CX747
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UA And The 747-400

Wed Feb 26, 2003 2:50 pm

Exactly what routes does United currenlty operate their 747-400s on? It seems to me that the overall consensus is to retire the 747 fleet. I believe that 20-20 of the youngest airframes will fit the bill quite nicely. What do you all think?
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
CX747
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Wed Feb 26, 2003 2:58 pm

I went and did a little hunting. If United kept 20 747-400s out of their current fleet and sold the rest, they would have quite a young fleet. The 20 youngest aircraft in the 747-400 fleet were delivered between 1997 and 2000. The majority of deliveries came in 98 and 99.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
kaitakfan
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Wed Feb 26, 2003 3:47 pm

the major routes for United and the 747-400 is of course the Pacific.

LAX-SYD-MEL-SYD-LAX
SFO-SYD-SFO
SFO-NRT-SFO
SFO-HKG-SFO
LAX-NRT-LAX
NRT-SIN-NRT
NRT-HKG-NRT
NRT-ICN-NRT
ORD-HKG-ORD
ORD-NRT-ORD
HKG-SIN-HKG
NRT-HNL-NRT

There is often times routes such as ORD-DEN, ORD-LAX and out to SFO done with the 747-400. Plus LHR and FRA will see the 747-400 sometimes on occasion.
 
US Air/TWA Fan
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Wed Feb 26, 2003 6:02 pm

Unless United pulls out of Austrailia and/or significantly downsizes its Asian route network, the B747-400 is going to stay with United. However, I do agree that the numbers will be reduced to maybe 20-30 a/c.

I can't imagine the 777 going SFO-SYD...but it may actually have the range to do so.
 
BestWestern
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Wed Feb 26, 2003 10:18 pm


http://biz.yahoo.com/rc/030226/airlines_thailand_thai_1.html

BANGKOK, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Thai Airways International Plc said on Wednesday its board had approved in principle a plan to buy seven Boeing 747-400 aircraft from embattled U.S. carrier United Airlines (NYSE:UAL - News).

Chairman Thanong Bidaya told reporters the deal would be about 30 billion baht ($702.2 million) cheaper than buying new planes.

"The board's view is that the purchase is good for Thai Airways as it will help us save a lot," Thanong said.

A company official told Reuters the seven planes would cost about $330 million.

United, a unit of Elk Grove Village, Illinois-based UAL Corp (NYSE:UAL - News), filed the largest bankruptcy in aviation history late last year.

The purchase from United Airlines, which still needs Thai cabinet approval, will be part of a Thai Airways plan to buy 12 planes over the next five years.

Thai Airways is 93 percent owned by the Thai government.

Thanong said the airline expected to receive three or four planes from United Airlines this year.

Thai Airways, which currently has 81 aircarft, has already bought two new Boeing 747-400 planes under its five-year plan. The two planes are scheduled for delivery in October.

Thai Airways shares closed down 1.7 percent at 29.50 baht, while the overall Thai stock market was down 0.2 percent.

You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
ariegel
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Wed Feb 26, 2003 10:59 pm

Add SFO-PVG-SFO to that list of routes (although I wouldn't mind seeing the 777 there some day!)
 
racko
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Wed Feb 26, 2003 11:50 pm

We see UA 747s at FRA quite regularly in the last time, they're doing military charters for the USAF.
 
CX747
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 12:10 am

So, 7 airframes to Thai. Do we know which ones have been sold?
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
keesje
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 12:10 am

This is going to hit Boeing 747 sales hard, $50 mln a piece,
5yr old 747-400's on the market.

"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
CX747
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 12:16 am

How do we know that they are five years old? United has 747-400s of various ages. It seems that their fleet was delivered in the early 90s and then anothe order was filled in the late 90s.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
keesje
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 12:21 am

The seven Boeing 747-400 planes, with 347 seats each, have been in operation for less than five years.

http://biz.yahoo.com/djus/030226/0739000403_1.html
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
DIA
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 12:35 am

I'm pretty sure these are the only domestic routes left for the UA 747:

DEN-LAX
DEN-SFO
LAX-DEN
SFO-DEN
DEN-ORD
ORD-DEN


Just a few years back UA 747 domestic routes also included:

DEN-IAD
IAD-DEN
ORD-EWR
EWR-ORD

Anybody remember UA Flight 001? It was a 742 ORD-HNL Daily. Times have changed.

DIA
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ripcordd
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 1:55 am

I took the 747-200 ORD-HNL-ORD about 6 years back very nice. Also UA had 7 /747 parked at ORD yesterday unk reg#'s but i bet those are going to THAI
 
caetravlr
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 2:01 am

The worst part of the sale of the 747s to Thai is that they are selling some of their youngest airframes. While that is what I would want if I were buying them second hand, I hate to see the newest ones being sold first. I guess even the oldest 744s are well short of retirement age though. I could see UAL wanting to replace them at retirment time with the 772LR or even the 773ER. That will be interesting to see. But either way, it is plain to see that the reduction of the 744 fleet has begun.
A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
 
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United_fan
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 2:05 am

I thought ORD-HNL was operated with a DC-10-30 , flight 43/44.?
Also,the timetable shows ORD-LAX-ORD is still a 744.Was this month when I was @ ORD.
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DIA
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 2:11 am

All I know is back in the 70's and 80's, UA had a 742 ORD-HNL designated as United's prestigious Flight #1. (I've got a video of it on an old show called Diamonds In the Sky)

I don't think UA has ORD-HNL anymore. UA moved those operations to DEN for DEN-HNL not too long ago. Operated by 763/777 A/C.

DIA
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FlagshipAZ
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 2:31 am

Slightly off topic here, but I heard that UAL is ready to return about a dozen 767s & 777s to Boeing because of Chapter 11. Did anyone hear anything to this affect? Back on topic, UAL should sell half of its 747 fleet, keeping about 20-22 for their needs. Bad times for every airline in the business. Regards.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
 
N79969
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 2:38 am

I love UA 747s. I hate to see any go.
 
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United_fan
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 3:07 am

ORD-HNL was suspended Feb 14th 01 when the DC-10 was retired.
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kaitakfan
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 3:32 am

So when did UA change UA1 from ORD-HNL to LAX-HKG-DEL-LHR-IAD/JFK-LAX? I often times flew on UA 1 on the LAX-HKG flight. I wish that they had not pulled that flight! Speaking of UA 747-400s, it sure is sad to see LAX drop down to just 1 747-400 international flight to SYD. This after LAX-NRT UA897/890 turns to a 777. I miss the days of seeing gate 77, 76,74 and 68B packed with 747-400s going to Asia. and then later that night seeing the the gates full again with 747s to AKL,MEL, and SYD. Ahhh the glory days!
 
DIA
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 4:39 am

I was just at LAX a few weeks ago (Flying UA 767 and 747 RT from DEN). I was amazed at how fewer 747s there were compare to a similar trip I took in 1997. Those 777s are changing things up a bit.

DIA
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PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 7:32 am

so what is the actual number of 744's needed to fly their current schedule versus how many they actually own. It would seem to be that the 744 utilization is currently rather low.

 
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coronado
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 10:00 am

I assume the 747's being sold all have financing liens on them and so the bank/company that financed them gets the cash. They must have been putting some serious pressure on UAL and this is the strategy, I wonder if UAL will actually get to use even a percentage of the sale price. 300million dollars for 1bn worth of airplanes. Not bad Thai-!
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dinker225
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 11:07 am

How many 744 frames does UA currently have before all these sales and returns? I can see them holding on to enough to fill the current Pacific routes but nothing more.

Dinker
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CX747
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 11:16 am

I think overall, selling the most recently delivered examples was a smart move by United. This aircraft are more than likely still being paid for while the older 747-400s are cash cows. By selling the newer models, United decreases it's 747-400 fleet operating costs and makes some money.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
N777UA
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 11:58 am

Newer planes = less depreciation = more value = more $ when sold.
 
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STT757
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 1:53 pm

Some of UAL's 747-400s are already parked in the desert, I think the benefit of reducing fleet types has to be weighed when thinking about the 747-400s.

UAL's fleet should either be ,

A319s/A320s, 757s, 767-300s, 777-200s, 747-400s,

or

A319s/A320s, 757s, 777-200s.

Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
CX747
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 2:37 pm

This is definately a very interseting debate. I've never been one for "reducing fleet types" as an answer. You pick the right tool for the right job. The 747-400 is the right tool for UA's transpacific routes and on occasion some Atlantic routes. The capacity and range is needed. To retire the fleet to save money when it is actually making you money doesn't seem to make sense.

I understand the arguement that UA can operate 777s on the route at 100% capacity. The point is though, that UA can operate 744s on those routes at 100% capacity and make more money. If the capacity can be filled then you don't downgrade. As great as an aircraft as the 777 is, it is a downgrade from 747-400 service.

This is a little off, but please hang in there. If we use the same logic, then United should discard their entire 777 fleet and operate all 767s. That way all of their flights would be at 100% capacity. The problem is, the capacity of the 777 is warranted on the routes it currently flies though. Therefore United is making money on those routes.

Yes, I know that United is currently loosing money left right and center, but I don't think operating the 777-200ER in lieu of the 747-400 on routes is going to help. Also, United wouldn't have enough 777s to cover all of the pacific routes.


Does anyone have capacity figures for flights operated by the 747-400?

Here is an idea that is a little off the wall. Why not sell some 777-200ERs? They would definately go for more than the 744s. Current service across the pacific by the 777 could revert to the 744. While the overall profit margin on the flight might diminish due to overcapacity, I think the costs of operating per month would decrease. The monthly payment on a brand spanking new 777 should be a much greater amount than any payment on a circa 1992 747-400. United would still be making money on its route system and they wouldn't have to be paying for the aircraft that operate it!
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
UA744Flagship
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 2:44 pm

UA's 777s are the pride of the company and are generally very well financed, thanks to the sweetheart deal for being the launch (and biggest) customer.
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CX747
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 2:54 pm

While it may be a sweatheart deal, is it cheaper than payments on the 747-400s? I would have to think that after being in service for over a decade, the 744s have been paid off and are now cash cows.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
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STT757
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 3:07 pm

The things to keep in mind about the 747-400s are,

4 engines means more parts and more maintenance time required which equals more money.

The 747 requires more cabin crew members.

The 747 pilots are at the top of UAL's pilots pay scale.

Some of UAL's biggest problems is it's labor costs, and getting more utilization out of their aircraft.

Retiring the 747s in favor of the 777s would go along way towards addressing these problems.

The 777 can pretty much fly any route the 747-400s can, and the 777's cargo capacity is identical to the 747s.

If a route is so crowded and profitable then they can always just add another frequency, which would be more marketable to business travelers who like choice.

If United can rebuild and emerge out of bankruptcy and retain the 747s then GREAT!. But the fact is some hard decisons might have to be made, and retiring the 747s in favor of the 777s is not that bad of a decision. The 777 is an excellent aircraft with alot of ability.

If I were Glen Tilton I would seriously consider retiring the 747 fleet in favor of the 777s, I would also consider retiring the 767-300s (they already announced the retirement of the 767-200s). The 767-300s are used mostly on flights to Europe, Hawaii, and trans-cons, I would replace the 767s on the Hawaiin and transcon flights with 757s. And with the European flights if they cannot support a 777 then I would drop the route.

The 777 would be the flagship international aircraft, I would get rid of First Class and have one Premium Business class product with full reclining seats and similar First Class amenities.
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ConcordeBoy
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 3:32 pm

The 777 can pretty much fly any route the 747-400s can, and the 777's cargo capacity is identical to the 747s.

Neither of these are accurate as far as UA is concerned. While newer GE/RR-powered 772ERs possess longer range and a higher power-to-weight ratios than 744As; UA's PW4090 birds possess neither. LAX/SFO-SYD & ORD-HKG would be beyond their capability when flown to UA's acceptable standards.



I would also consider retiring the 767-300s (they already announced the retirement of the 767-200s). The 767-300s are used mostly on flights to Europe, Hawaii, and trans-cons, I would replace the 767s on the Hawaiin and transcon flights with 757s

What point would there be in retiring 763s if you're going to retain 757s?
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
CX747
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 3:42 pm

Do we have the labor cost difference between a 747-400 and a 777-200ER? Now we enter the whole quad vs. twin category! Yes, UA's 747 captains are the highest paid. If the 747 was retired, then the 777 captains would be the highest paid. Also, pay depends upon seniority along with aircraft. Is it possible that a 5 year 777 captain can make more than a 2nd year 747-400 captain? Also, if United is going to emerge from Chap 11, then the pay scales are going to be reduced. Therefore, UA could end up paying a 747 captain less than a previous 777 captain made!

Also, I don't understand why you would retire 767-300ERs. If your for downsizing, then the 767-300ER should be king. Again, I'm from the school of thought were you operate the right aircraft on the right route. You don't stretch an aircraft to do something it can't do as well as another.

Also, if you retired the 747s, what aircraft are going to operate those routes? United can't buy more 777s right now.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
ual777contrail
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 4:15 pm

cx747,
on mar 15th the contracts are out the door, labor cost wont be an issue.
now we'll move on to AA's problems.
 
na
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 4:45 pm

To all you experts:
I would believe Boeing, they say that the 744 is more economical than a 777 when operated full. So on trunk routes the 744 is still the better aircraft. And compared to its size its a cheaper buy (that doesn´t count for UA anymore though).
 
QANTAS747-438
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Thu Feb 27, 2003 5:15 pm

So wait... if LAX-NRT is going to a 777, then the only 744 at LAX we'll see will be for the SYD route?! Just ONE 744?!?!?
My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
 
CX747
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UAL777Contrail

Fri Feb 28, 2003 1:32 am

Are you stating that on March 15th the airline is going to file Chp. 7? Or are you stating that on March 15th, all of the contracts get rewritten?
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
ual777contrail
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Fri Feb 28, 2003 1:41 am

That's when the contracts get rewritten, that's why the flight attendants are scrambling to get a plan in place.

ual 777 contrail
 
ual777contrail
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Fri Feb 28, 2003 1:43 am

That's when the contracts get rewritten, that's why the flight attendants are scrambling to get a plan in place. There is no way the pilots will have anything done by then, they are still angry at the fact Tilton is still going through with the whole starfish thing. As far as the IAM? Who knows, the mechanics are never happy.

ual 777 contrail
 
enginesrus
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Sat Mar 01, 2003 6:26 am

Concordeboy,

In certain ways aircraft manufacturers sell takeoff weight more than they sell airplanes per se. The capabilities of the 777-200ER are more of a function of its maximum take off weight (MTOW) than its engines; the reason why United's -200ERs have diminished capabilities is due to the fact that the airline only purchased about 283 metric tonnes of MTOW with their airplanes. If United went back to Boeing and "bought" more MTOW - a matter of paperwork more than anything else - their 777s could perform all the missions described. At 295 tonnes (i.e., 650,000 pounds), there's not a great deal of difference between PW, GE, and RR powered aircraft and all 777-200ERs regardless of engine type will have superior range to the 747-400 with a full passenger load. Actual comparisons in performance between engine manufacturers are dependent on factors such as internal configurations and fuel reserve policies. That being said, the GE90-94B and Trent 895 do have superior takeoff performance capabilities over the PW4090, particularly under hot and/or high conditions, although none of the airports listed are what you might call challenging. Hope that clarifies a few points.
 
747-451
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Sat Mar 01, 2003 9:36 am

In 1981 UA flew 747-100's JFK-LAX. UA will also "position" 747-400's between LAX and SFO for maintenance etc and will actually put pax on them...
 
Taffer
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RE: UA And The 747-400

Sat Mar 01, 2003 2:04 pm

Only thing I have heard that a 747 can do that a 777 can not; fly over water not peppered with islands longer. In case there is an emergency, a 2 engine aircraft is more limited when flying over the ocean. (unless it is flying over islands)

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