I'm curious about Q's role in the network going forward. Not long ago, they were the primary AC on the PDX-SEA shuttle with flights scheduled pretty much every 30 minutes all day long. That seems to have changed and the last few times I've flown the route it's been on 738s or 9s. Should we expect to see this route go back to more frequent Q flights, or is the shift to larger AC going to stay?
I am curious about the future of the Q400 as well. First they announced plans to significantly reduce their fleet, but then later they slowed retirements and brought some of the planes back. I know part of that had to do with MAX issues, but I feel like the increased focus on the Pacific Northwest also impacted the decision. With the recent order for more E175s, does anyone know if AS has made a decision on what to do with the Q medium/long-term?
Take this with a large grain of salt as it comes from the airlinepilotforums.com , but it was reported that the 7 leased frames due to expire in 22/23 have been renewed. I haven't seen any official announcements in the investor section of the company website. However, there was a picture of N404QX, a leased bird with a new interior which would indicator that the Qs will be around for sometime.
I'm wondering if the Qs might work their ways back to SoCal, SAN specifically? (I think they're gone from LAX too but I'm not 100% sure about that.) They left here when the MMH flights were dropped a couple of years ago and I would love to see them back.
With AS now flying some short, perhaps thin routes from SAN such as SBA, SBP, FAT, with perhaps more to come (**cough cough CLD, LAX, PSP, BFL, LTO? cough**) I just wonder if we might see the Qs return? If it's true that AAG seems to be keeping the fleet numbers fairly constant, even growing, then maybe it'll happen!?
Related question: I wonder if the SDSU livery us still alive and well in the Q fleet? If so, shouldn't we have the possibility of seeing her in her hometown once in a while? Anyone know if there are any other University liveries in the fleet representing communities that no longer see Q service?