PHL-LHR

Rob

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Aug 19, 2002
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Assuming survival and approval of the UAL codeshare, I wonder if it would make sense for US to give up PHL-LGW and let UAL run PHL-LHR. This would compete better with BA and let UA put one of their idle 747''s on a presumably money-making route. In return, UAL could support something like an additional ORD-HNL daily for US to run. US''s feed in PHL and UAL''s feed in ORD would likely make winners out of both flights, the loser being BA.
 

phllax

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Aug 20, 2002
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UAL had a dormant route authority from PHL-LHR for years and finally transferred it to ORD. If they didn't use it then, there is now way they'd use it now. Besides, with the Lufthana flight to Frankfurt, and a possible additional flight being added to Munich, I think UA will let it's possible PHL-Europe traffic be handled by a Star partner.
 

UAL777flyer

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Aug 20, 2002
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Assuming US did this and UA could get the slots and approvals to fly PHL-LHR again, who thinks it would even come close to making money with a B744? We are grounding those planes and putting them in long-term storage at every opportunity. Due to their very high operating costs, yields have to be excellent to make money flying it. And yields over the Atlantic aren't anywhere near excellent. PHL-LHR could work, but certainly not in a B744. Better suited for a 767-300 or 777 if using UA planes.

As for ORD-HNL, we don't even fly that anymore. Because of crew manning/rest issues between ALPA and the company, there is no agreement yet to fly it in a domestic, 2-class B777 without crew bunks or an augmented crew. And there is no way you'll ever make money flying it in a B744 or 3-class B777.
 

DCAflyer

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Aug 27, 2002
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I suspect that once we enter the Star Alliance next year, U may try to access LHR to feed into British Midland's European route. It might be beneficial to have transoceanic flights from PHL, PIT and CLT into LHR as well as FRA to feed into Lufthanza. Adding flights from BOS and LGA into LHR and FRA might be profitable as well. I see is realizing incredible benefits from the Star Alliance.
 

dfw79

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Aug 20, 2002
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It may sound good to some, but will US Airways want to go down this road again? They let BA come in and take over all their LGW bound flights during the code-sharing agreement in the 90s -- do they really want to lose control of profitable flying to UAL? Remember, US doesn't get a dime for UAL operating that flight. They will get money from whatever additional feed is generated (to where US is carrying the pax to/from PHL).

I don't see US letting opening the door for them to get ran over again. Also, correct me if I am wrong, the UAL 744s that are being grounded are those that are up for D checks. If they don't have the money to perform the mx on these relatively young planes now, where are they going to get it to put them on a PHL run?
 

Cosmo

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Aug 20, 2002
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Another issue is slots at LHR for any new UA flights from PHL (or anywhere else for that matter). Where will UA get them? While this past summer UA operated 2 daily tag-end flights from LHR to AMS and BRU, I suspect UA is holding on to those slots until such time as they can add back frequencies on some routes (IIRC, JFK and SFO) where there have been reductions since the summer of 2001 (pre-9/11). So the slots issue could be the biggest stumbling block to this idea.
 

Cosmo

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Aug 20, 2002
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How about this for thinking outside the box--

Once US is part of the Star Alliance, feed Lufthansa's large FRA hub from a few medium-sized airports at which US has a significant presence (in addition to service from PHL, PIT and CLT). I'm thinking possibly BDL-FRA and IND-FRA 3 or 4 times weekly each in the summer and maybe a similar split with MCO-FRA and TPA-FRA in the winter. The first 2 markets have no scheduled nonstops to Europe, and even the Florida markets have very little other than to the U.K.

Of course, this assumes that there is an extra 767 or 330 sitting around with nothing to do (at least internationally). But in addition to new nonstops to FRA, it would offer passengers in these cities single-connection service to numerous destinations throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and even parts of Asia. And it has the potential to attract a loyal following at cities that have few, if any, other options for nonstop flights to Europe.

Whattaya think?
 

PHL

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Aug 20, 2002
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BA is able to run a 747-400 and 777 daily from PHL-LHR(in the summer) because its OneWorld partner AA is bringing people in from MIA, SJU, ORD, DFW and RDU (I may be missing one or two more). And, the AA gates in PHL are conveniently just a few steps down the concourse from the BA gates (terminal A East). I'm pretty certain that PHL would not be able to support 2 BA and 2 US flights daily in the summer without the connections from their respective feeds.

I also highly doubt US (or any airline) would get enough pax from IND or BDL to support a FRA nonstop - even a few times a week. If they want to a feed Star Alliance partner like LH, maybe a BOS-FRA would work since it's a pretty good focus city. Too bad LGA and DCA don't handle international operations(or the airplanes sized to do the routes).
 
Are you positive UA has or had dormant rights?

I know PHL-LHR was a TWA route that AA wasn't allowed to pick up in 1991, even though they did fly it for a year or so in the mid-90's (when they also flew BNA-LGW), but I don't recall UA or PA ever having had PHL authority.
 
OP
R

Rob

Senior
Aug 19, 2002
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Regarding the ORD-HNL crew rest issues, is that an FAA reg or an ALPA contract requirement?

Seems like a good time for ALPA to back off some of the feather-bedding if it will put more planes/pilots in the sky.
 

PHL

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Aug 20, 2002
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[blockquote]
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On 11/1/2002 12:14:45 AM Rob wrote:

Regarding the ORD-HNL crew rest issues, is that an FAA reg or an ALPA contract requirement?

Seems like a good time for ALPA to back off some of the feather-bedding if it will put more planes/pilots in the sky.
----------------
[/blockquote]
It's UA and ALPA contract issues. If I recall correctly, UA used to operate the route with 747-200s(or 100s)? Maybe even DC-10s at one point. That was a 3 crew plane. Then they switched to 2 crew planes, like the 777. But since the flight is 9+ hours, ALPA insisted on a 3rd relief pilot. But UA didn't wan't to spend the extra $$ paying a relief pilot for that length flight, so they dropped it out of economics. What is the FAA reg? What's the scheduled flight time limit before you need to have a 3rd relief pilot? Do you need one for both the Capt. and F.O.?

AA flies ORD-HNL on a 767-300.
CO flies EWR-HNL on a 767-400.

Not sure what their pilot staffing is, though. The CO flight is 10+ hours, so I *hope* they have a relief pilot on board!
 

UAL777flyer

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Aug 20, 2002
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Another part of the issue is that UA ALPA wanted crew bunks on it, instead of simply blocking off first class seats. The only crew-bunked 777's in UA's fleet are the long-range 3-class Pacific B777-222B's. No way we're going to put a 3-class 777 on a Hawaii flight. There was talk awhile back about a side letter between ALPA and the company that ALPA had backed off the demand for crew bunks, but I have not heard anything about it since. It would be nice to start-up ORD-HNL service again.
 

DCAflyer

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Aug 27, 2002
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Forgive my ignorance, but is there any legislative blocking of flights between LGA and Europe? LGA must have at least a limited customs operation since AC flies into that facility. It seems to me that many passergers would prefer LGA flights over JFK and EWR. I suspect there are legal reasons why this hasn't been done already.

Another suggestion I would have is for U to think about making BOS a second focus city for European flights. There are five daily BOS-LHR flights serviced by CO, AA, and BA, but none by Star Alliance members. There are no nonstops between BOS and FRA on any carrier. It seems like this might be a golden opportunity for U to enjoy some O&D traffic and Star Alliance feed into and out of the US, with U and UAL being able to receive feed from the EU and BMI and LH receiving feed from us. Seems a shame for U and UA frequent flyers in BOS to have to miss out of those miles, and for U/UA to be giving business to CO and AA.
 

PHL

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Aug 20, 2002
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[blockquote]
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On 11/1/2002 10:30:39 AM DCAflyer wrote:

Forgive my ignorance, but is there any legislative blocking of flights between LGA and Europe? [/blockquote]

Correct me if I'm wrong, but LGA and DCA don't have customs or immigration facilities.

And, DCA's longest runway is 6869 ft., LGA's longest runway is 7000 ft.

So, even if those airports did have facilities for international ops, I don't think a fully loaded airliner (esp. a widebody) could get off the ground safely with those lengths - especially in the hotter weather.
 

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