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SkyWest dropping 29 (virtually all) EAS markets served under UA* code (on hold)

SkyWest dropping 29 (virtually all) EAS markets served under UA* code (on hold)

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Old Mar 12, 22, 6:38 am
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
Moving a bit away from EAS in general (as it probably belongs elsewhere), but is there any info available that shows the loads on these flights?
I presume they were not flying out full, i.e. not making money by themselves, and thusly expendable, despite SkyWest having to pay an early termination penalty?

Does anyone here have first hand experience on these flights, and could shed some light on whether these flights were actually underused? I mean, if these flights were going out with one passenger, then good riddance! But if they were generally full, I'd feel differently, I guess.
When I flew a same day turnaround JST-IAD-JST last year it was completely full on the way to IAD but that was mainly because of passengers flying ORD-IAD (the flight operates ORD-JST-IAD-JST-ORD), the flight was cheaper for some going through JST. Only about 10 passengers actually flying to/from JST. On the way back it was about 10 people again.
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Old Mar 12, 22, 11:03 am
  #32  
 
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And if SkyWest has flights that are going out 7/50, perhaps a 50 seat airplane is too big? Perhaps a ATR42, Be1900? PC-12?

My in-law's home town (here in Canada) is served with a Be1900, and the nearest jet-served community is an 8hr drive away (and even then, the traffic is mostly Q400s).

The "it has to be a jet" mentality that seems to have infected the American traveling public, doesn't help with the EAS situation.
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Old Mar 12, 22, 1:14 pm
  #33  
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
Moving a bit away from EAS in general (as it probably belongs elsewhere), but is there any info available that shows the loads on these flights?
I presume they were not flying out full, i.e. not making money by themselves, and thusly expendable, despite SkyWest having to pay an early termination penalty?

Does anyone here have first hand experience on these flights, and could shed some light on whether these flights were actually underused? I mean, if these flights were going out with one passenger, then good riddance! But if they were generally full, I'd feel differently, I guess.
I can't share the information I have on loads, but can tell you that generally speaking, these UA-codeshared EAS markets have among the lowest load factors in the entire OO system. We are talking, most cases, in the 20s and 30s. For a CRJ, that's like an average of 10-15 pax per flight.

Sadly, just not a sustainable model with current staffing and cost pressures.
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Old Mar 12, 22, 1:35 pm
  #34  
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Well that sucks. 1) from an AvGeek perspective, I wanted to add all Kansas airports with commercial service to my flight map. 2) On the rare occasions MCI gets shut down, it was nice knowing there were at least some alternatives (such as SLN a two hour drive for me, but it would beat being stuck in another city for a few days.)
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Old Mar 12, 22, 3:19 pm
  #35  
 
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The fact it is all these EAS cities, and not just low-performing ones, screams pilot shortage + fuel prices. Not sure what the government response will be.

I've done the calculus on flying into little EAS airport in midwestern Kansas/Nebraska (Hays, Salina, Kearney, North Platte, even been to Goodland, Great Bend, Scottsbluff and McCook) vs flying a connection to LNK/ICT or nonstop to MCI/DEN/OMA for 30 years. If it's a short connection, and you've got someone to pick you up, much easier to fly into the EAS city. If you're bringing the family or the connection is lengthy, it's faster/cheaper to fly nonstop and drive. (Much easier to get to Europe than Kansas) From the east coast, overflying to DEN and then back adds 50% additional mileage to the trip. The newer flights with convenient connections through ORD on a CRJ were a game changer for getting there; way better than waiting 3 hours in DEN to bounce around in a 1900D. Downgrading to some 9 seater shifts it back to flying to MCI and driving.

Many of these cities have maintained service with single digit passengers on the flights for decades. My last trip was in September to Kearney and was quite surprised how full the flight was, probably 85%. This article claims 70% LF on ORD-EAR flights in 2021.

They don't all need service, but some of them do. Salina and Hays both don't, but one probably does; Kearney and North Platte both don't, but one of them (or Grand Island) does.
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Old Mar 12, 22, 5:02 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by whlinder View Post
Many of these cities have maintained service with single digit passengers on the flights for decades. My last trip was in September to Kearney and was quite surprised how full the flight was, probably 85%. This article claims 70% LF on ORD-EAR flights in 2021.
If the flight is viable without a subsidy, there certainly is a possibility that United would look to bring the route on contract with a UAX partner.

One of the issues for SkyWest is the EAS flying is at-risk, so if the pilot shortage is hampering its ability to staff its contracted flying, those flights will take priority at the expense of the at-risk flying. Failing to staff contracted flying will result in significant penalties under the various CPAs, as it is a breach, and could result in cancellation of the contract.
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Old Mar 13, 22, 7:11 am
  #37  
 
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
Was on a Denver to Dodge City, KS flight last year - went out 7/50...
Originally Posted by narvik View Post
Thanks for that. That's more-or-less what I expected, but of course just one data point.
Just another data point. I also flew DEN-DDC last year and it was booked 49/50 with several on the standby list. I had a long layover in DEN and saw the HYS/SLN flights as well and they also were full according to the seat map. So, as is always the case with flights, you will find people who say it's full and those who say they go out empty. Somewhere in the middle is the truth because one person's view, even if they fly the route "all the time", doesn't come close to showing the average load over a period of time (e.g. a year).

-RM
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Old Mar 13, 22, 9:39 am
  #38  
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Originally Posted by CZBB View Post
And if SkyWest has flights that are going out 7/50, perhaps a 50 seat airplane is too big? Perhaps a ATR42, Be1900? PC-12?
Still requires two pilots, no?
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Old Mar 13, 22, 9:40 am
  #39  
 
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When the EAS first started, I found a small airline (3E - Air Choice One) that flew ORD-DEC-STL. The airfare was dirt cheap and the flights were on Cessna Grand Caravans. I would often use them to fly to STL to visit my son. I loved the flights. Flying at relatively low altitude give you a unique perspective on your travels. Also taxiing around ORD on s single engine turbo-prop is a pretty unique experience. I would grab the first passenger seat behind the empty co-pilot's chair and have an awesome flight! The loads were high (usually at least 6 or 7 passengers on a 9 passenger cabin) and my discussions with the pilots indicated was fairly profitable for 3E (including the EAS subsidy).

After Skywest jumped in and started flying CRJs on this route with 36+ seats, the airfares doubled. I suspect it was never truly profitable. I sure hope that 3E gets a chance to fly this route again as I would love to get my $120 round trips to STL back and my small aircraft experience
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Old Mar 13, 22, 9:42 am
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
Still requires two pilots, no?
If you do it under part 135, which the smaller airplanes can, the first officer doesn't need to have an ATP. That lets you use pilots who are still building their hours and experience toward the ATP requirements. That job market is a lot different than for those who meet ATP minimums.
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Old Mar 13, 22, 12:05 pm
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I blame ADM money for losing Air Choice One. Cape Air ended with filthy and uncomfortable planes, so no thank you! Im hopeful we get STL back. Just bought a fricken ticket for later in the year a few days ago, so Im anxious to see what happens. As far as it being perceived as a waste of taxpayer moneyat least, in my case, Im a tax-paying American.

Last edited by 9wishes; Mar 13, 22 at 12:13 pm
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Old Mar 13, 22, 2:41 pm
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by whlinder View Post
Many of these cities have maintained service with single digit passengers on the flights for decades. My last trip was in September to Kearney and was quite surprised how full the flight was, probably 85%. This article claims 70% LF on ORD-EAR flights in 2021.
That seems high to me. The DOT data through September has ORD-EAR at 45% and EAR-ORD at 50%.
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Old Mar 13, 22, 3:46 pm
  #43  
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Originally Posted by cheltzel View Post
When the EAS first started, I found a small airline (3E - Air Choice One) that flew ORD-DEC-STL. [Decatur, IL] The airfare was dirt cheap and the flights were on Cessna Grand Caravans. I would often use them to fly to STL to visit my son. I loved the flights. Flying at relatively low altitude give you a unique perspective on your travels.
​​​​​​
Originally Posted by 9wishes View Post
I blame ADM money for losing Air Choice One. Cape Air ended with filthy and uncomfortable planes, so no thank you! Im hopeful we get STL back.
ADM = Ardmore Municipal Airport, Carter County, Oklahoma

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ardm...icipal_Airport

Is there another (non-airport) meaning intended for the abbreviation? It also means Admiral in the Navy.

Last edited by SPN Lifer; Mar 13, 22 at 3:52 pm
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Old Mar 13, 22, 4:10 pm
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by SPN Lifer View Post
​​​​​​ADM = Ardmore Municipal Airport, Carter County, Oklahoma

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ardm...icipal_Airport

Is there another (non-airport) meaning intended for the abbreviation? It also means Admiral in the Navy.
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Old Mar 13, 22, 4:12 pm
  #45  
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Originally Posted by SPN Lifer View Post
​​​​​​ADM = Ardmore Municipal Airport, Carter County, Oklahoma

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ardm...icipal_Airport

Is there another (non-airport) meaning intended for the abbreviation? It also means Admiral in the Navy.
I believe it was the Archer-Daniels-Midland Company, commonly known as ADM.

https://www.adm.com/
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