Cruise Altitude Schedules

From: (Dr. Erdelen)
Date:         30 Oct 94 21:29:42 
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Hi, flyers,

speaking of cruise speed and altitude schedules: I have often wondered
what the flight level pattern might be on short flights covering a
distance of, say, 400 to 500 km (216 to 270 nm). Many domestic flights
in many European countries fall into this category. Is it at all
economic to use jets (such as 737) for these?

I seem to remember that somebody on this list (rdd?) once mentioned
nearly parabolical altitude trajectories, but I can't find the exact

Would someone care to elaborate?

Over here, there are people - of the ecological mindset - who demand a
ban on all flights covering less than 500 or 400 km, on the grounds
that railways would make much more sense for these distances -
ecologically *and* economically.
Would reasons of purely technical economy - apart from marketing
strategies and such - tend to support that demand? Are "short hops"
inordinately expensive?

Thanks in advance for all comments.

With best regards,