Earlier demise of "The Bayer Express"

Old Sep 21, 2004, 8:03 am
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Exclamation Earlier demise of "The Bayer Express"

From Pgh PG:

"US Airways plans to eliminate its nonstop flight between Pittsburgh and Frankfurt, Germany, a week earlier than previously announced. The airline confirmed that the last flight will be Friday, Oct. 29, not Nov. 7."

So much for the assertion that "this flight makes money for US just with cargo". Lakefield was quoted this weekend as saying he'd fly from "Podunk, PA to Podunk, Ohio" if the flight made money.........he called it Economics 101.
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 8:07 am
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I wonder they're about to announce a new destination for that widebody or put it on a route needing more capacity.

I just hope they don't instead reject the leases on the two widebodies being freed up by the end of PIT-FRA/LGW.
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 12:25 pm
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One time when I was taking the flight back from FRA to PIT, the FRA station manager was in the gate area assisting the agents. We had a 20 minute delay to load extra cargo, and the station manager told me that they didn't even have to carry passengers on that flight since the cargo was so profitable.

My hunch is that the 767 fleet will be given up in BK this time around.
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 12:59 pm
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Despite assertions to the contrary, I just canít believe that this route is making money. To abandon a route that is generating positive cash flow at a time when the company is hemorrhaging dollars is counterintuitive. Perhaps there are seasons of the year when it does show a profit but those profitable months may not generate enough to subsidize the slow months. Or, perhaps, the company is counting on shipping the cargo via PHL.
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 1:53 pm
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Bayer doesn't fill this plane every day, to and from FRA. Losing the feeder flights into PIT is what killed this route.

Yes, the cargo will still arrive a few hours later via PHL.
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 3:44 pm
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It would be interesting to see if US files to start FLL-FRA given the amount of Star traffic passing through Germany.

On a side note, it looks like LH is considering doing FRA-PIT as per http://pittsburgh.bizjournals.com/pi...0/daily17.html (found it on http://justplanenews.com/).
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 8:53 pm
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FWIW,

I sat next to a person the other night who flies 2x a month PIT-FRA in paid J. He said that LH was looking at the PIT-FRA route. He was at an informational meeting in PIT where it was said they need 5000 paid J a year to make the commitment. Bayer was also there and they supposedly can do 1000 a year. He said another city was in competition with PIT for the LH route.
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 10:16 pm
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Originally Posted by mileshound
FWIW,

I sat next to a person the other night who flies 2x a month PIT-FRA in paid J. He said that LH was looking at the PIT-FRA route. He was at an informational meeting in PIT where it was said they need 5000 paid J a year to make the commitment. Bayer was also there and they supposedly can do 1000 a year. He said another city was in competition with PIT for the LH route.
5000 paid J per year? That's about 13 per flight.....half of the FC cabin. I guess if the fare was a couple of grand, this could happen. But if it's $5K a pop, then not realistic to have 13 per flight.

It would be great to have LH in PIT. We'd be one stop away from anywhere in Europe (like we have been with PIT-FRA!). Which really is an additional attraction for LH.....connecting US PAX to the rest of Europe in FRA.

I'd bet that we have a 20% chance of LH taking on PIT, unless Bayer has enough influence to make it happen.
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 11:30 pm
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To replace the bayer express would it make sense for LH to maybe wetleast another plane from priviate air and run that since it's only a 48 seater and all J then??
-howie
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Old Sep 21, 2004, 11:54 pm
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Under "open skies", it's quite simple for someone like LH to come right in if the traffic warrants. Two things to consider. Firstly, with the reduction of capacity (and elimination of the hub) at PIT, the flight becomes O&D (point to point). At that juncture, you can't support so many dedicated seats each day. Secondly, if Bayer has that many people traveling each week, they might resort to regular company flights (charter) a couple of days a week. When they first bought Chrysler, Daimler ran a regular flight right to Oakland County Airport (suburban Detroit) on a company owned A319.
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Old Sep 22, 2004, 7:15 am
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I think DCX still runs the A319 shuttle on the Pontiac-Stuttgart route ...
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Old Sep 22, 2004, 9:58 pm
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Bayer doesn't have traffic to Deutchland like Chrysler/Daimler has. DCX can surely justify their own shuttle with moving people and parts back and forth but Bayer is much smaller..........plus they have facilities in other areas in addition to PIT.
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Old Sep 23, 2004, 4:07 pm
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Perhaps someone could run flights akin to what CO is doing on the long thin routes such as EWR-OSL, EWR-EDI and others, with an internationally configured 757. Perhaps ATA should reconfigure a few of its 757-200s for its potential transatlantic low cost service...though if they have the range, based on existing operations a base at IND is probably more likely (even if less O&D).

I unfortunately don't see PIT supporting an O&D only route to Europe, particularly when connectins at EWR, ORD and IAD are easy. A few PIT-JFK flights on AA would significantly improve the competitive environment--AA is barely viable for transatlantic service from PIT currently. One must backtrack to either ORD or DFW (which is significantly longer for flights to Europe). UA at IAD and CO at EWR are the best options, with DL via CVG not bad for convenience (though frequency to London is poor).
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Old Sep 23, 2004, 4:52 pm
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I have several more observations.

The person did mention that Private Air was a possibility.

I was told Bayer has about 1000 trips a year.

I had been told earlier by a source who works at the airport that LH was in PIT for meeting.

My conclusion is that LH is possible but I don't know the odds. They wanted to start new service this year but I don't think that will happen.
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Old Sep 23, 2004, 5:47 pm
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Here's an overview I put together

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=352667

I'd guess that STL and maybe SEA are our primary competition for LH service. FLL is an intriguing possibility though, and frankly one that I hadn't thought of.
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