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Author Topic: Saab 2000 vs ATR 72 vs Q400  (Read 4380 times)

Offline Jackson

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Saab 2000 vs ATR 72 vs Q400
« on: December 07, 2013, 11:40:03 AM »
Im begining to question why the ATR is more popular than the Saab and the Dash is more popular than the ATR. (I am aware that the Bombardier Dash4 Q400 isnt in production until year 2000AD lol but just enquiring to see if it would be worth having a major overhaul and aircraft-spring clean for come 1996.)

Comparing the 72 against the Q400 is obvious. The Q400 is much faster and has nearly twice as much range but burns more fuel and carries only 4 more pax than the 72.In comparison with the 2000, Im guessing its superior only when used on routes less than 800nm. Yes it carries 10 more than the 2000 and is only slightly slower but it burns more fuel yet again and I can't imagine using it above 800nm will be of any benefits as thats jet territory. Plus I read somewhere that you should never fly your aircraft type further than 10 it's pax capacity.  How true is that? If thats the case, who then needs the Q400s extra range capabilities? I mean...I could...if I have already established ATRs on -300nm routes with Saabs on +300nm routes up to 600-700nm and then use the Dash to dash over 700nm routes that have under 80pax demand once I own them but common sense says it won't be worth it.

I personally have ordered 15 ATRs and 15 Saabs to see for myself. I heard through the grapevines that in order to cancel out the penalty of having numerous fleet types, each fleet type needs to be greater than 20. How true is that? In that case I may order 5 more of each or just purchase them on the used market to make up the numbers as the demand is definitely there. Or I can sell one type if the kind people on this forum advises against having 2 or more small short ranged aircraft types.

Opinions and facts anyone? Thanks in advance guys...


Offline meiru

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Re: Saab 2000 vs ATR 72 vs Q400
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2013, 12:08:01 PM »
I don't like the Saab 2000, because in my opinion she's too small for what she delivers and she needs too much fuel. Of course, she's cheap, that's true and also not that slow.
But the best choice seems to be the ATR or Q400 for short haul flights. I don't think flying longer than 800 nm makes sense. So I compared the Q400 and ATR for routes <= 500 nm plus some up to 800 nm. Overall and depending on the fuel price I think they're equal.
The Q400 is more expensive, burns more fuel but has lower check-costs and is faster (= lower personel costs). Given that you could create very dense flight plans, it may be, that the Q400 is a little bit more cost effective (again, depending on the fuel price)... but the ATR has a 42 and this gives me the flexibility to make the fleet as a whole very compareable to the Q400 fleet that I would use to fly the routes I want to fly... so, per aircraft I got to a difference of +-11k per week (at most)... that's nothing...
But I've to say, that's the calculation for my airline and for a specific airport... it may be, that it's different for other airports (e.g. in Europe you have much more shorter flights possible than in some places in the US)... so... what I can say is, that I can't give you an advice which one to take  :laugh:

Offline Sanabas

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Re: Saab 2000 vs ATR 72 vs Q400
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2013, 12:44:41 PM »
Saab only carries 51 pax when you put HD seats in. Or 48/2, 44/4 if you add C seats. No problems using them right out to 1200 NM, likewise no problems using Q400 out to 1500 NM. You'll make more money with shorter flights, assuming they're full. But both planes are efficient enough that you should make money wherever you fly them.

Fuel use on ATR vs Q400 is actually close enough to identical. You're forgetting that the Q400 is faster, so spends less time to fly the same route. So it burns more fuel per hour, but about the same or even slightly less for the same flight. Same deal for the Saab. Differences are that Saab has 5 min longer turns, and the configs are probably 48/2 for Saab, 60/3 for ATR72, 64/3 for Q400. Plus whatever differences there are in purchase/lease price, and availability.

ATR is more popular because it is around so much earlier, and because it's likely MT/challenge scenarios will start with a lot of them in storage.

All 3 are excellent planes. Q400 is clearly better, but comes much later and is more expensive. ATR offers more flexibility, you can add some cheaper 40 seters if you want to. Saab offers more range than the ATR, and the quicker flights can help cram more in.

As for fleet types, it's not that you need more than 20 in a fleet and then they're worth it. If you stick to 3 or less fleet types, you should have no problems. If you have 4 or more fleet types, it gets more expensive the bigger your airline gets. You need to have a really good reason to run more than 3 fleets. Those reasons are normally because you're doing fleet replacement in a longer game, or you need to get planes faster in order to expand more aggressively, and the extra growth speed, extra revenue outweighs the extra costs.

Offline meiru

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Re: Saab 2000 vs ATR 72 vs Q400
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2013, 01:02:52 PM »
How would you fly those planes >800 nm profitable? ... that's a huge risk. You just need a little problem and you will lose money on those routes.
Sometimes I fly MD80s up to 2300 nm and that's also extremely dangerous, but with those you can use the night to fly too... with smaller planes flying so long doesn't give you room for mistakes. I doubt, that this is a good idea...

Offline Sanabas

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Re: Saab 2000 vs ATR 72 vs Q400
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2013, 04:58:55 PM »
How would you fly those planes >800 nm profitable?

Very easily.

Again, shorter routes are better. But longer routes, right out to the edge of the plane's range (1110? for Saab, ~1500 for Q400) will still make money if they are full enough, because those planes are very efficient. Putting a Saab on a 1000 NM, 50 pax route is no problem at all.

Offline meiru

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Re: Saab 2000 vs ATR 72 vs Q400
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2013, 05:18:52 PM »
Yes, "full enough" is the point  ;D ... and if you don't have competition, it can work, but with competition it could turn into a very bad situation very quick... and then you have the airplanes, no routes to fly and you have to pay them... as I sayed... it's a huge risk... that's what my experience always was
the longer the flight, the bigger the aircraft should be and flying aircrafts up to their maximum range is not a good idea for all types... it works very well for e.g. MD-81 (it's range is horribly short), but for others (like the A318 for example) it may never pay off

Offline LemonButt

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Re: Saab 2000 vs ATR 72 vs Q400
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2013, 07:27:52 PM »
How would you fly those planes >800 nm profitable? ... that's a huge risk. You just need a little problem and you will lose money on those routes.
Sometimes I fly MD80s up to 2300 nm and that's also extremely dangerous, but with those you can use the night to fly too... with smaller planes flying so long doesn't give you room for mistakes. I doubt, that this is a good idea...

Q400 is easy to fly 1500nm profitable in an all business class config :)  I once ran an airline out of ATL with nothing but.  I'm pretty sure this isn't possible anymore though...

Offline meiru

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Re: Saab 2000 vs ATR 72 vs Q400
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2013, 08:45:23 PM »
:laugh: that's it

Offline Sanabas

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Re: Saab 2000 vs ATR 72 vs Q400
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2013, 03:53:46 AM »
Yes, "full enough" is the point  ;D ... and if you don't have competition, it can work, but with competition it could turn into a very bad situation very quick... and then you have the airplanes, no routes to fly and you have to pay them... as I sayed... it's a huge risk... that's what my experience always was
the longer the flight, the bigger the aircraft should be and flying aircrafts up to their maximum range is not a good idea for all types... it works very well for e.g. MD-81 (it's range is horribly short), but for others (like the A318 for example) it may never pay off

It's a very small risk. Even half full, the route itself will make money. May not make enough money to pay for all the overhead, but flying it will be better than leaving the plane on the tarmac. Having an airline that *only* flies small, 1000 NM Saab routes is very risky, and could easily go bad. Having an airline that flies small 1000 NM Saab routes *in addition* to lots of shorter routes is not a huge risk. It's hardly a risk at all. If you happen to have a lot of comp, it might impact profits a little. But whoever is providing that comp will also have their profits impacted. Most of my airlines have included a turboprop fleet. Every time, I have flown those turboprops all the way to maximum range, and before the tech-stop penalty became so large, I even flew tech-stopping ATRs from Moscow-Spain, Moscow-Ireland, 40 pax, 1600 NM routes like UUEE-EICM. Not once did it turn into a bad situation, it never sent me bankrupt, it never even forced me to stop flying the routes due to lack of profit.

Bottom line: If you are going to run a fleet of efficient turboprops, you should start with the short routes, every plane should fly 3-4 times/day to start with. But as you expand, you should include all the 40+ pax routes out to the planes max range, because they are worth flying.

Offline meiru

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Re: Saab 2000 vs ATR 72 vs Q400
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2013, 11:49:47 AM »
conclusion: using ATR or Q400 is not a question of economy, it's a religion  ;)

Offline Jackson

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Re: Saab 2000 vs ATR 72 vs Q400
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2013, 12:20:11 PM »
Loool so it seems  :laugh:

Offline Jackson

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Re: Saab 2000 vs ATR 72 vs Q400
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2013, 12:31:56 PM »
Again. Thanks guys. Your explainations and debate helped alot.

Seeing as my Saabs don't arrive till '93 and my ATRs arrive this year ('90), I will utilise the 72s starting from as close to home as possible, pushing further and further out and keep a close eye on individual profit. Once the 2000s reach, I'll then place the first one on a juicy route that the ATRs serve, replacing one of course and compare.
 
Taking what you guys have said into account, the only purpose of keeping the Saabs from then on will be dependent on exactly how many route pairs can be crammed in its schedule therefor making more money despite the lower pax volume. I may keep both till 2000 and replace both with Q400 or let one go and replace the other later on.

I have learned a thing or two. The biggest lesson is TO ALWAYS CHECK THE PAX LIMITS. Essential.

 

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