PBIflyguy
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National Pre 1980 - Hubs And Bases?

Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:11 am

I've been having problems finding info on National Airline's operations prior to the Pan Am merge.....

How many hubs did they have and where were they?

Where were thier FA and Pilot bases?

Any info would be greatly appreciated!
 
AeroWesty
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RE: National Pre 1980 - Hubs And Bases?

Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:45 am

This doesn't answer all your questions, but there are some route maps here:

http://www.airchive.com/SITE%20PAGES/TIMETABLES-NATIONAL.html
International Homo of Mystery
 
jlbmedia
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RE: National Pre 1980 - Hubs And Bases?

Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:53 am

JLB54061
 
jsnww81
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RE: National Pre 1980 - Hubs And Bases?

Wed Jun 21, 2006 3:21 am

Prior to the merger National's biggest base was probably Miami, although they had respectable operations (maybe 30-50 flights/day) in Houston, New Orleans and New York as well. None of these really qualified as a true "hub" in today's sense of the word, though.

National's 1980 route system resembled a backwards "L," with lots of east-west routes connecting Florida to California, Louisiana and Texas, and lots of north-south routes linking Florida to New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, etc. They also served Norfolk, Newport News, Charleston and Savannah along the east coast.

Unfortunately, having their biggest base in Miami became a problem for National after Deregulation. Nobody in California was going to fly to New York via Miami, as it adds extra hours to the trip. The only point south of Miami that National served was San Juan, which was added just prior to the Pan Am purchase. Except for that one city, there weren't many places that National could funnel passengers to via Miami.

That's what made the expensive National purchase so problematic for Pan Am - it was supposed to give them the domestic network they had lusted after for years (but which the CAB continually denied them.) The addition of National's backwards "L" didn't do much to feed their transatlantic or transpacific routes. What they really needed were more lucrative transcon routes like JFK-LAX, BOS-SFO, etc., and National couldn't provide those. The merger was also sort of pointless in hindsight, as Deregulation allowed PA to add domestic routes at will, so they dropped a lot of their own scarce cash on an airline that didn't give them what they needed. What's more, National - which could have been a post-Deregulation star if it had just more time to grow - was absorbed into the unwieldy, unstable beast that was Pan Am in 1980, and a lot of good people got screwed in the process.

I'm digressing... to get back to your point: National didn't really have any "hubs" per se, but MIA was the biggest station, followed by JFK, IAH and MSY.
 
PBIflyguy
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RE: National Pre 1980 - Hubs And Bases?

Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:44 am

Jsnww81... THANK YOU so much.... great information!
 
isitsafenow
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RE: National Pre 1980 - Hubs And Bases?

Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:22 am

National....at one time,the only carrier to fly coast-to-coast-to-coast.
safe
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LGA777
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RE: National Pre 1980 - Hubs And Bases?

Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:37 am

TPA was a decent size station also. typically 35-40 flights a day from say 1974-1979 with 7-15 of those being DC-10's (depending on season) operating from 6 gates.

Cheers

LGA777
 
hiflyer
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RE: National Pre 1980 - Hubs And Bases?

Thu Jun 22, 2006 11:11 am

GO (General Offices) were at MIA. Crew Base MIA. Mtc base MIA. In addition to the flights listed above there was also service to Europe such as London, Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam, and Zurich.
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PBIflyguy
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RE: National Pre 1980 - Hubs And Bases?

Fri Jun 23, 2006 1:57 am

Am I reading those timetables right? Seems like they had some routes to Europe out of IAH and MSY?
 
jsnww81
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RE: National Pre 1980 - Hubs And Bases?

Fri Jun 23, 2006 5:26 am

The bulk of their European flights were from Miami, but there were a lot of one-stops on DC10s from IAH, TPA and MSY. I believe they did operate a New Orleans-Amsterdam flight for a little while, and possibly a nonstop from Tampa as well.

Of course, on their route maps they showed "nonstops" from MSY, IAH and TPA that were really one-stops, but the reality is that most flights required a stop in Miami, where National had its own customs facility on Concourse F.
 
rampart
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RE: National Pre 1980 - Hubs And Bases?

Fri Jun 23, 2006 5:42 am

I love how the timetable route maps, particularly 1977, lump the cities together into a few single dots. Like: Pensacola/Mobile/Tallahassee/Panama City, or New York/Newark/Philadelphia (!?). Did that mean they actually served all those points and employed cartographic oversimplification, or were they stretching the point of serving nearby cities from one location (like Southwest and Ryan Air sometimes do)? I've always wondered that (I think I still have a copy of the 1977 timetable.)

-Rampart
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: National Pre 1980 - Hubs And Bases?

Fri Jun 23, 2006 6:15 am

I wonder what would have happened if Texas Air had acquired National instead of Continental. National was Texas Air's first takeover target, and PA overpaid for NA because of Lorenzo's hostile acquisition of stock. NA's "old boys" didn't want NA ending up in the hands of an industry upstart so PA was encouraged to go after it.

Texas International and National would have ended up with same fleet types as TI/CO: DC-9/727/DC-10. And the same hub in IAH.

The PA/NA merger went down in 1980. One can assume the TI/NA merger would have followed the same time frame if that merger had happened. Less than 2 years from the date of the NA/PA merger Braniff's Latin American Division was on the block, and no doubt Lorenzo would have made a play for it.
(the new CO first filed BK after BN's demise). So we would have had a "new" National with hubs at IAH and MIA.

What if that combo had not filed Chpt 11 as the TI/CO combo did and Lorenzo had been successful in acquiring TWA, which was on Lorenzo's radar screen BEFORE Eastern? Without the CO Chpt 11 and subsequent union busting, TWA's unions might have gone for the Texas Air proposal, and TWA would now be a global powerhouse with hubs at STL, MIA, IAH, JFK with LHR routes intact.

Ahh but for the fickle hand of history...
Next up: STL-OAK-RNO-LAS-ICT-STL