This Week’s Featured Link
Hawaiian Airlines to Mahalo Members with Double Hawaiian Miles on Every Neighbor Island Flight through the End of the Year – Hawaiian Airlines Newsroom
Double miles! Oh wait, that’s nothing. In fact, the longest interisland flight in coach earns a whopping 263 miles (Līhuʻe – Kona). So now that’s going to earn the tidy sum of 526 miles. It’s hard to imagine this moving the needle, but then again, it’s interesting that Hawaiian feels the need to move the needle. The only interisland competition is Southwest which has very low fares in the market and is now the only one of the two to sell interisland tickets in the global distribution systems. It seems Hawaiian is feeling the pressure.
Video of the Week
Two for the Road
FAA Rushed Oversight of Accidents Caused by Pilot Error, Failed to Inspect Foreign-Purchased Aircraft for Southwest Airlines – US Office of Special Counsel
The FAA and the airlines have too cozy of a relationship, you say? Indeed, here’s another bullet point suggesting as much.
US’s Piedmont Airlines to add 15 E145s – ch-aviation
According to ch-aviation, this means Piedmont will fly 68 Embraer 145s and Envoy will be down to a mere 42. If the future of American’s wholly-owned regionals doesn’t involve consolidation, it would seem Piedmont will be the ERJ specialist, Envoy the Embraer 170/175 operator, and PSA the CRJ-700/900 airline.
In my opinion, the bigger story regarding American’s wholly owned regionals is the fact that Envoy is adding 15 E-170s in addition to the 12 it already has, bringing its total to 27. The news story also mentions that Envoy’s larger goal is to make it an all-E-jet airline.
I have to wonder how much longer the E-145s will be around at all given American’s scope clause that defines a small regional jet as one that has 65 or fewer seats.
50 seats is still a sweet spot because you can have 1 flight attendant. The extra 15 seats might not make up for the extra crew costs on many routes.
That being said, crew costs are probably going to kill the economics of small regional jets no matter how many seats they have.
Rhetorical question: How many paying passengers does it take to cover the incremental cost of an additional flight attendant? That question also applies to the added cost of the extra flight attendant needed to operate a 109-seat Airbus A220-100 (that Delta uses regularly) versus a 99-seat E-190 (which American retired). I’m not sure where the cost versus revenue equation falls in either of those situations. Another factor to remember is that the Envoy and Republic E-170s have 12 first class seats so the incremental revenue-generating potential is theoretically a bit higher than an all-coach 50-seat aircraft. Conversations on aviation blogs tend to focus on costs, but the revenue side of the equation (which is harder to reliably measure or forecast) is also important.
The article says that Envoy has 98 E195s. Are these currently flying?
Then the article is incorrect. Envoy has 98 E-175s currently flying and 3 more on order. American and US Airways have never flown E-195s.
To clarify: E-195s don’t fit under American’s scope clause for regional carriers, Amenican’s E- 190s were flown by mainline pilots, And since the E-195 is larger than the E-190, it would have to be flown at the mainline as well.
I think that is a good question. I always wondered the same thing about TED. I never understood why the configuration was slightly above 150 seats. It required a 4th FA for only a few (6 seats?) passengers. 96% Load factor before needing the extra FA.
Oh for the days when a passenger in coach could get out of their seat and hang out in the pub. I was much to young to ever experience that, let alone fly on a plane! I always wanted to experience the lower level bar on the L1011, but I think PSA was the only airline that had it.
The HA promo is presumably targeted at people who are on their interisland flights several times a month. Depending on what they’re doubling for elites (actual miles, 500-mile minimum, or 500-mile minimum plus elite bonus), that could be anywhere from a few thousand to a few tens of thousands of miles. Not a huge deal, but at the most generous calculation, it would be somewhere north of a free mainland ticket over the rest of year. Beyond that, it’s nice to see HA doing anything at all to compete for local business, and I hope they’ll hang onto that thought (starting with their woeful elite program).