Is it economic to operate an A380 for a one hour flight?Back to Forum
And the environmental impact of using such an aircraft over such a short distance?
I would have thought Authorities in many countries would question this.
Let us remember also, that Gulf Air used to fly between AUH & DXB, which is less than the routes mentioned also because the locals would not travel by car between the 2 cities!
Typical of that region, but it sound just lavish and selfish, and no care or concern for the environmental impact.
There should be a fine for such flights to run.
Makes all our efforts seem ridiculous these days to be responsible and contribute in our personal ways to the Climate Change Emergency!5 Jul 2019
For many years CX has routinely used aircraft fitted predominantly for long haul routes for short inter Asia flights some of less than 2 hours.
Right, with a good example being the Hong Kong – Taipei route, where CX and also airlines other than CX use large planes – because of the huge numbers of passengers.5 Jul 2019
And the environmental impact of using such an aircraft over such a short distance?
Why would the impact of using a 380 with 400 people on board be worse than using 3 smaller aircraft with 130 or so on board? It might even be less.
In general I agree with you entirely about short flights, and where there are alternatives, I would like to see them banned. We are a long way off from that though until surface links to many airports are improved, LHR being perhaps one of the worst examples.5 Jul 2019
@Inquisitive – I knew the B744s were gone as pax airframes and by big beasts I did mean the latter day beast, the A380
@ MarcusGB – I have been around these parts for a lifetime and I don’t remember those schedules? But perhaps you are right.
I did however regularly take SR AUH-DXB-ZRH rotations in the mid 90’s, and also LH using A343’s and B744’s, on AUH-DXB-FRA rotations in early 2000’s.
It was marked as 79 miles on the screens.
I also took PIA more recently from AUH-Karachi that routed through Al Ain and that was recorded as 74 miles.
However other members here might recall that Dhahran to BAH is probably the shortest and that is 32 miles. GF today and years ago also BA, used to fly this route.
My father told me when on the BOAC VC-10s, that they never even raised the undercarriage on take off from BAH.5 Jul 2019
Having short flights banned.
There is a move in that direction now by KLM and Schiphol. KLM has started running a campaign which questions whether some business trips and really necessary.
I suspect however that the real reason is because Schiphol is running out of slots.
The airport wants KLM to operate fewer short hops in order to release slots for more imprtant long-haul routes.
And politicians want KLM to axe BRU-AMS. This route is operated five times daily by KLM but the flight distance is little more than 100 miles.
We reported on this last March.5 Jul 2019
SQ doesn’t use large planes for short runs just to save them sitting at Changi as some have suggested.
SQ are quite cleaver in how their planes are configured and how they utilise them. They have two basic configurations long haul and regional. On the shorter runs it is the regional config you will mostly see and they are running those because the demand is well and truely there to run an aircraft of that size. Sure SQ might be able to do what is common in Europe and run smaller planes more often, but in SE Asia larger planes less often is the preference.
SQ do of course fly long haul planes on short routes too. But when you look at the timings of these flights it is clear they do this to prove a long haul experience for through connecting passengers which still makes up the bulk of their traffic. Jakarta is a prime example of this. There are about 10 SQ operated flights a day between SIN and CGK and about 3 each day are on long haul planes. Last time I like it was 1x77W (4) class and 2×359’s in long haul config. Each is timed to arrive or depart Changi to connect with long haul flights to the US or Europe which general leave in waves throughout the day. The rest connect with the intra Asia flights which is where the regional config is most common.
This is even more noticeable on KUL where SQ shares the route with Silk Air. Again the wide bodies (SQ) generally connect to the longer flights and the narrow bodies (MI) with intra Asia. Though with MI being absorbed into SQ and the narrow bodies getting better seating and product it will be interesting to see if KUL in particular will change in the future.
Talking SQ is getting OT I know but think the key is that connecting traffic is what makes many of SQ’s flights viable and I think it is also the key that makes the Muscat flights viable for EK on the A380.5 Jul 2019
Emirates have gone double daily between Dubai and Muscat with their A380. Those who know more about these things than I do may be able to comment whether this makes any sort of economic sense? I get the connecting traffic thing but I would not have thought that Muscat was that attractive as a source for premium passengers.
It very much depends on how much revenue it generates – not just on that sector, but in terms of connecting flights. ANY aircraft can be operated profitably on ANY route within its range provided you get enough revenue from it to offset the cost (rather obviously), bearing in mind also that it may save on parking charges if it would otherwise not be used. It may also free up other smaller aircraft for more profitable routes.
CX often roster large planes on short-haul routes (B777 or A350 to MNL or BKK for instance), and they aren’t always full – but no doubt this allows them to use their smaller aircraft for routes into places like China which generate plenty of revenue.8 Jul 2019
CX often roster large planes on short-haul routes (B777 or A350 to MNL or BKK for instance), and they aren’t always full
Indeed, my last flight on a 747 was a CX flight from BKK back to HKG ,possibly my last ever on the “Queen of the Skies” since BA stopped using the Jumbo to YVR
On the way out to Bangkok it was a 777 .8 Jul 2019
You have just reminded me canucklad, I flew from BKK to HKT an internal flight of less than 1 hour on a 747-400 by Thai! Most of the passengers were getting off International flights and heading to Phuket for sun ( not much at the moment) and sea .. but it was a full flight and made me nostalgic for the ol queen of the skies … I noted that they also roster a 777-3 for most other flights so clearly big business for Thai on the route.8 Jul 2019
I once flew BRU-AMS on KLM. The price of the ticket AMS-SXM-AMS was the same as BRU-AMS-SXM-AMS-BRU so in effect I got the flight for free, so didn’t have to pay for the train or drive to/from Schiphol.8 Jul 2019
HKG-BKK (which is equivalent, London to Gibraltar), always either a 777 or 330 (a 350 is also on this route but never been on).
And note that Emirates has fifth-freedom rights on this route and deploys an A380.
I once flew BRU-AMS on KLM. The price of the ticket AMS-SXM-AMS was the same as BRU-AMS-SXM-AMS-BRU so in effect I got the flight for free, so didn’t have to pay for the train or drive to/from Schiphol.
That’s why the one-way fare is priced at a rate to discourage point-to-point travellers.
As explained in the piece above KLM operates this route to transfer travellers to/from Belgium via its Schiphol hub.
Some years ago KLM was involved with the Fyra rail-air project which, had it succeeded, would probably meant the end of BRU-AMS flights.
But as MarcusGB will testify the Italian-built trains were unreliable and had to be returned to the manufacturer.8 Jul 2019
Here is a copy of the KLM policy on using trains to Schiphol, which you may find interesting.
They have for some time now enabled Thalys and NL Trains from Brussels for connections on KLM.
I believe also, that you can earn miles on Thalys with Flying Blue.
Air France also offer similar ex CDG from Belgium.
1 user thanked author for this post.8 Jul 2019
Well worth a listen, particularly at the 9 minute mark as the KLM guy talks through their “Call to action” in relation to environmental responsibility.
As an aside, he also makes it quite clear that KLM is the oldest airline in the world celebrating their centenary year : )
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3csy73b9 Jul 2019