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DLASFlyer
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SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 4:50 pm

From the SkyWest earnings call:

Captain imbalance will delay delivery of the final four E175s in the Alaska and Delta contracts (1 Alaska and 3 Delta).

SkyWest has reached agreements with partners to reduce flying hours due to pilot shortage and training issues.

Fourth quarter will be down 13-14% from the third quarter.

2023 block hours will be 20% below 2022.

Future growth will be from higher utilization of aircraft covered under existing contracts.

https://seekingalpha.com/article/455022 ... transcript


I was blown away by this. An airline with 530 planes reducing flying by 20 percent is a huge deal. Leadership made it clear this has nothing to do with demand, just pilots and training.
 
airlinepeanuts
Posts: 304
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Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 4:59 pm

Higher utilization of aircraft? Isn't it pretty high as it stands now?
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 11773
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 5:15 pm

Put 'em on Chapter 11 watch. Even if they reached agreements with marketing carriers it's tough to sustain a business on 80% of revenues long term without restructuring, including aircraft orders:

As of December 31, 2021, we have firm purchase commitments for 29 E175 aircraft and spare engines totaling
$0.8 billion. Over the next several years, if we continue to add new aircraft to our fleet, we anticipate using significant
amounts of capital to acquire these aircraft.
There can be no assurance that our operations will generate sufficient cash flow or liquidity to enable us to
obtain the necessary aircraft acquisition financing to replace our current fleet, or to make required debt service payments
related to our existing or anticipated future obligations.


From the 2021 Annual Report: https://materials.proxyvote.com/Approve ... ML?page=27
 
32andBelow
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Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 5:26 pm

With regional and major pay scales converging the regional model is going to die.

The majors will get the pilots on the books earlier and they can start using better more efficient planes that are currently scoped out
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 5:27 pm

Ouch….
Skywest reducing flying, Mesa reducing flying, so far….
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 5:31 pm

I'm gonna get lit up for this...
Could OO find success with branded ops?
 
evank516
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Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 5:34 pm

Wondering if more airlines will consider purchasing the A220? Is it really as cost efficient as it was marketed to be?
 
mikejepp
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:47 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 5:42 pm

When your entire business model is based around being an outsourcer who exploits cheap labor and that cheap labor ceases to exist, things like this happen. Hopefully it keeps happening.
 
87GROUNDED
Posts: 118
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:09 am

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 5:43 pm

EAS cities will feel the brunt of this the most.
 
32andBelow
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Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 5:43 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
I'm gonna get lit up for this...
Could OO find success with branded ops?

I think there will be an opening for 50 seat independent ops if the regional model goes way and the majors start cutting cities all over the place
 
crjflyboy
Posts: 530
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:54 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 5:47 pm

evank516 wrote:
Wondering if more airlines will consider purchasing the A220? Is it really as cost efficient as it was marketed to be?



on an ASM cost, the 220 is much better, however many of the markets SKYWEST flies into can not come close to breaking even using a 220 bird.
 
crjflyboy
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Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 5:49 pm

87GROUNDED wrote:
EAS cities will feel the brunt of this the most.


I agree ... many will lose service completely
 
WaywardMemphian
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Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 6:09 pm

Going the scheduled charter route to circumvent 1500hr rule?
 
airplanedriver6
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Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 6:09 pm

32andBelow wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
Could OO find success with branded ops?

I think there will be an opening for 50 seat independent ops if the regional model goes way and the majors start cutting cities all over the place

I'm gonna disagree. If the city pair doesn't work for a network operator at 2022 labor rates, an independent operator with lower revenue potential but all the same expenses doesn't stand a chance.

That said, I'm sure somebody will try it, either out of desperation or investor naiveté. Perhaps both.
Last edited by airplanedriver6 on Mon Oct 31, 2022 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
ScottB
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Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 6:11 pm

32andBelow wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
I'm gonna get lit up for this...
Could OO find success with branded ops?

I think there will be an opening for 50 seat independent ops if the regional model goes way and the majors start cutting cities all over the place


There's no opening for 50-seat independent ops if you can't find the pilots to fly the planes at wages that make the service viable. Any carrier operating 50-seat aircraft in scheduled passenger service will encounter the same issues as SkyWest, Mesa, Republic, etc.

All of this is driven by the fact that increased minimum requirements for an ATP have made regional carrier wages unattractive for prospective new workers. There is no "pilot shortage." There is a shortage of people who are willing to invest six figures to get a job that (intro level) pays less than a Starbucks barista at the airport and has really crappy quality of life for the first several years.
 
airplanedriver6
Posts: 200
Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:27 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 6:23 pm

ScottB wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
I'm gonna get lit up for this...
Could OO find success with branded ops?

I think there will be an opening for 50 seat independent ops if the regional model goes way and the majors start cutting cities all over the place


There's no opening for 50-seat independent ops if you can't find the pilots to fly the planes at wages that make the service viable. Any carrier operating 50-seat aircraft in scheduled passenger service will encounter the same issues as SkyWest, Mesa, Republic, etc.

All of this is driven by the fact that increased minimum requirements for an ATP have made regional carrier wages unattractive for prospective new workers. There is no "pilot shortage." There is a shortage of people who are willing to invest six figures to get a job that (intro level) pays less than a Starbucks barista at the airport and has really crappy quality of life for the first several years.

Yup.

And at the other extreme, the experienced pilots already at the regional level are not gonna sit around while every major airplane is hiring pilots hand over fist. And for those that do not desire to transition to a major because of age, seniority, domicile, or some combination, the cost to retain them has gone up substantially.

The economic model of a regional "airline" that's really just an outsourced staffing agency (with low cost pilots) has been obliterated. Without discount labor, there's no economic justification for most regional airlines to even exist.
 
32andBelow
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Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 6:31 pm

airplanedriver6 wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
Could OO find success with branded ops?

I think there will be an opening for 50 seat independent ops if the regional model goes way and the majors start cutting cities all over the place

I'm gonna disagree. If the city pair doesn't work for a network operator at 2022 labor rates, an independent operator with lower revenue potential but all the same expenses doesn't stand a chance.

That said, I'm sure somebody will try it, either out of desperation or investor naiveté. Perhaps both.

You might just have to think smaller. In Alaska they have small airlines that pay well and can retain pilots that want to be home every night and make a decent wage. But you will never become huge doing that

The regionals can also pivot to being ground services and maintenance companies mainly which is probably higher margin anyways
 
enterusername
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2022 5:48 am

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 6:39 pm

WaywardMemphian wrote:
Going the scheduled charter route to circumvent 1500hr rule?


In some or many respects its more to circumvent the Part 121 PIC (Captain) requirements, which requires 1,000 hours at a Part 121 carrier. SkyWest and most regionals now have a Captain problem more than a "pilot problem". Since legacy and LCCs are now hiring pilots from regionals without having to be a Captain at the 121, its going to get worse. FO's are essentially flying for 1-2 years and then just going onward without upgrading.

So the SkyWest Charter world will actually help fix their biggest problem (1,000 hours of 121 experience) in order to upgrade as a Captain.
 
airplanedriver6
Posts: 200
Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:27 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 6:46 pm

32andBelow wrote:
airplanedriver6 wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
I think there will be an opening for 50 seat independent ops if the regional model goes way and the majors start cutting cities all over the place

I'm gonna disagree. If the city pair doesn't work for a network operator at 2022 labor rates, an independent operator with lower revenue potential but all the same expenses doesn't stand a chance.

That said, I'm sure somebody will try it, either out of desperation or investor naiveté. Perhaps both.

You might just have to think smaller. In Alaska they have small airlines that pay well and can retain pilots that want to be home every night and make a decent wage. But you will never become huge doing that

I'd suggest that Alaska is unique for many, many reasons, and most of those reasons are not even a consideration in the lower 48.

But yes, I'm sure that somebody, somewhere, will make a go of it with three airplanes, a couple pilots, and a dream. They will be the exception.
 
Alias1024
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Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 7:13 pm

airplanedriver6 wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
airplanedriver6 wrote:
I'm gonna disagree. If the city pair doesn't work for a network operator at 2022 labor rates, an independent operator with lower revenue potential but all the same expenses doesn't stand a chance.

That said, I'm sure somebody will try it, either out of desperation or investor naiveté. Perhaps both.

You might just have to think smaller. In Alaska they have small airlines that pay well and can retain pilots that want to be home every night and make a decent wage. But you will never become huge doing that

I'd suggest that Alaska is unique for many, many reasons, and most of those reasons are not even a consideration in the lower 48.

But yes, I'm sure that somebody, somewhere, will make a go of it with three airplanes, a couple pilots, and a dream. They will be the exception.


In a way it may be a return to the past for SkyWest and other regionals. Many used to rely on the outstation basing model to keep costs down and inevitably some pilots would end up putting down roots in those smaller cities and decide the lifestyle was worth a smaller paycheck. Could we see a return to that under a prorate model or blend of CPAs and prorate with an efficient turboprop like the ATR 42?
 
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william
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Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 7:22 pm

Alias1024 wrote:
airplanedriver6 wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
You might just have to think smaller. In Alaska they have small airlines that pay well and can retain pilots that want to be home every night and make a decent wage. But you will never become huge doing that

I'd suggest that Alaska is unique for many, many reasons, and most of those reasons are not even a consideration in the lower 48.

But yes, I'm sure that somebody, somewhere, will make a go of it with three airplanes, a couple pilots, and a dream. They will be the exception.


In a way it may be a return to the past for SkyWest and other regionals. Many used to rely on the outstation basing model to keep costs down and inevitably some pilots would end up putting down roots in those smaller cities and decide the lifestyle was worth a smaller paycheck. Could we see a return to that under a prorate model or blend of CPAs and prorate with an efficient turboprop like the ATR 42?


I think the model has to change. In a short time the majors are going to be owners of a bunch of 75 seaters and no one to fly them economically. I think we will see the return of the turboprop and proper hub feed. The long thin hub bypassing routes supported by RJs will disappear. Ops at some airports will improve because of them being gone (LGA).
 
jbs2886
Posts: 4705
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:07 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 7:34 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Put 'em on Chapter 11 watch. Even if they reached agreements with marketing carriers it's tough to sustain a business on 80% of revenues long term without restructuring, including aircraft orders:

As of December 31, 2021, we have firm purchase commitments for 29 E175 aircraft and spare engines totaling
$0.8 billion. Over the next several years, if we continue to add new aircraft to our fleet, we anticipate using significant
amounts of capital to acquire these aircraft.
There can be no assurance that our operations will generate sufficient cash flow or liquidity to enable us to
obtain the necessary aircraft acquisition financing to replace our current fleet, or to make required debt service payments
related to our existing or anticipated future obligations.


From the 2021 Annual Report: https://materials.proxyvote.com/Approve ... ML?page=27


They've had this language for years in risk factors. It's pretty basic and in no way indicates they are at risk of bankruptcy.
 
FlyingElvii
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Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:53 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 7:39 pm

william wrote:
Alias1024 wrote:
airplanedriver6 wrote:
I'd suggest that Alaska is unique for many, many reasons, and most of those reasons are not even a consideration in the lower 48.

But yes, I'm sure that somebody, somewhere, will make a go of it with three airplanes, a couple pilots, and a dream. They will be the exception.


In a way it may be a return to the past for SkyWest and other regionals. Many used to rely on the outstation basing model to keep costs down and inevitably some pilots would end up putting down roots in those smaller cities and decide the lifestyle was worth a smaller paycheck. Could we see a return to that under a prorate model or blend of CPAs and prorate with an efficient turboprop like the ATR 42?


I think the model has to change. In a short time the majors are going to be owners of a bunch of 75 seaters and no one to fly them economically. I think we will see the return of the turboprop and proper hub feed. The long thin hub bypassing routes supported by RJs will disappear. Ops at some airports will improve because of them being gone (LGA).

Frankly, there has never been a better time for a start up new entrant since deregulation began.

If you can find inexpensive planes that haven’t been previously owned by a big 5 US Carrier, and if you can pay enough to to retain pilots, the door is more open now than ever before.

Look at Avelo and Breeze.
Whatever internal issues they may have notwithstanding, they are getting very little to no pushback from the majors right now.
Why? The majors are heavily burdened with debt, and don’t have the regional pilot hours to waste burying competitors in frequencies, as they have been doing for the last 20+ years.

As long as a new entrant stays away from direct competition in a fortress hub, they have a chance to make it work.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 9:02 pm

The decisions made 20 years ago by the legacies are now finally coming around to bite them in the rear end.
 
twincommander
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Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 9:27 pm

airlinepeanuts wrote:
Higher utilization of aircraft? Isn't it pretty high as it stands now?


We usually have AS painted 175s parked at PDX for days now as spares.
 
TonyClifton
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Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 9:28 pm

This was what 2020/21 was shaping up to be when Covid hit. I remember predictions that regionals would grow, scope would get shredded etc on here. Nope, it was bubbling under and only delayed.
 
oosnowrat
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Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 9:45 pm

"The regional model is dying because regional and mainline wages are converging" and "the regional model is dying because baristas are paid better" can't both be right.
 
oosnowrat
Posts: 302
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:55 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 9:46 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
I'm gonna get lit up for this...
Could OO find success with branded ops?


I sorta think that's what SkyWest Charters will be.
 
FlyingElvii
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Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:53 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 10:07 pm

TonyClifton wrote:
This was what 2020/21 was shaping up to be when Covid hit. I remember predictions that regionals would grow, scope would get shredded etc on here. Nope, it was bubbling under and only delayed.

The Great Retirement accelerated this a lot. Most predictions were that the shortages would start being accuse around 2025.
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 11773
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 10:54 pm

jbs2886 wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
Put 'em on Chapter 11 watch. Even if they reached agreements with marketing carriers it's tough to sustain a business on 80% of revenues long term without restructuring, including aircraft orders:

As of December 31, 2021, we have firm purchase commitments for 29 E175 aircraft and spare engines totaling
$0.8 billion. Over the next several years, if we continue to add new aircraft to our fleet, we anticipate using significant
amounts of capital to acquire these aircraft.
There can be no assurance that our operations will generate sufficient cash flow or liquidity to enable us to
obtain the necessary aircraft acquisition financing to replace our current fleet, or to make required debt service payments
related to our existing or anticipated future obligations.


From the 2021 Annual Report: https://materials.proxyvote.com/Approve ... ML?page=27


They've had this language for years in risk factors. It's pretty basic and in no way indicates they are at risk of bankruptcy.



It's clear they don't have pilots to fly current ops, and they say growth is coming from increased utlization. They don't need - and can't afford - $800 million in new planes. Maybe Embraer will allow generous deferrals - and maybe not, in which case Ch 11 allows the order to go bye bye.

SkyWest might see marketing carriers buy up OO debt and then seek to convert it to equity, effectively taking over the carrier. See AA/DL/UA stakes in Republic.
 
oosnowrat
Posts: 302
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:55 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Mon Oct 31, 2022 11:21 pm

Also from the call:

Demand for their product is strong
New expensive pilot agreement, and currently working with partners to help pay for it.
Half the fleet is paid for.

Chapter 11 is a bit premature, I think.
 
MLIAA
Posts: 524
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 11:08 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Tue Nov 01, 2022 12:22 am

ScottB wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
I'm gonna get lit up for this...
Could OO find success with branded ops?

I think there will be an opening for 50 seat independent ops if the regional model goes way and the majors start cutting cities all over the place


There's no opening for 50-seat independent ops if you can't find the pilots to fly the planes at wages that make the service viable. Any carrier operating 50-seat aircraft in scheduled passenger service will encounter the same issues as SkyWest, Mesa, Republic, etc.

All of this is driven by the fact that increased minimum requirements for an ATP have made regional carrier wages unattractive for prospective new workers. There is no "pilot shortage." There is a shortage of people who are willing to invest six figures to get a job that (intro level) pays less than a Starbucks barista at the airport and has really crappy quality of life for the first several years.


This isn’t really true anymore. 10 years ago the starting wage for regionals was probably around $20/hr. Today most regionals start around $90/hr and within 2 years, pilots are upgrading and making six figures.

The regionals cannot staff enough pilots to also keep the legacies staffed, everyone is canceling flights. Pay isn’t the problem anymore. We have reached the point of not having enough pilots.
 
MohawkWeekend
Posts: 2238
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Tue Nov 01, 2022 12:36 am

Yeah - I thought he was describing a Physician. Lousy pay, long hours and a real low quality of life for the first several years.
 
NLINK
Posts: 608
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2003 3:20 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Tue Nov 01, 2022 1:09 am

MLIAA wrote:
ScottB wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
I think there will be an opening for 50 seat independent ops if the regional model goes way and the majors start cutting cities all over the place


There's no opening for 50-seat independent ops if you can't find the pilots to fly the planes at wages that make the service viable. Any carrier operating 50-seat aircraft in scheduled passenger service will encounter the same issues as SkyWest, Mesa, Republic, etc.

All of this is driven by the fact that increased minimum requirements for an ATP have made regional carrier wages unattractive for prospective new workers. There is no "pilot shortage." There is a shortage of people who are willing to invest six figures to get a job that (intro level) pays less than a Starbucks barista at the airport and has really crappy quality of life for the first several years.


This isn’t really true anymore. 10 years ago the starting wage for regionals was probably around $20/hr. Today most regionals start around $90/hr and within 2 years, pilots are upgrading and making six figures.

The regionals cannot staff enough pilots to also keep the legacies staffed, everyone is canceling flights. Pay isn’t the problem anymore. We have reached the point of not having enough pilots.



We don’t have enough pilots due to the airlines themselves creating these pay to fly jobs years ago and letting bottom feeders keep people from wanting to become pilots. It will take years to catch up and it’s a good time for the airlines to right size and shift more or everything to one operator.
 
TW870
Posts: 1563
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:01 am

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Tue Nov 01, 2022 1:55 am

NLINK wrote:
MLIAA wrote:
ScottB wrote:

There's no opening for 50-seat independent ops if you can't find the pilots to fly the planes at wages that make the service viable. Any carrier operating 50-seat aircraft in scheduled passenger service will encounter the same issues as SkyWest, Mesa, Republic, etc.

All of this is driven by the fact that increased minimum requirements for an ATP have made regional carrier wages unattractive for prospective new workers. There is no "pilot shortage." There is a shortage of people who are willing to invest six figures to get a job that (intro level) pays less than a Starbucks barista at the airport and has really crappy quality of life for the first several years.


This isn’t really true anymore. 10 years ago the starting wage for regionals was probably around $20/hr. Today most regionals start around $90/hr and within 2 years, pilots are upgrading and making six figures.

The regionals cannot staff enough pilots to also keep the legacies staffed, everyone is canceling flights. Pay isn’t the problem anymore. We have reached the point of not having enough pilots.



We don’t have enough pilots due to the airlines themselves creating these pay to fly jobs years ago and letting bottom feeders keep people from wanting to become pilots. It will take years to catch up and it’s a good time for the airlines to right size and shift more or everything to one operator.


Correct - and I am your example. 46 years old, planned to be a pilot, but bailed in my 20s because I couldn't afford to spend a decade on the CRJ-200, moving every other year as the airlines opened and closed bases due to contract changes with the majors. Flew for United as a flight attendant for a while because I wanted to be in the industry and I made more money as a unionized mainline FA than I would have as an RJ first officer. Ended up leaving the industry altogether during the United bankruptcy because I was unwilling to take the paycut.

Now that system is collapsing. Not feeling a bit sorry. Hope they pay the folks well that look after those 175s out in the desert.
 
mesasurf
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2022 3:40 am

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Tue Nov 01, 2022 2:03 am

At risk flying is what I think is in the most trouble of disappearing. I’m concerned that OO/DL will be dropping TWF, LWS, PIH, CDC, CNY, and EKO from SLC.
 
ScottB
Posts: 7951
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 1:25 am

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Tue Nov 01, 2022 2:03 am

MLIAA wrote:
ScottB wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
I think there will be an opening for 50 seat independent ops if the regional model goes way and the majors start cutting cities all over the place


There's no opening for 50-seat independent ops if you can't find the pilots to fly the planes at wages that make the service viable. Any carrier operating 50-seat aircraft in scheduled passenger service will encounter the same issues as SkyWest, Mesa, Republic, etc.

All of this is driven by the fact that increased minimum requirements for an ATP have made regional carrier wages unattractive for prospective new workers. There is no "pilot shortage." There is a shortage of people who are willing to invest six figures to get a job that (intro level) pays less than a Starbucks barista at the airport and has really crappy quality of life for the first several years.


This isn’t really true anymore. 10 years ago the starting wage for regionals was probably around $20/hr. Today most regionals start around $90/hr and within 2 years, pilots are upgrading and making six figures.

The regionals cannot staff enough pilots to also keep the legacies staffed, everyone is canceling flights. Pay isn’t the problem anymore. We have reached the point of not having enough pilots.


Starting pay at 9E is still $52/hr and keep in mind that that number is per flight hour, with hours capped at 1,000 every 12 months. So yes, it's a bit of hyperbole (although not much!) to say that baristas are better-paid, but they also don't have to sit reserve in some high-cost base like NYC or LAX and live out of a suitcase. Plus the training program for a barista costs a bit less.

Yes, the pay rates are going up, and that's going to necessitate a fair bit of shrinking on the regional side just because it's probably more economical to have pilots flying mainline equipment when pay rates for topped-out captains at YV or OO are ~75% of what someone with similar seniority would make flying a narrowbody at AA/AS/DL/B6/WN/UA. Maybe we will finally see the E175-E2 in the U.S., flying as mainline, but probably with 85 to 90 seats.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 10337
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Tue Nov 01, 2022 2:30 am

TW870 wrote:
NLINK wrote:
MLIAA wrote:

This isn’t really true anymore. 10 years ago the starting wage for regionals was probably around $20/hr. Today most regionals start around $90/hr and within 2 years, pilots are upgrading and making six figures.

The regionals cannot staff enough pilots to also keep the legacies staffed, everyone is canceling flights. Pay isn’t the problem anymore. We have reached the point of not having enough pilots.



We don’t have enough pilots due to the airlines themselves creating these pay to fly jobs years ago and letting bottom feeders keep people from wanting to become pilots. It will take years to catch up and it’s a good time for the airlines to right size and shift more or everything to one operator.


Correct - and I am your example. 46 years old, planned to be a pilot, but bailed in my 20s because I couldn't afford to spend a decade on the CRJ-200, moving every other year as the airlines opened and closed bases due to contract changes with the majors. Flew for United as a flight attendant for a while because I wanted to be in the industry and I made more money as a unionized mainline FA than I would have as an RJ first officer. Ended up leaving the industry altogether during the United bankruptcy because I was unwilling to take the paycut.

Now that system is collapsing. Not feeling a bit sorry. Hope they pay the folks well that look after those 175s out in the desert.


I know dozens of pilots who are in your age group, started at the same time and now knocking down 300k+ with great quality of life after surviving the hard knocks of starting a career—all Gulfstream or Global captains, never did a day of airline reserve in a fleabag commuter pad. Most in the NY area. Lots think senior captains were born senior—a myth.
 
DeltaRules
Posts: 5650
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2001 11:57 am

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Tue Nov 01, 2022 2:48 am

ScottB wrote:
MLIAA wrote:
ScottB wrote:

There's no opening for 50-seat independent ops if you can't find the pilots to fly the planes at wages that make the service viable. Any carrier operating 50-seat aircraft in scheduled passenger service will encounter the same issues as SkyWest, Mesa, Republic, etc.

All of this is driven by the fact that increased minimum requirements for an ATP have made regional carrier wages unattractive for prospective new workers. There is no "pilot shortage." There is a shortage of people who are willing to invest six figures to get a job that (intro level) pays less than a Starbucks barista at the airport and has really crappy quality of life for the first several years.


This isn’t really true anymore. 10 years ago the starting wage for regionals was probably around $20/hr. Today most regionals start around $90/hr and within 2 years, pilots are upgrading and making six figures.

The regionals cannot staff enough pilots to also keep the legacies staffed, everyone is canceling flights. Pay isn’t the problem anymore. We have reached the point of not having enough pilots.


Starting pay at 9E is still $52/hr and keep in mind that that number is per flight hour, with hours capped at 1,000 every 12 months. So yes, it's a bit of hyperbole (although not much!) to say that baristas are better-paid, but they also don't have to sit reserve in some high-cost base like NYC or LAX and live out of a suitcase. Plus the training program for a barista costs a bit less.

Yes, the pay rates are going up, and that's going to necessitate a fair bit of shrinking on the regional side just because it's probably more economical to have pilots flying mainline equipment when pay rates for topped-out captains at YV or OO are ~75% of what someone with similar seniority would make flying a narrowbody at AA/AS/DL/B6/WN/UA. Maybe we will finally see the E175-E2 in the U.S., flying as mainline, but probably with 85 to 90 seats.


Buddy, I was in the pilot training pipeline during the "lost generation" (after 1500 went into effect but before salaries started increasing) and got out while working on Commercial; the salary was one reason but the final dagger was the 1500 hour rule. Not even $100ish/hr starting salaries at a regional, which many are offering, is bringing me back. I can't be the only one.

Something tells me you could offer new hires on a CR9 $200/hr and ALPA would still crow about it being not enough.
 
NLINK
Posts: 608
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2003 3:20 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Tue Nov 01, 2022 3:05 am

TW870 wrote:
NLINK wrote:
MLIAA wrote:

This isn’t really true anymore. 10 years ago the starting wage for regionals was probably around $20/hr. Today most regionals start around $90/hr and within 2 years, pilots are upgrading and making six figures.

The regionals cannot staff enough pilots to also keep the legacies staffed, everyone is canceling flights. Pay isn’t the problem anymore. We have reached the point of not having enough pilots.



We don’t have enough pilots due to the airlines themselves creating these pay to fly jobs years ago and letting bottom feeders keep people from wanting to become pilots. It will take years to catch up and it’s a good time for the airlines to right size and shift more or everything to one operator.


Correct - and I am your example. 46 years old, planned to be a pilot, but bailed in my 20s because I couldn't afford to spend a decade on the CRJ-200, moving every other year as the airlines opened and closed bases due to contract changes with the majors. Flew for United as a flight attendant for a while because I wanted to be in the industry and I made more money as a unionized mainline FA than I would have as an RJ first officer. Ended up leaving the industry altogether during the United bankruptcy because I was unwilling to take the paycut.

Now that system is collapsing. Not feeling a bit sorry. Hope they pay the folks well that look after those 175s out in the desert.


I was in the same boat. I could not justify spending more than I already had. I ended up moving a different career direction also mostly because the pay and being very unstable. I’m glad I did.

I still have some friends at headquarters and others that are pilots.
 
Pontiac
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2022 2:56 am

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Tue Nov 01, 2022 3:16 am

I was in my mid-30's when I got my license in 2000. Pay for the regionals was less than half of what I made as a union metalworker; most of the instructors were taking their time building hours as they were making more than at Mesa. Freight dogging some clapped out Beech required 2,500 hours - no thanks!
 
User avatar
SLCaviation
Posts: 221
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:24 am

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Tue Nov 01, 2022 4:08 am

mesasurf wrote:
At risk flying is what I think is in the most trouble of disappearing. I’m concerned that OO/DL will be dropping TWF, LWS, PIH, CDC, CNY, and EKO from SLC.

LWS and TWF wont drop
 
alasizon
Posts: 3553
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:57 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Tue Nov 01, 2022 5:16 am

airlinepeanuts wrote:
Higher utilization of aircraft? Isn't it pretty high as it stands now?


I'm not sure this quite makes sense. Currently, utilization is down due to a lack of crews necessitating less regional flying than would normally be desired (hence long-sitters in outstations and inefficient trips in most cases). I don't see how you increase utilization of the aircraft without more crews...
 
32andBelow
Posts: 6409
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Tue Nov 01, 2022 5:25 am

alasizon wrote:
airlinepeanuts wrote:
Higher utilization of aircraft? Isn't it pretty high as it stands now?


I'm not sure this quite makes sense. Currently, utilization is down due to a lack of crews necessitating less regional flying than would normally be desired (hence long-sitters in outstations and inefficient trips in most cases). I don't see how you increase utilization of the aircraft without more crews...

They probably aren’t using their crews as efficiently as they could be. Making longer lines on one frame that are legal for 1 crew could help utilization. Switching planes takes time.
 
luckyone
Posts: 4817
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Tue Nov 01, 2022 10:25 am

MohawkWeekend wrote:
Yeah - I thought he was describing a Physician. Lousy pay, long hours and a real low quality of life for the first several years.

Not really an apples to apples comparison. An MD is one of the most singularly useless things in the world without the follow up residency (a handful of people go work for marketing or research firms, but those jobs are few and far between). The first few years for a newly graduated physician are spent in residency, which is paid training. Average salary is starting in the 50/60s though per hour it’s nothing sometimes— however, you’re the world’s best paid lackey with minimal liability for at least three years. The difference is, without your residency you can’t get licensed (much less hired) to practice independently. Once practicing independently, things change considerably.
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 11773
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Tue Nov 01, 2022 11:26 am

ScottB wrote:
Yes, the pay rates are going up, and that's going to necessitate a fair bit of shrinking on the regional side just because it's probably more economical to have pilots flying mainline equipment when pay rates for topped-out captains at YV or OO are ~75% of what someone with similar seniority would make flying a narrowbody at AA/AS/DL/B6/WN/UA. Maybe we will finally see the E175-E2 in the U.S., flying as mainline, but probably with 85 to 90 seats.


We can take it to another thread but I don't believe pilot wage $ productivity and RJ per seat-mile fuel efficiency are going to be high enough to put 175E2s at mainline with AA/DL/UA/AS, in part given the other costs of going mailine. IMHO, as E75s and CR9s age out we're going to see 7M7s and 319neos (and some DL A220s) replace RJs at lower frequency -- or routes (& cities) dropped entirely.
 
TW870
Posts: 1563
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:01 am

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Tue Nov 01, 2022 1:54 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
TW870 wrote:
NLINK wrote:


We don’t have enough pilots due to the airlines themselves creating these pay to fly jobs years ago and letting bottom feeders keep people from wanting to become pilots. It will take years to catch up and it’s a good time for the airlines to right size and shift more or everything to one operator.


Correct - and I am your example. 46 years old, planned to be a pilot, but bailed in my 20s because I couldn't afford to spend a decade on the CRJ-200, moving every other year as the airlines opened and closed bases due to contract changes with the majors. Flew for United as a flight attendant for a while because I wanted to be in the industry and I made more money as a unionized mainline FA than I would have as an RJ first officer. Ended up leaving the industry altogether during the United bankruptcy because I was unwilling to take the paycut.

Now that system is collapsing. Not feeling a bit sorry. Hope they pay the folks well that look after those 175s out in the desert.


I know dozens of pilots who are in your age group, started at the same time and now knocking down 300k+ with great quality of life after surviving the hard knocks of starting a career—all Gulfstream or Global captains, never did a day of airline reserve in a fleabag commuter pad. Most in the NY area. Lots think senior captains were born senior—a myth.


Oh I get that. On my career path I would probably be able to hold 767 Captain at Delta in NYC now, or be a relatively senior narrow body captain in NYC. But the issue is that I and thousands of others like me threw in the towel and that is why we have the staffing situation we do. Yes, right now would be great. But tons of my cohort just didn't want to do a decade on the CR2 in expensive cities doing day after day of 5-leg days and 0430 shows for the same pay I was making working the counter in a restaurant. I am more than happy in my current career so I don't mean to be sour grapes. I was just trying to explain the thinking about why some of us left.
 
TonyClifton
Posts: 561
Joined: Thu May 14, 2020 3:19 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Tue Nov 01, 2022 2:13 pm

TW870 wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
TW870 wrote:

Correct - and I am your example. 46 years old, planned to be a pilot, but bailed in my 20s because I couldn't afford to spend a decade on the CRJ-200, moving every other year as the airlines opened and closed bases due to contract changes with the majors. Flew for United as a flight attendant for a while because I wanted to be in the industry and I made more money as a unionized mainline FA than I would have as an RJ first officer. Ended up leaving the industry altogether during the United bankruptcy because I was unwilling to take the paycut.

Now that system is collapsing. Not feeling a bit sorry. Hope they pay the folks well that look after those 175s out in the desert.


I know dozens of pilots who are in your age group, started at the same time and now knocking down 300k+ with great quality of life after surviving the hard knocks of starting a career—all Gulfstream or Global captains, never did a day of airline reserve in a fleabag commuter pad. Most in the NY area. Lots think senior captains were born senior—a myth.


Oh I get that. On my career path I would probably be able to hold 767 Captain at Delta in NYC now, or be a relatively senior narrow body captain in NYC. But the issue is that I and thousands of others like me threw in the towel and that is why we have the staffing situation we do. Yes, right now would be great. But tons of my cohort just didn't want to do a decade on the CR2 in expensive cities doing day after day of 5-leg days and 0430 shows for the same pay I was making working the counter in a restaurant. I am more than happy in my current career so I don't mean to be sour grapes. I was just trying to explain the thinking about why some of us left.

Someone hired this year at DL can hold 767 captain in NYC. There’s captains on it now who are younger than the very jets they command!

The pipeline will straighten out over time. These higher wages will shift to bringing more people in, and not having to spend a decade at a regional vastly changes the game. Get hired at a regional at say 23-25, upgrade in two years into easily six figures, then go to a legacy or major around age 30. That’s a vastly vastly improved career path than it was ten years ago.

It wasn’t much more than 5-7 years ago it was an 8 year upgrade for a CRJ!
 
frmrCapCadet
Posts: 5768
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 8:24 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Tue Nov 01, 2022 2:55 pm

Part of an extended market failure. We need for isolated and rural areas to have modern timely affordable transportation available. Those fly-over dimly lighted areas are that way for a reason. Regulations and costs of training and lousy entry work life for pilots. Regulations limiting one pilot operations, the dynamics of ultra efficiency pricing aviation out of all but metropolitan areas. That 1500 hour rule is just one of the absurdities that has resulted in the majority of counties in the US losing population. You don't want to get me started on the other major market failure - medical care. Another poster and I have toyed with the idea of what might be done with aviation. And actually there is a connection between the aviation and medical market failures for rural and isolated communities.
 
AirlineBob
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:53 pm

Re: SkyWest to reduce flying by 20% in 2023

Tue Nov 01, 2022 8:50 pm

There has to be some percentage of regional flying that would still be profitable even if brought to mainline.

I'd imagine each mainline carrier has a plan for bringing regional flying in-house, and trimming the schedules to only serve city pairs that are profitable at the mainline cost structure.

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