shareholders. Wouldn't it be poetic justice if NWA could market these EAS cities into the network? Mesaba pilots flying the saabs on former EAS routes BigSky failed with. Priceless.

I agree, if you tag on these EAS cities to markets not tied to the government, NWA could very well make it work. The people of these cities get air service by a reliable and safe airline. Win win for everyone.



AZJ
 
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:03 am



Quoting Azjubilee (Reply 37):
I agree, if you tag on these EAS cities to markets not tied to the government, NWA could very well make it work. The people of these cities get air service by a reliable and safe airline. Win win for everyone.

With a SF340, I agree a tag might work. However, I have real doubts about tagging with a CRJ. Particularly since the carriers are already getting super high LF's on their existing routes why spend the money for a CRJ tag. I just don't see the profit in it.
 
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:15 am

Again, I agree. A saab would have superior economics over any jet on the routes in question.


AZJ
 
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RE: Big Sky Abandons The East Coast

Fri Dec 21, 2007 3:03 am

The only problem with tag-ons is that it can be difficult to schedule in regards to getting the flights to align with connecting banks at the hubs.

That said, I fully expect Mesaba to bid on a few of these routes - DTW-JHW, MEM-OWB, MEM-CGI, MEM-Jackson, TN.
It doesn't hurt in trying. Whether or not they win them is up for debate, depending if Great Lakes decides to bid on anything. XJ won't be cheap that's for sure, but they willl surely be cheaper than if anyone bids on flying RJ's.

XJ has the available aircraft, as long as NWA is willing to work with them. With the number of CR9's & E75's coming online, that can backfill a few CR2's, which in turn can upgrade a few Saab flights, which in turn can add some new flying to the NWA network.

As AZJ said, BigSky was clearly a leach off of Mesaba back in the day. Now that mothership NWA took away Mesaba, there was not financially viable operation to support the money-burning entity known as BigSky. Paul Foley, what a guy.

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