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Author Topic: Small prop feasibility  (Read 1713 times)

Coltav

  • Former member
Small prop feasibility
« on: August 19, 2011, 03:21:31 AM »
AWS followers.  I am a relative newbie to the game and am curious for input as to whether developing an airline with short haul routes of small prop aircraft is feasible.  Can one make pay the bills and indeed make money building an airline of small turbo props (Saab 2000 or Embraer 120ER or ATRs on routes of a few hundred miles).  Perhaps with daily demand of 60 to 100 pax/daily.  If I were to run run 2 or 3 flights into cities, totally uncontested, with that small of a market, can I make enough to build a viable company?  Currently I have all small jets with capacity of 65, but I'm curious if the cost savings of small props would be a better fit on such short routes?

Any advice or wisdom would be appreciative!!

Thanks.

Offline Kaskoblue

  • Members
  • Posts: 116
Re: Small prop feasibility
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2011, 12:35:38 PM »
Hi Houston!
Indeed it is possible to run a profitable airline with small pros. I started Blue Bell MK IV (check out my route network - and all routes actually turn in a profit), based at SOF, Bulgaria, with a fleet of F27 and EMB 110 Banderiantes, flying profitably (very tiny) to some routes with an estimated demand of just 10 pax/day. Currently I operate 4 EMB 120ER:s, which replaced my 3 Saab 340A:s, and 8 Focker F50:s (in addition to my 12 Focker F70 jets) and it works quite well. A Focker 50 (or F27, ATR) should definitely make more money than a 65 seat jet.

Offline Pilot Oatmeal

  • Members
  • Posts: 700
Re: Small prop feasibility
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2011, 01:42:47 PM »
in general anything below 30 seats is useless, this guy above is having his profits taken away by the smaller aircraft, where the majority of the money is coming from the Fokkers.... nice work though none the less ;)

Offline Kaskoblue

  • Members
  • Posts: 116
Re: Small prop feasibility
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2011, 01:54:00 PM »
agree that Less than 30 seats is challenging (thatīs why I got rid of the bandeirantes)... also the 32 seat Saabs were no good, but EMB 120 (30 seats) seem ok in my markets.. and the money for my F100:s were originally made with F27:s...

perezoso

  • Former member
Re: Small prop feasibility
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2011, 10:32:21 PM »
I'm gonna try a few Dornier 228-212's, just because I'm a masochist.  

I tried EMB-120s in Alaska in a previous incarnation.  They didn't work out very well.

Update:  With one 19 seat Do228, I seem to be losing around $125k/month when all is said and done (leasing, maintenance, staff).  I think that I can absorb 2-3 more aircraft on appropriate routes, however, which should make the whole operation a little bit cash positive.  If I owned the planes, it would still lose money with only one aircraft, but go (slightly) profitable with two.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 07:17:26 PM by perezoso »

ramsterdambo

  • Former member
Re: Small prop feasibility
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2011, 10:57:20 PM »
I'm considering starting from St. Mary's with Twin Otters. Is this an exercise in futility?

Offline RushmoreAir

  • Members
  • Posts: 887
Re: Small prop feasibility
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2011, 11:33:38 PM »
I'm considering starting from St. Mary's with Twin Otters. Is this an exercise in futility?

In short, yes.

But if you want to do something similar, run E120s at Southampton.  That has the possibility of working.

ramsterdambo

  • Former member
Re: Small prop feasibility
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2011, 11:50:56 PM »
Hmmm. Thanks anyway! Is there anywhere in  the world where you think it's possible to run a more or less successful airline with 20 seaters/small plane class only?

Offline Sigma

  • Members
  • Posts: 1920
Re: Small prop feasibility
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2011, 01:02:05 AM »
20 seats is extremely difficult to make work.  Europe would theoretically be feasible due to the number and short distance of many destinations, if not for the competition on virtually every route and the need to get 100% LF in order to make money.  So you need to go somewhere with many nearby routes that are unlikely to have any additional service.  You may find that Cancun works best for this as there are many Mexican and Caribbean destinations that are close enough to get a lot of turns but have demand low enough that competition will be virtually nonexistent.

Offline Kadachiman

  • Members
  • Posts: 913
Re: Small prop feasibility
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2011, 02:55:54 AM »
I am currently running an airline in this game using 30 seat props, all leased. I will soon be going over to owned 29 seat props.

Yes the airline is making profits and doing well, even with a leased fleet.
Trick is to select an airport to suit what you want to do, as most that want to run small props select a 5 or 4 rated popular airport and wonder why they get crippled with route fees.
You need to take your entire thinking to running a small regional airline e.g. min marketing, I have very few night time flights (distance to get through the dead time is to great for the small props), etc.

Regards Darryl
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 03:05:07 AM by Kadachiman »

 

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