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Turboprops for Virgin Blue?????

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Turboprops for Virgin Blue?????

Old 10th Jan 2010, 10:18
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Turboprops for Virgin Blue?????

The Jan/Feb issue of Australian Aviation has an interview with Brett. A few times in the article turbprops come up (ATRs and Q400s), plus a statement saying 'watch this space' regarding a regional expansion . He also says that the Embraers are not really regional aircraft and they haven't fully deployed them properly. Plus they are operating them into markets that are not ideal for the them, they should be on long thin routes and the 190's shouldn't be doing anything under 1.5 to 2 hours. Also mentions SYD-CBR and how they would like to increase the frequency but doesn't want to put to many jets on it.

So will we see ATRs or Q400s in DJ's colours? ATR have their new -600 aircraft on the market and would be very keen to have it operating in Australia.
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 11:39
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Hmmm...
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 12:42
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Well he does have a point that jets are more economical around 2hrs and TP on shorter routes
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 14:03
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Turboprops for Virgin Blue?????
Yeah, they were made in Sweden ages ago, and currently has the name of a dog painted on the side
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 19:22
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Oh God!

I hope not.
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 19:51
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On the bright side if Virgin get into the regional turboprop game, REX better lift it's conditions else KRUSTY will be the last man standing
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 00:14
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That's of course if they decide to compete with REX G.G?

Personally I can't see it. The Regionals are profitable, REX because of their agressive program of debt minimisation, QLink because of their economies of scale, but most of all due to the virtual monopolies enjoyed by these carriers over 90% of their routes. The monopolies aside though, both these carriers have manged to make Regional flying approx 50% cheaper than what it was a decade ago. This has been through some competition on a few sectors, but mainly because of a rationalisation of the previous route structures. Many Regional centres have lost their air service simply because they were marginal. I mean Hell, REX wouldn't still be in QLD if the routes weren't subsidised!

Profitable as they are however, the margins are still thin. For an operator to effectively compete, a substantial capital outlay would be required for what would be at best a 5% P/A return on investment?

If VB do intend to compete, then as well as the issues mentioned above, there is the problem of crewing. Most REX pilots (other than the Cadets of course) would probably move for a Jet job, but to go sideways? Anyway the major airlines (VB included) will probably be focused on recruiting the last available experienced pilots for mainline. My sources tell me that VB will be looking for at least 110 pilots by April, and Jetstar quite a few more than that before the end of the year! No point starting a Regional airline if you can't get pilots to fly it.

The logical choice (if you can call any of this logical) would be, as Red Jet alluded, for VB to buy REX. That would be interesting. You never know Red Jet, they may offer you a DEC. At least your pay would go up.
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 04:03
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What about the WA Coastal Network contract???

Maybe VB are looking at bidding for the WA coastal network? Have Skywest got it in the bag yet? Nice new Q400's or ATR's vs outdated F50's... I know what I'd prefer
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 10:23
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Yes they (Skywest) have, announced earlier in the year, to arrange a new 5-year contract to allow them to upgrade their fleet...

On the E190's the WA network is perfect then, lots of long, thin routes - ZNE, KTA, PHE and BME
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 20:52
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Along a similar train of thought...any truth to the rumour Qlink is getting CRJ900's??
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Old 12th Jan 2010, 04:17
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VB to buy Rex

It would make a lot of sense for VB to acquire Rex, and run all E-jets and turboprops under the Rex AOC. Fewer people would leave and there would be a more interesting career path for the Rex crews.

At the same time it would make some sense to get some of the Rex management into VB. They may not be the most popular guys with the crews, but they sure have made a difference in the survival, growth and profitability of Rex.
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Old 12th Jan 2010, 09:09
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Smile

Err, Timber:

Why would VB buy Rex and take the risk (and expense) of buying REX and its old aeroplanes, when they could simply take them on as a partner with less risk?

And why would/should they operate the E-Jets on the Rex AOC, when Rex doesn't have the required high capacity AOC, and VB are doing fine with them right where they are in-house?

And finally, why would VB take on REX management following a takeover? I'd imagine that they'd be surplus to requirements if VB were ever crazy enough to buy REX. Historically, duplicated/redundant management are the first to go in a takeover/buyout.

It would be more cost efficient for VB to set up their own turboprop operation with a type that is current - not a type that has not been produced for 11 years.

Sgt. Schultz: If QL get CRJ-900's, my money is on Cobham operating them. They are the QLink jet operator.

Apologies if this shatters a few fantasies
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Old 12th Jan 2010, 11:06
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Couldn't think anything worse than VB buying REX.

I could write a thesis on why that would be a bad idea.

I didn't know skywest got back the 5 year contract. Wonder what the plans are regarding the fleet upgrade. Sounds like exciting times with A320's rolling in and fleet upgrades.

Either way I'll believe the turbo prop story when i see it. What it will do apart from cutting the guts out of the existing regionals will be basically to take the pilots that would have originally gone to the rex qlink ect.
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Old 12th Jan 2010, 11:21
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----------
Media statement

Release date: 30/6/2009
Transport Minister Simon O’Brien has announced that regional Western Australia will be guaranteed regular passenger air services.

Mr O’Brien said the State Government believed it more important to put regional WA’s need for regular passenger air services ahead of wholesale deregulation of intrastate air routes.

“Securing air routes for regional communities, which may have lost their regular passenger services if deregulation was allowed to proceed, is the government’s main priority,” he said.

“Airlines around the world and domestically are struggling; for example, since 1960, 43 WA based regular passenger transport airlines have collapsed. Deregulating the system in the current environment does not secure the best outcome for regional WA.

“The airline industry is in a delicate state, it needs certainty where presently there is uncertainty.”

The Minister said he offered the two existing main regional network operators, Skywest and Skippers Aviation 12-month extensions while arrangements for long-term contracts were negotiated and both companies had accepted this proposal.

“I will immediately set about working with the aviation sector to negotiate appropriate long-term arrangements that will give airlines and passengers the security and certainty they need for the future,” he said.

“The way to guarantee future services will be to give airlines the long-term certainty they need to invest in new aircraft and other infrastructure.”

The Minister said as soon as long-term arrangements had been agreed, the 12-month extension would be annulled, with the new arrangements beginning immediately.

“What is essential though is that Western Australian air service providers have the long term stability to provide even better services,” Mr O’Brien said.

“In the coming months I will be visiting those communities for whom regular air services are a vital link.

“This will enable me to take soundings and seek feedback on what additional service levels and standards regional communities would like to see improved upon as the State Government negotiates long term contract arrangement with regional air service providers.”

------------------
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Old 12th Jan 2010, 11:32
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HJ

Rex is a very profitable unit with a very low cost base. Partner is fine but VB didn't elect that route for VA either.

There is nothing wrong with the Saabs for the work they do.

It would be easy for Rex to get a high capacity AOC and thus the cost base for the "little" aircraft (E-jets) could be brought down in time.

Re the management I wasn't thinking of adding some of the Rex people but rather replacing some of the VB managers, so no duplication intended.

The future is further cost reductions. That would be the role of Rex for the V-group. Just like J* is the low cost arm of QF and eventually a new entity will become the low cost arm of J*. Lowering the cost base all the time... lower and lower.

A bit rough this .... sorry.
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Old 12th Jan 2010, 23:52
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Just avoid the Metro's please DJ had enufffffffffff
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Old 14th Jan 2010, 04:37
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If VB do intend to compete, then as well as the issues mentioned above, there is the problem of crewing. Most REX pilots (other than the Cadets of course) would probably move for a Jet job, but to go sideways? Anyway the major airlines (VB included) will probably be focused on recruiting the last available experienced pilots for mainline.
Open your eyes Krusty... GA is full of pilots who would give their left cajone for a gig with VB regardless of type.

Interestingly, heard a dirrrrrrty rumour that ATR72 was added to the AOC last week.
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Old 14th Jan 2010, 08:01
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Hi Jarse

Hope they are treating you well there. Q400 would be the logical choice with plenty of VB staff previously CASA approved for SIM and check and training (we miss them).Also ready made crew at their competitor now the retention has been paid and crew spivved again and ready to walk and hopefully proper progression.

He at no 42 has told us they are definately looking at jet equipment however 717 doesnt come off lease until 2016 with Cobham contract due around the same time so now they have paid the retention bonus they are now holding the regional jet carrot in front of us again. After 12 years its wears a bit thin.
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Old 14th Jan 2010, 08:02
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Been in this game very long have we bagchucka?

And what sort of pilots are they?
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Old 14th Jan 2010, 08:26
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Slight thread drift, but where do REX have pilot bases?
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