Re: MD-11 range

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
Date:         15 Apr 95 11:38:18 
References:   1
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>ISTM that the first revenue MD-11's were being used in ?SFO to
>Tokyo? service, but could not perform as sold. As a result, they had to
>make a fuel stop enroute. McD was paying the carrier for every such
>stop.

Close, but not quite.  American's first MD-11 service (a few months
after the first revenue service for the type) was supposed to be SJC
to NRT.  American got into a squabble with MacDAC and grounded their
first MD-11 and refused delivery of the second one for a month or two,
so they had to start SJC-NRT with a DC-10-30.  The relatively poorer
performance of that aircraft, combined with relatively short runways
at SJC, meant that flights with a decent load couldn't get out with
enough fuel, so they flew up the bay to OAK to take on fuel.

Once AA finally accepted the MD-11 and put it on the route, they could
eliminate the technical stop.  (San Jose also lengthened the runway a
bit.)  However, the MD-11 still had some significant performance
shortfalls (as do many new aircraft), and at times AA had to leave a
few thousand pounds of payload behind.  The rumor was that MacDAC was
paying AA a $10,000 penalty every time this happened, though as far as
I know this was never confirmed publicly.

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