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Aircraft Rotations 1 For 2

Tue Nov 12, 2002 1:28 pm

Particularly under the current airline industry conditions why don't airlines such as AA or UA shift to using a single aircraft on 6 weekly rotations on routes such Mia-SAO -GRU instead of dedicating 2 aircraft to fill the route. Currently you see an AA 777 heading south at 11:20pm and returning North the next evening at 11:10pm, with about a 11+ hour layover at Sao Paulo.

Considering the depreciation and financing costs on not one but two 777's to fill this schedule, does not it under current circumstances make sense to offer a reduced fare on say a noon return from GRU to MIA? At some point the fares have to fill the aircraft so you can operate a single plane 18-20 hours per day with one day off for maintenance, and not tie up two planes with heavy amortization and debt expenses?. It's not like the competition or semi-competitors in the form of code share partners such as TAM are in that good of a shape, financially to counter.

Sure, sure the evening flights are preferred by businessmen, but surely at some point it has to make more sense to run fewer aircraft 18 or more hours per day rather than run a double fleet of pricey 777 with each a/c only averaging 8 flight hours per 24 hr period! Or do the handful of first and business class fares for the 11pm departure cover all the amortization and depreciation for the time in which the 777's are sitting on the ground?

Is there a Southwest financial wizard in the house? I don't want to ask an AA or UA financial wizard because based on their recent Income Statements, their qualifications are suspect at present.
The Original Coronado: First CV jet flights RG CV 990 July 1965; DL CV 880 July 1965; Spantax CV990 Feb 1973

RE: Aircraft Rotations 1 For 2

Thu Nov 21, 2002 4:43 pm

Coronado -
Yes you make sense - but using an airplane some 12 hours average per day is not bad at all, many airlines do not achieve such daily use...
The other concern is that these AA + UA flights are competing against Varig which is probably offering equal number of flights. It is not only what one airline offers, but needs to see what the competition does. Is TAM also flying that route presently...?
Then to be considered too, how much of a load factor do they have on deck (passenger) and belly (cargo) - all that as you know enter in the equation.
Fleet planning people... with AA and UA, I do not know their ideas... I once flew as passenger GRU - MIA and they had outstanding cabin service, while I hear so many gripes about AA and UA... Then maybe look at the schedules.
Happy contrails -  Wink/being sarcastic
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RE: Aircraft Rotations 1 For 2

Sun Nov 24, 2002 12:02 pm


Agreed. Varig is however hemorraging and would be particularly vulnerable to aggressive fare pressures at present.

Musing out loud--You can bet a Connexxion equipped fleet with reasonably high speed internet access would totally change the demand for overnight flights. More than 1/2 the execs would IMHO prefer day time flights if they can be on line or at least feel that they are able to be in contact, rather than loose sleep on the overnighters.

Since I got a Verizon aircard with 140K speed internet access (via the cellular network) on my laptop, I gave up on the red-eyes from the west coast to MSP. I can be emailing my customers right up to door closing and so only am out of circulation 3 hrs or so (instead of the previous 7 hrs including ground transport, check in and security), in flights to and from LAX/LAS/SFO and MSP). I just flew back yesterday from LAS to MSP following Comdex and I was emailing customers until 9:20 am and was back on line 3 1/2 hours later emailing while riding in a taxi , thanks to the aircard. I felt that I could afford to be out of the loop for the 3 or so hours.

I gladly pay hotels 10.00 per day for high speed internet compared to dial up service. If Continental were to give me continuous internet and phone access for even as much as $100.00 extra , I would gladly take a day time flight from EWR to Sao Paulo GRU and vice versa rather than trying to catch some sleep on an overnight flight and feeling like s%&t after landing next day at 10:45 am local after having left MSP at 450pm the previous day connecting to their EWR-GRU departutre at 10pm.

As the baby boomers get older and wider( Smile), the overnighters are for bats.

This could be an interesting thread: Will high speed internet when available on board international flights totally change the current airline scheduling model? Why not an 8:00 am departure from MSP-LGW arriving in the evening instead of the current 6:50 pm departure arriving 8:55 am. I dread that flight and I would rather pay more to spend the day time hours on board working using high speed internet for a few hours. The current option of spending the next day in a mixture of exhausted jet lag, caused by poor sleeping accomodations scrunched into a seat would be a thing of the past!! Jet lag alone is enough of a curse!

The key is that continous high speed internet access will allow the F and J pax as well as our self employed Y class working stiffs (such as yt) to feel that they can be in touch at all times, so why not travel when your body clock is happiest rather than burn the red-eye oil?

What do you think?

The Original Coronado: First CV jet flights RG CV 990 July 1965; DL CV 880 July 1965; Spantax CV990 Feb 1973

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