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Dobbo

New Member
Oct 27, 2015
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15th May now bookable on United's site. Boeing 757-200. :banghead:
That's a shame. I'd hoped UA would utilise a newer aircraft on this route to consolidate after the closure of IAD.

I'm sure it is subject to change but let's see what happens over the coming months. The numbers to the USA seem to be holding up so perhaps the situation here is not quite as bad as some feared.
 

Dobbo

New Member
Oct 27, 2015
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In light of UA continuing to pull UK regional routes, I think there is a discussion to be had about UA's future at MAN.

First, let's take a quick look at their primary competitors (for these purposes I am ignoring TCX).

  • DL have a clear strategy whereby their JV partner VS does the lifting. Probably benefits from decent brand awareness in the U.K. As MAN is primarily an outbound marketplace. This has led to significant strides (BOS, SFO) and the promise of more to come. However, in the short term, these routes remain seasonal, low frequency and vulnerable.
  • AA have been a bit of a punchbag on here, with late flights and inconsistent product. Even the B788 failed. Rumour of them following DL lead and allowing JV partner BA to pick up the failing routes of JFK and ORD have not gone away.
Where does that leave UA. They might be focusing on LHR, MAN and EDI, but have no JV partner to handover to and have not tried to form a relationship with BE. They have withdrawn IAD at MAN but have not replaced capacity elsewhere. What do they do next?

  1. Nothing - hope the B752 to EWR fills up and is profitable. When it is life expired replace with a A321 or B788.
  2. Focus on EWR capacity - larger aircraft to EWR, say a 767 or 788. Try and build up EWR as a transit hub and collect traffic from regional U.K. And flow it through MAN.
  3. Spread the load - keep EWR as is but try and flow some additional traffic lost to NCL, BHX etc through ORD, IAD for example.
  4. Codeshare with BE. Collect more passengers to fill larger aircraft or more rotations.
Of course they might be able to find a star partner to help on TATL. SQ fly to a major UA hub at IAH but as far as I can see they have no codeshare. it is not difficult to see how another star partner might want to fly TATL ex MAN and codeshare, but the circumstances to get this happening are rare.
 

Yawner

Member
Apr 9, 2015
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18
I suspect they'll remain as is. I think there's enough O&D to Newark plus connections onwards. They've proved completely inept at maintaining Continetal's network. Prior to this they had no interest in MAN and I suspect they don't really have much interest now. Should Thomas Cook decide to add Newark or another carrier enters the route (possibly a US low cost?) they will be gone.

Their winter schedules are becoming ever more valuable though. So, hopefully they can find a way to prosper
 

Land23R

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2014
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Cheshire
A contentious point was made on the AA thread about UA at Manchester, so let me repeat my question on here.

Does anyone have any definitive information about UA's plans for MAN in S2018 as regards their EWR route?
Possible scenarios:-
- Continue as is with a B757 and daily flights.
- Up-guage a/c to a B767 or B787
- Reduce frequency but continue route.
- Cancel route

I don't see increased frequency as a possibility.

Also, what frequency reductions apply over the winter period?

Thanks for any information.
 

Dobbo

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Oct 27, 2015
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I have no definitive information on UA's plans, but the underlying data on UA's EWR-MAN service is generally positive.

Unlike many MAN-USA services, this is not seasonal and if anything runs counter seasonal, with higher loads in the winter months (this accounts for Jet2's Christmas shopping flights).

The service uses a daily B752, with a capacity of 169, so 338 seats per day. As a rule of thumb, the following load factors apply:
  • 9 - 9.6k represents 90% a load.
  • 8.3 - 8.1k represents 80% a load
  • 7.3 - 7.1k represents 70% a load.
In the past 12 months, UA's loads have been between 75% (roughly June-July) and 90% (roughly October to February).

This is a small subset of the overall MAN-New York market, so there is a larger market there for them to chase. As AA have cancelled JFK, they can chase this market share. In particular, the period where UA have lowest loads is when MAN traffic to New York peaks. They should have some low hanging fruit to chase next year.

Also, with IAD not operating, UA have around 6k per month in former customers to chase over the summer season. Some of these will inevitably be lost to direct services but there is a customer base there.

Finally, UA have refused to offer codeshares to MAN originating passengers on SQ51/52 (they are offered to SIN originating passengers). One reason for this will be to commercially protect their EWR service - should UA's attitude to this change, it may be a bad sign.

Obviously, UA have closed a number of seasonal UK routes, which has added to the general low level of confidence. UA cancelling EWR-MAN cannot be ruled out, but it seems unlikely. My view is that EWR will remain served and, subject to fleet planning, we may see UA with a larger aircraft on the route. They would be advised to follow SQ's lead and seek codeshare with BE to help fill a larger plane from regional U.K. and mitigate any downward pressure on fares.
 

Land23R

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2014
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Cheshire
Thanks Dobbo. That seems a fair assessment.

The only comment I would add in terms of loads is that regular looks at seat plans on the morning of departures or the previous evening, suggest that UA do ok in Business Class. We don't know what upgrades from FF or loyalty programs are involved, but if it is a reflection of fares paid then it helps yields. This could be a factor why so far MAN has survived and BHX has been dropped (I'm not trying to start another war of words, but although BHX has had higher overall loads in May & June, my impression is they don't do quite so well in J class, where there are only 16 seats). It seems to be Economy Plus where both airports have struggled at times.
 

Dobbo

New Member
Oct 27, 2015
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Yes - we obviously only have snapshots (e.g. of J seatplans) or generalisations (e.g. of overall loads).

It will be interesting to see if UA chase market share or are happy to stand pat and see what happens.

I don't know much about their fleet plans.
Logic suggests that if the 752 is repurposed domestically, you are looking at the 763 or 788 but I don't know if they are based at EWR (I seem to recall a 764 on one occasion which seems too big) and the 772 would obviously be too big.
 
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EGCC_MAN

Premium Member Plus
Feb 2, 2016
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I seem to recall a 764 on one occasion which seems too big and the 772 would obviously be too big.
Continental Airlines (predecessor of UAL) has in the past used a variety of larger types on MAN-EWR. The route was the preserve of DC10's for many years, later giving way to the B772 and the B764 each of which ran the service for a while. The B752 came alot later - and when it did the EWR schedule jumped from once daily to twice daily to compensate. More recently, it was decided to switch one of the daily EWR services to IAD instead.

Enter the United Airlines takeover. Of all the US majors, United was the carrier with least affinity for the UK regions ... quite the contrast with the Continental tradition. They love Heathrow, and it appears that most of their senior team believe that London and the United Kingdom are the same thing. It has become clear that the regional network nurtured by Continental is not safe in their hands. Funnelling everything through LHR is standard practice for UAL. It's what they always did. On United's watch, IAD already got the chop and that second B752 did not switch back to MAN-EWR. What they will choose to do with the one remaining MAN-EWR service going forward remains to be seen. It should be viable as a standalone, but UAL has always believed that forcing UK pax through LHR is an inspired solution. Has that culture changed?

Of course, Continental Airlines widebodies on MAN-EWR long pre-dated the emergence of competition from Thomas Cook and Virgin Atlantic on routes between Manchester and New York, though they were up against a daily British Airways B763 to JFK. EWR was the preferred gateway to New York for many customers ... closer to Manhattan and (reportedly) offering less-onerous immigration queues than JFK. EWR offered a good range of onward connections with Continental as well. The market has demonstrated over many years that MAN-NYC routes can support widebodied equipment on daily schedules. But whether UAL remain up for the fight with TCX and VIR for the long term remains to be seen.
 

Land23R

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2014
1,011
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Cheshire
Just a spot check, but the EWR looked about 85% full this morning from the seat plan with J class full (could include upgrades of course). Seemed pretty reasonable to me for a Tuesday in November.

As previously mentioned, it's disappointing to see the United web site showing flights next June/July still with a B757. Glass half empty says it's a disappointing offering and needs a wide body a/c. Glass half full says we're lucky to still have a daily flight with what's happened elsewhere.
 

Seasider

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I think that we all have to accept that with all the extra Transatlantic flights that are being offered by VS/TCX the traditional flights to JFK/EWR are going to be affected if only for the fact that you can fly direct and do not have to transfer via JFK/EWR.
 

User001

New Member
Jul 16, 2015
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Well if United are likely to cut MAN they better cancel the B772 that's seems to be sitting in some seat plans starting 23rd May.
 

ethanegcc

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Jul 10, 2016
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@User001 Could you post screenshots? Still showing 757 online but has been rumour of increase on 23rd May for a while now - first 767, now 777. Would be surprised but pleased if it was to come to fruition.
 

Scottie Dog

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A-liner is reporting UA as using the 757 on EWR next summer - this is at 1750 today.
 

User001

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Jul 16, 2015
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I suspect a further change to come. The line maintence for the B757 is being withdrawn from May, and only the B788/B777 will be covered.
 

Dobbo

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Oct 27, 2015
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I suspect a further change to come. The line maintence for the B757 is being withdrawn from May, and only the B788/B777 will be covered.
Makes you wonder what the plan is over the winter months...
 

Scottie Dog

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Whether it ever happens or not, but S19 a report I have seen shows as a B767-400 on their EWR service, however this is not as yet showing in the GDS.
 
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