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Domestically configured aircraft on International routes?

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  • Domestically configured aircraft on International routes?

    Are the aircraft solely for domestic use?

    If not, has JAL's and/or ANA's domestically configured aircraft ever served an international destination as a regularly scheduled service?

    I find it odd that only JAL/ANA would take on the high-configuration and specially designed 'domestic' versions of certain aircraft, and wondered - where else could the aircraft have been employed?

    Would the 747-400D have the range to possibly make it to the U.S. Western Coast? Would the airline ever need the capacity on that route? If so, would loads be so prohibitive that it would counterproductive to use the aircraft?
    Whatever is necessary, is never unwise.

  • #2
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but AFAIK the "domestics" feature strengthened gear (for more frequent landings) but reduced fuel capacity to save weight. Winglets were also dismissed due to the short time at flight level in favour of reduced weight. Don't even think of crew rests or amenities.
    The seating pitch is so dense that you are glad that it is just a short flight. The 400D's are just an Air-Bus on routes that a highspeed train cannot easily connect due to geography (mountain ranges, ocean,...)

    About economics, I have no real idea if they are a moneymaker...


    • #3
      I think the 747SR and 744D only have range of about 2000km, so they can't fly to US with those. They can barely use those for service to Korea.

      The SRs and the Ds are specially strengthened to withstand high number of cycles. As 747s are made for long range routes mostly, most 747s in the world probably only take off and land 6 to 10 times a week, but those domestic 747s are flying one-hour flights all the time and they can experience 6 to 10 take offs and landings a day. You don't want an Aloha 737 type fuselage blow-out to happen on a 747 with 550 people on it.

      They don't need to deploy those to international routes as the domestic routes are the real "high density" ones (except Japan-Hawaii/Guam). And they are full all the time. For those one-hour routes, first/business class demand is not that high anyway. And keep in mind that the airlines are competing with bullet trains that can run between major cities in 3 hours with a frequency of 15 minutes a train, so the competitive landscape is very different than in US.
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