UA744Flagship
Topic Author
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United: America's Largest International Airline

Thu May 06, 2004 4:12 pm

There was a post a while back questioning United's "use of statistics" in its advertising claim that it is the US's largest international airline...

Well, the data for all the major US carriers for 2004 is in... and the top two US international airlines, as measured by the industry-standard metric, RPMs:

1. United 13,217,878
2. American 12,591,601

DISCLAIMER:
This is for FYI purposes only and in no way infers:
(i) More international traffic means more profitability
(ii) More international traffic means one airline is better
(iii) United's ATSB loan should be approved based on this merit

The purpose of this post is to simply validate the claim. The advertising is not false.
no wire hangers!
 
ConcordeBoy
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Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 8:04 am

RE: United: America's Largest International Airline

Thu May 06, 2004 4:39 pm

industry-standard metric, RPMs:

um, what happened to ASMs......
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
UA744Flagship
Topic Author
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RE: United: America's Largest International Airline

Thu May 06, 2004 4:45 pm

ASMs are the industry standard metric of capacity, not size. There is a difference.

If you have a problem with that, take it up with ATW, IATA, etc.
no wire hangers!
 
artsyman
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Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2001 12:35 pm

RE: United: America's Largest International Airline

Thu May 06, 2004 4:48 pm

Oddly enough while clearly dwarfed by the likes of AA / UAL / DL / NW, Continental actually flies to the most international destinations of any US carrier

J
 
777gk
Posts: 1488
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2000 3:04 am

RE: United: America's Largest International Airline

Fri May 07, 2004 2:34 am

We just don't have the capacity, we might fly to 100+ cities outside the United States, but most are with ERJs, 737s, and 757s, so we will never come close as far as ASM's, especially with airlines like United flying 10 and 12 777s a day into London, 747s across the Pacific, and three or four major international gateways with multiple daily widebody longhaul flights. Heck, UA has more 777s than we have all our widebodies combined!

Still, our Newark hub is the most complete single-airline international gateway in the nation, and we have an extensive Latin American operation out of Houston, so even with smaller equipment and fewer frequencies, we still do a pretty damn good job.
 
irishpower
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Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2003 2:18 am

RE: United: America's Largest International Airline

Fri May 07, 2004 2:39 am

I'd say ORD for both UA and AA compete pretty well with EWR (CO) for complete international gateway.

Not to mention ATL for DL and JFK for AA/DL.


 
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EA CO AS
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RE: United: America's Largest International Airline

Fri May 07, 2004 2:45 am

This is getting ri-goddamn-diculous.

It's like arguing penis size in terms of length vs. girth vs. weight!  Insane

UA flies bigger equipment internationally, so they're the biggest in terms of ASMs.

AA flies more people internationally, so they're the biggest in terms of RPMs.

CO flies to more international destinations, so they're the biggest in terms of cities served.

Happy now?

"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
rockyracoon
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RE: United: America's Largest International Airline

Fri May 07, 2004 2:48 am

NW doesn't rank up there with their NRT ops?



peace
 
A330323X
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Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2003 4:06 pm

RE: United: America's Largest International Airline

Fri May 07, 2004 3:38 am

This is getting ri-goddamn-diculous.

It's like arguing penis size in terms of length vs. girth vs. weight!

UA flies bigger equipment internationally, so they're the biggest in terms of ASMs.

AA flies more people internationally, so they're the biggest in terms of RPMs.

CO flies to more international destinations, so they're the biggest in terms of cities served.

Happy now?


US likes to remind everyone in their ads that "US Airways flies to more Caribbean islands from the continental U.S. than any other airline."  Smile

[Edited 2004-05-06 20:43:31]
I'm the expert on here on two things, neither of which I care about much anymore.
 
UA744Flagship
Topic Author
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RE: United: America's Largest International Airline

Fri May 07, 2004 4:00 am

UA flies bigger equipment internationally, so they're the biggest in terms of ASMs.

AA flies more people internationally, so they're the biggest in terms of RPMs.


It's precisely these misconceptions that are rectified by ATW, etc.

UA flies bigger equipment, but does not have the most INTL ASMs. AA does.

AA flies more people internationally, but UA has more RPMs.

Again, RPMs are the most used measure of size. There is no disputing that.
no wire hangers!
 
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RE: United: America's Largest International Airline

Fri May 07, 2004 4:20 am

I hate to disagree with you, but...

http://www.atwonline.com/stats_top25.cfm


ATW's Top 20 Airlines
January-March 2004

Carrier RPKs
  • American 48,634,178

  • United 41,888,939

  • Delta 39,019,425

  • Northwest 26,878,443

  • British Airways 24,797,000

  • Continental 23,673,515


  • I see your point about UA having more international RPMs, but again that's a base of the relative distances involved, since UA's international flights cover a longer duration than AA's do (AA's being primarily to Latin America/Europe and UA's are primarily to Europe and Asia).

    So UA gets an asterisk at best when declaring them the "largest." They're really not - they just carry people FURTHER internationally.




    [Edited 2004-05-06 21:23:44]
    "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

    Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
     
    UA744Flagship
    Topic Author
    Posts: 1433
    Joined: Tue Jul 13, 1999 1:55 pm

    RE: United: America's Largest International Airline

    Fri May 07, 2004 4:35 am

    Never said UA was a larger carrier overall, just that their advertising claim as being "America's largest *international* carrier" is correct...

    The whole point about flying longer distances in relating to size is economically correct. The longer the flight, the more opportunity cost for being able to operating more frequencies or shorter flights.

    This is why when judging by overall size the RPM/RPK is used, as you just showed. When dividing traffic into international/domestic or regions, it wouldn't make sense to rely on any other measure of size, would it?

    Please refer to the title of the post  Smile

    United really IS larger internationally. If you fly more international RPMs, you are larger. So what if it is because your international stage lengths are longer? You're still larger by the industry standard measure.
    no wire hangers!
     
    OB1783P
    Posts: 310
    Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 9:49 pm

    RE: United: America's Largest International Airlin

    Fri May 07, 2004 4:35 am

    That reminds me, when I was a kid, Air France used to pride itself on having the "largest route network" of any airline in the world. I had a neat little blue plastic flight bag with that written on it.

    If it means what I think it means (if you fly CDG-JFK five times a day, it counts as one, if you fly CDG-CAY once a week, it counts as one...), which airline holds the title today? Whose route map uses the most ink?

    Could it STILL be AF?


    I've flown thousands of miles and I can tell you it's a lot safer than crossing the street!

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