Long Range Flight Advice

Hi AS’ers

I just need a bit of advice on very long range flights… Flights between 14hrs-18hrs.

I have operated flights on long routes before ( eg.ORD-SYD) and have found it to be very difficult to make any money.

Has anyone got advice on what aircraft is best and config?? I have found that putting prem econ and flat beds in business class mean that a very high ticket price has to be charged, usually causing low load factors but a lower prices tends not to be profitable even with 100% load

What to do??

Don’t try. Off the top of my head I think the 777-200LR and the 340-500 are one of the few aircraft that can achieve the ORD-SYD route non-stop.

the only way to go is to own the AC. There are plenty to start off with, A300-600, 767, 747, A330/40s.

You will pay betweem 15million to 30million per ac but you can make profit with them.

The other thing is a very long route is terrible. this is because the most pax will connect to IL partners anyway. If you think how much money and the price you can offer on a shorter route, maybe 3/4s the length, and have 2 of these to connect to the final destination they will have a lower price and better rating than you ultra long route with lower rating and short route with high rating.

I hope that makes sense.

So in closing, I could buy a 767-300 and fly to hnl, and get a good IL in HNL.

Just a quick note -

I’ve recently started ULH flights, and know that even if you give them the maximum possible food/amenities on the ULH flight, the rating does not reach 5 stars. As such, a competing connecting flight which have roughly 1 bar less may still be better than your direct flight.

For ULH flights, look at how many of the pax transfer internally. That is my sole reason for running ULH flight. I make a margin of 3-11% on those flights, but 90% of those pax connect onto my own flights - which bumps up seat load factors and thus margins for those other flights.


I also use 777s. The 330 gives you a much lower Seat cost, but for some routes - it just doesnt have enough range. The 380 might give you over capacity, and having that additional aircraft type may (depending on your fleet) give you a maintenance penalty.

For me, the 777 can reach pretty much any destination from my hub (DXB) - except NewZealand.