User avatar
keesje
Topic Author
Posts: 13178
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2001 2:08 am

Could TSE (Astana) Become The New KEV for Europe-Asia Low Cost Flights?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:30 pm

.
.

Kefjavic location
Reykjavik is proving a useful hub for low cost operation mainly because of its geographic location. Within 3500-4000NM it covers all of Europe and Canada/US. Connecting a billion potential travelers. Opening up opportunities for NB flights. Iceland Air has done so for many years (757) and now WoW is expanding, flying A321NEO up to LAX.

Image
3000NM & 4000NM Ranges from Keflavik.

Astana location.
If we look at the worlds biggest market; Europe-Asia 3.5 billion potential travelers, Kazakhstan/ Astana seems to have a similar position halfway Most European and Asian destinations. 3000-4000NM covers most of Asia & Europe, opening the potential for efficient NB flights with higher frequencies and many connections.

Image
3000NM & 4000NM Ranges from Astana.

:arrow: Air Astana was the first to sign up for the A321LR in 2015 and this month they received their first A321NEO.

Image

Astana Connections, growth.

In 2017, ten new international routes were opened, including by foreign carriers (Finn Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Wizz Air, Air China) in direction of Warsaw, Budapest, Helsinki, Beijing and Batumi as well as Kazakhstan airlines to destinations of Xi'an, Kiev, Minvody, Yerevan and Delhi.

At the same time, 20 flights a week were added to the current flight in eleven destinations, that is to Bishkek, Istanbul, Beijing, London, Seoul, Novosibirsk, Ekaterinburg, Omsk, St. Petersburg, and Tashkent.

https://www.azernews.az/region/126369.html

Tourism
Astana has limited tourist appeal at this stage, despite the marginally democratic government trying to boost this. But Reykjavik doesn't see large scale tourism either. Or Singapore, or Dubai. They are hubs.

Financial resources
Like Middle east carriers money comes from below they have a lot of oil & gas and Kazakhstan has the second largest uranium, chromium, lead, and zinc reserves, the third largest manganese reserves, the fifth largest copper reserves, and ranks in the top ten for coal, iron, and gold. And they are willing to spend.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
adriaticflight
Posts: 411
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 3:43 am

Re: Could TSE (Astana) Become The New KEV for Europe-Asia Low Cost Flights?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:49 pm

Astana has a great location. However the airport isn't user friendly. It would require a huge investment to prepare it. Also I think O&D appeal is needed somewhat to begin a hub operation. Astana has little appeal and is unlikely to have. However it could work!
 
Newbiepilot
Posts: 3639
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:18 pm

Re: Could TSE (Astana) Become The New KEV for Europe-Asia Low Cost Flights?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:57 pm

Duplicate topic. You started the exact same thread two years ago

viewtopic.php?t=1349419
 
jmmadrid
Posts: 342
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 4:00 pm

Re: Could TSE (Astana) Become The New KEV for Europe-Asia Low Cost Flights?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:36 pm

Ever since they started out in 2002, they wanted to develop Astana as a hub to do exactly what you describe. On the paper it looks like a no-brainer. However, 15+ years later they are far from that goal.

To begin with, it seems that they couldn't find the right aircraft. They liked the 757 and bought several but maybe not enough to develop a significant network. The 767 would only work for their busiest routes, so they bought a few but never considered it seriously as their warhorse. They liked A321CEO but it wasn´t good enough for all ther missions. The fact that they were the first to order the A321NEO LR shows how hungry they were for an aircraft of that size and that range. Let's see what they can do with it.

In addition, they don´t seem to have adjusted their operations to offer smooth connections, and their pricing is not exactly competitive. They might not have had the right plane to develop a busy hub, but they could have done more than what they have, in order to start creating their niche and getting ASTANA positioned as a hub in people's minds. Looks like they have contented themselves with the number of O&D passengers they have and the yields they get from them. This is my impression, happy to be proved wrong.

But there are more hurdles. ASTANA's weather is bad and then some for at least 4-5 months of the year, with heavy snow and low visibility. Not a great setting for a busy hub. Also, precisely because Kazakhstan's economy is so diverse, having a huge and profitable airline is not as critical to them as it is to Dubai, for example. Therefore, the government´s commitment is limited, they are not ready to fork out billions in order to buy an unlimited number of planes. They can invest, but within reason.

And finally, I'd like to dispute your putting ASTANA in the same box with Reykjavik, Singapore and Dubai as far as tourism is concerned. The three of them are booming tourist destinations, and regardless of personal tastes, no one can deny that Dubai is an extremely popular destination, especially in the winter (low) season. Same can be said about Reykjavik and Singapore. Lots of people coming to visit year round. Astana doesn´t even have the potential to match any of them. Attract some tourists, yes, but astonishing numbers of them? I don't think so.

My point, the A321 NEO LR is the aircraft Air ASTANA were looking for and will allow them to establish some kind of hub in ASTANA. However, they need to make some changes and they have lost a lot of time.
 
zakuivcustom
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:32 am

Re: Could TSE (Astana) Become The New KEV for Europe-Asia Low Cost Flights?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:37 pm

Newbiepilot wrote:
Duplicate topic. You started the exact same thread two years ago

viewtopic.php?t=1349419


Not only that, it's the exact same map that he/she is using.

And quite frankly, why TSE not ALA? (ALA actually see just as many flights, if not more, compare to TSE for Air Astana). Or even TAS? Both are larger city and has more tourism and business draw anyway (Almaty is still the business center of Kazakhstan, while Tashkent is the hub of the whole Central Asia region).

Then there is this:
Tourism
Astana has limited tourist appeal at this stage, despite the marginally democratic government trying to boost this. But Reykjavik doesn't see large scale tourism either. Or Singapore, or Dubai. They are hubs.


Iceland tourism grow so much to the point that they can't even keep up with things:
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-41725713

And SIN and DXB have doesn't see large scale tourism?

16.4M visitors to SIN in 2016:
https://www.stb.gov.sg/statistics-and-m ... Report.pdf

14.24M visitors to DXB in 2017:
https://www.visitdubai.com/en/tourism-p ... nce-report

And it's not just neighboring country (i.e. GCC for DXB, Indonesia/Malaysia for SIN) visiting the two cities either, tourists come from all over the world.

Meanwhile, the whole country of Kazakhstan has maybe 3M people visiting it, and majority of those are from the -Stans or Russia.

Yes, Kazakhstan has potential, but they're 20 years away from getting anywhere close to DXB in the 90s.
Last edited by zakuivcustom on Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Free Hong Kong! Free China!
 
User avatar
keesje
Topic Author
Posts: 13178
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2001 2:08 am

Re: Could TSE (Astana) Become The New KEV for Europe-Asia Low Cost Flights?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:39 pm

Newbiepilot wrote:
Duplicate topic. You started the exact same thread two years ago

viewtopic.php?t=1349419


Yes, but they received their first NEO's a few weeks ago, the new international terminal (labelled "T1") opened in June 2017, they added many new destinations and it's forbidden to reopen posts older then 6 months..

I took your commenst from 2 yrs back:

I don't think this will work. Astana is a city of only 1 million people.

First off look at Jet fuel prices. Jet A costs about 30-40% more in Almaty or Astana than it does in Doha, Dubai or Abu Dhabi. An A321 already is probably going to be burning more fuel per seat than an A350, 777 or A380 going through the Middle East. Add in higher fuel prices and the longer distance through the Middle East is cheaper.

Secondly, Chinese airspace is a mess. One of the advantages of going through Dubai is that airplanes stay out of Chinese airspace. If you look at your map, flights between Kazakhstan and Singapore have to fly straight through the Himalayas. That isn't possible and the circuitous routes that Air Astana uses between ALA and BKK currently has the airplane leaving ALA and flying southwest over Afghanistan. The route adds 800 miles to the direct flight over China and the Himalayas.

Thirdly, Alamaty doesn't have that much O/D. Pure connecting traffic is low margin. Icelandair makes it work by connecting cities that otherwise have no nonstop options. There are dozens of choices of airlines on the routes you suggest. Without O/D being sufficient, this proposition will lose money. Icelandair flies to some smaller European cities with limited transatlantic service. An airline in Kazakhstan would start with major cities, which already have lots of competition. I can't see smaller cities like Nagoya or Pusan getting service from ALA.


It seems what your thought isn't happening two years later. Low costs carriers are rapidly expanding using the small KEF airport. The local O&D is not the main driver, location and pure connecting traffic efficient and now available NEO & MAX technologies are.Things have really changed over the last 2 years.

zakuivcustom, I have visited Dubai, Singapore and KEF. You don't go with your family for 2 weeks or even with your partner for a city trip. because there are tons of better places for that. In SIN I did a 2 hr bus tour while connecting, that makes me one of the a 16 mln tourists I guess..
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Bricktop
Posts: 1378
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:04 am

Re: Could TSE (Astana) Become The New KEV for Europe-Asia Low Cost Flights?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:53 pm

Isn't there a weather issue there? I am not sure that is conducive for that kind of transfer operation.
 
zakuivcustom
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:32 am

Re: Could TSE (Astana) Become The New KEV for Europe-Asia Low Cost Flights?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:12 pm

keesje wrote:
zakuivcustom, I have visited Dubai, Singapore and KEF. You don't go with your family for 2 weeks or even with your partner for a city trip. because there are tons of better places for that. In SIN I did a 2 hr bus tour while connecting, that makes me one of the a 16 mln tourists I guess..


All I'm saying is that you simply claim Dubai and Singapore have no "large scale tourism" even though all the numbers say otherwise.

Latest number for Singapore:
https://www.stb.gov.sg/statistics-and-m ... %20iva.pdf

So, I guess all 500k Americans are only in SIN for 2 hrs? All 500k Brits? 300k Germans? And you just can't ignored the 3M Indonesian and 3M Chinese from the statistics. Yes, there are some VFR traffic there, and the rest are probably just in SIN for 2-3 days to shop. But hey, those are still tourists.

And people DO visit Dubai, even if it's totally artificial and imo nothing more than a bunch of tall buildings and filthy rich people in the middle of the desert.
Free Hong Kong! Free China!
 
leghorn
Posts: 898
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:13 am

Re: Could TSE (Astana) Become The New KEV for Europe-Asia Low Cost Flights?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:57 pm

might work for cargo. cargo pilots could travel to a point on one cargo plane and back on another within the space of a shift and always be working from a Home base.
Would be good to be able to sell your own refined fuel to the traffic passing through.
Do you care if you aren't getting passenger traffic(yet) if there is money to be made in freight traffic.
There may be divergence between passenger traffic and freight traffic in future where passengers prefer to get from Asia to Europe in 8 hours while freight can arrive "some time soon".
Make it the silk road/belt in the sky.

I'd choose somewhere more south near the oil fields so that the pipelines for aviation fuel are shorter(know very little about Kazak Oil industry) and that the airstrip is closer to more of south east Asia.

It really should be driven by National Government with regard to adding value to the unprocessed product which the country produces.
Last edited by leghorn on Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
User avatar
CARST
Posts: 1546
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:00 pm

Re: Could TSE (Astana) Become The New KEV for Europe-Asia Low Cost Flights?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:00 pm

If you want you can start this narrowbody-hubs from a lot of places...

What about starting a LCC on the Cap Verdian islands and connecting Europe and North Africa with South America and South Africa? Give me 20 A321neos, another 20 A321neo LRs and a few smaller planes for regional routes and you'll get this:

Image

Link to GCmap:
http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?DU=nm&MC=RAI ... 82&SU=mach

Just joking obviously. But what you are asking is not impossible. But you need deep pockets and experts to run the airline, otherwise it won't work. Just look at the Middle East and the fiasco Etihad is in now. It needs more than JUST the deep pockets. Also there are like eight other airlines in the ME region who could have grown into an EK/QR like operation, but only these two succeeded so far. Yes, you need money, but more importantly you need the will power to follow through with such a plan and professional managers running the operation and knowing what they are doing.
 
User avatar
keesje
Topic Author
Posts: 13178
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2001 2:08 am

Re: Could TSE (Astana) Become The New KEV for Europe-Asia Low Cost Flights?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:21 pm

CARST wrote:

Just joking obviously. But what you are asking is not impossible. But you need deep pockets and experts to run the airline, otherwise it won't work. Just look at the Middle East and the fiasco Etihad is in now. It needs more than JUST the deep pockets. Also there are like eight other airlines in the ME region who could have grown into an EK/QR like operation, but only these two succeeded so far. Yes, you need money, but more importantly you need the will power to follow through with such a plan and professional managers running the operation and knowing what they are doing.


I know who are running the business in the ME. The big 3-5 are truly international operations, guys / girls from everywhere.

I guess it gives a certain attraction to professionals & passengers alike.

I the local ruler makes a decision & creates great jobs, safety and attractions the knowledgeable's will move in.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Newbiepilot
Posts: 3639
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:18 pm

Re: Could TSE (Astana) Become The New KEV for Europe-Asia Low Cost Flights?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:28 pm

keesje wrote:
Newbiepilot wrote:
Duplicate topic. You started the exact same thread two years ago

viewtopic.php?t=1349419


Yes, but they received their first NEO's a few weeks ago, the new international terminal (labelled "T1") opened in June 2017, they added many new destinations and it's forbidden to reopen posts older then 6 months..

..


So what has actually changed? Does Air Astana receiving A321neos suddenly make a market for a low cost hub?

Traffic growth in Kazakhstan has slowed significantly due to a sluggish economy and currency depreciation impacting local demand. Passenger traffic in Kazakhstan increased by only 1% in 2016 and the market would have contracted if it were not for a significant increase in transit traffic at flag carrier Air Astana.

...

The Kazakhstan market had experienced six years of rapid growth from 2009 to 2015. The rate of annual growth for 2010 through 2015 was consistently at least in the high single digits and, in some years, was in the double digits. Total airport traffic in Kazakhstan was up 10% in 2015 and 7% in 2014.

Kazakhstan recorded strong GDP growth during most of this period, leading to strong domestic and outbound international demand for air travel. Kazakhstan has historically been primarily an outbound market with limited tourism and transit traffic.

A significant slowdown in economic growth (the Kazakhstan economy relies heavily on the oil and gas sector) and the devaluation of the local currency has impacted local demand for air travel over the last couple of years. While transit traffic and visitor numbers have grown, from a low base, overall the market has essentially stopped growing.


https://centreforaviation.com/insights/ ... ipo-344583

Growing a hub with declining O/D numbers in a sluggish economy is very difficult. Things are getting worse, not better for your hub idea. I know you are a huge fan of the A321 and are eager to promote it, but repeating the idea of a Kazakhstan hub isn’t going to overcome the economics of the country despite the A321LR range making it technically feasible.
Last edited by Newbiepilot on Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.
 
c933103
Posts: 3822
Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 7:23 pm

Re: Could TSE (Astana) Become The New KEV for Europe-Asia Low Cost Flights?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:29 pm

[email protected] seems more likely to happens, at least they have already signed MoU with the airport for it.
When no other countries around the world is going to militarily stop China and its subordinate fom abusing its citizens within its national boundary, it is unreasonable to expect those abuse can be countered with purely peaceful means.
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 3916
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: Could TSE (Astana) Become The New KEV for Europe-Asia Low Cost Flights?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:48 pm

keesje wrote:
Yes, but they received their first NEO's a few weeks ago, the new international terminal (labelled "T1") opened in June 2017, they added many new destinations and it's forbidden to reopen posts older then 6 months..


There's no need to either. In that topic of two years ago the himalayas were given as a reason why it wouldn't work, and that reason remains still valid. Of course they can link China and surroundings to Europe, but southeast Asia remains a problem. Lots of important destinations like Bangkok and Singapore would then be out of reach because the most direct route leads straight over the himalayas. You couldn't fly there two years ago and you still can't.
 
phxsanslcpdx
Posts: 70
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:36 pm

Re: Could TSE (Astana) Become The New KEV for Europe-Asia Low Cost Flights?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:10 pm

There's a lot working against Astana here. Many have already been mentioned. But also... there's a definite attraction for flyers to have one relatively short flight and one very long flight, instead of two similarly long flights. You've got a much better chance to get a good rest on a 10+ hour flight than on a pair of 8-hour flights with a plane change in the middle. Finnair has done a great job of capturing a lot of the Europe-East Asia traffic (there was a thread here not too long ago: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1382119). No, it's not competing heavily in the low-cost tourist market right now, but it would be significantly easier for Finnair to add more low-cost options or for another northeastern European airport to build up that traffic than for Astana to take it. At the other end, Chinese airlines are already competing in the low-cost space for many of these connections. Another advantage that these lopsided hubs offer is significant O&D demand on the shorter legs... HEL-MAD or PKG-KIX, for example, have plenty of local passengers to boost feasibility; TSE-MAD and TSE-KIX are much thinner routes.
 
zakuivcustom
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:32 am

Re: Could TSE (Astana) Become The New KEV for Europe-Asia Low Cost Flights?

Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:31 am

Speaking of stage length - one of the reason why FI and WW can make things work is b/c they are able to have high utilization of their planes. They can do a RT to US/Canada (Leaving around 5pm from KEF, eventually back to KEF in early morning, let say 6am), that leaves enough time for a RT to European destinations, most of which are about 3 hr each way. So, let say, leave KEF around 8am and eventually arrived back at KEF around 3pm-ish, just in time for another US/Canada run.

But can you do that for TSE? Not really when most of your flights are 6 hrs long (For example, existing TSE-PEK flight on Air Astana takes 5 hr 15 mins EB and 6 hr WB; then TSE-LHR is 7 hr WB and 6.5 hr EB). That basically means you need additional planes with most of them not having high utilization, a big no-no for LCCs.
Free Hong Kong! Free China!

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos