Ovelix From Greece, joined Aug 1999, 639 posts, RR: 4 Posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2092 times:
It was a matter of time. Olympic announced that the flight on October 26th to BKK-MEL-SYD will be the last service to Australia.
Olympic failed to agree some kind of codesharing with Thai, Singapore and Garuda. Mostly because Thai and Singapore are the ones who will get automatically all the traffic.
Some facts: Stayover of a crew to BKK after the ATH-BKK flight: 9 days!
Total stayover for a crew flying to Australia and back: 16 days
Days off (paid of course) after Australia and back: 10 more days.
It's no suprise that with 80% full A340s the company was losing millions of dollars.
One scenario now is that OA will sell all four A340s and lease one or two back to fly the US and Canada routes.
I don't know though if OA will continue to fly to BKK.
Cedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 7808 posts, RR: 54 Reply 2, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2027 times:
How come the Greeks, perfectly intelligent people that they are (I am a big fan) are utterly incapable of operating a longhaul airline? I think this is ridiculous, a nation of Greece's standing with no long haul flying at all? I'm sorry, I don't know why but this really makes me mad. I've flown OA to Sydney a couple of times and it's a good service. Why do their crews spend 9 days in BKK, there's two flights a week coming through so surely it's 3 days? It's not as though the traffic isn't there. Next thing you know they'll be pulling out of JFK on the grounds that it's unprofitable.
There are plenty of countries with competent airline employees who CAN make money on this lucrative route, give the business to them then: Emirates, Singapore, Thai et al.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
BD1959 From Australia, joined Oct 2002, 450 posts, RR: 2 Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2010 times:
I read recently that following the demise of Ansett, OA (along with others) were granted rights for Australian domestic passengers. Never seen anything in the Australian press about OA offering MEL/SYD - did they just not try? Also, does anyone know if all of the AUD10million the Victorian Government gave as a "joint marketing exercise" when OA last threatened to pull out (1990) between the Victorian Tourism dept and OA has been spent?
SQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5 Reply 5, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1971 times:
It doesn't fly to many international destination to start with. I have flown OA a couple of times, it's probably Europe's version of NW (based on my experience on OA and all the trip reports I have read about NW).
I don't think OA's crew spend 9 days in BKK before continuing on to SYD & MEL... it's inconceivable and doesn't make any sense to have such a generous crew pattern.
Before it goes under wraps, could someone please take some interior pictures of their A340s?
Alitis From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 258 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1946 times:
"Some facts: Stayover of a crew to BKK after the ATH-BKK flight: 9 days!
Total stayover for a crew flying to Australia and back: 16 days
Days off (paid of course) after Australia and back: 10 more days.
It's no suprise that with 80% full A340s the company was losing millions of dollars."
Lewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3563 posts, RR: 5 Reply 7, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1925 times:
As far as I know OA's crews stayed 3 days in Bangkok, 4 in Australia and 3 more days in Bangkok while returning to Athens. I am sorry to hear that happening. I have flown this route more than 10 times with my father who was a captain and almost all of my flights were over 80% full, even with the older 747-200s. Really sad!
BTW: I think there are interior pics in the database and I will surely take some too when I fly LHR-ATH this December. I searched the database but I cannot find them anymore. Maybe removed for 'badperson'? They had some pax included so maybe they were removed. According to the timetable, my flight is an A340 one. It seems that OA can easily fill the A340s for some busy LHR flights.
Ovelix From Greece, joined Aug 1999, 639 posts, RR: 4 Reply 9, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1883 times:
My information about the stayovers comes from an OA flight attendant, who happens to be my friend, and articles of the greek newspaper "Eleftherotypia". Of course Lewis has inside information, maybe more accurate.
As far as the unions are concerned...well...I don't know how to make it more clear to you. It is CANCER. They blackmail all the time in order to take more money, they work less hours than their europeans (let alone the american) counterparts and they complain all the time that they are underpaid.
The fact is that in the last 25 years the whole public sector was given minimum salary raises (+2% this year) in the same time where certain Olympic staff (pilots, mechanics) was given over 20% raise. Olympic pilots are civil servants. That means noone can fire them no matter what.
OA is a big money loser and the main source of its suffering is the state ownership. If the company was private no pilot (or mechanic, or crew member)could blackmail and get 20% raise.
Al From Australia, joined Jun 1999, 593 posts, RR: 2 Reply 11, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1793 times:
While the pullout is understandable, and makes economic sense, the really disappointing aspect of the whole episode is the lack of notice.
4 days notice of termination of a route is mind boggling and incredibly poor form - those who are booked to travel next week, for example, still have no clue as to who will carry them as OA say they are "working on it".
If this is an example of how OA is being run these days, it bodes ill tidings for the future.
Leaves only 2 Euro carriers flying their own metal on the Kangaroo route.
N79969 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 12, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1781 times:
Olympic is part of the shitty club of state-owned carriers. Iberia has the best-paid employees in the airline industry and seem to provide what has been described as terrible service. Public sector unions are the most ruinous around. I think Olympic and Iberia illustrate why socialism or any other system in which the government operates a business is ultimately a terrible idea.
Hopefully the current Olympic will go under and be replaced by a privately owned, competently run airline. A Greek airline could do very well given the country's excellent location and its inherent value as a tourist destination. Imagine if Greece got its act together and had a company like Emirates spring up. I think people would prefer to transit Greece compared to the UAE for a couple of days.
TEDSKI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 14, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1681 times:
If OA was losing money on their international routes, they should have purchased smaller aircraft like the Boeing 767-200/300ER or Airbus A330-200 that have lower operating costs than the 747-200 & A340-300.
BD1959 From Australia, joined Oct 2002, 450 posts, RR: 2 Reply 15, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1666 times:
Personally, I can't see QF running any sort of 747 into Athens - there is not the hub network out the other side to support such loads, Greece itself would not be able to support such a load and I believe QF would not attempt to undercut the likes EK and TG into Athens from Oz, even if it was to use a smaller aircraft.
Rai From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 0 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1661 times:
Time to chime in here. This cut comes as no surprise whatsoever. The route was losing $25 million a year! OA proposed to cut the MEL leg a couple of years ago since that was the primary losing sector (SYD was losing money, but not nearly as much), but the Greek community of MEL begged and petitioned OA to keep flying into the city. That’s Greek politics for you.
Aside from JFK, all the other intercontinental flights are money losers. Canada and South Africa would probably be the next to go. Yes, the Kangaroo route may have had and 80% load factor, but having such a load factor does not necessarily entail that the flight will be profitable. Australia-Greece traffic is mainly VFR, not business.
As for the A340, I was reading somewhere that the EU pressured Greece into buying them. Yes, other EU countries have bought the 777 (France and Britain), but don’t forget that France and Britain do not receive as much EU aid as Greece. I think a 767 would have been much, much better for these routes (except for maybe JFK, but they could do two daily or maybe 10 flights a week) than an A340. Heck, if they waited long enough, they could have opted for the A332, but that was probably too long of a wait away.
And OA still has a 747 or two still around. They used them (an all grey one) this past summer flying into JFK for the increase in summer demand. You couldn’t get a ticket (believe me, I tried) the whole summer.
These comments about unions. None of you guys seem to understand Greek politics -- they’re a mess! I’m Greek and I don’t get them either. Unions run that country; the Socialist party runs the show there. N79969’s hope of privatization will never happen...not if the unions have their way, which is always the case in Greece. Greeks are the worst procrastinators and nothing ever gets done in that country. If it wasn’t for the IOC threatening to move the Summer Games to Los Angeles, then you wouldn’t see the construction madhouse that is going on in Athens right now. As for the new airport, it took decades for it to get done. My uncle was on the airport planning committee. It just goes to show you that crummy politics, procrastination and unions are so inherent in the Greek lifestyle and culture that a scenario like Emirates will never occur. It’s not like the EU fosters this kind of environment anyways...
TEDSKI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 17, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1620 times:
If OA used their remaining high capacity 747-200s for the busy JFK to ATH route for the summer season, they should have opted instead for the 747-400 or leased them from another airline to handle the load instead of purchasing the A340-300.
TEDSKI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 18, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1616 times:
If OA was pressured into getting the A340, they should have waited for the high capacity A340-500/600 to be built and order them instead. Their 747-200s if they were well maintained could have stayed in service longer till they received their new A340-500/600s.
TEDSKI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 19, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1585 times:
It is too bad that a Greek-American can't purchase Olympic and move it's headquarters over to the USA like in New York City at JFK, and hire Greek-Americans to work for the company and purchase American made aircraft that they want like the 747/767/777.
Turbulence From Spain, joined Nov 1999, 963 posts, RR: 22 Reply 20, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1559 times:
It's a shame. Olympic and all the state-owned companies in Greece are the worst business you can imagine. But it is not only Olympic. They are also the domestic water, electricity and telephone supplier companies. I live in Barcelona and don't know about other countries, but: can you imagine that even the urban busses belong to the government?. Barcelona busses belong to Barcelona City Hall, and we all know that every January 1st, there'll be a prices increase according to the inflation. The first time I went to Greece (nov'91) the bus ticket was 75 drachmes (0,22 EUR) and it remained this way for two more years while in Barcelona the price was 150 pts (90 ct). When they first tried to move this price to 80 GRD (not even 100, when the comparative price for BCN was already 300 GRD) the strike was such a wild one that I personally saw 70 year old women "climbing" onto army trucks that were doing the service. This is just an example.
Public employees in Greece have incredible privileges, (I'd rather qualify them of "offensive") while real inflation is still a two-figure one and while cars above 1.4 L pay wild taxes that reach to 100% when close to 3.0. If the price of a BMW 535 in Europe is about 35.000 EUR, in Grecce its price goes to 70.000.
BUT!!!: if you have been elected to the Parliament, you have the right to buy a new car above 2.0L every two years WITHOUT taxes... FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!!!
On the lower side there's the opossite: the smallest version of a BMW 3-series (except Compact) is in Spain 1.8. In Greece well above 50% the 3-BMWs are 1.6. A last example. The good classic Rover Sterling 227 was in most Europe a 2.7L V6. In Greece, the 227 was called 227 but was a... 2.0L R4 turbo. Even the Range Rover is offered with a 2.0L Turbo engine... Can you imagine such a big thing with a 4-cylinder 2.0L no matter "how turbo"?
Back to Olympic, it is a money hole. EU has "founded" it for threee times. It was suppsed that the money was granted provided 1.-the pilots and directives to REDUCE or FREZE their salaries for two or three years and 2.-retire the old 737-200s and renew the fleet. For the two first ones,... the money went to increases that totalized 20% or more... ON THE HIGHEST salaries...
The solution is very drastic, but is the only one possible. Shut down OAL, fire EVERYBODY and start a new company with the existing fleet and with new, european working conditions to the existing staff. Whoever accept, keep working. Otherwise, there's many people seeking for a job.
But this is not going to happen... The general strike would paralize the country until people had to hunt cats and dogs in the street for food.
Just a side note for N79969:
Iberia also received EU funds, more or less by the same time as OAL, but only twice. The fleet has been renewed (they placed the biggest order ever until then, 85 firm 32Xs and 16 342s, some of them convertible to 343). The salary reducing ad freezing costed us all a couple of wild strikes (mostly because of pilots) but was achieved. And for over one year now, the company is no more state owned. It's fully private. The SEPLA (most important pilots union) still try to impose their criteries, but no more wild strikes have been held, and they also know that now it is more important to keep jobs and salaries than to put the company down, because the government is no more funding it, and the pilots thmeselves are shareholders.
The flights offer has been reduced, but not by 20% as many of the majors did after the Twin Towers, and despite the difficult year due to the circumstances, IBERIA had profits. THis is the difference.
0A340 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 263 posts, RR: 0 Reply 21, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 1500 times:
Imagine this: You're running your long-hauls 80% full and with no real direct competition (Montreal-Toronto, Johannesburg, and Sydney-Melburne) for years. And you're in the red for all these years. And you allow your crews to be paid lavishly while flying these routes. Who'se to be blamed?
The Cabin Crews? Hey, yes, the're greedy, they got what they got because someone GAVE it to them. Who?
The overstaffed office personell? Yes, they're probably lazy. Again, all they want is to sit and do nothing. But who has allowed this to continue on for years?
The revolving-door administrations? Yes, they're probably incopetent and with no real capability into running an airline like an airline, not a state-pension fund. But who is appointing these people?
Just thinking aloud.
PS: I'm sorry. I'm reading now the usual from the usual suspect. Now I know: The very reason OA is going under is simply because :
-"they did not purchase American made aircraft that they want like the 747/767/777" and
-they should have waited for the high capacity A340-500/600 to be built and order them instead. Their 747-200s if they were well maintained could have stayed in service longer till they received their new A340-500/600s and
-they should have opted instead for the 747-400
N79969 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 22, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 1488 times:
Who actually does own Emirates? I don't know. Whether it is the government of the UAE or someone else, by most measures it is very well-run carrier. If it is state-owned, it is one of the few good state-owned airlines. The reason I made the Olympic/Emirates comparison is that they both are in the Med-region and are well situated to carry traffic to/from either side of their respective hubs. There are many important destinations to the east and west of Athens and Dubai within a few hours flight time.
Olympic will have a hard time buying Boeing widebodies as long as they are a net beneficiary of EU largesse. The EU countries that approve aid to Greece and also fund Airbus will not stand idly by if Olympic sends that kind of money to the USA. It's a similar situation between El Al and Airbus.
I am glad to hear that Iberia is turning things around. From what I understand though, the unions need more taming.
OA340, I did not follow where those rhetorical questions are going. Who is to blame? My vote goes to: 1. the socialist ideology and 2. lazy, useless public sector unions. The Greeks had a choice: a. Shut down the infrastructure of their nation or b. Give into the unions.
By the way, BA's consulting unit (think it was called Speedbird) was hired to fix Olympic a few years ago. Of course, they started making logical, necessary suggestions such as firing excess staff....they got run out of the country.
Ovelix From Greece, joined Aug 1999, 639 posts, RR: 4 Reply 23, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1452 times:
It is not clear what exactly the Speedwing management wanted to do. Having learned to read behind the lines my suspicions are that they had arrived with the "mission" to downsize the airline, reduce its value and sell it to the highest bidder, which of course had to be BA. They failed mostly because they could not find a way to..eerrr.....(how can I say it) share the profits of the imminent sale. The economic crisis worked against them as well.
Thanks for laughing at "usual suspect's" posts. I was about to do it too.
With the current state of ownership, management and union action, Olympic would make loss even if the planes flew 100% full with ticket prices 5 times higher than the ones today.
Danialanwar From Switzerland, joined Mar 2001, 421 posts, RR: 1 Reply 24, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1435 times:
I doubt Qantas is coming back to Athens. But there was talk that Australian Airlines (well, it's Qantas owned at least) may consider Melbourne/Sydney-somewhere-Athens if and when they open a base in Melbourne/Sydney
Best Business Class: Royal Brunei. Best Economy: Singapore Airlines. First: please send money first!
25 0A340: OA340, I did not follow where those rhetorical questions are going. Who is to blame? My vote goes to: 1. the socialist ideology and 2. lazy, useless p
26 Mas777: Perhaps a simpler solution would have been to move operations to operate via Kuala Lumpur, since the Malaysian authorities are still crying out for cu
27 KL713: Too bad Olympic will drop Oz so, will leave BA and NG/OS as the only European carriers with direct flts to Oz...right?
28 Cedarjet: I should say that I (and others) on this thread have been quite disrespectful of our Greek friends, I for one am a huge fan of the country and it's pe
29 MAH4546: (the five biggest Greek cities are: Athens, Melbourne, New York, Salonica, Heraklion) I am pretty sure Chicago has more Greeks than New York City. On
30 KL713: Suriname has a Lebanese community.....always wondered how they arrived there....
31 Rai: I am pretty sure Chicago has more Greeks than New York City. Nope...NYC has more Greeks than Chicago. Even Los Angeles and Boston have larger Greek po
32 Marco: Brasil is said to have some 8 million Lebanese people living there...
33 Power: Expat population is pretty interesting maybe we should start up a post like that?
34 Aviasian: It is a pity that the flag carrier for a destination as attractive as Greece could not be profitable. It is difficult to imagine why . . . because the