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Why Did TWA Wait So Long To Order The 757?  
User currently offlineMaddogJT8D From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 416 posts, RR: 1
Posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6260 times:

Just found myself wondering this day. Most US carriers like AA, UA, and DL ordered their 757 fleets in the early and mid 1980's. However, I noticed that TWA's 757 deliveries begain in 1996 according to N702TW's FAA registration. I am wondering, what took TWA so long to place an order for the 757? Why did they wait until they did and what did they replace in the fleet?

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 28725 posts, RR: 24
Reply 1, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6235 times:

Quoting MaddogJT8D (Thread starter):
what took TWA so long to place an order for the 757?

Probably because their financial condition didn't permit an earlier order. Remember they had ordered a large Airbus fleet but had to continually postpone and then cancel the order due to their financial situation.

User currently offlineairbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 9696 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6154 times:

Quoting MaddogJT8D (Thread starter):
I am wondering, what took TWA so long to place an order for the 757?

Too big, maybe?
I'm guessing here but IIRC, TWA's domestic strategy by that time was to feed it's TATL operations out of JFK. 757's may have been too big for that. Instead they ordered a bunch of MD-82's. They also ordered 767's which unlike the 757's, could be operated in both domestic and TATL routes.

User currently offlinejetskipper From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 432 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6139 times:

Continental didn't receive their first 757-200 until the mid-90's for a lot of the same financial reasons.

User currently offlineOzarkD9S From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5559 posts, RR: 20
Reply 4, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 5922 times:

Carl Icahn didn't want to invest in new airplanes. His idea of fleet expansion was to buy Ozark, sell/lease back the fleet of 46 DC-9's and 4 MD-80's (at basically the same amount of money he paid for OZ), then tell the pilots that he had acquired "50 new planes" as he promised when he bought control of TWA. He did order 10 A-330's which were constantly being deferred.

Then came the first Gulf War and TWA's first Chapter 11 filing. No money. It wasn't until after Icahn left during the second "pre-packaged" Chapter 11 filing and Bill Compton, a TWA pilot, later took charge that TWA placed orders for 757's and then 717's and A-318's. The 318's were part of a package deal to get the A-330's off the books. I'm not sure the 318 would have been a good fit for TWA but that was the deal they got.

Next Up: STL-OMA-STL. Just a day trip and one more state off my list.
User currently offlineWesternA318 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 5757 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 5904 times:

Airbazar is closer to the truth. TWA was betting on funneling pax through STL and onto JFK for their TATL hops. It didnt work so ell, and Icahn only made it worse. What should have happened is both hubs should have been designed as main hubs, ATL should have never been created as a hub, the 757s and new 763's were ordered when upper management finally decided to rebuild the fleet. The Airbus order was originally for 10 A330-300's with a few options, was then changed to an all A320 Family order (including being the US launch Airline for the A318, which went to Frontier after TWA disappeared) in order to keep all the deposits with Airbus. The 717's, 757's and 763's were all ordered to replace the old DC-9's (717s), the 757's had a dual role in replacing 727's and L-1011's, while the new 763's were originally supposed to increase the 767-200/-300 fleet and get rid of the remaining 747s. Then the 767-200's were retired as well.

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User currently offlineTOMMY767 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 5814 times:

Quoting jetskipper (Reply 3):

Technically USAir didn't get all that many either until the mid 1990s. Their first 757 frames were inherited from EA. IIRC, the factory fresh frames started delivery in 1993.

User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 17444 posts, RR: 49
Reply 7, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 5585 times:

Basically because TWA was a financial mess for a long time, well before their 757 order. They were going to ride their fleet of DC-9s, MD-80s, 727s, 767-200s, L1011s and 747s as far as they could.

Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 10922 posts, RR: 52
Reply 8, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 5555 times:

The popularity of the 757 was much different than most airplanes. It didn't hit its peak production rate until 1991, which was 10 years after it began production. The 757 did not sell very well early on it its life as it was considered to similar in size to the 767.

TWA was an early 767 customer and heavily used those airplanes and didn't need the similarly sized 757. That's similar to UA which chose the 767 and was not an early 757 customer either.

If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinePC12Fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2569 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5469 times:

I remember vividly when Tee Dub finally ordered the 757. My reaction? YES!! The stock reacted accordingly. I know, I was a holder.

There are so many shoulda, coulda, wouldas when it comes to TWA. How I wish they materialized.

Long live That Wonderful Airline!

Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!
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