rossbaku
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Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 12:38 am

Hi there,

I was just looking at old AA photos and seen that they dont seem to have 747's. They did have them but why do they not have any in todays air travel era?

RossBaku  Silly
 
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drerx7
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 12:40 am

This topic surfaced last week--a search may be in order next time; but in short today's market-particularly AA's route network, an aircraft larger than the 777 is not required. No demand is present on the routes AA flies for a 747.
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kaneporta1
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 12:42 am

They should have just kept their MD-11s. They looked so good in the AA colors.
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Kahala777
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 12:43 am

Quoting Drerx7 (Reply 1):
No demand is present on the routes AA flies for a 747.

With the exceptions being Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, and Heathrow!

KAHALA777
 
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drerx7
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 12:52 am

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 3):
With the exceptions being Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, and Heathrow!

So do you think that aquiring 747s for those cities would be lucrative?
Third Coast born, means I'm Texas raised
 
fraspotter
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 12:53 am

Quoting Drerx7 (Reply 1):
This topic surfaced last week--a search may be in order next time

This topic has been discussed for YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!
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starrion
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 1:08 am

"This topic has been discussed for YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!"

And it's easy to understand why. People who aren't familiar with the industry but love airplanes look at the 747 and soon the A380 and wonder why every big airline doesn't have them. If an airline has 100% occupancy on a 772ER for two months, people flying those full flights will naturally think "Hey! If they had a 747 they could fit more people on this flight!" Not realizing that the rest of the year the route has 80% occupancy which is still profitable for a 772ER but a real money-loser for a 747. Plus if the demand is really high, AA can assign an additional 772ER. Once the route demand drops, especially if it is seasonal, the additonal aircraft can be assigned elsewhere.

Very difficult to assign half a 744.

But as long as there are enormous airplanes, people will ask why all the airlines don't have them.
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A350
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 1:25 am

Quoting Drerx7 (Reply 4):

So do you think that aquiring 747s for those cities would be lucrative?

The 747 probably not, but I can imagine that a handful of 777-300ERs would fit very well into AAs fleet in the long term.

A350
 
ikramerica
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 1:45 am

Quoting A350 (Reply 7):
The 747 probably not, but I can imagine that a handful of 777-300ERs would fit very well into AAs fleet in the long term.

Actually a 787 order with a smaller order of 748s would make more sense from an engine perspective if they order the 787 with GE. Right now, their 772s are RR, so a fleet of 773ERs is no more logical than 748 (other than size). I suppose if they also wanted 772LR, you'd see a 773ER order. But without the 772LR and if they were to go with 787s with RR engines, I wouldn't imagine you'd see the 773ER or the 748 in AA colors.
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texan
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 1:50 am

The cities from which AA operates cannot profitably sustain 747 service year round. Individual markets may be able to sustain some seasonal service, making it possible for AA to have up to four or five 747s. However, that means that maintenance and training costs will increase, as will flight crew costs. Flight crew costs will increase due to contract stipulations, with more senior crews pay increasing to a level that thins the profit margin for AA.

Bob Crandall helped rid AA of the 747 and vowed that the airline would never again operate an airplane that large. Using yield management, AA figured that they could maximize their profits by using the 763 (in the 80s) and the 777 instead of the 747. As long as their computers show that they can make more money operating the smaller widebodies, AA will not have another 747 in it's fleet.

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komododx
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 1:56 am

It is AA's policy to have a greater number of frequencies on planes with lower capacity than the opposite. Always has been, always will be.

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ikramerica
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 2:04 am

Quoting Komododx (Reply 10):
It is AA's policy to have a greater number of frequencies on planes with lower capacity than the opposite. Always has been, always will be.

If LHR opens up as planned and loses B2 restrictions, then slots would be more valuable. 2 748s take the same pax and cargo as 3 772s, so a switch to some 748s would not only free up LHR slots but the 772s it would need to use those slot from other cities as well as 772s for other routes to Asia.
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 2:24 am

Ikamerica, I see you point and I understand what you mean but ordering only a small number of 747-8's would not be economical for maintenance management and crew scheduling. However if they do decide to buy it then they would order a couple of those to start with and see how efficient it is to operate the type, then they order additional units if it generates profit.

American had a couple of 747-SP's back in the late 80's and early 90's, they both came from defunct TWA. That was way before the AA/TWA merger. Those were flown on the DFW-HNL route until the MD-11 arrived, then once the first MD-11 was delivered the two SP's were assigned on the transatlantic sector for a year. Then they were retired in 1992 and replaced by additional 767's. I flew once on an American 747SP from JFK to BRU.

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zrs70
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 2:32 am

Why doesn't NW fly the L1011?
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EI747SYDNEY
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 2:33 am

Quoting Rossbaku (Thread starter):
I was just looking at old AA photos and seen that they dont seem to have 747's

Didn't NASA aqquire them for the transporting the shuttle??

Rob  wave 
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commavia
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 2:37 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 11):
If LHR opens up as planned and loses B2 restrictions, then slots would be more valuable. 2 748s take the same pax and cargo as 3 772s, so a switch to some 748s would not only free up LHR slots but the 772s it would need to use those slot from other cities as well as 772s for other routes to Asia.

But the cost of establishing a new, non-standard fleet, along with all the maintenance, technology, equipment, tools, spares, parts, machinery, training, staffing, and logistics for only a few 747s would make any revenue gain from the value of the LHR slots meaningless. In addition, it really is not that easy to simply replace 777s with 747s on AA's U.S.-LHR routes. The only two routes that really have enough frequency to even contemplate such a change would be JFK-LHR (6x daily) and ORD-LHR (5x daily in summer). However, both of these routes are heavily business-oriented, and heavily high-yielding, premium-demanding. The customers who frequent these routes like having more frequency, the flexibility to adjust their schedule if their meeting ends early or runs long. It would not be worth it for AA to go from 5x ORD-LHR to, say, 3 or 4 with 747s, or from 6x JFK-LHR to, say, 4. They do just fine with 777s on these routes, and the 747 would be way too big for AA's other LHR routes -- BOS, LAX and MIA.

The 747s are simply too large for AA's network, which is why they will never fly in AA colors.

Quoting American 767 (Reply 12):
Those were flown on the DFW-HNL route until the MD-11 arrived, then once the first MD-11 was delivered the two SP's were assigned on the transatlantic sector for a year.

Slight correction: the 747SPs were flown on DFW-NRT from 1987 until 1991, when the MD11s arrived. They were not used to HNL, which was always sovereign DC10 territory until that aircraft's retirement in 2000. You may be thinking of Braniff, who for years flew a bright-orange Boeing 747-100 (nicknamed the "Flying Pumpkin") on its flagship DFW-HNL route.
 
BigGSFO
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 3:00 am

Only if AA was the only airline offering service on some routes, such as MIA-GRU, JFK-LHR, ORD-NRT would they need a 747. Although I am sure they could fill it, they make more money using the 777's which fit nicely with their fleet and route strategy.
 
ckfred
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 3:32 am

AA ordered 747s back when the plane was being launched. About the only route that made money was JFK-LAX, and that was back in the days of regulation, when there were fewer carriers on the route flying fewer aircraft.

The 747SPs that AA bought from Trans World were used out of DFW to both HNL and NRT. When AA got its first MD-11s, the 747SPs went to JFK for trans-Atlantic service, until AA took delivery of more MD-11s and 767s.
 
AAR90
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 6:31 am

"No airline has gone bankrupt operating too small of planes.
Plenty of airlines have gone bankrupt operating too large of planes."

---Bob Crandall, circa 1988
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positiverate
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 7:59 am

Back in the late 90's I was riding on the train at ATL, and overheard a conversation a DL crew was having. One of the pilots was complaining about DL not having 747's, and said "back when I was at Pan Am and we were flying 747's everwhere..." at which point the Captain cut him off and said sarcastically: "How'd that work out for you guys?".

I burst out laughing...
 
dhefty
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:02 am

AA is an unusual airline from the standpoint that its fleet is primarily narrow-body and domestic, yet it serves many international destinations with an aging B767 fleet. (Their small B777-200ER fleet of 45 aircraft is their only strong point). They have no B777-300ER's, B787's, A330's or A350's on order. From my point-of-view, AA should have a much larger wide-body fleet to support and grow its international market. AA might be in danger of having a shrinking domestic base due to LCC's, and at the same time losing international business to competitors with newer and more efficient fleets, such as AF/KLM, EK, NW, ANA, JAL and even AC.

Even worse, AA is stuck with way too many (335!) gas-guzzling MD's.

Not a pretty picture.
 
ord
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:22 am

Quoting Texan (Reply 9):
Bob Crandall helped rid AA of the 747 and vowed that the airline would never again operate an airplane that large.

Well, not quite. Don't forget Crandall had an agreement in place to buy two 747-400s brand new from Boeing in 1990 for the Chicago-Tokyo route. When United ultimately won the route the deal was cancelled. Here's the press release AA issued at the time:


Copyright 1990 PR Newswire Association, Inc.
PR Newswire

July 18, 1990, Wednesday

DISTRIBUTION: TO BUSINESS DESK AND AVIATION EDITOR

LENGTH: 352 words

HEADLINE: AMERICAN AIRLINES ACQUIRES TWO NEW 747-400 AIRCRAFT

DATELINE: DALLAS, July 18

BODY:
DALLAS, July 18 /PRN/ -- American Airlines has agreed to
acquire from Canadian Airlines International the right to purchase
two new 747-400 aircraft from the Boeing Co.
American's obligation to complete the transaction is contingent
on its being designated by DOT Chief Administrative Law Judge John J.
Mathias to serve Chicago-Tokyo, the route on which the aircraft
will be used.
Robert L. Crandall, American's chairman and chief executive
officer, said the agreement with Canadian Airlines also includes
the purchase of four General Electric CF6-80C2B1F engines for each
of the 747-400s as well as necessary spares and support equipment.
The transaction will total approximately $330 million.
The airplanes will be delivered to American in February and May
1991.
"American is clearly the best choice for the Chicago-Tokyo
route," Crandall said. "The acquisition of these aircraft
demonstrates the depth of our commitment to serving the route and
developing our international hub at Chicago still further.
"Our willingness to pay a substantial premium for these
airplanes reflects the importance which the DOT's carrier selection
criteria give to having only the largest airplanes on limited
frequency routes such as Chicago-Tokyo," he said.
"Additionally, we believe that new opportunities to link our
major hub at Chicago with Tokyo are unlikely to be available in the
future, and acknowledge that the 747-400 is the optimal aircraft
for the route.
"For these reasons, we view the acquisition as an attractive and
prudent investment," Crandall said.
American has applied to DOT for authority on six new Japanese
routes: Chicago-Tokyo, Chicago-Nagoya, Los Angeles-Tokyo, Los
Angeles-Nagoya, San Jose-Tokyo and San Jose-Nagoya.
In May, the DOT's Public Counsel recommended American for
Chicago-Tokyo and San Jose-Tokyo authority, and for backup
authority between Los Angeles and Tokyo.
A ruling by Mathias is expected in a few weeks.

CONTACT -- Al Becker of American Airlines, 817-967-1577
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:58 am

Quoting Dhefty (Reply 20):
(Their small B777-200ER fleet of 45 aircraft is their only strong point).

 redflag 

A fleet of 45 772s can hardly be called "small" by any means. They're actually one of the world's largest operators of the type.
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N62NA
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 9:18 am

Quoting EI747SYDNEY (Reply 14):
Didn't NASA aqquire them for the transporting the shuttle??

Yes, one of them I believe. Some of the other 747-123s went to cargo airline UPS.

Quoting Dhefty (Reply 20):
AA is an unusual airline from the standpoint that its fleet is primarily narrow-body and domestic, yet it serves many international destinations with an aging B767 fleet.

Some of the 763s are actually quite new. But I guess, every airline has an aging fleet - after all, those planes aren't as young today as they were yesterday!  Smile
 
Scotland1979
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 9:31 am

747 doesn't look good with AA, only DC-10 looks good with AA

meanwhile

747 looks good with TWA, DC-10 doesn't look good with TWA

so maybe they should and shouldn't...........

I miss TWA  brokenheart 
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jacobin777
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 9:46 am

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 3):
With the exceptions being Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, and Heathrow!

ORD/JFK-LHR are their biggest LHR routes..and I've been on those flights during PEAK summer flights and have seen MANY seats empty.......yes, they do well on their South American routes with their A300, but I still doubt we will see something bigger than a -300ER in AA colours in the next few decades... no 

Quoting Starrion (Reply 6):

Very difficult to assign half a 744.

I've flown on a KL 747 flight which had only about 40 pax! I'm sure it wasn't too much of a money maker (even if it had some cargo below)

Quoting Texan (Reply 9):
The cities from which AA operates cannot profitably sustain 747 service year round.

 checkmark 
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spacecadet
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 9:47 am

Ok, I'm wondering how the different cruising speeds between the two airplanes play into this.

Last time I flew JFK-NRT, there was literally a two hour difference between the flight times on ANA vs. AA or any of the US airlines flying 777's. That's a four hour difference round trip. (Indeed, while watching the below aircraft cam on my IFE screen en route, I saw us pass several 777's like they weren't even moving.) The 747 has a max cruising speed of .92 mach and a normal cruise of .88; I believe the 777 is .84.

Now, I don't know what difference this would make to ops, if any. So I'm asking. Would this extra two hours per leg allow greater flight frequency per airplane? Allowing for the time difference (13 or 14 hours, depending on the time of year), would this allow, say, 2 flights per aircraft per "day" (really, daylight cycles) vs. 1 for the 777?

I could probably figure it out but I'm on my second glass of wine for the night  Smile

I'm just thinking, there has to be a reason why 747's work for JAL and ANA on this route but not for AA or UA.
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mirrodie
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 9:55 am

you know what really be nice? seeing a few internal shots of those AA 747s in their prime. I heard stories that the insides of those things were phenomenal!
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STT757
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 10:03 am

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 3):
With the exceptions being Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, and Heathrow!

AA is not exactly going gang busters with Japan, Seattle was dropped, San Jose is constantly rumored of being dropped, ORD-Nagoya was dropped, JFK-NRT is not exactly a gold mine (see NWA). Last year in a widely reported incident an AA 777 had to return to JFK just after departure for Tokyo after an engine failure, the local tabs like Newsday, NY Post, Daily News were playing up the drama aspect and fear passengers felt. What cought my attention in all the news accounts I read was that there were only about 45-50 passengers on the flight.

AA has plenty of 777-200ERs, if they need more lift they would go for the 777-300ER before ordering the 747. While the 777-300ER has different engines than their current RR powered 777-200ER fleet, the 777-300ER would still have more commonality with their 777-200ERs than the 747.
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md90fan
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:03 am

Quoting BigGSFO (Reply 16):
Only if AA was the only airline offering service on some routes, such as MIA-GRU, JFK-LHR, ORD-NRT would they need a 747. Although I am sure they could fill it, they make more money using the 777's which fit nicely with their fleet and route strategy.

I agree
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rampart
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:08 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 15):
But the cost of establishing a new, non-standard fleet, along with all the maintenance, technology, equipment, tools, spares, parts, machinery, training, staffing, and logistics for only a few 747s would make any revenue gain from the value of the LHR slots meaningless.

Here's a question (OK, a statement first). Say American can only sustain a small 747 fleet part of the time. But, why couldn't they order a pool of 747s for Oneworld use with their partner airlines? Maybe a fleet of 4 or 5 would be uneconomical, but a pooled fleet of 25+ (probably way more) with British, Cathay, Qantas, Iberian, etc. would work. And they could shift planes around seasonally. AND we might finally see a fleet of permanently Oneworld liveried jets. (not sure if the last one is a good one for plane spotters, being potentially boring)

Possible?

-Rampart
 
atcrick
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:18 am

All of the airline "experts" here amaze me.....777 this, 747 that, dreamliner this, 737NG that. The airline is in TROUBLE like the rest of the legacy carriers. Quit debating on equipment type when its "hypothetical" at this point.
natch!!
 
commavia
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:20 am

Quoting STT757 (Reply 28):
AA is not exactly going gang busters with Japan, Seattle was dropped, San Jose is constantly rumored of being dropped, ORD-Nagoya was dropped, JFK-NRT is not exactly a gold mine (see NWA).

SEA-NRT was dropped after 9/11, and with stiff competition from United and Northwest, both of which are much stronger in SEA and have local feed. SJC-NRT is not going anywhere anytime soon, rumors notwithstanding, and JFK-NRT is, indeed, a gold mine. As you said yourself, "see NWA." Northwest, which has flown between JFK and NRT, either nonstop or with a tech stop via ANC, since 1 June 1959 -- over 65 years. They dropped the route. AA, which has been on the route since 2002 (a total of three years) is still going strong, and has among the best performance on the route. Loads, especially in premium cabins, are healthy, and cargo performance is phenomenal.

Quoting Rampart (Reply 30):
But, why couldn't they order a pool of 747s for Oneworld use with their partner airlines?

Again, it is not nearly worth it! The acquisition, refurbishment and coordination costs of getting those planes, modifying them, and moving them among oneworld airlines would not be nearly worth the revenue it would generate. Again, it has been said numerous times -- AA does not need nor want 747s -- the planes are too big for their system.
 
BigGSFO
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:22 am

Quoting ATCRick (Reply 31):
Quit debating on equipment type when its "hypothetical" at this point.

If we stopped debating hypothetical points in this forum, there would be very little to talk about!  rotfl 
 
rampart
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 12:31 pm

Thanks for the reply, Commavia, but let me probe a little bit more, since you've studied this quite a bit. Pertaining to my pooled fleet idea:

Quoting Commavia (Reply 32):
The acquisition, refurbishment and coordination costs of getting those planes

Acquisition is what it is. A pool wouldn't make that more expensive, and might be cheaper if the manufacturer saw it as a deal that wouldn't be made normally. If they kept the planes as a pool, with one standard and livery, there would be no refurbishment. Coordination may have some cost, I would presume scheduling.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 32):
modifying them,

What's to modify? Keep them as one Oneworld specification.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 32):
moving them among oneworld airlines

That would involve some cost, if there was a seasonal shift. Several charter airlines do it successfully, though. Regional carriers do it all the time between divisions.

Training crews would be another expense, but shared between the participating airlines. Thinking even farther beyond the box, maybe even a pooled crew used interchangeably?

Quoting Commavia (Reply 32):
Again, it has been said numerous times -- AA does not need nor want 747s

I didn't mean to be annoying. I'm using American here as a convenient case study. I'm sure they have better planning than you or I could suggest. But, given my answers above in a hypothetical, generic context, can anyone tell me better reasons why a pooled fleet wouldn't be plausible?

Quoting ATCRick (Reply 31):
Quit debating on equipment type when its "hypothetical" at this point.

Isn't that the best time to debate, when it's hypothetical? If it were for real, what would be the point of debate?

-Rampart
 
wagz
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 12:36 pm

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 26):
The 747 has a max cruising speed of .92 mach and a normal cruise of .88; I believe the 777 is .84.

Sorry, but you're way off. .92 Mach might be the maximum operating speed, most likely its VNe speed, but it certainly isn't the Maximum cruise speed. Max cruise speed on the 744 is more like .85 or .86. With fuel costing what it does these days, you may find 747s cruising even slower. Last year I flew PHL-LHR on a BA 744, and visisted the flight deck on arrival at LHR. I was lucky enough to score a full 13 page copy of our flight plan complete with handwritten notes by the crew. Our planned speed was listed as .81 Mach, although in reality we may have picked up the pace because we had a 30 minute delay leaving PHL due to a bad tire pressure indicator.

You are right about the 777 cruise speed though. As added trivia, this summer LH used a B744 4X a week in to PHL and an A340 the other 3X. The A340 cruises at M .80 to .82 I beleive. Both aircraft types left FRA at the same time every day, but on 744 days, the scheduled arrival time was 20 minutes earlier than the A340.

What you saw on your flight could be down to individual airline policy. ANA may use max cruise on that route to save time whereas competing airlines may use a more modest cruise speed for better fuel economy.
I think Big Foot is blurry, Its not the photographers fault. Theres a large out of focus monster roaming the countryside
 
deltadude
Posts: 116
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 12:39 pm

Quoting Positiverate (Reply 19):
Back in the late 90's I was riding on the train at ATL, and overheard a conversation a DL crew was having. One of the pilots was complaining about DL not having 747's, and said "back when I was at Pan Am and we were flying 747's everwhere..." at which point the Captain cut him off and said sarcastically: "How'd that work out for you guys?".

I burst out laughing...

I was just about to search for why Delta (if they weren't in BK but rather turning a profit) may or may not order 747-400 for their fleets. I was going to go on about how 'cool' a 747 would look in the wavy gravy. I was going to mention the holiday traffic in the summer to LGW. I was going to compare and contrast the value minded holiday passengers to LGW versus the convience minded Bus passengers to LHR.

But, alas, just before I was to search the forum for this topic I read your anticdote. There is a reason why those Pam-Am, Northeast, National, and Western old-school retired/retiring pilots are bankrupting and possibly killing Delta. That reason is the reason why DL will never operate the 747.

So, thank you my friend, for the laugh and the epiphany. I'm getting another beer...
 
commavia
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RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 12:46 pm

Quoting Rampart (Reply 34):
If they kept the planes as a pool, with one standard and livery, there would be no refurbishment.

American, and the other oneworld airlines, have no interest in a "oneworld livery" that each would share. Unlike Star, American has no interest in this type of cross-alliance fleet branding.

Quoting Rampart (Reply 34):
What's to modify? Keep them as one Oneworld specification.

Have you ever flown on a British Airways 757? An American 757? Or a Cathay Pacific 777 vs an American 777? They are vastly different in configuration, layout and density. Cathay needs more premium seats than American, while British Airways likes movable cabins vs American's stationary cabin fixtures. British Airways has lie-flat J beds, while American doesn't. I'm not saying all these differences would apply to a hypothetical fleet of cross-utilized "oneworld 747s," but no doubt the airlines sharing the planes would face enormous integration issues between airlines and would have to reconfigure the aircraft each season. That is an enormously economically innefficient fleet management program.

Quoting Rampart (Reply 34):
But, given my answers above in a hypothetical, generic context, can anyone tell me better reasons why a pooled fleet wouldn't be plausible?

I don't think you were annoying.  Smile

As to your question, a few reasons why a pooled fleet wouldn't be plausible:

*Acquisition costs would, indeed, be high, notwithstanding any common standards
*American likes to have control of its resources and assets, and doesn't like to share, and that includes sharing with oneworld partners
*The cost of modifying the aircraft seasonally to meeting American's market demand would virtually eliminate any profit the aircraft could generate
*It would be grossly innefficient to swap the same fleet of airplanes among multiple airlines, as each serve different markets with different density needs
*Parts and inventory would be much harder to manage, as it would be decentralized among the operating hubs of the airlines sharing the planes
*It would be extremely expensive to train a pool of pilots and flight attendants, to say nothing of mechanics, gate agents, etc., to handle 747s, especially considering that they would hypothetically only be operated a few months per year
*Ground equipment and servicing logistics would have to be modified by American to accept 747 aircraft at the very small (likely less than 10) number of stations that would likely receive 747 service
 
navairjax
Posts: 478
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 2:54 pm

RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 12:52 pm

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 18):
"No airline has gone bankrupt operating too small of planes.
Plenty of airlines have gone bankrupt operating too large of planes."
---Bob Crandall, circa 1988

Obviously Bob didn't think that someone would try to base an airline with 87 50 seaters some years later. Sort of kills that thought huh.

[Edited 2005-11-29 04:53:17]
 
deltadude
Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 11:53 pm

RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 1:25 pm

Quoting Navairjax (Reply 38):
Obviously Bob didn't think that someone would try to base an airline with 87 50 seaters some years later. Sort of kills that thought huh.

it kills that thought relative to the entire market, which AA competes with most. he didn't think about it because he didn't think someone would try to START an airline with ONE type of 50 seat aircraft. You can't do as much with a 50 seat aircraft that ONLY serves a small, yet vital, part of a legacy. If you START an airline, you must be able to serve at least 50% percent of the market and have more to offer than just low fares.

flyi is falling because they're management doesn't understand the industry like us a.net'ers do. why don't we start and airline!?  Wink
 
rampart
Posts: 1798
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:58 am

RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 2:59 pm

Quoting Commavia (Reply 37):
As to your question, a few reasons why a pooled fleet wouldn't be plausible:

Pretty thorough rebuttal, thanks for that.
Maybe not with American/BA/Cathay, or even United/Lufthansa/Thai et al., but it would not surprise me to see other close airline alliances possibly pooling fleets in near-merger situations (like Air France and KLM, or KLM and Northwest, as is almost the case). I can see from your input that for this to actually work, there has to be a lot more in common in terms of market, philosophy, and mission.

-Rampart
 
fixplanes2
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 5:37 am

RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 3:41 pm

To put this to rest...AA was a VERY early operator of the original 747-100. In fact AA raced PanAm to become the first airline to fly a passenger flight on a 747.

Around 1983 AA arranged an airplane swap with PanAm, and exchanged AA 747's for PanAm DC-10's for fleet simplification. I know because I worked heavy maintenance checks on the AA 747's.

And later on the conversion of the PanAm DC-10 airplanes to AA interior. And meanwhile at the other end of the hanger, the AA 747's were being readied for PanAm.

AA used to run "freighter only" 747's from west coast to east coast during the hey-days of commercial aviation before de-regulation drove the industry down to what we see today.
 
777STL
Posts: 2770
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:22 am

RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 3:43 pm

Quoting Dhefty (Reply 20):
AA is an unusual airline from the standpoint that its fleet is primarily narrow-body and domestic, yet it serves many international destinations with an aging B767 fleet. (Their small B777-200ER fleet of 45 aircraft is their only strong point). They have no B777-300ER's, B787's, A330's or A350's on order. From my point-of-view, AA should have a much larger wide-body fleet to support and grow its international market. AA might be in danger of having a shrinking domestic base due to LCC's, and at the same time losing international business to competitors with newer and more efficient fleets, such as AF/KLM, EK, NW, ANA, JAL and even AC.

Even worse, AA is stuck with way too many (335!) gas-guzzling MD's.

Not a pretty picture.

A few points.

AA's youngest 767 was delivered in late 2003, and most of the fleet was delivered in the 90s. Not exactly aging.

AA is smart for the exact opposite of your assertions. AA doesn't need to buy new airplanes and make large expenditures while still trying to avoid bankruptcy. AA doesn't exactly have an eldery fleet either, so therefore they have no need to go pissing away a bunch of money they shouldn't be spending on new airplanes.

Most people choose airlines based on price, not on what aircraft type they fly. Only airplane geeks care about that. Therefore John Q Public doesn't give a squat if he's flying on a brand new 747-400 or a 10 year old 772, most regular people can't tell the difference between planes anyway. In short, it's rather dumb to go spend a bunch of money buying new planes, just to say you have them, which seems to me to be what you're saying.

One final point.......

AA is obviously doing something right, they're the biggest airline in the world and they've managed to stay out of bankruptcy. The 777/767 longhaul concept works, as well as using the workhorse Mad Dogs for the bulk of the domestic flying. How anyone can challenge what is obviously working for them.....
PHX based
 
zoom530
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2003 9:52 am

RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:10 pm

Too bad AA's overall cabin comfort and service ain't what it used to be...try 11 hours on the ORD-HNL flight and lemme know how the cramped 767 feels when you're 'totally numb'.
 
abirda
Posts: 296
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 12:52 am

RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:51 pm

Quoting Zoom530 (Reply 43):
Too bad AA's overall cabin comfort and service ain't what it used to be...try 11 hours on the ORD-HNL flight and lemme know how the cramped 767 feels when you're 'totally numb'.

I won't say AA doesn't have plenty of room for improvement. They definitely do. But having flown DFW-HNL-DFW (at most, two hours shorter than the ORD flight) on the 763 in coach, I have to say it was pretty comfortable. I've been a lot less comfortable on a lot of shorter flights on a lot of airlines.

The 763 in general has a lot to offer with the 2-3-2 seating and open-feeling cabin. There's not a lot to complain about. And even AA's older 763s are doing quite well comfort-wise, if not aesthetically.

Let's hope the 763s get sprused up just a little in back when they start going in for the business refit.

[Edited 2005-11-29 08:53:16]
 
777STL
Posts: 2770
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:22 am

RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 5:24 pm

Quoting Zoom530 (Reply 43):
Too bad AA's overall cabin comfort and service ain't what it used to be...try 11 hours on the ORD-HNL flight and lemme know how the cramped 767 feels when you're 'totally numb'.

Uh well I just did DUB-ORD two days ago on the '67, about 8 hours in Y, wasn't terrible. Not any worse than any other US airline.

Still uncomfortable or not, that doesn't make a case to get rid of the entire airplane. You can always reconfigure, that's AA's fault, not the aircraft. And certainly not a reason to get more, newer aircraft that AA can configure and make equally as uncomfortable(in your words).
PHX based
 
drinkstrolley
Posts: 484
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:50 pm

RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 6:27 pm

Quoting Drerx7 (Reply 1):
an aircraft larger than the 777 is not required. No demand is present on the routes AA flies for a 747.

I going to regret asking this, but does the 747 carry more pax than 777?
 
cathay747
Posts: 585
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 8:47 pm

RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:38 pm

Quoting Commavia (Reply 15):
Slight correction: the 747SPs were flown on DFW-NRT from 1987 until 1991, when the MD11s arrived. They were not used to HNL, which was always sovereign DC10 territory until that aircraft's retirement in 2000. You may be thinking of Braniff, who for years flew a bright-orange Boeing 747-100 (nicknamed the "Flying Pumpkin") on its flagship DFW-HNL route.

A slight correction to your slight correction: AA was operating DFW-NRT with the SP's earlier than that...1983 in fact; I don't know the actual start date, but the travel agency I worked for got Sabre in early 83, and I remember both checking the loads on AA 60 & 61 in Sabre, and their little seat map booklet, which had the SP in there (only 85 Y-class seats!). As for the rest of your comments, right on...AA never operated the SP on Hawaii routes.
Try a Little VC-10derness
 
B707Stu
Posts: 893
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 4:15 pm

RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:59 pm

Quoting Fixplanes2 (Reply 41):
To put this to rest...AA was a VERY early operator of the original 747-100. In fact AA raced PanAm to become the first airline to fly a passenger flight on a 747.

Not my memory. PA2 JFK-LHR was the first passenger 747. I worked for AA 74-78 and my first nonrev experience on AA3 JFK-LAX was a 747. The upper deck lounge was a treat with the three windows and benches with the open bar. My parents still talk about it, and they're 82 & 83! When I worked at LAX in the 70's we'd fill those 747's to JFK. AA2, AA32 (before AA40), AA10 - the only 707 AA operated LAX-JFK at that time was the afternoon trip at 1530 or 1600, which was only ever full in First, maybe AA5, not sure if that's the right number.

Anyway, I have very fond memories of AA's 747's... and the first two cabins having First with F/A's bringing round tables to middle seats to create a dining experience. I also remember riding them to SJU, a lot!
 
JBirdAV8r
Posts: 3454
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2001 4:44 am

RE: Why No AA 747's?

Tue Nov 29, 2005 9:23 pm

Quoting EI747SYDNEY (Reply 14):
Didn't NASA aqquire them for the transporting the shuttle??

I think NASA bought one of their 747's from AA (N905NA) and I think the other one (N911NA) was a JAL 741SR...not positive, though
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet