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How Would You Save US Airways?  
User currently offlineACAfan From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 710 posts, RR: 6
Posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 4988 times:

If you were in charge of US Airways, what would you do to save the company and the jobs of its employees?

DO NOT USE THIS THREAD TO BASH US AIRWAYS!

Here are my ideas. I had them on another thread but I think the topic deserves its own thread.

==========

Charlotte:
Base ALL 737 operations at Charlotte. (Domestic)
Base ALL 757 and 767 operations at Charlotte (Florida/Carribbean and Europe)

Philadelphia:
Base ALL 320 family operations at Philadelphia (Domestic and Carribbean)
Base ALL 330 operations at Philadelphia (Europe)

More ideas:

==========

Rolling hubs at PHL, CLT, PIT, LGA, BOS, DCA and FLL. Drop ALL flights that does not connect to any of these cities.

==========

Simplified fare structure based on COST PER FLIGHT.
Example: I fly RIC-CLT-MCI.

Let's assume the costs are:
RIC-CLT $0.09 per seat mile. 286 miles. 37.18
CLT-MCI $0.07 per seat mile. 809 miles. 88.99

With a $0.04 markup:
RIC-CLT one way $37.18
CLT-MCI one way $88.99
RIC-CLT-MCI MCI-CLT-RIC roundtrip $252.34.

==========

Do not let the planes sleep the night away! Offer as many redeye flights as possible.

==========

I have heard Pepsi costs half as much as Coke. Switch.

==========

Cut the salaries of upper management by the same margin as the union salaries have been cut. This would boost morale tremendously among the employees.

Do we not remember the lesson of Lee Iacoca? As CEO of Chrysler when it was on the brink of bankruptcy, he cut his own salary to $1 per year to give the workers a morale boost and cut costs.

==========

At ALL outstations (not hubs or focus cities), reduce the number of gate space leased. US does not need 4 gates at RIC.

Maximize the gate usage.

==========


Freddie Laker ... May be at peace with his maker ... But he is a persona non grata ... with IATA
30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineHighflier92660 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 674 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 4946 times:

Probably one of the most thoughtful posts I have read on a.net.

User currently offlineAkjetblue From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 790 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 4936 times:

I for one avoid any airline that serves Pepsi, such as Frontier, America West and Northwest. It's a disgusting drink. They need to stick with Coke.


Save a horse! Ride a Cowboy!
User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3213 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 4918 times:

cease operations, sell the assests to United(so you don't have to worry about US union issues), and then only high new young and cheaper staff. Then, if this new organisation is still in trouble, sell the whole thing to American.
You know, when staff get demoralised beyond a certain point, it is almost impossible to win back the hearts and minds of those ppl. It's probably going to be easier to do a clean sweep, and start again. Very very sad that things get like that, but honestly, who do you know, who actually feels good about a paycut? Plus, lets not forget these situations always lead to staff distrust of management.

So I say Merge(all but in name to avoid staff issues) with United. If that fails to solve problem, then, Sell new organisation to American.


User currently offlineScootertrash From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 569 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 4912 times:

Wow, I second highflier's comment. Outstanding post. Welcome to my RR list.

I agree with much of the above, especially rolling the hubs. For me, taxi time with no traffic from E concourse in CLT to 36L (furthest possible taxi) is 6 minutes. During the evening pushes? 20 minutes or more. It is a huge waste of gas and very frustrating for the passengers.

I am not sure about retaining the 737 fleet at all. There are getting long in the tooth and there time has come and gone. Now that we are back in BK, put the EMB 170s in "mainline" titles and replace the 737's with them and the larger EMB variants. They are more fuel efficient and the maintenance costs must be at least comparable.

Scooter


User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3213 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 4902 times:

Ooppss.... I was suppose to be saving USAirways...not being a coporate raider! Ahhh.... oh well. Still, I think the corporate raider approach may work.

User currently offlineERJ170 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 6763 posts, RR: 17
Reply 6, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4818 times:

put the EMB 170s in "mainline" titles

I have to agree with this notion. US is getting 85 of these babies. They are perfect for destinations that are too small for 737/319 service, but too large for the EMB135/145. Utilize them more on those routes..




Aiming High and going far..
User currently offline7E72004 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3587 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4806 times:

Drop CLT as a hub...drop the international service....cut the fleet type to one or 2 (airbus)...and initiate more point to point flying.


The next generation of aircraft is just around the corner!
User currently offlineTxAgKuwait From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1803 posts, RR: 42
Reply 8, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4810 times:

1. Clean house. Get rid of the entire management structure and bring in someone new, someone provem someone willing....

In fact, believe it or not, the management team that "made" WN what it is today is readily available. They are all getting a few years on them, but when AA got into trouble with CAArty a while back, the ringleader (M.Lamar Muse) offered to take over AA for stock options and the pay of the most junior FA on the premises. (Oh, he also wanted AA to pay the rent on an apartment in Dallas). I think I would bring them in.

What would they do differently?

2. Chop the fares. Just slice them. It does no good to offer a fare of $458 one way between Buffalo and Philadelphia if nobody buys it. Chopping the walk up fare means more people buy them which means less people buy the cheap seats which ultimately means you generate more revenue.

Rational walk up fares also stimulate demand, which means you could add more flights, which means you could bring back employees, which means a more junior work force, which means your average labor costs go down.

3. Quit paying the commuter code share affiliates. If a route is worth flying, it's worth flying yourself. If it isn't worth flying, then don't fly it, or at the very least let someone who is willing and able and has the cost structure to do so fly it.

4. Dump the hubs. Fly in and out and around places that generate enough O&D traffic to make service worth your while. Will people make connections? Sure they will.....and if you do your O&D point to point right you open up as many if not more connection opportunities. The good news is they aren;t all concentrated in one place, subject to ATC, WX, what have you.

5. Rationalize the fleet. It's a shame but you would probably have to go with Airbus and Embraer. All other things being equal I would have liked to have standardized on an all-Boeing fleet, but that's just me.

6. What to do with labor? Well, they've been kicked around and dragged through the mud so many times that you hate to do anything. But you probably will. The first things I would do, to let the various labor groups know that this is a different management philosophy:

A. Move the HQs out of Alexnadria, VA to either PIT, PHL, or CLT.
B. Decree that all management will ride in Y, and unless traveling on official company business will travel Space Available.
C. get rid of multitudes and multitudes of VP positions. Sort of "dramatic increase in span of control." Every ticket agent will answer to the counter supervisor, who will answer to the station manager, who will answer to the VP Ground Ops. Every rez agent on the phones will answer to the Shift Sipervisor who will answer to the Director of that Res Center who will answer to the Director of Reservations who will answer to the VP Ground Ops.
D. All employees (managers) traveling on official company business will adhere to strict guidelines regarding what they are allocated on the road....hotel rooms? They get a standard room in a LaQuinta/Holiday Inn Express sort of facility. Rent car? They get an intermediate sized sedan from Budget or Dollar.
E. But you are going to have to touch the employees, somewhat....to make this all work. I think I would offer employees what basically amounts to the current WN contracts and adjust their seniority to 58% of what it is today. That has the beauty of providing the employees with a "snap back" as the company gets thru these tough times, they start to re-accrue their lost seniority.


User currently offlineERJ170 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 6763 posts, RR: 17
Reply 9, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4775 times:

Hey TxAgKuwait...

I like some of your notions.. I agree that management should be cut by 1/2... put a cap on salaries at no more than $200,000 for executive. If you need more than that, then you're lifestyle is too extravagent for your work.

I say, on any route you can fly a Dash-8.. you can put a EMB135... cut out all turboprop service... simplify the fleet to 2 types.. the EMB and either the Boeing or Airbii..

Give up the name sakes and just have one commuter.. Gotta lose Alleghany and Piedmont and MidAtlantic.. just call it USAirways and Express by USAirways..

No offense, but drop the BOS focus city and replace with something more midwest or west coast.. they are too bunched on one side and missing the goldmine that is the west coast..

in Chapter 11, use this opportunity to cut labor by 33-40%. Lower salaries to industry standard (which I am sure is much lower than what they currently pay). I see it as this, it is much better to have a job than it is to be unemployed and broke.

Move their fare structure to no more than 4 fares.. walkup, 7 day, 14 day, and first class.. and only book the amount of seats you have.. don't try to be the cheapest, be the best you can.. people will actually pay a more for a seat if the airline is deserving. Don't try to match every sale another airline makes cause it is only temporary and only a limited number of seats... just be consistant and people will stay.



Aiming High and going far..
User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4764 times:

...with a bullet through its skull, ergo sparing it and the industry having to await the inevitable.

User currently offlineUsairways16bwi From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1004 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4660 times:

let me start off with saying that it is very sad that such a great airline is going through so much trouble. As a flying passenger, i will, and have most of the time, gone out of my way and pay more to fly on US.ive never had any problems with them and they are always ontime.

to the topic....if i were in charge of US, i would:

-totally clear out of PIT, with only a few flights a day

-Keep PHL as their main hub and CLT as a secondary hub.

- keep taking orders of EMB 170s and use them all throughout the east coast, replacing the 733s and most of the 734s.point to point .

-use the A319/320/321s for the longer rage north to south routes such as PHL-MIA, FLL,MCO,DFW,MSY...just to name a few.

-the remaining 737s, use them for more point to point services with the EMB 170s

-also, use planes to the full potential of thier range on some flights (ex. instead of using a 757 CLT-MIA, use it for PHL-MIA) only exception to use bigger planes on short flights is if they are in very high demand (ex. DL used 763/764 ATL-FLL)

-Use gates more often, or eliminate less used ones

-Use planes more often, put more frequency on profitable flights like flights to florida and carribean.

-keep the 757s and use them for mostly Florida, carribean and latin america service.

-retire the 762s or sell them for $.

-keep putting the A330s to good use, but slightly decrease some of the weaker europe flights and use them for profitable coast to coast flights out of PHL, like to LAX, SEA,LAS,PHX...and possibly a PHL-HNL flight.

-Decrease the amount of reservation agents and encourage customers to book online(to save a little more money)

Alot of people are saying that they should eliminate their Europe flights...I highly disagree. US's flights to Europe are VERY popular. Load factors are very high and they are some of US's most profitable flights. There will be alot less money made if the european flights were eliminated.



User currently offlineBigblack From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 600 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4634 times:

I would fly it.  Nuts  Nuts  Nuts


Someone special in the air
User currently offlineWillbdsp From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 303 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4531 times:

I would streamline the fleet...Keep the Airbuses and order more EMB-170's for the routes that the 737's fly.

Simplify the express carriers...Have only a few carriers fly under the express banner, as opposed to the current 9.

Build the PIT hub back up, cut some flights to PHL, slowly build a focus city/hub on the west coast

Offer more point to point service in south, Midwest, and west

Streamline management (too many cooks in the kitchen)

Utilize planes and staff more, but without wearing them out (quicker turn arounds, etc)

I hope that US can make it through this tough time. It is an excellent airline and I have great memories of the trips that have started with them. (Not to mention all of the people I know who work for them)






User currently offlineLogos From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 793 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 4484 times:

Since none of these solutions involve the invention of a time machine and avoiding the purchase of PSA and other management faux pas too numerous to mention (not the least of which was trying to buy peace with labor unions), I don't see how they're going to work.

Cheers,
Dave in Orlando



Too many types flown to list
User currently offlineAirEMS From United States of America, joined May 2004, 684 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4424 times:

Two Words.........Bake Sale!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy



Anyone up for $400.00 Brownies???



If Your Dying Were Flying
User currently offlineTomFoolery From Austria, joined Jan 2004, 529 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4398 times:

Save costs on paper...Print the boarding passes on the backs of the stock certificates. Not only do you accumulate miles, but a piece of the company too. If you keep flying you keep your airline longer. Furthermore, you dont have all those worthless stubs laying around. When/if the value of the stocks reach a certain point go back to regular boarding passes. (maybe I'm talking out of my a$$, but when you have stocks that are worth $.37 each, whats the harm in trying.)




Paper makes an airplane fly
User currently offlineWillbdsp From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 303 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4385 times:

Brownies always taste better when they cost that much!!

Why not create furniture out of the seats in the planes parked in the desert?! I'm sure someone would buy a living room group that is made from the seats of a DC9

Or, instead of trailer parks, create airplane parks where the houses are made from old aircraft. And this could work for all airlines, not just US. Imagine a neighborhood of US, TW, CO, and UA aircraft homes.


Just an idea  Big grin


User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16248 posts, RR: 56
Reply 18, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4377 times:

Topic: How Would You Save US Airways?

1. Reduce wages/salaries to average LCC level.
2. Raise aircraft utilization to 5% above the LCC's.
3. Defer delivery of all new mainline aircraft.




Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22924 posts, RR: 20
Reply 19, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4369 times:

I'm not sure that it would be such a good idea for US to sell any gates which it owns and is not using since the costs on owned gates are minimal and ownership of gates can at least temporarily deter LCC competition, not something US needs at this time.


I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineBraniff From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 108 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4368 times:

All these great ideas mean nothing if the flying public doesn't know that USAirways is doing something about the problem. Sure the shareholders will know something's being done. But they need to show a positive image and attitude to the corporate and casual passenger too, who would otherwise book elsewhere after hearing about the bankruptcy news.

And so I think a lot of thought should be put into remarketing the US brand. TV spots in markets where US is a dominant player might be good. People need to know about fare specials, new aircraft, better service, etc, etc, so show it off!

-B



Believe it!
User currently offlineXJRamper From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2460 posts, RR: 51
Reply 21, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4358 times:

Perhaps four or five years ago when they decided going all Airbus, I would have smacked them upside the head.

however, that is not the question at hand. I would gut the management and start over fresh. Secondly, bring back the old craft that made them top of the line.

XJR



Look ma' no hands!
User currently offlineBNE From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 3183 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (9 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 4161 times:

If you were in charge of US Airways, what would you do to save the company and the jobs of its employees? Everybodys chance to be a an Armchair CEO.


None of us knows enough about the operations of US Airways to even suggest where to begin.

First thing work out what makes money and what doesn't, I am not even sure the current US Airways management understand this concept.

Rolling hubs at PHL, CLT, PIT, LGA, BOS, DCA and FLL. Drop ALL flights that does not connect to any of these cities.

Thats not going to work. Rolling hubs are only going to work when you got enough flights going in all directions that you don't need to worry too much about connections, CLT and PHL really aren't big enough to actually allow this to happen.

Stick with banks at PHL, CLT and PIT.

Cut the salaries of upper management by the same margin as the union salaries have been cut. This would boost morale tremendously among the employees.
But if I am going to run the company why should I work for nothing, risk and reward, you might as work for someone else where the risk isn't so big.

Hopefully they can get out of there gate and airplane leases and survive.

They got 120 days and the US Election will be over by then so no politicians trying to save there voting members.








Why fly non stop when you can connect
User currently offlineBENNETT123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7566 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (9 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4132 times:

Reply 22

I see the point about Executive Pay, but the fact is that the customer never meets the board. The morale and performance of fron line staff is key.

Looking back to Lee Ioacca, at the start of the thread. If staff see that the board are only getting stock options, then they may believe that the board are in for the Long Term. If the Board preach pay cuts for you and a fat bonus for me then they won't and the company will fail.

If they start believing that the Board are committed to US and are sharing some of the pain, then morale will improve. How about offering Stock Options to all staff. At $0.37 each, what is there to lose.

Given the gravity of the situation, morale is going to be essential. If staff and customers believe that the company will go down, then it most assuredly will!!.



User currently offlineAZjetgeek From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 235 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (9 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4062 times:

As has already been mentioned, I would start by restructuring upper management. Keep some veteran airline people who know the business, but reduce a couple of layers of management. Here are some other things I would do to save US (which I do believe is worth saving):

1. Reduce executive pay 20 percent across the board.
2. Streamline the fleet. Utilize the 757's for Caribbean operations as well as coast-to-coast flights. Keep the A330's for European operations. Eliminate all other large aircraft (anything 200 pax and above).
3. Reduce the number of US Express carriers to three. Split up their regions to East, Central and West.
4. In accordance with No. 3, keep CLT as a hub and move base of operations there. With DL closing its DFW hub, establish it as a hub for a Central region. Establish a hub in the West, such as SNA, PHX, or SEA.
5. Replace all 733's with Embraer 170's.
6. Any flights of 200 miles or less should be flown with Dash 8-200's or ERJ-135's.
7. Increase aircraft usage by 5-10 percent. However, instead of increasing hours for pilots and flight crews, re-assign crews from those routes that have been eliminated or reduced to fill in the additional hours needed to man the aircraft.
8. Re-structure fares: Walk-up; 7-day advance; 21-day advance; Business/First class.
9. More emphasis on advertising in markets in the Central and West regions. People in the East already know that US exists. Those of us living in the West (especially PHX) never see advertising for US. That needs to change in order for US to maintain a presence here.
10. If possible, re-finance all debt. Find financiers willing to consolidate debt obligations, buying up high-interest loans and re-financing them at more modest rates.
11. Stop putting the burden of saving the airline on the backs of the employees. You got concessions from your unions in order to help you get out of Ch 11 in 2003. Less than two years later, you're back in Ch 11. The concessions in 2003 weren't enough because you (management) did not do enough on your end to "stop the bleeding".



Long live the RJ!
25 Airish : A lot of what I would do has already been mentioned but: 1 There should be slimming of management. 2 Start to get rid of the 737 as this would cut the
26 RCS763av : I would turn it into an american Aer Lingus. Retire all 50 seat or less Express aircraft, and grow my hubs. Retire the 734 and the 757 and 733 some ye
27 SonOfACaptain : For all of you who say that they should get rid of 737’s, 767’s, ect., there is a problem with that. Some contract they have with somebody (pilot
28 ACAfan : Current aircraft for USAIR mainline: 115 737 118 A320 31 757 10 767 9 A330 There is no way US could retire either the 737 or the 320 fleet. I still th
29 777ER : Re-sell all the aircrafts currently on order. Retire all the old planes and keep the modern planes which would reduce the fleet and cut capicity on le
30 PHLBOS : Or, instead of trailer parks, create airplane parks where the houses are made from old aircraft. And this could work for all airlines, not just US. Im
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