This is my
last article for Flightline as I am moving on to be Director-Cargo Revenue
Management. My replacement, Chuck Roichek, is well aware of your
desire to be kept informed about the constantly changing marketplace.
Here's the latest round of flying updates.
Lifting of O'Hare Slots.
With slot controls being phased out over the next two years, we could
see some growth across the narrowbody fleet types with growth narrowbody
deliveries deployed to ORD and quite possibly aircraft redeployed at least
temporarily from other hubs.
part of the phase-out, United can add 25-30 roundtrips at ORD as early
as this summer. Due to manpower lead times in the short term, we
would use existing manpower from other domiciles to cover any increases
in narrowbody flying. Over time, we expect to grow narrowbody lines
at ORD, while trying to maintain stability at other narrowbody domiciles.
More B777 Pacific Service.
Much of the traffic flowing from the U.S. mainland through Tokyo to
SEL, PEK and PVG will now be carried nonstop from the U.S. mainland as
we add nonstop B400 service from SFO to SEL, PEK, PVG this spring and summer.
Due to reduced traffic on the U.S.-Tokyo routes, the company is considering
downgauging one SFO-NRT trip from a B400 to a B777, flown with SFO-based
crews, this summer.
The B777 will come from an ORDLHR trip, which will be upgauged to a
B400, flown with ORD-based crews. For ORD B400, this makes up for the loss
of domestic flying which converted to the SFO service to Asia. Due
to short-term manpower requirements, one of the SFO-LHR B777 flights will
be flown temporarily by ORD B777 crews in a ORD-LHR-SFO-LHRORD "W' pattern.
Over time we'll bid up SFO B777, returning the SFO-LHR trip to SFO.
B727 Base Closings.
The company is evaluating closing smaller B727 domiciles including
SFO and DCA, and consolidating the flying into the ORO, DEN and JFK bases.
We'll go through a Notice of Proposed Decision Making Process (NPDM) with
ALPA's-System Schedule Committee over the next several months. We’re
tentatively targeting a first quarter 2001 close of SFO and second quarter
2001 close of DCA.
DC10 Base Closings.
We're targeting the SFO DC10 base closing as early as October 2000,
but no later than January 2001. ORD DC-10 closing is targeted for
There is a good possibility we'll have year-round LAX-South America
lying and or LAX-Hawaii flying starting the fourth quarter of 2000 (building
up to a 30-line base. We will staff up LAX once these plans solidify.
South America regulatory, proceedings should be completed by June,
after which United will clarify its, business plan for this area.
Because there, still is no guarantee of this additional flying after the
seasonal LAX- goes away October 31, we refrained from bidding up to all
three current international trips (2 LHR, 1 CDG) since we could risk a
surplus situation this winter.
Meanwhile, LAX will fly both LAX-LHR trips, including a more desirable
I daytime departures which seasonally operates through October. ORD
B777 flies LAX-CDG in an ORD-CDG-LAX-CDG-ORD "W". The 'W" for ORD
is a 6-day 39-hour trip with 24-hour layovers in CDG for ORD, crews.
Two of these build a 78 hour 18/19-days off line for ORD.
Miami grows by roughly five lines temporarily through October by picking
up ORD-GRU on at least a day-of week basis, offset by the loss of LIM-MIA
and possibly some domestic flying. In April, ORD-GRU was flown by
MIA and JFK crews. ORD-GRU is planned to return to a B777 in November,
reducing line levels back to winter 1999 levels.