Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > American Airlines | AAdvantage
Reload this Page >

PRG-PHL route: how doing? Will it go year-round?

PRG-PHL route: how doing? Will it go year-round?

Old Jul 13, 18, 12:46 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 49
PRG-PHL route: how doing? Will it go year-round?

Does anyone know how the new Prague-Philadelphia route is doing? I suppose it relies mostly on tourist traffic but am curious if it could go year-round or will at least remain seasonal going forward.
Jacob02 is offline  
Old Jul 13, 18, 1:22 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Programs: DL 1 million, AA 1 mil, HH lapsed Diamond, Marriott Plat
Posts: 28,192
IMHO, it has no chance year-round. Even Delta - with Czech Airlines in SkyTeam - operates JFK-PRG seasonally.
3Cforme is offline  
Old Jul 14, 18, 12:08 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 49
Would be great to have some data/insights before writing it off!
Jacob02 is offline  
Old Jul 14, 18, 12:41 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Programs: DL 1 million, AA 1 mil, HH lapsed Diamond, Marriott Plat
Posts: 28,192
I do have some data and insight. Delta at JFK moved 1 1/4x times the number of international passengers as all carriers combined at PHL last year. If Delta can't make year-round work at JFK with a SkyTeam partner, AA at PHL has no chance.

Carriers don't publish RASM by route. Full planes at cheap fares don't mean much.
3Cforme is offline  
Old Jul 14, 18, 5:10 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP, B6 Mosaic, UA Platinum, others
Posts: 1,256
Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
I do have some data and insight. Delta at JFK moved 1 1/4x times the number of international passengers as all carriers combined at PHL last year. If Delta can't make year-round work at JFK with a SkyTeam partner, AA at PHL has no chance.

Carriers don't publish RASM by route. Full planes at cheap fares don't mean much.
Anecdotal reports are the flight is heavily supported by leisure traffic, which is highly seasonal.
tkelvin69 likes this.
jmr50 is offline  
Old Jul 14, 18, 7:19 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Programs: AA EP
Posts: 1,891
And I donít think that 763 has the energy to make it year round! Lots of MX on that route!

Originally Posted by jmr50 View Post
Anecdotal reports are the flight is heavily supported by leisure traffic, which is highly seasonal.
AAExecPlatFlier is offline  
Old Jul 14, 18, 8:55 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP, B6 Mosaic, UA Platinum, others
Posts: 1,256
Originally Posted by AAExecPlatFlier View Post
And I donít think that 763 has the energy to make it year round! Lots of MX on that route!
Yah, at this point you take your chances going anywhere on the 763 (and the 752, 'specially in the winter). I know they say they'll be eliminating them in 2019 and replacing them in 2020 with the 788s, but I'm suspicious given the extended fate of the 333s.
jmr50 is offline  
Old Jul 17, 18, 11:28 am
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 49
Originally Posted by jmr50 View Post
Anecdotal reports are the flight is heavily supported by leisure traffic, which is highly seasonal.
Does that hold for a place like Prague that has virtually year-round tourist traffic?

Might 787s make this route 'more' viable year-round?
Jacob02 is offline  
Old Jul 17, 18, 12:48 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: DCA
Posts: 6,949
Originally Posted by Jacob02 View Post
Does that hold for a place like Prague that has virtually year-round tourist traffic?

Might 787s make this route 'more' viable year-round?
Prague's tourist traffic is not flat month-to-month by any means; see page 51 of https://www.praguecitytourism.cz/fil...rze_en_web.pdf

While they don't show a second cut on the data (split by month and country of origin), I would imagine that the seasonality of US-based tourist visits would be even more pronounced, due to the distance involved and typical U.S. vacation periods. For example, the data shows a big spike in December, but probably not that many Americans are going over for Christmas markets (whereas Germans, still the largest tourist group in 2017, are probably doing this a lot).
arlflyer is offline  
Old Jul 17, 18, 1:16 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: KHOU + KSFO
Programs: AA EXP | Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador | Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 5,995
Originally Posted by jmr50 View Post
Yah, at this point you take your chances going anywhere on the 763 (and the 752, 'specially in the winter). I know they say they'll be eliminating them in 2019 and replacing them in 2020 with the 788s, but I'm suspicious given the extended fate of the 333s.
The 333 retirement was more for fleet commonality and strategy than them falling apart, IIRC. The a333 fleet has the same average age as AA's 772s.

To be fair, the 763s are barely older than either above yet are a operational nightmare. Why is AA unable to keep the 763s in good dispatch reliability while others such as DL can?
AANYC1981 likes this.
Antarius is offline  
Old Jul 17, 18, 3:33 pm
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 49
Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
Prague's tourist traffic is not flat month-to-month by any means; see page 51 of https://www.praguecitytourism.cz/fil...rze_en_web.pdf

While they don't show a second cut on the data (split by month and country of origin), I would imagine that the seasonality of US-based tourist visits would be even more pronounced, due to the distance involved and typical U.S. vacation periods. For example, the data shows a big spike in December, but probably not that many Americans are going over for Christmas markets (whereas Germans, still the largest tourist group in 2017, are probably doing this a lot).
The previous page also indicates over 1.1 million overnights by US tourists. Even with fluctuation between months, that still translates to several thousand Americans visiting Prague on any given day. Sure, many are on multi-city visits and not all would fly AA etc., but it strikes me as not plausible that an all-year-round route to a major US airport or two is not sustainable. The challenge, I agree, is likely related to yields on the new route as well as on DL's JFK-PRG, which of course I do not know.

I am not trying to blindly advocate for something that cannot work but am just wondering why no airline seems to be willing to put a bet on one of the top-5 most visited European destinations year-round. This ignores, moreover, the increasing business traffic which is now mostly routed via FRA, MUC, AMS and LHR.
Jacob02 is offline  
Old Jul 17, 18, 6:19 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: DCA
Posts: 6,949
There probably just isn't much in it for them; easier to let the alliance partners do the heavy lifting and concentrate on higher-revenue flights. In AA's case, it seems that there's generally a widebody shortage, and the destinations that can be served falls off pretty quickly. Maybe there's a business case, but it can't just be a business case in isolation; it has to be strong enough to warrant taking an aircraft off of another route.
GWFan likes this.
arlflyer is offline  
Old Jul 17, 18, 6:52 pm
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Usually in SAN or Central Europe.
Programs: AA:EXP. Accor/Radisson:Silver; HH:Gold; ICH:Plt Amb.
Posts: 21,853
If PHL-LIS was never a year-round route for the past decade, then PHL-PRG ain't gonna be one either. Even PHL-VCE was never year-round. BTW, I have been to Prague several times in the middle of winter, and there is a noticeable difference between those tourist crowds and the ones in the summer.
Fanjet is offline  
Old Jul 18, 18, 5:44 am
  #14  
Ambassador: Alaska Airlines
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: BWI
Posts: 7,277
Originally Posted by Jacob02 View Post
I am not trying to blindly advocate for something that cannot work but am just wondering why no airline seems to be willing to put a bet on one of the top-5 most visited European destinations year-round. This ignores, moreover, the increasing business traffic which is now mostly routed via FRA, MUC, AMS and LHR.
Yields between Europe and USA tanks in the colder months - PRG is not a huge business destination like the markets you mentioned which still sees steady business demand when the tourist season dries up. Naturally those cities are also massive hubs for the largest EU airlines which present hundreds of connecting opportunities that PRG does not even remotely offer.

In other words, in the summer months AA believes they can command fares that leisure travelers are willing to pay to make the flight profitable, but they clearly do not believe they can charge the same price point while sustaining the number of customers willing to pay that amount in the colder months as they do in the summer.
golfingboy is offline  
Old Jul 18, 18, 7:07 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,597
I can't see anything more than starting the season several weeks earlier - as long as popular-ish in Winter destinations like FCO and BCN are seasonal, PRG has no chance of going year-round.
lowfareair is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: