FriscoHeavy wrote:It's been reported that UA can often carry 7-10 tons of cargo on the westbound SFO-SIN route. Not too shabby and I'd call that 'tons of cargo'.

I call BS. UA has blocked rows of seats on SFO-SIN before in winter which means it has zero cargo in winter.

You are talking best case scenario. You have to take into account the yearly average and worst case scenario to determine route profitability.

Weather varies. So the total payload will vary.

SFO-SIN loads year round could look like this:

10% of trips have 5-10T extra payload.

40% of trips have 0-5T extra payload.

40% of trips have zero cargo and 10% seats empty

10% of trips have zero cargo and 20% seats empty

Taking into account normal load factors the above would make the route perfectly acceptable.

SYD-IST the 787-9 loads year round could look like this:

0% of trips have 5-10T extra payload.

10% of trips have 0-5T extra payload.

40% of trips have zero cargo and 10% seats empty

40% of trips have zero cargo and 20% seats empty

10% of trips have zero cargo and 30% seats empty

Profitability in SYD-IST would be low. The ticket price has to increase as you have fewer passengers.

SYD-IST on the 280T A350 year round could look like this.

10% of trips have 10-15T extra payload.

40% of trips have 5-10T extra payload.

40% of trips have 0-5T extra payload.

10% of trips have zero cargo and 10% seats empty

You can see the profitability increases as the extra range of the A350 allows a higher percentage chance of carrying a full passenger load. You could use that extra payload capability to fit more seats with a denser cabin.

So if you were forced to use the 787-9 on SYD-IST and MEL-IST you would want a very premium heavy cabin with at most 200 seats. Sydney would then get more blocked rows than Melbourne when the weather is below average.