LAXdude1023
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Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:35 pm

I thought this would be an interesting topic because, while most airlines focus hard on the business component of travel, there are some airlines whose base is ethnic travel. Being based in the US, the two that leap to mind the most are PR and AV's SAL operation.

Philippine Airlines:

Destinations served: LAX, SFO, JFK

Largest Filipino Communities in the US.
1. Los Angeles MSA: 294,290 people
2. San Francisco MSA: 164,236 people
3. NYC MSA: 154,502 people
4. San Diego MSA: 99,661 people
5. Chicago MSA: 82,965 people
6. Honolulu MSA: 81,441 people
7. Las Vegas MSA: 75,208 people
8. Riverside, CA MSA: 62,880 people
9. San Jose MSA: 60,251 people
10. Seattle MSA: 49,344 people

Fastest Growing Filipino Communities in the US (time span 2013-2018):
Riverside: 25,804
Los Angeles: 21,204
Las Vegas: 17,825
Sacramento: 9,488
Phoenix: 8,494

Interestingly enough, the Filipino population in the Bay Area declined in this time frame.

Avianca's San Salvador Operation:

Destinations Served: LAX, SFO, DFW, IAH, IAD, JFK, MIA

Largest Salvadoran populations in the US:
El Salvador
1. Los Angeles MSA: 488,354 people
2. DC MSA: 319,832 people
3. NYC MSA: 244,349 people
4. Houston MSA: 211,441 people
5. Dallas MSA: 101,254 people
6. San Francisco MSA: 85,378 people
7. Riverside MSA: 61,561 people
8. Boston MSA: 57,494 people
9. Miami MSA: 54,439 people
10. Las Vegas MSA: 32,409 people

Fastest Growing Salvadoran Communities in the US (time span 2013-2018)
Houston: 46,089
Los Angeles: 45,610
Washington DC: 35,669
New York: 23,985
Dallas/Fort Worth: 21,802

Obviously this view is somewhat American centric because I live here. That said, what airlines on a global scale have their primary customer base as ethnic travel?
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paullam
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel

Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:43 pm

Operations on some Pacific islands come to mind. Samoa as an example mostly features flights from NZ and OZ full of ethnic traffic. While I don’t have any numbers to confirm this, I’m pretty sure that without this kind of traffic, there’d hardly be any flights there (hypothetically spoken).
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AkwaabaAir
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:19 pm

As of 2011, there were 39,000 Filipinos living in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, with around 19,000 of them residing in Virginia Beach. Naturally there are no direct flights from here to the Philippines but I know many of my student's families travel to JFK to fly PAL.
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8parktoollover
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:36 pm

El al has no interest in anything except ethnic travel.
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washingtonflyer
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:54 pm

AkwaabaAir wrote:
As of 2011, there were 39,000 Filipinos living in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, with around 19,000 of them residing in Virginia Beach. Naturally there are no direct flights from here to the Philippines but I know many of my student's families travel to JFK to fly PAL.


The U.S. Navy spreads them around, eh?
 
mjoelnir
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:58 pm

It depends a lot on what people define as ethnic. How about the US3 being mainly interested in USA citizen.
 
myki
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:12 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
It depends a lot on what people define as ethnic. How about the US3 being mainly interested in USA citizen.

Also depends on the route, not just the airline.

For example, on JQ for MEL-DPS/HKT/BKK would be majority for the Australian holidaymaker, yet their MEL-SGN ops I am guessing (based on zero facts by the way) would be majority VFR.
 
COSPN
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:23 pm

GUM-MNL is 98% VFR. Probably highest % in the US

Many young people forget the Philippines was a US colony 1898-1946 so it quite unique
 
dfw88
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:28 pm

One airline whose entire purpose (basically) is VFR is Ernest Airlines. They started with most of their ops between Tirana, Albania and various cities in Italy, connecting the large Albanian diaspora in Italy with their home country. They've expanded since then, but essentially their raison d'etre is still to carry Eastern Europeans back and forth from their home countries to their residences in Western Europe.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:50 pm

I'd say most of the vanity routes from JFK or LHR would qualify.
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FlyRow
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:53 pm

Surinam Airways AMS-route as sole longhaul flight comes to mind.
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Blerg
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:59 pm

Bulgaria Air comes to mind. They mostly fly to destinations with considerable ethnic demand.

I would also say Iran Air.
 
YYZLGA
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:23 pm

myki wrote:
mjoelnir wrote:
It depends a lot on what people define as ethnic. How about the US3 being mainly interested in USA citizen.

Also depends on the route, not just the airline.

For example, on JQ for MEL-DPS/HKT/BKK would be majority for the Australian holidaymaker, yet their MEL-SGN ops I am guessing (based on zero facts by the way) would be majority VFR.


There are a lot of Australian holidaymakers in Vietnam.

Air Azores would probably also be a good example of the type of carrier the OP is asking about.
 
SCQ83
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:25 pm

dfw88 wrote:
One airline whose entire purpose (basically) is VFR is Ernest Airlines. They started with most of their ops between Tirana, Albania and various cities in Italy, connecting the large Albanian diaspora in Italy with their home country. They've expanded since then, but essentially their raison d'etre is still to carry Eastern Europeans back and forth from their home countries to their residences in Western Europe.


Wizz Air started as a purely VFR airline. Today they have diversified and got much bigger, but VFR is still their backbone.
 
pdp
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:28 pm

SCQ83 wrote:
dfw88 wrote:
One airline whose entire purpose (basically) is VFR is Ernest Airlines. They started with most of their ops between Tirana, Albania and various cities in Italy, connecting the large Albanian diaspora in Italy with their home country. They've expanded since then, but essentially their raison d'etre is still to carry Eastern Europeans back and forth from their home countries to their residences in Western Europe.


Wizz Air started as a purely VFR airline. Today they have diversified and got much bigger, but VFR is still their backbone.


This. Wizz is well-known for their East/West routes.
 
SCQ83
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:33 pm

YYZLGA wrote:
There are a lot of Australian holidaymakers in Vietnam.


Some ethnic routes also help to boost tourism.

A classic example is Eastern Europe. Cities like Krakow or Riga are nowadays very popular city-break destinations for Western Europeans. Western Europeans started going there because FR/W6 were there to fly the VFR on the cheap.

Morocco-Europe is another one. There are large communities of Moroccans in Europe (at least in Benelux, France, Spain, Italy and Germany) and some places in Morocco are attractive for tourists. So Ryanair opening Fes to a village in France will not only get the VFR traffic but instantly boost the number of locals in that French region visiting Morocco because now there is an affordable, non-stop flight.

A new one is Albania. Classical VFR country (one of the poorest countries in Europe) now becoming also a holiday beach destination. No doubt those flights connecting Tirana with Switzerland or Germany help bringing tourists to the Albanian Riviera.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:56 pm

Could Cubana be seen as a VFR airline for Cuban people? They don't offer transfers in Havana and are therefor not a network airline. Their destinations are places where lots of Cubans live.
 
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LH748
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:41 pm

TK should also be on that list, especially for their operations between IST, SAW, ESB to Germany and other parts of Europe. People of Turkish decent are the biggest group of foreigners in Germany and especially during the summer holidays there's a lot of VFR traffic.

Can also agree with the previous comment about Wizz Air. I've flown them on CGN-SOF-CGN, DTM-LWO and IEV-DTM routes and was either the only one or one of very few passengers without a Bulgarian or Ukrainian background.
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LH748
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:44 pm

TK should also be on that list, especially for their operations between IST, SAW, ESB to Germany and other parts of Europe. People of Turkish decent are the biggest group of foreigners in Germany and especially during the summer holidays there's a lot of VFR traffic.

Can also agree with the previous comment about Wizz Air. I've flown them on CGN-SOF-CGN, DTM-LWO and IEV-DTM routes and was either the only one or one of very few passengers without a Bulgarian or Ukrainian background.
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zakuivcustom
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:30 pm

Cabo Verde Airlines is the one I can think of, with their flights to/from BOS, LIS, and also NE Brazil.
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homebasedtravel
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:25 am

Conde Nast Traveler and Korean Air comes to mind when it comes to low fares for Ethnic Travel.
 
directorguy
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:01 pm

No one has mentioned US-Ireland and Aer Lingus thus far.
Surely something like BOS-SNN-DUB (especially back in the day when you had more immigrants/1st gen Irish-Americans) qualifies as an ethnic route par excellence?
 
SCQ83
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:14 pm

LH748 wrote:
TK should also be on that list, especially for their operations between IST, SAW, ESB to Germany and other parts of Europe. People of Turkish decent are the biggest group of foreigners in Germany and especially during the summer holidays there's a lot of VFR traffic.

Can also agree with the previous comment about Wizz Air. I've flown them on CGN-SOF-CGN, DTM-LWO and IEV-DTM routes and was either the only one or one of very few passengers without a Bulgarian or Ukrainian background.


I reckon TK today would carry a lot of transfer traffic of Germans vacationing in Asia.

I flew IEV-DTM a couple of years ago :) and yes there were few foreigners but in the Schengen control we were quite a few EU passport holders. I guess the main issue today with FR/W6 routes is that even purely VFR routes will be flown by a good number of non-VFRs just because those flights exist and Ryanair or Wizzair are well known carriers so a lot of people would fancy a 10 EUR flight just for the sake of it. For instance, early this year I flew a cheap Weeze-Essaouira flight on Ryanair (route now discontinued) and on top of quite a few Moroccan VFRs, your average German tourists and myself there was a big group of American college-style students and another of Korean tourists. How do they even know that flight existed and how did they ended up flying from "middle of nowhere, NRW" to Southern Morocco? That is the beauty of Ryanair, even in the most remote route you will find people from anywhere.

directorguy wrote:
No one has mentioned US-Ireland and Aer Lingus thus far.
Surely something like BOS-SNN-DUB (especially back in the day when you had more immigrants/1st gen Irish-Americans) qualifies as an ethnic route par excellence?


Aer Lingus to BOS definitely carriers a lot of connections from/to Europe.
 
AntonioMartin
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Re: Airlines whose Primary Base is Ethnic Travel (VFR)

Sun Dec 08, 2019 9:55 pm

Vieques Air Link...not kidding you here. About 75 percent of their passengers are Viequenses....Bahamasair, I'd say a good portion of their passengers on the US routes are probably Bahamians returning for a visit?

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