3 Links I Love: British Airplane Porn, Dulles Grows, More Regional Madness

This week’s featured link:

BOAC TO THE FUTURE AS BRITISH AIRWAYS’ 747 IN HERITAGE DESIGN LANDS AT HEATHROWBritish Airways Media Centre
I will forgive the punny headline, because this airplane is just… I mean… there are no words to adequately describe this piece of airplane porn right here. This is the definition of a classic, timeless livery, and the 747-400 does it proud. Thank you British Airways for doing this.

BOAC 747 Taken: 18th February 2019 Picture by: Stuart Bailey

Two for the road:

Dulles surpasses Reagan National as D.C.-area’s busiest airportUSA Today
I still think of Dulles as an under-utilized airport with plenty of room to grow, but, well, lookie there. It’s now bigger than National. Of course, National is highly constrained, so it’s not naturally bigger. But Dulles isn’t tiny.

Three Decades Of US Regional Airlines (Part Deux)VisualApproach.io
Yes, I know I linked to this last week, but the chart has been upgraded and made interactive. Some of the fixes were thanks to your feedback. It’s worth reviewing again to see just how insane the regional world has been over the last thirty years.


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24 Responses to 3 Links I Love: British Airplane Porn, Dulles Grows, More Regional Madness

  1. JB14 says:

    I wonder if they will operate that Speedbird on the MIA-LHR route, and crank up “Back in the USSR” upon landing? “Flew in from Miami Beach B.O.A.C…”

    What a beautiful bird.

    • enplaned says:

      Likely not, as the next lines are:

      Didn’t get to bed last night
      On the way the paper bag was on my knee
      Man I had a dreadful flight

      • JB14 says:

        LOL! :)

        For some reason, I always thought it was “the paperback was on my knee.” Paper bag is much funnier!

    • I never knew what B.O.A.C. meant until now. I thought it was just a weird lyric. Now it totally makes sense.

  2. Jim Spaeth says:

    In 1970 I was honored to be among the first 20 in-flight directors of customer service to fly aboard TWA’s new 747s. I’ll always remember with amusement the many passengers who, upon boarding the plane, looked around with their mouths open, often asking “how do they get this damn thing off the ground?” Thanks BOAC, uh British Airways, for bring back memories for millions.

  3. SEAN says:

    On Dulles, based on the location & the road network it’s no wonder that National is favored by both locals & travelers alike. Plus if you want, hopping on Metro at National to go into the city is a snap, while you’re most likely going to get stuck in traffic on I-495 if coming in from Dulles.

    One thing that has always befuddled me about Washington is the lack of international flights serving it compared to NYC, Chicago or even Boston. Perhaps that is changing?

    • Bill from DC says:

      UA runs a pretty big intl operation, it’s probably the main reason iad is still hubbed. Multiple destinations in Asia, Europe, tel Aviv, etc.

      Plus UA has nearly the whole intl game in DC metro, other airlines fly only to their hubs, very little intl traffic out of BWI (and no hub feed) and none from DCA.

      • SEAN says:

        EWR is UA’s largest international gateway as well as the largest domestic hub by far. UA started growing Dulles as I remember do to Newark just being crowded & so delay prone.

        • Davey says:

          Not sure about either. My suspicion is IAH is their biggest international hub and ORD is their largest domestic hub.

          Candidly, Dulles is a dump. The United concourse should have been torn down and replaced at least 10 years ago. It’s crowded, dirty and is a really poor image for visitors to our nation’s capital. United has put $0 into it as best I can tell and as long as they are number 1 at EWR, I see nothing that’s going to change.

          Only way Dulles is viable is if DCA closes. The FAA had its chance after 9/11 to do that but elected to keep DCA open. It will never happen.

          • SEAN says:

            Actually if you think about it for a minute, the condition of Dulles is a perfect reflection of the nations capitol in a governmental context. It’s a mess, disfunctional & finds new ways to put lipstick on a pig all the while unable to meaningfully solve the important issues at hand.

  4. tvmccabe says:

    Based on the number of widebodies at IAD versus DCA, it is clear IAD traffic still has an enormous upside in terms of operating field capacity.
    I wonder how much of the IAD growth is attributable to United’s re-energized growth profile and focus on growing HUBS, including shifting some EWR flying to IAD to grow North-South connectivity?

  5. CraigTPA says:

    I really wish BA would make that their fleetwide livery – just change the name (in the same font, of course) and they’d be done. So much better looking than the current one and the stupid “speedmarque”.

  6. SeanYoda says:

    At first, when I read, “British Airplane Porn,” I thought of this 10 minutes of glorious B-roll footage from British Pathé: https://youtu.be/KYxNKhy0rOs

  7. Brad says:

    Thanks for sharing the update to the regional madness chart. I love the added interactivity. I’ve favorited the page and will definitely revisit when I need to walk down memory lane.

    If you’re still passing on corrections, I found one:
    Mesa flew as Frontier JetExpress from 2002 till 2004 when Horizon took over the contract.

  8. Dan says:

    Love what you do CF but can we get away from using ‘porn’ to describe stuff that isn’t pornography?

  9. MarylandDavid says:

    BWI is the busiest airport out of the three. As for international service, there is British Air, WOW, Condor (seasonal) and numerous Caribbean destinations. Also, even though WN doesn’t use the word “hub”, for all intents and purposes, it is one. It is their second busiest airport, after Midway.

  10. Robin Baxter says:

    British Airways are repainting 2 further aircraft in heritage liveries to commemorate their centenary.An Airbus is being repainted in the BEA ‘Red Square’ livery at Shannon shortly.I believe the third one is another 747.

    • USBusinessTraveller says:

      No return of the ethnic tailfins? Or Dan Air livery? Shame.

      On a serious note, painting one in BCal livery would look good.

      That BOAC ship looks superb.

  11. SK says:

    I will continue to avoid Dulles as much as possible even if my actual destination is NoVa until they have a reasonable story on transit between terminals. Walking is fine, a train is fine, the mobile lounge system is a complete and utter dumpster fire.

    • Ben in DC says:

      They have a train. Even if you fly into the D concourse, you can walk down to it, although the mobile lounges are faster. A, B, and C are all served by it. You can walk between A/B and the terminal.

      I know Dulles is the airport people love to hate, but as my primary airport, I will usually defend it. United has been spending money to fix up the C/D concourses. Yes, it’s lipstick on a pig, but they are in a lot better shape than they used to be. A Polaris Lounge is coming this year. Metro service should be available next year, which will make it easier to get there.

  12. Eastern 727 Whisperjet says:

    I always find it fascinating when the level of an airport’s activity in a multi-airport region is measured by total enplanements, thus making it appear that certain hub airports might be more important to the local air travel market than they actually are, as hubs tend to “exaggerate” passenger boardings due to the transfer function. (Please note – I understand that a busier airport in terms of total enplanements is a more significant player in terms of employment and other factors, but I am referring here to a hub airport’s role in a multi-airport region to the local air traveling public.)

    I would be much more interested to know from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority what the total originating/destined (“O&D”) passenger counts were at IAD and DCA, not just total enplanements. I think it might show that DCA is still more popular with the local population, but I am unsure how to find the most recent data.

    In the New York City area, I last saw an O&D measure a couple of years ago, and much to the surprise of several people I shared it with, it indicated that LGA and EWR are actually about even with each other in terms of O&D traffic, with JFK still leading the pack. The United hub at EWR gives it a higher number of total enplanements, but in terms of O&D traffic (if I recall correctly) there are years it can actually fall behind LGA. (I seem to recall they swap positions every now-and-then, but not by much – again, I am unsure how to get the latest data.)

    The reason I mention this is that I all too often hear calls for “closing LGA” or “closing DCA”. Irrespective of issues with airspace crowding, et cetera (which future ATC upgrades may address), we need to be careful when calling for closures of airfields that may in fact play a larger role to the local travelers than people might otherwise think if they are solely looking at total enplanements relative to other airports. These “smaller” airports in a multi-airport region may be serving enough O&D passengers in many cases that closing them could easily overwhelm the remaining airports. (And I acknowledge that this discussion doesn’t touch on freight, but nonetheless I feel it is important to think about O&D passenger traffic at least as much as total passenger enplanements when measuring the utility of an airport in a multi-airport region when hubs are present.)

    I can’t recall the exact figures, but I believe the world’s busiest airport is LAX when measured by O&D traffic, not ATL ORD. I always thought that was interesting!

    Thanks for a great blog!

  13. kgb1053 says:

    They should put white over all but 3 of the upper deck windows to make it more authentic looking.

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