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vfw614
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Why Did Lufthansa / DLT operate the EMB120 for only three years?

Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:51 am

Lufthansa pushed regional flying in the late 1980s by expanding its rather small subsidiary DLT (until then operating with half a dozen HS748 and Shorts 330 each) by ordering a fleet of 28 seat Embraer 120s and 50 seat Fokker 50s. They started coming onboard in 1986/1987 and opened up a lot of hitherto unserved markets (stuff like DUS-GLA/BRS comes to my mind.

Unlike the Fokkers, the Embraers left the fleet within three years - the first arrived in late 1986 and by 1990 all were sold to the US. What was the reason for that? Was Lufthansa unhappy with the Embraers or did they turn out to be too small in a rapidly growing market? I find it difficult to believe that it was planned form the beginning to operate them just for three years or so. Anyone in the know?

Image
 
Noshow
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Re: Why Did Lufthansa / DLT operate the EMB120 for only three years?

Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:01 am

IIRC they were ordered by some overly ambitious german economic development minister on a state visit to Brasil back then. Lufthansa had to take them and ask no questions being a state owned airline back then. They had no real use as they were too small and resold them after some cooling down period (there was nothing wrong with the aircraft themselves).
I seem to remember having seen some flying in California later on.
 
oldannyboy
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Re: Why Did Lufthansa / DLT operate the EMB120 for only three years?

Tue Jul 13, 2021 2:56 pm

Far too small.
 
2eng2efficient
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Re: Why Did Lufthansa / DLT operate the EMB120 for only three years?

Tue Jul 13, 2021 3:53 pm

I never got to fly on the F27/F50, but have experienced the 120 and found it to be cramped and noisy compared to a Dash or an ATR. I’m guessing that the 120 was an inferior pax experience compared to literally anything else in the fleet at that time, except maybe the HS748.
 
solracfunk14
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Re: Why Did Lufthansa / DLT operate the EMB120 for only three years?

Tue Jul 13, 2021 4:14 pm

vfw614 wrote:
Lufthansa pushed regional flying in the late 1980s by expanding its rather small subsidiary DLT (until then operating with half a dozen HS748 and Shorts 330 each) by ordering a fleet of 28 seat Embraer 120s and 50 seat Fokker 50s. They started coming onboard in 1986/1987 and opened up a lot of hitherto unserved markets (stuff like DUS-GLA/BRS comes to my mind.

Unlike the Fokkers, the Embraers left the fleet within three years - the first arrived in late 1986 and by 1990 all were sold to the US. What was the reason for that? Was Lufthansa unhappy with the Embraers or did they turn out to be too small in a rapidly growing market? I find it difficult to believe that it was planned form the beginning to operate them just for three years or so. Anyone in the know?

Image


Main question: Why they have brazilian registrations? And why the same followed with the Air France with the PT-SIH? And all the pics are post-delivery flight.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Why Did Lufthansa / DLT operate the EMB120 for only three years?

Tue Jul 13, 2021 5:29 pm

2eng2efficient wrote:
I never got to fly on the F27/F50, but have experienced the 120 and found it to be cramped and noisy compared to a Dash or an ATR. I’m guessing that the 120 was an inferior pax experience compared to literally anything else in the fleet at that time, except maybe the HS748.


And yet, it was a money printer in the right markets, namely 250-500 miles.
Very fast, easy to quick turn. (15 minute outstation turns were not unusual.
More segments per day than most competitors. ComAir, Mesa, and Skywest and several other operators flew them hard.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Why Did Lufthansa / DLT operate the EMB120 for only three years?

Tue Jul 13, 2021 5:37 pm

solracfunk14 wrote:
vfw614 wrote:
Lufthansa pushed regional flying in the late 1980s by expanding its rather small subsidiary DLT (until then operating with half a dozen HS748 and Shorts 330 each) by ordering a fleet of 28 seat Embraer 120s and 50 seat Fokker 50s. They started coming onboard in 1986/1987 and opened up a lot of hitherto unserved markets (stuff like DUS-GLA/BRS comes to my mind.

Unlike the Fokkers, the Embraers left the fleet within three years - the first arrived in late 1986 and by 1990 all were sold to the US. What was the reason for that? Was Lufthansa unhappy with the Embraers or did they turn out to be too small in a rapidly growing market? I find it difficult to believe that it was planned form the beginning to operate them just for three years or so. Anyone in the know?

Image


Main question: Why they have brazilian registrations? And why the same followed with the Air France with the PT-SIH? And all the pics are post-delivery flight.

PT-SIH was never part of the Air France fleet; it operated in France for Air Littoral under that registration (1987) then F-GFIN (1988-1997).
The Brazilian registration might have been due to the actual owner of the plane?
 
vfw614
Topic Author
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Re: Why Did Lufthansa / DLT operate the EMB120 for only three years?

Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:17 pm

2eng2efficient wrote:
I never got to fly on the F27/F50, but have experienced the 120 and found it to be cramped and noisy compared to a Dash or an ATR. I’m guessing that the 120 was an inferior pax experience compared to literally anything else in the fleet at that time, except maybe the HS748.


Back then DLT was flying noisy HS748s, unpressurized Shorts 330, knackered 1950s Fokker 27 and leased-in San Antonio Sewer Pipes aka Metros, so a Brasilia must have been a real improvement.

I think we should also avoid looking at the 1980s with the experience of another 35 years of "regional" flying. In the mid-1980s, a Brasilia was quite state-of-the-art. There were no regional jets around, no large turboprops. It was the time when Saab 340s, Dash 8-100s and Embraer Brasilias entered the scene that was, until then, dominated by larger 1950s turboprops or 15-19seaters such as the Bandeirante, Beech 99 or Metroliner in which you had to crawl to your seat and enter bladder control mode....
 
davidjohnson6
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Re: Why Did Lufthansa / DLT operate the EMB120 for only three years?

Tue Jul 13, 2021 11:55 pm

There are still Embraer 120 aircraft in scheduled commercial passenger service in Europe... or at least there were until 22 June and presumably restarting again after the end of summer
 
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FLALEFTY
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Re: Why Did Lufthansa / DLT operate the EMB120 for only three years?

Wed Jul 14, 2021 1:53 am

FlyingElvii wrote:
2eng2efficient wrote:
I never got to fly on the F27/F50, but have experienced the 120 and found it to be cramped and noisy compared to a Dash or an ATR. I’m guessing that the 120 was an inferior pax experience compared to literally anything else in the fleet at that time, except maybe the HS748.


And yet, it was a money printer in the right markets, namely 250-500 miles.
Very fast, easy to quick turn. (15 minute outstation turns were not unusual.
More segments per day than most competitors. ComAir, Mesa, and Skywest and several other operators flew them hard.


The EMB120's were actually pretty decent planes. They could cruise at a speedy, 298 Kts.; they had a service ceiling of over 29,000 Ft.; and they could could operate safely out of hot & high airports. I used to fly them in the 1990's when Skywest used them to connect Central California cities to LAX. I thought the ride and cabin comfort was fine, comparable to the SF340, plus the EMB120 cruises 46 Kts. faster.

Now if you want to talk about uncomfortable and noisy, look no further than the notorious Metroliner. Skywest also flew them in the 1990's and sometimes my flight would get downgraded from the EMB120 to one of the torturous tubes with wings.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Why Did Lufthansa / DLT operate the EMB120 for only three years?

Wed Jul 14, 2021 3:53 am

FLALEFTY wrote:
FlyingElvii wrote:
2eng2efficient wrote:
I never got to fly on the F27/F50, but have experienced the 120 and found it to be cramped and noisy compared to a Dash or an ATR. I’m guessing that the 120 was an inferior pax experience compared to literally anything else in the fleet at that time, except maybe the HS748.


And yet, it was a money printer in the right markets, namely 250-500 miles.
Very fast, easy to quick turn. (15 minute outstation turns were not unusual.
More segments per day than most competitors. ComAir, Mesa, and Skywest and several other operators flew them hard.


The EMB120's were actually pretty decent planes. They could cruise at a speedy, 298 Kts.; they had a service ceiling of over 29,000 Ft.; and they could could operate safely out of hot & high airports. I used to fly them in the 1990's when Skywest used them to connect Central California cities to LAX. I thought the ride and cabin comfort was fine, comparable to the SF340, plus the EMB120 cruises 46 Kts. faster.

Now if you want to talk about uncomfortable and noisy, look no further than the notorious Metroliner. Skywest also flew them in the 1990's and sometimes my flight would get downgraded from the EMB120 to one of the torturous tubes with wings.

And yet, the “Torture Tube” was another example of a money printing machine.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Why Did Lufthansa / DLT operate the EMB120 for only three years?

Wed Jul 14, 2021 3:59 am

vfw614 wrote:
2eng2efficient wrote:
I never got to fly on the F27/F50, but have experienced the 120 and found it to be cramped and noisy compared to a Dash or an ATR. I’m guessing that the 120 was an inferior pax experience compared to literally anything else in the fleet at that time, except maybe the HS748.


Back then DLT was flying noisy HS748s, unpressurized Shorts 330, knackered 1950s Fokker 27 and leased-in San Antonio Sewer Pipes aka Metros, so a Brasilia must have been a real improvement.

I think we should also avoid looking at the 1980s with the experience of another 35 years of "regional" flying. In the mid-1980s, a Brasilia was quite state-of-the-art. There were no regional jets around, no large turboprops. It was the time when Saab 340s, Dash 8-100s and Embraer Brasilias entered the scene that was, until then, dominated by larger 1950s turboprops or 15-19seaters such as the Bandeirante, Beech 99 or Metroliner in which you had to crawl to your seat and enter bladder control mode....

If not for the insane US Media 90’s drumbeat of “Props Bad!, Jets Good!” the 120 would still be in US pax service, and many cities that lost service due to the RJ’s would still have them. As Comair learned, replacing the 120 with the CRJ-100 might have been the right marketing move, but it completely changed the economics.

They went from needing 4 full-Y pax to break even on a trip, to 30 or more on the CRJ, and it was a much more complicated airplane to maintain.
 
F9Animal
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Re: Why Did Lufthansa / DLT operate the EMB120 for only three years?

Wed Jul 14, 2021 4:34 am

FlyingElvii wrote:
2eng2efficient wrote:
I never got to fly on the F27/F50, but have experienced the 120 and found it to be cramped and noisy compared to a Dash or an ATR. I’m guessing that the 120 was an inferior pax experience compared to literally anything else in the fleet at that time, except maybe the HS748.


And yet, it was a money printer in the right markets, namely 250-500 miles.
Very fast, easy to quick turn. (15 minute outstation turns were not unusual.
More segments per day than most competitors. ComAir, Mesa, and Skywest and several other operators flew them hard.


I loved working the 120! I could offload baggage and load the 120 all by myself in 10 minutes. They did great out of LAS for Skywest. They are also pretty fast birds.
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
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Aesma
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Re: Why Did Lufthansa / DLT operate the EMB120 for only three years?

Wed Jul 14, 2021 11:25 am

Money printing machine in a deregulated US market, where everybody flies all the time. In 1980's Germany that's another story.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
76er
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Re: Why Did Lufthansa / DLT operate the EMB120 for only three years?

Wed Jul 14, 2021 11:39 am

I remember the E120’s going from DLT to Midway Commuter in Chicago. They were a stop gap measure until Midway was to take delivery of the new Do328. Which of course never happened due to the demise of Midway Airlines.
 
vfw614
Topic Author
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Re: Why Did Lufthansa / DLT operate the EMB120 for only three years?

Wed Jul 14, 2021 11:48 am

I just remembered that I have a nice company history of DLT/Cityline in my collection of aviation books. Here is what this rather detailed publication tells us about the Brasilia at DLT:

- it was part of a mid 1980s strategic decision to operate a mixed fleet of 30/50 seaters until 2000ish. The plan was also to continue using 19 seaters operated by third parties.
- there was a three way competion between the DHC8-100, EMB120 and SF340
- between the lines it sounds that the DHC8-100 would have had better chances with a firm commitment by DeHavilland to launch the DHC8-300, something DHC was not willing to do.
- the assessment was done by Lufthansa's engineering department, led by the former head of the VFW614 regional jet programme
- what tipped the scales in favor of the EMB120 were the lowest CASM, quietest cabin, highest speed and (in relation to the SF340) the PW115 engine (because of the PW powerplant operated with the Fokker 50 fleet)

- when it entered service, it earned enthusiastic reviews from customers, beating the HS748 and Fokker 27 hands down.
- the fleet was quickly expanded to 12 aircraft; because of delivery delays, two aircraft were leased from Embraer (hence the "PT-..." registration in the picture in the first post of the thread)

- the withdrawal of the Brasilias after only 4-5 years (officially) was because it had become a victim of it own success and had quickly become too small.
- the decision was made in 1990 shortly after Lufthansa had become the majority shareholder of DLT. Before, DLT's owners and Lufthansa had repeatedly clashed about fleet planning, the strategic position of DLT within the Lufthansa group etc. With the new ownership also came a strategic shift, resulting in the EMB120 no longer fitting in Lufthansa's plans. To me, it sounds quite likely that it would have stayed longer if DLT itself would have been able to call the shots, but Lufthansa at this point had already fallen in love with CRJ100.

Interesting trivia: The rapid growth of DLT with the introduction of the EMB120 resulted in a number of female captains / first officers being hired. This caused some interest at (then) minority shareholder Lufthansa. After two of the female pilots were paraded like zoo animals in front of grey-haired men in suits at LH HQ, LH decided to give women in the cockpit a try themselves.
 
solracfunk14
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Re: Why Did Lufthansa / DLT operate the EMB120 for only three years?

Thu Jul 15, 2021 3:30 pm

vfw614 wrote:
I just remembered that I have a nice company history of DLT/Cityline in my collection of aviation books. Here is what this rather detailed publication tells us about the Brasilia at DLT:

- it was part of a mid 1980s strategic decision to operate a mixed fleet of 30/50 seaters until 2000ish. The plan was also to continue using 19 seaters operated by third parties.
- there was a three way competion between the DHC8-100, EMB120 and SF340
- between the lines it sounds that the DHC8-100 would have had better chances with a firm commitment by DeHavilland to launch the DHC8-300, something DHC was not willing to do.
- the assessment was done by Lufthansa's engineering department, led by the former head of the VFW614 regional jet programme
- what tipped the scales in favor of the EMB120 were the lowest CASM, quietest cabin, highest speed and (in relation to the SF340) the PW115 engine (because of the PW powerplant operated with the Fokker 50 fleet)

- when it entered service, it earned enthusiastic reviews from customers, beating the HS748 and Fokker 27 hands down.
- the fleet was quickly expanded to 12 aircraft; because of delivery delays, two aircraft were leased from Embraer (hence the "PT-..." registration in the picture in the first post of the thread)

- the withdrawal of the Brasilias after only 4-5 years (officially) was because it had become a victim of it own success and had quickly become too small.
- the decision was made in 1990 shortly after Lufthansa had become the majority shareholder of DLT. Before, DLT's owners and Lufthansa had repeatedly clashed about fleet planning, the strategic position of DLT within the Lufthansa group etc. With the new ownership also came a strategic shift, resulting in the EMB120 no longer fitting in Lufthansa's plans. To me, it sounds quite likely that it would have stayed longer if DLT itself would have been able to call the shots, but Lufthansa at this point had already fallen in love with CRJ100.

Interesting trivia: The rapid growth of DLT with the introduction of the EMB120 resulted in a number of female captains / first officers being hired. This caused some interest at (then) minority shareholder Lufthansa. After two of the female pilots were paraded like zoo animals in front of grey-haired men in suits at LH HQ, LH decided to give women in the cockpit a try themselves.



Nice history! I was expectating something from a Embraer lease, but I didn't know that was fine to fly in Europe comercially with brazilian registration. Here in the brazilian jungle you can do that for up six months, except for Chilean registrations that can be used anytime (as long have brazilian pilots with a CC- aircraft or chilean pilots with a PT/PR/PS/PP airplane) after an agreement made between Brazil and Chile after LATAM request.

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