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UA 747SP And 767-200's In Europe?

Sun May 12, 2002 10:25 am

I know that United flew the 747sp into Heathrow for a time, did they fly them anywhere else in Europe?

I saw a picture of a 767-200 in Frankfurt. I thought United only flew the 763 into Frankfurt in the early days when it started that service? Am I mistaken?
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RE: UA 747SP And 767-200's In Europe?

Sun May 12, 2002 10:29 am

Afaik, UA had a 762 based at FRA for a very short time. Together with many Europe-based 722s, they had several destinations in southeast Europe served to FRA, from where the passengers could take their flights to the USA. From ~1992 onwards, the European LH/UA codeshare flights started and UA took their Europe-based aircraft back home.
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RE: UA 747SP And 767-200's In Europe?

Sun May 12, 2002 4:39 pm

UA has also flown the B762 into Brussels.

Now they have two B763 flights a day to Brussels.

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RE: UA 747SP And 767-200's In Europe?

Sun May 12, 2002 7:20 pm

UA has only 747-400 in their fleet. all SP's were retired in the mid 90's.


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RE: UA 747SP And 767-200's In Europe?

Mon May 13, 2002 12:41 am

United operated a few 747-SP's in its fleet which at one time included the 747-100/200, alongside the newer 747-400's. Today, UA only operates the -400's. The SP's were operating on some transatlantic routes, including Newark to Heathrow in the early to mid-90's. When United first introduced transatlantic flights in 1990 from Chicago to Paris and Frankfurt and from IAD to Paris and Frankfurt, it operated 747-200's and 767-200's. The 767-200's also operated on a number of routes to Europe including JFK to LHR, SFO/LAX to LHR, and CDG. All of United's 767-200's are ER capable, even though many of them were among the first off the Boeing assembly line. It was not until 1993/4 that UA began to utilize the -300's to Europe. The 747-SP flight from Newark to Heathrow was replaced in May 1995 with the Boeing 777.

Other UA 747-200 and UA 767-200 routes included IAD-MXP-FCO, IAD-BRU, and IAD-MAD, IAD-GLA.

Today, all UA flights to Europe operate with either the 767-300 or the 777. From 1998 to 2001, UA did fly a few 747-400's on some of the frequencies from SFO to LHR and IAD-LHR.

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RE: UA 747SP And 767-200's In Europe?

Mon May 13, 2002 3:08 am


Here's a little I had written some time ago:

United Airlines' early years to Europe

Before UAL started flying into Heathrow in April 1991, they had three trans-Atlantic flights each way – UA106/ 105 ORD-CDG, UA128/129 ORD-FRA, UA130/131 IAD-FRA (east/west). Both FRA routes started May 15, 1990 eastbound, with the first westbound service the next day, then ORD-CDG started on August 1. (ORD-FRA initially was flight 126; the others started with the numbers they had at the start of service to LHR.) All used 767-222ERs.

London Heathrow access

But they were hardly a great market presence. London/LHR is to Europe what Tokyo/NRT is to Asia. If you don't get service to London, you have limited market presence and traffic. UA was granted the FRA/CDG routes earlier, but it wasn't until they got London, Heathrow specifically, including some limited through-rights and fifth-freedom rights that they really got into Europe.

It is also rather ironic that UAL purchased the routes from Pan Am, who originally got them years earlier from AOA (American Overseas), a then-subsidiary of American, who later purchased TWA's routes to get back in.
It was not a dramatic start. But it was not until UAL started LHR service that they became a true Trans-Atlantic contender.


There were reportedly some tensions between the French and US authorities about the airport United Airlines would use. The French authorities wanted UAL to land at Paris – Orly (ORY) in order to protect Air France at its CDG base. But the US authorities insisted on being granted rights for CDG for UAL. The French authorities would have agreed only at the very last minute.

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Alain Mengus
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RE: UA 747SP And 767-200's In Europe?

Mon May 13, 2002 4:19 am

AFa340-300E, Pan Am served London before the AOA purchase. PAA operated flights to LHR the day the new airport opened in 1946. By 1947 PAA was using London on it's inaugural Round-the-World flight. PAA bought AOA in 1950. PAA gained the IGS as well as Scandinavia, the Baltics, and Russia through the purchase.
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RE: UA 747SP And 767-200's In Europe?

Mon May 13, 2002 7:09 am

Just a side note, American also operated the 747SP to Europe for a very short period; from JFK to LHR and from JFK to BRU. I am sorry I dont remember the year, but it was shortly after the MD11s were introduced on the DFW-NRT route; after a short period, AA's 2 747SPs (which were, in fact, ex-TWA aircraft - its a small world) were sold.

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