phxtravelboy
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Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:59 pm

While UA serves a total of 5 cities nonstop from MKE (EWR, CLE, ORD, IAH, and DEN) which is decent, and the fact that they offer a total of 21 flights a day (using July 13 as a sample day; EWR-4, CLE-3, ORD-10, IAH-2, DEN-2) which again is decent, the fact that EVERY flight except for 1 to IAH (CR7) is on a 50 seat regional jet is absolutely pathetic!! I am amazed that UA feels a total of 100 seats TOTAL to DEN daily is sufficient. Why have they not upgauged any of their flights to the E175 for example, or better yet, mainline to any ot their hubs? I know MKE is a maintenance base for Air Wisconsin, which means cycling the CRJ through for that purpose, but come on. That can't be the only reason it's all UAX only. Even peer cities such as IND, CMH, and MCI have either the larger UAX aircraft and/or UA mainline. Even MSN has mainline to both ORD and DEN!! Any thoughts?
 
C767P
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:52 pm

Air Wisconsin hasn’t been a UAX carrier since April 2006. Last I knew it was mostly ERJ-145s going through there.

No idea what drives all RJs vs. one mainline for UA. Except that it seems UA wants to follow Delta’s lead and shift more flying back to mainline…so maybe as they add Airbuses MKE can get one…
 
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:04 pm

Quoting C767P (Reply 1):
Air Wisconsin hasn’t been a UAX carrier since April 2006. Last I knew it was mostly ERJ-145s going through there.

You are completely right! The Air Wisconsin flying is for US/AA not UA.
 
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:05 pm

In the cases of MKE-ORD/DEN, both routes are flown at-risk on OO CR2s, and OO has a CR2 MX base at MKE. Remember, OO flew regional services for YX and FL from MKE on CR2s.

It's like the situation here at FWA, where OO also has an CR2 MX base for DL routes, and most or all DL flights from FWA are on OO CR2s - even though FWA-ATL could easily support mainline.
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:41 pm

It would be really nice to see UA start service to MKE from SFO. I'm not sure what the numbers are like for that route but at this moment it would be the best chance for MKE to see mainline service from UA.
 
tom11
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:05 pm

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 3):
In the cases of MKE-ORD/DEN, both routes are flown at-risk on OO CR2s, and OO has a CR2 MX base at MKE. Remember, OO flew regional services for YX and FL from MKE on CR2s.

How do you know those are at-risk OO routes?
 
rtalk25
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:17 pm

It might be because a. ORD is not too far and UA really wants MKE pax to use ORD and/or connect through ORD (than say IAD or EWR), and b. WN is too much a big fish in a small pond in MKE, with WN covering DEN and SFO, two UA hubs out west.

That said, it would be interesting if UA added MKE-SFO and try to compete against WN andmaybe see if WN decides to drop it) against WN. WN strategically has kept this route even while ATL-SFO has disappeared in lieu of OAK, and BWI service is to OAK.

[Edited 2015-06-09 14:24:44]
 
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KGRB
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:20 pm

Quoting tom11 (Reply 5):
Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 3):In the cases of MKE-ORD/DEN, both routes are flown at-risk on OO CR2s, and OO has a CR2 MX base at MKE. Remember, OO flew regional services for YX and FL from MKE on CR2s.

How do you know those are at-risk OO routes?

I am curious too. UA was flying MKE-ORD/DEN long before OO was a United Express carrier.
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FWAERJ
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:43 pm

Quoting tom11 (Reply 5):
How do you know those are at-risk OO routes?
Quoting KGRB (Reply 7):
I am curious too. UA was flying MKE-ORD/DEN long before OO was a United Express carrier.

If you do a search on OO starting at-risk routes for UA here on a.net, you'll see MKE-ORD/DEN as two at-risk routes. FWA-ORD is another, and there are others on the list besides those three.

Keep in mind that MKE-ORD/DEN was downsized to CR2s during the Tilton era that brought mass retirement of 737s and an influx of Express CRJs to the UA fleet to fill the void. Others that went OO at-risk hadn't seen UA mainline in years. For example, FWA stopped seeing mainline from UA in 1987, and FWA-ORD service was handed to ZW seven years before using Dash 7s at first, then the BAe 146 and ATP, and finally the CR2 on multiple Express carriers (ZW, OO, and YV) over the years. The list has grown since the first one, partly because many EM2 at-risk routes from SFO and LAX switched to CR2s.
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:53 pm

While we're on the topic of UA at MKE, does anyone know if they eventually plan on moving out of concourse E?
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phxtravelboy
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:19 pm

Quoting rtalk25 (Reply 6):
That said, it would be interesting if UA added MKE-SFO and try to compete against WN

I agree. I think this route could support another nonstop flight, especially to a huge hub such as UA has.

Quoting mke717spotter (Reply 9):
While we're on the topic of UA at MKE, does anyone know if they eventually plan on moving out of concourse E?

I hope they do so they can mothball, or maybe even destroy that old concourse.
 
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knope2001
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:28 am

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 3):
In the cases of MKE-ORD/DEN, both routes are flown at-risk on OO CR2s, and OO has a CR2 MX base at MKE. Remember, OO flew regional services for YX and FL from MKE on CR2s.

Yup, that's right on the money. We get a lot more SkyWest planes (UA*, AA*, even some DL*) because of the MX base. Same with Air Wisconsin and US* flights to Philly and Charlotte, though CLT often gets a CR9 or two. But the morning originators out of Milwaukee are ZW.

Part of the issue with United is the specific markets they fly.

ORD has nearly no local traffic and is about the shortest hop there is. Hardly a better market for the 50-seat RJ.

EWR competes with 8x/day to LaGuardia between Southwest and Delta. With LGA being preferred by a lot of the high-volume regulars to the NY area, if United was to put larger aircraft on MKE-EWR they would be diving into the battle with WN and DL to the less-favored airport. Instead they keep capacity relatively low, keep frequency business-friendly, and get a premium for those who need EWR enough to pay for it.

CLE lives on local-traffic since the de-hubbing and 3x RJ is rather good.

IAH reflects United's shift of connecting traffic from IAH to ORD. In the CO* days...and earlier in the UA* days...MKE-IAH was usually 5x ERJ. More recently IAH has been cut to 3x much of the year...and now sometimes 2x...while MKE-ORD was ramped up. United had settled on 7 or 8 RJ's on MKE-ORD for a number of years, and around the time MKE-IAH started to pull back they increased MKE-ORD. The unfortunate effect is that I believe more than a few people flying between Milwaukee and Houston simply drive to ORD for one of the frequent nonstop mainline flights.

DEN is indeed at-risk OO flying. Essentially UA is avoiding the price fight between Southwest and Frontier and not trying to compete for the cheap-fare volume. They get some of the high-fare business segment, both local and connection, and don't need to fill a lot of discount seats. With Frontier trimming DEN so much a third UA* CRJ comes to MKE-DEN in October, but we'll see if that sticks.


The glut of 50-seate RJ's only makes UA's decision to serve Milwaukee with 50-seat RJ's. Even if SkyWest didn't have mx in Milwaukee I doubt we'd see UA mainline.

Quoting mke717spotter (Reply 9):
While we're on the topic of UA at MKE, does anyone know if they eventually plan on moving out of concourse E?

I think all leases expire at end of year -- I would guess that from that we'll see (a) UA/AC move, (b) AA/US consolidate, and (c) F9 give up most or all real estate...I could see them possibly keeping nothing and having someone else handle them.
 
YXwatcherMKE
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:52 am

Quoting mke717spotter (Reply 9):
While we're on the topic of UA at MKE, does anyone know if they eventually plan on moving out of concourse E?
Quoting phxtravelboy (Reply 10):
I hope they do so they can mothball, or maybe even destroy that old concourse.

I too would like to see the "E" Concourse go away (even though as a kid I watched the "E" concourse built and departed & returned on many of flights on North Central/NW) and possibly replaced by a more modern concourse with International gates and newer FIS facilities. But I wonder if that will ever happen. I was at MKE not to long ago when ORD was having heavy weather and was surprised to see almost every "E" concourse gate occupied by UA(737's) and UAX a/c. There were even two AA tails there too. So I'm not so sure that the "E" concourse will be shut down any time soon, It does serve a purpose in its current condition of that old concourse. But as Knope2001 pointed out a number of leases end at the year, so we could see some gate movements at MKE.
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:06 am

Quoting YXwatcherMKE (Reply 12):
I was at MKE not to long ago when ORD was having heavy weather and was surprised to see almost every "E" concourse gate occupied by UA(737's) and UAX a/c.

If there's an argument in favor of keeping the E concourse even after the leases expire and the tenant airlines consolidate into D and C, it'd be this scenario -- having spare gates available in the event of mass diversions from ORD.

Although, I'm not sure that would be enough to justify the expense of keeping that concourse in such a condition to where they can open it back up on a moment's notice.

It'll probably be more likely that if they can vacate everyone from E, we'll see it get torn down.
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YXwatcherMKE
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:45 am

Quoting JBo (Reply 13):
It'll probably be more likely that if they can vacate everyone from E, we'll see it get torn down.

I have to agree with you. IF, they can get UAX to agree to moving to "D" or "C" the expense of moving the jetways and offices may say not now, we will stay. I can see AA moving over to "D", but I'm sure about UAX. If they do move It would be if they can get gates "C" 9,10,11& 12. But I think WN will want the whole "C" concourse, just my opinion.
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n7371f
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:14 am

Remember UA flying a DC-10 ORD-MKE in the early 90's.
 
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knope2001
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:58 am

I could see E converted to international arrivals, but there are a couple of steps which must happen first...notably UA moving, and the county budgeting funds for the conversion costs.
 
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jetblastdubai
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:20 pm

Quoting n7371f (Reply 15):

Remember UA flying a DC-10 ORD-MKE in the early 90's.

I was told by a UA mechanic at the time that this was only because there was limited overnight parking available at ORD and flying the DC10 to MKE was a way to fly a revenue section as well as get a widebody off the airport for the night.

There are a lot of UA stations that used to have mainline service and most of them could sustain far more service than UA can offer now. UA is in such a mainline aircraft deficit that it will take some time to get the fleet numbers built up to a point where they can offer bigger aircraft in every market that can sustain it.

From my latest count, UA only has 11 more 757s to retire and with most of the reconfigure/upgrading mod work coming to a close, there should be a fair amount of narrowbodies showing up in service in the coming months. With the 772As joining the domestic fleet, quite a few narrowbodies will be freed up to fly traditionally mainline routes.

I feel your pain as well. My home airport used to have scheduled DC10/DC8/762 service on a regular basis to ORD and DEN and for the past few years it's been a mix of Q400s, E145 and CR2s. Recently some 738/9s have showed up and they're just as packed as the smaller planes. The market is there if they had the planes.
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jetblue1965
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:27 pm

Quoting jetblastdubai (Reply 17):

MKE-ORD is simply too close to justify mainline. For the flights out to DEN IAH EWR, then I agree some mainline should be in place. I'm still curious why UA can't do a 1x daily MKE-SFO timed for their TPAC bank ...
 
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adamblang
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:00 pm

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 18):
I'm still curious why UA can't do a 1x daily MKE-SFO timed for their TPAC bank ...

I'd wager four things make that route unattractive for the powers that be: (a) Delta's got a stronghold on corporate contracts in Milwaukee keeping a lot of business TPAC travel connecting over MSP and DTW, (b) leisure TPAC can save a bunch of money by just driving to ORD (I always drove to Chicago for international travel when I lived in Milwaukee), (c) Southwest would hold most of the leisure and small business O&D traffic, and (d) that's one round trip on a CR7 or E-Jet that could be two or three short round trips elsewhere. I feel like a lot of aircraft time for a thin, competitive market drops it lower on a priority list.

But to completely throw the above out the window, maybe it gets announced next week for a spring 2016 start as fleet restructuring and new deliveries have very much progressed?
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:03 pm

Quoting C767P (Reply 1):
No idea what drives all RJs vs. one mainline for UA. Except that it seems UA wants to follow Delta’s lead and shift more flying back to mainline…so maybe as they add Airbuses MKE can get one…

*********************************************************************************************************************************************
The company and the Pilot's union worked together on this as UAX needed larger airplanes and ALPA Capped the UAX airplanes, (aside from the fact that the regionals are running short of qualified pilots) United took back a bunch of flights and UAX will get larger airplanes in ratio with adding more narrowbodies to the mainline fleet, So?? You will see larger airplanes in the UAX operation But! you'll also see fewer UAX airplanes overall as well as more Mainline Narrowbodies flying to former UAX stations.
 
N353SK
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:24 pm

Quoting JBo (Reply 13):
It'll probably be more likely that if they can vacate everyone from E, we'll see it get torn down.

What would be the point of tearing it down? I could see it being shuttered a la Cincinnati, but why remove it?
 
phxtravelboy
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:37 pm

Quoting N353SK (Reply 21):
What would be the point of tearing it down? I could see it being shuttered a la Cincinnati, but why remove it?

Because it's a very tired, old, dated concourse. It's probably less cost to demolish it than update it as it probably needs a complete gut job to bring it up to "modern" standards, IE the AC ducts, electrical, plumbing, etc. I haven't been in that concourse since DL moved over to the D gates but I'm sure it's just as dated.
 
YXwatcherMKE
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:32 pm

00Quoting N353SK (Reply 21):
What would be the point of tearing it down? I could see it being shuttered a la Cincinnati, but why remove it?

Quoting phxtravelboy (Reply 22):
Because it's a very tired, old, dated concourse.

Yes the "E" concourse is very old as Concourses go. It was opened to operations in 1968 with it made to small however at the time it was made for the CV-580, DC9's and the 727's were on order for North Central Airlines which was the concourse built for. . It does not have the enmities that most concourses have these days and there really is not any way to put in those enmities without a lot of construction and money spent. the only way l see the way the concourse staying is if it is converted into the International Arrivals concourse with maybe UA/AC staying where they are now. Otherwise take it down and build new International Arrivals Building-Concourse which I have to say it would be my choice for the future for MKE if I had a vote, unfortunately I don't.
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flight152
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:10 pm

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 18):
MKE-ORD is simply too close to justify mainline.

But ORD-MSN is so much further to justify mainline? Clearly, distance has nothing to do with it.
 
Rdh3e
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:29 pm

Quoting flight152 (Reply 24):
But ORD-MSN is so much further to justify mainline? Clearly, distance has nothing to do with it.

This was already answered:

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 8):
If you do a search on OO starting at-risk routes for UA here on a.net, you'll see MKE-ORD/DEN as two at-risk routes. FWA-ORD is another, and there are others on the list besides those three.
 
jreuschl
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:32 pm

Quoting rdh3e (Reply 25):
But ORD-MSN is so much further to justify mainline? Clearly, distance has nothing to do with it.

This was already answered:

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 8):
If you do a search on OO starting at-risk routes for UA here on a.net, you'll see MKE-ORD/DEN as two at-risk routes. FWA-ORD is another, and there are others on the list besides those three.

I think they were referring to the fact that UA has 1 daily flight MSN-ORD on a 738 (in addition to a few other RJ flights)
UA Starting Mainline MSN-ORD (by aemke Jan 2 2015 in Civil Aviation)

I suppose we could start the DL to SLC topic again, too  Smile

[Edited 2015-06-10 14:36:34]
 
N353SK
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:11 pm

Quoting YXwatcherMKE (Reply 23):
It does not have the enmities that most concourses have these days and there really is not any way to put in those enmities without a lot of construction and money spent.

What is it missing? It has a restaurant, bar, snack stand, gift shop, and restrooms. What else does an air terminal need?
 
rj777
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:25 pm

Quoting N353SK (Reply 27):
What is it missing? It has a restaurant, bar, snack stand, gift shop, and restrooms. What else does an air terminal need?

ummm.... more dining options? I've flown out of E before, and there is not much there. Take a look here and compare what's on E compared to C, D, and the main concourse:

http://www.mitchellairport.com/airport-guide/dining/

plus that restaurant, bar, and snack stand, are all one thing. So E needs more.
 
N353SK
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:38 pm

Quoting rj777 (Reply 28):

ummm.... more dining options? I've flown out of E before, and there is not much there. Take a look here and compare what's on E compared to C, D, and the main concourse:

http://www.mitchellairport.com/airport-guide/dining/

plus that restaurant, bar, and snack stand, are all one thing. So E needs more.

That terminal gets what, 20 RJs a day? How much business can that support? Anyways, the fact that people think it needs more dining options hardly warrants demolishing it.
 
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TVNWZ
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:06 pm

Quoting phxtravelboy (Reply 22):
Because it's a very tired, old, dated concourse. It's probably less cost to demolish it than update it as it probably needs a complete gut job to bring it up to "modern" standards, IE the AC ducts, electrical, plumbing, etc. I haven't been in that concourse since DL moved over to the D gates but I'm sure it's just as dated.

Most of that was updated in the last 10 years. An extensive renovation of the restrooms and the restaurant bar area was done about a year before DL moved out. the concourse got all new flooring--tile and carpeting. The restrooms look a lot like the ones in D and C. Very modern. The AC ducts were redone in the rotunda about 12 years ago. That was a mess at the time.

As N353SK points out, even when DL was there the one restaurant appeared sufficient to handle food needs. My years flying out of E on DL I must have dined there maybe twice. Most of the time I hid out in the Skyclub--which was updated to the bluish Sky Club look about 6 months before DL moved.

I always liked E. I thought it was the most convenient and accessible than any other concourse especially when D was packed with YX traffic.
 
scutfarcus
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:35 am

I for one would gladly pay a premium for UA on SFO- MKE!

Rookie question - what does "at risk" flying mean?
 
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knope2001
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:48 am

Quoting scutfarcus (Reply 31):
Rookie question - what does "at risk" flying mean?

The bulk of regional code-share flying is capacity-purchase agreements. Essentially, the big airline contracts with the regional to provide X flying and pays them a fixed amount for it. The big airline has full control and bears the risk/reward of that flying. To the regional it doesn't too much matter if the planes fly empty, filled with deep discount fares or packed with high-yield business.

"At risk" flying is done at the will of the regional, and the regional has the financial risk...the profit or loss is theirs. At risk flying is more like the earlier years of code sharing where the regionals had more "airline" functions. With capacity purchases they are more like massive charter operations doing long-term wet-lease flying.

That's a simplified explanation, and there are details which vary from contract to contract. I don't think SkyWest can encroach on an existing UA market with UA* at-risk flying, for example. At risk flying sometimes has an element of the regional finding homes for idle aircraft -- a good example of this is the SkyWest EAS flying. United is happy enough to have SkyWest EAS routes run 7,000 passengers a month through their O'Hare hub, but if that goes away United doesn't flinch. But many at-risk markets are ones which United would undoubtedly backfill were SkyWest to exit. The big airlines significantly adjusted their contracts with regionals over the years to stop making them profitable even if the major was losing their shirts, and the implementation of at-risk was part of the way to spread the risk.
 
rising
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RE: Will UA Ever Upgauge MKE Or Bring Back Mainline?

Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:39 am

Quoting jetblastdubai (Reply 17):
I feel your pain as well. My home airport used to have scheduled DC10/DC8/762 service on a regular basis to ORD and DEN and for the past few years it's been a mix of Q400s, E145 and CR2s. Recently some 738/9s have showed up and they're just as packed as the smaller planes. The market is there if they had the planes.

Thank goodness the industry (and UAL) is now being run like a business instead of a hobby. While disappointing for an aviation fan, such ridiculous fleet usage is a thing of the past. The bodies might be there, but is the yield?
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