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Cointrin330
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 12:24 am

jfklganyc wrote:
CO was a much smaller airline and was laser-focused on EWR.

When you merge with a much larger airline, things that made sense before me not make sense now. There are also other priorities for the new larger airline.

These routes were obviously some-what successful for CO. They lasted a while.

But maybe UA, with other major gateways, wasnt interested in secondary cities on narrowbodies once a day to EWR?


Think there is a little more to why UA began to pare back some of the 757 TATL service it inherited with the CO merger, but the value of EWR to UA is no less important than it was to CO pre-merger and if anything, had only become more of a focus for UA pre-COVID19. The issue for CO was that it always had a shortage of wide body planes. It operated a total of 21 777-200ERs, 16 B767-400ERs, and 10 B767-200ERs by the time the merger got underway. It was, as you say, a much smaller airline (alternating between #4 and #5 in the old, pre-industry consolidation pecking order). The 757 were the right sized plane for many markets that could otherwise not sustain a wide body, year-round, even on a reduced weekly schedule in the off peak season. It was also the right sized plane to feed traffic onto CO's 737 heavy domestic flying out of EWR pre-merger and that, combined with a strong economy until 2008 and rising demand, were part of what made these flights successful. CO also had a niche product then, operating a hub under one roof (well, with Terminal A gates used for some flights) at the time when others were not quite there yet (Delta was just launching its focus on the NY market after exiting Chapter 11 in 2007. B6 was smaller then, and AA was flailing, hoping to rely on a weird code share with B6 to fill what it had at JFK).

The CO/UA merger was a mess from the start. Plagued with IT issues, labor-management headaches, supremely incompetent leadership from both sides, and it took the combined airlines from 2010 to 2018 to right the ship. UA needed a lot of the younger CO 757s (including the -300s which weren't used on TATL routes) to fill the gaps in its domestic route network, which had become weak relative to DL and AA. UA's own 757s were also in bad shape, older, and like many of UA's planes during the 2002 to 2006 bankruptcy, a lot of long term maintenance was deferred to reduce costs. The CO 757s had the right product at the time to replace the UA 757s operating the NYC/LAX and SFO markets which until 2014 were flown from EWR and JFK (UA's departure from JFK was further evidence of how poorly managed an entity it was post merger). The long, thin routes out of EWR were either not strong performers post merger, or subsidies were running dry or not enough to sustain. It also took the merged and enlarged UA a while to wake up and realize that the EWR hub needed to be optimized to cater to O&D and less through traffic, which was problematic at a delay-prone airport. Many but not all the PM-UA 757s were eventually retired and the CO 757s covered for a lot of domestic and some international routes (existing and later expansion) like LIS, KEF, SNN, EDI, GLA, ARN, etc...The merger allowed the CO operation to up-gauge to larger 767-300ERs on a number of profitable routes served with the 757 (TXL for instance) and eventually, as the operation smoothed out, the 763/764 became the backbone of the TATL fleet ex-EWR. The 777s were increasingly focused (out of EWR) on BOM, DEL, HKG, NRT, TLV and for a time BRU. From there, the 77W's could replace some 772s, some 772s replaced some 767s (in some cases seasonally), freeing up what was left to upsize from 757 to 767, etc...
 
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DLHAM
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:41 am

SurfandSnow wrote:
Are enough people willing to pay a premium, though? It's awfully tough to get more than a few people to pay for the convenience of, say, HAM when they can easily take a train or drive on the autobahn from FRA.


They did, the Continental nonstop flight always was a portion more expensive than most of the other options, going via FRA or LHR was cheaper most of the time. Same with United most of the time they served the route. Going via FRA is not all that easy, driving is at least 5 hours, train is 4 hours. Thats half the time the whole flight takes. Having a nonstop flight saves a lot of time which is important for Business travelers. Also you can reach a big number of smaller beyond Destinations with only one stop instead of two if you have to go though FRA or whatever to even get to the US.

garpd wrote:
I flew on the EDI-EWR route with CO in 2004... must have been close to when they started the route. Great flight. Good crew and service. The chicken dish they served was some of the most succulent chicken I've ever eaten. I'm not making that up either.


I also loved that chicken on the CO flights as well! But for some reason it only tasted that good out of HAM, in the other direction the food was anything but good, but still ok.
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MAH4546
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:12 am

upperdeckfan wrote:
DLHAM wrote:
Although a low yield market, calling BCN a "secondary" market is a bit of a stretch IMO, it is the biggest cruise port in the Med so BCN sustains non-stop service to multiple US cities by UA/DL/AA. If I recall good enough it is JFK, EWR, MIA, IAD, ATL and ORD. Also have to add DY and LV which have also served BCN-US in the recent past.


None of that existed back then. Barcelona around 2000 had nothing more than a daily Delta flight to Atlanta that was tagged on with Madrid (ATL-MAD-BCN-ATL) and Iberia to JFK. It absolutely used to be a secondary market. It wasn't until the 2010s that it boomed.
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DLHAM
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:13 am

MAH4546 wrote:
upperdeckfan wrote:
DLHAM wrote:
Although a low yield market, calling BCN a "secondary" market is a bit of a stretch IMO, it is the biggest cruise port in the Med so BCN sustains non-stop service to multiple US cities by UA/DL/AA. If I recall good enough it is JFK, EWR, MIA, IAD, ATL and ORD. Also have to add DY and LV which have also served BCN-US in the recent past.


None of that existed back then. Barcelona around 2000 had nothing more than a daily Delta flight to Atlanta that was tagged on with Madrid (ATL-MAD-BCN-ATL) and Iberia to JFK. It absolutely used to be a secondary market. It wasn't until the 2010s that it boomed.


Thats true, but I did not write what you quoted. I answered about the same thing as you did. For some it seems to be hard to imagine that the world was different 15 years ago :house: .

Thats what I wrote:

Barcelona came a long way in the last 15 years. If I remember correctly in the 2000s there was not such a big run to Barcelona especially from the US, that developed afterwards. When Continental announced Barcelona in 2005 it could very well be considered secondary I think.
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Tokushima
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:59 am

AFAIK yes, if I remember correctly Condor operated flights from Hannover to Toronto with a stop in Moncton/Canada in the early 2000s -- flown with 757s. But that was only some low frequency charter thing and I think it didnt last very long.


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PlymSpotter
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:42 pm

I am not familiar with other airports, but the BRS service did not suffer from a lack of demand or the short runway length, which is sometimes also cited.

There were two main issues; yield in the premium cabin was average at best (Y yields were apparently very good, potentially at the expense of C); and the lack of an adequate cargo handler at BRS. The latter was problematic for them as cargo could not provide any additional revenue stream. Reducing the service to 5x weekly only increased costs, as they ended up shuttling crew between BRS and LHR.

Arion640 wrote:
Bristol got dropped as I believe Continental/United got access to LHR.


CO's flights were announced in late 2007 and commenced early 2008. BRS was dropped in 2010. Gaining LHR access wasn't a significant factor in BRS' demise and didn't substantially change passenger numbers - CO already codeshared extensively with VS out of LHR.

SurfandSnow wrote:
DLHAM wrote:
Bristol - axed in 2010


I'm surprised this one was added in the first place. Obviously it was a rather short-lived service, and that isn't surprising. I can't imagine there is much business and/or leisure traffic between the U.S. and Bristol.


It operated from 2005 to late 2010 - not what I would call short-lived. BRS' catchment area is sizeable, covering basically the entire Westcountry and the most populous areas of Wales.

aznmadsci wrote:
I remember CO started Belfast, Bristol, and another UK destination because they received subsidies. When those subsidies ran out and oil prices high, Belfast and Bristol were among the first to get the axe.


CO didn't receive a subsidy per se for their Bristol flight. No doubt they will have utilised Bristol Airports route development fund to mitigate airport charges in the first two to three years, but that is no different from every other airline launching a new route. It is very unusual for regional European airports not to offer this structure. In CO's case, they maintained the Bristol flight well beyond the launch assistance period.
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CALMSP
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:50 pm

PlymSpotter wrote:
I am not familiar with other airports, but the BRS service did not suffer from a lack of demand or the short runway length, which is sometimes also cited.

There were two main issues; yield in the premium cabin was average at best (Y yields were apparently very good, potentially at the expense of C); and the lack of an adequate cargo handler at BRS. The latter was problematic for them as cargo could not provide any additional revenue stream. Reducing the service to 5x weekly only increased costs, as they ended up shuttling crew between BRS and LHR.

Arion640 wrote:
Bristol got dropped as I believe Continental/United got access to LHR.



BRS was solely due to lack of C demand, cargo was never going to be a factor for BRS given the narrow-body operation.
 
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:07 pm

CALMSP wrote:
PlymSpotter wrote:
I am not familiar with other airports, but the BRS service did not suffer from a lack of demand or the short runway length, which is sometimes also cited.

There were two main issues; yield in the premium cabin was average at best (Y yields were apparently very good, potentially at the expense of C); and the lack of an adequate cargo handler at BRS. The latter was problematic for them as cargo could not provide any additional revenue stream. Reducing the service to 5x weekly only increased costs, as they ended up shuttling crew between BRS and LHR.

Arion640 wrote:
Bristol got dropped as I believe Continental/United got access to LHR.



BRS was solely due to lack of C demand, cargo was never going to be a factor for BRS given the narrow-body operation.


I remember using the service actually. Very convenient but 10 years ago as of next month.
 
codc10
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:09 pm

PlymSpotter wrote:
There were two main issues; yield in the premium cabin was average at best (Y yields were apparently very good, potentially at the expense of C); and the lack of an adequate cargo handler at BRS. The latter was problematic for them as cargo could not provide any additional revenue stream. Reducing the service to 5x weekly only increased costs, as they ended up shuttling crew between BRS and LHR.


Did that actually happen, or are you guessing that's what UA did? Typically, when service goes non-daily (like a number of EU routes in an ordinary winter season) crews simply have days added to layovers. The airplane turns at the destination point as usual, and there is no eastbound flight the next night. The additional night of hotel expense, per diem and trip rig is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of operating a TATL flight with insufficient demand.

A 2-3h van ride to enable a 757 crew to work a 3-day trip, with LHR in one direction, rather than a few weekly 4-day BRS trips (48h layovers) seems absurd to me. The only time this sort of thing normally happens overseas is to position crews for service launches and terminations (including seasonal), and usually an offline deadhead flight to another UA gateway is preferred.
 
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:45 pm

codc10 wrote:
PlymSpotter wrote:
There were two main issues; yield in the premium cabin was average at best (Y yields were apparently very good, potentially at the expense of C); and the lack of an adequate cargo handler at BRS. The latter was problematic for them as cargo could not provide any additional revenue stream. Reducing the service to 5x weekly only increased costs, as they ended up shuttling crew between BRS and LHR.


Did that actually happen, or are you guessing that's what UA did? Typically, when service goes non-daily (like a number of EU routes in an ordinary winter season) crews simply have days added to layovers. The airplane turns at the destination point as usual, and there is no eastbound flight the next night. The additional night of hotel expense, per diem and trip rig is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of operating a TATL flight with insufficient demand.

A 2-3h van ride to enable a 757 crew to work a 3-day trip, with LHR in one direction, rather than a few weekly 4-day BRS trips (48h layovers) seems absurd to me. The only time this sort of thing normally happens overseas is to position crews for service launches and terminations (including seasonal), and usually an offline deadhead flight to another UA gateway is preferred.


Yeah, It’s 1:59 from BRS to the LHR hotel, there’s no way crew would go for that or the union.
 
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:13 pm

CALMSP wrote:
BRS was solely due to lack of C demand, cargo was never going to be a factor for BRS given the narrow-body operation.


CO in the UK seemed to think differently. I met their UK team at an industry event in London and asked them about the BRS service - they offered this context. It also applied to carrying animals, CO were keen to offer both cargo and animal transportation into BRS, as they did at other airports, but there was apparently no suitable handler at the UK end. I have no reason to doubt this information.

codc10 wrote:
Did that actually happen, or are you guessing that's what UA did?


See the above. It was apparently not popular - no idea on when the crew were moved around, how many nights their total stay was, or if it applied to every rotation. But it was common enough for the observation that 'crews hated it'.
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CALMSP
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:19 pm

PlymSpotter wrote:
CALMSP wrote:
BRS was solely due to lack of C demand, cargo was never going to be a factor for BRS given the narrow-body operation.


CO in the UK seemed to think differently. I met their UK team at an industry event in London and asked them about the BRS service - they offered this context. It also applied to carrying animals, CO were keen to offer both cargo and animal transportation into BRS, as they did at other airports, but there was apparently no suitable handler at the UK end. I have no reason to doubt this information.

codc10 wrote:
Did that actually happen, or are you guessing that's what UA did?


See the above. It was apparently not popular - no idea on when the crew were moved around, how many nights their total stay was, or if it applied to every rotation. But it was common enough for the observation that 'crews hated it'.


sure, that wasn't going to be offered, but it was not at a level that was going to bring "massive profits" to a flight. CO was a pax airline first, cargo came as a simple benefit option.
 
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:27 pm

CALMSP wrote:
sure, that wasn't going to be offered, but it was not at a level that was going to bring "massive profits" to a flight. CO was a pax airline first, cargo came as a simple benefit option.


CO and the majority of airlines back then.

I'm not sure where "massive profits" is being quoted from - certainly not me. It was an additional revenue stream they wanted to harness but were not able to, and that was a factor in the decision to terminate the route.
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codc10
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:40 pm

PlymSpotter wrote:
See the above. It was apparently not popular - no idea on when the crew were moved around, how many nights their total stay was, or if it applied to every rotation. But it was common enough for the observation that 'crews hated it'.


MAYBE for an IRROPS situation, or short crew, but I would be baffled if this were a normal or common circumstance. It makes no sense whatsoever, and confers no operational advantage.

With an immediate aircraft turn on a consistent schedule, even for less-than-daily operations, absent a delay/cancellation/service commencement, there is theoretically always a rested crew available at the outstation to exchange with the inbound crew and bring the airplane back. Multi-day layovers are not unusual and there is no exorbitant expense associated with it, not to mention the fact that the van ride wouldn't count toward a crew's rest period.
Last edited by codc10 on Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
CALMSP
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:44 pm

PlymSpotter wrote:
CALMSP wrote:
sure, that wasn't going to be offered, but it was not at a level that was going to bring "massive profits" to a flight. CO was a pax airline first, cargo came as a simple benefit option.


CO and the majority of airlines back then.

I'm not sure where "massive profits" is being quoted from - certainly not me. It was an additional revenue stream they wanted to harness but were not able to, and that was a factor in the decision to terminate the route.


BRS generates no cargo, so it was not a choice of cancelling the route due to cargo. all that cargo that "could" come from the BRS area can be trucked to MAN/LGW/LHR. CO did not make any decision to term routes based on cargo options.
 
PlymSpotter
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:34 pm

codc10 wrote:
PlymSpotter wrote:
See the above. It was apparently not popular - no idea on when the crew were moved around, how many nights their total stay was, or if it applied to every rotation. But it was common enough for the observation that 'crews hated it'.


MAYBE for an IRROPS situation, or short crew, but I would be baffled if this were a normal or common circumstance. It makes no sense whatsoever, and confers no operational advantage.


Yeah, I'd agree that it doesn't make much sense. But I've seen a lot of nonsensical overland positioning of staff around the UK by road, from numerous airlines and ground handlers.

CALMSP wrote:
PlymSpotter wrote:
CALMSP wrote:
BRS generates no cargo, so it was not a choice of cancelling the route due to cargo. all that cargo that "could" come from the BRS area can be trucked to MAN/LGW/LHR. CO did not make any decision to term routes based on cargo options.


You've really not understood this I'm afraid.

But hey, guess I should believe a random participant in an online forum instead of the people who were party to the decision...
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CALMSP
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:37 pm

PlymSpotter wrote:
codc10 wrote:
PlymSpotter wrote:
See the above. It was apparently not popular - no idea on when the crew were moved around, how many nights their total stay was, or if it applied to every rotation. But it was common enough for the observation that 'crews hated it'.


MAYBE for an IRROPS situation, or short crew, but I would be baffled if this were a normal or common circumstance. It makes no sense whatsoever, and confers no operational advantage.


Yeah, I'd agree that it doesn't make much sense. But I've seen a lot of nonsensical overland positioning of staff around the UK by road, from numerous airlines and ground handlers.

CALMSP wrote:
PlymSpotter wrote:


You've really not understood this I'm afraid.

But hey, guess I should believe a random participant in an online forum instead of the people who were party to the decision...


well, considering I worked for CO Cargo, probably have more direct insight than what you are guesstimating.
 
PlymSpotter
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:58 pm

CALMSP wrote:
well, considering I worked for CO Cargo, probably have more direct insight than what you are guesstimating.


Well as that naturally means you must know all the people and details, I suggest you ask why they bother making up stories.
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CALMSP
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:02 pm

PlymSpotter wrote:
CALMSP wrote:
well, considering I worked for CO Cargo, probably have more direct insight than what you are guesstimating.


Well as that naturally means you must know all the people and details, I suggest you ask why they bother making up stories.


you're right I do. But its okay, it doesn't meet your "insider" knowledge of why BRS closed or the massive amounts of cargo that BRS generates. Please, share with us more insider info that you know of as to the market conditions of BRS and why CO/UA decided to close the station. Remember, BRS generated no J traffic, so the airplane was pulled so it could generate J traffic.
 
PlymSpotter
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:09 pm

CALMSP wrote:
you're right I do. But its okay, it doesn't meet your "insider" knowledge of why BRS closed or the massive amounts of cargo that BRS generates. Please, share with us more insider info that you know of as to the market conditions of BRS and why CO/UA decided to close the station. Remember, BRS generated no J traffic, so the airplane was pulled so it could generate J traffic.


Well of course you do - I expected nothing less than first name terms, golfing holidays and silly handshakes all the way.

Unfortunately it doesn't sound like you've actually read what I've shared in the first place, as you're reminding me of something I've already posted and qualified the source of. Massive amounts of cargo? Oh please...
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CALMSP
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:11 pm

PlymSpotter wrote:
CALMSP wrote:
you're right I do. But its okay, it doesn't meet your "insider" knowledge of why BRS closed or the massive amounts of cargo that BRS generates. Please, share with us more insider info that you know of as to the market conditions of BRS and why CO/UA decided to close the station. Remember, BRS generated no J traffic, so the airplane was pulled so it could generate J traffic.


Well of course you do - I expected nothing less than first name terms, golfing holidays and silly handshakes all the way.

Unfortunately it doesn't sound like you've actually read what I've shared in the first place, as you're reminding me of something I've already posted and qualified the source of. Massive amounts of cargo? Oh please...


putting a few animals on a plane is not a reason why an airline, specifically CO will cancel a route. your claims are 100% inaccurate.
 
PlymSpotter
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:21 pm

CALMSP wrote:
putting a few animals on a plane is not a reason why an airline, specifically CO will cancel a route. your claims are 100% inaccurate.


Thanks for your sweeping opinion on everything in my first post. As I happened to also state that the Yield wasn't there in C, I guess you'll be considering that 100% inaccurate too, meaning that CO should never have closed the route in the first place.
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CALMSP
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:23 pm

PlymSpotter wrote:
CALMSP wrote:
putting a few animals on a plane is not a reason why an airline, specifically CO will cancel a route. your claims are 100% inaccurate.


Thanks for your sweeping opinion on everything in my first post. As I happened to also state that the Yield wasn't there in C, I guess you'll be considering that 100% inaccurate too, meaning that CO should never have closed the route in the first place.


that part you were right, but your claims of cargo are 100% false.
 
PlymSpotter
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:35 pm

CALMSP wrote:
that part you were right, but your claims of cargo are 100% false.


Thank you. That's your view but, at the risk of completely hijacking this thread and our time, we are going to both have to agree to disagree on this point.
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CONTACREW
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:56 pm

PlymSpotter wrote:
I am not familiar with other airports, but the BRS service did not suffer from a lack of demand or the short runway length, which is sometimes also cited.

There were two main issues; yield in the premium cabin was average at best (Y yields were apparently very good, potentially at the expense of C); and the lack of an adequate cargo handler at BRS. The latter was problematic for them as cargo could not provide any additional revenue stream. Reducing the service to 5x weekly only increased costs, as they ended up shuttling crew between BRS and LHR.

Arion640 wrote:
Bristol got dropped as I believe Continental/United got access to LHR.


CO's flights were announced in late 2007 and commenced early 2008. BRS was dropped in 2010. Gaining LHR access wasn't a significant factor in BRS' demise and didn't substantially change passenger numbers - CO already codeshared extensively with VS out of LHR.

SurfandSnow wrote:
DLHAM wrote:
Bristol - axed in 2010


I'm surprised this one was added in the first place. Obviously it was a rather short-lived service, and that isn't surprising. I can't imagine there is much business and/or leisure traffic between the U.S. and Bristol.


It operated from 2005 to late 2010 - not what I would call short-lived. BRS' catchment area is sizeable, covering basically the entire Westcountry and the most populous areas of Wales.

aznmadsci wrote:
I remember CO started Belfast, Bristol, and another UK destination because they received subsidies. When those subsidies ran out and oil prices high, Belfast and Bristol were among the first to get the axe.


CO didn't receive a subsidy per se for their Bristol flight. No doubt they will have utilised Bristol Airports route development fund to mitigate airport charges in the first two to three years, but that is no different from every other airline launching a new route. It is very unusual for regional European airports not to offer this structure. In CO's case, they maintained the Bristol flight well beyond the launch assistance period.


Where are you getting your info? As an ISM/FA for the former CO I can assure you we were never shuttled to LHR as you claim. If we had a 4 day BRS the pairing was built with a 48 hour layover in BRS with a BRS layover hotel.
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Max Q
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:10 pm

CONTACREW wrote:
PlymSpotter wrote:
I am not familiar with other airports, but the BRS service did not suffer from a lack of demand or the short runway length, which is sometimes also cited.

There were two main issues; yield in the premium cabin was average at best (Y yields were apparently very good, potentially at the expense of C); and the lack of an adequate cargo handler at BRS. The latter was problematic for them as cargo could not provide any additional revenue stream. Reducing the service to 5x weekly only increased costs, as they ended up shuttling crew between BRS and LHR.

Arion640 wrote:
Bristol got dropped as I believe Continental/United got access to LHR.


CO's flights were announced in late 2007 and commenced early 2008. BRS was dropped in 2010. Gaining LHR access wasn't a significant factor in BRS' demise and didn't substantially change passenger numbers - CO already codeshared extensively with VS out of LHR.

SurfandSnow wrote:


I'm surprised this one was added in the first place. Obviously it was a rather short-lived service, and that isn't surprising. I can't imagine there is much business and/or leisure traffic between the U.S. and Bristol.


It operated from 2005 to late 2010 - not what I would call short-lived. BRS' catchment area is sizeable, covering basically the entire Westcountry and the most populous areas of Wales.

aznmadsci wrote:
I remember CO started Belfast, Bristol, and another UK destination because they received subsidies. When those subsidies ran out and oil prices high, Belfast and Bristol were among the first to get the axe.


CO didn't receive a subsidy per se for their Bristol flight. No doubt they will have utilised Bristol Airports route development fund to mitigate airport charges in the first two to three years, but that is no different from every other airline launching a new route. It is very unusual for regional European airports not to offer this structure. In CO's case, they maintained the Bristol flight well beyond the launch assistance period.


Where are you getting your info? As an ISM/FA for the former CO I can assure you we were never shuttled to LHR as you claim. If we had a 4 day BRS the pairing was built with a 48 hour layover in BRS with a BRS layover hotel.




Exactly


I operated quite a few 752 flights into Bristol and our layover was always in that city


Going to stay in London would have been unthinkable and didn’t happen!
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
mxaxai
Posts: 1808
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:36 pm

DLHAM wrote:
SurfandSnow wrote:
Are enough people willing to pay a premium, though? It's awfully tough to get more than a few people to pay for the convenience of, say, HAM when they can easily take a train or drive on the autobahn from FRA.


They did, the Continental nonstop flight always was a portion more expensive than most of the other options, going via FRA or LHR was cheaper most of the time. Same with United most of the time they served the route. Going via FRA is not all that easy, driving is at least 5 hours, train is 4 hours. Thats half the time the whole flight takes. Having a nonstop flight saves a lot of time which is important for Business travelers. Also you can reach a big number of smaller beyond Destinations with only one stop instead of two if you have to go though FRA or whatever to even get to the US.

UA later also tried EWR-STR with 757. Between cheap fares through FRA / MUC, heavy competition from DL to ATL and common fuel stops in winter, it didn't last too long.

I think these thin long-haul routes are generally difficult to fill when the smaller airport is the primary source of demand. With BCN or DBV you can advertise this to american tourists like any other destination. But in HAM, STR, BFS or BRS, the foreign airline has to make itself known to the local population; otherwise they'll default to their local carrier (BA, LH, ...) or whoever is the cheapest. If it was VS or DE offering these flights these might have worked better.
 
Arion640
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:48 pm

Max Q wrote:
CONTACREW wrote:
PlymSpotter wrote:
I am not familiar with other airports, but the BRS service did not suffer from a lack of demand or the short runway length, which is sometimes also cited.

There were two main issues; yield in the premium cabin was average at best (Y yields were apparently very good, potentially at the expense of C); and the lack of an adequate cargo handler at BRS. The latter was problematic for them as cargo could not provide any additional revenue stream. Reducing the service to 5x weekly only increased costs, as they ended up shuttling crew between BRS and LHR.



CO's flights were announced in late 2007 and commenced early 2008. BRS was dropped in 2010. Gaining LHR access wasn't a significant factor in BRS' demise and didn't substantially change passenger numbers - CO already codeshared extensively with VS out of LHR.



It operated from 2005 to late 2010 - not what I would call short-lived. BRS' catchment area is sizeable, covering basically the entire Westcountry and the most populous areas of Wales.



CO didn't receive a subsidy per se for their Bristol flight. No doubt they will have utilised Bristol Airports route development fund to mitigate airport charges in the first two to three years, but that is no different from every other airline launching a new route. It is very unusual for regional European airports not to offer this structure. In CO's case, they maintained the Bristol flight well beyond the launch assistance period.


Where are you getting your info? As an ISM/FA for the former CO I can assure you we were never shuttled to LHR as you claim. If we had a 4 day BRS the pairing was built with a 48 hour layover in BRS with a BRS layover hotel.




Exactly


I operated quite a few 752 flights into Bristol and our layover was always in that city


Going to stay in London would have been unthinkable and didn’t happen!


You wouldn’t have had much to do - you can see the whole city on a nights layover.
 
Max Q
Posts: 8276
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:31 pm

Arion640 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
CONTACREW wrote:

Where are you getting your info? As an ISM/FA for the former CO I can assure you we were never shuttled to LHR as you claim. If we had a 4 day BRS the pairing was built with a 48 hour layover in BRS with a BRS layover hotel.




Exactly


I operated quite a few 752 flights into Bristol and our layover was always in that city


Going to stay in London would have been unthinkable and didn’t happen!


You wouldn’t have had much to do - you can see the whole city on a nights layover.




The public / passengers have many misconceptions about flight crews and their preferences


It’s nice to go to an interesting city but honestly, after you’ve been awake all night all you care about is getting to a nice, quiet and clean hotel and getting as much sleep as possible before doing it all over again


We’re not on vacation, actually the trips we like the most are the ones with the most flight time and minimal layover



This allows you to make the most pay in the minimum number of days and gives you the maximum days off


It comes down to a calculation, not tourism
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
N649DL
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:49 pm

Cointrin330 wrote:
jfklganyc wrote:
CO was a much smaller airline and was laser-focused on EWR.

When you merge with a much larger airline, things that made sense before me not make sense now. There are also other priorities for the new larger airline.

These routes were obviously some-what successful for CO. They lasted a while.

But maybe UA, with other major gateways, wasnt interested in secondary cities on narrowbodies once a day to EWR?


Think there is a little more to why UA began to pare back some of the 757 TATL service it inherited with the CO merger, but the value of EWR to UA is no less important than it was to CO pre-merger and if anything, had only become more of a focus for UA pre-COVID19. The issue for CO was that it always had a shortage of wide body planes. It operated a total of 21 777-200ERs, 16 B767-400ERs, and 10 B767-200ERs by the time the merger got underway. It was, as you say, a much smaller airline (alternating between #4 and #5 in the old, pre-industry consolidation pecking order). The 757 were the right sized plane for many markets that could otherwise not sustain a wide body, year-round, even on a reduced weekly schedule in the off peak season. It was also the right sized plane to feed traffic onto CO's 737 heavy domestic flying out of EWR pre-merger and that, combined with a strong economy until 2008 and rising demand, were part of what made these flights successful. CO also had a niche product then, operating a hub under one roof (well, with Terminal A gates used for some flights) at the time when others were not quite there yet (Delta was just launching its focus on the NY market after exiting Chapter 11 in 2007. B6 was smaller then, and AA was flailing, hoping to rely on a weird code share with B6 to fill what it had at JFK).

People forget but sUA 3-Class 763s were brought to EWR even before the two carriers were fully merged in 2011 on routes like EWR-GVA and ZRH where premium demand was needed. They also operated the then newly launched EWR-EZE and IST as well in 2012.

The CO/UA merger was a mess from the start. Plagued with IT issues, labor-management headaches, supremely incompetent leadership from both sides, and it took the combined airlines from 2010 to 2018 to right the ship. UA needed a lot of the younger CO 757s (including the -300s which weren't used on TATL routes) to fill the gaps in its domestic route network, which had become weak relative to DL and AA. UA's own 757s were also in bad shape, older, and like many of UA's planes during the 2002 to 2006 bankruptcy, a lot of long term maintenance was deferred to reduce costs. The CO 757s had the right product at the time to replace the UA 757s operating the NYC/LAX and SFO markets which until 2014 were flown from EWR and JFK (UA's departure from JFK was further evidence of how poorly managed an entity it was post merger). The long, thin routes out of EWR were either not strong performers post merger, or subsidies were running dry or not enough to sustain. It also took the merged and enlarged UA a while to wake up and realize that the EWR hub needed to be optimized to cater to O&D and less through traffic, which was problematic at a delay-prone airport. Many but not all the PM-UA 757s were eventually retired and the CO 757s covered for a lot of domestic and some international routes (existing and later expansion) like LIS, KEF, SNN, EDI, GLA, ARN, etc...The merger allowed the CO operation to up-gauge to larger 767-300ERs on a number of profitable routes served with the 757 (TXL for instance) and eventually, as the operation smoothed out, the 763/764 became the backbone of the TATL fleet ex-EWR. The 777s were increasingly focused (out of EWR) on BOM, DEL, HKG, NRT, TLV and for a time BRU. From there, the 77W's could replace some 772s, some 772s replaced some 767s (in some cases seasonally), freeing up what was left to upsize from 757 to 767, etc...


The CO/UA merger obviously didn't have to be that way. If they kept more sUA 757s around instead of giving them away in a fire sale to FedEx for quick cash, there would've been more flexibility throughout the domestic network (EG: the small PS fleet they kept out of JFK until 2015 which deliveries ranged from 1989 to 1999). Thus, then the sCO 757s could've been free to roam TATL instead of being brought back domestically. IMHO, the sCO 753s were going to be covering the legacy United domestic network no matter what (once they reconfigured the domestic sUA 763s for International use.) They were being used as random dartboard routes to the Caribbean out of EWR anyway pre-merger with not a lot of strategy anyway. The 753s held a lot of potential on hub-to-hub domestic routes and high density domestic routes out of DEN/LAX/SFO/ORD etc. UA also shat the bed on retiring the the newer sCO 762s way too early as well. Those could've been successful on TATL routes out of EWR and IAD. In fact, they were being used back in 2011-2012 on flights like EWR-TXL/MXP/FRA etc.
 
opticalilyushin
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:08 am

SurfandSnow wrote:
I'm not sure Northern Ireland is a big draw for Americans (yet). Most of the folks in this country with the means to visit Europe and support a service like this probably remember "The Troubles" all too well...


The physical remnents and stories of The Troubles, along with the Titanic, Game of Thrones, golf, urban redevelopment and even visitors tracing their Irish ancestry means tourism is actually booming these days (well..prior to Covid-19 anyway), notably with large numbers of tourists from North America and the Far East. Perhaps the route ended a little prematurely, but Belfast often struggled due to competition from Dublin, and i suspect to a lesser extent (like several other dropped UK airports) a lack of interlining airlines to connect with.
 
PlymSpotter
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:38 am

CONTACREW wrote:

Where are you getting your info? As an ISM/FA for the former CO I can assure you we were never shuttled to LHR as you claim. If we had a 4 day BRS the pairing was built with a 48 hour layover in BRS with a BRS layover hotel.


Mentioned and discussed up thread - going back several years now, I had cause to meet CO's team in the UK. I was working on a project which encompassed BRS at the time.

I agree that what you describe makes complete sense - hotelling a crew in London when on a straight BRS rotation would be rather nuts. What they mentioned was that a crew would be sent on a EWR-BRS / LON-EWR route, or visa versa, and that it was strongly disliked. As previously suggested, in practice this could have been limited to irregular ops - just relaying what I was told.
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
 
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Aisak
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:36 pm

DLHAM wrote:
I found out that most of these legacy CO flights to "secondary" markets do not exist anymore.

I wonder what went wrong with all of those routes? [...]Why cant United make flights work today that Continental could 15 years ago?


The answer to those two questions lies with the sentence above. They were legacy CO flights for the post 9/11 CO network and competition landscape. And that has changed A LOT since...
Continental (if memory serves me right) had hubs at IAH, EWR and CLE and some sort of base at GUM thought CO Mike.
Network-wise, both operated and codeshared, the CO flight code was not that spread out. They didn't have a huge widebody fleet too (Cointrin330 explained it beautifully above). And they were also not pioneers in Global Marketing Alliances.

They didnt have access to LHR (but they managed to put the CO codeshare on VS operated flights eventually) and even though no partner for onward connetions. So they just flooded the UK regional airports with 757s. More than enough range for the hop, and capable to offer customers the convenience of non-stop service to NYC and one-stop connection to most of the USA to fill up the aircraft.

CO entered Skyteam in 2004 at the same time NW-KLM did. And even then, they saw no suitable partner. NW-KLM were married for years and AF and Delta were already in bed as Skyteam founders. So they used more 757s from EWR for the TATL market beyond the near-ish British Isles, even pushing the limits in range.

But then the merger with United came in. And out of the sudden, the new United had hubs in NRT, IAD,DEN, LAX, and SFO plus the CO GUM, EWR, IAH and CLE. And a strong TATL partner like LH(+LX+OS+BD) with lots of connectivity at FRA. And a succesful JBA across the Atlantic so any passenger between ANY point in Europe and ANY point in NorthAmerica is shared among the airlines.

So no need to use aging 757s across the pond to reach points in Europe which can be captured anyway via the JV. And no need for those connecting passengers to go though an already crowded EWR, both air and land. To the point that United is now favouring IAD over EWR for the role.

That's why, with all this into consideration, EWR+757Europe is no longer a huge thing as it was in the past
Last edited by Aisak on Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
N649DL
Posts: 929
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:21 pm

Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:47 pm

Aisak wrote:
DLHAM wrote:
I found out that most of these legacy CO flights to "secondary" markets do not exist anymore.

I wonder what went wrong with all of those routes? [...]Why cant United make flights work today that Continental could 15 years ago?


The answer to those two questions lies with the sentence above. They were legacy CO flights for the post 9/11 CO network and competition landscape. And that has changed A LOT since...
Continental (if memory serves me right) had hubs at IAH, EWR and CLE and some sort of base at GUM thought CO Mike.
Network-wise, both operated and codeshared, the CO flight was not that spread. They didn't have a huge widebody fleet too (Cointrin330 explained it beautifully above). And they were also not pioneers in Global Marketing Alliances.

They didnt have access to LHR and even though, no partner for onward connetions. So they flooded the UK regional airports with 757s. More than enough range for the hop, and capable to offer customers the convenience of non-stop service to NYC and one-stop connection to most of the USA to fill up the aircraft.

Then, they entered Skyteam in 2004 at the same time NW-KLM did. And they saw no suitable partner. NW-KLM were married for years and AF and Delta were already in bed as Skyteam founders. So they used more 757s for the TATL market, even pushing the limits in range.

But then the merger with United came in. And out of the sudden, the new United had hubs in NRT, IAD,DEN,LAX, and SFO (plus the CO GUM, EWR,IAH and CLE). And a strong TATL partner like LH with lots of connectivity at FRA. And a succesful JBA across the Atlantic so any passenger between ANY point in Europe and ANY point in NorthAmerica is shared among the airlines.
So no need to use aging 757s across the pond to reach point in Europe which can be captured anyway via the JV. And no need for those connecting passengers to go though an already crowded EWR, both air and land. To the point that United is now favouring IAD over EWR.

That's why, with all this into consideration, EWR+757Europe is no longer a huge thing as it was in the past


Understated on some of these boards, but people forget how many Westbound diversions back to EWR there were in the wintertime on some of these 757 European routes. IAD also as CDG/AMS-IAD that went to sCO 757 in 2012 & it was almost consistent diversions at times.
 
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DLHAM
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Re: 15 years ago: CO expands to "secondary" EU cities with 757s

Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:49 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
STR and MUC sustain year-round services.


Well, that one link from STR to ATL lives from a corporate contract with one certain company that generates enough/additional C traffic. If mercedes cancels the contract this service would disappear so fast that you would not even notice it.
New York - the number one US destination from Germany - does not even work from STR. Delta tried in 1998 and United in 2012(?).
PDEW on NYC-STR was 49 in 2019. For example NYC-HAM was 155 -- just for comparison.

And MUC -- I dont think you can really compare MUC with HAM in terms of Aviation. HAMs market/catchment is comparable to BER and DUS. The size of the city itself is a different story.
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