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West Europe-East Med Services (Euro Vs. Int'l)

Fri Feb 25, 2005 7:33 pm

Sprouting on the Lufthansa widebody European domestic topic, I'm wondering why there are such differences between airlines on services between the West of Europe and the East Mediterranean destinations that are all 4-5 hrs flying time from one another.


Some will treat you as cattle on a red-eye flight in a narrow body aircraft of any kind while others will give you all the bells and whistles of a true longhaul experience generally aboard a widebody aircraft usually used for much longer services. Some applying different policies to different destinations with a similar distance e.g. LH ops 343, 744 or the like to TLV but ops European 319, 320, 321 or 300 to BEY. Another example is AF's service to BEY with 332, 772 or 744 against European 320 to TLV.

All this at relatively similar (high) prices. High compared to transatlantic or longer East bound services e.g. to the Gulf region.

Any details on the reasons for these discriminations? Any special thoughts, remarks or outcries? You input is appreciated.
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RE: West Europe-East Med Services (Euro Vs. Int'l)

Fri Feb 25, 2005 7:41 pm

Much will depend on the demand and the average passenger profile on the route. TLV will see some big aircraft with larger premium cabins to serve what can be a very wealthy market. Others may see a much lower demand and lower yield passenger - hence using a narrowbody with less premium seats.

Remember France has very significant cultural/historical/business links with Lebanon, and less so with Israel. For germany the opposite case applies.
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RE: West Europe-East Med Services (Euro Vs. Int'l)

Fri Feb 25, 2005 10:26 pm

For a long time, most of the airlines serving the region operated wide body aircrafts, they had the range but were too large.
For example, SYRIANAIR use to operate its 747SP on such routes as DAM-MUC-LHR or DAM-ORY-LHR etc..
ALIA used to operate its L1011 on AMM-ATH-MAD-CMN , and too various destinations such as ORY, LHR, FRA, AMS, VIE.
As for TLV most of European Airlines use to operate their A300 (AF, AZ), A310 (LH) on these routes.
However, in the last decade the commercial aviation scenery changed drastically. Most European airlines became hub operators ,and therefore, early morning and late evening waves were sent to these countries and on the other hand ,technologically, narrow body aircraft had the range necessary to operate these sectors (mainly A320 and 737NGs). Shall I remind you that BA serves BEY with an A320 , LH (with A320/321) etc.. and consequently large aircrafts were not needed any more only to places where widebodies could sustain the route for ex : BEY-CDG due to the large number of exaptriates living there, the alliance between Af and ME . Do not forget that none of the regions' airlines are a member of an alliance or have narrow relations with an alliance except for ME and RJ.
Another point also to consider is the economies and the political situation of these countries :
Israel , the continuing political upheaval does not serve the economic interests of the country.
Syria : one of the poorest countries in the region
Lebanon : trying to overcome 15+ years of civil war and Jordan suffering from both the Palestine-Isreali and Iraqi conflicts .
The only exception is CAI which is well served by widebody aircrafts (due to the history- geographic location of the city, and the main point of entry for tourists).
Red eyed flight are only there to offer convenient correspondance to feed their North /South America routes (mainly) where a huge diaspora of arab people live .
Extremely high prices, you bet, it cost me more to fly to BEY (on either ME or OA) rather to LHR or CDG (with BA and AF), because of lack of competition (only ME and OA on that route), extremely thin route for O & D passengers.
True most flights from ATH to BEY either by ME or OA are full mostly with expatriates connecting to BEY from ATH (DL flights feeds ME) whereas 0 & D does not exceed 10-15 passengers per flight (except for the busy summer months).
Hope I have answered some queries you had
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RE: West Europe-East Med Services (Euro Vs. Int'l)

Sat Feb 26, 2005 12:19 am

ODAFZ, thanks for the input.

Basically I think I should shift the focus away from narrow against wide-body and zoom in on the service level difference you get with a same airline when flying to destinations at similar flying distances. Indeed today's narrow-bodies allow for economical routes that were before only within reach of larger aircraft.
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