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SkyLife
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Future of US Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 3:42 am

I wanted to open a topic as I couldn’t find any discussion ongoing regarding the current US regional landscape and how it may be drastically changed moving forward. I foresee a very challenging next five years due to some of the issues below and would love to hear thoughts and opinions…

-Major airlines are anticipating to hire a record amount of regional pilots, by some estimates 40-50% this year alone of all regional pilots when AA, UA, SWA, DAL and other forecasts are added together.

-Attrition already seems to be affecting several regionals/majors with flight cuts

-United’s planned drawdown on 50 seat flying and future specifically to Air Wisconsin

-The impact of WOs vs contract carriers and how majors can properly keep them staffed

-The CRJ currently being finished with production while the E175-E2 remains outside of scope

-United starting their own flight school and impacts of possible ab Initio or similar plans

I hope to hear thoughts on where this industry is headed as I see the next two years being incredibly challenging. I have a very hard time seeing all regionals currently standing today existing in even three years time.
Last edited by atcsundevil on Sat Jan 29, 2022 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited title for clarity
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 4:11 am

It’s headed for its demise. The service cuts to small cities will be widespread, replaced by less frequent mainline flights. Think 4-5 RJ cut to 1-2 flights, or 1 mainline and one 76-seater. Crewing throughout aviation is gonna be tough.

Regionals won’t be able to keep captains and FOs won’t have the required 1,000 hours of 121 experience to upgrade. Shortages of LCAs is going to cripple training of both new captains and new hires. Yes, some 135/91K may be creditable, but those pilots won’t have that anyway.
 
JohanTally
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 4:18 am

I wonder if Embraer could possibly bring a scope compliant E2 variant forward. AA has 150 CR7s(some owned some contracted out) that need replacement in the next decade or so. E170-E2 if scope compliant would be a great fit for AA especially with 65 seaters counting the same as 50 seaters do with DL and UA. It would have great short field performance and might open up new routes.
 
SkyLife
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 4:27 am

JohanTally wrote:
I wonder if Embraer could possibly bring a scope compliant E2 variant forward. AA has 150 CR7s(some owned some contracted out) that need replacement in the next decade or so. E170-E2 if scope compliant would be a great fit for AA especially with 65 seaters counting the same as 50 seaters do with DL and UA. It would have great short field performance and might open up new routes.


I’m skeptical of a new investment 65 seater as crew costs continue to rise, fuel most likely too (scope is 76 and lots of revenue left on the table, don’t see any relaxation of scope coming personally by the pilots). My understanding of the E-2 is the updated engines led to the weight being too high, large penalty to remove 11 seats or what’s needed to make it scope compliant. It’s definitely interesting times!

I’m curious to see if any major brings it all back in house, then the scope argument goes away. I do agree that smaller cities like TRI, ROA, CHA, PGV, OAJ etc risk losing service or seeing as mentioned above, half of the current the flight count on larger equipment.
 
JohanTally
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 4:42 am

SkyLife wrote:
JohanTally wrote:
I wonder if Embraer could possibly bring a scope compliant E2 variant forward. AA has 150 CR7s(some owned some contracted out) that need replacement in the next decade or so. E170-E2 if scope compliant would be a great fit for AA especially with 65 seaters counting the same as 50 seaters do with DL and UA. It would have great short field performance and might open up new routes.


I’m skeptical of a new investment 65 seater as crew costs continue to rise, fuel most likely too (scope is 76 and lots of revenue left on the table, don’t see any relaxation of scope coming personally by the pilots). My understanding of the E-2 is the updated engines led to the weight being too high, large penalty to remove 11 seats or what’s needed to make it scope compliant. It’s definitely interesting times!

I’m curious to see if any major brings it all back in house, then the scope argument goes away. I do agree that smaller cities like TRI, ROA, CHA, PGV, OAJ etc risk losing service or seeing as mentioned above, half of the current the flight count on larger equipment.

65 seaters count as small regional jets with AA therefore the 170 would be the more ideal length for AA. At this point it doesn't seem possible for the E175-E2 to come anywhere close to the specs that scope requires. Maybe the Embraer E3 will become an option but obviously regional flying in the US is likely to shrink and some airports will handle less frequent mainline service others will lose service all together.
 
joeblow10
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 4:46 am

Agree with others - the industry is headed for a fundamental shift in how smaller cities are served and how many frequencies are offered. Much like when the 19 seaters went away, the demise of the 50 seaters is next, and in some time, the 70-76 seaters as well. The only places that will retain the small jets are the ones that absolutely require them - EAS communities like PIR, HYS, BJI, etc. Even then, the 50 seaters don’t have much life left in them when you consider how old most are

I still think there is absolutely value for mainlines in serving “larger smaller cities” at risk, especially relatively isolated places like TRI and BIS for example, but it will absolutely be a once or twice daily service situation. Fewer flights, bigger gauge. Despite UA running the highest % of 50 seaters among the majors, they seem to already practice this to some extent. The last flight of the day (and first the next day) is usually mainline, and the rest of the day is regional in many cities.

That said, I’m curious to see how ugly the hiring situation gets. New airline pilots may be able to skip the regionals entirely in several years
 
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FLALEFTY
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 5:10 am

If you look at the fleet ages of the regionals supporting the legacies, it gets pretty interesting:

United Express: https://www.planespotters.net/airline/United-Express
180 CRJ-200s, average age 19.4 years
72 CRJ-700/550s, average age 15.8 years
76 ERJ-145s, average age 17.6 years
38 ERJ-170s, average age 16.9 years
198 ERJ-175s, average age 5.3 years

Delta Connection: https://www.planespotters.net/airline/Delta-Connection
76 CRJ-200s, average age 18.4 years
19 CRJ-700s, average age 18.5 years
163 CRJ-900s, average age 11.1 years
17 ERJ-170s, average age 16.1 years
116 ERJ-175s, average age 8.1 years

American Eagle: https://www.planespotters.net/airline/American-Eagle
144 CRJ-700s, average age 16.5 years
128 CRJ-900s, average age 10.1 years
113 ERJ-145s, average age 19.9 years
12 ERJ-170s, average age 14.8 years
204 ERJ-175s, average age 6.6 years

The 50-seat CRJ2s and E145s are strong candidates for retirements. They have no premium seating options and are not especially fuel efficient. Most of them have high cycles relative to their calendar ages. However, there are no new replacements being developed. The United Express program is especially vulnerable given that they still fly 256 of these 50-seat types.
 
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FiscAutTecGarte
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 5:23 am

new generation 30-50 pax props that allow for single pilot operations.... it's the only way that remote regional flying will continue...
 
JohanTally
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 5:36 am

The E175 and CR9 are too big for the US market in my opinion, ideally I feel like a jet that fits 6F 70Y would be perfect. Embraer added a frame to the E175-E2 completely neglecting the largest regional jet market in the world. They still offer the past generation scope compliant variant but it's inefficient and I wonder if it meets upcoming emission requirements. The spacejet appears to be dead which is probably best because it was also too large for the US market and airlines putting in large F cabins just to meet scope isn't practical although that's the only option currently. What is the ideal size scope compliant regional jet for the future US market?
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 6:36 am

This is a segment where electric or hydrogen aircraft can shine. Much cheaper to operate to accommodate the lower salaries of the regionals. Integrate electric 9 seaters to the regionals as well as the pipeline programs like aviate and then you have ab initio pilots. Start with an Eviation Alice and the electric 19 seater UA is going for at a Boutique Air-esque carrier for UAX. They move to Skywest. Then UA. The next step for the US3 in my mind would be to have their own Part 135 carriers for their pilot pipelines.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 7:08 am

Regional airlines today are no longer”Regional Airlines”, they are lower cost contracted providers. Unless something changes radically in the new future, (such as a late-70’s/80’s type Recession that some banks are starting to whisper about), the total brand control fee-per-departure model is almost done.

The Big Three are not going to completely revamp the business model unless they are forced to.

Pilots that would have gone to the bottom-feeder low pay regionals now find there are options such as on-demand charter that pay better, sometimes have a better life quality, and can be a faster way to a major.

I think that in the future, we are going to see a return to self-branded regionals flying exclusive routes, with a cooperating agreement in place with a major. In short, how it was before the mid-2000’s, only with higher pay levels and better aircraft.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 11:32 am

JohanTally wrote:
The E175 and CR9 are too big for the US market in my opinion, ideally I feel like a jet that fits 6F 70Y would be perfect.


I have to ask why, specifically, you think 6F 70Y is better than the 12F 64Y of AA/DL/UA E175s?

There is a market-clearing wage (and benefits, and work-life situation) where the regionals can hire all the pilots they want. It's not 24 months away, but in a decade there's no reason for any shortage. We're not talking MLB starting pitchers where only 200 people have the skills to do it - pilots can be trained.

IMHO, though, that wage rate is well above what is paid today. Carriers won't want to pay it, and passengers won't want to pay the kinds of fares needed to support it. Covid, and its crushing of business demand, just accelerated the drawdown. In 5-10 years from now business travelers will just drive 50-100 miles to the nearest airport with more frequencies/more non-stops, and leisure travelers will plan their trips around the 2-3x/week ULCC model.
 
kavok
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:07 pm

It’s important to remember that RJs are also key tools used by the legacies to maintain service frequencies between larger markets and hubs as well.

For example, DL may use an RJ to allow 4x daily between CMH and its MSP hub. CMH-MSP is too large a market pair to not be served by DL, and yet to offer 4x daily service, the RJ is the proper gauge. There isn’t enough demand to fill 4x mainline on that route currently.

If the RJ goes away, DL could obviously swap to mainline while reducing frequencies, but once DL drops below the 4x frequency threshold, a lot of connections either don’t work, or excessive layovers are created… which makes the route non-competitive to what a competitor may offer.

I just highlight this, because it is not only the borderline EAS markets that may be affected by the coming RJ drawdowns.
 
JohanTally
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 1:17 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
JohanTally wrote:
The E175 and CR9 are too big for the US market in my opinion, ideally I feel like a jet that fits 6F 70Y would be perfect.


I have to ask why, specifically, you think 6F 70Y is better than the 12F 64Y of AA/DL/UA E175s?


What I mean is the next generation of Regional Jet needs to be purpose built for the US scope clauses. The CR9 and E175 are designed to hold more than 76 passengers but that's all they allowed to have in the US. At AA a majority of those premium seats are typically filled by non revenue travellers. Airlines have been forced to order imperfect aircraft because of strict scope guidelines but because of the size of the market there is need for a scope driven design. AA A319s have a 33% smaller F cabin than the 65-76 seat regional jets but are far more likely to sell their premium seating versus the non revenue travellers on the RJs. I'm an employee and benefit from the large F class when flying around on benefits but I understand why that oversized seating area exists.
 
NLINK
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 2:57 pm

I think the days of multiple flights a day from smaller cities to multiple hubs are ending. I know from a fuel burn angle (just a piece of the puzzle of overall costs) that the Airbus 220-100 burns almost identical, maybe a tad less than the 175. The 220-300 is maybe 1-2% more fuel burn than the 175 on a 500nm segment. You have other costs such as mainline wages but on the other hand you have opportunity for more revenue from carrying more passengers (if the market supports it) and cargo.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 3:06 pm

kavok wrote:
It’s important to remember that RJs are also key tools used by the legacies to maintain service frequencies between larger markets and hubs as well.

For example, DL may use an RJ to allow 4x daily between CMH and its MSP hub. CMH-MSP is too large a market pair to not be served by DL, and yet to offer 4x daily service, the RJ is the proper gauge. There isn’t enough demand to fill 4x mainline on that route currently.

If the RJ goes away, DL could obviously swap to mainline while reducing frequencies, but once DL drops below the 4x frequency threshold, a lot of connections either don’t work, or excessive layovers are created… which makes the route non-competitive to what a competitor may offer.

I just highlight this, because it is not only the borderline EAS markets that may be affected by the coming RJ drawdowns.


In ten years, DL’s A220 make look like a super deal for those markets.
 
sxf24
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 3:14 pm

NLINK wrote:
I think the days of multiple flights a day from smaller cities to multiple hubs are ending. I know from a fuel burn angle (just a piece of the puzzle of overall costs) that the Airbus 220-100 burns almost identical, maybe a tad less than the 175. The 220-300 is maybe 1-2% more fuel burn than the 175 on a 500nm segment. You have other costs such as mainline wages but on the other hand you have opportunity for more revenue from carrying more passengers (if the market supports it) and cargo.


Per seat, not per trip.
 
kalvado
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 3:17 pm

JohanTally wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
JohanTally wrote:
The E175 and CR9 are too big for the US market in my opinion, ideally I feel like a jet that fits 6F 70Y would be perfect.


I have to ask why, specifically, you think 6F 70Y is better than the 12F 64Y of AA/DL/UA E175s?


What I mean is the next generation of Regional Jet needs to be purpose built for the US scope clauses. The CR9 and E175 are designed to hold more than 76 passengers but that's all they allowed to have in the US. At AA a majority of those premium seats are typically filled by non revenue travellers. Airlines have been forced to order imperfect aircraft because of strict scope guidelines but because of the size of the market there is need for a scope driven design. AA A319s have a 33% smaller F cabin than the 65-76 seat regional jets but are far more likely to sell their premium seating versus the non revenue travellers on the RJs. I'm an employee and benefit from the large F class when flying around on benefits but I understand why that oversized seating area exists.

Or scope clauses would need to change.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 3:26 pm

Not happening unless another Ch 11 wave hits.
 
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Vio
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 3:33 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
It’s headed for its demise. The service cuts to small cities will be widespread, replaced by less frequent mainline flights. Think 4-5 RJ cut to 1-2 flights, or 1 mainline and one 76-seater. Crewing throughout aviation is gonna be tough.

Regionals won’t be able to keep captains and FOs won’t have the required 1,000 hours of 121 experience to upgrade. Shortages of LCAs is going to cripple training of both new captains and new hires. Yes, some 135/91K may be creditable, but those pilots won’t have that anyway.


All the US has to do is open up the border to Canadian pilots. I'll be there tomorrow, with a full ATPL and over 5000 hrs flying everything from pistons to turboprops and regional jets... :) It's always been my dream in life to live in Texas... or anywhere in Southern USA.
 
kalvado
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 3:36 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Not happening unless another Ch 11 wave hits.

Things can come from different directions. People are talking about workforce shortage, and division of first tier mainline vs meager regional is due to availability of cheap workforce. I wouldn't be surprised if things would have to change in multiple directions - change not as a relaxation of scope, but something broader.
 
NLINK
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 3:41 pm

sxf24 wrote:
NLINK wrote:
I think the days of multiple flights a day from smaller cities to multiple hubs are ending. I know from a fuel burn angle (just a piece of the puzzle of overall costs) that the Airbus 220-100 burns almost identical, maybe a tad less than the 175. The 220-300 is maybe 1-2% more fuel burn than the 175 on a 500nm segment. You have other costs such as mainline wages but on the other hand you have opportunity for more revenue from carrying more passengers (if the market supports it) and cargo.


Per seat, not per trip.



I was told by a pilot the Airbus 220-100 burns en route around 3,500lb hour roughly. The 717 burns around 5,000lb an hour. I believe the 175 is really close to the 3,500lb an hour and the CRJ-900 is less per hour.
 
ZKCIF
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 3:44 pm

future of regional flying? 6 symbols:
A46
A76
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 4:00 pm

Vio wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
It’s headed for its demise. The service cuts to small cities will be widespread, replaced by less frequent mainline flights. Think 4-5 RJ cut to 1-2 flights, or 1 mainline and one 76-seater. Crewing throughout aviation is gonna be tough.

Regionals won’t be able to keep captains and FOs won’t have the required 1,000 hours of 121 experience to upgrade. Shortages of LCAs is going to cripple training of both new captains and new hires. Yes, some 135/91K may be creditable, but those pilots won’t have that anyway.


All the US has to do is open up the border to Canadian pilots. I'll be there tomorrow, with a full ATPL and over 5000 hrs flying everything from pistons to turboprops and regional jets... :) It's always been my dream in life to live in Texas... or anywhere in Southern USA.



That’s true, I know 6 or 7 ex-RCAF guys flying corporate jets here.
 
NLINK
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 4:09 pm

kalvado wrote:
JohanTally wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:

I have to ask why, specifically, you think 6F 70Y is better than the 12F 64Y of AA/DL/UA E175s?


What I mean is the next generation of Regional Jet needs to be purpose built for the US scope clauses. The CR9 and E175 are designed to hold more than 76 passengers but that's all they allowed to have in the US. At AA a majority of those premium seats are typically filled by non revenue travellers. Airlines have been forced to order imperfect aircraft because of strict scope guidelines but because of the size of the market there is need for a scope driven design. AA A319s have a 33% smaller F cabin than the 65-76 seat regional jets but are far more likely to sell their premium seating versus the non revenue travellers on the RJs. I'm an employee and benefit from the large F class when flying around on benefits but I understand why that oversized seating area exists.

Or scope clauses would need to change.


The airlines can put more seats in them now if they fly them at mainline where the planes should be anyway.
 
ltbewr
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 4:37 pm

We have seen a lot of 'short haul' and regional flying in the USA disappear due to increased security and time it takes to go through it negating the flight time vs. ground transportation advantage, high costs and hassles to make connecting flights, need to still use a car, taxi, Uber/Lyft, or public transit to get to/from ends of flights anyway. Some regional flights may be reduced to reallocate slots at hub airports to more profitable long to medium mainline flights with substantial local demand.
 
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JBo
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 4:40 pm

FlyingElvii wrote:
I think that in the future, we are going to see a return to self-branded regionals flying exclusive routes, with a cooperating agreement in place with a major. In short, how it was before the mid-2000’s, only with higher pay levels and better aircraft.


I can see this happening, and I can see both SkyWest and Republic going this route (SkyWest especially so) should there be a major shift with the existing contracted "Express" flying model.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 4:42 pm

kalvado wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Not happening unless another Ch 11 wave hits.

Things can come from different directions. People are talking about workforce shortage, and division of first tier mainline vs meager regional is due to availability of cheap workforce. I wouldn't be surprised if things would have to change in multiple directions - change not as a relaxation of scope, but something broader.


One of those directions won’t be relaxation of the scope limits. It won’t be a new technology RJ—no business case for it. What can you offer, please?
 
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alberchico
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 4:58 pm

https://www.flightglobal.com/airframers ... 07.article

https://www.luchtvaartnieuws.nl/nieuws/ ... svliegtuig

It won't happen in the next 5 years, but I wonder if the new generation of electric regional aircraft scheduled to enter service in the late 2020's early 2030's could change the economics of commuter flights enough to allow a revival. A lot of work still has to be done, and we have to see what progress is made regarding battery density, but there are new regional aircraft under development.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 5:18 pm

JohanTally wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
JohanTally wrote:
The E175 and CR9 are too big for the US market in my opinion, ideally I feel like a jet that fits 6F 70Y would be perfect.


I have to ask why, specifically, you think 6F 70Y is better than the 12F 64Y of AA/DL/UA E175s?


What I mean is the next generation of Regional Jet needs to be purpose built for the US scope clauses. The CR9 and E175 are designed to hold more than 76 passengers but that's all they allowed to have in the US. At AA a majority of those premium seats are typically filled by non revenue travellers. Airlines have been forced to order imperfect aircraft because of strict scope guidelines but because of the size of the market there is need for a scope driven design.


Making the jets three feet shorter to hold more Y and less F isn't going to have a meaningful impact on trip costs, but now you've got fewer F and Y+ to sell.
 
DN4CAAD
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 5:21 pm

GNV receives one mainline DL flight a day (717) along with a host of regional traffic to CLT, ATL, DFW, and MIA. AA upgraded E145 service to E175 some months ago and DL CR200s are becoming rarer as well in favor of CR900s. I would not be surprised to see lower frequency flights on A319 in the future between either airline.
 
kalvado
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 5:33 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
kalvado wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Not happening unless another Ch 11 wave hits.

Things can come from different directions. People are talking about workforce shortage, and division of first tier mainline vs meager regional is due to availability of cheap workforce. I wouldn't be surprised if things would have to change in multiple directions - change not as a relaxation of scope, but something broader.


One of those directions won’t be relaxation of the scope limits. It won’t be a new technology RJ—no business case for it. What can you offer, please?

If you want a real flamebait... How about single pilot for E170-195, flying at - or above - 737 CA rate?
Then career progression could be 737FO - 737CA - 170 solo - widebody.

not predicting exactly that, more like saying this may be a type of unexpected twist I am thinking about.
 
Gulfstream500
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 5:56 pm

I am curious as to what the drawdown of smaller 30-50 seat regional aircraft will mean for operators like Contour Airlines, JSX, and Ultimate Air Shuttle, whose fleets do not have a direct regional jet replacement. Of course, as affiliated regional carriers continue to drop small RJs, the unaffiliated carriers will have their choice of newer models to replace their higher cycle aircraft, though that is only a temporary solution.
 
NW747-400
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 6:42 pm

The barrier to entry is the cost of flight training. The easiest way to attract pilots is for the network carriers to launch ab initio programs similar to some of the carriers in Europe.

Using AA as an example:

- High school student recruited
- After completing high school, student attends AA sponsored flight training academy
- Student becomes CFI and builds flight time
- CFI transitions to an AA wholly owned regional
- After two years as a captain, they move to AA

Most of the majors are working toward these types of programs already, but the key difference is the student still bears the $200k cost of training. For many, it’s too much to handle when the light at the end of the training tunnel is a $1200 student loan payment and a $50k salary.

Pay for training and you get your pilots.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 8:02 pm

kalvado wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Things can come from different directions. People are talking about workforce shortage, and division of first tier mainline vs meager regional is due to availability of cheap workforce. I wouldn't be surprised if things would have to change in multiple directions - change not as a relaxation of scope, but something broader.


One of those directions won’t be relaxation of the scope limits. It won’t be a new technology RJ—no business case for it. What can you offer, please?

If you want a real flamebait... How about single pilot for E170-195, flying at - or above - 737 CA rate?
Then career progression could be 737FO - 737CA - 170 solo - widebody.

not predicting exactly that, more like saying this may be a type of unexpected twist I am thinking about.


Not in our lifetimes. Right now, single pilot in 135 ops requires an autopilot and no more than 9 passengers. 1900s were 2-pilot ops. No way will regulators allow single-pilot jet operations.
 
kalvado
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Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 8:07 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
kalvado wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:

One of those directions won’t be relaxation of the scope limits. It won’t be a new technology RJ—no business case for it. What can you offer, please?

If you want a real flamebait... How about single pilot for E170-195, flying at - or above - 737 CA rate?
Then career progression could be 737FO - 737CA - 170 solo - widebody.

not predicting exactly that, more like saying this may be a type of unexpected twist I am thinking about.


Not in our lifetimes. Right now, single pilot in 135 ops requires an autopilot and no more than 9 passengers. 1900s were 2-pilot ops. No way will regulators allow single-pilot jet operations.

If it comes to a choice between single pilot or no service to smaller destinations, political pressure may build up to change the rules.
Never say never. Universe can play some tricks just to prove you wrong. That happened more than once with me.
 
INFINITI329
Posts: 2824
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:53 am

Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 8:27 pm

SkyLife wrote:
I’m curious to see if any major brings it all back in house, then the scope argument goes away. I do agree that smaller cities like TRI, ROA, CHA, PGV, OAJ etc risk losing service or seeing as mentioned above, half of the current the flight count on larger equipment.

This has to be looked at. I'm curious to see how the costs play out. Bringing the rjs to mainline removes any scope limitations so the carriers can add as many seats as their configuration allows.

TWA772LR wrote:
This is a segment where electric or hydrogen aircraft can shine. Much cheaper to operate to accommodate the lower salaries of the regionals. Integrate electric 9 seaters to the regionals as well as the pipeline programs like aviate and then you have ab initio pilots. Start with an Eviation Alice and the electric 19 seater UA is going for at a Boutique Air-esque carrier for UAX. They move to Skywest. Then UA. The next step for the US3 in my mind would be to have their own Part 135 carriers for their pilot pipelines.

I do not share optimism surrounding electric and hydrogen aircraft. I think we are a long way off from widespread commercial adoption. I think the hybrid-electric option is the more realistic option

Vio wrote:
All the US has to do is open up the border to Canadian pilots. I'll be there tomorrow, with a full ATPL and over 5000 hrs flying everything from pistons to turboprops and regional jets... It's always been my dream in life to live in Texas... or anywhere in Southern USA.

Congress should definitely look at this, but it won't happen until the airlines are completely honest with Congress about the severity of the situation. It would require updates to NAFTA/USMCA as pilots are not currently on the approved profession list. Also, the visa benefits should be aligned with the Australian E-3 Visa as the two are not the same currently

NLINK wrote:
I was told by a pilot the Airbus 220-100 burns en route around 3,500lb hour roughly. The 717 burns around 5,000lb an hour. I believe the 175 is really close to the 3,500lb an hour and the CRJ-900 is less per hour.

No wonder, DL decided to dump their 717s in favor for 220s

ZKCIF wrote:
future of regional flying? 6 symbols:
A46
A76

Yes, my fellow Americans need to get over their turboprop bias. Either you want air service or not

NW747-400 wrote:
The barrier to entry is the cost of flight training. The easiest way to attract pilots is for the network carriers to launch ab initio programs similar to some of the carriers in Europe.

Using AA as an example:

- High school student recruited
- After completing high school, student attends AA sponsored flight training academy
- Student becomes CFI and builds flight time
- CFI transitions to an AA wholly owned regional
- After two years as a captain, they move to AA

Most of the majors are working toward these types of programs already, but the key difference is the student still bears the $200k cost of training. For many, it’s too much to handle when the light at the end of the training tunnel is a $1200 student loan payment and a $50k salary.

Pay for training and you get your pilots.

Bingo..the airlines need to get their heads out of their asses
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 10021
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 8:31 pm

kalvado wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
kalvado wrote:
If you want a real flamebait... How about single pilot for E170-195, flying at - moor above - 737 CA rate?
Then career progression could be 737FO - 737CA - 170 solo - widebody.

not predicting exactly that, more like saying this may be a type of unexpected twist I am thinking about.


Not in our lifetimes. Right now, single pilot in 135 ops requires an autopilot and no more than 9 passengers. 1900s were 2-pilot ops. No way will regulators allow single-pilot jet operations.

If it comes to a choice between single pilot or no service to smaller destinations, political pressure may build up to change the rules.
Never say never. Universe can play some tricks just to prove you wrong. That happened more than once with me.


I’ve in this business for 45 years—airline, corporate, military, OEM, I might be proven but I’m certain single-pilot airliners aren’t happening in my or your lifetime. Single-pilot large business jets aren’t even being discussed at the OEM or regulator level. The Part 23 experience isn’t encouraging.

It organized political pressure that created “Single Level of Safety” ie Part 121 two-pilot rules for greater than 9 seats and political pressure for the ATP rule. Looking at you, Chuck Schumer.
 
DaveMetroD
Posts: 209
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:05 pm

Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 9:03 pm

kalvado wrote:
If it comes to a choice between single pilot or no service to smaller destinations, political pressure may build up to change the rules.
Never say never. Universe can play some tricks just to prove you wrong. That happened more than once with me.


Didn't happen with the end of major airline turboprop flights which caused cessation of service at some airports.
I don 't believe the end of small regional jet service would be any different.
 
User avatar
ADent
Posts: 1397
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:11 pm

Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 9:37 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
I’ve in this business for 45 years—airline, corporate, military, OEM, I might be proven but I’m certain single-pilot airliners aren’t happening in my or your lifetime. Single-pilot large business jets aren’t even being discussed at the OEM or regulator level. The Part 23 experience isn’t encouraging.

I think it could kind of happen - after a few years of self driving cars (which may be many, many years off) then you could see a licensed pilot in the right seat w/o the proper qualifications (ie the 250 hour pilot). The plane will need self landing capability and the monitor person will be there to press the button when the pilot passes out or an onboard emergency happens.

-----

It will be interesting what happens to the RJs. United needs 50 seaters - and is in fact turning 70 seaters into 50s to comply with scope clauses. With CRJ dead and nothing on the drawing board not sure what's going to happen there.

New ATRs? Re-manufacture the 145? I would say reman the CRJ-700, but without the type holders backing I don't see that happening.
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 5144
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 11:29 pm

SkyLife wrote:
I’m skeptical of a new investment 65 seater as crew costs continue to rise, fuel most likely too (scope is 76 and lots of revenue left on the table, don’t see any relaxation of scope coming personally by the pilots).


Here's your 65-seater. Well, pretty much anyway. I couldn't find the exact number of seats but I guess it's pretty similar.

Image

This will be the future of regional routes, it's already happening in several places. The bus in the picture operates for KLM, linking MST and EIN to AMS so these routes don't need to be flown. Passengers can book a KLM flight EIN-AMS-JFK for example where EIN-AMS is on the bus and AMS-JFK is being flown. All on one ticket.

As for the few routes where ground transport doesn't make sense, electrical aircraft will be the future. There's a huge development going on in that field and it's only a matter of time before the first electrical regional aircraft are brought on the market.
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 5144
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 11:43 pm

NW747-400 wrote:
The barrier to entry is the cost of flight training. The easiest way to attract pilots is for the network carriers to launch ab initio programs similar to some of the carriers in Europe.

Using AA as an example:

- High school student recruited
- After completing high school, student attends AA sponsored flight training academy
- Student becomes CFI and builds flight time
- CFI transitions to an AA wholly owned regional
- After two years as a captain, they move to AA

Most of the majors are working toward these types of programs already, but the key difference is the student still bears the $200k cost of training. For many, it’s too much to handle when the light at the end of the training tunnel is a $1200 student loan payment and a $50k salary.

Pay for training and you get your pilots.


Or hire pilots that already have their license from their previous airline, as many European airlines are doing.

By far most pilots in Europe start off their career at one of the many ULCCs such as Ryanair and Wizzair. They pay like shit but they do hire inexperienced pilots straight from flight school, as an unemployed pilot they're mostly the only options you got. Then you work there for a number of years, building up experience while surviving on a low income. And once you gained experience, you're interesting for other airlines that pay somewhat better.

Those airlines hardly have to invest anything in their new pilots, they already know how to fly and they got the papers for it. They can move straight into mainline without the need to fly regional first.

Keep that in mind if you're flying a Lufthansa A320 for example, good chance the pilot has flown for let's say Wizzair before he/she made the move to Lufthansa. Since both airlines fly the A320 no additional training was required. For Lufthansa it's interesting to hire former Wizzair pilots for that reason.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
Posts: 1573
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 11:55 pm

I'm thinking BFL might become a ghost town. x2 to DEN (CRJ-200) + x1 to SFO on UA, and x4 to PHX (at its peak) and a subsidy x2 to DFW on AA. No mainline is going to be replacing any of those aircraft.

Heck, the city hasn't even been able to maintain a reliable bus service to LAX.

Any there any larger metropolitan areas that might become airport ghost towns without RJ's?
 
FlyingElvii
Posts: 2323
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:53 pm

Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sat Jan 29, 2022 11:59 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
I'm thinking BFL might become a ghost town. x2 to DEN (CRJ-200) + x1 to SFO on UA, and x4 to PHX (at its peak) and a subsidy x2 to DFW on AA. No mainline is going to be replacing any of those aircraft.

Heck, the city hasn't even been able to maintain a reliable bus service to LAX.

Any there any larger metropolitan areas that might become airport ghost towns without RJ's?

I Remember AA running two daily MD-80’s to DFW
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 5144
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sun Jan 30, 2022 12:14 am

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
I'm thinking BFL might become a ghost town. x2 to DEN (CRJ-200) + x1 to SFO on UA, and x4 to PHX (at its peak) and a subsidy x2 to DFW on AA. No mainline is going to be replacing any of those aircraft.

Heck, the city hasn't even been able to maintain a reliable bus service to LAX.

Any there any larger metropolitan areas that might become airport ghost towns without RJ's?


The city might not be able to maintain a bus service to LAX but some airline might. Connecting it seamlessly to their network and offer connections on a single ticket could be just what is needed to make such a shuttle service work, and it's easier and cheaper than flying there from other hubs that are further away.

Alternatively, LAX-BFL sounds like a route that can be flown on an electrical aircraft. They got short range but enough for a route like this. The same thing applies to places such as SBA and PSP, although the latter can sustain a bit of traffic on it's own. Depending on it's capabilities, electrical aircraft might even mean the return of LAX-AVX service and airline service at AVX.
 
sabby
Posts: 525
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:11 pm

Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sun Jan 30, 2022 12:23 am

PatrickZ80 wrote:
SkyLife wrote:
I’m skeptical of a new investment 65 seater as crew costs continue to rise, fuel most likely too (scope is 76 and lots of revenue left on the table, don’t see any relaxation of scope coming personally by the pilots).


Here's your 65-seater. Well, pretty much anyway. I couldn't find the exact number of seats but I guess it's pretty similar.

Image

This will be the future of regional routes, it's already happening in several places. The bus in the picture operates for KLM, linking MST and EIN to AMS so these routes don't need to be flown. Passengers can book a KLM flight EIN-AMS-JFK for example where EIN-AMS is on the bus and AMS-JFK is being flown. All on one ticket.

As for the few routes where ground transport doesn't make sense, electrical aircraft will be the future. There's a huge development going on in that field and it's only a matter of time before the first electrical regional aircraft are brought on the market.


Maastricht is only 210km (135 mile) from Schiphol. The regional airports in the US are usually mich further than that from the bigger airports.
 
NW747-400
Posts: 493
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 1999 4:42 am

Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sun Jan 30, 2022 1:52 am

PatrickZ80 wrote:
NW747-400 wrote:
The barrier to entry is the cost of flight training. The easiest way to attract pilots is for the network carriers to launch ab initio programs similar to some of the carriers in Europe.

Using AA as an example:

- High school student recruited
- After completing high school, student attends AA sponsored flight training academy
- Student becomes CFI and builds flight time
- CFI transitions to an AA wholly owned regional
- After two years as a captain, they move to AA

Most of the majors are working toward these types of programs already, but the key difference is the student still bears the $200k cost of training. For many, it’s too much to handle when the light at the end of the training tunnel is a $1200 student loan payment and a $50k salary.

Pay for training and you get your pilots.


Or hire pilots that already have their license from their previous airline, as many European airlines are doing.

By far most pilots in Europe start off their career at one of the many ULCCs such as Ryanair and Wizzair. They pay like shit but they do hire inexperienced pilots straight from flight school, as an unemployed pilot they're mostly the only options you got. Then you work there for a number of years, building up experience while surviving on a low income. And once you gained experience, you're interesting for other airlines that pay somewhat better.

Those airlines hardly have to invest anything in their new pilots, they already know how to fly and they got the papers for it. They can move straight into mainline without the need to fly regional first.

Keep that in mind if you're flying a Lufthansa A320 for example, good chance the pilot has flown for let's say Wizzair before he/she made the move to Lufthansa. Since both airlines fly the A320 no additional training was required. For Lufthansa it's interesting to hire former Wizzair pilots for that reason.


Problem with that idea is that the ULCC’s in the US offer very attractive contracts and compensation for pilots.

Some pilots do migrate from the ULCC’s to the majors in the US, but it’s far less prevalent than Europe.
 
Ionosphere
Posts: 343
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:46 pm

Re: Future of US Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sun Jan 30, 2022 2:00 am

It's amazing how many 50 seaters UA (256) has compared to DL(76) & AA (113).
 
User avatar
RyanairGuru
Posts: 9372
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sun Jan 30, 2022 3:35 am

PatrickZ80 wrote:
NW747-400 wrote:
The barrier to entry is the cost of flight training. The easiest way to attract pilots is for the network carriers to launch ab initio programs similar to some of the carriers in Europe.

Using AA as an example:

- High school student recruited
- After completing high school, student attends AA sponsored flight training academy
- Student becomes CFI and builds flight time
- CFI transitions to an AA wholly owned regional
- After two years as a captain, they move to AA

Most of the majors are working toward these types of programs already, but the key difference is the student still bears the $200k cost of training. For many, it’s too much to handle when the light at the end of the training tunnel is a $1200 student loan payment and a $50k salary.

Pay for training and you get your pilots.


Or hire pilots that already have their license from their previous airline, as many European airlines are doing.

By far most pilots in Europe start off their career at one of the many ULCCs such as Ryanair and Wizzair. They pay like shit but they do hire inexperienced pilots straight from flight school, as an unemployed pilot they're mostly the only options you got. Then you work there for a number of years, building up experience while surviving on a low income. And once you gained experience, you're interesting for other airlines that pay somewhat better.

Those airlines hardly have to invest anything in their new pilots, they already know how to fly and they got the papers for it. They can move straight into mainline without the need to fly regional first.

Keep that in mind if you're flying a Lufthansa A320 for example, good chance the pilot has flown for let's say Wizzair before he/she made the move to Lufthansa. Since both airlines fly the A320 no additional training was required. For Lufthansa it's interesting to hire former Wizzair pilots for that reason.


That’s not applicable to the US. The career trajectory you describe is basically the old regional model, but with the requirement for 1500 hours nobody can go from flying school to a commercial airliner. In Europe people are flying A320s and 737s with 250 hours. That’s a HUGE difference, and means that the US regionals can no longer afford to pay the sort of wages they used to, and European ULCCs still do, because nobody is building time for 1500 hours to earn $1000/month.

Also, in Europe your type rating stays with you - so airlines like to employ type-rated pilots to cut training costs - but in the US you need to be entirely re-trained even if you have 1000s of hours on type. It therefore makes no difference what you flew at your previous carrier.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 10021
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Future of Regional Flying In the Next 5 Years

Sun Jan 30, 2022 3:37 am

NW747-400 wrote:
PatrickZ80 wrote:
NW747-400 wrote:
The barrier to entry is the cost of flight training. The easiest way to attract pilots is for the network carriers to launch ab initio programs similar to some of the carriers in Europe.

Using AA as an example:

- High school student recruited
- After completing high school, student attends AA sponsored flight training academy
- Student becomes CFI and builds flight time
- CFI transitions to an AA wholly owned regional
- After two years as a captain, they move to AA

Most of the majors are working toward these types of programs already, but the key difference is the student still bears the $200k cost of training. For many, it’s too much to handle when the light at the end of the training tunnel is a $1200 student loan payment and a $50k salary.

Pay for training and you get your pilots.


Or hire pilots that already have their license from their previous airline, as many European airlines are doing.

By far most pilots in Europe start off their career at one of the many ULCCs such as Ryanair and Wizzair. They pay like shit but they do hire inexperienced pilots straight from flight school, as an unemployed pilot they're mostly the only options you got. Then you work there for a number of years, building up experience while surviving on a low income. And once you gained experience, you're interesting for other airlines that pay somewhat better.

Those airlines hardly have to invest anything in their new pilots, they already know how to fly and they got the papers for it. They can move straight into mainline without the need to fly regional first.

Keep that in mind if you're flying a Lufthansa A320 for example, good chance the pilot has flown for let's say Wizzair before he/she made the move to Lufthansa. Since both airlines fly the A320 no additional training was required. For Lufthansa it's interesting to hire former Wizzair pilots for that reason.


Problem with that idea is that the ULCC’s in the US offer very attractive contracts and compensation for pilots.

Some pilots do migrate from the ULCC’s to the majors in the US, but it’s far less prevalent than Europe.


The US ULCCs pay very competitive rates compared to the US3 & WN—captains can knock down $250-$300, maybe a bit more with premium pay. FOs can approach $250. Plus 15% company money on their retirement accounts. Several FDX and UPS captains closed in on $1 million with the COVID bulge. Heck, large cabin bizjet bubbas are making $300k in the larger cities.

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