krist0f
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 6:59 pm

Would There Be Demand For BRU-South America Route?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 3:31 am

Hi all,

With the recent expansion of the SN Brussels Airlines network (Middle East using Ethiad partnership) as well as Far East serving Beijing and Shanghai (I'm not sure of the status of this flight because I heard it was cancelled), I was wondering whether there would be any demand for a Brussels to South America direct connection. I fly to Brazil quite often and every time I go there I fly through the neighboring airports (FRA, AMS, or CDG) to fly to GRU or RIO. Seen as BRU is linked daily with the US and Africa and has now started multiple weekly services to Canada, the middle east and the far east, does anyone know if any airline company is looking into a direct Brussels to South America service or know whether such a service used to exist?

Cheers,

Kris.
 
KLM685
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RE: Would There Be Demand For BRU-South America Route?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 3:45 am

I'm not close to knowing SN Brussels Airlines plans or their business model but IMHO I think BRU is far from having direct flights to South America. Not much O&D traffic probably, specially if you have AMS, FRA or CDG close. They would need to focus more on connecting passengers to Europe or Africa flights. Which would be something really interesting to see if they do open routes to SA.
KLM- The Best Airline in the World!
 
EMB195ER
Posts: 253
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RE: Would There Be Demand For BRU-South America Route?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:29 am

Hello Kris,

VP used to fly this route in past. I am not wrong it was BRU-SSA-GRU. It was codeshared with Sabena.

However, I don't have any information regarding the load factors.

Regards,
Claudio
 
QFSYD744
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RE: Would There Be Demand For BRU-South America Route?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:33 am

Didnt Sabena fly the DC10 or 747 on BRU-GRU?
I Still Call Australia Home
 
2travel2know
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RE: Would There Be Demand For BRU-South America Route?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:01 am

Most likely BRU-GRU-EZE and maybe, maybe BRU-PBM if they want to get a share of the AMS-PBM traffic.
Given TP success with its Northeastern Brazil routes, IMHO SN should study service to SSA or REC; FOR might not be a good destination choice since it's already served with frequent charters from Europe.
I don't work for COPA Airlines!
 
bsbisland
Posts: 319
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RE: Would There Be Demand For BRU-South America Route?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:49 am

Vasp served BRU from Brazil until 2000, when they closed all the international destinations. I believe they started the route in 1994 and had flights from GRU nonstop and via Salvador or Recife. Vasp flights were usually the cheapest on Brazil-Europe run.
I believe an airline such as SNBA could fill a flight on BRU-South America, but would have to relay a lot on connections to other European cities, so Im not sure about the profitability of this.
 
Avatordon
Posts: 238
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:33 pm

RE: Would There Be Demand For BRU-South America Route?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:43 am

Years ago, SN flew to EZE, MVD and SCL. Later, they flew to GRU only (in the 90s). Have to wonder what type of O&D would exist there.
 
RCS763AV
Posts: 3670
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RE: Would There Be Demand For BRU-South America Route?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:48 am

Though i love that there would at least be one weekly flight, the demand is just not there, unless SN made BRU a megahub again.

GRU-BRU, possibly in the distant future.
BOG-BRU, my dream!
 
HB-IWC
Posts: 4036
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2000 1:09 am

RE: Would There Be Demand For BRU-South America Route?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:45 pm

The twice weekly Sabena MD11 service between BRU and GRU was an absolute disaster and lasted no more than a year. The service was operated in codeshare with VASP, which seemed to be doing fairly well on the GRU-BRU route, with 4 weekly services, some of which made intermediate stops at SSA. VP mainly served the Brazilian community in Belgium and surroundings and was flying a charter like product with what must have been very limited yields.
 
Arcano
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RE: Would There Be Demand For BRU-South America Route?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:27 pm

Didn't LAP from Paraguay flew regularly to Brussels?

Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 4):
Most likely BRU-GRU-EZE and maybe

Funny, every post related to any flights from abroad to South America gets the same answer: "XXX-GRU-EZE", as GRU-EZE guarantees profits for any destination...

Quoting Avatordon (Reply 6):
Years ago, SN flew to EZE, MVD and SCL

I had no idea, are you sure?

Regards )(
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HB-IWC
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RE: Would There Be Demand For BRU-South America Route?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:52 pm

Quoting Arcano (Reply 9):
I had no idea, are you sure?

It is indeed true. Sabena's early South American routes operated through Dakar, and went from there to Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile. Flights were operated with the B707. When I was a kid, I had the fortune of flying one of those services.
 
blueflyer
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RE: Would There Be Demand For BRU-South America Route?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:32 pm

Quoting Krist0f (Thread starter):
Far East serving Beijing and Shanghai (I'm not sure of the status of this flight because I heard it was cancelled)

Incidentally, only the Beijing - Shanghai leg is cancelled, apparently due to customs problems. The flight now terminates in Beijing with onward connections to Shanghai available.
Democracy 2016: 3 million California votes < 100,000 Midwest votes.
 
brightcedars
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RE: Would There Be Demand For BRU-South America Route?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:49 pm

I remember VP's MD-11 at BRU a decade back. There was an almost daily flight at one point, sometimes nonstop to GRU and sometimes via here and there. LAP was indeed there long before that. I have no idea of SN's own South American network.

As far as BRU being connected to South America, I really doubt this will happen any time soon. The closest one can dream of this happening is to see a BRU-MIA partnership between AA and SN that would open the door on AA's extensive South American network from there. I don't see SN opening up any station in South America unless they do get the right to setup this African offspring they're sometimes talking about and would then find a way for a BRU-DLA/COO-GRU routing or something like that.

CityBird used to fly to MEX by MD-11ER in its early days but I remember the destination was quickly dropped.

If we're lucky and following current aircraft development trends, we may have a 737 sized jet more efficient than the 787-10 that would make BRU-GRU daily a profitable option  Smile
I want the European Union flag on airliners.net!
 
A330DAT
Posts: 461
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RE: Would There Be Demand For BRU-South America Route?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:46 pm

Is there Demand For BRU-South America Route?

The answer is YES!

However it is very limited.

To operate a route profitably, you must attract as many "high yield" the highest paying passengers or business passengers, as possible. Thus, to attract such customers, as an airline, you need to offer a minimum of three flights a week. There is ONLY ONE South American destination with enough "point-to-point" traffic out of Brussels that allows such a route and that is Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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It is not for nothing that Sabena had chosen to operate (in MD-11) precisely to this city. I will not get into details why the sabena flights were not a success but it was mainly for two reasons:
1) The lack of a decent marketing campaign on the part of Sabena to promote the region
2) The boycot of Varig who forced Brazilian travel agencies not to sell Sabena tickets. Sanctions would be for Varig not to pay commission on it's own flights.
 
HB-IWC
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RE: Would There Be Demand For BRU-South America Route?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:32 pm

Quoting A330DAT (Reply 13):
It is not for nothing that Sabena had chosen to operate (in MD-11) precisely to this city. I will not get into details why the sabena flights were not a success but it was mainly for two reasons:
1) The lack of a decent marketing campaign on the part of Sabena to promote the region
2) The boycot of Varig who forced Brazilian travel agencies not to sell Sabena tickets. Sanctions would be for Varig not to pay commission on it's own flights.

Since I know this story a bit closer, let me say this:

1. the start of BRU-GRU operations was ill-advized to put it lightly. Actually, it wasn't advized at all, and came out of nowhere just like the arrival of the 2 MD11s came out of nowhere. Sabena didn't really need these planes, but once then CEO Paul Reutlinger himself arranged for these 2 birds to joing the fleet, they had to fly somewhere, obviously.

The choice was made for EWR, because of the Citybird cooperation was was due to take place on the route (SN/Citybird codeshare) but which later fell through because of the veto of then codeshare partner Delta. Furthermore, Sabena decided to restart YUL - not a bad choice either, seeing as how the frequency of BRU-YUL quickly increased from the initial 4 flights to daily.

Nevertheless, a new route had to be found for the 2 remaining roundtrips of the MD11 fleet (7 EWR + 4 YUL + 1 spare left for 2 open rotations) and the powers that be came up with GRU just about two months before the opening of the route on May 15, 1998. The decision to open GRU should be seen in light of the then attitude of unrestraint growth at Sabena - the same attitude which also brought the 34 A32S frames into the airline.

With about six weeks to go, someone then launched the idea of codesharing the route with VASP, and that's what happened, but there was no support from VP at all for the Sabena operated flights, as that airline was only concered with filling up its own 4 flights at BRU.

Strangely enough, the entire GRU adventure was embarked out without any help of Sabena-partner Swissair, which at that time had daily operations at GRU and might have been some help. To the contrary, Swissair was handled by RG at GRU, whereas Sabena was in bed with VP.

Obviously, two months doesn't even come close to the amount of time one needs to effectively start selling a flight. Add to that the Sabena started GRU operations in the low season, and the VP, as said before was concerned only with filling up its own flights, and the virtually empty flights came as no surprise.

Even after the initial couple of months, the flights remained empty, though, and crucially, Sabena failed to attract any high yielding traffic because of its twice weekly frequency. VP didn't attract any C-traffic either, but VP flights went full anyway with Brazilians. The SN-operated flights also suffered because of the commercially less interesting daylight southbound sector.

Little surprise then that Sabena decided to cut its losses after a year in favor of additional YUL frequencies.

2. With respect to your second point, that is factually incorrect and I will consider it one of the many Sabena myths. According to the then Sabena country manager Brazil, Roger Verlinden, the main problem with the flight was the lack of cooperation of VP and the absence of any marketing efforts on behalf of Sabena. There were never any issues with Varig, let alone that there would be a boycott. On the contrary, towards the end of the Sabena operations at GRU, when the flight was often canceled, SN used RG rather than VP to reroute its passengers, because the service standards of VP were so abyssmal.

All in all, I would say that there was no particular reasoning behind Sabena's opening of GRU let alone any kind of marketing research. The route appeared for no reason and I suspect that there was even some motive of grandeur and personal pride on behalf of the then management at SN whilst making this ill fated decision.
 
2travel2know
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RE: Would There Be Demand For BRU-South America Route?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:56 pm

If anybody from Suriname (or someone who knows about this) could say if the PBM-AMS O/D market could support a PBM-BRU, if fares on that BRU route (and baggage allowance) were to be very competitive?
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LipeGIG
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RE: Would There Be Demand For BRU-South America Route?

Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:41 am

There isn't so much premium traffic between BRU and South America, however, if it's possible to add connections, so the flight could become a reality, but need to be daily.

IMO better to fight for under served markets, not GRU.

Quoting A330DAT (Reply 13):
To operate a route profitably, you must attract as many "high yield" the highest paying passengers or business passengers, as possible. Thus, to attract such customers, as an airline, you need to offer a minimum of three flights a week. There is ONLY ONE South American destination with enough "point-to-point" traffic out of Brussels that allows such a route and that is Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Economic links between Brazil and Belgium are limited. Without connections forget about point-to-point Brussels - Sao Paulo. And without a daily flight, hard to believe that BRU will be an interesting destination.

BRU seems to be a better market for SSA, REC or GIG.

Quoting Arcano (Reply 9):
Funny, every post related to any flights from abroad to South America gets the same answer: "XXX-GRU-EZE", as GRU-EZE guarantees profits for any destination...

Agree 100%. Pluna loves MVD-GIG-MAD !

Felipe
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