ElpinDAB
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Evolution Of N.America To Asia Routes

Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:35 am

What were Asian routes from North America to Asia like in dawn of the jet age, for the 707's and DC8's? How did this evolve from the time of DC3's to the present? From the usage of props, to the dawn of the jet-age, through the evolution of the early jet prototypes, through the dawn of the 747, as it was used alongside DC10's and L1011's. What were the typical routes with these aircraft of the 60's, 70's, and 80's? How was the Pacific made a common economic realm?

How would a "snapshot" of Pacific travel have appeared during the late 80's/early 90's?
I'd like a full breakdown and discussion, from past to present.

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L1011-500 in Japan...nonstop from the US? What was the first aircraft and airline to operate US-Asia nonstop?

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When was the US-Asia route not so elusive?

[Edited 2012-12-30 00:44:33]
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Evolution Of N.America To Asia Routes

Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:58 pm

A complete history? That would take some time.

It started with clipper service that went SFO-Hawaii-Midway-Wake-Guam-Manila-Hong Kong

http://stamps.org/userfiles/file/MyA.../ClippersOverThePacific-264785.pdf

Much of the opening of the Pacific really happened in the war and I haven't found a single great history to document that. (I would appreciate a reference suggestion from anyone.)

In 1947 Pan Am started the 'round the world route' Hawaii-Midway-Wake-Guam-Manila-Bangkok-Calcutta on a DC-4.

In 1958, Pan Am started flying the Stratocruiser to Tokyo, but Northwest was already on the route with a DC-7:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_American_World_Airways




You'll need to also read on the 'Trans-Pacific Route Case' which opened up the Pacific routes to new entrants:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transpacific_Route_Case

The CAB concluded the case in 1969, retaining Northwest and Pan Am's routes to Asia and making the following additional route awards:
American Airlines - Australia, Fiji, Hawaii, New Zealand, Samoa
Continental Airlines - Guam, Hawaii, Saipan
Northwest Airlines - Hawaii to Asia flights
Trans World Airlines - Hawaii, Japan, Taiwan
Western Airlines - Hawaii


As to the first jet flights, I'll let other a.netters fill in the blanks. This older thread goes into a.net experience on the 707/DC-8 trans-Pacific:
Transpacific Flights On B707 Or DC-8 (by ASTROJET707 Oct 30 2005 in Civil Aviation)



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NWADTWE16
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RE: Evolution Of N.America To Asia Routes

Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:26 am

I dont have much to contribute but i must say the shot especially of TWA looming large at JFK is just phenominal. 8 747s in one shot and they really were a force across those three concourses. I wonder though, i see three L1011's with the boarding bridge up to the galley door side (right)..not too familiar with this aircraft but wouldnt that interfere with servicing? Seems a strange way to board but clearly those jetways are setup for it.
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crownvic
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RE: Evolution Of N.America To Asia Routes

Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:50 am

I believe Philippine Airlines (Air Lines) was the first post-war foreign operator on transpacs to the U.S. They started flying DC-4's on scheduled service in December 1946 via several pacific island stops to SFO.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Evolution Of N.America To Asia Routes

Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:02 am

Quoting ElpinDAB (Thread starter):
What were Asian routes from North America to Asia like in dawn of the jet age, for the 707's and DC8's?

For the first few years of jet service almost all flights were via Tokyo and many were routed via HNL or ANC (FAI for Pan Am's JFK-HND 707s as Pan Am never had traffic rights at ANC).

Even West Coast-Tokyo was a stretch for the early 707s and DC-8s, especially westbound against headwinds, and unscheduled fuel stops at ANC weren't uncommon on flights advertised as nonstop.
 
FI642
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RE: Evolution Of N.America To Asia Routes

Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:21 am

Quoting NWADTWE16 (Reply 2):
I dont have much to contribute but i must say the shot especially of TWA looming large at JFK is just phenominal. 8 747s in one shot and they really were a force across those three concourses. I wonder though, i see three L1011's with the boarding bridge up to the galley door side (right)..not too familiar with this aircraft but wouldnt that interfere with servicing? Seems a strange way to board but clearly those jetways are setup for it.

Same here! It is still odd being at JFK with no TW and no PA. Before TW was done away with, I was at JFK and there were no TW L1011's or 747's . . just 767's. It was sort of startling.
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CX711
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RE: Evolution Of N.America To Asia Routes

Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:51 am

In the 50s, PanAM and NWA flew DC6 and DC7s to HKG; the routing was via Honolulu and Tokyo, and sometimes Okinawa. PAA also flew the Stratocruiser, but not regularly to HKG, as far as I remember. People could also fly Japan Airlines and Philippines Airlines to US West Coast. There were very few Asian carriers that flew the Pacific at that time, as most countries was still recovering economically from WW2.

PAA introduced the 707 to HKG in 1959 or 1960. Routing was also TYO & HNL to SFO or LAX.

CI began in the early 70s to USA. SQ first flew to the US in 1978 or 1979, flying the DC-10-30 to LAX and the 747 to SFO via HKG & HNL. CX only began flying to YVR in 1982, which was later extended to SFO via YVR.
 
kdonohue
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RE: Evolution Of N.America To Asia Routes

Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:17 am

Canadian Airlines operated Vancouver - Hong Kong flights in the late 1940s. And became very lucrative in the 1950s when they flew US troops to Korea, and returned to Canada with Chinese immigrants.
 
spacecadet
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RE: Evolution Of N.America To Asia Routes

Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:46 am

Quoting ElpinDAB (Thread starter):
How would a "snapshot" of Pacific travel have appeared during the late 80's/early 90's?

I'm going from memory as a kid but I feel like this was kind of the cusp of a new era. In the early 80's, travel to Asia was still very expensive and non-stops were mostly available from the west coast and Hawaii. I do recall feeling like Northwest Orient had a virtual monopoly on the market in the west, and their bare metal red tailed 747 classics were everywhere.


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Northwest always had an actual hub in Tokyo - they were always considered kind of an honorary Japanese airline there, especially after the help they provided in founding JAL. So flights to most destinations in Asia went through Tokyo if you were flying Northwest, which you probably were if you were flying from Chicago or points west.

In the east, Pan Am was big but they had to use the 747SP to do non-stop (in fact, this was the main reason for the SP's existence)... and it wasn't a route that a lot of leisure travelers seemed to take, in either direction. If you went to Asia, you went for work or because you had to... or because you wanted a really exotic vacation, and could afford it. Having to make a stop from most cities in the US made it really kind of a trek, especially coupled with the time difference. You'd be flying for about 20 hours and then your internal clock would be off by 12 hours. People would really think you were something if you told them you'd taken a trip to Japan or China - it didn't feel like the world had really fully opened up yet. Other airlines did fly to Asia from the east but the 747-200 could barely make it non-stop on a good day.

When the 747-400 came online in the late 80's and early 90's, suddenly that opened up non-stop flights to all of the US, and from more than just Tokyo. And around that same time, deregulation and competition were driving down fares and the leisure market to Asian destinations picked up. Airlines like Northwest that previously had virtual monopolies flying to Asia suddenly found it harder to compete. It was in the early 90's that US-Asia flights started to become commoditized. In New York, you'd have half a dozen US-based airlines flying daily non-stops to Asia by then, plus 3 or 4 Asian carriers. This seemed to happen virtually overnight.

[Edited 2012-12-30 23:55:40]
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