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British Airways - Why Fly 744s From JFK To Egll  
User currently offline787EWR From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 204 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 15310 times:

In this age of cost cutting and financial control, why is BA still flying 744s from JFK to EGLL? Are the loads for these flights that high? Every other airline seems to be flying 767 or 777 aircraft.

37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4524 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (5 years 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 15290 times:

Well, in the right market the 744 is still a profitable Aircraft. BA attract very good loads in this market due to their reputation, level of service and cabin comfort which is considerably better than most widebody twins in this market.


They have a large Business section with true lie flat seats that is very popular with Businessmen who pay a premium for this comfort.


BA actually make the majority of their profits on their transatlantic routes. Don't write the 744 off yet !



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15744 posts, RR: 27
Reply 2, posted (5 years 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 15289 times:



Quoting 787EWR (Thread starter):
Are the loads for these flights that high?

JFK-LHR is one of the crown jewel routes of the world. It will be one of the last routes to lose the jumbos, and I wouldn't be surprised if JFK is one of the earlier routes to see the A380. That said, I think that a few of the JFK flights have been cut or downguaged by BA due to the recession.

Quoting 787EWR (Thread starter):
Every other airline seems to be flying 767 or 777 aircraft

The thing is that 767s and 777s don't grow on trees. Even if BA decided that the 747 was too much plane for them they would either have to wait for a while until they could get more planes, or shift the smaller jets away from other routes.



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User currently offlineCX flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6605 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (5 years 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 15130 times:

I would guess that there could be a fair amount of cargo between the two cities as well which could account for the aircraft size. Some airlines purposely fly big planes between two cities and to the casual observer it might seem strange because the flights are never more than half full of passengers but there may be a belly full of cargo.

User currently offlineBabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (5 years 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 14896 times:



Quoting Max Q (Reply 1):
BA attract very good loads in this market due to their reputation

It's more to do with constant, non stop marketing of cheap seats on the route. The yield on those aircraft on those routes must be minimal if in fact profitable at all.

Profitable, solid routes do not need that level of discounting or marketing.


User currently offlineSyncmaster From United States of America, joined Jul 2002, 2032 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (5 years 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 14815 times:
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Quoting Babybus (Reply 4):
Profitable, solid routes do not need that level of discounting or marketing.

Very true, plus with open skies and more carriers going to LHR from the NYC area it makes this even more difficult for BA.


User currently offlineRafaelyyz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (5 years 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 14683 times:



Quoting CX flyboy (Reply 3):
I would guess that there could be a fair amount of cargo between the two cities as well which could account for the aircraft size. Some airlines purposely fly big planes between two cities and to the casual observer it might seem strange because the flights are never more than half full of passengers but there may be a belly full of cargo.

Exactly. People often forget about the cargo that gets flown underneath.


User currently offline1peter From Netherlands, joined Jul 2005, 149 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 14624 times:



Quoting 787EWR (Thread starter):
In this age of cost cutting and financial control, why is BA still flying 744s from JFK to EGLL? Are the loads for these flights that high? Every other airline seems to be flying 767 or 777 aircraft.

In the coming winter season however on some days you'll only see 1 744 in JFK with the rest operated by 777's.



Airlines flown; AA, AC, AY, BA, BD, BY, CX, DA, DP, IB, KL, LH, LA, LP, MA & MH
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19712 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (5 years 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 14624 times:



Quoting 787EWR (Thread starter):
In this age of cost cutting and financial control, why is BA still flying 744s from JFK to EGLL? Are the loads for these flights that high? Every other airline seems to be flying 767 or 777 aircraft.

One of the busiest routes in the world between two true centers of human civilization probably has enough people on it to fill 744's. LHR has slot rationing.


User currently offlineDavid_itl From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 7379 posts, RR: 13
Reply 9, posted (5 years 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 14373 times:
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Also BA 744s at LHR typically hold less than 300 passengers (291 or so I believe?)

User currently offlineOneworld77 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2008, 238 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 13037 times:

The route is still profitable - largely due to Cargo. I would counter the low yield arguement above, I find that if pax want the cheapest, they go KU, CO, DL, AA and BA is ascending order of cost.

Non-OD traffic is low yield (FRA-LHR-JFK or BOM-LHR-JFK) however, generally seats are limited in the wider scheme of fares.



Flown - EI;BA;RE;FR;WW;TW;TS;US;JP;JT;AT;QF;JQ;VB;NC;TR;D7;AA;IB;AF;SN;LX;SR;LH;AY;CX;CP;9K;9W;IX;AI;IC;EK;EY;GF;QR;BE;N
User currently offlineTheginge From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 1132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 12447 times:



Quoting 1peter (Reply 7):
In the coming winter season however on some days you'll only see 1 744 in JFK with the rest operated by 777's.

Seriously? So I presume the 6 or 7 777's to do this are coming off other routes and the 744's are replacing them on that?


User currently offlineManchesterMAN From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 1227 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (5 years 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 11966 times:



Quoting Rafaelyyz (Reply 6):
Exactly. People often forget about the cargo that gets flown underneath.

True, except the 747 pax doesn't give much if any additional cargo space vs the 772 pax. The 772 pax version is a great cargo aircraft.

Quoting Oneworld77 (Reply 10):
The route is still profitable - largely due to Cargo.

People seem to view belly cargo as having a marginal cost and therefore cargo revenue go straight to the bottom line. I'm not sure thats how it works in a company like BA. You could view it in another way and say that the cargo carried is loss making and all the pax on top of it are making all the profit! The answer is that neither is true. Cargo revenue is essential to the profitability of any long haul passenger route, just the same as passengers are and airlines count on this revenue in their projections. It isn't just a Brucie bonus. Cargo yield on the transatlantic routes sucks big time at the moment - it has taken a much bigger hit than pax yields. I think any carrier would laugh at the words cargo and profitability being used in the same sentence at the moment...



Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
User currently offlineAlphaomega From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 577 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 11177 times:



Quoting ManchesterMAN (Reply 12):

Quoting Rafaelyyz (Reply 6):
Exactly. People often forget about the cargo that gets flown underneath.

True, except the 747 pax doesn't give much if any additional cargo space vs the 772 pax. The 772 pax version is a great cargo aircraft.

Not that you would see a 773 on JFK-LHR, but the -300 has even better cargo performance.

NH previously operated a 773 on NRT-IAD and would carry 6 LD3s of bags and 11 or 12 pallets of cargo plus 300 boxes in H5...not bad.

QR has the same performance on IAD-DOH with the 773 - oversold flight and still takes 35 metric tons of cargo!

I know BA is still flying the 744 on LHR-IAD, but they are switching to all 772 for the winter schedule.


User currently offlineAlphaomega From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 577 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 11159 times:



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Quoting 787EWR (Thread starter):
Every other airline seems to be flying 767 or 777 aircraft

The thing is that 767s and 777s don't grow on trees. Even if BA decided that the 747 was too much plane for them they would either have to wait for a while until they could get more planes, or shift the smaller jets away from other routes.

Forgot to add this to my last post - don't forget BA is receiving new deliveries of 772s from Boeing - so maybe they will be re-allocating the 744s to other routes or the desert....I would prefer the former...


User currently offlineBAStew From Australia, joined Sep 2006, 1028 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (5 years 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 10887 times:



Quoting 787EWR (Thread starter):
In this age of cost cutting and financial control, why is BA still flying 744s from JFK to EGLL? Are the loads for these flights that high? Every other airline seems to be flying 767 or 777 aircraft.

It's pretty simple.....we have 40-something 747's in operation and have to fly them somewhere - or ground them.

Every JFK I have operated has been at least 85% full. A lot of french, german and italian passengers in M - probably on heavily discounted tickets. But J pretty busy also.


User currently offline413x3 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 1983 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 10597 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 8):
One of the busiest routes in the world between two true centers of human civilization

If you really meant to say between the 2 financial capitals of the world then I would agree. Not sure what route you are going with by saying the general centers of civilization


User currently offlineKq787 From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 65 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 10284 times:



Quoting 413x3 (Reply 16):
Not sure what route you are going with by saying the general centers of civilization

NYC may not have the 1000 year history of London, but its impact on the modern day world culturally and socially should not be underestimated.


User currently offlineAirNz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (5 years 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 9355 times:



Quoting BAStew (Reply 15):
Every JFK I have operated has been at least 85% full. A lot of french, german and italian passengers in M - probably on heavily discounted tickets.

Just out of pure curiosity, as BA cabin crew how are you aware of what booking class your passengers are booked in, or what price they paid for their tickets? Essentially, for what reason does cabin crew need access to that information in the GDS for their every flight?


User currently offlineUAEflyer From United Arab Emirates, joined Nov 2006, 1084 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (5 years 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 9311 times:

Even i always ask my self, why does British Airways fly B744 to DXB too.

With 3 daily flights by BA, 5 daily by EK, and 1 VS

It seems from the replies here that the cargo is the main factor which aircraft goes which route.


User currently offlineMutu From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 538 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 9259 times:



Quoting Babybus (Reply 4):
It's more to do with constant, non stop marketing of cheap seats on the route. The yield on those aircraft on those routes must be minimal if in fact profitable at all.

Profitable, solid routes do not need that level of discounting or marketing.

Far from it. Even in the current market there is a return. And in normal times there is a huge return. There may be constant marketing of "cheap" seats but there is only a limited bucket on each flight. This route will support sufficient yield to make target return due to the shear volume of traffic over a year. The "constant " marketing comes from this being one of the busiest routes in the world and its being BA's flagship route really, going back to the "old" BA 1/2/3/4 to the soon to be "new" BA 1/2/3/4, with frequencies having been as high as 12 a day between city pairs and BA owning its own JFK terminal and earning income from leasing gates to other carriers and having sufficient traffic to make efficient use of ground costs at each end ......a very important (and typically profitable) city pair for BA.
As for the 744 well true they are not the most efficient birds for the new era of high oil but with 48 of them still in service and 787's not being delivered next year now they dont really have much choice! New 772's have entered the fleet and replaced some 774's parked up and a handful of 773's come on line next year but the big 380 and 787 deliveries are some way off now so the 744 will be around for a good few years yet


User currently offlineJER757 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 350 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (5 years 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 9216 times:



Quoting AirNz (Reply 18):
Just out of pure curiosity, as BA cabin crew how are you aware of what booking class your passengers are booked in

Sarcasm? Apologies if not.

Cabin crew aren't aware which fare class which pax has booked under. They could find this out from friendly res/pax service agents if they were that desperate. But quite frankly who cares? Everyone receives the same service on board whether they purchased Y, M, G or whatever fare.

I'd think its a fair bet that a lot of the European pax are on discounted tickets. Its a well known fact that through tickets such as PAR-LON-NYC are a lot of the time almost as cheap (if not cheaper) than a simple LHR-JFK. And with most tourists not really too fussy about who they travel on, a decent price incentive would be needed to route them through LHR rather than direct to JFK from CDG/AMS/FRA etc.



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User currently offlineOneworld77 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2008, 238 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 9097 times:



Quoting ManchesterMAN (Reply 12):
I think any carrier would laugh at the words cargo and profitability being used in the same sentence at the moment...

Interesting viewpoint. There are 3 or 4 routes that BA is keeping just for the cargo. I'm not sure your proposition would hold tight, really. All airlines break down route profitability to cabin, fare class, on-carriage, cargo/freight etc etc.

JFK-LHR is doing very well on the latter.



Flown - EI;BA;RE;FR;WW;TW;TS;US;JP;JT;AT;QF;JQ;VB;NC;TR;D7;AA;IB;AF;SN;LX;SR;LH;AY;CX;CP;9K;9W;IX;AI;IC;EK;EY;GF;QR;BE;N
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19712 posts, RR: 58
Reply 23, posted (5 years 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 9028 times:



Quoting ManchesterMAN (Reply 12):

People seem to view belly cargo as having a marginal cost

Well, per kg-mile, it pays a lot more than passengers do. But are the costs high? Is handling cargo that much more expensive than handling baggage?


User currently offlineSunriseValley From Canada, joined Jul 2004, 4988 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (5 years 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8273 times:



Quoting ManchesterMAN (Reply 12):
Cargo yield on the transatlantic routes sucks big time at the moment - it has taken a much bigger hit than pax yields. I think any carrier would laugh at the words cargo and profitability being used in the same sentence at the moment...



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 23):
Well, per kg-mile, it pays a lot more than passengers do. But are the costs high? Is handling cargo that much more expensive than handling baggage?

Based on the TOW difference for max load and max passenger load I would doubt that the incremental fuel cost is 20c a pound for the -400 on the LHR-JFK route. I have no knowledge of what terminal freight handling costs are but for sure belly cargo on a passenger aircraft is the cheapest way to haul it. AC were set to buy two or more 777F's till they figured out what belly cargo capability they had eastbound from the Pacific coast of Asia to Central Canada with their 77W and 77L aircraft.
I worked up a spread sheet based on the afore mentioned TOW spread for the 5750nm AKL-LAX section for the 77L and 77W and arrived at an incremental fuel cost based on $US1.85 USG, density 6.7Lbs/ USG , of $105 and $115 per 1000 pounds respectively. I do need to refine this somewhat to take freight density into account. The numbers are a bit high high in so far as I assumed that all the fuel load was burned which it would not be .Widebodyphotog had some great posts a few years ago analysing air freight as belly cargo.


25 AirNz : That is exactly what I thought to be the case, and hence why I asked......to see if something had wildly changed since my days with BA, and consideri
26 JER757 : I didn't, it was another poster, BAStew I believe the phrase he used was 'probably'. As good as 'fair bet' don't we think? Anyway... Besides it is re
27 VV701 : Cargo is not a factor in choosing to operate a 744 on any particular route instead of a 772. This is because the hold capacity of a 772 is slightly g
28 BAStew : We have no access to what fares people pay with the exception of who has paid the full published fare in each class. We do have a list of which passen
29 1peter : Yes seriously, looks like for most of the coming season we're down to 6 a day and some of those we're doing 5 777's with the remaining days a 50/50 s
30 AirNz : Cheers for that and, as I said, I was merely curious from my own days at BA. Yes, whilst it is possible to take the chance on assuming such, it is no
31 DLPMMM : A better question would be "why use the EGLL abbreviation for Heathrow, when most people would better understand the more common LHR, especially when
32 Airbazar : And lots and lots of cheap fares. TATL fares don't get much cheaper than BA from JFK. They are a true Low Fare carrier on that route. Except the vast
33 WeirdLinguist : why does BA fly 744's JFK-LHR? Because they fly 744's LHR-JFK isn't it obvious
34 HKG212 : "Should not be underestimated" is a curious understatement considering that New York has been the center of world culture for the better part of the
35 Theginge : Fair enough, didn't know that. I thought their plan was to put the 777's on the longer long haul routes and put the 744's on the shorter long haul ro
36 VV701 : Sorry. You've lost me. What do you mean by "published fare" in these days? For example I have checked today the BA fares for a 5 October departure an
37 Yellowtail : Can I quote you over in another thread where we are having a disagreement about half full flights with full cargo (SQ's SIN-DME-IAH) underneath being
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