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ytz
Posts: 3529
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:31 am

RE: How Is YUL-DOH Doing

Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:07 am

Quoting Emirates773ER (Reply 44):
AC could not make it because it offered a poor product with high fares, I haven't met a desi yet who will fly air canada intentionally. PIA is defiantly not cheaper than Qatar Airways flying out of Toronto, a simple search can tell you that.

It's funny. People keep saying South Asians are cheap. And they keep wondering how EK, EY and QR can sustain flights to Canada. Yet, nobody has put 2 and 2 together yet. People are willing to pay for what they perceive to be good value in service. South Asians are cheap towards AC because they don't perceive AC's offering and Star Alliance's schedule to be that great. But you'll get tons of folks that are willing to pay more to travel EK, EY, QR or 9W.

I agree. Ever since the arrival of EK, EY, 9W and a revamped Air India, AC has become the absolute last choice (even behind Air India shockingly), as the airline of choice for getting to India.

That said, this may not be that big a deal. If AC prefers it's Chinese business, and that's what's paying its bills so be it. But they shouldn't be shocked, when flights to several European destinations are a lot lighter since all those connecting South Asian pax are now discovering the joys of bypassing Star Alliance's European hubs.
 
ASA
Posts: 1126
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:12 pm

RE: How Is YUL-DOH Doing

Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:26 am

ACT7, I think your message quoted me wrongly. That is someone else's message ... the first quote in your previous message. Maybe you deleted the wrong text while using the "QUOTE SELECTED TEXT" thing. No worries, just making sure people do not misunderstand me that's all.  
 
ACT7
Posts: 96
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:27 pm

RE: How Is YUL-DOH Doing

Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:45 am

I'm not going to quote everyone because it would take forever. AC did fly non-stop to Delhi even before EK, EY, AI, and 9W flew into YYZ. So there was little to no competition at the time. Russian airspace dispute aside, AC is still an airline that would not pull out of a profitable route so it stands to reason that they didn't have the yields to justify continuing. For the record, every time I was on the YYZ-DEL flight, it was packed solid. Even when the routing changed to YYZ-ZRH-DEL, it was still packed. Doesn't mean yields are high. EK,EY, and QR have much lower costs than AC (from non-unionized flight crews, to cheaper hub operating costs, etc), so with the same passengers, their yields may be higher. But that's a different discussion for a different thread.

Fair enough, I will stop referring to Southeast Asians when I mean South Asians, but the 'Desi' quote was simply poching someone else's phrase. My bad.

I never implied that South Asians are cheap. And saying that those routes are price sensitive does not imply that. I'm not the first one to say that. My yield argument is not based on AC's third rate product to India because I would argue that at the time, it was not third rate. Montreal's South Asian community is not that enormous (smaller than Vancouver by a huge margin) so it would even have made more sense to have a DOH-YVR run. And I would argue that YVR sees much higher yield traffic to South Asia than YUL and is equally, if not more underserved to that region. The Iranian community in Vancouver is even larger.

I don't think it's such a strecth to be surprised by the fact that QR is able to fill a triple 7 three times a week out of YUL when the existing Middle East carriers haven't increased service in years and one has pulled out. But, hey, good on them.
 
ytz
Posts: 3529
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:31 am

RE: How Is YUL-DOH Doing

Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:10 pm

Quoting ACT7 (Reply 52):
AC did fly non-stop to Delhi even before EK, EY, AI, and 9W flew into YYZ. So there was little to no competition at the time. Russian airspace dispute aside, AC is still an airline that would not pull out of a profitable route so it stands to reason that they didn't have the yields to justify continuing.

Two points. Like it or not, AC is kinda viewed like Air India among South Asians. It may not be a crown corporation anymore, but because of its past and its lack of commitment to South Asia, it's generally seen in an unfavourable light by South Asians, when it comes to travelling to South Asia.

Next, kudos to AC for flying everyday to Delhi. But I'm not surprised that they couldn't make the via ZRH work in the 90s (India had barely started opening up) or direct to DEL in the 2000s (too much capacity). They needed something that was 767 sized with the range to get to DEL. The only way India will be profitable is by employing a 787 on this sector. They can get a pass for before. But if they don't offer service once the 787 comes in, then the Gulf airlines will simply cement their market share. And those of us that have defended AC (against the onslaught of the Gulf carriers) will be far less vocal about it.

Quoting ACT7 (Reply 52):
I never implied that South Asians are cheap. And saying that those routes are price sensitive does not imply that. I'm not the first one to say that. My yield argument is not based on AC's third rate product to India because I would argue that at the time, it was not third rate.

Compared to what's offered by 9W, EK, EY or QR today, AC's offering wasn't anything special at all. The other big issue that AC has is not having a partner on the other end. Sure DEL is the final stop for a lot of South Asians. But there are enough South Asia bound customers who want to proceed on from DEL and I'm not sure AC had the agreements in place to adequately facilitate that travel. A *A tie-up with an Indian carrier would resolve a lot of their issues.

Quoting ACT7 (Reply 52):
Montreal's South Asian community is not that enormous (smaller than Vancouver by a huge margin) so it would even have made more sense to have a DOH-YVR run. And I would argue that YVR sees much higher yield traffic to South Asia than YUL and is equally, if not more underserved to that region. The Iranian community in Vancouver is even larger.

You are focusing on one community in one place. Unlike YYZ or YVR, YUL's catchment area is massive. And it doesn't just involve the South Asian community. Virtually, every South Asian, East African and Middle Eastern ethnic community in the entire catchment area would find QR's service attractive (there's really no real alternative). Then tack on all the business contacts between YUL based companies (and there are lots of large Montreal engineering firms with contracts in the Gulf) and the region. And you have a healthy base for this service. I am willing to bet that if they went 77L, they could launch daily service.
 
ACT7
Posts: 96
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:27 pm

RE: How Is YUL-DOH Doing

Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:27 pm

Quoting ytz (Reply 53):
Next, kudos to AC for flying everyday to Delhi. But I'm not surprised that they couldn't make the via ZRH work in the 90s (India had barely started opening up) or direct to DEL in the 2000s (too much capacity).

AC's service to Delhi via ZRH didn't begin until the 2000's and stopped in and around 2007 (if I'm not mistaken). The direct run was also something that began in the early 2000's.

Quoting ytz (Reply 53):
The other big issue that AC has is not having a partner on the other end. Sure DEL is the final stop for a lot of South Asians. But there are enough South Asia bound customers who want to proceed on from DEL and I'm not sure AC had the agreements in place to adequately facilitate that travel. A *A tie-up with an Indian carrier would resolve a lot of their issues.

That's a good point. I also think where AC fell short perhaps is the onward connecting traffic from DEL. The most they have in place right now is a ticketing agreement with Air India. The 787's should open up the route again hopefully, but it still may not happen right away when delivery occurs.

Quoting ytz (Reply 53):
Unlike YYZ or YVR, YUL's catchment area is massive.

Um, YYZ's cachement area is bigger than YUL's and YVR's combined so that argument doesn't make sense. Plus, YYZ being a major transit hub even for U.S. passengers, would generate much more flow traffic to both the Middle East and South Asia. That being said, even YYZ is underserved for that region as it stands. The cachement area that was quoted in an earlier post outlined all the South Asians and Middle Easterns that live in the area which is simply not true. There may be a lot of Montreal-based engineering firms that have contracts in the Middle East so kudos to QR for capitalizing on that market but I really doubt you will ever see daily service to YUL on QR. Once the bilaterals are updated and QR is given 7 more slots, you will likely see daily from YYZ with the existing 3 staying at YUL. Argue all you want on that point but I think that's the most likely scenario.
 
ytz
Posts: 3529
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:31 am

RE: How Is YUL-DOH Doing

Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:10 pm

Quoting ACT7 (Reply 54):
Once the bilaterals are updated and QR is given 7 more slots, you will likely see daily from YYZ with the existing 3 staying at YUL. Argue all you want on that point but I think that's the most likely scenario.

Really depends on how competitive QR thinks YYZ is. We're still years away from the 787 being in regular service with the airlines that are germane to this discussion. But with EK and EY serving YYZ 7 days a week (once they figure out who will get that 7th slot) with VLAs (pretty sure to be all A380s when EY gets theirs) and with AI and 9W possibly offering direct flights from their hubs in DEL and BOM respectively, once the 787 comes into service on those airlines, we could reach a point where YYZ is tapped out for South Asia/Middle East bound pax with QR unable to add value and derive yield.

It's my speculation of course. But maybe they might just make better yields with less service to the smaller market, where they have more exclusivity. Toss in a tie-up with WS for feed. And maybe instead of YYZ, look at YYC or YVR.

By the end of 2014, AI and 9W will have lots of 787s in their stables and EY will have a few A380s. And YYZ will be a target for all those new aircraft. It'll be a whole different market then.
 
Thenoflyzone
Posts: 3280
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2001 4:42 am

RE: How Is YUL-DOH Doing

Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:24 pm

Quoting ACT7 (Reply 54):
Once the bilaterals are updated and QR is given 7 more slots, you will likely see daily from YUL. Argue all you want on that point but I think that's the most likely scenario.

Canada is not known for updating bilaterals just a few years after they are signed. Don't expect an update on the Qatar/Canada bilateral anytime soon.

Besides, for it to be updated, QR has to show that most of those passengers are O&D between Canada and Qatar, which isn't the case.

Thenoflyzone

[Edited 2012-01-24 08:26:18]
 
ACT7
Posts: 96
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:27 pm

RE: How Is YUL-DOH Doing

Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:27 pm

Quoting ytz (Reply 55):
By the end of 2014, AI and 9W will have lots of 787s in their stables and EY will have a few A380s. And YYZ will be a target for all those new aircraft. It'll be a whole different market then.

All good points. It's a very fluid and fickle industry. I would suspect, though, that with the South Asian community encroaching on 1 MM in the GTHA it will be a long while before that market is tapped out. I do think that the Middle East in general is underserved from Canada but that does seem to be changing, albeit slowly.

Even a WS feed and all the oil in the world would likely not lead to a profitable YYC route in the forseeable future but YVR is a good candidate for sure given there are no Middle East or South Asian carriers. That being said, I don't see YVR starting before YYZ even if QR is behind EY's and EK's 380 service, as well as potential 787 service from AI and 9W direct to DEL and BOM. UL is even looking at using their own metal to YYZ this year but I still don't think that saturates the market.

This, of course, is all just my opinion. It's nice to play armchair airline exec but will ultimately come down to what airline feeds what other airline, where aircraft can be deployed the most profitably, and yes, I'll say it, politics!
 
pnd100
Posts: 198
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:40 pm

RE: How Is YUL-DOH Doing

Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:09 pm

These are the observations I have made over several flights to India in the past few years;

1) The North America - South Asia market is primarily VFR (Visiting Friends & Relatives). VFR traffic is by nature price sensitive. They are flying once every 2-4 years & are usually flying with their family to go "back home" to see the rest of their family. The flight for them is simply an obligation. As a result they generally do not care as much for the quality of the food or service compared to a frequent flyer because they have to look at bottom line. Of course they want everything decent but they are unwilling to pay for premium. A family of 4 travelling at $1500 each costs $6000, for every $100 off the fare they save $400. It is not related to an ethnicity but rather the purpose of travel.

2) Many people travelling to South Asia still hold passports from those countries. As a Canadian I face these restrictions now to visit the UAE. This is a potential factor. For example, I would pay slightly more to fly QR over EK because I could see Doha on my stopover without a visa (Qatar has visa on arrival for Canadians whereas the UAE charges $250). Those same VFR travelers described above may be willing to pay a little extra if they can see another city on the way. Which family would not want to see London or Paris or Istanbul if they could? They are price sensitive but they would be willing to pay a marginal price for this experience (less than $200 total added to cost of trip). When you look at booking flights, there is usually little or no increase in fare to stay for a night. This is not an option for a sizeable number due to passport / visa restrictions.

The above points are why the Middle Eastern carriers are so successful in the South Asian market. They offer a decent product at a decent price which is what most of that market is looking for. As India in particular & the region as a whole grows economically there will be a gradual shift to more premium demand. Even now business travelers who are more discriminating in terms of service, convenience & scheduling may choose to fly other non-MidEast carriers to South Asia. Where an airline chooses to stop is critical. Part of the reason 9W has been so successful is the routing of their flights via BRU. If you offer nonstop service, you must offer a more suitable product than is currently available if you wish to sustain the flight in the long run.

One last thing I wanted to address was that QR in my opinion has one of the best on-board products available. There is some work that needs to be done at DOH to make the experience complete but overall the route offers a very attractive option. It's product, hub location & scheduling mean that it should be in the running for anyone looking to transit via DOH to any destination beyond.

[Edited 2012-01-24 11:13:29]
 
Aviational
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:37 pm

RE: How Is YUL-DOH Doing

Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:05 am

New to this forum...been a reader for quite long though... 

.
Took YUL-DOH in July and it was full...As I was one of the few last people to board the plane and while I walked down the aisle during this long flight, I couldn't find one seat empty. On my return in August, it was around 90-95% full...

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