Seat occupancy lower

Melburnian1

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Why, when Qantas has exhausted it’s long haul fleet to near 100% utilisation, would they prioritise to a location not open for regular visitors? Especially when they have a oneworld parter operating the route. Just a crazy thing to say. Put your assets into North America and Europe which is where most Aussies want to go right now.

Mr Putin is apparently threatening a nuclear attack, so while there may be a lag effect (given few leisure travellers book international travel today for tomorrow), Europe may hardly be a destination of choice for huge numbers of us at present. In any case, while seasonal flights to locations such as Rome are coming up, QFi devotes relatively small resources to its UK flights, which only number two per day each way.

Last I looked, QFi had only three of its dozen A388s back in service. That's not far short of 4500 seats lying idle in deserts such as California's. Sure, QF can decide whether it wants to return only six of the 12 to service but in theory, in time, it can bring back others if it desires.

And haven't three A332s been out of use, stabled, for about 26 months since March 2020? They are not scrapped AFAIK.

Many foreign airlines retained flights to and from Oz when Australia was 'closed', so why won't QFi do the same for one of our largest trading partners? The Japanese invest in Australia big time, and historically, many Japanese school groups came to Oz on QFi's pre-COVID B744s.
 
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Because QFi doesn't just derive business from the Australian end - there'll be many Australian expats in Japan who may wish to travel to Oz, and Japanese citizens (or other foreigners) wanting to travel to Oz for VFR, holidays or on business. Plus there's lots of air freight between Oz and Japan, and a supposed shortage of freighters.

What this suggests is QFi has a weak market position on many of these Asian routes (not just Japan), perhaps best exemplified on the Singapore routes where SQ thrashes QFi for seating capacity and frequency. (And, although subjective, one might add 'service').
You're quite right that there's a decent amount of air freight between Australia and Japan. However, one thing you need to take into account is most of the air freight operations done these days aren't on passenger aircraft. Indeed, Air Canada was operating throughout the pandemic between Sydney, Auckland and Vancouver/Toronto as purely freight flights. Similarly, I reckon DHL, UPS and other logistics companies likely have dedicated flights to Japan from Australia to deal with such demand. If we agree that cargo operations remain a lucrative source of revenue for airlines due to the pandemic, why on earth would they want to haul expensive needy passengers, when they can fill the whole plane up parcels that don't complain that there's no meal service and don't post an effigy of Uncle Alan on Twitter (or this forum) when their flight gets delayed?

In terms of flights to/from Japan I wonder what proportion of them represent O&D traffic versus connecting passengers. Many folks are flying to Haneda and Narita not because they plan on visiting Japan, but likely because JAL is offering cheap tickets for flights to Europe from the Pacific. It also doesn't hurt that JAL and ANA are consistently ranked high from customer service and onboard service. You won't spend hours waiting on hold with ANA, I can tell you that from experience! One thing to keep in mind is Japan is still closed for tourism, it's still a pain for residents to get back to due to the various quarantine requirements. This will continue to push travel demand down for flights to Japan from anywhere. JAL/ANA are likely operating skeleton services right now just to maintain the route network and slots they have at various airports and that's it.

-RooFlyer88
 

dajop

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On Mother's Day, Sunday 8 May 2022, QF23 from SYD to BKK has just 98 (of 269 seats) booked in whY. For this cabin, 36.43 per cent of seats that are occupied.

While J travellers' expensive fares and what could be highly profitable freight must be added to revenue, it's unlikely this flight is returning a net profit once corporate ('head office') costs are allocated, plus maintenance costs and ground handling as well as airport fees.

That flight also operates in the other direction as QF 24, which departed tonight with 1 empty business class seat and 40 empty economy seats (and another 14 empty in the blocked last two rows … crew rest?). So if the crew rest assumption is correct that would 215 out of 255 economy seats occupied, much more respectable. Although would expect more traffic to Australia than from Australia on a Sunday.
 

Melburnian1

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That flight also operates in the other direction as QF 24, which departed tonight with 1 empty business class seat and 40 empty economy seats (and another 14 empty in the blocked last two rows … crew rest?). So if the crew rest assumption is correct that would 215 out of 255 economy seats occupied, much more respectable. Although would expect more traffic to Australia than from Australia on a Sunday.

How many of the J seats were occupied by QF staff on reduced fares, or reserved for crew rest?

QF24 is really '215 of 269 whY seats occupied', as irrespective as to why the 14 seats are blocked off, having to do this means a lower percentage occupancy.

So in whY, combing the two flights, a maximum of 313 whY seats were sold compared to 538 being available. If we assume only one J seat in each direction was reserved for crew rest but assume J was otherwise full in each direction - perhaps not so northbound - that means a maximum of 313 whY plus 54 J seats were sold = 367 of 594 seats, so overall seat occupancy of 61.78 per cent.

Even with high J fares and (again assuming) freight that's packed to the holds' rafters in each direction, may well still be unprofitable given the price of Brent crude (though 90 per cent hedged at present by QF) and high corporate costs, plus various airport fees/ground handling costs.
 

Melburnian1

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You're quite right that there's a decent amount of air freight between Australia and Japan. However, one thing you need to take into account is most of the air freight operations done these days aren't on passenger aircraft. Indeed, Air Canada was operating throughout the pandemic between Sydney, Auckland and Vancouver/Toronto as purely freight flights. Similarly, I reckon DHL, UPS and other logistics companies likely have dedicated flights to Japan from Australia to deal with such demand. If we agree that cargo operations remain a lucrative source of revenue for airlines due to the pandemic, why on earth would they want to haul expensive needy passengers, when they can fill the whole plane up parcels that don't complain that there's no meal service and don't post an effigy of Uncle Alan on Twitter (or this forum) when their flight gets delayed?

Prior to COVID-19, c.four-fifths of air freight was carried on passenger aircraft.

Perhaps given physical shops are open, online demand for goods may have moderated somewhat but for many shoppers, doing it online is ingrained. There won't have been sufficient new freighters to improve much on the pre-COVID 20 per cent freight share.

Companies in Oz are still complaining about high air and sea freight costs, even if there's been some reduction in rates recently. Sea freight container rates for instance in some cases quadrupled or more from about March 2020.
 

jpp42

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I was surprised to see that Qantas is still not offering daily SYD-SIN service, at least not for dates in June that I was checking. SQ and Scoot both have 2x daily services on the same route. Was hoping to treat my partner to the SYD First lounge, but the same price as going via Melbourne on Qantas, we have booked into ScootPlus (essentially Premium Economy). I realise that QF1 is still routing via DRW but even taking away those pax, I would have thought there should be enough O&D traffic as well as transfer to other SE Asia ports, via JQ Asia or other airlines. I guess this shows how soft international travel still us, despite domestic going gangbusters.
 

jrfsp

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I was surprised to see that Qantas is still not offering daily SYD-SIN service, at least not for dates in June that I was checking. SQ and Scoot both have 2x daily services on the same route. Was hoping to treat my partner to the SYD First lounge, but the same price as going via Melbourne on Qantas, we have booked into ScootPlus (essentially Premium Economy). I realise that QF1 is still routing via DRW but even taking away those pax, I would have thought there should be enough O&D traffic as well as transfer to other SE Asia ports, via JQ Asia or other airlines. I guess this shows how soft international travel still us, despite domestic going gangbusters.

Probably also a reflection that SIN is a corporate heavy destination and leisure routes have seen a stronger rebound.
 

dajop

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I was surprised to see that Qantas is still not offering daily SYD-SIN service, at least not for dates in June that I was checking. SQ and Scoot both have 2x daily services on the same route.

Actually in June SYD-SIN sees 4x daily on SQ, 10xweekly on Scoot and daily on BA. QF is 5 x weekly. MEL actually sees twice as many QF group services (4x QF and 6x JQ)! QF will commence 2xdaily from 19 June when QF1 resumes as A380 service via SIN, although MEL frequency remains at 4 x weekly.
 
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jpp42

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Actually in June SYD-SIN sees 4x daily on SQ, 10xweekly on Scoot and daily on BA. QF is 5 x weekly. MEL actually sees twice as many QF group services (4x QF and 6x JQ)!

Thanks for supplying the exact numbers, I should have clarified this was an estimate from my completely terrible corporate booking tools. Despite the reference to my partner coming along this is actually a corporate trip.

If SIN is a corporate heavy destination, and QF can't provide a single daily service SYD-SIN, how can SQ justify 4x ? Is it because most of their traffic is connecting, and Qantas relied on O&D? I seem to remember QF had more than 14x weekly SYD-SIN returns in the "before times," but 7x of that was of course QF1/QF2.
 

dajop

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QF24 is really '215 of 269 whY seats occupied', as irrespective as to why the 14 seats are blocked off, having to do this means a lower percentage occupancy.

This depends if this was a deliberate choice for the route or not. If the flight is full and they sell the extra 14 seats, then I agree with you. If they made an informed choice to use this aircraft with only 255 seats available, and deemed it profitable with only those 255 seats (like they have with the A332 flights to LAX), because 14 seats were needed for crew rest, if they sold all 255 seats then would that be considered 100% load factor by the airline.? i.e. Are they basing yield management on selling 269 seats or selling 255 seats?

All of this aside, I'm not sure if we can ever draw any conclusions about looking at specific flights, or specific pairs of flights. Need to look at the overall route performance over several weeks, not just a single outbound flight, or even single outbound and back.
 

Melburnian1

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All of this aside, I'm not sure if we can ever draw any conclusions about looking at specific flights, or specific pairs of flights. Need to look at the overall route performance over several weeks, not just a single outbound flight, or even single outbound and back.

I haven't done this every day, and also generally only northbound, but in that direction at least most times I've looked during the past few months, passenger numbers in whY have been poor, with often 150 or more whY seats vacant.
 
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Melburnian1

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On Tuesday 10 May 2022, QF733, the 0840 hours SYD - ADL had seven users in J and 97 in whY of 174 seats on the B738. Seat occupancy was therefore 59.77 per cent.
 

levelnine

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There has been a dramatic turn around in seat occupancy on some international sectors.

Looking at the beginning of June, there is basically no seats on any QF flights to London. Both QF1 and QF9 are going out 100% full almost every day — the odd day has maybe one Y and/or one J seat left. The A380 cannot come back soon enough!
 

JohnK

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I may be taking one of the QF flights to SIN or BKK for next trip in August.

For what it's worth JQ29 MEL-BKK on 14 May was almost full. I think come June 1st and occupancy will increase.
 

JohnK

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Scratch what I said above.

Very little award availability on Qantas flights to SIN/BKK towards end of August/September and for the return 28 days later.

I spent close to 3 hours searching and I may end up booking some unsuitable dates quickly and look for better alternatives later. Cash airfares are ridiculous.
 

jakeseven7

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Scratch what I said above.

Very little award availability on Qantas flights to SIN/BKK towards end of August/September and for the return 28 days later.

I spent close to 3 hours searching and I may end up booking some unsuitable dates quickly and look for better alternatives later. Cash airfares are ridiculous.

Sorry I just bought 20 J fares to Singapore on QF in September ;)
 
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