Seat occupancy lower

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Tonight's QF11 from SYD to LAX, A388 VH-OQB, only had about 125 booked in whY, so heaps of empty seats.

I gather this is common for many international flights in and out of Oz at the moment. So many are deciding not to fly overseas this calendar year, and seemingly not even domestically (though time horizon may be shorter).
Couple of things, the border has only opened very recently and the rules in each state still haven't harmonized yet. Second, the airfare of these short hops across the Pacific aren't particularly attractive. $1,600 to fly out to LAX seems a bit pricey to me (I suspect they'd have more takers if the fare was about half). Third the airlines haven't communicated to the general public what travel is like in this new environment. Today sort of reminds me of October 1, 2001. Yes you could technically fly but there were a number of things up in the air when it came to security and other things. It was only once those things got normalized and the airlines communicated that new reality that travel began to pick up (I reckon that was around 2003 although those with more knowledge please correct me).

-RooFlyer88
 

Melburnian1

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On Sunday 30 January 2022, QF81, the 1030 hours from SYD up to SIN appears to have just 59 in Y. On an A330 IIRC when configured for 'international' it has 269 seats, so 21.93 per cent in whY are occupied by paying passengers (whether cash or redemption) today.

Even if J was full and freight was loaded to the maximum permitted, this flight would be a lossmaker, although fares are typically higher than was the case three years ago pre-COVID-19.
 

cmon0005

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I flew JQ MEL-CNS recently on the 787 full flight, I returned on CNS-SYD (QF A332) and it was close to full upon looking around the cabin. SYD-MEL QF737 had about 20 spare seats.
 

Melburnian1

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I flew JQ MEL-CNS recently on the 787 full flight, I returned on CNS-SYD (QF A332) and it was close to full upon looking around the cabin. SYD-MEL QF737 had about 20 spare seats.

Good, but how many flights used to operate on each route on the day concerned 'before Covid' compared with today?
 

wenglock.mok

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On Sunday 30 January 2022, QF81, the 1030 hours from SYD up to SIN appears to have just 59 in Y. On an A330 IIRC when configured for 'international' it has 269 seats, so 21.93 per cent in whY are occupied by paying passengers (whether cash or redemption) today.

Even if J was full and freight was loaded to the maximum permitted, this flight would be a lossmaker, although fares are typically higher than was the case three years ago pre-COVID-19.
I suspect the reason they're still running could be that the loads are heavy in the other direction (inbound into Sydney). They are already down to one flight on some days as the MEL flight isn't daily so I suppose it still works for them.
 

AIRwin

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I suspect the reason they're still running could be that the loads are heavy in the other direction (inbound into Sydney).
Chinese New Year and/or international student traffic?
 
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LondonAussie

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I suspect the reason they're still running could be that the loads are heavy in the other direction (inbound into Sydney). They are already down to one flight on some days as the MEL flight isn't daily so I suppose it still works for them.
I noticed looking at some of the recent QF1/QF2 and QF9/QF10 loadings that the flights from London to Australia seemed to have more passengers than the flights going back to London.

I'm looking at a trip home next month and can't decide whether to go with Emirates or QF metal, they're both a similar price. Leaning towards the EK A380 to Australia and QF back.
 
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I noticed looking at some of the recent QF1/QF2 and QF9/QF10 loadings that the flights from London to Australia seemed to have more passengers than the flights going back to London.

I'm looking at a trip home next month and can't decide whether to go with Emirates or QF metal, they're both a similar price. Leaning towards the EK A380 to Australia and QF back.
The fact that there are more people coming to Australia than leaving it right now internationally is to be expected. After all, a whole bunch of Aussies and until very recently visa holders were barred from entering Australia under the old hotel quarantine system. Indeed, for those studying abroad in Australia, late January and February are busy months since that is when terms start. I anticipate it will be some weeks before things equalize similar to pre-COVID levels.

In terms of airlines to fly it really depends on a number of factors. Price being equal I think the relevant factors would be what frequent flyer status you hold and how each airline impacts your accrual of status (e.g. number of status credits earned) along with the corresponding status benefits you can take advantage of on the airline (e.g. lounge access, baggage allowance, seat selection, etc.). One thing a lot of folks forget especially on long haul trips like that is what sort of IRROPS protection you can get from the airline, especially in this environment where flights are more likely to get cancelled out of the blue. Part of that would obviously depend on your fare (i.e. generally a business fare offers extraordinary IRROPs protection), but again status can play a role here. I can't tell you the number of times I've flown internationally as a United Premier Gold and something went awry on United or a Star Alliance partner but I was protected by the IRROPs protection guaranteed by status. Everything from meals and hotels to airport vouchers and access to inventory others may not have had access to. Lastly, upgrades can be important too. For instance, if I'm flying abroad, particularly to Europe and North America, I'll choose United. Why? Because the upgrades are very cheap and can often be confirmed as you are making the booking. For instance, my last international flight pre-COVID was on United, LHR > SYD (via LAX). The cost to upgrade everything to Polaris J? $600 USD + 35,000 United miles. With all of that said, having spoken to fellow travellers, I reckon Emirates will provide better on board service and potentially seating than Qantas, although I'll leave that to fellow AFF members to duke it out given I haven't flown either airline long haul internationally in recent times.

-RooFlyer88
 

Melburnian1

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I suspect the reason they're still running could be that the loads are heavy in the other direction (inbound into Sydney). They are already down to one flight on some days as the MEL flight isn't daily so I suppose it still works for them.

You're probably correct but if a flight is loaded to 90 per cent in the southbound direction but northbound is 20 per cent full, overall, QFi is likely to make a loss even if freight is full to the brim, despite higher fares being charged.

'The 81' from SYD up to Changi today looks to have only 55 whY patrons in a 269 seat economy cabin, so it's a bit above 20 per cent seat occupancy. This isn't the first time recently this northbound to SIN has been so empty.

Airlines have big overheads, exacerbated by idle aircraft during COVID that constantly require attention, so cost $$$ to keep on the ground. Staff (re) training expenses must have also skyrocketed.
 

jrfsp

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You're probably correct but if a flight is loaded to 90 per cent in the southbound direction but northbound is 20 per cent full, overall, QFi is likely to make a loss even if freight is full to the brim, despite higher fares being charged.

'The 81' from SYD up to Changi today looks to have only 55 whY patrons in a 269 seat economy cabin, so it's a bit above 20 per cent seat occupancy. This isn't the first time recently this northbound to SIN has been so empty.

Airlines have big overheads, exacerbated by idle aircraft during COVID that constantly require attention, so cost $$$ to keep on the ground. Staff (re) training expenses must have also skyrocketed.

Hows JQ doing on MEL-SIN?
 

Melburnian1

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A friend was recently on a lunchtime SYD - HBA QFd flight (717 IIRC) that had fewer than 20 passengers.

Others have commented to me they've rarely if ever seen domestic airports so 'empty'.
 

RichardMEL

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Was in the hopping skies today and yes, very quiet terminals.

I flew CBR-MEL, and thanks to consolidation of flights (a 717 and 737 were cancelled and all pushed into an earlier 717 service) that 717 was full bar one seat (next to me :D in J( .. and I think that says a lot about how dire things are. Now sure, CBR is a bit quiet now - pollies not about just yet and school is back so outbound demand is not going to be a lot, but still.

And while one flight cancel did affect me a little bit (it was done a few weeks back) I shifted things and it worked out fine, and I'd say QF probably ended up making a bit of money on that one 99% full 717 vs the other flights that clearly were poorly booked.

I also noted in MEL per departure screens a much reduced frequency on triangle routes eg to SYD and BNE.

Purely anecdotal of course and is not going to reflect some other routes I imagine.
 

jakeseven7

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A friend was recently on a lunchtime SYD - HBA QFd flight (717 IIRC) that had fewer than 20 passengers.

Others have commented to me they've rarely if ever seen domestic airports so 'empty'.

Then they didn't fly through all the way through the pandemic restrictions like some of us! 🤣
 
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A friend was recently on a lunchtime SYD - HBA QFd flight (717 IIRC) that had fewer than 20 passengers.

Others have commented to me they've rarely if ever seen domestic airports so 'empty'.
It's really a mixed blessing. On the one hand, having empty airports and fairly abandoned lounges is a blessing for us travellers since we don't have to navigate Queues or find an unoccupied table at the QF lounge. It also means that the airlines are getting somewhat desperate to fill those seats meaning good reward redemption and upgrade availability to say nothing of the sale fares we're seeing, particularly at JQ. On the other hand, I reckon this is probably not so great for the airlines from a profitability and operations standpoint especially when we hear reports that load factors are as low as 20% in some instances.

One of the big challenges I reckon is many Aussies don't realize it's fine for them to travel right now. Contrary to popular belief most states aren't requiring COVID testing on arrival or quarantine on arrival. Yes some international destinations still have that requirement like the country of West Australia but for most common travel like a Sydney to Brisbane or Sydney to Adelaide, travelling now is very similar to travelling to those destinations in pre-pandemic times.

-RooFlyer88
 

sqrt()

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On Sunday 30 January 2022, QF81, the 1030 hours from SYD up to SIN appears to have just 59 in Y. On an A330 IIRC when configured for 'international' it has 269 seats, so 21.93 per cent in whY are occupied by paying passengers (whether cash or redemption) today.

Even if J was full and freight was loaded to the maximum permitted, this flight would be a lossmaker, although fares are typically higher than was the case three years ago pre-COVID-19.
I'm booked in O return CBR-SYD-SIN March 4-6, ($770 yesterday) hopefully they are still running (more than) half empty...
 

sqrt()

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QF are full to the brim with high paying freight so that should save you even if pax loads are still low....
Awesome. I came back from the US in mid-Jan via NAN (FJ811/FJ911) and it seemed a bit lighter than when I went over in December, had a row to myself for LAX-NAN and there were definitely empty seats. J was full except one.
 

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