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TWA/Continental/AA 747's  
User currently offlineSFOFlyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 132 posts, RR: 0
Posted (12 years 11 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1512 times:

Can anyone tell me why TWA, Continental, and AA stopped flying 747's? I realize most of their 747 fleets were older (-100's and -200's) but I loved seeing those giant Boeings in a variety of U.S. liveries. Is it because most of the international service for those carriers is acrossed the Atlantic (easily servicable by 777's & 767's) or is there another reason? It seems an airline as large as AA ought to have a few 747's around just for prestige (smile)!

I like seeing the big 767-400's of Continental and the 777's of AA, but they don't have the same appeal as the quad engined beauty.


UA 1K Million Mile Flyer
8 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offline777-500ER From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (12 years 11 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1454 times:

TWA's were profitable till Jul. 17 1996.

AA/DL/CO Never been really profitable. Never entered in their route structure.

Michael SFO
 Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Proud member of BASA

User currently offlineETA Unknown From Comoros, joined Jun 2001, 2072 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (12 years 11 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1442 times:

AA/CO/DL were "keeping up with the Jones'" as the expression goes.
TWA bought them- begrudgingly- to compete with Pan Am. TWA didn't want anything bigger than the Tristar and their CEO at the time described, on record, the 747 as "Juan Trippe's (former Pan Am CEO) last sick joke on the industry."

User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (12 years 11 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1428 times:

TWA wasn't too profitable on the 747s. Rember that they could fill half of the 747s and pax want more flights a day on small planes and less on bigger planes. TWA however made a killing on the 757/767 aircraft. It's too bad they didn't get rid of the 747s before 1996 otherwise TWA would've made a comeback like CO. I predict they would've still been flying to Europe and fight to get back into LHR and flew to the Carribean, North America and the mideast but Asia would be out of it's league but maybe they could've given HKG a shot but since UAL pulled the JFK-HKG I doubt it TWA's would lasted longer than a year or so. I think they would've been a good candidate for the 777.

But this is just my opion anyone else got some ideas?

User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8045 posts, RR: 54
Reply 4, posted (12 years 11 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1412 times:

No-one held a gun to TWA's head to keep the 747s for 26 years. If they didn't want them once the TriStars came along they could have flogged them like DL and AA did. Fact is TWA were an int'l airline and the 747 was the right aircraft for the job.

fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineTan flyr From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1903 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (12 years 11 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1396 times:

Like ETA said, it was a matter of keeping up with the Jones' syndrome that got AA, CO, DL and the rest. When the fare system was still regulated, most just worked the cost of half-full 747s in the structure for CAB fare approvals. Then came de-regulation and trasport by air for the masses. For the traditional domestic airlines the 747 was just too big. It has worked for maybe UA on certain hub to hub flights, and maybe some of TWA's trans-cons were profitable, but it really only made money on trans-oceanic crossings.

Most saw the light and dumped the 747's as fast as they could (DL,AA, NA) while the 747 worked for TWA in trans-Atlantic service.

In the hindsight dept....IF Trans World Corp had not drained all the cash out of TWA in the late 70's-early 80's, then TW probably could have ordered more 767's and some 757's that would have fit the emerging new route structure much better.

AA cut a deal with PA and traded the 747's one for one as I recall for the DC-10's that Pan Am had come into owning as a part of the NA deal, this was in the early 80's or so.

Hope this helps.

User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (12 years 11 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1392 times:

But they held the 747 for too long. Like DL and EAL they should've just stuck with the Tristar. Having one type of gas guzzler is plenty but two is way too ridiculous especially when your costs are skyrocketing due to the Karaboo deal and other factors. If Gordon Bethune went to TW instead of CO those 747s would've been almost instantly gone like way of the the 747s and A300s at CO. A good decision made a smart man which is one of the reasons why CO is still around today fighting the big boys. TWA wasn't even that international compared to other airlines. They flew to Western Europe, Mideast, Mexico, Carribbean and North America (excluding Canada). TWA's Asian venture lasted less than 10 years. They even cut back on BOM after 8 years so TWA no longer sereved destinations between HNL and RYD. The did not service Africa, South America and to my knowledge they didn't service Canada.

User currently offlineAirbus380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 11 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1374 times:

CO stopped because the -100 and -200 that they flew were old and outdated. They were receiving their first 772's at the time that they did away with the 747's. Most airlines are now going for widebody twins. If I were you, I would try to schedule a flight on a 747 soon. They are not such a common occurence anymor elike they used to be.

User currently offlineJohnnybgoode From Germany, joined Jan 2001, 2187 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (12 years 11 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1353 times:

the 747s are no common occurence anymore?
have you ever been to FRA, LHR, SIN, SYD, JFK, LAX, SFO???

there are more 747s in service than ever before!!!!

If only pure sweetness was offered, why's this bitter taste left in my mouth.
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