While the plane is designed to fly long distances, especially given the difference in MTOW and MLW. It is also designed for medium range high density routes. Delta puts ~3600 seats a day ATL
. That is on 14 flights. All of the flights depart between 06:30 and 23:30. Given the way they are staggered, my guess is that the schedule is to minimize ground time from transiting passengers. If it was O&D they would be very regular for most of the day. I would also think that it doesn't benefit Delta to increase the frequency, for this route density matters. They have two 763s departing within 5 min of each other. Basically Delta is putting the largest a/c it has on the route. By cycling the planes between the shorter Southeast routes, and the longer ATL
, and ATL
routes they can keep there cycle growth relatively low.
I too would like to see DL
put 764s on international routes. The 763s seat 190/195, 48C-147Y, and the 772s seat 277, 52C-225Y. They need a number of planes halfway in between. Continental uses their 764s in a 256 seat config, 20C-236Y(Micronesia), or 235 seats, 35C-200Y. Given DLs different way of laying out their a/c they could do a 50C - 190Y or so. this is 240 just about half way between. However, if they are going to use 764s seriously for international service they will have to take delivery of more a/c and install PVEs. At least they already have 180 ETOPs, so there a no no-go areas over the North Atlantic.
[Edited 2004-03-06 21:20:17]