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What If: Southwest Went Bankrupt?  
User currently offlineSHUPirate1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3670 posts, RR: 17
Posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5238 times:

[Disclaimer: This is supposed to be a truly hypothetical scenario, and it is more likely that it will snow in the Sahara than the following. Please do not respond with "THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN!" and instead think this through.]

June 7, 2004, Dallas, TX: Today, it has been announced that Southwest Airlines, due to mounting financial loss, has been forced to liquidate entirely. As it turns out, what was the nation's largest low-cost-carrier and the nation's sixth largest carrier has been lying all along about being profitable for 30 consecutive years...

In the case of this Enron-esque scenario, what could everybody see happening with the nation's air transportation system, other than the obvious, pure chaos? There are some markets, such as LAX, where several carriers are already fighting for marketshare, and those carriers will be fighting to get a leg up. There are other markets, such as PHX and LAS, that have been LCC-havens for so long, and suddenly, a legacy would have an opportunity to entrench themselves in. There are other markets, such as BWI, where they have a near-monopoly in, and a huge vacuum will ensue. I would love to hear people's responses to what would be a truly wild situation. What carriers would jump in where, what cities might struggle to attract new service, etc.


Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 50
Reply 1, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5196 times:

Well US, UA, DL, AA, NW and all the other so called majors would quickly raise fares and do the happy dance all the way to the bank.......


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineFrugalqxnwa From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 565 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5156 times:

The legacies would not be able to raise fairs quite yet because of other LCCs in the market. This would, however, be a serious blow to consumer confidence in the airlines in general and LCCs specifically. It also would bring doubt to the idea of the LCC being a truly viable business model, or at least such a purely LCC as WN.

User currently offlineBubbinski From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5142 times:

If the worst happened and WN suffered an Enron-type collapse:

-Salt Lake would likely be in Delta's iron grip, unless Jetblue, America West, or Frontier saw an opportunity here. But I could see airlines like Alaska starting new routes like SEA to SLC or BOI to SLC, GEG to SLC.
-America West would be doing the happy dance in Phoenix. But for how long? They need to improve their on time performance IMO, I don't fly them anymore, neither does anyone in my family after an unacceptably large number of delays.
-Richard Branson would accelerate Virgin USA's startup and try to fill in some of the gaps. Independence Air would benefit as well.
-Jetblue, Frontier, America West, ATA, and Airtran would see many more opportunities and they would keep fares reasonable on a number of routes. People and businesses are so used to low fares these days that I don't think they'll willingly go back to "the old days". Lots of WN fliers are on business trips, corporate America saves on travel costs too.
-Dallas Love Field might become a ghost town? Or an RJ airport with high priced fares for business travelers?
-Some places might lose low fare service altogether - would cities like Lubbock be an attractive target for other LCC's?
-US Airways might get a second chance at life, or at least a delay of the end. Especially if they reinvented themselves as an LCC, if they can pull that off. (They'd have to do things like simplify their fleet).
-Anything big enough to take WN down would naturally raise a whole bunch of questions about the other airlines

Bubbinski

[Edited 2004-06-06 21:25:50]

[Edited 2004-06-06 21:31:43]


"Simplify" - Thoreau
User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4994 times:

The day Southwest declares chapter 11 is the day that pigs will R E A L L Y
start to fly.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineSHUPirate1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3670 posts, RR: 17
Reply 5, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4988 times:

NIKV-The question wasn't whether Southwest would go bankrupt or not. The question was what if the above scenario ended up happening...you can probably bet that Airline CEO's and their top advisors sit in the war room on a near-daily basis and hash out scenarios such as the one I just mentioned...granted, this is a pretty extreme example, but I'm sure that in a case of a collapse of any major airline, the other CEO's are certainly prepared to decide which markets to try to dive in and compete at, and which ones are totally pointless to go after...


Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
User currently offlinePhatfarmlines From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1343 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 4951 times:

To answer the initial question, I think every carrier in the U.S. will benefit from this should WN fail. However, any U.S. carrier can also benefit from a loss of any legacy carrier (not just WN). The main point is that total supply has gone down, hence, the other carriers will be able to fill in the void.

User currently offlineHighflyer16 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 117 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 4919 times:

I am hearing a new term on this and several threads recently that I am not familiar with. What are you all referring to by a "legacy" carrier, and how do they differ from one who is not a "legacy" carrier? Please explain. If this term is being used to describe airlines that have been in business for a long time (which I assume is the case from the context), then why does Southwest not also fit this description as they have been in business for almost 40 years, longer than some other major airlines (such as America West).

User currently offlineSHUPirate1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3670 posts, RR: 17
Reply 8, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 4901 times:

Highflyer-The term "legacy" is generally used to distinguish the otherwise-called Big Six carriers (namely American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, United, and US Airways) from the LCC's (Airtran, America West, ATA, Frontier, jetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, etc.)...of course, Alaska doesn't really fit into either category, as they are neither a larger carrier (I believe they are the US' 9th largest carrier) nor are they an LCC...


Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
User currently offlineUSAIRWAYS321 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1837 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 4894 times:

The term 'legacy carrier' refers to those airlines that a) operated successfully on a large scale prior to deregulation; and b) are considered full-service non-LCC airlines. These 'legcay carriers' are generally considered to be:

American
Continental
Delta
Northwest
United
US Airways

Thus, the term 'legacy carriers' is really no different from the 'Big Six' title given to these airlines, even though Southwest has bumped US Airways out of the literal Big Six.

EDIT: Posted at the same time as SHUPirate1, sorry...

[Edited 2004-06-07 00:10:54]

User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 4883 times:

The day Southwest declares chapter 11 is the day that pigs will R E A L L Y
start to fly.


1)..... In business never say never.
2)..... In the airlines, bigger giants have fallen.





"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineMidnightMike From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2892 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 4832 times:


Well, you would see Airtran, Jetblue, Frontier, and all of the other Low Cost Carriers make a move to cover the routes that Southwest had.



NO URLS in signature
User currently offlineEspion007 From Denmark, joined Dec 2003, 1691 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 4801 times:

What if: Southwest Went bankrupt?

Jetblue will host its first annual week-long mardi-gras like carnival in New York, Miami,and DC of victory and give away thousands of free tickets now that southwest is gone.They will then buy all of southwest's planes and right next to "Southwest" on the tail,they will write "SUCKS!" on all of their aircraft and park them at all of Jetblue's destinations in full view of the terminals.Because of the humiliation,all the LCCs decide to boost service and lower costs,no matter how long it takes to break even.When this occurs, the legacy carriers start losing money even faster,and therefore also boost service,quality and lower prices. All break even within a year as people start to enjoy flying more except delta which the older people say is evil for changing the widget. They hear about this and repaint all the aircraft back to the widget livery,but then it takes them 5 years to break even because of the paint costs. With the legacy carriers and LCCs in battle for passengers, the legacy carriers buy the new A380s fresh off the production line and say "weve got bigger,better plane-fly with us",and people do.Because of the increase of passengers per plane, congestion goes down at some places.But now chicago has even more planes to deal with so they build another extremely fast and modern airport for smaller aircraft,like regional jets.because of this,there are less delays and chicago's depression rates go down and they decide to build another tower,fix up meigs field,and make the metro system better. with chicago becoming the monaco of the US, people flock to there to get away from their busy lives. Ohare midway are crowded because only smaller planes fly into the new airport, so the LCCs get a break. they make more and more money in the US,therefore offering even more service. With the country flying so much and actually enjoying it, the country becomes less depressed and start making the world better than it is,and like us again.Since everyone is so happy now,some fatass from kentucky,while about to for a morning run,decides to cook something for when he gets back.Since a storm knocked out power the day before he gets a flashlight to start a solar powered cooking thing. it works,and to keep it working he attaches a light bulb.the stove gets more energy and when he comes back he finds the chicken burned,and spinning at 60mph in the revolving thingy. The guy patents it and sells his idea to car companies.immediatly we see solar powered SUVs that never break down. THe world gets cleaner and he wins the nobel prize. All the while the legacy carriers look at the international market,and now with better service with lower prices, get more customers. The world gets happier, and people now have hopes. Living conditions for millions is better. Now people are optomistic and start to buy expensive things. because of the rise of pruchases, Rolex now lowers the price of their watches, and so does everyone else. The whole world,thanks to media, thinks life is nothing more than a race for better things, and decide its worthless. mass suicide sets it until everyone is dead.The the homeless who had no idea what had went on take over the world and start from scratch. countries are divided into city-states and start wars.The Eastern United states merges into the equivilance of the roman empire. They invade canada and what was once mexico.After 2000 years of history repeating itself, the world is back to the same thing it is in 2004AD but gas prices are higher. But then someone invents an aircraft that challenges einstien's theory of relativity, and goes faster than light. time indeed slows down and they travel to 2005AD in .0000004 seconds. But now, they go back to 2004,and find several documents saying how the world is commitying mas suicide from 2000 years ago, so they use the time machine to create a rip in the space time contimium thereby going back in time to right before Southwest files chapter 11(or 3?) and working out a plan with the CEO to stop it.Then the time machine is destroyed forever and no one knows about it except the CEO of Southwest because the media was too damn busy critising kerry,bush,MJ,kobe,martha,Saddam,Osama,cheney,rummy,chirac,Sharon,trump,gates,mel gibson,taratino,J lo,john paul II,and whoever else ends up on CNN. Life goes on normally for everyone on earth and A.net members post stupid hypothetical questions like "What If: Southwest Went Bankrupt?" in the online forums  Big thumbs up



Snakes on a Plane!
User currently offlineSHUPirate1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3670 posts, RR: 17
Reply 13, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 4820 times:

Obviously, some of these cities wouldn't really be in play. STL would obviously be covered by AA, likewise, SLC would likely just grow as a Delta operation...I'll list their cities where I think something major would happen, and I'd love to see some responses:

BWI: Free for all, potential Northwest hub? I certainly don't see US Airways going back there, American could also use the city to consolidate their presently-dispersed Northeastern operation...

MDW: ATA would love to use the opening to increase their presence at their largest operation...

CLE: Continental would simply mop-up what Southwest had...

DAL: Count on it becoming a ghost town...

DTW: Opening for Spirit to boost their presence at their largest city? Otherwise, Northwest would simply be thrilled to see the opening...

FLL: jetBlue would certainly pounce, make FLL something of a Caribbean focus city...

HOU: Likely ghost town, although backfill is more likely here than Love...

MCI: Possible focus city for somebody (US Airways?) although poorly designed for a hub without some severe reconstruction...

LAS: America West could expand here, although I could also see Delta open up a focus operation here...

LAX: Who would take over? Believe it or not, with respect to O&D traffic, Southwest is currently #1 at the airport, although United and American are close behind, Delta once held a significant operation here, and Northwest and Frontier are seemingly building up at everybody's newest focus city. Maybe jetBlue would take the opportunity to move everything out of Long Beach and into LAX...regardless, would be interesting to see what happens, and yields certainly would begin to be horrible for the airport...

BNA: Continental could take over. Well-placed for a mini-Atlanta-type operation, but happens to be right in the middle of a clutter of hubs for every major except United and Continental...

MSY: Could be a focus for somebody...I'd hedge my bets here on United moving in, should the opportunity arise, although US Airways could take a shot, or the legacies could very well leave this alone...

OAK: Get ready for some jetBlue A-320's and E-190's...dream scenario for them...

MCO: Could Delta return a hub here? Some might say it's too close to Atlanta, but at the very least, the Comair hub that used to be here could return...

PHL: Everybody in the US Airways boardroom breathes a sigh of relief...

PHX: America West heaven, unless somebody else wants to take a shot (Continental might be the pick here)...

PDX: Alaska would be the bet to set up shop here...

SLC: Delta, of course, will simply consolidate their power here...

SAN: Intriguing scenario here...very possible that nobody will come in here except for hub operations...

STL: American immediately goes back to the pre-Halloween '03 schedule, and LambertMan throws a party at his house...

Responses, as always, are welcome...



Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
User currently offlineAccess-Air From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1939 posts, RR: 14
Reply 14, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 4788 times:

You would see an astronomical rise in air fares all over the United States as this would free the Legacy carries to start charging what they really think they should be to make their over inflated payrolls. Air fares would only be affordable for those that make as much as a United Airlines 777 Captain.

I'm not going to say It couldn't happen...But If it did there would be serious repercussions all over the airline industry....

Access-Air



Remember, Wherever you go, there you are!!!!
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4778 times:

SHUPirate1

>>>[Disclaimer: This is supposed to be a truly hypothetical scenario


If it's a hypothetical, don't make it appear to be a "real" news item complete with dateline...  Insane

I hesitate to comment further, as the overall question is so ludicrous--not that SWA (or any other company) is "immune" from theoretical failure, but that a publically-traded company could ever "fool" everyone (SEC, investors, press, etc.) for THIRTY years. There have been a few non-airline companies that have had to go back and re-state earnings for a few quarters (no more than a year or two), but even the ones I'm aware of kept operating and didn't just "go away"...

If it is assumed that SWA would fail due to "conventional" reasons, logic then dictates that just about every other airline would have failed prior to SWA doing so...and that everyone in the USA would be back to either driving or riding the rails...

Now, if you just plain want to assume a "what if" if SWA didn't exist, that's a different story, and one could write a nearly infinite selection of scenarios with airlines A-Z providing the service that SWA now does.

Put another way, the whole discussion is pretty much a moot point, in that there is no imaginable "cause" that would suddenly create a situation of SWA not being there that wouldn't have also probably already taken out all the other airlines.








User currently offlineVectorVictor From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4775 times:

Let's see. For this topic to even have a shred of credibility, there would have to be:

1) A terrorist event of unprecedented nature or a nuclear war erupting between India and Pakistan which causes collapse of world financial markets. Southwest will be the last one standing, however.

2) A heretofore unknown defect (outside the rudder issue) with Boeing 737s causing a permanent or severely long grounding.

Otherwise, Southwest ain't going bankrupt. Any airline planning for a Southwest bankruptcy (as of June 6, 2004) is itself in dubious financial straits and won't around much longer anyway to see such plans put to use.


User currently offlineSHUPirate1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3670 posts, RR: 17
Reply 17, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4759 times:

VectorVictor-When I originally thought up this topic, I was considering going with the headline of a dozen-or-so of Southwest's 737's going down in the same day, all due to maintenence issues linked to Southwest themselves, but I figured that that would be far too sensitive, as (according to average load factors) nearly 1000 people would die in such a scenario, and it would be in poor taste...


Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 912 posts, RR: 51
Reply 18, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4757 times:

What if Southwest went bankrupt-

1. I would ice skate in Hell
2. I would get there on a flying pig
3. And worse, the market would be flooded with second hand 737s


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4732 times:

>>>I figured that that would be far too sensitive, as (according to average load factors) nearly 1000 people would die in such a scenario, and it would be in poor taste...

Well, thank goodness for the "restraint..."  Big grin


User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 20, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4712 times:

What if Southwest went bankrupt-

1. I would ice skate in Hell
2. I would get there on a flying pig
3. And worse, the market would be flooded with second hand 737s


Does that go along with ......the day hijackers take over 4 US airliners and crash 2 of them into the World Trade Center and it comes crashing down with thousands killed ypu would do the same..?? Anything can happen and never say never. 30 years ago would you have said the same thing about: Pan Am, Eastern, Trans World, Braniff, National, Republic, Western, Ozark, Peoples Express



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 912 posts, RR: 51
Reply 21, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4704 times:

Pan Am, Eastern, Trans World, Braniff, National, Republic, Western, Ozark, Peoples Express

These airlines didn't have years of cash reserves like WN. How many months could WN opperate without making a single cent before going under? If UAL is given recovery loans after the years of mismanegement do you really think the government would let WN vanish?

Besides, WN could get creditors easier than pie. WN practically qualifies as a risk-sharing partner of the 737 and CFM56, count Boeing and GE Capital in on that.

Does that go along with ......the day hijackers take over 4 US airliners and crash 2 of them into the World Trade Center and it comes crashing down with thousands killed ypu would do the same..??

AA and UA are still here aren't they?

[Edited 2004-06-07 02:04:02]

User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4694 times:

>>>Let's see. For this topic to even have a shred of credibility, there would have to be:

Try this...

Flying saucers from the planet Alfred-Kahn-9 come to earth overnight, and not fully appreciating the inherent beauty of Desert Gold and Canyon Blue aircraft, the saucers use their dreaded "AB-ray" to vaporize all SWA's 737s as they sit unoccupied on gates and ramps all over the system, effectively putting SWA "out of business..."

(Hows -that- for "credible?")  Big grin

OK, now how would the other airlines respond? As I said earlier, there are almost an infinite number of scenarios one could come up with about who-would-fly-what.

You can also bet your boots that finding themselves in that alien-induced situation, SWA would quickly acquire every parked or otherwise unleased aircraft they could get their hands on, at least until Boeing could crank out another 400 or so 737-700s (in a more "alien-friendly" paint scheme)...  Big grin


User currently offlineCoronado990 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1593 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4676 times:

SAN: Intriguing scenario here...very possible that nobody will come in here except for hub operations...

Huh? WN chose SAN as the FIRST west coast city over LAX, OAK, SFO or anybody else in California. This is the home of LCC starting with PSA in 1949.
I would bet that there would be more here than just a few flights to hub cities if WN folded. However, IMO WWIII would shut things down before WN goes bankrupt.



Uncle SAN at your service!
User currently offlineSHUPirate1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3670 posts, RR: 17
Reply 24, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4628 times:

Coronado-Thank you for actually discussing the topic at hand, rather than simply saying "this will never happen", which is almost exactly what I mentioned in my disclaimer...

Anyway, you have to remember this: LAX is some sort of focus city for no less than four of the six major airlines (American, Delta, Northwest, United), and is no more than a 2 hour, 4 minute (according to MapQuest) drive from SAN, and as a result, I just don't see a major hub for any of the legacy carriers, at least, there...it's too close that it would cannibalize LAX connecting traffic, but it's too far from LAX to be considered an "alternate"...



Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
25 Isitsafenow : EMBOA...you are talking to someone that worked for two majors that do not exist anymore, so who is qualified here? The management is the secret to SW
26 ATA767 : First off, Stop Dreaming here, WN is going no where! WN (as much as I love them) is really the cause of the industry's inability to re-adjust themselv
27 Iowaman : If WN goes bankrupt, AA,US,CO,NW,DL,UA would all be long gone.
28 TxAgKuwait : OpnlGuy: Good scenario. You forgot one key thing, though. When the aliens from Alfred-Kahn-9 arrive, and threaten to turn their ray guns on the aircra
29 Post contains images OPNLguy : >>>at which point, the aliens catch the next flight to Harlingen and check in to the Sun Valley Motor Inn. Ordering cheeseburgers from the airport sna
30 Geg2rap : If WN goes...Boeing would be in same day if not sooner
31 Aaron747 : WN has made supply and demand a thing of the past. Quite the opposite - they have expanded overall demand and have increased the general visibility of
32 Speedbirdheavy : Why do people start these kinds of threads?
33 Post contains images LambertMan : STL: American immediately goes back to the pre-Halloween '03 schedule, and LambertMan throws a party at his house... That is correct, an a.net bash!
34 AirframeAS : Alaska doesn't really fit into either category, as they are neither a larger carrier (I believe they are the US' 9th largest carrier) nor are they an
35 Post contains images OPNLguy : >>>On the current topic at hand: WN's deminse would be the rest of the airline industry's gain, not just one sole airline's gain. I have to note that
36 Post contains images 7E72004 : The day that Southwest declares bankruptcy is the day that Jenna Jameson will be on my lap!
37 Post contains images AirframeAS : OPNL........I agree with ya....I think you said it better than I did. Thanks dude!
38 LTBEWR : While there is a very remote possibility of WN ever dissolving, it is not impossible to consider. The most possible would be, as suggested above, a gr
39 Post contains images N751PR : The day that Southwest declares bankruptcy is the day that Jenna Jameson will be on my lap! Expect her to be very wrinkled and senile.
40 Post contains images 7E72004 : True...i guess it won't happen!
41 Ultrapig : Eventually SW will go out of business-just as all carrier eventually hit a bump in the road and cease operation. I think it was Gordon B. who said "le
42 N6376m : As long as we're thinking about this, WHAT IF COCA-COLA RAINED FROM THE SKY?
43 FLY2LIM : OK, I have to jump in. First, if WN disappears because of problems with their 737 fleet, they would immediately call Northwest to see if they could bo
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