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Viability Of A Red-eye Europe-LAX Flight  
User currently offlinemfc From Spain, joined Feb 2006, 268 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 8 months 4 hours ago) and read 11562 times:

Iberia currently offers a red-eye flight to Mexico City with the following schedule:

IB6401 MAD00.40 - MEX05.55
IB6400 MEX12.40 - MAD06.20+1

This flight is very popular, specially among business travelers. Wouldn't it be suitable for Alitalia or Iberia to offer the same schedule to LAX? For example, Iberia's current schedule to LAX flight is:

IB6171 MAD12.45 - LAX16.30
IB6170 LAX18.10 - MAD14.30+1

And Alitalia's schedule is:

AZ620 FCO09.15 - LAX13.20
AZ621 LAX15.25 - FCO12.15

Proposed red-eye flights would have the following schedule:

MAD00.45 - LAX04.30
LAX11.10 - MAD07.30+1

FCO00.45 - LAX04.50
LAX10.25 - FCO07.15

I know that both markets are mainly leisure, but maybe they could take advantage of other European carriers not having that option, mainly because if they depart in late night they would arrive very early in the morning. Taking that flight would allow to depart for LAX late in the evening from Europe and arrive in LAX with a decent sleep time.

What do you think?


So, we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past
37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDeltaB717 From Australia, joined Jun 2012, 490 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 4 hours ago) and read 11546 times:
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I live in Oz so take this comment for what it is, just my relatively-uneducated 2 cents... but looking at the times you've given for the current services and suggested for a red-eye I can see how the current schedule might have a bit more scope to attract business travellers. I know if I was going westbound for a meeting I'd much rather arrive the afternoon before, have some dinner and get an early night, than arrive at 4.30-5.00am and get started. I think even as a leisure traveller I'd prefer that. Again, only my 2 cents  

User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25392 posts, RR: 49
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 3 hours ago) and read 11472 times:

For starters US customs at LAX does not open till 0600, hence why the first arrivals of the day are at 0605 and 0610 today. (VA & LA)


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineprost From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 1045 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 3 hours ago) and read 11444 times:

Wouldn't you run in to some curfew issues on the European sideas well? At least from some airports (LHR, FRA?)

User currently offlinemfc From Spain, joined Feb 2006, 268 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 3 hours ago) and read 11386 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
For starters US customs at LAX does not open till 0600, hence why the first arrivals of the day are at 0605 and 0610 today. (VA & LA)

Didn't know that, that makes those flight totally inviable.

Quoting prost (Reply 3):

Wouldn't you run in to some curfew issues on the European sideas well? At least from some airports (LHR, FRA?)

I don't know in LHR or FRA, but in MAD there's no curfew. There are a lot of flights to South America that depart in that hours.



So, we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past
User currently offlineQFVHOQA From Australia, joined Mar 2012, 445 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 8 months 1 hour ago) and read 10832 times:

The schedule you propose also increases the ground time at LAX from ~2 hours to 6-7 hours. This would be fine for a carrier based at LAX but it's a good 4 hours that the plane could be flying if it were back at its base (MAD/FCO).

User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4988 posts, RR: 42
Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months ago) and read 10788 times:

Also add that often when flying against the majority of traffic, you have to fly outside of the NAT tracks (which are one way by time of day), or under them, This often is far less efficient.

I used to encounter this with our daylight flight to LHR (from YYZ), or the late evening return. We would burn on average about 3,000 kgs of fuel more than the "regular" flights.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineklkla From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 933 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 10513 times:

Quoting mfc (Thread starter):
Proposed red-eye flights would have the following schedule:

MAD00.45 - LAX04.30
LAX11.10 - MAD07.30+1

It may not be viable for reasons listed above but I for one would love it. I hate daytime long haul flights with a passion. As it is now I make a point of staying up all night if possible the night before returning so I can sleep on the plane coming back from Europe.


User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2191 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 10258 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 6):

Also add that often when flying against the majority of traffic, you have to fly outside of the NAT tracks (which are one way by time of day), or under them, This often is far less efficient.

I used to encounter this with our daylight flight to LHR (from YYZ), or the late evening return. We would burn on average about 3,000 kgs of fuel more than the "regular" flights.

Could you explain what this means, exactly? Very curious to know...



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineklwright69 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jan 2000, 2043 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 10239 times:

Quoting DeltaB717 (Reply 1):
For starters US customs at LAX does not open till 0600, hence why the first arrivals of the day are at 0605 and 0610 today. (VA & LA)

Sometimes flights arrive 30 minutes early, sometimes even more. What happens then?


User currently offlineSCL767 From Chile, joined Feb 2006, 8816 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 10172 times:
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Quoting klwright69 (Reply 9):
Quoting DeltaB717 (Reply 1):
For starters US customs at LAX does not open till 0600, hence why the first arrivals of the day are at 0605 and 0610 today. (VA & LA)

Sometimes flights arrive 30 minutes early, sometimes even more. What happens then?

The LA flight that he's referring to only operates thrice weekly on a seasonal basis. Currently the actual fight time from SCL to LAX is a bit longer since the service now operates with the 763 instead of the 787-8. In March the arrival time into LAX will be at 08:10.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25392 posts, RR: 49
Reply 11, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 10126 times:

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 9):
Sometimes flights arrive 30 minutes early, sometimes even more. What happens then?

If flights arrive prior to FIS opening, the aircraft is parked with doors closed. Only once approval is granted are doors opened and passengers deplaned.

Even during the day, flights are not deplaned without CBP expressed approval. Incase of peak periods and congestion in FIS, onboard holds are not unheard of either.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineDeltaB717 From Australia, joined Jun 2012, 490 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 10084 times:
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Not quite sure why it's quoting me on a comment someone else made!? Weird...

User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7175 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 10085 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 11):

I'm surprised to hear LAX closes its customs. What time does it close?

I'm not sure how long or if MIA closes its customs but given it has scheduled international arrivals from 3am to 1am the next day it would not be closed for more than two hours at MIA.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 8):

I'm not a commercial pilot but NAT tracks are the flight routes airliners use for the North Atlantic. Planes are separated by time and altitude and must remain a certain distance apart. Depending on the time of day the majority of traffic is either going west or east. If the flight is going the opposite of the natural flow of traffic which in this case the red eye to lax would they either have to fly outside the NAT tracks either north or south of them making the flight longer or fly at a lower altitude than the assigned NAT tracks. Lower altitude is less efficient causing more fuel burn as would a longer distance flight.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25392 posts, RR: 49
Reply 14, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 10049 times:

Core LAX FIS hours were recently extended from 11pm to Midnight.

Hours for individual terminals vary, from as few as 6-hours per day, to TBIT which has the 0600-2400 hours.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9381 posts, RR: 29
Reply 15, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 9958 times:

due to the curfew at FRA, the flight departure would need to be 22h15 latest, which would get the flight into LAX around 1 am. Even if CBP is open, how many connecting flights are available around that time and who wants to be out on the road in LAX at 3 am?

The few viable slots that remain at FRA pas 10 pm due to the guillotine curfew at 11 pm can be used to Asian and South American ddestinations.

[Edited 2013-01-22 22:36:02]


E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlinebaw716 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2028 posts, RR: 27
Reply 16, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 9936 times:

The problem with Iberia's schedule MAD-MEX is that the aircraft sits for a very long time in MEX. Airplanes don't make money when they don't fly. An eastbound morning flight from MEX is impossible due to the fact that it would arrive in the middle of the night in Europe.

As earlier mentioned, with the curfew issues and the terrible arrival times eastbound...this kind of operation is just not viable...why IB does it is an open question. It might be popular with the business traveler, but the costs of this kind of operation wipe out any commercial advantage.

It just can't work and make money.

baw716



David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25392 posts, RR: 49
Reply 17, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 9803 times:

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 15):
who wants to be out on the road in LAX at 3 am?

Hey atleast there will be no traffic   



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9381 posts, RR: 29
Reply 18, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 9736 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 17):
Hey atleast there will be no traffic

yes, but that does not please the average tourist.   ....who would be easy prey leaving the rental car lot....



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17066 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 9717 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 14):
Core LAX FIS hours were recently extended from 11pm to Midnight.

Hours for individual terminals vary, from as few as 6-hours per day, to TBIT which has the 0600-2400 hours.

What happens if one of the long haul flights arrive late, after midnight?



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlinemfc From Spain, joined Feb 2006, 268 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 9525 times:

Quoting baw716 (Reply 16):

Iberia operates two different flights to MEX, there is the westbound red-eye flight mentioned above and another one that is like the usual North America westbound flights, i.e. departing MAD around 12PM. The latter used to be the usual one with daily frequencies, and the red-eye westbound one with 3 flights per week in Winter, going daily in Summer. During this winter, however, the red-eye westbound flight has been operated daily and the other one 3 times per week, so IMHO I don't think that operating that flight is not profitable, keep in mind that Iberia is offering a schedule that anyone else does, so maybe they get better yields.



So, we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past
User currently offlineordjoe From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 708 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 7528 times:

Quoting mfc (Reply 4):
Didn't know that, that makes those flight totally inviable.

There could probably be a way to alter the hours if they have a flight coming in. I know AA has a morning flight to LHR from ORD that my dad took all the time while he worked at BP. It was very popular with business travelers on Sundays as it allowed you to rest up and be sure you can make a meeting the next day.


User currently offlineYULWinterSkies From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2179 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 7289 times:

The flight time, adjusted for local times, is too short to allow this. Either you are way past curfew or last arrivals in Europe to make it practical, or you get in LAX too early (customs not open yet, among other problems).
Unlike for MEX, which only has 7 hour time change from most of Europe, and is just about as long as it goes further South.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 18):

yes, but that does not please the average tourist. ....who would be easy prey leaving the rental car lot....

I don't get it... are you assuming that the "average" tourist is going to rent a car immediately upon arrival and at the airport, and that Los Angeles freeways are that unsafe?

Also, I am not convinced that most cars are rented to tourists, but rather to business people, who need to get somewhere at a good driving distance from the airport. And for them, 3AM does not sound exactly attractive either.



When I doubt... go running!
User currently offlineflyinTLow From Germany, joined Oct 2004, 521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 7022 times:

NAT are basicslly one-way highways across the Atlantic. They are not defined by specific waypoints like "regular" airways elsewhere. Depending on the jetstream, they are set new on a daily basis, allowing for a small headwind component westwards, and a high tailwind eastwards. They are basically one-way westwards during European afternoon and evening hours, and eastwards during European night and ealry AM hours. They are spread 60NM aparts if I remember correctly, and there are 5 of them. Aircraft are seperated by 10 minutes at the same altitude, and 1000' vertically. Basically, they are "blocking" a big chunk of airspace, especially for aircraft going "the other way".

That means, aircraft have to fly a large detour, when available (ETOPS) or have to remain in lower airspace, which leads to a higher fuel consumption.

Now do these flights even use the NATs? I know LH's LAX flight often does not fly them but flies further north.



- When dreams take flight, follow them -
User currently offline26point2 From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 825 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 6947 times:

I do a "red eye" flight from California to NY a few times a year (corporate jet). We arrive 4am or there about and go straight to the hotel which, of course, is only available if you book and pay for the previous night.

Quoting flymia (Reply 13):
I'm not a commercial pilot but NAT tracks are the flight routes airliners use for the North Atlantic.

You are correct but the OP asked about LAX-Europe and that route rarely uses NAT track in either direction. They use a Random Route that more closely follows the Great Circle route much farther North than NAT tracks. NAT tracks are designed for traffic traveling between Europe and US/Canada North East.


25 LAXintl : In general smaller delays are not that big issue as with the midnight cutoff staff in reality has to be around till 1-2am to finish up anyhow. But if
26 AussieItaliano : Yup, this has happened to me plenty of times flying in from South America at several US airports. It's pretty annoying to have to sit in your seat fo
27 TC957 : I seem to remember there were charters in the 1980's from LGW that left late at night for LAX, might have been Trans International or someone like tha
28 1400mph : It just popped into my mind that if you leave JFK at 6pm you arrive at LHR at 6am. (3,500 miles at 500mph) 12 hour cycle..... i.e 7 hour flight + 5 ho
29 AussieItaliano : Yup, AMS-CPT (and probably other European-South African flights) are 12 hour cycles Southbound. 11 (flight) + 1 (change). Britain is 2 hours behind C
30 1400mph : Yeah 11/1...that's a good one. What about 12/12 ? I guess you could only do that with a sustained speed of 1000mph ?
31 jfk777 : LAX has now had nonstop Jet flight to Europe for 50 years, if its never been done there has had to be a reason. From LHR to LAX is 8 hours time differ
32 Norcal773 : [quote=LAXintl,reply=11] You sit on the plane, which is a pain. Happened to me once and after a 12 hours flight, all you want when you land is out.
33 blueflyer : It's just a matter of staffing. Technically, they're not closed, but there aren't enough agents on hand to man passenger check points. If there were
34 Viscount724 : You also have to consider airport congestion, taxi time and varying aircraft cruising speeds etc. Scheduled block times of all flights JFK-LHR vary f
35 2travel2know2 : While I don't see an Europe - LAX westbound red-eyes flight viable (these days) due to LAX F.I.S. opening hours, I could imagine there'd be a year-aro
36 B747forever : I would say that is more of a problem compared to the TBIT FIS. Do all terminals but terminal 1 have their own FIS facilities?[Edited 2013-01-23 21:0
37 ikramerica : One reason the MEX redeye works is that Mexicans prefer them. LAX to Mexico flights are often overnights even if it means leaving at 1am and arriving
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