CriticalPoint
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Re: Kirby: I expect we’ll become [united] the worlds largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:55 pm

sassiciai wrote:
What's all the focus on "biggest"? Oft stated, "Biggest isn't Best"

I have never experienced UA, my flights to/from the USA were mostly only European airlines. I had one return BRU - Chicago with AA, and a number of US domestic flights. Those allowed me to at least understand the comments about the perceived general level of service on US airlines, versus those of European or Asian carriers! Certainly my 2 AA flights were a bit of a shock to me because of the atrocious service from a disinterested cabin crew

Maybe the US Management and Mr Kirby might wish to address the "Quality" of the product UA offers, rather than race to become the biggest, offering poor levels of service! Maybe he could aim to kindle the race to become the Best!



Try The new United Polaris then get back to us.

Being biggest isn't about being big its about the route network. You can't have the biggest route network without being the biggest airline. The bigger the route network the bigger the customer base, the bigger the customer base the bigger the profits.
 
LAXdude1023
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Re: Kirby: I expect we’ll become [united] the worlds largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:57 pm

My current beef with UA is flying ERJ's on markets like IAH-CLE/CMH/IND. Those markets should at least have E170/175s on them fully.
"I dance and laugh among the rotten"
 
CriticalPoint
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Re: Kirby: I expect we’ll become [united] the worlds largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:02 pm

LAXdude1023 wrote:
My current beef with UA is flying ERJ's on markets like IAH-CLE/CMH/IND. Those markets should at least have E170/175s on them fully.


United needs more airplanes.....Its not like they have a 175 just sitting there not doing anything just so they can fly an ERJ to those markets. the first of 161 MAXs start coming next year and you will see alot of market shifting.
 
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tlecam
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Re: Kirby: I expect we’ll become [united] the worlds largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:04 pm

I'm curious about what the growth goals mean for the fleet. It seems like there is a pretty big gap between the largest of the RJ's and the smallest of the mainline, especially since UA has been clear that they're not interested the C series, and also given the scope clauses they have regarding adding more RJ flying.

I don't have an answer, I'm just curious about how this domestic growth translates into routes and fleet.
BOS-LGA-JFK | A:319/20/21, 332/3, 346 || B:717, 735, 737, 738, 739, 752, 753, 762, 763, 764, 787, 772, 744 || MD80, MD90
 
NYCVIE
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Re: Kirby: I expect we’ll become [united] the worlds largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:11 pm

fastmover wrote:
Jamake1 wrote:
Super80Fan wrote:
His words basically mean they want to gobble up B6. Would give them access to JFK, BOS, MCO, FLL, SJU, and all the Airbus A320/A321's along with E190's they can eat.


This is one instance where, "Never say never" does not apply. A UA-B6 combination will never happen.


You guys kill me mixing Wall St, airlines and the word never. It's been said many many times on here that JetBlue can't really go anywhere and they are pretty much an AirTran. (I don't agree) What if the JetBlue board thinks that as well and puts out the for sale sign? Do we really think the big 3 want SWA to he it's hands on JetBlue? This would be a defensive and offensive play by United. You stop JetBlue you stop SWA from getting JetBlue. You take what you want sell the rest. You get a large chunk of domestic feed and a nice little hub in FLL. You can check DL up in Boston and make it back to JFK. Let SWA have LGB and kill all of the B6 codeshares.
Will it happen I don't know but watching the industry as I have for over 20 years and working in it I am shocked people still think things can't happen.



lol, at this point none of the big 4 US carriers would be able to purchase B6 without giving up a significant part of it which would really defeat the purpose.

UA and B6 have heavy overlap at EWR/JFK.
DL and B6 have heavy overlap at JFK and to a much smaller extent BOS
AA and B6 have heavy overlap at FLL and to a much lesser extent JFK.
WN and B6 have heavy overlap at FLL and MCO.

Not gonna happen anytime soon.
 
commavia
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Re: Kirby: I expect we’ll become [united] the worlds largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:15 pm

diverdave wrote:
This. I would hardly expect AA and DL to sit idly by and continue their capacity restraint while UA is bumping their capacity at a 5% rate.


Agreed.

ckfred wrote:
This leads to the second thought. Airlines used to chase market share, by adding flights and using larger planes to increase seats in a market. The problem with that is too many seats often leads to lower fares, in order to fill those seats. If UA starts adding more and more seats, it could very well lead to lower prices, in order to fill them. Of course, if UA lowers prices in a market, all competitors will do the same. Then, the smart management we have seen over the past five to ten years will devolve into what we saw in the 1980s and 1990s, when airlines were only profitable during good economic times, and very unprofitable when any sort of economic downturn cut back on business and leisure travel.


And this is precisely the pushback that United management is going to hear - and, indeed, is already hearing - as it continues to expand capacity at a rater materially faster than its major peer competitors. Analysts are going to question whether United management is truly growing profitably, or whether it is simply saturating the market with additional seats that will drive down yields for every airline, including United, and if, by extension, we're back to the share-driven, value-dilutive management philosophy that dominated the industry for much of the first three decades of deregulation. Thus why, again, the only real question is whether United management has the fortitude and conviction to increase capacity at that rate in spite of inevitable Wall St objections.
 
Indy
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:25 pm

Challenge to Kirby: Instead of shooting for a meaningless title like "biggest airline", why not shoot for something more relevant like "better airline." What is the point of being biggest when all you are doing is providing poor service at a very large scale? Not really something to be proud of. Improving the quality of your service and getting better reviews from your customers would be something to be proud of.
Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
 
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william
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:39 pm

Indy wrote:
Challenge to Kirby: Instead of shooting for a meaningless title like "biggest airline", why not shoot for something more relevant like "better airline." What is the point of being biggest when all you are doing is providing poor service at a very large scale? Not really something to be proud of. Improving the quality of your service and getting better reviews from your customers would be something to be proud of.


What poor service do you speak of? When United flies me on time through IAH or DEN, provides me with wifi, window seat, and my checked luggage within thirty minutes of landing, I am happy.
 
AviationAddict
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:47 pm

william wrote:
Indy wrote:
Challenge to Kirby: Instead of shooting for a meaningless title like "biggest airline", why not shoot for something more relevant like "better airline." What is the point of being biggest when all you are doing is providing poor service at a very large scale? Not really something to be proud of. Improving the quality of your service and getting better reviews from your customers would be something to be proud of.


What poor service do you speak of? When United flies me on time through IAH or DEN, provides me with wifi, window seat, and my checked luggage within thirty minutes of landing, I am happy.


I'd have to agree with you william. I've been splitting my time between UA and B6 for the past 4+ years and I have to say I haven't noticed a major difference between the customer service with either carrier. I'd be lying if I said I thought UA was better than B6 on that front but, at the same time, I don't think they are any worse. However, from the standpoint of amenities and valued added items then I think UA is far and away better than B6 and comparable to both AA and DL. Obviously this is a subjective area and some people will feel having the free TV on B6 is better but, as whole package I think what UA offers is far superior and only getting better. The UA mobile app is one of the best out there, in my opinion.
 
fun2fly
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:58 pm

UA certainly has the wide and narrow body order book to make it work at 5%. The question is really are the PAX there. Most of their new routes have been successes with a few still young. If they keep winning at a high rate, they will be fuel efficient and growing past the competition. The issue with the airline industry is you can't control your own destiny. So, things like natural disasters, volcanoes, economic downturn all play your hand for you. With that in mind, UA may plan to grow past the competition, but the world may have it the other way. Growing gates at hubs will also start to pay off soon.
 
jplatts
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Re: Kirby: I expect we’ll become [united] the worlds largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:02 pm

NYCVIE wrote:
lol, at this point none of the big 4 US carriers would be able to purchase B6 without giving up a significant part of it which would really defeat the purpose.

UA and B6 have heavy overlap at EWR/JFK.
DL and B6 have heavy overlap at JFK and to a much smaller extent BOS
AA and B6 have heavy overlap at FLL and to a much lesser extent JFK.
WN and B6 have heavy overlap at FLL and MCO.

Not gonna happen anytime soon.


Southwest will not pursue a merger with jetBlue anytime soon, not only because of overlap at FLL and MCO, but also because jetBlue operates service out of JFK that competes against Southwest service out of LGA, because jetBlue operates service out of BOS that competes against Southwest service out of BOS, because jetBlue operates service out of LGB that competes against Southwest service out of LGB, LAX, and SNA, and because jetBlue operates Airbus and E190 planes whereas Southwest only operates Boeing planes.
 
rta
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:13 pm

Indy wrote:
Challenge to Kirby: Instead of shooting for a meaningless title like "biggest airline", why not shoot for something more relevant like "better airline." What is the point of being biggest when all you are doing is providing poor service at a very large scale? Not really something to be proud of. Improving the quality of your service and getting better reviews from your customers would be something to be proud of.


I'm tired of hearing this false narrative. I fly all 3 - AA, DL, and UA and can assure you that they all virtually offer the same amenities and levels of service.
 
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sassiciai
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:18 pm

rta wrote:
Indy wrote:
Challenge to Kirby: Instead of shooting for a meaningless title like "biggest airline", why not shoot for something more relevant like "better airline." What is the point of being biggest when all you are doing is providing poor service at a very large scale? Not really something to be proud of. Improving the quality of your service and getting better reviews from your customers would be something to be proud of.


I'm tired of hearing this false narrative. I fly all 3 - AA, DL, and UA and can assure you that they all virtually offer the same amenities and levels of service.

So give us all your opinion, please

How do these Big 3 compare?

Your thoughts are of interest here!
 
airzona11
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:39 pm

sassiciai wrote:
rta wrote:
Indy wrote:
Challenge to Kirby: Instead of shooting for a meaningless title like "biggest airline", why not shoot for something more relevant like "better airline." What is the point of being biggest when all you are doing is providing poor service at a very large scale? Not really something to be proud of. Improving the quality of your service and getting better reviews from your customers would be something to be proud of.


I'm tired of hearing this false narrative. I fly all 3 - AA, DL, and UA and can assure you that they all virtually offer the same amenities and levels of service.

So give us all your opinion, please

How do these Big 3 compare?

Your thoughts are of interest here!


For me, UAs large inventory of Economy Plus seats are awesome. As a *Gold, even Silver, I never flew in regular Y. On AA, since I am out West, any A321 or A320 probably won't at Y+, and on planes that do, there is only a small number.

Other than that, there is no difference.

I think SFO and LAX in particular might start to see more domestic widebodies, there are only so many flights they can fly space wise, so 739/7310s will have much of the narrowbody flights and more domestic 767/787/777 tags.
 
rta
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:02 pm

sassiciai wrote:
rta wrote:
Indy wrote:
Challenge to Kirby: Instead of shooting for a meaningless title like "biggest airline", why not shoot for something more relevant like "better airline." What is the point of being biggest when all you are doing is providing poor service at a very large scale? Not really something to be proud of. Improving the quality of your service and getting better reviews from your customers would be something to be proud of.


I'm tired of hearing this false narrative. I fly all 3 - AA, DL, and UA and can assure you that they all virtually offer the same amenities and levels of service.

So give us all your opinion, please

How do these Big 3 compare?

Your thoughts are of interest here!


They all charge similar prices, have similar rules and fees, and offer the same amenities (WiFi, snacks, economy plus seating, etc). They all have their share of helpful and unhelpful employees, and if you fly them all enough, you'll probably get stranded somewhere at some point. There are some small nuances (such as AA hiding open seats on their seat maps to non-elites) however in the grand scheme of things they are not significant.

The biggest difference between them are their relative network strengths depending on where their hubs are (UA has more nonstops to/from Houston, while DL has more nonstops to/from Atlanta). If you're flying an itinerary with a connection (say PBI to PDX), then they can all take you there with 1 stop - but will offer different ways to get there (connection airport, connection time, and aircraft type). At that point, it just comes to a personal preference. Many times, one airline will have a price advantage that will encourage you to fly them. But in the case they all have the same price and schedule it is honestly a toss up, and you may just choose to fly whoever you already have a milage balance with.

The "service" between the big 3 is never a consideration when I'm booking flights as they are basically the same.
 
Indy
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:45 pm

rta wrote:
Indy wrote:
Challenge to Kirby: Instead of shooting for a meaningless title like "biggest airline", why not shoot for something more relevant like "better airline." What is the point of being biggest when all you are doing is providing poor service at a very large scale? Not really something to be proud of. Improving the quality of your service and getting better reviews from your customers would be something to be proud of.


I'm tired of hearing this false narrative. I fly all 3 - AA, DL, and UA and can assure you that they all virtually offer the same amenities and levels of service.


Here is your "false narrative." Got anything constructive to say now?

http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/j ... tion-study

United was ranked below Alaska, Delta and American for traditional carriers. Their score would have them ranked below Southwest and JetBlue as well. So there you go. Work on being better instead of bigger.
Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Kirby: I expect we’ll become [united] the worlds largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:06 pm

LAXintl wrote:
UA has already told the market they plan ~5% growth in coming years. AA is essentially flat, a slight uptick in ASMs due seat densification and DL has stated ~2% growth forecast.

Kirby has previously stated that UA is too small domestically and need to grow scale.


UA doesn't have the cost structure to take share domestically, not against DL or AA, and certainly not against Spirit, Alaska, Southwest or JetBlue. United wasted fifteen years wandering in the wilderness, shrinking to profitability, begging to be acquired, and repeated service degredations in the Smisek years. It's strategic time has passed. It may get another chance if AA or DL do something incredibly big incredibly stupidly - but that's opportunism, not a business plan. Look at market caps among the big 4 U.S. carriers and see who professionals think will make money.
 
airliner371
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Re: Kirby: I expect we’ll become [united] the worlds largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:12 pm

jplatts wrote:
NYCVIE wrote:
lol, at this point none of the big 4 US carriers would be able to purchase B6 without giving up a significant part of it which would really defeat the purpose.

UA and B6 have heavy overlap at EWR/JFK.
DL and B6 have heavy overlap at JFK and to a much smaller extent BOS
AA and B6 have heavy overlap at FLL and to a much lesser extent JFK.
WN and B6 have heavy overlap at FLL and MCO.

Not gonna happen anytime soon.


Southwest will not pursue a merger with jetBlue anytime soon, not only because of overlap at FLL and MCO, but also because jetBlue operates service out of JFK that competes against Southwest service out of LGA, because jetBlue operates service out of BOS that competes against Southwest service out of BOS, because jetBlue operates service out of LGB that competes against Southwest service out of LGB, LAX, and SNA, and because jetBlue operates Airbus and E190 planes whereas Southwest only operates Boeing planes.

Everything I bolded is a moot point. NYC service would not be an issue because Southwest is tiny in NYC. BOS wouldn't be an issue because again, Southwest is tiny in BOS. LGB wouldn't be an issue because again, Southwest is tiny at LGB.

Should there be a merger one day, there would likely be a small hand-full of slots divested at DCA, and that's about it. Southwest could easily fit JetBlue in airside 2 at MCO and give the gates to Spirit or any airline that would likely want to expand there. Southwest could also divest of some of B6's gates at FLL and consolidate at T1, leaving additional gates for other airlines. And the fleet, well with 700+ WN planes, JetBlue's fleet wouldn't really be a big deal anymore. You're really dead wrong but have a great day.
 
rta
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:23 pm

Indy wrote:
rta wrote:
Indy wrote:
Challenge to Kirby: Instead of shooting for a meaningless title like "biggest airline", why not shoot for something more relevant like "better airline." What is the point of being biggest when all you are doing is providing poor service at a very large scale? Not really something to be proud of. Improving the quality of your service and getting better reviews from your customers would be something to be proud of.


I'm tired of hearing this false narrative. I fly all 3 - AA, DL, and UA and can assure you that they all virtually offer the same amenities and levels of service.


Here is your "false narrative." Got anything constructive to say now?

http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/j ... tion-study

United was ranked below Alaska, Delta and American for traditional carriers. Their score would have them ranked below Southwest and JetBlue as well. So there you go. Work on being better instead of bigger.


Alaska doesn't face the same challenges as AA, DL, and UA. They are a significantly smaller airline in terms of fleet size, destinations, and daily departures. At best, they're 30% of the size of UA, the smallest of the Big 3.

That data is pretty much useless (what is their methodology? How do you properly compare overhead bin space not being available?) BUT, even if you want to take it at face value: There is very little spread on that data. On a 1000 point scale, UA was 42 points off from DL and AA was 22 points off from DL - again proving my point that there is virtually no difference between them.
 
Chemist
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:30 pm

flyguy84 wrote:
In a town-hall with employees at LAX, Scott Kirby said he fully expects United to become the worlds largest airline.


Oh the horror.
 
jetmatt777
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:31 pm

rta wrote:
Indy wrote:
rta wrote:

I'm tired of hearing this false narrative. I fly all 3 - AA, DL, and UA and can assure you that they all virtually offer the same amenities and levels of service.


Here is your "false narrative." Got anything constructive to say now?

http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/j ... tion-study

United was ranked below Alaska, Delta and American for traditional carriers. Their score would have them ranked below Southwest and JetBlue as well. So there you go. Work on being better instead of bigger.


Alaska doesn't face the same challenges as AA, DL, and UA. They are a significantly smaller airline in terms of fleet size, destinations, and daily departures. At best, they're 30% of the size of UA, the smallest of the Big 3.

That data is pretty much useless (what is their methodology? How do you properly compare overhead bin space not being available?) BUT, even if you want to take it at face value: There is very little spread on that data. On a 1000 point scale, UA was 42 points off from DL and AA was 22 points off from DL - again proving my point that there is virtually no difference between them.


Not only that, but many of the changes that need to take place to allow them to grow will also be customer service improvements. Newer airplane, less RJ's, and better schedules at airports with better reliability (mainline being more reliable than regional) will drive customer service metrics. A flyer out of OKC or TUL who primarily gets an RJ that is 65% on time, will be more satisfied when more mainline aircraft are in the schedule that are running a 80-90% on time with a 98%+ completion factor.
Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand and take it easy
 
rta
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:35 pm

jetmatt777 wrote:
rta wrote:
Indy wrote:

Here is your "false narrative." Got anything constructive to say now?

http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/j ... tion-study

United was ranked below Alaska, Delta and American for traditional carriers. Their score would have them ranked below Southwest and JetBlue as well. So there you go. Work on being better instead of bigger.


Alaska doesn't face the same challenges as AA, DL, and UA. They are a significantly smaller airline in terms of fleet size, destinations, and daily departures. At best, they're 30% of the size of UA, the smallest of the Big 3.

That data is pretty much useless (what is their methodology? How do you properly compare overhead bin space not being available?) BUT, even if you want to take it at face value: There is very little spread on that data. On a 1000 point scale, UA was 42 points off from DL and AA was 22 points off from DL - again proving my point that there is virtually no difference between them.


Not only that, but many of the changes that need to take place to allow them to grow will also be customer service improvements. Newer airplane, less RJ's, and better schedules at airports with better reliability (mainline being more reliable than regional) will drive customer service metrics. A flyer out of OKC or TUL who primarily gets an RJ that is 65% on time, will be more satisfied when more mainline aircraft are in the schedule that are running a 80-90% on time with a 98%+ completion factor.


Completely agree. At this point, United's relative size (particularly in the domestic sphere) is the biggest issue for them.
 
ADrum23
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:36 pm

This is a reply to the post that said UA needs to solve their southeastern problem. If UA wants to establish a mini-hub/focus city in the southeast (like DL has done to RDU), it needs to look no further than BNA.

Why?

1. Of all the first tier city airports in the southeast (for purposes of this conversation, southeast is defined as Tennessee, the Carolinas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida), which include ATL, CLT, RDU, BNA, MIA, FLL and MCO, BNA is the only major one of those that does not have a significant presence of any of the "big three" legacy carriers (UA, AA, DL) or is overcrowded with airlines that entering would not be feasible (that's mainly the Florida airports). This makes it a prime candidate for one of them to up operations and perhaps turn BNA into a focus city.

2. United and its star alliance partners (Air Canada) virtually have Concourse A all to themselves at BNA. Yes, there is the tiny IAB building connected to Concourse A, but the BNA Vision will construct a large, new IAB in the center of the airport and demolish the existing one. This would (long-term) free up UA to rebuild/expand the Concourse (which there is a fair amount of room to do) with the number of gates it needs for a focus city/mini hub operation and construct a United Club.

3. BNA wants a direct flight to Tokyo, even though it is not likely to happen for a while yet. However, having a United focus city/mini-hub at BNA would make the airport more attractive to carriers like ANA and would greatly aid in the landing of the flight.

4. WN wouldn't be as big of an issue as people may think. While Southwest has a sizable presence at BNA, they don't control a supermajority (more than 60%) of the traffic there, thus, there is some room for some competition. WN is in Concourse C anyway, and this hypothetical UA focus city/mini-hub would be in an (expanded) Concourse A.

I know this probably won't happen, but it is an interesting idea nonetheless. I am not a huge fan of UA, but I'd welcome any attempt by any of the legacy carriers to make BNA into a focus city.
 
Varsity1
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:01 am

ADrum23 wrote:
This is a reply to the post that said UA needs to solve their southeastern problem. If UA wants to establish a mini-hub/focus city in the southeast (like DL has done to RDU), it needs to look no further than BNA.

Why?

1. Of all the first tier city airports in the southeast (for purposes of this conversation, southeast is defined as Tennessee, the Carolinas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida), which include ATL, CLT, RDU, BNA, MIA, FLL and MCO, BNA is the only major one of those that does not have a significant presence of any of the "big three" legacy carriers (UA, AA, DL) or is overcrowded with airlines that entering would not be feasible (that's mainly the Florida airports). This makes it a prime candidate for one of them to up operations and perhaps turn BNA into a focus city.

2. United and its star alliance partners (Air Canada) virtually have Concourse A all to themselves at BNA. Yes, there is the tiny IAB building connected to Concourse A, but the BNA Vision will construct a large, new IAB in the center of the airport and demolish the existing one. This would (long-term) free up UA to rebuild/expand the Concourse (which there is a fair amount of room to do) with the number of gates it needs for a focus city/mini hub operation and construct a United Club.

3. BNA wants a direct flight to Tokyo, even though it is not likely to happen for a while yet. However, having a United focus city/mini-hub at BNA would make the airport more attractive to carriers like ANA and would greatly aid in the landing of the flight.

4. WN wouldn't be as big of an issue as people may think. While Southwest has a sizable presence at BNA, they don't control a supermajority (more than 60%) of the traffic there, thus, there is some room for some competition. WN is in Concourse C anyway, and this hypothetical UA focus city/mini-hub would be in an (expanded) Concourse A.

I know this probably won't happen, but it is an interesting idea nonetheless. I am not a huge fan of UA, but I'd welcome any attempt by any of the legacy carriers to make BNA into a focus city.


Keep dreaming.

UA has the best chance of the Big 3 to achieve serious fleet synergies. The PMUA A320's are getting old. If they were all replaced with 737's, along with the full seniority list integration, UA could become quite efficient domestically. Near WN or AS levels.
"PPRuNe will no longer allow discussions regarding Etihad Airlines, its employees, executives, agents, or other representatives. Such threads will be deleted." - ME3 thug airlines suing anyone who brings negative information public..
 
Bald1983
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:52 am

flyguy84 wrote:
In a town-hall with employees at LAX, Scott Kirby said he fully expects United to become the worlds largest airline. He also said that airbus orders are not off the table but they aren’t able to get a competitive price today due to deals Airbus has entered into with other airlines.

Do you think United can grow organically into the worlds largest airline or was he hinting at a possible acquisition down the road?


I would rather UAL focus on becoming the most profitable airline with a good product.
 
Bald1983
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Re: Kirby: I expect we’ll become [united] the worlds largest airline

Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:59 am

LAXdude1023 wrote:
My current beef with UA is flying ERJ's on markets like IAH-CLE/CMH/IND. Those markets should at least have E170/175s on them fully.


It would be nice if they upgrade the planes used to LAX. Seems absurd that Seattle to LAX is regional.
 
ADrum23
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:14 am

Varsity1 wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
This is a reply to the post that said UA needs to solve their southeastern problem. If UA wants to establish a mini-hub/focus city in the southeast (like DL has done to RDU), it needs to look no further than BNA.

Why?

1. Of all the first tier city airports in the southeast (for purposes of this conversation, southeast is defined as Tennessee, the Carolinas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida), which include ATL, CLT, RDU, BNA, MIA, FLL and MCO, BNA is the only major one of those that does not have a significant presence of any of the "big three" legacy carriers (UA, AA, DL) or is overcrowded with airlines that entering would not be feasible (that's mainly the Florida airports). This makes it a prime candidate for one of them to up operations and perhaps turn BNA into a focus city.

2. United and its star alliance partners (Air Canada) virtually have Concourse A all to themselves at BNA. Yes, there is the tiny IAB building connected to Concourse A, but the BNA Vision will construct a large, new IAB in the center of the airport and demolish the existing one. This would (long-term) free up UA to rebuild/expand the Concourse (which there is a fair amount of room to do) with the number of gates it needs for a focus city/mini hub operation and construct a United Club.

3. BNA wants a direct flight to Tokyo, even though it is not likely to happen for a while yet. However, having a United focus city/mini-hub at BNA would make the airport more attractive to carriers like ANA and would greatly aid in the landing of the flight.

4. WN wouldn't be as big of an issue as people may think. While Southwest has a sizable presence at BNA, they don't control a supermajority (more than 60%) of the traffic there, thus, there is some room for some competition. WN is in Concourse C anyway, and this hypothetical UA focus city/mini-hub would be in an (expanded) Concourse A.

I know this probably won't happen, but it is an interesting idea nonetheless. I am not a huge fan of UA, but I'd welcome any attempt by any of the legacy carriers to make BNA into a focus city.


Keep dreaming.

UA has the best chance of the Big 3 to achieve serious fleet synergies. The PMUA A320's are getting old. If they were all replaced with 737's, along with the full seniority list integration, UA could become quite efficient domestically. Near WN or AS levels.


So you support this or no?
 
Varsity1
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:19 am

ADrum23 wrote:
Varsity1 wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
This is a reply to the post that said UA needs to solve their southeastern problem. If UA wants to establish a mini-hub/focus city in the southeast (like DL has done to RDU), it needs to look no further than BNA.

Why?

1. Of all the first tier city airports in the southeast (for purposes of this conversation, southeast is defined as Tennessee, the Carolinas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida), which include ATL, CLT, RDU, BNA, MIA, FLL and MCO, BNA is the only major one of those that does not have a significant presence of any of the "big three" legacy carriers (UA, AA, DL) or is overcrowded with airlines that entering would not be feasible (that's mainly the Florida airports). This makes it a prime candidate for one of them to up operations and perhaps turn BNA into a focus city.

2. United and its star alliance partners (Air Canada) virtually have Concourse A all to themselves at BNA. Yes, there is the tiny IAB building connected to Concourse A, but the BNA Vision will construct a large, new IAB in the center of the airport and demolish the existing one. This would (long-term) free up UA to rebuild/expand the Concourse (which there is a fair amount of room to do) with the number of gates it needs for a focus city/mini hub operation and construct a United Club.

3. BNA wants a direct flight to Tokyo, even though it is not likely to happen for a while yet. However, having a United focus city/mini-hub at BNA would make the airport more attractive to carriers like ANA and would greatly aid in the landing of the flight.

4. WN wouldn't be as big of an issue as people may think. While Southwest has a sizable presence at BNA, they don't control a supermajority (more than 60%) of the traffic there, thus, there is some room for some competition. WN is in Concourse C anyway, and this hypothetical UA focus city/mini-hub would be in an (expanded) Concourse A.

I know this probably won't happen, but it is an interesting idea nonetheless. I am not a huge fan of UA, but I'd welcome any attempt by any of the legacy carriers to make BNA into a focus city.


Keep dreaming.

UA has the best chance of the Big 3 to achieve serious fleet synergies. The PMUA A320's are getting old. If they were all replaced with 737's, along with the full seniority list integration, UA could become quite efficient domestically. Near WN or AS levels.


So you support this or no?


I have no opinion on it.

I think UA has bigger fish to fry at the moment. Consolidating hubs, seniority integration, fleet synergies, route map optimization.
"PPRuNe will no longer allow discussions regarding Etihad Airlines, its employees, executives, agents, or other representatives. Such threads will be deleted." - ME3 thug airlines suing anyone who brings negative information public..
 
ADrum23
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:38 am

Varsity1 wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
Varsity1 wrote:

Keep dreaming.

UA has the best chance of the Big 3 to achieve serious fleet synergies. The PMUA A320's are getting old. If they were all replaced with 737's, along with the full seniority list integration, UA could become quite efficient domestically. Near WN or AS levels.


So you support this or no?


I have no opinion on it.

I think UA has bigger fish to fry at the moment. Consolidating hubs, seniority integration, fleet synergies, route map optimization.


It’s just something for UA to think about if they ever want a SE focus city/hub.

UA Consolidating hubs? UA has the best hub network IMO. If anyone needs to consolidate hubs, it’s DL, big time. They have too many and are too close to one another.
 
Antarius
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:00 am

Varsity1 wrote:
ADrum23 wrote:
Varsity1 wrote:

Keep dreaming.

UA has the best chance of the Big 3 to achieve serious fleet synergies. The PMUA A320's are getting old. If they were all replaced with 737's, along with the full seniority list integration, UA could become quite efficient domestically. Near WN or AS levels.


So you support this or no?


I have no opinion on it.

I think UA has bigger fish to fry at the moment. Consolidating hubs, seniority integration, fleet synergies, route map optimization.


Agreed. And this is why the measuring contest on "biggest" is meaningless.
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commavia
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:16 am

Varsity1 wrote:
UA has the best chance of the Big 3 to achieve serious fleet synergies. The PMUA A320's are getting old. If they were all replaced with 737's, along with the full seniority list integration, UA could become quite efficient domestically. Near WN or AS levels.


I'm not so sure. I think AA will likely give United a run for its money in the "fleet synergies" department. Depending on what happens with the A320s, it is entirely conceivable that - within a few years - AA could be operating essentially three primary domestic aircraft types for most scheduling purposes: 125 128-seat A319s, >300 172-seat 737s and >300 190-seat A321s. There will obviously still be technical and configuration differences between LUS/LAA A319s and LUS/LAA A321ceo/neo, and obviously still various operational considerations in terms of payload, range, airfield/facility limitations, etc. But still, that is an incredible amount of scale economies and an incredible amount of fleet efficiency and flexibility.

I'm not saying that United doesn't also have major opportunity for fleet simplification, standardization and "synergies." United clearly does. I'm just not sure it will be all that big a competitive advantage for United - at least compared to AA.

Varsity1 wrote:
I think UA has bigger fish to fry at the moment. Consolidating hubs, seniority integration, fleet synergies, route map optimization.


I agree. United's focus should be on maximizing the power of its network and its fleet to generate returns. And, listening to United management, it certainly appears that this is - in fact - the focus. I doubt growth or a meaningless metric of "largest" is really the goal here - it may just be one of the ancillary outcomes. As said earlier in the thread, the gap in size relative to AA and Delta, at least as measured by ASMs, may well be as much a function of United's continued ULH growth as anything else.
 
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NeBaNi
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:33 am

I also think we shouldn't discount the intended audience of Kirby's intentions. If he said it to employees, it means one thing. Now if he said it to investors at United's quarterly earnings report, then we'd know he is serious and of course, the UA stock would react (good or bad) accordingly.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Kirby: I expect we’ll become [united] the worlds largest airline

Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:07 am

ldvaviation wrote:
Bethune had worked for Boeing. Because of that he had no problem buying planes.

Let's not distort history.

Boeing did that once... offered them an favorable line of credit when they couldn't get it anywhere else, to essentially save their ass circa ~1994, while locking them into (what became a) exclusivity agreement as consideration.

It's not like they continued doing that, at terms any other favored nation company couldn't have received. And by the time they acquired their last two 77Es, it was a different story entirely.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
wjcandee
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:43 am

I personally think that this is just rah-rah for the employees and puffing for the shareholders.

Or, this guy is really stupid enough to initiate another fight for market share. And if he is, then it's self-absorbed morons like him that make a mockery of Doug Parker's equally-idiotic statement that American will never lose money again.

Doug, here's a clue: world events and dumbass CEOs of major airlines (remember John Tague who destroyed ATA and then United?) will always conspire to make yours the most-money-losing of all industries. Now if Doug has the intestinal fortitude to maintain slow, steady growth and not to respond to Kirby's lunacy, there's a chance this will all work out. Otherwise, the best way to make money in the airline business is to short the stock.
 
jetlanta
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Re: Kirby: I expect we’ll become [united] the worlds largest airline

Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:47 pm

commavia wrote:
flyguy84 wrote:
Do you think United can grow organically into the worlds largest airline or was he hinting at a possible acquisition down the road?


Sure, United can certainly grow organically into an airline larger than AA or Delta. There isn't really anything - logistically, operationally, financially - that would prevent it. United has the capital to finance such an expansion if it wants to do so.

At this point, the only thing stopping United from that level of organic growth - at least among things that can be "controlled" by United - is the fortitude of United management to put up with repeated questioning on every earnings call about that level of capacity growth relative to the industry. If analysts' apparent ambivalence towards United's recent domestic expansion, and United management's polite disregard for said ambivalence, is any indication - I don't think that will be an issue, at least near-term. The more interesting question - on the subject of things outside United's "control" - is how AA and Delta may respond to that level of capacity growth by United.


If all of this growth doesn't translate into closing to profit performance gap with DL and AA, it isn't going to last because Kirby won't last. I think you are correct that Wall Street is giving them some space at the moment, but they are not completely bought in on the strategy. Margins aren't heading in the right direction at the moment and eventually the leash will get tighter. It will be interesting to watch. I have a lot of respect for UA management, especially on the commercial side, but the company doesn't have a glorious history of strategy execution. Delta and American are not sitting still, and United is the most exposed carrier to direct LCC and ULCC competition. The strategy may be good (I think it probably is), but that doesn't mean it will win.

One thing people should consider is that much of this big capacity push has been into small and medium size markets. But those are the markets that they will find it the toughest to penetrate. Loyalty runs deep in small markets. AA and DL have built multiple-hub franchises (or dominant single-hub operations) from many of these markets. Bringing in 2-3 50-seaters a day isn't going to be terribly competitive versus mainline and dual-class offerings that the others are providing. Plus, the majority of the markets where UA needs to grow are precisely in the regions where the carrier is the weakest, namely east of the Mississippi River. The lack of a true southeast hub is always going to be UA's major strategic weakness.

I am impressed with the strategy. But I am not yet convinced it will be successful (my concerns are primarily on the domestic sides). Will it make them the largest US airline? Possibly, if AA and DL chose to let them (I suspect that they will as capacity discipline seems to be culturally ingrained at each). But if the Income Statement doesn't indicate the largest margins amongst the legacies, it won't really have been successful. And that is the entire point.
 
FlyPNS1
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Re: Kirby: I expect we’ll become [united] the worlds largest airline

Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:11 pm

jetlanta wrote:
If all of this growth doesn't translate into closing to profit performance gap with DL and AA, it isn't going to last because Kirby won't last. I think you are correct that Wall Street is giving them some space at the moment, but they are not completely bought in on the strategy. Margins aren't heading in the right direction at the moment and eventually the leash will get tighter. It will be interesting to watch. I have a lot of respect for UA management, especially on the commercial side, but the company doesn't have a glorious history of strategy execution. Delta and American are not sitting still, and United is the most exposed carrier to direct LCC and ULCC competition. The strategy may be good (I think it probably is), but that doesn't mean it will win.


Hit the nail on the head. UA can certainly grow faster (if it chooses to), but where's the profits? UA continues to trail AA and DL and recent numbers show that UA's revenue performance will fall even further behind AA and DL (even if we ignore the impacts of Hurricane Harvey). Dumping more capacity into the market isn't going to help this problem.
 
cledaybuck
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:15 pm

commavia wrote:
Varsity1 wrote:
UA has the best chance of the Big 3 to achieve serious fleet synergies. The PMUA A320's are getting old. If they were all replaced with 737's, along with the full seniority list integration, UA could become quite efficient domestically. Near WN or AS levels.


I'm not so sure. I think AA will likely give United a run for its money in the "fleet synergies" department. Depending on what happens with the A320s, it is entirely conceivable that - within a few years - AA could be operating essentially three primary domestic aircraft types for most scheduling purposes: 125 128-seat A319s, >300 172-seat 737s and >300 190-seat A321s. There will obviously still be technical and configuration differences between LUS/LAA A319s and LUS/LAA A321ceo/neo, and obviously still various operational considerations in terms of payload, range, airfield/facility limitations, etc. But still, that is an incredible amount of scale economies and an incredible amount of fleet efficiency and flexibility.

I'm not saying that United doesn't also have major opportunity for fleet simplification, standardization and "synergies." United clearly does. I'm just not sure it will be all that big a competitive advantage for United - at least compared to AA.
Does it really even matter? The legacy that seems to be doing the best right now is DL. I don't anyone would ever say they have a simplified narrowbody fleet with the MD 88, MD 90, 717, 73G, 738, 739, A319, A320, A321, 752, and 753 (not to mention the C series on order).
As we celebrate mediocrity, all the boys upstairs want to see, how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free.
 
cledaybuck
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Re: Kirby: I expect we’ll become [united] the worlds largest airline

Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:22 pm

FlyPNS1 wrote:
jetlanta wrote:
If all of this growth doesn't translate into closing to profit performance gap with DL and AA, it isn't going to last because Kirby won't last. I think you are correct that Wall Street is giving them some space at the moment, but they are not completely bought in on the strategy. Margins aren't heading in the right direction at the moment and eventually the leash will get tighter. It will be interesting to watch. I have a lot of respect for UA management, especially on the commercial side, but the company doesn't have a glorious history of strategy execution. Delta and American are not sitting still, and United is the most exposed carrier to direct LCC and ULCC competition. The strategy may be good (I think it probably is), but that doesn't mean it will win.


Hit the nail on the head. UA can certainly grow faster (if it chooses to), but where's the profits? UA continues to trail AA and DL and recent numbers show that UA's revenue performance will fall even further behind AA and DL (even if we ignore the impacts of Hurricane Harvey). Dumping more capacity into the market isn't going to help this problem.
So UA should just keep doing what they are doing? I think UA has to grow the network domestically to be more competitive with DL and AA long term. Short term it is probably going to hurt some, but continuously shrinking to profitability hasn't helped. If you are going to try this, now is the time when you are making billions in profits.
As we celebrate mediocrity, all the boys upstairs want to see, how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free.
 
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NameOmitted
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:26 pm

Is there a reasonable way of guessing at what point India or China will develop to the point where no US airline had a chance at that title?
 
NZ321
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:36 pm

Ultimately, continual consolidation is not in anybody's interests. We need competition and choice. Things can't go on consolidating forever without a conditions which enable newcomers to start and find their niche and grow.
Plane mad!
 
BobbyPSP
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:44 pm

Sorry if already posted but I didn't see it

Currently the FA groups have a single contract but are not yet intergrated. From what I've heard is the software needed to cover the new contract as well as a a PBS/preferential bidding system won't be ready until Q3/2018.

For those not aware, only former UA/CO FA's can only fly on the metal of the pre merger carrier including new orders as they arrive.

So if all goes as planned, I'd imagine the synergy of a single seniority list and cross fleeting with FA's will help the bottoms line hugely just from not having to have to separates sets of reserves at each hub. Less reserves equals more FA's working flights producing revenue.

Just one aspect towards increased profitability and ability to grow

By the way, I had the immense pleasure of taking UA893, 744 in Polaris First , SFO-Seoul on an award ticket in August. The flight and crew were beyond amazing. Yes they were LUA and senior but while I took the same flight/class in Feb, this one was stellar. 3 booked , we were all on awards and the rest non revs saying goodbye to the Queen of the skies. I've written to United about how good they were. The gal working the aisle was proacative with everything from gels pillows to offering to make up beds as needed. As far are I could tell she treated all in F as if they were revenue. The food was excellent considering all the bad press. Yes, even the dreaded garlic bread was HOT. Matter of fact all hot dishes were in fact hot and perfectly cooked. I had poached salmon and it couldnt have been better; fresh, moist, hot etc. Wine tasting offered and she knew and described each wine!!! She also paced course delivery to suit each individual (with help from the Galley FA). Throughout the flight always available and friendly and nothing but service oriented. This continued to the end of the flight. I worked for UA in Res for 5 yrs '79-84. As we were preparing for arrival, I personally thanked each one and told them how it reminded me of royal Hawaiian or ocean to ocean service. They laughed !

And for the avgeeks, while we were still on the ground at SFO Debbie the aisle FA came up to me and said this old girl heading for the desert, go take a tour and also check out the upper deck. Upstairs, I approached an FA and asked them if the could ask the flightdeck if I could approach (figured better safe than raising questions ) and take a quick so shot of the flight deck. Beyond expectations!!! They insisted I come in, introduced each other, made me sit in the left seat and they took pics of me. I was a bit embarassed at my age (58) but it's clear they appreciate everyone's last 744 ride.

Only negative comment: the Purser. Other than saying hello on boarding.... nothing. No intros or thank you's. Strange. However the gals working first more than made up for it.

Sorry for topic, but I thought a bit of good news on UA's service would be nice
 
winginit
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Re: Kirby: I expect we’ll become [united] the worlds largest airline

Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:50 am

sassiciai wrote:
Maybe the US Management and Mr Kirby might wish to address the "Quality" of the product UA offers, rather than race to become the biggest, offering poor levels of service! Maybe he could aim to kindle the race to become the Best!


The appropriate metrics in that case would be revenue premium to the US domiciled industry and operational reliability; and you can be sure that UA and AA are years away from catching DL in either of those benchmarks. It isn't even close anymore.
 
winginit
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:51 am

NameOmitted wrote:
Is there a reasonable way of guessing at what point India or China will develop to the point where no US airline had a chance at that title?


Depends on the metric used to quantify 'largest'
 
ldvaviation
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Re: Kirby: I expect we’ll become [united] the worlds largest airline

Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:21 am

LAX772LR wrote:
Let's not distort history.

Boeing did that once... offered them an favorable line of credit when they couldn't get it anywhere else, to essentially save their ass circa ~1994, while locking them into (what became a) exclusivity agreement as consideration.

It's not like they continued doing that, at terms any other favored nation company couldn't have received. And by the time they acquired their last two 77Es, it was a different story entirely.


Look up the Aviation Week articles on the subject (if you can).

CO was making money again, maybe not enough to buy the planes outright, but still enough to pay the capital leases or to engage in sale/lease back transactions.
Boeing did not save anything.
If CO chose not to buy more 737’s, it was largely a strategic decision (as explained above) and not a financial one.
 
B737900ER
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Re: Kirby: I expect we’ll become [united] the worlds largest airline

Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:26 am

winginit wrote:

The appropriate metrics in that case would be revenue premium to the US domiciled industry and operational reliability; and you can be sure that UA and AA are years away from catching DL in either of those benchmarks. It isn't even close anymore.

UA has closed the operational gap significantly, even overtaking DL a few times in on time percentage, and unusually coming a tenth of a percent within DL on completion factors. AA still lags but has also made progress recently. It’s the a.net myths that are still years away from catching up with reality.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Kirby: I expect we’ll become [united] the worlds largest airline

Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:34 am

ldvaviation wrote:
Boeing did not save anything.

You couldn't possibly be more incorrect.

Hell, Boeing gave CO a $29million cash infusion just so that it could make payroll, prior to final structure on their line of credit deal.

"Save" doesn't even begin to describe what they did for CO, and that word is straight from Bethune.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
VC10er
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Re: Kirby: I expect UA will become the world's largest airline

Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:09 pm

I'd like to make this discussion a bit more silly. If Kirby wants to make United the "largest" (and we all know that can be measured a number of ways), would we ever believe they would be thinking of VLA, beyond what's on order, to help get there? Example: 77X? It would certainly, in one way, set them apart from the other 2.

This in addition to a larger narrow body fleet. Or does the MoM seem the way United grows to "largest" in terms of MONEY, fleet, pax carried?
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