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Why Don't AA Expand?  
User currently offlineworldliner From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 275 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 12518 times:

AA are a massive airline, and a worldwide recognised brand. So I was quite shocked to see how little flights to the middle east, Asia, Australasia and Africa they have. I was wondering why they don't expand as other airlines have done, opening new markets with the availability of new aircraft such as ultra long range aircraft, or even just continuing current routes, such as LAX - NRT - SYD - NRT - LAX.

Do AA not expand simply because they cannot afford new long range aircraft? Or because they are happy being on the routes they are on. Currently AA serve NRT, PVG, PEK and DEL. I mean for such a big airline, four routes from America - Asia is a very small amount. Can they not compete?

There are huge markets in the Middle east, Northern and eastern Europe, and so many more possibilities in Asia. With America being such a multi cultural country, some new routes would be logical.

With other airlines expanding at massive rates, and with the new United flying basically everywhere with their huge fleet, can AA afford not to expand? will they be happy with only being dominant in the America's, and will AA let other members of OneWorld pick up most of the money for codeshares to other destinations that they could serve themselves?

Thanks

Worldliner


@777Worldliner
74 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineOzarkD9S From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5198 posts, RR: 21
Reply 1, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 12530 times:

AA will expand, once they've settled the 3,427 open contracts they have.*

* Slight exaggeration.



Next up, STL-ATL-MSY-ATL-STL
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23223 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 12471 times:

Quoting worldliner (Thread starter):
With other airlines expanding at massive rates, and with the new United flying basically everywhere with their huge fleet, can AA afford not to expand?

Umm...

DFW-GIG?

ORD-DEL?

JFK-HEL?

LAX-PEK?

To where, exactly, is AA not expanding?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineUAL777UK From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 3356 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 12420 times:

One could argue they are expanding with the JV's over the Atlantic and Pacific, the later with JL.

However on their own metal i think of all the large legacies AA are the most conservative right now but with the above do they really need to expand that much?

When the 787 arrives you might see some expansion then I guess but in the meantime unless its AA metal you can pretty mucg get to where yooou want on another OW carrier........okay some routes might be a bit out of the way for a connection but no airline can cover all the routes we would all like.

Last point though, I am disappointed that CX instrad of AA are starting ORD-HKG. IMHO, AA should have started this route years ago.


User currently offlinejfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8457 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 12387 times:
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Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):
LAX-PEK?

To where, exactly, is AA not expanding?

AA is flying LAX to PVG(shanghai).

Until AA gets its pilots contract in order they aren't going any where. There is a limit as to long long AA's flights can be under the current contract. AA also needs more 777, replacing 777 to Latin America for more Asain flights with 763ER's is not the answer since many of those 777 to EZE and GRU do sell the F and J cabins making lots of $$$ for AA.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23223 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 12320 times:

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 4):
AA is flying LAX to PVG(shanghai).

Indeed - I got my China routes crossed up (but the point is the same, I think).

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 4):
There is a limit as to long long AA's flights can be under the current contract.

What routes has AA not announced because of pilot issues?

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 4):
AA also needs more 777, replacing 777 to Latin America for more Asain flights with 763ER's is not the answer since many of those 777 to EZE and GRU do sell the F and J cabins making lots of $$$ for AA.

Keep in mind that AA was originally to receive 787s in the late 2011/early 2012 time frame.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineAA777223 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1254 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 12235 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):

To where, exactly, is AA not expanding?

Africa, several major cities in Europe, the middle east, Australia, many major asian cities like SIN, TPE, HKG, etc. that their competitiors fly to. I think the OP laid it out for you already. I agree, as an AA FF, I have always wondered why AA seemed so afraid of destinations other than South and Central America, LHR, CDG, FRA, and NRT. Apart from a few outliers, AA picks destinations they really like (business destinations), they configure premium heavy aircraft, and fly to them from several hubs. It's worked alright for them thus far, but I'm not sure if that strategy is sustainable against big new competitors UA and DL. Those two are spreading their wings and taking their massive fleets to every corner of the globe. AAs 767s and 777s meanwhile are gracing pretty familiar turf.

I see the OP's point exactly and have often wondered myself.



Sic 'em bears
User currently offlineEricR From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1904 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 12161 times:

I think there are several reasons for their lack of expansion:
1.) AA's high cost structure makes some long distance routes either unprofitable or a highly risky venture since their breakeven point is higher than other carriers. The cost of starting up a new long haul route in combination with their high cost structure eliminates a lot of route opportunities.

2.) Code shares - AA seems to rely on code shares to places like the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Asia than fly the route with their own metal. Part of the reason for this may be attributed to the first bullet point. However, there is a benefit for AA here as most of the cost risk on codes shares is associated with the operating carrier and therefore provides some protection during economic downturns.

3.) Conservative nature of AA's management on international route expansion.

4.) Historical lack of ATI until this year may have hindered their attempts to expand into a few markets.

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 4):
Until AA gets its pilots contract in order they aren't going any where. There is a limit as to long long AA's flights can be under the current contract

This does not impact many routes. ORD-DEL is 14.5 hours and is currently served. Many routes from MIA-Africa or JFK/ORD - Middle East, or DFW - East Asia would be equal to or less than ORD-DEL.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):
ORD-DEL?

This route has been around for 4 years now and do not consider it a good example illustrating AA's recent international expansion.

[Edited 2010-12-07 06:57:52]

User currently offlineFURUREFA From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 806 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 12076 times:

Quoting EricR (Reply 7):
This does not impact many routes. ORD-DEL is 14.5 hours and is currently served. Many routes from MIA-Africa or JFK/ORD - Middle East, or DFW - East Asia would be equal to or less than ORD-DEL.

The APA granted a specific exemption for ORD-DEL, something they refused to do for DFW-PEK. So it really is more of an issue in opening routes than not.


User currently offlineCOGlobeTrotter From United States of America, joined May 2006, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 12072 times:

Quoting EricR (Reply 7):
This does not impact many routes. ORD-DEL is 14.5 hours and is currently served. Many routes from MIA-Africa or JFK/ORD - Middle East, or DFW - East Asia would be equal to or less than ORD-DEL.

I believe there is a special addendum in the pilots contract that allows AA to fly this route, otherwise AA is limited to flights with a maximum of 12 hours.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23223 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 12053 times:

Quoting AA777223 (Reply 6):
I think the OP laid it out for you already. I agree, as an AA FF, I have always wondered why AA seemed so afraid of destinations other than South and Central America, LHR, CDG, FRA, and NRT.

It's a familiar refrain. I guess I'm confused about why some routes "count" and others do not. Is it irrelevant that AA is the largest US carrier in Sao Paulo or London?

Quoting EricR (Reply 7):
This route has been around for 4 years now.

Absolutely - but it's hardly the sign of an airline that "does not expand."



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineEricR From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1904 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 12052 times:

Quoting FURUREFA (Reply 8):
The APA granted a specific exemption for ORD-DEL, something they refused to do for DFW-PEK. So it really is more of an issue in opening routes than not.
Quoting COGlobeTrotter (Reply 9):
I believe there is a special addendum in the pilots contract that allows AA to fly this route, otherwise AA is limited to flights with a maximum of 12 hours.

Thanks for the clarification.


User currently offlineDFWEagle From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1075 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 12004 times:

Quoting EricR (Reply 7):
This does not impact many routes. ORD-DEL is 14.5 hours and is currently served. Many routes from MIA-Africa or JFK/ORD - Middle East, or DFW - East Asia would be equal to or less than ORD-DEL.

Starting ORD-DEL required a special exemption from the pilot union which applies to that route only. To start another route beyond the contractual limit would require a new contract being negotiated or another separate exemption being approved by APA.

In the return direction, the DEL-ORD flight is more than 15hr30. The contract basically allows up to 14hr30 and ORD-PVG is right on the maximum limit.



Ryan / HKG
User currently offline757ops From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 318 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 11932 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 10):

I think you will find the new United as the largest US carrier into LHR


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23223 posts, RR: 20
Reply 14, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 11876 times:

Quoting 757ops (Reply 13):
I think you will find the new United as the largest US carrier into LHR

It depends almost entirely on whether/how AA and BA shift US-LHR flying from one carrier to the other, doesn't it? It's a pretty safe bet that the AA schedule to LHR won't look the same 2 years from now. And of course, that doesn't address the question of how we ought to count flying by immunized partners.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinejfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8457 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 11846 times:
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Quoting EricR (Reply 7):
This does not impact many routes. ORD-DEL is 14.5 hours and is currently served. Many routes from MIA-Africa or JFK/ORD - Middle East, or DFW - East Asia would be equal to or less than ORD-DEL

An exemption was granted by teh pilots for INDIA.


User currently offlinechopchop767 From Italy, joined Aug 2010, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 11800 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):

The above routes are pretty impressive in terms of exansion. Given AA's history, they've always been far more conservative with adding routes than DL and CO, especially and one might argue, even UA.

It might also be a marketing issue. I believe AA still uses the slogan "We Know Why You Fly"; and for many here the slogan would be more appropriate with the provison, "We Know Why You Fly, so we put you on Codeshare flights."

Just because AA went from the largest airline in the world to 'one of the largest' doesn't mean that they cannot get you from point a to point b seemlessly.

Given, that I'd love to see AA expansion. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I think AA could do very well routing traffic to and from Africa via MIA. Time will tell.

Now where are those 787s????

  

 



this year: nap, lgw, fra, dub, fco, add, jib, muc, iad, sea, dca, bos, cdg, ist, bah, prg, ord, hsv, cmn
User currently offlineEricR From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1904 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 11785 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 10):
Quoting EricR (Reply 7):
This route has been around for 4 years now.

Absolutely - but it's hardly the sign of an airline that "does not expand."

Yes, but I think the larger point is that their international expansion on new routes lags far behind DL and UA/CO over the past 3 years. The fact that we need to point out a route that is 4 years old is an indication of how few and far between their new routes have been until their most recent announcement of new routes to HEL and BUD.

Certainly AA has had some international expansion, but compared to UA/CO & DL, there are glaring holes to Northern Europe, Middle East, Africa and many far East Asian destinations.


User currently offlineUnited787 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2745 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 11748 times:

Quoting chopchop767 (Reply 16):
Now where are those 787s????

They announced they would be ordering the 787 over two years ago and still have not finalized the order! A common response on AA threads is "just wait until the 787s arrive".... well they need to order them first, and then it will be a long wait!


User currently offlinetexan From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 4284 posts, RR: 52
Reply 19, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 11694 times:

Quoting AA777223 (Reply 6):
Africa, several major cities in Europe, the middle east, Australia, many major asian cities like SIN, TPE, HKG, etc. that their competitiors fly to.

AA stated that because Africa is such a small market right now and because Africa is well covered by their ATI and codeshare partners, they are not focusing on flying to the region. I'm not sure which major cities in Europe you believe they are missing outside of ZRH, which they tried before, and AMS. And remember that Air Berlin will enter oneworld soon. They are looking at flying to the Middle East, but are currently covered by BA and Royal Jordanian in oneworld and codeshares with Etihad, Gulf Air, and El Al on some routes. Qantas is in oneworld, so no need to enter Australia -- especially now that the market is oversaturated. JL and CX cover Southeast Asia pretty well, although AA are looking to expand there as well. And don't forget about Jet Airways in India. You don't need to serve a city with your own metal to get your passengers where they need to go.

AA expands slowly and methodically, but they do expand. They know what they do well and they know what they don't. They don't take risks like Delta because they don't feel they need to. People may not like AA's slow growth, but that is ok. For the majority of travelers, they will still get you where you need to go.

Texan



"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23223 posts, RR: 20
Reply 20, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 11613 times:

Quoting United787 (Reply 18):
They announced they would be ordering the 787 over two years ago and still have not finalized the order!

No, although they did have delivery slots for a year or so from now.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineAA777223 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1254 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 11032 times:

Quoting United787 (Reply 18):
They announced they would be ordering the 787 over two years ago and still have not finalized the order! A common response on AA threads is "just wait until the 787s arrive".... well they need to order them first, and then it will be a long wait!

I have been preaching that sermon for a while on here, myself. Those slots are supposed to be subejct to a provision being made in the APA contract. If the pilots don't ever give in and budge a little, those slots might go to someone else. The pilots stubbornness may be their undoing, and that of the whole carrier.



Sic 'em bears
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23223 posts, RR: 20
Reply 22, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 11031 times:

Quoting AA777223 (Reply 21):
Those slots are supposed to be subejct to a provision being made in the APA contract. If the pilots don't ever give in and budge a little, those slots might go to someone else.

With delivery 5 years off and the slots set, what is the point (today) of dealing with the APA contract?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineN471wn From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1583 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 10999 times:
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Horton and Arpey are still convinced that "smaller is better" They simply think that a shrinking airline is better than a growing airline. They do not care to see what is going on now both domestically and internationally and sadly the more astute airlines prognosticators are passing them by.....years from now we will all look back and wonder how AA could miss the market so badly......

User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23223 posts, RR: 20
Reply 24, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 10929 times:

Quoting N471wn (Reply 23):
They simply think that a shrinking airline is better than a growing airline.

How have AA's ASMs changed over the past year or two?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
25 N471wn : Not sure but my recollecton is that they have been flat or down systemwide---some small growth internationally has been offset by reduced intra US fl
26 jfklganyc : "How have AA's ASMs changed over the past year or two?" Hey Cubsrule, let's not ignore a decade of major shrinkage with the retirement of the F100s, 7
27 EricR : Both domestic and international are down YOY. 2008 ASMs Domestic: 101.9 billion International: 61.7 billion 2009 ASMs: Domestic: 93.0 billion Internat
28 FlyPNS1 : Not really different from other carriers. DL retired all 727s, 732s, 733s, 762s, L1011s, E120s, ATR72s and grouned some 757s, 763's and MD88's. The o
29 Post contains images elmothehobo : ORD-HKG Seriously though, DFW-PEK. If American didn't fly the route, Air Sahara was, and American would have codeshared on the route. If threatened w
30 N471wn : But they (unlike AA) are now growing and pullling a/c out of the desert---AA is just in a fog and Horton should be sacked as he has Arpey "hoodwinked
31 GCT64 : (I know this is very controversial but...) I have assumed for some time, due to their relative inactivity compared with their peers, that AA's plan is
32 Cubsrule : UA and DL have removed aircraft from the desert, but which of the "big 3" has taken the most new aircraft this year? AA has taken 34, I think DL has
33 junction : That's as logical explanation as any for the lack of AA international growth compared to it's peers. These are some other good reasons:
34 N62NA : It's a bit disappointing that DL and UA/CO reach almost every major and mid-sized city in Europe nonstop from JFK / EWR while AA has such a limited s
35 n9801f : It's pretty straightforward: you need to be profitable before you can afford to expand. And AA is currently not sufficiently profitable. As noted abo
36 N471wn : Point taken.....
37 moman : This does seem to be what the long term growth plan is. Arpey himself has commented that a BA/AA merger is the ultimate goal, and outside of that pla
38 DFWEagle : Although building from a very small base, AA is actually expanding fairly aggressively into Asia and its capacity in the region is rapidly increasing.
39 jfk777 : Where is Air Sahara today ? In the dustbin of Indian airline history ? Air Sahara was no Kingfisher or Jet Airways.
40 crosswinds21 : I don't understand why people keep saying that AA doesn't expand. Sure, they may not have been as aggressive as a couple of other competitors, but I c
41 COGlobeTrotter : Air Sahara was bought out by Jet Airways.
42 DFWEagle : One particularly notable area of expansion for AA has been in the USA-Spain market. As late as March 2008 they had only 1x daily USA-Spain flight. Rem
43 LipeGIG : A little less than that, but they also added 25 weekly flights to Brazil (MIA-SSA-REC, MIA-CNF, JFK-GIG, MIA-BSB and DFW-GIG).
44 aaflt1871 : I mean AA could go the way of DL,UA,CO,US and NW and go into Bankruptcy and reorganize that way and come out a stronger airline, but I think it is say
45 AADC10 : AA is taking a conservative approach while DL is taking an aggressive approach. If the economy recovers, DL will reap the benefits. If the economy is
46 USAirALB : We have to remember, that AA, as well as PM UA stick to premium markets in Europe and Asia. They also tend to stick away from secondary markets. For e
47 SESGDL : Not true, AA doesn't take risks like DL because they can't. They haven't consistently made profits since before 9/11 and have had the worst performan
48 flyfree727 : you mean consistently more profitable after they failed and entered BK and shed all their debt? Gotcha.. AA ORD
49 Post contains images wn700driver : Well, APA & AA need to sit down get that hashed out, post haste. PEK, and several of the asian markets that would be so covered are profitable an
50 SESGDL : Yes. AA doesn't get a pat on the back for not filing for Chapter 11 when many of their competitors did. As admirable as it may have been, AA would be
51 moman : Delta taking the risks will reap the rewards, as stated by another poster. Delta is building a network that will rival any in the world and has the v
52 Post contains images n9801f : AA has a lower proportion of speculative capacity than DL at the moment. So in a downturn, DL is probably in a riskier position in AA after all. DL i
53 Lufthansa411 : This whole think is not so much about AA not adding new routes in real terms- but that AA seams highly stagnant to analysts, investors and the travell
54 n9801f : Part of me agrees. But airlines in AA's position have made dramatic comebacks before, so I don't write them off just yet. They have some deep, fundam
55 flyfree727 : There is NO gloating here trust me, as I am well aware that AA would be in an overall better position HAD they filed BK. My point is, Delta et al are
56 MDShady : In my opinon, AAL inability to expand goes back to the disasterous Don Carty years when an incredible internal distrust was created. Before that they
57 Post contains images DocLightning : It's very true. Of the Big Three (UA, AA, and DL), DL was the baby. Interestingly, poor US is stuck in a real pickle, as a "baby major." They don't h
58 chopchop767 : One might also say that the bankruptcies were not so much a failure of management, but instead an 'opportunity' to shed cost structures and expensive
59 skyhigh : What I can't understand is why AA doesn't cooperate more with it's oneworld partners. AA has ATI one of the biggest and most profitable airlines in So
60 MAH4546 : AA has a proportionally larger amount of O&D out of the New York City area that makes it easier for AA to add new markets and grab a healthy propo
61 bobnwa : It is "not expanding" if your RPMs continually go down as they have have at AA for many years.
62 commavia : And they are getting there. Some Asian markets are just better served by alliance partners - plain and simple. I do not believe that markets like Ban
63 Post contains links DFWEagle : AA's RPM's are now increasing. The most recent data available for November 2010 shows an increase of 4.3% year over year for mainline and an increase
64 sxf24 : No, they're not. Every airline is showing YoY increases in RPM. Easy to do that when the baseline is so low. A better comparison for "growth" would b
65 DFWEagle : Comparing November 2008 with November 2010 still shows RPM growth. AA is growing NOW and has been for the last two years. The fact that they went thr
66 crosswinds21 : Yes but this thread is about opening up new markets to provide more worldwide access to AA's customers, which is what AA has been doing, at least to
67 Post contains links EricR : No they have not been growing for the past two years. The may be growing in 2010, but 2007, 2008 and 2009 AA had RPMs and ASMs down each year from th
68 MAH4546 : The overall rate over the past two years has been 3 MD80s retired for every 5 738s delivered. Some months, like this past June, no MD80s were retired
69 DFWEagle : The major shrink happened in the fall of 2008 when capacity was really slashed. So, for the entire year 2008 compared to the entire year 2009 capacit
70 sxf24 : If that's the case, why ASM growth is so small? Are they just flying more planes less?
71 F9Animal : I don't think that expansion is a wise choice for AA right now. They are working on what is on their plate at the moment, and I applaud them for doing
72 n9801f : You may all be right. There's a subtlety here - look only at international capacity (ASM's). That changes the picture for most legacies. Often you'll
73 EricR : The numbers I used included Eagle and Mainline. Also, the minor increases in international do not offset the drop in domestic. Also keep in mind that
74 n9801f : Yes, fully agreed. AA is pretty clever about preserving connectivity despite capacity cuts. For instance, look at how they use RJ's at their hubs to
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