A330DAT From Belgium, joined Nov 2001, 469 posts, RR: 2 Posted (7 years 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 7931 times:
Brussels Airlines is studying the possibility of expanding it's long haul operations with the use of Boeing 767 aircraft.
The long haul preference (between the 767 and A330) for Brussels Airlines is the Airbus A330 because it's cargo capacity is greater than that of the 767. The option to add aditional A330's to the fleet has been ruled out since the aircraft are difficult to find on the market but more importantly and as a result, their lease prices are much too high to even consider operating them. The obvious choice is therefore the 767.
For a while now Brussels Airlines has been wanting to expand it's African network using a fourth aircraft. The 767 would be the answer. Dakar is more of a tourist destination and not as much cargo is transported there than to the rest of Africa. Operating the 767 to Dakar instead of the A330 would allow the A330 to fly to new African routes.
On an operations (practical) level, operating a single Boeing 767 is not a sensible option (look at TUI JetAirFly), therefore several 767's would be needed.
Brussels Airlines is undergoing talks with Thomas Cook and Tui (JetAirFly) to take over their long haul flights and fly on behalf of both tour operators, just as Sabena's former subsidiary Sobelair had done in the past.
Other destinations such as:
Montreal, New York (evening flight), Cincinnati (A319), possibly Boston and Tel Aviv are also being discussed.
For the past few years Brussels Airlines has been faced extremely low load factors on it's European network. 40 out of every 100 seats still remains EMPTY! As an airline you can do two things to improve this:
1) Give away tickets at dumping prices (b-light). This way at least at the end of the year you can say that you're carrying more passengers (good for the public opinion). The little extra cash in hand will always be better than nothing AND you don't have any extra costs to expand or hire more staff.
2) You can expand your long haul network and USE the large European network as a feeder.
The second one is a better option but it always involves more risks. Hiring and training all these new people and leasing aircraft is expensive. What if it doesn't work?
There are always risks in life. Opening the African network also involved a certain risk. To day, this African network is what's keeping Brussels Airlines alive.
What is it going to be, the head in the sand approach or a chance to be successful? What is your opinion?
MEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4210 posts, RR: 36 Reply 1, posted (7 years 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 7853 times:
I am not sure if they should try North America again.
With Amsterdam, Paris, Dusseldorf and London closeby, there are so many options to get to the USA or Canada for around 400 euro.
Same with Bangkok, Tokyo etc. They should remain the niche african carrier.
Re the european flights, the risk with dumping seats to fil up the last 40% of the planes is that it's hard to avoid that people who now pay a premium to be one of the 60% pax will then buy a dumped ticket instead. PR wise it isn't such a big deal. Their premium pax might actually like the fact their flights aren't always packed.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
TriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4690 posts, RR: 45 Reply 2, posted (7 years 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 7798 times:
Better expand on the basis of your strengths (African routes) than into an already overcrowded market with limited potential for a positive yield development (North America). There are just too many bigger fishes on those routes, who will just price SN out of the market due to the enormous capacities these competitors have available for a price war.
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
BrightCedars From Belgium, joined Nov 2004, 1282 posts, RR: 2 Reply 3, posted (7 years 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 7798 times:
I think you know my opinion from other regional forums but I'll state it anyway.
I think the 767-300ER or even 767-400ER are perfectly suited aircraft for SN.
The first is hard to find on the 2nd hand market or thru leasing (at cheap rates), the second can only be bought new from Boeing as I don't think neither CO or DL have any plans to let any of them go. Both will soon no longer be on the product list so any interested party should order asap, delivery can probably be very early. And maybe a deal can be found to have these replaced by 787s as soon as available.
777-200ERs would be sweet too but are too pricey and would make necessary the introduction of another type for thinner non African routes which would be a burden on the cost structure. A330-200s may prove to be the best suitable airplane of all.
As far as cargo is concerned, it's always possible to operate a separate aircraft/fleet to this single purpose.
More generally, there is a structural capital problem at SN. If their operation is only able to break-even every year without providing extra means for investment, the airline will fold. If, in order to prevent this, new capital is needed, it must be found quickly while ensuring returns to the risk takers. Or eventually they will end up with an inefficient fleet and be forced to reduce the size of their operation and again, fold.
I think Boston is a good idea, maybe linked with Montreal. I can't see a BRU-YUL daily be profitable. New York, perhaps. Cincinnati? What for? Tel Aviv, they're already there. What about Cairo, Beirut, Istanbul, Amman? These could feed the European network and Africa+America.
Bwest From Belgium, joined Jul 2006, 1329 posts, RR: 4 Reply 4, posted (7 years 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 7788 times:
I wonder where you got all that information...
SN really needs to expand their longhaul network, no question about it. They have a pretty ok European network, but for long haul they're mostly a virtual codeshare airline. And I don't think one extra longhaul plane will change that situation that much.
I wonder why they aren't looking at the far east, with the Chinese economy booming and many Belgian businessmen eager to invest in that country. I suppose they'll rely on their partnership with Hainan airlines for some more time and wait and see how the loads on those beijing flights are before deciding on that issue.
Where did you get the idea that tickets sold as 'b-light' are being 'given away at dumping prices'? VEW operated with those kinds of prices for a decade! Just because the prices are lower, doesn't mean they're 'giving them away'.
A330DAT From Belgium, joined Nov 2001, 469 posts, RR: 2 Reply 9, posted (7 years 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 7075 times:
MEA-707 - You are right, there is lots of competition on the North American routes, however, keeping in mind the amount of passengers transiting through Paris, Amsterdam, London or Frankfurt, there is still enough demand for certain routes to be flown out of Brussels. There are always people who are going to transit through other cities, but there is a market for NON STOP flights as well. The airline operating can even afford to increase the yield, playing with the increased airport taxes otherwise charged when making stopovers in other cities.
Opening North American routes will strengthen the African network by acting as a feeder. Many of this traffic is often lost to competitors such as Air France, who also have a strong African network. This in turn also improves load factors and attracts the high yield passengers to/from the African network.
It is true that the Asian market is also very interesting, however we are talking about the Boeing 767. This means that there is a range problem with this aircraft. A fully loaded 767-300ER with (approx.205-210 passengers) AND cargo can only fly as far as Montreal or New York. This means any destination that is farther will force the fully loaded aircraft to land and refuel making it economically unrealistic. Hainan Airlines flies from Beijing to Brussels non-stop but is weight restricted. This affects the profitability of an airline. To relieve this problem it is not excluded that Brussels Airlines may some day lease A340 aircraft (as more aircraft become available) for such routes as Tokyo, where passenger AND cargo demand is very strong.
Bright Cedars – The 767-400 is not an option. As you said, only Delta and Continental operate them and they have no intention to dispose of them. The 777-200 is much too large for Brussels. It is preferable to fly with smaller aircraft and offer more frequencies to attract the business traveler.
The 787 would be the most suitable aircraft for Brussels Airlines because they have the ideal passenger and cargo capacity with a range to fly you just about anywhere you want to go but unfortunately they are too expensive. New aircraft are not being considered at this time. Some day perhaps…
Yes, there has always been a funding problem at Brussels Airlines. Everything they have always done has always been with the least risk and using as little funds as possible, avoiding competition wherever possible. Sometimes a little guts are needed.
Initially Montreal will not be daily, unless operated by code share partner Etihad (too soon to tell now) or Air Maestro (757). In that case the traffic rights need to be applied for by Brussels Airlines as they will have the sole rights to the Brussels-Montreal traffic on that aircraft (Etihad) or by both carriers (SN and Maestro).
Cincinnati is a very important (high yield business) route.
Tel Aviv is already a Brussels Airlines route but I meant that certain flights can be operated in 767 i.s.o. A319.
Myt332 – Sorry for the misunderstanding. I am talking about Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium here.
Scorpio - B-light tickets are seen as dumping prices because of Brussels Airlines’ cost structure. The airlines cost structure is too high compared to low cost carriers. They would never hold out against an EasyJet or a Ryanair, therefore applying such prices are under SN’s operating break-even.
RicardoFG – They already fly BRU-YYZ in code share with Etihad using Etihad aircraft but the route is not so interesting for Brussels Airlines. There are several reasons for this. One is that this flight is practically always full from Abu Dhabi to Toronto. The seats that are left are sold to SN but that is not much. Another reason is that most passengers traveling from Brussels to Canada go to Montreal, not Toronto. There are about 8,000 passengers a year to Toronto, and 53,000 to Montreal (point to point from Brussels). Most passengers flying on Brussels Airlines to Toronto want to continue to Montreal. Unfortunately by the time the flights land in Toronto (21:45), all connections for Montreal are practically gone and there is no agreement with any other airline for further connections. This is what you get when you let other companies fly for you. You depend entirely on what best suits them (in this case Etihad). You know the saying: "you’re best served if you do it yourself".
Goldorak From France, joined Sep 2006, 1749 posts, RR: 4 Reply 10, posted (7 years 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 7043 times:
Quoting Nijltje (Reply 6): CVG would be great for me....a lot of business people from Belgium are travelling to CVG...so yes please do so...
Quoting A330DAT (Reply 9): Cincinnati is a very important (high yield business) route.
It seems very strange to me that this route would work for SN with only almost only O/D traffic without connection feed especially on the CVG side, as DL is skyteam and it seems unlikely that DL and SN would code-share on this route.
LAXdude1023 From Lebanon, joined Sep 2006, 7041 posts, RR: 25 Reply 12, posted (7 years 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6766 times:
Quoting BrightCedars (Reply 3): I think Boston is a good idea, maybe linked with Montreal. I can't see a BRU-YUL daily be profitable. New York, perhaps. Cincinnati? What for? Tel Aviv, they're already there. What about Cairo, Beirut, Istanbul, Amman? These could feed the European network and Africa+America.
If they are going to partner with AA like SN did, maybe BRU-DFW could work.
DFW Fan Boy: Im crude, irreverent, and blunt, but Im not clueless. I offer no apologies.
So are we saying that they plan on operating a A319 across the pond to CVG? People complain enough about flying the 757 across the pond, If I am reading this right why fly to CVG at all if your just going to use a A319?
Krist0f From Belgium, joined May 2005, 38 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (7 years 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6672 times:
I really hope SN will look into some flights across to South America some day. I personally would gladly pay a few hundred Euros more for being able to fly direct BRU to GRU because today it's really a pain to get to South America from here.
And I have to agree with ATLFlyer323's previous comment on the A319. I once flew an AC A319 from YUL to YVR and after around 5 hours of flight I was very happy to be able to get out of the plane. Poor people spending 8+ hours flying to CVG on an A319.
BrightCedars From Belgium, joined Nov 2004, 1282 posts, RR: 2 Reply 16, posted (7 years 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6526 times:
I'm not sure SN's current A319 fleet has the legs to go all the way to CVG in the first place. After all, they're not A319LRs. And since SN doesn't have the cash for new planes, we can forget the A319 across the pond.
Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 12): If they are going to partner with AA like SN did, maybe BRU-DFW could work.
Forgot about that. Chatter seems to prefer MIA to DFW for the next route.
Skyhigh From Australia, joined Nov 2005, 235 posts, RR: 6 Reply 17, posted (7 years 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6456 times:
It seems like they should focus in strengthening their African network.
Would joining an alliance such as Oneworld be of any advantage to them? It would provide international feed for their African flights (and domestic, should they choose to add flights to USA) .
I have suggested Oneworld as British Airways does not serve many West and Central African countries. Both Skyteam (AF,KL) and Star Alliance (LH,SR) serve more destinations in this area.
Irobertson From Canada, joined Apr 2006, 601 posts, RR: 3 Reply 20, posted (7 years 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6362 times:
I remember checking out SN/Etihad for a YYZ-BRU trip over the summer. If i had booked early, it would have been a fairly good price, and from what I hear, the airplanes are really nice and the service is good, never completely full but usually pretty good ridership.
I personally think a 2-3x weekly trip from YUL would do better. There are strong connections to Belgium, France, and Holland in Quebec and in the eastern Canadian provinces. Their biggest competitor would probably be KLM to AMS but with the right plane and the right frequency, I think that would work.
SN-MD11 From Luxembourg, joined Dec 1999, 116 posts, RR: 0 Reply 21, posted (7 years 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6300 times:
Latest rumours rather talk about ex VS A340-300. I don't believe in the 767 case. The 767 was a possibility if Camair's takeover would have succeeded. But it's instead a major failure.
SN desperately needs to expand its long-haul, and 4th aircraft will involve a new destination in North America (YUL is highly rumoured but really is this a high yield dest ?). The SN's viability is a profitable long-haul network.
Important factor as wall is that Easyjet will more than probably open up a base in BRU, and for brussels airlines this is VERY dangerous. Also, SN pilots and crews are more than under-paid (same for TUI and TC). EZY would pump a lot of their pilots...
RCS763AV From Colombia, joined Jun 2004, 4328 posts, RR: 13 Reply 24, posted (7 years 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5998 times:
Quoting Krist0f (Reply 14): it's really a pain to get to South America from here.
Maybe expensive, but a simple connection in ATL, JFK or MAD can get you here every day.
I think it is very reasonable for SN not to take anymore A330s, ase they are indeed expensive to lease, the 767 would be perfect for US routes and YUL, and it would be nice to see Belgian 787s in the future!
25 EddieDude: I had the wrong idea that SN had outstanding orders for A330s. Too bad they don't, because I think SN should get more A330s instead of bringing a new
26 AF022: Getting a new aircraft type would be very dangerous for SN. Perhaps they should order a bunch of B787s, and sit on their hands until they arrive. Yiel
27 Nijltje: @eddiedude yes ie P&G, Citigroup, Toyota, HP,.... only those 4 will bring min 15-20 people a day
28 MAH4546: If we see AA/SN expand their trans-Atlantic alliance, I think MIA-BRU is a given. Though MIA-BRU has been rumoured on AA for more than six years now.
29 SNBru: Keep on dreaming. At this moment that would be one of the stupiest moves! An addition of a A343 seems to be another option. No need for hiring differ
30 FLYYUL: And where does this statement come from? Your experience?