UA and Europe

From:         "jla" <>
Date:         15 Jul 1997 15:57:19 -0400
Organization: Kapor Enterprises, Inc.
References:   1 2 3 4 5
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Karl Swartz <kls@ohare.Chicago.NOSPAM.COM> wrote in article 
> That's a popular, though incorrect, opinion.  Before UA started flying
> into Heathrow in April 1991, they had at least three trans-Atlantic
> flights each way -- 106/105 ORD-CDG, 128/129 ORD-FRA, 130/131 IAD-FRA
> (east/west).  Both FRA routes started May 15, 1990 eastbound, with the
> first westbound service the next day, then ORD-CDG started on August 1.
> (ORD-FRA initially was flight 126; the others started with the numbers
> they had at the start of service to LHR.)  All used 767-222(ER)s.
> While not a very dramatic start, UA was in Europe nearly a year before
> starting to fly the LHR bought from Pan Am.

Yes.  You are correct.  I was aware of the other flights.  But they were
hardly a great market presence.  London/LHR is to Europe what Tokyo/NRT is
to Asia.  If you don't get service to London, you have limited market
presence and traffic.  UA was granted the FRA/CDG routes earlier, but it
wasn't until they got London, Heathrow specifically, including some
limited through-rights and fifth-freedom rights that they really got INTO

As you stated it was not a dramatic start.  But it was not until UA
started LHR service that they became a true Trans-Atlantic contender.
That is what I meant by UA making their move.  As a side note to that
earlier service, just before UA started CDG service, the French
govt. renigged on the authority and was refusing to permit UA to land at
CDG, and was going to make them fly to ORY.  UA was adamant and stated
they would fly to CDG, regardless.  The US govt. got involved, and CDG it
was.  But it was up to the last minute before the French govt. granted the

It is also rather ironic that UA purchased the routes from PA, who
originally got them years earlier from AOA (American Overseas), a
then-subsidiary of American, who later purchased TW's routes to get back