[May Point Network] "Due to the existence of high-speed rail (high-speed rail civil aviation battle), short-haul routes with less than 3 hours of voyage are not worth operating." Germany's Eurowings Airline Chairman and CEO Renard...

[May Point Network] "Due to the existence of high-speed rail (high-speed rail civil aviation battle), short-haul routes with less than 3 hours of voyage are not worth operating." Reynolds Santler, chairman and CEO of Germany's Eurowings Airlines, once claimed .

His words are not without reason. According to Birds Peggys, vice president of development strategy at Air France, when the journey is only 2 hours or less, the high-speed rail accounts for 90%-95% of the market; when the journey is 3 In the hour, the high-speed rail has a market share of 60%; but when the journey is 4 hours, aviation has a competitive advantage, because the market share of high-speed rail has dropped sharply to 38%.

This also reflects that when the high-speed rail "whistling", the biggest impact is the airline's point-to-point short-haul route. As early as the 1990s, with the launch of the "European Star" and the upgrade of the French high-speed rail (TGV), European airlines realized this and quickly adapted to market changes, including Air France, Lufthansa The airlines (Deutsche Lufthansa AG) have suspended short-haul routes with a range of less than 3 hours, even for low-cost airlines in Europe.

"It is not surprising that we have stopped these short-haul routes. Since the high-speed rail has a clear competitive advantage on these point-to-point routes, we should avoid the sharp points and turn the operational focus to the hub construction. This is the key to airlines winning high-speed rail competition. Strategy.” Kang Feidi, general manager of Air France China, explained to reporters.

Due to the earlier opening of the French TGV, Air France was the first airline in Europe to be hit by high-speed rail. Kang Feidi pointed out that the advantage of airlines lies in the long-haul routes, especially the international routes across the continent. “Airlines can increase the construction of hubs, develop international routes, and combine their short-haul routes with long-haul routes to increase transit passenger flow.”

It turns out that this strategy is quite successful. Jorge Hanreman, vice president of development and capacity management at Lufthansa Hub in Germany, said that although the French-to-German high-speed rail was opened, the journey from Paris to Frankfurt was reduced from the original 6 hours and 15 minutes to 4 hours. The journey to Stuttgart has been reduced from 6 hours to 3 hours and 40 minutes. “But we don’t worry about it because 80% of our passengers from Paris are transit passengers.”

It must be pointed out that if airlines want to implement this hub strategy and win competition with the high-speed rail, they must give up the idea of ​​expecting these short-haul routes to be profitable. Because in this strategy, short-haul routes are only a useful supplement to airlines' long-haul international routes, not a tool for profit. Although US airlines have been hit hard by airlines in Washington, New York, and Boston, and air traffic has fallen sharply, US airlines have insisted on retaining these short-haul routes because they are part of the airline's hub strategy. The combination of international routes can win corporate customers for airlines.

Xiqiao has a cloud: "If you can't beat it, join it." In fact, in addition to using its own short-haul route to transport transit passengers, airlines can also cooperate with high-speed rail, using high-speed rail in 3 hours and less than 3 hours. The competitive advantage of the journey provides more transit passenger flow for its international routes at major hubs.

In the early 1990s, Hens Lulu, the then president of Lufthansa, predicted that the future of transportation in Europe is that there is a railway station under each airport, and the high-speed rail will transport passengers for the airline's long-haul international routes.

It seems that his predictions have come true now. In November 1994, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport established a railway station. With the development of air and rail transportation, other European airports have followed suit, such as Frankfurt Airport and Amsterdam Airport.

Today, Air France has cooperated with TGV operators to carry out intermodal transportation on several high-speed railway lines to Paris. For example, passengers can buy high-speed train tickets to Paris and international flights from Paris at the Lille train station. Lufthansa also operates in Cologne and Stuttgart to Frankfurt high-speed rail.

It is worth noting that now Air France is not only satisfied with the cooperation with the high-speed rail, the company is even interested in investing in the operation of high-speed rail. This is mainly due to the lucrative operation of high-speed rail on the one hand, and the better use of high-speed rail lines to transport passenger flow for its own international routes. To this end, Air France said that once France's domestic high-speed rail market opened in 2010, Air France plans to operate its own high-speed rail in the same year.

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