Your post holds some of the most simplistic ways of thinking that I have read this year so far on this forum, so let me just clear you up on a few things:
1. Regarding load factors on a certain route
If you would know anything about the airline industry, and the way airlines sell seats and commercially market their flights, you wouldn't propose such a stupid investigation as to get to know the load factor on a certain route.
Indeed, when asking for an economy class seat, there are about 10 different kinds of them, all related to different types of fares. It is hard to believe that even the highest economy class fares, which usually tops the non-endorsable business class fare would be full for one and a half or two months to come.
Airlines indeed keep alsways a couple of seats available to sel them to passengers willing to pay the full fare for their ticket.
So, when you did your little investigation, requiring about available seats, what kind of seats were they? Did the airline ask you for specific dates, because that would mean they are offering you a restricted fare.
Anyway, I did a search on the web following your system (yes, you actually don't have to call up the airline to do so!), and there wasn't a single destination in MAS' network I checked, for which I couldn't get an economy class seat in the upcoming week. So, I find it highly bizare that you wouldn't be able to find a seat with 2 months notice.
My point is, that you actually cannot know how many seats the airline exactly sold at a certain point in time, for sure not by calling them up and asking if there are any seats available. This can give you no more than a slight indication about the load factors.
Apart from that, there is a huge difference between the number of booked seats and the number of passengers that will actually be traveling the route. You might have heard about the term 'no-shows'. Indeed, lots of passengers make bookings, but actually never show up for taking the flight. So, a fully booked flight NEVER implicates a 100% full-revenue load factor!
Another point you forget, is to take into account possible allotments of seats that the airline has sold to any code-share partners and whole-salers, and for which even the airline is not aware whether these allotments have actually been sold or not.
Furthermore, I wonder how you would calculate the load factor on a multi-leg flight, because that is what I was talking about in my previous post. How would you calculate the load factor on the KUL-JNB-CPT-EZE.
Following your simplistic reasoning, you would call up and ask MAS about seat availability to EZE, and, if they would tell you that there is no seats available you would presume the flight would be full.
However, for a multi-leg flight, this would only implicate that ONE leg of the flight is fully booked, the others could be completely empty. That is quite a big mistake you made there. Or did you ask the reservation staff about seat availability on each seperate leg? I think they will decline to give you such an information.
Last but not least, we were talking about how the flight was doing, which actually refers to a term called route performance.
Route performance is not just determined by passenger loads. An airline can indeed be consistently flying with high load factors on a certain route, but still loosing money on the route, as the mix of passengers isn't very favorable in terms of revenue, due to too many low-yield pax, or flights carrying lots of non-rev traffic.
Apart from that, other factors play a role when actually evaluating the performance of a route, i.e. to determine if the company is actually making any money on the flight.
Here are some factors that you might want to take into account during any new exercises:
- composition of fares paid by revenue pax;
- cargo load factors;
- crew costs, taking into account the number of crews needed to operate the route, and the frequency of the route, which is determening when the crew becomes available for next scheduling;
- handling costs and other overseas station-related expenses;
- overseas staff required specifically for the route;
I would be very interested in your analyses of all these factors, as to the a general appreciation of the route performance of MH's KUL-JNB-CPT-EZE route. If you can't come up with one, please let me know, and I will give you my point of view.
Finally, I think it is very funny that you want to teach me some mathematics (or at least urge me to do some math). FYI, I can tell you that, at the university where I am writing my Ph.D., I am working as an assistant lecturer in the applied mathematics department.
Btw, if in a MAS B747-400, seating 12F, 60C and 318Y pax, the economy class is full, I calculated the load factor as 79.1%. I think you better learn some math!
Furthermore, as an operational consultant with airlines around the world, I do this kind of route performance calculations for a living, and I just wrote quite a big work about it, so, I fear you're gonna have to wake up much earlier to beat me on this one, guy!
2. Regarding MH's South African situation and traffic rights
When I stated that it might be very easy for MAS to get extra traffic rights into South Africa, I was talking about South Africa and no other country, so don't start talking about other countries, as each country has a different policy when it comes to traffic rights and fifth freedom rights.
As I spent considerable time in the past in Johannesburg, working with the biggest airline in that country, I am quite well aware of the country's policy towards this topic, and when I say that it would be no problem for MAS to get extra rights, for sure when taking into account the number of airlines that have recently left and the current economic situation of the country, this is more than just a guess or airline-magazine wisdom.
Furthermore, my point was NOT that there is only one service between South African and Argentina, I clearly stated that the MAS service was the only service available between CPT and EZE, so please read before you start making all kinds of useless comments, accusing industry professionals of not being correct.
As a former consultant with SAL, I am very well aware of their twice-weekly JNB-EZE service. However, this service doesn't operate through CPT, as I stated. Transfering in JNB isn't accounted as a direct flight, and for sure not as a non-stop flight. We would call it a connecting flight.
I regard all other of your comments as useless within this discussion, as they refer to other countries with different policies. I was previously only talking about South Africa.
Finally, I would like to point you to the fact that you are quite new here, so I would urge you to take a closer look at the profile of the members that are replying to you, before you come up with stupid and childish remarks as the ones you made in your previous post.
Until now, I haven't seen any decently supported post of you, that would proove you have any in-depth view into the industry whatsoever. At your age, I think this would actually be highly unlikely, and that is not a problem for me, but, please, refrain from giving people the impression that you are a professional, as for each topic you will come up with, you will find REAL professionals on your way here!