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Zoedyn
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Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:46 am

http://www.ktva.com/story/38367772/alas ... s-to-china
http://www.ktuu.com/content/news/An-inc ... 17011.html

As per the reports, Alaskans are now considering the possibility in earnest of having direct nonstop air service to China, an issue that became the focus of a recent trade mission headed by State Gov. Walker to the country

The new flights could be commenced in the summer of 2019, though it's still unclear which Chinese city would see the launch

Currently, the fastest route for Chinese tourists wanting to visit Alaska is to fly to Seattle first, and then take a flight flying right back over the same flight path, causing an extra 6-to-12 hours to an otherwise 7.5-hour nonstop flight trip

HRB may be a good candidate
The map shows ANC-HRB at a great circle distance of 5407 km only
Harbin is the capital city of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, with the closest distance to North America among Chinese metropolises
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slcdeltarumd11
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Re: Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:25 am

That would work. You could connect from other large cities in China to this flight. I wouldn't be too surprised to see this seasonally.
 
airzona11
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Re: Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:29 am

AS should get 787s and fly via SEA if they wanted to make routes to China worthwhile. But maybe. Are less than daily, seasonal flights possible to get approval?
 
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seabosdca
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Re: Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:37 am

Someone will have to subsidize this, especially with a 738 that will be challenged to carry much fish (for real!) on a flight that long. Not sure there's enough in it for either Alaska or China to make that subsidy happen.
 
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Francoflier
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Re: Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:38 am

What would be the targeted market here?

You could conceivably attract Chinese traffic to ANC via a connection in HRB, or traffic from the continental US to HRB via ANC, but either way, it seems like a rather limited market...
Connecting to the greater China from CONUS with 2 stopovers would be a shaky proposition as well even if it was very cheap...

Now, if they could fly direct to PEK from ANC, then that would open a lot possibilities for cheap CONUS - PEK tickets if they can work a quick and convenient connection at ANC.
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msycajun
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Re: Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:39 am

Probably the best bet would be Hainan to PEK to take advantage of the AS codeshare and major O&D center. Not sure about the authorities though.
 
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CARST
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Re: Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:11 am

Image
Map copyright: gcmap.com

SWF - EDI 2,804 nm 6:06 hours
ANC - HRB 2,919 nm 6:21 hours

Comparing HRB-ANC to Norwegians EDI-SWF, it could work with the 737MAX to fly to Harbin. Every other major airport in China is out of reach. But I guess O&D traffic would not fill the plane, even with AS offering connections to mainland USA.

But if they could get feed at Harbin, perhaps from Sichuan Airlines who have a very sizeable operation at this airport, then this could work. ANC is perfectly located for traffic towards cental and eastern USA.
 
32andBelow
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Re: Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:43 am

Crazy that everyone who says anc couldn’t pull off a japan flight now think a China flight can work. I see many less Chinese tourists here in Alaska than Jalenese or
Korean.
 
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DL747400
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Re: Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:16 pm

airzona11 wrote:
AS should get 787s and fly via SEA if they wanted to make routes to China worthwhile. But maybe. Are less than daily, seasonal flights possible to get approval?


No need, since DL and other carriers are already handling this traffic quite well. The only thing AS would accomplish by doing this is losing millions of $$$.
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c933103
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Re: Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:44 pm

Francoflier wrote:
What would be the targeted market here?

You could conceivably attract Chinese traffic to ANC via a connection in HRB, or traffic from the continental US to HRB via ANC, but either way, it seems like a rather limited market...
Connecting to the greater China from CONUS with 2 stopovers would be a shaky proposition as well even if it was very cheap...

Now, if they could fly direct to PEK from ANC, then that would open a lot possibilities for cheap CONUS - PEK tickets if they can work a quick and convenient connection at ANC.

The market for Japan and Korea seems to be larger than N.E. China in this case, considering the current market size, visa requirement, and also the current economic situation in N.E. area of China which is alternatively known as the Chinese Rust Belt. But the statement is probably targeted toward those investors who have limited understanding on the situation and still think China is the next gold mine.
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tphuang
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Re: Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:07 pm

As I said before, this is a really stupid idea. Harbin is a dump of city. In fact, the northern 3 provinces all are. There is no market from there to Alaska. It just doesn't exist.
 
raylee67
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Re: Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:26 pm

If they really open up China, ANC-PEK would make more sense. It could be within range of A321LR, which AS has not ordered. But if it is happy with the A321NEO, and if Airbus gives it a good deal, would AS still rule it out?

A321LR would be ideal for ANC-NRT and ANC-ICN too.
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c933103
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Re: Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:39 pm

Eh, nevermind, according to news videos, the talk was from Governor and the airport, not from any airlines directly involved. And They are talking about Beijing and Shanghai, not some random northeast airports. Since its is Beijing and Shanghai I don't think those 737MAX/A320neo would actually be suffice and would need an airlines with widebodies but I can't think of any other American airlines would be willing to fly one of their plane up to Alaska just to go to China, and Chinese Zone A bilateral is now maxed out on the Chinese side. So nothing will come out of it.

Except, maybe when the Alaska government go to China and talked about it, the one who negotiated it want America to grant more bilateral right to Chinese carriers, so they tell them they can get more flight if only they support bilateral right expansion, much like the planned Pittsburgh charter that they also told the local airport that they want to make the charter service become scheduled in the future.

If this is really what China is eyeing, then probably a lot more secondary and 3ry airports in America is going to get either limited charter services or plan to start new service, and then after maybe one year or so they would start new round of bilateral talk for expanding bilateral rights, and at the time those politicians from all city of all these smaller airports will be going to lure the American negotiation team into granting a more relaxed bilateral treaty to Chinese carriers so that service to their own cities could be upgraded
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mtnwest1979
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Re: Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:43 pm

Should change title to "State of Alaska..."
Current makes it seem it is Alaska the airline, especially to the folks on here haha.
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N212R
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Re: Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:24 pm

32andBelow wrote:
Crazy that everyone who says anc couldn’t pull off a japan flight now think a China flight can work. I see many less Chinese tourists here in Alaska than Jalenese or
Korean.


Crazy doesn't come into consideration when it's Chinese cash that talks.
 
LAXdude1023
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Re: Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:08 pm

Id think ANC-NRT or ANC-ICN on a 321LR would be the way to go. Not really ANC-China.
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enilria
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Re: Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:31 pm

N212R wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
Crazy that everyone who says anc couldn’t pull off a japan flight now think a China flight can work. I see many less Chinese tourists here in Alaska than Jalenese or
Korean.


Crazy doesn't come into consideration when it's Chinese cash that talks.

This would require Alaskan cash. Why would China subsidize tourism from their citizens to Alaska?
tphuang wrote:
As I said before, this is a really stupid idea. Harbin is a dump of city. In fact, the northern 3 provinces all are. There is no market from there to Alaska. It just doesn't exist.

Shhhhh. We don't need reality slipping in to the conversation.
c933103 wrote:
Francoflier wrote:
What would be the targeted market here?

You could conceivably attract Chinese traffic to ANC via a connection in HRB, or traffic from the continental US to HRB via ANC, but either way, it seems like a rather limited market...
Connecting to the greater China from CONUS with 2 stopovers would be a shaky proposition as well even if it was very cheap...

Now, if they could fly direct to PEK from ANC, then that would open a lot possibilities for cheap CONUS - PEK tickets if they can work a quick and convenient connection at ANC.

The market for Japan and Korea seems to be larger than N.E. China in this case, considering the current market size, visa requirement, and also the current economic situation in N.E. area of China which is alternatively known as the Chinese Rust Belt. But the statement is probably targeted toward those investors who have limited understanding on the situation and still think China is the next gold mine.

c933103 wrote:
Eh, nevermind, according to news videos, the talk was from Governor and the airport, not from any airlines directly involved. And They are talking about Beijing and Shanghai, not some random northeast airports. Since its is Beijing and Shanghai I don't think those 737MAX/A320neo would actually be suffice and would need an airlines with widebodies but I can't think of any other American airlines would be willing to fly one of their plane up to Alaska just to go to China, and Chinese Zone A bilateral is now maxed out on the Chinese side. So nothing will come out of it.

Except, maybe when the Alaska government go to China and talked about it, the one who negotiated it want America to grant more bilateral right to Chinese carriers, so they tell them they can get more flight if only they support bilateral right expansion, much like the planned Pittsburgh charter that they also told the local airport that they want to make the charter service become scheduled in the future.

If this is really what China is eyeing, then probably a lot more secondary and 3ry airports in America is going to get either limited charter services or plan to start new service, and then after maybe one year or so they would start new round of bilateral talk for expanding bilateral rights, and at the time those politicians from all city of all these smaller airports will be going to lure the American negotiation team into granting a more relaxed bilateral treaty to Chinese carriers so that service to their own cities could be upgraded

So, here are all the problems with this as a scheduled service (charters already exist)...

1) The U.S. - China bilateral does not allow any new services to anywhere that would have any kind of traffic in China.
2) The US3 are effectively blocking renegotiation of the bilateral in order to a) constrain capacity, b) keep fares up, and c) prevent Chinese carriers from expanding like the ME3 did.
3) Any plane that could make it to anywhere with even a whiff of traffic is waaaay too big. This claim of flying a narrowbody is crazy to anywhere that has any traffic.
4) There never was any traffic in the past even when it was non-stop. The Governor himself said in the article that when it was served non-stop (like 40 years ago) Pan Am held a couple of seats for people going to Alaska. That's basically correct. The data is still available from DOT and yes it was literally like 2 passengers per flight getting off in Alaska even with a non-stop.
5) There's no traffic now. Yes, there are a few charters, and there are probably some people buying two tickets via SEA, but we are talking about very small numbers. I would bet on a twice/week Dreamliner to PEK or PVG we are talking about 10-15 pax/flight max averaged over a year. Just that is like 1000% stimulation of existing demand. No airline is going to really be interested in a route with so little local and that many connecting passengers...and they are connecting to what?
6) Who/what are all these connecting passengers for this? On the China end there may be a few (connecting through China to another country is misery because like the USA, you have to go through border control), but now we are talking about 20 passengers/flight instead of 10. Who is flying all the connecting flights on the USA side? Alaska? Why would Alaska fly ANC-MSP/BOS/DFW/IAH/IAD/DEN/MCO/JFK to connect to this when they can just code share with Chinese carriers in SEA? Also, any ANC-China flight is going to be like 2/week if at all. Alaska is supposed to fly all these flights to ANC 2/wk? What happens the other 5 days? Also, this is a 1 bank hub? So AS has like 12 planes on the ground at once just to feed a Chinese airline? Anyway, none of that will happen unless ANC becomes a hub that can support those routes organically.
7) China just started really cracking down on Visa issuance. So if you live in one of the smaller Chinese cities and you want to go to Shanghai or Beijing, etc. to seek fame and fortune, you basically become an undocumented worker. You can't even send your kids to school in the new city. AND no visas. So, that doesn't help the massive tourism increase ANC needs.

Political pipe dream. Don't be suckered into voting for this or pumping public money into it.
 
rajincajun01
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Re: Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:39 pm

raylee67 wrote:
If they really open up China, ANC-PEK would make more sense. It could be within range of A321LR, which AS has not ordered. But if it is happy with the A321NEO, and if Airbus gives it a good deal, would AS still rule it out?

A321LR would be ideal for ANC-NRT and ANC-ICN too.


While AS would potentially draw enough traffic on these routes, they would need slots at NRT and PEK I believe.

In thinking about connecting traffic, I am skeptical that Chinese, Japanese, and Korean citizens would be willing to choose a US carrier over an Asian carrier. I hesitate to think there is enough O&D from ANC to these cities.

Lastly, AS does not seem to be in the mood for expensive expansion. They are trying to cut costs by cutting money losing routes and slowing growth. They also lost a good amount of money on Cuba.
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KICT
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Re: Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:40 pm

Delta actually flew ANC-NRT fairly recently with the 757. They were positioning flights sold the the public. Surely any Asia links to Alaska would be via Tokyo or somewhere like PEK.
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raylee67
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Re: Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:13 pm

rajincajun01 wrote:
raylee67 wrote:
If they really open up China, ANC-PEK would make more sense. It could be within range of A321LR, which AS has not ordered. But if it is happy with the A321NEO, and if Airbus gives it a good deal, would AS still rule it out?

A321LR would be ideal for ANC-NRT and ANC-ICN too.


While AS would potentially draw enough traffic on these routes, they would need slots at NRT and PEK I believe.

In thinking about connecting traffic, I am skeptical that Chinese, Japanese, and Korean citizens would be willing to choose a US carrier over an Asian carrier. I hesitate to think there is enough O&D from ANC to these cities.

Lastly, AS does not seem to be in the mood for expensive expansion. They are trying to cut costs by cutting money losing routes and slowing growth. They also lost a good amount of money on Cuba.


I think there would be enough tourism demand to Alaska. Going to Alaska, NWT, Iceland, Finland and Yukon to see Aurora is a constant draw of tourists from East Asia. And the tourists going to those places are the high-end ones willing to pay more. May not be able to support daily, but I think 3 weekly to 5 weekly A321 would be OK, depends on season.

PEK is only slot restricted until the new airport opens, which is Oct 1 2019. It seems a long time from now, but it's not really, given the amount of planning and applications that need to be done. For NRT, I think slots are getting easier to get now, since many premium flights are moved to HND. Lately, I have arrived at NRT at 6:30am and my flight was the only flight arriving. The whole arrival board in Terminal 2 literally only has my flight on it. And there was once I arrived at NRT at around 9:30am, and again there were only three flights, one JL from Busan, one Air India from Delhi, and then mine. So there for sure are time slots widely available at NRT now, as long as you are OK with those slots.

But yea, I think AS is a bit more careful now and expanding into Asia is a big step, even though it may not involve a new aircraft type. Setting up local support and sales is a big effort.
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Chugach
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Re: Alaska enters new era of possibilities with direct flights to China

Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:31 pm

AS isn’t going to Asia anytime soon, if ever. They’re still digesting VX for the time being.

I do think ANC-China or ANC-Japan (I don’t say ANC-Asia as there is already ANC-PKC in the summer) would work two or three times weekly, similar to the existing ANC-KEF service which seems to do quite well for FI. But it’ll be a China or Japan-based carrier doing something like ANC-PEK/PVG or ANC-NRT. It would have to be to one of the major global hub cities for it to work, not a secondary market.

As a side note, the KTVA article has a pretty misleading title...makes it sound like something is already announced. I’d also add that the air travel market is markedly different today than it was 40 years ago when Pan Am was saving a couple of seats on a flight for Alaska-bound passengers.

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