Posts: 252
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2003 10:09 pm

How Responsive Are Airlines?

Wed Mar 24, 2004 1:51 pm

Someone brought up the point that perhaps United is flying at 757 into EGE due to the Kobe Bryant trail and the subsequent increase in travel from media, etc - warranting a larger aircraft. This leads me to my question. How responsive are airlines to issues in the news (or other unexpected events or outside factors) that might affect their business? Would an airline really change its operations because of an anticipated increase in passengers. I know this is kind of a broad question, but I was just curious. Any input is appreciated.
Posts: 553
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2001 10:39 am

RE: How Responsive Are Airlines?

Wed Mar 24, 2004 7:20 pm

It isn't a broad question at all... I think it is rather to the point.

Generally, airlines have a somewhat limited ability to change equipment to match the potential loads. The more warning an airline would receive, the more likely that equipment could be changed to meet the need. For instance, every year US Airways might put additional wide-body capacity on CLT-JAX to meet the needs presented by the big golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass. Obviously they would know about this way in advance. Now, if tomorrow John Kerry were to get busted with a mistress in Burlington, Vermont, then it is unlikely that the airlines would be able to change equipment that quickly to meet the demands that the hordes of reporters might place on that route. (Relax Kerry fans... Its just an example)

Allot goes into fleet planning. Airlines try to plan this stuff out as far in advance as possible because the maintenance schedules are rather strict. If the airline has some operational spares, there may be more leeway. However, in this day and age of cutbacks, most of us aren't operating with many spares.

Posts: 1319
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 1999 3:53 am

RE: How Responsive Are Airlines?

Thu Mar 25, 2004 5:10 am

As others said, not very much and often for obvious reasons.

Yet every year American carriers do not increase frequency at all in the very busy days around Christmas. Even the year after 9/11, there was unmet demand at Christmas, while crews and aircraft were idle.

Many European carriers operate extra sections to meet the Christmas demand.

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