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Thai Airways Ends Non-stop BKK-LAX  
User currently offlineolympic472 From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 471 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 23831 times:

This is later than I anticipated.
The "write-off" is surprising. Are there no other routes where the A340-500 can achieve decent yields?

Quote from the Bangkok Post:

" Thai Airways International (THAI) will end its money-losing Bangkok-Los Angeles non-stop service on May 1.
The flag carrier will phase out and possibly write off the four A340-500s used on the route.
THAI blamed the high price of oil, trading at about US$137 a barrel in Singapore, for the cancellation of the Bangkok-Los Angeles service, the airline's longest non-stop flight.
Insiders early this week said the flight hardly ever made economic sense given the type of aircraft used _ the A340-500 _ and cabin configuration, which does not generate the yields needed to justify flying the aircraft.

- - - - - - - - - - The airline will replace the non-stop Bangkok-Los Angeles service with a new flight from Bangkok that stops at Seoul's Incheon airport before continuing to Los Angeles.
There will be four flights a week, on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. The airline will use B777-300ERs, a twin-engine long-haul wide-body.
Airline executives say the plane is more economical than the four-engine A340-500.
The B777 is capable of carrying some 300 passengers in three classes."

http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/...on/285457/thai-axes-non-stop-to-us


A related thread on the introduction of ICN stopover was archived. The link is here:

Thai Airways Int'l Adds ICN Stopover On BKK-LAX (by HOONS90 Jan 29 2012 in Civil Aviation)


Civil Aviation has a "Need for Speed"!
37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13445 posts, RR: 100
Reply 1, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 23737 times:
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Quoting olympic472 (Thread starter):
The "write-off" is surprising.

Of an A345? Not really. The current A340 resale market is... not strong.

Heck, I suspect with the latest range improvements, the 77L resale market has taken a little dip.

Whom else is flying A345s? EK, SQ, (EY is selling theirs cheap to Venezuela), and ??. (Is Arik Air still flying theirs?)

The A345s that remain will be in trouble against 2014 delivery 788s. Seriously, any remaining operating window will be closed with accelerated 788s that are lighter and more fuel efficient.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlinelaca773 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 4058 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 23674 times:
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It's a shame TG decided against the 77L. I think they could have made money using this series of the 777 over the A345. Perhaps they will bring it back with the 787?

User currently offlineQF340500 From Singapore, joined Oct 2011, 160 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 23532 times:

They should have just configured the nice beautiful A340-500 in a more efficient and money-making way, i guess  )) not to blame the aircraft only  

User currently offlinewedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5950 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 23489 times:
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So, this means that TG is going back to the one-stop. There's already a tremendous amount of traffic between LAX and ICN...so why ICN?

User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9210 posts, RR: 76
Reply 5, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 23392 times:

Quoting olympic472 (Thread starter):
The "write-off" is surprising. Are there no other routes where the A340-500 can achieve decent yields?

I doubt they will write them off, that reporter and the Bangkok Post does not present a balanced report, however that would not stop hem from selling them.

With the one stop service they now compete with all the US and Asian carriers which many are now able to offer three times daily services, one stop LAX to BKK. Changing to a 77W, 4 times a week will not help them.

The type of aircraft has little to do with yields, yields mainly depend on how many seats, and at what price they seats are sold. TG were not getting the yields they needed on the New York to BKK to justify the non-stop either.

This point to a poor business case for the routes in the first instance.

Quoting olympic472 (Thread starter):
Airline executives say the plane is more economical than the four-engine A340-500.

The 345 trip costs would be lower than a 77W over the same sector lengths. What they are saying is a two stage 77W flight burns less fuel than a non-stop 345, a one stop 345 also burns less fuel than a non-stop 345.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 1):

The 787s will still be short of range to do anything like BKK- LAX non-stop for some time.

Quoting laca773 (Reply 2):

Just what TG needs, more types of aircraft (not).



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlinelaca773 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 4058 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 23290 times:
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Quoting zeke (Reply 5):

Just what TG needs, more types of aircraft (not).

Obviously it's not going to happen, however I feel it would have made more sense for them to purchase the 77L over the A345 anyday since they already had 777s in their fleet plus it's much more fuel efficient to operate over the A340 series.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31259 posts, RR: 85
Reply 7, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 23204 times:
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Quoting laca773 (Reply 2):
It's a shame TG decided against the 77L. I think they could have made money using this series of the 777 over the A345.

As zeke noted up-thread, the problem wasn't the plane - it was having three classes of service. Yes, a 77L would have been more efficient, but it would not have been efficient enough because you just can't get folks to fly Economy - even Premium Economy - on those ULH routes. Even SQ couldn't make two-classes work and their Premium Economy was the best available.

ULH flights can only realistically be done in a Business Class cabin with plenty of personal space, like SQ's new Business Class seat on the A345.


User currently offlineolympic472 From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 471 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 23094 times:

Quoting zeke (Reply 5):
I doubt they will write them off, that reporter and the Bangkok Post does not present a balanced report, however that would not stop hem from selling them.

The body of the article has some very insightful details about TG's experience with the aircraft.

Quote:
" The airline has been forced to use the A340-500s, super long-haul jetliners made by Airbus, as attempts to sell the aircraft over the past five years or so have proved unsuccessful.
The market for the plane, capable of flying 16,000 kilometres non-stop, is exceedingly small, and there is simply no demand for it, said the insiders.
The only option left for THAI is to ground the four jets. It has done this in the past. Grounding them will cause less financial damage than putting them in the air, the insiders said.
They added that the four jetliners, which cost around $200 million each when the airline bought them new more than seven years ago, are likely to be phased out and written off. "



Civil Aviation has a "Need for Speed"!
User currently offlineusflyer msp From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2162 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 22892 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 7):
As zeke noted up-thread, the problem wasn't the plane - it was having three classes of service. Yes, a 77L would have been more efficient, but it would not have been efficient enough because you just can't get folks to fly Economy - even Premium Economy - on those ULH routes. Even SQ couldn't make two-classes work and their Premium Economy was the best available.

I would strongly disagree with this statement. People definitely are willing to fly ULH in economy - the problem is that airlines have trouble being able to charge them enough to cover the huge fuel bills that ULH flying generates. In Business Class the price is not as big of an issue. TG also has the issue of BKK generally being a lower-yielding market (even in Business Class) and having poor geography for connections from North America. SIN has the same geography issue but it has plenty of high-yield O/D business traffic to make it work.


User currently offlinelaca773 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 4058 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 22515 times:
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Quoting Stitch (Reply 7):
As zeke noted up-thread, the problem wasn't the plane - it was having three classes of service. Yes, a 77L would have been more efficient, but it would not have been efficient enough because you just can't get folks to fly Economy - even Premium Economy - on those ULH routes. Even SQ couldn't make two-classes work and their Premium Economy was the best available.

ULH flights can only realistically be done in a Business Class cabin with plenty of personal space, like SQ's new Business Class seat on the A345.

This is very true, but from what I understand, even SQ isn't doing all that great with their LAX-SIN service and EWR-SIN isn't much better. The fuel costs drive any chance of any profit into the ground.

Quoting olympic472 (Reply 8):

The body of the article has some very insightful details about TG's experience with the aircraft.

Quote:
" The airline has been forced to use the A340-500s, super long-haul jetliners made by Airbus, as attempts to sell the aircraft over the past five years or so have proved unsuccessful.
The market for the plane, capable of flying 16,000 kilometres non-stop, is exceedingly small, and there is simply no demand for it, said the insiders.
The only option left for THAI is to ground the four jets. It has done this in the past. Grounding them will cause less financial damage than putting them in the air, the insiders said.
They added that the four jetliners, which cost around $200 million each when the airline bought them new more than seven years ago, are likely to be phased out and written off. "

Was the 77L not available then? Were they a lot more expensive compared to the A345? I really do think they would have had a better chance of not losing as much money if they could have flown the 77L in this market.

I do believe TG had to go with a tri-class JWY on LAX-BKK because they didn't have the demand for premium seats like SQ does. TG does offer a great W & Y product, especially in their longhaul markets. They really do think about the service they provide to their customers and spend quite a bit on catering, even compared to SQ longhaul Y.

It's too bad the A345 & 777s don't come in combis. Wouldn't they have had a better chance of being successful if they could have had an a/c that had been able to carry much more cargo like a combi would do along with the other half being for passengers? Or would something like this in a these ULH a/c eaten up the range because of the weight?


User currently offlineA388 From Netherlands Antilles, joined May 2001, 9960 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 20154 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 1):
EY is selling theirs cheap to Venezuela

This is not true (and probably never was true) as EY will use their A345 fleet on their new IAD daily route starting March 31st of 2013.

A388


User currently offlineRWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3432 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 20097 times:

Quoting QF340500 (Reply 3):
They should have just configured the nice beautiful A340-500 in a more efficient and money-making way, i guess )) not to blame the aircraft only

The A345 is the 74L of the day, sometime in the future the A345 will be looked back on like the 74L is today.

Quoting wedgetail737 (Reply 4):
So, this means that TG is going back to the one-stop. There's already a tremendous amount of traffic between LAX and ICN...so why ICN?

I'd imagine one of the countries TG already held beyond route rights with. SEL was at one time part of the BKK-USA routing, as was TPE, KIX & NRT at one time or another. I think it may also have to do with cost, ie...landing fees, gate and airport fees, taxes. Unfortunetly ICN is a very low yield market, so hopefully most of their traffic will be through from BKK. I admire TG having flown continuasly for as many years as they have, given the flight length, and the different N American destinations they have served, YYZ, SEA, DFW, JFK & LAX

[Edited 2012-03-22 05:35:41]

[Edited 2012-03-22 06:14:52]


AA AC AQ AS BD BN CO CS DL EA EZ HA HP KL KN MP MW NK NW OO OZ PA PS QX RC RH RW SA TG TW UA US VS WA WC WN
User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3814 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 20012 times:

Quoting laca773 (Reply 10):
Wouldn't they have had a better chance of being successful if they could have had an a/c that had been able to carry much more cargo like a combi would do along with the other half being for passengers?

If anything, it would have been worse.

The longer the flight, the less efficient it is.
The only reason for very long haul flights like these is to satisfy passengers who want to get there faster and avoid the hassle of having a tech stop somewhere, even though they'll have to pay more for the convenience.
Cargo isn't that fussy and doesn't care how many times it stops for gas. If flying pax on VLH flights hardly makes sense, operating cargo VLH flights makes even less.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlinejfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8457 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 19557 times:
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The business case for Thai flying to the USA is poor, Thailand's location at the western edge of the Orient is 2,800 miles west of Tokyo which is a lousy location for connecting traffic. Thai would be better flying its passengers to tokyo and connecting with Star alliance airlines UA and All Nippon to the USA.

Thai does so much better from Europe since it is well located for connecting traffic from there. Europe is also within the range of 744 from Bangkok.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31259 posts, RR: 85
Reply 15, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 18611 times:
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Quoting laca773 (Reply 10):
Was the 77L not available then?

According to Airfleets.net, TG's A340-500 fleet was delivered in 2005 (with one additional frame delivered in 2007). Depending on when TG placed their order, the 777-200LR might not have been an option (as Boeing suspended development in 2001 for around two years due to lack of customer interest).

It's also possible that available delivery dates might have been too far to the right. The first two 777-200LRs (for PIA) were delivered in early 2006, but it would be another 18 months before the next one was delivered (to AC) and "regular deliveries" began.


User currently offlinelaca773 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 4058 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 18060 times:
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Quoting Stitch (Reply 15):
According to Airfleets.net, TG's A340-500 fleet was delivered in 2005 (with one additional frame delivered in 2007). Depending on when TG placed their order, the 777-200LR might not have been an option (as Boeing suspended development in 2001 for around two years due to lack of customer interest).

It's also possible that available delivery dates might have been too far to the right. The first two 777-200LRs (for PIA) were delivered in early 2006, but it would be another 18 months before the next one was delivered (to AC) and "regular deliveries" began.

Very interesting, Stitch. Thanks for the information.


User currently offlinemax550 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 1165 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 16352 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 15):
According to Airfleets.net, TG's A340-500 fleet was delivered in 2005 (with one additional frame delivered in 2007). Depending on when TG placed their order, the 777-200LR might not have been an option (as Boeing suspended development in 2001 for around two years due to lack of customer interest).

They also ordered A340-600's so it probably didn't make sense to add another engine type for a fleet of 4 aircraft. Had they been ordering 77W's they probably would have gone with the 77L as well (if it was offered at the time).

Their A340 order was placed in '03 if that helps determine if the 77L was offered at the time.
http://www.bizjournals.com/wichita/stories/2003/08/04/daily38.html

I found some more info., 77L work was restarted in March of '03.
http://www.seattlepi.com/business/ar...arts-on-long-range-jet-1109445.php


User currently offlineskipness1E From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 3298 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 16147 times:

HS-TLB has not flown since 3rd March and was the only one I never saw at LAX. I wonder if she has been WFU already?

User currently offlinejfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8457 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 15945 times:
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Quoting Stitch (Reply 15):
According to Airfleets.net, TG's A340-500 fleet was delivered in 2005 (with one additional frame delivered in 2007). Depending on when TG placed their order, the 777-200LR might not have been an option (as Boeing suspended development in 2001 for around two years due to lack of customer interest).

Part of Thai's problem with the A340-500 is they have Premium Econom which other Thai planes do NOT have. If TG changed the Y+ to regular Y and reduced the J class cabin it could make the planes work for them. If TG used them to Japn and Asutralia they could make the airplane work without the Ultra long haul fuel costs.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31259 posts, RR: 85
Reply 20, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 15629 times:
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Quoting jfk777 (Reply 19):
Part of Thai's problem with the A340-500 is they have Premium Econom which other Thai planes do NOT have. If TG changed the Y+ to regular Y and reduced the J class cabin it could make the planes work for them.

I expect they'd lose even more money with a normal Economy cabin as they'd have to reduce prices without reducing costs. Yes, they could put in a few more rows of seats, but...

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 19):
If TG used them to Japn and Asutralia they could make the airplane work without the Ultra long haul fuel costs.


I expect an A330-300 can do the same mission and the sheer empty weight of the A340-500 compared to an A330-300 (at OEM OEW, this delta is 50 tons) makes using an A340-500 a very inefficient choice.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25871 posts, RR: 22
Reply 21, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 15453 times:

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 14):
The business case for Thai flying to the USA is poor, Thailand's location at the western edge of the Orient is 2,800 miles west of Tokyo which is a lousy location for connecting traffic. Thai would be better flying its passengers to tokyo and connecting with Star alliance airlines UA and All Nippon to the USA.

Agree. I highly doubt TG has ever had a single profitable year on any BKK-U.S. services, regardless of aircraft type or routing.


User currently offlinethenoflyzone From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 2646 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 15280 times:

So after May 1, the longest Thai route will be TG948 BKK-MAD (B744), 10,206km, which is longer than ICN-LAX.

Unless there is a longer route they operate ?

Thenoflyzone

[Edited 2012-03-22 12:00:12]


us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
User currently offlinemcogator From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 14352 times:

So BKK joins CGK and KUL as the busiest airports in the world without non-stop service to the US. CGK is surprising just based on the fact Indonesia is the 4th most populous country in the world, and they do not even have a 1-stop service like BKK and KUL do.

User currently offlinejfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8457 posts, RR: 7
Reply 24, posted (2 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 13861 times:
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Quoting Stitch (Reply 20):
I expect they'd lose even more money with a normal Economy cabin as they'd have to reduce prices without reducing costs. Yes, they could put in a few more rows of seats, but...

They only sold Y+ on A345 planes so regular Y is more seats in the same space. Y+ is 7 across with 40 inches per row, coach is 8 across and 32 inches. The A345 is like a 747SP but since TG can't give them away, then flying them some where seems to be a better alternative.


25 Stitch : Honestly, I still think it would not have made a difference. *shrug*
26 joeman : A lot of plane dedicated to a "money-losing" service. I thought there were no such thing as prestige routes according to a.netters of yesteryear....a
27 zeke : A number of asian carriers (BR, CX, CZ, EK, KE, SQ) have one stop services to the US from CGK, BKK, and KUL.
28 chepos : No prestige routes still exist- a;beit a a smaller number than yesteryears. Look at MH to LAX via NRT (as of very recently operating via TPE) Regards,
29 Viscount724 : I expect the post you replied to was referring to direct through-flights with the same aircraft but making an intermediate stop, since the post refer
30 rogercamel : Indonesia may be the 4th most populous country in the world, but that doesn't necessarily mean that its air industry is the 4th most developed. Garud
31 Post contains links and images lightsaber : There is a reason I stated 2014. I also do not think BKK-LAX has the economics to re-start the route with any aircraft. I just don't know what they c
32 sankaps : I disagree. The reason SQ and TG put fewer seats in these aircraft is to reduce weight; the A345 could not do the distance at normal higher density c
33 gigneil : The 777-200LR is more efficient, but not statistically enough to swing the balance of a flight like this. Even the operators of 777-200LRs aren't rus
34 rogercamel : Correct - SQ also have a 1 stop service SIN-FRA-JFK that covers for Y travellers on that route.
35 thenoflyzone : Speaking of A345's. I noticed that AC's 2 A345's that were leased to TAM have now been stored. Anyone know where they are being stored? Thenoflyzone
36 neutronstar73 : I see nothing unbalanced in that statement. The A340 is not economical for them, so they are going to dump it. What's so unbalanced about that? Ever
37 Post contains images lightsaber : If memory serves me right, over the A345/6 lifetime, Airbus has added 700nm to the A333 range as well as improving the capabilities of the A332. Ligh
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