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Will Air Transat Hurt AC’s European Routes?  
User currently offlineKrisYYZ From Canada, joined Nov 2004, 1593 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5268 times:

Can TS compete with AC on some European and Caribbean/South American routes? Or are the two airline so different that they will never be in direct competition?

TS has recently removed some seats from their aircraft thereby increasing leg room. They are also slowly replacing their A313s with A330s. Will this trend of increased passenger comfort and new aircraft attract some pax from AC to TS?

Obviously, TS is a charter airline and AC is mainline carrier and one of the largest airlines in the world. TS can’t compete with AC in regards to premium traffic.

I flew with TS in 2005 from YYZ-AMS and back and I found there service and seating to be very poor even when taking their low fares into account. My experience with AC has also been mixed, the XM project and the acquisition of the B777s have elevated AC but I still find their in-flight service to be below par on trans-Atlantic flights.

Is a merger between TS and WS possible? Or is the charter market so different that TS cannot afford to change their product without abandoning their current business model?


A short youtube vide about TS and their increased seating comfort.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjEB0bto8bo

Thanks,

KrisYYZ

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (4 years 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5145 times:

I think they're going after different markets. TS serve some mainline destinations in Europe, LGW & CDG coming to mind, but also a slew of secondary locations such as LYS & HAM that AC used to serve but have abandoned in favour of the main business destinations such as LHR & FRA.

TS's focus is still I believe low-cost/low-margin as a stand-alone carrier without (to my knowledge) a FF program. Again, to my knowledge, they don't interline, and they don't have domestic feed. To really compete with AC they'd need to bid on slots at slots-controlled airport (not cheap), and they'd have to be able to offer more frequency to these destinations than is possible with their current fleet (3 A332, 2A333, 13 A313; 4A330 [not sure which type] on order). But offering more frequency without domestic feed probably doesn't make a lot of sense. Also, AC has nearly 60 wide-bodies (77W/77L/763/A333) in service, with 787s on the way. Hard to compete against that.

If TS could get together with WS it might work, but it looks more like WS are tieing up with DL, AF/KL, and possibly BA.
Which will probably limit TS to niche scheduled services and the seasonal charter markets.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineBY738 From Tonga, joined Sep 2000, 2266 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (4 years 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5067 times:

Theyve been about for years and never really made much impact, so I cant see this changing. "updating" to more A330's is 10 years too late

User currently offlineFlying Belgian From Belgium, joined Jun 2001, 2390 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (4 years 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5067 times:
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AC started its BRU ops in mid-June and they're already full each day both directions !

TS has a much longer history here in BRU to YUL. But they attract both very different public imo.



Life is great at 41.000 feet...
User currently offlineA5XX From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 245 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 4912 times:

Quoting BY738 (Reply 2):
Theyve been about for years and never really made much impact, so I cant see this changing. "updating" to more A330's is 10 years too late

TS always operated older aircrafts, and saved a lot of money on leasing costs (but never cut corners on maintenance). That's why they managed to stay profitable, when other airlines went belly up. Why drive a 2010 Mercedes, when a well maintained 2000 Mercedes will do? I do miss the L-1011.  



we are the boeing... resistance is futile...You will be assimilated
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (4 years 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4824 times:

Quoting A5XX (Reply 4):
TS always operated older aircrafts, and saved a lot of money on leasing costs (but never cut corners on maintenance).

Except for putting in the wrong-sized fuel pipe on an A332, which ultimately resulted in fuel exhaustion and a dead stick landing at Lajes, Azores.

Aug 24, 2001: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Transat_Flight_236



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineLucky727 From Canada, joined Sep 2003, 602 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (4 years 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4666 times:

Quoting A5XX (Reply 4):
Why drive a 2010 Mercedes, when a well maintained 2000 Mercedes will do? I do miss the L-1011.

Me too - flew YYZ-YVR in the mid-90s with them, on a former CX L-1011, and purchased the upgrade at the last minute to 'Club Class' (which I guess was CX's former J from the late 80s?). What a great, roomy cabin - even was able to visit the cockpit...


...but back to topic: I think they cater to two wholly different markets, and seem to coexist pretty well. I'd be tempted to try one of their A330s to Europe someday...

L727



··· [·] oooooooo [·] oooo oo ooooo [·] ooooooooooooooooooo [·]
User currently offlinemultimark From Canada, joined Jul 2006, 796 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4633 times:

Quoting KrisYYZ (Thread starter):
...TS has recently removed some seats from their aircraft thereby increasing leg room. They are also slowly replacing their A313s with A330s. Will this trend of increased passenger comfort and new aircraft attract some pax from AC to TS?

Obviously, TS is a charter airline and AC is mainline carrier and one of the largest airlines in the world. TS can’t compete with AC in regards to premium traffic.

I flew with TS in 2005 from YYZ-AMS and back and I found there service and seating to be very poor even when taking their low fares into account. My experience with AC has also been mixed, the XM project and the acquisition of the B777s have elevated AC but I still find their in-flight service to be below par on trans-Atlantic flights...

I'm curious who you're comparing AC's TATL service with? I find it better than American carriers.

Transat wedges 9 abreast in their A330's vs AC's 8 abreast. I'll never fly them for that reason alone.


User currently offlineKrisYYZ From Canada, joined Nov 2004, 1593 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4594 times:

Quoting multimark (Reply 7):


I'm curious who you're comparing AC's TATL service with? I find it better than American carriers.

Transat wedges 9 abreast in their A330's vs AC's 8 abreast. I'll never fly them for that reason alone



I'm comparing AC to BA, KL and LH. I have never flown with any American carriers so you are probably correct in saying that. I realize that AC is the smallest out of the above mentioned airlines and they have made major gains since bankruptcy. I'm basing my statement on my personal experiences.

I flew TS on a A310 and A332. The A310 was 9 abreast and horrible, but I think the A330 was 8 abreast.

KrisYYZ


User currently offlinemultimark From Canada, joined Jul 2006, 796 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4562 times:

Quoting KrisYYZ (Reply 8):
I'm comparing AC to BA, KL and LH. I have never flown with any American carriers so you are probably correct in saying that. I realize that AC is the smallest out of the above mentioned airlines and they have made major gains since bankruptcy. I'm basing my statement on my personal experiences.

I flew TS on a A310 and A332. The A310 was 9 abreast and horrible, but I think the A330 was 8 abreast.

KrisYYZ

Seatguru shows 9 abreast in Y: http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Air...at/Air_Transat_Airbus_A330-200.php

AC used to be more inconsistent but I've found their service to be fine over the last few years. I've heard bad things about BA, so again, its probably consistency issues.


User currently offlinepnwtraveler From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 2229 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (4 years 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4515 times:

AT is rumoured to be in line for AC's 763's as they replace them with 787's. It is a very very different target market, and a very different style of service. I have a neighbour who flies multiple times a week. I know his list of choices and moreso who he won't fly. AC is far and above his favourite North American airline. If and only if you get a European airline a full First Class he says they are a small step above AC. AC's Executive First is not designed to compete fully with a F class, but rather give some F Class service at J Class prices. AC has designed its front cabin for Canadians vs. trying to compete fully with a full F Class on the international market. So of course it should be somewhat less in cost and slightly less in service.

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24922 posts, RR: 22
Reply 11, posted (4 years 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4359 times:

Quoting KrisYYZ (Thread starter):
Obviously, TS is a charter airline

TS is a scheduled airline. Most TS routes are sold as scheduled flights and are displayed in and can be booked through the major GDS systems.

Quoting KrisYYZ (Thread starter):
Can TS compete with AC

TS and AC have been competing for years. Customers choose the type of product they want. There is a market for both types of products.

Quoting multimark (Reply 9):
Quoting KrisYYZ (Reply 8):
I'm comparing AC to BA, KL and LH. I have never flown with any American carriers so you are probably correct in saying that. I realize that AC is the smallest out of the above mentioned airlines and they have made major gains since bankruptcy. I'm basing my statement on my personal experiences.

I flew TS on a A310 and A332. The A310 was 9 abreast and horrible, but I think the A330 was 8 abreast.

KrisYYZ

Seatguru shows 9 abreast in Y: http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Air...0.php

The A330-200 is 9 abreast. The A330-300 is 8 abreast. That's so total seating is the same on both and aircraft can be exchanged more easily when necessary.


User currently offlineCPDC10-30 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 4780 posts, RR: 24
Reply 12, posted (4 years 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4231 times:

I have to give credit where it is due. TS service has really improved in the past five years, at least in my experience. Yes, they are 9 abreast in economy on the A332 and 313, but the seat pitch is about 2-3" greater than before and that makes a huge difference. I am 6' 4" and it is entirely tolerable for a relatively short 7-8 hour flight. The club class upgrade for £99 was an absolute bargain. Pre flight drinks, nice wide seats with great pitch, three course meal, amenity kit, real metal cutlery, plates and glass glasses. One cabin crew member looking after just 21 pax. Can't get much better value for money than that.

The A313s I flew last month LHR-YYZ-LHR could have easily been mistaken for an A332 by someone who does not follow aviation. The cabin was clean and reasonably modern - no way to guess that the aircraft was over 20 years old to the standard passenger.

Is there any chance of them increasing their presence at LHR? Although LGW is traditionally the charter link to Canada, many North Londoners including myself would gladly pay a premium to stay on the north side of the Thames. Given that premium cabin on TS is usually a similar price as economy on AC - TS out of LHR is a no brainer for leisure flights.

[Edited 2010-07-30 16:30:37]

[Edited 2010-07-30 16:33:36]

User currently offlinemainMAN From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 2097 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (4 years 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4195 times:

Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 12):


Is there any chance of them increasing their presence at LHR? Although LGW is traditionally the charter link to Canada, many North Londoners including myself would gladly pay a premium to stay on the north side of the Thames.

I suppose if you'd a pay a premium, you'd pay it to BA or AC instead! Are TS slots at LHR still on the slacker Saturdays and Sundays?

Back to the original question....

Quoting KrisYYZ (Thread starter):
Can TS compete with AC on some European and Caribbean/South American routes?

Although TS operates scheduled flights, they still have an image of being a charter carrier or 'scheduled charter' in exactly the same way that Wardair was marketed (especially in the UK). Unfortunately they don't seem to have the same presence in the minds of the ever-dwindling numbers of UK - Canada VFR passengers. Nobody ever talks about Air Transat in the same way they did 25 years ago about Wardair.

The question also directly relates to how much Canada needs a second long-haul carrier, in the same vein as in the days of CP and AC, and I doubt that it does; added to which, TS doesn't have a regular schedule of domestic feed in and out of YYZ.


User currently offlineyenne09 From Canada, joined Jun 2010, 186 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3899 times:

TS is to only other canadian carrier, after Air Canada, which has the IATA agreement. So they are flying some regular scheduled such as Montréal-Brussels (served for a while by Nationair in the 80's and 90's). But most of their flights are on a charter basis. Their core business is Europe with a lot of services to regional airports in France and UK. For Montrealer they are serving a lot of destinations that are not served by others. I went to Europe more than 20 times and i have travelled aboard many carriers. I flew on Air Transat between Montréal and Vancouver and between Montréal and Paris so In my opinion they are offering a good service for the price of the ticket. For me, Air Canada is simply over estimated because has a coach flyer I can say they are not offering something very different and they are very expansive for their service. I would like to mention that when you are travelling in Canada aboard an Air Canada we have to pay
for the sandwich and beverages and the fares have nothing to do with those of Ryanair. So, In my experience Air Canada simply doesn't worth the price they are charging.


User currently offlinetim222 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2009, 87 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3872 times:

I guess it comes to money... My best friend from England lives in Etobicoke in YYZ and comes home 3 times a year... I work for BA and it usually comes in round $1200 Canadian for a return YYZ-LHR-YYZ on cheap staff fares. TS offers a substantial saving on this figure sometimes up to $450. Also on the YYZ-LHR route AI is a fairly reasonable option...

What you have to remember, is that the wider puble DO NOT CARE what airline they fly on as long as the plane gets them from A-B and with a flight to Europe it is 5h50 - 7h00 overnight... ok not comfortable but so what... yeah you may have to pay for a drink or 2 onboard still not gonna come anywhere near the saving you've made over AC/BA...

good on TS lets hope they continue to be sucessful and don't get squeezed out of the Canadian market leaving a limited choice on TATL routes


User currently offlineCPDC10-30 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 4780 posts, RR: 24
Reply 16, posted (4 years 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3750 times:

Quoting mainMAN (Reply 13):
I suppose if you'd a pay a premium, you'd pay it to BA or AC instead! Are TS slots at LHR still on the slacker Saturdays and Sundays?

No, that's what I'd do if I have more money than brains. Premium economy on BA LHR-YYZ-LHR is generally about £1000 RT ( I have taken it once), compare to about £600 in premium on TS. The service on TS was actually better.


User currently offlineyyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16245 posts, RR: 56
Reply 17, posted (4 years 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3594 times:

Of course AC and TS compete. The majority of TATL travellers are occasional VFR and other tourists. They want reasonable fares and schedules. AC or TS could fit the bill for any given TATL passenger.

Don't over-analyze the market segmentation. For most passengers, air travel is a commodity and will fly with any airline.



Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineYVRLTN From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 2445 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3561 times:

Quoting mainMAN (Reply 13):
I suppose if you'd a pay a premium, you'd pay it to BA or AC instead

Bearing in mind I book through Canadian Affair (TS operate the flights - though the past two summers from YVR the UK has been exclusively TCX metal) the regular fare is $800 cheaper than AC in Y and $900 less than BA. So an upgrade to premium is still way better value than Y on AC or BA for the leisure traveller not interested in Star / OW miles etc.

Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 12):
Yes, they are 9 abreast in economy on the A332 and 313, but the seat pitch is about 2-3" greater than before and that makes a huge difference. I am 6' 4" and it is entirely tolerable for a relatively short 7-8 hour flight

The pitch is not the issue for me. Im 5'7" but broadly set and I just cant get my shoulders straight. That is barely tolerable on a 10 hour YVR flight - heres what the cabin looks like         
However, as a leisure traveller I want to save the $800 x2 so I deal with it. When I travel for business, I always fly AC. And I guess thats why there will always be room for both. Overhead heavy "legacies" like AC and BA really dont need the cheap leisure pax as their bread and butter anyway - if they filled all their flights at TS prices, they wont exist any more or end up like JL who do just that.

Quoting KrisYYZ (Reply 8):
I'm comparing AC to BA, KL and LH

I flew the LH A343 recently and it was certainly no better than AC in Y. Service was similar. The XM product is way better than the LH 343. And when booking early spring, apart from the fares being even more than AC, I intentionally avoided BA in case they went on strike and screwed up my holiday.

Quoting KrisYYZ (Thread starter):
Is a merger between TS and WS possible?

Anything is possible, but it would be stupid. WS are branching out into the Caribbean, particularly from smaller airports like YYJ and YXX out west. TS also serve many local airports themselves, so there would not be much benefit having domestic feed from WS into hubs and I can see zero benefit for WS. Operating A330's would go against their business model.

Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 12):
The A313s I flew last month LHR-YYZ-LHR could have easily been mistaken for an A332 by someone who does not follow aviation. The cabin was clean and reasonably modern - no way to guess that the aircraft was over 20 years old to the standard passenger.

I'll give you that for sure. For what you pay for, the service is friendly and all you need, TS are great at what they do and a credit to the Candian skies. But as I mentioned above about the A330 being cramped, that A310 is worse. I had back pain for a few days after a YYZ - EDI flight on one of their A310's and now they type is ticked off my logbook, I will avoid it in future for an overnight flight. But again, it was my choice as I wanted to avoid the change at LHR with BA up to EDI and it was cheaper anyway.

Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 12):
Is there any chance of them increasing their presence at LHR? Although LGW is traditionally the charter link to Canada, many North Londoners including myself would gladly pay a premium to stay on the north side of the Thames. Given that premium cabin on TS is usually a similar price as economy on AC - TS out of LHR is a no brainer for leisure flights.

I would love a flight into STN - I think 1-2 per week would work. There was a rumor a while back there would be a LTN flight from YYZ too, but it seems that was either shelved or just a rumor.



Follow me on twitter for YVR movements @vernonYVR
User currently offlineKrisYYZ From Canada, joined Nov 2004, 1593 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3505 times:

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 18):
I flew the LH A343 recently and it was certainly no better than AC in Y. Service was similar. The XM product is way better than the LH 343. And when booking early spring, apart from the fares being even more than AC, I intentionally avoided BA in case they went on strike and screwed up my holiday.



I flew with AC from YYZ to FRA (77W) and with LH from FRA to YYZ (A346) last year. While I would agree that the seating wasn't all that different, I was most impressed with the in flight service on LH. The service on AC seemed rushed and the food was barely eatable. The service on LH was very friendly and efficient and they came around with drinks every few hours, including serving a full bottle of beer to pax! The semi-working IFE on AC was kind of disappointing too.

As others have said, one of AC's biggest problem is inconsistency.

Thank you everybody for the input and interesting analysis.

KrisYYZ


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24922 posts, RR: 22
Reply 20, posted (4 years 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3377 times:

Quoting yenne09 (Reply 14):
TS is to only other canadian carrier, after Air Canada, which has the IATA agreement. So they are flying some regular scheduled such as Montréal-Brussels (served for a while by Nationair in the 80's and 90's).

Whether an airline is an IATA member has absolutely no relevance to the routes they fly. Airlines have to operate scheduled international services to become an IATA member but that doesn't mean that airlines can't operate scheduled services without joining IATA. IATA is a trade association and airlines are free to join or not.


User currently offlineconnector4you From Canada, joined May 2001, 932 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (3 years 12 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2911 times:

Quoting KrisYYZ (Thread starter):
Can TS compete with AC on some European

Looking up at the variety of destinations they are currently serving direct-nonstop out of Montreal and Toronto and the competitive fares they are charging, the answer should be YES THEY CAN and they do on European point to point . But somehow It's an understatement to think that their only competition is Air Canada. Star Alliance as a whole, plus all the other individual world air-alliances member airlines operating out of YYZ and YUL are pretty much in the game for a piece of Transatlantic pie.

After Zoom went bankrupt they initiated a quick operational boost to their UK destinations out of Vancouver by leasing capacity on Thomas Cook aircraft. They even exceeded expectations by starting to offer a good choice of summer-seasonal European destinations all aimed at the average Canadian holiday seeker's budget: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Madrid, Munich, Paris, Rome.

Fair enough some of these European destination are not necessarily non-stop and much less frequent than the ones operated out of Eastern Canada butt overall it's a smart business decision on part of AirTransat to capitalize on Vancouver's demand for reasonably priced fares to Europe.


User currently offlinebaw716 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2027 posts, RR: 27
Reply 22, posted (3 years 12 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2899 times:

TS and AC have two different kinds of products aimed at two different types of passengers. They've been co-existing for years and haven't got a leg up on each other...yet. TS increased seat pitch to about 34" on their A330s, but no IFE and still nine across, so it's tight.

AC has the full AVOD program on its long haul fleet and 32-33" pitch (depending on aircraft).

Two different products for two different types of clientele; although if TS does well in certain nonstop markets that start pulling business off AC, then we might see some pricing actions to mitigate that loss (or FF incentives).

baw716



David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
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