musapapaya From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1112 posts, RR: 0 Posted (2 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4461 times:
I have been looking at this flight routinely as it leaves HKG at midnight and scheduled to arrive into ZRH at 0610. Recently, it has left early (10 minutes) depart from the gate but very often it is late arriving into ZRH, today it arrived almost an hour late but only left HKG 13 minutes late. I think this is quite unusual as I travelled on it a few times and it has always been on time. LX 139 has a timetable journey time of 13:10 and there has been no other substantial late arrival into ZRH this morning.
Over the past few weeks, when this flight left HKG early, they still suffer a delay of some 30 minutes on average to get into ZRH.
The reason for this post is, I understood there has been dispute in overflight rights between LX and russia and I thought this has been resolved. Last time when I was flying eastbound, they went through places like india from ZRH to HKG, a fair bit of a detour. And of coz I use them a lot to connect from MAN to HKG and naturally I keep an eye on them.
Now with this restriction in place and that LX139 arrived into ZRH an hour late, surely people have connections would have missed the flights, is this not costing LX quite a bit of money and dent on their reputation for being reliable and puntual? On this particular day, the LH flight to MUC left HKG some 10 minutes late and got in MUC early. Their schedueld flight time is 12:45. Well I know this is 346 compared to 343 but their cruise speed is very similar and MUC and ZRH are so close to each other so I think this is a fair assumption.
Of coz I am no expert but this russia overflight right seems to be dragging on for a while, I remember their chief pilot was mentioing this exact same problem on the pilotseye DVD back in 2010, for their flight to shanghai. So Russia does not let LX to fly pass them but no problems with LH?
Let me stress again I am just an ordinary passenger with interest in aviation, and both LH and LX are my choice of airlines when I travel, I just want to understand the rationale behind these observations...
glen From Switzerland, joined exactly 10 years ago today! , 246 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4063 times:
There are several factors, why this flight is so often delayed.
The routings to fly are always fixed for a flightplan period, i.e. summer or winter schedule. Eastbound flights are via south of the Himalaya (the routing via India described in the OP) during summer and north of the Himalaya during wintertime. Reason for this is because in summer the jet streams are close the the routing south of Himalaya and therefore flight time is shorter even on the longer route, compared to the northern route. During the winter months the gain is less, so it is worth to fly the northern route.
Homebound, i.e. westbound routes are always north of the Himalaya to stay as far out of the jet streams as possible. During the last weeks however there were strong jet streams on the northern routing, which caused regular delays.
Why not change the routings on a daily base? Chinese authorities require seasonal entry points into their airspace, so the airlines have to decide on their routing irrespective of the actual wind situation and can only decide on the expected seasonal weather situation.
Why not publish an earlier departure time, as the flight is always at risk for longer flight times? Because the published time is based on the airport slot, and the airlines can not change this at their own will. And it is very difficult to get another slot. All they can do is to publish an earlier ETD on a daily base and hope to have all passengers on board at that earlier time - or the get a better airport slot one day...
Hope this answer helps.
"The horizon of many people is a circle with zero radius which they call their point of view." - Albert Einstein