What will the end of the Delta CRJ100/200 mean for us and the regional crews?

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“Downsize”
Origin: 1970–75, Americanism Collins World English Dictionary
downsize  (ˈdaʊnˌsaɪz)
Definition: to reduce the operating costs of a company by reducing the number of people it employs

So the word behind the scenes with Comair ASA et al is beginning this year Delta is planning on eliminating the CRJ 100 & 200 from the fleet (about time when you look at this plane in SBN). If you are over 6’ and prefer not to pink tag your laptop bag you are likely jumping for joy at the thought of the smallest commuter aircraft becoming a CRJ700, but there are some other aspects of this to consider.

the old NWA SAAB turbo prop

First, obviously, it means there will be fewer flight options as with larger aircraft making the flights, there will be more capacity on each flight so that allows Delta to reduce the overall number of flights it offers. Overall it will amount to a 2-3% reduction in seat capacity for 2012, according to this Washington Post with Bloomberg article. This may mean you have to go earlier and layover longer in order to make your connections work. Then there’s the consideration of bumportunities which should increase with overall capacity reductions (but don’t forget about the voucher rule change).

Second, it will mean layoffs of both pilots and FA’s. We’re all too familiar with this scenario by now, aren’t we? Job loss due to downsizing. We can only hope that Delta will keep the best and let go the rest, but seniority doesn’t always work that way, does it? Plus seniority plays a big part. I hope many of the surly and upset ex-NWA FA’s go and some of the outstanding regional FA’s have a chance to take their place!

Delta old ASA ATR-72

So while you enjoy the slightly larger overhead storage space on those bigger CRJ’s, remember that Delta implemented these changes for the main reason they fly ( and it ain’t about us ) it is all about profitability! – René

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6 comments

  1. Wow. It’s almost worth reading this blog to find out how bad each installment is.

    Another ill informed puff piece.

    First, Delta is not eliminating (unfortunately) the CRJ100/200 from it’s Connection fleet. There will continue to be hundreds of them operated by other Connection carriers.

    Second, it is well documented, industry wide, that the 50 seat regional jets are an economic nightmare to operate. Second, Comair has it’s own well known issues, notably the pilot strike years back, high labor costs compared to other Connection operators, and an aging fleet of CRJ’s. Some that are still in service are now almost 19 years old, have an enormous number of cycles on them, are increasingly expensive to maintain, and are probably worth more scrapped.

    Also, consider that the larger RJ’s that have been introduced and have made the 50 seaters even less desirable have 2 FA’s vs 1 FA on a 50 seater… more crew members.

    Delta has introduced a better product on newer aircraft that have operating costs marginally higher than the 50 seaters while at the same time being able to sell the additional seats that exist due the increase in capacity. This is good for Delta, its passengers, and the other regional operators.

    There will be CRJ100’s and 200’s around for years and in numbers large enough to continue to provide service such as 7x day LAN-DTW on a 74 mile flight, which is exactly what they’re good for.

  2. @Brian – thanks for reading the blog each day and for even for reading it from a GoGo equipped aircraft – the way DELTA is going btw. I do not see many SAAB’s or ATR-72 in the air anymore with DELTA paint. Do you? Time will tell. I trust my sources.

    EDIT: And now we see the facts of the matter. The 50 seat CRJ’s are going away. As much at 50% this year: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-14/new-york-s-smallest-planes-dwindle-as-delta-hub-ousts-turboprops.html?cmpid=yhoo

  3. My only comment, if true, is good ridance. I will put up with less flexibility. I am 6′ 4″ and I can’t tell you how many times I have hit my head on that darn things. Plus, I always get the 300 lbs. guy next to me.

    I don’t care if done for the wrong reasons; Delta should have never pushed flyers at regional airports in the first place. Before 2005 or 2006, I always got real Northwest flights when I lived in Duluth. After that and now in Sioux Falls, they are very rare and I have suffered enough. I have gotten numerous miles from delta as I complain about them everytime I have to ride on them.

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