New high capacity airplanes

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October 21st, 2013 at 11:07:39 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 98
Posts: 6183
Quote: Pacomartin
My guess is that information is dated. There used to be more seats in "first class". It is also essentially a meaningless statement. Full fare first class is at such huge expense that almost all passengers are upgrades to reward loyalty.


Domestically you do not get nearly as much as in the glory days. Internationally you probably get quite a bit more. Lay-flat seats could make the price worth it to a high-level exec. OTOH on even the longest CONUS even execs can suck it up for a few hours. Leisure travelers may pay $20-30 extra, but not many and that really isn't a huge difference.

I will continue to fly jetBlue whenever possible and give only cursory checks of other carriers prices. But if it is <500 miles I will probably drive.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
October 21st, 2013 at 4:21:57 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 677
Posts: 7743
Quote: AZDuffman
Lay-flat seats could make the price worth it to a high-level exec.


Well, the Singapore Airlines first class seats mean that people can join the mile-high club without a challenge.


Actually, I think they discreetly remind people that the bunks are not soundproof.

The all-business class 100 passenger flights from LAX or EWR to Singapore are not quite that luxurious, but then it is only $8K. The flight requires 222,000 litres of fuel, 10 times the weight of the passengers and a crew of 20 for only 100 seats.

October 21st, 2013 at 4:29:10 PM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 48
Posts: 4308
Its a mismash where "price" is a synthetic figure used for accounting purposes and so too are such terms as "income" and "profit"...
alas, so too is the term "safety".

A flight has a particular "load factor" wherein once reached, just about every "sale" of a ticket is pure profit.

But income is derived from rental cars and hotel room tie ins or the DATA for such extras. Some people joke that its more profitable to schedule groups of flyers and arrange their cars and hotels than it is to actually fly the planes so that safe flights become beyond an MBAs concern.

Its just that "price" of a ticket includes future obligations to provide free mile trips as well as present forebearance to charge anything. So a ticket dollar sum gets to look more and more like a new car's "sticker price", a work of fiction for fools and copy writers.

Some airline flights are indeed so financially marginal that very little profit is being generated in all that revenue and drive to fill seats but only with revenue-tickets, not relatives or deep discounters.

Look at teh maintenance data sent by satellite... a plane arrives at its destination but an hour before hand a maintenance computer prints out every on-board error message the computer sent, even if it never sent any messages serious enough to be sent to the pilot as well. The mechanics have to turn around the plane and make certain its legal to fly it to fly it to its next destination, not a maintenance hangar. The pressure is high and some tests are subjective. Here is where you find that bargain airlines seem to excell. Test results are okay, turnaround time is great.

The trouble is that its the same way with weight and balance on container ships. If a Captain objects to a certain weight and balance total the containers are not offloaded or repositioned.... the Captain is merely handed a new computer printout that is within allowable limits.

Its the same way with airline sqawks ... if the Captain pockets them until he goes off duty, they don't exist until then. If something is described as "dirty" that is different as " untidy " or "apparently leaking". If something is re-tested and passes, then the plane flies. So you get to a point where you have young inexperienced pilots flying airliners that have great paperwork until they get to the next airport wherein the plane can be handed over to an even more inexperienced pilot who receives an even better computer printout.

The margins are being eroded in the name of "if they don't fly, they don't earn revenue" and meanwhile the maintenance centers have file cabinets bulging with 100 percent check list scores that bear not the slightest relationship to the actual condition of the airliners.

It used to be in World War Two that a plane would come in "on a wing and a prayer". Now its "on a lone feather and an Amen". Soon the feather will exist only in the maintenance computer and the "Amen" will come from the airline's lawyers, not the pilots.
October 21st, 2013 at 5:19:38 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 677
Posts: 7743
Very disturbing description.
October 21st, 2013 at 8:42:09 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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I'd rather take a cheaper fare and a sleeping pill ;)
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
October 22nd, 2013 at 3:03:33 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 677
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I think Aeromexico has 9 or 11 widebodies currently in it's fleet with the four 777's carrying 277 passengers.

Juarez Intl, Mexico City, MX (MEX) to
4590 miles Buenos Aires Airport, Buenos Aires, AR (BUE)
5530 miles Heathrow, London, GB (LHR)
5630 miles Barajas Arpt, Madrid, ES (MAD)
5710 miles Orly Arpt, Paris, FR (ORY)
6990 miles Narita, Tokyo, JP (NRT)
8020 miles Pudong International Airport, Shanghai, CN (PVG)

Grupo Aeromexico is spearheading the biggest fleet upgrade in the nationís history with Boeing Co. (BA)ís Dreamliner .Aeromexico took delivery of the first plane last week and is due to get 19 Dreamliners through 2019. I think they are planning to keep 7 of their current fleet.

As far as I know, no other airliner in Mexico has widebodies.
October 22nd, 2013 at 6:57:38 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 312
Posts: 10510
Quote: Pacomartin
As far as I know, no other airliner in Mexico has widebodies.


Mexicana used to have some, until it went bankrupt. They operated flights to London and Paris, and I think to Brazil as well.

But it's funny. Widebodies were used for rather short trips in the past. For example, flights from Mex City to NYC usually took place in a DC-10 or an L-1011. The flight is only 5-6 hours long, which doens't seem too long now. Mexicana operated a DC-10 for the Mex-Monterrey-Chicago route (I flew in it once).

These days all fligths to NYC, or Chicago for that matter, take place in B-737s or A-320s. The rise in the efficiency of jet engines, allowing for longer range with less fuel, is what has made low-cost carriers possible. Where these rarely work out is on long routes which require a widebody, meaning Transoceanic or transcontinental routes.

Factoid: no Mexican airline has ever owned or leased a B-747.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
October 22nd, 2013 at 8:08:13 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 677
Posts: 7743
Quote: Nareed
Mexicana used to have some, until it went bankrupt. They operated flights to London and Paris, and I think to Brazil as well.

But it's funny. Widebodies were used for rather short trips in the past. For example, flights from Mex City to NYC usually took place in a DC-10 or an L-1011. The flight is only 5-6 hours long, which doens't seem too long now. Mexicana operated a DC-10 for the Mex-Monterrey-Chicago route (I flew in it once).

These days all fligths to NYC, or Chicago for that matter, take place in B-737s or A-320s. The rise in the efficiency of jet engines, allowing for longer range with less fuel, is what has made low-cost carriers possible. Where these rarely work out is on long routes which require a widebody, meaning Transoceanic or transcontinental routes.

Factoid: no Mexican airline has ever owned or leased a B-747.


Right now, I think Aeromexico is going to 8 destinations that require a widebody. Tokyo, Shanghai, London, Paris, Madrid, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo.
If they get 19 new Dreamliners along with their 4 777's, it looks like they are expecting to expand their long haul destinations.

MEX-JFK 2090 miles
MEX-ORD 1690 miles
MEX-LIM 2640 miles (Lima Peru)
---
MEX-SCL 4110 miles (Santiago, CL)
MEX-EZE 4590 miles Buenos Aires, AR
MEX-SAO 4610 miles (Sao Paulo Brazil)

The real problem in USA is the airlines flying small airplanes. They are not being used to connect two small airports, but are being used in large airports. I understand that it increases airline profits, but the overall cost of the air system is exploding.

The 109 mile trip from San Diego to LAX is a good example. Americans have a mortal fear of buses, so no bus service has lasted. The airlines fly the Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia (which hasn't been built for 12 years) which is a twin-turboprop commuter airliner with top speed of 608 km/h and seats only 30 people. These planes require 3 times the spacing to the next full size jet as they are very vulnerable to air turbulence.

This puts severe restrictions on these airports. San Diego has a single runway, and because of it's downtown location prohibits no takeoffs at night.
October 22nd, 2013 at 11:21:16 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 312
Posts: 10510
My feeling is that small planes offer more flexibility for routings and more slots for any given route. Since airlines can't, or won't, offer other conveniences any longer, such as a generous luggage allowance, in-flight meals, etc, they can still offer multiple departure times.

There are other advantages, too. If a small plane undersells badly, it's easier to cancel the flight and send the passengers that did show up in another time slot. It's not really that simple, as things depend on where the plane goes next and other factors. I've never had a flight cancelled, but once, in 1985, I flew in a 2/3s empty Continental DC-10 from Gatwick to Houston. Service was amazing, though, and headphones were given out free. Back then Continental had very customer-friendly policies, too.

Then there's room. In small, single-aisle planes, it's hard to move about, even to the bathroom, during the flight, even when the aisle is free. In widebodies, with double-aisles and overall larger surface area, it's easy. I think 5-6 hours is the absolute limit for people to be largely confined to a seat. Past that you'll want a bigger plane. You may not get one, think flights to/from Mex City to Canada, or, say from, Alaska to Florida.

IN fact, I've been wondering about a kind of widebody small plane. Say an A-321 with a wider aisle and 3 seats on each side, or maybe existing planes with 3 seats on one side and two in the other. The idea would be to make moving around easier, in order to be able to use small planes for even longer flights.

What's really coming soon is widespread inflight WiFi and the full removal of all inflight entertainment. People will amuse themselves with tablets and cell phones. Of course, the WiFi will be free at first, then you'll pay a fee, thens omeone will hack the system :)
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
October 23rd, 2013 at 4:53:50 AM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 48
Posts: 4308
Quote: Nareed
I'd rather take a cheaper fare and a sleeping pill ;)

That is precisely the problem with aviation safety. The general public desperately wants aviation safety and will do anything, absolutely anything to achieve it, except pay for it.
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