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excalibur
Topic Author
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:49 pm

FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Sun May 02, 2021 1:37 pm

Hello,

What are the reasons FDX and UPS fly their planes from Asia to Europe (and vice versa) straight across Kazakhstan instead of the shorter great circle route?
Flyover fees? Any other fees? Are they the only airlines to do so ?
Any insight would be very much appreciated !
Take care
Alex
Aviation is an Art
 
CosmicCruiser
Posts: 2518
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:01 am

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Mon May 03, 2021 7:29 pm

The best I can tell the great circle route from Hong Kong to Paris is over Kazakhstan. Chk out the Great Circle Mapper program. FWIW, In the MD-11 we used to layover in Almaty going between FRA or CDG to HKG. The 777 does it nonstop now.
 
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Starlionblue
Posts: 20751
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Tue May 04, 2021 3:58 am

excalibur wrote:
Hello,

What are the reasons FDX and UPS fly their planes from Asia to Europe (and vice versa) straight across Kazakhstan instead of the shorter great circle route?
Flyover fees? Any other fees? Are they the only airlines to do so ?
Any insight would be very much appreciated !
Take care
Alex


As mentioned Kazakhstan is on the great circle.

Winds are always a factor, as are overlight fees. Typically you'll be further north when going westbound, transiting the Ulan-Bator FIR before passing into Russia, but it varies on the day. Flying eastbound you're more likely to transit Kazakhstan.

Chinese airways can be congested, which affects routing. And importantly there is very high terrain in Western China. The available airways and escape routes have an impact on fuel planning.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
mxaxai
Posts: 2701
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:29 am

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Tue May 04, 2021 10:10 am

Russian overflight fees can be pretty expensive. I've also heard of some passenger and cargo airlines not getting an overflight permit.
 
Sokes
Posts: 2773
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:48 pm

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Tue May 04, 2021 1:27 pm

CosmicCruiser wrote:
FWIW, In the MD-11 we used to layover in Almaty going between FRA or CDG to HKG. The 777 does it nonstop now.

Is this something like 60% fuel, 40% cargo by weight?
Is it a question of time savings, landing fees or engine maintenance?

Or is there just not enough cargo to require that stop and the next smaller cargo plane is unattractive?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
excalibur
Topic Author
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:49 pm

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Tue May 04, 2021 6:43 pm

This routing is making sense going from Europe to HKG/CAN area and back, but not so much going to/coming from Japan or South Korea.
Right now, Fedex flight CDG-NRT is routing through Kazakhastan which is far form the great circle route.
https://fr24.com/FDX9683/279ac725

Definitely some very expensive overflight fees or not getting permission.
Thank you to all for your contribution!
Aviation is an Art
 
CosmicCruiser
Posts: 2518
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:01 am

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Tue May 04, 2021 10:48 pm

excalibur wrote:
Hello,

What are the reasons FDX and UPS fly their planes from Asia to Europe (and vice versa) straight across Kazakhstan instead of the shorter great circle route?
Flyover fees? Any other fees? Are they the only airlines to do so ?
Any insight would be very much appreciated !
Take care
Alex

I really don't know the answer. I just flew the jet. I will say that considering that the cargo was from HKG to western Europe and the USA I would say that cargo load was usually high. The flight HKG - FRA or CDG was around 5,700 nm you wouldn't want weather issues at either end. There was no maint. that I knew of and the jet wasn't on the ground long. We did talk to some Russian controllers on the leg ALA-FRA across the Caspian Sea.
 
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zeke
Posts: 16313
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Wed May 05, 2021 5:16 am

excalibur wrote:
This routing is making sense going from Europe to HKG/CAN area and back, but not so much going to/coming from Japan or South Korea.
Right now, Fedex flight CDG-NRT is routing through Kazakhastan which is far form the great circle route.
https://fr24.com/FDX9683/279ac725

Definitely some very expensive overflight fees or not getting permission.
Thank you to all for your contribution!


I put the ZGGG/EDDK route in the flight planning system, the route on FR24 looks very similar to the output I got, at the moment, even with that routing the average headwind today is 32 knots.
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
excalibur
Topic Author
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:49 pm

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Thu May 06, 2021 1:16 pm

zeke wrote:
excalibur wrote:
This routing is making sense going from Europe to HKG/CAN area and back, but not so much going to/coming from Japan or South Korea.
Right now, Fedex flight CDG-NRT is routing through Kazakhastan which is far form the great circle route.
https://fr24.com/FDX9683/279ac725

Definitely some very expensive overflight fees or not getting permission.
Thank you to all for your contribution!


I put the ZGGG/EDDK route in the flight planning system, the route on FR24 looks very similar to the output I got, at the moment, even with that routing the average headwind today is 32 knots.


Hi Zeke,
Thanks for your reply. Interesting to know.
Cheers
Aviation is an Art
 
kalvado
Posts: 3213
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Thu May 06, 2021 7:34 pm

zeke wrote:
excalibur wrote:
This routing is making sense going from Europe to HKG/CAN area and back, but not so much going to/coming from Japan or South Korea.
Right now, Fedex flight CDG-NRT is routing through Kazakhastan which is far form the great circle route.
https://fr24.com/FDX9683/279ac725

Definitely some very expensive overflight fees or not getting permission.
Thank you to all for your contribution!


I put the ZGGG/EDDK route in the flight planning system, the route on FR24 looks very similar to the output I got, at the moment, even with that routing the average headwind today is 32 knots.

Does that mean that the weather up north makes it undesirable, or overflight fees are included in route planning as well?
 
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TWA772LR
Posts: 7690
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Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Fri May 07, 2021 11:15 pm

When I flew HKG-DUB we went NW out of HKG then pretty much bisected China heading north into Mongolia then hit the great circle route to DUB. We just skirted the Kazakh/Russian border for the eastern 1/3rd then flew totally through Russia until hitting St. Petersburg then through Estonia.

DUB is more north than FRA or CDG so Kazakhstan would definitely be in the great circle for HKG-Europe.
CosmicCruiser wrote:
The best I can tell the great circle route from Hong Kong to Paris is over Kazakhstan. Chk out the Great Circle Mapper program. FWIW, In the MD-11 we used to layover in Almaty going between FRA or CDG to HKG. The 777 does it nonstop now.

OT but is that an interesting overnight? How long were you in ALA?
When wasn't America great?


The thoughts and opinions shared under this username are mine and are not influenced by my employer.
 
CosmicCruiser
Posts: 2518
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:01 am

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Sat May 08, 2021 2:01 pm

It would depend but usually 1-3 days. Some guys would go skiing but I hung around close to the hotel. Some nice restaurants. At the foot of the mountains so the weather can be interesting. It's a safe city. One amusing story I experienced was the afternoon I was sitting at the hotel bar reading and having a glass of wine. I was the only one there until a young fellow with long hair sat down and ordered a coffee. He was caring a guitar case so I asked what he played and was it for fun or business. He said he played bass for a band called the Scorpions! I was shocked and he asked if I was going to the show that evening?He gave me a ticket with backstage privileges. So that evening I went to a Scorpions concert in Almaty. Interesting contrast of present and past. Security in long coats and tall hats and all the youngsters decked out in their finest outfits. It was a blast!

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