Guest

Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Sat Oct 21, 2000 12:30 pm

Trans World Airlines is in the midst of a major turnaround. I used to not think much of TWA, but that changed last weekend. As part of TWA/SIUC aviation career day at Southern Illinois University, TWA flew an MD-80 from STL to Southern Illinois Airport to give STL high-school kids tours of the campus & flight facilities. As a freshman in flight at SIUC, I got to tour the TWA jet after it landed. It was laid out very nicely, with a huge first class (20 seats), and was very comfortable, very clean. It changed my view of TWA, and I sincerely hope they make it through this tough time they are having.

So tell me, do you think TWA will make it? Regardless of your answer, please tell why. I hope TWA can be Trans World again.

KonaB777
 
DCA-ROCguy
Posts: 3890
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Sat Oct 21, 2000 12:42 pm

As far as I can tell, TWA will make it on two conditions. First, if they can make it until Carl Icahn's pernicious Karabu separation agreement runs out in 2003. This will allow them to regain control of yield management. While no one is eager to see higher fares, they do need at least have some flexibility, especially for heavy business-traveler routes.

Second, if they can continue taking delivery and keeping up payments on their shiny new 717s and Airbuses. TWA, like US Airways, was late to the fleet rationalization game, (again, thanks Carl Icahn).

St. Louis just got FAA and federal court approval for their W-1W expansion plan for St Louis Lambert airport, which will also help. The third parallel runway, which should come online by 2005 or 2006, will give Lambert much needed additional capacity.

TWA has survived an awful lot, and management seems committed now to rebuilding the airline. Let's hope the economy stays good for a few more years, that would help make all of the above possible.

Jim K.
Washington, DC
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
Guest

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Sat Oct 21, 2000 1:12 pm

From my horrible experience on TWA in August, I wouldn't guess they will make it much longer.... next time I am flying United.
 
Falcon Flyer
Posts: 1121
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2000 12:10 pm

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Sat Oct 21, 2000 4:24 pm

I certainly hope so and wish them the very best.
My definition of cool ? Not trying so hard to be cool.
 
Guest

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Sat Oct 21, 2000 5:02 pm

TWA has certainly made tremendous strides and will continue to for a very long time. In the past years as TW has executed its turnaround:

TW has replaced nearly its entire fleet. All 747s, L1011s, and 727s have been retired. Much of the airline's DC9 and 767-200 fleet have been retired and 762 replaced with newer 763ERs. TW has added new fleets of 757s and 717s. New Airbus 318 and 319s will be on property in 3 years.

TW has completely redone its New York City operation. LGA flights to PBI and FPO have been dropped. The JFK also is in the process of a complete repostioning. TW has dismantled its loss-making JFK-European operation and begun transAtlantic flights from STL. It has dropped other JFK loss making routes to ORD, LAS, MIA, Sarasota, and PBI.
In the process TW has upped its LAX frequency to 6 and its SFO frequency to 3 while also adding an extensive Carribean service from JFK and EWR. TW has started the only SNA service available from NYC.

TW has established two new focus citys at SJU and LAX, each with regional connection partners. TWA mainline serces AUA, LAX, STL, BOS, JFK, MCO, FLL, and SDQ from SJU. MIA will be added shortly. TW's LAX system is quite unique. Saad 340 TWConnection service meets mainline flights to Kona Hawaii, Regan National Airport, St. Louis, JFK, and San Juan. An as yet unnamed mainline destination will be announced shortly also.

TW has paid off its Pension Fund, which was raided during Ichann era.

TW has become operationally superior to almost any other American airline. Last year the airline was the country's #1 on-time airline and this year is in a close second.

All this improvement has come despite the Karabu Ticketting Scheme where TW is involuntarily forced to sell a firm controlled by former owner Karl Ichann any TW ticket (except for codeshare or O&D from STL) for 50% of its published fares. This brings yields down tremendously

No doubt Vitale will respond soon, but as you can see the airline has made marvelous progress despite hardships. TWA is on its way.
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Sat Oct 21, 2000 10:45 pm

For an opposing view, I bring you Holly Hegemens planebusniess comments:

"Finally, TWA also reported earnings today. The airline reported a loss of $34.8 million, or $0.49 cents per share. But more importantly, the airline said that at the end of the quarter, it was sitting on about $157 million in cash. We see this number as very significant, as most of you know TWA usually sheds a fair amount of revenue in both the fourth and first quarters of the year. Or at least historically this has been the case.

With oil prices continuing to sit at around $34/barrel and change, and with the fact that TWA is not hedged for fuel for fourth or first quarter, our most pressing issue here is one of the ability of the airline to weather the winter.

Granted, the airline is certainly more fuel-efficient than it was, but the revenue side of the equation still lags. In fact, in terms of costs, the airline did well, as the airline saw CASM increase only 3.3%, excluding the costs associated with the IAM contract ratification.

The numbers tell the story. For the quarter, the airline saw operating revenues increase 11%, while operating expenses increased 5.2%. Meanwhile, operating income was a $10.9 million loss.

Operationally, the airline saw load factor gain 1.4 points to 76.1%, while yield was up 4.2%, and RASM was up 6%. CASM, as we said was up 3.3%.

Overall, I guess what strikes us most is that even with very strict clamp-downs on costs, the airline still could not make money for the quarter.

 
AmtrakGuy
Posts: 372
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 1999 11:25 am

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Sat Oct 21, 2000 10:52 pm

My gut tells me TWA will survive....After the Ichann's is done with.....can't wait till 2003 comes....times will fly by fast.

Dave
 
Skyteam
Posts: 703
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:50 pm

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Sat Oct 21, 2000 11:05 pm

I love TWA!!!!! I first flew them in July from MCO-STL (MD-80), and STL-PHX (757) The service was awesome, The planes were the cleanest I have ever seen, and the food was good. TWA will make it, I just wish they would scratch the Airbus orders.

SKYTEAM
 
Guest

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Sat Oct 21, 2000 11:34 pm

I always thought TWA would make it, even 8 years ago when I was a little kid! They have newer planes, newer routes, and some of the best pilots and workers in the business who are dedicated to the airline. GO TW

TurboTristar
 
klwright69
Posts: 2313
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2000 4:22 am

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Sun Oct 22, 2000 12:23 am

Correction to TWAneedsNOhelp: TWA is not the only carrier to serve NYC to SNA. CO has from EWR long before TW began in this market.
 
Guest

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Sun Oct 22, 2000 12:34 am

Yes, dear Co serves SNA from EWR with what 738s? I'm sorry for the mistake.
 
777guy
Posts: 476
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2000 2:50 pm

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Sun Oct 22, 2000 5:36 am

I am hopeful of TWA's survival but am amazed at their lack of ability to turn profitable when you consider the number of passengers they carry.Also they have what has to be one of the best connecting hubs in StLouis.For my part I have been satisfied with their service.The FA's are generally nice people as are their ground staff.I just do not like the overcrowded gates at Lambert where it is hard to find a seat between flights.
 
Guest

RE: 777guy

Sun Oct 22, 2000 6:47 am

the reason why TWA has trouble turning a profit despite their strengths is that stupid karabu thing by stupid carl icahn. once 2003 rolls around, that will be over with, & hopefully twa will rise again.
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Sun Oct 22, 2000 6:52 am

Correction Kona...Karabu is making Carl Icahn very wealthy. In that respect he is far from stupid. Greedy? Well, theres no doubt about that one.
 
DCA-ROCguy
Posts: 3890
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Sun Oct 22, 2000 2:39 pm

Thanks TWAneedsNOhelp for that detailed summary! TWA has survived high oil prices and bad winters before so given its fleet and route changes it seems unlikely to me that they wouldn't make it through this one. And they've survived the Karabu bloodsucker for five years, three more is very feasible.

I'm all for free markets and low fares, but the Karabu thing is truly greed at its worst. No "financial savvy" justifies putting tens of thousands of employees on edge for eight years wondering if they'll have a job just so that some financier tyrant can keep getting rich. What a truly hateful thing to do to a company just because he failed at running it!

God speed to TWA. Their employees and current management have lots to be proud of.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
DCA-ROCguy
Posts: 3890
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Sun Oct 22, 2000 2:42 pm

Thanks TWAneedsNOhelp for that detailed summary! TWA has survived high oil prices and bad winters before so given its fleet and route changes it seems unlikely to me that they wouldn't make it through this one. And they've survived the Karabu bloodsucker for five years, three more is very feasible.

I'm all for free markets and low fares, but the Karabu thing is truly greed at its worst. No "financial savvy" justifies putting tens of thousands of employees on edge for eight years wondering if they'll have a job just so that some financier tyrant can keep getting rich. What a truly hateful thing to do to a company just because he failed at running it!

God speed to TWA. Their employees and current management have lots to be proud of.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
Guest

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Sun Oct 22, 2000 3:18 pm

No prob Jim, I'm love writing/studying/thinking about TWA. It's turnaround-in-progress (if successful) is one of commerical aviation's great stories. I wish more of America knew the raping/dirty secrets of one of our country's proudest carriers. Whether TW will ever be what it once was is doubtful, but its very existance is testament to the motivation of the people who have worked with profound uncertainity to keep the double globes flying.
 
Guest

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Sun Oct 22, 2000 5:39 pm

When I called Carl Icahn stupid, I meant stupid as in a greedy, bloodsucking jerkoff that almost killed a very good airline.
 
acvitale
Posts: 1911
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2001 8:25 am

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Mon Oct 23, 2000 4:46 am

TWANeedsNoHelp said it all for me. Thanks for the help Russ!

For the record TWA has gone into Q4/Q1 with as little as 100 million and that was when they lost more money in those quarters. Now with no 747s L1011s 727s and a more sun oriented route structure you will likely see TWA do just fine!

 
Guest

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Tue Oct 24, 2000 11:17 am

I'm glad to see so much optimism for TWA!!!
 
acvitale
Posts: 1911
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2001 8:25 am

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Tue Oct 24, 2000 11:13 pm

Look for new service to LIH to be announced out of LAX within the next week. A new codeshare partner should be announced within 2-3 weeks.

Al
 
EyeSky
Posts: 317
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 4:52 am

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Wed Oct 25, 2000 4:02 am

I said it before and I'll say it again - if TWA could survive Howard Hughes, it can survive anything!

EyeSky

 
 
Guest

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Wed Oct 25, 2000 5:26 am

What you should say is "If TWA survived Icahn, then it could survive anything."
 
Guest

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Wed Oct 25, 2000 8:00 am

Lihue, Kauai?? Are they kidding?? Albert, you don't think this is a viable flight do you? Why can't they just add a tag from the Kona flight LAX-KOA-LIH? Kauai is one of the smallest, most protected islands (albeit gorgous), but I doubt it can support any more than 2 or 3 flights weekly. They're not going daily are they? I saw fares are pretty significant though, 700 or so round trip on Northwest with the stop in HNL.
 
imkeww
Posts: 676
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2001 1:48 am

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Wed Oct 25, 2000 11:24 am

United has 2 daily flights into LIH, year round, from LAX and SFO.
 
acvitale
Posts: 1911
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2001 8:25 am

RE: Do You Think TWA Will Make It?

Wed Oct 25, 2000 9:19 pm

Do not underestimate TWA in Hawaii. They have increased their presence by 270% this year alone and are running full flights that are making money.

LIH is an opportunity waiting to happen. TWA is tied in with tour opporators to guarantee a certain number of seats per flight and they will do just fine. Wait and see.


Albert
 
Guest

RE: TWA And Karabu Ticketing Agreement

Wed Oct 25, 2000 10:11 pm

I am not overwhelmed by my experiences with TWA (one was actually very bad) but I love its image and for us in France, TWA was a little bit the image of America long time ago (together with Panam)...At least that's the perception I had when I was younger...

One question, does this Karabu ticketting agreement thing prevent TWA to join an alliance or do code-sharing ? After all what is the interest of a partner to offer seat to TWA if these seats are sold at discount prices ?

What do you think ? Code-sharing and alliances have been revenue-boosters for a lot of airlines (see AF on transatlantic flights since they've teamed up with DL), why TWA does not pursue this option ? They can't massively invest, but at least they could use others planes  ...

E.
 
Guest

RE: TWA And Karabu Ticketing Agreement

Wed Oct 25, 2000 10:47 pm

Karabu does not prevent TWA from joining an alliance. On the contrary, it's the best way to limit its impact on avearge yields, since flights operated by partner airlines are not subject to the agreement. The reason why TWA hasn't joined an alliance yet, is because of its poor financial health. Nobody wanted to waste money on marketing efforts with an airline that might file for bankruptcy anytime. However, the turnoaround i now in full swing, and someone must have taken notice, because it looks like TWA is set to announce a strategic alliance in about two weeks time.

On a separate note, regarding Lihue/Kauai: TWA would likely run this flight as a direct flight from STL with a stopover in LAX, just like the KOA flight. This guarantees prominent display in the reservations systems not only for the immediate LAX-LIH routing, but also for STL-LIH and all the connections TWA can offer via STL. Besides, as acvitale pointed out, TWA has agreements with tour operators, which almost guarantees full planes at all times.

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