Davepartridge From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 3 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 years 3 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2420 times:
I recently flew from London to Orlando on holiday but our flight was delayed, when we finally took off over an hour late the pilot informed us he should be able to make up the time by going direct. I was under the impression that all traffic for North America went via the NATs due to ETOPs regulations. We flew a 777-200 and from what I could tell from the map he went pretty much over the Azores and then over Bermuda so I'm guessing that this gave us the 2 hour flying time to emergency airports? Also if this is clearly possible to take this route why isn't it more widely adopted by more airlines as a time and cost saving?
FredOlsen From Germany, joined Oct 2007, 4 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2381 times:
Observed the same two weeks ago out of FRA to ATL. Instead of heading north we turned south and went over France, northern Spain over the pond directly to ATL.
It could be that the azores routing was choosen due to strong head winds on the northern route.
Oly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 7115 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2246 times:
Quoting Davepartridge (Reply 3): Only question it doesn't answer is about the ETOPS regs, do the Azores and Bermuda have it covered?
Yes. Any twin across the atlantic will go near iceland/eastern seaboard or closer to the Azores/Bermuda as long as it stays within the time allowed for diversion. On a BA MAN-JFK flight once, when you used to be able to go to the cockpit, the pilot showed me the flight plan with 120minute (?) flight time circles centred at Shannon, Keflavik, the Azores and Gander, and the flight should ideally always be inside one of the circles so it would be within the necessary flying time to a diversion field.
PlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 12098 posts, RR: 58
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 months 5 days ago) and read 2221 times:
It could well be that you were still flying above (in terms of latitude) the Jetstream. It normally rises up from the Azores to a position north of the British Isles meaning that it's far more economical to avoid it's strong headwinds and fly North over Iceland. However, with it being so much lower this year and already dropping back south again, it could be that the direct path was wholly unaffected by it. Incidentally - it's lower latitude this year also caused all of the bad weather in the UK over the summer.
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Airbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 9712 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (8 years 3 months 5 days ago) and read 2172 times:
Quoting Davepartridge (Thread starter): he went pretty much over the Azores and then over Bermuda so I'm guessing that this gave us the 2 hour flying time to emergency airports? Also if this is clearly possible to take this route why isn't it more widely adopted by more airlines as a time and cost saving?
That route is longer than the standard GC route by about 400nm. It was most likely taken in order to avoind strong head winds rather than to makeup time. It just so happens that sometimes a shorter route with stong head winds can take a little longer than a longer route with less head winds. Strange routes like that happen all the time during the Winter season. Some times they go really far north, other times really far south. In the first year that LHR operated MUC-BOS they operated year round and I was on a flight that left MUC turned south and went across the south of France, northern Spain and straight across to BOS. Another time I flew MUC-IAD where we went right over Reykjavik and past Montreal before turning south to IAD.
Timz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 7133 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2028 times:
As long as all the alternates are available, 138-minute ETOPS is enough to cover the North Atlantic (which maybe is why they adopted that figure). 120-minute ETOPS leaves a small no-go triangle which you'd think would be easy to avoid.
(By "North Atlantic" I mean the Europe-to-US territory. You could define "North Atlantic" to cover, say, a MEX-DKR flight, which 138 minutes probably wouldn't cover.)