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Very Long Flights For Cargo Jets - Economical?  
User currently offlinemozart From Luxembourg, joined Aug 2003, 2182 posts, RR: 13
Posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6991 times:

I have looked through Cargolux' schedule and I have noticed that they have some very long flights. Luxembourg-Mexico, LUX-Los Angeles, LUX-Singapore, etc

Is is economical to operate such long segments? I could imagine that there's a payload penalty in order to operate those flights.

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinemy235 From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 92 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6986 times:

With ultra premium cargo I'm sure it's economical.

User currently offlinewilco737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9038 posts, RR: 75
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6978 times:
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Quoting mozart (Thread starter):

It depends for how much you can sell the freight. It depends what you are shipping and how much the costumer is paying for it.

I am sure there is a market for it and they pay enough to make it profitable...

wilco737
  



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 79
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6973 times:

Quoting mozart (Thread starter):
Is is economical to operate such long segments? I could imagine that there's a payload penalty in order to operate those flights.

Based on the fact that they keep doing it, you can assume it's economical.

It only makes sense for cargo that is very time-sensitive or has customs concerns...I would expect seafood and flowers, given the destinations.

Tom.


User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6876 times:

why do you think Fedex is replacing the MD-11 with 777s? Longer legs same payload less fuel.

User currently offlinestratosphere From United States of America, joined exactly 7 years ago today! , 1653 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 6808 times:

Let me tell you when FedEx has a 777 down it gets everyones attention. Freight makes incredible profit. More so than any passenger flight.


NWA THE TRUE EVIL EMPIRE
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15745 posts, RR: 27
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 6777 times:

Quoting mozart (Thread starter):
I have looked through Cargolux' schedule and I have noticed that they have some very long flights.

First of all, the standard for "very long flight" is a pretty loose one. The longest passenger flights will probably always be longer than the longest all cargo flights. The longest of the flights you cite is LUX-SIN. Emirates alone has at least a dozen routes that are longer.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 3):
Based on the fact that they keep doing it, you can assume it's economical.

I forget the exact stats, but I remember seeing something like air cargo is 5% of cargo by volume but 40% by value. The things that get flown, such as industrial components, electronics, parcels, and perishables are important and valuable.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineiFlyLOTs From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 485 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 6763 times:

I have a teacher for one of my classes who used to be a Northwest cargo pilot, he told me that once a month he would fly from ORD to NRT with only one thing on board, a brand new Toyota, fresh from the factory to go to the Toyota factory to get quality assured. Apparently that flight always made a profit, which is why they kept flying it. So yes, by that standard I would say it is economical.


"...stay hungry, stay foolish" -Steve Jobs
User currently offlinetommy212 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2005, 126 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 6139 times:

an example would be this, both segments around 3000nm, one way and booked for next day

on the airline i work at, very very rough figures are about £4500 per 1000KG.

A fully loaded 747 flight would carry 115 tonnes therefore a flight would earn around £517,500.

Macth that to a fully loaded passenger 747 earns around £330,000. Plus extra costs of Labour, Airport charges etc..

of course these are very rough figures and numerous variables happen all the time but just goes to show how much money can be made in flying cargo only.


User currently offlineB777LRF From Luxembourg, joined Nov 2008, 1361 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6132 times:

The 747F is actually less-well suited to very long legs than a 777F. DHL is running a CVG-BAH-HKG-CVG flight, with the HKG-CVG leg clocking in at around 14.5 block hours. A 747-400F will need full tanks and will only carry around 45 tons of payload on that sector. The 777F need less than full tanks and can carry around 80 tons.

I don't know how the 748F compares on such a long flight, but I suspect it won't quite beat the 777F.

Oh, and as for turning a profit: That flight is a making a lot, like in a whole lot, of money. But only when operated by the 777F; with a 744F it just about breaks even.



From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31007 posts, RR: 86
Reply 10, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6094 times:
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Quoting B777LRF (Reply 9):
I don't know how the 748F compares on such a long flight, but I suspect it won't quite beat the 777F.
Widebodyphotog ran the numbers five years back for an on-spec 747-8F and running NRT-ORD would have had a payload of 114t and a fuel burn of 123t. If the route was flown NRT-ANC and then ANC-ORD, the plane could carry 134t on each leg with a combined trip fuel of 120t (66t NRT-ANC and 54t ANC-ORD). So if you can fill it on both segments, flying shorter stages burns less fuel and allows higher payloads, though that applies to any freighter.  Smile

The real advantage of the 777F is that it carries almost as much payload weight as the 747-400(BC)F, will fly it a fair bit farther and burn a fair bit less fuel doing so.

[Edited 2012-09-10 18:53:03]

User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 6062 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 10):
So if you can fill it on both segments, flying shorter stages burns less fuel and allows higher payloads, though that applies to any freighter.  

you're not factoring time. sorting and delivering an on time product. therefore the longer leg is shorter


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31007 posts, RR: 86
Reply 12, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 5950 times:
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Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 11):
you're not factoring time. sorting and delivering an on time product. therefore the longer leg is shorter

If your entire cargo is tagged for a single destination (or destinations within the same region), then yes, the non-stop flight is better.

When I order an Apple product from China for delivery to SEA, FX sends it to ANC on an MD-11 and not MEM on a 777F because delivery is quicker from ANC to SEA then it is from MEM to SEA. If I lived in MIA, then it would be faster to send it to MEM on the 777 and then onwards.


User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1824 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 5944 times:

The 748 can fly about 30t more the same range as a full 77F can, 103t/4000nm vs 134t 4000nm?

User currently offlineDufo From Slovenia, joined May 1999, 798 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5927 times:

Fedex flies direct Hong Kong - Memphis, which is 7100 NM and is most certainly not operated with a loss.


I seriously think I just creamed my pants without any influence from any outside variables.
User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 15, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5909 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 12):
When I order an Apple product from China for delivery to SEA, FX sends it to ANC on an MD-11 and not MEM on a 777F because delivery is quicker from ANC to SEA then it is from MEM to SEA. If I lived in MIA, then it would be faster to send it to MEM on the 777 and then onwards.

This is not a relevant example. ANC is a hub therefore this flight flies to the most obvious hub. HKG-MEM is the choice for other more eastern destinations. Besides Fedex's system is so complex now it's useless to try to figure it out.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25424 posts, RR: 49
Reply 16, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5891 times:

Keep in mind some of these flights might not be carrying much cargo.

Global trade has major imbalances. For instance US-China volume is 7:1 in favor of Chinese exports.

For example many carriers operate US to Asia nonstop with freighters which are quite empty, however the returns have one or more stops enroute for fuel, and in some cases commercial reasons operated to combine more then one destination on a flight.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinebikerthai From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 2131 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 5842 times:

Quoting iFlyLOTs (Reply 7):

Great trivia info!!   

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 16):

So in theory, the shipping cost in one direction may be less than the shipping cost going the other way? (if airplanes going one way is more loaded than the other way?) Or will it gets too complicated and they don't even bother trying to load the plane?

bt



Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25424 posts, RR: 49
Reply 18, posted (2 years 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5817 times:

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 17):
So in theory, the shipping cost in one direction may be less than the shipping cost going the other way? (if airplanes going one way is more loaded than the other way?) Or will it gets too complicated and they don't even bother trying to load the plane?

Yes, just like airline tickets the cost between A and B might be different than B to A.

As the Pacific trade lanes have significant imbalances the pricing can be 2:1 or even as high as 4:1 depending in direction.

Also this is a reason why there are a good number of round-the-world freighter flights, with carriers attempting to maximize uplifts and avoid legs that have minimal cargo potential.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineB777LRF From Luxembourg, joined Nov 2008, 1361 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5322 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 13):
The 748 can fly about 30t more the same range as a full 77F can, 103t/4000nm vs 134t 4000nm?

Actually max. payload on the 777F is closer to 107t, but this discussion is not about how far the aircraft can carry their max. payload, but whether it's economical to perform ULH flights on freighters. I still don't know how the 748F compares to the 777F on sectors of 6000+ NM, but know for a fact a 777F will outperform a 744F, even an ERF, quite considerably. To the tune of being able to carry nearly double the payload on a 14+ hour sector.

The 777F can carry its max. payload out to around 10.5 hours, which is roughly 4500NM. With 125 tons of fuel, enough for around 17 hours of flying, the 777F can still carry 70 tons. We crushed numbers of a proposed IST-SYD charter, and the 777F could carry around 60 tons. On the way back, direct to LEJ, the sector would be around 21 hours, and yet the bird could still carry 25 tons of payload. You will not see those kind of numbers on a 744ERF, and I doubt the 748F can play along either.



From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
User currently offlinesunrisevalley From Canada, joined Jul 2004, 4992 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5302 times:

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 19):
With 125 tons of fuel, enough for around 17 hours of flying, the 777F can still carry 70 tons.

Can you disclose what cargo density you were using.


User currently offlinedoug_Or From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3408 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5198 times:

Quoting sunrisevalley (Reply 20):
Can you disclose what cargo density you were using.

? I don't think he was using a cargo density, just giving the available cargo payload on different long haul segments.



When in doubt, one B pump off
User currently offlinerotating14 From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 666 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 5017 times:

Quoting Dufo (Reply 14):
Fedex flies direct Hong Kong - Memphis, which is 7100 NM and is most certainly not operated with a loss.

Pardon the diversion from topic but does FX fly MEM-DXB also on the 777F? I know it was in the works but haven't heard anything since. I believe the MD-11 was doing with a stop in AMS.


User currently offlinedoug_Or From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3408 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (2 years 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 5006 times:

Quoting rotating14 (Reply 22):
Pardon the diversion from topic but does FX fly MEM-DXB also on the 777F? I know it was in the works but haven't heard anything since. I believe the MD-11 was doing with a stop in AMS.

Yes, it looks like flight 8 operates MEM-DXB on a 777 most days of the week.



When in doubt, one B pump off
User currently offlineJumboJim747 From Australia, joined Oct 2004, 2464 posts, RR: 44
Reply 24, posted (2 years 4 days ago) and read 4992 times:

Sad to see so many operators retiring the MD11F.


On a wing and a prayer
User currently offlinerotating14 From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 666 posts, RR: 0
Reply 25, posted (2 years 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5071 times:

So I guess one could say that with the cargo market softening drastically and the 777F doing almost as much as the 748F,

could we see a slight wave of current operators who have ordered the 748 convert to the 777F for economical purposes??

Seems logical.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31007 posts, RR: 86
Reply 26, posted (2 years 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5040 times:
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Quoting rotating14 (Reply 25):
could we see a slight wave of current operators who have ordered the 748 convert to the 777F for economical purposes?

Some already have (EK via DAE, for example).


User currently offlineB777LRF From Luxembourg, joined Nov 2008, 1361 posts, RR: 3
Reply 27, posted (2 years 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 4974 times:

Quoting sunrisevalley (Reply 20):
Can you disclose what cargo density you were using.

Irrelevant. We're talking payload available, not volume or density.



From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
User currently offlinesunrisevalley From Canada, joined Jul 2004, 4992 posts, RR: 5
Reply 28, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 4554 times:

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 27):
Irrelevant. We're talking payload available, not volume or density.

Bear with with if you will please. When you talk about 70t ( or any other number) are you referring to either the actual available weight or the available volumetric weight ?


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