Where are we headed?

T

Traumahawk

The 727 thread reminded me of something that has been the subject of some talk at my university and flight program.

Where is the industry headed, mostly from an equipment standpoint?
Are the days of endless United DC-10 tails lined up at ORD gone forever(obviously, but the principle)...as far as domestic travel? I don't know if I'd go as far to say they are. But the regional jets are definately changing things in the now. I think sometime in the near future, UAL has decided to make Atlanta an all RJ airport. All United Express. I think Miami may see the same change. Comair continues to get bigger. How about this Eclipse jet? Is the trend going to be smaller instead of bigger?
What do you guys think we'll see in the next 20 years? Are heavies gonna be few and far, reserved for JFK-Tokyo? And only just a bunch of aging 737NG/A320 and regional jets flying crisscross patterns across the country for domestic? Mostly corporate? Or back to normal? I dunno. These are just questions people ask when in the middle of an uncertain time. Sorry for the novel!
-Phil
P.S. You know what humors me? Is the Discovery channel doing a show on Commercial Aviation, and then at the end shows like, a middle aged woman with her children flying around the city, going to the grocery store on a little jet with a glass cockpit etc.. with a million other ones in the air. Dad's landing at the golf course. Supposed to be the future of aviation. HI, mom handeling convective turbulence over Macy's? My mom still hasn't gotten in a plane with me. If that happens I'll become a state trooper.
 
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TurboS7

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For the present time no one is heading anywhere so enjoy where you are at.
 

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My Guess....

I think you will see the Regionals and the Low-Cost (ie. SWA, ATA, AirTran, etc...) thrive... I think the "High-Overhead Majors" (ie. UAL, AA, DAL) will deflate to become mainly long-haul carriers (Coast to Coast and International Lines)...

As far as careers, I think you will see many more pilots making careers at the Regionals (mainly because there will be fewer jobs at the Majors and more jobs at the regionals)...

As far as Corporate goes, as long as airline flying keeps getting more and more inconvienient, companies will continue to spend money on Corporate Aviation... I think this segment will grow faster than it has in the past.

As far as the Eclipse Jet... I don't think this will have a major effect (if it even comes to mass production)... I think this will replace the owner/operators that you now have flying around in Barons, Twin-Cessna's and such....

Just my $0.02....
 

ShawnC

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I think that the Eclipse will be very popular with the Fractionals, and multi-owner groups. I heard the rumor that someone bought 112 of them early in the production line just for this purpose.
 

LR25

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If you want to see aviation like it used to be, head out to ATL or any other big city around 9 or 10 PM and you will see it.

DC-10's, 8's, 72's you name its there.

Talking about all the 72's going away, they wont be parked long I'm sure.

Long live the old airplanes.

And they do.
 

enigma

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The economies of scale advantages enjoyed by larger aircraft will enable them to remain in the fleet. As near as I can tell, an RJ sized jet costs about 75% more per seat mile to fly than does a narrowbody airliner like the 737. With that in mind, I can't imagine that the larger airliners will go away. The current "major" airlines may go away, but the most efficient airplanes will not. Instead of seeing a USAirways Airbus on the ramp, you will see Jetblue Airbus, not a USAirways RJ. It wouldn't surprise me to see a 737 painted up in MESA colors before the end of 2005.

There are a few airlines that are growing in todays environment, some because they are being given the pax that though they bought a ticket on the mainline instead of a regional affiliate; the other growing airlines are growing because they have low costs and efficient business plans. The airlines that are growing on their own, are doing so with mainline sized equipment. Jetblue with its A320's, AirTran with its DC9-30's and -95's, Spirit with its DC9-80's, and obviously SWA with Herbs purple Fluffs.

At some point, the hub and spoke majors will either have to change of die. SWA has proven that a efficiently scheduled point to point is more profitable than a hub and spoke. Of the up and coming airlines only AirTran uses a hub.

My gut feeling is that in 20 years, some smart airline manager will have made something like peace with his unions and we will see his/her airline flying equipment that is "right sized" for the job, instead of flying the equipment that can be flown by the cheapest pilots. His airline will fly every thing from A380s, Sonic Cruisers and above, down to to erj135's. Or whatever airframe that exists at that time.

All of my optimism on equipment is hinged on whether we have the politcal will to beat terrorism. If we let the Arafats of the world get by with bombing babies in the middle east, they will soon be terrorising NYC, and the rest of the country. If that happens, we might as well all look for a job building caskets.

regards
8N
 
3

350DRIVER

There is and will always be a "need" for the heavies/older equipment just not at the majors- The 10's, MD-11's, L10's, and even the 27's which will always be around for quite some time at the second tier carriers as well as at the INTL freight haulers it is just not economically justifiable to continue to operate this equipment at the majors due to high MX costs, operating costs, etc, etc... Take a road trip out to your local INTL airport at night and you will see all these aircraft flying and lined up one after another- This equipment will never "dissapear" from radar it will only be gone from the major airlines. 20 years from now you can still expect to see these birds flying somewhere-

As far as what you can expect for a "career"- who knows other than its just a matter of time till the industry picks back up to full stride and the airlines will once again be a career option that will be a "choice" and an "option" for you- At 23 years of age I can't see myself having to retire at a "regional" since I strongly feel that the majors will be a strong possibilty and my chances should be very good one day down the line. When??- who knows other than "patience" is key in this field.!

As good as your SWA's and Jet Blue's of the aviation world are doing now if I was a gambling man I most definately would not bet against your UAL's, DAL's of the industry- These companies have been around too too long and are not going anywhere.(.) Route structures I cannot see changing a great deal other than differences in marketing techniques.- If anything they may go to the alternative Jet Blue and SWA marketing philosophy.

For now we aren't going anywhere so sit back, relax, grab a cold one and enjoy this message board-

Cheers again...
350
 

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350DRIVER said:
I most definately would not bet against your UAL's, DAL's of the industry- These companies have been around too too long and are not going anywhere
No offense, but thats exactly what they said about Pan-Am when it was the largest airline in the world, or Eastern when they were huge, or.... the list goes on... UAL isn't out of the woods yet, the CEO is leaving (second in 6 months)... Does he see the writing on the wall? Time will tell...

At 23 years old, you have only been in the industry long enough to see the good, and can't fathom the bad times... This industry runs in cycles... you have only see the good cycle, buckle in for the bad cycle...

Good Luck and Fly Safe!
 

LRplt

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It was interesting that you brought up the Eclipse jet in the original post. I have been doing some research on them, and am very impressed with the numbers. They will operate for 56 cents a mile. A company out of Florida already put in an order for 1000
of them to be used in Air taxi services around the US. If the estimates are right we will have over 30,000 of these microjets doing AIr Taxi work in the next decade. This will have a HUGE impact on aviation careers. Just my 2 cents.
 

aero99

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falcon quote:
"As far as the Eclipse Jet... I don't think this will have a major effect (if it even comes to mass production)... I think this will replace the owner/operators that you now have flying around in Barons, Twin-Cessna's and such.... "

I would have to agree. The Eclipse and other "microjets" are being targeted more to the private sector. If you could spend $900k for a Baron, why wouldn't you opt for jet power for less?

Can and will they be used in Commercial Flights? Sure, if they are as inexpensive as they are stating the planes will cost to purchase and operate.

Only time will tell...the projected "cost" and actual flight specs are only a dream on paper until they have at least a prototype flying. As far as the Jetson image, I don't think so........but I think if just one of the "microjet" companies turns up successful, it will be a positive for all of aviation. The aviation industry needs growth where ever it can get it right now.




LRplt quote:
"If the estimates are right we will have over 30,000 of these microjets doing AIr Taxi work in the next decade. This will have a HUGE impact on aviation careers."

What impact do you think it will have?
If anything, it will create more jobs. Are they gonna be high paying jobs? Probably not, but hey, a job is a job right now, right?


p.s. I have no finacial interest in the Eclipse, even though I support what they are trying to accomplish and have an eclipse avatar.
 
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Tim47SIP

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Enigma wrote "The economies of scale advantages enjoyed by larger aircraft will enable them to remain in the fleet. As near as I can tell, an RJ sized jet costs about 75% more per seat mile to fly than does a narrowbody airliner like the 737."

I dont really think that the cost is 75% higher in PSM, but it is higher. It is not high enough to not make a fairly good profit. If the 73 was 75% more cost efficient, we would be flying allot more of them even taking in to consideration the high cost of mainline labor.

I personnaly think that some of the mainline contracts have created a comodity that has become to high of a cost to keep arround. Although the mainline guys continue to blame the WO for taking their flying, the real culprits here are the Jet Blue's, Air Trans, and SW's of the industry. As long as they are arround, the big 5 have to compete at those costs. All I can see in the future is Delta, CO, AA, and NW emerging but much leaner. They will continue with current fleets, but add additional smaller aircraft to their compliment. Contract negotiations will be very intense as ALPA tries to hang on to that last thread of hope (to preserve the industry) while the industry has made a 180 around them. As stated above, the big ones that are left will utilize any AC they need to on any route without scope restrictions on size and who flys them. I think you will eventually see one lists come about with the majors and WO's. I dont think the Mesa's, ACA's and Skywest's of the industry will die as there will be a demand for contract carriers. Additionally, I dont think (other than CO Ex) you will see alot of spin offs after contracts change for the betterment of management. I also see ALPA fighting to the death about this issue to the point that they are no longer. Hopefully, that wont happen, but people also said Pan Am would never die.:eek:
 

bigD

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The Eclipse jets look awesome, but on a personal aircraft level, I'm not so sure it's going to go head to head with a Baron. There are other costs to consider beyond the purchase price. As a 450 hour pilot and 70 multi hours, I'd have to pay a premium just to get insured in a plane like a Baron. But I don't think an insurance company would let me get anywhere near an Eclipse except maybe to wash it.
 

aero99

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Big d,

I agree, that getting the approved training and type rating will be more expenisve and will deter some would be private owners. A few motnhs ago, Eclipse said the "factory training" would require pilots to have 1200 tt. I don't see that any longer. Below is on the FAQ section of their website. Again, all sounds and looks good on paper but until they start flying it is all speculation as to the specifics of cost and utilization required to operate. Also, most people paying almost 1 mil for an aircraft can probably afford the higher insurance and training required for operation.


Q.I am a private pilot with an instrument rating. Will I be able to obtain insurance for an Eclipse 500 Jet?

A.Eclipse Aviation is currently investigating the best plan for our customers to obtain liability and hull insurance. We are in contact with the major insurance sources for these types of coverages. Initially, they will learn the safety features that have been built into the Eclipse Jet, and the basic components of what we plan to include in our factory and factory approved training programs. Through this partnership approach, we are confident that when our customers seek liability and hull protection, the insurance industry will have a thorough understanding of the Eclipse 500, and the qualifications of the pilots who will fly the aircraft. This will provide proper coverage at a fair price.
 

ShawnC

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The Eclipse is going to use the Agate control system, you really should check it out. Its rather simple, its exactly like a computer game you just fly between the boxes. It has built in weather radar and its plans according to the terrian.

I would say thats its a safe bet that you might be able to get away with less in the Eclipse. Its rather fun, they are going to install the Agate sim at Riddle, I piddled around with it at Sun n Fun.

Wow 1,000, I was told that it was only 112, that is unless there are more than one company out of Florida that is doing that.
 

VelcroJetDriver

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Once things pick up again (1-2 years) and customer demand increases the number of flights, you will see the same congestion and delays that we saw pre-911. To some extent one of the contributing problems will be the RJ (it takes up just as much airspace as a 777 but carries less than 1/6 of its pax.) Remember how SFO wanted to limit small aircraft operations back in 2000 because of its traffic jams?

I have a hard time believing the future holds nothing but 757/767's going trans-con and everything in between being flown by RJ's. There just isn't enough airspace (not to mention passengers will eventually get fed up with being stuck in a pencil-jet for a three-hour flight from ORD to MIA.)

The economies of scale will return. The CASM will determine the fate of the RJ. Airlines really would rather fly 3 737's from ORD to STL a day rather than 10 RJ's.

My crystal ball: Once the TSA alleviates the congestion in the terminals, we will once again see congestion in the skies and a return to bigger (and more profitable) aircraft.

:p
 

ShawnC

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The RJ isn't a replacement for the 737 its a complement. A good example is SRQ that airport gets 1 flight a day from Delta, those flights are rarely full. Now if they brought in an RJ which normally flies with less crew, most at lower pay and consumes more gas, it makes sense during the summer when there are few flights.

During the season that the snowbirds are going back and forth thats the time that you would bring in the big jets into an airport like that.
 

charley varrick

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I just saw "Star Trek" the other day, and I think this transporter thing is gonna put us all out of work. I think we need to start a PAC today to prevent such device from every seeing the light of day. Our sterling profession depends upon it.
 
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