We take our first delivery at the end of the year, and then the remainder will come in the first half of 2017. Our plan right now is to fly those out of Newark and in long-haul, high-demand routes like China and deep trans-Atlantic cities.
That airplane is coming in 2018. We’ve modeled a deployment plan, but even if I could tell you, it’s such a high risk of change that it’s like forecasting the weather three years from now. You can take a stab at it, but you’re probably going to end up being wrong. The way to think about it is that we’ve announced that between now and 2018 were going to retire our Boeing 747 fleet. We’re going to need some big airplanes to backfill that, and the biggest airplanes we’ll have will be the 777-300 and the A350-1000
CSeries Vs. 737-700 order:
he CSeries is a beautiful airplane. We had a chance to experience it with Bombardier in Montreal and in other sites. It was a great airplane with good economics. One of the challenges we face for any new fleet type is that it comes with a lot of infrastructure investments. We’d have to train new pilots and that comes with simulators, and we would have to have spare parts backing for that airplane. And on the day of operation, if we have a bunch of pilots who can fly a CSeries and a bunch of pilots who can fly a 737 and they’re not interchangeable, that may take away some flexibility in our operation.
, we believe we have the industry’s leading Pacific gateway in San Francisco and we want to invest in that. Our LA capacity, after accounting for our JFK exit as we moved Premium Seats to Newark, is roughly flat year over year. We’re not actually reducing LA this year. The JFK reduction was more about JFK than it was about LA.
Clearly, having the best gateway in San Francisco was worthy of investing in that business. We weren’t going to ignore LA. We have a lot of great services from LA. We fly to London Heathrow, Shanghai and Tokyo, and we added LA-Melbourne. So we’re certainly not going to ignore it from a new route perspective. But as you’ve seen this year, the majority of our new routes to the Pacific will be out of San Francisco, given its strength and its position in the country.
Dulles hub in Jeopardy?
We have pulled a couple of long-haul services out of Dulles, like Kuwait and Dubai, but those really weren’t about Dulles. That was really about the Middle Eastern carriers.
And for United in Dulles right now, it’s really important for us to have good partners in our home markets, and Jack Potter, [head of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority] is a fantastic partner for us. Right now, we’re partnering with MWAA to understand how we can best improve our costs at Dulles, which we’ve done at other hubs. Those cost improvements have been followed by growth at those hubs. So the efforts that they are undertaking in Dulles right now are generating growth plans for us there on a domestic basis.
P.S. Shift to EWR:
It really surpassed our expectations. When we forecast the change, we anticipated a number of passengers, especially ones that live in LA and San Francisco, would want to move to Newark as a result of the premium seats moving to Newark. We had an incredibly strange situation where passengers flying to Newark from San Francisco and LA before who weren’t getting the best product we had to offer. That was our hub, and yet the passenger flying to JFK got a much better seat and product than the passengers flying to Newark. We heard that a lot from the passengers.
So when we forecast the move, we forecast a number of those passengers were actually flying to JFK because of the better seat and not because they preferred JFK. And certainly there are a number of passengers who did prefer JFK, but what we found is that many more passengers moved from JFK over to our Newark services than we anticipated. So right now we are actually planning to fly more capacity in Newark this summer and fall than we originally envisioned in order to accommodate all that demand that decided to move with us. We’re pretty excited about how much we’re actually meeting forecasts on that change