BWIA 772
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Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Fri Jun 18, 2004 2:10 pm

How come we havent seen a low cost carrier that just deals with long haul routes. What is so different that we cant see airlines lets say that only offer trans-atlantic flights to the USA from UK or continental Europe or vice versa?
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mariner
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Fri Jun 18, 2004 2:22 pm

The Qantas subsidiary, Australian Airlines, is all long haul, and I think it's supposed to be a Low Cost Carrier:

http://www.australianairlines.com.au/aahome.html

cheers

mariner
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Southamerica
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Fri Jun 18, 2004 2:24 pm

How come we havent seen a low cost carrier that just deals with long haul routes.

****cough***Air Madrid****cough  Big grin


SOUTHAMERICA
 
masseybrown
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Fri Jun 18, 2004 2:28 pm

Tower Air tried it out of JFK, but failed. I think they went to Paris, Tel Aviv, and San Juan, PR among other places. One of my kids took it to Paris and said it was ok, but really crowded.

Not sure why they failed, but I think they were perpetually undercapitalized.
 
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VirginFlyer
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Fri Jun 18, 2004 4:09 pm

Mariner - Australian Airlines is not supposed to be a low cost carrier like Virgin Blue, Southwest or Ryanair, but rather a full service all economy airline, with a lower cost base than Qantas.

There have been a number of airlines which have tried running a transatlantic LCC. The two which stick out in my mind both predate the current LCC craze by a good 15-20 years:

Laker Skytrain


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Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.
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Photo © Howard Chaloner



PEOPLExpress


View Large View Medium

Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.
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Photo © Robert M. Campbell



Both of them ran into financial difficulties - Laker going into receivership and being liquidated, while PEOPLExpress was bought out by Texas International and merged into Continental.

The problem with applying the LCC model as demonstrated by DJ, FR, WN etc to a long haul operation is that one of the big ways in which these airlines keeps costs down is by having their aircraft in the air as much as possible, with quick turnarounds. This formula becomes more difficult to apply as you get longer sector lengths. Having to deal with immigration and customs can also increase time spent on the ground. That's not to say a long haul LCC couldn't work, but it would be somewhat more difficult than a short haul one...

V/F

[Edited 2004-06-18 09:36:05]
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Alessandro
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Fri Jun 18, 2004 4:17 pm

In Europe Ryanair is the only one that have the financial muscle to do that,
I suggested an Shannon-Boston route on another forum but it was not likely?

From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
BWIA 772
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Fri Jun 18, 2004 4:36 pm

So does anyone think that a Jet Blue based concept could work for a long haul low cost carrier??
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richardw
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Fri Jun 18, 2004 5:02 pm

Maybe if you could get a minimum of 4 sectors per 24 hour period, but then it would be Medium to Long haul, and you didn't have the Saturday night stay rule, and a B767 with 2-4-2.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Fri Jun 18, 2004 5:07 pm

B767 with 2-4-2 ? Only European charter carriers have been able to get away with that - nobody will pay good money for a scheduled service with that level of discomfort, I'm sorry.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
keno
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Fri Jun 18, 2004 5:10 pm

Backpackers Express will soon fly from Manchester & Munich to Australia.
 
richardw
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Fri Jun 18, 2004 5:15 pm

B767 with 2-4-2 may be needed for it to work!
 
antares
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Fri Jun 18, 2004 5:41 pm

The day of a 'RyanAtlantic' type of operation is probably fast approaching.

Give me a 777 with 9 abreast seating , a 32 inch seat pitch, good audio-video on demand, and a choice of decent food and drink to buy, and I'd fly that non-stop from Sydney to LAX any day rather than the punishment given to economy class travellers on Qantas and United at the moment.
 
richardw
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Fri Jun 18, 2004 7:42 pm

Is it a case of better food would improve your flight experience, Antares?
 
srbrenna
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Fri Jun 18, 2004 7:57 pm

You're all forgetting that while short haul is easy - there is cabotage within EU countries and the US domestic market is huge - long haul is still regulated by loads of treaties, the most restrictive being Bermuda II. Until this aspect is sorted out I can't see it happening in the short term.

Looking at it economically I can't see too many problems if they have the right aircraft (7E7 if the running costs are low and the cattle truck A380)
 
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ERJ170
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Fri Jun 18, 2004 8:03 pm

Rivierajet is supposed to be doing just that market...

http://www.rivierajet.com/main.html

Supposed to start 2004 but who knows...
Aiming High and going far..
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Fri Jun 18, 2004 8:14 pm

Rivierajet - finally an airline that wants to fly to Nice direct from the US. Shame its just another paper airline.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
luv2fly
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Fri Jun 18, 2004 10:09 pm

The one thing to remember about the difference between LCC's and a long haul is this. The frequent flyers are willing to give up 1.000 miles to save a few bucks here and there, now 3.000 miles one way, well that is a whole different story. That is where the fight will be. Also keep in mind that if your a long haul LCC's and that is what your focus is going to be, where is the feed to fill your flights? And if you need to buy a flight to make your flight, where is the savings?
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
richardw
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 12:40 am

But if you mainly fly low cost you haven't earnt many miles to give up!

Also if you fly at the lowest fares on full service airlines you don't earn many miles.

If a business person does not want to stay a Saturday night and they can fly low cost for £248 return instead of full service £398 return, saving £150, then they will want to make the saving.
 
Corsair2
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 12:49 am

A low cost long haul? No in-flight entertainment, no meals, high density 3-4-3 seating. Sound like a model a low cost carrier would put forth and lure unsuspecting travelers with.
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northseatiger
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 12:54 am

is'nt there one which flyus from glasgow to canada and the us for £115 return ??, started by an ex pat business man ?? or did it go belly up, they were going to use 767's
T's And P's look good....Rotate
 
richardw
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 12:58 am

 
aa757first
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 1:00 am

Not sure why they failed, but I think they were perpetually undercapitalized.

That and the planes were held together by duct tape.

A low cost long haul? No in-flight entertainment, no meals, high density 3-4-3 seating. Sound like a model a low cost carrier would put forth and lure unsuspecting travelers with.

A long haul LCC would have to be different than the domestic LCCs. IFE? Maybe not PTVs, but drop down monitors. LH doesn't have PTVs. Plus, now the airline can make money on headphone sales. Meals? On a USA to Europe flight, for dinner how about something like this?



And for breakfast:



I think it could work.

AAndrew
 
COTXDFW777AA
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 1:10 am

Well all you have to do is look at Virgin Atlantic...............
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JGPH1A
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 1:11 am

Virgin Atlantic - low cost ? You're having a larf ! Maybe back when it started, but not so much of the low cost these days - same price as everyone else.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
vatveng
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 3:09 am

Is Icelandair considered LCC?
 
CKT523
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 3:54 am

Good god.All this talk of meals and IFE, if you cant go for 8 hours without an airline meal you shouldn't be out of the house let alone flying! If I was given the choice of flying BA for £300 + rtn to JFK from MAN or a LCC flying to EWR or something for £200 rtn I know which I would take! Take a picnic! Thats what most families do anyway if you're flying, that way if you're delayed you haven't got to pay stupid prices at the airport for refreshment! And the issue of IFE, well, ever heard or a book? People get way too bogged down with all this crap, its a plane, it flies, it lands.End of. If you're willing to pay an extra £100/£200 for a film and a luke warm mass produced meal you have more money than sense! Oh and with the issue of a 2-4-2 layout on the 767, BY operate them on charter flight over the pond all the time, and its really not that bad, especially considering how long you're actually on the plane for. again not an issue, unless you have too much money!!!
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 4:59 am

2-4-2 layout on a 767 is borderline criminal, they only reason BY got away with it so long is their pax were a pretty isolated market that only flew on charters and seldom flew on proper airlines. For any normal size person, such a layout must present significant discomfort, especially for the length of time it takes to cross the Atlantic. Any carrier offering that would not get my business.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
boysteve
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 8:04 am

Book in Advance and there is no need to turn to an intercontinental LCC. Last year I flew Aer Lingus MAN-DUB-LAX and return for £289 booked 6 months in advance. The previous year it was MAN-JFK with BA for £199 return. I take exception to CKT523's comments about some Pax having more money than sense. I would prefer to pay a certain amount extra to fly on airline that;
-uses centrally located airports over near by regional ones
-gives a selection of IFE and complimentary food and drink
-gives greater baggage weight allowances so you avoid excess charges
-has greater back up and security when things go wrong

The last 2 points don't seem to have been mentioned in this thread so far (apologies to any posts I have missed) but I believe you get what you pay for. Many LCC don't link sectors but treat them as seperate bookings. If your initial flight is delayed you are treated as if you haven't turned up for your connecting flight, not compensated. Most of us have car insurance, home insurance etc for unexpected events. Flying scheduled airlines over LCC can be the same priciple in some circumstances.

Incase anyone thinks I am knocking LCC then think again, I have flown Ryanair and also AirAsia several times and enjoyed it. I think they both have their place in the market but sometimes the differential between an LCC and BA (for example) isn't worth it. More money than sense? I think not CKT523
 
baw2198
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 9:03 am

Give me a 777 3-3-3 seating with 34-35 inch pitch in seat comfort (if its all economy why not make it comfortable for everybody and set the example for the legacy carriers that economy does not have to be "cattle class" packed. Guarenteed that you would steal a lot of the transatlantic traffic then.

Baw2198
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antares
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 9:29 am

I think RichardW and Baw2198 are on the right track on this. But it is more than better food.

At the moment I can buy better food on Virgin Blue the Aussie LCC than the insulting stuff i get given included in the fare on Qantas. But only lately. For a long time the Virgin Blue offering was awful. The other day however I had a $5.50 breakfast Canberra to Brisbane that was damn good, and included paper towels to clean my hands etc, a real gripe with some of the Qantas stuff.

The appeal of a single cabin long haul flight (done well) is that you don't feel like a third class citizen, a speciality on Qantas flights I have done in the last year (and please guys and girls, I also think Qantas is a remarkably good airline...only not all of the time).

The FFPs really don't matter anymore. These programs are such a fraud. I've got a mountain of QF points that I have trouble redeeming. I'm competing against the millions of points they sell to people who don't even fly Qantas, like home buyers and margin traders. Go to the website and you'll find out how to get unbelievable amounts of poiunts by having a margin trading account with a minimum balance of $100,000.

So when push comes to shove, price, courtesy, value and legroom (as in 32 inches not 29 inches) are going to work for me and i suspect lots of other long haul travellers.

Qantas subsidiary Australian is a step in the right direction. I'm sorry to hear rumours they are going to switch the A330-200s now on QF domestic to Australian and bring back the 767-300ERs, becasuse the 767 like the 777 does have a better economy seat in 2-3-2 than you find on a 737, 757, A330/340 in 2-4-2.

I think Air NZ will do well with its 777-200s due from next year, as my personal experience is that their attitude and cabin service and catering are better than QF despite the current aged interiors, and if they bring them to Australia by reviving their cancelled non-stops Sydney-LAX they would make it quite hard for a long haul LCC to muscle in on that market never mind what they will do to Qantas, and United, if we still have a United by then.

There is also another factor which may work for long haul LCCs. If they use offer a reasonably fast internet seat connection like Connexion the way people fly long distances and their expectations of the airline will change. I might arrive tired at LAX, but i won't be in the same rush to spend an hour on the net in the hotel doing mail and catching up on news, stock prices and so on, so I'll be that little bit less concerned that i may not have dozed off as wel;l as is possible in business class.

 
elwood64151
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 10:18 am

Actually, if a LCC has the support of a regional low-cost network to support the trans-atlantic/pacific/south american routes (I'm assuming a US-based LCC), then it's possible that it oculd operate profitably.

In other words, if they operated 762s or A332s ORD-JFK-LHR, with 737/A320s operating PIT-JFK-ATL, I think this could work. On the one hand, the regional network would support the long-haul operations of the airline, while the long-haul network itself would operate more efficiently by operating its long-haul aircraft on more flight segments per day.

Wait, this sounds an awful lot like a legacy carrier with lower costs...

737/A32X routes (from JFK or equivalent):
PIT, CVG, CLE, ATL, BNA, BOS, IAD, DCA, BWI, BUF, IND, STL, ORF, RDU, FLL, MCO, TPA, CLT, MSP, ORD, MIA, DEN, LAX, SFO, SEA, DTW, SLC, LAS, PHX, MCI, MKE, SYR, ROC, ABY, BBF, SDF, CMH, MEM

762/A332 routes:
BOS-LHR
ORD-JFK-LHR
MIA-JFK-MAD
DEN-JFK-AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA
LAX-JFK-FCO
SFO-JFK-CDG
DTW-JFK-LHR
IAH-JFK-CDG
DFW-JFK-SVO

Just some thoughts...
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
transtar01
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 10:19 am

A new long haul LCC on the horizon. Keep an eye open for Primarus. Headquartered in LAS, plan on long haul domestic and international in a First Class environment. Boeing 757s.

Check out their website [www.primarusair.com].
 
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ERJ170
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 10:24 am

Dont forget....

(The Biotech/Pharma Shuttles)
SAN-RDU-Frankfurt
LAX-RDU-CDG
SFO-RDU-AMS

They could work! Maybe.. perhaps...
Aiming High and going far..
 
masseybrown
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 3:59 pm

Elwood, your model looks like Panam at some point late in its life. The trouble is the non-New York part of the country hated flying through JFK.

Give me those regional hubs.
 
expressjetphx
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 4:16 pm

The problem with the long-haul LCC is not only the food and entertainment factor, but also the premium-class passengers. Even legacy carriers cannot sustain a route with a full economy cabin and no business/first passengers. Just ask Lufthansa. They dropped the AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA-PHX route after a few years, because although the economy cabin was full, they couldn't make money because of the lack of premium class passengers. Economy passengers are always looking for a bargain, and even if the LCC sells the plane full, they will still probably not make a profit, because of the IFE and food service they have to offer on long-haul flights, not to mention the extra flight crew, the revenue generated from sales does not match up to the expenses.

Personally, I think a one-class moderately-priced Business product would be more attractive, because it caters to premium-paying businesses, and allows businesspeople the rest and resources they need for an efficient trip. Keep in mind the business travel market between the U.S. and Europe is huge, and businesses aren't usually looking for the bargains in economy. They want their employees to arrive relaxed and ready for a productive trip. A moderately-priced product would be attractive because it would provide all of the required resources for lower than the legacy business class fare.

Just my $0.02
 
hnl-jack
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 4:51 pm

Perhaps the issue is not low cost, but low overhead. Existing long haul wide-body carriers are generally layered in unions, years of expensive pension programs and massive overhead. In order to maintain somewhat reasonable airfares in the future, new "low overhead" long haul carriers will probably enter the scene. They'll fly new fuel efficent aircraft such as the 7e7, with one-class comfortable seating, entertainment and meals for purchase. They'll likely subcontract many of the services such as maintenance and gound services, only paying for the time spent servicing the aircraft.


 
snnams
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 9:43 pm

I think we will soon see an attempt at low cost long haul, but there are some carriers who have lowered fares on long haul through cutting costs accross their business, eg Aer Lingus. A Ryanair type long haul op would not work IMHO: People want to be fed and entertained on that kind of service and the Infrastructural difficulties (eg turnaround times, aircraft utilisation etc) would probably not allow it anyway.

I dont think we'll see EUR 4.99 ryanair type airfares across the atlantic, but around EUR 99, as EI offer during winter on their transatlatic routes is perhaps the best we can hope for. In winter, you don't need to book six months in advance either. If you're flexible, it can be had right up to day before departure: I got a deal like this myself last year.

As the lines become ever more blurred between Full service and LCC's anyway, I think the chances for success for such a venture become ever more obscure. The clever airlines have realised that and cut cost and lowered fares on the long hauls just to ensure it doesnt happen.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 10:24 pm

VS did start out serving LGW-EWR as a 'discount' carrier, offering more seats at the cheapest fares with little notice, including 'standby'/same day flight filler fares. I took VS in 1987, when they were still a 'discount' carrier. I took PeopleExpress in 1985 EWR-BRU-EWR and the service was quite good.
There are several problems with LLC's operating US/Europe, US/Asia for a number of reasons including:
- lack of interairline connections/transfers
- lack of frequency - what happens if the one flight a day is out due to mechanial reasons and cannot transfer to another airline? This was one reason PeopleExpress failed.
- compeition by majors advertising cheap fares with advance purchase, espeically at off-peak times
- as noted above, the many agreements to protect national airlines and keep fares high
- lack of slot space at preferred airports (LHR, EWR)
- security costs that affect all airlines
- the high costs to get qualified pilots

There is still a chance however for an moderate fare intercontintial airline to exist - look at Iceland which expoits loopholes to offer sometimes cheap fares.
- Many LLC's use the web almost exclusively to sell their seats all over the world.
- Management of pricing of seats is easier and cheaper to do now.
- If an airline operated from the midwest USA and most of Europe, you are still get 16-17 hours of aircraft in flight service a day.
- Make it clear up front, you are not going to get personal video or free food or drinks.
- Serve secondary to secondary airports where have slots avalable (like a PHL and Stansted). Some of these secondary airports may be ones where LLC's operate (WN at PHL, EasyJet, Ryanair at Stansted)
- Use efficient aircraft - like 757's instead of 747's
- Push for reduced fees at many airports - Especially in UK, Europe. Many of these airports are adding huge amounts to the fares in fees - sometimes over $100/ Euro 100 on a round trip, even for the cheapest fares.
- Outsource ticket sales, maintenance, other major costs
- Sell at reasonable prices, even at peak flying times - like $499 r/t including fees during the peak summer days US/UK.
While it may be difficult, with good management, a clear business plan and some luck, a moderate price airline, not necessarly an LLC, could work.
 
Horus
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RE: Could A Low Cost Long Haul Airline Work?

Sat Jun 19, 2004 10:52 pm

Isn't Lufthansa starting a new low cost long-haul arm to their operations?



Is Icelandair considered LCC?

Have you seen their prices?
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