US Airlines Intra-European Routes?

Mon Dec 10, 2001 5:05 am

Do any of the US Airlines have intra-European routes? Pan Am and TWA did back in the day. Does United have authority to operate flights out of LHR to European cities since United took over Pan Am's Heathrow operations? Or Does delta have authority to do so out of FRA since Pan Am did? Or have the routes been sold/scrapped?
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RE: US Airlines Intra-European Routes?

Mon Dec 10, 2001 5:13 am

Delta used to fly FRA-TXL but after Lufthansa was allowed to fly to Berlin again it didn't take long for DL to stop that flight. I think they bought the rights from PAn AM. I don't think there is any inner-european service by any american airline in europe today.
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RE: US Airlines Intra-European Routes?

Mon Dec 10, 2001 5:39 am

US carriers are no longer allowed to operate intra-European routes within the European Union. US carriers are allowed to fly routes such as Delta's Frankfurt-Bombay route. US carriers can fly intra-Australia routes (United SYD-MEL), intra-South America routes (American GRU-ASU, EZE-MVD; United EZE-MVD; CO has a few), as well as intra-Middle East (DL suspended CAI-DXB). NW and UA are allowed to fly international routes out of Japan to points outside of the US.
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RE: US Airlines Intra-European Routes?

Mon Dec 10, 2001 8:28 am

Delta flies MAD-BAR and BAR-MAD as far as I know, but I believe those are part of flights from the US. They also fly Shannon-DUB and back, but those are parts of flights to and from the US. I'm not sure if someone can get on those flights in Europe and get off of the flight in Europe. They may have to fly all the way to the US.
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RE: US Airlines Intra-European Routes?

Mon Dec 10, 2001 8:54 am


don't think that Delta ever served domestic German routes. The so called IGS ("Internal german Service" or similar I think) of PanAm were given to Lufthansa. In the beginning, late 1990-1991, PanAm 727 and A310 operated on these routes ex MUC, STR and HAM to Berlin TXL with LH flight number while LH immediately put their own aircraft on the prestigious route Frankfurt-Berlin TXL.

Before German Airlines were allowed to fly to Berlin again, i.e. before 3. October 1990, Pan Am operated a network of domestic and European services out of Berlin, based mainly on the Boeing 727, but also on the A310 and the ATR-42 of PanAm Express. The only other US Airline that served Berlin on such routes in the 1980's was TWA with their 727-100's.

PanAm also underheld an extensive regional network out of Frankfurt with 727 flights to Prague, Istanbul etc. I also remember TWA offering flights from Stuttgart to Paris on their L1011 STR-CDG-BOS or from Frankfurt to London.

The European (minus domestic German) network of PanAm was later bought by Delta who had several 727's based in Frankfurt.

I also remember a United 727 sitting all day in Berlin, doing nothing but a connecting flight from Berlin TXL to London LHR to feed and defeed the transatlantic UA flights ex LHR.

Due to high costs and the involvement of the US airlines in alliances with european carriers, all these regional networks have been scrapped in the meantime. It is cheaper for Delta to send their passengers to Paris and put them on an AF flight to Prague rather than operating their own 727 ex FRA for this sector.

In the mid 1990's Delta also sold the sectors Stuttgart-Amsterdam (-Atlanta) and Berlin-Copenhagen - (New York JFK) or Warsaw-Berlin (-New York), but all these flights were just continuations of transatlantic flights.

I think even these one-stop services are now scrapped in favor of transfers to partner airlines.

Best regards,

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RE: US Airlines Intra-European Routes?

Mon Dec 10, 2001 8:59 am

NW and UA operate intra-Asia routes, but no airlines that are not in the EU are allowed to operate intra-Europe routes (unless it is one-stop. DL, for example, JFK-SNN-DUB, but you can't fly only on SNN-DUB). NW also serves DEL-AMS and BOM-AMS. The flights alternate between KLM and Northwest aircrafts. DL flies daily from FRA to BOM in 767-300ER
they also were granted with FRA-DEL services.
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RE: US Airlines Intra-European Routes?

Mon Dec 10, 2001 10:48 am

Pan Am and TWA were the kings of intra-European segments until the late 1980's. Pan Am did most of its intra-European flying within Germany in accordance with post-WW II aviation agreements and out of London Heathrow to Frankfurt, Brussels, Amsterdam, and elsewhere.

TWA's intra-Europe flights operated primarily out of the airline's Paris-CDG mini-hub where flights from New York/JFK, St. Louis, Boston, and for a short-time, Washington DC, connected to TWA flights to Geneva, Zurich, and some other cities on and off.

TWA also flew a NYC-FCO-ATH-CAI and reverse route, using a 747-100 to FCO and then a 727 on the FCO-ATH-CAI segment. Late in the 1980's, TWA flew from Brussels to Moscow and also had code-sharing with Malev in 1989 for the Zurich-Budapest route, flown with a Malev 737-200.

TWA also flew JFK-LIS-BCN and this route continued pretty much until 1998, when a JFK-BCN nonstop went year-round with a 757 until it was pulled.

United inherited some intra-Europe routes when it bought Pan Am's London Heathrow operation in 1991 and as such, flew LHR-AMS and LHR-BRU and briefly, the LHR-FRA route. It also for a short time flew out of CDG to ATH, GVA, and ZRH using 727-200's in 1992-3, and also operated to Rome by extending its IAD-MXP to FCO as IAD-MXP-FCO-MXP-IAD.

American very briefly operated ZRH-GVA when it first expanded into Continental Europe in the mid-1980's using a 767-200ER.

Delta has on and off provided intra-Europe flights, first when it bought Pan Am's Transatlantic (non Heathrow routes) to places like Budapest, Bucharest, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Vienna, and Warsaw from Frankfurt that were all spokes to Pan Am's old FRA hub. Now Delta only flies from FRA to BOM having scrapped the intra-Europe network and FRA hub concept entirely.

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RE: US Airlines Intra-European Routes?

Mon Dec 10, 2001 11:16 am


Great insight!
The fastest way to become a millionaire in the airline business is to start as a billionaire.
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RE: US Airlines Intra-European Routes?

Mon Dec 10, 2001 5:20 pm

I worked for TWA for a while in the late 80's early 90's in the UK and in Germany. We had the last flight from London to Frankfurt at night (it left arounbd 10pm). It was a 727 and we routinely pulled three or four passengers for travelling on false passports.

Later on in Munich, we had a daily 727 to Paris to connect with the transatlantic flights. The plane was almost as old as I was, it certainly kept our mechanics busy. The flight was almost always pretty full. We had someone turn up one day with 4 sky kennels! We couldn't load all the dogs and the baggage. We elected to send the dogs...but noticed that AF was parked beside us and they were leaving 10 minutes later. They did us a favour and took the bags we couldn't load! TWA picked them up from the plane in Paris.
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RE: US Airlines Intra-European Routes?

Tue Dec 11, 2001 3:51 am

Besides the routes that ContinentalEWR mentioned, United's LHR base flew LHR-MUC, LHR-TXL, and LHR-HAM. All with 727-200s. It was a waste of slots.

  • SFO

    RE: US Airlines Intra-European Routes?

    Tue Dec 11, 2001 3:54 am

    Patroni, TWA has served STR at a time ? Are you sure. That would be really cool if it was true.
    I never knew about that. I only knew PAN AM was present at STR.

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    RE: US Airlines Intra-European Routes?

    Tue Dec 11, 2001 5:09 am

    Maybe not very well known but Delta used to fly AMS-PRG with full traffic rights. However, they axed this route as the demand for AMS-JFK was enough.

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    RE: US Airlines Intra-European Routes?

    Tue Dec 11, 2001 5:18 am

    delta also flew snn muc with local traffic rights

    RE: US Airlines Intra-European Routes?

    Tue Dec 11, 2001 5:31 am

    Oh now I remember some more.
    Delta used to fly STR-AMS-ATL as well as JFK-STR-BUD-STR-JFK and ATL-STR-PRG-STR-ATL
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    RE: US Airlines Intra-European Routes?

    Tue Dec 11, 2001 5:43 am

    I am a Pilot for UAL. We do not offer any dommestic flights throughout Europe . However many years ago we did offer 3 flights from LHR. LHR-TXL , LHR-MUC, LHR-HAM . It was serviced with a B727-200 aircraft , however these flights turned out to be a total waste of capital that was needed to service these routes . Low loadfactors , and lack of profits. Also think of it this way , do you know any European airline that operates dommestically in the USA? However , several airlines from Asia and Europe have cargo flights that fly within the USA. For example LH operates flights from LAX-HNL , ORD-ANC , ORD-LAX etc... LH is one of the largest oversees cargo airlines . They use the MD-11 on the majority of thier cargo runs. They were the last airline to place orders for the MD-11.
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    B737-700 And UAL_777_Pilot

    Tue Dec 11, 2001 6:12 am

    @ B737-700 :

    Yes, TWA definitely served STR. 1) with their 727-100 on the Berlin route and 2) with the L1011 Tristar via Paris (or was it Brussels??) to Boston.
    As I lived in the STR area until 1993 and had my main spotting time between 1987 and 1991, it should have been around this time. I also have some pictures which show the TWA L1011 in Stuttgart in the background of a DLT Dash 8 etc. which had unfortunately been rejected on, I will have a look in my many boxes for them if you like...

    If my memory serves me well, American Airlines also served STR on a STR-ZRH-ORD route with 767-300, but this didn't last very long.

    @ UAL_777_Pilot :
    It might well be that LH Cargo has doestic sectors in the USA, the same with Cargolux (SEA-SFO, SFO-PDX, LAX-PDX, MIA-HSV), but I don't think that LH has any local traffic rights there.

    Best regards,


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