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Could COVID be UAs opportunity to order the 777X?

Could COVID be UAs opportunity to order the 777X?

Old Jul 17, 21, 2:24 pm
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Could COVID be UAs opportunity to order the 777X?

Obviously all the airlines have been hurting, but if an airline like EY or even CX are going to cancel their 77X orders, is there a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a 77X order? Im sure UA will receive step discounts. If air travel returns to pre-COVID patterns I could see UA converting their 45 A359s into 30 779s. The 779 would be a great fit for SFO-NRT/ICN/PEK/PVG/TPE/HKG/DEL/SIN/SYD/AKL/LHR/FRA/TLV and EWR-NRT/PEK/PVG/HKG/TLV/DEL/BOM/JNB where space is limited and where these are routes that require the 779s range/capacity/performance.

As for their RR contract, how about converting their remaining 787s or order to the RR variant so they operate a simplified fleet consisting of NMA/788/789/78J/77W/779s. The 77E doesnt have to have a 1:1 replacement and adding the A359 or A35J is introducing a new type with no real value that requires additional pilot training. So for replacing the 77E on TPAC routes, the 77W would be a better capacity upgrade. Or the 789 would be a better capacity downgrade.
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Old Jul 17, 21, 2:49 pm
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Originally Posted by UA857 View Post
...If air travel returns to pre-COVID patterns...
None of the airlines are going to do anything with long-range aircraft until they see what premium traffic (read: business travel) does. I'm pretty sure companies have found out what they can still accomplish with slashed travel. When business travel rebounds, I think companies are going to be a bit more selective as to who travels and for what purposes - it's not going to provide the growth projections for airlines to commit to expensive new a/c. Delta is moving away from new a/c orders and reverting to their "buy used" heritage. There's no shortage of underutilized long-range aircraft now (including near-term deliveries) or for the foreseeable future.
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Old Jul 17, 21, 3:00 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
None of the airlines are going to do anything with long-range aircraft until they see what premium traffic (read: business travel) does. I'm pretty sure companies have found out what they can still accomplish with slashed travel. When business travel rebounds, I think companies are going to be a bit more selective as to who travels and for what purposes - it's not going to provide the growth projections for airlines to commit to expensive new a/c. Delta is moving away from new a/c orders and reverting to their "buy used" heritage. There's no shortage of underutilized long-range aircraft now (including near-term deliveries) or for the foreseeable future.
Ummm? You sure? With the vaccinations in sight couldnt we see a quicker recover in business travel? Several airlines have already relaunched some premium-heavy routes e.g. UAs JFK-SFO/LAX and SQs EWR-SIN. UA just ordered 150 3JMs and 70 A321Ns meaning that air travel will rebound in around 2023.

Last edited by UA857; Jul 17, 21 at 3:08 pm
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Old Jul 17, 21, 3:14 pm
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Originally Posted by UA857 View Post
Obviously all the airlines have been hurting, but if an airline like EY or even CX are going to cancel their 77X orders, is there a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a 77X order? I’m sure UA will receive step discounts. If air travel returns to pre-COVID patterns I could see UA converting their 45 A359s into 30 779s. .....
But given all that, UA just "United Next", UA announces purchase of 200 Boeing 737 Max and 70 Airbus A321 Neo. The CAPEX budget is well commitment for many years into the future. Note the lack of mention of 777X or any super capacity aircraft.

Additionally, Airbus and RR (for the engines) are not likely to release UA from their commitment to buy Boeing / GE. And adding more fleet variants is not the way UA is going, it is looking to simplify its fleet. And has made contractary agreements for those 789 engines.

And finally, 777X has been continuously slipping schedule. The latest bing FAA concerns with the aircraft. So between that and post-COVID traffic levels many carriers are backing off from 777X
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Old Jul 17, 21, 3:20 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
But given all that, UA just "United Next", UA announces purchase of 200 Boeing 737 Max and 70 Airbus A321 Neo. The CAPEX budget is well commitment for many years into the future

Additionally, Airbus and RR (for the engines) are not likely to release UA from their commitment to buy Boeing / GE. And adding more fleet variants is not the way UA is going, it is looking to simplify its fleet.

And finally, 777X has been continuously slipping schedule. The latest bing FAA concerns with the aircraft. So between that and post-COVID traffic levels many carriers are backing off from 777X
Ummm? UA just ordered so 70 A321neos so to keep RR commitment why not convert their remaining 787 on order to the RR variant.
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Old Jul 17, 21, 3:22 pm
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Originally Posted by UA857 View Post
Ummm? UA just ordered so 70 A321neos so to keep RR commitment why not convert their remaining 787 on order to the RR variant.
the A321a are replacing multiple types of retiring aircraft -- simplification.
Adding a different engine to the 789s increase variants
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Old Jul 17, 21, 3:28 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
the A321a are replacing multiple types of retiring aircraft -- simplification.
Adding a different engine to the 789s increase variants
Im talking about the 78Js currently on order? Also ANA flies 787s with RR and GE engines.
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Old Jul 17, 21, 3:37 pm
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Originally Posted by UA857 View Post
I’m talking about the 78Js currently on order? Also ANA flies 787s with RR and GE engines.
That are two varients -- need to stock twice as many spare engines / engine parts / training / ....

Can UA do it but do they want to.
And it may be sometime before that change in RR order could take place

Suggesting UA go in a different direction than it and its competitor are signaling would be an odd decision.
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Old Jul 17, 21, 3:39 pm
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Once in a lifetime? I dont think so. They can order them anytime they want to.
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Old Jul 17, 21, 3:49 pm
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Once in a lifetime? I dont think so. They can order them anytime they want to.
Or buy used.

David
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Old Jul 17, 21, 3:52 pm
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Originally Posted by UA857 View Post
Ummm? You sure? With the vaccinations in sight couldn’t we see a quicker recover in business travel?...
A recovery in business travel IS in sight. That DOES NOT mean companies will return to the SAME levels of travel. I know companies in Houston that have already decided to cut back on numbers and frequencies of people traveling internationally PERMANANTLY. Technology had rendered a lot of oil and gas travel unnecessary and the COVID period has only accelerated adoption of remote operations monitoring, meetings, etc. I like to travel and I could already see the writing on the wall back in 2012 - remote work and communications just wasn't being institutionalized to the extent it could be. After the last 18 months, it is now. Managers are going to be harder pressed now to justify $20k to send a couple of people to a partner meeting in Europe when they've been doing fine w/ Zoom or whatever for the last 18 months. I'm pretty sure if I was still working, a good percentage of my travel would be permanently slashed (much to my chagrin). There will be people still traveling, but I think recovery to pre-pandemic level will take years - and it be driven by industry growth going forward, not a return to pre-Covid status quo. Anyone who thinks we'll be at the same level of int'l business travel by next year or the year after isn't very well connected to reality.

Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Jul 17, 21 at 4:05 pm
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Old Jul 17, 21, 3:56 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
.... Anyone who thinks we'll be at the same level of int'l business travel by next year or the year after isn't very well connected to reality.
That will not be a 777X issue as it will not be flying next year or the year after .... maybe 2025?
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Old Jul 17, 21, 4:15 pm
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Originally Posted by UA857 View Post
Obviously all the airlines have been hurting, but if an airline like EY or even CX are going to cancel their 77X orders, is there a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a 77X order? Im sure UA will receive step discounts. If air travel returns to pre-COVID patterns I could see UA converting their 45 A359s into 30 779s. The 779 would be a great fit for SFO-NRT/ICN/PEK/PVG/TPE/HKG/DEL/SIN/SYD/AKL/LHR/FRA/TLV and EWR-NRT/PEK/PVG/HKG/TLV/DEL/BOM/JNB where space is limited and where these are routes that require the 779s range/capacity/performance.

As for their RR contract, how about converting their remaining 787s or order to the RR variant so they operate a simplified fleet consisting of NMA/788/789/78J/77W/779s. The 77E doesnt have to have a 1:1 replacement and adding the A359 or A35J is introducing a new type with no real value that requires additional pilot training. So for replacing the 77E on TPAC routes, the 77W would be a better capacity upgrade. Or the 789 would be a better capacity downgrade.
Im not understanding. Why would it make sense for UA to buy aircraft that other airlines dont think the travel market needs? I cant imagine UA knows something the other airlines dont know.
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Old Jul 17, 21, 4:19 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
the A321a are replacing multiple types of retiring aircraft -- simplification.
Adding a different engine to the 789s increase variants
If UA has to buy a number of RR engines, isn't it simpler to put them on a 789 than to put them on a A359? For the former it's just a different engine. For the latter it's a whole different plane (and engine).
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Old Jul 17, 21, 4:23 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
That will not be a 777X issue as it will not be flying next year or the year after .... maybe 2025?
Yes, but I bet all the airlines are trying to project what post-Covid business travel would look like in 5-10 years to make a decision on such an order.
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