Smilin' Jack


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Smilin' Jack   » Specific Airline Discussions   » TWA   » Out with the F100's

   
Author Topic: Out with the F100's
Jeff I.
Post Captain
Member # 2334

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jeff I.   Email Jeff I.   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
OK - I've somehow managed to avoid flying AA's F100's for all these years ...... until this past Saturday. My 9:00 flight on an Super 80 was cancelled thus forcing me no options but an F100 to either LGA or EWR until much later in the day. I opted for the earlier F100 to EWR.

Even though I was upgraded to FC ..... I felt like I was on some two-bit charter airline. What a poor excuse for a plane, crappy little tin can these things are. And .... what brilliant person at AA brought these into the fleet and ..... gave them the nod over the 717's even before the major fallout had taken place at the airline.

I realize they are being phased out but, in my opinion, not fast enough. Sorry for the rant but I guess my instincts over the years to avoid booking on an F100 were sound.

Jeff I.

Posts: 485 | From: New York  |  IP: Logged
dragitin
Post Captain
Member # 631

Icon 1 posted      Profile for dragitin     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It is a crappy airplane from a pax standpoint. The air cond system is lousy and the engine give that insufferable WA-WA surge until it drives you crazy.

Why did AA buy it? Well, just another stupid management decision by the crack AA senior mgmt team. They got them CHEAP and FAST . . . which reminds me of the old axiom:

CHEAP
FAST
GOOD

Pick 2.

Evidently AA management never went to business school.

Posts: 77  |  IP: Logged
LATREAL
Post Captain
Member # 918

Icon 1 posted      Profile for LATREAL     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragitin:
insufferable WA-WA surge until it drives you crazy.

Why did AA buy it? Well, just another stupid management decision by the crack AA senior mgmt team. They got them CHEAP and FAST . . . which reminds me of the old axiom:

CHEAP
FAST
GOOD

Pick 2.

Evidently AA management never went to business school.

Hey it almost sounds like you are talking about the TWA deal. [Confused]
Posts: 67 | From: Washington, DC  |  IP: Logged
twjet
Junior Poster
Member # 1429

Icon 8 posted      Profile for twjet   Email twjet   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Loser
Posts: 24  |  IP: Logged
LATREAL
Post Captain
Member # 918

Icon 1 posted      Profile for LATREAL     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
winner [Roll Eyes]
Posts: 67 | From: Washington, DC  |  IP: Logged
Kenneth
Post Captain
Member # 259

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Kenneth   Author's Homepage   Email Kenneth   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hmmm ...

It seems the F100s have been following me around lately - nearly half my legs over the past year have been 100's. They're on most PHL-ORD trips.

Incidentally, at my fiance's request I've been going through ORD instead of STL on some trips. She absolutely abhores prop planes and for most midwest trips she'll go through ORD for an RJ but won't go through STL as she won't board a J41 or J31 or anything in that group.

Ken

Posts: 160 | From: Philadelphia, PA  |  IP: Logged
Jeff I.
Post Captain
Member # 2334

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jeff I.   Email Jeff I.   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ken -

My flight was from ORD, too. I've forsaken my old TWA routing LGA-STL-ORD for the non-stops. A year ago one could find almost hourly service from LGA-ORD on a Super 80 (with one or two 757's thrown in for good measure). During the week it is still mostly 80's from LGA-ORD but I think EWR and DCA are now most (if not all) F100's. One could only imagine how much better positioned AA would be for the economic recovery if they had the 50 TWA 717's (with options for an additional 50).

Jeff I.

Posts: 485 | From: New York  |  IP: Logged
TWA Fan 1
Post Captain
Member # 1926

Icon 1 posted      Profile for TWA Fan 1   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by LATREAL:
winner [Roll Eyes]

Note to LATREAL: No true winner needs to write "winner" and add the little smiley face that bats its eye lashes...at least no winner older than an eight year old.

Working at AA is a type of "winning" you're right. On the other hand it's a sweatshop. The place reeks of bad karma and shady deals. People at AA walk aorund with that little dark cloud right above their head.

You're definitely working for "the Man" and he ain't cutting you any breaks.

You can have your pyrrhic victory.

Posts: 400 | From: Brooklyn, NY  |  IP: Logged
JFK Fleet Service
Post Captain
Member # 822

Icon 1 posted      Profile for JFK Fleet Service     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jeff I.:
What a poor excuse for a plane, crappy little tin can these things are.

Jeff, you think the cabin is bad? You should see where I have to work on the damn thing...

quote:
Originally posted by Jeff I.:

And .... what brilliant person at AA brought these into the fleet and ..... gave them the nod over the 717's even before the major fallout had taken place at the airline.

My Chiropractor wants to send them a thank you card, whoever they are. [Wink]

Someone ran the numbers and decided keeping a fleet of aircrat that was owned outright outweighed the benefits of adding another leased fleet type.The AD that came out requiring a $1.5 million dollar modification per engine obviously makes that decision a bad one, but hindsight is always 20/20.

I still think Boeing would sell their collective souls to get 100 frames on the property with us.Doing so would keep mainline routes(jobs) from going to Eagle and give us an edge in markets where the competition has only has RJ's,not to mention opening new markets.

Such is the nature of the beast.

Posts: 184 | From: New York City  |  IP: Logged
JFK Fleet Service
Post Captain
Member # 822

Icon 1 posted      Profile for JFK Fleet Service     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TWA Fan 1:

Working at AA is a type of "winning" you're right. On the other hand it's a sweatshop. The place reeks of bad karma and shady deals. People at AA walk aorund with that little dark cloud right above their head.

You paint all of us with this broad brush based on the comments of a Troll?

How's the view from that moral high ground?

Posts: 184 | From: New York City  |  IP: Logged
TWA Fan 1
Post Captain
Member # 1926

Icon 1 posted      Profile for TWA Fan 1   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by JFK Fleet Service:

You paint all of us with this broad brush based on the comments of a Troll?

How's the view from that moral high ground?

First of all, it's not personal. It's about how the company treats its employees.

Second, my observation comes from twenty years of flying AA and always wondering why the employees at AA seem so angry. By the way, that's not the case at every airline and the esprit de corps and camaraderie at TWA were far better.

The people at AA are good people but you work for a company that has continuously engaged in some of the most despicable business practices in the airline industy. It's not the employees' fault, in fact the employees are the victims in this story.

One real issue for AA is how the company culture impacts on customer service which I have found to be indifferent at best and at times shockingly abusive.

My take on it is that the employees are projecting their own frustration with their treatment at the hands of management and, on occasion when the simmering point is reached, taking it out on customers. I could tell you stories that would make your skin crawl, but I'll spare you.

But it's not personal at all. Not even with LATREAL. I think she's just a scared young pilot who needs to feel a sense of self-worth by taking it out on the ex-TWAers. Pretty immature, sure, but understandable.

But I want to be clear, I wish you all the best of luck and would love nothing better than to see the vibe at AA improve. It would make employees and customers both happier and would result in a better airline.


[Smile] [Smile] [Smile]

Posts: 400 | From: Brooklyn, NY  |  IP: Logged
IA Farm Boy
Post Captain
Member # 2024

Icon 1 posted      Profile for IA Farm Boy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've GOT IT!

IT JUST CAME TO ME!

As an Eagle pilot, a majority of the times that I've had to ride an AA jumpseat, I've felt like a persona non grata. There have been a few exceptions, but generally I was just wishing there had been a better option, and that this would just be over. On the other hand, I always LIKED riding a TWA jumpseat, as the pilots, FAs, rampers, EVERYONE generally liked who they worked with, and for. Even with how bad things were, they seemed to enjoy their job.

What with the Corporate Culture that has taken so long to perfect here at AMR we certainly wouldn't want someone around here with a good attitude, now would we? What to do?

Posts: 30  |  IP: Logged
Jeff I.
Post Captain
Member # 2334

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jeff I.   Email Jeff I.   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
JFK Fleet -

I hadn't thought of the other angle re: the F100's. From what you describe, though, it sounds much worse than the cabin. Your chiropractor should be buying both you and Carty some nice wine every Christmas (at the least!).

You and I are definitely of like minds when it comes to the B717. In this market, I really think AA would ultimately lower their operating costs and gain a competitive edge by making a bet on this fleet type. And .... as you say, Boeing would probably jump through hoops to get the 717 into AA ....... even if it was just 50 for now.

As to the competitive edge, while RJ's are a big improvement over the turboprops, I can already see that the road warriors are getting increasingly agitated at the increasing use of these on formerly mainline routes. The 717 probably doesn't use a lot more fuel than a 50 seater, provides extra capacity and, in general, keeps a full-service carrier operating some of those shorter routes with service one expects for those willing to pay more (and presumably with some semblance of a turnaround in the economy, some of those fares will come back). I'm still hoping (perhaps against hope) that someone at AA will see the light on this.

And ..... hope your days working on and under the F100's are numbered and coming to a swift conclusion.

Jeff I.

Posts: 485 | From: New York  |  IP: Logged
TWA Fan 1
Post Captain
Member # 1926

Icon 1 posted      Profile for TWA Fan 1   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by IA Farm Boy:
I've GOT IT!

IT JUST CAME TO ME!

As an Eagle pilot, a majority of the times that I've had to ride an AA jumpseat, I've felt like a persona non grata. There have been a few exceptions, but generally I was just wishing there had been a better option, and that this would just be over. On the other hand, I always LIKED riding a TWA jumpseat, as the pilots, FAs, rampers, EVERYONE generally liked who they worked with, and for. Even with how bad things were, they seemed to enjoy their job.

What with the Corporate Culture that has taken so long to perfect here at AMR we certainly wouldn't want someone around here with a good attitude, now would we? What to do?

Hallelujah!

It really starts with management and the kind of pressure they put on the employees.

For most of its existence, TWA primarily had poor management but the work rules at TWA were much more employee friendly on the whole than at AA.

I think the tone that was set by Bob Crandall pervaded the entire organization at AA and continues, albeit softened and muted, today.

AA is an amazing airline with terrific people, many of whom are very stressed out by their management.

If things could be relaxed a little bit everybody would be better off and it would provide a more enjoyable experience for the passenger.

Posts: 400 | From: Brooklyn, NY  |  IP: Logged
MrMarky
Post Captain
Member # 635

Icon 1 posted      Profile for MrMarky   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi Jeff,

While I agree with you that the 717 would be quite an improvement over the F-100, and at almost the same purchase prices it beats the hell out of the RJ's.

Nonetheless, the last things AA needs to be doing right now is buying/leasing new airplanes. Even if they ordered 50 as you suggest, it would be at least a year before the first one rolled off the assembly line, and even at an agressive delivery schedule of 3 per month, it would be at least 2 and a half years before they were all in service.

AA can't think that far down the road. There may not even be any AA that far down the road. When they dump the F-100's, three guesses what will replace them -- Eagle RJ's. What should replace them is TWA MD-80's. There will soon be a glut of those around since there won't be any qualified crews left on the property to staff them.

Take care,

Marky

Posts: 436 | From: Concourse C  |  IP: Logged
Jeff I.
Post Captain
Member # 2334

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jeff I.   Email Jeff I.   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi Mark -

Realistically ..... you are most likely correct on all counts. I guess since I'm looking out my window the last two days at April snow in NYC, I'm doing a bit of daydreaming and wishful thinking.

That said .... I may be a bit more hopeful than you are that AA will ultimately avoid BK. If some progress is made within the next 6 months on the financial end of things, I think some people at the top could at least begin thinking a bit more in the long-term rather than in day-to-day survival. Geez ---- to their credit, TWA management made some great choices on the fleet side even while operating on a shoestring. My beef with management was never over that sort of stuff ..... I always thought they were first-rate when it came to sheer operational decisions.

But I digress .... short-term you are clearly right on the 717's. Since the decision was made to get rid of them before the major financial fallout at the airline, it will clearly take a while (if ever) to revisit the issue. Notwithstanding ..... I'll still do a little California Dreamin' on behalf of the Long Beach Boeing workers and us frequent flyers at AA.

Hope all is well with you.

Jeff I.

Posts: 485 | From: New York  |  IP: Logged
dragitin
Post Captain
Member # 631

Icon 1 posted      Profile for dragitin     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The F100s and the jobs that go with them are going to go to commuter status when the economy picks back up. Given that the APA is now Carty's doormat for the next 6 years, AMR's going to migrate a large percentage of domestic flying to 70-90 seat RJ type aircraft and pay the crews "cost-neutral" with AE ALPA's '97 sweatheart contract.

I think of Bruce Springsteen's lyrics ". . . ."those jobs are go'n boys, and they ain't coming back" . . .

[ 04-08-2003, 14:49: Message edited by: dragitin ]

Posts: 77  |  IP: Logged
nyc6035
Post Captain
Member # 423

Icon 1 posted      Profile for nyc6035     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Jeff,

I think Dragitin has it right. All signs seem to be pointing toward an AA where the mainline concentration is on 'glamour-routes' with the meat & potatoes flying being done increasing on RJs. I think of it in terms of the 'Jetblueization' of AA with a farm out of the DSM-ORD type flights increasingly going AE.

Mike

[ 04-08-2003, 15:52: Message edited by: nyc6035 ]

Posts: 281 | From: Chappaqua, NY  |  IP: Logged
Subsonic Transport
Post Captain
Member # 2139

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Subsonic Transport     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The only time I flew on an F100 was out of ZRH on Swissair in 1994. At first it seemed fine but on the departure run the acceleration seemed flat. It seemed that the plane achieved a certain speed and that was it. We just continued down the runway and then it eventually flew. I was beginning to wonder if we were going to "fly" off the end of the runway. Maybe he was operating at a reduced power setting but it was not what I expected.

The other thing I noticed while at cruise is that the wings never stayed still. There was always a slight rocking. I watched the wing tip and it was constantly going up and down. Not much but it never settled down. There were no turbulence that day.

Can the 717 really compete with an RJ cost wise?

I'm not sure I agree with TWA's ability to operate a good fleet. By that I mean I thought it was a mistake to acquire the A318. Maybe they weren't sure whose airplane would perform better and they wanted to compare the A318 against the B717. I would have thought to keep costs down they would keep the fleet types to a minumum.

Posts: 498 | From: Buffalo, NY  |  IP: Logged
Jeff I.
Post Captain
Member # 2334

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jeff I.   Email Jeff I.   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Subsonic -

I had a similar sensation on our takeoff from ORD. I usually never give things a second thought when taking off but ..... the thrust did seem fairly anemic and I was a bit more interested than normal in looking out the window. My seat was in the first row, though, so I didn't notice the movement on the wings.

As to the fleet, I should have qualified my comments to indicate the fleet that TWA actually had in place over the years. I agree with you on the A318. When I saw sketches of it, I wasn't at all impressed. To my laymen's sense, planes with a short, stubby fuselage shouldn't have wing-mounted engines. I've never been a fan of the 737's, even though they are larger, as the quality of flight normally feels less table to me than on MD80's or larger Boeing models.

Jeff I.

Posts: 485 | From: New York  |  IP: Logged
Gary S
Junior Poster
Member # 1017

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Gary S   Email Gary S   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I really have to dust off the cobwebs, but I think TWA's decision to go with the 318 had something to do with a deposit made to AB during the Ichan years. The amount may have been 20 Mil.
Ultimately, this deposit would have been forfeit if the AB order was not made (or somethting along those lines).
I'm sure someone on the BB will be able to provide better details.

Posts: 20 | From: Cleveland, OH  |  IP: Logged
Kenneth
Post Captain
Member # 259

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Kenneth   Author's Homepage   Email Kenneth   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hello!

I think you're right about the deposit - I remember there being an order and a deposit on a different aircraft type (don't remember the specific type) - delivery dates were postponed several times. There was some discussion of this on the Yahoo! boards many moons ago.

As for the A318, if I remember at the time, the argument was that the 717 (MD95) would be used for high-frequency, shorter-haul routes while the A318 would fit in for long-thin routes - such as a JFK-Portland or BOS-San Antonio type route. The A318 as I understood, had a capacity similar to the 717 but a much longer range. I don't have all the details on-hand.

I remember at one time having a picture of an A318 in TW colors as my computer background.

Ken

Posts: 160 | From: Philadelphia, PA  |  IP: Logged
MrMarky
Post Captain
Member # 635

Icon 1 posted      Profile for MrMarky   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes TWA did have a deposit with Airbus for an original order of 20 A-330's placed during the Icahn years. Don't know if they had anything similar with P&W for the engines. More details can be found in TWA annual reports from that period or maybe the early 90's.

Not sure, but I don't think the A-318 was intended by TWA for transcon use, nor do I recall it having that capability. I agree with Jeff that it's a stupid looking plane. I did see a beautiful model of a TWA A-318 at an airline collectables show, but the guy wouldn't take credit cards and I didn't want to part with $100 cash even though it was a very good price.

I did sneak a peak at the bottom of the stand and got the name and phone number of the manufacturer in case I want it later. My spare bedroom already looks like a damn airport--don't know which airport but it's clearly one of TWA's hubs. [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

Marky

Posts: 436 | From: Concourse C  |  IP: Logged
ss278
Post Captain
Member # 244

Icon 1 posted      Profile for ss278   Email ss278   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
TWA did have a deposit for A330's and then decided to cancel them in favor of A320's. This was at a time when it was a "sellers' market". Basically Boeing and Airbus were selling all they could make and airlines had to pretty much take what they were given. Airbus was desparate to get the 318 launched to compete with Boeing in that segment. TWA did not want the 318 but it was "suggested" that if they wanted to switch the 330 order to 320's then they had to take some 318's as well, or forfeit their 330 deposit in full. In TWA's condition what would you do?

It did make some sense. The 717 was designed for short routes, 600-700 miles optimum length, and quick turns, while the 318 was at its best on routes of 1600-1800 miles. It was not a transcon airplane. As I recall TWA was thinking of the 318 for routes such as LGA-DEN,IAH,DFW and STL-SMF,ONT etc.

Posts: 199 | From: Salt Lake City, Utah USA  |  IP: Logged
Bob Ritchie
Post Captain
Member # 1035

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Bob Ritchie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You guys are right,

TWA didn't really want the Airbus. The $20 million deposit was at the center of the deal. In fact it was the third time that TWA had placed an order with Airbus. Back when we first got 767's, the Ichan 330 fiasco and the 318's. There was even a brief period during the Ichan era, in which we were going to take 320's. A couple of my friends were sent to France to begin training as instructor pilots.

You know Airbus...they will always give away their airplanes. Carl just wasn't interested in running an airline. The deal fell through like everything else with Ichan. We never flew a single one.

We didn't want the B-717 either. Sure it was a fine airplane. But we only took it because we were "Beggars" and we couldn't be "Choosers." Boeing made it all possible.

What TWA really wanted was the family of B-737s. Bill Compton had a deal with Boeing on the 737s before we even considered the 717 or 318.

The 737 deal fell through as ALPA would not come to an agreement on pay scales, that were favorable to making the deal happen. This window of opportunity came and went so quickly that few outside of our company and Boeing were even aware.

So....we turned to deals that we could put together; not what we wanted.

TWA had wanted to eventually simplify their fleet along 737s,757s and 767's. Instead of doing that we began to add basically two new fleet types.

Bill Compton and TWA were masters at making do with what we had. The plan to fly 717s "under the radar"(point to point) and the 318's on long thin routes might have worked. We sure as hell were gong to give it our best efforts.

Time and money ran out.

Bob R.

Posts: 1936 | From: Warren County, Missouri  |  IP: Logged
B-757-200
Post Captain
Member # 430

Icon 1 posted      Profile for B-757-200   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The A-330 would have been an outstanding aircraft for TWA, though. We would have been the 1st operator, before US or AC or others up north, and it would have been a fantastic transcon/trans-Atlantic airplane. The A-318 would have only been used for STL-west coast or JFK-Florida, because the range was'nt that good. No transcons.

One senior management official told me that TWA would have to have at least 12 A330s to make it worthwhile, and 4 would have been STL-based, the rest in NY. It is much larger than a 767-300, and really has a nice cabin layout. The longer-range A330-200 could have flown JFK-TLV/CAI, and the A330-300s could have easily done STL-Hawaii/Europe.

A fleet composed of A318/319/320/330 and B-717/757/767 would have been fairly streamlined, and the overall average age would have been very young.

Posts: 1278 | From: Los Angeles,Ca,USA  |  IP: Logged
dave carr
Post Captain
Member # 783

Icon 1 posted      Profile for dave carr   Email dave carr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Bob Ritchie:
[QB] . There was even a brief period during the Ichan era, in which we were going to take 320's. A couple of my friends were sent to France to begin training as instructor pilots.

Bob

When it looked like we were going to get the 320 I was approached concerning being an instructor on the aircraft. I was very excited by the prospect. I packed and then unpacked. I packed again and unpacked.

In the end I never made it to France for 320 training. I'm sure some of our management pilots made the trek to Tulouse (spelling) but I seem to recall that no TWA instructor actually started training. Has my memory failed me again? Probably!

Dave Carr

Posts: 280  |  IP: Logged
Bob Ritchie
Post Captain
Member # 1035

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Bob Ritchie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Dave,

You are right. Sorry if my posting made it sound as though anyone got trained. And yes. Two of our guys got to France...but that was it.

Sorta like Ichan painting the "City of Berlin" on the side of a DC-9 and planning on sending the OZA nines to Europe; to replace the 727's. Remember we had bids published for crews and the whole works. Only to find out at the last minute that the lease(of formerly OZA owned DC-9's) didn't allow them to be flown out of the country.

Or sorta like Ichan telling Joe Corr to order a hundred new airplanes and hire a thousand pilots. Then having him come in the next week and say "cut the schedule and furlough a thousand pilots." Mr. Corr told me that very story; when we were out flying our biplanes together one day.

With Ichan, as you know; it was one day at a time.

Take care Dave. My wife and I are taking the Maule to Quincy for lunch. It is a beautiful day.

Bob Ritchie

Posts: 1936 | From: Warren County, Missouri  |  IP: Logged
webmoonchild
Post Captain
Member # 1477

Icon 1 posted      Profile for webmoonchild   Email webmoonchild   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just thinking out loud:
Suppose they get the bright idea about moving the 717s over to Eagle? Scope, scope, scope...Bankruptcy brain fart...sorta thing?

Posts: 141 | From: MIA  |  IP: Logged
B-757-200
Post Captain
Member # 430

Icon 5 posted      Profile for B-757-200   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What 717s, girl?

Uncle Don, in his infinite wisdom, RETURNED them all.

Posts: 1278 | From: Los Angeles,Ca,USA  |  IP: Logged
Bob H
Post Captain
Member # 287

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Bob H   Email Bob H   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by webmoonchild:
Just thinking out loud:
Suppose they get the bright idea about moving the 717s over to Eagle? Scope, scope, scope...Bankruptcy brain fart...sorta thing?

If I remember right, the commuter feeders (AE) cannot use any former or current mainline acft.

Bob H

Posts: 1653  |  IP: Logged
Life_Platinum
Post Captain
Member # 630

Icon 6 posted      Profile for Life_Platinum     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've been out flying from NYC to Chicago and to Atlanta during the past week. On my return from Midway to LGA on an F-100 on Friday night, I thought of Jeff's post about when these A/C would be parked and asked the F/A. Jeff will be happy to know that N1450A, the 10 yr old plane I was on, was on her last scheduled flight and on Saturday was scheduled to head for the desert on Saturday AM.
For the last few days, I was again in ATL at the CDC, and as I tranferred thru the airport, noted the large number of 717s now flying for AirTran. I couldn't get close enough to spot if any were former TW birds, but before the year is out, 22 former TW 717s will have found a home with this ATL-based carrier.

Posts: 210 | From: New York, New York  |  IP: Logged
B-757-200
Post Captain
Member # 430

Icon 1 posted      Profile for B-757-200   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
AirTran is'nt flying any former TWA jets yet, but by summer they will.

I saw 4 AA F-100s sitting in the boneyard at Mojave,CA 2 weeks ago. I was there to ferry a 767 to Brussels for a C check, and the lot was full.
 -

Posts: 1278 | From: Los Angeles,Ca,USA  |  IP: Logged
keho
Junior Poster
Member # 2258

Icon 1 posted      Profile for keho         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It seems plausible that Airbus forced TWA into a package deal that included the A318, when TWA indicated that they wanted to back out of the Airbus widebody order. For a large airline it may make sense to have plenty of subfleets tailored to specific markets. However, TWA's fleet count dropped below 200 after the second bankruptcy, and never cam back up, so it was actually rather small compared to most majors. For such a small fleet TWA would still have had too many types in its fleet.

My hunch is that TWA would have fared much better, if it had remained committed to the Airbus widebodies. In my humble opinion TWA wasted a lot of cash by retiring two types - the L1011 and the B747 - at the same time, and than scrambling for an overpriced hodgepodge fleet of B767-300. It would probably have been better to either keep a handful of Tristars for a few more years, maybe even add a few -500 for the long hauls to the Middle East, and then replace them with A330-200, i.e. around 1998, or as an alternative plan retire the L-1011 early, and retain approximately 5 B747-200 for TLV, CAI and LGW.

Even though it was nice to see all the new planes in TWA colors in the late nineties, one should keep in mind that TWA was paying way above market rates for these leases. Refurbishing the interior of DC9s like Northwest did, would have been much cheaper, preserved a lot of cash, and it would have allowed TWA to order the narrowbody fleet they really wanted at a later stage - once finances (and credit rating)had improved.

Accepting the A330 in lieu of all the new narrowbodies, would have resulted in the replacement of three widebody types with a single one. It would have helped to stay competitive in markets, where TWA was traditionally strong, namely the overseas routes. I doubt that Continental and Delta would have launched flights to the Middle East, if TWA had served that market appropriately. Also, relying solely on the 767 for intercontinental routes pushed TWA almost entirely out of the freight business, which is a revenue source not to be sniffed at. The large cargo holds of the A330 would have allowed TWA to remain a player in the cargo business. It helps many airlines, i.e. Lufthansa, British Airways and KLM, to name just a few, to cross-subsidize their transatlantic flights, and keep them profitable even during the weak travel seasons.

Posts: 12 | From: Brooklyn, NY  |  IP: Logged
Jeff I.
Post Captain
Member # 2334

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jeff I.   Email Jeff I.   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Kevin -

Good points on all fronts.

I recall noticing in the quarterly reports during the last few years the significant drop in cargo revenue. This was clearly one factor in a number of things that contributed to the almost complete breakdown of TWA's once strong international presence out of JFK. This corresponded to the joint retirement of the L10's and 747's without a comparable replacement.

I still can't help but think this was also a product of Gitner's "strategic planning" for TWA. If reports from many sources are correct, he had wanted to shut down JFK and was talked out of it by Compton. Even without a formal pulling out, though, he essentially sentenced TWA's international presence to a slow death by his managerial decisions.

While not discounting the impact of Karabu, I never bought the line that Karabu in and of itself was the main factor in TWA's decline in the international market. Gitner's piecemeal dismantling of the JFK operation was, in my opinion, a much bigger factor. At the time TWA was winding down, CAL was winding up and turning nice profits on many of the same destinations TWA had just discontinued.

Jeff I.

Posts: 485 | From: New York  |  IP: Logged
nyc6035
Post Captain
Member # 423

Icon 1 posted      Profile for nyc6035     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Keho,

Very interesting points regarding keeping the L1011 & 747. My impression is that the board decided to retire this equipment as a direct result of TW800. Right up until that time you'll recall Erickson was pushing a very aggressive summer schedule with daily-doubles to FCO and CDG. There were the 2 ( or was it 4?) 747s they were trying to get refurbished & on-line to meet the schedule. After the loss of 800 it seemed like the sails went out of that plan. As I recall soon after Erickson's departure they announced the retirement of the 747 and around the same time the L1011. My sense was they were reacting to the media label that TWA flew old equipment. Notwithstanding everything that had happenned in the years prior, I think it really was at that point (when Gitner took over the CEO job) that the decision was that they couldn't (or didn't want) to make it work and they would just try to 'pretty up' the airline for sale. Why else would you retire your workhorse equipment (the L1011's were generally kind of young to be retired) and replace it with new, yet extremely expensive leases. Although Compton did a good job as COO in running a solid airline, I think the decision was made by the board in the earliest months of 1997 that TWA needed to be dressed up for a sale.

JMHO,

Mike

Posts: 281 | From: Chappaqua, NY  |  IP: Logged
Subsonic Transport
Post Captain
Member # 2139

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Subsonic Transport     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Airtran agents that I work with have told me that all 717 nose numbers 790 and higher are ex-TWA. So far I have seen 790 and 798 in Buffalo.
Posts: 498 | From: Buffalo, NY  |  IP: Logged
I Miss the Sperrys
Post Captain
Member # 2103

Icon 1 posted      Profile for I Miss the Sperrys   Email I Miss the Sperrys   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by nyc6035:
Keho,

Very interesting points regarding keeping the L1011 & 747. My impression is that the board decided to retire this equipment as a direct result of TW800.

I've read a couple books about Flt. 800 and at least one of them said that one of 800's pilots that night, Captain Kervorkian, was perfoming his last supervised flight, as he moved up to the 747 from the L10 because TWA had previously announced plans to retire the Lockheeds. I could be wrong...
Posts: 37 | From: near MCI  |  IP: Logged
nyc6035
Post Captain
Member # 423

Icon 1 posted      Profile for nyc6035     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I Miss the Sperrys,

You may indeed have it right...I guess I may have the sequence of events wrong. I do believe though that the 747 wasn't discussed for retirement until after the tragic events of July 1996. Does your recollection jive with mine?

Posts: 281 | From: Chappaqua, NY  |  IP: Logged
gambit3131
Post Captain
Member # 261

Icon 1 posted      Profile for gambit3131   Author's Homepage   Email gambit3131   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A318

 -

B717
 -

You decide which is nicer looking. [Smile]

717 Range
 -

I thought someone had posted the A318 range on my site, but it wasn't.

A318 Airbus page

gambit

Posts: 176 | From: Fort Worth, TX  |  IP: Logged
Kenneth
Post Captain
Member # 259

Icon 6 posted      Profile for Kenneth   Author's Homepage   Email Kenneth   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hmm ... the A318 map is nice. Interesting that they use Dallas as a point of reference to show the potential range. 3250 miles and 100 passengers. Cool.
Posts: 160 | From: Philadelphia, PA  |  IP: Logged
keho
Junior Poster
Member # 2258

Icon 1 posted      Profile for keho         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"3250 miles and 100 passengers. Cool. "

Note that these are nautical miles, which equals roughly 3,600 mi.
That's more than sufficient for transcons with full pax load. And remember that Airbus specifically designed this high-gross-weight version at the request of a North American customer, and I don't believe it was America West ...
This little display gives you an idea, what opportunities TWA would have had with this amazing little plane:

 -

The destinations and distances from JFK are

SEA 2104 nm
MEX 1823 nm
SAN 2125 nm
CCS 1851 nm
ANC 2941 nm
DUB 2769 nm
BOG 2166 nm

btw, gambit's picture of the A318 is obsolete. AI gave up the idea of a forward extension of the vertical stabilizer.Instead they decided to increase the height of the tail fin instead. This is how it would have looked in TWA colors:

 -

And this is the first flight of the CFM-powered prototype

 -

[ 04-18-2003, 09:22: Message edited by: keho ]

Posts: 12 | From: Brooklyn, NY  |  IP: Logged
keho
Junior Poster
Member # 2258

Icon 1 posted      Profile for keho         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
With regard to the retirement of the widebodies:
If memory doesn't fool me the L-1011 was to be retired first. When the order for the B757s was placed (the smartest fleet planning decision post bankruptcy, in my humble opinion), it was also announced that they were to replace the Tristars. And indeed, they had been taken out of service in 1997, while the B747 lasted until 2/98. I believe the retirement of both fleets was accelerated after flight 800. If I remember, TWA posted an operating profit in II/96. In the 3rd quarter TWA's traffic number looked horrible, especially on the transatlantic routes. I am not sure if this was due to the TW800 scare, or because of the excessive capacity on certain routes. However, I did fly to Frankfurt a few weeks after the tragedy, and both flights were packed to the gills. The return flight was even on a B767-300, which TWA had just put into service. Therefore, I think overcapacity on the Rome and Paris routes is the more likely reason for the poor loads in III/96.
I still believe that the decision to retire both fleets made sense, however I would have preferred to see it happen at a slightly slower pace, and not without an appropiate replacement, especially for the B747.
Gitner should have recognized the opportunities at JFK, and focused on a transformation to an East Coast hub, which would have drastically increased utilization of the facilities, and it would have provided more feed and more local passengers, so that it would have been easier to fill larger planes on the traditional routes.
I hope that after all the developments we have seen in recent years, nobody comes along and claims that JFK was just not suitable for that for whatever reason. To those who feel the urge I would like to point out that after TWA's CDG service had shrunken to a B767-200 service, AA eventually operated 2 daily B777 services (which has roughly the same capacity as the A330-300) on that route. And JetBlue has impressively shown that JFK makes a good domestic airport too. So the business opportunities were there all along. TWA just failed to grasp them, and - even worse - drove its business to the competition.

Posts: 12 | From: Brooklyn, NY  |  IP: Logged
Jim Urie
Post Captain
Member # 1305

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jim Urie   Email Jim Urie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Interesting posts keho. I flew LAX-JFK on a L-1011 then on to FRF on B-767-300 the first week of May 96 spent five months in Germany and returned 30 Sep 96 from FRF. Both going and returning the flights were full as a matter of fact I was asked to give up my seat returning from FRF and I did along with a dozen others. I also agree with your post regarding the A-330 it would have been the best solution for TWA to keep them in the game service wise to their traditional strong areas Europe and the Mid East.

Jeff I. as usual you have a very savy understanding of the mindset of Gitner. I recall hearing a Info line where he spelled out several reasons why TWA could not continue to operate to several locations in Europe I believe Athens was one and not sure of the others. My opinion like yours and many others is he really had no intention of running TWA as an international carrier. The tragedy of TWA 800 took the wind out of the sails, I felt that Erickson at least had a vision of what TWA was a what it could be.

Posts: 29 | From: Northridge, Ca.  |  IP: Logged
nyc6035
Post Captain
Member # 423

Icon 1 posted      Profile for nyc6035     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 


[ 04-18-2003, 21:50: Message edited by: nyc6035 ]

Posts: 281 | From: Chappaqua, NY  |  IP: Logged


 
Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | Smilin' Jack's Aviation Directory



Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0