WorldTraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (6 years 4 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 11625 times:
A look at the traffic results of each of the US network carriers along with their aircraft orders and planned growth of international service provides an interesting comparison.
Right now, AA and UA are pretty tight at the front of the pack as the largest US international carriers with AA having a slight lead so far this year.
CO is next, followed by DL and both are about 25% smaller in international size behind AA and UA.
NW isn't far behind DL>
Now when you look at the size of the middle three carriers' international expansion plans, it becomes apparent that they will probably get very close to, if not overtake AA and UA in the not too distant future.
CO and NW both have sizable 787 orders up for delivery in the near future.
However, it appears that DL has the most international growth coming as a result of its remaining 13 764 conversions, 13 transatlantic 757s coming from TW/AA, 6 and maybe 8 or more 777LRs, 10 737-700s (some of which will be used for Latin America), and some of their domestic 763s which are said to be lined up to fly summertime all-coach domestic flights (partially replacing the 764s doing the same thing now).
Is it possible that DL will become the USA's largest interrnational carrier before this decade is out?
BTW, I'd like to welcome you to my 4th a.net BD party and this thread which marks 3000 a.net posts. While the subject evokes passion, I'm happy to share it with you, my a.net friends. The occassion is all fun! So grab something cold to drink and enjoy the party. This round is on me!
777STL From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3145 posts, RR: 3 Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 11564 times:
I doubt DL will surpass AA in terms of international traffic. AA is huge in Latin America, the Carribean, and Mexico, routes that don't necessary require a large widebody to run. Who knows, it'll be interesting to see if DL can keep those second tier European routes viable. I hope they're able to sustain their rapid expansion.
Dutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 58 Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 11531 times:
You made it to 3000.......and what an appropriate post for you to celebrate with.
Being that its your a.net birthday, I will give you the answer that you want to hear: DL will become the largest international airline in the US, it will overtake UA and AA and become the largest US carrier bar none, DL will acquire NW, US and AS causing major problems for the remaining legacies leading to their eventual downsizing and, due to DL's new strength at JFK, JetBlue will simply shut its doors. And, Boeing shall help DL out by opening up a second 787 production line dedicated exclusively for DL airplanes; thus, DL will be among the first carriers with the 787 and will be the first to acquire a huge 787 fleet.
Oh, the capital of the US will move to Atlanta........
Congrats on 3000 and 4 years at a.net, we have had our differences in the past, but its time for a good laugh, I hope that you take this post in the good-natured spirit in which it was intended.
NW and AS are both the more likely. I would laugh VERY hard if US came begging them at the ATL door in a couple of years due to the inability of management to get any labor peace. Getting AS would be a large one for DL, since this would give dominance at SEA and a possible Asia/Pacific hub with less competition than LAX.
I agree with WorldTraveler on the likely merger scenarios in the years ahead. Moving the U.S. Capitol to ATL? If Robert Byrd (King Pork) were a Georgia senator rather than West Virginia, then you could count on it!
DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
Alitalia744 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 4709 posts, RR: 46 Reply 5, posted (6 years 4 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 11330 times:
WT - Happy BD and congrats on 4th and 3000th.
As for the topic at hand - could DL become the US' largest int'l airline? Good question.
My 0.02 - Short-term possibly, long-term - good question.
AA is limited in growth by their current fleet and lack of new w/b a/c deliveries for at least 3 years (next 777s come in 4 or 5 I belive) but given their cattle-car service to LatAm with AB6s, they can sustain growth given the increase in pax #s down south.
UAL? Who knows, no w/b orders and continously shifting existing routes/gauging a/c has been successful (to an extent) in sustaining short-term growth, but not sure what their long-term prospect is in terms of driving sustainability of that growth.
CO is expected to drive international growth behind the delivery of their 787 fleet which numbers 25+ now I believe. Given they are able to currently grow with their existing ops (using airplanes to the max), one can presume that the 787s will be used short-term for growth and long-term for replacement. Outside of rotating additional 757s internationally, CO is short-term limited in growth.
DL has a good platform to grow from. A few non-competitive international routes where they can command yield-premiums via first move advantage non-stop flights and a fleet of 764s which can be moved off domestic. If we go by assumption - 13 757s (exAA), 3-6 767-300s (moving to low-yielding northern euro routes), conversion of remaining 13 764s, 6+ 777LRs and a fleet of LatAm/Carib capable 73Gs, they have potential (given addition of 30+ int'l a/c) to increase international traffic beyond the competition in the near-term, providing all aircraft are operated on profit-positive, high-load factor flights.
Long-term question is what are DL's aircraft acquisition plans for the future and are they designed to further growth or replace existing a/c. The eldest 763 pushes 20 in 2010. The other thing against DL is that on average, a larger percentage of UA, AA and NWs internationally capable fleet carries more pax than the average DL bird.
Nice topic, let the speculation begin.
Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 2): Oh, the capital of the US will move to Atlanta........
We all know the capital of the US is New York City. At least that's what I think.
Delta7004 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 49 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (6 years 4 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 11197 times:
Keep in mind though that DL is the largest airline across the Atlantic as far as destinations and frequency grows. Since their aim right now seems to be on international expansion, I would be surprised to see them try to push on AA territory in Central/South America eventually, once they get the equipment to do it.
Quote: DL has a good platform to grow from. A few non-competitive international routes where they can command yield-premiums via first move advantage non-stop flights and a fleet of 764s which can be moved off domestic. If we go by assumption - 13 757s (exAA), 3-6 767-300s (moving to low-yielding northern euro routes), conversion of remaining 13 764s, 6+ 777LRs and a fleet of LatAm/Carib capable 73Gs, they have potential (given addition of 30+ int'l a/c) to increase international traffic beyond the competition in the near-term, providing all aircraft are operated on profit-positive, high-load factor flights.
Actually, only 10 757s are coming from AA, and their is a good possibility of ATL-LAX/SLC, ATL/SLC/LAX-HNL being the only domestic runs by 764s within the coming months (though the whole 764 fleet should carry Biz-E configurations, as the flights to Hawaii are long and ATL-LAX/SLC should be considered "premium" with that aircraft).
LAXdude1023 From Lebanon, joined Sep 2006, 7019 posts, RR: 24 Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 11197 times:
First off Happy B-day WT!
Quoting WorldTraveler (Thread starter): Right now, AA and UA are pretty tight at the front of the pack as the largest US international carriers with AA having a slight lead so far this year.
Now then, Im not sure if DL will be ahead AA and UA in terms of largest international carriers, but they definately lead the way in terms of number of international destinations served. This is what seems to work for DL. Instead of pileing on many different flights to the same destination (like AA at LHR), DL adds one or two flights to many different destinations. In my opinion this is just as important. I honestly dont have much use for DL, but the one thing I have to tip my hat to DL for is ATL. Atlanta the city isnt anything special (even though I think its a very nice city). It doesnt have that high of an O&D to many places internationally and its not even that big a city, and yet DL makes many most (but not all) destinations work from ATL that would never work otherwise.
But in short, to me it doesnt matter if they are the biggest carrier internationally, because their strategy of offering more destinations with less frequency works very well for them!
Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 2): Oh, the capital of the US will move to Atlanta........
The capital should have been moved to Los Angeles a long time ago!!!
DFW Fan Boy: Im crude, irreverent, and blunt, but Im not clueless. I offer no apologies.
FlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6275 posts, RR: 24 Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 11110 times:
I think it's possible for DL to become the largest, though I don't think it will last. I think DL's international route structure will be much more sensitive to an economic downturn. So when that downturn comes, DL will be forced to pull back a hefty chunk of these routes. Carriers like UA and AA would also be affected by a downturn, but I don't see them being forced to pullback as much.
DL767captain From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2539 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (6 years 4 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 11041 times:
DL is a strong carrier and is doeing very well after coming out of Ch. 9. DL is definately expanding but i doubt they could overtake UA and AA, but they could definately overtake CO. What will be interesting is in the future when we see what mergers will begin, UA and US obviously want to merge with someone, UA and DL would be great because DL would get the asia routes but the A320's would be an issue, AA and DL and even CO all put together would be great, NW UA and US could join forces. We would have star aliance angainst skyteam (NW would move to star aliance and AA would move to Skyteam). That is when it would get interesting, DL could jump ahead really fast by picking up another airline like CO and join forces.
WorldTraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 10830 times:
Thank you all for the good wishes.
I do think one of the biggest determinants of how international growth will play out for each of the carriers will be what they do in Latin America. Widebody and intercontinental travel will be determined to a great extent by widebody orders and conversions. But much of Latin America can be flown with narrowbody aircraft including the 757 which can easily fly from each of the southern US hubs deep into S. America. While CO may be close to maxing out the use of its 757 fleet for international flying, AA and DL are nowhere near close to doing that. AA has the advantage in that most if not all of their 757s are the 250K lb. versions while only the ex-TW 757s are for DL. However, even DL's 232K lb. versions can cover alot of northern S. America from ATL or LAX. And the 738 and 737-700 all are very versatile aircraft for AA, CO, and DL - who are most likely to benefit from Latin American growth.
Alitalia744 has listed a good summary of the challenges and opportunities each carrier faces. I would only counter on the aircraft size piece, that DL's smaller aircraft size will make it much easier for them to start new routes. The 763 still has one of the lowest aircraft TRIP costs and with winglets it is a 6000 mile airplane. The 764 is very cost effective and is actually similarly sized to a 787-8, although w/ alot less capability. The 777LR is obviously the largest aircraft coming into DL's fleet. And if DL does order some 773ERs, their average size will grow and they will be doing it with a very cost effective airplane.
The strength of DL's international growth plan is that they have the ability to do it NOW and they are taking it to every corner of the earth. DL also has LAX which has the potential for significant int'l route development while JFK still is very Europe focused and has the ability to be developed to other regions. And of course, ATL can seem to support routes to just about anywhere.
Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 7): The capital should have been moved to Los Angeles a long time ago!!!
The US capital, not the capital of Mexico!
I disagree, though. Consider that American has added very little longhaul service and is still, by and large, the biggest US carrier abroad, save United. When American gets additional aircraft for expansion, there is no doubt that this will remain the same. The same goes for United. Their massive Pacific network is flown entirely by 747s and 777s, that's a lot of seats Delta will need to catch up to.
Delta will, IMO, close in, especially when they get their additional aircraft, and they even stand a chance of bumping up against United - even with their huge Asian network. With more South American and European flights, and a handful of lfights to Asia, Delta could reasonably come close, but overtake them by the end of the decade? Not so sure.
DL surpassed CO for the months of June and July in terms of international RPMs, and should pass them completely before the end of the year. In July, DL had just 300,000,000 RPMs less than AA internationally, and was less than 100,000,000 behind UA. That's quite impressive considering DL used to have a very small international status in comparison to the other US majors.
Could DL become the largest international US airline? Absolutely! And I think 3-5 years from now they will be. For July alone, DL across the Atlantic had over 3,000,000,000 RPMs, more than any other US airline in any region besides domestically. Impressive!
Cslusarc From Canada, joined May 2005, 821 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (6 years 4 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 10585 times:
Here's the July monthly traffic data compiled (mainline only; as reported by press release):
I don't know if anybody actually compared the data. AA actually shrunk by 4 percent and was the only airline to do so. UA and DL are like neck-on-neck. However, by July 2008 I expect DL (excluding all flying by DL Connex) to eclipse AA and UA to become the #1 airline in the international segment if DL can continue to grow internationally by 10% or more per annum.
PASSENGER MILES (000)
AA 4,610,154 [down 4.0%]
UA 4,365,296 [up 1.5%]
DL 4,215,861 [up 13.7%]
CO 3,929,204 [up 6.3%]
NW 2,892,884 [up 4.2%]
US/HP 1,383,547 [up 12.4%]
PASSENGER MILES (000)
DL 3,022,884 [up 10.0%]
CO 2,092,000 [up 11.4%]
AA 1,965,160 [down 3.8%]
UA 1,603,682 [up 4.4%]
NW 1,138,767 [up 12.6%]
US 1,013,385 [up 21.1%]
LATIN AMERICA REVENUE
PASSENGER MILES (000)
AA 1,965,160 [down 3.8%]
CO 1,152,720 [up 1.0%]
DL 1,044,597 [up 21.4%]
UA 349,860 [down 18.1%]
US/HP 370,162 [down 6.1%]
PASSENGER MILES (000)
UA 2,411,754 [up 3.3%]
NW 1,754,117 [up 0.7%]
CO 684,484 [up 0.8%]
AA 482,163 [down 24.1%]
DL 148,380 [up 51.2%]
LipeGIG From Brazil, joined May 2005, 11316 posts, RR: 59 Reply 16, posted (6 years 4 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 10531 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW FORUM MODERATOR
The big AA advantage is their Latin America network. Not only because of the fact that they run MIA as a hub but also because many of the countries are slot protected which means DL will be not able to challenge in size for example Brazil or Argentina operations.
But they are getting advantages on Europe and other spots, and with the huge growing levels (up to 10% p.a.) as well as the additional capacity they keep, DL will be able to become 1st in 2 or 3 years.
The question is that, this new scenario, would be so profitable ?
New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
FLYGUY767 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 17, posted (6 years 4 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 10334 times:
Quoting WorldTraveler (Thread starter): Is it possible that DL will become the USA's largest interrnational carrier before this decade is out?
Give it less than 2 years if all of the talk is true..
The 73G, 752 and 77L are going to boost that combined with as you've mentioned the 764 conversions. Freeing of the 772 from routes such as JFK that will take on the 77L to BOM. Everything will come into play starting next summer. It will be a very interesting year for Delta Air Lines, remember dont rule anything out!
In reference to American Airlines they have not been in a worse situation for years. It truly is sad, perhaps it was a fault of their for not having claimed bankruptcy. The recent labor problems combined with some rather inept decisions are leaving the airline in the cold as far as expansion is concerned. American Airlines for years has had a love affair with frequency over multiplicity.
Delta Air Lines has an advantage being that the business person headed to Milan, Seoul, Dubai, Moscow, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Kiev, and so forth can use one airline. That same person can fly throughout the country on a very dense route network. While American Airlines prefers to put almost all of their European eggs in one basket (London), Delta has made a wise decision by diversifying its product offerings. American Airlines could have made the push to build up Los Angeles but sticks with what it has and basically has added little if nothing to the Los Angeles market for the past 2-3 years.
I further think that a few of the worst decisions American Airlines made were:
*Introducing then Dropping MRTC
*Dropping service to Milan, and Stockholm
*Dropping London and Honolulu from St. Louis
*Dropping the Narita slots of San Jose and Seattle and adding nothing
*Starting Shanghai and Delhi from Chicago and not Dallas
*Starting Osaka from Dallas, Nagoya from Chicago and not Los Angeles
*Trying to rebuild San Jose
*Reno Air Merger
We cant solve all of the problems in one day, but I am happy to see Delta Air Lines think outside of the box and expand while its counterpart American Airlines expansion is only to markets already served with redundant frequencies.
Quoting WorldTraveler (Thread starter): BTW, I'd like to welcome you to my 4th a.net BD party and this thread which marks 3000 a.net posts. While the subject evokes passion, I'm happy to share it with you, my a.net friends. The occassion is all fun! So grab something cold to drink and enjoy the party. This round is on me!
2travel2know From Panama, joined Apr 2005, 3580 posts, RR: 4 Reply 18, posted (6 years 4 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 10325 times:
There's one very important fact that works against DL becoming U.S. largest international airline: DL doesn't have a hub in MIA.
When it comes to have the most attractive prescence in Latinamerica and The Caribbean, having some sort of big MIA (or FLL as an alternative) opeation is a must. Look what happened when UA drop its tiny MIA hub operation, where are they now in Latinamerica? and to make matters worse, AA does have a hub in SJU (even if that one it's not of any big use for AA Latinameican operations).
There's a lot DL could accomplish from its ATL mega-hub with some flights out of JFK, LAX, CVG (!) and even SLC (!), but they would still be less popular than AA MIA fligths.
If DL wants to grow big in Latinamerica/Caribbean they would need to find a partner "south of the border" which they could count as an extra hub.
FLYGUY767 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 19, posted (6 years 4 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 10304 times:
Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 18): When it comes to have the most attractive prescence in Latinamerica and The Caribbean, having some sort of big MIA (or FLL as an alternative) opeation is a must.
It is not a must and both Continental Airlines and Delta Air Lines are proving that day in and day out. Look at the presence of Continental Airlines to Central and South America from Houston and Newark. Look at the presence of Delta Air Lines from Atlanta, and New York to Central and South America. Not to mention the Delta Air Lines buildup to Mexico and Central America from Los Angeles. An airline does not need Miami or Ft. Lauderdale to have an attractive presence in Latin America, the Caribbean, or so forth. By your measure the only airports that should have service to Asia are Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The airliners.net ideals about what airlines need to do, or what markets can and cant be served are really getting old..
Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 18): There's one very important fact that works against DL becoming U.S. largest international airline: DL doesn't have a hub in MIA
So what does that have to do with anything?
Delta Air Lines has service to Central America from Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta
Delta Air Lines has service to South America from New York, and Atlanta
Where is it written that Delta needs to have a hub in Miami to be the largest U.S. airline?
Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 18): There's a lot DL could accomplish from its ATL mega-hub with some flights out of JFK, LAX, CVG (!) and even SLC (!), but they would still be less popular than AA MIA fligths.
What are you talking about? Delta Air Lines and Continental Airlines are both on the heels of American Airlines when it comes to service to Latin and South America. Perhaps you are confusing Delta and Continental with United Airlines whose presence in the Latin and South American market is near nothing of what it once was.
Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 18): If DL wants to grow big in Latinamerica/Caribbean they would need to find a partner "south of the border" which they could count as an extra hub
It looks like AA is losing market share all over the place, DL could definately overtake them with growth in a couple years. The only problem is the lack of DLs pacific routes, i guess they could partner with other airlines. But what will happen in 4 years for AA if nothing happens? Will they agree to be bought out or merge with DL or CO (since they are both in the same alliance they could split the needed planes and routes) but im sure it would be a while before american is done
FLYGUY767 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 22, posted (6 years 4 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 10003 times:
Quoting DL767captain (Reply 21): It looks like AA is losing market share all over the place, DL could definately overtake them with growth in a couple years.
I think that one of the main problems with American Airlines is their lack of a clean operation. Continental Airlines is a perfect example of a clean operation. Continental operates 2 definitve hubs at EWR, CLE, and IAH. To a lessor extent GUM is a base albeit for Continental Micronesia. The only Focus City if you will is Los Angeles. Thus each hub serves a specific purpose. At American Airlines it is not that easy MIA, SJU, DFW, ORD, STL. Focus Cities are at LAX, JFK, LGA, BOS, RDU. Part of what you can see above is that American Airlines is truly trying to be everything to everyone. This same problem is what plagues United Airlines with their hubs at SFO, LAX, DEN, IAD, ORD.