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airlineguy1234
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Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:09 am

I recently saw an article on Phoenix Business Journal, saying that Mesa is improving, and it looks like based on those stats it is. But why has Mesa, historically, compared to the other regionals, always a bottom performer?

One issue Mesa ran into when it’s planes started having issues last summer was it didn’t have enough spares. Although the company was penalized by American and saw several jets removed from its rotation, having the eight spare aircraft on call has helped its overall performance record, Ornstein said.

“I’ll keep all the spares we need, I don’t care, but just make sure we hit 100% every month,” Ornstein joked on the call. “The problem with three spares when you have two hubs and 14-year-old aircraft, three was clearly not the right answer. I don’t know if eight is the number either, but somewhere in the middle.”



https://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/new ... d.amp.html
 
dstblj52
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:26 am

They have historically prioritized being the cheapest bid for the CPA over everything else so they have less pilots, less maintenance employees, less spare parts, pay everyone less. Which makes their cost excellent but their performance is medicore at best
 
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enilria
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:24 pm

Jonathan Ornstein?
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:31 pm

The DOT's Consumer Air Travel Reports have data for many carriers, expanded to capture more of the regionals. You'll see Endeavor, SkyWest, Republic, Mesa, Envoy, ExpressJet and PSA. There are stats for on-time, cancellations, mishandled bags, VDB/IDB. I don't know that Mesa is notably more of a dumpster fire than other low-performing regionals. Most of the data aren't presented as YTD: you'll need to construct series from the monthly reports.

https://www.transportation.gov/individu ... er-reports
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:51 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
The DOT's Consumer Air Travel Reports have data for many carriers, expanded to capture more of the regionals. You'll see Endeavor, SkyWest, Republic, Mesa, Envoy, ExpressJet and PSA. There are stats for on-time, cancellations, mishandled bags, VDB/IDB. I don't know that Mesa is notably more of a dumpster fire than other low-performing regionals. Most of the data aren't presented as YTD: you'll need to construct series from the monthly reports.

https://www.transportation.gov/individu ... er-reports


I think a lot of the perception around Mesa stems from its longevity. If you think about Mesa’s peer carriers, say, fifteen years ago, most are gone, merged, or substantially larger than they were. Mesa has just sort of piddled along.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
nws2002
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:31 pm

Mesa has always been just good enough to win contracts. Their goal was to be the low cost option, not the highest quality.
 
ericm2031
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:44 pm

They actually perform quite well for UA. It probably does help that the majority of their fleet is new compared to the CR9s
 
FlyHossD
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:44 pm

enilria wrote:
Jonathan Ornstein?

nws2002 wrote:
Mesa has always been just good enough to win contracts. Their goal was to be the low cost option, not the highest quality.


Bingo. You get what you pay for. And Ornstein is willing to cut corners to get those lowest cost contracts.

As I recall from friends and former colleagues at CO Express in the late '90's when Ornstein was head the head there, he was well on his way to making it into a poor performer, too. IIRC, some of my former colleagues were terminated in training because, in retrospect, they weren't needed (too many pilots in a position). Of course, they appealed successfully and were retrained into their prior positions - this only added to costs.

But again, if the major carriers were interested in quality and performance, they would consider that - rather than just cost - BEFORE awarding the contracts.
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
eugdjinn
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:33 pm

Mesa and GoJet survive by being the lowest cost, and the threat used to keep everyone else in line. To do it, Mesa routinely has at least one aircraft of each type that they strip for parts to keep its sisters in the air... if not more than one. (This can infuriate the mainline carriers - especially when say, UA owns all of the E175s.) And they pay their people horribly, years ago Mesa flight attendants made something like $12 an hour when I was a station agent making more than that and not yet a supervisor. (Granted, I had by that point also been through a month of training and was deemed a valued asset by my company.) When I worked in a station that had Mesa aircraft, they routinely had four pages of items that were due to be fixed but could be flown with while inoperable (MELs). In comparison, SkyWest maintained its fleet with an average of 2-4 items per plane or less.

They survive in the industry only because both United and American are willing to accept their subpar performance in exchange for their usefulness in keeping the costs down when they negotiate with other contractors and with internal groups seeking higher wages. Many had expected the UA 175s to begin moving to ExpressJet (EV) from Mesa this year, or at least EV to get the 20 175SCs that will replace Mesa's 700s, but both look like Mesa prevailed. And Envoy has long hoped to see Mesa gone and a 175 order to replace at least the DFW based 900s....
 
eugdjinn
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:33 pm

Mesa and GoJet survive by being the lowest cost, and the threat used to keep everyone else in line. To do it, Mesa routinely has at least one aircraft of each type that they strip for parts to keep its sisters in the air... if not more than one. (This can infuriate the mainline carriers - especially when say, UA owns all of the E175s.) And they pay their people horribly, years ago Mesa flight attendants made something like $12 an hour when I was a station agent making more than that and not yet a supervisor. (Granted, I had by that point also been through a month of training and was deemed a valued asset by my company.) When I worked in a station that had Mesa aircraft, they routinely had four pages of items that were due to be fixed but could be flown with while inoperable (MELs). In comparison, SkyWest maintained its fleet with an average of 2-4 items per plane or less.

They survive in the industry only because both United and American are willing to accept their subpar performance in exchange for their usefulness in keeping the costs down when they negotiate with other contractors and with internal groups seeking higher wages. Many had expected the UA 175s to begin moving to ExpressJet (EV) from Mesa this year, or at least EV to get the 20 175SCs that will replace Mesa's 700s, but both look like Mesa prevailed. And Envoy has long hoped to see Mesa gone and a 175 order to replace at least the DFW based 900s....
 
UpNAWAy
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:38 pm

Take performance stats carefully for regionals. Their partners operationally direct those decesions.
 
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NWAESC
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:58 pm

ericm2031 wrote:
They actually perform quite well for UA. It probably does help that the majority of their fleet is new compared to the CR9s


That’s sure a 180 from the mid 90’s.
"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
 
alasizon
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:04 am

UpNAWAy wrote:
Take performance stats carefully for regionals. Their partners operationally direct those decesions.


You've clearly never tried to direct Mesa to do anything. Their answer most times is "unable" for XYZ reason (usually MX planning related with drop dead items or lack of crew).

eugdjinn wrote:
They survive in the industry only because both United and American are willing to accept their subpar performance

AA has made it pretty clear to Mesa they will no longer accept subpar performance.

And yeah, I would hope with eight white tail spares plus the spares planned through the AA fleet planning process that they would be able to improve their performance. No airline should need 10 spares on a fleet of 64 planes.
Airport (noun) - A construction site which airplanes tend to frequent
 
INFINITI329
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:46 am

I always thought Mesa was prime target for a cheap acquisition...mainly by Skywest
 
dstblj52
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:26 am

INFINITI329 wrote:
I always thought Mesa was prime target for a cheap acquisition...mainly by Skywest

What does skywest gain? They can get the aircraft from UA and AA their contracts are likely more expensive then Mesa's with the airlines and would have to be executed at a loss. And either UA or AA is likely to say know because the cost control stick doesn't work if it's in the hands of one of the biggest targets. Moreover if skywest tries to merge the airline they trigger a union vote and if they don't they can't find the savings like they discovered with xjet
 
dstblj52
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:28 am

alasizon wrote:
UpNAWAy wrote:
Take performance stats carefully for regionals. Their partners operationally direct those decesions.


You've clearly never tried to direct Mesa to do anything. Their answer most times is "unable" for XYZ reason (usually MX planning related with drop dead items or lack of crew).

eugdjinn wrote:
They survive in the industry only because both United and American are willing to accept their subpar performance

AA has made it pretty clear to Mesa they will no longer accept subpar performance.

And yeah, I would hope with eight white tail spares plus the spares planned through the AA fleet planning process that they would be able to improve their performance. No airline should need 10 spares on a fleet of 64 planes.

How many of those white tails are actually intact and how many are being scrapped for parts?
 
phxa340
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:24 am

I know it’s just a small point in time but when I was at PHX the other week , not one , not two , but three different CRJs were towed in for the Oklahoma City flight after the first 2 went tech. Departed almost 7-8 hours late. Their employees seem great though on every flight I have had.
 
FlyinRabbit88
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:34 am

INFINITI329 wrote:
I always thought Mesa was prime target for a cheap acquisition...mainly by Skywest


Back around 2010ish rumor has it that SkyWest and Mesa did ink a preliminary deal but after it was leaked/speculated by the union heads publicly it quickly fell apart and brushed off as just talk.

Stories of how during Mesa’s first thanksgiving in newly opened IAH base, someone in the chief pilots office went to get food for the base and the company CC was declined. Or Mesa Pilot recruiters being run off by security in the SkyWest slc parking lot after trying to entice SkyWest new hires and those interviewing, an immediate class at Mesa.
 
alasizon
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:36 am

dstblj52 wrote:
alasizon wrote:
UpNAWAy wrote:
Take performance stats carefully for regionals. Their partners operationally direct those decesions.


You've clearly never tried to direct Mesa to do anything. Their answer most times is "unable" for XYZ reason (usually MX planning related with drop dead items or lack of crew).

eugdjinn wrote:
They survive in the industry only because both United and American are willing to accept their subpar performance

AA has made it pretty clear to Mesa they will no longer accept subpar performance.

And yeah, I would hope with eight white tail spares plus the spares planned through the AA fleet planning process that they would be able to improve their performance. No airline should need 10 spares on a fleet of 64 planes.

How many of those white tails are actually intact and how many are being scrapped for parts?


Majority of the white tails are currently in tact. Mesa's cannibalization of their own aircraft has gotten better but heavy MX and the toll of prior poor MX still takes its toll on the frames. 939LR is the only white tail that I show isn't flying and it is in TUS after repoing down there.

phxa340 wrote:
I know it’s just a small point in time but when I was at PHX the other week , not one , not two , but three different CRJs were towed in for the Oklahoma City flight after the first 2 went tech. Departed almost 7-8 hours late. Their employees seem great though on every flight I have had.


Unfortunately not uncommon and that is really what causes ripples through their system. "Good" planes are rarely such.
Airport (noun) - A construction site which airplanes tend to frequent
 
strfyr51
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:29 am

enilria wrote:
Jonathan Ornstein?

Orenstein and Larry Risley before him had dreams of grandeur. Risjey wanted to fly 737's in United colors and Tole UA ALPA as much to their faces. Senior management didn't stop him and eventually? All of them lost their jobs as well because UA ALPA refused to Negotiate and eventually caused the ESOP. Mesa has had many schemes to fly Larger transport airplanes but doesn't want to let go of the "Nipple" to do it. The best they'll do now? Is fly the larger Regional E170's and E-175's that comply with the "scope rules, and stop a;; the trying to be the next Jet Blue. If they want to? They can at a moment's notice, and they very well May at some point. I've read they investigated flying 737 freighters for DHL. So they do have the Itch but the question is? can they scratch it? They do Not seem to want to go the way of Atlantic Coast/ Independence Air. So they may be playing their cards pretty close to the vest. Time will tell of they intend to be a truly good regional carrier or just Posers. Because many of the E175's they're flying? They do not OWN.
 
F27500
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:58 pm

Years ago when i worked at USAir Express, we were unfortunate to have Mesa flights into our station. (New Haven CT). Horrible slipshod organization back then. The division we dealt with was their Florida Gulf (or as everyone called them: "Florida Goof").
 
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enilria
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:58 pm

strfyr51 wrote:
enilria wrote:
Jonathan Ornstein?

Orenstein and Larry Risley before him had dreams of grandeur. Risjey wanted to fly 737's in United colors and Tole UA ALPA as much to their faces. Senior management didn't stop him and eventually? All of them lost their jobs as well because UA ALPA refused to Negotiate and eventually caused the ESOP. Mesa has had many schemes to fly Larger transport airplanes but doesn't want to let go of the "Nipple" to do it. The best they'll do now? Is fly the larger Regional E170's and E-175's that comply with the "scope rules, and stop a;; the trying to be the next Jet Blue. If they want to? They can at a moment's notice, and they very well May at some point. I've read they investigated flying 737 freighters for DHL. So they do have the Itch but the question is? can they scratch it? They do Not seem to want to go the way of Atlantic Coast/ Independence Air. So they may be playing their cards pretty close to the vest. Time will tell of they intend to be a truly good regional carrier or just Posers. Because many of the E175's they're flying? They do not OWN.

I've also been involved with Ornstein in business arrangements and I don't think his way of doing business leads to success. Let's just say that.
 
kbmiflyer
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:10 pm

I have noticed an improvement on the AA since the beginning of 2020. I noticed at least two spares sitting at DFW last week outside of the high B gates, and most of the arriving aircraft for my connections appear to have closer to a 90 minutes planned layover instead of the 35-40 minutes I was seeing last year, which led to a plane starting the day behind schedule just being late all day. They do still seem to have more than their fair share of mechanical delays.
 
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NWAESC
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:37 pm

F27500 wrote:
Years ago when i worked at USAir Express, we were unfortunate to have Mesa flights into our station. (New Haven CT). Horrible slipshod organization back then. The division we dealt with was their Florida Gulf (or as everyone called them: "Florida Goof").


I was a WestAir hire. I'd forgotten all the different divisions- Florida Gulf, Liberty, etc...
"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
 
F27500
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:00 pm

NWAESC wrote:
F27500 wrote:
Years ago when i worked at USAir Express, we were unfortunate to have Mesa flights into our station. (New Haven CT). Horrible slipshod organization back then. The division we dealt with was their Florida Gulf (or as everyone called them: "Florida Goof").


I was a WestAir hire. I'd forgotten all the different divisions- Florida Gulf, Liberty, etc...


I remember lots of Beavis & Butthead teenage boy pilots. The other Mesa divisions I recall flying for US were Air Midwest and another in Pennsylvania called (i think) Liberty .. it was the former Crown Airways. At some point later, they merged them all into one big messy family. We were thrilled when they replaced Fla Gulf and those awful 1900s with Piedmont Dash 8s at our station.
 
dstblj52
Posts: 501
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:38 pm

kbmiflyer wrote:
I have noticed an improvement on the AA since the beginning of 2020. I noticed at least two spares sitting at DFW last week outside of the high B gates, and most of the arriving aircraft for my connections appear to have closer to a 90 minutes planned layover instead of the 35-40 minutes I was seeing last year, which led to a plane starting the day behind schedule just being late all day. They do still seem to have more than their fair share of mechanical delays.

AA has been buying reliability for a while now and they need to but they also need to start building reliability also
 
slider
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:44 pm

enilria wrote:
strfyr51 wrote:
enilria wrote:
Jonathan Ornstein?

Orenstein and Larry Risley before him had dreams of grandeur. Risjey wanted to fly 737's in United colors and Tole UA ALPA as much to their faces. Senior management didn't stop him and eventually? All of them lost their jobs as well because UA ALPA refused to Negotiate and eventually caused the ESOP. Mesa has had many schemes to fly Larger transport airplanes but doesn't want to let go of the "Nipple" to do it. The best they'll do now? Is fly the larger Regional E170's and E-175's that comply with the "scope rules, and stop a;; the trying to be the next Jet Blue. If they want to? They can at a moment's notice, and they very well May at some point. I've read they investigated flying 737 freighters for DHL. So they do have the Itch but the question is? can they scratch it? They do Not seem to want to go the way of Atlantic Coast/ Independence Air. So they may be playing their cards pretty close to the vest. Time will tell of they intend to be a truly good regional carrier or just Posers. Because many of the E175's they're flying? They do not OWN.

I've also been involved with Ornstein in business arrangements and I don't think his way of doing business leads to success. Let's just say that.


I have a little history there as well and would concur, and I'll just leave it at that.
 
alasizon
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:06 pm

kbmiflyer wrote:
I have noticed an improvement on the AA since the beginning of 2020. I noticed at least two spares sitting at DFW last week outside of the high B gates, and most of the arriving aircraft for my connections appear to have closer to a 90 minutes planned layover instead of the 35-40 minutes I was seeing last year, which led to a plane starting the day behind schedule just being late all day. They do still seem to have more than their fair share of mechanical delays.


A big chunk of that is all the embedded spares they are using. So rather than run the fleet as scheduled (with 40-50 min turns), they instead will add 2-3 spares into the flying mix and lengthen up a lot of the turns. Destroys gating (much to the anger of the station) and makes their crews have to go from gate to gate more but it gives them a better buffer against MX delays.
Airport (noun) - A construction site which airplanes tend to frequent
 
flyby519
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:11 pm

dstblj52 wrote:
They have historically prioritized being the cheapest bid for the CPA over everything else so they have less pilots, less maintenance employees, less spare parts, pay everyone less. Which makes their cost excellent but their performance is medicore at best


^^^So much this. You get what you pay for.
 
dc10lover
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:16 pm

Historically bad?


I think Mesa employees have low moral about the airline.

If they were only Happy about Mesa Airlines.
Why endure the nightmare and congestion of LAX when BUR, LGB, ONT & SNA is so much easier to fly in and out of. Same with OAK & SJC when it comes to SFO.
 
drdisque
Posts: 1350
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:33 pm

ericm2031 wrote:
They actually perform quite well for UA. It probably does help that the majority of their fleet is new compared to the CR9s


A lot also has to do with the simplicity of the UAX Mesa operation - E175's only operate from IAH, CR7's only operate from IAD.
 
KCaviator
Posts: 238
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Re: Why is Mesa historically so bad?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:14 pm

drdisque wrote:
ericm2031 wrote:
They actually perform quite well for UA. It probably does help that the majority of their fleet is new compared to the CR9s


A lot also has to do with the simplicity of the UAX Mesa operation - E175's only operate from IAH, CR7's only operate from IAD.


This is not true. They have 175s in IAD as well.

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