On FlyRadius Tower I have written an article covering an idea that an airline could use to effectively test new routes. R&D Airlines is the idea and it is research and development airline that uses low-cost aircraft in combination with a cost-controlled environment to test new routes.
R&D Air is based on the operational profile that Allegiant Air has used to fly to smaller markets from vacation markets in the United States. The airline would be a division of the main airline and operate under a different profile. Major airlines have experimented with using subsidiary airlines to fly to certain destinations in the past. In the early 2000s, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines both had “low-cost” subsidiaries that operated flights in a division that was separate from the main airline. United launched Ted in 2004 and Delta launched Song in 2003 to serve some of the markets that they felt needed a “low-cost” airline. Both of those subsidiaries did not last long as United discontinued Ted in 2008/2009 and Delta ended Song operations in 2006.
Above: the R&D Airlines Logo
Both Ted and Song were subsidiaries that were operated under the control of the main airline. R&D Airlines is structured in the same way; however, the airline is optimized to serve as a research and development “vehicle” that is tuned to test new markets and routes.
R&D Airlines is optimized to allow the airline to gather data on new routes before fully launching service. As a result of R&D’s low-cost structure, an airline will be able to minimize potential losses on routes that do not perform well. In addition, a firm will be able to exit a new route quickly with R&D Airlines.
To learn more about R&D Airlines, please read my article on FlyRadius Tower.