"And as we all know no airline has ever shrunk itself to profitability"
I'll strongly disagree with that statement, I'll use the most successful Corporate turn around (probably ever) with CO
When they entered bankruptcy in the early 1990s they were flying DC-10s and 747s to Sydney, Auckland, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns.
Flying 747s from SEA
They had a major hub in Denver
They purchased Eastern's LGA
slots and were operating a mini hub there.
They were expanding their A300 fleet.
turned around because Gordon Bethune went in there with Greg Breneman and Larry Kellher and cleaned house.
They shut down the flights to Australia and New Zealand, sold the SEA
-Tokyo flight, closed the Denver hub, shut down the CAL Lite airline and started to retire the A300 fleet and standardize around Boeings.
It worked brilliantly for them, this whole notion of UAL going through this process and coming out virtually the same airline is nonsense. They need to shrink the airline to something that is not only more manageable, but more profitable.
It's obvious the way they are set up now will not work, they need to rationalize their operation.