Airplane to Start Airline


#1

If you were starting a small airline to do passanger service between a small airport near a big city to destinations less then 300-200 miles away what would be a good starting aircraft? Anything from a 310 to a King Air would be most realistic. Please let me know what you think and why!


#2

King Air 200. Then maybe 2 or 3 King Air 200s. Then upgrade to a couple 350’s. Then upgrade to the Beech 99, if you can find any in good shape that aren’t freighters. Then as the airline gets even bigger and busier upgrade to the Beech 1900.

Why? Because the airplanes are so similar. The 200 doesn’t need a type rating. The 350 type rating is almost exactly like the 1900 type rating, so pilot training and insurance should be pretty easy.


#3

The King Air is a nice plane but I would take a serious look at a Piper Cheyenne IV. It will out haul a 200, and is faster than both the 200 and 350. Another plus is that it is a single pilot plane however insurance will require two pilots for an airline service, but the overall cost is often less than a 200 or 350 so the money you would save in haul value differences on your insurance you could probably pay for a second pilot salary.

The only set back is that it is an 8 passenger so it would depend on your amount you want to carry each trip.


#4

I would opt for a Beech 1900 – they are true workhorses. They are fast enough for the stage length that you have proposed; they have an incredible weight and balance envelope – you would really have to try to get it out balance; can be approved up to a 12,000 hour TBO; no life limit; parts are plentiful; can be run single pilot; and on and on and on. It is a great plane – not pretty (1900D), but gets the job done!

Oh yeah, they are cheaper to operate than a King Air 350, and not much more than a B200.


#5

Cessna 208 Caravan. Operating cost of just a few hundred dollars, 11 passengers with bags. Slow, but on a short trip, it won’t matter much. Single engine, but it is a Pratt PT-6 which is incredibly reliable. There are many airlines using these in Central America. For a start-up, it would be the cheapest, most reliable plane you can find.


#6

No way can you take 11 pax plus bags in a caravan.
For a 1 hour flight, the caravan can take about 1800 lbs of pax+bags. So maybe 10 pax at 180 lbs with zero bags. Or 2 adults, and 9 kids, with zero bags.
For a 2 hour flight (not all that far in a caravan, maybe DC to boston, if that.) maybe 1300 lbs pax+bags.
6 pax with golf bags or 8 pax with small duffle bags is just about all you can take.
Even with the load extender STC, for anything less than 2 hours it won’t help you much because you’d land over max landing weight.


#7

How about a good 'ole Beech 99?


#8

Per the FAR’s, the Caravan is limited to 9 passengers.


#9

There’s an FAR part 23 Wavier that allows as many as 14 in a caravan 208A or B. The Grand Caravan can hold 14 without waiver.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cessna_208


#10

Why not a Jetstream


#11

I think you are all starting too big. Think Navajo or Chieftain. 6-8 passengers, low acquisition and operating costs. Part 135 certs are normally limited to 9 pax or less, so having more seats doesn’t help until you can upgrade. Caravan only has one engine - a big deal for many passengers. Don’t start unless you can buy or lease at least two planes, or you will not be reliable enough


#12

The cost of avgas is much more than kerosene so the operating costs would be higher.

It may be a big deal for many passengers but I think they will accept single engine airplanes. This is especially true when you realize most people won’t know what they are flying on, much less the number of engines, until they get to the airport and it’s too late to turn back.

The Caravan and the PC-12 are in operation in scheduled services through out the world. Read the November 2007 of Airways Magazine for an article on an airline that uses several PC-12’s.


#13

I am trying to find proof that 135 scheduled service is limited to 9 passengers? Does anyone have that reference or details how over 9 passengers is different than under 9 passengers?


#14

Part 135.2


#15

[quote=“westwardair”]
I would opt for a Beech 1900 – they are true workhorses. They are fast enough for the stage length that you have proposed; they have an incredible weight and balance envelope – you would really have to try to get it out balance; can be approved up to a 12,000 hour TBO; no life limit; parts are plentiful; can be run single pilot; and on and on and on. It is a great plane – not pretty (1900D), but gets the job done!

Ahh yes the old 1900!! We would go full pax full bags and they’d take it. The only thing is how hard they are to get. Great Lakes and Big Sky are both begging for airframes and there are none available. They can’t seem to fill their Essential Air Service obligations due to the lack of available airframes.

As for the Jetstream, I know the ones I was familiar with were MX hogs, and had no autopilot nor yaw damper. That said, I loved those airplanes. They were punk rock! Noisy, ugly, hated, and yet I loved em! I know there are around 80 sitting in Kingman, many of my old Trans States birds, and tons of ACA, Jetstream Int’l and other various private owners. I’ll bet the price tags are pretty nice as well![/quote]


#16

Could you please point me in the right direction to make contact with these airplanes in Kingston? Storage facility name, airplane owner’s name, anything you may have? Thanks.


#17

I’m not sure of the company’s name that does the storage. I beleive at least the old Trans States aircraft are owned by Wells Fargo (or at least they were). There are photos at airliners.net (can I give a web addy??) if you search for IGM (Kingman) Jetstream 31/32/3101/3201. Beyond that I don’t know. The time I went out there to see the aircraft, we went to a museum on the field, and one of the volunteers was kind enough to drive us out there to get up close to em. I haven’t tried a Google search, but that might give some info. You can also try writing down the tail numbers if you do a photo search at airliners.net and then go to landings.com (can I give a web addy?) and look up the owner by tail number.

Don’t forget to comp me in a bit for the leads! :smiley: and maybe a cheif pilot position or some nice high corporate exec position!. When I was in my teens and twenties there weren’t many who ramped more J31 flights than me!!!I’ve got alot of ticket counter experience too. :laughing: