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1337Delta764
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United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:25 am

A common discussion on these boards are what will United replace their 767s with. Most consider the 787 to be more likely than the A350, as some have considered the A350 to be too large to replace their 767s. What about United's 747-400 replacement? The 747-8I is larger, while the 777-300ER is smaller. I don't really see United ordering the A380, but it is hard to figure out what will United replace their 747-400 with.
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SiouxATC
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:29 am

It wont happen for awhile. But I really cant see them going with anything else beside the 747-8. A380 will not happen. It would be cool tho.
 
zvezda
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:34 am

United have 7 routes that require a daily VLA: SFO-NRT, SFO-PEK, SFO-PVG, LAX-NRT, ORD-NRT, ORD-PEK, and ORD-PVG. All other UA routes now served by the Jumbo could be served by B787s or B777s flying increased frequencies. To serve these 7 routes daily, UA would need 12 aircraft. That's a minimum. UA could decide to use a VLA on other routes rather than increase frequency. So, expect UA to order at least 12 B747-8I SuperJumbos (or perhaps WhaleJets).
 
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Stitch
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:47 am

I believe UA can make an economic case for the 747-8I, especially if they merge with CO. Such a merger would shift a great deal of SkyTeam codeshare traffic to Asia directly to UA/CO. It would also open the NYC-LON market to UA again and they could probably use the extra capacity. UA does, however, have at least three LHR slots available to them that are currently on five-year lease to VS, as well as CO's slots at LGW, so increased NYC-LON traffic would not require them to use a VLA.

I tend to think the 777-300ER will not have a home with UA, as the 787-10, while smaller, will offer better CASM and RASM. However, a merged CO/UA might require more lift and as both operate 777-200ER aircraft, the 777-300ER would logically fit.

And if Zvezda is correct and by 2012-2013 the actual and projected arrival of 787-10/787-11 and A359X and A35010X may kill the 773ER's sales prospects, UA could get exceptional (50%+ discount) pricing on a dozen or a score depending on how well the 777F program is keeping the line going (since Boeing is not going to sacrifice highly-profitable 777F slots to sell barely-profitable 77Ws).
 
cedarjet
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:48 am

I wouldn't rule out the A380. United one of Airbus' biggest customers, so there's obviously a relationship. And for the routes listed above (California to China and Japan), UA need the biggest plane they can get their hands on, and I think it's a more efficient and better choice than the 747 if it's payload and cost per mile efficiency you're after. I think the 747NG is a good choice for airlines who are also buying the A380 (eg Lufthansa or Emirates) who could use something in the gap between the A380 and the next biggest thing (in Lufty's case, the A340-600, in Emirates case, the 777-300).
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ordryan28
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:50 am

Quoting SiouxATC (Reply 1):
I really cant see them going with anything else beside the 747-8.

Exactly. They're a loyal boeing customer, and they certainly would not order the whalejet. As nice as UA's colors would look on it, it won't happen. The 748, on the other hand, I would put my money on.
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cedarjet
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:56 am

Quoting ORDRyan28 (Reply 5):
They're a loyal boeing customer

No they're not! They're the biggest operator of the A320 in the world!

Quoting ORDRyan28 (Reply 5):
they certainly would not order the whalejet

Why not? What if they want to lift the most number of people possible, and the biggest cargo payload, and burn as little fuel as possible in the process? Still "certainly not" A380s?
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777fan
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 4:00 am

Quoting SiouxATC (Reply 1):
It wont happen for awhile. But I really cant see them going with anything else beside the 747-8.

I agree. In fact, depending on the way UA's reorganization and Boeing's 748i sales go (don't go), it's conceivable that UA could swoop in with a nice order at a substantial discount. A larger aircraft would reduce the need to add frequencies on some of the routes mentioned and, in turn, could free up 777s for other international routes that are currently served by 763s.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 2):
United have 7 routes that require a daily VLA: SFO-NRT, SFO-PEK, SFO-PVG, LAX-NRT, ORD-NRT, ORD-PEK, and ORD-PVG.

Let's not forget about LAX/SFO to SYD! Those require a VLA with ETOPS considerations as well.

Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 4):
United one of Airbus' biggest customers, so there's obviously a relationship

Hardly. Look at UA's history with Boeing and you'll see that the A319/20 fleet barely registers on its radar. Yes, UA still has options on some Airbii, but it's hardly as if Airbus is anxiously waiting for them to pick them up. Consider any number of Airbus-heavy fleets: AF, AC, US, just to name a few.


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Stitch
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 4:01 am

Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 4):
I wouldn't rule out the A380...UA need the biggest plane they can get their hands on (for certain routes)...

It depends on how much UA wishes to expand in Asia. It's a growth market for them, but the long stage-lengths and low aircraft utilization are only bringing in single-digit annual revenue growth on a percentage basis. Now, with UA's strong revenue base, even single-digit growth is good growth, but with their domestic competition seeing double-digit growth across the Atlantic and to Central and South America, UA may feel that smaller planes launching new services to Europe, India, and South America may be a more prudent revenue-growing strategy then adding another 100 seats on their once-daily NRT-BKK and NRT-SIN flights and twice/thrice-daily LAX/SFO-NRT services.

Quote:
...and I think it's a more efficient and better choice than the 747 if it's payload and cost per mile efficiency you're after.

That remains to be seen, as some on this board have put forward statistical evidence favoring the 747-8I on both counts, though in-service data for either type is not yet available.

Quote:
I think the 747NG is a good choice for airlines who are also buying the A380...who could use something in the gap between the A380 and the (A346/773ER)...

I agree, but once the 787-10/787-11 and A350X-1000 enter service, I am starting to agree with Zvezda that the 747-8I, 777-300ER and A346 will all be squeezed out of revenue passenger service by the smaller plane's significant CASM reductions and RASM additions.
 
zvezda
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 4:04 am

The WhaleJet and the B747-8I SuperJumbo will be very close in terms of CASM, though it looks like the SuperJumbo will beat the WhaleJet by a few percent. UA and Airbus have a great relationship, which I can attest to firsthand. I think it's more likely UA will buy the SuperJumbo not because of the relationships, but because it appears to have better operating economics than the WhaleJet. How either aircraft looks in UA colors will not be a factor in the decision.
 
supa7E7
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 4:45 am

UA is not a super-premium airline, so the A380 holds no attraction to them, in the absence of UA private suites in First Class etc.
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
LAXdude1023
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 4:48 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 2):
United have 7 routes that require a daily VLA: SFO-NRT, SFO-PEK, SFO-PVG, LAX-NRT, ORD-NRT, ORD-PEK, and ORD-PVG.

LAX/SFO- SYD require a 747 and ORD-PVG is operated on a 777.
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zvezda
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 4:57 am

Quoting 777fan (Reply 7):
Let's not forget about LAX/SFO to SYD! Those require a VLA with ETOPS considerations as well.



Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 11):
LAX/SFO- SYD require a 747

I didn't forget them. I believe UA could operate increased frequencies of B787s to SYD.

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 11):
ORD-PVG is operated on a 777.

Yes, but the demand is growing steadily and UA plan to upgauge it soon to a Jumbo. UA won't get another frequency for ORD-PVG, so by the time UA could take delivery of a dozen VLAs, they would need them for the route.
 
luvflng
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 5:16 am

Quoting Supa7E7 (Reply 10):

What makes you think that United is not Super Premium Airline? In the US it is considered one of the super premium airlines offering First and Business cabins in selected transcon routes (P.S.).
Where they fly mainline jets you always will have First, and Y+ cabins. Also, on TED you have Y+ configuration which caters to premium customers. In addition to that, some of the UAX flights offer an EXPlus which can be considered a first class cabin on an RJ or ERJ.

All international flights operated with B747 and B777 have United First Class that consists of a suite. Only B767 have somewhat super business seat marketed as the first class. However, that will all change coming Q4 2007 when the whole long haul fleet will be furnished with the new first class suite.

So, yes they are a super premium airline relative to the North American market, and if they were to get in some parallel world an A380, it would have a first class suite in it.

luvflng
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zeke
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 5:25 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 9):
The A380 Superjumbo and the 747-8 Intercontinental will be very close in terms of CASM, though it looks like the 747-8 Intercontinental will beat the A380 Superjumbo by a few percent.

The initial cruise fuel flows I have see show that the A380 Superjumbo are lower than our 744s when departing MTOW, i.e. less than 13t/hr. For Boeing to claim to have the advantage they claim, the 747-8 Intercontinental will need to be burning 10-11t/hr, which would be very impressive for an aircraft that size.

The only way I can see Boeing have come up with their numbers is they have kept the A380 Superjumbo at the same cruise altitude as the 747-8 Intercontinental over a sector.

The A380 Superjumbo achieves approximately 6000 ft higher initial and cruise altitude (which account for some of its better fuel burn), on most sectors it will fly between FL350 and FL420. If Boeing have adopted the optimum 747-8 Intercontinental cruise profile for the A380 Superjumbo it would account for a 5-10% difference between the manufacturers numbers.

Time will tell, I do not think UA will replace the 744s in any great hurry.
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zvezda
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 5:34 am

Quoting Zeke (Reply 14):
The A380 Superjumbo achieves approximately 6000 ft higher initial and cruise altitude (which account for some of its better fuel burn), on most sectors it will fly between FL350 and FL420. If Boeing have adopted the optimum 747-8 Intercontinental cruise profile for the A380 Superjumbo it would account for a 5-10% difference between the manufacturers numbers.

That could make up for a large part of the inferiority the WhaleJet suffers in SFC and in structural efficiency. We'll see what the cruise profile turns out to be. Is it possible that Boeing could reduce fuel consumption by increasing thrust in order to achieve better climb performance?
 
ordryan28
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 5:46 am

Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 6):
Why not? What if they want to lift the most number of people possible, and the biggest cargo payload, and burn as little fuel as possible in the process? Still "certainly not" A380s?

because, by the time the 748 is put into service, it will be equal to, if not better than the whalejet in most noticeable categories...I just can't see UA's colors on the 380.
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supa7E7
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 6:20 am

Quoting Luvflng (Reply 13):
So, yes they are a super premium airline relative to the North American market, and if they were to get in some parallel world an A380, it would have a first class suite in it.

If so, they will order the A380 because the 748i simply cannot contain their lavish premium product. That is the situation with SQ and EK. I just don't think UA has outgrown the 747 in the same way.
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
zvezda
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 6:27 am

Quoting Supa7E7 (Reply 17):
If so, they will order the A380 because the 748i simply cannot contain their lavish premium product. That is the situation with SQ and EK.

No, SQ's new premium product would fit very nicely on a B747-8I SuperJumbo. I played with seating configurations and can fit 13F upstairs in a 1-1 configuration, 50C ahead of door 2 in a 1-2-1 configuration and 344Y aft of door 2 in a 3-4-3 configuration. Note that the F and C products would be even more spacious with even wider aisles than on the WhaleJet. If SQ were really serious about providing a high-quality premium product, this would be it.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 6:28 am

Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 6):
No they're not! They're the biggest operator of the A320 in the world!

And how does that diminish the fact that they are also one of the largest operators of the Boeing 757, 767, 777 ?

The value of their Boeing fleet easily exceeds that of their Airbus fleet

Quoting Luvflng (Reply 13):
What makes you think that United is not Super Premium Airline? I

Not in the sense that you are implying.

Quoting Luvflng (Reply 13):
Also, on TED you have Y+ configuration which caters to premium customers

Terrible example, removing domestic first and replacing it with economy plus does not cater to premium customers in any way/shape/form.
 
IPFreely
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 6:47 am

Isn't UA still prohibited from buying new aircraft under their bankruptcy protection?
 
zvezda
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 6:57 am

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 20):
Isn't UA still prohibited from buying new aircraft under their bankruptcy protection?

No, the prohibition was on increasing the size of the fleet for three years. No restrictions on orders, but deliveries must be matched by retirements for the first three years after exiting BK.
 
Bicoastal
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:00 am

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 20):
n't UA still prohibited from buying new aircraft under their bankruptcy protection?

No. United has been out of bankruptcy and profitable since last February. However, its CEO, Glenn Tilton, has stated that United will not order new aircraft until its debt to equity improves...estimated to be late 2007.
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FA4UA
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:45 am

I highly recommend looking at the Dec 12th Investors Presentation that speaks about fleet replacement.

On slide 92 it shows our fleet age compared with industry peers. It shows that CO has the youngest fleet at 8.8 yrs, US in second place at 11.3 and UA in a close third place with average age at 11.5 yrs.

On slide 93 it validates that our 747 is the oldest fleettype compared with our 772's and 763's. In 2014 we will have 2 that will reach the ripe old age of 25 yrs old. In 2015 we'll see 6 reach that age, and onward. 25 yrs old is often thought of as reaching the end of optimal life but as we see at NW, airlines can run them longer.

I again highly recommend checking out that link above! It's VERY interesting to see the plan! No mention of what aircraft will replace the 747 specifically. In fact the presentation only talks about two types to replace the "widebody" fleet- the A350 and the 787. I think we all will agree that neither of these vehicles will be a good replacement for the 744 in terms of lift, but interesting none the less!
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jfk777
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:49 am

UA's 744 fleet still has 5 to 10 years before its "OLD". The replacements will be a few years away wether its two or four engines. UA's China markets are probably going to get increased frequency and bigger airplanes.
 
zvezda
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:49 am

Quoting FA4UA (Reply 23):
I again highly recommend checking out that link above! It's VERY interesting to see the plan! No mention of what aircraft will replace the 747 specifically. In fact the presentation only talks about two types to replace the "widebody" fleet- the A350 and the 787. I think we all will agree that neither of these vehicles will be a good replacement for the 744 in terms of lift, but interesting none the less!

For most of UA's 747 routes, the A350 or 787 would be a great replacement -- though obviously not on a one-for-one basis. The exceptions, where UA cannot increase frequency, are listed above.
 
UAL777UK
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:11 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 21):
No, the prohibition was on increasing the size of the fleet for three years. No restrictions on orders, but deliveries must be matched by retirements for the first three years after exiting BK.

Which means UA need to make an order very shortly to get slots, albeit, it would not be too far off for the 747-8, the 787 is a must order in the near future assuming they dont want to see them in the fleet for say another 6 or 7 years at best. You may have guessed that I dont beleive we will see the Whalejet or 350 in UA colours!
 
zvezda
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:20 am

Quoting UAL777UK (Reply 26):
I dont beleive we will see the Whalejet or 350 in UA colours!

I don't think we'll see the WhaleJet in UA colors either, but there is a better chance for UA to order the WhaleJet than for NW to and those are the only western hemisphere carriers for which there is any chance at all.

I would not be too surprised to see UA order the A350, though I think the 787 may be more likely.
 
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Stitch
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:23 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 27):
I would not be too surprised to see UA order the A350, though I think the 787 may be more likely.

I tend to think the 787 family offers more flexibility and better matches UA's current twin-engine widebody fleet in capacity, while offering more range and underfloor cargo capacity (which is an area UA does relatively well in, I am told).
 
daron4000
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:24 am

As I have said before, I think UA, along with BA and CX are the top three large airlines who will make 748 orders. They are huge Boeing operators and need to the lift on many of their longhaul routes. While some here argue that frequency trumps capacity, as stated before, UA has certain routes where they need the capacity and others where they are slot restricted, including their hub airport, ORD. Thus, the 748 would be a necessity for them and I don't see them justifying replacing 744 flights with multiple 787 flights, especially when many of these 744 routes are double daily(like ORD-HKG).
 
UAL777UK
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:31 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 27):
I would not be too surprised to see UA order the A350, though I think the 787 may be more likely.

Surely Boeing are going to do all in their remit to bag an order from UA, a company based also in there "hometown" Chicago, not just for the 787 but more so for the 747-8i. I just cannot see Boeing will let that order slip through its net.
 
zvezda
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:33 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 28):
I tend to think the 787 family offers more flexibility

How so?

Quoting Stitch (Reply 28):
and better matches UA's current twin-engine widebody fleet in capacity

I think the size difference between the A350 family and the 787 family is insignificant. Airlines will not choose between them based on size, but based on CASM and price.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 28):
while offering more range and underfloor cargo capacity (which is an area UA does relatively well in, I am told).

Than the A350? I guess not. Either offers these things relative to the 767.

I haven't seen any compelling reasons why UA would choose the 787 over the A350.
 
UAL777UK
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:41 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 31):
I haven't seen any compelling reasons why UA would choose the 787 over the A350.

Unless Boeing offers them at silly prices to bag the Chicago Airlines order?
 
777fan
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:50 am

Quoting Luvflng (Reply 13):
So, yes they are a super premium airline relative to the North American market, and if they were to get in some parallel world an A380, it would have a first class suite in it.

Kingfisher must be a "super premium" airline, afterall, they did order the A380, didn't they?!  rotfl 


777fan
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zvezda
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:51 am

Quoting UAL777UK (Reply 32):
Unless Boeing offers them at silly prices to bag the Chicago Airlines order?

I'm not counting on any of the players to be silly. UA will weigh the costs and benefits. Boeing have an enormous order backlog for the 787, so they have no incentive at all to engage in silly pricing. Airbus can't afford to give anything away.
 
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Stitch
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:53 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 31):
I think the size difference between the A350 family and the 787 family is insignificant. Airlines will not choose between them based on size, but based on CASM and price.

True, but you also note that RASM plays into the calculations and can favor smaller planes over larger ones. With the 787-8 being closer to a 767-300ER then an A350X-800, that means less seats one has to discount if the demand curve is closer to a 767 then a 787/A350X.

Also, the 787 family does offer the 787-3 which might find a home with UA's Hawai'i flights, though I too believe UA would take the 16,000lb OEW hit and fly 787-8s on such routes to allow them to use the plane anywhere in their network. The 787-9 and 787-10 also nicely bracket the A350X-900/777-200 family in size, allowing UA to better tailor capacity to the demand curve throughout the year on current 777 routes. A 787-8/787-9 could also provide a "happy medium" for year-round service on routes with strong seasonal traffic that calls for a 767 in "low season" and a 777 in "high season" at the moment.

That being said, I do expect the A350X will be considered seriously by UA.
 
UAL777UK
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 9:03 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 34):
I'm not counting on any of the players to be silly. UA will weigh the costs and benefits. Boeing have an enormous order backlog for the 787, so they have no incentive at all to engage in silly pricing. Airbus can't afford to give anything away.

Dont get me wrong, I dont expect Boeing to "give them away", IMHO if Boeing got a whiff that UA was even close to being very interested in say ordering the 350, the boys at Boeing would be running down the street to UA's HQ with a very, very appetising offer for UA to take the 787 instead! If UA do their homework correct and play hard ball with Boeing IMHO I think the 747-8i and 787 will join the UA fleet both coming as a result of some shrewd negotitions on UA's part. For Airbus, at best they will see UA continue any orders with them for their short haul fleet.
 
zvezda
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 9:10 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 35):
True, but you also note that RASM plays into the calculations and can favor smaller planes over larger ones. With the 787-8 being closer to a 767-300ER then an A350X-800, that means less seats one has to discount if the demand curve is closer to a 767 then a 787/A350X.

Sure, but the RASM difference is unlikely to be significant where the size difference isn't significant. It will be factored in with all the other factors.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 35):
the 787 family does offer the 787-3 which might find a home with UA's Hawai'i flights,

Now here is a good reason why the 787 might have an edge at UA. UA might decide on some 2 class 787-3s for SFO/LAX/DEN-HNL and for hub-hub flights to replace the MD configuration 767-300s and the XA configuration 777s. 787-8/9/10s could be configured 3 class for international services to replace the MZ configuration 767-300s and the XC and XI configuration 777s.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 35):
I do expect the A350X will be considered seriously by UA.

Very seriously. Count on it.
 
keesje
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 9:20 am

If UA replaces the 744 the Asian market will be the main focus. I think in a decade rows of Asian A380s will be parked at LAX, SFO and ORD pushing up the bar.

And no, I think the fact UA and 747 were both born in the US plays no role, the market does.

With the Asian market expected to tripple in the next 20 yrs I would not rule out UA ordering a significant number of A380 SuperJumbo´s, just not to lose marketshare & keep CASM down. Maybe they´ll wait for the A380-900.


Zvezda  Wink -> http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=superjumbo
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zvezda
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 9:29 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 38):
Maybe they´ll wait for the A380-900.

Waiting forever is not a good business strategy.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 38):
Zvezda Wink -> http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...jumbo

In the context of airliners, the term Jumbo has meant 747 consistently for about 40 years. Suppose Pepsi were to produce a new cola and call it SuperCoke. What would you think of that? This is exactly what I told senior Airbus management in 1998. They laughed and one of them said "If we can get away with it, why not?" And they laughed some more.
 
777fan
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 9:52 am

Quoting FA4UA (Reply 23):
I highly recommend looking at the Dec 12th Investors Presentation that speaks about fleet replacement.

Outstanding link - thanks so much. It really does give the reader an idea as to what SA)">UA's plans are. They were wise to pit the 787 vs A350; no doubt, it got the attention of both manufacturers. I really hope SA)">UA considers refurbishing their RCCs; most are not worth the annual membership and it's be hard to consider them a "perk" (even when given as a free pass) in the state they're currently in.

Quoting UAL777UK (Reply 36):
IMHO I think the 747-8i and 787 will join the SA)">UA fleet both coming as a result of some shrewd negotitions on SA)">UA's part. For Airbus, at best they will see SA)">UA continue any orders with them for their short haul fleet.

I really think that with the 748, it's only a matter of time. The 787 order sheet is overflowing and, unless Boeing adds another assembly line and/or SA)">UA places an order some time soon, it's hard to see them entering the fleet. The investor slide show linked by FA4UA suggests that SA)">UA is willing to keep their current birds flying and wait to take delivery of the next generation of aircraft, vice impulsively buying something right now.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 38):
With the Asian market expected to tripple in the next 20 yrs I would not rule out SA)">UA ordering a significant number of A380 SuperJumbo´s, just not to lose marketshare & keep CASM down.

Why do it when your codeshare/SA partners will buy and fly the A380s for you?! SA)">UA knows what its doing in Asia and the marginal pax capacity/CASM benefit offered by the A380 doesn't really make it worth it, does it? At this point, there's no guarantee that the A380 will be ready any time soon. I think the 748 makes more sense and is more likely to don the SA)">UA livery at some point in the future. Then again, what do I know?!

777fan
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AirRyan
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 9:56 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 2):
That's a minimum. UA could decide to use a VLA on other routes rather than increase frequency. So, expect UA to order at least 12 B747-8I SuperJumbos (or perhaps WhaleJets).



Quoting ORDRyan28 (Reply 5):
Exactly. They're a loyal boeing customer, and they certainly would not order the whalejet.

Hold the phone now - just when did the A-380 get the nickname "whale?" I remember referring to the 747 as the "whale" because of it's nose long before the A-380 was a twinkle in Airbus's eye. As great an aeronatuical engineering feat as the A-380 is it still can't make up for the front end that's as ugly as that girl I used to pawn off my farts on in elemantary school!

Taking the "whale" from the 747 and calling the A-380 by it is just plain wrong! Call the A-380 the "beached whale" if you must, but I think there are plenty of intelligent people out there that can come up with a nickname more original than the one already bestowed upon the 747! How about the Ugly Obese Bus, or the FatBus?

And for what it is worth, I now from a first hand perspective from when I used to work at NW that they are definately going to buy the 748F and most likely the 748i as well at some point (probably sooner rather than later considering their personal relationship with the 747) and that they have little to no interest in the A-380. The only way NW would be interested in the A-380 were if they were selling it for a lot less than what the 748's were to be had for and the same goes for the UA, IMO. I think UA has just enough Airbus products to convince Boeing not to haggle over the price on the 748 and while I trust Boeing will offer both NW and UA great deals on the 748, IF Airbus wants to give away some A-380's than NW and UA could very well buy some, but that discount would have to be substantial and I just don't see Airbus getting that despirate with the A-380 - at least not now.
 
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 10:02 am

Quoting UAL777UK (Reply 36):
I think the 747-8i and 787 will join the UA fleet both coming as a result of some shrewd negotitions on UA's part. For Airbus, at best they will see UA continue any orders with them for their short haul fleet.

 checkmark  I think it is a rather safe assumption that Boeing looks at UA as an important North American based carrier and they will pull out all stops to keep them aboard with a future 787 and either a 748 or 773 order. The later I think will be the big mystery. I'm just not sure if UA wants to go with something as big as the 748, so hence my proposition that they might look at the 773ER as a replacement. Much depends on the load factors they are getting on current 744 routes or others they envision using their current fleet of 744s on. Keep in mind Star Alliance partner AC went with Airbus for long-haul for awhile with A340s and A330s, but decided last year to return to Boeing and go with 772LRs, 773ERs and get on the docket for some 787s. But I do see both UA and AC sticking with Airbus for their short-haul domestic and trans-border needs.
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luvflng
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 10:36 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 19):
Terrible example, removing domestic first and replacing it with economy plus does not cater to premium customers in any way/shape/form.

You took this out of context. In fact, it is a good example when a low cost airline offers a premium product! I am not saying that it is super premium, however, UAL has differentiated it from its competitors. Those who fly United out of a city operated by TED, and usually fly First on mainline flights, will be considered premium customers when they are seated in Y+, don't you think?

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BMIFlyer
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 10:39 am

I'd love UA to order some 748's Big grin

With PTV's please  Wink



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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 10:46 am

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 44):
I'd love UA to order some 748's

With PTV's please

I am pretty sure they will have PTVs. UA simply doesn't want to spend the money on upgrading the IFE on their 747-400s. Pretty much all future aircraft orders on new long range widebody aircraft will have PTVs, except by a few smaller airlines and LCCs.
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trex8
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 10:46 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 2):
United have 7 routes that require a daily VLA: SFO-NRT, SFO-PEK, SFO-PVG, LAX-NRT, ORD-NRT, ORD-PEK, and ORD-PVG



Quoting 777fan (Reply 7):
Let's not forget about LAX/SFO to SYD! Those require a VLA with ETOPS considerations as well.

what about ORD-HKG?
 
Bicoastal
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 10:53 am

Quoting Trex8 (Reply 46):
what about ORD-HKG?

....and SFO-HKG. UA must have consistent load factors of 100% on HKG routes.

[Edited 2006-12-31 02:54:54]
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zeke
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 1:14 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 15):
That could make up for a large part of the inferiority the A380 Superjumbo suffers in SFC and in structural efficiency. We'll see what the cruise profile turns out to be. Is it possible that Boeing could reduce fuel consumption by increasing thrust in order to achieve better climb performance on the 747-8 Intercontinental ?

Initial cruise altitudes and cruise profiles are already known for the A380 Superjumbo, you can see the technical route proving profiles on the airbus web site for 14-16 hr flights.

Thrust is not the only issue for the 747-8 Intercontinental, it is the high and low mach buffets that are a function of mass and wing design. The 747-8 Intercontinental suffers from a wing that does not match the aircraft, even Boeing admits that.

Boeing already have increased the thrust to weight ratio up by 20% to try and get decent runway performance, this thrust is not the sea level static, it is the takeoff thrust (normally a 5 or 10 min limit). The thrust is significantly less at altitude.

I would like you to define what TSFC would be acceptable, as the A380 Superjumbo would be the best on the market. If the A380 Superjumbo is suffering, any other aircraft must be crippling.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 18):
No, SQ's new premium product would fit very nicely on a 747-8 Intercontinental. I played with seating configurations and can fit 13F upstairs in a 1-1 configuration, 50C ahead of door 2 in a 1-2-1 configuration and 344Y aft of door 2 in a 3-4-3 configuration. Note that the F and C products would be even more spacious with even wider aisles than on the A380 Superjumbo. If SQ were really serious about providing a high-quality premium product, this would be it.

This is incorrect. When SQ paid their consultants to do the actual comparison, they were not able to fit any more seats into the 747-8 Intercontinental with the new configuration over their current 744s. I do not think SQ wanted their F upstairs when they had a look at it, forward on the main deck.

The simplest comparison can be seen on the 773 & 773ER, with the new product they lost 15% of their capacity, the 777 shares basically the same fuselage width as the 747.

Hence SQ have come out and said they are not interested in the 747-8 Intercontinental and ordered more A380 Superjumbos.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 39):
In the context of airliners, the term Jumbo has meant 747 consistently for about 40 years.

The name jumbo came from its first nickname, dumbojet when Pan Am grounded their 747s. It was their white elephant, hence the nickname. It was quickly called a whale, a name that has stuck for years, and often still used by ATC especially in the USA to describe the aircraft.

As you consistently say using the term whale is cute, you must equally find it cute as it is normally applied in the industry to the 747.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 41):
I think UA has just enough Airbus products to convince Boeing not to haggle over the price on the 748 and while I trust Boeing will offer both NW and UA great deals on the 748, IF Airbus wants to give away some A-380's than NW and UA could very well buy some, but that discount would have to be substantial and I just don't see Airbus getting that despirate with the A-380 - at least not now.

I do not think airbus actually see north america to be much of a market for the A380 Superjumbo. In my view north america plays more importance on their management pilots preferences over cost, I see them willing to operate 744s for a while longer as it is a seen to be a home grown product. Nothing is wrong with their 744s, if they are maintained well, they should be able to see another 10 years service, especially with the new seat upgrades.

I think it is more important for them to start looking at an interim replacement of their older narrow body aircraft, the older 737s and 757s.

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 42):
I think it is a rather safe assumption that Boeing looks at UA as an important North American based carrier and they will pull out all stops to keep them aboard with a future 787 and either a 748 or 773 order.

I agree.

Quoting Bicoastal (Reply 47):
....and SFO-HKG. UA must have consistent load factors of 100% on HKG routes.

When I looked at the DOT data, that was not the case. Have you seen a recent trend, or a long term trend ?
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WingedMigrator
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RE: United 747-400 Replacement

Sun Dec 31, 2006 1:20 pm

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 41):
Hold the phone now - just when did the A-380 get the nickname "whale?"

It didn't... it's just that using the established nickname 'Superjumbo' offends the sensibilities of some forum members. Nicknaming is not always something done deliberately; a nickname takes on a life of its own. Sometimes it sticks, sometimes not. Nicknames are usually offensive to someone, somewhere-- hence the incessant arguments.

In the case of the A380, the nicknaming train has long left the station: it is referred to as Superjumbo by at least 2 orders of magnitude more frequently than any other nickname, as any search engine will attest. No silly argument here will change that, let alone the offense that some find in it.

Back on topic... I think United will be very interested in the A380's actual performance results, and potentially some feedback from other operators in alliance with UA (such as Singapore and Thai) after a year or two's commercial service. Actually, how likely are two airlines to share detailed operational data, when they are cooperating commercially?

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