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Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?  
User currently offlineNorwegian737 From Norway, joined Mar 2011, 41 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 13935 times:

I've noticed that some flights, particularly flights between Europe and South Africa have really long breaks before they turn around and return to where they originated from.

For instance, Lufthansa's flight LH572 arrives in JNB at 10:10 in the morning, but doesn't fly back to FRA until 19:40 (9,5 hr stop). The same applies for South African Airways flight; it arrives in FRA at 06:15, and doesn't return to JNB until 20:45 (14,5 hr stop).

The same thing also applies to British Airways, Air France, and KLM.

The flight between Europe and JNB is about 10 hrs, but is it necessary to have both ways be overnight?
For example, when the SAA flight arrives in FRA at 06:15 in the morning, it could easily fly back some hrs later, and arrive in JNB in the evening, instead of waiting all the way to the evening before returning.

A plane makes money when it's in the air, so you would think that in today's competitive airline market with high costs, the airlines would want to utilize their airplane, instead of having them sitting on the ground for 10-14 hrs before it flies again.

Thanks!

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineleftyboarder From Turkey, joined Apr 2008, 693 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 13912 times:

Quoting Norwegian737 (Thread starter):
For example, when the SAA flight arrives in FRA at 06:15 in the morning, it could easily fly back some hrs later, and arrive in JNB in the evening, instead of waiting all the way to the evening before returning.

That probably would kill connectivity at the FRA end, unless they are only aiming for the JNB-FRA O&D market.


User currently offlines5daw From Slovenia, joined May 2011, 253 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 13904 times:

Because passengers prefer night flights?

User currently offlineLHRFlyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2010, 815 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 13873 times:

Quoting Norwegian737 (Thread starter):
A plane makes money when it's in the air, so you would think that in today's competitive airline market with high costs, the airlines would want to utilize their airplane, instead of having them sitting on the ground for 10-14 hrs before it flies again.

Simple. Schedules are designed around the needs of their market, namely business travellers.

Business travellers prefer night flights so they can do a full day's work before departure and on the day of arrival.


User currently onlineozglobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2715 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 13804 times:

Ask QF why LAX is 'littered' with 744s and A388's all day and then send them home in a veritable armada ? Business timing and curfews on a 15hr non-stop route. Frequency is irrelevant on such routes. It's all about the one right slot, capacity and yeild.



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When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6311 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 13804 times:

I agree - the combination of night flight preference + connectivity is key here. FRA-JNB, for example, has Star Alliance connectivity on both ends...tons of it. By just catering to FRA-JNB itself, the market becomes a fraction of what it could be (or needs to be to survive, most likely).

The bean counters have done their job...they're usually very good at it. I guarantee they calculate the cost of having the plane sit idle all day and still determined it made more financial sense in its current schedule.


User currently offlineArniepie From Belgium, joined Aug 2005, 1265 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 13736 times:

disregard, I was just parotting Ozglobal it seems.

[Edited 2011-12-05 06:32:51]


[edit post]
User currently offlineNorwegian737 From Norway, joined Mar 2011, 41 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 13710 times:

It makes sense that they let the planes be parked so it can do an overnight each way, on routes where this gives the best profit.

However, there are other routes where it doesn't quite make as much sense.

For example, Icelandair flies to Seattle, and it arrives in the afternoon, and then (during season that doesn't have daily flights) they let the plane sit until the next day (almost 24 hrs) before it flies back to Reykjavik. Why not fly the plane back in the early evening and have it arrive in Reykjavik the next morning? The return flight will have to be an overnight anyway, so why not fly it back the same day?


User currently offlinefrmrCapCadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1713 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 13478 times:

Isn't Icelandair using older planes? Also perhaps the same crew gets enough break time to fly the other direction.


Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offline2travel2know2 From Panama, joined Apr 2010, 2600 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 13287 times:

Quoting ozglobal (Reply 4):
Ask QF why LAX is 'littered' with 744s and A388's all day and then send them home in a veritable armada ? Business timing and curfews on a 15hr non-stop route. Frequency is irrelevant on such routes. It's all about the one right slot, capacity and yeild.

If QF could, they probably might send one of those to MEX/TLC so to try to make some $ instead of having it on LAX tarmac all day long.

On South American flights, it was common for SAO and RIO flights to have tag-ons to other Brazilian airports and to EZE, so to to use the aircraft the most possible during that long turn-around. Pan Am even had "tag-on" to South Africa.

Also worth mention, many times the long turn-around times are used to perform some kind of minor maintenance on the plane.



I'm not on CM's payroll.
User currently onlineozglobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2715 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 13213 times:

Quoting 2travel2know2 (Reply 9):
Quoting ozglobal (Reply 4):
Ask QF why LAX is 'littered' with 744s and A388's all day and then send them home in a veritable armada ? Business timing and curfews on a 15hr non-stop route. Frequency is irrelevant on such routes. It's all about the one right slot, capacity and yeild.

If QF could, they probably might send one of those to MEX/TLC so to try to make some $ instead of having it on LAX tarmac all day long.

They used to send one to NY, but as a 3 class 744 it was not profitable. Now they serve this extension via a A330. Turns out its more efficient cost wise to leave them on the tarmac with current freedom restrictions.



When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently offlineILUV767 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 3141 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 13103 times:

Quoting Norwegian737 (Thread starter):
A plane makes money when it's in the air, so you would think that in today's competitive airline market with high costs, the airlines would want to utilize their airplane, instead of having them sitting on the ground for 10-14 hrs before it flies again.

If connection opportunities do not exist, then the flight will loose money. Its not cheap to park the airplane, but its cheaper than flying it on a money loosing flight.


User currently offlineFerminios From Canada, joined Apr 2011, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 13081 times:

Quoting Norwegian737 (Reply 7):
For example, Icelandair flies to Seattle, and it arrives in the afternoon, and then (during season that doesn't have daily flights) they let the plane sit until the next day (almost 24 hrs) before it flies back to Reykjavik. Why not fly the plane back in the early evening and have it arrive in Reykjavik the next morning? The return flight will have to be an overnight anyway, so why not fly it back the same day?

If I remember correctly they get MX done in SEA, so that's why the turnaround is so long  


User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4190 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 13017 times:

I thought that the reason for the SA flights to LHR had such a long turnaround was so they would not have to have extra crews staying in the London area and just have the one crew fly back in the evening.

Thinking abou tit now also it is about connections with the TATL flights that leave LHR in the morning and arrive in NA. You can connect traffic flying to North America better, but OTOH flying back from North America would be rather inconvienient.



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlineTristarsteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 3998 posts, RR: 34
Reply 14, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 12962 times:

Quoting Norwegian737 (Reply 7):
For example, Icelandair flies to Seattle, and it arrives in the afternoon, and then (during season that doesn't have daily flights) they let the plane sit until the next day (almost 24 hrs) before it flies back to Reykjavik. Why not fly the plane back in the early evening and have it arrive in Reykjavik the next morning? The return flight will have to be an overnight anyway, so why not fly it back the same day?

If it flew straight back to KEF it would land after the wave of B757s had left for Europe.
It would only carry O and D traffic, which is not enough for the route.


User currently offlinejoost From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 3167 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 12736 times:

Quoting Norwegian737 (Thread starter):
The same thing also applies to British Airways, Air France, and KLM.

KLM is an exception. BA, AF, LH, VS, LX and IB indeed have opted for a double-overnight pattern: both directions, the flight is flown at night, resulting in long ground time in JNB. It's optimized for connections on both ends, and also preferred by most business pax.

KLM has, since a long time, operated the route with a daylight southbound flight. This winter:

AMS-JNB 10:10-22:05
JNB-AMS 23:59-10:15 (+1)

The outbound flight is less attractive for business travelers, but operating costs for KLM are lower than competitors. 10:10 is late enough to be able to feed from the European network, and it's way better positioned for passengers from North America - as these flights all arrive in the early morning.

Quoting 2travel2know2 (Reply 9):
Also worth mention, many times the long turn-around times are used to perform some kind of minor maintenance on the plane.

Although true, it usually isn't the reason for long layovers. It's rather "now we're here anyway, let's use our time well".

Whether a long layover is useful, totally depends on the geographic characteristics. They are used often when it's possible to have a 'double overnight'-pattern. It happens most notably for flights:

Europe - South Africa v.v.
Europe - South America v.v.
North America - South America v.v.
Europe - South East Asia (eastbound only)
Australia - North America (eastbound only)

For Europe - South America, KLM is (again) the oddball, as GRU, GIG and EZE are all operating a daylight westbound flight, and an overnight return; the 777s are all parked under 2 hours at the airports. All other airlines use double overnight patterns, although AF for example uses a KLM-like pattern for their 2nd daily flight on CDG-GIG. LH, LX, BA, AF, all have long layovers.

For S.E. Asia, similar things can be found, although here it's LH who has some schedules optimized for fleet utilization. KLM flies a double-overnight pattern on AMS-HKG, with a fairly long layover, whereas LH's FRA-HKG has a daylight return flight, arriving at FRA in the evening.


User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2178 posts, RR: 15
Reply 16, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 12541 times:

Quoting Norwegian737 (Thread starter):
I've noticed that some flights, particularly flights between Europe and South Africa have really long breaks before they turn around and return to where they originated from.

It's the same circumstances with flights between North and deep South America.

In instances where you have a long haul flight (8-10+ hours each direction) within the same time zone, give or take an hour or so, its actually more profitable to have the a/c sit on the tarmac during the day and operate the flights only at night. Higher yielding business traffic prefer nightly schedules, as mentioned above, for the purposes of not sacrificing an entire work day spent in the air. Plus, when you're not dealing with the effects of jet lag and can get a reasonably good nights sleep in a premium cabin, you maximize your productivity on both ends of the trip.

Ultimately, the revenues derived from night flights outweigh the costs of non-utilization. Alternatively, airlines can generate other cost-saving/revenue producing routes in this operation by using tag-ons or performing maintenance. For example, congested airports like Sao Paulo have ridiculously high parking fees, so a way around them is to do tag-on flights to GIG, etc.



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offline2travel2know2 From Panama, joined Apr 2010, 2600 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 12459 times:

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 16):
For example, congested airports like Sao Paulo have ridiculously high parking fees, so a way around them is to do tag-on flights to GIG, etc.

Nowadays that only works fine @ GRU as long as the airline has the slots for the tag-on take-off and landing.
That would be the case too @ LHR where planes remain on the tarmac all they long because there are no slots for those to fly tag-ons. I remember RG Varig did tag-ons from LHR to CPH back in their glory days.



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User currently offlinetheginge From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 1132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 12356 times:

Quoting brilondon (Reply 13):
I thought that the reason for the SA flights to LHR had such a long turnaround was so they would not have to have extra crews staying in the London area and just have the one crew fly back in the evening.

No, the reason is as others have said, night flights are preferable on many routes. I think after operating a long flight up from JNB the crew would need more rest than the time the aircraft stays on the ground. Generally you need 10-12 hours rest, or the length of the previous duty if it is greater, before you can report for duty again.

[Edited 2011-12-05 12:41:36]

User currently offlineEmirates202 From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 237 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 11200 times:

Same thing here at JFK with EK 201(A380) which arrives at JFK at 2pm, and doesn't return to dxb until 11pm, so I guess it's just bc of connection times at the hub


Fly Emirates, Hello Tomorrow
User currently offlinetff From Portugal, joined May 2011, 68 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 10162 times:

Quoting joost (Reply 15):
For Europe - South America, KLM is (again) the oddball, as GRU, GIG and EZE are all operating a daylight westbound flight, and an overnight return; the 777s are all parked under 2 hours at the airports. All other airlines use double overnight patterns, although AF for example uses a KLM-like pattern for their 2nd daily flight on CDG-GIG. LH, LX, BA, AF, all have long layovers.

You just missed TP, which has daylight westbound flights and redeye returns in all its Brazil flights from June-September and in most of them October-May.



Remove before flight
User currently onlinegemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5627 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 10147 times:

Quoting 2travel2know2 (Reply 9):
If QF could, they probably might send one of those to MEX/TLC so to try to make some $ instead of having it on LAX tarmac all day long.

QF can serve any US city and have full 5th freedom rights from the USA to anywhere. AFAIK they still have rights to MEX, ACA, NAS, BDA & YVR. If there was some where else in Canada they really wanted to serve, other than YVR a deal could be done fairly easily, I would expect. In fact QF could serve just about anywhere in North America.

It just does not make economic sense to do so.

Gemuser



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
User currently offline2travel2know2 From Panama, joined Apr 2010, 2600 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 9726 times:

Quoting gemuser (Reply 21):
QF can serve any US city and have full 5th freedom rights from the USA to anywhere. AFAIK they still have rights to MEX, ACA, NAS, BDA & YVR. If there was some where else in Canada they really wanted to serve, other than YVR a deal could be done fairly easily, I would expect. In fact QF could serve just about anywhere in North America.

It just does not make economic sense to do so.

As for a LAX-MEX/TLC, does QF still has 5th freedom rigths for that? Mexicans are a tough when granting 5th freedom between U.S. and Mexican airports.
Other than that issue, if QF were to fly MEX via LAX, a Mexican (and many others) travelling between Australia and Mexico must have a valid U.S. visa to fly that route.
As for LAX-Canada tag-on, U.S. immigration may want all Australia bound passengers boarding at that Canadian airport to go thru U.S. port-of-entry there just because the flight stops in LAX. How may Australians would like that?



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User currently offlinephunc From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2011, 140 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 8432 times:

Some airlines take advantage of the downtime and schedule in MX. VS have aircraft cleaned externally whilst on 10-12 hour turn arounds in JNB.

Might aswell - cheap, aircraft is on the ground anyway waiting to depart at a time as mentioned in the above posts.


User currently offlinekl692 From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 676 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 6170 times:

Quoting Norwegian737 (Thread starter):
The same thing also applies to British Airways, Air France, and KLM.

KLM have a pretty good turn around time in the market if I am not mistaken. here is a quick examples

KL691 arrives at CYYZ at 3:45 PM
KL692 Departs from CYYZ at 6:33PM
That is less than 3 hours of turn around time

KL589 arrive at ACC at 9:05pm
KL590 departs from ACC 11:00PM
Which is also under 3 hrs.

for the most part the reason why there is such a huge turn around times between some cities is due to the time difference as well.



A310, A330,A346,B73H, B747,B772,B77W,CRJ
25 fraapproach : I have heard that the long ground time of the LH JNB flight may also serve as a buffer for disruptions in the fleet. Lets assume there is one A 380 (o
26 Shnoob940 : Qantas has QF7, arriving in DFW at 1:50pm and not leaving until 10pm. They park it across from the gate and tow it in at 7pm. gibbo
27 aircanada014 : that also applies to flights to South America to SCL, EZE and RIO and GRU especially for AC but they don't fly to RIO
28 Viscount724 : With the less than daily schedule, if the flight returned the same day some crews would have to spend two nights in SEA instead of one.
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