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Nightflights From Europe To South America - Why?  
User currently offlineENCRJ From Italy, joined Nov 2004, 99 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4837 times:

I am back in Italy after a trip to Brasil - the first one for me.

I flew to GRU with AF, via CDG.

There seem to be some differences between (westbound) Europe to North America flights on the one hand and Europe to South America flights on the other:
- In the first case, almost all the flights are daylight.
- In the second case, some of them are daylight, but *many* are nightflights. For example, my flight (AF 454) was daylight but another one (AF 456) was a nightflight.

The result is that many European widebodies arrive in the (early) morning to Brasil, but can only go back to Europe in the afternoon and they have to wait 5-10 hours in Brasil. In GRU, I saw many of them (IB, AZ, AF, LH,...) parked at remote stands.

My question is: why the airlines are doing so? Wouldn't be more economical to force all westbound flights to be daylight flights? This way, the widebodies would not be forced to stay in SA for so many hours...

Just curious...

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3596 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4726 times:



Quoting ENCRJ (Thread starter):
My question is: why the airlines are doing so? Wouldn't be more economical to force all westbound flights to be daylight flights? This way, the widebodies would not be forced to stay in SA for so many hours...



The problem is that the flights would end up arriving in Brasil too late to connect onward.


User currently offlineENCRJ From Italy, joined Nov 2004, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4686 times:



Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 1):
The problem is that the flights would end up arriving in Brasil too late to connect onward.

Mmm. This is definitely one of the reasons. But is this the main one?

My flight (AF 456) was daylight, but I managed both to take a flight before
it (from BLQ) and another one after it (to BSB).


User currently offlineRafabozzolla From Brazil, joined Apr 2000, 1236 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4466 times:

The reality is that airlines will ALWAYS opt for intercontinental nightflights whenever possible. The only reason why transatlantic flights are not nightflights westbound is because it is not feasible.

In the case of deep SA, and Brazil in particular, the daylights are either operated by airlines with lower yielding customer base (TP, KL) or as second flights to complent already existing nightflights (IB, AF).

When it comes to yields, nightflights are king, no argue about that.


User currently offlineENCRJ From Italy, joined Nov 2004, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4418 times:



Quoting Rafabozzolla (Reply 3):
The reality is that airlines will ALWAYS opt for intercontinental nightflights whenever possible. The only reason why transatlantic flights are not nightflights westbound is because it is not feasible.

In the case of deep SA, and Brazil in particular, the daylights are either operated by airlines with lower yielding customer base (TP, KL) or as second flights to complent already existing nightflights (IB, AF).

When it comes to yields, nightflights are king, no argue about that.

Interesting. I didn't know that. Thanks Rafabozzolla.

So, summing up, nightflights provide additional yield which more than compensates the fact that airplanes stay on the ground for some hours waiting for the afternoon.

But, sorry for my ignorance, the next question is: why nightflights provide more yield?

My naive answer is: because business customer prefer to arrive to the destination in the morning, this way having at least half a day to work in Brasil. Am I correct?


User currently offlineRafabozzolla From Brazil, joined Apr 2000, 1236 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4181 times:



Quoting ENCRJ (Reply 4):
But, sorry for my ignorance, the next question is: why nightflights provide more yield?

My naive answer is: because business customer prefer to arrive to the destination in the morning, this way having at least half a day to work in Brasil. Am I correct?

You are a fast learner. Just a minor correction. More so than have a day to work, biz pax hate to loose working hours sitting idle on a plane. Hence the nightflights they would be sleeping anyway...


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25879 posts, RR: 22
Reply 6, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4139 times:

Quoting ENCRJ (Thread starter):
My question is: why the airlines are doing so? Wouldn't be more economical to force all westbound flights to be daylight flights? This way, the widebodies would not be forced to stay in SA for so many hours...

As already mentioned, business travellers prefer night flights. To North America, overnight flights don't work due to a combination of the flight time and greater time difference. Overnight flights would arrive in the middle of the night. I think the only overnight flight from Europe to North America is one of IB's MAD-MEX flights but it leaves very late, at 1:20 AM and arrives at 6 AM. A 1:20 AM departure to major U.S. and Canadian cities would still arrive in the middle of the night, and some airports have night curfews.

[Edited 2009-07-10 16:34:39]

User currently offlinePutnik From Brazil, joined Aug 2007, 229 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4061 times:



Quoting Rafabozzolla (Reply 5):
ore so than have a day to work, biz pax hate to loose working hours sitting idle on a plane. Hence the nightflights they would be sleeping anyway...

In addition to happy business travelers, it is nice to have the full economy cabin, despite the fact that yields may be questionable. All major European carriers who are offering flights to South America, IB, TP, LH, AF are relying heavily on connections to fill all cabins. A flight departing at 10pm and arriving at 7am can offer connections on both ends with ease, even if it gets delayed a bit. How early in the morning would one have to wake up to connect from anywhere in Europe to a GRU bound flight departing CDG at 10am? And then one reaches GRU, connects to anywhere in Brasil and ends up arriving to the destination late at night. It leaves us with the impression of the entire day lost in airports and queuing.



LH504 - we always remember our first :)
User currently offlineENCRJ From Italy, joined Nov 2004, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3804 times:

Thanks to everybody!  Smile

I can say I now understand more of the Europe-Brazil air traffic.


User currently offlineLipeGIG From Brazil, joined May 2005, 11458 posts, RR: 58
Reply 9, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3247 times:
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Quoting ENCRJ (Thread starter):
My question is: why the airlines are doing so? Wouldn't be more economical to force all westbound flights to be daylight flights? This way, the widebodies would not be forced to stay in SA for so many hours...

Time zone: One direction is perfect, the other is impossible

I'm sure if time zone allows late night-early morning arrivals in North America, they would do that.

Also, if they can fly GRU-CDG, GIG-CDG, EZE-CDG departing at 11 AM allowing connections to reach the airports, they will need 11 hours of flight, plus 3 to 5 hours of time zone change, to reach CDG ... at... 2 AM !
So as explained above, if you depart early, you miss connections at South American airports, and will also face difficulties to deal with all connections at CDG.

Lets say the shorter CDG-GIG that arives 5:30AM

Departing GIG-CDG at 7:30AM means any place like POA or BSB would demand very early morning departures, like 4AM to connect. This is just out of sense.

On the other side, AF for example offers overnight and daylight services CDG-GRU and CDG-GIG because you can depart CDG by 10AM and arive at 5PM because the time zone in this case reduces 3-5 hours.
That's why the daylight become a late night departure from Brazil (IB BA and AF for example do that at GIG - IB, KL and AF at GRU - LH at EZE)



New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
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