DIA
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Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Thu Apr 24, 2003 1:00 am

Okay, just a thought here. Alaska is a tourist destination. Asians are known to be heavy travelers in touristy places, like Seattle, S.F., Hawaii, here in Colorado, etc. Why hasn't Alaska started service to, say Japan? Wouldn't you think there would be a heck of a market? They certainly have the a/c to do it, and it could even be seasonal.

So what gives? Politics, laws. . .what?

DIA
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cedarjet
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Thu Apr 24, 2003 1:03 am

They did order some 747-100s to start a hub at Anchorage serving London, Tokyo etc. Didn't come to anything. I agree it would make a good transit hub as well as an O&D destination. The combination would be enough to fill some 767ERs at least. I guess with the US economy in it's current state no-one's gonna invest in new airline services. That said, they could probably get the planes for almost nothing.
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DIA
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Thu Apr 24, 2003 1:19 am

I had no idea about the 747s.

Yes, the economy. . . .but nothing lasts forever. When things pick up again, I think it would be an interesting business venture. . .and probably very profitable one. . .if only for the summer months.

Cheers,
DIA
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atcboy73
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Thu Apr 24, 2003 1:27 am

What an awesome question!

Could the 737-700 make it to NRT, KIX and SEL from ANC? Would winglets help? I could understand them not wanting to add another aircraft type to the fleet.

I know they have many cooperative agreements with airlines serving asia but man, think of the opertunities.
 
USAFHummer
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Thu Apr 24, 2003 2:48 am

ANC-NRT is almost the same distance as JFK-LHR...so out of reach for the 737NG

ANC (61°10'28"N 149°59'46"W) NRT (35°26'N 140°14'E) 3456 mi
JFK (40°38'23"N 73°46'44"W) LHR (51°29'N 00°28'W) 3451 mi
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ConcordeBoy
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Thu Apr 24, 2003 2:56 am

Could the 737-700 make it to NRT, KIX and SEL from ANC?

Not in standard configuration.... though a tanked version with blended winglets (or a BBJ in pax configuration) could probably get the job done. Though, whether it could do so profitably with ANC O&D yield is another story.
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desertjets
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Thu Apr 24, 2003 3:07 am

It can be said, and I will say it... that Alaska serves Asia via its Northwest Airlines codeshare. No need or reason to do it with their own metal.
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Ex_SQer
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Thu Apr 24, 2003 3:12 am

I would think it woudln't work for several reasons.

Alaska isn't on many Asian tourists' radar screens. The tourism board will have to do some pretty heavy promotions to entice them away from Hawaii and California.

Asian tourists like to travel in groups in places where there is a good tourist infrastructure (ie attractions, theme parks, etc within close proximity). I'm not sure how developed Alaska's infrastructure is outside of the cruise ship industry.

The service will likely be seasonal, ferrying low yield tourist traffic. What do you do with the planes the rest of the year? It probably won't justify the cost of adding a new fleet type along with its associated fixed costs.


Now... AS operating to/from Asia through their hub in SEA sounds more intriguing to me.
 
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Thu Apr 24, 2003 3:35 am

Alaska's business model simply does not support service to Asia.

With feed to and from Asia provided by global partners like NW, AA, and CO, Alaska does not need to endure the additional cost burdens of equipping themselves for Asia service. The goal is to keep costs as low as possible, and undertaking that market flies in the face of that goal.

It's far more cost-effective to provide codeshare connections to/from Asia through alliances with global carriers who have already incurred the expense of flying there.

Besides, until SARS runs its course, the Asian market will remain depressed.
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United777
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Thu Apr 24, 2003 11:24 am

Alaska Airlines did team up with Cathay Pacific Airways to get some passengers from CX in LAX,SFO and YVR.

I could see AS serving Japan though. That would be something. Would the 737-900X make it ANC-NRT?

 
nonrevman
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Thu Apr 24, 2003 11:44 am

Alaska isn't on many Asian tourists' radar screens. The tourism board will have to do some pretty heavy promotions to entice them away from Hawaii and California.

Actually, a lot of Japanese tourists go to Alaska in the dark winter months to see the aurora borealis. At Chena Hot Springs near Fairbanks, the information booklets in the cabins are in English and Japanese. A lot of the bed and breakfast places in the Fairbanks area also cater to Japanese tour groups. Some of the owners are even of Japanese descent. I dont know if there is enough traffic to warrant a direct flight between Tokyo and Anchorage, but I do suppose it is possible. Perhaps a weekly flight would work if it was not too costly for Alaska Airlines. Another possibility would be for JAL to have a flight that goes to the continental US that makes a stop in ANC for the local traffic. It would be interesting to see if there was enough demand for it.



 
FutureFO
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Thu Apr 24, 2003 11:58 am

However AS did serve Russia in the 80's and 90's.
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L-188
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Thu Apr 24, 2003 12:09 pm

Alaska isn't on many Asian tourists' radar screens. The tourism board will have to do some pretty heavy promotions to entice them away from Hawaii and California.

Asian tourists like to travel in groups in places where there is a good tourist infrastructure (ie attractions, theme parks, etc within close proximity). I'm not sure how developed Alaska's infrastructure is outside of the cruise ship industry.

The service will likely be seasonal, ferrying low yield tourist traffic. What do you do with the planes the rest of the year? It probably won't justify the cost of adding a new fleet type along with its associated fixed costs.



Very, very untrue. It is pretty amazing the amount of asian traffic that comes through. What is the name of JAL's charter arm? JAS or something. Usually every year they do multiple trips with a DC-10 into ANC.

Anchorage is a protal for Seward where the Cruise ships dock. That is one of the reasons they justified building that train terminal at the airport. To carry Terrorists to Seward to catch the boat.

I suspect that the real reason is the range limits of the 737. Alaska would have to bring on 757's at a minimum to service the route and I don't see them doing that at all.


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aviasian
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Thu Apr 24, 2003 12:10 pm

Alaska (even in the absence of any form of destination marketing) is already known for its pristine environment and cruise products . . . and cruise operators are already doing fairly good business handling Asian visitors.

For anyone to really consider flying direct into Anchorage or Fairbanks, one has to be a piece of cargo! Asian traffic to Alaska is now served via the US West Coast.

With destination marketing (of the same calibre as New Zealand), I am certain Alaska will sell in Asia (not just Japan / Korea but also SE Asian markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia).

The same question could certainly be posed for Hawaiian Air . . . a pity that awareness of the destination is so high, but the lack of direct air service from SE Asia has deterred many.

KC Sim
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Thu Apr 24, 2003 2:43 pm

One interesting bit of trivia (proving the Asian market is big for AS, even though they don't fly there):

Alaska Airlines' only employee outside the Western Hemisphere is their Tokyo Sales Manager, Tom Yanagihara. He's been with the company for over 20 years, most of them in Japan!
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Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
nwacrew
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Thu Apr 24, 2003 3:36 pm

I seem to remember that a couple of summers ago Northwest operated (weekly?) 747 'tourist' flights between Tokyo and Anchorage. Anybody recall the details?
 
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yyz717
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Thu Apr 24, 2003 3:39 pm

I think AS should try to claim the unused AA SEA-NRT authority. They could pick up 2 used 763's to service this route daily. Maybe a 2x/weekly ANC-NRT also.



[Edited 2003-04-24 08:40:47]
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KAL_LM
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Thu Apr 24, 2003 3:58 pm

Another stumbling block to any service US-Japan would be landing rights and slots at places like NRT. Another would be adding a new fleet type (I know they are mixed already) and considering the right now they are mainly a 737 operator, adding a 763 or similar widebody would add a load of costs (ops, handling, mx, etc...) and other issues that might not play well with any money made off of the route.

While on paper it seems like a good idea, but in reality it's too big for AS. They have done very well cultivating a strong system and expanding slowly and steadily, but also intelligently. While there may be a pax base for them out of SEA, the other carriers operating to Asia from SEA would make those plans very difficult. And besides, like someone else mentioned, they have the NW codeshare, so they are pretty much covered.

Just my 2 cents...

regards,
Tom
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zrs70
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Thu Apr 24, 2003 4:00 pm

Technically, AS already serves (or perhaps has served in the past) Asia. I seem to recall that there is (was) seasonal service to some remote city Eastern Russia.
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Thu Apr 24, 2003 4:22 pm

Before economic problems made the service unprofitable, Alaska served several destinations in the Russian Far East from ANC. The flights were using MD-80s equipped with long-range tanks.

Khabarovsk
Magadan
Vladivostok
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

The service was ultimately dropped a few years ago.
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AgnusBymaster
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Sun Apr 27, 2003 5:11 pm

Another stumbling block to any service US-Japan would be landing rights and slots at places like NRT.

I do recall reading on this forum several years ago that AS has some kind of unused route authority for SEA-NRT flights that they picked up from another carrier 10 or 15 years ago. Does this ring a bell with anyone?
 
L-188
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Sun Apr 27, 2003 5:21 pm

I think it was 96 when the russian service was dropped.

That was the year that Reeve picked it up with their 727's

Reeve didn't stick extra tanks in their aircraft since they owned the fuel farm at CDB and would drop in there if the wind gods prevented a direct flight to Magadan.

Ground turned them more then once.
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as739x
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RE: Would Alaska Air Do Well With Service To Asia?

Sun Apr 27, 2003 6:07 pm

Well I was beat to this by many. Many good points made. We serve Asia already. Via NW ans CX!!! We will not at a fleet type. We are working on going to just 737's. Maybe a 763 kinda like the Airtran and Ryan thing, who knows. Dont hold your breath though. Pilots wouldnt allow it..ASSFO
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