|Quoting comorin (Reply 121):|
Hi Karan, can you please tell me why AI chooses these awkward times - making a red eye flight when it is not necessary? I like flying EK because of its daytime BLR flights for instance; are there other business reasons for night owl services?
With due respect to Karan's vast reserve of knowledge, may I also answer this question addressed to Karan?
A variety of reasons.
Staffing. Traditionally most international flights were and still are at night and therefore human Govt. infrastructure (customs, immigration, etc.) was scheduled at night. Even today, the daytime availability of this staff is skeleton thin.
Increase of aircraft utilisation. During 18 hours (5am~11pm) Indian aircraft are used on domestic routes. India is not broad east-west like the US, and also does not have multiple time zones. However if you take a virtual geography from Middle East till SE
Asia, you will see traffic patterns similar to the US. i.e. West to East (from Mid-east to India, from India to SE
Asia) is red eye overnight. East to West is more "normal working hours" whether later in the night or earlier in the morning.
Many North American and European countries, and Japan, do not allow late night flight operations. This coupled with historic financial strength of these geographies during the growth phase of international air travel (1950s~1970s), has resulted in movements to these major destinations tilted towards "day" or "normal" time operations.
South Asia incl. India, Middle East, Africa, SE
Asia allow for late night light operations to facilitate their airlines being able to operate as per the timing constraints of these popular destinations. Many major international carriers operating to India depend on transiting traffic (EK, QR
, amongst others).
Red eye flights from India perfectly schedule for the morning departures from Gulf, SE
, Europe, towards these major destinatons.
Many Indian travellers especially to nearby destinations, prefer to save one day's hotel charges, which is facilitated by the red eye flight.
Global patterns.While there are exceptions, generally flights west to east are red-eye (US to Europe, West Coast to East Coast, Japan to US, Middle East to India, India to SE Asia).
Hope this helps.
[Edited 2012-09-24 22:03:00]