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Why No Transatlantic LCC?  
User currently offlineSteph001 From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 315 posts, RR: 1
Posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3892 times:

I was looking at a thread where people were very positive to LCC's http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/1285121/ and as I am myself very happy that LCC's exist, I was wondering why they serve only short to medium haul routes. For example, there is no LCC from Western Europe to the Eastern US , as far as I know. Ok, you can't do it only with the on board service offered by LCC's on short and medium routes, but I guess there must be a way to offer low prices (about 100-150 Euro one/way) from Western Europe to the Eastern US with more service (bigger aircraft, maybe some food or at least free non-alcoholic drinks). What do you think?

29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 7931 posts, RR: 54
Reply 1, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3887 times:

Well for one thing, in low season BA only charge £199 to the east coast cities, and that's full service with FF points and everything. Plus, on a seven hour flight you need food etc so what is an unnecessary perk on a short flight is fuel on a long one.

Maybe shorter trans-Atlantic on obscure routes? I read a great book about LCCs which mooted that future trans-Atlantic routes for LCCs might serve ethnic traffic such as Liverpool, Glasgow etc to St Johns, Halifax etc. Those are significantly shorter flights than London to NYC, five hours out, maybe less than four coming back - a 737NG could do that overnight and still do a full day flying round Europe.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19097 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3867 times:

A part of the low-cost model is increased aircraft utilisation - in short, an aircraft flying many legs per day, like A-B-A-B-A-B-A. This helps to decrease costs and thus increase efficiency. Such utilisation would only be possible on short-to-medium routes, hence not seeing any long-haul flights by low-cost carriers.


"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineLastBaron From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 290 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3845 times:

There were numerous LCCs across the "big pond" at various times: Laker's infamous "SkyTrain," PeoplExpress, Tower Air (don't moan so loudly!), and a host of others. The fact that none of them is still around or have left the market and gone for either charter ops or have reinvented themselves probably has a reason - they are not able to survive in the long run because on long-haul routes, the concept doesn't work as well, especially in light of the fares BA and others charge in off-season, as Cedarjet mentions. How would an LCC withstand an onslaught of super-low fares 6 months of the year and be able to compete?

And didn't Virgin Atlantic originally start out as an LCC concept?

[Edited 2003-12-02 15:43:39]

User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 50
Reply 4, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3824 times:

Yes Virgin did start out as a LCC. Talk about reinventing yourself.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineSevenair From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 1728 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3820 times:

Saying that most fuelscosts are on takeoff/landing, perhaps the LCC over the atlantic would use little fuel. maybe its possible to fly over the pond cheaply, although past attempts hand faile-although not an LCC, LAKER failed, it offered cheap flights over the pond, but for full service,

User currently offlineLastBaron From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 290 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3799 times:

Thanks, Luv2fly, I feel better knowing senility hasn't set in yet.  Wink/being sarcastic

Sevenair, the fuel may be part of the issue, but it would still not address the severe competition during low season from established "majors." How would an LCC survive (apart from all the other problems and issues raised on this thread) on income that was only "safe" and assured 6 months out of the year (or less)?


User currently offlineSteph001 From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 315 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3798 times:

I agree, as long as BA is cheap in the off-peak periods, an LCC has no chance competing with BA. But BA is cheap only if you fly LHR-JFK , if you search for flights from FRA to JFK you can hardly get such good prices. Even is BA is the cheapest (at least when flying around February-March) , they still cost 372 EUR (tax included). On the other hand, I met this summer on a Ryanair flight a lady traveling from Italy to the USA with Ryanair to HHN and then with United to the States. She had to travel more than an hour by bus from FRA to HHN and she told me that even so the fare was much more convenient than flying United and codeshare partners from the States to Italy. I was therefore guessing that there may be a market for LCC's from HHN or STN to a hub of, let's say Southwest, in the USA, even if the transatlantic leg is not much cheaper than BA.

User currently offlineAviaction From Germany, joined Nov 2003, 256 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3783 times:

Steph001:
I am not surprised that no LCC dares to cross the pond. They simply could not compete with the existing airlines. Even if they just charged Euro 300 for a return ticket, they would be not significantly cheaper than the "full" service airlines.

However, the LCC would only get you from A to B (let's say FRA-EWR), however you want to go/have to go from C to D (STR - PIT). The existing carriers fly to you from C to D for the same fare as from A to B.

Meaning, whatever amount you would save on the trans-atlantic portion, you would have to spend (perhaps even considerably more) on the domestic portions of your trip.

In addition that that, just imagine Ryanair decided to start a service from Hahn (right in the middle of nowhere ... but no big deal because Germany is so small, so you can there easily) to a similar place in the US of A. Fine, you are in the States - but want on earth do you want to do right in the middle of nowhere?

Above said also explains why there are hardly any "charter" services across the Atlantic left. Think of all the routes German charter airlines operated in the past. Most of the remaining services are to Florida - and cater mainly to tourists (and even these flights are not considered charter anymore).

Personally, I don't think a fare of EUR 100 o/w is realistic. Operating long haul flights would add considerably to crew costs. For each city pair (if served on a daily basis) you would need one plane ... plus back-up capacity, making scheduling much less flexible than on existing LCC routes.

So, as I see it ... we won't see any LCCs plying the Atlantic in the foreseeable future.



German by nationality, European by heart!
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 50
Reply 9, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3767 times:

The price during the off season would make it impossible for a LCC to compete. Also look at the fleets that LCC's use, they are not planes that can fly the distance to go over the pond. Why would you then change your fleet for one or 2 routes? The success of LCC's has been to simplify the fleet and by adding another plane type to just fly one or 2 routes defeats the purpose. Also this is one of the reasons LCC's have been a success, they are sticking to there business plan and not out trying to be all things to all people.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineAviationfreak From Netherlands, joined Nov 2003, 1166 posts, RR: 42
Reply 10, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3767 times:

Air Holland have a LCC-concept AMS-SXM, CUR, Aruba, Bonaire and Paramaribo with a 767 and might even a 757 but for that I`m not sure
Ok it`s not US but it is transatlantic.

Anyone who has flown this route with this airline can tell anything about it?



I love both Airbus and Boeing as much as I love aviation!
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 50
Reply 11, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3733 times:

Aviationfreak

Are those flights sold via a tour operator so Air Holland is getting money if they sell or not? Those destinations, are they offered year round or just during the high season, so they are an easy sell, and are they cheaper than taking KLM?



You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineLastBaron From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 290 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3736 times:

Steph001, I am flying 12/31 JFK-MUC for $214/ r/t on UAL/LH. THere was a huge sale this year here not only by BA, but also by AF, AZ, LH, LX, OA and a few others on trans-Atlantic service with similarly low fares to many, many destinations.

Suche hier nach ausgezeichneten Angeboten - immer! http://www.economytravel.com

Gruss aus den USA!


User currently offlineSteph001 From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 315 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3647 times:

@LastBaron: Thanks Smile.

User currently offlineDIA From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3273 posts, RR: 28
Reply 14, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3583 times:

Machte Condor strat als ein LCC?

Okay. . .that's fun. . .but really, did it, or has it always been exclusively charter, never sched'd. I have forgotten. LTU the same?



Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
User currently offlineLastBaron From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 290 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3585 times:

Condor has always been a charter operation from the get-go as Lufthansa's wholly-owned daughter. LTU is a rival company that was a charter but operates some scheduled service, much like Martinair Holland (used to? Are they still around?)

Balair was Swissair's charter daughter, and was a damn fine airline too. I think they have been relaunched under another name, not sure...

greetings from icy-cold and windblown Vermont  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


User currently offlineJetCaptain From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 236 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3554 times:

ZOOM Airlines is a Canadian/Scottish LCC that will be commencing scheduled service across the pond between the UK and Canada starting May 2004.

http://www.flyzoom.com/

JC


User currently offlineDIA From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3273 posts, RR: 28
Reply 17, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3549 times:

Thanks for the info LastBaron!

Martinair is still flying strong:
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Kar-lok Wong



Cheers from moderate Colorado!



Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
User currently offlineLastBaron From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 290 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3540 times:

Thanks JC and good luck to Zoom. Somehow I doubt they will last...

User currently offlineCitationX From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 110 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3434 times:

One of the stumbling blocks for Laker was the lack of an interline feed to their trans-Atlantic flights. Another issue was the expansion of international gateways to US cities like Charlotte, Tampa, Orlando, St. Louis, etc. - this changed the trans-Atlantic traditional business plan of flying 747s from JFK to LHR over to flying 767s from CLT to LGW.

Where there is a strong "white shoes" O&D trans-Atlantic market, like Orlando, the packaged charter operators seem to dominate. Orlando-Sanford International Airport is a virtual "bee-hive" of trans-Atlantic charter flights during the weekends.

But with the recent end of Concorde service, I think there will be a market for all-business and/or first-class services flown by modern, ETOPS narrow-bodies like the Boeing 737-BBJ2 and Airbus A-319CJ.


User currently offlineTwa@fra From China, joined Nov 2000, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3312 times:

i wouldn`t say there is no chance for LCC trans atlantic serv., you can`t copy everything from the existing short hauls lcc, but something like the below could work:

- a/c B762 with 8 (like britannia) seats per row instead of 7 and total of about 290 seats / or a B763 with 315 seats - maybe a little bit less and therefore with a small premium class.

- for onboard serv. you have to pay for

- routes: you have to find a way to utilise your aircraft more than the "normal" trans atlantic airlines do (mostly with “only” one flight each direction). For example you could serve with 2 a/c:
(day 1) stn- jfk- fll-(day 2)-stn-fll-jfk(day3)-stn, instead of stn you could also chose some other european dest. like paris area / frankfurt area etc.., but to have full traffic rights this airline should be based in the us

- freight: to keep ops. simple you might only accept ready build up pallets , so you will have very cheap handling cost.

- fares - with above you could surely calculate a very cheap fare. i have no doubt that there will be some "normal" trans atlantic carrier with similar ones, (as there already are some, as mentioned before). but it`s the same with the existing continental “normal” lcc, if you compare LH cheapest fare for FRA-berlin of 99,00 EUR with the lcc gexx fare of 77 EUR, there isn`t a big diff., but if you compare the average fare paid by every passenger, then LH is much more expensive.

nic


User currently offlineLastBaron From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 290 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3294 times:

Twa@fra, how about an A-380 1x daily FRA-MCO with 550 seats for starters?  Laugh out loud

User currently offlineLazyb From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 37 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3268 times:

Work in progress

http://www.primarisairlines.com


User currently offlineTwa@fra From China, joined Nov 2000, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3264 times:

LastBaron, or buy the concorde with only 3h flying time to jfk you could do more legs per day  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

User currently offlineETA Unknown From Comoros, joined Jun 2001, 2051 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3205 times:

I'm disappointed nobody thought to mention Loftleidir, know known as Icelandair, the pioneers of low-cost trans-atlantic travel.

25 Aviationfreak : Luv2fly, Sorry for the late reply but I can`t constantly being on the internet while I`m at office. It seems to me that air Holland flys round the yea
26 Yegbey01 : Air fares between Europe and the US are co cheap.... Why would you need an LCC. I wish we can get cheap fares here in Canada.
27 Luv2fly : Yegbey01 Is it that there are no cheap fares in Canada or is it all the taxes you have to pay on top of the actual ticket? I have looked at tickets to
28 Yegbey01 : Taxes... tell me about it. But that's on top of the already expensive fares. Here's why I meant. You can get a ticket to say (CDG) from BOS on AC thro
29 DCAYOW : Aer Lingus is also reinventing itself. During this off season they were offering a $200 return ticket BWI-DUB-BWI. Combine that with one of Ryanair's
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