ADrum23
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What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Thu May 10, 2018 2:08 am

What would things be like today if AA, UA and DL merged with someone (NW, CO, US) other than whom they ended up in merging with in reality?

For example, lets say the following mergers happened.

1. UA/US merge.

2. AA/NW merge.

3. DL/CO merge.

Just some of the things that this could have resulted in; UA gains a southeastern hub, DL gains a Texas hub, AA gains two solid midwestern hubs allowing them to pull out of ORD and UA then expands ORD into a ATL/DFW-style operation. CVG and possibly MEM remain hubs in this scenario. DL becomes even more dominant in NYC by gaining a hub at EWR (though this likely would have required some divesture).

Thoughts?
 
IPFreely
Posts: 1911
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Thu May 10, 2018 3:41 am

ADrum23 wrote:
AA gains two solid midwestern hubs allowing them to pull out of ORD


LOL

ADrum23 wrote:
CVG and possibly MEM remain hubs in this scenario.


Also LOL

ADrum23 wrote:
DL becomes even more dominant in NYC by gaining a hub at EWR


Have to first be dominant before you can become "more" dominant. DL wasn't #1 pre-merger in NYC and they aren't #1 today.
 
mhkansan
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Thu May 10, 2018 8:30 am

The DL/NW mega merger never should have been approved. It set the ball rolling on a huge wave of airline consolidation that really limited choices for most people. UA/US almost happened, and then the monster UA/CO which really never should've happened. The two airlines still aren't merged operationally, and a computer system fiasco! WN/FL, F9/YX, AS/VX all had to happen in order to maintain economies of scale to think about competing in the wake of these mega mergers. AA/US, the latest mega merger, seems to have gone off without a hitch, operationally, but like I said, I feel like some of these mergers wouldn't have happened if the DOJ didn't approve the DL/NW mega airline in the first place.
 
IADCA
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Thu May 10, 2018 9:39 am

UA and US tried to merge several times, including one iteration that was actually signed - and then abandoned when it became clear that DOJ would sue to block it. They tried again a couple times, but there were supposedly management and labor issues (including the slow integration following US-HP merger) that stopped them from ever coming to a new agreement.
 
soflaflyer
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Thu May 10, 2018 1:55 pm

mhkansan wrote:
The DL/NW mega merger never should have been approved. It set the ball rolling on a huge wave of airline consolidation that really limited choices for most people. UA/US almost happened, and then the monster UA/CO which really never should've happened. The two airlines still aren't merged operationally, and a computer system fiasco! WN/FL, F9/YX, AS/VX all had to happen in order to maintain economies of scale to think about competing in the wake of these mega mergers. AA/US, the latest mega merger, seems to have gone off without a hitch, operationally, but like I said, I feel like some of these mergers wouldn't have happened if the DOJ didn't approve the DL/NW mega airline in the first place.


If I recall correctly, one of the arguments used by at least some of the US3 to support their mergers was that they needed the size to compete against national flag carriers of other countries, i.e. BA, LH, etc. where the markets were not so splintered with multiple carriers, thus shifting the conversation to global vs domestic.
 
ADrum23
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Fri May 11, 2018 1:57 am

IPFreely wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
AA gains two solid midwestern hubs allowing them to pull out of ORD


LOL

ADrum23 wrote:
CVG and possibly MEM remain hubs in this scenario.


Also LOL

ADrum23 wrote:
DL becomes even more dominant in NYC by gaining a hub at EWR


Have to first be dominant before you can become "more" dominant. DL wasn't #1 pre-merger in NYC and they aren't #1 today.


Care to explain the LOL's? How are those factually incorrect statements?

Is DL not the largest carrier in NYC?
 
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SumChristianus
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Fri May 11, 2018 1:27 pm

I think the only "workable" alternative to the present history would be
NW/AS/CO SEA MSP DTW IAH EWR CLE (cut) PDX/LAX (focus)
AA/DL - DFW ORD CVG (cut) JFK LGA MIA ATL LAX
UA/US - CLT ORD DEN SFO PHX (cut) PHL DCA IAD (slimmed) LAX

I really don't like the Midwest problems created by NW/AA, CO/DL would probably have worked (rumored on Airliners.net back in 2002/03) but EWR vs. LGA/JFK would have had an overlap problem.

I like NW/US but that forces AA to pick up either DL or UA while leaving NW/US undersized.
Overall then here are the mathematically possible two carrier combinations (in a 2008 industry) among the six legacies (adding WN F9 B6 and AS makes it to complicated)
AA/CO
AA/DL
AA/UA
AA/NW
AA/US
CO/NW
CO/DL
CO/US
CO/UA
DL/US
DL/NW
DL/UA
NW/UA
NW/US
UA/US

I like CO/AS and NW/US for the fleet compatibility but both carriers would be relatviely undersized.

How about three carrier combinations UA/US/AA and DL/NW/CO, very few gaps, let UA/US/AA focus on JFK/LGA/PHL with DCA slots transferred to DL/NW/CO for a DCA/EWR/IAD east coast combination for them. Ameriflot...........Or let them all survive alone, two legacies is LOW.
If DL had survived alone, for example, would CVG still be around as a primary hub, or MEM for NW?

I still wonder of those types of operations would remain out of necessity. I bet if all those hubs were still around WN would be a lot smaller and the industry would be far less profitable.
I kind of like the present situation, however, and hope we're near bottom on levels of legacy carriers, just take a look at http://www.departedflights.com/99intro.html to fantatize about all the service which existed back then, PIT/CLE/CMH/MKE/ORD/MDW/STL/MSP/CVG/CLE all in the Midwest, down to four, ORD/MSP/DTW/MKE. Its incredible to see how all those hubs have dropped.

I have a dream about starting a few more carriers rebuilding some of those hubs, but its just that, a dream.

Thanks for the thread though, like to imagine what could have been....
A Traddie wannaby---UA DL LH NW AA (coming soon)
"Born in Wonder, Brought to Wisdom"
 
Austin787
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Fri May 11, 2018 5:56 pm

ADrum23 wrote:
For example, lets say the following mergers happened.

1. UA/US merge.

2. AA/NW merge.

3. DL/CO merge.

Interesting thread. UA/US had several merger discussions and DL/CO were rumored to having merger talks - had those mergers happened that would have left AA and NW to merge.

My thoughts:

UA/US: Would be named United. Hubs at LAX,SFO,PHX (downsized),DEN,ORD,CLT,DCA,IAD (downsized),PHL,LGA (focus city). Washington DC would be an issue, so UA/US likely divests slots at DCA and gates at IAD. I think PHL serves at primary TATL gateway and SFO as the primary TPAC gateway. Would leave a big hole in Texas.

DL/CO: Would be named Delta. Hubs at SEA (post-merger expansion),LAX (post-merger expansion),SLC,ATL,JFK (downsized),LGA (focus city),IAH,CLE/CVG (one gets cut),EWR. Obviously, NYC would be an issue so they likely would have to divest slots and gates at LGA and JFK. DL was growing JFK prior to 2008 but in gaining EWR hub I think DL would have cut routes at JFK and consolidated at EWR. Either CLE or CVG would have been dehubbed, but one of them remains as the midwest hub. I think Delta still builds a TPAC gateway at SEA as well as ramping up LAX.

AA/NW: Would be named American. Hubs at LAX (post-merger expansion),DFW,MEM (dehubbed),MSP,DTW,ORD (downsized),JFK,LGA (focus city),MIA. The midwest overlap (MSP,ORD,DTW) is an issue, but that didn't deter DL/NW (MSP,CVG,DTW). MEM still dehubbed, with DFW close by. With two fortress midwest hubs at MSP and DTW, I think AA/NW shrinks ORD into a focus city. With DL/CO likely de-emphasizing JFK in favor of EWR, that opens the door for AA to grow JFK into its TATL gateway. AA likely still builds a TPAC gateway at LAX.

I also don't think the LGA/DCA slot swap happens, as the Feds unlikely to approve UA/US getting bigger at DCA (and Washington DC in general) as well as DL/CO getting bigger in NYC. That means UA/US keeps LGA as a focus city and to maintain a major NYC presence.
 
NateGreat
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Fri May 11, 2018 6:34 pm

Aside from hubs and operations, this thread also brings up topics regarding fleet plans and what their liveries would look like now.
 
Delta777Jet
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Fri May 11, 2018 7:34 pm

What if back in 2000 TWA , US Airways and America West would have merged ! HUBS in PHX STL PHL CLT ! And as big at AA DL and UA
B-717/722/737-200/300/400/500/600/700/800/900/B-747-100/200/400/SP/8i/B-752/3/B-762/3/4/B-772/LR/300ER/B-787-8/-9/DC-10-10/30/L1011-1/500/MD81/82/83/90/A-319/320/321/AB6/312/313/332/333/342/343/346/359/388/TU154/IL18/ATR42/72/DH4/DH3/E145/E170/190/CR2/7/9
 
ADrum23
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Fri May 11, 2018 10:20 pm

Austin787 wrote:
UA/US: Would be named United. Hubs at LAX,SFO,PHX (downsized),DEN,ORD,CLT,DCA,IAD (downsized),PHL,LGA (focus city). Washington DC would be an issue, so UA/US likely divests slots at DCA and gates at IAD. I think PHL serves at primary TATL gateway and SFO as the primary TPAC gateway. Would leave a big hole in Texas.


Agreed about Texas, but since UA is the smallest of the US3, it doesn't matter too much. Since UA didn't have a big NYC presence pre-merger in reality, a PHL TATL gateway wouldn't have been bad for them. With AA gaining MSP and DTW, they'd likely at the minimum pull significantly back at ORD, allowing UA to build up ORD to an ATL/DFW level. Finally, UA gets the elusive SE hub. I always felt US/UA were the worst of the US legacies, so combining them would have been better than US taking over AA and ruining it (which is essentially what has happened).

Austin787 wrote:
DL/CO: Would be named Delta. Hubs at SEA (post-merger expansion),LAX (post-merger expansion),SLC,ATL,JFK (downsized),LGA (focus city),IAH,CLE/CVG (one gets cut),EWR. Obviously, NYC would be an issue so they likely would have to divest slots and gates at LGA and JFK. DL was growing JFK prior to 2008 but in gaining EWR hub I think DL would have cut routes at JFK and consolidated at EWR. Either CLE or CVG would have been dehubbed, but one of them remains as the midwest hub. I think Delta still builds a TPAC gateway at SEA as well as ramping up LAX.


I believe CLE would have been the one to get cut as CVG has a better layout and a more central location. CVG likely becomes an eastern SLC in this scenario (though slightly bigger at around 300-350 flights). DL gains the elusive Texas hub and between IAH and ATL, forms an imposing fortress in the southern US. Also, an imposing fortress would be formed at EWR as well, and between there and their focus city in BOS, would not really need a significant JFK operation. I actually think this would have been a lot better for DL.

Austin787 wrote:
AA/NW: Would be named American. Hubs at LAX (post-merger expansion),DFW,MEM (dehubbed),MSP,DTW,ORD (downsized),JFK,LGA (focus city),MIA. The midwest overlap (MSP,ORD,DTW) is an issue, but that didn't deter DL/NW (MSP,CVG,DTW). MEM still dehubbed, with DFW close by. With two fortress midwest hubs at MSP and DTW, I think AA/NW shrinks ORD into a focus city. With DL/CO likely de-emphasizing JFK in favor of EWR, that opens the door for AA to grow JFK into its TATL gateway. AA likely still builds a TPAC gateway at LAX.


At the maximum, ORD likely becomes a small focus city in this scenario, only retaining the most lucrative routes for business. AA has said that their internationally flying out of ORD is not really profitable outside of their JV routes, so pulling out of ORD completely and concentrating operations at MSP and DTW may have been ideal so they don't spread their resources too thin. MEM indeed probably still goes away in this scenario, but they have a SE hub in MIA so it really doesn't matter. This would have created a more balanced network for AA IMO, rather than having most of their hubs concentrated on the east coast.

Austin787 wrote:
I also don't think the LGA/DCA slot swap happens, as the Feds unlikely to approve UA/US getting bigger at DCA (and Washington DC in general) as well as DL/CO getting bigger in NYC. That means UA/US keeps LGA as a focus city and to maintain a major NYC presence.


Hit the nail on the head about this as well.

IMO, these mergers make much more sense than what actually played out.
 
RamblinMan
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Sat May 12, 2018 1:00 am

Interesting to think about. All I know for sure is there would be way less DTW-related whining on a.net!
 
IPFreely
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Sat May 12, 2018 4:16 am

ADrum23 wrote:
Care to explain the LOL's? How are those factually incorrect statements?

Is DL not the largest carrier in NYC?


Pretty simple.

The first LOL is the idea that AA in any merger scenario would leave ORD for DTW and/or MSP. Between those three, ORD is the last airport AA (or any other carrier) would abandon, not the first. Much larger FF base and much more O/D traffic than DTW or MSP.

The second LOL is the idea that MEM and CVG would remain as hubs, maybe CLE, PIT, and MCI should also remain as hubs.

Believing DL is the largest carrier is common among fanboys, but the facts say otherwise:

2016 passengers combined between JFK/LGA/EWR:
1. United 31,125,467
2. Delta 27,682,140
3. JetBlue 17,113,459
4. American 16,723,462

2015 passengers combined between JFK/LGA/EWR:
1. United 30,461,583
2. Delta 29,191,757
3. JetBlue 16,961,170
4. American 14,875,802

https://www.panynj.gov/airports/pdf-traffic/ATR2017.pdf
https://www.panynj.gov/airports/pdf-traffic/ATR2016.pdf
 
ADrum23
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Sat May 12, 2018 2:28 pm

IPFreely wrote:
The first LOL is the idea that AA in any merger scenario would leave ORD for DTW and/or MSP. Between those three, ORD is the last airport AA (or any other carrier) would abandon, not the first. Much larger FF base and much more O/D traffic than DTW or MSP.


So your saying AA would have completely dehubbed both DTW and MSP (had they merged with NW) in order to continue playing second fiddle to UA at ORD where they are not as profitable as if they had an airport all to themselves? Yeah, I don't think so.......

AA probably wouldn't have completely reduced ORD to a spoke, but probably kept a small focus city with only the most profitable routes remaining. Most of their midwest operations would have been concentrated on DTW and MSP.

IPFreely wrote:
The second LOL is the idea that MEM and CVG would remain as hubs, maybe CLE, PIT, and MCI should also remain as hubs.


CVG most definitely would have remained a hub had DL merged with anyone other than NW. The only reason it has been reduced to a focus city in reality is because of the overlap with DTW/MSP. A DL/CO merger likely would have dehubbed CLE and kept CVG as the SLC of the east (though slightly bigger at around 300-350 flights).

I'll give you MEM, AA probably still dehubs them if they merged with NW due to the close proximity to DFW.
 
IPFreely
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Sat May 12, 2018 3:24 pm

ADrum23 wrote:
So your saying AA would have completely dehubbed both DTW and MSP (had they merged with NW) in order to continue playing second fiddle to UA at ORD where they are not as profitable as if they had an airport all to themselves? Yeah, I don't think so.......

AA probably wouldn't have completely reduced ORD to a spoke, but probably kept a small focus city with only the most profitable routes remaining. Most of their midwest operations would have been concentrated on DTW and MSP.


No airline would give up a sizable, long established, and profitable hub in a primary city like ORD to replace it with hubs in secondary cities. But as they say, you have every right to be wrong.

ADrum23 wrote:
CVG most definitely would have remained a hub had DL merged with anyone other than NW.


Hilarious.
 
ADrum23
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Sat May 12, 2018 4:10 pm

IPFreely wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
So your saying AA would have completely dehubbed both DTW and MSP (had they merged with NW) in order to continue playing second fiddle to UA at ORD where they are not as profitable as if they had an airport all to themselves? Yeah, I don't think so.......

AA probably wouldn't have completely reduced ORD to a spoke, but probably kept a small focus city with only the most profitable routes remaining. Most of their midwest operations would have been concentrated on DTW and MSP.


No airline would give up a sizable, long established, and profitable hub in a primary city like ORD to replace it with hubs in secondary cities. But as they say, you have every right to be wrong.


How do you know AA at ORD is profitable? Yes, they probably are, but its probably one of, if not the least profitable in AA's network due to fierce competition from UA and even WN at MDW. They themselves have stated they lose money on all non JV international routes. Why dump two profitable hubs in MSP and DTW to continue to burn money at ORD?

Again, it is not likely they completely pull the plug and reduce ORD to a mere spoke, but they would have only kept the most profitable routes and concentrated operations at DTW/MSP.

IPFreely wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
CVG most definitely would have remained a hub had DL merged with anyone other than NW.

Hilarious.


It would be nice if you explained how that is hilarious........

That is a factual statement, where else would DL have gone in the midwest if they hadn't merged with NW?
 
Austin787
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Sat May 12, 2018 9:42 pm

NateGreat wrote:
Aside from hubs and operations, this thread also brings up topics regarding fleet plans and what their liveries would look like now.


Liveries:
UA/US: Either they use the US livery with United as the title, or use pmUA's newest livery. Could go either way.
DL/CO: Most likely they use Delta's current livery
AA/NW: Most likely they use American's new livery (the one with tails painted as the American flag)

Fleets:
DL/CO:
Fleet in 2008: MD88/90, B737-300/500/700/800/900/900ER, B757-200/300, B767-200ER/300/300ER/400ER, B777-200ER.
Both airlines were moving to all Boeing fleets. They almost certainly take the 787s pmCO ordered and still retire the pmCO 762ER. 737 classics retired as more 737NG arrive. They probably still take the B717 as Southwest returned them. Most likely they order 737-MAX8. Big question is would they have ordered A321NEO over the MAX9/10.
Today's possible fleet: B717,MD88/90 (starting to retire in a few years), B737-700/800/900/900ER/MAX8, A321NEO (if not the MAX-9/10), B757-TATL/300 (domestic 752 being retired), B767-300ER/B767-400ER (763 being retired), B787-8/9, B777-200ER

UA/US:
Fleet in 2010: E190, A319/320/321, B737 classics, B757 (standard, TATL, and PS), A330, 767, B747-400, B777-200/200ER.
Both airlines were moving to mostly Airbus fleets. Most likely the pmUS 737 classics and standard 757 are retired as more A32x aircraft are delivered. Most likely they order A320NEO only - no 737 MAX. The pmUS 762 replaced with incoming A332. They probably take delivery of the A350 as scheduled, to replace the 747s. Since they would already have A330s in their fleet, they may cancel the pmUA 787 order in favor of more A330 or A330NEO (like DL/NW did).
Today's possible fleet: E190 (being retired), A319/320/321, A320/321NEO, B757TATL/PS, A330-200/300, A330NEO, B767 (being retired), A350, B777-200ER

AA/NW:
Fleet in 2013: DC9,MD80,A319/320/321/321T,B737-800,B757-200/300,A330,B747-400,B767-200ER/300ER,B777-200ER/300ER.
Most diverse fleet of the Big 3, with major orders from both Airbus and Boeing. DC9s and 762s retired soon after merger closed. Most likely, AA's incoming 777-300ER replace the 747s.
Today's possible fleet: MD80 (being retired), A319/320/321/321T/321NEO, B737-800/MAX-8, B757-TATL/300, B767-300ER (being retired), B787-8/9, B777-200ER/300ER, A330-200/300
 
IPFreely
Posts: 1911
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Sun May 13, 2018 2:37 am

ADrum23 wrote:
How do you know AA at ORD is profitable? Yes, they probably are, but its probably one of, if not the least profitable in AA's network due to fierce competition from UA and even WN at MDW. They themselves have stated they lose money on all non JV international routes. Why dump two profitable hubs in MSP and DTW to continue to burn money at ORD?

Again, it is not likely they completely pull the plug and reduce ORD to a mere spoke, but they would have only kept the most profitable routes and concentrated operations at DTW/MSP.


Okay, I see you don't study history. In 2001 AA had every opportunity to leave ORD and grow an already established fortress hub in the midwest that was complete with international service and connections all over the country. They closed it faster than many thought possible in order to grow at ORD.
 
ADrum23
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Sun May 13, 2018 3:51 am

IPFreely wrote:
Okay, I see you don't study history. In 2001 AA had every opportunity to leave ORD and grow an already established fortress hub in the midwest that was complete with international service and connections all over the country. They closed it faster than many thought possible in order to grow at ORD.


Not exactly......

1. AA had 500+ flights in the summer of 2001 at STL, but then this little thing called 9-11 happened that, combined with the already weak economy, drastically reduced demand for air travel across the country. That is why STL was downsized and ultimately closed "faster than many thought possible".

2. DTW/MSP are FAR different than STL. DTW/MSP are much higher O&D markets than STL and had/have more international service than STL did (IIRC, STL only had LGW and CDG by the time AA took over).

3. AA didn't grow much at ORD during the 2000's due to the recessions and the turbulence of the industry (record oil prices, etc). This year will be the most flights they've had in 10 years. But it doesn't matter how much they grow, they will ALWAYS be second fiddle to UA at ORD.

I guarantee you if they had the opportunity to merge with NW a decade ago and inherit DTW/MSP, they would have jumped at the opportunity to concentrate their Midwest ops there (keeping a few lucrative routes at ORD). Think about it, would you rather be the biggest fish in a small pound or a medium size fish in a large pound with a larger fish constantly staring down your back?

You're argument carries no weight here.
 
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cvgComair
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Sun May 13, 2018 4:08 am

ADrum23 wrote:
IPFreely wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
CVG most definitely would have remained a hub had DL merged with anyone other than NW.

Hilarious.


It would be nice if you explained how that is hilarious........

That is a factual statement, where else would DL have gone in the midwest if they hadn't merged with NW?

CVG would not have remained a hub with a merger with AA/UA due to ORD. However, I think it is very likely CVG would have settled at a 200-300 daily version had a merger with CO or US occurred. CVG has maintained a mini-hub/focus city status even with DTW right up the road. The airport would be necessary in a DL/CO or DL/US merger unless they wanted to give up the entire midwest/Great Lakes.
Next: CVG-BOS (Delta Air Lines MD90), BOS-AMS (Delta Air Lines A333), AMS-CPH (KLM B738)
A319/320/332/333, B712/722/732/733/738/739/752/753/763/764/772/773/788, CRJ-100/2/7/9, ERJ-145/75, MD-88/90, S340
 
ADrum23
Topic Author
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Sun May 13, 2018 4:37 am

cvgComair wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
IPFreely wrote:
Hilarious.


It would be nice if you explained how that is hilarious........

That is a factual statement, where else would DL have gone in the midwest if they hadn't merged with NW?

CVG would not have remained a hub with a merger with AA/UA due to ORD. However, I think it is very likely CVG would have settled at a 200-300 daily version had a merger with CO or US occurred. CVG has maintained a mini-hub/focus city status even with DTW right up the road. The airport would be necessary in a DL/CO or DL/US merger unless they wanted to give up the entire midwest/Great Lakes.


Right about AA/UA. I should clarify, when I said “anyone else”, I meant either CO or US. I don’t think a merger between UA/AA and DL was ever in play as they were the largest carriers in the US even prior to the mergers.

If they had merged with either CO or US (which I believe DL actually considered both at one point), CVG would have likely became the SLC of the east, but slightly bigger at around 300 flights. A merger with CO would have given DL a formidable Texas hub in IAH to compliment ATL. I can only imagine the possibilities that would have created......

I really think CO would have been a better merger partner for DL, but what’s done is done.
 
Austin787
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Sun May 13, 2018 4:59 am

ADrum23 wrote:
Not exactly......

1. AA had 500+ flights in the summer of 2001 at STL, but then this little thing called 9-11 happened that, combined with the already weak economy, drastically reduced demand for air travel across the country. That is why STL was downsized and ultimately closed "faster than many thought possible".

AA could have downsized ORD, and kept STL. I wonder if AA would have been better off had they consolidated their Midwest ops at STL, but that's water under the bridge now. Of course, if AA/NW merged it's certainly possible STL would have eventually closed in favor of MSP and DTW.
 
IPFreely
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Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Sun May 13, 2018 5:44 am

ADrum23 wrote:
IPFreely wrote:
Okay, I see you don't study history. In 2001 AA had every opportunity to leave ORD and grow an already established fortress hub in the midwest that was complete with international service and connections all over the country. They closed it faster than many thought possible in order to grow at ORD.


Not exactly......

1. AA had 500+ flights in the summer of 2001 at STL, but then this little thing called 9-11 happened that, combined with the already weak economy, drastically reduced demand for air travel across the country. That is why STL was downsized and ultimately closed "faster than many thought possible".

2. DTW/MSP are FAR different than STL. DTW/MSP are much higher O&D markets than STL and had/have more international service than STL did (IIRC, STL only had LGW and CDG by the time AA took over).

3. AA didn't grow much at ORD during the 2000's due to the recessions and the turbulence of the industry (record oil prices, etc). This year will be the most flights they've had in 10 years. But it doesn't matter how much they grow, they will ALWAYS be second fiddle to UA at ORD.

I guarantee you if they had the opportunity to merge with NW a decade ago and inherit DTW/MSP, they would have jumped at the opportunity to concentrate their Midwest ops there (keeping a few lucrative routes at ORD). Think about it, would you rather be the biggest fish in a small pound or a medium size fish in a large pound with a larger fish constantly staring down your back?

You're argument carries no weight here.


Amazing. Every single point you made is wrong.

AA may always be second fiddle in ORD, but as Bob Crandell once said it matters a lot whether they're a close second or a distant second. The proof is in the pudding -- AA has not and will not de-hub or leave ORD regardless of what you post. DTW and MSP are secondary cities that are nowhere near as important as ORD both domestically and internationally -- pretending otherwise is delusional. Being a solid #2 in a city with large population, high wealth, and high O/D traffic like ORD is better than being #1 in a small, secondary market like STL, DTW, or MSP. Especially one with declining wealth like DTW or STL. AA clearly showed this with their actions, clearly choosing to be the second largest fish in a large pond over being the largest fish in a medium sized declining pond.
 
soflaflyer
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:35 pm

Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Sun May 13, 2018 2:05 pm

IPFreely wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
IPFreely wrote:
Okay, I see you don't study history. In 2001 AA had every opportunity to leave ORD and grow an already established fortress hub in the midwest that was complete with international service and connections all over the country. They closed it faster than many thought possible in order to grow at ORD.


Not exactly......

1. AA had 500+ flights in the summer of 2001 at STL, but then this little thing called 9-11 happened that, combined with the already weak economy, drastically reduced demand for air travel across the country. That is why STL was downsized and ultimately closed "faster than many thought possible".

2. DTW/MSP are FAR different than STL. DTW/MSP are much higher O&D markets than STL and had/have more international service than STL did (IIRC, STL only had LGW and CDG by the time AA took over).

3. AA didn't grow much at ORD during the 2000's due to the recessions and the turbulence of the industry (record oil prices, etc). This year will be the most flights they've had in 10 years. But it doesn't matter how much they grow, they will ALWAYS be second fiddle to UA at ORD.

I guarantee you if they had the opportunity to merge with NW a decade ago and inherit DTW/MSP, they would have jumped at the opportunity to concentrate their Midwest ops there (keeping a few lucrative routes at ORD). Think about it, would you rather be the biggest fish in a small pound or a medium size fish in a large pound with a larger fish constantly staring down your back?

You're argument carries no weight here.


Amazing. Every single point you made is wrong.

AA may always be second fiddle in ORD, but as Bob Crandell once said it matters a lot whether they're a close second or a distant second. The proof is in the pudding -- AA has not and will not de-hub or leave ORD regardless of what you post. DTW and MSP are secondary cities that are nowhere near as important as ORD both domestically and internationally -- pretending otherwise is delusional. Being a solid #2 in a city with large population, high wealth, and high O/D traffic like ORD is better than being #1 in a small, secondary market like STL, DTW, or MSP. Especially one with declining wealth like DTW or STL. AA clearly showed this with their actions, clearly choosing to be the second largest fish in a large pond over being the largest fish in a medium sized declining pond.


Too much focus in here on position in a market, PROFIT is the #1 driver. While Market share has its benefits, it does not necessarily equal profitability. AA doesn't need to be #1 in ORD to maintain a hub there, or in NYC for that matter.
 
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usdcaguy
Posts: 1202
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:41 pm

Re: What if the US3 mergers had gone differently?

Sat May 19, 2018 10:28 pm

I used to think that NW should have merged with AS and CO. The cultures seemed very similar, and I think having hubs at SEA/DTW/MSP would have been very profitable. Not sure if MEM would have been kept. CO/NW would have gained a nice network on the west coast as well. It would have been weak in WAS and Florida, but they would have had plenty of connectivity. If they had acted more quickly, they would have been able to build up their presence in Florida before B6 at the time. I still think UA lacks a lot of service and connectivity in the SE, and they have not made many efforts to change that just like DL has done little to address their weakness in south central states apart from adding service to LAX and SEA.

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