LAXDESI
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AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:59 pm

http://avindia.blogspot.com/

Quotes:
More than two months after it started flying non-stop between Mumbai and New York, Air India's service is still running at low load factors, a direct consequence of its relatively-expensive tickets and an advertising campaign that kicked off late, experts in the trade say.

The airline, operated by state-run National Aviation Co. of India Ltd, or Nacil, has still not managed to fill even half the capacity on the Boeing Co.-made 777-200L aircraft in the last 10 weeks since it started the service on 1 August. The average loads on the 238-seater plane have been around 107 seats, equivalent to 45% load factor, on the flight bound to New York, and 87 seats back (36%), said a senior Air India official, who did not want to be quoted.

The airline has set a target of 75% load factor in the first year of operation and expects to fly its plane full in the coming busy season from mid-October through January.

Air India's numbers lag those of its rivals. Delta Airlines, on its Mumbai-New York direct flight, has an average 70% load factor, said a company executive, who requested anonymity since he can't be quoted by the media.

Jet Airways (India) Ltd, which launched a one-stop service to the US five days after Air India's non-stop service, has an average load of 65%, despite a two-hour layover at Brussels.

[Edited 2007-10-18 12:08:31]
 
LAXDESI
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:04 pm

Related to above post, Jet expects its operation to be profitable in one year.
http://avindia.blogspot.com/

Quotes:
Jet Airways (India) Ltd. expects to earn profits on its U.S. flights in the first year of operations, as travel demand between the two countries increases.

Jet Airways is filling more than 70 percent of seats since it became the first private carrier from India to fly to the U.S. in August, Naresh Goyal, the airline's chairman, said in an interview from New York. Jet Airways, which now flies to Newark from Mumbai, plans to start flights from New Delhi to New York's John F. Kennedy airport later this month, he said.

Economic expansion in India, the world's second-fastest growing major economy, has attracted investments from General Motors Corp., McDonald's Corp. and other U.S. companies, spurring business travel. Travel demand from the 2.5 million Indian software professionals, students and families in the U.S. is also growing.
 
sebring
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:19 pm

These are not very exciting load factors. Given the price sensitivity created by indirect routings via Europe and the Middle East, I wonder if any of the nonstops are making money.
 
LAXDESI
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:25 pm

Expected membership in Star alliance in early 2009 should help in increasing load factor on this route.

I did a mock fare search for JFK/EWR-BOM RT for Nov.7 Dep. and Nov.14 return; the fares--inclusive of all taxes and fees--are as follows:

JFK-BOM one-stop on Jet $1,098
JFK-BOM non-stop on AI $1,149
JFK-BOM non-stop on Delta $1,415

EWR-BOM non-stop on CO $1,115
 
panamair
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:55 pm

Quoting Sebring (Reply 2):
These are not very exciting load factors

Well, the period being talked about is Aug/Sep. This period, except for westbound India-US in August, is generally off-peak and considered low season. Hence, both DL's and 9W's load factors are actually quite respectable for this time of year. AI's however, are not. And Ithere are other factors not mentioned that put AI at a disadvantage (from an LF point of view) relative to the others in the market:

1) AI has virtually no feed on the NY end, while DL and CO can carry so many more passengers on their BOM-NYC flights that are connecting to other US cities. On the Indian end, AI could have an advantage over DL and CO with ex-BOM domestic feed but the flight times are not conducive to connections (i.e., the late evening arrival in BOM)

2) Even though 9W also has no feed on the NY end, the scissor hub in BRU allows them ultimately to fill the flight to EWR with connections from other Indian cities.
 
pnqiad
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:56 pm

Quoting LAXDESI (Reply 3):

Not surprising really - considering that NYC - India market is overserved - several 1-stop including AI and 9W and already 2 other non-stop options from NYC area (both which provide umpteen onward connections to various US destinations + FF miles. AI should have prepared better and targeted a station that does not have AI service at the moment (like IAD / SFO would have been ideal given its efforts to join *A and both being UA/*A hubs). Even ORD-BOM might have been better than NYC-BOM since AA only has a DEL flight.
 
LAXDESI
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:18 pm

Quoting LAXDESI (Reply 3):
JFK-BOM one-stop on Jet $1,098
JFK-BOM non-stop on AI $1,149
JFK-BOM non-stop on Delta $1,415

Delta is commanding a premium of about $300 over Jet's one-stop option, which is in line with what I see on LAX-HKG sector where UA's non-stop has a premium of about $300 over the cheapest one-stop on Eva.

AI not only has low load factors, but low yield too--at least in economy. Higher cargo payload must be offsetting part of the revenue loss from low load/yield. Fuel alone costs about $100,000 for this flight(45000 gallons at $2.25/gallon). My estimate for passenger revenues per flight at current loads(80% economy, 20% business/first) is $100,000. My estimate for cargo payload revenue is(33 tonnes at $3,000/tonne) about $100,000.

Given fuel is about 33% of overall flight cost(which includes all costs, variable and fixed), the total flight cost should be around $300,000. Could they be losing about $100,000 per flight? I would like to hear from others on the numbers I have come up with.

BTW, I am planning to post an economic analysis of Jet's one-stop on 773ER versus AI's non-stop on 772LR.
 
cakentennis
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:45 pm

Quoting Panamair (Reply 4):
2) Even though 9W also has no feed on the NY end, the scissor hub in BRU allows them ultimately to fill the flight to EWR with connections from other Indian cities.

The Jet Airways website mentions that they have 'through check-in' arrangements with CO. I guess 9W is making good use of CO's hub at EWR.

I'd like to know if 9W has become a recognizable brand at BRU yet, and if so, how many passengers actually board the plane at BRU. With the density of service that we are seeing on Mumbai-NYC, 9W really should be targeting O&D passengers x-BRU.

Quoting LAXDESI (Reply 3):
Expected membership in Star alliance in early 2009 should help in increasing load factor on this route.

I really think nothing will change unless AI re-schedules the flight to meet connectivity demands on the Indian side. I wonder if this is why the Indian government asked the US & EU to rethink their nighttime policies.  stirthepot 
 
Flighty
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:35 pm

Quoting Sebring (Reply 2):
I wonder if any of the nonstops are making money.

I would guess definitely no. Delta is there as a prestige thing betting on the future of the route. To break even on the flight (assuming 10c CASM), that's like $185,000 per flight. They need to be pulling over $1000 per chair (each way) to be breaking even, at that load factor. My guess is their yields are not that high.

When the flight costs $300k-400k a DAY to run, it's a good way to lose some serious cash quickly. Delta will make do; AI may not be able to stand the heat. Thai Airways was unable. Arent they out of JFK now?  Sad
 
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:05 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 8):
I would guess definitely no. Delta is there as a prestige thing betting on the future of the route.

Your guess is definitely wrong. Delta's own executives have stated publicly that JFK-BOM was profitable pretty much from day one. And sorry but no for profit airline flies routes for purposes of prestige. Routes are flown to make money and if they don't, they are quickly cut.
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sebring
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:44 am

Quoting OA412 (Reply 9):

Your guess is definitely wrong. Delta's own executives have stated publicly that JFK-BOM was profitable pretty much from day one. And sorry but no for profit airline flies routes for purposes of prestige. Routes are flown to make money and if they don't, they are quickly cut.

Not so quickly. It can take years for some intercontinental routes to turn a profit. Not every carrier drops routes as quickly as Robert Crandall got out of Stuttgart.

Secondly, the dynamics of a route are constantly shifting with competition, rising input costs, etc. Fuel continues to go through the roof, and since it is priced in US dollars, a US carrier will feel the full brunt but some foreign carriers would benefit from a currency shield. In Canada, for example, the fact our dollar has risen from 62 cents US to par with the greenback (actually $1.02 US to the CDA $1) means the runup in fuel prices in Canadian dollars has been much smaller for Air Canada, let's say, than for a US carrier. So DL's fuel bill on the route has risen significantly since the route began, while revenues have likely stayed level. The Indian currency is at a nine year high, IIRC, which means the value of the Indian-originating customer is rising, but DL would not get a large share of that. It would tend to benefit the Indian carriers. If jet A is moving towards $2.50 a gallon, a realistic target since it's over $2.40 this week in NY spot rates, then fuel will have increased by 20% or more since DL began operating the route. So I would take not take any past pronouncements by DL management as indicative of the current stage of affairs.
 
ZuluTime
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:04 am

Simple solution - stop the BOM/LHR/JFK daily routing and then force passengers onto the direct BOM/JFK. Then sell the spare Heathrow prime-time slot to someone else for lots of $$$$ and use the cash to support the BOM/JFK service until it becomes profitable.
 
Bicoastal
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:08 am

Quoting LAXDESI (Reply 3):
Expected membership in Star alliance in early 2009 should help in increasing load factor on this route

Star Alliance and JFK???? No way. AI needs to fly to Dulles (IAD), Philly or ORD and hook up with Star Alliance members United and/or US Airways. JFK has no feed for Star other than a few premium flights to SFO and LAX on United.
Airliners.net has many forums. It has spell check and search functions. Use them before posting!
 
LAXDESI
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:18 am

Quoting ZuluTime (Reply 11):
Simple solution - stop the BOM/LHR/JFK daily routing and then force passengers onto the direct BOM/JFK. Then sell the spare Heathrow prime-time slot to someone else for lots of $$$$ and use the cash to support the BOM/JFK service until it becomes profitable.

I think they should wait until AI joins Star Alliance and measure the impact of the alliance before selling any slots.

Another possibility is to discontinue LHR-JFK sector, and use these slots to offer LHR terminator service from other cities in India. Or trade the LHR-JFK sector time slot for another, say, LHR-LAX/SFO.
 
747fan
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:18 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 8):
Thai Airways was unable. Arent they out of JFK now?

Thai Airways still flies their nonstop JFK-BKK on an A345, I saw it on flightaware yesterday morning.
I think that AI should've flown the nonstop flight out of IAD, ORD, or SFO since NYC-India is already pretty much covered by their 2 one-stop flights as well as 9W, CO, and DL. Unless they're filling the belly of that 77L with a bunch of cargo, they're probably losing a decent amount of money on these flights.
 
LAXDESI
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:51 am

Quoting Bicoastal (Reply 12):
Star Alliance and JFK???? No way. AI needs to fly to Dulles (IAD), Philly or ORD and hook up with Star Alliance members United and/or US Airways. JFK has no feed for Star other than a few premium flights to SFO and LAX on United.

California has the largest Indian population of any state in the country, with most living around SFO and LAX.
 
behramjee
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:01 am

Quoting Panamair (Reply 4):
1) AI has virtually no feed on the NY end, while DL and CO can carry so many more passengers on their BOM-NYC flights that are connecting to other US cities. 2) Even though 9W also has no feed on the NY end, the scissor hub in BRU allows them ultimately to fill the flight to EWR with connections from other Indian cities.

Im pretty sure 9W and AI have SPAs with domestic U.S. carriers from JFK & EWR which help them get pax from all across USA to fly them from the NYC area airports.

AI's new flight should have been advertised and uploaded in the major GDS reservations system a minimum of 4 months before it was to be launched to help promote it and potentially increasing its loads. This failure has cost AI dearly and they've realized it too late.

Lets hope the same mistake isnt made if they decide on launching new long haul nonstops to ORD & IAD in the near future.
 
schipholjfk
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:27 am

Quoting LAXDESI (Reply 15):

California has the largest Indian population of any state in the country, with most living around SFO and LAX.

Not true. New Jersey still leads this stats.
The fun of flying... love it !!!
 
LAXDESI
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:40 am

Quoting Schipholjfk (Reply 17):
Quoting LAXDESI (Reply 15):

California has the largest Indian population of any state in the country, with most living around SFO and LAX.

Not true. New Jersey still leads this stats.

Here are the numbers based on 2000 census:
California 314,819
New York 251,724
New Jersey 169,180

http://www.usindiafriendship.net/census/statepop.htm
 
Nimish
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:00 am

Quoting PNQIAD (Reply 5):
AI should have prepared better and targeted a station that does not have AI service at the moment (like IAD / SFO would have been ideal given its efforts to join *A and both being UA/*A hubs). Even ORD-BOM might have been better than NYC-BOM since AA only has a DEL flight.

Agree fully. It was (in hind sight) quite stupid to start on a route that's already being served so much, and not to place their bets on a less competitive route like BOM-IAD or BLR-BOM-SFO or even BOM-ORD.

Quoting Cakentennis (Reply 7):
I'd like to know if 9W has become a recognizable brand at BRU yet, and if so, how many passengers actually board the plane at BRU. With the density of service that we are seeing on Mumbai-NYC, 9W really should be targeting O&D passengers x-BRU.

I've heard that 9W is not keen on getting too many pax on the BRU-North America sectors, and are currently focussed on using BRU only as a scissors hub to interchange various Indian flights with various North American flights. I guess that might change once they start feeding Indian pax to other European secondary airports via SN.

Quoting Cakentennis (Reply 7):
I really think nothing will change unless AI re-schedules the flight to meet connectivity demands on the Indian side

And that will be a long time before it happens - remember it's AI we're talking about  Smile

Quoting Behramjee (Reply 16):
This failure has cost AI dearly and they've realized it too late

Have they realized it even now? And surely someone running an airline for 50-60 years knows this as a fundamental truth.

I think the only way forwards for AI is to lower prices, bring in more people on this route, and then hope that their better product leads to repeat business (by increasing fares after the loads have risen). Otherwise 9W, BA, LH, DL, CO, and the gulf carriers like EK, QR, EY etc. will continue to do well and AI continue to suffer.
Latest Trip Report - GoAir BLR-BOM-BLR
 
panamair
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:14 am

Quoting Sebring (Reply 10):
Fuel continues to go through the roof, and since it is priced in US dollars, a US carrier will feel the full brunt but some foreign carriers would benefit from a currency shield. In Canada, for example, the fact our dollar has risen from 62 cents US to par with the greenback (actually $1.02 US to the CDA $1) means the runup in fuel prices in Canadian dollars has been much smaller for Air Canada, let's say, than for a US carrier. So DL's fuel bill on the route has risen significantly since the route began, while revenues have likely stayed level. The Indian currency is at a nine year high, IIRC, which means the value of the Indian-originating customer is rising, but DL would not get a large share of that. It would tend to benefit the Indian carriers. If jet A is moving towards $2.50 a gallon, a realistic target since it's over $2.40 this week in NY spot rates, then fuel will have increased by 20% or more since DL began operating the route. So I would take not take any past pronouncements by DL management as indicative of the current stage of affairs.

Certainly true that the dynamics are constantly changing but the currency situation (i.e., lower US dollar) cuts both ways..in fact, DL has benefitted quite a bit from the low dollar this past quarter...some of the double-digit increase in unit revenues and yields in the Atlantic and Latin American markets during Q3 2007 have been due to the currency situation.
 
airbazar
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:05 pm

Quoting LAXDESI (Reply 3):
Expected membership in Star alliance in early 2009 should help in increasing load factor on this route.

Only slightly because *A has a very small presence in JFK. AI is in a tough position at JFK. In order to attract high yielding premium passengers they must be able to offer good connections and entice customers with FF benefits. The problem is, AI FF program is of little use to American customers because they are not members of any major alliance. CO and DL will beat them every time in the race for premium passengers. So that leaves AI with the low yielding passengers for whom price is all that matters an din that market they are competing against half a dozen other carriers.
In my opinion AI would have been better off deploying their 772LRs to SFO and keeping JFK as a one-stop.
 
cricket
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:25 pm

The route was poorly advertised before service began though AI has 'supposedly' had decent loads up front, how many upgrades though, no idea!
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donder10
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:33 pm

Is there too much emphasis being placed on the advantages of non-stop US-India flights? Certainly CO and DL's flights leave at a time where adding an hour-90 minutes to the total journey for a fuel stop might not put off too many business passengers, especially so on the westbound leg where there will be some payload penalties.
 
jcs17
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:51 pm

Did you expect anything less from AI? The airline is still controlled by a corrupt bureaucracy in the worst possible way. I'd really like to know what kind of connections the sales/marketing manager in North America for AI has in India. That would be quite interesting.
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sevenforeseven
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:07 pm

A bit off the mark, but how is Virgin doing on the LHR DEL and LHR BOM? I hear the loads are not as good as should be.
 
ap305
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:16 pm

If the cargo movement is good they will be able to deal with these load factors for a while longer. With the current capacity on the India-U.S routes AI should have waited till they got their 787s before venturing into the nonstops. The LRs could have been used to boost cargo uplift elsewhere or better yet not been ordered at all.
 
mk777
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:16 pm

Quoting Bicoastal (Reply 12):
AI needs to fly to Dulles (IAD)



Quoting 747fan (Reply 14):
I think that AI should've flown the nonstop flight out of IAD,

I agree with you both. The NY market is too saturated. I think AI should have stuck with AI 101/111 to JFK via LHR. Instead, they should have used their LR's to IAD and tapped the potential Washington DC metro clients. It would have done quite well for them. Its never too late, they should announce this route for the winter busy season when Indians in US travel home to India for vacation, it will work like a charm as 9W as of now, has no plans to start IAD and this would give AI a head start from here. Besides IAD is a *A hub, it would work very well for connecting pax. my  twocents 
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Flighty
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:06 pm

Quoting Mk777 (Reply 27):
JFK via LHR.

They don't still do LHR-JFK? That was for DECADES was it not?
 
Gr8Circle
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:11 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 28):
They don't still do LHR-JFK? That was for DECADES was it not?

I think that still continues...but from DEL....not from BOM.....
 
LAXDESI
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:29 pm

Quoting Ap305 (Reply 26):
With the current capacity on the India-U.S routes AI should have waited till they got their 787s before venturing into the nonstops. The LRs could have been used to boost cargo uplift elsewhere or better yet not been ordered at all.

Jet Airways did exactly that; they cancelled their 772LR orders and converted them to 773ER for their BRU scissor hub strategy.

Quoting Airbazar (Reply 21):
Only slightly because *A has a very small presence in JFK.

I think more than slightly-- California has the largest Indian population of any state in the country, with most living around SFO and LAX. UA with existing flights to JFK from SFO/LAX will provide excellent feed, especially after AI joins Star alliance. I know my neighbor will prefer this as he gets to meet his relatives in NY area, and then fly on to BOM--all on one ticket, no more than one-stop, and frequent flyer miles on *A that he can use domestically in US.

Quoting Airbazar (Reply 21):
In my opinion AI would have been better off deploying their 772LRs to SFO and keeping JFK as a one-stop.

This I agree with you on. Another option is to cancel the one-stop to JFK via LHR, and use the slots at LHR for direct service from cities besides BOM/DEL.

Quoting Nimish (Reply 19):
I think the only way forwards for AI is to lower prices, bring in more people on this route, and then hope that their better product leads to repeat business (by increasing fares after the loads have risen).

Makes sense. It definitely is a better physical product, but with AI service is questionable.

[Edited 2007-10-19 10:33:15]
 
747fan
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:55 pm

Quoting Mk777 (Reply 27):
they should have used their LR's to IAD and tapped the potential Washington DC metro clients. It would have done quite well for them. Its never too late, they should announce this route for the winter busy season when Indians in US travel home to India for vacation, it will work like a charm as 9W as of now, has no plans to start IAD and this would give AI a head start from here. Besides IAD is a *A hub, it would work very well for connecting pax. my

I know, that's exactly what I was thinking as well. The same goes for SFO and ORD (although ORD already has a nonstop to DEL on AA, there's no BOM nonstop out of there and the O&D could probably support 2 flights easily). Instead, they have to add another flight to NYC that seems almost irrelevant, given that they already have onestops via LHR and CDG to JFK and EWR. They should've either dropped AI 110/111 to JFK (the LHR 1-stopper) and replaced it with the nonstop or just introduced IAD/ORD/SFO-BOM instead. All of those hubs are *A hubs, so they could possibly codeshare with UA out of those cities and pick up some connecting traffic in addition to the likely healthy O&D those markets would generate. I don't know why they're so "hooked" on NYC.  banghead 
After all, California is the state with the largest Indian population, not New York or New Jersey. And I'm sure that DC and Chicago have plenty of Indians.
 
airbazar
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Sat Oct 20, 2007 1:14 pm

Quoting Donder10 (Reply 23):
Is there too much emphasis being placed on the advantages of non-stop US-India flights?

No but airlines do need decent connections at one end of the route at least. That is why CO/DL make it work from NYC, and that is why EK makes it work from DXB. Without connections you need a very healthy O&D market in order to sustain such a large amount of long-haul non-stop service on top of all the one-stop offerings. I don't think AI has either the connections or the large O&D market in NY. I'm not saying that there isn't a O&D market. I'm just saying that that most potential high yield customers in NY are likely to be CO or DL customers already and not willing to trade it.

Quoting LAXDESI (Reply 30):
I think more than slightly-- California has the largest Indian population of any state in the country, with most living around SFO and LAX. UA with existing flights to JFK from SFO/LAX will provide excellent feed, especially after AI joins Star alliance.

Why would people fly via JFK when they have better options via an European hub? If I want to fly SFO-BLR, I can do it with one stop via FRA/CDG rather than 2 stops via JFK&BOM. And if the rumor that AI will start SFO and LAX next year really is true, those flights will undermine any potential connections via JFK too.
 
LAXDESI
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Sat Oct 20, 2007 6:42 pm

Quoting Airbazar (Reply 32):
Why would people fly via JFK when they have better options via an European hub? If I want to fly SFO-BLR, I can do it with one stop via FRA/CDG rather than 2 stops via JFK&BOM. And if the rumor that AI will start SFO and LAX next year really is true, those flights will undermine any potential connections via JFK too.

I guess you misunderstood my comments. I was talking about viability of LAX/SFO-JFK-BOM on UA/AI versus one-stop connection between LAX/SFO and BOM via Asia or Europe. For folks whose destination is BOM and the origin is not JFK, connecting via JFK on AI makes sense. It is a one-stop flight, and maybe cheaper than other alternatives. It also provides one-stop connection to BOM bound passengers from many smaller cities in US, like Tucson, Albuquerque, etc.

It clearly makes less sense to fly AI via JFK if you destination is an Indian city other than BOM, and you origin is any city other than JFK--unless AI is offering a great deal and a family of five is flying, as in my case, or you want to take a break in NY/NJ area to meet your friends/relatives and save by not making a separate trip. We are planning just such a trip next summer on the way to MAA from LAX next summer.
 
airbazar
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Sun Oct 21, 2007 12:10 am

Quoting LAXDESI (Reply 33):
For folks whose destination is BOM and the origin is not JFK, connecting via JFK on AI makes sense.

But there's very little *A connectivity at JFK. IIRC, even EWR has better *A options than JFK [but that's not saying much.] which is probably why SQ's non-stop flight to SIN operates from EWR. Forget about LAX/SFO. AF/LH/DL/LX/SQ/CX/JL and probably a few other carriers I can't remember of the top of my head offer one-stop service from LAX/SFO to India.
Im my opinion AI should send the 772LR non-stop to either SFO or IAD, and bring back the one-stop service to JFK.
 
LAXDESI
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Sun Oct 21, 2007 3:49 pm

I came across an article on Kingfisher's USA plans; it plans to offer only non-stop service. Interesting that Jet is following one-stop strategy, and AI is going for a hybrid strategy--non-stop and one-stop to NA.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:07 pm

Quoting Airbazar (Reply 34):
which is probably why SQ's non-stop flight to SIN operates from EWR.

more to do with that flight replacing their weak former EWR-AMS(-SIN) flight, as opposed to their historically strong JFK-FRA(-SIN)

Quoting Airbazar (Reply 34):
and bring back the one-stop service to JFK.

...they never took it away
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:12 pm

How are the fares comparitively now.
regds
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vega
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:28 pm

Quoting Bicoastal (Reply 12):
Star Alliance and JFK???? No way. AI needs to fly to Dulles (IAD), Philly or ORD and hook up with Star Alliance members United and/or US Airways. JFK has no feed for Star other than a few premium flights to SFO and LAX on United.

It's very interesting that in both of these Indian news articles, UA is NOT mentioned as a U.S. *A partner - possibly just an oversight, but you never know.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...7_airlines/articleshow/2458735.cms

http://www.rediff.com/money/2007/oct/16air.htm
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LAXDESI
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RE: AI BOM-JFK Non-Stop Struggling

Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:55 am

A more recent article on AI's BOM-JFK non-stop.
http://www.livemint.com/2007/10/1800...22/Air-India8217s-MumbaiNew-Y.html

Quotes:
The airline has still not managed to fill even half the capacity on the aircraft in the last 10 weeks since it started the Mumbai-New York direct service on 1 August. The airline has set a target of 75% load factor in the first year of operation and expects to fly its plane full in the coming 'busy season' from mid-October through January.

Air India's numbers lag those of its rivals. Delta Airlines, on its Mumbai-New York direct flight, has an average 70% load factor, said a company executive, who requested anonymity since he can't be quoted by the media. Jet Airways (India) Ltd, which launched a one-stop service to the US five days after Air India's non-stop service, has an average load of 65%, despite a two-hour layover at Brussels.

According to Air India, it is inaccurate to compare its service with Jet Airways' since it is not a direct flight, or with Delta's, which was started nearly a year ago. Also, pointed out Jitender Bhargava, Air India's executive director for communications, around 500 seats have been added on the Mumbai-New York route since August and demand is lagging capacity.

Pricing is a factor, too. Air India had opened bookings with fares more than 30% higher than the industry average on the sector, which were later pared because of slow bookings. Four days before its first Mumbai-New York direct flight, Air India lowered its economy fare 37% to Rs50,700 per seat for a round trip ticket (excluding taxes, which can run to more than Rs7,000) from its earlier rack rate of Rs80,700. Its business class fares were also lowered 40% to nearly Rs1.6 lakh from Rs2.67 lakh. A first class ticket today costs Rs3.58 lakh, 22% down from the earlier Rs4.59 lakh fare.
Air India tickets are now even cheaper. An economy ticket will set a passenger back by Rs47,593, including taxes, and by Rs193,293 in business class.

Still, the carrier's economy fare is about 13% more expensive than comparable tickets on Delta, which sells its tickets at Rs42,051, including taxes. Continental Airlines, which started a direct service between Mumbai and Newark, near New York, sells its economy-class tickets at Rs43,271. Business class tickets on the Delta flight is an all-inclusive Rs191,897 and on Continental, it is Rs185,740.

Bhargava defended the slight premium on Air India fares. "We can fill our airplanes by dropping fares, but we want to position ourselves as a premium product. We are having a load factor of above 50% in the first and business class seats," he said. "Economy class is a price-sensitive segment and it will take its own time to pick up."

Industry experts hold a belated marketing campaign also responsible for the low load factor. "Generally, leisure travellers book tickets much in advance, and since advertising was delayed, Air India lost out on numbers," said Ajay Prakash, general secretary, Travel Agents Federation of India, or Tafi.

Air India has a Rs20 crore advertising budget for the New York service for six months. In time for the inaugural flight, the carrier had spent $100,000 (nearly Rs40 lakh) to advertise in New York's Times Square. This was in addition to print advertisements in leading publications such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and a similar blitz in India.

Tafi's Prakash added that Air India's larger challenge has to do with communication. "The reason could also be people's perception that Air India still uses old aircraft and has some problems in scheduling. Although Air India is not inferior by any means compared with its peers, it needs to publicize this fact," he added.