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A Question For The National Sun King Buffs...  
User currently offlineJohn From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 1374 posts, RR: 5
Posted (10 years 12 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4289 times:

....Why did NATIONAL drop BOS & PVD from their route map, just prior to the PA merger. Is it because these were marginal routes? I guess during that time frame, 1979, which was the onset of deregulation, many smaller cities were dropped and no longer subsidized. Not that BOS is a small city, but NA was never a major player there. Usually 5 to 6 flights a day. The biggest schedule I remember NA having in PVD was 4 departures per day, all via JFK or LGA. I remember one particular flight specifically, which operated thru most of the 70s. It was Flight #55 PVD-LGA-MIA. Departure time around 8:45a. My eyes would look to the sky every morning watching for that B727-235 to fly over. I also remember NA employees would go on extended strikes for several months at a time..What was up with that? Did Bud Maytag give a shit? The airline most have lost a ton of money during some of those long drawn out strikes. AHHH...those were the days!

24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJohn From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 1374 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (10 years 12 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4209 times:

No former NATIONAL people lurking?

User currently offlineDc863 From Denmark, joined Jun 1999, 1558 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (10 years 12 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4206 times:

Deregulation probably made them drop PVD and Boston. Supposedly National had racked up the highest number of days on strike than any other airline including Northwest Orient and United.

User currently offlineJohn From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 1374 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (10 years 12 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4194 times:

That must have hurt their passenger loads quite a bit, when they started back up from a lengthy strike, trying to sway customers back to them. I remember some of their full page ads in the Providence Journal.

User currently offlineJohn From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 1374 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (10 years 12 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4170 times:

I'm surprised this thread has gotten only 1 reply. Is it that boring, or are the majority of people here NOT that familiar with the original NATIONAL? Before your time, maybe?  Smile

User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 5, posted (10 years 12 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4155 times:

I remember National very well and flew them as a youngster and young adult frequently between New York and Florida.......I was almost a regular on NA 93 from LGA to PBI and NA 94 from PBI to LGA for a while! (operated with a 727-200 until the DC10 was introduced).

National had a very strange relationship with BOS and PVD....you mentioned 4 departures per day out of each city, but in the mid 1970s, only one or two flights operated north of New York, and for a time, I remember one flight with a strange JFK-BOS-PVD-JFK routing, that flight connected to some Florida departures out of JFK I think. Everytime that NA went on strike (and there were many), flights to BOS and PVD (and CHS and SAV) were cut back more and more.

The main reason I think that BOS and PVD were so seriously ignored is that in the regulated days, NA could not fly directly from those cities to Florida (thsoe routes belonged to NE and Eastern), and in later years, National concentrated more and more on service from New York City to Florida and Florida cities to Houston and the West Coast. National, due to financial concerns, was very slow in ordering new aircraft (after the big DC10 order).....I believe that after the DC10s were delivered, NA only acquired 4 additional aircraft (4 used 727-100s from NW) and at the same time retired the two 741s and two D8S in the fleet, thus, in the later years NA was all about FLorida.......demand to Florida was growing and aircraft were allocated away from smaller cities. NA also did some weird things at the end, like opening up service from IAH to SEA (disaster) and LAX to SEA with one daily DC10 in competition with United and Western each with 5 or 6 flights per day, another fiasco.


User currently offlineJohn From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 1374 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (10 years 12 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 4120 times:

Boston DID have 1 NON-Stop per day to MIA for awhile. I remember it well, because I flew on it in February, 1971. It was a B727-235. My very first commercial flight! My return flight was a late night direct MIA-LGA-PVD, also a B727-235. Left MIA at 10:00p and finally arrived PVD at 1:35a.

User currently offlineElectraBob From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 931 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (10 years 12 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4106 times:

Had to dig out my Sept 1975 OAG again --

Someone should start a thread: "Strange routes flown by the old National Airlines."

Heres a dandy: Flt 415 - BOS-JFK-PHL-JAX-MCO-TPA-MSY-IAH- (72S)

NA actually flew from FLL to MIA but no local traffic was allowed. However, local traffic was allowed on Eastern, which also flew the route.

John --

This old OAG shows only 2 NA departures from BOS -- both to JFK.

PVD had 3 departures -- 2 to JFK and 1 to LGA.

The National-PAN AM merger took effect Jan 7, 1980. A fabulous, colorful airline disappeared on that date.



Having a smoking section in a restaurant is like having a peeing section in a swimming pool.....
User currently offlineJohn From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 1374 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (10 years 12 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4063 times:

Yea, NA had alot of those bread and butter routes. I remember one that was routed something like this; PVD-JFK-PHF-CHS-SAV-JAX-MIA. They switched around the different east coast stops quite frequently. In the summer of '78 (if I remember correctly), NA had 4 departures per day from PVD. That was the last FULL year they served PVD. Service was reduced to one flight a day, Mon-Fri. in 1979, it was actually an extension of the BOS flight believe it or not, and then reduced to a Monday only flight and then PUFF they were GONE!  Sad

User currently offlineJohn From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 1374 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (10 years 12 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4035 times:

Anyone here ever fly NATIONAL to Europe? How was the service? Where can I find a link to pics of their cabin interiors for the 747 and DC-10? Appreciate any help.

User currently offlineDc863 From Denmark, joined Jun 1999, 1558 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (10 years 12 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4020 times:

I flew their DC-8-54s, 747s and DC-10s to London from MIA from 1970-1974. Very nice service in First Class, much better in my opinion than their competitor BOAC. The only downside to NA were the strikes. Nevertheless NA always got an A+ in my book.

User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 6499 posts, RR: 20
Reply 11, posted (10 years 12 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 4002 times:

I remeber those strikes as well. Can someone name all those strikes in the 70's?


Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
User currently offlineMxCtrlr From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 2485 posts, RR: 35
Reply 12, posted (10 years 12 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3995 times:

With regards to their going on strike all of the time - they were known in aviation circles as Cobra Airlines - We Strike at Anything. You have to remember after the great airline strikes of 1965, when all of the major carriers' unions went on strike at the same time, the airlines came up with the Mutual Aid Pact. That dictated, if a carrier in the Mutual Aid Pact went on strike, they received money from the pact. National exploited that fact tremendously. Couple that with the fact that most of National's routes were seasonal, and that Maytag always, up until the 1969 AIM fiasco and, finally, the 1975 F/A's strike, got the airline running just prior to the Thanksgiving holidays, and National actually made money with all the strikes.

It was, in fact, the 1975 F/A's strike that finally caused Maytag to lose interest in the airline, realizing that a change was coming in the way the business would be fundamentally operated, and caused him to seek out a buyer for the airline. That resulted in the bidding war that ultimately cost the airline industry Pan American World Airways.

Of course, the 1969 AIM strike also brought us the most memorable and successful airline advertising campains of all times - The Fly Me campaign!
That was a VERY different era...

MxCtrlr  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Freight Dogs Anonymous - O.O.T.S.K.  Smokin cool



DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
User currently offlineJohn From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 1374 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (10 years 12 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3982 times:

I know the government subsidized the airlines to fly certain routes prior to deregulation, so when National WASN'T flying during those strikes, did they still get pay outs? Just curious....It's almost hard to believe they'd survive after a 4 month shutdown, but somehow they always did. Those Florida flights during the winter season must have been very lucrative (unlike today) for National, because Maytag obviously didn't seem to care if the airline was shut down for the summer. It certainly must have hurt their west coast business. Did National employees get paid well in those days?

User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 6499 posts, RR: 20
Reply 14, posted (10 years 12 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3974 times:

That resulted in the bidding war that ultimately cost the airline industry Pan American World Airways.

W H A T ?????
Are you blaming National for Pan Am's demise?

Which airlines were in this Mutual Aid Pact? Is it still around? Probably not.



Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
User currently offlineJohn From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 1374 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (10 years 12 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3956 times:

How much did PanAm actually fork over in the bidding war to aquire NATIONAL? I know it was an outrageous amount of money for the time....If PanAm didn't grab them, they probably would have been gobbled up by EAstern?

User currently offlineMxCtrlr From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 2485 posts, RR: 35
Reply 16, posted (10 years 12 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3933 times:

W H A T ?????
Are you blaming National for Pan Am's demise?


Blaming NAL? Technically, yes and no.

Pan Am bought NAL ostensibly to bolster their international flights with a domestic feeder network. In theory, that was a damn good idea. The reality of the situation was that PA knew next to nothing about running a domestic airline and failed miserably at it. Within two years of taking over NAL, the touted domestic routes they wanted so badly were already being systematically dismantled. Near the end of PA, the NAL network was a shell of its former self.

PA spent in the neighborhood of $500M in 1980 to purchase NAL and, if they had waited less than 1 year, they could have gotten whatever domestic routes they wanted for free (the Civil Aeronautics Board was in its sunset at this point and would be gone completely by 1981). After the CAB disappeared, domestic route "authority" was "I want to fly from XXX to YYY, so I will". PA could have saved themselves millions and tons of heartache by not buying NAL.

Now, that leads to the other side of the coin...Would it have made any difference in PA's survival? If PA hadn't bought NAL, they would have most likely gone out of business sooner than they did. NAL provided PA with 52 fully-owned aircraft that PA turned around and did a sale-leaseback arrangement that garnered them some badly needed liquid capital. Without that capital (in 1983-1985) they would have gone under in the mid 80's instead of the early 90's.

In reality, the only person who benefitted from the NAL bidding war was Frank Lorenzo. He walked away with a cool $125M or more from the sale of his NAL stock by doing nothing more than constantly one-upping PA every time they upped their bid. NAL's stock, which Lorenzo purchased for around $9/share, skyrocketed to $51 or $52/share before he "walked away" from the bidding.

As for the Mutual Aid Pact, I believe it was National, Eastern, Continental, American, United & Northwest. No, it is no longer in effect.

MxCtrlr  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Freight Dogs Anonymous - O.O.T.S.K.  Smokin cool



DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
User currently offlineJohn From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 1374 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (10 years 12 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3914 times:

Was National profitable it's last full year of operation?

User currently offlineMxCtrlr From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 2485 posts, RR: 35
Reply 18, posted (10 years 12 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3901 times:

To my knowledge, National was always profitable, even when grounded by strikes. One of the things that very few outsiders knew about them was they owned EVERYTHING - the aircraft, the ground equipment, the facilities. Consequently, when PA took over NAL, they were only paying $100,000/year lease for the entire MIA maintenance/crew base facilities (the large round hanger at MIA, seen in many photos here on a.net). That facility alone can house three B-747's AND two B-727's and close the doors - It's HUGE - so $100K/year is peanuts.

Also, they owned all 52 of their aircraft and didn't break ground on a facility or purchase an aircraft unless it was paid for or the money was allocated and set aside in advance.

MxCtrlr  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Freight Dogs Anonymous - O.O.T.S.K.  Smokin cool



DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
User currently offlineJsnww81 From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2041 posts, RR: 15
Reply 19, posted (10 years 12 months 22 hours ago) and read 3885 times:

I had always been curious why National didn't have a bigger presence in New England. As people have said (and my 1973 OAG corroborates) they only had a handful of flights north of New York.

In the 1970s, the Northeast-Florida market was probably the second-most lucrative air travel market in the nation (after transcontinental routes). National was one of the three carriers allowed to fly in this market, but its routes were mainly concentrated in NYC, DCA and PHL. Eastern and Delta/Northeast got the lion's share of the BOS and BDL routes. Looking through the OAG, Eastern had flights at crazy inconvenient times, while Delta and National had the more valuable rush-hour flights. I've heard the CAB disliked Eastern tremendously (Eastern was denied almost every route it applied for in the 1970s), which is probably the reason for the strange flight times. Why was this?

I think of National as three different airlines - an intrastate Florida carrier, an east-west airline across the Gulf states and the Southwest, and a north-south airline connecting Florida and the Northeast. After Deregulation, there was a "fourth" airline - the overseas routes to LHR, AMS, CDG, FRA, etc.


User currently offlineJohn From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 1374 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (10 years 12 months 22 hours ago) and read 3879 times:

It would sound like they ran a pretty tight ship, covering all bases. I just wonder how employee morale was, were they happy for the most part? Do you think their unions may have been just a bit greedy? Were NA employees pay rates in line with the rest of the trunk airlines, at the time?

User currently offlineMxCtrlr From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 2485 posts, RR: 35
Reply 21, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3853 times:

After Deregulation, there was a "fourth" airline - the overseas routes to LHR, AMS, CDG, FRA, etc.

The European routes, beginning with LHR, were originally operated by DC-8-62 aircraft and well before 1969 (LONG before deregulation). Prior to 1978, they operated all of the above overseas flights from MIA (and some from JFK, I believe).

I just wonder how employee morale was, were they happy for the most part? Do you think their unions may have been just a bit greedy? Were NA employees pay rates in line with the rest of the trunk airlines, at the time?

Putting it quite bluntly, they were a tightly-run ship but employee morale, for the unionized employees, quite honestly sucked! As evidence of this, National has a choice to pay the IRS taxes or divide the excess profits up amongst its employees in the form of a bonus. They chose the latter. The day after those bonus checks came out, in 1969, the IAM went on a wildcat walkout that lasted 18 months and was one of the bloodiest and most contentious airline strikes ever. Not the work of happy employees by any stretch of the imagination!

MxCtrlr  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Freight Dogs Anonymous - O.O.T.S.K.  Smokin cool



DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
User currently offlineDc863 From Denmark, joined Jun 1999, 1558 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3838 times:

Nationals DC-8s to London's Heathrow were 54/55 series leased from Airlift. NA never operated -62 series. 1969 was the year they started service to Heathrow but a strike delayed the inaugural service by several months.

User currently offlineMxCtrlr From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 2485 posts, RR: 35
Reply 23, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3818 times:

Nationals DC-8s to London's Heathrow were 54/55 series leased from Airlift. NA never operated -62 series.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Fred Cox



My bad, they were -62's...

MxCtrlr  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Freight Dogs Anonymous - O.O.T.S.K.  Smokin cool



DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
User currently offlineJohn From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 1374 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3796 times:

You mean -61s ! I have a 1/144 scale model of one sitting on my entertainment center!  Smile

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