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Delta Will Surive And Thrive  
User currently offlineWorldTraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7640 times:

Bashing Delta or wishing for its demise has been one of the more popular pastimes of this board. It’s time to lay out a sound case for why DL will not only thrive but survive. For those of you who work for or are passengers of Delta, you have lots of reasons to have hope. For those of you who work for competitors, you have a formidable challenge on your hands. And for those of you who like to see Cinderella stories, one is being written before your very eyes.

First, DL has a pre-deregulation legacy of being one of best run airlines in the world. To be sure, DL hasn’t had the industry leadership since the US domestic airline industry was deregulated in 1978 that it did before but it still has done very well since deregulation. First, Delta has been given nothing in its 75 year history – quite a contrast to that of many of its legacy competitors. Delta never was given the choice industry routes and never had the access to the big cities in the US or overseas that seemed to provide unlimited opportunities for competitors like American, United, and Northwest. Delta has always fought very hard for what it has and in the process, outlived airlines like Eastern, Pan Am, and TWA that had been given much more to work with.

Delta’s profitable strategy was exactly what has now created so much difficulty for it: DL built a route system designed to blanket the US, particularly the eastern US, with access to more cities than any other airline. Because its home in the southeast US was full of many small cities, DL had to carry traffic through hubs. And DL’s home in Georgia was right next to Florida, one of the world’s top vacation destinations, providing a seemingly endless supply of passengers to fill its jets.

Make no mistake. Delta’s strategy of high frequency connecting service in the SE was very profitable. Until 2001. 9/11 in itself wasn’t the issue but rather the pulldown that was necessary by the legacy carriers to survive the terrorist attacks. And as the legacy carriers pulled down capacity, the low fare carriers took advantage of the opportunity to grow. And they did. Although low fare carriers had long existed, the tipping point was reached. Customers knew that low fares were available between most regions of the country, even if it meant traveling to an alternate airport. As such, the legacy carriers could no longer charge $2000 for roundtrip flights by business people. And Delta’s seemingly personal wealth stash began to vanish. DL’s strategy was very valid… but for a different era.

The regional jet played a role, too. Delta saw the opportunity to grow its network and deployed more regional jets through its partners than any other airline – and strengthened its already formidable domestic route network. But as other carriers began acquiring regional jets, no market was inaccessible to other carriers. Not only did LFCs put pressure on nonstop flights and in connecting markets subject to an LFC presence but regional jets meant that the few remaining premium connecting markets were “fair” game for all of the legacy carriers, including those in the SE where DL had long been able to command a significant revenue premium.

As with most companies that must rework its strategies in order to survive, Delta only got part of the formula right in its first attempts. Delta slowly began to pull down connecting capacity, starting with DFW where it never gained a significant share of the local market against American. Even though SLC and CVG are small cities, they have fared better in DL’s efforts to cut back capacity. CVG does have a strong business base even though it is small while SLC generates much more traffic than a city of its size normally does due to Utah’s attraction as a leisure and religious center. But the missing piece in DL’s turnaround plan – as is true in most companies – is that DL did not find new sources of revenue or deploy assets effectively into new markets.

That has changed. In a big way. DL’s strategy of providing lots of domestic capacity meant that it had an unusually high percentage of widebody aircraft in its fleet. When the L1011s were retired, DL made the decision to replace 300 seat domestic L1011s with 287 seat 767-400s, an aircraft that has substantial capabilities despite it being one of Boeing’s least popular models. The light bulbs finally went off in some Delta people’s heads that those 767-400s plus some of DLs 767-300ERs that were flying domestic routes could and should be redeployed to international routes. Because DL has nearly 30 767-300s and 400s that can be redeployed, the international growth prospects are enormous. Even after retiring the 15 767-200s, DL still has the world's largest fleet of 767s, a very capable and cost-efficient aircraft. So far, DL has announced plans to use only about 1/3 of the “newly discovered” international capabilities of its 767 fleet. And DL’s international growth capacity is even larger if it decides to start flying 757s on overseas routes, potentially providing the opportunity to develop secondary markets in the UK and far western Europe as well as from Boston deeper into Europe or from the US deeper into S. America. More significantly, by pulling substantial capacity out of its domestic network, Delta is not only improving its domestic revenue performance but will help many of its competitors that carry connecting passengers as well. However, DL’s huge fleet of regional jets will ensure that markets without nonstop service but could have an RJ flight will probably get one from one of DL’s partners and that DL will have abundant capacity to feed its international network.

Delta also struggled for much of its existence about whether it was a first tier or second tier airline. I consider American and United as 1st tier airlines because their route systems are built around the US and world’s largest cities. Delta and Northwest, on the other hand, historically have built their route systems around smaller cities and both US and global regions. But DL and NW have owned the regions from which they fly…until everyone showed up with regional jets. Delta particularly has had a large presence in key business centers such as New York and Los Angeles but has regionalized its presence from those cities, serving primarily Florida from New York and east coast cities (its hubs and Florida) from LA.

You will see Delta becoming much more of a 1st tier carrier than it has been in the past.

Delta’s strategy shift is one of the most significant at any airline and even among other industries. Delta still has one of the most expansive domestic route networks of any airline and can make money carrying domestic connecting passengers – but they will pay much higher fares. And that huge domestic route network is well-suited to carrying passengers to the far corners of the world. Most of Delta’s current and expansionary international routes are to/from places where there is limited service by other US carriers (such as to smaller cities in continental Europe or Africa) or in O&Ds where other carriers cannot connect the hundreds of small markets that are part of every international destination. Eastern Europe is growing at rates as fast as economies in Asia and yet no other US airline serves Eastern Europe nor does any Eastern European country have a particularly strong local airline; the Eastern European market is for Delta to take away from the big three European carriers that carry most Eastern European passengers to and from the US via their western European hubs. To be sure, however, DL is also asserting itself in key local international markets such as from New York to Latin America. And Latin America represents a considerable growth opportunity for Delta. Although it has operated Latin American flights almost exclusively from ATL, Delta has become the 2nd largest airline to deep S. America and will likely surpass CO this year as being the largest airline to all of S. America. ATL is very well positioned geographically to develop new Latin markets which are already served from Miami and Houston. And DL’s growth prospects are very significant when they begin to develop JFK as a Latin American gateway. LAX and Florida also hold the potential for significant Latin growth prospects.

After years of struggling to find its role in the deregulated environment, DL now knows what they should be and do...not just what they should not do. That is key in recognizing that DL's turnaround plan is sound and geared for success.

It is not surprising that the template for Delta’s network turnaround has come in no small measure from Continental, an airline that spent decades and two bankruptcies trying to find itself after deregulation. Today, CO acts much more like a 1st tier airline than DL or NW although it has very little market share outside of its hubs. CO has used its assets extraordinarily well, possible both by having a major hub on one of the coasts but also because of NYC’s location relative to western Europe and Latin America which dovetails nicely with CO’s narrowbody capabilities. EWR became CO’s primary new source of revenue in the same way that DL is growing revenue through its international expansion. Further, two of CO’s former top network leaders are now doing the same job at Delta. It seems particularly ironic that the people who jeer Delta today are the same ones who rightfully laud Continental as running an extraordinarily good airline. And they do. DL will best CO at its game in just one trip through bankruptcy.

However, Delta has an even greater chance of success than CO because it has a much larger fleet of international capable aircraft, has a nationwide route system, and has multiple hubs which are capable of supporting international traffic (ie. despite the domestic cutbacks, CVG has more int’l air service than any similar sized city in population or wealth and it’s all provided by Delta and continues to do well despite the domestic cutbacks). Delta has many opportunities ahead of it but for the 1st time in perhaps 25 years, Delta has a vision of what it can be and the resources to make it happen. And while Delta has almost limitless growth potential over the next few years, its domestic competitors have very little growth capacity available to them. Because it still has a very large fleet of regional jets of all types, Delta is in very good shape to become an extraordinarily strong international airline while giving up very little of its domestic network through aircraft downsizing. Just as CO did in the 90s, Delta will possess a strong ability to grow relative to its domestic and international competitors given the cost advantage that Delta will have.

No US airline has developed and maintained the dense worldwide route systems that characterize British Airways, Air France, and Lufthansa. Based on the route announcements and rumors we have seen and heard over the past few months, Delta could very well have the most expansive international route network of any US airline. There will still clearly still be holes in their network but Delta should be able to fill those holes from a position of strength in the not too distant future.

However, a strong network isn’t the only ingredient necessary for a successful airline. Airlines end up in bankruptcy because of damaged finances. To their credit, American Airlines is the only legacy airline that has managed to avoid bankruptcy throughout its history and they have done that by responding to the threats that challenged their business and their balance sheet. However, bankruptcy is not all bad and CO again stands an example of a company that successfully used bankruptcy not only as an opportunity to develop a new strategy but also to clean up the damage from years of losses that resulted from those flawed strategies. To be sure, CO is still a highly leveraged airline and extraordinarily leveraged when compared with other industries but it is generating the revenues necessary to service its debt.

Again, Delta will have an advantage in its financial restructuring when compared with other airlines. Delta entered bankruptcy with the highest amount of unsecured debt of any US airline: $4 billion; its previously strong finances allowed it to offer unsecured debt that others could not. Ironically, Delta tried to renegotiate much of its unsecured debt in the 18 months prior to its bankruptcy filing, but without success. Most of those debt holders will end up with pennies on the dollar but with a stake in the reorganized Delta Air Lines. Put in another perspective, those unsecured debt holders in a sense supported Delta through several years of losses post 9/11.

By being near the back of the pack of airlines that have filed for bankruptcy in this business cycle, Delta has learned a lot. It has learned that it will not accept debt-only exit bankruptcy financing as one airline has done; replacing the debt that one came into bankruptcy with new debt doesn’t do much to provide a platform for success. Delta has also learned that a business needs capital to grow – necessary to keep costs down as the LFCs are good at doing but as they develop new business opportunities. DL’s route development over the next several years will be worthless if it cannot obtain the ultra long haul aircraft necessary to convert many of these new far flung markets into nonstop routes which will be necessary to build premium revenue. Further, DL still needs a cost efficient 100 seat airplane and it is very doubtful that Boeing, as Delta’s exclusive airframe supplier, will cede not only Delta’s business in that segment but also that of the entire industry to a Brazilian company. Boeing has no choice but to build a plane that meets Delta’s needs. Boeing will build it and Delta will fly it. Delta will have the finances necessary to build its business. Even in bankruptcy, Delta is upgrading its cabin interiors and airport facilities. Failing to invest in the business for any period of time is tantamount to deciding that you will not be a class leading competitor in your industry. Most importantly, DL is laying the framework to be a profitable airline which will ensure that it has the financial resources to remain a viable company. Having the lowest costs among the legacy carriers will serve as a huge advantage for Delta, just as it has in the past when Delta was one of the most efficient and lowest cost producers. It is not lost on DL’s leaders today that DL’s losses began to mount when it lost its cost advantage. Bankruptcy has been a powerful wakeup call for Delta. It has reenergized Delta as it has not been energized in decades and required it to develop the strategies and plans necessary to survive and thrive in the current airline environment.

People make up the final wing on which the retooled Delta will fly. Long recognized before deregulation as being one of the best companies in the world to work for, Delta has allowed its relationship with its employees to be badly damaged and has done little to improve it. Even though Delta employees have historically been well paid when compared with their peers, Delta employees were not happy. Delta has cut pay over multiple occasions rather than doing it once in a large enough measure to ensure success. While many people would like to think otherwise, high pay is not in and of itself a key to happiness at work. Continental employees have considered their airline one of the best to work for and yet they haven’t made industry leading salaries in a very long time. They do, however, share in their company’s success and are given considerable credit for their efforts at running their airline. You will see Delta moving from a patriarchal institution to one which is much more entrepreneurial in nature and in which employees are encouraged to see Delta’s goals as their own – exactly as it was for decades before deregulation. Delta succeeded because its employees understood what it took for the company to survive and made Delta succeed, to their mutual benefit. A confrontational work environment epitomized by salary cuts is never successful and that is the environment Delta has had for the better part of the past 15 years. As Delta people become competitively compensated, the confrontation and takebacks will come to an end and Delta people can share in their company’s hope in the future.

Delta has not forgotten how to run a profitable airline. It has taken longer than many of us would have liked for them to find a new way but they have obviously found it and are executing to make it win. Just you watch and see.

137 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7443 posts, RR: 62
Reply 1, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7606 times:
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So are you either a DL stockholder or are you the CEO?

It was an interesting read I guess. But hanging on to hopes like that is as useful as listening to DL naysayers.
So I an not sure the point of the thread....
to warn us???



Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
User currently offlineAeroflot777 From Russia, joined Mar 2004, 3008 posts, RR: 26
Reply 2, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7606 times:

WoW! How long did that take you to type?!? But anyways...intersting read! I surely hope DL will pull through, I wish them best of luck!

Aeroflot777


User currently offlineLambertMan From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2076 posts, RR: 35
Reply 3, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7581 times:

Wow. Someone care to summarize so I don't have to spend the whole night reading it?

User currently offlineAirCanada014 From Canada, joined Oct 2005, 1513 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7540 times:

I don't want to be rude or anything, I do have respect for the airline Delta, but why do we have to concentrate on DL. There's seem to be more topic on DL than any other airlines. I know that I have a choice to read it or not but just seeing so many topics about DL. Isn't it time to think about something else beside DL. Not much topic regarding NW. I guess you all prefer DL more than NW.

User currently offlineNonrevman From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1297 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7533 times:

Is this a thesis?

I do think that international expansion will help as well as the buildup in SLC and JFK. It is about time something besides ATL got some attention. No, I am not bashing DL, I just think it is exceedingly dangerous to place all of one's eggs in one basket. A well balanced route structure in addition to expanding to cities that can provide profit are a big help indeed. Hopefully they will start making money soon, because many of the jets approaching the retirement age will need replacement.


User currently offlineOttoPylit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7500 times:

WorldTraveler,

A very good outlook and a good read. But beware, as we have seen already, the doom and gloom crowd hate logic and reason.


And to help clarify just how fare DL can reach with its widebodies, DL has 105 763 and 764's, with options for 34 more, and the next 777 is scheduled for delivery early 2008. A pretty impressive fleet for expansion opportunities.



OttoPylit


User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2760 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7461 times:

I want what he's smoking!!!!

Quoting WorldTraveler (Thread starter):
First, DL has a pre-deregulation legacy of being one of best run airlines in the world.

Totally irrelevant. How much of their current management was there before 1978? The only management that counts is the one in place now. They fix it or they file for Ch. 7

Quoting WorldTraveler (Thread starter):
And while Delta has almost limitless growth potential over the next few years, its domestic competitors have very little growth capacity available to them.

Please explain why Delta has limitless growth potential while others do not.

Quoting WorldTraveler (Thread starter):
Just as CO did in the 90s, Delta will possess a strong ability to grow relative to its domestic and international competitors given the cost advantage that Delta will have.

Cost advantages? UA, US, and NW have all been to bankruptcy court. Do you think their costs might be able to compete? Will Delta's costs be lower than say AirTran? Probably not.

Quoting WorldTraveler (Thread starter):
Delta has not forgotten how to run a profitable airline. It has taken longer than many of us would have liked for them to find a new way but they have obviously found it and are executing to make it win.

What's obvious is that they are hemmoraging red ink. Now, their only idea for fixing it is to try and copy CO. But CO has a major hub at NYC, offering a great mix of O&D and connecting traffic for their international flights. Pulling out a CO route map and copying isn't going to work from JFK. Delta doesn't have the domestic feed, even with the recently announced expansion.

There isn't any real proof that the current management ever knew how to run a profitable airline. I don't think they forgot, I think they never had it figured out. Don't forget, this is the management that implemented Simplifares, capping their potential exploit their most loyal and profitable customers.



It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineSLCUT2777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 4061 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7443 times:

What reeally killed DL was Leo Mullin's tenure as CEO. His direction to acquire network carriers ASA and ComAir clearly contributed more than anything to Delta's downfall, and Grinstien and company are left to pick up the pieces. ASA was sold for not even half the price that was paid for them 7-8 years earlier. Real swell throw away of capitol Leo! Sad While Grinstien was on the board during Mullin's tenure, he was more proactive as CEO of Burlington Northern/Santa Fe RR during that time after coming off a successful stint as CEO of Western Airlines. The thing people need to watch Grinstien for is that as a corporate attorney his trademark is merger anti-trust and he is the architect of two major mergers in the transportation industry. During the 1980's he was the architect of the DL/WA merger that was completed in 1987, and subequently during the early 1990's he again was successful in merging Burlington Northern Railraod with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe RR System, this after the later was unsuccessful a few years earlier with a merger with Southern Pacific (later acquired by Union Pacific).
If Delta is to survive, I can only be certain that Grinstien, now well into his 70's, is looking at merger possabilities once he gets DL out of the restructuring process. Who will Delta merge with if they are to be the big dominant carrier you envision them to be? NWA, Continental? Late 2007-2008 will likely be when this happens. Stay tuned.  crossfingers 



DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 9, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7433 times:

As Danny DeVito once said in a movie...."amen.....amen because you just heard
a prayer".
I like Delta....I use them number three in my most of my travels behind 1. my Buick, 2. NW 3. Delta......
I wish the widget well but their problems may be too deep and the timing too late......but we shall see what the pilots do...strike? then, its turn out the lights.
No strike? Lots of ground to cover to get back to making $$$$$$.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offline767-332ER From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2030 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7433 times:

Amen my friend. You said it best with great pride for a great airline. Welcome to my RI.

Regards and may the widget keep flying high!



Twinjets...if one fails, work the other one twice as hard!!!
User currently offlineIncitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 4014 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7392 times:

While I appreciate the information provided, I don't currently share the optimism. Given that this was extra long, I'll dwell in a few parts only.

Delta is not Continental. Continental has a hub at Newark and had a solid following there before it went past 6 destinations in Europe. Delta will never have a similar operation at JFK. For Delta to effectively serve Europe, it needs two flights to every destination: one from JFK and one from ATL. Continental only needs one from Newark. Continental has an unbeatable competitive advantage - no other US airline can touch that.

Boston to Europe on Delta will not work any time soon, and that just comes to show the over-optimism of the entire posting. And in New York they have to fight for market share with Continental, American and JetBlue.

Expansion is not the same as success in airlines. Can most flights be consistently profitable? I am even more skeptical seeing that both Northwest and United have reduced frequencies across the Atlantic. They are willing to cede space to Delta, a symptom that the market is at best barely profitable. While placing long-haul planes in long-haul markets is a good move, Delta still has too many aircraft and their inability to figure that out will only make their adjustment longer and more painful.



Stop pop up ads
User currently offlineBigGSFO From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2924 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7383 times:

Dang that was a novel.

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 7):
Quoting WorldTraveler (Thread starter):
And while Delta has almost limitless growth potential over the next few years, its domestic competitors have very little growth capacity available to them.

Please explain why Delta has limitless growth potential while others do not.

I agree with Alias. DL's growth potential is just as limited (or limiltess) than it's compeitors. AA has just as much opporuntiy, if not much more given their current route network, than DL to grow. UA and CO too. ATL, by far DL's most dominant market, is reaching critical mass and very soon will run out of profitable destinations which can be added. JFK has opportunities, but the New York marketplace is finite and competition fierce, and DL does not have the same metro dominance in NYC as they do in ATL. CVG are SLC are very limited markets.

Nonetheles I appreciate your zeal for DL. Although I am not a big fan of them, I do wish them the best and believe they will survive, which they must do first, before they can thrive.


User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12110 posts, RR: 48
Reply 13, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7371 times:
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Quoting WorldTraveler (Thread starter):
First, Delta has been given nothing in its 75 year history – quite a contrast to that of many of its legacy competitors. Delta never was given the choice industry routes and never had the access to the big cities in the US or overseas that seemed to provide unlimited opportunities for competitors like American, United, and Northwest

Hate to burst your bubble here, AA and UA both bought LON from TW and PA respectively. DL bought the rest of PA and even sold parts of it off for profit, i.e. LGW from DTW to NW for Millions of dollars.



You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offline767-332ER From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2030 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7337 times:

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 13):
Hate to burst your bubble here, AA and UA both bought LON from TW and PA respectively. DL bought the rest of PA and even sold parts of it off for profit, i.e. LGW from DTW to NW for Millions of dollars.

Okay, one example but how would DTW-LGW work for DL?

Give me some more examples where DL's 'inheritance' from PA was as beneficial internationally as UA, AA and others. I wouldn't even necessarily consider DTW-LGW a "big opportunity."

Now, DL did inherit a number of rights to "secondary" European cities, such as JFK-FRA and the FRA mini-hub (only exploited by DL until the mid 1990's). Everything else served from the ATL megahub was created in its own by Delta. The only thing that was beneficial from the PA inheritance were the extra L1011-500's and the need to fill the international void left by PA's demise.



Twinjets...if one fails, work the other one twice as hard!!!
User currently offlineMalaysia From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 3352 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7333 times:

I think I need to go to bed soon... the posting was perfect for shut-eye to me


There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
User currently offlineSLCUT2777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 4061 posts, RR: 11
Reply 16, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7326 times:

Quoting 767-332ER (Reply 14):
Okay, one example but how would DTW-LGW work for DL?

Quite honestly if NW went chapter 7 and liquidated, DL would do very well to move that hub operation north up I-75 to DTW since the O&D numbers would be substantially better than what CVG could offer.



DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12110 posts, RR: 48
Reply 17, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7326 times:
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Quoting 767-332ER (Reply 14):
Give me some more examples where DL's 'inheritance' from PA was as beneficial internationally as UA, AA and others. I wouldn't even necessarily consider DTW-LGW a "big opportunity."

For one DL did not pay the price tag that both AA and UA paid for the rights for LON, also the one route in question and I am going from memory was purchased from DL by NW for close to 14 million dollars, not a bad chunck of change if you ask me.

Also AA, UA, NW and CO all grew Europe one destination at a time.

[Edited 2006-03-09 03:47:17]

[Edited 2006-03-09 03:48:17]


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7310 times:

Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 2):
WoW! How long did that take you to type?!? But anyways...intersting read! I surely hope DL will pull through, I wish them best of luck!

Aeroflot777

I was thinking the same thing.....maybe he used IBM's ViaVoice or something. Smile

it was an interesting read, but I agree with most on this board.....DL has big up hill battle on its hands.......though I hope it makes it.....



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineSESGDL From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3483 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7291 times:

Quoting Incitatus (Reply 11):
Delta is not Continental. Continental has a hub at Newark and had a solid following there before it went past 6 destinations in Europe. Delta will never have a similar operation at JFK. For Delta to effectively serve Europe, it needs two flights to every destination: one from JFK and one from ATL. Continental only needs one from Newark. Continental has an unbeatable competitive advantage - no other US airline can touch that.

Many DL destinations are served to Europe strictly from JFK: TXL, VCE (ATL starting soon), NCE (ATL starting soon), ATH, BUD (soon), KBP (soon), IST, and for a while SVO. DL has long depended on O&D routes to Europe from JFK, while CO has to depend of heavy feed just to fill 757s to some destinations. Your info is wrong, DL is by no means trying to create a Continental-type operation.

Jeremy


User currently offlineAvConsultant From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1360 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7250 times:

Keep in mind DL has $29 Billion in debt held by 2 banks - GECAS and American Express. Their expectation on returns will be more agressive than an investment group. In order to pay off this debt, DL will not be profitable for awhile. DL needs to look at expansion into Asia. The loss of the China route might be crucial.

I predict DAL will be purchased within 3 years.


User currently offlineTravelin man From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3504 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7186 times:

Quoting WorldTraveler (Thread starter):
Delta never was given the choice industry routes and never had the access to the big cities in the US or overseas that seemed to provide unlimited opportunities for competitors like American, United, and Northwest.

AA and UA both BOUGHT their LHR rights. They weren't given to them. If DL didn't outbid their competitors for those rights, then I guess it doesn't speak well for the "best managed" airline of the past 75 years.

Quoting WorldTraveler (Thread starter):
Although it has operated Latin American flights almost exclusively from ATL, Delta has become the 2nd largest airline to deep S. America and will likely surpass CO this year as being the largest airline to all of S. America.

DL is larger than AA to South America? To be quite honest, I would be shocked to find out that is true. AA is huge to South America.

Quoting WorldTraveler (Thread starter):
There will still clearly still be holes in their network but Delta should be able to fill those holes from a position of strength in the not too distant future.

How will they fill their holes in Asia or the South Pacific? The only thing mentioned is potentially serving SYD through HNL. They have NO aircraft that can go trans-Pacific. And, trans-Pacific is currently the biggest hole in their route structure. With no available aircraft capable of doing trans-Pacific, how will they fill that (huge) hole in the "not too distant future"?

I also notice you didn't mention their alliance as a reason for hope. Currently Skyteam is the weakest of the "Big 3" alliances. Without significant additions in Asia, Skyteam will continue to be a second-tier alliance, with financially shaky carriers (AF and KL excepted). Star and OneWorld help make AA and UA "tier 1" airlines. I don't think Skyteam provides DL with the same synergies.

I'm not bashing DL (I flew them here to ATL, where I'm on business). But painting such an overly-optimistic portrait of DL's future, while not acknowledging some obvious weaknesses, merely invites people to poke holes in your post.

I wish DL the best of luck, and I don't think they'll go Chapter 7 any time soon. But DL definitely has some hurdles to overcome.


User currently offlineIncitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 4014 posts, RR: 13
Reply 22, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7119 times:

Quoting SESGDL (Reply 19):
Your info is wrong, DL is by no means trying to create a Continental-type operation.

What's wrong is the suggestion of the original poster that DL can pull off the same kind of expansion. Wait... no, he said "Delta has an even greater chance of success than CO (...)". So apparently it's not going to be a Continental-type operation - it will leave CO's eating dust. Yes, dream on.



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User currently offlineLawnDart From United States of America, joined May 2005, 970 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 7082 times:

Quoting Travelin man (Reply 21):
They have NO aircraft that can go trans-Pacific.

What, exactly, would you consider the ATL-NRT route? And what, exactly, does DL operate it with?

Quoting Travelin man (Reply 21):
Currently Skyteam is the weakest of the "Big 3" alliances.

How do you figure Skyteam as being the weakest of the "Big 3" (there are only 3, aren't there?) alliances? Passengers carried? Cities served?

Quoting Travelin man (Reply 21):
But painting such an overly-optimistic portrait of DL's future, while not acknowledging some obvious weaknesses, merely invites people to poke holes in your post.

While I have to agree the original post was a little on the overly-optimistic side, be careful about how you poke, lest you be poked in return.


User currently offlineTravelin man From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3504 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7015 times:

Quoting LawnDart (Reply 23):
What, exactly, would you consider the ATL-NRT route? And what, exactly, does DL operate it with?

What I said was:

Quoting Travelin man (Reply 21):
With no available aircraft capable of doing trans-Pacific, how will they fill that (huge) hole in the "not too distant future"?

DL's HUGE hole is Asia. They do not have AVAILABLE aircraft to fill that hole in the "not too distant future" per the original poster's assertion. No 777s are available for additional flying to Asia. The 767s cannot make it trans-Atlantic. So perhaps you can enlighten me on how they will fill that hole in the "not too distant future"???

Quoting LawnDart (Reply 23):
How do you figure Skyteam as being the weakest of the "Big 3" (there are only 3, aren't there?) alliances? Passengers carried? Cities served?

Well, for one, the health of the carriers within the alliance. DL? AZ? NW? KL/AF are strong, but they are matched by the health of BA and LH. In addition, OneWorld and Star fly to more destinations, serve more countries, and have a bigger fleet than Skyteam.

Star Alliance:
Annual passengers: 382.6 million
Countries served: 138
Airports served: 790
Fleet: 2832

OneWorld:
Annual passengers: 304.5 million
Countries served: 141
Airports served: 689
Fleet: 2285

Skyteam:
Annual passengers: 343.6 million
Countries served: 133
Airports served: 684
Fleet: 2069

With the exception of passengers served, OneWorld and Star have Skyteam beat. And my real point was the huge hole Skyteam has to Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. But yes, if you want to travel from North America to Europe, Skyteam is quite strong.

[Edited 2006-03-09 06:28:05]

25 SLCUT2777 : SkyTeam is the weakest of all the FF alliances and the shakiest at the moment. NW is a liquidation possability and CO is a possible defector. If NW go
26 DC10GUY : WOW what a bag of wind. Its pretty simple really, Delta has way too much debt, promised employees pensions that it can't afford and paid huge salaries
27 Flyibaby : Just my two cents, but with a fleet size 216 airframes smaller than Oneworld, Skyteam is actually pretty impressive compared to Oneworld in the fact
28 RwSEA : Wrong - they still have several 777-200ERs that can be used Trans-Pacific. NRT, TLV are the only destinations that have to have them. JNB will use th
29 UAL777UK : Very true, only yesterday DL announced that eventually yhey want to become No 2 to South America.....behind, yep you guessed it AA!
30 N160LH : Okay I was really just going to read this thread and enjoy a pro Mother DL outlook for once.... But then someone had to go ahead and say something rid
31 Carpethead : DL has 8 trans-Pacific capable planes to operate from its hubs. Unless this changes quickly (which most will agree will not happen in the next 2-3 yea
32 PSA727 : There is no way that DL can overtake CO in the trans-Atlantic market. CO's terminal at EWR is so much more superior than what DL has at JFK. DL will h
33 SparkingWave : That's quite a very rosy outlook on DL's fate. Delta may survive, but I have to cast doubt that it will thrive. Reasons? 1. Bankruptcy and restructuri
34 DAL767400ER : Love how yet another pro-Delta thread has turned into another bashfest. Sorry for you WorldTraveler that your attempt has been so drastically shot dow
35 AirCanada014 : Travel Man was refering to SouthEast Asia not northern ASIA. DL and or NW doesn't fly to SIN, BKK, TPE and or HKG.
36 Aerorobnz : And also some who do work in the industry & do know about airlines. While there is a lot in DLs favour they still lost USD300million in either Januar
37 BNinMSY : I doubt Delta will survive, I doubt an airline with the customer service policies and level of poor attitude that is prevelant at Delta can carry them
38 SeeTheWorld : And, on the flip side, if DL went Ch. 7, NW would have a hub setup in ATL even before the final DL plane landed.
39 Isitsafenow : Perhaps you are right, but my money would be on American to bet em to the punch. safe
40 Post contains links Texan : Delta Still Playing Catch Up Yes, DL has a chance to survive and thrive. They need more than a few things to fall in place for it to happen, though. G
41 SeeTheWorld : As DL's application for the China route showed, their forecast was exceedingly optimistic, and they knew it. Their commitment for the first round of
42 Commavia : First, let me say that I think DL has a lot of great people working for it, and a lot of dedicated people who have dedicated their lives to making the
43 LawnDart : Of the statistics you quoted in comparing the three allliances, Annual passengers is the most relevant measurement for "size". Cities/countries serve
44 SeeTheWorld : An ATL hub is vastly more important to a NW than to anyone else, including LCCs. While any airline might be tempted by the void and the large O&D at
45 Congaboy : I admire your optimism, WorldTraveler. That type of attitude is really needed at a time like this for DL. Dont hang your head, like we did at EA....at
46 DLPMMM : Then what was that flight I was on 3 weeks ago from KIX to TPE? It sure looked like a red tail, and it said NWA on my ticket stub.
47 Post contains images Bmacleod : If DL is to survive, which odds are still 3:1 against DL, it'll have to further streamline it's fleet, dump remaining MD-88s and -90s, and go all Boei
48 Kkfla737 : Agreed. Up until about 1985 or 1985 Delta was considered a premium airline by most. Growing up in Florida it was often contemplated whether or not to
49 767-332ER : Right and tell me which routes to 'LON' did AA and UA get....(Heathrow!!!). Of course if I were NW, I would pay a high price for the DTW-LGW route, c
50 Airzim : Pro Delta blather doesn't mean anything he said made any sense. You can wish for expansion, flying to all points in the world etc., leave all that as
51 Travelin man : Sorry, I meant the 767 can't do trans-Pacific. Their 777s number what, 8 now? They've assigned them to NRT, TLV, and soon, JNB. That's at least 6 777
52 Milesrich : Who claimed Delta's problems stemmed from having to deal with grumpy Unions - Delta has only one union to deal with, ALPA. With the exception of less
53 SeeTheWorld : Thanks Milesrich ... That, my friends, is a pretty good (or not so pretty) summary of the situation.
54 Bobnwa : Explain please!!!!!
55 Kkfla737 : Wow! You learn something new every day. Those L1011-500s I didn't relaize they had come via the PA purchase. I know PA had sold some to UA but it mak
56 WorldTraveler : Glad to see my “dissertation” has evoked so many responses….. I don’t expect everyone to agree and give all the right to dissent. However, I a
57 Bmacleod : I said union issues are part of DL's situation, the situation is primarily fuel cost which correlates to its fleet size and number of hubs.
58 FutureUALpilot : While I hope DL does in fact survive and become the airline they once were, I disagree that they have a better chance at success than CO. That would
59 Luv2fly : Again check your facts, the flights from IAH are not flown by 757's and only a handful of flights from EWR and the one seasonal flight from CLE are o
60 WorldTraveler : alright, Luv, I'll make a SMALL concession just for you. I'll restate to say that HALF of CO's European destinations are served by 757s at least part
61 Post contains links Luv2fly : You might also want to look at this thread as to what other non airliners.net people are thinking of this choice. http://blogs.usatoday.com/sky/2006/0
62 SeeTheWorld : LOL ... I guess it's only fair since we'll all probably remind you of all of this if DL fails miserably in their current strategy(ies). Of course, I
63 Junction : The biggest thing that blows my mind about this thread are the statements that Skyteam is weak in Asia. There may only be 3 Skyteam hubs there (ICN, N
64 767-332ER : Yea buddy, I actually don't know if PA went as far as storing some, but I believe most of them found a happy home at DL. Some of my most memorable tr
65 Post contains images Bmacleod : AC also sold six L1011-500s to DL in 1992.
66 Post contains images SESGDL : DL is already the largest US carrier to Europe. This will increase by nearly 25% with this summer's additions. Sorry, but AA's 1.6 billion RPKs to DL
67 Post contains links Commavia : Incorrect. As available here, for the Jan-Sep 2005 period, American generated 57.1 billion international RPKs, compared with 34.4 billion by Delta. T
68 Christao17 : Hey, that's the point of having a forum like this - people are allowed to share their opinions. By and large, I don't think this has been a bash-fest
69 Junction : This is a sample of DL's current theme that tends to worry me. Flights on the increase everywhere, but where will the passengers come from to fill th
70 Post contains links FlyPNS1 : Just remember, when it comes to prognostication, WorldTraveler often misses the mark. Here's some excerpts from a posting WorldTraveler made a year ag
71 SeeTheWorld : Touché! And that's one of the reasons why this aggressive, scatter-shot strategy DL is using is so risky - there is no margin for error. And that's
72 Post contains images YOWza : I'd like to see the full length version of this thread starter That said Delta will be just OK. Provded they tread carefully for the next little while
73 Jetdeltamsy : What a bunch of hogwash. Our "legacy" means nothing. Maximizing our "domestic opportunities" is moot. LCC's compete on nearly every route we fly. They
74 Slider : Nonsense....connecting fares and yields are typically far less than O&D. This is a non sequitur not rooted in fact at all. The facts would contradict
75 Post contains images Ptharris : So... it's so nice to hear someone so extraordinarily optimistic that DL will emurge from bankruptcy looking like the saviour to all airlines. Howeve
76 WorldTraveler : Talk that DL is dumping seats is completely inaccurate. DL is adding just a couple of its int'l expansion markets outside of Mexico in markets already
77 Airzim : Threats are a nice way to get people to listen to your argument. Are you serious? What advantage is that, yanking their pensions? Cutting their salar
78 SeeTheWorld : I just laughed out loud. I guess ignorance is bliss.
79 Slider : I'll ditto that.... No, it's entirely accurate. Bob Cortelyou, their new VP of planning and/or scheduling left CO. You can see exactly what's happeni
80 Incitatus : What is this about... some kind of religion? Yes, it does take faith to believe it. Last I heard one of the two Brazilian carriers, TAM, is less than
81 Db373 : I believe what the original poster meant was that Delta during bankruptcy has a much better chance of surviving that CO did during its two bankruptcy
82 SESGDL : Well maybe you need to look at more recent press releases from November onward. DL DID do that much catching up. As of February 2006, AA had 3.228 bi
83 Post contains images SESGDL : Whoops, my bad. I guess you're giving them the benefit of the doubt for a little longer than most. Jeremy
84 RwSEA : Wrong - DL is already much much bigger across the atlantic than CO, in number of flights, number of seats, and number of passengers. CO actually has
85 FlyPNS1 : Where did I attack his character? Did I say he is a bad person? No. Did I say he was a liar? No. I am attacking his "survive and thrive" hypothesis a
86 Planemaker : Exactly... you have written a fairy tale!!! So... - Delta needs a 100-seater - Delta will ony buy from Boeing - Boeing has no choice but to build the
87 Post contains images Zone1 : The amount of crap posted in this thread is ridiculous, yet humorous at the same time. I would think that passengers served would be the most accurate
88 Post contains images HunUtazo : They already know, them and others, they're part of, GE in no small way, the consolidation of this industry, dal is being prepared, along with nwa...
89 SeeTheWorld : There is a lot of crap posted on this thread. Now, see below. Yikes - that's the kind of thinking that has gotten DL in a whole heap of trouble. And,
90 Airzim : Amount of destinations is depth? Over excessive expansion plans in a desperate attempt to grab revenue anywhere is not depth, much less a strategy. B
91 Zone1 : You hit the nail on the head in bringing up sunk costs. One of the first things you learn in economics is about sunk costs. They are costs associated
92 DeltaMD88 : WorldTraveler, thank you for your post. You have many good points, I just hope you are right. You really went 'aginst the flow' of this fourm, welcome
93 WorldTraveler : thanks, MD88. and thanks for your comments, zone 1 Zone 1 points out the depth of DL's transatlantic service with the comment about BCN. DL has flown
94 Airzim : Thank god I didn't go to your business school. You asked who can take you from IND to MXP/BCN with one stop. The fact that last year, cashing in your
95 Post contains links Zone1 : Then which business school did you go to? Here is a link to Wikipedia: sunk costs. Wikipedia should be good enough to bring you up to speed. Please s
96 Db373 : You know, everytime I see your name pop up, I always know exactly what you are going to post. Actually, come to think of it, I don't think I've ever
97 RoseFlyer : First off, there is no need for personal attacks. Are those secured bonds? I have no idea, but if DL put collateral behind them when Massport issued t
98 RoseFlyer : I might not have gone to business school, but I have studied economics and that is what they teach you. Chasing bad investments by investing more mon
99 Planemaker : The MAD flight is a continuation of the JFK-BCN flight... WOW! Just when does the ATL-BCN flight start? Let's see... American: MIA-MAD (not counting
100 SESGDL : ATL-BCN will return this summer. It has been seasonal since its start IIRC. Jeremy
101 WorldTraveler : it's actually JFK-MAD, JFK-BCN, ATL-MAD, ATL-BCN for about half of the year. BCN Is served joined w/ MAD from JFK during the rest of the year. The poi
102 AirCanada014 : When I said Delta and or Northwest doesn't fly to Southeast Asia, you might want to read it again. What I said either DL or NW or both doesn't fly to
103 SESGDL : Huh? Even after you posted a second time I failed to understand what you were trying to say. For your info though, NW has the largest presence of any
104 Incitatus : Yes it would. As for what the contents of the syringe would be, there is a wide range of opinions. Massport is being blamed by Delta's inability to s
105 Post contains images MalpensaSFO : Care to take a look at a few Press Releases about plans to revamp Song into Delta? Expansion from JFK, ATL, SLC, and LAX? Reductions at CVG, MCO, FLL
106 Planemaker : An extra seasonal flight per week to Spain is not an example of Delta's cross-Atlantic depth and it doesn't make a point. If you want to make a point
107 WorldTraveler : Those points have been addressed as well. DL right now is neck and neck w/ AA in RPMs across the Atlantic. With their expansion, DL will be comfortabl
108 WorldTraveler : another point to remember is that DL's current international expansion is a once in an airline type of expansion. All of this overseas expansion is po
109 Luv2fly : You are so totally wrong about CLE it is not even funny. Sure I wish it was bigger though for the market it serves we here in CLE are very happy. CO
110 MalpensaSFO : Ha Ha.... If you live West of Houston... Continental is a very distant option...
111 RwSEA : CLE is a regional jet hub - nothing more. There is very limited service to the West Coast from CLE. MalpensaSFO said it best: CO's network barely cov
112 UAL777UK : Since when was IAD, ORD, DEN, SFO, LAX and HNL...current CO hubs....I think not!
113 AvConsultant : It will play out one of 2 ways, notes will start to be called or oil will start increase cash reserves are already being depleted. The advance bookin
114 Joeman : I may be wrong but it appears to primarily serve the market, that is, with a less transfer traffic to O&D ratio in total load factors in comparison t
115 WorldTraveler : DL flew about 1/3 of the L1011s (80) that were ever built although not all at the same time. Their percentage of the 767 fleet is not quite as high bu
116 Airzim : It's really not that hard. If DL goes under they lose all their investment. If Delta survives at least they can expect pennies on the dollar return w
117 Luv2fly : The service is what the market needs, nothing more, nothing less. That way they are able to be profitable. And yet they are not losing there shirts l
118 SeeTheWorld : Sorry, but I think DL has put itself into a position where it is absolutely the most exposed carrier if some macro event takes place. They were the m
119 Zone1 : Yes they would lose much of their money if DL goes under. But I still don't get why you think they would give them more money if they don't endorse D
120 SeeTheWorld : Your sunk-cost argument is exactly right, in theory, but that assumes that the market is rational. We all know the airline industry is anything but r
121 PA201 : I just came across this thread, and have to ask a question publicly that I've been asking myself privately since joining A.net. What motivates people
122 Travelin man : I may not "get" math, but doesn't that mean AA has 80% more international RPMs than DL? When fully 2/3 of the passengers are on the three US-based ai
123 SeeTheWorld : Some people work for these companies, some people work for competitors, some people are fascinated with the industry and are constantly analyzing it,
124 SESGDL : No, it doesn't. Jeremy
125 SeeTheWorld : Yes it does, Jeremy - 80.13% more to be exact. And, I am good at math. I'm sorry, but I'm becoming increasingly embarrassed by the number of American
126 Travelin man : I agree, it is pretty embarrassing. Jeremy -- a quick lesson. AA = 3.228 billion RPKs DL = 1.792 billion RPKs To answer the question "AA has X% more
127 Jumbojet : you know DL's situation that good? I hardly think all they have left is ATL you should do your homework first before making that sort of comment
128 SeeTheWorld : "anything left of value" ... worth selling ... that someone would pay a "pretty penny" for ... as collateral ... to set up DIP financing ... Give me
129 Jumbojet : I cant answer that question because I am neither an employee of Delta in the right capacity nor am I an attorney representing them so I cant comment
130 RoseFlyer : Actually it is pretty safe to assume rational expectation in regards to AMEX and GE which are the ones investing. The US airline industry is an incre
131 WorldTraveler : If DL was the most vulnerable carrier, then why did UA and US precede DL in bankruptcy? DL has $1B in DIP financing above the value of its assets - no
132 Post contains links Planemaker : Those that are interested in finding out more details might want to take a look at Delta's Oct. 19 Form 8-K SEC filing. It is of more graphic interest
133 WorldTraveler : Planemaker, It is precisely because of the information that it is the Transformation Plan that I am so bullish about DL. No another airline has devise
134 SESGDL : Wow, I am a bit embarrased at what I was writing. I didn't even realize it. My bad. What I meant to say was that DL has a little more than 50% of the
135 RoseFlyer : I think I remember Delta having the largest supply of unrestricted cash when 9/11 happened. They had a lot of money, so people were secure that they
136 SeeTheWorld : The above examples are not those that give people the expertise to judge the assets of a company. Try the Annual Report, Wall Street reports, SEC fil
137 WorldTraveler : Good post, Roseflyer. Profitability is obviously the foundational principle of any business. The point is that the ability to generate profits has ver
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