LAXintl
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Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:10 pm

The print edition of Aviation Week for October 8th has a story about Thai and its efforts to find a niche for the A380 in its fleet.

Basically when TG ordered its 6 A380s in 2004 the carrier envisaged deploying them on the dense and profitable routes connecting Europe to Australia via its Bangkok hub.

However in the intertwining years these once historically important routes for TG have "deteriorated" as competitors have successfully eaten into the traffic. For instance London once a prime European market with multiple daily 747s is where "performance has been highly impacted by fierce expansion of Middle Eastern carriers" and is now served by smaller A340 fleet, and can no longer support the 507 seat A380 economically as original envisaged.

Against this back drop per TG VP of Strategy and Business Development Chokchai Panyayong, the company has been forced to find a new role for the A380 in its network.

Thankfully the carrier has seen continued growth and profitability on intra-Asia traffic which has led it to deploy the A380 on short hops to Hong Kong and Singapore initially. The carrier foresees only minimal long haul routes for the A380 such as to Star hub Frankfurt and possibly to Sydney but the majority of future use will be regionally including Tokyo, Osaka and added frequencies to Hong Kong, vastly different from the original intent for the longhaul jumbo.


Certainly some interesting comments. Seems the A380 is a bit of a non-needed aircraft for TG today.


I suspect others like Malaysian might be in the same boat with its A380s arriving at a time its network and global markets no longer perform they did when the aircraft were first ordered.
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art
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:19 pm

Would the changing market have been the reason TG wanted to cancel their A380's some time back?
 
bonusonus
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:20 pm

Might Thai consider reconfiguring its A380s to a denser configuration? Right now TG's A380s have 12 F, 60 J, and 435 Y. Or consider changing it for the aircraft they still haven't taken delivery on?
 
mercure1
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:23 pm

Amazing they ordered and waited 8-years for the aircraft.

Yes many things change in a decade.

The once bread and butter routes turn moldy.
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:25 pm

I think most carriers are having trouble placing the 380, other than EK. MH certainly will, EU carriers seem to move them all over the place. This is just the beginning. Carriers were having trouble placing their 744s, never mind larger aircraft.
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ER757
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:28 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
Certainly some interesting comments. Seems the A380 is a bit of a non-needed aircraft for TG today.


I suspect others like Malaysian might be in the same boat with its A380s arriving at a time its network and global markets no longer perform they did when the aircraft were first ordered.

I suspect so as well. IMO TG and MH were two "me too" carriers when they ordered this aircraft. Reminds me of the likes of EA, AA, DL and some others back when the 747 frst came out. Yeah, I am old enough to remember that   
 
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:33 pm

Quoting bonusonus (Reply 2):
Might Thai consider reconfiguring its A380s to a denser configuration? Right now TG's A380s have 12 F, 60 J, and 435 Y. Or consider changing it for the aircraft they still haven't taken delivery on?

That's always an option, but I'm not sure how much there is in that config without sacrificing up front revenue. 12F can definitely be reduced (seems like 8 is the popular choice nowadays), but 60J seems kinda scrawny as-is. They could probably get away with something like 4F/~75J/~450Y, but I think you run into a problem of how many Y seats (especially discounted fare buckets) can you cram in there and still make a buck on the route? Even if premium demand is down, some of that is F->J with better J product, and I'd venture to say even discounted J tix often do better for the bottom line than Y, even accounting for J being more expensive per pax. So at some point above 435 there is going to be a tradeoff, and a practical ceiling on how many seats are viable.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:36 pm

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 3):
Amazing they ordered and waited 8-years for the aircraft.

At the time they ordered it, they needed it. Once they didn't need it, they were not in a position to cancel them so now they have to make use of them where they can.

The A380-800 and 777-300ER do give TG a fresh and efficient long-haul fleet, so that will hopefully start to drive up demand and allow the A380-800s room to grow into.

[Edited 2012-10-15 09:41:25]
 
LAXintl
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:36 pm

Well in theory if the bulk of the fleet operations will be doing things like short 120 minute hops to places like SIN and HKG one does have to wonder about the configurations.

At the very least a denser and less opulent premium regional product might be more appropriate. You don't need lie flat beds and enclosed F class suites.

As seen on other models TG does seem to like to have configuration variations including a more spartan regional configuration in its fleet.
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fcogafa
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:38 pm

Ironic that Emirates A380 expansion seems to be killing off the A380 requirement for other airlines. Maybe the world only needs a finite number of A380s, whoever operates them. And this is at a time when UAE only has a quarter of their envisioned fleet....

As for 'me too' airlines (!), why do I immediately think of a certain UK airline?
 
Hirnie
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:38 pm

I think Thai can stand the competition from thr ME carriers with the 380. When they put them on the routes to FRA and SYD most of the 6 frames will be deployed. It wont be a problem to find regional employment for the rest of the capacity.
Perhaps Thai can gain back some traffic volume over competitive prices and a good new product on the 380. With LH perhaps switching to the 346 to BKK pressure on this route might be a bit decreased.
 
Birdwatching
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:39 pm

Could they lease them out? It seems like EK can't wait to get their orders filled. Thai could lease them out to Emirates, but then again, that would probably make the whole problem even worse.

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TC957
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:44 pm

Perhaps TG should have gone for the HGW 590 tonnes version and re-instate the LAX non-stop, that's only about 300 miles further than QF's MEL-LAX that non-HGW A380's do. Meanwhile, wonder if Moscow could work for TG 380's, seeing UN use high-density 744's to BKK.
 
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:50 pm

Quoting fcogafa (Reply 9):
Maybe the world only needs a finite number of A380s, whoever operates them

   Especially if they're all pretty much all in Eurasia.

Quoting Hirnie (Reply 10):
I think Thai can stand the competition from thr ME carriers with the 380.

I find it a little hard to believe that TG can't compete with the ME carriers. EK has 6 daily BKKDXB flights; TG should be able to overfly DXB a bit more, but not with a 380.
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A388
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:53 pm

I never expected the BKK-Europe to have that much competition to such an extend that the A380 is no longer needed, wow. What are the projections for the coming 5 years for the BKK-Europe or Asia-Europe routes? Can TG make better use of their A380 at a later stage? Can't LHR support a daily A380 flight from TG? TG's first A380 destinations in Europe will be CDG and FRA, is that correct?

A388
 
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Stitch
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:29 pm

Quoting TC957 (Reply 12):
Perhaps TG should have gone for the HGW 590 tonnes version and re-instate the LAX non-stop, that's only about 300 miles further than QF's MEL-LAX that non-HGW A380's do.

There is no 590t MTOW passenger model (that MTOW was for the Freighter).

The highest current Weight Variant is 573t and that WV was announced years after TG had placed their order.
 
LAXintl
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:33 pm

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 3):
Amazing they ordered and waited 8-years for the aircraft.

Yes many things change in a decade.

The once bread and butter routes turn moldy.

Well basically yes in 8-years the industry landscape and its economics have changed.

At least TG is lucky that is sounds like its intra-Asia operations is doing well and and has somewhere to place these aircraft on.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 4):

I think most carriers are having trouble placing the 380, other than EK. MH certainly will, EU carriers seem to move them all over the place. This is just the beginning. Carriers were having trouble placing their 744s, never mind larger aircraft.

  

Outside of EK, I think the A380 is indeed a niche market machine and will not work for all airlines nor on many routes.'

I think we might indeed see folks like Malaysia struggle also over time.

Quoting ER757 (Reply 5):
I suspect so as well. IMO TG and MH were two "me too" carriers when they ordered this aircraft. Reminds me of the likes of EA, AA, DL and some others back when the 747 frst came out. Yeah, I am old enough to remember that

   yes I well recall those 747 days also. Not just in the US, but overseas in Europe, Africa, etc many picked up small 747 fleets that economically could not be justified.

Quoting Hirnie (Reply 10):
When they put them on the routes to FRA and SYD most of the 6 frames will be deployed. It wont be a problem to find regional employment for the rest of the capacity.

A FRA route would only require 2 airframes with about 14-hours free time back in BKK to run some regional stuff.
SYD I heard would be seasonal so that takes one frames.

At the end TG would still have 3.5 - 4.5 frames on a daily basis basically doing short Asia flying. Not sure this is the most ideal deployment of such an expensive aircraft.

Quoting Hirnie (Reply 10):
Perhaps Thai can gain back some traffic volume over competitive prices and a good new product on the 380. With LH perhaps switching to the 346 to BKK pressure on this route might be a bit decreased.

I don't think the issue is traffic volume, but revenue. With SK dropping BKK they did not say loads were an issue, but the lack of yields in the market.

Quoting TC957 (Reply 12):
Perhaps TG should have gone for the HGW 590 tonnes version and re-instate the LAX non-stop, that's only about 300 miles further than QF's MEL-LAX that non-HGW A380's do. Meanwhile, wonder if Moscow could work for TG 380's, seeing UN use high-density 744's to BKK.

I think TG would be well served avoiding trying to dump the A380 to LAX. It already has enough problems here with a checkered history.
Also for Moscow, I'm not sure TG really wants to chase after bargain basement Russian tourist.

Quoting A388 (Reply 14):
I never expected the BKK-Europe to have that much competition to such an extend that the A380 is no longer needed, wow.

As I said above, I think the issue is yields. Plumping more capacity into a place like BKK-LHR will only drive it down further.
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behramjee
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:35 pm

Quoting A388 (Reply 14):


I never expected the BKK-Europe to have that much competition to such an extend that the A380 is no longer needed, wow. What are the projections for the coming 5 years for the BKK-Europe or Asia-Europe routes? Can TG make better use of their A380 at a later stage? Can't LHR support a daily A380 flight from TG? TG's first A380 destinations in Europe will be CDG and FRA, is that correct?

You are missing the point here I feel. TG and everyone else knows that there is indeed a huge market between LHR and BKK to support double daily A380s however what TG is trying to emphasize that for this particular market segment the EU pax will not pay any premium what so ever to fly nonstop versus one stop i.e. via IST/DOH/MCT/DXB/AUH/BOM etc. This is why if you check on MIDT or PAXIS, the one stop carriers dominate the CDG-BKK + LHR-BKK market segments and also why BA too has stopped operating double daily B744s to BKK for a while now + AF reducing BKK to 4 weekly B773ERs.

In addition also note that with BMI gone, LHR is no longer a major STAR hub and if you fly to EU via LHR, you are back tracking a lot hence TG pax flying to its offline European cities prefer transiting via FRA instead.

TG should try and see if it can squeeze out an A380 to operate daily flights using this aircraft type to both PVG and PEK as these two market segments will be able to fill the premium classes in particular with high yielding O&D passengers.
 
runway23
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:40 pm

Quoting A388 (Reply 14):
I never expected the BKK-Europe to have that much competition to such an extend that the A380 is no longer needed, wow. What are the projections for the coming 5 years for the BKK-Europe or Asia-Europe routes? Can TG make better use of their A380 at a later stage? Can't LHR support a daily A380 flight from TG? TG's first A380 destinations in Europe will be CDG and FRA, is that correct?

It's largely down to EK, EY and QR flooding the market with new capacity that didn't exist to that extent when TG ordered their 380s.

AF/KL barely hold ground any more in BKK. SK have already announced they will cancel BKK. I question how well OS, LX or LH are doing to BKK as they fly with with rather premium heavy configurations.
 
mercure1
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:04 pm

I wonder how the A380 will hold up on higher cycle/short stage length utilization over time.

Even Mr. Boeing had to come up with structural changes with 747 to accommodate customers with such conditions.
 
A388
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:07 pm

Thanks for the explanations. So this problem is purely a BKK being less competitive issue? Why are airlines such as SQ, CX and maybe even QF still doing well on their routes between Asia/Australia and Europe?

A388
 
PHX787
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:12 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 11):
Could they lease them out? It seems like EK can't wait to get their orders filled. Thai could lease them out to Emirates, but then again, that would probably make the whole problem even worse.

That sounds like a good idea, but you're right, as lessor, wouldn't TG still be responsible for them?

Also: I was just thinking of routes that TG could operate this on, and I want someone who is better acquainted with TG to tell me how such an A380 route would do:

BKK-NRT
BKK-PEK
BKK-PVG
BKK-HKG

I'd assume those would be high-density
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:13 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 7):
At the time they ordered it, they needed it. Once they didn't need it, they were not in a position to cancel them so now they have to make use of them where they can.

The A380-800 and 777-300ER do give TG a fresh and efficient long-haul fleet, so that will hopefully start to drive up demand and allow the A380-800s room to grow into.

It must be costing TG vast sums for that room to grow, plus to avoid tariffs on shrimp.

Quoting fcogafa (Reply 9):
Ironic that Emirates A380 expansion seems to be killing off the A380 requirement for other airlines. Maybe the world only needs a finite number of A380s, whoever operates them. And this is at a time when UAE only has a quarter of their envisioned fleet....

It's no surprise to many of us.
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ikramerica
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:15 pm

I say configure 4 regionally, still with lie flat for red eyes but in a denser layout and a real F but not a suite, and 2 for SYD and FRA in full config. Syd-bkk-FRA can be done with two planes six days a week, w a smaller AC the other day, and as long as the regional version has lie flat it can sub for a major tech.

The A380 can be an effective regional Asia aircraft if configured right. And that light fuel load frees up cargo density.
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LondonCity
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:23 pm

Quoting behramjee (Reply 17):
In addition also note that with BMI gone, LHR is no longer a major STAR hub and if you fly to EU via LHR, you are back tracking a lot hence TG pax flying to its offline European cities prefer transiting via FRA instead.

That is why TG will schedule the A380 into FRA and why it will deploy its brand new 777-300ER to BRU soon.

Quoting runway23 (Reply 18):
I question how well OS, LX or LH are doing to BKK as they fly with with rather premium heavy configurations.

LH has already said that its FRA-BKK service is under review because of falling yields.

Quoting A388 (Reply 20):
Why are airlines such as SQ, CX and maybe even QF still doing well on their routes between Asia/Australia and Europe?

QF has taken the stance that if you can't beat them, then join them. That is why QF is teaming up with EK next April. I don't think CX and SQ have seen much growth in their Europe-Australia traffic. But these airlines are now carrying more people from Europe to Asia (especially mainland China) and the passenger traffic flying from China to Australia via HKG and SIN makes up for any loss in Europe-Australia traffic.
 
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:31 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
Seems the A380 is a bit of a non-needed aircraft for TG today.

Thai never needed the A380 from the get-go, the order was an act of vanity. The airline's problem is not with catering to capacity, but rather in extracting yields with a hub that routinely features some of the most aggressively discounted premium longhaul fares of any major market. Thai needs to instead of focus on using smaller equipment that caters to Bangkok's business/premium traffic, and leave the low-fare cutthroat tickets to Emirates and others.
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A388
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:55 pm

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 24):
QF has taken the stance that if you can't beat them, then join them. That is why QF is teaming up with EK next April.

So that will mean that EK will also join QR who is QF's new OneWorld partner?

A388
 
behramjee
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:57 pm

Please note that EK does actually make a small profit operating to BKK because it gets above average yields + massive cargo + very high S/F in F and J class in both directions on its BKK services.

EK is able to extract a good yield on BKK because it does not solely rely on low yielding EU bound traffic but also it gets a huge chunk of higher yielding O&D traffic bound to/from DXB itself + Africa, Amman, Larnaca and Kuwait. In peak summer and winter season, EK's fares into BKK are one of the highest from EU/GCC/Africa and in spite of that they sell out !!!

Etihad though on the other hand is now known in Europe as the carrier to be relied upon offering dirt cheap Y class fares especially to BKK as they seem to be volume driven. This can be judged from their # 3 position in the CDG-BKK total market share. Oman Air is the same but only in MUC, MXP and FRA mainly.
 
LondonCity
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:11 pm

Quoting A388 (Reply 26):
So that will mean that EK will also join QR who is QF's new OneWorld partner?

The QF/EK link is a joint venture with code-sharing. No alliance membership.

Quoting behramjee (Reply 27):
Etihad though on the other hand is now known in Europe as the carrier to be relied upon offering dirt cheap Y class fares especially to BKK as they seem to be volume driven. This can be judged from their # 3 position in the CDG-BKK total market share

In 2011 the most popular route on EY's network was AUH-BKK over which it flew over 500,000 passengers. A good umber of these passengers would have started their journeys in Europe.

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articl...aims+record+passenger+numbers.html
 
goosebayguy
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:29 pm

I can remember trying to book holiday to Thailand back in 2002 only to find there was not a single seat at all during February. Had to go to Malaysia instead. How times have changed then!
 
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:36 pm

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 28):

In 2011 the most popular route on EY's network was AUH-BKK over which it flew over 500,000 passengers. A good umber of these passengers would have started their journeys in Europe.

And the number will be further increasing with AB offering no more direct flights but instead flights via AUH with an EY bird on the second leg to BKK.
 
LAXintl
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:42 pm

Quoting goosebayguy (Reply 29):
How times have changed then!

   Indeed.

During the 8-year wait for the aircraft, the industry landscape has changed

TG's once successful Kangaroo niche has been taken over by other players to great degree.

Quoting A388 (Reply 20):
Why are airlines such as SQ, CX and maybe even QF still doing well on their routes between Asia/Australia and Europe?

Well I think for CX and SQ it helps greatly they have strong home markets that are global business centers that also drive lots of higher yield O&D, and they can also focus on other markets such as China and India for growth.

TG's home market unfortunately is a lower yield mostly leisure destination where everyone has dumped lots of capacity into.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 21):
Also: I was just thinking of routes that TG could operate this on, and I want someone who is better acquainted with TG to tell me how such an A380 route would do:

See comments of the TG VP below...

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
but the majority of future use will be regionally including Tokyo, Osaka and added frequencies to Hong Kong
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JAAlbert
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:43 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 7):
they have to make use of them where they can.

That's an awful lot of money to spend for something the airline really doesn't need! What does each 380 cost? $300 million?

And BKK is too far to fly non-stop to LAX? It seems we could use some more (cheap) flights to that region
 
Flighty
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:47 pm

Carriers have had a funny (inexpert) understanding of financial risk. An A380 is a large commitment to fuel and capacity that isn't going to be necessarily easy to justify. It has a larger downside risk than a 777. It also has the potential to make more profits. But that is only potential. Higher costs are a given.
 
LondonCity
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:48 pm

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 32):
And BKK is too far to fly non-stop to LAX?

Since its A340-500s were withdrawn from active service a few months ago, TG no longer flies BKK-LAX non-stop.
 
PHX787
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:52 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 31):

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
but the majority of future use will be regionally including Tokyo, Osaka and added frequencies to Hong Kong

I don't know why they just won't use it regionally now until they can find a suitable market for them.

NRT seems to be one of those unsung 380 heavens.

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 34):
Since its A340-500s were withdrawn from active service a few months ago, TG no longer flies BKK-LAX non-stop.

Someone told me that it was too expensive to operate the 345s on this route anyway.
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commavia
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:03 pm

I think this is pretty much just a microcosm of the phenomenon many were highlighting years ago when they questioned the underlying economic logic of such a massive airplane in general for all but a very narrow segment of the world's air markets.

Putting such a high-capacity aircraft into the market at a time when competition had been near-continuously - for decades - driving down average seats per departure and favoring more and more nonstop, and often longer, flights seemed a bit unrealistic. While the execution was awful, Boeing was smart to have made their bet on a plane that was small, long-range, and fuel efficient - that seemed then, as now, to dovetail much more closely with where the market was and is going.

I think the evolution of the market over the last decade has shown that outside of a relatively small subset of the world's air routes, for a variety of reasons ranging from fuel prices to competition to rapidly-liberalizing bilaterals, you don't really need a plane any larger than a 777/A350. That is why - not coincidentally - so many of the world's largest airlines have settled on and/or are moving towards precisely that size aircraft for their prime longhaul fleets. In many if not most cases, anything larger is just uneconomic overkill. And yes, I predict that eventually this same economic reality will catch up to Emirates as well.
 
Byrdluvs747
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:28 pm

Was the A380 designed for high cycle/short haul operations? Also, if more carriers are struggling to place these behemoths, what effect will it have on the profitability of the A380 program and could the 748i benefit?
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behramjee
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:30 pm

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 28):
In 2011 the most popular route on EY's network was AUH-BKK over which it flew over 500,000 passengers. A good umber of these passengers would have started their journeys in Europe.

In 2011, EY operated double daily B77Ws to BKK seating 390 pax on each flight approx so multiply it by 4 legs so total seats on offer daily is 1,560 x 365 days in a year equals 569,400 which means EY had a 87% seat factor on its BKK service last year. Please note that having a 87% S/F does not translate into profits as the yield carried is quite low. Yes it could have made an operational profit but definitely not a net profit.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:39 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
Certainly some interesting comments. Seems the A380 is a bit of a non-needed aircraft for TG today.

Fleet planning has never been one of TG's strong points. They've operated a few of almost everything built. If they hadn't been so dominated by the government and military, where CEO and many senior management changed after almost every change of government, it would have helped.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:14 pm

I flew a Thai 747 FRA-BKK in 2011. I was very disappointed by this plane, worn, old seats, fair service, simply nothing special.

IMHO, if they lost market share, it was due to their old product, not the new one.
 
ACES320
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:44 pm

Quoting avek00 (Reply 25):
Thai never needed the A380 from the get-go, the order was an act of vanity.

It all depends on the perception. If you check on Thai culture, vanity and assertiveness are values rather not so popular in their culture, politics and business included.

Quoting runway23 (Reply 18):
Quoting A388 (Reply 14):
I never expected the BKK-Europe to have that much competition to such an extend that the A380 is no longer needed, wow. What are the projections for the coming 5 years for the BKK-Europe or Asia-Europe routes? Can TG make better use of their A380 at a later stage? Can't LHR support a daily A380 flight from TG? TG's first A380 destinations in Europe will be CDG and FRA, is that correct?

It's largely down to EK, EY and QR flooding the market with new capacity that didn't exist to that extent when TG ordered their 380s.

AF/KL barely hold ground any more in BKK. SK have already announced they will cancel BKK. I question how well OS, LX or LH are doing to BKK as they fly with with rather premium heavy configurations.

It's not that the A380 is not needed. There is a huge O-D leisure market. From a capacity point of view Qantas was the first one realizing that yields were not great, and left the LHR-BKK up for BA to grab, and continued serving the BKK-SYD leg only. Back in the day you had 4 carriers operating the route non-stop British Airways, Qantas, Eva air, and Thai Airways. But remember one of the reasons why TG switched to an A346 operation to London was because their 747 were dated and once again this becomes a matter of perception. Their 346 have state of the art AVOD an much friendlier interiors and their capacity is not so distant from the 747's. This market was all for the likes of EK and QR to win in relation to fares discount and market share. Nobody would pay a premium to fly non-stop on TG if you still have Eva and BA to choose from or else, have the choice of going 380 both ways with EK. And remember, the perception among the general public is that the Gulf carriers offer high standards of comfort and service.
TG simply lost ground in the meantime waiting for the 380's to arrive on one hand, and on the other, not offering a top product on their mainline network. Nonetheless, I can't see many routes worldwide where you can extract a beyond-reason premium apart from LHR. And I can't see a better way to lure back an alienated clientèle than spoiling them to a ride on the bigwhale. If TG can't do either then they will have to go punishing their birds with endless amount of cycles on intra-Asian routes until the find a better life.
LHR, BHX, EDI, BKK, USM, CNX, PHU, GRU,PEI, BOG, CTG, CPH, AMS, DOH, DXB, FRA, MAD and always PEI
 
jfk777
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:21 pm

Thai is able to use the A380 on long haul regional routes to Tokyo and Sydney which would be long haul over the Atlantic. Peking is certainly a route they can be rotated through. LHR and FRA should support A380 for Thai, these two destinations have often been flown more then daily.
 
jumpjets
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:24 pm

Quoting ACES320 (Reply 41):
Their 346 have state of the art AVOD an much friendlier interiors and their capacity is not so distant from the 747's.

The TGs 340-600s have around 110 less pax than a 744 - but what is interesting [to me at least] is that the capacity reduction is all in Y class - around 125 less Y seats but 15-20 more F+J seats. So by flying the 340-600 to LHR it seems to me that TG are cutting back on the cheap and cheerful low yielding bucket and spade brigade whilst making sure they are providing even more premium seats for those who are prepared to pay a healthy premium to fly direct in comfort.

If they went down to one A380 a day to LHR they'd carry as many Y class as 2x346 - but only half the premium passengers, so the economics might well be in favour of leaving the current arrangements in place and leave the Y heavy 380s for markets like Oz where they don't have to compete with the likes of EK.
 
qf002
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:41 pm

Quoting jumpjets (Reply 43):

I used to make the same argument for SYD, which (until this year) was a 2-3 daily A346, but TG has already announced that we'll be getting their A380 next year.

I agree with the principle, though I think the A380 might provide TG with the opportunity to drop Y prices without dropping Y yield to LHR. It also allows them to offer a superior F/J product compared to the A346 (fully flat in J), and better compete with BA for the corporate market.
 
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HELyes
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:01 pm

Quoting runway23 (Reply 18):
AF/KL barely hold ground any more in BKK. SK have already announced they will cancel BKK. I question how well OS, LX or LH are doing to BKK as they fly with with rather premium heavy configurations.

BKK doesn't look that gloomy to all Europeans.

Finnair serves BKK 2x daily in winter and the ticket prices tend to be rather high from HEL, I wish Thai would come to take their share..
 
brilondon
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:05 pm

Quoting A388 (Reply 14):
I never expected the BKK-Europe to have that much competition to such an extend that the A380 is no longer needed, wow. What are the projections for the coming 5 years for the BKK-Europe or Asia-Europe routes? Can TG make better use of their A380 at a later stage? Can't LHR support a daily A380 flight from TG? TG's first A380 destinations in Europe will be CDG and FRA, is that correct?

I don't think that the competition is driving the demand down for the A380 flight, but the poor economy in Europe that has driven demand down that was not envisioned when the A380 was ordered.
Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
 
tayser
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:17 pm

If anything they could drop the midnight 2nd daily (mainly only a few times weekly at the moment - TG462/461) BKK-MEL flight and just upgauge the main flight (TG465/466) to a 380 - that would free up 2x 77E to be used elsewhere - there's no point in TG offering frequency like they've attempted to, SQ and MH will always beat them in this case as they're physically closer to MEL and the connection offerings have always been bigger at both SIN and KUL.

12:30 am → 6:00 am MEL-BKK - M - W - F S Thai 462
2:20 pm → 7:55 pm MEL-BKK S - - - T - - Jetstar 29
2:55 pm → 8:25 pm MEL-BKK S M T W T F S Thai 466
3:05 pm → 8:40 pm MEL-BKK - M - - - - - Jetstar 29

12:15 am → 1:05 pm BKK-MEL S M T W T F S Thai 465
8:10 am → 9:00 pm BKK-MEL S - T - T F S Thai 461
9:15 pm → 10:20 am BKK-MEL S - - - T - - Jetstar 30
10:00 pm → 11:05 am BKK-MEL - - T - - - - Jetstar 30

9h7m BKK->MEL and 9h32m MEL->BKK - would only require 1 frame to do a daily. The same aircraft on the MEL-BKK sector could form a European flight (midnight departure bank) - like how SQ when they first started 380 flights, Y would fill nicely as JQ hasnt increased on its 3x weekly in years and the pointy end would probably do ok for Thai bound traffic and connections into Europe.

Each of the TG 77Es that come here now have 310 seats, an A380 would have near 500 I'm guessing so based on 12x weekly now there wouldnt be much of a seat reduction by dropping the midnight departure ex MEL and upgauging the afternoon departure.
 
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cageyjames
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:38 pm

This sort of feels like the 1970s when every airline picked up a widebody without thinking if they really needed it. Remember this?


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Photo © Steve Fitzgerald



I'm not saying that the A380 or 748i don't fit with certain airlines, just some probably should never be running them. HP thought they had it all in the bag and got their 742s before they were denied access to routes. It almost sort of feels the same way here. Get the aircraft and then figure out how to use it. That only leads to problems.


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Photo © John Heggblom

 
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kanban
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RE: Thai - Struggles To Find A380 Role

Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:58 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 42):
Thai is able to use the A380 on long haul regional routes to Tokyo and Sydney which would be long haul over the Atlantic.

miss print? only an A.netter would relish a flight from BKK to Tokyo via the Atlantic...

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