This week’s featured link:
The Evolution of Basic Economy – an Update – VisualApproach.io
You might be surprised to learn that airlines have started using Basic Economy in different ways since it started. This article looks at some examples of what’s been going on on both the micro and macro level.
Two for the road:
Inside Lufthansa’s design process for its new 777X business class – Runway Girl Network
Ever wonder how Lufthansa Group goes about designing a new business class? Well, wonder no more.
Corsair set to become 9th carrier between PAR and NYC – Airliners.net
This one blew my mind. Right after Corsair announced this, French Bee announced it as well. That means there are 10 (!) airlines flying between Paris and New York. That’s Delta, Air France, American, United, XL Airways, La Compagnie, Corsair, Level, Norwegian, and French Bee. Wow.
> French Bee
Insert Joke about “Yellow Jackets” here
Wow, didn’t realize that La Compagnie was still around… I just assumed that the all-business-class trans-Atlantic airlines had completely fizzled out a few years ago after being a bit of a fad (Eos, SilverJet, MAXJet) around the beginning of the 2010s.
David Neeleman also announced that Moxy will be acquiring E195s from Azul, which will allow Moxy to start operations next year, rather than waiting for their A220s to be delivered: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-12/neeleman-mulls-used-embraer-jets-for-new-u-s-airline-next-year
It will be interesting to see which routes they choose to start with – the unit economics of the E195 are obviously much worse than the A220, and they also don’t have the range or the short runway performance that many assumed would be a critical differentiator for Moxy.
Going out on a limb here, secondhand E95s likely have a low capital cost that’ll offset higher operational costs nicely, a la Allegiant. Also, E95s fly into/out of Rio’s downtown airport (runway length 4320 feet), so short field performance should be reasonable enough.
On top of this, the initial Moxy model sounds like they’ll provide nonstop service to city pairs that are (at least) a stop away on current airlines…and depending on how far out of the way those city pairs’ hubs are, if you can fill a plane with reasonable nonstop fares then your costs are lower than one-stop itineraries on smallish planes anyway. No worse than two-class A319s or Southwest 737-700s anyhow.
Finally, Azul’s configuration of the 195 has 118 seats. Moxy could keep the same config (so even lower capital costs)…and I fully expect they will…and have a good way to try out routes in advance of the 223s arriving. When 223s show up, upgauge the better-performing routes…or the ones where you have competition nearby in order to get a cost advantage.
Cheap planes cover a multitude of ills. See Allegiant…or, heck, JSX.
It’s too bad that I’ll likely never fly on this new airline; I like E-Jets (and 220s look great) but AUS isn’t a secondary airport, and I don’t *quite* want to fly ’em enough to head down to SAT (I wouldn’t be surprised if SAT gets Moxy).
> Also, E95s fly into/out of Rio’s downtown airport (runway length 4320 feet), so short field performance should be reasonable enough.
Interesting. Embraer’s specs list a takeoff field length of 4,698 ft, and that’s with a 500 nm range restriction: https://www.embraercommercialaviation.com/commercial-jets/e195/
I generally agree with you re: cost – low enough fixed costs make almost any variable cost tolerable.
I also love E-Jets – they have some of the widest seats in economy, at a time when every other airplane seems to be making seats even narrower.
SAT would make a lot of sense as an initial base/focus city – it’s one of the largest metros that doesn’t currently have a legacy hub or a WN “base”. WN competition would still be pretty strong, but there are routes that they could pick off. I think ONT is also likely, and I think ORF, JAX, OKC, and maybe SDF and TUS would be potentially good options. None are secondary airports, but all have large populations and few existing direct flights