United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

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RiNCEw1ND
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by RiNCEw1ND » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:13 pm

CockpitCat wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:44 pm
RiNCEw1ND wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:02 pm
This happens daily?
Search AVHerald for "B788", and note the number of reports of engine issues (including shutdown) in flight... [-o<
So your issue is with the B788 or with twins?

Your original post states "transoceanic" in a twin.

And are we speaking of the Trent 1000 which most of the engine issues are related to? United's are equipped with the GEnx engines if I'm not mistaken.
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by evanb » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:43 pm

Here are just some of the long, overwater flights, that United currently fly their B787-9s on:

LAX-SYD
LAX-MEL
SFO-SYD
SFO-MEL
IAH-SYD
SFO-SIN

In addition, they fly it on very long polar routings between North America and Asia, while not entirely over water, the remoteness of much of the route is no different to flying over water.
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by CockpitCat » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:14 pm

Issue is with twins flying long distances over oceans or uninhabited areas. I know, these flights happen very regularly these days.

And one day there will only be twins, so with the constant improvement of engine reliability, the odds of both engines failing will be much less. Its just getting used to not seeing 2 engines when looking out the window in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, like was the case with the good old 747... :)
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by runwayasphalt » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:21 pm

CockpitCat wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:14 pm
Issue is with twins flying long distances over oceans or uninhabited areas. I know, these flights happen very regularly these days.

And one day there will only be twins, so with the constant improvement of engine reliability, the odds of both engines failing will be much less. Its just getting used to not seeing 2 engines when looking out the window in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, like was the case with the good old 747... :)

BA sends their tiny A318 across the Atlantic no problem.
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by glassos » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:27 pm

CPT - EWR will be United's sixth longest route, so they have plenty of long haul experience with this aircraft!
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by Grade III » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:31 pm

CockpitCat wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:57 pm
Trans-oceanic flight in a twin...mmm...
#-o Even with only two engines, dispatch policies take into account worst case scenarios with regards to engine shutdowns and therefore drift downs as well as depressurization strategies. There are routings over land masses where ETOPS applies due to the lack of infrastructure and adequate airports to support said twins.
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by pwnel » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:28 pm

Grade III wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:31 pm
CockpitCat wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:57 pm
Trans-oceanic flight in a twin...mmm...
#-o Even with only two engines, dispatch policies take into account worst case scenarios with regards to engine shutdowns and therefore drift downs as well as depressurization strategies. There are routings over land masses where ETOPS applies due to the lack of infrastructure and adequate airports to support said twins.
Interestingly enough the route should pass within 20-30 miles off both Ascension and St Helena. Not that the latter is a viable option but Ascension should be once resurfacing is complete.
FAA ASEL COM (IF), MCSA SAR member, flies out of FACT, KBLM (Monmouth Exec, NJ - USA).
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by HAAN » Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:48 am

pwnel wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:28 pm
Grade III wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:31 pm
CockpitCat wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:57 pm
Trans-oceanic flight in a twin...mmm...
#-o Even with only two engines, dispatch policies take into account worst case scenarios with regards to engine shutdowns and therefore drift downs as well as depressurization strategies. There are routings over land masses where ETOPS applies due to the lack of infrastructure and adequate airports to support said twins.
Interestingly enough the route should pass within 20-30 miles off both Ascension and St Helena. Not that the latter is a viable option but Ascension should be once resurfacing is complete.

Ist not that easy thou. As an airline you will need to get approval from any Military airfield to use as a "plannable" diversion airport.
The Station commander must give hes written approval as this airport nominated as an ETOPS airport will show up on the filed ATC.
Delta have approval and landed there a few years ago after one of the GE's went, so dont think United will have an issue.
That said if you have approval or not, crew will divert there if in dire need.

That said I do not think TAM on thier JNB route have approval as their route takes then close to West African ETOPS airporats rather than south of FHAW.

A couple of years ago we had a situation where we had approval from the station commander to use FJDG/DIEGO GARCIA as ETOPS for
our South Indian Ocean crossing flights, then out of nowhere the new station commander revoked the approval.
Since then its closed in total for us to use.
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by Mrb13676 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:26 pm

Which engine option does United have on their 78’s?
If my understanding is correct the engine issues with the 787 fleet have been with the RR power plant and not the GEnX engines? If united using the GE donkeys then I don’t think they are subject to the same issues as other airlines are with their RR birds (which may explain the influx of 787 services to JNB and the redeployment of B744’s and A340s on the transatlantic routes (VS and BA - both of which have RR equipped 787s)?

Or have I misunderstood the engine issue on the 787 fleet?
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by Owen » Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:47 pm

Chatting to some United pilots they confirm Cape Town on the cards, however they are waiting for SA Government approval. They say there is also a possibility of Johannesburg destination as opposed to Cape Town. They believe if the ANC loose Cape Town to the DA then they would probably only be granted Johannesburg as a destination and they not to happy to operate to Johannesburg because of the Hot and High situation - Who knows tomorrow
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by evanb » Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:22 pm

Owen wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:47 pm
Chatting to some United pilots they confirm Cape Town on the cards, however they are waiting for SA Government approval. They say there is also a possibility of Johannesburg destination as opposed to Cape Town. They believe if the ANC loose Cape Town to the DA then they would probably only be granted Johannesburg as a destination and they not to happy to operate to Johannesburg because of the Hot and High situation - Who knows tomorrow
This is absolutely rubbish! United apply to the US government for permission for route rights (they did that this week) as per the South Africa-United States Bilateral Agreement. The US government control rights for US carriers, the SA government for SA carriers.

United will have to apply for a foreign operators permit in South Africa but this has nothing to do with the destination.

Edit: I went back on looked at the bilateral and it explicitly states that:
"Airlines of each Party designated under this Annex shall, in accordance with the terms of their designation, be entitled to perform scheduled international air transportation between points on the following routes:
1. From a point or points in the United States via intermediate points to Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban"

Furthermore, Article 3 of the Treaty gives the rights of each party to designate carriers as they see fit subject to "operating authorizations and technical permissions" of the other Party. The "operating authorizations and technical permissions" are simply the foreign operators permit.

Furthermore, "if the ANC loose Cape Town to the DA"? Firstly, Cape Town is already under the control of the DA and the upcoming election is a national and provincial election, not a local election. I don't think they are this petty.
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by Owen » Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:18 pm

Don’t shoot the messenger. This is exactly what I was told by a group of United pilots. “Don't think they that petty” Don’t fool yourself, look at there policy’s
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by evanb » Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:28 pm

Owen wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:18 pm
Don’t shoot the messenger. This is exactly what I was told by a group of United pilots. “Don't think they that petty” Don’t fool yourself, look at there policy’s
I'm not shooting the messenger, but shooting the message. The message bares zero understanding of the regulatory environment.

"Don’t fool yourself, look at there policy’s" ... what specific legal instrument could they use? Which airlines have they bared from Cape Town before?
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by Owen » Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:34 pm

Let me answer your question with another question. Why does the national carrier not operate out of Cape Town? It surely is a major tourist hub, petty to say the least.
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Re: United to operate Newark Cape Town with 787-9

Unread post by evanb » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:23 am

Owen wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:34 pm
Let me answer your question with another question. Why does the national carrier not operate out of Cape Town? It surely is a major tourist hub, petty to say the least.
Why are you sea lioning? It's one of the most cringing of internet trolling strategies. But I'll humour you ...

I'll answer my own question first: not a single foreign airline has been blocked by the South African government from operating to Cape Town, NOT A SINGLE ONE. In fact, the National Department of Transport has provided 5th freedom access to a number of carriers recently (including Kenya Airways and Rwandair). A strategy to sideline Cape Town wouldn't allow this. Furthermore, ACSA have recently decided to spend a significant amount of money expanding the international facilities in Cape Town. As ACSA is a national government entity why would they do this if they're trying to sideline Cape Town?

The closest that has come was when Emirates wanted more access to South Africa, but SAA lobbied the national government not to renegotiating the bilateral treaty. That wasn't about Cape Town but rather the whole county, particularly Durban and Johannesburg where Emirates wanted more capacity..

Now your question: just because a lot of foreign carriers fly to Cape Town does that necessarily mean that SAA should fly long haul flights from Cape Town? Absolutely not.

By that same measure we should ask why BA doesn't fly long haul from Manchester? Air Canada, Air Transat, American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines all fly to Manchester, so shouldn't BA fly from Manchester to North America?

Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Iraqi Airways, Saudia, Oman Air, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar and Pakistan International are all flying to Manchester from Asia? Yet BA don't have a single long haul flight from Manchester.

The answer lies in different strategies and single hub carriers. Why is SAA focussed on a single hub strategy? Two reasons, firstly Cape Town is end of the line and is geographically poorly positioned to be a hub in the SAA network, but secondly Johannesburg dwarfs Cape Town in size. Specifically, comparing the scale of Johannesburg and Cape Town shows how big a difference there really is. In the year ended February 2019 Johannesburg received 10,055,711 international passengers, while Cape Town only received 2,569,275 international passengers. Johannesburg is nearly 5 times the size of Cape Town in the international market.

So why can't SAA just fly a few high yield O&D routes into Cape Town and pick up some of the in-bound foreign traffic? That's more likely a function of the state SAA is in and their lack of offshore sales and distribution and inability to really build solid international partnerships (think of the Etihad debacle).

So no, I don't think there was significant political pressure on SAA to stop Cape Town routes. I've been involved in a number of these decisions over the years and I've seen the data/ It was a slow drip over time as the business changed. I think SAA's management problems and high cost base contributed to this over time.

For example, they dropped the CPT tag-ons to ZRH and CDG in the late 90s when international fuel prices began to increase dramatically and tag-ons became less common worldwide.

They dropped CPT from JNB-CPT-MIA route many years ago when SAA switched from MIA to ATL and they didn't need the CPT stop for fuel anymore.

They dropped CPT-FRA because yields were abysmal and the aircraft was required to retire the B747-400s.

They dropped CPT-LHR in August 2012 because revenue evaporated over a number of years and costs also began to rise:
- the first nail began in 2009 with the change in the UK visa requirements that required South Africans to get UK visas and potentially even transit visas
- then BMI went under (this began to happen in September 2011) and SAA lost most of their LHR connections and much of their UK sales and distribution capacity (a big chunk of that flight was sold under a BMI codeshare)
- Additionally, the UK massively increased the Air Passenger Duty in between 2009 and 2012 which massively raised operating costs on an already marginal route

By 2012, CPT-LHR was contributing for nearly half of SAA's long haul losses! CAPA reported that SAA's yield on CPT-LHR ZAR0.42 per ASK while JNB-ACC was ZAR0.57, JNB-BOM was ZAR0.60, JNB-LOS was ZAR0.64 and JNB-PER was ZAR0.80. That's a horrific performance! As someone who has spent much of my career working on the financial side I get nauseous looking at that.

Was it politics? No, but that is a convenient excuse.
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