CIDFlyer
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Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 1:49 am

There was a brief in the Detroit Free Press today about the potential merger scenarios for Northwest, one being the obvious DL/NW hookup we have heard for so long, but the other one was about CO potentialy buying NW, which is the first time I have actually seen something about the two mentioned as possible merger partners in the press.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...20071125/BUSINESS06/711250605/1019

Would a CO/NW merger be beneficial? The routes are complimentary, CO strong in the east, south, Europe and Latin America with NW strong in the midwest and Asia. Which name stays? MEM would probably be absorbed into IAH and CLE would probably go in favor of DTW. Let the speculating begin....
 
atct
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:12 am

Not gonna happen.

-ATCT
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jetdeltamsy
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:17 am



Quoting ATCT (Reply 1):
Not gonna happen.

Based on what?

I think there is tremendous potential for NW/CO merger.

I don't know how it would play out regarding which would be the controlling entity, as NW owns a chunk of CO.

But they have been sharing information about each others operations for years. I think this is definitely a possibility.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
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STT757
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:18 am



Quoting CIDflyer (Thread starter):
Which name stays?

CO, as if there were any question.
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STT757
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:19 am

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 2):
I don't know how it would play out regarding which would be the controlling entity, as NW owns a chunk of CO.

NWA does not own any piece of CO, they did at onepoint about 8-9 years ago but CO but all of NWA's shares back. NWA does own one single voting share known as the "Golden Share" which they can use to block takeover of CO.

CO bought NWA's shares back in January 2001.

http://www.continental.com/web/en-US...ny/news/release/2001-01-22-02.html

http://www.continental.com/web/en-US...ny/news/release/2001-01-22-01.html

[Edited 2007-11-25 18:25:11]
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
toxtethogrady
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:29 am



Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 2):
Based on what?

I think there is tremendous potential for NW/CO merger.

If they had similar fleets and compatible employee groups, maybe, but these are two ethnically different carriers united by a common alliance grouping. It would be a tough fit.
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:30 am



Quoting STT757 (Reply 4):
NWA does own one single voting share known as the "Golden Share" which they can use to block takeover of CO.

'

That's what i'm talking about.

Does this "golden share," as you put it, give them any status in a proposed merger? Or is it only good for blocking mergers? And with any carrier? Or just any besides NWA?
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
atct
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:31 am

The companies have complete different corporate structures, fleet systems, labor relations, and heck even quality of service. (I know that can be debated...but Northwest isnt exactly screaming quality in the things they do)

ATCT
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toxtethogrady
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:32 am



Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 6):
Does this "golden share," as you put it, give them any status in a proposed merger? Or is it only good for blocking mergers?

It gives NW leverage, but CAL is by far the stronger carrier.
 
dl767captain
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:35 am

It could work. The golden share thing could play a big role and make it easier. Their fleets are a problem though, i'm sure if continental was the buyer the boeing fleet would be the leader while the airbus fleet would be slowly fazed out. CO would probably get rid of the DC-9s (i know everyone will kill me for this) not all at once but gradually since CO seems to like newer more efficient planes. NW A320s (the newer ones) could replace the oldest 737s and maybe retire the oldest ones by selling them and make some money. 757s both variants would compliment CO's along with the 787, but they have chosen different engine manufacturers although delivery isnt for a while maybe they can change manufacturers. A330s would compliment Europe routes and the 777s could move to other asia routes that need more capacity. 747-400 would stay for asia routes, might even move to the 747-8 for added capacity and commonality with the 787. I do not know however the engine manufacturers favored by both airlines so that could be a problem.

NW gets europe flights and CO gets the asia flights. i think their hubs work together with few overlaps. CO would also get the KLM friendship. But the fleet difference could hurt things.

If this happened then DL and UA would definitely have to merge, their fleets make things better and UA would get a south east hub (ATL) like they wanted and DL would get asia routes. Fleet commonality is much better with only A320s to deal with.

It would be very interesting to see an A330 in CO colors though
 
LASoctoberB6
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:36 am



Quoting STT757 (Reply 4):
NWA does own one single voting share known as the "Golden Share" which they can use to block takeover of CO.

Could you better explain that to me? I've never understood this "Golden Share" NW stuff...
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jetdeltamsy
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:41 am



Quoting LASOctoberB6 (Reply 10):
Could you better explain that to me? I've never understood this "Golden Share" NW stuff...

Me too. I've known of the arrangement for years but don't really understand it.

Someone who KNOWS, please explain.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
JetBlueGuy2006
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:15 am

Here is a little bit of info on the Golden Share:

Quote:
Northwest's golden share is a special voting series of Continental preferred stock it owns in connection with its marketing alliance with Continental, which runs through 2025. Northwest could use those shares to block a merger of Continental with another major airline -- if the combination required a vote by Continental shareholders. Even with the golden share in place, however, Continental could buy another airline without interference from Northwest if that transaction didn't require Continental shareholders' approval.

http://blogs.usatoday.com/sky/2006/12/what_theyre_say.html
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avek00
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:51 am

Virtually all the synergies of a merger have already been realized through the existing alliance with none of the downside associated with a merger. So what's the point of a merger except as a last-ditch competitive response?
Live life to the fullest.
 
Super80DFW
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:17 am

I would much rather see a CO/UA merger.
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AA737-823
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:53 am



Quoting DL767captain (Reply 9):
I do not know however the engine manufacturers favored by both airlines so that could be a problem.

Northwest, by far, prefers Pratts:
747- PW4000 and JT9
757- PW2000
A330- PW4000

While Conti prefers GE, due to GE contributing heavily to their cause in the last bankruptcy:

737, 767, 777 ALL GE powered birds.
The only aircraft in the fleet that aren't GE powered are the 757s, obviously.

But, on the other hand, Conti's 737s and Northwest's A32X are all CFM powered, and that's a lot of aircraft.

Anyhoo, back to the point... there's not a lot of fleet commonality between these carriers... at all...


I am in favor of Continental doing anything to strengthen itself SO LONG AS they keep the Continental name, management, and product.
Which is very difficult in a merger.
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:29 am



Quoting Avek00 (Reply 13):
Virtually all the synergies of a merger have already been realized through the existing alliance with none of the downside associated with a merger.

Oh; No way.

Two separate corporate structures including two sets of executive officers, two sets of reservations systems, two sets of accounting departments, two sets of sales departments...two of virtually everything.

Synergies of a marketing alliance are NOTHING like a full-on merger (in the case of NW and CO).
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
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jedward
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:51 am



Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 16):
Two separate corporate structures including two sets of executive officers, two sets of reservations systems, two sets of accounting departments, two sets of sales departments...two of virtually everything.

Synergies of a marketing alliance are NOTHING like a full-on merger (in the case of NW and CO).

*raises eyebrow*

Within this is the assumption overlapping departments can be integrated into each other in a productive (ha!), calm (haha!) way that won't eat up a good portion of the so called 'synergies' (hahahahaha!) and result in a net negative.

...to say nothing of what integrating the other workforce (pilots, FA's, etc.) would due to the bottom line.

You also seem to dismiss the fact that codeshring at its peak form implies price collusion as anti-trust immunity is granted to the various parties to essentially collude.

I'm with Avek00 on this one; unless absolutely critical I doubt the proclaimed savings from a merger do not justify the pain such an action would cause...especially when the majority benefits of a merger can be realized through codesharing.
As Christ died to make men holy, let men die to make us rich. --S.C.
 
masseybrown
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:11 am

Can't see NW and CO merging. NW and B6, however, is an interesting match.
 
COewrAAtysAZ
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:05 am



Quoting Toxtethogrady (Reply 5):
If they had similar fleets and compatible employee groups, maybe, but these are two ethnically different carriers united by a common alliance grouping. It would be a tough fit.

Which is essentially the same situation in a CO/UA merger? Except so many ppl seem to think we are the best possible combo.
Continental Airlines: Trabajar con empe�?��?�±o, Volar con Pasi�?��?�³n
 
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jetjack74
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:48 pm



Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 15):
Northwest, by far, prefers Pratts:
747- PW4000 and JT9
757- PW2000
A330- PW4000

Our 787 aircraft will be RR-powered. In the future of outsourcing, fleet commonality is of little relevance. In about 5-10 years, it won't matter what the commonality would be in fleets except for purposes of cabin crewtraining which can be done in a year.
Made from jets!
 
bobnwa
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:42 pm



Quoting Toxtethogrady (Reply 8):
It gives NW leverage, but CAL is by far the stronger carrier.

I would agree that CO has better customer service and is running a good airline, but in what regard is it stronger. Its route system, and financial structure are less or at best equal to Northwest. Not sure that he financial community who would have to support such a merger would agree with you.
 
masseybrown
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:47 pm



Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 21):
in what regard is it stronger.

I think CO is still the stronger financially based on balance sheets and structurally based on their growth rate; but, if NW can maintain their terrific 3rd quarter earnings, they'll be able to reduce their debt burden quickly. Then it will be a contest.

A real weakness of NW is their route structure; it lacks strength on either coast - where the higher margin business is. They really need to bulk up on one or both coasts. I'd say NW needs to acquire somebody - and Midwest certainly isn't the one. They need US, JetBlue or Alaska. CO would be too expensive, too big a bite, and too big a risk of customer attrition (not that US would be easy).
 
deltal1011man
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:03 pm



Quoting DL767captain (Reply 9):
If this happened then DL and UA would definitely have to merge, their fleets make things better and UA would get a south east hub (ATL) like they wanted and DL would get asia routes. Fleet commonality is much better with only A320s to deal with.

1) if it happens u need to change your name (UA767cap.)
2) the state of GA would keep it in the courts tell the new press in 09
3) why do they have to merge with UA? they could just buy AS and get the SEA and LAX hubs then go to Asia by them self's
4) fleet commonality means pretty much nothing in these types of mergers

i still think it will be DL/NW(SkyTeam) and UA/CO(Star) then AA will just pick up some stored A/C from the to airlines and grow off of that and some old TW routes they have.
New airliners.net web site sucks.
 
avek00
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:13 pm



Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 16):
Synergies of a marketing alliance are NOTHING like a full-on merger (in the case of NW and CO).

Conversely, the costs of a full-on merger are nothing like those of a marketing alliance either.
Live life to the fullest.
 
bobnwa
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:38 pm



Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 22):
think CO is still the stronger financially based on balance sheets and structurally based on their growth rate; but, if NW can maintain their terrific 3rd quarter earnings, they'll be able to reduce their debt burden quickly. Then it will be a contest.

I believe CO has more debt than NWA, but I could be wrong.
 
EXAAUADL
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:40 pm

NW/CO makes the most sense, but it probably would have happened by now
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:18 am



Quoting Toxtethogrady (Reply 5):
If they had similar fleets and compatible employee groups, maybe, but these are two ethnically different carriers united by a common alliance grouping. It would be a tough fit.

Not really. Fleet incompatibility has never been a major problem in the past. From an ops point of view, a merger doesn't change much. A320's would still continue to run NW routes out of NW bases and 737's would continue to run CO routes out of CO bases. Most of the front-line employees wouldn't change much. Sure, some operating procedures and policies related to customer service and the like might change, but in the short term, the airline can continue to run a split fleet.

I do hope that the merged airline would more resemble CO than NW, though. Perhaps CO with a more inventive C/S?
-Doc Lightning-

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KarlB737
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:33 am



Quoting Super80DFW (Reply 14):
I would much rather see a CO/UA merger.

Wasn't this tossed around a few years ago and went no where in the end?
 
dl767captain
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:30 am



Quoting DeltaL1011man (Reply 23):
why do they have to merge with UA? they could just buy AS and get the SEA and LAX hubs then go to Asia by them self's

that would be an option but a combined NW/CO would be massive and a threat unless they joined UA who already has an extensive and strong asia network

Quoting DeltaL1011man (Reply 23):
i still think it will be DL/NW(SkyTeam) and UA/CO(Star) then AA will just pick up some stored A/C from the to airlines and grow off of that and some old TW routes they have.

I think that is better also but apparently airlines dont like to listen to us, even though we know everything!!
 
COewrAAtysAZ
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:47 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 27):
Perhaps CO with a more inventive C/S?

I think our color scheme is that of a very professional one.
Continental Airlines: Trabajar con empe�?��?�±o, Volar con Pasi�?��?�³n
 
worldtraveler
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:56 am



Quoting Toxtethogrady (Reply 5):
Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 2):
Based on what?

I think there is tremendous potential for NW/CO merger.

If they had similar fleets and compatible employee groups, maybe, but these are two ethnically different carriers united by a common alliance grouping. It would be a tough fit.

so what is so different between DL and CO on these same characteristics? NW is just as much of a stretch for DL as it is for CO.

The real question will be who starts consolidation and who will be in a position to react to it. Being the larger airline and right now the one in better financial shape will be the preferred carrier to control its destiny when consolidation comes. (yes, you people hate to hear it but it's true - DL has posted stronger profit margins, has a better balance sheet now, and has lower costs).

That being said, CO is very capable of standing on its own as an independent company... or UA could actually be split between DL and CO.... DL obviously doesn't need 2 mountain hubs, doesn't really need IAD, and doesn't need SFO as a transpac gateway when it has a facility at LAX that is crying for int'l service. So, perhaps, DL might end up taking the larger part of UA and CO would end up w/ DEN, SFO, and IAD - not a terribly bad haul for either airline.

but that is all speculation for now.
 
deltal1011man
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:59 am



Quoting DL767captain (Reply 29):
I think that is better also but apparently airlines dont like to listen to us, even though we know everything!!

i don't think its the airlines so much as the stupid hedge funds........just remember when US came after DL who did DL start to have talks with(hint NW hint) i still say DL will make an offer for NW by the end of this year.
New airliners.net web site sucks.
 
masseybrown
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 5:49 am



Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 25):
I believe CO has more debt than NWA, but I could be wrong.

In billions
Current Liabilities CO $4,435 NW $4,139
Long debt/leases CO $4,651 NW $6,437

NW also has pension and health obligations of $3.4 billion, compared to CO's $1.1 billion

Intangibles, not including routes and airport rights, are about $200 million for CO; about $6 billion for NW. NW also applies many more times the value to routes and rights than CO does. Considering their NRT operation, that may not be wrong; but I don't have enough data to say.

For the time being, anyway, I'd say CO has the stronger balance sheet. In NW's favor is the incredible earning power of their tangible assets; a couple of good years will do wonders for the balance sheet.
 
bobnwa
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:29 pm



Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 33):
In billions
Current Liabilities CO $4,435 NW $4,139
Long debt/leases CO $4,651 NW $6,437

NW also has pension and health obligations of $3.4 billion, compared to CO's $1.1 billion

Intangibles, not including routes and airport rights, are about $200 million for CO; about $6 billion for NW. NW also applies many more times the value to routes and rights than CO does. Considering their NRT operation, that may not be wrong; but I don't have enough data to say.

For the time being, anyway, I'd say CO has the stronger balance sheet. In NW's favor is the incredible earning power of their tangible assets; a couple of good years will do wonders for the balance sheet.

Thanks for the figures.
 
worldtraveler
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:37 pm



Quoting DeltaL1011man (Reply 32):
i don't think its the airlines so much as the stupid hedge funds........just remember when US came after DL who did DL start to have talks with(hint NW hint) i still say DL will make an offer for NW by the end of this year.

true but it is those hedge funds that have the ability to shape a company's future. It takes a very smart management team to be able to convince investors to pass on a short-term payout in favor of a long-term prize - exactly what DL was able to do in defeating the US takeover. Remember that US' stock has fallen much faster than the industry overall because US was living off a post-bankruptcy high that was not supported by fundamentals.

Don't assume that because DL supposedly had a few talks with NW (supposedly pushed by some of DL and NW's investors/creditors) that DL and NW will do something now. DL and NW had no interest in each other until UA and US joined the same alliance and started working together. DL has done what it has had to in each situation but it doesn't mean that decision will shape its future long-term.

There are many arguments to be made for DL going after even part of UA over NW including a better developed overall Pacific route system (not just focused on Japan), a stronger presence on the west coast, a larger hub in the midwest, a larger presence at LHR, a presence in S. America - and that doesn't even include Washington or Denver which are not really strategically necessary for DL and could be spun off. Plus, UA has a more compatible fleet w/ DL than does NW and somewhat more compatible labor relations and culture.

The only way that DL will merge with NW is if there is no other way to get UA or even the major assets from it.
 
isitsafenow
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:14 pm



Quoting ATCT (Reply 7):
Northwest isnt exactly screaming quality in the things they do)

In U.S.business history, most companies involved in mergers, do not scream quality in the things they do.
That's one reason why they are involved in mergers.
safe  coffee 
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
 
2travel2know
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:18 pm

If NW is so weak in the East-coast, shouldn't they put more attention to BDL and really make it into a good focus city?, I'm saying this specially after NW is flying transatlantic from that airport.
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avek00
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 3:42 pm

To answer the question in the thread title, the answer is that there is little potential to a CO/NW merger that: (a) has not already been realized by the alliance built by the airlines over the past ten years; and (b) could be extracted without massive integration costs and shifts in operating and business models.
Live life to the fullest.
 
atct
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:13 pm



Quoting Isitsafenow (Reply 36):
That's one reason why they are involved in mergers.

Touche!

ATCT
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masseybrown
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RE: Potential Of A CO/NW Merger?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:24 pm



Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 37):
If NW is so weak in the East-coast, shouldn't they put more attention to BDL and really make it into a good focus city?

I don't think BDL is big enough to make a difference.

I'm intrigued by the idea of NW acquiring B6 and becoming a factor in the NY market. The idea of a three-way competition at JFK is daunting and risky, however. I won't attempt to forecast a winner, although others are welcome to.  Smile