MR27122
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Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 8:42 pm

Failed is prob too harsh....

It appears the Big 3 DL/AA/UA have, for the most part, successfully consolidated the most recent & last (?) spate of major-mergers. The thread re AS JFK Pilot Base Closure, got me thinking about questionable &/or failed mergers....opinions/insight(?)....no specific order...

-= Pan Am/NaL: To the best of my knowledge, NA didn't serve ATL (only SFO-ATL),DEN, ORD, DFW, SEA, PHX, MSP, DTW, CLE, STL, basically all of mid-america & pac nw, etc. I'd suggest this was not only a failed merger for PA, but for the newly deregulated industry & the ultimate success/failure of/for deregulation. Frank Lorenzo/Texas Air (International?) made a ton of $$$ off NAL stock, & he went on the "war path"....ultimately impacting CO, People Express, EA, Frontier. (By "impact" I mean w/o Lorenzo starting w/ the NAL stock $$$ the fate of these airlines would've probably been different in terms of forthcoming mergers, etc...I think NY Air was a Lorenzo creation).
-=Northwest/Republic & TWA/Ozark: What was DOJ thinking? I recall EA still possessing a heartbeat when these mergers were approved. Why mention EA (DL & EA were basically equals in ATL). The aforementioned mergers created the first "fortress hubs" & again to the best of my knowledge...neither Republic or Ozark were in "dire straights". I can see why, perhaps, an AS + Reeve Aluetian or HA & Aloha might be approved if ever proposed post dereg, but NWA/Rep & TWA/Ozark?!?!?
-=AA/AirCal & Reno Air: The point of both seems to have been pointless. Perhaps the exception was AA's SJC presence/size for a very finite period of time w/ acquisition of Reno Air. But, both of these were like acquiring & dismantling the "same thing" 10 years apart, dispose of planes, & integrate a new work-force trained & employed in a totally different work culture for decades/decade to the "American Way".
-=US/America West: Questionable due to the West/East "issue" that persisted until AA bought US. Having an "opinion" re the West/East internal "battle" is flammable...yet, I traveled on US days before the merger announcement & I recall being in CLT on a connection & it just felt like Chap 7 all the way!!! Lighting a match, The Nicolau Arbitration Award, seemed reasonable---tack the top 500 US pilots to the top of seniority, blend all remaining AW & US pilots...& place all furloughed US pilots, regardless of their seniority (some had 17 years), @ the bottom of the combined seniority list. Why reasonable? Because AW was the acquiring entity, US was "just" the brand name, & prior to AW stepping in, US was in a flat-spin @ 10 ft agl...all the pilots were about to be jobless. The "general public", with the exception of those in PHX or CLT or PHL or LAS, had no clue US was operating as 2 separate airlines in terms of aircraft & employees & probably assumed US bought AW. Worse yet, for the pilots, US mgmt was gone & AW mgmt was delighted that as long as this"battle" dragged on...no collective pilot pact could be negotiated. I doubt mgmt "dreamed" it would last the entirety of the merger & until the AA merger.
-= SWA/Air Tran: Probably doesn't fulfill the criteria of questionable or failed...but it was unique! SWA's 1 & only merger (aside from Muse...tiny & kinda "mean spirited"). Obviously, this was the result of SWA adapting to what the market was dictating, & it wasn't dictating the SWA "effect" any longer.
-=US/PSA: This went down, ultimately, as a carbon-copy of AA/AirCal. The intent, I guess, was US "buying into" the West via a merger (worked for DL w/ Western)...but it ultimately yielded nothing. It just eliminated an SWA competitor, to the benefit of...SWA! Why didn't AA pursue PSA v. AirCal? PSA being larger(?).Would it be incorrect to state that the US/PSA & AA/AirCal-Reno Air mergers were valueless in the end & only served to greatly strengthen SWA? (Yes indeed "crystal balling it", but I would think...prior to these Mergers, AA & US Mngmt had to possess the foresight of "If it 'ain't' all good...'this' will happen".
-=US/Piedmont: I don't think it fits "questionable/failed"?Nah, Solid!
-= AA/TWA: A strong rationale existed. Price was good & TWA's STL hub would serve as a "release valve" for ORD congestion/no-growth. AA/TWA were not massively different culturally. Then came 9/11...

I didn't add the AS acquisition of Virgin. Yet, some have suggested, upon these forums, it was a "blocking tactic" to B6. No doubt, that's logical. However the AS absorption of a brand-distinguished niche airline w/ a 100% conflicting fleet & minimal long term gain (this has yet to be determined, I know)...just seems like a suck value-prop in order to block B6 from "making it work" with Virgin & the cost of that to B6 (yes, similar fleet, but I think the combo of 2 "cool kinda unique" brands would've been exceedingly difficult to achieve, worse than a Legacy-esque AS just absorb & change...just my opinion). Basically on the AS/Virgin merge it's simply "way too early" to possess an opinion...yet it appears to be trending towards no true gain, except "blocking" a possibly successful B6/Virgin merger.

Of course, this is a lot of "crystal balling", but interesting topic nonetheless!
 
drdisque
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 8:55 pm

I think you're forgetting that NW actually didn't have a very big domestic network prior to its merger with Republic and Republic had basically no international rights (maybe had a few routes out of MEM to the Caribbean/Mexico). The merger didn't eliminate a ton of competition between NW and Republic, instead it created an airline that was large enough to build near-megahubs in DTW and MSP.
 
Austin787
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 9:51 pm

US Airways/America West looked good from a route network perspective - the combined airline would have strong presence in west and east USA. The merged US/HP became strong enough to eventually buy American and grow into the world's largest airline.
 
MR27122
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 10:03 pm

drdisque wrote:
I think you're forgetting that NW actually didn't have a very big domestic network prior to its merger with Republic and Republic had basically no international rights (maybe had a few routes out of MEM to the Caribbean/Mexico). The merger didn't eliminate a ton of competition between NW and Republic, instead it created an airline that was large enough to build near-megahubs in DTW and MSP.


I see that. I agree. I've not looked @ a Republic map. They brought MEM!! You're right, I think this was the "crown jewel" that kicked it past DOJ. I forgot that (potentially solid & potent competitor to ATL & DL/EA). What about DTW, were they both competing @ DTW? Republic & NW blanketed MSP, but---was Republic also serving smaller communities that NW or NW AirLink wasn't in? Did those communities dramatically increase feed for combined NW International??? Or were International pax's from those cities going to fly NW regardless of the domestic airline they arrived upon @ MSP? I can't imagine the feed from GRR or FAR being too consequential.
 
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Jamake1
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 10:17 pm

MR27122 wrote:

-= SWA/Air Tran: Probably doesn't fulfill the criteria of questionable or failed...but it was unique! SWA's 1 & only merger (aside from Muse...tiny & kinda "mean spirited"). Obviously, this was the result of SWA adapting to what the market was dictating, & it wasn't dictating the SWA "effect" any longer.


Southwest acquired Morris Air during the mid 1990’s which established a solid presence for SWA in the Pacific Northwest amd Mountain West regions.

I would argue another botched merger was Republic’s acquisition of Hughes Airwest in 1980. Like Air Cal, PSA, and Reno Air, within a few short years most of the Hughes route system had been dismantled.
Come fly the sun.
 
Italianflyer
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 10:32 pm

I'm curious as to the apparent failure of the US/PS & AA/OC/QQ mergers were because of WN or opened opportunity for WN to grow in the west. WN had a footprint in CA that grew several-fold when US moved PS assets east and AA dropped OC assets alltogether and under utilized QQ before giving up. Of course the timing of US/PS and AA/OC were awful, with Gulf War I, a fuel spike and a sharp recession happening during integration. When AA & US figured out they couldn't compete with their cost structure, WN, at the time a lean CASM machine, filled the void.

As for the AA/QQ merger, I have no idea about their Big Picture plan. I guess it was rooted in AAs on-again, off-again love affair with SJC. I would also say that NW/RC was a success (despite some early ugly culture/labor issues). Stephen Wolf rationalized the system & engineered a network that was a perfect fit for NW, US, PA or AA. I don't think anyone thought Republic had long term staying power and its value was as a takeover target, not an ongoing entity.
 
drdisque
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 10:47 pm

MR27122 wrote:
drdisque wrote:
I think you're forgetting that NW actually didn't have a very big domestic network prior to its merger with Republic and Republic had basically no international rights (maybe had a few routes out of MEM to the Caribbean/Mexico). The merger didn't eliminate a ton of competition between NW and Republic, instead it created an airline that was large enough to build near-megahubs in DTW and MSP.


I see that. I agree. I've not looked @ a Republic map. They brought MEM!! You're right, I think this was the "crown jewel" that kicked it past DOJ. I forgot that (potentially solid & potent competitor to ATL & DL/EA). What about DTW, were they both competing @ DTW? Republic & NW blanketed MSP, but---was Republic also serving smaller communities that NW or NW AirLink wasn't in? Did those communities dramatically increase feed for combined NW International??? Or were International pax's from those cities going to fly NW regardless of the domestic airline they arrived upon @ MSP? I can't imagine the feed from GRR or FAR being too consequential.


DTW was more or less just a large line station for NW prior to the merger with Republic. Here was their daily schedule from DTW in 1982 per http://www.departedflights.com/NW080182p8.html

3x DTW-BOS
2x DTW-ORD
2x DTW-GRR
4x DTW-MKE
4x DTW-MSP
3x DTW-EWR
1x DTW-JFK
4x DTW-PHL
3x DTW-PIT
5x DTW-DCA

31 daily flights
 
sunking737
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 10:48 pm

I for one would have loved to see Ozark merge with Republic. Both DC9 carriers.
I'm a SUNDUCK......Worked for RC & SY @ MSP
 
EvanWSFO
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 11:05 pm

MR27122 wrote:
drdisque wrote:
I think you're forgetting that NW actually didn't have a very big domestic network prior to its merger with Republic and Republic had basically no international rights (maybe had a few routes out of MEM to the Caribbean/Mexico). The merger didn't eliminate a ton of competition between NW and Republic, instead it created an airline that was large enough to build near-megahubs in DTW and MSP.


I see that. I agree. I've not looked @ a Republic map. They brought MEM!! You're right, I think this was the "crown jewel" that kicked it past DOJ. I forgot that (potentially solid & potent competitor to ATL & DL/EA). What about DTW, were they both competing @ DTW? Republic & NW blanketed MSP, but---was Republic also serving smaller communities that NW or NW AirLink wasn't in? Did those communities dramatically increase feed for combined NW International??? Or were International pax's from those cities going to fly NW regardless of the domestic airline they arrived upon @ MSP? I can't imagine the feed from GRR or FAR being too consequential.


Following the RC merger with Hughes Airwest, they served more domestic destinations than any other airline. Within a few years, there was little left of the Airwest system. Basically every airline in the west that was acquired by a larger carrier saw their route systems dismantled. WN growing in California had quite a bit to do with that.
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KanaHawaii
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 11:07 pm

What about the three way merger of CO, PE and New York Air in 1987? I think the legacy of that mash up, along with Lorenzo throwing onto Continental the largess of Eastern, complete with its mishmash of fleet to CO eventually drove CO to bankruptcy in 1993. Lorenzo took the airline that was a masterful operator under Bob Six and literally made it into a Frankenstein-like monster that couldn't hold up its own weight at the end.
 
EvanWSFO
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 11:11 pm

KanaHawaii wrote:
What about the three way merger of CO, PE and New York Air in 1987? I think the legacy of that mash up, along with Lorenzo throwing onto Continental the largess of Eastern, complete with its mishmash of fleet to CO eventually drove CO to bankruptcy in 1993. Lorenzo took the airline that was a masterful operator under Bob Six and literally made it into a Frankenstein-like monster that couldn't hold up its own weight at the end.


When did CO acquire Presidential Airlines?
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RetiredNWA
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 11:13 pm

Your dissertation is flawed.
The points you make are purely conjecture.
You have very little understanding of the initial post-deregulation era.

Let's clarify a few issues you attempt to bring forward that are pertinent:

Pan Am, TWA and Northwest Orient were the predominant trans-ocean carriers in the regulated era.

American, Eastern, Delta and National were the predominant "national" carriers - having much domestic feed and nonexistent oceanic routes.

As their names suggest, Ozark, Allegheny, Piedmont, PSA, AirCal, (the beloved) Southwest - were all the first iterations of true "regional" airlines. They just happened to fly a mix of small equipment and big jet airliners and are not "regional carriers" as we define them today. While regulation created separate and not equal footholds over certain route structures, it created an operational environment whereby smaller, regional carriers (as mentioned above) were in a particularly prime position to be purchased by a larger, more entrenched (read: Northwest, TWA, et al) internationally-focused airline seeking to gain domestic feed in the post-regulation era.

For those of you suggesting that Northwest Airlines did not have a substantial domestic presence prior to the 1986 merger with Republic, you are greatly mistaken.

There is nothing questionable about the DOJ ruling in favor of the airline mergers at the time; now, in hindsight, and in the perfectly perfect airliners.nitwits world, none of these mergers should have been approved.

Someone mentioned the Northwest and Republic merger was a "success"...well, try telling that to some "Red", "Blue" and "Green" book pilots at Northwest Airlines...
 
Max Q
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 11:23 pm

KanaHawaii wrote:
What about the three way merger of CO, PE and New York Air in 1987? I think the legacy of that mash up, along with Lorenzo throwing onto Continental the largess of Eastern, complete with its mishmash of fleet to CO eventually drove CO to bankruptcy in 1993. Lorenzo took the airline that was a masterful operator under Bob Six and literally made it into a Frankenstein-like monster that couldn't hold up its own weight at the end.



Not sure what you mean about ‘the end’
for Continental


Lorenzo’s merger management was a disaster that is true but after he bailed out
and new management came in under Gordon Bethune there was a complete turn around


We became the airline with the best service
in the US and our financial results reflected that



To say that Continental ‘couldn’t hold up its own weight at the end’ is ridiculous, we had a profitable, well run operation that was coveted by UA who needed us in the worst way to survive
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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WN732
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 11:25 pm

One failed merger attempt was WN/F9 shortly before WN/FL
 
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 11:37 pm

Frontier and Midwest coming together under Republican leadership worked out well.
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NorthTexAAs
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 11:37 pm

Austin787 wrote:
US Airways/America West looked good from a route network perspective - the combined airline would have strong presence in west and east USA. The merged US/HP became strong enough to eventually buy American and grow into the world's largest airline.


The US Airways management team may have developed the reputation that put them largely in charge after the merger, but to say US Airways BOUGHT American is simply factually incorrect.
 
WkndWanderer
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 11:39 pm

RetiredNWA wrote:

For those of you suggesting that Northwest Airlines did not have a substantial domestic presence prior to the 1986 merger with Republic, you are greatly mistaken.


I guess it depends on what we're considering a "substantial" domestic presence. There definitely was one, but relatively speaking if you look at route maps from the early 80's, the number of destinations Northwest served when compared to DL, AA, USAir, and UA certainly don't look too substantial. There was a lot more regional fragmentation still though. It makes Republic's DTW and MEM contributions to the post-merger domestic network pretty obvious.
Last edited by WkndWanderer on Thu May 17, 2018 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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KanaHawaii
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 11:40 pm

Max Q wrote:
KanaHawaii wrote:
What about the three way merger of CO, PE and New York Air in 1987? I think the legacy of that mash up, along with Lorenzo throwing onto Continental the largess of Eastern, complete with its mishmash of fleet to CO eventually drove CO to bankruptcy in 1993. Lorenzo took the airline that was a masterful operator under Bob Six and literally made it into a Frankenstein-like monster that couldn't hold up its own weight at the end.



Not sure what you mean about ‘the end’
for Continental

Lorenzo’s merger management was a disaster that is true but after he bailed out
and new management came in under Gordon Bethune there was a complete turn around

We became the airline with the best service
in the US and our financial results reflected that

To say that Continental ‘couldn’t hold up its own weight at the end’ is ridiculous, we had a profitable, well run operation that was coveted by UA who needed us in the worst way to survive


Sorry about the timeline mix up - CO went bankrupt in 1990, Bethune came in 1994 and it was his turnaround (along with Brenneman) that brought CO to the point you state in your post. Before all that, the airline was a complete mess, of which you actually did agree with me.
 
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KanaHawaii
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 11:47 pm

EvanWSFO wrote:
KanaHawaii wrote:
What about the three way merger of CO, PE and New York Air in 1987? I think the legacy of that mash up, along with Lorenzo throwing onto Continental the largess of Eastern, complete with its mishmash of fleet to CO eventually drove CO to bankruptcy in 1993. Lorenzo took the airline that was a masterful operator under Bob Six and literally made it into a Frankenstein-like monster that couldn't hold up its own weight at the end.


When did CO acquire Presidential Airlines?


Sorry-not-sorry: V2.
 
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RetiredNWA
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 11:50 pm

WkndWanderer wrote:
RetiredNWA wrote:

For those of you suggesting that Northwest Airlines did not have a substantial domestic presence prior to the 1986 merger with Republic, you are greatly mistaken.


I guess it depends on what we're considering a "substantial" domestic presence. There definitely was one, but relatively speaking if you look at route maps from the early 80's, the number of destinations Northwest served when compared to DL, AA, USAir, and UA certainly don't look too substantial. There was a lot more regional fragmentation still though. It makes Republic's DTW and MEM contributions to the post-merger domestic network pretty obvious.


I worked there. I happen to know what our domestic presence was pre and post-Republic merger. Your statement exemplifies my point.
 
DWC
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Thu May 17, 2018 11:58 pm

Max Q wrote:
Lorenzo’s merger management was a disaster that is true but after he bailed out
and new management came in under Gordon Bethune there was a complete turn around

We became the airline with the best service
in the US and our financial results reflected that

I second that, as someone based in the old world ( Europe & Asia ). CO surprised me greatly in 1993, excellent service indeed, to the point I would fly nothing else when transatl. Now everytime I land on a US plane because of my miles, I curse myself for forcing myself to use them instead of paying for a revenue ticket, and of course regret CO & ramble all the flight for flying a goddamned cattle service US airline.

To contribute a little to the topic, the 3 US behemoths are not only lacklustre in Y, the last 3 rounds of M&A should never have been approved ! In fact, each of the US3 is 100% too big, for none should have more than 10% of the market share, because below that figure none can really influence fares - which is what market economics try to protect. When these US3 easily charge 400-600 USD for a transcon flight in Y, or 2-3 times what AF, LH, TK or SU charge me for flying London or Paris transcon to IST, LED, Moscow ( after that one is in Asia, these might be 30-60' shorter but then so much is more expensive in Europe, starting with taxes & airport fees that is does not matter ), clearly competition is not working that well & consumers are paying 2 or 3 times what they would in a healthy competitive market. I also think Alaska should not have been allowed to buy Virgin America, all consumers regret the latter's better service.

Now, CAPA published yesterday an interesting article about the EU & compares it to the US : shows that ALL major mainline EU airlines are at least twice or trice smaller that the each of the US3, in fact even the LH group is dwarfed by any of the US3 & SW. CAPA argues that the EU market is still too fragmented & thus immature, but I find it transport-wise to be consumers paradise ( and let us not talk of their marvellous train services ) ! Oh, btw, I just got a FR flight from CDG to RIG for some 30 euros roundtrip, that's about half what a single taxi sedan costs just to get to CDG or LHR : frankly, reaks of dumping but I am not sure...
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 12:26 am

Pan Am and National has to be the worst merger of two airlines in history. PA paid a huge premium for National and then dismantled what is purchased. National's DC-10 made PA's fleet with L-1011-500 and 747's very complex with GE, Rolls Royce and Pratt engines. Buying a Miami based airline did nothing for PA, they needed to buy an airline with east to west routes and a major midwest hub. Chicago is what PA needed.

PA already flew many routes to Latin America and didn;t need National to fly from Miami to New York. In 1986 PA sold their Asian routes to United and in 1990 Heathrow was sold to UA too, by then PA was dead.
 
MR27122
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 12:30 am

RetiredNWA wrote:
Your dissertation is flawed.
The points you make are purely conjecture.
You have very little understanding of the initial post-deregulation era.

Let's clarify a few issues you attempt to bring forward that are pertinent:

Pan Am, TWA and Northwest Orient were the predominant trans-ocean carriers in the regulated era.

American, Eastern, Delta and National were the predominant "national" carriers - having much domestic feed and nonexistent oceanic routes.

As their names suggest, Ozark, Allegheny, Piedmont, PSA, AirCal, (the beloved) Southwest - were all the first iterations of true "regional" airlines. They just happened to fly a mix of small equipment and big jet airliners and are not "regional carriers" as we define them today. While regulation created separate and not equal footholds over certain route structures, it created an operational environment whereby smaller, regional carriers (as mentioned above) were in a particularly prime position to be purchased by a larger, more entrenched (read: Northwest, TWA, et al) internationally-focused airline seeking to gain domestic feed in the post-regulation era.

For those of you suggesting that Northwest Airlines did not have a substantial domestic presence prior to the 1986 merger with Republic, you are greatly mistaken.

There is nothing questionable about the DOJ ruling in favor of the airline mergers at the time; now, in hindsight, and in the perfectly perfect airliners.nitwits world, none of these mergers should have been approved.

Someone mentioned the Northwest and Republic merger was a "success"...well, try telling that to some "Red", "Blue" and "Green" book pilots at Northwest Airlines...


Your presumption re: flawed dissertation possesses zero substance. Reference the Thread title & the ?, the Opinions/insight(?) embedded in the 1st paragraph, & in conclusion Of course, this is a lot of "crystal balling", but interesting topic nonetheless!. If this thread were intended to be a dissertation, you're seemingly the only one who "didn't get the memo". It's a "for the sake of argument". Having stated the obvious, you did share a very good summation, with the exception of your preface wording. However, if you examine the NW '86 route map, 6 years post deregulation, it's not as robust as you've suggested. Zero presence from MCO south to DC along the seaboard. 'Vegas a tag-on for PHX flt, no SLC, IAH is a dot w/o a route, the west is a void except along the coast & to MSP, majority of cities are a single "red-line" to MSP, Canada = Edmonton. As I indicated, your summation is great, your writing temperament, not so much...which means your missing the point of the thread "opinions, INSIGHT, Crystal-balling...AND we possess the advantage of decades of history to postulate from! OHH.. If your including National & terming it predominant, what would Western & Continental be defined as????
Last edited by MR27122 on Fri May 18, 2018 12:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
rbavfan
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 12:30 am

EvanWSFO wrote:
KanaHawaii wrote:
What about the three way merger of CO, PE and New York Air in 1987? I think the legacy of that mash up, along with Lorenzo throwing onto Continental the largess of Eastern, complete with its mishmash of fleet to CO eventually drove CO to bankruptcy in 1993. Lorenzo took the airline that was a masterful operator under Bob Six and literally made it into a Frankenstein-like monster that couldn't hold up its own weight at the end.


When did CO acquire Presidential Airlines?


PE is People Express, not Presidential which used XV code.
 
MR27122
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 12:36 am

drdisque wrote:
MR27122 wrote:
drdisque wrote:
I think you're forgetting that NW actually didn't have a very big domestic network prior to its merger with Republic and Republic had basically no international rights (maybe had a few routes out of MEM to the Caribbean/Mexico). The merger didn't eliminate a ton of competition between NW and Republic, instead it created an airline that was large enough to build near-megahubs in DTW and MSP.


I see that. I agree. I've not looked @ a Republic map. They brought MEM!! You're right, I think this was the "crown jewel" that kicked it past DOJ. I forgot that (potentially solid & potent competitor to ATL & DL/EA). What about DTW, were they both competing @ DTW? Republic & NW blanketed MSP, but---was Republic also serving smaller communities that NW or NW AirLink wasn't in? Did those communities dramatically increase feed for combined NW International??? Or were International pax's from those cities going to fly NW regardless of the domestic airline they arrived upon @ MSP? I can't imagine the feed from GRR or FAR being too consequential.


DTW was more or less just a large line station for NW prior to the merger with Republic. Here was their daily schedule from DTW in 1982 per http://www.departedflights.com/NW080182p8.html

3x DTW-BOS
2x DTW-ORD
2x DTW-GRR
4x DTW-MKE
4x DTW-MSP
3x DTW-EWR
1x DTW-JFK
4x DTW-PHL
3x DTW-PIT
5x DTW-DCA

31 daily flights


Thanks for the excellent insight. The NW/RC merger now seems, at least to me, a fantastic geography fit & I could see why DOJ would green light it. BUT, what about TWA/OZARK to any & all....that just seems like giving the keys to STL over to TWA. Was TWA's financial health at the time a consideration...seems like it. Thanks for enlightening us!
 
sunking737
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 12:40 am

As a DUCK I believe the merger with NWA was a big mistake. But that is my opinion. I will not go into the reasons.
I'm a SUNDUCK......Worked for RC & SY @ MSP
 
MR27122
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 12:44 am

jfk777 wrote:
Pan Am and National has to be the worst merger of two airlines in history. PA paid a huge premium for National and then dismantled what is purchased. National's DC-10 made PA's fleet with L-1011-500 and 747's very complex with GE, Rolls Royce and Pratt engines. Buying a Miami based airline did nothing for PA, they needed to buy an airline with east to west routes and a major midwest hub. Chicago is what PA needed.

PA already flew many routes to Latin America and didn;t need National to fly from Miami to New York. In 1986 PA sold their Asian routes to United and in 1990 Heathrow was sold to UA too, by then PA was dead.


AGREED. If I'm correct It was the 1st post dereg merger. I've read the PA hubris was a contributor. They were going to let tiny Texas Air & Lorenzo buy National. They got Into a bidding war, & Lorenzo "cashed out".

The larger question is "what if"? PA doesn't pay a ransom for basically nothing? What happens to Lorenzo? I suspect he tries to "bait" another legacy into a bidding was? Basically, if PA doesn't buy NA, Lorenzo doesn't have the capital to "do what he did"---and if I recall correctly, he was banned from starting/owning/operating an airline for awhile. Thus w/o Lorenzo, what happens to People's, EA, CO, Frontier, etc? What about a PA/EA merger? Or, CO/EA merger?
 
rbavfan
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 12:45 am

stlgph wrote:
Frontier and Midwest coming together under Republican leadership worked out well.


They sold to an investor group to avoid bankruptcy. How does that work out well. Along with the backtracking, & splitting off parts & not taking all those CS aircraft after to survive. Followed by a huge cut in services as they converted to a ULCC. Otherwise they would be dust now.
 
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RetiredNWA
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 12:50 am

sunking737 wrote:
As a DUCK I believe the merger with NWA was a big mistake. But that is my opinion. I will not go into the reasons.


I wholeheartedly agree with you.
 
rbavfan
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 12:51 am

NorthTexAAs wrote:
Austin787 wrote:
US Airways/America West looked good from a route network perspective - the combined airline would have strong presence in west and east USA. The merged US/HP became strong enough to eventually buy American and grow into the world's largest airline.


The US Airways management team may have developed the reputation that put them largely in charge after the merger, but to say US Airways BOUGHT American is simply factually incorrect.


Your partially correct except America West bought US right before a liquidation sale & then America West kept the US name. Then They bought AA out and merged keeping the AA name for the same reason HP kept the US name. It was more well known worldwide. Otherwise the underpinning of US & the new AA is America West Management. So yes AA was bought out.
 
MR27122
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 12:54 am

SO....does anybody have an argument against PSA, QQ, AirCal vaporizing post merger, & that wan't pivotal for what became of SWA?

Who disagrees that DL & Western wasn't a very good geography merger? Anybody possess an argument that's anti US/Piedmont?

Great input was provided re NW/Republic & the logical rationale, but what about TW/Ozark?

What about the Lorenzo "factor". My personal opinion is simply an opinion. I'd rank PA/NA as #1 most Questionable merger. It didn't make sense from a route overlay perspective & it gave, GAVE...Lorenzo a ton of "Monopoly" $$$ to go on a rampage & in certain regards "change the course" of deregulation.

I appreciate this being a thoughtful "crystal ball" exchange weighted with opinion/possibility/conjecture & nothing truly flaming as of yet. Thanks all.
 
rbavfan
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 12:56 am

KanaHawaii wrote:
EvanWSFO wrote:
KanaHawaii wrote:
What about the three way merger of CO, PE and New York Air in 1987? I think the legacy of that mash up, along with Lorenzo throwing onto Continental the largess of Eastern, complete with its mishmash of fleet to CO eventually drove CO to bankruptcy in 1993. Lorenzo took the airline that was a masterful operator under Bob Six and literally made it into a Frankenstein-like monster that couldn't hold up its own weight at the end.


When did CO acquire Presidential Airlines?


Sorry-not-sorry: V2.


V2 was a former Las Vegas based Dornier/737/767 based tour operator.
 
MR27122
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 1:00 am

rbavfan wrote:
KanaHawaii wrote:
EvanWSFO wrote:

When did CO acquire Presidential Airlines?


Sorry-not-sorry: V2.


V2 was a former Las Vegas based Dornier/737/767 based tour operator.


No, no, no you'e thinking of U2 a formerly great (80's/90's) Irish Rock Band....ow wait, this is the airline website. IGNORE.
 
rbavfan
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 1:20 am

MR27122 wrote:
SO....does anybody have an argument against PSA, QQ, AirCal vaporizing post merger, & that wan't pivotal for what became of SWA?

Who disagrees that DL & Western wasn't a very good geography merger? Anybody possess an argument that's anti US/Piedmont?

Great input was provided re NW/Republic & the logical rationale, but what about TW/Ozark?

What about the Lorenzo "factor". My personal opinion is simply an opinion. I'd rank PA/NA as #1 most Questionable merger. It didn't make sense from a route overlay perspective & it gave, GAVE...Lorenzo a ton of "Monopoly" $$$ to go on a rampage & in certain regards "change the course" of deregulation.

I appreciate this being a thoughtful "crystal ball" exchange weighted with opinion/possibility/conjecture & nothing truly flaming as of yet. Thanks all.


Piedmont had great service. USAir instead of adding the attitude & service of Piedmont pushed their service in and ruined a good thing. US probably could have remained on it' own if it had the balls to up it's service vs the other majors at the time.
 
Italianflyer
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 1:26 am

In my NWA days (started in late 90s...waaay after the merger) I heard several people say Wolf initially shopped RC to Pan Am. The idea was a complicated scheme involving an LBO, discharging of debt and other High Finance antics.

Rothmeyer and the old NWO guard (a very cautious & conservative risk taking group) jumped on Republic to block a viable PA on the Atlantic and to counter UAs new TPAC authorities fed by it's huge domestic network.

I wasn't there...can't speak to it's truth....but it's interesting.
 
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northstardc4m
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 1:43 am

MR27122 wrote:
jfk777 wrote:
Pan Am and National has to be the worst merger of two airlines in history. PA paid a huge premium for National and then dismantled what is purchased. National's DC-10 made PA's fleet with L-1011-500 and 747's very complex with GE, Rolls Royce and Pratt engines. Buying a Miami based airline did nothing for PA, they needed to buy an airline with east to west routes and a major midwest hub. Chicago is what PA needed.

PA already flew many routes to Latin America and didn;t need National to fly from Miami to New York. In 1986 PA sold their Asian routes to United and in 1990 Heathrow was sold to UA too, by then PA was dead.


AGREED. If I'm correct It was the 1st post dereg merger. I've read the PA hubris was a contributor. They were going to let tiny Texas Air & Lorenzo buy National. They got Into a bidding war, & Lorenzo "cashed out".

The larger question is "what if"? PA doesn't pay a ransom for basically nothing? What happens to Lorenzo? I suspect he tries to "bait" another legacy into a bidding was? Basically, if PA doesn't buy NA, Lorenzo doesn't have the capital to "do what he did"---and if I recall correctly, he was banned from starting/owning/operating an airline for awhile. Thus w/o Lorenzo, what happens to People's, EA, CO, Frontier, etc? What about a PA/EA merger? Or, CO/EA merger?


Well if you want to get into the fantasy alternative realm... If Pan Am had dropped National on Lorenzo for the inflated price rather than the other way round... Lorenzo doesn't get Eastern, probably doesn't get Continental, doesn't make the play for TWA that pushed it to Ichan... the world tilts very differently...

In that world EA+TW would of been a nearly perfect merger... TW was east-west with Europe, Eastern North-South... even the fleets are very good matches, DC-9, 727, L1011 in both, 757/767 complimentary fleets, leaving the large A300 EA fleet and TW 747 fleet as unique that wouldn't of been an issue.

Pan Am could of bought up other airlines piecemeal to form a domestic feed, smaller ones like PSA, Air Florida and/or maybe USAir... better option than the bad setup with National.

Without Lorenzo CO probably ends up being eaten by United or Delta or even Western, or does the whole Republic merger change with CO merging with NC, Southern merging with Ozark, who knows?

Other question is does People Express come to be? New York Air probably wouldn't... Without PEx does Frontier survive? What happens to PBA and Britt?... it opens some interesting options.
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
 
superjeff
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 1:50 am

RetiredNWA wrote:
Your dissertation is flawed.
The points you make are purely conjecture.
You have very little understanding of the initial post-deregulation era.

Let's clarify a few issues you attempt to bring forward that are pertinent:

Pan Am, TWA and Northwest Orient were the predominant trans-ocean carriers in the regulated era. Also Braniff on the West Coast of South America.

American, Eastern, Delta and National were the predominant "national" carriers - having much domestic feed and nonexistent oceanic routes.

United was actually largest, followed by American, TWA, and Eastern. Delta was number 5.

As their names suggest, Ozark, Allegheny, Piedmont, PSA, AirCal, (the beloved) Southwest - were all the first iterations of true "regional" airlines.

Actually, no. Southwest was a Texas intrastate carrier that didn't fly outside of Texas until after deregulation Southwest was largely modeled on PSA, and if US Airways hadn't acquired PSA, PSA would likely still have a strong position on the west coast (but, unfortunately, they were in sorry financial states when US Air bought them.

For those of you suggesting that Northwest Airlines did not have a substantial domestic presence prior to the 1986 merger with Republic, you are greatly mistaken.

.
 
superjeff
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 1:58 am

northstardc4m wrote:
MR27122 wrote:
jfk777 wrote:
Pan Am and National has to be the worst merger of two airlines in history. PA paid a huge premium for National and then dismantled what is purchased. National's DC-10 made PA's fleet with L-1011-500 and 747's very complex with GE, Rolls Royce and Pratt engines. Buying a Miami based airline did nothing for PA, they needed to buy an airline with east to west routes and a major midwest hub. Chicago is what PA needed. th

With deregulation, routes didn't matter. Pan Am could (and, in fact, did) revise National's route system to provide better feed to their international flights. Unfortunately they destroyed a large portion of the National route system in the process.

PA already flew many routes to Latin America and didn;t need National to fly from Miami to New York. In 1986 PA sold their Asian routes to United and in 1990 Heathrow was sold to UA too, by then PA was dead.


AGREED. If I'm correct It was the 1st post dereg merger. I've read the PA hubris was a contributor. They were going to let tiny Texas Air & Lorenzo buy National. They got Into a bidding war, & Lorenzo "cashed out".

The larger question is "what if"? PA doesn't pay a ransom for basically nothing? What happens to Lorenzo? I suspect he tries to "bait" another legacy into a bidding was? Basically, if PA doesn't buy NA, Lorenzo doesn't have the capital to "do what he did"---and if I recall correctly, he was banned from starting/owning/operating an airline for awhile. Thus w/o Lorenzo, what happens to People's, EA, CO, Frontier, etc? What about a PA/EA merger? Or, CO/EA merger?


Well if you want to get into the fantasy alternative realm... If Pan Am had dropped National on Lorenzo for the inflated price rather than the other way round... Lorenzo doesn't get Eastern, probably doesn't get Continental, doesn't make the play for TWA that pushed it to Ichan... the world tilts very differently...

In that world EA+TW would of been a nearly perfect merger... TW was east-west with Europe, Eastern North-South... even the fleets are very good matches, DC-9, 727, L1011 in both, 757/767 complimentary fleets, leaving the large A300 EA fleet and TW 747 fleet as unique that wouldn't of been an issue.

Pan Am could of bought up other airlines piecemeal to form a domestic feed, smaller ones like PSA, Air Florida and/or maybe USAir... better option than the bad setup with National.

That would have been interesting. Ed Acker, the president of Pan Am at the time, was recruited to Pan Am from Air Florida. And before Pan Am he was the CFO with Braniff. A Braniff-Pan Am merger in 1980 would have been successful. Both airlines had the same unions (Teamsters), routes along both coasts of South America, 747's, 727's, etc. The Braniff system would have supported Pan Am's L1011's as well. But Pan Am's relationship with Washington was such that the powers that be wouldn't consent to any kind of merger for Pan Am.

Without Lorenzo CO probably ends up being eaten by United or Delta or even Western, or does the whole Republic merger change with CO merging with NC, Southern merging with Ozark, who knows?
 
sunking737
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 2:10 am

Western and Continental tired to merge several times. Western even tried with American back in the early 1970's all failed
I'm a SUNDUCK......Worked for RC & SY @ MSP
 
slcdeltarumd11
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 2:34 am

Reno air and AA has to be the worst merger. I am not sure any routes are still operated that wiuldnt be natural hub links today for AA?

AA and TWA sounds like another bad one but I think some JFK flights are operated today so no quite as bad. STL and the MCI maintenance base I think were lost

AA seems to have a pretty bad history of mergers
 
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knope2001
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 2:51 am

A bit more on NW+RC. Here are domestic-only totals as of February 1986, days after the merger was announced.

Detroit
NW 40 flights to 14 cities
RC 220 flights to 53 cities

Minneapolis
NW 118 flights to 34 cities
RC 145 flights to 44 cities

Although Republic was a notch larger in Minneapolis quite a bit of difference came from short-hop routes. Northwest was quite competitive and sometimes larger to many first and second-tier destinations

At Detroit, however, Northwest's options paled versus Republic. Northwest didn't have any nonstops to MCO, HOU, ATL,LGA, MIA DFW, SFO, BWI. In many other city pairs Republic led in frequency -- Boston 7 versus 3, Chicago 13 versus 3, LAX 4 versus 2, MSP 11 versus 4.
 
F9Animal
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 3:08 am

sunking737 wrote:
I for one would have loved to see Ozark merge with Republic. Both DC9 carriers.


That would have been something! Never even crossed my mind. I would have rather seen Republic with Ozark over the Northwest deal.
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
F9Animal
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 3:09 am

Frontier and Western Pacific was a disaster and luckily diverted. Midwest and Frontier, another disaster.
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
questions
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 4:23 am

RetiredNWA wrote:
American, Eastern, Delta and National were the predominant "national" carriers - having much domestic feed and nonexistent oceanic routes.



Someone mentioned the Northwest and Republic merger was a "success"...well, try telling that to some "Red", "Blue" and "Green" book pilots at Northwest Airlines...


What about United?

What are the red, blue and green books?
 
Italianflyer
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 4:31 am

Red, blue & green books were the company term for different pilot contracts at NW.
 
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Super80Fan
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 4:44 am

stlgph wrote:
Frontier and Midwest coming together under Republican leadership worked out well.


Came here to say that LOL! Now I don't know what would've happened if Republic didn't snatch both of them up nor am I an expert on their finances beforehand, but it seems Republic took two smaller but capable airlines, chewed them up, and spit the remains out. Midwest doesn't even exist anymore and Frontier was sold to Indigo that turned it into the ULCC dart board airline it is today.

I also think this was mentioned upthread but the United & Continental merger was just a straight up mess. Continental was perfectly capable on their own while United was trying to figure out their fleet, network, and services. The two were hastily put together with all of the good thing each had gone while keeping all of the negative things while pissing off their employees, customers, and shareholders. Even looking today, current day Delta and even American are more put together than this mess of an airline. IMHO and I know it's too late/wouldn't make sense they would split the companies again.
RIP McDonnell Douglas
 
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eta unknown
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 4:47 am

AA bought TW for only one reason- to get rid of it. Their timing was terrible- if they'd waited 6 months TW would've gotten rid of themselves.
 
questions
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 4:48 am

slcdeltarumd11 wrote:
Reno air and AA has to be the worst merger. I am not sure any routes are still operated that wiuldnt be natural hub links today for AA?

AA and TWA sounds like another bad one but I think some JFK flights are operated today so no quite as bad. STL and the MCI maintenance base I think were lost

AA seems to have a pretty bad history of mergers


AA had a similar strategy as Starbucks with its acquisitions... acquire and kill.
 
questions
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 4:48 am

Italianflyer wrote:
Red, blue & green books were the company term for different pilot contracts at NW.


Gracie mille.
 
WkndWanderer
Posts: 263
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Re: Questionable (Failed?) USA Mergers

Fri May 18, 2018 5:49 am

RetiredNWA wrote:
WkndWanderer wrote:
RetiredNWA wrote:

For those of you suggesting that Northwest Airlines did not have a substantial domestic presence prior to the 1986 merger with Republic, you are greatly mistaken.


I guess it depends on what we're considering a "substantial" domestic presence. There definitely was one, but relatively speaking if you look at route maps from the early 80's, the number of destinations Northwest served when compared to DL, AA, USAir, and UA certainly don't look too substantial. There was a lot more regional fragmentation still though. It makes Republic's DTW and MEM contributions to the post-merger domestic network pretty obvious.


I worked there. I happen to know what our domestic presence was pre and post-Republic merger. Your statement exemplifies my point.


Then maybe you can help me understand, pre-Republic NW had a substantial domestic presence relative to other US carriers by what metric? Northwest's Pre-republic merger timetables and route maps from the 80's compared to other major US domestic carriers pretty clearly show that UA, DL, US, and AA all served anywhere from 50-150%+ more domestic destinations than Northwest did before the republic merger and had demonstrably broader domestic network reaches. The pre-merger departure information at DTW that another poster referenced above that didn't even include the destinations Republic served from the MEM hub alone underscore that. You're saying they were instead substantial in the domestic market relative to other US carriers in terms of...ASM's? or Frequencies? The republic network certainly boosted the domestic presence of Northwest in a way it probably would have taken them much longer to grow organically against competition.

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