Topic Author
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Does Speed Sell?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 3:46 am

Initial specs of the 7E7 advertise 747-like cruising speed of 0.85. But I ask, why?

Do any airlines market the fact that "our planes fly faster"? What advantage does a marginally-faster aircraft have in today's market? After all, do any trans-oceanic pax care if their flight takes 8.6 hours vs. 9?

Other than the prestige of being "the fastest airliner in the sky", I don't understand why the 7E7 would be designed for such a fast cruise, especially at the sacrifice of the plane's strongest selling point -- efficiency.

It seems a telling statistic that the fastest airframe is a nearly 40 year old design. After all, the MD-11 is spec'ed to cruise slower than the DC-10.

Any thoughts?

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RE: Does Speed Sell?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 4:07 am

Interesting point, when you look at adverts from the days when jets first appeared, you see that they did try to promote the fact that they were operating fast jets. However, you don't see that anymore.
Once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward; for there you long to return
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RE: Does Speed Sell?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 4:29 am

AirBuffalo, I asked the same question awhile back. The typical response was most users did not care about speed especially if the difference was small. I remember when United using DC8's stated in advertising they had the quickest time LAX-JFK and speed was a consideration to travellers. In my opinion I'd prefer to save an hour in transit and pay slightly more. The general consensus was airlines have adopted the mentally of efficient flying, reduced maintenance and lower cost per mile vs. faster flights. In short transit time is no longer used to attract fliers and hubs are a part of our travel environment adding to travel times. I fly from ATL to LAX frequently and would find value in reduced transit times and willing to pay a slight premium.

Never fly the "A" model of anything!
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RE: Does Speed Sell?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 4:31 am

At first people traded speed, from ships to props to jets. Now they trade economy, how much profit does a customer (an airline) get by getting there at a certain time.
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RE: Does Speed Sell?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 4:32 am

Duh! Being 30mins late for an interview is different from being 5mins late.
Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion.
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RE: Does Speed Sell?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 4:35 am

Does speed sell?

Depends if you can get the fare yield from it, plain and simple. Otherwise, all this talk about small incremental block time gains is really a red herring.

Only the Concorde has been able to exploit the time premium...

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RE: Does Speed Sell?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 5:11 am

Oh yes, speed is appreciated.

Five hours ago I "landed" in a taxi at ARN. I went straight to the SAS ticket counter, presented a ticket for tomorrow evening and said: "I want to get home as soon as possible".

The nice lady said that there was a plane leaving in twenty minutes, which I couldn't reach, and then there was the next plane in one and a half hours.

I said: "I can make it in twenty minutes, I am a fast runner". She said that most likely my checked baggage would also make it in twenty minutes, but should it fail, the it would be just over one hour behind me. Ten minutes later I sat on a plane which left exactly on time.

My bag arrived as the first bag on the belt at CPH just as I arrived at the baggage pick-up.

When did you last time make an international flight between two capital cities, and the time gap between booking the flight and picking up your bag was only 88 minutes?

I think that it is close to a world record. Even if it included a roughly five minutes delay since after push-back we ended up as number four in the take-off queue.

Bravo, well done, Scandinavian Airlines.

The plane was a slooow Mach 0.82 A321.

Happy landing, Preben Norholm
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
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RE: Does Speed Sell?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 5:19 am

Yes. For premium passenger on very long haul flights speed does sell. One of the main reasons that SQ dumped most it 340s in favour of 777s was speed. On flights from SIA to Europe the 747s and the 777s generally arrived 30-60 minutes ahead of the 340s. Thats probably why the newer 340-500/600 are much faster than the 340-200/300.
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RE: Does Speed Sell?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 6:39 am

In the early days of the jet age it did.

But now most a/c travel at about the same speed and heights and now the skies are much more congested so flying faster in a normal airliner doesn't really reap the benefits it did back in the 60's when the jets were cruising way way above the props in almost empty skies. Also the congestion going into major airports doesn't help either hence the fact that it now takes longer to fly from London-Paris in the 21st century than it did 40 years ago !!!.

I certainly wouldn't mind the extra time saved from a faster a/c. It's just a shame that the manufacturers won't commit to building another generation SST, but then I suppose it's the travelling public who want everything for nothing that are the ultimate ones responsible for that.

"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
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RE: Does Speed Sell?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 6:52 am

Considering that most airlines pad their schedules with extra time to avoid "being late".. i doubt that a 15 min enroute time saving will make people pay more $$
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RE: Does Speed Sell?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 6:58 am

I have heard the A380 will have the fastest cruise speed in commercial flying, even faster than 747-400.  Wow!
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RE: Does Speed Sell?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:07 am

One of the main problems is that nowadays, with huge airports running beyond capacity, there is a great deal of time spent while not in the airplane.

Getting to the airport, finding a place to park, walking to the terminal, standing in lines to check in, standing in lines to get through security, standing in lines at any eatery you may stop at, standing in lines to get on the airplane, the airplane being in a long line for takeoff....then a reasonably short flight....then possibly the aircraft having to wait for the gate, standing in lines to get off the airplane, walking to baggage claim, standing for a while waiting for your bags, standing in lines for shuttles or however you plan on getting to your destination, and then the trip there.

I'm sure everyone can relate to what I said matter how fast the aircraft you're in is, it doesn't do much to help the overall length of the trip. Time and money needs to be spent streamlining all those operations instead of trying to make the actual flight a few minutes shorter.
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RE: Does Speed Sell?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:37 am

Although if you are on a faster a/c then your flight would arrive before the rest so you'd miss out on the huge queues on arrival.

"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
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RE: Does Speed Sell?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:50 am

Isn't the fact the B777 is faster than the A340/A330, a decisive factor why airlines chose the Boeing over the Airbus? Or at least that's what Boeing keeps on promoting to airlines.

I guess speed is important but it depends on the price you have to pay for it. The now-dead Boeing Sonic Cruiser was proof of this. Many airlines including United and Virgin Atlantic were interested but the fact the jet guzzled up so much fuel, it was abandoned.
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RE: Does Speed Sell?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 9:35 am

I find that the speed in transit isn't what matters, it's the 30 minutes or so you sometimes spend on the ground each way which is the killer.
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RE: Does Speed Sell?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 9:52 am

Comparing a 777/A340 with a 7E7 is like comparing apples and oranges.
In the 7E7 I don't think speed counts for much. It's range is not long enough that a sligh increase in spead would make much of a difference in total trip time.
Mach .80 vs .85 in a 6 hour flight is not nearly as significant as on a 14 hour flight. And even that is not that significant at all for most people.
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RE: Does Speed Sell?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 10:11 am

Yes, it sells to airlines. This isn't an issue of passengers getting someplace more quickly.

If half an hour is saved on a long flight, this alleviates on-time pressure on the airlines. It's like quickening the turnaround time of the aircraft, possibly leading to an extra flight per day here and there.

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