Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:34 am

Further UA International Expansion Potential?

Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:21 pm

I know that there has been a lot of talk in various forums about United and international expansion but my question is this. While United's international fleet is defintely stretched thin (as has been discussed on many occassions), it seems to me that there is some room for expansion.

#1). The 777's used on the ORD-HNL and ORD-OGG-KOA routes I assume are 777-200ER (as the distance would stretch the range of the non-ER 777-200). It seems to me that these 777's could be used on higher yielding international routes. 767-300ERs could then be used on the Hawaii routes from ORD/DEN and 757s from the West coast.

#2). UA could start 757 trans-atlantic service from IAD (ala-CO and now US), especially if they were equipped with winglets. While you would not want to replace exsisting 777/767 routes, all new routes could be opened up (i.e. Ireland, Portugal, Spain, non-London UK, etc...)

Just a thought, love to hear some of yours.

[Edited 2007-04-03 06:26:31]
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Posts: 128
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RE: United International Expansion Potential

Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:54 pm

The 777's UA uses on the Hawaii runs are -200a not -ER, while these technically could be used to fly to Europe the seating arraignment only has F/Y class optimized for the holiday runs to Hawaii. I would love to see them operate the 757's into Europe, however one of my favorite things about UA is the fact that they operate 3 class aircraft overseas, as such they would have to use a similar config to the ps aircraft to keep this standard. that being said they are stretching their 757's at the moment. Simply put there is not much expanding that they can do without new aircraft.

Personally I would love to see them take all the 757's and convert them to the 3 class config, allowing them to be used on transcon and trans Atlantic niche routes, to fill the holes where they need the larger capacity of the 757 they could convert some of the existing 320 orders to 321(i know the performance isn't equal but it would give a capacity boost) but here again this means new aircraft. So if were going down that road then I hope UA can give Boeing a big boost to open up a second 787 line and pick up about 40 or so, slowly retire the 744's and replace them with 748 and 77w.............. and now im just dreaming.

While I would love this to be the announcement at Boeing tomorrow i'm not expecting anything new out of Elk Grove until the end of the year at the earliest.
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RE: Further UA International Expansion Potential?

Tue Apr 03, 2007 3:38 pm

As I sat at SFO I pondered the thought of how UA would replace the 757. The A321 does not match the 757, and the 787 will be to large. Puts United in an interesting spot replacing the 757 on certain segments, of course years away.

Quoting FlyMD (Thread starter):

On the first part, UA would need to keep larger A/C then 757's on the west coast doing Hawaii service. The demand is to high. And if you those to add frequency, you pool away 757 from other places.

With regards to 757's over the pond, I think you start pushing the range on them. I'd think Washington-Paris would be close to the top range, not really helping UA fleet wise.

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RE: Further UA International Expansion Potential?

Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:44 pm

Personally I hope i never see UA narrowbodies over the pond, I much prefer wide bodies although saying that in a scenario like Bmi being sold and leaving Star Alliance, I suppose it would be no surprise to see UA pop up in EDI , GLA or even BEL on a 757. They get a lot of feed from these airports into LHR onto their flights.
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RE: Further UA International Expansion Potential?

Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:00 am

Quoting FlyMD (Thread starter):
#1). The 777's used on the ORD-HNL and ORD-OGG-KOA routes

The only planes that UA has that can operate from ORD-Hawaii are their 772s and 744s. The flights were discontinued for a little while after the retirement of the DC-10s but returned on the 772. I guess they really need it to suck up those Mileage Plus points. The 763ER might be at the ragged edge, but UA did not even really consider it. Cargo loads are important on that route and the 767 would probably not be able to operate at MTOW and it have to make a tech stop in adverse winds.

Quoting FlyMD (Thread starter):
#2). UA could start 757 trans-atlantic service from IAD

Generally UA does not like to fly long thin routes (having dumped all of the thin ones bought from PanAm), preferring ones that can at least fill a 772. UA only operates a handful European destinations served by a single 767, such as Zurich. Most of the other European 767 routes are served by multiple routes or frequencies such as ORD-CDG and IAD-LHR. Most of the rest of the international 767s go to South America.

The 757 burns a lot of fuel per passenger, even compared to the 767 and is much less efficient on that basis than the 772 and even the 744. Add that to the cost of having ground staff for one flight with fewer than 200 passengers each direction and it becomes pretty marginal unless you can command a considerable non-stop fare premium.

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