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Transpacific 777F Flights - Fuel Burn Question  
User currently offlineflyBTV From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3328 times:
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Quick question for those who are knowledgeable in this area: I've noticed that 777F operators such as FX or 9S occasionally fly direct HKG-MEM or HKG-CVG, for example. Other 777F flights on these routes include a stop in ANC. Obviously there are a number of reasons for the stop - crew change considerations, payload/range and the like.

My question is this: Assuming that the payload was such that an HKG-MEM (or similar) leg was feasible, is there a fuel burn advantage to flying direct? Obviously there is a savings from eliminating a second takeoff and climb from ANC, but is the additional fuel carried from HKG so significant that the added fuel weight negates any savings from the elimination of the stop?

Asked another way: Do these carriers eliminate the stop to save fuel, or are they actually flying direct to offer a more competitive schedule, time-wise?

As someone who regularly receives overseas shipments, I've always been curious. Thanks in advance!!

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineN809FR From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 182 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3274 times:

Now I have no personal knowledge of why they fly non-stop versus one-stop, however what I do know is that with FX the majority of their cargo carried is high volume, lower weight. Meaning essentially they may stuff the plane full and still be well under the weights requiring a stop. This is just my theory as to why they would fly non-stop.

User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9509 posts, RR: 52
Reply 2, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3268 times:

I am guessing here, but if the cargo payload is low enough to go nonstop, they would prefer to go nonstop. If they have too much cargo, then they have to stop for fuel since they won't be able to fill up the tanks. Cargo operators always sacrifice fuel for payload since cargo doesn't mind a stop in ANC in the middle of the night.


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User currently offlinezanl188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3504 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3234 times:
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I understood this was one of the competitive advantages FedEx had with the 777 over UPS and the MD-11...

FedEx officials have called the 777 a game-changer because it will enable the company to offer later shipping cutoffs and other benefits.

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news...an/08/china-now-nonstop-for-fedex/



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User currently offlineflyBTV From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3129 times:
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Thanks for all the replies!

What piqued my interest in this was reading a discussion about ultra long haul flights and the concept of "burning fuel to carry fuel" which made very long flights economically challenging. Does a length such as MEM-HKG or MEM-SZX fall into the category where the length of the flight dictates a significantly higher fuel burn because of the additional fuel on board, versus a flight with a stop?

I'd imagine that there are additional expenses with the non-stop flight, such as the need for a relief crew on board (I'd imagine with a stop in ANC the flight should be able to be accomplished with a single crew, though I could be wrong). So I've been leaning towards the explanation that it's more of a competitive decision than an economic one.

I guess the ultimate question is this: what burns fuel more - flying a 777 HKG-ANC-MEM or HKG-MEM assuming an equal cargo payload and all other factors being equal?


User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8873 posts, RR: 75
Reply 5, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3129 times:

HKG to the west coast can have some nice tailwinds of over 300 kts at times, it can have dramatic reduction in trip times eastbound.


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User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17002 posts, RR: 67
Reply 6, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3117 times:

Quoting flyBTV (Reply 4):
I'd imagine that there are additional expenses with the non-stop flight, such as the need for a relief crew on board (I'd imagine with a stop in ANC the flight should be able to be accomplished with a single crew, though I could be wrong).

You'd still need the extra crew members unless you had a long rest stop in ANC.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 7, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3115 times:

Quoting flyBTV (Thread starter):
Do these carriers eliminate the stop to save fuel, or are they actually flying direct to offer a more competitive schedule, time-wise?

FX is extremely cost conscious, but if there is enough money to be made by timely takeoffs and direct flights - they will do them if they have the right equipment available.

As zanl188 said - scheduling makes the 777F for FX an advantage option what the competition cannot compete with.


User currently offlineDFWRamper From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 57 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3060 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 7):
As zanl188 said - scheduling makes the 777F for FX an advantage option what the competition cannot compete with

I believe, but cannot locate a source right now, that FX was able to depart their aircraft 2-3 hours LATER than the competition and still offer an "overnight" service from Asia to the US. That's a pretty significant advantage in my opinion, particularly when the competition has to depart their flight at 5:00pm local. This means customers have to cut off shipping at 2:00pm or earlier just to get it to the airport, get it built up, and loaded on the aircraft. Those 2-3 additional hours with FX allow better utilization of the warehouse crew and better service (time in transit) to their customers -- a whole day earlier delivery in this case.


User currently onlinesunrisevalley From Canada, joined Jul 2004, 4877 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2965 times:

Quoting flyBTV (Thread starter):
Assuming that the payload was such that an HKG-MEM (or similar) leg was feasible, is there a fuel burn advantage to flying direct?

Certainly if you are talking the same payload. HKG-ANC-MEM is ~16-hrs flying time; HKG-MEM is about 15hrs. From the load/range table for the 777F at a ZFW of 215t which is about 70t of payload , the one stop route requires a total fuel load of ~146t. The non-stop 133t. To give you some idea when a 77L burns ~7t/hr at cruise it needs 9.4t for a 36min takeoff and climb to initial cruise.


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