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Choosing Your Market

It’s easy to understand why the most successful airlines are just that: they understand the airline markets they serve very well, and they use the right aircraft that best suit a community’s and airline’s needs. So, choosing your market can be as important as choosing your fleet (details on the right). 

Choosing your market basically means that you choose what destinations you want to serve, how your airline will develop from your chosen base, and what routes will best suit your airline’s overall development.

Remember, though, if you are competing with other airlines in the same market, you may have to engage in a  price war, making it difficult for growth for substantial periods of time.

There are basically five kinds of flights, including:

  • Feeder
  • Short-Haul
  • Medium-Haul
  • Long-Haul (and its variants)
  • High-density

Feeder flights are basically flights that operate using propeller aircraft and usually operate very short routes (less than 300 miles). Examples: San Francisco to Modesto, Philadelphia to State College, New York to Albany.

Short-haul flights are flights that operate using small jet and/or regional aircraft (jet or propeller-operated) and usually operate up to three hours one-way. Examples: Seoul to Xiamen, Frankfurt to Paris, Seattle to Reno.

Medium-haul flights are flights that operate using jet and/or regional aircraft and usually operate between three to six hours one-way. Examples: Oakland to Chicago, London to Moscow, Beijing to Kunming.

Long-haul flights are flights that operate using small to large jet aircraft and usually operate flights that last more than six hours. Examples: Tokyo to San Francisco, Moscow to Vladivostok, Frankfurt to Sao Paulo.

Ultra Long-haul flights are flights that operate using large jet aircraft and operate flights longer than twelve hours. Many times, these flights operate as “Polar” flights due to them passing through a pole. Examples: New York to Hong Kong, Dubai to Sydney, Chicago to Delhi.

High-Density flights are flights that, although short- or medium-haul in nature, operate best with larger aircraft due to large number of passengers flying such routes. Examples: Hong Kong to Taipei, Los Angeles to San Francisco, Sydney to Melbourne.

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