NWA Man From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 1828 posts, RR: 13 Reply 2, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 1958 times:
I can't recall the flight numbers, but I can give you the routes NW flew to Sydney. In 1994, basically the height of their SYD operations, NW flew to Kingsford Smith from KIX and LAX. NW was (more or less) forced to pull KIX-SYD by the Japanese and Australian governments, who were upset at the prospects of a third country carrier drawing so many passengers on this route. I believe LAX-SYD was suspended soon after this happened.
NWA Man From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 1828 posts, RR: 13 Reply 7, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1882 times:
"I think NW pulled out for political reasons NOT economic ones!!"
I think you're right. NW was packing their 747-200s on every flight between KIX and SYD. Load factors were consistently in the 90s, and the route was extremely profitable. Sounds good so far, except the Japanese and Australian governments were rather upset that there was so much O&D traffic on this route, instead of NW taking mostly Americans on their flights, which is what the governments had been accustomed to. Then, the Australian government went to bat for Qantas. I'm not sure if NW pulled the route to appease the Aussies, or if their rights on this route were yanked, but either way, the route is now history.
Ryanair From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 654 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1852 times:
NW wanted to fly to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane. They in theory received permission to fly to MEL & BNE but it was never finally approved. Along with AA and CO they pulled their direct Australia - US flights in the early 1990's, but kept their Japan Route. The Japan route survived for a while and from the flights I saw carried mostly America's, but nobody from Australia was interested in going to the US via Japan, not exactly a direct route. The flights were 744's most definately (I saw enough of them fly over my house!). I think NW had a big base in Sydney, too big. I went round their Station Office in Sydney and it was huge with a very big staff, bigger than for example BA or SQ. I would imagine the costs were too high. I don't know about the political theory, Canberra didn't like NW, but Qantas (or Ansett in theory) has the right to fly from any South East Asian Country to the US under the agreement. Problem is finding an Asian country willing to play ball. I can't think QF would ever do anything so rash! Somewhere in my mind I think NW were limited to the number of people it could carry in terms of Jap-Aust O/D traffic.
The flights to Osaka were to the old airport not KIX and if memory serves me correctly this was part of the reason for the political furore that started. At that time Osaka Airport was full on capacity and Qantas and Ansett could not fly into Osaka until Kansai opened. Therefore, Northwest was able to pick up a lot of passengers on the Osaka-Sydney route without any competition from Qantas. This did not please QF who went running to the Australian Government for support and it eventually turned into a big political dogfight between the US and Australia and at one stage it looked like all flights between the two countries would be stopped. However, commonsense eventually prevailed. Shortly afterwards, NW pulled the Osaka flight leaving only SYD-LAX which was also stopped a few months later.
Brissie_lions From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 12, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1784 times:
The truth behind the Australian Government forcing NW out of the market is that NW went against the "spirit" of the agreement which was reached when they were granted approval to operate via Osaka to Sydney. It was stated that they were not to carry more than 50% of the their loads in Japan originating traffic, and at different times (when checks were done), NW was found to be carrying up to 85% Osaka-Sydney traffic. With load factors of 85% from Osaka-Sydney it was obvious that passengers did not want to fly to the US via Japan. Although this may have been a political decision, it is also very much an economic one for the Australian and Japanese carriers, who have for years fostered traffic on the Japan-Australia route, only to have an American carrier step in to try and steal this business away from them. The US government tried to threaten QF with scaling back their route authority into LAX, but QF and the Australian government did not budge, and in the end NW gave up their unwinnable fight and stop all services to Australia.
Also, add to this:
At the time of this uproar over NW breaching the spirit of the agreement, the Prime Minister here in Australia was Paul Keating. It just so happens that his sister, Anne Keating, was the Australian regional manager for a major airline, and that airline was none other than United Airlines. There were rumours in the industry at the time that Anne was also putting pressure on the government to pull up NW, and her job was made all the more easier because her brother was the Prime Minister. But of course, these were only rumours, but as the saying goes, there is also some degree of truth in a rumour, but we will probably never know if it is 100% true or not.
Ryanair From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 654 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1728 times:
Brissie-lions is right, I'd forgotten about the US threats against QF. The question of Anne Keating at UA raised it's head more than once.
I'm 99% sure the flights were via Itami Osaka and adament that the direct flights were ceased first, in fact I can remember it coming up on my own travels in 1994 when my family tried to travel from the UK. NW were cheap, but only flew via Japan having ceased non stop flights. I think in the end it was thrice weekly.