WLG. SQ 350, why not NZ 789 or 772?

Old Aug 27, 19, 12:21 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Wellington
Programs: AirNZ Airpoints Elite
Posts: 93
WLG. SQ 350, why not NZ 789 or 772?

Packed like sardines to AKL in A32..., if SQ can take out a 772 & now A350 to MEL why is this not feasible for NZ busiest domestic flight?
freemark is offline  
Old Aug 27, 19, 12:36 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 14,259
Originally Posted by freemark View Post
Packed like sardines to AKL in A32..., if SQ can take out a 772 & now A350 to MEL why is this not feasible for NZ busiest domestic flight?
The economic's of a large aircraft on very short flights is not good. Better to use the asset on longer flights (over its lifetime)

General opinion is that the Wellington City Council is paying big $$$ to SQ to have that international flight.

QF used to run a B747SP WLG SYD many many years ago
kiwifrequentflyer likes this.
Mwenenzi is offline  
Old Aug 27, 19, 12:48 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,005
Wide bodies are often designed with lower cycle counts. The narrow bodies usually are designed for more cycles.

The wide bodies would take too long board and deplane compared to flight time.

Most domestic gates in NZ are designed for narrow bodies. WLG has some swing gates which are widebody capable on North pier but AirNZ does have a domestic longue in North pier.

Wide bodies have a lot of mass to carry fuel. Mass requires fuel to carry around for no benefit. Which is why on medium haul the A330 can beat the 787s for fuel economy as lower empty mass.

Also if switched to wide-bodies would drop the convenience hourly flights and maybe push out to two or three between flights which would be awful. It's one of the benefits of the ATR72s WLG CHC as they can keep the frequency hourly.

AirNZ will over next few years boost capacity with the domestic A321s.
nzkarit is offline  
Old Aug 27, 19, 1:08 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: AKL
Programs: NZ Silver
Posts: 1,740
Sbiddle will provide more insight, but I believe SQ received a large subsidy from WLG council to provide the initial WLG-CBR service...they reneged on this and changed it to WLG-MEL whilst still claiming the subsidy.

Edit - just realised you meant AKL-WLG? not sure AKL-WLG and AKL-MEL are comparable. NZ's AKL-WLG service is very frequent (every 30 or 60 min?) so assume they justify the reduced capacity per flight this way? I don't imagine they have too many spare wide body planes at the moment either?
brenrox is offline  
Old Aug 27, 19, 1:20 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: New Zealand (most of the time)
Programs: NZ Elite *G, HHonors Diamond, IHG Platinum Elite
Posts: 4,491
SQ receive a subsidy for every passenger from the council but the actual deal is so top secret it can't be disclosed even under OIA requests which are all heavily redacted.

Domestic A321neo will be here in a few years for WLG-AKL and AKL-CHC services. Nothing unusual about peak time flights being chokka, that's just the norm and why they have half hour departures during morning and evening peak times.

A domestic 777 would be a nightmare - huge increase in running costs, crew costs, significantly increased turnaround times and ultimately reduced frequency.
kiwifrequentflyer and ps107 like this.
sbiddle is offline  
Old Aug 27, 19, 1:38 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Wellington
Programs: AirNZ Airpoints Elite
Posts: 93
Multiply & comprehensively answered, thanks.
Iíll take my hat on the way out...
😀
Shamrock55 likes this.
freemark is offline  
Old Aug 27, 19, 2:45 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: PPQ/WLG/BKK
Programs: TG*G, Accor Gold
Posts: 7,301
Agreed on the poor economics of wide bodies on solely domestic runs 45-120 minutes.

At least for the NZ situation. Other airlines can, and do, use wide bodies for short sectors but presumably this is a part of a wider strategy around servicing leisure travellers arriving off long-haul.

For example, THAI runs 747/359/77W types 4-6x daily Bangkok-Phuket (1:20) and Chiang Mai (1:10). They also run A320 2-3x daily (Thai Smile Air).

They provide a business class service (hot meal), and a cold meal in economy. Business class costs around $250 and economy $50 for advance fares (one way). My assumption is that many of flights are to move masses of tourists who arrive from long-haul flights to BKK, and connect to domestic leisure destinations.

THAI also runs at a loss and is supported by the Government, but there are other factors besides wide-body economics at play...
Thai-Kiwi is offline  
Old Aug 27, 19, 2:56 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,005
Japan due to shear number uses wide bodies domestically. They had special 747-400 with no winglets. As with the short flights they didn't curise long enough to get a benefit of improved fuel burn of the winglets to counter act the additional mass they had to carry to altitude.

When slots become an issue and airport can handle longer dwell times at gates, wide bodies start to get used as have to move the people. This isn't an issue in NZ yet. Would add more domestic gates and up the frequency to every 15-20 at peak.
nzkarit is offline  
Old Aug 27, 19, 3:02 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: New Zealand (when I'm home!)
Programs: Air NZ Elite
Posts: 483
In saying all of this, I still always hoped that I would get to fly on one of Air NZs wide bodies that they were flying between CHC and AKL (still might be?) never got so lucky.
kiwifrequentflyer is offline  
Old Aug 27, 19, 3:22 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Programs: Air New Zealand Airpoints
Posts: 109
Originally Posted by kiwifrequentflyer View Post
In saying all of this, I still always hoped that I would get to fly on one of Air NZs wide bodies that they were flying between CHC and AKL (still might be?) never got so lucky.
They are flying AKL-CHC and CHC-AKL December to February to position for the CHC-SIN-CHC flights.
Nathan Catton is offline  
Old Aug 27, 19, 3:35 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: New Zealand (when I'm home!)
Programs: Air NZ Elite
Posts: 483
Originally Posted by Nathan Catton View Post
They are flying AKL-CHC and CHC-AKL December to February to position for the CHC-SIN-CHC flights.
Oooh. Is there any particular time that they'll be flying this? I will be flying that route over that time and I am pretty flexible!
kiwifrequentflyer is offline  
Old Aug 27, 19, 4:48 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK
Programs: NZ Gold, BA Gold, QF Silver, AF Ivory, FlyBe, IHG Platinum Elite, Accor Platinum
Posts: 987
MEL-SYD is one of the busiest routes anywhere, and even Qantas almost entirely operates 737s on it. Even in the US, the trend has been to 737s/A320 family by the big three (remaining) legacy carriers, a far cry from the 1970s when 747s, DC-10s and L1011s were commonplace.
libertyuk is offline  
Old Aug 27, 19, 6:55 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 558
Originally Posted by Nathan Catton View Post
They are flying AKL-CHC and CHC-AKL December to February to position for the CHC-SIN-CHC flights.
Not as exciting as it seems... sure you can score a PE or J seat for an extra $30 but that's about it. Food and drinks are still the same as on other flights and IFE doesn't come with headphones.

Most recent I can think of was a 787 that operated an extra AKL-CHC-AKL on 26 July the day CHC had the bad fog. I was actually flying from AKL-CHC that day and got moved to an A320Neo which was slightly better than the normal A320 but from memory those on the 787 flight were told boarding would start around 60 minutes prior to departure.

I also flew MEL-WLG last month on the SQ flight, I was in business with only 10 other people and Economy seemed about half full. The SQ crew doesn't even get off in Wellington and it almost seemed pointless with the crew saying they'd seen even less passengers before on the flight.
henrus is offline  
Old Aug 27, 19, 6:58 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: London, United Kingdom
Programs: British Airways Gold
Posts: 2,495
For shorthaul flights, in the absence of airport capacity constraints, it's generally better to increase frequency than use larger aircraft
ajeleonard is online now  
Old Aug 27, 19, 1:12 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Auckland
Programs: NZ*GE
Posts: 2,219
Originally Posted by kiwifrequentflyer View Post
Oooh. Is there any particular time that they'll be flying this? I will be flying that route over that time and I am pretty flexible!
They were running widebodies twice a day to CHC not that long ago too,
Rebound is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread