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Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?  
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 35
Posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 8980 times:

This article provides some new information. It confirms that Singapore Airlines, Qantas, and even Emirates are actively researching the issue of pilot fatigue on Ultra-Long-Haul flights.

Interestingly, after 'extensive research', the studies appear to have re-discovered that something like the four-hour watch-and-watch system which has been known to seamen for centuries, rather than a single-long-sleep system, gives better results:-

"The ULR task force tried the option of two rest periods with Singapore Airlines's 747-400 and 777-200ER long-haul pilots on a volunteer basis over three months. It was found alertness levels increased with a two-rest period, particularly for the crew that rested first.

"Emirates has also been at the forefront of sleep studies as it expands its global reach. It also found that having two rest periods reduced pilot anxiety that they must sleep."


The article contains a definite claim that the 777-200LR will have 'better-than-brochure' long-range performance, and that Boeing is planning to prove it soon to Qantas (who, typically, still have doubts!):-

"At the same time, Boeing is promising even greater performance from its 777-200LR. New endurance/payload records are to be attempted in October by Boeing.

"The company also announced at the Paris air show last week that the 2 per cent fuel burn improvement achieved on the 777-300ER had shown up on the 777-200LR, giving the aircraft the grunt required to perform London-Sydney with an economic payload. But Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon isn't quite convinced. "Boeing is going to have to prove to us the capabilities of the 777-200LR," he told The Australian. Up to the challenge, Boeing is planning some spectacular, record-breaking test flights later this year."


Interesting details too of how Singapore modified the seat-mix on its existing ultra-longhaul flights (no First, emphasis on Business, 10% premium on 'Executive Economy') and how they handle passenger comfort:-

"On the A340-500s, Singapore Airlines eliminated first class seats, which are more than twice the weight of business class seats. The A340-500 has 64 Raffles Class (business class) seats and 117 new Executive Economy (EY) seats. Raffles Class has lie-flat beds and EY is set in a 2-3-2 configuration with a 94cm pitch.

"Initially, cost for the EY seat was the same as for economy class but it now attracts a 10 per cent premium. EY seats have a 20.3cm recline and every other seat has in-seat power. The aircraft has 14 cabin crew with a crew passenger ratio of 1:9 in Raffles Class and 1:23 in EY. This compares with 1:13 and 1:32 on the 747-400.

"Mood lighting throughout the cabin gave the aircraft an elegant club atmosphere with most passengers taking in a few movies and a meal before settling in for some sleep."


http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au.../0,5744,15709638%255E23349,00.html

Looks to me that nonstop services from Australia to Europe are just about a 'done deal'. From my perspective I just have to hope that Qantas doesn't follow its usual practice of being the last airline to wake up.

And that someone eventually remembers that five million of us live in Melbourne, and two million in Perth; and that both are closer to Heathrow.....

[Edited 2005-06-28 07:12:19]


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRJpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 8944 times:

I wonder just how much of an economic payload they are talking about on LHR-SYD.

User currently offlineHKGKaiTak From Australia, joined Jun 2005, 1050 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 8920 times:

And how many people really would like to fly Australian East Coast - Europe non-stop? I certainly won't as it is just too far without an opportunity to get out and stretching the legs.

IMHO this alone will be a tough sell for QF, if the 772LR is indeed capable of the range with a reasonable payload.



4 Engines 4 LongHaul
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 35
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 8916 times:

If Singapore can make similar distances pay with A340s, doing it with a less thirsty ETOPS aeroplane shouldn't be too much of a problem. And no problem filling the seats, it's one of the busiest routes in the world.

Singapore's interest is quite striking - it must be potentially a pretty good earner if they are actually planning on overflying their own hub.



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineUnited Airline From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2001, 9169 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 8819 times:

I am sure hubs between Australia and Europe will remain just as strong. For example, BKK, KUL, SIN, HKG etc.....

User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 8777 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
The article contains a definite claim that the 777-200LR will have 'better-than-brochure' long-range performance, and that Boeing is planning to prove it soon to Qantas (who, typically, still have doubts!):-

A "definite claim" is still just that - a claim; until Boeing can prove it in reality, I still have my doubts... and I do also have my doubts about the market for such services: yes, everyone's going to jump up and down saying "Finally a nonstop to Australia" (or vice versa), but I seriously doubt that it'll be available at the same fares that the flights via Asia are available at, and (which is probably what Qantas would prefer anyhow) the services will only be used by a relatively low amount of high yielding passengers.

Then again, there are dozens of other routes where passengers have the option of several carriers flying the route nonstop (take a look at UK-South Africa) with quite a number of high-yielding passengers still preferring to fly through either a European or even a Middle Eastern hub...

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
Looks to me that nonstop services from Australia to Europe are just about a 'done deal'. From my perspective I just have to hope that Qantas doesn't follow its usual practice of being the last airline to wake up.

If Boeing can prove that the B777-200LR can operate the route with a reasonable payload year-round then, yes, I'm willing to agree - but that still remains to be seen.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 3):
Singapore's interest is quite striking - it must be potentially a pretty good earner if they are actually planning on overflying their own hub.

Would SQ even be allowed to fly nonstop from Australia to Europe?

The sole fact that SQ is participating in a study proves absolutely nothing in regards to SYD/MEL-LHR-plans on their part; they do fly (ultra-)longhaul flights from SIN, though, so the matter is of interest for them in any case - overflying SIN does not have to be a part of their plan.

Quoting United Airline (Reply 4):
I am sure hubs between Australia and Europe will remain just as strong. For example, BKK, KUL, SIN, HKG etc.....

Absolutely - the overwhelming majority of passengers will still be flying through those hubs.

Regards,
Frank



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 35
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 8622 times:

It does look, though, as if a new category of potential route is emerging, bridging the gap between point-to-point and hub-to-hub - the 'hub-to-distant-hub' approach, which Boeing call the 'city pair'.

In a sense, Sydney-Heathrow or Sydney-Kennedy are misleading, because in terms of range, payload, and prevailing winds, they represent just about the ultimate challenge - there must be many more 'city pairs' within the comfortable range of the 772LR that are just waiting to be opened up.

Possibly in ten years or so a lot of current 'hubs' which rely on airliners having a maximum range of around 8,000 nms., but have little else to distinguish them as business or leisure destinations, will find themselves being bypassed to an increasing extent.



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineAntares From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 1402 posts, RR: 38
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 8604 times:

NAV20,

Its a beat up. These studies or their forerunners have been going on for years.

We need a better plane to do non-stops economically both ways between London and Sydney, not that the 777-200LR or A345 aren't superb machines in their own right.

If you read any of the papers on latest Friday's $800 million plus write off by Qantas you'd understand why it has other things on its mind at the moment, not to mention fuel, and $US 70 or more a barrel will be an absolute killer for the ultra long haul game, since refuelling as near to a mid point is always more cost efficient than trying to lift off with enough fuel to get the damn thing non-stop with all legal safe reserves at the other end.

Incidentally the population of Melbourne isn't 5 million yet and I'm pleasantly surprised that Perth is now half the population of Sydney in your books. Sounds like the secret about the Perth life style (water shortages aside) is getting out. Damn!

Antares


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 35
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 8560 times:

'Round figures', Antares - the forum is about aviation, not geography! The 'passenger catchment areas' of both cities are higher than their nominal populations. Personally I very much hope that Perth gets its share of the action, it's a nice quiet 'human-scale' airport compared to Tulla or KS.

As to 'feasibility', I guess we're both old enough to remember the days when trans-atlantic services had to refuel at Gander? As I see it nonstops are only a matter of time; the question is 'when', not 'if'.

[Edited 2005-06-28 10:20:44]


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineAntares From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 1402 posts, RR: 38
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 8513 times:

As Yes, I pine for Gander....Actually I've never been to Gander but I have done BOAC to Idlewild (or was it JFKby then?) via Prestwick, and absolutely no-body got on or off.

Antares


User currently offlineLX001 From Austria, joined Jun 2004, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 8465 times:

Imagine how painful such al long flight would be...

User currently offlineBHXFAOTIPYYC From Portugal, joined Jun 2005, 1644 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 8385 times:

It depends on the pax. Premium (First / biz class) would be happy to go non-stop. Econ pax would also, depending on price. Cost is the deciding factor for a majority of people


Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
User currently offlineWhiteHatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 7488 times:

It's all an issue of cost and operating economics. The old problem of having to carry your fuel to fly that last hour.

However, what would be a major plus is the desirability factor of being able to offer such a service. For airlines marketing is everything and a non-stop Europe (FRA or LHR for instance) to Australia is a powerful marketing tool.

Just like Concorde was to British Airways.

So the service might not be a great money maker, but there is the marketing factor to consider as well as the prestige angle. Just like when those Comets started flying or the first 707 services. They make extremely powerful images on televisions or cinema screens.


User currently offlineLightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13134 posts, RR: 100
Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 7092 times:
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Quoting NAV20 (Reply 3):

Singapore's interest is quite striking - it must be potentially a pretty good earner if they are actually planning on overflying their own hub.

Wow! However, hub bypass is a required part of creative distruction that is going to be required for airlines to adapt to changing economies.

Quoting Leskova (Reply 5):
but I seriously doubt that it'll be available at the same fares that the flights via Asia are available at,

True. This will be a premium fare.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 6):

Possibly in ten years or so a lot of current 'hubs' which rely on airliners having a maximum range of around 8,000 nms., but have little else to distinguish them as business or leisure destinations, will find themselves being bypassed to an increasing extent.

This is already happening on a shorter range scale with the A332 and B763ER. I agree that any surviving hubs will have to have significant O&D markets or as NAV20 put it "distinguish" themselves.

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 12):
It's all an issue of cost and operating economics. The old problem of having to carry your fuel to fly that last hour.

True. Even as a fluids engineer it amazes me how once you cross a certain weight the drag increases markedly due to a drop in wing efficiency. (CL/CD drops at high flight weights)

Is it just me, or are the airlines who are initiating ultra long haul service getting some really valuable experience? For instance, that tidbit on two rest shifts per flight dramatically improving crew performance. I wonder if that's why the 4 hour shift on aircraft is best versus the old 6 hour on ships as aircraft are not 24 hour flights (yet)?

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineGlideslope From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1617 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 7069 times:

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 12):
So the service might not be a great money maker, but there is the marketing factor to consider as well as the prestige angle

Exactly where the 772LR is positioning. And IMO, it's going to shine.  Smile



To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
User currently offlineBOSPMV From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 305 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 7061 times:

I am wondering how long of a flight LHR-SYD non-stop would be? 18 or 19 hrs?

how many miles is it between the 2 cities?


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8278 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6791 times:

QF flew a 744 nonstop from LHR to SYD some years ago - it took 21 hours as I recall. Each pax was allowed 1 carry-on and the "cargo" was a football.

User currently offlineVegas005 From Switzerland, joined Mar 2005, 320 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6702 times:

Wow .. I worked 15 hours today and nobody asked me to go take a nap. What a frickin joke. You get on a plane say ZRH to DFW and the captain is out checking to make sure a business class seat is available for his nap 30 seconds after take off.


oh well..


User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 18, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6508 times:

Quoting Vegas005 (Reply 17):
Wow .. I worked 15 hours today and nobody asked me to go take a nap. What a frickin joke. You get on a plane say ZRH to DFW and the captain is out checking to make sure a business class seat is available for his nap 30 seconds after take off.

I once worked 799 hours in two calendar months. That's close to what an airline pilot works in a year. However, we really do want our pilots to be well rested. While pilots were smart enough to take checklists from sailors, they have not been smart enough to take 4 hour watches. Centuries of experience have shown that four hour watches work better than 2 hour, 3 hour, 6 hour, 8 hour, or 12 hour watches. Bravo to SQ for taking an openminded approach.

As to the original question, of course, LHR-SYD will be operated nonstop. There is enormous demand between LHR and SYD/MEL. Much of this demand is for premium business traffic willing to pay premium fares. Some of this demand will prefer a nonstop. I would have thought it would be BA and QF, but the idea of SQ flying this is interesting. Do SQ have the rights to fly SIN-LHR-SYD-SIN?


User currently offlineAntares From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 1402 posts, RR: 38
Reply 19, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6001 times:

Zvezda,

On this issue I keep feeling like the budgerigar in the mine shaft warning that all is not well. The premium fare market is descending into danger territory, with too few rich individual buyers, and too many corporations who have suddenly worked out they can save prodigious amounts of money shopping around for cheaper but still premium product fares.

The result is that it is economy passenger derived cash flow that is subsidising the rich b*stards up front, not the other way around. As in 300 Y class fares versus the equivalent of four full P and 20 full J on some flights, in which the load might be 40 J paying half the ridiculous price actually posted on the carrier's web site.

What goes around comes around of course, but at the moment, there is only one issue for Qantas and some other leading carriers. How the hell are we going to pay for $18 billion worth of new jets already on order when we are earning only two of every three dollars needed to pay current costs of capital?

A heads up on Qantas as well. A very senior person is going to leave at least one year sooner than he has said. Wonder why?

Antares


User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 20, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5059 times:

Quoting Antares (Reply 19):

The result is that it is economy passenger derived cash flow that is subsidising the rich b*stards up front, not the other way around. As in 300 Y class fares versus the equivalent of four full P and 20 full J on some flights, in which the load might be 40 J paying half the ridiculous price actually posted on the carrier's web site.

The passengers who are subsidized are those who are upgraded. Those paying F and C class fares are paying their way. When I fly UA, I am being subsidized by those in the back of the plane. When I fly SQ, I am not being subsidized at all.


User currently offlineSpark From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 431 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4092 times:

Back when the SIN-EWR/LAX flight was in the rumor stage I begin to investigate which other city pairs would be possible challengers for the longest flight in the world.
LHR-SYD has got to be the longest city pair that would be profitable for an airline to pursue.
From what I read in this forum, I think people are misreading the information. I didn't read anything that said that SQ and Emirates are interested in a SYD-LHR route (which would be profitable, but likely not in thier scope, or best interest). They are interested in research on ULR flights, along with Qantas, which all have a lot of potential ULR flights.


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 35
Reply 22, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3919 times:

I think that's fair comment, Spark. On the other hand, both Singapore and Emirates fly the Kangaroo Route (via Singapore and Dubai respectively) and would have to stay competitive if anyone else starts a nonstop service on it.

Interesting that all three airlines serving the route are ALSO A380 customers. The possibility arises of two-tier service - nonstop at an 'Executive Economy' premium, or 'cattle -class' with a three-hour stop halfway.

You're right about the scope for other 'city pairs'. I don't know the region well, but my guess is that there is lots of scope for those connecting South American cities to North America and Europe.



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 23, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3866 times:

Quoting Spark (Reply 21):

LHR-SYD has got to be the longest city pair that would be profitable for an airline to pursue.

NRT-GRU and LHR-AKL are longer and have more than enough demand to justify nonstop service.


User currently offlineAvek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4387 posts, RR: 19
Reply 24, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3848 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 22):
Interesting that all three airlines serving the route are ALSO A380 customers.

Since when did BA and CX order an A380? They compete effectively on UK-Oz too.



Live life to the fullest.
25 VEEREF : Really? 30 seconds after we take off we regular mortals are still running checklists, cleaning the airplane up, complying with the departure procedur
26 Post contains images Lehpron : Can passengers experience fatigue on ULH flights or does the option of getting up and walking around makes them exempt? Is there anything to do once
27 Antares : If you guys dig around you'll find estimates from an outstanding airline source that the break even cost per seat for approxaimately 70 passengers of
28 Post contains links NAV20 : Forgive me, Antares, but I can't see where on earth you get the '70 passengers' figure from? Allowing for the 2% fuel-burn improvement, Boeing claim
29 Antares : NAV20, Sorry, you haven't even grasped the fundamentals of airliner payload range performance if I understand my sources, and be assured, I certainly
30 Iwok : Antares, you have lost me too.... Where does the 70 seats number come from? If SQ is getting 181 seats on the 345, then QF should be able to take aro
31 Antares : Iwok, The flight time from ERW-SIN is around 18 hours 50 minutes to 19 hours 20 minutes, in northern winter conditions SYD-LHR the flight time could b
32 Monteycarlos : You said it yourself NAV and this is the big issue... why would QF put on a flight for 200 people and waste a slot that potentially could get 501 pax
33 N1120A : They aren't. The over 700,000 pound 777s have already outperformed any expectation ever had of them by leaps and bounds. Still, the 772LR does not ha
34 Post contains images NAV20 : Well, if neither of us understand the 70 passenger figure, Antares, perhaps we can afford to disregard it? What I do know is that I’ve helped to pr
35 Antares : NAV20, I appeciate the effort you have put into this, however you say you think the break even factor is about 250 passengers. BA only gets 220 passen
36 Zvezda : I think I understand the 70 passenger figure. I believe that Antares is asserting that a B777-200LR with a full fuel load (including the 3 belly tank
37 Antares : Zvezda, My exact note of this conversation is that 'with 70 pax delivered to London the cost is the same as 400 going one stop'. From that I inferred
38 Monteycarlos : Keep dreaming Nav...
39 OHLBU : Just to be curious, how about the performance of the A345HGW? I´m not aware if Airbus has officially lauched the type or if they ever will, but if th
40 StickShaker : ..."In fact I agree with your proposition that non-stops on the route are assured, just not yet, and not, unfortunately, with the 777-200LR".... If it
41 Antares : OHLBU, Somehow I think you are right about the small size of the market. Such a jet has to be useful in some other role. Boeing has made the 777-200LR
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