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787: Point-to-point Or Point-to-hub  
User currently offlineJoost From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 3167 posts, RR: 4
Posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4996 times:

I just wrote a huge post in a now-deleted thread (it looked like becoming a flame-war, think that's the reason), so I will post it here now, as I'm interested in your opinions. It's about the often mentioned point-to-point market for the 787, compared to hub-to-hub for the 388. And I think the 787 will rather become a hub-to-point than point-to-point. Point-to-point is marketingwise a nice term, but I don't see it happen in real life.

Just take a look at the current situation and take into account one of the main principles of transportation: the gravity model. However there are many many exceptions to mention, basically it sais that:

Demand ~= (Population of A * Population of B) / distance

So it means that the demand is biggest between to close huge population centers, like Tokyo and Osaka. And the longer the distance, the lower the demand. (less flights between Tokyo and London than Tokyo-Osaka). Also, the lower the population, the lower the demand. Of course factors like economical and cultural factors are playing a huge role, but that is not too important for now.

For 20 years there is an airplane for sale called Boeing 767. It has the ability to fly economically long-distance flights with 200-250 people on board. So in regard with this, the 767 is a point-to-point airplane, just not having the high range of the 787. And remember, demand lowers on higher distances. The 767 is great for transatlantic ops. But now, tell me, how many point-to-point flights do we find between Europe and the US?

Let's define the following airports as hubs:
Europe: LHR LGW AMS CDG FRA MAD MXP MUC
East-coast North-America: YUL YYZ BOS JFK EWR IAD ORD DTW ATL MIA

So then, a point-to-point flight will not have one of the mentioned airports on any side. I can't think of any!

So I don't see point-to-point happen. From BRU, which could also be called a hub, and is economically the no. 5 city in Europe, the only US flights that work are going to the hubs of the carriers. No flights to smaller airports at all. And there aren't any flights between Canada and BRU at all.

Am I negative about the 787? Not at all. I think it's a great plane. As a fuel-economic replacement for 767 ops accross the atlantic, and some longer hub-to-point routes, now already being pioneerd by some 332-operators. Like NW on PDX-NRT, AF on CDG-NRT. SQ could be able to serve more cities in Europe like BRU, ARN and FCO from SIN, which can't support a 772 but are too far for a 763.

So great plane, but over-optimistic marketing. What do you think?

33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineIndy From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 4547 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4947 times:

The 787 will be known for its range right? Perhaps the use will be more specialized by allowing flights to/from city pairs that were previously impossible Non-Stop. Would you use such an airplane on traditional routes?


Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
User currently offlineGlom From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2815 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 4837 times:

It will serve 767 routes of course, but because of it long range, it has the capacity to connect more cities pairs than before. For example, it could go from East Midlands to, say... er... oh bugger pick some North American regional. Previously, for such a range of journey, it would require something like a 777, which couldn't get off the runway very easily at East Midlands. Because it is more efficient, it makes it more economical to operate such lower yielding routes. That's the thing about the 787 is that it can be that flexible.

You have to remember, of course, that while the A380 will be very useful for major hub routes liuke LHR-JFK, if it was to be used in the hub 'n' spoke system, then you're still going to need smaller regional planes to finish the journey.

Consider our North American regional. Say we were going there from LHR. We could take the A380 from LHR to JFK and then change to a connecting flight on, say, an A319 to our North American regional. On the other hand, we could travel straight there on a 787 and bypass JFK. That means the A319 from JFK is no longer needed and the A380 capacity can be used by dedicated hub to hub travellers. Bypassing at least one hub solves half of the hub problem.

I know it's more complicated than that, but the 787 does give airlines new options.

BTW, I salute you for being so objective and intelligent on this potential criticism of the 787 market. It's a refreshing change to those who would start a similar thread with a bashing post.


User currently offlineJoost From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 3167 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4758 times:

Indeed, the hub-bypass is a very nice option. Then again, we are talking about hub (LHR)-to-point. By the way, it's not too sure a hub-bypass will save a slot/flight on the congested JFK. And that is because there will be a market for the JFK-smaller u.s. airport, let's say MKE. So there will be a JFK-MKE flight just because of the O/D traffic and other feed. That the people o/d to LHR are bypassing will only make a difference that the company flies a 319 instead of a E70.

I think one can say that almost all hubs can support an important part of the short-haul spokes by O/D-traffic. Let's look at 2 KL flights:
DTW-AMS-MXP
DTW-AMS-RIX

Let's say NW can operate point-to-point to MXP. In this case traffic will no longer be routed through AMS. It means less NW passengers on the KL-flight, but KL will most probably still fly the route because of O/D traffic, and because of many other destinations they connect to MXP. They might use a F70 or 100 instead of a 737, but that's still a flight. So this hub-bypass won't save a flight.

Let's take the 2nd example DTW-AMS-RIX. They won't be able to support the DTW-RIX flight anyways as the market isn't there, so nothing changes.

All together, I think that as long as a hub is having a huge critical mass itself, and has a huge network, a few hub bypasses (that will be able now) won't reduce flights.

Quoting Indy (Reply 1):
Would you use such an airplane on traditional routes?

Yes. When it's more economical to use it than a 767 or 332, why not. There are many examples of flights way below the airplanes range. KL also uses the 744 on AMS-JFK. And next to that, the range published is with full passengers & luggage, but no cargo load. In reality, many airlines will transport belly freight and so reduce range in favor of higher payloads.


User currently offlineCoronado990 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1597 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4735 times:

Point-to-point means bypassing a hub on a non-stop route. The main feature is that it is non-stop. In other words current routing SAN-DTW-AMS is not point-to-point when my origin is SAN and my destination is AMS. When there is a NW 787 non-stop from SAN-AMS it is point-to-point because AMS is my destination. It does not matter that one end of the journey is a hub or not. AMS is still a point. For onward connecting passengers within Europe, it is a bonus because it would be a more streamlined SAN-AMS-PRG rather than a SAN-DTW-AMS-PRG.

I can only see great things about this aircraft and cities such as San Diego with airports the size of Lindbergh Field. Also the smaller size of the 787 allows for a daily overseas flight instead of 5 X week which is what BA tried to LHR with a 777 and just does not cut it when competing for business travelers with LAX up the road.



Uncle SAN at your service!
User currently offlineJoost From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 3167 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4702 times:

Coronado990, ik like your input, defining points and hubs like this. And I can't agree more, that the definition of point to point depends from the passanger taking the flight.

Next to that, it's sure that from a passenger point of view, a p2p connection is by far favourable above a connection flight. And I agree that network quality of an airline or alliance can really improve. I just don't see it reducing the number of flights. In your example, when SAN-AMS will be launched, it's not that SAN-DTW and DTW-AMS will be dropped.


User currently offlineAirways6max From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 494 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4646 times:

With the 787's range, I expect it will fly more point-to-point routes. That was part of its pitch.

User currently offlineGlom From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2815 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4596 times:

Quoting Joost (Reply 5):
I just don't see it reducing the number of flights.

I don't recall that being part of the pitch. Why would Boeing want to reduce the number of flights and hence sell less aircraft?


User currently offlineCahiwa From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 52 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4555 times:

I think the 787 in all of it's versions will offer amazing economies to carriers all over the globe. Lets not forget that airlines can and do use planes for their own best fit.. In spite of A or B's stated intent for a given a/c. I can hardly wait to see how operators maximize the load potential of the A380. The market for both will blossom as market realities catch up with creative juices of carriers.
K


User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4540 times:

IIMO it will be mostly used HUB-Spoke.

Just like NWA does from AMS and NAR to the various US places and DTW & MSP to Asia & Europe with A330's.


User currently offlineRichard28 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 1610 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4525 times:

I see it as a hub-point / hub-spoke as well.

A true point-point would involve say East Midlands - Cleveland.

Doubtful demand would support such a route, however on a hub-point (hub-spoke) system then :

East Midlands - New York, or
Cleveland - Gatwick

become feasible, and the 787 could fit very well.

IMHO point-point is pie in the sky!


User currently offlineJZ From United States of America, joined May 1999, 252 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 4476 times:

If you turn around and look from US towards Asia, the point-to-point 787 service suddenly makes a lot more sense. Today, most of the passengers go thru NRT on their way to their final destinations in East Asia. Or they have to stop in Europe on their way to the Indian sub-continent. With 787, they can go direct and save the avg. 3 hour transfer time. AC is doing exactly that by planning YYZ-PEK, YYZ-SHA, YVR-CAN with a combination of 777-200LR and 787. The 787 makes most of major Asia cities within direct flight of US major cities.

User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 12, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 4436 times:

Boeing's public analysis is that the B787 will open up service between 450 additional city pairs. I would expect that most of these city pairs would include exactly one hub city. A few would be two hub cities that are not now connected (perhaps e.g. MAD-SIN) and a few would be two non-hub cities (perhaps e.g. PER-CHC).

User currently offlineAADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2087 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 4331 times:

Actually, I find the arguments for both the 787 and the A380 kind of weak. The 787 has the approximate capacity of the 767 series. The 787 will have a greater range but most of western Europe is in 767 range east of the Mississippi. Actually most of the U.S. can reach most of Europe with a 767ER. Anyway, what airline would add a city pair because the fuel costs are lowered by 20%? It might reopen some of the dreaded long, thin routes, but it will probably just replace aging 767s and A300s. Supposedly we will see more point-to-point when the biggest city airports are way over capacity but we seem to be a long way from it.

The A380 is another question mark. Apart from LHR and NRT not too many airports are so bottled up that you could not squeeze in another flight. Is one A380 better than two 777s? It would save some fuel and cut down on the number of pilots but business travelers like greater frequencies. The exceptions are where the number of flights is limited by agreement. The A380 will replace old 747s.


User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 4317 times:

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 13):
Actually, I find the arguments for both the 787 and the A380 kind of weak. The 787 has the approximate capacity of the 767 series. The 787 will have a greater range but most of western Europe is in 767 range east of the Mississippi. Actually most of the U.S. can reach most of Europe with a 767ER. Anyway, what airline would add a city pair because the fuel costs are lowered by 20%?

Because markets like...

Portland
San Diego
Oakland
San Jose
Ontario

...Can support a 787 to say LHR or FRA. So rather than stopping in MSP, DTW, JFK, CVG, ORD, ATL, these will be new routes that will open up and because it's not a hub-to-hub operation they can charge a small premium over what would normally be charged for such a route on top of the 20% fuel savings.


User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4278 times:

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 14):
Because markets like...

Portland
San Diego
Oakland
San Jose
Ontario

...Can support a 787 to say LHR or FRA

These routes could already have been covered by A332´s for years.

However to fill them on these city pairs frequency would probably a few flight a week. Via hubs frequencies are perhaps 10 a day by both BA and LH and their code share partners..


User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 16, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4250 times:

Quoting Keesje (Reply 15):
These routes could already have been covered by A332´s for years.

However, the operating costs of the A330-200 are too high for the demand. If the operating costs were low enough (given actual demand), then airlines would be operating the routes.


User currently offlineRichard28 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 1610 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4232 times:

Quoting Keesje (Reply 15):
However to fill them on these city pairs frequency would probably a few flight a week. Via hubs frequencies are perhaps 10 a day by both BA and LH and their code share partners..

Which could mean that higher yield business traffic will still route through hubs.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 16):
However, the operating costs of the A330-200 are too high for the demand. If the operating costs were low enough (given actual demand), then airlines would be operating the routes.

There will be a saving with the 787, but with a lower weekly frequency, and possibly lower yields, there would need to be a higher load factor to make it more profitable than a hub route.

There will undoubtably be some routes which will open up, but these will mainly be because of range. Cant understand the 450 new routes being quoted. If there was a 20% cut in gas prices/airline tickets now the demand would not be there - so why would the 787 be any different in this respect?


User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 4225 times:

Quoting Keesje (Reply 15):
These routes could already have been covered by A332´s for years.

On BUR and SAN you are range limited in a 332 due to runway length, or have such a large payload penalty that the route is not profitable. PDX had such types of service until DL bailed, ONT and OAK are low yield markets that the 332 cannot be competitive in.

So no, the 332 could not cover them. San Diego is the best example of a market that lost service it couldn't support. They had about 180 pax a day on BA in a 777-200, but could not carry enough cargo to make it profitable. The 787 can carry a full payload and travel that route. 180 pax a day would be an 81% load factor in the 787, which is a solid international load factor and goign with full cargo capacity is just gravy on top.


User currently offlineWilax From United States of America, joined Jun 2002, 465 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4138 times:

Basically, the 787 is a logical leap forward from the 767, but it will not be revolutionary to the extent that it will create major shifts in route maps of it's operators. The new aircraft will give early operators a definite edge in ticket pricing and fare wars, but it is oversized for long thin routes. As more and more airlines acquire the 787, if it is successful, the playing field will be leveled, and airline productivity should increase as costs-per-mile decrease.

Truly revolutionary aircraft usually have a huge new range, payload, or cost factor in their class, i.e. the A345, the 777LR, and the 73G and A319LR. The 787 really does not bear such a mantle to such an extent although it makes great advances in all three. If claims hold true, it will have the payload of an A300, range of a 777, and the costs of a 757. All of which will make it a glaring success to the extent that the A350 leaves some of that market untapped. As far as revolution, Aloha with the advent of the 737-700, has began to reach the US mainland with service to cities, from Hawaii, that had never before been dreamed of--BUR, SNA. Privatair, although weight restricted, now with the 73G and A319LR can capture the Concorde market across the pond with the same level of posh and exclusivity but without the Mach number and operational expenses of the late great fiery phoenix which flies no more. The longest scheduled flights in the world, the record breakers, are operated by the A340-500 and soon the 777LR. The A380 will revolutionize air travel, without a doubt. The fact that such a bird could break the surly bonds of earth, basically empty, on it's maiden flight, was a revolution in itself, let alone flying with 800 passengers aboard.

Before any new truly long-thin routes will be served, IMHO, a 9000NM 737 or A320 will have hit the scene already...


User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 968 posts, RR: 51
Reply 20, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4085 times:

Quoting Joost (Thread starter):
It's about the often mentioned point-to-point market for the 787, compared to hub-to-hub for the 388. And I think the 787 will rather become a hub-to-point than point-to-point. Point-to-point is marketingwise a nice term, but I don't see it happen in real life.

Should have read:

http://www.boeing.com/randy/


User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3973 times:

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 18):
So no, the 332 could not cover them.



Quoting Zvezda (Reply 16):
However, the operating costs of the A330-200 are too high for the demand



Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 18):
On BUR and SAN you are range limited in a 332 due to runway length

 bitelip 

Guys you are too much.

The A332 has the capasity, range, low fuel & operating costs. Therefor it is used on comparable routes with lots of cargo (e.g. NAR-PHX, NAR-Portland) by an increasing number of carriers.

I'm not saying the 787 is a plastic 332 copy, but you have to agree it has the same sizes, configuration & look. It can e.g. cover the US from Europe and the US east coast from Japan.


User currently offlineJoost From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 3167 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3964 times:

Quoting Glom (Reply 7):
I don't recall that being part of the pitch. Why would Boeing want to reduce the number of flights and hence sell less aircraft?

I remember having read somewhere in the early 787 news that the 787 hub bypass method would reduce hub congestion. And I think that's not happening.


User currently offlineDazeflight From Germany, joined Jun 1999, 580 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3957 times:

Quoting Keesje (Reply 15):
These routes could already have been covered by A332´s for years.

However to fill them on these city pairs frequency would probably a few flight a week. Via hubs frequencies are perhaps 10 a day by both BA and LH and their code share partners..

Exactly. Wasn't it one of the main arguments against the A380 that pax want frequency? How come nobody brings up this one when the discussion is about the B787?

ciao
Daniel


User currently offlineUdo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3966 times:

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 14):
Because markets like...

Portland
San Diego
Oakland
San Jose
Ontario

...Can support a 787 to say LHR or FRA. So rather than stopping in MSP, DTW, JFK, CVG, ORD, ATL, these will be new routes that will open up and because it's not a hub-to-hub operation they can charge a small premium over what would normally be charged for such a route on top of the 20% fuel savings.

You say there's a market for FRA or LHR - true. But these are hubs already congested today, so it's not likely we see a high increase in these routes. And no, even when some hub-to-hub services are reduced you can expect the open slots to be used for regional flights immdiately.
Btw, LH already serves PDX nonstop.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 16):
However, the operating costs of the A330-200 are too high for the demand. If the operating costs were low enough (given actual demand), then airlines would be operating the routes.

No, operating costs on such routes are not too high. What about LH's A343 (!) service to PDX? And who would operate an A332 from PDX/SAN/OAK/SJC/ONT to AMS? KLM? They don't have A332s. NWA? They have A332s but need them for other routes to replace older aircraft.

The problem simply is you need feed for certain thinner routes, a fact which even the B787 won't significantly change.


Regards
Udo


25 StealthZ : A380 and B787 will FAIL!! How was that for a start?? They will fail if reducing hub congestion is their goal... with the forecast growth in air travel
26 Jc2354 : Finally, I'm starting to understand the hoopla. Thanks Wilax!
27 Jwenting : It can serve as either a 757/767 replacement OR to open up new markets depending on what the customer wants to do with it. When used as a 767 replace
28 Bobnwa : UDO, "They don't have 332's" (KLM) ?????
29 Udo : No, they don't. Regards Udo
30 Avek00 : Whatever your thoughts on the planes, A380 is far less "revolutionary" than the 787 - the latter will have the ability to open new routes altogether,
31 Bobnwa : Udo, I stand corrected. Your info is correct for another two months.
32 Joost : I don't think the 787 is that revolutionary. It's an evolution of the 767 and 332. The 767 opened a lot of new routes, the 332 opened some new ones,
33 Boeing7E7 : Look at the short runway weight penalty before you make such an assertion.
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