I think NW
has looked at the short term and continues to look toward long term as well.
To try to address the topics....
1) I think the A330 will be beneficial within Asia. Yes if the numbers were to continue to grow back to pre 9-11 or even pre Asian crisis levels, then possibly acquiring more 747-400 would be a solution. By then, the opportunity to utilize another aircraft type would be a possibility.
I think the newer a/c will give NW
an advantage for capturing some of the business and leisure traveler more so than the old 747-200 or DC10. I know not everyone really cares what plane they fly, but it can only help.
2) These overfly routes will return when the passenger numbers grow. Pre 9-11 we did DTW
and they were planning for DTW HKG
and DTW ICN
non stop. I most definitely think these will return when the need returns. Also, if NW
were to codeshare with another Chinese airline, it would possibly bring those flights back quicker. We dropped our codeshare with Air China for a variety of reasons, and at one point management was waiting to see what if any consolidation within China would leave a compatable partner. I certainly think a codeshare with China Southern would be a logical step. China Southern already codeshares with CO
. Also, this would open up a codeshare between Guangzhou and NRT
. Also, as the technology continues to get better, longer routes will be the norm (ie LAX SIN
If Japanese passenger numbers were to continue to fall off, NW
would logically look again at ICN
(we did have more than a few through Kimpo pre - Asia crisis). I don't really see this as a drastic problem any time soon. With most travelers not minding a one stop from other points within Asia, NRT
will continue to be our main connection point. Again, the new airport in NGO
will also open a lot of opportunities..I think UA
will add several flights within the next three years through NGO
. We do NGO DTW
) (MNL / RPLL), Philippines">MNL right now along with a 757 to SPN
can only be around the corner. Also a NGO LAX
would be a possibility.
Asia will always represent an odd situation for NW
can prosper a lot from the flights, but as we saw post 9-11 and SARS, it can really hurt the bottom line. The KIX
operations were killing us for a long time. Our domestic ops barely covered the expenses associated with operating KIX
) (MNL / RPLL), Philippines">MNL and now we only fly KIX
I think in the future you might see...
(DC 10 or A330-200)
(DC 10 747)
(747-400)(pipe dream, but I think it could work with the right kind of advertising for the beaches of Vietnam!)
(747-400) SkyTeam will drive a route already flown in the past)
did pick up an additional daily frequency to HKG
in 2002 but it had to be flown from NRT
(Hopefully they will bring it back as a 757-300)
(757, DC10, A330)again a pipe dream maybe, with NW
management continuing to hem and haw on this route, but a far greater possibility from NRT
Phuket - (757-300) seasonal routing
Madras India (was going to happen pre 9-11 for around the world flight, but no need now) would have gone DTW NRT
Madras AMS DTW
Overall, I think business strategy will continue to be focused on expansion within Asia and to the US for NW
. Of course the previous flights would be contingent on many things 1)acquiring several -400's (this was the plan prior to 9-11) 2) the economies of Asia and the US continuing to get better 3) several FA
and pilot recalls, which have not yet happened 4) and finally a little luck and perserverance.
For those who question NW
and their Asian strategy, the ability to modify aircraft (A320, 757, DC10, 747,744) it really worked well. Based on demand, we were able to change the a/c based on demand. This was because of narrow body slots out of NRT
and great planning. That at least is something UA
couldn't adapt to. Now that traffic has stepped back up, we have upgraded our flying on some routes.