I wonder what sort of ops these guys do.
Could this be the start of SET ops within the UK.
I'm sure the Shoreham Paris service would have been much more commercially viable with a PC12
I kind of assumed that this already happened in France... otherwise, this service from Brest to Ouessant is probably not dependable in any way.
Finistair operate a Cessna Caravan on this route. Most amusingly, to me anyway, their price list shows different fares for dogs depending on whether they are caged (Canine Economy?) or just on a leash (presumably, this is considered Business Class for canines).
And going back to the OP subject - I think it is about time this happened. In general I have no concerns about a SET operating a passenger service.
What the TBM850 press release doesn't say is whether there are any restrictions e.g. VFR only, or increased minima.
If this is a full IFR charter AOC that is excellent news.
If this is a full IFR charter AOC that is excellent news.
For who? For us commercial pilots this means the standards are lowered once again. They already almost don't pay us now, how much less must we expect when flying single engine? No, thanks, not for me. I will rather quit flying than fly commercial single engine (I already swore to myself many years ago that I will never again fly commercially with piston twins.)
What's the problem? Frankly, I can't see a lowering of standards here. In many parts of the world SET commercial ops have been perfectly normal for ages. If this means that routes that are not economically viable now become available, I'm all for it. Whatever enhances and adds to the aviation business on the low end has to be a good thing for all of us here. More small commercial ops mean more small airports remaining open, etc. In any case, I'd much rather fly - as pax - in a SET than a piston twin.
Most amusingly, to me anyway, their price list shows different fares for dogs depending on whether they are caged (Canine Economy?) or just on a leash (presumably, this is considered Business Class for canines).
In France dogs under 5kgs (may be 7, not sure) can travel in the cabin on a leash, no cage required.
Peter wrote.. What the TBM850 press release doesn't say is whether there are any restrictions e.g. VFR only, or increased minima.
You missed this bit Peter .... The Rennes, France-based airline receives the go-ahead to transport commercial passengers on the DAHER-SOCATA TBM 850 single-engine turboprop in instrument meteorological conditions.
Whatever enhances and adds to the aviation business...
This kind of operation does not add anything to our business, it takes away. Pilots who operate these things in the States (and other kinds of feeder services with small twin turboprops) now live in trailer parks close to the airports because their pay (no health insurance or pension of any kind of course either) is not sufficient to pay the rent for a decent flat any more.
If all-weather commercial SET operations will be allowed EASA wide, then they will take away the business from small twin turboprops, that do mostly mail and night freight and organ transports now. Not one new job will be created (the amount of mail will not increase because SETs become awailable!), not one extra aircraft will be bought. Larger aircraft will be replaced with smaller ones, that's all. Pilots who were paid something like 200 Euros a day (if they are lucky - talk to one of those Spanish or Polish pilots who fly Metroliners and Turbolets...) for flying night freight will then be offered 120. The only purpose of introducing these aircraft is to save cost, and the easiest way to save has always been with the crew.
I'm sorry to hear your so poorly paid and of course so highly skilled but I do wonder if SET ops would reverse some of the GA decline.
If we take say Plymouth airport in the UK and i suspect there is many more such as Sheffield both of which have now closed but the reduced cost of SET ops may well have meant that such commercial services are now viable.
The knock on effects are huge. Handling agents, maintenance guys plus the list goes on and on. All result in a large injection into the local economy.
Also from my selfish point of view it might/would keep such airfields open to GA.
I can't immediately see why reducing charter-capable aircraft operating cost should reduce pilot salaries - in the European market.
The reason for the bizzare practices in the USA is intense competition, facilitated by strong demand. This doesn't exist in Europe and I am sure it never will. Too much of Europe is too close together and has too good a public transport for TBM- or PC12-type charters to become really big business.
What might happen, as Bathman suggests, is that new business may be created for charter work which presently doesn't exist, because currently you need a twin for an A-to-B charter, and twins are either piston ones (which burn loads of avgas and are mostly so shagged they are an embarrassment) or they are turboprop ones (which cost too much to operate for the market). Twin jets can't be used for charter work until you are in the Netjets sort of league e.g. €5000 for a bit of shopping in Cannes, each way.
Bathman: I'm sorry to hear your so poorly paid and of course so highly skilled ...
Aren't we all? ;-) But you got me wrong there, I was not complaining about myself, but rather my American, Spanish, Polish, Italian, ... colleagues who get paid 1000 Euros/Dollars/Pounds or less per month for flying after self-funding their ATPL. Here in Germany we still live on some kind of "happy island" - even if salaries generally are rather low here - but it's getting worse every day. Not long ago I had a chat with a very nice British bizjet pilot whose aircraft was bigger than "mine". However the first thing that one could not do but notice about him were some teeth missing. A bizjet pilot from one of the most advanced countries in the world, whose salary does not allow for proper toothcare? What else can you take away from these guys? How much lower can we get?
Peter: I can't immediately see why reducing charter-capable aircraft operating cost should reduce pilot salaries - in the European market.
Pilot salaries have always been directly linked to the aircraft size, everywhere (until some very clever businessmen invented "pay to fly" where pilots of large airliners actually accept a negative salary for the privilege of sitting in the first row). Traditionally, single-engine jobs, both piston and turbine, like dropping meatbombs, glider towing or PPL instruction come without payment, because they are supposed to assist new pilots in "hours building which will make them eligible for the airlines". Which always has been a blatant lie because in the world of transport category aircraft single engine hours count absolutely nothing.
... is that new business may be created for charter work which presently doesn't exist...
We shall see. I've been around business aviation since 1992 (even run my own little airtaxi thing for for almost a decade) and do not believe in miracles any longer. On the broker market, light jets are now being offered for 1200 Euros an hour (out of pure desperation, as some operators seem to think that it is better to fly with a loss than not to fly at all, which of course will just accelerate their ruin). That's the competition these SETs will have to face. Downscaling this figure to the speed and seating capacity of a TBM or Pilatus means that they will have to offer their service for something like 700 Euros per hour. Which is doomed right from the start, totally impossible for a commercial operator who has to face AOC costs, crew factor requirements, crew training and checkrides, capital cost, taxes and so on. And salaries of course - not just for the flying crews but for all the ground staff he is required to have. But what do I know, maybe somebody comes up with some truly ingenious scheme to make all this possible?
SETs have their unique selling points (like short field capacity, no need for hard runways, hot&high capability) but these come almost always together with visual flying. There is no competition in these fields. But the market they are aiming at now has more than enough competition going on. It has already completely eliminated (almost) the piston twin from commercial operations and is about to drive the twin turboprop sector into extinction. Maybe SETs will be able to fill that gap, who knows?