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Why No Low Cost Carriers - UK To Dubai/UAE?  
User currently offlinegilesdavies From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 3037 posts, RR: 2
Posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 7097 times:

Was curious on other peoples views on why we haven't seen a Low Cost Carrier try and enter the UK to Dubai market?

I was thinking if the likes of FlyDubai, Air Arabia, Jet2 or easyJet could possibly make the route work from the likes of LTN or STN? We have seen the likes of Norwegian and Air Berlin, operate to DXB or AUH from their respected hubs, which is not much shorter than flying from the UK...

On paper LTN-DXB (2973NM) is a few hundred miles within the published range of an A320 or 737-800...
(Not sure if filling an aircraft in a single class, high density config of 180/189 passengers would have an impact on this?)

In the context of O&D traffic, which is all a LCC would be trying to attract, Dubai and the UAE is becoming a major destination for UK travellers and offers good value for money. Even though the likes of Emirates and Etihad occasionally have lead in fares for around £350 GBP, these fares are usually around £450-500 in the UAE's peak season (Nov-Mar). The likes of easyJet could easily compete with these fares, probably coming in at about £300.

You also have a huge number of ex-pats and business travellers between the UK and UAE, that would also probably appreciate the lower prices.

Am I right in thinking fuel prices for airlines in the Middle East is far cheaper, so filling an aircraft up for its return flight back to the UK would make the route far more viable?

It has been demonstrated that passengers are willing to use LCC on longer routes, for example easyJet operate 14 flights a week from London (LGW and LTN) to Sharm El Sheikh, with a flight time of 5.5-6hrs and Dubai is only around an extra hours flying time...

The route could for example be trialled during the winter season, when easyJet's fleet is in less demand and operate 3-4 times a week.

Would it be more of a case the likes of Emirates and Etihad would do everything in their powers to crush any low cost competition, on a market they heavily dominate, or would they simply tolerate this and acknowledge low cost airlines are going for a small market they have little interest in?

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineanstar From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 5264 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 7074 times:

Quoting gilesdavies (Thread starter):
On paper LTN-DXB (2973NM) is a few hundred miles within the published range of an A320 or 737-800...

I guess for EZY to fly to DXB/AUH in their current config they would likely be load/weight restricted which may not make the flight viable for them?


User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9666 posts, RR: 52
Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 7051 times:

I would assume the 8 flights on 4 airlines flying LHR-DXB is adequate to cover the market. Also despite being within the range charts, LHR-DXB is longer than any narrowbody other than the 757 typically operates.


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineMortyman From Norway, joined Aug 2006, 3990 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 6945 times:

Norwegian fly OSL to DXB with an 737 800

From Wiki:

"Norwegians longest route is from Oslo to Dubai, a distance of 5,133 kilometres, which is also the second longest scheduled 737 route in the world."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_Air_Shuttle


I don't know if there is any weight restrictions though ...

[Edited 2012-06-18 13:43:09]

User currently offlineFly-K From Germany, joined May 2000, 3154 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 6864 times:
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It might be hard for a LCC to offer a much lower price than the established carriers with high capacity aircraft like the 380 or 77W which have a unit cost advantage over a 320 or 738.


Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
User currently offlineanstar From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 5264 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 6818 times:

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 3):
"Norwegians longest route is from Oslo to Dubai, a distance of 5,133 kilometres, which is also the second longest scheduled 737 route in the world."

Virgin Australia do PER-HKT which is 5539KM and SYD-DPs which is 5,317KM so both are longer than Oslo - DXB with Norwegian.. so perhaps that majes that route the 3rd longest??

I know when I worked with Pacific Blue the DPS flights would normally be restricted to about 115-130 pax out of 180 capacity. I believe PER-HKT is similar. Weight restricted - but profitable!


User currently offlinedirectorguy From Egypt, joined Jul 2008, 1697 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 6587 times:

I remember Air Asia X flew STN-AUH for a while as part of STN-AUH-KUL but that route didn't work out and was axed.
It would be interesting to see an LCC fly UAE-UK. Flydubai will take delivery of tens of 738s over the next few years but I don't think they'll be venturing beyond Eastern/Central Europe. However I do think that there is enough traffic UK-Dubai to fill a few high-density 767s or A330s, especially during the winter season. There are several UK-based operators, such as Monarch, who could operate such routes.


User currently offlineBasilFawlty From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 1329 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 6526 times:

Jet2 could work, once or twice weekly with 757's from various airports and selling many seats as package deals via Jet2 Holidays.


'Every year donkeys and mules kill more people than plane crashes'
User currently offlineGT4EZY From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 1794 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 6425 times:

I think Emirates et al are one of the few carriers that give the LCC's a run for their money. Any such route would likely be point to point and would therefore predominantly rely on ex-pats and DXB bound tourists. Nothing wrong with that of course but EK already caters very well for this particular market.

Before someone makes the point about crew hours. If the business case is there, most LCC's don't have any issue with nightstopping.

Any stretch of the current network at Easyjet I think would more likely see the likes of LOS etc and that is still several years away IMO.



Proud to fly from Manchester!
User currently offlinejfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8428 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 5976 times:
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UK LCC airlines, easyjet and Ryannair do not fly long haul, they do some 5 hour flights to Israel but Dubai is just too bloody far, bloody knees too.

User currently offlineconnector4you From Canada, joined May 2001, 932 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 5813 times:

Quoting gilesdavies (Thread starter):
I was thinking if the likes of FlyDubai, Air Arabia, Jet2 or easyJet could possibly make the route work from the likes of LTN or STN?

The route is actually working from LTN to OTP via Wizzair OTP to DBX via FlyDubai. Not sure about how cheap these two segments can be booked for, I would guess anywhere between 300-400 Euros. Is that too steep when compared with legacy carriers ?


User currently offlinegilesdavies From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 3037 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (2 years 4 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 5634 times:

Quoting connector4you (Reply 10):
The route is actually working from LTN to OTP via Wizzair OTP to DBX via FlyDubai. Not sure about how cheap these two segments can be booked for, I would guess anywhere between 300-400 Euro

Well pointed out, not really considered that...

Im not sure it would be something I would want to do or be brave enough. Trying to connect with different LCC, is taking a risk, in case one of the airlines changed their schedule or cancelled a flight. You run the risk of being left high and dry!

There is however quite a few connections, the most logical and competitive seems to be LTN-SAW-DXB/SHJ, with easyJet and flyDubai or Air Arabia... I just looked at December and fares with easyJet, LTN to SAW are around £52 GBP return at present and FlyDubai or Air Arabia are around 250 EUR return SAW-DXB/SHJ.

So thats around £260 GBP in total! I did these for dates on the 13/12 to the 17/12, but as this is still some time in-advance, most of the fares around these dates are also this price. The cheapest flight on Opodo.com LHR-DXB was £376 return with Oman Air (via Muscat) and the cheapest direct was Royal Brunai at £447.

There is however some major BUTS if you go the Low Cost Option, you have a 12hr stopover at SAW on way out and a 13hr overnight stopover on the way home! Also baggage fees have to be added on!

Other connections that seem feasible is via OTP, BEG, SKP and KBP. I haven't however checked frequencies, times or prices.


User currently offlinecedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8143 posts, RR: 54
Reply 12, posted (2 years 4 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 5529 times:

DXB is a bit far for a 737 or A320. The Arab destination that easyJet should consider is Beirut - beautiful destination with lots of tourism, plus lots of Lebanese in London who visit "home" often, incumbent airlines (MEA, BA) quite expensive etc. Not only is it visa free for EU citizens to visit, but Lebanon also has a totally "Open Skies" policy - any airline can fly to BEY from anywhere else, so not only can easyJet (or any other UK carrier) fly there without restriction, they can fly onwards to anywhere else with full traffic rights. (Ah, so maybe easyJet will fly to Dubai one day after all.)

Come on easyJet, Beirut is calling!



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineconnector4you From Canada, joined May 2001, 932 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (2 years 4 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5303 times:

Quoting gilesdavies (Reply 11):
£376 return with Oman Air (via Muscat)

Also Turkish at £387 via Istanbul or £395 Lufthansa via Frankfurt on your dates!

Quoting gilesdavies (Reply 11):
I just looked at December and fares with easyJet, LTN to SAW are around £52 GBP return at present and FlyDubai or Air Arabia are around 250 EUR return SAW-DXB/SHJ. So thats around £260 GBP in total! I

Around £116 in savings

Quoting gilesdavies (Reply 11):
There is however some major BUTS if you go the Low Cost Option, you have a 12hr stopover at SAW on way out and a 13hr overnight stopover on the way home! Also baggage fees have to be added on!

Very true


User currently offlineSomeone83 From Norway, joined Sep 2006, 3424 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (2 years 4 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5266 times:

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 3):
Norwegian fly OSL to DXB with an 737 800

From Wiki:

"Norwegians longest route is from Oslo to Dubai, a distance of 5,133 kilometres, which is also the second longest scheduled 737 route in the world."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_Air_Shuttle


I don't know if there is any weight restrictions though ...

[Edited 2012-06-18 13:43:09]


They have to block around 25 seats or so, so they operate with a significant weight restriction


User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19236 posts, RR: 52
Reply 15, posted (2 years 4 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5143 times:

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 12):
Come on easyJet, Beirut is calling!

Doesn't have open skies yet, and I genuinely don't imagine EZY starting before then. There was an in-depth thread about this very issue a few months ago, with Joost providing a cut-and-paste of the situation.

[Edited 2012-06-20 01:07:17]


"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineflyhigh@tom From United Arab Emirates, joined Sep 2001, 398 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 4 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 4980 times:

OK DXB to UK LCC on a narrow body!

1. Will be payload restricted on the west bound sector esp during winter.
2. The LCCs are very very stingy when it comes to providing layovers. So wherever possible they try to do a turnaround with minumum ground time of 40 minutes to make sure the duty time does not exceed 12.15 hrs. Hence now we end up doing DXB/SHJ to DME/KBP/NBO/DAC all as turnarounds!!!

(Thats Dubai/Sharjah to Moscow/ Kiev/ Nairobi/ Dhaka for the folks that hate IATA codes   )

All the above sectors have block times of about 5 hours each way. Plus most of the time we are limited by MTOW. hence i am pretty sure a flight from UAE-UK will for sure be payload restricted if we need to take MAX Fuel load. Any tech stop for fuel will negate all the cost savings...and does not make sense.

However i would be the happiest if we do start such flights with layovers 


User currently offlineLondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1508 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 4 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4677 times:

Quoting directorguy (Reply 6):
I remember Air Asia X flew STN-AUH for a while as part of STN-AUH-KUL but that route didn't work out and was axed.

As far as I can remember, Air Asia X never flew STN-AUH. It did operate AUH-KUL for a short while but failed to secure the right passenger/yield mix.

The LCC business model would not work for London-DXB because of competition from the Gulf carriers both out of London and out of the regional airports.

Remember that low-cost business class carrier Silverjet tried LTN-DXB for a short while and failed. Eos also planned a business class service from STN to DXB but it never happened.


User currently offlinecedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8143 posts, RR: 54
Reply 18, posted (2 years 4 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4193 times:

Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 15):
[Beirut] Doesn't have open skies yet

Are you sure? I thought they had it for years. JAT used to fly BEG-BEY-DXB and sell the second leg. So did MH before they decoupled the two cities. Am I wrong?



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19236 posts, RR: 52
Reply 19, posted (2 years 4 months 3 days ago) and read 4030 times:

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 18):
Are you sure?

Yes. Lebanon doesn't yet have open skies with the EU. Jordan does and Israel is to start introducing it on a stepped basis over 5 years.

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 18):
JAT used to fly BEG-BEY-DXB and sell the second leg.

That's unrelated to open skies with the EU. That's a fifth freedom traffic right.



"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offline1stfl94 From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 1455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 4 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3825 times:

I think it's a combination of three things. The distance would make people think carefully about booking an LCC flight over EK, BA, VS et al and weight restrictions could mean a lot of 737 or A320 flights making diversions, not a good way to keep passengers. Secondly, EK is extremely competitive and uses it's assets more like an LCC which means they can offer competitive fares and a much nicer product and would almost certainly be able to keep UK LCCs off the route. Finally the amount of connecting traffic makes LCC style flying less viable as they don't offer connections

User currently offline9MMPQ From Netherlands, joined Nov 2011, 316 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 4 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3685 times:

AMS could become an interesting example with HV intending to start AMS-DXB this winter.

EK, GA & KL are already operating on the route with EK intending to bring the A380 into the mix later this year.



I believe in coincidences. Coincidences happen every day. But I don't trust coincidences.
User currently offlinegoosebayguy From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2009, 406 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 4 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3518 times:

Strange but whenever I try pricing up a trip to DXB then Emirates who are often one of the more expensive airlines to DXB. Travel beyond DXB and it changes!

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25652 posts, RR: 22
Reply 23, posted (2 years 4 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3307 times:

Quoting goosebayguy (Reply 22):
Strange but whenever I try pricing up a trip to DXB then Emirates who are often one of the more expensive airlines to DXB. Travel beyond DXB and it changes!

That's usually the case since you have a better product (nonstop service) to your hub and most people are willing to pay more for a nonstop. Beyond DXB EK is competing with many other carriers, some of which offer nonstop service, so they don't have the same pricing power as to DXB.

EK has had recent newspaper ads in GVA promoting special fares and their lowest fare to DXB is higher than to several points beyond DXB.


User currently offline2travel2know2 From Panama, joined Apr 2010, 2656 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (2 years 4 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3272 times:

Because range issues, if U2 would want to try a destination in the Persian Gulf, then LON-KWI may be doable with an aircraft from its current fleet.
And if U2 goes for that, most likely the Westbound flight would have to depart as red-eyes to take advantage of less hot night temperatures at KWI.



I'm not on CM's payroll.
25 gilesdavies : That's very interesting... Just looked at the schedule and will be flying it daily AMS-DXB, the fares are around 400 Euro's return, in December. The
26 sweair : This would be a route where a 757 replacement would be popular? At what seating capacity does a WB win? A 240 seat NB should be very efficient, if it
27 BasilFawlty : Yes, it makes a tech stop in SAW on both ways.
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