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Capacity On SEA-NRT  
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 9099 times:

With three daily flights between Seattle and Tokyo-Narita, can Seattle really sustain this level of service on this route in the long term?

Keeping in mind that this is currently the low season for Seattle, there is currently United Airline's daily 777-200ER, Delta Air Lines' daily A330-300, and ANA's new daily flight which operates on 787-8 Mon-Fri and then 777-300ER Sat-Sun.

For next summer, Delta is upgrading its flight to 747-400 and will presumably launch daily flights to Tokyo-Haneda on 767-300ERs in March, bringing a total of four daily flights to Tokyo.

After ANA launched Seattle earlier this year, I was expecting United to drop its daily flight, but it's still sticking around for the time being it seems.

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"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
65 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinejfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8386 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 9055 times:
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SEA to NRT has always been a big Tokyo route, why are 3 flights daily such a surprise ? ANA chases the premuim end of the route, UA and DL less chase the lower end of the market. DL's switch from an A333 to a 744 is a rise of about 100 seats daily, this could be because DL needs the A330 for Europe and a 744 is better to NRT. Its porbably more a fleet olicy issue then a SEA to NRT issue.

User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31056 posts, RR: 87
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 9026 times:
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I've seen decent loads in First and Business Class on UA875 and UA876 in years past and UA used to have an International First Lounge to the right of the main RCC to support UA875 (though they'd let me in when I was on an UA917 SEA-ORD-FRA flight in F).

Honestly, a three-class 767-300ER is probably the better option for UA in terms of the premium cabin loads, but I'm not sure how the Economy loads are (as I flew F or C). I believe SEA saw a fair bit of baseball fans come over each year to watch Ichiro, but now that he is in New York...

[Edited 2012-12-26 11:26:10]

User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25513 posts, RR: 50
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 9026 times:

It will be interesting.

Per the DOT Haneda route competition, its clear that Seattle - Tokyo local market is not that big - only about 230 passengers per day.

Come next summer the capacity will far exceeds the markets own needs, so all airlines will be highly reliant on generating beyond traffic feed on either end to support the flying.

[Edited 2012-12-26 11:26:22]


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9661 posts, RR: 52
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 8936 times:

SEA-NRT fares are still trending higher than LAX-NRT.

SEA-NRT has been between 2 and 3 daily flights for about 15 years. It was AA, UA and NW. Then AA dropped the route and NW would go beyond daily to 10 or so weekly flights depending on season. Now we have ANA in the market, and DL will be putting a 747 on the route, which will be a capacity increase. However DL is going to the 747 which has a good quality business class product and relatively few seats. DL on the 747 has the same number of business class seats as ANA does on the 787.

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 1):
ANA chases the premuim end of the route, UA and DL less chase the lower end of the market.

That is somewhat true. ANA chases business class and not economy. That's there model, but they don't operate first class to SEA, so I wouldn't say that UA is chasing the lower end of the market since they are the only ones with a first class cabin. It is common to see on A.net negative comments about the service on US airlines, but UA is usually not on the bottom when it comes to average fare. UA tends to have the highest RASM of any airline in the US and is competitive on revenue internationally (of course they are no where near ANA or BA which have so few economy seats and always lead in RASM). UA is relatively balanced. DL on the other hand has a more significant focus on economy with fewer premium class seats in their network.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 8841 times:

When will we hear the DOT's final decision on SEA-HND?


"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlinePIEAvantiP180 From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 542 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 8761 times:
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Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 4):
DL on the other hand has a more significant focus on economy with fewer premium class seats in their network.

That statement is true to DL's international aircraft since they lack a first class product but not on the domestic side. Right now they have more domestic first class seats then any other airline and that number will rise as they start receiving more 717 and CRJ900 to replace CRJ100/200 that lack a domestic F. By the end of 2015 DL will have approximately 1100 aircraft in its and their connection fleet with available first class, while the next highest airline will be about 100-150 below that number.

Quoting BA (Reply 5):
When will we hear the DOT's final decision on SEA-HND?

I understand the meaning of preliminary and final approval, but how does that pertain to the DOT and what do they need to do in order to go from preliminary to final? In that time can airlines still object or is that stage of the decision making all ready over?

[Edited 2012-12-26 12:09:07]

[Edited 2012-12-26 12:09:45]

[Edited 2012-12-26 12:16:04]

[Edited 2012-12-26 12:16:23]

User currently offlineER757 From Cayman Islands, joined May 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 8470 times:

DL's flight was operated with a 744 today - just happened to catch it departing as a I glanced out the window a minute ago.
What a treat for me - haven't seen a 747 in DL colors for over 30 years. A nice late Christmas present


User currently offlineCessna172RG From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 749 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 8407 times:

Back in the day, NWA used to operate it on a 742 with UAL on a 772 as well as AAL on 772. Demand has always been high, and once more folks learn about the Haneda option, that flight will be just as full. For me and my wife, we would fly to LAX to do the Haneda flight on DL, now that it'll be out of Seattle, that's going to make traveling over there a lot easier, even with the crappy time slot that Haneda allows.


Save the whales...for dinner!!!
User currently offlineYukon880 From United States of America, joined Sep 2011, 137 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 8259 times:

Quoting ER757 (Reply 7):
What a treat for me - haven't seen a 747 in DL colors for over 30 years. A nice late Christmas present

Some would argue that the Whale you saw today wasn't really in Widget paint either!
Sounds like you're easy to shop for at Christmas...
glad you were pleased!

 



Pratt & Whitney, In thrust we trust!
User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7639 posts, RR: 18
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 8045 times:

I never really understood how this route is so popular. Most of my Japanese contacts don't have anything to do with Seattle.


我思うゆえに我あり。(Jap. 'I think, therefore I am.')
User currently offlinecedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8124 posts, RR: 54
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 8026 times:

I don't get it either - Seattle seems really small. The downtown area feels like a town really. I guess they have Microsoft and Starbucks but hundreds of seats a day? Hum.


fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25457 posts, RR: 22
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7961 times:

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 4):
SEA-NRT has been between 2 and 3 daily flights for about 15 years. It was AA, UA and NW. Then AA dropped the route and NW would go beyond daily to 10 or so weekly flights depending on season. Now we have ANA in the market, and DL will be putting a 747 on the route, which will be a capacity increase.

Going back a little further, CO was awarded SEA-NRT rights, replacing UA, in early 1989 after a complicated series of legal decisions and appeals. I believe UA's SEA-NRT service ended in March 1989. CO's SEA-NRT route didn't last long as they sold the route to AA for $150 million soon after CO's second Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in late 1990. The sale to AA was approved in early 1991.

Coincidentally, AA's purchase of CO's SEA-NRT route was approved by the DOT one day after they approved AA's purchase of TWA's Chicago-London route authority for $110 million.


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7879 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 10):
I never really understood how this route is so popular. Most of my Japanese contacts don't have anything to do with Seattle.

While not to the same degree as San Francisco, I feel Seattle has a pretty strong connection to Asia. When it comes to Japanese connections specifically, keep in mind that MHI, KHI, and FHI all build parts for Boeing airplanes, so the aerospace connections are definitely strong.

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 11):
I don't get it either - Seattle seems really small. The downtown area feels like a town really. I guess they have Microsoft and Starbucks but hundreds of seats a day? Hum.

Seattle's downtown is compact due to the geography of the area, but keep in mind it is also pretty dense. There's also a lot more to the Seattle-Tacoma area than just its downtown. Bellevue, which is across from Lake Washington, has another bustling city center, the 2nd largest in the state, with a lot of technological companies.

It can be seen in the background here:
http://www.portseattle.org/Sea-Tac/Passenger-Services/PublishingImages/Cruise_090920_139.jpg



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlinejetbluefan1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2988 posts, RR: 14
Reply 14, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7846 times:

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 11):
I guess they have Microsoft and Starbucks but hundreds of seats a day? Hum.

Don't forget Amazon and Boeing!



Most people on a.net hate JetBlue. Get used to it.
User currently offlineCactus739 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2448 posts, RR: 31
Reply 15, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7738 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 10):
I never really understood how this route is so popular. Most of my Japanese contacts don't have anything to do with Seattle.

Well that's obviously because all your contacts need a Phoenix nonstop to Tokyo.



You can't fix stupid.... - Ron White
User currently offlinewedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5912 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 7492 times:
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Quoting PHX787 (Reply 10):
I never really understood how this route is so popular. Most of my Japanese contacts don't have anything to do with Seattle.
Quoting cedarjet (Reply 11):
I don't get it either - Seattle seems really small. The downtown area feels like a town really. I guess they have Microsoft and Starbucks but hundreds of seats a day? Hum.
Quoting jetbluefan1 (Reply 14):
Don't forget Amazon and Boeing!

Don't forget also that Seattle has a large Japanese population through the Puget Sound. In addition to Seattle and Bellevue, you also have Everett, Tacoma and Olympia.

Japanese industries provide a lot of business to and from the Puget Sound area.

Quoting BA (Thread starter):
ANA's new daily flight which operates on 787-8 Mon-Fri and then 777-300ER Sat-Sun.

NH provides 1st class service when they bring in their 777-300ER equipment. I wonder if NH will bring the 777-300ER back for the summer in competition with DL's 744.


User currently onlinetoobz From Finland, joined Jan 2010, 791 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 7465 times:

If DL was having issues filling up aircraft on this route they most certainly would not b flying it with an A333. It could be done with A332 or 763.

User currently offlinebaw716 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2028 posts, RR: 27
Reply 18, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 7452 times:

UA should run a 787 on SEA-NRT as they get more of them as this will make the route perform better, and use the 772 when traffic is heavier. This will bolster UAs position in the Seattle market, as the Dreamliner will be the predominant way to fly anywhere...although I am curious to see how a 9 across 787 would do against an 8 across in Y class.

Time will tell

baw716



David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
User currently offlineYULWinterSkies From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2180 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 5971 times:

Quoting BA (Thread starter):
an Seattle really sustain this level of service on this route in the long term?

Probably not SEA-NRT as o&d, but SEA is hub for DL (and so is NRT), and NRT is also a hub for NH (and UA)

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 11):
I don't get it either - Seattle seems really small. The downtown area feels like a town really. I guess they have Microsoft and Starbucks but hundreds of seats a day? Hum.

Third largest metro area on the West Coast. Never been downtown Seattle but the size of downtown often tells little about the size of an airport's catchment area.
Downtown Minneapolis also seems really small yet the Twin Cities metro area is large, wealthy and has a lot of business happening outside of the moderately large financial district, hence why MSP is a large airport. Of course there are many other examples.



When I doubt... go running!
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8567 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 5708 times:

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 19):
Never been downtown Seattle but the size of downtown often tells little about the size of an airport's catchment area.

Right, SEA has strong O&D as such, but it also serves the entire Western USA via Alaska Airlines and certain Delta flights. Every western city that lacks a Narita flight will look to SEA as the ideal connecting point (think California, etc). Similarly for China flights. SEA is strong in business, strong in tourism / VFR but also is the most fuel efficient connect point for hubbing these Pacific flights to west of the Mississippi.


User currently offlinebobloblaw From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1725 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 5538 times:

Quoting BA (Thread starter):
With three daily flights between Seattle and Tokyo-Narita, can Seattle really sustain this level of service on this route in the long term?

I think HND will struggle. But UA, DL and NH all have beyond NRT connections. Plus AS feeds DL in SEA.


User currently offlinequiet1 From Thailand, joined Apr 2010, 357 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 5390 times:

SEA is the closest US mainland gateway to Japan. For connections that means a shorter overall trip than through any other gateway.

User currently offlinePMUA787 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 5239 times:

Quoting BA (Thread starter):
After ANA launched Seattle earlier this year, I was expecting United to drop its daily flight, but it's still sticking around for the time being it seems.

Cargo business might still be pretty good for UA to keep the SEA-NRT flight going.


User currently offlineUA787DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 420 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 5184 times:

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 19):
but SEA is hub for DL (and so is NRT)

Pardon me, but I don't think SEA is a hub. It is a strong non-hub city, with limited international and domestic routes. I think that it is used for NRT-US connections more for its location. Nobody wants to connect in DTW for SLC or connect in DTW for SEA area routes. Also, with the AS codeshare, it becomes a larger connecting base. A pilot domicile and Airline hub are not necessarily always paired, and in the case of DL at SEA, they aren't. However, SEA still offers better connections to the western US than DTW or MSP.
NRT is a hub. SEA could be considered a focus city. It doesn't serve any unique cities and almost all US routes are to hubs.


25 BA : SEA doesn't quite qualify as a hub for DL, it's more of a focus city. They've got approximately 40 flights a day which is decent, but outside of oper
26 Flighty : For the purposes of DL's oceanic flights, SEA functions as a hub because it cooperates with Alaska Airlines. So the total flight count would have to
27 UA787DEN : It does somewhat. From a passenger's point of view, it works OK, but DL and AS have slightly different service types and levels. From DL management a
28 Gunsontheroof : Bingo. We can debate semantics as to what constitutes a "hub" all day (not like that has ever happened on a.net before!) but the fact of the matter i
29 Post contains links BA : This article below states about 1,200 passengers connect each day between Delta and Alaska through Seattle. That's 1,200 total in both directions (AS
30 tommy767 : SEA isn't really a DL hub -- definitely a focus city. I'd go on a limb and say SEA is also a focus city for UA as well with their flights to ANC, NRT
31 UA787DEN : Thank you! How many flights daily does AS operate from SEA? I don't think that 1200 daily pax makes it a hub, but definitely is a strong station.
32 Gunsontheroof : Agreed. The point I was making is that Seattle (and I'm speaking loosely here) isn't a fishing village anymore. The O&D numbers are a bit of a su
33 BA : They have over 200 flights per day approximately, not sure of the exact figure. I agree that SEA doesn't qualify a hub for Delta and I know that Delt
34 UA787DEN : Yes. However, SEA has a smaller overall terminal and airfield. than most International Hubs, and desperately needs a new FIS. Also, increased runway
35 BA : They're updating the Master Plan for the airport right now, but there was a plan to build an entirely brand new terminal north of the existing termin
36 reality : This is exactly why there are so many flights/seats between the two cities. This is the main reason...which seems to be being overlooked.
37 MSPNWA : It's really no debate that SEA-NRT is over-served for its local market. Why? I'd say it's due to the age-old pattern of airlines fighting over a route
38 Gunsontheroof : The existing FIS facility needs serious attention. Frankly, I'm surprised SEA has enjoyed so much international growth in recent years with that elep
39 Stitch : If this was the case, you'd think UA would have scaled back from a 777 to a 767 and now that DL owns NW, they would have scaled back from an A332 to
40 Gunsontheroof : Precisely. Like I said before, I don't see the mystery here. Capacity has historically been relatively high on the route and I suspect (and anyone wi
41 MSPNWA : It may the closest gateway, but there really aren't that many heavily populated areas where SEA makes fore the shortest overall distance. If you draw
42 BA : Do you have any proof of this or is this just a hunch? RoseFlyer mentioned earlier in this thread that SEA-NRT fares are still trending higher than L
43 PHX787 : Ahhhhhhhh you're funny, maybe I should've said Japanese who live in japan. The Japanese I know here in PHX also really have nothing to do in Seattle.
44 JAGflyer : I don't think Microsoft and Starbucks contribute a high amount to any international route ex-SEA (not Starbucks at least). Keep in mind also passenger
45 mah4546 : It's a big market, but it's over-served. It's a smaller local market than SEALHR.
46 UA787DEN : This might change with the new nonstop 787 route, but a lot of people flying UA from DEN-NRT or other Asian destinations prefer SEA to LAX for connec
47 MSPNWA : I said it's my belief, and let's take LAX-NRT for a moment. LAX-NRT is a bloodbath and that's no secret. It's essentially the lowest baseline to set
48 Gunsontheroof : Well, you have to remember that NRT is a DL hub with numerous onward connections to East Asia. LHR has connections but they're largely dependent on B
49 alexinwa : Not too long ago UA 744 NW 742 AA MD11/777 About 1000 seats a day in the market Right now UA 777 DL 333 NH 787 Not close to 1000 seats a day. It would
50 STT757 : UA originally served SEA-LHR when the bought the Pan Am rights, they quickly dropped the route. SEA-NRT has long endured for UA, so obviously there's
51 UA787DEN : Alexinwa: This is winter. Also NH serves the route on a 777 some of the time. Come summer, there is a 744, 772, and 788/772. Add in the new HND flight
52 wedgetail737 : Boeing and their suppliers move many people between SEA and NRT all the time.
53 Stitch : I remember talk of NH possibly starting SEA-NGO due to the 787 program.
54 B6WNQX : To give some numbers, UA carried 10,971 (both directions) on the SEA-NRT route in October 2012. If we consider the 772 they use on the route carries 2
55 UA787DEN : I'm pretty sure UA uses a 253 seat 772 on the route.
56 RWA380 : ' And after UA the first time, and before AA, CO operated a daily 742 on the SEA-NRT route. Don't forget that JL also once served SEA from NRT as wel
57 Viscount724 : And the route was shared with ATL as JL operated NRT-SEA-ATL if memory correct, and only about 2 x week.
58 wedgetail737 : There's a lot of nay-sayers regarding the ability for SEA to maintain the NRT capacity. How many of these armchair CEO's really know the SEA market?
59 UA787DEN : To all...SEA is known as SeaTac airport, and Olympia has no service. That's a lot of people, with a very high percentage Japanese as compared to many
60 Coronado : I think United is the most likely to get out of this route within the next 12 months as they have no appreciable feed of their own into Sea-Tac and th
61 UA787DEN : I hats to say it, but I think that DEN isn't the highest yielding market. They are consistently downgrading flights to RJs. There are insane fees, and
62 klwright69 : Interesting prediction... UA has done a lot of adjusting. CPH, ACC, DME, being discontinued. EZE-IAD being moved to EWR. Then there is the introducti
63 klwright69 : Agreed. And UA has gotten stronger in SEA with the CO merger, not weaker.
64 UA787DEN : At this point, I don't think anyone will drop the route. It simply is a good route. Also, if UA drops NRT, they are not only losing a SEA route and co
65 wedgetail737 : Keep in mind that the 744 is only for the peak travel season. I think the NRT flights will hold their own. It's the HND flight is to watch out. The l
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