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Old 09-14-2014, 06:39 AM
 
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I am puzzled by long layover times in some countries used by many airlines.

For instance the Dreamliner flight from Houston to London averages 9.5 hours in each direction. With a 1.5 hour layover in london the circuit takes 9.5*2+1.5 =20.5 which leaves 3.5 hours in Houston before repeating.

The Dreamliner flight from Houston to Lagos Nigeria averages over 12.5 hours in each direction. But the layover in Lagos is 6.5 hours and returns to Houston at 5AM (almost 32 hours after leaving).

What is the motivation for these long layovers in foreign countries? If it was a normal 1.5 hours like London, the flight would return at midnight. Is it possible that some businessmen have meetings in the airport and return after only 6 hours in the country? Is it simply that hard to get convenient slots in foreign airports?

It seems as if when the circuit cannot be completed in less than 22 hours, airlines consider using long layovers.

Last edited by PacoMartin; 09-14-2014 at 06:50 AM..
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Old 09-14-2014, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Airports all over the world
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There are lots of possible reasons for the long layover at Lagos. Unlike large airports like London, Lagos does not have the resources to handle several planes at the same time. You have to wait your turn in line for things such as fueling, cleaning and catering. It is very likely that many of the passengers arriving into Houston are connecting to other flights. Arriving at 5AM works better than arriving at 1AM when connecting to other flights. Customs also has a say when flights can arrive from overseas.

Something else to consider is the aircraft departing London might not be the same aircraft that arrived 90 minutes earlier. While possible, doing a full turnaround on an international flight in 90 minutes would be quite the challenge.
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Old 09-14-2014, 07:34 AM
 
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Sometimes they have to wait for a replacement crew to get in as well after the original crew goes on layover. My dad when he was a captain used to have to commute to diff airports to meet up with his scheduled crew to pick up an airplane.
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Old 09-14-2014, 10:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan Mutt View Post
Something else to consider is the aircraft departing London might not be the same aircraft that arrived 90 minutes earlier. While possible, doing a full turnaround on an international flight in 90 minutes would be quite the challenge.
No. There is only one B787 going from Houston to London, and the flights are numbered #4 and #5
Flight #4 9:00P 12:05P+1 (IAH-LHR) 1:30 layover
Flight #5 1:35P 5:45P (LHR-IAH) 3:15 to end 24 hours cycle

Presumably the crew checks into a hotel in London for 25.5 hours before returning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricOldTime View Post
Sometimes they have to wait for a replacement crew to get in as well after the original crew goes on layover. My dad when he was a captain used to have to commute to diff airports to meet up with his scheduled crew to pick up an airplane.
It seems to me in general you would want more time to replace the crew and clean the plane, and perform routing maintenance in your home airport (not in Nigeria). Perhaps I am wrong. The labor costs to clean the plane are probably cheaper in Nigeria than in Houston.
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:53 AM
 
Location: The City
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On the route you stated is likely scheduling and equipment. Every 24 hours only one plane can fly each way once. So basically to have the schedule the same equipment just flips each cycle
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:17 AM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
I am puzzled by long layover times in some countries used by many airlines.

For instance the Dreamliner flight from Houston to London averages 9.5 hours in each direction. With a 1.5 hour layover in london the circuit takes 9.5*2+1.5 =20.5 which leaves 3.5 hours in Houston before repeating.

The Dreamliner flight from Houston to Lagos Nigeria averages over 12.5 hours in each direction. But the layover in Lagos is 6.5 hours and returns to Houston at 5AM (almost 32 hours after leaving).

What is the motivation for these long layovers in foreign countries? If it was a normal 1.5 hours like London, the flight would return at midnight. Is it possible that some businessmen have meetings in the airport and return after only 6 hours in the country? Is it simply that hard to get convenient slots in foreign airports?

It seems as if when the circuit cannot be completed in less than 22 hours, airlines consider using long layovers.
A took a CO Flight (757 i think, maybe 767 (was up front BizFirst) ) from EWR to Rio they had a 10h? layover there, They did a heavy cleaning of the plane, and I think Some engine Maintenance, (Saw the plane with the engine cowling open and few 4? Maintenance guys on each). The plane was "invaded" by 10+ Cleaners when it was over on the stands off from the gates. Our flight back was the cleanest CO plane I'd ever been on.

UA 787 in lagos, may be waiting for inbound Partner connecting Passengers that arrive in late afternoon/early evening. Also they need to arrive back in IAH at a time that makes for connections, customs, etc.
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyonpa View Post
A took a CO Flight (757 i think, maybe 767 (was up front BizFirst) ) from EWR to Rio they had a 10h? layover there, They did a heavy cleaning of the plane, and I think Some engine Maintenance, (Saw the plane with the engine cowling open and few 4? Maintenance guys on each). The plane was "invaded" by 10+ Cleaners when it was over on the stands off from the gates. Our flight back was the cleanest CO plane I'd ever been on.
Well since CO is gone, it's a UA flight (a 777) out of Houston, but it is now 11.5 hour layover.

The southbound flight is 10h10m and northbound is 10h25m. It is tight, since 3:25 is the maximum layovers to fit a circuit in a 24 hour day.

But the flights to London have 3:40, 3:45, and 4:45 of non flying time, and they shorten the layovers to squeeze one circuit into a 24 hour day.

6:05P 9:40A+1 985 (2:00 in London)
11:40A 4:25P 984 (1:40 in Houston)

3:20P 6:55A+1 921 (2:35 in London)
9:30A 2:10P 920 (1:10 in Houston)

9:00P 12:05P+1 4 (1:30 in London)
1:35P 5:45P 5 (3:15 in Houston)

It just seems that they jump from a few hours on layovers in London to huge layovers in the 3rd world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyonpa View Post
UA 787 in lagos, may be waiting for inbound Partner connecting Passengers that arrive in late afternoon/early evening. Also they need to arrive back in IAH at a time that makes for connections, customs, etc.
Well maybe, but it seems like tying up a $300 million piece of metal to wait for a small number of connections from small cities in Nigeria is an expensive way to do business. Most people in Africa travelling to the USA live in the capital city. If they don't they can come to Lagos at less convenient times.

Think that $300m divided by 25 years by 365 is $33K per day. Including interest, and if you have to finance over 20 years instead of 25, it could be $50K per day. Then there is the lost opportunity cost. In a 11.5 hour day you could easily fly 200 people back and forth to Chicago (2:37 each way). So that is at least 400*$150 each way or $60K in potential revenue time 365 days or $22 million per year.

Last edited by PacoMartin; 09-15-2014 at 05:40 PM..
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
No. There is only one B787 going from Houston to London, and the flights are numbered #4 and #5
Flight #4 9:00P 12:05P+1 (IAH-LHR) 1:30 layover
Flight #5 1:35P 5:45P (LHR-IAH) 3:15 to end 24 hours cycle

Presumably the crew checks into a hotel in London for 25.5 hours before returning.



It seems to me in general you would want more time to replace the crew and clean the plane, and perform routing maintenance in your home airport (not in Nigeria). Perhaps I am wrong. The labor costs to clean the plane are probably cheaper in Nigeria than in Houston.

Yeah, it seems like dad was always jumpseating somewhere to relieve a crew and/or pick up an airplane. Sometimes they had to go and pick up equipment that had broken as well and had to sit at the airport a few days to wait and be repaired by a maintenance crew that the company had brought in and then with my dad and the F-O flying, would load everybody up and fly the plane back with all of the mechanics LOL ....that happened quite a few times.

He also used to ferry new stuff that the company had bought, usually him and another check-airmen.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by EricOldTime View Post
Yeah, it seems like dad was always jumpseating somewhere to relieve a crew and/or pick up an airplane.
It makes sense that they might rotate a jet that was scheduled to fly for over 19 hours. One jet flies to London one day, then the next day it flies roundtrip to two domestic destinations (maybe 14 hours). That way there is time to fix the little things that need fine tuning.

I still think 6.5 hours in Africa or 11.5 hours in Rio is a lot of time to ground an expensive plane for cleaning, waiting for connections, etc. The lost opportunity cost is in the tens of millions of dollars.

Possibly operations are very different in the 3rd world than in London. In London with 100-150 minutes of turn around, you have to offload, onload, refuel, and do a security sweep.

Perhaps in Lagos you have to move the plane to refuel so it takes much longer. Maybe the government forces the plane to stay a certain time knowing that the airlines will employ cleaning crews. Perhaps once you abandon a flight bay, you must wait a long time to get another one to load.
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Old 09-16-2014, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
It makes sense that they might rotate a jet that was scheduled to fly for over 19 hours. One jet flies to London one day, then the next day it flies roundtrip to two domestic destinations (maybe 14 hours). That way there is time to fix the little things that need fine tuning.

I still think 6.5 hours in Africa or 11.5 hours in Rio is a lot of time to ground an expensive plane for cleaning, waiting for connections, etc. The lost opportunity cost is in the tens of millions of dollars.

Possibly operations are very different in the 3rd world than in London. In London with 100-150 minutes of turn around, you have to offload, onload, refuel, and do a security sweep.

Perhaps in Lagos you have to move the plane to refuel so it takes much longer. Maybe the government forces the plane to stay a certain time knowing that the airlines will employ cleaning crews. Perhaps once you abandon a flight bay, you must wait a long time to get another one to load.
What other flights do UAL operate out of Rio? The same aircraft may not make the turnaround. It may come from IAH, and then turn around and go to EWR.

Actually that flight to Rio is the aircraft that comes from Amsterdam. So it's not always as simple as having a city pair and an aircraft that rotates back and forth.

DEPARTS
ARRIVES

City: Houston, TX (IAH - Intercontinental)
Gate: E18
Check-in Terminal: Terminal E
Scheduled Time: 9:10 p.m.
Scheduled Date: Mon., Sep. 15, 2014
Actual Time: 11:19 p.m.
Actual Date: Mon., Sep. 15, 2014

City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (GIG)
Gate:
Terminal:
Scheduled Time: 9:20 a.m.
Scheduled Date: Tue., Sep. 16, 2014
Actual Time: 11:03 a.m.
Actual Date: Tue., Sep. 16, 2014



Aircraft: Boeing 777-200 aircraft #3009
Where is this aircraft coming from? Amsterdam, Netherlands (AMS), Flight 59 Check Status
Weather conditions: IAH, GIG
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