Why not AA 787-8 service DCA-LAX ?

Old Apr 20, 21, 4:51 pm
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Why not AA 787-8 service DCA-LAX ?

With domestic travel coming back faster than international, why not swap AA 321's for 788's for the two DCA-LAX round trips?

With the end of the dreaded gate 35X today and opening of the beautiful new commuter terminal, AA could launch this around a "we love DCA" campaign which could include the new terminal and upgraded LAX experience -- lie flat seats, upgraded food and beverage service...Hollywood types and west coast congress people ($$$) would love it! Plus what a great way to get to all of those west coast AA connections in LAX one-stop from DCA. Also an opportunity to drive west coast traffic to/thru LAX from IAD to DCA screwing United.

There is a mistaken belief that 2-isle aircraft cannot operate at DCA - that is untrue. Several years ago Delta operated a scheduled B767 DCA-ATL. The issue is with gates that can handle larger aircraft. Now that Eagle operations have moved to the new commuter terminal, AA could upgrade one gate on the north pier (41 or 45?) to accommodate a 788.
Proof Delta Flew Boeing 767s to DCA!
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Old Apr 20, 21, 4:56 pm
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Not enough runway with fully fueled 787 at DCA to takeoff?
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Old Apr 20, 21, 5:03 pm
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I simply dont think its feasible from a runway length perspective. MTOW on 787 is 228 tons - of which 100 tons is fuel. Even if you loaded 50% fuel but had a full passenger load, you're at 178 tons or 356,000 pounds. The numbers I see put a 787 at least 6000 feet of runway at flaps 15. Add some heat, and its going to get very close to DCA's limit on length (7169 feet).

I can think of three other problems: #1 DCA's gates are not designed for widebody aircraft. With a 787 you would lose two gates for 787 ops (the gate for the 787 and an adjacent gate). #2 I dont think DCA is set to use LD4 containers which are used on 787s. #3 I think it would be a tough call to maneuver a 787 around DCA's taxiways.
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Old Apr 20, 21, 5:32 pm
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Originally Posted by IADCAflyer View Post
I simply dont think its feasible from a runway length perspective. MTOW on 787 is 228 tons - of which 100 tons is fuel. Even if you loaded 50% fuel but had a full passenger load, you're at 178 tons or 356,000 pounds. The numbers I see put a 787 at least 6000 feet of runway at flaps 15. Add some heat, and its going to get very close to DCA's limit on length (7169 feet).

I can think of three other problems: #1 DCA's gates are not designed for widebody aircraft. With a 787 you would lose two gates for 787 ops (the gate for the 787 and an adjacent gate). #2 I dont think DCA is set to use LD4 containers which are used on 787s. #3 I think it would be a tough call to maneuver a 787 around DCA's taxiways.
Agreed, but we're not talking about anything close to the max B788 range so it could go out with minimal fuel (really doubt you would need 50% fuel to get to LAX). As I said, DL regularly operated a B767 out of/into DCA and the 787 is of similar size but a lot more efficient - and as you said 6000' on a 7169' 1/19 runway works. Also agree that ops/gate size would be an issue but AA is going to get increased capacity in the north (C) pier with the movement of Eagle flights to the new terminal - I saw E175's in there today which always used to operate out of the main gates so there is going to be additional capacity in the old C concourse. Don't agree with you on #3 especially if they used a gate on the very end of the C pier and didn't have to taxi in the alleys.
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Old Apr 20, 21, 6:05 pm
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The added capacity isn't really added capacity. AA added 14 jetbridges with 14 gates to replace 14 hardstands. So it was a 1:1 trade. That said, the E175 type aircraft could not practicably use a hardstand. Maybe in a pinch, but practically no. I'll add to this the fact that it was announced in an intra-company meeting that AA plans to completely phase out 45/50 seat operations at DCA. So if you have that many more CR7s (the logical replacement for an E145), you may not have as much gate space as you think you got.
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Old Apr 20, 21, 6:23 pm
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Where’s mr FO757 Think that’s his username. I always enjoy hearing accurate info from someone who is an airline pilot.
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Old Apr 20, 21, 6:33 pm
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Runway length shouldn’t be an issue. OGG has a shorter runway and yet 767s/777s/330s/787s manage to take off just fine with a full payload.

However, like IADDCAflyer said it’ll be an operational nightmare as the airport wasn’t built with large aircrafts in mind not to mention there aren’t the appropriate ground resources to support this kind of aircraft. I do not think Gate 41 or 45 will work as portion of the jetway is fixed into the ground not to mention is the jetway even capable of moving high enough to connect with the doors?

787’s wingspan is much larger than the 767 as well.

With that being said I think if AA reconfigures their A321T fleet to eliminate first class and instead offer a configuration similar to United’s premium service configuration with high flat bed J layout that would give AA a lot more flexibility in tapping niche markets like DCA-LAX, certain Caribbean/Mexico/Hawaii routes, etc.
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Last edited by golfingboy; Apr 20, 21 at 6:42 pm
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Old Apr 20, 21, 6:44 pm
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Originally Posted by IADCAflyer View Post
The added capacity isn't really added capacity. AA added 14 jetbridges with 14 gates to replace 14 hardstands. So it was a 1:1 trade. That said, the E175 type aircraft could not practicably use a hardstand. Maybe in a pinch, but practically no. I'll add to this the fact that it was announced in an intra-company meeting that AA plans to completely phase out 45/50 seat operations at DCA. So if you have that many more CR7s (the logical replacement for an E145), you may not have as much gate space as you think you got.
Huh? You said the E175 could not use a hardstand (which they never did), but now some are operating into/out of the new terminal. How does that not create additional capacity for mainline AA out of the existing gates? Of course there are still slot restrictions which have not changed, but the new commuter terminal - even if a 1-1 trade off vs 35X - should create additional capacity for AA (since Eagle E17x/CRJ9/7's that never operated on the "hardstands" have been moved to the new terminal) and allow for things like swapping larger aircraft on existing routes - should AA choose to do so.

Last edited by flyer703; Apr 20, 21 at 7:22 pm
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Old Apr 20, 21, 6:48 pm
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Originally Posted by golfingboy View Post
Runway length shouldn’t be an issue. OGG has a shorter runway and yet 767s/777s/330s/787s manage to take off just fine with a full payload.

However, like IADDCAflyer said it’ll be an operational nightmare as the airport wasn’t built with large aircrafts in mind not to mention there aren’t the appropriate ground resources to support this kind of aircraft. I do not think Gate 41 or 45 will work as portion of the jetway is fixed into the ground not to mention is the jetway even capable of moving high enough to connect with the doors?

787’s wingspan is much larger than the 767 as well.
We're talking one gate on the end of the terminal- two arrivals/departures a day. No big deal... Think of how cool it would be
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Old Apr 20, 21, 7:54 pm
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Originally Posted by flyer703 View Post
We're talking one gate on the end of the terminal- two arrivals/departures a day. No big deal... Think of how cool it would be
At peak, AA operates 255 flights/day out of 32 gates at DCA. That is 8 flights per gate, very high utilization- they cannot afford to lose a gate at any point in the day to accommodate a 787.
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Old Apr 20, 21, 8:01 pm
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Originally Posted by flyer703 View Post
We're talking one gate on the end of the terminal- two arrivals/departures a day. No big deal... Think of how cool it would be
Airlines don't operate based on how cool things are.

The 787 is significantly heavier than the 767. In addition, the 787 fits in a different gate class due to wingspan, which would limit not only parking, but taxiway operations; I believe taxiways J and K would be far under minimum separation.
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Old Apr 20, 21, 8:33 pm
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How much demand is there currently between the DC area and LA? (I really have no idea, just know that a lot of transcon markets haven’t recovered yet when it comes to demand.)
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Old Apr 20, 21, 8:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Antarius View Post
Airlines don't operate based on how cool things are.
Quoted for truth. I think it would be pretty cool if AA gave me ice cream for life, and a brass band to play every time I got off the plane. Wonder if they’ll do it. I mean, it would be cool.

But no, they’ll probably be boring and practical...
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Old Apr 20, 21, 9:22 pm
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788s - meh. Those birds have only 20 J seats so upgrades to Flagship J are probably non-existent. I also can't see why AA would not sell PE seats on this route, as now that they are even selling PE on ORD-ANC.

And AA has no West Coast connections any more. They only have service up to a couple of places near the Bay Area while most others are AS now.
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Old Apr 20, 21, 10:00 pm
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AA thrives on frequency not big planes (at least they used to). As I said the length of an 787 and the wingspan would screw two gates and likely interfere with traffic on Taxiway Kilo. No to mention jutting out into the alley between gates 23-34 and 46-59.
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