dl767captain
Topic Author
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Large Widebodies Returning To Transcon Routes?

Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:36 am

I was looking at DL's SAN-ATL service and i was thinking. they currently fly 3 767, 3 757, and 1 737 daily, and i remembered how airlines used to fly 747's on transcons. With fuel prices going up and up and flying fewer but larger planes saving money, what are the chances of airlines flying larger planes again. I know that US airlines are into frequency which is nice but DL's SAN-ATL is flying 7 flights all within a couple hours of eachother, why dont they fly like 3 or 4 times but would still have frequency with larger planes and saving money.

the capacity (i am looking at August 9th for consistency) of that days SAN-ATL in total is 1,449 seats. 1,449 devided by 268 is 5.4 (that is in international layout) so they could cut it down to 5 daily 777 flights, you would still have the frequency but saving fuel and money. A 747 could reduce it even more. So when fuel prices finally reach that all time high, could we see airlines bringing the larger planes back?
 
JKJ777
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RE: Large Widebodies Returning To Transcon Routes?

Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:49 am

777's cost a lot of money and SAN-ATL does not pay the bills nearly as well as ATL-DXB. The larger aircraft are much better served over the Atlantic and soon to be more of the Pacific. I don't think they mind flying a 737 and a few 757's in and out of SAN.
 
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drerx7
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RE: Large Widebodies Returning To Transcon Routes?

Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:49 am

doubtful - maybe when some widebodies are nearing retirement--but 5 777s a day could make quadruple the money flying business class to Tokyo, London, Dubai, etc than a SAN shuttle of sorts. Besides you are also negating the fact that widebodies still cost more to park, fly, and service - then there is the demand issue. Once fuel prices reach that high you will see more long haul international flying like you do now to offset any rise in fuel. Also..large widebodies are expensive to acquire therefore most airlines are using them where they need them because they don't have the fleet sizes for gratuitous run.
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ikramerica
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RE: Large Widebodies Returning To Transcon Routes?

Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:53 am

Quoting DL767captain (Thread starter):
With fuel prices going up and up and flying fewer but larger planes saving money.

That's a fallacy. Just because it's a larger plane doesn't mean it will save fuel. Large planes carry a big OEW burden.

The 767 was designed to fly transcons. The current generation of 747s is designed to fly longhaul. It does not have the durability to fly transcons (too many cycles) and to make them cost effective, you need to do a two class high density config like NH and JL, but there are no markets in the USA where a plane of that size can compete with other carriers offering more frequency. To fill the plane, you'd have to offer rock bottom prices.

It's different in a nation like Australia which has very limited competition and very few large cities (but they are quite large cities). There they fly a few older 747-300s on transcons, mainly to handle the traffic to the ONE city on the West Coast to the two largest cities on the East Coast, and to make use of airframes that are otherwise of no use other than charters. One would assume that as the A380s and other planes enter service, a couple 747-400s will ply the transcons until they fall apart, just like the 747-300s are doing.

747s transcon in the USA were NOT profitable unless they were flying in a regulated industry, and even then, they were not the most profitable answer, which is why DC10s and L1011s and 767s and A300s were invented to begin with. Most domestic carriers dumped the 747s transcon during the last energy crisis as regulation was ending, because more frequencies to more varied destinations makes more sense.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
dl767captain
Topic Author
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RE: Large Widebodies Returning To Transcon Routes?

Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:58 am

ok since i was wrong about the 747's and 777's what about airlines like UA using more 767's then A320's, that would have to save money right?
 
koruman
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RE: Large Widebodies Returning To Transcon Routes?

Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:00 pm

Er, no.

767s use the same inefficient engines as 747s: the A320 is about as fuel efficient on trans-continental flights as anything else on earth.
 
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calpsafltskeds
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RE: Large Widebodies Returning To Transcon Routes?

Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:11 pm

The only reason I can see airlines moving toward larger aircraft is if the FAA system gets more congested. SAN is running out of capacity on the single runway: hubs may have too many flights, jamming, runways, gates and taxiways. If anything hubs should look at reducing RJ flying to short and thin routes and running mainline aircraft on more routes.

In the business, frequency is king and business passengers would rather have 8 well spread-out departures than 4 widebodies on a transcon. With AVOD and other amenities, widebodies aren't as important as they once were.

Additionally, smaller aircraft result in higher yield as there aren't tons of seats to fill.
 
cygnuschicago
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RE: Large Widebodies Returning To Transcon Routes?

Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:55 pm

Quoting CALPSAFltSkeds (Reply 6):
frequency is king and business passengers would rather have 8 well spread-out departures than 4 widebodies on a transcon

I tend to think that this is perpetual myth. I'm one those nebulous "business passengers". The only routes on which frequency is king to me, is routes less than 90 minutes, and even then, good frequency is no more than once an hour. Given boarding times and delays, if you're flying every 30 minutes or so, it quite often happens that the earlier plane leaves after the later one.

On longer routes - like transcons - the time difference means it always makes sense to travel either in the morning, or the evening, a couple of options in the morning from the West Coast to the East coast, and three or so back later afternoon evening spaced apart at about 90 minutes, will cater to most of business traveler needs.

As to aircraft size, experience has taught me that larger aircraft are less likely to be delayed. If I have three flight options from Detroit to Chicago - two RJs and one MD80 - I'll always choose the MD80, and make my schedule work, as I know American DelAAylines will cancel at least one of the RJs, and quite often both. The same goes for 757s vs. MD80s, and 767s vs. 757s.

The argument made earlier that larger aircraft are more valuable, means that DelAAylines at least attempts to make some kind of effort to getting the flight departing within sight of the suggested departure time.
If you cannot do the math, your opinion means squat!
 
halls120
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RE: Large Widebodies Returning To Transcon Routes?

Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:36 pm

Quoting CygnusChicago (Reply 7):
Quoting CALPSAFltSkeds (Reply 6):
frequency is king and business passengers would rather have 8 well spread-out departures than 4 widebodies on a transcon

I tend to think that this is perpetual myth. I'm one those nebulous "business passengers". The only routes on which frequency is king to me, is routes less than 90 minutes, and even then, good frequency is no more than once an hour. Given boarding times and delays, if you're flying every 30 minutes or so, it quite often happens that the earlier plane leaves after the later one.

I disagree. I fly coast to coast frequently from IAD, and I really appreciate the flexibility of more departures each way.

It's like the DCA-MIA run. AA has frequency on this route, not larger aircraft.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
DIA
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Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2001 2:24 pm

RE: Large Widebodies Returning To Transcon Routes?

Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:56 pm

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 3):
The 767 was designed to fly transcons.

Believe it or not, the 767 was specifically (at first) built for the DEN-ORD route for UA; intended to replace DC-8s on this route at first, then throughout UAs whole system.
Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
 
tdscanuck
Posts: 8572
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

RE: Large Widebodies Returning To Transcon Routes?

Sat Aug 04, 2007 1:17 am

Quoting DIA (Reply 9):
Believe it or not, the 767 was specifically (at first) built for the DEN-ORD route for UA; intended to replace DC-8s on this route at first, then throughout UAs whole system.

Absolutely true. The 767 wing was tremendously oversized to allow for hot-day full-weigth takeoffs from LGA...it was only later that they used all that volume to add a center fuel tank and turn it into a transcon/trans-Atlantic aircraft.

Tom.

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