redcenterflyer
Topic Author
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:48 pm

Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:57 am

Ok, reading in the QF fleet thread: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1382753, last page, regarding aircraft in Singapore for repaint flying back to Australia as a repositioning flight 6XXX. Do airlines take revenue passengers on these flights? Would it be economical to do so, i.e. with catering and flight attendants where they may not need to pay salary of flight attendants if there are no revenue passengers? You think airlines would want to eek out a few bucks from folks, even if the loads were very very light due to competing company flights from the same airport. Just curious, as I have no clue.. Thanks in advance
 
Qantas16
Posts: 698
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:51 am

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:02 am

redcenterflyer wrote:
Ok, reading in the QF fleet thread: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1382753, last page, regarding aircraft in Singapore for repaint flying back to Australia as a repositioning flight 6XXX. Do airlines take revenue passengers on these flights? Would it be economical to do so, i.e. with catering and flight attendants where they may not need to pay salary of flight attendants if there are no revenue passengers? You think airlines would want to eek out a few bucks from folks, even if the loads were very very light due to competing company flights from the same airport. Just curious, as I have no clue.. Thanks in advance


In the case of QF they do not if it has a 6XXX flight number. Whilst the reasons you provided are correct, I think the cost of having to deadhead an extra set of cabin crew to SIN to operate the flight + extra fees from airport and ground handler for operating flight + whatever other fees there are mean its not worth it.

Also mx schedules change all the time so the flights could only be sold for a short period of time once there is some certainty to the plane's schedule...
 
User avatar
FA9295
Posts: 1770
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:44 pm

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:41 am

Sometimes (although not all the time), Delta will do this and assign the flights with odd flight numbers, such as 8XXX...
 
jumpjets
Posts: 1428
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:17 pm

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:11 am

Looking at the BA source when their A380s go to Manilla for maintenance they do a revenue flight to Singapore then postion to Manilla as a non revenue service - and then do the reverse when the maintenance is complete. It often seems that when the A380 heads off to Manilla the return leg of the LHR-SIN service isn't cancelled but instead is operated by an A380 which itself has just left maintenance.

It works well for that particular route/aircraft type but you see lots of positioning flights between for example LHR and CWL that are non rev flights.
 
drdisque
Posts: 1117
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:57 am

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:41 pm

Maintenance repositioning almost never carries passengers since time can't be predicted accurately enough.

The only repositioning flights I know of is that sometimes United and Delta will carry passengers on some of their NFL charter positioning/repositioning flights since the schedules for these are known well in advance and they tend to be between large cities and the airlines' hub(s).
 
User avatar
vhtje
Posts: 1011
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:40 pm

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:04 pm

Qantas16 wrote:
In the case of QF they do not if it has a 6XXX flight number. Whilst the reasons you provided are correct, I think the cost of having to deadhead an extra set of cabin crew to SIN to operate the flight + extra fees from airport and ground handler for operating flight + whatever other fees there are mean its not worth it.

Also mx schedules change all the time so the flights could only be sold for a short period of time once there is some certainty to the plane's schedule...


Although it seems sometimes QF do use revenue flights to reposition aircraft (reply #384 from the QF fleet thread https://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1382753&start=350#p20750341:

vhebb wrote:
QF have a one off BNE-SIN QF53 A330-200 scheduled for 5th October, I assume another repaint.


....unless I have misunderstood vhebb's post?

According to Flight Aware it is definitely a one-off flight:

https://uk.flightaware.com/live/flight/QFA53/history
I only turn left when boarding aircraft. Well, mostly. All right, sometimes. OH OKAY - rarely.
 
slcdeltarumd11
Posts: 4383
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 7:30 am

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:45 pm

I have seen AA do this. Was at BTV when they had a snowstorm hitting CLT(a dusting), DC, and PHL at the same time. Those flights were canceled. They operated one offs to JFK, Cleveland, and Rochester. Places i guess they needed to move the aircrafts and they took passengers on each of them to then connect later.
 
redcenterflyer
Topic Author
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:48 pm

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:30 pm

thanks everyone
 
User avatar
RWA380
Posts: 5526
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 10:51 am

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:38 pm

Not due to mechanical issues, but NZ did a one-off PDX-AKL flight, it was a new delivery from Boeing & instead of flying it empty for 14 hours, they took an entire planeload of passengers. A 744.
707 717 720 727-1/2 737-1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 747-1/2/3/4 757-2/3 767-2/3/4 777-2/3 DC8 DC9 MD80/2/7/8 D10-1/3/4 M11 L10-1/2/5 A300/310/320
AA AC AQ AS BA BD BN CO CS DL EA EZ HA HG HP KL KN MP MW NK NW OZ PA PS QX RC RH RW SA TG TW UA US VS WA WC WN WP YS 8M
 
User avatar
XAM2175
Posts: 1156
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:25 pm

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:25 pm

vhtje wrote:
Qantas16 wrote:
In the case of QF they do not if it has a 6XXX flight number.

Although it seems sometimes QF do use revenue flights to reposition aircraft (reply #384 from the QF fleet thread https://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1382753&start=350#p20750341:
vhebb wrote:
QF have a one off BNE-SIN QF53 A330-200 scheduled for 5th October


Yeah, QF's "general" practice is to try to position with a normal revenue flight - like the 747 retirements showing up as a normal revenue service to the US with a cancelled return - but they aren't necessarily averse to "commercialising" their positioning flights either. When they do though they usually give the flight a relevant number from their revenue ranges, so in this example the positioning flight is numbered in relation to the normal daily QF51 BNE-SIN and QF52 return.

Numbers in the QF6000 range, on the other hand, are always non-rev ferry flights.
 
User avatar
ER757
Posts: 3493
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:16 am

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:35 pm

RWA380 wrote:
Not due to mechanical issues, but NZ did a one-off PDX-AKL flight, it was a new delivery from Boeing & instead of flying it empty for 14 hours, they took an entire planeload of passengers. A 744.

UA did a similar thing with their first 789 - went PAE/SEA, then loaded up with paying pax and flew to LAX. They may also have done this with other Boeing deliveries too, this particular one is a flight I am aware of
 
User avatar
RWA380
Posts: 5526
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 10:51 am

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:01 am

ER757 wrote:
RWA380 wrote:
Not due to mechanical issues, but NZ did a one-off PDX-AKL flight, it was a new delivery from Boeing & instead of flying it empty for 14 hours, they took an entire planeload of passengers. A 744.

UA did a similar thing with their first 789 - went PAE/SEA, then loaded up with paying pax and flew to LAX. They may also have done this with other Boeing deliveries too, this particular one is a flight I am aware of


This makes me wonder, how often do airlines do this? I would imagine it's not as rare as one may think. I'd have loved to catch that UA 789 SEA-LAX flight. The one off NZ 744 was advertised heavily in the Portland area & the consolidator in town, Pacific Gateway IIRC, a part of the Azumano group, they offered an air package with return via LAX. But as NZ doesn't serve here, it was popular & sold out fast. Which is what I thought to be odd or unique, depending on your personal mindset, was the true one off nature of the route, it makes sense from a certain standpoint, it obviously was worth deadheading in a full crew & over-nighting them.
707 717 720 727-1/2 737-1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 747-1/2/3/4 757-2/3 767-2/3/4 777-2/3 DC8 DC9 MD80/2/7/8 D10-1/3/4 M11 L10-1/2/5 A300/310/320
AA AC AQ AS BA BD BN CO CS DL EA EZ HA HG HP KL KN MP MW NK NW OZ PA PS QX RC RH RW SA TG TW UA US VS WA WC WN WP YS 8M
 
Sancho99504
Posts: 642
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 2:44 pm

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:06 am

ER757 wrote:
RWA380 wrote:
Not due to mechanical issues, but NZ did a one-off PDX-AKL flight, it was a new delivery from Boeing & instead of flying it empty for 14 hours, they took an entire planeload of passengers. A 744.

UA did a similar thing with their first 789 - went PAE/SEA, then loaded up with paying pax and flew to LAX. They may also have done this with other Boeing deliveries too, this particular one is a flight I am aware of

UA has done that with quite a few 77W and 787 delivery flights. They all seem to go PAE-SEA, overnight in SEA and then leave early morning.
kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out-USMC
 
Passedv1
Posts: 644
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:40 am

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:14 am

It also depends if they have normal service between the cities since the required security checks, catering, boarding, etc. make it not worth it to sell the flights. Additionally, if there are no passengers there are also no FA’s and often the flight could be operated as a turn (drop off a plane and pick up a new one coming out of mx) under 91 where 121 would require two crews to complete the same evolution.
 
HPAEAA
Posts: 1114
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 7:24 am

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:24 am

I’ve seen both cases, but actually does anyone know how AA routes their 772s for mx at HKG? I’ve flown out several times and seen them in the hangers, I always wondered why they didn’t sub them in for 773 trips to get them back stateside..
1.4mm and counting...
 
jetmatt777
Posts: 3916
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:16 am

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Fri Oct 05, 2018 3:12 am

drdisque wrote:
Maintenance repositioning almost never carries passengers since time can't be predicted accurately enough.

The only repositioning flights I know of is that sometimes United and Delta will carry passengers on some of their NFL charter positioning/repositioning flights since the schedules for these are known well in advance and they tend to be between large cities and the airlines' hub(s).


Very, very rarely. The penalty for a canceled or delayed charter is not only large, but can impact the future awarding of such charter contract. Revenue service has many things that can affect it and delay or cancel a flight, and it’s avoided as much as possible. There’s also no need to as most hatter contracts include either paying for fuel and crew costs to the pick up point, or from the drop off point. Some include both to further decentivize the airline from wanting to try and squeeze in a revenue flight out of a charter repo.
Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand and take it easy
 
drdisque
Posts: 1117
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:57 am

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:06 pm

jetmatt777 wrote:
drdisque wrote:
Maintenance repositioning almost never carries passengers since time can't be predicted accurately enough.

The only repositioning flights I know of is that sometimes United and Delta will carry passengers on some of their NFL charter positioning/repositioning flights since the schedules for these are known well in advance and they tend to be between large cities and the airlines' hub(s).


Very, very rarely. The penalty for a canceled or delayed charter is not only large, but can impact the future awarding of such charter contract. Revenue service has many things that can affect it and delay or cancel a flight, and it’s avoided as much as possible. There’s also no need to as most hatter contracts include either paying for fuel and crew costs to the pick up point, or from the drop off point. Some include both to further decentivize the airline from wanting to try and squeeze in a revenue flight out of a charter repo.


Yes, it's almost always the repositioning flight AFTER the charter segment that is occasionally used as a live segment, not before.
 
Prost
Posts: 2454
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:23 pm

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:11 pm

My understanding is for DL when an interior get overhauled (like the 777s are now) they can’t be used for revenue flights back to the USA until the galleys get FDA approved.
 
cpl22586
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:39 am

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:04 pm

Most of the time the re positioning flights go empty. If a non-revenue passenger wants to travel on the flight it is at the discretion of the CA. The re-positioning flights are operated under FAR PART 91.
 
nicode
Posts: 229
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:22 pm

Apparently, repositioning flights are mostly empty of passengers.
But what about cargo ?
 
User avatar
ER757
Posts: 3493
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:16 am

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:36 pm

RWA380 wrote:
ER757 wrote:
RWA380 wrote:
Not due to mechanical issues, but NZ did a one-off PDX-AKL flight, it was a new delivery from Boeing & instead of flying it empty for 14 hours, they took an entire planeload of passengers. A 744.

UA did a similar thing with their first 789 - went PAE/SEA, then loaded up with paying pax and flew to LAX. They may also have done this with other Boeing deliveries too, this particular one is a flight I am aware of


This makes me wonder, how often do airlines do this? I would imagine it's not as rare as one may think. I'd have loved to catch that UA 789 SEA-LAX flight. The one off NZ 744 was advertised heavily in the Portland area & the consolidator in town, Pacific Gateway IIRC, a part of the Azumano group, they offered an air package with return via LAX. But as NZ doesn't serve here, it was popular & sold out fast. Which is what I thought to be odd or unique, depending on your personal mindset, was the true one off nature of the route, it makes sense from a certain standpoint, it obviously was worth deadheading in a full crew & over-nighting them.

Oh yeah, no kidding. I was sitting at home looking out the window when I saw that UA 789 climbing out. My very first thought was "damn, I wish I knew they were going to do that, I would have bought a ticket for sure"
 
User avatar
redzeppelin
Posts: 1138
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:30 pm

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:57 pm

I have one interesting example of a repositioning flight with passengers. As discussed, they are more likely to take passengers when the schedule is set well in advance. On September 30, 2012 I was a passenger on a one-off CRJ900 flight from SLC-CVG. That was when Comair shut down, and DL Connection carriers were shuffling jets around to backfill the capacity. That one gets a footnote in my log for the unique circumstance, as well as being my longest leg on any CRJ model.
 
smartplane
Posts: 1024
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:23 pm

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:10 pm

Positioning flights are currently consuming a disproportionate amount of time in respect to possible treatment under CORSIA.

The majority view (by a whisker), is if operated to / from an airport open to passenger flights (with appropriate facilities), then a positioning flight will count. The problem with this interpretation, is inconsistency. For example, if the airport handles domestic passengers, but not international, then a domestic flight would count, but an international wouldn't.

The next argument, is should airlines be forced to mitigate, for example by taking delivery from an airport without passenger facilities, and flying to one a few hundred km's away that does.

Aircraft incapable of delivery non-stop would be exempt.

For new and used deliveries in the future, the result could be aircraft are accepted at the operators operations base, not A, B or leasor's delivery centres.

Or anetters could get the opportunity to enjoy some unique flights.
 
amadorE175
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:25 pm

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:19 pm

An upcoming (Nov. 29, Dec. 4) example of a company selling the positioning flight is AF doing SAN-CDG on a 4-class 77W after doing a charter into SAN. The positioning flight to get the 77W back to SAN is also on sale.
 
spacecadet
Posts: 3463
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 3:36 am

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:38 am

Redeyes are repositioning flights. They used to be flown empty until some airline had the bright idea to sell tickets on them, and now they're common through the industry. But there was a time when the overnight hours were considered "non-flying" hours, so any flights at that time were non-revenue, just ferry flights to position for the morning schedule.

I mentioned this in another thread recently, but I actually flew on a JAL 777-300ER from Narita to Itami that's a repositioning flight. When I flew on it, it was almost empty - I think there were 14 passengers. Very weird taking off on a trip of about 250 miles on such a lightly loaded 77W with GE90 engines. Even with reduced thrust, it was like being on a rocket. And I literally could not see any other passengers, so it was like having a private 77W.

And since cabin crew requirements are based on the number of seats, not the number of passengers, all the passengers basically had their own personal flight attendant. I'm sure the crew were working the next flight from Itami, though. There's not much to do on a flight that short so my wife and I got to chat with our attendant for a while. And I mistakenly left my jacket on the plane and she got it to me :)

These are scheduled repositioning flights, though, where planes end up in one city as part of their regular schedule, and the airline knows in advance that it will then need a plane in another city the following day. In the past, these would always have been flown empty, but usually they're passenger flights now, whatever time of day and whatever average passenger load. (I'm sure there is a cutoff line of passengers carried vs. crew time at which point it's not profitable, where you're "wasting" a crew who can no longer work another flight. An all-night revenue flight carrying 14 passengers in a 77W would almost definitely be a waste because of the crew timeout, but it's not on a route of only 250 miles. It's basically just their commute and they'd probably need to do it anyway.)

One-off repositioning flights, it would probably be unprofitable most of the time to try to schedule a crew. I think the catering and other things probably are less of an issue, but airlines hire as many crew as they need for flights from a given base, so to try to cobble together a crew for a flight on short notice from a non-hub airport would probably be difficult and would affect operations elsewhere. I think crew requirements are the biggest issue, because again, it's based on the number of seats rather than the number of passengers, and there are strict rules for hours worked in a given time period. (These might vary country to country; I only know about the US.)
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
User avatar
spinkid
Posts: 1874
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2001 5:59 am

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:22 am

spacecadet wrote:
Redeyes are repositioning flights. They used to be flown empty until some airline had the bright idea to sell tickets on them, and now they're common through the industry. But there was a time when the overnight hours were considered "non-flying" hours, so any flights at that time were non-revenue, just ferry flights to position for the morning schedule.

I mentioned this in another thread recently, but I actually flew on a JAL 777-300ER from Narita to Itami that's a repositioning flight. When I flew on it, it was almost empty - I think there were 14 passengers. Very weird taking off on a trip of about 250 miles on such a lightly loaded 77W with GE90 engines. Even with reduced thrust, it was like being on a rocket. And I literally could not see any other passengers, so it was like having a private 77W.

And since cabin crew requirements are based on the number of seats, not the number of passengers, all the passengers basically had their own personal flight attendant. I'm sure the crew were working the next flight from Itami, though. There's not much to do on a flight that short so my wife and I got to chat with our attendant for a while. And I mistakenly left my jacket on the plane and she got it to me :)

These are scheduled repositioning flights, though, where planes end up in one city as part of their regular schedule, and the airline knows in advance that it will then need a plane in another city the following day. In the past, these would always have been flown empty, but usually they're passenger flights now, whatever time of day and whatever average passenger load. (I'm sure there is a cutoff line of passengers carried vs. crew time at which point it's not profitable, where you're "wasting" a crew who can no longer work another flight. An all-night revenue flight carrying 14 passengers in a 77W would almost definitely be a waste because of the crew timeout, but it's not on a route of only 250 miles. It's basically just their commute and they'd probably need to do it anyway.)

One-off repositioning flights, it would probably be unprofitable most of the time to try to schedule a crew. I think the catering and other things probably are less of an issue, but airlines hire as many crew as they need for flights from a given base, so to try to cobble together a crew for a flight on short notice from a non-hub airport would probably be difficult and would affect operations elsewhere. I think crew requirements are the biggest issue, because again, it's based on the number of seats rather than the number of passengers, and there are strict rules for hours worked in a given time period. (These might vary country to country; I only know about the US.)


I agree. I would guess many repositioning flights don't even have FA's, only pilots. I'm surprised more ULCC's don't do this. Or maybe they do. Let's say Allegiant has a charter for a NCAA basketball game. They might fly LAS-TUS (pick up the UofA Wildcats) They could sell seats on that segment, fly the team from TUS-Ogden to play Weber St.. Team spends the night, but crew works a Ogden-LAS flight to return home. Then repeat the process the next day in reverse..............................Maybe they already do that. lol
 
B6JFKH81
Posts: 2105
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:35 am

Re: Newbie, question regarding repositioning flights

Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:25 am

For my airline:
>Delivery flights from factory - these go via a repositioning flight from the factory to an MRO for IFE installation. Once completed, the aircraft goes to a main hub (normally JFK) to be integrated into the system the next day.

> Release from Heavy Checks - We do not perform HMVs at any city we fly to. Even when we did, we still wanted the repositioning flight to see if there were any issues. There are SO MANY systems displaced during n HMV, sometimes an issue doesn't arrive until during that first flight so you don't want it to be a revenue flight if a problem pops up.

> Paint jobs - Again, these are done at facilities in cities we do not serve. Therefore upon release, they go to hubs to be integrated into the system again.

> Charters - if it terminated in a city we fly to, I have seen an extra section added to perform a revenue flight. But often times it is re-positioned back to a hub to re-integrate back into the operation.

A lot of these re-position flights are operated by "ADG" pilots (retired pilots still type rated to operate under under part 91) so most (A320/321) flights can't do revenue except after charters.
"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"

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