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Topic: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: BA
Posted 2012-12-26 11:09:25 and read 8925 times.

With three daily flights between Seattle and Tokyo-Narita, can Seattle really sustain this level of service on this route in the long term?

Keeping in mind that this is currently the low season for Seattle, there is currently United Airline's daily 777-200ER, Delta Air Lines' daily A330-300, and ANA's new daily flight which operates on 787-8 Mon-Fri and then 777-300ER Sat-Sun.

For next summer, Delta is upgrading its flight to 747-400 and will presumably launch daily flights to Tokyo-Haneda on 767-300ERs in March, bringing a total of four daily flights to Tokyo.

After ANA launched Seattle earlier this year, I was expecting United to drop its daily flight, but it's still sticking around for the time being it seems.

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Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: jfk777
Posted 2012-12-26 11:19:40 and read 8881 times.

SEA to NRT has always been a big Tokyo route, why are 3 flights daily such a surprise ? ANA chases the premuim end of the route, UA and DL less chase the lower end of the market. DL's switch from an A333 to a 744 is a rise of about 100 seats daily, this could be because DL needs the A330 for Europe and a 744 is better to NRT. Its porbably more a fleet olicy issue then a SEA to NRT issue.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: Stitch
Posted 2012-12-26 11:23:39 and read 8852 times.

I've seen decent loads in First and Business Class on UA875 and UA876 in years past and UA used to have an International First Lounge to the right of the main RCC to support UA875 (though they'd let me in when I was on an UA917 SEA-ORD-FRA flight in F).

Honestly, a three-class 767-300ER is probably the better option for UA in terms of the premium cabin loads, but I'm not sure how the Economy loads are (as I flew F or C). I believe SEA saw a fair bit of baseball fans come over each year to watch Ichiro, but now that he is in New York...

[Edited 2012-12-26 11:26:10]

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: LAXintl
Posted 2012-12-26 11:24:00 and read 8852 times.

It will be interesting.

Per the DOT Haneda route competition, its clear that Seattle - Tokyo local market is not that big - only about 230 passengers per day.

Come next summer the capacity will far exceeds the markets own needs, so all airlines will be highly reliant on generating beyond traffic feed on either end to support the flying.

[Edited 2012-12-26 11:26:22]

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: Roseflyer
Posted 2012-12-26 11:39:02 and read 8762 times.

SEA-NRT fares are still trending higher than LAX-NRT.

SEA-NRT has been between 2 and 3 daily flights for about 15 years. It was AA, UA and NW. Then AA dropped the route and NW would go beyond daily to 10 or so weekly flights depending on season. Now we have ANA in the market, and DL will be putting a 747 on the route, which will be a capacity increase. However DL is going to the 747 which has a good quality business class product and relatively few seats. DL on the 747 has the same number of business class seats as ANA does on the 787.

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 1):
ANA chases the premuim end of the route, UA and DL less chase the lower end of the market.

That is somewhat true. ANA chases business class and not economy. That's there model, but they don't operate first class to SEA, so I wouldn't say that UA is chasing the lower end of the market since they are the only ones with a first class cabin. It is common to see on A.net negative comments about the service on US airlines, but UA is usually not on the bottom when it comes to average fare. UA tends to have the highest RASM of any airline in the US and is competitive on revenue internationally (of course they are no where near ANA or BA which have so few economy seats and always lead in RASM). UA is relatively balanced. DL on the other hand has a more significant focus on economy with fewer premium class seats in their network.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: BA
Posted 2012-12-26 11:50:29 and read 8667 times.

When will we hear the DOT's final decision on SEA-HND?

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: PIEAvantiP180
Posted 2012-12-26 12:03:09 and read 8587 times.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 4):
DL on the other hand has a more significant focus on economy with fewer premium class seats in their network.

That statement is true to DL's international aircraft since they lack a first class product but not on the domestic side. Right now they have more domestic first class seats then any other airline and that number will rise as they start receiving more 717 and CRJ900 to replace CRJ100/200 that lack a domestic F. By the end of 2015 DL will have approximately 1100 aircraft in its and their connection fleet with available first class, while the next highest airline will be about 100-150 below that number.

Quoting BA (Reply 5):
When will we hear the DOT's final decision on SEA-HND?

I understand the meaning of preliminary and final approval, but how does that pertain to the DOT and what do they need to do in order to go from preliminary to final? In that time can airlines still object or is that stage of the decision making all ready over?

[Edited 2012-12-26 12:09:07]

[Edited 2012-12-26 12:09:45]

[Edited 2012-12-26 12:16:04]

[Edited 2012-12-26 12:16:23]

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: ER757
Posted 2012-12-26 14:03:06 and read 8296 times.

DL's flight was operated with a 744 today - just happened to catch it departing as a I glanced out the window a minute ago.
What a treat for me - haven't seen a 747 in DL colors for over 30 years. A nice late Christmas present

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: Cessna172RG
Posted 2012-12-26 14:18:45 and read 8233 times.

Back in the day, NWA used to operate it on a 742 with UAL on a 772 as well as AAL on 772. Demand has always been high, and once more folks learn about the Haneda option, that flight will be just as full. For me and my wife, we would fly to LAX to do the Haneda flight on DL, now that it'll be out of Seattle, that's going to make traveling over there a lot easier, even with the crappy time slot that Haneda allows.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: Yukon880
Posted 2012-12-26 15:15:42 and read 8085 times.

Quoting ER757 (Reply 7):
What a treat for me - haven't seen a 747 in DL colors for over 30 years. A nice late Christmas present

Some would argue that the Whale you saw today wasn't really in Widget paint either!
Sounds like you're easy to shop for at Christmas...
glad you were pleased!

 

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: PHX787
Posted 2012-12-26 16:33:45 and read 7871 times.

I never really understood how this route is so popular. Most of my Japanese contacts don't have anything to do with Seattle.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: cedarjet
Posted 2012-12-26 16:40:52 and read 7852 times.

I don't get it either - Seattle seems really small. The downtown area feels like a town really. I guess they have Microsoft and Starbucks but hundreds of seats a day? Hum.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2012-12-26 17:01:54 and read 7787 times.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 4):
SEA-NRT has been between 2 and 3 daily flights for about 15 years. It was AA, UA and NW. Then AA dropped the route and NW would go beyond daily to 10 or so weekly flights depending on season. Now we have ANA in the market, and DL will be putting a 747 on the route, which will be a capacity increase.

Going back a little further, CO was awarded SEA-NRT rights, replacing UA, in early 1989 after a complicated series of legal decisions and appeals. I believe UA's SEA-NRT service ended in March 1989. CO's SEA-NRT route didn't last long as they sold the route to AA for $150 million soon after CO's second Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in late 1990. The sale to AA was approved in early 1991.

Coincidentally, AA's purchase of CO's SEA-NRT route was approved by the DOT one day after they approved AA's purchase of TWA's Chicago-London route authority for $110 million.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: BA
Posted 2012-12-26 17:19:26 and read 7705 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 10):
I never really understood how this route is so popular. Most of my Japanese contacts don't have anything to do with Seattle.

While not to the same degree as San Francisco, I feel Seattle has a pretty strong connection to Asia. When it comes to Japanese connections specifically, keep in mind that MHI, KHI, and FHI all build parts for Boeing airplanes, so the aerospace connections are definitely strong.

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 11):
I don't get it either - Seattle seems really small. The downtown area feels like a town really. I guess they have Microsoft and Starbucks but hundreds of seats a day? Hum.

Seattle's downtown is compact due to the geography of the area, but keep in mind it is also pretty dense. There's also a lot more to the Seattle-Tacoma area than just its downtown. Bellevue, which is across from Lake Washington, has another bustling city center, the 2nd largest in the state, with a lot of technological companies.

It can be seen in the background here:
http://www.portseattle.org/Sea-Tac/Passenger-Services/PublishingImages/Cruise_090920_139.jpg

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: jetbluefan1
Posted 2012-12-26 17:29:58 and read 7672 times.

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 11):
I guess they have Microsoft and Starbucks but hundreds of seats a day? Hum.

Don't forget Amazon and Boeing!

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: Cactus739
Posted 2012-12-26 18:26:33 and read 7564 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 10):
I never really understood how this route is so popular. Most of my Japanese contacts don't have anything to do with Seattle.

Well that's obviously because all your contacts need a Phoenix nonstop to Tokyo.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: wedgetail737
Posted 2012-12-26 21:31:03 and read 7318 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 10):
I never really understood how this route is so popular. Most of my Japanese contacts don't have anything to do with Seattle.
Quoting cedarjet (Reply 11):
I don't get it either - Seattle seems really small. The downtown area feels like a town really. I guess they have Microsoft and Starbucks but hundreds of seats a day? Hum.
Quoting jetbluefan1 (Reply 14):
Don't forget Amazon and Boeing!

Don't forget also that Seattle has a large Japanese population through the Puget Sound. In addition to Seattle and Bellevue, you also have Everett, Tacoma and Olympia.

Japanese industries provide a lot of business to and from the Puget Sound area.

Quoting BA (Thread starter):
ANA's new daily flight which operates on 787-8 Mon-Fri and then 777-300ER Sat-Sun.

NH provides 1st class service when they bring in their 777-300ER equipment. I wonder if NH will bring the 777-300ER back for the summer in competition with DL's 744.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: toobz
Posted 2012-12-26 21:42:33 and read 7291 times.

If DL was having issues filling up aircraft on this route they most certainly would not b flying it with an A333. It could be done with A332 or 763.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: baw716
Posted 2012-12-26 21:48:19 and read 7278 times.

UA should run a 787 on SEA-NRT as they get more of them as this will make the route perform better, and use the 772 when traffic is heavier. This will bolster UAs position in the Seattle market, as the Dreamliner will be the predominant way to fly anywhere...although I am curious to see how a 9 across 787 would do against an 8 across in Y class.

Time will tell

baw716

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: YULWinterSkies
Posted 2012-12-27 06:29:48 and read 5797 times.

Quoting BA (Thread starter):
an Seattle really sustain this level of service on this route in the long term?

Probably not SEA-NRT as o&d, but SEA is hub for DL (and so is NRT), and NRT is also a hub for NH (and UA)

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 11):
I don't get it either - Seattle seems really small. The downtown area feels like a town really. I guess they have Microsoft and Starbucks but hundreds of seats a day? Hum.

Third largest metro area on the West Coast. Never been downtown Seattle but the size of downtown often tells little about the size of an airport's catchment area.
Downtown Minneapolis also seems really small yet the Twin Cities metro area is large, wealthy and has a lot of business happening outside of the moderately large financial district, hence why MSP is a large airport. Of course there are many other examples.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: Flighty
Posted 2012-12-27 07:24:46 and read 5534 times.

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 19):
Never been downtown Seattle but the size of downtown often tells little about the size of an airport's catchment area.

Right, SEA has strong O&D as such, but it also serves the entire Western USA via Alaska Airlines and certain Delta flights. Every western city that lacks a Narita flight will look to SEA as the ideal connecting point (think California, etc). Similarly for China flights. SEA is strong in business, strong in tourism / VFR but also is the most fuel efficient connect point for hubbing these Pacific flights to west of the Mississippi.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: bobloblaw
Posted 2012-12-27 07:52:48 and read 5364 times.

Quoting BA (Thread starter):
With three daily flights between Seattle and Tokyo-Narita, can Seattle really sustain this level of service on this route in the long term?

I think HND will struggle. But UA, DL and NH all have beyond NRT connections. Plus AS feeds DL in SEA.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: quiet1
Posted 2012-12-27 08:15:39 and read 5216 times.

SEA is the closest US mainland gateway to Japan. For connections that means a shorter overall trip than through any other gateway.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: PMUA787
Posted 2012-12-27 08:40:45 and read 5065 times.

Quoting BA (Thread starter):
After ANA launched Seattle earlier this year, I was expecting United to drop its daily flight, but it's still sticking around for the time being it seems.

Cargo business might still be pretty good for UA to keep the SEA-NRT flight going.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: UA787DEN
Posted 2012-12-27 08:51:35 and read 5010 times.

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 19):
but SEA is hub for DL (and so is NRT)

Pardon me, but I don't think SEA is a hub. It is a strong non-hub city, with limited international and domestic routes. I think that it is used for NRT-US connections more for its location. Nobody wants to connect in DTW for SLC or connect in DTW for SEA area routes. Also, with the AS codeshare, it becomes a larger connecting base. A pilot domicile and Airline hub are not necessarily always paired, and in the case of DL at SEA, they aren't. However, SEA still offers better connections to the western US than DTW or MSP.
NRT is a hub. SEA could be considered a focus city. It doesn't serve any unique cities and almost all US routes are to hubs.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: BA
Posted 2012-12-27 08:52:34 and read 5230 times.

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 19):
Probably not SEA-NRT as o&d, but SEA is hub for DL (and so is NRT), and NRT is also a hub for NH (and UA)

SEA doesn't quite qualify as a hub for DL, it's more of a focus city. They've got approximately 40 flights a day which is decent, but outside of operating a few transcontinental routes, all other DL flights from SEA are to respective hubs.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: Flighty
Posted 2012-12-27 10:12:47 and read 4875 times.

Quoting BA (Reply 25):
SEA doesn't quite qualify as a hub for DL, it's more of a focus city. They've got approximately 40 flights a day which is decent, but outside of operating a few transcontinental routes, all other DL flights from SEA are to respective hubs.

For the purposes of DL's oceanic flights, SEA functions as a hub because it cooperates with Alaska Airlines. So the total flight count would have to include Alaska and Horizon ops... at least that was the point no doubt being made.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: UA787DEN
Posted 2012-12-27 10:19:00 and read 4925 times.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 26):
SEA functions as a hub

It does somewhat. From a passenger's point of view, it works OK, but DL and AS have slightly different service types and levels. From DL management and operations point of view, it isn't really a hub. The AS codeshares do add a lot of flights though. How many/what percentage of AS SEA flights does DL codeshare on?

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: Gunsontheroof
Posted 2012-12-27 10:53:32 and read 4743 times.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 26):
For the purposes of DL's oceanic flights, SEA functions as a hub because it cooperates with Alaska Airlines. So the total flight count would have to include Alaska and Horizon ops... at least that was the point no doubt being made.

Bingo. We can debate semantics as to what constitutes a "hub" all day (not like that has ever happened on a.net before!) but the fact of the matter is that the strong codeshare arrangements between DL and AS have effectively made SEA a huge station for DL without any of the high costs of stationing large numbers of employees and aircraft. That was the entire point. Cue another AS takeover thread...

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 11):
I don't get it either - Seattle seems really small. The downtown area feels like a town really. I guess they have Microsoft and Starbucks but hundreds of seats a day? Hum.

As has already been pointed out, it's the third largest metro area on the west coast with something on the order of a million or so more people than YVR, which hosts considerably more traffic to East Asia. The economy is relatively strong by U.S. standards today and any feeling of "smallness" is probably a function of geography, which other locals around here can tell you is pretty unique and contributes to a sense of confinement. Puget Sound is not a small market.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 10):
I never really understood how this route is so popular. Most of my Japanese contacts don't have anything to do with Seattle.

The Japanese population in the Seattle area is considerable and the business community here has numerous connections with Japan through IT, aerospace, heavy industry and many other more mundane trades. As has already been pointed out, there's also the small matter that Seattle is pretty much "on the way" to Tokyo from most U.S. destinations west of the Mississippi. On a clear day (it happened once...), you can see a lot of non-stop traffic from points further east passing over the city on the way to Tokyo.

I don't understand the mystery here. SEA-NRT has had a pretty serious amount of capacity for a long time and is continuing to grow. Cancellations of service don't happen often and when they do, it's usually because the airline involved (codesharing partners included) has a weak presence at Sea-Tac.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: BA
Posted 2012-12-27 11:25:03 and read 4625 times.

Quoting UA787DEN (Reply 27):
How many/what percentage of AS SEA flights does DL codeshare on?

This article below states about 1,200 passengers connect each day between Delta and Alaska through Seattle. That's 1,200 total in both directions (AS->DL and DL->AS).

http://centreforaviation.com/analysi...p-to-bolster-service-to-asia-84837

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 29):
Puget Sound is not a small market.

72.7% of traffic through SEA in 2011 was O&D which is pretty high.

Sea-Tac has a relatively low concentration of service by the dominant carriers. The largest airline (Alaska) accounted for 35.9% of the enplaned passengers in 2011, and the top three airlines (Alaska, Horizon, and Delta) accounted for 61.5% of the passenger traffic. Compared to other large airports, Sea-Tac has relatively high O&D traffic - approximately 72.7% in 2011. This percentage has declined very slightly since 2003. Relatively high O&D traffic and relatively low concentration of dominant carriers reduces Sea-Tac’s vulnerability to the effects of any given carrier reducing capacity or suffering financial difficulties. Only Alaska Airlines uses Sea-Tac as a hub. Alaska’s relative financial strength compared to other airlines is a positive factor for Sea-Tac.

https://www.portseattle.org/About/Fi...uments/2013_Preliminary_Budget.pdf

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: tommy767
Posted 2012-12-27 11:31:26 and read 4592 times.

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 19):
Probably not SEA-NRT as o&d, but SEA is hub for DL (and so is NRT), and NRT is also a hub for NH (and UA)

SEA isn't really a DL hub -- definitely a focus city. I'd go on a limb and say SEA is also a focus city for UA as well with their flights to ANC, NRT, and PDX.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: UA787DEN
Posted 2012-12-27 11:57:00 and read 4518 times.

Quoting BA (Reply 29):
1,200 passengers connect each day between Delta and Alaska

Thank you! How many flights daily does AS operate from SEA? I don't think that 1200 daily pax makes it a hub, but definitely is a strong station.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: Gunsontheroof
Posted 2012-12-27 11:58:30 and read 4510 times.

Quoting BA (Reply 29):
72.7% of traffic through SEA in 2011 was O&D which is pretty high.

Agreed. The point I was making is that Seattle (and I'm speaking loosely here) isn't a fishing village anymore. The O&D numbers are a bit of a surprise and I probably overstated how significant of a "hub" SEA really is when we're talking about connecting traffic. The central point I was going for was that DL saw an opportunity (AS) to solidify their position out west at minimal expense...sometimes a flurry of typing has a way of convoluting things a bit.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: BA
Posted 2012-12-27 12:17:19 and read 4453 times.

Quoting UA787DEN (Reply 31):
Thank you! How many flights daily does AS operate from SEA? I don't think that 1200 daily pax makes it a hub, but definitely is a strong station.

They have over 200 flights per day approximately, not sure of the exact figure.

I agree that SEA doesn't qualify a hub for Delta and I know that Delta certainly doesn't consider it one. It's a strong focus city that is enhanced with connectivity through Alaska Airlines.

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 32):
Agreed. The point I was making is that Seattle (and I'm speaking loosely here) isn't a fishing village anymore. The O&D numbers are a bit of a surprise and I probably overstated how significant of a "hub" SEA really is when we're talking about connecting traffic. The central point I was going for was that DL saw an opportunity (AS) to solidify their position out west at minimal expense...sometimes a flurry of typing has a way of convoluting things a bit.

I think SEA has the potential to develop into a pretty strong international connecting hub in the future provided some serious investments are made to the airport, such as a new federal inspection station (FIS) for processing international arrivals. I've only flown internationally into SEA once recently, and that was on Icelandair. While my experience was good, I do regularly hear how horribly congested it can get and the double baggage claim for Seattle destined passengers is certainly annoying.

Seattle has seen some pretty significant air traffic growth over the past 5 years, especially internationally, yet it has managed to maintain approximately the same O&D-to-transit ratio which indicates that the Seattle market itself is growing significantly.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: UA787DEN
Posted 2012-12-27 12:43:08 and read 4411 times.

Quoting BA (Reply 33):
I think SEA has the potential to develop into a pretty strong international connecting hub in the future provided some serious investments are made to the airport

Yes. However, SEA has a smaller overall terminal and airfield. than most International Hubs, and desperately needs a new FIS. Also, increased runway spacing could help. The problem is the lack of space for all these. If AS ever goes long haul, and I mean ever (2030), then I could see them completely dominating SEA. But back on topic, NRT-SEA demand is huge. NRT-SEA capacity is huge. Is it as much as LAX? No, but probably a lot closer than I realize because of all the connecting passengers in LAX. But it merits this capacity easily.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: BA
Posted 2012-12-27 12:55:05 and read 4389 times.

Quoting UA787DEN (Reply 34):
Yes. However, SEA has a smaller overall terminal and airfield. than most International Hubs, and desperately needs a new FIS. Also, increased runway spacing could help. The problem is the lack of space for all these. If AS ever goes long haul, and I mean ever (2030), then I could see them completely dominating SEA. But back on topic, NRT-SEA demand is huge. NRT-SEA capacity is huge. Is it as much as LAX? No, but probably a lot closer than I realize because of all the connecting passengers in LAX. But it merits this capacity easily.

They're updating the Master Plan for the airport right now, but there was a plan to build an entirely brand new terminal north of the existing terminal where the current cargo facilities are located. This was put on hold in favor of incremental expansion of the existing terminal, but a new terminal may be revisited again in the future.

Supposedly Sea-Tac will have a brand new FIS facility by 2017, located between Concourse A and the roadway. I guess we'll see.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: reality
Posted 2012-12-27 13:03:01 and read 4364 times.

Quoting quiet1 (Reply 22):
SEA is the closest US mainland gateway to Japan. For connections that means a shorter overall trip than through any other gateway

This is exactly why there are so many flights/seats between the two cities. This is the main reason...which seems to be being overlooked.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: MSPNWA
Posted 2012-12-27 13:11:34 and read 4345 times.

It's really no debate that SEA-NRT is over-served for its local market. Why? I'd say it's due to the age-old pattern of airlines fighting over a route. Not exactly economical, but they continue to do it anyway.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: Gunsontheroof
Posted 2012-12-27 13:12:43 and read 4331 times.

Quoting BA (Reply 33):

I think SEA has the potential to develop into a pretty strong international connecting hub in the future provided some serious investments are made to the airport, such as a new federal inspection station (FIS) for processing international arrival

The existing FIS facility needs serious attention. Frankly, I'm surprised SEA has enjoyed so much international growth in recent years with that elephant in the room.

Quoting BA (Reply 33):

Seattle has seen some pretty significant air traffic growth over the past 5 years, especially internationally, yet it has managed to maintain approximately the same O&D-to-transit ratio which indicates that the Seattle market itself is growing significantly.

Interesting point. If you have a link to statistics, please share!

Quoting UA787DEN (Reply 34):
Yes. However, SEA has a smaller overall terminal and airfield. than most International Hubs, and desperately needs a new FIS. Also, increased runway spacing could help.

The addition of the third runway a few years back did make a difference, but point taken. I've wondered if there's a long-term prospect for turning taxiway T into a runway...stay tuned for that local media firestorm if it ever comes up.

Quoting UA787DEN (Reply 34):
If AS ever goes long haul, and I mean ever (2030), then I could see them completely dominating SEA.[/quote

Hah! Barring some huge change in corporate strategy, they'll go overseas in twenty years, add one destination every two years and make a killing on it.

[quote=BA,reply=35] They're updating the Master Plan for the airport right now, but there was a plan to build an entirely brand new terminal north of the existing terminal where the current cargo facilities are located. This was put on hold in favor of incremental expansion of the existing terminal, but a new terminal may be revisited again in the future.

There was a really good PDF map of the potential expansion plans floating around here awhile ago. Anybody have a link?

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: Stitch
Posted 2012-12-27 13:27:42 and read 4310 times.

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 37):
It's really no debate that SEA-NRT is over-served for its local market. Why? I'd say it's due to the age-old pattern of airlines fighting over a route. Not exactly economical, but they continue to do it anyway.

If this was the case, you'd think UA would have scaled back from a 777 to a 767 and now that DL owns NW, they would have scaled back from an A332 to a 767 as opposed to moving to a 747. And NH should never have started it's own service, since it had Star Alliance partner UA serving the route.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: Gunsontheroof
Posted 2012-12-27 13:39:13 and read 4267 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 39):
If this was the case, you'd think UA would have scaled back from a 777 to a 767 and now that DL owns NW, they would have scaled back from an A332 to a 767 as opposed to moving to a 747. And NH should never have started it's own service, since it had Star Alliance partner UA serving the route.

Precisely. Like I said before, I don't see the mystery here. Capacity has historically been relatively high on the route and I suspect (and anyone with the information is free to correct me here) that the yields are great. It's also worth noting that this perceived "overservicing" comes on the heels of DL launching SEA-KIX and applying for SEA-HND at the expense of a fortress hub with no known planned cuts to SEA-NRT. We're still waiting on UA kicking SEA-NRT as well...

The market is strong. End of story.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: MSPNWA
Posted 2012-12-27 15:40:48 and read 4156 times.

Quoting quiet1 (Reply 22):
SEA is the closest US mainland gateway to Japan. For connections that means a shorter overall trip than through any other gateway.

It may the closest gateway, but there really aren't that many heavily populated areas where SEA makes fore the shortest overall distance. If you draw a line from Tokyo over SEA and then beyond, you see that the Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, and down to Texas is the area best served by SEA. But most of that is sparsely populated, and Texas has it's own service. Once DEN-NRT opens, even less area is best for SEA. I believe the geographical connection is overstated and traffic is driven more by lower fares through SEA.

Quoting BA (Reply 33):
Seattle has seen some pretty significant air traffic growth over the past 5 years, especially internationally, yet it has managed to maintain approximately the same O&D-to-transit ratio which indicates that the Seattle market itself is growing significantly.

That shouldn't be surprising. Geographically it simply can't become more of a connecting airport. And what can't be forgotten is that expanded air service from an airport, in this case from a strong AS, spurs O&D growth. Do the yields keep up? That's the question.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 39):
If this was the case, you'd think UA would have scaled back from a 777 to a 767 and now that DL owns NW, they would have scaled back from an A332 to a 767 as opposed to moving to a 747. And NH should never have started it's own service, since it had Star Alliance partner UA serving the route.

If we disregard aircraft availability for a moment: Hot competition generally brings out higher gauge aircraft. It's where competition is light that gauge is commonly reduced. If you're going to win in a market, you can't simply cede market share to boost your yields. You'll wind up getting neither. So the battle keeps raging.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: BA
Posted 2012-12-27 16:58:49 and read 4041 times.

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 41):
I believe the geographical connection is overstated and traffic is driven more by lower fares through SEA.

Do you have any proof of this or is this just a hunch? RoseFlyer mentioned earlier in this thread that SEA-NRT fares are still trending higher than LAX-NRT fares.

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 41):
And what can't be forgotten is that expanded air service from an airport, in this case from a strong AS, spurs O&D growth. Do the yields keep up? That's the question.

Actually, Alaska's growth rate in Sea-Tac in terms of quantity of flights has been quite slow, in line with their conservative growth strategy of adding one to two new destinations per year and few frequency increases.

Also, if you look at the numbers, most of the growth through Seattle has through increased international traffic, not domestic traffic. Again, reflective of the significant increase in international services Seattle has seen over the past 5 years.

When it comes to international traffic, Alaska has perhaps contributed to a reduction in traffic as they've pulled the plug on seasonal SEA-CUN and seasonal SEA-MZT flights.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: PHX787
Posted 2012-12-27 17:01:45 and read 4051 times.

Quoting Cactus739 (Reply 15):
Well that's obviously because all your contacts need a Phoenix nonstop to Tokyo.

Ahhhhhhhh you're funny, maybe I should've said Japanese who live in japan.
The Japanese I know here in PHX also really have nothing to do in Seattle. One guy goes up there to visit a friend but that friend is only there because of his wife.

Quoting wedgetail737 (Reply 16):
Don't forget also that Seattle has a large Japanese population through the Puget Sound. In addition to Seattle and Bellevue, you also have Everett, Tacoma and Olympia.

Maybe that's it.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: JAGflyer
Posted 2012-12-27 17:48:50 and read 3996 times.

I don't think Microsoft and Starbucks contribute a high amount to any international route ex-SEA (not Starbucks at least). Keep in mind also passengers going beyond Japan to places like Manila, Bangkok and other South Asian countries.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: mah4546
Posted 2012-12-27 18:24:57 and read 3937 times.

Quoting UA787DEN (Reply 34):
But back on topic, NRT-SEA demand is huge.

It's a big market, but it's over-served. It's a smaller local market than SEALHR.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: UA787DEN
Posted 2012-12-27 19:54:19 and read 3817 times.

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 41):
Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, and down to Texas is the area best served by SEA

This might change with the new nonstop 787 route, but a lot of people flying UA from DEN-NRT or other Asian destinations prefer SEA to LAX for connections. The crowded airports have a bad stigma here. ORD flights arrive late. We depart late. And DEN is so efficient compared to other hubs, especially if you really know the airport, so most people served by DEN, or destinations with only DEN service, like to connect in SEA or SFO somewhat. I imagine its the same for many PDX people. Add in the local market, plus the Asian connections, and that justifies the UA/NH presence. And if DL can fill up planes, then they should fly the route.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: MSPNWA
Posted 2012-12-27 21:18:34 and read 3682 times.

Quoting BA (Reply 42):
Do you have any proof of this or is this just a hunch? RoseFlyer mentioned earlier in this thread that SEA-NRT fares are still trending higher than LAX-NRT fares.

I said it's my belief, and let's take LAX-NRT for a moment. LAX-NRT is a bloodbath and that's no secret. It's essentially the lowest baseline to set for fares. It's not saying much that SEA fares are higher.

Quoting BA (Reply 42):
Actually, Alaska's growth rate in Sea-Tac in terms of quantity of flights has been quite slow, in line with their conservative growth strategy of adding one to two new destinations per year and few frequency increases.

The fact that there's been actual growth widens the gap with other airports since the vast majority have seen cuts - some deep - in service.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: Gunsontheroof
Posted 2012-12-28 10:14:11 and read 3364 times.

Quoting mah4546 (Reply 45):
It's a big market, but it's over-served. It's a smaller local market than SEALHR.

Well, you have to remember that NRT is a DL hub with numerous onward connections to East Asia. LHR has connections but they're largely dependent on BA and their OneWorld partners, who aren't exactly running the show at SEA these days. If SEA-LHR is a better bet than SEA-NRT, maybe DL would have carried it over from the NW days...

Also, a route being "overserved" is a (generally) strange idea that I'm pretty sure only exists on this forum. Airlines are not in the habit of throwing metal at routes that don't make money, particularly not when it requires a long-haul aircraft.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: alexinwa
Posted 2012-12-28 10:15:14 and read 3378 times.

Not too long ago
UA 744
NW 742
AA MD11/777

About 1000 seats a day in the market

Right now
UA 777
DL 333
NH 787

Not close to 1000 seats a day. It would require DL moving to the 744 on NRT and adding HND with the 763 to get back to about 1000 seats a day.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: STT757
Posted 2012-12-28 10:27:20 and read 3360 times.

Quoting mah4546 (Reply 45):
It's a smaller local market than SEALHR.



UA originally served SEA-LHR when the bought the Pan Am rights, they quickly dropped the route. SEA-NRT has long endured for UA, so obviously there's some premium for UA with regards to SEA-NRT vs. SEA-LHR. Same for the other airlines as only BA flies SEA-LHR while there have been many airlines in SEA-NRT over the years (AA, CO, DL, NWA, NH etc..).

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: UA787DEN
Posted 2012-12-28 10:54:39 and read 3318 times.

Alexinwa: This is winter. Also NH serves the route on a 777 some of the time. Come summer, there is a 744, 772, and 788/772. Add in the new HND flight, which possibly means the NRT 744 will be a 333 or 772, and capacity is pretty good.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: wedgetail737
Posted 2012-12-28 11:03:13 and read 3291 times.

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 44):
I don't think Microsoft and Starbucks contribute a high amount to any international route ex-SEA (not Starbucks at least). Keep in mind also passengers going beyond Japan to places like Manila, Bangkok and other South Asian countries.

Boeing and their suppliers move many people between SEA and NRT all the time.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: Stitch
Posted 2012-12-28 11:10:34 and read 3279 times.

Quoting wedgetail737 (Reply 52):
Boeing and their suppliers move many people between SEA and NRT all the time.

I remember talk of NH possibly starting SEA-NGO due to the 787 program.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: B6WNQX
Posted 2012-12-28 11:19:01 and read 3290 times.

To give some numbers, UA carried 10,971 (both directions) on the SEA-NRT route in October 2012. If we consider the 772 they use on the route carries 269 passengers and that it ran 30 days (taken from Port of Seattle Landing Statistics) that would give them a load factor of 67.97% for the month. Here is the breakdown for a few other months:

Oct 2012 - 67.97%
Sept 2012 - 77.97%
Aug 2012 - 85.10%
Jul 2012 - 81.20%
Jun 2012 - 84.70%
May 2012 - 77.50%
April 2012 - 74.30%
March 2012 - 74.00%
Feb 2012 - 61.70%
Jan 2012 - 65.10%

The numbers considered that for every landing there was a departure for the route. Not horrible but we don't know what the yields are like.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: UA787DEN
Posted 2012-12-28 14:35:58 and read 3106 times.

I'm pretty sure UA uses a 253 seat 772 on the route.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: RWA380
Posted 2012-12-29 14:09:58 and read 2734 times.

Quoting Cessna172RG (Reply 8):
Back in the day, NWA used to operate it on a 742 with UAL on a 772 as well as AAL on 772. Demand has always been high, and once more folks learn about the Haneda option, that flight will be just as full. For me and my wife, we would fly to LAX to do the Haneda flight on DL, now that it'll be out of Seattle, that's going to make traveling over there a lot easier, even with the crappy time slot that Haneda allows

'

And after UA the first time, and before AA, CO operated a daily 742 on the SEA-NRT route. Don't forget that JL also once served SEA from NRT as well as TG.

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 11):
I don't get it either - Seattle seems really small. The downtown area feels like a town really. I guess they have Microsoft and Starbucks but hundreds of seats a day? Hum
Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 44):
I don't think Microsoft and Starbucks contribute a high amount to any international route ex-SEA (not Starbucks at least).

Having worked for the travel company that provides service to the Starbucks account, I can easily say that Starbucks does it's fair share of International flying, Japan is just one of many repeat destinations for Starbucks.

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 47):
I said it's my belief, and let's take LAX-NRT for a moment. LAX-NRT is a bloodbath and that's no secret. It's essentially the lowest baseline to set for fares. It's not saying much that SEA fares are higher.

I'm sure one of the reasons that KE is pulling the plug on it's long standing LAX-NRT run after so many years of flying it.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2012-12-29 14:51:55 and read 2665 times.

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 56):
Don't forget that JL also once served SEA from NRT

And the route was shared with ATL as JL operated NRT-SEA-ATL if memory correct, and only about 2 x week.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: wedgetail737
Posted 2012-12-29 17:05:13 and read 2561 times.

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 56):
Having worked for the travel company that provides service to the Starbucks account, I can easily say that Starbucks does it's fair share of International flying, Japan is just one of many repeat destinations for Starbucks.

There's a lot of nay-sayers regarding the ability for SEA to maintain the NRT capacity. How many of these armchair CEO's really know the SEA market? Do they truly understand the SEA market and what communities SEA actually serves. First of all, there are many corporations, both large and small, that may fly to NRT as O/D and other's that may go beyond NRT to other Asian and Pacific markets. The SEA market isn't simply serving downtown Seattle...you have many communities strung out between Blaine, WA to Olympia, WA. AS and QX supply plenty of connection traffic through SEA with the international airlines.

It's a bit wait-and-see what happens, but the airlines that currently serve SEA didn't come into SEA for their health. They had some reason why SEA is a market for them, even with the summer upgrade of DL's SEA-NRT service and the addition of the SEA-HND service. It will also be interesting if NH will bring back their 777-300ER for the summer.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: UA787DEN
Posted 2012-12-29 17:25:06 and read 2541 times.

To all...SEA is known as SeaTac airport, and Olympia has no service. That's a lot of people, with a very high percentage Japanese as compared to many other cities. There are also large connection points on either end. I'm also quite curious how the DL HND service will do, and if it will hurt the NRT service. I don't know if it's very smart to add HND and still run the 744 to NRT. I also am curious to see how this will hurt NH and UA. All said, SEA can support a LOT of Tokyo service.

I'm betting NH will keep the 77W this summer. Try to keep a good, large product to try and make DL downgrade NRT with the new HND service. Also, NH is probably a higher percentage of connecting traffic, lots to Japan, where SkyTeam is weak. All factors considered, I think NH will try to keep the 788/77W service.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: Coronado
Posted 2012-12-29 18:32:45 and read 2465 times.

I think United is the most likely to get out of this route within the next 12 months as they have no appreciable feed of their own into Sea-Tac and they will prefer to try and cement their leadership at SFO and DEN. Why chase marginal yield when the pickings are riper elsewhere?

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: UA787DEN
Posted 2012-12-29 18:46:14 and read 2451 times.

I hats to say it, but I think that DEN isn't the highest yielding market. They are consistently downgrading flights to RJs. There are insane fees, and WN is increasing hugely. UA leadership needs to be cemented, though I'm not sure how much a single 772 flight could do. Maybe another Hawaiian nonstop.
I do agree that UA is the most likely to pull out of SEA-NRT but I don't think it will happen. In fact, UA might add some SEA flights to bolster connections and make some money.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: klwright69
Posted 2012-12-29 18:57:50 and read 2441 times.

Quoting Coronado (Reply 60):
I think United is the most likely to get out of this route within the next 12 months as they have no appreciable feed of their own into Sea-Tac and they will prefer to try and cement their leadership at SFO and DEN. Why chase marginal yield when the pickings are riper elsewhere?

Interesting prediction...

UA has done a lot of adjusting. CPH, ACC, DME, being discontinued. EZE-IAD being moved to EWR.

Then there is the introduction of the 787.

Obviously SEA-NRT isn't doing that badly since it hasn't seen any changes, and as we all know UA has certainly being doing changes since the merger.

I too remember when CO served SEA-NRT and HNL-NRT nonstop with the 747. How times have changed.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: klwright69
Posted 2012-12-29 20:50:13 and read 2341 times.

Quoting UA787DEN (Reply 61):
I hats to say it, but I think that DEN isn't the highest yielding market. They are consistently downgrading flights to RJs. There are insane fees, and WN is increasing hugely. UA leadership needs to be cemented, though I'm not sure how much a single 772 flight could do. Maybe another Hawaiian nonstop.
I do agree that UA is the most likely to pull out of SEA-NRT but I don't think it will happen. In fact, UA might add some SEA flights to bolster connections and make some money.

Agreed. And UA has gotten stronger in SEA with the CO merger, not weaker.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: UA787DEN
Posted 2012-12-29 20:58:51 and read 2326 times.

At this point, I don't think anyone will drop the route. It simply is a good route. Also, if UA drops NRT, they are not only losing a SEA route and connections, but also an NRT route and connections. Think on that. Same goes to DL and NH.

Topic: RE: Capacity On SEA-NRT
Username: wedgetail737
Posted 2012-12-30 00:27:45 and read 2205 times.

Quoting UA787DEN (Reply 59):
I don't know if it's very smart to add HND and still run the 744 to NRT.

Keep in mind that the 744 is only for the peak travel season. I think the NRT flights will hold their own. It's the HND flight is to watch out.

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 63):
Agreed. And UA has gotten stronger in SEA with the CO merger, not weaker.

The level of service provided by UA is not any different than that of DL...the vast majority of their metal comes from hubs, except PDX and GEG. In the event that UA does drop SEA-NRT, they can code share with NH.


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