First commercial flight of A380 heralds start of Winter 2007 season

First commercial flight of A380 heralds start of Winter 2007 season

For many people the highlight of the start of the winter season will be the launch into commercial service of the A380 which finally begins regular flights between Singapore and Sydney this weekend. A special ‘charity’ flight took place on 25 October which raised around $2 million dollars with the auction for seats conducted online via ebay.

Australians made up the largest nationality of successful bidders (15%) followed by Singaporeans (11%), British (6%), American (4%) and Germans (3%). Successful bidders ranged in age from 10 months to 91. Users from over 160 countries visited the auction pages at some point.

Over 200 new routes start this week!

Despite the traditional seasonal downturn in demand associated with the start of the winter season, according to our research well over 200 new routes are starting in the next week. Around one third of these are by just one airline – Ryanair! As regular readers will know, barely a week has gone by in the last few months without Ryanair either announcing or starting a new route (usually several at the same time).

At least another 300 routes have, so far, been reported as starting between the end of next week and the end of the winter season at the end of March 2008. For a more detailed listing of the new routes starting this week click on the link below:

New routes starting this week (includes downloadable spreadsheet)

European capacity reduced 7% for start of winter season

In Europe major airports are slot controlled with airlines reluctant to give up slots since at the largest airports they can have considerable value. The current negotiations by US carriers to finally gain access to London Heathrow illustrate the point. The significant proportion of leisure traffic that distinguishes the intra-European market results in huge changes in demand, especially once summer is over.

An analysis by of scheduled airline data for the last week of the summer season (week commencing 22 October) and the first full week of the winter season (week commencing 29 October) reveals which countries, airlines and airports are most vulnerable to the change in season. Overall weekly airline scheduled capacity has been reduced by an estimated 7.4% reflecting the sharp downturn in demand typically experienced at the end of October in Europe. It should be noted that the accuracy of this analysis depends on the airlines providing accurate schedule data to OAG.

For a more detailed analysis of the impact by country, airline and airport click on the links below:

Winter v Summer country comparison

Winter v Summer airline comparison


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