SFOintern From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 770 posts, RR: 5 Reply 1, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1739 times:
United unofficially calls their 777s "money savers". Why? Terribly cheap to maintain, very efficient fuel burn, large seating capacity.
Fragmentation, or the tendency for airlines to fly smaller equipment with more frequency, is still in vogue. Why fly 1 full 744 and another 2/3 full 744 to Tokyo when you can fill 1 full 744 and 1 full 777?
When UA cut its schedule dramatically, of course they were also going to trim equipment capacity dramatically. Right now there are anywhere from 12-14 747-400s sitting inactive.
Don't worry--they'll get called back soon when United announces schedule additions.
So far, here are some (if not all) the routes where 777s have 'replaced' 744 service:
JFK-NRT: 1x daily
ORD-BJS: 1x daily (temporarily suspended soon) -- replaced SFO-BJS 744 service
SFO-NRT: 1x daily
SEA-NRT-BKK: 1x daily
* ORD-NRT: 1x daily (this 2nd daily flight was cancelled after 9/11 and now only 1 744 remains)
Rumoured: LAX-AKL and SFO-TPE
Notice how not THAT many 744s have been displaced.
Also, last year we saw some 744 displacing 777 equipment to Europe. While the 744 is a regular on the ORD-FRA run, and occassionally from IAD-LHR and IAD-FRA, the 744 was regularly scheduled on SFO-LHR, IAD-LHR, and IAD-FRA last summer.
There is no question that UA has been wanting to replace 747-400s with 777-derivatives for quite some time; rumours about this have spread throughout the company for more than a year. The only thing left to factor in the decision is: a) time, and b) -more importantly- money.
I think if Boeing can offload UA's 26 oldest 747-400s (leaving them with 18 newer ones), those would help to finance 777 replacements.
RayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 7873 posts, RR: 5 Reply 5, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1552 times:
I think UA may sell off part of its 747-400 fleet.
But do expect UA to keep about 30 744's; they will be primarily used on USA West Coast to Asia routes, where the potential demand for seats is VERY high. SFO-HKG will become very popular again by the fall of 2002; I think eventually UA may consider flying a second SFO-HKG non-stop flight, probably using an ETOPS 207 certified 777-200ER.
ILUV767 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 3141 posts, RR: 8 Reply 7, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1484 times:
Also with the 777s at PAE, while they have been delivered, it does take close to 6 weeks to pre-service them...which is happening as we speak. The thing with the engines is that UA has 777s that need engine changes and no avalible engines to do it with. Instead of having the already in service 777s being parked due to maintence, the engines on the 777s at PAE are being used as spares.