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Why Not More 744's/High Density Aircraft In US?  
User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5934 times:

In countries like Japan, China, Singapore, Australia, and many countries all over Europe, there seems to be an abundance of wide-bodied aircraft. For instance, I flew into CDG Terminal 2 (I think, the terminal the CO flies into), this January, and there were nothing but widebodies all over the place, mostly AF 777's, 340's, and 744's. However, you visit the US large airports and look at US airlines terminals, and at the most, you may see 4 or 5 widebodies. For instance DFW and ORD. But when you go to LHR, etc., there are widebodies EVERYWHERE.

Why isn't there a need for more capacity in the US as compared to the smaller countries of Europe, Asia, etc.? Is it because we are focusing very much on frequency as opposed to capacity?

Secondly, why is it that it seems that all other large carriers of the world, excluding US carriers, are able to serve such exotic destinations, where as most US airlines serve very common ones.


9 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17626 posts, RR: 65
Reply 1, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5914 times:

The US market is extremely fragmented compared to the rest of the world, and this makes large high density routes less common.

IMHO, this also explains Boeing's focus on fragmentation...

As for your question about "exotic destinations", the US carriers are predominantly domestic arilines, and focus on what they do well (ok, less than catastrophically considering how they are faring now...). It's easier and cheaper to just join an alliance and get the "exotic destinations" that way.

"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineSsides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 19
Reply 2, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5880 times:

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "exotic destinations," so I'll just address the other issues.

Asiahas a greater need for widebody aircraft because it is much more densely populated, and their population tends to favor widebodies over narrowbodies, even for short flights. Look at the domestic aviation market in Japan and you'll see what I mean.

Also, understand that the aviation market in the US is more saturated with competition, meaning that flights will be spread out among more airlines. This reduces the need for widebody aircraft. In addition, more people in the US are accustomed to connecting rather than flying non-stop; this also reduces the need.

The biggest reason, however, is that American travelers value flight frequency more than they demand aircraft size. The typical American business traveler would rather have an airline offer 20 daily DFW-ORD flights on MD80s than 7 flights on a 777. This is the big driver.

As far as Europe is concerned, most of the widebodies you'll see there are for inter-continental flights. European airlines fly more to Asia than US airlines, hence more widebodies. You will rarely see a widebody flying a route like LHR-CDG or FRA-FCO. European airlines like AF and BA typically have larger international route networks, hence more widebodies.

In the end, it ultimately comes down to population density. The US has around 280m people spread over virtually the whole continent. Japan has about 150m all on a single island. The UK, 65m on an even smaller island. Germany, 80m in a country smaller than Texas. France, 65m in a similar area. These people can get on a train to get anywhere domestically. Hence, airlines are seen more as an international travel mechanism.

[Edited 2004-10-15 22:28:18]

"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
User currently offlineIowaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5820 times:

Definently frequences otherwise you wouldn't see hourly Saab service from IND to MDW.

User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5814 times:

Dude, you know too much about aviation to be trolling with such a ridiculous question as this.

Multiple hubs + multiple spoke alternative gateways + desire for frequency + unrestricted intranational access by domestic carriers = market fragmentation = high frequency flights by smaller aircraft

User currently offlineFlyPIJets From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 993 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5739 times:

Use to be that the U.S. domestic market had plenty of wide body service. Back in the days when the government told airlines when and where they could fly, a good way for an airline to increase load was to increase the seating capacity of the a/c. Hence the popularity of wide bodies domestically.

When deregulation happened, airlines jumped all over the place to fly where they thought the most profitable routes would be. It makes more sense to fly smaller, less expensive a/c. Why spend $140 million for a 747 that can only make a few hops a day when for the same amount of money you can get 3 or 4 smaller a/c that can be positioned in more places.


As far as wide-bodies being used for intra-european or intra-asian routes v. intra-U.S. I don't think wide-bodies are use extensively intra-europe. The evolution there is that intra-europe air travel over the years has had to compete more with rail.

With intra-asain routes, I think you will find wide-bodies in use on intra-asian routes. Well, look at the map, air travel would seemed to be a very good way to get from say the Philippines to Japan.

Rex Kramer: Get that finger out of your ear! You don't know where that finger's been!
User currently offlinePlanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 7210 posts, RR: 37
Reply 6, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5679 times:

Ssides, not too bad at all...  Big grin

The US has around 280m... [actual: 293,027,571] people spread over virtually the whole continent.... [actual: US covers less than half the continent. North America continent includes Mexico - almost 3 times the size of Texas, and Canada - second largest country in the world]. Japan has about 150m... [actual: 127,333,002] all on a single island... [actual: Japan is an island chain with 4 main islands]. The UK, 65m... [actual: 60,270,708] on an even smaller island [actual: 15 times smaller land area than Japan]. Germany, 80m... [actual: 82,424,609] in a country smaller than Texas. France, 65m... [actual: 60,424,213] in a similar area... [actual: France is 1.56 the size of Germany... and Germany is almost half the size of Texas... but with almost 3.7 times the population].

[Edited 2004-10-15 23:29:07]

Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offlineSolnabo From Sweden, joined Jan 2008, 923 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5618 times:

If you sum up EU, you got ca 450 mill people.....


Airbus SAS - Love them both
User currently offlineTod From Denmark, joined Aug 2004, 1767 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 5525 times:

It would take longer to load/unload 570 pax than the length of most domestic flights.

User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 5458 times:

If you sum up EU, you got ca 450 mill people

Which means almost nothing relevant to this discussion... the USA, at 280M, is still a considerably larger market.

And let's not even bother bringing China nor India into this.

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