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Topic: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: mfc
Posted 2013-01-22 14:24:42 and read 11618 times.

Iberia currently offers a red-eye flight to Mexico City with the following schedule:

IB6401 MAD00.40 - MEX05.55
IB6400 MEX12.40 - MAD06.20+1

This flight is very popular, specially among business travelers. Wouldn't it be suitable for Alitalia or Iberia to offer the same schedule to LAX? For example, Iberia's current schedule to LAX flight is:

IB6171 MAD12.45 - LAX16.30
IB6170 LAX18.10 - MAD14.30+1

And Alitalia's schedule is:

AZ620 FCO09.15 - LAX13.20
AZ621 LAX15.25 - FCO12.15

Proposed red-eye flights would have the following schedule:

MAD00.45 - LAX04.30
LAX11.10 - MAD07.30+1

FCO00.45 - LAX04.50
LAX10.25 - FCO07.15

I know that both markets are mainly leisure, but maybe they could take advantage of other European carriers not having that option, mainly because if they depart in late night they would arrive very early in the morning. Taking that flight would allow to depart for LAX late in the evening from Europe and arrive in LAX with a decent sleep time.

What do you think?

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: DeltaB717
Posted 2013-01-22 14:31:52 and read 11602 times.

I live in Oz so take this comment for what it is, just my relatively-uneducated 2 cents... but looking at the times you've given for the current services and suggested for a red-eye I can see how the current schedule might have a bit more scope to attract business travellers. I know if I was going westbound for a meeting I'd much rather arrive the afternoon before, have some dinner and get an early night, than arrive at 4.30-5.00am and get started. I think even as a leisure traveller I'd prefer that. Again, only my 2 cents  

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: LAXintl
Posted 2013-01-22 14:37:23 and read 11528 times.

For starters US customs at LAX does not open till 0600, hence why the first arrivals of the day are at 0605 and 0610 today. (VA & LA)

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: prost
Posted 2013-01-22 14:38:27 and read 11500 times.

Wouldn't you run in to some curfew issues on the European sideas well? At least from some airports (LHR, FRA?)

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: mfc
Posted 2013-01-22 14:42:48 and read 11442 times.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
For starters US customs at LAX does not open till 0600, hence why the first arrivals of the day are at 0605 and 0610 today. (VA & LA)

Didn't know that, that makes those flight totally inviable.

Quoting prost (Reply 3):

Wouldn't you run in to some curfew issues on the European sideas well? At least from some airports (LHR, FRA?)

I don't know in LHR or FRA, but in MAD there's no curfew. There are a lot of flights to South America that depart in that hours.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: QFVHOQA
Posted 2013-01-22 17:26:58 and read 10888 times.

The schedule you propose also increases the ground time at LAX from ~2 hours to 6-7 hours. This would be fine for a carrier based at LAX but it's a good 4 hours that the plane could be flying if it were back at its base (MAD/FCO).

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: longhauler
Posted 2013-01-22 17:34:08 and read 10844 times.

Also add that often when flying against the majority of traffic, you have to fly outside of the NAT tracks (which are one way by time of day), or under them, This often is far less efficient.

I used to encounter this with our daylight flight to LHR (from YYZ), or the late evening return. We would burn on average about 3,000 kgs of fuel more than the "regular" flights.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: klkla
Posted 2013-01-22 19:04:20 and read 10569 times.

Quoting mfc (Thread starter):
Proposed red-eye flights would have the following schedule:

MAD00.45 - LAX04.30
LAX11.10 - MAD07.30+1

It may not be viable for reasons listed above but I for one would love it. I hate daytime long haul flights with a passion. As it is now I make a point of staying up all night if possible the night before returning so I can sleep on the plane coming back from Europe.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: IrishAyes
Posted 2013-01-22 20:44:41 and read 10314 times.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 6):

Also add that often when flying against the majority of traffic, you have to fly outside of the NAT tracks (which are one way by time of day), or under them, This often is far less efficient.

I used to encounter this with our daylight flight to LHR (from YYZ), or the late evening return. We would burn on average about 3,000 kgs of fuel more than the "regular" flights.

Could you explain what this means, exactly? Very curious to know...

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: klwright69
Posted 2013-01-22 20:49:21 and read 10295 times.

Quoting DeltaB717 (Reply 1):
For starters US customs at LAX does not open till 0600, hence why the first arrivals of the day are at 0605 and 0610 today. (VA & LA)

Sometimes flights arrive 30 minutes early, sometimes even more. What happens then?

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: SCL767
Posted 2013-01-22 21:03:19 and read 10228 times.

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 9):
Quoting DeltaB717 (Reply 1):
For starters US customs at LAX does not open till 0600, hence why the first arrivals of the day are at 0605 and 0610 today. (VA & LA)

Sometimes flights arrive 30 minutes early, sometimes even more. What happens then?

The LA flight that he's referring to only operates thrice weekly on a seasonal basis. Currently the actual fight time from SCL to LAX is a bit longer since the service now operates with the 763 instead of the 787-8. In March the arrival time into LAX will be at 08:10.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: LAXintl
Posted 2013-01-22 21:13:28 and read 10182 times.

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 9):
Sometimes flights arrive 30 minutes early, sometimes even more. What happens then?

If flights arrive prior to FIS opening, the aircraft is parked with doors closed. Only once approval is granted are doors opened and passengers deplaned.

Even during the day, flights are not deplaned without CBP expressed approval. Incase of peak periods and congestion in FIS, onboard holds are not unheard of either.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: DeltaB717
Posted 2013-01-22 21:24:25 and read 10140 times.

Not quite sure why it's quoting me on a comment someone else made!? Weird...

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: flymia
Posted 2013-01-22 21:25:36 and read 10141 times.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 11):

I'm surprised to hear LAX closes its customs. What time does it close?

I'm not sure how long or if MIA closes its customs but given it has scheduled international arrivals from 3am to 1am the next day it would not be closed for more than two hours at MIA.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 8):

I'm not a commercial pilot but NAT tracks are the flight routes airliners use for the North Atlantic. Planes are separated by time and altitude and must remain a certain distance apart. Depending on the time of day the majority of traffic is either going west or east. If the flight is going the opposite of the natural flow of traffic which in this case the red eye to lax would they either have to fly outside the NAT tracks either north or south of them making the flight longer or fly at a lower altitude than the assigned NAT tracks. Lower altitude is less efficient causing more fuel burn as would a longer distance flight.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: LAXintl
Posted 2013-01-22 21:31:08 and read 10105 times.

Core LAX FIS hours were recently extended from 11pm to Midnight.

Hours for individual terminals vary, from as few as 6-hours per day, to TBIT which has the 0600-2400 hours.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: PanHAM
Posted 2013-01-22 22:02:00 and read 10014 times.

due to the curfew at FRA, the flight departure would need to be 22h15 latest, which would get the flight into LAX around 1 am. Even if CBP is open, how many connecting flights are available around that time and who wants to be out on the road in LAX at 3 am?

The few viable slots that remain at FRA pas 10 pm due to the guillotine curfew at 11 pm can be used to Asian and South American ddestinations.

[Edited 2013-01-22 22:36:02]

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: baw716
Posted 2013-01-22 22:09:42 and read 9992 times.

The problem with Iberia's schedule MAD-MEX is that the aircraft sits for a very long time in MEX. Airplanes don't make money when they don't fly. An eastbound morning flight from MEX is impossible due to the fact that it would arrive in the middle of the night in Europe.

As earlier mentioned, with the curfew issues and the terrible arrival times eastbound...this kind of operation is just not viable...why IB does it is an open question. It might be popular with the business traveler, but the costs of this kind of operation wipe out any commercial advantage.

It just can't work and make money.

baw716

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: LAXintl
Posted 2013-01-22 22:46:30 and read 9859 times.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 15):
who wants to be out on the road in LAX at 3 am?

Hey atleast there will be no traffic   

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: PanHAM
Posted 2013-01-22 22:58:25 and read 9792 times.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 17):
Hey atleast there will be no traffic

yes, but that does not please the average tourist.   ....who would be easy prey leaving the rental car lot....

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: B747forever
Posted 2013-01-22 23:02:28 and read 9773 times.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 14):
Core LAX FIS hours were recently extended from 11pm to Midnight.

Hours for individual terminals vary, from as few as 6-hours per day, to TBIT which has the 0600-2400 hours.

What happens if one of the long haul flights arrive late, after midnight?

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: mfc
Posted 2013-01-23 00:10:27 and read 9581 times.

Quoting baw716 (Reply 16):

Iberia operates two different flights to MEX, there is the westbound red-eye flight mentioned above and another one that is like the usual North America westbound flights, i.e. departing MAD around 12PM. The latter used to be the usual one with daily frequencies, and the red-eye westbound one with 3 flights per week in Winter, going daily in Summer. During this winter, however, the red-eye westbound flight has been operated daily and the other one 3 times per week, so IMHO I don't think that operating that flight is not profitable, keep in mind that Iberia is offering a schedule that anyone else does, so maybe they get better yields.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: ordjoe
Posted 2013-01-23 06:50:32 and read 7584 times.

Quoting mfc (Reply 4):
Didn't know that, that makes those flight totally inviable.

There could probably be a way to alter the hours if they have a flight coming in. I know AA has a morning flight to LHR from ORD that my dad took all the time while he worked at BP. It was very popular with business travelers on Sundays as it allowed you to rest up and be sure you can make a meeting the next day.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: YULWinterSkies
Posted 2013-01-23 07:13:18 and read 7345 times.

The flight time, adjusted for local times, is too short to allow this. Either you are way past curfew or last arrivals in Europe to make it practical, or you get in LAX too early (customs not open yet, among other problems).
Unlike for MEX, which only has 7 hour time change from most of Europe, and is just about as long as it goes further South.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 18):

yes, but that does not please the average tourist. ....who would be easy prey leaving the rental car lot....

I don't get it... are you assuming that the "average" tourist is going to rent a car immediately upon arrival and at the airport, and that Los Angeles freeways are that unsafe?

Also, I am not convinced that most cars are rented to tourists, but rather to business people, who need to get somewhere at a good driving distance from the airport. And for them, 3AM does not sound exactly attractive either.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: flyinTLow
Posted 2013-01-23 07:35:21 and read 7078 times.

NAT are basicslly one-way highways across the Atlantic. They are not defined by specific waypoints like "regular" airways elsewhere. Depending on the jetstream, they are set new on a daily basis, allowing for a small headwind component westwards, and a high tailwind eastwards. They are basically one-way westwards during European afternoon and evening hours, and eastwards during European night and ealry AM hours. They are spread 60NM aparts if I remember correctly, and there are 5 of them. Aircraft are seperated by 10 minutes at the same altitude, and 1000' vertically. Basically, they are "blocking" a big chunk of airspace, especially for aircraft going "the other way".

That means, aircraft have to fly a large detour, when available (ETOPS) or have to remain in lower airspace, which leads to a higher fuel consumption.

Now do these flights even use the NATs? I know LH's LAX flight often does not fly them but flies further north.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: 26point2
Posted 2013-01-23 07:40:36 and read 7003 times.

I do a "red eye" flight from California to NY a few times a year (corporate jet). We arrive 4am or there about and go straight to the hotel which, of course, is only available if you book and pay for the previous night.

Quoting flymia (Reply 13):
I'm not a commercial pilot but NAT tracks are the flight routes airliners use for the North Atlantic.

You are correct but the OP asked about LAX-Europe and that route rarely uses NAT track in either direction. They use a Random Route that more closely follows the Great Circle route much farther North than NAT tracks. NAT tracks are designed for traffic traveling between Europe and US/Canada North East.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: LAXintl
Posted 2013-01-23 07:50:10 and read 7185 times.

Quoting B747forever (Reply 19):
What happens if one of the long haul flights arrive late, after midnight?

In general smaller delays are not that big issue as with the midnight cutoff staff in reality has to be around till 1-2am to finish up anyhow.

But if airlines anticipate longer delays, they need to get permission prior to departing. If not granted, they would need to reschedule to arrive inside FIS hours.

Its quite common also for airlines that operate in the smaller individual terminal with their own FIS facilities to have to utilize TBIT if they are running late as those facilities virtually never stay open beyond their scheduled windows.

Lastly, running late can cost the airline overtime charges (sometimes quite hefty) for staff to be held over. Thats something the airline needs to also consider.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: AussieItaliano
Posted 2013-01-23 08:02:38 and read 7057 times.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 11):
Quoting klwright69 (Reply 9):
Sometimes flights arrive 30 minutes early, sometimes even more. What happens then?

If flights arrive prior to FIS opening, the aircraft is parked with doors closed. Only once approval is granted are doors opened and passengers deplaned.

Yup, this has happened to me plenty of times flying in from South America at several US airports. It's pretty annoying to have to sit in your seat for an extra 20-30 minutes after deplaning.

Quoting flyinTLow (Reply 23):

Now do these flights even use the NATs? I know LH's LAX flight often does not fly them but flies further north.

I fly LHR-LAX often. Most of the time, these flights go much further North than the NATs, but not always. But there have been several times, especially Eastbound, where the flight has crossed the continental US and then flown East from Newfoundland (which would mean following one of the NATs). Basically, a NAT track won't be located further North than Southern Labrador, so if you're flying North of there (over Baffin Island, Northern Labrador, Greenland, etc.), you're not following a NAT track.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: TC957
Posted 2013-01-23 08:04:17 and read 7145 times.

I seem to remember there were charters in the 1980's from LGW that left late at night for LAX, might have been Trans International or someone like that. But as already been pointed out, from FRA and certainly LHR it wouldn't work owing to 2300 curfews this means arrivals around 2am into LAX.
Might work from places further east, like Moscow.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: 1400mph
Posted 2013-01-23 08:05:18 and read 7174 times.

It just popped into my mind that if you leave JFK at 6pm you arrive at LHR at 6am. (3,500 miles at 500mph)

12 hour cycle.....

i.e 7 hour flight + 5 hour time change = 12

Are there any other routes where this would occur ?

i.e 8/4, 9/3......10/2.....can't be ? 11/1.........????

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: AussieItaliano
Posted 2013-01-23 08:11:25 and read 7102 times.

Quoting 1400mph (Reply 28):
12 hour cycle.....

i.e 7 hour flight + 5 hour time change = 12

Are there any other routes where this would occur ?

Yup, AMS-CPT (and probably other European-South African flights) are 12 hour cycles Southbound.

11 (flight) + 1 (change).

Britain is 2 hours behind CPT, so it's about 13 total for us.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: 1400mph
Posted 2013-01-23 08:30:10 and read 6808 times.

Quoting AussieItaliano (Reply 29):
Yup, AMS-CPT (and probably other European-South African flights) are 12 hour cycles Southbound.

11 (flight) + 1 (change).

Yeah 11/1...that's a good one. What about 12/12 ? I guess you could only do that with a sustained speed of 1000mph ?

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: jfk777
Posted 2013-01-23 10:59:19 and read 5068 times.

LAX has now had nonstop Jet flight to Europe for 50 years, if its never been done there has had to be a reason. From LHR to LAX is 8 hours time difference and 11 hours flying time so the net is only 3 hours. That is not long enough to leave by midnight and arrive after 0600. Jets can leave LHR at almost any time of day and have daylight all the way to California, so why make it an night trip westward ? Across the Pacific its done all the time since the flights are 3 hours longer, but not to Japan, all NRT flights from the USA are daylight.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: Norcal773
Posted 2013-01-23 12:37:17 and read 3852 times.

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 9):
Sometimes flights arrive 30 minutes early, sometimes even more. What happens then?

[quote=LAXintl,reply=11]

You sit on the plane, which is a pain. Happened to me once and after a 12 hours flight, all you want when you land is out.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: blueflyer
Posted 2013-01-23 14:54:31 and read 2630 times.

Quoting flymia (Reply 13):
I'm surprised to hear LAX closes its customs. What time does it close?

It's just a matter of staffing. Technically, they're not closed, but there aren't enough agents on hand to man passenger check points. If there were enough passenger flights to justify keeping customs officers around all night to process them, they would.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2013-01-23 15:02:15 and read 2585 times.

Quoting 1400mph (Reply 28):
It just popped into my mind that if you leave JFK at 6pm you arrive at LHR at 6am. (3,500 miles at 500mph)

You also have to consider airport congestion, taxi time and varying aircraft cruising speeds etc. Scheduled block times of all flights JFK-LHR vary from 6:45 to 7:20. Average is probably close to 7:00.

Westbound block times with headwinds vary from 7:40 to 8:30 with an average around 8:00.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: 2travel2know2
Posted 2013-01-23 16:45:56 and read 2433 times.

While I don't see an Europe - LAX westbound red-eyes flight viable (these days) due to LAX F.I.S. opening hours, I could imagine there'd be a year-around market for a UA B757 LGW-EWR and probably AA LGW-MIA departing LGW Sundays (and perhaps Mondays too) around 0100h.
Maybe even a summer only Sundays UA CDG-EWR and LGW-ORD red-eyes too.
Yes, aircraft would sit at European airports for quite a long time, if not flying day-time to Europe (departure from U.S. airports after midnight would be recommended, as the last flight to Europe Friday/Saturday evenings) but IMHO, there's a market of passengers who will neither get to the airport nor fly before sun-set Saturday and those sun-sets happen quite late in Europe summertime.

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: B747forever
Posted 2013-01-23 20:43:16 and read 2220 times.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 25):
Its quite common also for airlines that operate in the smaller individual terminal with their own FIS facilities to have to utilize TBIT if they are running late as those facilities virtually never stay open beyond their scheduled windows.

I would say that is more of a problem compared to the TBIT FIS.

Do all terminals but terminal 1 have their own FIS facilities?

[Edited 2013-01-23 21:08:09]

Topic: RE: Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight
Username: ikramerica
Posted 2013-01-23 21:02:45 and read 2171 times.

One reason the MEX redeye works is that Mexicans prefer them. LAX to Mexico flights are often overnights even if it means leaving at 1am and arriving at 5am.


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