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raylee67
Topic Author
Posts: 921
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:06 pm

North American airline China flights all stopover at Seoul, why?

Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:06 am

As US and Canadian airlines resume service to China, it seems that they all are opting to have a technical stop at Seoul:

DL287/288: SEA-ICN-PVG
DL283/284: DTW-ICN-PVG
UA857/858: SFO-ICN-PVG
AC25/26: YVR-ICN-PVG

They do not have rights on ICN-PVG.

What is the reason of such routing? Are they all rotating crews at ICN? So that their crew do not need to overnight in China? Is that because of testing/quarantine requirement in China for the crew? Or does that have anything to do with the political tension so that they want to minimize the time of their crew in China?

And why ICN for all 3 airlines? They could have chosen to stop over at HND or KIX too. What is ICN's attractiveness vs. the Japanese ports?
319/20/21 332/33 342/43/45 359/51 388 707 717 732/36/3G/38/39 74R/42/43/44/4E/48 757 762/63 772/7L/73/7W 788/89 D10 M80 135/40/45 175/90 DH1/4 CRJ/R7 L10
AY LH OU SR BA FI LX
AA DL UA NW AC CP WS FL NK PD
CI NH SQ KA CX JL BR OZ TG KE CA CZ NZ JQ RS
 
airhansa
Posts: 380
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:18 pm

Re: North American airline China flights all stopover at Seoul, why?

Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:12 am

ICN is still allowing visitors through visa free as long as they quarantine themselves. Japan has basically been locked down for months to the point that their reconsidering the status of US military bases.
 
RushmoreAir
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:29 am

Re: North American airline China flights all stopover at Seoul, why?

Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:19 am

raylee67 wrote:
Is that because of testing/quarantine requirement in China for the crew??


Bingo! Chinese regulations are extremely strict, even for airline crews. In fact, I bet most of these crews don't leave the aircraft while they're on the ground in China so there's no chance of getting quarantined. This also helps explain ICN vs. Japan or other stopover points: it's among the closest major airports to China while still being on the way, leaving the most spare duty time available should the aircraft take a delay.

Crews probably do North America - ICN | layover | ICN-China-ICN | layover | ICN - North America.
NW UA DL F9 CO WN LO QF FI AC MU CA EU LH LX DY B6 AA HA NZ MW HU U2 SK AF EK IB HX WS G4 AZ IG 4B

The views and opinions as expressed in this post are entirely my own and are not those of my employer, Hawaiian Airlines, Inc
 
User avatar
enilria
Posts: 10284
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:15 pm

Re: North American airline China flights all stopover at Seoul, why?

Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:23 am

RushmoreAir wrote:
raylee67 wrote:
Is that because of testing/quarantine requirement in China for the crew??


Bingo! Chinese regulations are extremely strict, even for airline crews. In fact, I bet most of these crews don't leave the aircraft while they're on the ground in China so there's no chance of getting quarantined. This also helps explain ICN vs. Japan or other stopover points: it's among the closest major airports to China while still being on the way, leaving the most spare duty time available should the aircraft take a delay.

Crews probably do North America - ICN | layover | ICN-China-ICN | layover | ICN - North America.

I think the biggest factor ignored is that the flights cannot he more than 1/week per the newest change in the bilateral forces into place by China. Soon maybe 2/week. At 1/week it would mean the crews stay in China for a week following a nonstop long haul. That wasn’t going to happen. The crew would not have agreed to a week of quarantine in order to fly one round trip to China. By stopping in Seoul they overnight the crew from the USA and pick up a crew to do ICN-China-ICN as a turn. Because ICN has other daily flights on US carriers they have a lot more flexibility with crew.
 
flyer56
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:46 pm

Re: North American airline China flights all stopover at Seoul, why?

Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:16 pm

enilria wrote:
RushmoreAir wrote:
raylee67 wrote:
Is that because of testing/quarantine requirement in China for the crew??


Bingo! Chinese regulations are extremely strict, even for airline crews. In fact, I bet most of these crews don't leave the aircraft while they're on the ground in China so there's no chance of getting quarantined. This also helps explain ICN vs. Japan or other stopover points: it's among the closest major airports to China while still being on the way, leaving the most spare duty time available should the aircraft take a delay.

Crews probably do North America - ICN | layover | ICN-China-ICN | layover | ICN - North America.

I think the biggest factor ignored is that the flights cannot he more than 1/week per the newest change in the bilateral forces into place by China. Soon maybe 2/week. At 1/week it would mean the crews stay in China for a week following a nonstop long haul. That wasn’t going to happen. The crew would not have agreed to a week of quarantine in order to fly one round trip to China. By stopping in Seoul they overnight the crew from the USA and pick up a crew to do ICN-China-ICN as a turn. Because ICN has other daily flights on US carriers they have a lot more flexibility with crew.


Doesn't NRT also have a curfew whereas ICN does not? So a technical stop in ICN can be done any time of night or day which provides the airlines which more flexibility in scheduling. UA cargo flights do their technical stop in NRT to change crews but cargo is not as fussy as what time of day or night it is being moved.

At any rate, I doubt there is anything political in this at all. Both DL and UA fought hard to resume flights, they clearly are in it for the business.

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