Dull Friday quiz

Since I’ve been blethering on about aviation, that’s the quiz topic:

1) Which single airport (domestic or international) is the most popular passenger destination for people flying out of Boston Logan Airport?

2) Where was Air Berlin headquartered for the first 12 years of its existence?

3) Out of the top 40 international destination airports flown from the US, which five have the highest percentage of passengers flying there on US airlines? (ie as close as possible to “100% of people who fly there use Delta, United, AA, Southwest, etc”)?

4) Out of the top 40 international destination airports flown from the US, which five have the lowest percentage of passengers flying there on US airlines (ie as close as possible to “100% of people who fly there use Aeroflot / Zimbabwe Airlines”)?

5) From which airport in the EU can you catch a direct, non-stop flight to Australia?

13 thoughts on “Dull Friday quiz”

  1. Aside from having flown on them occasionally, I know nothing much about the topic, so this is all wild guesswork.

    1) JFK – there's probably a ridiculous number of shuttle flights going up and down the East Coast
    2) No idea, but I have a feeling 'anywhere but Berlin' is a safe answer
    3) I suspect we're all meant to forget the existence of Canada and Mexico for this one – Toronto, Vancouver, Cancun, Mexico City, London
    4) More wild guessing – Tokyo, Frankfurt, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, Hong Kong
    5) I'm thinking it needs to be somewhere southern to make it possible, and in one of the countries with a large diaspora in Australia, so likely Rome, Zagreb or Belgrade…I'll go for Rome.

  2. 1) I know this one, not sure the world 'popular' is apt though once you've trudged three miles to passport control.
    4) Maybe Brazil? I see Nick put that.
    5) Is this one of the French DOMs?

  3. On 2), I think "the first 12 years of its existence" will refer to the period immediately after the war, so I will guess "the USA"

    On 3) I am going to guess one of the Carribean countries where I would surmise that nearly all of the air traffic is US immigrant-related, and so I say Las Americas in the Dominican Republic.

    On 4) it's going to be "pick a European airport where the vast majority of the traffic is intra-Europe, but which struggles into the top 40 US destinations", on which basis I say Rome.

  4. 1) Heathrow, which I *think* goes to Matthew. New York is the most popular city destination from Boston, but flights are split between JFK and La Guardia.

    2) Yup, Miami. However, the first 12 years of its existence were 1978-1990 (the agreement with the USSR under which flights from West Berlin were allowed to overfly Soviet airspace only applied to American, French and British airlines and pilots, and was only rescinded after the Wall fell).

    I phrased 3 and 4 badly. The question I was trying to ask was "what proportion of people flying to $abroad from the US use US airlines", rather than total aviation. Nonetheless, answers did not suck. Data from here.

    The five places with the highest proportion of people flying to or from the US on US carriers are Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (91.8% fly on US carriers); Cancun, Mexico (93.4%); Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (98.2%); Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (99.9%); and Aruba (100%). This reflects the fact that nobody in their right mind would fly on a Dominican or Mexican airline, even if the only other choice was a US one.

    The five places with the highest proportion of people flying to or from the US on foreign carriers are Taipei (100%), Seoul (94.7%), Dubai (74.7%), Gatwick (74.4%), and Hong Kong (69.5%). This reflects the fact that no US carriers fly to Taipei (presumably because of deals with China?), that nobody in their right mind would fly on a US airline in preference to Cathay or Emirates, and that the US airlines that used to fly out of Gatwick spent crazy amounts of money on Heathrow slots during the 2000s. Korea is a bit perplexing, though.

    5) Close but cigar-less. New Caledonia isn't an integral part of France – it's a "sui generis collectivity" (something approximately equivalent to Bermuda) rather than an overseas department. Reunion (near Mauritius) is the one you're looking for – it is fully part of France and the EU, and Air Austral flies three times a week to Sydney.

  5. By the way I was interested in Nick's suggestion of a direct Italy – Australia, and looking at the range of the 777 or a350 longest configuration it could do it, in fact possibly even from London (although very tight – and I asume you need to leave spare margin). I imagine there are also other considerations that mean it's not done, also seems Perth about the best you could do so perhaps demand is not there.

    Also the article I saw said nonstop uses more fuel (as plane heavier to begin with) but I thought this was surprising given you only have to take off once.

  6. I looked into it as well – and yup, you could scrape Rome-Perth on a 777-300ER. Trouble is, Rome-Perth is almost completely useless. Perth's a mining town where most of the non-Aussies are Brits or Americans, and where the only business need to go to Europe is to go to London to meet financial types. The Italians live in Melbourne and Sydney, and Sydney's trade with Italy is centred on Melbourne and Sydney.

    You can't do London-Perth on any current or proposed 777 variant. You could do it on an A350 or a 787, and Virgin Atlantic were talking about offering it when their 787s reach the fleet (they still might, if they're still an independent airline at the time, because being the First Airline With A Scheduled Non-Stop Service From London To Australia wins marketing points. But I reckon they'll only do it once a week, and only for PR – Perth just isn't a big enough market. Unless they're better integrated with Virgin Blue at that point, in which case a two-hop SYD-PER-LHR flight might have merit).

    London-Sydney/Melbourne nonstop is the grail of aircraft manufacturers. Neither launch A350 variant will be able to do it (although both would be able to do 15,000km, which would cover Athens-Melbourne, which would be profitable given both cities' demographics).

    The A350-900R would be able to do 17,000km, which would do nonstop London-Sydney. Problem is, the fact that winds blow from west to east mean that it probably couldn't, in its initial incarnation, do Sydney -London, which makes the whole thing a bit of a fail. Airbus, GE and RR are trying to come up with an A350 variant which can do 20,000km, which would be interesting (=half circumference of earth, so can go anywhere).

  7. 19 hours at cruising speed (with appropriate adjustment for take-off and landing) – so probably 20 hours. 22 hours is barely any shorter than current speeds via Singapore (24 is, I think, the shortest prevailing = QF31. Which I'm taking in May. Beer?)

  8. US airlines that used to fly out of Gatwick spent crazy amounts of money on Heathrow slots during the 2000s.

    For god's sake why? Gatwick may be purgatorial, but Heathrow is actually a fiefdom of Hell. Plus, I'd guess that communications Gatwick-London are in fact better, if marginally.

  9. Chris:

    a) 35% of LHR passengers are changing planes, and changing LGW-LHR is a nightmare. This matters more than before because in ticketing terms, there are only really three western airlines now: Star, OneWorld and SkyTeam. United/Continental (Star) needs to be at the same airport as BMI/Lufthansa. Delta (SkyTeam) needs to be at the same airport as Air France/KLM. Delta and Continental are the airlines that traditionally flew out of Gatwick. It matters less for AA/OneWorld, because of BA's dominance at Heathrow.

    b) Flying non-BA into LHR is currently pretty hellish, I'd grant you. I'd recommend BA though – Terminal 5 is one of the world's best air terminals (beats Hong Kong and Sydney. Flying via Singapore in a couple of months, will be interesting to compare).

    c) the fast train from LGW to London is much slower than the fast train from LHR; and the slow train from LGW to London is much more expensive than the slow train from LHR. If you're driving, Sussex, Surrey, Kent and southeast London are easier from LGW; anywhere else in the country is easier from LHR.

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