Saturday, January 22, 2005

Low Cost Carriers (Hated or Loved?) and the 7E7/350

I was thinking about the best way of putting across my view of low cost airlines and I think they are best described by imagining a scenario. Assume you want to fly from A to B at time C but actually end up flying from D to E at time F (your bags will be lost enroute but that doesnt matter because you will already be dead when you arrive due to hunger/thirst resulting from you inability to afford the super expensive sandwiches and drinks on board). :)

To be honest that is not really a fair view however not entirely untrue. LCCs often fly from smaller airports which are usually farther away from the center of town then the major airports. ALso they fly at really odd hours (if you want the realy cheap tickets) which means you have to take a taxi at both ends.Also they offer very little flexibity with your tickets once they are booked. If you add all the costs then you might be better off with a proper airline.

However some LCCs have of course done extremely well and given the big boys a proper kick in the backside. Their business model pioneered by Southwest is quite simple. The main aspects are as far as possible operate a single type of aircraft (big time cost savings) and cut down on unnecssary frills (food, inflight entertainment, classes etc). Basically the idea is to treat a plane as a bus and no more. This did work very well but what I am seeing now is that LCCs who performed very well initially are now rapidly expanding their fleets, going to different a/c types in some cases, fighting for better (and more expensive) slot times and flying to main airports at better times. This is great but they might be breaking out of their original business model and fast becoming a proper airline and before they know it they will no longer be "low cost".


The 7E7 and A350 could probably fit in with LCCs who want to start offering cheap intercontinental flights on a large scale. LCCs to date have largely focused on short range routes. Any thoughts?

5 Comments:

Blogger jhgasuhvkjahklnsdlksnlknmlwvlckn said...

Hey the 350 seems like a ploy by airbus which is not very much past the concept stage, while the 7E7 is a slightly more developed and fiddled-with concept...And of course the A350 seems to take some of the good points of all airbus machines like the common cockpit for all airbuses - so pilot training is gonna be close to zilch...anyhow my first time at this blog....was directed here by pravin shankar...good going. Maybe you could visit http://www.rajaero.blogspot.com - my aero blog...

Cheers,
Rajesh

4:07 AM  
Blogger The Unknown Aviator said...

Thanks for your comments Rajesh. Yes I agree with you that the A350 does appear to be a rather hasty offering in response to the 7E7.

At this stage I am fairly convinced that the 7E7 will prove to be the more efficient airliner however the A350 will eat into some of its market. Time will tell.

As with most Airbus products I expect the common cockpit concept to be implemented on the A350 as well.

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