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Flydubai to Bangkok and beyond?

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Flydubai to Bangkok and beyond?

Old 24th Jul 2013, 06:37
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Flydubai to Bangkok and beyond?

Mutterings abound that Flydubai may be beginning to expand to the Orient.

Rumors of a three day trip to Bangkok with a layover followed by flights to KL and Seoul and maybe HK and then back to DXB.

I would think that getting to Bangkok is fine now but the return trip in winter time must be at the very edge of performance (high headwinds). Maybe it could be done once we get the biz config set up?
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Old 24th Jul 2013, 13:17
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Any word on them getting the 330s?

I had heard some rumours to that effect early this year. It'd be interesting to see them doing DXB BKK on the 73s thou...
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Old 24th Jul 2013, 13:22
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With the current 737NG stable, would be nice to see them order 787s to compete with Scoot and others on the low-cost side. Not sure if 787 delivery positions would even be available for years and years.... Probably more A330s and older 767-300s available as more 787s/A350s arrive.

Last edited by Iver; 24th Jul 2013 at 13:23.
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Old 24th Jul 2013, 15:09
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why have a nitestop in bankok? with augmented crew, can be done as a turn-around.
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Old 24th Jul 2013, 15:28
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FZ's ideal aircraft is the 757. But they don't want second hand and unfortunately that little rocket is not being produced anymore. Their next best thing, according to FZ itself is the 787, but that is too expensive. Taking these 6+ hour flights into account then any manufacturer could be persueded to source some nice 2nd hand frames as part of the overall deal.

But if there is any truth to that rumor, then it has to be second hand proper long haul aircraft. I'd say get some 332's as part of the upcoming Airbus order () and it should be possible.

However it's a major step away from the current company setup. But the introduction of business class is I think a sign of things to come. The whole foundation of it's current operation will change, and so will the future route structure.

Seeing we are limited on some 4hr flights already then things need be change to make the 6hrs with headwinds possible. No more 1 tonne margin over the max landing weight, less seats and these new Split Scimitar Winglets once they are EASA certified at the end of this year.

Whichever way you look at it, it is good news for us, it's employees.

Last edited by High Energy; 25th Jul 2013 at 03:26.
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Old 24th Jul 2013, 20:19
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A reality check:

The dry operating weight of FZ's B738's is in the region of 42.2 Tonnes.

Whilst it can ostensibly hold a maximum of 21 tons of fuel, the reality is that the high temperatures in DXB (and / or the Far East) lead to the fuel having a low SG and, as such, the most likely figure for full tanks is 20 tons.

The aircraft are presently configured with 189 passenger seats, in an all economy configuration (which, if one take a 50:50 split of male:female notional weights, means that a full load of pax would ostensibly weigh in at 14.9 tons).

The maximum take-off weight of the aircraft is 79 tons.

So let's do some rough math on those numbers:

----- The wings full of fuel scenario -----

DOW (42.2T) + Fuel (20.0T) = APS (62.2T)

Possible payload = 79T - 62.2T = 16.8 Tons (always assuming that the take-off is not performance limited and that one can actually take-off at the aircraft's max-structural weight… which is not always possible ex-DXB on a hot day and / or with a QNH below standard).

So, with a full load of fuel, and typically 4.5 tons of bags & cargo, that takes the maximum allowable weight for passengers down to 12.3 tons…

This would mean that there will have to be a lot of (33) empty seats, i.e. 17.5% of the aircraft's seats will have to remain empty, in order to allow the flight to get airborne with the maximum possible fuel load (and always assume that the flight is not take-off performance limited, which would only make matters worse in terms of passenger load factor!).

In terms of range (with full tanks, and as many passengers as allowed by the take-off performance), given that the rules say that the aircraft can't land with dry tanks, let's (generously) assume that the fuel need for Alternate + Final Reserve is (only) 2.4 tons… which means that the fuel available for the sector is 17.6 tons.

When operating at high gross weights, the aircraft will burn (approx) 2.5 tons per hour, and so the available fuel for the sector equates to a maximum of 7 hours of flight time for the sector.

So it's got the legs, but not with full a full passenger load.

----- The 189 bums on seats scenario -----

If all 189 seats have bums on them, plus 4.5 tons of bags & cargo, then the ZFW is typically going to be in the order of 61.6 tons.

That then leaves 17.4 tons available for fuel (i.e. before the max structural take-off weight is reached, and which again assumes that the aircraft is not take-off performance limited).

Given that the rules say that the aircraft can't land with dry tanks, let's (generously) assume that the fuel need for Alternate + Final Reserve is (only) 2.4 tons… which means that the fuel available for the sector is 15 tons.

Again, when operating at high gross weights, the aircraft will burn (approx) 2.5 tons per hour, and so the available fuel for the sector equates to a maximum of 6 hours of flight time (but not including taxi times).

Thus, fill all the seats and the range is limiting.

Maybe if the aircraft was re-configured with a lot less seats (overall), e.g. perhaps as per the much touted change to having a 'Business Class', then that might provide a sufficient enough change in the aircraft's Dry Operating Weight... but it'd require a big change and the loss (or change) of a lot of seats, imho ?!

----- And what of the crew's FDP limits ? -----

The maximum allowable Flight Duty Period for 2 sectors, with 2 flight crew, starting at the most optimal time of start, is: 13:15 hours.

1 hour of that FDP is consumed in the pre-flight briefing, and another 45 minutes is consumed during the turn-around. That then leaves you with 11:30 to play with, i.e. for operating each sector (including taxi-out / flight / taxi-in), i.e. ostensibly 5:45 in each direction (and that's with a tight turn-around), before the flight crew hit the buffers on their FDP limit.

With an 'augmented' Flight Crew (i.e. carrying an extra Flight Crew member, which almost certainly would have to be a Captain, unless they start LHS checking the F/O's ?!) it is possible to extend the FDP by the use of in-flight rest.
That said, the following restrictions apply:
When any additional crew member is carried to provide in-flight relief, with the intent of extending an FDP, that individual shall hold qualifications which are equal or superior to those held by the crew member who is to be rested. The division of duty and rest between those crew members being relieved will be kept in balance. It is unnecessary for the relieving crew member to rest in between the times relief is provided for other crew members.

When in-flight relief is utilised the crew member resting must be provided with comfortable reclining seat, or bunk, separated and screened from the flight deck and passengers and free from disturbance.

A total in-flight rest of less than 3 hours does not allow for the extension of an FDP, but where the total in-flight rest, which need not be consecutive, is 3
hours or more, then the FDP may be extended as follows:

Rest in a Seat: A period equal to one third of the total of rest taken, provided that the maximum FDP permissible shall be 15 hours (16 hours for cabin crew).
Needless to say, FZ's B737's do not provide such facilities as a comfortable reclining seat, in a screened off area, free from disturbance.

The other method would be to have a whole extra set of Flight Crew position outbound (to then operate the return flight), and therein as they'd only operate the one (return) sector, that means that their maximum allowable FDP would increase (by 45 minutes) to become 14 hours; but wherein the time of reporting for positioning (i.e. one hour prior to STD of the outbound sector) is the point when the clock starts to tick for the purposes of that 14 hour FDP maximum.

Nb. A quick look at the Great Circle Track from DXB to BKK - based on a (still air) Ground Speed of 430 Kts (which is typical of a B738) - shows a distance of 2651 Nm and a 'flight time' of 6:10.

Thus (based upon 'still air') an out and back from DXB to BKK would take:

1:00 hour pre-flight briefing
0:10 minute taxi-out
6:10 flight time
0:05 taxi-in
0:45 turnaround
0:10 minute taxi-out
6:10 flight time
0:05 taxi-in
= 14:35

And that's assuming absolutely everything went like clockwork ?!

Needless to say, I can't see many Commanders being overly keen to exercise 'discretion' in any of the above crewing scenarios, to say nothing of the limitations of carrying just a single set of cabin crew (and their FDP limits therein)... especially with the delights of the PatPong Road being so close ?!

Ps. High Energy: I concur with your assessment, wrt the B757... an awesome aircraft and one that I loved flying... but, failing that, some A330's would be equally welcome !

Last edited by Old King Coal; 25th Jul 2013 at 02:13. Reason: In response to High Energy
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 07:57
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Nice post OKC and that was why I was thinking that it could only be done with the new biz config.

As for the FDP scenario I remember having to go into discretion often when operating CGP and DAC as turnaround flights. I can imagine the chance of having this as a return trip as nil even if the company tries to avail them of the extra hour via Level 2 variation?
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 08:19
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But won't this put FZ in direct competition with EK, especially if they introduce a Y class?
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 10:44
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Don't you mean J class, wiz...?
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 11:32
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But won't this put FZ in direct competition with EK, especially if they introduce a Y class?
Now, now Wiz don't let that fact get in the way of the wishful thinkers rumours......
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 13:09
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Don't you mean J class, wiz...?
Indeed I do!!
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 13:48
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Thats why it will be done using HRI as a hub/base/stopover point.

And... possible 'new' aircraft include EK's old hand-me-downs! As long as you dont suffer from big-shiny-jet syndrome, there's nothing wrong with that!

Last edited by J.L.Seagull; 25th Jul 2013 at 13:50.
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 14:31
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Direct competition?? Pfft. Would need to be an equivalent product.

Y class on EK is miles ahead of Y on FZ. I imagine FZ's biz will be more like a premium economy experience as opposed to a true J class.

I've travelled as a pax on both and to be honest the zoo that was the FZ experience put me off. If people have the money to afford EK, I don't see too many running away to FZ. They are more for the holidaymakers and people on a real budget... I can see perhaps people holidaying opting for FZ J class but I don't see it being equal to EK... no way...

ETA: I have nothing against budget airlines, I have done my fair share with them... but I think FZ having a J class could quite easily coexist next to EK... different markets to be honest.

Last edited by givemewings; 25th Jul 2013 at 14:32.
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 15:48
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Heard the divider between Y and J class will be nothing more than a rope...
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Old 26th Jul 2013, 04:51
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Originally Posted by High Energy View Post
Heard the divider between Y and J class will be nothing more than a rope...
On BA it is a curtain. As the seats are the same in Y and J class they had a movable curtain so as to be able to reconfig the size of J class to match the loads. I once had the bizarre experience of flying back from Rome seated in 'economy' facing a curtain yet having the full business service as they couldnt move the curtain for the last couple of rows of business pax.
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Old 26th Jul 2013, 13:43
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Just go out and lease some 787s...

C'mon FlyDubai.... You have access to cash - go out and lease 10-15 787-800/900s from the big leasing companies and get into the medium/long haul game!!!! The 787s are not a part of EK's fleet so they won't be confused with EK aircraft and the operating economics will allow for continued low fares for typical airfare-conscious FlyDubai passengers. With primarily large 777, A380s and upcoming A350s, EK does not have the equipment to always match the low-fare competitors and leisure-specific destinations. The EK A330s are leaving and FlyDubai will not be able to easily connect Southeast Asia with 737-800s. Obviously A330s would work for FD too (and likely available sooner), but their operating economics are not as great as the 787 (when they are not broken on the ground) and the A330s would not be a great selling point or a differentiator vs. AirAsiaX and others.

If FlyDubai does not make a move for this market, AirAsia X, Scoot and Norwegian Longhaul (in addition to cheap Chinese travel alternatives) will fill the void for low-cost leisure travel between Europe/ME and Southeast Asia and Australia. There will always be more customers who are willing to pay less than pay more for travel - especially to leisure/holiday destinations. The low-cost market to Southeast Asia from the ME and Europe is there and ready to be tapped. The question is: can FlyDubai take advantage of their existing infrastructure and brand name in the ME before the other LCCs move in to fill the void? 7 hour 737-800 flights probably won't be sufficient.

Last edited by Iver; 26th Jul 2013 at 15:37.
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Old 27th Jul 2013, 12:40
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Hmmm

That all sounds very good, a rumour from a senior EK VP is that FZ will start a Gatwick base flying to the East Coast US!
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Old 27th Jul 2013, 13:53
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That all sounds very good, a rumour from a senior EK VP is that FZ will start a Gatwick base flying to the East Coast US!
You are such a naughty boy.

Well - after all it' a rumour site.
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Old 27th Jul 2013, 14:38
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Yeah.. they'll code share with Ryanair
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Old 27th Jul 2013, 17:23
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I suppose that'd be the 'Senior VP - HQ Entry Door Security Service' ?!
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