JU068
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Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:53 pm

Good afternoon,

It seems that Air France is considering cancelling its Los Angeles - Papeete leg as it has been chronically losing money on it for the past seven years. At the moment Air France is negotiating with 89 members of its personel which operate the leg in order to reach an equillibrium on the route. If an agreement is not reached the airline will have no other choice but to leave the market. This decision is in line with the Transformation 2015 programme where Air France is hoping to cut €2 billion in expenses, including 5,000 jobs.

I guess this comes as great news for Air Tahiti Nui which will be left as the sole operator from between Paris and Papeete. Air Tahiti Nui also operates the route via Los Angeles.

For those interested you can find the original link here:
http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-eco/201...echit-a-desservir-la-polynesie.php

Best,

JU068
 
mogandoCI
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:16 pm

Quoting ju068 (Thread starter):
I guess this comes as great news for Air Tahiti Nui which will be left as the sole operator from between Paris and Papeete. Air Tahiti Nui also operates the route via Los Angeles.

But that sucks for consumers. Any flight from US to PPT is already through-the-roof gouging, and the last thing we need is monopoly pricing power.

One can do HA but even they're billing you an arm and leg for the prestige of going to Bora Bora
 
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auroralives
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:22 pm

I'm having trouble correlating these 2 statements...

Quoting ju068 (Thread starter):
cancelling its Los Angeles - Papeete leg as it has been chronically losing money on it
Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 1):
Any flight from US to PPT is already through-the-roof gouging

Is this strictly a yields issue ??
 
JU068
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:29 pm

Quoting auroralives (Reply 2):
Is this strictly a yields issue ??

It also depends how many seats they sell from Paris to Papeete, maybe most of their passengers disembark in Los Angeles. Plus with Air France's cost structure it must have been hard to make a profit on this kind of route.
 
sw733
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:30 pm

Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 1):
Any flight from US to PPT is already through-the-roof gouging

I checked for late-October, LAX-PPT on TN, and even just over one month out, I can get a return ticket for $1592 all in. Not too bad if you ask me. For late June 2013, it's only about $30 more.
 
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:59 pm

Quoting ju068 (Thread starter):
At the moment Air France is negotiating with 89 members of its personel which operate the leg in order to reach an equillibrium on the route.

Does this mean Air France has 89 employees dedicated to the route, not flying any other route? That seems pretty strange.
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PPVRA
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:04 pm

Quoting auroralives (Reply 2):
I'm having trouble correlating these 2 statements...

Quoting ju068 (Thread starter):
cancelling its Los Angeles - Papeete leg as it has been chronically losing money on it
Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 1):
Any flight from US to PPT is already through-the-roof gouging

Is this strictly a yields issue ??

High prices (monopoly or not) doesn't indicate a profitable operation. Raising them even more may not necessarily improve anything, either.

Some markets just don't work.
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:06 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 5):
Does this mean Air France has 89 employees dedicated to the route, not flying any other route? That seems pretty strange.

AF has a crew base in PPT that solely flies the PPT-LAX route.
 
mercure1
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:16 pm

This actually is not new news.

AF has indeed been in negative situation in French Polynesia. About 1-year ago there was long interview with AF head saying they would be reviewing their options.
(discussed in this thread - http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ral_aviation/print.main?id=5345790 )

AF has consider making a business venture with TN, but as you know TN has big problem itself.

Regarding staffs, AF purchase large infrastructure from UTA including a crew base. I believe 89 must be crew count, but total staff is closer to 125 (as indicated by AF boss).


And no - this is not great news for TN. Even it does not want to be left in monopoly situation. As covered in other threads the loss of capacity, and choice will make entire islands already depressed tourism and economic situation even worse. Lack of options beyond TN has become a big problem, and loss of AF a good alternate choice will exasperate the situation.
 
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Aesma
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:41 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 5):
Does this mean Air France has 89 employees dedicated to the route, not flying any other route? That seems pretty strange.

Well, PPT is on the other side of the planet from mainland France, not a short commute !
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Jetmarc
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:58 pm

AF PPT crews also work LAX-CDG... AFCabinCrew, where are you??
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:58 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 9):
Well, PPT is on the other side of the planet from mainland France, not a short commute !

And your point is? They simply operate the PPT - LAX route, 89 employess or 125, whatever it is, no wonder they cannot make money on the route, thats a huge head count. I dread to think what the break even is before they can even dream of getting in the black.
 
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:15 pm

I dont think 89 crews are that much. Youd have about 14 in PPT to work flt to LAX, 14 laying over in LAX for the continuation to CDG, along with 14 in LAX to work flt back to PPT and 14 in CDG to work flight to LAX, so, you'd have 68 PPT FAs right there alone on duty, not to mention the crews needed for the next days flights.
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lightsaber
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:36 pm

Quoting ju068 (Thread starter):
I guess this comes as great news for Air Tahiti Nui which will be left as the sole operator from between Paris and Papeete. Air Tahiti Nui also operates the route via Los Angeles.

   It is really bad news for Tahiti tourism. How many more hotels will close? If anything, this is good news for HA. One question, does HA have a partner to transfer passengers from Europe to LAX? Perhaps they will work with AF?

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 6):
High prices (monopoly or not) doesn't indicate a profitable operation. Raising them even more may not necessarily improve anything, either.

Some markets just don't work.

Exactly. Unless TN gets its cost structure in hand, demand will shrink. There are *many* other tourist destination options. In a depressed tourist market, exclusive and unique is good. Prices above the perceived product is bad...

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 8):
will make entire islands already depressed tourism and economic situation even worse. Lack of options beyond TN has become a big problem, and loss of AF a good alternate choice will exasperate the situation.
Quoting auroralives (Reply 2):
I'm having trouble correlating these 2 statements...

If costs are out of hand, one can have high fares, decent load factors, and still lose money.

For myself, unless TN improves, I see the LAX-PPT going to HA. Does AF partner with anyone in the pacific that flies to PPT? Could they divert the passengers the other way around the world?

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Aesma
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:42 pm

Quoting ual777uk (Reply 11):
And your point is? They simply operate the PPT - LAX route

My point is that AF hubs are in France. There is no other route around PPT for the crew to operate.
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mercure1
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:43 pm

AF is partners with Air Calin which does Noumea to Papeete.

But is unrealistic to expect AF pax to fly CDG-NRT-NOU-PPT. Same with CDG-USA-HNL-PPT on Hawaiian.

If FP government would not have caused problems for, the market is ready again for someone like Corsair to operate to FP again.

One thing to remember is metropolitan France customers have many many choices where to vacation - from Carribes, Indian Ocean, Reunion/Madagascar, etc all nonstop.
Making FP more than 1-stop will further reduce interest.
 
777222LR
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:44 pm

Isn't this AF route heavily subsidized by the French government, or is that RUN? Sad to see it possibly leaving. Will they codeshare with Tahiti Nui?
 
roseflyer
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:58 pm

The current schedule for AF is horrible for connections. The 7pm arrival into LAX is too late to get much feed to anywhere other than redeye departures. With such limited service, PPT would be getting feed from multiple airlines in LAX, yet it’s hard to find much leaving LAX at 9pm other than east coast red eye flights. An 11am arrival into LAX would hit the early afternoon rush at LAX.

I would think that LAX-PPT should be a daylight flight and PPT-LAX should be a red eye. That would allow plenty of connections.
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mercure1
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:10 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 17):
The current schedule for AF is horrible for connections.

AF does not need connections at LAX.

Main reason flight operates and is timed for is for the Metropolitan France to French Polynesia passengers.
Think of LAX as being a fuel stop location in the middle. Yes some people use the flight to/from USA, but bulk is from end to end.

According to AF country manager they had 91% load factor component on route. Its not a matter of passengers, but more the cost inherit of operating the long line.
 
mogandoCI
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:20 pm

Would this be a perfect route for DL to take over as part of the DL-AF-KL JV ? Or is their JV only restricted to TATL ?

[Edited 2012-09-17 10:21:10]
 
TWA902fly
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:34 pm

Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 19):
Would this be a perfect route for DL to take over as part of the DL-AF-KL JV ? Or is their JV only restricted to TATL ?

If I remember correctly, the LAX-PPT route is covered under the joint venture AF/DL. If this is the case, I imagine a DL 767 can do the job for much cheaper, and without needing a dedicated 89 crew members. I have a feeling when AF says they are "considering their options" this may be one of them.

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airproxx
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:04 pm

Quoting auroralives (Reply 2):
Is this strictly a yields issue ??

No, loads on the route have never been good for the last 10 years, and I don't think it will get better any time soon...
There was a time when AF used to operate a daily B744 service, now it's only a B772 on a weekly base, plus the extra JV seats on TN flights.

AF axing this route is probably the oddest and silliest decision, considering the fact that Air Tahiti Nui has been bleeding money for ages, with a poor service and out-of-age operating costs. This airline is living only for a state-sponsored sake, and if there's something to suppress quickly IMO, it's this nonsense airline.
AF should take over the whole passengers, with Polynesian government letting TN go to its own fate. End of story.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 13):
If costs are out of hand, one can have high fares, decent load factors, and still lose money.

That's what's happening with TN since ages!
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:10 pm

At 4,095nm from LAX to PPT, a 767 could handle this route nicely. It could be another route that starts at JFK or ATL and goes to LAX before continuing to PPT. This would be with the DL/AF/KL joint venture.
 
G500
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:31 pm

If Air France cancels LAX-PPT, Air Tahiti is "going to party like is 1999"....

What type of passengers does Air France mainly carry between LAX-PPT?? French nationals, or Americans?
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:37 pm

I like the idea of a DL 767 to PPT. Would AF re-time their flight?

Quoting airproxx (Reply 21):
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 13):
If costs are out of hand, one can have high fares, decent load factors, and still lose money.

That's what's happening with TN since ages!

Yes. But as long as TN operates, no other airlines will really have viable service to Tahiti.
Ironic as doesn't the French government help subsidize TN? Note I'm asking as that might be out of date information.

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 18):
Think of LAX as being a fuel stop location in the middle.

I am amazed to how close LAX is to the great circle route CDG-PPT. No additional nautical miles of air route!    It is almost in the middle:
LAX-CDG: 4927nm
LAX-PPT: 3559 nm

for grins:
HNL-PPT: 2737nm
But CDG-HNL-PPT is 300nm further and CDG-HNL is an uneconomic 6468nm.

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jfk777
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:42 pm

This is the French version of flying to Australia, CDG to LAX is a much more premuim market then LAX to PPT. AF has no business flying to Tahiti. If the French Government considers it to be so important then it should subsidize Air Tahiti Nui.
 
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:48 pm

I'm not clear about such things but would there be any ETOPS limitations for a B767 to fly LAX-PPT? i.e. could it operate the route direct or would it have to plan a route within xx minutes of an alternate airport? I believe 180 minutes is now possible to ETOPS - is that right?
 
azjubilee
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:53 pm

HA has flown LAX-PPT in the past (DC10s) for Renaissance cruises so it isn't out of the realm of possibility for them to do it again. The big question will be wether HA can do it profitably. If not, there are far more viable options for HA to deploy their assets on. Allocating a 763 a few times a week could be interesting as I highly doubt they'd commit a new 330 to the route. Maybe increasing HNL-PPT capacity in the meantime is more realistic.

[Edited 2012-09-17 12:00:56]
 
mercure1
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:56 pm

Quoting airproxx (Reply 21):
There was a time when AF used to operate a daily B744 service, now it's only a B772 on a weekly base, plus the extra JV seats on TN flights.
AF never had daily service, let alone on a 747. Even UTA never had daily. LAX frequency was 2-3 weekly normally.
Also today is 3x weekly on 777, not weekly as you state.

Below number of annual flights AF operate to PPT
2010 - 157
2009 - 165
2008 - 207
2007 - 210
2006 - 164
2005 - 156
2004 - 157
2003 - 155
2002 - data missing
2001 - data missing
2000 - 188

Also AF only purchase seats on TN flight 1x weekly, not all TN services.

Quoting airproxx (Reply 21):
No, loads on the route have never been good for the last 10 years, and I don't think it will get better any time soon...

You need to check your info. Loads are very strong -- even AF boss said that - 91% on 2011.

Below AF load factor coeeficient at PPT
2010 - 88.7
2009 - 87.5
2008 - 83.5
2007 - 84.0
2006 - 86.5
2005 - 79.9
2004 - 79.8
2003 - 78.7
2002 - data missing
2001 - data missing
2000 - 85.4

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 25):
AF has no business flying to Tahiti. If the French Government considers it to be so important then it should subsidize Air Tahiti Nui.

Well AF merge and inherit with an airline that had a long time Tahiti base (since post WW2) which connected across Oceania region. PPT was regional hub for French activity with aircraft and crews base.

So no question Tahiti is a good sized market from metropolitan France, so its not unusual that AF maintain such links for commercial reasons if possible. So not just historic, but there is good traffic flow between the two.

[Edited 2012-09-17 11:57:57]
 
airproxx
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:01 pm

Quoting airsmiles (Reply 26):
I'm not clear about such things but would there be any ETOPS limitations for a B767 to fly LAX-PPT? i.e. could it operate the route direct or would it have to plan a route within xx minutes of an alternate airport? I believe 180 minutes is now possible to ETOPS - is that right?

Correct, AF used to operate the route with B744 and A343, due to ETOPS limitations. Now AF operates the route with B772, they can't go direct and have to get a little bit further west to match with ETOPS requirements (not sure if it's 180 or 207 min though..). So a B767, I'm not sure really...
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:03 pm

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 28):
Below AF load factor coeeficient at PPT
2010 - 88.7
2009 - 87.5
2008 - 83.5
2007 - 84.0
2006 - 86.5
2005 - 79.9
2004 - 79.8
2003 - 78.7
2002 - data missing
2001 - data missing
2000 - 85.4
Quoting mercure1 (Reply 28):
So no question Tahiti is a good sized market from metropolitan France, so its not unusual that AF maintain such links for commercial reasons if possible. So not just historic, but there is good traffic flow between the two.

But does the fares paid by these high load factors pay the costs all the way from Paris to PPT ? The answer seems to be NO.
 
airproxx
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:09 pm

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 28):
You need to check your info. Loads are very strong -- even AF boss said that - 91% on 2011.
Quoting mercure1 (Reply 28):
AF never had daily service, let alone on a 747. Even UTA never had daily. LAX frequency was 2-3 weekly normally.
Also today is 3x weekly on 777, not weekly as you state.

And AF/TN keeps losing money on that route... 91%, I don't know where you get your data from, but based on what I saw on board, especially for the AF flight between CDG and LAX connecting to PPT, loads are NOT good at all. No big surprise if this route is not profitable. Add to this low yields, for a heavily subsidized route, you get nothing but big money loss!
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LAXintl
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:14 pm

Air NZ operated 767s between LAX and PPT for ages. So the type can do it. NZ today still does LAX-RAR an even longer segment.


As far as AF having business flying the route or not, remember AF today flies to a host of leisure markets globally - from Saint Maarten to Mauritius.

I'd say its more of a cost issue for a legacy Air France than an issue of market size or validity. These markets are exist and many are quite large, but question is more can AF sustain them based on its cost base or not.
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mercure1
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:23 pm

Quoting airproxx (Reply 31):
I don't know where you get your data from

Service d'Etat de l'aviation civile en Polynésie française.

Also news interview with AF boss in previous link I supply.

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 30):
But does the fares paid by these high load factors pay the costs all the way from Paris to PPT

Airfare between FP and metropolitan France have never been higher. Hotels and tourism partners are complaining dearly. They held news conference recently and state what was cheapest €800 ticket now close to €1,400. Hurting tourism.

Mentioned in previous thread.
Air Tahiti Nui – One More Year, One More Loss (by mercure1 Jun 28 2012 in Civil Aviation)
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:30 pm

This makes me wonder if NZ should restart AKL-PPT-LAX service?

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 28):
Well AF merge and inherit with an airline that had a long time Tahiti base (since post WW2) which connected across Oceania region. PPT was regional hub for French activity with aircraft and crews base.

But where is the profit? Tahiti hotels are closing for a reason. It is for Tahiti to find that reason and reverse the trend. AF needs to retreat to profitable routes and then expand again. But first get their costs in line with revenue.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 32):
As far as AF having business flying the route or not, remember AF today flies to a host of leisure markets globally - from Saint Maarten to Mauritius.

Which is one reason Tahiti is having such an issue. There is too much competition for the tourist dollar. "You grow or you rot" and Tahiti doesn't have a growth plan.

Quoting azjubilee (Reply 27):
HA has flown LAX-PPT in the past (DC10s) for Renaissance cruises so it isn't out of the realm of possibility for them to do it again. The big question will be wether HA can do it profitably. If not, there are far more viable options for HA to deploy their assets on.

I was thinking HA via HNL. For HA to restart via LAX would require a major change by the government of Tahiti in terms of working with airlines and foreign investors. One issue for Tahiti is it is so far from Asian money... Actually, it is just too far from too much money.

OneWorld will fly TN.
Skyteam could be via DL 767.
*A via NZ (again to LAX?).

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 32):
Air NZ operated 767s between LAX and PPT

Perhaps without AF competition, they will again. Perhaps not... it all depends on TN and the government of Tahiti.

Lightsaber
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LAXintl
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:46 pm

I'm not sure what the argument on Air France loads are.

DOT numbers also confirm they are indeed very healthy for AF on the LAX-PPT segment.

I come up with 91.4% for 2011 which matches the above AF management comment.
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Viscount724
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:19 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 34):
Quoting azjubilee (Reply 27):
HA has flown LAX-PPT in the past (DC10s) for Renaissance cruises so it isn't out of the realm of possibility for them to do it again. The big question will be wether HA can do it profitably. If not, there are far more viable options for HA to deploy their assets on.

I was thinking HA via HNL.

LAX-HNL-PPT is more than 1000 nm (28%) further than nonstop (HNL is west of PPT). HA would have to offer competitive fares but carry the passenger almost 1/3 further. Doesn't sound economic.

LAX-PPT 3559 nm
LAX-HNL-PPT 4594 nm

 
azjubilee
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:29 pm

You're quoting two different people, making two different points, to make your own point Viscount. All I'm saying is that HA has flown LAX-PPT in the past and that in a pinch, HA could perhaps offer more HNL-PPT frequencies to fill a void. HA could very well be a viable option to fill a void of seats from the USA to French Polynesia if AF should pull out or ATN shut down.
 
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psa1011
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:58 pm

Would United consider starting LAX/SFO-PPT?
 
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Aesma
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:14 pm

Quoting 777222LR (Reply 16):
Isn't this AF route heavily subsidized by the French government, or is that RUN? Sad to see it possibly leaving. Will they codeshare with Tahiti Nui?

They're both subsidized, along with every other route to oversea territories, and even metropolitan ones if there is a need (Corsica for example). The local governments, themselves subsidized, also subsidize (or in the case of TN and Air Austral, prop up) airlines.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
gigneil
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:28 pm

Quoting PSA1011 (Reply 38):
Would United consider starting LAX/SFO-PPT?

Since nobody seems to be able to make money, why would they consider such a thing?

Sounds like a ruuul bad idea.

NS
 
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:32 pm

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 33):
They held news conference recently and state what was cheapest €800 ticket now close to €1,400. Hurting tourism.

1,400 sounds very close to cost (even at the spectacular load factors).

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 36):
HA would have to offer competitive fares but carry the passenger almost 1/3 further. Doesn't sound economic.

I'm not thinking TN is that economical.   I think HA with one stop and quite a bit of distance added could fly a passenger for less than TN. I doubt they will fly LAX-PPT head to head with TN. If TN also dropped the route? Sure! But that is unlikely, IMHO.

Normally, I am all for more direct routing. But if the yields are not there even after a subsidy... Time to drop the route.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 39):
Quoting 777222LR (Reply 16):
Isn't this AF route heavily subsidized by the French government, or is that RUN? Sad to see it possibly leaving. Will they codeshare with Tahiti Nui?

They're both subsidized, along with every other route to oversea territories, and even metropolitan ones if there is a need (Corsica for example). The local governments, themselves subsidized, also subsidize (or in the case of TN and Air Austral, prop up) airlines.

So a subsidy on top of a subsidy isn't enough for economic air service? Game over.

So how does this work? Is the subsidy being cut? (Or will it with AF leaving?) Or will some of the money now go to TN?

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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:57 pm

Quoting jetMarc (Reply 12):
I dont think 89 crews are that much. Youd have about 14 in PPT to work flt to LAX, 14 laying over in LAX for the continuation to CDG, along with 14 in LAX to work flt back to PPT and 14 in CDG to work flight to LAX, so, you'd have 68 PPT FAs right there alone on duty, not to mention the crews needed for the next days flights.

Surely they operate the CDG-LAX part with CDG-based crews?

And no, 89 crew aren't much at all for a 777 route, even if it's just one route. Once off-days, holidays, standby times, sickness etc. etc. are factored in, you need a surprisingly large amount of people to keep it going.

Lufthansa sometimes say they consider their widebodies to be like a medium-sized enterprise. Their cost-structures, turnover, staff etc. are very similar to a small company.
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:33 pm

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 8):
Regarding staffs, AF purchase large infrastructure from UTA including a crew base.

Why hasn't the crew base been closed already? Too politically sensitive? Tied to local subsidies? If the PPT crew does fly the route all the way to CDG, it makes even less sense than crewing the flights from CDG to PPT.
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:40 pm

Waiting for AFCabinCrew - he has all the goss...

From what I know, the pilots are all CDG based, ends up being a 9 day trip. PPT crews fly all the way to CDG as does TN crews, but a few years ago AF PPT crews got stuck with just LAX which has since reverted back to trips which include CDG flights. I also vaguely recall that there are, at times, mixed crew, with a few CDG FAs working along with the PPT based FAs. PPT based has gone from B744, to A340, to now, B777 qualified.
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:50 pm

Quoting jetMARC (Reply 44):
From what I know, the pilots are all CDG based, ends up being a 9 day trip.

That is not economical. That sounds like the economics low frequency airlines had to Australia... The hotel costs destroyed the trip economics. If you have enough people sleeping long enough in a hotel room, that eats your profits!

If the trip must be broken down into a bunch of short hops to be economical, then so be it. Let DL or HA fly the LAX-PPT leg.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 36):
LAX-HNL-PPT 4594 nm

One thing, HNL-PPT is only 2373nm. HNL based flights could avoid hotel costs on the HNL-PPT leg. (just barely).

If HA ever buys a longer range narrowbody, HNL-PPT would be a fine route. That is one reason I see the end of these subsidized routes. Eventually more economical solutions will happen.
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:57 pm

Interesting... just looking at Expedia I am seeing $2700 r/t LAX-PPT on AF, compared with $1600 r/t on TN (or AA codeshare). And that is looking out into November.

Assuming the 91% load factors are correct, if AF can't make money with those fares, it is more likely a cost issue than a revenue issue.

For comparison purposes over the same time period LAX-LIM, which is about 70 miles longer than LAX-PPT, is going for about $1150 r/t on Lan.
 
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:50 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 25):
CDG to LAX is a much more premuim market then LAX to PPT

Absolute nonsense.

Every carrier which has operated LAX-PPT in the loast fifteen years has experienced well over 95% average loadings in Business Class, while Economy Class loadings have tended to vary between 60 and 80%.

French Polynesia's defiscalisation laws led to the construction of a disproportionate amount of $1000+ per night overwater bungalows, and until the recent appreciation of the Australian dollar they were almost all either empty or occupied by people flying in from the US west coast and Europe.

It is true that some of the people who vacation in a $1000 per night room fly Economy class. But a significant number don't.

There are two main problems here.

1. AIR FRANCE'S PROBLEM
.......is purely and simply massive over-manning at its Papeete station. Friends of mine working in this field in Papeete have told me that Air France cannot break even without 120% loads, which obviously can't happen.

2. FRENCH POLYNESIA'S PROBLEM
......is that while Air Tahiti Nui provides an insurance policy against foreign carriers pulling out, it has become a virtual monopoly and costs and prices are now so high that they discourage discretionary inbound tourism.

In addition, the whole glut of construction of $1000+ per night overwater bungalows required a large volume of high-yield inbound visitors, especially in Business Class cabins. But most couples who can afford $10000 for a pair of return Business Class airfares for their main vacation of the year expect to be richly rewarded in terms of frequent flyer miles and status.

And while Air France has Skyteam covered, there is zero loyalty incentive for frequent flyers of United, US Airways, Air Canada, Lufthansa and Swiss to buy a business class fare to Papeete.

Don't make the mistake of considering French Polynesia to be a low-yield market. It isn't. The problem is that LAX-PPT is a duopoly between two massively over-manned French airlines, which pass the pain of their costs onto their potential customers. Who then vacation elsewhere instead.
 
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:11 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 41):
So a subsidy on top of a subsidy isn't enough for economic air service? Game over.

So how does this work? Is the subsidy being cut? (Or will it with AF leaving?) Or will some of the money now go to TN?

I'm guessing part of the problem is that subsidies are linked to conditions on local jobs and stuff like that.

Quoting travelin man (Reply 46):
Interesting... just looking at Expedia I am seeing $2700 r/t LAX-PPT on AF

I would guess that the flight you looked at was full. I tried AF website for a november flight (just to get a "low price" ) and it was 1800€ r/t CDG-PPT.
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RE: Air France Likely To Axe Tahiti

Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:21 am

Quoting ual777uk (Reply 11):
And your point is? They simply operate the PPT - LAX route, 89 employess or 125, whatever it is, no wonder they cannot make money on the route, thats a huge head count. I dread to think what the break even is before they can even dream of getting in the black.
Quoting ual777uk (Reply 11):
I dont think 89 crews are that much. Youd have about 14 in PPT to work flt to LAX, 14 laying over in LAX for the continuation to CDG, along with 14 in LAX to work flt back to PPT and 14 in CDG to work flight to LAX, so, you'd have 68 PPT FAs right there alone on duty, not to mention the crews needed for the next days flights.

Yep, 89 sounds about the right number for a long-haul base, even if flying one single route. But yeah, no wonder they can't make money on the route, indeed.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 13):
If anything, this is good news for HA. One question, does HA have a partner to transfer passengers from Europe to LAX? Perhaps they will work with AF?

If they don't have a partnership already, AF might possibly work something out, as it will save them the trouble of flying to PPT and will keep the PPT-CDG pax on their LAX-CDG flights rather than on the competitors' flights.

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 15):
But is unrealistic to expect AF pax to fly CDG-NRT-NOU-PPT. Same with CDG-USA-HNL-PPT on Hawaiian.

I'm sure HA beats an AF Y 777 seat and any AF J seat with no problem, with service that is probably on par. But if one has to connect in HNL, that would not work out so great. I do think that someone might end up taking up the LAX-PPT route (which, by itself, I think works quite well). HA might be a safe bet, unless DL wants to venture there as part of the JV with AF. One can also think that TN stops serving CDG and focuses on PPT-LAX only, leaving the LAX-CDG segment to AF alone.
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