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cedarjet
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Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:27 pm

I was looking at a trip in SE Asia and was looking for an interesting way to get from Singapore to Bangkok. I remember in the 80s and 90s this city pair probably had more fifth freedom carriers on it than any other in the world, Finnair Biman Qantas UTA Garuda and many others. Since most airlines only fly point-to-point I know there isn't that much around anymore but was still hopeful. I used an app which shows everything moving on a given route including freighters (Nippon Cargo, China Air Lines both 747s) and it showed a late-night Ethiopian Airlines 767-300ER. (The only other fifth freedom-er on the route is Cathay Pacific but only an A330 and while they are great, I have flown them many times before so nothing to get excited about.) I've flown Ethiopian from Bangkok to Hong Kong so I know they're a quality product and quite charming. However the city pair wasn't bookable on their website or on the Expedias of this world, and after doing some Googling I found news stories to the Singapore route starting, and indeed they say, no local traffic rights.

I finally gave up on finding anything interesting and went to Singapore Airlines' website to get a fare on SQ who have A330-300s running throughout the day* and low and behold, the Ethiopian flight is on sale with a Singapore Airlines flight number! Thus heartened, I also checked using my mileage account with Aviance Lifemiles, and it was bookable with miles with the original Ethiopian flight number.

So - it seems that it genuinely isn't bookable from the airline itself, but you can go in the back door either through a codeshare (e.g. SQ), or using miles as part of an alliance (e.g. AV Lifemiles). Anyone know anything more about this route, what kind of rights are at work here, or any other examples of this?

* surprisingly only three flights a day from Thai Airways, all 777s
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
SQueeze
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:38 am

Yup. I was surprised too that Thai's offerings are very limited and they are only at beginning and end of days possibly to connect to the hub peaks to/from Europe and to carry business travelers.

The leisure market is now dominated by the LCCs Tiger, Jetstar, and Air Asia.
I can't think of any reason why I would want to spend 400-500 dollars to get to BKK. My entire weekend trip including the hotels would cost less than that with the LCCs.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:43 am

BKK-HKG also has many 5th freedom airlines along with BKK-SIN. In general, there are many airlines stopping in BKK. The Thai government allows many airlines to operate routes with revenue traffic out of BKK. Cathay Pacific has a small focus city in BKK serving a 5 or 6 cities. I don't think it helps Thai Airways much having so much competition from Emirates, Cathay Pacific, etc.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
AA737-823
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:48 am

Ethiopian has a couple of odd routes.
I was recently looking at booking, and found some such weird routing... it may have been JFK-FCO, which continues on to ADD, but you can book the FCO leg by itself.
Or it may have been another Southeast Asia tag on, like yours...
 
MesaFlyGuy
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:03 am

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 3):

Probably was IAD-FCO, as they don't fly to JFK.
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JAGflyer
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:37 am

Quoting MesaFlyGuy (Reply 4):

The YYZ flight goes via FCO on the westbound (ADD-YYZ) portion however I do not think it is possible for a passenger to book just the FCO-YYZ sector (whether it be fifth freedom rights or the lack of a YYZ-FCO flight on ET I am not sure). The eastbound sector goes non-stop from YYZ to ETH. Surprisingly the route sees the 787-800 (and occasionally the 777-200 appears) both of which have the range to fly non-stop. Is there a reason they go via FCO only when travelling westbound?
If you flew today, thank a Flight Dispatcher!
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:44 am

^JAGflyer, ADD airport is 'hot and high' so take off performance is affected which limits the flights out of Ethiopia, coming back is fine since the aircraft are much lighter on arrival.
 
xiaotung
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:04 am

I flew SIN-BKK on ET just a couple of weeks ago and I can confirm it's definitely bookable on their own website. I did have some difficulty initially as the city pair was not showing. I then tried to enter a different routing and made a change to it and it was there. I have also seen it on Zuji.
 
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bwest
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:03 am

ET used to fly FRA-BRU and CDG-BRU a few years ago as well. IIRC (but not sure), you could book tickets between these two cities as well
 
Thenoflyzone
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:52 am

Quoting cedarjet (Thread starter):
So - it seems that it genuinely isn't bookable from the airline itself,
Quoting xiaotung (Reply 7):
I flew SIN-BKK on ET just a couple of weeks ago and I can confirm it's definitely bookable on their own website

  

Indeed, just tried a dummy booking on ethiopianairlines.com, and ET626/627 is bookable. Pretty cheap too, $210USD roundtrip for next week.

Also bookable on expedia, so it is weird indeed that you weren't able to book a few hours ago.

Thenoflyzone

[Edited 2014-04-18 04:56:41]
us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
 
MHG
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:31 pm

Well, another carrier that was not mentioned to serve SIN-BKK is Scoot.
They operate B 777-200 in a LCC style pretty cheap ...

And ... yes ET´s flight is bookable.
I checked on their website but schedule was too unconvenient for my requirements.
Still, the price is quite good at 214.10 SGD ow all-in !
Flying is not inherently dangerous but it is very unforgiving in case of carelessness, incapacity or neglect.
 
cedarjet
Topic Author
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:06 pm

Quoting MHG (Reply 10):
Well, another carrier that was not mentioned to serve SIN-BKK is Scoot.

Oh god, of course it is. Damn, I would have booked it if I'd known. Gosh, I am terrible at this. On my app, it gives all the airlines' full names except for a mystery "ATA" with 777s, I noticed they also fly to Sydney. I thought it was FedEx or DHL or someone! What an idiot. Oh well, Scoot next time.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
Pelle
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:07 pm

Quoting cedarjet (Thread starter):

What is the name of this app?
C208 DHC6 CRJ700 SB2000 ERJ190 737 733 735 738 752 763 772 77W 744 787 A319 A320 A321 A333 A346 A380
 
cedarjet
Topic Author
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:13 pm

Quoting Pelle (Reply 12):
What is the name of this app?

It's called FlightTrack - pretty cool, but sometimes the aircraft type doesn't update when an airline throw something different on, like there's a Koreanair flight from BKK next week that is 747 on KE's website and Expedia et al, FT still says A330, then again the one-off Tu-154 flight by Belavia from WAW to MSQ on 7 June is correctly showing TU5 so when it really counts, they're on the case! There are probably better apps out there but I am limping along with an iPhone 3 that won't update software or apps anymore. I'm waiting for the iPhone 8 before I upgrade!
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
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tjcab
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:59 pm

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 5):
The YYZ flight goes via FCO on the westbound (ADD-YYZ) portion however I do not think it is possible for a passenger to book just the FCO-YYZ sector (whether it be fifth freedom rights or the lack of a YYZ-FCO flight on ET I am not sure). The eastbound sector goes non-stop from YYZ to ETH. Surprisingly the route sees the 787-800 (and occasionally the 777-200 appears) both of which have the range to fly non-stop. Is there a reason they go via FCO only when travelling westbound?
Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 5):
^JAGflyer, ADD airport is 'hot and high' so take off performance is affected which limits the flights out of Ethiopia, coming back is fine since the aircraft are much lighter on arrival.

That is correct, when watching a video, the max t/o weight on their 77L's is somewhere around 60,000 KGs less operating out of ADD, than an airport close to sea level. They can choose less passengers and cargo, or less fuel. Interestingly, their winglet-equipped 767's allow them to increase their load at the airport too by several thousand kilos (I can't remember the actual number i will have to re-watch the video)
 
MHG
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:07 pm

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 11):

Oh well these things happen to me as well occasionally ...
It´s almost impossible to track market developmments.
Because not all airlines - especially the LCC ones - are listed in GDS´s or booking/research tools (e.g. Itasoftware´s Matrix).
Just booked a flight on Scoot two days ago HKG - SIN ow in "Scoot Biz" for 1333,-HK$ all-in (not bad for a 4h flight !).
... just for the experience.
Btw. Scoot´s 2-letter code "TZ" is in fact the old ATA code !



[Edited 2014-04-18 07:12:46]
Flying is not inherently dangerous but it is very unforgiving in case of carelessness, incapacity or neglect.
 
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777Jet
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:14 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 2):
BKK-HKG also has many 5th freedom airlines along with BKK-SIN.

I think BKK-HKG actually has more 5th freedom airlines than BKK-SIN IIRC but I could be wrong. I wonder if EK will take up BKK-SIN as it does BKK-HKG quite well!

Quoting cedarjet (Thread starter):
Ethiopian Airlines 767-300ER. (The only other fifth freedom-er on the route is Cathay Pacific but only an A330 and while they are great, I have flown them many times before so nothing to get excited about.)

If only Thai Sky were still flying around doing charters with those L-1011s...
DC10-10/30,MD82/88/90, 717,727,732/3/4/5/7/8/9ER,742/4,752/3,763/ER,772/E/L/3/W,788/9, 306,320,321,332/3,346,359,388
 
cedarjet
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:35 am

Quoting 777Jet (Reply 16):
I think BKK-HKG actually has more 5th freedom airlines than BKK-SIN IIRC but I could be wrong

You are not wrong - BKK to HKK probably has more fifth freedom carriers than any other route - Royal Jordanian, Emirates (A380, first class with a shower for £450), Kenya Airways, SriLankan and Ethiopian.

(To complete the picture, indigenous carriers are Orient Thai (only MD-80 now, no scheduled 747s), Hong Kong Airways (lots of A330s), Cathay Pacific, and despite the volume of competition, Thai with multiple 747s on the route every day.)
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
flythere
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:11 am

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 17):
You are not wrong - BKK to HKK probably has more fifth freedom carriers than any other route - Royal Jordanian, Emirates (A380, first class with a shower for £450), Kenya Airways, SriLankan and Ethiopian.

(To complete the picture, indigenous carriers are Orient Thai (only MD-80 now, no scheduled 747s), Hong Kong Airways (lots of A330s), Cathay Pacific, and despite the volume of competition, Thai with multiple 747s on the route every day.)

Actually back in the old days when airlines are still doing round-the-world trips, BKK-HKG is already a must-have route.

Btw, I thought Ethiopian had already turned the HKG flight into direct rather than via BKK nowadays.
 
cedarjet
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:12 pm

Quoting flythere (Reply 18):
Btw, I thought Ethiopian had already turned the HKG flight into direct rather than via BKK nowadays.

You are quite right, but they seem to do HKG-ICN now.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
YLWbased
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:09 pm

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 17):
You are not wrong - BKK to HKK probably has more fifth freedom carriers than any other route - Royal Jordanian, Emirates (A380, first class with a shower for £450), Kenya Airways, SriLankan and Ethiopian.

(To complete the picture, indigenous carriers are Orient Thai (only MD-80 now, no scheduled 747s), Hong Kong Airways (lots of A330s), Cathay Pacific, and despite the volume of competition, Thai with multiple 747s on the route every day.)

List of Airlines that operates Scheduled Service on HKG-BKK Route:

Hong Kong Airlines (HX) - Multiple Daily A333
Thai Airways International (TG) - Multiple Daily B744
Cathay Pacific (CX) - They fly whatever they have in their fleet that day
Emirates (EK) - Daily A380
Kenya Airways (KQ) - with B767, 5x weekly?
Royal Jordanian (RJ) - with A333, 4x weekly?
Orient Thai (OX) - Whatever they have, usually B742 or B743
SriLankan Airlines (UL) - A333, 4x weekly?

And don't forget HKG-DMK Services:

City Airways (E8) - Daily with B734
Thai Air Asia (FD) - 3-4x Daily with A320

YLWbased
Hong Kong is not China. Not better or worse, just different.
 
YLWbased
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:15 pm

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 19):
You are quite right, but they seem to do HKG-ICN now.

I think they do both HKG-ICN and HKG-MNL now, weird, I know.

China Airlines also fly HKG-CGK, that's weird too.

We also get stuff like UA's HKG-SIN and HKG-SGN, DL's HKG-NRT, HM's HKG-Abu Dhabi.

YLWbased
Hong Kong is not China. Not better or worse, just different.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:17 pm

Quoting YLWbased (Reply 20):
List of Airlines that operates Scheduled Service on HKG-BKK Route:

Hong Kong Airlines (HX) - Multiple Daily A333
Thai Airways International (TG) - Multiple Daily B744
Cathay Pacific (CX) - They fly whatever they have in their fleet that day
Emirates (EK) - Daily A380
Kenya Airways (KQ) - with B767, 5x weekly?
Royal Jordanian (RJ) - with A333, 4x weekly?
Orient Thai (OX) - Whatever they have, usually B742 or B743
SriLankan Airlines (UL) - A333, 4x weekly?

And don't forget HKG-DMK Services:

City Airways (E8) - Daily with B734
Thai Air Asia (FD) - 3-4x Daily with A320

And many other 5th freedom operators on HKG-BKK in the past. A few that come to mind:

Pan Am
TWA
Canadian Airlines
Qantas
JAL
Singapore Airlines
Air France
Lufthansa
Swissair
Alitalia
Lauda Air
British Airways
Air India
Gulf Air
South African Airways
Varig
 
cedarjet
Topic Author
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:59 pm

Quoting YLWbased (Reply 20):
Orient Thai (OX) - Whatever they have, usually B742 or B743

If only - the 747-200s are long gone, and the last 747-300 was parked in Dec (so I am told by an Orient Thai 747-400 captain). On the run to HKG, it seems OX are only scheduling the MD-80 (which is a bit rare these days, esp in Asia), perhaps the 747-400 is op as a sub on occasion. But the classics are done.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 22):

Thanks for that amazing list - Pan Am? TWA? Varig?!
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
YLWbased
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RE: Weird Fifth Freedom: ET SIN-BKK

Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:35 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 22):

Pan Am
TWA
Canadian Airlines
Qantas
JAL
Singapore Airlines
Air France
Lufthansa
Swissair
Alitalia
Lauda Air
British Airways
Air India
Gulf Air
South African Airways
Varig

Ethiopian
China Airlines
United
Pakistan International
Dragonair
Thaisky
P.C. Air
Finnair
Turkish Airlines
Gulf Air

the list go on and on...

YLWbased
Hong Kong is not China. Not better or worse, just different.

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