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Only 1 Airline Uses Widebodies @ LGA--Why?

Fri Sep 15, 2000 9:14 am

Working in LGA quite often, I noticed awhile ago that only ONE airline continues to use its widebody aircraft at this particular airport: Delta. It uses a lot of B767s, and formerly a lot of L10lls. ...Why only Delta?

(And no, this isn't intended to bash that airline).

I remember in the early '90s, Air Canada used a 767 for a brief time. American tried to use a couple of DC10s to/from DFW, also very briefly. But now, and for awhile, it's only Delta.

So why would the likes of CO, NW, TWA, UA, and AA seem to avoid using their widebodies @ LGA? (At least AA, TW, and UA could use their 767-200s as they are shorter. I actually wouldn't really expect CO to use their DC10s because they would probably wanna deploy those next door at EWR.

I wouldn't figure lack of gate space for AA, CO, or TW because their concourses are located at the ENDS of the Main terminal which provide a lot of room for any widebody smaller than a 747. (UA, however, might have a problem accommodating anything bigger than a 757 at its gates because that airline occupies the middle concourse or "finger" in the main terminal which has limited parking room.

Just curious about this. So does anyone in here know?
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RE: Only 1 Airline Uses Widebodies @ LGA--Why?

Fri Sep 15, 2000 10:20 am

my best guess is that airlines like AA want to deploy those at JFK or use the 200's for international and trans-cons. AA flies a lot of 757's in though.When I went to NY last spring, I was on an AA 757 both ways.
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RE: Only 1 Airline Uses Widebodies @ LGA--Why?

Fri Sep 15, 2000 10:28 am

A higher _frequency_ flight schedule means more flights of smaller aircraft can carry the same number of passengers. Larger aircraft can be redeployed to other markets.

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RE: Only 1 Airline Uses Widebodies @ LGA--Why?

Fri Sep 15, 2000 10:32 am

'cause the runways are too ^&% short.

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Fri Sep 15, 2000 10:35 am

Expanding on your point, airlines also deploy the high-frequency schedule out of LGA as well as other major business destinations like BOS, DCA, and ORD to satisfy the business travelers they cater to, giving them more options as to when they want to leave.
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Fri Sep 15, 2000 11:08 am

Whilst your argument no doubt is usually true, a lot of the DL wide-bodies to LGA go from there to ATL. DL has hourly flights to ATL from LGA (more during peak hours.) So, it's a high-frequency route with wide-bodies part of the time.
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RE: Only 1 Airline Uses Widebodies @ LGA--Why?

Fri Sep 15, 2000 12:01 pm

Folks, it's really simple. redngold nailed it, too.

Most pilots hate LGA because the runways are too short. Landing a heavy there is even more difficult.
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RE: Only 1 Airline Uses Widebodies @ LGA--Why?

Fri Sep 15, 2000 12:49 pm

>Most pilots hate LGA because the runways are too
>short. Landing a heavy there is even more difficult.

Only one problem with this theory... pilots do not make the equipment/route decisions.  

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RE: Only 1 Airline Uses Widebodies @ LGA--Why?

Fri Sep 15, 2000 1:13 pm

This is why......

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RE: Only 1 Airline Uses Widebodies @ LGA--Why?

Fri Sep 15, 2000 3:40 pm

I don't think the "Runways are too short" argument really applies here. I remember distinctly back in the '80's when DL flew in L1011's and 767's (as they do now with the 76's), Eastern flew in L1011's and A300's, American flew in DC10's and 767's, CO flew in DC10's and A300's, and TWA flew in L1011's and 767's. My brother and I used to watch the planes land from my grandmother's apartment in Queens. Their were quite a few widebodies flying into LGA back in the day, and I know the runways haven't gotten any shorter. I think the answer is as was stated earlier: many airlines have chosen to go with more frequencies with smaller aircraft rather than a few flights with widebodies. This gives the business traveler more options LGA, while the widebodies are deployed from EWR and JFK for transcons and international ops. It makes more sense for UA or AA to use a widebody from LAX, SFO, or even ORD to JFK because at JFK they capture not only the O&D traffic (such as some NY business travelers), but also pax connecting to their European flights. And with much fewer domestic flights for these airlines to JFK they need larger aircraft to accomodate these pax. Perhaps with the impending RJ explosion at LGA, airlines may revert back to slightly larger aircraft such as 757's or 767's to offset the unbelievable traffic problems that loom ahead. Something is going to have to give at that airport, because it is already reaching a gridlock!


RE: Only 1 Airline Uses Widebodies @ LGA--Why?

Fri Sep 15, 2000 5:08 pm

I would have to agree with Pbb152. Delta has a little different strategy than the others, I believe. Here in Denver they fly 767's to SLC, which seems like a short route for a 767, I just think Delta has a different strategy.
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RE: Only 1 Airline Uses Widebodies @ LGA--Why?

Fri Sep 15, 2000 5:15 pm

You would think that an airline would save some money flying the larger planes into LGA and offer less flights. By doing this you could cut two 737 flights for just one 767 trip, save money on paying for two different crews, landing fees, and gate space. That would add up to a pretty big savings to the airline.

Lets now look at it the other way around. Why have one flight that we have to make sure is full, when we could have two different flights an hour apart from eachother? Then we could take those flights and send them off to basically any two different destinations rather then sending one big plane back to one of our hubs. Since LGA is so limited in RAMP SPACE, (not really runway length) we could then fit in 2 smaller planes at any gate rather having no option but to stick the widebody at the end of the terminal.

Next a look at the options the area provides. Two larger airports with a huge gateways for international connections just a few miles away. Since LGA is the closest to New York City, a high rate of business travelers will pass through LGA, why no offer as many options into LGA as possible? Blah, blah, blah, and so on and so fourth.

Atleast thats my opinion why you see so few widebodies at LGA. However, things will begin to backfire once the airport reaches its full copacity, which is quickly approaching. So airlines might switch high density flights from their hubs to larger single isle aircraft such as the 757 and 737-800/900, A321 so they can still increase copacity with the same ammount of flights but also benifit from keeping their valuable widebodys from doing shuttle service when it could be used a few miles away to connect with or even serve in the international market.
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RE: Only 1 Airline Uses Widebodies @ LGA--Why?

Fri Sep 15, 2000 9:24 pm

The reason I think that LGA does not have many widebodies is that JFK and EWR take up most of the long haul or international flights that require widebodies. On the same count, why doesn't FLL have many widebodies (Delta Tristars and 767's are all I've even seen there, widebody, wise)? Because MIA overpowers them internationally, just like JFK and EWR are doing.

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RE: Only 1 Airline Uses Widebodies @ LGA--Why?

Fri Sep 15, 2000 10:08 pm

Don't forget that the D10 and L11 were both designed to operate in and out of LGA and DCA using the limited length runways that they had in the mid 60's. This was per the specification set out by AA and later embraced by UA, EA and other early operators.

I don't think it's a matter of runway length it's more a matter of frequency and the type of traffic that originates and terminates at LGA. Most of these routes don't lend themselves as well to widebody operations.

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