MIflyer12 wrote:A little help with JNB-ATL payloads, perhaps?
It's just one route. Maybe they don't want to pay for five uprates and then have to worry about sending those frames only. If it's an expensive uprate they might not want to do all of their eligible frames. Something for the analysts to pencil out.
I have no idea what DL revenue payloads are like elsewhere on the network, but those extra 3t are not just about fuel on ULHs. Depending on cargo density, it's conceivable that the extra 3t might be useful on routes that carry a lot of dense cargo where weight rather than volume is a limiting factor in terms of cargo lifting/carrying. In addition to the ULHs like SYD and JNB, DL use the A359 on a lot of flights 7 to 9 hour sectors, yet they also fly A333s on quite long sectors, sometimes 10 to 11 hour. They're not doing this to keep up with the Joneses, but rather tells us that that the enjoy scheduling the A359's to lift larger revenue payloads as much as they enjoy its fuel lifting potential.
This is slightly abstract to your valid point, but the higher MTOW may have more uses than just one or two routes.