Norwegian737
Topic Author
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:49 pm

Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:56 pm

I've noticed that some flights, particularly flights between Europe and South Africa have really long breaks before they turn around and return to where they originated from.

For instance, Lufthansa's flight LH572 arrives in JNB at 10:10 in the morning, but doesn't fly back to FRA until 19:40 (9,5 hr stop). The same applies for South African Airways flight; it arrives in FRA at 06:15, and doesn't return to JNB until 20:45 (14,5 hr stop).

The same thing also applies to British Airways, Air France, and KLM.

The flight between Europe and JNB is about 10 hrs, but is it necessary to have both ways be overnight?
For example, when the SAA flight arrives in FRA at 06:15 in the morning, it could easily fly back some hrs later, and arrive in JNB in the evening, instead of waiting all the way to the evening before returning.

A plane makes money when it's in the air, so you would think that in today's competitive airline market with high costs, the airlines would want to utilize their airplane, instead of having them sitting on the ground for 10-14 hrs before it flies again.

Thanks!
 
leftyboarder
Posts: 744
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:38 pm

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:08 pm

Quoting Norwegian737 (Thread starter):
For example, when the SAA flight arrives in FRA at 06:15 in the morning, it could easily fly back some hrs later, and arrive in JNB in the evening, instead of waiting all the way to the evening before returning.

That probably would kill connectivity at the FRA end, unless they are only aiming for the JNB-FRA O&D market.
 
s5daw
Posts: 345
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 8:15 am

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:11 pm

Because passengers prefer night flights?
 
LHRFlyer
Posts: 703
Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:50 pm

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:14 pm

Quoting Norwegian737 (Thread starter):
A plane makes money when it's in the air, so you would think that in today's competitive airline market with high costs, the airlines would want to utilize their airplane, instead of having them sitting on the ground for 10-14 hrs before it flies again.

Simple. Schedules are designed around the needs of their market, namely business travellers.

Business travellers prefer night flights so they can do a full day's work before departure and on the day of arrival.
 
ozglobal
Posts: 2525
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:33 am

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:23 pm

Ask QF why LAX is 'littered' with 744s and A388's all day and then send them home in a veritable armada ? Business timing and curfews on a 15hr non-stop route. Frequency is irrelevant on such routes. It's all about the one right slot, capacity and yeild.



Photo by Charles79
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
sw733
Posts: 5308
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 6:19 am

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:23 pm

I agree - the combination of night flight preference + connectivity is key here. FRA-JNB, for example, has Star Alliance connectivity on both ends...tons of it. By just catering to FRA-JNB itself, the market becomes a fraction of what it could be (or needs to be to survive, most likely).

The bean counters have done their job...they're usually very good at it. I guarantee they calculate the cost of having the plane sit idle all day and still determined it made more financial sense in its current schedule.
 
Arniepie
Posts: 1429
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:00 pm

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:30 pm

disregard, I was just parotting Ozglobal it seems.

[Edited 2011-12-05 06:32:51]
[edit post]
 
Norwegian737
Topic Author
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:49 pm

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:35 pm

It makes sense that they let the planes be parked so it can do an overnight each way, on routes where this gives the best profit.

However, there are other routes where it doesn't quite make as much sense.

For example, Icelandair flies to Seattle, and it arrives in the afternoon, and then (during season that doesn't have daily flights) they let the plane sit until the next day (almost 24 hrs) before it flies back to Reykjavik. Why not fly the plane back in the early evening and have it arrive in Reykjavik the next morning? The return flight will have to be an overnight anyway, so why not fly it back the same day?
 
frmrCapCadet
Posts: 1043
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 8:24 pm

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:56 pm

Isn't Icelandair using older planes? Also perhaps the same crew gets enough break time to fly the other direction.
Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
 
2travel2know2
Posts: 2317
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:01 pm

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:56 pm

Quoting ozglobal (Reply 4):
Ask QF why LAX is 'littered' with 744s and A388's all day and then send them home in a veritable armada ? Business timing and curfews on a 15hr non-stop route. Frequency is irrelevant on such routes. It's all about the one right slot, capacity and yeild.

If QF could, they probably might send one of those to MEX/TLC so to try to make some $ instead of having it on LAX tarmac all day long.

On South American flights, it was common for SAO and RIO flights to have tag-ons to other Brazilian airports and to EZE, so to to use the aircraft the most possible during that long turn-around. Pan Am even had "tag-on" to South Africa.

Also worth mention, many times the long turn-around times are used to perform some kind of minor maintenance on the plane.
I'm not on CM's payroll.
 
ozglobal
Posts: 2525
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:33 am

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:11 pm

Quoting 2travel2know2 (Reply 9):
Quoting ozglobal (Reply 4):
Ask QF why LAX is 'littered' with 744s and A388's all day and then send them home in a veritable armada ? Business timing and curfews on a 15hr non-stop route. Frequency is irrelevant on such routes. It's all about the one right slot, capacity and yeild.

If QF could, they probably might send one of those to MEX/TLC so to try to make some $ instead of having it on LAX tarmac all day long.

They used to send one to NY, but as a 3 class 744 it was not profitable. Now they serve this extension via a A330. Turns out its more efficient cost wise to leave them on the tarmac with current freedom restrictions.
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
ILUV767
Posts: 3035
Joined: Mon May 29, 2000 2:21 pm

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:31 pm

Quoting Norwegian737 (Thread starter):
A plane makes money when it's in the air, so you would think that in today's competitive airline market with high costs, the airlines would want to utilize their airplane, instead of having them sitting on the ground for 10-14 hrs before it flies again.

If connection opportunities do not exist, then the flight will loose money. Its not cheap to park the airplane, but its cheaper than flying it on a money loosing flight.
 
Ferminios
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:01 pm

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:37 pm

Quoting Norwegian737 (Reply 7):
For example, Icelandair flies to Seattle, and it arrives in the afternoon, and then (during season that doesn't have daily flights) they let the plane sit until the next day (almost 24 hrs) before it flies back to Reykjavik. Why not fly the plane back in the early evening and have it arrive in Reykjavik the next morning? The return flight will have to be an overnight anyway, so why not fly it back the same day?

If I remember correctly they get MX done in SEA, so that's why the turnaround is so long  
 
brilondon
Posts: 3018
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2005 6:56 am

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:44 pm

I thought that the reason for the SA flights to LHR had such a long turnaround was so they would not have to have extra crews staying in the London area and just have the one crew fly back in the evening.

Thinking abou tit now also it is about connections with the TATL flights that leave LHR in the morning and arrive in NA. You can connect traffic flying to North America better, but OTOH flying back from North America would be rather inconvienient.
Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
 
Tristarsteve
Posts: 3365
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:04 pm

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:57 pm

Quoting Norwegian737 (Reply 7):
For example, Icelandair flies to Seattle, and it arrives in the afternoon, and then (during season that doesn't have daily flights) they let the plane sit until the next day (almost 24 hrs) before it flies back to Reykjavik. Why not fly the plane back in the early evening and have it arrive in Reykjavik the next morning? The return flight will have to be an overnight anyway, so why not fly it back the same day?

If it flew straight back to KEF it would land after the wave of B757s had left for Europe.
It would only carry O and D traffic, which is not enough for the route.
 
Joost
Posts: 1844
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 8:27 pm

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:08 pm

Quoting Norwegian737 (Thread starter):
The same thing also applies to British Airways, Air France, and KLM.

KLM is an exception. BA, AF, LH, VS, LX and IB indeed have opted for a double-overnight pattern: both directions, the flight is flown at night, resulting in long ground time in JNB. It's optimized for connections on both ends, and also preferred by most business pax.

KLM has, since a long time, operated the route with a daylight southbound flight. This winter:

AMS-JNB 10:10-22:05
JNB-AMS 23:59-10:15 (+1)

The outbound flight is less attractive for business travelers, but operating costs for KLM are lower than competitors. 10:10 is late enough to be able to feed from the European network, and it's way better positioned for passengers from North America - as these flights all arrive in the early morning.

Quoting 2travel2know2 (Reply 9):
Also worth mention, many times the long turn-around times are used to perform some kind of minor maintenance on the plane.

Although true, it usually isn't the reason for long layovers. It's rather "now we're here anyway, let's use our time well".

Whether a long layover is useful, totally depends on the geographic characteristics. They are used often when it's possible to have a 'double overnight'-pattern. It happens most notably for flights:

Europe - South Africa v.v.
Europe - South America v.v.
North America - South America v.v.
Europe - South East Asia (eastbound only)
Australia - North America (eastbound only)

For Europe - South America, KLM is (again) the oddball, as GRU, GIG and EZE are all operating a daylight westbound flight, and an overnight return; the 777s are all parked under 2 hours at the airports. All other airlines use double overnight patterns, although AF for example uses a KLM-like pattern for their 2nd daily flight on CDG-GIG. LH, LX, BA, AF, all have long layovers.

For S.E. Asia, similar things can be found, although here it's LH who has some schedules optimized for fleet utilization. KLM flies a double-overnight pattern on AMS-HKG, with a fairly long layover, whereas LH's FRA-HKG has a daylight return flight, arriving at FRA in the evening.
 
User avatar
IrishAyes
Posts: 2163
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:04 pm

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:03 pm

Quoting Norwegian737 (Thread starter):
I've noticed that some flights, particularly flights between Europe and South Africa have really long breaks before they turn around and return to where they originated from.

It's the same circumstances with flights between North and deep South America.

In instances where you have a long haul flight (8-10+ hours each direction) within the same time zone, give or take an hour or so, its actually more profitable to have the a/c sit on the tarmac during the day and operate the flights only at night. Higher yielding business traffic prefer nightly schedules, as mentioned above, for the purposes of not sacrificing an entire work day spent in the air. Plus, when you're not dealing with the effects of jet lag and can get a reasonably good nights sleep in a premium cabin, you maximize your productivity on both ends of the trip.

Ultimately, the revenues derived from night flights outweigh the costs of non-utilization. Alternatively, airlines can generate other cost-saving/revenue producing routes in this operation by using tag-ons or performing maintenance. For example, congested airports like Sao Paulo have ridiculously high parking fees, so a way around them is to do tag-on flights to GIG, etc.
confidence is silent. insecurities are loud.
 
2travel2know2
Posts: 2317
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:01 pm

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:20 pm

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 16):
For example, congested airports like Sao Paulo have ridiculously high parking fees, so a way around them is to do tag-on flights to GIG, etc.

Nowadays that only works fine @ GRU as long as the airline has the slots for the tag-on take-off and landing.
That would be the case too @ LHR where planes remain on the tarmac all they long because there are no slots for those to fly tag-ons. I remember RG Varig did tag-ons from LHR to CPH back in their glory days.
I'm not on CM's payroll.
 
theginge
Posts: 492
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 1:53 am

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:41 pm

Quoting brilondon (Reply 13):
I thought that the reason for the SA flights to LHR had such a long turnaround was so they would not have to have extra crews staying in the London area and just have the one crew fly back in the evening.

No, the reason is as others have said, night flights are preferable on many routes. I think after operating a long flight up from JNB the crew would need more rest than the time the aircraft stays on the ground. Generally you need 10-12 hours rest, or the length of the previous duty if it is greater, before you can report for duty again.

[Edited 2011-12-05 12:41:36]
 
emirates202
Posts: 237
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:13 am

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:22 pm

Same thing here at JFK with EK 201(A380) which arrives at JFK at 2pm, and doesn't return to dxb until 11pm, so I guess it's just bc of connection times at the hub
Fly Emirates, Hello Tomorrow
 
tff
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 3:33 pm

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:45 pm

Quoting joost (Reply 15):
For Europe - South America, KLM is (again) the oddball, as GRU, GIG and EZE are all operating a daylight westbound flight, and an overnight return; the 777s are all parked under 2 hours at the airports. All other airlines use double overnight patterns, although AF for example uses a KLM-like pattern for their 2nd daily flight on CDG-GIG. LH, LX, BA, AF, all have long layovers.

You just missed TP, which has daylight westbound flights and redeye returns in all its Brazil flights from June-September and in most of them October-May.
Remove before flight
 
Gemuser
Posts: 4348
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 12:07 pm

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:47 pm

Quoting 2travel2know2 (Reply 9):
If QF could, they probably might send one of those to MEX/TLC so to try to make some $ instead of having it on LAX tarmac all day long.

QF can serve any US city and have full 5th freedom rights from the USA to anywhere. AFAIK they still have rights to MEX, ACA, NAS, BDA & YVR. If there was some where else in Canada they really wanted to serve, other than YVR a deal could be done fairly easily, I would expect. In fact QF could serve just about anywhere in North America.

It just does not make economic sense to do so.

Gemuser
DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
 
2travel2know2
Posts: 2317
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:01 pm

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:24 am

Quoting gemuser (Reply 21):
QF can serve any US city and have full 5th freedom rights from the USA to anywhere. AFAIK they still have rights to MEX, ACA, NAS, BDA & YVR. If there was some where else in Canada they really wanted to serve, other than YVR a deal could be done fairly easily, I would expect. In fact QF could serve just about anywhere in North America.

It just does not make economic sense to do so.

As for a LAX-MEX/TLC, does QF still has 5th freedom rigths for that? Mexicans are a tough when granting 5th freedom between U.S. and Mexican airports.
Other than that issue, if QF were to fly MEX via LAX, a Mexican (and many others) travelling between Australia and Mexico must have a valid U.S. visa to fly that route.
As for LAX-Canada tag-on, U.S. immigration may want all Australia bound passengers boarding at that Canadian airport to go thru U.S. port-of-entry there just because the flight stops in LAX. How may Australians would like that?
I'm not on CM's payroll.
 
phunc
Posts: 172
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:52 pm

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:51 am

Some airlines take advantage of the downtime and schedule in MX. VS have aircraft cleaned externally whilst on 10-12 hour turn arounds in JNB.

Might aswell - cheap, aircraft is on the ground anyway waiting to depart at a time as mentioned in the above posts.
 
kl692
Posts: 636
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:34 am

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:34 am

Quoting Norwegian737 (Thread starter):
The same thing also applies to British Airways, Air France, and KLM.

KLM have a pretty good turn around time in the market if I am not mistaken. here is a quick examples

KL691 arrives at CYYZ at 3:45 PM
KL692 Departs from CYYZ at 6:33PM
That is less than 3 hours of turn around time

KL589 arrive at ACC at 9:05pm
KL590 departs from ACC 11:00PM
Which is also under 3 hrs.

for the most part the reason why there is such a huge turn around times between some cities is due to the time difference as well.
A310, A330,A346,B73H, B747,B772,B77W,CRJ
 
fraapproach
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:41 am

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:41 am

I have heard that the long ground time of the LH JNB flight may also serve as a buffer for disruptions in the fleet. Lets assume there is one A 380 (or 744 before) which has for whatever reason a major delay. As long as all aircraft are in a tight schedule this would disrupt a bunch of other flights. However, if you have a long groundtime in JNB you could can delay the outbound flight by around half a day and the inbound flight would still be on time and the schedule is in order again.

The same is true for some rather shorthaul flights done by widebody equipment (not true for LH). I remember to have read a thread where a UA flight into SFO was mentioned (inbound from ORD or LAX) which was operated by a 744 and mostly empty. The 744 on this flight may not fly back to ORD or LAX as if one of the 744s at SFO scheduled for longhaul ops is not available it will replace this aircraft in order to minimize disruptions.

[Edited 2011-12-06 00:11:03]
 
shnoob940
Posts: 172
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:53 am

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:11 am

Qantas has QF7, arriving in DFW at 1:50pm and not leaving until 10pm.
They park it across from the gate and tow it in at 7pm.

gibbo
319/320/321/332/333/359/388/733/734/735/736/737/738/739/743/744/752/762/763/772/77E/773/77W/788/789/E70/E90/Q400/AT7/DH4/SF3/RJ85
 
aircanada014
Posts: 1224
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 2:24 pm

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:29 am

that also applies to flights to South America to SCL, EZE and RIO and GRU especially for AC but they don't fly to RIO
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19065
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Why So Long Turn-around Times On Some Long Hauls?

Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:36 pm

Quoting Norwegian737 (Reply 7):
For example, Icelandair flies to Seattle, and it arrives in the afternoon, and then (during season that doesn't have daily flights) they let the plane sit until the next day (almost 24 hrs) before it flies back to Reykjavik. Why not fly the plane back in the early evening and have it arrive in Reykjavik the next morning? The return flight will have to be an overnight anyway, so why not fly it back the same day?
Quoting Ferminios (Reply 12):
If I remember correctly they get MX done in SEA, so that's why the turnaround is so long

With the less than daily schedule, if the flight returned the same day some crews would have to spend two nights in SEA instead of one.