Matt D
Topic Author
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What If They Were Still Around?

Thu Mar 09, 2000 6:04 am

Another purely hypothetical situation that I want to solicit feedback from.
What if now gone airlines hadn't been bought out? Where would they be today? Give your thoughts on what kind of fleet they would have, would they have a new livery, would they eventually gone under, how big would they be, and so on......
Again, before some of you (and I know you will) remind me about all the server space I'm wasting with my presence, and what a nincompoop I am, just fantasize for a moment....
Let's see who can best combine the facts of where the airlines were at the time of death, current conditions and a good imagination:

Republic* (created from the merger of 3 airlines)
*North Central
*Hughes Airwest
Jet America
Morris Air

Can someone compile a list of non-US airlines that were bought or merged out of existance so those not familiar with the above carriers can join in as well?

I look forward to your input!

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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 2:47 am


Thu Mar 09, 2000 6:16 am

If pan am was still out they would have the most amazing livery. They would also be the first ariline to have an all airbus fleet. they would aslo have an alliance with virgin atlantic.

Thats more of my dream then a reality

RE: What If They Were Still Around?

Thu Mar 09, 2000 6:26 am


Well, in Canada, I would be interested in seeing if EPA (Eastern Provincial Airlines), and Wardair would still be flying. I really miss these airlines.
They were bought out after Canadian Pacific Airlines and Pacific Western merged.
I also miss the old CP color scheme (the orange and red with the bare aluminum fuselage).
Any comments on these former Canadian "greats?"

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PAN Am All Airbus?

Thu Mar 09, 2000 6:33 am

Pan Am virtually created the 747, so why wouldn't they have -400s if they were still around? I don't know that they'd have an all-Airbus fleet.
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Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2000 4:49 am

RE: What If They Were Still Around?

Thu Mar 09, 2000 6:33 am

Although not as common an occurence as in the US, British airlines sometimes merge and acquire new identities. The biggest "merger" ever was the formation of British Airways in 1974. The constituent "founder Members" were:
BEA Helicopters
BEA Airtours
BEA Scottish
BEA Channel Islands
BEA Maintenance
Cambrian Airways
Northeast Airlines
All the above operated a varied fleet of aircraft which somehow had to be rationalised follwing the merger, a task that took the best part of 10 years.At the time of the merger, the BEA division of BA tried to have their famous red wings become part of the new BA livery. The thoughts of painting a 747's wings red, top and bottom, meant that idea was short lived.

Subsequently swallowed up by the BA whale - British Caledonian in 1987 and Dan Air in 1991. BA are currently vacuuming up smaller affiliates like Cityflier Express and Brymon.

British Caledonian was itself the result of the merger of British United and Caledonian in 1970.

Another merger of note was the joining of British Island Airways (BIA) and Air Anglia in 1980 to form Air UK. For a short while the combined fleet consisted of both Fokker F-27's and Handley Page Heralds. BIA later re-emerged as a charter airline but went out of business in the early 90's. Air UK is now, of course, KLMuk.

Interesting "things we never saw" as a result of these mergers were Concordes in BOAC colours, Tristars in BEA colours, 727's in BEA colours (BEA had wanted 727's in the late 60's but were blocked by the UK government and forced to buy Trident 3's), Airbus A320's in British Caledonian markings (although one was painted up but never delivered). Maybe Dan Air would have gone on to buy 757's or A320's (2nd hand - no doubt, they had a reputation to keep up) If Cambrian and Northeast had survived into the 80's I'm sure they would have operated 737's and maybe BAe 146's and Shorts 330/360's. The 146 would have been the ideal aircraft for BIA's island routes. The fact that their modern equivalent, Jersey European, flies them would support this. British Caledonian would probably have disposed of their DC-10's and replaced them with either MD-11's or A330's. The 1-11 fleet would have been replaced by the A320's.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

ATL Traveller
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RE: What If They Were Still Around?

Thu Mar 09, 2000 7:40 am

How 'bout "What if things happened differently after they shut down":

Just before Eastern shut down, Northwest Airlines was "this close" to acquiring all the old Eastern gates and Eastern routes at Atlanta-Hartsfield. I'm not sure why they didn't get them. I think Eastern waited too long to entertain the Northwest offer. By the time they did, the hub operations were in such a bad state that the purchase was no longer desireable. What if Northwest did buy?

What if Delta hadn't pulled out of the deal that could have kept Pan Am in the air? What would a Delta-owned Pan Am be like today?

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RE: What If They Were Still Around?

Thu Mar 09, 2000 8:04 am

PSA- would have bought up a southwest, and the smile would have the most routes & largest fleet of 737-700s.. w/ a smile

WESTERN- would have sold there dc-10s and placed an order for 75 L1011s, thus saving the project and enableing the L1011 to be the most successful airliner in history!

RE: What If They Were Still Around?

Thu Mar 09, 2000 8:19 am

It's kinda hard to say...but if CPAir and Wardair hadn't gotten into the financial mess leading to Canadian's plight, then it's a fair bet that PWA would've still tried to buy up CPAir, as PWA wanted to become an international airline, not really because of serious financial problems at that time. But Wardair Canada would have still been independent for a long time if Max Ward hadn't run into problems, too.

If Wardair was alive as an airline today, it'd probably have a fleet of A310-300s, MD-11s(to replace DC-10-30s), and MD-83s(Max Ward did actaully consider ordering them) and possibly 747-400s. Yet it's hard to say, as Canada's low population doesn't allow much of a market for three major scheduled carriers, so Wardair might have ended up getting taken over by CP or AC, or worse, gone under.

Imagine! If CPair had successfully opposed PWA's bid to take it over, like what AC did against Onex! CPAir might have decided not to change its c/s for a while(maybe till the early '90s), instead, it could've just changed the title to Canadian Pacific Airlines in order to maintain international recognition. It did changes its c/s and the title just before PWA took it over. It could've have had a fleet of 737-300/500s, some 737-200s(for northern ops, as they can operate from small airports with only short gravel airstrips. And they can tolerate extremely cold weather better than most jet a/c.), 767-200ERs and -300ERs, 747-400s(They would've looked cool in the orange and red CPAir colors!), and maybe a few MD-11s! CP could also have taken up A320s and A319s ,and probably 737-600s, -700s and -800s.

PWA might have been either bought up by CPAir, instead of the other way around, to augument domestic and transborder services. Because of Canada's low population, especially out west, there definitely wouldn't have been enough room for three major airlines! Really intense competition could very well have resulted in serious financial losses for PWA, unless it was taken over by CPAir and managed wisely(unlike what they really did with Canadian now these days). Its large fleet of 20 or so 737-200s would've mostly been replaced by the 737 Classics, leaving some over for a northern subsidiary.

For a glimpse of what might've been...

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Pierre Langlois

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Caz Caswell

CPAir did actually have a few 737-300s for a short while! Even I was surprised by the one in the red and orange c/s!

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Morris Air

Thu Mar 09, 2000 9:39 am

If Morris Air were still around then N668SW would still be in working condition. BUt i think that another airline like Delta or American would have bought them out already.
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RE: PAN Am All Airbus?

Fri Mar 10, 2000 6:00 am

because they would have practically created the A340, A330, and A3XX. they would not have bought the 744 because boeing wouldn't have givin them a good deal or something.
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RE: PAN Am All Airbus?

Fri Mar 10, 2000 6:10 am

Are you kidding? Boeing not give a good price? I think PanAm would have went the way of CO, DL, and AA, and signed some sort of 20 year contract. A 744 sure would have looked nice in PanAm's billboard colors and a blue meatball on the tail and winglets.   Maybe some of you graphic artists out there can make this come true?  

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RE: PAN Am All Airbus?

Fri Mar 10, 2000 6:26 am

who are you to criticise my imagination? Are you comunist?
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Fri Mar 10, 2000 8:29 am

Hehe, sorry! Didn't know that was your imagination, then again, it was rather obvious   One thing is sure, Airbus sure needs a Juan Trippe badly for the A3XX.

Tom in NO
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RE: What If They Were Still Around?

Fri Mar 10, 2000 9:49 am

How about People's Express and Braniff?

To me, there would be better competition among more carriers, and the skies would definitely be a lot better looking than they are these days. Anything on the original post looks better than today's US and UA!

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

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