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leftcoast8
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When did UA restart SEA-LHR? (90s-2000s)

Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:14 am

Looking through Seattle Times archives, I found that United took over PA122/123 SEA-LHR on 4/21/91 and ended the route on 4/1/95, as it was the least profitable of the ex-PA LHR routes. When did it get restarted as SEA-ORD-LHR, and was it always with the 772? When did United end up cutting the SEA-ORD sector?

Also, I noticed that during the route number got switched around a lot. The SEA-ORD-LHR route had been designated as UA929/958, UA938/949 or UA928/929. Why was that?
 
Coexstud
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Re: When did UA restart SEA-LHR? (90s-2000s)

Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:00 am

When I was at Yonited all flight numbers with 900-999 where international I believe west to east could be wrong on direction though STA was a base feeding another base OTA sounds like it’s similiar to when a flight from say OTA stopped on to WTA on a Widebodie that I turned left WTA to Asia or Europe after stopping over at IAD say Zurich.
 
Max Q
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Re: When did UA restart SEA-LHR? (90s-2000s)

Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:27 am

Coexstud wrote:
When I was at Yonited all flight numbers with 900-999 where international I believe west to east could be wrong on direction though STA was a base feeding another base OTA sounds like it’s similiar to when a flight from say OTA stopped on to WTA on a Widebodie that I turned left WTA to Asia or Europe after stopping over at IAD say Zurich.



Er,


What ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
Cointrin330
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Re: When did UA restart SEA-LHR? (90s-2000s)

Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:53 am

leftcoast8 wrote:
Looking through Seattle Times archives, I found that United took over PA122/123 SEA-LHR on 4/21/91 and ended the route on 4/1/95, as it was the least profitable of the ex-PA LHR routes. When did it get restarted as SEA-ORD-LHR, and was it always with the 772? When did United end up cutting the SEA-ORD sector?

Also, I noticed that during the route number got switched around a lot. The SEA-ORD-LHR route had been designated as UA929/958, UA938/949 or UA928/929. Why was that?


I think UA operated SEA-LHR with the 767-300ER mostly, and not the 772 until it was cut in 1995. Not sure what was flown in the early, post-Pan Am acquisition days. Not sure what you mean about SEA-ORD-LHR and specifically the SEA-ORD sector. UA can flow pax through ORD and onto LHR without having to use the same flight number.

UA was pretty big in Seattle in the early to mid-1990s, occupying most of the North Satellite. Aside from LHR and NRT, I think they also had HKG, but I could be wrong.
 
amc737
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Re: When did UA restart SEA-LHR? (90s-2000s)

Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:29 am

United used the 747SP not long after buying the route from Pan Am, I seem to remember a mix of these and 767s. Obviously the route didn’t
perform and United have dropped a number of long hual routes from Heathrow since they started in April 1991. Seattle as mentioned was part of the original Pan Am purchase was dropped. Miami was temporarily flown from Heathrow in April and May 1991 before Pan Am restarted the route from Gatwick. Other routes that have been dropped have been Boston, JFK and EWR although EWR returned via the Continental merge and Delhi-Hong Kong has been flown twice and dropped twice. A mention should be given to Denver but again that has been dropped and returned.
 
leftcoast8
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Re: When did UA restart SEA-LHR? (90s-2000s)

Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:55 am

Cointrin330 wrote:
Not sure what you mean about SEA-ORD-LHR and specifically the SEA-ORD sector. UA can flow pax through ORD and onto LHR without having to use the same flight number.

UA was pretty big in Seattle in the early to mid-1990s, occupying most of the North Satellite. Aside from LHR and NRT, I think they also had HKG, but I could be wrong.


Some time after 1995, United restarted SEA-LHR service with the 772; one of their daily ORD-LHR services was extended to Seattle. Replaced by PDX-DEN-ORD-LHR, which in turn made DEN-ORD-LHR double-daily. Last WB flight to Seattle 5/13/2012 and the last EB flight was a day later, on May 14th. (dates found through acarsd.org archives). At the time this flight was UA938/949 but it also had a flight # of 929/958 or 928/929 in the past. I just wanted to know when this particular service started, and why SEA-ORD was replaced with PDX-DEN-ORD.

And yes, I am well aware of the vast network United used to have out of Sea-Tac. Actually, going back to the pre-regulation days, I always considered United to have a historical connection with PDX rather than Sea-Tac (where Northwest Orient ruled the roost). I wonder when United's presence at Sea-Tac started to decline in favor of non-aligned Alaska Airlines. Maybe when the FAA revoked United's SEA-NRT authority and granted it to Continental? (Continental's CEO at the time, Frank Lorenzo, had close ties to Bob and Elizabeth Dole. Liddy Dole was FAA administrator at the time. I mean the nefariousness writes itself. Thanks to N174UA for exposing the story on the forums.)
 
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intotheair
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Re: When did UA restart SEA-LHR? (90s-2000s)

Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:37 am

amc737 wrote:
A mention should be given to Denver but again that has been dropped and returned.


I always heard that UA was somehow restricted in flying DEN-LHR nonstop. It had something to do with either UA flying it "direct" as DEN-ORD-LHR, which I also heard restricted BA from flying DEN-LHR (as opposed to DEN-LGW) until 2004. Does anyone know if this is true or what Bermuda II stipulations UA faced?

UA never flew DEN-LHR nonstop until March 2008, the day EU open skies went into effect. It was then cut for the winter 2008 season, returned as a summer seasonal in 2010, 2011, and 2018 before being made year-round this year.
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leftcoast8
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Re: When did UA restart SEA-LHR? (90s-2000s)

Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:47 am

Some facts about United's TPAC network out of Seattle and its successors...

UA143/150 ORD-SEA-NRT (except on Tuesdays when the refuel stop was PDX) began 3/1/83, the first "Royal Pacific Service" route. United used their regulation-era 747-100s that had previously been used on mainland-Hawaii routes. Ended January 1989

CO60/61 EWR-SEA-NRT lasted all of 11 months and used Continental's ex-Qantas 742s. 11 months after getting the rights, they went bankrupt and re-sold the rights to American on 12/3/90 for $150 million. Last flight 9/30/91.

AA27/26 SEA-NRT began 10/1/91 using MD-11s (I don't think 747SPs were ever used on the route; those were for ORD-NRT/DFW-NRT nonstop and they already had six MD-11s by August). Switched to 772 on 4/1/99, discontinued 1/8/02 in the post-9/11 fallout. At the time American's SEA-NRT route was 6x weekly.

UA17/18 JFK-SEA-HKG began 5/28/83 as the second Royal Pacific route, using DC-10-30ERs wet-leased from CPAir (in exchange for some of CP's domestic DC-10-10s). When PA's Pacific Network 747SPs came in early 1986, United returned the DC-10s to CP. According to departedflights.com, some time before 1989 the WB trip was renumbered from 18 to 22. Last flight 4/30/92 (not sure which airport replaced SEA for the fuel stop on the JFK-HKG route but I expect it was SFO or LAX)

UA875/876 DEN-SEA-NRT: United eventually got back SEA-NRT rights. The restarted route now had a tag-on to Denver. Began 10/5/98 using 747-400s for a few months, then switched to the 772. At different times, it was an NRT terminator, or continued to Singapore or Bangkok. But the JV with ANA in 2011 sounded the death knell for this route. A few days after ANA began nonstops to Seattle on 10/1/12, United announced their own SEA-NRT route would end in 2014. Delays in 787 production were holding up United's orders, while a 777 would not have been appropriate for a hot and high airport like Denver. Therefore, UA875/876 actually ran parallel with NH177/178 for 13 months. Switched to 789 11/5/13 and finally ended 1/16/14, replaced by DEN-NRT nonstop. United would close its crew base at Sea-Tac on 1/7/15.

All this information was accumulated or inferred by me from old A.net/Flyertalk posts, acasd.net, departedflights.com, as well as archived New York Times and Seattle Times articles.

And on the subject of crew bases, how do they work, exactly? Are they physically on the airport property, or are they kind of dormitories but off-property?
 
justplanesmart
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Re: When did UA restart SEA-LHR? (90s-2000s)

Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:55 am

leftcoast8 wrote:
Some facts about United's TPAC network out of Seattle and its successors...

UA875/876 DEN-SEA-NRT: United eventually got back SEA-NRT rights. The restarted route now had a tag-on to Denver. Began 10/5/98 using 747-400s for a few months, then switched to the 772...But the JV with ANA in 2011 sounded the death knell for this route. A few days after ANA began nonstops to Seattle on 10/1/12, United announced their own SEA-NRT route would end in 2014...Switched to 789 11/5/13 and finally ended 1/16/14...


The route could not have used 787-9 aircraft, as the first one delivered to United was not until September of 2014. The announcement after All Nippon service began on this route was the use of 787-8 equipment starting in 2014. However, the route was discontinued before the equipment change took place. Perhaps the two dates listed are reversed?
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Cointrin330
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Re: When did UA restart SEA-LHR? (90s-2000s)

Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:29 am

intotheair wrote:
amc737 wrote:
A mention should be given to Denver but again that has been dropped and returned.


I always heard that UA was somehow restricted in flying DEN-LHR nonstop. It had something to do with either UA flying it "direct" as DEN-ORD-LHR, which I also heard restricted BA from flying DEN-LHR (as opposed to DEN-LGW) until 2004. Does anyone know if this is true or what Bermuda II stipulations UA faced?

UA never flew DEN-LHR nonstop until March 2008, the day EU open skies went into effect. It was then cut for the winter 2008 season, returned as a summer seasonal in 2010, 2011, and 2018 before being made year-round this year.


UA operated a DEN-EWR-LHR-EWR-DEN rotation in the 1990s using a 772. The EWR-LHR rotation was one of four daily nonstops that UA had in the NY Area market to LHR (the other 3 were all 767-300ERs operating from JFK Terminal 7). I think EWR-LHR was the first of legacy UA's NY Area LHR routes to be axed, followed by one each of the JFK routes, until it was down to one, in 2006 and sold to DL for something like $30 million. By then, UA was down to a single 772 on JFK-LHR.
 
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intotheair
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Re: When did UA restart SEA-LHR? (90s-2000s)

Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:29 am

leftcoast8 wrote:
UA875/876 DEN-SEA-NRT: United eventually got back SEA-NRT rights. The restarted route now had a tag-on to Denver. Began 10/5/98 using 747-400s for a few months, then switched to the 772. At different times, it was an NRT terminator, or continued to Singapore or Bangkok. But the JV with ANA in 2011 sounded the death knell for this route. A few days after ANA began nonstops to Seattle on 10/1/12, United announced their own SEA-NRT route would end in 2014. Delays in 787 production were holding up United's orders, while a 777 would not have been appropriate for a hot and high airport like Denver. Therefore, UA875/876 actually ran parallel with NH177/178 for 13 months. Switched to 789 11/5/13 and finally ended 1/16/14, replaced by DEN-NRT nonstop. United would close its crew base at Sea-Tac on 1/7/15.


DEN-NRT on UA didn't directly replace SEA-NRT. DEN-NRT was announced May 2012 and was first flown in June 2013. The end of SEA-NRT was announced in November 2013 with its last flight in January 2014, as you said. So UA flew both DEN-NRT and SEA-NRT that summer. It appears that the two decisions were made independently.
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RWA380
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Re: When did UA restart SEA-LHR? (90s-2000s)

Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:52 am

leftcoast8 wrote:
Some facts about United's TPAC network out of Seattle and its successors...

CO60/61 EWR-SEA-NRT lasted all of 11 months and used Continental's ex-Qantas 742s. 11 months after getting the rights, they went bankrupt and re-sold the rights to American on 12/3/90 for $150 million. Last flight 9/30/91.

And on the subject of crew bases, how do they work, exactly? Are they physically on the airport property, or are they kind of dormitories but off-property?


The only possible thing I could add is, that for at least part of the time CO flew EWR-SEA-NRT, the SEA-EWR-SEA flights were operated by rather empty A-300's, I can remember flying the route & being disappointed it was not on the 747 that I knew operated SEA-NRT-SEA.

I connected on CO in less than an hour on to PDX on an MD-80. I guess SEA was a mini connect point with their sole NRT flight, I saw the NRT bound 747 while on the ground .

Crew bases are just cities where a carrier bases their crews out of. Everyone lives in their own homes & there is no physical building & no airline sponsored housing. It's just the city you live in if you want to live where your job is based out of. Some crew don't live where they are based from & they commute or deadhead, depending on the carrier & route flown.

For example, my friend flies for AS she is part of the Portland crew base, She lives in her own home in the greater Portland OR metro area, this is where the vast majority of her trips begin or end. Once in a while, she must deadhead to Oakland on their sister carrier Horizon in the late afternoon & she stays overnight at the expense of AS in a hotel, so she can work one of their morning Hawaii departures. She will then overnight & return on a non-stop back to Portland from which Island she landed on in Hawaii.
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amc737
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Re: When did UA restart SEA-LHR? (90s-2000s)

Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:58 am

intotheair wrote:
amc737 wrote:
A mention should be given to Denver but again that has been dropped and returned.


I always heard that UA was somehow restricted in flying DEN-LHR nonstop. It had something to do with either UA flying it "direct" as DEN-ORD-LHR, which I also heard restricted BA from flying DEN-LHR (as opposed to DEN-LGW) until 2004. Does anyone know if this is true or what Bermuda II stipulations UA faced?

UA never flew DEN-LHR nonstop until March 2008, the day EU open skies went into effect. It was then cut for the winter 2008 season, returned as a summer seasonal in 2010, 2011, and 2018 before being made year-round this year.


Denver was not Heathrow approved Bermuda 2 city which is why British Airways had to initially fly from Gatwick (Continental previously flew Gatwick to Denver). There was a provision in Bermuda 2 that meant if a British airline who had access to Heathrow under Bermuda 2 (aka BA or Virgin) carried a minimum of 300,000 passengers between Gatwick and that city over two consecutive years that service could move to Heathrow which is why Denver, Phoenix and San Diego moved round the M25 to Heathrow. This was not open to Atlanta, Houston and DFW as the British carrier had to be the sole operator and these routes had a US carrier also flying.

This meant United could not have flown Denver to Heathrow non-stop before Open Skies in 2008, they could have flown to Gatwick as Continental had but this would have meant a new airport/station for one daily flight when the rest of operation was at Heathrow. United is unique among the US carriers in that it never flew schedules to Gatwick (it did fly a regular charter series in the 1980's). In general the only US carriers that ever had a long tenure flying to both Heathrow and Gatwick have been American Airlines and TWA.

amc737
 
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intotheair
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Re: When did UA restart SEA-LHR? (90s-2000s)

Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:14 pm

amc737 wrote:
intotheair wrote:
amc737 wrote:
A mention should be given to Denver but again that has been dropped and returned.


I always heard that UA was somehow restricted in flying DEN-LHR nonstop. It had something to do with either UA flying it "direct" as DEN-ORD-LHR, which I also heard restricted BA from flying DEN-LHR (as opposed to DEN-LGW) until 2004. Does anyone know if this is true or what Bermuda II stipulations UA faced?

UA never flew DEN-LHR nonstop until March 2008, the day EU open skies went into effect. It was then cut for the winter 2008 season, returned as a summer seasonal in 2010, 2011, and 2018 before being made year-round this year.


Denver was not Heathrow approved Bermuda 2 city which is why British Airways had to initially fly from Gatwick (Continental previously flew Gatwick to Denver). There was a provision in Bermuda 2 that meant if a British airline who had access to Heathrow under Bermuda 2 (aka BA or Virgin) carried a minimum of 300,000 passengers between Gatwick and that city over two consecutive years that service could move to Heathrow which is why Denver, Phoenix and San Diego moved round the M25 to Heathrow. This was not open to Atlanta, Houston and DFW as the British carrier had to be the sole operator and these routes had a US carrier also flying.

This meant United could not have flown Denver to Heathrow non-stop before Open Skies in 2008, they could have flown to Gatwick as Continental had but this would have meant a new airport/station for one daily flight when the rest of operation was at Heathrow. United is unique among the US carriers in that it never flew schedules to Gatwick (it did fly a regular charter series in the 1980's). In general the only US carriers that ever had a long tenure flying to both Heathrow and Gatwick have been American Airlines and TWA.

amc737


Thank you for the explanation! So glad the days of Bermuda II are over.
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leftcoast8
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Re: When did UA restart SEA-LHR? (90s-2000s)

Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:31 am

RWA380 wrote:
Crew bases are just cities where a carrier bases their crews out of. Everyone lives in their own homes & there is no physical building & no airline sponsored housing. It's just the city you live in if you want to live where your job is based out of. Some crew don't live where they are based from & they commute or deadhead, depending on the carrier & route flown.

For example, my friend flies for AS she is part of the Portland crew base, She lives in her own home in the greater Portland OR metro area, this is where the vast majority of her trips begin or end. Once in a while, she must deadhead to Oakland on their sister carrier Horizon in the late afternoon & she stays overnight at the expense of AS in a hotel, so she can work one of their morning Hawaii departures. She will then overnight & return on a non-stop back to Portland from which Island she landed on in Hawaii.


So, a crew base is a physical building that has dormitories for pilots and FAs? Or do crew who don't live in their own homes get shacked up in hotels while on the road?

justplanesmart wrote:
The route could not have used 787-9 aircraft, as the first one delivered to United was not until September of 2014. The announcement after All Nippon service began on this route was the use of 787-8 equipment starting in 2014. However, the route was discontinued before the equipment change took place. Perhaps the two dates listed are reversed?


Yes, I meant to say 788, my apologies. I wonder what makes the 777 unsuitable for high and hot airports, and the 787 suitable.

A great discussion, but I still haven't found out when the SEA-ORD-LHR 777 route began! :lol:

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