Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
Tango-Bravo
Topic Author
Posts: 2941
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 1:04 am

How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:50 am

In various posts I have seen reference to regional jets being high cost aircraft to operate; one example has been the opinion that Indy Air was, for all intents, doomed before it started because its business model is operating a low fare airline with high cost aircraft (CRJs).

Why are RJs considered to be "high cost" aircraft?
 
johnnybgoode
Posts: 2144
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2001 8:47 pm

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 6:15 am

they've got less seats to cover for the operating costs.
of course, the total cost figures for regional jets is lower than those of larger jets, bigger aircraft do have higher costs, that's true, but per seat the costs of bigger aircraft or lower than those of regional jets.

rgds
daniel
If only pure sweetness was offered, why's this bitter taste left in my mouth.
 
padcrasher
Posts: 1815
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:17 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 6:19 am

Frankly I'm confused on this. If you get a copy of Aviation Daily they show total operating costs for RJ's as low as 8 or 9 cents a mile. ASA had some of the lowest.

But then I've seen other figures that show 12 13 15 cents a mile.

What's always lost here is also is that RJ's obtain higher RASMs than larger planes. Most likely how they are used, on thinner routes with no other OAL competition.
 
iowa744fan
Posts: 906
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 1:31 pm

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 6:27 am

Quoting Padcrasher (Reply 2):
Frankly I'm confused on this. If you get a copy of Aviation Daily they show total operating costs for RJ's as low as 8 or 9 cents a mile. ASA had some of the lowest.

The total cost per mile is also dependent upon how much you pay your employees, how often they are working during that time (i.e. The pilots and FAs are still being paid between flights when they are on the ground, but the airline makes money when the planes are flying. Take a look at WN and their high utilization rates vs. USAirways in the late 1990s.), and to an extent the stage length of the flight.

Generally, the regional airlines pay their employees lower wages, hence the ability to operate with a lower cost per seat mile.
 
AirbusCanada
Posts: 648
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:14 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 7:00 am

The RJ are expensive compared to a Turboprop like D8 or ATR on shorter routes. For example, some airline claimed the operating cost of D8Q4 is same as CRJ-200. But D8q4 offers 78 seats as oppose to 50 seat offered by crj.
But if you are flying routes more than 1000nm, then the speed advantage of Jets kicks in, diminishing the advantage of fuel efficient turboprop.
 
filejw
Posts: 336
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2000 2:58 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 9:21 am

I don't have the # in front of me but I think SWA and Jet Blue have cost of about 7 cents a mile vis R/J's at 8.5 or 9....
 
Tango-Bravo
Topic Author
Posts: 2941
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 1:04 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 9:26 am

Quoting Filejw (Reply 5):
I don't have the # in front of me but I think SWA and Jet Blue have cost of about 7 cents a mile vis R/J's at 8.5 or 9....

Do these figures include crew costs and fuel costs -- or what do these figures include?
 
filejw
Posts: 336
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2000 2:58 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 9:52 am

I'm pretty sure that cost per revenue mile are all costs of flying the A/C.
 
supa7E7
Posts: 1360
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 2:05 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:00 am

Let's pretend you are NWA.

MSP-BJI: Currently gets Saab 340 service. A CRJ would double the costs and provide only a small amount more revenue. So CRJ bad here.

MSP-ORD: Currently gets Airbus mainline. A CRJ would have higher per-seat costs than an Airbus. So the CRJ would be no good here compared to Airbus.

MSP-AVL: Currently CRJ. This is perfect because it's fast, small and cheaper than mainline.

So the CRJ has a specific purpose and NWA is using it for that. But for big city pairs, mainline is better. For small cities or extremely close distances, turboprops are better.
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
yul332LX
Posts: 798
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 5:15 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:00 am

Quick example with actual numbers from the ATA:

Fuel: price/gal of 95,5 cent.
Add to that other the costs and you get:

CRJ-200 (50 passengers), the average op cost/hour is $1267,02.
A320 (150 passengers), the average op cost/hour is $2366,16.

Now, on a pax basis, you can see that the CRJ is 60% more costly to operate than the A320 for their respective typical mission.
E volavo, volavo felice più in alto del sole, e ancora più su mentre il mondo pian piano spariva lontano laggiù ...
 
Tango-Bravo
Topic Author
Posts: 2941
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 1:04 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:00 am

Quoting YUL332LX (Reply 9):
CRJ-200 (50 passengers), the average op cost/hour is $1267,02.
A320 (150 passengers), the average op cost/hour is $2366,16.

Now, on a pax basis, you can see that the CRJ is 60% more costly to operate than the A320 for their respective typical mission.

Would it be correct therefore to surmise from these numbers that an A320 would be the better aircraft choice for routes where it can be operated at an average load factor of about 65% (100 pax, twice as many as a full CRJ-200) which would more than cover the difference in operating cost/hour of the A320 (slightly less than double that of the CRJ-200)?
 
yul332LX
Posts: 798
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 5:15 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:00 am

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 10):
Would it be correct therefore to surmise from these numbers that an A320 would be the better aircraft choice for routes where it can be operated at an average load factor of about 65% (100 pax, twice as many as a full CRJ-200) which would more than cover the difference in operating cost/hour of the A320 (slightly less than double that of the CRJ-200)?

Well, I don’t like doing maths on a Saturday night but considering that the cost of operating an A320 with 100 pax is lower than operating it with 150 pax, the answer should be ''yes''.  

That, however, does not take into account the fact that their respective ''typical mission'' are different range-wise, and that could affect the outcome at some point, especially for very short flights...

[Edited 2005-04-03 02:52:44]

[Edited 2005-04-03 02:58:13]
E volavo, volavo felice più in alto del sole, e ancora più su mentre il mondo pian piano spariva lontano laggiù ...
 
10mid
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 5:15 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:08 am

Quoting Iowa744fan (Reply 3):
The pilots and FAs are still being paid between flights when they are on the ground

I wanna go work there. I'm not getting paid between flights. Oh wait, I do get my $1.60/hour.
 
lowrider
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:09 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 11:03 am

Don't forget the all important load factor. A full CRJ may have a higher seat mile cost than a full A320, but the cost on 1/2 full A320 verses a full CRJ changes the picture some. Some cities will not generate enough traffic at a given time to fill a larger aircraft, but can fill several smaller ones throughout a day.

As for getting paid between flights, the only way I have seen this done was an FO who designed websites on the side, and brought along a laptop to work on projects.
Proud OOTSK member
 
sllevin
Posts: 3314
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 1:57 pm

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 12:28 pm

A 50 passenger RJ can move 50 people cheaper than a 125 passenger A319 can.

But if you had 100 passengers, for example, you'd have to fly 2 50 passenger RJ's, which would cost more than a single A319 would.

Thus, they can limit you exposure in placs and that's great, but you can also limit your profit. Margins in the airlines are incredibly thin -- a 2% gain would be massive.

Steve
 
PhilSquares
Posts: 3371
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 6:06 pm

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 12:39 pm

Quoting Iowa744fan (Reply 3):
The pilots and FAs are still being paid between flights when they are on the ground

Iowa744fan,

Please let me know where this airline is. I want to go to work for them. I can't think of an airlne in the world where this is true!!
Fly fast, live slow
 
146crew
Posts: 176
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 11:29 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 1:43 pm

Quoting Iowa744fan (Reply 3):
The pilots and FAs are still being paid between flights when they are on the ground

At USA 3000 Airlines I know for a fact that the F/A's are paid a flat rate of $19.00 per hour during their duty period.
Cross check complete.
 
doug_or
Posts: 3244
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2000 9:55 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 1:44 pm

You can't realalisticly fill up an airplane on a route. If you're operating a 75% load factor, you are not, in real terms, 25% away from max. Just because a 100 seat aircraft has a 50% load factor dos not mean a 50 seater would have a 100% load. That 50% is an average. If you operated a 50 seater on that route you would not be full some days (those that were under 50%), and would be giving pax to the competition on other days (those over 50%).

Also, a major factor in the RJ vs mainline battle is the other side of the coin- revenue.

First, every seat you add is less valuable than the last. When demand stays constant and you increase supply, the market value of your service is reduced.

Second, with constant frequencies a mainline aircraft provides a more valuable service. With a less cramped interior (don't argue with that- I don't care how bad your last A320 flight was or how much you love the EMB-145, mainline aircraft are more spacious, and almost always have bigger seats and better pitch) and the ability to add an effiective first class cabin, a mainline airliner is more comforatable. But who cares? Passengers only want the lowest ticket price, right? Not those that are paying the premium prices mentioned in the previous paragraph. The buisness traveller (they do still exist, and they do still pay more on average than leisure travelers) still cares. While he might not decide a particular itinerary based on the aircraft type, one of the most valuable FF benefits is the upgrades. When you remove the ability to upgrade, you damage the value of your brand, and decrease loyalty. Just look at United FFs in Ted markets.


*I apologize for any incoherance. It has been a long hot day, and I am enjoying liquid libations on this the eve of my long awaited day off*
When in doubt, one B pump off
 
Delta737
Posts: 469
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 1999 11:23 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 1:56 pm

Quoting Iowa744fan (Reply 3):
The pilots and FAs are still being paid between flights when they are on the ground, but the airline makes money when the planes are flying.

Oh man, where do I sign up for that? I'm obviously been getting hosed at the last two airlines I've worked for in the past 10 years.

Delta737
 
jkudall
Posts: 389
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:21 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 2:26 pm

Quoting Delta737 (Reply 18):
Oh man, where do I sign up for that? I'm obviously been getting hosed at the last two airlines I've worked for in the past 10 years.

They are referring to the per diem pay which is usually like a couple bucks an hour.
 
IL76TD
Posts: 280
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2004 1:02 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 4:26 pm

Quoting YUL332LX (Reply 11):

Well, I don’t like doing maths on a Saturday night but considering that the cost of operating an A320 with 100 pax is lower than operating it with 150 pax, the answer should be ''yes''.

Actually, the costs is no different, only less revenue, so less profit (if any).
 
uadc8contrail
Posts: 1669
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:23 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 4:45 pm

Actually, the costs is no different, only less revenue, so less profit (if any)----------il76td



beg to differ with you,,,,,,,cost for ual pre spike in the fuel..$4k to run a crj-200 on a typical 500 mile leg.....$7500 to run a cr7 on the same route.......and $9000 to use ua mainline 737 on the same leg.this was told to us---pre fuel spikes---at a ual conference.....also was told by a allegiant rep that prior to the jump in fuel that they needed 81 on a md80(150 seats)to break even.....how many times has allegiant flown outta cos with less than 81?????maybe 3-4 times in the last 4 months.....they are doing something right....and by bringing brian to the valley they will only get better
Bus Driver
 
jcs17
Posts: 7376
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2001 11:13 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 4:52 pm

Quoting YUL332LX (Reply 9):
Fuel: price/gal of 95,5 cent.
Add to that other the costs and you get:

CRJ-200 (50 passengers), the average op cost/hour is $1267,02.
A320 (150 passengers), the average op cost/hour is $2366,16.

Unfair comparison.

Not very many major carriers worldwide operate RJ themselves. Instead, they contract the work to cheaper regional carriers. There are so many factors into operating RJs versus mainline: labor, regional carrier, yield, etc. You can't just use some kind of simple 1267 vs. 2366 to come up with a comparison.
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
 
Dalmd88
Posts: 3167
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 3:19 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 6:41 pm

When you look at the costs of an airline like ASA, remember they are dependent on DL for some of their overhead. They don't do any marketing, reservations, and at some stations they are handeled by DL mainline ground staff. I wonder if the true costs of operating these airplanes is ever released.
 
EnviroTO
Posts: 723
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2004 12:11 pm

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:35 pm

To compare two different types of aircraft you shouldn't be factoring in dollar amounts unless you are calculating the cost of the aircraft and the cost of the parts. Labour costs should be compared hoursper seat to hours per seat rather than dollars to dollars, fuel costs should be calculated avg fuel burn per seat at certain segment length to avg fuel burn per seat at the same segment length, etc. Once you start factoring in the cost of wages, marketing, etc you are no longer evaluating the differences between aircraft, you are evaluating the differences between employee cost structures and head office efficiency which can vary greatly between companies.
 
1MillionFlyer
Posts: 1937
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:55 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:02 am

Quoting Iowa744fan (Reply 3):
i.e. The pilots and FAs are still being paid between flights when they are on the ground, but the airline makes money when the planes are flying



Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 15):
Please let me know where this airline is. I want to go to work for them. I can't think of an airlne in the world where this is true!!

Net Jets is the 7th largest airline in the world in terms of airplanes. they get a salary !
Golf Foxtrot you are cleared for departure
 
yul332LX
Posts: 798
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 5:15 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:42 am

Quoting JCS17 (Reply 22):
Unfair comparison.

Not very many major carriers worldwide operate RJ themselves. Instead, they contract the work to cheaper regional carriers. There are so many factors into operating RJs versus mainline: labor, regional carrier, yield, etc. You can't just use some kind of simple 1267 vs. 2366 to come up with a comparison.

You'd better say that to the ATA then.... I provided actual numbers, which already include most of the cost differentials you mentioned above.

BTW, yield has absolutely nothing to do with the cost of operating an aircraft.  Wink

Quoting IL76TD (Reply 20):
Actually, the costs is no different, only less revenue, so less profit (if any).

Nope. The cost of operating an A320 with 150 pax vs. 100 pax will be significantly different as the differential of weight is more than 12,000lbs.
E volavo, volavo felice più in alto del sole, e ancora più su mentre il mondo pian piano spariva lontano laggiù ...
 
NWA1978
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 9:15 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Mon Apr 04, 2005 1:05 am

I had asked this question in the past as well and was always tole that a crj was too expensive to operate vs mainline. I was always confused because you would think a crj such as the 900 (mesa) would be economical. Now I understand a crj900 cant replace a route which was flown by a 777 but lets say you flew dc9's or md80/90's back when the seats were not full or even now. I would have to assume the labor is cheaper on the crj and I would also have to assume the engines burn alot less fuel than some of the planes that were built in the 80's. Maybe I'm wrong but if mesa makes money with the 900 one would have to assume it would be economical to operate. Once I winn the lottery I will start an all crj900 fleet just to settle arguement!
 
ouboy79
Posts: 4115
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 1:48 pm

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Mon Apr 04, 2005 3:06 am

Don't confuse a CRJ-900 and especially the E-Jets with regional jets. Really the term regional jet should be done away with...I like U ALPA terminology of "small jets" as that is a better example of what they are. When you have these small jets running routes well over 500 miles...regional just doesn't apply - unless you are talking about the North American region.  Wink
 
Tango-Bravo
Topic Author
Posts: 2941
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 1:04 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Mon Apr 04, 2005 3:28 am

Quoting Ouboy79 (Reply 28):
Don't confuse a CRJ-900 and especially the E-Jets with regional jets.

This issue has indeed been confusing to me: at what point is a regional jet no longer a regional jet (RJ)?

It seems that the latest designs from Bombardier/Canadair and EMBRAER with seating in the 70-90 pax range are more like state-of-the-art (with an eye toward opearating efficiency above all else) replacements for the smallest DC-9 and 737 variants which have similar seating capacites. The latest (so-called) RJs are also very serious -- and highly successful -- competitors to the latest 90-100 pax types from Airbus (A318) and Boeing (717 and 736).

As for the issue of comfort, the cabins (and cargo holds) of the DC-9, 737, A318, and 717 are/were obviously more spacious than those of the RJs but, on the other hand, the 2x2 seating of the RJs (that really aren't RJs?) seems to be an attractive feature.
 
yul332LX
Posts: 798
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 5:15 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Mon Apr 04, 2005 5:54 am

Interesting article on the CRJ900 (june 2003)

http://www.flug-revue.rotor.com/FRheft/FRH0306/FR0306f.htm
E volavo, volavo felice più in alto del sole, e ancora più su mentre il mondo pian piano spariva lontano laggiù ...
 
NWA1978
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 9:15 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Mon Apr 04, 2005 6:14 am

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 29):
This issue has indeed been confusing to me: at what point is a regional jet no longer a regional jet (RJ)?

I would have to agree with the above. Is a crj900 (87 seats) really still a regional jet? A great example would be the crj900 ER & LR. This pretty much enables it to serve alot of markets the 200-700 was never really meant for. I would love to see an actual csm for this aircraft vs a 717 or something similiar. It would be very interesting...
 
717-200
Posts: 564
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2000 1:29 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Mon Apr 04, 2005 6:41 am

Quoting NWA1978 (Reply 31):
would love to see an actual csm for this aircraft vs a 717 or something similiar. It would be very interesting...

AirTran already has. That's why we discontinued JetConnect with ZW
amongst other things.
72S 733 734 735 73G 738 742 752 763 E190 M82 M83
 
F9Animal
Posts: 4525
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:13 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Mon Apr 04, 2005 7:54 am

What are the figures on the ARJ? Are they expensive to operate? What is the cost difference between the CRJ-900 and the AVRO?
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
NWA1978
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 9:15 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:46 am

Quoting 717-200 (Reply 32):
AirTran already has. That's why we discontinued JetConnect with ZW
amongst other things.

Actually, ZW never flew the crj900, only mesa. I know what you are saying but we were not referring to a crj200
 
mrocktor
Posts: 1391
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 12:57 am

RE: How Are RJs "High Cost?"

Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:42 pm

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 29):
As for the issue of comfort, the cabins (and cargo holds) of the DC-9, 737, A318, and 717 are/were obviously more spacious than those of the RJs

Not if you are comparing to the E170/190 [not]RJs. Even without taking the 2x2 cross section into account, the Embraers have wider seats, a wider aisle, larger windows, an equivalent overhead bin volume and adequate overhead clearance.

I've flown DC-9 (and MD-80), 737, 737NG, A32x and the E170. The E-jet is the new reference for pax comfort when talking narrowbodies.

mrocktor

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos