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FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Posted: Sun May 02, 2021 1:37 pm
by excalibur
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

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Posted: Mon May 03, 2021 7:29 pm
by CosmicCruiser
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.

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Posted: Tue May 04, 2021 3:58 am
by Starlionblue
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.

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Posted: Tue May 04, 2021 10:10 am
by mxaxai
Russian overflight fees can be pretty expensive. I've also heard of some passenger and cargo airlines not getting an overflight permit.

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Posted: Tue May 04, 2021 1:27 pm
by Sokes
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?

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Posted: Tue May 04, 2021 6:43 pm
by excalibur
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!

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Posted: Tue May 04, 2021 10:48 pm
by CosmicCruiser
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.

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Posted: Wed May 05, 2021 5:16 am
by zeke
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.

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Posted: Thu May 06, 2021 1:16 pm
by excalibur
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

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Posted: Thu May 06, 2021 7:34 pm
by kalvado
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?

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Posted: Fri May 07, 2021 11:15 pm
by TWA772LR
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?

Re: FDX and UPS routes from Asia to EU

Posted: Sat May 08, 2021 2:01 pm
by CosmicCruiser
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!