Establishing the requirement

Demand of OHCA

The airlines surveyed confirmed the need for aircraft substantially larger than the 747-400.

Frequency targets

The airlines exhibited a close consensus as to what constitutes an ideal frequency over various route lengths. In order to offer a competitive service level on short-range routes, the majority considered hourly departures desirable; between 2 and 5 per day dependant upon route distance were favoured for regional services; the target minimum for long-range intercontinental markets was considered to be a daily frequency.

Air transport system trends

UAL were the most firmly in favor of continuing and developing the current hub to hub system in order to gather economic adventages from very large aircraft. At the other extreme DLH and NWA were both convinced of a trend toward more direct flights, therefore seeing no need for UHCA. Other airlines fell in between QFA,   for  example,  sharing  DLH’s  opinion  for  its intercontinental network, but favoring UHCA for the Pacific routes.
The majority of airlines in the Far East considered the development of Japanese airports to be the biggest constraint on frequency growth.

High speed ground transport

Shinkansen trains will soon connect Tokyo with Osaka in 2 1/2 hours and will thus relieve some of the pressure on trunk air routes south of Tokyo. The new Seoul to Pusan (via Taejon) railway is expected to dilute airline traffic on that city-pair by some 70%, although this is not a potential UHCA route. Rail competition was not considered a major factor in Australia and North America, whereas in Europe it was seen as positive, freeing slots for more profitable long-haul flights (combined with no need for UHCA on intra-European connections).

Airlines overview

Establishing the requirement

Defining the aircraft

Operating cost considerations


An UHCA was born