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UA Bucking The Trend: Reducing Flights To Europe  
User currently offlineIluv747400 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 371 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 9253 times:

When other carriers, espcially Delta and Continental, are looking to transatlantic flights to improve their financial standing, United is seeing about an 8% reduction in service, comparing Summer 2005 and Summer 2006.

- JFK-LHR will be reduced from 2 daily 777s to just 1 daily 777. Is it even worth it any more with just one flight?
- As has been mentioned before, SFO-CDG is being scrapped altogether.
- One IAD-LHR will drop from a 777 to a 763.
- IAD-MUC will drop from a 777 to a 763.

Overall they'll drop from 168 to 154 weekly flights.

By comparison, all carriers with a greater market share across the Atlantic will be increasing the number of seats available - some dramatically and some marginally.

Is United shooting itself in the foot? It's hard to imagine that anyone but the most loyal United fliers will be filling its Business and First Class cabins on the JFK-LHR flight when BA offers 10 flights from NYC to LHR everyday, AA offers 6 JFK-LHR flights each day, and Virgin a further 5 NYC-LHR flights per day. Will they at least make some money selling that LHR slot?

[Edited 2005-10-23 22:47:36]

57 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21472 posts, RR: 60
Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9203 times:

So UA is going to end up giving away slots to non-US carriers at LHR? Or what happens there.

UA no longer deserves to be the anointed LHR carrier beside AA. Let's see US or CO get a shot at it (or both).



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 24997 posts, RR: 85
Reply 2, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9186 times:
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I think its the most sensible thing I've heard in a while.

The rush to Europe, especially by Delta, is just going to trash yields in the same way yields have been trashed domestically.

United is obviously more concerned with profit.

cheers

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineUnitedTristar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9177 times:

Quoting Iluv747400 (Thread starter):
- JFK-LHR will be reduced from 2 daily 777s to just 1 daily 777. Is it even worth it any more with just one flight?
- As has been mentioned before, SFO-CDG is being scrapped altogether.
- One IAD-LHR will drop from a 777 to a 763.
- IAD-MUC will drop from a 777 to a 763.

HUMMMMM well JFK dosent do well for UA to LHR.

CDG to SFO dosent make money for UA. Most US carriers struggle with west coast CDG flights. Look at AA and SJC CDG.

One IAD LHR flight was a 767 before and was temporarly upgraded while the 767 fleet was moved around. It is going back to its origonal equipment.

IAD MUC was upgraded to a 777 last year when they did not have ORD MUC. Now that that flight is successful they are moving to 767 on both flights. Also LH is moving into the IAD MUC market as well next year.

For future flights look for additional flights to germany and new europen destinations to be announced first quarter of next year.

-m

 airplane 


User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 4, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9159 times:

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
UA no longer deserves to be the anointed LHR carrier beside AA.

What?

United operates an outstanding schedule to LHR from IAD, ORD, LAX, and SFO.

They have basically conceded the JFK fight to AA, but you can't win at every station. I am POSITIVE UA will not be giving up that slot. They will use it on one of these other routes.

Wintertime downsizing of European routes is common and prudent.

N


User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11410 posts, RR: 62
Reply 5, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9130 times:

Quoting Iluv747400 (Thread starter):
When other carriers, espcially Delta and Continental, are looking to transatlantic flights to improve their financial standing, United is seeing about an 8% reduction in service, comparing Summer 2005 and Summer 2006.

If they think this is fiscally prudent, good for them.

I would refer you here:

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2005-10-21-international-routes_x.htm

All of the astounding growth in Europe in summer 2006 is no doubt going to drive yields down, as more capacity is going to flood the market with new capacity. United may be trying to preserve some yield premium by restraining capacity in the U.S.-Europe markets it serves.

Quoting Iluv747400 (Thread starter):
Is it even worth it any more with just one flight?

Probably not, which is why I don't give this flight any more than a few years. I would expect that if some form of U.S.-E.U. deal is reached in the near future on a bilateral that opens up LHR, or at least opens the U.S. cities that can be served from LHR, I fully expect UA to shift this slot to LHR-DEN and cut its losses on JFK-LHR.

I know many in the past have said that UA still has a few corporate contracts in New York that fill up F and J on this flight JFK-LHR each night, but I have to wonder how long those contracts are going to stick around now that UA has gone from three daily flights (one morning/two night) to two daily flights (both night) to only a single daily night flight, while BA has maintained its seven daily 747 and 777 flights, and AA has maintained its six daily 777s.

UA is far from attactive in this market, and given the opportunity, I think it would take them all of about two seconds to move this highly valuable LHR slot to DEN, a major UA hub where they would be highly successful.


User currently offlineRojo From Spain, joined Sep 2000, 2442 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9127 times:

Quoting Mariner (Reply 2):
The rush to Europe, especially by Delta, is just going to trash yields in the same way yields have been trashed domestically.

Ok with CDG, but dropping flights from LHR, which is a slot restricted - premium market with less competition thanks to Bermuda II? Don't get it!

They should use the slot to serve another US route like increasing IAD or LAX. Lets see what they do with the slot.


User currently offlineLXsaab2000 From Switzerland, joined Feb 2004, 325 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9117 times:

Quoting UnitedTristar (Reply 3):
For future flights look for additional flights to germany and new europen destinations to be announced first quarter of next year.

Any rumors about these possible new destionations to Europe?


User currently offlineIluv747400 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 371 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9109 times:

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 4):
Wintertime downsizing of European routes is common and prudent

These changes are for the summer of 2006. None of the other LHR routes is scheduled (right now) to see an increase in service.


User currently offlineNosedive From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9075 times:

Quoting Commavia (Reply 5):
I fully expect UA to shift this slot to LHR-DEN and cut its losses on JFK-LHR.

It'd be a LGW-DEN flight. The Bermuda II  would want it that way Wink

EDIT: typo

[Edited 2005-10-23 23:04:14]

User currently offlineBehramjee From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 4748 posts, RR: 43
Reply 10, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9067 times:

well maybe the B777s which arent going to be seen in EU-LHR this winter would be diverted to the trans-pacific flights for the peak winter + chinese new year seasons.

User currently offlinePlanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3521 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9026 times:

I think this sounds like good stuff.

The other airlines seem to be just piling on the overseas routes in hopes that that is the snake oil or cure all that will miraculously bring their airline out of the red and into the black. United realizes that they don't need an extra 1500 seats out of JFK every week when they can just cut the costs of that one flight and move it somewhere where the capacity is needed. Not to mention higher fares and higher load factors with one flight a day instead of two.

United is thinkin, I'm feelin better about their post bankruptcy life.



Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offlineTornado82 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9009 times:

What are the plans for these 777's, surely they're not going to let a bird like that waste away.

Are they compatible engine-wise with CO's? (Not looking to start crap, just asking a question which I totally don't know the answer to, so be nice!)


User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 13, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9011 times:

Firstly, seasonal cutbacks for the winter season on the north atlantic are very normal and, secondly, its a very very long time until the Summer 2006 schedule is finalized and in place - there probably will be lots of changes and additions in the coming months. Also consider that UA has had some issues with its longhaul fleet and aircraft allocations over the past months, hopefully thats all worked out now, and UA can fine-tune its schedule.

The 777 to 763 adjustments on the IAD-LHR flight and IAD-MUN flights are typical - as pointed out, these segments have typically been operated by the 763. As for SFO-CDG, for whatever reason, UA cannot seem to make this route work and its being dropped - makes total sense. UA's performance on the JFK-LHR route is a bit strange, UA has never been a big player on this most important route and cutting back to one flight per day is probably not the answer either....at one point UA operated 3 or 4 762s on the route (and also flew EWR-LHR) which made a bit more sense and then moved up to higher capacity 763s and 777s and cut frequency. There is a lot of competition on the JFK-LHR route, but UA does not compete aggressively - the JFK-LHR flights are operated primarily for UA's very large corporate customers.......the UA flights out of JFK to LHR very often have gone out with light loads in Y but to capacity in F and J, the pattern is similiar to UA's performance on the transcon services out of JFK. I at one time suggested that UA try the PS757 service on the JFK-LHR route to secure and grow its niche market on the route (catering to business pax) but very few agreed with me; in any case, offering only one flight per day on this type of route is problematic. As for the valuable slot at LHR, its likely that STAR partner LH is "babysitting" the slot (operating a flight in the time periods) until UA determines exactly what it is doing......I would expect (hope) that the second frequency will return for the summer schedule.

While UA, AA and CO have expansion plans for Europe, UA has not been very aggressive - probably because UA simply does not have additional longrange aircraft for new routes and the "757 trick" would not work for UA as its PW powered 757s are lacking in range for most routes. UA is also limited by its European gateway cities - they go head to head with AA at ORD and IAD is simply not as strong as CO's hub at EWR or DL's ATL operation - and IAD is not NYC as far as O/D traffic which helps DL at JFK, CO at EWR and soon AA at JFK if they get their transatlantic expansion underway. Also consider that UA has a vast pacific network to think about (something that the other airlines dont have) and UA should probably place its available resources in re-establishing itself as a leader accross the Pacific.


User currently offlineAirbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8194 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 8999 times:

They may be reducing flights to Europe, but they have been increasing flights to Asia. Delta for example, doesn't have that luxury. Competition to Europe is getting fierce and it's about to get worse with the anticipated open skies agreement between the EU and US. United seems to be leaving the trans-atlantic market to Lufthansa and concentrationg their resources on the Pacific. It's not a bad plan.

User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 15, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 8997 times:

Quoting Iluv747400 (Reply 8):
These changes are for the summer of 2006.

Sorry, I appear to have just looked right over that.

Quoting Nosedive (Reply 9):
It'd be a LGW-DEN flight. The Bermuda II 

You need to read the rest of what he said.

N


User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 16, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 8913 times:

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 12):
What are the plans for these 777's, surely they're not going to let a bird like that waste away.

Are they compatible engine-wise with CO's? (Not looking to start crap, just asking a question which I totally don't know the answer to, so be nice!)

UA will probably re-assign the 777s to routes in the Pacific.

UA flies 777s with PW engines, CO flies 777s with GE engines, so CO would not be interested - UA does not want to dispose of any additional longrange aircraft so its not really an issue.


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26357 posts, RR: 76
Reply 17, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 8890 times:

Quoting Iluv747400 (Thread starter):
- JFK-LHR will be reduced from 2 daily 777s to just 1 daily 777. Is it even worth it any more with just one flight?

Sure it is. They still have lucrative corporate contracts out of JFK and use it as an online connecting point. The second flight has usually been more lightly loaded, though that did help me when my LAX-JFK flight had to divert to IAD and was 4 hours late.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
So UA is going to end up giving away slots to non-US carriers at LHR? Or what happens there.

UA no longer deserves to be the anointed LHR carrier beside AA. Let's see US or CO get a shot at it (or both).

"Deserves?" UA is the corporate successor to Pan Am on the route, which means they get LHR (much like AA did with TWA). UA isn't giving the slot away, they are simply moving it around

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 4):
They have basically conceded the JFK fight to AA, but you can't win at every station. I am POSITIVE UA will not be giving up that slot. They will use it on one of these other routes.

LAX-LHR goes out consistantly packed. 2 of the 5 LHR carriers have added flights (AA 1 and BA 1) and still the route is under served. It would actually behoove UA to use the slot on an additional LAX-LHR flight.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11410 posts, RR: 62
Reply 18, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 8776 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 17):
It would actually behoove UA to use the slot on an additional LAX-LHR flight.

UA would not be able to fill a second flight LAX-LHR without wrecking yields. AA is only able to do it because they are much stronger at LHR and are relatively neck-and-neck with UA at LAX. And, even they have to cut the second LAX-LHR during the winter as the yield drop-off is significant.


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26357 posts, RR: 76
Reply 19, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 8702 times:

Quoting Commavia (Reply 18):
UA would not be able to fill a second flight LAX-LHR without wrecking yields. AA is only able to do it because they are much stronger at LHR and are relatively neck-and-neck with UA at LAX. And, even they have to cut the second LAX-LHR during the winter as the yield drop-off is significant.

As of now, both AA and BA have kept their second and third flights, respectively on the schedule. In the winter, premium traffic typically goes up, it is Y class yields that go down as tourists don't want to go to Europe when it is cold. As it is, UA's flights go out full and it is hard to find a good fare without connecting.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11410 posts, RR: 62
Reply 20, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 8674 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 19):
As of now, both AA and BA have kept their second and third flights, respectively on the schedule.

Wrong.

American's second flight, AA134/135, end on 28Oct05 and don't come back again until 2Apr05.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 19):
As it is, UA's flights go out full and it is hard to find a good fare without connecting.

Exactly. And that's how United wants to keep it. Adding more seats and more capacity in the nonstop market would pull fares down and provide too much capacity.


User currently offlineLHUSA From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 563 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 8645 times:

Quoting UnitedTristar (Reply 3):
Also LH is moving into the IAD MUC market as well next year.

LH already started daily MUC-IAD flights this May. The flights will be reduced to 5-weekly with the onset of the winter schedule in a couple of weeks.


User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 22, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 8621 times:

Quoting Iluv747400 (Thread starter):

- JFK-LHR will be reduced from 2 daily 777s to just 1 daily 777. Is it even worth it any more with just one flight?

I'm saddened to hear its true, as I love seeing UA's 777's landing @ LHR..


MyAviation.net photo:
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Photo © Jacobin777



Quoting Mariner (Reply 2):
The rush to Europe, especially by Delta, is just going to trash yields in the same way yields have been trashed domestically.

well..I mentioned that already in a previous post..you should be up to date on my posts... Wink

Quoting Iluv747400 (Thread starter):
- As has been mentioned before, SFO-CDG is being scrapped altogether.

I'm a bit surprised that not even a 767 can do well for UA, with SFO being a large fortress for UA

Quoting N1120A (Reply 19):
As of now, both AA and BA have kept their second and third flights, respectively on the schedule. In the winter, premium traffic typically goes up, it is Y class yields that go down as tourists don't want to go to Europe when it is cold. As it is, UA's flights go out full and it is hard to find a good fare without connecting.

with AA, this Friday, 29th October is the last 2X/daily for the year, as of Saturday, they are going 1X/daily, and BA's last 3X/daily is this coming Saturday, as of Sunday, October 30, they will go back down to 2X/daily..



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26357 posts, RR: 76
Reply 23, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 8511 times:

Quoting Commavia (Reply 20):
Quoting N1120A (Reply 19):
As of now, both AA and BA have kept their second and third flights, respectively on the schedule.

Wrong.

American's second flight, AA134/135, end on 28Oct05 and don't come back again until 2Apr05.

Hence I said AS OF NOW. I looked up today's schedule



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 24997 posts, RR: 85
Reply 24, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 8478 times:
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Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 22):
I mentioned that already in a previous post..you should be up to date on my posts.

You're going to have to help me here - I have no idea what your point is.

I don't remember reading a post of yours about yields to Europe, but then - I don't read every post.

And if I did, is it not possible for two people to come to a similar conclusion at the same time?

 confused 

cheers

mariner



aeternum nauta
25 Post contains images StevenUhl777 : Wait...let me guess...you flew UA once to or from LHR and they lost your bag, right? Is that why you made that stupid comment? Couldn't have been bas
26 Post contains images Jacobin777 : only being sardonic....
27 SFORunner : LHR is not as strategically important to UA as the other Bermuda II carriers: 1) LHR is important to BA and VS as it is both airlines' home base. Enou
28 Commavia : Very true. BA and VS have their home base there, and AA has one of its most profitable stations in its entire system there. UA has not appeared nearl
29 Kahala777 : JFK-LHR is a route that serves to of United Airlines Point to Point International Gateways, not Hubs. It has been rumored for a very long time that J
30 UAcosCS : Says you? Please. No you cant win in every region either, so i guess we'll just continue to dominate the Pacific where the money is, and AA looking i
31 UALAX : Any chance of LAX-FRA? Would love to see E+ on this route! UALAX
32 Kahala777 : Not for the near future. Look no further than the fact that the following flights are operated to Germany: Los Angeles-Dusseldorf LTU A330 Los Angele
33 UA772IAD : UA currently operates a morning flight (UA922) with a 763. The early evening flight, UA918 was upgraded to a 744 about a year or so ago, and continue
34 Bjornstrom : UA is a leading member of * with lots of european partner (and NZ + SQ !) airlines feeding their network from major european airports such as LHR, MAN
35 N1120A : UA used to operate the route but they handed it over to Lufthansa and codeshare on their flights LAX-FRA is one of the highest load transatlantic rou
36 Iluv747400 : Virgin Atlantic also offers one daily flight.
37 AirxLiban : Even though we've established that that isn't happening, wouldn't BA have to start flying to DEN out of LGW as well if that were the case? Or would t
38 Halls120 : I travel to London several times a year, and absolutely love the morning departure from IAD. I hope UA is making money on that flight, because I'd ha
39 Eha : Quoting Iluv747400 (Thread starter): - As has been mentioned before, SFO-CDG is being scrapped altogether. It took them a while to realize that CDG de
40 ManchesterMAN : If BA operates LHR-DEN then why can't UA? I've always wondered this but never been bothered to ask before, until now ...
41 Commavia : Bermuda II. BA is able to operate on routes like LHR-DEN, LHR-ATL, etc., even while their U.S. counterparts cannot, because of the terms of the agree
42 FriendlySkies : What I want to know is why our government agreed to something as bogus as that...they effectively destroyed any chance of our own airlines to compete
43 Mariner : Yes. Oh. I thought that BA could only fly from LHR to DEN because United doesn't - that if United started service from Denver to London it would have
44 Stitch : As noted, winter is a slack time for European leisure travel, so UA historically swaps out 772s and 744s for 763s so the larger planes can handle the
45 Post contains images Jacobin777 : which makes it all the reason a shame that UA can't make that route profitable....they've been flying that route for a long time, yet don't have the
46 ChrisNH : Or somewhere. International flying, in my own opinion, isn't something carriers should turn on and off like a light switch. You want to build visibil
47 Stargoldlhr : I have flown UA maybe 20 or 30 times since 1998 between LHR and New York. In that time Ive seen the 763's to EWR packed out. 763's to JFK packed out.
48 FA4UA : I'm surprised nobody has really mentioned this... UA operating JFK-LHR is not just to compliment our network as UA, but to enhance the Star Alliance.
49 Mariner : Why is that cynical? As I indicated in reply #2, it is the best thing. If United has actually abandoned the market share concept in favor of yield th
50 Gigneil : (snip) This whole paragraph was awful, and I'm not just talking about the spelling. Clearly, United is not going to abandon o/d international destina
51 Post contains links Feroze : To all those who are confused by Bermuda II, the following link will confuse you even more - for this I apologise. However it is a comprehensive guide
52 Post contains images Jacobin777 : or how about a 757 with winglets..... not sure though if the plane will make it that far....but its close to CO's EWR-BRS route, so it might.. I thin
53 Aerokiwi : Looking at the slightly bigger picture, could this be a problem for the Star Alliance? Is UA only keeping the one JFK-LHR flight becasue of Star? Out
54 ContnlEliteCMH : That is *exactly* what I've been thinking. All these airlines (and A.Nuts) saying, "They need to do more profitable international flying." Exept that
55 Kahala777 : Ever heard of an airline called Virgin Atlantic? No, loads do not mean profits! Yes, best performing... That is why capacity is being cut. Think abou
56 Gigneil : I'm right. They're protecting yields by right sizing capacity. As you so eloquently pointed out, capacity/loads are no indication of success. United
57 UA772IAD : Thank you to everyone for pointing out the VS flight for me! It still doesn't compare to JFK/EWR's coverage, which makes that route like an interstate
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