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Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:56 pm
by HP69
It seems odd that UA, one of the premier 777 customers, never ordered the 77W until over 10 years after it was introduced. It’s combination of range and size would have been helpful for launching new routes.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:59 pm
by jetwet1
The same old story, no money, the nice profits airlines have made in the last 5 -10 years was predated by an industry that historically lost money.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:04 pm
by HP69
But they continued to take plenty of 772s, didn’t they?

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:12 pm
by JayinKitsap
All of the US Airlines felt that both the 744 and 777 were too large for their networks. Only NW bought the 744 and I recall nearly all 777 orders for US carriers were rather late, in the last decade mostly.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:35 pm
by 777222LR
JayinKitsap wrote:
All of the US Airlines felt that both the 744 and 777 were too large for their networks. Only NW bought the 744 and I recall nearly all 777 orders for US carriers were rather late, in the last decade mostly.



United had quite the fleet of 744's, so that's partially untrue. I think all US airlines were expecting frequency over capacity. US airlines are sort of unique in that all of them have multiple hubs vs. smaller countries which have a single hub, and perhaps one major carrier. Because of a multiple hub system, with less traffic restricted airports, US carriers in some cases need less capacity on a single aircraft vs. smaller aircraft with greater frequencies. Once the 744 was due for retirement for United, the 777-300ER was a great alternative.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:44 pm
by OmerMaz
Pre merger UA 772 (A+E) were originaly delivered in 1995-2002. Until year 2000, UA still recived 744s actualy.
22 further (from CO) joined the fleet in 2010.
The 77Ws were orderd in 2014/2015 because of delays in the supplying the 787-9 to UA (if I remember correctly), aside from the retirement of the 744s.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:51 pm
by EWRamp
OmerMaz wrote:
Pre merger UA 772 (A+E) were originaly delivered in 1995-2002. Until year 2000, UA still recived 744s actualy.
22 further (from CO) joined the fleet in 2010.
The 77Ws were orderd in 2014/2015 because of delays in the supplying the 787-9 to UA (if I remember correctly), aside from the retirement of the 744s.


Hit the nail on the head. Boeing gave UA a very good deal on the 773 due to delays from the 787.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:56 pm
by ual777
JayinKitsap wrote:
All of the US Airlines felt that both the 744 and 777 were too large for their networks. Only NW bought the 744 and I recall nearly all 777 orders for US carriers were rather late, in the last decade mostly.


UA was the launch customer for the 777 in 1995. They had a fleet of 50 or so by the time of the merger with CO.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:58 pm
by N649DL
EWRamp wrote:
OmerMaz wrote:
Pre merger UA 772 (A+E) were originaly delivered in 1995-2002. Until year 2000, UA still recived 744s actualy.
22 further (from CO) joined the fleet in 2010.
The 77Ws were orderd in 2014/2015 because of delays in the supplying the 787-9 to UA (if I remember correctly), aside from the retirement of the 744s.


Hit the nail on the head. Boeing gave UA a very good deal on the 773 due to delays from the 787.


From what I've gathered, Boeing also offered UA massive discounts on the 773ER as well.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:07 pm
by OmerMaz
N649DL wrote:
EWRamp wrote:
OmerMaz wrote:
Pre merger UA 772 (A+E) were originaly delivered in 1995-2002. Until year 2000, UA still recived 744s actualy.
22 further (from CO) joined the fleet in 2010.
The 77Ws were orderd in 2014/2015 because of delays in the supplying the 787-9 to UA (if I remember correctly), aside from the retirement of the 744s.


Hit the nail on the head. Boeing gave UA a very good deal on the 773 due to delays from the 787.


From what I've gathered, Boeing also offered UA massive discounts on the 773ER as well.



This is actualy what might have triggered them to order 4 more in PAS 2017 (all were delivered in 2018) and 4 more in 2018 (2 will be delivered this fall), regardless to the fact they now boast a formidable 789 fleet (which was also topped up, recently).
Add the fact that those 77Ws were relatively efficient and economic enough for UA, and the fact that delivery happened in no time.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:09 pm
by Polot
HP69 wrote:
But they continued to take plenty of 772s, didn’t they?

No, most of UA’s 772 fleet predates the 77W’s EIS. The newer ones are from PMCO orders, who didn’t really have a need for 77Ws.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:41 pm
by UAUA
JayinKitsap wrote:
All of the US Airlines felt that both the 744 and 777 were too large for their networks. Only NW bought the 744 and I recall nearly all 777 orders for US carriers were rather late, in the last decade mostly.


Not true. UA was the launch customer for the B777. NW was the launch customer of the B747-400

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:50 pm
by TW870
There are two main reasons we didn't see an early sUA 77W order.

1. United had been overly aggressive with longhaul capacity in the 1990s. I started in 1998 as a flight attendant. We had a presentation from Network during training and they were fairly open about their opinion that United had over-ordered widebodies. To tighten capacity, they converted the last tranch of 744 orders to 77Es. Therefore, we took a large number of PW4090-powered, high gross weight 77Es right as the 77W came to market. We just didn't need any more capacity when the new aircraft became available.
2. The 2001-2010 period was terrible for U.S. legacies. The 9/11 crisis, the rapid expansion of ULCCs and LCCs led UA and its peers into bankruptcy. No one could borrow, and no one wanted new airplanes anyway. Therefore, the last widebodies delivered to United before the merger were that tranch of 77Es. United had 44 744s on the eve of 9/11 which had been delivered between 1989 and 2001. They cut that fleet to 25 right after. Some of those birds flew for less than a decade. Ordering the 77W was simply not possible in that context.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:51 pm
by MIflyer12
HP69 wrote:
But they continued to take plenty of 772s, didn’t they?


OmerMaz wrote:
Pre merger UA 772 (A+E) were originaly delivered in 1995-2002. Until year 2000, UA still recived 744s actualy.
22 further (from CO) joined the fleet in 2010.


So that's a no - no, UA didn't continue ordering and taking 777s in the 'lost decade' following 9/11.

Planespotters.net can give you fleet composition including in-service dates (and some historical aircraft info).

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:54 pm
by Antarius
TW870 wrote:
There are two main reasons we didn't see an early sUA 77W order.

1. United had been overly aggressive with longhaul capacity in the 1990s. I started in 1998 as a flight attendant. We had a presentation from Network during training and they were fairly open about their opinion that United had over-ordered widebodies. To tighten capacity, they converted the last tranch of 744 orders to 77Es. Therefore, we took a large number of PW4090-powered, high gross weight 77Es right as the 77W came to market. We just didn't need any more capacity when the new aircraft became available.
2. The 2001-2010 period was terrible for U.S. legacies. The 9/11 crisis, the rapid expansion of ULCCs and LCCs led UA and its peers into bankruptcy. No one could borrow, and no one wanted new airplanes anyway. Therefore, the last widebodies delivered to United before the merger were that tranch of 77Es. United had 44 744s on the eve of 9/11 which had been delivered between 1989 and 2001. They cut that fleet to 25 right after. Some of those birds flew for less than a decade. Ordering the 77W was simply not possible in that context.


Good points.

#2 is key as to why none of the US airlines purchased 77Ws until AA did in 2013(?). The 77W EIS was 2004, not long after 9/11 and at a time of major financial hardship in the US aviation industry.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:55 pm
by ManoaChris
TW870 wrote:
2. The 2001-2010 period was terrible for U.S. legacies. The 9/11 crisis, the rapid expansion of ULCCs and LCCs led UA and its peers into bankruptcy. No one could borrow, and no one wanted new airplanes anyway. Therefore, the last widebodies delivered to United before the merger were that tranch of 77Es. United had 44 744s on the eve of 9/11 which had been delivered between 1989 and 2001. They cut that fleet to 25 right after. Some of those birds flew for less than a decade. Ordering the 77W was simply not possible in that context.


The lost decade narrative is part of the story, and fits well for United. However, I can think of three sets of widebody deliveries in that timeframe where the 77W was passed over:

1. Delta's 10 777-200LRs (2008-2010)
2. Northwest's 32 A333/A332s (2003-2007)
3. US Airway's 15 A332s (2009-2014)

And the bigger investment in the mid-aughts was the decision by two carriers with 747s, United and Northwest, to order 787s rather than a direct 747 replacement (77W or, shudder, A380). Smaller aircraft were preferred - even when the writing was on the wall in 2008 (and certain after the final FAA regulation was published in 2012) that 747s would have to be phased out by the end of 2017 -- at least I don't think the retrofit option was ever seriously entertained.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:25 pm
by PacoMartin
Antarius wrote:
#2 is key as to why none of the US airlines purchased 77Ws until AA did in 2013(?). The 77W EIS was 2004, not long after 9/11 and at a time of major financial hardship in the US aviation industry.

According to Boeing's database, AA bought 7 early, but I think they were originally orders for the B777-200ER that were up-gauged later.

77W orders
9. Aug. 2000 American Airlines 2
31. Dec. 2001 American Airlines 5
18. Jan. 2011 American Airlines 2
31. Mar. 2011 American Airlines 1
29. Apr. 2011 American Airlines 2
25. May. 2011 American Airlines 1
19. Aug. 2011 American Airlines 2
1. Jun. 2012 American Airlines 1
31. Jul. 2012 American Airlines 2
28. Sep. 2012 American Airlines 1
1. Feb. 2013 American Airlines 1
23. Apr. 2015 United Airlines 10
7. Mar. 2016 United Airlines 4
15. Jun. 2017 United Airlines 4

777-200 orders
15. Oct. 1990 United Airlines 16
14. Apr. 1998 United Airlines 6

777-200ER orders
1. Apr. 1993 United Airlines 18
12. May. 1993 United Airlines 5
22. Aug. 1996 United Airlines 2
21. Nov. 1996 American Airlines 7
10. Oct. 1997 United Airlines 5
31. Oct. 1997 American Airlines 4
13. Nov. 1997 Delta Air Lines 6
18. Mar. 1998 United Airlines 4
27. Mar. 1998 Delta Air Lines 2
3. Apr. 1998 American Airlines 8
14. Apr. 1998 United Airlines 9
14. Aug. 1998 American Airlines 15
15. May. 1999 United Airlines 9
30. Nov. 1999 American Airlines 3
9. Aug. 2000 American Airlines 4
26. Sep. 2000 American Airlines 1
19. Oct. 2000 American Airlines 1
31. Oct. 2000 United Airlines 2
12. Dec. 2000 American Airlines 2
31. Dec. 2001 American Airlines 2
29. Jul. 2005 United Airlines 2 - post 9/11
3. Dec. 2007 United Airlines 2 - post 9/11

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:57 pm
by PacoMartin
I forgot this last model
777-200LR
13. Nov. 1997 Delta Air Lines 4
22. Dec. 1998 Delta Air Lines 1
29. Jun. 2007 Delta Air Lines 1
12. Dec. 2007 Delta Air Lines 2
31. Jul. 2008 Delta Air Lines 2

I know it seems a little tedious to write out each order, but it gives you a better idea of what deliberations were going through the airline executives heads. Prior to 9-11 they would order 10 to 18 jets at one time, but later orders were very small incrementing the unfilled base by only a few at a time.

Initial orders for the 777X were placed in November and December 2013. Only well after that date was United confident enough to place a large order for 77W.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:16 pm
by QueenoftheSkies
EWRamp wrote:
OmerMaz wrote:
Pre merger UA 772 (A+E) were originaly delivered in 1995-2002. Until year 2000, UA still recived 744s actualy.
22 further (from CO) joined the fleet in 2010.
The 77Ws were orderd in 2014/2015 because of delays in the supplying the 787-9 to UA (if I remember correctly), aside from the retirement of the 744s.


Hit the nail on the head. Boeing gave UA a very good deal on the 773 due to delays from the 787.


But that’s not why they waited to order it, that was just icing on the cake. Bottomline, they didn’t need them because of the 744.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:25 pm
by UA772IAD
It's also worth mentioning that, prior to the merger, UA identified the A350 as the replacement aircraft for the 400 fleet. Network planning execs. determined that the 77W was "old" technology, and instead felt the 787/A350 (plus existing 777-200 and 767 fleets) would be the answer to UA's widebody fleet strategy going forward.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:26 pm
by Antarius
PacoMartin wrote:
Antarius wrote:
#2 is key as to why none of the US airlines purchased 77Ws until AA did in 2013(?). The 77W EIS was 2004, not long after 9/11 and at a time of major financial hardship in the US aviation industry.

According to Boeing's database, AA bought 7 early, but I think they were originally orders for the B777-200ER that were up-gauged later.

77W orders
9. Aug. 2000 American Airlines 2
31. Dec. 2001 American Airlines 5
18. Jan. 2011 American Airlines 2
31. Mar. 2011 American Airlines 1
29. Apr. 2011 American Airlines 2
25. May. 2011 American Airlines 1
19. Aug. 2011 American Airlines 2
1. Jun. 2012 American Airlines 1
31. Jul. 2012 American Airlines 2
28. Sep. 2012 American Airlines 1
1. Feb. 2013 American Airlines 1
23. Apr. 2015 United Airlines 10
7. Mar. 2016 United Airlines 4
15. Jun. 2017 United Airlines 4

777-200 orders
15. Oct. 1990 United Airlines 16
14. Apr. 1998 United Airlines 6

777-200ER orders
1. Apr. 1993 United Airlines 18
12. May. 1993 United Airlines 5
22. Aug. 1996 United Airlines 2
21. Nov. 1996 American Airlines 7
10. Oct. 1997 United Airlines 5
31. Oct. 1997 American Airlines 4
13. Nov. 1997 Delta Air Lines 6
18. Mar. 1998 United Airlines 4
27. Mar. 1998 Delta Air Lines 2
3. Apr. 1998 American Airlines 8
14. Apr. 1998 United Airlines 9
14. Aug. 1998 American Airlines 15
15. May. 1999 United Airlines 9
30. Nov. 1999 American Airlines 3
9. Aug. 2000 American Airlines 4
26. Sep. 2000 American Airlines 1
19. Oct. 2000 American Airlines 1
31. Oct. 2000 United Airlines 2
12. Dec. 2000 American Airlines 2
31. Dec. 2001 American Airlines 2
29. Jul. 2005 United Airlines 2 - post 9/11
3. Dec. 2007 United Airlines 2 - post 9/11


Interesting. Thanks for the research!

Really does make one wonder what fleet makeups would be in the absence of an industry changer such as 9/11.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:31 pm
by Cointrin330
UA good a very good deal on the 77Ws it ordered as Boeing was looking for a few orders (new and top up) to bridge the production line transition from the 77W to the 777-8 and 777-9. UA didn't order the 77W because of delivery delays on the 787-9. They ordered the 77W as the 747-400 replacement because the 744 fleet had a poor dispatch reliability rate, was a costly plane to operate and retrofit, and was approaching the deadline for fuel tank modifications required on the 747-400 that would have been cost prohibitive. The 747 fleet in its entirety was, in 2012-2014 positioned at SFO to perform maintenance (UA deferred a lot of non-essential work on the fleet during the 2002-2006 bankruptcy) and improve the reliability. Lastly, the UA 747 was not a competitive product at all. Even Jeff Smisek admitted it during his unremarkable and controversial tenure.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:51 pm
by SEPilot
I think that all of the US airlines were reluctant to order the 77W because of its size, and only did so because after the 77E was discontinued the only alternatives with its range were the 77L and 789. I suspect UA ordered it in part because they got a huge bargain because Boeing had launched the 777X and needed to fill slots.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:04 am
by jayunited
jetwet1 wrote:
The same old story, no money, the nice profits airlines have made in the last 5 -10 years was predated by an industry that historically lost money.


Exactly 10-15 years ago UA didn't need the 77W, UA had no money to buy new planes or even invest in its current fleet, and UA owned the 744s.

EWRamp wrote:
OmerMaz wrote:
Pre merger UA 772 (A+E) were originaly delivered in 1995-2002. Until year 2000, UA still recived 744s actualy.
22 further (from CO) joined the fleet in 2010.
The 77Ws were orderd in 2014/2015 because of delays in the supplying the 787-9 to UA (if I remember correctly), aside from the retirement of the 744s.


Hit the nail on the head. Boeing gave UA a very good deal on the 773 due to delays from the 787.


Originally no 787 was ever slated as a replacement for the 744s even though some 744 routes ended up going 789 post-merger. Pre-merger UA order 25 788 to replace the 25 oldest 763, and order 25 A359s to replace the 744s. Post merger UA converted and increased pre-merger UA's orders and order 35 A35Js and the 25 788s on order were converted to 789s and 78Js. The 35 A35Js were then tasked with replacing the 744s because post merger UA had planned on keeping the 744s in the fleet till 2018 when they would start retiring a frame (744) for a frame (A35J). However in early 2015 post-merger UA realized the 744s would not make it to 2018 do to ongoing maintenance problems that cause either chronic extensive delays or cancellations. Airbus could not provide UA with any A359s before 2018 as most if not all delivery slots for the A359 were sold out. UA then turned to Boeing; originally UA converted some 787 orders to 77Ws because Boeing gave UA an unbelievable deal and on top of that guaranteed the first delivery by late Q4 2016. The original delivery schedule for the 77Ws allowed UA to retire the entire fleet of 744s fleet in November 2017. After UA placed the order for the second batch of 77Ws, UA once again converted, increase and deferred the A350 order to 45 A359s which are now scheduled for delivery starting in the second half of 2022 and slated as the replacement for part of our 77A/77E fleet.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:17 am
by kimimm19
UA and LX two examples of the same situation.

They had old aircraft that needed or they wanted to replace. The 77W was originally either too risky given its size/capacity. The a350 delivery slots were too far away, and Boeing saw the opportunity and gave them a great deal on end of the line 77Ws to bridge the gap.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:05 am
by SFOtoORD
The old UA was shrinking to profitability and thought they could replace the 744 with an A350. Later when it was clear the 744s has to go in a hurry then then 77W was the only real option on that timeline.

To the person who said United ordered 777-200ER after 9/11, those were likely CO orders.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:05 am
by DocLightning
N649DL wrote:

From what I've gathered, Boeing also offered UA massive discounts on the 773ER as well.


Boeing basically allowed UA to convert 788 orders to 77W orders with no additional capital cost (as per comments by Mr. Smisek on the deal at the time), which is insanely cheap for a 77W. At the time, Boeing was very eagerly trying to sell the last few 77W slots. So they were able to sell 77W frames and move those slots. Then they could turn around and re-sell the 787s that UA was no longer taking for more money than UA was going to pay for them. So UA won, Boeing won, and everyone came out happy.

It's also important to remember that UA was drawing down their 744 fleet. At the same time, the UA/CO merger was relatively recent. American carriers had never really gone for VLAs because unlike a carrier like, say, LH that has two hubs, the PMUA had SFO, LAX, ORD, IAD, and DEN. UA and NW both ordered the 744 because at the time (mid 1980s), that was the only airliner with the range to operate the full spectrum of TPAC routes; they would have stuck with the 772 if it had been available at the time and the MD-11 just didn't offer the range. UA's merger with CO allowed them to consolidate some of their hubs and routes and so with a more consolidated network, there came a role for a 77W-size aircraft. AA came to the same conclusion during the merger with US.

But in the end, because of the geographic spread of the US3 hubs, big airplanes are not what they need. What they need is range and performance to offer TPAC routes from the East Coast and TATL routes from the West Coast, as well as service to S. America and Australia. That's why none of them ever ordered the A380 and why I'll be surprised to see a 779 order.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:20 am
by UAUA
SFOtoORD wrote:
The old UA was shrinking to profitability and thought they could replace the 744 with an A350. Later when it was clear the 744s has to go in a hurry then then 77W was the only real option on that timeline.

To the person who said United ordered 777-200ER after 9/11, those were likely CO orders.


They converted the A350-900s to A350-1000s then back to A350-900s again.

I wonder why did they not hang on with the B 747-400s for a few more years and replace them with the A350-1000s? It is more advanced than the B777-300ER.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:33 am
by strfyr51
[quote="JayinKitsap"]All of the US Airlines felt that both the 744 and 777 were too large for their networks. Only NW bought the 744 and I recall nearly all 777 orders for US carriers were rather late, in the last decade mostly.[/-200ERquote]
7



er77Northwest bought the 747-451 but never the 777. Boeing offered United the 747-400 and the 777-200A and the 777-200ER at the same time. and we flew the 747-422, the 777-222a ,777-222ER and the 767-322ER all at the same time.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:37 am
by strfyr51
the 777-300ER was not needed until the 747-400 was leaving, Boeing offered United a REAL good Deal on that airplane and United accepted the deal. and got the airplanes pretty quickly I might add.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:07 am
by intotheair
UA did not explicitly order the 77W as a 747 replacement. The first 10 77Ws were converted from 787-10 orders. They were essentially offers from Boeing that were too good to pass up because of the 77W-to-77X production gap, and they were expected to upguage routes out of EWR. This was in the tail end of the Smisek era. Only after a few leadership changes did UA begin to increase its order of 77Ws, base many of them at SFO, and accelerate the 747 retirement. The 77Ws ended up essentially replacing the 747s on many routes, though it was not always intended that way.

WIth that said, I'm also not sure how serious UA ever was about actually replacing 747s with A350s. Glenn Tilton's United placed a tandem order for 25 787s and 25 A350s (with delivery slots years ahead) just weeks before the CO merger was announced. It was presumed that CO was worried about UA's financial position, and those orders (no matter how vague they were) were a way to telegraph that UA was strong enough again to place new aircraft orders on its own.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:39 am
by PacoMartin
Antarius wrote:
Interesting. Thanks for the research!
Really does make one wonder what fleet makeups would be in the absence of an industry changer such as 9/11.


77W orders in USA
9. Aug. 2000 American Airlines 2 - updated from 200ER
31. Dec. 2001 American Airlines 5 - updated from 200ER
18. Jan. 2011 American Airlines 2
31. Mar. 2011 American Airlines 1
29. Apr. 2011 American Airlines 2
25. May. 2011 American Airlines 1
19. Aug. 2011 American Airlines 2
1. Jun. 2012 American Airlines 1
31. Jul. 2012 American Airlines 2
28. Sep. 2012 American Airlines 1
1. Feb. 2013 American Airlines 1
23. Apr. 2015 United Airlines 10
7. Mar. 2016 United Airlines 4
15. Jun. 2017 United Airlines 4



Presumably the North American Airlines would have embraced the 77W as much as the rest of the world did.

77W orders
All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. Japan East Asia 777-300ER GE 19. Dec. 1990 1
All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. Japan East Asia 777-300ER GE 31. Jan. 1995 1
Garuda Indonesia Indonesia Southeast Asia 777-300ER GE 25. Jun. 1996 6
Japan Airlines Japan East Asia 777-300ER GE 31. Mar. 2000 8
EVA Air Taiwan Southeast Asia 777-300ER GE 27. Jun. 2000 7
All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. Japan East Asia 777-300ER GE 18. Jul. 2000 6
American Airlines USA North America 777-300ER GE 9. Aug. 2000 2
GECAS USA North America 777-300ER GE 26. Sep. 2000 10
Air France France Europe 777-300ER GE 13. Nov. 2000 10
International Lease Finance Co USA North America 777-300ER GE 28. Nov. 2000 18
Singapore Airlines Singapore Southeast Asia 777-300ER GE 29. May. 2001 1
-----------------------------
POST 9-11
-----------------------------
All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. Japan East Asia 777-300ER GE 31. Dec. 2001 1
American Airlines USA North America 777-300ER GE 31. Dec. 2001 5
Pakistan International Airline Pakistan South Asia 777-300ER GE 14. Nov. 2002 3
EVA Air Taiwan Southeast Asia 777-300ER GE 31. Dec. 2002 8
GECAS USA North America 777-300ER GE 18. Jun. 2003 4
International Lease Finance Co USA North America 777-300ER GE 29. Jun. 2004 1
Emirates United Arab Emirates Middle East 777-300ER GE 19. Jul. 2004 4
Etihad Airways United Arab Emirates Middle East 777-300ER GE 30. Nov. 2004 5
Singapore Airlines Singapore Southeast Asia 777-300ER GE 23. Dec. 2004 18
All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. Japan East Asia 777-300ER GE 17. Feb. 2005 4
Air France France Europe 777-300ER GE 22. Feb. 2005 4
International Lease Finance Co USA North America 777-300ER GE 14. Jun. 2005 6
Air France France Europe 777-300ER GE 11. Jul. 2005 5
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Netherlands Europe 777-300ER GE 11. Aug. 2005 1
Jet Airways India South Asia 777-300ER GE 29. Sep. 2005 10
Air Canada Canada North America 777-300ER GE 10. Nov. 2005 10
Emirates United Arab Emirates Middle East 777-300ER GE 21. Nov. 2005 24
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Netherlands Europe 777-300ER GE 23. Nov. 2005 2
Japan Airlines Japan East Asia 777-300ER GE 1. Dec. 2005 5
Cathay Pacific Airways Hong Kong East Asia 777-300ER GE 14. Dec. 2005 12
Air India India South Asia 777-300ER GE 30. Dec. 2005 15
Qatar Airways Qatar Middle East 777-300ER GE 30. May. 2006 9
Cathay Pacific Airways Hong Kong East Asia 777-300ER GE 1. Jun. 2006 2
International Lease Finance Co USA North America 777-300ER GE 19. Jul. 2006 2
Air France France Europe 777-300ER GE 8. Nov. 2006 1
GECAS USA North America 777-300ER GE 15. Nov. 2006 7
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Netherlands Europe 777-300ER GE 21. Nov. 2006 1
Altavair LLC USA North America 777-300ER GE 30. Nov. 2006 1
Qatar Airways Qatar Middle East 777-300ER GE 13. Dec. 2006 2
Korean Air South Korea East Asia 777-300ER GE 28. Dec. 2006 10
International Lease Finance Co USA North America 777-300ER GE 31. Jan. 2007 1
LATAM Airlines Brasil Brazil South America 777-300ER GE 26. Feb. 2007 4
Virgin Australia Australia Oceania 777-300ER GE 9. Mar. 2007 4
Philippine Airlines Philippines Southeast Asia 777-300ER GE 12. Mar. 2007 2
All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. Japan East Asia 777-300ER GE 20. Mar. 2007 4
Qatar Airways Qatar Middle East 777-300ER GE 5. Apr. 2007 5
Philippine Airlines Philippines Southeast Asia 777-300ER GE 23. May. 2007 2
Air France France Europe 777-300ER GE 29. May. 2007 9
GECAS USA North America 777-300ER GE 19. Jun. 2007 6
Emirates United Arab Emirates Middle East 777-300ER GE 31. Jul. 2007 12
Air New Zealand New Zealand Oceania 777-300ER GE 3. Aug. 2007 4
Cathay Pacific Airways Hong Kong East Asia 777-300ER GE 7. Aug. 2007 5
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Netherlands Europe 777-300ER GE 15. Aug. 2007 2
LATAM Airlines Brasil Brazil South America 777-300ER GE 16. Aug. 2007 4
Cathay Pacific Airways Hong Kong East Asia 777-300ER GE 8. Nov. 2007 7
Air China China East Asia 777-300ER GE 14. Nov. 2007 15
GECAS USA North America 777-300ER GE 30. Nov. 2007 2
Air France France Europe 777-300ER GE 14. Feb. 2008 4
Garuda Indonesia Indonesia Southeast Asia 777-300ER GE 18. Feb. 2008 4
Etihad Airways United Arab Emirates Middle East 777-300ER GE 10. Mar. 2008 9
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Bangladesh South Asia 777-300ER GE 22. Apr. 2008 4
Korean Air South Korea East Asia 777-300ER GE 13. Jun. 2008 1
Air France France Europe 777-300ER GE 30. Jun. 2008 3
GECAS USA North America 777-300ER GE 14. Jul. 2008 2
British Airways United Kingdom Europe 777-300ER GE 6. Aug. 2008 2
Etihad Airways United Arab Emirates Middle East 777-300ER GE 22. Sep. 2008 1
LATAM Airlines Brasil Brazil South America 777-300ER GE 5. Dec. 2008 2
Air New Zealand New Zealand Oceania 777-300ER GE 27. Feb. 2009 1
All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. Japan East Asia 777-300ER GE 27. Feb. 2009 2
Turkish Airlines Turkey Europe 777-300ER GE 30. Apr. 2009 5
Turkish Airlines Turkey Europe 777-300ER GE 23. Jul. 2009 7
TAAG (Angola Airlines) Angola Africa 777-300ER GE 20. Oct. 2009 2
Business Jet / VIP Customer(s) USA North America 777-300ER GE 15. Dec. 2009 1
Saudi Arabian Airlines Saudi Arabia Middle East 777-300ER GE 13. Apr. 2010 12
Emirates United Arab Emirates Middle East 777-300ER GE 30. Apr. 2010 18
Qatar Airways Qatar Middle East 777-300ER GE 25. May. 2010 1
Emirates United Arab Emirates Middle East 777-300ER GE 16. Jul. 2010 12
Air China China East Asia 777-300ER GE 17. Sep. 2010 4
Cathay Pacific Airways Hong Kong East Asia 777-300ER GE 21. Sep. 2010 6
BOC Aviation Limited Singapore Southeast Asia 777-300ER GE 29. Oct. 2010 8
American Airlines USA North America 777-300ER GE 18. Jan. 2011 2
Etihad Airways United Arab Emirates Middle East 777-300ER GE 7. Feb. 2011 3
Aeroflot - Russian Airlines Russian Federation Europe 777-300ER GE 28. Feb. 2011 8
Cathay Pacific Airways Hong Kong East Asia 777-300ER GE 9. Mar. 2011 10
Qatar Airways Qatar Middle East 777-300ER GE 17. Mar. 2011 4
Korean Air South Korea East Asia 777-300ER GE 25. Mar. 2011 2
GECAS USA North America 777-300ER GE 30. Mar. 2011 8
American Airlines USA North America 777-300ER GE 31. Mar. 2011 1
American Airlines USA North America 777-300ER GE 29. Apr. 2011 2
Aeroflot - Russian Airlines Russian Federation Europe 777-300ER GE 11. May. 2011 8
American Airlines USA North America 777-300ER GE 25. May. 2011 1
Qatar Airways Qatar Middle East 777-300ER GE 27. May. 2011 4
GECAS USA North America 777-300ER GE 29. Jul. 2011 8
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Netherlands Europe 777-300ER GE 29. Jul. 2011 1
Air Canada Canada North America 777-300ER GE 5. Aug. 2011 2
Air Lease Corporation USA North America 777-300ER GE 8. Aug. 2011 5
Cathay Pacific Airways Hong Kong East Asia 777-300ER GE 10. Aug. 2011 4
Thai Airways International Thailand Southeast Asia 777-300ER GE 15. Aug. 2011 6
American Airlines USA North America 777-300ER GE 19. Aug. 2011 2
Singapore Airlines Singapore Southeast Asia 777-300ER GE 14. Sep. 2011 8
Kenya Airways Kenya Africa 777-300ER GE 30. Sep. 2011 1
British Airways United Kingdom Europe 777-300ER GE 31. Oct. 2011 2
Emirates United Arab Emirates Middle East 777-300ER GE 16. Nov. 2011 50
Saudi Arabian Airlines Saudi Arabia Middle East 777-300ER GE 16. Nov. 2011 8
Air Canada Canada North America 777-300ER GE 30. Mar. 2012 3
TAAG (Angola Airlines) Angola Africa 777-300ER GE 30. Mar. 2012 3
EVA Air Taiwan Southeast Asia 777-300ER GE 8. May. 2012 3
Pakistan International Airline Pakistan South Asia 777-300ER GE 31. May. 2012 5
American Airlines USA North America 777-300ER GE 1. Jun. 2012 1
British Airways United Kingdom Europe 777-300ER GE 13. Jul. 2012 2
Korean Air South Korea East Asia 777-300ER GE 20. Jul. 2012 2
American Airlines USA North America 777-300ER GE 31. Jul. 2012 2
American Airlines USA North America 777-300ER GE 28. Sep. 2012 1
Turkish Airlines Turkey Europe 777-300ER GE 7. Dec. 2012 15
China Eastern Airlines China East Asia 777-300ER GE 17. Dec. 2012 20
China Southern Airlines China East Asia 777-300ER GE 17. Dec. 2012 10
China Airlines Taiwan Southeast Asia 777-300ER GE 21. Dec. 2012 6
American Airlines USA North America 777-300ER GE 1. Feb. 2013 1
Air Lease Corporation USA North America 777-300ER GE 28. Feb. 2013 10
Qatar Airways Qatar Middle East 777-300ER GE 6. May. 2013 2
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Netherlands Europe 777-300ER GE 7. May. 2013 1
Swiss International Air Lines Switzerland Europe 777-300ER GE 21. May. 2013 6
Turkish Airlines Turkey Europe 777-300ER GE 22. Jul. 2013 3
All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. Japan East Asia 777-300ER GE 30. Jul. 2013 3
Qatar Airways Qatar Middle East 777-300ER GE 26. Aug. 2013 7
Korean Air South Korea East Asia 777-300ER GE 24. Oct. 2013 6
Air China China East Asia 777-300ER GE 21. Dec. 2013 1
Cathay Pacific Airways Hong Kong East Asia 777-300ER GE 27. Dec. 2013 3
Air France-KLM Group France Europe 777-300ER GE 22. May. 2014 1
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Netherlands Europe 777-300ER GE 22. May. 2014 1
Business Jet / VIP Customer(s) USA North America 777-300ER GE 3. Jun. 2014 1
Intrepid Aviation USA North America 777-300ER GE 9. Jul. 2014 4
Air Lease Corporation USA North America 777-300ER GE 11. Jul. 2014 6
ANA Holdings Inc. Japan East Asia 777-300ER GE 31. Jul. 2014 6
Unidentified Customer(s) Unidentified Unidentified 777-300ER GE 6. Aug. 2014 10
Air Canada Canada North America 777-300ER GE 12. Aug. 2014 2
BOC Aviation Limited Singapore Southeast Asia 777-300ER GE 13. Aug. 2014 2
GECAS USA North America 777-300ER GE 23. Sep. 2014 2
Business Jet / VIP Customer(s) USA North America 777-300ER GE 31. Oct. 2014 2
Kuwait Airways Kuwait Middle East 777-300ER GE 22. Dec. 2014 10
United Airlines USA North America 777-300ER GE 23. Apr. 2015 10
Swiss International Air Lines Switzerland Europe 777-300ER GE 27. Apr. 2015 3
Unidentified Customer(s) Unidentified Unidentified 777-300ER GE 30. Apr. 2015 5
Korean Air South Korea East Asia 777-300ER GE 9. Nov. 2015 2
EVA Air Taiwan Southeast Asia 777-300ER GE 24. Nov. 2015 2
Air China China East Asia 777-300ER GE 7. Jan. 2016 6
United Airlines USA North America 777-300ER GE 7. Mar. 2016 4
Qatar Airways Qatar Middle East 777-300ER GE 5. Oct. 2016 10
Swiss International Air Lines Switzerland Europe 777-300ER GE 21. Oct. 2016 1
Unidentified Customer(s) Unidentified Unidentified 777-300ER GE 15. Mar. 2017 8
United Airlines USA North America 777-300ER GE 15. Jun. 2017 4
Qatar Airways Qatar Middle East 777-300ER GE 16. Jul. 2017 4
Aeroflot - Russian Airlines Russian Federation Europe 777-300ER GE 7. Sep. 2017 6
Air China China East Asia 777-300ER GE 19. Oct. 2017 1
Unidentified Customer(s) Unidentified Unidentified 777-300ER GE 19. Oct. 2017 1
Unidentified Customer(s) Unidentified Unidentified 777-300ER GE 20. Oct. 2017 8
Swiss International Air Lines Switzerland Europe 777-300ER GE 8. May. 2018 2

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:23 am
by Lufthansa
DocLightning wrote:
N649DL wrote:

From what I've gathered, Boeing also offered UA massive discounts on the 773ER as well.


But in the end, because of the geographic spread of the US3 hubs, big airplanes are not what they need. What they need is range and performance to offer TPAC routes from the East Coast and TATL routes from the West Coast, as well as service to S. America and Australia. That's why none of them ever ordered the A380 and why I'll be surprised to see a 779 order.


I suspect you're right. Transpacific look at what airlines like JAL, Qantas, Air NZ etc have been doing. New cities like BOS, ORD, IAH etc all coming
onto line with in the last few years or about to be expanded from their Home countries from other cities (e.g.. QF. BNE to SFO and ORD). They'll be some
routes for American carriers where they are long enough the 77W makes sense as frequency is less important on longer routes, and there's slot issues etc,
like for example LAX-LHR, but the 77W's are still pretty new, still have a great product and are relatively efficient and didn't take up much larger amounts of
capital the 779 would if they were to get onboard with that right now. I don't think they're going to sell a lot, if any to American Carriers for quite a while.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:39 am
by seahawk
And if you have young 744 and only a limited number of routes that you can fill planes of that size, it takes a very long time to regain the investment into new planes, as the reduced operating costs must cover the difference between the costs of disposing off the old type and purchasing the new. And selling a passenger 744 for the amount of money it is still worth according the books, would have been a tremendous challenge at the time.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:18 pm
by TW870
ManoaChris wrote:
TW870 wrote:
2. The 2001-2010 period was terrible for U.S. legacies. The 9/11 crisis, the rapid expansion of ULCCs and LCCs led UA and its peers into bankruptcy. No one could borrow, and no one wanted new airplanes anyway. Therefore, the last widebodies delivered to United before the merger were that tranch of 77Es. United had 44 744s on the eve of 9/11 which had been delivered between 1989 and 2001. They cut that fleet to 25 right after. Some of those birds flew for less than a decade. Ordering the 77W was simply not possible in that context.


The lost decade narrative is part of the story, and fits well for United. However, I can think of three sets of widebody deliveries in that timeframe where the 77W was passed over:

1. Delta's 10 777-200LRs (2008-2010)
2. Northwest's 32 A333/A332s (2003-2007)
3. US Airway's 15 A332s (2009-2014)

And the bigger investment in the mid-aughts was the decision by two carriers with 747s, United and Northwest, to order 787s rather than a direct 747 replacement (77W or, shudder, A380). Smaller aircraft were preferred - even when the writing was on the wall in 2008 (and certain after the final FAA regulation was published in 2012) that 747s would have to be phased out by the end of 2017 -- at least I don't think the retrofit option was ever seriously entertained.


This is an excellent point. That is why I think that you have to include both of the points that I made. The lost decade was particularly tough on United because it had ordered so many large, expensive widebodies early in the decade. Thus it had no funds for an order for smaller widebodies - such as the A330s that served NWA so well.

United's large 747-400 order in the early-1990s exposes an ongoing dilemma with VLAs. They can be profit machines in good times, but they make for an inflexible operation. I remember working the first flight of one of our -400s (I think 121UA?), and at that moment during the "dot com" first tech boom, it felt like United was on top of the world. Something like 2 years later, United rejected half the -400 fleet in Chapter 11. I love VLAs, but they have been tough to use in a deregulated industry that has been fiercely competitive.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:44 pm
by chunhimlai
They ordered 25 A359 in 2010 for B747 replacement
In 2013 they convert the order to the bigger A35K

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:51 pm
by SFOtoORD
UAUA wrote:
SFOtoORD wrote:
The old UA was shrinking to profitability and thought they could replace the 744 with an A350. Later when it was clear the 744s has to go in a hurry then then 77W was the only real option on that timeline.

To the person who said United ordered 777-200ER after 9/11, those were likely CO orders.


They converted the A350-900s to A350-1000s then back to A350-900s again.

I wonder why did they not hang on with the B 747-400s for a few more years and replace them with the A350-1000s? It is more advanced than the B777-300ER.


Better price and timeline to get the 77W

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:08 pm
by JayinKitsap
777222LR wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
All of the US Airlines felt that both the 744 and 777 were too large for their networks. Only NW bought the 744 and I recall nearly all 777 orders for US carriers were rather late, in the last decade mostly.



United had quite the fleet of 744's, so that's partially untrue. I think all US airlines were expecting frequency over capacity. US airlines are sort of unique in that all of them have multiple hubs vs. smaller countries which have a single hub, and perhaps one major carrier. Because of a multiple hub system, with less traffic restricted airports, US carriers in some cases need less capacity on a single aircraft vs. smaller aircraft with greater frequencies. Once the 744 was due for retirement for United, the 777-300ER was a great alternative.


Wiki did me in, as United no longer has 744's it didn't show up in their order list (they have a former operator list where United does). On the 777, I was looking for the 77W's in the list. I will be more careful

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:44 pm
by drdisque
The A330 order by NW is notable because:
1. NW actually had better access to capital markets DURING their bankruptcy than in the years leading up to it.
2. The order was absolutely necessary. The DC-10-30's that they replaced had long become uncompetitive over the Atlantic and refitting them with new interiors would have been very foolish. It was very easy to convince the bankruptcy court to approve the A330 order to replace them.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:55 pm
by MIflyer12
PacoMartin wrote:
Presumably the North American Airlines would have embraced the 77W as much as the rest of the world did.


You're not paying attention, particularly to the specifics of United. US carriers didn't order a lot of planes in in 200xs. That whole 9/11 thing. Multi $Billion losses. Collapse in domestic demand. Bankruptcies of UA, US, HP, NW, DL, Sun Country (2x), Aloha (2x), Frontier. Here's an article from June '09 that says United hadn't ordered any new aircraft in 11 years. Shortly after that they merged with CO and got CO's 787 orders and 777ER fleet.

https://usatoday30.usatoday.com/travel/ ... anes_N.htm

"They once had 47 747s, now they have 26," Pilarski says. "They had 54 767s, now they have 35. And when you add the DC-10s that were retired, they have had a huge reduction in their wide-body fleet.

"If they want to stay in this business — even if they still want somebody to eventually buy them out — they have to have at least a pretense of a viable ongoing operation."


This thread illustrates very well why respectable advanced degree programs spend a lot of time ensuring students get a thorough grounding in the relevant facts on a topic before doing original work. Without adequate command of facts people just keep coming forward with foolish questions and poorly-argued hypotheses.

Re: Why didn’t UA order the 77W until they needed a 744 replacement?

Posted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:00 pm
by PacoMartin
MIflyer12 wrote:
You're not paying attention,
...
That whole 9/11 thing.
...
This thread illustrates very well why respectable advanced degree programs spend a lot of time ensuring students get a thorough grounding in the relevant facts on a topic before doing original work. Without adequate command of facts people just keep coming forward with foolish questions and poorly-argued hypotheses.


I think it is you who is not paying attention. I was clearly responding to this comment:
Really does make one wonder what fleet makeups would be in the absence of an industry changer such as 9/11.

My response was:
PacoMartin wrote:
Presumably the North American Airlines would have embraced the 77W as much as the rest of the world did.


BTW I do have a respectable advanced degree.