Air Belgium in 2018

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Flanker3
Posts: 45
Joined: 04 Feb 2018, 00:20

Re: Air Belgium in 2018

Post by Flanker3 »

I hope for Air Belgium's sake that they have the presence of mind to launch a route to Tokyo (if possible HND) besides Hong Kong.
If they have to enter in direct competition with an Asian airline, I think that this route is the most likely to be sustainable as point-to-point in the short term.

Over the summer, NH is asking 1330 EUR return on BRU-NRT in Y for the 9-abreast B787.
Cheapest one-stop alternatives are 700 EUR return.

For a launch, they can't go wrong with this route.
They'll probably still lose a bit of money, but it will be less than what they'll bleed on the HKG route.

It doesn't have to be daily though, perhaps they could alternate with TPE (if shareholders are ok with it), which also has some potential IMO.

I would position the fares in Y at around 480 EUR return from Japan and around 420 EUR return from CRL.
In C, around 1500 EUR return would work just fine.
If they do this, they'll be getting bookings in no time, from tour operators, corporates and individuals.

JustPlanes
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Re: Air Belgium in 2018

Post by JustPlanes »

Thats a lot of money... but I guess it means ANA must be doing well on the route since they're not trying to sell cheap tickets... I looked up early July BRU-NRT-BRU and you can go Qatar for 760-780 Euros and Aeroflot for 630 on some dates...

But if you do some research I'm sure you can find cheaper fares... just as an example... I found a 585 Euro fare from LUX to NRT on Alitalia..

airbuske
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Re: Air Belgium in 2018

Post by airbuske »

JustPlanes wrote: 03 Mar 2018, 09:15 Thats a lot of money... but I guess it means ANA must be doing well on the route since they're not trying to sell cheap tickets... I looked up early July BRU-NRT-BRU and you can go Qatar for 760-780 Euros and Aeroflot for 630 on some dates...

But if you do some research I'm sure you can find cheaper fares... just as an example... I found a 585 Euro fare from LUX to NRT on Alitalia..
Most of the Japanese people only want to fly ANA.
For example if they are misconnecting here in Brussels they prefer to fly ANA next day in stead of flying on other airlines. So that's maybe one of the reasons why they are selling their tickets at a higer price.
Best regards,

Airbuske

Passenger
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Joined: 06 Dec 2010, 20:54

Re: Air Belgium in 2018

Post by Passenger »

JustPlanes wrote: 03 Mar 2018, 09:15 Thats a lot of money... but I guess it means ANA must be doing well on the route since they're not trying to sell cheap tickets... I looked up early July BRU-NRT-BRU and you can go Qatar for 760-780 Euros and Aeroflot for 630 on some dates...

But if you do some research I'm sure you can find cheaper fares... just as an example... I found a 585 Euro fare from LUX to NRT on Alitalia..
Of course you find them a lot cheaper then what flanker said. Specially when you add "flexible dates". But that's always the problem with him: he needs "facts" to proof his theory - in this case it's "Air Belgium should fly to Tokyo" - and then he fabricates some facts that proof he's right.

Flanker3
Posts: 45
Joined: 04 Feb 2018, 00:20

Re: Air Belgium in 2018

Post by Flanker3 »

JustPlanes wrote: 03 Mar 2018, 09:15 Thats a lot of money... but I guess it means ANA must be doing well on the route since they're not trying to sell cheap tickets... I looked up early July BRU-NRT-BRU and you can go Qatar for 760-780 Euros and Aeroflot for 630 on some dates...

But if you do some research I'm sure you can find cheaper fares... just as an example... I found a 585 Euro fare from LUX to NRT on Alitalia..
In the summer it rarely goes below 600 EUR return 1-stop. As I said, in the orignial post, one-stop options are usually around 700 EUR.
NH charges a lot more in the high season. Above 1000 EUR return non-stop is the norm. That's too much money to be sqeezed into a coffin, hence why the Finnair flights to HEL have Japanese announcements

Since we're talking about flying the Tokyo route non-stop and selling it cheaper than one-stop options, I can guarantee that Air Belgium would be able to fill its planes and even make a small profit in the summer, even though they will not be profitable overall until completely established, say by next year.
To get established, Air Belgium needs to promote itself at first and there is no better way than carring 300 happy pax on every flight on a nice fare.

Whether people prefer to fly ANA? I avoid them after I had a horrible flight on their B787 in Y on this very route. I would take an Air Belgium A340 any day if I could.

The reason I suggest this route for Air Belgium is because it's a low-risk, high demand route with stable profit potential in the medium term, which is what you need to look for as a start-up. Japanese tour operators are quick to jump on a good offer, while with the Chinese ones it takes a lot of time to get going.
Also, I don't rule out that JAL would codeshare on it to offer a direct alternative to ANA. If they're going to lose traffic to Air Belgium, they might as well partner with them.
In this first phase, I think that it's important for Air Belgium to show investors that there is a market for their business model. Empty planes aren't going to open wallets. They need money flowing in right away, otherwise it's not going to last.

Hainan took forever to get established in BRU and even so they have to dump a lot of tickets to fill their planes, whereas NH came in for instant success.
I think that HKG is a ok route though risky without feed and will take more time to get flowing. The other Chinese routes are going to bleed heavily until feed is established. O&D demand exists but not enough to fill an A340 even 3 times a week.

The aim is good, ie these are routes that I've been suggesting for SN for a while now, but they need to execute everything well and in the right order.

Shengenzone
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Re: Air Belgium in 2018

Post by Shengenzone »

Does anyone know which day they will start selling tickets?
I find it very confusing that on their homepage it says February and on facebook they say March but don't specify a date.
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airtrainer
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Re: Air Belgium in 2018

Post by airtrainer »

Looks like they forgot to hire someone who can write french properly...

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Airbus330lover
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Re: Air Belgium in 2018

Post by Airbus330lover »

airtrainer wrote: 04 Mar 2018, 01:46 Looks like they forgot to hire someone who can write french properly...
I should do it for a free ticket in business class

jan_olieslagers
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Re: Air Belgium in 2018

Post by jan_olieslagers »

I should do it for a free ticket in business class
:) Doesn't that come close to prostitution? Offering for value what any decent person/company gains naturally?
Myself would at least bargain for TWO tickets ;)

genter86
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Joined: 09 Dec 2013, 08:35

Re: Air Belgium in 2018

Post by genter86 »

I am not an airline expert but don’t get AB’s choice for CRL...with only few aircraft...how will they manage if there’s a technical issue with one of their planes and cannot get replacement within reasonable timeframe? Relatively easy to get to BRU with LH, SN, KLM, BA as alternative...but to CRL? BRU to CRL by taxi easily costs €100 and at least one hour... Again, not an expert just thinking practically

Flanker3
Posts: 45
Joined: 04 Feb 2018, 00:20

Re: Air Belgium in 2018

Post by Flanker3 »

I think that the choice was neither smart nor bad.
AOG costs money either way.

What is smart about it?
CRL gives them access to Ryanair feed, with a huge network out of CRL, if they can come to a good agreement that is.
However, that feed isn't easy, because Ryanair's way of scheduling flights is adapted to their own operational needs and not to AB's needs of feeding. Also, Ryanair sells a lot of seats quite early in the booking cycle, so that AB won't have cheap seats nor perhaps enough available.
Perhaps, Ryanair could even sell flights for AB the same way they are already selling flights for Air Europa.

The taxes are cheaper at CRL, handling is cheaper, and there are more opportunities for customised services for AB. The savings this brings are more significant than any additional costs AB would incur in a once a month operational issue.

At some times of the day, gate space is an issue in BRU.

What is not smart?
CRL doesn't have MRO facilities capable of accommodating an A340. So they need a solution for that, which is going to cost some money, no matter what solution they opt for.
They are going to miss out on some bookings unless they advertise their flights heavily, because people are not going to search these CRL flights unless they know about them. Making sure to be on the major OTA's and flight search engines is a must.
CRL advertises itself as being "accessible", but in reality, it is not easy to get there by public transportation for anyone living anywhere but in Charleroi. So they need to make sure that they can provide a good service so that people from major Belgian cities can reach their flights hassle-free.
On a longhaul ticket of more than 500 EUR, a 30 EUR difference in taxes is not a huge selling point. So AB needs to ensure that they can make people get to and from their final destinations in Brussels or elsewhere with the same convenience as someone flying to/from BRU.
There are no catering facilities able to handle AB's demand straight-out, so that will require some thinking.
HAving their own facilities wouldn't be a bad idea.
Finally, in case of operational issues requiring to overnight some pax, the hotel capacity around CRL is rather poor.


Coming back to a proposed HND flight, I think that HND would be very receptive to a night slot with similar times as QR's night slot for QR812/Q813. This is quite popular with Japanese pax and would be a huge selling point for AB and connections would be possible onto FR's morning wave flights while also being able to capture feed from FR's entire evening wave.
AB only needs to ensure that pax reaching HND at 10PM are offered a convenient, efficient and affordable bus solution to some of the main Tokyo stations and even partner with hotels around the airport to offer an affordable solution for pax who don't live in Tokyo.

Question: are the North taxiways wide enough for the A340?

Desert Rat
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Joined: 08 May 2007, 09:38

Re: Air Belgium in 2018

Post by Desert Rat »

They need A340 jacks and also a hi-flow hydraulic rig to perform retraction-extension checks if needed be.
If too windy, then they need a hangar to jack it up.
For the rest, they should be able to perform line and light a CRL without the need of hangar.
I would pay a particular attention on the hydraulic flexible hoses before accepting the A/C, particularly the one's in the upper wheel well...prone to leak....
But I guess it's a bit late now as they have already accepted the A/C's.

SLM
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Joined: 21 Jan 2016, 16:31

Re: Air Belgium in 2018

Post by SLM »

Any idea of timetable hours?

Bralo20
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Joined: 12 Aug 2008, 13:48

Re: Air Belgium in 2018

Post by Bralo20 »

SLM wrote: 05 Mar 2018, 08:06 Any idea of timetable hours?
Let them first get an AOC before worrying about timetables :)

SR20
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Re: Air Belgium in 2018

Post by SR20 »

Looks like one of the A343's is performing training at LGG today !
https://www.aviation24.be/forums/viewtopic ... 21&t=63241

Information confirmed by a friend of mine working at Liege Tower !
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Last edited by SR20 on 06 Mar 2018, 12:20, edited 4 times in total.

JustPlanes
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Re: Air Belgium in 2018

Post by JustPlanes »

End of March start looks highly unlikely as they haven't taken any bookings yet however for the first time there are at least some positive signs... 2 planes arrived... training... thats all good... hopefully in the next week or so they get a green light to announce a schedule and start bookings... and hopefully they offer some very attractive start up fares for the first few weeks just to get the word around and put some souls on those planes... Wishing them the best of luck!

SR20
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Joined: 17 Apr 2017, 09:14

Re: Air Belgium in 2018

Post by SR20 »

SR20 wrote: 06 Mar 2018, 08:29 Looks like one of the A343's is performing training at LGG today !
viewtopic.php?f=21&t=63241

Information confirmed by a friend of mine working at Liege Tower !
Another training session is planned tomorrow march 7th from 1030 LT till 1130 LT 😁

Passenger
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Joined: 06 Dec 2010, 20:54

Re: Air Belgium in 2018

Post by Passenger »

JustPlanes wrote: 06 Mar 2018, 08:50 End of March start looks highly unlikely as they haven't taken any bookings yet however for the first time there are at least some positive signs... 2 planes arrived... training... thats all good... hopefully in the next week or so they get a green light to announce a schedule and start bookings... and hopefully they offer some very attractive start up fares for the first few weeks just to get the word around and put some souls on those planes... Wishing them the best of luck!
If they want a good load factor and a decent yield, they have to leave more time then just a few weeks before they operate their first revenue flight to Hong Kong. They must respect the time lapse between booking date and flight date.

Best scenario to limit the damage now is to announce a first-flight-date somewhere in September, with of course opening and accepting bookings as from today. And in between: to operate ad hoc flights = additional flights and unplanned backups for TUI, Brussels Airlines, Corendon, Transavia, SLM (Surinam).

And, of course, charters for the World Cup Soccer in Russia (June-July).

teddybAIR
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Re: Air Belgium: a rebirth?

Post by teddybAIR »

Bralo20 wrote: 02 Mar 2018, 14:20 Seems that the Belgian flag besides the registration is backwards contrary to virtually any other airline in the industry. You have to give it to them, they are persistent in having the wrong flag on their planes :mrgreen:

(OK, i'll stop mentioning it now, guess it's my tiny OCD issue) :mrgreen:
If I am nog mistaking, a real flag is also mirrored on one of both sides! 🤔

teddybAIR
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Re: Air Belgium in 2018

Post by teddybAIR »

SR20 wrote: 06 Mar 2018, 08:29 Looks like one of the A343's is performing training at LGG today !
viewtopic.php?f=21&t=63241

Information confirmed by a friend of mine working at Liege Tower !
Jup, Just parked next to it today.
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