Pretty good synopsis of what happened, Kkfla737.
In response to a couple of posts towards the end, AA
's Latin American routes a year or two before Eastern totally died in January 1991. If AA
got the routes in late 1991 as stated above, that would mean the routes were dormant for almost a year which would never happen.
route was discussed recently and I can't remember what we ultimately discovered. AA
had the MIA
run (ex Air Florida and Eastern route). Somehow AA
ended up with LHR
instead of LGW
. The MIA
run (original National and then Pan Am) was switched to MIA
and United operated it for a month or so and then Delta operated it for a year or so before moving it to a blocked seat alliance with Virgin Atlantic.
link posted above about AA
's commitment to Miami is interesting in that they make it sound like they've invested all those millions in new terminals, buildings, refurbishments, etc. Most of those expenditures were either totally or very close to totally paid for by MIA
's Aviation Department and will be recouped through aviation fees on all carriers and rental rates. But it wouldn't be interesting reading if it said "AA paid 3% (or whatever) of such and such a project." would it?
I won't mention hired lobbyists or political maneuvering because I had a previous post deleted recently for mentioning the politics of how an airline gets things accomplished in their favor, but here are other facts regarding the AA
information link posted above:
.....1. The AA
cargo warehouse is not on the north side of the airport but the west side. As with virtually all airport construction projects, the costs were totally, or close to totally, paid by the airport. The AA
cargo warehouse was originally supposed to be further west over near the ATC Towers but they demanded and got the closest, and choicest, warehouse area to the tunnel under runway 12/30 to minimize driving distance compared to other cargo operator locations.
.....2. The huge former National/Pan Am hangar sat vacant for years with no absolutely no rental income because AA
wanted it in the future and no one else could lease it. The majority of the office building floors that anchor the cantilevered roof of the hangar are unleased and vacant since Pan Am died 13 years ago. The refurbishment costs of the hangar were almost totally paid, if not totally, by the airport.
.....3. In regards to the North Terminal project:
..........a. it is now $1 billion more than what was proposed about 10 years ago. AA
demanded, and got, the unique right at MIA
to manage the construction project even though the airport is paying the huge majority of the construction costs. AA
felt that the airport's management of the project would suffer delays and cost overruns, which is exactly what happened with AA
..........b. it is now expected to open sometime in 2008, not 2007 as stated.
..........c. no one bothers to include the costs (hundreds of millions) of building a new runway (8L-26R, formerly 8-26) with the costs of the new North Terminal but it was built primarily to accommodate all the AA
aircraft that will be operating to and from the north side of MIA
's main terminal.
...............(1) no one bothers to include the loss of hundreds of maintenance jobs forever from the local economy, and leasing revenue forever, from the former Eastern Contract Maintenance hangar that had to be torn down because of conflict with the new runway. The hangar was leased by numerous small MRO companies that did contract maintenance work for a variety of small airlines and air cargo companies. Gone, forever.
...............(2) no one bothers to include the costs of the loss of ramp space to the south of the former Eastern L1011 hangar (most recently leased by Commodore Aviation which has moved out for Rome, NY) and the former Eastern maintenance hangars east of the L1011 hangar (most recently leased by Fine Air/Arrow Air which vacated the premises) that has rendered the hangars to be almost worthless to potential MRO companies because you can't park more than a couple of aircraft outside them or they'll conflict with the new runway's safety zones.
...............(3) no one bothers to include the loss of numerous cargo loading positions and aircraft parking positions on the north side of old 9L
-27R (now 8R-26L) or the substantial revenue that most of them generated. A B747-100/200/300 freighter would pay $230 a day just to park on one of these parking positions. If they use a cargo loading position the fee is $200 for the 1st 6 hours, $40 an hour for each hour after 6 up to a 24-hour maximum of $500. Add $300 a day to either the aircraft parking fee or the cargo loading fee if they do major maintenance while there.
..........d. no one includes the costs of building a much taller ATC Tower that was built to see over the top of the new North Terminal because a view of a portion of 8R-26L (former 9L
-27R) and taxiways Mike and November were blocked by the height of the new North Terminal. The new tower project was built by the FAA but reimbursed by the airport's Aviation Department. The former ATC Tower, built less than 20 years ago at great expense, now sits vacant and will be torn down in the future. It's your public dollars hard at work.
..........e. the link states "The new North Terminal is being built for use by American and its partners will be comparable to facilities being developed for other carriers under other parts of the County's overall $4.8 billion capital improvement program for the airport", leading one to believe that everyone is equal but that is far from the truth. What about all the other airlines on Concourses E, F and G? I would consider most of Concourse H to be comparable and certainly whoever moves to the new South Terminal will have comparable facilities, but what about those carriers who will still be stuck on E, F and G? G is the oldest concourse, with small gate hold rooms and with no underground hydrant fueling (add a penny or two per gallon for tankered fueling not to mention the inconvenience) and yet they have to pay the same landing and concourse fees as American?
.....4. The link mentions that AA
now has more operations than Eastern and Pan Am combined at the peak of their success and that they have approximately 9,000 employees in the area with a payroll exceeding $415 million. That's admirable at first glance but since AA
is comparing themselves to Eastern and Pan Am, let's point out that most people don't notice:
..........a. that they fail to mention that the vast majority of their employees in Miami are lower paid ramp workers, ticket counter and gate agents, etc. The pilot crew base at MIA
accounts for the vast majority of the higher wage jobs, thus driving up the average to $46K a year (based on $415 million divided by 9,000 jobs), but one has to question the percentage of the pilots who commute to MIA
for their trips because the quality of life for raising a family is better elsewhere? The Miami economy is lucky if these pilots spend $5 in the terminal in between their commuting trip and their working trip. It certainly doesn't compare favorably to the days when the vast majority of Eastern and Pan Am pilots actually lived down here and spent their relatively high wages here. I remember several Eastern and Pan Am pilots in my neighborhood until the death of Pan Am and now there are no airline pilots that I know of in the area except for one who flies for a local cargo airline.
..........b. they fail to mention that Eastern had approximately 13,000 jobs and that Pan Am had approximately 8,000 jobs in Miami. That's 21,000 combined EA
/PA jobs versus 9,000 AA
jobs. That is hardly equivalent but it gets worse when you consider the below factors.
..........c. they fail to mention that both Eastern and Pan Am had many highly paid corporate executives and management members based in Miami, along with highly paid engineers, analysts, pilot training executives and specialists, computer system analysts, programmers, operators, etc. These folks lived here and spent their money here. Those positions with AA
are at DFW
and Tulsa, hardly benefitting the Miami area.
..........d. they fail to mention that both Eastern and Pan Am had aircraft maintenance bases in Miami, employing thousands of highly paid IAM mechanics, avionics technicians, stock specialists, etc. AA
's maintenance force in Miami is a mere fraction of what used to be here with Eastern and Pan Am. The Eastern and Pan Am maintenance employees could actually afford to buy a home down here and spend money on new cars, home improvements, boats, dining out, etc. Try and do that on the average American ramp worker's or ticket agent's current wage levels, which might be cut again in the future as AA
tries to lower their costs to obtain profitablility.
..........e. they fail to mention that the air fares on Eastern and Pan Am were more reasonable at the time compared to today because of the competition between them and other carriers serving MIA
. It used to be great to be able to fly out of MIA
on very affordable fares but now a lot of us drive to FLL
to do so.
's link mentions carrying 15 million passengers through MIA
but what percentage of those passengers actually spent time in the area on hotels, restaurants, rental cars, etc.? The availability of all these flights is important to our area but the O&D travelers now going to FLL
would be of more economic benefit to Miami-Dade county as a whole. How much economic benefit does a passenger who never leaves the terminal between connecting flights generate for a locally owned business or resident?
's link fails to mention that a hub carrier generally charges higher air fares (just ask the folks in the DFW
area) and certainly that is the case at MIA
. While they have recently dropped fares for Miami, it is both too little and too late because the carriers at FLL
have already attracted the majority of South Florida's O&D traffic. With South Florida's geographic center of population shifting further and further north, FLL
is more centrally located for the majority of travelers in South Florida. And quite frankly, AA
would have to charge considerably less than the competition at FLL
to attract a lot of Broward and Palm Beach county residents to drive south to use MIA
, and the odds of that happening are slim to none. If they are losing money with high air fares how much more would they lose with lower air fares below their costs?
In summary: I've said it before, but yes, AA
is good for Miami. But Miami is even better for AA