Sunking737 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1998 posts, RR: 9 Reply 3, posted (7 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1352 times:
You guys are right. RC did cut flights at alot of cities in the 1985 time frame.
I went to work for them in MSP, April 1985 that's when they built up the hubs of MSP, DTW, MEM. They cut out all the small west coast cities that came from Hughes, the small cities from Southern , and the same with the North Central.
I remember some guys from PHX who worked for Hughes ended up in MSP, when RC cut back flights there. You have to remember who our CEO was then,
Stephen Wolf. He was at RC before Flying Tiger, before United, and before USAir.
He has screwed employees at 4 airlines. But he was good at what he did. Before NWA bought RC, RC had a profit of $100 million. You almost want to ask what if NW did not buy out RC, would NW be in Chap 11 today.
I think RC would have gone with the 717, 757, and maybe DHC-8 or CRJ for small cities. North Central made money flying to small cities, as did Southern.
Ah, The good ole days when working for an airline was fun. Not like today with everyone thinking they can fly you anywhere for next to nothing.
Kkfla737 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 1033 posts, RR: 1 Reply 5, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1296 times:
Quoting Midway7 (Reply 1): I remember reading somewhere that RC consolidated their almost all of their ops to their three main hubs (DTW, MSP, MEM) prior to the merger with NW
Exactly. RC also paired back in MKE, ATL, MCO and some other places where they had substantial ops to focus on the hubs. MKE in particular felt the affect as RC and NW were the two largest airlines at Mitchell Field and after the merger the new NW did very little non hub flying. This lead to the formation of Midwest Express, and then in 1988 NW returned a mini hub to MKE which was pulled down in 1991.
Knope2001 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2659 posts, RR: 30 Reply 7, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 1201 times:
Before the early 80's, many airlines had what we might today call focus cities, and there were few big hubs dominated by one or possibly two airlines as there are today.
By the mid 1980's pretty much every airline "chose up sides" when it came to hub cities and abandon most everything else.
For major airlines, that meant pulling back from secondary focal points and building up core hubs. For example Delta used to have a lot of flights at Memphis and Chicago. Eastern used to have several point-to-point markets out of Charlotte and St Louis. TWA used to have quite a few flights at Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Chicago. American had quite a few nonstop destinations from Cincinnati and St Louis. United had significant flights out of Clevelad and Pittsburg. Western had several nonstop markets from Denver and Minneapolis.
For former local-service airlines, their turn in this shuffle meant pulling back from or out of the feeder markets they were originally designed to serve. Republic and Piedmont pulled down big operations in Atlanta. Ozark and Republic pulled down big operations in Chicago. Texas International and Frontier mostly pulled out of Dallas.
In turn, all this capacity was redeployed by major and national airlines to strengthen the hubs they decided to focus on. If you look back to what we consider megahubs today (Delta in Atlanta, American in Dallas, etc) you might be surprised to find how many big spokes were missing back in the early 80's. It was this shuffle that really lead airlines to stake their claim of dominence over their hubs cities, and in turn abandon many routes elsewhere.
Stirling From Italy, joined Jun 2004, 3943 posts, RR: 26 Reply 8, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 1197 times:
The answer to the question is simple:
Up to then, they were only as big as the CAB would allow; post-deregulation; the early 80's is when they really doped it up.
Sure RC/NC was big in ORD, but for the most part it was regional, small potatoes stuff. With AA and UA duking it out for the transcon stuff, there was really no place for RC to go.
Remember. Around 1980, RC had hubs (or focus cities) in the following cities: MSP, MKE, DTW, BNA, BOI, DEN, PHX, SEA, LAS, SFO, LAX, MCO, ATL, MSY and BHM.
The nation's airlines at the time engaged in nothing short of a turf war, not unlike a bunch of street gangs.
So, with UA and AA in a horse race to one up each other, and not to mention EA, NW, DL, and TW all having sizeable operations at O'Hare; considering RC had a small UN-Challenged hub up the road in MKE, and bigger, more wide-reaching hubs to the west and east of ORD at MSP and DTW; scaling back ORD was not a hard decision.
The other "Local Service" airline at ORD, Ozark, was in the same boat...serving places like Waterloo, Madison, Peoria, Champaign etc, they had no choice but to hitch their wagon to a larger partner and abandon ORD altogether except for hub flights.
At the time, I though RC would have made a good feed partner for either AA or UA.
As for the Western markets they inherited from Hughes Air West, I can only wonder....wonder did why even bother?
PHX and LAS began to shrink in 1982.....Guess who was born at the time (maybe not operationally but conceptionally)? America West.
Sunking737 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1998 posts, RR: 9 Reply 11, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1116 times:
Right after Republic bought out Hughes Airwest, they were paying close to 20% interest on money they borrowed to finance the whole thing. They came real close to Chap 11. They had MD80’s on order that they sub leased out to Muse Air to raise some cash. They did not miss paying any employees, as my Dad was working for them, but the employees did take a pay cut of 15% to save the company.
You could ask what would have happened if the merger or buyout with NW did not happen. Where would RC be today? They had the largest DC-9 fleet in the world. I think they would have gone with the 717, and they would have picked up more 757 for longer routes. They could have even gone with regional jets or DHC-8 for local routes or done more with the Republic Express carriers. They had a deal with Mesaba, but Mesaba went behind RC back and cut a deal with NW.
Republic then went with Express Airlines 1 down in MEM, and they set up shop in MSP after XJ stabbed them in the back.
HermansCVR580 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 496 posts, RR: 1 Reply 12, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1094 times:
I think they would still have some DC-9's left. Maybe some 737-700's and the 757. Or they could have gone the other way and gotten A-320/319's. Mr. Wolff would be gone and Herman would have been brought back to once again fly on the tails. The regional carrier would have Dash-8's and CRJ-200's or EMB-145's for the longer regional flying. Hubs in MSP/DTW/MEM with focus cities in MKE/PHX. One can wish
The right decision at the wrong time, is still a wrong decision. "Hal Carr"
Jetdeltamsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2986 posts, RR: 8 Reply 13, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1045 times:
Quoting Sunking737 (Reply 11): They did not miss paying any employees, as my Dad was working for them, but the employees did take a pay cut of 15% to save the company.
Then your father's memory fails him. Republic absolutely missed one payroll during this time. They skipped the payroll with a promise to repay within a couple of months with a hefty premium attached...which they did.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
Sunking737 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1998 posts, RR: 9 Reply 14, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 980 times:
Sorry Jetdeltamsy, it wasn't my fathers memory that failed but mine. I was still living at home when my dad worked for the duck. I too become a little duck, working the ramp in MSP as a Station Agent in 1985. I was set to move from ramp to catering when NW took over. When they took over I could not transfer.
Side note I did work the ramp On Oct 1 1986 when they combined RC/NW flights and ramp crews. What a mess. The RC leads had to work wide bodies, while NW leads had to work the 9's. No one knew what flight was going into what gate, we had more bags sitting around the ramp that day then snow on the ground that winter.
HermansCVR580 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 496 posts, RR: 1 Reply 15, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 948 times:
How many color schemes were floating around after the merger???? I think its got to be a record or close to it. Darn near every DC-9 had some sort of different interm color schem!!! Some were in the aqua with a red tail some were in the grey with a red tail and some had Herman painted over but still had the aqua colors but said NWA!!!! Don't even get me started on the Convairs I remember being in MSP in DEC of 1986 what a depressing sight seeing Herman become a redtail
The right decision at the wrong time, is still a wrong decision. "Hal Carr"
Sunking737 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1998 posts, RR: 9 Reply 16, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 890 times:
What was depressing was going down to the NWA hangers and seeing our 757's being repainted with HP paint job right over our without stipping the old paint off.
I knew HP was if for a suprise when they found that out.
Also going to our hangers and seeing duck maintenance having to repaint a 727 with rollers, as some idoit at NW wanted to see how long it would take to paint a plane. The whole plane was repainted with rollers and long handles, from the top of the tail all the way down to the belly. I don't remember how long they said it took, but a very sad site. They could not even wash the plane first to get the dirt off, just paint over it for now. They almost did not have time do mask off any thing with tape and paper.