BDL757
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Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:11 am

I was chatting with a UAL captain who was jumpseating on the flight I was working and we got on the topic of DL's expansion in NYC and how we are starting to use mainline a/c on routes like LGA-BUF/PWM/MCI etc once or twice a day (mainline 'injections' as they are sometimes called) as well as the acquisition of 717s. He made the remark that the 'new' United should start doing that to remain competitive which piqued my interest. After checking out united.com I realized that there is a large gap between the 70 seat CR7/E70 and 144 to 160 seat A320/737-800 that currently only the A319 and 737-700 fill.

After randomly checking routes (I know, not an exact science) I saw that UA does have a lot of regionals flying fairly long flights. So I'm wondering does anyone think they will order something like the CS100/300 or maybe E-195? I realize that the merger is the most important focus at this point. Also, the pilot contract will likely come into play because I'm sure UA is looking to add some 76 seaters as well. Anyway, I know this is kind of long winded but I wondered if they will try to fill that void or not and I think that a 100 seater type would be great for ORD. Do you think the recent large order for 737MAX will also play a role in the decision?
 
AA737-823
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:23 am

Quoting BDL757 (Thread starter):
I realized that there is a large gap between the 70 seat CR7/E70 and 144 to 160 seat A320/737-800 that currently only the A319 and 737-700 fill.

They have the 737-500 as well, to fill this gap. But the 737-500 is a high-cost way to fill that gap, and the fleet is dwindling as fast as they can find buyers.

Quoting BDL757 (Thread starter):
So I'm wondering does anyone think they will order something like the CS100/300 or maybe E-195?

The problem here is scope clause in pilot contracts, at both UA and CO. CO's contract said that anything larger than 50 seats had to be flown by mainline (with the exception of turboprops, hence the Dash 8-Q400 op), and I believe United's contract said that anything larger than 70 seats was mainline only.
So, consequently, there's a gap between the CR7 and 73G/319.

We'll see what happens; I, for one, hope that the scope isn't relaxed, and that they find an economical way to fly ER9's or CS100s or something like that with mainline crews. But I can hope in one hand, and............in the other, and we know how that usually goes.
 
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STT757
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:30 am

Quoting BDL757 (Thread starter):
I'm wondering does anyone think they will order something like the CS100/300 or maybe E-195?

Prior to the merger UA stated they were looking at the C-Series;

http://blog.seattlepi.com/aerospace/...ed-to-consider-bombardier-cseries/

Of course it all depends on the new pilot's contract.
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DualQual
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:17 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 1):
The problem here is scope clause in pilot contracts, at both UA and CO. CO's contract said that anything larger than 50 seats had to be flown by mainline (with the exception of turboprops, hence the Dash 8-Q400 op), and I believe United's contract said that anything larger than 70 seats was mainline only.
So, consequently, there's a gap between the CR7 and 73G/319.

DLs scope is for anything larger than 76 seats to be flown by mainline. So a 100 seater at DL will be staffed by DL pilots. How does that make it a problem for UA/CO? I'll give you the 735 is not the most economical way of moving 100ish seats but a C series or similar flown by mainline pilots isn't going to be a problem financially for the company.
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Rdh3e
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:23 pm

Quoting DualQual (Reply 3):
I'll give you the 735 is not the most economical way of moving 100ish seats but a C series or similar flown by mainline pilots [is a huge] problem financially for the company.

Fixed it for you  

It would take some serious massaging of pilots hourly rates and work rules to make a 100 seater a serious conversation at UA.
 
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par13del
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:32 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 1):
We'll see what happens; I, for one, hope that the scope isn't relaxed, and that they find an economical way to fly ER9's or CS100s or something like that with mainline crews.

Not being snippy but how exactly do these two sentiments get together?
Scope is the mechanism that prevents carriers from operating RJ's or 100 seaters and less, so if scope is not relaxed the situation will remain the same.
Certainely UA could attempt to change the culture of pax by moving more flying to Q400's via the CO scope, fuel bill would go down compared to the RJ's and they can all be marketed as UA versus a regional affiliate.
 
SonomaFlyer
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:32 pm

It's all subject to negotiation with the pilot's union. DL made it work so there is no reason to believe UA can't follow in that regard. You get mainline flying of more a/c which means more employment for pilots. I'd assume the rates etc will be lower for the smaller a/c but that's better than not having a job or seeing potential employment subcontracted out.
 
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:42 pm

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 4):
It would take some serious massaging of pilots hourly rates and work rules to make a 100 seater a serious conversation at UA.

No actually it wouldn't. Higher productivity and reasonable pay scales would work just perfectly for the pilot part of the equation. Hourly rates aren't the problem.

The biggest (and most ignored) issue is all the other employees that go with operating a 100 seat aircraft at mainline. If you isolate the pilot costs there really isn't that much of a savings between a mainline pilot and a regional pilot, especially compared with the mx, fuel, lease payments, etc. Where labor costs get skewed is when you throw in all the other employees in addition to the pilots, that is where regional labor really makes a difference.

If there weren't so many "me too" clauses in other labor contracts then a lot of the barriers of operating a 100 seat aircraft at mainline would be removed.
 
Rdh3e
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:52 pm

Quoting norcal (Reply 7):
No actually it wouldn't. Higher productivity and reasonable pay scales would work just perfectly for the pilot part of the equation. Hourly rates aren't the problem.

You just noted "reasonable pay scales" which in my eyes would be a major revision to the pilot contract (in regards to a 100 seater), and higher productivity is in the same boat.

Quoting norcal (Reply 7):
If you isolate the pilot costs there really isn't that much of a savings between a mainline pilot and a regional pilot
http://www.willflyforfood.com/airlin...ot-salary/188/United-Airlines.html
vs.
http://www.willflyforfood.com/airlin...t-salary/180/Skywest-Airlines.html

Skywest is one of the better compensated regionals in my mind. 1st year UA 319 captain gets $123.80 per hour, 1st year OO CR9 gets $64.41. 120 seats vs 76, so UA $1.03 per seat, OO $0.85 per seat, which is ~18% lower on a per seat basis. This would mean to "match" regionals on such a metric you'd need to get a rate around $85 an hour from your first year pilots on a 100 seater.
__________________

Personal note, don't take that analysis seriously because it's clearly got so many flaws it's not representative. I just want to illustrate a point that there are MAJOR differences in pay structure, as well as work rules.
 
AA737-823
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:53 pm

Quoting DualQual (Reply 3):
DLs scope is for anything larger than 76 seats to be flown by mainline. So a 100 seater at DL will be staffed by DL pilots. How does that make it a problem for UA/CO? I'll give you the 735 is not the most economical way of moving 100ish seats but a C series or similar flown by mainline pilots isn't going to be a problem financially for the company.

Because United is not Delta. United/Continental's pilots are not Delta pilots.
And, in my opinion (because that's all we can work with here, until a UA exec comes into the thread and shows us official numbers from the contracts, good luck... OPINIONS), a 100 seater flown mainline WOULD be a financial problem for UA. Hence the 735 doesn't work out, and CO publicly stated there would be no deliveries smaller than a 737-800 going forward from two years ago. The 735 has lower costs than the 736- an airplane that SAS and WestJet make work.

Quoting par13del (Reply 5):
Not being snippy but how exactly do these two sentiments get together?

They don't, very well; like I said, I can wish in one hand, and........ in the other.

Quoting par13del (Reply 5):
Scope is the mechanism that prevents carriers from operating RJ's or 100 seaters and less, so if scope is not relaxed the situation will remain the same.

No, scope is the mechanism that prevents CONTRACT carriers from flying LARGER airplanes. CO could fly ERJ's mainline if they wanted to, and the pilots union would love it, but CO needs the cost savings of contract carriers to do such jobs.
 
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:36 am

From a United loyalist, living in NY has now made me have to fly what is really still CO, an airline I often avoided due to their bad hard products: seats and aircraft. Out of EWR sCO (now brand named United) pushed the E145 too far. Too many long rides on a cramped RJ. Also the 757, 767 and 777 with horrible seats in BF- until they introduced the new flat beds. (yes- Continental had better service) But since this is about RJ's, I wish I was a Genie and could blink my eyes and have all those E145's turn into E170/195's in one day. I LOVE those EJets and would be fine on a 2-3-4 hour flight on one.

I get all the pilot stuff and expense, but as a pax I have to shout about how I dread the exCO billions of E145's unless it's just an hour flight. How many E170/190's does Delta have?

And; since CO put in their new true flat seats I can now enjoy a United TATL flight out of EWR.
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cosyr
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:06 am

I don't believe they will, but I think they should. I think a 100-120 seater would be a great way to build a compromise with pilots over commuter flights. Trade some 70 seaters for fewer 50 seaters and more 100 seaters with mainline pilots. I would say one 70 seater for two 50 seaters grounded, and a set number of 100 seaters maybe in the 60-80 range. United could decide how much the 70 seaters outsourcing means to them. I would love to see a CS100 in United livery, and I wouldn't mind a few less middle seats.
 
laca773
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:02 am

Quoting BDL757 (Thread starter):
After randomly checking routes (I know, not an exact science) I saw that UA does have a lot of regionals flying fairly long flights. So I'm wondering does anyone think they will order something like the CS100/300 or maybe E-195? I realize that the merger is the most important focus at this point. Also, the pilot contract will likely come into play because I'm sure UA is looking to add some 76 seaters as well. Anyway, I know this is kind of long winded but I wondered if they will try to fill that void or not and I think that a 100 seater type would be great for ORD. Do you think the recent large order for 737MAX will also play a role in the decision?

Actually, UAEx does fly some longer CR7 routes via OO out of LAX/SFO. LAX sees nonstops via OO on CR7s to SAT/DFW/OKC/TUL/. Considering the service offers on their UAEx product, these flights are fine for a 90 minute segment max. The E75/E90/E95s would be a great a/c and a much more comfortable ride for those who have to fly UA because of corporate contracts.
When UA dropped mainline on LAX-SEA/PDX, they started off with CR7s, now, the last time I looked, the majority of these flights were flown with CR5s (CRJs). I hope they can get together with their pilots union and work something out.
 
Sean-SAN-
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:55 am

It's a misconception that 100 seat aircraft can not be economically flown by mainline crews. The truth is, short-sided airline beancounters think they can make MORE money by utilizing regional crews because of the extremely low pay rates. Unfortunately, you also lose control of your product and rely on employees who lack any loyalty, and in some cases are openly hostile to your customers.
 
PHX787
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:12 pm

I see UA taking the C-series or the E195, leaning towards the C-series.

Quoting VC10er (Reply 10):
I get all the pilot stuff and expense, but as a pax I have to shout about how I dread the exCO billions of E145's unless it's just an hour flight. How many E170/190's does Delta have?

DL's 170s are from Shuttle America, IIRC. I think in the last few years they have been shuffling 170s around between different airlines.

Quoting Sean-SAN- (Reply 13):
It's a misconception that 100 seat aircraft can not be economically flown by mainline crews.

I know it's a bit different, but doesn't B6 fly the 195 as a mainline aircraft? Same with US.
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lightsaber
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:36 pm

Quoting norcal (Reply 7):
The biggest (and most ignored) issue is all the other employees that go with operating a 100 seat aircraft at mainline. If you isolate the pilot costs there really isn't that much of a savings between a mainline pilot and a regional pilot, especially compared with the mx, fuel, lease payments, etc. Where labor costs get skewed is when you throw in all the other employees in addition to the pilots, that is where regional labor really makes a difference.

That is it in summary. Could UA operate the out stations with any cost effectiveness? I doubt it. Airlines went RJ as it was a significant cost savings *at the time.* Now that oil is a higher share of costs, they will go with larger RJs. As much as I would like to see RJs brought in house, I do not see it happening.

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 8):
I just want to illustrate a point that there are MAJOR differences in pay structure, as well as work rules.

   Everything adds up.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 14):
I see UA taking the C-series or the E195, leaning towards the C-series.

What contract changes have happened to make a smaller aircraft more viable? As much as I would *love* to see the Cseries at UA, I just do not see it happening (nor a E190/E195 or any other ~100 seater).

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 14):
but doesn't B6 fly the 195 as a mainline aircraft?

With non-union contracts. e.g., outsourced help at many stations. Note: It is the E190, which they have cut back on numbers as the economics didn't work out as well as plan.

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par13del
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:01 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 15):
Quoting norcal (Reply 7):
The biggest (and most ignored) issue is all the other employees that go with operating a 100 seat aircraft at mainline. If you isolate the pilot costs there really isn't that much of a savings between a mainline pilot and a regional pilot, especially compared with the mx, fuel, lease payments, etc. Where labor costs get skewed is when you throw in all the other employees in addition to the pilots, that is where regional labor really makes a difference.

That is it in summary. Could UA operate the out stations with any cost effectiveness? I doubt it.

So in a bigger sense, if mainline carriers canot offer service at some out-stations why not just abandon that sphere of the market?
If air travel is required commuter airlines will evolve and provide the service, use code shares with mainline, a larger number of pax have already gotton over the illusion that the service provided by the regionals is the same as mainline.
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:52 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 16):

So in a bigger sense, if mainline carriers canot offer service at some out-stations why not just abandon that sphere of the market? If air travel is required commuter airlines will evolve and provide the service, use code shares with mainline, a larger number of pax have already gotton over the illusion that the service provided by the regionals is the same as mainline.


I think you've got it.

Scope is a huge pain for everybody...if the route doesn't pay with mainline iron, dump the route. I doubt there is any clause which prevents an airline from investing in a smaller airline and code sharing with them without actually running the smaller airline. To me, it seems fighting the scope battles has become more trouble than it's worth.

A mainline, even with relaxed scope, will never be as cost effective as an airline designed from the outset to fly sub 130ish seaters, so why even try? I think most passengers are long over the idea that their mainline branded rj is actually a mainline plane. They codeshare across the globe...do more code sharing across the country.

Play to your strengths and work with those whose strengths are your weaknesses.

More efficient in the long run and a huge chunk of contract whining and moaning would be eliminated.
What the...?
 
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antoniemey
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:59 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 16):
Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 17):

You guys are essentially describing the industry pre-1990s. At one point Comair was an independent regional providing connection services to Delta mainline. ExpressJet was, what, 3 different regional partners? Similar stories with most of the other regional carriers. The leftovers from that are carriers like Great Lakes.

The difference is, the current system gives the mainline carrier control of scheduling and revenue (well, as much control of revenue as they can get). I don't see them giving that up easily.
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JoeCanuck
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:16 am

Quoting Antoniemey (Reply 18):
The difference is, the current system gives the mainline carrier control of scheduling and revenue (well, as much control of revenue as they can get). I don't see them giving that up easily.

They may have been problems way back when, but I don't think control or scheduling would be huge issues today. Just eliminating scope headaches would make it worth pursuing.

It makes sense for code share partners to cooperate, which would benefit both sides. It also means that as long as they live up to their contractual obligations, regional carriers could work for different mainline airlines in different regions without conflict of interest.

It's been shown time and again that mainline airlines make crappy lcc's. Times aren't getting less tough and the big boys have to get more efficient. One way is to cut the rj's loose. With no scope to worry about, the regionals can more quickly adapt their fleets to changing markets than possible with the much more complex contractual obligations of the bigs, where every change in type and route has to go through an onerous negotiation.
What the...?
 
Bobloblaw
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:58 pm

The problem with 100 seaters is they aren't profitable at mainline costs. Look at US, they have only 15 E90s, when I bet there is a market for 50+.
 
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par13del
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:40 pm

Quoting Antoniemey (Reply 18):

You guys are essentially describing the industry pre-1990s.

If you mean before deregulation I honestly do not see the correlation because I believe that your quote below is the key to the entire issue.

Quoting Antoniemey (Reply 18):
The difference is, the current system gives the mainline carrier control of scheduling and revenue (well, as much control of revenue as they can get). I don't see them giving that up easily.

I would say they have an illusion of control, scope clauses affect the majority of what they are attempting to accomplish, so who is really in control? Clauses on number of seats on an a/c affect a/c type, a/c type goes directly to cost to accuire and operate, all of which determine how much has to be charged to be profitable, so is it really worth it?

A decade ago regionals was the big thing and everyone wanted their own, DL nows seems to have gotten adjustments to its scope which gets rid of the regionals and supposedly will now allow mainline to operate flights profitably which all execs before said could not be done, primary difference is scope. so.........
 
ROSWELL41
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:11 pm

You still have scope restrictions on codesharing. I'm not sure that independent regional airlines are an effective work around that restriction. Reference the new Delta pilots' contract. The consumer would have to purchase two separate tickets, one on the mainline and one on the independent regional as a solution. I believe this was how it worked decades ago.
 
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par13del
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:06 pm

Quoting ROSWELL41 (Reply 22):
You still have scope restrictions on codesharing. I'm not sure that independent regional airlines are an effective work around that restriction.

Your comment below is where I'm going with my opinion, I am not looking at codeshares being used to get around mainline scope contracts but to facilitate pax travel and allow both carriers to make some money doing what they are best equipped to perform.

Quoting ROSWELL41 (Reply 22):
The consumer would have to purchase two separate tickets, one on the mainline and one on the independent regional as a solution. I believe this was how it worked decades ago.

Or simply negotiate interline agreements which allows airlines to sell a through fare and list the individual carriers, this is done on international flights all the time, there is even a recognized formula used to determine the portion of fares assigned to each carrier. Individual agreements are usually preferred especially when long haul flights are concerned as the weigthing does benefit the long haul carrier to a disproportionate degree when low fares are concerned, but within the USA for domestic travel, this should not be much of an issue.
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:54 pm

Quoting ROSWELL41 (Reply 22):

That doesn't make a lot of sense when I can purchase a single ticket taking me around the world on a half a dozen airlines, complete with automatic baggage transfer.

If an airline doesn't fly a route or even has the appropriate equipment to fly the route, there is little pilots could do to force any scope issue. I also doubt there is anything preventing two airlines coordinating their schedules.

If they can, then scopes clauses are even more boneheaded than I previously imagined.
What the...?
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:55 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 16):
So in a bigger sense, if mainline carriers canot offer service at some out-stations why not just abandon that sphere of the market?

Then there is no certain feed to mainline. You have the right idea about codesharing with a regional. However, it evolved into full service feed.

If Republic or another RJ provider can provide the service on a contract basis that is profitable, why not use that service? It is the level of staffing that interferes. e.g., a regional might have pilot checking in passengers instead of another staff on the payroll.

What you suggest is possible. However, they have found a way around the mainline costs that keep the flight branded. That is what your scheme destroys is branding. Now, we can debate that value, but airlines seem to think it is worth enough to go through the trouble.

Quoting par13del (Reply 21):
DL nows seems to have gotten adjustments to its scope which gets rid of the regionals and supposedly will now allow mainline to operate flights profitably which all execs before said could not be done, primary difference is scope. so.........

DL is upgauging the regional flying. They are not getting rid of it. Some will go to the 717s. Most will go to new 76 seat RJs instead of 50 seat RJs.

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JoeCanuck
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:14 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 25):

I think branding rj's will lose favour in the face of rising costs. Passengers just don't care. Most don't have any idea what type of aircraft they are on much less what airline. Few ever see the outside of the aircraft. For most, it's about price.

The same argument has been pushed regarding the lack of favour for T-props...but few people get off of a Q or ATR if they can save a couple of bucks. They might grumble but they keep buying tickets.

Within a few years, we're going to see 90-100 seat T-props and that will muddy the waters even further.
What the...?
 
N62NA
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:14 am

Quoting BDL757 (Thread starter):
I saw that UA does have a lot of regionals flying fairly long flights.

Mostly inherited from CO out of EWR.

Quoting VC10er (Reply 10):
Out of EWR sCO (now brand named United) pushed the E145 too far. Too many long rides on a cramped RJ.

Yep.

Quoting par13del (Reply 16):
a larger number of pax have already gotton over the illusion that the service provided by the regionals is the same as mainline.

I would respectfully disagree. Most pax have no idea what a Chautauqua Airlines is.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 26):
Most don't have any idea what type of aircraft they are on much less what airline.

True. They are under the impression they are flying on one of DL / US / UA's "small planes" and not on Commutair, GoJet, etc.

But the idea that the mainline airlines are foisting a deception on the flying public has been tagged as "a debate beaten to death" here, so I won't elaborate.
 
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par13del
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:31 am

Quoting N62NA (Reply 27):
I would respectfully disagree. Most pax have no idea what a Chautauqua Airlines is.

If a flight operates with no issues they never know, it is when something happens that they realize it is not mainline when the initial denial of responsibility rears its ugly head. Usually they are resolved but the initial reaction seems to alwaye be denial if the issue occured on a regional, see the number of threads on problem flights.

Quoting N62NA (Reply 27):
But the idea that the mainline airlines are foisting a deception on the flying public has been tagged as "a debate beaten to death" here, so I won't elaborate.

Well, some have suggested that tickets or marketing material should clearly state that it is a mainline flight operated by a regional partner, that is the only item that shoudl get any sort of "legal traction"

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 25):
If Republic or another RJ provider can provide the service on a contract basis that is profitable, why not use that service? It is the level of staffing that interferes. e.g., a regional might have pilot checking in passengers instead of another staff on the payroll.

The regionals are able to offer the service on a profitable basis because they have lower cost, everyone accepts that but want to have the same level of service and safety, the question is, where are they saving money?
If they do so by having a pilot check in pax I say great, if they do so by paying a maintenance mechanic 50 cents on the dollar that a mainline mechanic makes the issue becomes a bit murky.

Mainline to lower cost have been reducing their service levels, so they are already getting their pax used to lower levels which bring the regionals into play. I think it is more about continuing to control while attempting as best they can not to pay for such control, see Boeing and its out-sourcing on the 787 as another classic example.
 
Aither
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:02 am

100 seats is too big for feeding and too small for the main routes.
I don't see the benefits of adding a third type of aircraft for such a small market.
Never trust the obvious
 
eaglepower83
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RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:47 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 23):
Or simply negotiate interline agreements which allows airlines to sell a through fare and list the individual carriers, this is done on international flights all the time, there is even a recognized formula used to determine the portion of fares assigned to each carrier. Individual agreements are usually preferred especially when long haul flights are concerned as the weigthing does benefit the long haul carrier to a disproportionate degree when low fares are concerned, but within the USA for domestic travel, this should not be much of an issue.

Heck, AA does this NOW.
Many flight options I look at out of the Northeast are AA interlined with US or (haha) UA.
They're not always the most cost effective tickets, but it's good to know they're there. (Since AA is so deficient up here)
 
lhcvg
Posts: 1255
Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 2:53 pm

RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:31 pm

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 19):
Quoting N62NA (Reply 27):
a larger number of pax have already gotton over the illusion that the service provided by the regionals is the same as mainline.
Quoting par13del (Reply 28):
If a flight operates with no issues they never know, it is when something happens that they realize it is not mainline when the initial denial of responsibility rears its ugly head. Usually they are resolved but the initial reaction seems to alwaye be denial if the issue occured on a regional, see the number of threads on problem flights.

At least in my experience, it is pretty much a tossup as to the demeanor and service level of a given crew between mainline and regional. I've been on various regional flights with chipper and smiling crews, and on mainline with grouchy ones, and vice versa. So on that front, most customers probably don't notice much. But IRROPS are definitely when the you-know-what hits the fan. Again, "we" on here and FT don't get tripped up much being savvy travellers, but the whole "well that's actually UNITED...we are UNITED EXPRESS, not United" line will get many kettles.

I think that's how the airlines get away with it: by just sliding it under the rug whenever things are ok, and then muddling through in IRROPS or regional incompetence.

Quoting Aither (Reply 29):
100 seats is too big for feeding and too small for the main routes.
I don't see the benefits of adding a third type of aircraft for such a small market.

I think the number of ~100-seat variants made over the years is testament to the viability of that segment. Economics and demand have changed substantially over the years, but there is still a good use for these 100-seat class planes. On a basic level, how do you (the airline) approach a situation where you have a choice of a 64/76 seater, or a 120-seat mainline plane for a route that has demand for about 90-100 seats? I realize that in real life there are many complicating factors (adding a new type, possibly more pilot pay scales, etc.), but that's the problem in a nutshell - you either leave ~20-30 seats of potential revenue on the table, or you fly a plane that has marginal economics anyway and bleed money on the route just to get a few more pax than your RJs can hold (see DL's constant griping about A319 economics).

Given all that, there is definitely room for 100-seaters, but just the RIGHT ones. The 736 and 318 have proven too heavy and expensive for that, and it seems like B6 and US at least are not too hot on the E190's. WN clearly doesn't care for FL 717s, but I gather that's due more to their specific cost structure and strategy than anything inherent about the plane - hence DL's interest in them. Going back to the sCO 735 issue raised above, the issue is not that 100-seat planes don't work period; it's that they need to hit the economics right. What we're seeing is simply a move away from shrink 100-seaters like the 736 and 318, save for the 717 (which obviously isn't available anymore), and to "near-mainline" large RJ designs like the C-Series and the forthcoming "X-series" E-Jets.
 
Rdh3e
Posts: 2883
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:09 pm

RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:36 pm

Quoting Sean-SAN- (Reply 13):
It's a misconception that 100 seat aircraft can not be economically flown by mainline crews. The truth is, short-sided airline beancounters think they can make MORE money by utilizing regional crews because of the extremely low pay rates. Unfortunately, you also lose control of your product and rely on employees who lack any loyalty, and in some cases are openly hostile to your customers.

You've never seen an airline's market/equipment P&L statements have you....

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 17):
I doubt there is any clause which prevents an airline from investing in a smaller airline and code sharing with them without actually running the smaller airline.

Domestic code-sharing is a HUGE issue with pilots unions, just ask AA.

Quoting par13del (Reply 21):
I would say they have an illusion of control, scope clauses affect the majority of what they are attempting to accomplish,

Not sure what you're saying, but yes, it is still worth it to devise contracts that are scope clause compliant. The upfront costs to reconfigure aircraft etc can be ammortized over the 5-10 years of the contract life, and (sometimes) is paid for by the regional as part of the bid.

Quoting par13del (Reply 21):
DL nows seems to have gotten adjustments to its scope which gets rid of the regionals

No they haven't, they're expanding their large RJ fleet in exchange for shrinking small RJ.
 
FlyHossD
Posts: 1273
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:45 pm

RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:49 pm

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 32):
You've never seen an airline's market/equipment P&L statements have you....

Are you saying that a major carrier can't operate a 100 seat jet profitably?

As I recall, Lufthansa, Air Canada, jetBlue, Taca, COPA all operate E-190s. Are these carriers losing money with these aircraft?
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
Rdh3e
Posts: 2883
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:09 pm

RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:06 pm

Quoting flyhossd (Reply 33):
As I recall, Lufthansa, Air Canada, jetBlue, Taca, COPA all operate E-190s. Are these carriers losing money with these aircraft?

Lufthansa mainline does not operate the E-190's (Cityline Does), Air Canada operates 45 195's (AC 2011 Net Loss of $429M, operating margin of 1.5%), jetBlue pays about 10% more for their E190 captains than AC, but they probably have better productivity I'd hope (52 in fleet), TACA appears to be doing well but with a subfleet of 12 shells thats a small sample size, COPA is also doing well but again it's only 14 shells.

I'm not saying they're all hemorrhaging money with these planes, I'm saying that unless there are adequate adjustments made to pilot pay (down from normal mainline standards) then they will lose money. I'm also saying it is unlikely that UA's pilots will give up enough to make these planes worth it. It would be nice to be able to bring some guys off furlough though.
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 6720
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:12 am

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 32):
Quoting par13del (Reply 21):
DL nows seems to have gotten adjustments to its scope which gets rid of the regionals

No they haven't, they're expanding their large RJ fleet in exchange for shrinking small RJ.

Yes, but I am under the impression that this is because the pilots agreed to changes / adjustments, maybe saying scope is not technically correct but if the pilots had not accepted changes in their working conditions DL would not be able to make such changes. One wholly owned regional is on the way out and additional 717's are inbound.

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 32):
Quoting par13del (Reply 21):
I would say they have an illusion of control, scope clauses affect the majority of what they are attempting to accomplish,

Not sure what you're saying, but yes, it is still worth it to devise contracts that are scope clause compliant.

I'm saying that the scope clauses that the pilots have in place are more of a driving factor of how RJ's and regionals are used by mainline versus managements desires to "diversify" their product.
 
southwest737500
Posts: 611
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:49 pm

RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:29 am

Quoting Bobloblaw (Reply 20):

US is getting 5 more. 2 in Q4 and I think 3 in Q1, I may be wrong
Next flight: TUL-ATL-CLT CRJ900 and MD88
 
Aither
Posts: 1000
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 3:43 am

RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:32 am

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 31):
On a basic level, how do you (the airline) approach a situation where you have a choice of a 64/76 seater, or a 120-seat mainline plane for a route that has demand for about 90-100 seats? I realize that in real life there are many complicating factors (adding a new type, possibly more pilot pay scales, etc.), but that's the problem in a nutshell - you either leave ~20-30 seats of potential revenue on the table, or you fly a plane that has marginal economics anyway and bleed money on the route just to get a few more pax than your RJs can hold

There are very few markets where you can predict exactly (at +/-20 seats) how much capacity you will need. I'd rather use yield management to reduce the demand if I use an RJ, or increase the demand to fill a larger aircraft.
So basically all the demand of the 100 seat category can be served by RJs or larger single aisles aircraft. While the 100 seaters cannot served many small/feeding markets and is way too small to serve the big ones that are the bread&butter of airlines.
Never trust the obvious
 
lhcvg
Posts: 1255
Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 2:53 pm

RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:11 pm

Quoting Aither (Reply 37):
There are very few markets where you can predict exactly (at +/-20 seats) how much capacity you will need. I'd rather use yield management to reduce the demand if I use an RJ, or increase the demand to fill a larger aircraft.
So basically all the demand of the 100 seat category can be served by RJs or larger single aisles aircraft. While the 100 seaters cannot served many small/feeding markets and is way too small to serve the big ones that are the bread&butter of airlines.

Hey don't shoot the messenger! I'm just explaining the rationale used by DL, not verbatim but that's what's been discussed about their move to acquire 717s -- a need to find something to slot in between 76 and 120 seats for markets where neither of those options is truly optimal. Obviously air travel is fluid enough that you can't pinpoint so precisely, but having frames of varying sizes 20-30 seats apart is pretty much standard practice. They wouldn't have gone out of their way to acquire a new size type if there weren't a business and market case for it. It shouldn't be that hard to envision where you could profit from more than 76 seats (CR7/E175) but where you'd lose money on a 319.

Another assumption I'm using here is that these 100 seaters used today (i.e., since we're seeing the 735s, 736s and 318s go away) are more in the MD mode of being optimized for short hops. To me that's another operational concern that helps matters when you can use a plane both right-sized and suited for the role rather than flying a 73G or 319 in the red on routes where it is less well suited anyway.

[Edited 2012-10-16 07:14:15]
 
Aither
Posts: 1000
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 3:43 am

RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:52 pm

Sorry I did not intend to shoot the messenger   points taken
Never trust the obvious
 
User avatar
ADent
Posts: 935
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:11 pm

RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:31 pm

Quoting N62NA (Reply 27):
Quoting BDL757 (Thread starter):
I saw that UA does have a lot of regionals flying fairly long flights.

Mostly inherited from CO out of EWR.

Huh?

Pre-merger DEN and ORD had more RJ flights than mainline.

Many of those CRJ7 flights are long. DEN-ATL, DEN-CLE, DEN-HSV, DEN-Canada, DEN-West Coast etc. LAX had some long legged flights too.
 
Rdh3e
Posts: 2883
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:09 pm

RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:23 pm

Quoting ADent (Reply 40):

Huh?

Pre-merger DEN and ORD had more RJ flights than mainline.

Many of those CRJ7 flights are long. DEN-ATL, DEN-CLE, DEN-HSV, DEN-Canada, DEN-West Coast etc. LAX had some long legged flights too.

He's referring to this: Before the merger CO had 9 of the 10 longest 50 seat RJ flights in the word. The 1 they didn't have? Doh! It was a duplicate flight operated by AC IAH-YYZ I believe. That's what he means by "inherited long RJ flights from CO"
 
strfyr51
Posts: 2173
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

RE: Will United Order A 100 Seater?

Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:16 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 15):

Let's face it. People don't like RJ's any better than they did Turboprops which actually were a better option. If United ordered 100 seat CS or ER's the problem would NOT be flying them as that can be worked out. The problem would be Maintaining them replacing 400+ regional jets would take 120-150 small main-liners. With 700+ already? You're talking about at the LEAST 4 more Maintenance centers where they Primarily focus on the Smaller Airplanes And the stations have to be stable, Marketing can't just jump them around at a Whim because you'll need Mechanics in there with their families to build expertise on these airplanes. There is no ADD Water instant Mechanic mix. Just like the 787, expertise is built from Time and experience working the systems. Given the Present hubs? I have no IDEA where the regional hubs might be. Where you might find Hangars and accomplish repairs. I would guess that the SFO maint canter Dock 4,5,6 could be used primarily on the west coast but Denver, Chicago,Houston Newark.and Cleveland?? I have no Idea.
If the idea worked you'd have an airline inside an airline. Same Processes but on a smaller scale like it was when we had the Shuttle. That Idea had Just came into good working order when we shut it down. Where the Mechanic and Pilot productivity were actually in good balance for what they were doing. Rapid turns, Rapid fixes and dedicated resources. We haven't had that level of performance at United since.

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