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leftcoast8
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Seattle-TATL expansion potential (non-U.S. carriers)

Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:31 am

With AS joining oneworld, and the AS/AA + DL/KLAF/VS alliances, the TATL market for Euro carriers in Seattle faces a tectonic shift. How will the Euro carriers respond? Or will they actually reduce their service due to the sudden overcapacity in this market?

Winter
BA: SEA-LHR 12x 4-class 772
Virgin: SEA-LHR Daily 789
Lufthansa: SEA-FRA Daily 333
Lufthansa: SEA-MUC Daily 359 (starting S20)
Air France: SEA-CDG 3x 772
Aer Lingus: SEA-DUB 3x 332
Icelandair: SEA-KEF Daily 757-200
Emirates: SEA-DXB Daily 77W

Summer
BA: SEA-LHR double daily (1 super hi J 744, 1 787-10)
Virgin: SEA-LHR 11x 789
Lufthansa: SEA-FRA Daily 744
Lufthansa: SEA-MUC Daily 359
Air France: SEA-CDG 5x 772 (up from 332)
Aer Lingus: SEA-DUB Daily 332 (up from 5x/week in S19)
Icelandair: SEA-KEF Daily 757-200
Emirates: SEA-DXB Daily 77W

With the fact that BA/LH/AF/EK will not send their A380s to SEA (the Port of Seattle patently refuses to shell out the money for A380 gates), what are the other expansion routes that have potential?

-BA running the 78X in winter? Replacing the SHJ 744 with the 777-9?
-Air India trying its luck in Seattle?
-Air France pulling the trigger on daily service?
-Emirates resurrecting its second daily flight (which was a 77L)?
-Lufthansa upgauging to a 346 or 747-8i? A future 787-9 or 777-9 to replace the 333/744?
-Trying Gatwick again?
-A return from Aeroflot, SAS or Finnair?
-LX to ZRH?
-Etihad, Qatar or Turkish launching a route to Seattle?

Personally, I think EY/QR coming to SEA is completely out of the question until they start SFO (and in EY's case, resuming daily to LAX). Same with EK going back to double daily to SEA, they'll first have to resume double daily to SFO and LAX. TK is an open question, since they'll be starting YVR in June.
Last edited by leftcoast8 on Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
MAH4546
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Re: Seattle-TATL expansion potential (non-U.S. carriers)

Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:33 am

Seattle is grossly over-served trans-Atlantic, and that problem is only getting worse.

Maybe Qatar with the Alaska joining oneWorld, but it's more of a question of what will be cut than added.
a.
 
leftcoast8
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Re: Seattle-TATL expansion potential (non-U.S. carriers)

Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:40 am

MAH4546 wrote:
Maybe Qatar with the Alaska joining oneWorld, but it's more of a question of what will be cut than added.


Qatar will probably start SFO before even thinking of SEA. Would it be a 77L, 35K, or 77W? For the record, DOH-LAX is a 77L.

It's assumed that Alaska will be working with both Qatar and Emirates? (Since oneworld doesn't have exclusivity.)
 
onwFan
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Re: Seattle-TATL expansion potential (non-U.S. carriers)

Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:52 am

Is there enough demand for a Microsoft-Nokia Shuttle by Finnair?
 
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gunsontheroof
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Re: Seattle-TATL expansion potential (non-U.S. carriers)

Fri Mar 06, 2020 3:06 am

The only new route that I can imagine would be something from QF, because at this point, SEA has locked-down pretty much all the key players in trans-pac traffic, many of which (CX, SQ, PR) to show up anytime soon, even with the explosive growth, but I've been wrong about this before. Even as a SEA fanboy, I didn't expect several of these routes to be announced in the last few years. Glad to be wrong because I live in a prime position for spotting SEA/PAE/BFI traffic, but it has to break at some point. Now that I've said that, HY will announce TAS-SEA.
Picked a hell of a week to quit sniffing glue.
 
leftcoast8
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Posts: 240
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Re: Seattle-TATL expansion potential (non-U.S. carriers)

Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:31 pm

gunsontheroof wrote:
The only new route that I can imagine would be something from QF, because at this point, SEA has locked-down pretty much all the key players in trans-pac traffic, many of which (CX, SQ, PR) to show up anytime soon, even with the explosive growth, but I've been wrong about this before. Even as a SEA fanboy, I didn't expect several of these routes to be announced in the last few years. Glad to be wrong because I live in a prime position for spotting SEA/PAE/BFI traffic, but it has to break at some point. Now that I've said that, HY will announce TAS-SEA.


While true, this is TPAC and I was only really concerned about the TATL market.

I don't see a justification for flights between Seattle and Australia. Australia isn't a tech hub (overshadowed by Singapore), Seattle is not a strong financial hub (like Sydney), and Washington state doesn't have many mineral deposits (like B.C.) to tap into mining industry demand for a nonstop flight. Even with B.C.'s vast coal/precious metal deposits, QF can't even support year-round SYD-YVR. And then there's all the capacity out of SFO, LAX and HNL.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Seattle-TATL expansion potential (non-U.S. carriers)

Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:34 pm

leftcoast8 wrote:
Summer
BA: SEA-LHR double daily (1 super hi J 744, 1 787-10)
Virgin: SEA-LHR 11x 789
Lufthansa: SEA-FRA Daily 744
Lufthansa: SEA-MUC Daily 359
Air France: SEA-CDG 5x 772 (up from 332)
Aer Lingus: SEA-DUB Daily 332 (up from 5x/week in S19)
Icelandair: SEA-KEF Daily 757-200
Emirates: SEA-DXB Daily 77W


Add to that Seattle - London Gatwick 3x weekly on Norwegian, usually on a 787-9. It's a summer seasonal, in the winter Norwegian doesn't fly to Seattle.

onwFan wrote:
Is there enough demand for a Microsoft-Nokia Shuttle by Finnair?


Probably not. Nokia might be owned by Microsoft, but they operate as an independent company. There's little interaction between the two companies and the interaction there is is mostly done online.

Airlines can't start a route for the occasional passenger who might fly once every few weeks or something like that. Certainly not with as much competition as they're facing.
 
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gunsontheroof
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Re: Seattle-TATL expansion potential (non-U.S. carriers)

Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:40 am

leftcoast8 wrote:
gunsontheroof wrote:
The only new route that I can imagine would be something from QF, because at this point, SEA has locked-down pretty much all the key players in trans-pac traffic, many of which (CX, SQ, PR) to show up anytime soon, even with the explosive growth, but I've been wrong about this before. Even as a SEA fanboy, I didn't expect several of these routes to be announced in the last few years. Glad to be wrong because I live in a prime position for spotting SEA/PAE/BFI traffic, but it has to break at some point. Now that I've said that, HY will announce TAS-SEA.


While true, this is TPAC and I was only really concerned about the TATL market.

I don't see a justification for flights between Seattle and Australia. Australia isn't a tech hub (overshadowed by Singapore), Seattle is not a strong financial hub (like Sydney), and Washington state doesn't have many mineral deposits (like B.C.) to tap into mining industry demand for a nonstop flight. Even with B.C.'s vast coal/precious metal deposits, QF can't even support year-round SYD-YVR. And then there's all the capacity out of SFO, LAX and HNL.


Great points. I only mention QF because while it seems like an unlikely addition to the SEA route map, it wasn't very long ago that CX, SQ and PR did as well. I'm pretty sure that you can find posts on these forums by yours truly in every thread that was opened in the last ten years speculating on the prospects of all three of those airlines and not being terribly optimistic, but here we are...nothing really surprises me at SEA anymore.
Picked a hell of a week to quit sniffing glue.
 
nc2011
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Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:11 am

Re: Seattle-TATL expansion potential (non-U.S. carriers)

Sat Mar 07, 2020 4:02 am

I think that SK would do well deploying the A350 on CPH-SEA, but I don't think it will happen. SK has a rather small long haul fleet, and most of the A350's are replacing the A340's. So there might not be much room for any new international routes, nor do I expect any.
 
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SRQKEF
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Re: Seattle-TATL expansion potential (non-U.S. carriers)

Sat Mar 07, 2020 1:40 pm

Icelandair is actually 2-3x daily 757-200 in the summer, at least in recent years.
Nothing compares to taking off in an empty 757 with full thrust!
 
AMS18C36C
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2016 7:11 pm

Re: Seattle-TATL expansion potential (non-U.S. carriers)

Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:29 pm

You mentioned the Euro-carriers, but don't forget the route AA announced, as well as DL's current route to AMS and announced route to LHR.
 
GoldenState787
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:38 pm

Re: Seattle-TATL expansion potential (non-U.S. carriers)

Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:43 pm

SRQKEF wrote:
Icelandair is actually 2-3x daily 757-200 in the summer, at least in recent years.


I think I even saw an FI 767 at SEA one time.
 
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SRQKEF
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Re: Seattle-TATL expansion potential (non-U.S. carriers)

Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:43 pm

GoldenState787 wrote:
SRQKEF wrote:
Icelandair is actually 2-3x daily 757-200 in the summer, at least in recent years.


I think I even saw an FI 767 at SEA one time.


Yes, they've operated there on and off for a few years, especially in summer.
Nothing compares to taking off in an empty 757 with full thrust!
 
leftcoast8
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Re: Seattle-TATL expansion potential (non-U.S. carriers)

Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:40 am

gunsontheroof wrote:
Great points. I only mention QF because while it seems like an unlikely addition to the SEA route map, it wasn't very long ago that CX, SQ and PR did as well. I'm pretty sure that you can find posts on these forums by yours truly in every thread that was opened in the last ten years speculating on the prospects of all three of those airlines and not being terribly optimistic, but here we are...nothing really surprises me at SEA anymore.


Those three carriers may seem out of place at first glance (between 1993 and 2012 no Japanese carriers served Sea-Tac, and it didn't get its first Chinese carrier until 2007*), but if you learn a bit more about the region's economy and demographics it makes more sense.

Hong Kong is the aviation gateway into mainland China, because the Chinese government bans foreign carriers from flying HKG-mainland fifth-freedom. The Puget Sound has a burgeoning wealthy Mainland Chinese population, including professionals working in tech. Shenzhen is a short ferry ride away, home to offices of Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. All three have offices in downtown Bellevue. In fact, Tencent poached Yu Dong from Microsoft Research just to start an AI research lab in Bellevue.

The early morning arrival into HKG allows for great connections to Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia, which caters to VFR traffic, mostly Vietnamese diaspora. Remember that Sea-Tac gets no love from Chinese carriers other than Hainan, which doesn't even serve PVG daily (they've switched back and forth between 3x/week and 4x/week service). No CA, MU, CZ, 3U, JD, plus MF pulled out.

Singapore is the tech hub of southeast Asia (AWS and Microsoft Azure's datacenters for SE Asia are located in Singapore, and there are lots of tech startups there) and SQ has fantastic connections to India, plus to a lesser extent Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Especially the tech hubs of Bangalore and Hyderabad. SQ competes fiercely with Emirates in this market.

PR has carved out a comfortable niche with extra long, extra skinny O&D diaspora routes to Manila. Over 100k Filipinos live in western WA and PR now has the perfect aircraft for this route, in the A350-900.

Like PR, the Vietnamese government has a hands-off approach to Vietnam Airlines (something that TG/MH/GA/RA could learn from), which has allowed it to prosper. I wonder if VN can make SEA work given the large Vietnamese diaspora.

*-Discounting China Eastern's short-lived SHA-PEK-SEA route from the early 90s, which used an MD-11.
 
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gunsontheroof
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Re: Seattle-TATL expansion potential (non-U.S. carriers)

Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:24 am

leftcoast8 wrote:
gunsontheroof wrote:
Great points. I only mention QF because while it seems like an unlikely addition to the SEA route map, it wasn't very long ago that CX, SQ and PR did as well. I'm pretty sure that you can find posts on these forums by yours truly in every thread that was opened in the last ten years speculating on the prospects of all three of those airlines and not being terribly optimistic, but here we are...nothing really surprises me at SEA anymore.


Those three carriers may seem out of place at first glance (between 1993 and 2012 no Japanese carriers served Sea-Tac, and it didn't get its first Chinese carrier until 2007*), but if you learn a bit more about the region's economy and demographics it makes more sense.

Hong Kong is the aviation gateway into mainland China, because the Chinese government bans foreign carriers from flying HKG-mainland fifth-freedom. The Puget Sound has a burgeoning wealthy Mainland Chinese population, including professionals working in tech. Shenzhen is a short ferry ride away, home to offices of Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. All three have offices in downtown Bellevue. In fact, Tencent poached Yu Dong from Microsoft Research just to start an AI research lab in Bellevue.

The early morning arrival into HKG allows for great connections to Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia, which caters to VFR traffic, mostly Vietnamese diaspora. Remember that Sea-Tac gets no love from Chinese carriers other than Hainan, which doesn't even serve PVG daily (they've switched back and forth between 3x/week and 4x/week service). No CA, MU, CZ, 3U, JD, plus MF pulled out.

Singapore is the tech hub of southeast Asia (AWS and Microsoft Azure's datacenters for SE Asia are located in Singapore, and there are lots of tech startups there) and SQ has fantastic connections to India, plus to a lesser extent Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Especially the tech hubs of Bangalore and Hyderabad. SQ competes fiercely with Emirates in this market.

PR has carved out a comfortable niche with extra long, extra skinny O&D diaspora routes to Manila. Over 100k Filipinos live in western WA and PR now has the perfect aircraft for this route, in the A350-900.

Like PR, the Vietnamese government has a hands-off approach to Vietnam Airlines (something that TG/MH/GA/RA could learn from), which has allowed it to prosper. I wonder if VN can make SEA work given the large Vietnamese diaspora.

*-Discounting China Eastern's short-lived SHA-PEK-SEA route from the early 90s, which used an MD-11.


Yeah, all salient points. I've never lived further away from Seattle than Olympia, so I'm aware of all this. My post was mostly to point out that even the biggest SEA fanboys (hi!) didn't expect the route map to grow as fast as it has in the last decade. Certainly makes for more interesting spotting.
Picked a hell of a week to quit sniffing glue.
 
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QuawerAir
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Re: Seattle-TATL expansion potential (non-U.S. carriers)

Tue Mar 10, 2020 2:49 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
onwFan wrote:
Is there enough demand for a Microsoft-Nokia Shuttle by Finnair?


Probably not. Nokia might be owned by Microsoft, but they operate as an independent company. There's little interaction between the two companies and the interaction there is is mostly done online.

Airlines can't start a route for the occasional passenger who might fly once every few weeks or something like that. Certainly not with as much competition as they're facing.

The estimated two-way O&D demand between HEL and SEA was 10,847 passengers in 2019 so not very high but not too low either. Based on this, PDEW is ca. 15-16 passengers. Surely, the route would have more passengers (maybe 20-30K annually) if it actually was launched. Majority of the passengers would be transfer passengers from Northern and Eastern Europe. 3 weekly flights during the summer season would be the maximum but before SEA, Finnair will probably launch DFW and YYZ.
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