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Inaugural/Last Flight Logistics

Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:54 am

Hi everybody,

Seeing all the attention that QF has gotten for launching SYD-DFW-BNE-SYD has got me thinking.

Once a decision is made to launch a route, what happens next? Clearly, PR and sales have to be notified before the official announcement has been made so that they can launch sales and marketing schemes timed with the official announcement, but then what?

How/when does an airline figure out who to cater it, ground handling etc? Is the airline's china, silverware etc. shipped to the outstation(in this case, DFW)? What about Cargo pallets? Does the return crew deadhead out, or do they work another flight and then deadhead to DFW?

In short, what exactly happens between the time of the official announcement and the first landing? Do airlines have departments dedicated specifically to hammering out these details?

The same question applies to an airline dropping a station.

This isn't specific to QF's launch of DFW and drop of SFO, but much more in general.
Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
Posts: 788
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2001 4:11 am

RE: Inaugural/Last Flight Logistics

Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:57 pm

The airline will call upon the Area Manager covering the destination, or assign a Station Manager if there isn't one, who will arrange many things at the destination. In the case of QF and DFW I would think they'd look at the service they get from their Ground Handling companies at their other US destinations, decide who they'd like at DFW, but start negotiations with all the options. They'll be after volume discounts.

The first crew will likely dead-head out to DFW. If they operated to California then deadheaded, there would be a flight out of CA with no crew.

Baggage bins/pallets - they will likely send as many empties as they can on the first few flights so as to build up a stock at DFW, so the inbound ULDs don't have to be used for the outbound. Same tactic for the catering trolleys/boxes, and yes, enough supplies of cabin supplies, silverware etc will be sent out in by cargo in advance of the first service, so the first return flight can be supplied. Subsequently, supplies will travel to DFW in the hold, on westbounds.

Not sure whether specific departments exist to arrange this stuff. I would think each department takes care of its own responsibilities.

Dropping a station - the carrier will try to use up the spare ULDs at that station, and just enough silverware/cabin supplis will be shipped out to cater for the remaining flights, so as to leave a minimum of unused stock. The crew on the last outbound will deadhead back on the last return flight. The Station Manager and any airline staff will have to seek another position.

Regards - musang

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