kl692
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Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:22 am

Hello All, I was wondering if anyone knows why UA is ending their service to ACC in July 2012?

Thanks
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klwright69
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:42 am

It is not meeting expectations and aircraft can be used elsewhere. I think Africa is tricky from the USA. It is better served with alliance partners. Just my 2 cents.
 
Bobloblaw
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:47 am

Delta seems to be doing well. Maybe there is room for only one US carrier
 
klwright69
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:26 pm

I recall this flight was coupled with LOS.

Now LOS is out of IAH.

Maybe this is related.
 
washingtonian
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:48 pm

There is some market there, so it might have been doing okay but been among the first to go because of oil prices, capacity reducaitons, aircraft reallocation, etc. A 3-class 767 was too much for this route; perhaps it will return some day with a 2-class 763.
 
Rdh3e
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:48 pm

Quoting kl692 (Thread starter):
Hello All, I was wondering if anyone knows why UA is ending their service to ACC in July 2012?

$$$$, $$$$ and more $$$$. Probably all the red kind, as in losses.
 
klwright69
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:52 pm

Quoting washingtonian (Reply 4):
There is some market there, so it might have been doing okay but been among the first to go because of oil prices, capacity reducaitons, aircraft reallocation, etc. A 3-class 767 was too much for this route; perhaps it will return some day with a 2-class 763.

I agree. How many F paid tickets are going to ACC anyway.
 
codc10
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:52 pm

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 3):
I recall this flight was coupled with LOS.

Now LOS is out of IAH.

Maybe this is related.

Correct. IAD-ACC probably didn't generate the traffic on a standalone basis to sustain a regular service.
 
kotoka
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:55 pm

Quoting kl692 (Thread starter):
Hello All, I was wondering if anyone knows why UA is ending their service to ACC in July 2012?

Here's more insight into why. Loads were decent at around 75%. However it appears that yield was not. My guess is they weren't selling too many seats up front. That aircraft can probably be utilized in a better way somewhere else.

http://www.centreforaviation.com/ana...ps-service-to-accra-in-ghana-71355
 
washingtonian
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:58 pm

Quoting kotoka (Reply 8):
My guess is they weren't selling too many seats up front. That aircraft can probably be utilized in a better way somewhere else.
Quoting CODC10 (Reply 7):
. IAD-ACC probably didn't generate the traffic on a standalone basis to sustain a regular service


I'm sure it was super VFR heavy, and a 3-class 763 was probably an awful aircraft for the route...Here's an idea: Why not let AerLingus operate it for United? Similiar to Madrid in that the loads are there but the yields are not.

[Edited 2012-04-11 06:59:35]
 
delta2ual
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:19 pm

Is there a "dartboard" at United?   
From the world's largest airline-to the world's largest airline. Delta2ual
 
klwright69
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:28 pm

Quoting delta2ual (Reply 10):
Is there a "dartboard" at United?

Not sure about at a darboard.

But obviously many long haul routes don't need a first class cabin.
 
kotoka
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:30 pm

Quoting washingtonian (Reply 9):
I'm sure it was super VFR heavy, and a 3-class 763 was probably an awful aircraft for the route...Here's an idea: Why not let AerLingus operate it for United? Similiar to Madrid in that the loads are there but the yields are not.

I agree, the 3 class 763 didn't make sense. Most of the DL flights I've taken to ACC are empty up front, and that's a 2 class aircraft. UA could have made money if they had a better strategy/plan for this route. Maybe send a 757 to ACC via Dakar? There's a large Ghanaian population in the DC area. VFR traffic from IAD to ACC is heavy and it's usually full with cargo too. There's a reason why GH operated BWI-ACC flights in the 90s.
 
9252fly
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:37 pm

Does Star Alliance partner SA have traffic rights between South Africa and the USA via ACC? Perhaps they could make a go of it with a A332. ET being another Star Alliance member would be interesting,just thinking that Africa based airlines may be more succesful.

[Edited 2012-04-11 07:53:06]
 
MAH4546
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:39 pm

WASACC is a very large local market. On paper, it should have worked. It probably wasn't the best aircraft.
a.
 
luv2fly
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:47 pm

Quoting delta2ual (Reply 10):
Is there a "dartboard" at United?

No they leave that to the folks at DL as I understand it.........

:D      
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
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enilria
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:50 pm

Quoting kl692 (Thread starter):

Hello All, I was wondering if anyone knows why UA is ending their service to ACC in July 2012?

Thanks

The first 5 months the load factors were routinely in the 40s according to T100, but the Summer was 79-85% full. There may be some reason why they can't do it seasonally.
 
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kgaiflyer
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:09 pm

Quoting 9252fly (Reply 13):
Does Star Alliance partner SA have traffic rights between South Africa and the USA via ACC

No -- by Dakar and by Sal (Cape Verde)

Quoting washingtonian (Reply 9):
Why not let AerLingus operate it for United? Similiar to Madrid in that the loads are there but the yields are not.

AFAIK, Aer Lingus has only one spare 332. There should be two if this is daily service.
 
Tdan
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:31 pm

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 14):
WASACC is a very large local market. On paper, it should have worked. It probably wasn't the best aircraft.

True, but look at the seasonality. The 763 with F was definitely not optimal. ACC is growing like a weed, particularly up front with oil&gas guys, so I wouldn't be surprised if WASACC resumed in 3-5 years.
We will ride this thunderbird, silver shadows on the earth, a thousand leagues away our land of birth... -Captain Bruce
 
Rdh3e
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:33 pm

Quoting washingtonian (Reply 9):
Why not let AerLingus operate it for United?
Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 17):
AFAIK, Aer Lingus has only one spare 332. There should be two if this is daily service.

And the UA pilots are already pissed off at SMI/J. No reason to taunt them with something like that which would probably be a trivial profit if anything.
 
izbtmnhd
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:16 pm

Quoting kotoka (Reply 12):

But BWI-ACC failed too. Then there was no service to ACC for over a decade. It returns to IAD wih a tag to LOS. Then LOS goes to IAH. Now, not much later, ACC is gone. The evidence sure looks like ACC-DC market isn't that strong.
 
jfk777
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:33 pm

Quoting izbtmnhd (Reply 20):
But BWI-ACC failed too. Then there was no service to ACC for over a decade. It returns to IAD wih a tag to LOS. Then LOS goes to IAH. Now, not much later, ACC is gone. The evidence sure looks like ACC-DC market isn't that strong.

A stand alone route to Africa from IAD doesn't make much sense for United. IF they flew a whole network like Delta, that would be another issue. I am sorry to see it go.
 
joeljack
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:35 pm

Well, I have my cents. I went to JNB last year and wanted to maximize SA)">UA metal for use of system wide upgrades. I wanted to connect in ACC onto South African but the SA)">UA website wouldn't bring that as an option. All options were via JFK/IAD and onto SAA from there (no good for upgrades) and via MUC/FRA/LHR. I tried to 'trick' united.com into booking through ACC using a multi-city routing and the price was crazy high.

I ended up connecting in FRA onto LH. I used a SWU onto a LH A380. At the lounge in FRA, there was about 4 or 5 United 1k's/SA)">GS in line wanting to use upgrades. We all got the upgrades and I asked the lady if she sees lots of the paper certificates. Her reply was only a handful on most flights but they see lots on the flights to South Africa. She said there was over a dozen on our flight that night in January.

That shows there were lots of people in the same exact situation as mine. united should have allowed connecting via ACC to JNB and CPT, I bet you would get 50+ people per flight doing this, many high paying business travelers that are now going via Europe to maximize SA)">UA metal vs going on SAA. Just my 2 cents, never understood why SA)">UA wouldn't offer this routing to SA via ACC. Does anybody know why?
 
izbtmnhd
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:18 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 21):

United is generally not going to fly an unprofitable route. I doubt an African network of unprofitable routes from IAD would make things better.
 
louA340
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:55 pm

Quoting izbtmnhd (Reply 20):
But BWI-ACC failed too. Then there was no service to ACC for over a decade. It returns to IAD wih a tag to LOS. Then LOS goes to IAH. Now, not much later, ACC is gone. The evidence sure looks like ACC-DC market isn't that strong.

I believe the reason BWI-ACC failed was more because of Ghana Airways going bust. That flight was however a triangle route ( ACC-JFK-BWI) so it also took advantage of the NYC population.
RyEng
 
kl692
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:09 pm

I myself was on this flight back in Feb 2011 and I must say the flight was at least half empty. It appears that they were starting grow on the route as they went from 67% in 2010 to 75% 2011 in load factor. However it seems that they had too much high expectations for that route going three class on it if not more. Delta, I believe is been serving ACC for the past 5 years and their load factor is also at 75% and they are upgrading their product on the route. I must say that UA product on the ACC route was very poor. Even if you wanted extra orange juice, you had to pay for it.
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izbtmnhd
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:30 pm

Quoting louA340 (Reply 24):

There was a decade of no ACC service between Ghana and UA. Didn't seem like there was tremendous action to fill this "void". I guess we see why now.
 
AirNovaBAe146
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:11 pm

Quoting joeljack (Reply 22):
Just my 2 cents, never understood why SA)">UA wouldn't offer this routing to SA via ACC. Does anybody know why?

Generally because African airports are challenging at the best of times. Facilities are inadequate, bureaucracy can be a nightmare and lead to missed flights, and pax sometimes even need to obtain visas to transit flight. Won't even mention baggage logistics. Then, there is the part that UA and SAA don't gear their schedule to exchange pax in ACC. Not sure what the wait time between the two flights would have been, but you may have been looking at an extensive ground time at an airport with minimal amenities.

Some African airports are ok for connections: JNB, NBO, ADD. But, for example, would you want to plan your Africa trip with a connection from the USA to JNB via Lagos or Kinshasa. Much easier for them to route you via Europe, where there are numerous widebodies making the trip on a daily basis. Just because it can be done doesn't mean it should be done......

AN

PS - Kudos on your adventurous streak....of even trying to do a connection thru ACC.
 
joeljack
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:30 pm

Quoting AirNovaBAe146 (Reply 27):
Generally because African airports are challenging at the best of times. Facilities are inadequate, bureaucracy can be a nightmare and lead to missed flights, and pax sometimes even need to obtain visas to transit flight. Won't even mention baggage logistics. Then, there is the part that UA and SAA don't gear their schedule to exchange pax in ACC. Not sure what the wait time between the two flights would have been, but you may have been looking at an extensive ground time at an airport with minimal amenities.

Some African airports are ok for connections: JNB, NBO, ADD. But, for example, would you want to plan your Africa trip with a connection from the USA to JNB via Lagos or Kinshasa. Much easier for them to route you via Europe, where there are numerous widebodies making the trip on a daily basis. Just because it can be done doesn't mean it should be done......

AN

PS - Kudos on your adventurous streak....of even trying to do a connection thru ACC.

Now what if UA would have done a one-stop flight in ACC to JNB. This would be a cash cow. My friend who I was visiting in JNB flies to and from the US (Kansas City) 3-4 times per year. He flies Delta and says the flight are always 100% full an the cheapest ticket he's bought in the past year was $1800 and most are right around $2k-$2200 in coach.
 
louA340
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:11 pm

Quoting izbtmnhd (Reply 26):

North American Airlines operated between BWI to ACC as a tag on from 2006 to 2008. I do not know how they did on that route in terms of loads and profits, but they discontinued it along with all their African routes (JFK-ACC and JFK - LOS) in 2008, citing fuel costs. I'm thinking it had more to do with DL coming into the market as well.

Quoting joeljack (Reply 28):
Now what if UA would have done a one-stop flight in ACC to JNB. This would be a cash cow. My friend who I was visiting in JNB flies to and from the US (Kansas City) 3-4 times per year. He flies Delta and says the flight are always 100% full an the cheapest ticket he's bought in the past year was $1800 and most are right around $2k-$2200 in coach.

That could have worked out for them well with a little tweak in scheduling. The ACC-JNB round trip can be done in about 12-13 hours give or take? With about a 9 hour ground stop in Accra it could pose for better aircraft utilization. But I'm not an expert on this matter. Would UA have rights on the ACC-JNB leg as well?
RyEng
 
usflyer msp
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:53 pm

Quoting washingtonian (Reply 9):
Here's an idea: Why not let AerLingus operate it for United? Similiar to Madrid in that the loads are there but the yields are not.

The Aer Lingus JV is only made possible by the EU-US open skies agreement which allows EU carriers to fly between any EU point and the US. Ghana is not part of the EU, so the Ghana-US BASA would apply - which most likely precludes US-ACC being served by EI metal.
 
kl692
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:59 pm

Quoting AirNovaBAe146 (Reply 27):
Then, there is the part that SA)">UA and SAA don't gear their schedule to exchange pax in ACC. Not sure what the wait time between the two flights would have been, but you may have been looking at an extensive ground time at an airport with minimal amenities.

SA takes off time to JNB i same time as SA)">UA take off time from ACC. I remember SA didn't take off on time and since their A/C was behind us we couldn't move which delay us for about 30mins on the ground. Pilot was not happy about that and the funny thing is when landed at IAD, we were taxing behind SA A340 which wasn't move fast enough either.
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thorntot
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:51 am

I've heard that the local fuel price was a big contributor with Jet A over $6 a gallon in ACC? I believe the previous tag-on from Lagos allowed for round-trip fuel to be purchased there negating any affect on route profitablity from ACC's fuel rates. I have no way to confirm the local field price in ACC...can anyone else?
Work Hard. Fly Right. Fly United.
 
lawair
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:52 am

The BWI-ACC service was really erratic for the years that it operated, and GH's own internal problems made sure this route would be discontinued. The route was actually served during the early 2000s, initially nonstop, then one-stop on the return via ROB or BJL (alternating between the two). It was only a twice a week service carrying just over 4000 passengers per month in its best days. The low frequency meant that when one flight was cancelled (which did happen in newsworthy form), about a thousand passengers would be stranded for several days, according to the news reports at the time.. Toward the end, GH then started a JFK stopover on one of the legs (either outbound or inbound), before the airline went belly up altogether. After that, North American had a go, but never operated the route nonstop, as far as I can remember.

[Edited 2012-04-11 18:53:36]
 
Tdan
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:23 am

Quoting thorntot (Reply 32):
I've heard that the local fuel price was a big contributor with Jet A over $6 a gallon in ACC? I believe the previous tag-on from Lagos allowed for round-trip fuel to be purchased there negating any affect on route profitablity from ACC's fuel rates. I have no way to confirm the local field price in ACC...can anyone else?

   I don't know if it is that much, but this is pretty common in Africa when there is one fuel supplier at the airport. FTR, the LOS tag would allow UA to fill up some but not completely due to MLW restrictions (LOS isn't the cheapest place either for Jet A!)
We will ride this thunderbird, silver shadows on the earth, a thousand leagues away our land of birth... -Captain Bruce
 
usflyer msp
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:52 am

Quoting Tdan (Reply 34):
I don't know if it is that much, but this is pretty common in Africa when there is one fuel supplier at the airport. FTR, the LOS tag would allow UA to fill up some but not completely due to MLW restrictions (LOS isn't the cheapest place either for Jet A!)

LOS actually has higher prices for Jet-A than ACC. LOS also occasionally has fuel shortages that cause the prices to go even higher and/or even cause carriers to make intermediate stops for refueling. However, LOS is much higher yielding than ACC which makes the hardships more worthwhile.
 
brightcedars
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:43 am

Like SN they will probably put their ACC traffic on LH via FRA.
I want the European Union flag on airliners.net!
 
strfyr51
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:16 am

ACC to be frank was NOT an easy place to work, if your airplane had a problem? It was a Bear to get it repaired and you were in CONSTANT Concern for your Crews Parts and Airplane while it was there. You have to jump through Hoops to get anything Done there and you were NEVER sure that everything WAS done as requested. Africa can be a tough place to the unfamiliar and UAL was NOT confident the Bang for the Buck was worth the effort. At least the Few times I dealt with ACC that was my impression The cultural divide can be difficult to cross and the countrie's attitudes about hteir Importance might be a BIT overblown in their OWN minds. Maybe IAD-ACC-IAD will be good in the future but I can think of PLENTY of places where it's easier to make a profitable move rather than ACC. Could Be the North Africa will get THEIR operating ideas straightened out so as NOT to be banned all the time from European Airspace
 
izbtmnhd
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:55 am

Quoting Lawair (Reply 33):

That's why I didn't mention North American, although to be fair, I should have even if it was a tag. AFAIK, Ghana and UA were the only carriers to do nonstop service from DC/Balt to ACC.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 37):

I believe that. I heard the crew had to transported by armored vehicle to the hotel. Does anyone know if that was true?
 
usflyer msp
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:49 pm

Quoting izbtmnhd (Reply 38):
I believe that. I heard the crew had to transported by armored vehicle to the hotel. Does anyone know if that was true?

You are confusing LOS and ACC. LOS is dangerous and requires armed escorts, ACC is not dangerous at all. Ghana is the safest and most stable country in the region.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 37):
ACC to be frank was NOT an easy place to work, if your airplane had a problem? It was a Bear to get it repaired and you were in CONSTANT Concern for your Crews Parts and Airplane while it was there. You have to jump through Hoops to get anything Done there and you were NEVER sure that everything WAS done as requested. Africa can be a tough place to the unfamiliar and UAL was NOT confident the Bang for the Buck was worth the effort. At least the Few times I dealt with ACC that was my impression The cultural divide can be difficult to cross and the countrie's attitudes about hteir Importance might be a BIT overblown in their OWN minds. Maybe IAD-ACC-IAD will be good in the future but I can think of PLENTY of places where it's easier to make a profitable move rather than ACC. Could Be the North Africa will get THEIR operating ideas straightened out so as NOT to be banned all the time from European Airspace

Cultural stereotype much? Sound like you are talking about LOS not ACC.

FACTS
1) Ghanians are some of the friendliest, most easygoing people in the world.
2) Ghana is stable and safe unlike virtually all other states in the region.
3) Ghana is in West Africa not North Africa
4) None of the Ghanian pax carriers are banned from the EU (some of the Cargo carriers are)
5) I cannot speak on the availability of mx services in ACC
6) Traffic to Ghana is mostly VFR and Government/NGO and low-yielding unlike Nigeria.
7) Buddy Pass abuse has historically been a problem to ACC...not sure how this affected AU ending service.
 
izbtmnhd
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:46 pm

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 39):

I stand corrected. Thanks for the info. I would like to visit it someday.
 
delta2ual
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:10 pm

Quoting rdh3e (Reply 19):
Why not let AerLingus operate it for United?
Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 17):
AFAIK, Aer Lingus has only one spare 332. There should be two if this is daily service.

And the UA pilots are already pissed off at SMI/J. No reason to taunt them with something like that which would probably be a trivial profit if anything.

Yeah I think that's the last thing we need right now. The pilots don't seem to be in the mood to play games with their flying.

Quoting izbtmnhd (Reply 23):
Quoting jfk777 (Reply 21):

United is generally not going to fly an unprofitable route. I doubt an African network of unprofitable routes from IAD would make things better.

I think the same could be said about many airlines. Who intentionally flies unprofitable routes for a long time? New UA is much more aggressive at adding & discontinuing where needed and right-sizing aircraft (now that there are aircraft to rightsize with).
The "growth" at UA that everyone keeps talking about was bound to happen: look at how many flights domestically were on Express when they should have been mainline. ORD-ATL comes to mind. MIA was another one. It was embarrassing to give out buddy passes to friends in ORD because you knew they were probably going to be on an RJ, often on longer flights. That is changing at the new UA and I am very glad to see it.
From the world's largest airline-to the world's largest airline. Delta2ual
 
kl692
Topic Author
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RE: Why UA Ending ACC Service?

Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:44 am

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 37):
ACC to be frank was NOT an easy place to work, if your airplane had a problem? It was a Bear to get it repaired and you were in CONSTANT Concern for your Crews Parts and Airplane while it was there. You have to jump through Hoops to get anything Done there and you were NEVER sure that everything WAS done as requested. Africa can be a tough place to the unfamiliar and UAL was NOT confident the Bang for the Buck was worth the effort. At least the Few times I dealt with ACC that was my impression The cultural divide can be difficult to cross and the countrie's attitudes about hteir Importance might be a BIT overblown in their OWN minds. Maybe IAD-ACC-IAD will be good in the future but I can think of PLENTY of places where it's easier to make a profitable move rather than ACC. Could Be the North Africa will get THEIR operating ideas straightened out so as NOT to be banned all the time from European Airspace

And couild please explain why DL is making profit on ACC route?

Quoting izbtmnhd (Reply 38):
I believe that. I heard the crew had to transported by armored vehicle to the hotel. Does anyone know if that was true?

That is just bs. You must just go ahead and say it is a war country when it is one safest and fiendlist country in West Africa.
A310, A330,A346,B73H, B747,B772,B77W,CRJ