Greetings from Airlineville, where it seems like everyone is doing their own thing this week.
On the one hand, we have the Widget trying to do some housekeeping, getting rid of all that stuff that won’t get any use all winter long. On the other hand, we have the Jet of the West still thinking about what to do in August. It’s hard to get summer off the brain when you spend so much time in Canada, apparently.
The Cirium data also shows our friend the Globe dipping into the lap of luxury, leaning toward a First Class experience for trips to New York.
All this and more this week. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the skeds of air lines.
Allegiant Does Things in Reverse
Last week, Allegiant filed a slew of new flights in the new year, but this week it went backwards, filling in those new flights for later this year and rolling through the holidays. It’s an odd way to do it, but the end result is the last four months of the year gained 1.3 and 3.9 percent in available seat miles to get closer to what Allegiant had filed for 2022 last week.
Avelo Restructures Burbank
Avelo extended its schedule beyond September 15, and it changed its plans in Burbank. Bozeman and Grand Junction are gone. Phoenix/Mesa is as well, but Avelo says it is changing flight times and dates and then hopes it can bring Mesa around again. Ogden drops from 6x weekly to 4x while Santa Rosa goes from daily to four days a week… but on two of those days, it’ll fly twice. Medford drops from 4x weekly to 2x weekly. Bend and Redding go from 3x weekly to 2x. Avelo now won’t fly Wednesday or Saturday, and it’ll have only one roundtrip on Tuesday. We still have nothing for the New Haven schedule, the airline’s second base.
Delta Cuts Through Winter
Delta was busy this week, cutting 2.7 to 5.8 percent of available seat miles through the winter season. There was a significant change of gauge, largely focused on Atlanta, that saw frequencies reduced but larger aircraft in the schedule. The 50-seaters continue to be pulled, as do the 717s. Beyond that, some routes were cut back without gaining larger airplanes. It was a mixed bag. These are gone entirely through the winter unless noted:
- Atlanta – Barcelona, Dublin, Stuttgart
- Boston – Dublin
- Los Angeles – Fresno (gone for good)
- Minneapolis/St Paul – Albuquerque, Lansing (through Feb), Saginaw (through Feb)
- New York/JFK – Keflavik, Nice, Venice
- Raleigh/Durham – Jacksonville (gone for good)
Meanwhile, Raleigh/Durham and Cincinnati saw their non-hub flying suspensions extended through September and in most cases, October.
United Also Plays With Gauge
United promised it would be retiring a lot of those single-cabin 50-seaters, and you know what? It is not wasting time. This week, all of those were pulled out of the Newark hub starting October 31, mostly replaced by CRJ-550s. That’s the same number of seats but with a whole bunch of First Class and Economy Plus on a bigger airframe.
The 757 was also removed from the schedule. To be clear, these were the pre-merger United 757s that remained in the fleet flying transcon routes. The 752 took that over and remains a strong performer. Those are the pre-merger Continental aircraft.
Lastly, a handul of markets lost a daily frequency through the winter, unless otherwise noted:
- Chicago/O’Hare – Evansville, Lansing
- Denver – El Paso, Hartford
- Los Angeles – Monterey (-2x daily)
- Newark – Providence, Washington/Dulles
- Washington/Dulles – Boston, Newark, Portland (ME), Providence
- Air Canada has extended Kelowna – Montreal through the winter.
- Air France won’t fly LA – Papeete in July, but it did increase flights from 3x weekly to 5x weekly from November.
- Air New Zealand won’t resume LA – Raratonga until next year at the earliest.
- Boutique Air has canceled flights from Greenville (MS) to New Orleans.
- EVA has extended its pandemic schedule through September with big cuts on US routes.
- LATAM has canceled the Miami – Recife and Salvador routes through the end of the year.
- Porter has pushed its restart date to September 8, and this time that might stick.
- Viva Air is upping its Medellín – Orlando flight from 3x to 5x weekly.
- WestJet cut its August schedule down to size, but being at 55 percent vs 2019 seems like wishful thinking as of now.
That’s all for this week. Stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode of Skeds of air Lines. And if you can’t wait, here’s what subscribers of Cranky Network Weekly can see this week:
- Delta Upgauges as It Cuts Flights
- Avelo Pivots With Its First Schedule Extension
- United Moves the ERJ Out of Newark
- Porter May Finally, Actually Restart
- Flair Plans a Very Different US Strategy
Sounds like Avelo has a lot of rethinking to do.
Got hit with Delta’s ATL_DUB cut, now going through AMS on March 23rd, however still have the return through ATL on the 30th.
CF: Any idea on the real operational cost difference between the CRJ550 and the ERJ145/CRJ200? Is it tied to stage length more than anything?
But the upsell/frequent flyer satisfaction must more than make up the difference.
Seems like United led the way with monetizing the value of extra legroom seating for years before others jumped on. Is this the new market trend that will go to other carriers?
David – I don’t know the details on the costs, but it has to be more costly. The empty weight on the CRJ-200 is 30,900 lbs while the empty weight on the CRJ-700 is 44,245 lbs. It’s just a lot heavier.
Whether others come along or not remains to be seen, but it’s certainly unlikely for American, at least. American’s contract allows anything up to 65 seats without limit, so it can fly the CRJ-700 with 65 seats instead of 50. It has 9 First/16 extra legroom/40 coach while United is stuck at 10/20/20.
So American has the more flexible scope. I read on another site that Mitsubishi is even thinking of cranking up CRJ700 manufacturing again.
From a route planning perspective, where would send the CRJ700 vs ERJ175?
Would you, as a United exec find more CRJ 700’s to convert or order new?
Would AA be interested in getting a Regional to get an order in to replace their 50 seaters for the next 15-20 year cycle?
David C – From a route planning perspective, it’s hard to say exactly. But you know, where you want more seats, you put the bigger airplanes. LAX has only CRJ-700s in the regional fleet which makes sense. It’s not a huge volume market. And the Embraer 170s are going into LaGuardia first. But the CRJ-700s are are in most hubs one way or another/
At United, you’d certainly want to try to find more existing aircraft to convert. It’ll be cheaper.
And for AA on replacing the 50 seaters? The CRJ-550 isn’t that airplane.
AA uses its 50-seaters for smaller routes, ones that don’t likely have the demand for such premium-heavy configurations.
@ David C
In addition to the used aircraft American is bringing in, Sky West has 20 E-175s on order for American Eagle. Republic took delivery of the last 5 E175s American originally ordered for Envoy (which may be why it picked up the 6 used E-170s from BA Citiflyer for use at Envoy). If American is going to order new regional lift, I’m guessing It will be done via orders from Sky West or Republic. That way, it won’t add debt to American’s balance sheet.
I recently read an article that mentioned that the total number of regional jets American Eagle can operate is capped at 75% of mainline narrowbodies. But as you mentioned, “small” regional jets are defined as having 65 or fewer seats in American’s contract. So there’s no reason, other than availability, that American couldn’t have an entire fleet of 65+ seat regional aircraft. “Large” regional jets are defined as seating between 66 and 76 passengers, and are limited to 40% of mainline narrowbodies. I’ve read that American is bringing in 22 used E-170s with 12 first-class seats, and 66 overall seats, that are being counted as 65 seaters as the 66th seat won’t be offered for sale. It’s also adding 29 more CRJ-700s via SkyWest.
DesertGhost – Thanks, I should have said they have no meaningful limit. If they keep growing mainline, that limit keeps growing too.
Even though Porter isn’t flying at all at the moment, they just announced the purchase of a bunch of E2s, their first jets. They definitely must be planning to restart flying soon.
They received a government loan to help with restart, so it’s looking good.
I have my doubts about the E2 and the major expansion idea…can Canada really support three large airlines? The Raccoon has its niche out of Toronto’s downtown airport right now, but is there enough demand to support more service from Toronto Pearson and Montreal? Ottawa and Hamilton could have more opportunities?
As for Avelo, I’m thinking that unless they find a better niche from BUR, or HVN works out really well, Cranky should start working up their tombstone.
I’m thinking that Avelo should have started at HVN and not BUR. Where Burbank does have competition, New Haven has virtually none unless you want to drive to the NYC airports or Bradley.
I know Aveo likes secondary airports, but I wonder if they would have served Sky Harbor instead of Mesa if they would have seen better numbers. I live in AZ and love the Mesa airport, but Sky Harbor is so much more centrally located. Even Ben Baldanza admitted that when Spirit switched from AZA to PHX that the increase in costs was covered by the fact that they got more passengers at PHX. This Arizonan is sad AZ isn’t working out for Avelo.