Industry Outlook:

flyguy

Well-Known Member
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That's the entire reason why the RJ routes are explodeing everywhere.......people really don't care how small the airplane is,just that it's a jet.

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Yes they do! Once they spend enough time flying on them they will realize that they are extreemely uncomfortable compared to a 737 or something comperable. Airlines may see initial benefits because most people have never been on an RJ. Once they get familiar with them they will learn to hate them. Keep in mind this is from a passanger's standpoint, not from someone who knows anything about airplanes. From a consumer's standpoint, most people are willing to fly on an RJ if it is cheaper. But once you start taliking about flights longer than 2 hours, people start paying more for mainline a/c for the comfort factor.
 

aloft

New Member
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Now I don't know about you guys.....but those figures are okay with me (okay 1st year F/O pay sucks
!). Maybe life at a regional is not that bad....not bad at all.


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It's getting there--but it needs to be better. It needs to more closely resemble the same scale as the mainline carriers (not the same wages, the same scale).

Save for international travel, it would seem that the hub & spoke model is a bust, and the only possible way to beat Southwest and JetBlue at the point-to-point game is by offering travelers more flexibility. The big advantage RJs offer the major carriers and their customers is increased frequency of service; given a choice between two departure times via 757 and 5 or 6 departures via an RJ, most travelers are going to prefer the greater flexibility 6 different departure times offers them.

I know Doug and his peers are not happy with management's decision to replace mainline runs with RJ service, but the genie's out of the bottle. To prevent erosion of hard-won pay and benefits at the mainline carriers, the smart thing to do now is A) fight to bring the regionals wages and work conditions up to par with mainline, or B) bring all jets to mainline. Jets for Jobs isn't the answer, and neither is scope.

Any way you look at it, RJs are here to stay so we all might as well make the best of it.
 

A320_DUDE

Well-Known Member
Let me tell you a little story flyguy,.....one day back when I was a neophyte CSA at American Airlines I was booking as passenger to Fayetteville AR(XNA). At the time AA (actually AE) was running a mix of S340s and ERJs. The passenger has a shot at a reduced one way fare of about 650 bucks if he connected to the Saab......or pay full fare of over 1000 bucks for the RJ. He paid for the RJ......he didn't want anything to do with one of those "propeller planes". I'm gonna say this (please nobody take offense to this!) but 99.9% of the time passengers have NO CLUE what kind of airplane they are getting on......and 99.9% of the time they don't care. When I worked at SW I had one lady ask me if the plane was gonna be a turboprop....it was a nonstop flight from Hartford to Vegas! Hate it or Love it the Regional Jet is here to stay!
 

A320_DUDE

Well-Known Member
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I know Doug and his peers are not happy with management's decision to replace mainline runs with RJ service, but the genie's out of the bottle. To prevent erosion of hard-won pay and benefits at the mainline carriers, the smart thing to do now is A) fight to bring the regionals wages and work conditions up to par with mainline, or B) bring all jets to mainline. Jets for Jobs isn't the answer, and neither is scope.


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I totally agree with answer A......the CMR strike helped "Express" pilots everywhere raise the bar,but now that these guys are getting somewhat decent wages,we have people like Johnny O starting up airlines like Freedumb Air to bring wages back down!

Even though this may piss off Doug....I have a little problem with answer B though......the RJs have been offered to mainline pilots,however they turned their noses up at the payscales and schedules needed to make these airplanes profitable. Now that they are the wave of the future...the mainline guys want the RJ flying. I have a BIG problem with that!

Maybe Doug can answer that question(unless it's gonna get your blood pressure up!): Would mainline pilots be against expanded RJ flying if they were doing the flying under current RJ payscales?
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Southwest and Jet Blue (they needed the money!) are eating our (well, DCI's) lunch when competing against RJ's.

An RJ is a great alternative to driving or from flying on a Brasilia, but if you look at loads on routes that are served by a mainline-sized aircraft on SWA, JBLU or Air Tran, they're kicking our butt big time.

There MAY, and I mean MAY be some regional/major integration, but if I could describe the political machinations that are going on behind the scenes, the best potential at Delta to have a cooperative employment agreement is between DAL and ASA, but considering the political wranglings between DAL and CMR, a DAL-CMR cooperative employment agreement is less likely than the space shuttle going missed approach.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
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Even though this may piss off Doug....I have a little problem with answer B though......the RJs have been offered to mainline pilots,however they turned their noses up at the payscales and schedules needed to make these airplanes profitable.

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It would piss me off if it were true and I had feelings on the issue, but that is the goofiest urban legend on earth.

We were willing to negotiation RJ-50 and RJ-70 wages, but management had absolutely no interest in entering talks back in 1999.

They had all the intentions in the world of creating several various pilot groups which could be whipsawed against one another in order to keep the entire wage structure depressed.

Whoever told you that we supposedly "thumbed our nose" at the RJ doesn't know what the hell he's talking about and if he disagrees, have him contact me about his sources.

And I'm serious.
 

A320_DUDE

Well-Known Member
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Even though this may piss off Doug....I have a little problem with answer B though......the RJs have been offered to mainline pilots,however they turned their noses up at the payscales and schedules needed to make these airplanes profitable.

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It would piss me off if it were true and I had feelings on the issue, but that is the goofiest urban legend on earth.


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Kinda like the urban legend that JBlu doesn't pay for it's airplanes? (low blow,sorry!)

I've heard that urban legend from quite a few people. I'm not trying to start a RJ/Mainline debate(I'll go over to FlightInfo for that!)....but Doug,you kinda tipped toed around my question. Would the mainline guys be willing to fly RJs under the current payscale and workrules?
 

aloft

New Member
That raises an interesting question: what would a rate acceptable to mainline pilots for 50 and 70 seat jets look like? I don't know the formula used now to determine rates for larger jets--Doug?
 

flyguy

Well-Known Member
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Let me tell you a little story flyguy,.....one day back when I was a neophyte CSA at American Airlines I was booking as passenger to Fayetteville AR(XNA). At the time AA (actually AE) was running a mix of S340s and ERJs. The passenger has a shot at a reduced one way fare of about 650 bucks if he connected to the Saab......or pay full fare of over 1000 bucks for the RJ. He paid for the RJ......he didn't want anything to do with one of those "propeller planes". I'm gonna say this (please nobody take offense to this!) but 99.9% of the time passengers have NO CLUE what kind of airplane they are getting on......

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That's my point. Most people don't know the difference between a CRJ and a 737. They know the difference between jets and props. Tell them they are getting on a jet and they will be happy - until they get on the jet and realize that the seats are smaller, don't recline as far, there is no entertainment whatsoever, minimal beverage/snack service etc.etc.etc., i.e., not much different than a turboprop. And why do they hate the turboprops anyway? Because they think they are unsafe? Perhaps, but more likely because they are uncomfortable. By the way, one passenger dosn't represent 99.9% of the population. Also, you didn't see that passenger after he got on the plane. How do you know he was satisfied? Tell them they're getting on a jet and they are okay until they realize that the inside is not much different than those props that they hate so much. Not many people have been on RJs so they don't know the difference, but more and more they are going to start to realize that they are nothing more than jet versions of the little props that they used to refuse to get on.

I agree with you that they are here to stay, but I disagree that they are going to replace domestic mainline aircraft. They are going to replace the turboprops and serve the same niche that the turboprops served. They do have more extended routes than turboprops, but the only reason for that is that they are faster and can go farther in the same amount of time. It used to be that turboprops would get a pax from Smalltownville A to a major city where the pax connected to a mainline to another major city where they would get on another turboprop to get to Smalltownville B. Now we have regional jets that get a pax from Smalltownville A directly to the second major city, eliminating a leg from the trip. It beats driving from Smalltownville to a major city but people want comfort if they are going to be on the plane for a pretty long time. Now, if airlines were to renovate thier RJs so that they are as comfortable and enjoyable to fly on as a 737 or comporable, and add first class sections, then they might have something, but that would mean eliminating seats so there goes the cost effectiveness.
 

Timbuff10

Well-Known Member
I sat in a CRJ last week for the first time and I have to say the window seats were pretty uncomfortable. I am 6'5" and its not just that my legs dont fit in the seat (that is nothing new to me on airplanes) but my head doesnt fit. I have to lean over into the seat beside me because the roof is so low over the window seats.

I could deal with that for maybe an hour but after that I would rather go to the back and sit on the can for the rest of the trip!

I do however fit perfectly fine in the seat that matters... the cockpit
) plenty of room once the seat is reclined.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
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I've heard that urban legend from quite a few people. I'm not trying to start a RJ/Mainline debate(I'll go over to FlightInfo for that!)....but Doug,you kinda tipped toed around my question. Would the mainline guys be willing to fly RJs under the current payscale and workrules?

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Nah, no need to tiptoe around on my own personal website!


An airplane is an airplane is an airplane when it comes to pilots. What would be an acceptable rate to fly the RJ's at? I have no idea, but that does bring up an interesting conversation though.

First things first, however, what determines the current work rules/pay scales? Do we look at Chautauqua, ASA, Skywest or Comair that operates RJ's, or do we look at establishing RJ-70/90 rates, comparing those with DC-9 series 10 and Fokker-100 rates and then scaling them down to match CL-200 and CL-700 rates?

Why do I bring up the DC-9 series 10? That aircraft carries about 70 seats or so and has an established payscale to determine 70 seat rates. From that starting point, you can adjust the 50 and 90 seat pay scales based on the "baby nine".

Would I fly a CL-700 at Mesa rates at mainline? Considering a employee at In-n-Out burger earns more than a Mesa CL-700 FO, umm no.

Comair rates? Considering a large contingient of the pilot group voted against the TA because they felt it wasn't enough to reach the pre-established 70 seat scale, I really can't answer that question either.

However, the notion that us high and mighty mainline pilots thumbed our nose at considering flying RJ's is hot steaming fecal matter from flightinfo.

Was the above a tip-toed response?
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
I'm not sure because I don't have Northwest's current pay rate sheet.
 

Snow

'Not a new member'
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That's my point. Most people don't know the difference between a CRJ and a 737

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Hum well I think the lack of air stairs is a pretty good indication that it's not a major airliner, espically if you have to run out in the rain to board the plane! People may not know a great deal about planes but they certianly would notice the differences of boarding a mainline and a regional aircraft.

Plus I must be in the .1 % because I love flying on turboprops
 

pavelump

Well-Known Member
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Hum well I think the lack of air stairs is a pretty good indication that it's not a major airliner, espically if you have to run out in the rain to board the plane! People may not know a great deal about planes but they certianly would notice the differences of boarding a mainline and a regional aircraft.


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Yeah, but to the people in the smaller airports that's nothing new... What is attractive is the possiblility of not having to fly to a hub and wait around for a couple of hours for your connecting flight and hoping that your luggage made it from one plane to the next.

I think that people would rather sit in a CRJ for 3-4 hours to get to their destination than have to fly for 1-2 to a hub, wait for another 2 and then finallly board the plane and sit on the taxi way for 45 minutes and finally fly for another 2 ro 3 hours to thier destination. At least I would.

The upside to this approach is that there would be a need for more RJs to form new direct routes and pilots to fly them. The downside is that there probably won't be as many large flights from hub to hub which means fewer 'mainline' flights/pilots.

Throw in the growth of the fractionals and that might prove for a very different looking industry over the next several years.

On that subject, does anybody believe the "60,000 pilots will retire over the next few years (or whatever it is)" spiel? What about that? How does that fit into things? I've been hearing that thrown around for the last 15 years.

Dave
 

flyguy

Well-Known Member
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Hum well I think the lack of air stairs is a pretty good indication that it's not a major airliner, espically if you have to run out in the rain to board the plane! People may not know a great deal about planes but they certianly would notice the differences of boarding a mainline and a regional aircraft.


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Shush...You know what I meant.
I meant at the ticket counter they won't know what kind of plane it is until they see it at the gate.
 

Androol

New Member
People DO notice a difference. I was talking to a Delta crew in the hotel van the other day and they said Delta had lost some travel contracts with some Atlanta companies because Delta had pulled a lot of mainline aircraft off the routes and replaced them with RJs. AirTran got the contracts because the 717/DC-9s have a first class section whereas the RJs don't.

I used to work a real job that required a lot of traveling and my associates considered the ability to use frequent flier miles to upgrade to first class a VERY important perk. They would go out of their way to avoid RJs because of that reason (it was easier to do that back then). This company and my co-workers were the types who make up the bread and butter of the full-fare airline industry - the short notice, frequent flier, full fare business traveler.

Personally I think you will begin to see an RJ backlash in this country. They ARE great for thin routes, bypassing hubs, and to suppliment service. But all too often they are increasingly being used to fly between hubs and major cities and on longer routes. I think Air Tran has the right idea and a great airplane to compete against the RJs. I don't think it will be too long before others catch on.

As for the theme of this threas, I think the recovery will depend largly on Iraq. If this two year occupation of Iraq that was mention yesterday comes true, I think you will see several airlines file Chapter 11 and one or two biggies fail. I also think you will begin to see a major collapse of the economy. If this thing is over quickly you will begin to see things turn around for most airlines. I think most industry analysts predict Continental, Northwest and Delta, in that order, will be the first to return to profitability. United, USAirways and American being the last - if they survive.
 

stuckingfk

Well-Known Member
I read somewhere that the 717's are one of the cheapest operating airplanes per seat mile, even cheaper than the regional jets. Has anyone else heard this?
 

pavelump

Well-Known Member
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Air Tran ordered 100 717's recently. Wow!

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isn't that basically the MD-80 (or 90?)
 
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