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Independence Air Question  
User currently offline9LFlyGuy From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 170 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5235 times:

We all know Independence Air came at the wrong time, with the wrong equipment, and was killed by their rapid expansion and poor management. Okay, so here's the question, if Indy Air would have came at a proper time with the economy booming and maybe with better LCC equipment, say 737s instead of A319s and E190s instead of CRJs. Where do you think they'd be today? What could have saved Independence from their demise?

Also on another topic as well, I am a big collector of Indy Air memorabilia. If anyone has anything or knows where I could find anything, shoot me a PM.


My opinions do not represent the opinions of my company. They are solely the opinion of the poster.
26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinekcrwflyer From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3847 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5203 times:

I don't know how you figue a 737 to be better LCC equipment than a 319. E190 instead of CRJ would have wrecked most of their route network.

They could have saved themselves from demise THEN with CRJ's and a319 had they raised their fares in most markets and properly groomed their schedules. You don't need to offer $39 fares on CRW-IAD when $100 would still be seen as a great deal.


User currently offlinebmibaby737 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1836 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5176 times:

Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Thread starter):
better LCC equipment, say 737s instead of A319s

You kidding? One word... easyJet.


User currently offlineizbtmnhd From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 278 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5047 times:

Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Thread starter):

Poor management doomed IndyAir from day one. "Better timing" would have only lengthened the pain. It was very bad idea that was used as the basis for following other very bad ideas.


User currently offlineskyone From Mexico, joined Feb 2001, 438 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5011 times:

Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Thread starter):
Where do you think they'd be today?

Same place as Skybus!


User currently offlineGSPSPOT From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3108 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4964 times:

It sure was a lovely product while it lasted, though...   About the only time I actually didn't mind flying in a CR2!


Finally made it to an airline mecca!
User currently offline0NEWAIR0 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 939 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4809 times:

Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Thread starter):
Okay, so here's the question, if Indy Air would have came at a proper time with the economy booming and maybe with better LCC equipment, say 737s instead of A319s and E190s instead of CRJs. Where do you think they'd be today? What could have saved Independence from their demise?

The A319 was not the issue... the CRJ200 was. If they would have been able to speed up delivery of the A319s from day 1 (not after all of the cash was pretty much gone) and started phasing out the CRJ200s they could have lasted a bit longer (and may still be around today).

You CANNOT operate a low fare carrier with 50 seat jets. You will GO BANKRUPT! Period!



"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
User currently offlineludavid777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 206 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4705 times:

Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Thread starter):
Also on another topic as well, I am a big collector of Indy Air memorabilia. If anyone has anything or knows where I could find anything, shoot me a PM.

I was a flight attendant for Independence Air and have a few dupes of certain things. I even have Flyi wine! lol It probably tastes like vinegar by now haha but the bright blue wine bottle is what you really care about anyway.

I have some timetables, safety cards, inflight stuff, even a second inflight manual somewhere in my collection.

What are you looking for? PM if it's easier.


User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8379 posts, RR: 23
Reply 8, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4659 times:

So, basically, you're asking if Independence Air weren't Independence Air, where would they be? I dunno, I mean, if Independence Air were Southwest they'd be doing pretty well for themselves...


This Website Censors Me
User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4614 times:

Quoting N766UA (Reply 8):
So, basically, you're asking if Independence Air weren't Independence Air, where would they be? I dunno, I mean, if Independence Air were Southwest they'd be doing pretty well for themselves...

My thoughts exactly, you've asked too many "what-ifs." What if UA had gone belly-up in their own bankruptcy, Indy would have been in a good position to quickly capture the IAD market. What if the price of fuel had crashed instead of continuing to climb, and the poor economics of the CRJ no longer mattered?

It is what it is, we'll never know what might have happened if you change one variable, let alone 4.


User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 10, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4469 times:

Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Thread starter):
say 737s instead of A319s

As previously noted

Quoting 0NEWAIR0 (Reply 6):
The A319 was not the issue

The A319 came too late in the process to give the airline flexibility. Had they ordered 737s on the same timeline - the airline would have failed the same way it did. There is no B737/A319 question about their ability to survive - just that they waited far to long to get something other than the 50 seater into place.


User currently offlinebohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2751 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4415 times:

Quoting skyone (Reply 4):
Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Thread starter):
Where do you think they'd be today?

Same place as Skybus!

Please give Independence Air some credit. They lasted longer than Skybus.  
Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Thread starter):
Also on another topic as well, I am a big collector of Indy Air memorabilia. If anyone has anything or knows where I could find anything, shoot me a PM.

Let me know what you're looking for. PM me.


User currently offlinenws2002 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 926 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4394 times:

As a DH employee it sucked to watch it all go down.

We should've negotiated with UA and continued flying as United Express. We had way too many CRJs to start FLYi, and scheduled them nonstop through our IAD hub. $29 fares were absurd and most employees knew we were not making money.

It would've been better to let DH fail and start a new carrier with the A319s.


User currently offlinemetjetceo From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 412 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4386 times:

I used to go to IAD from EWR each week and in a 30 minute flight always got a full beverage service, a hot towel and a mint when I got off the plane.

If playing what if...I think the market of IAD could have worked or could have been an issue as its close enough to BWI to be a problem for Air Tran and Southwest. Anyhow, I think larger aircraft would work if they a) reduced frequency to the cities the flew too, b) offered it as point to point without connections at IAD c) maintained some of their 3rd party contracts with the majors.


User currently onlinemham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3731 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4326 times:

Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Thread starter):
Also on another topic as well, I am a big collector of Indy Air memorabilia. If anyone has anything or knows where I could find anything, shoot me a PM.

Sure, I have some stock I'll sell. Cheap.


User currently offlinen9801f From Samoa, joined Apr 2004, 346 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 4279 times:

Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Thread starter):
What could have saved Independence from their demise?

You are right to focus on a different aircraft type. They were built for sprints but were trying to run a marathon.

However there were other fundamental issues - for instance Independence Air couldn't fill their bigger, lower seat-mile cost planes very well.

Maybe the way to "save it" would be to sell the old airline early and intact - CRJ's and United agreement in place - then use the cash to start a brand new airline.

That way you avoid trying to evolve a Maserati into a Prius - it's just too big a gap.

Of course, hindsight is 20-20!

They were a terrific airline to fly on - an all-time personal favorite.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23308 posts, RR: 20
Reply 16, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 4239 times:

Quoting n9801f (Reply 15):
However there were other fundamental issues - for instance Independence Air couldn't fill their bigger, lower seat-mile cost planes very well.

Well, they did a poor job filling the 319s on their 319 routes. When they put the 319s on CRJ routes - routes they had started with CRJs and then used the 319s to reduce frequency and/or add capacity, they did a much better job of filling them. To me, that suggests that there were things that could have worked - 4 319s rather than 10 CRJs on IAD-CLT would probably have worked better from the start, but they didn't have the 319s at the start.

DH did do some things right. Their inflight product is similar to what people praise B6 and F9 for today. IAD was probably as good a hub as any. But the CRJs were very, very wrong (as was their horrendous service on the ground, FWIW).



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5127 posts, RR: 28
Reply 17, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4045 times:

Quoting nws2002 (Reply 12):
We should've negotiated with UA and continued flying as United Express.

I agree, and when I heard that Independence was coming, I had a bit of a gut feeling that it was going to be interesting.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 16):
Their inflight product is similar to what people praise B6 and F9 for today. IAD was probably as good a hub as any.

They did indeed have a great product. But, that product was great because of the enthusiasm of the employees. I met several of the crews in SEA, when they flew the 319 here. They were very fun, and so outgoing.

Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Thread starter):
Where do you think they'd be today? What could have saved Independence from their demise?

I think they would have had a fighting chance, if they had gotten better control of their own management. There were several areas they could have crunched. They also could have streamlined several routes that were hurting them. As most have mentioned, they needed those 319's really bad. The west coast routes were filling up, and I was shocked to see how full the SEA flights were getting.

So in short, more time, and more 319's. I think Indy would have survived.

Quoting kcrwflyer (Reply 1):
You don't need to offer $39 fares on CRW-IAD when $100 would still be seen as a great deal.

Which brings up a great point. Whoever was in revenue management, needed a swift kick in the butt. Sure, you will fill your seats with those kinds of fares.... But, you will lose money with that kind of fare. I think their capacity control team was out of whack as well. I agree with someone above. They should have put most of those 319's on the dense CRJ routes, and started phasing them out faster. Time was just not on their side.

Quoting nws2002 (Reply 12):
As a DH employee it sucked to watch it all go down.

Not even a DH employee, but yes, it was terrible to watch it all go down. Such a great group of employees. Indy lost more than just passengers, they lost some great talent.  



I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlinemtnwest1979 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 2485 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4011 times:

I still have an unopened bottle of water I received on a CRW-IAD flight. I like the indy air lgo on bottle lol.


"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
User currently offlinen9801f From Samoa, joined Apr 2004, 346 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3828 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 16):
IAD was probably as good a hub as any.

Maybe for one airline (i.e. UA) but not two. IAD was saturated with both UA and Independence there.

In order for Independence to fill routes like IAD-CLT, they had to rely on lower-yield connecting traffic.

Other airlines you mention, such as B6 and F9, are able to fill their big planes with a high proportion of richer local (point-to-point) traffic. This makes the P&L numbers work.

But it's very, very hard to make the numbers work when you carry mostly connecting traffic.


User currently offlinedwcontroller From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 157 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3511 times:

Quoting skyone (Reply 4):
Same place as Skybus!

haha my first thought exactly to the OP.



Best phrase to hear at the airport - "All standbys have been cleared and may board at this time"
User currently offlineJohnClipper From Hong Kong, joined Aug 2005, 855 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3059 times:

I have some stuff on eBay and my webstore...pm me...

User currently offlineizbtmnhd From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 278 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2257 times:

Simply put, there just wasn't enough demand from IAD for both the IndyAir product and United, even at rock bottom prices. Outside of Lansing, I don't believe that IndyAir tried any route that hadn't already been operated by UA, at least for the CRJ routes. It was overkill. A fair amount of early morning Indy flights went out with 1-10 passengers and some routes had those passenger counts all day long. When they scaled back the CRJ operation later, it was counter to their original idea of keeping the birds in the air in order to offset their high operating costs. A plain disaster.

Even the A319's weren't that full. Stuff to Florida was abysmal at times, especially RSW. Some West Coast stuff did alright but there was never a time where they had 90%+ load factors for an extended period with the Airbus operation.

The whole scheme was a very, very bad idea.

Didn't Skybus bust in a shorter period simply because it had less money to start with?


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23308 posts, RR: 20
Reply 23, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1998 times:

Quoting n9801f (Reply 19):
Maybe for one airline (i.e. UA) but not two. IAD was saturated with both UA and Independence there.

What hub would have been better?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinen9801f From Samoa, joined Apr 2004, 346 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1897 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 23):
What hub would have been better?

Feeding UA at IAD...


25 Cubsrule : ...which wasn't my question.
26 United_fan : At least I got a picture of an Indy A319 a while ago in LAS. All we got in ROC was the CRJ's. I have some Indy stuff at home- a folder I think . I'll
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