CASM is higher at regionals than at mainline?

crazyjaydawg

Well-Known Member
So you say that regionals exist because of low costs?

According to Delta's 2Q results consolidated CASM and CASM-EX were both higher ($.1616/mi and $.0877/mi respectively) compared to mainline's CASM and CASM-EX ($.1533/mi and $.0801/mi respectively). So this kinda debunks the myth that it's cheaper to fly two CRJs on what used to be one DC9-30.

Now I understand that the CASM will always be higher for a smaller jet no matter who flies it (same number of pilots, airframes, engines, etc for fewer seats). I also understand that consolidated CASM would probably be slightly higher if CRJs were flown at mainline wages; however make no mistake that the regionals are doing flying because scope was given up (pilots didn't want to fly smaller jets when they were already on a big jet category) and mainline wants them because it provides some relief from the threat of a strike and along the same lines keeps mainline costs down by directly forcing the labor groups to compete against each other.

Just please understand that by running two CRJs in place of one mainline narrow body, mainline is actually paying a premium to keep competition up and their own labor groups down. Kinda makes a person rethink giving up any scope in the future.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
It's true. But the barrage of RJs was to serve another purpose than to keep costs low.

Division and diversity of the labor pool is a management tactic for keeping costs low.


Sent from my TRS-80
 

SlumTodd_Millionaire

Socialist Pig Member
RJs have always had a higher CASM, even during the low-fuel days of the '90s. But it wasn't about that. It was about wanting to expand into smaller markets with jets, while also supplementing mainline routes with RJs during lower-traffic times, without having to pay mainline prices to do so. While RJ CASM at a regional may be 0.16 cents, it would be more like 0.22 cents at a mainline carrier. The difference is huge, and that's why management wants to outsource that flying. The added benefit of the whipsaw is just the icing on the cake for them.
 

O&M

Well-Known Member
It's true. But the barrage of RJs was to serve another purpose than to keep costs low.

Division and diversity of the labor pool is a management tactic for keeping costs low.


Sent from my TRS-80
Sorta like how work slowdowns and strikes are union tactics for keeping costs high.
 

crazyjaydawg

Well-Known Member
But sadly DAL loves to use RJs on former prop routes, very low CASM. Is ROI with customer service that much higher by having jets in their place?

Also my last RJ trip involved MSP-CVG-JFK-IAD. With no smaller airports the rest of the trip.

Was that expanding into smaller markets? It looks like a lot of hub to hub at a higher CASM. Like derg said it's whipsaw to keep costs down as a primary driver.

Legacies are paying a slight premium in CASM to keep a whipsaw in place that has a ROI in keeping costs down in the long run. It just debunks that RJs are necessary.

Some 50 seaters might serve small markets, but most cover hub-hub or Bravo-Bravo flying. And all 76 are actively taking routes that could be done by mainline.
 

SlumTodd_Millionaire

Socialist Pig Member
Like I said, small markets is one goal, but supplementing larger markets is another. It's an established fact in this industry that the airline with the highest frequency between two cities gets a disproportionate market share. An airline with the most frequency that has 50% of the departures can end up with 65% of the passengers. And not only that, business travelers especially like frequency, so you aren't just getting more of the market share, but you're getting the higher revenue passengers in that market share. RJs allow you to have greater frequency without over-saturating the market with too many seats.
 
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