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United: America's Largest International Airline  
User currently offlineUA744Flagship From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3089 times:

There was a post a while back questioning United's "use of statistics" in its advertising claim that it is the US's largest international airline...

Well, the data for all the major US carriers for 2004 is in... and the top two US international airlines, as measured by the industry-standard metric, RPMs:

1. United 13,217,878
2. American 12,591,601

DISCLAIMER:
This is for FYI purposes only and in no way infers:
(i) More international traffic means more profitability
(ii) More international traffic means one airline is better
(iii) United's ATSB loan should be approved based on this merit

The purpose of this post is to simply validate the claim. The advertising is not false.

12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3001 times:

industry-standard metric, RPMs:

um, what happened to ASMs......


User currently offlineUA744Flagship From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2982 times:

ASMs are the industry standard metric of capacity, not size. There is a difference.

If you have a problem with that, take it up with ATW, IATA, etc.


User currently offlineArtsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4745 posts, RR: 34
Reply 3, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2974 times:

Oddly enough while clearly dwarfed by the likes of AA / UAL / DL / NW, Continental actually flies to the most international destinations of any US carrier

J


User currently offline777gk From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1641 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2706 times:

We just don't have the capacity, we might fly to 100+ cities outside the United States, but most are with ERJs, 737s, and 757s, so we will never come close as far as ASM's, especially with airlines like United flying 10 and 12 777s a day into London, 747s across the Pacific, and three or four major international gateways with multiple daily widebody longhaul flights. Heck, UA has more 777s than we have all our widebodies combined!

Still, our Newark hub is the most complete single-airline international gateway in the nation, and we have an extensive Latin American operation out of Houston, so even with smaller equipment and fewer frequencies, we still do a pretty damn good job.


User currently offlineIrishpower From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 386 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2676 times:

I'd say ORD for both UA and AA compete pretty well with EWR (CO) for complete international gateway.

Not to mention ATL for DL and JFK for AA/DL.




User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13704 posts, RR: 61
Reply 6, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2631 times:
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This is getting ri-goddamn-diculous.

It's like arguing penis size in terms of length vs. girth vs. weight!  Insane

UA flies bigger equipment internationally, so they're the biggest in terms of ASMs.

AA flies more people internationally, so they're the biggest in terms of RPMs.

CO flies to more international destinations, so they're the biggest in terms of cities served.

Happy now?




"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineRockyRacoon From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 981 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2607 times:

NW doesn't rank up there with their NRT ops?



peace


User currently offlineA330323X From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 3039 posts, RR: 44
Reply 8, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2490 times:

This is getting ri-goddamn-diculous.

It's like arguing penis size in terms of length vs. girth vs. weight!

UA flies bigger equipment internationally, so they're the biggest in terms of ASMs.

AA flies more people internationally, so they're the biggest in terms of RPMs.

CO flies to more international destinations, so they're the biggest in terms of cities served.

Happy now?


US likes to remind everyone in their ads that "US Airways flies to more Caribbean islands from the continental U.S. than any other airline."  Smile

[Edited 2004-05-06 20:43:31]


I'm the expert on here on two things, neither of which I care about much anymore.
User currently offlineUA744Flagship From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2396 times:

UA flies bigger equipment internationally, so they're the biggest in terms of ASMs.

AA flies more people internationally, so they're the biggest in terms of RPMs.


It's precisely these misconceptions that are rectified by ATW, etc.

UA flies bigger equipment, but does not have the most INTL ASMs. AA does.

AA flies more people internationally, but UA has more RPMs.

Again, RPMs are the most used measure of size. There is no disputing that.


User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13704 posts, RR: 61
Reply 10, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 2311 times:
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I hate to disagree with you, but...

http://www.atwonline.com/stats_top25.cfm


ATW's Top 20 Airlines
January-March 2004

Carrier RPKs
  • American 48,634,178

  • United 41,888,939

  • Delta 39,019,425

  • Northwest 26,878,443

  • British Airways 24,797,000

  • Continental 23,673,515


  • I see your point about UA having more international RPMs, but again that's a base of the relative distances involved, since UA's international flights cover a longer duration than AA's do (AA's being primarily to Latin America/Europe and UA's are primarily to Europe and Asia).

    So UA gets an asterisk at best when declaring them the "largest." They're really not - they just carry people FURTHER internationally.




    [Edited 2004-05-06 21:23:44]


    "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
    User currently offlineUA744Flagship From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 11, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 2217 times:

    Never said UA was a larger carrier overall, just that their advertising claim as being "America's largest *international* carrier" is correct...

    The whole point about flying longer distances in relating to size is economically correct. The longer the flight, the more opportunity cost for being able to operating more frequencies or shorter flights.

    This is why when judging by overall size the RPM/RPK is used, as you just showed. When dividing traffic into international/domestic or regions, it wouldn't make sense to rely on any other measure of size, would it?

    Please refer to the title of the post  Smile

    United really IS larger internationally. If you fly more international RPMs, you are larger. So what if it is because your international stage lengths are longer? You're still larger by the industry standard measure.


    User currently offlineOB1783P From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 326 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 12, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 2218 times:

    That reminds me, when I was a kid, Air France used to pride itself on having the "largest route network" of any airline in the world. I had a neat little blue plastic flight bag with that written on it.

    If it means what I think it means (if you fly CDG-JFK five times a day, it counts as one, if you fly CDG-CAY once a week, it counts as one...), which airline holds the title today? Whose route map uses the most ink?

    Could it STILL be AF?





    I've flown thousands of miles and I can tell you it's a lot safer than crossing the street!
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