airlinelover
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Republic Airlines

Sat Sep 08, 2001 11:21 am

Can anyone tell me anything/everything you know about the old Republic airlines? I am mainly interested in 1979-NW merger.. Routes, Planes, Hubs, etc... Anything is appreciated..Thanks!

Chris
Lets do some sexy math. We add you, subtract your clothes, divide your legs and multiply
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: Republic Airlines

Sat Sep 08, 2001 11:26 am

A bit broad but I'll try.
Aircraft CV-580, DC-9-30, DC-9-50, DC-9-80, 727-200, 757-200.
Hubs were MEM MSP PHX(?) ATL(?)
Routes. Lop off the northeast US and they served almost the entire US.
Someone with more specific knowledge will answer in more detail, I hope.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
delta-flyer
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RE: Republic Airlines

Sat Sep 08, 2001 11:38 am

Republic was formed by the merger of Southern and North Central. That merger took place around 1979-1980. The NWA acquisition occurred a few years later.

I moved to Jackson, MS in Feb. 1979, when Southern still operated here. They had several daily DC-9 flights to ATL and MEM continuing to ORD and DTW. When SO and NC merged, Republic continued these routes with the same DC-9's, just repainted.

Later, RC bought brand new 727-200's and started deliveries of 757's just when NWA bought them.

The MEM and ATL hubs were Southern legacies, while the MSP hub was North Central. They were eventually crowded out of ATL by the growth of DL and EA at ATL.

I flew quite often on SO and NC from Jackson to Toronto to visit my parents, then later when they became RC. Only the name changed, the planes and the route remained the same, JAN-MEM-DTW-YYZ.

Cheers
Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
airlinelover
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RE: Republic Airlines

Sat Sep 08, 2001 12:02 pm

Thanks to both! Anyone else??

Chris
Lets do some sexy math. We add you, subtract your clothes, divide your legs and multiply
 
BOAT
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RE: Republic Airlines

Sat Sep 08, 2001 12:50 pm

The merger of Southern and North Central occured in 1979. Both were regionals that had expanded routes extensively after deregulation. The merger created an airline with daily flights approaching 1000 per day. It was in 1986 that the merger with Northwest took place. I was a frequent passenger on both Southern and North Central (Route of the Blue Goose), and then Republic. They served a lot of places that have no service today. Don't think Republic ever had a fatality, but NC and Southern did.

BOAT
 
BonanzaFunjet
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RE: Republic Airlines

Sat Sep 08, 2001 1:14 pm

Don't know when but based on everything said, Republic purchased Hughes Airwest sometime between 1979 - 1983. The ad campaign peeled the Hughes Banana to reveal a Republic DC-9.

BonanzaFunjet
 
MCOtoATL
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Here's The Scoop

Sat Sep 08, 2001 1:32 pm

Stephen Wolf (we now know him from US Airways,) was President of Continental (after spending time at American and Pan Am,) but was forced out when the airline went through Chapter 11. He landed at Republic, which in 1984 was the 10th largest airline in the USA. Here is some trivia - at that time, it served more cities than any other US airline.

Republic was known for innovative marketing techniques, including offering a free ticket in exchange for 5 box tops from Chex cereal.

Wolf made some immediate changes, including a new livery and route structure, choosing to focus on cities where the airline faced little competition. In fact, in 1985, Republic had the second highest profits in the airline industry (despite being smaller than the majors.) Analysts loved Republic stock, and it was doing quite well.

Wolf knew that this success would not be able to continue, so he looked to Northwest to buy them out (both carriers were based in MSP.) NW was considered to be the most conservatively run and financially successful US airline.

NW paid $1 billion for Republic. Wolf was the big winner, earning a $1 severence package plus over $2 in a stock windfall.

NW, meanwhile, had a harder time. They had to put together 14 labor unions, incompatible fleets, and vastly different working cultures (Republic had a much more laid back attitude, and many of their employees did not like the stricter standards of NW.)

This is from a couple of books, the best being "Hard Landing," by Thomas Petzinger. I think that this is tbe best airline book ever.

 
Dalmd88
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RE: Republic Airlines

Sat Sep 08, 2001 2:11 pm

The Wolf mantra: paint the planes, sell the company, make me a lot of money, move on tho next airline, repeat.
 
srbmod
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RE: Republic Airlines

Sat Sep 08, 2001 4:27 pm

the biggest legacy of the Southern-North Central merger to form Republic that still exsists today is the NWA DC-9 mx base @ ATL. Republic (and Southern before that) was essentially the #3 carrier at ATL that exsisted in the shadows of Eastern and Delta. Piedmont was also a medium sized player at ATL prior to the buyout by USAir. If you run a search on Piedmont and include Atlanta in the keywords, you'll see how large their operations were at ATL. Heck, looking at some of the ATL pics here that were from the 70s, United had a decent prescene as well at the old ATL.
 
Guest

RE: Republic Airlines

Sat Sep 08, 2001 4:56 pm

North Central and Southern merged. A couple of years later, Republic bought Hughes Airwest. At one point, Republic served more cities in the US than any other airline. They had, at various times, concentrated operations in LAS, PHX, MSP, MEM, DTW, ATL. These eventually were paired down to 3 large hubs: MSP, MEM, DTW. After United bought Pan Am's Pacific Division, Northwest had to gain greater domestic feed in order to combat UA in the Pacific. So they bought Republic. NW and RC both had hubs in MSP and DTW, so NW was able to consolidate at 3 cities where they have become DOMINANT.
 
delta-flyer
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RE: Republic Airlines

Sun Sep 09, 2001 12:46 am

As I re-read the above posts, I am really impressed how well a few of us were able to put together a bunch of puzzle pieces to get a pretty good picture of where RC came from and where it went.

Good job, y'all!

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
heavymetal
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RE: Republic Airlines

Sun Sep 09, 2001 2:06 am

I recall DTW as being a huge Republic base...I'm not sure if it was a major Northwest (Orient) base prior to the merger or simply became one afterwards.

I flew Republic every year in the early 80s as a UM. Someone mentioned they were 'laid back'. I'll say! I posted on another thread how in DTW I was taken to visit the flight deck of a Republic 727 during a stopover between GRR and BOS, plopped in the F/O's seat...and left there! The flight crew took off! I had the bird all to myself for about 5 minutes until the new F/O arrived with a smile. He let me watch as he pre-flighted the cockpit. It was great.

Republic and Herman are deserving of a ressurection. I hope, like Frontier, some start up investor group recognizes the brand value and returns the name to the skies. Maybe the friendliness and professionalism of the old Republic staffers will come back too!
 
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lindy field
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RE: Republic Airlines

Sun Sep 09, 2001 2:11 am

Did Republic inherit any sort of hub structure from Hughes Airwest? What sort of operations did they run from Phoenix?


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azjubilee
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RE: Republic Airlines

Sun Sep 09, 2001 2:20 am

One other tidbit on info... the 757s that Republic aquired were shot lived in the fleet of NW. They now fly at America West as the engines I think are RR and the NW 757s have Pratts.

I like the idea of what US Airways has done with their commuter affiliates. They've given them the names of old airlines that they have gobbled up. Namely, Allegheny and Piedmont. I think it would be kinda neat when NW sorts out its Airlink operations (there are talks of selling portions of Express off) of rebranding as Southern, North Central, Republic or whatever. I guess that might be hard since they're relinquishing ownership of the airlinkers, but just a thought to resurect the good old days of aviation.

AZJ
 
Iflewrepublic
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RE: Republic Airlines

Sun Sep 09, 2001 3:13 am

1979:

North Central and Southern Airways merge operations with North Central being the surviving entity. The conglomeration of the two airlines (meet at eleven cities but never overlaps) is named Republic Airlines and is based in Minneapolis with traffic centers in Minneapolis, Memphis, and Atlanta.

1980:

The newly formed Republic Airlines purchases Hughes Airwest based in the southwest for approximately $40 million USD. Hughes adds around 50 cities to the Republic system, primarily in the southwest and on the west coast.

1984:

Although based in Minneapolis, Republic Airlines turns its attention on Detroit by making it Republic's national headquarters.

1985:

Republic Airlines chooses to make Memphis, Tennessee its third hub.

1986:

On January 23, Republic and Northwest Orient announced an agreement for Northwest to purchase all of Republic for approximately $884 million USD. The merger was approved by stockholders and the government and became known as "the largest merger in the history of civil aviation."

On October 1, the merger between Northwest Orient Airlines and Republic Airlines was complete, and became known simply as Northwest Airlines. Northwest's workforce went from around 17,000 to approximately 35,000 overnight. All traces of Republic were supposed to be gone my the holiday season of 1986...uniforms, name, logo, images, etc.

The following was taken from the 1986 financial report issued to the stockholders of Northwest Airlines:

"Always at the forfront of the airline industry, NWA Inc. undertook dramatic steps in 1986. Following a carefully crafted business plan, NWA Inc. fashioned a foundaton that will solidify its leadership position into the 21st century.

"NWA Inc. accurately forecasted an industry-wide trend toward consolidation, then led the industry by announcing, on January 23, 1986, a plan to acquire Republic Airlines. This $862 [actually $884] million transaction was the largest in the history of commerical aviation and was the first of several airline mergers and acquistions that have changed the structure of commerical air travel.

"Your company's management had recognized that, to join the ranks of the nation's megacarriers, it must not only continue it aggressive internal expansion but also must quickly acquire the necessary critical mass to defend its routes and capitalize on growth opportunities. Thus, on October 1, 1986--the very day the airline celebrated the 60th anniversary of its inaugural airmail flight--Northwest melded Republic's flight schedule into its own, becoming on of America's largest airlines.

"Despite our initial integration difficulties, the benefits of the merger were demonstrated clearly during the remainder of the year as Northwest year-over-year traffic increased 70 percent in October, 83 percent in November and 79 percent in December. Significantly, traffic during the fourth quarter was 11 percent greater than the two airlines generated individually during the fourth quarter of 1985--concrete evidence of the expected, positive synergy developed by the Republic acquisition.

"As it examined potential merger partners, Northwest focused its need for an expanded, though carefully structured, domestic route network that was strong in its own right and that also could support Northwest's established and growing international service. Republic met this set of criteria and became the proper choice.

"From Republic, Northwest acquired traffic centers at Detroit and Memphis and was able to enlarge the Northwest hub at Minneapolis/St. Paul. Passengers flow through these three key airports across the 135-city system. Ther merger brought to Northwest a fleet of 171 narrow-bodied aircraft that allows the airline to carefully match aircraft size with market demand, ensuring maximum productivity from the company's 314-aircraft fleet...Republic's 171 aircraft averaged 105 seats, while the Northwest pre-merger fleet averaged 228 seats. Today's Northwest fleet is well tailored to serve both its domestic and international routes."

Any other questions, I'll try my best to answer them.

Iflewrepublic.

Aviation is proof that, given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
 
Guest

RE: Republic Airlines

Sun Sep 09, 2001 7:39 am

Republic operated an Express service which today is Express Airlines I/Northwest Airlink, using J31's and SF340's.
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: Lindy Field

Sun Sep 09, 2001 11:33 am

I was out of state at the time of the Republic/Hughes Airwest merger. I do remember coming back for my brothers wedding 6 months later and Republic had most all of the old Hughes routes operating. I think they had already sold the maintenance facility though.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
Cody
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RE: Republic Airlines

Sun Sep 09, 2001 1:28 pm

By 1986 or thereabouts, Republic dismantled the Hughes route system. For a while though they had strongholds in PHX and LAS. By the time the Northwest merger rolled around, the only route remaining that was from the Hughes Airwest days was PHX-SNA. My fondest memory of the Republic and Northwest merger was the fact that this giant, modern airline called Northwest that had many 747's, now operated Convair 580's. I remember calling Northwest reservations around 1988 and asking "what type of aircraft do you fly" and the agent replied, "727's, 757's, 747's, DC-9's, DC-10's and Convair 580's". I did that just for the charge. Those were the days.
 
travaz
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RE: Republic Airlines

Sun Sep 09, 2001 2:55 pm

I was a fueler for the GCN airport when Hughes flew the f 27's and then dc-9's in to Grand Canyon. When Republic came in they slowly fazed out service. We used to have 9 flights a day in the summer.
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Republic Airlines

Mon Sep 10, 2001 4:24 am

According to http://www.geocities.com/~aeromoe/fleets/rc.html, following is a summary of the aircraft flown by Republic, and who contributed them (NC, SO, RW, other)

Over the life of Republic, they operated 181 aircraft (North Central contributed 72, Southern 36, Hughes Airwest 50, and 23 were obtained during the time RC was here), broken down as follows:

Convair 580 (24): 24 from North Central, 1 in executive configuration
DC-9-14 (22): 20 from Southern, 1 from Hughes, 1 RC
DC-9-15 (18): 8 from Southern, 10 from Hughes
DC-9-31 (53): 16 from North Central, 7 from Southern, 29 from Hughes, 1 RC
DC-9-32 (12): 4 from North Central, 1 from Southern, 2 from Hughes, 5 RC
DC-9-51 (28): 28 from North Central
B727-2M7 (8): 8 from Hughes
B727-277 (3): 3 RC
B727-2S7 (7): 7 RC
B757-2S7 (6): 6 RC

At the time of the NC/SO merger (June of 79), North Central had hubs at MSP and DTW, with smaller hubs at ORD and MKE. Southern had hubs at ATL and MEM, with a smaller hub at MCO.

When Hughes Airwest was bought in October of 1980, they contributed hubs at PHX and LAS, and had large operations at LAX, SFO, etc.

Tom in NO (at MSY)

PS: I related this story before, but I made a trip from ONT-ORD-MKE in July of '79. The ONT-ORD portion was on AA, the ORD-MKE portion on NC (or so my ticket stated), I didn't know about the merger, and spent a little while at ORD looking for NC's counter; finally found RC's counter, and caught my flight. But, not before visiting the observation deck above NC/RC/SO gates (great spotting and pics).
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
johnnybgoode
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RE: Republic Airlines

Mon Sep 10, 2001 4:57 am

did republic ever go transatlantic?
looking at their fleet, it seems as they didn´t, however, i recall my father telling me he once flew republic, though i´m sure he told me he flew Hartford, CT - europe (FRA?). i don´t know for sure and perhaps i´ve mixed it up...
perhaps someone could shed some light... thanks

best wishes
daniel
If only pure sweetness was offered, why's this bitter taste left in my mouth.
 
Iflewrepublic
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RE: Tom In NO

Mon Sep 10, 2001 6:56 am

Tom-

In your listing of aircraft, you forgot to mention the DC-9 "Super 80's" of which there were around 8. One was later to carry flight number 255 for Northwest when it crashed in Detroit in August of 1987. The Company later ordered a replacement aircraft for N312RC.

Iflewrepublic.
Aviation is proof that, given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
 
Cody
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RE: Republic Airlines

Mon Sep 10, 2001 7:36 am

No, Republic never flew to Europe. I believe the only international destination (besides Canada) was Grand Cayman. I am sure they never flew to Europe, although they applied for the Newark-London route back in the early 80's. This route was awarded to Air Florida who in turn never operated it.
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Republic Airlines

Mon Sep 10, 2001 8:03 am

Yeah, looks like I did forget the DC-9-82's. I had them on the sheet of paper that I ran my numbers on, but I overlooked them when I did the post. There were indeed 8 delivered to Republic.

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
Tango-Bravo
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RE: Republic Airlines

Mon Sep 10, 2001 9:09 am

The post of Lindy field asks:

Did Republic inherit any sort of hub structure from Hughes Airwest? What sort of operations did they run from Phoenix?

Republic's timetable dated September 5, 1984 (four years after Hughes Airwest was acquired) shows that Phoenix was one of its six hubs at the time. The others were MSP, DTW, MEM, ORD, and ATL. Mini-hubs or focus cities were LAS, HOU, MKE, BNA and MCO.

From PHX in September, 1984, Republic offered 58 daily departures. Airports served non-stop were: BUR, ORD, DSM, DTW, FAT, HOU, MCI, LAS, MZT, MEM, MSP, OAK, OMA, ONT, SNA, PDX, PVR, SMF, SAN, SFO, SJC, and TUS. By comparison, the same timetable shows 118 daily departures from MSP featuring non-stop service to 39 cities.

By November, 1985, Republic had consolidated its hub operations down to MSP, DTW and MEM.
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srbmod
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RE: Republic Airlines

Mon Sep 10, 2001 2:14 pm

A little sidenote on the Republic fleet list. The oldest DC-9-10 still in passenger service is one that came to NW through the merger. I can't remember the rego (too lazy right now) but it is still the original Southern Airways rego.
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Republic Airlines

Tue Sep 11, 2001 6:06 am

The DC-9-10 mentioned in the previous post actually was operated by Southern from September 1973 to February 1974. At the time, the registration was N3301L. The serial number is 45696, and McDonnell's line number is 2. The aircraft did not make it to either the RC or the NW merger. That aircraft is actually now with Midwest Express (since September 1986), and is now registered N700ML. We see it at MSY every few days.

Tom in NO (at MSY)

PS: The oldest NW DC-9-10 still in service appears to be N3306L, serial number 45701, line number 12.

PPS: DC-9-10, line number 1 shows as out-of-service and unaccounted for.
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
Iflewrepublic
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RE: Tom...again

Tue Sep 11, 2001 4:21 pm

I thought the first DC-9 was sitting at some storage facility in Florida. Quite an odd place for it...at least, that's where it was sitting the last I knew. I know there was a discussion about it last year sometime. I think someone said that it may have been moved to storage in the desert. Too bad no one realized the value, even if it were just nostaglic value, of it. I think it would be pretty neat to see it today next to a brand new Boeing 717...that whole family sure has come a long way.

Iflewrepublic.
Aviation is proof that, given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.

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