O'Hare -> Hong Kong Non-Stop

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
Date:         16 Jul 96 13:51:49 
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>I believe I heard Monday was the first day for United's O'Hare
>to Hong non-stop Route.

Monday was actually the first day for the HKG-ORD service; Tuesday
marked the start of the ORD-HKG non-stop.  Eastbound, flight 896
departs HKG at 940a on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, arriving
ORD at 1140a the same day.  Westbound, flight 895 departs ORD at
345p on Tuesday and Saturday, arriving HKG at 840p the next day.
A Thursday departure operates 50 minutes later, apparently due to
slot constraints at HKG.

>They are flying a 747-400, about 1700 miles

Obviously a typo!  The distance is 7,788 miles.

United's first six 747-400s have a different, low-density seating
configuration, with 36 F seats, 123 Connoisseur (aka business), and
142 Y, a total of only 301 seats.  UA's other 747-400s have 418 seats
(18F, 80C, 320Y).  UA generally uses the low density aircraft where
there is greater demand for the premium classes (such as JFK-NRT,
though that usually uses the two low-density 747-222Bs).  For ORD-HKG
UA uses a low-density aircraft because of weight -- the extra pax, and
perhaps the extra seats, would add more weight than they can carry on
such a long flight.  The flight is also passenger-only (no cargo).

>It's amazing they can do this.  If the winds aren't right,
>they said they will have to touch down in San Francisco or
>Toyko.

Both would be *way* off course for this flight.  Edmonton (or either
Anchorage or Fairbanks) would be closer on the North American side,
while Bejing would probably be the most plausible refueling spot in
Asia.

>Anyone have more details on the flight?

Only one more bit of trivia -- with stiff headwinds, the flight may
take longer than 999 minutes (16:39), which required modifications to
some of UA's operations software!

--
Karl Swartz	|Home	kls@chicago.com
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Moderator of sci.aeronautics.airliners -- Unix/network work pays the bills