Re: Long-distance direct flights

Date:         27 Mar 2001 16:05:24 
From:         "matt weber" <mattheww@Qwest.net>
References:   1
Followups:    1
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>Holiday charters have now started from Britain (Gatwick, Luton and
>Manchester) to Australia and New Zealand.  These flights (in 767-300s
>at the moment) usually make two en-route stops (e.g. Bahrain and
>Singapore) and operate to several Australian airports, some of which
>have to provide Customs/Immigration clearance not otherwise required
>(Coolangatta, Hamilton Island, Alice Springs) on a low-frequency
>basis.  They do not carry mail or cargo.

Actually I think reltaively few actually go through Singapore or Bahrain,
both are relatively costly for charter operators, and if all you are doing
is hauling people, cost is what counts..  I know the last one I actually
tracked (a Britannia 767-300 was leaving just before I was from MEL for
LGW) was routing through some regional airport in Indonesia (it took me a
while to figure out where it actually was, because it was a code I had
never seen before)..., and Abu Dhabi. The attraction of both places was
very low fuel and ground handling costs.

>The longest flight stages at present operated by scheduled airlines
>run about 15 hours, at which range payload is limited.  Where
>practicable, aircraft configurations biased towards premium fares are
>used.  This will probably still be true when 18-hour stages start, if
>they do, in a few years.  London-Perth might be one such, or New
>York-Singapore.  Aircrew rest positions away from the main deck are
>being on the drawing boards - they already exist on some 747-400s.

>I find it hard to believe there will ever be sufficient traffic at
>economic fares to justify scheduled nonstop flights on more than a
>small number of these very-long-haul routes.  There will continue to
>be a concentration on hub cities for very large aircraft, and flights
>by smaller aircraft will cover pairs of smaller cities.

I think there is already clear evidence of that from other sources. The
Mission requirement from SQ for the SIN-LAX run is 200 pax.
However, if you look, there are about dozen routes and carriers that can
get you from SIN to LAX by stopping at various points like Seoul, Hong
Kong, Osaka, Manilla,Narita.  On a daily basis, the 200 seats SQ plans for
on the non-stop is very small portion of the available lift between these
points.  The 200 pax operation is going to have horrible ASM costs, so the
load will have to heavily loaded toward the premium cabins, the question is
can enough people justify the difference in fares between a SIN-NRT-LAX
versus say a SIN-LAX non-stop routing to justify a fare that is enough
higher to cover the costs?

NRT is essentiallly on the SIN-LAX great circle, so in theory a stop in NRT
might add as little as 2 hours to the total travel time, and unless the
A340-500 performs considerable faster then the A340-200/300, a good part of
that 2 hours may be lost due to the 747-400's higher cruise speeds and
ability to fly at more attractive altitudes...

Matt Weber