2cn
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United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

Sat Dec 15, 2001 10:52 am

Before I get blasted by United fans, I want to state this is an uncomfirmed rumor that I've heard and am just posting to see if anyone knows any more info, or to see if this is totaly false.

Now.. a friend of my parents who works at United (she is a F/A on the Sydney route) said the inside rumor/news/scoop/whatever going around was that part of the reoganization of the airline was they were planning to get rid of their entire 747 fleet due to the pilots having negotiated such an exorbinate rate to fly them. She said that if/when they do get rid of the 747, they plan to replace them with the 777 since they pay the pilots less to fly the plane, and it still has the range needed. Any truth to this rumor? Anyone else hear this?

I sure hope they dont get rid of them since there are sure a small ammount of US carriers flying the 747, would hate to see United get rid of them
 
teahan
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RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

Sat Dec 15, 2001 10:56 am

Hello,

There were exactly the same rumours pre-11/09. However many things have changed since then and I honestly don't think UA have the $ or € to replace any aircraft. Anyway, the value of 2nd hand B744s are currently extremely low, wrong time to get rid of them.

Jeremiah
Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
 
donder10
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RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

Sat Dec 15, 2001 10:57 am

Makes sense as UA cant fill the 744's.But its a buyers now so I dont see them getting much back for them unless they are leased.
 
BA
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RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

Sat Dec 15, 2001 11:06 am

United grounded about half of there 747 fleet. The ones left, are mainly flying between United's hubs such as SFO-DEN, DEN-LAX, ORD-DEN, etc.

I'm not sure about the rumor. I hope its not true...
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
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Scooter
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RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

Sat Dec 15, 2001 11:18 am

Not saying that it isn't true, but I doubt they'd do this anytime soon. What would happen to thier NZ/Australia flights? Can a 777 make it from LAX to SYD fully loaded? What about ETOPS issues?

-Scott
My name is Scott, and I am addicted to writing trip reports.
 
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RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

Sat Dec 15, 2001 11:23 am

And that will leave the US with just ONE airline (Northwest) with 744s. How sad.  Sad
 
FLY777UAL
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RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

Sat Dec 15, 2001 11:24 am

Wow...I've been gone too long from this forum obviously, since United's 747 fleet has apparantly been scaled down to what...20 planes now!?! At last count it was 5 in storage, but now they've sent at least an additional 15 to the yard? Ya' sure, BA...?

Oh, and as per Apollo, Donder10, all of United's 747 loads are amazing...absolutely amazing. If only you worked for the company and could actually see the loads which they're carrying...

As to why the would retire the 747 due to pilot costs, that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. So they retire the 747's to quit paying for the "exorbinant" 747 pilot salaries, yet they continue to pay the exorbinant 777 pilot salaries...yeah...real bright move.

F L Y 7 7 7 U A L
 
flight152
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RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

Sat Dec 15, 2001 11:39 am

Paying millons on top of millions to swich to a 777 fleet to get out of a few hunderd thousand dollars a year (the difference in pay from a 747 to 777 pilot) seems to be vastly disproportionate and a huge waste of money.
 
sfointern
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RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

Sat Dec 15, 2001 11:42 am

These rumours were swirling around long before recently. The only way United would replace 747-400s is by Boeing or Airbus offering them sweet deals for either the 777NGs or A340NGs, at almost give-away prices.

While these big mamas cost a fortune to operate, the prices paid for them were pretty sweet under the deals Wolf & Greenwald negotiated, and they are mostly paid off.

Parking them seems the best solution until traffic picks up. Simply put, if it costs ANYTHING (even a dime) for United to replace the 747-400s, it will NOT do it. United is cutting back ALL potential expenses, even new pilot bunks in the 777, and redirected all funds to AVOLAR  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

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    UAL Bagsmasher
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    RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

    Sat Dec 15, 2001 12:05 pm

    Yeah...let's redirect all our funds to "Avolard" while we have 20% of our workforce on unemployment....good move UA...well..at least they are consistant.
     
    SegmentKing
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    RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

    Sat Dec 15, 2001 12:06 pm

    cause Avolar is instant income  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

    United hasn't grounded 1/2 of their 747s. There are no immediate plans to ground the fleet as they don't have a sizeable operation to cover the route decreases. They have, however, put a few in maintenance and have a few sitting around airports longer than normal. Their average flying time per day has dropped, but not to the point they are grounding the birds, which most are owned!!!

    -nate
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    RayChuang
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    RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

    Sat Dec 15, 2001 12:25 pm

    Why on Earth will UA sell off their 747-400 fleet? The planes are mostly paid for anyway and UA will just temporarily lower their utilization until the economy picks up.

    Besides, the UA 744's will probably by 2005 get 777-style interiors and probably next-generation jet engines to extend their life to at least 2015-2016.
     
    david b.
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    RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

    Sat Dec 15, 2001 12:37 pm

    How about ETOPS? Flying through the middle of the Atlantic, there is no airport for thousand of miles.  Confused
    Better learn to swim Big thumbs up
    Teenage-know-it-alls should be shot on sight
     
    serge
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    RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

    Sat Dec 15, 2001 12:48 pm

    I don't believe this will ever happen, or maybe its that I don't want to believe it could happen.  Big grin

    This would really be awful considering the routes they fly as well, SFO-DEN and ORD - DEN and vice versa of course.... My brother is flying home tomorrow and he'll be on the following UA aircraft in order: 747-400, EMB-120 Brasilia, Dornier 328, 777 Big grin And I will be lucky enough to fly same routes in February to see him  Smile

    ...Serge
     
    Big777jet
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    RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

    Sat Dec 15, 2001 1:06 pm

    What if 744 are gone. How do fly non stop ORD-HKG, SFO-SYD, LAX-SYD and JFK-NRT? United's B777 can't fly non stop SFO-SYD and ORD-HKG. If United buy B777-200 "LR" would be fine using long range non stop. I don't know about ORD-Delhi soon.

    Big777jet

    PS - I hate to see go away 744. I wish UAL should keep some of 744 fleet.

     
    UAL Bagsmasher
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    RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

    Sat Dec 15, 2001 1:27 pm

    UA no longer flies the 744 ORD-DEN-ORD. They downgraded it to a 757. Makes about as much sense as everything else they've been doing lately.
     
    United Airline
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    RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

    Sat Dec 15, 2001 3:34 pm

    With the current Economic Situation, their second hand B 744s worth nothing...... And if they sell all 44 B 747-400s, the most number of B 777-300ERs they can get is about 10.........

    UAL will not sell any of their B 747-400s. They simply need them. They are cashcows for UAL and some of them will be PARKED for the time being until the Economy Picks up.

    They may consider the B 747-400ER in the future..... Only time will tell. However, United has been a B 747 operator for a very long time.
     
    ZK-NBT
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    RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

    Sat Dec 15, 2001 6:05 pm

    Very Unlikely just at the moment!

    BA where on Earth did you here that.
    They are still flying routes like LAX-AKL, LAX-SYD, SFO-SYD, ORD-HKG plus a tonne of flights to Narita!  Smile
     
    The777Man
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    RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

    Sat Dec 15, 2001 6:37 pm

    UA currently has FOUR 747-400s parked, N173UA, N183UA, N184UA and N186UA, according to Skynet, United's internal intranet. UA will possibly park more 744s as a few more 777s are delivered but I think that the 744s will be back in service by summer when traffic might pick up and routes are restarted. The777Man
    Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
     
    IAHERJ
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    RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

    Sun Dec 16, 2001 3:05 am

    Any airline that would retire an expensive fleet type due to labor costs on the aircraft should never have operated that type in the first place. United Airlines management has not made the best decisions over the last few years but I've got to believe this is completely a unfounded rumor. Anyone who believes the salaries of the pilots flying a 747 are percentage wise a major factor in operating the aircraft needs some lessons in airline economics. It would cost 10 times more to train the 747 pilots (The most senior on average) on the 777 (which is where most would go), and retire the fleet. Then you train the mechanics and try to get rid of the spare parts inventory etc. etc. I just doesn't make sense. Retiring a fleet type is something done to save real money in the long run. Pilot salaries just don't add up enough to warrant a decision like this.
    Actually flown: EMB-120 EMB-145 B717 B737 B757 B767
     
    ILUV767
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    RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

    Sun Dec 16, 2001 3:30 am

    Big777Jet wrote:
    What if 744 are gone. How do fly non stop ORD-HKG, SFO-SYD, LAX-SYD and JFK-NRT? United's B777 can't fly non stop SFO-SYD and ORD-HKG. If United buy B777-200 "LR" would be fine using long range non stop. I don't know about ORD-Delhi soon.



    May I remind you that the 777-200ER actually has more range than the 747, so all of those routes which you stated can be flown with a 777. JFK-NRT already went to a 777 earlier this year, as well as several other Pacific routes. One of the longest 777 Pacific route is ORD-PEK.

    In responce to ETOPS, a 777 can fly from the west coast to SYD/AKL. It would fly on the same path as a 747 with out ETOPS restrictions. I've put a link to a map for the great circle mapper, showing the routing on SFO-SYD, LAX-SYD, LAX-AKL with ETOPS 180, and with out.

    ETOPS 180
    http://gc.kls2.com/cgi-bin/gc?PATH=SFO-SYD%0D%0ALAX-SYD%0D%0ALAX-AKL&RANGE=&PATH-COLOR=&PATH-UNITS=mi&RANGE-STYLE=best&RANGE-COLOR=&MAP-STYLE=&ETOPS=180

    Non-ETOPS routes:
    http://gc.kls2.com/cgi-bin/gc?PATH=SFO-SYD%0D%0ALAX-SYD%0D%0ALAX-AKL%0D%0A&RANGE=&PATH-COLOR=red&PATH-UNITS=mi&RANGE-STYLE=best&RANGE-COLOR=navy&MAP-STYLE=

    The only route that would remotly be a problem on the south pacific runs would be LAX-AKL, and that is hardly a problem.

    United Airline wrote:
    With the current Economic Situation, their second hand B 744s worth nothing...... And if they sell all 44 B 747-400s, the most number of B 777-300ERs they can get is about 10.........

    UAL will not sell any of their B 747-400s. They simply need them. They are cashcows for UAL and some of them will be PARKED for the time being until the Economy Picks up.

    They may consider the B 747-400ER in the future..... Only time will tell. However, United has been a B 747 operator for a very long time.


    Just because United has been a long time operator of the 747 doesnt mean that they will always be an operator of them. If you call United Services and request it, you could actually lease a 747, or a 747 engine. I guess now they are bringing in some money for United, being spare parts for others.

    RayChuang Wrote:
    Why on Earth will UA sell off their 747-400 fleet? The planes are mostly paid for anyway and UA will just temporarily lower their utilization until the economy picks up.

    Besides, the UA 744's will probably by 2005 get 777-style interiors and probably next-generation jet engines to extend their life to at least 2015-2016.


    By 2005, the 747s will not have the new 777 interior. Why should they put it in? There is no logic behind your statement at all. United has other things to spend their money on then your beloved 777 interiors.

    With the engines, the 747s have the same engines as the 763. Those engines are just a smaller version of the engines on the 777. So, if you think that getting new engines on the 747s makes sence, with your logic we should re-engine the entire widebody fleet.

    FLY777UAL wrote:
    As to why the would retire the 747 due to pilot costs, that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. So they retire the 747's to quit paying for the "exorbinant" 747 pilot salaries, yet they continue to pay the exorbinant 777 pilot salaries...yeah...real bright move.

    Exactly! You hit the nail on the head!

    I L U V 7 6 7
     
    baxter
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    RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

    Sun Dec 16, 2001 4:15 am

    With the current Economic Situation, their second hand B 744s worth nothing

    I'd hardly consider approx. $120mil each to be "nothing". Yes, market value is below blue book value right now, but that doesn't mean they are worth "nothing".

    A 777 can fly from the west coast to SYD/AKL. It would fly on the same path as a 747 with out ETOPS restriction

    You just keep telling yourself that. Sadly reality is much different.
     
    SegmentKing
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    RE: United Planning To Get Rid Of Their 747s?

    Sun Dec 16, 2001 4:40 am

    serge,

    your brother flying via Sioux Falls, SD??? an Embraer Brasilia connecting to a DoDo prop?? only city that I can think of that gets Skywest EM2s and AWAC DoDos is Lincoln Nebraska or Sioux Falls..

    David,

    The 777 can't track properly along the route to Australia from LAX. You'd burn too much fuel trying to get to a 180 min radial for ETOPs... it would be like flying a path similar to Pee Wee Herman's Connect-The-Dots thing from PeeWee's Play House (you have to remember that show!)

    -nate
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