As in question. I have noticed, for example, that Berlin-Tegel has TXL-CDG route served by both AirBerlin and AirFrance with exactly five minutes separation. First plane takes off at 09:50 and second one at 09:55. I have also noticed that the same rule goes for longer routes, i.e. LHR-SYD goes with around 20-40 minutes separation, served by both Qantas and British Airways.

Can someone explain me a business or economic reason for doing so?

Why these two planes are not scheduled with a bigger separation? I.e. 2-3 hours or even half of day in case of long routes? Wouldn't that assure bigger chance or getting more customers? If route interest is big enough that two planes, near each other, needs to be scheduled, then why simply one airline don't use a larger airplane and the other one schedules its own flight 2-3 hours later or so to capture "other part of day" travellers?

  • $\begingroup$ TXL-CDG is not the best example since there's a flight every 1-2h. But this is also often done when there are only very few flights a day. $\endgroup$
    – sweber
    Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 12:35
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    $\begingroup$ Different airlines are not working together to provide the best coverage, they are competing. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 12:38
  • $\begingroup$ @sweber As for the schedule, I saw yesterday, I would say that these two were the only two planes on this route for 08:00-16:00 part of the day. So, five minutes separation for the only two planes for half day on given route does sound like a good example, as for me. $\endgroup$
    – trejder
    Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 12:46
  • $\begingroup$ @J.Hougaard Still... competing should mean gathering as much customers as possible, yes. I can't understand business reasons for operations as described in question. IMHO I'd be more reluctant in picking airline A or B if they'd give me option to either fly in the morning or to fly in the evening rather than to fly at 10:00 or to fly at 10:10. $\endgroup$
    – trejder
    Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 12:48
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    $\begingroup$ This is a prime example of Hotelling's law. $\endgroup$
    – Sanchises
    Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 18:56

1 Answer 1


If you look at just the schedules it says nothing. If you look at the prices you can see that Air Berlin was pricing the flight significantly lower than Air France. As was stated above, it was competition.

Unfortunately, things did not end well for Air Berlin. The airline declared bankruptcy in August 2017, and was unable to obtain further funds from its primary shareholder, Etihad. The company closed its doors in October of the same year.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm not convinced by the utility of your addition to your answer. Is it necessary to answer the question? $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 13:09
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    $\begingroup$ I think the edit adds interesting context. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 15:09
  • $\begingroup$ The question was about "business or economic reason." The additional infomation specifically relates to that. "Necessary" is not an appropriate filter to judge answers in all cases. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 8:18
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    $\begingroup$ @Federico: Answering the question is, generally, encouraged. ;-P $\endgroup$
    – Vikki
    Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 3:00

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