N649DL wrote:Cointrin330 wrote:N649DL wrote:
I actually think CO converted several widebodies to additional 737s because they straight up couldn't afford them or couldn't allocate them as needed. As a result, legacy CO really relied on legacy UA's fleet to help out the network when they combined out of EWR/IAH.
LGA rarely ever saw UA widebody metal by the 2000s (unless as a sub), however 757s were basically daily to ORD and DEN until the middle of the last decade.
Continental had a relatively small wide body fleet and leveraged the narrow body fleet to expand. The 777/767 fleet consisted of 21 772s, 16 764s, and 10 762s at the merger. That is all. I recall top up 737 orders long before the merger, but I am not sure if any were substitutions for outstanding wide body orders. The 777/767 and 757 fleets at CO had a higher utilization level when compared to other US airlines. As the merger took shape and cross fleeting began between UA and CO, the combined airline suffered operational issues stemming from a variety of issues. First, UA deferred non-essential maintenance as a matter of practice to save money. This was very evident with the 747s, which at one point in 2013 or 2014 were entirely repositioned to SFO for a time so maintenance could be performed in one place. The dispatch reliability of the 747 did improve after these measures were taken but still accounted for a significant number of UA delayed flights. Same with the 767 at UA.
As for LGA, yes, UA rarely if ever flew a wide body into the airport by the 2000s unless it was due to subs or irregular operations. 757s were still a fixture on ORD and DEN, and for a brief time post-merger, there was one operating LGA-CLE but it did not last very long. CO occasionally operated a 757 on IAH-LGA before the merger, but it was very rare. For the most part, CO's operation at LGA was the 737 and the ERJ (stretching back to the early 1990s, it was MD80, DC9, 732, 733, and later 735, 737-700, 738).
That's correct, forgot about that. Once UA and CO combined and started cross-fleeting sUA 757s were on both LGA-CLE and LGA-IAH (ex-CO routes) and actually rather consistently for a few years. I think at one time LGA-IAH was mostly flown with a majority of sUA 757s instead of sCO 737 (briefly.) UA was also hellbent on having EWR be acquainted early on with the sUA 763 in 2012 & initially had severe maintenance issues on the 3-class variants at the airport (UA didn't stock EWR with replacement parts when they broke down to cut costs).
As for CO's widebody fleet, I think there were planes to keep the D10 around into the early 2000s to expand the network. For instance HNL was quickly replaced with 764 after they retired the D10 as they really had no choice to fly much else. CO was flying 757 across the pond out of EWR pre-9/11 but not nearly as much as in the mid-late 2000s. For instance the majority of CO's TATL at EWR routes in 2000 were on D10s and quite a few routes were downgraded to 757 when they quickly retired the D10 (EWR-MAN being one of them).
Mid to late 2000s CO flew a lot of 757s TATL out of EWR (LIS, MAN, EDI, BFS, BRS, SNN, DUB, BCN, ARN, OSL, TXL, HAM, STR, CGN, BHX, MAN, GLA) were all operated with 757s well to the time of merger (though some of these routes were dropped and others added, that is to say, they did not all operate at the same time) but in roughly the same span of the decade. AMS, CDG and LHR also had 757's where multiple frequencies were operated.