Longhornmaniac
Topic Author
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Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Sun Jan 15, 2006 10:47 am

I don't follow NW that much, nor am I really interested in their product, but I am very curious as to whats going to happen. I just don't see what they can do. Like I said, I'm fairly naive about NW, and I did a search for the topic previously, and couldn't find anything. I don't mean to stir people up, or get into a huge debate about it, but here's what I'm seeing, from what I understand:

-Northwest appears to be in a stalemate with the various unions (someone fill me in on exactly where the problem lies with their workers, and whats the issue about) that they apparently can't win, at least any time soon.

-I'm sure this is a non-issue for most people, and I have seen this discussed on the board before, so I don't want to go into great detail about it, seeing the hostility that came along with it, but those DC-9's are ancient. Since they are so dominant in the NW fleet, the one thing that the average person would care about is the noise, and at least the way I see it, its hard to have a good domestic product when the focal point of your domestic fleet are planes that are 30 years old and noisy, and uncomfortable RJs.

-Another thing about their domestic product, the hubs are worthless. Maybe its just me, but I think that due to their relative close proximity, the hubs at MSP and DTW are redundant. The only hub for NW that makes any shred of sense to me is MEM, because it is relatively centrally located, which allows for decent connections east-west across the country, as well as north-south. If I'm flying from say....SEA to TPA, I'd much rather go through MEM than MSP or DTW, but then of course, I wouldn't have a choice because it seems to me that NW has downgraded the MEM hub to the point where if I want to go to anywhere but LAX on the west coast, I have to go through MSP. What exactly are NW's intentions with MEM.

-If an airline wants to operate domestically and compete well with the other airlines, wouldn't you need some sort of more centrally located hub, other than MEM? I mean if you look at all the other airlines, UA with DEN and ORD, AA with DFW and ORD, CO with IAH. All of these places make it relatively easy to connect to just about anywhere in the country. It just seems to me that NW is operating almost exclusively for a very small part of the country, that being the upper midwest. What is the point of having two hubs so close to each other? I also think that the other airlines to a better job of offering point to point service when their hubs don't necessarily make sense. I just really don't understand how they expect to make money with such an inconvenient product, and while I'm sure their international routes are fairly profitable, a major US airline can't depend on just that sort of thing.

-Which brings me to the point of merger...why would an airline buy Northwest? They've amassed such a large debt, the buyer would be forced to pay it off, and any US airline that could afford to pay it off wouldn't, in my eyes, gain a whole lot from it.

I realize I may have taken a somewhat frustrated tone in this post, which was really not intended, because I haven't flown Northwest enough to have a legitimate opinion about it, but I'm just really curious, because they seem to be spiraling downhill.

I wish them the best of luck, because competition is good, and am sorry to any NWA employees I might have offended, none was intended, but I think some major changes need to happen to that airline before they can start being mentioned with the likes of AA, WN, UA, CO, or DL, and B6 and HP/US are starting to creep into that group. Those 7 airlines to me, seem to be the elite airlines right now in the US, with NW slowly falling farther behind.

Opinions welcome  Smile but don't be too mean!

Cheers,
Cameron
Cheers,
Cameron
 
AvFan4ever
Posts: 80
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Sun Jan 15, 2006 1:11 pm

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):
but those DC-9's are ancient

and paid for

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):
hubs at MSP and DTW are redundant

have you ever been to either hub? I hate to think of the NW volume at both hubs being crammed into either one

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):
major changes need to happen to that airline before they can start being mentioned with the likes of AA, WN, UA, CO, or DL, and B6 and HP/US are starting to creep into that group. Those 7 airlines to me, seem to be the elite airlines right now in the US, with NW slowly falling farther behind.

Dude, pass the joint.
 
aviatortj
Posts: 1694
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Sun Jan 15, 2006 3:15 pm

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):
-Northwest appears to be in a stalemate with the various unions (someone fill me in on exactly where the problem lies with their workers, and whats the issue about) that they apparently can't win, at least any time soon.

As soon as their CEO Steenland was brought in, what was left of employee moral went to shit. Steenland is there for numbers and cuts that Anderson was not comfortable to make. With a new person at the helm, NWA appears to be turning into a name that outsources its flying, maintenance, and anything else.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):
-I'm sure this is a non-issue for most people, and I have seen this discussed on the board before, so I don't want to go into great detail about it, seeing the hostility that came along with it, but those DC-9's are ancient. Since they are so dominant in the NW fleet, the one thing that the average person would care about is the noise, and at least the way I see it, its hard to have a good domestic product when the focal point of your domestic fleet are planes that are 30 years old and noisy, and uncomfortable RJs.

RJs suck. Luckily airlines such as United, AirTran, and jetBlue realize that customers don't like them, and they don't make money in an all Y configuration. AirTran cut them completely, while jetBlue went for larger EMB jets. United is cutting seats out of RJs to make for more comfortable cabins. NW, until recently, has been taking huge deliveries of these things.

The DC-9s won't be going anywhere until stage IV comes into play. Since there was already the push to get these stage III compliant, reengine or replacement will be nearly the only options. Inside the plane, they have refitted the DC-9s with 717 style interiors. Now don't expect AirTran or Midwest when you come on board, but they are stepped up from your usual DC-9.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):
-Another thing about their domestic product, the hubs are worthless. Maybe its just me, but I think that due to their relative close proximity, the hubs at MSP and DTW are redundant. The only hub for NW that makes any shred of sense to me is MEM, because it is relatively centrally located, which allows for decent connections east-west across the country, as well as north-south. If I'm flying from say....SEA to TPA, I'd much rather go through MEM than MSP or DTW, but then of course, I wouldn't have a choice because it seems to me that NW has downgraded the MEM hub to the point where if I want to go to anywhere but LAX on the west coast, I have to go through MSP. What exactly are NW's intentions with MEM.

NWA has a domestic product equivalent to that of Greyhound bus. Their current hub structure appears to be doing the trick with the mix of O&D traffic while owning the heartland cities like FNT, DLH, and FAR on connections.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):
-Which brings me to the point of merger...why would an airline buy Northwest? They've amassed such a large debt, the buyer would be forced to pay it off, and any US airline that could afford to pay it off wouldn't, in my eyes, gain a whole lot from it.

An airline would buy NW if they were suicidal. It wouldn't be worth taking on the debt, employees, contracts, fleet, etc. If they were to ever go Ch. 7, look for some of the newer busses and nontangible items to find homes.

 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Sun Jan 15, 2006 3:35 pm

Quoting AviatorTJ (Reply 2):
NWA has a domestic product equivalent to that of Greyhound bus.

I totally disagree. I commute from time to time with NWA and find their service to be acceptable.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
DLKAPA
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Sun Jan 15, 2006 3:41 pm

When I was goin up the ski lift today, the guy I was riding with was talking to me about his job: Right now an A320 captain on NW. Right now the belief is that Newco is a sure thing only in the minds of NW management.

This guy was actually a holdover from Hughes AirWest then Republic, and apparantly NW wasn't allowing the Republic pilots to rise and transition to larger aircraft, so he's been held on the A320 until a few years ago, and now that they've dumped the restrictions he can't move up because they aren't exactly hiring.
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
centrair
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Sun Jan 15, 2006 3:44 pm

WOW,

DC9s paid for...and they are not RJs in my opinion.

MEM was inherited with the merger of republic wasn't it? MSP is the Corporate HQ and has been since god knows when (70+ years).

You compare IAH and DFW and say they are centrally located. This is true, but in the deep south. MSP is almost directly north from those two at the other end of the Mississippi. Next time look at a map and you might learn some geography.
MSP is also one of the richest cities in America. Has more fortune 500 companies than MEM. In fact one of the largest concentrations in the country. There is not just transfer traffic, but local traffic and that matters.

As for the product. NW does suck. I agree but then again most U.S. carriers suck domestically. AA charges for everything, other airlines do the same. Want a pillow $5. Want a drink $3. Want a snack $10. Special luggage $X. Want service $0. B6 was given good ratings but now they are experiencing growing pains in the form of labor costs.

The only thing good about an airline buying NW would be the lucrative Asia routes and slots at Japanese airports. Why do you think UA is happy with Asia... got the routes from Pan Am.

[Edited 2006-01-15 07:48:12]

[Edited 2006-01-15 07:49:10]
Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
incitatus
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Sun Jan 15, 2006 3:58 pm

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):
-Another thing about their domestic product, the hubs are worthless.

While it may seem to you MEM is the only good hub, it has a very small local market. I think NW is bound to close it. MSP can be only as big as STL is for American - an RJ hub with mainline service to the 10-15 largest domestic markets. DTW is left as the only hub with some real traffic. The long term value of the Narita operation is questionable. With nonstops from the US already going to BKK and SIN, who will want to deal with multiple connections?

The best way out for NW is to merge with another airline.
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fxramper
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Sun Jan 15, 2006 4:27 pm

All total speculation on my part until we read it in the news, but from what I gather from people I know or ask in the industry...NW is cooked. Their labor agreements on all ends will be their downfall...not their fleet, routes, or service.

 Sad
 
Jamake1
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Sun Jan 15, 2006 7:24 pm

Having flown Northwest recently (MSP-SFO), their domestic product is vastly inferior to the likes of UA, CO, and AA. No pillows, no blankets, no inflight movies or audio entertainment all make for an experience that doesn't seem to be focused on the customer. It is reminiscent of Ryanair's product in Europe. For all of UA's faults, I think at least that they have the business traveller in mind by retaining some amenities such as blankets, pillows, and IFE, and the explus branded RJ's with first class and economy plus, making the RJ ride a more palatable inflight experience that closely parallels the mainline product. My perception is that NW has become a second-rate airline with even the LCC's offering a vastly superior product for the money. I do feel for NWA's employees and hope that they prevail in their battle with NWA management's draconian attempts to outsource most of the airline. Management's threat to outsource the airline's most lucrative international routes to cheap non-union foreigners is just wrong and is a slap in the face to the airline's most senior and dedicated employees. I hope it backfires.
United's B747-400. "She's a a cruel lover."
 
Type-Rated
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Mon Jan 16, 2006 2:58 am

Quoting DLKAPA (Reply 4):
and apparantly NW wasn't allowing the Republic pilots to rise and transition to larger aircraft

Actually, what happened was that the RC pilots found themselves in a lower position when they merged with NW than they had been with RC. For example a RC DC-9 Captain may have found himself being a F/O after the NW buyout. It took a number of years to build themselves back up. Also, only in the last 8 years or so has the "us vs them" attitude from the RC buyout tended to go away. That was not an easy merger and there were lots of hard feelings to go around.

MEM was an old SO hub from years ago. (SO + NC+(RW)=RC RC>>>NW.
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
bucky707
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:34 am

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 9):
Actually, what happened was that the RC pilots found themselves in a lower position when they merged with NW than they had been with RC. For example a RC DC-9 Captain may have found himself being a F/O after the NW buyout. It took a number of years to build themselves back up

not entirely true. The merger went pretty much Date of Hire. But the arbitrator in awarding DOH also figured it was not fair for a RC pilot to suddenly be able to bid a DC10 or 747 when his airline did not operate them. So, a fence was put up. Basically allowing the RC pilots to keep DOH but limiting them to the equipment they brought to the table......meaning DC-9s. I think it was a 15 or 20 year fence. Anyway, what it meant was that some very senior RC pilots are stuck flying the 9 while pilots junior to them are flying the 747. Lately the fence has started to come down. Don't know if the former RC pilots are allowed to bid anything yet, but I think they do have more options.

[Edited 2006-01-15 19:35:09]
 
PhilSquares
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:40 am

Quoting Bucky707 (Reply 10):
Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 9):
Actually, what happened was that the RC pilots found themselves in a lower position when they merged with NW than they had been with RC. For example a RC DC-9 Captain may have found himself being a F/O after the NW buyout. It took a number of years to build themselves back up

not entirely true. The merger went pretty much Date of Hire. But the arbitrator in awarding DOH also figured it was not fair for a RC pilot to suddenly be able to bid a DC10 or 747 when his airline did not operate them. So, a fence was put up. Basically allowing the RC pilots to keep DOH but limiting them to the equipment they brought to the table......meaning DC-9s. I think it was a 15 or 20 year fence. Anyway, what it meant was that some very senior RC pilots are stuck flying the 9 while pilots junior to them are flying the 747. Lately the fence has started to come down. Don't know if the former RC pilots are allowed to bid anything yet, but I think they do have more options.

Not quite true. Tom Roberts the arbitrator, constructed the award to ensure "career expectations". I think there is a "ratio" integration for part of the list, then a DOH for the remainder. I can't remember the exact numbers, but a certain number of positions on the 747/DC-10/757/727 were reserved for NW pilots. Any numbers above that were shared one for one. Conversely, the DC-9 was handled the same way.

I suppose the "Roberts Award" was fair, since each side was unhappy. IIRC the fence lasts until 2007. There have been several "supplemental awards" by other arbitrators who have decided issues such as "replacement aircraft" and other issues.
Fly fast, live slow
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:53 am

The thing about DTW, MSP, and MEM (and I grew up in Detroit) is that NWA has a complete stranglehold on all three cities. You simply cannot get in or out of DTW, MSP, or MEM unless it's in a plane with a red tail. I think at DTW >70% of flights are NW (or Airlink).

Any one of them would make a good hub. They're major airports with full facilities situated more or less in the middle of the country. It's a 1.5 hour flight to, say, JFK or BOS and 4 hours to the West Coast. They also have a "mini-hub" at SEA.

What I find interesting about NWA is the ratio of domestic to international service. Their domestic service is rather modest when compared to, say, UAL or AA. But if you compare them to a similarly-sized airline (say, CO) their level of international service is much greater. They're one of only two US airlines to fly the 744 (an important A/C in the asia/pacific market because pax there really do care what kind of plane they're flying) and their international route structure is impressive both across the Atlantic and Pacific.

When NWA has good service, they're great. But when they're doing poorly, having DTW, MSP, or MEM as your nearest major airport royally blows chunks. I remember as a kid having NWA ruin more vacations... Having said that, about a year ago when I was interviewing at residency programs and flying all over creation I flew NWA and only had one issue.

And that is my random free-association on NWA for today.

BTW, I'll miss the old C/S. The new one is boring. Even if I like the new tails.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
panam330
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:31 am

Quoting Incitatus (Reply 6):
MSP can be only as big as STL is for American - an RJ hub with mainline service to the 10-15 largest domestic markets.

What the hell are you talking about? Take a look at their latest timetable, chief. I'll list the cities served from MSP by NW non-stop. Cities with stars have mainline service.

ABQ*
ABR
ALB
ALO
AMS*
ANC*
ASE
ATL*
ATW
ATY
AUS*
AVL
AZO
BDL*
BIL*
BIS*
BJI
BNA*
BOI*
BOS*
BRD
BUF*
BWI*
BZN*
CID
CLE*
CLT*
CMH*
CMX
COS*
CPW
CUN*
CVG
CWA
DAY
DCA*
DEN*
DFW*
DLH*
DSM*
DTW*
DVL
EAU
EGE*
ELP
EWR*
FAR*
FCA*
FLL*
FNT*
FOD
FSD*
GEG*
GFK*
GRB*
GRR*
GSO
GTF
HDN*
HIB
HLN
HNL*
HPN
IAD*
IAH*
ICT
IDA
IND*
INL
JAC*
JAX*
JFK*
JMS
LAN
LAS*
LAX*
LEX
LGA*
LIT
LNK
LSE
MBS
MCI*
MCO*
MCW
MDT
MDW*
MEM*
MHT*
MIA*
MKE*
MLI
MOT*
MSN*
MSO*
MSY*
NRT*
OKC
OMA*
ONT*
ORD*
ORF
PDX*
PHL*
PHX*
PIA
PIT
PSP*
PVD*
PVR*
RAP*
RDU*
RHI
RIC
RNO*
ROC
RST
RSW*
SAN*
SAT*
SBN
SDF
SEA*
SFO*
SGF
SJC*
SJD*
SLC*
SMF*
SNA*
STC
STL*
SUX
TPA*
TUL
TUS*
TVC
TVF
TYS
XNA
YEG*
YQR
YQT
YUL
YVR*
YWG*
YXE*
YYC*
YYZ*

That's 80/138 destinations served non-stop by mainline aircraft. Not too shabby, if you ask me.
 
CIDFlyer
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:51 am

Quoting Incitatus (Reply 6):
While it may seem to you MEM is the only good hub, it has a very small local market. I think NW is bound to close it.

The only way MEM will close is if NW merges w/CO or DL. Taking away the MEM hub from NW would essentialy leave NW without any coverage in the south central and southeast U.S. I could even see a scenerio if DL and NW were to merge that MEM could be kept open as a reliever hub to capacity strained ATL.

Quoting Incitatus (Reply 6):
MSP can be only as big as STL is for American - an RJ hub with mainline service to the 10-15 largest domestic markets.

echoing the statement in post 5 by Centrair, MSP is one of the richest cities in America and also has one of the largest concentrations of fortune 500 companies in the country. MSP does have a good amount of O/D traffic, more so than STL, and its good central location is ideal for its position as a hub.
MSP and STL are two entirely different markets and I don't believe they can be compared.
 
afconcorde1
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:53 am

Being that I have family in Michigan, I use NW whenever I visit. I find NWA to be a very adequate airline with friendly staff. I would not rate them to be on the top of my list, however, they are very nice, helpful, and the main point, getting me where I need to be at the time I need to be there.

I would like to add that when I flew to Europe in '96 with NW/KLM, they forced my tour group to take a different airline as we were connecting in AMS for MAD. (Not only did we have to transfer at AMS for MAD but also had to stop at BCN before preceding to MAD with Iberia.) As for the trouble, KLM administered to every member of our tour group approximately 200 American dollars worth of guilder (the former Dutch pre-Euro currency.) Not expecting that, it impressed me very much.
Je pense, donc je vole Concorde!
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:17 am

It is true that NWA's domestic product is now at an on-board service level consistent with a no-frills carrier (you can now buy meals on-board a-la HP). The problem is that the prices and hassles are still consistent with a mainline carrier.

So you get no ameneties, high fares, hub-spoke economics, and scheduling/on-time issues.

But if you have a monopoly on a city, then you can pull it off.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
isitsafenow
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:21 am

Quoting PanAm330 (Reply 13):
PanAm330

I can add that MBS and LAN flip flop every couple of months
between DC-9's and RJ's. Eff Jan 4th NW1472 to LAN and NW 618 to MBS
are back to diesal nines
safe
 yes 
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
 
DTWAGENT
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:38 am

As a person who lives near DTW, I see and hear about all of NWA problems. NWA employees have not been happy ever since NW bought out Repulbic Airlines/North Central Airlines.... NW screwed these employees and are still doing it today. They are not being paid as much as their counter parts from NWA. As for the hubs. MSP is not going anywhere. That is there home base and offices. DTW is not going anywhere. They have invested a lot of money into this airport to throw it all away. They have moved DL and CO to the new terminal to keep the skyteam together. ALL main line international flights now go out of this new terminal. ALL Charter international flights still go out of the old Berry terminal. I have been through MEM on a conx and I have to agree that airport is the pits.... As far as the planes go. ALL of the DC-9's are bought and paid for. And they have redone the interior of them. NW is talking about getting rid of all (to my understanding) of the RJ-85's and they have canceled the 15 new CRJ's for Mesaba Airlines. What NW and all the other major airlines need to do is CUT out all of the middle management people. As far as service goes, I can't tell you anything about that. But, as a travel agent they are the worst airline to work with. I will be flying them this April to FLL for a CLiA convention. So I will find out what kind of service they have then. No airline would even think about buying NWA. Noone can afford to anyways. It will be interesting to see how this Newco will work. They could use their DC-9's for this or will they be purchasing new EMB-175 or 190's. Other then that it is wait and see what comes or goes next....
 
GVWOW
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:52 am

I don't know much about NW's financial situation (only that it's bad), but I do know from experience that it's product is horrible and it is an accomplished vacation-wrecker. I will be posting a trip report soon.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):
-I'm sure this is a non-issue for most people, and I have seen this discussed on the board before, so I don't want to go into great detail about it, seeing the hostility that came along with it, but those DC-9's are ancient. Since they are so dominant in the NW fleet, the one thing that the average person would care about is the noise, and at least the way I see it, its hard to have a good domestic product when the focal point of your domestic fleet are planes that are 30 years old and noisy, and uncomfortable RJs.

I have flown on a refurbished DC-9, and it was actually not to bad. NW is a master at disguising ancient planes with new interiors so that nobody notices! The descent was a little rough though, lots of airspeed. But they are showing their age, and can't imagine their as safe as a brand new A318.
 
Longhornmaniac
Topic Author
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:59 am

While I agree completely that NW's domestic operation is too large for either MSP or DTW by themselves, my question is why have the hubs so close together? Especially up north. If you get a really bad winter storm, that could shut down, say MSP for even an hour, that would do extensive route damage for the day, due to the fact that on a given day, any one plane is likely to be in either MSP or DTW at least once. And given the nature of winter storms/cold fronts, if it hits MSP one day, its very likely to hit DTW either that day or the next. This completely jeopardizes a large majority of their domestic operations for the day. It just doesn't seem like a very good idea to have multiple hubs up north like that, especially so close to each other. You look at all the other airlines, I think United is the best example of this, they have adequately spaced their hubs; a West coast hub in SFO, a great plains/middle america hub in DEN, a midwest hub in ORD, and an east coast hub at IAD. In my opinion, that is efficient planning of hubs, because they each target a specific market, and make it easy for someone to get just about anywhere in the country, with one connection with a flight to the hub airport being for the most part no more than two hours. NW doesn't do themselves any favors to the western US, because if I live in the south central/south east US (aka TX, LA, MS, AL, GA etc...) and need to get to SFO, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to fly all the way up north to MSP, to go west just as far. That first flight to MSP doesn't net you anything. Living in AUS, I'm spoiled by having two major airlines' hubs a 30 minute flight away, so they dominate my travel, so I'm somewhat biased, but it just seems that a connection through MSP or DTW is convenient to a real small area in the US.

And for the record, I wasn't really taking into account the O&D traffic at MSP and DTW, which is a valid point, and a point taken.
Cheers,
Cameron
 
ContinentalEWR
Posts: 3619
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:03 am

NW will eventually merge with DL.
 
Longhornmaniac
Topic Author
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:04 am

Quoting GVWOW (Reply 19):
I have flown on a refurbished DC-9, and it was actually not to bad. NW is a master at disguising ancient planes with new interiors so that nobody notices!

Good point. My only real beef with the DC-9s is the noise. It just seems to me like they aren't very economical anymore. With the advances in techology, NW is spending the money on fuel at a rate that airlines with more modern fleets would have spent 20 years ago.

Refurbishing those interiors too, is an expense that they don't need at this point. And keeping the interiors presentable is coming at the price of on board amenities, among other things.
Cheers,
Cameron
 
Alias1024
Posts: 2233
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 11:13 am

RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:24 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 12):
But if you compare them to a similarly-sized airline (say, CO) their level of international service is much greater.

Huh?

CO flies to more international destinations than any other US airline. They fly nonstop to many more destinations in Europe than NW, and have significant operations to Mexico and Central, and South America. NW has a very limited presence in all of these regions. NW does have the NRT hub, but CO has their Micronesia division, with a hub in GUM.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
 
worldtraveler
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:45 am

NW will use its bankruptcy to do its best to get itself back on a viable path. Bankruptcy can remove debt - but remember most of NW's is aircraft related or secured by aircraft so the debt is tied to the size of NW's operation.

Newco is the best effort NW has to dramatically cut costs; unlike DL or UA, NW has very little fleet flexibility which means they have to rely on cutting costs to get through BK.

NW's hubs do have lots of premium business but they have relied too much on connecting traffic - not as much as DL but more than need be, particularly since DTW and MSP serve most of the same connecting O&Ds.

NW also has some major issues that seriously impede its forward progress. KLM - NW's primary int'l partner and the airline that is necessary to finish the vasty majority of the itineraries of NW's transatlantic passengers - is owned by Air France which is allied with Delta. AF will undoubtedly downsize AMS in the future - probably in another 5 years. DL and NW are both protecting service to their partner's hubs which means NW is likely to come up short. Further, the US government recently said that DL and NW cannot have antitrust immunity which would allow them to coordinate schedules and fares. On the Atlantic, NW has a shrinking transatlantic network, cannot move into another carrier's hubs, cannot talk with the one airline that could help it. On the Pacific, NW has far too few aircraft and flights at a time when the air travel market is moving beyond Japan and is opening up to new competitors both in the US and overseas. The 787s are coming but may have to be used more to catch up than move the dial forward.

Mergers have historically been messy in the airline industry but I think you are seeing that HP and US are rewriting the book and moving much more carefully and slowly. Such a plan could well make a DL/NW merger possible since investors would see a merged airline as essentially adding to total revenues of the two while having to subtract little (like HP/US) but with significant long-term costs pulled out.

DL and NW will undoubtedly go through bankruptcy as standalone companies but I could easily see them merging not along after they emerge.

Eventually, NW will probably be acquired by DL. NW does have value and its network meshes very well w/ DL. I believe the 1st step will be for NW to
 
StevenUhl777
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:51 am

The only way NWA survives is if Newco is accepted by the labor groups. If not, there will be a bitter strike by pilots and f/a's. Ok, the mechanics strike didn't succeed, but the pilots and f/a's will.

Buh-bye, NWA. And good riddance. All the best to UA in the aftermath, and that the "good" employees can get jobs elsewhere.
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WesternA318
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:03 pm

And we all remember who sold republic to Northwest, don't we?
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Indy
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:11 am

Quoting CIDflyer (Reply 14):
The only way MEM will close is if NW merges w/CO or DL.

Also if NW can't make it profitable. If MEM is losing big money (which I doubt anyone on this site really knows) it will get cut. If you are talking about coverage versus profitability I guarantee you profitability will win. NW can just as easily completely outsource the entire MEM operation which makes profit or loss someone elses problem. NW then pays a fee they know they can make a profit on. It is then up to the other company to keep their costs down to turn a profit based on what they are getting paid.
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IceTitan447
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:19 am

Quoting AvFan4ever (Reply 1):
Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):
major changes need to happen to that airline before they can start being mentioned with the likes of AA, WN, UA, CO, or DL, and B6 and HP/US are starting to creep into that group. Those 7 airlines to me, seem to be the elite airlines right now in the US, with NW slowly falling farther behind.

Dude, pass the joint.

Why so you can have a hit? He has a point.
 
KarlB737
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:22 am

Courtesy: The Detroit News

NWA, Union Deal Could Avert Strike

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll...e?AID=/20060116/BIZ/601160374/1001
 
sampa737
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:22 am

"You simply cannot get in or out of DTW, MSP, or MEM unless it's in a plane with a red tail."

I'm not sure how you get at that. I've flown in and out of MEM for years and used NW only once. I've always found DL reliable. Though you can go nearly anywhere nonstop out of MEM on NW, ATL is not the headache everyone makes it out to be! And, of course, I have thousands of Skymiles!  Smile
 
md90fan
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:28 am

NW also flies MSP-BTV,BGR and PWM I think
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maiznblu_757
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:59 pm

Quoting PanAm330 (Reply 13):
What the hell are you talking about? Take a look at their latest timetable, chief. I'll list the cities served from MSP by NW non-stop. Cities with stars have mainline service.

NW flies the MSP-TVC route with mainline aircraft in the summer as well.
 
bobnwa
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:59 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 12):
But if you compare them to a similarly-sized airline (say, CO) their level of international service is much greater. They're one of only two US airlines to fly the 744 (an important A/C in the asia/pacific market because pax there really do care what kind of plane they're flying) and their international route structure is impressive both across the Atlantic and Pacific.

CO- 40.48% of their business is international
NW-44.32% of their business is international
I would not call that "much" greater!

Quoting Incitatus (Reply 6):
MSP can be only as big as STL is for American - an RJ hub with mainline service to the 10-15 largest domestic markets

MSP has more non-stop markets than any airport in the US.
 
NWADC9
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:30 am

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):
but those DC-9's are ancient

about 35 years old or so. Some airlines still operate 707's, and UPS, DHL, and Airborne Express run about in DC-8's (with at least three people in them). What's your point?

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):
-Another thing about their domestic product, the hubs are worthless. Maybe its just me, but I think that due to their relative close proximity, the hubs at MSP and DTW are redundant. The only hub for NW that makes any shred of sense to me is MEM, because it is relatively centrally located, which allows for decent connections east-west across the country, as well as north-south. If I'm flying from say....SEA to TPA, I'd much rather go through MEM than MSP or DTW, but then of course, I wouldn't have a choice because it seems to me that NW has downgraded the MEM hub to the point where if I want to go to anywhere but LAX on the west coast, I have to go through MSP. What exactly are NW's intentions with MEM.

DTW and MSP aren't redundant. DTW handles a lot of Eastern cities, and MSP handles western. They're two hours flying time apart. They're not that close.

Quoting Centrair (Reply 5):
MEM was inherited with the merger of republic wasn't it?

Yes

Quoting Maiznblu_757 (Reply 32):
NW flies the MSP-TVC route with mainline aircraft in the summer as well.

He's referring to right now, I believe.
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burnsie28
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 2:49 am

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 20):
my question is why have the hubs so close together?

There really not that close, for instance, I believe DTW and MEM are closer then DTW and MSP.
 
GQfluffy
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 2:59 am

Quoting Incitatus (Reply 6):
The best way out for NW is to merge with another airline.

And what US major has the moxie to inherit all that debt and those labor issues?

Quoting PanAm330 (Reply 13):

If the asterisks note mainline service...

Mainline service to BIL, GTF, and FCA is disappearing. At least thats what us at BIL are hearing from NW employees. Either Pinnacle or some new airline I've never heard of might be replacing them...
This isn't where I parked my car...
 
bmacleod
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:23 am

It would be a shame to see NWA suffer the same fate as Eastern......destroyed by greedy unions.
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APFPilot1985
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:05 am

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 22):
Good point. My only real beef with the DC-9s is the noise. It just seems to me like they aren't very economical anymore. With the advances in techology, NW is spending the money on fuel at a rate that airlines with more modern fleets would have spent 20 years ago.

Do you really think that the analysts that NW brought on after the filing haven't run the numbers on that and figured that it is cheaper to keep them on despite fuel costs, instead of paying leasing rates? People keep postulating that the DC-9's aren't the more economic choice when if that was the case they would be grounded.
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GSPSPOT
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:10 am

NW needs to find investors who will invest in the franchise and make the entire operation live up to the image that the great terminal at DTW and the new paint scheme (and the "now you're flying smart" commercials) promise. People need reasons to WANT to fly NW rather than HAVE to because of schedules, etc.
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EA CO AS
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:33 am

Quoting Bmacleod (Reply 37):
It would be a shame to see NWA suffer the same fate as Eastern......destroyed by greedy unions.

EA was destroyed by one man's greed and hatred - IAM's Charlie Bryan.

NW isn't a case of union greed, though - it's management intransigence. Case in point, the pilots have agreed to NW's proposal that they accept RJ wages for mainline flying - something that is absolutely unheard of - in exchange for NW keeping the flying all in-house and allowing seniority progression through the equipment types.

And NW said no. They're not interested, even though they'd still be realizing the savings they're looking for.

So their interest is in union-busting; nothing more.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

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iowaman
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:55 am

Quoting MD90fan (Reply 31):
NW also flies MSP-BTV,BGR and PWM I think

Those all have been cut.

Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 33):
MSP has more non-stop markets than any airport in the US.

Not anymore. NW cut MSP-LEX, PWM, BTV, BGR, RNO, ONT, MDT, and suspended YVR.

I'm really hoping the MAC can come up with the 10 gates WN wants available for them.
 
FriendlySkies
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:33 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 40):
So their interest is in union-busting; nothing more.

Exactly. What NW is doing is disgusting, and I hope the pilots bring them down. It seems as if they are out to screw their employees no matter what it takes. I wouldn't want to do business with a company like this, let alone work for them.
 
david31998
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:02 am

This thread has plenty of interesting info about NW. But getting back to the original question, will NW survive? They predict continuing huge losses during 2006. For those of you familiar with their financial situation, what do you expect one or two years from now?
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:09 am

I'm still betting that there are plenty of people, who while they want REASONABLY priced air transport, are willing to pay a 5-10% premium over other carriers for a really great product. Something with STYLE - a la Midwest Airlines or a Virgin-type thing. I still think a Song-like product with great food & beverage choices for purchase and IFE is the way to go. NW has the beginnings with the current logo/paint scheme and the terminal at DTW that puts any other domestic ones to shame.

They need to build on that with everything the customer sees or touches. Baby steps at first, but NW needs to differentiate itself from the competition (in a positive way, not the way it has been doing lately) in order to survive, and THRIVE!!
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kaitak
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:19 am

Can they sell those parts of their organisation which are saleable - i.e. their long haul networks, particularly Asia? Or possibly Europe, although I can't see their European network being as attactive as their Pacific routes. Surely, some airline - like CO or AA - could take those. They have a half decent fleet and their rights to fly into/out of Tokyo must be very valuable?

Of course, if they sell off the Pacific and Atlantic and are left with domestic, there's not much left. The picture painted of their domestic service isn't particularly inviting.

I don't see much of a future for them, frankly.

How they can afford to take delivery of the A330s they have on order, I don't know. Surely those production slots are saleable too (I know some deal was done recently to allow them to take delivery of them, but given that A330s are extremely rare on the marketplace, it might be possible to sell the production slots on.

Like the Pacific routes, however, these are just ways to keep their heads above water even longer. But it's really just delaying the inevitable.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:34 am

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 23):
CO flies to more international destinations than any other US airline. They fly nonstop to many more destinations in Europe than NW, and have significant operations to Mexico and Central, and South America. NW has a very limited presence in all of these regions. NW does have the NRT hub, but CO has their Micronesia division, with a hub in GUM.

NW surely has more international ASMs. The 744s (and the huge Asia presence) assure that.
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bobnwa
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:19 am

Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 42):
I wouldn't want to do business with a company like this, let alone work for them.

How much business do you presently do with any carrier? I am trying to judge how much business is likely to lose from you. What job would you qualify for at Northwest that you would turn down?
 
worldtraveler
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Mon Jan 23, 2006 10:49 am

NW is actually pretty likely to get what it wants in bankruptcy. They have invested the least in their franchise over the last decade of the other majors and now are faced with billions in aircraft purchases just to remain competitive. The judge sees that and will likely give NWA what it needs in at least some form to keep the company going - which w/ protecting the company's assets is his primary job. And while NW's pilots will not like what NW is proposing w/ Newco, they will not kill the airline because there simply is no other place for them to go to work. NW is clearly pushing the limit but they will likely get what they need to restructure. At that point, they could be an attractive merger partner but they are years away from being strong enough to be a global, standalone airline. On that basis, they are likely to be acquired after being restructured in bankruptcy. Given the growing ties with DL and the fact that DL does appear to be charting an even stronger position in the industry, DL looks very much like the acquirer. However, if UA and CO merge as rumored, a DL/NW merger would create one of two global supercarriers - with AA not likely to be left behind. Bankruptcy is likely the grooming session that the legacy airlines are going through on their way to the wedding altar.
 
centrair
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RE: Fate Of Northwest Airlines?

Mon Jan 23, 2006 11:20 am

So WorldTraveler, you are thinking that the current 5 or 6 legacies will be eventually cut down to 3 or 4 (is US a legacy or what)?

Though a DL/NW merger might be possible, something tells me that the SEC might have problems with it. Something tells me that the SEC would actualy have a fit if CO and UA merge and DL/NW merge. CO/UA have limited foreign "investment". But NW has that unique KL thing which is owned by AF which seems to have interest in DL (right?). If the foreign ownership laws are changed, maybe this merger would not only be a merger but a double buy-out. Af would buy both companies establish them as an American subsidiary under one brand name (merged/streamlined). It would create the largest airline with the most extensive network in the world. Every continent except OZ and NZ would be serverd.

But if that doesn't happen... NW will create Newco. The pilots will come up and propose a new plan which will get negotiated. A balance will be found, but might bite them in the ass later. NW will merge from BK right in time to acquire their 787s which will be used to jump NRT and serve Hub-Point markets. The 744s will be used on the heaviest routes and some heavy spoke routes (DTW-Japan-MNL). The DC9s will get replaced by A320s and 100 seat planes (EMB/BOM). Newco will create a unique company as currently NW is one of the only carriers in the midwest to effectively serve small stations. Maybe NW will create the rumored GroundCo company as well that will serve small stations nationwide and be outsourced to other carriers creating even more capital for the parent company.

The NWA group will be made of Northwest Airlines, NewCo, and Groundco. And though many might suffer in the short run, in the end it would have a diverse portfolio and the ability to keep itself stable.

Here's to hoping.

Now my true belief:
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