gk23
Topic Author
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:26 pm

How do airlines determine which specific instance of a type it routes?

Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:37 pm

I am looking for insight on how airlines determine what specific aircraft they put on routes. For example, I see that G-CIVB recently is getting repeated schedules to NYC and in the past it was a regular visitor to Cape Town. Is it all based on scheduling one route, pausing, then scheduling another route? The thing I am most curious about is whether a route served by a certain type of a certain airline will be guaranteed to see at least one flight for each of the type that airline has, as I would really like to see some special liveries arrive at my local airport served by that type (BA 747 to Dulles International for example, which so far has seen only one of three retro livery 747s).

Thank you.
 
Arion640
Posts: 2359
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:15 pm

Re: How do airlines determine which specific instance of a type it routes?

Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:43 pm

gk23 wrote:
I am looking for insight on how airlines determine what specific aircraft they put on routes. For example, I see that G-CIVB recently is getting repeated schedules to NYC and in the past it was a regular visitor to Cape Town. Is it all based on scheduling one route, pausing, then scheduling another route? The thing I am most curious about is whether a route served by a certain type of a certain airline will be guaranteed to see at least one flight for each of the type that airline has, as I would really like to see some special liveries arrive at my local airport served by that type (BA 747 to Dulles International for example, which so far has seen only one of three retro livery 747s).

Thank you.


I can’t help with the wider question as I only half sort of know but won’t attempt to answer.

Your specific example however is because only one of the 3 retro 747’s is in BA’s 86J Configuration, which serves Dulles (BOAC). The other 2 are 52J’s with more Economy capacity so serve a different set of destinations e.g Cape Town, Las Vegas.
223 319 320 321 333 346 359 388 733 73G 738 744 752 753 763 764 772 77E 773 77W 788 789 MD83 E145 E175 E195 RJ85 F70 DH8C DH8D AT75

Brexit - It’s time for global Britain.
 
gk23
Topic Author
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:26 pm

Re: How do airlines determine which specific instance of a type it routes?

Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:49 pm

Arion640 wrote:
gk23 wrote:
I am looking for insight on how airlines determine what specific aircraft they put on routes. For example, I see that G-CIVB recently is getting repeated schedules to NYC and in the past it was a regular visitor to Cape Town. Is it all based on scheduling one route, pausing, then scheduling another route? The thing I am most curious about is whether a route served by a certain type of a certain airline will be guaranteed to see at least one flight for each of the type that airline has, as I would really like to see some special liveries arrive at my local airport served by that type (BA 747 to Dulles International for example, which so far has seen only one of three retro livery 747s).

Thank you.


I can’t help with the wider question as I only half sort of know but won’t attempt to answer.

Your specific example however is because only one of the 3 retro 747’s is in BA’s 86J Configuration, which serves Dulles (BOAC). The other 2 are 52J’s with more Economy capacity so serve a different set of destinations e.g Cape Town, Las Vegas.


Thank you! That's a very interesting fact. Do you happen to know whether class configuration needs change seasonally, at least for BA?
 
Arion640
Posts: 2359
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:15 pm

Re: How do airlines determine which specific instance of a type it routes?

Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:12 pm

gk23 wrote:
Arion640 wrote:
gk23 wrote:
I am looking for insight on how airlines determine what specific aircraft they put on routes. For example, I see that G-CIVB recently is getting repeated schedules to NYC and in the past it was a regular visitor to Cape Town. Is it all based on scheduling one route, pausing, then scheduling another route? The thing I am most curious about is whether a route served by a certain type of a certain airline will be guaranteed to see at least one flight for each of the type that airline has, as I would really like to see some special liveries arrive at my local airport served by that type (BA 747 to Dulles International for example, which so far has seen only one of three retro livery 747s).

Thank you.


I can’t help with the wider question as I only half sort of know but won’t attempt to answer.

Your specific example however is because only one of the 3 retro 747’s is in BA’s 86J Configuration, which serves Dulles (BOAC). The other 2 are 52J’s with more Economy capacity so serve a different set of destinations e.g Cape Town, Las Vegas.


Thank you! That's a very interesting fact. Do you happen to know whether class configuration needs change seasonally, at least for BA?


I don’t think it does in the case of Washington IAD - I think they always send the 86J 747 unless the other config gets subbed in unplanned.
223 319 320 321 333 346 359 388 733 73G 738 744 752 753 763 764 772 77E 773 77W 788 789 MD83 E145 E175 E195 RJ85 F70 DH8C DH8D AT75

Brexit - It’s time for global Britain.
 
airsmiles
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:14 pm

Re: How do airlines determine which specific instance of a type it routes?

Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:52 pm

BA have a large fleet of B777-200ER’s but you’ll invariably only ever see the same six in Buenos Aires (YMMA, YMMB, YMME, YMMF, YMMT & YMMU). I think it’s something to do with onboard crew rest facilities rather than seating configuration.
 
leftcoast8
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:59 am

Re: How do airlines determine which specific instance of a type it routes?

Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:50 pm

BA switched its LHR-YVR summer service from 12 weekly 744 to daily 388 due to:

1. Decline in Alaska cruise ship traffic due to the closure of Ballantyne Pier (leaving Canada Place as our only cruise ship port), and the fact that the Lions Gate Bridge has a low clearance of 200 feet, meaning new mega cruise ships can't fit under the bridge except at low tide (meaning they call in Seattle instead). An example is the Norwegian Bliss
2. To free up a Terminal 3 slot at Heathrow, since YVR is a lower-yielding destination. I'm not sure which route got the slot but I think it was Johannesburg
3. Competition from Lufthansa, KLAF and Chinese carriers for connecting India traffic

If Emirates didn't serve Seattle, I think Lufthansa would be able to fill up a 744 in winter instead of the 333. LH also sends a 333 to Dubai because Emirates shoehorns double-daily 388 + daily 77W into Frankfurt (LH has complained bitterly about this to BMVI, the German transport ministry)
 
alasizon
Posts: 1661
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:57 pm

Re: How do airlines determine which specific instance of a type it routes?

Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:19 pm

For narrowbody aircraft, the routing is a bit more fluid but when schedulers build the schedules months out, the routing only takes A/C type and config into account. The goal is that a certain routing will get it into overnight MX every so often (usually at least once every 72 hours). Of course, as soon as anything breaks or sees WX issues, that routing can be changed. This is why you see certain special liveries in the US (i.e. those on an AS 73G, AA 319) in certain stations more often. The routings on certain fleets are often more restrictive and take longer to get to certain outstations and when WX strikes, they can isolate those aircraft to a specific hub. You're just about guaranteed to see one of the AA heritage 319s in PHX or CLT on a given day but less likely to see it in DFW despite there being just as many LUS 319 routes that flow through DFW as there are PHX. The routing just takes a while for those aircraft to make their way through PHX and CLT before getting to DFW.
Manager on Duty & Tower Planner
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
Posts: 721
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: How do airlines determine which specific instance of a type it routes?

Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:24 pm

Premium seats and cargo are the two primary factors, with range being thrown in afterwards. The bean counters are always looking at yields, and they will make the case for upgauge/downgauge, depending on what they believe the airline can "nab" with a non-stop.

SAN continues to see the BA 747-400 because the cargo and premium demands are there.

For LH, the A343 works well over the A330, as four engines means less weight restrictions than with two engines. Yes, there have been substitutions, but that's only once in a while.

Also to note: LH's 747-800 aircraft are configured heavily on the premium side, and they are used as a sub-fleet for seasonal routes. LAX, for example, gets a second daily FRA flight on a 748, to go with the A380/A346 to FRA/MUC (however LH is configuring this route). In 2017, my June flight had all 88 business class seats filled.
 
zakuivcustom
Posts: 2511
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:32 am

Re: How do airlines determine which specific instance of a type it routes?

Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:38 pm

Not sure if it's what the OP is looking for.

One of the example I can think of is NH's lowest density 77W (F8C68W24Y112 for a total of 212 seats). The 7 planes in that seat configuration (JA784A/785A/786A/787A/790A/791A/792A) operates the same few flights over and over again, i.e. NH009/010 (NRT-JFK), NH109/110 (HND-JFK), NH211/212 (HND-LHR), NH203/204 (HND-FRA), and NH859/860 (HND-HKG). Needless to say, those are all major financial centers = high premium demands.

There is the aircraft rotation factor also. For instance, 4 out of 6 KE's HND-GMP flights (KE707/708/709/710) is usually flown by the same 773A (Lately it's HL7534) for month(s) b/c the other 3 KE 773A are base out of ICN (Usually going to SIN/BKK/MNL along with SHE, PEK, and NRT). They do rotate the 733A once every so often by ferrying the plane between GMP and ICN.
 
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kann123air
Posts: 1601
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:35 am

Re: How do airlines determine which specific instance of a type it routes?

Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:42 pm

Here at XNA for Walmart Shareholders week (earlier this month) , we had four special AA liveries (3 319s and 1 738) out of the 25ish mainline flights scheduled for that week. On regular days, we get two mainline services a day, both 319s to DFW. I find it hard to believe that our four specials were all due to chance, but I don't know anything that would point to the contrary.
Going for great
 
dfwjim1
Posts: 2164
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: How do airlines determine which specific instance of a type it routes?

Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:23 pm

I like the OP's question. Here in Fort Lauderdale, every Friday, Azul manages to fly in and out their 330 with the special dark colors from and to Campinas, Brazil. Other than the cool coloring on the plane I am not sure if there is something different in regards to the seating capacity/arrangements for this 330.
 
drdisque
Posts: 1032
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:57 am

Re: How do airlines determine which specific instance of a type it routes?

Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:29 pm

Sometimes a plane just gets stuck on a particular routing because that "line of flying" does not cross with any other lines of flying of the same a/c type.
 
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aerolimani
Posts: 1114
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:46 pm

Re: How do airlines determine which specific instance of a type it routes?

Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:24 am

Another factor can be ETOPS requirements, with some specific frames configured/certified and some not.

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