What is the good time to shut down a route?


There is a question from me, a beginner.

When I started a new route, especially those long-haul ones, it has been common to see a very low load rate at the beginning. In real world, when an airline starts a new route, it takes some time to make the market mature and profit gradually. I’m not sure whether it is true in AS?

Should I wait for some days or I shall just cancel the flight and remove the route as soon as I found it’s hopeless to fulfill the plane?



It usually takes 1-2 days. If it doesn’t fill by then I suggest to cancel it.

You might try reducing prices, increasing service standard, interlining with others and try connecting it with other of your routes at your hub.

It might also work.

As a beginner, you should not start with long-haul flights. You need a good domestic feeder network and one or more interlining partners to make your long-haul profitable.

Thank you so much for advice.

Another question. If I cancel a flight need I pay for compensation to those passengers who has bought the ticket? Is it harm for my image or anything else?

Well, if you book a flight and it got cancelled, do you want some compensation? I believe yes!

And so does the AS-passenger. So yes, you have to pay compensation. Not sure, but I guess a slight impact on image as well.

I usually suspend routes after approx. one week. There are however some routes are not profitable but important to feed other flights.


what MD-80 said…if you have a route that gives you lots of transfer passengers but isn’t profitable…i think overall it’s worth keeping it…that way you can increase your profits on other routes and gain more money through transfer pax

Where can I get to know which routes passengers transfer to and from? What I know is a total number that shows how many people are from other feeders and to other connections.


There are information available when looking at a particular flight: "To ext. connection" and "To own connection". These numbers are important I think. Due to many factors it is sometimes difficult to offer the "perfect" capacity for a particular flight. So there are flights which have a high number of connecting passengers but the load-factors are too low for that airplane. It would be the best way to replace such an aircraft by a smaller one but as you know this is not easy to manage and disturbs the entire schedule of an aircraft + new search of slots etc… I have MD-90-flights which are doing rather bad because the aircraft is too big (166 seats at my company). At the same time 50 to 70 people of the 80 or 90 pax are connecting and this makes this flight OK for me.

Sadly it is not possible to see the exact travel plans of passengers like "two passengers will connect to flight XXX". It is only a vague way to estimate the importance of one flight and one of the few ways to decide whether to continue a route or to suspend it due to lack of demand.