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AMALH747430
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Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Thu May 26, 2016 3:49 pm

Back in '88 I took my first flight ever on an AA DC-10 SAT-DFW. I know that AA sent DC-10s on the AUS-DFW route during that same era. I know that domestic wide bodies used to be common place on mid continent flights, transcontinental flights, hub to hub flights and flight to large cities. However, especially back then San Antonio and especially Austin were not all that big. What was AAs logic in sending DC-10s on such short routes to nearby outstations in medium sized cities?

[Edited 2016-05-26 08:55:22]
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Thu May 26, 2016 3:52 pm

In that time period, and continuing until the early 2000s, it was not uncommon for a number of carriers to send widebodies on short flights for some combination of reasons including lack of parking (or expensive parking) at the hub, crew familiarization, utilization and need for a lot of lift. Even as late as the early 2000s, DL had virtually every widebody in the fleet doing ATL-MCO, and NW was flying DC-10s on stuff like MSP-MKE, which was a -40 route virtually until NW retired the type.
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YYZYYT
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Thu May 26, 2016 4:10 pm

Still happens today - for example, YYZ-YOW or YYZ-YUL, AC can have anywhere from 1-3 wide body flights per day, per direction - sometimes as little as 40 min in the air). In the last 2 years, I have flown on all of 767, 777, 330 and 787 between YYZ and YUL, for example

As a passenger, the obvious reason is moving passengers at desirable times (in time for morning meetings / after the end of the business day, for day-tripppers). I'm sure it also serves uses for the airline, as per post #1... especially if the aircraft will otherwise be sitting idle between long international flights.
 
Curiousflyer
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Thu May 26, 2016 7:06 pm

In the 70s, 80s and maybe 90s, Air France was frequently using widebodies (A300 and A310) for domestic flights, with a nice first class with big red seats for AF. I guess the fleet wa managed differently, the same airplanes were probably also sent to places like Moscow or Beyrouth.

Another French airline, UTA, offered DC-10 and maybe even 747 service to Nice and Maybe Marseille from CDG, but their flights were continuing to Africa and picking Southern passengers en-route, so the domestic tickets were just a nice add-on.

Now it seems like anathema to fly a widebody domestically in France... With the exception of the occasional 777 (and before 747) to AJA or BIA on peak days.
 
fbwless
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Thu May 26, 2016 9:40 pm

Quoting Curiousflyer (Reply 3):

Add Air Inter to that list of French domestic widebody operators. I was on an A300 in 1981 from ORY to MPL (could have been MRS, I wasn't that old) and it was just insane to be on a widebody for that short trip.
 
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aloha73g
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Thu May 26, 2016 10:45 pm

After Aloha shut down in 2008 HA ran a 763 back and forth on HNL-OGG all day to provide extra lift until they could get more 717s. The 763 to OGG freed up other 717s to operate HNL-LIH/KOA/ITO.

Occasionally HA will run a 763 or 332 on HNL-OGG during irregular operations to clear out a backlog if multiple 717s have mechanical issues.

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TWA772LR
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Thu May 26, 2016 10:49 pm

They use them often as high density people movers, as the case of Japan and SE Asia. And also crew familiarization, expensive parking, just moving the plane between hubs (I flew on a UA 777 last year between IAD and IAH, the whole purpose of the flight was to reposition the plane for the IAH-GRU flight; it couldn't have made UA any money as it only had about 150 people on it), or even just a one-off service due to aircraft scheduling or an equipment sub.
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TheRedBaron
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 3:14 am

They could because there was no TSA and all the congestion, so boarding was a lot faster. If I remember correctly the original a300B2 was designed for Paris-London as city pair, and as a high density widebodie for short to medium haul ...


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infinit
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 3:32 am

SQ uses widebodies even on KUL hops which are effectively 30-minute flights.

I am not familiar with the economics of it but it makes sense to me to have a widebody every 60 or 90 minutes between busy city pairs rather than narrowbody flights every 20 or 30 minutes (considering parking space, runway congestion, requiring fewer crew etc)
 
YULWinterSkies
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 5:06 am

Quoting infinit (Reply 8):
I am not familiar with the economics of it but it makes sense to me to have a widebody every 60 or 90 minutes between busy city pairs rather than narrowbody flights every 20 or 30 minutes

It does make much sense, but what prevents it from happening in Europe and N Am is the fact that many airlines compete on these busy routes, and also that most very large cities have >1 airport, further fragmenting the market.
While individual airlines still could fill up widebodies despite that fragmentation, they don't do so as it would be at the expense of their frequency.
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zkncj
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 5:58 am

NZ still does it with an 772/77W/789 fleets, they do long-haul at night and during the day short-haul Intentional.
 
nicode
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 9:22 am

Quoting Curiousflyer (Reply 3):
Now it seems like anathema to fly a widebody domestically in France... With the exception of the occasional 777 (and before 747) to AJA or BIA on peak days.

As well as Nice. Already flew on a 77W between NCE and ORY.
And long time ago, a 742 between AJA and ORY.
 
Okcflyer
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 11:30 am

Mostly done for fleet utilization purposes, between long haul turns. Occasionally because of slot issues and the need to maximize pax. It's not more efficient than narrow bodies because of excess frame weight and the significantly longer turn times. From a pax perspective I'd rather be on a small narrowbody to reduce the amount of time it takes to board and unload. On a short flight these together are probably more than the flight itself. Woof.
 
dubaiamman243
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 11:42 am

Emirates flies the B77W to MCT (50 mins), DOH (1:05hrs), BAH (1:15 hrs).
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downtown273
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 11:51 am

HKG-TPE sees dozens of widebodies every single day.

Sometimes it's just the fact that the demand is so high, that it's better to throw a widebody every hour than to schedule a narrowbody every 20 minutes.
 
EMB170
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 12:06 pm

I remember flying an AA 772 (back when they were relatively new) on LAX-DFW. Simply put, the 777 was being used on DFW-S America and the down time in DFW was long enough that AA figured they might as well make money on the plane and have it fly a turn to LAX and back rather than just sit on the ground in DFW the whole day long.

Other times, it is due to repositioning, for example, a recent DL A332 flight from SEA-ATL. The jet had either just completed NRT-SEA or Europe-SEA and DL needed to get it back to ATL to go back to Europe.

Still other times, it's just for demand. There were times in the late 90s and early 00s when UA flew 763s on ORD-IND. This happened at least twice a day and other cities in the Great Lakes region, such as DTW and CLE, also saw either 762, 763, or DC-10 service from ORD. Simply put, this was during peak summer travel season, and with the large volumes of connecting passengers from Europe (and Asia), UA needed planes that large to funnel all their passengers through.
IND ORD ATL MCO PIT EWR BUF CVG DEN RNO JFK DTW BOS BDL BWI IAD RDU CLT MYR CHS TPA CID MSP STL MSY DFW IAH AUS SLC LAS
 
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cosyr
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 12:37 pm

I don't know if tag ons count, because they kind of have to be a widebody, but UA used to fly EZE-MVD, on either a 767 or 777. I wish they would bring that back.
 
BostonBeau
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 12:44 pm

Eastern routinely used A-300's on the Shuttle BOS-LGA during peak hours.
 
nikeherc
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 12:58 pm

Delta flew DC-10s and L-1011s between ATL and CAE in the 1970s and up into the 1980s. They were early morning and late afternoon as well as last flight of the day RONs. It gave them lots of capacity for clean up flights as well as cheap parking for wide bodies. Gates were scarce in ATL and they could use the extra seats because everything went through ATL. They seemed to consistently fill the planes. They did the same thing to other cities like JAX. I used to travel a great deal out of both ATL and CAE, so I rode the big boys a good bit. Eastern did the same thing with their A300s, although not to the same extent.
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Andy33
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 1:02 pm

BA use their shorthaul configured 767s on a limited number of UK domestic flights between LHR and EDI or GLA.
This is partly due to high demand at particular times of day, and partly due to utilising free time between longer flights to places like ATH, LCA, IST or HEL.
 
klwright69
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 1:14 pm

The Middle Eastern Airlines use widebodies between the Gulf States all the time.
I took a 777 from DOH to DMM recently on QR, it was only a 30 minute flight.
 
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b727fan
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 1:20 pm

Since we live in the post deregulation era. the logic I can think of is either aircraft positioning and/or demand density (for latter Japan is a good example!)

Quoting dubaiamman243 (Reply 13):
Emirates flies the B77W to MCT (50 mins), DOH (1:05hrs), BAH (1:15 hrs)

But then again, EK is an all wide-body fleet operator! Dont they also has the worlds shrotest rout on A380s (JED and IKA) if I recall based on previous posts and I think also DOH!

I remember DL 767s on CVG-EWR route. I once took a flight back right around Thanksgiving in 2002-3 and we were only 6 on the flight! One of my most memorable flights! And my last MD11 was on MCO-ATL with Salt Lake City Olympics promo on it!

[Edited 2016-05-27 06:23:54]
 
klwright69
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 1:26 pm

Quoting b727fan (Reply 21):
But then again, EK is an all wide-body fleet operator! Dont they also has the worlds shrotest rout on A380s (JED and IKA) if I recall based on previous posts and I think also DOH!

There are EK A380's in JED all the time. But that's not a short flight, it's at least 2 hours long.
 
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JerseyFlyer
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 1:33 pm

BA (BEA) used L-1011s on London-Paris, and AF used A300s. Before the channel tunnel was built.

The logic was simple - high demand.
 
MCO2BRS
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 3:17 pm

BA Also operate Caribbean shuttle flights on the 777

ANU - SKB (62mi)
ANU - PLS (754mi)
ANU - TAB (417mi)
UVF - GND (131mi)
UVF - POS (217mi)

VS also do Caribbean shuttle flights, not sure to which destinations though.
 
dc10rules
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 6:17 pm

As was noted above UA flew the D10 from DTW to ORD year round in the late 90's. I remember my first of many flights on her was with the band Quiet Riot (yes they were in coach)
 
incitatus
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 7:02 pm

Quoting dc10rules (Reply 25):
BA Also operate Caribbean shuttle flights on the 777

ANU - SKB (62mi)

The flights you mentioned are tags - BA is combining two destinations into a 2-stop flight out of London.

The interesting thing about ANU-SKB is that it is the shortest regular flight on a wide-body.

More interesting yet, ANU-SKB is flown with a 777, and so is the longest regularly scheduled flight in the world, DXB-AKL.
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bjorn14
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 10:06 pm

Back in the day I was shocked to find JL using 747s on very short domestic jaunts. These were primarily commuter flights.
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pasu129
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 10:39 pm

Previously LAS had seen JL on 744 to LAX, Ultra Short Haul on Jumbo!
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intoairlines
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 11:17 pm

Widebody short haul was so common back in he 80's, 90's and beginning of 2000...... I remember working ORD-IND on my first work trip at AA on the 767-200.... I also remember working the DC10 on YYZ-ORD, SJU-SDQ and SJU-SXM and the A300 on the same SJU routes plus SJU-STT. That was fun. IIRC flying time was like 20 minutes from TO to landing......
 
deutronium
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 11:24 pm

Quoting JerseyFlyer (Reply 23):
BA (BEA) used L-1011s on London-Paris, and AF used A300s. Before the channel tunnel was built.

Yes, I managed to get on a BA TriStar from CDG to LHR in 1988. The only way to book months in advance back then was through a travel agent/airline and if you had one of those thick time table books that listed aircraft type to be used so you could know what to ask for. I think all the other BA flights on the schedule that day were 757s so I was glad to see a freshly painted new looking TriStar at the gate.

[Edited 2016-05-27 16:27:20]
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Fri May 27, 2016 11:48 pm

There is really no reason why widebodies cannot do short hauls; if the demand is there, they are more economical than narrowbodies. The main reason there are not more widebodies on short hauls is competition; so many other carriers are flying the route that nobody can reliably fill a widebody. The only caveat is that widebody planes are generally built to withstand fewer cycles than are narrowbodies, and so a widebody used exclusively on shorthauls will wear out prematurely. But since all airlines that I know of that have widebodies also fly long routes the few shorthaul routes that are flown can be spread out among the fleet so no airframe accumulates excessive cycles.
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trnswrld
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Sat May 28, 2016 12:36 am

Largest plane on shortest flight I have ever been on was a TWA 762 between STL and ORD. After that probably TWA L1011 between MCO and STL. Also been on a Delta 763 from ATL to ORD.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Logic Of Ultra Short Haul Wide Body Flights

Sat May 28, 2016 12:43 am

Quoting JerseyFlyer (Reply 23):
BA (BEA) used L-1011s on London-Paris, and AF used A300s. Before the channel tunnel was built.

The logic was simple - high demand.

BA's early L-1011-1s used within Europe also had high-density 10-abreast charter-type seating in Y class when many other carriers were operating both L-1011s and DC-10s with very spacious 8-abreast seating (before changing to 9-abreast in the mid-to-late 1970s).

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