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Gulf Carriers move to Global Centre Stage

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rickylee

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Jan 9, 2014
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While I appreciate that the Gulf carriers have quite a number of economic advantages, it must be recognised that geography remains their primary cause of success at dominance. Their location enables them to be single-hub airlines with a spectacular "starburst" effect to their route map makes for a very strong and competitive airline vis-a-vis European, North American, and certainly Australian airlines that need to operate more than one hub or as end carriers.

The Gulf carriers remind me of the place Shannon, Ireland, held in civil aviation history as the almost-mandatory transatlantic transit stop. Perhaps greater fuel efficiencies and increased range of modern and future aircraft design will also render the compulsory stop in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Doha unnecessary?
 

Himeno

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Perhaps greater fuel efficiencies and increased range of modern and future aircraft design will also render the compulsory stop in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Doha unnecessary?
One could only hope.
There are people who don't like the length of some flights now when they top out at ~15 hours. I know lots of people who refuse to be on a plane for more then 8 hours at a time. They take routes like MEL-KUL-DXB-FCO with a 30ish hour stop at each connection point.

When airlines start doing routes like MEL-JFK, ICN-EZE or LHR-SYD with ~19+ hour flight times, people aren't going to want to book them.
 

rickylee

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One could only hope.
There are people who don't like the length of some flights now when they top out at ~15 hours. I know lots of people who refuse to be on a plane for more then 8 hours at a time. They take routes like MEL-KUL-DXB-FCO with a 30ish hour stop at each connection point.

When airlines start doing routes like MEL-JFK, ICN-EZE or LHR-SYD with ~19+ hour flight times, people aren't going to want to book them.
I do not disagree with that, except to say that advances in fuel efficiency and thus range would also reduce weight and flight times. I would envisage that next generation (not the ones being built now) would also reduce flight times as they get closer to the speed of sound without exceeding it.
 

Awesom Andy

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At current speed, SYD-LHR non-stop would require roughly 20 hours of flight time. Even if fuel efficiency is achieved, crewing will become an issue with the hours. Current cruise speed is Mach 0.85, so even at Mach 1, it will take roughly 16 - 17 hours. I suppose it's possible, although not quite feasible without going supersonic, which in itself is extremely unlikely in our life time for commercial airliners.
 

markis10

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I do not disagree with that, except to say that advances in fuel efficiency and thus range would also reduce weight and flight times. I would envisage that next generation (not the ones being built now) would also reduce flight times as they get closer to the speed of sound without exceeding it.
Very unlikely to see commercial aircraft going faster than they do now, in fact the trend has been the reverse with new models slowing down since the 60s, when the Convair 880 and 990 were pushing the speed envelope very close to the speed of sound. Todays aircraft cruise at M.85 or thereabouts, there is not to much to gain in reality going faster.

At current speed, SYD-LHR non-stop would require roughly 20 hours of flight time. Even if fuel efficiency is achieved, crewing will become an issue with the hours. Current cruise speed is Mach 0.85, so even at Mach 1, it will take roughly 16 - 17 hours. I suppose it's possible, although not quite feasible without going supersonic, which in itself is extremely unlikely in our life time for commercial airliners.
LHR-SYD was done in just over 20 hours by OJA on her delivery flight, so your numbers are good!
 
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777

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The issue isn't aircraft range except for a few routes (eg LHR-SYD), it's the sheer number of one stop connections. Gulf carriers (and Turkish at IST) are likely to have an advantage on that front for a while.
 
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