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777-500er
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UA New Route Planning On WSJ: SFO-FRA Example

Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:57 am

United's new route planning system used by its dispathchers was featured on yesterday's Wall Street Journal. It used UA 900 SFO-FRA as an example and it explained how the airline would rather fly a few extra miles over the US rather than fly a shorter route over Canada and then end up paying more for territorial overflying fees. Very interesting. Please read if you have a chance. I don't have a link but it is worth while searching.

Michael SFO
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SJCRRPAX
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RE: UA New Route Planning On WSJ: SFO-FRA Example

Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:51 am

Does anybody have more details? How much would they save? How much longer would the flight be? I've taken UA flight 900 a few times and it spends a lot of time over Canada. I have no idea how much extra time it would take to go around Canada, but I could imagine another hour, and all of their savings eaten up by fuel costs. Interesting. I await the details.
 
as739x
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RE: UA New Route Planning On WSJ: SFO-FRA Example

Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:01 am

Sure enough. Look at the history here on flightaware, they do stay farther south. Now I have no idea the cost of overflying Canada, but i imagine going east over the US is not that inconvenient considering it stay south in the Jetstream.

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/U...0/history/20070306/2227Z/KSFO/EDDF

ASLAX
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LAXintl
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RE: UA New Route Planning On WSJ: SFO-FRA Example

Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:04 am

WSJ: Calculating Costs In The Clouds (by Andrej Mar 7 2007 in Civil Aviation)
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planecrazy2
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RE: UA New Route Planning On WSJ: SFO-FRA Example

Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:26 am

Are other airlines flying US-EU avoiding Canada to save costs or is this UA specific? I have been following AF LAX-CDG recently and it seems to fly near NYC and Boston before heading over the Atlantic instead of following a direct route way over northern Canada.
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777-500er
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RE: UA New Route Planning On WSJ: SFO-FRA Example

Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:34 am

Very Interesting too see the routes of the past few days. Thanks for the post ASLAX

Michael SFO
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willyj
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RE: UA New Route Planning On WSJ: SFO-FRA Example

Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:19 pm

I don't know if this is for the same reason, but CX 888 from YVR to JFK spends a lot of time over the US vs Canada. Maybe it's because of winds, etc, but 889 seems to do the same thing on the return. This is only from observing the flight paths for the last few days, simply out of curiosity.
 
Carpethead
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RE: UA New Route Planning On WSJ: SFO-FRA Example

Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:57 pm

The last few years, whenever flying NRT/KIX to ORD, the routing has never taken over Canadian airspace.
Kind of wondered about this and I suppose this report backs this up.
 
johnnybgoode
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RE: UA New Route Planning On WSJ: SFO-FRA Example

Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:17 pm

Quoting 777-500ER (Thread starter):
it explained how the airline would rather fly a few extra miles over the US rather than fly a shorter route over Canada and then end up paying more for territorial overflying fees.

territorial overflying fees? i thought this still only applies to Russia? are you sure they didn't mean ATC or similar costs
?
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PanAm747
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RE: UA New Route Planning On WSJ: SFO-FRA Example

Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:35 am

I'm not sure how much faith I would put in this.

SFO-FRA directly overflies central Canada, Hudson Bay, Baffin Island, and Greenland if you plot a direct line. Even plotting SFO-JFK-FRA takes one over the Maritime provinces. Granted, there are many variables such as winds, but avoiding Canada altogether? It doesn't seem possible. Considering the cost of fuel, it would make much more financial sense to me to pay the ATC fees in Canada rather than spending extra fuel to avoid the entire country.
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LAXintl
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RE: UA New Route Planning On WSJ: SFO-FRA Example

Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:45 am

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 9):

The whole concept of these new flight planners is to come up with the optimal lowest cost solution balancing fuel, time related operating cost and things such as overflight fees.

Its no secret that Canada has rather expensive overflight fee charges, so it might very well be worth a few minutes longer or higher fuel burn to save the overflight fee cost to derive the lowest overall trip cost.

If you have access to the entire article it does give out some costing comparisons. In addition it also mentions a UA KWI-IAD route that can save $4500 by flying thru Scandinavia/Eastern European states instead of costlier Western European ones.
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gigneil
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RE: UA New Route Planning On WSJ: SFO-FRA Example

Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:46 am

You put 100% faith in it, because its true.

They don't avoid the country altogether, obviously. They minimize time in Canada, and clearly the software balances the cost of fuel, weather, and overflight fees to get the best balance.

NS
 
SJCRRPAX
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RE: UA New Route Planning On WSJ: SFO-FRA Example

Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:39 am

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 11):
You put 100% faith in it, because its true.

They don't avoid the country altogether, obviously. They minimize time in Canada, and clearly the software balances the cost of fuel, weather, and overflight fees to get the best balance.

Surprizes me also, but if you look at the flight aware graphics that AS739x provided, it looks like they almost totally avoid Canada except for an overflight of Nova Scotia. Does anyone know how much longer this might take? If they could turn a plane at JFK (Fat chance) in a reasonable amount of time, seems like they should just have a technical there and forget about nonstop from SFO. Could this be a seasonable thing depending upon the jet stream?
 
airbazar
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RE: UA New Route Planning On WSJ: SFO-FRA Example

Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:02 am

Quoting SJCRRPAX (Reply 12):
Does anyone know how much longer this might take?

Great circle route mapper numbers are:
SFO-FRA 5699mi
SFO-JFK-FRA 6441mi (+13%)

So it's about a 700mi detour, but by flying a southern route on the Eastbound leg, you may get a strong tailwind from the jetstream thus reducing both flying time and fuel consumption. Exactly how much, I guess that would be different every day of the week  Smile
 
UA772IAD
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RE: UA New Route Planning On WSJ: SFO-FRA Example

Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:15 am

There are a couple of other things to consider, besides overfly permits:
1) Meterology

The subtropical and polar jet streams lie just below the tropopause, frequently in the
FL300 to FL390 range. These jet streams are always present over the Atlantic and are a
factor in flight planning. They meander considerably. Dispatch can often select routes with
jet stream tailwinds flying east, and routes that avoid excessive winds flying west.
Therefore, in the winter, minimum-cost routes are displaced further from great-circle
routes than in the summer.


2)Another issue is equipment.
In the past, UA has had some delays in their West Coast-Europe operations due to missing or
incomplete polar safety kits. Company SOPs require two cold weather anti-exposure suits
when operating north of the N78 latitude.
 
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LHRBFSTrident
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RE: UA New Route Planning On WSJ: SFO-FRA Example

Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:17 pm

Quoting Planecrazy2 (Reply 4):
Are other airlines flying US-EU avoiding Canada to save costs or is this UA specific?

The first time I flew NZ LAX-LHR i was very surprised at how far south we stayed for the entire journey - the airshow remained on the whole flight and we basically remained in US airspace all the way to the Atlantic coast.

It was unusual to me because we departed on one of the south runways and then turned south after t/o hugging the coast past Long Beach.

I assumed at the time it was because of unusual weather conditions down route (December) as I had never seen such a southerly route on 15 or 20 previous LAX-LHR sectors on BA and VS.

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