Cranky on the Web (March 7-12)

Delta tries to land new JFK terminalCrain’s New York Business
I talk to Crain’s about why Delta needs do something with its terminal at JFK.

Flying High: Southwest Airlines Posts Big February GainsBNET
Southwest saw strong double digit revenue gains in February.

Flying Higher: United Airlines February Revenues Way UpBNET
United beat Southwest’s numbers and showed that they’re really hitting their stride in the revenue game these days.

Fokker’s Back in the Airplane-Building GameBNET
Those little Fokkers are looking to start building an updated version of the F70 and F100 planes that haven’t been built for more than a decade.

Massive Snow Means Less Airline Capacity in FebruaryBNET
Feb traffic numbers are in, and what do they have in common? A lot fewer available seat miles.

Mexican’s Leading Low Fare Airline Now Owned by the Richest Man in the WorldBNET
Carlos Slim is now the richest man, and he owns an airline, believe it or not.

For those who were hoping to see my CNN International piece on the looming BA strike, I’m sorry but it doesn’t seem to be online.

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15 Comments on "Cranky on the Web (March 7-12)"

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If the 100-seat market is so lucrative, why are the planes not selling? The 737-600 and A318 are the poorest sellers in their respective families, and the 717 was terminated due to weak demand. The stretched regionals are now starting to reach 100 seats and appear to be doing fine, but past sales don’t suggest there’s a huge demand for airplanes this size.


I’m wondering whether the increased United revenue is also down to the fact that the cheapest ‘United’ fares are now only on Continental-operated flights – actually flying United attracts a price premium at th moment :(.

The 100 seat market doesn’t work when they have the be flown by mainline pilots on mainline pay scales. So the “stretch regionals” who are flying larger planes under their own names at regional pilot pay scales will do just fine. I believe there is a huge demand for the 100-120 seat aircraft market, but not at mainline pilot rates. If the airlines cannot either outsource larger scope flying or cannot get “regional like” pay rates and work rules on their mainline contracts then the market will stagnate. Or I guess the other option is have passengers actually pay for… Read more »
Matt, I see the argument in terms of pilot pay scales and work rules, but what does this have to do with the airframes? Why can’t you fly a 717 on a regional airline? Also, the pay scales argument applies to the U.S., but 100-seaters have been slow sellers globally. And what’s the difference between mainline and regional airplanes, anyway? The DC-9/717 is considered mainline at two engines and 5-abreast seating, while the BAe 146/Avro RJ is considered regional at four engines and 6-abreast seating. As far as I can tell, the only reliable difference is the history of the… Read more »
Indeed what is the difference between a regional and a mainline. In the recent past regionals provided lift for mainline using aircraft that fell within the scope limitations of that mainline. So you couldn’t fly a 717 at a regional – too many seats. I may be wrong, but as far as I know there are no 190’s being flown under a fee for departure contract. Once upon a time there were some at Frontier, but that is no longer true (at least practically, who knows what the paperwork between the various entities owned by Republic look like). The difference… Read more »
matt weber
Just about all of the majors have ‘scope’ clauses that are either severely limit the number of 70-90 passenger aircraft that can be operated by a regioinal partner, or don’t allow them to operate these aircraft at all. Most Scope clauses don’t allow the Major US carriers to perate 100+ seat aircraft except with mainline crews. I believe there may still be a ‘carve out’ for a handful 100+ seaters at UA because one of their regional partners was operating BAe146’s at the time UA negotiated the scope clause. That number of aircraft is grandfathered in. My recollection is that… Read more »
Interesting article re: DL’s facilities at JFK. They are, indeed, in need of an update, especially in light of DL’s desire to “own” New York, as they compare poorly to JetBlue’s and American’s terminals. That said, my experience as a frequent DL flier is that ATL is actually worse. The facility itself is nicer, but not much — huge lines for restrooms, overcrowded vendors, hallways that are often hard to walk through because lines for planes are spilling into them, etc. And the lines in the check-in lobby can be truly out of control (WORSE than JFK). Let’s hope DL… Read more »
Nick Barnard

I’m finding it funny that there is more discussion on the BNet articles here than on BNet. I wonder why? (perhaps the raft of ads between the end of the article and the comment form?)