onwFan wrote:jayunited wrote:onwFan wrote:Yeah, okay. As an Indian immigrant, and having lived in many of these cities in the US, I am well aware of the Indian immigration patterns in the the US. There is also the question of timing here.. If you think that UA can indeed make profit flying every one of routes daily in the midst of covid, ok - good! I beg to differ, that’s all... Let’s see how many of these routes are still flying in W21.
What does COVID have to do with anything? United Airlines today is operating our full pre-COVID flight schedule to India. Even though our load factors still vary from day to day United is still operating its full schedule. You want to simply focus on the here and now which is fine I get it we are in the middle of a pandemic. However United like all airlines is focused on the future once there is a viable vaccine.
Today's UA802-03OCT DEL-EWR left DEL with only 40 open seats that is around an 88% LF.
UA868-03OCT DEL-SFO operated with only 38 open seats this flights LF was 86%.
UA830-03OCT BOM-EWR had a light passenger load with 192 open seats, the LF on that flight was around 45%.
DEL has shown a bit more consistent in terms of our load factors where as BOM has really been all over the place. However UA makes up for BOM's wild LF swings with a lot of cargo that we otherwise would not be able to take if our 77W was full.
UA adding SFO-BLR-SFO and ORD-DEL-ORD hardly represents a huge increase in nonstop capacity to India overall. And looking at the data from the 2010 census the one city/state not on the top 10 list is Seattle, Washington. If there is one flight whose future might be in jeopardy I think it is AA's SEA-BLR-SEA. But then again the data used the article is 10 years old perhaps there is enough of a demand to support both a SFO and a SEA - BLR flight. But unless SEA in the past 10 years has overtaken the Bay Area as the top spot on the West Coast for migrant Indians and tech companies I think UA's SFO-BLR-SFO will still be operating come W2021. As far as UA's ORD-DEL-ORD only time will tell but seeing UA's DEL operation during the pandemic I think there is a good shot this flight will still be operating come W2021 as well.
The reason why UA and AI are operating so many flights to India with good loads right now is because currently all international flights to India are operating under the ‘bubbles’ concept. Most of the people who are traveling right now are mostly relatives trying to get back home or workers/dependents who got stuck in India for visa, etc - they are pretty much forced to choose these non-stop flights to avoid so many other restrictions in place. There is virtually no ME airline competition (they are by far the most sought after option due to convenient connections to most Indian cities including secondary ones). To start with, EK/QR/EY/CX operations into India are currently a shadow of their full schedule, or even completely absent. LH has dropped altogether after disagreement with the Indian govt. This is not going to be the case forever. Once these bubbles burst, the market is going to be more fragmented than ever, while everyone fights hard for the traffic and demand recovers slowly, not to mention the steep decline in business traffic that UA is after... Indian VFR traffic is extremely price-sensitive and AI relies on consolidating the VFR from many smaller cities (that traffic is actually really big), which is why the ME3 have such a big share of the market to themselves.
I don’t disagree with you per se but I think the details change the overall effect of the issues you bring up. First off, I have never felt that the reason India-US lacked more nonstop flights was because there was no traffic or yield (every flight doesn’t need to be EWR-SIN type J demand). They issue has always been that US airlines had WAY too much incentive to push indian traffic via EU to keep their multiple daily flights from US cities to EU hubs. Also while India VFR may be price sensitive generally, it is not momolithic. Indian-Americans now number over 4 million in the US. You have about a million people who came here in the 60’s and 70’s. So while recent immigrants might be price sensitive, the ones here for a long time are much less so. Indian-Americans have the highest average income of any tracked group in the US and tend to be professionals. Why do you think that segment of the population doesn’t want convenience and FF miles? UA has seen the data, they know %US origin and %India plus business/tourist/VFR mix. UA is betting on US origin pax from the region of their hubs going to DEL, BOM or BLR. So ORD-DEL & US city-ORD-DEL is their primary target. The ME3 will struggle to really compete with that segment. ME3 have really been most competitive on their US gateways-ME-South India. BUt J traffic skews to BOM, DEL and BLR. As the US3 take more and more of the J traffic of these cities, how will that affect the ME3s US-ME flights? Also COVID bubble flights are here for some time. After that, lets see if the ME3 come back as strong as they were before on US-ME routes (and UA’s flights aren’t going to help them). Finally US-EU will have fewer frequencies for 2 years. So UA can develop the nonstops without immeadiate need to push even more traffic to the EU. There is a realignment coming. Kudos to UA to try and shape it to their long term benefit. I think AA needs to rethink SEA-BLR and perhaps launch DFW-DEL/BOM or ORD-BOM