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Topic Author
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Empty Charters

Mon Jul 05, 2004 10:55 am

For many sports teams, their home city is not their airlines hub. So, they have to get a plane up to their city, to their new city, and back to the planes base. My question is "if the airline has a route to this city, would they use this flight as an extra segment? They have the crew and they're using the fuel!

a good example: the Pittsburgh Pirates charter: DL 9824 ATL-PIT-FLL-ATL
ATL-PIT is empty
FLL-ATL is empty

I know they could fill another FLL-ATL, so do they sell extra seats or fly it up empty? The timing is reasonable with the plane leaving ATL-PIT at 2:23pm and leaving FLL-ATL at 9:37pm.

Another example: Tampa Bay Devil Rays...DL 9794 ATL-FLL-BWI-ATL
left ATL at 3:33pm and is leaving BWI at 11pm

Also, in an unrealted note, they would have 1 extra flight each way FLL-ATL-FLL!

[Edited 2004-07-05 03:58:57]
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RE: Empty Charters

Mon Jul 05, 2004 11:00 am

Yes, this is one of charter flight to FLL sometimes and will not have an empty flight.
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eta unknown
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RE: Empty Charters

Mon Jul 05, 2004 11:16 am

When we did charter flights, the "dead sectors" from home base to the start/end point were factored into the charter cost. Therefore, as the client is paying the cost, it's difficult to justify to then sell those sectors to the public.
Topic Author
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RE: Empty Charters

Mon Jul 05, 2004 11:23 am

Ok...ETA, here is a question...

lets say that a passenger is trying to get from point A to point B on short notice...doesn't mind paying the $1000 fare, but the flight is full. It just so happens that there are 30 others in the same situation and the Point B Bees are going to a game in Point C. Would they put those 31 passengers are point A-Point B and go for the extra profit. Also, what about if all the flights end up oversold and thy have 30-50 people without seats all day....Finnaly, if a flight gets cancelled due to weather and that plane is getting up there one way or another. Could those go as exceptions or, since the client is paying the cost, there is no way to get those passengers on?
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RE: Empty Charters

Mon Jul 05, 2004 11:30 am

Often times charters will originate and terminate at airports not served by the airline. In this case the aircraft would be readied for the charter(food and supplies loaded) at a city serviced by that airline (usually a hub) and repositioned to pick up the team. After dropping off the team it is again repositioned to the nearest city (usually a hub) the airline services and cleaned.

They don't often use these reposition flights in place of regular flights unless there is a scheduling need ie. broken equipment or stranded pax necessitating extra capacity.

As Eta unknown has said already the cost of these repositioning flights is factored into the charter fee.


They would use the empty equipment as I've said in the scenarios you mentioned. But there wouldn't be a need to fly them on regularly scheduled flights as the aircraft for those flights are already scheduled to do so.

[Edited 2004-07-05 04:32:01]

[Edited 2004-07-05 04:37:51]
757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
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RE: Empty Charters

Mon Jul 05, 2004 1:32 pm

When someone chtrs an airplane...ESPECIALLY a sports team, you don't mess with the positioning ferry flt.....too many things could go wrong.

If the plane isn't where it's supposed to be, clean, and with fresh galleys on board and ready to go, you have to answer to the travelling secretary,

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Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 5:58 am

RE: Empty Charters

Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:34 am

I once enquired (for fun) how much it would cost to charter a small jet, like a BAe146 from London to the south of France. KLM offered the service and their website clearly stated the fact that repositioning (AMS-LHR and France-AMS) is included in the cost of the charter.

Geoff M.
Posts: 146
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 1:17 am

RE: Empty Charters

Tue Jul 06, 2004 6:23 am

Used to work for one of the bigger charterers, i.e. touroperators - and at that time, upon trying to make addl. Yield, we were told from airline staff - no go - due to insurance reasons....Even ourselves as non-rev pax had no chance to get on board during positioning flights or charter-beginnings or endings...
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RE: Empty Charters

Tue Jul 06, 2004 7:08 am

Yes, the reposition flights are often sold if there is enough lead time, enough ground time, and the departure times don't conflict with another departure on the same route. Most, if not all, carriers that operate charter flights will sell some of the reposition flights for passengers, cargo, or mail.
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RE: Empty Charters

Tue Jul 06, 2004 7:35 am

Over the past week we did several (like 4 or 5 flights in one day) to ferry Greek soccer fans over to Portugal for their final couple of games in the Euro 2004 tournament. I did one of those flights and routing was as follows (POS - positioning. LIVE - full of pax):


These were day trips so we flew out early in the morning. Then the the reverse later the following night after the game. There was another variation to this rotation:


I can imagine that the positioning sectors were factored into the costing.

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