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United Begins Dulles-Moscow Today  
User currently offlineRJpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 10478 times:

United inaugurates Washington, DC-Moscow service today with UA 964, departing IAD at 4:50 PM and arriving at DME at 10:45 AM, operated by a 767-300.

It's exciting to see new trans-Atlantic service begin in these difficult times! And always nice to see two world capitals getting another connection...Does anybody know how the loads are looking?

[Edited 2009-03-29 07:50:50]

43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8278 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 10414 times:
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Does Areoflot still fly to Washington-Dulles ?

User currently offlineRJpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 10393 times:



Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 1):
Does Areoflot still fly to Washington-Dulles ?

Yes. To SVO.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24819 posts, RR: 46
Reply 3, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 10260 times:

IAD-GVA is around the corner also, commencing April 19th.


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineAndyinPIT From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 320 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 10209 times:



Quoting RJpieces (Thread starter):
Does anybody know how the loads are looking?

About 75%...and I'll get to see the flight go out from the pushback tractor  Smile


User currently offlineSFOHORIZON From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 93 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 10032 times:

I wonder if this flight will do better than AA's ORD to DME flight, which has gotten off to a rough start. Have they converted yet to the 767, I believe they have, and if so, I wonder if the loads are better on the flight now.

User currently offlineTrojanclipper From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 63 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9596 times:

I just checked the loads for random dates in May, June and July. While some days look good (not daily service), most days are still quite light. They are flying with the new premium configuration aircraft. I wonder if they are having a hard time competing with AA who beat them to the punch on Moscow service.

I'm sure it will pick up....


User currently offlineDeltaL1011man From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 9289 posts, RR: 14
Reply 7, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9585 times:



Quoting Trojanclipper (Reply 6):

I'm sure DL having ATL and JFK SVO flights isn't helpping.



yep.
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24819 posts, RR: 46
Reply 8, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9445 times:



Quoting Trojanclipper (Reply 6):
I just checked the loads for random dates in May, June and July. While some days look good (not daily service), most days are still quite light. They are flying with the new premium configuration aircraft.

Remember that majority of premium bookings dont treally happen till within the last 2-3 weeks.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineTrojanclipper From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 63 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9405 times:

Agreed. But seeing several days with only 4 or 6 psgrs booked in Y over the summer...It looks like it begins daily service later in the summer or else some of the days I checked were already planned no-ops.

However, several of the return flights are booked pretty full....So I have hopes, not so much as a non-rev, but hope none the less.


User currently offlineAeroflot777 From Russia, joined Mar 2004, 3006 posts, RR: 27
Reply 10, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9371 times:



Quoting Trojanclipper (Reply 9):

However, several of the return flights are booked pretty full

Hopes aren't too high. A lot of those bookings are from Russian student J1 workers traveling to the US for summer work. A lot of travel agencies book out many seats every day on DL, SU, AA, and UA for these students. Hundreds and thousands of them travel every summer for job experience. A lot of those seats reflect just that unfortunately.

Aeroflot777


User currently offlineTrojanclipper From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 63 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9314 times:

Oh, then I have more hopes as a non-rev....LOL. I always wonder why on some routes one direction is moer popular than the other and you just gave me a very good reason for this route.

Maybe I'll plan a trip for September....


User currently offlineMowtoib From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9197 times:

They are giving a grand dinner for travel agents tomorrow night which shows they do have big expectations. And those expectations must be mostly for connection traffic as MOW-WAS is not a market worth such an endeavour...

User currently offlineSurfandSnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2846 posts, RR: 30
Reply 13, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 8879 times:

Nice to see UA pressing ahead with its new routes to Moscow and Geneva. If UA can wait out the tough times right now I'm sure this route will do very well in the future.


Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8400 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 8577 times:

The Moscow flight is starting at a rough time, much more so in Russia than in booming DC. But the long term prospects are good. We are talking about 2 biiiiiig cities that happen to be major world capitals. Just as a nonstop, the flight has a strong mandate. But there are many affluent potential tourists in both cities, plus UA has its hub for more traffic. The fine quality of UA's new interior will be important.

User currently offlineUAORD2000 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 266 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 8473 times:



Quoting Flighty (Reply 14):
The fine quality of UA's new interior will be important.

 checkmark 

The new configuration is phenominal. This is going to help UA build a name in this new market.


User currently offlineRwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3077 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 8135 times:



Quoting Flighty (Reply 14):
The Moscow flight is starting at a rough time, much more so in Russia than in booming DC. But the long term prospects are good. We are talking about 2 biiiiiig cities that happen to be major world capitals. Just as a nonstop, the flight has a strong mandate. But there are many affluent potential tourists in both cities, plus UA has its hub for more traffic. The fine quality of UA's new interior will be important.

I agree. UA has a couple of things in their favor on this route. First, they far and away have the best hard product of any carrier flying nonstop between the US and Russia, in all classes. Second, the IAD hub is well-positioned to carry governmental traffic, business traffic from the DC area, and traffic from large O&D markets where UA has a strong position (LAX, SFO, SEA, and even ORD all come to mind).

It might be tough for a year or so, but this is a route with good long-term potential for UA. I think they'll be more successful than AA for the reasons mentioned above.


User currently offlineOdysseus9001 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 134 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7997 times:



Quoting Flighty (Reply 14):
The Moscow flight is starting at a rough time, much more so in Russia than in booming DC. But the long term prospects are good. We are talking about 2 biiiiiig cities that happen to be major world capitals. Just as a nonstop, the flight has a strong mandate. But there are many affluent potential tourists in both cities, plus UA has its hub for more traffic. The fine quality of UA's new interior will be important.

Kak Dila?

Well, a few points:

1) The DC economy, while probably doing better than the rest of the country, is going through the worst recession in many years. The DC unemployment rate is now 9.9%, Maryland is 6.7%, and Virginia is 6.6%, all up 2-3% just in the last few months. These are the worst rates in over 10 years (I think 25-30 years, but the historical data set I have handy doesn't go back that far). I talk to people at my bus stop who have been laid off and are on their final weeks, business people who tell me there has been a clear tightening. The trigger is not so much changes in federal employment, but rather a signficant real estate bubble that popped, especially for the outlying suburbs. A lot of other people have changed their ideas about how to spend their money. So, I don't think I would use the word "booming", though it is better off than some other areas.

2) Russia requires a visa for U.S. citizens, and the U.S. requires a visa for Russian citizens. These visas generally cannot be purchased at the airport and are time-consuming to obtain, and ask a lot of questions beyond that normally required to evaluate risk. In addition, LED in some ways is a more attractive tourist destination than Moscow. I know I want to see St. Petersrburg in winter and the Hermitage some day, but I have read the Russian visa application, and I'll pass for now. There are many other interesting places to see.

3) Russia has 86 slots in their civil aviation agreement with the U.S. Aeroflot only flies to New York, Los Angeles, and DC. Aeroflot could increase their frequency to DC, but they don't.

4) To get the loads they have so far, UAL has had to do a lot of discounting. If there was no visa requirement, it would be a good mileage run. I'm sure government traffic will help a bit, but, one can't help but wonder if UAL can't find some routes that will yield better margins.

5) For outbound traffic willing to connect, they have options with ORD, JFK, ATL, and I'm sure a few other places I have not thought of.

To be honest, SFO-DME might have made more sense...Aeroflot does not serve it anymore, and you just have to walk around Golden Gate park on early Sunday morning to know there is some local market, though probably not daily.

As someone pointed out, J visa summer jobs are common, and you will find Russian pool lifegaurds here during the summer. I suspect the domestic competition for the same jobs will be tougher this year though. Why bring someone from thousands of miles away and go through all that bothersome paperwork when you can now hire someone from here?

I don't mean to give you a hard time, just wanted to point a few things that would make the route successful a bit challenging, especially this year.

regards,

J


User currently offlineRJpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 7532 times:



Quoting DeltaL1011man (Reply 7):
I'm sure DL having ATL and JFK SVO flights isn't helpping.

Well NYC obviously has a large VFR market, but IAD functions as well as any other East Coast hub in connecting passengers to Europe...

Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 10):
A lot of those bookings are from Russian student J1 workers traveling to the US for summer work.

Interesting...Any numbers on how many work here for the summer? what is the age group of these people? Is it a popular/common thing for Russian students to do for a summer?

Quoting Odysseus9001 (Reply 17):
As someone pointed out, J visa summer jobs are common, and you will find Russian pool lifegaurds here during the summer.

Yes! I have noticed this...There must be some Russian-owned lifeguard company here in DC, because there are a lot of Russian lifeguards!

Quoting Mowtoib (Reply 12):
And those expectations must be mostly for connection traffic as MOW-WAS is not a market worth such an endeavour...

With the exception of some flights between key business cities, a lot of international flights rely on connecting traffic...And United has nice feed at IAD.

Quoting UAORD2000 (Reply 15):
The new configuration is phenominal. This is going to help UA build a name in this new market.

Can't wait for the 777 fleet to be complete!

Quoting RwSEA (Reply 16):
Second, the IAD hub is well-positioned to carry governmental traffic, business traffic from the DC area, and traffic from large O&D markets where UA has a strong position (LAX, SFO, SEA, and even ORD all come to mind).

Yes. I think that any route that United launches from IAD to another capital will be at least partially subsidized by government traffic...

Quoting RwSEA (Reply 16):
It might be tough for a year or so, but this is a route with good long-term potential for UA.

Yes. Fortunately, there are lots of markets from IAD that have good long-term potential for UA...I wonder if they will be launching any new ones with the economy the way it is, but once things pick up any educated guesses as to what we can expect from UA at IAD?

Quoting Odysseus9001 (Reply 17):
I talk to people at my bus stop who have been laid off and are on their final weeks, business people who tell me there has been a clear tightening.

Well that is happening everywhere...But from my casual observations of DC v. NYC, it sure seems to affecting DC less. This past Friday night, I went out for dinner in Georgetown...it was raining, and yet every restaurant we passed was packed as usual...

Quoting Odysseus9001 (Reply 17):
especially for the outlying suburbs.

That is not surprising at all; I think that is quite common across the U.S. right now...


User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6578 posts, RR: 24
Reply 19, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 7452 times:



Quoting Odysseus9001 (Reply 17):
The DC unemployment rate is now 9.9%, Maryland is 6.7%, and Virginia is 6.6%, all up 2-3% just in the last few months. These are the worst rates in over 10 years (I think 25-30 years, but the historical data set I have handy doesn't go back that far).

One minor correction though is that the unemployment rates for Northern Virginia and the Maryland suburbs around DC are much lower than the state averages you are quoting. And the Districts rate is largely irrelevant as much of that reflects an area of distinct urban poverty that was never jetting off to Moscow even in "good times."

As others have said, if UA can stick it out, I think this route has long-term potential. In the near term, it's likely going to bleed badly, so we'll just have to see how much resolve UA has.


User currently offlinePylon101 From Russia, joined Feb 2008, 1430 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 6977 times:

I wish luck to UA and to this great IAD - DME destination.

I believe it has good chance to survice even in these hard times.
There are several reasons for that:

- Aeroflot flight to IAD is bearable only in summer when it goes directly, without a stop at JFK.
- DC area has lower concentration of Russian immigrants (unlike NY and Atlanta) - but there many Russians there working in H1b visas;
- tourist groups may be numerous on this flight;
- D.C. suburbs it's a great place to be - and a wonderful transit point.

It should be taken into consideration that quite strong traffic between US and Russia exists - which is UNRELATED to places where immigrants reside.

I hope to check this flight in June.


User currently onlineUnited787 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2690 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5738 times:

Congrats to UA and IAD. I think it is long overdue for a US airline to fly from Washington D.C. to Moscow, quite shocking that it hasn't happened earlier if you ask me, should have happened in the early 90s...

User currently offlineTrojanclipper From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 63 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5628 times:



Quoting Odysseus9001 (Reply 17):
To be honest, SFO-DME might have made more sense...Aeroflot does not serve it anymore, and you just have to walk around Golden Gate park on early Sunday morning to know there is some local market, though probably not daily.

I agree. Aeroflot used to do well with this service although they had an additional stop in SEA. I believe Alaska handled the ground operations. There are a lot of Russians here in SF and they have close connections to their families and friends "back home."

Maybe I'll start my own airline...LOL. Anyone have an extra couple of billion to loan me???


User currently offlineSFO2SVO From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 398 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5558 times:



Quoting Trojanclipper (Reply 23):
Maybe I'll start my own airline...LOL. Anyone have an extra couple of billion to loan me???

Maybe you can talk to this guys: http://www.baltia.com/  Smile

Seriously though, SFO-MOW would have been awesome.



318-19-20-21 332 343 717 727 737-234578 743-4 752 763 772 D9/10 M11/8x/90 F70 RJ85 ATR72 SF340 E120 TU34/54 IL18/62/86/9
User currently offlineIAD380 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 804 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 5507 times:

For years, SU has offered a weekly SVO-IAD flight. For reasons that are unclear to me, it neither suspended, nor upgraded these flights. Presumably, SU determined that SVO-IAD was not a strong market. Otherwise, it would have added more flights to IAD. Now, UA starts daily flights from Washington to Moscow during rough economic times in both countries.

I am confused by all of this. I am asking you to help me understand it. My questions are:
1. Why does UA see opportunity in this market while SU, which has flown to IAD for decades, does not?
2. Over the past 20 years, why didn't SU upgrade this route by adding more flights?
3. In the alternative, why didn't SU withdraw from IAD? (SU pulled out of MIA, ORD, SEA, and SFO).
4. Now that UA is offering a daily flight to DME, is it likely that SU will leave IAD?


25 LAXintl : Its very likely UA looked at the route now, the same way it has chosen other markets in recent years such as Rome. UA is keenly aware of the number o
26 RwSEA : SU caters to local traffic only. UA caters to their entire domestic network. Big difference.
27 Mk777 : Congrats to UA on the new route, here is hoping they can make money on it. As a side: So will UA re-start IAD-DEL to continue their capital-capital ad
28 RJpieces : As I asked above: any numbers on this? Is it popular for Russian students to do? They have been slowly expanding at IAD over the past few years... Wh
29 Odysseus9001 : Believe me, I'm well aware of the U.S. visa process. Whether I want to go through the Russian process, or a Russian wants to go through the U.S. one,
30 RwSEA : While not necessarily capital cities, the following all make sense for UA: IAD-TLV (not the capital, but it's the capital's airport) IAD-MXP (served
31 Luckyone : Exactly. The visa application is two pages long, and is less complicated than filling out a credit card application. It takes thirty minutes, then yo
32 RJpieces : Perhaps Berlin?
33 MOW : UA IAD-DME fligths still bear 'subject to government approval' warning in Amadeus. Does anybody know why?
34 Humberside : The new EI partnership will take care of this route. Flights begin next year
35 Viscount724 : According to the SU website, they only carry 12.5% of domestic traffic in Russia (17% including subsidiary carriers).
36 RwSEA : Makes a lot of sense if BBI is developed into a hub for LH. However, Berlin is a lower-yielding city and I don't think UA could support it given the
37 Aeroflot777 : Not for all nationalities. In Russia you can't. Aeroflot777
38 FUN2FLY : UA had these right for year, still may. UA or LH did this for one season then quit best I remember.
39 IADLHR : I certainly hope so. It would make my life, and job. much easier. I really, really miss that LH TXL-IAD-TXL flight that operated for too short of a t
40 United1 : UA never flew IAD-TXL they did however fly ORD and later IAD-DUS which was cut back in the late 90's early 2000. UA served TXL with a 727 via LHR and
41 DescendVia : Last DUS flight was to ORD on January 6th 2003.
42 Jfk777 : The Russians have had a huge embassy Washington for ever, clearly the IAD to SVO flight is to cater to the diplomatic traffic.
43 UN_B732 : I find it interesting at one point SU published SVO-IAD this summer as A330 (I'm assuming, as a response to UA); then brought it back to 767 Also; did
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