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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Is this why Garuda picked the CRJ1000NG?

When Garuda finally selected the CRJ1000NG over the E190 in February, many were surprised. The initial reason for the selection was "reasons other than technical," and obviously this raised many eyebrows.

The E190 offered better cabin volume, better cabin height, and very good economics. Economics however has been at the center of the CRJ vs Ejets debate by proponents of both sides, with CRJ1000NG claiming better economics. But having known the Airbus vs Boeing debates, we know that the cheapest costs may not always be the best because cost is only one part of the equation, the other being revenue potential. So why would an airline so focused at improving the passenger experience select a cramped little aircraft with a smaller cabin volume and space per passenger, and smaller baggage hold volume per passenger when compared with the E190? Bear in mind that this aircraft is also to replace the ageing 737-500!

If my memory serves me right, at the recent IAFS Airlines Day seminar, Garuda admitted that the CRJ1000NG selection has raised concerns about comfort amongst its Frequent Flier airline dialogue group (consisting of a small group of the airline's most frequent flier customers). So why? Garuda pointed out that more point-to-point opportunities were very big reasons why, favourable delivery slots has been cited, but someone from Embraer who also attended the seminar quickly pointed out to me that there are only two other CRJ1000NG operators in the world (Iberia group's Air Nostrum, and Air France group's Brit Air), and the CRJ family customer base in Asia is much smaller than the Ejets, and that the selection can quickly become a very big mistake (the Embraer guy even said even waiting for the 737-600/-700 or A318/319 (due to delivery slots), or even waiting for the C-series might actually be better if Garuda was so adamant in not selecting the Ejets).

I left the seminar wondering why... perhaps this video is the real reason why...

Ridiculous? Well, of course, but this IS Indonesia, and if the real reason why they chose the CRJ1000NG is because one can push it back after engine start with pure muscle power, I would not be surprised. After all, the aircraft would be sent to places where Garuda might never have had any previous jet presence whatsoever.

If you cannot see the humour in this parody, well, sorry!

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