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Guest cj_flys_wmu

US Air and Embraer/Bombardier split--why??

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Would anyone care to comment on/explain why US Airways announced today that it was going to split its regional jet purchases equally between Embraer (85 ERJ-170s) and Bombardier (65 CRJ2s and 20 CRJ7s)? Normally I'd say they must know something I don't, but given the way the airlines are running themselves into the ground these days, I don't have that kind of confidence anymore. Just seems silly to me--go with one or the other (*cough* Bombardier *cough*) and save big bucks on pilot training, mechanic training, and so on. I know that sometimes there are good reasons to have a mixed fleet--certain Boeings v. certain Airbuses and so on--but the CRJ7 and the ERJ-170 have the same capacity and range, it just seems ridiculous. The only explanation I can think of is maybe Bombardier couldn't promise them as many CRJ7s as they need; or, perhaps it's a political thing, though I don't know much about that.Overall, it'll be interesting to see whether expanding the regional fleet is really effective for them. They say it will be because they've formerly been limited to flying turboprops on those routes, which didn't really allow them to compete with Delta and Continental flying their RJs, but I'm also not too sure that more competition is necessarily a good thing (for the airlines--granted it's probably better for the consumers), given the fare wars and cost-cutting that already exist.Comments? I know there are a lot of industry folks on here and I learn a ton from them every time one of these questions gets thrown out.Regards,Marc

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I believe it's a political thing, since Bombardier and Embraer are fighting on WTO over illegal subsidies from Canadian and Brazilian governments.It's of major interest for US government to keep commercial and political relations at a good level between US and those two countries, so it might have pressed US Air for a "Salomonic" solution.I think both companies produce high quality aircraft at competitive prices, although Embraer has been taking market share from Bombardier in the past few years.RegardsEsteves

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Here's my solution: I use Bill Grabowski's ERJ panel with my POSKY CRJ :-)

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>Here's my solution: I use Bill Grabowski's ERJ panel with my>POSKY CRJ :-)How's that working for you? Thinking of doing the same when I first read this thread.

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It works well, but just a few nights ago in the interest of authenticity (and national pride) I downloaded Marco Spada's CRJ panel (crj2k2.zip -- I got if of flightsim, but I'm sure it's available elsewhere).I'm quite pleased with it and it works with the POSKY CRJ virtual panel as well. The panel included with the CRJ wasn't to my taste.Bill ERJ panel, in my view, is the best freeware panel available, but now it resides in my ERJ 145.CheersBlairOttawa

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Hey guys,I would say the move is both political and financial. Political in the fact that the company could be seen as taking the conservative political approach and not taking any sides with a specific manufacturer. US Airways did just come out of Chapter 11 and it does not want to rattle any cages yet. One thing they could also be doing with the split order is increasing some of their bargining leverage with the companies. If I was either Bombardier or Embraer I would obviously want to beat out the other guy and get the larger order. For future orders in order to do this I will have to make a better deal then the other manufacturer. US Airways just increased their leverage for the future with this. I believe that there are something like 300+ options for additional aircraft attached with this order. Usually this means that the airline have some sort of soft aggrement that says perhaps in the future we would like to procure these said amount of aircraft. In these options US Airways could have the upper hand and hash out a good deal with either manufacturer. As for the regional fleets, they are where the future of U.S. domestic aviation lie. If you compare the financial positions of many of the regional airlines they are doing much better then the mainline carriers they support. You have not been really hearing about major airline orders of Boeings and Airbus. The large orders are going the the Bombardiers and Embraers. In addition, at the end of the day the general public would prefer to fly in a regional jets then a turbo props. They feel that they are safer and better then something that has a propeller (even though that prop is being slung around by a jet engine). The commuter turbo props are a dying breed (sorry B1900 mech). Regionals will eventially switch to all regional jet fleets eventialy. The regional jets are very cost competitive for the airlines right now and are relitively cheap to operate. It is much easier to fill a 50-75 seat regional jet then it is to fill a 150 seat 737. The other good point you bring up is about fleet standardization. Yes, keeping a fleet the same type of aircraft is the most cost effective way to run an airline. Southwest with their 737s and Jetblue with their A320s are a testiment to this. It is not very cost effective for an airline to operate 737s, MD-80s, A320s and 747s all at the same time.Having aircraft from two different manufactures is not too bad when you look at it from a crew and perhaps maintanence standpoint. The Bombardier crews will not be able to fly the Embraers and vice versa, but upgrading equipment within the same manufacturer is not that bad or expensive. I would imagine that mechanics would be in a similar situation where they could work on aircraft from the same manfacturer with out any problems similar to the pilots. Just my ideas.Take care,Christopher "C.J." StarrWMU Aviation Management Student (Just 3 classes to go!)

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Sorry for the long wait to reply. But I have to disagree with you Christopher. The majority of our routes are essential air service routes into small airports that cannot take RJs.I think if you fly over 50 seats, you need on airport crash and rescue.

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Another thing to bear in mind are various 'scope clauses'written into the labour agreements with pilots' unions, which limit the number and size of a/c which can be flown by subsidiary companies.:-wavePete

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