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Possible UA 744 Replacements  
User currently offlineEWRamp From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 12 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 8447 times:

I know UA has the A350 on order as the 744 replacement but does anybody think a 77W or even the 748i would be a more natural fit as the 744 replacement. What are the advantages/disadvantages of the A350 vs 77W/748i?

58 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineas739x From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 6200 posts, RR: 24
Reply 1, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 8399 times:

The A350 is the replacement. Unfortunately is doesn't appear UA will bring on the 77W or 748i.


"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31439 posts, RR: 85
Reply 2, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 8398 times:
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I expect UA will find the A350-1000 to be plenty for their 747-400 replacement needs and will not look at the 747-8. With the competition into and out of the United States, reducing capacity a bit to raise yields (by not having to discount as aggressively to fill as many seats) is likely the smart strategy.

User currently offlinewashingtonian From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 8386 times:

Quoting as739x (Reply 1):
The A350 is the replacement.

You don't know this. The A-350 can easily be used to start replacing early-build 777s. A 77W, or perhaps the next gen 777, order is not out of the question.


User currently offlineEWRamp From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 12 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 8351 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
I expect UA will find the A350-1000 to be plenty for their 747-400 replacement needs

Thats if they decide to order the -1000. IIRC they only have 25 -900's on order


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31439 posts, RR: 85
Reply 5, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 8282 times:
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Quoting EWRamp (Reply 4):
Thats if they decide to order the -1000. IIRC they only have 25 -900's on order

They have plenty of options (50) and I am sure their contact with Airbus allows them to adjust which model of A350 they take on a delivery position by delivery position basis.


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6676 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 8281 times:

Quoting washingtonian (Reply 3):

You don't know this. The A-350 can easily be used to start replacing early-build 777s. A 77W, or perhaps the next gen 777, order is not out of the question.

UA has said this repeatedly that the 350s will replace the 744s. Not sure if that means anything to you.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 7201 posts, RR: 50
Reply 7, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 8257 times:

Quoting washingtonian (Reply 3):
Quoting as739x (Reply 1):
The A350 is the replacement.

You don't know this.

Except that UA management stated this when the A350 order was placed. However, since the CO merger things may change, but the official pronouncement (which still stands) is that the 744's will be replaced by A350's.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlinestaralliance85 From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 201 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 8142 times:

I can't wait till the A350's replaces the 747's. The UA 747 is the most worn and torn aircraft in the fleet. In their effort to upgrade their fleet, they had to instal wireless entertainment streaming for Economy Class because there are tons of complaints that there are No PTVS in Economy Class. That would be rough having No PTVS from LAX-SYD and QF, Virgin and DL have PTVS.


I also think the 77W would be great for the UA fleet as well.



brad Fitzpatrick
User currently offlinebmacleod From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 2384 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 8140 times:

Quoting The777Man (Reply 6):

UA has said this repeatedly that the 350s will replace the 744s. Not sure if that means anything to you.

It may not mean much if the 350-900 can only seat 300 and the 744 is a 400+ seat airliner. Sure I would like to question whether the above statement is "etched in stone".

Heard reports that Airbus expects UA to eventually order the A380; but that is likely "pie in sky" thinking.  wink 

[Edited 2012-01-13 10:24:28]


The engine is the heart of an airplane, but the pilot is its soul.
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6676 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7891 times:

Quoting bmacleod (Reply 9):
It may not mean much if the 350-900 can only seat 300 and the 744 is a 400 seat airliner. Sure I would like to question whether the above statement is "etched in stone".

I agree that the 77W is the perfect 744 replacement and I still have faint hope that it will happen. The 350 order could be converted to 320neos for example.

Quoting bmacleod (Reply 9):

Heard reports that Airbus expects UA to eventually order the A380; but that is likely "pie in sky" thinking.

I don't think UA ever will get the 380.Airbus is dreaming/getting very desperate to sell more 380s.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineGCPET From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2012, 204 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7790 times:

I'd like to see the 747-8 in the fleet, but sadly i don't think it's going to happen. I think the A350's will now be used to replace the 747-400's with maybe the 777NG and 787's to fill in for the remanders.

GCPET



If it's not Boeing, I'm not going!
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31439 posts, RR: 85
Reply 12, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7743 times:
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Quoting The777Man (Reply 10):
I agree that the 77W is the perfect 744 replacement and I still have faint hope that it will happen.

By refurbishing the 747-400s, UA has given them enough useful life to keep in service until the A350-1000 is available to them towards the end of the decade. As such, I don't see them ordering the 777-300ER because they would likely not be able to take serious delivery of them before the end of the decade, which is when the A350-1000 will be available. So they might as well wait for the Airbus.


User currently offlinetsnamm From United States of America, joined May 2005, 632 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 7019 times:

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 7):
Except that UA management stated this when the A350 order was placed. However, since the CO merger things may change, but the official pronouncement (which still stands) is that the 744's will be replaced by A350's.

Exactly....With Smisek in charge they may have a change of heart...nothing has been hinted that they would though. When Jeff took his 1st Trans Atlantic trip one of the vendors he met with was Airbus. In his comments he described them as "our new best friends Airbus". Whether he was being sarcastic or not I don't know. But I think UA has the perogative to change their minds somewhat on a total 744 replacement, especially with the much different CO perspective on aircraft deployment as part of the process now. We shall see.


User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8046 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6998 times:

It really depends on if Airbus can meet their weight and range targets for the A350-1000. If they succeed, then UA will likely buy a fairly good number of A350-1000's to replace their 747-400 fleet.

User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9829 posts, RR: 52
Reply 15, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6921 times:

I have posted this same comment before, but will again. The 747 is too big for United right now. They determined that while some of their routes can sustain 747 capacity, which is 374 seats, it is limited in number. The problem with a plane the size of the 747 is that they are costly to operate. During peak season, the 747s earn huge profits to NRT, SYD, & HKG. However during the slow season they are a serious liability. UA struggles to fill them on all but a select few routes. Going to more efficient large airplanes does not improve the situation. It still results in carrying around empty seats or lowering RASM. UA is a big RASM chaser and struggles to fill the 747s in the down season. There's a reason why the fleet goes through such fluctuations in the schedule. They are maxed out for 4 months a year and sit rather idle for the rest of the year.

The benefit of going to the A350-900 is flexibility. UA is not heavily slot controlled, so they can adjust capacity with frequency. Busy routes like SFO/LAX-SYD, SFO-NRT, ORD-NRT, SFO-HKG, ORD-HKG, SFO-LHR, SFO-FRA can go double daily when needed with the A350. With the 787s and A350s, both planes can fly every long haul route so there is capacity flexibility. This is what UA feels is more important than having an airplane with lower CASM. The A350-1000, 77W, 777x, A380 etc all have better CASM than the smaller models, but it affects RASM too much during the slow season to be truly beneficial.

With the merger with Continental, I don't see them going to larger aircraft. They now have even more hubs to spread the long haul travel from. That would necessitate more smaller planes rather than larger ones. The new UA has 8 cities they fly to Asian from the US. They have 6 gateways which they fly to Europe from. They need smaller not larger airplanes.

Also, some are commenting about Smisek changing his mind. I'm not sure I believe the combined strategy will change. Continental never focused on high capacity large markets with large airplanes. UA's strategy was to connect large key business centers. CO's strategy was to use smaller markets and serve more destinations internationally with smaller aircraft. Their relatively small 777 fleet was limited to only a few destinations or to serve destinations where range was needed. CO never exploited low CASM aircraft, but used a smaller sized fleet with more flexibility.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinecedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8202 posts, RR: 54
Reply 16, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6853 times:

RoseFlyer makes great and informed points but much circumstantial evidence points to the A380. It is being seriously considered. Maybe more than considered. Might seem unlikely in the light of some of the above, but if I had to lay a bet for or against, no absention allowed, I'd vote in favour - a United A380 will happen.


fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineUALWN From Andorra, joined Jun 2009, 2976 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6748 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 15):
The A350-1000, 77W, 777x, A380 etc all have better CASM than the smaller models, but it affects RASM too much during the slow season to be truly beneficial.

I have never totally understood this argument. Assume that, indeed, there's a low season between LAX-SYD and UA has trouble filling its 744s at good prices. Then they downgrade to a 777. But, say, QF keeps two A380s in the route. Then, there is still a glut of capacity, RASM is low for both QF and UA, but QF can afford it because they have the CASM king in the route, while UA cannot. What's the point of deploying a smaller plane in a given route if the competition sticks to a larger plane hence thrashing RASM for everybody?



AT7/111/146/Avro/CRJ/CR9/EMB/ERJ/E75/F50/100/L15/DC9/D10/M8X/717/727/737/747/757/767/777/AB6/310/319/320/321/330/340/380
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31439 posts, RR: 85
Reply 18, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 6661 times:
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Quoting UALWN (Reply 17):
What's the point of deploying a smaller plane in a given route if the competition sticks to a larger plane hence thrashing RASM for everybody?

Using LAX-SYD as an example, even though QF is the "incumbent" carrier, some will fly UA no matter what. For example, if you're a Mileage Plus or Star Alliance loyalty program member, you will fly UA even if QF has a better price or a better product.

So if UA has "X" number of passengers per day who will fly them even if their price is higher than QF's, the goal would be to tailor the number of available seats to meet that number (preferably, you'd offer a bit less seats than needed). That way, you're only flying passengers who are willing to pay more to fly you.

QF will secure the OneWorld loyalty market and then use it's superior pricing and product to attract those who have no brand or alliance loyalty. So they can fill more seats and by deploying a large plane with a low cost per seat mile, even though their average fare might be lower than UA's, it's still high enough to be profitable thanks to the lower operating costs.


User currently offlineUALWN From Andorra, joined Jun 2009, 2976 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6507 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 18):
So if UA has "X" number of passengers per day who will fly them even if their price is higher than QF's,

Doesn't that go against the prevailing a.net mantra "only price matters"? Anyway, I realize what you say must be about right. But, still, this is kind of like getting into a downward spiral: you deploy a small plane, your CASM rises, you rise fares, your number of passengers decreases, you move to a smaller plane, your CASM rises again, you rise fares again, etc., until you eventually give up the route...



AT7/111/146/Avro/CRJ/CR9/EMB/ERJ/E75/F50/100/L15/DC9/D10/M8X/717/727/737/747/757/767/777/AB6/310/319/320/321/330/340/380
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31439 posts, RR: 85
Reply 20, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6432 times:
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Quoting UALWN (Reply 19):
Doesn't that go against the prevailing a.net mantra "only price matters"?

Just because a.net believes it does not make it true.  
Quoting UALWN (Reply 19):
But, still, this is kind of like getting into a downward spiral: you deploy a small plane, your CASM rises, you rise fares, your number of passengers decreases, you move to a smaller plane, your CASM rises again, you rise fares again, etc., until you eventually give up the route...

Indeed. There are limits to how far loyalty will take you. And adding new planes with lower CASM can help you keep those fares in line, keeping those people loyal.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12183 posts, RR: 51
Reply 21, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6312 times:

With the CO management now running the new UA, I just don't see them ordering the A-3510. Airbus has yet to define exactly what the A-3510 is, that is why EK is saying things about it from time to time. UA might be the perfect customer to launch the B-777-8/-9.

I just don't see the A-380 in UA's future, in fact I think they would buy the B-747-8I before they bought the A-388/9. UA already has the infastructure to support the B-747-8, they would need to spend a lot of money to support the A-380. UA's B-744s currently seat up to 400 pax. The B-748 seats up to 469, and the A-380 up to 555. UA doesn't need a 500+ seat airplane, but I could see them with a 425-435 seat B-748I.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridges in Chicago since the old UA ordered both the B-787 and the A-350. UA should get the first B-787 sometime this year (from the original CO order), and I think that will change things for the A-359, when it comes in 2017, or so. By then UA will need to begin replacing their early B-77As and B-77Es. The current UA B-744s will be around until very late this decade or early next decade. That puts the timing for their replacement very close to what many think is the EIS for the B-777NG.

The A-3510 is a 350 seat airplane, just like today's B-77W is. The B-778 will be a 375 seater and the B-779 will be a 400 seater. UA's B-744s seat 375 to 400.


User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8046 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6085 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 15):
The benefit of going to the A350-900 is flexibility. UA is not heavily slot controlled, so they can adjust capacity with frequency. Busy routes like SFO/LAX-SYD, SFO-NRT, ORD-NRT, SFO-HKG, ORD-HKG, SFO-LHR, SFO-FRA can go double daily when needed with the A350. With the 787s and A350s, both planes can fly every long haul route so there is capacity flexibility.

Then how come they're not doing it now with the 777-200ER, since the A350-900 was designed as a direct competitor against the 772ER? Is it UA/CO doesn't have enough 772ER's for this purpose?


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9829 posts, RR: 52
Reply 23, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 5937 times:

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 22):

Then how come they're not doing it now with the 777-200ER, since the A350-900 was designed as a direct competitor against the 772ER? Is it UA/CO doesn't have enough 772ER's for this purpose?

They are and have been disposing of 747s and shrinking the fleet which is down to 24 from over 30. There are a select number of routes that the 747 is useful for, but the 777 is more versatile and is the preferred long haul plane for UA.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 21):

The A-3510 is a 350 seat airplane, just like today's B-77W is. The B-778 will be a 375 seater and the B-779 will be a 400 seater. UA's B-744s seat 375 to 400.

UA's current configuration is 374 seats on the 744.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20365 posts, RR: 59
Reply 24, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5791 times:

Quoting staralliance85 (Reply 8):
I can't wait till the A350's replaces the 747's. The SA)">UA 747 is the most worn and torn aircraft in the fleet. In their effort to upgrade their fleet, they had to instal wireless entertainment streaming for Economy Class because there are tons of complaints that there are No PTVS in Economy Class. That would be rough having No PTVS from LAX-SYD and QF, Virgin and SA)">DL have PTVS.

Oh, I've done that flight in 2008. In 2008, it was the EXACT SAME INTERIOR (seats aside) as SA)">UA used in the late 80's. In other words, this aircraft had been delivered with this interior some 20 years earlier.


For a 14-hour flight, the entertainment was projected from one of those ancient projectors with the huge RGB lenses set in the overhead or on discolored and flickering CRT TV's hanging from the aisle ceilings. The projector screen in our section had broken, so it was replaced with strips of printer paper taped to the bulkhead.

At the time, SA)">UA was the only US carrier operating into SYD. This was our flag carrier and commercial ambassador to Australia. It wasn't just a customer service issue; United Airlines made me ashamed to be American that day. What a crappy way to represent your country, let alone your airline.


25 boilerla : If the A35J will be put into a 3 class configuration, 350 seats is generous. It'll fit 320 people max in UA's 3 cabin config, which will still make i
26 United1 : When UA retrofitted IPTE in F/J they "refreshed" the cabin in Y as well. Besides being a different configuration they changed the seat covers, carpet
27 gemuser : I'm very pleased to hear that as I've just book UA for a SYD-SFO trip in Sep/Oct 2012. The reason for going with UA was very simple - price. This is
28 AADC10 : Presumably better fuel burn CSAM. Next generation superiority over the expensive 77W. Also, more comfortable Y seating than the 748i. The disadvantag
29 Post contains images PM : You assume that what UA want/need is a 400+ seater. Times change and the model they ordered in the 1980s may no longer be optimum. I'm sure they'd ra
30 VC10er : What ever UA does it better have a First Class as well as fixing economy. Do we think the A350/748i/777-9 will see new interior hard products?
31 DocLightning : And yet, UA had an opportunity to offer a truly competitive international Y product. Instead, they remain one of the few airlines in the world withou
32 United1 : Quite simply spending the money to add PTVs to the 744 in Y at this stage wasn't worth it. The A350s start to come online in 4 years... They are expl
33 KC135TopBoom : Do we know that for sure? A 375-400 seater would produce good load factors while at the same time make money easier than a 500+ seater would. That is
34 zeke : The ability to swap models is common with all A350 orders from what I understand. The 747-8 cannot go where a 744 goes. Any infrastructure that UA ha
35 Post contains links STT757 : The FAA recently granted EWR a waiver to allow 747-8i service: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/12/...ng-boeing-747-8-at-newark-airport/ Most likely
36 RDH3E : You're focusing too much on CASM and RASM, which is fine sometimes but you need to replace those figures with TRIP based figures when you're thinking
37 Post contains links zeke : FAA approval still does not mean it will be able to use 744 gates etc. These will need to be looked at on a case by case basis. YVR for example has o
38 RDH3E : You're changing the revenue picture based on your assumptions about the aircraft, which skews the discussion. If you can generate the same revenues,
39 zeke : That is not how a revenue management system works, that is why it is not unusual to have multiple aircraft over the same route being different sizes
40 RDH3E : But we're not talking about revenue management systems, we're talking about theoretical direct replacement of one aircraft with another under identic
41 RDH3E : Just to follow up, this is DL for the last 5 years, an average annual load factor of 81.07% with ttl profit of -14.5B dollars. You may cry foul for f
42 Flighty : In a weak environment, with sub - 100% load factors, a smaller aircraft is always better. An A380 would lose the largest amount of money and cause ba
43 UALWN : Well, I'm not forgetting that, but you're failing to address the specific point I made, which is that an airline does not operate in a vacuum, but in
44 UALWN : It only takes a route in which airline A with an A380 can fill it with, say, a 70% LF, at a reasonable price point. The competing airline B with, say
45 Cerecl : A380 does not need to have 100% load factor to be "better". Good load, yes, but not 100%. It depends on which airline one is talking about. If an air
46 PM : "we" (you and I) don't know anything for sure. By the same logic, a 275-300 seater would produce good load factors while at the same time make money
47 flylku : Indeed. I just did that route last week on UA; down in business with the lie flat and the big screen and back in Econ+. No PTV was a drag. I know som
48 Post contains links zeke : When airlines are selecting an aircraft, and do their business cases they do use their revenue management systems. Profitable airlines would not sele
49 JayinKitsap : I think United should go for 20 380's and replace all of their 744's.
50 Flighty : Try this on. If a load factor on a 763ER is, say, 85%, how will an A380's empty additional seats serve the airline? That's forgetting that yield decl
51 zeke : I think it is a little early for UA to get A380s While the 744 may not be the most efficient aircraft in the sky, it would be fully paid off by now,
52 gemuser : Just see reply 27! QF is getting a $A471 premium for a K Class booking in a Y seat! Real prices in the real market as at last Saturday. That's with a
53 UALWN : That's not true. The RASM for the route will be given by the total available seats on the route (volume, as you call it): a 380 plus a 777. The 777op
54 Cerecl : 1. Very few, if any airline would substitute 763ER with A380 with some decrease in frequency. I add that this is not the topic of the this thread eit
55 Post contains links RDH3E : Umm, no yield does not equal rasm minus casm. Yield = Revenue / RPM's. Yeah and you said that was a "historically profitable" load factor. http://www
56 UALWN : Yes, you're right,. What I meant to say is that profit is indeed a function of RASM - CASM. Therefore, yield in itself is only one part of the equati
57 Post contains images lightsaber : I expect the 787 and A350 (mostly A359) to displace the 744s in UAs fleet. Fragmentation will displace some 'hub to hub' traffic. I also believe that
58 JayinKitsap : I was partially jesting when I indicated UA should get 20 380's. I believe that UA was one of the airlines that bought the 747 for its range more than
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