Re: A340-500/600 and B777-200X/-300X

Date:         05 Jan 98 23:43:04 
From: (Larry Stone)
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In article <airliners.1997.3020@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
"[non-spam]jfmezei" wrote:

>Karl Swartz wrote:
>> I'm not sure that ORD-HKG operates with significantly more crew than
>> SFO-HKG, adjusting for the different number of pax and class of service.
>> When you consider the crews for both ORD-SFO and SFO-HKG combined versus
>> ORD-HKG, I'm not convinced there's that much difference.
>But ORD-HKG doesn't operate under difficult conditions, does it ?
>If you provide a plane that can do the distance under any weather,
>what is the worse case scenario of flight time and how many crews
>would you need to prepare for such situations ?
>And of course, this begs to ask: how does an airline plan its crews for
>such a flight ? How much in advance do they know that they will or will
>not need an extra crew for each flight/day ? Or would they always have
>to have that extra crew on just in case ?

I can't speak for how other airlines handle long flights (heck, I can't
speak for United either but at least I know something about how United
does it) but at United, there is no concept of multiple crews on a flight.
We have augmented crews but there is on any flight, one and only one crew
headed by one and only one captain. A two-seat aircraft (767, 747-400,
777, etc.) will fly with a captain and up to three first officers. All the
F/O's are legal to fly left seat but when a decision has to be made, the
captain makes it even if it means waking the captain up.

How F/O's are part of the crew is a function of the scheduled flight time.
Actual flight time, unless it causes a planned fuel stop, is not normally
going to be a factor in crew requirements. I believe with 3 F/O's, the
longest scheduled flight time allowed (block to block) is 16 hours.
ORD->HKG is under that so there's no need for a larger crew. Working more
hours than scheduled can increase crew rest requirements for their next
flight but generally has no effect on the operation of the current flight.

Flight attendants are similar in that there is one purser leading the
service end of things (note some flights have a main cabin purser too but
this a separate position). All FA's recieve breaks during the flight but
there are not two separate inflight service crews with half off at any one

-- Larry Stone ---
   Schaumburg, IL, USA
   I work for United Airlines but never, never speak for them