Author Topic: Summer schedules  (Read 2598 times)

Keith Giannoni

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Summer schedules
« on: Thu 25 May 2017, 14:23 »
Hi,

I noticed we introduced a spring/summer timetable some time ago. Are there plans for a full summer operation? Looking at Spain as an example, which, as we know, is growing even more as a popular destination from Great Britain, there are some gaps. Currently, we have one flight to Palma, and nothing to Malaga, Alicante, Ibiza, Menorca to name but a few. Anything on the horizon.

Best,

Keith

Gerald Plotts

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Re: Summer schedules
« Reply #1 on: Thu 25 May 2017, 16:56 »
Yes, and I'd like to see some more Q400 flights out to the east from EDDL. Any chance?
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Graham Bannister

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Re: Summer schedules
« Reply #2 on: Fri 26 May 2017, 18:40 »
I am also looking at some additional J41 routes. Maybe add ons to existing routes. Some transit stops perhaps.

Chris Hulme

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Re: Summer schedules
« Reply #3 on: Sat 27 May 2017, 12:29 »
Chris is away this week, but we will have a talk and see what we can come up with.


Aside from the Spanish destinations listed above are there any others you guys would particularly like to see?


Gerald Plotts

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Re: Summer schedules
« Reply #4 on: Mon 29 May 2017, 15:14 »
Some Q400 routes from EDDL down the adriatic would be nice!
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Chris Liu

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Re: Summer schedules
« Reply #5 on: Tue 30 May 2017, 01:56 »
Sorry for the tardy reply, as Chris said I've been away and I'm currently playing catch up!

The summer timetable at present mainly consists of South of France. The reason Spanish destinations are less numerous is because most of Southern Spain is 3+ hours flight time from our current bases, and as you know our raison d'être is flights under 2 hours. But until we get around to opening a base that would make them closer I don't see why I can't organise some A320 charters down to Alicante, Ibiza and Malaga, so watch this space!  :)

Adding new J41 destinations from our existing bases is difficult because I already covered most of the viable airports within its rather short economic operating range. I'd love to have some J41 ops into smaller Italian airports but it's conditional on us opening a base there first.

I will look at Eastern European and Adriatic destinations from Düsseldorf again as it's something we want to pursue; I did some research last year but for most airports seemed very thin on passenger demand to/from Western Europe and I'm not really sure why, although it's possible the figures I sourced/generated weren't great. Cities I reviewed included Lublin, Krakow, Wroclaw, Gdansk, Cluj-Napoca, Zagreb, Poznan, Ostrava, Brno, Kosice and Bratislava, and all gave low weekly seat demand. Please remember that scheduling is very time consuming when done to our high standards, so these things can take a little time.
« Last Edit: Tue 30 May 2017, 10:12 by Chris Liu »

Keith Giannoni

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Re: Summer schedules
« Reply #6 on: Tue 30 May 2017, 12:08 »
Thanks Chris. I know we like to keep to the under two hour flights, but I wonder if it's time we begin some expansion? We celebrated our fourth anniversary recently. I have been with the VA for over 3 years. In that time we have not made many significant changes. Are we at risk of becoming a little stale? Looking at the most recent 15 members, 6 have logged no hours, and 3 less than two hours. We secure other new members who 'hit the pireps' for a short time, and then move on. Whilst this is not unfamiliar in the flight sim world, it does beg the question why are we not retaining members? For me, I really enjoy the small, almost personal touch that Intercity offers, but I, too need some variety especially as I buy new payware. Clearly, we can fly for other VAs, which I do. But we have our favoured ones.

I think we desperately need a new hub which is something you and Chris have discussed. Pilots like to fly in areas familiar to them. So if we expand more into the Mediterranean, then we may recruit more members? Or, and more radical, and less popular with some VAs, we offer an ad-hoc flight facility for Europe only flights.  The benefit is to open up effectively all destinations in Europe, advertise our VA through on line flying at airports not scheduled by us and potentially recruit more members. The clear downside is it falls outside of the ethos of a scheduled airline.

Lastly, I and I'm sure other members are more than willing to offer our services. If setting up new schedules involves simple administration, or something we can be taught quickly, then do consider us. I'll leave it to you two to consider.

Best,

Keith

Chris Liu

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Re: Summer schedules
« Reply #7 on: Fri 02 Jun 2017, 15:00 »
Fun in the Spanish summer sun is here, get it whilst its hot! http://viaintercity.com/forums/events-and-charters/1-june-1-september-charter-spanish-coast/

As discussed previously I'll be taking another look at adding Adriatic and Eastern European destinations and then focus my attention on a new hub, probably in the Med.

People definitely do like flying in areas familiar to them, but opening a new hub doesn't always deliver the membership returns you'd reasonably expect from a big investment; despite many French routes and some French advertising, French pilots remain elusive (perhaps people like working in their native tongue too; our roster is 65% anglophone)?

We decided against a "free flight" model from the outset because we believe that's a logbook, not an airline. There's plenty established already doing "fly anything, anywhere, any time" very well so we'd be uncompetitive and they've vacuumed up most potential recruits. It's not a quick fix either because it'd need a major code rewriting. You are right though, it would attract some new members, our concern is they'll be here for the tech without really subscribing to our community's ethos and values, the net result is small membership growth without increased core participation in what we're all about (i.e. numbers for numbers sake)

We understand the longer standing members and more frequent flyers need variety beyond 530 scheduled routes though. The best way we can deliver that quickly is more charters and special events and we know we've lagged in that area previously. An added bonus is it's much easier to delegate than full-on scheduling. It allows for a lot more variety because whilst we'll remain in our operating area, we won't be restricted to just our hubs so we can open out Europe more.

Remember I'm always happy to arrange a charter flight to fit with an online event you're attending or a new scenery release, provided you give us a a few days notice and it reasonably fits within our ops (e.g. don't expect Moscow to Bucharest in a Q400)
« Last Edit: Fri 02 Jun 2017, 15:03 by Chris Liu »

Chris Liu

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Re: Summer schedules
« Reply #8 on: Sun 10 Sep 2017, 23:33 »
So a small update as I know I've been quiet for a while. I'm making progress with our new operating base in Southern Europe (ooh mysterious), it'll be approximately 19 aircraft and 64 destinations when completed, so slightly smaller than our existing bases but still a fair size.

There are also 10 new destinations I need to add to our existing hubs.
« Last Edit: Mon 27 Nov 2017, 00:56 by Chris Liu »

Keith Giannoni

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Re: Summer schedules
« Reply #9 on: Sun 15 Oct 2017, 13:19 »
Chris,

Any update on progress for us?

Keith

Chris Liu

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Re: Summer schedules
« Reply #10 on: Sun 15 Oct 2017, 19:14 »
Plugging away but my work has been incredibly busy and short staffed since July so I'm a bit behind where I'd want to be.

Clive Gulliver

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Re: Summer schedules
« Reply #11 on: Tue 17 Oct 2017, 13:22 »
I thought someone would have started playing Guess the New Base by now, but no, so I'll just have to start with my own prediction, which is ... LEBL (largeish Mediterranean city, easy access to lots of resorts and islands, not far from France and Italy). Not that i expect it to be confirmed or denied, of course.  ;D

Chris Liu

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Re: Summer schedules
« Reply #12 on: Tue 17 Oct 2017, 15:11 »
Haha, we have to keep some surprises! LEBL is not a bad guess, it's on the short list.

Chris Hulme

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Re: Summer schedules
« Reply #13 on: Tue 17 Oct 2017, 20:16 »
I’m going to guess KJFK and that we’re getting the PMDG 777

Chris Liu

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Re: Summer schedules
« Reply #14 on: Wed 18 Oct 2017, 16:54 »
How did you know (oh wait you're management...)!? And A380 of course.