UA’s GE90 77E’s will just barely be able to fly EWR-HKG with 272 seats (Polaris confit) occasionally needing some seats blocked. This is a 7000nm route.
In order for the 78X to fly this, it would need roughly 10-ton more fuel for the exact same payload as the IAD-PEK flight, which had 16-ton to spare. Meaning, this same load could have been flown to HKG instead of PEK! Quite impressive although I agree it’s doubtful anyone will configure a 78X for premium heavy 225-250 seats needed to do this.
I agree with those claiming the current UA-configured 78X will be able to fly 6000nm with full pax and bags, which is the lion share of UA’s network. Versatile frame she is and imagine the opportunities after a couple of PIPs.
For what it's worth, EWR-HKG is going to a B77W with the S19 schedule. I do believe UA is planning on introducing a true W cabin to the rest of the wide-body fleet.
NH is the one airline that could consider the B78X if they decide to order this and it would work for them to premium destinations like FRA, LHR, and JFK in a 4-class configuration. Keep in mind that the B77Ws that fly to JFK (HND to JFK is 5900 nmi and slightly shorter to NRT) are the least dense and most premium of any B77W in service (current configuration: F8J68W24Y112). The range is advertised at 6430 nmi with 330 passengers, but NH wouldn't need more than 200 in 4 classes. The question would be cargo lift...could they still carry significant belly cargo AND fit all those J seats in, even reducing Y to 33" from 34"?
Had BA opted for crew rests in their B78Xs, they could also be premium-heavy.
Anybody know what the load is on the IAD-PEK 78X today?
100 open Y seats
That looks as though it would have been a full flight on the original B788 equipment (219 seats). As for the claim that the UA B78X is 337 seats, that is wrong since SeatGuru counted W class wrong (21 W seats, not 40); the configuration of a UA B78X is: J44-W21-Y+54-Y199.