kaitak
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Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Wed Jun 09, 2004 3:40 am

Aer Lingus has started talks with plane
makers Airbus and Boeing to buy as many
as 14 planes to replace and expand its
fleet.

Chief executive Willie Walsh told the
Reuters news agency that the airline
was looking to order at least 11 and as
many as 14 planes.

This refers to EI's requirement for long haul aircraft, to replace its current fleet. Other reports refer to this being a bout between the A330 and 7E7. Neither the 340 (unsurprising) or 777 (surprising) is mentioned. Previously, the 777 had been mentioned as a possible interim aircraft. Also surprising is the lead in time; EI has mentioned 2008 as a possible service entry date. A lot later than expected, I think.

So, hot money must be on Airbus, given that their short haul fleet is going to be an all Airbus affair soon. The fact that such a large number of aircraft is requirement is testament to increased confidence, but more importantly to the expected change in the US/EU bilateral, which - if it goes through - will give EI access to many more US destinations. Indeed, it's hoped that a deal can be signed later this month, when President Bush visits Ireland. This will, hopefully, put the Shannon stop policy to rest finally.

For Boeing, hope is not completely lost. They have a very good new aircraft. Since EI doesn't want its new aircraft until 2008, this must give Boeing an advantage; i.e if they needed the aircraft right now (and they will need to lease more aircraft in to meet new t/a demand), the 332 would be an obvious winner, BUT if they're waiting until 2008, the 332 will soon be eclipsed by something new and better. Does EI want to be foregoing the chance to fly the newest type, with all the economic advantages this offers? Don't forget, Boeing wants to sell around 200 7E7s this year; it's not going to let EI slip through its fingers without a fight, particularly given EI's growth ambitions.

Also, the 333s - while fine aircraft, are limited; range considerations make it impossible to equip them with PTVs (not that EI has been in any hurry to do this on its 332s either). If EI needs aircraft imminently, Boeing - if it really wanted a deal - could provide 777s as a 333 replacement. If it can show itself as the best partner and facilitator of EI's growth, then perhaps it can make a case.
 
FJWH
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Wed Jun 09, 2004 3:43 am

Nice: The more flight tracking material, the better  Nuts.

But do you, or anyone else can tell me how many planes Air Lingus now have?
Thanks

FJWH
FlightS in the next 3 months: MSP, PHX, MEM, NCE, TFS, BCN. All round trips from AMS
 
iowa744fan
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Wed Jun 09, 2004 4:03 am

This could be an interesting one. Where in the US does EI operate? I know Boston, New York, and Chicago. Do they fly to Washington? I know that they used to fly to LA, as I have seen photos, but I was not sure if they still did or not.

Also, is this order looking to add on to the fleet of 330s or to replace them and expand at the same time?

Also, the thing about their shorthaul fleet being all Airbus does not really mean as much. We have seen quite often where airlines have been in the process of switching to one brand for shorthaul only to switch to another one when a deal was struck for larger longhaul aircraft. South African had ordered a bunch of 738s and are now gettings the 320 family as part of their longhaul 343/346 deal. Also, IIRC, Air Nippon was to be almost all 320s to replace their 735s, but are now going back to the 73Gs. So, unless you have a shorthaul fleet of like 100 or so aircraft, they can be changed quite easily.
 
boeingbus
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RE: TAP Introduce New B/C Lie-Flat Seats On A310-A

Wed Jun 09, 2004 4:06 am

KEWL! I would love to see the 7E7 in Aer Lingus colors... awesome!
Airbus or Boeing - it's all good to me!
 
MAH4546
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Wed Jun 09, 2004 4:14 am

Where in the US does EI operate?

Boston/Logan, Baltimore/Washington, Los Angeles/International, New York City/Kennedy, and Chicago/O'Hare. BOS and JFK have independent non-stops to both Dublin and Shannon. O'Hare and Los Angeles are routed from Shannon via Dublin, while Baltimore is from Dublin via Shannon.

They would like to open up Miami/International and San Francsico/International pending changes in the US-Ireland air treaty.


a.
 
Guest

RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Wed Jun 09, 2004 4:17 am

Neither the 340 (unsurprising) or 777 (surprising) is mentioned

how could the 777 which has no commonality to existing aircraft be suprising and a plane which has complete engine crew and airframe commonality with the fleet be unsuprising  Nuts. Was it something to do with runway length at DUB.

range considerations make it impossible to equip them with PTVs

how does that work, out of interest?  Smile
 
Eirules
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Wed Jun 09, 2004 4:20 am

For me it has to be Boeing, though this may not be what most people think. Obviously Aer Lingus are looking to expand into US, with MIA and SFO the two most obvious locations. Beyond that a number of Asian destinations have been mentioned from Hong Kong to Singapore to Dubai. I reckon that Hong Kong is most likely given the presence of Cathay Pacific so they can give more connections. The A330s they have could fly this route but if they were to go for Singapore then they would have to go for an aircraft with a greater range and I believe that Boeing may have the upper hand.

Would it also be cynical for me to say that George Bush would be more likely to push through the new open skies deal if there was something more in it for the US economy, such as $2b for Boeing!!!
The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live....
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Wed Jun 09, 2004 4:36 am

how could the 777 which has no commonality to existing aircraft be suprising and a plane which has complete engine crew and airframe commonality with the fleet be unsuprising

That's exactly what I was thinking... I was suprised the A340 was not mentioned, and unsuprised when the 777 was not mentioned...

Would it also be cynical for me to say that George Bush would be more likely to push through the new open skies deal if there was something more in it for the US economy, such as $2b for Boeing!!!

Seeing that George W. Bush has virtually no influence or power in this decision, or the fact that the U.S. has never traded Boeing purchases for landing rights, I'd say the chances of that happening are zilch.

how does that work, out of interest?

Weight possibly?
 
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yyz717
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Wed Jun 09, 2004 4:39 am

I don't see why their current 332/333 fleet needs replacing by 2008.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
Bobs89irocz
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Wed Jun 09, 2004 5:59 am

Im with Yyz717 on this, i dont see why they need to "replace" anything.....there current A330's are just fine......but what the hell do i know? I dont see them going for any Boeing products however, i see them staying with Airbus on this one.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Wed Jun 09, 2004 6:12 am

Im with Yyz717 on this, i dont see why they need to "replace" anything.....there current A330's are just fine......but what the hell do i know?

The oldest A330s are 1994 builds, but they do form the backbone of thier longhaul fleet. In 2008, the fleet's oldest aircraft will be 10-15 years old depending on delivery. If Aer Lingus is already in the market for a nrew fleet, fine by me.

But, how often does an airline replace an aircraft with a new-build of the same type? You don't see too many 767 opperators opting for new-build 767s for fleet replacement. The 7E7 and 777 combo is powerful package that, for now, outperforms the A330/A340 package.
 
Hamlet69
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Wed Jun 09, 2004 6:17 am

Roberta,

"how could the 777 which has no commonality to existing aircraft be suprising and a plane which has complete engine crew and airframe commonality with the fleet be unsuprising . Was it something to do with runway length at DUB."

That's exactly what it is. Though of course the A340 could fly DUB-West Coast flights, reportedly it is so weight limited that it is economically unfeasible.
The fact that the 777 not being mentioned is so surprising is because it had been rumored for about half a year now that the Boeing proposal centered on replacing the entire A330 fleet using a combination of 777/7E7. The 777-200ER would be delivered first, replacing the remaining A330-300s, while the 7E7-8/-9s would be delivered later, replacing the A330-200. Now it looks like EI will standardize on one of two types, either 7E7-8 (or -9) or A330-200. My money is on the A330.

Regards,

Hamlet69
Honor the warriors, not the war.
 
MAS777
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Wed Jun 09, 2004 6:32 am

I could have sworn that I read in the local Malaysian press that Aer Lingus was considering flying to Kuala Lumpur via Bahrain. I could be mistaken though but there is hot gossip in Malaysia that another major European carrier is due to commence flights to Malaysia as soon as this Northern Winter schedule... guess the term 'major' may exclude Aer Lingus though...

On another note - Air France has already begun code-sharing with KLM on KL807 into Kuala Lumpur so it is unlikely that this 'major European carrier' is AF - although with the Malaysian press - anything is possible I have often noticed...
 
snnams
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Wed Jun 09, 2004 6:34 am

Hello all,

Personally I think 2008 has been mentioned by EI as a scare tactic directed at Airbus.. i.e "we can wait for the 7e7.. so make us an offer for a few 330's that we cant refuse"

In reality, Aer Lingus cannot wait: it needs more aircraft if the operation is to grow as we have heard. There is simply not enough capacity to operate any extra flights at present. More US flights, Dubai and Asia are all hot favorites, so they need planes soon.

Just a few weeks ago we were told that EI was going for 777/7E7.. no we hear talks are with both manufacturers. I really don't think any of us should read too much into this. They are simply going through the motions to hammer out the most financially advantageous deal.

I really woudl not like to bet at this stage. They seem to be playing both manufacturers off on each other. The 330 offers commonality, but the 777 can fly further off DUB's runway. Either way, it will be a compromise.

If DUB's new runway gets a quick go ahead though, things could change, but there is little chance of this happening anytime soon.

 
EIDW
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Wed Jun 09, 2004 6:36 am

The issue with the 340 is the restriction imposed by the lack of length at Dublin airport. Compared to that required for a fully loaded 340 then you would need to pop down to Shannon to fill the tanks before a long-haul. Not the most economic mode of operation!

EI also has rights to Newark but stopped flying there (along with Baltimore which was reinstated a while later) after 9/11.

At present the US-Ireland bilateral means that for each flight from Dublin to/from the US there must be a flight through Shannon. Hence the shuttle service from DUB-SNN on a fully loaded EI 330 whereby everyone deplanes for security and immigration before reboarding for the US, wasting time and fuel all round. The restriction imposed by the US to compensate for this rule (as it also covers US carriers into Ireland) is the limitation on EI to fly to the above mentioned US airports. I believe that LA and Baltimore are outside the scope of this agreement and were added afterwards.

On an personal note, today I flew from DUB-EWR direct on CO, the equipment was a 764-ER, nice aircraft! At the same time as our arrival in EWR the SNN-EWR flight came in, which was a 752.

EIDW.
 
DIA
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Wed Jun 09, 2004 11:59 pm

Okay, chop this up. . .

From justplanes.com:
"Aer Lingus confirmed it had started talks with Airbus and Boeing aiming at the replacement of its fleet of Airbus A330s with a possible order for 14 new aircraft. Under consideration are Airbuses A330 and Boeings B7E7. Aer Lingus wants to order at least 11 aircraft with 14 as a possible number. The Irish carrier expects to make a decision within the next few months but does not need the new aircraft till 2008/2009."

Why would Aer Lingus replace their A330s with possibly more A330s? Aren't their current A330s pretty darn new anyhow?

Was this just a bad report?
Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
 
snnams
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Thu Jun 10, 2004 12:28 am

DIA,

Simply put, Aer Lingus need more A330's (or just more long haul aircraft). They also really need to replace the A330-300's simply because they cant fly all that far, and a PTV system will limit their range even more. Aer Lingus thus sees the opportunity of replacing a few 330-300's with new longer range craft at good prices. Rememeber, it's still a good time to buy new planes as the market aint all that hot. May as well do it now than wait a few years.

MAS777,

Yes, EI are rumoured to be starting a KUL service. SIN is also rumoured though. No new developments yet on this. I know EI aint exactly BA or AF, but it's not really that small, and if it comes to recognition of it's name, it surely "punches above it's weight" if you know what I mean. I think "major" as referred to here may just mean "flag carrier" as opposed to a relatively unheard of carrier.
 
kaitak
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Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 5:49 am

RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Thu Jun 10, 2004 1:42 am

I agree EI needs aircraft pretty soon, but they can lease aircraft and replace them when the 7E7 comes along. Although there's obviously a lot to be said for the argument that EI is simply trying to push Airbus into making them a better deal and Airbus has good reason to think EI won't go for Boeings.

That said, they're going for a huge investment in aircraft which will be with them for many, many years. Do they want to go for aircraft which will be overtaken by another type pretty soon. The 7E7 will allow considerable economic advantages over the 7E7 and the 777 has considerable range advantages over the 333. Also, consider that if EI goes Airbus, what will its growth potential be, as far as acft size. If they don't want A340s, the -300 is as big as they can get. The 777 has that growth potential.

The big fly in the ointment, as ever, is the Irish govt making soundings about the SNN stopover policy, which is EI's biggest obstacle. If this is phased out, EI has great growth potential; even if it's just reduced to 2:1 (rather than the current 1:1), EI can grow its US operations. Unfortunately, right now, they're talking about four years. No can do. Why should EI be at a disadvantage, compared to virtually every other European carrier!
 
snnams
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Thu Jun 10, 2004 3:11 am

Kaitak,

But there is talk of a "mini deal" even by Bush's visit on 26th, that should see this sorted. I don't think we will be waiting four years to see this rubbish finally consigned to the trash can. (well, hope not anyway!)
 
gearup
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Thu Jun 10, 2004 4:44 am

The A330 has been an excellent aircraft for Aer Lingus and it has allowed them to expand their route network within the US notwithstanding the Shannon stopover nonsense. This is something it could never do in years of operating Boeing 707/747 on transatlantic routes. The proven track record of the 330 will play a big role in any decision they make. Don't forget the 7E7 is a 'paper' airplane, the latest in a fleet of paper planes from Boeing lately. While it is closer to flight than all those 747 variants, sonic cruisers etc. It is not a proven performer whereas the A330 is!

GU
I have no memory of this place.
 
AvObserver
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Thu Jun 10, 2004 6:59 am

Here's an article on the topic from AW&ST...

http://www.aviationnow.com/avnow/news/channel_aviationdaily_story.jsp?id=news/ling06094.xml

CEO Willie Walsh seems quite enthusiastic about the 7E7, despite it still being a 'paper' airplane. He also said it's no problem operating Boeings on long-haul routes, even though Aer Lingus uses Airbuses for short-haul.
 
boeingbus
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Thu Jun 10, 2004 7:47 am

I find it irritating when Airbus centric folks refer the 7E7 as just a mere "paper airplane", and lets wait and see... this is only to discredit Boeing... All I have to say is whether you like it or not the 7E7 is GOING to happen! Just as much as the A380 is going to fly - this will happen.

Let me correct you... Boeing has officialy launched the 7E7 and it's not a paper airplane... it's currently being designed by the latest CATIA virtual software models. Boeing WILL design, build and test every aspect of the 7E7 airplane and its manufacturing processes digitally before production begins.

Cheers!
Airbus or Boeing - it's all good to me!
 
snnams
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Thu Jun 10, 2004 8:04 am

Boeingbus,

No one said it wasnt going to happen, but you must concede that it is still a paper airplane: construction hasnt begun, so the term is accurate. Gearup is correct in saying that EI has a great track record with the 330: this will of course influence their thinking. There is of course no experience yet with the 7E7.

Again, i'm quite sure the 7E7 will happen, and that it's going to be great! Whether EI will go for it though, of course remains to be seen. It must be said though, with a 50 aircraft launch order, it's off to a great start!
 
boeingbus
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Thu Jun 10, 2004 8:36 am

Gearup and other antiBoeing folks on a.net are misplacing or confusing the 7E7 project with prior Being concepts, such as the 747x and the Sonic Cruiser. We all know that is incorrect as the 7E7 is far beyond that.

YES, the A380 has begun construction but it's not complete. So with your definition, the A380 is also somewhat a paper airplane too.

Also, with the EI, they are going for the best price here and performance... the experience they had with Airbus may help but I am sure it comes down to price and capability of the aircraft... the 7E7-8 8500 mile range, I am sure is quite attractive to EI future routes... so we shall wait and see...
Airbus or Boeing - it's all good to me!
 
RyanairA320
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Thu Jun 10, 2004 10:29 am


I believe that the 7E7 and the 777 are very strong competitors and may just be seen in an Aer Lingus livery in the new future.

EI may have gone all airbus with their short-haul lower fares formula but I don't think they want to rely on the one aircraft manufacturer. Thats not health.

I think EI have grown very much accustom to the twinjet era and I think may prefare 7E7/777 over a A340 combination. The 777LR would give EI an incredable range with a sustainable capacity for extremely long-haul asian and australian routes.The 7E7 fits well for the EI demand on most of their US destinations.

The runway length at Dublin is not an issue if the deliveries are not expected until 2008 because by then Aer Rianta(Airport operators) will have completed the new parrallel runway with an extend length for larger more modern aircraft.

So for economics,size and desirability I reckon the 7E7/777 combination wins. All Aer Lingus need now is the right price.

RyanairA320

Ryanair 'The Low Fares Airline' and now also 'The On-time Airline'
 
gearup
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Thu Jun 10, 2004 11:45 am

BoeingBus,

Ahem! I am not anti-Boeing at all my friend. I love Boeing aircraft simply because they are flying machines. Same reason I like airbus. Hey, this extends
to machines like the Shorts Skyvan (ugly brute!) but hey, it flies!! I am really looking forward to seeing lots of 7E7's and indeed whatever Airbus comes up with to relace the A330. Exciting days!

GU
I have no memory of this place.
 
CO737800
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Thu Jun 10, 2004 1:39 pm

Why do they want to get rid of the A330, they cant be that old
 
UTA_flyinghigh
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Thu Jun 10, 2004 3:55 pm

With regards to all that has been said...
Living in Dublin, I seem to hear crazy rumors on EI's new destinations every day. The fact is that we have to wit and see, and let's not forget that stupid SNN stopover as stated by other members.

Why would EI want to replace their 330 's ?
1) They need more aircraft; the more you purchase the best deal you will`be able to get.
2) Their current A330's are very ealy models; there has been engine/cockpit/cabin/avionics./etc... upgrades since then.
retrofitting them to current A330's + painting them would probably not be that cheaper than going for brand-new aircraft.

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As for Dublin operations, runway 10/28 handles SQ's 74F as well as the occasional pax 747/744 (see what happened when LHR was closed).
DL flies in for the summer with 772's so I don't think that runway length is an issue for 343 operations, especially when the currently available version; the A340-300E, has more powerful CFM56-5C4 engines.

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UTA
Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
 
Hamlet69
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Thu Jun 10, 2004 7:34 pm

UTA,

"As for Dublin operations, runway 10/28 handles SQ's 74F as well as the occasional pax 747/744 (see what happened when LHR was closed).
DL flies in for the summer with 772's so I don't think that runway length is an issue for 343 operations, especially when the currently available version; the A340-300E, has more powerful CFM56-5C4 engines.
"

Before I begin, let me first say that I strongly believe that the poor field performance of the A340-300 has been severly overdone here at Airliners.net by people who only want to bash this aircraft. I'm not saying I'm a fan of the A340 (though I do like the A332), but the petty squabbles over its field performance are embarrasing to true enthusiasts.

That said, however, this is one instance where the poor field performance of the A340-300 actually IS a factor. Put quite simply, the A343 needs a longer runway to takeoff with a full load than the other aircraft you mention. With a shorter runway like DUB, this means that the A340 would be weight limited flying the same sector as say a 777-200ER, which has better field performance.
Finally, the new 'Enhanced' A343 does not have more powerful engines. The new CFM56-5C/P has slightly lower fuel consumption and higher temp. margins to decrease maitanence and increase engine life. However, it is still rated at 34,000lbs. thrust, the same as the previous -5C4

Regards,

Hamlet69
Honor the warriors, not the war.
 
snnams
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Thu Jun 10, 2004 9:48 pm

Boeingbus,

I dont disagree with a thing you say there!  Wink/being sarcastic

I think it will be a very close battle between 7E7 and A330/340 on this one!
 
airbus3801
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Fri Jun 11, 2004 1:36 am

Aer Lingus has no market with the 777. The A330 will work just as nicely and possibly better. Aer Lingus also has PTV's installed in their A330's thank you very much Kaitak so what is with the comment about...

Also, the 333s - while fine aircraft, are limited; range considerations make it impossible to equip them with PTVs (not that EI has been in any hurry to do this on its 332s either).

How would "range considerations" effect the matter of putting PTV's in their aircraft?
 
kaitak
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Fri Jun 11, 2004 2:24 am

Airbus 3801, Aer Lingus has PTVs in ONE out of its three A330-200s (EI-DAA) and NONE on its 333s. They should have fitted them to the other two 332s, but cost cutting got the better of that.

The problem with the 333 is that it's already a short legged aircraft and in winter winds, the extra weight would require them to offload pax (or limit their numbers). Remember, the 333 was designed for medium range high density flights, such as those in Asia, not for DUB-ORD and with load factors as high as they are, EI doesn't want to turn business away.
 
snnams
Posts: 279
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Fri Jun 11, 2004 6:48 am

Airbus3801,

Can we please not let this turn into an A. V. B bicker? the 330 has served Aerlingus well, but there may now be a business case for the 777, 7E7. That isnt favoritism against airbus, just an assesment of reality.
 
N79969
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Fri Jun 11, 2004 7:25 am

I also agree with yyz717. Why do such new Airbus airplanes need to be replaced? I would have thought that they have plenty of life in them yet. Definitely past 2008.

More fundamentally I wonder if there is a strong business case for operating non-stop flights between Ireland and Asia considering all the hubs that lie in between: London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and so on. The European airlines with hubs within a few hundred miles east of Dublin could seriously poach passengers from EI's long haul.

 
snnams
Posts: 279
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:29 am

N79969,

The reasons for replacing the 330's have been explained elsewhere, so i'll not go into them again save to say that EI need more planes.

The reason there is a strong business case for asian flights is because we are sick of having to connect at these hubs. The hubs are getting all this traffic anyway because there are no direct services: and believe me they are getting lots of Irish traffic.

EI has always demonstrated it's ability to hold it's own against the big carriers. Witness when Delta came on DUB-JFK: it was they who pulled out post 9/11 and not EI, and before that EI's traffic did not suffer at all.

Also, with EI's new lower cost structure, the carriers operating Via hubs would have a tough job offering fares that were much lower than EI's. You could say "why does EI even have transatlantic flights, or for that matter European ones" when we could just connect at Heathrow? Just because us a.nutters want to take in as many airports and airlines as we can, doesnt mean the rest of the travelling public does  Wink/being sarcastic

If we were to just rely on hubs, there would be no such thing as route development.. not good!

Aer Lingus' CEO is a clever and shrewd business man not prone to doing things that don't offer a handsome return on the investment. If he says the idea can fly, I trust him!
 
N79969
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Fri Jun 11, 2004 12:04 pm

Snnams,

I do not doubt that Irish travelers would prefer non-stop flights to Asia. But is there really sufficient demand to economically justify such service? There has to be a critical mass of business travelers that are willing to pay a premium to avoid a transfer through one of the European hubs on a regular basis.

EI's trans-Atlantic service can be easily distinguished. With the exception of Icelandair, there is no other carrier that has a hub between Ireland and North America. EI could actually charge a premium to Ireland-bound Americans who want to avoid a backhaul leg from the UK or continental Europe.

Hubs between an origin and destination have a competitive advantage. I do not know the exact numbers but I am sure that there is considerable traffic between the US and the Middle East and Africa. However, European carriers are more efficiently able to move people between the US and Africa than are US carriers. And I am certain that most Americans traveling to the Middle East or Africa would prefer to avoid transiting Europe. However the demand is not sufficient to justify year-round (or even seasonal) service to most African and Middle Eastern cities given the European cost advantage.

I certainly prefer direct flights.
 
kaitak
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Fri Jun 11, 2004 1:22 pm

There is certainly sufficient demand at the moment, but once you have a route up and running, once you're marketing it and increasing Ireland's visibility, you have a further advantage. People in Asia are simply not quite as aware of Ireland as of other European destinations. Having a major hub in Asia - and HKG is by far my favourite - allows these pax to transfer through a single hub in Asia, feeding through with CX to EI. They'll also have the advantage of a major "big hitter" like CX, assisting - hopefully codesharing - with building the route.

Obviously, the Australian market is the big one and I think it's fair to say that there are major gains to be made for the first carrier to create a hub for Irish routes. HKG would be a very popular hub for Australian tourists.
 
N79969
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Fri Jun 11, 2004 1:55 pm

"There is certainly sufficient demand at the moment, but once you have a route up and running, once you're marketing it and increasing Ireland's visibility, you have a further advantage. People in Asia are simply not quite as aware of Ireland as of other European destinations."

What are you basing this statement on? (I'm not being argumentative here-just asking)

If the demand already exists as you say, then why haven't Asian carriers which already have airplanes capable for the route entered the Ireland-Asia non-stop market? Surely they know about Ireland (or any other place with lots of people on expense accounts looking for a ride to Asia.) These airlines are highly sophisticated entities and look for every opportunity to make money. In addition to having airplanes capable of the flights and they have the experience to make it work if it were as viable as several people have implied.



[Edited 2004-06-11 07:02:08]

[Edited 2004-06-11 07:19:08]
 
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RayChuang
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Fri Jun 11, 2004 4:18 pm

If there is any airline that could convince Airbus to build a Higher Gross Weight (HGW) version of the A330-300, it's EI. That could allow EI to fly from SNN/DUB all the way to SFO year-round safely with this upgraded A333.  Smile

But I think what will happen is that EI will get a great deal from Airbus for new-build A330-200/300 models to be delivered from late 2005 on instead.
 
CarbHeatIn
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Fri Jun 11, 2004 6:50 pm

Surely they know about Ireland (or any other place with lots of people on expense accounts looking for a ride to Asia.)

Hi N79969,
In the last decade EI has moved away from the traditional strategy of focusing on high yield business traffic(and the associated costs of providing such a product) towards a strategy of low costs, low fares and high load factors. Unlike the large hub serving network carriers which offer two premium cabins containing nearlly 100 premium seats, EI has just the one relatively small premium cabin. So in real terms, for EI to get a 75% load factor in the premium cabin, the actual number of passengers it boards is quite low vis-a-vis a 75% load factor on a BA 744 or 772, for example.

But, as I said, EI's predominant strategy appears to be one of low fares/high loads as evidenced by US operations over the last number of years. Initially such a strategy is reliant on high demand. I believe the numbers are there. 60000 Irish people visit Australia every year (only the UK provide more visitors I believe); not to mention the traffic in the other direction. So on its own, Australia traffic would warrant an Asia flight. Now just add in the ever increasing Asian market in both directions.

AY, a comparable carrier to EI (Finland similar population and peripheral location geographically) operates quite succesfully to a number of Asian gateways.
 
mlsrar
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Fri Jun 11, 2004 11:20 pm

Hence the shuttle service from DUB-SNN on a fully loaded EI 330 whereby everyone deplanes for security and immigration before reboarding for the US, wasting time and fuel all round.

I did not have to do this 4 weeks ago. There was just a security in spection. Passengers originating in SNN did not have to deplane.

Incidentally, in my three trips to Ireland, '97, '99, and '04, have all been on EI-ORD. It is showing its age.

Provided they're willing to take the financial risk of a newer long-haul fleet, I would much prefer to see the 7E7 in EI colors. Commonality be-damned, I would be curious to see how much overlap there is between the crews of their long-haul and short-haul operation. If it is minimal, the case for the 7E7 grows even stronger.
I mean, for the right price I’ll fight a lion. - Mike Tyson
 
kaitak
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Sat Jun 12, 2004 2:03 am

It is minimal; A320/321 crews don't fly the 330s. It does, of course, make things very easy when A330 FOs gain command on A320s or A320 captains move to the A330, but without in any way wishing to understate the differences between them, both are Glass cockpit types and both will have an element of FBW. It will undoubtedly be more expensive to transfer between the short and long haul fleets, but that's just ONE factor.

The crucial question is, does this aircraft do the job its acquired to do? Both can, so you then come to which does it better and which manufacturer can offer the better package. A useful test of this is which of the two manufacturers will be best able to accommodate EI's imminent capacity growth requirements as a result of the EU/US Open Skies, if (as I hope - and today's announcement was a bit of a disappointment) it goes through. If Boeing wants the deal, this is a very good opportunity to make sure it is seen to be EI's best growth partner and facilitator.
 
mlsrar
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Sat Jun 12, 2004 2:37 am

If the current crew-scheduling provisions do not accomodate the overlapping duty-rosters of short and long haul flight crews, the cockpit commonality becomes a wash.

Ireland's membership in the EU certainly will heavily influence their decision.

Long live Kinsale Lager!
I mean, for the right price I’ll fight a lion. - Mike Tyson
 
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Sat Jun 12, 2004 3:32 am

If there is any airline that could convince Airbus to build a Higher Gross Weight (HGW) version of the A330-300, it's EI.

There already is one...its called the A340-300
 
N79969
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Sat Jun 12, 2004 3:40 am

CarbHeatIn,

Thanks for the reply. It has prompted another question though. The low cost, low fare, high-load factor model is proven for the short haul but not the long haul. The economics of long haul flying are different for a variety of reasons. To the best of my knowledge, no LCC has made a go for very long distance routes successfully. For EI to compete as a LCC to Asia, it still is at a disadvantage because of BA, LH, AF, KL, VS, and so on. If EI target customers value low fares above covenience, then it will be difficult. The carriers I list above can easily siphon customers away from EI. Long and relatively thin routes are not usually fallow ground for low cost airlines.

Your Finnair example is interesting though. I did not think of it.

As I asked earlier, why do you think Asian carriers have not began service to Ireland if the market so lucrative and waiting to be tapped?

I disagree that Irish travel to Australia and vice versa would alone justify an Asian flight. There are so many hubs that lie in between Australia and Ireland that could more efficiently consolidate traffic in both directions and connect them more efficiently.

On flight lasting 10-12 hours long, the appeal of LCC diminishes from the passengers' perspective as well.
 
kaitak
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Sat Jun 12, 2004 4:18 am

I agree with what you say about being a long haul low cost carrier; it just doesn't work. It has been a concern to me that EI hasn't raised the standard of its product; it's basically a good product, but has not received investment. As discussed earlier in the thread, this is partly because of the A330-300s not being able to take the extra weight without incurring serious capacity constraints and (as regards the 332) just penny-pinching. Sure, if they want to be that kind of airline, that's fine, but it's not going to get them very far, particularly in Asia.

EI needs to realise that when it's competing in Asia, which it will do at some stage, it's in a whole new ball game. Competing against US carriers, they only need to be nice to pax and they're ahead of most of them; in Asia, you're dealing with the big hitters - SIA, Malaysia, Thai, PAL, Cathay, JAL etc - all very fine airlines.

Look at it from another viewpoint; if I have GBP450 (approx $800), I'll go with a cheap carrier. I flew to Japan with Lufthansa - a very good airline, let me say, BUT if I had GBP600-700, I'd fly Cathay. They're good, so they can command a better price and therefore better yields; they're good because they invest.

If we're going to develop a route, it needs to be done right. If EI don't do that, we'll get someone who will - EK, for example.

Now to your others points; the numbers. There are about 60k Irish to Aussie alone, around 150-180k inbound from Australia and about 60k from other parts of Asia. That's without a direct link and without anyone having an incentive to market us in this hugely important region. A direct link incentivises a carrier to market and increasing the visibility of a new destination; that's why we need a big hitter. There's a correlation between airline quality and marketing power. If you're a second rater (or worse), who cares what destinations you market, but if you're SQ, CX or EK, it makes a difference and that's why quality counts too.

I don't want to be disloyal to EI; after all, I've fought for the ending of this crazy stopover for many years and I understand their need to go low cost on short haul, BUT if they are going to go into Asia, they'll damned well do it right or we'll get someone who will. The type of plane doesn't matter, if the will isn't there. How much fun are Air China's 777s to fly in? Better than CX's A340s? Of course not. Thus, if EI wants to be a respected airline and command high yields, it needs to invest and perhaps the best way of getting the latest IFE (a very important part of a flight if you're going long haul) is to get it fitted to the new aircraft. Maybe Boeing can be persuaded to do this.

As a final note, EI's expansion on t/a routes is a challenge to the two big manufacturers to make sure they're seen as partners in EI's growth and that may mean bending over backwards to provide the aircraft to help them grow.
 
snnams
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Sat Jun 12, 2004 7:11 am

Kaitak,

Words of wisdom as always!

I would dispute N79969's assertion that low cost, long haul hs not been proven. I think EI have doen that to an extent. I do agree the product could do with a brush up for Asia, but I think Willie Walsh knows that. Low cost does not have to mean crap product anymore: witness Jet blue and Song. I'm sure that with a few other costs being juggled, EI could offer a good product on long haul and still keep fares low.
 
N79969
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Sat Jun 12, 2004 12:59 pm

"I would dispute N79969's assertion that low cost, long haul hs not been proven. I think EI have doen that to an extent."

Where has EI or any other carrier proven the viability of low cost, long haul flying?

Flights lasting 5 or 6 hours are a considerably different from flights last 12-14 hours in terms of flight crew rest requirements and aircraft scheduling.

Also does anyone have answer to my question in reply 37? The question basically if the demand is so promising for non-stop flights between Ireland and Asia then why hasn't an Asian carrier began service? See reply 37 for more details of the reasoning.

[Edited 2004-06-12 06:04:52]
 
Tracks
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Sun Jun 13, 2004 5:00 am

EI flies to LAX 10 - 11 hours. They have proven the lowcost model on that route. They'd launch SFO tomorrow if they could and would no doubt make that route an instant success. They'd have launched CPT had the crew issues been resolved - that is close to 12 hours. HKG, SIN, BKK or KUL from Dublin are not significantly longer.

As for demand it is unlikely that EI would begin with daily service. They fly to BWI and LAX 3-5 days a week depending on season. They used to fly to ORD only 6 days a week. There is little doubt that a 7E7 or A332 flying 5 days a week would get sufficiently high loads and yields to make a profit. Furthermore as has been previously stated once the news gets out that an airline is flying a route its popularity increases.

There is undoubtedly sufficient traffic between Ireland and Asia/Australia. The proof? The huge amount of one year work visas granted to Irish persons traveling to Australia and New Zealand and vice versa. In addition there are 60,000 Chinese people living in Ireland, a vast majority of whom are on temporary student and working visas. Then there are the huge number of Irish backpackers visiting Thailand and Malaysia.

If EI installs decent IFE in their new aircraft and gives at least adequate legroom they will sell seats and make it a success. The marketing in Ireland alone would result in Irish people traveling to Asia who previously would not have considered doing so. Connecting in Heathrow is a headache for Irish travelers ; given the choice of a direct flight at a competitive price it would be a no brainer. The only significant stumbling block would be maintaining low fares with the connecting flights. Difficult on QF, MH or CX.
 
snnams
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RE: Aer Lingus Goes Shopping!

Sun Jun 13, 2004 5:42 am

N79969,

EK have been on about starting a DUB service for some time now.. so EI are not the only ones. Also, I really dont mean to sound crass here, but several Irish contributors have told you why there is demand. I mean absolutely no offence to you in saying this, but perhaps you should listen to us. I think we are in a slightly better position to comment on this by virtue of the simple fact that we live here and have more facts to hand about the matter.

You cant argue against the figures that have been presented to you. Might I ask why you think there is no market? If you can present proof equal to what we have offered, then we will be more than willing to listen.  Wink/being sarcastic