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knope2001
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UA Dulles Domestic July 2013/2014/2015

Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:04 pm

United's Dulles operation shows up frequently in the weekly OAG thread which Enilria kindly furnishes, mostly with cuts. There are definite net reductions being seen there, but there's also plenty of noise based on United's schedule updates. United seems to be among the worst offenders at pushing forward an unlikely schedule which is later adjusted (perhaps 4-6 months out). United isn't alone in this by any means, but they seem to have more than their share of this And that makes it hard to pick out what changes are meaningful cuts (or additions) and what are simply adjusting the projected schedule to match historic norms.

To get a clearer picture I decided to look at a weekday in mid July 2015 and compare it to a similar date in 2014 and 2013. These numbers are domestic only .

2013
252 flights to 77 cities
20,636 average weekday departing seats

2014
237 flights to 74 cities
19,207 average weekday departing seats

2015
205 flights to 70 cities
16,552 average weekday departing seats
Both seats and flights are down about 14% year-over-year on the domestic side for UA from 2014 to 2015.


The reductions include fewer widebodies and fewer props meaning very little change to average seats per domestic departure:

2013
81.9 average seats per flight
8 widebodies
60 narrowbodies
59 large RJ
90 50-seat RJ
35 medium props

2014
81.0 average seats per flight
6 widebodies
55 narrowbodies
48 large RJ’s
98 50-seat RJ
30 medium props

2015
80.7 average seats per flight
1 widebody
58 narrowbodies
27 large RJ’s
94 50-seat RJ’s
25 medium props

Here's a high-level summary of year-over-year capacity changes for 2015 over 2014:

4 markets lost nonstop service (JFK, COS, AOO [eas], BKW [eas])

Of the 70 remaining markets:

7 markets 20%-100% increase in seats (includes three EAS markets)
2 markets with 1-19% increase in seats
30 markets with no change in seats
12 markets with 1-19% decrease in seats
19 markets with 20% or more decrease in seats

This might have been a more interesting outcome if IAD domestic for United was actually up 1% or down 50% in the past year, but I figured I'd post this anyway.
 
jetblue1965
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RE: UA Dulles Domestic July 2013/2014/2015

Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:26 pm

Thanks. Any chance you have the same numbers including international ?
 
ScottB
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RE: UA Dulles Domestic July 2013/2014/2015

Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:16 am

Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):
Both seats and flights are down about 14% year-over-year on the domestic side for UA from 2014 to 2015.
Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):
This might have been a more interesting outcome if IAD domestic for United was actually up 1% or down 50% in the past year, but I figured I'd post this anyway.

Actually, I find this data very interesting because it quantifies the reductions UA has been making at IAD over the past couple of years -- and those cuts are even more striking against the backdrop of a robust regional economy and a generally improving national economy.

Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):
94 50-seat RJ’s
25 medium props

IMO it doesn't bode well for the IAD hub that nearly 60% of daily domestic departures are on equipment with 50 or fewer seats as UA continues to pare down the size of the 50-seat RJ fleet. Even more telling, the number of large RJ's at IAD has been cut by over half since 2013, even though that fleet has grown by over a quarter comparing year-end 2014 to year-end 2012. And while narrowbodies were up slightly from 2013 to 2014, that wasn't enough to counter the decrease in widebody frequencies.

Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):
4 markets lost nonstop service (JFK, COS, AOO [eas], BKW [eas])

I personally discount the relevance of EAS flying in an analysis like this given that the mainline carrier has very little influence on the planning of that service. Would it be possible to break the EAS flying out of the excellent numbers you presented?
 
tommy767
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RE: UA Dulles Domestic July 2013/2014/2015

Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:09 am

SLC, ABQ, and iirc PDX lost it too.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
IndianicWorld
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RE: UA Dulles Domestic July 2013/2014/2015

Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:18 am

IAD certainly is an airport that has an interesting few years ahead. UA's network changes are fairly dramatic, but it will likely be up to the LCC's to try and fill any void that does exist.

How much O&D demand is there for IAD flights? Hard to tell, especially with DCA and BWI strengthening their positions in the market. IAD has its natural market though, including International and its local catchment area, but the amount of competition is growing year by year.
 
ScottB
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RE: UA Dulles Domestic July 2013/2014/2015

Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:30 am

Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 4):
How much O&D demand is there for IAD flights? Hard to tell, especially with DCA and BWI strengthening their positions in the market. IAD has its natural market though, including International and its local catchment area, but the amount of competition is growing year by year.

Yes, it is difficult to say what the relative demand for IAD vs. DCA is -- but as a general rule, the O&D for IAD as a proportion of the total of IAD+DCA seems to range from about one-fifth to one-third of the total market, given comparable fare levels and non-stop service. Schedule, of course, also plays a role; BOS-DCA offers a much better schedule on two carriers so DCA takes nearly 80% of the combined O&D.
 
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jfklganyc
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RE: UA Dulles Domestic July 2013/2014/2015

Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:50 am

I still can't believe they axed JFK service. And LGA is down to 2 daily.

JFK was 7 or 8 daily at one point. Always full and loaded with extra heavy luggage
 
IndianicWorld
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RE: UA Dulles Domestic July 2013/2014/2015

Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:02 am

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 6):
I still can't believe they axed JFK service. And LGA is down to 2 daily.

JFK was 7 or 8 daily at one point. Always full and loaded with extra heavy luggage

Apparently it just didn't add up for them.

Airlines don't go out of their way to cut profitable routes, so it must have seen better opportunities in its network.
 
Sightseer
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RE: UA Dulles Domestic July 2013/2014/2015

Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:16 am

As has been speculated, UA at IAD does seem to be headed in the direction of DL & AA at JFK; a much more internationally focused connecting and O&D hub. Kudos to OP for taking the time to quantify the changes. At this point I presume UA's schedule is basically set for the summer? It seems pretty close in to do too much more tweaking.
 
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adamblang
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RE: UA Dulles Domestic July 2013/2014/2015

Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:05 am

Quoting ScottB (Reply 5):
Yes, it is difficult to say what the relative demand for IAD vs. DCA

I'm on the D side of O&D but I personally avoid IAD at all costs.  DCA is my first choice since it's super easy to get into DC with yellow and blue Metro lines running to the airport. BWI has tolerable rail connections into DC so that's my second choice (if it saves me $50). I've only every flown through IAD connecting onto an international destination. But silver line completion might make IAD my number two. Wash on transit time compared to BWI but much better schedule from Chicago (where I live).
146 319 320 321 332 333 343 717 734 735 73G 738 739 744 752 753 763 764 772 77E 77L 77W 788 789 AR1 AT4 CNA CR2 CR7 DC9 ER3 ERD ER4 E70 E75 E90
 
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knope2001
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RE: UA Dulles Domestic July 2013/2014/2015

Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:49 am

Unfortunately my computer tanked and I lost a bunch of my IAD work when I had to revert...

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 3):
SLC, ABQ, and iirc PDX lost it too.

Yup, though I think those ended between 2013 and 2014 -- the detailed cuts I mentioned were just 2014 to 2015. But SLC, ABQ and PDX are definitely notable cuts.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 2):
I personally discount the relevance of EAS flying in an analysis like this given that the mainline carrier has very little influence on the planning of that service. Would it be possible to break the EAS flying out of the excellent numbers you presented?

The EAS markets are a small and fairly stable segment -- about 10 flights @ 34 seats each to about 6 nonstop destinations.

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 1):
Thanks. Any chance you have the same numbers including international ?

International is more cumbersome because stats are in a different place and because international has too much non-daily stuff. For domestic I just picked a weekday. However I did look at 2014 and 2015 and both seem to be about 36 daily flights with about 5750 seats. A few adjustments from 2014 to 2015 but not a great deal on the international side.
 
izbtmnhd
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Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:06 pm

RE: UA Dulles Domestic July 2013/2014/2015

Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:07 pm

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 6):

When UA was running those JFK flights the ME3 wasn't at IAD. A lot of those heavy bags were headed for South Asia. I think much of that traffic is now captured by QR.

[Edited 2015-03-12 06:10:02]
 
FSDan
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RE: UA Dulles Domestic July 2013/2014/2015

Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:24 pm

One thing to note is that UA's summer schedule (recently updated, I believe) is showing more domestic mainline at IAD this summer over last year. Examples:

IAD-AUS gets mainline back (319)
IAD-DFW gets mainline back (739)
IAD-BDL gets two mainline flights (319/320)
IAD-RDU goes all mainline (319/737)
ATL-IAD gets a 319 (one direction only)

Also, there are quite a few E-175s showing up in the summer flying. Examples include IAD-OKC, IAD-MSP, IAD-IND, IAD-DTW, IAD-MSY, IAD-ATL.

Edit: I should note that the above examples come from the June schedule rather than July.

[Edited 2015-03-12 06:25:03]
This is my signature until I think of a better one.
 
izbtmnhd
Posts: 901
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:06 pm

RE: UA Dulles Domestic July 2013/2014/2015

Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:39 pm

Quoting FSDan (Reply 12):

Does more mainline service mean higher domestic passenger totals at IAD though this summer? Some are inferring that this will be the summer to buck the five year downward passenger trend at IAD. Looking at all the cuts so far, I just don't see it happening.
 
ScottB
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Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 1:25 am

RE: UA Dulles Domestic July 2013/2014/2015

Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:07 pm

Quoting knope2001 (Reply 10):
The EAS markets are a small and fairly stable segment -- about 10 flights @ 34 seats each to about 6 nonstop destinations.

Right -- they're going to be stable by definition because the number of flights and destinations are set by contract with the federal government. But virtually any change in the EAS flying or lack thereof would be unrelated to decisions made in Chicago about the IAD hub.

Quoting FSDan (Reply 12):
One thing to note is that UA's summer schedule (recently updated, I believe) is showing more domestic mainline at IAD this summer over last year. Examples:
Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):
2014
6 widebodies
55 narrowbodies

2015
1 widebody
58 narrowbodies

The OP's summary would seem to conflict with what you've noticed. Or have other markets lost mainline service?
 
FlyPNS1
Posts: 5480
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:12 am

RE: UA Dulles Domestic July 2013/2014/2015

Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:01 pm

Quoting ScottB (Reply 14):
The OP's summary would seem to conflict with what you've noticed. Or have other markets lost mainline service?

There seems to be a big difference between the June and July schedules for IAD. For example:

IAD-RDU in June is 4x all mainline (huge capacity increase)
IAD-RDU in July is 3x RJ and 1x mainline

Not sure what is happening here, but interesting. I don't think UA's July schedule is finalized by any stretch.
 
SurfandSnow
Posts: 1480
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:09 am

RE: UA Dulles Domestic July 2013/2014/2015

Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:29 pm

UA is doing itself no favors by continuing to operate from its abominable IAD facilities. When Concourse C and Concourse D opened in 1985 they were supposed to be an "interim airline gate facility", but 30 years later these ragged "temporary" C/D gates constitute the worst major international hub in the entire country. While every other IAD operator already enjoys world class facilities, there are still no concrete plans to replace the existing C/D with something much more befitting of a renowned global airline and city.
Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
 
FSDan
Posts: 2772
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:27 pm

RE: UA Dulles Domestic July 2013/2014/2015

Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:52 pm

Quoting ScottB (Reply 14):

The OP's summary would seem to conflict with what you've noticed. Or have other markets lost mainline service?

There are frequency reductions YOY in quite a few markets and a few discontinued routes such as IAD-COS and IAD-SLC, but overall the gauge is up more or less accross the board.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 15):
Not sure what is happening here, but interesting. I don't think UA's July schedule is finalized by any stretch.

   The June schedules just got to a more-or-less finalized state this week, so I imagine it will be another four weeks or so before the July schedule is reasonably reliable. I would be surprised if there ended up being less capacity in July than in June...
This is my signature until I think of a better one.
 
ScottB
Posts: 6719
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 1:25 am

RE: UA Dulles Domestic July 2013/2014/2015

Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:34 pm

Quoting FSDan (Reply 17):
I imagine it will be another four weeks or so before the July schedule is reasonably reliable. I would be surprised if there ended up being less capacity in July than in June...

Yeah, I was playing around with dummy bookings for IAD-DFW and on one of the daily frequencies, the lowest available fare (for all the days I checked) was discounted first class (P) -- even though the seat maps were wide open.
 
IAHWorldflyer
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:22 pm

RE: UA Dulles Domestic July 2013/2014/2015

Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:06 pm

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 16):
UA is doing itself no favors by continuing to operate from its abominable IAD facilities.

It has been previously discussed here that the MWAA has dropped the ball on this one, and favored growth in facilities at DCA over IAD. Personally, I'm glad that DCA is now an up to date facility, but I do wish they could give some love to IAD. UA is almost entirely footing the bill to rebuild Terminal B at IAH, but the City of Houston sweetened the pot for them by providing incentives elsewhere. UA does seem to have started to look at upgraded their facilties with new United Clubs being a first step. 3-5 years down the road, you might see them take an interest in cost sharing a new terminal at IAD with MWAA, but first there are a lot of other projects which UA sees as more important.
I really love doing domestic to international connections at IAD. Outbound, I feel comfortable scheduling connections of less than 90 minutes, and as low as 50 minutes. I NEVER connect in EWR with less than 105 minutes, due to unpredictable arrival delays. On the return, IAD's immigration never has unbearable lines, and last month I cleared Immigration and Customs and was back through security in less than 15 minutes.
As long as UA continues to have schedules that allow domestic feed for late afternoon/early evening international departures, I think they have a decent station on their hands. It's just never going to be a CLT or ATL on the domestic side.

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