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US/HP Merger Lacking Central US Hub  
User currently offlinePlanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3517 posts, RR: 5
Posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5250 times:

Well i couldn't find a simliar thread out there, so i figured i'd start my own.

Looking at the combined route map it appears they have both coasts covered extremely well. But, as the title of this thread points out, this new hybrid eastcoast-westcoast airline obviously lacks a central US point for connecting service.

For example, say a passenger in Charlotte wanted to get to Austin TX. From this preliminary route map (im sure it will be changed some) it shows that they would have to fly to Phoenix or Las Vegas first, then back track about 1000 miles and get into Austin probably 8 hours or so after leaving Charlotte (4-5 hr flight from CLT, small layover, 2 hour flight LAS-AUS). That is extremely inconvenient, and from where these airlines stand right now they would probably lose a lot of customers on like routes. Im not even including people who might want to fly from AUS-ORD, or say MCI-SAN, or MSP-LIT, etc...etc..etc...

If they could somehow reduce some of their overlapping flights and concentrate more on a hub/focus city operation in the central US (i know that most of the viable hub cities in the central US are taken, but surely there could be some city to offer enough O&D traffic for them to send enough flights from the east and west coast to connect to smaller cities in the Central US) they could probably corner a large percentage of the market in the cities that they serve. This is of course assuming that they get everything else working in a way so that customers actually want to pay money to fly on them. if they can't get that going then having connections to every city in the US won't help them.


Do you like movies about gladiators?
68 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRJpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5233 times:

All I can say is that every airline can't cater to EVERY passenger. It is sad that airlines haven't yet learned that it is a waste catering to the pax who wants to go from Charlotte to Austin.....

User currently offlineStarCruiser From United States of America, joined May 2004, 301 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5195 times:

Why don't we wait to see how the merger works out before telling the combined airlines what hubs to open in the heartland? There are plenty of other airlines quite capable of taking pax from AUS - ORD, MCI - SAN, MSP - LIT, OKC - SLC, ABQ - OMA and many other routes besides. No one besides non-revs will fly CLT - AUS via LAS anyway.

User currently offlineFlyboyaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5168 times:

Quoting StarCruiser (Reply 2):
Why don't we wait to see how the merger works out before telling the combined airlines what hubs to open in the heartland?

Excellent point. They will keep working on where they are strong, then move into other areas once the airline stabilizes.


User currently offlineIndy From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 4535 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5168 times:

I would think refocusing some of their traffic from PIT & CLT to MCI or STL would be a good setup for them. It gives them a hub presense better spaced between PHL and PHX/LAS. STL Might be the best option because of market size and available facilities.


Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32581 posts, RR: 72
Reply 5, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5141 times:

Quoting Indy (Reply 4):
I would think refocusing some of their traffic from PIT & CLT to MCI or STL would be a good setup for them. It gives them a hub presense better spaced between PHL and PHX/LAS. STL Might be the best option because of market size and available facilities.

No. That is a stupid idea. Kansas City has terrible facilities for a hub and St. Louis does not have the market size.

As pointed out, one airline cannot be anything to everyone.

US Airways can't get you reasonably between Austin and Charlotte. So what?



a.
User currently offlineOuboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4544 posts, RR: 22
Reply 6, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5131 times:

Who is to say we won't see new routes out of CLT/PHL and PHX/LAS to connect to this "one network" cities. That would definitely be more cost effective than a new mid America hub. Of course people going from DSM to DFW will take someone else - unless the fare is just unbeatable.


Any opinion/comment posted is that of my own and not that of Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineSquirrel83 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5135 times:

INteresting Article about PIT

Pittsburgh given little chance of regaining its status as hub

Pittsburgh International Airport won't be resurrected as a hub as part of the US Airways-America West merger, but it could gain more work for mechanics if the two airlines decide to consolidate Airbus heavy maintenance here.

During a conference call with reporters after the merger was announced yesterday afternoon, US Airways Chief Executive Officer Bruce Lakefield said he does not anticipate any change in operations at Pittsburgh from the consolidation of the nation's seventh- and eighth-largest airlines.

Lakefield said Pittsburgh would remain as a "focus city" under the new airline. Although a press release announcing the merger listed Pittsburgh and Las Vegas as "secondary hubs," the difference appears to be more about semantics than actual operations.

US Airways currently flies 233 daily flights out of Pittsburgh International Airport, less than half the level of just a few years ago. It dropped Pittsburgh as a hub last year and has cut hundreds of daily flights.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05140/507778.stm


User currently offlineIndy From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 4535 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5120 times:

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 5):
No. That is a stupid idea. Kansas City has terrible facilities for a hub and St. Louis does not have the market size.

Its not as stupid as having 3 hubs practically on top of each other. Well PIT isn't a hub in name but the schedule is hub like. St. Louis doesn't have the market size? You are kidding me right? STL people correct me if I am wrong but STL has a bigger market than PIT and CLT. CLT is booming but isn't huge just yet. PIT is basically stagnant. They have seen a net population growth of under 10% total in about 40 years.

Keeping PIT, CLT and PHL would be stupid. PHL is an obvious keeper. But when it comes to PIT and CLT you'd be better served moving some of your equipment to STL.



Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
User currently offlineCoronado990 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1596 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5119 times:

Quoting Planespotting (Thread starter):
Im not even including people who might want to fly from AUS-ORD, or say MCI-SAN, or MSP-LIT, etc...etc..etc...

Please note MCI-SAN passengers can easily connect through PHX.

Speeking of Kansas City, I know the terminals are not laid out for a hub activity, but I'd like to see them give MCI a try again.



Uncle SAN at your service!
User currently offlineIndy From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 4535 posts, RR: 18
Reply 10, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5111 times:

Given that STL has the facilities and will be getting a new runway I'd think they would be a better bet between the two. Geographically speaking MCI and STL are good choices. I just think STL is better suited immediately.


Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
User currently offlineSeven3Seven From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 316 posts, RR: 24
Reply 11, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5064 times:

Well hopefully it will all be a moot point as these two miserable carriers make one big miserable carrier and go under.

If only the creditors and the govt. would stop propping up failing airlines and let the healthier ones survive.



My views are mine alone and are not that of any of my fellow employees, officers, or directors at my company
User currently offlineAADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2061 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5038 times:

Quoting Planespotting (Thread starter):
For example, say a passenger in Charlotte wanted to get to Austin TX. From this preliminary route map (im sure it will be changed some) it shows that they would have to fly to Phoenix or Las Vegas first, then back track about 1000 miles and get into Austin probably 8 hours or so after leaving Charlotte

If US/HP are going to continue to morph into an LCC, the first thing they do is forget about passengers between smaller cities unless it fits in with existing flights. WN serves some smaller cities in Texas because of their heritage as a regional carrier and B6 serves upstate NY in exchange for slots at JFK. If you look at those two airlines, outside of their home states, most of their destinations are large cities or smaller airports in the vicinity of large cities.

Legacy carriers killed themselves trying to be all things to all people. If you want a cheap flight on US/HP, you connect wherever you have to connect in Phoenix and love the price. Otherwise, if you value a shorter flight and higher frequencies, you pay more and take another airline. WN does not really have hubs. B6 has hubs but they are in New York and Los Angeles, the two biggest markets in the country and they are really mostly O&D.

As the LCCs take over, cities with metropolitan areas of less than two million residents are going to take it on the chin, because LCCs will not provide extensive service there and the legacies that have been beating each other up for those passengers will start to disappear, leaving them with lousy flights at high prices.


User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2549 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4975 times:

From my vantage point as an HP pilot, I'd say there are a few parts missing if you think we should start a hub somewhere in the mid-US.

The biggest problem is cost. The entire reason for the merger is to reduce costs to a point where the airlines can be viable. They have to survive first before anything else happens. The cost involved in opening a new hub is astronomical. There's no way Parker would do that now - the current hubs and routes serve our needs fine. As several people have posted above, no airline has to be (or can be) the airline for everyone in the country. Starting a hub in the midwest is the fastest way possible to killing the newborn HP/US airline.

If I want to fly as a passenger from Seattle to Los Angeles, I could try Alaska, United, Southwest or America West. But unless I want to go halfway (or more) across the country and back I won't consider Northwest, Delta, Jetblue, or American. That's not to say they aren't good airlines in their own areas, but no airline can cover the country.

If you overlay a map of population density over the combined HP/US route structure however, you'd have a pretty good match-up. We'll be flying where the people are, and for the most part, where they want to go. It's going to be a bumpy ride for us employees during the merger, but I think it may work out well in the end.

HAL



One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlineSupa7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4943 times:

It seems obvious to me that CLT-AUS will be a new connect-the-dots nonstop route in the near future (6 mos max). Any more dumb questions?

User currently offlineMidex461 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 282 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4907 times:

HAL, you're on board my respected users list

Quoting HAL (Reply 13):
It's going to be a bumpy ride for us employees during the merger

You're preaching to the choir! As a fairly new (about 2 months) underwing employee, I'm especially worried. The youngest US ramper has about 14 years seniority.



Opinions and views expressed are MINE and do NOT represent the views of US Airways
User currently offlineA330323X From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 3039 posts, RR: 44
Reply 16, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4893 times:

You're preaching to the choir! As a fairly new (about 2 months) underwing employee, I'm especially worried. The youngest US ramper has about 14 years seniority.

That's not even remotely true. In some stations, like PIT, you indeed need a lot of seniority to hold a job, but that's hardly the norm. US is currently *hiring* fleet service workers in PHL, DCA, BOS, BDL, PVD, MHT, LAX.



I'm the expert on here on two things, neither of which I care about much anymore.
User currently offlinePlanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3517 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4836 times:

perhaps this new airline will need to examine it's identity after the merger is completed. It seems to me that with the language involved in the press releases, this airline wants to be the pseudo LCC with access to the largest amount of people, and the largest route structure (of any LCC). Logic would indicate that by combining two airlines, each with a huge route structure on opposite coasts, they would hope to become overnight a superairline with basically no gaps in their route structure and able to compete with American, United, Continental, etc...But yet they are just going to leave a huge portion of the United States left out of the picture. Thats what doesn't really make sense to me, which was the reason i started this thread.


Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offlinePetazulu From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 701 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4683 times:

Planespotting,

Far more people live on either coast of the US than in the middle. Additionally, if you live in the middle and want to get to any coast- US/HP is quite convenient! Airlines are increasing their Point to Point trans continental routes (see Jetblue), thus providing more people direct service between coasts and reducing the need to have Hub in the middle of the country to transfer through.

For example, would I rather go PHL-SAN or PHL-DFW-SAN? If cost is similar, the answer is clear to me.

Midwest hubs are as much about serving the local people as they are to help people go East/West accross the country. If US/HP serve all large midwest cities with flights going both East and West- many needs will be met. The exception to that might be Heartland North/South routings like Houston- Chicago, but I am sure they can live with that.


User currently offlineFlypdx From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4652 times:

Maybe, since they aren't even combined yet, we should let them do their job instead of telling them what they are doing wrong...

User currently offlineFlyboyaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4645 times:

Quoting Seven3Seven (Reply 11):
Well hopefully it will all be a moot point as these two miserable carriers make one big miserable carrier and go under.

Well that's just wonderful! I'm sure the 40K+ employees (including myself) appreciate your sincere (not) concern for their jobs.


User currently offlineSTLGph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9267 posts, RR: 25
Reply 21, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4585 times:

Quoting Indy (Reply 8):
Its not as stupid as having 3 hubs practically on top of each other. Well PIT isn't a hub in name but the schedule is hub like. St. Louis doesn't have the market size? You are kidding me right? STL people correct me if I am wrong but STL has a bigger market than PIT and CLT. CLT is booming but isn't huge just yet. PIT is basically stagnant. They have seen a net population growth of under 10% total in about 40 years.

Keeping PIT, CLT and PHL would be stupid. PHL is an obvious keeper. But when it comes to PIT and CLT you'd be better served moving some of your equipment to STL.

get rid of Charlotte and eliminate a major southeastern point for southeast, Florida, Caribbean, and Latin America air traffic? brilliant idea.

and US Airways is not just going to pick up and move from Pittsburgh, where they are already established and "own" it and move to St. Louis. unless American Airlines suddenly gets up and moves out of town entirely, the only thing available is 15 gates in the D Concourse which requires a good month's work of repainting and doing some touching up on ceilings and carpets.



Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
User currently offlineIndy From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 4535 posts, RR: 18
Reply 22, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 4507 times:

They Don't need CLT when they have PHL and PHL is a better market. When you look at the US combined route map you will see that there are 3 hubs far too close together. They don't have to give up CLT or PIT but I think keeping the two at focus city levels would perhaps be a wiser move. If you are planning on establishing a hub or a large focus city further west where you do plan on taking the equipment from? PHL? No. PHX? No. LAS? No as well. You take them from your two smaller market hubs and divert them to a larger market. The new organization will need to be healthy and it will require reworking their hub system on the US side.

BTW you can run a significant operation with 15 gates. You may not have a fortress hub but you can easily run 100 flights a day with that.



Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
User currently offlineSsides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 21
Reply 23, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 4546 times:

The central US is pretty much locked up for hubs.

Look at the map:

DFW -- AA
DEN -- UA
ORD -- AA & UA
MSP -- NW
IAH -- CO
MEM -- NW
CVG -- DL
STL -- AA

There's just not room.



"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32581 posts, RR: 72
Reply 24, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 4503 times:

Quoting Indy (Reply 10):
Given that STL has the facilities and will be getting a new runway I'd think they would be a better bet between the two. Geographically speaking MCI and STL are good choices. I just think STL is better suited immediately.

Does American Airlines no longer exist? They run a full-pledged hub in St. Louis. There is no market room for another hub.



a.
25 Cubsrule : Is another airport authority going to be at the beck and call of US as CLT has been? US said "Build us better international facilities," and they got
26 Indy : They used to run a hub in STL. It was received as part of the TWA merger. It has since been downgraded significantly. Cubsrule... It is quite possibl
27 Cubsrule : Indy- It's interesting you bring up the point about population change. The South as a whole is growing at a fairly good clip (as is the West), and it
28 2travel2know : Once upon a time: (1) Didn't US have some regional flights opertaing in MCI? That airport may be lousy for a hub if the connecting passeger require te
29 Indy : BTW... Lifetime Cubs fan here and so bummed about the way things have turned out for them. I miss the days of seeing guys like Rick Sutcliffe on the m
30 Post contains images Indy : I think at one time or another US has something going on about everywhere east of the Mississippi River.
31 RJNUT : kci has room to build a 4th terminal! coudl be built just for this purpose
32 Kahala777 : Neither one offers decent Yields! Pittsburgh, Charlotte, and Philadelpha are commerce centers in North America. All three of which offer larger numbe
33 Post contains links Indy : When you speak of yield you refer to what? When it comes to my market size quote YOU are wrong. St. Louis Ranks #18 Pittsburgh Ranks #21 Charlotte Ra
34 Post contains links Indy : Batting a thousand today are we? Apparently DL considers it Midwest as well. http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/cdap/pages/-3876-/ Do a Google search for C
35 Luv2fly : Kahala777 or should I say lhr001, back again are we!!!! CVG is most definitely Midwest. Maybe and this is a slight maybe it would be considered the So
36 A330323X : I'm not going to bother to respond to each point in this thread, since many of them are rather ridiculous, but all I've got to say is this: PHL will r
37 Cubsrule : Honestly, even just in the 2 years I've been a part time Charlotte resident, it's gotten a lot better. There are lots of big plans between now and 20
38 Indy : Cubsrule.... have they finally gotten the light rail up and running? You guys don't have a rush hour in Charlotte. You have a rush day. LOL. I left at
39 Midex461 : OK, I was wrong. That info wasn't exactly from a reliable source (some HP guys on the employee parking shuttle).
40 AeroWesty : NW has routed me LAX-MEM-AUS (936 miles more than nonstop) and PDX-MSP-AUS (753 miles more than nonstop). DL offers a code-sharing route with CO with
41 Whlinder : The UA codeshare will remain, and the central US hub will be sufficiently filled by routing traffic through ORD and DEN on UA.
42 Cubsrule : Light rail is still a ways off, and downtown is so pedestrian-unfriendly (and people are so car-tied now) that I doubt it will make a big difference.
43 BHMNONREV : As much as I would like to see another airline open up a hub/focus operation at STL, as Mark stated earlier there is no local traffic left to warrant
44 AirFrnt : I have never heard anyone consider Denver West Coast. You are not even over the Rocky Mountains there. The big factor in all of this is the code shar
45 Post contains images Kahala777 : A very skewed term... along with Legacy, Fortress, and Cartel! " target=_blank>http://www.hodesrecruitmentdirectory...s.asp You use a recruitment gui
46 Blhp68 : In regards to the gate/hub situation at MCI. Currently US/US Airways express operate gates 1-8 out of terminal A. Gates 1-5 are strictly commuter gate
47 MAH4546 : Used to? They still do. They offer about 220 daily flights to about 72 cities. They run a full hub operation in St. Louis. It is smaller than the TWA
48 B744F : "If only the creditors and the govt. would stop propping up failing airlines and let the healthier ones survive." But that would mean they actually pr
49 727LOVER : Am I missing something here? CLT is a hub, they'd probably start N/S flights between the two.
50 Post contains links A330323X : OK, I was wrong. That info wasn't exactly from a reliable source (some HP guys on the employee parking shuttle). Don't worry about it. I posted a deta
51 LambertSTL777 : I'm not going to start a bigger war here, but you seem to forget Anheuser Busch has its world headquarters here.. Boeing has a big presence (in the f
52 RyeFly : Keep in mind in two or three years when the merger is complete, so will the third parallel runway in CLT if it stays on schedule. This will make the h
53 Cltguy : " target=_blank>http://www.hodesrecruitmentdirectory...s.asp That is MSA data....you should be using CSA data. For 2004 CSA: STL: 2.8M rank #15 PIT: 2
54 Post contains links Indy : You use nothing. So I wouldn't complain. Perhaps bring some fact to your side of the debate. Even the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce uses MSA. They ha
55 TxAgKuwait : If you think the little Texas-based carrier with the ugly colored 737s would sit idly by while a HP-US hybrid encroached on their turf in STL or MCI y
56 ACAfan : Pittsburgh? Philadelphia?
57 TxAgKuwait : You can argue that Southwest went in to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia to kill USAirways. I can make just as valid, if not more so, of an argument that P
58 Mariner : You and I have been here before - and we're not miles apart - so I'll just add this: They may not have gone to PHL with the primary motivation of kil
59 TxAgKuwait : Mariner: I don't resist your argument. Herb, Colleen, gary Kelly and the rest may have understoord USAirways could be collateral damage. The goal wasn
60 Post contains images Mariner : I have no doubt of that. I am still in awe of what they did with ATA/MDW - with almost no collateral damage. Except to Mr. Leonard's ego, of course.
61 TxAgKuwait : And you know, I don't have any numbers or any data to base it on, but my gut feeling is the long term prognosis for WN+ATA is pretty decent. Not sure
62 Jr : Thats a very good point. Living in DFW, I can't get anywhere West on US, or east on HP. The merger will solve this problem well, and make the combine
63 DeltaRules : HP had a hub at CMH...it was mostly ERJs with flights to the Northeast, DFW & ATL, but there were a few mainline flights (CMH-RSW, MCO, DCA, LAS, PHX
64 Midway2AirTran : Who wants more revenue-reducing connecting traffic?? I think they would focus more on keeping that nice cash reserve they will have after the merger
65 SkyexRamper : Well since US is already in codeshare with United, the central hub is DEN.
66 Pitflyer : While I expect that PIT will be downsized even further (that was planned prior to the merger and will continue) moving to STL is probably the stupides
67 Stirling : And Dresden still shows those scars 60 years later. I was just there...grim...The Church Of Our Lady is still being rebuilt. Utilizing nice centrally
68 MAH4546 : At the hub's end, IIRC, the mainline flights were to PHX, LAS, LAX, RSW, and MCO.
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