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Why No LCC Transatlantic Service?  
User currently offlinedeltadawg From United States of America, joined May 2006, 776 posts, RR: 1
Posted (11 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 12140 times:

I dug out some old People Express timetables and route maps last night looking for something. When I found the route maps I remembered People Express flying to London and Brussels with the 747-100 and perhaps 200's if I recall correctly. Now, I know that when People Express was flying it was not like the LCC's of today, Spirit and Ryan and the like but in its day it was a true LCC.

I flew to Brussels once on People Express with my parents in 1985 as well as some other trips up and down the east coast from ATL. I remember it being very different from DL, UA, Eastern and Piedmont. People Express seemed successful in its transatlantic flights at the time and was considerably lower priced than every other carrier so my question, could this be repeated again? I realize the People Express basically sold out to Continental to keep from going belly up but I remember that their financial woes were more from free spending on expansion and not so much the flights themselves. I recall their London and Brussels service being packed always. The Brussels flight we took was completely sold out.

Could a LCC successfully operate a transatlantic route such as EWR-LGW or IAD-CDG?

What routes would most likely work? Which American city would best support such a venture?

Please comment. Thanks.


GO Dawgs, Sic' em, woof woof woof
47 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlinedeltaflyertoo From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 1647 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (11 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 12138 times:

You raise good question-I too have wondered this. I wouldn't see why not. I get why LCC for flights 10 hours on (Say west coast to Europe) may not work, but seeing how Jetblue essentially redefined transcon travel (which are give or take close in time to a flight to Europe) and as you point out the success of People Express in the 80s to Europe-it seems conceivable. People thought B6 was off rocker at time to try an almost 6 hour flight with peanuts and coke and live TV. I would think if B6 leased an A330-200 and offered some kind ptv program that wasn't exactly on par w/ say VS of BA but showed at least 10 movies and some audio-did buy on board for deli sandwiches and charged good fares it would work.

User currently offlineDash9 From Canada, joined Nov 2008, 196 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (11 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 12095 times:

Air Transat and Corsair are LCC that connect YUL to CDG and ORY, respectively. If these city pairs are possible surely there must be others.

User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6609 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (11 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 12013 times:

And the Corsair 747s have more seats than A380s !


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinechepos From Puerto Rico, joined Dec 2000, 6215 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (11 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 11899 times:

Icelandair has kinda transformed itself into an LCC, in Y it is all BOB on TATL flights (from my understanding). I believe their fares are considerably lower than other TATL operators. Mind you their flying sectors from some east coast cities are not as long, but flights from SEA, SFB, DEN are 8+ hours.


Fly the Flag!!!!
User currently offlineBD338 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 703 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (11 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 11817 times:

I think the main reason is that for the LCCs such as FR, EY, and I'll include WN though not strictly LCC these days, there was far easier and lower hanging fruit to go at before international long haul. Transatlantic requires a huge raft of government, immigration, flight etc. regulations and logistics, i.e costs, to comply with than (relatively) simply flying within the US or Europe. why spend time effort and money on the hard option when there is an easier option to make money and establish a brand. Longer flight times mean less opportunity to use the aircraft for revenue generating, and the RASM is generally going to be lower than short haul. However, I think it is likely to head our way in the next 5 years or so. Not sure the FR model would work for a 7-9 hour flight but a B6 model might be the way to go. I'd be on a B6 TATL flight in a heartbeat.

User currently offlinebohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2689 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (11 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 11714 times:

Does anyone remember Laker Airways? They were a TATL LCC back in the 1970's. They went bankrupt in 1982 during a recession. They could not get enough people to fly at discounted fares year round to support the operation. One of the final blows to Laker was the winter 81/82 fare war which was a bloodbath. Fares at that time was $200 R/T. They could not compete with Pan Am, TWA, and British Airways as well as other European carriers for flights within Europe.

Here is a Wikipedia link, taken with a grain of salt of course:

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


User currently offlinebaexecutive From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 740 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (11 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 11714 times:

Jet2 are planning a series of transatlantic flights this year and next from a few UK airports to BOS & EWR

User currently offlinetortugamon From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 3443 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (11 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 11671 times:

DY is launching a series of flights next year to California on the 787


tortugamon


User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9330 posts, RR: 29
Reply 9, posted (11 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 11527 times:

well, any legacy carrier can offer fill-up tarrifs that easily match LCC fares. That is what they did to Laker and that will go on if a new Laker starts, or MOL goes TATL.

For a legacy carrier the most expensive seat is the one that flies empty. For LCCs to make it work they need to offer premium services as well as cargo. That would be a revolution for FR.

Besides, the holiday airlins in Europe like Condor etc have an established TATL LCC network and they do their job right, they offer premium and fly freight as well.



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 offlineSomeone83 From Norway, joined Sep 2006, 3367 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (11 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 11529 times:

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 8):
DY is launching a series of flights next year to California on the 787

They already flies OSL-JFK and ARN-JFK, with OSL-FLL, CPH-FLL and ARN-FLL starting in a few months.


User currently offlinefinnishway From Finland, joined Jul 2012, 308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (11 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 11414 times:

Quoting baexecutive (Reply 7):
Jet2 are planning a series of transatlantic flights this year and next from a few UK airports to BOS & EWR

Jet2 has flown to USA before. They have been some shopping trips to New York before Christmas.

Norwegian is a LCC and is currently flying to USA. It may start TATL flights also from LGW in the future.

[Edited 2013-09-13 00:03:15]

User currently offlinerichcandy From UK - England, joined Aug 2001, 719 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (11 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 11273 times:

Hi

The issue is cost. Any LCC operating trans-atlantic would need to make the airfare much lower that the traditional carriers. This might not be the case anymore but a few years ago I was told by someone at BA that between LON and NYC economy class operated at a loss. They needed the revenue from Club World and First to make the route pay.

Any LCC isn't going to have the luxury of high spending passengers travelling at the front of the aircraft. So not only are they going to have to have lower fares than traditional carries but they are going to have to make the revenue from economy class passengers pay for the flight.

However a route which could be operated by a smaller aircraft, were there is a larger leisure passenger market and little capacity from the traditional carries might work.

Canada is slightly different in that airfares at least from the UK to Canada tend to be higher than fares to the US. Air Transat have been good at picking routes between Europe and Canada which the traditional carries have pretty much ignored.

Alex


User currently offlineBrianDromey From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 3920 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (11 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 11087 times:

As richandy points out the issue is cost. Traditionally the LCC's fly 8, less commonly 6, sectors per day, with extriemely short turn times. That is not possible with TATL flying in the same way, partially due to airway restrictions, partially due to time zones.
People imagine LCC's can offer flights to LON-NYC for £59, the reality is that fare already exists! BA's current fare LON-NYC is £103.00

Quote:

1 Adult £ 103.00 £ 385.87 £ 488.87

So after fees, taxes, fuel surcharges, etc can any LCC viably fly LON-NYC for a fare consistently, significantly less than £488.87 with bags, two meals and alcoholic bar included?

Long-haul Low-Fare has yet to be successfully proven. AirAsia X is hardly the roaring success we thought it might be, it is essentially a medium-haul, high-density, widebody operator.

Quoting richcandy (Reply 12):
The issue is cost. Any LCC operating trans-atlantic would need to make the airfare much lower that the traditional carriers. This might not be the case anymore but a few years ago I was told by someone at BA that between LON and NYC economy class operated at a loss. They needed the revenue from Club World and First to make the route pay.

The common belief is that BA's most profitable cabin is World Traveler Plus (Premium Y), followed by Club World (J), World Traveler (Y) and FIRST (F). Im not sure where Cargo fits into that, but it all adds up.

[Edited 2013-09-13 02:35:08]


Next flights: MAN-ORK-LHR(EI)-MAN(BD); MAN-LHR(BD)-ORK (EI); DUB-ZRH-LAX (LX) LAX-YYZ (AC) YYZ-YHZ-LHR(AC)-DUB(BD)
User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19215 posts, RR: 52
Reply 14, posted (11 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 11033 times:

Quoting BrianDromey (Reply 13):
can any LCC viably fly LON-NYC for less than £488.87 with bags, two meals and alcoholic bar included?

Wouldn't need to include food, drinks, and luggage. D7 doesn't - nor did it on its 14-hour STN-KUL. Of course, you could pay for it, likewise on their existing services. Irrespective, such will only be a fairly small % of total operating costs on a long-haul flight.



"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineBrianDromey From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 3920 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (11 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 10904 times:

Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 15):

Sorry - I should have been clearer. I meant cost to the passenger. I have edited the post so it is hopefully clearer.

Interesting quote from Wiki
[quote = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AirAsia_X#cite_note-7 ]Several major developments were announced on 10 August 2007. AirAsia X announced its first route from Kuala Lumpur to the Gold Coast. One way fares for this route have been touted to begin at MYR 50 (A$17) excluding taxes and charges, with average return prices to be approximately MYR1,800 (A$598), inclusive of taxes and charges.[7][/quote]

The AirAsiaX wiki page is an interesting re-cap of the history of the long-haul off shoot ,probably not 100% accurate, but a reflection on the difficulties of making long-haul low cost work in an high fuel cost, low asset productivity environment.



Next flights: MAN-ORK-LHR(EI)-MAN(BD); MAN-LHR(BD)-ORK (EI); DUB-ZRH-LAX (LX) LAX-YYZ (AC) YYZ-YHZ-LHR(AC)-DUB(BD)
User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7146 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (11 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 10727 times:

Quoting bohica (Reply 6):
One of the final blows to Laker was the winter 81/82 fare war which was a bloodbath.
Quoting PanHAM (Reply 9):
well, any legacy carrier can offer fill-up tarrifs that easily match LCC fares. That is what they did to Laker and that will go on if a new Laker starts, or MOL goes TATL

I thought there were also court cases about this, back to google, but in essence the market forces of copmpetition in and of itself did not kill the venture. It should also be noted that for international travel, politics is also more important, for example, BA could have the UK government talk to the Bahamas government on the possibility of loosing BA service and access to LHR and all its wonderful connections if something was not done about a certain competitor airline.
Trust me, in the fromer colonies where governments still operate under the colonial systems of laws setting the rules and procedures, its not that difficult to have inspections, request for additional paperwork, etc etc etc.

Quoting richcandy (Reply 12):
This might not be the case anymore but a few years ago I was told by someone at BA that between LON and NYC economy class operated at a loss. They needed the revenue from Club World and First to make the route pay.

Funny that when the GFC hit and the premium travel crahsed, they somehow found a way to reconfigure their a/c to ensure that economy not only paid for itself but allowed most airlines to survive. Now that they are recovering, the a/c are once again going premium heavy, go figure.


User currently offlinegkirk From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2000, 24928 posts, RR: 56
Reply 17, posted (11 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 10694 times:

Air Canada Rouge operate YYZ-EDI with 763s


When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
User currently onlinecloudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 815 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (11 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 10338 times:

I think that the age of "LCC" is over anyways. It made a difference at first, when there were significant savings to be found in trying new ways of operating. But since then the main line carriers have since implemented most of those cost savings - what is left really does not add up significantly enough to offset the costs of getting those savings, be it in up front investment or in loss of revenue/passengers.

The only significant gains I can see for new transatlantic players is: if one of the current domestic US or domestic Europe players decides to tap into the transatlantic market; A new entrant decides to offer a completely new or different product, not necessarily on the high end; or an airline based in either the Azores or one of the islands decides to move in with a connecting service, essentially building itself as a mid-atlantic hub of some kind. In fact, I have often wondered if one of the European carriers could decide to make a hub at St. Pierre, and establish a connecting airline serving the northeast US and Canada.



"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
User currently offlineRWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3195 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (11 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 10239 times:

Quoting chepos (Reply 4):
Icelandair has kinda transformed itself into an LCC,

FI is the original LCC on TATL! FI has been the backpacker airline across the pond for 40+ years. I remember the DC-8s, and the non-stops from LUX to KEF, ORD & JFK, that was where many a summer backpacker started their journey.

Quoting bohica (Reply 6):
Does anyone remember Laker Airways?

Sir Freddie Laker has flair, and was a great spokesperson for his airline, Laker Airways served TATL markets for years. I liked those good looking DC-10s.

Quoting richcandy (Reply 12):
Any LCC isn't going to have the luxury of high spending passengers travelling at the front of the aircraft. So not only are they going to have to have lower fares than traditional carries but they are going to have to make the revenue from economy class passengers pay for the flight.

Sounds just like what MP did for lots of years. Yes they had a few seats up front, that were bigger and had better pitch, but there were only a handful of them, and they did not compare to the seats up front on the rest of the carriers. Coach was the vast majority of the seating on their aircraft.



AA-AC-AQ-AS-BN-BD-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 offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 20, posted (11 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 10195 times:

There have been TATL LCC type carriers for most of the jet age.

However, they tend to operate from secondary airport pairs rather than the big primary pairs such as JFK-LHR, IAD-FRA, ORD-CDG.

The first LCC I learned about was Iceland Air DC-8 in the summer of 1967. You had to fly from Boston to Kef to Brussels. You had to spend one night at Kef each way. You could not check a bag - everything you took had to be in a carryon - usually a backpack - which might be gate checked at no cost. You could sleep in the terminal at Kef rather than pay for a hotel room. The total R/T airfare with fees was $265.

Only a few travel agents would book the flights due to the low commissions - but there was usually at least one locate near any major college. That was their customer - college students headed for cheap backpacking trips to Europe.

As mentioned above - there are several low fare carriers operating today - you just have to find them and get to / from the airports they serve.

Also as mentioned above - due to the fees and taxes, the majors can near match any fare an LCC would offer to the major city pairs. Like the Ryanair business model - the LCCs will have to fly to secondary airports to keep fees low - for themselves and their customers. You will also be without a lot of rescheduling options is your flight for either direction is delayed or cancelled. Make sure to buy trip insurance, and not make any 'non-refundable, pre-paid' hotel reservations or connecting flights.


User currently offlineEWRandMDW From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 416 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (11 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 10171 times:

Quoting deltaflyertoo (Reply 1):
I get why LCC for flights 10 hours on (Say west coast to Europe) may not work

If memory serves, PE DID fly 1-2x weekly nonstops between Bay area (OAK or SFO, don't recall which) and BRU! That's got to be at least 10 hr each way.


User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3572 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (11 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 10094 times:

Quoting EWRandMDW (Reply 21):
Quoting deltaflyertoo (Reply 1):I get why LCC for flights 10 hours on (Say west coast to Europe) may not work

10 hours would be the height of efficiency, with a 2 hour turn round that's as close to maximum utilisation as you can get. The problem is that Europe to US East coast is only around 6.5 hours, meaning that planes need a balancing number of longer routes in order to operate efficiently.
Whilst there's always room to cut costs, operating across the Atlantic has fewer opportunities than intra Europe or US domestic. FR who are ruthless about costs make sure that crews return home each day, over the pond they would need overnight accommodation, narrowbodies can be refuelled and turned round in 20 minutes, not possible with a widebody requiring fuel for 3500 miles, LCC's routinely don't carry freight, can an airline afford to fly a plane transatlantic with a big empty hold ?


User currently offlineDL747400 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 322 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (11 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 9991 times:

Quoting bohica (Reply 6):
One of the final blows to Laker was the winter 81/82 fare war which was a bloodbath.

Actually, the final nail in the coffin came when PA and TW and BA applied pressure to convince banks in the US and Europe to not loan Laker any more money. Laker needed the loans to make the payments on their new DC-10s and to cover operating expenses to make it through the recession. Having these loans denied was what sealed Laker's fate. Does this sound like anti-competitive behavior on the part of PA, TW and BA?


User currently offline2travel2know2 From Panama, joined Apr 2010, 2608 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (11 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 9928 times:

Anyone for a summer seasonal U2 BFS/GLA-YHZ? (For Xmas-New Year may work too, but headwinds may force tech-stop westbound).
That if U2 has any ETOPS aircraft.



I'm not on CM's payroll.
25 Post contains images flightsimboy : EY? Hopefully this a typo And as pointed out Air Canada Rouge and Air Transat are lost cost carriers out of Canada across the Atlantic. In addition S
26 Post contains images RWA380 : I would hope so, considering EY just announced they will be the first airline to offer onboard nannies for families on long haul flights. There are 1
27 factsonly : Trans-Atlantic LCC operations can possibly be done successfully with a new game changing aircraft. An aircraft that operates both domesticly within E
28 PanHAM : That was actually Loftleidir from Iceland and the European gateway was LUX not BRU and they were indeed the pioneer LCC/ low fare TATL carrier. They
29 bastew : LCC just don't have the operating efficiencies on long haul flights as they do on short haul flights. Think of Ryanair. On short haul they can probabl
30 SpaceshipDC10 : Laker did flew to LAX from LGW. First with a stop at JFK since they were using DC-10-10s that didn't have the range necessary, but later, 1980 or 81,
31 Fiedman : I believe its also cheaper for LCC to codeshare with larger airlines on international destinations. WJ for example codeshares with AF, AA, BA, CX, MU,
32 mariner : Only one grain of salt, perhaps - the Wiki article fits in with most of my memories of what happened. Sir Freddie was "before his time" - he was figh
33 bastar1 : There are a number of reasons why the LCC's cost advantage evaporates when it comes to longhaul: 1. Aircraft utilisation. While LCC'S operating from s
34 opethfan : TS are successful for 2 reasons on their TATL service: 1) direct flights not relying on connections, which leisure travellers hate. 2) fares on those
35 Viscount724 : Also night curfews which are common at many airports in Europe. But his scheduled Skytrain service was very short-lived. Driven out of business by PA
36 mariner : Indeed. That's why I sad: Anyone who does do this is going to have to be very well-funded, because it will have to survive tremendous fare battles fr
37 Post contains images BHMNONREV : So true.. I remember in 1982, you could get a 24 hour standby ticket on TWA from LHR-BOS-STL for $192.00 one-way all-in. Any advantage Sir Freddie ha
38 CoachClass : The LCC of yesterday is different from today. When I flew International Air Bahama 1968, NAS-LUX there was no charge for the normal checked luggage; t
39 Mortyman : Norwegian longhaul operations: OSL - JFK ARN - JFK Non transatlantic: OSL - BKK ARN - BKK Coming up: OSL - FLL ARN - FLL CPH - FLL Announced: ARN - OA
40 rlwynn : Air Berlin Condor .
41 baexecutive : I don't see how you can call yourself a full service airline and charge for ANY drinks inc alcohol!
42 rfields5421 : You have to forgive me - it was 45+ years ago, and my one great teenage adventure.
43 YQBexYHZBGM : Sure, that would be great. Unfortunately, one of the more notable LCC attempts between YHZ and the UK (Zoom Airlines) failed. Canada 3000 (MM) had so
44 Post contains links LondonCity : Not just well funded. It's going to have the lowest cost structure in the aviation business. If anyone can succeed, then it would be Ryanair ... out
45 Mortyman : I'm sure that will come ...
46 Post contains links and images mariner : Add Michael O'Leary as an essential of that mix, a loud mouth publicity hound, in much the same way that Richard Branson was. Virgin Atlantic is not
47 LN-KGL : LondonCity, Norwegian is the third airline flying between OSL and NYC and the third airline between ARN and NYC. Between ARN and BKK and between OSL a
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