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LH @ PDX: Why?  
User currently offlineLemurs From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1439 posts, RR: 4
Posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2872 times:

So the other thread got me wondering...why in the world does LH have a 744 going to PDX, and nothing to SEA? PDX supports exactly 4 Int'l flights right now that I see, only two of which are longhaul. YVR on Air Canada, and MEX on Mexicana aren't really long-haul, and FRA on LH and NRT on NW are. The question is, since no US airline really calls PDX home, where do they get the seats from?

My best guess is that NW has taken the PDX O&D Asia market by offering good connections through NRT, and LH has done the same thing with Europe through FRA, and neither would be very happy if they got some competition in there since they have the market locked up right now. Is there a real business demand for these two flights in PDX? Does anyone know if there's a lot of connecting traffic once on the US Side? I can't imagine so since the connection opportunities are limited to mostly large hubs and then small Pacific Northwest communities through QX...

Are there other airports that have this kind of strange arrangement? This all confuses me greatly.


There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary, and those that don't.
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCschleic From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 1228 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2846 times:

Which other thread?

There are some older threads discussing LH at PDX, but in general....

After losing the Delta mini hub, the Port of Portland made a concerted effort to attract non-stop overseas flights - Asia, Europe, Latin America. One carrier for each geographic area. They secured Lufthansa with various incentives including local companies pledging to purchase tickets and I believe no landing fees for the first year. There are business connections...for example, Freightliner is owned by Daimler, plus a number of tech/other companies in the Portland area...Nike, Intel, HP, software, etc. Also, there is strong tourist traffic from Germany to the Northwest, particularly for outdoor activities. I've flown round trips twice and both times there were plenty of Germans on the plane, as well as PDX/Pacific Northwest originating. All four flights were full, and they were in April and May. Luftansa doesn't fly to SEA, and there's plenty of Europe service there, so PDX made sense for them for another west coast gateway. The incentives were strong enough that the first year was very low risk for them. The Port had to make significant changes to the customs area for service to work.

Currently the flights are A-340 in three class...haven't seen anything about a 744. They're three or four times/week in winter, daily during spring/summer. I saw the LH station manager speak a while back and he was generally satisfied with the traffic. He did mention they'd like to have a larger plane during the summer and simply said "we're working on that."

Mexicana recently expanded to daily due to strong traffic. There's a large hispanic population in Oregon so there's certainly demand. Northwest was won over for the Asia flight. Again, tech business as well as codeshare with Horizon/Alaska for connections. Northwest moved concourses so their passengers wouldn't have to change sides of the terminal for connections. That was a condition of their's...no passengers having to redo security for a connection.

Horizon also flies PDX-YVR.


User currently offlineUSAIRWAYS321 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1837 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2838 times:

Quoting Cschleic (Reply 1):
Which other thread?

The thread about Northwest "vanishing" brings up PDX longhaul routes at some point.


User currently offlineBlatantEcho From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1896 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2835 times:

they used the Star Alliance A343 today too.

Spend 3 minutes on the river at the right time and you see all sorts of cool stuff Big grin



They're not handing trophies out today
User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2826 times:

Quoting Lemurs (Thread starter):
why in the world does LH have a 744 going to PDX

Never a 744...unless of an aircraft substitution at the last minute.

I do know for a fact that there was an LH 744 that landed at PDX a while back, but that was a diversion from SFO, due to an LH flight attendant becoming ill. They landed at PDX, took her to the hospital, and the continued on to MUC or FRA. FRA-PDX has always been an A343.

Quoting Lemurs (Thread starter):
no US airline really calls PDX home, where do they get the seats from?

For one, UA sells a lot of seats on it, and is part of the revenue sharing agreement. Star passengers in Oregon/Washington who don't want to monkey around at ORD or IAD can fly LH to FRA and beyond, and still earn UA/Star miles.

Quoting Lemurs (Thread starter):
My best guess is that NW has taken the PDX O&D Asia market by offering good connections through NRT, and LH has done the same thing with Europe through FRA, and neither would be very happy if they got some competition in there since they have the market locked up right now

   Fortunately for LH and NW, there's currently just enough demand to support one airline on each routing to Asia and Europe. With the growth of the Portland area, these airlines will either go to double daily in the case of NW, or with LH, go daily year-round.

Quoting Lemurs (Thread starter):
Is there a real business demand for these two flights in PDX?

Oh, absolutely...the cargo alone is enough to make both very profitable. NW looked very closely at the cargo potential on the PDX-NRT route before committing to starting service. LH did the same, and benefits from the likes of Nike, Freightliner, Adidas, and several other smaller companies with strong ties to Germany. For passengers, it means not having to go through SFO or LAX to Asia, and avoiding ORD and IAD to Europe. I'm sure some of the LH passengers and cargo are coming down from Seattle as well, adding to the bottom line. NW is daily, and LH is daily in the summer season only, and drops to 3x or 4x in the off-season.

SEA on the other hand has NW to AMS, BA to LHR, SK to CPH, so LH would find it harder to compete to FRA, so instead they decided to corner the market in PDX.

[Edited 2005-11-28 06:43:35]

User currently offlineUSAIRWAYS321 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1837 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2807 times:

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 4):
SEA on the other hand has NW to AMS, BA to LHR, SK to CPH, so LH would find it harder to compete to FRA, so instead they decided to corner the market in PDX.

Exactly. The market is full as it is, and why bother competing with Star partner SK to CPH? I'm sure LH gets connecting passengers on the backend of that route as it is.


User currently offlineLemurs From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1439 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2777 times:

I realized why they'd not be eager to come to SEA...I just wasn't sure what the appeal of PDX was. The incentives the Port of Portland put foward sound too hard to resist though, so that makes quite a bit of sense. I was checking out the fares and thought I saw 744 on there, which is really what made me scratch my head. I think I mis-read with a for a United flight through ORD though. An A340 makes much, MUCH more sense.

The business opportunities make sense, but no more so than SEA...though as someone else said, they get their cut from SAS there. I've always wondered what the point of the SAS flight is from SEA though, espc given it's limited operating scheduling. I know Star needs some kind of Europe presence here because OneWorld and SkyTeam are well represented here...it just seems like UA would want in on it.



There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary, and those that don't.
User currently offlineUSAIRWAYS321 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1837 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2772 times:

Quoting Lemurs (Reply 6):
I've always wondered what the point of the SAS flight is from SEA though

There is a huge Scandinavian presence in and around the Seattle area. Western Washington has one of the largest populations of Scandinavian descent in the US, most notably in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard.

[Edited 2005-11-28 07:02:02]

User currently offlineLemurs From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1439 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2747 times:

Quoting USAIRWAYS321 (Reply 7):
There is a huge Scandinavian presence in and around the Seattle area. It's one of the leading ethnic backgrounds in Western Washington, most notably in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard.

LOL, I know many of them. Big grin I also hardly ever hear of any who travel "to the old country"; most are very old at this point, or 2nd and 3rd generation and have no real familial ties to their ancestral homes.

I know MANY more business people who take that flight to connect elsewhere in Europe because they are Star flyers and it's their best option. They do have quite a little following though becuase of the free Internet. That's a big deal in a geek-megalopolis like SEA.



There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary, and those that don't.
User currently offlineRwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3068 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2737 times:

Quoting USAIRWAYS321 (Reply 7):
There is a huge Scandinavian presence in and around the Seattle area. Western Washington has one of the largest populations of Scandinavian descent in the US, most notably in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard.

Building on that, SK has flown SEA-CPH for decades, going back to the early days of transpolar flights. The flight remains today, and is rumored as one of the most profitable in the SK system. SK generally enjoys a good reputation in the Seattle area, and UA provides some connecting pax from PDX/SFO/LAX. If it ain't broke, why change it just because SK doesn't serve places like MIA or LAX?


User currently offlineStirling From Italy, joined Jun 2004, 3943 posts, RR: 22
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2705 times:

Quoting Lemurs (Thread starter):
why in the world does LH have a 744 going to PDX, and nothing to SEA?

As mentioned previously...its an A343 most of the time.

Quoting Lemurs (Thread starter):
since no US airline really calls PDX home, where do they get the seats from?

Think beyond just seats.

And think about this:

24,000lbs.
That's the average freight load hauled by Lufthansa. (Oct2005)

Or around 1.4 million pounds per month.

Of all the passenger airlines at PDX, Lufthansa is number ONE in freight.

This year alone total freight carried by LH has increased from 5,700 tons to 6,100 tons.

So. Why is Lufthansa in Portland?  dollarsign 

Overall the airport, through October has handled 228,000 tons of freight.
(FedEx is the runaway king with 99,000 of those tons.)

source:
http://www.portofportland.com/SelfPo..._20051121105758Oct2005Webstats.pdf



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User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32189 posts, RR: 72
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2698 times:

Quoting USAIRWAYS321 (Reply 7):

There is a huge Scandinavian presence in and around the Seattle area. Western Washington has one of the largest populations of Scandinavian descent in the US, most notably in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard.

That isn't what is supporting this service.

SAS has been flying to Seattle for almost forty years...since 1968. They have built huge brand loyalty in the area. For many people in Seattle, SAS is "the" way to fly to Europe. They have built a great niche for themselves in Seattle.



a.
User currently offlineLemurs From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1439 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2664 times:

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 11):
SAS has been flying to Seattle for almost forty years...since 1968. They have built huge brand loyalty in the area. For many people in Seattle, SAS is "the" way to fly to Europe. They have built a great niche for themselves in Seattle.

I didn't realize it had been going for that long, that is impressive. It's going a big far though to say that people here consider SAS "the" way to fly to Europe. BA operates a daily 744 to LHR that is always popular (and full ,that I can tell), along with the NW/KL A333 to AMS. SAS may be slight more exclusive, but I know far more people who take those flights to Europe. I'm glad they're here though, it certainly gives SeaTac a little more flavor than it would have otherwise.



There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary, and those that don't.
User currently offlineWedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5831 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 2474 times:
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From what I've heard, Boeing prefers to fly people on SK over BA unless they are traveling directly to the UK. It's been my understanding that SK offers lower fares to Europe than BA.

It probably won't happen, but I wouldn't mind seeing additional European airlines like Finnair, Icelandair or Air France to serve SEA. Of course, we are in competition with both PDX and YVR for additional service.

However, SEA has seen the addition of two Asian carriers, China Airlines and Korean Air, in the last year or so.

ANA or JAL would be good to see in SEA. However, I see that as unlikely with the presence of UA and NW in the NRT-SEA market.


User currently offlineLemurs From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1439 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 2339 times:

Quoting Wedgetail737 (Reply 13):
From what I've heard, Boeing prefers to fly people on SK over BA unless they are traveling directly to the UK. It's been my understanding that SK offers lower fares to Europe than BA.

It probably won't happen, but I wouldn't mind seeing additional European airlines like Finnair, Icelandair or Air France to serve SEA. Of course, we are in competition with both PDX and YVR for additional service.

Sort of. SK is much cheaper in Business class, but BA is much cheaper in coach and coach+. I guess we know how Boeing flies people to Europe though. Big grin

I've heard others mention AF, but it seems like a small market to come into when there is already a very strong SkyTeam presence. That said, I wouldn't mind seeing AZ here with an MXP flight, but the only Italians in this city are me and the garbage man.  Smile



There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary, and those that don't.
User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2293 times:

Quoting Wedgetail737 (Reply 13):
From what I've heard, Boeing prefers to fly people on SK over BA unless they are traveling directly to the UK. It's been my understanding that SK offers lower fares to Europe than BA.

Ironic...Boeing flys folks over on A340 instead of BA, who uses 772/744s to LHR. Not trying to start an A vs. B war, but I just wanted to point out the irony that price is a more important factor to Boeing than having their people fly on Boeing products.


User currently offlineCschleic From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 1228 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2067 times:

Knowing corporate expense patterns, I'd bet cost is the determining factor vs. type of plane. Besides, large companies like Boeing often pledge volumes of tickets. In past years SK has flown DC-10's, 767's and now A-340's SEA-CPH, so that changes anyway.

I flew SK to from SEA through CPH to Athens many years ago. Service was great. At that time, on the way back, the schedule forced an overnight in CPH, but SK paid and it was fun so that actually was a draw for me. These days, though, with more direct flights it's probably a negative. I believe the schedule leaves CPH later in the day now because of things like that. But I recall SK being a popular alternative from the Northwest. Having flown LH PDX-FRA a couple of times, and knowing many people who have, taking one long flight to Europe, then a short connection onward, is much easier than three shorter flights (say to ORD then FRA then xxxx).

I wonder if it's popular with the crews. Last time a F/A asked about where to buy an iPod. Oregon has no sales tax, so....load up on that shopping.

Another option with some, which I've done once, is through Vancouver, BC. Great connection airport and often better prices through YVR than others.


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6265 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1985 times:

Quoting Lemurs (Thread starter):
So the other thread got me wondering...why in the world does LH have a 744 going to PDX, and nothing to SEA?

In a word: Freightliner (part of the DaimlerChrysler group). Headquarters are in north Portland.

I'm sure the tourism crowd is just (low-yield) icing on the cake for them.

Also, last I checked they were using A340's to PDX...



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
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