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Author Topic: The BOAC Concorde Experiment (chapter two in the Concorde Experiment series)  (Read 3931 times)

Offline EsquireFlyer

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As promised at the end of Jet Age 6 (in the "Pan Lux Concorde Experiment"), I have returned to test Concordes in Jet Age 7. This time, I hope to take advantage of the premium traffic at my new LHR base, and the speed-bonus effect first implemented in JA7. to try to make the Concorde more successful financially. The previous chapter recorded that profitability was achieved by Pan Lux in JA6, but that the profitability levels were not optimal, and usually not competitive with subsonic aircraft. So, here we are with the BOAC edition of the Concorde experiment series, featuring the British Overpriced Airways Corporation in the period 1975-1985.

I have just run my first test flight. I tested a week of daily flights on LHR-HND, via MJZ. This seemed a good route because the distance was reachable within one tech-stop, and the demand was high. Using HD seating, I am testing a 100-seat Concorde in a three-cabin configuration. So far, the profits look good. The overall financial results are attached in the first picture below (with some specific confidential information redacted). The redacted information can be made public after the end of the sim, but while the sim is running, I do not think it would be advisable to show my competitors my exact pricing.

So far, so good...around $60,000 to $70,000 profit each way, with near-full loads, and fuel around $100. I am not sure whether HD seating will be sustainable on other routes, however. My tests show that using standard seating, this route makes only around $40,000 profit each way.

I will probably test JFK next. It seems that 3-5 other airlines have ordered Concordes in JA7, but all airlines except BOAC seem to have abandoned this type now.

The second picture is just for fun.

Any advice or suggestions welcome.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2013, 11:50:24 PM by EsquireFlyer »

Talentz

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The first thought I had was... where did you get those HND slots? :)


Talentz

Offline EsquireFlyer

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The first thought I had was... where did you get those HND slots? :)


Talentz

Pieced together in 2 time slots, after someone's BK earlier today.
But also, if you look at the departure time from HND, it's a time slot that cannot be used by DC10 (at least not from Europe) because the arrival time would be around 2am-4am in Europe. So, Concorde also has the ability to use "unpopular" timeslots because its faster flight speed makes timeslots that are bad for most AC good for Concorde. (Conversely, there are some time slots that would be good for most AC that are bad for Concorde, but those slots are unlikely to be freely available at a slot-locked airport like HND anyway, since everyone wants the slots that are good for subsonic AC.)

Offline swiftus27

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Pieced together in 2 time slots, after someone's BK earlier today.
But also, if you look at the departure time from HND, it's a time slot that cannot be used by DC10 (at least not from Europe) because the arrival time would be around 2am-4am in Europe. So, Concorde also has the ability to use "unpopular" timeslots because its faster flight speed makes timeslots that are bad for most AC good for Concorde. (Conversely, there are some time slots that would be good for most AC that are bad for Concorde, but those slots are unlikely to be freely available at a slot-locked airport like HND anyway, since everyone wants the slots that are good for subsonic AC.)

that's a hell of an idea.   the time slot usage makes tons of sense.

Offline Sami

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    • AirwaySim - Are you the next Richard Branson?
Btw, can anyone compare real life Concorde schedules and AWS times, to see if the peformance data is ok

Offline EsquireFlyer

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Btw, can anyone compare real life Concorde schedules and AWS times, to see if the peformance data is ok

It seems that the AWS Concorde is not as fast as the real-life Concorde.

The March 1993 BA timetable gives this schedule for Concorde (as retyped in this FlyerTalk post):
LHR-JFK
Daily   1030-0920   BA001
Daily   1900-1750   BA003 

JFK-LHR
Daily   0900-1740   BA002
Daily   1345-2225   BA004

LHR-IAD
MoThSa  1730-1650   BA189

IAD-LHR
TuFrSu  0955-1900   BA188

And a timetable from around 2000 gives this schedule, with slight variations in the departure/arrival times for some flights, but the same overall flight duration for JFK (and alas, no more IAD) (according to the fourth post in this Airliners.net thread):

LHR JFK BA1 1234567 10:30/09:20 0 Concorde
JFK LHR BA2 1234567 08:45/17:25 0 Concorde

LHR JFK BA3 1234567 19:00/17:50 0 Concorde
JFK LHR BA4 1234567 13:45/22:25 0 Concorde

But in AWS, for example, a Concorde leaving LHR at 10:30 arrives in JFK at 09:55 (35 minutes later than BA's real-life schedule).
A Concorde returning from JFK at 19:00 lands in LHR at 18:15 (also 35 minutes later than BA's schedule).

And a Concorde leaving LHR to IAD at 17:30 arrives in IAD at 17:05 (15 minutes later than BA schedule).
Returning from IAD at 09:55, Concorde lands in IAD at 19:20 (20 minutes later than BA schedule).

I am not sure why the difference on the IAD segment is smaller than the difference on the JFK segment, since the IAD segment is longer. Maybe BA blocked more buffer time into the IAD schedule due to congestion or something? But in any case, all of the AWS times are longer than the real life scheduled times.

Should the Concorde's speed in AWS be improved to match the real-life schedules?

Offline EsquireFlyer

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Preliminary financial info is in from the JFK test. First screen is using all HD seating; second screen is using standard F and C seating, and HD in Y.
For JFK, the flights are profitable, but it seems not as profitable as a DC-10 would be, due to lower seating capacity.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 01:14:04 AM by EsquireFlyer »

Offline Mr.HP

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Side note

What's the point of hiding seat sold, when it can be calculated with your LF?

The same for price, can be calculated pretty close with LF, capacity and ticket revenue

Offline EsquireFlyer

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Side note

What's the point of hiding seat sold, when it can be calculated with your LF?

The same for price, can be calculated pretty close with LF, capacity and ticket revenue

It's a compromise. I would like to make as much financial data public as possible to provide information about the experiment, but I don't want to publish my exact prices to my in-game competitors. So I provided as much information as possible without revealing the exact prices or enough information to calculate the exact prices.

Although you can guess my approximate prices (which you could probably guess anyway because the AWS engine requires prices to be within an approximate range reasonably near the default price in order to be profitable), the exact prices are not revealed.

After the scenario ends, I could publish the full financial information.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 01:18:06 AM by EsquireFlyer »

Offline Andre

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It's an interesting thread. The real Concorde had the advantage that people were willing to pay a First Class ticket price, for sitting in a seat comparable to a standard domestic seat in the Concorde. It would be interesting to find out how big the speed bonus is in Airwaysim.

Offline EsquireFlyer

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For MEL, either because it's a slightly smaller market, or because of the double tech-stop required to get there, it seems that I am having difficutly packing the F and C cabins. But in Y I am able to raise the price substantially above default. So, I am testing a new strategy of expanding the Y cabin (with large markup) since the same approach I used in HND and JFK, while still profitable in MEL, is not as profitable as it should be for such a long commitment of the airframe.

The flight time to MEL on Concorde is about 16 hours; on DC-10, would be over 24 hours, so Concorde saves 8 hours.


Offline [ATA] b757capt

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Very Neat! Pretty cool!

Offline EsquireFlyer

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Now testing to: HKG, SIN, JNB, IAD.


Offline EsquireFlyer

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So far, on most routes, using HD seating it seems that I can mark up Y prices about 25%-30% above default (or 40%-50% against no competition or low competition), and C and F about 10% to 20% above default (or 30%-40% against low competition), and still have good load factors. This appears to be due to (1) Concorde speed bonus, and (2) when the cabin is as small as the Concorde cabin, you can charge higher prices even if it means losing some potential pax, because you have fewer seats to fill anyway.

Offline EsquireFlyer

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Here is an update with additional test results from other routes.

It seems that HD seating is still the winner, and that while it's important to have high premium seating, it's even more important to make sure there are as few empty seats as possible on such a small plane. So, profit maximization depends heavily on seat config optimization, which means that you have to be careful with 7-day scheduling to keep routes with similar "profiles" on the same 7-day lines, to avoid empty seats.

For example, on routes with high premium demand, high levels of F and C still do the best, as shown in in the LHR-NRT flights below.
These LHR-NRT prices reflect a 50% "speed surcharge" above the default pricing in all cabins. In addition, because of the use of HD seating, it's effectively more like an 85% surcharge when you account for the smaller seats. The speed bonus appears to support this pricing, at least when competition is light.

My competitor has recently begun bombing this route with 3x 747SPs, however, so I am adjusting my strategy to accomodate.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 07:29:17 PM by EsquireFlyer »

Offline EsquireFlyer

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For routes with less premium demand, or higher competition, it may not be possible to fill as big F and C cabins, so a config with more Y (still HD) makes more money, as shown in these 2 versions of LHR-JFK (the first with more F/C, the second with more Y).

Against heavy competition on this route, I can sustain around +30% speed premiums in Y, and around +10% in F and C, while keeping the cabins full and remaining as market leader (with 2 supersonic and 6 subsonic flights per day, subsonic flights priced lower without the speed premium).
« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 07:32:59 PM by EsquireFlyer »

Offline EsquireFlyer

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And finally, what about routes with even lower F and C demand? For those routes, I am currently testing a config that is even more Y-heavy, which can actually squeeze in 114 pax, as shown below in LGW-DFW. This shows that the Concorde can be profitable on leaner routes also, outside LHR, but less so. This is with fuel at around $125 / 1,000 kg, of course. At higher fuel, these profits would be lower.



Offline EsquireFlyer

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I estimate that the Concorde's fuel burn is about twice that of a DC-10, which makes it roughly comparable to an early generation 747. (The per hour burn on Concorde is more like 4x of a DC10, but Concorde burns fuel for only about half of the hours because of higher speed, for a net of around 2x.)

Currently, I have Concorde on:

London Heathrow to:
  • Hong Kong
  • Johannesburg
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Tokyo (x2)
  • Montreal
  • Melbourne
  • New York (x2)
  • Osaka
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Singapore
  • Washington, D.C.

London Gatwick to:
  • Abu Dhabi
  • Bahrain
  • Dallas
  • Dubai
  • Hong Kong
  • Tokyo
  • Osaka
  • Philadelphia

All routes are profitable currently, but the profitability varies substantially, with the routes with high premium demand (of course) being the most profitable.

Offline EsquireFlyer

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Last week's Concorde profits. All airframes except the ones in maintenance are showing strong profits.

Talentz

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Profits are impressive...

Can you share with us the amount spent on acquiring the Concorde's and how long for return on investment would be @ current profits?


Albert

 

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