chiawei
Posts: 924
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2000 9:07 am

This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 3:49 am

Just read that WN is offering buyout package to 33,000 workers.

With economy still in a slump, even profitable company such as WN are beginning to let people go.

Outsourcing really is a drain on U.S. economy.
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15222
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 3:52 am

"Outsourcing really is a drain on U.S. economy."

That is the most non-sensical non sequitir I've seen in a while.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
chiawei
Posts: 924
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2000 9:07 am

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 3:57 am

huh?

The entire economy tanked because of outsourcing to countries like China/India. US economy can't be based on service sectors alone. Any manuf. job lost would translate to real loss in economic output and spedning power that job brings. So there are less people who can afford to travel.

This plus rises in fuel cost. Means that even established airlines like WN has begun to cut employees.

Unless idiot in washington realize that outsourcing does economy no good (as people can't be retrained easily, nor the pie is big enough in service industry), US economy will not be able to get out of the hole. Even though there appears signs to recovery. It is superficial at best.
 
Guest

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 4:08 am

The significant increase in worker productivity is what is keeping unemployment as high as it is (even though it isn't that high - I know of a few countries with 10% unemployment), so I'm not sure why you are so freaked about the new "catch all phrase" outsourcing. Most outsourcing in the US is actually kept stateside. Why pay someone $25 an hour to drop a cable in the groudn when a contractor can do it for $10? Outsourcing pretty much helps companies fill positions that people don't care to work in anymore.
 
MoodyBlues
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2003 1:46 pm

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 4:15 am

33,000 workers!

That's like 90% of Southwest's work force.

Something tells me you read that wrong, a link to the article would be nice.

Been too busy to stay in the loop the last few weeks (month) but WN was profitable last quarter, although bitching about the foul costs, which I suppose affect them even though the say they are hedged through 2004
(Don't fully understand the hedging thing, if someone knows and can explain, it would be appreciated)

If this is true however, I hope that WN does not have a layoff... The first one in company history would not be a good landmark. But as far as I knew, Philadelphia was doing well, and load factors were acceptable though not great (Like I said, I've been out of the loop)

Been seeing a lot of -700s coming into PBI w/ winglets though, which means the planes are going in for service upgrades, not something I would think they would do if they were tight on cash, although maybe the fuel savings are worth it. But that's another topic.

Good luck to all the airlines, and their employees... These are still tough times  Sad
Southwest Airlines "A Symbol of Freedom"
 
JBirdAV8r
Posts: 3454
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2001 4:44 am

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 4:18 am

Chiawei:

I believe MaverickM11 meant to say non sequitur; he basically said that your statement was the most nonsensical nonsense he'd ever heard. It was grammatically atrocious, I know, but it was a better attempt than I've seen from most users.
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
 
Boeing757/767
Posts: 2179
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 1999 11:05 pm

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 4:19 am

The WN statement said they are offering packages to 33,000 eligible workers (non-execs and everyone who has worked there more than a year.)
Free-thinking, left-leaning secularist
 
LY4XELD
Posts: 659
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 5:14 am

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 4:25 am

I can just hear the unions beginning their nasty letters back to WN management!
That's why we're here.
 
Guest

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 4:31 am

Here's a link:

http://www.thestreet.com/_yahoo/stocks/transportation/10162806.html?cm_ven=YAHOO&cm_cat=FREE&cm_ite=NA

The idea is to unload peopel near retirement to reduce the average hourly pay received by employees. It's cheaper to put them on the (already funded) retirement dole with benefits that it is to pay them top dollar and benefits. If your young and want to work at SWA, they'll be hiring all the positions unloaded through this.
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15222
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 4:38 am

"The entire economy tanked because of outsourcing to countries like China/India"

That's laughable. Outsourcing had little, if ANYTHING to do with the current economy. The reason the economy has been down is:

1) The largest bubble in history burst under Clinton.
2) A recession was already well underway by the time the Bush administration started.
3) Terrorist attacks of 9/11
4) War in Afghanistan
5) ANOTHER war in Iraq.

Add to that depressing yields, increased low-cost carrier market share, and increasing fuel prices, and you get a weak revenue environment for the airlines, and thus Southwest's (and everyone else's) problems. Outsourcing has had nothing to do with it. America is a net benefactor of outsourcing, and of those who are unemployed, about 1% of them are victims of outsourcing.

"he basically said that your statement was the most nonsensical nonsense he'd ever heard. It was grammatically atrocious"

It is gramatically just fine, thanks. I mispelled a word, but you got the meaning wrong. Non sequitur does not mean nonsense (although that would correctly describe it), but an ill-conceived conclusion, or a fallacious syllogism.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
Guest

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 4:42 am

Dead on...

Now let's see some fare increases. This gutter fair BS is getting insane.

4 years ago it cost me $365 to fly from LAX to ORD round trip. Today, it's under $300.... There is your problem.
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15222
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 4:45 am

"US economy can't be based on service sectors alone. Any manuf. job lost would translate to real loss in economic output and spedning power that job brings."

Just like all the horrible effects of the steam engine, the cotton gin, the moving assembly line, the car, the airplane  Insane

"So there are less people who can afford to travel."

Wrong. Household wealth is greater than it's ever been in the US. Passenger enplanements are at or greater than 1998 numbers precisely because more people can afford to travel. This is good for the consumer but not good for the airlines.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
highliner2
Posts: 637
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2000 1:26 pm

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 4:50 am

MoodyBlues,

In a nutshell, hedging fuel means purchasing it ahead of time at the current price.

Think of it this way, let's say last year when gas was only around $1.60 a gallon you bought all the gas you'll need to run your car THIS year. So even though gas in over $2 a gallon now, you still pay $1.60 because of the contract you signed with the oil company. Southwest purchased their jet fuel at whatever cost it was at the time they bought it, which was at least a year ago when fuel prices were'nt AS bad. That's why the fuel prices haven't hurt them as much, they're still essentially paying the prices from awhile ago. Also, as I understand it, US Airways and United were not able to hedge their fuel because your not allowed to due so when under bankruptcy protection. US Airways is out of bankruptcy so I do not know if they are trying to do so now. Anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, this is just a real basic explanation.
Go Cubs!
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline

Sat May 29, 2004 4:55 am

I can just hear the unions beginning their nasty letters back to WN management!

No way. The unions and WN management are always lockstepped.

As the article states, this is by the request of employees.

N
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 5:04 am

Chiawei,

In additon to faulty analysis, your factual information is incorrect. The US has been a service economy for years. Manufacturing has been moving out of the US since the 1950s, yet the country is far wealthier now than it was when we were still assembling televisions, vacuum tube radios, and cameras.

The unemployment rate is about 5.6% which is not bad taken in a historical context. In the long run, the US economy will benefit from offshore outsourcing despite the all-too-real pain for those losing their jobs today.

All the airlines are screwed to some degree because they are facing a huge spike in fuel costs but lack the (legal) means to make a fare hike stick. They are almost out of places to cut costs.
 
ConcordeBoy
Posts: 16852
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 8:04 am

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 5:06 am

Outsourcing really is a drain on U.S. economy

Gotta agree, this is probably the most idiotic quip I've heard on here in a while.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
LJ
Posts: 4103
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 1999 8:28 pm

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 5:10 am

Also, as I understand it, US Airways and United were not able to hedge their fuel because your not allowed to due so when under bankruptcy protection.

Like Highliner2 explained when you hedge your fuel consumption you agree with a party (most likely an oil company) that you can buy x number of gallons (sometimes called "forward contracts"). However in order to able to conclude the contract the oil company must be certain that you'll buy the agreed number of gallons. However, if your credit rating is saying you're bankrupt (or are going to be) nobody will enter an agreement with you over a long period. Furthermore, hedging isn't free (is costs money) as the oil companies (or other parties) want to make a profit for themselves.

 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 5:23 am

>>>With economy still in a slump, even profitable company such as WN are beginning to let people go.

Go back and look at the other threads on a.net (with links to the news stories) and you'll see that this program (a voluntary one) isn't a sign that SWA is about to tilt on its axis...  Insane

You seem to have taken the news story way out of context....
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
dvk
Posts: 1017
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2000 12:18 am

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 5:33 am

Back on track, I heard the WN announcement on NPR this morning. The explanation for the incentives was that, due to improved technology, fewer workers are needed, and it was emphasized that layoffs are NOT planned.

Maverick, please provide proof of your 1% claim regarding job loss due to outsourcing. While it is by no means the primary source of rising unemployment, it is a legitimate concern that more and more jobs that are not disappearing due to better technology are being shipped overseas.

Increased worker productivity is NOT what is keeping unemployment high. Increased worker productivity is due to ever increasing expectations placed on workers who remain after management has decided to trim the workforce. "Improved productivity" has come at the price of employed Americans working longer hours than workers from most other developed countries, and doing so without a commensurate increase in income.

Finally, I love it when Republicans "mispell" "misspell".

I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15222
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 5:48 am

"...please provide proof of your 1% claim"

http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=2501977

...statisticians reckon that outsourced jobs are responsible for well under 1% of those signed up as unemployed. And the jobs lost to outsourcing pale in comparison with the number of jobs lost and created each month at home...

"Finally, I love it when Republicans "mispell" "misspell"."

I HATE it when people here make assumptions about others when they know barely more than their screename.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
Av8trxx
Posts: 632
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2001 7:08 am

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 6:02 am

"Just read that WN is offering buyout package to 33,000 workers.

With economy still in a slump, even profitable company such as WN are beginning to let people go.

Outsourcing really is a drain on U.S. economy."


Yes, of 34,000 employees 33,000 of them are eligible to take advantage of this voluntary early retirement offer. They aren't "letting people go"- unless they ask for it that is. Also, while 33,000 may be eligible to take advantage of the program, that does not mean that many will. The three packages offered include varied levels of time limited medical coverage (1-3 years) and either $500, $750 or $1,000 for every year of service as a severance, plus some flight benefits too (which are also time limited depending on your age & seniority). So as you can see, this program does not benefit all that many people unless they have another career lined up or are already independantly wealthy!

There were two other topics about this already. Also, WN is not outsourcing, so that statement has nothing to do with the "Freedom '04 Early Retirement" program. Offering such a program helps cuts future costs, enabling continued profitability. This is by no means "the beginning of the end".


 
NWDC10
Posts: 904
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2003 10:15 am

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 6:15 am

You send jobs to other countries and the americans are slowly unemployed, it will eventually take it's toll. americans have no job, no money, who is going to fly? Robert NWDC10
 
chiawei
Posts: 924
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2000 9:07 am

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 7:39 am

Sorry. This is simply not true.

The oursourcing has dramatic effect. US economy although heavily involved in moving sector does not mean it does not have a significant manuf. sector.

Productivity is not what is keeping employment low. Company after the bubble burst are very reluctant to add to payroll in US. The fact that productivity rose is simply because more people are now required to do the more jobs. What you call a productivity increase is actually putting more work onto less employee. In other words, employers are now working their employee harder with less pay and benefit.

If the company found that they could not push more jobs under american's throat. They hired cheaper labor from other country or send jobs off shore. Yes the productivity is higher on paper. Because work is now getting down with less cost. But it has no benefit to American economy as consumer like us are either working much harder or without jobs.

Let me give you a quick example. Suppose an IT worker here can earn $100k a year. That 100K that could be used here in US to consume goods. For example he can buy a caddilac for $60,000.

However by sending this job to country like china or India. The same worker is making probably $20,000. He would never be afford to buy a $60k cadillac. So even though company A saved $80,000 on paper, the US economy lost a worker that could by more expansive goods. Yes there are $80,000 saving in labor cost. But often labor cost less than 20% of cost of goods. Hence, the saving brought on by lower labor cost when passed onto consumer is low.

Therefore, my argument would be that the real loss in consumer purchasing power from shifting jobs to lower cost country outweighs the benefit of lower cost of goods. Therefore the entire world economy suffers.

Yes, i know about theory of equilibrium. However, country like china has a fixed monetary policy. Hence the equilibrium will never be reached.

I am no economist. But I did have an economic degree with a master in business as well (although I am actually an engineer by trade).

Everyone can have their opinion. But at least the current status of economy would probably support my view better.

And yes, the less amount of people that works here, means less demand on business travel. Which will in turn lead to cut down in leasuire travel as well.

 
Bicoastal
Posts: 2446
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 1999 5:56 am

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 7:56 am

So if the USA doesn't outsource, then I suppose that means other countries shouldn't outsource to us. Kiss goodbye those high paying jobs in the USA from Honda, BMW, Mercedes, Toyota, Bombardier, Shell Oil, BP, Siemens, Phillips, Nokia, even Airbus, etc., etc. I'm sure the American workers in those companies would just love to have their jobs pulled back to Canada, Japan, Netherlands, Germany, Finland, etc.

Outsourcing and insourcing are here to stay. The best thing for the global economy is to keep government out and let the jobs go where they make most economic sense.



Airliners.net has many forums. It has spell check and search functions. Use them before posting!
 
dvk
Posts: 1017
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2000 12:18 am

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 8:04 am

Lighten up, Maverick. I should have been an English teacher. Nevertheless, your source provides nothing other than an offhand reference to what "government statisticians" say. It's hardly convincing. Correct me if I'm wrong, but your earlier post (re:the bubble burst under Clinton and the recession being "well underway" by the time W took over), and your assertions throughout this thread, have very strong Republican overtones. If you're not a Republican, I stand corrected.
I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.
 
bnatraveler
Posts: 304
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 10:10 am

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 9:09 am

Back to fuel hedging...

SWA can also hedge the cost of fuel by purchasing a forward contract on a related good that typically moves in the opposite, or even the same (as in my example) direction. Typically jet fuel can be hedged by using a derivative such as heating oil. Jet fuel is really only applicable to a certain set of the worlds buyers, so it is not likely that they can achieve reasonable enough future economies on this to allow a contract to be bought in the future at a lower (or same) cost. So, what SWA (and many other airlines do) is buy a derivative of the same product like heating oil (kerosene) which is a large component of jet fuel.

Airlines such as SWA have to buy fuel typically from a supplier on the airfield and thus cannot store up capacity and deliver it in the future to another location to fuel their airplane. SWA typically purchases fuel at market values from their various suppliers at 60 airfields across the US and they use the income from their hedge on heating oil to make up the difference between what they actually paid and the value that they have calculated for their hedge.

SWA, I believe, is the leading airline doing this. I think that they may have been the first airline in the US to hedge fuel also...

Bankrupt (or financially unstable) entities typically cannot afford the hedge or people are unwilling to give them a hedge due to their potential inability to deliver on it when it comes due, so that further hurts their ability to recover in a market where jet fuel is going up so quickly.
 
usatoeze
Posts: 348
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 2:22 pm

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sat May 29, 2004 9:13 am

Productivity is not what is keeping employment low. Company after the bubble burst are very reluctant to add to payroll in US. The fact that productivity rose is simply because more people are now required to do the more jobs. What you call a productivity increase is actually putting more work onto less employee. In other words, employers are now working their employee harder with less pay and benefit.

Are you saying that the information age and technology have not brought a tremendous increase in worker productivity? Are you joking? Perhaps employers do work employees harder but that doent even come close to making up the difference in productivity per worker in the USA in the last 20 years..not to mention the same worker productivity gains can be seen across the world, even in labor friendly markets like France.

Therefore, my argument would be that the real loss in consumer purchasing power from shifting jobs to lower cost country outweighs the benefit of lower cost of goods. Therefore the entire world economy suffers.

This is actually the opposite. The world economy does better, just as it has consistently since Bretton Woods and after WW2. Capitalism, whatever its flaws, displaces labor and capital to places and situations based on the cost of supply and the price of demand. You can also use the cost of demand and the price of supply. It works well either way. So you have an IT person in India that can do a job for 20k that an American can do for 60k. The fairness of capitalism is what sends that job where it belongs: India. If the US were to try to keep those jobs here, then eventually its highly competitive IT sector would end up being behind everybody else, and although you might satisfy the political whims of short-sighted thinkers, you actually gain nothing..neither does the world.

Yes, i know about theory of equilibrium. However, country like china has a fixed monetary policy. Hence the equilibrium will never be reached.

China will eventually have their own problems. Depressing the Yuan, just as Japan depressing the Yen may make your manufacturing cheaper and your exports uncompetitive, but in the end the non-export sectors of the economy fail to develop. Japan's economic misery can partly be blame4d on this.


Just opinions.



War is a very poor political tool
 
bnatraveler
Posts: 304
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 10:10 am

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Sun May 30, 2004 11:40 pm

A bit more information on fuel hedging wrt SWA from their most recent 10-Q

Fuel Contracts - Airline operators are inherently dependent upon energy to
operate and, therefore, are impacted by changes in jet fuel prices. Jet fuel
and oil consumed in the three months ended March 31, 2004 and 2003,
represented approximately 16.0 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively, of
Southwest's operating expenses for those periods. The Company endeavors to
acquire jet fuel at the lowest possible prices. Because jet fuel is not
traded on an organized futures exchange, liquidity for jet fuel hedging is
limited. However, the Company has found that both crude oil and heating oil
contracts are effective commodities for hedging jet fuel. The Company
utilizes financial derivative instruments as hedges to decrease its exposure
to jet fuel price increases. The Company does not purchase or hold any
derivative financial instruments for trading purposes.

The Company utilizes financial derivative instruments for both short-term and
long-term time frames when it appears the Company can take advantage of
market conditions. The Company currently has a mixture of purchased call
options, collar structures, and fixed price swap agreements in place to hedge
over 80 percent of its 2004 total anticipated jet fuel requirements,
approximately 80 percent of its 2005 total anticipated jet fuel requirements,
and portions of its 2006-2007 total anticipated jet fuel requirements. As of
March 31, 2004, the majority of the Company's second quarter 2004 hedges are
effectively crude oil-based positions in the form of option contracts. The
majority of the remaining 2004 hedge positions are heating oil-based
positions. Beyond 2004, the majority of the hedge positions are crude oil-
based. For second quarter and the remainder of 2004, the Company's fuel
hedges are a combination of derivative instruments that effectively cap
prices under $24 per barrel.

The Company accounts for its fuel hedge derivative instruments as cash flow
hedges, as defined, in Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 133,
Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities, as amended
(SFAS 133). All changes in fair value that are considered to be effective,
as defined, are recorded in "Accumulated other comprehensive income" until
the underlying jet fuel is consumed. The fair value of the Company's
financial derivative instruments at March 31, 2004, was a net asset of
approximately $382 million. The current portion of this net asset,
approximately $231 million, is classified as "Fuel hedge contracts" and the
noncurrent portion, approximately $151 million, is classified in "Other
assets" in the Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet. The fair value of the
derivative instruments, depending on the type of instrument, was determined
by the use of present value methods or standard option value models with
assumptions about commodity prices based on those observed in underlying
markets.

During the three months ended March 31, 2004 and 2003, the Company recognized
$63 million and $64 million in gains in "Fuel and oil" expense, respectively,
from hedging activities. During the three months ended March 31, 2004 and
2003, the Company also recognized approximately $6 million and $14 million of
additional income in "Other (gains) losses, net," related to the
ineffectiveness of its hedges, respectively. The Company recognized
approximately $6 million and $7 million of net expense related to amounts
excluded from the Company's measurements of hedge effectiveness, in "Other
(gains) losses, net" during first quarter 2004 and first quarter 2003,
respectively.

 
dl021
Posts: 10836
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:04 pm

RE: This Must Be Beginning Of The End For Airline In U

Mon May 31, 2004 12:11 am

coming in late...but I think Mav's got a point. Chiawei will not be persuaded by logic or reason so Maverick and usatoeze and bicoastal are kind of burning fuel on a wasted mission by arguing with this rocket scientist.

dna..by stating a fact such as the economy was in a depression prior to W coming into office, is Maverick a Republican, or simply one who recites facts?

Guys, The cold hard fact is that airlines as well as other companies need to keep costs down to stay (or achieve) profitability. LAbor costs are the number one variable expense for these organizations and when they can be adjusted by the means employed by WN they should be as that is what the market demands. By the way voluntary early retirement packages are more of a benign luxury than a layoff, or any other method for reducing payroll.

If the US airline industry is to stay alive it will have to make some very unpopular (with the unions) choices about pay rates and seniority rules, as well as continue to find ways to automate and increase productivity. They can't afford to pay a baggage handler with 25 yrs seniority $74K (not making this up..I hired a United guy when they went bankrupt and he was at that level, senior ramp agent or some such name) when they can hire someone new to do the same job for $30k. Look at where the new LCC's are paying and tell me there is no correlation to their profitability and their payscales. If the workers in these legacy airlines want to keep a job, they (MANAGEMENT INCLUDED) need to be ready to sacrifice and cut back, forget fair. Fair is getting paid what the market bears. You want to make more, educate yourself and climb up the ladder. SHould a grocery bagger get paid more than the manager just because he has been there 20 years?
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?

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