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STT757
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UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:31 pm

Some insightful stuff here:

On 77Ws:

Quote:
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.

On A350:

Quote:
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:

Quote:
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.

LAX Shrinking?

Quote:
, 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?

Quote:
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:

Quote:
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
http://airwaysnews.com/blog/2016/03/...yer-brian-znotins-united-airlines/
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
CO787EWR
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:38 pm

Quoting STT757 (Thread starter):

On 77Ws:

Quote:
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.

So EWR->PEK/PVG/HKG/BOM/DEL?

Any hope of the 77W on some shorter routes like LHR or FRA?
 
jasoncrh
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:41 pm

the VP said exactly where they would deploy the 77W. What's the mystery here?

Quoting CO787EWR (Reply 1):
So EWR->PEK/PVG/HKG/BOM/DEL?

Any hope of the 77W on some shorter routes like LHR or FRA?
 
a380787
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:49 pm

Quoting STT757 (Thread starter):
P.S. Shift to EWR:

Quote:
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

This is the best part. EWR p.s. was originally announced with "up to 17" to SFO and "up to 15" to LAX, but in the original schedules, only the very peak days received that. The schedule has been floating around ~12x to LAX and maybe ~14x to SFO during weekdays for most of winter. Come this summer, it'll be roughly 14x for LAX and a full 17x for SFO, sans Saturdays.

The echo chamber, esp the whining babies on FT, had these constant talking points :

1. People love JFK and would move to every other airline except following UA to EWR.
2. EWR has no premium demand to justify flatbed.
3. The flat beds will be filled by nothing but cheap "TOD"-type upgrade offers.

We are still awaiting public DOT data to see whether fares have maintained or dropped with the translation, relative to the competition, but a few random searches indicate that fare levels in the premium cabin are roughly matching JFK offerings.
 
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:49 pm

Very good article - thanks for sharing.

His assessments seem very objective, pragmatic and smart. In particular, the commentary about the benefits vs challenges of having huge hubs in huge markets (massive business O&D demand vs competition) were salient and demonstrably accurate.

This guy sounds like quite the airline geek - he'd fit right in here on A.net.   Best quote of the entire article: "Merger day was like Christmas for me. I woke up in the morning and I had all these great hubs under the tree that I could play with."

Quoting STT757 (Thread starter):
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.

  

As discussed in multiple threads recently - about not just United and the CSeries but also AA and the EMB190, etc. - economies of scale are real and clearly have an impact. In this case, as suspected, the cost of establishing a standalone infrastructure (training, support equipment, etc.) for the CSeries simply wasn't worth the cost when United already has such an established 737 supply chain, and especially given the "sweet deal" Boeing gave them on those planes.

Quoting STT757 (Thread starter):
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.

Parsing the words a bit, he seems to tacitly acknowledge pretty much exactly the implication of the question - again, just as many here on A.net have long understood and discussed. United's focus - for very good reason - is SFO, not LAX. Net of JFK, United is not reducing LAX "this year," but clearly United has reduced capacity in many markets out of LAX in previous years, and clearly United is stagnant compared to AA and Delta at LAX. And that makes total sense. United does, indeed, have "the industry’s leading Pacific gateway" up at SFO, so it has far less need for LAX than Delta or especially AA.

Quoting STT757 (Thread starter):
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.

Essentially unarguable - lower costs attract more capacity. I guess my question, though, is how United can meaningfully reduce its operating cost at IAD while still being hamstrung by the airport's suboptimal facilities? I get that MWAA's plan to shift more of the subsidization from DCA towards IAD may help IAD's CPE a bit, but is it realistically going to be that material? Put another way - is MWAA lowering IAD's CPE by 5, 10, even 15% really going to improve United's competitiveness there that dramatically?

Quoting STT757 (Thread starter):
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

Cool. So it sounds like the move was ultimately positive for United and at least one of its competitors - now that we have United saying the move "surpassed ... expectations," and AA executives commenting that they've picked up business from former United customers. As speculated, it sounds like both airlines optimized to their respective core strengths and are doing better as a result.

[Edited 2016-03-29 06:52:13]
 
CO787EWR
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:52 pm

Quoting JasonCRH (Reply 2):
the VP said exactly where they would deploy the 77W. What's the mystery here?

He said "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."

He didn't really mention the exact cities, I was just guessing. Also wondering if EWR->NRT would be a possibility.
 
VC10DC10
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:53 pm

Quoting STT757 (Thread starter):
So the efforts that they are undertaking in Dulles right now are generating growth plans for us there on a domestic basis.

How does this put the "Dulles hub in Jeopardy"?
 
Tdan
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:58 pm

Quoting CO787EWR (Reply 1):

Don't forget TLV.

I'd expect HKG and TLV year-round with PEK and PVG operating during the summer and BOM and DEL operating during the winter. That's 9 aircraft with a spare and maybe a EWR-LHR turn squeezed in during the summer.
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STT757
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:02 pm

Quoting CO787EWR (Reply 1):
So EWR->PEK/PVG/HKG/BOM/DEL?

And probably TLV.

Quoting a380787 (Reply 3):
Come this summer, it'll be roughly 14x for LAX and a full 17x for SFO, sans Saturdays.

Also keep in mind they've added four daily 3 class 777s to the P.S. flights, right now they operate 2x daily LAX and 2x daily SFO. Come this Summer is goes to 3x daily SFO and 1 x daily LAX.

Summer Schedules:

EWR-SFO 14x daily 752, 3 772
EWR-LAX 13 752, 1 772

Quoting CO787EWR (Reply 5):
Also wondering if EWR->NRT would be a possibility.

I don't NRT will see the 77W.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
a380787
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:12 pm

Quoting VC10DC10 (Reply 6):
Quoting STT757 (Thread starter):
So the efforts that they are undertaking in Dulles right now are generating growth plans for us there on a domestic basis.

How does this put the "Dulles hub in Jeopardy"?

The "convention wisdom" of the echo chamber is that IAD might shrink so much it'll collapse below critical mass. The VP's words are an attempt to calm the nerves.

But regardless, they're still empty words if concrete actions of growths don't materialize down the line. IAD would be the prime target to replace all the regional flying with the newly ordered 73Gs.
 
roseflyer
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:25 pm

I think 17 or 18 757s flying SFO to EWR is ridiculous. I would love to see UA decide to use some of their 767s, 787s or even 2 class 777s to fly that route in the summer. Now that P.S. has the same seats as international, it seems like a waste of slots and gates at EWR to be flying so many flights to SFO. Both airports are gate constrained. UA is pulling 757s off transatlantic to fly EWR to SFO/LAX. I guess it makes sense, but seems like the 757 is too small for the market.
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:30 pm

He mentioned at least twice "Premium Seats" between JFK and LAX/SFO and the move to EWR. When did UA rename PS from Premium Service to Premium Seats? Did even UA finally realize there was nothing "premium" about there service, even on these transcons flights where airlines try to compete on service?
 
MaverickM11
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:31 pm

Quoting questions (Reply 11):
Did even UA finally realize there was nothing "premium" about there service, even on these transcons flights where airlines try to compete on service?

Besides the average fare?
I don't take responsibility at all
 
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jetblastdubai
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:50 pm

Quoting a380787 (Reply 9):
IAD would be the prime target to replace all the regional flying with the newly ordered 73Gs.

Or, UA could put the bulk of the incoming 73Gs into airports where slots or gate constraints are an issue and move a boatload of RJs to IAD and actually increase frequencies or add unserved domestic markets that would make for a more attractive option for many travelers. Making IAD a better alternative to EWR for connections would serve them well.

I'm the last one to encourage increased RJ ops but IAD is the place to unload them due to uncongested airspace and airport facilities. ORD, EWR and SFO are not. Let's face it, the UA Dulles terminals are not anything to brag about but it's a pretty efficient setup for most domestic connections. I'd take 6 daily RJ flight options over 3 737 options any day. 2-class RJs would be nice but schedule flexibility is pretty important to many folks.

Down the road, the 50-seaters will be mostly gone so there's hope for our great-grandchildren.
 
a380787
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:52 pm

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 10):
I think 17 or 18 757s flying SFO to EWR is ridiculous. I would love to see UA decide to use some of their 767s, 787s or even 2 class 777s to fly that route in the summer. Now that P.S. has the same seats as international, it seems like a waste of slots and gates at EWR to be flying so many flights to SFO. Both airports are gate constrained. UA is pulling 757s off transatlantic to fly EWR to SFO/LAX. I guess it makes sense, but seems like the 757 is too small for the market.

There's where the 777-200A should come into play. The original plans for them were to go hub-to-hub trunks like SFO-ORD. But now it seems that a subset of them can be efficiently deployed onto p.s. routes to improve slot efficiency at EWR. Ditto for the 777-200ERs coming off of DXB/KWI ... but I envision those will go back to long-haul international, particularly during summer peak travel to Europe

I agree the current schedule might be too many flights, esp on the SFO side. Both LAX-EWR and SFO-EWR see like 3 redeye services each (I'm only counting the ones landing after 0400).

2 x ps. 757 = 56 J, 228 Y
1 x p.s. 757 + 1 x sCO 757 = 44 J, 267 Y
1 x 3-class 772 = 48 F+J, 218 Y

Nearly a straight 1-for-2 replacement with minimal loss in capacity.
 
a380787
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:58 pm

Quoting jetblastdubai (Reply 13):

Or, UA could put the bulk of the incoming 73Gs into airports where slots or gate constraints are an issue and move a boatload of RJs to IAD and actually increase frequencies or add unserved domestic markets that would make for a more attractive option for many travelers. Making IAD a better alternative to EWR for connections would serve them well.

I'm not sure if flooding it with 50-seaters would make it that attractive, esp when compared to ORD. Everytime I sit in a 50-seater I have to think to myself "suck it up and deal with it".

IAD can learn a lot from how CLT+PHX is done. You know it's bad when I personally have opted for XXX-ORD-DCA instead of dealing with a IAD nonstop.
 
MIflyer12
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:01 pm

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 10):

I think 17 or 18 757s flying SFO to EWR is ridiculous. I would love to see UA decide to use some of their 767s, 787s or even 2 class 777s to fly that route in the summer. Now that P.S. has the same seats as international, it seems like a waste of slots and gates at EWR to be flying so many flights to SFO.

On short flights hourly service is the norm, as wasted time waiting for the next departure can be a meaningful fraction of total travel time. But, on a ~six hour flight like EWR-SFO, something like twelve departures a day could meet reasonable needs for frequency. FYI: On Monday, 4/4, DL is running a mix of 737, 757, 767 and A330s 14x ATL-LAX.
 
toxtethogrady
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:08 pm

Wow - nothing at all about Houston?
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:10 pm

Quoting jetblastdubai (Reply 13):
I'm the last one to encourage increased RJ ops but IAD is the place to unload them due to uncongested airspace and airport facilities. ORD, EWR and SFO are not. Let's face it, the UA Dulles terminals are not anything to brag about but it's a pretty efficient setup for most domestic connections. I'd take 6 daily RJ flight options over 3 737 options any day. 2-class RJs would be nice but schedule flexibility is pretty important to many folks.

I think it's a little bit of both. There are certainly some routes from IAD that could be upgauged from RJ's to mainline...routes like IAD-AUS, IAD-DFW, IAD-ATL. You could also use mainline or large RJ's to bring back some routes that have been cut (IAD-FLL, IAD-ABQ). And yes, in some cases, adding frequency with smaller RJ's to facilitate more connections and make IAD a better connecting facility would be helpful. Markets like BUF and ALB could use more frequency to allow connections.

Long term, the future is still hazy for IAD. I don't think the network VP was particularly committal other than pushing MWAA to lower costs. However, still no solution for the C/D terminal and IAD's costs will be hard to cut. IAD will probably hang on for now, but any type of economic recession could be a deathblow.
 
a380787
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:20 pm

Quoting toxtethogrady (Reply 17):
Wow - nothing at all about Houston?

Can't blame him. Nothing much can be done at IAH until energy prices start meaningfully climbing. Houston as a metro has arguably suffered the worst deterioration in economy of the nation in the last 12-18 months, comparable to what the dot-com bust of the early 2000s did to SFO+SJC.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 18):

Long term, the future is still hazy for IAD. I don't think the network VP was particularly committal other than pushing MWAA to lower costs. However, still no solution for the C/D terminal and IAD's costs will be hard to cut. IAD will probably hang on for now, but any type of economic recession could be a deathblow.

It makes nearly zero sense for UA to have only 1 single hub in the entire east coast that has zero room for growth due to slots. UA saw what happened when LAX fell below critical mass, and it would be incredibly foolish on their part to make the same mistake twice.
 
815Oceanic
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:26 pm

"Later this year, we’ll see even more domestic capacity out of there as a reflection of the great partnership we have with Jack Potter at MWAA."

He even went so far as to say there would be domestic adds this year in IAD. I really think UA pulled service to get better prices. When they do, they'll throw more of Mesa's CR7/175s at Dulles and put some 737 in EWR. Everyone wins. You may not get 4 flights a day to IAD anymore like much of the East Coast used to have but 3 CR7 at 6AM, 2PM and 7PM will do just as well.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:32 pm

Quoting STT757 (Thread starter):
eep trans-Atlantic cities.

= India

Quoting STT757 (Thread starter):
LAX Shrinking?

Yes it indeed has shrunk mostly with UAX changes in the West coast, but as has been stated internally they want to be in a spot where UA ends up serving the key local O&D markets including good international coverage.
LA obviously is a large local market, and a market that has high demand across from UA's network so it will maintain critical mass in the station and is pouring $500mil into facility renovations.

I personally don't expect much change going forward, except some crew base adjustments.

Quoting toxtethogrady (Reply 17):

Wow - nothing at all about Houston?

Following was stated as employee town-hall 2 weeks ago.

Q. What is the future for Houston if oil industry continues to suffer?
A. Houston is a very important part of our network, and will remain one of our larger hubs. When looking at our network changes over the next few years, we’re seeing growth across the system. We’re pushing more of that growth to hubs like San Francisco. We had plans to grow Houston and still do – it’s just temporarily “on pause” until oil prices recover and we see the resultant rebound in important energy business travel demand.
We have the best route network in the business, and we need to make sure we capitalize on our advantages whenever available, but growth capacity is being pushed to places where we economically are seeing the most benefit, as well as trying to create the best overall schedule possible.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
jasoncrh
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:32 pm

did you not read the article?

Quoting toxtethogrady (Reply 17):
Wow - nothing at all about Houston?
 
codc10
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:33 pm

Quoting Tdan (Reply 7):
Don't forget TLV.

I'd expect HKG and TLV year-round with PEK and PVG operating during the summer and BOM and DEL operating during the winter. That's 9 aircraft with a spare and maybe a EWR-LHR turn squeezed in during the summer.
TLV and India are sure to get 77W service simply from a utilization perspective. The early morning arrivals in EWR set up nicely for late morning/early afternoon service to Asia, while the Asia inbounds position well for redeyes to TLV/BOM/DEL.

Quoting jetblastdubai (Reply 13):
I'd take 6 daily RJ flight options over 3 737 options any day. 2-class RJs would be nice but schedule flexibility is pretty important to many folks.

That is, however, the opposite of the direction UA is moving with its domestic network. Fewer departures, less reliance on 50-seaters, larger gauge, greater variety of cabin products to offer (F, E+, etc.).

Quoting a380787 (Reply 14):
The original plans for them were to go hub-to-hub trunks like SFO-ORD. But now it seems that a subset of them can be efficiently deployed onto p.s. routes to improve slot efficiency at EWR.

If UA continues to market p.s. in the way they are, the domestic 777s (soon, '77G') are not compatible with the current product. I expect to see the 77G to Hawaii and on high-volume domestic routes, sans p.s., such as ORD/IAD-SFO/LAX-DEN/IAH. We may spot 77G seasonally on routes like EWR-MCO, or even BCN/FCO if UA decides it can compete on an international route with PDE in Y.

Quoting a380787 (Reply 19):
UA saw what happened when LAX fell below critical mass, and it would be incredibly foolish on their part to make the same mistake twice.

United's position at LAX, currently, is no mistake. It is the result of a deliberate strategy to reorient the operation to an O&D focus, coupled with the pulldown of 50-seaters, turboprops and at-risk OO flying.

[Edited 2016-03-29 08:44:29]
 
ericm2031
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 4:13 pm

I would expect a little bit more shrinkage on the UAX operation at LAX. I believe SBA, SBP, and MRY are the last of the OO at risk flights. MRY I could see sticking but SBA and SBP could probably go. UA is continuing to have some problems with gate congestion in the 80 gates and planes waiting up to an hour for a gate due to gate availability. I would expect these to be first to go and also with the 50 seaters quickly going away...although oil may extend them for the time being.
 
a380787
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 4:46 pm

Quoting codc10 (Reply 23):

If UA continues to market p.s. in the way they are, the domestic 777s (soon, '77G') are not compatible with the current product. I expect to see the 77G to Hawaii and on high-volume domestic routes, sans p.s., such as ORD/IAD-SFO/LAX-DEN/IAH. We may spot 77G seasonally on routes like EWR-MCO, or even BCN/FCO if UA decides it can compete on an international route with PDE in Y.

I thought the Hawaii 777s are also slated for flat beds up front and 10-abreast plus streaming in the back. At that point every sub-fleet of 777s will have flat beds, which will make it compatible with the p.s. offering.

AVOD is nice but only if the content is free. If most of the content requires payment, it's hardly advantageous over a PDE offering. Another advantage for PDE is that when bandwidth permits, PDE can switch to 1080p or even UltraHD 4K level streaming very rapidly. Many phones and tablets today can display full 1080p HD with zero downsampling required. Compare that to current-gen AVOD selections, which are still frequently broadcasted in standard def (480p or less), and in the incorrect 4:3 ratio of the movies artificially widened to fit the 16:9 screen (it's worse when the original movie was shot in 21:9)
 
threeifbyair
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:04 pm

Quoting a380787 (Reply 14):
I agree the current schedule might be too many flights, esp on the SFO side. Both LAX-EWR and SFO-EWR see like 3 redeye services each (I'm only counting the ones landing after 0400).

2 x ps. 757 = 56 J, 228 Y
1 x p.s. 757 + 1 x sCO 757 = 44 J, 267 Y
1 x 3-class 772 = 48 F+J, 218 Y

Nearly a straight 1-for-2 replacement with minimal loss in capacity.

Fair point, but those Westbound 752s need to get back to EWR somehow, which means redeyes. That is the fundamental issue with US transcon flying when you can't flow the planes to other parts of the network.

Here my guess at the equipment utilization for the EWR-SFO and SFO-EWR schedule for June 9th (Thursday):

EWR-SFO Equip SFO-EWR
0600-0900 B752 TURN 1010-1840
0700-1000 B752 TURN 1110-1942
0749-1050 B752 TURN 1157-2029
0830-1135 B772 TURN 1300-2122
0920-1238 B752 TURN 1345-2213
1030-1335 B752 TURN 1445-2310
1130-1435 B752 TURN 1542-0002
1230-1535 B752 TURN 1650-0110
1330-1649 B752 WAIT 2055-0520
1430-1743 B752 WAIT 2155-0622
1506-1811 B752 WAIT 2345-0812
1600-1856 B772 RON
1630-1926 B752 WAIT 0038-0859
1729-2047 B752 RON
1815-2145 B752 RON
2005-2311 B752 RON
2136-0041 B752 RON

You can see how the PS subfleet is bad for utilization. For any flight departing EWR after 1:30PM, the aircraft will have to wait several hours to return or RON in SFO.

UA needs to run 4 redeyes just to get PS frames back to EWR for the next day's service. Airlines are forced to either fly when their customers want to and sacrifice utilization (UA is doing this) or maximize utilization at the expense of ideal flight times (what AS does with its SEA transcon network). AA would have the same problem with the A321T fleet, and perhaps B6 with Mint.
 
United1
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:13 pm

Quoting a380787 (Reply 25):
AVOD is nice but only if the content is free. If most of the content requires payment, it's hardly advantageous over a PDE offering.

AVOD and PDE is free on UA worldwide....

Quoting questions (Reply 11):
He mentioned at least twice "Premium Seats" between JFK and LAX/SFO and the move to EWR. When did UA rename PS from Premium Service to Premium Seats?

Nope still marketed as Premium Service or P.S. In this case premium seats (no caps that's ASNs editing and a bit of ignorant) simply refers to UA shifting their J class (or theri premium seats vs economy) product to EWR.

http://www.united.com/web/en-US/cont...avel/inflight/premiumservices.aspx
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a380787
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:23 pm

Quoting United1 (Reply 27):

Quoting a380787 (Reply 25):
AVOD is nice but only if the content is free. If most of the content requires payment, it's hardly advantageous over a PDE offering.

AVOD and PDE is free on UA worldwide....

I wasn't talking about UA. There are other US competitors where most content on domestic AVOD is paid-only in economy class. I sat through one of those where the only free stuff was the moving air map plus some TV documentaries zzzz.
 
a380787
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:27 pm

Quoting threeifbyair (Reply 26):

You can see how the PS subfleet is bad for utilization. For any flight departing EWR after 1:30PM, the aircraft will have to wait several hours to return or RON in SFO.

Hmm ... your posted schedule shows 5 out of 17 flights requiring a RON ... is that far below the regular narrowbody fleet type of utilization ?
 
codc10
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:35 pm

Quoting a380787 (Reply 25):
I thought the Hawaii 777s are also slated for flat beds up front and 10-abreast plus streaming in the back. At that point every sub-fleet of 777s will have flat beds, which will make it compatible with the p.s. offering.

They are, but United advertises that the p.s. service has seatback AVOD throughout its Y cabins. They would need to remove that as a product differentiator if they wanted to run 77G equipment on the premium transcons. The J:Y ratio is also out of whack as compared to the premium 757s, and presumably 777s would be replacing (or augmenting) peak-time frequencies, when J demand is also highest.

I think UA has enough high-volume domestic/Hawaii routes to keep a fleet of 19 77Gs busy, while 3-5 daily WB frequencies on the p.s. routes could easily be accommodated with international-configured equipment, especially given UA's growth of the widebody fleet.
 
a380787
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:40 pm

Quoting codc10 (Reply 30):
The J:Y ratio is also out of whack as compared to the premium 757s, and presumably 777s would be replacing (or augmenting) peak-time frequencies, when J demand is also highest.

It's not *that* out-of-whack once you factor in all the 16J sCO 757s that are already being deployed.
 
codc10
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:29 pm

Quoting a380787 (Reply 31):
It's not *that* out-of-whack once you factor in all the 16J sCO 757s that are already being deployed.

True, but it appears that at least SFO generally demands a higher ratio of premium seats than LAX, with more 75J (sUA p.s. 757) than 75B (sCO 752).

Looking May 12, for instance, there are the following flights to EWRSFO:

6am - 75J
7am - 75J
8am - 75B
9am - 75J
10am - 75J
11am - 75J
12pm - 75J
2:30pm - 75B
3:25pm - 75J
4pm - 777 (3-cabin)
5:30pm - 75B
6pm - 75J
6:30pm - 75B
7pm - 75J
9:15pm - 75J

EWRLAX

6am - 75B
7am - 75B
7:59am - 75B
9am - 75J
10:59am - 75J
12pm - 75J
1pm - 75B
2pm - 75B
2:59pm - 75B
4:05pm - 777 (3-cabin)
5:30pm - 75J
7pm - 75B
7:59pm - 75J

Some sCO 772 are being deployed on SFO/LAX at various holiday times and throughout the summer with a 50/217 J/Y ratio, which is closer to the 75J. So there are certainly some times where the demand composition seems to call for a lower J:Y ratio (see AM to LAX, midday to SFO) but the periods in which the schedule seems to compress, i.e. evening to SFO, would appear to demand a more premium configuration if UAL is looking to consolidate frequencies.
 
a380787
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:36 pm

Quoting codc10 (Reply 32):
but the periods in which the schedule seems to compress, i.e. evening to SFO, would appear to demand a more premium configuration if UAL is looking to consolidate frequencies.
Quoting codc10 (Reply 32):
5:30pm - 75B
6pm - 75J
6:30pm - 75B
7pm - 75J

This is where the compression won't be reducing J count - lump 1730+1800 into 1 flight, and lump 1830-1900 into a 2nd one.

75B+75J = 44 J, 77E = 48 F+J, net change = +9.1% seats in J but -18% in Y, raising revenue in the front cabin and raising yields in the back.
 
LAXdude1023
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:37 pm

Quoting VC10DC10 (Reply 6):
How does this put the "Dulles hub in Jeopardy"?

I didn't get that either.

Where IAD needs to be improved is domestically. IAD has a very solid international portfolio.

UA could add routes like TUL, ICT, BHM, OMA, and South Florida. That's why they are talking to the airport to try and get better costs.
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United787
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:50 pm

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 34):
Where IAD needs to be improved is domestically. IAD has a very solid international portfolio.

UA could add routes like TUL, ICT, BHM, OMA, and South Florida. That's why they are talking to the airport to try and get better costs.

They could also add more flights to ORD, it is surprising how few flights there are between ORD and IAD - connecting in IAD to international flights out of IAD is not ideal.
 
Rdh3e
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:53 pm

Quoting STT757 (Thread starter):
Dulles hub in Jeopardy?
Quoting VC10DC10 (Reply 6):
How does this put the "Dulles hub in Jeopardy"?
Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 34):
I didn't get that either.

STT is saying that the VP was addressing the question of whether it was in jeopardy. Not saying that his comments are saying it is in danger.

Quoting codc10 (Reply 32):
True, but it appears that at least SFO generally demands a higher ratio of premium seats than LAX, with more 75J (sUA p.s. 757) than 75B (sCO 752).

I would think it's not about the ratio so much as the absolute number of seats.
 
a380787
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 pm

Quoting Rdh3e (Reply 36):
Quoting codc10 (Reply 32):
True, but it appears that at least SFO generally demands a higher ratio of premium seats than LAX, with more 75J (sUA p.s. 757) than 75B (sCO 752).

I would think it's not about the ratio so much as the absolute number of seats.

Agreed. The ratio is more relevant to those calculating the yields of the route, and the FFers worrying whether their upgrade will clear.
 
codc10
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:03 pm

Quoting a380787 (Reply 33):
This is where the compression won't be reducing J count - lump 1730+1800 into 1 flight, and lump 1830-1900 into a 2nd one.

75B+75J = 44 J, 77E = 48 F+J, net change = +9.1% seats in J but -18% in Y, raising revenue in the front cabin and raising yields in the back.

Weren't we talking about the 28J/336Y 77G, though? You're correct that most internationally-configured widebodies will be able to consolidate 2 757 frequencies with a similar number of premium and economy seats, and that's what we are seeing UA schedule this summer.

Ultimately my point is that the 77G doesn't fit the product description of the p.s. service, so in my view it is more likely to see continued international widebodies rather than extensive 77G service when enough aircraft in that configuration are circulating.

Quoting Rdh3e (Reply 36):
I would think it's not about the ratio so much as the absolute number of seats.

Ultimately we are talking about the same thing. The market demands frequency as well as a high absolute # of J seats which = a more premium-dense configuration to preserve yield. The economy class NYC-LAX/SFO market is virtually limitless; you can sell every Y seat you put on the route if you don't mind overall yields trashing, but the p.s. service exists for the premium product, and the fact that those seats actually sell.
 
a380787
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:07 pm

Quoting United787 (Reply 35):

They could also add more flights to ORD, it is surprising how few flights there are between ORD and IAD - connecting in IAD to international flights out of IAD is not ideal.

The 6 flights a day is more than sufficient for any international bank. For ORD-IAD-XXX type of connection, it'll primarily be for European, so it's not like they need hourly service for that.

The local O&D is heavily skewed, and UA is correctly placing the assets where the O&D is, not where the hub is :

3x to BWI, 6x to IAD, but 14x to DCA.

And that IAD figure is already inflated due to the hub. Over at AA, their schedule is 5x BWI, 9x DCA, but 0x IAD. For WN out of MDW, it's 7x BWI (inflated due to the "hub"), 8x DCA, and also 0x IAD.
 
Rdh3e
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:15 pm

Quoting codc10 (Reply 38):
Ultimately we are talking about the same thing. The market demands frequency as well as a high absolute # of J seats which = a more premium-dense configuration to preserve yield. The economy class NYC-LAX/SFO market is virtually limitless; you can sell every Y seat you put on the route if you don't mind overall yields trashing, but the p.s. service exists for the premium product, and the fact that those seats actually sell.

But as you've said, there isn't a whole lot of "premium" in a 10Y configuration. On the other hand, the CASM of that aircraft must be rock bottom which lowers the Y CASM significantly.

It's also interesting to think that the international 752s have only 16 seats up front, and those could be used elsewhere if freed from PS service. So at times where there are 2 752 international departures, if you consolidated into 1 777 that would be only a 4 seat decrease in J but also comes with a 10% increase in Y.

To your point about yield, yield better thought of in it's relationship with load factor and CASM. If you dilute yield 10% but CASM goes down 20% (in theory not real figures obviously) without sacrificing load factor then you're better off with the lower yield and higher volume because you've expanded your margins by 10% despite the 10% yield degradation.
 
codc10
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:23 pm

Quoting Rdh3e (Reply 40):
But as you've said, there isn't a whole lot of "premium" in a 10Y configuration. On the other hand, the CASM of that aircraft must be rock bottom which lowers the Y CASM significantly.

True, but that particular aircraft (77G) is not compatible with the current product definition for the p.s. Y service. So until we see otherwise, it would seem to make more sense to operate internationally-configured widebodies to the extent UAL wants to grow seats per departure, assuming it is satisfied with, or may wish to reduce frequency.

My point is quite simple, really... I don't think the forthcoming 77G configuration is destined for the p.s. market. I certainly could be wrong, and don't have any 'inside information' to this end, but as I pointed out, I think a 19-ship schedule can be allocated to the following routes quite easily:

ORD-SFO
ORD-LAX
ORD-DEN
ORD-IAH
ORD-HNL
IAD-LAX
IAD-SFO
IAD-DEN
DEN-LAX
DEN-SFO
DEN-HNL
IAH-LAX
IAH-SFO
IAH-HNL
LAX-HNL
LAX-OGG
LAX-KOA
SFO-HNL
SFO-OGG
SFO-KOA
HNL-GUM
GUM-NRT

As well as seasonal/as-needed service in markets like:
EWR/ORD/IAH-MCO
EWR/ORD-LAS
EWR/IAD-BCN/FCO
Holiday VFR service to Latin America
GUM-MNL

In other words, the 77G doesn't need to be on the p.s. routes. Rotations with international widebodies seem to make more sense considering the way UAL is positioning the product.
 
sshank
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:55 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 4):
This guy sounds like quite the airline geek - he'd fit right in here on A.net. Best quote of the entire article: "Merger day was like Christmas for me. I woke up in the morning and I had all these great hubs under the tree that I could play with."

Sure, when you go to bed as network planner for regional airline and then wake up next day as head of network planning for the new United with hubs in places you have only seen on a map, it sure must feel like Christmas  
 
Rdh3e
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:58 pm

Quoting sshank (Reply 42):
Sure, when you go to bed as network planner for regional airline and then wake up next day as head of network planning for the new United with hubs in places you have only seen on a map, it sure must feel like Christmas  

  

Harsh! But to be fair, when the company merged it was the largest airline in the history of the free world (aeroflot in the late 80's was larger I believe). So technically no one had ever managed a network of that size. Now of course AA and DL are both larger than UA.
 
Rdh3e
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:45 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 46):
The hub still has one the nations lowest yields, so its not some financial diamond at all.

Says you. Given UA and WN's statements I'm inclined to believe there may be something you're not seeing.
 
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TWA772LR
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:47 pm

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 34):
UA could add routes like TUL, ICT, BHM, OMA, and South Florida. That's why they are talking to the airport to try and get better costs.

UA is the weakest in South Florida, but given the low cost nature of the market, and just about every US airline has virtual shuttle service from (enter east coast airport here)-Florida, driving down prices. UA is in a perfect position to make IAD a good Florida gateway for the east coast, even the western half of the country given its geography (it's not ATL, but it can work), but I don't think UA wants to enter that battle.

The other destinations you mentioned, I agree with 100%.
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Ytraveller
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:57 pm

Could EWR-BLR ever happen? It's 500mi longer than EWR-BOM, but maybe it could be managed with a 789. There's a good deal of high yield traffic with BLR being the Silicon Valley of India, and traffic (including int'l traffic) is rising greatly at BLR - construction on a second runway and terminal will begin this year.

Maybe boosting capacity on EWR-DEL/BOM with the 77W will spark some interest in India for UA... There haven't been any changes to these routes since CO started them 10 yrs ago.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:59 pm

Quoting Rdh3e (Reply 47):
Says you. Given UA and WN's statements I'm inclined to believe there may be something you're not seeing.

The company has said exactly what I am posting.

After nearly a 20% decline in capacity since 2010 in DEN, UA is adding seats back since last summer now that the competitive environment has changed with Frontier backing out so much.

Also important to remember United is now legally bound to operate 9.1% of its system ASMs via DEN until 2025 as part of its new 20-year lease effective last January at DEN in return for about $35mil annual operating savings from the airport.

For yields - its all public info. Feel free to research in DOT data.
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TWA772LR
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:59 pm

Quoting ytraveller (Reply 50):
Could EWR-BLR ever happen? It's 500mi longer than EWR-BOM, but maybe it could be managed with a 789. There's a good deal of high yield traffic with BLR being the Silicon Valley of India, and traffic (including int'l traffic) is rising greatly at BLR - construction on a second runway and terminal will begin this year.

This is where the US3, UA in particular, are feeling the pressure of the ME3. Their costs are just too low. And UA relies heavily on LH for more connections to the subcontinent outside of just the higher yielding BOM and DEL.

Is there room for UA nonstop from the US? Sure there is. Is it profitable? That's the million dollar question!
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CO787EWR
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RE: UA VP Of Network Interview

Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:36 am

Quoting ytraveller (Reply 50):

Could EWR-BLR ever happen? It's 500mi longer than EWR-BOM, but maybe it could be managed with a 789.
Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 52):

This is where the US3, UA in particular, are feeling the pressure of the ME3. Their costs are just too low. And UA relies heavily on LH for more connections to the subcontinent outside of just the higher yielding BOM and DEL.

Is there room for UA nonstop from the US? Sure there is. Is it profitable? That's the million dollar question!

It seems like the type of flight that Boeing said the 787 would open up. It's a long flight though nearly max range for the 789, it's over 300nm longer then LAX-MEL. The front of the cabin would have to be full.

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