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Pacific Ferry Flights: Why Such A Long Routing?  
User currently offlineRobK From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 3947 posts, RR: 18
Posted (8 years 8 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 9353 times:

As many of you know, one of my favourite hobby's is tracking delivery and ferry flights, especially the Boeing deliveries.

Typically, the Chinese 737 deliveries route Boeing Field - Honolulu - Majuro - Saipan - Guangzhou (in the case of a China Southern). This routing is 7791nm.

However, the Xiamen's and Shenzhen's tend to favour Boeing Field - Anchorage - Sapporo (CXA) / Tokyo NRT (CSZ) - Cheju - Xiamen / Shenzhen. This routing is vastly shorter at 5472nm and 5874nm respectively.

What are the advantages of going across the Pacific (ie. via HNL) over going round the top edge via Alaska and Japan? An extra 2000nm seems a huge waste of fuel and time to me.

Check out the routing lines on the Great Circle Mapper http://gc.kls2.com/

BFI-HNL-MAJ-SPN-CAN
BFI-ANC-NRT-CJU-SZX
BFI-ANC-CTS-CJU-XMN

Comments?

RK  Smile

29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJe89_w From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 2361 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 9243 times:
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Something I've always wondered . . .

Yesterday, Sky Mark's B738 (from Japan) came by HNL from BFI. For sure, the aircraft might have to make several more stops to reach Japan. Wouldn't it make more sense to route BFI-ANC-NRT?

Same goes for the ANA/ANK B737-700 which came by HNL too.


Makes it more interesting at HNL though, I guess I shouldn't complain!


User currently offlineWhiteHatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 9231 times:

remember that these aircraft will not have the ETOPS rating or range of something like a 763 or 777. They must therefore fly with the ETOPS limitations in mind and also fuel on board.

ETOPS does not just mean overwater flights. It is the distance from a diversion airport, and can just as easily be over land.


User currently offlineCarpethead From Japan, joined Aug 2004, 2954 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 9110 times:

During the winter season, the headwinds are much stronger on the North Pacific, thus even the 737NGs may not be up to the range even on a full fuel load.
Another factor maybe higher cost of transiting Japanese airports offsets the extra fuel burned by going south and avoiding Japan altogether.


User currently offlineMoneypenny From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 9053 times:

Quoting RobK (Thread starter):

What are the advantages of going across the Pacific (ie. via HNL) over going round the top edge via Alaska and Japan?

Well, you get to stop in Hawaii, vs. Alaska. I'd rather do that in December, too...  Big grin


User currently offlineCrownvic From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 1912 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8988 times:

The Skymark737's may have gone through LAS on their deliveries as this is common for this airline. However, this does not answer your question for the Chinese airlines.

From what I have been told, it is crew preference to route through HNL for "personal reasons". In other words, it is more enjoyable! The average Chinese crew (and most anyone, for that matter), given the choice, would also choose HNL over ANC for their routing. As for the time of year, I too have noticed that the HNL routing also occurs during the summer, so I do not think winter winds are the reason.

Finally, I am not a specialist on non revenue ETOPS operations for delivery flights, but are these flights operated under the same rules as pax flights? Something makes me think that they are not and that the ETOPS rules do not apply. Case in point is the fact that HA's 717's are not ETOPS equipped. Add some bladder tanks to the cabin, then these aircraft do get delivered nonstop across the vast Pacific. My guess is ETOPS rules do not apply to delivery or other ferry flights that do not include revenue pax's, but I maybe wrong.


User currently offlineCOSPN From Northern Mariana Islands, joined Oct 2001, 1619 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8907 times:

Crew and several Ground staff ect usally 30 sometime fly back with the plane so they like resting up in SPN and HNL SPN has a nice Hotel called Pacific Islands Club with water park: Dinner show ect and Chinese speaking staff..I belive it is all on Boeings Tab so why not  Smile also good weather in the Pacific is probally also a factor...Air India Express 737-800 was also delivered via SPN that was a welcomed suprize

User currently offlineJe89_w From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 2361 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8856 times:
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Quoting Crownvic (Reply 5):
The Skymark737's may have gone through LAS on their deliveries as this is common for this airline.

I thought JA737H was their first B737. And delivered through LAS? I don't think so. Their routing might've been:

BFI-HNL-MAJ-SPN-NRT (8,237 miles)

and if they went via ANC:

BFI-ANC-NRT (4,878 miles)

So B737NGs can fly from ANC-NRT non stop? Pretty darn far!

Quoting COSPN (Reply 6):
Air India Express 737-800 was also delivered via SPN that was a welcomed suprize

Yes, and HNL as well. But only their first B738.  Sad Their two other B738s went the other way: BFI-YQX-LHR-IST-BOM (not sure of Indian city, might be TRV or BOM).

BFI-HNL-MAJ-SPN-SIN-BOM (12,216 miles)
BFI-YQX-LHR-IST-BOM (9,935 miles)

I guess it does make sense to go over the Atlantic. Missed the first IX B738 at HNL, and looks like I pretty much blew all my chances. Oh well.


User currently offlineFXramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7298 posts, RR: 85
Reply 8, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8822 times:
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This is sort of off topic...(sorry admins)


but my grandfather (former WW2 figher pilot in the Pacific theater) was in town for Christmas, and I was talking to him...after he got his papers to get sent home, they had a program in the Air Force, where you could fly home a Mitchell B25, from south pacific to the States...puddle jumping from like New Guinea to Fiji to Guam to Hawaii, to Cali, etc...he was all set to ferry home the the B25 and the program was cancelled due to the fact that they were losing about 1 in 3 bombers on the run...bummers.

Just some History!  Smile

Sorry, Merry Christmas ALL!!!  Smile


User currently offlineCloudyapple From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2005, 2454 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8813 times:

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 2):
ETOPS

Has no relevance. No passengers on board.



A310/A319/20/21/A332/3/A343/6/A388/B732/5/7/8/B742/S/4/B752/B763/B772/3/W/E145/J41/MD11/83/90
User currently offlineBluewave 707 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3152 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 8764 times:

Some of the delivery flight crews have actually delayed the next leg out of HNL ... for "personal reasons", I assume. Come on now ... sun, beaches, babes, almost 365 days out of the year? I'd bet the flight crews would be battling hand over fist to do the delivery run. Either that, or they (if a permanent bunch) are the envy of the other flight crews. This one's a no-brainer ... HNL baby!

The fact that the ferry flights pass through is not something to complain about. I'm rather grateful that they do. Otherwise, it wouldn't be worth going down to HNL to take photos if it were the same old, same old. AND, HNL RareBirds would not exist if ferry/delivery flights went elsewhere.

Considering what has passed through HNL over the years, there has been a lot of history, and the legacy of HNL as a transit point has lived on. Clipperhawaii will attest to this one.



"The best use of your life will be to so live your life, that the use of your life will outlive your life" -- D Severn
User currently offlineRobK From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 3947 posts, RR: 18
Reply 11, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8230 times:

Quoting Crownvic (Reply 5):
The Skymark737's may have gone through LAS on their deliveries as this is common for this airline. However, this does not answer your question for the Chinese airlines.



Quoting Je89_w (Reply 7):
I thought JA737H was their first B737. And delivered through LAS? I don't think so.

The first Skymark 737's did indeed ferry through Las Vegas before continuing to Honolulu, I can confirm.

Crownvic, you say that this is common for this airline. Can you elaborate? This was the first 737 for Skymark as Je89w says. I'm interested to know why they stop at Las Vegas. Interestingly, a good number of the Aeromexico 737's were delivered through Las Vegas too.

RK  Smile


User currently offlineWhiteHatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 6536 times:

Quoting Cloudyapple (Reply 9):
Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 2):
ETOPS

Has no relevance. No passengers on board.

Flights are still planned with ETOPS in mind. Insurers would not be happy if an aircraft was flown outside of its certified limits whether there are passengers, fuel tanks or nothing whatsoever except the crew.

So it's very relevant.


User currently offlineBobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 6471 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 6473 times:

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 12):
Flights are still planned with ETOPS in mind. Insurers would not be happy if an aircraft was flown outside of its certified limits whether there are passengers, fuel tanks or nothing whatsoever except the crew.

So it's very relevant.

I don't understand, Are you saying that non-etops rated twin engine aircraft carrying no passengers cannot be flown for long distances over water ie: BFI-HNL? Please clear this up.


User currently offlineGreasespot From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 3084 posts, RR: 20
Reply 14, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 6373 times:

I do not believe that ETOPS is required for ferry flights as they are operating under a different set of rules...So I doubt if it is that...

GS



Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
User currently offlineC680 From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 588 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 6338 times:

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 12):
Flights are still planned with ETOPS in mind. Insurers would not be happy if an aircraft was flown outside of its certified limits whether there are passengers, fuel tanks or nothing whatsoever except the crew.

Sorry, but this is incorrect. Insurance policies are written with delivery flights and ferry tanks in mind, otherwise it would be impractical to get small inter-island aircraft delivered to many parts of the Pacific. ETOPS has nothing to do with this.



My happy place is FL470 - what's yours?
User currently offlineHPnonrev99 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 65 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6252 times:

Quoting Crownvic (Reply 5):
Finally, I am not a specialist on non revenue ETOPS operations for delivery flights, but are these flights operated under the same rules as pax flights? Something makes me think that they are not and that the ETOPS rules do not apply. Case in point is the fact that HA's 717's are not ETOPS equipped. Add some bladder tanks to the cabin, then these aircraft do get delivered nonstop across the vast Pacific. My guess is ETOPS rules do not apply to delivery or other ferry flights that do not include revenue pax's, but I maybe wrong.

IME during delivery flights the aircraft operates under Part 91, therefore, ETOPS rules do not apply. Our typical routes are:
A320 TLS-PIK-BGR-PHX
A319 HAM-BGR-PHX



Coming soon to an airport near you.
User currently offlineCPH757 From Denmark, joined Sep 2005, 684 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6143 times:

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 2):
remember that these aircraft will not have the ETOPS rating or range of something like a 763 or 777. They must therefore fly with the ETOPS limitations in mind and also fuel on board.

ETOPS does not just mean overwater flights. It is the distance from a diversion airport, and can just as easily be over land.

But that does not explain why China Southern takes there 737's to Guangzhou via HNL, when Shenzhen Airlines takes their 737's to Shenzhen via ANC (according to the thread starter).

To me it sounds odd to route through HNL just because of the crews personal reasons. 2000nm is not a short diversion. Send them on a one week vacation to Hainan instead.

I think the high landing fees in the Japanese airports is a more likely reason.



Last flight: SAW-CPH on H9 on 02/11/09 - Next Flights: 23/12/09 CPH-AAL on QI, 30/12/09 CPH-LHR on SK, 19/01/10 CPH-CDG-
User currently offlineKaitak744 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2377 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6106 times:

How far is the range of an empty 737? It should be able to make SEA-NRT.

User currently offlineRobK From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 3947 posts, RR: 18
Reply 19, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6053 times:

2 of the Shenzhen B739's routed via Alaska and the other 2 routed via Honolulu! Work that one out!

RK


User currently offlineJe89_w From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 2361 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5833 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
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Quoting RobK (Reply 11):
The first Skymark 737's did indeed ferry through Las Vegas before continuing to Honolulu, I can confirm.

Thanks for the info. Interesting!

Quoting RobK (Reply 19):
2 of the Shenzhen B739's routed via Alaska and the other 2 routed via Honolulu! Work that one out!

Actually, three Shenzhen Airlines B739s came by HNL: B-5103, B-5105, and B-5106.  Wink

Xiamen Airlines also took their B73Gs/B752s through HNL before they chose ANC for their last few B737 deliveries. On the side note, would have loved to see their new livery at HNL, but those planes went through ANC.


It sounds like delivery flights route through HNL because of the high landing fees in Japanese airports. But why do Japanese carriers route through HNL if the route is way shorter through ANC, and if they are going to eventually arrive at a Japanese airport?


User currently offlineBluewave 707 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3152 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5746 times:

Quoting Je89_w (Reply 20):
It sounds like delivery flights route through HNL because of the high landing fees in Japanese airports. But why do Japanese carriers route through HNL if the route is way shorter through ANC, and if they are going to eventually arrive at a Japanese airport?

Probably the same reason the Chinese airlines do it ... ANC? HNL? Even if the lay-over is for the afternoon til the next morning, most people would choose HNL. Even other airlines around the Pacific Rim use HNL as a stopover point during ferry flights, like NZ, QF, and the new start-ups in Indonesia.

Je89_w, if flights went through ANC, then you would not have taken some of the great shots you've captured @ HNL. Neither would I nor any of the other spotters @ HNL. Right?



"The best use of your life will be to so live your life, that the use of your life will outlive your life" -- D Severn
User currently offlineCarpethead From Japan, joined Aug 2004, 2954 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5723 times:

Perhaps insurance reasons, as if an aircraft on ferry over the north Pacific would have to land in Russia. Some Russian airfields are notorious for bad runway conditions.
I remember reading an article on the ferry flight of a F-Air (now Ibex) CRJ that routed thru one of Russian airports. The journalist on board covering the ferry flight said it was the roughest taxi and landing/take-off he had ever experienced.


User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 84
Reply 23, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5706 times:

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 2):
remember that these aircraft will not have the ETOPS rating or range of something like a 763 or 777. They must therefore fly with the ETOPS limitations in mind and also fuel on board.

HNL is the ETOPS 180 flight. Flying up to ANC and across is better for ETOPS... the question is, of course, if any of these planes have the range.

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 12):
Flights are still planned with ETOPS in mind. Insurers would not be happy if an aircraft was flown outside of its certified limits whether there are passengers, fuel tanks or nothing whatsoever except the crew.

Negative, as was pointed out above.

N


User currently offlinePilottim747 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1607 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5700 times:

Quoting CPH757 (Reply 17):
I think the high landing fees in the Japanese airports is a more likely reason.

I'm wondering if landing fees and airspace use fees have something to do with this as well. Going north you'd have to pay Canada, Japan, and maybe Russia for using their ATC/airspace. Plus there'd be landing fees on top of that. Flying through HNL and SPN you'd be flying in mostly US ATC jurisdiction, right?

pilottim747



Aviation Photographers & Enthusiasts--Coordinate your life.
25 ClipperHawaii : That's a roger Bluewave707 ! It seems that Varig 777 did land on the 25th. Thanks for that HNL rarebird!
26 Crownvic : Je89_w....That is why you have to be careful with a derogatory statement, "I think not", without knowing the facts. Bottom line is, the aircraft sat o
27 Post contains images Je89_w : . . . Indeed. Did not know that many airlines flew their aircraft to LAS before being getting them delivered. Very interesting. Yes, Bluewave707, I gu
28 Post contains images RobK : You're right, I'd forgotten about B-5106 which went alone. But when you consider the latitude of Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand then this routi
29 Bluewave 707 : Thanks for the AS CV990 sighting as well. Definitley a RareBird!
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