Commercial Flights

Hey Fellow Captains!

Do commercial airline flights typical fly from base to a destination and return or to other stops before returning to base?

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I believe it can be either or

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Hello,

It depends on the airline. Some airlines have a hub airport or airports and fly from the hub airport to a destination and then return.

Other airlines sometimes fly point to point before eventually ending up back at their hub airport, a good example of this is Southwest Airlines based in United States.

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It depends. Some airlines, like Emirates fly from base - destination - base. Some, like Air Canada (Express), will fly base - destination - destination - destination - base (or so). Most regional airlines will do many legs before returning to base.

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Some airlines dont even come back to their base technically. The aircraft that I was on had at least 7 different routes that were not bases

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True. Some airlines have multiple bases that they will depart//arrive/layover at, too.

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It depends on the operator, largely influenced by where you arein thw world.

In the US, you’ll often hear pilots talking about “going on a trip”, where they’ll fly out of their base, go to multiple destinations, often over the course of a few days, then come back home. These trips could potentially happen to include the crew base.
e.g.:
Day 1 — JFK-BOS-ORD
Day 2 — ORD-LAX-SEA
Day 3 — SEA-MIA-JFK
(That’s just my understanding, but not to familiar with the US industry to be honest)

In Europe, crews tend to be home every night, although it does still depend on the airline. Most will fly from their base, to a destination, back to base, then maybe repeat (usually different destination).
e.g. a Ryanair crew might fly STN-PMI-STN-DUB-STN, or MAN-ATH-MAN. An Air France crew might fly CDG-MAD-CDG-LHR-CDG, or CDG-TFS-CDG. (I don’t know if these are real routes, but are just a good example)

Elsewhere, honestly, not a clue.

Again to stress even in these generalised situations, it does depend on the airline.

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It’ll also depend on the type of airline. ULCC’s (Ryanair, Easyjet, etc), tend to come back to base every night (as they don’t want to spend the money on hotels and the like). Regionals tend to do what you said as they can do multiple legs on a day. Mainline tend to do 1 flight per day and layover at the destination, and return to base at the end of the trip…Thats all from what I understand about the different airlines, but could be 100% wrong, so don’t fully rely on what I say!

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