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Who Is Carl Icahn

Tue Jul 03, 2001 3:14 am

who is he?
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RE: Who Is Carl Icahn

Tue Jul 03, 2001 3:18 am

Carl Icahn is a benevolent investment banker who specializes in financing startup carriers.
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RE: Who Is Carl Icahn

Tue Jul 03, 2001 8:13 am

He almost killed Continental. He destroyed TWA. He is generally despised...
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RE: Who Is Carl Icahn

Tue Jul 03, 2001 8:17 am

No, TWA destroyed itself. He just tried to rescue it, but instead sold its assets  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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RE: Who Is Carl Icahn

Tue Jul 03, 2001 8:27 am

He is truely despised by some in aviation, especially labor. Then, too, possibly appreciated by some airline CEO's for his lightning-rod effect.

But, in all fairness, he is cut from the same cloth as some of the previous airline CEO's: shrewd businessman, ready to jump on opportunities, eager to test limits, happy to maximize profits. Not necessarily focused on the long-term stability of an airline; more inclined to buy at a fire-sale and turn a tidy profit selling out the separate units.
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RE: Who Is Carl Icahn

Tue Jul 03, 2001 1:02 pm

Blamed by many for the demise of TWA, had nothing to do with Continental.
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RE: Who Is Carl Icahn

Tue Jul 03, 2001 1:07 pm

Put simply, the exact antithesis of Herb Kelleher.
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RE: Who Is Carl Icahn

Tue Jul 03, 2001 1:20 pm

Frank Lorenzo and his partner in crime Frank Borman were responsible for the near disaster at CO unfortionalty Eastern Airlines wasn't that lucky to make it like CO.

Carl Ichan was bought in to help TWA get out of it's financial troubles due to bad management. Carl Ichan surprisnly tried to help the airline but when all else failed; there was just one thing left to do... Sell it of piece by peice. Of course that was nipped in the bud but the airline had suffered like a cancer patient for the 10 years it lived pulling out of europen destinations left and right and the questionalbe decisions it made in that time. Karabu was another thing but Ichan wanted his money. TWA was doomed even before Ichan. Only a matter of when and how. The managment that hired him actually wanted him bad because Lorenzo was actually supposed to come on if Ichan didn't step in. The management thought it was better to have Ichan than Lorenzo.

RE: Who Is Carl Icahn

Tue Jul 03, 2001 2:13 pm

As I understand the TWA history, Virgin340's statement is correct: "TWA was doomed before Icahn; only a matter of when and how".

It is ironic that TWA was recovering and could have made it recently, if not for the Karabu deal with Icahn; but, the important point to recognize is TWA would not have had the chance to restructure and upgrade their fleet if Icahn had not bailed them out years ago (with the Karabu deal). It seems strange to me that, years ago, we bailed out Chrysler, but recently, we effectively told Icahn to shove his Karabu deal so that AAL could acquire TWA. Such is politics...

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RE: Who Is Carl Icahn

Tue Jul 03, 2001 2:36 pm

TWA was doomed. Perhaps if herb had quit southwest and focused all his attention on TWA he may have been able to save some of it, but why would herb quit SWA. anyways... Icahn is not really as bad as people make him out to be.
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RE: Who Is Carl Icahn

Wed Jul 04, 2001 4:41 am

Theres a good article on TWA in the Airliner World current issue


RE: Who Is Carl Icahn

Wed Jul 04, 2001 6:12 am

Intersting hypothetical: if Herb Kelleher had quit SWA to save TWA...

...I strongly doubt it would have worked. Incompatible mix.
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RE: Who Is Carl Icahn

Wed Jul 04, 2001 6:51 am

You could compare him with Darth Vader.
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You Are All Right (sort Of)

Wed Jul 04, 2001 10:02 am

I think that all of the above statements are somewhat true, and it is all based primarily on one's opinion. If you are organized labor, you despise Icahn and Frank Lorenzo. On the other hand, the folks at TWA practically begged Carl Icahn to take over (so that Lorenzo could not.) While TWA was in deep trouble long before Icahn ever entered the picture, and his Karabu deal was a settlement made because TWA was unable to pay money that supposedly they owed him. But guys like him hurt the aviation industry because they don't focus on employee morale, which is a key ingredient to a successful airline (just look at SWA.)
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RE: Who Is Carl Icahn

Wed Jul 04, 2001 2:38 pm

Long before Ichan it was Howard Hughes that messed it up good. According to the veterns he was called the "Carl Ichan with a heart" He was great with the employees; until his 1947 firing of Jack Frye. He was the one wanting to save the airline but his advisor was no where near as caring he was twice as bad as Ichan. By the time Hughes had stopped listening to him. It was too late. The employees hated him and never trusted him again. The other reason TWA went under was the deal they made with PA. They were given antitrust immunity in 1975 to perform route cutbacks In that deal TW would stop service Eat of BOM and west of LAX cutting out HKG, Okinawa, Guam and suspending flights to PA's Euro hub at FRA while PA dramatically redued flight's to TWA's hub at CDG, as well as Spain, Portigual and Maracco ans also pulled their DTW-London. TWA also pulled out of Ireland and several points in Africa. The result was grounding of 24 L-1011s and 4 747s. This cutback would only last 5 years but by that time TWA was in debt. They returned to FRA and HNL. They never returend to the far east.

Comapred to PA I don't think TWA would have a chance in hell. I'm surprised they didn't cut out BOM soom enough. Due to firece competition by PA, AI and BA among others.

But for those of you who state that when PA went uder TWA could've made a comeback. Don't even try. UAL bought the enire package incuding 16 747SPS and alot of PA's L-1011-500s including Intra Asian routes. TWA's problem would also be compounded by NWA they are neck to neck with UAL in the Pacific. TWA with only a little over than 6 destinations with only so amny flights wouldn't be able to compete.

TWA was great while it lasted but theres only so much money that can be invested and so much that can be done. The plug had to be pulled before the operating costs went any higher. Their credit and finacial situation was too far beyond damage control. I don't think Gordon Bethune could've saved this one. They only way to prevent TWA from going under was to buy it out or let it die.
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Route Network

Wed Jul 04, 2001 2:42 pm

does anyone have a map of the extent of the TWA route network at its peak??? if so please contact me at
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RE: Who Is Carl Icahn

Wed Jul 04, 2001 11:16 pm

I would also like a route network at their peak; Even though TWA wasn't no where near spread out like PA but they did circle the globe even though TWA only had about 6 or so destination in the Pacific. The route map I have doesn't incude the pacific destinations but they did fly to BOM, Turkey. Middle East. But the route map I have doesn't have them in Africa or Asia aside from BOM.

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