Tags: United | Jets | Fuel | Stops

United Continental Jets From Europe Make Fuel Stops on Headwinds

Wednesday, 11 Jan 2012 01:21 PM


  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

United Continental Holdings Inc. trans-Atlantic flights with smaller Boeing Co. 757 jets are making more unscheduled fuel stops because of stronger headwinds on the planes’ longest routes.

Westbound flights in December faced winds almost twice as fast compared with the average over the past decade, forcing 43 flights out of 1,100 to land and refuel, said Megan McCarthy, a spokeswoman for the Chicago-based airline. Only 12 jets needed fuel stops a year earlier, she said today by telephone.

“There have been fuel stops on some flights we have flown all along, and it does continue into January because the winds have continued into January,” McCarthy said. “We’re looking at this very closely.”

Flying into stiff winds slows a plane’s progress over the ground, possibly eating into the minimum fuel reserve of 45 minutes of travel time and forcing a fuel stop. December winds blew at about 54 miles (87 kilometers) per hour, compared with the 28 mph historical average.

A “handful” of December fuel stops were planned before jets left Europe, McCarthy said. The airports typically used for refueling are in eastern Canadian cities such as Gander, Newfoundland, and Goose Bay, Labrador, or Boston, she said.

The North Atlantic’s prevailing winds come from the west, which means that flights to the U.S. from Europe already are usually longer than eastbound trips. Newer, more-efficient planes have reduced the need for scheduled fill-ups, which were more common in the early days of jet aviation.

Flights to Newark

All of the December stops were for Boeing 757-200 jets flown by United Continental’s Continental unit on routes such as Stuttgart, Germany, to Newark, New Jersey, which is about 4,540 miles, and the planes depart with full fuel tanks, McCarthy said.

The plane carries 175 passengers and has a maximum range of about 4,450 miles, according to Boeing’s website. McCarthy said winglets and lighter carbon brakes were installed years ago to minimize fuel burn. The winds also have affected new service from Washington Dulles to Paris and Amsterdam, she said.

United Airlines, whose parent merged with Continental in 2010, flies those routes with bigger, longer-range Boeing 767 and 777 jets, making fuel stops for those planes unnecessary.

The Wall Street Journal reported United Continental’s increasing unscheduled fuel stops earlier today.

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

WH Weighs Quarantine for Doctors Returning from W. Africa

Friday, 24 Oct 2014 18:33 PM

The White House is considering requiring medical workers who treat Ebola overseas to be quarantined when they come back  . . .

Rep. Farenthold: Waiting on Ebola Czar Ron Klain 'Infuriating'

Friday, 24 Oct 2014 18:25 PM

With Ebola now turning up in two large American cities, and the White House's new "Ebola czar" still declining to appear . . .

Ex-Obama Counsel Ruemmler Exits Attorney General Consideration

Friday, 24 Oct 2014 17:11 PM

Former White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler took herself out of the running to become the next U.S. attorney general, pa . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved