Aurantiaco
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How easy is it to start a regional/commuter airline?

Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:30 pm

How easy is it start a regional or commuter airline, like Boutique or California Pacific? I would think it would be a bit easier to make than a national carrier, with less routes and less expensive planes. Would a commuter survive in this present climate? I would like opinion based discussions. Thank you.
 
VSMUT
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Re: How easy is it to start a regional/commuter airline?

Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:14 pm

It really isn't very easy. For the administration and paperwork, the basic stuff required is roughly the same as required for any other airline, regardless of size. Big airlines get an advantage by being able to spread that cost out over more planes. Small operators don't get a rebate on the bureaucracy.

Not sure about the US situation though, they seem to do things differently.
 
kabq737
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Re: How easy is it to start a regional/commuter airline?

Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:26 pm

It isn’t easy either way but you’ll get a big difference depending on if you decide to operate under part 121 or part 135 here in the states.
Been on: 320, 321, 333, 733, 73G, 738, 739, 744, 752, 763, 764, 772, 789, C208, CR7, CR9, BE20, MD83, MD88, MD90, E70, E75, E90, TRIM
Flown: SEEKER, C172N, C172R, C172S, C182RG, DA40,
PA-46
 
Dalmd88
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Re: How easy is it to start a regional/commuter airline?

Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:00 am

It is very difficult I would think. The start up costs are astronomical. After getting through all the hoops to start service you then have to get people on your planes. Quite a few small niche airlines have tried the couple of route method. Most don't make it. EAS is another avenue, but it is tough to break into the dwindling number of EAS routes. John an Jane Q Public have no idea about little start ups like Boutique.Getting those folks to notice and then actually book a flight is tough. If you screw up with canceled flights they don't come back.

Thirty years ago straight out of A&P school I worked for a couple of little 19 seat turboprop independent airlines. We were always one step in the grave money wise. We really only needed like a 30% load factor to break even but even that was hard. The first had a nice little network based in SYR. We flew all over the Northeast. Fares were good, $69 SYR-BOS, SYR-LGA. No code shares, NOBODY knew we existed for four years.

Now flying a 19 seat turboprop would be tough. People don't even like the CRJ anymore. Finding an airframe that people would accept is a tall order, and an expensive one.
 
B777LRF
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Re: How easy is it to start a regional/commuter airline?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:27 am

It's not easy by any stretch of the imagination, rather exceedingly difficult and tiresome. The main difference between regional and national is the financing; the administration required to run an airline is more or less the same whether it's an A320 or B1900, if both are operating under the same rules.
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nighthawk
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Re: How easy is it to start a regional/commuter airline?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:06 pm

kabq737 wrote:
It isn’t easy either way but you’ll get a big difference depending on if you decide to operate under part 121 or part 135 here in the states.

It may be helpful if you explain what the differences are.
 
SAAFNAV
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Re: How easy is it to start a regional/commuter airline?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:11 pm

nighthawk wrote:
kabq737 wrote:
It isn’t easy either way but you’ll get a big difference depending on if you decide to operate under part 121 or part 135 here in the states.

It may be helpful if you explain what the differences are.


https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/part-121 vs https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/part-135

It's not quite easy to quickly explain away 1000's of pages.
L-382 Loadmaster; ex C-130B Navigator
 
strfyr51
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Re: How easy is it to start a regional/commuter airline?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:28 pm

It's much harder if you have to apply for air carrier certificate from the scratch. The paperwork is tremendous, I worked for a consulting firm that specialized in that, The work was immense and the only thing that made is easier was that one could go to the FAA office in Oak City and read other airlines Ops Specs to build your OWN. We built "Boiler Plate" ops specs we could customize. My part in particular was the Maintenance Section. We had other guys to build the flight/in flight and Customer service Sections.
 
kabq737
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Re: How easy is it to start a regional/commuter airline?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:18 pm

nighthawk wrote:
kabq737 wrote:
It isn’t easy either way but you’ll get a big difference depending on if you decide to operate under part 121 or part 135 here in the states.

It may be helpful if you explain what the differences are.

I’m sorry but there’s so much to it that I’d refer the OP to research it on eCFR it Cornell Law if they are seriously interested.
Been on: 320, 321, 333, 733, 73G, 738, 739, 744, 752, 763, 764, 772, 789, C208, CR7, CR9, BE20, MD83, MD88, MD90, E70, E75, E90, TRIM
Flown: SEEKER, C172N, C172R, C172S, C182RG, DA40,
PA-46
 
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nighthawk
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Re: How easy is it to start a regional/commuter airline?

Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:57 am

Part 121 is required for scheduled operations, whereas 135 is enough if you just do charter flights or on demand services. Seems straight forward to sum up to me?
 
e38
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Re: How easy is it to start a regional/commuter airline?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:43 am

Quoting kabq737 (Reply # 9), " . . . if they are seriously interested."

kabq737, I don't think the thread starter--OP--Aurantiaco--is really serious about this. He's a kid who just had a random thought and threw it out to the Airliner.net community rather than actually doing research. I think this is very common on A.net these days and is consistent with the continual decline of the quality of Airliners.net.

Now, that being said, this could be an interesting topic for discussion; particularly in a MBA course or a forum hosted by the small business administration.

As you stated, kabq737, "there’s so much to it . . ."

e38
 
Aurantiaco
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Re: How easy is it to start a regional/commuter airline?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:50 am

e38 wrote:
Quoting kabq737 (Reply # 9), " . . . if they are seriously interested."

kabq737, I don't think the thread starter--OP--Aurantiaco--is really serious about this. He's a kid who just had a random thought and threw it out to the Airliner.net community rather than actually doing research. I think this is very common on A.net these days and is consistent with the continual decline of the quality of Airliners.net.

Now, that being said, this could be an interesting topic for discussion; particularly in a MBA course or a forum hosted by the small business administration.

As you stated, kabq737, "there’s so much to it . . ."

e38

Yep. Not serious about this, just wanna know if it’s any more easy to launch than a bigger airline.
 
Woodreau
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Re: How easy is it to start a regional/commuter airline?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:55 am

An airline flying a single Cessna 414 that wants to fly from San Francisco to Oakland has the same regulatory hurdles that a 1000 plane fleet that flies all around the world.
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
Aurantiaco
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Re: How easy is it to start a regional/commuter airline?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:52 pm

How easy is it financially?
 
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AirKevin
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Re: How easy is it to start a regional/commuter airline?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:50 pm

As former American CEO Bob Crandall once said, in order to become a millionaire, you start with a billion dollars, open up an airline, and work your way down to a million.
Captain Kevin
 
B777LRF
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Re: How easy is it to start a regional/commuter airline?

Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:44 am

Aurantiaco wrote:
How easy is it financially?


Somewhere between 'extremely hard' to 'impossible', unless you already have several million USD floating about with nothing to do.
Signature. You just read one.
 
A380MSN004
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Re: How easy is it to start a regional/commuter airline?

Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:08 pm

The good question would Be : with how much millions USD is it possible To start a regional/commuter airline?
 
kabq737
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Re: How easy is it to start a regional/commuter airline?

Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:17 pm

nighthawk wrote:
Part 121 is required for scheduled operations, whereas 135 is enough if you just do charter flights or on demand services. Seems straight forward to sum up to me?

Some 135 operators can do limited schedules and even sell individual tickets to the public. It’s all in the legalities and there are lots of roadblocks and loopholes.
Been on: 320, 321, 333, 733, 73G, 738, 739, 744, 752, 763, 764, 772, 789, C208, CR7, CR9, BE20, MD83, MD88, MD90, E70, E75, E90, TRIM
Flown: SEEKER, C172N, C172R, C172S, C182RG, DA40,
PA-46
 
kabq737
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Re: How easy is it to start a regional/commuter airline?

Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:19 pm

Woodreau wrote:
An airline flying a single Cessna 414 that wants to fly from San Francisco to Oakland has the same regulatory hurdles that a 1000 plane fleet that flies all around the world.

With all due respect it is my understanding that this isn’t necessarily true.

It depends on how the airline wants to operate and their opspecs etc.

It CAN be true but it isn’t always true.
Been on: 320, 321, 333, 733, 73G, 738, 739, 744, 752, 763, 764, 772, 789, C208, CR7, CR9, BE20, MD83, MD88, MD90, E70, E75, E90, TRIM
Flown: SEEKER, C172N, C172R, C172S, C182RG, DA40,
PA-46
 
crjflyboy
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Re: How easy is it to start a regional/commuter airline?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:44 pm

135 operators can operate aircraft for 9 paying customers as a commutter airline, regularly scheduled flights ... their are multiple 135 types

http://www.usac.com/faa/InstructionTwo. ... 20Operator

My partner invested 125,000 to get a full 135 certificate and it took nearly a year to get it.

You have to choose routes with significant demand, but no service over a decent lengths as you competing with the car.

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