Rex to fly between Australian capital cities

Melburnian1

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I would suggest to be clear, specifically counting allocated seats before a flight is not generally a good way of estimating the number of booked passengers.

Your post IMHO, with its generalisation unfairly denigrates Expert Flyer.

A better way is using the fare bucket availability information provided by experts flyer.

For more on that, see here:


Sorry. I made a specific reference to counting seats, and if you look at the thread, Mattg implied that if one counts 'heads' on the EF site before a flight departs, it tends to be inaccurate, underestimating the number who end up travelling (a few of whom may be staff).

However I now know one can count using EF after a flight has departed, which has been irrelevant to me as I only ever used it prior to a flight on which I hoped to travel, to ascertain if it was close to full or far less well booked, so thanks.

I have never subscribed to EF.
 

Melburnian1

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However, looking at it after the flight has departed gives quite a clear picture:

This is this evenings SYD-MEL flights around 6:30pm to 7pm:
ZL153 @ 6:30pm
20 in Economy
12% full
QF483 @ 6:30pm
72 in Economy
46% full
QF487 @ 7:00pm
95 in Economy
60% full
VA882 @ 7:00pm
128 in Economy
79% full
View attachment 245059 View attachment 245060 View attachment 245061 View attachment 245062

Rex also had a 5:30pm flight with 45 in Economy (28% full) and a 7:30pm flight with just 10 in Economy (6% full).

Also, note with all of the Rex percentages I've done, I've given them the benefit of the doubt with 156 seats onboard (as some aircraft only have 29 rows) however most have 30 rows or 162 seats in Economy.

This most interesting information is on a Tuesday, which may well be the quietest weekday.

The load factor for ZL is appalling but the surprise is QFd is doing poorly. Even with the latter's tendency to charge more per seat, and to attract a greater percentage of businessmen/women, 60 and 46 per cent 'full' is unlikely to be profitable, even with some freight in the belly.
 

Melburnian1

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It’s no trade secret that these Sydney flights are beyond a disaster I just don’t know if/when that will change.

With a couple people per flight so you could say basically zero revenue, they must be losing what 10 grand per flight? Times days and months that’s a lot of cash.

I can't find the reference as sites like this are difficult to search unless one can provide accurate search terms, but more than two years ago my fallible memory suggests that AFFers had a discussion and concluded the one way operational cost of a MEL - SYD flight was between $10000 and $15000, so your estimate may be at the lower end of the 2021 spectrum.
 

Mattg

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I can't find the reference as sites like this are difficult to search unless one can provide accurate search terms, but more than two years ago my fallible memory suggests that AFFers had a discussion and concluded the one way operational cost of a MEL - SYD flight was between $10000 and $15000, so your estimate may be at the lower end of the 2021 spectrum.

I feel as though these two articles might be pertinent. ;)



According to the formula quoted in that article, the cost of operating a Boeing 737 from SYD to MEL is around $10,500. So, you would need to sell every seat for at least $60 (or have lots of cargo) to break even.

And yes, the reference to seat maps not being a reliable indicator of the number of passengers is in the context of the days and weeks before the flight departs, as a means of predicting how full a flight will be that you're booked in.
 
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henrus

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I have never subscribed to EF.
I don't subscribe either (well I have in the past but not right now). You don't need a subscription to check seat maps just a free account.

I'm thinking of subscribing for a month just to collect data on a few routes and compare over an entire month-long period, might wait till the 1st of May though.

The load factor for ZL is appalling but the surprise is QFd is doing poorly
I'd argue QF probably could do with dropping the services they operate on the half-hour, this would likely push people to the services on either side. One big thing that QF still has is the Auspost contract and freight which is big business. I believe Rex has no freight on their 737's as Qantas Freight is actually the freight handler for REX and none of the Rex 737 flights show up in the Qantas freight system.
 

Melburnian1

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Don't underestimate the value of that freight.


So even if every QF pax paid a minimum of $100, thats $9500 + J fares, plus freight = profit.

There are no publicly available figures on how much air freight contributes to passenger flight revenues with airlines such as QF because some freight is carried on dedicated aircraft, and there's other agreements such as the QFd/Australia Post historic love affair.

It has some value but is competing on shorter routes like MEL-SYD against overnight road transport. Some items such as parts for computer hardware, more expensive jewellery, parts for motor vehicles or other transport equipment, or blood supplies may require priority same day delivery at a premium price but there's an enormous amount of freight whose senders and receivers are OK with overnight, or 36 hour delivery. If not, then Melbourne to Brisbane intermodal freight trains wouldn't have 85 wagons.

The claim about 'profit' is not necessarily true, because as Mattg pointed out in the article he helpfully attached:

'In reality, aircraft trip costs only account for 50-60% of an airline’s total operating costs – many of which are fixed. So the overall cost to an airline of operating a flight, taking all of the airline’s other expenses into account, is actually higher.'

If the trip cost of a one way MEL - SYD flight was $10500 using the standard Boeing 737-800 that all operators except JQd favour, the true (total) costs including items such as head office overheads and financing costs would be somewhere in the area of $16700 to $21000.

QF endeavours to reduce such overheads but it'd be surprising if it could eliminate them. Its overheads must be a lot higher than ZL's.
Post automatically merged:

I don't subscribe either (well I have in the past but not right now). You don't need a subscription to check seat maps just a free account.

I'm thinking of subscribing for a month just to collect data on a few routes and compare over an entire month-long period, might wait till the 1st of May though.

That would be terrific and of interest to many AFFers. Great initiative.
 

Must...Fly!

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The problem that Rex has is that wherever they put the 737s, Virgin will follow. I find it difficult to believe it is a coincidence that VA is running at basically 100% loads on the PER-SYD/MEL services running 2 flights a day, while beefing up other city pairs where Rex is present as competition. If Rex switched it up and used some airframe hours going to Perth, I have little doubt that all of a sudden VA would be flying PER-SYD/MEL 4-5 daily.
 

henrus

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There are no publicly available figures on how much air freight contributes to passenger flight revenues with airlines such as QF because some freight is carried on dedicated aircraft, and there's other agreements such as the QFd/Australia Post historic love affair.
Qantas 737's have 28 cubic meters of space based on a full passenger load.

The following is just based on me messing around with the Qantas freight calculator so take this with a grain of salt (I could be way off) but based on what I entered it seems to be based on size, here are some ranges - lower number is the cheapest and upper number is the average:
Priority (specific service) : $1800-3200 per m3
Express (same day) : $1000-1600 per m3
Classic (2 days) : $400-850 per m3
(I've attached how I've got to these numbers in an image below, but again take it with a grain of salt, it could be complete rubbish)

Let's just say they half fill with 14 cubic meters of freight, based on my weird maths I'd say that could be bringing in anywhere from $5000 to $25000, probably on the lower end as contracts probably get better rates but based on the post about the cost of a SYD-MEL flight, I'd say it's possible that QF might be making enough money off the freight to cover the costs of the flight.

Rex on the other hand doesn't seem to have any freight, their website seems to push you towards Qantas freight for any freight on rex services and Qantas freight makes no mention of any rex 737 flights. Plus if you were QF, why would you put freight on a competitor anyway unless it was cheaper than what you could do it for.
 

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jakeseven7

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There are no publicly available figures on how much air freight contributes to passenger flight revenues with airlines such as QF because some freight is carried on dedicated aircraft, and there's other agreements such as the QFd/Australia Post historic love affair.

It has some value but is competing on shorter routes like MEL-SYD against overnight road transport. Some items such as parts for computer hardware, more expensive jewellery, parts for motor vehicles or other transport equipment, or blood supplies may require priority same day delivery at a premium price but there's an enormous amount of freight whose senders and receivers are OK with overnight, or 36 hour delivery. If not, then Melbourne to Brisbane intermodal freight trains wouldn't have 85 wagons.

The claim about 'profit' is not necessarily true, because as Mattg pointed out in the article he helpfully attached:

'In reality, aircraft trip costs only account for 50-60% of an airline’s total operating costs – many of which are fixed. So the overall cost to an airline of operating a flight, taking all of the airline’s other expenses into account, is actually higher.'

If the trip cost of a one way MEL - SYD flight was $10500 using the standard Boeing 737-800 that all operators except JQd favour, the true (total) costs including items such as head office overheads and financing costs would be somewhere in the area of $16700 to $21000.

QF endeavours to reduce such overheads but it'd be surprising if it could eliminate them. Its overheads must be a lot higher than ZL's.
Post automatically merged:



That would be terrific and of interest to many AFFers. Great initiative.

If people are really interested in how the Aussie airlines make money we should just page our resident AFF consultant to see what they are able to share, you know the one who actually knows this stuff 😂
 

Melburnian1

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If people are really interested in how the Aussie airlines make money we should just page our resident AFF consultant to see what they are able to share, you know the one who actually knows this stuff 😂

Just one small problem. None of the major mainline carriers are 'making money' at present. Alliance Airlines is an exception.
 

serfty

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I don't subscribe either (well I have in the past but not right now). You don't need a subscription to check seat maps just a free account.

I'm thinking of subscribing for a month just to collect data on a few routes and compare over an entire month-long period, might wait till the 1st of May though.
For a few queries here and there you can submit a request on this 'help desk' thread:

 

Melburnian1

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Taking my cue from Maestro AFFer henrus, I searched EF briefly this morning (Wed 14 April 2021).

ZL010, the 0600 hours MEL - SYD looked to have had 0/23 in J/Y respectively. All the economy passengers were seated in rows 3 to 12. Isn't trim required (i.e. spacing patrons for acceptable weight distribution) when loadings are very low?

ZL018, the 0700 hours had 0/37.

QF410, also at 0700 MEL - SYD used a widebody A332 VH-EBM and had 153 of 243 economy seats occupied for a load factor of just under 69 per cent in economy. I did not check J.

VA811, the 0700 VAd 2.0 flight on the same route looked to be full in economy. Hmmm: wonder if this was so? Again, I did not check J.

ZL042 at 1000 hours from MEL to SYD was best of the three ZLs sampled: 0/59 seems to have been the number carried.

Do we assume that ZL's leisure base doesn't enjoy getting up at 0330 or 0430 for an 0600/0700 hours flight?
 

henrus

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Do we assume that ZL's leisure base doesn't enjoy getting up at 0330 or 0430 for an 0600/0700 hours flight?

You'd almost be mistaken for Rex not selling Business class... not good that none of the flights this morning from MEL-SYD had no one in business. I guess $299 is too expensive?
 

Melburnian1

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You'd almost be mistaken for Rex not selling Business class... not good that none of the flights this morning from MEL-SYD had no one in business. I guess $299 is too expensive?

When public servants and private sector employees/contractors are paying for tickets not you or I in person, the lure of the lounges offered by QFd and VAd must be too much, compared to the small ZL lounges. Many public servants may be unable to accrue FF points, at least for Federal employees, but they still get the lounge if authorised to travel in business class.
 

jakeseven7

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Just one small problem. None of the major mainline carriers are 'making money' at present. Alliance Airlines is an exception.

Certain parts of certain airlines are. Anyway, there are only a couple of people on AFF with the real inside story and it isn't either of us ;)
I think our best informer is still under a contract though, has been very quiet of late :(
 

henrus

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When public servants and private sector employees/contractors are paying for tickets not you or I in person, the lure of the lounges offered by QFd and VAd must be too much, compared to the small ZL lounges
That's why I'd say ZL needs a FF program urgently. Under best fare rules both ZL and VA are an exact match (in terms of price) and I gather most would much rather the VA option over the ZL option with the ability to earn points/status and also receive status benefits if applicable.

A status match with QF/VA wouldn't hurt but given the space in their SYD/MEL lounges, they'd really need to be careful with overcrowding.
 

dajop

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You'd almost be mistaken for Rex not selling Business class... not good that none of the flights this morning from MEL-SYD had no one in business. I guess $299 is too expensive?

$299 doesn't buy any salt and pepper squid ! Rex really need to accelerate their loyalty program if they want to compete on business heavy routes.

Interestingly, just checked the seat map of ZL 444 (ADL-MEL) departing in 20 mins time (from this post). 7 business class seats occupied, and only 3 empty seats in economy. But VA flight departing around same time have similar loading - 8 business class occupied and only 4 empty seats in economy.
 

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