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x1234
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Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:35 pm

What's the viability of Eastern Europe for the US3? I see only AA doing PHL-PRG/BUD and UA's EWR-PRG/ATH and DL's JFK-ATH. What about WAW? Or is the market so small that only LOT can cater towards it (Poland joined the US VISA Waiver Program recently).
 
Ishrion
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:40 pm

Are we counting ATH as Eastern Europe?

AA's ATH-ORD/PHL?

ORD-ATH was set to resume next month until it was pushed to May 2021, so there should be a strong future for the route.
Last edited by Ishrion on Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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DLHAM
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:51 pm

ATH cannot really be considered eastern Europe. Eastern Europe (Poland, Czech Republic, Baltic States, Belarus, Romania, Bulgaria, ex Yugoslavia etc) seem to be low yielding with not too much Business Traffic. Prague for example saw a pretty big increase of tourism so it makes sense for UA and AA to fly "rich" Americans there but most of these other countries are no big tourist destinations especially for Americans.
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dfw88
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:57 pm

Eastern Europe has done very well for AA. Until COVID hit AA planned to enhance their PRG and BUD service by launching routes (3 or 4 times a week) from ORD as well as continuing the daily flights from PHL. The PHL-PRG season was extended until late December 2020 and was supposed to restart in March or April of 2021, making it nearly year-round. PHL-DBV did well last year, so much so that it was to be daily (instead of 3x weekly) this year. Also, AA was set to launch ORD-KRK this year.

COVID put a lot of these plans on hold (maybe indefinitely, though I hope not) while demand recovers, but Eastern Europe had certainly been a recent AA success story.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:58 pm

ATH isn't really Eastern Europe. ATH is a market all onto itself. It does not work from the US outside of the Summer months (outside of COVID19 of course), but is a high-demand seasonal route normally, and pre-COVID19 perhaps a touch under-served, evidenced by the success of the ORD-ATH route launched in 2019. In a normal world, it goes out twice daily on DL from JFK, twice daily from EWR (1 on EK and 1 on UA, with the UA service seasonal), and daily from ORD and PHL on AA. DY jumped in last year with 4 weekly from JFK in July and August. Greece's airlines don't fly intercontinental routes and have not for decades. The tourism market to Greece from the US rebounded significantly in 2018 and 2019 following the country's crisis.

Now, for Eastern Europe, specifically PRG, BUD, which are the only markets served, are there to cater to tourists, and the riverboat cruise industry in particular. Traffic in winter falls off a cliff and whatever is needed is served through the big European hubs, or through VIE on OS.

Poland, and WAW specifically, is often seen as a business destination, with a lot of financial services companies basing IT and Operations there (and in Budapest as well) but it's not enough to drive more service from US carriers and remains mostly a VFR market at best, left to LOT. The days of intra-Europe service via CDG, FRA, etc..to these destinations on a US carrier with narrow body planes flying a patchwork of routes inside Europe are long gone and will not come back.
Last edited by Cointrin330 on Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:02 pm

x1234 wrote:
What about WAW? Or is the market so small that only LOT can cater towards it (Poland joined the US VISA Waiver Program recently).


WAW is the rare Eastern European city that has a local carrier with successful TATL service. The fundamental problem with Poland for US carriers is that the demand is very spread out, and while Warsaw is the political and economic capital much of the VFR and tourist demand is to Southern Poland (this is the crowd AA is/was targeting with ORD-KRK). Metro Warsaw and Metro Budapest have about the same population, but Poland has three times as many people and three times as much land area as Hungary as well as a poor road and rail system. If I need to go ORD-RZE or IAD-KTW, the most sensible way to do that is probably on LH or LO, not on a US3 flight to WAW.
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anrec80
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:14 pm

DL used to do JFK-KBP prior to 2008. However, they ended that route due to lack of business traffic between the region and the USA. I think all Eastern Europe will have this issue for US3.
 
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:35 pm

anrec80 wrote:
DL used to do JFK-KBP prior to 2008. However, they ended that route due to lack of business traffic between the region and the USA. I think all Eastern Europe will have this issue for US3.


DL had a big expansion to secondary Europe in that era: Kiev, Bucharest, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Dusseldorf, Lyon... Very little of it lasted.

AA's European route retreat is only a start. NA>Europe cruise passengers skew old. Destinations which may have been viable from seasonal cruises are likely going to be weak for some time.
 
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:40 pm

One of the biggest issues with Eastern Europe was that they were outside of the range of the 757s from the East Coast. With the A321XLR, the supposed NMA, and a better economy, I think we could easily see some more Eastern Europe flights.
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OzarkD9S
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:17 pm

Summer seasonal Eastern Europe to USA and v.v. That's about it for the foreseeable future.
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2travel2know2
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:22 pm

Being Star Alliance hubs: WAW and ZAG, it'd probably make some sense for UA to fly its own metal over-there.
However, if LO flies WAW-EWR/ORD/IAD, best for UA would be to try EWR-KRK/GDN (seasonal) with LO code-share.
As for Croatia, only if UA could get sizeable feed from OU hub, it might be worth doing something @ ZAG. B757 to DVB could have made the route work, but DVB is off B757 range from EWR.
IMHO, there're not that many major Eastern European cities which may support year-around U.S. non-stop service.
A notable exception, giving the UA connection with IAH and oil/gas business traffic might well be EWR-GYD. Yes is off Eastern Europe but falls almost under the same category of emerging markets in the east of Europe.
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Varsity1
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:30 pm

The issue is overflying every major partner hub on the way there. LHR/AMS/FRA..
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FSDan
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Wed Jul 08, 2020 12:55 am

x1234 wrote:
What's the viability of Eastern Europe for the US3? I see only AA doing PHL-PRG/BUD and UA's EWR-PRG/ATH and DL's JFK-ATH. What about WAW? Or is the market so small that only LOT can cater towards it (Poland joined the US VISA Waiver Program recently).


(Note: I'm excluding ATH from this discussion per a prior poster's suggestion)

The history is that not much has stuck long term. DL had a decent run (at least 5+ years, I think) on JFK-BUD/IST/KBP/SVO from at least the late 2000s into the early 2010s, but ultimately only PRG has stuck around longer term. JFK-OTP was short lived, as were a few attempts from ATL to Eastern Europe (PRG, VIE, SVO).

AA briefly tried JFK-BUD while Malev was still around, and flew ORD-DME for a few years. Neither stuck around, and only in the last few years did AA resume flying to Eastern Europe. Similar to DL, only PRG appears to be sticking around (for now), with COVID forcing a retreat from KRK, BUD, and DBV.

UA never really tried much to Eastern Europe until launching their EWR-PRG flight a year or two ago. I think they did fly IAD-DME for a little while pre-merger, but I don't remember how many years that stuck around for.

So... the common factor here is PRG. PRG seems to get enough higher yielding traffic (be that business or high end tourism) to work for the US3. Other Eastern European destinations have been tried, sometimes by multiple carriers, but none of them has had staying power. With WAW, I suspect the strength of LO is quite a deterrent to the US3. UA might as well just codeshare with LO (or connect passengers via FRA/MUC on LH), and DL and AA haven't shown much interest in WAW, perhaps for the reasons cubsrule posted above.

It's worth noting that AC seemed to be making more Eastern European destinations work from YYZ through their low cost Rouge arm. I believe they flew to WAW, PRG, BUD, ZAG, and OTP at the very least.
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Cointrin330
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:27 am

FSDan wrote:
x1234 wrote:
What's the viability of Eastern Europe for the US3? I see only AA doing PHL-PRG/BUD and UA's EWR-PRG/ATH and DL's JFK-ATH. What about WAW? Or is the market so small that only LOT can cater towards it (Poland joined the US VISA Waiver Program recently).


(Note: I'm excluding ATH from this discussion per a prior poster's suggestion)

The history is that not much has stuck long term. DL had a decent run (at least 5+ years, I think) on JFK-BUD/IST/KBP/SVO from at least the late 2000s into the early 2010s, but ultimately only PRG has stuck around longer term. JFK-OTP was short lived, as were a few attempts from ATL to Eastern Europe (PRG, VIE, SVO).

AA briefly tried JFK-BUD while Malev was still around, and flew ORD-DME for a few years. Neither stuck around, and only in the last few years did AA resume flying to Eastern Europe. Similar to DL, only PRG appears to be sticking around (for now), with COVID forcing a retreat from KRK, BUD, and DBV.

UA never really tried much to Eastern Europe until launching their EWR-PRG flight a year or two ago. I think they did fly IAD-DME for a little while pre-merger, but I don't remember how many years that stuck around for.

So... the common factor here is PRG. PRG seems to get enough higher yielding traffic (be that business or high end tourism) to work for the US3. Other Eastern European destinations have been tried, sometimes by multiple carriers, but none of them has had staying power. With WAW, I suspect the strength of LO is quite a deterrent to the US3. UA might as well just codeshare with LO (or connect passengers via FRA/MUC on LH), and DL and AA haven't shown much interest in WAW, perhaps for the reasons cubsrule posted above.

It's worth noting that AC seemed to be making more Eastern European destinations work from YYZ through their low cost Rouge arm. I believe they flew to WAW, PRG, BUD, ZAG, and OTP at the very least.


UA launched EWR-PRG in June 2019 as a seasonal route. It was cut this year due to COVID19.
 
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:28 am

2travel2know2 wrote:
Being Star Alliance hubs: WAW and ZAG, it'd probably make some sense for UA to fly its own metal over-there.
However, if LO flies WAW-EWR/ORD/IAD, best for UA would be to try EWR-KRK/GDN (seasonal) with LO code-share.
As for Croatia, only if UA could get sizeable feed from OU hub, it might be worth doing something @ ZAG. B757 to DVB could have made the route work, but DVB is off B757 range from EWR.
IMHO, there're not that many major Eastern European cities which may support year-around U.S. non-stop service.
A notable exception, giving the UA connection with IAH and oil/gas business traffic might well be EWR-GYD. Yes is off Eastern Europe but falls almost under the same category of emerging markets in the east of Europe.


None of these routes are likely to see the light of day in the current environment.
 
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:38 am

FSDan wrote:
x1234 wrote:
What's the viability of Eastern Europe for the US3? I see only AA doing PHL-PRG/BUD and UA's EWR-PRG/ATH and DL's JFK-ATH. What about WAW? Or is the market so small that only LOT can cater towards it (Poland joined the US VISA Waiver Program recently).


(Note: I'm excluding ATH from this discussion per a prior poster's suggestion)

The history is that not much has stuck long term. DL had a decent run (at least 5+ years, I think) on JFK-BUD/IST/KBP/SVO from at least the late 2000s into the early 2010s, but ultimately only PRG has stuck around longer term. JFK-OTP was short lived, as were a few attempts from ATL to Eastern Europe (PRG, VIE, SVO).

AA briefly tried JFK-BUD while Malev was still around, and flew ORD-DME for a few years. Neither stuck around, and only in the last few years did AA resume flying to Eastern Europe. Similar to DL, only PRG appears to be sticking around (for now), with COVID forcing a retreat from KRK, BUD, and DBV.

UA never really tried much to Eastern Europe until launching their EWR-PRG flight a year or two ago. I think they did fly IAD-DME for a little while pre-merger, but I don't remember how many years that stuck around for.

So... the common factor here is PRG. PRG seems to get enough higher yielding traffic (be that business or high end tourism) to work for the US3. Other Eastern European destinations have been tried, sometimes by multiple carriers, but none of them has had staying power. With WAW, I suspect the strength of LO is quite a deterrent to the US3. UA might as well just codeshare with LO (or connect passengers via FRA/MUC on LH), and DL and AA haven't shown much interest in WAW, perhaps for the reasons cubsrule posted above.

It's worth noting that AC seemed to be making more Eastern European destinations work from YYZ through their low cost Rouge arm. I believe they flew to WAW, PRG, BUD, ZAG, and OTP at the very least.


Last summer there were rumours of either AC/RV or JU launching services between YYZ and BEG seasonally, but obviously that's a nonstarter now. Shame, as direct service would be amazing, right now the only direct TATL flight from BEG is JU's JFK service, and for me it makes more sense to go YYZ/YUL-FRA/MUC/VIE/ZRH-BEG than to deal with JFK.
 
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:47 am

Varsity1 wrote:
The issue is overflying every major partner hub on the way there. LHR/AMS/FRA..

In addition, it's hard to build an aircraft rotation that would have the aircraft back to the hub within 24 hours. One needs a shorter flight or something in other geographies to balance and ensure maximum aircraft utilization.
 
N292UX
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:11 am

AA did well with a lot of Eastern European routes from PHL. PHL-PRG/BUD were pretty successful for AA, and they also had plans of launching ORD-BUD, too. DBV had also been doing pretty well and loads were pretty decent. AA hasn't pulled out of PRG, and I wouldn't be surprised to see AA back in BUD pretty soon. The A321XLRs arriving in a few years will open up some additional opportunities for AA (assuming international travel has rebounded by then). I bet AA could push PRG to year-round with the A321XLRs and return to DBV by then (assuming it has the range).

PHL-BRU/VIE/HEL/MXP/NCE could probably work with the A321XLR when they arrive in 2023-25. If international travel has made a full recovery by the time the XLRs arrive (which seems unlikely), I could see AA launching a few unexpected routes from PHL with the 321s. I could see them possibly trying SPU, OPO, GVA, BOD, MRS, SVQ, OSL, DUS, CPH, WAW, ARN, and KRK. Though I have doubts about some of these ones happening, as I think international travel may not be fully recovered by the time the A321XLRs arrive. If that's the case, then a lot of these probably won't happen.
 
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:17 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
anrec80 wrote:
DL used to do JFK-KBP prior to 2008. However, they ended that route due to lack of business traffic between the region and the USA. I think all Eastern Europe will have this issue for US3.


DL had a big expansion to secondary Europe in that era: Kiev, Bucharest, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Dusseldorf, Lyon... Very little of it lasted.

AA's European route retreat is only a start. NA>Europe cruise passengers skew old. Destinations which may have been viable from seasonal cruises are likely going to be weak for some time.


DL still flies to DUS. I flew there in February.
 
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:47 am

TK covers much of eastern Europe better than most alliance partners of the US 3. Their flights are timed very well to connect via IST with just a 2-3 hour connection time either direction to and from North America. Plus they have flights pretty well distributed across US hubs. LO has limited numbers of airports to which it flies in the US. For me it's easier to fly IAH- IST than Texas-ORD-WAW.
 
ewt340
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:01 am

Well, currently there is no aircraft that could help them operate such routes. These destinations are extremely thin and long with little cargo demand. It's more economical to just fly to one of the super hub in western europe and take the connection flights to such destinations through their partners.

Unless they really stretch the range for A321XLR, I doubt it would be economical for them to actually run these routes.

Also, competition from the local airlines in these countries + competition from their partners in Western europe.
 
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:39 am

flyingclrs727 wrote:
TK covers much of eastern Europe better than most alliance partners of the US 3. Their flights are timed very well to connect via IST with just a 2-3 hour connection time either direction to and from North America. Plus they have flights pretty well distributed across US hubs. LO has limited numbers of airports to which it flies in the US. For me it's easier to fly IAH- IST than Texas-ORD-WAW.


Istanbul is a substantial back track to most of Eastern Europe from NA. I doubt much high yielding traffic is taking that route instead of transferring at FRA, VIE or AMS.
 
Blerg
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:45 am

2travel2know2 wrote:
Being Star Alliance hubs: WAW and ZAG, it'd probably make some sense for UA to fly its own metal over-there.
However, if LO flies WAW-EWR/ORD/IAD, best for UA would be to try EWR-KRK/GDN (seasonal) with LO code-share.
As for Croatia, only if UA could get sizeable feed from OU hub, it might be worth doing something @ ZAG. B757 to DVB could have made the route work, but DVB is off B757 range from EWR.
IMHO, there're not that many major Eastern European cities which may support year-around U.S. non-stop service.
A notable exception, giving the UA connection with IAH and oil/gas business traffic might well be EWR-GYD. Yes is off Eastern Europe but falls almost under the same category of emerging markets in the east of Europe.


What feed from OU? The airline barely operates any regional flights outside of Croatia, they fly only to SKP and SJJ and seasonally to OTP (only three weekly though). If UA wanted to fly somewhere in the region then it would be Vienna which offers much more options when it comes to connections, including the Adriatic coast.
 
Blerg
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:54 am

AA's LF to DBV was 83% last summer on the B763, don't know if that's a success or not. That route was suspended indefinitely along with PHL-BUD.

I see none of you mentioned two players: JU and PS. Both are present on this market and they carry a lot of transfers to their respective areas via their hubs in BEG and KBP. JU only flies to JFK but that route seems to have matured quite nicely and was boosted to six weekly.

If these two survive and if LO keeps on expanding the way they have before corona (from both BUD and WAW) then I don't see what market will be left for the US3 airlines. They have much higher costs which is putting them at a clear disadvantage. In addition to these eastern European carriers, airlines such as Austrian Airlines, SAS, Air France, Lufthansa, Swiss, KLM... have all recently expanded across eastern Europe.

As for A321XLR, I might be wrong but that plane can't reach BUD from JFK so the only place they might fly to successfully from the east coast is Poland (going against LO's Dreamliners) and maybe summer seasonal flights to places like the Riga or Vilnius... or some secondary Polish cities.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:06 am

WassbiKhalifa wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
anrec80 wrote:
DL used to do JFK-KBP prior to 2008. However, they ended that route due to lack of business traffic between the region and the USA. I think all Eastern Europe will have this issue for US3.


DL had a big expansion to secondary Europe in that era: Kiev, Bucharest, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Dusseldorf, Lyon... Very little of it lasted.

AA's European route retreat is only a start. NA>Europe cruise passengers skew old. Destinations which may have been viable from seasonal cruises are likely going to be weak for some time.


DL still flies to DUS. I flew there in February.


True, but it cannot be considered eastern Europe. I mean, it's all the way in the west of Germany which is already a western European country.

Westerwaelder wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
TK covers much of eastern Europe better than most alliance partners of the US 3. Their flights are timed very well to connect via IST with just a 2-3 hour connection time either direction to and from North America. Plus they have flights pretty well distributed across US hubs. LO has limited numbers of airports to which it flies in the US. For me it's easier to fly IAH- IST than Texas-ORD-WAW.


Istanbul is a substantial back track to most of Eastern Europe from NA. I doubt much high yielding traffic is taking that route instead of transferring at FRA, VIE or AMS.


Agreed. The western European feeder partners are the main reason the US3 lack presence in eastern Europe. Or maybe it's better to say they do have presence there, after all a good number of eastern European destinations are bookable through the US3. But the last part is operated by British Airways, Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, etc. Each of them has a better coverage of eastern Europe than the US3 could ever have with their own flights. They fly into secondary airports that are too small for the US3 to serve and capture the demand from those airports.

All the US3 need to do is fly into the hubs of their western European partners and let those partners cover eastern Europe for them.
 
Blerg
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:21 am

In a way it's a similar question why European carriers don't fly to places like Columbus, Milwaukee, Jacksonville, Sacramento and so on.
 
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:48 am

I think one of the biggest problems with the US3 and Eastern Europe is that there are joint ventures, which means Eastern Europe includes overflying a joint venture hub. The biggest market in the region is Moscow, and basically any European airline can fly you from the United States to Moscow, there's not enough high yield traffic to fill the plane and make it worthwhile to overfly the hub. Aeroflot, with it's lower costs and financial streams that other airlines don't get fills 2x-3x/day SVO-JFK depending on season. The next biggest market - Warsaw - has a plethora LOT flights to various cities in the United States, and is part of Star Alliance (although treated as an orphan). But really - what high-yield traffic is there? The smallest aircraft that can reach the area is a 767-300ER, is there enough people willing to pay a premium to overfly LHR/CDG/AMS/FRA/MUC/ZRH/VIE, let alone TK dumping cheap fares into all of these markets (with a large detour)? Roundtrip fares on routes like LAX-Moscow, Chicago-Warsaw, New York-Kiev, Boston-Riga can be found for $400-$500 roundtrip during the low season.

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anrec80
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:37 am

TWA902fly wrote:
Aeroflot, with it's lower costs and financial streams that other airlines don't get fills 2x-3x/day SVO-JFK depending on season. The next biggest market - Warsaw - has a plethora LOT flights to various cities in the United States, and is part of Star Alliance (although treated as an orphan).

But really - what high-yield traffic is there? The smallest aircraft that can reach the area is a 767-300ER, is there enough people willing to pay a premium to overfly LHR/CDG/AMS/FRA/MUC/ZRH/VIE, let alone TK dumping cheap fares into all of these markets (with a large detour)? Roundtrip fares on routes like LAX-Moscow, Chicago-Warsaw, New York-Kiev, Boston-Riga can be found for $400-$500 roundtrip during the low season.


LOT however generally has some great mileage availability for premium cabins - hence yes, premium demand isn't really there. They have 788/789 as their long haul fleet. And food/service is good there. My family and I fly them to Ukraine, they have a good regional network there. WAW is a great place to connect compared to KBP. SU's J though can be expensive - which means that they actually do sell it (during normal times at least).
 
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:55 am

I am struggling to see enough demand from the parent countries for North America - Eastern Europe flights to be viable.
North American companies business in eastern Europe are primarily support or manufacturing. There almost no regional HQs in Eastern Europe. These units are often away from the nations capital, hence FDI into say Czechia or Hungary doesn't always mean the most suitable airport is located within their countries. For example, FDI in Czechia is often in other cities, cheaper such for example the IT outsourcing hub of Brno (Honeywell, IBM etc) hence Vienna makes as much sense as Prague and Vienna already sees service. Staying at some of Vienna's airport hotels, the morning minivan dash at the entrance feels busier than going through customs.

For North American carriers, there are really only three cities that may see future year round demand, Prague, Budapest and Warsaw. The first two has one advantage, both Prague and Budapest especially Budapest, see a lot of MICE travel and that is generating high demand for flights.

Other destinations such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia etc wont see a North American carrier year round for decades to come. Yield is to low. These countries may however see a national carrier operating a 'vanity' flight to New York, but the profitability of such a route is highly doubtful.
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Blerg
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:01 am

MillwallSean wrote:
I am struggling to see enough demand from the parent countries for North America - Eastern Europe flights to be viable.
North American companies business in eastern Europe are primarily support or manufacturing. There almost no regional HQs in Eastern Europe. These units are often away from the nations capital, hence FDI into say Czechia or Hungary doesn't always mean the most suitable airport is located within their countries. For example, FDI in Czechia is often in other cities, cheaper such for example the IT outsourcing hub of Brno (Honeywell, IBM etc) hence Vienna makes as much sense as Prague and Vienna already sees service. Staying at some of Vienna's airport hotels, the morning minivan dash at the entrance feels busier than going through customs.

For North American carriers, there are really only three cities that may see future year round demand, Prague, Budapest and Warsaw. The first two has one advantage, both Prague and Budapest especially Budapest, see a lot of MICE travel and that is generating high demand for flights.

Other destinations such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia etc wont see a North American carrier year round for decades to come. Yield is to low. These countries may however see a national carrier operating a 'vanity' flight to New York, but the profitability of such a route is highly doubtful.


Air Serbia already operates BEG-JFK and the route actually makes money for the airline from May to October. Also losses last year were halved so there is definitely potential... long-term... but still.
 
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oxonrow
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:15 am

TWA902fly wrote:
I think one of the biggest problems with the US3 and Eastern Europe is that there are joint ventures, which means Eastern Europe includes overflying a joint venture hub. The biggest market in the region is Moscow, and basically any European airline can fly you from the United States to Moscow, there's not enough high yield traffic to fill the plane and make it worthwhile to overfly the hub. Aeroflot, with it's lower costs and financial streams that other airlines don't get fills 2x-3x/day SVO-JFK depending on season. The next biggest market - Warsaw - has a plethora LOT flights to various cities in the United States, and is part of Star Alliance (although treated as an orphan). But really - what high-yield traffic is there? The smallest aircraft that can reach the area is a 767-300ER, is there enough people willing to pay a premium to overfly LHR/CDG/AMS/FRA/MUC/ZRH/VIE, let alone TK dumping cheap fares into all of these markets (with a large detour)? Roundtrip fares on routes like LAX-Moscow, Chicago-Warsaw, New York-Kiev, Boston-Riga can be found for $400-$500 roundtrip during the low season.

'902


Connecting at WAW for souther/southeastern and northern/northeastern Europe is not significant backtracking, that should work. JVs remain the key issue for local airline like LO. BUD does not offer connections on an alliance carrier, PRG has limited connections, only WAW does better, but there UA/LH JV kills the transfer potential. It seems to me we will see growth here, after all income levels are growing relatively rapidly, but it is a slow process overall, Covid-19 really may be a game changer after all. Regulatory environment may be key, pressure against JVs is mounting.
 
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WassbiKhalifa
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:08 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
WassbiKhalifa wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:

DL had a big expansion to secondary Europe in that era: Kiev, Bucharest, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Dusseldorf, Lyon... Very little of it lasted.

AA's European route retreat is only a start. NA>Europe cruise passengers skew old. Destinations which may have been viable from seasonal cruises are likely going to be weak for some time.


DL still flies to DUS. I flew there in February.


True, but it cannot be considered eastern Europe. I mean, it's all the way in the west of Germany which is already a western European country.

Westerwaelder wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
TK covers much of eastern Europe better than most alliance partners of the US 3. Their flights are timed very well to connect via IST with just a 2-3 hour connection time either direction to and from North America. Plus they have flights pretty well distributed across US hubs. LO has limited numbers of airports to which it flies in the US. For me it's easier to fly IAH- IST than Texas-ORD-WAW.


Istanbul is a substantial back track to most of Eastern Europe from NA. I doubt much high yielding traffic is taking that route instead of transferring at FRA, VIE or AMS.


Agreed. The western European feeder partners are the main reason the US3 lack presence in eastern Europe. Or maybe it's better to say they do have presence there, after all a good number of eastern European destinations are bookable through the US3. But the last part is operated by British Airways, Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, etc. Each of them has a better coverage of eastern Europe than the US3 could ever have with their own flights. They fly into secondary airports that are too small for the US3 to serve and capture the demand from those airports.

All the US3 need to do is fly into the hubs of their western European partners and let those partners cover eastern Europe for them.


Yes DUS is in far Western Germany. I was just saying DL still (hopefully goes back soon) flies there. No worries.
 
KD5MDK
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Re: Viability of Eastern Europe for the US3

Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:05 am

COVID aside, I think economic growth was significantly increasing as EU membership went from “recent innovation” to “normal history” for a lot of countries, so not having service in the 90s or 2000s is less indicative of the market’s capability to support transatlantic flights now than it used to be. I agree there probably won’t be massive expansion, but the AA etc flights from the last 2 years are likely to come back if travel goes back to previous levels.

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