Flying-Tiger From Germany, joined Aug 1999, 4137 posts, RR: 38 Posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1186 times:
How competetive is the german market? Do small carriers such as Hahn Air, OLT, City-Air or SkyTeam have a bright future? Or will they be pressed under by DBA, Germania, Lufthansa? What would be interesting domestic routes and european routes which are currently not served?
Vfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3767 posts, RR: 5 Reply 2, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1101 times:
Skyteam does not fit into your pattern as it is a supplemental carrier that operates ad hoc services on behalf of other carriers, but not domestic services in its own right. For such a type of airlien, there will always be a market.
I guess that to some extent there will be market for the other airlines you have mentioned. However, almost all of them operate with 19 seater aircraft on routes that were served in the past by larger airlines with 50 seaters (in most cases, Eurowings and Cimber Air ATR42s; for example THF-FMO; BRE-THF; FMO-NUE; BRE-DRS; FDH-THF; DTM-DRS; DTM-LEJ, DUS-ERF). With demand decreasing due to high-speed railway links and improved highways, the routes were handed over to these airlines. Some have seen further decrease of demand to the point that they do no longer justify the use of 19 seaters, for example PAD-THF, THF-HAJ, NUE-HAJ, CGN-HAJ, AGB-DRS etc. I am sure some more routes will fall victim of that development in the future.
However, I do not think that these carriers will be swallowed up by the flag carriers. They don't serve hubs and act as feeder airlines. Most of the routes are domestic services bypassing the hubs and are, because of the small passenger numbers they attract, of no interest to flag carriers that concentrate on 40+ seat aircraft here in Europe.
Airsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 36 Reply 3, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1085 times:
I´ve recently read why these carriers are in a dilemma, always were, always will be; I believe it was in a Flug Revue article.
OK, so there are four classes of German domestic scheduled carriers:
1 - LH, obviously
2 - EW, DI (ST probably wanting to enter this level), independant carriers serving a more or less complex route network of their own, EW probably being on the way out to level 3,
3 - regional carriers of limited size connecting small airports with the hubs, small independent operations: IQ, C9, Contact Air (EAE probably aspiring to get there too)
4 - the rest who have to content themselves with what the "big ones" don´t bother to fly: Hahn Air, OLT, Helgoland Airlines...
And their problem is: they basically have to start new routes out of nothing; and once they start having just a little success on ones route ("sobald sie sie ´warmgeflogen´ haben" was the term in the article), LH gets interested and send in Team LH. So the poor regional carrier has the choice of either entering a fight they can´t win, leave that route and start again from the very beginning on another route (rather frustrating) or end up serving that route for Team LH (not really helpful for a competetive environment in the domestic German air travel market). Cirrus went the third way on the Mannheim-Tempelhof route, for example - the route has seen a tremendous development since the flights became Team LH in summer 2000, but Lufthansa has again the monopoly on the Rhein/Neckar (FRA/MHG) to Berlin route. Passengers are happy, though, with the miles they get, the lower prices they pay and the more choices they have (4 dailies compared to 2 when Arcus/Cosmos/Cirrus served the route independently).
Airsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 36 Reply 5, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1075 times:
They gave up that concept (trains of their own) a few years ago - nowadays it´s like a code share on normal Deutsche Bahn trains.
And the German rail is a threat only on very select short routes (FRA-STR, FRA-CGN/DUS), when it gets only a little longer (FRA-HAM, not to mention MUC-HAM) the train is not really viable competition any more (the time factor) - try comparing Saarbruecken-Berlin on Team LH ERJs and Deutsche Bahn regional trains (Saarbruecken is not really well connected to the high speed rail network), both time wise and price wise...
btw, I forgot to mention LGW as a fourth tier airline in my above post.
Bestwestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 6781 posts, RR: 57 Reply 6, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1073 times:
In Germany the sheer dominance of LH makes it very difficult for any other carrier to perform in this market.
Lufthansa, and its franchise carriers have the market to themselves, with the exception of some trunk routes, where competition exists in the form of Deutsch BA and Germania, both of which struggle to survive.
Regional markets to the major hubs of FRA and MUC are restricted by slots at these hubs, and by the Lufthansa Rail code shares. The only market left is the regional - regional thin markets, and within this sector, those LH cannot make profitable.
With the disperse nature of these routes, no airport has enough mass or route network to allow a tertiary carrier to develop a critical mass and profitability.
It is a similar situation in Spain (Iberia), France (AF) and Scandinavia (SAS).
The UK has the most competiton, there, but even still, the tertiary carriers are suffering, with one or two more bankruptcies expected over the next few months. In the last 12 months, the UK has lost Comed and Gill aviation, with British European and Eastern fighting for survival (with BE probably succeeding, thanks to a very rich benefactor).
Ciro From Brazil, joined Aug 1999, 662 posts, RR: 7 Reply 7, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1054 times:
I think by-passing hub flights will become scarce means of travelling soon.
It all comes down to economics. It is not feasible flying O&D smaller planes, unless you have saturated hubs or you are offering premium service to a high-yeld passenger elité.
None of these things are happening. Hub airports are becoming more efficent, thus passenger handling capacity is also boosted. Also, niche-area have a hard time trying to differentiate themselves with premium services due to the high cost-structure and low passenger benefit perception (e.g. MGM Grand Air). As flying become more common among the masses, it looses its glamourous and sexy appeal.
Therefore, I support the argument that, with the current world economic scenario and given technology, it is more likely we will see three large worldwide alliance groups. Regional and local airlines will have to team up with these gropus if they are willing to survive in the medium run.
We can also expect the rising of low-cost, no-frills airlines and an increase in private jets flights in the more mature markets, such as the US and Europe.
Anyways... That´s just my humble opinion.
My best regards!
The fastest way to become a millionaire in the airline business is to start as a billionaire.
Bestwestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 6781 posts, RR: 57 Reply 8, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1049 times:
Ciro, I agree, but the high yield passenger elite are not willing to travel in a older turboprop. Its a tough circle to break... The airlines cant afford a modern fleet due no demand, yet the same few passengers expect the comfort of an A320!
The big issue is the lack of slot availability at the major airports for regional carriers. At Atlanta you will see banks of EMB-120's and Dash-8's... compared to Heathrow, which from memory has three turboprop departures a day (KLMexcel to RTM). We should remember that Dusseldorf attempted to illegally ban turboprops from operating at the airport.
Tertiary carriers succeed where there is a body of water to cross. Examples such as Binter (Spain), Manx (isle of Man) and Cape Air (Boston) are good examples of exploiting this market.
Ciro From Brazil, joined Aug 1999, 662 posts, RR: 7 Reply 9, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 1042 times:
Pls find my comments below:
I definatelly agree with your point and I think it is part of the marketing differentiation to offer the passenger elité something more sofisticated than an old turboprop. Service is not just the meals, but frequency, aircraft type, etc...
I also agree with you that crowded central airports motivates hub by-passing routes to exist.
Finally, you gave a nice input regarding Binter and Cape air. I enjoyed and I will keep it in mind!
I know you are a transport analyst! Let´s keep in touch!
The fastest way to become a millionaire in the airline business is to start as a billionaire.
Flying-Tiger From Germany, joined Aug 1999, 4137 posts, RR: 38 Reply 10, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 1032 times:
Daniel, as far as I know OLT code-shares on a number of SK flights, thus the twice daily flights. Impressive what they serve with just three Metroliners, one S340A and one Do 328:
BRE-TLS 1x daily Do 328
BRE-DRS 1x daily Metro
BRE-NUE 2x daily Metro
BRE-CPH 2x daily Metro
BRE-BRU 2x daily Metro
BRE-THF 5x daily Metro
ERF-MUC 3x daily S340A
Andreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 33 Reply 13, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1025 times:
I believe bestwestern has brought up a good point: The german domestic market is just not large enough if you look at it on a standalone basis. Therefore you have to look a niche players that cover several countries, preferably some over-water routes (class 2, as Daniel puts it), that do compete with LH, the others will indeed be feeders in the long run (which is not that bad in terms of turnover).
But don't forget the train (Ceilidh you're half right: LH offers codeshare and bonus miles on some ICE train services, but doesn't run LH colours anymore, but: the LH airport bus service to Heidelberg and Mannheim still exists!!), and it's not only short distance, but also FRA-HAM, FRA-BER, where using the train can be advisable, depending on where you want to go.
btw: Happy new year to all!
Flying-Tiger From Germany, joined Aug 1999, 4137 posts, RR: 38 Reply 14, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1020 times:
Andreas, that´s what I´ve said all way long in discussions about Lufthansa: their home market is Europe, not Germany. Look how many other carriers "raid" in Germany: especially AF, BA and KL are active here. I think it would be fair to speak about a "european domestic" market these days.
Isn´t the LH Airport bus connecting Heilbronn as well?
Andreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 33 Reply 15, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1014 times:
I wouldn't go that far, just think of AF and BA, but it seems possible that in the long run, it's going to be the German-speaking part of Europe and maybe some neighbouring countries. In another thread about mergers someone believed a AUA-LH merger to be possible. I wouldn't go that far either, we'd be talking more or less about a friendly takeover by LH, with SAS possibly a further candidate, but currently LH's policy is "cooperation, not shareholding", and if I look at BA, it proved to be perfectly right in the long run. So let's wait and see, CEO Weber will leave the board at the end of 2003 to be chairman of the supervisory board, but he will very likely be followed by Wolfgang Mayrhuber, member of the board for "Passage" (that's passenger services), and he's a true believer of Mr. Weber, so LH's strategy will not change that much.
It's going to be interesting to see, which strategy proves right in the very, very long run.
btw: Airport bus to HN: Possible, I just see these busses on the A5 and I seem to recall there's mannheim and Heidelberg written somewhere. Sorry, I don't have a LH schedule here at home to look it up.
Flying-Tiger From Germany, joined Aug 1999, 4137 posts, RR: 38 Reply 17, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 980 times:
No, OLT does not fly under the TEAM LH banner. Only partners they have are SAS (hence the flights to CPH) and City-Air, based in FMO.
Why they have three different types is a good question, especially operating both the Saab 340A and the Do 328 in one fleet seems a bit unusual. Only explaination I have is the S340A can´t make it from BRE to TLS without a stop but the Do can. But one of the types might disappear soon, I´ve heard rumours that they are looking on either a standarized S340 or a Do328 fleet. A decision might be made together with City-Air. Maybe someone can sheed a bit more light on this?
Vfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3767 posts, RR: 5 Reply 18, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 956 times:
The OLT Dornier 328 (D-CATS) was inherited from Tempelhof Express which has ceased trading a while ago. TEX used to operate ERF-MUC with the D328 and OLT BRE-TLS with the Saab 340. BRE-TLS is more or less an Airbus/EADS corporate shuttle with the remaining seats made available to the public (flight to TLS in the morning, aircraft sitting idle on the ground for the day, return in the late afternoon). OLT needed a faster aircraft on the route than the Saab 340A and made a deal with TEX, resulting in TEX operating the BRE-TLS with its aircraft for OLT and OLT serving the ERF-MUC route - which is subsidised - for TEX. When OLT took over the ERF-MUC route - and the subsidies - TEX folded and to be able to continue the D328, they took over the aircraft.
@ flying tiger
As far as I am aware of, BRE-NUE/DRS-BRU is all served with one aircraft; that is why the BRU was cut back to 1x daily (evening flight) recently. The other two Metros are used on BRE-THF and BRE-CPH, with the CPH-aircraft also doing a THF rotation in-between, if memory serves.
In no way you can compare the States with Germany's domestic market. For domestic travel, the country is just too small for a hub operation (north to south 600 miles) and the only hub that would make sense for domestics, FRA, is slot-controlled, with LH trying to limit domestic flights there to save precious slots for international flights. In the near future, domestic flights from FRA to STR, DUS and CGN will disappear as from next year travel time from Frankfurt Airport railway station to Cologne downtown will only be 57 minutes by high speed trains, to DUS something like 1h 20mins. There is now way flights can compete with this fast efficient ground transport. The existence of the high speed trains has already closed down quite a few domestic air services like NUE-HAJ or HAJ-BER.
Airsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 36 Reply 20, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 918 times:
I doubt Deutsche Bahn will be real competition on routes longer than FRA-DUS, at least not in the medium term. The existing tracks won´t support the ultra high speed trains that could match the planes travel times. Plus the existing rail network is so densely cluttered with all kinds of trains, from freight trains crawling along at snail speeds and local trains stopping at every heap of dung to the existing high speed trains - even a technically faster train couldn´t use its speed (much like a Porsche standing in a traffic jam just beside a beaten up Corolla...). So you´d have to look at rebuilding large parts of rail track, over distances of hundres of kilometres. And this is neither economically nor politically possible at the moment (and in the foreseeable future).
BTW, re OLT/Lufthansa: there is a historical connection: DLT emerged from OLT about 25 years ago, and became LH CityLine in 1992.
Flying-Tiger From Germany, joined Aug 1999, 4137 posts, RR: 38 Reply 21, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 916 times:
Daniel, from my point of that´s the problem of the Deutsche Bahn. They have everything running on one and the same track. You increase utilization this way but not speed. I think it would be wise to introduce dedicated cargo tracks and cargo shuttles between the economic centers of Germany, than they would be able to fight the existing traffic jams. The DB is only a replacement for short flights, covering a maximum of 300 kilometers. Otherwise you´re faster with the plane.
Johnnybgoode From Germany, joined Jan 2001, 2187 posts, RR: 7 Reply 22, posted (11 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 914 times:
in addition, there are many people who totally dislike the Deutsche Bahn´s service (including myself). although LH´s domestic service is nothing special, you don´t have to sit in worn and dirty seats, don´t have to pass the dirty rail stations.
and still, the DB is still expensive and as Daniel and Flying-Tiger pointed out, their rail network is nowhere near as to be competitive with the airlines on longer routes.
there are routes such as STR-FRA, CGN-FRA and DUS-FRA on which a train might be much more economically and ecologially viable, but for the time being i really don´t see where else a train could substitute aircraft and provide benefits for the consumers and DB/LH, except maybe for some short secondary or tertiary regional routes (connecting SCN, NUR).
If only pure sweetness was offered, why's this bitter taste left in my mouth.