acidradio
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NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 3:51 pm

"When Flying 720 Miles Takes 12 Hours"
By JAD MOUAWAD
Published: May 2, 2012


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/03/bu...ares.html?_r=1&emc=tnt&tntemail0=y

It took Josh Hunter three separate planes, two connections and a two-hour drive to get from Mobile, Ala., to Cincinnati at Easter. When he added it all up, his 720-mile trip had lasted 12 hours — about the same it would have taken him to drive.

“The whole point of flying should be to save a lot of time, and I didn’t,” Mr. Hunter said.

For anyone trying to fly between the smaller cities in the United States, it’s not easy to get from here to there anymore.


This article probably already echoes a lot of discussion that we already have on here but I think it is significant when the NY Times reports on it. A lot of small cities have lost all or much of their service. The service they have left is expensive and often inconvenient (kind of like the guy in this article who had to connect 3 times, drive 2 hrs at the end and still spent a lot of money to get to where he was going). The medium sized hubs are losing a lot of service. The current regional model - feasible at lower fuel prices - is facing a lot of problems with how the economy is and with the price of fuel. And with regional carriers bound by contract to whatever their partner carrier wants to do, lots of competition for that business and an ever-spiraling race to the bottom for price they are starting to drop like flies (OK bad pun when talking about airplanes but you get the idea).

I'd ask what you all think but there is only so much you can do. Labor costs are generally cut as low as they can go. Fuel costs are outside of anyone's control in the industry. What is next? Eventually something will have to change (Multi-hop mainline jets? Scrap regional jets for turboprops? Tell people "too bad - move to a bigger town"?).
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bhmdiversion
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 3:59 pm

This guy purchased the ticket knowing what he was getting. End of story.
 
aloges
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 4:04 pm

Quoting acidradio (Thread starter):
It took Josh Hunter three separate planes, two connections and a two-hour drive to get from Mobile, Ala., to Cincinnati at Easter. When he added it all up, his 720-mile trip had lasted 12 hours — about the same it would have taken him to drive.

A) What on Earth did he book?
B) How much was he delayed by weather?
C) A 60 mph average from door to door over 720 miles? Does that include rest stops?
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cedarjet
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 4:05 pm

It's the size of the planes that are a problem. A city like Kalispell used to get one Delta 727 a day, now gets several ERJs and god knows what. With high oil prices (that will only go up and up from here on), the business model of frequency trumping every other consideration has GOT to be consigned to the rubbish bin of history. One or two flights a day would do the trick.

Even on trunk routes - do we really need fifty flights a day between NY and Chicago? How about 0700, 1030, 1300, 1600, 1900, 2100? Doesn't that cover every eventuality? All operated by 767s (1030, 1600, 2100) and 777s / 747s / A380s at peak hour (0700, 1300, 1900)? God, imagine how much more profitable that would be than the flotilla of narrowbodies?
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BMI727
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 4:23 pm

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 3):
Even on trunk routes - do we really need fifty flights a day between NY and Chicago?

Considering that people pay to be on them, yes.

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 3):
Doesn't that cover every eventuality?

No it doesn't. Doesn't help me if I want to leave at 11:00. Do you really expect people to just wait around for a couple of hours doing nothing?

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 3):
All operated by 767s (1030, 1600, 2100)

Good luck filling those at noon on a Wednesday.

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 3):
777s / 747s / A380s at peak hour (0700, 1300, 1900)?

And those planes do what for the rest of the day?

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 3):
God, imagine how much more profitable that would be than the flotilla of narrowbodies?

Buying expensive planes to operate a few flights at peak times would drive airlines into bankruptcy at an alarming rate.
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kbmiflyer
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 4:24 pm

As the article points out, he had several options to fly that would have been as little as 3 hours and 38 minutes, he chose to fly a route requiring 2 stops, and chose to fly into CMH instead of CVG adding a 2 hour car trip to the journey. He chose to trade longer time for a cheaper fare, that is a tradeoff that could be made for most trips to smaller locations. Especially airports like CVG which have historically high fares.

That being said, the rest of the article is not too far off, just a really bad "real life" example to try and personalize it. The cost advantage regional airlines may have had 10 years ago don't exist now, and many smaller cities (including my home airport of BMI), are in jeopardy of losing more service.
 
GolfBravoRomeo
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 4:31 pm

Open the graphic, "Airlines do offer some faster options between Mobile, Ala., and Cincinnati, but at higher cost." 3:38 on DL via ATL, not bad at all.
 
Eagleboy
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 4:37 pm

Quoting bhmdiversion (Reply 1):
This guy purchased the ticket knowing what he was getting. End of story.
Quoting kbmiflyer (Reply 5):
..........he had several options to fly that would have been as little as 3 hours and 38 minutes, he chose to fly a route requiring 2 stops, and chose to fly into CMH instead of CVG adding a 2 hour car trip to the journey. He chose to trade longer time for a cheaper fare,

Using him as an example of a 'broken' regional airline model was a bad idea.

Why give out about a choice you made?
 
twal1011727
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 4:46 pm

Am I missing something......How convenient that the cost of the airfare wasn't shown.

KD
 
Goldenshield
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 4:47 pm

This article is a mish-mash of ideas that do not belong together.

The guy's poor routing choice to save $150 ends up costing hom 9 hours of time, but it's the regional airline industry's fault because the model is supposedly broken?

Or to put it another way:

Tommy wanted to see Lord of the Rings at the movies, so he took the bus to get there, but it took all day because McDonald's ran out of chicken McNuggets.
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rampart
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 4:50 pm

BMI, I think you are arguing just to argue. I have some very simple answers.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
Considering that people pay to be on them, yes.

I assume that people will also pay for the same seats at somewhat less frequency, but in bigger planes. On the example given, the alternative to flying NYC-CHI is driving or train. Yes, people will still fly, at somewhat lesser frequencies.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
No it doesn't. Doesn't help me if I want to leave at 11:00. Do you really expect people to just wait around for a couple of hours doing nothing?

So it's impossible to consider leaving at 10:30, half an hour earlier, or is there such a lack of self-direction that you can't be productive or otherwise amuse yourself for a couple hours until the next flight? If your time is that sensitive, you seem to be candidate for a biz-jet charter. Not accusing you, mind you, just your example.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
Good luck filling those at noon on a Wednesday.

OK, then how about a somewhat smaller plane at Noon on Wednesday? (The teenager in me says, "duh!") Or, how about dropping Noon on Wednesday if it really has that little demand? But if a flight previous and after are consolidated onto that noon flight, maybe there will be demand.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
And those planes do what for the rest of the day?

How about flying it somewhere else that needs a flight? You know, fleet management? (Again, "duh!   .)All told, fewer flights on bigger planes does eventually require fewer small planes. But isn't that what's needed to help with congestion?

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cmf
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 4:59 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
No it doesn't. Doesn't help me if I want to leave at 11:00. Do you really expect people to just wait around for a couple of hours doing nothing?

You need to plan your time better.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
And those planes do what for the rest of the day?

Avoid wasting money by flying at break even

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
Buying expensive planes to operate a few flights at peak times would drive airlines into bankruptcy at an alarming rate.

Or collect more revenue during a single flight with less cost (per passenger) that the smaller planes bring over their multiple flights.
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BMI727
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 4:59 pm

Quoting rampart (Reply 10):
I have some very simple answers.

Most of which are wrong.

Quoting rampart (Reply 10):
On the example given, the alternative to flying NYC-CHI is driving or train.

Business travelers will love that.

Quoting rampart (Reply 10):
So it's impossible to consider leaving at 10:30, half an hour earlier,

Businesspeople aren't in the habit of hanging around more than they have to. Some of these people will make several bookings to account for when they may be able to leave.

Quoting rampart (Reply 10):
is there such a lack of self-direction that you can't be productive or otherwise amuse yourself for a couple hours until the next flight?

Time is money.

Quoting rampart (Reply 10):
If your time is that sensitive, you seem to be candidate for a biz-jet charter.

Money is money.

Quoting rampart (Reply 10):

OK, then how about a somewhat smaller plane at Noon on Wednesday?

Which airlines will not get for free. Now you have three planes one for peak times, one for off peak but still popular times, and one for the slow times. Not so efficient.

Quoting rampart (Reply 10):
How about flying it somewhere else that needs a flight?

Because short routes that can fill an A380 are just so plentiful? And there's a good chance that if it's the slow part of the day or week for the busiest routes, it's probably the same for the others.

The way airlines do it now is the best you'll get. If I know I need 450 seats at this hour on this day, I can send three narrowbodies. After those flights, I can send one plane to Cleveland, one to Orlando, and one to Detroit. And all those flights will be full, and I have one pilot pool and one maintenance pool. Buying multiple types for different parts of the day or week is mostly a waste. And the simple fact is that if airlines thought they had a better way, they'd do it. And those flights stay so obviously people are on them and paying a nice price to be there.
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planemaker
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 6:23 pm

Quoting rampart (Reply 10):
BMI, I think you are arguing just to argue. I have some very simple answers.

Oh, I would say that he is. Some of the responses don't make sense or are pithy one liners.
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ERJ170
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 7:28 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Business travelers will love that.

Actually, business fliers will do what they have to do to get where they need to go. That includes flying the day before, flying connections, taking the train, video conferencing. If there is no 11:00 flight then guess what, they won't take the 11:00 flight. They WILL take the 10:00 or the 10:30 and adjust accordingly. It is only because it is offered that a business person will fly the 11:00. I don't think you will find significant number of business travelers that will get ticked off because a flight is not offered at a determined time. And believe me, business travelers are USED to connections.. even the high and mighty New Yowkers!

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):


Businesspeople aren't in the habit of hanging around more than they have to. Some of these people will make several bookings to account for when they may be able to leave.

Right. Business people are used to planning their schedules according to a timeframe. So if they have to take a 10:30 flight, they will get there at 10:00.. If they don't have a flight until 1:00... guess what! They will do lunch or schedule their meetings accordinly. And SOMETIMES.. just SOMETIMES, they will hang around the airport to get some work done in semi-peace and quiet.. or they used that time to make business phonecalls in the airport lounges.. those things are not full for a reason..

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
The way airlines do it now is the best you'll get. If I know I need 450 seats at this hour on this day, I can send three narrowbodies. After those flights, I can send one plane to Cleveland, one to Orlando, and one to Detroit. And all those flights will be full, and I have one pilot pool and one maintenance pool. Buying multiple types for different parts of the day or week is mostly a waste. And the simple fact is that if airlines thought they had a better way, they'd do it. And those flights stay so obviously people are on them and paying a nice price to be there.

Let's compare. Say, just for sake of arguing, AA has 8 flights a day to ATL. 3 738, 1 MD88, 4 ERJ.. Let's say WN has 5 flights a day to ATL.. 3 73G, 2 73H.. Both get their passengers their. Both have plenty of business travelers on it. Which airline is profitable? AA may have more options, but WN is making a profit. Think about it.

And that's all I got to say about that...
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BAC111
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 7:55 pm

I didn't read the entire article, I got the gist early on and from OP's comments.
My question: Did NYT actually propose a solution? A plausible solution?
 
threeifbyair
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 8:01 pm

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 3):
Even on trunk routes - do we really need fifty flights a day between NY and Chicago? How about 0700, 1030, 1300, 1600, 1900, 2100? Doesn't that cover every eventuality? All operated by 767s (1030, 1600, 2100) and 777s / 747s / A380s at peak hour (0700, 1300, 1900)? God, imagine how much more profitable that would be than the flotilla of narrowbodies?

You have a pretty bad example.

First, airports are all different. Some (LGA, MDW) can't accomodate large widebodies. Others may seem close (EWR and JFK) but serve very different local markets - unless you live between them, they are not good substitutes for each other.

Second, if you want competition at all, there will be "duplicative" flights. NYC-CHI is not 50x daily on one airline.

Third, not every flight is between the largest and 3rd largest metro areas in the US. Airlines would have severely limited fleet flexibility with so many widebodies - you can't fly half an A380 anywhere, but you can fly 2x 738s to different cities and at different times. Large widebodies are poorly suited to short-haul operations given their long turn-times, so they will also be sitting on the groud a lot between flights, earning $0 for their owners. A small sub-fleet of widebodies for certain routes would be extremely inefficient.

Fourth, widebodies put huge strains on airport infrastructure with huge peaks of traffic followed by lulls with no passengers. More flights on smaller aircraft evenly spaced throughout the day allows airports to design smaller terminals (no A380-scale gate areas used only 1x daily) and supporting facilities.
 
ECFlyer
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 8:10 pm

*Note:another multi-year lurker just became a member*

Part of the reality here is that many of these second and third tier American cities are just less economically relevant today. That divergence has really accelerated since the beginning of the recent financial crisis. While key coastal markets are recovering, and specialty markets are stable or growing (think North Dakota oil, for example), many interior cities are in bad, bad shape.

Take upstate NY: once upon a time, economic activity justified a fair amount of point-to-point air traffic. Not so now. I recently needed to go from Rochester, NY to Toronto. Once upon a time, an easy task.
 
planespotting
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 8:18 pm

Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 14):
They WILL take the 10:00 or the 10:30 and adjust accordingly. It is only because it is offered that a business person will fly the 11:00.
Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 14):
Right. Business people are used to planning their schedules according to a timeframe.

Exactly.

Quoting BAC111 (Reply 15):
Did NYT actually propose a solution? A plausible solution?

No ... they're just reporting. And if an article (outside of an Op-Ed) mentons a solution, it's a solution suggested by an expert ... not the paper.

That said, the article was not super well written ... like someone else said, it was kind of a mish mash of ideas:

- this guy had a hard time getting from point a to point b
- it demonstrates that the regional airline model is broken even though the airlines do offer a much easier routing alternative, ableit more expensive
- Small cities have lost out the most
- Labor contracts have hamstrung airlines
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frmrCapCadet
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 8:27 pm

Up and down the west coast between major cities flying makes sense over a few hundred miles. Flying in almost any direction involving one non major city driving gets tempting. Two non major cities, up to 1000 miles gets tempting.

Bing maps shows Mobile and Cincinnatti 10 hours and 20 minutes apart. If flying involves having to rent a car, the expense of it all begins to make driving look better, which may have been the lesson the guy learned.

Thirty years ago WN had a business model of getting people out of cars and into their planes. It doesn't make as much sense anymore. But I think all of us have hopes a model will arise which makes flying into smaller towns economical and popular. I see in now as a fond hope. But here's wishin'
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planemaker
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 8:28 pm

Quoting planespotting (Reply 18):
No ... they're just reporting. And if an article (outside of an Op-Ed) mentons a solution, it's a solution suggested by an expert ... not the paper.

Of course, one expert - NASA, has been advocating air taxis for about 15 years and they were quite excited when there was a burst of VLJ and CFRP turboprop prototyping that was going on a while back. At the time the concept looked promising. Unfortunately there were very few air taxi ops and it all petered out. Of course, there are still modified revival plans that come to light every once in a while but the underlying problem is cost... all the way around. It costs too much to design and certify and it costs too much to operate. Until the cost barrier is broken it appears that there won't be a solution.
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rampart
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 8:46 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Most of which are wrong.

In your opinion. Others have responded with some sensible solutions counter to your hyperbolic ones. Which I won't say are wrong, just wrong headed.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Business travelers will love that.

Then you completely missed my point. They won't likely take a car or train, so their alternative is to still take the plane, offered at not quite as often frequency, on larger planes.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Businesspeople aren't in the habit of hanging around more than they have to. Some of these people will make several bookings to account for when they may be able to leave.

I've heard that happens, never met ANYONE who's done that. Well, those few who do (really, what percentage do?) and can afford to, can do so on a fewer choices. I sometimes travel on business, balance convenience and real price (including commuting and terminal hassle time. Sometimes the schedule just isn't perfect for my day, but I make do. I don't subscribe to the pedantic example of hanging around. I DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE. That's what most reasonable people do.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Time is money.

See above, as well as better responses from other posters. My time is money. I make use of it. I don't give up and whine about it, or make up hyperbolic excuses.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Which airlines will not get for free. Now you have three planes one for peak times, one for off peak but still popular times, and one for the slow times. Not so efficient.

People smarter than you or I can work this out. This is why many airlines have different sized airplanes. Japan makes it work. Sure, keep some regional jets. I don't think the model is broken. I do think it's overused.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Because short routes that can fill an A380 are just so plentiful? And there's a good chance that if it's the slow part of the day or week for the busiest routes, it's probably the same for the others.

If you are proposing the A380, or are suggesting that I proposed it, you aren't living in a rational debate environment. Troll elsewhere.

-Rampart
 
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DocLightning
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 8:59 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
No it doesn't. Doesn't help me if I want to leave at 11:00. Do you really expect people to just wait around for a couple of hours doing nothing?

Yes.

Ten flights per day, even 20 (about one per hour) would be better than 50.

And then we wonder why our skies are so congested.
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lightsaber
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 9:10 pm

What is the talk of too many flights NYC to Chicago? That is the busiest city pair in the US! Scroll down to the yellow horizontal bar chart, 3.4 million passengers per year.
http://www.transtats.bts.gov/

If you want to break into that market, you offer service at a time that is in demand. The issue is one has AA, UA/CO, B6, and probably five other airlines on that routeing pair of LGA/JFK/EWR to ORD/MDW. Fifty flights seems seasonable.

Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 19):
Up and down the west coast between major cities flying makes sense over a few hundred miles. Flying in almost any direction involving one non major city driving gets tempting. Two non major cities, up to 1000 miles gets tempting.

I wish I could argue against you. Due to the required early check in times, I've avoided flying.

Quoting aloges (Reply 2):
C) A 60 mph average from door to door over 720 miles? Does that include rest stops?

   When I was a teenager, we couldn't get much back 45mph average despite cruising at... a higher speed. It is amazing how much time topping off gas, using the restroom, and going through the drive in eats up. That was with 3 drivers too. That is more like a 15 hour drive solo assuming no sit down meal.

Quoting TWAL1011727 (Reply 8):
How convenient that the cost of the airfare wasn't shown.

Good point.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
Buying expensive planes to operate a few flights at peak times would drive airlines into bankruptcy at an alarming rate.

   Not to mention a widebody has worse cost per passenger than a norrowbody over that route length.

Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 14):
It is only because it is offered that a business person will fly the 11:00. I don't think you will find significant number of business travelers that will get ticked off because a flight is not offered at a determined time. And believe me, business travelers are USED to connections.. even the high and mighty New Yowkers!

Buying a widebody to keep up the seats yet reduce the frequency requires finding ways to fly that plane 13 to 15 hours per day at a profit. Too many short hops on a widebody also will be expensive from a maintenance/depreciation point of view.

If the seat isn't offered within 2 hours of when the business traveler selects to depart... they will go with a competitor. Heck, for some its within 1 hour. And heaven forbid this makes a competitors connecting flight more appealing...

Quoting threeifbyair (Reply 16):
Second, if you want competition at all, there will be "duplicative" flights. NYC-CHI is not 50x daily on one airline.

  

Quoting planespotting (Reply 18):
- Small cities have lost out the most

Sad but true.

Quoting ECFlyer (Reply 17):

*Note:another multi-year lurker just became a member*

Welcome. You had a good point, many of those mid-America cities haven't grown enough to still be as relevant for aviation with the loss of short haul flying.  
Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 19):
But I think all of us have hopes a model will arise which makes flying into smaller towns economical and popular.

Unless one can show up at the airport 20 minutes before the flight again... forget it. These small towns were dependent on quite a few short flights for their business health. Thanks to long check in times, the sub-250nm market in the USA is dead. Part of the reason is that automobiles are so much more reliable.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 20):
Unfortunately there were very few air taxi ops and it all petered out. Of course, there are still modified revival plans that come to light every once in a while but the underlying problem is cost... all the way around. It costs too much to design and certify and it costs too much to operate. Until the cost barrier is broken it appears that there won't be a solution.

Unfortunately true. I was excited about the air taxi market. But costs have been over double early expectations and by elastic market theory, that means 10% of the potential market (assuming an elastic market is purely price and not time based).

Lightsaber
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rampart
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 9:11 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 22):
Ten flights per day, even 20 (about one per hour) would be better than 50.

However, I can see that multiple airlines want to compete on that route. If the competing airlines each want 10 flights per day, that's still maybe 50 flights for all.

Larger slot restrictions on heavy city pairs, like this one, would force the use of bigger planes. Draconian? Maybe. Maybe necessary. Anyhow, save the RJs for the smaller markets. If necessary, maybe even the smaller or medium sized markets will have to suffice with 3x service on bigger more efficient planes rather than 5-6x service on RJs. I find myself flying hub-hub or major city-hub more often on RJs. I have nothing against RJs, I actually enjoy them, but their use on heavy markets for the sake of hourly frequency is silly. (EWR-ORD-DEN on 2 UA RJs recently. I mean, really!)

-Rampart
 
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MillwallSean
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 9:22 pm

yes the regional airliens model is broken. Oil prices saw to that.
the fact that a traveller chooses to go around SE US to save 100 dollars doesnt prove it but the article is non the less true. Half empty regional jets circling airports like mosquitoes is finally something we dont have to accept anymore. Thanks for that.

This businessmen cant wait 30 minutes idea, where does it come from and who has turned this myth into fact?
Its not true. Have a look inside the lounges and chat with a few of the roadwarriors and see. Couldnt be further from the truth.

I am a businessman and I dont know any colleague that expects a plane to depart every 30 minutes or cares about that when his company books his travel for him. And no very few travellers have the time or energy to book their own travel, we have PA:s that liase with corporate or inhouse travel depts for that.
Those in such dire need of time that 30 minutes would matter use private jets. ( an anecdote about this is the HQ for Wal Mart, it sees alot of private flights down there as inaccesible as the place is. Problem is WalMart has extremely stringent environmental rules so you cant tell them you have arrived on a private plane, nor can you have a regular sized businesscard because they use smaller size all for the environments sake. My regular sized ones is only accepted after haggling and an electronic one sent to their emails )

What most businessmen needs are conveniant timings. Out in the morning home in the evening conveniant. Were businessmen not couriers.
A flight ever second hour on trunk routes would of course be more than enough. However in the mornings and evenings; demand might require more flights departing close to one another because most companies factor in daytrips when people go outstation.
Most businessmen I know tend to plan their travel too. Its actually not that fun to be away for weeks from friends and family. We schedule it, with todays security hassles there is plenty of leeway built into the schedule especially when travelling to the US or UK. There is no walking up to the gate 20 mins before departure catching the flight anymore...

The idea that a businessman expects to wait less for a plane than a Taxi is ridiculous and not supported by any regular traveller. It takes an hour to check in and get through security etc. Why on earth would I then expect the flight to be standby?


And those that speak of there used to be a 727, DC9, sure there used to but how many persons did a 727-DC9 seat and how many does a A320-738 seat?
Whats needed is economy in a 100-120 seater. That would be great for passengers and regional routes alike.
No One Likes Us - We Dont Care.
 
rampart
Posts: 1798
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:58 am

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 9:42 pm

Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 25):
I am a businessman and I dont know any colleague that expects a plane to depart every 30 minutes or cares about that when his company books his travel for him. And no very few travellers have the time or energy to book their own travel, we have PA:s that liase with corporate or inhouse travel depts for that.
Those in such dire need of time that 30 minutes would matter use private jets.

   Of course I was told that was "wrong".

Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 25):
And those that speak of there used to be a 727, DC9, sure there used to but how many persons did a 727-DC9 seat and how many does a A320-738 seat?
Whats needed is economy in a 100-120 seater. That would be great for passengers and regional routes alike.

   Great point. Here's a question to everyone: at what point might milk runs make a comeback, using larger aircraft, like the DC-9s, 737s, and 727s were used in the 70s and into part of the 80s as well as earlier? I had sort of a milk run a few months ago, not really since it was just one stop, but it wasn't a hub by any means. I didn't mind, and it was actually a bit faster than transfering in a hub. Tiny hops of 30 minutes would be taxing both mechanically and financially. But maybe stringing together longer segments. WN still does this to an extent. Less than what they used to. But it helps keep a larger aircraft running.

-Rampart
 
BC77008
Posts: 344
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:48 pm

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 9:43 pm

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 3):
Even on trunk routes - do we really need fifty flights a day between NY and Chicago? How about 0700, 1030, 1300, 1600, 1900, 2100? Doesn't that cover every eventuality? All operated by 767s (1030, 1600, 2100) and 777s / 747s / A380s at peak hour (0700, 1300, 1900)? God, imagine how much more profitable that would be than the flotilla of narrowbodies?

I non-rev a lot between Chicago and NY, so yes, we do need a lot of flights.  
Quoting bhmdiversion (Reply 1):
This guy purchased the ticket knowing what he was getting. End of story.

Agreed. He sounds like he might be an anetter. I bet he has a trip report somewhere....
"He waited his whole damn life to take that flight. And as the plane crashed down he thought 'Well isn't this nice...'"
 
stlAV8R
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:23 pm

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 10:12 pm

Normally I don't comment because these forums get out of hand but I must say, BMI is getting hammered and I feel that people are missing the point. No airline is going to continue to fly a bunch of routes that some see as loss making unless either they are making a loss but it's needed to gain market share or they are actually making a ton of money even at less than full planes because of the cost that the average person would not pay to fly these routes. I have PERSONALLY seen multiple bookings for a single passenger to fly a single route. The reason they make the routing this way is for several reasons. First, the computer is logic based as it will not understand if one booking shows you flying LGA-BOS then LGA-BOS then LGA-BOS because it will realize that in order for you to fly from LGA to BOS the second time you will have needed to return from BOS (I realize that there is a way around this in the computer but for argument sake). Second, the passenger who typically flies these routes are elite passengers so if they want the opportunity for an upgrade in advance they need to be booked already no matter what time they are leaving. Third, they buy mostly refundable tickets so there is not a loss to the passenger for making multiple bookings. Most of these are made via corporate accounts or with AMEX cards so there is not a need to have the cash on hand at that time. AMEX in particular is very familiar with this process as they have a very large and vast division based in ATL that does corporate travel.

Now, premium passengers are very valuable to airlines. As my company states, 6% of our travelers make up 36% of our revenue. So if you think about it, these are the elitist who dictate what the airlines do. To give you an example, my airport is a hub for my airline and one of the concourses is common use. A passenger was sitting in this concourse in the lounge and asked management the question why when I sit in your lounge I look out and see a competitors plane. In this concourse, although it's common use, we dictate which airline goes to which gate. From this day forward my airlines planes exclusively use this gate. What I am trying to say is that if the business passengers want frequency, then they get it because of the kind of cash they provide.

In LGA, DL uses E170s on some of the shuttle routes. They just as well could of used a A319 at less times but that's not an option for the business travelers so they used the most economical plane to do the job while providing what the people want. Unlike leisure routes where people are more price sensitive, these travelers are more loyal than anything else so since cost is not the top factor in most cases, airlines can be more flexible. This is why you see more options for them and less options for vacationers and leisure travelers, even if the flight is jammed packed. I would rather have a jammed packed plane where the average fare is less but is making a small bit of money, than a half empty plane where the premium is not there and could have made more money collecting dust. Airlines spend a lot of time and money figuring this out so it makes me scratch my head when I see people question it. I guess it's easier to do when you are not privy, such as myself, but it just makes sense to me. I have had quite a few conversations with our former CFO and he is pretty much on the same page.
 
Sevensixtyseven
Posts: 255
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 3:33 am

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Thu May 03, 2012 11:03 pm

Quoting threeifbyair (Reply 16):

Um...LGA can take 767-400s. 246 passengers.
Will that ex-HP 752 get delayed...again?
 
freakyrat
Posts: 865
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Fri May 04, 2012 12:05 am

Actually in my home town of SBN back in the early 70'2 United used to run a combination of 737-200's and a 727 flight a day between SBN-ORD for 10 flights day. They were always full the flights westbound actually originated in different cities. I'll give an example United 791 the 6 PM flight to ORD originated earlier in the day in ORF and went to CLE then to SBN then ORD just like the type of flights that SWA runs today. United 246 the 727 (Previously a Caravelle) originated at ORD flew to SBN FWA then on to EWR. It returned the same direction later in the evening as United 447 on the reverse route and was the last flight of the day at I think 10 PM to ORD. The flights were always full. The fares today are much higher than they were then and they only do 6 or 7 R/T a day with United Express some flights being on CR7's and an occasional E170. Now I know fuel costs are much higher than they were back in the 70's but if SWA can be profitable on these type multi-stop flights with mainline metal, why can't United. We also had service between ORD and SBN with North Central operating a combination of DC-9-30 aircraft and CV580 acft. on ORD-SBN-DTW.

Today we have United Express flying to ORD and United Connection to CLE. Delta Connection to ATL DTW and MSP and also Allegiant flying mainline metal to SFB, PIE, IWA, and LAS and soon to Punta Gorda. The service has gotten better with more choices but the planes are smaller and they are more expensive to operate. However I believe that Delta could probably operate mainline metal on one R/T to ATL. They do however operate mainline metal on Notre Dame Football weekends to DTW.

What actually led to regional flying at United was their former CEO Richard Ferris selling off all the B737-200's and farming out their flying to Air Wisconsin.
 
freakyrat
Posts: 865
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RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Fri May 04, 2012 12:14 am

Someone mentioned the North Dakota markets of which I have experience with ISN where the oil shale boom is. They are served by Great Lakes Airlines DBA United Express with E120 sized aircraft which was an upgrade from the B1900's they originally had several years ago. They have multiple flights a day to DEN. I'm sure with the traffic up there they could operate RJ's, however the ARFF equipment isn't adequate for RJ operations. They could also use a NFCT there to help handle the traffic. However know one knows how long the boom is going to last and I'm sure the city fathers up there think about that and just don't want to spend the money on any upgrades.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11110
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Fri May 04, 2012 12:44 am

Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 14):
If there is no 11:00 flight then guess what, they won't take the 11:00 flight.

Or if there is one airline with an 11:00 flight and one that doesn't, guess which one I'm booking? Yep, the one that works best.

Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 14):
Right. Business people are used to planning their schedules according to a timeframe. So if they have to take a 10:30 flight, they will get there at 10:00.. If they don't have a flight until 1:00... guess what! They will do lunch or schedule their meetings accordinly.

Do you want to be the airline that forces would be customers to plan their schedules around yours, or would you rather be the airline that has a flight when they want a flight? I can guarantee you I know which will be more popular.

Quoting rampart (Reply 21):
They won't likely take a car or train, so their alternative is to still take the plane, offered at not quite as often frequency, on larger planes.

Or they'll do the sensible thing and fly with somebody else. Airlines have to offer what customers want otherwise they'll have no customers. You aren't going to cut a frequency to New York to add another flight to Grand Rapids.

Quoting rampart (Reply 21):
I DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE. That's what most reasonable people do.

Would you be more productive in your office or sitting on an airport floor with your laptop?

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 22):
Ten flights per day, even 20 (about one per hour) would be better than 50.

What are you going to do? Have the government set a cap on the number of flights between airports? That would be ridiculous, and if the current model didn't work it wouldn't be used. There is a reason that Tower Air is in the history books and other airlines are flying high frequencies on smaller planes.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 11432
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Fri May 04, 2012 1:12 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
Do you want to be the airline that forces would be customers to plan their schedules around yours, or would you rather be the airline that has a flight when they want a flight?

Every airline forces customers to plan their schedules around the airline's schedule because no airline has hourly flights to every destination. Any other argument is silly.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
Or they'll do the sensible thing and fly with somebody else.

. . . if someone else offers the service. That's what you are missing. Anyone who travels any amount for business knows that sometimes there aren't any perfect options, and we deal with that. I had a meeting in Chicago yesterday that ended around 1015. No one flies CHI-BNA between 1100 and 1230, so I sat at MDW for a couple of hours and worked because I had no choice. CHI-BNA isn't CHI-NYC, but it does have 20 daily flights or so on three carriers.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
rampart
Posts: 1798
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:58 am

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Fri May 04, 2012 1:20 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
Would you be more productive in your office or sitting on an airport floor with your laptop?

Actually, between visitors and e-mail, I'm more productive somewhere other than my office. I do value that productive time while at the airport or in the air.   But if my flight is leaving a 2:00 and there wasn't one at 12:00, I won't go to the airport before 12:00. I'll just stay at the office. Or work from home. See how that works? Even with less choice, I'm not at the mercy of the airline schedule.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
Or they'll do the sensible thing and fly with somebody else. Airlines have to offer what customers want otherwise they'll have no customers.

Yes. (I have no problem with that. Competition is good.) But it's also being said (elsewhere) airlines are realizing they can't be EVERYTHING for EVERYONE. There's competition, but attempting to blanket the competition at a loss is sometimes just stupid. So, airlines find some way to attract if it can't be wall to wall coverage. Frequent flier amenities. Service. Price. Types of aircraft.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11110
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Fri May 04, 2012 1:21 am

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 33):
Every airline forces customers to plan their schedules around the airline's schedule because no airline has hourly flights to every destination. Any other argument is silly.

Do you want to be the airline that has a schedule with flights when the passenger wants to leave, or do you want to be the competitor with less convenient timings?

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 33):
. . . if someone else offers the service. That's what you are missing. Anyone who travels any amount for business knows that sometimes there aren't any perfect options,

There's money to be made being that someone else. The whole point of offering many flights is to be the best option for the most (and those willing to pay the most) people.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 33):
No one flies CHI-BNA between 1100 and 1230, so I sat at MDW for a couple of hours and worked because I had no choice.

...but if there was such an airline, you would have taken them. And that's the point: get enough people like that and the frequency makes sense, which on many routes is exactly the case.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
rampart
Posts: 1798
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:58 am

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Fri May 04, 2012 1:33 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 35):
...but if there was such an airline, you would have taken them. And that's the point: get enough people like that and the frequency makes sense, which on many routes is exactly the case.

I live in a metro area with several hub airlines (but use just one of the three airports on a regular basis). Going to places that connect anyhow, I usually do see that variety of choices in one airline, through a variety of routings through different hubs, and therefore choices of times. But not because there is hourly service between hubs, or between hubs and spokes. I don't see the need for it with the broad network and choice of hubs that the large airlines offer now. But that's the advantage of living at a hub. (Price, that's another matter.)

If I lived in a "lesser" city, not a hub, I don't think I'd expect high frequency service, I'd simply pick a schedule that made the most sense. I can't expect an airline to cover all possible outcomes, the airline shouldn't expect to cover all mine. Airlines can cede that fact. Unless we're all going back to Soviet-era Aeroflot. That's the second time I've posed that Aeroflot option this week. I halfway expect some people here wouldn't mind a neoAeroflot if it were named Delta, or United, or Southwest.

-Rampart
 
traindoc
Posts: 272
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:35 am

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Fri May 04, 2012 1:49 am

Every time a person flies, she/he has to decide which combination of time of day, cost and convenience they want to buy. If you opt for low cost, you usually will get less convenience. If that is the case, then there is NO complaint about the fare or the schedule.

The airlines do not owe the public low fares. However, the public now expects them due to the years of excess seats and "hyper" competition which kept fares artificially low. Now the airlines understand that reducing flights and seats, allows them to charge what the market will bear. Don't forget the much higher cost of jet fuel, which is also pushing fares higher.

I have no connection with any airline, except as a passenger and customer, so I am not apologizing for them.

In the end, one needs to understand the difference between cost and value.
 
catiii
Posts: 2391
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:18 am

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Fri May 04, 2012 1:50 am

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 30):
.

No offense because I understand the spirit in which your post is intended, but you're using a 40+ year old example from a time when the United States government regulated the industry and set service and fares, and then trying to apply those views to a current day free-market deregulated system.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 33):
No one flies CHI-BNA between 1100 and 1230

Actually, both AA and UA do. UA has an 11A departure, and AA has a 1225.

Quoting stlAV8R (Reply 28):
.

Excellent post. Explains the issue perfectly.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 11432
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Fri May 04, 2012 1:56 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 35):
Do you want to be the airline that has a schedule with flights when the passenger wants to leave, or do you want to be the competitor with less convenient timings?

Which airline is always the one with more convenient flights? It's a route by route question, at least outside of the CLT and MSPs of the world.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 35):
And that's the point: get enough people like that and the frequency makes sense, which on many routes is exactly the case.

But there aren't enough people like that. That's why the frequency doesn't exist. When you have 3 or 4 carriers on a route and none of them has a flight in a 2 hour time period, that's a pretty good indication of the (lack of) demand in that time period.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
solarflyer22
Posts: 1453
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:07 pm

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Fri May 04, 2012 2:06 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 23):
he sub-250nm market in the USA is dead

Bingo. I would say even up to 500 nm, trains, bus and car are a better option. Problem is the highways suck and we did not invest in Trains or high speed rail. No one in Europe flies 250 nm.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 20):
CFRP turboprop prototyping th

Double Bingo! I am surprised no one has stressed making better planes. Make an ultra light CFRP plane with 1 or 2 turboprop engines. A single ducted fan engine could be really efficient. You'd cut fuel by 25% right off the bat. Put two pilots in, and exempt planes under 25 ppl from an FA. Boom, affordable rural air service.
 
catiii
Posts: 2391
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:18 am

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Fri May 04, 2012 2:08 am

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 39):
When you have 3 or 4 carriers on a route and none of them has a flight in a 2 hour time period, that's a pretty good indication of the (lack of) demand in that time period.

Which brings up a good point: how does an airline do a market analysis and choose what times to schedule? It seems like it could be a chicken or egg scenario: "If we offer flights at 10A then we can create demand, or do we offer flights at 10A because there is demand?" And does an airline time it's departures based on when it wants to feed its hub banks, or based on the times passengers want to leave?
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 11432
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Fri May 04, 2012 2:23 am

Quoting catiii (Reply 38):
Actually, both AA and UA do. UA has an 11A departure, and AA has a 1225.

You are splitting hairs. We can say 1105 and 1220 if you like. The point is the same.

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 40):
No one in Europe flies 250 nm.

But far more people travel 250nm because there are far more big city pairs that far apart. Metropolitan Brussels (population ~3.8 million) is within 250 nm of metro Paris (population ~10.5 million), metro Amsterdam (population ~7.5 million), metro London (population ~ 7.5 million), metro Frankfurt (population ~5.6 million) and metro Hamburg (population ~4.6 million). Nowhere in the States has that kind of density.

Quoting catiii (Reply 41):
And does an airline time it's departures based on when it wants to feed its hub banks, or based on the times passengers want to leave?

Depends on the airline. For WN (allegedly no hubs) or AA (no banked hubs), it's easier to tailor times to demand. DL/MEM doesn't have the luxury.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
blueflyer
Posts: 3633
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:17 am

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Fri May 04, 2012 3:21 am

Quoting acidradio (Thread starter):
I think it is significant when the NY Times reports on it.

Yes, Virginia, the regional aircraft model is broken. Oh wait, wrong newspaper, sorry.

Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 19):
Two non major cities, up to 1000 miles gets tempting.

That depends immensely on your target population. I can't imagine telling my boss I'll be unproductive all day because I chose to drive 1,000 miles over flying.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 23):
Thanks to long check in times, the sub-250nm market in the USA is dead.

Don't tell Southwest.

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 40):
No one in Europe flies 250 nm.

Trains aren't that fast yet, 150 nm is much closer to the mark. 250 nm is about a 4-hour train ride, well past the 3-hour threshold where planes become faster than trains overall (on average).

Consider PAR-FRA at 242 nm. Four non-stop Deutsche Bahn trains (about 3 hours and 50 minutes each) and 17 non-stop 80-minute flights (LH and AF combined) each day in each direction.

Or BRU-PAR at 136 nm. One non-stop flight per day (to connect with SN's African flights) and 24 Thalys trains each way (and that doesn't even include trains from Brussels direct to CDG).

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 42):
Nowhere in the States has that kind of density.

And few places in the States are willing to stand up to the lobbyists (WN opposing a Dallas - Houston HST) or approve the necessary expenses for new tracks and new stations ($5 millions and over per mile), even when all indications are that it will more than pay for itself over time through ridership income and higher tax revenues from increased economic activity.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has no clothes.
 
PHX787
Posts: 7877
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:46 pm

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Fri May 04, 2012 3:31 am

Ok this whole "regional airline model" is pretty much old news..

Quoting acidradio (Thread starter):
It took Josh Hunter three separate planes, two connections and a two-hour drive to get from Mobile, Ala., to Cincinnati at Easter.

This isn't really a result of the business model, but more of CVG's flight cuts. What I don't understand is why this guy couldn't have connected through ATL or MEM. If there is any reason to be pissed based off this logic, it's the flyers through CVG (which, for me, is not surprising.)

Quoting planespotting (Reply 18):
- this guy had a hard time getting from point a to point b
- it demonstrates that the regional airline model is broken even though the airlines do offer a much easier routing alternative, ableit more expensive
- Small cities have lost out the most
- Labor contracts have hamstrung airlines

Now this, I agree with. OH and other regional airlines seem to have completely forgot their purpose- servicing lower-market routes from a few central points. It seems like the LCCs have taken over this role, as OH and other regional airlines have been doing the legacy's dirty work on mainline flight cuts.
Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/phx787
 
stlAV8R
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:23 pm

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Fri May 04, 2012 3:44 am

Quoting catiii (Reply 38):
Excellent post. Explains the issue perfectly.

Thank you.

What I think a lot of people fail to realize is that tolerance plays a huge factor in the airline industry. Before regional jets, it was common for passengers to tolerate a multi-stop flight say from EWR to ORD because it was long before when it was a struggle for planes to make it that far and it was the only way to make some of these routes work. In my opinion, with the introduction of the regional jet, which can fly the passengers in SBN who would have had to wait on the plane from EWR to ORD, no longer have to wait. It is better from the passenger perspective because they have a better choice of time, seat selection, etc. due to the fact that this route is no longer associated directly with another combined with the fact that the EWR passenger doesn't want to be in an airplane all day to make what can be a two hour flight and the aircraft can easily make it that far. From an airline operational standpoint, there is better flexibility for the aircraft and crews as well as less vulnerability to the flights from upline mishaps.

Now with that being said, will the passenger who knows that it only takes 2 hours to get from EWR to ORD now tolerate a 5 hour flight? Will the passenger in SBN accept that only middle seats are available because the aisle and window seats are taken by the through passengers? What happens to the passengers in CMH or SBN who are waiting for the flight from EWR to take them to ORD when the plane goes tech in EWR? Now the airline has exposed itself to a situation that is not competition friendly. People may argue that WN does this all the time but WN's rules do not allow more than 3 or 4 stops (correct me if I'm wrong as I'm too lazy to check) so even though WN's planes may make multiple stops with the same flight number, it's not doing any more than any other airline as planes are routed just like WN has done except that the flight number changes along the way. The introduction of more non-stop and one-stop have killed the chances of regular multi-stop service.

People will say what they will or won't do but their cash dictates what the airlines are doing as it is pure market reaction. When routes are profitable or gain value-added market share, they stick around. When they bleed cash, they are axed. When people see convenience at the right price, they'll take it. Before I worked in the airline industry, I would shop for flights first by price, then if there was a minuscule difference in price between carriers, I then looked at the layover time, then city, then airline. I liked travelling through PIT because of the mall. I hated DFW because it was usually out of my way. I didn't like PHL but ATL was cool. DTW, when it was remodeled, was awesome to marvel. ORD was always too busy. Never was I concerned with the airline though. I feel like most that I know have about the same sediments. I just wanted to get the trip over with fast, cheap, and safely.
 
jimbobjoe
Posts: 450
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2001 2:04 pm

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Fri May 04, 2012 4:07 am

Quoting Sevensixtyseven (Reply 29):
Quoting threeifbyair (Reply 16):

Um...LGA can take 767-400s. 246 passengers.

Not to mention DC-10s and L1011s which were regular visitors to LGA.
 
Sevensixtyseven
Posts: 255
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 3:33 am

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Fri May 04, 2012 5:28 am

Quoting jimbobjoe (Reply 46):

Correct. And even if 246 passengers per flight isn't all that many, by comparing it to an A380...it's still nothing to scoff at. Maybe both United and Delta can shift over a 767 or two for Chicago-New York City, or New York City-Atlanta flights, during the times the 767-400s would already be on the ground in either NYC or ATL..
Will that ex-HP 752 get delayed...again?
 
nutsaboutplanes
Posts: 456
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:37 am

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Fri May 04, 2012 5:47 am

I dont understand why people simplify the capacity vs. frequency argument to the extent that they do. The only way that voluntary flight reductions in favor of larger capacity aircraft will work is in a regulated industry where airlines could be assured that a competitor will not add flights as soon as you pull yours down. This would immediately put you at a competitive disadvantage while trying to attract the higher revenue business traveler who appreciates and pays for frequency.

I would love for every plane that takes off from my local airport to be a 767 or A330.....that however is not realistic and wont happen unless the industry is re-regulated and airlines are somewhat sheltered from new entrants and competition. This however would drive prices up giving people something altogether different to complain about.

The regional airline model from a network standpoint is not broken......the economics of the regional airline model however can certainly be argued especially in the 50 seat and under category.

[Edited 2012-05-03 22:52:07]
American Airlines, US Airways, Alaska Airlines, Northwest Airlines, America West Airlines, USAFR
 
boilerla
Posts: 347
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:30 am

RE: NY Times: Regional Airline Model Broken

Fri May 04, 2012 5:51 am

Quoting rampart (Reply 10):
How about flying it somewhere else that needs a flight? You know, fleet management? (Again, "duh!   .)All told, fewer flights on bigger planes does eventually require fewer small planes. But isn't that what's needed to help with congestion?

A 767 has terrible CASM for LAX-ORD. Why do you think AA is replacing their 763s on their transcons with the Airbii when they arrive? Because customers are clamoring for a smaller plane, or because the CASM of the 763 on a 5 hour transcon is not so great, and they need the additional widebodies elsewhere?

What about irrops? The main purpose of a large domestic network at the legacies is to feed the huge international network. If you cut frequency, you significantly increase the chance for irrops. If that 1000 flight is cancelled, and there's no 1100 flight, that 1300 international flight will be missed, and you just caused significant headaches for your customer, not to mention significant costs for you trying to rebook that passenger.

You're also over simplifying other things. Many gates cannot handle 767 traffic. You just increased the airline's need for widebody gates which airports charge more for. The turn time of that 767 or 777 is a lot longer, so you'll not only need bigger gates, but more of them. Now an airline like WN that needs those quick turns to pay for the gate leases is stuck trying to fill a 777, which takes much longer to refuel & clean than a 737.

Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 14):
Let's compare. Say, just for sake of arguing, AA has 8 flights a day to ATL. 3 738, 1 MD88, 4 ERJ.. Let's say WN has 5 flights a day to ATL.. 3 73G, 2 73H.. Both get their passengers their. Both have plenty of business travelers on it. Which airline is profitable? AA may have more options, but WN is making a profit. Think about it.

WN is not eeking a profit because they have less frequency anyway; that's a ridiculous analogy. On LAX-SJC, WN has 8 flights a day while UA has 2. Your example totally backfires in many other examples.

Quoting rampart (Reply 21):
People smarter than you or I can work this out. This is why many airlines have different sized airplanes. Japan makes it work. Sure, keep some regional jets. I don't think the model is broken. I do think it's overused.

Japan is smaller than the state of California. You can fly from one end to the other in ~3 hours. There's transcons in the US that last twice that length, and worse, the US has 2 sets of transcons--flying NYC to MIA is just as long as LAX to NYC. Further, Japan has outstanding public transport that is a viable alternative to air transportation, namely again because of the size of the land mass. Getting from LAX to SEA by train is not feasible unless you have a couple of days to spare.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
Do you want to be the airline that forces would be customers to plan their schedules around yours, or would you rather be the airline that has a flight when they want a flight? I can guarantee you I know which will be more popular.

   If AA were to cut its frequency then AA, DL, WN, etc. would all jump in and add capacity. At the end of the day, capacity on a route is NOT zero-sum. If there are 1000 pdw between two cities, you can't assume that putting 10 737s on a flight is the same as 2 A380s. Customers will choose between cost first and frequency second--as seen in this article. Some other competitor will gladly increase capacity beyond the 1000 pdw a day, just to snag a hundred or so of your customers who are ticked they have a 4 hour layover.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 33):
Every airline forces customers to plan their schedules around the airline's schedule because no airline has hourly flights to every destination. Any other argument is silly.

Every airline foces customers to plan around ALL airline schedules, not THAT airline's schedules. I can book on Expedia and create a route flown by 4 different carriers if I want. In fact they run commercials that tout the fact that if you book on Expedia you'll get home faster because they may find a faster route on mixed itineraries. Good for the customer, bad for the airline.

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