STT757 wrote:divemaster08 wrote:Blerg wrote:So what went wrong since their last Chapter 11 filing? UA and DL seem to have found their way to profitability and stability while AA hasn't.
I cant remember the exact dates, but UA and DL filed for CH11 a few years before AA did which may of helped them have better profits during a period that AA was in CH11 and recovering. Also I dont know if the US AA merger was exactly as easy as the UA CO and DL NW mergers. US AA seems to be still merging stuff out with unions and other areas.
Something else that has been discussed on here over the years is whether AA needed to slim down after their merger with US. DL closed two hubs, CVG and MEM, after their merger with NWA. UA closed CLE. Both airlines also reorganized their fleets. I feel that since the merger AA, while performing well, was too bloated and needed to slim down. One of the areas they took on debt was their fleet rejuvenation, they had a ton of older aircraft like the MD-80s. They announced a huge deal with Airbus, whom they were on the outs with after AA 587, and Boeing to renew their fleet.
They should of took advantage of the merger with US to trim down and use the excess capacity created to replace older aircraft. Not to pick on Phoenix, but perhaps closing the PHX hub and redeploying those freed up aircraft to DFW and ORD to replace their MD-80s would have been more prudent. Same thing on the AA side at JFK, perhaps they held on too long for prestige when they should have been redeploying those long haul aircraft to PHL, ORD, MIA etc.. and allow the consolidation to push out older long haul aircraft.
AA has suffered from a poor network of hub locations that dont really compliment each other (geographically speaking). And in saying that, I don’t mean the individual markets themselves are bad, but just that as a collection they don’t build a cohesive network for fostering a good airline network nationally. It’s kind of like a basketball team that has 3 all-star guards, a few more good guards on the bench, but no big-men to play down low.
They have tried their best to make PHL as a TATL hub, but the geography isn’t great. They have tried to make PHX work as a Mountain West hub, but again the geography isn’t great. They tried recently to partner with AS to develop some PacNW inroads, but who knows if that will work or not. They have always been second fiddle to UA at ORD, and a solid #3 in the Midwest. And even though they have the biggest market share in LAX, Los Angeles is too big a market for anyone to dominate. DFW works well, CLT works well for Northeast to Southeast, and MIA works well for Latin American connections. But after that, AA struggles.
AA basically has had the weakest hub collection of the US3 in terms of geographical balance. To fix that would have required some bold moves and burning through a ton of cash (like DL in SEA). For better or worse, AA always tried to make what they had work... and I think the lack of a bolder long term vision has hurt them.
As has been said often: DL has a Texas hole, UA has a Southeastern hole, and AA has... a lot of holes.