TWA772LR From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 753 posts, RR: 1 Posted (4 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 3720 times:
TWA was around during the start of 2 of the global airline alliances, Oneworld and Star. Could have joining one of these alliances helped save TWA? If so what alliance would, or should they have joined? Or was the righting on the wall that they were going to bite the dust?
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srbmod From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 16888 posts, RR: 51 Reply 6, posted (4 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2895 times:
TWA at one point prior to being bought by AA, had a codesharing agreement with America West as well as a FFP agreement in which members of each airlines' FFP could accrue miles on flights of the other airlines'. Some speculated that the deal was laying the groundwork for another airline alliance, perhaps consisting of smaller carriers that the major alliances at the time were likely to not bring into the fold. There had been talk of an LCC alliance to combat the major airlines with both TW and HP being part of it.
When you look at it, what sort of benefits would TWA brought to any of the alliances? While their STL hub was ideally situated geographically, it was too close to ORD to be feasible (Remember AA said after buying TWA that they were going to use STL as a "reliever hub" for ORD and we all know how that panned out.). Their hub at JFK was a shadow of its' former self. US Airways at the time was flying to more international destinations than TWA was at the end, which made it a bit more attractive to the alliances.
I guess it would have depended when it's timeline of TWA's existence that they may have joined said alliance. If it was years before their demise, I'd have to say that may have helped, but near the end, I don't think much would have saved this wonderful carrier from extinction. Too bad as well, near the end they were making some nice changes for the better.
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STT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16250 posts, RR: 52 Reply 8, posted (4 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 2632 times:
From the late '80s onwards until they were acquired by AA TWA was a struggling company. They were trying to merge with everyone (NWA, CO, EA, PA) and none of those mergers panned out. They had Ichan and his ticket selling company sucking the revenues from TWA, they were just starting to get over the near death experience of the early Nineties recession (which claimed EA and PA) when the tragedy of TWA 800 pretty much put TWA on a course for their own closure. There really was no one knocking on their door looking to go into business with TWA, until AA which many feel was a epic mistake on the part of AA but a huge lifeline to TWA employees and the City of St.Louis at least for 8 years or so.
UA787DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 291 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (4 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 2616 times:
It might have pleased some pax, and helped a little, but I think unless TWA had beat the NWA/KLM alliance thingy by forming a full alliance with either BA or AF, they would still have died. And given that I doubt BA or AF would set it up with them, they would still have died. And I think they were too far gone by the 1990s and big alliance time to be saved. They might have held on a bit longer and then finished dying in the 2001 wake, but I doubt they would be here today.
TWA was in major hub mode, mostly JFK and STL. JFK was served by pretty much all foreign carriers, and STL pretty much none. So picking Star or OneWorld, they probably would have liked OneWorld a tad bit more. The issue is, AA was and is a OW founding member and US anchor. I don't think they would have let struggling TWA in until the merger announcement.
Viscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 21460 posts, RR: 24 Reply 11, posted (4 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 2549 times:
Quoting UA787DEN (Reply 9): but I think unless TWA had beat the NWA/KLM alliance thingy by forming a full alliance with either BA or AF, they would still have died. And given that I doubt BA or AF would set it up with them, they would still have died.
And that wouldn't have been possible as the NW/KL alliance with coordinated pricing and capacity etc. was only possible due to antitrust immunity resulting from the U.S.-Netherlands open skies agreement in 1992, the first agreement of its kind involving the U.S. France didn't become open skies until 2001 and the UK not until 2008 when the U.S.-EU open skies agreement was implemented.
AussieItaliano From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 441 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (4 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1674 times:
Remember also that even the decision of AA to acquire TW was a response to UA's proposed takeover of US. I don't think that AA would have done so without the UA/US deal being announced.
In the end, the AA/TW deal was approved by DOJ based on the premise that TW wouldn't survive otherwise, but the UA/US deal never was approved because US, in mid-late 2000, could not demonstrate that it could not survive on its own. Consequently, DOJ hinted that it would not give approval to UA acquiring US, so UA voluntarily withdrew the offer.
So to answer the original question, I don't think anything would have saved TW. DOJ basically found that they were going under unless AA acquired them.
And that was before 11 September 2001. If they, by some miracle, had survived until 10 September 2001, they probably would have been out of business by the end of 2001 anyway.
skywaymanaz From United States of America, joined May 2012, 147 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (4 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 1252 times:
I remember the Royal Jordanian alliance. That always seemed like an oddball one to me but I think TWA was getting desperate for some partners. I think they'd already missed the boat on AA/BA, UA/LH, DL/AF and NW/KL. Maybe SR was just getting to weak by then or possibly like some of the other European carriers above may have said, thanks but no thanks. That would have been a more interesting alliance but obviously weaker then the others above. SR didn't last long after 9/11 either.
Quoting AussieItaliano (Reply 13): And that was before 11 September 2001. If they, by some miracle, had survived until 10 September 2001, they probably would have been out of business by the end of 2001 anyway.
As a former TWA brat I've always believed that to be true sadly. Whatever is left of TWA is in American but that's so little it is indeed depressing. There are extensive threads elsewhere on how the pilots and FA group really got the shaft so let's not hijack this thread to rehash all that. Really sad and quite illegal today because of that. A friend of mine growing up who was also a TWA brat flew on Ansett on 9/13. That was their last day of operations as the funding evaporated. That absolutely would have been TWA's fate without the merger.
AA was their only hope, as a few other airlines had kicked the tires and saw that they would be getting themselves into a pretty big financial mess. AirTran and TWA explored a merger in 2000 for about two weeks, as FL's folks got a look at TWA's books and headed for the hills.