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SumChristianus
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What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:49 pm

What if there were a 50 seat aircraft with US transcontinental range? How do you think it would change the market dynamics if Cincinnati-Sacramento, Memphis-Seattle, or Raleigh-Albuquerque, for example could be served by a 50 seat aircraft. I know the economics would probably be bad, but imagine how hated UA would be with SFO-MKE, SFO-MEM, SFO-ATL served on a 50 seater?

Also, how about a 76 seat transatlantic jet? Portland (ME), Shannon, Hartford, Albany, etc. would probably get transatlantic service if there were such equipment, but I bet there would be VERY FEW widebodies left transatlantic with that level of fragmentation.

A 140 seat plane that could do PHX-SYD, SEA-HKG, or ANC-SIN, etc would be interesting as well.

Any thoughts?
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:55 pm

Not enough pilots to cover it.
 
devron
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:34 pm

Well economics would be bad with the pilot and capital cost of the plane to passenger ratio. But then there is a premium to be had for direct flights. In short I have no idea. But if smaller would be better and frequency would rule the world we wouldn't be flying A380 to dubai or 747-800 accross the atlantic.
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:39 pm

SumChristianus wrote:
I know the economics would probably be bad


Yeah, in the same way that global thermonuclear war would probably be bad.

SumChristianus wrote:
Also, how about a 76 seat transatlantic jet? Portland (ME), Shannon, Hartford, Albany, etc. would probably get transatlantic service if there were such equipment, but I bet there would be VERY FEW widebodies left transatlantic with that level of fragmentation.


Several such jets already exist. Heck, the A318 can do SNN-JFK if you take a page from BA's 36J 00Y book.

Oh yeah... those economics are bad too.

Basic airline economics are 100% against this idea - you want to carry the largest number of passengers possible for the given fixed costs.
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:45 pm

Airliners.net charges a fee for a member ID. It's time to start charging a fee to start new threads, to filter out some really inane postings, foolish hypotheticals, and lazy inquiries.
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:51 pm

Talk about burning fuel to carry fuel...

There's a reason why "smaller jet with longer range" doesn't sell well. Just look at SQ's A345ULR (181 then 100 pax), or how BA only have 1 single A318 (all business) left.

About the only possibility that something like this would work would be combi aircraft. Those are falling out of favor also, though.
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:53 pm

That was the case once - back when Constellations and Douglas prop-liners ruled the earth.

I think there are economies of scale that come into play. Which would offer lower ticket prices - a 300-seat a/c doing a route every 3 hours, or three 100-seat a/c doing the route every hour? The first option is probably better in both operations cost (fuel, pilot and crew salaries, landing fees, etc) and capital (cost of the a/c) compared to the first example. Also, for long routes you'll find that most passengers want to fly at certain times, so your demand varies during the day which favors large a/c during the heavy time and next to none during the light time.

For shorter flying, the flying public's schedules are permissive and so you do find a lot of repetitive routes that are flown multiple times per day on smaller craft. However, while doing, say, 10x services daily between cities X and Y 30 years ago was good for DC-9 or F27-size flying, today it is big 737s and A321s doing the those frequencies.

Pull up a city pair on an airline web page, and you'll see a bunch of frequencies and a range of ticket prices - that gives you a clue of the demand there, when it is heaviest, and the kind of volume flying there. Then divide that traffic by the size of a/c you mention in your post - how many flights does that result in? Probably so many as to be begging for conglomeration into fewer flights on larger a/c - like big 737s and A321s.
 
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SumChristianus
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:55 pm

Sorry, knew it would be bad economics, but just wondered about the impact of such a service on the aviation market as a whole.
I meant to suggest and question the possibility of something like a CRJ200LRR, E175EXLR, or A319LRR (the A319 LR already exists, but mainly as a business jet I believe).
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SumChristianus
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:01 pm

smithbs wrote:
Then divide that traffic by the size of a/c you mention in your post - how many flights does that result in? Probably so many as to be begging for conglomeration into fewer flights on larger a/c - like big 737s and A321s.


Its interesting how the ~150-250 seat aircraft size has globally become the standard. Amongst so many combinations of routes, geography, demand, and cultures, that size works best for most operations in the present (maybe not in the US) but globally. Its an interesting observation.
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:04 pm

SumChristianus wrote:
Sorry, knew it would be bad economics, but just wondered about the impact of such a service on the aviation market as a whole.
I meant to suggest and question the possibility of something like a CRJ200LRR, E175EXLR, or A319LRR (the A319 LR already exists, but mainly as a business jet I believe).


I think you hit on what the economy has selected as your answer - the business jet. There is a point when a flyer has such specific demand for route and time that the cost becomes so high as to justify them getting their own airplane, or paying into a business jet service.

There are other reasons, of course, like privacy and being exclusive, but really it is that your needs are so unique that you have your own small-capacity airliner.
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:10 pm

SumChristianus wrote:
Sorry, knew it would be bad economics, but just wondered about the impact of such a service on the aviation market as a whole.
I meant to suggest and question the possibility of something like a CRJ200LRR, E175EXLR, or A319LRR (the A319 LR already exists, but mainly as a business jet I believe).


It would have no impact because, as you acknowledge, the economics would be bad.

If the economics are bad, airlines won't want to do it. If they don't want to do it, then you wind up with...basically exactly what you already have today.
I was raised by a cup of coffee.
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:21 pm

XAM2175 wrote:
SumChristianus wrote:
I know the economics would probably be bad


Yeah, in the same way that global thermonuclear war would probably be bad.

SumChristianus wrote:
Also, how about a 76 seat transatlantic jet? Portland (ME), Shannon, Hartford, Albany, etc. would probably get transatlantic service if there were such equipment, but I bet there would be VERY FEW widebodies left transatlantic with that level of fragmentation.


Several such jets already exist. Heck, the A318 can do SNN-JFK if you take a page from BA's 36J 00Y book.

Oh yeah... those economics are bad too.

Basic airline economics are 100% against this idea - you want to carry the largest number of passengers possible for the given fixed costs.


But, frequency! Everyone wants frequency. ;)

Of course crew costs would be huge, not to mention troubles of crowded airways and the other prpblem of where all these extra planes are going to be stored. Maybe double-decker airports? ;) Yeah, doubt that will happen.
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:37 pm

XAM2175 wrote:
Basic airline economics are 100% against this idea - you want to carry the largest number of passengers possible for the given fixed costs.


Sorry, but I have to correct you here. You falsely assume that the costs are fixed, which is not the case. Smaller planes are cheaper to operate than larger planes, so the costs are variable instead of fixed. However divided by the number of seats larger aircraft are cheaper per seat, but it can be a hussle to fill such a large aircraft. Specially on thinner routes a smaller aircraft can make sense even if this increases the cost per seat. It is true you want to haul the largest number of passengers, but sometimes this number of passengers just isn't high enough to fill a large aircraft.

There's a reason thinner TATL routes are operated on 737MAX and A320Neo aircraft, they got the right capacity for these routes. Those planes can be filled, larger planes would fly half empty. Empty seats cost money, but don't bring in any revenue.

cpd wrote:
But, frequency! Everyone wants frequency. ;)

Of course crew costs would be huge, not to mention troubles of crowded airways and the other prpblem of where all these extra planes are going to be stored. Maybe double-decker airports? ;) Yeah, doubt that will happen.


Still plenty of space on the airways, besides you can also fly next to the airways like they do in China. And where are they going to be stored? Mostly smaller secondary airports I think. Large airports are big enough to fill large aircraft, the smaller aircraft will mostly be used on airports that are too small for a route on a larger aircraft. Also keep in mind that a smaller aircraft has less crew on board than a larger one.
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:36 pm

SumChristianus wrote:
Sorry, knew it would be bad economics, but just wondered about the impact of such a service on the aviation market as a whole.
I meant to suggest and question the possibility of something like a CRJ200LRR, E175EXLR, or A319LRR (the A319 LR already exists, but mainly as a business jet I believe).


Ah yes, LRR, standing for... long range range.
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:51 pm

[quote="MIflyer12"]Airliners.net charges a fee for a member ID. It's time to start charging a fee to start new threads, to filter out some really inane postings, foolish hypotheticals, and lazy inquiries.

I agree, tired of so many bad what ifs. Yes its a site that people can ask questions, but come up with good questions
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:55 pm

SumChristianus wrote:
Sorry, knew it would be bad economics, but just wondered about the impact of such a service on the aviation market as a whole.
I meant to suggest and question the possibility of something like a CRJ200LRR, E175EXLR, or A319LRR (the A319 LR already exists, but mainly as a business jet I believe).


Well, any CRJ200 or E175 in such a role as the one you are proposing would only be able to carry max 10-15 paxs in order to achieve range and offer the comfort needed for such long flights. And those already exist: they are called long range business jets.
Keep calm and wash your hands.
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:56 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Airliners.net charges a fee for a member ID. It's time to start charging a fee to start new threads, to filter out some really inane postings, foolish hypotheticals, and lazy inquiries.


Just don't add comments to foolish posts. With no fuel, the fire goes out.
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:56 pm

Therefore the economics of a 737ULR would be bad and we’d never see them replace widebodies/787s/a350s for frequency. Hoorrahhh!
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:04 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Airliners.net charges a fee for a member ID. It's time to start charging a fee to start new threads, to filter out some really inane postings, foolish hypotheticals, and lazy inquiries.


While I agree the topic is a non-started, give the OP a break. His profile says he's 18. We all started to be enthusiasts at some point. For me it was in 1970 when I was 13 when there was very little way to learn. Were it not for the fact my brother was a cockpit crew member, I'd have never gotten to be an av-geek.
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:51 pm

The average longe-range bizjet leg is 2.5 hours, quite a few do silly things like NYC-PBI or NYC-LAX or MDW-ASE for much of their lives.
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:38 pm

I even doubt there will be enough people flying from Somewhereshire, UK to Peoria, IL, for even a 75 seat Transatlantic airliner to fly with any reasonable frequency.
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:53 pm

ordramper98 wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
Airliners.net charges a fee for a member ID. It's time to start charging a fee to start new threads, to filter out some really inane postings, foolish hypotheticals, and lazy inquiries.

I agree, tired of so many bad what ifs. Yes its a site that people can ask questions, but come up with good questions


What’s a good question?

Who gets to judge the quality of the question?

Can I be a judge?

Vote with your feet. Or your mouse. Don’t click and comment if you wanna see less...

Peace out...
 
ordramper98
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:10 pm

mast2407 wrote:
ordramper98 wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
Airliners.net charges a fee for a member ID. It's time to start charging a fee to start new threads, to filter out some really inane postings, foolish hypotheticals, and lazy inquiries.

I agree, tired of so many bad what ifs. Yes its a site that people can ask questions, but come up with good questions


What’s a good question?

Who gets to judge the quality of the question?

Can I be a judge?

Vote with your feet. Or your mouse. Don’t click and comment if you wanna see less...

Peace out...



Sure you can be a judge if you like. The OP says in his reply that he knew it would be bad economics, but wanted to ask anyway. That, in my humble opinion means the original question was not well thought out.
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:14 pm

I mean, maybe if it was supersonic....
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:01 am

I think the OP has a good question. The real answer is not just that the economics would be bad... but, why the economics would be bad.

Staffing/fuel/fees would be modestly higher... but I doubt that is the economic issue. I suspect people would pay that to avoid a connection or two.

The real problem is that there are not enough routes where such "standard speed" aircraft could be used to ensure that the cost of the aircraft was reasonable. If some Mfr decided to just eat the R&D cost for such an aircraft... and sell it at production cost + normal markup - then I actually think there might be a market for it. The problem is that it would probably be in the $4-5 Billion dollar range to develop a 50 -70+ seat aircraft that was efficient. It is the recovery of that cost that has prevented such aircraft from existing. If there were 400+ city pairs for such an aircraft that were not being sufficiently served by larger aircraft I suspect the market would have such aircraft. As it is; I suspect there are no more than 100 city pairs for such an aircraft.

Making it supersonic changes the picture.. as the price charged per ticket can be much higher to pay for a low production number aircraft and higher per seat operating and service fees. That is what Boom and some others are depending on.

Have a great day,
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:19 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
Airliners.net charges a fee for a member ID. ...lazy inquiries.


Lazy inquiries...one of my pet peeves. Not related to this specific topic mind you. If you have internet to post a question...you have internet to look up the answer yourself.
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:33 am

Today you can make like a 50 minute connection. Not worth it.
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:43 am

In addition to more pilots, some airports might have to expand. But I would still think that this could be something interesting. Currently, however, the ERJ145XR has a range of 2000 nmi which is a lot, and the twin otter has 1000 which could mean flights longer than YVR-LAX on a 19-seater. And that’s just with current technology.
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:08 am

SumChristianus wrote:
What if there were a 50 seat aircraft with US transcontinental range? How do you think it would change the market dynamics if Cincinnati-Sacramento, Memphis-Seattle, or Raleigh-Albuquerque, for example could be served by a 50 seat aircraft. I know the economics would probably be bad, but imagine how hated UA would be with SFO-MKE, SFO-MEM, SFO-ATL served on a 50 seater?

Also, how about a 76 seat transatlantic jet? Portland (ME), Shannon, Hartford, Albany, etc. would probably get transatlantic service if there were such equipment, but I bet there would be VERY FEW widebodies left transatlantic with that level of fragmentation.

A 140 seat plane that could do PHX-SYD, SEA-HKG, or ANC-SIN, etc would be interesting as well.

Any thoughts?


1) So many sour people posting on this thread. Stop your whining.

2) I liked the question because it made me think about something I would not normally have thought about.

3) To answer the question: I don't know about TPAC, but it's not totally out of the realm of possibility that 50 to 76 seat RJs could be flying the (nearly) transcon routes you listed, under "United Express" or "Delta Connection" or "American Eagle" farmed out to one of the regional airlines. For TATL though, while it may soon be possible to fly an under 100 seat RJ for the routes you specified, and likely much cheaper if the airlines farmed it out to the regional airlines, I'm not sure the pilots unions at AA / DL / UA would ever allow such a thing.
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:14 am

EvanWSFO wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
Airliners.net charges a fee for a member ID. It's time to start charging a fee to start new threads, to filter out some really inane postings, foolish hypotheticals, and lazy inquiries.


While I agree the topic is a non-started, give the OP a break. His profile says he's 18. We all started to be enthusiasts at some point. For me it was in 1970 when I was 13 when there was very little way to learn. Were it not for the fact my brother was a cockpit crew member, I'd have never gotten to be an av-geek.


Thank you. We all have to start and learn somewhere. The fact he's 18 and is thinking critically about these kinds of things is impressive. I'd say he's going places.
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SumChristianus
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:15 am

Sorry everyone, just was thinking about it for a few weeks and wanted to throw it out there for discussion. If this is too crazy of a topic I can ask for it to be closed....
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N626AA
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:23 am

SumChristianus wrote:
Sorry everyone, just was thinking about it for a few weeks and wanted to throw it out there for discussion. If this is too crazy of a topic I can ask for it to be closed....


Don't be sorry, keep asking substantial things like this so those who have the answers can educate/enlighten you. You'll be glad you did. It's just that the aviation field can be very technical and detailed, leaving a vast gap between those who are newbies and the seasoned professionals.
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:40 am

SumChristianus wrote:
What if there were a 50 seat aircraft with US transcontinental range? How do you think it would change the market dynamics if Cincinnati-Sacramento, Memphis-Seattle, or Raleigh-Albuquerque, for example could be served by a 50 seat aircraft. I know the economics would probably be bad, but imagine how hated UA would be with SFO-MKE, SFO-MEM, SFO-ATL served on a 50 seater?

Also, how about a 76 seat transatlantic jet? Portland (ME), Shannon, Hartford, Albany, etc. would probably get transatlantic service if there were such equipment, but I bet there would be VERY FEW widebodies left transatlantic with that level of fragmentation.

A 140 seat plane that could do PHX-SYD, SEA-HKG, or ANC-SIN, etc would be interesting as well.

Any thoughts?


Even with that much fragmentation, without the pilot shortage issues, wide bodies would still fly as many carry people to a connection point onward. That dynamic would not change.
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:47 am

zakuivcustom wrote:
Talk about burning fuel to carry fuel...

There's a reason why "smaller jet with longer range" doesn't sell well. Just look at SQ's A345ULR (181 then 100 pax), or how BA only have 1 single A318 (all business) left.

About the only possibility that something like this would work would be combi aircraft. Those are falling out of favor also, though.


BA's reduction on LCY had to do more with Shannon closing earlier, making the stop untenable due to no US Pre clearance when the flight would arrive. Moving it sooner meant business traffic would have to cut their work day shorter. Also the final straw was LCY being sold & the new owners announcing increases in fees for the airport. BA cut a number of routes as a result.
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:53 am

smithbs wrote:
That was the case once - back when Constellations and Douglas prop-liners ruled the earth.

I think there are economies of scale that come into play. Which would offer lower ticket prices - a 300-seat a/c doing a route every 3 hours, or three 100-seat a/c doing the route every hour? The first option is probably better in both operations cost (fuel, pilot and crew salaries, landing fees, etc) and capital (cost of the a/c) compared to the first example. Also, for long routes you'll find that most passengers want to fly at certain times, so your demand varies during the day which favors large a/c during the heavy time and next to none during the light time.

For shorter flying, the flying public's schedules are permissive and so you do find a lot of repetitive routes that are flown multiple times per day on smaller craft. However, while doing, say, 10x services daily between cities X and Y 30 years ago was good for DC-9 or F27-size flying, today it is big 737s and A321s doing the those frequencies.

Pull up a city pair on an airline web page, and you'll see a bunch of frequencies and a range of ticket prices - that gives you a clue of the demand there, when it is heaviest, and the kind of volume flying there. Then divide that traffic by the size of a/c you mention in your post - how many flights does that result in? Probably so many as to be begging for conglomeration into fewer flights on larger a/c - like big 737s and A321s.


Hawaiian has already noted the cost to operate the A321neo Hawaii to west coast was cheap enough that 1 A330 could be replaced by 2 A321neo flights and still cost less to operate. The issue is some airports are constrained so they cannot add a second flight. Doing 2 daily split wider apart gives them 378 seats vs 1 A330 with 294 seats with similar layout. with the second later flight they should be able to sell the extra seats & operate at a slightly lower cost.
 
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:59 am

SumChristianus wrote:
Sorry everyone, just was thinking about it for a few weeks and wanted to throw it out there for discussion. If this is too crazy of a topic I can ask for it to be closed....


It is not actually too crazy. There are merits behind your idea, i.e. It does open up routes that can't fill a large jet, but has some demand, in a sense how 757 can be used as the "smaller jet" on TATL or how the like of CS100/300 could operate longer thin routes that can't fill a 737, but is too long for existing RJs. It usually resulted in a plane that is far too heavy to be economical, though. Another problem is that it is likely that such , let say, ERJ-170ULR would be awful to operate at shorter routes (i.e. Your typical 1-2 hr hops on RJ), as that ULR version is now "too much plane".

And seriously, there is still that group of people with that "holier than thou" attitude anyway, all in awhile adding nothing to the discussion other than "we should go back to the old time small circle forum".
 
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N62NA
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:20 am

SumChristianus wrote:
Sorry everyone, just was thinking about it for a few weeks and wanted to throw it out there for discussion. If this is too crazy of a topic I can ask for it to be closed....



Why would you do that? Just because some close-minded people with an over-inflated sense of self importance didn't like what you posted?

I've been a member of this site for a long, long time and I think it's great that we have younger members like you who are posting here.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:07 am

In Theory it could work.

You could increase range by doing what they call a simple shrink. Keeping the stronger wing/gear/engines of the longer model and reducing fuselage length. You would gain 20% range from.less drag due to the loeer weight and less drag of the shorter fuselage straight off the bat. You could then fit extra fuel tanks as the maximum takeoff weight would be really high.

Transcontinental 50 seat.
MRJ-90 shortened in length to say 30 metres. Easy 3000nm range.

Transatlantic 75 seat.
Take the E-195 and reduce the cabin to E-170 length. Add an aux tank. Range 4000nm easy.

Transpacific 150 seat
Take the A321LR and shorten it to A319 length. Fill every LD3-45 position with fuel tanks and put a luggage compartment in the back 20% section of the cabin. This would easily have over 6000nm range.
 
USAirKid
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:23 am

I'd really wonder what this does to hub economics. In many ways I can see it putting them in the toilet, because why would you fly through a hub if you didn't have to? Any city pair with 80 PDEW or so is going to have a flight that bypasses the hub, which then makes the traditional fortress hub less efficient.

I think you could see more WN style hubs that aren't as huge as ATL, ORD, IAH, or CLT..
 
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Matt6461
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:59 am

@SumChristianus

This is not at all a bad question.
By the standards of the internet, this place is pretty good. But every internet forum will have stupid/incurious people; such people have a bias against fundamental questions. Stick around here long enough and you'll see people who think they know the answers to fundamental, deep questions because they work on a ramp or drive a flying bus. Don't be intimidated; most of them don't have any deep insights - only the minimum of what's needed to do their jobs. Keep asking questions.

Back to the topic...
You sort of gave away the game by saying "the economics would be bad": every decision in the aviation business is an economic decision.
You're too quick to undercut your idea, IMO. The issue isn't whether a very-small LR plane would have higher unit costs; the issue is by how much would its economics be worse than a larger plane, and whether that unit cost delta exceeds the revenue premium you'd get from flying un-served direct routes and/or increasing frequency on under-served direct routes.

To that extent, comments like this:
AR385 wrote:
I even doubt there will be enough people flying from Somewhereshire, UK to Peoria, IL, for even a 75 seat Transatlantic airliner to fly with any reasonable frequency.


...are completely wrong-headed. How many TATL destinations does BNA have? One planned (LHR) and only once-daily. Could Air France/KLM or Lufthansa fill 75 TATL seats on BNA-CDG/AMS/FRA, given a reasonably-efficient long haul 75-seater? Of course they could. Same goes for dozens of large TATL metros/destinations like JAX, CVG, STL, BLQ, HAM, RSW, BIO, NUE, BGO, etc. Same goes for hundreds of unserved city pairs. It all comes down to the operating economics.

So let's look at those. Why don't we see reasonably efficient long-haul sub-737/A320 planes? A few fundamental factors, some of which have already been covered:

  • Flight crew cost. This increases relatively little with plane size and would be disproportionate for a LR small plane.
  • Capital cost: The cost of producing/installing the avionics suite varies little with airplane scale (this is why nobody has designed a sub-50-seater in decades, and Turkey, IIRC, is putting 328 JET back into production). Likewise the cost of large structures is less-than-linear with weight; a lighter plane at the same structural efficiency of a bigger plane would be more expensive per seat. So your cost per seat would have significant delta for buying/leasing the aircraft versus bigger planes.
  • Some basic physical scale properties: (1) As engines shrink, their efficiency suffers from a higher of "leakage" around the fan/turbine/compressors. This gets worse and worse as you go smaller. It would be difficult to build a good long-haul engine at, say, 15k lbs of thrust. (2) Many airplane components are "minimum gauge," meaning their thickness and weight have some minimum value regardless of the loads on them. For the smallest planes, minimum gauge component weight will be highest, resulting in higher weight/seat. (3) on-wing engines are structurally the most efficient, as their weight relieves the wing's bending under heavy loads, resulting in a lighter wing. Very small planes need larger landing gear and/or inefficient workarounds to use wing-mounted engines. With the higher MTOW and heavier MLG of LR planes, this factor becomes increasingly important.

There are other reasons but you get the picture: it's hard to build an efficient LR small plane.
That won't be true forever. As tech continuously improves both L/D ratios and engine efficiency, the "penalty" for greater range continuously shrinks and the fuel portion of operating cost shrinks as well. By, say, 2040, we could easily see 100-seat TPAC planes whose economics are close enough on fuel/production cost that the revenue premium of more direct flights makes economic sense. You're young enough to see this happen and ride those planes; I predict you will at some point in your life.
 
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seahawk
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:16 am

The problem is that under current rules you have 1 pilot for every 25 passengers, while you have 1 pilot for every 90 passengers on a 737-8.
The basic design is also a nit of a problem, as you would probably go for a 1-2 cabin layout, which means 1 aisle for 3 seats, while a 737 has 1 aisle for 6 seats.

In the future such planes will become possible though, especially if planes below 100 passengers are free to operate with one pilot only.
 
WPvsMW
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:53 am

The sub-text is... the AI (not Air India) co-pilot. The economics might work then.
 
LupineChemist
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:33 am

Isn't this not too far from what already exists in the charter and bizjet markets? I think it's better to think of it as better ways to sell larger charters and have larger bizjets (possibly with denser seating) rather than think of it in terms of scheduled service.

Companies like NetJets are definitely lowering the charter cost and I could see them trying to go for something of a lower end of the market. I could definitely see a market for a 30-40 seat charter jet for things like sports teams, university groups, large business delegations, etc...
 
mast2407
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:15 pm

N626AA wrote:
SumChristianus wrote:
Sorry everyone, just was thinking about it for a few weeks and wanted to throw it out there for discussion. If this is too crazy of a topic I can ask for it to be closed....


Don't be sorry, keep asking substantial things like this so those who have the answers can educate/enlighten you. You'll be glad you did. It's just that the aviation field can be very technical and detailed, leaving a vast gap between those who are newbies and the seasoned professionals.


This. And the pro's amongst us could do with a few more questions like this to remind them where they started out.
 
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kgaiflyer
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:16 pm

This has nothing to do with the OP's objectives in asking the question, but I've done both IAD-IAH / IAH-PSP where both legs were CR7s and IAD-MCI / MCI-SFO where both legs were CR7s. But this was happenstance on my part - rather than scheduled route-planning on the part of the UA.

A great way to meet interesting people - if you're into that. But unless it was a private jet with comfort amenities, no sane person would want to ride a regional jet coast to coast.
 
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BWIAirport
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:10 pm

Keep in mind we have jet aircraft that are 18-seaters and can fly 3500nmi, such as the Gulfstream. On paper, it would be cool to see regional subsidiaries such as SkyWest and Expressjet connecting virtually every city pair on either side of the Atlantic with them. Portland, ME to Cork? Baltimore to Sevilla? These and similar routes seem entirely possible. The only thing stopping them (besides pilot labor laws) is the astronomical per-seat price of such flights.
SWA, UAL, DAL, AWE, ASA, TRS, DLH, CLH, AFR, BAW, EIN, AAL | E190 DC94 CRJ2 B712 B733 B737 B738 B739 B744 B752 B753 B762 B77W A319 A320 A20N A321 A333 A343 A388 MD88
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:42 pm

I can say, for a fact, using bizjets with business-like seating, has been looked at by carriers and the business case wouldn’t work. Too few seats for the fixed costs involved.


GF
 
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Channex757
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:21 pm

Matt6461 wrote:
There are other reasons but you get the picture: it's hard to build an efficient LR small plane.
That won't be true forever. As tech continuously improves both L/D ratios and engine efficiency, the "penalty" for greater range continuously shrinks and the fuel portion of operating cost shrinks as well. By, say, 2040, we could easily see 100-seat TPAC planes whose economics are close enough on fuel/production cost that the revenue premium of more direct flights makes economic sense. You're young enough to see this happen and ride those planes; I predict you will at some point in your life.


Can I just say (a bit of rare praise from me) that last paragraph is absolutely right on the money. Very well written sir.

Another big problem with smaller long range jets is the empty seat issue. If 5 seats remain unsold on a 400 seat airliner, that's 1.25% of the gross money a flight makes.

If the same 5 don't get sold on a 100 seater, that's 5%. On a 50 seater that can be a disastrous 10%.

It's one of the reasons why aviation tends towards bigger aircraft on busier routes. More available seats and a bigger gross money take to absorb shortfalls in sales or passengers transferring to earlier/later flights. The economics of these lower capacity flights are much less robust than the big jets and those five seats can be the difference between profit or loss, whereas on a 777 they are hardly noticeable.
 
speedbird52
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:33 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Airliners.net charges a fee for a member ID. It's time to start charging a fee to start new threads, to filter out some really inane postings, foolish hypotheticals, and lazy inquiries.

Not anymore. I would propose instead they charge a fee for every rude, disrespectful, snarky, or stuck up post. That seems to be a bigger problem here
 
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Channex757
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Re: What if? 50 seat transcontinetal jets; 76 seat transatlantic jets; 140 seat transpacific jets...

Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:02 pm

speedbird52 wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
Airliners.net charges a fee for a member ID. It's time to start charging a fee to start new threads, to filter out some really inane postings, foolish hypotheticals, and lazy inquiries.

Not anymore. I would propose instead they charge a fee for every rude, disrespectful, snarky, or stuck up post. That seems to be a bigger problem here

The OP asked an intelligent, relevant question.

IN academia, often questions get posed where someone needs to work up a "proof". The question is put and the answer given, but only from observations. A candidate for some kind of degree or doctorate might then be asked to develop a "proof" by showing how one can go from that question to the assumed answer, making the answer into a fact and not a supposition.

This is no different. He asks the question, which is asking for that "proof" and whether it fits with the assumed a.net wisdom we all use here so he can then understand just why small jets wouldn't work today. Intelligent post and those offering up snark just show their own lack of intelligence. The OP just wants to learn.

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