Delta Connection Forecast

By Bill Fawcett of Flickr

Their are sufficient pieces to the puzzle for us to begin to speculate what the future of Delta Connection Forecast looks like in their restructuring.  The announcement for additional CRJ 900’s and Pinnacles new TA point the direction Delta is taking with their connection carriers.

As previously discussed in the websites synopsis of the CRJ 900 announcement, the CRJ 900 aircraft should take Delta from their Scope limit of 255 large Regional Jet’s up to the new limit 325 large Regional Jets. For a scope breakdown please see Delta Pilot Scope.

The order of 40 CRJ 900’s and the option for 30 CRJ 900’s should fill this gap. It is possible that the options may not be exercised and another make substituted in its place. Possible substitutions include the Embraer 170. However, Scope would have to be rewrote for more E175 to be flown as they are specifically given a number of exceptions in the Delta contract.

Delta’s (50) seat regional fleet should be reduced down to 125 according to their Scope as more 76 seat aircraft and 717’s come onto the property.

As of the last annual filing for the end of 2011, SkyWest INC had 160 CRJ 200’s for Delta Connection. As of today according to this websites numbers they are down to roughly 142 CRJ 200’s. The announcement of CRJ 200 retirement’s of 66 aircraft for 34 CRJ 700 and 900’s, will further reduce the  total count of CRJ 200’s with Delta down to 94 CRJ 200 aircraft.  This will make SkyWest INC total (50) seat Delta Connection footprint less than 100 at around 94 CRJ 200’s.

note – Only 25 of those airplanes were owned by Skywest. The other 41 are owned by Delta. SkyWest has already begun to redeploy 23 of those owned CRJ 200’s with Eagle. (A previous posting on the Skywest Eagle flying)

Current (50) seat reduction includes –

This will bring total Delta Connection (50) seat presence down to 94 aircraft with SkyWest INC, and until 2016 22 EMB 145’s with Republic Holdings. This places total (50) seat presence at 116 aircraft.

As far as 70 seat and 76 aircraft go. They will include –

70 Seat Aircraft

  • 22 CRJ 700 with Go Jet
  • 58 CRJ 700 with SkyWest INC
  • 12 EMB170 with Republic
  • 6 EMB 170 with Compass

For a total of 98 (70) seat aircraft – the remaining 4-5 CRJ 700’s to bring up to maximum allowed by scope are old Comair Birds being delivered to SkyWest through the beginning of next year (2013).

76 Seat Aircraft

  • 36 EMB 175 with Compass
  • 16 EMB 175 with Republic
  • 57 CRJ 900 with Pinnacle
  • 35 CRJ 900 with SkyWest

The next part is a little more complicated but not bad- Pinnacle will lose 16 CRJ 900’s to SkyWest, and SkyWest is in the process of receiving 13 CRJ 900’s from Comair. Pinnacle will then receive 40 CRJ 900’s, if their contract goes through. This leaves 30 options that have not been exercised that will go to someone eventually.

This takes us up too-

  • 36 EMB 175 with Compass
  • 16 EMB 175 with Republic
  • 81 CRJ 900 with Pinnacle
  • Roughly ~60 CRJ 900 with SkyWest (its in transition so its difficult to pin down an exact number)
  • 30 options to an unknown future bidder.

This brings us up to the Scope limit of 223 aircraft give or take. Right now my exact count is taking the number beyond 223 but that could be because of few may be retired and need to be replaced.

The interesting part in all of this is that their will be some room in the Scope for another operator to fly an additional 9 (50) seat jets for Delta up to 2016. Their is also the 30 Aircraft options for which we don’t know who the operator will be. So their is still room under Delta Pilot Scope after all the cuts for someone to gain up to 39 aircraft worth of flying with Delta. After 2016 the Republic holdings flying will be up for rebid as well.



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