Running low on aircraft ?

Old Oct 8, 19, 11:36 pm
  #1  
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Running low on aircraft ?

Just took a trip to Europe from Hong Kong on Turkish Airlines. When I stopped over in Istanbul en route back, I couldn't help to notice that a number of flights (I remember Beijing) was delayed 4 hours to a 5am departure. Then when I flew back on TK70 to HKG yesterday, my flight was one of three flights that got delayed 4 hours. (It was eventually delayed for 5 hours as we ended up using the aircraft of TK71 coming back from Hong Kong). The other two flights that got delayed were Guangzhou (where they had to wait for the Narita flight to arrive) and the flight to Cape Town (where they had to wait for the flight from Bangkok to arrive). Guangzhou and Hong Kong were 777 while Cape Town was a 333. Is TK having aircraft rotation issues ?

It was a pain waiting it out at the airport. Inflight services were fine, but they did not apologize nor give any reasons for the delay.
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Old Oct 8, 19, 11:42 pm
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It can happen, but it's more likely in high season or when there's a mechanical check/correction that needs to be done soon on all aircraft of the same type (some of the A380 engines recently IIRC) or when an aircraft type used by the carrier is grounded (such as the MAX). If this is SOP, to me it would indicate a badly managed airline or a carrier experiencing financial difficulties.
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Old Oct 9, 19, 12:05 am
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I have also observed this multiple times over the last 4-5 months.
If you then check the aircraft that actually operated the delayed flight, it is often an aircraft that just came in on another flight - on time! So this indicates that this wasn't the aircraft originally planned for the flight.
Looks like aircraft availability issues in many cases.
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Old Oct 9, 19, 12:36 am
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In fact, TK70 was going to use the aircraft coming in from Narita, then the aircraft was being used for the Guangzhou flight instead..... A 525am departure was bad enough. Then it started showing 650am instead and people were really upset. Could I have paid for an extra night of hotel in town and come to the airport at 4am instead ? Possibly......
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Old Oct 9, 19, 12:58 am
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For unforeseen reasons schedules are some times messed up and some flights can't depart on time. The flights mentioned above are often selected for late departure because the a/c will stand idle for several hours before returning to IST at outstations like CPT, CAN, HKG etc, i.e. the inbound flight to IST will not be delayed despite the a/c left IST very late.

Also from destinations like CPT and CAN there will be few pax with onward flights, i.e. fewer pax will misconnect if these destinations are selected than e.g. BKK or SIN (admittedly, HKG would be expected to have many pax with onward flights ex HKG).

Last edited by SK AAR; Oct 9, 19 at 1:20 am
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Old Oct 9, 19, 2:42 am
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post
For unforeseen reasons schedules are some times messed up and some flights can't depart on time. The flights mentioned above are often selected for late departure because the a/c will stand idle for several hours before returning to IST at outstations like CPT, CAN, HKG etc, i.e. the inbound flight to IST will not be delayed despite the a/c left IST very late.

Also from destinations like CPT and CAN there will be few pax with onward flights, i.e. fewer pax will misconnect if these destinations are selected than e.g. BKK or SIN (admittedly, HKG would be expected to have many pax with onward flights ex HKG).
That's good background info. Thanks! BKK is also often one of the flights that leave IST very late - guess it is also because the aircraft is idle in BKK for several hours.
see TK68 on 1st oct, 28th & 8th&2nd September and 30th August. Left IST at 6am rather than planned 1am. But since the aircraft is parked at BKK for several hours, the return is still on time.
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Old Oct 9, 19, 3:12 am
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post
For unforeseen reasons schedules are some times messed up and some flights can't depart on time. The flights mentioned above are often selected for late departure because the a/c will stand idle for several hours before returning to IST at outstations like CPT, CAN, HKG etc, i.e. the inbound flight to IST will not be delayed despite the a/c left IST very late.

Also from destinations like CPT and CAN there will be few pax with onward flights, i.e. fewer pax will misconnect if these destinations are selected than e.g. BKK or SIN (admittedly, HKG would be expected to have many pax with onward flights ex HKG).
I guess many of us are interested to find out what these unforseen reasons are.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 10:04 am
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Usually, these types of aircraft unavailability issues are driven by maintenance events. TK is definitely a few widebodies short right now - for example, one of their A330s has been stuck in IKA for almost 6 weeks awaiting an engine change, but TK hasn't been able to get approval to send an engine to Iran due to sanctions.
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