We're buying more Caravans and yes, it's been mentioned for 5-6 years down the road. IMO, I don't possibly see it happening unless we do some major route resructuring. A bunch of the twin routes are on very tight schedules and frankly, the 208s are slower and just wouldn't make it. But who knows....
Now I don't know anything thats going on at AirNet since I don't work there, but from what I do know about Barrons, 310's, Navajos, and Caravans I doubt that they would replace twins with Caravans. First the Caravan is slower then all those twins and the Caravan operation cost per mile is higher then any of those twins. The only reason I could see someone want to replace a piston twin with a Caravan is because of either large weight increases or so much volume that it will only fit in a Caravan. Like I said I don't know much about AirNet so I could be wrong.
The base operating cost of a Caravan is slightly higher than a Barron or 310, and they do have a higher aquisition cost, but when you figure it on a payload basis the Caravan will net higher returns than a Barron or 310 (as long as you are flying more than just a couple boxes). Basically, you can carry alot more freight and weight in a Caravan on a single trip than you could in either a Barron or 310. Again, this doesn't apply if you are only shipping a couple boxes at a time. In that case, you would be better off using a light twin instead. Also, the Caravan has a large cargo door that can fit those large, and bulky packages that you couldn't fit into a Barron or 310.
On the other hand they are slow. Averaging somewhere in the neighborhood of 170kts true. A little slower if you have the pod installed.
In the business of check hauling, which is still the main force at Airnet, time is everything. 1 minute late is no pay so for their schedule it is the aircraft that can do the block time required off the hub more than what it can carry.
They are doing more light freight as time goes along so on the shorter runs , the Caravan may make some sense but it will not replace the speed required on other runs.
well from my understanding (as i have a few friends flying there) Airnet has their eye on the future, and with banking becoming more and more electronic, they dont want to rely on checks as a sole revenue source. for this reason they have been acquiring other types of freight (quite a bit of medical i am told) and as anyone who has hauled fright in a baron knows, 4 or 5 good size boxes take up way more volume than a few thousand checks.
true...cost per mile is higher in a 208, but thats not what Airnet looks at, they refer to "cost per pound mile"...which puts the 208 in a class by itself
AirNet's most recent addition to the cargo fleet is the single-engine Cessna Caravan turboprop, which features a 49 X 50-inch door opening and more than 450 cubic feet of cargo space with the standard cargo pod.
AirNet Chief Financial Officer William (Bill) Sumser says AirNet has budgeted about $24 million for total capital expenditures this year and foresees using that money to expand both its scheduled cargo and passenger charter businesses by adding aircraft. On the cargo side, however, some of the new planes will be replacing current AirNet aircraft, he explains.
“In 2001, we added some Caravans and we’ll continue to add them this year, and they’ll probably be replacing Aerostars,” Sumser predicts. “Long-term, maybe five or six years out or even longer than that, we don’t anticipate seeing Aerostars, 310s, or maybe even Barons in our fleet. We’ll need some, of course, but in my mind I see our fleet becoming more of a Learjet/Caravan mix. I can’t say for sure it’s going to be a two-aircraft mix, but the Caravan is definitely a better fit for our express product. Our express product is not in bags like the checks; it’s more often in bigger boxes and it’s hard to put a lot of boxes in a Baron. Even the Learjets are not really suited for carrying big boxes because of the shape of the aircraft, but you can fit a lot in a Caravan because of its almost square fuselage.”
Sumser further explains that although a Caravan’s direct operating cost is slightly more than for a Baron or 310, when the big Cessna is compared on a cost vs. volume basis to those aircraft, it’s actually cheaper to operate. “The cost per pound mile is significantly better,” he states.
I know right now we are replacing the aerostars which have been parked for a couple of months with the caravans. They aren't really replacing those runs with caravans, because come on, do you really think a crappyvan can keep the tight schedules that the aerostar has? What is happening is, they have parked the aerostars as of a couple of months ago, and we are buying caravans for different runs across the nation. This is how they say they are "replacing" the aerostars with the caravans. Really those aerostar runs are being done by other twins, while the vans fly "mostly"(this means not all!) weekend fed runs. I personally don't see how they can replace the twins with caravans, they would need another type of single turboprop to be able to keep up with the deadlines. I still don't know why they didn't spring for PC-12's, they can nearly hold as much weight, but can beat the pants off any of our deadlines. Supposedly that is the name of our game,"speed," yet we go out and buy the slowest freight hauler you can find... not enough research on our behalf i believe. Oh well, i just fly 'em, i dont buy 'em.
Also as far as getting away from the checks in the future and adding more freight business... well if anyone knows some good salemen then please send them our way. Our guys are pretty horrible at it. We keep hearing talks about wanting to expand our express services, yet i have never run into a single person who knows what the heck Airnet is or what they do...even in Columbus. I think we are going under the assumption that if people wanted something shipped they will go into the phone book and just go down the line calling around...and hey what do ya know, we are the first in line. People don't use ya, unless they know you exist, and we don't exist in many minds. So... SEND US SALESMEN WHO WANT TO WORK AND HELP US GROW NOT JUST SIT AROUND AND PICK THEIR NOSES!!!!!!!
Hey i could work in HR making up the ads to go in the employment section of the newspapers...
hey starchkr, i asked j.b., that same question when he came to our new hire class. he said he want's the sales team to hit specific companies that we can profit from. i guess j.m., tried big ads. a while back and it didn't work too well.
i just talked to my buddy ben. i think you flew with him a couple weeks ago.
Yeah Ben and i flew last week. I gave him a ride up to Jackson to pick up the spare plane that was in MX here. He's a pretty funny guy. He brought a plane up to me the week before and was talking about how nervous he was flying through the soup on his own and it reminded me of when i first started out. I kinda had to keep my little jokes to myself about him being scared of the soup though... I would've just busted his chops for awhile then told him its natural. But anyway, yeah we barely made it out of HOU before they shut it down due to severe windshear and lvl 5-6 t storms... we were lucky, we heard they had a stop for over an hour and a half because of it. I still think we were the last crazy people to try to leave with those windshear reports, but hey, it was my last leg of the day and i was ready to get home... you know how it goes. He's a good guy though, he will do just fine here.
Yes, there have been some changes in the structuring of the freight hauling but what everybody should watch out for is the rapidly expanding passenger charter division. This will be an important part of Airnet's future. With 3 Lear 60's and 3 Lear 35's already, it is exploding.