United operated a 'Round the world flight from the mid 90s until the Asian economic crisis (ca. 1997). Initially, a 767-300ER flew from LAX
with a 747-400 from HKG
. (and vice versa). United did not have fifth freedom rights from HKG
-DEL, so it could only send pax on the HKG
-DEL flight who were coming from LAX
and points beyond, and only pax on the DEL-HKG
who were going to said destinations.
Even with the lack of 5th freedom rights crippling passenger loads, the cargo on the DEL-HKG
/HKG-DEL sector was lucrative, so United introduced the 747-400 on those legs at one point.
The route was reborn in 1999 and continued for slightly over a year until late 2000 with a new routing of LAX
, this time with all legs except LHR
-DEL being 747-400s (I believe IAD
was either a 747-400 or 777-200). It was one of the first route casualties following the start of the economic downturn in mid 2000.