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Qantas Crew Base At Lax?  
User currently offlinecaleb1 From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 369 posts, RR: 3
Posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 9038 times:
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Because Qantas has so many crews laying over in LAX, has the company ever considered establishing a crew base there? I would think this would save the company a lot of money in hotel costs. It isn't completely unheard of for a carrier to establish a base outside of their home country, as CX has crew bases in LAX, SFO, and YYZ and I believe at one time, IB had a small base in MIA.

34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3224 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 8998 times:

Actually it wouldn't save a lot of costs...it would actually increase costs.

Here is why. Basically a lot of these crews would need to be Australians... and even if they were US citizens (not a smart marketing move on this route... being 'australian' is a point of difference) the cost of FA's is going to be similar to the cheapest new hires at either end, especially given the dollar is a similar value. They wont get away basically with anything less then about $50 000 AUD/USD pa. But hotels in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne are going to cost a lot more then hotels in Los Angeles. It is for this reason Qantas has a crew base in London rather then singapore...which would on the outset appear to make more sense (given its in the middle of all major australian ports plus LHR and FRA). Hotels and layovers in asia are cheaper to pay for then ones in Australia and europe.

If the Australian Dollar became immensely more stronger then the US Dollar...and not just by 10% but by a huge huge margin, it then may make sense to pay FA's in USD's and base them in LAX and pay for hotels in Australia.

However, if jetstar started pushing harder cross the pacific that may be a different situation. Why? union influence. Jetstar already has thai FA's working for next to nothing on long haul routes, it could in effect employ americans at a lower rate then Australians, with unions having less muscle inside the jetstar operation, they wouldn't be able to do as much to prevent this. It would be cheap... maybe $35 000 a year or something which is absolutely crap for a long haul FA but it probably beats working working CRJ's or something like that on US domestic.


User currently offlineJQflightie From Australia, joined Mar 2009, 1001 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 8733 times:

please dont give QF anymore ideas  
but seriously... that would cause so many problems in Australia.... then where would all the Long Haul crew fly to? there would be xcess crew and maybe even layoffs... while in theory it sounds good... not quiet good in reality on the staff!!



Next Trip: PER-DPS-KUL-BKK-HKT-CNX-BKK-SIN-PER
User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7253 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8531 times:

Quoting caleb1 (Thread starter):
and I believe at one time, IB had a small base in MIA.

The reason IB has a crew base in Miami is because it had aircraft based in Miami first DC-9s then A319s flying to Central America and Mexico.
QF does have a lot of FA's and pilots staying over night but with the currency issues it really does not make sense since those LAX based crews would have to stay at hotels in SYD, MEL etc..



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineJackbr From Australia, joined Dec 2009, 668 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 8387 times:

How did the Heathrow base impact the Australian based crew? I believe it is now quite hard indeed for more junior crew to score a LHR trip, and it has to be through BKK on QF1? (Or one of the other flights - I think it's just one though)

User currently offlinenclmedic From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 345 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8277 times:

Personally I thought all the crew (certainly the juniors) on flights into and out of LHR were operated by London-based crew...

User currently offlineeoinnz From New Zealand, joined Jul 2003, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8256 times:

Quoting Jackbr (Reply 4):
and it has to be through BKK on QF1? (Or one of the other flights - I think it's just one though)

It is constantly changing. Prior to the entry of the A380 it was usually the QF31/32. After the A380 arrived it went to QF9/10 (And was a mix between SYD and MEL bases operating). Then for a brief period it was QF29/30

Then the London base was short of crew briefly so A380 crew operated all the way up on a mix of QF9/31 and back on either QF10/32 in addition to the QF1/2

So it isn't quite black and white anymore which flight they operate - though at the moment it is QF1/2 again.

As long as at least 7 flights per week are operated by Australian crew as per the agreement of opening the London base - it doesn't matter which ones they are.


User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4127 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8237 times:
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Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 1):
Actually it wouldn't save a lot of costs...it would actually increase costs.

Other issues set aside (the "Australian" marketing advantage), wouldn't QF save on overnight costs if it opened its own dedicated crew accommodation facilities in SYD and/or MEL? It wouldn't have to be used by LAX-based crews alone, but by domestic crews based outside of either city as well.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 1):
maybe $35 000 a year or something which is absolutely crap for a long haul FA but it probably beats working working CRJ's or something like that on US domestic.

Talk about giving Jetstar an idea. You'd have a huge line of regional F/As applying indeed.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26028 posts, RR: 50
Reply 8, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 8176 times:

Did AirNZ not have LAX based crews at one point? I tend to recall they rented some extended stay housing also in the early/mid-90s.

Several foreign airlines do have LAX based crews - mostly Far East carriers - Cathay, EVA, Asiana, Korean. In the past I know AOM French Airlines also had LAX base that did the Tahiti flying.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinewashingtonian From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 8101 times:

Like BA in NYC and formerly NW in AMS, does QF essentially have their own hotel in LAX for crews?

[Edited 2010-12-07 07:58:00]

User currently offlineeoinnz From New Zealand, joined Jul 2003, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 8074 times:

QF uses 4 different hotels in LAX

User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3224 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 7609 times:

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 7):
wouldn't QF save on overnight costs if it opened its own dedicated crew accommodation facilities in SYD and/or MEL? It wouldn't have to be used by LAX-based crews alone, but by domestic crews based outside of either city as well.

Well real estate is very expensive in Australia... with the average australian paying about 7 times annual earnings for their housing, 8 times in sydney (compare that to 3.5 times in the USA). Qantas union contracts usually stipulate that crew must stay in CBD area type hotels so they've got access to supermarkets, restaurants etc rather then being stuck airside with nothing but rip off airport stores to shop at. It probably wouldn't pay. it is far easier to tender out this to which ever hotel chain is having trouble filling rooms and give them the contract. That isn't their core business, and they probably won't be able to do it as efficiently as the big hotel chains do. Concept of specialisation. I dont know of any major airlines around the world that do this? That and well SYD and MEL are hubs... most of staff would rather go to their own homes. Basing a huge number of staff outside the hub and then building hotels seems like a very complicated, expensive exercise...and one that would tie up capital that could be spent on things like uprgading the premium experience, new aircraft, better lounges etc.


User currently offlineUA772IAD From Australia, joined Jul 2004, 1733 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 7554 times:

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 11):
I dont know of any major airlines around the world that do this?

I believe at one point, UA owned/operated or had a stake in a hotel in Honolulu. I doubt it still exists though, as nearly all flying (at least for flight attendants) are turns instead of overnight or multi-day trips. The once a day DEN and ORD flights do overnight, but there are more than enough hotel rooms in HNL and OGG to accommodate a few dozen crew members.


User currently offlineeoinnz From New Zealand, joined Jul 2003, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7399 times:

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 11):
Qantas union contracts usually stipulate that crew must stay in CBD area type hotels so they've got access to supermarkets, restaurants etc rather then being stuck airside with nothing but rip off airport stores to shop at.

Not quite true. Nothing to stop them putting us away from the CBD. In LA the hotel is over an hour from the airport and longer from downtown LA - not that we really need to be there either. Then we used to stay at the airport hotel in Hong Kong for a little while, not a popular decision, but nothing to stop Qantas doing it. Qantas made up for the choice of an airport hotel by giving us a return train ticket into the city each stay along with a few other sweeteners.


User currently offlineUA772IAD From Australia, joined Jul 2004, 1733 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 7081 times:

Quoting eoinnz (Reply 13):

Not quite true. Nothing to stop them putting us away from the CBD. In LA the hotel is over an hour from the airport and longer from downtown LA

Wow, an hour? Of course with traffic, it could be close to the CBD (mile wise). Downtown LA is pretty small and boring anyways...


User currently offlineeoinnz From New Zealand, joined Jul 2003, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 7025 times:

We used to stay in Downtown LA a few years ago. We now stay out in the O.C. We are actually only 5 minutes from John Wayne Airport (SNA)!

User currently offlinethegeek From Australia, joined Nov 2007, 2638 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 6982 times:

To elaborate on others' points, (one of) the reason that the LHR & AKL bases exist is because they allow what would be a 4 legged trip with 3 overnights to be broken up into 2x 2 legged trips with one overnight per trip. So there is a reduction in the number of overnights.

This doesn't apply to a proposed LAX base, except for the LAX-JFK tag flight.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 1):
It is for this reason Qantas has a crew base in London rather then singapore

I didn't follow what you are saying here. Is it because of the local wages, or the hotel costs, or both?

While a SIN base would help for the BNE-SIN-BOM and SYD-SIN-FRA flights, the LHR base is useful for the MEL-HKG-LHR & SYD-BKK-LHR flights, which require more crew, so that could be a factor too. Of course I am ignoring the union issues mentioned above here.


User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3224 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6930 times:

Quoting thegeek (Reply 16):
I didn't follow what you are saying here. Is it because of the local wages, or the hotel costs, or both?

While a SIN base would help for the BNE-SIN-BOM and SYD-SIN-FRA flights, the LHR base is useful for the MEL-HKG-LHR & SYD-BKK-LHR flights, which require more crew, so that could be a factor too. Of course I am ignoring the union issues mentioned above here.

Mostly hotel costs, but you must remember, when this decision was first implimented about 5 years ago, the Aussie dollar was trading something like 0.33 p against the GBP. So the costs in London, relative to singapore in terms of hotels and away allowences were much greater. By basing staff in London (actual wage ironically enough was similar to new hires in australia) they only needed to be paid much cheaper overnight rates in Singapore or Hong Kong... also cities where good hotels were maybe 1/3 of the price at that point of London.

SIN based crew, like AKL based crew, could still easily operate LHR-HKG. The cost saving today wont be as significiant due to the appreciation of the aussie dollar.


User currently offlineGman3 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 290 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6902 times:

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 12):

I believe at one point, UA owned/operated or had a stake in a hotel in Honolulu. I doubt it still exists though, as nearly all flying (at least for flight attendants) are turns instead of overnight or multi-day trips. The once a day DEN and ORD flights do overnight, but there are more than enough hotel rooms in HNL and OGG to accommodate a few dozen crew members.

We still own our layover hotel in Honolulu.


User currently offline767er From Australia, joined Apr 2001, 1092 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6885 times:

Air NZ stay in 4 locations in LA - one in Marina Del Ray, another in Pasadena and not sure about the other 2, except 1 is in the OC.


Aircraft flown:F27,Viscount. EMB120, SAAB340, ATR70, 737-200.737-300,DC8, DC10,747-100,747-200,747-300,747-400, A320, A3
User currently offlinethegeek From Australia, joined Nov 2007, 2638 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6832 times:

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 17):
SIN based crew, like AKL based crew, could still easily operate LHR-HKG.

They could, but there would only be an advantage to doing so if you are paying them less.


User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4845 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 6555 times:

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 14):
Quoting eoinnz (Reply 13):

Not quite true. Nothing to stop them putting us away from the CBD. In LA the hotel is over an hour from the airport and longer from downtown LA

Wow, an hour? Of course with traffic, it could be close to the CBD (mile wise). Downtown LA is pretty small and boring anyways...
Quoting eoinnz (Reply 15):
We used to stay in Downtown LA a few years ago. We now stay out in the O.C. We are actually only 5 minutes from John Wayne Airport (SNA)!

Why stay near LAX when there are 2 more airports to drive past first (Long Beach and SNA) lol



56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
User currently offlinem11stephen From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1247 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 6503 times:

Quoting eoinnz (Reply 13):
In LA the hotel is over an hour from the airport and longer from downtown LA - not that we really need to be there either.

Um may I kindly ask what is the point of that? It seems like an absolute waste of time and money. There are several nice airport hotels near LAX! Its not like you have to drive an hour away from LAX to escape the slums...



My opinions, statements, etc. are my own and do not have any association with those of any employer.
User currently offlineBA174 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 765 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6464 times:

Quoting washingtonian (Reply 9):
Like BA in NYC and formerly NW in AMS, does QF essentially have their own hotel in LAX for crews?

BA do not have a mainline base in New York dispite the fact that they operate 11 flights per day to the area. OpenSkies(BA european) do have most of their crew based in EWR.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26028 posts, RR: 50
Reply 24, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6434 times:

Quoting m11stephen (Reply 22):
Um may I kindly ask what is the point of that? It seems like an absolute waste of time and money. There are several nice airport hotels near LAX! Its not like you have to drive an hour away from LAX to escape the slums...

Let me put this is context having over the years dealt with many hotel agreement locally.

First keep in mind there are about 102 airlines that operate at LAX, which obviously generate many thousands of daily hotel room stays. Secondly room rates that airlines negotiate are obviously discounted, and not the best revenue source for hotels. Many hotels do business with airlines as a needed evil to generate some steady base income.

Combine the above two, and the the shear number of daily QF and NZ daily hotel room needs, there simply are not that many properties that want to do business with these airlines at rates that are mutually acceptable. As such, these larger operations must split their business amongst a number of hotels to accommodate their overnight needs. Also over time, airlines tend to burn bridges with hotels as contracts come up for renewal and tend to continue seeking out the lowest cost options and constantly are moving.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
25 Viscount724 : If memory correct, NW once owned their own crew hotel in Tokyo. I think it was sold some years ago when they were in financial difficulty and needed
26 m11stephen : DL owns a hotel in AMS which all of its crews stay at. Its not exclusively for crew use as anyone can rent a room at it as well. I won't disclose whi
27 Viscount724 : They don't mention an AMS hotel in their latest (2009) annual report but they do mention property owned by DL in Tokyo, including a 512-room hotel ne
28 m11stephen : I was under the impression that it was still owned by DL but it may have very well been sold.
29 LH417AF025 : i mean correct me if i'm wrong, but i haven't heard of a US based FA making $50k/yearly without 40 years of seniority or working crazy overtime.
30 WNCrew : You're wrong : )
31 flymia : At a major airline I think starting FA pay is around $40,000 so really 50,000 is not that much of an increase, probably 3-5 years of work.
32 LH417AF025 : again, this is not to star a war in the forum, or any flaming. i was under the impression that new hires at UA, EI, BA, VS etc were all in the 20/25k
33 blueflyer : I do understand your point about real estate cost and it is well taken. I wasn't necessarily talking about an airline owned/operated facility, howeve
34 m11stephen : An F/A working an average amount of hours a month, say 80, would make $4,000 a month at AA. HAHA! Starting F/A pay at a major is right around 20K a y
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