leelaw
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US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Mon Jun 05, 2006 5:04 pm

Flight International 6 June 2006 by Mary Kirby

Airframer's Internal Debate Will Not Affect Fleet Replacement Plans, Says Carrier

In a memorandum to employees president and chief executive Doug Parker says US Airways management understands Airbus "is having internal debate as to whether or not they shouldn't start over on the A350." He adds: "If they come back with a new aircraft, great. If they don't and we don't have an order any more, that's fine. The merger's done and [Airbus has] been paid back, so everyone's happy."

...US Airways says it is not considering plans to replace the A330s and 767s with the Boeing 787 if the A350 deal is shelved.

"We have an order for the A350 and that's where our head is at this time. We aren't going to speculate beyond what might happen with the A350 because it's simply still in progress," the airline says. "Airbus is a terrific partner and they are taking the necessary time to consider their options. We'll wait to hear from them."


Is this the first time since Mr. Udvar-Hazy "dropped the dime" on the A350 program at ISTAT in late March that an actual or potential customer has intimated that the design may be fine just the way it is?
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flyboyaz
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Mon Jun 05, 2006 5:54 pm

Well since we paid back the money Airbus gave us, Doug has said they aren't committed to buying the plane...they could buy the 787...just depends on who has the better product.
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RichardPrice
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Mon Jun 05, 2006 5:57 pm

Quoting Leelaw (Thread starter):
Is this the first time since Mr. Udvar-Hazy "dropped the dime" on the A350 program at ISTAT in late March that an actual or potential customer has intimated that the design may be fine just the way it is?

What about Qatar CEOs comments about being committed to the project in any form?
 
vega
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Mon Jun 05, 2006 6:09 pm

Quoting Flyboyaz (Reply 1):
Well since we paid back the money Airbus gave us, Doug has said they aren't committed to buying the plane...they could buy the 787...just depends on who has the better product.



Quoting Leelaw (Thread starter):
In a memorandum to employees president and chief executive Doug Parker says US Airways management understands Airbus "is having internal debate as to whether or not they shouldn't start over on the A350." He adds: "If they come back with a new aircraft, great. If they don't and we don't have an order any more, that's fine. The merger's done and [Airbus has] been paid back, so everyone's happy."

Nope. "If they don't (come back with a solution for the 350) we don't have an order any more". Then and only then are they not obligated to buy anything else from Airbus.
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mptpa
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Mon Jun 05, 2006 6:28 pm

At the time US Airways made the credit facility deal to exit Ch11, they would have cared less if the deal included them to buy A310s!!

It is a different story now however.
 
leelaw
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:06 pm

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 2):
What about Qatar CEOs comments about being committed to the project in any form?

I don't recall Mr. Al-Baker making such sanguine remarks about the A350 lately, certainly not since ISTAT; his most recent remarks seem far more cautionary:

“We are launch customer for an aircraft that, other than its model number, does not now exist. Qatar Airways is very unhappy about this,” says Al Baker. He questions how Airbus will “address this issue with A350 customers who have placed deposits”.

Airbus chief executive Gustav Humbert said at last week’s ILA show that the A350 timetable would “depend on the changes we do”. Referring to customers who have already signed up to the aircraft, he said: “If you will get a better aircraft than you have ordered, then you will be happy.”

Al Baker says that in light of the development, Qatar “might be forced to re-evaluate the 787 and could get preferential delivery dates from Boeing”. Qatar Airways’ repeated requests since selecting the A350 in June last year that Airbus should revise the design have been “vindicated” by the manufacturer’s expected U-turn, says Al Baker. “The trouble is, Airbus has lost a year.” He says he expects Airbus to be able to show him a firm specification for the new design “by early June”.


http://www.flightglobal.com/Articles...o+uncertainty+over+twinjet's.html
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:29 pm

It's interesting that US have been so quiet on the whole A350 redesign. And the fact that Doug Parker now compliments Airbus seems to me to mean that they are, in fact, happy with the A350 in its current form. After all, if they had wanted to be shot of the order so that they could order Boeing, wouldn't they have jumped on the band-wagon and joined other airlines in saying the A350 was not up to scratch??
 
leelaw
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:42 pm

Quoting Timboflier215 (Reply 6):
t's interesting that US have been so quiet on the whole A350 redesign. And the fact that Doug Parker now compliments Airbus seems to me to mean that they are, in fact, happy with the A350 in its current form. After all, if they had wanted to be shot of the order so that they could order Boeing, wouldn't they have jumped on the band-wagon and joined other airlines in saying the A350 was not up to scratch??

Actually, I recall seeing remarks attributed to Mr. Parker that were far less sanguine about the merits/prospects of the "old all-new A350" in earlier media reports since ISTAT. Perhaps he was ambivalent all along?
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:44 pm

Quoting Flyboyaz (Reply 1):
Well since we paid back the money Airbus gave us, Doug has said they aren't committed to buying the plane...they could buy the 787...just depends on who has the better product.

 confused 

US has a firm order for 20 A350s. That's not exactly "uncommitted" is it?

But also note:

Quote:
...US Airways says it is not considering plans to replace the A330s and 767s with the Boeing 787 if the A350 deal is shelved.

So it would appear that US is even less interested in the committing to the 787.
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steeler83
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Mon Jun 05, 2006 11:47 pm

It looks like this one is really up in the air, as to whether US stays with its order for 20 A350s or cancels that in favor of the 787. Then again, they have been pleased with their products, so is it any wonder why US is essentially saying "it's worth the wait."

However, IIRC, I thought I saw on a previous thread that Doug Parker said that the original design of the A350 was inadequate; I believe that was well over a month ago and before airbus announced the "new and improved A350." I have seen the A350 and 787 interior photos before, looked at the stats, the range, pax loads etc... I think that both aircraft are going to be fine.
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:24 am

Quoting Leelaw (Thread starter):
Is this the first time since Mr. Udvar-Hazy "dropped the dime" on the A350 program at ISTAT in late March that an actual or potential customer has intimated that the design may be fine just the way it is?

Finnair haven't said anything bad. With regards to a redesign, they said they were happy to wait and see what Airbus came up with also.
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:54 am

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 9):
It looks like this one is really up in the air, as to whether US stays with its order for 20 A350s or cancels that in favor of the 787.

US Airways said they wouldn't consider buying Boeing.

"...US Airways says it is not considering plans to replace the A330s and 767s with the Boeing 787 if the A350 deal is shelved."

So it's Airbus or nothing.
 
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 1:09 am

I think it gets down to Airbus deciding if they are still going to deliver the 350 along with the 370. If they are then US will obviously take the plane under the existing contract.

It might be a tough decision for Airbus, though. The 350 will still take R&D resources, which would take away from the 370. On the positive side, they have already invested a fair amount of money in it and will probably look to recovering some, if not all, of that investment with sales.
 
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 1:14 am

I mean come on already would they just cancel the damn order and order the 787. It's a far superior plane and it seem's airbus can't get their head on striaght from the name of the plane to the size to what it's economic's is going to be.
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slz396
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 1:19 am

I think you will see emerge 2 groups of A350 customers, more along the lines of CAPACITY requirements than along the lines of DELIVERY dates.

After all, 2 to 3 years might seem like a long period, but there is very good interim airlift available: the A330, the best in its class.

I think you'll see most of those who've ordered the A350-900 so far will won't feel too troubled with Airbus re-doing their design work as they will get a much better plane than originally expected.

However, those who had their eyes mainly on the A350-800 probably feel less comfortable, because it is said the smallest version of the new A370 will be significantly larger than the A350-800 they had set their minds on.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 12):
think it gets down to Airbus deciding if they are still going to deliver the 350 along with the 370. It might be a tough decision for Airbus. The 350 will still take R&D resources, which would take away from the 370. On the positive side, they have already invested a fair amount of money in it and will probably look to recovering some, if not all, of that investment with sales.

In order NOT to loose the second group (the A350-800) customers, it would make sense for Airbus not to shelf this version, but to offer it alongside the all new A370. It could be done quite easily IF Airbus returns to the original plan and the A350-800 is merely a re-engined A330 with some low cost improvements. US Airways for instance committed quite early in the program to the A350, so the performance guarantees in their contract probably are within reach of such a modest make-over of the A330 aka A350-800 anyway and the improvements to the A330 could be very usefull for the soon to be launched A330F also.
 
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 1:24 am

Quoting Leelaw (Thread starter):
the airline says. "Airbus is a terrific partner and they are taking the necessary time to consider their options. We'll wait to hear from them."

This is the one comment which should warm the hearts of people at Airbus in these adverse times.
 
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 1:32 am

Quoting Khobar (Reply 11):
US Airways said they wouldn't consider buying Boeing.

"...US Airways says it is not considering plans to replace the A330s and 767s with the Boeing 787 if the A350 deal is shelved."

So it's Airbus or nothing.

I think you're misinterpreting that. the article also says:

Quote:
"We have an order for the A350 and that's where our head is at this time. We aren't going to speculate beyond what might happen with the A350 because it's simply still in progress," the airline says. "Airbus is a terrific partner and they are taking the necessary time to consider their options. We'll wait to hear from them."

That indicates to me that they are in "wait and see" mode. I see nothing in their comments to suggest that they categorically rule out a possible B787 purchase if the A350 turns out to not suit their needs.
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steeler83
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 2:51 am

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 16):
That indicates to me that they are in "wait and see" mode. I see nothing in their comments to suggest that they categorically rule out a possible B787 purchase if the A350 turns out to not suit their needs.

That was my interpretation as well. Thanks
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leelaw
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemm

Tue Jun 06, 2006 2:57 am

Quoting ClassicLover (Reply 10):
Finnair haven't said anything bad. With regards to a redesign, they said they were happy to wait and see what Airbus came up with also.

You're right, my bad:

Oneworld member Finnair’s new chief executive, Jukka Hienonen, has no plans to review the airline’s decision to acquire Airbus A350 aircraft, despite the uncertainty about the twin-jet programme.

...the airline is “pretty calm with the issue” of potentially extensive changes to the aircraft...

...“If Airbus has to redesign it, then it will only be a better aircraft,” says Hienonen, pointing out that Finnair has not been among those pressing for modifications. “We bought the aircraft as it was. The specification has not been changed because of our desires.”


http://www.flightglobal.com/Articles...review+A350+order+Finnair+CEO.html

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 14):
After all, 2 to 3 years might seem like a long period, but there is very good interim airlift available: the A330, the best in its class.

If Airbus has to provide interim lift to customers in the form of A330s in any kind of significant numbers, they'll be extremely lucky to even breakeven on such an enterprise on a discounted cash flow basis.

[Edited 2006-06-05 19:58:29]
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:23 am

One can only hope that the voices of Mr. Parker and Mr. Hienonen are not drowned out by others.

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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:42 am

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 9):
It looks like this one is really up in the air, as to whether US stays with its order for 20 A350s or cancels that in favor of the 787.



Quoting ANNOYEDFA (Reply 13):
I mean come on already would they just cancel the damn order and order the 787. It's a far superior plane and it seem's airbus can't get their head on striaght from the name of the plane to the size to what it's economic's is going to be.



Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 16):
I see nothing in their comments to suggest that they categorically rule out a possible B787 purchase if the A350 turns out to not suit their needs.



Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 17):
That was my interpretation as well. Thanks

Guys, read the quotation before making comments that make you look, well, silly! wink 

"...US Airways says it is not considering plans to replace the A330s and 767s with the Boeing 787 if the A350 deal is shelved."

As said above - it's Airbus or nothing. It's not difficult.
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:53 am

Sounds like US would take more 330s if the 350/370 doesn't fit their needs (too large in new form).

It's not like US has 7000nm routes anyway, nor have I heard of major plans for US to expand to India, Australia, Singapore, HKG, etc.
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:13 am

US is probably just happy they get a few extra years to figure out how to pay for whatever new widebodies they do take.

As both US and HP have favored Airbus in their purchases as of late, and the fact their long-haul equipment doesn't face a lot of competition from PHL or CLT, I can see them deciding to stick with the A330 and take advantage of Airbus discounting to move the product in the face of the 787, saving them cash on the purchase and cash on the necessary supplimentary costs of introducing and operating a new type of plane.
 
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:38 am

Quoting Khobar (Reply 11):
So it's Airbus or nothing.

I disagree. If the A350 is shelved, US owes Airbus nothing. They COULD change their minds and go for a Boeing product. You never know whats going to happen. The airline industry is unpredictable. So this can go either way. I think US wants to wait, but who knows how this will really come out.....

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 16):
see nothing in their comments to suggest that they categorically rule out a possible B787 purchase if the A350 turns out to not suit their needs.

My thoughts exactly!

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 20):
As said above - it's Airbus or nothing. It's not difficult.

You never know.... That could change...

Quoting Stitch (Reply 23):
US is probably just happy they get a few extra years to figure out how to pay for whatever new widebodies they do take.

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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:43 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 24):
Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 16):
see nothing in their comments to suggest that they categorically rule out a possible B787 purchase if the A350 turns out to not suit their needs.

My thoughts exactly!

US Airways says it is not considering plans to replace the A330s and 767s with the Boeing 787 if the A350 deal is shelved.

 confused 
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:44 am

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 25):
US Airways says it is not considering plans to replace the A330s and 767s with the Boeing 787 if the A350 deal is shelved.

You never know....that COULD change....
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:10 am

Quoting Leelaw (Thread starter):
"We have an order for the A350 and that's where our head is at this time. We aren't going to speculate beyond what might happen with the A350 because it's simply still in progress," the airline says.

That's the quote. I take that to mean they're sticking with the A350 until they hear that something drastic has changed and the A350 either won't be bulit or will be radically different. I see nothing about considering the 787 either way.
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leelaw
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:28 am

One does wonder whether "the dilemma" regarding the "A350" has indeed been resolved internally at Airbus? Perhaps the recent comments from U.S. Airways and Finnair represents an effort (were inspired) by the "let's stick with what we've got" ("old all-new A350") camp to push back against "newest all-new A350 (A370)" camp?
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:34 am

Parker has said in a webcast (whens talks were beginning about Airbus going back to the drawing board for the A350) that if Airbus decided to keep the plane as is, US would be happy, and if Airbus decided to redesign the plane, US would be happy. US isn't being picky about it. The A333 and the A332 (when/if it comes) will easily do the job US needs until the A350 (or A370) comes.

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trojanAE
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:24 am

It seems that US Airways is definitely comitted to Airbus and even if the A350 as they ordered it is shelved they would rather go for A330s than for the 787. Definitely understandable in the sense that they would maintain fleet commonality and avoid incurring any additional costs by having a mixed fleet and introducing a new type. However, as many have said, aviation is a very uncertain industry, and if the A350 never materializes and Boeing offers competitive pricing on the 787, you never know what might happen. As it is however, US Air's time is running short, as 787 delivery slots are filling up fast and it looks that even if they do reconsider they will have missed the train.
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usairways85
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:37 pm

The fact is though that US needs more widebodies. Refurbishing the 762's this fall/winter is just a stop gap until new widebodies arrive. I thought A332's were supposed to come in and take the place of the 762's on some European routes. They would either open up new European routes or send the 762's to Hawaii/Caribbean. My impression was the 762's would stick around until the A350's started to arrive at which time the 762 would start to be phased out. I don't know any timetables but it seems like things have really been pushed back thus forcing US to keep the 762's longer than they anticipated.
 
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 1:40 pm

Quoting SonOfACaptain (Reply 29):
Parker has said in a webcast (whens talks were beginning about Airbus going back to the drawing board for the A350) that if Airbus decided to keep the plane as is, US would be happy, and if Airbus decided to redesign the plane, US would be happy. US isn't being picky about it. The A333 and the A332 (when/if it comes) will easily do the job US needs until the A350 (or A370) comes.

I have a hard time imagining that US will be happy if there is no A332/A358 sized aircraft that has competitive operating costs. I suspect that a 250 pax version of this new wider aircraft is going to end up being heavy and have high CASM.

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 20):
As said above - it's Airbus or nothing. It's not difficult.

And does that really make sense? Is US Air going to just walk away from international flights? Or are they going to just take a larger jet than they may need just to stay with Airbus?

Maybe Parker is just saying this to appease an anti-Boeing faction from the old US Air.
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 1:52 pm

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 34):
And does that really make sense?

No it doesn't. If Airbus doesn't satisfy its needs, US will have no problems with going to Boeing.

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vega
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:26 pm

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 34):
....Is US Air going to just walk away from international flights? Or are they going to just take a larger jet than they may need just to stay with Airbus?.....

The answer to that question is the BIG question, in my mind. What are Parker's future plans, internationally, for this airline? Does US have a long range strategic plan to go head to head with DL, CO and UA, or are they just going to be satisfied with a minimum growth situation (Europe). If they are going to expand to say Asia and South America, then they'll need a substantial long range fleet (350s/787s) to do it; otherwise the 333/2s will do just fine. Additionally, unless US comes up with some innovative bank scheduling plan, I'm not cetain PHL in it's current physical state can handle a much larger international environment. As it is, the trans-Atlantic 757s all use A-East and supposidly several (new) international carriers will start service within the next 11 months. I just can't imagine 15 or so more international arrivals/day, without more gates, or numerous very staggered banks. Noting that, for example, a PHL-NRT flight cannot turn in 2-3 hours, like the much shorter European runs.

[Edited 2006-06-06 08:28:34]
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usairways85
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:10 am

Quoting Vega (Reply 36):
I'm not cetain PHL in it's current physical state can handle a much larger international environment.

The existance of transatlantic travel on US pretty much depends on PHL. CLT can't support the transatlantic flts as PHL does, BOS is already well developed and lacks the facilities, JFK forget about it, PIT forget about it.

If you haven't noticed US has retimed many transatlantic flts so there is essentially 2 European banks. I don't know if they did this last year but i caught it just recently. There are several flts that arrive between 1pm and 3 pm that already depart by 4-5 when some transatlantic flts still haven't arrived. However, yes the international terminal during the European rush is quite congested especially since AF and LH are in A-west and BA will be shortly.
 
steeler83
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:18 am

Quoting Usairways85 (Reply 37):
PIT forget about it.

At least now anyway. I give it at least 2-5 years and see what happens. Could likely take more than 5 years though for any substantial international service to return to that great city...
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usairways85
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:52 am

Yes, down the road PIT may see LGW/LHR(who knows in 5 years) or FRA return. However i was just stating the PIT can't support the transatlantic traffic that PHL does, let alone half of it.
 
spartanmjf
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:02 am

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 25):
US Airways says it is not considering plans to replace the A330s and 767s with the Boeing 787 if the A350 deal is shelved.

confused

Hope springs eternal for the unabashed supporters of Airbus...
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steeler83
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RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:05 am

Quoting Usairways85 (Reply 39):
Yes, down the road PIT may see LGW/LHR(who knows in 5 years) or FRA return. However i was just stating the PIT can't support the transatlantic traffic that PHL does, let alone half of it.

It just goes to show how crooked politicians can screw up a city... They did nothing to support city growth, didn't work well with the main carrier at the airport to bring in travel and economic growth into the city. The airport authority and county chief executive at the time were about as useful as a screed door is to a submarine...

I don't blame US for their dehubbing; I blame the airport authority for their major mismanagement of the airport back in the 90s. They did next to nothing to facilitate US' function there; they only aggravated it. The costs were too high for them to operate profitably there as their major hub location. At least now PIT has some good people working their asses off to make the airport better by trying to woo more carriers. They were successful with landing WN and B6. Hopefully more are to come...
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
usairways85
Posts: 3537
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2001 11:59 am

RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:11 am

While i have never connected through PIT i have heard that it is a great connecting city and i am not familiar with the city politics but the main factor for closing the PIT hub is O&D. While PIT may flourish as a connecting hub with several hundred flts a day it has little O&D to back it up. CLT is in the same boat but it is in a much better position for connections to Florida and the Caribbean.
 
CentPIT
Posts: 978
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2005 4:48 am

RE: US Airways Indifferent To Airbus's A350 Dilemma

Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:59 am

Quoting Usairways85 (Reply 42):
While i have never connected through PIT i have heard that it is a great connecting city and i am not familiar with the city politics but the main factor for closing the PIT hub is O&D. While PIT may flourish as a connecting hub with several hundred flts a day it has little O&D to back it up. CLT is in the same boat but it is in a much better position for connections to Florida and the Caribbean.

Yes, you are obsolesced correct! However, Pittsburgh O&D traffic is on a def. rebound. While it may not be enough of an increase to regain a hub, It will help carriers like WN and B6 with their flights and attract new service from them. Pittsburgh isn't going away, sorry all you haters. You should come visit this fine city!

:D
Pittsburgh International: US Airways---160 daily departures! (52 destinations)

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