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Trying to analyze the Pacific Northwest (YVR/SEA/PDX)-India market

Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:05 am

In this thread, some insight was shed on why Air France picked the routes it did for the A380.

  • MEX and JNB get the A380 because they're both large population centers, don't necessarily emphasize frequency over capacity (like LHR-JFK), and are hot-and-high airports. The A380 excels at HnH due to its large wing.
  • PVG gets the A380 because it's a Skyteam partner hub. It wasn't mentioned in the thread, but I did some digging afterward and it turns out French automakers have a large presence in China. R&D and supply chains are centered around Shanghai, and the actual assembly plants are in Wuhan (a short flight from Shanghai). Auto industry demand would probably also motivate the A380 over a 77W.
  • ATL gets the A380 because, again, it's a Skyteam partner hub. In addition, Groupe PSA is planning a return to the U.S. market and has set up a regional headquarters at WeWork in Midtown Atlanta (1372 Peachtree St.)

This was a really interesting look into a part of the aviation industry that is normally opaque due to airlines' market data being proprietary. So I thought I'd ask about another market I've been curious about for years: PNW to India.

If you want an analogy, consider that many Mainland Chinese who have come to Vancouver as skilled immigrants, have also set up small businesses in Shanghai/Jiangsu/Zhejiang or in the Pearl River Delta region. They will leave their spouse and kids back in Vancouver and fly to SH/GZ for a couple of months at a time to oversee their businesses. This fuels YVR-PVG travel just from affluent VFR demand alone. In both S17 and S18 there were double daily 77Ws on this route*. (AC and MU, plus MU's additional three 333s per week.)

I want to know the same thing, but for YVR-DEL or SEA-DEL or SEA-BLR.

What kind of traffic flies YVR-DEL? How much of it is VFR, how much is tourism, how much is corporate contracts, how much is affluent VFR like with PVG? And while YVR-India is mostly to Delhi, what does the traffic makeup look like for BOM, BLR, HYD, MAA? (I'm leaving out Calcutta because I don't even think there's much in the way of YYZ-CCU demand)

And how about Seattle? Is SEA-DEL almost fueled by VFR? Or is it more fueled by corporate contracts, those who have small businesses in Delhi/NCT or elsewhere in India? I'd be especially interested to know what the market makeup looks like to:
  • BOM (Mumbai is India's largest port and has huge a shipping/logistics industry, just like Seattle. It would have been a great shipbuilding hub too but India Singapore)
  • BLR/HYD (Bangalore and Hyderabad house engineering offices, R&D offices and consultancy bases for any big U.S. tech company you can think of. With the R&D bases as well as prestigious universities such as IISc Bangalore, IIT Hyderabad and [url]= Hyderabad[/url]**, they're also home to many tech conferences for both industry and computer science research.)
  • MAA (Chennai is the center of India's aviation industry)

Same with Portland. Intel, which has six fab sites in Hillsboro, also has a 5G chip design facility in Bangalore. Does that motivate any PDX-BLR demand? And so on.

*-MU was planning on going a daily 359 to YVR for S19, but this was scrapped (for reasons too numerous to describe here) and MU now flies the 332 year round.
**-"3IT" is just my personal nickname so I don't confuse IIT with IIIT.
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Re: Trying to analyze the Pacific Northwest (YVR/SEA/PDX)-India market

Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:14 am

While there is demand from the Pacific N.West to India, from Tech and other industries it is still considered a young market relative to a mature market such as the two big ones NY/NJ Northeast and California. SFO fills the need with the best routing from California and EWR/JFK fill the need for Northeast. ORD and to some degree IAD offer good connections to midwest and some southeast.

SEA and YVR offer plenty of good connecting flight options either through Europe/Mid-east/Pacific. There really is no need for a direct. The reason you see say SFO have 2-3 Daily non-stops is the great amount of business demand + huge population base throughout California. It makes sense.

SEA has expanded out a lot of new International traffic in the last few years and while that is good, the verdict is still out if it can support all of it. A non-stop to India is a long flight and not cheap for the Airline.
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Re: Trying to analyze the Pacific Northwest (YVR/SEA/PDX)-India market

Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:16 am

I would be very surprised if SEA gets nonstops to India, considering the number of Asian/European carriers serving SEA.
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:05 pm

Re: Trying to analyze the Pacific Northwest (YVR/SEA/PDX)-India market

Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:17 am

YVR-DEL: I don't have exact numbers available but the AC nonstop flight is often full and about 75% is inbound connecting traffic, much from California.

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