rootsair
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Netherland Antilles:a True Potential KLM Hub?

Tue Jun 21, 2005 3:46 pm

As many of you know, KLM has many of its South and formerly Central American flights stopping over at either Aruba, Cur�ao or Bonaire. In recent years they have withdrawn a considerable amount of flights to Central and South America and downgraded these to Martinair (after having seen the service in Martinair I can only say this). KLM could continue flying to those destinations profitably if they would base 737's in any of the 3 NL antilles airports, using the same principle IB used in MIA. This would be excellent and and for example could give IB good competition to improve their service !

Has such a solution ever been thought of ?
A man without the knowledge of his past history,culture and origins is like a tree without roots
 
keno
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RE: Netherland Antilles:a True Potential KLM Hub?

Tue Jun 21, 2005 6:04 pm

Quoting RootsAir (Thread starter):
if they would base 737's in any of the 3 NL antilles airports, using the same principle IB used in MIA.

The main difference between IB and your proposal of a hub in the Antilles is, as in the case of IB there are enough both O&D and connecting traffic between Central America & MIA, and Spain & MIA to justify such a hub. The same goes for NW's hub in NRT where the traffic is strong on both sides of the Pacific. Another example would be AR/A7 'feeder' service via MAD. An airline can't just rely on the connecting traffic to make a hub successful (with the exception of US domestic market). I doubt there are high enough demand between the Antilles and Central America.

There was a thread earlier which proposed a BA hub in Bermuda. There is a strong demand between the US & Bermuda, but the same cannot be said for Bermuda-Europe. Even LHR don't even get a daily service in contrast to NYC which gets about 4 daily.

Just my 2 cents anyway...

[Edited 2005-06-21 11:20:02]
 
Joost
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RE: Netherland Antilles:a True Potential KLM Hub?

Tue Jun 21, 2005 6:29 pm

Well, the (vacation) flights from the Netherlands to the Caribean are just low-yielding. On the Antilles there is some business traffic, but to all the vacation resort, there are just holiday people. People that don't feel like spending hundreds of euro's more for service. And if there are people that really want to fly business class; well, let them go to IB.

Not everyone in the world wants to pay more for service.
 
2travel2know
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RE: Netherlands Antilles:a True Potential KLM Hub?

Tue Jun 21, 2005 11:32 pm

Quoting KEno (Reply 1):
An airline can't just rely on the connecting traffic to make a hub successful

COPA Airlines and Icelandic are just exceptions to this rule.

A KL hub in CUR or AUA would work if KL was to operate up to twice daily widebody CUR/AUA - AMS service and up to daily flights with F70/F100, E170/190, MD80's or B737's from there to CCS, MAR, BOG, MDE/CLO, PTY, SJO, MGA, SDQ, GYE/UIO, LIM and maybe POS, KIN/MBJ, PAP, HAV too.
There's a demand for AUA/CUR flights from several Centralamerican, Southamerican and Caribbean cities which is not necessarily leisure travel.
Now, if KL was allowed to operate CUR/AUA-MAD/LON-CUR/AUA, NYC, MIA (!) too, that'll really make the hub work.

I often wonder why AF doesn't have a hub in either PTP or FDM, unlike KL which has only European origin city - AMS, AF could have flights from CDG, ORY, NCE, LYS, MRS and other major French (or even EU) cities to the island hub.
What I'm sure is that the demand for Centralamerica/Southamerica - FDM/PTP flights is much smaller than for AUA/CUR services.

[Edited 2005-06-21 16:35:10]
I don't work for COPA Airlines!
 
Elagabal
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RE: Netherland Antilles:a True Potential KLM Hub?

Tue Jun 21, 2005 11:45 pm

Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 3):
I often wonder why AF doesn't have a hub in either PTP or FDM, unlike KL which has only European origin city - AMS, AF could have flights from CDG, ORY, NCE, LYS, MRS and other major French (or even EU) cities to the island hub.

Perhaps because it doesn't pay?  sarcastic 

Seasonal charters (Aéropostale and others) work from LYS to RUN and *occasionally* PTP et. al., but the yields absolutely won't suit for regular or even daily charter flights. Yields CDG to these destinations are already quite low.

Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 3):
A KL hub in CUR or AUA would work if KL was to operate up to twice daily widebody CUR/AUA - AMS service and up to daily flights with F70/F100, E170/190, MD80's or B737's from there to CCS, BOG, MDE/CLO, PTY, SJO, MGA, SDQ, GYE/UIO, LIM and maybe POS, KIN/MBJ, PAP, HAV too.
There's a demand for AUA/CUR flights from several Centralamerican, Southamerican and Caribbean cities which is not necessarily leisure travel.
Now, if KL was allowed to operate CUR/AUA-MAD/LON-CUR/AUA they'll really make that hub work.

Lottery fantasy, lottery fantasy... The LON connection especially is a fun alternative to KLM's stuffing all their money in a shoebox and hurling it off a cliff.

I can see certain of these destinations working (PTY), but even they would be a risk. Yes, there are wealthy individuals who might be interested in the banking facilities, but the private air networks in this region would provide hefty competition for people rich enough to want total flexibility in scheduling (which they often do). And isn't LIM already served from AUA by KLM?

Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 3):
COPA Airlines and Icelandic are just exceptions to this rule.

Indeed they are. And, like most exceptions, they're rare.

Panama and Iceland are blessed by their geography, with positions exactly in between Everywhere and Everywhere Else. This makes connections uncharacteristically cheap, and routes uncharacteristically short and fuel-efficient. (Same story with Finland and AY.) The Netherlands Antilles are not so fortunate.
 
kl911
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RE: Netherland Antilles:a True Potential KLM Hub?

Tue Jun 21, 2005 11:59 pm

Quoting Elagabal (Reply 4):
And isn't LIM already served from AUA by KLM?

Nope, the flights go via BON.

KL911
 
globetrekker
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RE: Netherland Antilles:a True Potential KLM Hub?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 12:02 am

Flight to the Dutch Caribbean are very low yielding. Yes the flights are quite full at times, but the prices are in general also low.
For flights between the islands to work, it would need to function as a bus service according to KLM's CEO L. van Wijk. Small capacity, high rotations.

KLM has a partner that does this for them in CUR which is Dutch Antilles Express, operating to AUA, BON and SXM under the names BonairExpress and CuraçaoExpress with ATR-42's.

As for AF at FDF or PTP:
As far as I know they have an obligation to maintain high rotations between Paris and Martinique and Guadaloupe. French-SXM doesn't fall under this agreement, because Saint-Martin is not a "Departement" itself but depends on the "Departement" of Guadeloupe. It's called "Continuité Territoriale".
Both AF and Corsair get subsidies from the French government for maintaining high rotations to PTP and FDF (also Cayenne in French Guyana). So I don't think a real hub would work for them.

SXM is a profitable route for AF, unlike FDF and PTP. SXM is quite high yielding for a holiday/sun destination.

Globe Trekker

[Edited 2005-06-21 17:07:12]
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N774UA
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RE: Netherland Antilles:a True Potential KLM Hub?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 12:07 am

I can't find anything through the search engine, but I'm sure there was a topic a couple months ago about HV planes going to be stationed at AUA.

N774UA
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AMSGOT
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RE: Netherland Antilles:a True Potential KLM Hub?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 12:12 am

Quoting RootsAir (Thread starter):
KLM could continue flying to those destinations profitably if they would base 737's in any of the 3 NL Antilles airports, using the same principle IB used in MIA.

I remember reading some article on this with CEO Leo van Wijk having some opinions on this matter. Wait a sec, I'll try to find a link...

There we go: http://www.luchtvaartnieuws.nl/news/?id=8568

This article is in Dutch though. The topic comes down to that Antilles' minister of Traffic wanted KLM as stable regional airline for the Antilles, after all the problems with the airlines there (ALM and more).
Please remain seated!
 
AMSGOT
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RE: Netherland Antilles:a True Potential KLM Hub?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 12:14 am

Hmm, got a phonecall when I was writing my answer, and Globe Trekker explains it waaaaaayyyy much better than I do in the mean time...
Please remain seated!
 
mauriceb
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RE: Netherland Antilles:a True Potential KLM Hub?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 12:17 am

they have been working with ALM and BonaireExel, but both stopped operations... KLM will most likely work together with BonaireExpress (former exel)

there were rumours of F-100 or F-50's of KLM, but some time ago they said this would be out of question....

and for the people saying that the caribean are low yield (and i know globetrekker is an habitant) on every flight if been to the caribean or from the caribean the flights are full.... even if it isn't vacation time... and ofcourse KLM doesn't send full pax 747's in the summer for nothing  Wink (they already do to CUR, but AUA receives its own service in summer)
 
Joost
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RE: Netherland Antilles:a True Potential KLM Hub?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 12:31 am

Quoting MauriceB (Reply 10):
and for the people saying that the caribean are low yield (and i know globetrekker is an habitant) on every flight if been to the caribean or from the caribean the flights are full.... even if it isn't vacation time... and ofcourse KLM doesn't send full pax 747's in the summer for nothing (they already do to CUR, but AUA receives its own service in summer)

Low-yield does not mean low volume. Low-yield means that there are not many people willing to pay high prices for short trips or willing to pay high business-class fares.

AFAIK, most people to the antilles are people on holiday, people visiting their families there (huge Antilian population in Holland). Not knowing the details, I guess the highest-yielding traffic will be governments and a few companies doing business there - but that won't be too much.

All those plans of flights to other European cities are for dreamers. Flights to AMS work as we have many antillians here and Dutch people love to holiday there. French people holiday on their islands. English people holiday on their islands. Spanish people holiday in their caribean countries. All the 747's Virgin sends to Barbados etc do work from London and Manchester, not from Holland. And the same is otherwise.

The reason KL is still flying there instead of MP is that they had the virtual monopoly. Recently the gov't tried to break this; DutchCaribeanExcel flew for fares starting at EUR 299,-, but they went broke.

Bolkenstein, (in)famous advocate of free markets, once was angry on TV saying that KL had 5% of the operating revenue from the antilles, and 50% of operating profit.
 
globetrekker
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RE: Netherland Antilles:a True Potential KLM Hub?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 12:54 am

Quoting MauriceB (Reply 10):
people saying that the caribean are low yield (and i know globetrekker is an habitant) on every flight if been to the caribean or from the caribean the flights are full.... even if it isn't vacation time... and ofcourse KLM doesn't send full pax 747's in the summer for nothing (they already do to CUR, but AUA receives its own service in summer)

Hoi Maurice!

Yep Joost explained it quite well. We have excellent load factors to the Dutch Caribbean, but because the prices are so low it's called a low-yield destination. This can be sometimes compensated by cargo.

Look at it this way..... which would make the most money?

A KLM MD-11 operating with 297 pax between AMS-AUA or that same MD-11 operating AMS-LOS (Lagos)?
Because the ticket prices to LOS are very high and not to mention the cargo, comparing to AUA, LOS would be high-yield destination.

Hope you understand what I mean.

Groeten uit AUA

Globe Trekker
The World Is A Book And Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only A Page
 
Joost
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RE: Netherland Antilles:a True Potential KLM Hub?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 1:11 am

In addition to Globetrekker, some other examples.

Imagine a Shell executive, who has a meeting in Lagos, wanting to return in 2 days. The company would pay the 2100 euro-fare (economy) or 3200 euro (business), as compared to the importance of the meeting and the hour wage of the executive, 2100/3200 euro is relatively a small amount of money.

People who go on holiday or visit friends usually don't 'need' to be there on certain dates; they are more flexible. For vacation people, they are even that flexibal to be willing to change destination ('oh if curacao tickets cost 900 euros and cancun is 600, I'll go to cancun'); people who visit friends and families will travel less often when it's more expensive; KL will try to find an optimum in here.

It's often said that when an airline sells the business class section, the flight can be operated, no matter what is in the economy section. Of course, the situation in reality is a bit more complex. But it comes down to the fact that full-service carriers like KL won't operate flights that are only focussed on low-yielding; they don't have the right cost structure for that and would make losses. For vacation flights, there is Martinair which is doing a great job in that market. For mixed business/vacation flight, FSC's are fine and often also cheap in economy - as those tickets are 'sponsored' by business passengers.
 
globetrekker
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RE: Netherland Antilles:a True Potential KLM Hub?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 1:36 am

@ Joost:

Dude, you nailed it!

Globe Trekker
The World Is A Book And Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only A Page
 
miaskies
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RE: Netherland Antilles:a True Potential KLM Hub?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 1:58 am

This had mentioned before on here, KLM mentioned starting up a Caribbean Airline which in my 2 cents would be great!

Now... w/ AF being more and more involved w/ KLM Ops. lately, I would not be surprised if AF expanded their Caribbean "regional" service and or Air Caraibes/AF partnership to include the Netherland Antilles. Perhaps send another 320 down there to join the existing one and fly more routes.
Nothing better than making love at 35K Feet!
 
A388
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RE: Netherland Antilles:a True Potential KLM Hub?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 6:20 am

For everybody looking for that topic about CUR I posted a topic here a few months ago. You might find more additional information about this topic here:

http://www.airliners.net/discussions...eneral_aviation/read.main/1958167/

Interesting topic by the way.... Big grin

A388
 
2travel2know
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RE: Netherland Antilles:a True Potential KLM Hub?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 1:34 pm

Quoting GlobeTrekker (Reply 6):
Both AF and Corsair get subsidies from the French government for maintaining high rotations to PTP and FDF (also Cayenne in French Guyana). So I don't think a real hub would work for them.

If AF frequent flights to PTP/FDM are subsidised, they're almost paid for, so how come AF doesn't take advantage of that and have feeders from high-yield Caribbean / North Southamerican destinations to make the "gravy on mashed potatoes" / "icing on the cake" for those PTP/FDM - France flights.
That's a model that could be applied to KL on AUA and Dairline technically could have flights from their Caribbean Islands (FDM, PTP, AUA, CUR, BON, SXM) to US and Canadian destinations; those services would come handy if they were to set-up hub operations on French or Dutch Caribbean Islands.
I don't work for COPA Airlines!
 
MAH4546
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RE: Netherland Antilles:a True Potential KLM Hub?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 1:55 pm

Air France actually has an A320 based in the French Antilies that operates regional flights to current/former French territories and Miami. They also used to operate to Caracas. It doesn't operate as a feeder service, but is subsidized by the French government (and has been since the mid-1980s) to provide "easy" access to the United States and between the French-speaking regions. "Easy" in quoations because the Cayenne-Miami flight takes just as long as their Cayenne-Paris flight, since it makes three stops on the way.
a.
 
A388
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RE: Netherland Antilles:a True Potential KLM Hub?

Thu Jun 23, 2005 5:11 am

It would indeed be a nice idea if KL/AF would start a joint Caribbean operations with hubs in PTP/CUR. This way they can offer an extensive network serving all French islands and also serving a good portion of the English/Spanish speaking islands. They are than better able to compete against AA and JM/BW. Both KL and AF are very well known airlines worldwide, so a Caribbean subsidiary (KLM Caribbean and Air France Caraïbes) wouldn't sound unfamiliar... Big grin

But let's get back to reality, it won't happen, at least not now. If KLM really was that interested, they would have done this in the second quarter of this year already, as their were rumours floating around this year that KLM would start operations in the beginning of this year. Our minister of Transport (Omara Leeflang) was really "confident" about this going through back then. However......

A388