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FlyASAGuy2005
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Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:19 pm

Looking at the current landscape and where air travel is moving to, what are your opinions on the future of Delta's NRT operations.

This is not necessarily based on the new developments of HND as I think it's viability had been questioned internally for several years, evident in podcasts of years past. The general tone was that the beach markets were doing okay but as a whole, the hub struggled.

With SEA ramping up, new aircraft deliveries to include the A330/A350 and the eventual retirement of the 747s, what are your thoughts? For Delta, I think this is where the 787 would be the idea airplane to connect some of their longer interport destinations to LAX/SEA or even their ATL hub if the traffic was there. Not only that, it got me to thinking as it relates to what happened to SJU for AA. Many of those markets could overfly SJU and connect directly with MIA. If they weren't strong enough of market was too small, it was cut. This is what I think will happen to NRT within the next 5 years; some think less.

Thoughts?
What gets measured gets done.
 
MIflyer12
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:26 pm

Get a perfect forecast of the yen:USD so one can predict Japanese tourist demand.

Get a complete understanding of the development of non-stop China route rights, and of the long-mooted JV with KE.

Do a little macro hokey-pokey (TATL or deep S America demand vs. TPAC demand and widebody utilization). Forecast fuel prices over a decade. Now you're ready to predict what's going to happen with DL's hub at NRT.
 
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N717TW
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:41 pm

It will limp along until 2020. At which time it will be a beach destination with flights to Hawai'i and American Samoa with perhaps one through flight from a US hub (likely DTW) continuing to someplace in Asia (maybe BKK) to preserve DL's spot as one of the two airlines allowed 5th freedom rights. In other words, NRT will look like a bigger version of KIX and NGO.

Why?
* by then some additional HND slots will be available and DL will have LAX plus two other cities (probably SEA and JFK)
* by then DL and KE will have finally had a meeting of the mind and the Asia transit hub will be ICN, or/and
* by then SEA/DTW and the MU/PVG gateways will be up and running. DL will then have the 787 and A350 running SEA-Southeast Asia business markets ( TPE, MNL, SIN, etc.) plus expanded PVG service from the US (at least JFK and maybe ATL) giving access to all inland Chinese cities. if the 787 and 350's efficiency claims are true, then this can recreate the NRT flow over SEA/DTW and provide one-connection trips from the top 75 to 100 US markets to the same top asian markets DL serves now (sans, perhaps BKK).
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:59 pm

Quoting N717TW (Reply 2):

Good points.

-I still question what's going on with DL/KE's love hate relationship. DL seems to be moving towards China now (through speak at least).

-The beach markets are nice but I think they survive due to NRT's function on a whole. Makes me wonder exactly how important they will be when SEA really matures, they can get a quasi-permanent solution to LAX which is currently in motion, and more 757s are sent for retirement down the road, to include the iPort aircraft.

Personally, and it's just my opinion, I think we will see changes to NRT starting as early as 2018 with additional overflying, as the international fleet is rationalized with more A330s to go around as well as 77Ls that's doing much shorter routes than originally planned. Maybe the long rumored 773 order will also come.

[Edited 2016-02-21 10:02:48]
What gets measured gets done.
 
LAXdude1023
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:31 pm

My thoughts:

-NRT will eventually serve markets that don't make sense to serve nonstop from DTW or SEA (SIN, MNL, BKK, TPE, etc.).
-DL will cut NRT-PEK/PVG/HKG/KIX/ICN.
-I think all current NRT routes from the US (ATL, DTW, JFK, SEA, PDX, HNL, LAX, MSP) can be maintained.
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michman
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:51 pm

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 4):
-DL will cut NRT-PEK/PVG/HKG/KIX/ICN.

You might want to do a little more research. NRT-PEK/KIX/ICN are already gone. NRT-HKG was already cut once and is scheduled to go away again (likely permanently) at the end of March.
 
steex
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:59 pm

Quoting michman (Reply 5):
NRT-PEK/KIX/ICN are already gone.

Correct on PEK/ICN, but NRT-KIX is coming back yet again next month.
 
theSFOspotter
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:03 am

Maybe SFO-NRT will open up again with more demand picking up. A DL A330 for 11 hours wouldn't be too shabby!
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FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:08 am

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 4):

My thoughts on that are, MSP will be cut. DTW will be maintained with an addition to HND if/when they can get the slots. There will still be a need for onward traffic through NRT from the auto industry. I think LAX will also be cut in favor of SEA/PDX.
What gets measured gets done.
 
Sightseer
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:32 am

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 8):
I think LAX will also be cut

IMO HND will really have to open up before that happens.

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 8):
in favor of SEA/PDX.

I don't see how PDX survives on DL without some meaningful connectivity on the other end.

[Edited 2016-02-21 16:34:57]
 
Flighty
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:38 am

The NRT hub is a little like the 747. Of historical importance but not a serious part of today's business.
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:48 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):

Very much so. What was important in years past is not the case today. If they had a big partner on the other end I think a lot of the hib flights would survive. Much like AMS.

Quoting Sightseer (Reply 9):

Good point.
What gets measured gets done.
 
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N717TW
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:32 am

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 3):
-The beach markets are nice but I think they survive due to NRT's function on a whole. Makes me wonder exactly how important they will be when SEA really matures, they can get a quasi-permanent solution to LAX which is currently in motion, and more 757s are sent for retirement down the road, to include the iPort aircraft.

Interesting point--that the scale of the NRT hub essentially allows DL to operate profitable HNL, GUM and SPN service. I guess I was working on an assumption not based on any real evidence. But you're right, DL won't keep asia-based 757/small aircraft and support JP operations for GUM/SPN (or the HNL-TYO/KIX/NGO/FUK service) if it doesn't turn a profit and otherwise help its FF base.

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 3):
-I still question what's going on with DL/KE's love hate relationship. DL seems to be moving towards China now (through speak at least).

China is the market to be in and if NRT isn't as good as it used to be and you can't get through ICN, you need to find something else. That's the real power of the ICN hub--an easy to navigate airport without any/much immigration issues that is along the flight path between China and North America. (i've done both NRT and ICN and I'll take ICN anyday). As to DL and KE: All indications are that DL/KE just can't find a mutually beneficial agreement. DL needs the JV more than KE does and I'm willing to bet KE knows that and is calling for terms DL won't agree to. PVG is a weaker back up. Its a great city that will probably rival the other key cities of world some day but as a transit hub its less than ideal. Frankly it reminds me of NYC and JFK. JFK is a great place to hub for reaching NYC and its a good enough hub but not great for connecting the U.S. markets. But you'd be insane to route yourself Europe-JFK-Canada/Mexico/Latin America. Sure people do it and in a few years I'm sure DL will try to sell you USA-PVG-BKK, but its not ideal and won't command premium fares.
 
Sightseer
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:30 am

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 11):
If they had a big partner on the other end I think a lot of the hib flights would survive. Much like AMS.

Agreed. If DL and KE ever kiss and make up I would expect at the worst that more marginal flying like PDX-NRT simply switches to ICN. We might even see something like BOS-ICN become a reality. If only ... I know DL's big on PVG these days, but the reality is it's 1000 miles past NRT from the US and not as well positioned to capture flows to the likes of PUS, FUK, etc.
 
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RyanairGuru
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:50 am

The bigger issue with PVG is the bilaterals: USA and China don't have open skies. Any hypothetical DL-MU JV is still a very, very long way off as the bilateral would need to be changed first.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
Sightseer
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:14 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 14):

Yes, that too. Even after Open Skies happens with China, I still think PVG by itself is not the solution for DL in Asia.
 
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LAX772LR
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:22 am

Quoting N717TW (Reply 2):
by then DL and KE will have finally had a meeting of the mind and the Asia transit hub will be ICN

You probably shouldn't subscribe to arbitrary dates just because they're round numbers.... DL and KE have been immunized partners for 14 (yes, fourteen) years now, and yet still haven't managed to come to a j/v agreement.

I doubt 4 more years changes much of anything, in and of itself.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
crownvic
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:35 am

I say eventually, the NRT hub goes bye, bye and many of the beyond destinations like BKK, SIN and MNL will be dropped ...If DL cannot serve a destination nonstop from SEA in Asia, it will go away. Why? Delta has become very yield conscious in recent years. Operating at NRT is very expensive. I think that with fuel prices at their current levels, it will just give the hub oxygen, until the next "burp" in aviation occurs, then the hub will shuttered. When you get to be my age you see so much history of aviation change over the years. The NRT hub, when it belonged to NW and PA, was the "Golden Egg". It was the prize of any airline and nobody ever thought it's value would ever go anywhere, but up. Along came smaller more efficient long haul aircraft and more airlines started flying point to point from N. America to many cities in Asia. Along came higher fuel prices and 9/11. Airport costs have soared, as they have had to incur more security measures. Then you have the opening of long haul services to HND. In the past, NRT served both connecting Asia passengers and served as the termination point for foreigners going to Japan. Now with direct flights to HND, there is no reason for those same pax to go to NRT. It has transformed mostly into a connecting hub now for DL and UA. The "Golden Egg" may not have reached a "Goose Egg", but it's value is nothing what it use to be.

One has to now realize, the cost of a connection at NRT is not cheap. Air fares have not gone up commensurate to cost associated at NRT. One must also not forget, it was about one year ago, the NRT hub was a two bank daily operation that was reduced to a single bank. That alone should be an indicator, that things are not on the increase, but are going the other way. United has done the same thing. It is my opinion that NRT's hub for both DL and UA are on borrowed time.
 
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RWA380
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:04 am

Quoting Sightseer (Reply 9):

I don't see how PDX survives on DL without some meaningful connectivity on the other end.

It's like 75% O/D plus there are AS/QX connections from PSC/GEG/BOI/RDM/EUG/MFR with the DL/AS partnership that still exists.
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United1
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:32 am

Quoting crownvic (Reply 17):
It is my opinion that NRT's hub for both DL and UA are on borrowed time.

UAs NRT hub has basically been turned over to NH at this point as part of the joint venture. Once SFO-SIN comes online the only beyond flight on UA metal will be to ICN. All of the remaining US-NRT UA flights either exist to move passengers from the US-Tokyo or feed the NH hub which is a much more sustainable position to be in than DLs go in alone approach.

I'm not sure DL has much of a choice but to keep a hub in NRT if they want to keep their existing market share in Asia. SEA seems to work OK for them but it doesn't seem to ideal either....
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FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:48 am

Quoting crownvic (Reply 17):

SJU was also the golden egg and look at it today. I think the same thing is slowly hsppening but on a different scale. I truly believe in 5 years time NRT come down to ATL/LAX/SEA/DTW. I dont rven think JFK would survive. The flows can go over DTW/ATL or direct on a partner carrier?
What gets measured gets done.
 
trent1000
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:20 pm

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 4):
-DL will cut NRT-PEK/PVG/HKG/KIX/ICN.

Also mentioned by N717TW reply 12

And keep FUK-HNL? DL598 / 599
I am surprised they think they can fill a 767 5 X weekly

Alternatives from FUK to HNL are via KIX, NGO or TYO on Japanese carriers or via ICN, as it's so close (1 hour flight).
 
TC957
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:50 pm

Quoting United1 (Reply 19):
the only beyond flight on UA metal will be to ICN.

You forgot the 3 x daily NRT - GUM. Although that's not on a same-plane UA frame coming from a US point I know.
Perhaps UA should hand that route over to Star A partner NH when they get their 3 A380's.
I too think DL will gradually wind down NRT in the next few years, with a bigger reduction circa 2020 when they get their 787's.
 
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cathay747
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:29 pm

My personal views are:

1. the NRT hub will be dismantled eventually (over time, see below)
2. TYO will become a strictly O&D spoke from DL's various
hubs & focus cities in the U.S. 48
3. they might possibly also retain TYO-HNL & GUM if they are
profitable but I don't see retaining any other beach markets
ex-Japan
4. as they are able, depending on the slot situation, DL will
shift what they can from NRT to HND with priority to given
to key business routes
5. the build-up of SEA Asian routes will continue in order to
facilitate dismantling of the NRT hub, once DL has the
proper aircraft on property to operate nonstop from SEA
to places like SIN

The days of needing those 5th Freedoms in high-cost Japan are
really gone, again, once they have the proper aircraft to bypass
Japan.
Try a Little VC-10derness
 
a380787
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:14 pm

Quoting TC957 (Reply 22):

You forgot the 3 x daily NRT - GUM. Although that's not on a same-plane UA frame coming from a US point I know.
Perhaps UA should hand that route over to Star A partner NH when they get their 3 A380's.
I too think DL will gradually wind down NRT in the next few years, with a bigger reduction circa 2020 when they get their 787's.

They don't need to, since GUM is US soil so NRT-GUM isn't a 5th freedom service. UA also has a hub at GUM, so there's little need to "hand it over" to NH the same way NRT-HKG/BKK/SIN were.
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:43 pm

Quoting trent1000 (Reply 21):
And keep FUK-HNL? DL598 / 599
I am surprised they think they can fill a 767 5 X weekly

NW flew HNL-FUK with a DC-10 but it did not last very long.

Quoting cathay747 (Reply 23):

The days of needing those 5th Freedoms in high-cost Japan are
really gone, again, once they have the proper aircraft to bypass
Japan.

NW had planned to overfly NRT and that was why they ordered the 787-8.

There had been some talk of linking NRT with DEL or BOM but nothing ever came of it. KUL came and went a couple of times from both NRT and KIX.

The new A350-900XWB and 787-9 and 10 are game changers. I remember hearing years ago that to RON a 747 in Japan cost about $10,000. That is why they used to tag on KIX-TPE and NGO-MNL.

No 747's RON'd in NRT unless there was some maintenance issue. The flights were banked inbound in the late morning/early afternoon from the Asian cities, mid-afternoon inbounds from the US and outbound to the US and Asian cities in late afternoon/early evening. Those birds did not sit around very much. It was always a rush to get the planes cleaned, catered, loaded and out as quickly as possible.
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LAXdude1023
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:30 pm

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 8):
My thoughts on that are, MSP will be cut.


Why though? The market is big enough for one flight to Asia.
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LAXintl
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:46 pm

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 14):
The bigger issue with PVG is the bilaterals: USA and China don't have open skies. Any hypothetical DL-MU JV is still a very, very long way off as the bilateral would need to be changed first.
Quoting Sightseer (Reply 15):
Yes, that too. Even after Open Skies happens with China, I still think PVG by itself is not the solution for DL in Asia.

  

Another thing that hurts PVG is that ops(and connectivity) is split with SHA. Many large domestic markets simply do not connect off DL flights into PVG due timing and MU limited frequency.

Plus PVG is pretty far South. ICN on the other hand is located very well when coming from the US to offer broad connections all across Far East.

Quoting TC957 (Reply 22):
You forgot the 3 x daily NRT - GUM. Although that's not on a same-plane UA frame coming from a US point I know.
Perhaps UA should hand that route over to Star A partner NH when they get their 3 A380's.

Why would UA give up on NRT-GUM?

UA is far the largest operator in GUM and hub there with dedicated aircraft and workforce very much focused on Japanese tourism.

If anything moving a NRT-GUM flight to HND might be a neat idea, but to drop the Tokyo route entirely would be crazy.

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 25):
No 747's RON'd in NRT unless there was some maintenance issue.

Lately they have a 744 parked at NRT as spare. It can be seen hanging around the hangar area.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
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N717TW
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:04 pm

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 16):

I agree. The four years referred to the date by when NRT will no longer be a transit hub for DL. Because, I feel, one of two things will happen: either KE/DL will come to their senses OR the combination of super-efficient jets and a PVG transit hub for intra China.


KE and DL have been partners for 14 years but their partnership isn't immunized from anti-trust laws. My understanding is that the NW merger is/was the start of the rift that is causing the bad blood. Previous that that DL and KE got along swimmingly. Today they each bring some pretty good treats to the TPAC party and neither has a compelling need to share and apparently would rather play in their own corners. Too bad.
 
panamair
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:27 pm

Quoting N717TW (Reply 28):
KE and DL have been partners for 14 years but their partnership isn't immunized from anti-trust laws.

It is immunized. KE and DL have had ATI since 2002:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...r-antitrust-immunity-77998367.html
 
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spinkid
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:28 pm

I'm thinking outside the box.

Maybe Delta does overfly NRT for some cities, but looks into 2nd Tier Chinese and SE Asian cities that couldn't support to the U.S. Phuket, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Jeju, Macau, Clark.

They could even base 737-800's there for some of those routes.

One think we all agree on for this thread, is that it will change over time, but there are many variables that will go into it. The way Haneda slots roll out, fuel prices, US v Yen, et.
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:05 am

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 26):

Size of a market doesnt always dictate viability. Market size is very much static as well. I simply do not think MSP is robust in and of itself to support a direct flight to NRT without onward connections if DL choses that route. Further more, you have the TYO people that will now opt for the daytime flights to HND. We all need to look at this on a grander scale. The dynamics of NRT have changed drastically over the last 10 years and then again now with the HND agreement.
What gets measured gets done.
 
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LAX772LR
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:31 am

Quoting N717TW (Reply 28):

KE and DL have been partners for 14 years but their partnership isn't immunized from anti-trust laws.

Incorrect. KE and DL have had anti-trust immunity for 14yrs.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
crownvic
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:46 am

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 25):
No 747's RON'd in NRT unless there was some maintenance issue. The flights were banked inbound in the late morning/early afternoon from the Asian cities, mid-afternoon inbounds from the US and outbound to the US and Asian cities in late afternoon/early evening. Those birds did not sit around very much. It was always a rush to get the planes cleaned, catered, loaded and out as quickly as possible.
Quoting LAXintl (Reply 27):

Lately they have a 744 parked at NRT as spare. It can be seen hanging around the hangar area.

For the DL 744 parked at the hangar area, I too observed this a/c the past week. The DL 744 ops have really dwindled at NRT. Here is what I think is left. The MNL 744 simply runs NRT-MNL in the evening, overnights at MNL and returns out late the next morning back to NRT. I was thinking they are just using one 744 to go back and forth to MNL everyday, but during the course of the 10 day period I flew back and forth to MNL, it was two different a/c. In the past, this flight (#274), becomes the DTW flight, but 3x per week, DTW is an A332, so I guess they are using the spare 744 for rotational purposes. Maybe somebody knows more? Bottom line is, I don't think there anything beyond this for DL 744s at NRT anymore.
 
EddieDude
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:11 pm

Quoting N717TW (Reply 28):
a PVG transit hub for intra China.

It has already been explained that Shanghai has two airports and that MU probably has a more extensive domestic network out of SHA than out of PVG. This is hardly ideal. It is a bit what happens with EZE and AEP.
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a380787
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:20 pm

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 34):

It has already been explained that Shanghai has two airports and that MU probably has a more extensive domestic network out of SHA than out of PVG. This is hardly ideal. It is a bit what happens with EZE and AEP.

Even with the split hub scenario at SHA+PVG, I believe PVG already links more interior Chinese cities than any one of ICN NRT HND. The only hub in that region with even more destination breadth would be PEK (I won't speculate the implications when Beijing Daxing Airport opens).

But lets not forget that if PVG were to eventually replace NRT, its utility in DL's world must be all of East Asia, not just China.
 
Flighty
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RE: Future Of DL's NRT Hub?

Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:30 pm

Quoting a380787 (Reply 35):
But lets not forget that if PVG were to eventually replace NRT, its utility in DL's world must be all of East Asia, not just China.

IMO they pretty much just need Seattle and a China hub, which could be ICN. Not clear how to serve TPE but perhaps that's included in China hub. Or, direct from SEA. But they should serve it.

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Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos