DocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20837 posts, RR: 60 Posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4801 times:
So let's suppose we're talking about a long, but infrequent flight that happens maybe once or twice per week, but has a short turn-around time at the destination.
What happens to the crew on the outbound leg? Do they nonrev back? That would kinda suck to have to nonrev back on a long flight just after working it. Or do they get stuck where they are for a week? That would suck, too.
mandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 7018 posts, RR: 77
Reply 1, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4760 times:
Getting stuck there for a week isn't all that bad, especially if there are other destinations. However, doing the route continuously and yeah, you'd get bored pretty quickly.
If there's another destination nearby, with adequate layover between the two flights, they'd deadhead the crew from one destination to the other to minimize excess layover... (some crew prefer being stuck somewhere for a week than this deadhead during layover... Merida-Cancun had crew transfer charter flights for several airlines).
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jagflyer From Canada, joined Aug 2004, 3634 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks ago) and read 3772 times:
How about last minute equipment changes? If a flight is a 777 and one day they sub in a 747 due to the original 777 going mechanical. Who will fly the 747 back? I don't see how an airline could legally d/h a crew without proper rest. From what I always understood any deadheading ordered by the airline is considered to be "duty-time" even if the crew is not performing their duty.
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longhauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5349 posts, RR: 43
Reply 10, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3758 times:
It is quite common to position crews on other airlines if the flight is not frequent. When cycles are generated, all costs are considered, and (rightfully so) the cheapest way to route is crew is done. Sometimes, from the outside, it is not so obvious why.
A few things to consider:
Positioning (deadheading) is at full pay if it is an irregular operation (equipment sub for example), or half pay if it a part of a regular cycle. Crews have pay guarantees ... both per duty day, and for the whole cycle. That is to stop the airline from flying you YYZ-XXX then sit for 7 days, then XXX-YYZ, and pay you only for YYZ-XXX-YYZ. Also, hotels, meals and ground transport is also factored into cycle generation costs.
So you may see a cycle like YYZ-XXX then position XXX-FRA, then layover 24 hours. Then FRA-YYZ.
Also, as crew utilization becomes paramount when short of crews, (like now), then very odd cycles are built to keep things efficient. Things like YYZ-YOW-FRA layover FRA-YYC layover YYC-NRT layover NRT-YYC layover YYC-LHR layover LHR-YOW-YYZ. (How the heck do you pack for something like that???) Or one I liked when I was a B767 F/O, YYZ-HNL layover HNL-SYD layover SYD-HNL layover HNL-YYZ. (easier to pack)
But as far as interesting goes, and certainly infrequent, I find the Jetz team charter cycles fascinating as there is a lot of positioning and long layovers in unusual places!
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blueflyer From Northern Mariana Islands, joined Jan 2006, 4297 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3074 times:
Back in the days, Sabena would charter small aircraft to position crew from one city to the next within Africa as some destinations were served only once or twice a week and intra-Africa flights were few and not always reliable. Nowadays Brussels Airlines does it only due to irregular operations, I believe.
Quoting jagflyer (Reply 9): How about last minute equipment changes? If a flight is a 777 and one day they sub in a 747 due to the original 777 going mechanical. Who will fly the 747 back?
Airlines rarely have aircraft and crew ready to go at a moment's notice, especially of a different type. It is more likely that a one-day sub is planned well in advance due to overlapping maintenance in the regularly scheduled fleet.
If they do a last-minute sub, the returning crew will most likely come from a nearby outstation where the aircraft is regularly scheduled, but that means the outstation will suffer the consequences, obviously, so the airline must balance the need to operate a flight even with a different type against the cost of cancelling or delaying a flight elsewhere.
The bigger an airline is, the easier it is to do. For example, BA could substitute a 747 to the regularly scheduled 777 for LHR-PHL at the last minute, cancel a 747 to IAD, BOS or JFK and move the inbound crew from the cancelled flight to PHL to operate the return while accommodating the passengers from the cancelled flight on the other 2, 3 or 7 flights of the day.
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