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Long Range Aircraft On Short Range Flights  
User currently offlineLPLAspotter From Portugal, joined Jan 2005, 682 posts, RR: 1
Posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 9065 times:

Dear Fellow Airneters:

Some airlines use long range aircraft (such as the 767-300) on short range routes (BA and KL in Europe pops into mind). I was wondering if these type of operations cause the airlines to lose money. I ask this because with the arrival of the 787 will we see this particular aircraft being used only on very long range flights but also (like the 767) on shorter flights of 2 hours or less? I'm quite unknowledgable about operational economics, so if someone could answer this question It would be greatly appreciated.


Nuke the Gay Wales for Christ
11 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineKaddyuk From Wallis and Futuna, joined Nov 2001, 4126 posts, RR: 23
Reply 1, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 9051 times:

Quoting LPLAspotter (Thread starter):
I'm quite unknowledgable about operational economics, so if someone could answer this question It would be greatly appreciated

Although they are designed for Long Haul operations, this is mostly due to their physical size. Sure, they're more expensive to operate on your 2hr route between Heathrow and Spain. However you can also fit more people on the aircraft. The profit margins are different. So are the break even points.

You can make Alot of money running large aircraft on short hops, but then you can also loose a fair amount if the Yeilds drop...

Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2620 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8921 times:

Last time I flew from AMS to LHR the aircraft was a KLM 767-300. Capacity was the reason for having a 767-300 on such a short hop. It was a late afternoon flight, full of business people returning from meetings. The flight out, the previous day at lunchtime, had been on a 737NG.

I did fly from London to Athens in a nearly empty A340 once, but that was because Olympic Airways had only just got the aircraft in service and were proving it on short haul. The return trip was quite a contrast, in the one and only Virgin A320, G-OUZO.

The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineNicolasRubio From Argentina, joined Sep 2005, 585 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 8824 times:

It is also quite common in South America... RG used to come to EZE from GRU with the B772s and MD-11s with more than one daily frequence... Also, LA comes here with A343s and B763s from SCL also with more than one daily frequence...

Another example is AR during the skiing season, they use B744s, B742s (no more) , A310s and A342s in routes such as EZE-BRC or EZE-USH...

Gripped 7D + Sigma 10-20mm + 17-40L + 50mm f/1.8 II + 70-200mm f/4L IS + EF 400mm f/5.6L + 580EX II
User currently offlineJeffry747 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 968 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 8782 times:
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UPS occasionally uses a 747 for SDF-ORD runs. It's only a 45 minute flight, but the capacity of the 747 comes in really handy for all of the Next Day Air volume that comes out of Chicago.

C'mon Big B, FLY!
User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2986 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 8662 times:

It's very common in Canada between YYZ and YUL. AC regularly flies 762's, 763's and 333's here. I even experienced a 343 on this route. From a passenger's view they usually look full. Load factor's anyone?

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 2):

Now, that's a registration I really like...

310, 319, 320, 321, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3,
User currently offline113312 From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 627 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks ago) and read 8561 times:

In the air cargo world, it's common to see large long range aircraft on short runs. Usually, the large amount of payload requires the large aircraft.

However, it's also common for a short leg to position an aircraft for a subsequent flight that is much longer. This is also true for passenger airlines.

Another seldom considered situation also arrises regarding economics. Sometimes with older aircraft that either have high operating costs or high lease charges, the air carrier might choose to operate a large aircraft on short routes to get low daily utilization. They might not be able to make a profit with any stage length so they might as well use their efficient planes on routes where profit can be achieved while leaving a costly asset to still produce revenue or sustain a route while minimizing costs. The same situation occurs with large old planes nearing an expensive maintenance cycle. Minimize the flight hours and/or legs to delay the expense until the plane can be replaced or the expense incurred in a more favorable time frame.

User currently offlineSanjet From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 182 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 8437 times:

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 5):
It's very common in Canada between YYZ and YUL. AC regularly flies 762's, 763's and 333's here. I even experienced a 343 on this route. From a passenger's view they usually look full. Load factor's anyone?

March 2007 We will see YUL-YYZ-YUL flights with brand new Air Canada 777's for a coule of weeks. It is to complete line indoc's for new captains & f/o's
Each leg is 40-45 minutes. What a sight it will be.

[Edited 2006-08-19 20:28:31]

Will Fly For Food!
User currently offlineWN2CMH From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 43 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 8311 times:

Last year I flew a T7 with DL from MCO-ATL. I looked on their website today and saw that flight is operated on 757, 763, 764ER. Is that a repositioning flight or is there just huge demand between those two cities?


Just LUV WN!
User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 9101 posts, RR: 37
Reply 9, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 8308 times:

Longhaul aircraft are designed with less cycles per scheduled maintnance. So you're gonna have to keep that (expensive) plane on the ground more often than a norrowbody would have to. One "cycle" is 1 take-off and 1 landing.


"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlinePietPiloot From Netherlands, joined Aug 2006, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8257 times:

Generally, the bigger the aircraft the lower its direct operating costs per kilometre available or per seat kilometre. So looking at direct operating costs, it would be wise to use big aircrafts as long as you can fill them.

However, the shorter the flight the higher its direct costs. An aircraft is basically most cost effective for the purpose it is designed for. An A330 is not the cheapest aircraft to operate on a flight between Amsterdam and London. It is designed to fly longer routes, whereas an B737 on this particular route has probably lower direct costs. On a flight between London and Cairo, it is probably the other way around again. The reason for this is mainly because a large aircraft is more expensive on the ground and during climb/descend than a small aircraft. A large aircraft is less expensive (per seat/km) than a small one during cruise flight.

And then there are other things to keep in mind. An airport may be slot restricted. The only way to increase capacity on a route then is to fly bigger aircraft. Cargo is sometimes an issue. That is why Iberia flies the A340 between Madrid and Frankfurt once weekly. Also, most long haul flights in Europe arrive in the early morning. Some of them depart again somewhere in the afternoon. It is easy to let them make a round trip within Europe in between.


User currently offlineUsair320 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 991 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (9 years 9 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8172 times:

Heres a list:
DL ATL-MCO 777/767
KL AMS-LHR A330-200(I think)
EI DUB-SNN A333/2(continues to ORD/JFK/BO and so on but not LAX)
SQ 772/3/744/A343(I think) SIN-KUL
MU 772/A333/744 KUL-SIN
and there are many more but these are just off the top of my head.

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