Did UA miss the window for MEL SFO?

Old Dec 14, 17, 6:35 pm
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Did UA miss the window for MEL SFO?

I heard QF just announced the route. That seems like something UA would have wanted maybe?
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Old Dec 14, 17, 6:42 pm
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Originally Posted by flyerbaby19 View Post
I heard QF just announced the route. That seems like something UA would have wanted maybe?
Once the 787s proved their range to fly to SIN, I was wondering if UA would shift the MEL flight to SFO? It would be a natural move, and perhaps QF will spur them to it.
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Old Dec 14, 17, 6:54 pm
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Although not the same, given UA has run SFO-SYD-MEL in the past and LAX-MEL now, UA is pretty much clear about its potential for SFO-MEL.
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Old Dec 14, 17, 6:54 pm
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Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
Once the 787s proved their range to fly to SIN, I was wondering if UA would shift the MEL flight to SFO? It would be a natural move, and perhaps QF will spur them to it.
SFO-MEL is actually shorter than LAX-MEL, so I don't think that matters as much. As to why UA never opened it, I suppose they figured it wasn't worth it?
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Old Dec 15, 17, 12:04 am
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I would vote yes if they asked me, SFO is so much better than the LAX maze of TBIT onward
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Old Dec 15, 17, 1:55 am
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Still hoping they'll send an extra aircraft to PER instead. Would love to be able to take a long weekend from the West Coast and go see some quokkas.
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Old Dec 15, 17, 4:47 am
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Originally Posted by mherdeg View Post
Still hoping they'll send an extra aircraft to PER instead. Would love to be able to take a long weekend from the West Coast and go see some quokkas.
According to GCM, SFO-PER is 9,155 miles...think that's stretching it for the 789, even though UA has done some pretty interesting stuff in terms of milking how far it can fly.

I do wonder why UA never did SFO-MEL - I know LAX has more O&D traffic, but perhaps that would have been too much capacity? It certainly would have lined up with their more recent strategy of adding ULH routes to destinations that they already serve from elsewhere.
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Old Dec 15, 17, 6:54 am
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The Qantas service will be thrice weekly, United could respond by flying on the alternate days three times a week or could even trounce QF by going daily. Are there currently any 787 routes under performing ? United could easily get in first and establish themselves on the route since QF are aiming for late 2018 to start. Maybe MEL-IAH is in the future, although that might really be pushing the distance. I doubt any of the OALs flying USA-OZ would consider SFO-MEL, UAL would be the only ones with any interest.
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Old Dec 15, 17, 7:01 am
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Where does UA get the necessary airframes to perform this new route? Got to divert aircraft from other routes which may have better PRASM.

On any given day, UA and every carrier, looks at aircraft utilization. Can airframe #1 be better used on AAA-BBB or CCC-DDD?
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Old Dec 15, 17, 8:59 am
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UA still has four 787-9s yet to be delivered, and with SFO-HGH being discontinued, they should have sufficient 787-9 frames for expansion.

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Where does UA get the necessary airframes to perform this new route? Got to divert aircraft from other routes which may have better PRASM.

On any given day, UA and every carrier, looks at aircraft utilization. Can airframe #1 be better used on AAA-BBB or CCC-DDD?

Last edited by 764toHI; Dec 15, 17 at 11:55 am
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Old Dec 15, 17, 10:31 am
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I don't think this changes the dynamic all that much. QF will take some O&D off the route, but I see UA using SFO for connections to MEL, traffic QF doesn't have in abundance. out of SFO. So I really don't think their traffic flows will be that similar. LAX was the logical first choice. I can still see SFO coming one day.
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Old Dec 15, 17, 3:45 pm
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Does this route have potential for lucrative O/D paid business class? I got the impression that most of that goes to SYD, with secondary traffic to PER. MEL and perhaps CBR. I am sure there are plenty of tourists who would love to fly nonstop both directions SFO<->MEL but that doesn't normally pay the bills. There is quite a bit of mining and oil co. business travel to Perth but the connection through SYD is not bad (not sure about HKG or SIN).

As for the 787s, I think there is far more lucrative potential from SFO/LAX to Europe, as most of us here avoid EWR/IAD connections like the plague (ORD is tolerable ) Plenty of high value business travel and it's not as if the competition offers a better product (though our partner LH is pretty good).
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Old Dec 15, 17, 6:13 pm
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Originally Posted by mherdeg View Post
Still hoping they'll send an extra aircraft to PER instead.
No chance there's sufficient demand to fly directly to Perth, even as a tag flight. Not only is it not that big a market, it's also a destination where it's basically the same distance (sometimes less) to fly via Asia rather than via SYD.

UA suffers in Australia due to the lack of a local *A airline/partner, but attempting to fly to every potential destination isn't the answer.
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Old Dec 15, 17, 7:22 pm
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Originally Posted by docbert View Post
No chance there's sufficient demand to fly directly to Perth, even as a tag flight. Not only is it not that big a market, it's also a destination where it's basically the same distance (sometimes less) to fly via Asia rather than via SYD.

UA suffers in Australia due to the lack of a local *A airline/partner, but attempting to fly to every potential destination isn't the answer.
true. But QF suffers at the other end at SFO, which is why I think this route makes less sense for QF than for UA. In any case, good to see North America to Australia competition increasing after years of very limited, expensive options.

Although Iím certainly hoping UA also launches this route to give me a 1 stop option from YYC to see my brother who just moved to MEL
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Old Dec 16, 17, 9:24 pm
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Originally Posted by david_oz View Post
But QF suffers at the other end at SFO
Suffer how? QF sell through-fares onto UA, AS (and VX) as well as AA, so going into SFO gives them a LOT of options for feeder/connecting flights.

Sure, in most cases it's crossing alliances, but the leisure market isn't generally going to care, and even the business market won't for the right connection.

Originally Posted by david_oz View Post
Although I’m certainly hoping UA also launches this route to give me a 1 stop option from YYC to see my brother who just moved to MEL
​​​​​​​Technically they already have that - as long as you don't mind a codeshare YYC-LAX and a 12 hour connection...
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