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airjampanam
Topic Author
Posts: 243
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:06 am

Charter Industry.. How Does It Work?

Sat Jan 03, 2004 9:29 am

In my travels to Europe I have noticed a sizeable charter industry.
My question is... what comes first?
Do they sell the destination, and then based on the number of tix sold, then offer/supply a charter flight?
Is the charter industry only travel agent run and supported?
And finally, why does it seem to flourish in the UK and on the continent but not here in the US?
Suing is the new Lotto... if u wanna win u gotta sue!
 
Leskova
Posts: 5547
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 3:39 pm

RE: Charter Industry.. How Does It Work?

Sat Jan 03, 2004 9:39 am

A lot of it works because some of the larger tour operators have their own airlines: here in Germany you'll find TUI owning Hapag Lloyd, Thomas Cook owning Condor/Thomas Cook Airlines (in conjunction with Lufthansa), and these two fill a large part of the seats offered by "their own" airlines: but both airlines also have "seat only" sales, and also sell seats en-bloc to other (competing) tour operators.

Then you have independant charter airlines like Air Berlin or Germania and - until recently - Aero Lloyd (now bankrupt): these sell their seats en-bloc to tour operators, including TUI and TC, but also to others like Alltours, ITS and numerous others.

The seats are sold before the season starts, and the tour operators calculate their prices for the season which they then publish in their brochures (combined with hotel, transfers, etc).

Why it works very well over here and nowhere near that in the states is actually beyond me...

Need or want more infos? Just ask...  Smile

Regards,
Frank
Smile - it confuses people!
 
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Richard28
Posts: 2751
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 5:42 am

RE: Charter Industry.. How Does It Work?

Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:34 am

"package holidays" are a big thing here in Europe.

Your travel agent sells a package from a tour operator, which will include flights, transfers and accommodation. This maybe for a week in the sun, a trip to Disneyland, skiing vacation or whatever.

As Leskova says, the package holiday companies tend to own the airlines that offer the flights (ensuring the business and profit stays within the same company), although seats are often sold to other operators as well.

I can't remember who owns what airline, but we have Brittania (TUI I think), Mytravel, Monarch, Air2000, I;m sure other a.net people can fill in more than me!

As to why it does not work in the US, I do not know your vacation habits!
 
jhooper
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Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: Charter Industry.. How Does It Work?

Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:52 am

I'd be careful with some of these charter operations. Some are set up the way they are in order to avoid certain safety regulations applicable to scheduled airlines.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
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Crosswind
Posts: 2647
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2000 4:34 am

RE: Charter Industry.. How Does It Work?

Sat Jan 03, 2004 12:04 pm

Sorry. Have to take exception to your comment, Jhooper.

In Europe the charter airlines operate to exactly the same set of safety standards as the scheduled airlines, and enjoy safety records every bit as good as their scheduled counterparts. Any reputable airline knows that a single accident is enough to bring even the strongest company to its knees, and thus safety is always the primary concern in such operations.

Moreover, in the UK all charter flights are covered by an ATOL bond. ATOL (Air Travel Organisers' Licensing) protects travellers from losing money or being stranded abroad because of the failure of air travel firms. It was introduced in the early 1970s after the failure of some major holiday companies. If you book a charter flight, the ATOL bond means you get your money back if the company goes bankrupt before departure, or are brought home at no cost if this happens while you are away - no such protection is given to people booking scheduled flights.
http://www.caa.co.uk/cpg/atol/default.asp

Do you have any evidence to support your claim that charter airlines somehow circumvent safety requirements?
 
akjetBlue
Posts: 777
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2003 1:59 am

RE: Charter Industry.. How Does It Work?

Sat Jan 03, 2004 12:11 pm

It's quite simple. European employers believe in a 4-6 week vacation for their staff. Americans are worked like dogs, and have no time to travel.
Save a horse! Ride a Cowboy!
 
skiordie
Posts: 71
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2001 4:20 am

RE: Charter Industry.. How Does It Work?

Sat Jan 03, 2004 2:45 pm

Yeah, I can't remember a vacation that started in one month and ended in another.

As for charter airlines, I can't think of any reason. We have tons of charter bus lines running all kinds of tour trips, most quite short, here in NYC. But their aren't any charter airlines in NYC that run any kind of trip, to anywhere that I know about. Their are lots of Caribbean travel to resort, but almost all of it is done with scheduled carriers.



 
Tiger119
Posts: 1622
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 1:52 pm

RE: Charter Industry.. How Does It Work?

Sat Jan 03, 2004 6:03 pm

Leskova,

I was at RSW a couple weeks ago and there was an LTU A330 at one of the gates. The driver of the taxi I was in told me that LTU was a charter outfit that was part of Lufthansa. I was looking at LTU's website and it looked like a scheduled service airline. Are they a LCC and a charter company? And are they associated with LH? I'm asking just because I am curious. I'm in and out of Florida several times a year and I love seeing aircraft from Europe.
Flying is the second greatest thrill known to mankind, landing is the first!
 
zonks
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 5:24 pm

RE: Charter Industry.. How Does It Work?

Sat Jan 03, 2004 7:40 pm

Tiger119
I think LTU is still a charter company, but I'm not exactly sure about that. What I do know is that it's not affiliated with LH at all. LH has it's own leisure subsidiary by the name of Condor, with the code of DE.

Anyway, to add my two cents, I know that there are charters in the States, but they're obviously not as popular as they are for Europeans. Here in PDX, TS used to run a service from here down to somewhere in Mexico, PVR, I think. I believe it was a weekly flight and they focused on selling package tours instead of individual seats.

There have been a couple threads about Westjet operating charter flights on behalf of tour operators to LAS from various Canadian cities.

[Edited 2004-01-03 11:42:33]
 
Leskova
Posts: 5547
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 3:39 pm

RE: Charter Industry.. How Does It Work?

Sat Jan 03, 2004 7:41 pm

Hi Tiger119,

LTU actually has nothing to do with LH, Condor is the one that is connected to LH (50% owned by them, the other half is held by KarstadtQuelle Group).

LTU is a part of the LTU Group and flies mainly for their operations on short haul routes (LTU, Tjaereborg, Jahn Reisen, ...) - on long haul routes they also do a lot of flying for TUI, because TUI's airline here (Hapag Lloyd) doesn't operate long haul any more.

They were, at one point, sold to - who would've guessed - to the airline that bought just about everything available: Swissair/SAirGroup...

When Swissair went south, LTU was sold back to - if I recall correctly - WestLB (who is also a big shareholder in the tour operator part of the company), with around 40% being owned by Rewe Touristik (who, I think, are now the majority owners of the tour operator part of the company).

That's about what I can remember...

Oh, and they are not an LCC, although some charter operators here in Germany are actually making (or at least trying) that line disappear: Air Berlin operates a number of routes under the banner of "City Shuttle", connecting several cities that are not typical package tour destinations here (i.e. flights from Hamburg to Vienna).

But LTU is, at least for now, not going down that route - even if they've had massive cost reductions (well, if they hadn't done that, we'd be talking about that former airline LTU - they wouldn't exist anymore) and have introduced quite flexible oneway-based fares.

Ok, I think I'll stop for now - before this post gets too long...  Big grin

Regards,
Frank
Smile - it confuses people!
 
willo
Posts: 1331
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:21 pm

RE: Charter Industry.. How Does It Work?

Sun Jan 04, 2004 1:10 am

Jhooper

Monarch in the UK are primarily a charter airline but also run several scheduled services to Spain and Portugal all year. I'm sure Britannia used to fly scheduled as well and may still do so. Several other UK charter airlines, "MyTravel Lite" for example, are also starting out in the lcc arena presumably to use spare capacity in the "off season". Certainly in the UK it is all very tightly controlled by the CAA.
 
airjampanam
Topic Author
Posts: 243
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:06 am

RE: Charter Industry.. How Does It Work?

Sun Jan 04, 2004 2:41 am

Thank you all or your answers...It cleared up this muddier issues of the charter industry.
It still think it's strang it doesnt work here in the US or have been attempted.
I do think a part of it is the much shorter vacation schedule here in the US.
You lucky Europeans get damn near a month off a year, while we are lucky if we get two weeks!
Suing is the new Lotto... if u wanna win u gotta sue!
 
rthrbeflying86
Posts: 241
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2003 12:31 am

RE: Charter Industry.. How Does It Work?

Sun Jan 04, 2004 2:46 am

But it has been attempted and does work in the US...just look at Apple Vacations and (wholly owned airline) USA 3000. Sure its not nearly at the scale as is in Europe, but it does exist and is successful.

Dan
I'd rather be flying.

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