As for the routing, people are right on both accounts.
The original RTW routing back in the mid 1990s was:
only flew the HKG
-DEL route as a 763 because this was all that they had approval for. The problem was that the 763 arrived in HKG
from DEL in the morning, around 10AM or so, and parked there all day until its evening flight back to Delhi at around 8PM. Many know how expensive Kai Tak parking rates were. They later received approval to switch the HKG
-DEL flight to a 744. This improved aircraft utilization as the 763 flying from LHR
simply turned around after a couple of hours in Delhi and went back to LHR
and the 744 from LAX
continued to DEL and then back in plenty of time to operate the morning flight to LAX
. However, they were only permitted to sell the number of seats that they had operated with the 763, thus leaving the aircraft relatively empty. I am not sure when or even if this ever got changed, but from what I read about, they were doing quite well in the market.
In around 1999 or 2000, the RTW got changed to route through IAD
instead of JFK
and the entire operation was switched to 744s.
For some reason, I keep thinking that there was a year or two with no RTW service in between, but the other half of my mind says no. Can anyone help me with this?
Also, as United Airline stated, plans were already for the nonstop ORD
-DEL flights to replace the Europe segment. Not sure about the HKG
-DEL segment. Either park the plane in HKG
overnight or fly another route.
That brings another question to mind. Did the short-lived HKG
flight during the early Star Alliance years not go as well? I remember UA
switching over for a while in 1998 or so, but then returning to SIN
after about a year. Anything on that route?