cle757
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CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Sun May 28, 2006 9:59 am

Continental flies into fourth place
Carrier rises in size rankings as mileage jumps by 13 percent

By BILL HENSEL JR.
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Continental's drive to expand has allowed it to pass Northwest Airlines, becoming the nation's fourth-largest air carrier.

The Houston-based carrier flew 24.6 billion miles through April of this year � up 13 percent. Mileage at Northwest, which is in bankruptcy court, dropped by about 6.2 percent to 23 billion miles.

The next carrier on this list was Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, reporting 21 billion miles through April.

The rankings are based on revenue passenger miles as reported by the airlines each month.

Continental, which has been adding seat capacity while many other carriers have been shrinking, has said it will grow by about 8.3 percent this year, while Southwest will grow 9 percent.

Southwest carries more than 80 percent of the passengers in Houston's Hobby Airport.

Based on the data reported by the airlines, Fort Worth-based American Airlines is ranked first, flying 44.9 billion miles. Second was United, at 37.2 billion, followed by Delta at 35.8 billion.

Continental credited wage and benefit concessions by its employees for helping it pursue its ongoing expansion.

"Because of their personal sacrifices, Continental was able to survive the tough times, avoid the fate of other airlines that are now in bankruptcy and embark on one of the most aggressive expansion plans in our history," Continental spokeswoman Julie King said Friday.

All of the nation's big airlines except Southwest have been making moves to add international flights because they can make more money.

Southwest just flies domestically.

Northwest ranks ahead of Continental in terms of passengers boarded, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

That agency, reporting for the first two months of the year, shows Southwest Airlines to be first in passenger boardings, carrying 13.6 million. Continental is fifth, at 5.2 million.

A spokesman for Northwest, who acknowledged it is the fifth-biggest carrier in terms of revenue passenger miles, said it's been reducing flights.

It is working to build a more profitable route system at a time of higher fuel costs.

Northwest has embarked on a "right-sizing" campaign while in bankruptcy court to try to make it more competitive.

That includes wage and benefits concessions by employees and shedding some aircraft.

Travel expert Terry Trippler said Friday that while the change in rankings could be temporary, time will tell. He expects Northwest to emerge from bankruptcy court protection at the end of this year or in 2007.

"Northwest is going to have a real battle on their hands because Continental seems to be an airline that is at the right place at the right time doing the right thing," said Trippler, a spokesman for CheapSeats.com. "What they have been doing has been working, and if it ain't broke, you don't fix it."

bill.hensel@chron.com
Cleveland the best location in the Nation
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Mon May 29, 2006 6:39 am

Quoting CLE757 (Thread starter):


"Northwest is going to have a real battle on their hands because Continental seems to be an airline that is at the right place at the right time doing the right thing," said Trippler, a spokesman for CheapSeats.com. "What they have been doing has been working, and if it ain't broke, you don't fix it."

What battle? NW and CO are partners...and outside of the CLE/DTW area they don't really overlap at all. Even MEM and IAH serve different traffic flows, even if they relatively close together.
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Falcon84
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Mon May 29, 2006 9:47 am

Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 1):
What battle? NW and CO are partners...

Don't fool yourself. If you're going to get the picture in most alliances of warm and fuzzy partners, all one big happy family, you're mistaken. Even within alliances, this is still a cut-throat business, and simply because you're in an alliance doesn't mean you want to yield market to a partner.

Which is why I laugh my ass of when I hear people say that out of CLE that CO will run this or that, or not run this or that, because of what NW is doing in DTW. That's just idiotic. CO is going to do in CLE what it thinks is best for CO, and doesn't really give a rats ass what NW thinks about it.

Partners, yes, because it can increase revenue without increasing metal used. Friends and buddies? Don't believe it.
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nuggetsyl
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Mon May 29, 2006 10:59 am

Two things larry said at a ceo exchange.

1. We will grow to be bigger then delta

2. We do not want to merge with anyone but if other airlines start to get together when we are not going to stand by and watch.

I personaly hope that when we grow to be bigger then delta, we open up another base. But you can wish in one hand and crap in the other and see what fills up first.
 
stirling
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Mon May 29, 2006 11:04 am

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 2):

WHAT!
You mean CO and NW aren't really holding hands around a campfire roasting marshmallows and singing Kum-ba-Yah?

I'm crushed.....
Delete this User
 
WesternA318
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Mon May 29, 2006 11:49 am

Quoting Stirling (Reply 4):
You mean CO and NW aren't really holding hands around a campfire roasting marshmallows and singing Kum-ba-Yah?

LOL...CO would rather be alone than team up in SkyTeam and partner with perrenial losers DLand NW. Gordon and Larry stated this a few times.
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burnsie28
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Mon May 29, 2006 2:14 pm

Quoting Nuggetsyl (Reply 3):

1. We will grow to be bigger then delta

Yeah, only if Delta keeps cutting back

They likely wont be bigger then NW for too long, NW is once again expanding quite a bit and with 757's and the return of 3 more 744's and receiving more A330's should put NW back on top.
 
DeltaSFO
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Mon May 29, 2006 5:03 pm

"Because of their personal sacrifices, Continental was able to survive the tough times, avoid the fate of other airlines that are now in bankruptcy and embark on one of the most aggressive expansion plans in our history," Continental spokeswoman Julie King said Friday.

Avoid what fate? They're making some interesting assumptions here. And, a little revisionist history as well. Nice.

[Edited 2006-05-29 10:07:56]
It's a new day. Every moment matters. Now, more than ever.
 
nwab787techops
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Mon May 29, 2006 8:50 pm

Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 6):
They likely wont be bigger then NW for too long, NW is once again expanding quite a bit and with 757's and the return of 3 more 744's and receiving more A330's should put NW back on top.

That's in the nexts 12 to 18 Months, a short time after that the B787 come in. NWA is getting 12, CO only 5.
 
nuggetsyl
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Mon May 29, 2006 9:01 pm

Yea but cal has a few planes still to come

2-777
2-757-300
and i think 6 more 737-800 but i am not sure about that

and thats before the 10 787's not 5 come

P.S. I want my airline to be the best not the biggest
 
bobnwa
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Mon May 29, 2006 9:02 pm

Quoting WesternA318 (Reply 5):
LOL...CO would rather be alone than team up in SkyTeam and partner with perrenial losers DLand NW. Gordon and Larry stated this a few times.

Perrenial losers? Which of these three airlines has declared bankruptcy twice?
 
Cory6188
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Mon May 29, 2006 9:10 pm

Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 10):
Perrenial losers? Which of these three airlines has declared bankruptcy twice?

Pre- and post-9/11 bankruptcy are two entirely different things; it's not a fair comparison to refer to CO's two bankruptcies in the late 80s and early 90s in the same context as the current situation at NW and DL.
 
Delta787
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Mon May 29, 2006 9:42 pm

Quoting Nuggetsyl (Reply 3):
1. We will grow to be bigger then delta

I really cant see that happening for a while. They have quite a ways to go before they can reach the amount of RPMs that Delta generates.
Fly Delta!
 
bobnwa
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Mon May 29, 2006 10:08 pm

Quoting Cory6188 (Reply 11):
Pre- and post-9/11 bankruptcy are two entirely different things; it's not a fair comparison to refer to CO's two bankruptcies in the late 80s and early 90s in the same context as the current situation at NW and DL.

I realize they are two different situations but Western A318 used the time period of "perennial" ( or perrenial as he called it) which goes back much further than 9/11. for the past 50, 40, 30, 20 or 10 years CO has been had much deeper financial problems than either DL or NW. His choice of the time period, not mine.
 
Cory6188
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Mon May 29, 2006 11:11 pm

Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 13):
His choice of the time period, not mine.

True...I guess you win on semantics.  whiteflag 
 
CIDFlyer
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Mon May 29, 2006 11:39 pm

Quoting Nuggetsyl (Reply 3):
Two things larry said at a ceo exchange.

1. We will grow to be bigger then delta

They would definitely have to open up some sort of hub out west, or connect everything to IAH ala DL at ATL. I personally don't see this happeneing, CO is virtually non-existant up here in the western part of the midwest and plains states (IA, IL, MN, NE and the Dakotas). At least with DL they are servicing many of the small/mid sized markets to their hubs.
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Mon May 29, 2006 11:42 pm

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 2):


Don't fool yourself. If you're going to get the picture in most alliances of warm and fuzzy partners, all one big happy family, you're mistaken.

I'm not fooling myself, thank you very much. I never implied that NW and CO were making sweet love beneath the shady pines. But CO, as long as they are partners with NW in Skyteam, will fight thier battles elsewhere.
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KLMA330
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Tue May 30, 2006 12:11 am

Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 1):
What battle? NW and CO are partners...and outside of the CLE/DTW area they don't really overlap at all. Even MEM and IAH serve different traffic flows, even if they relatively close together.

Good points.. then why don't they merge? it would make sense, no?
 
db373
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Tue May 30, 2006 12:57 am

Quoting Cory6188 (Reply 11):
Pre- and post-9/11 bankruptcy are two entirely different things; it's not a fair comparison to refer to CO's two bankruptcies in the late 80s and early 90s in the same context as the current situation at NW and DL.

I don't get this statement at all. How is post-9/11 bankruptcy different than pre-9/11 bankruptcy?
Keep Delta My Delta
 
nuggetsyl
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Tue May 30, 2006 1:12 am

Quoting Delta787 (Reply 12):

I agree I do not see it happening for a while also, but i know cal has at least 4 more years of 8 percent grow for each year. After that i could not tell you.
 
Falcon84
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Tue May 30, 2006 1:37 am

Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 16):
But CO, as long as they are partners with NW in Skyteam, will fight thier battles elsewhere.

You mean like CO and DL are? Big grin I rest my case.
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navairjax
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Tue May 30, 2006 1:57 am

Quoting Db373 (Reply 18):
I don't get this statement at all. How is post-9/11 bankruptcy different than pre-9/11 bankruptcy?

Umm.... did any other airline ever get to drag its feet like UA did in Ch 11? Both US and DL would likely have died if the courts still acted as they did back in the late 80s/early 90s.
 
bigb
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Tue May 30, 2006 2:18 am

Quoting Db373 (Reply 18):
How is post-9/11 bankruptcy different than pre-9/11 bankruptcy?

70 plus dollar oil prices affecting cost structures built around 40-50 barrel price ranges.
ETSN Baber, USN
 
747luvr
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Tue May 30, 2006 2:27 am

My biased two cents- so happy for CO and I cant stand NW..so this makes me happy  Smile
 
DeltaSFO
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Tue May 30, 2006 2:28 am

Quoting Navairjax (Reply 21):
Both US and DL would likely have died if the courts still acted as they did back in the late 80s/early 90s.

Do you have any factual data to defend this statement, or is it just your opinion?

Quoting Cory6188 (Reply 11):
Pre- and post-9/11 bankruptcy are two entirely different things; it's not a fair comparison to refer to CO's two bankruptcies in the late 80s and early 90s in the same context as the current situation at NW and DL.

I've heard so many people say this, but not one can produce a credible argument as to why it is true.
It's a new day. Every moment matters. Now, more than ever.
 
navairjax
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Tue May 30, 2006 2:55 am

Quoting DeltaSFO (Reply 24):
Do you have any factual data to defend this statement, or is it just your opinion?

While it is indeed my opinion some facts are hard to ignore. The Christmas 04 fiasco in PHL would have certainly have had a similar impact to US as the EA strikes did with them. As far as DL goes it is hard to prove to a judge that you can turn things around with the massive dollar amounts that are hemorrhaged each quarter. While both carriers did not have the fatal mistakes of shedding major assets like EA or PA did, less tolerant courts may have forced them to do otherwise spelling an ultimate demise. Neither is completely out of the woods even now although the new leadership of US does give them a bright spot. DL however is doing no better than UA did in bankruptcy and one has to wonder how long a judge will allow a sinking ship to bail out. Additionally the increased use of regional partners since the advent of the RJ make a different cost structure than 15-20 years ago. Look at the number of routes served by regionals that used to be mainline routes. This becomes a compound problem when you own your regionals rather than just contract out to others.
 
DeltaSFO
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Tue May 30, 2006 3:08 am

Quoting Navairjax (Reply 25):
As far as DL goes it is hard to prove to a judge that you can turn things around with the massive dollar amounts that are hemorrhaged each quarter. . . . DL however is doing no better than UA did in bankruptcy and one has to wonder how long a judge will allow a sinking ship to bail out.

I couldn't disagree with you more strongly. Since entering bankruptcy, Delta has accelerated the previously announced $5 billion cost reduction goal from 2008 to 2007 and is on track to achieve it, begun the process of effecting a massive cultural change throughout the company, brought about massive turnover and reorganization of the frontline and middle management ranks, successfully negotiated a tentative agreement with ALPA, and completed one of the most dramatic network realignments any U.S. carrier has ever seen.

In March, Delta's operating loss was just $6 million. DL remains on target to emerge from bankruptcy and return to profitability in 2007.

You are correct in stating that Delta is by no means out of the woods, as is the case for NW, and even UA and US. Although I am confident that the tentative agreement with ALPA will withstand the legal challenges by PBGC and DP3, there are no guarantees in bankruptcy. Only time will tell who survives and who does not. However, Delta's restructuring plan is much more realistic that UAL's was ($50/barrel oil? no wonder they're still losing money), and Delta is, so far, on track to emerge on schedule.

[Edited 2006-05-29 20:09:36]

[Edited 2006-05-29 20:11:57]
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Cory6188
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Tue May 30, 2006 10:38 am

Quoting DeltaSFO (Reply 24):
I've heard so many people say this, but not one can produce a credible argument as to why it is true.

The environments in which the companies' respective bankruptcies took (and are taking) place are entirely different. When CO was in bankruptcy in the late 80's/early 90's, they couldn't get their act together and were a pathetic excuse for a carrier. While everyone else was making money, CO was bleeding red ink like there was no tomorrow (and at some points, it seemed as if there really was no tomorrow for the carrier). The environment was conducive to making money; CO had incredibly poor management and operations and therefore was not profitable. Bankruptcy turned them around and put them in the right direction.

OTOH, nowadays, nobody is making any sort of substantial profits, yet CO somehow manages to squeak by financially, keeping its head above water in an incredibly difficult environment, while NW and DL are both in bankruptcy. There's the difference: the old CO couldn't make money when everyone else was making money; now, CO is making money (or is at least close to it) when most others aren't (in this case, DL and NW). The bankruptcies are really two different situations, mainly as a result of 9/11 and its subsequent events.

Hopefully that should clear things up a bit, at least from my viewpoint. Flame away if you don't agree...
 
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STT757
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Tue May 30, 2006 10:41 am

Quoting Nwab787techops (Reply 8):

That's in the nexts 12 to 18 Months, a short time after that the B787 come in. NWA is getting 12, CO only 5.

CO has 10 firm and five options for 787-800s.
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nwab787techops
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Tue May 30, 2006 9:42 pm

Quoting STT757 (Reply 28):
Quoting Nwab787techops (Reply 8):

That's in the nexts 12 to 18 Months, a short time after that the B787 come in. NWA is getting 12, CO only 5.

CO has 10 firm and five options for 787-800s

My Bad.....

NWA has firm orders for 18 of the 787s, with initial delivery to begin in the summer of 2008. NWA also hold options and purchase rights for an additional 50.
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Tue May 30, 2006 11:35 pm

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 20):


You mean like CO and DL are? I rest my case.

Not so fast counselor. NW and CO were basically "absorbed" into SkyTeam when AF bought KLM. The NW/CO relationship is more integrated and has been around longer.

DL and CO have one thing CO/NW do not. A NYC battleground. DL at LGA and JFK vs. CO at EWR.
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panamair
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Tue May 30, 2006 11:54 pm

Quoting DeltaSFO (Reply 26):
In March, Delta's operating loss was just $6 million.

Actually, the $6 million loss for March (excluding special items and reorganization charges) was the NET loss, not the operating loss...so you can do the math and figure out the operating loss (or profit) for March since Interest Expense for the month was around $69 million.. Smile

As to the overall question of size (based on RPMs) these things will shift a bit due to the Ch.11 situations of both DL and NW...as mentioned before, NW is already going to restore some capacity cuts so the gap between NW and CO will continue to shrink...remember when UA was in Ch.11, there were some periods when DL actually eclipsed UA in RPMs to become #2...now that DL is shrinking, UA has obviously taken the lead again...though the gap in RPMs between UA and DL is not as large as the one between DL and CO currently....
 
Falcon84
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Wed May 31, 2006 12:53 am

Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 30):
Not so fast counselor. NW and CO were basically "absorbed" into SkyTeam when AF bought KLM

Not true. CO didn't join Skyteam until long after NW had divested itself of CO's stock and their place on CO's board. CO didn't have a relationship with Skyteam till '04, if memory serves. So that's factually incorrect. NW was absorbed into it, but CO chose, as an independent carrier, not to join.

There's a difference between codeshares, which CO did have with some Skyteam members, and being a part of the alliance.

Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 30):
DL and CO have one thing CO/NW do not. A NYC battleground. DL at LGA and JFK vs. CO at EWR.

That's not the only place: DL is making a battleground of Central and South America. So they're picking on turf CO has been fairly dominant in for several years. I think CO will more than hold their own, and will expand into even more markets once the 787's come online, and that frees up Triple 7's and some 767's for other routes.
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masseybrown
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Wed May 31, 2006 1:03 am

Quoting Navairjax (Reply 21):
Umm.... did any other airline ever get to drag its feet like UA did in Ch 11?



Quoting Navairjax (Reply 25):
and one has to wonder how long a judge will allow a sinking ship to bail out.

A bankruptcy judge will permit the bankrupt estate almost any reasonable action that is not otherwise illegal or subject to objection. If the creditors had objected to the UAL delays, the game would have been over. The creditors, however, were relatively better off in bankruptcy than in liquidation; and so delay after delay was permitted. Blame the creditors, not the judge.
 
burnsie28
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Wed May 31, 2006 10:19 am

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 32):
Not true. CO didn't join Skyteam until long after NW had divested itself of CO's stock and their place on CO's board. CO didn't have a relationship with Skyteam till '04, if memory serves. So that's factually incorrect. NW was absorbed into it, but CO chose, as an independent carrier, not to join.

Well NW was forced by the government to do so but agreements between the airlines were still close, up until just recently NW employess got "passes" on CO *Not ID-XX* passes just like if they were flying NW and vice versa, as well as several other things.
 
Falcon84
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Wed May 31, 2006 12:29 pm

Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 34):
Well NW was forced by the government to do so but agreements between the airlines were still close, up until just recently NW employess got "passes" on CO *Not ID-XX* passes just like if they were flying NW and vice versa, as well as several other things.

Uh, a few things here:

-Northwest was NOT forced by the government to divest itself of CO stock and a seat on the board. That was a deal made between CO and NW. It cost CO $1 billion to do so, and was the reason why Greg Brenneman departed CO, as he wanted to keep the cash, and Bethune wanted CO's total independence again. Later in the year, 9/11 happened, and that $1 billion sure would have come in handy.

-Secondly, NW and CO employee didn't receive free passes on NW. CO and NW did make a deal that greatly lowered the non-rev rate for employees of each airline to fly one another. An example is a round-trip, CLE-DSM as about $48. And I have no idea what you mean by "Not ID-XX". Care to explain that one?

-Thirdly, what airline do you work for, that you have all this juicy information?
Work Right, Fly Hard
 
Jano
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RE: CAL Now Bigger Than NW

Wed May 31, 2006 12:37 pm

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 32):
CO didn't have a relationship with Skyteam till '04, if memory serves.

CO, NW, KL entered SkyTeam at the same day Sep 13th 2004. Nor NW nor CO were 'absorbed' into SkyTeam. KL was 'absorbed' by the virtue of being a part of AF-KL.

Continental, KLM And Northwest Join The Skyteam Alliance
http://www.nwa.com/corpinfo/newsc/2004/pr091320041493.html

[Edited 2006-05-31 05:38:26]
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