717atOGG
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Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:03 am

I saw photos here of MD-11's in the 1997-2001 timeframe at SEA going to NRT. Giving AA's very small presence at SEA today, why would they operate it then? When did it end? Was it like the RDU-LHR deal
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American 767
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:07 am

I believe that the SEA-NRT route was bought from Continental. This was back in the early 90s when Continental was in Chapter 11 and American had just taken delivery of the then new MD-11.
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717atOGG
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:14 am

But why would they have a TPAC route out of SEA? they don't have a hub there.
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Prost
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:14 am

Also, Japan-USA was still restricted, and AA knew they needed to get a toehold into the market. It was a valiant effort on their part to serve the Japan market, but obviously their resources were better able to be utilized elsewhere.
 
klwright69
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:28 am

Quoting 717atOGG (Thread starter):
I believe that the SEA-NRT route was bought from Continental. This was back in the early 90s when Continental was in Chapter 11 and American had just taken delivery of the then new MD-11.

CO sold SEA-NRT to AA in 1990. Not just early 90's but 1990 itself. CO needed the cash to operate as it had almost no money left. Iraq had just invaded Kuwait also, and times were unstable. The sale to AA was announced with the bankruptcy filing. Colorado politicians made sure the deal was approved smoothly and quickly so CO could remain viable as a going concern, things were that bad. I remember it all well.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:35 am

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 4):
Quoting 717atOGG (Thread starter):
I believe that the SEA-NRT route was bought from Continental. This was back in the early 90s when Continental was in Chapter 11 and American had just taken delivery of the then new MD-11.


CO sold SEA-NRT to AA in 1990. Not just early 90's but 1990 itself. CO needed the cash to operate as it had almost no money left. Iraq had just invaded Kuwait also, and times were unstable. The sale to AA was announced with the bankruptcy filing. Colorado politicians made sure the deal was approved smoothly and quickly so CO could remain viable as a going concern, things were that bad. I remember it all well.

Related 1991 SEA newspaper item. AA paid CO $150 million for the SEA-NRT route.
http://community.seattletimes.nwsour...rchive/?date=19901203&slug=1107474
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:36 am

For quite a few years the flight was routed NRT-SEA-MIA (often with change of plane) that connected well to AA's flights to deep S. America, Brazil in particular. Given the more limited range of aircraft at the time and less liberalized traffic rights, AA carried a decent chunk of traffic between Japan and Brazil.
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LAXintl
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:50 am

Long story short.

o United was awarded SEA-NRT in 1983 prior to Pan Am Pacific division purchase
o DOT decided in 1986 UA should give up SEA-NRT route after PA purchase.
o DOT hold route case and in June 1987 tentatively awards route to CO, but after many twist and turns including federal appeals court visit, award made final January 1989.
o CO starts route April 1989
o AA buys route along with some employees from CO for $145mil plus $5mil for other miscellaneous items in December 1990 during CO BK. CO to keep operating route with AA guarantee until AA ready.
o AA launches SEA-NRT Oct 1991.
o AA drops route late 2001 (right after 9/11) along with few other intl cuts.

Japan access was very coveted as the air service agreement was quite limited and US carriers were more than happy to be awarded service from any gateway possible to serve the Pacific.
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RWA380
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:50 am

Quoting 717atOGG (Reply 2):
But why would they have a TPAC route out of SEA? they don't have a hub there.

The same reason DL had a PDX gateway, the MD-11's didn't have the range to go DFW-NRT n/s. Plus this route was the only way AA could get access to the Japan market. The SEA stop was necessary for the range of the aircraft AA had chosen to fly TPAC.
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texan
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:58 am

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 8):
the MD-11's didn't have the range to go DFW-NRT n/s

The MD-11s flew DFW-NRT nonstop. But slots were restricted to certain airports (I don't believe that rights could be transferred between airports originally) and, as LAXintl said, Japan access was coveted at the time because of the limited access to the market. To get SEA-NRT was considered a coup.

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FlyPIJets
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:01 am

Quoting 717atOGG (Thread starter):
Was it like the RDU-LHR deal

Kind of, maybe Didn't AA have contracts to carry pax to Japan back then. I want to say with an auto-maker. Which makes since for the old SJC - NRT route. What is now a Tesla factory was then a joint operation by GM and Toyota. Maybe that is why AA flew SEA-NRT they had contracts but for a different company. (that makes it sort of like RDU-LHR)

Also, since NW flew the route (SEA - NRT), I wouldn't think AA would try it just because there might be opportunity. The NW of that time would have added three 747s to the route if that was the reason.


(well, never mind my reason, I see others are far better researchers.  Smile )

[Edited 2015-10-11 19:08:54]
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klwright69
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:03 am

Yes, I remember also that CO received 150 million from AA for the route.
 
rbavfan
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:47 am

Quoting 717atOGG (Reply 2):
But why would they have a TPAC route out of SEA? they don't have a hub there.

Same reason CO operated it without a hub, if you wanted international flights you went to where the bilaterals allowed. Wh do you think MSP to Asia was so big. Picking odd cities the asian carriers did not want allowed them to not have direct competition.
 
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:51 am

Quoting texan (Reply 9):
The MD-11s flew DFW-NRT nonstop.

I remember AA using purchasing 747sp's for DFW-Tokyo until 777's replaced them. The MD11 came up short on promised range.
 
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RWA380
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:02 am

Quoting rbavfan (Reply 13):
I remember AA using purchasing 747sp's for DFW-Tokyo until 777's replaced them. The MD11 came up short on promised range.

Correct, this is what transpired. I remember seeing the 747sp in AA colors at DFW during a connection & although AA did fly the MD-11 n/s DFW-NRT, it did take a big penalty for the range, what I was indicating that the economics of the route would have been in question. back in the 90's it was easier to take a hit like that.

[Edited 2015-10-11 21:11:47]
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rwsea
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:26 am

As mentioned above, the full routing was MIA-SEA-NRT, with MIA operated by a 767-300, and change of gauge to MD-11 in SEA.
 
TrijetsRMissed
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Mon Oct 12, 2015 5:08 am

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 8):
MD-11's didn't have the range to go DFW-NRT n/s
Quoting rbavfan (Reply 13):
The MD11 came up short on promised range.

FYI, JL replaced the 744 with the MD-11 on NRT-DFW-NRT in 2000 with ZERO weight penalty. DL also operated ATL-NRT with no weight penalty. In fact, it was the final DL MD-11 route.


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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:18 pm

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 14):
Quoting rbavfan (Reply 13):
I remember AA using purchasing 747sp's for DFW-Tokyo until 777's replaced them. The MD11 came up short on promised range.

Correct, this is what transpired. I remember seeing the 747sp in AA colors at DFW during a connection

AA acquired 2 of TWA's 3 747SPs in 1987. Sold one in 1992 and the other in 1993.

AA 747SP seat map, very heavy premium configuration, 29F, 78J and only 78Y.

 
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ER757
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:29 pm

IIRC they eventually swapped out the MD-11 with the 777. I seem to remember that was the first scheduled 777 service out of SEA. UA had flown them in occasionally prior to that but those were one-offs and not part of a schedule. Was pretty cool from a spotter's prospective getting to see the AA MD-11 here and of course the shiny new 777 when that was brought in to replace the MD-11
 
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Tue Oct 13, 2015 3:26 am

Why was the SP so premium heavy? Did TWA have it set up like that?
 
jfk777
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:37 am

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 19):
Why was the SP so premium heavy? Did TWA have it set up like that?

The AA configuration was nothing like TWA had.
 
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:43 am

AA purchased the SEA to NRT because it was available. AA wanted any flight to Tokyo it could get, DFW -NRT was hardly a Pacific presence alone. In the late 1990's AA started ORD to NRT with MD-11's. I do not know why AA stopped flying SEA to NRT, it didn't last hat long. Did they get to keep the NRT slot for another route ?
 
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LAXintl
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:52 am

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 21):
I do not know why AA stopped flying SEA to NRT, it didn't last hat long. Did they get to keep the NRT slot for another route ?

It lasted almost exactly 10-years down to the day, but was cut in Oct 2001, as part of the 9/11 fall out along with several other longhaul routes chopped at same time.
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texan
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:25 am

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 14):
Quoting rbavfan (Reply 13):I remember AA using purchasing 747sp's for DFW-Tokyo until 777's replaced them. The MD11 came up short on promised range.
Correct, this is what transpired. I remember seeing the 747sp in AA colors at DFW during a connection & although AA did fly the MD-11 n/s DFW-NRT, it did take a big penalty for the range, what I was indicating that the economics of the route would have been in question. back in the 90's it was easier to take a hit like that.

The MD-11 operated the route for 5+ years, with no 747SP or 777 in sight. JL also operated DFW-NRT with an MD-11 in the late-1990s/early-2000s. The MD-11 under-performed on expectations, but it still had the capability of flying DFW-NRT nonstop with a good, and I believe full, payload.

Texan
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:26 am

AA also flew DFW-KIX with the MD-11.
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codc10
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:30 am

Quoting texan (Reply 23):
The MD-11 under-performed on expectations, but it still had the capability of flying DFW-NRT nonstop with a good, and I believe full, payload.

It took the PIP and lots of operational experience to get the MD-11 operating close to originally-promised spec, and by then the 772ER was entering service...
 
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:12 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 22):
It lasted almost exactly 10-years down to the day, but was cut in Oct 2001, as part of the 9/11 fall out along with several other longhaul routes chopped at same time.

I believe SEA-NRT was whacked at the same time as ORD-BHX, ORD-ARN and SJC-TPE.
 
TrijetsRMissed
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:53 am

Quoting codc10 (Reply 25):

That's only partly true. The PIP frames from 1995-96 on actually exceeded original performance expectations. And as detailed above, DFW-NRT was not a problem for the MD-11. Lastly, while the 77E was best in class, a direct comparison to the MD-11ER is more appropriate.
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American 767
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:53 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 17):
AA acquired 2 of TWA's 3 747SPs in 1987. Sold one in 1992 and the other in 1993.

Yes, they two SPs they had N601AA and N602AA flew DFW-NRT from 1987 until 1991 when the first MD-11 arrived. The two SP's were then assigned on TATL route out of JFK which were JFK-BRU and I believe JFK-LHR. But JFK-BRU I definitely remember. In the summer of 1992, both SPs were phased out though one remained on property until sold in 1993. JFK-BRU saw the 767 coming back.
I believe that the third ex-TWA SP31 went to some Middle East operator.
United kept theirs little longer, till the mid 90s.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 17):
AA 747SP seat map, very heavy premium configuration, 29F, 78J and only 78Y.

Because most passenger flying DFW-NRT are business travelers, it's a "Premium heavy" route as LAX-NRT and JFK-LHR are. When Singapore was flying the A345 it was configured in an all C config layout for the same reason.
Thanks Viscout724 for posting the 747SP seat map.

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jfk777
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RE: Why Did AA Fly SEA-NRT?

Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:00 am

Quoting American 767 (Reply 28):
When Singapore was flying the A345 it was configured in an all C config layout for the same reason.

Singapore was selling a 19 hour flight nonstop, if you want cheaper take the one-stop which Singapore still flies today. Same concept as the Concorde, speed. Obviously the Concorde and what the A350 did were different premium flights but enough people wanted faster just to save 3 hours and willing to pay for it.

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