Brian Znotins, vice president of network for United and the individual in charge of the carrier’s network strategy group, sat down for an interview with Benét J. Wilson of Airways News to discuss a wide-range of topics. He answered questions on when the Boeing 777-300s and A350s are expected to join the fleet and what routes they might operate, United’s use of 787s on “experimental routes”, the perception that LAX is being handed to American / Delta, plans for the Dulles hub, and priorities for the network going forward. The were other interesting takeaways on the Tokyo hub (now receiving more connecting traffic via the ANA JV than when they were operating their own metal)..despite the direct flights from SFO as well as the relocation of P.S service to Newark from JFK.
And it’s interesting to note that today we connect more passengers to ANA in Tokyo than we connected to ourselves at the time of the merger with all the beyond-Tokyo flying we had. So we actually have more passengers on our Tokyo flight going beyond Tokyo now than we did when we had all our own flights going beyond Tokyo. The ANA joint venture has really enabled that.
So when we forecast the move, we forecast a number of those passengers were actually flying to JFK because of the better seat and not because they preferred JFK. And certainly there are a number of passengers who did prefer JFK, but what we found is that many more passengers moved from JFK over to our Newark services than we anticipated. So right now we are actually planning to fly more capacity in Newark this summer and fall than we originally envisioned in order to accommodate all that demand that decided to move with us. We’re pretty excited about how much we’re actually meeting forecasts on that change.
Check out the really interesting full interview here.