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Author Topic: low LF on return leg  (Read 141 times)

Offline groundbum2

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low LF on return leg
« on: December 02, 2019, 01:56:54 PM »
Dawn of the Millennium, 727 doing a route, 100RI each way, no cancellations.

For some reason I have a 727 going from one base to an airport in Africa. Outbound leg is 90%+LF in Y and C for the past month. Demand is about 180 and I supply 185 seats. Seats are HD and distance is 1600nm. I've just upped the outbound leg price by 10% but problem occured when the legs had the same pricing. Outbound is at 1600, return leg sets off 2355 and lands 0250.

Return flight also 170/180 demand, only 164 seats due to range limitation. Yet the past month LF Y and C has been about 30%!

Any idea why such a mismatch? I know an airlines bases give it a slight boost as its a "home carrier" but I've never seen such a mismatch between two legs...

Simon
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 01:59:43 PM by groundbum2 »

Online schro

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Re: low LF on return leg
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2019, 02:19:20 PM »
Sounds like pricing is too high and your timing of the return leg stinks (0250 arrival). That makes pax more price sensitive.

The other thing that might impact it is if the hd seating preference is based on flight time and not length, and the winds are less likely in your favor on the return, but giving your arrival time (plus your take off time, somewhat), it's a pricing issue...

Offline gazzz0x2z

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Re: low LF on return leg
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2019, 03:27:25 PM »
Landing between 0000 & 0455 means you should reduce your return leg price around 20%, maybe more (would be 40% for a take off in the same zone). a better RI can reduce this amount, but not eliminate it.

Honestly, your scheduling does not make sense. Your starting times are 1600 & 2355. which means you land around 2245 in Africa. Take off at 2300 to land at 0545 would be far more sensible(2255 and 0540 would be even better, for many reasons).

That, and Schro is right, HD seating is not a good idea on such long travels. My experience(backed up with years of data) with HD & ticket price micromanagement is that when you maxed up your profit, the overall profit of the flight is the same - whatever the distance. Which means HD is worth it only for short flights. This is long enough for a proper red eyes flight, therefore it's too long for making proper money with HD seating.

The other thing I've measured countless times, is that with HD seating, raise up your ticket price by 3% when it's already optimal, and you lose 35 points  of load factor. From 96% to 60%. On the return leg, your price is above the ideal(and probably by far more than 3%), which kills your LF. That's the reason why I don't toy with HD seating anymore, even though HD can work in certain settings. It requires an attention level I decided I cannot afford.

Offline groundbum2

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Re: low LF on return leg
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2019, 04:11:14 AM »
HI All, thanks for the thoughts everybody, much appreciated!

I use this scheduling a lot, to maximise hours in the air. So I leave my base at whatever time has me leaving the far end at 2355. This usually gets me back so that I can then depart again after 0500 with little or no downtime. I used to work under the impression 0600-2055 was the golden time but really it seems 0500-2355 works just as well. I also got the impression from the fora that arrival time really didn't matter too much. I have nearly all my flights scheduled liked this and this seems to be the only flight struggling. I think it's a combo of +4% fares, long distance, HD seating and the early morning arrival.

I'm loath to lose the HD seating as the plane is full on all the other legs, and during the day so is making money.

I've dropped the return price by 20% and now have a healthy 60% LF, and daily revenue on this leg is up from 6K to 8K.

Thanks all!

Simon

Offline gazzz0x2z

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Re: low LF on return leg
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2019, 07:48:35 AM »
(.../...)I use this scheduling a lot, to maximise hours in the air. So I leave my base at whatever time has me leaving the far end at 2355. This usually gets me back so that I can then depart again after 0500 with little or no downtime. I(.../...)

Said another way, you're scheduling your red eyes flight to the East as if you were flying to the West. Not good at all. Let's have a look at my base in Athens(modern times). When flying to the UK/Portugal/Ireland, I indeed take off around 1800, OTOH, when flying to the middle east, I'm leaving my base at 2355 or so.

to the West :
BSE1397   LGAV - EIDW   19:05 - 21:45
BSE1398   EIDW - LGAV   22:50 - 05:10

to the East :
BSE1387   LGAV - OTBD   23:55 - 05:15
BSE1388   OTBD - LGAV   06:20 - 10:15

Landing in the night is ultimately a bad idea, because income is more important than expense. You see, when a company is healthy, it's revenue is bigger than its expenses. Therefore, optimizing expenses is less important than optimizing income. Of course, it's better when you can do both, but when you can't, be sure to aim towards revenue first. Landing during the night prevents you from pushing your prices even further. +4% is unimpressive, yet due to your strategy, you can't milk your pax any further.

Offline groundbum2

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Re: low LF on return leg
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 01:15:46 PM »
I'm definitely doing that, just there aren't many places East (in timezone terms) of Turkey worth going to!

Simon

 

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