ncflyer
Topic Author
Posts: 504
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 7:03 pm

What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:29 am

Particularly United, it's just striking to me how they lighten their schedule on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Saturdays. DL and USAirways and WN, not quite so much. I haven't really looked much in to AA. I get that on Saturdays, they put their planes to use to leisure destinations such as Caribbean, but what about midweek? Are the planes really just sitting on the ground, anyone out there see planes parked doing nothing? It's just hard for me to believe they can't even cover the variable cost of flying a plane on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, you'd think they would want those million dollar assets moving as much as possible, even if they only made $1 beyond the variable costs of a flight.
 
User avatar
enilria
Posts: 6172
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:15 pm

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:46 am

Quoting ncflyer (Thread starter):
Particularly United, it's just striking to me how they lighten their schedule on Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Exactly, I keep pointing out this trend every chance I get. Next time you roll through ATL on a Tuesday try to count how many planes are parked at the maintenance base and over by the Renaissance Hotel I think I saw 30. All the hubs are like that on these off-peak days. There's probably another 10+ just sitting on gates all day.
 
AeroWesty
Posts: 19551
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:03 am

Quoting ncflyer (Thread starter):
you'd think they would want those million dollar assets moving as much as possible, even if they only made $1 beyond the variable costs of a flight.

Thought in another way, if you're only going to make $1, why put the airframe through unnecessary cycles and hours? Frames can also be rotated through the days off to catch up on MELs or deep cleaning to keep the fleet fresh and reliable.
International Homo of Mystery
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 6091
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:44 am

For an airline like DL, Fridays typically have the most departures. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturdays (afternoon & evening) are actually the least.

Airlines have more excess/idle aircraft during these times. Where an aircraft may fly 6 flights on a weekday it may only fly 4 or 5 on the weekend.
 
phxa340
Posts: 985
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:07 am

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:58 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 2):
hought in another way, if you're only going to make $1, why put the airframe through unnecessary cycles and hours? Frames can also be rotated through the days off to catch up on MELs or deep cleaning to keep the fleet fresh and reliable.

Because wether a jet is idle or in the air - the airlines creditors still expect their payments. Successful utilization of airframes can make an airline highly profitably - look at WN and FR (minus winter ops). At least if the plane is flying some sort of revenue route - they airline is making some money vs nothing.
 
bluewhale18210
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 3:23 pm

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:10 am

Those days are excellent for getting some MELs cleared or getting that line check they've been putting off out of the way.
Other than that, having a spare or two at your hubs can mean the difference of canceling a series of flights and sending them kinda of on time.
Remember, pilots tire, planes break. 100% fleet utilization sounds great but within a day or two something will break and flights start to cancel without any slack in the system.
JPS on A300-600RF A319/320 B737-400/800 B757-200F B767-300F CRJ-200/900. Looking to add more.
 
AeroWesty
Posts: 19551
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:15 am

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 4):
Successful utilization of airframes can make an airline highly profitably - look at WN and FR (minus winter ops).

While true, there's always the law of diminishing returns to consider. If you schedule a plane beyond its capability to successfully maintain a schedule, it could end up costing you more while earning less. United learned that difficult lesson last year, pushing UA frames to the CO utilization rate, when they all weren't up to the task.
International Homo of Mystery
 
Thomas_Jaeger
Posts: 2200
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2002 5:35 pm

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:17 am

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 4):
Because wether a jet is idle or in the air - the airlines creditors still expect their payments. Successful utilization of airframes can make an airline highly profitably - look at WN and FR (minus winter ops). At least if the plane is flying some sort of revenue route - they airline is making some money vs nothing.

Airlines used to be a fixed cost business and at today's fuel prices are more of a variable cost business. If direct operating costs on a per flight basis increase, flights with small profit margins become unprofitable and at some point cannot even cover direct operating costs anymore. Then there is no point in increasing utilization because even excluding all overhead you still pay for the flight instead of getting any money out of it. That is why more and more marginal routes and flights get cut as fuel prices, taxes or other DOC items increase and reinstated when costs decrease.
Swiss aviation news junkie living all over the place
 
Bobloblaw
Posts: 1680
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:15 pm

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:24 am

Quoting ncflyer (Thread starter):

Only if marginal revenue exceeds marginal cost. With fuel getting close to $100, marginal cost is rising. Also much if not nearly all midweek revenue (and remember it is mid day not st peak hours that are cancelled), is simply recaptured at different times through out the day.

Continental began this trend and Delta continued it. In my experience it is an excellent way to increase RASM.
 
jetmatt777
Crew
Posts: 2806
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:16 am

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:32 am

Although not a direct cause, those slack days are great for front-line employee morale. After working the busy Thursday and Friday and worn out, the reduced Saturday makes you happy. Same for the Sunday Monday rush....that Tuesday and Wednesday are amazing to catch your breath and let your body recuperate.
Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand and take it easy
 
HAL
Posts: 1740
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2002 1:38 am

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:27 am

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 4):
At least if the plane is flying some sort of revenue route - they airline is making some money vs nothing.

Not always: Many engines are leased on a power-by-the-hour basis. If it isn't running, the airline isn't paying for it. Much of the maintenance cost on an airframe is cycle driven, so again, if it isn't flying, the airline isn't paying. There are a lot of part-time workers in the airline business too, so they are only used on the busiest days, when they're needed. On slack days, the airlines aren't paying a dime for their existence.

The airlines aren't stupid - if it made them money to fly on Tuesdays, they'd do it. For these business-oriented airlines however, it's more cost effective for them to cut back on the schedule one or two days a week than to fly 3/4 empty planes around the country buring fuel and using crews that nobody is paying for.

HAL
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
 
hiflyeras
Posts: 1467
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:48 pm

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:38 am

Have you ever been to LAS McCarran on a weekday? Tons of G4 aircraft are lined up on the tarmac. If it was any other airline it'd look like they've gone out of business!
 
nazgul
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:34 am

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:49 am

I don't think the big European carriers reduce their schedule during the week - yes on a Saturday but BA, LH etc pretty much have the same schedule Monday to Friday.....I think! I stand corrected if I am wrong.
 
davidho1985
Posts: 373
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:27 am

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:49 am

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 4):
Because wether a jet is idle or in the air - the airlines creditors still expect their payments. Successful utilization of airframes can make an airline highly profitably - look at WN and FR (minus winter ops). At least if the plane is flying some sort of revenue route - they airline is making some money vs nothing.

Cycle and fly hours also worth money (airline's cost).
I doubt $1 over varible cost worth it.
 
vv701
Posts: 5773
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:54 am

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:51 pm

Quoting Nazgul (Reply 12):
BA, LH etc pretty much have the same schedule Monday to Friday.....I think! I stand corrected if I am wrong.

BA have hardly any flights that are not operated at least on Days 1 through 5. At weekends a reduced number of short haul flights often operate on the same route.

For example as at the start of the 2012 Summer Season the BA1301 and BA1305 ABZ-LHR flights departed at 06:40 am and 09:20 am on Days 1 through 5 but did not operate on Days 6 or 7. However BA1303 departing at 08:50 am effectively replaced both BA1301 and 1305 on Days 6 and 7. As far as I can see the way most (all?) European airlines operate is to use pricing to increase the number of passengers on "slow" days. But they also juggle the size of aircraft using larger aircraft on business-heavy routes at the start and end of the working week and on leisure-heavy routes at weekends and mid-week.

Looking at the three flights detailed above:

BA1301 was scheduled to be operated by:
Day 1 - A 321
Day 2 and 4 - A 319
Day 3 and 5 - A 320

BA1305 was scheduled to be operated by:
Day 1, 4 and 5 - A 320
Day 2 and 3 - A 319

BA1303 was scheduled to be operated by:
Day 6 and 7 - A 319

There were a total of eight BA flights from ABZ to LHR at the start of the last Summer Season (before IAG bought BD and integrated it into BA). The five flights that are not detailed above all operated on all seven days.

Nevertheless there were a few BA flights that did not operate mid week. For example BA438 AMS-LHR operated on Days 1,2,5,6 and 7 and not on Days 3 and 4.
 
User avatar
jfklganyc
Posts: 3934
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:31 pm

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:59 pm

It depends on how business oriented vs lesiure oriented your airline is.

UA is business heavy. T, W, are not popular business travel times and Saturday evening is not a big leisure travel time.

People are already in place, hence the pull down
 
jAAy757
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:57 pm

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:10 pm

If airlines were to use these planes on off days, when demand it low, they are not going too fill the planes, in turn severely reducing profit on the route, or gaining no profit at all. Also, if the airline was to have 6 flights instead of 4 (for example) on a Tuesday, this will take away from the passengers filling up the four planes that were SUPPOSED to be used, which will again reduce overall route profitability for the given day. With supply and demand involved you cannot raise prices on the 6 flights to offset the increased supply with low demand.
 
usscvr
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:03 pm

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:12 pm

Forgive me, I have never been in airline scheduling, but owning my own business taught me many things and a few things strike me here:

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 3):
For an airline like DL, Fridays typically have the most departures. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturdays (afternoon & evening) are actually the least. Airlines have more excess/idle aircraft during these times. Where an aircraft may fly 6 flights on a weekday it may only fly 4 or 5 on the weekend.
Quoting jAAy757 (Reply 16):
If airlines were to use these planes on off days, when demand it low, they are not going too fill the planes, in turn severely reducing profit on the route, or gaining no profit at all. Also, if the airline was to have 6 flights instead of 4 (for example) on a Tuesday, this will take away from the passengers filling up the four planes that were SUPPOSED to be used, which will again reduce overall route profitability for the given day. With supply and demand involved you cannot raise prices on the 6 flights to offset the increased supply with low demand.

I am sure there is a developed metric to balance PAX load & demand, airport capacity, gate capacity, route availability, etc. It just seems to me that the airlines are constantly chasing the higher margins on heavy load/high demand routes. In comparison to lower loads & demands, (I may be wrong, but…) it appears contrary to the very basis of supply & demand. It appears that the airlines create artificial supply & demand by offering fewer flights on the traditionally lighter days.

Here is a crude (and admittedly over simplified) analogy for what I mean: Let’s say a 24/7 restaurant provides a product that is in demand - food. The restaurant has products for all times of the day knowing that there will a higher demand certain times of the day, and higher demands on certain days & dates, but can only seat so many customers at a time. The questions are: Does the restaurant change prices for the same product at different times of the day to maximize profit? Does it restrict lower price menu items on any given day at any given time to reduce lower margin items? The answer is No. The business knows the market, and structures pricing to cover costs and maintain a margin that to allow for profit. The cost of business may be higher one hour/day/date over another. However, managed well, it works in the end.

I am hoping that there are some folks here that can explain this to me because this particular facet of the airline industry has always vexed me. Much appreciation in advance for any and all responses.
A:319/320/321/332/333||B:717/721/722/735/737/738/739/742/744/753/762/763/772/773/787||DC8/9/MD80/GF14/C5/C130/C141
 
AeroWesty
Posts: 19551
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:17 pm

Quoting usscvr (Reply 17):
The questions are: Does the restaurant change prices for the same product at different times of the day to maximize profit? Does it restrict lower price menu items on any given day at any given time to reduce lower margin items? The answer is No.

Sure they do. Look at the difference in pricing for the same items on lunch menus vs. dinner menus in the same establishment. Lunch menus will often be priced lower, or offer a reduced size of an item to bring down the price.
International Homo of Mystery
 
strfyr51
Posts: 2083
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:50 pm

I've Been in the Business 36 years and 29 at United. A day of slack in the schedule week could get work done to prevent 60 or more delays or cancellations in Peak times due to Maintenance irregularities
especially when they might fly constantly for 42 hours before another mechanic put's their hands on the airplane again.
We already Tried the 100% utilization at United during Bankruptcy. It didn't work then. and it won't wirk NOW.
It's Not pheasable.
 
andrew50
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:16 pm

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:43 pm

I was at IAH last Saturday, and there were probably 10 aircraft parked on the D hardstand. There were also a few parked at the maintenance hangar. This is not unusual at all at IAH.
 
rangercarp
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 12:54 pm

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:48 pm

Quoting usscvr (Reply 17):
it appears contrary to the very basis of supply & demand. It appears that the airlines create artificial supply & demand by offering fewer flights on the traditionally lighter days.

Actually, airlines simply reduce capacity (supply) on the days that naturally have lower demand. This prevents them from having to lower prices on those days in an attempt create artificial demand. I'm confused as to how this is "contrary to the basis of supply & demand."
iwgbtp!
 
User avatar
lightsaber
Crew
Posts: 11741
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:55 pm

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:56 pm

Airline profits are low. Typically about 7%. So the in-demand days are still the profit while the other days, even with reduced flying, will not bring in the revenue.

Quoting ncflyer (Thread starter):
Particularly United,

Take a look at G4. They are the most extreme that I'm aware of.

Quoting ncflyer (Thread starter):
It's just hard for me to believe they can't even cover the variable cost of flying a plane on a Tuesday or a Wednesday

The cost of buying/leasing a plane is 10% to 15% of the cost while fuel is 25% to 40% of flying. Park the plane and one saves on salary, fuel, and maintenance. Why would you fly with high intensity for 7% profit (at best) to avoid 15% of the cost.

Also realize airlines have aircraft with high lease/finance payments and others that are paid for. DL, G4 and others have little to no payments on their oldest airframes. One still flies, usually, the newest most efficient airframes and it is the paid off airframes that are parked. For DL or AA, that means a MD-80 not burning fuel or maintenance. Realize, some airframes have high fixed costs with low variable costs (typically newplanes, such as a new 738 or A320) and others have low fixed costs with high variable costs (the MD-80, 733, A319 (if bought used) and oldest A320s are prime examples).

Quoting usscvr (Reply 17):
Does it restrict lower price menu items on any given day at any given time to reduce lower margin items?

First, happy 3 years on airliners.net. And congrats on your 50th post.

Actually, restaurants do variable loading. In my area, "early bird specials" do not apply on weekends or holidays. Many of the restaurants have a 2nd set of menus for busy days. They focus more on high profit items and cut out some of the variety that slows a kitchen and reduces profits. Discount booze certainly disappears from the table top specials. You know, that little triangles of paper advertising this or that drink/appetizer/meal special?

I prefer "the deck," but that is always closed during slow times. This means fewer waitresses/waiters, busboys, and cooks show up for work. The only way to do that with an airline is cut a flight. Airlines close off the 'deck' by cutting the least popular hour flights. That is one reason frequency is needed for profitability.

Now you did a 24/7 example. The airlines still fly 24/7, but let's take AA from LAX. On Monday there are FIVE flights in quick succession from LAX-DFW first thing in the morning and a sixth that can pick up any overflow. If any undersell, one is cancelled (never the 1st, a 752 usually, or the 767 re-position flight, I've noticed). On a Tuesday or Wednesday, I often see two or three flights of the six cut (some ahead of time, some the day of the flight). All of these flights happen (IIRC), within 2 hours. Its easy to tell which will likely be cut; they are scheduled on the MD-80 although I once saw a 752 flight cut too (amazingly slow day). The 767 and 738s seem to always go through.

Quoting usscvr (Reply 17):
The cost of business may be higher one hour/day/date over another. However, managed well, it works in the end.

As do the airlines. However, the restaurant might have a higher profit margin...

Lightsaber
"They did not know it was impossible, so they did it!" - Mark Twain
 
jetmatt777
Crew
Posts: 2806
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:16 am

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:03 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 22):
Now you did a 24/7 example. The airlines still fly 24/7, but let's take AA from LAX. On Monday there are FIVE flights in quick succession from LAX-DFW first thing in the morning and a sixth that can pick up any overflow. If any undersell, one is cancelled (never the 1st, a 752 usually, or the 767 re-position flight, I've noticed). On a Tuesday or Wednesday, I often see two or three flights of the six cut (some ahead of time, some the day of the flight). All of these flights happen (IIRC), within 2 hours. Its easy to tell which will likely be cut; they are scheduled on the MD-80 although I once saw a 752 flight cut too (amazingly slow day). The 767 and 738s seem to always go through.

I believe it is against the law for an airline to cancel a scheduled flight within a day or two of operating on the basis of low demand.

Mid week and Saturday cuts are loaded into the schedule months in advance.
Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand and take it easy
 
User avatar
lightsaber
Crew
Posts: 11741
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:55 pm

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:42 pm

Quoting jetmatt777 (Reply 23):
I believe it is against the law for an airline to cancel a scheduled flight within a day or two of operating on the basis of low demand.

Huh? I haven't heard of that. Why would it matter if someone is shifted 20 minutes either way and consolidated onto other flights? DL cancels their DC shuttle all the time on demand and schedule. I would show up at the airport and discover flight X was cancelled and given the option of flight X-2 or X+2 that all take off within the same hour!?!

I recall a European law not allowing canceling the last flight unless the crew were past hours. But these were the first flights of the day with SIX in two hours. The first, third (IIRC that is when the 767 was repositioned) and sixth flight always went out. The 2nd was occasionally cut, the 4th often cut and I recall one Wednesday where the 5th was cut. So what is the legal issue? Please quote the law. I Googled and couldn't find one that applied to this scenario.

I do recall multiple weeks where every flight on every day of the week was FULL in the morning. (1st and 2nd business week of the year and convention weeks are particularly bad.)

The government just says you should be rebooked:
http://www.usa.gov/topics/travel/air/resolve-problems/flight.shtml

Quoting jetmatt777 (Reply 23):
Mid week and Saturday cuts are loaded into the schedule months in advance.

Then why did I have the option of booking those flights a week ahead of time and show up to find a flight cancelled but a seat available on the 1st flight (I showed up early) that was pricier (it always is). I would receive e-mails canceling the flights anywhere from 7 to 36 hours ahead of the flights. I found if I just showed up at the airport I was accommodated.

Of course weekend cuts are done ahead of time.

But one convention week I watched load factors go from 20% full a week out to all Six flights being over-booked by flight day. It is a route with incredibly variable last minute demand.

Lightsaber
"They did not know it was impossible, so they did it!" - Mark Twain
 
Viscount724
Posts: 18846
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:50 pm

Quoting VV701 (Reply 14):
Quoting Nazgul (Reply 12):
BA, LH etc pretty much have the same schedule Monday to Friday.....I think! I stand corrected if I am wrong.

BA have hardly any flights that are not operated at least on Days 1 through 5. At weekends a reduced number of short haul flights often operate on the same route.

But they also juggle the size of aircraft using larger aircraft on business-heavy routes at the start and end of the working week and on leisure-heavy routes at weekends and mid-week.

AF does that extensively using all 4 models of the A320 family. For example, AF has 9 daily flights (8 Sunday) GVA-CDG. Looking at next week only, only 2 of the 9 flights use the same aircraft type every day. In some cases they use a mix of 3 different models on the same flight on different days of the week.

This is next week's schedule GVA-CDG:

Time...Mon...Tue...Wed..Thu....Fri....Sat....Sun
0730...321...321...321...321...321...321...321
0900...320...320...320...321...320...318...N/A
1030...320...321...320...320...320...320...321
1200...321...321...321...321...321...321...320
1400...319...319...319...319...318...320...319
1525...320...320...320...320...320...320...320
1700...319...319...319...319...319...318...321
1830...321...321...321...321...321...318...321
2030...320...320...320...320...320...318...321
 
phxa340
Posts: 985
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:07 am

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:57 pm

Quoting Thomas_Jaeger (Reply 7):

That's why effective pricing strategies are essential as well as route planning. I would rather get my birds up in the air and breaking even than sitting on the Tarmac if its even remotely possible. Not to mention I'm paying my crew a fixed amount of hours anyway - fuel is the only other variable.
 
777ord
Posts: 675
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 12:04 pm

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:34 am

Something else to consider is just because you see a number of them parked at such and such ramp, including Maintenance ramps, it does not mean its broken, or they're "parking jets". Sometimes they need to use gate X and the need to move that plane away to their own stand to open that spot up is necessary.

Example: UA's 787's. None of them are at any gates. in IAH, they're at cargo and and mx centers. at ORD, they're at the UA cargo facilties. And sadly, LOT is parked at T-5east.... STILL.

Additionally, UA's 744's now exclusively will be flying from SFO and LAX-SYD to accomodate significant mx upgrades. With some life still left in the planes, the cxl rates of these types are attrocious. Looking at east ramp SFO you can see on any given day 2-3 744's and 2-3 777's... Come evening, They're gone.
 
B757Forever
Posts: 666
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 3:23 am

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:00 am

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 26):
That's why effective pricing strategies are essential as well as route planning. I would rather get my birds up in the air and breaking even than sitting on the Tarmac if its even remotely possible. Not to mention I'm paying my crew a fixed amount of hours anyway - fuel is the only other variable.

Flying at break-even just to be flying will cause you to exhaust crews / duty limits and ultimately causing the airline to need additional flight crews on the payroll.
The Rolls Royce Dart. Noise = Shaft Horsepower.
 
HAL
Posts: 1740
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2002 1:38 am

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:38 am

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 26):
I would rather get my birds up in the air and breaking even than sitting on the Tarmac if its even remotely possible. Not to mention I'm paying my crew a fixed amount of hours anyway - fuel is the only other variable.


But if you fly them on a slack day, you won't break even; you'll lose money. That's the whole point of parking the plane. It costs the airline less to park it for a day than fly it 1/3 full. As for the crews, they aren't getting paid to sit around. The airline knows how many flight hours it will operate in a given month, and by those numbers, how many crewmembers it needs on staff. All that means is that fewer crewmembers will work on those slack days, and are more likely to have a schedule that covers the busy ones. For example, if an airline needs 100 crewmembers on a busy day and 70 on a slow day, they won't hire enough people to have 100 crewmembers available every day. They'll hire enough to cover the available need, 100 on some days, and 70 on other days. All the crewmembers will work as much as the airline can schedule them for. It would be ridiculous if they did otherwise. If the business model suddenly turns around and they need to fly their aircraft the same amount on every day, the airline will hire more people. It's as simple as that.

HAL
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
 
jetmatt777
Crew
Posts: 2806
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:16 am

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:46 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 24):
Huh? I haven't heard of that. Why would it matter if someone is shifted 20 minutes either way and consolidated onto other flights? DL cancels their DC shuttle all the time on demand and schedule. I would show up at the airport and discover flight X was cancelled and given the option of flight X-2 or X+2 that all take off within the same hour!?!

I recall a European law not allowing canceling the last flight unless the crew were past hours. But these were the first flights of the day with SIX in two hours. The first, third (IIRC that is when the 767 was repositioned) and sixth flight always went out. The 2nd was occasionally cut, the 4th often cut and I recall one Wednesday where the 5th was cut. So what is the legal issue? Please quote the law. I Googled and couldn't find one that applied to this scenario.

I do recall multiple weeks where every flight on every day of the week was FULL in the morning. (1st and 2nd business week of the year and convention weeks are particularly bad.)

The government just says you should be rebooked:
http://www.usa.gov/topics/travel/air...shtml

At my company we don't even have cancellation codes for "low demand". If we wanted to cancel a flight for low bookings, we'd have to have some weather, crew conflicts, maintenance, etc.

I have never seen nor heard of a flight being canceled for low bookings. I've sent airplanes out with 1 passenger and 1 bag before.
Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand and take it easy
 
airbazar
Posts: 6807
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:12 pm

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:59 pm

Quoting Nazgul (Reply 12):
I don't think the big European carriers reduce their schedule during the week - yes on a Saturday but BA, LH etc pretty much have the same schedule Monday to Friday.....I think! I stand corrected if I am wrong.

They have different business models. While US carriers are predominantly domestic carriers, these EU legacy carriers are predominantly intercontinental carriers. You won't see EU carriers change their weekly frequencies very much but you'll see them do it annually to different parts of the globe.
Also because of shorter distances, in Europe business travelers tend to go out for day only rather than stay out overnight. That is why Tuesdays and Wednesdays have less business travelers in the US. To use the top 2 financial cities in the US as an example, you can't fly from NYC to SFO for business and come back on the same day. It's just not feasible. But you can do a day trip from FRA to LHR or CDG, with no problem.
 
User avatar
lightsaber
Crew
Posts: 11741
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:55 pm

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:53 pm

Quoting jetmatt777 (Reply 30):
I have never seen nor heard of a flight being canceled for low bookings. I've sent airplanes out with 1 passenger and 1 bag before.

I can only speak as a passenger. I don't know what code AA used. I'm just saying what I observed. Obviously not every day. But there is nothing illegal of dropping from 6 to 3 flights in a short time span.

DL is famous for doing so on the shuttle (more for delays than anything). Why wouldn't others?

Lightsaber
"They did not know it was impossible, so they did it!" - Mark Twain
 
vv701
Posts: 5773
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:54 am

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:42 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 31):
Also because of shorter distances, in Europe business travelers tend to go out for day only rather than stay out overnight. That is why Tuesdays and Wednesdays have less business travelers in the US

Sorry. I am lost. Yes many European business trips can be made out and back the same day. Whether or not they are may be an other matter - see below. And the equivalent longer US business trips might be out Day 1 and back Day 2 or Day 3. So why do Day 2 and 3 have less business travellers in the USA than in Europe if many Europeans are travelling out and home on Day 1 which few Americans can do? Wouldn't this make Day 2 and Day 3 busier in the US than in Europe with the additional returning Americans?

I am also not sure on what you base your analysis of what European business travelers do. From my personnel log my own actual experience on my last 30 European business trips is that I spent;

0 nights away on 6 trips (20 per cent)
1 night away on 4 trips (13 per cent)
2 nights away on 10 (33 per cent)
3 nights away on 4 (13 per cent)
4 nights away on 6 (20 per cent)

I do not know how typical or atypical I am. But I would not have thought I was that atypical. particularly as I owned and was judged on the expenses budget. And the above is real data.

A significant determinant in the above is time zones. The trips above include two to Helsinki and two to Istanbul which are both two time zones to the east of the UK. So departing for HEL on the early morning LHR flight (07:30 departure), arrival is scheduled at 12:15. So allowing 90 minutes to disembark , clear the airport and complete the journey from Vantaa Airport into Helsinki anf there is little more than 3 hours of the working day left. Istanbul is similar. The early morning 06:20 flight is scheduled to arrive at 12:10. Even on a short trip to Amsterdam half the morning is gone before you arrive at your final destination even if you are on the very early flight. But the advantage for a Brit, like an American west coast resident, is how quickly you get home!

As an aside my best claim to fame was a Sunday night departure from LHR to JNB arriving on Monday morning and returning on Tuesday night (having only spent Monday night in a hotel) arriving back at LHR very early on Wednesday just 24 hrs ahead of the cabin crew on my outward flight. So it all depends on what you need to achieve and how long it will take to achieve it.
 
jetmatt777
Crew
Posts: 2806
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:16 am

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:51 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 32):
I can only speak as a passenger. I don't know what code AA used. I'm just saying what I observed. Obviously not every day. But there is nothing illegal of dropping from 6 to 3 flights in a short time span.

DL is famous for doing so on the shuttle (more for delays than anything). Why wouldn't others?

So if you are only speaking as a passenger, how do you know that the flights weren't canceled for some other reason, and you are assuming it's just low demand?

I just really doubt AA would schedule airplanes, crews, and tie up gates to fly these flights, and then cancel them at the last minute on purpose. Only hurting their on time/completion factor, disrupting crew and fleet scheduling, etc. Then you have to deal with passengers, someone who had a legal connection on the 600am flight, now blows their connection because now they are scheduled on the 630am or 700am flight. And now they have to find a spare airplane and crew in DFW to protect the DFW-onward schedule.

Airlines don't like canceling flights anymore than customers enjoy having a flight canceled, I just really can't see them padding capacity and tying up resources with the intention of purposely canceling the flights.

Maybe they do...
Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand and take it easy
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 6091
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:03 pm

Here is what are some of the drivers of demand increases / decreases throughout the week:

For domestic trips, Monday mornings are very heavy for travel since it is the start of the work-week. This includes people who do weekly commutes for work. Most major consulting and professional service firms typically have their people travel to the client sites Monday-Thursday, enabling them to work in their local office or from home on Fridays.

Mondays: Heavier business travel to start the week. Heavy with consultants and weekly commuters, particularly on Monday morning. Monday afternoon/evening has people who need to be at their destinations ready for Tuesday morning. Also you have leisure passengers returning from trips where they may have taken a long weekend.

Tuesdays & Wednesday: Lighter days for travel, just not as heavy for business in comparison to Monday, Thursday and Friday. Tuesday and Wednesday are also lighter leisure travel days since they do not lend themselves as much for long weekend trips.

Thursday: Heavy business travel day, particularly the afternoon & evenings as travelers return home in advance of the weekend. Weekly commuters do not want to have travel on Friday afternoon/evening if they left on Mondays since that impacts their weekend time at home. Thursday afternoon/evenings also have more leisure travelers who are taking a long weekend trip.

Friday: Typically the busiest travel day of the week. Heavy business travel for those heading home for the weekend. Heavy leisure travel for those going places for the weekend.

Saturday: Virtually no business-related travel, hence why flights on business oriented routes gets reduced from weekdays. Leisure travel is very high on Saturday mornings through mid-afternoon. Leisure demand drops of significantly on Saturday evenings, which is typically the slowest travel period of the week. Hence why many airlines significantly reduce their Saturday afternoon & evening schedule.

Sunday: No business travel in the morning, but it does pick-up on Sunday afternoons, and particularly Sunday evenings for those who need to be somewhere first thing Monday morning. Some leisure demand on Sunday mornings, but overall Sunday morning is a slower period too. Sunday evening is generally a busy travel period with people returning home from weekend trips and business travelers headed out for the week.

Sunday evening eastbound Trans-Atlantic flights are generally also busier with business travel, heading to Europe for the week. Eastbound demand is generally lighter on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings due to the shorter week.
 
User avatar
b727fa
Posts: 1042
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:21 pm

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:05 pm

It is illegal to CX a flight b/c of a low pax load. Now, they can combo or roll it into another flight (both flights op on one a/c from a marketing perspective), but to "simply" CX b/c only 10 people booked it isn't legal.

I'm not saying there aren't ways to fudge it, however.
My comments/opinions are my own and are not to be construed as the opinion(s) of my employer.
 
rwessel
Posts: 2448
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:47 pm

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:04 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 22):
Actually, restaurants do variable loading. In my area, "early bird specials" do not apply on weekends or holidays. Many of the restaurants have a 2nd set of menus for busy days. They focus more on high profit items and cut out some of the variety that slows a kitchen and reduces profits. Discount booze certainly disappears from the table top specials. You know, that little triangles of paper advertising this or that drink/appetizer/meal special?

Heck, even my barber charges more on Saturdays. They actually have a different set of prices on the back side of the price sign, and they flip it over on the weekend. The oil change place down the road offers a discount if you come in during the week before 3:00pm. Many movie theaters charge less for some off-peak show times. Lane charges at the local bowling alley are half price during the day on weekdays. Most of the local golf courses charge less for early morning, weekday, or late afternoon tee times (or some combination thereof). Several of the driving ranges charge less per ball in the less busy times ("6 cent Tuesdays!"). Most hotels in areas with seasonal travel have definite peak and off-peak rates. There are places where road tolls are higher during rush hour. If you're a large customer, the local power company can charge you less for power you use overnight than during the day. Try buying a snowblower in the middle of winter, as opposed to mid-spring. Or a lawnmower in mid-summer vs. fall. Or make a cell phone call during the day instead of at night. Many software vendors charge you based on the size of the computer you install their stuff on (mostly applies to server software).

Value pricing is hardly limited to the airlines.
 
FlyDeltaJets
Posts: 1631
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:24 pm

RE: What Do Airlines Do With Metal Mid-week

Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:19 am

Quoting jetmatt777 (Reply 23):
I believe it is against the law for an airline to cancel a scheduled flight within a day or two of operating on the basis of low demand.

I have seen other's say this as well but have yet to see anyone quote the pretaining statute. As far as I know the contract of carrage states that the airline can make whatever changes they wish to the flight incuding cancellation, the passenger would simply be entitled to compensation and reaccomodation on the next available flight.
The only valid opinions are those based in facts

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 17 guests