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I Once Read "United Has Mostly Trunk Routes"  
User currently offlineVC10er From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 2984 posts, RR: 13
Posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 9590 times:
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Over a year ago I read a thread about UA, I do not recall the topic exactly, but I think it was about the rumor of an upcoming widebody order. It soon panned out to be true, and the order for 787's and A350's happened not long after. One A.netter posted that "United has mostly 'trunk' routes, few or no 'boutique' routes" I "THINK" I have a basic understanding of those terms: trunk routes being the "long or semi-long"' routes that connect two major cities with high traffic histories (then some pax will connect to a smaller destination) or most terminating in London or Hong Kong etc. Am I correct?
Then "boutique" routes being departing non-stop from Washington DC to Glasgow (which they don't) Correct?
The statement seemed correct to me as I couldn't think (at the time) of a United city smaller than Geneva (for example). So "if" you follow that logic as "trunk v boutique" once PMCO and PMUA become UNITED they will have many boutique routes like NYC (EWR) to Lisbon, Edinborough, Glasgow, Manchester, Prague, Brussels to name a few and certain places in Africa like Accra or Middle east like Kuwait? Unless those ARE considered trunk.

My questions are: is "trunk" a term we use loosely or is it an international designation? What about cities that are arguable? I would argue Rio de Janerio was boutique 15 years ago but is quickly becoming a "trunk" route. Do you think the new UNITED will continue with new boutiques like ones currently not served, like Kuuk, Greenland   - Or pull back and refocus and concentrate on more frequentcies to bigger places. "IF" UNITED does add exotic destinations (especially not served by anyone non-stop) does the fully combined entity have enough aircraft to grow once things are moved around? THANKS


The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16907 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 9584 times:

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
Do you think the new UNITED will continue with new boutiques like ones currently not served, like Kuuk, Greenland   - Or pull back and refocus and concentrate on more frequentcies to bigger places. "IF" UNITED does add exotic destinations (especially not served by anyone non-stop) does the fully combined entity have enough aircraft to grow once things are moved around? THANKS


They're launching EWR-STR with a 757 on June 10th, does that help? They're also launching Guam-Okinawa and LAX/SFO - Hilo.

[Edited 2011-05-01 07:05:02]


Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineVC10er From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 2984 posts, RR: 13
Reply 2, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 9485 times:
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Quoting STT757 (Reply 1):

YES! that is great! Stuttgart and Hilo are great destinations. Didn't UA serve Hilo with a DC-10 or MD-11 years ago? Was it a non-stop or tag from Honolulu?



The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16907 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 9404 times:

Quoting VC10er (Reply 2):
Didn't UA serve Hilo with a DC-10 or MD-11 years ago?

DC-8 and DC-10.

CO operated their network based on their resources, lots of 757 and 737-800 flying. UA operated their network based on their resources, their merger addresses both carrier's needs. UA didn't have aircraft with the capability and CASM of CO's 757-200s and 737-800s, and conversely CO has long been short on widebody aircraft.

The merger will combined the best aspects of both carriers.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineAirlineBrat From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 657 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 9300 times:

Quoting STT757 (Reply 3):
Quoting VC10er (Reply 2):
Didn't UA serve Hilo with a DC-10 or MD-11 years ago?

DC-8 and DC-10.

And 747-200



I'm leavin on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again....
User currently offlineVC10er From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 2984 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9183 times:
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Quoting STT757 (Reply 1):

Do you know what type of aircraft they will use to Hilo?



The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16907 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9115 times:

Quoting VC10er (Reply 5):
Do you know what type of aircraft they will use to Hilo?

737-800 from both LAX and SFO.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlinebohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2748 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 8992 times:

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
non-stop from Washington DC to Glasgow (which they don't)

UA used to fly that route in the 90's  


User currently offlineseabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5834 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 8845 times:

The merger with CO changed everything.

PMUA's international network was indeed heavy on the "trunk" routes, with much emphasis on serving very large cities and Star hubs abroad, from UA's largest US hubs -- ORD, IAD, and SFO.

But PMCO was pretty much the opposite. They had some service to big cities, but they were known for connecting unusual, smaller destinations in Europe and Central America to their EWR and IAH hubs, respectively.

The new UA thus has both types of service in its history -- and the proper equipment for each. I'd be surprised if it doesn't continue a balanced approach, running large 3-class equipment on the heaviest routes and also maintaining a 2-class fleet with a lot of smaller equipment to serve points from its hubs at EWR, IAD, IAH, and (once the 787s are on property) SFO.


User currently offlinejoost From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 3185 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 8728 times:

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
My questions are: is "trunk" a term we use loosely or is it an international designation?

It's a loosely used term, there is no specific designation for the term.

In my opinion, a trunk route is a high-volume route. This doesn't need to be a long or semi-long route: SFO-LAX, AMS-LHR or FCO-LIN are just as much trunk routes as LHR-JFK or LAX-NRT.

A trunk route can be a high O&D route, but also a route that gets much connection traffic. DL's 4x daily DTW-AMS is also a trunk route, despite relying very much on connecting traffic.

A boutique route isn't an official term either, and it's inter-exchangeable with 'niche route'.

CO from EWR serves many smaller transatlantic routes using their 752-equipment. Think of their routes to BHX, ARN, TXL, etc. They do serve Star-hubs as well, but not as much as UA.

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 8):

The merger with CO changed everything.

PMUA's international network was indeed heavy on the "trunk" routes, with much emphasis on serving very large cities and Star hubs abroad, from UA's largest US hubs -- ORD, IAD, and SFO.

But PMCO was pretty much the opposite. They had some service to big cities, but they were known for connecting unusual, smaller destinations in Europe and Central America to their EWR and IAH hubs, respectively.

It's very much like NW and DL. Transatlantic, NW used to operate heavy trunk-routes to AMS, with only few non-AMS routes. They operated mostly large equipment (DC-10, A330 and the occasional 744) over the Atlantic. DL used to have quite a network from JFK, flying 752s and 763s to various European cities.

The DL-NW merger showed that both concepts can be combined very well.

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 8):
The new UA thus has both types of service in its history -- and the proper equipment for each.

Actually, the strategies of DL and CO all come down to one thing: New York. Such a broad 757-network can only be operated profitably from a city with extreme O&D-demand, like NYC.

For these small aircraft like 752s and 762s, the CASM is quite high (compared to 763, 330, 777), and can be offset by reasonable number of passengers willing to pay a premium for a non-stop route. Some niche routes aside, this concept to the extent as it's operated by DL and CO can only work from New York.


User currently offlineseabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5834 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 8668 times:

Quoting joost (Reply 9):
Actually, the strategies of DL and CO all come down to one thing: New York. Such a broad 757-network can only be operated profitably from a city with extreme O&D-demand, like NYC.

I would argue that PMCO's IAH network (and AA's MIA network) disproves this quite handily, unless you are only interested in long-haul international service.


User currently offlinegenybustrvlr From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 261 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 8005 times:

Quoting STT757 (Reply 3):
CO operated their network based on their resources, lots of 757 and 737-800 flying. UA operated their network based on their resources, their merger addresses both carrier's needs. UA didn't have aircraft with the capability and CASM of CO's 757-200s and 737-800s, and conversely CO has long been short on widebody aircraft.

UA actually had more 757s than CO so one would think that they could have executed a strategy similar to COs 757 Europe flying if desired. Instead, UA chose to park its 737s and keep the 757s for domestic flying. Is there something about COs 757s that gives them longer legs than UA 757s? Are the short/medium haul economics of the 757 better than the 737s that were parked thus creating the their current role when chopping flights in bankruptcy?


User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 12, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7985 times:

A trunk route is in fact defined as a hub to hub route.

NS


User currently offlinedirectorguy From Egypt, joined Jul 2008, 1707 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7732 times:

To me a trunk route can also be a route that is at the 'core' of the network, or remains an integral part of an airline's network. An example would be London to Jo'burg for BA and SA. From BA's perspective, the route to South Africa was one of the most technically demanding from day one, and JNB is traditionally operated by their 'flaghsip', be it the Comet or the 747. It's a trunk route, even if it's smaller in terms of volume/frequency than JFK. Historical contexts help define what is and what isn't a trunk route.

In United's case, a route that they have been flying for decades and historically was one of their flagships might be considered a trunk route, even if frequency/capacity isn't that great.Their hub-to-hubs are obviously trunk routes since they combine frequency with volume.

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
Do you think the new UNITED will continue with new boutiques like ones currently not served, like Kuuk, Greenland

Unless someone comes up with a 25-seater long-haul aircraft suitable for commercial passenger operations, then I doubt it =) Kuuk is more obscure than exotic.
When airlines used to fly to 'exotic' places back in the day, it was usually with a 707 (or similar a/c) and was combined with a bunch of other cities. And the frequency was much lower. If this was the 1960s, UA could be flying Washington-Dakar-Abidjan-Accra-Nairobi twice a week using the 707 and get away with it. Now, it would have to be with at least a 767 (unless they somehow manage to repo ex-CO 757s from EWR or wherever) and the frequency would have to be at least 4-5 weekly to be competitive. Oh, and they can only combine 2 cities at most.

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
Or pull back and refocus and concentrate on more frequencies to bigger places.

Definitely. I think market consolidation will be the next phase. Before the crisis there was expansion, then retraction. Now consolidating key markets and focusing on CO/UA integration will be the order of the day.


User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16907 posts, RR: 51
Reply 14, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7703 times:

Quoting genybustrvlr (Reply 11):
UA actually had more 757s than CO so one would think that they could have executed a strategy similar to COs 757 Europe flying if desired
UA only has 14 ETOPS certified 757s vs 41 for CO, most of UA's 757 don't even have equipment for over water flights like the Caribbean. Also the 14 ETOPs UA has are lower powered than CO's 757-200s, they would not be able to fly routes like EWR-TXL, EWR-BCN etc..

Quoting genybustrvlr (Reply 11):
Is there something about COs 757s that gives them longer legs than UA 757s?

Yes, all 41 of CO's 757-200s are ETOPS. Only 14 of UA's 757s have ETOPS, however those are underpowered compared to CO's 757s.

UA purchased their 757s to fly domestically, thus they purchased the under powered package. CO purchased their 757-200s with the intent of flying them on International routes, thus they purchased aircraft with much more range and performance.

CO took delivery of their first 757 in 1994, by 1995 they were flying them on trans-Atlantic routes.

When it comes to narrow body aircraft all of CO's 737-700, 737-800, 737-900, 737-900ER, 757-200 aircraft plus 12 of their 21 757-300s are ETOPS certified.

As far as I know the only narrow body aircraft that UA has that are ETOPs are the 14 757s.

[Edited 2011-05-01 13:21:14]


Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineCALPSAFltSkeds From United States of America, joined exactly 8 years ago today! , 2723 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7610 times:

Quoting genybustrvlr (Reply 11):
Is there something about COs 757s that gives them longer legs than UA 757s?

CO has all 41 fitted with ETOPS and sleeper seats up front.
UA could have done that, but they do not have all 752s ETOPS certified. It would have created another subfleet (ETOPS and sleepers).

Additionally, PMUA did not have a NY hub. With IAD being a couple hundred miles farther to Europe than EWR, 752s would have been more limited. IAD will not work non-stop to Germany, Spain, Portugal and Scandinavia. Pretty much limiting IAD service to Ireland, UK, AMS and BRU. And some of those cities are larger and work best with a widebody.

ORD would be even worse with only Ireland and Scotland having a chance with the 752.

With the merger, the few IAD and ORD routes that can be operated with a 752 may happen and I believe could be operated with PMCO 752. Currently all PMCAO 752s do not fly the Europe each day, rather serve some domestic routes with a non-standard international configured aircraft in front.


User currently offlinegenybustrvlr From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 261 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7515 times:

@ Stt757 Thanks for the info. If you'll educate me a little bit more... Putting aside the fact the the UA 757s are underpowered in this case, is it generally cost prohibitive to convert a non-ETOPs aircraft to ETOPs? Also, is CO wasting maintenance $$$ by keeping almost all of its narrow-body fleet ETOPs certified? I'm sure that there are enough over land flights to keep some non-ETOPs birds working.

User currently offlineseabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5834 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7486 times:

Quoting genybustrvlr (Reply 11):
Is there something about COs 757s that gives them longer legs than UA 757s?

Higher MTOW and ETOPS. If UA spent the (considerable) money to get some portion of its 757s ETOPSified, with a 255500 lb MTOW, and equipped for international service, they would actually have longer range than CO's birds. The PW2000s are a bit better on fuel burn than the RB211-535E4s.


User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25987 posts, RR: 22
Reply 18, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7169 times:

Quoting joost (Reply 9):
Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
My questions are: is "trunk" a term we use loosely or is it an international designation?

It's a loosely used term, there is no specific designation for the term.

Originally it had a specific meaning to the US Civil Aeronautics Board which used the term "trunk carrier" for 16 carriers with grandfather rights on primary US intrastate routes. See the following earlier thread. The 16 original trunk carriers are listed in Reply 11. The term "trunk" has railway origins.
The Sixteen Orginal Trunk Airlines (by NWASE Aug 26 2007 in Civil Aviation)

Further explanation here:
http://library.findlaw.com/1988/Sep/1/129304.html

Also see the paragraph starting in the middle of the following page from a book.
http://books.google.com/books?id=Ej8...airline%20trunk%20carriers&f=false

[Edited 2011-05-01 14:34:57]

User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16907 posts, RR: 51
Reply 19, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 6101 times:

Quoting genybustrvlr (Reply 16):
is it generally cost prohibitive to convert a non-ETOPs aircraft to ETOPs?

It's pretty much out of the question for UA's 757s.

Quoting genybustrvlr (Reply 16):
Also, is CO wasting maintenance $$$ by keeping almost all of its narrow-body fleet ETOPs certified? I'm sure that there are enough over land flights to keep some non-ETOPs birds working.

Nope, they came from the factory that way. And CO/ UA utilizes on such diverse flights from Micronesia to Latin America to Hawaii, they even do military charters from the US all the way to the Middle East via Europe.

No one loves the 757 more than me, but CO/UA's 737-700/800/900/900ERs are the most advanced narrowbody aircraft flying domestically in the US.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 20, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 6030 times:

Quoting CALPSAFltSkeds (Reply 15):
IAD will not work non-stop to Germany, Spain, Portugal and Scandinavia.

I'm sorry that's not the case. IAD to Spain, Lisbon, and Scandinavia are almost all shorter than EWR-TXL. Services to many destinations are easily reachable.

NS


User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16907 posts, RR: 51
Reply 21, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5990 times:

Quoting gigneil (Reply 20):
I'm sorry that's not the case. IAD to Spain, Lisbon, and Scandinavia are almost all shorter than EWR-TXL. Services to many destinations are easily reachable.

With CO's 757s Lisbon and Madrid are doable from IAD, BCN is a bit too far. Also Oslo is doable but Copenhagen again is a bit too far, Stockholm is definitely out of range from IAD.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineexFWAOONW From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 415 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 5411 times:

Quoting AirlineBrat (Reply 4):
Quoting STT757 (Reply 3):
Quoting VC10er (Reply 2):
Didn't UA serve Hilo with a DC-10 or MD-11 years ago?

DC-8 and DC-10.

And 747-200

As I recall the DC10 was used ORD -ITO and the 747 was used ORD-HNL back in the 70s and early 80s.



Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
User currently offlineCALPSAFltSkeds From United States of America, joined exactly 8 years ago today! , 2723 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 5308 times:

Quoting STT757 (Reply 21):
Quoting gigneil (Reply 20):
I'm sorry that's not the case. IAD to Spain, Lisbon, and Scandinavia are almost all shorter than EWR-TXL. Services to many destinations are easily reachable.

With CO's 757s Lisbon and Madrid are doable from IAD, BCN is a bit too far. Also Oslo is doable but Copenhagen again is a bit too far, Stockholm is definitely out of range from IAD.

I stand corrected on IAD-LIS, but don't think the rest are doable with the 752. Realistically, IAD-MAD (150 miles shorter than EWR-TXL) I believe would more likely have higher headwinds (being a more southern route) and CO upgrades TXL-EWR during the winter months.


User currently offlinevinniewinnie From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 803 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 4970 times:

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
become UNITED they will have many boutique routes like NYC (EWR) to Lisbon, Edinborough, Glasgow, Manchester, Prague, Brussels to name a few and certain places in Africa like Accra or Middle east like Kuwait? Unless those ARE considered trunk.

To me a trunk route is a route with high volumes of passengers and/or a route connecting 2 hubs. In that sense Brussels is most certainly not a boutique route as it is served by widebodies (764 from EWR, 777 from IAD) and connects 2 star alliance hubs.


25 exFWAOONW : In the US, for example, the "trunk lines" were originally the railroad mainlines between Chicago and New York.
26 Viscount724 : It's more like 50-50. EWR-TXL 3458 nm Shorter: IAD-LIS 3121 nm IAD-MAD 3316 nm IAD-OSL 3388 nm Longer: IAD-BCN 3527 nm IAD-CPH 3540 nm IAD-ARN 3589 n
27 type-rated : UA flew ORD - Hilo as far back as the late 60's with DC8 stretch equipment. It was part of their Royal Hawaiian Service.
28 jj8080 : I think all of the above are doable. DL has 752s running: CVG-AMS 3.599nm ATL-BSB 3.623nm
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