United777
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American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Fri May 27, 2005 8:16 am

I remember when American Airlines bought Reno Air in the late 90's it was thought the merger would allow American Airlines make more of a west coast presence. They were going to build there current hub at SJC and introduce more routes up and down the west coast. Instead AA has teamed up with AS for code-share flights up and down the west coast. I thought AA was going to keep the Reno Air routes and expand them.

Anybody know why AA didn't keep some of the Reno Air routes it operated such as SJC-SEA, SJC-PDX?
 
commavia
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Fri May 27, 2005 8:24 am

Quoting United777 (Thread starter):
Anybody know why AA didn't keep some of the Reno Air routes it operated such as SJC-SEA, SJC-PDX?

AA was looking too much at the QQ network and too little at their costs. QQ's operating costs were way below AA's and AA wrongly thought that the QQ network combined with their global reach would increase the RASM on these intra-west coast flights to cover the higher operating costs. Well, AA, like UA, US, DL, CO, and virtually all other majors before it, never got pricing power and as such was forced to match WN fares and lost money.

[Edited 2005-05-27 01:27:07]
 
PassBureauMgr
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Fri May 27, 2005 8:25 am

AA did pretty much the same thing to AirCal a few years earlier.
 
FlyingTexan
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Fri May 27, 2005 8:45 am

Quoting United777 (Thread starter):
American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Well, they swallowed Reno Air, had quite the network from SJC for a while, and cut, cut, cut routes from the airline’s namesake city.

The American wet Dream.

[Edited 2005-05-27 01:46:26]
"Wouldn't your boss like to fly home nonstop at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon?" -Airline Exec to Congressional Staffer
 
commavia
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Fri May 27, 2005 8:48 am

Quoting FlyingTexan (Reply 3):
Well, they swallowed Reno Air, had quite the network from SJC for a while, and cut, cut, cut routes from the airline’s namesake city.

There are still some vestages of the QQ network like LAX-SFO/SJC/LAS, SJC-SNA/SAN, SFO-SNA and RNO-ORD, but yes, the mantle of the QQ network was discontinued as AA could never have been profitable on those routes.
 
Jamake1
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Fri May 27, 2005 8:51 am

History often repeats itself. It was an Air Cal deja vu. It's unfortunate that AA has even pulled down BOS and HNL, in addition to much of the westcoast flying out of SJC. I wonder if SJC-NRT will continue or if that flight will eventually be shifted to SFO.

[Edited 2005-05-27 01:53:04]
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aaway
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Fri May 27, 2005 1:44 pm

Commavia,
Your is 1st post is largely a bingo! Ironic that this thread was started. I was speaking with an AA manager at LAX recently. At some point, our discussion turned to this topic - albeit indirectly.
He stated that AA was making money on these routes (from LAX) until 9/11. If so, profits would have been in the marginal (at best) range. But enough to stem the diversion of longhaul traffic to UA, which had been occurring prior to the QQ purchase.
"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one." - Elbert Hubbard
 
ikramerica
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Fri May 27, 2005 2:53 pm

SJC was such a nice place to have a hub when I flew AA all the time and went to Stanford. Direct flights to most places, even across the country.

Now SJC isn't what it was, and there are no nonstop NYC-RENO flights. Sort of sad.

But there is still an SJC-NRT AA777 flight, right?
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
N1120A
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Fri May 27, 2005 3:26 pm

Quoting Commavia (Reply 4):
There are still some vestages of the QQ network like LAX-SFO/SJC/LAS, SJC-SNA/SAN, SFO-SNA and RNO-ORD

Actually, most of those routes came from AirCal, with the exception of RNO-ORD which is an AA hub flight anyway

Quoting Jamake1 (Reply 5):
I wonder if SJC-NRT will continue or if that flight will eventually be shifted to SFO.

They rely a lot on the O&D out of SJC and their corporate contracts. UA owns SFO in a way they don't own LAX and AA keeps in SJC to avoid that conflict

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 7):
But there is still an SJC-NRT AA777 flight, right

Yes
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m404
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Fri May 27, 2005 3:42 pm

And USair did to PSA
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flyboy7974
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Fri May 27, 2005 3:54 pm

the aa/reno merger had nothing to do with costs, search back and there are many heated topics about this, and i am one of them. it is simply about reno air's ord slots that aa wanted, and the big wigs at aa having their pocket in qq and wanting out to make quite a big buck at the time. i had family that worked for reno air, and our family had quite a bit of money in the airline. travel agents and people all over reno spite aa now. a couple of summers back there was even a campaign to boycott booking aa out of reno, and there was some made up number that over 90% of aa traffic did not originate in reno, they were returning home to their destinations. reno and the people in reno have learned twice not to trust aa or anything they promise reno officials. a friend works at rno intl, and even on the ground side they dont like aa. aa jets always get last priority for fueling, deicing and anything they can do. search back in the reno paper, you will find articles in the paper to boycott aa in reno, i think 2002/2003 ish.
 
ikramerica
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Fri May 27, 2005 4:31 pm

All I know is for my friend's bachelor party weekend this January, everyone wanted to go skiing, and most live in NYC. So they jetted out to SLC and went to Park City. I of course flew in from LAX.

Reno/Tahoe would have been a better destination (more night life, casinos), but though us west coasters could get there, the east coasters had no direct flights there and back, which made it difficult for the bankers to make it work.

so despite what AA says, the city of Reno and American lost 15 people (10 with lots of money to throw around) to Utah and Delta. Sure, many people who fly to Reno originate elsewhere. Doesn't mean they want to connect to get there for a quick getaway weekend. It kills at least 5 hours out of weekend!

It's time for Air Reno!
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
United777
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Fri May 27, 2005 5:40 pm

I wonder if AA will expand at SJC once the new terminal is complete. It sure looks great. http://www.sjc.org/improve.html

I do love how AA code-shares with AS for flights up and down the west coast but having that third airline other than AS and Southwest for flights up and down the west coast would be great.

I fly down to the Bay Area every month from Seattle and my only options are AS and Southwest but I do have the option to fly Horizon Air, Delta and America West but with stop-overs that take too much time and way out of the way.
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Fri May 27, 2005 6:12 pm

Quoting United777 (Reply 12):
I wonder if AA will expand at SJC once the new terminal is complete.

Well, they MIGHT have plenty of room to expand if a certain competitor gives the city of San Jose "the finger" and packs its bags. Question is, will AA (or any other airline) be in good enough shape to fill the space.
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isitsafenow
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Fri May 27, 2005 10:07 pm

I posted this before and I will do it again...AA bought Reno for the pilots and mechanics. They did not need the airplanes. They already had over 250 MD-80's.
De-reg was in effect so they could route themselves anywhere they wanted in the USA without Uncle Sams blessing, therefore they didn't NEED the routes either.

AA knew they had a large number of pilots retiring in the 90's along with a few mechanics also checking out. This was all before 9-11.

So there you are.
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NYCAAer
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Fri May 27, 2005 10:41 pm

This was one of Carty's ideas, when he was buying up carriers, before TWA and supposedly had AS on his sights. It was also to gain a north-south presence on the West Coast because he flet we were losing customers to United, who could fly a passenger from JFK to LAX, then up to SFO, and then back to JFK.

It sure wasn't without its glitches. It resulted in the AA pilot sickout of February 1999, which lasted for a few days. I worked a trip from JFK to CDG during the sickout, and when I showed up at JFK, we must have had about 2 dozen grounded planes at Hangar 10. I ended up getting stuck in Paris because there was no plane to fly back to JFK the third day. Some crew members ended up spending a whole week in London!
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Fri May 27, 2005 11:07 pm

The QQ network as it was, was not the attraction for AA.

* SJC/SNA AAdvantage members.
* SNA slots.
* Expanded LAX feed.
* The chance to rebuild SJC, still in a hightech boom.

Anyone could see by the old QQ route map that the Reno hub was not an operation AA was likely to keep anyway. Too leisure oriented for the likes of AA.
Next up: STL-OAK-RNO-LAS-ICT-STL
 
planespotting
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Fri May 27, 2005 11:53 pm

so what happened to Reno's airplanes? They had a rather large (30+ i think) fleet of MD-90's didnt' they? someone wanna clarify that?
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NYCAAer
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Sat May 28, 2005 12:01 am

Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 16):
The QQ network as it was, was not the attraction for AA. *SJC/SNA AAdvantage members

Reno Air was part of the AAdvantage program from the very beginning, so there was very little reason to buy out QQ for this reason. In fact, QQ was created out of the very void AA had left behind previously when it abandoned the old Air Cal routes the first time around.

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 17):
so what happned to Reno's airplanes?

The MD-80s are still in service with AA. The MD-87s and MD-90s were only kept for a brief period and retired. At the time QQ only had about 24 aircraft, most were MD-82s.
 
commavia
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Sat May 28, 2005 12:08 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 8):
Actually, most of those routes came from AirCal, with the exception of RNO-ORD which is an AA hub flight anyway

Not really. AirCal was purchased in 1987 and the SJC former-AirCal hub was dismantled by AA in 1993-1994. All the QQ routes AA picked up were QQ routes, just happening to overlap much of the former AirCal network.

Quoting United777 (Reply 12):
I wonder if AA will expand at SJC once the new terminal is complete.

I doubt it. AA has been shrinking there constantly over the last few years. They dropped all transcons, all Hawaii flights, and are now down to just DFW, ORD, LAS and NRT mainline and Eagle to LAX, SNA and SAN. Sad. Down the road a few years, if the Silicon Valley business environment picks up a bit, I could perhaps see them reinstating a daily 757 to BOS/JFK, but that's about it.

Quoting United777 (Reply 12):
I do love how AA code-shares with AS for flights up and down the west coast but having that third airline other than AS and Southwest for flights up and down the west coast would be great.

Yes. The AS/QX codeshare has been an immense success for AA as the Alaska Air Group is now AA's largest codeshare partner, bringing in tens of millions annually in revenue for AA.

Quoting Isitsafenow (Reply 14):
AA bought Reno for the pilots and mechanics.

Funny you should mention that, as the current head of AA maintenance was once the CEO and President of Reno Air and helped found the company.

Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 16):
Anyone could see by the old QQ route map that the Reno hub was not an operation AA was likely to keep anyway. Too leisure oriented for the likes of AA.

That's true. Everybody who watched the merger transaction unfold back in 1998 pretty much knew RNO was history. AA's motivation for QQ's route network was for LAX and SJC, purely. RNO was going to get cut eventually because, as you said, it was way too small and way to leisure-oriented for AA.

Quoting NYCAAer (Reply 18):
The MD-80s are still in service with AA

I don't believe that's accurate. The MD87s and MD90s were gone within a year, as you said, but IIRC, the QQ MD82s were also returned to lessors by 2000 or 2001. Anybody else know for sure?
 
qqflyboy
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Sat May 28, 2005 1:51 am

QQ's 80s and 87s were grounded on the morning of September 11, 2001, and never returned to the fleet. The 90s had been traded-in to Boeing on a 20 aircraft 757 purchase prior to this. With the need for an immediate capacity decrease post 9/11, the QQ fleet was easy to ground as it was not common with AA's MD-80s.
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
 
dutchjet
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Sat May 28, 2005 2:58 am

AA has had a difficult time on the West Coast, in California, and a very strange history at San Jose. First, the AirCal deal was undertaken to gain a presence on the west coast which did not work out, then AA built a hub in SanJose that was overtime phased out and basically handed over to RenoAir (with an AAvantage connection), then AA went on to purchase RenoAir and while it was assumed that the Reno operations would be curtailed, most thought that AA would maintain a larger operation in SanJose, and now AA has cutback services at SanJose to nothing more than flights to other hubs, the Tokyo flight, and some regional service.

Its strange, AA (with the AirCal and RenoAir deals), US (with the PSA deal) and Republic/NW (with the Hughes AirWest deal) basically handed over intra-California and short haul westcoast flying to Southwest and, to a lesser extent, America West.
 
ckfred
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Sat May 28, 2005 3:23 am

From what friends of mine who work at AA, as well as another who worked at QQ before moving to AA after the merger, AA had several motives.

First it wanted its SJC hub back. Tech was booming, and AA felt that the time was right. Basically, QQ had taken over the SJC hub from AA, just as Midway had taken over RDU. QQ was subletting terminal space, etc.

Second, with QQ's routes, AA felt that it could get more traffic feed to routes going east. Obviously, LAX was the focus, but the theory was that it could feed traffic from the east at other airports on the West Coast.

Third, ORD was still slot restricted, and QQ had obtained special slots for RNO-ORD. AA was more than willing to hold onto the RNO-ORD slots and fly the route.

Fourth, QQ had a mini-hub at LAS. AA's service at LAS, except for ORD and DFW, was Eagle. By buying QQ, AA could offer mainline service. It wasn't so much that AA felt that it could compete with UA, WN, and HP. But LAS flights are often oversold. I volunteered to give up a seat, and AA was going to send me to SNA via HP, then take AA to ORD.

Simply put, the Saab 340s didn't offer enough empty seats to deal with overbooked flights to DFW and ORD. By getting QQ, AA had enough seats to keep bumped passengers on AA. Three years later, I did get bumped at LAS, and I got back by taking AA to LAX, connecting for ORD.

My friend who used to work at RNO felt that from Day One, AA didn't intend to keep the RNO hub, although he thought AA might keep some flights to SEA, SJC/SFO, and LAX.
 
commavia
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RE: American Airlines - Reno Air Merger?

Sat May 28, 2005 3:54 am

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 22):
First it wanted its SJC hub back. Tech was booming, and AA felt that the time was right. Basically, QQ had taken over the SJC hub from AA

This was, IMHO, without a doubt, AA's primary motivation, with LAX feed coming in a close second. Back in 1998, tech and SJC were both booming like never before -- this was pre-bubble-bursting -- and AA wanted a piece of the SJC action as it already had quite a history in the market. As you said, QQ had basically just taken over AA's SJC network for them and kept an AA presence with the AAdvantage tie-in, but AA wanted the routes back themselves. That being said, QQ was a very willing participant in the transaction and was actively seeking a merger partner in the 1998-1999 timeframe.

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 22):
with QQ's routes, AA felt that it could get more traffic feed to routes going east

This was motivation #2, IMO. With QQ, AA got feed into their burgeoning LAX operation from, among others, RNO, LAS, COS, SJC, and SFO, and they later complimented that with flights to PHX, DEN and OAK. This was back at a time when AA was really trying to build up west coast flying, adding more transcon flights to BOS, IAD, JFK and MIA, and adding LAX-CDG. Of the entire AA-QQ merger, LAX is the one station in the current AA network where the QQ vestages are still felt, as most -- not all, but most -- QQ routes out of LAX are still operated by either AA or Eagle.

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 22):
ORD was still slot restricted, and QQ had obtained special slots for RNO-ORD

Very true. AA was desperate for slots to compete against UA and badly wanted ORD-RNO to feed east coast flights. This route, ironically, is still going strong with AA, even now that slots no longer exist (at least in name!).

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 22):
My friend who used to work at RNO felt that from Day One, AA didn't intend to keep the RNO hub, although he thought AA might keep some flights to SEA, SJC/SFO, and LAX

Very true. The writing was on the wall for RNO and everybody at AA and QQ from the day the merger was announced. AA was never serious about RNO, they just wanted QQ for LAX and SJC. RNO was the stepchild everybody knew was going to get cut after a few months.

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