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Will UAL Go For The A 3XX?  
User currently offlineUnited Airline From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2001, 9210 posts, RR: 15
Posted (14 years 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2352 times:

Will United Airlines go for the A 3XX?

I know this has been discussed before.

From what I know, UAL is fully committed the an ALL BOEING fleet (> B 757) and UAL is just a red blood US Airline.

I don't think they would ever get the A 3XX. I think they will go for the B 747-400/B 747-400X/B 747X Stretch.

What do you guys think?

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineWidebody From Ireland, joined Aug 2000, 1152 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (14 years 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2251 times:

Who knows...they have AIB narrowbodies, no reason why not VLA.....then again, could just stick with what they know......no way of knowing really........

User currently offlineILUV767 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 3141 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (14 years 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2232 times:

Even though they have interest in it, the 747XS would suite them better, and it is common to other 747s.

User currently offlineIainhol From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (14 years 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2215 times:

I was discussing this with some one at UA about a month ago. The problem is at some airports slots are allocated by passengers not planes so it would not help them too much along these lines. So they would have to look at airports which do not have this restriction, and need more seats!

User currently offlineRyanair From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 654 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (14 years 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2193 times:

I don't think so, their 744's won't need to be replaced anytime soon. United is starting to use 777's on ultra long haul trans pacific I think this is what they'll do more of. I don't think any US carrier has a call for it, maybe NW but I would guess they'd go for a 777 sized plane, replace DC10's and 742's with a single type.

User currently offlineWorldTraveller From Germany, joined Jun 1999, 624 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (14 years 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2193 times:

The fact is that they helped Airbus design the plane, like SIA, Qantas, Lufthansa etc.

I heard that UAL and LH together are in discussions with Airbus on a possible purchase (source: The Times a couple of weeks ago).

Who knows? They might as well go with Boeing for the reasons already mentioned.......and if they get a VERY sweet price (like the one the got for launching the B777 - did you forget??).

the WorldTraveller

User currently offlineF4N From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (14 years 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2175 times:

WorldTraveller: While LH & UA both collaborated with
Airbus on the A380, I also believe that both carriers had input on what 747X should be. Perhaps they can jointly order both! A380 for the high density routes, 747x for routes requiring more that a 777/A340.
What do you think? Optimistic and naive?

I suppose...although the shorter A380-50 would seem to suffer from the same weight and performance problems as the A330-500 is being scrutinized for now.

Best regards,


User currently offlineBoeing747-400 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (14 years 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2177 times:

No, I don't think they will. It would make no sense in their fleet because they have so many 747s and 777s. Widebody, there is a reason why the A3XX should not go with the big Boeings, it's because the 747X would go strongly with their huge fleet of 744s, adding the A3XX would be much more expensive.

User currently offlineWidebody From Ireland, joined Aug 2000, 1152 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (14 years 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2168 times:

If Airbus can keep the operating costs down 15-20% on the 747X as present, this could compensate for pilot training etc. while still allowing for more capacity.....we'll wait and see......it happened with the narrowbodies, it might/might not happen with the VLA's.......

User currently offlineFBWless From Sweden, joined Feb 2000, 198 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (14 years 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2151 times:

SIA, Qantas, Air France, Virgin .. Four airlines with more or less large fleets of B744s that have already ordered the A380. As we can see, capacity and marketing advantages are more important than fleet commonality. And it makes perfect sense.

User currently offlineB737-112 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 891 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (14 years 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2145 times:

Nice way to start another war! Good job, any minute now.....

User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4467 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (14 years 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2130 times:

First off, the A380 does not have a 15-20% better operating cost than the 747XS. Possibly the 747-400, but until the A380 is winging its way across the Pacific we truly won't know.

I would think that United would go with the 747X. They do not require the extra amount of capacity that the A380 offers. But, as others have mentioned, SQ, VS and QF have opted to order the A380. If you look at those airlines though, you will see that they are highly hub oriented and truly operate out of only 1-2 airports as their main base. Like most American based carriers, United is more fragmented. They have a large presense at ORD, SFO, JFK. Along with Dulles or is it Reagan? What I am trying to say is that United is a different kind of airline than Singapore or Virgin. Virgin operates on a system of 1-2 flights a day and needs capacity. SIA does also. United is a little bit different. Notice that VS operates a 747-400 on its LHR-EWR route while United operates a 777-200ER.

F.Y.I It has been stated time and time again that the JAL and ANA are looking to see what UAL and NWA are doing in the "Trans-Pacific" wars. It seems that UAL has made an unofficial decision towards the 777-200LR. I would look to see the 777-200ER begin flying more trans-pacific routes. Also, not to start an A380 v. fragmentation war, but it used to be UA, NW, JAL and ANA flying 744s across the Pacific. Now,

JAL: 747-300/400, MD-11
ANA: 747-400, 777-200ER
UAL: 747-400, 777-200ER
NW: 747-200/400
AA: 777-200ER
CO: 777-200ER

Look closely at what the new guys are flying. AA and CO both operating the 777 not the 747 and certainly not the A380. In fact, ANA switched their NRT-ORD service from a 747-400 to a 777-200ER. IMHO you are starting to see the fragmentation of the Pacific. Now, that does not mean that 747Xs and A380s won't be needed, but they will only be need on the trunk routes.

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
User currently offlineRWally From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 555 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (14 years 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2116 times:

Uh, not to be mean or anything, but would you like to explain why UAL has said they will not buy any 737NGs and will get some Airbus A320 family planes? All Boeing fleet, huh?

User currently offlineUnited Airline From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2001, 9210 posts, RR: 15
Reply 13, posted (14 years 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 2096 times:


UAL is committed to an ALL BOEING fleet for aircraft that are as large and larger than the B 757.



User currently offlineBoeing747-400 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (14 years 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2086 times:

Yes, United will stick to Boeing for their big aircraft, as for small, bring in the 737-200s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


User currently offlineERJ135 From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 687 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (14 years 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2068 times:

Fleet commonality is irrelevent here as NO airline opperates the A380. So it is pointless to summise that airline "X" does not want the A380 because it wont be compatible with their existing fleet.

I remember when the DC-3 was new!
User currently offlineCAETravlr From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 910 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (14 years 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2055 times:

The other thing you might have to think about is that the A3XX might not perform as advertised a la MD11. Remember the disappointment that some airlines had with that aircraft? It may do a little better a la the B717, no one truly knows. At this point, it is all conceptual and based on the calculations of engineers and wind tunnel tests. UA may have a need for this type of aircraft on a few routes, but it would be just that, a few... Even at a slot restricted airport like LHR, they are not flying any 744s there, at least not that I know of, the occasion that they do is pretty rare. However, the flight to SYD is weight restricted, meaning that they can only load their 744s with a certain amount of people and cargo, combined with the most possible amount of fuel, or the plane won't get there. So, in this case a larger plane might produce better results? It will be interesting to see how UA decides to go with this.

A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
User currently offlineJoni From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (14 years 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2040 times:

Fleet commonality is not irrelevant, since whereas no airline yet has A380, many airlines have other Airbus a/c, which have commonality with the A380.

User currently offlineYfe From Netherlands, joined Dec 2000, 128 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (14 years 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2042 times:

They will go for the strecht because the pilots need less scholing to fly at these planes.

User currently offlineF4N From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (14 years 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2037 times:

Joni: I was under the impression that the A380 will not share cockpit commanality with other AI a/c. Do you have information to the contrary?


User currently offlineTK From Canada, joined Oct 2000, 247 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (14 years 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2025 times:

The argument that the plane may not perform as advertise is invalid in my opinion.
I.e. you can say that for any plane. One should look at it objectively. Obviously, if a manufacturer is going to deliver a plane, it is expected that the plane will perform up the expectations. Particularly so for the A380 which is going to be the flagship of Airbus, and argueably the most ambitious and revolutionary project since the 747. The main selling point of the Megaliner is that it's operating costs will be 15% lower than that of the 744. If these figures aren't met, than it is pretty much game over for Airbus - something that Airbus isn't going to let happen at this point in time.

User currently offlineJoni From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (14 years 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2022 times:


The Airbus press release of the launch states the plane will have commonality with other AI planes. It would have been very surprising of this weren't the case, as airplane family commonality is a leading concept in Airbus product design, and an obvious selling point.

User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2903 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (14 years 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2021 times:
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The cockpit will be common, but the type certainly is not. I read someplace that 18 hours is necessary to cross-train from A32x/A330/A340 to A380.

User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8037 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (14 years 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2022 times:

UA buy the A380? Not likely at this time.

The reason is simple: their 747-400 fleet is for the most part less than 10 years old. There's still about 7-8 year's worth of flying out of these planes. UA may do some major interior upgrades to ensure their 744 fleet is competitive with the A380.

If UA were to buy the A380, they won't get their first planes until the 2008-2009 time frame as their oldest 744's are phased out.

And besides the 747X project, there's another wildcard in all this: the Blended-Wing Body (BWB) flying wing that Boeing has been working on for some years, especially since the merger with McDonnell-Douglas in 1997. Boeing may be quietly working with a number of currently large 747 users in the Pacific Rim (UA, NW, JL, KE, CI, etc.) to define what do the customers need in order to launch a BWB-based airliner. Unlike the A380, the BWB offers advantages of 35-40% lower seat-mile costs compared to a 747-400, and BWB's don't have such big runway requirements or parking gate requirements as an A380.

User currently offlineAlexinwa From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (14 years 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2017 times:

I dont think any US Airline will order the new Airbus Jumbo. If there is one I think tha it would be UA. I question the need. UA currently swaps 744 and 777 on heavy routes like SFO-NRT. They currently switched the SFO-Beijing route to a smaller 777 vs. the 744. They have the ability to swap the 777 vs. the 744 on routes that need more oe less service. They have been doing this both on transatlantic and transpacific for the last year at least. UA I believe along with BA will stick with the smaller A/C more flights concept. Using the 763/777/744 UA is able to compete and add new routes like BOS-LHR, ORD-Sao Paulo, ORD-EZE, and new routes like ORD-Amsterdam. They have the perfect A/C for the route system they have. Think of this, on JFK-LHR, they only fly the 763. New 777's are going both International and domestic. See them flying to hawaii and on long thin routes, like SEA-NRT. No A3XX for UAL.

You mad Bro???
25 FLY777UAL : Alexinwa, SFO-PEK has, and is operated by a 747-400, not a 777. There are no immediate plans to switch the aircraft to a 777. Ray-loved the post, but
26 RayChuang : FLY777UAL, I really doubt that UA will hang onto their 747-400 fleet more than 16-17 years. The reason is simple: that bad experience with the 747-200
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