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Comparing Growth Strategies: SU Vs. TK  
User currently offlineTupolev160 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (2 years 1 month 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3339 times:

Introduction, in numbers:

AEROFLOT
Fleet: 126 + 194 orders
Destinations: 116
Passengers carried: ~15 million
Slogan: Sincerely yours
Founded: 1923
Hub city: Moscow, 3 major airports, 5 in total (total capacity?), ~60 million current


TURKISH AIRLINES
Fleet: 200 + 64 orders
Destinations: 206
Passengers carried: ~30 million
Slogan: Globally yours
Founded: 1933
Hub city: Istanbul, 2 major airports (total capacity?) ~45 million current

- One is hardly heard of, the other one is straight belligerent. Turkish Airlines and Aeroflot - two similar airlines at first glance, both having a hub located between Europe and Asia.

What do they indeed have in common and what sets them apart? What are their visions and growth strategies, priviledges (like a strong tourism base for TK), how do they see their respective future? Who are their real competitors? Domestic maintenance capability and its impact on business? Being wise or being brave, who's on which side and what's next for either of them?

Sub-theme:

- How would a domestic-made aircraft (re-)position Turkey in the aviation world and how are the upcoming new generation Russian aircrafts expected to influence Aeroflot's future and expansion?

29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinebobloblaw From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1725 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 month 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3343 times:

I dont think there is anything similar between the two other then they fly planes. A better comparison would be TK v EK. TK's slogan says it all about what their goals are.

User currently offlineTupolev160 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 month 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3344 times:

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 1):
I dont think there is anything similar between the two other then they fly planes. A better comparison would be TK v EK. TK's slogan says it all about what their goals are.

I clearly see no comparison possible between EK and TK, besides them both being Middle-East airlines, be it fleet structure, market structure, hub geo-position and capacity etc. Please be kind enough to enlighten me if you think otherwise.


User currently offlineleftyboarder From Turkey, joined Apr 2008, 696 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 month 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3343 times:

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 1):
I dont think there is anything similar between the two other then they fly planes. A better comparison would be TK v EK. TK's slogan says it all about what their goals are.

Indeed. SU is not in the game of connecting passengers, and for now rightly so. They have a large base of increasingly wealthy customers that are just beginning to explore overseas destinations in larger numbers. TK is in a more competitive field along with the ME3 and LH/AF/BA. Scalewise they are not comparable either.


User currently offlinemogandoCI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 month 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3345 times:

Quoting Tupolev160 (Reply 2):
I clearly see no comparison possible between EK and TK, besides them both being Middle-East airlines, be it fleet structure, market structure, hub geo-position and capacity etc. Please be kind enough to enlighten me if you think otherwise.

Major difference is that few planes can reach Australia profitably from IST, so that's a big market that TK cannot compete with EK.

On the other hand, one can reach North America much easier on TK than those 17 hour segments from Dubai.


User currently offlineTupolev160 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 month 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3342 times:

Quoting leftyboarder (Reply 3):
SU is not in the game of connecting passengers

Really? I'm surprised to hear that. For many years more and more passengers are using SU from North America and Western Europe to all parts of Asia. It is often by far the cheapest option and the best value for money, the connections in Moscow being very short. Would be interest to have some insight in the real numbers. Besides, TK is the only large airline in Turkey while Russia has several large international airlines, operating wide-bodies.
Anyway, the point of the topic wasn't that but to mainly talk about growth strategies and comparing what they have in common and what they don't, what helps them and what prevents them in reaching their future goals.
So, if you find the very topic inaccurate/baseless please better abstain from commenting purposelessly and drifting the entire thread off-topic.


User currently offlineanrec80 From Canada, joined Jan 2011, 160 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 month 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3342 times:

SU and TK have different types of connections and source of pax. Russia is a nearly 2-trillion economy and growing. It's a big country both population-wise and territory-wise, and also has rapidly expanding international connections and growing domestic market. So in my view the lion share of SU expected growth is exactly domestic market, and more and more of those pax also want to travel internationally. So probably we'll see upgauging existing international connections (e.g. from 333 to newly ordered 77W) and using the freed 333 in domestic market and new connections.

This is what SU's Russian competitors are doing - UN is acquiring wide-body aircraft, upgauging existing connections (e.g. DME-JFK went from 772 to 744 this summer) and adding new ones, both domestic and international.

In TK's case it's much more about connecting traffic a-la EK.


User currently offlineTupolev160 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 3337 times:

I would say it is both domestic and transit market for SU. While TK has a strong tourist demand (which Russian hasn't) and transfer passengers. EK and QR have mostly transfer passengers.

User currently offlineRara From Germany, joined Jan 2007, 2168 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 3297 times:

Quoting leftyboarder (Reply 3):
SU is not in the game of connecting passengers, and for now rightly so.

Hmm? I strongly challenge that. I've connected on SU from Europe to Asia a few times, and I had the feeling that most fellow passengers were connecting as well. The new terminal in SVO is full of young Asians and Europeans who clearly chose the lowest fare.

One advantage of SU is its location right on track from (most of) Europe to (most of) East Asia. No doubt that helps them in keeping those fares super-low.

In comparison to TK, one difference in strategy is that SU is fully concentrated on a low-value inflight experience. The food, for instance, is sub-standard. I quite like flying on SU actually.



Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
User currently offlineTupolev160 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3224 times:

Quoting Rara (Reply 8):
In comparison to TK, one difference in strategy is that SU is fully concentrated on a low-value in-flight experience. The food, for instance, is sub-standard.

I flew once on JFK-SVO-KBP, it was last year, in economy on A330-300. The food was similar to GF catering, so i would say really average, but very edible. We could also get as many bottles of wine as we wanted and other alcohol for free so it was really nice (although i'm not a devoted drinker yet the wine was definitely not of low quality). But, back to the point, we also had food on SVO-KBP, which is above-average for European standards today on short and mid-haul flights. So, it depends with who we compare it. I would say it is sub-standard in comparison to TK catering but only for those who don't mind eating chicken or vegetarian all the time, and having fewer drink options (no alcohol was available on TK, and the choice of juices was also poor), while the main meal itself along with the side-dishes was better and fresher. On the other hand, on SU you can always get meals with real meat.
One thing is for sure, SU offers one of the best value-for money in-flight experiences today which often results in really low prices if connecting through Moscow be it from Europe or North America.


User currently offlineleftyboarder From Turkey, joined Apr 2008, 696 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3224 times:

Quoting Rara (Reply 8):
Hmm? I strongly challenge that. I've connected on SU from Europe to Asia a few times, and I had the feeling that most fellow passengers were connecting as well. The new terminal in SVO is full of young Asians and Europeans who clearly chose the lowest fare.

Other than anectodal evidence, is there a number to back that up? TK's own report for the latest period says 42% of all TK passengers are transfers and 54% of these (6,520,000 passengers) transferred intl-to-intl in the 9 months this year. I would love to see the numbers for SU?


User currently offlineTurkishWings From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1453 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (2 years 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3109 times:

Quoting Tupolev160 (Reply 2):
I clearly see no comparison possible between EK and TK, besides them both being Middle-East airlines

You will never ever accept the facts will you? All my posts will likely be deleted as always but I am highly disturbed with your general attitude towards Turkey and TK...



Coffee - Tea or Me?
User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5934 posts, RR: 40
Reply 12, posted (2 years 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2961 times:

Quoting leftyboarder (Reply 10):
Other than anectodal evidence, is there a number to back that up? TK's own report for the latest period says 42% of all TK passengers are transfers and 54% of these (6,520,000 passengers) transferred intl-to-intl in the 9 months this year. I would love to see the numbers for SU?

well dont have numbers - but yes SU is often the cheapest choice from Europe to East Asia like NRT, HKG etc... but yes also TK is often a good and cheap choice to destinations like SIN, BKK etc...



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlineTupolev160 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2680 times:

Quoting TurkishWings (Reply 11):
You will never ever accept the facts will you?

I'm actually asking you the same question.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_wzY_y6FoTH...civilisations+selon+Huntington.jpg


User currently offlineleftyboarder From Turkey, joined Apr 2008, 696 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2578 times:

Quoting Tupolev160 (Reply 9):

No alcohol on TK? You sure you flew with the right airline?


User currently offlinetkfan From Turkey, joined Oct 2007, 673 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2437 times:

Quoting Tupolev160 (Reply 13):
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_wzY_y6FoTH...civilisations+selon+Huntington.jpg

I think this is the worst map to proof Turkish Airlines to be a Middle Eastern carrier. Since when is Religion considered to determine if an Airline is European or Middle Eastern?

Turkish Airlines is one of the senior Members of AEA. AFAIK Aeroflot has no membership.


User currently offlinesankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2424 times:

Quoting Rara (Reply 8):
Quoting leftyboarder (Reply 3):
SU is not in the game of connecting passengers, and for now rightly so.

Hmm? I strongly challenge that. I've connected on SU from Europe to Asia a few times, and I had the feeling that most fellow passengers were connecting as well. The new terminal in SVO is full of young Asians and Europeans who clearly chose the lowest fare.

I would phrase it diffferently: I believe SU should NOT focus on connecting passengers as they have a large, growing, and increasingly affluent home market of their own which should be their core focus. Other than location for East-West flows, they have none of the advantages of the middle-eastern connecting hubs (cost, product, multi-national crew and culture, ease of transit visa availability, etc) so the only way they can compete for connect pax is by discounting. Which they do, and which I think is a mistake. Especially given connecting pax is typically lower yield to begin with.

I had read a report 3-4 years ago that about 25% of SU pax was connecting, incidentaly.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25989 posts, RR: 22
Reply 17, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2156 times:

SU would be able to significantly increase it's traffic if Russia's visa policy wasn't so restrictive. I would love to visit Russia but it's too much of a hassle to obtain a visa (and expensive) when I can visit virtually every other country in Europe, and much of the rest of the world, visa-free or with a simple visa-on-arrival policy (like Turkey).

User currently offlineTupolev160 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2082 times:

Quoting sankaps (Reply 16):
would phrase it diffferently: I believe SU should NOT focus on connecting passengers as they have a large, growing, and increasingly affluent home market of their own which should be their core focus.

You are probably right, their growth would less be subject to fluctuations in the economies of other countries and world-regions, that's what makes a real state/national-carrier.

Quoting sankaps (Reply 16):
Other than location for East-West flows, they have none of the advantages of the middle-eastern connecting hubs (cost, product, multi-national crew and culture, ease of transit visa availability, etc) so the only way they can compete for connect pax is by discounting.

Well, TK's position as middle-eastern carrier is different than the one of EK and company. Based on the criterias you selected, TK neither has the advantage of costs and of the multinational crew and culture. TK has the advantage of large O&D market to some extent (mainly thanks to tourism) but which makes up a minority feed of their long-haul market. (More data in here, reply 22:
Turkish Aviation December 2012 (by TK787 Nov 30 2012 in Civil Aviation) )
In other words, without the feeds, very few long-haul routes of TK would be able to survive besides JFK and NRT. Astonishing.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 17):
I would love to visit Russia but it's too much of a hassle to obtain a visa (and expensive) when I can visit virtually every other country

For many nationalities it is possible to transit MOW visa-free, not much more complicated than at IST. For visiting (exiting the airport) a visa is still required in most of cases, regretably.

[Edited 2012-12-03 16:43:05]

User currently offlineTupolev160 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2071 times:

Quoting leftyboarder (Reply 10):

leftyboarder - Can you explain me the origin of your nickname to begin with?

Quoting leftyboarder (Reply 14):

No alcohol is served on short-haul flights by TK. I don't care much about it, and as an Islamic country i think TK should stick to its principles, not necessarly to please the Western booze-audience.

Quoting tkfan (Reply 15):

I have no complex requiring from me to prove that my airline/country is European or not. I don't care much about AEA and if SU considered it was in its interest to join, i am sure that as one of the biggest airlines in Europe (and once the largest in the world) they could have easily done so.
Back to the topic: a country belongs to a region, and a region belongs to a civilization. That is why even Australia which is all but West - is considered Western. And that is why Turkey, even while having a little toe on the European continent, is part of the Middle-East, no matter what organizations you have joined or not. Beyond that, the origin of Turkish (Turkic) people is central-Asian, so you have even far less in common with Europe than say Lebanon or some parts of Syria. Just accept it, i don't know why it is so hard.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26137 posts, RR: 50
Reply 20, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2044 times:

ICAO considers Turkey as part of the "Europe and North Atlantic" region
IATA considers Turkey as part of Europe
US DOT considers Turkey part of Europe
UK CAA considers Turkey "Europe-Other" which includes Balkan region, Norway and Switzerland and CIS.
Eurocontrol considers Turkey "Southern Europe"


Matter of fact I really don't know any organization in this industry or politics that considers Turkey as "Middle East".


Its a bit waste of breath to continue arguing otherwise.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinesofianec From Germany, joined Aug 2007, 241 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2042 times:

I actually think SU has a very conservative growth strategy unlike TK which if it wasn't for the very congested IST would have grown even more.

Russia is a huge market and SU is only focusing on the wealthiest portion of it, not increasing capacity on domestic flights. SU is not a Russian airline it's a Moscow airline. While in and out of SVO connectivity is great, flying between say Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk is poor to non-existant. Sometimes you have to backtrack thousands of miles to SVO to get somewhere in Russia. Until SU addresses this problem its growth will be limited as they are only serving originating and connecting via SVO passengers. UN on the other hand are trying hard to develop new markets and actually focusing on multi-hub LED and DME to Russia Far East, Central Asia, long-haul to new markets etc ... LH Group (including TK) has times more capacity to Central Asia than SU. The potential for growth in Russia and Central Asia is vast, just getting started.

An AirAsia-like LCC in Russia could do wonders but most LCC's there have been unsuccessful. I believe those failed attemts were due to focus on Moscow to European Russia destinations which were/are well served anyway. Growth will come from Asia.

I hate the "Sincerely Yours" slogan. Its cheesy and boring. It's like an old school business correspondence writing class. It must be changed to "To Russia with Love"   wink wink ...

There is another point which I think is a big problem for SU. While they are "focusing" on wealthy passengers it appears their Business/Comfort class product on Long-haul to be sub-standard. Russia/Moscow is legendary for it's millionaires and still SU orders 777-300ER's with a mere 30 Comfort class seats. All their long-haul fleet is low on premium seating. I don't get it. I know a few wealthy Russians (not billionaires with private 777's) and I am telling you - those people are DDD (demanding, demanding, demanding). Numerous times they have chosen to fly SWISS First class over SU. Why is it then, the Moscow own airline fail to attract more premium passengers instead filling economy seats with low-yield transfer passengers. I do like the dedicated Business/Comfort class on short-haul A320's though.

---

[Edited 2012-12-03 16:54:04]

[Edited 2012-12-03 17:06:16]


A350WARP
User currently offlinelewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3677 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2026 times:

Quoting Tupolev160 (Reply 19):
No alcohol is served on short-haul flights by TK. I don't care much about it, and as an Islamic country i think TK should stick to its principles, not necessarly to please the Western booze-audience.

Most Turks drink alcohol and I have been served alcohol on TK on both my ATH-IST and IST-AYT sectors. Also, Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country, which is different from Islamic country.


User currently offlineTupolev160 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1998 times:

Quoting lewis (Reply 22):

Well i'm glad if it happened to you since it didn't to me the only time i flew TK on BEG-IST. No need to explain to me what kind of society Turkey is - i lived there, i know it only too well.


User currently offlinesofianec From Germany, joined Aug 2007, 241 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2023 times:

Quoting Turkish350XWB (Reply 23):
Someone who is doing this does not deserve being taken seriously as this is a forum in which we all share our hobby and spend our free time.

That's a bit harsh don't you think.

I am going to play devil's advocate here and just say that while it is clear that Turkey is part of Europe according to all governing bodies in aviation what Tupolev160 was (i presume) trying to point out that Turkey is largely (geographically and culturally) in the Middle East (and there is nothing wrong about it).

Quoting TurkishWings (Reply 11):
You will never ever accept the facts will you? All my posts will likely be deleted as always but I am highly disturbed with your general attitude towards Turkey and TK...

Don't be so overly sensitive as it is in Turkey's greatest benefit to be both in Europe and in Asia. It is a fact that TK is benefitting from its position and is emulating many winning moves from EK. Putting TK & EK in the same sentence is actually a compliment as EK is a great success story in the industry.

Now if the Istanbul 3rd airport opens TK will grow even more. On another nore I am quite disappointed with Sabiha Gokcen new terminal - too small, too bland, very unambitious - there were better options offered by architects.

---

[Edited 2012-12-03 17:28:06]


A350WARP
25 Tupolev160 : Honestly i don't see the 77W really fitting into SU's fleet and that for a number of reasons. The 77L would have suited them much better. The way the
26 sofianec : Actually 77W makes perfect sense for SU for the following markets: - Domestic Long-Haul to Russia Far East (AFAIK it requires less premium seats) - L
27 Tupolev160 : Exactly, the previous IL-96 destinations. I just thought that for at least the Russian long-hauls, an aircraft such as the A333 would be more economi
28 sofianec : Most SU Long-Haul markets are reachable effectively with a 77W, even JNB (4935 nm). In fact only South Am requires 77L to operate at optimal loads. A
29 TurkishWings : I flew as a cabin crew with TK and have logged hundreds and hundreds of hours as a passenger and I never had an international flight where alcohol wa
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