Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
US LCCs Vs. EU LCC's Why The Difference?  
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26499 posts, RR: 75
Posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4328 times:

Ok, many conversations and comaprisons up to this point have led me to start this thread. Basically, I want to know why Europeans (and others) are willing to put up with such "no frills" treatment from their LCC's that it ends up actually being "negative frills". That is, it almost becomes not worth it to fly the LCC from both an economic (all things considered) and hassle standpoint.

As a comparison:

Southwest Airlines v. Ryanair


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Benoit Gosselet
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Joost Snijders



Often recognized as the top examples in their respective markets, the comparison between the two is often made. It is however the case that they share little in common besides low fares, charismatic leaders and 737s. WN treats passengers well, uses their own staff wherever they are, gives free drinks and snacks on even their shortest flights, treats their employees fairly and equitably while embracing their trade unions. FR on the other hand actively discourages unionization, pays employees less than at other carriers, makes them pay for their own uniforms and in some cases training. They also treat passengers horribly, using outsourced ground staff whenever possible which makes complaining that much harder and fixing the situation nigh impossible. They allow very little carry-on or checked luggage and are quick to charge excess fees. They don't allow connections between their own flights or any flexibility in ticketing, no matter how much you paid.

I could go on and on with examples, but I think this one is pretty indicative of the differences with all of them (B6 v. U2, F9 v. Germanwings, etc.)

I have often stated that while Europeans will not accept certain things Americans will at the top end of service (i.e. International J/F) but will accept far less at the lower end.

So, what does everyone else have to say here?


Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3592 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4285 times:

I would equate Southwest more with Easyjet than Ryanair.

The European LCC market is a few years behind the USA LCC market in terms of development, so there is still a shakeout to come between the numerous carriers.

Ryanair seems to be trying to establish a new genre of carrier, which I think of as the Ultra Low Cost Carrier, and going for the absolute cheapest pax. Of course there are a lot of Scots that will put up with most anything for a schilling. (That is a joke, don't flame me.)

Europeans have different tastes than their brothers across the pond. I personally do not like the J class on intra-euro flights with those flexible business class seats. The Europeans seem to put more of the emphasis on the food and reading material aspect, while the Americans seem to go for the big comfy seat in domestic business/first.

Just my 2 cents.


User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4292 times:

Quoting N1120A (Thread starter):
They don't allow connections between their own flights

That is the one big difference that surprises me. WN's highly successful model is built on multi-stop and connecting services, whereas none of the European LCC's offer either - it's all nonstop out-and-back journeys. I'd have thought there'd be a real market for stopping flights across Europe, especially on the longer stage-lengths - why not STN-BGY-ATH or HEL-NCE-FAO ? Likewise, why not market connections (I know there's the issue of delays if an incoming flight is late, but how do WN manage it then ?)


User currently offlineCornish From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 8187 posts, RR: 54
Reply 3, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4287 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 2):
That is the one big difference that surprises me. WN's highly successful model is built on multi-stop and connecting services, whereas none of the European LCC's offer either - it's all nonstop out-and-back journeys. I'd have thought there'd be a real market for stopping flights across Europe, especially on the longer stage-lengths - why not STN-BGY-ATH or HEL-NCE-FAO ? Likewise, why not market connections (I know there's the issue of delays if an incoming flight is late, but how do WN manage it then ?)

I know they are not a true LCC in the pure sense, but don't Air Berlin do this.

However I do agree with you JGP - FR bases in Hahn or Bergamo or U2 bases in Basel or Dortmund could work well in this respect as central points to feed connecting flights.

I guess this question could be answered to some degree by looking at how many of the passengers are on the short weekend (or otherwise) breaks and are just looking for a cheap direct flight to their destination.

Poissibly to some extent in the UK, at least in the South East, the competion of BA and BMI lower fares mean that there isn't much more room for maneouver by the LCCs - in the respect that they a connecting flight may suddenly mean the added convenience of a traditional carrier direct flight may just offset the additional price disadvantage.



Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26499 posts, RR: 75
Reply 4, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4215 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 2):
(I know there's the issue of delays if an incoming flight is late, but how do WN manage it then ?)

By keeping their fleet in top shape and chosing their airports carefully. Given FR's penchant for going into rather desolate places (another habit WN and other US LCCs don't do), delays should never be an issue

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 1):
I would equate Southwest more with Easyjet than Ryanair.

Easyjet has many of the same draconian policies FR does, only their seats still recline

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 1):
Ryanair seems to be trying to establish a new genre of carrier, which I think of as the Ultra Low Cost Carrier, and going for the absolute cheapest pax.

But they are not any cheaper than WN if you think about it



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineSXFAN From Greece, joined Jan 2004, 371 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4146 times:

Both Ryanair and EasyJet follow the paradigm of Southwest and its operational structure. But Easy and Ryanair tend to outsource almost everything that they are not the best to do bythemselves. It is all part of the cost leadership strategy that the majority of LCC follow. Soon they will come against their customers expectations (demand of a decent low cost service) and they may change parts of their current product.
An other reason is the cultural difference between Europeans and Americans as DLPMMM rightly pointed out.
Finally all the European LCCs have to compete with other means of travel such as trains and they are oriented in mainly seasonal destinations but with an annual service.


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26499 posts, RR: 75
Reply 6, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4116 times:

Quoting SXFAN (Reply 5):
But Easy and Ryanair tend to outsource almost everything that they are not the best to do bythemselves. It is all part of the cost leadership strategy that the majority of LCC follow.

But that is the thing. WN, B6 and the like also are cost leaders yet they (when possible) keep things in house in order to keep economies of scale as well as consistant product. While some of the smaller LCCs in the US (like B6 and F9) are not completely on their own as far as ground works goes, they are constantly moving toward a fully integrated system. WN is already there.

Quoting SXFAN (Reply 5):
Finally all the European LCCs have to compete with other means of travel such as trains

LCCs in the US often have to compete with car travel and train travel (particualarly on the coasts)

Quoting SXFAN (Reply 5):
and they are oriented in mainly seasonal destinations but with an annual service.

There are many leisure routes in the US too, though LCCs fly a number of business routes in Europe (like the US) and do the same things there



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12568 posts, RR: 46
Reply 7, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 4072 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 2):
WN's highly successful model is built on multi-stop and connecting services, whereas none of the European LCC's offer either - it's all nonstop out-and-back journeys.

And that is currently a difference that will not change. Don't forget the EU LCCs are flying between sovereign countries, not between States in the same country. So while WN might fly a hypothetical, bus-like route of New York to Washington to Miami, I don't believe U2 can fly London to Paris to Rome.

If the EU had a true open skies policy, then I suspect you'd see a huge change in the way the LCCs fly here.



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26499 posts, RR: 75
Reply 8, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 4060 times:

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 7):
I don't believe U2 can fly London to Paris to Rome

Yes they can, see below

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 7):
Don't forget the EU LCCs are flying between sovereign countries, not between States in the same country

The EU has full Open Skies, including both 7th freedoms (starting flights in a non-home country and flying to another non-home country) and 8th freedoms (cabotage). The rules are the same as flying between United States



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12568 posts, RR: 46
Reply 9, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 4032 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting N1120A (Reply 8):

 blush  I didn't realise that. You learn something every day.



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26499 posts, RR: 75
Reply 10, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3997 times:

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 9):
I didn't realise that. You learn something every day.

No problem, that is why we are all here.

So, anyone else want to chime in?



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineByrdluvs747 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 2361 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 3953 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 6):
LCCs in the US often have to compete with car travel and train travel (particualarly on the coasts)

But not to the extent that LCC's in Europe do. Not even close.

Quoting N1120A (Thread starter):
They allow very little carry-on...

I would like to applaud Ryanair on this issue. Americans are horrible with carry-on.



The 747: The hands who designed it were guided by god.
User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2438 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 3929 times:

N1120A, thanks for starting this interesting thread. I find it a very interesting discussion. Has anyone flown both Southwest and Ryanair? If so, can you highlight the differences and the expectations?

[Edited 2005-05-11 21:07:08]


Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26499 posts, RR: 75
Reply 13, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 3926 times:

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 11):
I would like to applaud Ryanair on this issue. Americans are horrible with carry-on.

No, see there is a difference when they are unreasonable about the carry-on. It is not about size, you can have a fullsized carry-on. It is about weight. It means having your laptop with a few clothes may send you over and you have to check. Only problem is they don't allow very much checked luggage either and will charge you an overage fee. That is not a good thing at all

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 11):
But not to the extent that LCC's in Europe do.

WN's original mission, and a great deal of what they still do, is competing with cars and freeways. This is the same in Europe, only trains are more in the place of cars. Remember, London to Germany is still quite slow by train or car and flying is still the best option. Same with London-Italy/Spain/Baltics/etc.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26499 posts, RR: 75
Reply 14, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 3921 times:

Quoting CitationJet (Reply 12):
. Has anyone flown both Southwest and Ryanair? If so, can you highlight the differences and the expectations?

I have, that is one of the reasons I started the thread Big grin



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7521 posts, RR: 23
Reply 15, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 3906 times:

If I'm not mistaken, did FR's CEO meet with WN's Kelleher many years ago to get ideas towards reinventing the then-struggling carrier. He basically took WN's model and went (for better/for worse) further in terms of cutting costs.

The last issue of Airliners magazine had an article regarding the history of FR.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineLehovec From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 296 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3867 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 13):
It is not about size, you can have a fullsized carry-on. It is about weight. It means having your laptop with a few clothes may send you over and you have to check

Not with EZY. One standard piece of hand baggage to maximum dimensions of 55x40x20cm up to 32 kilos.
In addition, passengers may carry on board a handbag, clutchbag, coat, umbrella, duty-free goods (small items), a laptop computer, car seats for infant passengers and small items of photographic or scientific equipment.


User currently offlineRedDragon From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 1135 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3852 times:

Interesting. I'd be intrigued to experience typical LCC travel in the States - to my mind there seems more of a preponderence to fly shorter distances than in Europe (where, cross-Channel services for instance aside, for relatively very short distance travel you may as well go by train). My experience on European LCCs has so far been limited to STN-TRF on Ryanair, where I wasn't a fan of FR's horrible leather seats and non-recliningness, but as a means of getting from A to B at a student-acceptable price it did the job. (Even if the entire journey - Nottingham to Oslo - was a bit long-winded...)

My thoughts at the moment are that differences are more to do with passenger expectations than any overriding market forces. As you said in the opening post N1120A, it may very well be that Europeans won't accept poor full-service service, but aren't too bothered about real bare-bones service (or lack of same).

As regards the WN vs. FR route network question, would we in Europe really accept multiple legs to get from A to B - ie. a stopping service? I'm tempted to say no - whilst price may be foremost in everyone's mind when choosing a carrier, if my STN-TRF flight suddenly became STN-CPH-TRF I'd definitely have booked elsewhere (probably with another LCC rather than a legacy carrier, unless the difference wasn't that huge). Bear in mind that probably quite a fair proportion of LCC traffic on non-major routes is made up of holidaymakers on a weekend break. My STN-TRF example gave us just enough time in Oslo (about 30 hours) for the weekend to work - any less, brought about by a stopping service, and it simply wouldn't have happened.

One final thought for now: I'd suggest that, given the choice of one US LCC-style improvement, the vast majority of LCC-travelling Europeans wouldn't go for free drinks or snacks, or even someything like an increased baggage allowance - they'd go for significantly improved customer service (particularly in the case of FR).

Rich

PS. One positive thing I did gain from my FR jaunt - those graded yellow overhead bins on the new 738s actually looked really good - not half as disgusting as they appeared in photos!


User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 3817 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 4):
Given FR's penchant for going into rather desolate places (another habit WN and other US LCCs don't do

Not exactly true.

Intra-Texas not withstanding, many of then secondary airports WN chose were considerably less busy and less-considered than they are today... and WN did catch some flak from some about those choices, even though many of them seem 2nd-nature today.

That said, I wouldn't call marketing PVD as BOS-are is anywhere near as bad as some of FR's concoctions (particularly since FR tends to market 2ndary fields as the major city's gateway, instead of indicating that it's just within the general area).


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26499 posts, RR: 75
Reply 19, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3762 times:

Quoting RedDragon (Reply 17):
As regards the WN vs. FR route network question, would we in Europe really accept multiple legs to get from A to B - ie. a stopping service? I'm tempted to say no - whilst price may be foremost in everyone's mind when choosing a carrier, if my STN-TRF flight suddenly became STN-CPH-TRF I'd definitely have booked elsewhere (probably with another LCC rather than a legacy carrier, unless the difference wasn't that huge). Bear in mind that probably quite a fair proportion of LCC traffic on non-major routes is made up of holidaymakers on a weekend break. My STN-TRF example gave us just enough time in Oslo (about 30 hours) for the weekend to work - any less, brought about by a stopping service, and it simply wouldn't have happened.

WN's stopping services and connections are almost never of such a short nature. JGPH1A was talking more about flights that are already longer in nature and also linear. A good example would be STN-SXF-RIX(Riga) or DUB-CRL-AHO

Quoting Lehovec (Reply 16):
Not with EZY.

Yes, U2 has better service standards in many regards though still far less than we expect in the US.

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 18):
Intra-Texas not withstanding, many of then secondary airports WN chose were considerably less busy and less-considered than they are today... and WN did catch some flak from some about those choices, even though many of them seem 2nd-nature today.

Granted, MHT/PVD/ISP are not all really close to their city center, places like BWI/MDW/FLL are in some cases the better airport to fly into. There have also been cases where WN has shifted ops to a smaller airport because convinience for passengers dictated it. This includes places like HOU and OAK



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineRafabozzolla From Brazil, joined Apr 2000, 1229 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3686 times:

Despite their EasyJet like colours Gol in Brazil is the closest so WN's model. It offers some free drinks and cold food and allows connecting pax. And like the US, Brazil is a sigle country with conitental dimensions. This must have something to do with that.

User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26499 posts, RR: 75
Reply 21, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3628 times:

Quoting Rafabozzolla (Reply 20):
Despite their EasyJet like colours Gol in Brazil is the closest so WN's model.

Actually, Gol even takes it a step farther as far as catering goes. Very similar to F9 actually.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineUdo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3612 times:

I can only agree with most opinions here. After having flown on both American and European LCC leaders such as B6, FR, U2, WN and others I can only confirm the differences.

However, we have yet missed out dba. Though they do not want to be called LCC, they are a really good European LCC. Fair prices (though not dirt cheap), friendly and motivated staff (including entertaining F/As), free snack and drink service, service to main airports.

Another positive example was V-Bird, but we know where it ended. I think they had an excellent product, but a terrible far-off located base and not enough aircraft to guarantee reliable schedules.

Quoting Cornish (Reply 3):
I know they are not a true LCC in the pure sense, but don't Air Berlin do this.

Air Berlin is great on the customer side, but employees are treated not very well. They are something like a B6 for passengers and FR for staff.
The same is what I heard from Niki - great service but not so great treatment of staff.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 4):
Easyjet has many of the same draconian policies FR does, only their seats still recline

But U2's CEO does not make as****h*** statements every two weeks.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 4):
But they are not any cheaper than WN if you think about it

WN don't act like FR in offering 0.01 Dollar flights (plus ridiculous taxes and charges) but offers totally fair pricing.



Regards
Udo


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26499 posts, RR: 75
Reply 23, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3608 times:

Quoting Udo (Reply 22):
Another positive example was V-Bird,

The worst thing about the loss of V-Bird is the loss of their livery


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Tobias Rose
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Alan Lebeda



Quoting Udo (Reply 22):
However, we have yet missed out dba. Though they do not want to be called LCC, they are a really good European LCC. Fair prices (though not dirt cheap), friendly and motivated staff (including entertaining F/As), free snack and drink service, service to main airports.

Interesting. I will be flying them on CGN-THF!!-CGN this summer, giving me my first F100 rides and a chance to fly into Tempelhof

Quoting Udo (Reply 22):
But U2's CEO does not make as****h*** statements every two weeks.

Stelios was pretty damn outspoken



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineComeAndGo From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1041 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3596 times:

Quoting RedDragon (Reply 17):
My thoughts at the moment are that differences are more to do with passenger expectations than any overriding market forces. As you said in the opening post N1120A, it may very well be that Europeans won't accept poor full-service service, but aren't too bothered about real bare-bones service (or lack of same).

Europeans have been ripped off by the mainline carriers for years. Some intra Europe flight segment used to cost more than a cheap discount flight to the US (across the atlantic). So European are happy to be able to buy cheap tickets now. The reality is that EU LLC is in its infancy. The product quality is inferior to the US. People compare Ryanair to Southwest. Southwest allowed three carry-ons before 9/11. Rayanair never allows more than one. And that one is a joke. At one point last year they were contemplating eliminating reclining seats, and put advertisements on the back seats. The seat pitch is a joke.

In my opinion the LLC will continue to expand in EU for the foreseeable future and the product will continue to suffer. Then when the market is saturated, a European 'Nealman' will appear and offer the same LLC concept as the Rayanair and Easyjet do but also offer comfort, as in seat pitch and in-flight entertainment. Rayanair will have serious problems. If you offer life soccer games broadcast while you fly to england and offer a decent price like Jet Blue or Southwest does, who's going to fly with Ryanair?


25 N1120A : They eliminated them Actually, they have the safety card sewn into the seat back because they removed both tray tables and seat pockets (not to menti
26 Post contains links and images PHLBOS : Out of curiousity, since many here are comparing WN w/FR; what EU LCC would be equivalent to FL in the States? View Large View MediumPhoto © Jose
27 Xkorpyoh : ...aren't we talking about Vueling ?!? they have some jetblue investors and although they dont have the high tech IFE, i think they are making an eff
28 Stirling : Yes, since MY only choice at the moment is Barcelona. Well...not Ryanair, but easyJet. There's no comparison to airTran, Southwest or jetBlue...compl
29 OO-VEG : V-Bird (gone unfortunately) had this service, they actually had several flights supporting connections, from Munich you could connect with flights to
30 N1120A : The thing is, they don't. They actually sell their tickets for an average price of about what WN would for similar stage lengths, sometimes more.
31 OO-VEG : True about that, what I meant was that they often "give away" tickets for free and even announced they think(!) they can make flying completely free
32 N1120A : Yeah, they are full of $hit. Sure, but so does WN with Rapid Rewards. The closest thing to a FF program FR has is their credit card, but they make mo
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Why The Difference Between EK's A345 And B773ERs posted Wed Feb 1 2006 00:01:00 by FlyingHippo
No Frills Vs Full Service - What's The Difference? posted Sat Jul 10 2004 17:20:37 by Jasepl
USA's LCCs Vs. EU's LCCs posted Thu Mar 18 2004 02:46:14 by Graham697
Oneworld Vs Star Alliance - Whats The Difference posted Tue Mar 2 2004 04:32:03 by KLM11
CO And Coex - Why The Difference? posted Thu Dec 7 2000 02:21:44 by Republic
DC-8 Vs B-707, Why The DC-8? posted Thu Jul 6 2006 05:15:55 by Rob878
Cost Of Flights In LHR Vs SYD - Why The Diff posted Thu Jan 12 2006 23:28:40 by Ansett767
US Airlines Vs Rest Of The World posted Fri Aug 19 2005 01:38:14 by CO737800
A358 Vs. A332 - If All New, Why The Same? posted Thu Jun 16 2005 19:25:46 by Clickhappy
Why No EU LCC Connection Insurance? posted Sat Apr 9 2005 19:23:47 by Ahlfors