Jackbr
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UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:56 am

Which crew base operate the SYD-MEL-SYD shuttle at UA at this point in time?

Also, how many crew does UA operate their 744s with?
 
smi0006
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:48 am

Is there any chance that we could see this route go non-stop? I would imagine that with UA have such high staffing costs that it must be exceptional expensive for them to operate such a tag on flight, not to mention a 744 can't be too efficient across SYD-MEL-SYD. Also UA maintains it's own lounge in MEL. Is MEL really that important a city?

Would a SYD crew base be worth while? They could operate SYD-MEL-SYD and form part of the crew (not all) up to SFO and LAX. Or would even Aus contracting staff be more expensive (plus administration costs) then senior UA crew?

One of the few strange quirky little routes left in this region of the world.
 
thegeek
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:05 am

I'm confused. I have little doubt that this tag is operated by a cockpit crew who flew in a certain number of days before. They would then rest again in SYD before flying back to LAX. The only 744 pilots in SYD work for rival QF unless some sort of deal could be struck with a cargo airline. Not sure why there would be any savings with that.

This has gone direct seasonally (unless I'm thinking of the SFO flight) but it is unlikely to do so full time as the 744 non-ER takes load restrictions LAX/SFO-MEL and they cannot compete with QF's A380s on LAX-MEL which have no restriction I am aware of.
 
The777Man
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:28 am

Quoting Jackbr (Thread starter):

Which crew base operate the SYD-MEL-SYD shuttle at UA at this point in time?

LAX

Quoting Jackbr (Thread starter):
Also, how many crew does UA operate their 744s with?

I believe 16 F/As and four pilots on LAX/SFO-SYD; one captain and three F/Os.

The777Man
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qf002
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:01 am

Quoting smi0006 (Reply 1):
Is there any chance that we could see this route go non-stop?

Probably once they have 787's and A350's. I imagine they will fly daily from SFO to SYD and MEL, and will probably keep the existing LAX-SYD-MEL rotation, perhaps adding a nonstop during the summer in place of the additional SYD frequency.

Quoting thegeek (Reply 2):
This has gone direct seasonal

They haven't flown nonstop into MEL for a decade, seasonally or otherwise.
 
ZK-NBT
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:05 am

Quoting qf002 (Reply 4):


They haven't flown nonstop into MEL for a decade, seasonally or otherwise.

They did it seasonally for about 6 weeks 3-4 years ago Dec through Feb with 744s daily.

Quoting qf002 (Reply 4):


Probably once they have 787's and A350's. I imagine they will fly daily from SFO to SYD and MEL, and will probably keep the existing LAX-SYD-MEL rotation, perhaps adding a nonstop during the summer in place of the additional SYD frequency.

There is an article floating around I don't have a link though saying UA is happy with its Australian Ops and will consider increasing flights most likely with smaller aircraft such as 787s. I think SFO-MEL and possibly a BNE service.
 
qf002
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:03 am

Quoting ZK-NBT (Reply 5):
They did it seasonally for about 6 weeks 3-4 years ago Dec through Feb with 744s daily.

Apologies, I forgot about that. Summer 2008-9 according to the old thread.

Quoting ZK-NBT (Reply 5):
There is an article floating around I don't have a link though saying UA is happy with its Australian Ops and will consider increasing flights most likely with smaller aircraft such as 787s. I think SFO-MEL and possibly a BNE service.

Makes sense. I'd love to see a nonstop to IAH (or even ORD), but it just doesn't make sense with the strength of the SFO hub...
 
777ord
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:01 pm

Quoting qf002 (Reply 4):
Quoting smi0006 (Reply 1):
Is there any chance that we could see this route go non-stop?

Probably once they have 787's and A350's. I imagine they will fly daily from SFO to SYD and MEL, and will probably keep the existing LAX-SYD-MEL rotation, perhaps adding a nonstop during the summer in place of the additional SYD frequency.

Yes, we may be pulling a 744 and various other planes from storage, but, don't expect MEL to go nonstop from LAX/SFO anytime soon. The loads to SYD have been really steady for a VERY long time. Except in June they were insanely under booked. Made for a great weekend (sorta lol) trip down.

I'd be more worried about their A320's that are constantly on mechanical delays. I've never heard of one carrier having so many issues with one type aircraft!
 
sq_ek_freak
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:51 pm

Quoting smi0006 (Reply 1):
Would a SYD crew base be worth while? They could operate SYD-MEL-SYD and form part of the crew (not all) up to SFO and LAX. Or would even Aus contracting staff be more expensive (plus administration costs) then senior UA crew?

Also not sure what the contractual obligations UA has with their crew and whether this would be allowed or not. As is I know that the intra-Asia based crew (all non NRT crew) can't fly to the United States and only do the intra-Asia hops.
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gigneil
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:14 pm

Quoting 777ord (Reply 7):
I'd be more worried about their A320's that are constantly on mechanical delays. I've never heard of one carrier having so many issues with one type aircraft!

I've never heard of this carrier having any issues with that type of aircraft, either, most likely because they're not.

NS
 
777222LR
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:41 pm

I believe the aircraft that does SYD-MEL-SYD comes from SFO, at least that is what happened on my LAX-SYD flight last year. The LAX-SYD-MEL flight is all one flight number, but requires a change of aircraft. The SFO-SYD-SFO flights have a longer turn around time due to shorter flight schedules it seems, so they were using the SFO aircraft. As far as crew, that I am not sure of.
 
OH-LGA
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:56 pm

From what I recall it's generally been the SFO aircraft (863/870) but LAX-based crew that operate the SYD-MEL-SYD leg.

If you don't do the SYD-MEL-SYD leg I think Australia is a 5-day trip for the SFO-based crew (given the day lost crossing the International Date Line), but with the extra legs it becomes a 6-day trip for the LAX-based crew (one full off day after the morning arrival from the US, so nearly two days free downroute). With the scheduling it works to be a fairly lengthy layover for the crews.  
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Sydscott
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:55 pm

A good friend of mine works at United and regularly does this.

Quoting Jackbr (Thread starter):
Which crew base operate the SYD-MEL-SYD shuttle at UA at this point in time?

At the moment LAX operate it. Generally F/A's arrive day 1, rest day 2, operate SYD-MEL-SYD day 3 and then fly SYD-LAX day 4. It can be shorter than this by 1 day but in general that's what happens. At the Novotel Darling Harbour you'll find plenty of United Crews to ask.  
 
captainstefan
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:01 pm

Quoting 777222LR (Reply 10):
The LAX-SYD-MEL flight is all one flight number, but requires a change of aircraft.

Last August (5th/7th) I flew LAX-SYD-MEL and both legs were on N174UA.
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Motorhussy
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:09 am

Once the 787's start rolling out, is an SFO-BNE-MEL, SFO-SYD, LAX-BNE, LAX-SYD, LAX-MEL kind of arrangement feasible? Coupled with Triple-7's of course.

Speaking of which, does UA have any 77W's on the way?

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StarAC17
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:40 am

Quoting 777222LR (Reply 10):
I believe the aircraft that does SYD-MEL-SYD comes from SFO, at least that is what happened on my LAX-SYD flight last year. The LAX-SYD-MEL flight is all one flight number, but requires a change of aircraft.

I just did MEL-SYD-SFO on the 17th (on to YYZ but its irrelevant to the discussion) and never considered that. But as UA 840 to LAX leaves IIRC an hour before UA 870 to SFO it makes sense that they do it this way because why would you rush a turnaround and a crew change when you have a 744 parked at SYD. I never looked at the reg or if the gate was the same one I entered the terminal in SYD.

Usually I know when I'm getting on the same plane during a connection but this one may have passed my mind and it is possibly a different plane.
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Gemuser
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:00 am

Quoting motorhussy (Reply 14):
Speaking of which, does UA have any 77W's on the way?

No, B787s only from Boeing.

Gemuser
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strfyr51
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:46 am

Quoting 777ord (Reply 7):

You've Never seen so many disgruntled pilots either, There's nothing wrong with the airplanes, All of that will come to light Right after the ALPA contract is settled. Then we'll train a whole NEW group of "Knuckeheads" to fly them and be right back in the soup again as they try to bring Boeing into an Airbus conversation. I like working the airbus but having both fleets?? Get's a little tiresome. The A320 has a lot going on that needs understandsing. and a lot of crews that Come from the Boeing side Do NOT get the differences. Hell I didn't get many of them either at first. Especially until I started working with the 777's and 747's where the A320 seems to have some commonality. Unfortunately, Pilots don't go to the 777 from the Airbus, Nor do they come From the 777 To the airbus. I think it will be the same when we get the A350. because you'll have Boeing oriented 757-767,787 first Officers and Captains now flying the A350. and it will again become a "Turkey Shoot" until they come to grips with it..
 
UA772IAD
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:47 am

To the OP,

Generally MEL turns are on the LAX(SW) base bids. Sometimes SFO gets to operate the trip. As described, its a 6 day trip for crews- two full days of rest in SYD with the MEL turn in the middle. Not bad...

As for the front office, I believe MEL turns can go to either SFO or LAX based crews.

Quoting sq_ek_freak (Reply 8):

Also not sure what the contractual obligations UA has with their crew and whether this would be allowed or not. As is I know that the intra-Asia based crew (all non NRT crew) can't fly to the United States and only do the intra-Asia hops.
UA does not have intra-Asia crews anymore. Only NRT and HKG bases, which are staffed by AFA flight attendants. These domiciles do, however cover intra-Asia flying, such as NRT-BKK or NRT-ICN.

Quoting 777222LR (Reply 10):
I believe the aircraft that does SYD-MEL-SYD comes from SFO, at least that is what happened on my LAX-SYD flight last year. The LAX-SYD-MEL flight is all one flight number, but requires a change of aircraft. The SFO-SYD-SFO flights have a longer turn around time due to shorter flight schedules it seems, so they were using the SFO aircraft. As far as crew, that I am not sure of.

The rotation is as following, using N179UA and N107UA as our two aircraft.

N179UA arrives as UA863 (SFO-SYD) and continues to MEL as UA839.
N179UA returns to SYD as UA840, then onto LAX with the same flight number.

N107UA arrives as UA839 (LAX-SYD). N107UA is towed to remote parking thereafter.
N107UA operates UA870 to SFO later in the day.

So in essence, the inbound aircraft from SFO continues to MEL, then back to SYD and onto LAX.
The inbound aircraft from LAX sits on the ground for half the day and returns to SFO.

The flights are blocked with only a minute difference, so it has more to do with the fact that the outbound LA flight leaves about an hour before the outbound SFO flight.

[Edited 2012-07-30 23:53:21]
 
thegeek
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:34 am

Do the 2nd and 3rd F/Os have an extra day in SYD or do they go back with a different CPT + 1st F/O? I assume they don't operate as surplus crew on SYD-MEL-SYD. I suppose the same question for F/As.
 
Stealthz
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:22 am

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 18):
The rotation is as following, using N179UA and N107UA as our two aircraft.

N179UA arrives as UA863 (SFO-SYD) and continues to MEL as UA839.
N179UA returns to SYD as UA840, then onto LAX with the same flight number.

N107UA arrives as UA839 (LAX-SYD). N107UA is towed to remote parking thereafter.
N107UA operates UA870 to SFO later in the day.

When I was familiar with the operation(up until a couple of years ago) that is how I would see most days, if one AC was delayed for some rason they would operate SYD-MEL with the avail aircraft, then maybe re arrange the assignments after 840 arrived back from MEL... sometimes not.
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RWA380
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:32 pm

Quoting qf002 (Reply 4):
They haven't flown nonstop into MEL for a decade, seasonally or otherwise

Was MEL ever served via AKL by UA, or was that just PA? If UA ever goes back to AKL, maybe a SFO-AKL-MEL flight on a 787 would be better, at least they could offer seats for sale on the trans-Tasman flight, if they have 5th freedom of course.
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UA772IAD
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:37 pm

Quoting thegeek (Reply 19):
Do the 2nd and 3rd F/Os have an extra day in SYD or do they go back with a different CPT + 1st F/O? I assume they don't operate as surplus crew on SYD-MEL-SYD. I suppose the same question for F/As.

I'm not sure about the flight crews. I would imagine they try and keep them together, however since flights are arriving and departing on the daily, there are plenty of bodies to occupy the flight deck.

As for FAs, the ones that don't bid and operate on the MEL turn, go back to LAX on day 5 (instead of day 6). Sometimes, an "extra" LAX FA will work SYD-SFO and deadhead to LAX.

SFO crews usually stick together for the entire trip, since they typically don't operate MEL turns.
 
qf002
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:09 pm

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 21):
Was MEL ever served via AKL by UA, or was that just PA? If UA ever goes back to AKL, maybe a SFO-AKL-MEL flight on a 787 would be better, at least they could offer seats for sale on the trans-Tasman flight, if they have 5th freedom of course.

I'm working from second hand information here, but I'm pretty sure they did. The announced a nonstop flight in 1999 or 2000, which didn't last all that long once QF decided it was a market they wanted to be in as well.

I'd prefer to see a nonstop flight though, rather than one through AKL. UA has a massive opportunity with SFO to offer far more one-stop connectivity from MEL than QF can (unless they suddenly figure out how to make a nonstop MEL-DFW-MEL work) -- they just need a plane with enough range and in the right size bracket.
 
doug_or
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:24 pm

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 21):
Was MEL ever served via AKL by UA, or was that just PA? If UA ever goes back to AKL, maybe a SFO-AKL-MEL flight on a 787 would be better, at least they could offer seats for sale on the trans-Tasman flight, if they have 5th freedom of course.

Yes, I flew the AKL-SFO (I assume, it could have been LAX, but I have no reason to think it was) portion, and the plane was delayed coming in from MEL, which surprised me since I had just assumed it would be coming from the US and doing a turn.
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GT4EZY
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:29 pm

Reply 12
Alot of crews and airlines tend not to want crew hotel details being posted in the public domain.
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RWA380
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:19 am

Quoting doug_Or (Reply 24):
Yes, I flew the AKL-SFO (I assume, it could have been LAX, but I have no reason to think it was) portion, and the plane was delayed coming in from MEL, which surprised me since I had just assumed it would be coming from the US and doing a turn.

I thought so, in fact I was on a UA 747 flying SFO-HNL, (which my first and only ferry of an extra engine) was continuing onwards to AKL then MEL, IIRC. This connecting from my last DC-8 flightever, flying into SFO from PDX, and also the very last time I ever saw the Concorde in service, which was parked right next to us when we departed PDX, quite a day for me!

Quoting GT4EZY (Reply 25):
Alot of crews and airlines tend not to want crew hotel details being posted in the public domain

I thought the same thing, not that it's a state secret, but for crew safety, it is definitely best that it's not advertised.
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6thfreedom
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:19 am

Quoting qf002 (Reply 23):
I'm working from second hand information here, but I'm pretty sure they did. The announced a nonstop flight in 1999 or 2000, which didn't last all that long once QF decided it was a market they wanted to be in as well.

UA operated LAX-MEL via AKL for many years (not via SYD).
in mid 1999 UA announced LAX-MEL non-stop, due to commence December 1999
the following day Qantas announced LAX-MEL non-stop with a late October commencement (to get in first).

both operated the service until late 2001.
following S11 and ansett collapse, UA reverted to 1 stop via SYD to MEL and also cancelled its LAX-AKL non-stop.

it was also around this time that Air NZ ceased it's non stop SYD-LAX flight
 
ZK-NBT
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:30 am

Quoting 6thfreedom (Reply 27):
following S11 and ansett collapse, UA reverted to 1 stop via SYD to MEL and also cancelled its LAX-AKL non-stop.

MEL-LAX non stop ran from DEC 99-April 01. AKL then changed to a 772 in June 02 until it was dropped in March 03, MEL as you say went via SYD.

Quoting doug_Or (Reply 24):


Yes, I flew the AKL-SFO (I assume, it could have been LAX, but I have no reason to think it was) portion, and the plane was delayed coming in from MEL, which surprised me since I had just assumed it would be coming from the US and doing a turn.

UA never flew AKL-SFO non stop. There may have been a flight via HNL from SFO at some point.
 
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RWA380
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:16 am

Quoting ZK-NBT (Reply 28):
There may have been a flight via HNL from SFO at some point

Indeed they did in the late 80's to early 90's time frame, I flew the SFO-HNL leg, it left SFO in the evening arriving HNL 10pm or so, a 742 riding in F, lower deck in the nose, awesome flight. The service was UA's International service and the plane went onwards to AKL, and MEL. Only flight I ever flew with a 5th engine ferried under the right wing.
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Viscount724
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:10 pm

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 29):
Only flight I ever flew with a 5th engine ferried under the right wing.

I believe the 747 5th pod option was always on the left wing, at least I've never seen a photo of a 5th pod on the right wing..
 
cbphoto
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:25 pm

When I jumpseated from SFO to SYD on United, their were 2 full sets of flight deck crew (2 Captains, 2 FOs) but that might have been an odd day, or crew training might have been taking place! Also the crew had close to a 3 day layover for the weekend!
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RWA380
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RE: UA SYD-MEL-SYD - Which Base?

Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:07 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 30):
I believe the 747 5th pod option was always on the left wing, at least I've never seen a photo of a 5th pod on the right wing..

I was sitting in the nose of the plane, under the cockpit in seat 2B, It was at night, so I'm sure it could be possible I remembered this flight incorrectly, I had a few cocktails on our flight from PDX to SFO on my very last DC-8-72 flight. And as the Concorde was next to our gate when we departed PDX, I had already had a great aviation day. (I did mean the right wing as if you were seated in the plane) I'll always remember what you said when I think of that day.
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