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Topic: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: azstar
Posted 2012-12-06 07:03:27 and read 7184 times.

It seems that DL is much more innovative and forward thinking than UA. They have purchased their own refinery (unknown results at this time), purchased AirTran's 717's, purchased 60 news CR900's, closed Comair, and is rapidly reducing dependency on 50 seat Skywest(worst) RJ's. They have been operating 90-95% on time departures consistently, and have approx 1% (or less) cancellation rate.

UA, on the other hand, is still struggling with performance issues. They have a hard time maintaining 80% on time, and their cancellation rate has fluctuated between 1-8%. They still operate half their schedule on Skywest 50 or 70 seaters. They continue to have the worst on time, the worst baggage handling, and highest complaint statistics according to BTS.

So, IMO, DL is on a somewhat upward trajectory while, maybe not spiraling downward, UA is working hard at barely maintaining an unsatisfactory status quo.

Anyone else agree, or am I way off base here?

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: STT757
Posted 2012-12-06 07:10:34 and read 7170 times.

UA's order book is superior to DL's, UA has on firm order:

93 737-900ERs
100 737-9MAX
50 787s, 4 of which are now in service
25 A350s

UA has superior hubs

DEN, CLE, EWR, IAH, IAD, SFO, LAX, ORD

More LHR slots etc..

DL is performing well right now, but UA is better situated going forward.

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: airlinewatcher1
Posted 2012-12-06 07:26:57 and read 7075 times.

I agree that DL is performing better than UA right now. Let's hope that UA can get their act together.

One thing to keep in mind is that UA is still in the process of fully integrating with CO, while DL is now fully integrated with NW.

UA has kept all of the hubs in the merger process, while DL has downsized drastically in CVG and MEM. I'm not sure how DL can be #1 by downsizing hubs, but on the other hand, they are working really hard to be #1 (or closer to it) in places like NYC (LGA & JFK), LHR, LAX, & NRT. DL also tends to have more non-hub routes than UA.

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: strfyr51
Posted 2012-12-06 07:27:02 and read 7074 times.

It's all a matter of perception. While I SERIOUSLY doubt that Delta will surpass United.
What United management does to get all their DUCKS in row to keep SA)">UA on top will be the most Serious Question.
Delta's management Seems to be on the ball with their plan Flawed as it looks to me. United's management has to just get everybody pulling on the SAME end of the DAMN ROPE !! Settle the contracts, get the IT house in order, cut with these "Half ass" fixes for Bad Programs and get the ENTIRE company's computer system all up to the 21st century.
They ARE moving in that direction but the analysis should have been done and the problems solved LONG before Now. We've had 3 Years for crying out loud.!!
Heck! Even I could have figured this out by now. All they needed DO was ask the guys who DO the JOB. Instead?
They ask a bunch of Directors and managers who don't even KNOW the jobs and are STUCK in the Way We USED to do it rather than the way it SHOULD be done.

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: peanuts
Posted 2012-12-06 07:29:38 and read 7058 times.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 1):
UA's order book is superior to DL's
Quoting STT757 (Reply 1):
UA has superior hubs
Quoting STT757 (Reply 1):
More LHR slots etc.
Quoting STT757 (Reply 1):
but UA is better situated going forward.

So out of the three points you list only one (aircraft orders) is about "forward" thinking.
The other two are supposedly already into play according to you so how again is UA "better situated"? Better situated for what exactly? A person or company can have the best tools at its disposal in order to perform the best but if you don't know what to do with these tools than you still come in second under many different measures...

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: FreshSide3
Posted 2012-12-06 07:30:32 and read 7031 times.

I have to agree on that. Still there are a few issues.

Prime time in New York.......like, about 430-7pm, when the international trips all go out.......seems like UA/EWR has a better handle on it than the DL/JFK situation.

Connection times not realistic. Sometimes the times at UA/IAH are really not long enough for certain connections, and shouldn't be sold that way. Some tweaking needs to be in order.

The lack of a partner in Russia. There may have been a reason why the IAD-DME service was dropped, but this also puts UA at a disavantage. AA has Sibir/S7 as a partner, and DL not only has their own service, but also a partnership with Aeroflot. Perhaps two things could be done....(1) Partnering with Transaero(providing they meet UA standards) and/or (2) start IAD-LED service in lieu of IAD-DME. Nobody flies to St. Petersburg from the USA. The market is not as big as Moscow, but it's still a big market.

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: DeltaMD90
Posted 2012-12-06 07:31:32 and read 7031 times.

I know this isn't what many people on here like to think but:

1: Bigger is not always better
2: Being #2 (or 3, 4, 5, etc) isn't the end of the world
3: "#1" can change with a blink of an eye (or at least in a few years, look at DL in 2005, yikes!)

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: PSU.DTW.SCE
Posted 2012-12-06 07:43:58 and read 6920 times.

DL will not become America's "Largest" airline.

DL is not growing, if anything becoming slightly smaller. DL is very aggressive with capacity disipline is not going to be doing any meaniful or overall growth in the next 3-5 years. If anything DL will become smaller on the measure of ASMs.
DL has many plans in the works to realign the regional & narrowbody fleet, which is all meant to be capacity-neutral.

Some are quick to say that "UA has all these problems." From my perspective it is all merger-related challenges that will likely disappear in the short-term. Remember that DL & NW had their share of merger challenges. I can't say whether UA is worse, nor can anyone really measure that statement. Fundamentally United is very solid. One must also remember that DL is several years ahead of United and out of the tactical merger-related phase and initiatives. United is not yet at the point where they can fully leverage the potential of the merger since they are still tactically integrating operations, systems, processes, and people.

DL doesn't really want to be the largest, in fact I would guess that UA doesn't care about being the largest either.

[Edited 2012-12-06 08:01:36]

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2012-12-06 07:49:01 and read 6872 times.

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 7):
DL doesn't really want to be the largest, in fact I would guess that UA doesn't care about being the largest either.

  

But it would not shock me to see either carrier advertise the fact whenever it is true for them.

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2012-12-06 07:56:40 and read 6821 times.

Quoting peanuts (Reply 4):
So out of the three points you list only one (aircraft orders) is about "forward" thinking.
The other two are supposedly already into play according to you so how again is UA "better situated"? Better situated for what exactly? A person or company can have the best tools at its disposal in order to perform the best but if you don't know what to do with these tools than you still come in second under many different measures...

1. Hubs can be important for long-term stability/revenue/growth. DL probably has the advantage is terms of fortress hubs that print money in DTW and MSP, but I would say that if I were choosing hub locations between what DL has and what UA has, I'd be picking more UA hubs than DL ones. So it's a choice between fortress hubs and more competitive ones in larger/stronger markets -- let's call that a wash if it's a major sticking point.

2. UA has a few more things like LHR slots, and I believe they are still better to NRT and/or China. Not game-changers in isolation, but nice feathers in their cap that DL doesn't have and things UA can bank on when competing for contracts and high-yielding biz pax.

3. Management of course is a big differentiator on how each makes use of what it has. But when you take order book, unique/limited access route authorities, and hub positioning, UA would appear (given current market conditions) to be better suited going forward.

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: FreshSide3
Posted 2012-12-06 08:00:24 and read 6804 times.

Quoting peanuts (Reply 4):
The other two are supposedly already into play according to you so how again is UA "better situated"? Better situated for what exactly?

I can't say, in comparison to DL....but certainly in comparison to the "old" United. Keep in mind, that before the merger, that UA was at a bit of a disadvantage in the winter months, compared to DL/AA/CO/US...........in the past, there was no "warm weather" hub to reroute passengers to---and not pay offline carriers to transport those passengers---during irregular ops.

IAH does give an option, that previously didn't exist. DEN/ORD/IAD have snow and ice issues.......the competition has their snow/ice hubs, too.......but AA always had the option of rerouting online via DFW, US had CLT, and DL always had ATL.......UA, pre-merger, didn't have too many choices........

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: greenwichsud
Posted 2012-12-06 08:11:13 and read 6735 times.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 1):
93 737-900ERs
100 737-9MAX
50 787s, 4 of which are now in service
25 A350s

How much of this is for growth?

Quoting STT757 (Reply 1):
DEN, CLE, EWR, IAH, IAD, SFO, LAX, ORD

Many of these have intense competition, either directly or through neighboring airports. Many/most of DL's hubs, while not as "sexy" and coastal, are uncontested fortress hubs.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 1):
More LHR slots etc..

This can all change overnight if the VS trade materializes.

My interpretation of the most recent quarterly releases for both carriers is that DL is gaining quite a bit of premium business traffic at the expense of UA.

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2012-12-06 08:11:48 and read 6735 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 8):
it would not shock me to see either carrier advertise the fact whenever it is true for them.

Exactly....I say "largest" you say "quantity over quality", I say "we have more E+" you say "we have the most domestic F seats", I say "we have Global First" you say "but nobody actually buys that, yours sucks, and our J is better". No matter what carriers will spin everything to their own advantage. Funny how what a given carrier used to say disappear overnight as if they never cared.

Should also add that "largest" itself has multiple connotations that each carrier might claim simultaneously: most pax carried, most revenue pax miles available (I can't recall the term), more flights, etc. I seem to remember hearing a while back that WN is now the largest U.S. airline by domestic pax carried, for instance.

[Edited 2012-12-06 08:16:39]

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: Prost
Posted 2012-12-06 11:09:02 and read 6351 times.

Delta had slightly higher 3rd quarter revenue than United, but it was very slight. United is getting their house in order, but Delta might be posting higher margins than United for the near term (2 years). That last sentence is obviously just my opinion, and others can probably easily come to a different conclusion than me and it wouldn't bunch my panties.

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: AADC10
Posted 2012-12-06 11:39:47 and read 6234 times.

I this day and age, size as measured by capacity is not necessarily a good thing. Supply and demand are close to a balance point where substantial additional capacity will send profitability off a cliff. DL is aggressively seeking new markets while UA is more conservative, cutting capacity in some saturated markets. UA will probably stay more conservative until most of the merger problems are resolved and new aircraft are delivered.

Quoting azstar (Thread starter):
It seems that DL is much more innovative and forward thinking than UA.

Perhaps but DL is at a disadvantage to UA in some respects. DL has more fortress hubs, but they are in smaller cities. UA is spread out more evenly, has hubs in the largest markets (albeit facing intense competition), and has more LHR slots. DL need to move to prevent UA from sopping up the corporate contracts that slipping away from AA during Ch. 11.

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: bobloblaw
Posted 2012-12-06 11:48:59 and read 6191 times.

None of the reasons you give are reason why DL would surpass UA in RPMs, ASMs. Revenue Fleet size or Pax carried.

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: PSU.DTW.SCE
Posted 2012-12-06 11:58:28 and read 6132 times.

Exactly......largest for the sake of being largest is nothing more than something to say
Quoting AADC10 (Reply 14):
DL is aggressively seeking new markets while UA is more conservative, cutting capacity in some saturated markets. UA will probably stay more conservative until most of the merger problems are resolved and new aircraft are delivered.

I actually would argue that both are doing so.

DL is seeking new markets, but at the same time being very conservative in other places. DL has scaled way back in Trans-Atlantic flights and capacity particularly during the off-season. DL keeping domestic capacity flat. Mostly DL is reallocating resources not growing.

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: 24fan
Posted 2012-12-06 20:02:30 and read 5319 times.

Does anyone know how much "bigger" UA is than DL currently?

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: XFSUgimpLB41X
Posted 2012-12-06 20:08:31 and read 5251 times.

Quoting 24fan (Reply 17):

Does anyone know how much "bigger" UA is than DL currently?

It depends on where you define the base is and if you're counting girth.

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: Flighty
Posted 2012-12-06 20:23:07 and read 5113 times.

You have to give DL a 3 year advantage. DL has executed its merger well. This is how that looks.

In 2 to 3 years, UA's corporate judgment day will come. Either they will be declared geniuses or dunces. Right now it is too early to tell.

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: Deltal1011man
Posted 2012-12-06 20:26:08 and read 5062 times.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 1):

i'm sorry, how about try to, just once, post with out the huge bias. Go ahead and explain how any of that makes UA better.....(or superior)

Oh and most of the order book is for replacement not growth.
Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 7):
DL is not growing, if anything becoming slightly smaller. DL is very aggressive with capacity disipline is not going to be doing any meaniful or overall growth in the next 3-5 years. If anything DL will become smaller on the measure of ASMs.

No but its kind of a race to the bottom. One also has to think that a ALPA scope cave(I mean...it is ALPA) will end up with UA getting even smaller....

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 8):

But it would not shock me to see either carrier advertise the fact whenever it is true for them.

of course

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 9):
and I believe they are still better to NRT and/or China. Not game-changers in isolation, but nice feathers in their cap that DL doesn't have and things UA can bank on when competing for contracts and high-yielding biz pax.

Delta is much larger to Japan, UA is much larger to China.

Biggest thing Delta has to do, IMO, is build a much better network to Asia, more P2P and less flow over Japan. (but unlike UA I do expect Delta to stay large in Japan. The beach flying is good for Delta.)

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: NWAdeicer
Posted 2012-12-06 20:31:45 and read 5010 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 8):
But it would not shock me to see either carrier advertise the fact whenever it is true for them.

You mean like the approximately 6 foot long banners we saw in ATL last week while there for training. The banners that were in some of the break rooms stating "The biggest airline, the largest hub, the best employees".

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: burnsie28
Posted 2012-12-06 20:58:43 and read 4768 times.

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 7):
DL will not become America's "Largest" airline.

Actually, last I heard DL has once again surpassed UA as the worlds largest airline given that UA has cut down more than DL.

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: FL787
Posted 2012-12-06 22:11:18 and read 4297 times.

Quoting burnsie28 (Reply 22):
Actually, last I heard DL has once again surpassed UA as the worlds largest airline given that UA has cut down more than DL.

Not yet, though I could see them ending up around the same size in a couple years. ASMs for the first 10 months of this year are:

UA: 210,538,538
DL: 195,003,327
AA: 138,836,174
WN: 107,471,535
US: 65,275,651

Until I just pulled these numbers I didn't realize that a combined AA-US would still be smaller than UA.

[Edited 2012-12-06 22:20:05]

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: CALPSAFltSkeds
Posted 2012-12-06 22:36:17 and read 4145 times.

You have several comparisons between UA and DL.

DL's has a lot more old aircraft to get rid of at some point. Their fleet averages 16.7 years vs. UA's 13.4 years. DL has 117 MD88s and are still shown as flying 18 D95s. Who knows if the MD90 is a long term solution. Also, DL has a aircraft obtained from different airlines vs. UA possibly meaning more maintenance costs. UA has only 9 735s flying and 5 762s are out the door within a couple of months. Both have large aging fleets of 752 aircraft. UA has more 744s 24 vs. 16 and a massive difference of 772s 74 vs. 18. DL has more than double UA's 763 fleet 74 vs. 35, but 15 are non-ER units. UA has the 787 while DL has pushed their 787s to 2020-2022. DL does have some fairly new 332 and 333 aircraft.

UA flies almost exclusively flights out of hub airports while DL has more point to point flights. DL seems to be having more difficulty aligning its hubs than UA, who appear to be keeping all hubs (CLE?) while DL has lots of smaller hubs which are being downsized. UAs hubs are in the largest cities vs. DL's being in generally smaller cities.

UA is highly unionized while DL has fewer unions.

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: comairguycvg
Posted 2012-12-06 23:33:58 and read 4078 times.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 19):
In 2 to 3 years, UA's corporate judgment day will come. Right now it is too early to tell.

Yeah I was gonna say, can this question even be asked yet? Delta has been through the merger for a few years now and it's only been a year or so for UA. More time is needed for UA to let things settle down a bit before we can make a real fair comparison, in my opinion.

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: Deltal1011man
Posted 2012-12-06 23:35:28 and read 4142 times.

Quoting CALPSAFltSkeds (Reply 24):
Who knows if the MD90 is a long term solution.

anyone who really knows what the MD90 is. Sadly, for some reason, people can't get it that the M90 has the same engine as the UA A32s fleet and has ~ the same fuel burn as the 320....with more seats. Also that the M90 is a this generation aircraft that does a great job flying up and down the east coast and mid hauls from MSP

Quoting CALPSAFltSkeds (Reply 24):
Also, DL has a aircraft obtained from different airlines vs. UA possibly meaning more maintenance costs.

not really. Delta has pretty much standardized the fleet.

Quoting CALPSAFltSkeds (Reply 24):
UAs hubs are in the largest cities vs. DL's being in generally smaller cities.

with almost every UA hub.....all?....having another airline hub also.

IAH (WN at HOU)
EWR (DL at JFK/LGA, B6 at JFK, AA at JFK)
ORD (AA)
LAX (AA, WN, DL, AS)
DEN (WN and F9)
CLE (no one)
SFO (WN at OAK and VX....ha sorry that doesn't count)

vs DL
ATL (WN....but getting smaller)
MSP(no one)
DTW (no one)
SLC (WN to a point)
NYC (UA/AA/B6)
CVG (no one)

Quoting CALPSAFltSkeds (Reply 24):
DL seems to be having more difficulty aligning its hubs than

No, Delta is aligning its hubs. If UA had a ATL they would be cutting what was around it too.....they just don't happen to have an ATL.  

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: azncsa4qf744er
Posted 2012-12-06 23:37:00 and read 4111 times.

Quoting Deltal1011man (Reply 20):
Quoting Deltal1011man (Reply 20):

Any number to proof this please? I personally think UA operates the most seats and flights from the US to Japan. Until March of 2013 all UA hubs serve Japan, with the exception of CLE. But SEA-NRT fill in the place for CLE, so.

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: Deltal1011man
Posted 2012-12-07 00:35:21 and read 3902 times.

Quoting azncsa4qf744er (Reply 27):

Any number to proof this please? I personally think UA operates the most seats and flights from the US to Japan. Until March of 2013 all UA hubs serve Japan, with the exception of CLE. But SEA-NRT fill in the place for CLE, so.

sure. Here is a quick run down for monday(just a quick note, All of Delta's hubs have flights to NRT minus MEM/CVG, on top of LAX/SFO/PDX/SEA. Also Delta has LAX/SEA-HND, DTW-NGO, SEA-KIX and a large HNL-Japan network)

DL
to NRT
ATL-744
DTW-744
JFK- 744
SEA- 333
MSP- 777
LAX - 777
SFO - 763
PDX -763
HNL- 1x 333 1x 744
GUM 2x 757 1x 763
to HND
LAX- 332
FUK
HNL - 763
KIX
HNL- 333
SEA- 763
NGO -
DTW 744
HNL 763

DL A/C....J...Y+...Y
DL 744- 48/42/286---376
DL 777-45/36/188----269
DL 763-26/29171-----226
DL 333-34/32/232----298
DL 332-32/30/177----239
DL 752-20/24/135----179

Delta total seats
NRT-3674
KIX-524
FUK-226
NGO-602
HND-239
Japan-5265


UA
NRT-
IAH 77C
SFO 744
LAX 777
ORD 744
EWR 77C
IAD 777
SEA 777
HNL 777
KIX-
SFO 777

GUM-
NRT 2x 777 1x 738
KIX 2x 738
NGO 1x 738 1x 73G
FUK 1x 73G
HIJ 1x 73G
SDJ 1x 73G

UA A/C F...J..Y+..Y
744.....12/52/70/240----374
777.....8/40/107/114----269
77C...........50/72/145---267
738............16/48/90----154 (no idea if these are the GUM aircraft...sorry if I'm wrong here. GUM hub isn't easy to look at)
73G...........12/40/66----108
(note 77C would be for the CO aircraft)
UA total
NRT- 2358
KIX- 577
GUM-586(minus NRT/KIX)
Total-3521

ok some of the GUM opps are a little hard to track. I show flights to OKA/KIJ/OKJ/CTS but they don't opp on Monday(?) thus they weren't counted. Also I did the 76Z config for Delta, not sure if all the 767 NRT flights have them yet but they will soon. Finally I did not count DEN-NRT(UA) or SEA-HND(DL) because they have yet to start. (I also believe UA adds a second flight to SFO-NRT for the summer and DL adds a third HNL-NRT)

So just a random day, UA is about 1,500 seats smaller to Japan, but as I said, they are much larger to the rest of Asia, and are double Delta's size(or triple) to China/HKG.

Again, GUM is a little bit harder to track because its not all daily(I think a good bit of the ones i didn't see are 3x weekly) but it wouldn't make that much of a difference.

*all data came from the Delta timetable and United.com)

[Edited 2012-12-07 00:38:57]

Topic: RE: Will DL Surpass UA As America's Largest Airline?
Username: Pu
Posted 2012-12-07 09:59:10 and read 2089 times.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 1):

UA has superior hubs

DEN, CLE, EWR, IAH, IAD, SFO, LAX, ORD

More LHR slots etc..

DL is performing well right now, but UA is better situated going forward.

I tend to agree that if you look at hubs and their related nearby regions UA looks better. UA is a leader in America's top 3 markets (NY, LA and Chicago) and its top 3 states: California, Texas and New York. Delta gave up Texas, which was a big mistake IMO, and their California strategy still seems weak, especially compared to United at LAX and SFO.

HOWEVER, as a few have mentioned above, although Delta's hubs tend to be smaller markets and less iconic on a global scale, it is probably better to OWN less sexy hubs like MSP and DTW than it is be fighting it out for LA and Chicago. Really, Delta are borrowing a page from what worked for CO: a strong NY presence, impressive global reach, but with domestic hubs that everyone else seems less interested in fighting over.

I predict both UA and DL staying strong with DL slightly smaller, but Delta being substantially more profitable (better management, more profitable hubs, better innovation (i.e. refinery)).



Pu


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