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TWA/Continental/AA 747's

Sat Aug 25, 2001 3:02 am

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.

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RE: TWA/Continental/AA 747's

Sat Aug 25, 2001 3:56 am

TWA's were profitable till Jul. 17 1996.

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

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RE: TWA/Continental/AA 747's

Sat Aug 25, 2001 4:17 am

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."
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RE: TWA/Continental/AA 747's

Sat Aug 25, 2001 4:52 am

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?
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RE: TWA/Continental/AA 747's

Sat Aug 25, 2001 5:26 am

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.
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RE: TWA/Continental/AA 747's

Sat Aug 25, 2001 6:05 am

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.

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RE: TWA/Continental/AA 747's

Sat Aug 25, 2001 6:20 am

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.
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RE: TWA/Continental/AA 747's

Sat Aug 25, 2001 7:28 am

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.
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RE: TWA/Continental/AA 747's

Sat Aug 25, 2001 5:58 pm

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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