Ed, I have another question about CRAF, that I guess properly goes here.
Today, for example, there's a troop movement from McGuire AFB (WRI) to Frankfurt (and presumably beyond, but not shown). One flight is on an American 777, another (about 18 hours later) on a World DC10. American and World are both members of the Alliance Contractor Team. Because WRI wasn't, as I recall, a starting point for any fixed-buy movements, I think it's safe to assume that this is an expansion, passenger, AMC CRAF Long-Range International movement. (Most of the contractor traffic at WRI seems to be freight rather than passenger -- Atlas, Evergreen, etc., but AA
doesn't do cargo, and World's freight DC10s seem to be in LA
and Brussels today, so I assume that both flights are passengers.)
Under these circumstances, is it safe to assume from the fact of the AA
777 flight today that World's entire passenger fleet was committed to other work (or maintenance) today,and that World was unable to provide an additional aircraft (or two) to carry the troops that flew on the American 777? As I understand it, expansion flying is offered proportionally (per month) to each team, and that World has first dibs on all expansion flying awarded to its team. I understand further that, if World can't provide the service, the expansion flying is supposed to be offered next to any other member of that team and than to any other carrier that can provide service. Would the award to American for today's flight then mean that two aircraft were needed and World could provide only one? Or could it mean something else, like there were X number of troops to fly and they fit best into one 777 and one DC10 (and that World then lost the opportunity because the AMC wanted a bigger aircraft)? My recollection is that the Air Force doesn't get to do that during a period when the CRAF isn't activated, that they can't say, "Oh, these troops would fit better on two 747s than 3 MD11s, so we'll just call United." If indeed seeing an American a/c doing a mil charter means that all 7 (excluding Sonair) MD11s and all 3 passenger DC10s were committed to other work or maintenance and thus couldn't be made available for this work, that's great! Or am I reading too much into the American flight? Same goes for flights with United 747s...
Jacksonville is home this weekend, but Buffalo is at New England, so I guess that takes one aircraft away from this opportunity, but it's a Saturday/Sunday, so I guess that makes the Sonair airctaft available. In any event, if the utilization is that high, that's really fantastic. It wasn't that long ago that World was forced to take (otherwise-good) opportunities from shaky operators like Ritetime and TM
in order to keep planes flying.
All the best,