I wouldn't wager on United surviving either. That is why I have dusted off my resume and started applying elsewhere. However, the people posting on this forum are just plain wrong about much of what they say. That's ok, but when it is stated as fact I just have to shake my head. Kind of reminds me of the press... read the USA Today and they tell you that pilots have agreed to consessions. We haven't agreed to squat. Haven't voted on a thing. That is the type of error that is absolutely critical.
When you read something like StowAway's analysis of United's financial condition, it is hard not to just wonder where they get their opinions from. United won't go down until the government lets it? Huh? How is the government propping up United? Last I checked we were turned down 3 times for an ATSB Loan GUARENTEE - not even a loan! Did anyone read their reasoning? It was criminal. "United is not an essential part of the US aviation transportaion system". Oh, but America West is?? How about Evergreen? Last I checked United was FINALLY awarded two slots from DCA
past "the arc". That is after just about every low cost carrier on the planet was granted multiple routes. United was forced to reduce flights into/out of Ohare while others were allowed to expand service. United spends 44 cents of every dollar on taxes and security. No relief from the government in sight. Oil prices through the roof is what is crippling United right now. Do you see the government doing anything to lower them? Hell no... what business is Bush in? How do you think the oil companies are doing? United wants to terminate the pensions of its employees. The government could have prevented this by granting an ATSB loan guarentee, but they didn't. Now they are complaining that this might bankrupt the PBGC. Well, perhaps they should have thought of that sooner!!
StowAway: "United is a waste of taxpayer's money." Huh? Are you high, or just stupid? United is surviving right now in spite of the government, not because of it. They are playing the cards in Ch. 11. Guess what, it's all legal! Those are the rules, and United didn't make them. They are just trying to use them to their full advantage. Don't like it? Change the rules, but you can't blame United for operating in the system that was created by the U.S. government. Sorry I had to go off on you, but when you say something totally wrong and then follow it up with a cute little smiley face, you deserve it.
Your post is thoughtful and rational, for that I thank you. GE
is one of many companies that is interested in lending United money provided they can extract more concessions and terminate their pension obligation. If you look at the DIP lenders, there are Banks involved. Airbus is rumored to be in talks. There is more to it than just being stuck with used aircraft, in my opinion. United's potential is absolutely huge. So is the risk. If they can finish destroying the labor contracts on the property and negotiate rock bottom lease and UAX rates, their route structure and fleet should make them a serious force. The evidence of such is there. There is a reason why Gordon Bethune wants us out of business so badly. IF
we are successful in restructuring, we will be tough to beat, and all the other airlines will have to go through the painful cost extractions we just went through - which is TOUGH going, as you can see from United. It's a BIG "if", no doubt. You are smart not to bet on it, but there will be many that will.
Note: As an employee, this is a difficult place to be in. Sure I want United to be successful. However, in doing so, we will have lowered the bar for our profession and our industry so low that one really has to wonder if we will be able to attract any bright people into the business any more. This is a conundrum. I'm not sure what the solution is. Do we lower our own future, or just draw the line in the sand for the good of the profession and move on?