HB-IWC From Greece, joined Sep 2000, 4450 posts, RR: 73 Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3697 times:
The problem with overnight operations from Japan, Korea and Hongkong to Europe is that they typically lead to extended ground times in Asia, and therefore bring down the aircraft utilization rates and increase parking and terminal fees.
In order for a Europe-bound flight to arrive early in the morning after an overnight flight from Japan, this flight should leave Japan late in the evening. However, the inbound flight from Europe typically arrives in Japan in the late morning or afternoon hours. As the ground time would be too long, thereby jeopardizing utilization rates, and airports in Japan are typically very expensive when it comes to parking and terminal fees, the airlines prefer to return to Europe after minimal ground times and on a daylight operation.
As such almost all flights from Japan and Korea to Europe are operated as daylight flights. Even from Hongkong, airlines like KLM and Lufthansa, and when they still flew there Alitalia, operate according to operational patterns whereby they leave Europe in the late afternoon and arrive in Hongkong in the morning, make a quick turnaround and return to Europe as a daylight operation. The same operating pattern goes for many Europe-China flights.
If airlines choose to operate according to a double overnight pattern, they typically leave Europe in the evening, arrive in Asia in the early afternoon, and depart again late in the evening for an early arrival in Europe. In such cases, unless the airline operates an additional tag-on within Asia, the aircraft will be on the ground for anywhere between 4 and 10 hours, which is obviously not a desirable solution.
As an example, look at Lufthansa's Hongkong operation: the daily FRA-HKG flight returns as a daylight operation and has a ground time in HKG of 1h55 (arr.1130/dep.1325); Lufthansa's thrice weekly MUC-HKG operates according to a double overnight pattern and has a ground time of 7h35(arr.15.50/dep.2325).
Now, as for your Air France example, the airline keeps ground time at Tokyo down by leaving CDG very late in the evening and arrive NRT the next evening. It leaves NRT after almost 3 hours of ground time (arr.1900/dep.2155), which is still rather long and thus costly (NRT ground crews will turn around any widebody within 1h45 max), and arrives in Europe very early in the morning at 04.35, an arrival time which is far from commercially interesting. A more optimal arrival time at CDG would demand a departure from NRT around midnight, just as is the case at HKG and other airports in the region like SIN, BKK and KUL, which would lead to increased ground time at NRT and problems with the airport's night curfew.
All in all, it never ceases to amaze me how people keep on moaning about daylight operations from Asia to Europe and how overnight flights on this sector tend to be better booked than daylight flights. Note that flights between Europe and the West Coast of the US and Canada are equally long, operate according to the same operational patterns, and nobody seems to care about the long daylight westbound flights.
Hailstone From Germany, joined Nov 2000, 408 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3570 times:
i still think that the AF model is quite smart, even if it leads to almost 3 hours of ground time at NRT for the evening return flight.
at present one has to stay overnight in TYO with usually an idle morning in order to make it to NRT in time (factor three hours departure from town before flight time, in order to be on the safe side), loosing the entire workday, by sitting on the pnae arriving in europe in the late afternoon - early evening.
with the AF flight at night one saves tons of time and i believe that AF is being rewarded from a utilization point of view (hopefully also from a yield point of view): when i flew with them on AF277, the flight was 100% packed in all three classes - also with plenty of connex traffic via CDG into other european destinations - granted that one will have another 2 - 3 hours of ground time at CDG in order to get onto the connexes, but i found the timing excellent.
maybe somebody can pull up AF's reservations system and see how well AF277 is booked in comparison to AF275 and 279 as well as the european competition
Qantas077 From Australia, joined Jan 2004, 5798 posts, RR: 42 Reply 3, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 3520 times:
the AF evening flight is i believe originated in the Sth Pacific then onwards to Paris from NRT, only reason why it's a night flight is because of it's arrival enroute to CDG via NRT.
not sure if the flight still operates to and from the sth pacific or not though.
the major issue with overnight flights from NRT is the curfew, if they have tech delays the flight is pretty much stuffed til 6am, hence all day flights ex NRT and arvo arrivals or midmorning, most of it is due to curfew and thats most of the reason that they all depart by day.
[Edited 2005-02-28 17:18:26]
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Babybus From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 3626 posts, RR: 5 Reply 4, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3379 times:
I've done this NRT-CDG night flight and I have to say it was extremely convenient. I could get up late. Have a full day in Tokyo and a leisurely late evening trip to the airport. The check-in starts about 7.30pm and the terminal at this time is virtually empty meaning no queues anywhere and plenty of seats to spread out in.
Before this I was allergic to long haul night flights but the combination a non chaotic Narita airport in the evening and Air France cured me for ever.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
Carpethead From Japan, joined Aug 2004, 2876 posts, RR: 4 Reply 5, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3346 times:
As some have mentioned the curfew at NRT plus not sufficient difference in local departure to local arrival makes Japan/Korea-European flights worthwhile. There is sufficient local departure & local arrival for SE Asia-Europe flights to make this worthwhile and no curfews at these airports.
I know some who want to skimp out on one night of lodging in Europe to travel from Japan to Europe via HKG or SE Asia.
Ktachiya From Japan, joined Sep 2004, 1763 posts, RR: 2 Reply 7, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3195 times:
This twilight express as they call it, calls an extra-routing.
That is, they fly a different route from the rest and fly for 14hr and 30 min. This I read about two years ago in a magazine. As a proof, other flights AF operate take 12.5 hr but this takes 14.5.
I would like to see what kind of routing this takes.
Does anybody know although the routing is different, the aircraft operates out of Sekiyado 4 departure, Niigata transition? I would imagine the tickets on this flight would be more expensive compared to others but I also read that it is very popular amongst pax.
Carfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1803 posts, RR: 9 Reply 11, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2933 times:
Just curious will the curfew at NRT have anything to do with mostly daylight departure from NRT as well? It seems like the last flight departed NRT around 10pm (last flight should be HNL + cargo flights), and any slight delay will result in the planes forced overnight at NRT and additional cost airlines.
FlySSC From France, joined Aug 2003, 7353 posts, RR: 58 Reply 12, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2915 times:
AF277 flies slower but also take the further north route to reach CDG.
AF doesn't fly anymore to NOU and PPT with its own planes from NRT. It codeshares with Air Calin & ATN on the NRT-PPT / NRT-NOU route.
AF277 is very popular and shows now the best load factors of all the AF's flights on the NRT-CDG route.
A third DAILY CDG-NRT-CDG will be added for the next season starting March 27th to face the demand. This 3rd daily flight should remain active in the next winter schedule.
UpperDeck79 From Finland, joined Feb 2005, 1139 posts, RR: 2 Reply 13, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2788 times:
In any case, I will definitely try to get myself on AF277 on my way back the next time I go to Japan (hopefully in Sep!). Who cares that it arrives 04:35 - that's 12:35 Japanese time so there will be plenty of sleep.