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Air Wisconsin (Past, Present, And Future)  
User currently offlineZWZWUnited From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 197 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4854 times:

One of the oldest of the United States regional airlines, Air Wisconsin has a very rich history including the acquisition of/merger with Mississippi Valley Airlines, Mountain Air Express, and Aspen Airways. For nearly 20 years, Air Wisconsin had a long-standing relationship with United Airlines, operating as a United Express carrier. This ended with the bankruptcy of United Airlines in 2004. Air Wisconsin continues to operate ground handling for United Express and Northwest Airlines at many stations across the United States and currently flies for US Airways Express.


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Now that I am finished with my history lesson/cheer leading session, I have a few questions to pose to you all:

- I know ZW has been putting in RFPs to begin operating for United Express again, does anyone see this happening? I am sure that customers and fans of United would be happier with Air Wisconsin coming back and replacing less than quality products like Mesa and Trans States (mind you I am not looking to start a bashing session). United Express once had a very high quality product with the likes of SkyWest, ACA, and Air Wisconsin, but now that carriers like Trans States and Mesa have come into the picture, the quality has plummeted. I do think that the new ground handling contract that ZW won at IAD, a major United hub, bodes well for the United/ZW future!  Smile

- How is ZW doing at US Airways Express? Are crews happy working there, or is there a longing for a return to United?

- If US Airways were to go go into chapter 11, or even worse chapter 7 liquidation, what would be the fate of ZW?

- Does anyone see ZW operating for multiple carriers at once (ala SkyWest) rather than only flying for one carrier at a time?

- What is the story with the VERY short-lived Air Tran Jet-Connect contract?

- Does anyone see Air Wisconsin ordering new aircraft? I think Air Wisconsin REALLY dropped the ball by not ordering larger variants of the CRJ series or even the larger E-Jets since the market is beginning to shift towards larger regional a/c.

- Also if anyone would like to share any good or interesting stories/experiences with Air Wisconsin, thats cool!  Smile

Thanks!!!

~Tim


Drop it like its hott!
34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineGEG2RAP From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 848 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4745 times:

did all of the CRJ's ZW had with UA go to the US operation or did some get sold/parked etc?

User currently offlineSafetyDemo From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 310 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4733 times:

I was speaking to a flight attendant the other day at AirWisconsin who has been with the company for many years. She was telling me she expected AirWisconsin to become solely a ground-handling company in the next 3 to 5 years. She made some valid points, and I could see it happening.

AirWis has not added any aircraft larger than 50 seats - which USAirways would love to get rid of - and most likely would attempt to if they refiled bankruptcy.

Just food for thought ... stranger things have happened!

-safetyDemo



Please direct your attention to the flight attendants in the cabin...
User currently offlineMKENut From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 699 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4696 times:

I'm not sure Air Wisconsin is well liked in the industry. Don't they call them Air Whiskey or something like that?

User currently offlineAzcommute From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4677 times:

To survive they need to get CRJ9 aircraft. All partners are looking to get rid of the 50 seat aircraft due to economy. The 50 seater do not make money on any routes. It would be nice to see ZW back at UAL and lose YV..

User currently offlineUnitedTristar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4672 times:



Quoting Azcommute (Reply 4):
To survive they need to get CRJ9 aircraft

or some Q400's

-m

 airplane 


User currently offlineZWZWUnited From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 197 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days ago) and read 4594 times:



Quoting SafetyDemo (Reply 2):
She was telling me she expected AirWisconsin to become solely a ground-handling company in the next 3 to 5 years

I would hate to see that! After seeing that happen with Skyways, I guess it wouldnt be so far fetched that it would happen to ZW or any number of other regionals.

Quoting SafetyDemo (Reply 2):
I'm not sure Air Wisconsin is well liked in the industry.

That is news to me if true. I have only been working at ZW a few months and have had several passengers say how much they miss ZW operating for United. From what I have been able to tell, Air Wisconsin was one of the top regional carriers not only for United but in the nation.

Quoting Azcommute (Reply 4):
The 50 seater do not make money on any routes. It would be nice to see ZW back at UAL and lose YV..

I am hoping that YV will lose their contract at UA. It has already been posted that US Airways has chosen NOT to renue their 50-seat contract with YV. Hopefully UA will follow, but discontinue YV's contracts all together.

Quoting UnitedTristar (Reply 5):
or some Q400's

I would LOVE to see ZW get some CRJ-900s or some Q400s or even E-170s!!! I have heard from a couple of sources at IAD that US wants ZW to order the CRJ-1000. I don't know how much stock I put into that rumor, but interesting nonetheless!

~Tim



Drop it like its hott!
User currently offlineSafetyDemo From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 310 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4567 times:



Quoting ZWZWUnited (Reply 6):
From what I have been able to tell, Air Wisconsin was one of the top regional carriers not only for United but in the nation.

Just to clarify, I didn't actually write that quote! The poster below me did. Anyway, I do enjoy my flights on Air Wisconsin. Every airline has their ... "winners" ... but all in all I do view Air Wisconsin as a top notch regional airline.

-safetyDemo



Please direct your attention to the flight attendants in the cabin...
User currently offlineDC8FanJet From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 394 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4543 times:



Quoting Azcommute (Reply 4):
or some Q400's

United isn't looking for anyone to operate 50 seaters. $140 oil makes them
nearly impossible.

BUT, if Air Wis could come up with a deal to get Q400's.......


User currently offlineZWZWUnited From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 197 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4530 times:



Quoting SafetyDemo (Reply 7):

Sorry, must have been a glitch in the quoting process, lol!
 Silly

I agree with you. When I was a kid and I used to take flights on the -146s and the ATPs, I had nothing but a pleasant experience aboard Air Wisconsin a/c. That is why I am worried for the future of Air Wisconsin and the association it now has with US Airways. The only comfort I have is knowing that ZW began its association with US through US Airways (proper) and not through America West. Who knows...this is a volatile industry...maybe there will be a place at the new DL or at American Eagle for ZW.

~Tim



Drop it like its hott!
User currently offlineLegend11 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 107 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4463 times:

I started my airlline carrer at ZW as a PSA and worked into Flight Control, just as they were starting to move to an all SW3 fleet. I have lots of fond memories of non rev flights on the Metro, the B99 and the DHC6, and have spent a lot of years watching from the sidelines, as UA and ZW developed a strong relationship, unitl UA stuck it to them.

I started with ZW in LAF, and ended in ATW, and never regretted a minute, Would truly be sad to see that airline forced out of the business, as they have always had a sterling reputation, from my point of view. Very flew of the regionals I have flown since then could reach that level of professional flying and service.


User currently offlineN757ST From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4297 times:

The next few months will tell a lot. That said, there MIGHT be some very large changes, for the better, happening to AWAC in the next couple months. I really can't get into specifics, but for once in a long time, things might look good on the horizon. Stay tuned.

User currently offlinePlanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3524 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4288 times:

Flew them all the time as a boy out of MLI, on the ATP and my favorite, the Bae-146. Last ZW flight was in 2005 on a Bae-146 200 from ORD-MSN. *tear*

Quoting MKENut (Reply 3):
Don't they call them Air Whiskey or something like that?

The "Whiskey" is the phonetic for "W" - Air Wisconsin, abbreviated = Air W = Air Whiskey.

But mainly, "whiskey" is more "fun" (and easier) to say than Air Wisconsin. From what I can tell, ZW is very respected.



Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offlineJettaKnight From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 195 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4252 times:

Quoting MKENut (Reply 3):
I'm not sure Air Wisconsin is well liked in the industry. Don't they call them Air Whiskey or something like that?

I've always assumed that this was just an abbreviation for Wisconsin using the phonetic alphabet (W = 'Whiskey').

(Sorry - duplicate post to above. I had the window open for too long!)

[Edited 2008-06-30 08:20:20]

[Edited 2008-06-30 08:20:40]

User currently offlineChrisjake From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 865 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4201 times:

here's to the good ole days of Air Wisconsin

http://www.opshots.net/gallery2/index.php?page=photos&id=2492

http://www.opshots.net/gallery2/index.php?page=photos&id=2491

http://www.opshots.net/gallery2/index.php?page=photos&id=335



Well nothing's dead down here, just a little tired
User currently offlineJBo From Sweden, joined Jan 2005, 2313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4185 times:



Quoting ZWZWUnited (Thread starter):
- What is the story with the VERY short-lived Air Tran Jet-Connect contract?

My understanding is that the higher operating costs of the CRJ did not jive very well with AirTran's low-cost operating structure, and the contract was canceled. The CRJs weren't making enough money for FL to keep the operation around.



I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.
User currently offlineSafetyDemo From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 310 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4125 times:



Quoting JBo (Reply 15):
The CRJs weren't making enough money for FL to keep the operation around.

Exactly - back then AirTran stated they could achieve the same operating costs with their Boeing 717s, so the CRJ contract was terminated.

-safetyDemo



Please direct your attention to the flight attendants in the cabin...
User currently offlineATWZW170 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 904 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4099 times:

I worked for AWAC a bit under 5 years and I know how wonderful the people are - sure there are the bad apples but for the most part everyone was very friendly, we got along...you could walk into your managers office and joke....there are some airlines where if you even break a smile in your managers office your butt is handed back to you on a plate.

I want AWAC to grow. To be honest I only left so I could get more experience on my resume. Of course I also wanted to get out of that hell hole PHL. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss AWAC.

I know AWAC did put in a few RFP's with UA for turboprop service. I think their costs are out of line - which is why other carriers haven't picked up AWAC. You have so many regionals that currently have no homes for their planes they are undercutting. Expressjet is doing at risk flying for DL -- they would love a UA contract. Mesa is looking for homes for the ERJ135-145 that DL rejected. Pinnicale is looking for a home for their CRJ900's....there are just too many regional aircraft out there right now..I think a number of regionals are willing to lower their profit margin just so they can cover cost...better to fly them and pay your bills rather than let them sit, make no money and go into bankruptcy.

I think with some of the leadership changes that have occurred in the past 6 months that labor groups are more willing to talk to management and work toward a common goal.

One of the real negatives right now is majors are looking at the bottom dollar and comparing cost structure....Mesa can do it for less why cant you.....or Gojets gave me this price, what can you do........at some point AWAC is going to need to reduce their costs. Maybe an early out.

I won't lie, I'm hoping to be back one day at ZW.



Success is getting what you want...happiness is liking what you get
User currently offlineSaab2000 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2001, 1610 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4058 times:

AWAC has a pretty decent reputation in the industry. The Air Whiskey thing is not a negative thing! Big grin

Like most airlines, there are things that could be done better, but there is also a culture of quality with regards to the flight dept. and the operation. As soon as I talk to someone from a competing regional, they often mention how AWAC is someone they respect in operational terms. I had a jumpseater a few months ago who kept commenting on the professionalism and how his former competing regional was lacking in that respect.

AWAC knows that in order to survive they will have to adapt and grow beyond the 50-seaters we have now. But buying new airplanes is extremely expensive and clearly the owners of the company are trying to milk every last penny out of their investment in 50-seaters.

There are talks between the company and the union regarding payscales and some other issues to make us more competitive.

As far as flying for United again? I'd love to see it. But over the past few years many of the old United Express folks have left and after just 4 1/2 years I am getting to be part of the 'old guard' by having actually been in the United Express side of things. Over half of our employees never operated a United Express flight. I was IAD and then ORD based and to be honest, my worst day at ORD was better than my best out east.... Flying on the east coast is not any fun at all with the incessent delays and bad weather.

Anyway, there is a bid out on some United Express flying and I am sure the company is working with US Airways to find ways to grow there too. But the survival of United and/or US Airways is questionable. Times are nervous here at the moment. But it's nervous pretty much everywhere at the moment.



smrtrthnu
User currently offlineSafetyDemo From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 310 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4003 times:



Quoting Saab2000 (Reply 18):
I was IAD and then ORD based and to be honest, my worst day at ORD was better than my best out east.... Flying on the east coast is not any fun at all with the incessent delays and bad weather.

I used to be ORD based at my last airline - and I always thought ORD was the worst airport in the system. Then I began flying out of PHL and LGA every day. I would take ORD over those two any and every day in a heartbeat!

Quoting Saab2000 (Reply 18):
But it's nervous pretty much everywhere at the moment.

It certainly is ... interesting times for those of us in this industry and those of us who love it. Its certainly changing, and rapidly!

-safetyDemo



Please direct your attention to the flight attendants in the cabin...
User currently offlineF16arm From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 90 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3978 times:

As many others I do have very found memories of air willy, but all mine are in FWA. My father work for they while they we're there. I can recall countless times going to the hanger, at night, being able to walk around the airplanes, as well as hanging around the cockpit, and even being able to run my "typhoon" hovercraft around the hanger. But alas, I will always remember being able to go onto the mtx flights, man those were the best (wish i could still do that). Today even though I work for a different airline, I still had a custom wood model made of a dash-7, (man I miss those birds), in air wis colors, and not of current employer!


One weekend a month and two (cough, cough 45, 90, 120 days) weeks a year supports my habbit
User currently offlineCa2ohhp From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 954 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3946 times:

I worked for ZW for 4 years. I worked in ATW, BIS, GRB, BMI, MKE, MSN and TVC. I really felt like I was part of something working there, and was given countless opportunities to progress in many different roles in the aviation industry. Some of my best airline years were spent at ZW, especially in ATW.

With that said, I non-reved as a ZW employee a LOT on mainline UA. UA employees were hit or miss for the most part, but mostly mis as far as how they treated my coworkers and myself. The folks I know at ZW to this day have said US treats them a lot better. I know from a number of other regional contacts that feeling is mutual as far as dealing with mainline UA/US at a corporate level.

There is a rumor floating around that ZW has submitted a bid on 70 seat flying for UA.


User currently offlineSLUAviator From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 357 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3911 times:

I spent a few years on the ramp for ZW at ORD. I would like to see them come back west as UAX as well.

Quoting Ca2ohhp (Reply 21):
There is a rumor floating around that ZW has submitted a bid on 70 seat flying for UA.

I imagine their bid was for a mix of 70 seaters and 90 seaters. They are the only ones who can fly express feed with more than 70 seats, so why not play the biggest card in your hand when bidding on new UA flying?

Good luck with UA! I have some "now" fellow RJ drivers from my ramp days that I would like to see again!



What do I know? I just fly 'em.......
User currently offlineSafetyDemo From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 310 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3887 times:



Quoting SLUAviator (Reply 22):
I imagine their bid was for a mix of 70 seaters and 90 seaters. They are the only ones who can fly express feed with more than 70 seats, so why not play the biggest card in your hand when bidding on new UA flying?

While Shuttle America can't operate anything over 70 seats due to the Delta contract, I imagine if 90 seat flying was available at UA - RAH wouldn't let the opportunity pass by without submitting a Republic Airlines bid. What do you think?

-safetyDemo



Please direct your attention to the flight attendants in the cabin...
User currently offlineN757ST From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3835 times:



Quoting SafetyDemo (Reply 23):
While Shuttle America can't operate anything over 70 seats due to the Delta contract, I imagine if 90 seat flying was available at UA - RAH wouldn't let the opportunity pass by without submitting a Republic Airlines bid. What do you think?

By the UAL pilots contract, AWAC, and only AWAC, can fly up to 18 eighty five seaters weighing less then 90000 lbs.


25 SafetyDemo : Oh, cool. I didn' t know that. Thank you for the information! Is UA the only airline with a specific clause about which operator can operate certain
26 N31029 : Hi Everyone. I have to agree with Planespotting. The BAe-146 was an awesome aircraft. I always forgot that I was flying a Regional; the '146 was wide
27 Bruce : I find it interesting that the airline that has the name of our state and was/is headquartered here does not have any routes in WISCONSIN. They used t
28 ZWZWUnited : They do indeed fly to Milwaukee, but what kills me is that they don't fly to either the capital (MSN) or their headquarters in ATW! How ridiculous...
29 Milesrich : That is because the Air Wisconsin of today, is not in any way, the Air Wisconsin of old. Air Wisconsin was founded long before deregulation and flew
30 IndyWA : Actually this can't be true since Shuttle America is going to start flying E-175s with 76 seats for DL in the next few months.
31 SafetyDemo : Thats what I meant ... 76 seats, sorry. My point was the E-175 at normal capacity can't fly at Shuttle America. -safetyDemo
32 Saab2000 : When AWAC flew for UAX we operated the BAe-146, which had up to 100 seats. Because of these, the scope clause was grandfathered and AWAC remains the o
33 ATWZW170 : If that is the case that is good for AWAC. They need some good news!!
34 Apodino : Unless US files for Bankruptcy (Not unlikely in this industry), AIr WIsconsin will be around as a regional until 2015 for US since the Contract with U
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