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LAXintl
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:20 am

Quoting jayunited (Reply 46):
I haven't yet looked at UA's up coming summer schedule to see how many routes will be flown on 744's,

Planned S16 744 schedule

SFO-FRA x 2
SFO-HKG
SFO-ICN (goes 789 late in summer)
SFO-LHR
SFO-NRT
SFO-PEK
SFO-PVG

ORD-PEK
ORD-PVG

Quoting jayunited (Reply 46):
What I'm wonder is what does this announcement mean for the 77W fleet and the rumored plans to based that fleet at EWR?

Not a rumor. Was announced last week to pilots also.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
Viscount724
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:45 am

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 3):
Traffic volumes on those routes, barring some kind of global catastrophe, will only go up and up, yet they are replacing a 400 seater with a 300 seater. Makes no sense.

It may make good sense. You will recall that JL once had a huge 747 fleet but on many routes had to offer low uneconomic fares to fill them, and they went bankrupt doing it. Then they disposed of all their remaining 747s and replaced them with smaller aircraft (including the only 787s with comfortable 8-abreast seating in Y class) that can be operated at higher yields and they're profitable again. Going after volume isn't always the best way to maximize profits.
 
TC957
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:35 am

I'm sure as airliner fans we would love to see UA have a KE-style fleet of A380's and 748i's, however reality says otherwise.

What does the upcoming 744 fuel-tank mods mean for BA's still-considerable fleet ?

Quoting theSFOspotter (Reply 45):
there's a order of 20 more or so 77W's.

Certainly looks like the 10 officially ordered won't be anywhere near enough, so I think you're right.


Quoting LAXintl (Reply 51):
SFO-NRT

So NRT will be down to just one UA 744 a day this summer. Wasn't that long ago that they used to pour in every afternoon there.
 
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barney captain
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:42 am

Damn, this bums me out.  

I knew it was coming, I get it, but I'm still not happy about it. I remember working the ramp in PHX back in the day when Boeing flew a test bed 747-400 in for heat soaking - covered in that brilliant pre-delivery green protectant film. God she was beautiful.

I still think she's the most beautiful (sub-sonic) airliner ever built.
Southeast Of Disorder
 
jayunited
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:08 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 51):
Not a rumor. Was announced last week to pilots also.

Oh okay thank for that update.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 51):
Planned S16 744 schedule

SFO-FRA x 2
SFO-HKG
SFO-ICN (goes 789 late in summer)
SFO-LHR
SFO-NRT
SFO-PEK
SFO-PVG

ORD-PEK
ORD-PVG

So summer 2016 is set, how many 744's will still be in the fleet come summer 2017? Although summer 2018 is over 2 years away is there any indication as to when (which month) UA is scheduled to start taking delivery of the A35J? I'm only asking because I just curious will the A35J be available for international service on UA come summer 2018?
 
Andy33
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:28 pm

Quoting TC957 (Reply 54):
What does the upcoming 744 fuel-tank mods mean for BA's still-considerable fleet ?

I assume BA is already compliant, since their fleet plan calls for them to be still operating 32 744s at the start of January 2019. Whether the eight that are flying now but won't be by then have had the modification I don't know,

Although BA's last 744 was delivered in 1999, other operators took deliveries of passenger 744s well after the final TWA800 report was issued in 2000 and presumably these were factory-fitted with the nitrogen generation system. Anyone know when the production changeover happened?
 
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LAXintl
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:11 pm

Quoting jayunited (Reply 56):
So summer 2016 is set, how many 744's will still be in the fleet come summer 2017?

Prior to this latest news, the published 744 retirement schedule was:

Tail Number Exit Date
N179UA Jun/2016
N180UA Aug/2016
N182UA Jul/2017
N181UA Sep/2017
N174UA Dec/2017
N178UA Dec/2017
N175UA Q2/2018

With ORD 744 pilot base now closing in February 2017, one presumes only ops next summer will be from SFO.

Quoting jayunited (Reply 56):
any indication as to when (which month) UA is scheduled to start taking delivery of the A35J?

August 2018. Planned to have 4 on property by December 2018.

Quoting Andy33 (Reply 57):
Anyone know when the production changeover happened?

I dont believe NGS were installed by Boeing until very recent build freighters. The first NGS system (offered by Honeywell) was not even certified on the -400 until 2008. The -8i/F come with system factory fitted.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
jayunited
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:23 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 58):
Prior to this latest news, the published 744 retirement schedule was:

Tail Number Exit Date
N179UA Jun/2016
N180UA Aug/2016
N182UA Jul/2017
N181UA Sep/2017
N174UA Dec/2017
N178UA Dec/2017
N175UA Q2/2018

With ORD 744 pilot base now closing in February 2017, one presumes only ops next summer will be from SFO.

Quoting jayunited (Reply 56):
any indication as to when (which month) UA is scheduled to start taking delivery of the A35J?

August 2018. Planned to have 4 on property by December 2018.

So with this current schedule and with the 77W's going to EWR is it safe to assume that the sub-CO 772ER's will find their way to both ORD and SFO? ORD perhaps early next year and SFO late 2017 early 2018?
 
Freshside3
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:45 pm

Somehow, I am not convinced that the A350 is the right plane to replace the 744. Anyone else think that way??
 
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DocLightning
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:03 pm

Quoting Freshside3 (Reply 62):
Somehow, I am not convinced that the A350 is the right plane to replace the 744. Anyone else think that way??

In what way? It carries almost the same payload over a longer distance.

I remember when the 744 was brand-new and she was the bee's knees of modernity and efficiency. Her winglets looked positively space-age and her glass cockpit (with CRT displays) looked like the cockpit of a spaceship.

I also remember when the 77W reached her peak and became The Plane To Fly for major international carriers. And now, she too, is approaching her obsolescence with the advent of the A350 and the 77X programs.

As the airframers explore various configurations, it seems that an under-wing twin is really the optimal one. Every day is just a little duller for us spotters. But yet the advances keep coming. CFRP. GTF. Now we're going to have a variable-pitch fan. Folding wingtips. All-electric architecture.

I wonder what the future will bring.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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globalcabotage
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:49 pm

UA will probably order some more 77Ws. Boeing has slots to sell and UA will probably get them real cheap. A fleet of 20 would equal AA's, and would work nicely at EWR and ORD.
 
trex8
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:18 pm

the cost for doing the fuel inerting was estimated by FAA in 2008 as being 200- high 200sK. In the whole scheme of things with a heavy check even with inflation etc I wouldnt think its deal killer.
https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2008-07-21/pdf/E8-16084.pdf
page 43, 49

sniff, sniff, bye bye Queen of the Skies!
 
tortugamon
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:34 am

Quoting trex8 (Reply 65):
the cost for doing the fuel inerting was estimated by FAA in 2008 as being 200- high 200sK.

I can't tell if this was answered upthread but it appears that this could impact the 744F as well.

Boeing has said that they think there will be an uptick in 748F sales in 2019 (any sales would be an uptick) and I wonder if this is what is driving it. I would think they would need the replacement before that though.

tortugamon
 
Sooner787
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:30 am

Quoting trex8 (Reply 65):

the cost for doing the fuel inerting was estimated by FAA in 2008 as being 200- high 200sK. In the whole scheme of things with a heavy check even with inflation etc I wouldnt think its deal killer.
https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2008-07-21/pdf/E8-16084.pdf
page 43, 49

Appears BA has decided the modification is worth it, since they're planning on
operating their -400's well into the next decade
 
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ADent
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:49 am

Quoting UA444 (Reply 40):
I hope it dawns on them to preserve a 747-422 for prosperity, either by donating one or building a museum. Hopefully it's either in the Stars and Bars or Rainbow livery.

How about a 744 for a "gate guardian" in the median of Pena boulevard (main road to DEN). Call it an art project and the airport will pay for its installation.
 
pdx
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:07 am

Anybody know if they have channel 9? Thanks!
 
BiggerJetsPlz
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:25 am

Quoting Sooner787 (Reply 63):
Appears BA has decided the modification is worth it, since they're planning on
operating their -400's well into the next decade

Not to be a downer, because I love the 747 more than most, but Delta and United both said the same thing. Plans change, especially with the 744 lately. Hopefully BA's won't, but I'm expecting the worst now.
 
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Boeing778X
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:38 am

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 25):
I think UA may buy more A35K's

Not out of the question. They have something like 40 options!

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 42):
The rumor I have heard is 10 additional 77Ws.

If that happens, Boeing will be very happy! If they can close the production gap between the 777 and 777X with minimal pain, I'm sure they won't complain.

Quoting Freshside3 (Reply 58):
Somehow, I am not convinced that the A350 is the right plane to replace the 744. Anyone else think that way??

I think the A350-1000s were a great move! May not be 1:1 but they'll do!

Quoting globalcabotage (Reply 60):
UA will probably order some more 77Ws. Boeing has slots to sell and UA will probably get them real cheap. A fleet of 20 would equal AA's, and would work nicely at EWR and ORD.

I'm still wondering who's going to be the first U.S. 777X operator. My money is on AA and the 777-9.
Could UA potentially benefit from the 777-8?
United Airlines: $#!ttin' On Everyone Since 1931
 
UA444
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:00 am

Quoting pdx (Reply 65):
Anybody know if they have channel 9? Thanks!

Yes they do. Always did. All planes UA had prior to merging with CO had Ch 9. The Airbus and 777 domestic models lost it when they had the IFE removed.
 
flynlr
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:14 pm

interesting those frames are all part of the Current CRAF and make up almost all the pax 747 in the CRAF
see this list on the PDF at this link.

https://cms.dot.gov/administrations/office-intelligence-security-and-emergency-response/civil-reserve-airfleet-january-0

I wonder how that capacity will be replaced.
The Right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed
 
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LAX772LR
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:29 pm

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 3):
Makes no sense

Makes perfect sense

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 3):
At some point they're going to need some kind of people mover

Based on what?

Quoting A330 (Reply 6):
B744 is cheaper considering combined leasing costs and fuel costs then any other type at the moment, AND has a smoother ride, is faster and loved by its passengers.

....yeah, in 1995. You're about 20yrs behind the time with this: where its reliability is crap, parts/mtx is getting more expensive, and newer twinjets can fly circles around it with half the risk.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
FlyHossD
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:06 am

Quoting flynlr (Reply 69):
I wonder how that capacity will be replaced.

B772s, new B773s and in a few years, A350-1000s. As I understand it, UAL does a fair amount of military charters, so they'll be part of CRAF in the future, too.
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
avek00
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:39 am

Quoting Sooner787 (Reply 63):
Appears BA has decided the modification is worth it, since they're planning on
operating their -400's well into the next decade

BA is in a very different boat than DL/UA (and indeed, most other current/recent 744 operators) vis-a-vis the 744. BA has the luxury of a single operating base (LHR) whose market dynamics will enable the airline to commit the 744s primarily to 6-10 hour stage lengths to maximize operational performance in their final years.

DL and UA, by contrast, use their largest aircraft from multiple hubsites, and run them on some of the longest flights they operate. The reliability challenges of the 744s are more acutely felt by them, and have much bigger ripple effects upon their networks.
Live life to the fullest.
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:26 am

As inevitable as it is, it is still a bit sad. At least I will not be alive when the last 747 is retired.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
dash400
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:55 am

I was hoping that we would keep them until 2020, at least so I could bid to work on them regularly. Alas, it's not to be.
 
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LAX772LR
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:44 am

Quoting IMissPiedmont (Reply 73):
At least I will not be alive when the last 747 is retired.

Well, freighter perhaps. But you're under 65, so unless you plan on popping off relatively soon, chances are you very well could see the last 747 pax flight.

Hopefully it comes sooner rather than later.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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Boeing778X
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:59 am

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 75):
chances are you very well could see the last 747 pax flight.

Not unless LH and KE retire their 747-8i's sooner than expected. I expect the 748i's in service to live fulfilling, productive lives.
United Airlines: $#!ttin' On Everyone Since 1931
 
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LAX772LR
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:22 am

Quoting Boeing778X (Reply 76):
Not unless LH and KE retire their 747-8i's sooner than expected.

Which isn't all that far outside the realm of possibility, or even probability, if we're gonna be honest.


Quoting Boeing778X (Reply 76):
I expect the 748i's in service to live fulfilling, productive lives.

I don't.

They may say they will for now, and the fact that freighters are still helping shoulder parts/mtx costs does help.... but I wouldn't be surprised at all to see them eventually get rid of the 748i far sooner than they're currently projecting.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:18 pm

But I will be around to see the last A380 sent to the scrap heap.

  
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:32 pm

And confirmed.

744 fleet to be retired by the end of 2018.

http://newsroom.united.com/index.php?s=20295&item=124646

=
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ahmetdouas
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:37 pm

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 48):

Relax! The 748's will be around for at least 20 more years!
 
ahmetdouas
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:39 pm

Quoting Freshside3 (Reply 58):

Yes I'm thinking 777-9.
 
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scbriml
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:52 pm

Quoting Freshside3 (Reply 58):
Somehow, I am not convinced that the A350 is the right plane to replace the 744. Anyone else think that way??

Er, no. Not me.   

Quoting ahmetdouas (Reply 81):
Yes I'm thinking 777-9.

The 747s will be long gone before the 779 enters service. What UA have done is convert more 787 orders to 77Ws (4) and swapped 787-10s for 787-9s for earlier delivery. So between A350s, 77Ws and 787-9s, the 747s will have been replaced.

[Edited 2016-03-08 05:53:00]
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There are 10 types of people in the World - those that understand binary and those that don't.
 
tortugamon
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:41 pm

So UA has ~22 747s which includes at least 1 aircraft for charter services and at least 1 (2?) as an operational spare. And by the end of 2018 they will have received 14 77Ws, 5 additional 789s (than what was previously planned) and a handful of A351s.

I That 35-unit A351 orders seems excessive now. Maybe they are planning on upgauging some 77E/789 flights but they have been very tight on capacity increases as of late.

tortugamon
 
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scbriml
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:47 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 83):
I That 35-unit A351 orders seems excessive now.

Well that took longer than I expected.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
There are 10 types of people in the World - those that understand binary and those that don't.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:54 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 83):
I That 35-unit A351 orders seems excessive now. Maybe they are planning on upgauging some 77E/789 flights but they have been very tight on capacity increases as of late.

United still needs plenty more widebody planes. It needs to start retirements of the 74 772s and 51 767s. First examples are already over 20 years old.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
tortugamon
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:24 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 84):
Well that took longer than I expected.

I now right. You would think that more people would highlight an airline buying more than a dozen 77Ws with an arrival date that overlaps their A351 EIS. They are going with roughly 366 seats in their 77Ws which I would think would be just slightly more (~5%) than what they will put in their A351s. Seems like an overlap in both capacity and capability.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 85):
United still needs plenty more widebody planes. It needs to start retirements of the 74 772s and 51 767s. First examples are already over 20 years old.

Sure, absolutely and I would think the A359 would make more sense to do that job given their sensitivity for capacity increases. But we saw them convert their A359s to A351s when they ordered 78Xs.

tortugamon
 
a380787
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:33 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 85):

United still needs plenty more widebody planes. It needs to start retirements of the 74 772s and 51 767s. First examples are already over 20 years old.

For now, I'm somewhat inclined to believe that UA wants to be the launch customer for Boeing's MOM to replace 753s, 763s, and certain 764s. Better performing routes will receive 789s when UA exercise their options post-2020.

If Boeing's MOM come in 2 sizes, the smaller size would also form the basis of their future p.s. fleet.
 
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KarelXWB
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:42 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 86):
Seems like an overlap in both capacity and capability.

As the A350 order is much older, one would not expect additional 777 orders if overcapacity was a concern.

Clearly UA doesn't think they will face overcapacity.

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 86):
given their sensitivity for capacity increases
Quoting tortugamon (Reply 86):
But we saw them convert their A359s to A351s when they ordered 78Xs.

You have just answered your own question. Maybe UA are sensitivity for capacity increases, yet they converted A359s into A35Ks and swapped their remaining 787-8s for larger 787-9s and 787-10s.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 85):
United still needs plenty more widebody planes. It needs to start retirements of the 74 772s and 51 767s. First examples are already over 20 years old.

This.

[Edited 2016-03-08 08:42:55]
What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived.
 
tortugamon
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:03 pm

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 88):
As the A350 order is much older, one would not expect additional 777 orders if overcapacity was a concern.

Unless they are planning on making changes to the A350 order similar to what they have done quite a few times now with the 787 order.

It seems a little weird that UA is going to have nearly 50 345-366-seat aircraft in the near future when they currently have zero aircraft that size and only ~20 larger. Saying nothing about the 40 options. Clearly a capacity increase - or - another order change is coming.

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 88):
Maybe UA are sensitivity for capacity increases, yet they converted A359s into A35Ks and swapped their remaining 787-8s for larger 787-9s and 787-10s.

I think the 787 swap from 8s to 10s involved fewer units. At the time and along with the 77W purchase they said there would be minimal to no impact to capacity.


tortugamon
 
PGNCS
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:12 pm

Quoting A330 (Reply 6):
They are idiots.

B744 is cheaper considering combined leasing costs and fuel costs then any other type at the moment, AND has a smoother ride, is faster and loved by its passengers.

A cabin refurbishment is way cheaper than buying plastic fantastic.

Please provide the hard data on which you base your claims. I'm curious how you got better data than all the managers and analysts at UA.  

Just because you claim they are idiots does not make it so. I am particularly curious about your data claiming the 744 is loved by passengers: I detest being on it in the back.

Quoting scbriml (Reply 14):
Quoting A330 (Reply 6):They are idiots.
Yeah, what do they know about running a profitable airline?

  

Quoting slider (Reply 19):
But you're not factoring in maintenance, cost of parts, etc. Frankly, the UA 747s are getting a little long in the tooth, there are a lot of mx related delays and cancellations. UA is working on improving reliability; shedding unreliable fleet types (or not making the massive investment needed to keep them operating), is a savvy business move. But I'm glad you think they're idiots. The world must be so clear from your perch running a major airline.

   I will definitely NOT miss them.

Quoting Deltal1011man (Reply 44):
Quoting A330 (Reply 6):
B744 is cheaper considering combined leasing costs and fuel costs then any other type at the moment, AND has a smoother ride, is faster and loved by its passengers.

I hope you have data to back that up, and can also some how prove the 747 total cost is cheaper than the 787 and/or 77W (or A350s)

Thanks Deltal1011man: I'm eager to see the data too!

Quoting Freshside3 (Reply 58):
Somehow, I am not convinced that the A350 is the right plane to replace the 744. Anyone else think that way??

Explain and justify, please.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 59):
Quoting Freshside3 (Reply 62):Somehow, I am not convinced that the A350 is the right plane to replace the 744. Anyone else think that way??

In what way? It carries almost the same payload over a longer distance.

  
 
jayunited
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:20 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 83):
So UA has ~22 747s which includes at least 1 aircraft for charter services and at least 1 (2?) as an operational spare. And by the end of 2018 they will have received 14 77Ws, 5 additional 789s (than what was previously planned) and a handful of A351s.

I That 35-unit A351 orders seems excessive now. Maybe they are planning on upgauging some 77E/789 flights but they have been very tight on capacity increases as of late.

However if you look at what has taken place over the pass few years in regards to the 744 and 77E/789 fleet it wasn't so much that UA removed 744's from routes to adjust capacity many of the 744's were removed from routes because of dependability issues and increased competition that had a better on-time performance and a better hard product throughout the cabin. While there has been a lot of focus on the 77Ws headed to EWR to increase capacity on some international routes at that hub I believe there are routes at ORD, SFO and LAX that also need more capacity and would benefit from the additional capacity the A351 offers.

We will have to wait and see if UA actually takes delivery of all 35 A351s or if UA defers/converts some deliveries and opts for a smaller fleet of perhaps 20-25 frames.
 
tortugamon
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:40 pm

Quoting jayunited (Reply 91):
While there has been a lot of focus on the 77Ws headed to EWR to increase capacity on some international routes at that hub I believe there are routes at ORD, SFO and LAX that also need more capacity and would benefit from the additional capacity the A351 offers.

Solid point. This 747 retirement won't yield 1:1 744-like airplanes based in ORD/SFO like today's 744s. And I do argree EWR could use some though I have my doubts about the shrinking hub at LAX.

Still the A351 is quite the capacity jump over the 77E it is going to replace. It really could be 70+ seat differences which UA and their flat capacity growth with super cheap fuel doesn't seem well-positioned to take on easily. I don't see them reducing frequency much either.

tortugamon
 
fun2fly
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:42 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 89):
It seems a little weird that UA is going to have nearly 50 345-366-seat aircraft in the near future when they currently have zero aircraft that size and only ~20 larger. Saying nothing about the 40 options. Clearly a capacity increase - or - another order change is coming.

If you look at it in this manner, it makes more sense.

24 x 744's were in service a year or so ago.
14 x 77W's to upgauge EWR replacing 10 domestic 777's. Much easier than additional frequencies.
Approximately 10 or so units for growth over a 5 year period or so...that's one daily TPAC route or two daily TATL routes per year. Manageable growth.

Not to mention, some feeder routes like EWR and ORD to FRA could use the capacity, it all seems manageable.

As previously mentioned, the 77E's will start to age and need replacement should the economy slow down.
 
ScottB
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:40 pm

Quoting avek00 (Reply 72):
DL and UA, by contrast, use their largest aircraft from multiple hubsites, and run them on some of the longest flights they operate. The reliability challenges of the 744s are more acutely felt by them, and have much bigger ripple effects upon their networks.

More importantly for DL, the 744 is a reflection of bygone times when the aircraft made sense in NWA's network as there were only two meaningful U.S. players to Asia and fewer Asian competitors in the transpacific market as well. But with the NRT hub gradually shrinking to nothing and U.S.-China non-stops from a dozen or so airports, DL has no need for aircraft that large. And even in the heyday of the 744 at NWA, the airline was notorious for dumping plenty of cheap seats through consolidators.

The situation is somewhat similar at UA in that the 787 allows them to serve secondary Chinese markets non-stop from SFO and has also led to greater fragmentation to Australia. And the 77W is a near seat-for-seat replacement for the 744 with substantially lower trip costs. Not to mention that Boeing is willing to make deals to keep production slots filled until the 777X is ready for delivery to customers.
 
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TWA772LR
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:04 pm

So here's a breakdown of UAs widebody fleet (sans 747).
767-300ER 214 seats (all 3-class birds are going to 2-class)
787-8 219 seats
767-400ER 242 seats
787-9 252 seats
777-200 266 seats
777-200ER 267/269 seats
777-300ER 366 seats
A350-1000 TBA
787-10 TBA

747-400 374 seats


UA is going to be heavy in fleet size above 300 seats. With a healthy count of 35 763s, those are starting to get pretty old. When will those be retired? The next largest plane is the 788, but with only 12 in the fleet, that makes them a niche frame, just like the 762 in the CO fleet, but that doesn't leave much for marginal routes or expansion. China, which is what the 788 is heavily used on to start secondary cities from SFO, is sitting on a huge economic bubble. If that bubble bursts, some of those cities may not be able to support a 777 or 789 service, if they want to see a greater ROI in that event, I feel the 788 is the more necessary aircraft, and that a fleet of 20 or so frames is more appropriate for UA.

With the 744s on an accelerated retirement schedule now (2018 vs. 2020) , and the A350-1000 slated to be the official replacement, I think the 77W will be the stop-gap. The 77W has been slated for EWR-centric ops, but I predict SFO to get some 77W action until hte A350 arrives, just to cover the 744 trunk routes out of there. EWR is holding its own with expansion on the 763 to Europe, and BOM/DEL can wait as they preform really well for UA.
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tortugamon
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:40 pm

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 95):
777-300ER 366 seats
A350-1000 TBA
Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 95):
UA is going to be heavy in fleet size above 300 seats.

An understatement. If they are going to take what they have on order it will more than double the above 300-seat capacity. All the while posting this type of results:
-Revenue of $9.04 billion, down 3.0% year-over-year (YOY)
-Capacity up 1.8% YOY and unit revenue (PRASM) down 6.0% YOY
http://airwaysnews.com/blog/2016/02/...us-legacy-airlines-record-profits/
and here is more concern today about decreasing capacity to boost profits:
"U.S. Airlines Reviewing Capacity Plans on Drop in Average Fares"
http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-airl...es-1457463109?mod=wsj_nview_latest

And this is despite what they are doing with 50-seaters and where they are expanding on long-haul: CTU, MEL, HGH, XIY, SIN etc? These types of routes will reduce UA traffic to PEK, NRT, etc further de-emphasizing the need for hub-hub large aircraft travel.

tortugamon
 
irelayer
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:48 pm

Quoting 777222LR (Reply 1):
I probably took my last flight on the United 747-400 last week, SFO-AND OLD: Hong Kong - Kai Tak International (HKG / VHHH) (closed), China - Hong Kong">HKG and back. With Wifi and quick movie streaming to your personal device, living without PTV's is a non-issue, and it's still such a wonderful aircraft to fly. Sad to see them go, but it's probably the way of the future. Still would like to see a 748i order, but we know that's not likely to happen with the A350-1000 and the 777-300ER's.

My thoughts exactly! I did SFO-PEK on UA888 (a truly auspicious flight number) and the Wifi was the best feature. Such a smooth ride too. The landing was perfect, Ch. 9 was on too! We came in at a very slow speed after a long descent (saw the Great Wall!) and it almost didn't seem like we touched down. Just went from flying to taxing to the gate.

I also did AND OLD: Hong Kong - Kai Tak International (HKG / VHHH) (closed), China - Hong Kong">HKG-SFO on the way back. For me, this really felt like classic flying to me. The idea of Hong Kong to SFO on a 747 is like the epitome of jet travel to me. Don't know if that makes sense, but it was a special experience when they towed that beast to the gate. I actually paid more so I could do these on 747s.

Quoting A330 (Reply 6):
They are idiots.

B744 is cheaper considering combined leasing costs and fuel costs then any other type at the moment, AND has a smoother ride, is faster and loved by its passengers.

A cabin refurbishment is way cheaper than buying plastic fantastic.

Not to beat a dead horse but the cabin was literally falling apart, absolutely atrocious. I sat down and my armrest just fell on to the floor. Don't know how they think this is acceptable for a US airline on a prestigious route. Beyond the soft product which is, frankly, embarrassing, they should at least redo the stupid cabin so it doesn't look like some third-world airline flying a broken down 20 year old aircraft. Also, I don't know what it is, but the FAs are just NOT interested in doing their jobs. They hurry through everything, get annoyed when you ask them for something, and are just generally pissed off at having to deal with service. And this is in a cabin where booze is 8 bucks! 8 dollars, on a 12 hour flight. Anyway, rant over.

I hope the 744 serves through 2020.

-IR
 
Viscount724
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:50 am

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 90):
I am particularly curious about your data claiming the 744 is loved by passengers: I detest being on it in the back.

It's notably better in Y class than a 10-abreast 777 due to the almost 1-foot wider 747 cabin.
 
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Aaron747
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RE: United To Retire B747 Fleet By 2018

Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:24 am

Quoting avek00 (Reply 72):
BA is in a very different boat than DL/UA (and indeed, most other current/recent 744 operators) vis-a-vis the 744. BA has the luxury of a single operating base (LHR) whose market dynamics will enable the airline to commit the 744s primarily to 6-10 hour stage lengths to maximize operational performance in their final years.

Not to mention they are powered by the Rollers so many of us adore!
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