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UA Downgauging ORD-HKG  
User currently offlinetraindoc From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 337 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 13319 times:

On March 31, UA 895, ORD to HKG, changes from a 747 to a 777. That's a loss of about 100 seats. As I am flying that route on 4/1, I have been looking at the loads. At least this week the planes have been leaving almost full. So does this mean that UA expects a lot less pax, or is this due to A/C utilization/maintenance/shortage issues? I know that UA is short wide-bodies due to the 787 fiasco.

41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCODC10 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2358 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 13250 times:

Quoting traindoc (Thread starter):
A/C utilization/maintenance/shortage issues?

United is centralizing the 747 fleet at SFO to improve dispatch reliability. The 747 pilot base at ORD will be closed and assimilated into other fleets.


User currently offlinehoMsar From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 13194 times:

This is not related to the 787 grounding, as the reallocation of UA's 747 fleet this spring has been public for several months.


I was raised by a cup of coffee.
User currently offlineual777uk From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 3356 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 13195 times:

Shame. This route has so got VLA written all over it for UA.

User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24347 posts, RR: 47
Reply 4, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 13162 times:

Quite old news - All part of the 744 fleet adjustments;

United To Concentrate 747 Fleet At San Francisco (by g500 Dec 21 2012 in Civil Aviation)

=



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineAADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2019 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 13109 times:

Downgauging to a 772 was inevitable with the decision to base all of the 744s at SFO. It seems like the 744s on ORD-HKG had a mechanical delay about every third day. Full flights are not very meaningful. Systemwide the load factor is around 86% so most flights are just about always full. It might cause the fares to rise slightly but if you are already booked, it will not make a difference. Just make sure you are assigned a seat.

From a passenger standpoint, the 772 is much better than the 744. In Y, the seats are an inch wider and there is relatively more bin space. The 772s have individual seatback VOD. The 744s have a flat screen mounted on the bulkhead. The 772 also has a better proportion of front cabin seats to Y seats for upgraders. The only things going for the 744 are the unique seats in the nose and dome and guaranteed ITPE. There are still a few 772s awaiting the new interiors.

[Edited 2013-03-07 14:43:06]

User currently offlineCX Flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6535 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 12405 times:

I would bet that the profitability of a fully loaded 744 ORD-HKG (with inevitable weight restrictions esp in summer) vs a fully loaded 772 (even with 100 less pax) are pretty similar and with fuel prices ever rising it makes sense to start to slowly pull the 744s off longhaul routes, although having 77Ws in the fleet would be much better for them.

User currently offlineRafabozzolla From Brazil, joined Apr 2000, 1185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 12099 times:

But couldn't the 744s be flown in a W pattern (SFO-HKG-ORD-HKG-SFO) and still get back to base at SFO?

User currently offlinekngkyle From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 368 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 11970 times:

Quoting Rafabozzolla (Reply 7):
But couldn't the 744s be flown in a W pattern (SFO-HKG-ORD-HKG-SFO) and still get back to base at SFO?

Doesn't solve the problem of the plane going tech at ORD, thousands of miles from the maintenance base. Nothing can be done to alleviate the problem on the HKG end, apart from retiring the 744s all together.

Wasn't this route flown 10x weekly last peak season, before CX started the route? Perhaps we will see that happen again, even with CX on the route. Or CX could start a 2nd daily, or AA with their new 77Ws.

[Edited 2013-03-07 18:57:20]

User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24347 posts, RR: 47
Reply 9, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 11804 times:

Quoting Rafabozzolla (Reply 7):
But couldn't the 744s be flown in a W pattern (SFO-HKG-ORD-HKG-SFO) and still get back to base at SFO?

Thats what is basically does today (with a HKG-SIN-HKG tag thrown in also), along with NRT-ORD-NRT also being on a 744, but due to schedules a 744 needs to overnight for 20 hours at ORD.

This requires maintenance support, and until recently required a crew base.

So now plans are all 747 ops are being consolidated back to SFO with the exception of LAX-SYD and HNL-NRT.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4089 posts, RR: 19
Reply 10, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 10628 times:

That is a huge downgrade.


Another step backwards for United.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineual777uk From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 3356 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 10289 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 10):
That is a huge downgrade.


Another step backwards for United.

I am not so sure i would go as far as to say its a huge downgrade or its a step backwards, as stated above the onboard experience for those in Y is far better in the 777 to that of the 747.

That said, I am sad to see the 747 go from this route and i would love to see UA doing this with a VLA or at least double daily 777 at some point as the times i have flown this route, its always been packed to the gills. I know that does not tell the whole story but even with CX, UA I am sure can hold its own and some on the route.


User currently offlinecipango From Ireland, joined Jul 2009, 487 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 9973 times:

Quoting ual777uk (Reply 11):
its always been packed to the gills.

I fly the HKG-SIN-HKG leg quite often with UA and I have yet to see the flight more than 50% full. Im sure the ORD-HKG-ORD is doing well, but I dont think the SIN add-on is?

Just my two cents.



Next Flights: DUB-BHX-DUB, DUB-BHX-DUB, DUB-LIS-DUB.
User currently offlineual777uk From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 3356 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 9721 times:

Quoting cipango (Reply 12):
I fly the HKG-SIN-HKG leg quite often with UA and I have yet to see the flight more than 50%

Oh, I agree, that flight struggles on high loads, the 747 is way to big for that route, so I wonder if we might see the 777 on that in the not too distant future?


User currently offlinefun2fly From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1000 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 9166 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 10):
That is a huge downgrade.


Another step backwards for United.

Not if you are in coach.

I wonder if they will go 10x or 14x weekly in the summer. In the past, they were 10x 744 so an increase should not be a stretch w/the loss of seats and previous demand.


User currently offlineAAplat4life From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 163 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 9092 times:

It is good to hear that UA's ORd-HKG is still full given that CX flies the route now with a 777-300ER. Does anyone know how the route is working for CX.

BTW, I saw a UA 747 at ORD the other day in the Continental livery and thought it look great!


User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6265 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 8974 times:

Quoting AAplat4life (Reply 15):
Does anyone know how the route is working for CX.

I fly that route quite often (about 9x yearly) and it's always full. I know that doesn't translate to profit, but I do also notice a hefty amount of cargo being loaded on, especially ex-HKG.


User currently offlineCX Flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6535 posts, RR: 55
Reply 17, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 8364 times:

Quoting AAplat4life (Reply 15):
It is good to hear that UA's ORd-HKG is still full given that CX flies the route now with a 777-300ER. Does anyone know how the route is working for CX.

It is not doing badly although there are no increases planned in the coming year or two as far as I know. (Subject to planning changes obviously)


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24347 posts, RR: 47
Reply 18, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7803 times:

Quoting ual777uk (Reply 13):
so I wonder if we might see the 777 on that in the not too distant future?

Yes with ORD-HKG becoming a 777, HKG-SIN also goes to 777. Effective March 31st.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineFlyingSicilian From Italy, joined Mar 2009, 1178 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7693 times:

It is because of WN at Midway?... just kidding.


On a serious note, as others have mentioned from a Y perspective it is a nicer ride. Given what UA has said about the 747 base stategy at SFO this is not suprising.

As a business traveller I'd take a second frequency over an upgauge in most cases.



Ciao Windjet mi manchi
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2091 posts, RR: 15
Reply 20, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7376 times:

Quoting CX Flyboy (Reply 17):
It is not doing badly although there are no increases planned in the coming year or two as far as I know. (Subject to planning changes obviously)

CXs focus right now is on its short-haul strategy, rather than deploying extra capacity to its existing network. It is VERY conservative when it comes to growing its network, which is perhaps why it has a higher rate of success in executing its business decisions over other major network carriers.



next flights: msp-phx-slc, msp-mdw, ord-sju, sju-dfw-ord, msp-dfw, dfw-phl, phl-msp, jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg
User currently offlinefun2fly From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1000 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 6631 times:

Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 19):
As a business traveller I'd take a second frequency over an upgauge in most cases.

Right on.

I guess UA is still respectable amongst US carriers w/772 from ORD and EWR and 744 from SFO, but they sure have handed over the market to CX for the most part who are generally flying larger a/c and more frequencies.


User currently offlinechicawgo From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 52 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 6517 times:

Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 19):
As a business traveller I'd take a second frequency over an upgauge in most cases.

They have essentially already done that with the ORDNRT route as ANA is starting twice daily. The 787 issues have caused them to delay it but it's still happening eventually. I'm sure a lot of this is based on the loss in seats on the UA flight.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24347 posts, RR: 47
Reply 23, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 6466 times:

Quoting fun2fly (Reply 21):
I guess UA is still respectable amongst US carriers w/772 from ORD and EWR and 744 from SFO, but they sure have handed over the market to CX for the most part who are generally flying larger a/c and more frequencies.

LOL

Of course CX will be bigger, its their home market. The US is a big market for them, but for United, HKG is merely 1 of 398 cities it serves globally.

At the end of the day, UA still has 7-odd flights from HKG, by far more then any other US airline ever. (go compare to DL - single daily NRT flight)



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineUA772IAD From Australia, joined Jul 2004, 1698 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6307 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 23):
Of course CX will be bigger, its their home market. The US is a big market for them, but for United, HKG is merely 1 of 398 cities it serves globally.

At the end of the day, UA still has 7-odd flights from HKG, by far more then any other US airline ever. (go compare to DL - single daily NRT flight)

Of course, the same can be said for United, which is "Chicago's Hometown Airline" (re: handing capacity over to CX on ORD-HKG).

I would be curious to see if United attempts any other HKG routes. LAX didn't make the cut with the 744- I'm wondering if UA will try it again once the 787s are airworthy and available in the UA fleet.

Does anyone have PDEW figures for Washington-Hong Kong or Houston - HK? (the only other UA hubs that could possibly support new service)

- Though, I would imagine if UA were to add any new East Asian services from IAD/IAH ICN would be a better candidate.


25 jayunited : United has not handed over the market to CX. Our current flight out of ORD averages about 93% load factor with first class and business class going o
26 LAXintl : LAX-HKG was restarted with terrible timing in 2007. Within months fuel began its quick ascend peaking at $146/bbl in 2008. Flight was dead within 11
27 Qantas744ER : Are you aware of the blocked seats the 744 goes out with on the regular? MZFW is 535,000lbs and the actual ZFW can be as low as 460k on bad days (str
28 UA772IAD : I remember that now- UA867 routed (some domestic hub- DEN? IAD? on a narrow-body) - LAX - SGN. And oil was through the roof... thx for the refresher.
29 LAXintl : Biggest Houston - Far East markets not currently served directly are; Ho Chi Minh, Manila, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai There was talk of 777, but I've a
30 airdfw : Wow, and AA for this alliance hub has none, Wow
31 LAXdude1023 : I think those are round trip numbers. PDEW would be to divide that in half.
32 CX Flyboy : United's strong FFP with big giveaways is far more attractive than CX's one and thus there will always be people loyal to United despite a rival airl
33 FreshSide3 : Really and truly, this ORD-HKG has been problematic since day one. Heard too many horror stories about denied boardings and fuel stops(in ANC, especia
34 jayunited : Really so if your statement has any truth to it at all why has United been flying this route for the past 22+ years especially in light of the curren
35 aerorobnz : I would be chuffed to not be on the UA 744 ORD-HKG in Y. The most tired 744s in the sky possibly...
36 carpethead : Not to nit pick, but are you sure of this? That would mean UA started the run almost right after they received the 744. I thought it was started some
37 Post contains images Tdan : Divide the numbers by two to get the PDEW numbers. EWR-ICN needs to happen before ORD-ICN. Both routes would do well, but EWR-ICN would be a home-run
38 LAXintl : And as suggested prior. OZ today internally announced it was increasing its ORD service effective July 22, 2013. Guess it will be loaded in GDS comin
39 WROORD : They are dated, but 747 saves almost an hour of flying as comapred to 777. I wonder why UA is not upgrading their 747s to 747-8I?
40 AVENSAB727 : I can see UA starting IAH-ICN and IAH-PVG
41 winglets747 : It's not as deathly as others have made it out, but not as rosy as the above suggests. Jim Crompton during earnings call: "Particularly in Hong Kong.
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