United Airline
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Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:36 pm

American West ordered a few right?

What about TWA? Did they have plans to do so?
 
SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:49 pm

As far as I can say, no. Perhaps others will contradict me. What I know is the company was "stuck" with its aging fleet of 747-100 and some early -200B as well as L-1011s. There were plans to have an A330 fleet but that didn't materialize. TWA didn't have money. It's only during the '90s that it expended the 767 fleet with some -300ER. and retired the Tristars in 1997.
 
sevenheavy
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:58 pm

In a word, no.

They had ordered A330's however. This was back in the late 80's or early 90's so they would have been relatively early customers. The order was deferred and delayed until it was eventually swapped for a never delivered A318/19/20/21 order.

In reality TWA probably knew that the B744 was too much aircraft for them. They had sold the only routes that could have supported them (LHR-JFK/LAX) and their once mighty transatlantic network was a shadow of its former self. For the last few years they were down to a few B763's and B757's across the atlantic
So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
 
TW870
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:59 pm

Many at TWA would have loved to have ordered the 747-400 when it came on the market in the late 1980s. The problem is that TWA was so strapped financially that it could never have afforded it.

When Carl Icahn bought TWA in January of 1986 in a hostile takeover, he worked with the investment bank Drexel-Burnham-Lambert to raise cash for the deal using junk bonds, which are very high risk securities which require the seller to pay a high rate of interest. Once Icahn was in charge of TWA, that airline's operation had to pay back the interest on the bonds. So as United and Northwest were writing checks to Boeing to pay for their new 747-400s, TWA paid almost $500 million in interest on the takeover financing in 1989. Add that to the overall weaknesses in TWA's route system that made it very hard to generate premium revenue, and you end up with a situation in which the carrier could not obtain the airplanes it needed to be an effective competitor. And once Icahn forced the airline to sell the LHR routes in 1991, the 747-400 would likely not even have had a place at TWA, as the remaining routes all faced steep competition and would not have warranted an airplane that size.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:36 pm

Quoting United Airline (Thread starter):
American West ordered a few right?

They ordered 4 and cancelled the order a few months later as part of their bankruptcy filing.
http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1991/Am...d-c8246193d52ec08514f576850ac5cc53

Quoting United Airline (Thread starter):
What about TWA? Did they have plans to do so?

No. You have asked this question before. TWA had no routes that required the 744's range.
 
brilondon
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:48 pm

Quoting sevenheavy (Reply 2):

In a word, no.

They had ordered A330's however. This was back in the late 80's or early 90's so they would have been relatively early customers. The order was deferred and delayed until it was eventually swapped for a never delivered A318/19/20/21 order.

Did they also not have a look at the A340 as well?
Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
 
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jfklganyc
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:50 pm

Guys, there is nothing wrong with rediscussing a topic 12 years later. Cut the OP some slack.

Back to the point, TWA was in a long, slow demise. Not sure why...they had a good route structure to Europe and they had a midwest hub.

Bad decisions, bad leaderhip, tough unions all led to a painfully slow death of a great airline. While Eastern and Pan Am enjoyed a quicker death with only a decade of turmoil, TWA really went through the wringer.

Towards the end, they were a one hub airline (STL) in a city with little O&D. They had a small gateway in NY (JFK) that operated out of an ancient terminal with ancient airplanes and played second fiddle to DL and AA until they shrunk so much they were near irrelevant in the NY market.

They basically wasted away until there was nothing left and then died. Very sad.

Had they survived, they would have been a one hub airline with a few small focus cities in JFK, SJU, and LAX.

Today, their fleet would have consisted of Airbuses, 717s, a few remaining MD 80s and some 757/767s.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:54 pm

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 7):
Guys, there is nothing wrong with rediscussing a topic 12 years later. Cut the OP some slack.

I would agree if someone other than the same OP was asking the question. No point asking a question that you obviously know the answer to.
 
redtailsforever
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:06 pm

There's actually a scene in the movie Jarhead, with Jake Gyllenhaal, where the troops disembark from a TWA 744 (fantasy cgi of course) in Iraq.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:53 pm

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 7):
TWA was in a long, slow demise. Not sure why...they had a good route structure to Europe and they had a midwest hub.

Like Pan Am, TW had difficulties to fill tgeir large fleet of 747 except perhaps during summers. Then came deregulation and thus TWA core network, the Atlantic, faced many new competitors and the fares that were going down. Just like PA, TW wasn't ready for that new reality.

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 7):
While Eastern and Pan Am enjoyed a quicker death with only a decade of turmoil

Pan Am slow death started as soon as Trippe retired. There was a leadership between his tenure and the arrival of Seawell and although with the latter there were some ups, in the end Pan Am was doomed to fail, especially after the Pacific Division sale.
 
jfk777
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:06 pm

The TWA of 1970 had a need for the 747-100, the 1990 version was in a twin engine world with the A330 that were sadly never delivered. Other then JFK and LAX to LHR TWA didn't have route needing that big an airplane. The Tel Aviv route could ahve also used a 744. The 747-400 was a Pacific 747, though the bigger European airlines used to on the Atlantic. IT wouldn't have made sense for BA, KLM, LH and AF to have a Asian fleet and an Atlantic one too.
 
FWAERJ
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:30 pm

In addition to their A330 order, TWA was also supposed to be the worldwide launch customer for the Rolls-Royce Trent 700. That never happened either, though the Trent is now the most popular powerplant for the A330.

Speaking of which, CX later became the first to put Trents on their A330s after TWA kept deferring their order.

[Edited 2013-08-05 15:33:35]
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jfk777
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:00 am

Will never forget an advertisement Airbus took out on the New York Times with Icahn in the center talking him up as a great visionary, how sad that is now.
 
F9Animal
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:50 am

If TWA had survived another year or two, the airline would have been very healthy. The karabu contract was nearly done, and TW would have been generating great profits. No doubt the fleet would have been nice today. Add in all the merger mania, TWA would have likely been merged. I wonder why America West never took a bid? That sure would have been an interesting combination.
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AeroWesty
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:58 am

Quoting F9animal (Reply 14):
If TWA had survived another year or two, the airline would have been very healthy.

TWA would have been decimated in the 9/11 aftermath, and struggled right along with everyone else in the ensuing years, if by some miracle they could have survived. As much as I liked to fly TWA, even I'm a realist that if AA hadn't bought them when they did, there would have been nothing left of TWA flying anywhere, not even a focus city in STL for the years that survived.
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DL_Mech
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:07 am

Well, hopefully this question will be answered by 2025.
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
 
Max Q
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:01 am

Quoting F9animal (Reply 14):
TWA would have likely been merged.

Er, maybe i'm missing something but TWA was merged, bought out by AA so I don't understand your premise !
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:04 am

Quoting warden145 (Reply 19):
it seems to me that people are coming down unnecessarily hard

When you count the number of repetitive threads on the same subject, over and over, the reaction isn't really that harsh. It's disrespectful to those who've contributed in past threads to not at least link the previous thread in the OP, asking for an update, instead of treating the contributions made in the past as if they didn't matter.

Quoting warden145 (Reply 19):
even though I essentially knew the answer

I rest my case.
International Homo of Mystery
 
brilondon
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:12 am

Quoting F9animal (Reply 14):
If TWA had survived another year or two, the airline would have been very healthy.

You don't know that, the management were not really on the ball and Frank Lorenzo was in the process of destroying anything he touched.

Quoting F9animal (Reply 14):
TWA would have likely been merged

Yes, AA merged with them or did you just forget that?
Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
 
BOACCunard
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:37 am

Quoting brilondon (Reply 19):
You don't know that, the management were not really on the ball and Frank Lorenzo was in the process of destroying anything he touched.

Frank Lorenzo? In 2001?!
Getting There is Half the Fun!
 
irregking
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:59 am

Here's a pic from the MODIFIED AIRLINERS website, I just thought it's fitting to the topic  http://www.cardatabase.net/modifieda...earch/photo_search.php?id=00005770


disclaimer, before anyone gets the idea to slander this post 
1) this pic is obviously fake/photoshopped
2) I am not the owner/creator of this pic
Worked on: A300,310,319,320,321,332,333,342,343,346,380,B732/3/4/5,744,DC10 -- Currently working on: A380 only
 
einsteinboricua
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:08 pm

The question was answered way back then, but TWA wouldn't have needed 747s. For starters, in the late 1990s the airline began to center around domestic flights rather than longhaul and the A330s would have been able to handle those few international flights.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 17):
Quoting F9animal (Reply 14):
TWA would have likely been merged.

Er, maybe i'm missing something but TWA was merged, bought out by AA so I don't understand your premise !
Quoting brilondon (Reply 19):
Quoting F9animal (Reply 14):
TWA would have likely been merged

Yes, AA merged with them or did you just forget that?

Did you guys read his post? He's talking if TWA had remained in a healthy financial position past 2001, as in, if the airline had been around to see the start of the merger mania era in 2005 when US and HP merged. TWA was nearing bankruptcy again when AMR struck a deal to buy it out.
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
WA707atMSP
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:08 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 11):
The TWA of 1970 had a need for the 747-100,

TWA's president in the 1960s and 1970s, Charles Tillinghast, said in the book "The Sporty Game" that TWA did not need the 747 in the 1970s, and he wished the airline had skipped the 747, and standardized on the L-1011 or DC-10 as their only wide body.

It was very easy to make money with 747s pre-deregulation in the summer, but very hard to fill them the rest of the year.

The only pitfall with Tillinghast's reasoning is that early models of the L-1011 lacked transatlantic range. In the late 1970s, after Rolls Royce worked the bugs out of the RB-211 and was able to make the engines more powerful, TWA upgraded some of their US domestic fleet of TriStars so they could be used on transatlantic routes from the East Coast. The only model of L-1011 that could fly LHR-LAX was the short fuselage L-1011-500, which did not enter service until around 1980, and which TWA did not operate.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:15 pm

Quoting irregking (Reply 21):
Here's a pic from the MODIFIED AIRLINERS website, I just thought it's fitting to the topic  http://www.cardatabase.net/modifieda...earch/photo_search.php?id=00005770

That looks great. Would have been cool to see it in real.
 
winstonlegthigh
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:33 pm

Quoting redtailsforever (Reply 9):
There's actually a scene in the movie Jarhead, with Jake Gyllenhaal, where the troops disembark from a TWA 744 (fantasy cgi of course) in Iraq.

I get the feeling that more than a handful from around here would stand up and walk out upon seeing that.  

**I've never seen or heard of Jarhead**
Never has gravity been so uplifting.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:51 pm

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 22):
The only pitfall with Tillinghast's reasoning is that early models of the L-1011 lacked transatlantic range.

To serve Europe from JFK and BOS they could have had L-1011-100s with the first being delivered during 1975 to SV. That could have been a way to reduce the number of 747 in the fleet.
 
jfk777
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:50 am

Quoting SpaceshipDC10 (Reply 25):
That could have been a way to reduce the number of 747 in the fleet.

TWA did reduce their 747 fleet, they sold 6 to the Imperial Iranian Air Force in 1975 or 76. Some of those 747 are still being sed today in Iran.
 
redtailsforever
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:32 am

Quoting winstonlegthigh (Reply 24):

It defineately was not classic cinema 
 
Max Q
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:24 am

How many 747's did they have altogether ?


And L1011'S ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
DETA737
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:33 am

The problem with the 747s was that they were easy to fill during the summer season, but during the winter TWA had a problem filling such a large plane.

Interestingly enough, in 1996 they were adding capacity to Europe and replacing some of their older 747s with used 747s. Their corporate report shows that the plan was to phase the 747s out by 2003 (the year that Karabu was to end). I think the goal was to keep the 747s flying until Karabu was done and then find a suitable replacement.

During the summer months, JFK-CDG, JFK-FCO and JFK-TLV flights were always full and as late as 1996 TWA was the #1 carrier in the NYC-Italy, NYC-Spain, NYC-Portugal and NYC-Greece markets. There were times that JFK-BCN, JFK-LIS and JFK-MXP were upgraded to 747s due to the heavy bookings. However, TW800 put a nail in the coffin of TWA's turnaround and hampered what was expected to be a profitable year for the company.

One of the major problems with TWA's JFK-Europe flights were that they were full of Karbu pax, making it very hard to make a profit on these flights. JFK-LIS was often as low as $250 roundtrip during the winter months when booked through Icahn's lowestfare.com. The only flights excluded from Karabu were those originating in STL, which is why TWA was trying to add as many flights to STL, including STL-FRA which was meant to return in Spring of 2001.
 
skywaymanaz
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:38 am

Quoting F9animal (Reply 13):
TWA would have likely been merged. I wonder why America West never took a bid?

I'm pretty sure America West did look them over and kick the tires. It was in the news that America West was considering taking over the STL hub leaving TWA with JFK ops only including the transatlantic. I'm not sure if that was on a codeshare with HP or not but remember thinking it was a horrible idea. It never happened...until now US/AA.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:53 am

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 26):
TWA did reduce their 747 fleet, they sold 6 to the Imperial Iranian Air Force in 1975 or 76.

I know. I only forgot they had less 747 than Pan Am.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 28):
How many 747's did they have altogether ?

35 different frames.

Between 1969 and 1971 they took delivery of 19 B747-131, including the four that were previously intended for EA.

During 1975, nine of these aircraft were sold to Boeing and intended for the Iranian Air Force. The following year one was bought back from Boeing (N93119).

1980 - TWA received its three 747SP and one -156 from Iberia.

1981 - Two forner BA -136 were added to the fleet as well as a second -156 from IB.

1984 - Two former TP -282B joined the fleet.

1985 - One former OA -284B and two former SR -257B arrived while one SP was sold.

1986 - The last two SP were sold to AA.

1994 - One former KL & HP -206B was added.

1996 - One ex-AF -128, one former CO, PE and AZ -143 and one former QF -238B were bought while N93119 was destroyed (TW800)

Aside from those already specified, the remaining 747 were withdrawn from use during the '90s.
 
jfk777
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:17 pm

Quoting SpaceshipDC10 (Reply 31):
I know. I only forgot they had less 747 than Pan Am.

TWA was a European operation only, PA had South America and Asia for use of their 747 too. PA had the advantage of opposite seasons since Latin America's high season is during the USA's winter.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:20 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 28):
How many L1011'S ?

TWA took delivery of 38 L-1011s of which:

33....L-1011-1 - 1972 (6), 1973 (8); 1974 (11); 1975 (6); 1976 (2)
5......L-1011-100 - 1981 (2); 1982 (3)

- Two of the L-1011-1 were sold to SV the day following their delivery in 1976.
- 8 L-1011-1 were converted to L-1011-50 -1981(5) and 1984 (3).
- 6 L-1011-1 were converted to -100 during 1978, of which two were converted to L-1011-200 and leased to DL 1978-1980.
- 2 L-1011-1 were destroyed by fire in 1974 and 1982.
- 2 L-1011-1 were leased to Gulf Air (1977-1981) and one to Eastern (1974-1975).

In addition TW also leased three L-1011-1 from Eastern between 1972 and 1975.
 
777STL
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:23 pm

No way.

TW was essentially a domestic airline in its final days with a few token international routes, mostly out of JFK. They would have had absolutely no use for the uplift of a 744.
PHX based
 
Viscount724
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:24 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 26):
TWA did reduce their 747 fleet, they sold 6 to the Imperial Iranian Air Force in 1975 or 76. Some of those 747 are still being sed today in Iran.

It's my recollection that TWA sold the aircraft back to Boeing and Boeing sold them to the Iranian Air Force.
 
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TVNWZ
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:53 pm

Quoting skywaymanaz (Reply 30):

Not sure that was discussed. However TW and HP did have a codeshare agreement starting in 2001. Didn't last long.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:02 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 35):
It's my recollection that TWA sold the aircraft back to Boeing and Boeing sold them to the Iranian Air Force.

That's correct, except for one that was bought back by TWA.
 
Max Q
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RE: Did TWA Have Plans To Order The B747-400?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:14 am

Great info SpDC10.


Thanks for that.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.

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