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jmt18325 Sep 12, 2019 2:47 PM

People have this weird thing about airport flights and airlines making best interest decisions for themselves. I don't really care, as long a I can get somewhere in a reasonable time with a reasonable price.

SignalHillHiker Sep 12, 2019 2:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by q12 (Post 8684982)
This is doubtful.

I don't know if it's true or not, but I wouldn't be surprised at all. We flew over on August 29 and there were at least three planes worth of St. John's passengers on the Halifax-Dublin flight that evening. We had wedding party members on three separate flights to Halifax over the previous day or so, and met lots of others from Newfoundland in the boarding area who had come earlier to make sure they didn't miss the connection. We chatted with almost everyone by the time we took off and I only met two not from here, an American couple.

On the way back, our flight was cancelled (Dorian). When we finally did get to Halifax, we had to go to a separate customs area if we had a connecting flight - and that's where most of us lined up. Very few people went to the line to stay in Halifax. They certainly weren't all bound for St. John's but our boarding area was blocked with a lot of recognizable faces from the Dublin flight trying to get a connection home. Joanne and I got on a flight to St. John's at 5:00 p.m. but a lot of the wedding party was on later flights, some even the next day. So it took them a while to even clear out the backlog of St. John's-bound passengers from that Dublin flight.

SignalHillHiker Sep 12, 2019 2:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmt18325 (Post 8685073)
People have this weird thing about airport flights and airlines making best interest decisions for themselves. I don't really care, as long a I can get somewhere in a reasonable time with a reasonable price.

It's half that. We dropped the ball. Our airport authority could have been smart and said - hey, maybe we don't need to make as much money from this flight? It has a lot of spinoff benefits. Perhaps we could even lose money on it and give WestJet a deal so we can build on this opportunity for affordable, economy class travel to Europe?

We didn't do that, so another airport authority did. But yeah, beyond that a lot of the grief is because people viewed it as more than just a direct flight, but a sort of cultural symbol. So the backlash is kind of like when they tried to change our time zone after Confederation, it's... stronger than seems possible lol.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfo...ight-1.4921015

wave46 Sep 12, 2019 8:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmt18325 (Post 8685073)
People have this weird thing about airport flights and airlines making best interest decisions for themselves. I don't really care, as long a I can get somewhere in a reasonable time with a reasonable price.

Pretty much.

I mean, I'd be happy if I had airlines lining up to serve me to whatever whim of a destination I wanted to go to from my local airport for cheap, but yeah, I get the business angle. I like examining the business from a detached point of view, but at the end of the day the reality is:

I'm a shit airline customer. I fly maybe once a year - if that - and I buy the cheapest possible ticket (within reason).

Meh. I don't fly enough to grouse about such things. If I did fly enough to care, I'd probably hate flying itself - I still like the novelty factor. The people who do untold thousands of miles of flying a year for business just probably look at it as a glorified bus.

SpongeG Sep 13, 2019 6:04 AM

There is a deal right now Vancouver to Tokyo for under $600, but you fly via China with a layover. It's cheaper to fly to Tokyo than within BC, last time I flew it was $635 for a flight that is usually half that price :(

Mazrim Sep 13, 2019 5:04 PM

I'm wondering if the airplane experts here can help explain something to me - why don't airlines take more 788s in their fleet? Seems like there's a fair amount of discussion about AC not having enough 788s for some routes, yet they have taken way more 789s which makes it even harder to get a plane on some lower demand long haul routes. If the 789 is too much plane, wouldn't they want a slightly smaller version to fulfill that role?

Are the economics of the 789 so much better than the 788 that it's better to have a lower load factor just to have the leeway there? Will they ever order more 788s?

wave46 Sep 13, 2019 5:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mazrim (Post 8686267)
I'm wondering if the airplane experts here can help explain something to me - why don't airlines take more 788s in their fleet? Seems like there's a fair amount of discussion about AC not having enough 788s for some routes, yet they have taken way more 789s which makes it even harder to get a plane on some lower demand long haul routes. If the 789 is too much plane, wouldn't they want a slightly smaller version to fulfill that role?

Are the economics of the 789 so much better than the 788 that it's better to have a lower load factor just to have the leeway there? Will they ever order more 788s?

The 789 can carry more passengers without much of a cost increase (a few percent)

It's a more flexible asset if you're expecting passenger growth of the lifespan of the airplane but not really seeing much increase in the number of destinations you are serving.

Given that AC seems to keep planes it likes for awhile (their oldest 767-300ER is around 30 years old), there could be a significant increase in passengers over that time, but not so much in the way of destinations as AC serves lots of places already.

Cage Sep 13, 2019 5:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mazrim (Post 8686267)
I'm wondering if the airplane experts here can help explain something to me - why don't airlines take more 788s in their fleet? Seems like there's a fair amount of discussion about AC not having enough 788s for some routes, yet they have taken way more 789s which makes it even harder to get a plane on some lower demand long haul routes. If the 789 is too much plane, wouldn't they want a slightly smaller version to fulfill that role?

Are the economics of the 789 so much better than the 788 that it's better to have a lower load factor just to have the leeway there? Will they ever order more 788s?

AS wave46 said above, there is not much of a cost difference between the 788 and 789.

The 789 stretch is the least costly components. Similar engines, same avionics/computers, similar wings.

Think of it this way: 2 pax car vs 4 pax only has increased cost for some sheet metal, bench seat, windows, etc.

In the 789, the additional seats are added very cheaply. But also (and here is the key) the capital cost difference is not much.

The same problem happens for 319, 736, etc.

The only time the small aircraft is more popular is when the difference is 75 seats vs 100 seats. The E75 is more popular b/c it can be sent to regional fleets for lower costs.

Mazrim Sep 13, 2019 6:49 PM

Thanks for the answers! This place is always super informative and I appreciate the info. Here's hoping that YYC-NRT will be a 789 in the future.

someone123 Sep 13, 2019 7:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker (Post 8685079)
I don't know if it's true or not, but I wouldn't be surprised at all. We flew over on August 29 and there were at least three planes worth of St. John's passengers on the Halifax-Dublin flight that evening. We had wedding party members on three separate flights to Halifax over the previous day or so, and met lots of others from Newfoundland in the boarding area who had come earlier to make sure they didn't miss the connection. We chatted with almost everyone by the time we took off and I only met two not from here, an American couple.

It's possible but how can you know from your flight? There are usually 100-200 people or so on those flights, and there are many flights. Maybe some flights are more appealing to people in St. John's because of timing or pricing. You saw an effect like this when you noticed a bunch of repeat customers on the return flight. Maybe on some other day the flight was full of people from New Brunswick or Ontario or Halifax.

Halifax is a hub airport, so there are often a lot of people on flights who are just passing through and aren't in the immediate area. It's the same as say Pearson, but on a smaller scale.

Regionally there probably is a bit of an inherent "winner take all" effect. In Atlantic Canada, the demographics and geography really favour putting flights in YHZ. There are more people within an hour drive of that airport than there are in all of Newfoundland and Labrador.

SignalHillHiker Sep 13, 2019 7:28 PM

I'm aware how anecdotes work, yes. :D It's even in my signature. We just want one economy class direct flight to Europe. Just one. That's it. And Dublin, for the obvious cultural reasons, was a perfect fit.

We still have direct flights to London via Air Canada but those are twice the price, minimum, of WestJet's Dublin one and more for the business class. And TBH, I'm willing to pay that price to fly direct to avoid DOUBLING OR MORE my travel time, but not on Air Canada, that defeats the purpose. If it was Aer Lingus, sure. I'll blow the cash. But spending it on Air Canada just reinforces the stupidity here.

MonctonRad Sep 13, 2019 7:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 8686405)
Regionally there probably is a bit of an inherent "winner take all" effect. In Atlantic Canada, the demographics and geography really favour putting flights in YHZ. There are more people within an hour drive of that airport than there are in all of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The hub and spoke model is still infuriating for other ambitious regional cities who want to improve their air connections.

There is a natural affinity between St. John's and Dublin, just like there is a potential market between Moncton and Paris (in both cases for cultural and/or linguistic reasons). Why is it then that all traffic has to get funneled through Halifax (or Montreal or Toronto)? The St. John's/Dublin situation is especially galling since St. John's lives about 90 minutes closer to Dublin than Halifax does, and Signal basically overflew his house on the way. They also had a successful direct connection which Halifax basically stolen from them. No wonder they're upset.......

To those of us in the second tier regional cities, this situation can be viewed (rightly or wrongly) as an attempt to put us in our place by the apex regional city.

someone123 Sep 13, 2019 7:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MonctonRad (Post 8686433)
There is a natural affinity between St. John's and Dublin, just like there is a potential market between Moncton and Paris (in both cases for cultural and/or linguistic reasons). Why is it then that all traffic has to get funneled through Halifax (or Montreal or Toronto)?

I dunno, I think this is mostly nonsense.

Lots of companies have Dublin offices and the employees from Canada fly there for work. That's not really a cultural affinity thing, it's just business. There are probably a bunch of generators of traffic like this that we don't know about, so it's hard to say where Dublin traffic would actually come from. It's a big assumption to say that the largest driver of traffic must be people who have cultural ties with Ireland, and that these feelings are a special St. John's thing. There are Irish people in other places too.

Moncton has something like 50,000 Francophones. Let's say you had one flight a week to Paris with a capacity of 230 and you wanted half of it to be full of Francophone Monctonians. This means every single Francophone in Moncton would have to take this flight once every 8 years to experience the homeland.

MonctonRad Sep 13, 2019 7:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 8686439)
Moncton has something like 50,000 Paris speakers. Let's say you had one flight a week with a capacity of 230 and you wanted half of it to be full of Francophone Monctonians. This means every single Francophone in Moncton would have to take this flight once every 4 years to experience the homeland.

There are about 250,000 francophones in all of NB, and of course Anglophone New Brunswickers would take the flight as well. Paris would make an excellent starting point for visiting the continent.

someone123 Sep 13, 2019 7:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MonctonRad (Post 8686442)
There are about 250,000 francophones in all of NB, and of course Anglophone New Brunswickers would take the flight as well. Paris would make an excellent starting point for visiting the continent.

This is very similar to the argument for putting the flight in YHZ, except with YHZ you get a much bigger local market.

Maritimers are actually decently well-served by flights. People complain about having to fly out of YHZ from Moncton for example but it's a 2 hour drive from a city of 150,000 to get intercontinental flights. No different from what you'd do for say Sherbrooke to YUL.

Newfoundland is not so great but it's a very sparsely populated area. I would guess that the St. John's to Dublin flight was extremely unusual by global standards, an intercontinental flight for a hinterland of about 500,000.

Maybe it makes economic sense to put stuff in YHZ and that's why the flights are there. Just as the flights to Beijing go out of YYZ and not YHZ (goddamn hub and spoke model!).

MonctonRad Sep 13, 2019 8:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 8686466)
Maybe it makes economic sense to put stuff in YHZ and that's why the flights are there. Just as the flights to Beijing go out of YYZ and not YHZ (goddamn hub and spoke model!).

Well, the lobsters are able to fly first class to Beijing from both YQM and YHZ....... :D

someone123 Sep 13, 2019 8:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MonctonRad (Post 8686471)
Well, the lobsters are able to fly first class to Beijing from both YQM and YHZ....... :D

Presumably the lobsters don't care what time of day or day of the week they go. :)

I think this is another big factor that tends to encourage hub and spoke. If your city can support 1 flight a week, you have to go on that specific day and if there are delays or cancellations there can be big headaches. It's much nicer to fly a route with daily flights and it's even better to have multiple flights per day. This advantage could outweigh the cost of a (much higher frequency) transfer or driving a bit farther.

There have been a few cases where I've wanted to take a direct flight and I looked at the schedule and it was easier or cheaper just to make the connection.

esquire Sep 13, 2019 8:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker (Post 8686424)
We still have direct flights to London via Air Canada but those are twice the price, minimum, of WestJet's Dublin one and more for the business class. And TBH, I'm willing to pay that price to fly direct to avoid DOUBLING OR MORE my travel time, but not on Air Canada, that defeats the purpose. If it was Aer Lingus, sure. I'll blow the cash. But spending it on Air Canada just reinforces the stupidity here.

Aer Lingus and Air Canada are comparable full service airlines, so they're very similar in many ways. What difference does it make which carrier provides the service?

SignalHillHiker Sep 13, 2019 8:13 PM

I just personally hate Air Canada and its price gouging. I'm sure it's fine if you're flying business class from Toronto to London but if you're a normal person like me flying from St. John's to anywhere they treat you like shit and are shit. I've never seen anyone in a professional setting be as rude and condescending as Air Canada employees. Ever. It's the standard of shit for me. There's no other company I am so passionately against. :D

esquire Sep 13, 2019 8:34 PM

^ Haha, fair enough, I suppose no one could blame you for refusing to spend money on flying with them if that's the case. :)


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