Quick question for those who are knowledgeable in this area: I've noticed that 777F operators such as FX or 9S occasionally fly direct HKG-MEM or HKG-CVG, for example. Other 777F flights on these routes include a stop in ANC. Obviously there are a number of reasons for the stop - crew change considerations, payload/range and the like.
My question is this: Assuming that the payload was such that an HKG-MEM (or similar) leg was feasible, is there a fuel burn advantage to flying direct? Obviously there is a savings from eliminating a second takeoff and climb from ANC, but is the additional fuel carried from HKG so significant that the added fuel weight negates any savings from the elimination of the stop?
Asked another way: Do these carriers eliminate the stop to save fuel, or are they actually flying direct to offer a more competitive schedule, time-wise?
As someone who regularly receives overseas shipments, I've always been curious. Thanks in advance!!