Topic Author
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What If We Go To War?

Tue Dec 24, 2002 8:26 am

What if we go to war? How will it affect the
airline industry? And how do you see each airline
dealing with it? People say that it will help, and
other people say it will not. I say it will not help
the industry at all. What do you think?
"The low fares airline."
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RE: What If We Go To War?

Tue Dec 24, 2002 8:31 am

going to war as in my opinion will not only affect the airline industry in the USA, but i will affect the airline industry in most parts of the world. espcecially the domestic routes near the war zones.

AA767400, I totally see your point in this post, i hope it doesnt change into a flamotary post as many posts end!
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RE: What If We Go To War?

Tue Dec 24, 2002 8:46 am

Do common people really want the countries to go to war???

I, for one, hope not, as it is not just the airline industry that will suffer... people will suffer, some way or another: whether it is having to provide shelter to refugees ..or dealing with the separation from a close one.
Just my EUR 0.02 worth.
Topic Author
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RE: What If We Go To War?

Tue Dec 24, 2002 8:57 am

I have heard people say that we should go to war.
They have that "let's get them" attitude.
My post is, if we do go to war, how will it affect
this industry. I am aware of the impact it will
have on other aspects.
"The low fares airline."
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RE: What If We Go To War?

Tue Dec 24, 2002 9:21 am

One of the concerns is this:

If we go to war, many people will steer clear of air travel, because they will fear possible acts of terrorism as a retaliation of an attack on Iraq. International travel would really decline. If demand goes down, most of the carriers will financially bleed to death faster than they have been. Also, security measures will be impacted to the point where business travellers will have greater incentive to avoid the increased "hassle" that would result at the checkpoint.

I think this is at least part of the reason why a war would hit the airline industry hard.
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RE: What If We Go To War?

Tue Dec 24, 2002 9:45 am

Or airlines could make money flying their aircraft as troop transports. Look what WW2 did for aviation! War isn't all bad, especially for the economy.
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RE: What If We Go To War?

Tue Dec 24, 2002 10:46 am


Unfortunately recent history has not proved this. The airlines flew during the Gulf War as troop transports, but supposedly the amount of money that they were reimbursed by the U.S. government wasn't nearly enough for them to make money.

It was definitely a low point for U.S. (and the world's) aviation industry. Pan Am and Eastern both went out of business shortly after the Gulf War. Although their bankruptcies were not directly caused by the war, the loss in revenue was definitely a factor.
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RE: What If We Go To War?

Tue Dec 24, 2002 10:47 am

When I was growing up in the Midwest part of the United States (I am 33 now) watching the daily news was part of our routine. There was always something going on in the Middle East....Reagan was President. I asked my Father "What would happen if we went to War?" he answered "We should. Those crazy bastards don't know how to take care of themselves and besides it would help the economy."
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RE: What If We Go To War?

Tue Dec 24, 2002 11:06 am

Airline's in the region would suffer from a closure of Airspace and many might halt operations like 1990-1991.
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RE: What If We Go To War?

Tue Dec 24, 2002 11:22 am

Heaven help us airline employees if Warlord Bush strikes .... I remember Destert Storm ... the airports were ghost towns.
The airline economy can not take another hit like that. Say goodbye to UA, US and any other financially (very) strained airlines.

- I am LN-MOW, and I approve this message.
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RE: What If We Go To War?

Tue Dec 24, 2002 1:36 pm

It sounds horrible to say, but the American people are used to war by now.
Ever since desert storm, that "warlord" Clinton has brought us to war in Bosnia, Somalia, Serbia, and has made serious threats to go to war with innumerable other places. And now we have been attacked on our own soil because of one place he forgot - Afghanistan. Additional wars will have some impact on some international traffic but unless we get something the size of the Korean war or larger, there will not be a huge impact on domestic traffic like there was in the gulf war. And I mean in terms of American casualties now, not deployment size. Americans are now used to large deployments.

Remember, Reagan and Bush Sr's military actions were allot fewer and smaller than we have seen since. They were not seen as "war" by most Americans. During the cold war, we were conditioned to think of "war" as something big, long and bloody. We were afraid the gulf war would be like that. And it was, just not for us. It was long and bloody for Saddam's minnions as well as for the Shiite and Kurds - the 2nd modern gulf war did not end as soon as we got out. But for us it did turn out short and (as wars go) sweet. It started to immunize us from the fear of war. Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia, etc, etc.. all acted as booster shots. 9-11 was just the biggest booster shot of all - one so big it gave us a mild case of the disease it was meant to protect against. But be assured, after 9-11, we are well immunized against the fear of war. The planes will not empty unless they start carrying body bags from somewhere. And I mean allot of them, tens or hundreds of thousands.

Americans have finally gotton used to the fact that few are going to like the biggest fish in the pond. Whether he got to be the biggest by finding the best reeds to eat and by working hard at it...or by eating other fish is besides the point (though I think we deserve to be where we are, for what we have contributed to this world). The point is that people always look for the top guy to fall, and he is the perfect one to blame whenever things go wrong. Especially if there is no other top guy, like the Soviet Union, to blame things on. Not only that, the top fish is the one people swim to when something threatens the whole pond. When the top fish wants something for himself, people get the feeling that he is very selfish. Regardless of whether the facts of the situation indicate that is the case, and regardless of how selfish the other fish are. People think that of all top fish...it is a sign that the current one is better than the past ones if they feel free to give voice to these feelings.

Result being, top dogs and top fish are always fighting whether they want to or not. Because they are always viewed as the "great satan" by someone dangerous whether they deserve it or not. Even his "Friends" may call him a baffoon and make fun of him, or accuse him of exploiting them in some way. That is, untill the said people want to be rescued from some fix. Then the top dog is an angel and savior. Untill he is no longer needed, that is. Than he is the bad guy again. There is a reason that when a survey was done in China, America was found to be both the most loved and most hated nation. Human nature makes it hard to view the most powerfull nation and its leader as simply another human being leading just another group of human beings. Ya always seem to be either God or the Devil.

For all of the above reasons, all the fall of the Soviet Union meant for us is that we became the near exclusive target of all the jealosy of those less fortunate than us. Those that did like us had unrealistic expectations of what we could do for them. So like any top dog or alpha male, we are dragged into fight after fight.

We Americans can very nieve. We thought the end of the Soviet Union would be the end of war for us. That is why we cut down our military so much. That's one of many reasons we are so shocked that people hate us so much - we (generally) have a poor knowledge of history and an even worse knowledge of human nature. We think that if you kill a few bad guys on the top, or discredit an evil ideology, that everything will be alright and there will be no more war. The 90's and early 00's are teaching us otherwise. There is only one thing that will shock us now - it is a large war with tens of thousands of AMERICAN* casualties. Allot of us are still nieve enough to think that can't happen, and if it does air traffic will indeed plummet. But then again, if that happens we will have far worse things to worry about than airline bankruptcies.

*Like most peoples, we arn't as shocked by enemy casualties or by collateral damage. This is not because we are warmongers, it is because we are human.
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RE: What If We Go To War?

Tue Dec 24, 2002 3:44 pm


but look at what happened after wwI, the U.S. went into the great depression. So in some cases it can also be a bad thing.
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RE: What If We Go To War?

Tue Dec 24, 2002 3:52 pm

Heaven help us airline employees if Warlord Bush strikes .... I remember Destert Storm ... the airports were ghost towns.

This war will be worse than 1991 for the airlines as now people have an actual mental connection of people hijacking planes in the US as a reality, so it will make life worse for the airlines. It will be tough going, but I don't see a war loike 1991 happening anyways, that doesnt serve anyone, I see some sort of small operation to get rid of Hussein, and stabilise things, none of the all day sessions on cnn with shots of scuds and patriots. That said, I am pretty sure that you will see plenty of missiles fired at Israel

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RE: What If We Go To War?

Tue Dec 24, 2002 4:06 pm

"pan am and eastern died shortly after the gulf war."

This thread continuing with the history of misinformed people on this board- Eastern died in the 80's, bro.
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RE: What If We Go To War?

Tue Dec 24, 2002 4:31 pm

It is not a question about "if" we go to war, it is about "when".
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RE: What If We Go To War?

Tue Dec 24, 2002 4:34 pm

Sorry for sounding harsh, but if we from Europe look to America, we can only shake our heads. Bush is hooked by an imagination he couldn't understand. It's ashaming.  Crying
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RE: What If We Go To War?

Tue Dec 24, 2002 6:29 pm

Whilst I agree that Hussein needs to go - I really dont think that attacking Iraq is going to solve too much, infact its going to blow up in everyones faces. Even in the UK, a recent survey (this week) announced that 75% of UK Muslims honestly believe that the war on terrorism really is a war on Islam. Attacking Iraq will just inflame this situation further. The more disgruntled people you have the more susceptible they are to being pushed towards terrorism. We may well despose Saddam Hussein but the net result will be a huge increase in man power and resources available to terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda. The end result will mean more terrorist attacks of the scale of 9/11 from an ever growing network of terrorists.

The US really needs to get its foreign policy in order if it wants to avoid looking like a warmongerer - their recent veto of a security council resolution condeming attacks on the Palestinians was a bad move - in the eyes of Muslims the world over they will see it as more evidence of a war against Islam and will do little to gather support from Muslim countries for a war with Iraq. A quicker fix against terrorism would be spend the time/effort sorting the Israeli / Palestinian conflict out first before going on to Iraq.

Unfortunately I see a war with Iraq having far more impact on economies as a whole than previous conflicts in the gulf - especially on airlines - the recent attempt in Africa to shoot down a commercial airliner will probably become more widespread if the war with Iraq goes ahead - if 10 airliners get shotdown around the world - just see how quickly people stop flying !! The only companies who will be profitable during this are pharmaceutical and weapons manufacturers - everyone else will suffer - after all when civilians start getting killed whilst flying - you can kiss the tourism industry goodbye. If someone releases chemical or biological weapons in a city in the west - do you really think people will want to continue going to work there?

The balance people have to come to is what are the implications of action against inaction. I have two concerns with attacking Iraq - 1. Expansion of terrorism and 2. There is nothing worse than a cornered animal - if Saddam looks like he is going to lose - he will lash out with anything he's got including chemical weapons. However inaction means that he is free to continue to develop weapons of mass destruction (although to be fair - if he has them - let the UN inspectors find them) plus he may well be supporting terrorism. I dont know about you guys but I would feel a lot more comfortable in attacking Iraq if someone could show me some evidence. I just have this horrible feeling that nothing helps your popularity figures like a good war plus it will help distract from the fact that the economy really is in the toilet.


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RE: What If We Go To War?

Wed Dec 25, 2002 12:02 am

It is very sad thing to say but a war in Iraq will do very good for El-Al.

In 1991 only one foreign airline flew to Israel so El-Al had all the market.
Now, don’t think the planes were empty.
In 1991, as in last April when we re-entered the West Bank cities, many Israelis who lived out side Israel returned to Israel. The flights were full and El-Al had to add flights!

If Iraq attacks Israel there will be many Israelis (unfortunately) that will leave Israel as well for a short time. So even flights from Israel won’t be empty (and they will have to come back too).

Also, domestic flights both to north and south Israel will be 100% full.

their (the US) recent veto of a security council resolution condeming attacks on the Palestinians was a bad move

The veto was not on resolution condemning attacks on PA, it was on something else.

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RE: What If We Go To War?

Wed Dec 25, 2002 12:16 am

No, Eastern tried to make a comeback and finally went belly up in 1991.
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RE: What If We Go To War?

Wed Dec 25, 2002 1:00 am

Without getting into any politics, a war in Iraq would have the following likely consequences on the airline industry...

1/ Oil prices would spike up, and the related costs for jet fuel would also rise. Most airlines have "hedged" certain percentages of their fuel costs at lower levels, but some may not have had the financial means with which to have done so, and they'd be hit harder. If the political situation in Venezuela deteriorates further and their supplies radically increase in price or decrease in availability, the situation (for all airlines) will only be worse, not to mention gasoline and home heating oil.

2/ Passenger load factors and yields would decrease, as more people would chose not to fly, and opt for "safer" means of doing business like teleconferencing and/or car trips. Some airlines might well reduce the number of their flights, but their overhead wouldn't be as reduced by as much, since that costly grounded asset (the aircraft) aren't procuding any revenue, yet the aircraft payments continue.

3/ Any terrorist act (involving aviation or not) will exacerbate both factors above, especially #2 since that will inevitably delay revenue recovery, which is all the more needed due to #1.

4/ If the situation in North Korea flares up into something more than it is now, that will just be more uncertainty into the equation, also affecting #2 above.

5/ Depending upon which of the above happen, and how badly, you might also see some of the weaker and/or smaller airlines bite the dust, and larger more stable airlines resort to more layoffs and wage cuts to stay afloat in the inhospitable business environment. With more unemployed out there, it wouldn't be good for the overall economy, not to mention travel-related industries like hotels, rental cars, and restaurants.

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said "God Bless the USA", and while I agree with that (that He has, and will hopefully continue to), I think it's too limiting. Given the world tensions and the situations that abound, a better bumper sticker and ALL-seasonal wish would be "God Bless the World", God being the Deity of your own chosing. We all believe in our respective faiths; maybe we should all respect the faiths of others as much as we respect our own, and not arbitrairly condemn them based on various worldly factors.

I wish a happy Holiday Season to everyone here around the world, and may we all be blessed with peace in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
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RE: What If We Go To War?

Wed Dec 25, 2002 1:08 am

When we go to war with Iraq we will soon see the end of United and American, at the very least. Neither of these two carriers could survive since they are so badly injured as it is right now. The war with Iraq will spell the end for these two.

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