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Thread: Inter-Island Flights of the Future?!

  1. #1
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    Post Inter-Island Flights of the Future?!

    When last in Fiji, Mrs. Menehune and I flew in an ATR-47 large turboprop commuter airplane. It was fast, quiet, comfortable...

    There is a larger, newer version called the ATR 72 500 that I think would be a viable type of airplane for inter-island use here in Hawaii.


    http://www.atraircraft.com/products/atr-72-500.html
    Since its introduction, ATR 72-500 has become the regional air transport industry reference for reliability and profitability, providing unmatched seat mile cost and unbeatable cost-efficiency.
    ATR has always made optimal use of advanced technologies providing fuel-efficient aircraft to the airline industry. ATR aims at furthering its contribution to ensure a sustainable future for the aviation industry, and reconciling air transport growth while minimizing environmental impact.
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    Default Re: Inter-Island Flights of the Future?!

    Air Tahiti has been flying the ATR 42 and ATR 72 around the French Polynesian islands and atolls since the 90s, so they've been around a while.

    I've always have 'read' that the majority of people in Hawaii don't like to fly Props regardless of how modern they are. Look at the load factors of HA's 717 jets and the old Aloha 737 jets (and I mean old) vs. the other newer prop jets now that also fly interisland. Who flies more pax?
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Inter-Island Flights of the Future?!

    Hawaiian Airlines have been packing most of the flights I take to and from Hilo over the last few years almost to or often at full capacity (depending on when you fly).

    It was announced yesterday that Hawaiian is acquiring 3 more Boeing 717's for interisland use, and adding 20 more flights a day to the 5 major island airports they now serve.

    Getting back to the ATR 72, I think it is a cool looking plane and probably a good fit for the island market. When Mahalo Airlines was in business they flew the ATR 42.

    For a very brief time in 2006, Island Air flew one Bombardier Q400 turbo prop liner between the islands. The Q400 is a stretched and advanced model of the more familiar Dash 8 that Island Air presently uses.

    Island Air had plans to get 3 Q400s, but that all fell through when the Mesa Go! airfare war started in 2006.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Inter-Island Flights of the Future?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaukura View Post
    I've always have 'read' that the majority of people in Hawaii don't like to fly Props regardless of how modern they are.
    Pass the earplugs, please.
    This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

  5. #5
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    Wink Re: Inter-Island Flights of the Future?!

    Quote Originally Posted by mel View Post
    Hawaiian Airlines have been packing most of the flights I take to and from Hilo over the last few years almost to or often at full capacity (depending on when you fly).
    .
    I thought I try to contribute something I remembered from several months ago when I read the above...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/21/business/21road.html

    This NYTimes story was from an airline trade show but it also might generate a new reality tv show if put into use IMO :-)

    ALSO take not of the artwork!
    Last edited by Merely Malihini; July 1st, 2011 at 06:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Inter-Island Flights of the Future?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Merely Malihini View Post
    I don't like it.

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    Default Re: Inter-Island Flights of the Future?!

    Christ, that seat shot looks more like a seated squat.

    Might get on board and see if the John is available and ride it out the rest of the way, lol.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Inter-Island Flights of the Future?!

    Quote Originally Posted by TATTRAT View Post
    Might get on board and see if the John is available and ride it out the rest of the way, lol.
    Good luck trying to ride out a rough weather/turbulent flight in the lavatory.
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    Smile Re: Inter-Island Flights of the Future?!

    Quote Originally Posted by mel View Post
    I don't like it.
    I don't either but as one laments the lost leg room in coach from bygone days in their current 32" pitch seat, the thought "How could they make it worse?" is now confirmed!

    They have been thinking of a way!

    I think that SNL already did skit on strapping passengers to wing but in a way that would be coming full circle to original prone position Wrights had on their original "flyer."

    Getting back on topic, planes such as the ATR will be answer for short flights when the ratcheting costs of JET A again rise to point that a change to planes that operate more economically at lower altitudes is inevitable .

    More acceptance of high efficiency ATR type aircraft might now be seen as partial "green" solution to carbon debt, etc. than in the past.

    Years ago, it seemed that prop jet planes such as these were also deemed STOL (short take off & landing) planes that could use dedicated shorter runways and not get caught in the typical runways delays with the heavier aircraft and their required runways use intervals. I always notice that all planes use same runways now, however. (Any pro comments on this?)

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Inter-Island Flights of the Future?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Merely Malihini View Post
    Getting back on topic, planes such as the ATR will be answer for short flights when the ratcheting costs of JET ...

    More acceptance of high efficiency ATR type aircraft might now be seen as partial "green" solution to carbon debt, etc. than in the past.

    Years ago, it seemed that prop jet planes such as these were also deemed STOL (short take off & landing) planes that could use dedicated shorter runways and not get caught in the typical runways delays with the heavier aircraft and their required runways use intervals. I always notice that all planes use same runways now, however.
    1. As noted previously in this thread and others, Hawaii interisland customers prefer jets over prop planes. We'll see what the market and economics dictate in the future. I don't quite see an all prop interisland airplane fleet for say Hawaiian Airlines. Mesa Go, maybe.. but then again there are newer, smaller jets available for the market such as the CRJ 200 that Go already flies and the E-Jet that saw brief service in Hawaii when Mokulele was flying under a different ownership in 2009-10.

    2. As for STOL aircraft the best commercial passenger plane that could use a very short runway was the Dash 7. Unfortunately that was a 4 engine prop plane which consumed more fuel than its successor the Dash 8, which is a 2 engined prop plane. The Dash 8 requires a slightly longer take-off roll than the 7.

    3. As for smaller aircraft using the same runways.. yes that is true. I've seen Island Air Dash 7's use runway 8L, the same one that the big jets use (it is closest to the the HNL terminal). At 12,000+ ft. in length the Dash 8 and smaller planes use about 7000 ft of that runway for takeoffs while the larger jets taxi all the way to the Hickam end to use the entire length.

    4. The shorter runways in HNL are closer to the general aviation facilities on Lagoon drive, so I assume the smaller prop planes use the shorter runways (6900+ ft and 9000+ ft long)... all of the runways at HNL can accommodate just about any type of aircraft.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Inter-Island Flights of the Future?!

    Too bad we don't have a superferry...
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Inter-Island Flights of the Future?!

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
    Too bad we don't have a superferry...
    Say what you want about the legal problems, but at the end of the day, I think it folded because it wasn't making money. How much the legal/environmental issues contributed to that, I don't know.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Inter-Island Flights of the Future?!

    Quote Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
    Say what you want about the legal problems, but at the end of the day, I think it folded because it wasn't making money. How much the legal/environmental issues contributed to that, I don't know.
    But it's hard to make money when you have to contend with legal problems that affect your schedule and service.

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    Default Re: Inter-Island Flights of the Future?!

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    But it's hard to make money when you have to contend with legal problems that affect your schedule and service.
    there's no way that business model would have succeeded, even without legal troubles.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Inter-Island Flights of the Future?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Lowery View Post
    there's no way that business model would have succeeded, even without legal troubles.
    How so? Pax service was only half the service it offered, the other was cargo which is where it really could have been a game changer. I don't think it's fair to assume their rates won't change but if they are still in service, you can be sure HA wouldn't be so expensive inter island.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Inter-Island Flights of the Future?!

    Quote Originally Posted by mel View Post
    1. As noted previously in this thread and others, Hawaii interisland customers prefer jets over prop planes. We'll see what the market and economics dictate in the future. I don't quite see an all prop interisland airplane fleet for say Hawaiian Airlines. Mesa Go, maybe.. but then again there are newer, smaller jets available for the market such as the CRJ 200 that Go already flies and the E-Jet that saw brief service in Hawaii when Mokulele was flying under a different ownership in 2009-10.
    I've yet to see any of the go! jets land and take off at Molokai/Hoolehua Airport. As it stand, go! prefer to send only the small Cessnas that Mokulele Airlines provide.

    As for preference, I prefer anything BIGGER than Cessnas, either jet or prop engine.
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    Default Re: Inter-Island Flights of the Future?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Random View Post
    I've yet to see any of the go! jets land and take off at Molokai/Hoolehua Airport. As it stand, go! prefer to send only the small Cessnas that Mokulele Airlines provide.

    As for preference, I prefer anything BIGGER than Cessnas, either jet or prop engine.
    Yes, Go does not fly any jets into Molokai, Lanai or the other smaller airports. That is probably one reason why they combined with Mokulele Airlines... so you got those Cessna 208 Grand Caravans doing most of the flights to those small airfields.

    The next step up is Island Air's Dash 8 which can carry about 30 passengers each. Twin props bigger than a Cessna. That is about the best as you'll currently get for Molokai.
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