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Announced Airline Mergers That Never Happened  
User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 6380 posts, RR: 17
Posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 19528 times:

Some of this has been touched on in recent weeks, but don't know if there are others.

What airline mergers were announced that never came to fruition? And why they fell apart. I'm only talking about announced mergers, not merger talks that faded.


United and USAirways
Northwest and Northeast
National and Continental
American and Eastern
Pan Am and Northwest (not sure if their was an actual offer on the table)  


Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
85 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 19498 times:

Frontier and Western Pacific. WestPac made a bid to buy Frontier right after moving their hub from COS to DEN. But once Frontier got a good look at their books, they walked away, but later in the year, F9 made another bid for the airline while it was in bankruptcy, but WestPac ended up folding.

User currently offlineAirport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 19457 times:

I recall Aloha and Hawaiian announced a merger earlier in the 2000s, and had even created a new livery/identity for the combined carrier, but I can't recall why the merger was called off. Anyone with more info?

User currently onlineC010T3 From Brazil, joined Jul 2006, 3681 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 19367 times:

VARIG and TAM back in 2003.

User currently offlineNWADC9 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4896 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 19364 times:

What exactly happened to the Northwest/American merger in the 90s?


Flying an aeroplane with only a single propeller to keep you in the air. Can you imagine that? -Capt. Picard
User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 6380 posts, RR: 17
Reply 5, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 19312 times:

Quoting NWADC9 (Reply 4):
What exactly happened to the Northwest/American merger in the 90s?

I don't remember that one. If anything, those two had a lot of bad blood between them. First, there was the 1992 fare war. Second, NW started poaching top AA executives.



Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
User currently offlineedina From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 743 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 19284 times:

BA & KLM

BA & QF

neither officially announced but talks proceeded to an advanced stage (twice in the case of KLM)



Worked on - Caravelle Mercure A300 A320 F27 SD3-60 BAe146 747-100/200/400 DC10-30 767 777 737-400 757 A319 A321
User currently onlinemaxpower1954 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 1072 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 19283 times:

National - Northwest, 1971. CAB indicated they would not approve.

User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 6380 posts, RR: 17
Reply 8, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 19221 times:

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 7):
National - Northwest, 1971. CAB indicated they would not approve.

Any reason given? Definately no overlap. The only common cities that I can remember were SFO, LAX, NYC, TPA, MIA.

Whose name would survive?



Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
User currently offline1stfl94 From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 1455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 19177 times:

Quoting edina (Reply 6):
BA & QF

BA did purchase a 25% stake in QF in the early 90s though, plus they have the JSA on the Kangaroo route.

In the dying days of Swissair, just before the grounding SAirgroup were going to merge Swissair and Crossair. This did happen eventually but under different circumstances


User currently offline747buff From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 741 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 19055 times:

Frank Lorenzo actually came to an agreement to buy TWA in the summer of 1985. According to the book "Rapid Descent", Lorenzo actually began assigning a few of his top CO lieutenants to positions and offices at TW's HQ, since it was practically a done deal. But TW's unions got wind of it and brought in Uncle Carl instead, and the rest is history. In fact TW management actually considered Lorenzo the lesser of two evils, since he actually had knowledge of how the airline business worked.

[Edited 2011-08-07 12:13:07]


At Eastern, we earn our wings every day!
User currently offlinekiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8541 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 19051 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I've got my fingers crossed, hoping against hope, that we will be able to add LAN / TAM to this thread.    Sadly I don't think that will be the case. I think that at one point a number of years ago AM/MX was supposed to happen but I can't recall any details of it. KL/AZ sort of merged and then came apart again a number of years ago, but I suspect that AF/KL will at some stage incorporate AZ.


Moderation in all things ... including moderation ;-)
User currently offlinePacificF27 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 68 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 19034 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Western and Continental. As I recall a flip of a coin determined that the new carrier would be called Western-Continental.


EVA is tops across the Pacific!
User currently offlinecf6ppe From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 345 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 19009 times:

AA and EAL merger/takeover in the late 1960s. Former EAL hangar at ATL was painted in AA colors...

IIRC, during a Congressional hearing, the AA execs were asked about how the EAL personnel would be integrated into the AA ranks; AA execs replied, what EAL folks??

Perhaps someone could expand on the happenings.


User currently offlinegoldorak From France, joined Sep 2006, 1830 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 18899 times:

KL and AZ. It's funny to think that in the near future, we may see a merger AF/KL with AZ.

User currently offlinedeltacto From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 434 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 18690 times:

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 7):
National - Northwest, 1971. CAB indicated they would not approve.
Northeast Airlines (U.S.) MIA-LAX Route? (by Tango-Bravo Aug 10 2010 in Civil Aviation)

From an old copy of "Airliners" magazine:



"But the CAB agreed to approve (a Northwest/Northeast) merger in December 1970 only if the Miami-Los Angeles route was not included. For Northwest, it was all or nothing and its $50 million big was withdrawn the following year."

[Edited 2011-08-07 13:00:21]

User currently offlineedina From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 743 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 18594 times:

BCal & SAS was also on ther verge of happening before BA muscled in.


Worked on - Caravelle Mercure A300 A320 F27 SD3-60 BAe146 747-100/200/400 DC10-30 767 777 737-400 757 A319 A321
User currently offlineHA_DC9 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 653 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 18547 times:

Quoting Airport (Reply 2):
I recall Aloha and Hawaiian announced a merger earlier in the 2000s, and had even created a new livery/identity for the combined carrier, but I can't recall why the merger was called off. Anyone with more info?
http://archives.starbulletin.com/2001/12/20/news/story1.html
http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2002/Mar/17/ln/ln02a.html

You are correct. The merger was announced on 12/18/2001 and called off on 3/16/2002 when HA pulled out. There was a lot of consumer, shareholder and employee oposition to the deal. I do recall that the new carrier would keep the AQ name, but keep the HA fleet. IMHO and personally, I thought dumping the HA name would be stupid as HA had the better name recognition of the two and at that time HA was in the middle of a "rebirth" that would make the company what it is today. Fast foward a couple years with 1 HA bankruptcy filing and 2 AQ bankruptcy filings and eventual shutdown and here we are today.

I think a major contributing factor to the merger failure was a nasty collective bargaining clause in some of the AQ labor contracts that were ratified years before the merger was announced whereby it was put in these AQ labor contracts that if the 2 airlines merged and layoffs would occur, those layoffs would apply to the HA staff first. This clause was put in the contracts on the notion that AQ would acquire HA which at the time during the 1980's and 1990's was the weaker of the two airlines. HA embarked on a "rebirth" of sorts starting around 1999/2000 which literally reinvented itself and eventually became stronger than AQ, but the AQ labor clause remained in place. Here's a link to that story:

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2002/Jan/15/bz/bz01a.html

When word of that labor clause came out, I remember it started a firestorm of controversy with HA employees and backlash on AQ labor unions.

The rest as they say is history.


User currently offlinePI767 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 18496 times:

National and Eastern.

I have a publication at home that shows the various statistics involving a merged company and a combined route map.


User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8685 posts, RR: 43
Reply 19, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 18466 times:

LX was supposed to merge with or be swallowed whole by BA, that didn't happen either.

Quoting kiwiandrew (Reply 11):
I've got my fingers crossed, hoping against hope, that we will be able to add LAN / TAM to this thread.

you and me both, kiwiandrew



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently onlinemaxpower1954 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 1072 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 18429 times:

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 8):
Any reason given? Definately no overlap. The only common cities that I can remember were SFO, LAX, NYC, TPA, MIA.

Whose name would survive?

I'm out of town, when I get home I'll check my collection of National employee newspapers (National Now) and report back!


User currently offline1stfl94 From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 1455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 18350 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 19):
LX was supposed to merge with or be swallowed whole by BA, that didn't happen either

LX pulled out of that deal because they didn't think there would be much advantage to them compared to what BA were asking.


User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 18341 times:

Quoting edina (Reply 16):
BCal & SAS was also on ther verge of happening before BA muscled in.

I recall reading somewhere that during the time Jan Carlzon was CEO at SK he tried to merge the company with a number of other European airlines. That was one of the reasons why he had to leave his post if I'm not mistaken.


User currently offlineisitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 24
Reply 23, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 18279 times:

Quoting deltacto (Reply 15):
"But the CAB agreed to approve (a Northwest/Northeast) merger in December 1970 only if the Miami-Los Angeles route was not included. For Northwest, it was all or nothing and its $50 million big was withdrawn the following year."


Right...I was with NW when the merger was announced, approved and then NW walked away from it because the MIA-LAX route "was awarded to NorthEast on a temporary basis and was not part of the merger"...so said the FAA.

Another merger that Uncle Sam shot down quite early was American and Eastern in 1962 or early 63. The talks were started but the government told AA and EA boards of directors, don't bother....it ain't gonna happed.
I have the newspaper clipping somewheres in my collection.
BN and CO were in talks that went no where in 63.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineEASTERN747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 514 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 17920 times:

Eastern and American would have been a good mix. Once again the government and politics played a big part. Sadly, if our government today controled the banks and oil companies we probably wouldn't be in this mess. The taxpapers give oils companies big tax breaks, yet they make RECORD profits. And the crap goes on.......I don't get it.

25 9LFlyGuy : I don't know if you'd call it a merger but WN made an attempt at F9 before RP got them. I think it was a breakdown in pilot negotiations that caused i
26 ha763 : That was just the last attempt for a merger. There were at least 3 previous attempts at a AQ-HA merger going all the way back to the 1960's. Each tim
27 WA707atMSP : In the early 1990s, there was a three way asset swap proposed, where NW would sell AA their ORD-NRT route, and their ordered (but not yet delivered)
28 Doona : He was also one of the driving figures behind the proposed Alcazar airline alliance (which a terrible name, really) in the early 90's, between SAS, S
29 WA707atMSP : I picked up a copy of this for $2.00 at last year's Airliners International convention. The route map is really neat - it's in the same style as EA's
30 maxpower1954 : The CAB was always historicaly opposed to mergers of carriers which were in basically sound financial health, regardless of competitive status. The ex
31 EddieDude : For a while, a holding company called CINTRA owned both MX and AM after they had both run into financial trouble. The federal government through the
32 DALelite : Didn't DL try to swallow CO in the mid 90's? cheers : DALelite
33 AirFrance744 : IIRC, that was never announced. It was a merger talk that faded.
34 Post contains links and images UnitedTristar : Actually it was announced in May of 2000. http://money.cnn.com/2000/05/24/deals/united/ you are probably thinking of the talks in 2010 that broke off
35 Delta777Jet : Hi Folks , didn't America West try to merge with TWA in 2000! A massive Codesharing Agreement was already announced (I would like to see the combined
36 AirFrance744 : I certainly was. I had no idea about the proposed merger in 2000. Thanks.[Edited 2011-08-07 18:14:26]
37 srbmod : AirTran also kicked the tires in regards to TWA and after they saw what kind of shape TWA was financially, they ran for the hills. I remember when th
38 michman : Both DL and NW apparently attempted hostile takeovers of CO in the 90's. NW owned a substantial number of shares of CO stock at one point. The DOJ ma
39 n318ea : Frank Lorenzo, "The Airline Builder." Lorenzo couldn't build a windshield wiper for a dog's ass. Just asked the former employees of all the airlines w
40 HermansCVR580 : What about Northwest/Midway right before Midway closed up shop?
41 jc2354 : I don't know if this would qualify, but during the final months of PeoplExpress, United was interested in purchasing/merging with the original Frontie
42 n9801f : Jack - yes I remember this, too. IIRC, United agreed to acquire Frontier around August 1986. A major condition was that all Frontier pilots would be
43 PITrules : Related to the announced United/US Airways merger: Atlantic Coast Airlines and PSA/Piedmont/Allegheny Related to the United bankruptcy: Mesa and Atlan
44 mayor : Quoting the late R.E.G. Davies book on Delta: "The first suitor for Northeast in its re-Storered structure, was Northwest Airlines, which first propo
45 longhauler : Same thing with the Air Canada / Wardair merger that was proposed ... but was never actioned. AC eventually got them anyway!
46 Post contains images F9Fan : Well, WN tried to buy F9 a couple years ago. I remember the flame wars in here all too well. WN was trying to swoop in as the white knight to "rescue"
47 ckfred : Remember that there was more to the deal that simply UA and US merging. Because the combined presence in Washington, D.C. would have been huge, many
48 homsar : If we're including attempted takeovers, there was FL trying to take over YX a few years ago. Okay, someone explain this one to me. Why would UA pilots
49 sccutler : Lorenzo was no prize, but had Texas Air not bought Continental, it would have been gone in months, not years; and the first bankruptcy, and resultant
50 HAL : Actually, what really ended the deal was when the HA management got a look at the AQ books. Since AQ was a privately held company, the deal to merge
51 atcsundevil : I guess the attempted US hostile takeover of DL counts, right..? Not really a merger but it was certainly quite public and lit a fire under DL's ass.
52 PlanesNTrains : An airframe-livery combination that never should have happened. Those BN A320's were u-u-u-U-gly. -Dave
53 Navigator : SAS in its days of glory tried to purchase British Caledonian to get a foothold in the british market. After that when it fell through SAS started to
54 cv990coronado : If only the BA/KL merger had happened. Now that would have made a really super airline. BA would certainly be better shape and could still have become
55 aireuropeuk733 : Air Europe also got a long way down the road before they aborted AE733
56 bdc767 : Midway Airlines (ML) and Northwest Airlines (NWA) in November 1991. The "deal" fell through at the 11th hour and ML was shut down the next day. The Mi
57 TOMMY767 : I think it was like 1998, and several times before and afterwards. Same thing with NW and CO with the golden share thingy. That was back when CO was
58 Post contains images deltal1011man : not sure why that should make the (ex)EA folk feel better....they pretty much took it in the....well yea...while CO was getting alot of EA's good ass
59 n9801f : It was just one year after a bitter (1985) pilots strike at United, and there was some lingering resentment. (This resentment was also a factor in Ri
60 bmacleod : Although it happened 8 years later, wasn't the attempted 1992 merger between AC and CP quite different the 2000 one? We would have seen A310s, 737s an
61 goblin211 : why do airlines announce mergers and never go through sometimes? Isn't it like the company that cried merger?
62 USPIT10L : DCA, no question about it. I remember when UA/CO got federal approval last year, a friend said to me "how could UA and CO get approval but UA and US
63 Post contains links srbmod : If I remember, the combined US/UA was going to give up nearly all of the US slots and gates at DCA to DC Air, and AA was going to get some of them as
64 WesternA318 : Air Florida tried buying out Western Airlines, but Delta (and Air Florida's own demise) got in the way.
65 TOMMY767 : Also I forget that US still had a small hub at BWI back then. So that would have meant that UA/US would have had a hub at IAD, BWI, PHL, and DC Air a
66 longhauler : While AC did attempt a merger with CP in the early 1990s, it was learned later on that they actually had no intention to at the time. In the early 19
67 EMB170 : Yes. Moroever, IIRC AA was going to receive US' MD-80 fleet in the deal as the Mad Dogs were still in sizeable numbers at US (31 frames, I think) but
68 kiwiandrew : Sorry if I missed it while skimming the thread, but has anyone mentioned Olympic/Aegean? Confidently announced by both carriers and then blocked by th
69 WesternA318 : Is this the same Hollis Harris from Delta?
70 bobnwa : Back in the 80's Northwest announced it was buying Midway, but when NW sent auditors to check Midways books, NW did a hasty retreat.
71 Post contains images Airport : Regarding the UA/US merger, here are two route maps I have saved to my computer from an old, old online article regarding planned new routes. Internat
72 srbmod : Yup, and later of World Airways. More than likely the small hub at BWI would have been history, in particular, US Airways' MetroJet operation, which
73 TOMMY767 : Thanks for sharing! TPA/RDU-SFO should still be started, IMHO. It's hard to read but it seems like many of these routes were eventually added by eith
74 sccutler : You mean the "3-raniff," or the dreaded "Reebok" scheme? Oh wait, either way - you're right! Both accurate observations. Like I said, Frank was not y
75 USPIT10L : PITSNA, PITSFO and PITSEA were already operated by US Airways at the time, they were just touting additional nonstop service. Correct, by mid-2001 it
76 malaysia : Makes me think of ConWest (movie airline) might have sounded better that way
77 Post contains links jc2354 : I found this on a google search and some of it is a pretty good read. Apparently, there was a lot more going on than was known about: http://fal-1.tr
78 isitsafenow : Hey....pretty nice. Thanks for that. I have not seen that one. safe
79 WA707atMSP : One side benefit of an NW / NA merger would have been that it would have helped National be more successful on ATL-SFO. NA was awarded ATL-SFO in 1969
80 Post contains images mayor : Well, there was the MIA-LGW award to Air Florida, but I digress.
81 globalflyer : How long did NA operate the ATL-SFO route? I think it was with the DC-8. I am surprised that NA never served ATL except for this route.
82 WA707atMSP : That route made at least some sense. Air Florida had a decent presence in Miami, and could feed the route from several other cities in Florida, Centr
83 kiwiandrew : Once deregulation was in place surely EA would not have needed to claim someone else's dormant authority, they could just start the route anytime the
84 WA707atMSP : In the first year of deregulation, airlines could: 1. Add any route that was dormant. A dormant route was a route that another airline had authority
85 nomadic : In the late 1960s there was extensive coverage in the TWA company newspaper 'Skyliner' of an agreement to merge with Pan Am. For several months there
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