330lover
Topic Author
Posts: 613
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:11 am

Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:12 pm

Hi there,

looking at the (promised) range of the A321XLR from BRU, Lubumbashi in Congo would be within reach.
http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=bru-FBM&R= ... =wls&DU=mi

FBM is an important city in South Congo, 2nd biggest in the country and still has some ties with Belgium and is an important mining area.

Would this route have any chance of succes out of BRU if it could be operated with an A321XLR? Would it fit in the SN network?
I know cargo may be a problem, as lots of Congolese travellers take 'half of their possessions' with them, but would there be enough of business travel to make this route work somehow?

In the past, the airport was not suited for widebodies AFAIK, but now there seem to be flights in 747 with Cargolux and A359 with Ethiopian.
So even A330 would be possible, but too much capacity maybe?

What are your opinions?
Britten Norman Islander VP-FBR on Falkland Islands. THAT'S FLYING!
 
cedarjet
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:15 pm

Surprised Ethiopian are sending A350s to Lubumbashi. How far is it from Brussels, because therein lies your answer.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
MalevTU134
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:50 pm

cedarjet wrote:
Surprised Ethiopian are sending A350s to Lubumbashi. How far is it from Brussels, because therein lies your answer.

The OPer kindly provided a range map, with the distance, in a link.
 
lhrsfosyd91
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:56 pm

A321 no matter how far it can fly, is not enough of an aircraft to take passengers, baggage and cargo to fly nonstop to FBM from BRU.
 
MalevTU134
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:09 pm

lhrsfosyd91 wrote:
A321 no matter how far it can fly, is not enough of an aircraft to take passengers, baggage and cargo to fly nonstop to FBM from BRU.

Sorry, I am left bewildered by this comment. Why would that be? Because it isn't a widebody aircraft? Is there a lot of air cargo out of Lubumbashi to Europe? What would that be? I would genuinely be interested to know.
 
debonair
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:11 pm

lhrsfosyd91 wrote:
A321 no matter how far it can fly, is not enough of an aircraft to take passengers, baggage and cargo to fly nonstop to FBM from BRU.


TAP is flying 5hrs40 to LFW with the A320ceo... The rules are very strict, only the baggage allowance in the ticket is permitted, so no overweight, no additional pieces, no cargo etc.!
SN A321XLR with a large lie-flat J-class, light fares with no baggage allowance in Economy and no cargo might work... :duck:
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:18 pm

MalevTU134 wrote:
lhrsfosyd91 wrote:
A321 no matter how far it can fly, is not enough of an aircraft to take passengers, baggage and cargo to fly nonstop to FBM from BRU.

Sorry, I am left bewildered by this comment. Why would that be? Because it isn't a widebody aircraft? Is there a lot of air cargo out of Lubumbashi to Europe? What would that be? I would genuinely be interested to know.


FBM is too high, too hot (avg October high 33C), and so likely too far.
 
MalevTU134
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:20 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
MalevTU134 wrote:
lhrsfosyd91 wrote:
A321 no matter how far it can fly, is not enough of an aircraft to take passengers, baggage and cargo to fly nonstop to FBM from BRU.

Sorry, I am left bewildered by this comment. Why would that be? Because it isn't a widebody aircraft? Is there a lot of air cargo out of Lubumbashi to Europe? What would that be? I would genuinely be interested to know.


FBM is too high, too hot (avg October high 33C), and so likely too far.

Ah ok. I see now it's 4200 ft. Wasn't aware of that. Thanks!!
 
lhrsfosyd91
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:28 pm

MalevTU134 wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
MalevTU134 wrote:
Sorry, I am left bewildered by this comment. Why would that be? Because it isn't a widebody aircraft? Is there a lot of air cargo out of Lubumbashi to Europe? What would that be? I would genuinely be interested to know.


FBM is too high, too hot (avg October high 33C), and so likely too far.

Ah ok. I see now it's 4200 ft. Wasn't aware of that. Thanks!!


Good to know you've settled down your worries.
 
behramjee
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:28 pm

No the A321XLR with a two piece baggage allowance of 46kg total and average pax weight of 80Kg won’t be able to fly BRU-FBM with a full payload.

Maximum it could do with 168 pax on board and 2pc luggage allowance is BRU-BZV or 3,400nm.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:36 pm

Now, what about a triangular route---BRU-FBM-FIH-BRU, 3x weekly, with additional BRU-FIH terminator service 3x weekly? FIH is only 1,030 feet above sea level. FIH to BRU is 3360 nmi and could be doable with CRL or DUS as a declared alternate.
 
LJ
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:49 am

debonair wrote:
lhrsfosyd91 wrote:
A321 no matter how far it can fly, is not enough of an aircraft to take passengers, baggage and cargo to fly nonstop to FBM from BRU.


TAP is flying 5hrs40 to LFW with the A320ceo... The rules are very strict, only the baggage allowance in the ticket is permitted, so no overweight, no additional pieces, no cargo etc.!
SN A321XLR with a large lie-flat J-class, light fares with no baggage allowance in Economy and no cargo might work... :duck:


I doubt such a flight would be popular as people travelling to those parts of Africa don't travel light. Moreover, BRU - FBM is almost twice the distance as LIS - LFW.

BTW isn't TAP axing LIS - LFW as of W19?
 
WIederling
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:57 am

lhrsfosyd91 wrote:
A321 no matter how far it can fly, is not enough of an aircraft to take passengers, baggage and cargo to fly nonstop to FBM from BRU.


you may want to reconsider:
A321XLR:
pax and their bags -> 4700nm
taken from https://onemileatatime.com/airbus-a321xlr/

GC range FBM BRU is 3940nm ( or 7303km )
https://www.edreams.com/flights/brussel ... i/BRU/FBM/
Murphy is an optimist
 
lhrsfosyd91
Posts: 127
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:33 am

WIederling wrote:
lhrsfosyd91 wrote:
A321 no matter how far it can fly, is not enough of an aircraft to take passengers, baggage and cargo to fly nonstop to FBM from BRU.


you may want to reconsider:
A321XLR:
pax and their bags -> 4700nm
taken from https://onemileatatime.com/airbus-a321xlr/

GC range FBM BRU is 3940nm ( or 7303km )
https://www.edreams.com/flights/brussel ... i/BRU/FBM/


Good luck taking off fully loaded from FBM in the middle of summer.
 
smi0006
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:40 am

It’s an interesting questions more broadly - a lot has been mentioned of the 321LR capabilities in opening up trans-Atlantic routes; but little to none of African routes.

If to hot, high and baggage heavy a route FMB - what other routes could be opened?
 
WIederling
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:54 am

lhrsfosyd91 wrote:
Good luck taking off fully loaded from FBM in the middle of summer.


4000" feet.

What I got out of the discussion was that freight demand into FBM is high ( gifts for the family.)
not on return?
Murphy is an optimist
 
Waterbomber2
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:50 am

It doesn't matter because:
A. An A321 is too much airplane for this route
B. SN is maxed out on traffic rights to DRC without any hope of getting more in the near future
C. A brand new A321XLR costs more to lease than an A330. SN can't afford new airplanes.
D. SN has bigger fish to fry after losing the Thomas Cook business.
E. Until now, LH has treated SN as a necessary inconvenience rather than as a long term investment.

Range-wise it's doable.
Hot and high is not a huge issue when you have a less dense configurations and 10000ft of runway.
 
DCAfan
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:16 pm

The other option is CDG. It's about 80 miles closer to FBM than BRU and there is good train service between the airport and Brussels. As French is widely spoken in this part of the Congo I would think such a service would stimulate the market and would be good for Congolese tourism.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:46 pm

Lubumbashi is a mining and manufacturing area. There might be some business travel, but likely not enough to support a flight to BRU. Kenya Airways and Ethiopian have plenty of one stop options to Europe.

Cargo would likely be needed to make the route profitable. If cargo matters, the A321XLR is the wrong plane.
 
sf260
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:12 pm

SN tried to serve Lubumbashi through its subsidiary Korongo, which ceased operations in 2015. Other than that, SN is maxed out again on its bilateral rights to Congo. The number of frequencies were limited from 7 to 4 weekly until early this year after a diplomatic (political) disagreement which lasted about one year.
I think it's very unrealistic to think that SN would give up one of its Kinshasa flights to serve Lubumbashi.

Other than that, I think the XLR could be a compelling aircraft for SN, allowing to open up new destinations in NA, de-triangulate Africa destinations and maybe even start up India again (in a couple of years time, when the demand will be larger and the XLR is available).
 
Adipocere
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:35 pm

debonair wrote:
lhrsfosyd91 wrote:
A321 no matter how far it can fly, is not enough of an aircraft to take passengers, baggage and cargo to fly nonstop to FBM from BRU.


TAP is flying 5hrs40 to LFW with the A320ceo... The rules are very strict, only the baggage allowance in the ticket is permitted, so no overweight, no additional pieces, no cargo etc.!
SN A321XLR with a large lie-flat J-class, light fares with no baggage allowance in Economy and no cargo might work... :duck:


Being the check in agent enforcing those rules on a W. Africa bound flight must be one hell of a stressful job.
 
330lover
Topic Author
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Re: Could the A321XLR enable SN to operate Brussels-Lubumbashi?

Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:07 pm

Thanks all for your (mostly :) ) interesting feedback.

Like I said from the beginning, I know pax to those destinations take lots of luggage, that's why I was thinking of a more business oriented route. Business travellers tend to take less luggage, only the necessary things for their business meetings etc...
A bit like the route LH operated from FRA to PNQ (Privatair operated). I know this route was ceased, but mostly due to the demise of Privatair (and thus missing the right aircraft), not because it was not profitable.

Temperature and altitude are a valid point, but taking off late evening and with a less dense (business oriented) config, would that solve things? Runway is quite long, so less of an issue, I would imagine?

SN having reached their max traffic rights is a good point, but my question was only hypothetical.
But even then, as first entry in service is only forseen by 2023, there might be changes in those traffic rights by then.

The suggestion of CDG based on the language at both ends does not mean anything, me thinks.
Congo has lots more connections with Belgium than France.
If just language is a factor, then there should be flights between BRU (where French is also important) and Central African Rep. (just to counter the CDG suggestion).
Historical and economic ties are more important than language, isn't it?

And yes, SN tried FBM with Korongo, but we all know how difficult domestic operations in Congo are.
Plus, connections at FIH where not as easy as expected, I remember. A direct flight would solve these issues.

Again, thanks for feedback, Always interesting to read different opinions.
Britten Norman Islander VP-FBR on Falkland Islands. THAT'S FLYING!

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