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EK At DXB: Cracking The Connectivity Code  
User currently offlineHB-IWC From Greece, joined Sep 2000, 4498 posts, RR: 72
Posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 15650 times:

Emirates Airline of Dubai continues to score headlines thanks to its explosive growth and the establishment of a longhaul network that spans almost every corner of the planet. The Dubai-based airline has, in a mere twenty years, firmly positioned itself as a player to be reckoned with. Yet, despite its 86-strong wide body fleet, which is due to grow further at staggering rates, this airline's home base is not a particularly large market, and therefore, EK is using the long established hub and spoke model to optimally organize its ambitious growth plans.

High time, therefore, for an in-depth look at the Emirates operational environment, Cracking Emirates' Connectivity Code, or, how has this airline managed to come up with an operational model that allows passengers to easily and efficiently connect through its Dubai homebase, and yet reach their final destinations within an acceptable time frame. Even more interesting is the question how EK has been able to set up this system using limited resources, because, let's face it, a fleet of 86 aircraft is not all that much, and the established hub and spoke players often have hundreds of aircraft at their disposition.

The data used in this research pertain to the week of 11 - 17 September. Given the dynamic nature of airline operations, it is likely that these data are not entirely accurate for other periods, yet the overall picture is definitely similar.


EK DXB Departure Operational Organization

As in every hub and spoke model, EK's departures are scheduled in a couple of waves or banks, which each of those waves containing a large number of departures in a relatively concentrated time frame.

A close look at the following chart, which represents the number of EK weekly departure movements in function of the time of the day, clearly reveals the airline's departure structure:



The picture indicates two main departure banks as well as two smaller departure waves, centered around these times:

02.00 - 04.00 longhaul departure back containing mainly eastbound traffic

07.00 - 10.00 main departure bank containing northbound (Europe), southbound (Africa) and Australia bound traffic

14.00 - 16.00 secondary departure bank for European destinations

22.00 - 23.00 secondary departure bank for regional destinations in the Gulf area and on the Indian Subcontinent

A list of EK departing flights, sorted by their departure times looks as follows (flight number as well as destination indicated):

Bank 1
0115 975 THR
0130 604 KHI
0145 853 KWI
0200 201 JFK
0200 582 DAC
0210 705 SEZ
0230 007 LHR
0230 847 DOH
0235 420 PER
0245 011 LGW
0245 314 NGO
0245 404 SIN MEL
0245 544 MAA
0245 550 CMB
0250 302 PVG
0250 316 KIX
0250 552 CMB MLE
0255 612 ISB
0255 701 MRU
0300 306 PEK
0300 322 ICN
0300 556 MLE CMB
0310 346 KUL CGK
0315 384 BKK HKG
0320 332 MNL
0325 530 COK
0330 348 CMB SIN CGK
0330 624 LHE
0345 526 HYD
0400 504 BOM
0410 558 MLE CMB
0410 761 JNB
0435 510 DEL
0450 636 PEW

Bank 2
0705 961 SAH
0715 095 FCO NCE
0715 911 DAM
0725 901 AMM
0730 787 ACC ABJ
0745 001 LHR
0745 855 KWI
0745 971 THR
0750 017 MAN
0750 025 GLA
0750 751 CMN
0755 093 MXP FCO
0755 097 FCO MXP
0755 098 MXP
0800 600 KHI
0805 015 LGW
0805 039 BHX
0820 073 CDG
0825 045 FRA
0825 723 ADD EBB
0825 841 DOH
0825 862 MCT
0830 055 DUS
0830 203 JFK
0830 837 BAH
0835 049 MUC
0835 107 LCA MLA
0835 334 MNL
0840 087 ZRH
0845 432 SIN BNE AKL
0850 386 BKK HKG
0850 927 CAI
0855 059 HAM
0900 418 BKK SYD AKL
0900 747 TIP
0910 127 VIE
0910 352 SIN KUL
0910 931 ALY
0915 344 CGK SIN
0930 133 DME
0935 105 ATH
0940 372 BKK HKG
0945 380 HKG
0950 029 LHR
0950 783 LOS
0955 342 KUL
0955 763 JNB
1000 606 KHI
1000 725 DAR
1005 424 PER
1005 719 NBO
1010 406 MEL AKL
1015 412 SYD CHC
1020 707 SEZ

Bank 3
1315 584 DAC
1330 502 BOM
1400 903 AMM
1400 911 DAM
1415 003 LHR
1415 843 DOH
1430 047 FRA
1430 121 IST
1430 717 NBO DAR
1430 721 NBO EBB
1435 019 MAN
1440 733 KRT
1445 057 DUS
1500 009 LGW
1500 075 CDG
1510 037 BHX
1510 923 CAI
1615 005 LHR
1615 857 KWI
1630 051 MUC

1630 825 DMM
1700 803 JED
1800 839 BAH
1815 602 KHI
1815 977 THR
1825 817 RUH
2035 859 KWI

Bank 4
2125 542 MAA
2200 524 HYD
2200 622 LHE
2200 821 DMM
2215 614 ISB
2215 845 DOH
2225 512 DEL
2230 500 BOM
2245 864 MCT


EK DXB Arrival Operational Organization

EK's arrival schedule is, quite obviously, also structured in waves of arriving flights, as indicated in the following chart, which represents EK's weekly arrival movements at DXB in function of the time of the day:



The arrivals chart reveals no more than two main arrival waves with the other arrival banks insignificant compared to those main banks. These main arrival banks are centered around these times:

04.00 - 06.00 major overnight arrival bank carrying traffic from the entire network and feeding into the 7-10am departure bank to Europe, Africa and Australia

23.00 - 01.00 daylight arrival bank, consisting mainly of inbound European traffic and feeding into the 2-4am eastbound departure bank

Two secondary arrival waves are centered around the following times:

11.00 - 13.00 secondary arrivals bank feeding into the 2-4pm European departures bank. This arrival wave contains mainly regional traffic, including some flights from the Indian Subcontinent

19.00 - 21.00 secondary arrivals bank feeding into the 10pm regional and India/Pakistan departure wave

The exact list of EK arrival movements, sorted by their arrival times looks as follows (flight number and origin indicated):

Bank 1
0320 783 LOS
0350 352 SIN KUL
0355 342 KUL
0415 334 MNL
0430 384 BKK HKG
0445 346 KUL CGK
0500 302 PVG
0500 314 NGO
0500 316 KIX
0505 306 PEK
0510 322 ICN
0510 404 SIN MEL
0515 763 JNB
0520 344 CGK SIN
0520 558 MLE CMB
0530 348 CMB SIN CGK
0530 707 SEZ
0535 057 DUS
0535 418 BKK SYD AKL
0540 406 MEL AKL
0540 420 PER
0540 622 LHE
0545 412 SYD CHC
0545 847 DOH
0550 614 ISB
0550 787 ACC ABJ
0600 432 SIN BNE AKL
0600 500 BOM
0600 701 MRU
0610 512 DEL
0620 386 BKK HKG
0620 853 KWI
0625 003 LHR
0630 051 MUC
0630 075 CDG
0630 975 THR
0635 524 HYD
0640 047 FRA
0645 542 MAA
0645 604 KHI
0645 717 NBO DAR
0645 721 NBO EBB
0700 019 MAN
0710 009 LGW
0710 037 BHX
0810 201 JFK
0825 005 LHR

Bank 2
1040 612 ISB
1110 624 LHE
1115 504 BOM
1145 841 DOH
1145 862 MCT
1150 837 BAH
1210 380 HKG
1215 510 DEL
1215 855 KWI
1220 526 HYD
1240 636 PEW
1245 530 COK
1245 705 SEZ
1250 550 CMB
1300 971 THR
1310 582 DAC
1315 600 KHI
1320 424 PER
1340 961 SAH

1450 911 DAM
1500 552 CMB MLE
1510 556 MLE CMB
1510 901 AMM
1515 606 KHI
1700 843 DOH
1730 927 CAI

Bank 3
1830 007 LHR
1900 931 ALY
2000 011 LGW
2000 203 JFK
2015 825 DMM
2030 502 BOM
2040 857 KWI
2110 903 AMM
2125 911 DAM
2130 839 BAH

Bank 4
2255 127 VIE
2300 544 MAA
2300 725 DAR
2310 747 TIP
2315 719 NBO
2325 045 FRA
2325 817 RUH
2330 105 ATH
2330 133 DME
2330 332 MNL
2330 372 BKK HKG
2335 602 KHI
2340 055 DUS
2345 049 MUC
2345 093 MXP FCO
2345 977 THR
2350 923 CAI
2355 001 LHR
2355 059 HAM
2355 087 ZRH
0005 015 LGW
0010 017 MAN
0010 039 BHX
0015 073 CDG
0015 733 KRT
0020 761 JNB
0025 097 FCO MXP
0025 098 MXP
0025 584 DAC
0025 803 JED
0030 107 LCA MLA
0035 121 IST
0040 025 GLA
0045 723 ADD EBB
0100 859 KWI
0115 095 FCO NCE
0115 845 DOH
0130 751 CMN
0130 821 DMM
0135 864 MCT
0255 029 LHR


Integrated Emirates Operational Model at DXB

Based on the information above pertaining to departure and arrival movements, one can build a pretty accurate picture of the typical EK Operational Day at its Dubai home base:

12 midnight - the late evening arrival bank is in full swing, with lots of flights arriving into DXB from destinations in Europe, Africa and the Gulf Region. Many of these passengers will connect to flights bound for the East just an hour or two later.

2 am - the first outbound wave of the day starts moving. Flights go mainly to the East, with destinations around Asia being served from this departure bank, which will last until 4am.

4am - with the Eastbound flight airborne, DXB starts receiving the early morning overnight longhaul traffic. During a 3-hour window, EK flights from all around the world will end their overnight journey at DXB. This arrivals wave contains traffic from Australia, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Gulf and Indian Subcontinent region. After just a 2-hour layover at DXB, many of these passengers will continue their journey to destinations in Europe, Africa and the Gulf region, which are served by EK's 7am departure wave.

7am - second departure wave of the day, with service to all of EK's European destinations, as well as destinations in Africa and Australia. The aircraft bound for Europe will return to DXB around midnight carrying passengers in the 11pm arrival hub. The Australia bound flights will not return to DXB for another 2 days.

10am - end of the main departure bank of the day and the airport gets quiet. At around 11am a small wave of inbound regional traffic will bring passengers and airframes into DXB, which will connect into the secondary 2pm European departure bank.

2pm - secondary European departure bank. This wave contains mainly European traffic to airports which receive twice daily EK service. This departure bank is not of the same magnitude as the two main departure events of the day.

4pm - the quietest moments of the day are setting in. There is very limited EK traffic at DXB, with mostly regional flight programmed between hubs taking off and landing. DXB will remain very calm until about 8pm.

8pm - small EK arrivals bank from the region and a couple of mid range destinations, feeding into an equally small 10pm departure bank bound for the Gulf region and the Subcontinent.

10pm - regional departure bank bound for destinations in the Gulf Area, Pakistan and India. Otherwise, calm before the storm.

11pm - start of the large midnight arrivals wave from Europe, which started this paragraph. Flights from Europe, Africa and the Gulf region will feed their passengers into DXB, assuring connectivity with the 2am departure bank once more.


Emirates Hub Analysis

Combining both arrival and departure movements allows one to take a closer look at the overall hub performance. The following chart represents the total weekly aircraft movements (both arrival and departure) in function of the time of the day:



The description of the Emirates operational day is confirmed by this picture, which shows the 5-10am time window, containing the overnight arrivals bank and the ensuing early morning departure bank as the main event of the day. The picture also clearly confirms the relative quiescence of DXB in the late afternoon and early evening, before gearing up again for the late evening arrivals wave followed by the early morning departure block.

Smaller peaks in the curve around the early afternoon represent the noon secondary arrival wave and the ensuing early afternoon secondary European departure wave.

This chart of Emirates' Dubai movements clearly indicates the typical problems a hub and spoke model of relatively small size like this one has to deal with: there are periods of relative congestion in which the airport and airline is extremely busy, but there are also time frames where relatively little is happening.

This heterogeneous spread of traffic has repercussions for airport congestion in all possible aspects, from runway and taxiway congestion during peak arrival and departure periods, to the availability of gates and check in stands, the congestion of waiting lounges and restaurant outlets to problems pertaining to staffing.

The solution to this heterogeneously spread activity which is inherent to the operation of a wave-based hub and spoke model has been introduced by some large US carriers like UA and DL, which have introduced the so called rolling hub. The rolling hub does not feature restricted time windows for arriving and departing waves of traffic but is supported by a constant flow of arriving and departing traffic.

However, in order to make such a model feasible, it is necessary to operate at least 8 daily flights to most destinations in the network, something which is impossible for an airline of the size of Emirates, or indeed even for larger airlines like the main European companies.

Given the average stage length of its flights, it is highly unlikely that EK will ever be able to abandon the banked hub and spoke model and the future will likely bring more traffic centered in the exact same arrival and departure banks as the ones operated by the airline today.


Aircraft Movement

Obviously, the Emirates fleet is used network wide, and aircraft are flowing through the system according the same hub and spoke pattern as the passengers they carry. As such, aircraft arriving in a certain arrival wave are likely to be deployed again in the ensuing departure wave.

In order to illustrate the flow of aircraft through the hub and spoke system, I have set up the following chart, which indicates the flow of EK's 29-strong A332 fleet on Friday, September 15, 2006:





The charts above indicate for each time window (mind the different lengths of different time windows) the number of A332 arrivals and departures and which destinations are involved. As such the chart gives some idea about the flow of aircraft through the system and also the number of degrees of operational freedom, which is an important measurement for operational stability.


Geographical Diversification

A further step into the thorough understanding of the Emirates Operational Model involves a discussion about operational patterns for flights to different parts of the EK network.

EK001-200 Europe

The list below indicates all current flights to this region (some of these flights are not daily), sorted by flight number, as well as their departure and arrival times at DXB:

001 LHR 0745 2355
003 LHR 1415 0625
005 LHR 1615 0825
007 LHR 0230 1830
009 LGW 1500 0710
011 LGW 0245 2000
015 LGW 0805 0005
017 MAN 0750 0010
019 MAN 1435 0700
025 GLA 0750 0040
029 LHR 0950 0255
037 BHX 1510 0710
039 BHX 0805 0010
045 FRA 0825 2325
047 FRA 1430 0640
049 MUC 0835 2345
051 MUC 1630 0630
055 DUS 0830 2340
057 DUS 1445 0535
059 HAM 0855 2355
073 CDG 0820 0015
075 CDG 1500 0630
087 ZRH 0840 2355
093 MXP FCO 0755 2345
095 FCO NCE 0715 0115
097 FCO MXP 0755 0025
098 MXP 0755 0025
105 ATH 0935 2330
107 LCA MLA 0835 0030
121 IST 1430 0035
127 VIE 0910 2255
133 DME 0930 2330

The Europe flights are the backbone of the Emirates network and, as already discussed above, these flights operate according to only two operational patterns, with the main pattern departing in the morning and arriving back around midnight feeding into the early morning eastbound departure hub, and the second wave of European departures leaving DXB in the early afternoon and returning to DXB around 6am in time for the morning departure wave.


EK201-300 North America

201 JFK 0200 0810
203 JFK 0830 2000

Only two flights feature in EK's current North American operation, but they both seamlessly fit into the operational structure of the airline. Any future North American additions can be expected to follow similar operational patterns.


EK301-400 Asia

302 PVG 0250 0500
306 PEK 0300 0505
314 NGO 0245 0500
316 KIX 0250 0500
322 ICN 0300 0510
332 MNL 0320 2330
334 MNL 0835 0415
342 KUL 0955 0355
344 CGK SIN 0915 0520
346 KUL CGK 0310 0445
348 SIN CGK 0330 0530
352 SIN KUL 0910 0350
372 BKK HKG 0940 2330
380 HKG 0945 1210
384 BKK HKG 0315 0430
386 BKK HKG 0850 0620

Asia-bound traffic is mainly departing DXB in the main early morning departure bank and almost all Asia originating traffic arrives back at the home base in the early morning arrivals bank, feeding into the morning European departure wave.


EK401-500 Oceania

404 SIN MEL 0245 0510
406 MEL AKL 1010 0540
412 SYD CHC 1015 0545
418 SYD AKL 0900 0535
420 PER 0235 0540
424 PER 1005 1320
432 BNE AKL 0845 0600

Most Australia-bound traffic leaves DXB at the end of the morning departure bank and these aircraft do not return to their homebase for almost two full days, because of the relatively long ground times and tag ons in the Oceania region. Inbound Aussie traffic feeds into the main morning departure bank.


EK501-600 Indian Subcontinent

500 BOM 2230 0600
502 BOM 1330 2030
504 BOM 0400 1115
510 DEL 0435 1215
512 DEL 2225 0610
524 HYD 2200 0635
526 HYD 0345 1220
530 COK 0325 1245
542 MAA 2125 0645
544 MAA 0245 2300
550 CMB 0245 1250
552 CMB MLE 0250 1500
556 MLE CMB 0300 1510
558 MLE CMB 0410 0520
582 DAC 0200 1310
584 DAC 1315 0025

Because of the shorter stage length, Emirates has more flexibility in scheduling flights to the Indian subcontinent, but most of the flights depart either in the early morning departure bank or in the small 10pm bank, and inbound traffic feeds the morning and early afternoon European departure banks. The same remarks are valid for the Pakistan traffic hereunder:


EK601-700 Pakistan

600 KHI 0800 1315
602 KHI 1815 2335
604 KHI 0130 0645
606 KHI 1000 1515
612 ISB 0255 1040
614 ISB 2215 0550
622 LHE 2200 0540
624 LHE 0330 1110
636 PEW 0450 1240


EK701-800 Africa

701 MRU 0255 0600
705 SEZ 0210 1245
707 SEZ 1020 0530
717 NBO DAR 1430 0645
719 NBO 1005 2315
721 NBO EBB 1430 0645
723 ADD EBB 0825 0045
725 DAR 1000 2300
733 KRT 1440 0015
747 TIP 0900 2310
751 CMN 0750 0130
761 JNB 0410 0020
763 JNB 0955 0515
783 LOS 0950 0320
787 ACC ABJ 0730 0550

Africa traffic follows similar patterns to the European flights and is as such mostly centered in the morning and early afternoon departure banks, feeding back into the DXB hub at midnight and early in the morning respectively. Similarity with European operational patterns is partly due to the limited time changes between DXB and destinations in Africa, a situation similar to the one in Europe.


EK801-1000 Gulf Region

803 JED 1700 0025
817 RUH 1825 2325
821 DMM 2200 0130
825 DMM 1630 2015
837 BAH 0830 1150
839 BAH 1800 2130
841 DOH 0825 1145
843 DOH 1415 1700
845 DOH 2215 0115
847 DOH 0230 0545
853 KWI 0145 0620
855 KWI 0745 1215
857 KWI 1615 2040
859 KWI 2035 0100
862 MCT 0825 1145
864 MCT 2245 0135
901 AMM 0725 1510
903 AMM 1400 2110
911 DAM 0715 1450
911 DAM 1400 2125
923 CAI 1510 2350
927 CAI 0850 1730
931 ALY 0910 1900
961 SAH 0705 1340
971 THR 0745 1300
975 THR 0115 0630
977 THR 1815 2345

Because of the limited stage lengths, EK has a lot of flexibility to schedule its regional flights, but most flights either depart or arrive in established arrival and departure banks, so as to secure optimal feed into the longhaul components of the EK network.


Some Concluding Remarks

The above discussion should allow for a somewhat global understanding of the setup of the Emirates Operation. It is clear that EK is restricted in organizing its operation by a plethora of factors, which include the geographical location of its destinations and the ensuing stage length of its flights, the existing operational model which features established arrivals and departure banks, the need to ensure optimal and efficient connectivity for its passengers and the state affairs at its DXB homebase.

The Emirates Operational Organization is very much fixed for the time to come, and, no matter how many A380s and other aircraft the airline will add to its fleet, it is highly likely that these aircraft and the passengers that ride them will flow through the Emirates network according to operational patterns discussed above.

55 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKL808 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1584 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 15587 times:

HB-IWC, what a fantastic report you have here. Well done.

Your recent threads have really been very insightful, keep it up.

Drew



AMS-LAX-MNL
User currently offlinePlanemannyc From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1007 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 15533 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

wow....amazing. this is one of the most comprehensive reports i have seen on any airline in this forum, and perhaps anywhere. Excellent job. Still going over the report a second time. Well done! and thanks!

Best,

Wasim / Planemannyc


User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13738 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 15492 times:

Kudos HB-IWC. What a knowledgeable and enjoyable post.

A very good and detailed analysis of a part of this particular airline's operations.

Kudos again.



Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 15474 times:

Very interesting analysis, but the unstated trade-off here appears to be aircraft utility. I cannot imagine average utility in excess of 14-15 hours, which would be relatively poor for such a large longhaul operation. In your opinion, would there be any way to streamline the hub further to improve aircraft utility?

User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 5, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 15380 times:

Quoting KL808 (Reply 1):
HB-IWC, what a fantastic report you have here. Well done.



Quoting Planemannyc (Reply 2):
wow....amazing. this is one of the most comprehensive reports i have seen on any airline in this forum, and perhaps anywhere. Excellent job. Still going over the report a second time. Well done! and thanks!



Quoting Singapore_Air (Reply 3):
Kudos HB-IWC. What a knowledgeable and enjoyable post.

A very good and detailed analysis of a part of this particular airline's operations.

great analysis..... checkmark 

Also, I'm curious as to where you got the source of the information..is it in the public arena (i.e.-can anyone access it) or is it some proprietary information you have..

cheers.



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineHB-IWC From Greece, joined Sep 2000, 4498 posts, RR: 72
Reply 6, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 15241 times:

Quoting B747-437B (Reply 4):
Very interesting analysis, but the unstated trade-off here appears to be aircraft utility. I cannot imagine average utility in excess of 14-15 hours, which would be relatively poor for such a large longhaul operation. In your opinion, would there be any way to streamline the hub further to improve aircraft utility?

You are absolutely right, and while I do not have the exact figures here, I know that the average daily utilization of the 29-strong A332 fleet is just under 12 hours, which is very low compared to industry standards, for sure given the extensive fleet size. Utilization rates of other aircraft types are equally on the lower end of industry standards.

I do not believe, however, that the hub structure in which EK has to schedule its flights is the main culprit for these low utilization rates. With some intelligent scheduling, EK could easily add 1 to 1.5 hours to the A332 utilization rates, but the airline apparently decides not to do so.

The result is of course a very stable operation, because there are at any given time a number of spare aircraft sitting around at the home base, creating plenty of operational freedom. This very desireable operational situation can of course arguably be called a boon for the company's bottom line and does by far not represent an optimal use of available resources.

So, before the strict hub and spoke model with a very limited amount of arrival and departure banks could actually start putting restraints on further optimization of utilization rates, it seems like EK would have to decide to increase its amount of flying, because as it goes, the EK fleet seems somewhat underused as it goes and there is plenty of room for improvement.

In terms of the hub structure, it seems as if the idle afternoon hours could be used more efficiently, but then geographical considerations might preclude the airline from adding additional flights during those hours, because they are not commercially viable for EK's core markets like Europe.

As future network development goes, I could see EK add a third wave of European traffic, which would likely be located in the 2-4am departure wave. That wave currently contains flights to London already and these flights could be supplemented with additional rotations to core European destinations. Additional Africa flights would follow similar patterns. Such flights would return to DXB in the evening and feed into the 10pm regional and subcontinent departure wave, which might also see further strengthening as additional frequencies and rights to destinations in India and Pakistan become available.

Expansion to Asia will be tightly restricted in terms of scheduling, unless large amounts of outstation ground time are scheduled. Typical Asia rotations take 20 to 30 hours to complete and in order to feed into the main departure waves to Europe, EK has to schedule those flights in the early morning or morning departure banks for a return feed in the morning and early afternoon European departure banks respectively. A new European departure wave around 2am could provoke additional Asia traffic to arrive at the midnight arrivals bank. Such flights could use the afternoon outbound bank, although arrival and departure times in Asia might be commercially less interesting.

All in all, I believe that EK could further optimize its hub performance and more evenly spread out its DXB movements over the day by creating a third outbound Europe bank, which would trigger a potential for alternative scheduling in other parts of the longhaul network. In any case however, a relative underutilization of the DXB in the afternoon hours will remain in place. So far, the hub stucture has not put any restraints on the aircraft utilization, but utilization rates are rather low because the airline seems not to be inclined to schedule additional flights to optimize its available utilization resources.


User currently offlineUpperDeck79 From Finland, joined Feb 2005, 1139 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 15192 times:

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 5):
Also, I'm curious as to where you got the source of the information..is it in the public arena (i.e.-can anyone access it) or is it some proprietary information you have..

Well timetables are public, aren't they...?

Great analysis!  Smile



AY and ANA rock!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6716 posts, RR: 77
Reply 8, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 15181 times:

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 5):
Also, I'm curious as to where you got the source of the information..is it in the public arena (i.e.-can anyone access it) or is it some proprietary information you have..

You can find all that in EK's timetable (now with download options on their website).


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20394 posts, RR: 62
Reply 9, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 15161 times:

Excellent report!

A question that I asked in another thread but is yet unanswered, is it seems EK is constrained in the number of destinations east of DXB while substantial opportunities exist west of DXB. After reviewing your numbers, it appears that without substantial increases in destinations or frequencies east of DXB, the route map could become quite lopsided when overlaid with aircraft type in the future, with smaller aircraft doing a majority of runs west->DXB and the larger aircraft doing DXB->east, if EK is to continue to grow. I wonder if that would solve some of their utilization problems or not.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineKHI747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 1615 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 15141 times:

Must congratulate you on your hard work,very well done.During my travels to and from DXB,half the time just transit,i have always noticed this pattern in their flight planning.If you arrive in DXB at around 0000 then the airport is packed and theres barely room to sit even in the J and F lounges.Come 0600-0700 the airport looks deserted relatively.I would imagine anyone whose travelled through DXB has made that observation.

Anyhow great analysis-very objective!


User currently offlineGoMEA From France, joined Jan 2004, 202 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 15110 times:

HB-IWC,

You forgot EK's flights to BEY, that EK will resume probably in September.

2x daily A332 with some time a 773 when load were high during holidays and the summer season

EK 953 DXB-BEY 1700 1920 / EK 954 BEY-DXB 2015 0115 +1
EK 957 DXB-BEY 0720 0940 / EK 958 BEY-DXB 1045 1545

That way, the DXB-BEY serves the outbound business traveller to Lebanon while EK 958 makes them come back. Y/C serves mainly the large Lebanese population in Dubai and also by expatriate workers from India, Sri Lanka, Philippines and others.

Cheers,

GoMEA



MEA raising the Cedar far up in the sky
User currently offlineLfutia From Netherlands, joined Dec 2002, 3335 posts, RR: 27
Reply 12, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 15110 times:
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WOW! you've done such a great job on your EK one as well as your KL one. My hats off to you again.

Leo



Leo/ORD -- Groetjes uit de VS! -- Heeft u laatst nog met KLM gevlogen?
User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 13, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 15055 times:

Quoting UpperDeck79 (Reply 7):

Well timetables are public, aren't they...?

duh silly me...I already have EK's timetables.. crazy 

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 8):

You can find all that in EK's timetable (now with download options on their website).

thanks... Smile

-admittingly, I have their timetables but didn't bother to think before I posted.... footinmouth 



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineJfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8288 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 14918 times:
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What future palns for the Americas? Now with 3 flights to JFk what city is next? LAX, Sao Paulo, SFO ?

User currently offlineHB-IWC From Greece, joined Sep 2000, 4498 posts, RR: 72
Reply 15, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 14845 times:

Quoting GoMEA (Reply 11):
You forgot EK's flights to BEY, that EK will resume probably in September.

For now, the DXB BEY flights are not yet included in the reservation system as active, which is why I didn't include them. I would expect EK to resume flights soon though, yet when I gathered the numbers for Sept 11-17, the flight were still showing as NOOPS.


User currently offlineEKGOLD From Australia, joined May 2005, 207 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 14792 times:

Quoting KHI747 (Reply 10):
Must congratulate you on your hard work,very well done.During my travels to and from DXB,half the time just transit,i have always noticed this pattern in their flight planning.If you arrive in DXB at around 0000 then the airport is packed and theres barely room to sit even in the J and F lounges.Come 0600-0700 the airport looks deserted relatively.I would imagine anyone whose travelled through DXB has made that observation.

My friend, you cannot have read the report properly. Between the hours of 0500 an 1000 is DXB's busiest time. As a frequent visitor to the arrival and departure areas of DXB at those times i can tell you it is anything but deserted, especially 0600-0700. I dont even bother trying to get into the EK J lounge prior to 8pm. You have a better chance of a seat in the Food Court!


User currently offline6thfreedom From Bermuda, joined Sep 2004, 3323 posts, RR: 20
Reply 17, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 14710 times:

HB...

Awesome work...

Are you heading over to EK any time soon, or have you carried out this work to show GA how it's done properly? : )


User currently offlineVHVXB From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 5523 posts, RR: 18
Reply 18, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 14677 times:

Quoting HB-IWC (Thread starter):

Excellent Analysis of EK's operations HB-IWC. Well done  Smile


User currently offlineHB-IWC From Greece, joined Sep 2000, 4498 posts, RR: 72
Reply 19, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 14562 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 9):
A question that I asked in another thread but is yet unanswered, is it seems EK is constrained in the number of destinations east of DXB while substantial opportunities exist west of DXB. After reviewing your numbers, it appears that without substantial increases in destinations or frequencies east of DXB, the route map could become quite lopsided when overlaid with aircraft type in the future, with smaller aircraft doing a majority of runs west->DXB and the larger aircraft doing DXB->east, if EK is to continue to grow. I wonder if that would solve some of their utilization problems or not.

While it is true that the emphasis of Emirates Operation is on the European operation, I don't really see problems in terms of achieving acceptable aircraft utilization. As said before, the Emirates' fleet seems somewhat underutilized as it it (I am currently running some numbers on that so as to be able to confirm), but this low utilization seems to have little to do with the way in which the network or the hub is structured. As it goes, it looks like EK would very well be able to add a number of flights without jeopardizing the stability of its operation or its hub and connectivity structure.

It is not like particular aircraft are assigned to particular sectors only, although there is a tendency to have relatively larger aircraft operating Eastbound services, while relatively more A332s are headed to and from Europe. Yet, there is sufficient migration of aircraft types between the different elements of the network not to impact aircraft utilization as such.

As for the European sectors, many EK destinations already enjoy double daily service, with departures located in the morning and early afternoon DXB departure banks, and corresponding arrivals in the midnight and early morning arrival banks. Additional growth to Europe (the addition of a third daily frequency to certain gateways) might necessitate an additional European departure wave, which, in order to achieve commercially viable arrival and departure times at European airports, can only be located in the 2-4am DXB departure bank (two London services already operate from this bank) with a corresponding arrival in the 8pm evening arrival bank which feeds in the 10pm regional departure wave.

All in all, I really don't see any problems for EK to further develop its DXB hub, apart from the traditional hub related problems of heterogeneous spread of aircraft movements and the ensuing asymmetrical distribution of operational activities at the hub. EK's aircraft utilization seems to be on the lower end of industry standards, but the operational model is not the main culprit for these utilization rates. Rather, the airline's lowish utilization rates seem to be a deliberate choice, which helps it in creating a very stable operation which is free from operational instabilities that tend to plague operations characterized by high utilization rates.


User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days ago) and read 14539 times:

Quoting HB-IWC (Reply 19):
the airline's lowish utilization rates seem to be a deliberate choice

What a nice luxury to have!!! Only the very rich and very stupid can get away with it though.

But then again, Bellview's 762 fleet has a utilization rate in the range of 7 hrs/day. Somehow I doubt that is linked to operational stability issues.  Smile


User currently offlineGemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5621 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (7 years 11 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 14456 times:

Bloody Hell! What a fabulous report! Please, please keep it up.

As a bye the bye I have forwarded your report to my son, as background information, who is currently deep in his Honours thesis on the political/economic & cultural impact of the Internet on non western countries. One of his examples is Dubai and how a number of economic development including EK, Internet city & the resort developments are effecting it. (The other two examples are China & Malaysia)

Gemuser



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
User currently offlineHB-IWC From Greece, joined Sep 2000, 4498 posts, RR: 72
Reply 22, posted (7 years 11 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 14316 times:

Quoting B747-437B (Reply 20):
What a nice luxury to have!!! Only the very rich and very stupid can get away with it though.

But then again, Bellview's 762 fleet has a utilization rate in the range of 7 hrs/day. Somehow I doubt that is linked to operational stability issues.

Well, let's assume for a moment that Bellview cannot count itself among the very rich, and let's also assume for a while that Emirates would not reckon itself among the very stupid... where does that lead us to...?

Seriously though, KLM gets more utilization (13h28 to be exact) out of a 4-strong A332 fleet than Emirates does with a 29-strong fleet. Air France, which operates a fleet of 16 A332s, reaches a utilization of well over 14 hours a day, yet Emirates scores a mere 12 hours. The dispatch reliability for both airlines' fleets shows no significant differences, and both airlines are restricted in their scheduling efforts by similar hub related constraints.

The only possible conclusion then is that the EK utilization is on the lower end of industry standards by the airline's own choice. Sure enough, EK creates in this manner a very stable operational environment which is relatively less prone to outbound delays, yet there are very serious economic repercussions to these relatively low utilization rates. In an industry which is working at profitability margins of no more than a couple percentage points, a 10 to 15% increase in aircraft utilization, which seems not out of the question for EK, is huge and has the potential to make the difference between losses and profits. It seems, though, that Emirates is working according to different economic principles than most of the other players in the industry.

Quoting 6thfreedom (Reply 17):
Are you heading over to EK any time soon, or have you carried out this work to show GA how it's done properly? : )

No plans in the EK direction whatsoever, and, as for GA, they wouldn't understand it anyway, so I'm not creating any illusions for myself...


User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 23, posted (7 years 11 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 14269 times:

I am just FASCINATED by this! Just as much so with your previous KLM report, which i continue to read, as i will do so with this.

However, as EK seems to have a vision for continuous expansion, would you think that their current aircraft under-utilization is deliberately done so (as you stated) to provide for such future expansion? and doing so in order to maintain a stable overall operation?

Quoting B747-437B (Reply 20):
What a nice luxury to have!!! Only the very rich and very stupid can get away with it though.

Not that i am a pro-EK guy here (i am not at all), but from my own observations here, i can disagree with this statement.

In fact, i see it as perhaps EK management seems to have planned for a time frame far ahead into the future that may possibly include future expansions that their current fleet would be able to accommodate for, in addition to any other expansions that could be met by their newly arriving aircraft hence, aiming to maintain that stable operational environment as far ahead into the future as possible.

But i am not an expert here, and please correct me if i am wrong.

Furthermore, one aim as part of Dubai's plan (as a city) is to attract those weekend getaway tourists from the neighboring Gulf/mid-east states, and this is where i could see the calm afternoon's available capacity at DXB be put to use. While i have not thoroughly examined EK's operations to and from the Gulf states, but i have noticed many departures and arrivals to such destinations do occur at rather odd timings.

Furthermore, as you have stated, as far as their A332 operations are concerned, there seems to be enough spare aircraft available to cater for any replacement requirements in order to minimize delays due to maintenance for example.

But what about their A345's? Do they not seem to be rather 'tight' on schedule? I personally do not see much room for spare aircraft and hence, their ULH destinations utilizing these aircraft seem most prone to delays (setting aside their ZRH A345 operation). Would that be a correct assumption you think?

Finally, i, myself, am constantly conducting research for my own knowledge and understanding, and such reports like this one and the KLM one, have truly opened a new door, or idea rather. Not that i am 'mimicking' your work at all, but rather greatly influenced by it.

Thank you! and please keep it coming!

Roni.



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineZamaria From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 82 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (7 years 11 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 14216 times:

Thank you for such a wonderful and insightful report. Though all of this information could be gleaned from Emirates' publicly available flight schedules, it is very nice to have a summary/analysis posted here. What are your next projects?

Please also note EK's flights to TRV - which I believe started in late March using mainly A330-200s

EK 520 which departs DXB at 1505 (M, T, Th, Sa)
EK 522 which departs DXB at 2155 (W, F, Su)

also, EK will begin thrice weekly service to BLR in late October (EK 518) using A330-200s.

Thanks,

-Z


25 HB-IWC : First of all, let's not overstate the underutilization too much. The Emirates' fleet is decently utilized, but their utilization rates come in at the
26 PhilSquares : Just one part of utilization that no one has looked at. That is the availability of pilots. According to some friends I have at EK, they are actually
27 Post contains images Jacobin777 : PhilSquares....better to have lack of pilots rather than a glut of pilots.....sounds like a good problem EK have... By the way, you still think the A
28 Bill142 : You would have to weight up what costs more, keeping extra pilots on the payroll or having aircraft sitting around doing money. The fact is that when
29 HB-IWC : That is an interesting notion I was not aware of. I knew the airline is facing problems with the recruitment of sufficient cabin crew to cater for bo
30 HanginOut : HB-IWC Fantastic analysis! Thanks for the hard work, I always learn a lot when people like you and widebodyphotog post the great information you do. I
31 Mandala499 : Low utilization due to lack of crew which is due to??? People used to flock to EK... I guess now Etihad and Qatar is offering crazy deals (let alone K
32 HB-IWC : If was aware that EK had trouble with relatively large numbers of cabin crew leaving the airline, but I wasn't aware of the same situation with cockpi
33 Ronerone : They are in desparate need of new crew .. both cabin and flight .. they are holding several open house events in Dubai, and from what i hear they are
34 HB-IWC : I am planning to put up some additional analysis about this topic, but I can already conclude right now that, although the A345 utilization seems to
35 Econojetter : Thanks HB-IWC for taking the trouble and also for making it easy to read. I notice that EK has a number of 'milk-runs' (such as DXB-CMB-SIN-CGK, DXB-S
36 Ronerone : EK 201/202's ground time at JFK is at least 8 hours i believe. Arrives in the afternoon and goes back at 11pm. Roni
37 HB-IWC : For the Oceania flights with a double stopover on their way to New Zealand, I believe EK decided on these trans Tasman tags because the aircraft woul
38 Ronerone : I am also surprised at that myself. Furthermore, this scenario is not only evident within EK, but also within CX, where one of their 'milkruns' is HK
39 6thfreedom : Spot on... Given the aircraft restrictions that UL has, EK is able to provide capacity with this service on a codeshare basis with UL.
40 Econojetter : Good point. Because what I was about to ask is why EK does not just let UL take care of the CMB-SIN/CGK flights. Maybe I was mistaken, but doesn't Sr
41 Econojetter : It is still extra staff cost and fuel costs, unless EK is raking in bucks on trans-Tasman pax and cargo traffic. Does EK break even on those tag-ons?
42 Post contains images Karan69 : Thank you so much mate for showing us the trend of EK analysis, i did a 100 mark project on them last year, it would have saved me a lot of time if th
43 HB-IWC : Given that a nonstop rotation to SYD/MEL/BNE can be undertaken in about 31 hours and that the time needed for a one stop rotation to the same destina
44 6thfreedom : Aircraft limitations on UL. And with the A380 delays, I don't think EK has the option of leasing a few A332s to UL in the short term.
45 Bill142 : EK are pretty much the only airline who fly widebodies accross the tasman. I've heard unconfirmed reports that EK do so well out of Cargo that any re
46 Mandala499 : I've heard unconfirmed reports that EK do so well out of Cargo that any revenue from passengers is purely cream ontop of the pie. That is what I've he
47 HB-IWC : The only thing I see right now is that two of those three flights are going to run alongside identical schedules: EK201 DXB JFK 0830 1410 345 nonstop
48 Econojetter : Might there be aircraft performance issues in the case of a heavy aircraft departing in the heat? Could that be the reason why EK has no longhauls de
49 A342 : It seems this was different in the past. 2 years ago for example, the cheapest MUC-SYD flight was mostly on EK, with the A345 on the DXB-SYD leg. Now
50 6thfreedom : When the A345 non-stop was introduced, fares on both flights were common rated in order to fill seats, which explains why pax from MUC were pushed on
51 Bnamaxx : I think at current rate, in 20 more years, EK will be the worlds largest carrier in RPK's. Then the spotters can go to DXB and view 30 or so 380's on
52 HB-IWC : That might very well be true, but as I am not a specialist of these aircraft performance details in the afternoon heat of DXB, I can't really say. Th
53 MaverickM11 : Any idea what percentage of EK passengers are connecting over DXB, as opposed to local traffic?
54 JRadier : Once more an amazing report
55 HB-IWC : I don't have any numbers, but the operation is most certainly geared towards connecting passengers, so I'd expect that number to be much larger than
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