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quintinsoloviev
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Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:22 pm

Hello,

I am planning on making a video on why American Eagle dumped their ATR aircraft. I am struggling to find information so any would help.

Thanks!

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WayexTDI
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:40 pm

Several factors:
- the turboprops are good on short flights; American Eagle does some quite long flights;
- Flight 4184 did a lot of damage to the brand and to turboprop operations (Colgan Air 3407 accentuated that);
- the general thought in the US that turboprop = old plane = unsafe.
 
timeless159
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:41 am

I don't see it mentioned often, but I think scope killed the 70+ seat turboprops. If an airline is only allowed a certain number of 70 and 76 aircraft in its regional fleet, it's more productive for it to be a jet. A jet creates more ASMs at cheap regional labor rates than a turboprop.
 
FLYSPI
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:52 am

timeless159 wrote:
I don't see it mentioned often, but I think scope killed the 70+ seat turboprops. If an airline is only allowed a certain number of 70 and 76 aircraft in its regional fleet, it's more productive for it to be a jet. A jet creates more ASMs at cheap regional labor rates than a turboprop.


Neither ATR model was +70 seats. The ATR-42 seats 48 while the ATR-72 seats 68.
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N292UX
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:00 am

IIRC, the AA ATR-72s weren't exactly spring chickens. As a matter of fact, they were pretty ancient. Older interior, louder cabin, and they were early production model ATR-72s. That was probably part of it.
 
GatorClark
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:01 am

I know the ATR did great doing shuttle runs between RSW & MIA.. I flew it a couple times and it was always packed. When they retired the ATR, the RSW-MIA route went with it.
 
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XLA2008
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:09 am

I feel like I vaguely remember that issues with icing and accidents resulting, meant that American ended up moving a lot of them if not all south to warmer climates, which I believe if that’s the case it meant that the aircraft could not really be deployed nationwide and would be restricted within the airlines network and operations, which could be one of the factors they decided to ditch the aircraft.

Like I said I vaguely recall this information somewhere however I could be wrong, if so correct me!
“For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.“
 
timeless159
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:34 am

FLYSPI wrote:
timeless159 wrote:
I don't see it mentioned often, but I think scope killed the 70+ seat turboprops. If an airline is only allowed a certain number of 70 and 76 aircraft in its regional fleet, it's more productive for it to be a jet. A jet creates more ASMs at cheap regional labor rates than a turboprop.


Neither ATR model was +70 seats. The ATR-42 seats 48 while the ATR-72 seats 68.


True, but I think American's scope clause would allow the ATR-72 to be replaced by a 76 seat RJ. The scope clause allows the number of 66-76 seat regional aircraft to be 40% of the number of mainline narrowbody aircraft.
 
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B727skyguy
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:05 am

FLYSPI wrote:
Neither ATR model was +70 seats. The ATR-42 seats 48 while the ATR-72 seats 68.

The ATR-72s were actually 64 seats, at least at MQ.
 
rbavfan
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:37 am

ATR-72 seats 72 @ 29" with small galley & 1 lavatory. http://www.atraircraft.com/datas/downlo ... es_129.pdf
 
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RyanairGuru
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:08 am

timeless159 wrote:
I don't see it mentioned often, but I think scope killed the 70+ seat turboprops. If an airline is only allowed a certain number of 70 and 76 aircraft in its regional fleet, it's more productive for it to be a jet. A jet creates more ASMs at cheap regional labor rates than a turboprop.


That's why United dumped the Q400s. Continental's scope clause didn't allow jets larger than 50 seats but there was no limit on props, hence the Q400 order. The combined CO-UA pilot contract counted them in the same category as the large RJs for scope so they were quickly retired once the contract came into effect and were replaced by EMB-175s. If there had been a carve out for props in the combined contract I expect they'd have stuck around longer, at least until the CommutAir 200s and 300s were retired, as they were perfectly adequate for short hops in the NE out of EWR and IAD.
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OA940
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:09 pm

As said above, Roselawn had a lot to do with that, and the fact that the older -200 series ATRs weren't really that great to fly on.
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Tan Flyr
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:12 pm

GatorClark wrote:
I know the ATR did great doing shuttle runs between RSW & MIA.. I flew it a couple times and it was always packed. When they retired the ATR, the RSW-MIA route went with it.


The Roselawn Indiana accident really dented the reputation of the ATR. While quite efficient on short runs of about 200 miles or less, it seemed that they could take forever to cover 150-200 miles. Supposedly segregated somewhat by ATC ( I was told) into congested airspace such as ORD added to the travel time. One of the most turbulent flights I was ever on was in an ATR from FWA-ORD, seated behind the wing..thought I was going to puke.

The few really short hauls where they would be most effective such as, MKE-ORD, SBN-ORD, the RSW-MIA, and such just does not warrant maintaining a tiny fleet of the type.

Perhaps sometime in the future, a very super efficient turbo prop might return to the skies of the US, but the economics, and most importantly , the comfort and perceived speed and total experience for the customer would have to be superior to an RJ. That might be a tall order.
 
FLYSPI
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:24 am

B727skyguy wrote:
FLYSPI wrote:
Neither ATR model was +70 seats. The ATR-42 seats 48 while the ATR-72 seats 68.

The ATR-72s were actually 64 seats, at least at MQ.


Touche'. We had -72s at Trans States that were 68 seats, but recalling now I think Eagle's were a bit smaller in capacity.

XLA2008 wrote:
I feel like I vaguely remember that issues with icing and accidents resulting, meant that American ended up moving a lot of them if not all south to warmer climates, which I believe if that’s the case it meant that the aircraft could not really be deployed nationwide and would be restricted within the airlines network and operations, which could be one of the factors they decided to ditch the aircraft.

Like I said I vaguely recall this information somewhere however I could be wrong, if so correct me!


I'm going on somewhat vague recollection as well, but here at Springfield IL, in 95 we were still seeing ATRs. However in 96-97 we would see the Saab in the winter time and the ATRs were shifted to MIA (and maybe DFW, and maybe even SJU, I can't remember for sure now), but we would see ATRs from ORD off and on until 2000. If I recall correctly alot had to do with the testing of the effects of icing on the tail and once the testing was done they started flying ATR's back at ORD in the colder seasons again. At Trans States we continually operated the ATRs out of STL until the mid 2000s. In fact one vivid memory was from 1996 when I was trying to deice an ATR-42 in a snow storm...and getting a nice little case of frostbite on the fingers...
I know we had ATRs at SPI until 2000 because Eagle would pull out as the Embraer 145s would take over at ORD. I believe it was AA that wanted an all jet fleet at ORD so the RJs took over all Eagle flying and the ATRs were moved south again for good. Sort of off topic but UA would follow suit and we would lose Great Lakes as United Express (they would stay until AUG 01 and fly to Meigs) and Air Wisconsin came in with DO328s for about a year until they too went all jet with the CRJ.

WayexTDI wrote:
- the general thought in the US that turboprop = old plane = unsafe.

This is very true and it drives me nuts. I grew up in the turboprop regional age. When you lived in a small town like I do, you got on a Metro, a 1900, a J31 or maybe a Brasilia or Saab and you flew to a hub and got on a 727, 737 (insert classic jet here). We had smaller airplanes but we had 6-12 flights a day to the hub (i,e time options) . Now cities like this have flights to the same hubs, and the same seat capacity but with larger RJs several times a day. It was always "I'm not getting on one of those puddle jumpers", or "that thing is rickity". I would always try to point out that that just because it had a prop spinning it was a jet engine making it spin, and compared to the 30 year old jets that were flying around back in the day, the turboprop they were about to get on was years newer than the big comfy jet they'd be connecting to. It's sad because a lot of cities aren't served anymore without turboprops. One could argue they created more traffic, and honestly I got out of the airline industry about the same time as turboprops were going away so I don't know if its better now than it was, but casually checking flightaware it seems like ORD is ground stopped just as much as it was. I would love to see a turboprop revival , but I know it'll probably never happen.
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9w748capt
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:27 am

Wasn't part of it also AA's draw-down of their mini-hub at SJU? I remember AA flew a lot of SJU-Caribbean routes which became less viable with the entrance of B6 and real competition.
 
FlyHossD
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:08 am

FLYSPI wrote:

Touche'. We had -72s at Trans States that were 68 seats, but recalling now I think Eagle's were a bit smaller in capacity...

...the general thought in the US that turboprop = old plane = unsafe.

This is very true and it drives me nuts. I grew up in the turboprop regional age. When you lived in a small town like I do, you got on a Metro, a 1900, a J31 or maybe a Brasilia or Saab and you flew to a hub and got on a 727, 737 (insert classic jet here). We had smaller airplanes but we had 6-12 flights a day to the hub (i,e time options) . Now cities like this have flights to the same hubs, and the same seat capacity but with larger RJs several times a day. It was always "I'm not getting on one of those puddle jumpers", or "that thing is rickity". I would always try to point out that that just because it had a prop spinning it was a jet engine making it spin, and compared to the 30 year old jets that were flying around back in the day, the turboprop they were about to get on was years newer than the big comfy jet they'd be connecting to. It's sad because a lot of cities aren't served anymore without turboprops. One could argue they created more traffic, and honestly I got out of the airline industry about the same time as turboprops were going away so I don't know if its better now than it was, but casually checking flightaware it seems like ORD is ground stopped just as much as it was. I would love to see a turboprop revival , but I know it'll probably never happen.


IIRC, the two CO-Ex ATR-72s in DEN (RMA) had 60 seats.

Also, I remember a yuppy telling his wife that the ATRs were converted World War II bombers. So I took him to the nearest ATR aircraft and showed him the Airworthiness Certificate - the airplane was less than 2 weeks old!
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
FLYSPI
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:23 am

FlyHossD wrote:

Also, I remember a yuppy telling his wife that the ATRs were converted World War II bombers. So I took him to the nearest ATR aircraft and showed him the Airworthiness Certificate - the airplane was less than 2 weeks old!


HAHA! Converted WW2 Bombers, I love it!

I hope the bomb bay door on the bomber version worked better than the cargo door. How many of those did I have to hand crank over the years.. ugh...

navigator: "we're over target"
bombardier : "ahhh... we're gonna have to circle for about 10 minutes, I have to handcrank the bomb bay door again.."
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TVNWZ
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:54 am

9w748capt wrote:
Wasn't part of it also AA's draw-down of their mini-hub at SJU? I remember AA flew a lot of SJU-Caribbean routes which became less viable with the entrance of B6 and real competition.


I flew them many times SJU-STT-SJU. It was always packed.
 
SurfandSnow
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:12 am

GatorClark wrote:
I know the ATR did great doing shuttle runs between RSW & MIA.. I flew it a couple times and it was always packed. When they retired the ATR, the RSW-MIA route went with it.


The ATR 72 may have done great operationally on MIA-RSW, but it left *a lot* to be desired from a pax perspective - even after they finished the regional gate area at MIA and bus rides were no longer necessary. I doubt anyone misses those ratty old props now that the far superior E175s operate everything from the old ATR 72 trunk routes (i.e. MIA-EYW/JAX/NAS) to a seasonal MIA-RSW service.
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:17 am

9w748capt wrote:
Wasn't part of it also AA's draw-down of their mini-hub at SJU? I remember AA flew a lot of SJU-Caribbean routes which became less viable with the entrance of B6 and real competition.


I actually came here to say that as I completely agree! JetBlue pretty much killed American out of JFK. American Eagle also may have had a Saab 340 network out of SJU as well.

Also, I have to wonder if rear boarding killed off the ATRs at American Eagle, given that the Embraer and Bombardier regional jets (and even the Dash 8 props, these days mostly at United Express and Horizon among US) are all front-door boarding. There are airports where ATRs use jetways, but it would be in an odd position for the ATR.
 
Okie
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:22 am

FLYSPI wrote:
At Trans States we continually operated the ATRs out of STL until the mid 2000s.


Probably did the STL-IND leg on those Trans States birds 50 times or more in the early 00's. They were long in the tooth at that point, one flight the de-icing boot was torn on the right wing was flapping in the breeze the whole flight.
I remember thinking thank goodness it is August.

********
After the Roselawn incident AA relegated many of the OKC-DFW feeder flights to the ATR's much to the dismay of AA frequent fliers, the OKC mayor, politicians and chamber of commerce.
Probably one of the largest reactions that I have seen out of the mayor of that time when the jets were replaced with Jurassic Propeller Aero Planes. You would thought AA had scheduled Pterodactyl's.
On a windy day with a head wind you could look out the window and watch the automobiles on the interstate pass you, well almost.

********


That also was the start of decreasing mainline flights below to the 8 per day union ground handling protection in order to out source ground handling.
Now we have multitudes of AA branded <70 seat jets but never more than 8 mainline per day. (I believe 8 the number but could be 9)

Okie
 
Reddevil556
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:54 am

I remember a flight from Charlotte to Fayetteville on a Dash 8 where the lady next to me was freaking out because one of the props wasn’t turning during the taxi. I calmly told her everything was ok and that it would start turning before we took off. Passenger ignorance is very common. For those that complain about an ATR or Dash-8, you don’t know misery unless you have flown in the cargo hold of a C-130H for a few hours.
Jumped out of: C130H, C130J, C17A, C212, CH47, and UH60. Bucket list: C160, A400, C2
 
9w748capt
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:54 am

TVNWZ wrote:
9w748capt wrote:
Wasn't part of it also AA's draw-down of their mini-hub at SJU? I remember AA flew a lot of SJU-Caribbean routes which became less viable with the entrance of B6 and real competition.


I flew them many times SJU-STT-SJU. It was always packed.


Does AA still fly the route? Surely if that route was doing so well they'd still fly it?
 
9w748capt
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:57 am

Okie wrote:
FLYSPI wrote:
At Trans States we continually operated the ATRs out of STL until the mid 2000s.


Probably did the STL-IND leg on those Trans States birds 50 times or more in the early 00's. They were long in the tooth at that point, one flight the de-icing boot was torn on the right wing was flapping in the breeze the whole flight.
I remember thinking thank goodness it is August.

********
After the Roselawn incident AA relegated many of the OKC-DFW feeder flights to the ATR's much to the dismay of AA frequent fliers, the OKC mayor, politicians and chamber of commerce.
Probably one of the largest reactions that I have seen out of the mayor of that time when the jets were replaced with Jurassic Propeller Aero Planes. You would thought AA had scheduled Pterodactyl's.
On a windy day with a head wind you could look out the window and watch the automobiles on the interstate pass you, well almost.

********


That also was the start of decreasing mainline flights below to the 8 per day union ground handling protection in order to out source ground handling.
Now we have multitudes of AA branded <70 seat jets but never more than 8 mainline per day. (I believe 8 the number but could be 9)

Okie


That is fascinating - I had no idea that OKC saw significant ATR ops. OKC has sure come a long way since then - certainly no longer a relegation station!
 
YoungDon
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:47 am

The thing I always remember about the ATR was how (as a young kid) it really freaked me out being seated at a window next to the prop on a MIA-NAS run. All I could think about was, "I'm done if this prop comes off!"

I can't say I particularly miss them, never was my favorite plane even when I got older and over that fear. It was quite loud and not the best ride as I remember. Eagle's Saabs were better.
 
maps4ltd
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:49 am

GatorClark wrote:
I know the ATR did great doing shuttle runs between RSW & MIA.. I flew it a couple times and it was always packed. When they retired the ATR, the RSW-MIA route went with it.


AA recently brought back RSW-MIA on E175s.
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Cubsrule
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:01 am

9w748capt wrote:
Wasn't part of it also AA's draw-down of their mini-hub at SJU? I remember AA flew a lot of SJU-Caribbean routes which became less viable with the entrance of B6 and real competition.


B6 was part of it but the combination of runway expansions and the better runway performance of newer aircaft (the 738 in AA's case) is also a large part of what killed the hub. There aren't too many airports left in the Caribbean whose runways cannot support a fully loaded 738 to MIA. Places like EIS could not and cannot support a hub by themselves.
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GatorClark
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:39 am

SurfandSnow wrote:
GatorClark wrote:
I know the ATR did great doing shuttle runs between RSW & MIA.. I flew it a couple times and it was always packed. When they retired the ATR, the RSW-MIA route went with it.


The ATR 72 may have done great operationally on MIA-RSW, but it left *a lot* to be desired from a pax perspective - even after they finished the regional gate area at MIA and bus rides were no longer necessary. I doubt anyone misses those ratty old props now that the far superior E175s operate everything from the old ATR 72 trunk routes (i.e. MIA-EYW/JAX/NAS) to a seasonal MIA-RSW service.


The few times I flew on one, I didn't think it was all that bad of an aircraft from a passenger perspective. And I mean that as a passenger, not as an a-nutter.. And granted, the last time I was on one, they were still using buses.

maps4ltd wrote:
GatorClark wrote:
I know the ATR did great doing shuttle runs between RSW & MIA.. I flew it a couple times and it was always packed. When they retired the ATR, the RSW-MIA route went with it.


AA recently brought back RSW-MIA on E175s.


Thanks for the update. I wasn't aware of it as I haven't flown AA in years.. I now fly DL & WN almost exclusively.. Will be flying DL more now I'm going to be working for them.
 
ORDfan101
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:47 am

XLA2008 wrote:
I feel like I vaguely remember that issues with icing and accidents resulting, meant that American ended up moving a lot of them if not all south to warmer climates, which I believe if that’s the case it meant that the aircraft could not really be deployed nationwide and would be restricted within the airlines network and operations, which could be one of the factors they decided to ditch the aircraft.

Like I said I vaguely recall this information somewhere however I could be wrong, if so correct me!


When I was a kid, there was always a bunch of atrs (I was 6 so I don’t know what variant) parked at sju
 
FlyHossD
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:00 am

FLYSPI wrote:
FlyHossD wrote:

Also, I remember a yuppy telling his wife that the ATRs were converted World War II bombers. So I took him to the nearest ATR aircraft and showed him the Airworthiness Certificate - the airplane was less than 2 weeks old!


HAHA! Converted WW2 Bombers, I love it!

I hope the bomb bay door on the bomber version worked better than the cargo door. How many of those did I have to hand crank over the years.. ugh...

navigator: "we're over target"
bombardier : "ahhh... we're gonna have to circle for about 10 minutes, I have to handcrank the bomb bay door again.."


The thing is that the he (the yuppy dude) seemed to be completely sincere. And I hand cranked that cargo door open and closed several times, a very slow process, indeed.


Reddevil556 wrote:
I remember a flight from Charlotte to Fayetteville on a Dash 8 where the lady next to me was freaking out because one of the props wasn’t turning during the taxi. I calmly told her everything was ok and that it would start turning before we took off. Passenger ignorance is very common. For those that complain about an ATR or Dash-8, you don’t know misery unless you have flown in the cargo hold of a C-130H for a few hours.


My first airline captain position was as a DHC-6 Twin Otter captain. Back then, customers were very happy to move up to an ATR. The industry has changed, but most passengers - obviously not the members of this board - are still quite ignorant. On the other hand, the airline industry has done very little to educate their customers - a mistake, in my opinion.
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
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TVNWZ
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:32 pm

9w748capt wrote:
TVNWZ wrote:
9w748capt wrote:
Wasn't part of it also AA's draw-down of their mini-hub at SJU? I remember AA flew a lot of SJU-Caribbean routes which became less viable with the entrance of B6 and real competition.


I flew them many times SJU-STT-SJU. It was always packed.


Does AA still fly the route? Surely if that route was doing so well they'd still fly it?


You would have to look. This is when AA operated the SJU hub. Packed with connecting passengers like me. I was living in MCO at the time.
 
9w748capt
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:17 pm

[twoid][/twoid]
TVNWZ wrote:
9w748capt wrote:
TVNWZ wrote:

I flew them many times SJU-STT-SJU. It was always packed.


Does AA still fly the route? Surely if that route was doing so well they'd still fly it?


You would have to look. This is when AA operated the SJU hub. Packed with connecting passengers like me. I was living in MCO at the time.


I looked. They don't. Clearly it wasn't the money making machine some people thought.
 
TWFlyGuy
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:41 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
9w748capt wrote:
Wasn't part of it also AA's draw-down of their mini-hub at SJU? I remember AA flew a lot of SJU-Caribbean routes which became less viable with the entrance of B6 and real competition.


B6 was part of it but the combination of runway expansions and the better runway performance of newer aircaft (the 738 in AA's case) is also a large part of what killed the hub. There aren't too many airports left in the Caribbean whose runways cannot support a fully loaded 738 to MIA. Places like EIS could not and cannot support a hub by themselves.


Didn't they also begin nonstops on RJ's from MIA also making the SJU hub less relevant? I know it was still there in 2000 as TWA opened their SJU focus city then with help from the PR government as a way to ensure that if AA had another strike it wouldn't decimate the local economy. B6 started expanding a bit after that but the draw down had pretty much already begun. They were filling a gap left by AA rather than taking on AA.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:23 pm

timeless159 wrote:
FLYSPI wrote:
timeless159 wrote:
I don't see it mentioned often, but I think scope killed the 70+ seat turboprops. If an airline is only allowed a certain number of 70 and 76 aircraft in its regional fleet, it's more productive for it to be a jet. A jet creates more ASMs at cheap regional labor rates than a turboprop.


Neither ATR model was +70 seats. The ATR-42 seats 48 while the ATR-72 seats 68.


True, but I think American's scope clause would allow the ATR-72 to be replaced by a 76 seat RJ. The scope clause allows the number of 66-76 seat regional aircraft to be 40% of the number of mainline narrowbody aircraft.


Nah, the difference in cruise speed and seat count doesn't meaningfully create more ASMs. 66-passenger props would kill 50-seat jets in ASM creation on any stage length under 400 miles - and there are still plenty of those routes in the U.S.

Americans just hate props compared to jets. It's as simple as that. Carriers can't meaningfully differentiate - in price or frequency - prop performance vs. regional jets. Look at how quickly Alaska ordered E75s for Horizon - and even added SkyWest E75 flying - as soon as Delta brought regional jets as alternatives to QX Q400s to SEA.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:05 pm

TWFlyGuy wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
9w748capt wrote:
Wasn't part of it also AA's draw-down of their mini-hub at SJU? I remember AA flew a lot of SJU-Caribbean routes which became less viable with the entrance of B6 and real competition.


B6 was part of it but the combination of runway expansions and the better runway performance of newer aircaft (the 738 in AA's case) is also a large part of what killed the hub. There aren't too many airports left in the Caribbean whose runways cannot support a fully loaded 738 to MIA. Places like EIS could not and cannot support a hub by themselves.


Didn't they also begin nonstops on RJ's from MIA also making the SJU hub less relevant? I know it was still there in 2000 as TWA opened their SJU focus city then with help from the PR government as a way to ensure that if AA had another strike it wouldn't decimate the local economy. B6 started expanding a bit after that but the draw down had pretty much already begun. They were filling a gap left by AA rather than taking on AA.


50-seat jets were and are a problem at MIA because of their relatively poor runway performance and inferior bag/cargo capabilities. I don’t recall many RJs at MIA before the AT7 retirement. Afterwards (2009-2010 timeframe), they moved some AX ER4s from STL to MIA because IIRC they were a little more capable than MQ’s ER4s, but it was not successful.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
LuigiGDL
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:54 pm

Also, you guys seem to be forgetting that the American Eagle ATRs where actually on a different operating certificate of what was basically a completely different airline. Executive Airlines d/b/a American Eagle was based in San Juan. HDQ, SOC, crew scheduling, dispatch, etc. Was all based in San Juan. Even the pilots and flight attendants worked for a different airline when they where part of the ATR operation. When American downgraded their SJU hub AMR moved those ATRs back to DFW. The older ones to DFW and the “newer” -212A models stayed in MIA. So just imagine the complexities of an operation half based in SJU, MIA and DFW with about 30 some old ATRs. In order to streamline the operation AMR would have had to combine the two certificates, Executive Airlines (OW) and American Eagle Airlines (MQ) into one. I have no idea how expensive that would have been but it obviously was not worth it for a group of 20+ Year old ATRs. So they killed Executive Airlines and with it the ATRs for AMR Eagle.
 
TWFlyGuy
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:48 am

LuigiGDL wrote:
Also, you guys seem to be forgetting that the American Eagle ATRs where actually on a different operating certificate of what was basically a completely different airline. Executive Airlines d/b/a American Eagle was based in San Juan. HDQ, SOC, crew scheduling, dispatch, etc. Was all based in San Juan. Even the pilots and flight attendants worked for a different airline when they where part of the ATR operation. When American downgraded their SJU hub AMR moved those ATRs back to DFW. The older ones to DFW and the “newer” -212A models stayed in MIA. So just imagine the complexities of an operation half based in SJU, MIA and DFW with about 30 some old ATRs. In order to streamline the operation AMR would have had to combine the two certificates, Executive Airlines (OW) and American Eagle Airlines (MQ) into one. I have no idea how expensive that would have been but it obviously was not worth it for a group of 20+ Year old ATRs. So they killed Executive Airlines and with it the ATRs for AMR Eagle.


It could not have been all of them. There were ATR's in RDU before the Miami hub existed.
 
ikramerica
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:33 am

FlyHossD wrote:
FLYSPI wrote:
FlyHossD wrote:

Also, I remember a yuppy telling his wife that the ATRs were converted World War II bombers. So I took him to the nearest ATR aircraft and showed him the Airworthiness Certificate - the airplane was less than 2 weeks old!


HAHA! Converted WW2 Bombers, I love it!

I hope the bomb bay door on the bomber version worked better than the cargo door. How many of those did I have to hand crank over the years.. ugh...

navigator: "we're over target"
bombardier : "ahhh... we're gonna have to circle for about 10 minutes, I have to handcrank the bomb bay door again.."


The thing is that the he (the yuppy dude) seemed to be completely sincere. And I hand cranked that cargo door open and closed several times, a very slow process, indeed.


Reddevil556 wrote:
I remember a flight from Charlotte to Fayetteville on a Dash 8 where the lady next to me was freaking out because one of the props wasn’t turning during the taxi. I calmly told her everything was ok and that it would start turning before we took off. Passenger ignorance is very common. For those that complain about an ATR or Dash-8, you don’t know misery unless you have flown in the cargo hold of a C-130H for a few hours.


My first airline captain position was as a DHC-6 Twin Otter captain. Back then, customers were very happy to move up to an ATR. The industry has changed, but most passengers - obviously not the members of this board - are still quite ignorant. On the other hand, the airline industry has done very little to educate their customers - a mistake, in my opinion.

No doubt. As a pax on a Rust’s twin otter 10 years back, I would definitely say an ATR was an upgrade, even though taking off from the water was cool. But then again, flying an ATR from Dayton to ord in the dead of January back in the 90s, I don’t have fond memories of that flight, even if ORD did use a jetway on the back door.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
BreezyIAH
Posts: 95
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:42 am

I enjoyed them...flew them around TX and to FSM. Very spacious and connected to a gate. Also flew TWA out of STL to MEM
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:44 am

I miss the ATR and Saab’s. They were a mainstay of my flights as a child and really got me super interested in all things aviation.

I am also one of the weird ones today that doesn’t mind CR2s, at least on flights under 2 hours.
 
LuigiGDL
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 6:15 am

Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:08 am

TWFlyGuy wrote:
LuigiGDL wrote:
Also, you guys seem to be forgetting that the American Eagle ATRs where actually on a different operating certificate of what was basically a completely different airline. Executive Airlines d/b/a American Eagle was based in San Juan. HDQ, SOC, crew scheduling, dispatch, etc. Was all based in San Juan. Even the pilots and flight attendants worked for a different airline when they where part of the ATR operation. When American downgraded their SJU hub AMR moved those ATRs back to DFW. The older ones to DFW and the “newer” -212A models stayed in MIA. So just imagine the complexities of an operation half based in SJU, MIA and DFW with about 30 some old ATRs. In order to streamline the operation AMR would have had to combine the two certificates, Executive Airlines (OW) and American Eagle Airlines (MQ) into one. I have no idea how expensive that would have been but it obviously was not worth it for a group of 20+ Year old ATRs. So they killed Executive Airlines and with it the ATRs for AMR Eagle.


It could not have been all of them. There were ATR's in RDU before the Miami hub existed.


I am talking at the end of their service life, that's what the OP asked. If my memory serves me right, about 2010-2013... Just when AMR wanted to divest Eagle, so they weren't going to bring another carrier under the American Eagle certificate.
 
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kann123air
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:24 am

BreezyIAH wrote:
I enjoyed them...flew them around TX and to FSM. Very spacious and connected to a gate. Also flew TWA out of STL to MEM


Yep, it was nice having them at FSM for a few years (2009-2012 I believe), operated by Executive Airlines. Miss those fun days.
Going for great
 
N649DL
Posts: 289
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:26 am

The ATRs were old. As in very, very old by the time of retirement in the late 2000s with no replacement online except for ERJs. Same deal (more or less) with the Saabs which greatly affected the LAX regional network upon retirement. The SF3s were more widespread back in the 1990s with bases at LAX/JFK/BOS/DFW compared to the ATRs which were very much MIA based by that time. As others said, AMR wanted to get rid of AE which was under the corporate umbrella before BK. I don't know the in's and out's, but I believe it was high cost compared to the USAir regional carriers (hence the DH8s around in PA until recently, or maybe still around?)

The ATRs also had an issue with safety records in freezing temps because of one big crash in the 1990s with a base at ORD. They were moved to MIA / DFW as a result of it. There was also another few big crashes with the AE fleet at RDU around the same time with the J31 fleet.

ATRs were definitely old, as a SAAB owner I'm more biased but I don't believe they were as old or as unreliable. It came down to costs to maintain the fleets and AMR wanted AE out and gave up. Interesting that AE did fly some P2P routes with the ATR for a long time like MCO-NAS.
 
MO11
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:52 am

N649DL wrote:
ATRs were definitely old, as a SAAB owner I'm more biased but I don't believe they were as old or as unreliable.


The newest ATR 72 group was 1997/98, retired in 2012. The newest group of SAABs was 1996, retired in 2008.
 
N649DL
Posts: 289
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:57 am

MO11 wrote:
N649DL wrote:
ATRs were definitely old, as a SAAB owner I'm more biased but I don't believe they were as old or as unreliable.


The newest ATR 72 group was 1997/98, retired in 2012. The newest group of SAABs was 1996, retired in 2008.


Dang. I had no idea they were that young. I remember ATRs flying around in the early 1990s though, that must have been the last batch.
 
Cebo29
Posts: 94
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:13 am

Executive Airlines d/b/a American Eagle had the first teo commercial ATR72’s 210...EI-CBC & EI-CBD...The only ATR72’s that loaded passengers through the front instead of the rear...and who can forget the Cimber Air viking ATR42’s we operated in the caribbean...ATR’s were readily available for regional routes when the regional jet didn’t exist until Comair introduced them in 1992...and they were perfect for caribbean routes...that’s why AMR ordered 100 of them in 1984
 
Cebo29
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:13 am

*two
 
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RyanairGuru
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:06 am

Back in 2014 I flew an ex-American Eagle ATR-72-200 with IslandAir HNL-LIH. WP had done literally nothing to the aircraft except paint it and the interior was immediately recognisable as AA.

It reminded me of just how bad the old ATRs were as I fly on ATR-72-600s with VA semi-regularly. It was noisy and rattly, but the -600 models are very different and much nicer than the CRJ200 IMHO. On shortish flights I am perfectly happy with modern turboprops.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
VSMUT
Posts: 2232
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:01 am

One factor that hasn't been mentioned yet is the condition of the aircraft. American Eagle did really shoddy maintenance on these planes, and they were completely trashed by the time they were phased out. At the time, American Eagle realistically had 2 options. Either replace them all with new-builds, or get rid of them altogether.

I had the misfortune of flying several ex-American Eagle ATRs myself, mostly the last -500s delivered in 1998 (but also a -202 here and there). These planes were junk. Every single person I know who worked on/with ex-American Eagle ATRs describe them as unreliable junkers. They can't fly 1 leg without something breaking, stranding the plane somewhere. These are with few exceptions, the worst ATRs out there. There was the Island Air debacle as well, those were ex-American Eagle planes too.

ATR's are really maintenance extensive. ATR builds them cheap, often sacrificing quality for lower prices. They make up for the low sales price by designing it to require lots of aftermarket support. One engineer told me an average 10 year old ATR requires more TLC than a 737 of equal age. It's why quite a few ATR operators (usually less competent ones) replace them early, sometimes after just 5 years.

On a side-note, ATR maintenance in the US has a really poor reputation. The FedEx feeder ATRs in the US are equally trashy.


RyanairGuru wrote:
Back in 2014 I flew an ex-American Eagle ATR-72-200 with IslandAir HNL-LIH. WP had done literally nothing to the aircraft except paint it and the interior was immediately recognisable as AA.

It reminded me of just how bad the old ATRs were as I fly on ATR-72-600s with VA semi-regularly. It was noisy and rattly, but the -600 models are very different and much nicer than the CRJ200 IMHO. On shortish flights I am perfectly happy with modern turboprops.


:checkmark:

The Island Air ATRs were among the worst ATRs out there. But they were cheap.


Cebo29 wrote:
The only ATR72’s that loaded passengers through the front instead of the rear...


Thai, Finnair, Transasia, Brit Air, Iran Aseman ordered front-door 72s as well.
 
ELBOB
Posts: 161
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Re: Why did American Eagle get rid of the ATR 72/42

Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:10 am

N649DL wrote:
The ATRs also had an issue with safety records in freezing temps because of one big crash in the 1990s with a base at ORD.


For the bazillionth time: the ATR met all FAA icing certification requirements.

Now you might take the position that those requirements were insufficient, but the ATR successfully operated in freezing conditions elsewhere around the globe.

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