04 September 2007

Airlines adjust after Summer of discontent

Great piece in the (still) independent WSJ. http://online.wsj.com/article/the_middle_seat.html?mod=djemseat

The airlines opine that they have been hit by a triple whammy: High Load factors (duh!!!) ATC delays (if all else fails blame the government), The weather (act of God). They can apparently handle 2 out of 3 but not all 3. Apparently Airlines cannot make bad decisions that contribute to the problem…

As a result they are going to operate differently and hold back seats (read this as still overbook just not as badly), use spare aircraft and add flex into the timing.

OK Chaps (Mr. and Mrs. Airline) - I have a suggestion for you. How about using less SMALLER aircraft and bite the bullet on capacity constraints. The overuse of RJs is the fundamental root cause of the increase in aircraft system resources without a corresponding increase in passenger capability or a pricing model that accommodates this significant upsurge in traffic without necessarily increasing the system capacity for passengers.

I have a further suggestion for the FAA. Guys is this a wakeup call for VLJs? If you were to reprice the usage of the scarce airport tarmac, and flight pathways - then this problem can be ameliorated BEFORE it hits us.

But perhaps its just better to blame the Government and the weather than actually doing the right thing.

One day Congress will wake up to the problem and boot in a quick fix.

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