Just 6% Of Transatlantic US Flights Are Operated By Quadjets

After many months, the US has agreed to welcome fully vaccinated citizens from most European nations from November. The details are still being decided, but it means a surge in bookings – vital on the road to recovery – with the hope of continually improving numbers. We see that 21 aircraft types are scheduled between the US and Europe in November, with the A330-300 having the most flights.

Lufthansa
It’s not all bad news for four-engine aircraft. The B747-8 has one-third more flights this coming November than in 2019 thanks to San Francisco now bing served by the variant. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

21 types used between the US and Europe

Some 21 different types and variants are scheduled between the US and Europe in November, trawling through schedules information provided by the carriers to OAG reveals. The A330-300 is the most commonly used, with Delta, SWISS, Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa, and SAS significant operators. Aer Lingus UK will also use the A330-300 from Manchester to Orlando, beginning November 27th.

  • A330-300: approximately 2,767 round-trip flights
  • B787-9: 2,343
  • B777-200ER: 1,973
  • B777-300ER: 1,950
  • A350-900: 1,298
  • B767-300ER: 1,101
  • B787-8: 728
  • B767-400ER: 526
  • A321neo: 511
  • B787-10: 510
  • A330-900: 450
  • B747-8: 360
  • B747-400: 300
  • A340-300: 267
  • A330-200: 261
  • A350-1000: 170
  • B757-200ER: 80
  • B737 MAX 9: 78
  • B737 MAX 8: 77
  • A380: 60
  • B777-200LR: 60

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Not every aircraft shown below is bookable, specifically the B777-200LR on Addis Ababa-Dublin-Washington Dulles with Ethiopian. The need to stop en route is because of Addis’ high elevation – the airport is at 7,657 feet and more than a mile high – limiting aircraft takeoff performance.

Icelandair 757
Flights by the B757 will be down by 90% versus 2019. Photo: Getty Images.

Wow: quads now have just six in 100 flights

Quadjets have just 6.2% of flights in November, down from 14.9% in 2019, an eye-watering loss of 2,413 movements in two years. This is from a significant decline in A380 flights (down by 90%) and the B747-400 (down by 80%). It is also from no more A340-600s services, with neither Iberia nor Lufthansa now using the type.

The use of the B747-400 is now squarely in the hands of Lufthansa, with its aircraft scheduled to fly again from October 31st. And while the only A380 flights will be by Emirates on its Dubai-Milan Malpensa-New York JFK service, British Airways expects to use the double-decker from March 2022 and Singapore Airlines on Singapore-Frankfurt-JFK from January.

BA B747-400
Unlike older aircraft, newer machines, including the A330-900, A350-900, and B787-10, have more flights than in 2019. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

Narrowbodies have just 4.7% of flights

Many people talk about narrowbodies across the North Atlantic, often in the context of a lack of perceived comfort. In reality, they have fewer than five in 100 flights, down by one percentage point versus November 2019. This decline is from the B757, with Icelandair the only aircraft operator in November, although it expects to decide the type’s replacement by the year-end.

Narrowbodies are relatively minimal and lower even than four-engine aircraft despite the push towards smaller twin aircraft. Unless, of course, you’re looking at it on a specific operator basis, with Azores Airlines, JetBlue, and La Compagnie exclusively using narrowbodies. In contrast, others, including Aer Lingus, Icelandair, and TAP Air Portugal, rely heavily on them.

Are you planning any trips across the North Atlantic? Let us know in the comments.

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