a reply to: Zaphod58
I'm amazed that it hasn't happened more these days, both because of increased passenger volumes and due to the fact that passengers are taking more
flights in smaller aircraft than they were even 15-20 years ago.
For a particularly morbid example, take 9/11, which in retrospect, horrors aside, paints an "end of an era" glimpse at lingering pre-deregulation
fleet patterns. Both Boston-departing flights were using 767's for domestic service as Boston in 2001 was still essentially un-served by modern
discount airlines. This meant that the pair of legacy carriers were the only ones operating transcontinental routes to LAX, and the passenger traffic
(and fuel csts) were such that both UAL and AA could each justify putting a heavy like the 767 on a domestic route to LAX. Heck, I remember flying
half-full AA A300's and 767s to even closer destinations like DFW and MIA back in the 1998-2001 timespan.
Fast forward to today, just 15 years later, and it's a radically different picture. At Logan, domestic heavies are almost never seen outside of the
two 767s and an A330 that Delta uses for flights to London, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam (via KLM codeshare), and the closest thing that you'll ever see
to a heavy in domestic service is the odd AA 757 to Miami or DFW, or the DAL 757's going to ATL. Everything else is now a mix of 737s, A320s, and
E175s/E190s flying point-to-point pairings and higher frequencies on routes to major airports and airline hubs.
So instead of UAL and AA each flying a 767 every morning for a total of 450 departing seats, you instead have DAL, UAL, and AA each flying a 737-800
for ~480 departing seats, as well as JetBlue flying an A320 for another ~160 seats and a total of ~650 potential passengers to LAX each AM. So while
transcontinental passenger volumes have increased by nearly 50%, the total number of aircraft to manage on the ground and in the air has doubled.
Even the international market has drifted towards "smaller" aircraft, and BAA/AF are now often flying two 777's staggered apart (or a 747 and a 777,
or two 747s during holidays) where they once were flying single 747-400's. Virgin is doing the same with their A330s and A340s, and you almost never
see a VAL 747 at Logan anymore. In fact, the only carrier that exclusively flies the quad-jets out of Logan anymore is Lufthansa who are good for two
747s or a 747 and an A340-600 every morning/evening. At the same time though, international traffic is probably 4x what it was back in 2001, only
now, it's all 777's from Cathay and Emirates, A340s from Iberia, A350's from Qatar, A330s from Turkish, Swissair, Alitalia, and Aer Lingus, 787's from
Hainan and JAL, 757s from Aer Lingus and Icelandair, the A310 from SATA, and even 737s from Copa and AeroMexico and A320s from WOW. The only new
heavy service that I can think of is the planned upgrade of the Emirates flight to A380's once the Terminal E expansion is done (and the likely
ensuing upgrade of BA, AF, and Lufthansa to A380s for peak times as well)
Given that this is happening everywhere in the US and (and that most if not all major US airports use runway/ground layouts that were laid down
PRE-deregulation), it's a friggin miracle and a testament to modern ATC/GTC staff that we haven't had more Tenerife's.
edit on 6-4-2016 by
Barnalby because: (no reason given)