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Author Topic: Commuter only airlines...  (Read 3238 times)

L1011fan

  • Former member
Commuter only airlines...
« on: June 10, 2011, 09:17:58 PM »
I set up small airline based in KGEG using an EMB-120 for routes requiring only 30 seats and a Q-400 for some towns that had about double the demand or maybe a little more. I started with default pricing. Straight down the tubes overnight. $1,000,000 in the hole. Is it just not a good idea to do regional/commuter carriers? My LF is running 66% to 75%, so pretty good on that end. I picked KGEG because it was pretty wide open and its not THAT small. KSEA just seemed too big to try this, so I just run 2 flights there on one of each aircraft and those are doing pretty well. So many towns in Montana and Idaho are just ripe for a small carrier. Haven't given up yet, but suggestions for this type of situation would be greatly appreciated. :)

Offline Pilot Oatmeal

  • Members
  • Posts: 700
Re: Commuter only airlines...
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2011, 09:48:17 PM »
I don't think its possible with anything smaller than a ATR 42-300-600 series...

Ive run profitable with the ATR 42 which is a 50 seater,

The EMB-120 just doesn't work with how AWS works, mostly due to high staff costs... they say anything smaller than 50 seats and its a no goer...
the Q-400 is a GREAT plane for regional work in AWS... as is the ATR 72 :)

I want one day, the ability to fly MITSUBISHI MU-2'S PROFITABLE (COUGH SAMI COUGH)

that last bit you might not get unless you saw my post :p but if you have any other questions let me know

Regards Jordan :)

L1011fan

  • Former member
Re: Commuter only airlines...
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2011, 11:07:28 PM »
Thank you! Good to know.

Offline LemonButt

  • Members
  • Posts: 1895
Re: Commuter only airlines...
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2011, 12:35:46 AM »
I set up small airline based in KGEG using an EMB-120 for routes requiring only 30 seats and a Q-400 for some towns that had about double the demand or maybe a little more. I started with default pricing. Straight down the tubes overnight. $1,000,000 in the hole. Is it just not a good idea to do regional/commuter carriers? My LF is running 66% to 75%, so pretty good on that end. I picked KGEG because it was pretty wide open and its not THAT small. KSEA just seemed too big to try this, so I just run 2 flights there on one of each aircraft and those are doing pretty well. So many towns in Montana and Idaho are just ripe for a small carrier. Haven't given up yet, but suggestions for this type of situation would be greatly appreciated. :)

First tip is you should only be using 1 fleet type.  You should be flying 2x daily with a EMB-120 versus 1x daily with a Q-400.  The secret to running small aircraft successfully is that you have to have ALOT of them to push down the commonality costs on a per plane basis.  You also have to control marketing costs because each destination means higher marketing costs.  I've found that your CI really doesn't matter when servicing the small towns with 30 pax demand, so a CI of <50 shouldn't be detrimental as it seems RI is more important.  KGEG isn't a terrible airport for a commuter airline, but you may want to consider an airport like Key West or otherwise with a short runway that will keep out most of the competition using bigger planes.  Utilization is key as well.  You should easily have 17+ hours of utilization with a plane like the EMB-120 with a short turnaround time.  If you have more than 30 minutes of unneccessary downtime in any given day--you're not scheduling your flights as efficiently as they could be.  You should also keep pricing at the default because any reductions in prices will result in reduced revenues, but increased pax loads which doesn't help your bottom line one bit.

Monk Xion

  • Former member
Re: Commuter only airlines...
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2011, 12:32:48 AM »
I don't think its possible with anything smaller than a ATR 42-300-600 series...

Ive run profitable with the ATR 42 which is a 50 seater,

The EMB-120 just doesn't work with how AWS works, mostly due to high staff costs... they say anything smaller than 50 seats and its a no goer...
the Q-400 is a GREAT plane for regional work in AWS... as is the ATR 72 :)

I want one day, the ability to fly MITSUBISHI MU-2'S PROFITABLE (COUGH SAMI COUGH)

that last bit you might not get unless you saw my post :p but if you have any other questions let me know

Regards Jordan :)

 i 100% agree that the Q-400's and ATR-72's are some of the best a/c in the game. I prefer the Q-400 b/c it flies a little bit faster and has a slightly farther range.

Offline BobTheCactus

  • Members
  • Posts: 1244
    • AeroBlogger.com
Re: Commuter only airlines...
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2011, 12:35:01 AM »
i 100% agree that the Q-400's and ATR-72's are some of the best a/c in the game. I prefer the Q-400 b/c it flies a little bit faster and has a slightly farther range.

They are incredibly profitable aircraft in terms of profit margin, but they don't create enough capital to expand effectively. The best strategy is to start with the big aircraft and then expand to Q400/ATR to prepare for fuel spikes
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flightsimer

  • Former member
Re: Commuter only airlines...
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2011, 01:39:12 AM »
They are incredibly profitable aircraft in terms of profit margin, but they don't create enough capital to expand effectively. The best strategy is to start with the big aircraft and then expand to Q400/ATR to prepare for fuel spikes
it depends on the airport really. If you are in a sweet spot, you can do it.

I started with ATR's and got my fleet to 20 and then switched to Q400's to be more competitive and grew my fleet to 40 a/c between the two before i started into jets. Granted i had a year period where i was just breaking even due to c checks, but i was able to order jets that got myself back into expansion.

Now after having done it this way successfully this time, i think i will be using larger jets to start with the next time just because of the potential expansion rate.

 

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