Discussion:
Point to point and increased security
(too old to reply)
JF Mezei
2010-01-09 18:53:00 UTC
Permalink
Each time some dude tries to hide a bomb in different place, the
western world reacts by increasing restrictions imposed on passengers
and increasing hassles of going through security. (I think we are lucky
that this time around, they didn't ask people to remove their underwear
as they did for shoes :-)


While we have come to expect politicians to have knee jerk reactions to
every such incidents, I am wondering if this latest one may not result
in some non trivial changes to travel patterns.

If every international flight into the USA will require special
hardware/procedures and segregation from the rest of an airport's
operations, is it possible that we will see fewer and fewer city pairs
being served between USA and the rest of the world ?

Consider the case of Canada. Almost all its major airports already have
a segregated area to process US bound passengers, so adding new machines
and imposing new restrictions (such as no hand luggage right now) is
easy to impose without changing life in the rest of the airport.

However, for large international airports for whom traffic to the USA
represents a relatively small proportion of flights, are they going to
want to create a segregated area with different security procedures for
USA bound passengers ?

Are there many airports who are going to say "fuck it" and prefer to
lose their daily non stop flight to the USA rather than invest megabucks
to reshape airport and install new equipment that will be used only for
that one daily flight ?


From a logistical point of view, it then becomes simpler to funnel all
passengers from smaller airports in africa, middle east etc through one
of the main european airports where they have the special "USA"
screening equipment, space and procedures and they can then board a
flight to the USA.

Or put it differently, if the current plans really are permanent, will
this limit the number of international airports willing to equip
themselves to comply with requirements to process USA bound passengers ?

is it possible that the latest changes might result in Heathrow,
Frankfurt, Schiphol and Paris becoming gateways to the USA ? Each would
then have sufficient passenger numbers to warrant the full deployment of
the procedures/equipment needed to process USA bound passengers.

And if this happens, is it possible that it may give some impetus for
the 747 and 380 for trans-atlantic routes ?
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Roland Perry
2010-01-09 20:33:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
If every international flight into the USA will require special
hardware/procedures and segregation from the rest of an airport's
operations, is it possible that we will see fewer and fewer city pairs
being served between USA and the rest of the world ?
Consider the case of Canada. Almost all its major airports already have
a segregated area to process US bound passengers, so adding new machines
and imposing new restrictions (such as no hand luggage right now)
Are you saying there's a "no hand luggage" restriction currently between
Canada and USA?
Post by JF Mezei
is easy to impose without changing life in the rest of the airport.
However, for large international airports for whom traffic to the USA
represents a relatively small proportion of flights, are they going to
want to create a segregated area with different security procedures for
USA bound passengers ?
There are such areas already at many European airports.
Post by JF Mezei
Are there many airports who are going to say "fuck it" and prefer to
lose their daily non stop flight to the USA rather than invest megabucks
to reshape airport and install new equipment that will be used only for
that one daily flight ?
Possibly, although I'm not sure how many airports have just that one USA
flight.
Post by JF Mezei
From a logistical point of view, it then becomes simpler to funnel all
passengers from smaller airports in africa, middle east etc through one
of the main european airports where they have the special "USA"
screening equipment, space and procedures and they can then board a
flight to the USA.
Maybe we should fly them all to Shannon, and do a huge "Virtual USA"
screening operation there?
Post by JF Mezei
Or put it differently, if the current plans really are permanent, will
this limit the number of international airports willing to equip
themselves to comply with requirements to process USA bound passengers ?
Probably no more than other operational issues currently restrict
transatlantic flights.
Post by JF Mezei
is it possible that the latest changes might result in Heathrow,
Frankfurt, Schiphol and Paris becoming gateways to the USA ? Each would
then have sufficient passenger numbers to warrant the full deployment of
the procedures/equipment needed to process USA bound passengers.
They already do have special procedures (as do many other airports). And
it's been like that to some extent since Pan Am 103.
Post by JF Mezei
And if this happens, is it possible that it may give some impetus for
the 747 and 380 for trans-atlantic routes ?
I remember when it felt like most transatlantic flights were 747s. Why
did that melt away?
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JF Mezei
2010-01-10 10:14:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Are you saying there's a "no hand luggage" restriction currently between
Canada and USA?
Yep, as a result of the underwear bomb. But they seemed to have relaxed
it a bit now:
http://www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca/file/library/71/english/Exempt%20Items%20-%2008jan10(2)%20-%20EN.pdf

This irony is that Air Canada has waived the checked luggage fees as a
result of this, but only on the Canada->USA flight, not on the
USA->Canada flights.
Post by Roland Perry
There are such areas already at many European airports.
Yeah, which is why I am thinking that the major european airports may
become major hubs for flights to the USA because they are able to
implement the special procedures with the USA airlines not wanting to
spend big bucks to serve smaller airports who are not equipped to deal
with it.

Consider that the current schedules for Canada-USA flights (and their
return legs) are out of whack because reservation systems had allowed
connections that are no longer realistic due to the added security
stuff. (for instance, flying YUL-YYZ and YYZ-LAX, instead of a 1.5 hour
connection, they now recommend 2 to 3 hours, but the CRS still allow
shorter connections so airlines are having to hold flighst for over an
hour at the gate to allow connecting passengers to go through US
customs/security.


This is costing the airlines dearly. If this sillynes continues, it is
the airports who have the most efficient US security/clearance which
will get connecting traffic.
Post by Roland Perry
Possibly, although I'm not sure how many airports have just that one USA
flight.
But you have to admit that requirement for special procedures will limit
further "fragmentation" of the flights (or "point to point" to use
current terminology).

An airline would think twice about deploying a new non stop to Toulouse
if the Toulouse airport is not equipped to handle USA flights.
Post by Roland Perry
Maybe we should fly them all to Shannon, and do a huge "Virtual USA"
screening operation there?
Shannon then becomes a major hub, and this means better to use bigger
aircraft between shannon and USA.
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Uwe Klein
2010-01-10 11:21:51 UTC
Permalink
my guess is there will

be deemphasis of US transit flights.
i.e. someplace -> US -> someotherplace.

redirection of destination as in A380 flights to New York
changed to ?Toronton?

less tourists.

less foreign students and academics.

uwe
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Roland Perry
2010-01-10 21:35:15 UTC
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Post by Uwe Klein
my guess is there will
be deemphasis of US transit flights.
i.e. someplace -> US -> someotherplace.
These were already difficult enough that I think people would choose to
fly any other way if at all possible.
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Robin Johnson
2010-01-12 12:47:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
These were already difficult enough that I think people would choose to
fly any other way if at all possible.
-
The Air Canada Vancouver-Sydney flight now omits Honolulu: still
current
are Air NZ London-LAX-Auckland, and JAL Tokyo-JFK-Sao Paulo trips.

I believe these journeys involve considerable passenger inconvenience
due
to US border regulations: they are still in operation for a
combination of
reasons, including lack of practical alternatives and the availability
of
valuable 5th-freedom traffic rights.
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Roland Perry
2010-01-12 21:08:19 UTC
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In message
Post by Robin Johnson
Post by Roland Perry
These were already difficult enough that I think people would choose to
fly any other way if at all possible.
The Air Canada Vancouver-Sydney flight now omits Honolulu: still
current are Air NZ London-LAX-Auckland, and JAL Tokyo-JFK-Sao Paulo
trips.
I believe these journeys involve considerable passenger inconvenience
due to US border regulations: they are still in operation for a
combination of reasons, including lack of practical alternatives and
the availability of valuable 5th-freedom traffic rights.
It's not just flights with a stopover in the USA.

Last year I went to Mexico City from Europe and rather than take a
flight with a change of plane at a USA airport (Houston is a recommended
one by itinerary planners), first flew to Paris then took a direct Air
France flight.
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John Levine
2010-01-12 22:14:53 UTC
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Post by Robin Johnson
are Air NZ London-LAX-Auckland, and JAL Tokyo-JFK-Sao Paulo trips.
I believe these journeys involve considerable passenger
inconvenience due to US border regulations: they are still in
operation for a combination of reasons, including lack of practical
alternatives and the availability of valuable 5th-freedom traffic
rights.
Right. Those both have a lot of O/D traffic at LAX and JFK. That's
why they don't use YVR and YYZ instead.

R's,
John
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matt weber
2010-01-12 23:37:58 UTC
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On Tue, 12 Jan 2010 04:47:03 -0800 (PST), Robin Johnson
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Roland Perry
These were already difficult enough that I think people would choose to
fly any other way if at all possible.
-
HNL was a technical landing only. Passengers were NOT allowed on or
off at HNL. The A340 used couldn't reliably make the Vancouver-Sydney
trip with a commercial payload. Once AC went to a more capable
aircraft (777), the reason for the HNL stop disappeared (along with
the associated aggravation).
Post by JF Mezei
still
current
are Air NZ London-LAX-Auckland, and JAL Tokyo-JFK-Sao Paulo trips.
I believe these journeys involve considerable passenger inconvenience
due
to US border regulations: they are still in operation for a
combination of
reasons, including lack of practical alternatives and the availability
of
valuable 5th-freedom traffic rights.
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JF Mezei
2010-01-13 13:29:07 UTC
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Post by matt weber
HNL was a technical landing only. Passengers were NOT allowed on or
off at HNL. The A340 used couldn't reliably make the Vancouver-Sydney
trip with a commercial payload.
Prior to 2001, HNL was a convenient stop as well as a refueling stop.
Passenges were allowed off the plane onto a sequestered wing of the
airport. Streth your legs, use bathrooms and buy duty free.

After 2001, passengers were forced off the plane to go through
customs/security. Not convenient.

At one point, I think AC got a deal where this could be skipped if
passengers remained on the aircraft. But it was clearly a nuisance and
as soon as it got 777s, it decided to go non stop.

Note that AC could have deployed its 340-500s on the route once it got
them, but I don't think they got enough to provide daily non-stops to
Sydney.

The HNL stop was a leftover from the glory days of CP which codeshared
with both Air NZ and Qantas and HNL became a convenient hub in that
sequestered area to connect to Auckland, Sydney, Vancouver and Toronto.
Back then, the combined traffic justified daily services from HNL to all
4 cities.

Once the code sharing fell apart, HNL just became a refueling stop that
didn't provide convenient connections. So it made sense to get rid of
this stop.

There were isolated cases of the USA used as a convenient stop. (NZ to
London via LAX was one prior to 2001). But each required special deal to
have a special area sequestered to allow paseengers to stretch legs
while aircraft was being refueled and cleaned and catered.



Fpr the USA, there are two variations to the point-to-point:

Podunk-USA to major european destination.
Major city USA to a variety of european destinations.

I think it is the later which may be affected by the procedures that
have gotten "worse" since 2001. Those smaller airports outside the USA
may no longer be suitable.

Also, consider that with the 767 being replaced by a larger aircraft,
this will raise the bar in terms of thin routes. While Boeing may have
argued in the past that a half full 787 would cost less than a 3/4 full
767, the new realities of fuel and economic situation means that
airlines will focus on filling those 787s to the brim. My guess is that
many city pairs that were borderline on 767 in the past will go away
with the 787.
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Robin Johnson
2010-01-13 13:25:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by matt weber
HNL was a technical landing only. Passengers were NOT allowed on or
off at HNL. The A340 used couldn't reliably make the Vancouver-Sydney
trip with a commercial payload. Once AC went to a more capable
aircraft (777), the reason for the HNL stop disappeared (along with
the associated aggravation).
Not so. I travelled HNL-SYD on Air Canada's A340 when this was
a scheduled enroute stop. It was Septernber 2003, and the pickup
load in Honolulu was quite large. CP had been flying this route since
the 1940's with full traffic rights. The complaints about treatment
at
Honolulu of transit passengers from Vancouver was noticeable.

When Air Canada planned 772ERs on the nonstop YVR-SYD
route, they tried to retain Australia-USA rights by scheduling a
YYZ-LAX-SYD route. This did not eventuate: I don't know why.
I might guess that the volume of through traffic was insufficient,
and they were not confident of much LAX business, but it may
well have been US or Australian objections.
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JF Mezei
2010-01-13 20:37:26 UTC
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Post by Robin Johnson
When Air Canada planned 772ERs on the nonstop YVR-SYD
route, they tried to retain Australia-USA rights by scheduling a
YYZ-LAX-SYD route. This did not eventuate: I don't know why.
I might guess that the volume of through traffic was insufficient,
and they were not confident of much LAX business, but it may
well have been US or Australian objections.
There were many reasons for AC abandonning LAX-SYD. First was the
question of rights. There were political considerations in Australia to
not give AC such rights because it would set a precedent to give
Singapore what it had wanted for so long: rights for SYD-LAX.

Second, Air Canada realised that it is an unknown quantity in both USA
and Australia without any feeder network in both countries. So in the
end, they might get Canada-LAX-SYD traffic, which would cannabalise
YVR-SYD or vice versa.

Secondly, they also realised that LAX-Syd would preclude AC carrying
european passengers to australia since the later would then have to go
through the trouble of entering the USA.

By having YVR-SYN non stop, it allows europeans to travel to australia
without having to pay the big fees to get a visa to enter the USA. (or
for those not requiring a visa, the hassles of entering the USA).

So AC can capture some market with this advantage. (Especially RTW
travellers from courntries where entry in the USA is difficult).
Not sure this alone justifies the flight. I suspect mail bags and cargo
are a big factor in this.
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Jeff Hacker
2010-01-14 21:43:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by matt weber
HNL was a technical landing only. Passengers were NOT allowed on or
off at HNL. The A340 used couldn't reliably make the Vancouver-Sydney
trip with a commercial payload. Once AC went to a more capable
aircraft (777), the reason for the HNL stop disappeared (along with
the associated aggravation).
Not so. I travelled HNL-SYD on Air Canada's A340 when this was
a scheduled enroute stop. It was Septernber 2003, and the pickup
load in Honolulu was quite large. CP had been flying this route since
the 1940's with full traffic rights. The complaints about treatment
at
Honolulu of transit passengers from Vancouver was noticeable.

When Air Canada planned 772ERs on the nonstop YVR-SYD
route, they tried to retain Australia-USA rights by scheduling a
YYZ-LAX-SYD route. This did not eventuate: I don't know why.
I might guess that the volume of through traffic was insufficient,
and they were not confident of much LAX business, but it may
well have been US or Australian objections.


Absolutely true. CP flew the route daily at one point in time, competing
with Pan Am/United, Continental (until 1992), and Qantas. They carried
heavy local traffic between YVR and HNL, where there was a connection from
YYZ to the ongoing flight. I grew up in Honolulu and can remember watching
the flights depart at night (when you could get in through security if you
weren't travelling). At one point I had over 3,000 slides I tood with my
Minolta SLR (all gone now, but that's another story).

It would seem pretty logical that they could set up a sterile "transit" area
in HNL if they kept the flight; I believe it was profitable for CP, and even
for AC after that merger/acquisition.

Jeff
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John Levine
2010-01-11 02:01:33 UTC
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Post by Uwe Klein
be deemphasis of US transit flights.
i.e. someplace -> US -> someotherplace.
Nobody in their right mind does international transit through the US
now if there is any possible alternative. The US does not permit
transit like every other country does, so you have to go through full
customs and immigration even if you're never going to leave the
airport.
Post by Uwe Klein
redirection of destination as in A380 flights to New York
changed to ?Toronto?
Um, I think you'll find that about 99% of the passengers on flights to
and from New York are going to or coming from places in the US.
Although it is possible to connect in Toronto from overseas to flights
heading to the US and only go through US customs, the much smaller
amount of O/D traffic makes that unlikely.

R's,
John
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Roland Perry
2010-01-11 08:23:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Levine
Nobody in their right mind does international transit through the US
now if there is any possible alternative.
Agreed.
Post by John Levine
The US does not permit transit like every other country does, so you
have to go through full customs and immigration even if you're never
going to leave the airport.
Although even if a country permits it, some airports don't. Birmingham
(UK) was mentioned earlier in connection with Continental's flights from
Newark, but the airport is small enough (10m pax/yr) that it doesn't do
landside Transit. Although some stats I've found say that 0.05% of the
passengers are transit, the signs for Transit lead you through
immigration and customs to the outside world.
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Roland Perry
2010-01-10 21:33:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Roland Perry
Are you saying there's a "no hand luggage" restriction currently between
Canada and USA?
Yep, as a result of the underwear bomb. But they seemed to have relaxed
http://www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca/file/library/71/english/Exempt%20Items%20-%
2008jan10(2)%20-%20EN.pdf
hmm, some airports won't allow a nailfile because it's a "sharp object"!

And I'd be in trouble because my briefcase is a soft one, and no bigger
than some dedicated laptop bags, but is clearly not a dedicated laptop
bag :(
Post by JF Mezei
This irony is that Air Canada has waived the checked luggage fees as a
result of this, but only on the Canada->USA flight, not on the
USA->Canada flights.
Post by Roland Perry
There are such areas already at many European airports.
Yeah, which is why I am thinking that the major european airports may
become major hubs for flights to the USA because they are able to
implement the special procedures with the USA airlines not wanting to
spend big bucks to serve smaller airports who are not equipped to deal
with it.
But I think almost all the European airports that handle USA flights are
already pretty much geared up. They have secondary documentation checks
already, and many have separate screening for persons and carry-ons.
Flights to the USA are concentrated mainly on the big airports serving
capital cities, already; just to get the load factors.
Post by JF Mezei
Consider that the current schedules for Canada-USA flights (and their
return legs) are out of whack because reservation systems had allowed
connections that are no longer realistic due to the added security
stuff. (for instance, flying YUL-YYZ and YYZ-LAX, instead of a 1.5 hour
connection, they now recommend 2 to 3 hours, but the CRS still allow
shorter connections so airlines are having to hold flighst for over an
hour at the gate to allow connecting passengers to go through US
customs/security.
In Europe the recommended time for check-in for a USA flight has been 3
hours for years, and I doubt there are many <2hr connections.
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Roland Perry
Possibly, although I'm not sure how many airports have just that one USA
flight.
But you have to admit that requirement for special procedures will limit
further "fragmentation" of the flights (or "point to point" to use
current terminology).
I can see that Canada will be much more likely to have many
point-to-point flights crossing the border in smaller planes. From
Europe it's much bigger planeloads that are already concentrated on
hubs.
Post by JF Mezei
An airline would think twice about deploying a new non stop to Toulouse
if the Toulouse airport is not equipped to handle USA flights.
Toulouse could never have enough USA-bound passengers to fill a plane.
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Roland Perry
Maybe we should fly them all to Shannon, and do a huge "Virtual USA"
screening operation there?
Shannon then becomes a major hub, and this means better to use bigger
aircraft between shannon and USA.
Most are pretty big already.
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Graham Harrison
2010-01-10 19:55:13 UTC
Permalink
The increase in point-to-point flights has been driven by availability of
aircraft that can operate economically between two points with (relatively)
low traffic, changes to regulatory rules making the routings for such
flights economical and the continuing increase in air traffic (generally).
Except that a lot of it is not point to point. Much of it is point to hub.
Look at Continental in the UK; they operate 757s (from memory) to Bristol,
Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh but they all go the Newark.
There are a few flights that can be quantified as point to point (the
American flight from London to Raleigh for example - Raleigh was a small AA
hub for a while but not any more. I question whether AA receive some form
of support from Raliegh) but they aren't that prevalent. The aircraft
touted as "hub busters" on long hau (757,767, A330) are often used to
increase frequency on routes rather than bypass hubs.

That said, your question is valid. I suspect the market has diversified to
a point where to withdraw services from cities like the CO ones I mentioned
would be difficult. If I take Bristol/Newark as an example, I strongly
suspect there is some kind of marketing agreement in the background and
Bristol airport will want to retain the route to the point where they will
be prepared to pay money to create a US facility.

I think the real risk is that the US will impose so many restrictions that
people will start avoiding it (even more than they do now). Even US
citizens seem to be balking at some of the hoops you have to jump through
now. That will put the thinner routes (such as Bristol/Newark) at risk
simply because there won't be enough traffic to sustain them, nothing to do
with whether the airports will build facilities. The traffic from those
routes that remains will spread to other routes and help to maintain their
frequency with existing aircraft types. However, if routes like
Heathrow/New York start to shrink it's difficult to know whether airlines
will maintain frequency with smaller aircraft (maybe 767 instead of 777) or
shrink to bigger planes. I can remember when BA/PA/TW operated 3 747s each
on LHR/JFK BA alone now run 7/8 per day (mix of 747/777) and, given their
current fleet, I suspect they would retain the same aircraft on the route
and start cutting flights (probably the 747s). On the other hand AA might
switch some of their 777 flights to 767 and maintain frequency.
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Roland Perry
2010-01-10 21:42:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Graham Harrison
Look at Continental in the UK; they operate 757s (from memory) to Bristol,
Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh but they all go the Newark.
But with a reported 88 flights a day from Heathrow to the USA (on
generally much bigger planes) those Continental flights (while welcome
for people living in the regions, I've used the Birmingham one) are a
drop in the ocean.
Post by Graham Harrison
There are a few flights that can be quantified as point to point (the
American flight from London to Raleigh for example - Raleigh was a small AA
hub for a while but not any more. I question whether AA receive some form
of support from Raliegh) but they aren't that prevalent.
Just a guess, but I wonder if they have a maintenance facility there,
and the flights arranged around the need to collect/deliver planes?
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John Levine
2010-01-10 23:29:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Graham Harrison
There are a few flights that can be quantified as point to point (the
American flight from London to Raleigh for example - Raleigh was a small AA
hub for a while but not any more. I question whether AA receive some form
of support from Raliegh) but they aren't that prevalent.
Just a guess, but I wonder if they have a maintenance facility there,
and the flights arranged around the need to collect/deliver planes?
Nope, no maintenance I can see. RDU is in a metro area of 1.7 million
people with a fair amount of high tech in Research Triangle so there's
a plausible amount of O/D traffic.

Also, if you live in the Virginia suburbs or exurbs south of
Washington DC, RDU is a reasonable alternative to the horror that is
Dulles. The cheap carpark at RDU is $6/day, at IAD $10/day.

R's,
John
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matt weber
2010-01-11 19:30:56 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 10 Jan 2010 19:55:13 -0000, "Graham Harrison"
Post by Graham Harrison
The increase in point-to-point flights has been driven by availability of
aircraft that can operate economically between two points with (relatively)
low traffic, changes to regulatory rules making the routings for such
flights economical and the continuing increase in air traffic (generally).
Except that a lot of it is not point to point. Much of it is point to hub.
Look at Continental in the UK; they operate 757s (from memory) to Bristol,
Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh but they all go the Newark.
There are a few flights that can be quantified as point to point (the
American flight from London to Raleigh for example - Raleigh was a small AA
hub for a while but not any more. I question whether AA receive some form
of support from Raliegh) but they aren't that prevalent. The aircraft
touted as "hub busters" on long hau (757,767, A330) are often used to
increase frequency on routes rather than bypass hubs.
The Service to the UK from Raleigh is driven by a corporate customer,
GSK, if memory serves me.
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