Re: US Regional Airlines after Coronavirus
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:57 pm
eugdjinn wrote:alasizon wrote:Who are you proposing does all the E175 flying in CLT, DCA and PHL that YX does today? Those birds are owned by YX so you can't just shift them to MQ. No reason to think YX will contract by any large measure.
Right at the moment, with the Compass birds in conformity and entering the Envoy fleet and enough 140s being sent to another potentially several year 'rest' in Marana, MQ is looking at 100 or so of it's own and has the pilots to fly them. I think that's enough for MQ to do most if not all of the needed 175 work for those cities. But frankly, those cities are PSAs and PSA has 900s which are the same size. First, those routes should be flown by PSA 900s, and only when and where needed by MQ 175s bridged over from DFW and ORD. I still think YX should do NYC and until MQ can get overwater ops certified, they should do the MIA routes that require that.
As to ground handling: full disclosure, I spent ten years on the ground, and I am not a proponent of divorcing ground handling from the airline itself. We function best when we remember we are ONE team, doing one job, turning the aircraft and caring for our passengers. However, the trend in the regional world is to divorce these functions, and contract the ground handling to people like DGS, UGE, Worldwide Flight Services, Simplicity and the like. In general, they overpromise, underbid, and wind up costing a great deal more than the companies they replace. I watched Envoy do it too, and do it badly, replacing previously SkyWest handled stations. Frequently, the great savings is that they don't offer much by way of flight benefits to their employees.
DGS was created during the Delta/Northwest merger by taking the ground handling components of several of their regionals and putting them together under one management company, while moving the airline part from that company into another. United was so resistant to using any part of the Delta merger playbook that they resisted creating a ground handler for years until it became obvious that contracting their ground handling to their competitors was foolhardy, and they got religion.
I haven't been to Charlotte in months, but I was under the impression it was PSA run... I guess I was mistaken. I thought there were still PSA ground handled stations. And I know that Piedmont and Envoy both do ground handling. Some very well, some poorly. In the long run, having two arms of what is AAG bid against one another is a lose-lose proposition. And it's time to look at consolidating under whichever team is stronger, I think that may well be Piedmont. Let PSA fly the 200s where 50 seaters are needed in the cities that they operate, and Envoy fly 140/145s in theirs. Allow Piedmont pilots/FAs/mechanics to move to either. And merge all the ground handling into Piedmont by date of hire. See how much of the middle and upper management can be eliminated by a generous retirement out package now, and let's move on.
Finally, I would only add my two-cent observation about regionals that place their HQ in the same town as a major and what that does for talent in the HQ. It's a bad idea. No regional is going to be able to pay great dispatchers, parts clerks, maintenance people, HR, etc. on a level as a mainline carrier. When ASA had someone who was top-notch in Atlanta, they would inevitably walk down the street and get a job offer for twice the money at Delta. Funny how that does not happen in St. George, UT. Until people there decide they are mobile and will move, they stay put. With that in mind, if I were going to merge, say, CommutAir and ExpressJet for United, and wanted them conveniently located in the middle of the big United hubs... I'd be talking to the city fathers of St. Louis and Kansas City about tax breaks and hangar space/office space.
YX has 79 aircraft operating solely for AA, but you think MQ has the ability to do their current flying plus YX’s? Lol, okay...