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AF Trims LHR-LAX Schedule  
User currently offlineFlynavy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 10055 times:

Just appeared on GDS.

Down to five flights per week from the current daily service.

Effective October 26, 2008.

Quote:
AS FROM 08/09 WINTER SEASON (26OCT08, WEEKLY FREQUENCIES OPERATED BY AIR FRANCE BETWEEN LONDON (LHR) AND LOS ANGELES (LAX) WILL DECREASE FROM 7 TO 5. 2 FREQUENCIES HAVE BEEN CANCELLED (OUTWARD : MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY, LAX-LON, RETURN : TUESDAY AND SUNDAY) DUE TO THE INCREASE OF THE COST OF KEROSENE.


[Edited 2008-08-01 09:35:02]

49 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAcelanzarote From Spain, joined Nov 2005, 857 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9958 times:

Once this stops being a daily service then how long before it finishes completly???

I wonder just what Air France think of this route having been operating
for a few months, presume it has not worked out as expected?

cheers



from the Island with sun and great photo's.. Why not visit Lanzarote
User currently offlineCuriousFlyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 702 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9881 times:

This indeed does not bode well for the service... Too bad, it would be nice for Skyteam to get a significant market share out of LHR vs OneWorld and Star...

User currently offlineFlynavy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9824 times:

Quoting CuriousFlyer (Reply 2):
Too bad, it would be nice for Skyteam to get a significant market share out of LHR vs OneWorld and Star...

On a personal note, it is my opinion that this flight was never expected to remain at X7. I believe AF/DL wanted to try the shoe on for size to get a feel for the market.

As it turns out, they've determined X5 is more realistic for the fall/winter.

The question is - what happens to the slots?   

[Edited 2008-08-01 09:50:35]

User currently offlineMutu From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 538 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9796 times:

BA is also reducing LHR/LAX to 2x daily from 3x daily for the winter season. departueres will be juggled between the 3 slots to try as far as possible to satisfy the 80/20 rule it apears

User currently onlineHB-IWC From Indonesia, joined Sep 2000, 4516 posts, RR: 72
Reply 5, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9708 times:

This reduction also implies a reduction of the CDG LAX CDG frequencies as LHR is fed through LAX. As such, the afternoon CDG departure AF064 and late evening LAX departure AF067 also reduce from daily to 5 weekly.

User currently offlineFlynavy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 9613 times:



Quoting HB-IWC (Reply 5):
This reduction also implies a reduction of the CDG LAX CDG frequencies as LHR is fed through LAX. As such, the afternoon CDG departure AF064 and late evening LAX departure AF067 also reduce from daily to 5 weekly.

Good catch.

It's a conspiracy! What route is actually being reduced?!  Smile


User currently offlineLAXDESI From United States of America, joined May 2005, 5086 posts, RR: 47
Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 9563 times:



Quoting Mutu (Reply 4):
BA is also reducing LHR/LAX to 2x daily from 3x daily for the winter season. departueres will be juggled between the 3 slots to try as far as possible to satisfy the 80/20 rule it apears

Could you please explain the 80/20 rule in detail.


User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 9439 times:

This was always a stupid idea, regardless of what some Skyteam boosters here predicted.

User currently onlineOA412 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 5373 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 9305 times:



Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 8):
This was always a stupid idea, regardless of what some Skyteam boosters here predicted.

Thank you for your rational and well thought out contribution. Yeah sure



Hughes Airwest - Top Banana In The West
User currently offlineMutu From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 538 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 9022 times:



Quoting LAXDESI (Reply 7):
Could you please explain the 80/20 rule in detail.

To preserve your slot rights you have to use it at least 80% of the time in a 6 month period. In this context "use" means within reasonable proximity to schedule (so running a flight with a 3 hour delay for 6 weeks across a 6 month period is classed as "not used")

Schedules are now loaded. Down to 2x daily from 3x daily from the start of the winter season end October but it looks like dec 7 to Jan 11 LAX reverts back to 3 a day (for the xmas season)


User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11973 posts, RR: 62
Reply 11, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 8701 times:

I agree that this is as good as admitting defeat in the market. I don't realistically see this flight lasting long-term if they can't even make a single daily return service work.

There is absolutely no way AF can be competitive in the market with not even a single daily flight when they will be up against five other airlines, all of which have at least one daily flight, and in the case of BA and VS year-round, plus AA in the summer, have multiple daily flights.


User currently offlineWorldTraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 8631 times:

Once again, people are jumping to conclusions about the long-term viability of the market based on seasonal reductions in the first year of service. Other carriers are reducing both new and existing markets in order to reduce costs this winter. Seeing every cut as evidence a market will never work demonstrates little ability to critically think through what is going on in the industry.

It takes time to ramp up new international routes and there is little appetite on either side of the Atlantic to burn $4/gal jet fuel while waiting for routes to mature.

I have no doubt that LAX-LHR will do fine for Skyteam in the appropriate amount of time; it’s very possible they could choose to have DL operate it since all LHR and France flights operated by DL or AF are part of a joint venture and it will be expanded to included NW and KL in time. If it makes sense for someone else to operate the flight, that will be done. If it makes sense to reduce the flight for several months, that too will be done. But it says nothing about whether the route will be viable long-term.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25999 posts, RR: 22
Reply 13, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 8572 times:



Quoting Commavia (Reply 11):
There is absolutely no way AF can be competitive in the market with not even a single daily flight when they will be up against five other airlines, all of which have at least one daily flight

But none of them are SkyTeam. And I think most people searching a booking website are mainly interested in the lowest fare. If that happens to be AF on the day of the week they want to travel, how many are then going to check to see whether they operate on the day before or the day after they want to go?


User currently offlineAerohottie From Australia, joined Mar 2004, 802 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 8482 times:

NZ have also downgauged this route from a 747 to a 772


What?
User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11973 posts, RR: 62
Reply 15, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 8459 times:



Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 12):
Once again, people are jumping to conclusions about the long-term viability of the market based on seasonal reductions in the first year of service.

This route is too high-visibility, too high-yielding and too competitive.

Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 12):
Other carriers are reducing both new and existing markets in order to reduce costs this winter.

Not to Heathrow.

Heathrow is a very high-yielding, limited-entry market with lots of premium competition, and sub-daily services are not at all competitive.

Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 12):
Seeing every cut as evidence a market will never work demonstrates little ability to critically think through what is going on in the industry.

Again, this isn't like we're talking about very limited-entry markets like ATL-PVG, EWR-PEK, etc. We're talking about an incredibly vibrant and competitive market where ultra-high-yielding traffic rules and where sub-daily service is highly frowned upon. In fact, to my knowledge, there are only three flights between the U.S. and Heathrow that are less than daily:

BA's 6x weekly LHR-PHX
AI's 3x weekly LHR-ORD
KU's 3x weekly LHR-JFK

However, with those very limited exceptions (out of a grand total of over 650 weekly LHR-U.S. flights), it is next to impossible to sustain a less-than-daily LHR-U.S. market - at least one as huge and competitive as LHR-LAX. If we're talking about a market with no other competitors, and only, say, 1 flight per day, that's one thing, but I doubt this bodes too well for the flight.

Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 12):
I have no doubt that LAX-LHR will do fine for Skyteam in the appropriate amount of time

Yes, well I think plenty of us are well aware of all the things that you have "no doubt" about - but of course your doubts (or lack thereof) have no bearing on anything but your own opinions.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 13):
But none of them are SkyTeam.

We've seen how the whole "SkyTeam at LAX" thing worked out: witness Delta's utter failure to gain any traction whatsoever at LAX with their recent buildup.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 13):
And I think most people searching a booking website are mainly interested in the lowest fare. If that happens to be AF on the day of the week they want to travel, how many are then going to check to see whether they operate on the day before or the day after they want to go?

Indeed, but is the deep-discount fare, Kayak/Orbitz crowd really the folks that AF is going to want to go after? I think not.

Meanwhile, I feel quite confident that other airlines in the market - especially BA - will definitely be able to command a fare premium by offering a far superior schedule - not just more flights per day, but a flight every day, which in a business-intensive market like that, is absolutely critical.


User currently offlineAirbusA6 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2036 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 8360 times:



Quoting CuriousFlyer (Reply 2):
This indeed does not bode well for the service... Too bad, it would be nice for Skyteam to get a significant market share out of LHR vs OneWorld and Star...

It has to be said that the current climate is a terrible environment for trying to take on competitors in their own back yard... as airlines contract and merge we will end up with less competiiton not more Sad



it's the bus to stansted (now renamed national express a4 to ruin my username)
User currently offlineFreequentFlier From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 902 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 8267 times:



Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 12):
I have no doubt that LAX-LHR will do fine for Skyteam in the appropriate amount of time

Just as you had no doubt DL's "hub" in LAX would work just fine and dandy. With all due respect World Traveler, you're so sycophantic over DL and Skyteam sometimes that you make Pravda look like an opposition newspaper.
 duck 


User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 7972 times:



Quoting Mutu (Reply 4):
BA is also reducing LHR/LAX to 2x daily from 3x daily for the winter season. departueres will be juggled between the 3 slots to try as far as possible to satisfy the 80/20 rule it apears

AA also reduces the flights from 2x/daily during the summer to 1x/daily.



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineLACA773 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 4064 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 7704 times:
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Quoting Aerohottie (Reply 14):
NZ have also downgauged this route from a 747 to a 772

They normally downgauge this route during the slow Fall & Winter months.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 15):
Again, this isn't like we're talking about very limited-entry markets like ATL-PVG, EWR-PEK, etc. We're talking about an incredibly vibrant and competitive market where ultra-high-yielding traffic rules and where sub-daily service is highly frowned upon. In fact, to my knowledge, there are only three flights between the U.S. and Heathrow that are less than daily:

Yes. This is very true but now we also have to consider the escalating fuel costs and how it's effecting everyone. Maybe we'll see more changes coming along, not just at LAX but all other U.S. gateways.


User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11973 posts, RR: 62
Reply 20, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 7646 times:



Quoting LACA773 (Reply 19):
This is very true but now we also have to consider the escalating fuel costs and how it's effecting everyone.

Right, but here's the problem with that: the fuel costs aren't affecting AA, BA, NZ, VS, or UA enough to get them to reduce their LAX-LHR schedule to less than once per day - which is sort of a critical threshold when you're dealing with as high-yielding and business-intensive a route as LAX-LHR.

At that schedule level, I highly doubt AF will be able to attract the same level of high-yielding traveler that some of their competitors will - which isn't too good a sign considering that AF was already at a competitive disadvantage, for a myriad of reasons, versus said competitors in the first place.


User currently offlineAerohottie From Australia, joined Mar 2004, 802 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 7558 times:



Quoting LACA773 (Reply 19):
Quoting Aerohottie (Reply 14):
NZ have also downgauged this route from a 747 to a 772



Quoting LACA773 (Reply 19):
They normally downgauge this route during the slow Fall & Winter months.

No they don't... not on a regular basis anyway



What?
User currently offlineZK-NBT From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 5359 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 7546 times:



Quoting LACA773 (Reply 19):
They normally downgauge this route during the slow Fall & Winter months.

They didn't last year, the year before they did but it didn't last long the 744 returned in June 2007. This change is mainly related to fuel costs.


User currently offlineFlynavy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 7383 times:



Quoting ZK-NBT (Reply 22):
This change is mainly related to fuel costs.

Strange...

Anytime a oneworld or Star Alliance carrier reduces capacity on a route and cities fuel cost no one misses a beat.

When a Skyteam partner cities fuel costs as a reason for reducing capacity between two markets the sky begins to fall and all hell breaks loose.

Ironic, eh?

--

I don't really buy that the AF/DL joint venture between LHR and LAX isn't doing well. Had AF only reduced the LAX-LHR portion of the aircraft's rotation I would have bought it. As it turns out, they're trimming CDG-LAX capacity by the same number.

For those who weren't aware, the AF metal that operates this route is routed CDG-LAX-LHR-LAX-CDG.


User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11973 posts, RR: 62
Reply 24, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 7325 times:



Quoting Flynavy (Reply 23):
Anytime a oneworld or Star Alliance carrier reduces capacity on a route and cities fuel cost no one misses a beat.

"No one misses a beat?" Have you been reading any of the threads here on A.net recently?

Quoting Flynavy (Reply 23):
When a Skyteam partner cities fuel costs as a reason for reducing capacity between two markets the sky begins to fall and all hell breaks loose.

Nobody is saying the sky is falling or any hell - let alone all of it - is breaking lose.

What some - myself included - are saying is that for a route that was already marginal and at a substantial competitive disadvantage to begin with, reducing the service to a level that is severely uncompetitive cannot possibly help the route's chances.

Quoting Flynavy (Reply 23):
Ironic, eh?

Nope, just realistic and rational.

Quoting Flynavy (Reply 23):
I don't really buy that the AF/DL joint venture between LHR and LAX isn't doing well. Had AF only reduced the LAX-LHR portion of the aircraft's rotation I would have bought it. As it turns out, they're trimming CDG-LAX capacity by the same number.

Whether AF reduces CDG-LAX is inconsequential to whether or not AF is now or will be in the future a viable competitor in the Los Angeles-London market.

Again: AF has the Los Angeles-Paris market almost entirely to itself, but the same cannot be said for the -London market, where they face far, far stronger competitors with many more years in the market, much larger bases of flyers and more loyal followings at either or both ends of the route, and/or lots and lots more connections in L.A. and/or London.

AF has not one of those things, and thus the fact that they are reducing the service to less than daily - which is sort of a critical threshold in a high-yielding business market to remain competitive with business travelers - does not exactly bode well for their chances.


25 LACA773 : They have during the off season. I've seen the flight go out to LHR as a 772 last winter on several days in a row. So if it wasn't changed to a 772 o
26 Skyhigh : Slightly off topic but does the LAX-LHR flight connect with other AF flights to destinations within France? In other words, are they using LHR as an a
27 Mattteo : Hi ecevrybody, I just wonder how everybody manages to do speculations about how AF is doing with the LHR-LAX route... Have you got any inside-informat
28 Thestooges : As far as I know the only other destination that Air France flies to from LHR is CDG, so maybe if the direct flights from LAX to CDG are full they can
29 Icna05e : I don't think there are any other French destination served from LHR by Air France. It's just CDG.
30 FlySSC : AF flight LHR-LAXLHR is a point to point service. According to the last survey made by AF, 61% of the customers on this flighs are American and 37% a
31 UAL777UK : Hmm, I gave this flight a year, I might not be wrong, although I would not be surprised to see it eventually taken over by DL.
32 Pilot21 : While it is a pity to see this - the route seems to be over saturated from London at the moment. The J/F class loads on this route can't be on the sam
33 FlySSC : Definately not. LAX is a high yield route for AF with a strong demand in P and J class. AF holds there a strong market and is the sole Major operator
34 WorldTraveler : I never said LAX would be a hub. I did say it would be a significant gateway to Asia. DL is not finished with LAX. And given that AA, NW, and UA all
35 Commavia : And let's also remember that the clever "widebody" distinction really means nothing. BA, with the purchase of L'Avion, now has more extra-national fl
36 Gilesdavies : I think many of the new entrants on the LHR to USA routes have been dissapointed with the traffic and yields, and with the current economic situation
37 BALHRWWCC : Which will drop to 5 this winter. Also DEN will join the no daily list dropping to 6 x weekly
38 777STL : Bullshit. We get every excuse under the sun when DL downgrades a route - usually how it's wise tactical decisions and DL will be infinitely better of
39 Lambert747 : This route will not survive without daily service. It is going to be a matter of time before this route is gone. When this change comes into effect A
40 Jacobin777 : Could have fooled me.. One route sure doesn't make a trend... Does it really prove anything? Isn't that what all airlines try to do or do they just t
41 ZK-NBT : I'm not aware of this. The year before they ran the 772s between OCT 06 June 07. It wouldn't be slow periods during the week because the AKL-LAX sect
42 FlySSC : Why ? Many routes, including on the Europe-US axis are not operated Daily and yet are indeed profitable.
43 Panamair : 5x a week is SEVERELY uncompetitive? A tad bit dramatic perhaps, especially considering the following: 1) AF is a brand new presence in the market wi
44 Yellowtail : Careful...WorldTraveler is gonna jump on you for this
45 Avek00 : Now this might be the most interesting data tidbit yet about the flight. I thought that AF and DL would have aggressively targeted Brits to fill the
46 BAStew : I'm pretty sure that the 3 x daily departures has always been seasonal except last winter they also kept it in the schedule. But in previous years it
47 MaverickM11 : I love how you disparage DOT data when it puts DL or NW in a bad light, yet use it when it makes your point. It's going to be the only European carri
48 Commavia : Yes. Severely. In a market like this - yes. All the more reason why they can't afford any more enormous competitive strikes against them like this. W
49 Rongotai : I am flying NZ LAX-LHR this month and again in September - both on 744. In November I will be on the 777
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