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psa1011
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JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:20 pm

A Bay Area resident, I am of course happy with any airline's choice to assign #1 to flights from SFO-anywhere. I am curious, however, as to why JL & SQ would not choose to instead give this special number to flights involving LAX, JFK, etc.? In both JL's and SQ's case, they both send more seats to LAX. Is there some historic significance to SFO flights that makes #1 worthwhile? Interestingly, UA also sends a flight #1 to SFO, but only on a domestic leg from IAH.

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airbazar
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:02 pm

Typically flight 1 is reserved for the airline's flagship route however "flagship" is often hard to quantify but SQ and JL obviously see SFO as such. I also think that although LAX is bigger than SFO, my understanding is that SFO is a more premium route. The SIN-HKG-SFO route has always featured prominetly in SQ's history, more than LHR and definitely more so than JFK which the airline has only started serving in the 90s.
 
SANFan
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:16 pm

I may very well be wrong but I think PA 1 & 2 went through SFO as well.

bb
 
FoxBravo
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:19 pm

In the case of JL, SFO was the airline's first international route, so the flight numbers 1 and 2 honor that history.
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legacyins
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:24 pm

You need to go back to 1954 when Japan Airlines first started service to the United States. They flew Tokyo-Wake Island- Honolulu- San Francisco on a DC-6B. They did not serve LAX until 61'.

For Singapore Airlines, they flew 707s on the SIN-GUM-HNL-SFO in 1979. They did not serve LAX until the mid 1980s.
 
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psa1011
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:37 pm

Interesting - thanks!
 
Viscount724
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:58 pm

Quoting SANFan (Reply 2):
I may very well be wrong but I think PA 1 & 2 went through SFO as well.

Correct. Before deregulation they didn't actually "go through" SFO but PA1 originated there westbound and PA2 terminated there eastbound, since Pan Am lacked domestic rights between SFO and IDL/JFK. For a while I think they operated the SFO-JFK sector but could only carry international traffic on that sector.

[Edited 2013-09-18 15:00:17]
 
simairlinenet
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:36 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 6):
Before deregulation they didn't actually "go through" SFO but PA1 originated there westbound and PA2 terminated there eastbound,

Though SFO was later changed to LAX--interesting, given the poster's question.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 6):
For a while I think they operated the SFO-JFK sector but could only carry international traffic on that sector.

As PA811/812 though--operating on to SYD.
 
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CV880
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:45 pm

Quoting legacyins (Reply 4):
For Singapore Airlines, they flew 707s on the SIN-GUM-HNL-SFO in 1979

IIRC, I flew a SQ DC-10 SFO-HNL-GUM(fuel stop)-HKG in that year. Landed at Kai Tak in the midst of a tropical storm.
 
USAirALB
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:57 am

SFO used to be the center of finance, commerce, and culture for California. It wasn't until later in the later part of the 20th century when LAX gained its prominence. Hence why most foreign carriers served SFO before LAX.
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infinit
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:45 am

Because San Francisco is such a cool and chic city?   
I'm biased though I qualify.. it's my favorite city  
 
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OA412
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:48 am

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 9):
SFO used to be the center of finance, commerce, and culture for California. It wasn't until later in the later part of the 20th century when LAX gained its prominence. Hence why most foreign carriers served SFO before LAX.

Correct. For much of the 20th Century, SFO was the larger and more important city. It wasn't until after World War II that LAX surpassed SFO.
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IndianicWorld
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:36 am

Quoting infinit (Reply 10):
Because San Francisco is such a cool and chic city?
I'm biased though I qualify.. it's my favorite city

haha... I agree that SFO is an amazing city. Very cool.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 1):
I also think that although LAX is bigger than SFO, my understanding is that SFO is a more premium route.

Not so sure of that one.
 
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:20 pm

Quoting legacyins (Reply 4):
For Singapore Airlines, they flew 707s on the SIN-GUM-HNL-SFO in 1979. They did not serve LAX until the mid 1980s.

SQ operated that flight with DC-10-30's. The flight went SIN-HKG-GUM-HNL0SFO, you missed Hong Kong. Eventually 747 were used and the Guam stop was stopped. Now its nonstop from HKG to SFO.
 
DTWHKG
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:01 pm

For JL, probably they are proud of being the only airline qualified to fly SFO-HND? Was the flight number also JL1 when they flew SFO-NRT?
 
superjeff
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:13 pm

Quoting OA412 (Reply 11):
Quoting USAirALB (Reply 9):
SFO used to be the center of finance, commerce, and culture for California. It wasn't until later in the later part of the 20th century when LAX gained its prominence. Hence why most foreign carriers served SFO before LAX.

Correct. For much of the 20th Century, SFO was the larger and more important city. It wasn't until after World War II that LAX surpassed SFO.

More important, San Francisco is closer to Honolulu than LA, and when they first started trans-pac service, that was (for a while at least) the only route where they had airplanes with the range (the PanAm Martins barely could make it to HNO from San Fran, but couldn't from LA.
 
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:33 pm

Quoting legacyins (Reply 4):
For Singapore Airlines, they flew 707s on the SIN-GUM-HNL-SFO in 1979. They did not serve LAX until the mid 1980s

From what I remember, SQ did use 707 freighters on the SFO route for awhile before the passenger service started with DC10s in early 1979. The inaugural DC10 passenger flight carried "California here we come" titles as I recall.

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legacyins
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:43 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 13):
SQ operated that flight with DC-10-30's. The flight went SIN-HKG-GUM-HNL0SFO, you missed Hong Kong. Eventually 747 were used and the Guam stop was stopped. Now its nonstop from HKG to SFO.

I don't think HKG came on board until the MegaTops were delivered. The DC-10-30s did a SIN-GUM-HNL-SFO routing.

Found this pic on the net.

 
warden145
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:19 pm

Quoting DTWHKG (Reply 14):
For JL, probably they are proud of being the only airline qualified to fly SFO-HND? Was the flight number also JL1 when they flew SFO-NRT?

Yes it was...JL used 1/2 for the NRT-SFO route at least from 2006 until they switched it to HND. I have a feeling JL's used those numbers ever since they started serving SFO, but I can't say for certain.

Quoting legacyins (Reply 17):
I don't think HKG came on board until the MegaTops were delivered. The DC-10-30s did a SIN-GUM-HNL-SFO routing.

Found this pic on the net.

Great pic! I couldn't find any shots of SQ DC-10's at SFO in the A-Net database...did the site where you found this pic say when and where it was taken?
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Viscount724
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:42 pm

Quoting FoxBravo (Reply 3):
In the case of JL, SFO was the airline's first international route, so the flight numbers 1 and 2 honor that history.

But JL didn't use those flight numbers when they first began service to SFO in the mid-1950s. A 1955 timetable shows westbound flight numbers as 601/603/605 westbound (then 3 x week) and 602/604/606 eastbound. Still in the 600 series in 1958, although daily by then. 800 series in 1961, probably due to the recent introduction of the DC-8 on the route.

By 1966 they were using JL1/2 on the LHR-JFK-SFO-HNL-HND route, part of their around-the-world service then operated. Daily from JFK with the LHR-JFK 5th freedom sector twice a week. LAX-HNL-HND then was JL51 westbound and JL62 eastbound.
 
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CV880
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:58 pm

Quoting legacyins (Reply 17):
I don't think HKG came on board until the MegaTops were delivered. The DC-10-30s did a SIN-GUM-HNL-SFO routing.

I repeat, as a DL employee I rode to/fr HKG on an SQ DC10 in 1979. We only stopped at GUM on the westbound flight due to headwinds and a storm at HKG as did all other airlines that night. The return was nonstop from HKG to HNL, clearing customs at HNL. I was specifically travelling to HKG/BKK/SIN/HKG/SFO in that order. I have never been on a 707 across the Pacific except to HNL.
 
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legacyins
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:29 am

Quoting cv880 (Reply 20):
I repeat, as a DL employee I rode to/fr HKG on an SQ DC10 in 1979.

Ok, thanks for repeating. I was getting my info from a Singaporean who stated it started off as a 707. He could be confusing it with the cargo operation, as was mentioned.
 
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SFOA380
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RE: JL & SQ Flight #1 - Why SFO?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:47 am

Quoting DTWHKG (Reply 14):

For JL, probably they are proud of being the only airline qualified to fly SFO-HND? Was the flight number also JL1 when they flew SFO-NRT?

This has been JL 1/2 for decades.