exusair
Posts: 658
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2000 12:15 am

Why Can't AirTran Be The Next Eastern?

Sat Oct 07, 2000 10:29 am

Over the past year AirTran has rebuilt itself from the ashes of almost certain demise. I am glad to see that the many fine people who work for this company have hope for the years ahead. One major factor that will influence their longevity is to prove to investors that they are a viable company. AirTran has a lot of debt that must be renegotiated in the next year. Why do they try to fill their planes at the expense of yield? How much can you really make on a $50 ticket? The infrastructure and market s are in place for AirTran to be the next Eastern. It is also possible for them to acquire or merge with National Airlines, thereby giving the carrier more capacity in key markets (BOS,LGA,MCO,ATL) as well as giving them transcontinental potential and a hub with strong O/D traffic (LAS). The 717 is perfect for short haul intrawest markets as well as along the eastern seaboard. An enhancement to services offered onboard the aircraft and in the terminals will only strenghthen customer loyalty. Besides DL employees miss Eastern, they haven't had a meaningful raise since 1989 compared to the frequent raises and bonuses they got when Eastern was around!
 
Skyteam
Posts: 703
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:50 pm

RE: Why Can't AirTran Be The Next Eastern?

Sat Oct 07, 2000 10:37 am

Hmmmmm. Good Question. I have to add that I met some pretty RUDE AirTran Employees in Atlanta a couple months ago.

SKYTEAM
 
exusair
Posts: 658
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2000 12:15 am

RE: Why Can't AirTran Be The Next Eastern?

Sat Oct 07, 2000 10:44 am

I think that AirTrans wages are so low that many of their employees must work overtime to make ends meet. A steady diet of greif from passengers as well as delays and cancellations can make anyones fuse real short. No excuse for being mean, but people in customer service need some free time too. Decent wages will allow them to work less and perhaps make them a little more patient and personable.
 
wilcharl
Posts: 1151
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 11:19 am

RE: Why Can't AirTran Be The Next Eastern?

Sat Oct 07, 2000 10:45 am

Well, I'm going to stay out of this one. After all I'm just a bag smasher, even if Im just shy of graduation from Embry Riddle. Look @ airtran's growth philosophy though. They are not looking into rapid growth, and plan to grow internaly, though they have talked with other carriers about mergers. Like any airline they are going where the money is. When you opperate a fleet of X number aircraft, and all of the a/c are in use, adding a city means pulling a plane from another city. Airtran has picked up MSP, Toledo, and now working on Freeport as you can see from the documents on the DOT's web page. But cities like Knoxville, Hartford-Springfield and Mobile were droped. I have faith in my employer and would like to see a slow steady growth built on a strong foundation where any problems that arrise can be taken care of and ironed out before the company gets too big for its self. Anyways thats the opinion of a bagsmasher with a minor in aviation safety and logistics ...

 
exusair
Posts: 658
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2000 12:15 am

RE: Why Can't AirTran Be The Next Eastern?

Sat Oct 07, 2000 10:56 am

Does AirTran offer any flights to the same city within a few minutes of each other from ATL because of high loads? If they had larger planes in the fleet, they could obviously accomodate more passengers, and stimulate demand from their inbound connecting cities. DEN was looked at as a city they would like to serve, but you lose an airplane for 3 or 4 hours in each direction that could have served the east coast short hauls. By expanding out west either through mergers or internal growth, you can increase the utilization of your aircraft (all-night flights) as well as add more flexibility to your prices without diluting revenue.
 
Cody
Posts: 2172
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 12:16 pm

RE: Why Can't AirTran Be The Next Eastern?

Sat Oct 07, 2000 12:13 pm

This has alwya been a fantasy of mine....just a fantasy that I know will never happen and shouldn't happen, but merge AirTran with JetBlue (once they get a little bigger), rename it Eastern, and bring back the Great Silver Fleet. It is interesting to note that many AirTran employees came from Eastern.
 
DCA-ROCguy
Posts: 3890
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: Why Can't AirTran Be The Next Eastern?

Sat Oct 07, 2000 2:33 pm

Dear All,

I'm not sure why AirTran couldn't be the next Eastern, using the strategy ExUsair describes. Southwest has demonstrated pretty conclusively that an airline can be unionized, pay well, have happy workers, AND have low costs and low fares. A low-fare Eastern, with workers who weren't overworked, with 717's to ply the east and National's 757s to ply the transcon routes, that sounds like a winner to me.

And should a "New Eastern" want to go even higher capacity, say for transcon and trunk NE-Florida routes, they could add the 757-300 which has lowest operating costs of any plane, piggybacking on crew and maintenance commonalities with the 752.

But it does require that the carrier remain low-fare. Delta has obviously more than filled in the gap left at ATL without Eastern even with high oligopoly fares. I think "New Eastern" under the above conditions could be a winner. Get the paint stripper and find a hangar.

Jim K.
Washington, DC
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
wilcharl
Posts: 1151
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 11:19 am

RE: Why Can't AirTran Be The Next Eastern?

Sat Oct 07, 2000 3:46 pm

To answer EXUsair's question yes there are back to back flights. There are (i think) 4 per day on ATL MCO and MCO-ATL (two up two back) A new flt schedule just came out so I am not postive but I do know back to back flts do take place on ATL-MCO. Im not going to question the logic of the powers @ airtran because im sure there is more to it then what I see, but I cant help but see larger a/c ie MD-80 MD-90 for ATL MCO. Im assuming there is something deeper then just leasing new a/c. VJ opperated the MD-80 and in the 1995 introduction for the MD-95 (717) Lewis Jordan says we will opperate an all Douglas fleet with everything from the DC-9-20 (DC-9 sport) up to the MD-80, offering everything from less then 100 to 150+ seats for certain routes. Why this is isnt the case now, I dont know. I think the bottom line is they are scared by rapid growth and expansion. VJ spread over the country faster then mulitiplying bacteria, and there was that mishap. If logistics were not an issue i could see some investors buy 200 airplanes and if they could get the routes and the gates set up a new eastern, that would be financialy secure. I think one of the things I personaly fail to rememeber is that eastern wasnt started over night it took years from flying a Pictarian Mail wing going all the way up to the DC-3 , the Constelation, America's 1st air shuttle etc... THe same way with delta starting as a crop dusting opperation in Monroe LA. Airlines like Southwest Airtran, Jet Blue are infants compared to our other nations airlines. Southwest just has the right stuff, I think other airlines are going to have to work to build that solid foundation to be a big guy..

Just my 2 cents

 
Guest

RE: Why Can't AirTran Be The Next Eastern?

Sat Oct 07, 2000 7:46 pm

They don't need a bigger airplane right now. The reason why they have 12 flights/day ATL-MCO on 120 pax. aircraft is to help them compete against Delta which has about 1 dozen flights there and back on the widebodies. When they get enough pax. to help them compete, they might think of launching a 713 to hold 15-20 more pax for them.

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