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Will AS Start ANC-East Asia Someday?  
User currently offlinejustinlee From China, joined Aug 2012, 332 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 9 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 7110 times:

With the delivery of more 737-900ER, will AS start ANC-East Asia someday in there future? Can 737-900ER operate ANC-NRT/ANC-ICN? If there is a direct service from NRT/ICN-ANC, I see a big potential for Alaska's tourism industry. Also, AS may also operate a mini hub in ANC to grasp some market share in trans pacific, just like Iceland Air did.

35 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTWA772LR From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 2478 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 7087 times:

According to GCM, and the range of a 73G with winglets (the longest-ranged aircraft in the AS fleet) at 3440nm, ANC-NRT/ICN/Russian Far East and possibly PEK. Bet if their was any money to be made there, I imagine there would be at least one carrier on each route. I would love to see AS return to the Russian Far East and make it a niche for them. They could provide one-stop service from IAH-ANC-Oil cities in Siberia and Russia's Pacific Coast. Just another A.net pipedream though...


A landing EVERYONE can walk away from, is a good landing.
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11721 posts, RR: 60
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 4 weeks ago) and read 6981 times:

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 1):
They could provide one-stop service from IAH-ANC-Oil cities in Siberia and Russia's Pacific Coast. Just another A.net pipedream though...

No I can really see this happening in the next few years, as more companies based or with operations in the US expand into Eastern Russia.


Dan  



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5947 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6873 times:

This has already been done, just not by AS.

Korean had seasonal ICN-ANC flights.
China Airlines had seasonal TPE-ANC-JFK flights.
JAL runs summer NRT-ANC charters.

While I'd love to see some passenger heavies in here, it just doesn't seem likely that the market warrants service to these far away lands.
Granted, AS's 737-700 would be easier to fill, but it's not a particularly cost-effective aircraft to begin with. A -900 would be much better for seat-mile costs, but she doesn't have the range.


User currently offlinealggag From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 98 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6837 times:

Didn't AS already serve eastern Russia without much success?

[Edited 2013-03-05 00:50:34]

User currently offlinetimpdx From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 593 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6775 times:

AS did serve Siberia, but that was 20 years ago. Now with the energy boom, that may be worth another look.

but honestly, it probably wont happen.


User currently offlineTWA902fly From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 3129 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6707 times:

I would imagine if the 73G/738/739 had a bit longer legs (maybe an extra 500 miles), AS could serve some secondary Japanese markets. Year round they only servce ANC-SEA/PDX/ORD in the lower 48, but DEN/LAX are also served in the summer, plus DL and AA chodeshares, and I could see destinations like CTS/KIJ/NGO/SDJ/FUK (in addition to the obvious NRT/KIX), etc. In my mind, this type of service could be appealing to a good amount of US-Japan city pairs. Add to that seasonal tourism traffic into the state of Alaska, and there might be something there.

This idea is in place in a few places in the world already - Icelandair @KEF, Copa @PTY being two prime examples. And from what I understand, both airlines are doing fairly well.

ANC also has a good amount of summer-seasonal traffic from Japan (in addition to mainland US).

However, I think it is still some time until such a service is established. While the 73G does have the legs for ANC-Japan services, the overwater distances are greater than Copa experiences on any of their flights. Does anyone know how many minutes ETOPS the AS fleet is?

AS also appears to be one of the more conservative airlines when it comes to expanding into new markets, and using ANC as a connection point a la PTY or KEF between US/Canada and Japan is somewhat out of the box thinking.

I think as the market continues to grow, and maybe with AS's next fleet upgrade, we will see ANC play a role like this.

'902



life wasn't worth the balance, or the crumpled paper it was written on
User currently offlineRWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3461 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6660 times:

AS will eventually run out of places to fly, with their 737's. What I mean there are a finite number of places where AS can fly a 737 from ANC, SEA, PDX & SAN and make a profit. Which means to me that AS is going to have to think a bit out of the box eventually, and maybe a return to the Russian Far East would be a good long term investment, as that area will develop with energy, and someone has to be in place to get people back and forth with a reliable system. It way seem a bit far off at first, but AS could start with seasonal 2x weekly at first to start forging relationships there again.

As far as Korea or Japan, I think the logistics would be a nightmare, and as AS is a 737 only carrier, Boeing would have to install and extra tank on their 73G's, if that is even possible. Keep in mind that winds and weather in that part of the world is extremely brutal, and headwinds could mean stops in Adak or Nome I guess.

I know that reliability was an issue with the M80's, and once stuck in Russia, it was often a multi day pain in the butt to get stranded passengers out, plus depending on the problem with the aircraft, a massive effort to fix enough to ferry back to ANC. I know these new generation 737's would likely offer better reliability, provided they do well in extreme conditions.

The only thing that I am not familiar with, is the abilities of those airports chosen, to get planes experiencing poor weather down safely, and the facilities offered for passenger comforts. I think I remember AS stating it took a huge pile of money to operate those flights with crew layovers, (not sure if security was ever an issue, but who knows these days) and landing fees, people to be paid off, high fuel prices etc.... That is all stuff my AS rep told me way back in the day, as to why they pulled out of the Russian Far East, so I wonder if it would be even more corrupt or maybe gotten better, I'm sure the economy would benefit of that region, as many folks would take trips like that.



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 offlineTWA902fly From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 3129 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6591 times:

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 7):
I know that reliability was an issue with the M80's, and once stuck in Russia, it was often a multi day pain in the butt to get stranded passengers out, plus depending on the problem with the aircraft, a massive effort to fix enough to ferry back to ANC. I know these new generation 737's would likely offer better reliability, provided they do well in extreme conditions.

I was also under the impression that the MD-80 was weight restricted even moreso than a similar plane would be now. AS at one point or another served GDX, UUS, PKC, VVO, and KHV. The problem wasn't that the MD-80 couldn't make it from ANC to PKC or GDX (UUS, VVO, KHV were tag-ons to those 2 routes I believe), but that there was no alternates, and in many cases the alternate was an airport in Alaska. This extra fuel caused some big issues for the service, and was finaly shut down in the late 90's during the Russian Financial Crisis. There's probably a market there, but I'm not sure the energy ties are strong enough (yet), and the VFR people are probably served just fine by the summer seasonal Vladivostok Avia.

Also note that the VFR traffic between Alaska and the far east isn't as large as you'd think, as there was a large Russian community in Alaska prior to the fall of the Soviet Union, and there was not a large influx in the 1990s like there was to other American cities, thus the family ties aren't as strong as you'd expect, which is why I imagine a single weekly summer seasonal ANC-VVO suffices for now.

'902



life wasn't worth the balance, or the crumpled paper it was written on
User currently offlinecarpethead From Japan, joined Aug 2004, 2980 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 6438 times:

Get real. Nothing against Alaska Airlines but a right minded Japanese, tourist or not, will not be flying six hours in a 737.
Until they obtain a widebody, better stay from the Japanese market.
The Russia's Siberian cities are much closer to ANC, so they may work.
However, is there that much connections in the energy business between Russia and US?


User currently offlineMIflyer12 From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 1244 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6211 times:

I could see oil industry traffic to Siberia (so long as there's no significant further deterioration in U.S.-Russia relations) but IMHO that traffic would originate in DFW or IAH, not ANC.

A 4 or 5x weekly Delta 767 ANC-NRT (where they already have a big Asian route hub, and beyond rights) seems more viable than AS 737s. Plus, DL already operates several daily 767 routes from NRT.


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17829 posts, RR: 46
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6169 times:

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 7):
AS will eventually run out of places to fly, with their 737's

That time is now. They've already pulled back a bit on HI, domestic is tapped out, Mexico and Alaska haven't budged in years. I honestly wonder what is next for AS.

Quoting timpdx (Reply 5):
AS did serve Siberia, but that was 20 years ago. Now with the energy boom, that may be worth another look.

I think it'd be worth a shot. I was looking at flying ANCPKC this summer on Yakutia, and a roundtirp fare starts around $1000. Loads would be light be yield sky high--might be worth 2-3 flights/week max.

Quoting carpethead (Reply 9):
Nothing against Alaska Airlines but a right minded Japanese, tourist or not, will not be flying six hours in a 737.

Why not? They fly in 747s/777s with a zillion seats; a 737 would be an upgrade.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineHiFlyerAS From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 1016 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6143 times:

I think ten years down the road you'll see AS flying the 787 out of ANC to Japan and Asia...most definitely in the summers and then possibly a weekly flight to some destinations in winter. NRT, NGO, KIX, PVG, LHR, FRA, AMS....any or all of those would work. The a/c would then be moved to Hawaii or Mexico markets in the winter.


Next trip...DL RJ SEA-LAX/AM LAX-MEX Dec 23
User currently onlinesteex From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1765 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6097 times:

Quoting carpethead (Reply 9):
Nothing against Alaska Airlines but a right minded Japanese, tourist or not, will not be flying six hours in a 737.

They won't? Who exactly is flying NH's existing 737 services from NRT to places like CTU and BOM, then?


User currently offlineBigGSFO From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2951 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5980 times:

Quoting carpethead (Reply 9):
Nothing against Alaska Airlines but a right minded Japanese, tourist or not, will not be flying six hours in a 737.

Flying six hours in a narrow body is common these days. And if it was the only nonstop option from Japan to Alaska and they wanted to go bad enough, they would.


User currently offlineWeb From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 427 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 5405 times:

Given that the -900ER has the legs to get to almost anywhere in the Lower 48 (except south Florida) from ANC, I see AS connecting some dots with low-CASM summer seasonal service to ANC before expanding to Asia. Routes like ANC-DFW/IAH/EWR/MSP/ATL/SAN. I think there's still lots of potential in connecting Alaska with the rest of the country, either directly to ANC or via SEA. There are also many cities yet to be flown to out of SEA (I'm thinking PHL, STL, DTW, BWI, PIT, BDL, MCI, IND, CVG, RDU...), and for the time being, I think that will hold enough potential to keep AS busy.

But eventually, I do see AS making a KEF-style hub out of ANC. Maybe once the 737MAX comes around?



Next flight: GRR-ORD-PDX-SEA-ORD-GRR
User currently onlinesteex From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1765 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 5331 times:

Quoting Web (Reply 15):
There are also many cities yet to be flown to out of SEA (I'm thinking PHL, STL, DTW, BWI, PIT, BDL, MCI, IND, CVG, RDU...), and for the time being, I think that will hold enough potential to keep AS busy.

Not disagreeing with the sentiment, but AS already flies SEA-MCI/PHL/STL.


User currently offlineFriendlySkies From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 4120 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 5331 times:

Quoting Web (Reply 15):
But eventually, I do see AS making a KEF-style hub out of ANC.

At some point, this may be AS's only realistic growth potential. The question is, by the time they got around to seriously looking at it, would 787/A350 enabled point-to-point routes to smaller Asian cities make such a hub a non-starter?


User currently onlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9829 posts, RR: 52
Reply 18, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 5018 times:

Only the 73G has the potential to make NRT. The airplane would still struggle, but it is about 100 miles shorter than the longest 73G routes operated by Copa. The winds can play a factor, so it might be challenging.

The 800 might have a chance with extra tanks, but the 900ER would never make NRT.

Quoting Web (Reply 15):

But eventually, I do see AS making a KEF-style hub out of ANC. Maybe once the 737MAX comes around?

In the summer, I'm sure they could fill some NRT-ANC flights, and maybe KIX or ICN too (if they had the range) with cruise traffic, but I don't think a scissor hub would ever work. The market is too small. ANC maintains year round service to only 5 or 6 destinations in the lower 48 between 4 airlines.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently onlinesteex From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1765 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4948 times:

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 18):
Only the 73G has the potential to make NRT. The airplane would still struggle, but it is about 100 miles shorter than the longest 73G routes operated by Copa. The winds can play a factor, so it might be challenging.

The 800 might have a chance with extra tanks, but the 900ER would never make NRT.

Depending on what happens with the DL/AS relationship, I think a DL 752 might be the right bird for ANC-NRT. I think the service would probably be "double seasonal" - I'm envisioning something like 4-5x weekly during the peak summer season and 1-2x weekly during prime northern lights season, with the route stopped for spring and fall. I'm not suggesting it will happen, but I think that is about the maximum that is feasible.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26029 posts, RR: 22
Reply 20, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3721 times:

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 3):
China Airlines had seasonal TPE-ANC-JFK flights.

That was primarily operated as a fuel stop, not to generate ANC traffic.


User currently offlineBigGSFO From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2951 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3679 times:

Perhaps relaunch some Russian Far East services with a marketing agreement with S7? The 737's are much more fuel efficient than the mad dogs and perhaps with some feed, however limited on the Russian side, there might be enough traffic to make it worthwhile. You'd think there'd be enough revenue in cargo alone to make money.

User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3258 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3645 times:

Quoting BigGSFO (Reply 21):
Perhaps relaunch some Russian Far East services with a marketing agreement with S7? The 737's are much more fuel efficient than the mad dogs and perhaps with some feed, however limited on the Russian side, there might be enough traffic to make it worthwhile. You'd think there'd be enough revenue in cargo alone to make money.

I've wondered too if maybe AS could take another run at Far East Russia with the 737-700s. That has greater range and is more fuel efficient, as you stated, than the MD-80s. I believe the economy there has improved too.

Seems like a good fit for the 73Gs that AS owns (in addition to SNA). I think some other A.net people inside AS have said that AS's leadership is not indicating a return to Russia soon.


User currently offlineBigGSFO From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2951 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3632 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 22):
I think some other A.net people inside AS have said that AS's leadership is not indicating a return to Russia soon.

Yeah, well it's fun to speculate. I mean, that's why are here half the time anyway, isn't it?  


User currently offlineatct From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2350 posts, RR: 37
Reply 24, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3350 times:

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 3):
Korean had seasonal ICN-ANC flights.

Still does I believe.

Quoting carpethead (Reply 9):
Get real. Nothing against Alaska Airlines but a right minded Japanese, tourist or not, will not be flying six hours in a 737.

As others have stated, its pretty commonplace. Even in Japan! Lots of Japanese do Guam on 737's and from Sapporo thats 4 - 41/2 hours. I've flown narrowbodies across the ocean as well as across the US, its not as bad as everyone makes it out to be.



"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
25 Web : Whoops, you're right. I must be looking at an outdated route map. Going both ways? I can't imagine much cargo demand from Far East Russia to Alaska.
26 BoeingGuy : I don't think the primary market of those flights would be Far East Russia to Alaska. It's Far East Russia to Mainland US, through SEA.
27 sonomaflyer : As the Russian Far East continues to develop its energy sector, it increases the chances AS will return. The 738 and 7 have longer legs and better fue
28 burnsie28 : Except a lot of the energy is coming right from US soil now, Russia and Saudi Arabia imported oil dropped dramatically over the past couple of years,
29 Yukon880 : Well said, This is the bottom line. If the "yield" was determined to be sufficient, there would be regularly scheduled, passenger service between ANC
30 HAL : The yields would have to be astronomical because the planes would have to leave a lot of cargo, baggage, and probably passengers behind to make those
31 carpethead : Only in the US. Not in Far Eat Asia, at least not yet. Widebodies still rule, at least on legacy flights. Business people would most likely opt to fl
32 bobnwa : Please explain why "right minded" Japanese will not fly on a 737 for 6 hours?
33 atct : I see ANA doing NRT-BOM. Thats 4,200nm. Long trip for a japanese airline narrow body.
34 Viscount724 : As mentioned earlier that's a 737-700ER, comparable to a BBJ, with an all-premium class cabin with only 34 seats in 2-2 configuration. I believe on c
35 carpethead : We, Asians, love widebody flying.
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