Long-haul flights by carriers not from their home hubsBack to Forum
Anonymous22 Oct 2012
With the open-air agreements in effect and other Joint Agreements, what is the possibility of starting flights from an (or some) airport(s) which is/are not the home one?
Obviously if there is no demand these things will not happen but….
To date, the only cases I have found or heard of are the case of BA´s “Open Skies” flying to NY Newark, NY-JFK(suspended) from Paris Orly. Their flights Orly-Washington and Amsterdam Schipol – NY have also been suspended, but at least they were attempted.
I also heard of Air France´s attempt to fly LHR – LAX, which, I believe did not last long. I do not know if I have missed anything but I would be interested to hear.
The question is this:
If we are prepared to fly a non-local airline from a foreign airport (e.g non-Cathay from Hong Kong, or non-Singapore from Singapore) to anywhere in the world why are we not prepared to do the same from European airports (or elsewhere)?
Can Lufthansa, Air France, SAS, Swiss, BA or whoever fly from hub airports in Europe wherever they are? What is wrong with Finnair flying from Berlin to China? or Air France from Düsseldorf to Brazil? or Iberia flying from Heathrow to Lima? or BA flying from Rome to Hong Kong?
Or, on the other hand are we still “stick in the mud” travellers who only travel with our favourite/national flag carrier and would never consider such a proposition?22 Oct 2012
“What is wrong with Finnair flying from Berlin to China? or Air France from Düsseldorf to Brazil”
Where to start?
– No feeder traffic from short & long haul
– No crew/aircraft base
– Relatively weak frequent flyer & corporate contract base compared to home market22 Oct 2012
I agree with what Hippocampus says. And I believe that in today’s difficult economic situation that no European airline has the money to justify investing in a long distance route outside its home base.
AF’s LHR-LAX service lasted only one season. When the route was dropped, AF said that it would return the following year with an LHR-JFK service. But it never did.
Having said that, there are niche opportunities for smart carriers.
SQ failed in its bid to woo 5th freedom customers between AMS, JFK and ORD. But I believe SQ’s 5th freedom service from BCN to Sao Paulo is a success despite SQ (a Star carrier) competing in a Oneworld stronghold.
Probably the best example of a carrier operating sectors away from home with success is the late Pan Am. In its heyday Pan Am was the first and only airline to operate a long-standing RTW service with the famous flight numbers PA1 and PA2.
Pan Am secured 5th freedom rights for most of the RTW sectors it operated.
Pan Am started RTW flights in 1947 and kept them running for some 40 years.22 Oct 2012
It is a nice piece about PAN-AM (LondonCity)
However,I am afraid you do understand what I am trying to say.
Interlining and codeshares are one thing but alliances are another. If alliances mean anything then they signify ever closer co-operation. Maybe my examples did not convey my idea clearly.
At present, Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong are stopovers on long haul flights. European airlines have always based crew in these places for each sector. Pan -Am did just the same on its multisectored round-the-world flights. BOAC did exactly the same. These days, however, the planes have such a greater range that it is not so necessary as before, so that most flights are point-to-point (one crew out and another back).
If we consider the Middle East hubs, will the Australian crews (Qantas and V.Australia) not stay in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha?
Crew base – I think I have answered that. On the other hand Norwegian is trying to set up long-haul flights from Scandinavia to Bangkok with Thai crews. The other question is are all crews from the country of origin of the airline, or should they be?
Plane base – did not Pan Am and TWA base aircraft at Heathrow for onward flights? Did not Iberia have a base at Miami to serve the Caribbean and Central America?
feeder traffic – Should not Finnair be fed from BA, Iberia and Air Berlin at Berlin? The same for Iberia at Heathrow? the same for BA at Rome (even from a non-alliance member like Meridiana)?and if Air Berlin is getting into bed with whom it pleases the the Düsseldorf connection for Air France is not so off the mark. What about MAD-JFK on BA – is that so off the mark considering that most think Iberia is the pits?
Frequent flyer programmes and the like should be alliance based and if not, what is the alliance for?
Obviously it would take a strong business case to convince any airline, but the point is if we are too entrenched in thinking that we can only fly on the flag carrier from its own base.22 Oct 2012
SQ fly bcn- gru, jfk-fra, iah-dme and nrt-lax for example. None even close to sin.
As to different crew nationalities QF crew on lhr- sin are uk based and I think on less pay than Australian based crew. The same with Thai based crew on QF and JQ.22 Oct 2012
In a perfect world Alliances would signify closer co-operation, but for now competition is overriding so why should BA feed traffic to Finnair and risk their own profit?
For all the reasons stated above it’s very hard for a non French airline such as BA, to make a profit from a single route such as PAR-NYC. To make it work you have to have multiple routes such as Easyjet have out of Milan, for example, to turn a profit.22 Oct 2012
Air NZ started offering the LHR-HKG-AKL sectors as the experience for the stopover in LAX was too much inconvenience and hassle for some passengers having to adhere to the US entry requirements and an awful transit experience.22 Oct 2012
You still do not cotton on.
With Qantas cosying up to Emirates and BA to Qatar, is it not time for BA to reach an agreement with Easyjet, who better, to start long-haul flights from some of their bases, such as Milan. Is this not the way LCC flights are going?
If it is right for Asia why is it not right for Europe?23 Oct 2012
I think i might get what you’re getting at……
Would AF be able to tap into the Quebecois market by setting up a base offering flights from Montreal to French Caribean destinations!
it’s the only example that might have a chance of penetrating the power of the home carrier23 Oct 2012
This other thread illustrates what I mean
“British Airways Resumes Paris Orly – New York JFK Service from late-Mar 2013” (It says wrongly BA when it should say Open Skies)
Cannot BA/Open Skies fly from other airports? They had to close the Amsterdam route but had been thinking of flying from Brussels. Also there was talk of flying to Chicago but ended up in Washington. Are there not other opportunities where business traffic could make it worthwhile e.g.Geneva or connecting to a feed like Air Berlin at Berlin or Düsseldorf (though that linking has now probably been lost to Air France).
What about Virgin Atl. flying from other cities where the name is well known such as Paris, Berlin or Düsseldorf?
Flying from other airports seems to me the best way to grow especially when your name has a high profile and you are restricted at your home base, and you have the necessary freedoms.
Does anyone agree?25 Oct 2012