AZORMP wrote:ShinyAndChrome wrote:AZORMP wrote:
I’m interested in what the fleet plan is going to look like over the next couple years as well, not just for mainline, but regional too. Delta’s been trying to dump the CRJ-200 for years and this might finally be the chance to do it. They’re old, uncomfortable, and had the reputation of being maintenance queens pre-COVID (a noticeable drop in the maintenance events since demand dropped and flight cycles have been reduced).
My personal opinion (I’m not well-versed in the economics so bear with me) is to dump the 200s, upgauge the “contract” 200 routes to 70 or 76 seat aircraft and upgauge the 70/76 seat routes to mainline DL. You eliminate an out of date fleet type while providing a more modern customer experience and reducing the average age of your fleet, which seems to be the goal for the “smaller” Delta, from what I understand.
What would be holding DL back from doing that?
Looking at where they regularly fly 200s now, it looks like a lot of small, isolated airports in places like Minnesota and Michigan that probably couldn't support daily 70+ seat aircraft. You might be able to make it work with tag flights, but the prospect of simultaneously pulling out of so many small airports at once would probably be a political liability.
The airports you’re talking about (PLN, MQT, ANP, CIU, etc.) are prorate/EAS stations. SkyWest (or whomever the carrier is) keeps all the revenue from those flights, whereas the major carrier is just the “booking agent”, so to speak.
I have no doubt that most of those stations will remain on the 200 but there are many other, larger, stations that are operated via contract with the regional carrier (FNT, MBS, AZO, LAN, for example) that regularly had 70/76 seat departures pre-COVID. This is how the schedules stand for September 7th:
AZO: 2x 700 departures (DTW)
FNT: 2x 900 departures (ATL)
MBS: 2x 900 departures (DTW)
LAN: 1x 900 departure (DTW)
I can’t speak for airports in MN because I’m not familiar with what is contract and what is EAS. However, I believe the non-EAS stations will eventually see an upgauge of equipment at some point, in conjunction with Delta’s goal of having a smaller and more modern fleet.
If you saw any route previously operated on an Endeavor 200, my understanding is we at Endeavor don’t fly any EAS routes, only SkyWest does. I don’t know how that will change in the future. I see at least 6 airports on my June schedule previously flown by SKW out of DTW that I’ll be flying to this month. All my routes but AZO, MBS, and TVC are outside of the state of Michigan.