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caflyboy
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AA and Reno Air vs. AA and Midway Airlines

Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:07 pm

When AA exited its secondary hubs, voids were filled by smaller operators. When exiting SJC, AA purchased the feeder operator QQ. Yet when AA exited RDU it did not purchase JI, it simply had codeshare in place with them.

At the time, BNA was still fairly well loaded while RDU was being downsized on AA metal. Why did AA not buy JI and it did by QQ? Was this because BNA was still in full swing? RDU has always been an interesting study between AA, DL and WN.
 
OB1504
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Re: AA and QQ vs. AA and JI

Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:23 pm

For anyone else who was confused by the OP using IATA codes from two decades ago, JI was the second Midway Airlines and QQ was Reno Air.
 
caflyboy
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Re: AA and QQ vs. AA and JI

Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:25 pm

OB1504 wrote:
For anyone else who was confused by the OP using IATA codes from two decades ago, JI was the second Midway Airlines and QQ was Reno Air.


Sorry you were confused. Did they have other codes?
 
USAirALB
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Re: AA and QQ vs. AA and JI

Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:33 pm

By the time JI was quite large at RDU (late 1990s), AA had already abandoned their North/South connecting hub strategy for the East Coast. IIRC, the RDU hub was already drawn down by 1994/1995. I think JI reached its peak around 1999/2000 when they acquired 73Gs for RDU-West Coast routes.

SJC was also a more lucrative market at the time than RDU prior to the dot com bubble burst.
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sprxUSA
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Re: AA and QQ vs. AA and JI

Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:35 pm

Reno Air was more than a feeder carrier. Having flown MD-80/87/90s to SEA ANC FAI PDX RDM RNO LAS TUS ABQ DEN COS ORD DTW MSP SFO SJC DRO GPT PIE IFP MCI LAX SNA ONT YVR among others over their existence. Only reno Air Express was a feeder and it was fairly small. They were a decent sized operation.
The purchase by AA gave them another shot at a SJC hub that they failed at again. Too bad there was no 'third time's a charm' scenario LOL.
Perhaps fleet commonality between AA and QQ made a purchase more enviable than with the fleet Midway had.
Not sure which happened first, but mayb e AA learned enough of a lesson in one that they didn't repeat the same thing with the other.
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caflyboy
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Re: AA and QQ vs. AA and JI

Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:43 pm

USAirALB wrote:
By the time JI was quite large at RDU (late 1990s), AA had already abandoned their North/South connecting hub strategy for the East Coast. IIRC, the RDU hub was already drawn down by 1994/1995. I think JI reached its peak around 1999/2000 when they acquired 73Gs for RDU-West Coast routes.

SJC was also a more lucrative market at the time than RDU prior to the dot com bubble burst.


Thanks USAirALB, I was looking at Feb 1995 and it looked like the markets that AA was exiting were being flown by JI, and, of course they had the codeshare in place. So, to your point, it seems that they decided code sharing with JI on the East coast was a better option than purchasing them to compete. BNA was still going (albeit short lived) and the QQ purchase was because they wanted to stay competitive on the West Coast. Interesting that the two purchases on the West Coast failed everywhere but LAX. Probably for gates. I guess the Code Share with Alaska on the West Coast was the third attempt that stuck.

Thanks for the feedback!
 
caflyboy
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Re: AA and QQ vs. AA and JI

Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:49 pm

sprxUSA wrote:
Reno Air was more than a feeder carrier. Having flown MD-80/87/90s to SEA ANC FAI PDX RDM RNO LAS TUS ABQ DEN COS ORD DTW MSP SFO SJC DRO GPT PIE IFP MCI LAX SNA ONT YVR among others over their existence. Only reno Air Express was a feeder and it was fairly small. They were a decent sized operation.
The purchase by AA gave them another shot at a SJC hub that they failed at again. Too bad there was no 'third time's a charm' scenario LOL.
Perhaps fleet commonality between AA and QQ made a purchase more enviable than with the fleet Midway had.
Not sure which happened first, but mayb e AA learned enough of a lesson in one that they didn't repeat the same thing with the other.


Thanks sprxUSA. Yes QQ was not a commuter carrier, but for AA it served the purpose to feed their SJC operation until they decided to pull out. They were regional in their ops, but served a distinct niche. I remember dying the Orange county flyer and many Mad Dogs on them. I even went to LAX for their inaugural. They were an interesting operation.

Thanks for the response. AA purchased QQ after the East coast hubs had been shut down.
 
RDUDDJI
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Re: AA and QQ vs. AA and JI

Fri Jun 12, 2020 6:05 pm

USAirALB wrote:
By the time JI was quite large at RDU (late 1990s), AA had already abandoned their North/South connecting hub strategy for the East Coast. IIRC, the RDU hub was already drawn down by 1994/1995. I think JI reached its peak around 1999/2000 when they acquired 73Gs for RDU-West Coast routes.


That's pretty accurate. JI actually peaked in 2001 (before 9/11). I worked there from '99-'01. Prior to 9/11 AA had ended the codeshare with JI. That alone was a serious blow to JI. AA had a significant amount of FFers in the RDU area back then. After the codeshare ended, most of the RDU AA flyers moved back to AA metal (even though that often required a connection).

After the AA breakup, JI codeshared with NW for a while. However, NW had nothing near the amount of loyalty in the RDU area that AA did. Losing the AA FFers, coupled with the arrival of WN in ~2000 was really tough 1-2 punch for JI...and they were really leveraged with new 737 aircraft. Summer of '01 they entered bankruptcy, then of course 9/11 happened and that was it for JI*.

It is interesting to think about if they would have been acquired had they survived. I think they would have been a good match for AA, F9, and perhaps others.

*Yes they came back briefly in months after 9/11 (around December if memory serves), but it was a fraction of the size and only lasted a few months.
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
caflyboy
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Re: AA and QQ vs. AA and JI

Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:20 pm

Thanks RDUDDJI, that was helpful as well. Interesting that in '95 a lot of the experiments were shuttered AA in BNA and RDU, CO in GSO and interesting to see the reactions on what took place.
 
USPIT10L
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Re: AA and QQ vs. AA and JI

Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:21 pm

Both of those situations were AAdvantage FF agreements, not codeshare partnerships. Otherwise, the above information is completely accurate. In those days, codeshare agreements were generally limited to international and regional airline partners, not other domestic airlines.

By giving FF access to Reno Air and Midway, customers in SJC and RDU were able to continue earning AA miles and status after AA pulled the plug on those hubs.
It's a Great Day for Hockey!
 
USAirALB
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Re: AA and QQ vs. AA and JI

Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:31 pm

RDUDDJI wrote:
That's pretty accurate. JI actually peaked in 2001 (before 9/11). I worked there from '99-'01. Prior to 9/11 AA had ended the codeshare with JI. That alone was a serious blow to JI. AA had a significant amount of FFers in the RDU area back then. After the codeshare ended, most of the RDU AA flyers moved back to AA metal (even though that often required a connection).

After the AA breakup, JI codeshared with NW for a while. However, NW had nothing near the amount of loyalty in the RDU area that AA did. Losing the AA FFers, coupled with the arrival of WN in ~2000 was really tough 1-2 punch for JI...and they were really leveraged with new 737 aircraft. Summer of '01 they entered bankruptcy, then of course 9/11 happened and that was it for JI*.

It is interesting to think about if they would have been acquired had they survived. I think they would have been a good match for AA, F9, and perhaps others.

*Yes they came back briefly in months after 9/11 (around December if memory serves), but it was a fraction of the size and only lasted a few months.

I've always been fascinated by JI, and it is quite sad as it has largely been forgotten and never really discussed on a.net.

What was the service like on the 73Gs? I know they were originally a single class service with leather seats, hot towels, etc but did they offer meals on the LAX/SJC/DEN runs or was it snacks only like WN? Did they have IFE on the 73Gs? I seem to recall them having A320s at one point as well.

I also remember hearing about them launching RDU-HDN (Steamboat Springs) seasonally because a JI executive had a house in the area.
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rj1385
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Re: AA and Reno Air vs. AA and Midway Airlines

Sat Jun 13, 2020 12:04 am

I remember flying Midway quite a few times growing up SWF-RDU-TPA. Pretty sure all flights were on the F100s. I was probably 13, mom would drop us off in Newburgh and grandparents would get us in Tampa. I don't remember much other than it being easy and efficient and no real concern for us kids going by ourselves. I do remember the AA connection with Midway being somewhat of a deciding factor as my uncle flew AA all over getting miles.

For use kids growing up every summer we took all the now gone airlines out of SWF: Midway, Independence Air, Southeast Airlines, airTran, and now U.S.Airways

Southeast was an interesting one. I remember sitting at PIE and asking how late the departure was going to be and the person brushing me off saying boarding was about to start, only to tell them there was still no plane at the gate in case they wanted to find out where the plane was.
 
N649DL
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Re: AA and Reno Air vs. AA and Midway Airlines

Sat Jun 13, 2020 2:26 am

I flew Midway on EWR-RDU-MCO in 2001 out of the AA gates at EWR on a CRJ connecting to a 73G to MCO out of RDU. Oddly enough, Midway seemed like an LCC for AA as they used their former RDU hub concourse and even the seats were blue leather (almost the same seats as on the AA S80s at the time which were cloth with leather headrests).

The odd thing is post 9/11, Midway liquidated and AA assumed many of their routes which they used to fly when they hubbed at RDU. No idea why, but for instance American Eagle flew EWR-RDU on ERJ through 2008. So AA basically assumed RDU as a focus city in the mid-2000s after completely shutting it down as a major hub in 1995.

FYI: AA flew RDU-LGW out of the Midway gates at the time and QQ were actively promoting RDU-SJC in 2001 as well. They served Mints and had no IFE but had a very clean product. No complaints but wish AA was still Hubbing at RDU at the time.
 
MIAFLLPBIFlyer
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Re: AA and Reno Air vs. AA and Midway Airlines

Sat Jun 13, 2020 3:13 am

N649DL wrote:
I flew Midway on EWR-RDU-MCO in 2001 out of the AA gates at EWR on a CRJ connecting to a 73G to MCO out of RDU. Oddly enough, Midway seemed like an LCC for AA as they used their former RDU hub concourse and even the seats were blue leather (almost the same seats as on the AA S80s at the time which were cloth with leather headrests).

The odd thing is post 9/11, Midway liquidated and AA assumed many of their routes which they used to fly when they hubbed at RDU. No idea why, but for instance American Eagle flew EWR-RDU on ERJ through 2008. So AA basically assumed RDU as a focus city in the mid-2000s after completely shutting it down as a major hub in 1995.

FYI: AA flew RDU-LGW out of the Midway gates at the time and QQ were actively promoting RDU-SJC in 2001 as well. They served Mints and had no IFE but had a very clean product. No complaints but wish AA was still Hubbing at RDU at the time.


Funny timing on this thread as I was just looking at Midway timrtable's yesterday. The west coast routes started in January 2001. But even as early as 1998 RDU was really built-out well as a north/south hub. RDU-SJC was first, maybe to compliment AA because of the code share?

American continued to fly MIA-RDU throughout this period because of the AA hub in MIA. FLL had Midway service I believe the whole time the airline existed. Interestingly like the EWR example above, American Eagle flew RDU-FLL after the Midway collapse, and cut it in 2005 or 2006.
 
BAeRJ100
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Re: AA and QQ vs. AA and JI

Sat Jun 13, 2020 3:29 am

caflyboy wrote:
OB1504 wrote:
For anyone else who was confused by the OP using IATA codes from two decades ago, JI was the second Midway Airlines and QQ was Reno Air.


Sorry you were confused. Did they have other codes?


It's not necessarily that the airlines you are talking about may have had other codes, but that those codes may have been used by other airlines. For example, QQ is currently used by Alliance Airlines in Australia, and has been since 2002. Indeed, if I saw "QQ" mentioned without much context, I would be thinking of the airline it is currently used for.
B737/738/739/744ER/752/753/763/77L/77W/788/789
A223/320/321/332/333/346/359/388
MD82/MD88/717/F100/RJ85/RJ100/146-100/200/300
E175/190/CRJ700/900
 
n9801f
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Re: AA and Reno Air vs. AA and Midway Airlines

Sat Jun 13, 2020 4:59 am

caflyboy wrote:
Why did AA not buy JI and it did by QQ?


This is a great and thought-provoking topic.

That was a long time ago, but here's how I remember it.

In the case of both SJC and RDU, AA shut down unprofitable hubs, so it's surprising that they'd reacquire either.

But SJC changed dramatically. AA shut the SJC hub following a US recession in 1992. AA was probably glad to preserve a presence, at least virtually, through Reno Air, which was a hybrid/LCC. But the dark days of the 1992/3 recession unexpectedly and quickly gave way to a roaring boom in SJC with the Silicon Valley tech bubble of the late -90's.

There's an old joke that as soon as you decide to cancel a route that loses money, it finally turns profitable. And that's kind of what I remember happening here - Reno Air finally made SJC work; AA gave up too soon. No doubt Reno Air's lower cost structure helped, too.

Midway, on the other hand, seemed to struggle at RDU, even in boom years. And unlike Reno Air which had a large mainline operation, a big portion of Midway's operation was CRJ's.

So you could say that it's surprising that AA bought either. But of the two, Reno Air's operation was more like AA mainline and it was based in a booming city on the long-sought (by AA) West Coast.

In the end it was for naught. AA bought Reno Air in 1999, soon before 9/11. When 9/11 hit, Midway shut down almost immediately. Overnight AA retrenched from its recent acquisitions (Reno Air, TWA) strictly to its core hubs in DFW and ORD and historic strengths.
 
N649DL
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Re: AA and Reno Air vs. AA and Midway Airlines

Sat Jun 13, 2020 6:25 pm

MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
N649DL wrote:
I flew Midway on EWR-RDU-MCO in 2001 out of the AA gates at EWR on a CRJ connecting to a 73G to MCO out of RDU. Oddly enough, Midway seemed like an LCC for AA as they used their former RDU hub concourse and even the seats were blue leather (almost the same seats as on the AA S80s at the time which were cloth with leather headrests).

The odd thing is post 9/11, Midway liquidated and AA assumed many of their routes which they used to fly when they hubbed at RDU. No idea why, but for instance American Eagle flew EWR-RDU on ERJ through 2008. So AA basically assumed RDU as a focus city in the mid-2000s after completely shutting it down as a major hub in 1995.

FYI: AA flew RDU-LGW out of the Midway gates at the time and QQ were actively promoting RDU-SJC in 2001 as well. They served Mints and had no IFE but had a very clean product. No complaints but wish AA was still Hubbing at RDU at the time.


Funny timing on this thread as I was just looking at Midway timrtable's yesterday. The west coast routes started in January 2001. But even as early as 1998 RDU was really built-out well as a north/south hub. RDU-SJC was first, maybe to compliment AA because of the code share?

American continued to fly MIA-RDU throughout this period because of the AA hub in MIA. FLL had Midway service I believe the whole time the airline existed. Interestingly like the EWR example above, American Eagle flew RDU-FLL after the Midway collapse, and cut it in 2005 or 2006.


Midway had banners up promoting RDU-SJC heavily at the RDU hub. This was in April 2001. There might had been a few other new destinations they launched but can't remember.

Actually, AA assumed many QQ routes as American Eagle almost immediately after they folded (since they did code share) including BDL, JAX, EWR, FLL but there was a second wave of RDU expansion with AA mainline in 2007 on RDU to LGA and AUS and potentially a destination or two in Florida. Most of the AA RDU Focus City was dismantled during the recession in 2008, along with the SJU hub.
 
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ERJ170
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Re: AA and Reno Air vs. AA and Midway Airlines

Sat Jun 13, 2020 6:35 pm

Yeah.. it was basically No hub —> AA hub —> Midway hub —> AA Eagle hub —> Delta focus city with not much time in between each stage. It will be interesting to see what happens next. RDU is good in that it’s basically a 50/50 business/leisure station.. never really will be a big huge destination but will always be an important station. It works best as a non-hub but large station/focus city with sufficient competition and routes. But I’m just saying...
Aiming High and going far..
 
RDUDDJI
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Re: AA and Reno Air vs. AA and Midway Airlines

Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:29 pm

N649DL wrote:
I flew Midway on EWR-RDU-MCO in 2001 out of the AA gates at EWR on a CRJ connecting to a 73G to MCO out of RDU. Oddly enough, Midway seemed like an LCC for AA as they used their former RDU hub concourse and even the seats were blue leather (almost the same seats as on the AA S80s at the time which were cloth with leather headrests).

The odd thing is post 9/11, Midway liquidated and AA assumed many of their routes which they used to fly when they hubbed at RDU. No idea why, but for instance American Eagle flew EWR-RDU on ERJ through 2008. So AA basically assumed RDU as a focus city in the mid-2000s after completely shutting it down as a major hub in 1995.

FYI: AA flew RDU-LGW out of the Midway gates at the time and QQ were actively promoting RDU-SJC in 2001 as well. They served Mints and had no IFE but had a very clean product. No complaints but wish AA was still Hubbing at RDU at the time.


Actually Terminal C was AA's terminal (they built it). I believe JI leased their gates from AA. AA utilized the best gates in the terminal (i.e. the ones closest to security). C17/C19 (the widebody FIS gates) were actually AA gates, that JI only used during their morning banks.
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
RDUDDJI
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Re: AA and Reno Air vs. AA and Midway Airlines

Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:46 pm

caflyboy wrote:
Why did AA not buy JI and it did by QQ?


Could be many reasons, but I think timing was probably the biggest issue. AA had the QQ acquisition in 99 and the TW one right after that in 01. Then there was 9/11. The other one is fleet. The 737 and 73G's may have fit well into AA's fleet and possibly the F100's (although JI was already planning to retire them and I think AA was too), and then of course they would have had to find something to do with all the 30 or so CRJs. QQ had an all Mad Dog fleet which was somewhat easier to integrate with AA's existing MD fleet.
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
phllax
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Re: AA and QQ vs. AA and JI

Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:21 pm

USAirALB wrote:
I seem to recall them having A320s at one point as well.


When I was going to GW in the mid-90's, we would see the 320 show up on the River visual to DCA in the afternoons. I think it also went to FLL and BOS.
 
N649DL
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Re: AA and Reno Air vs. AA and Midway Airlines

Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:40 pm

Guys, I'm sorry: I got my airline operator codes wrong. I thought QQ was Midway and forgot QQ was Reno Air and JI was Midway. So when I said QQ I really meant Midway.

RDUDDJI wrote:
caflyboy wrote:
Why did AA not buy JI and it did by QQ?


Could be many reasons, but I think timing was probably the biggest issue. AA had the QQ acquisition in 99 and the TW one right after that in 01. Then there was 9/11. The other one is fleet. The 737 and 73G's may have fit well into AA's fleet and possibly the F100's (although JI was already planning to retire them and I think AA was too), and then of course they would have had to find something to do with all the 30 or so CRJs. QQ had an all Mad Dog fleet which was somewhat easier to integrate with AA's existing MD fleet.


I think AA was more than satisfied with having Midway be a code share partner and if/when it would've been appropriate for them to acquire JI, it was when they were already in the heat of integrating TWA. However, it remains a mystery as to why AA jumped in so quickly to fly JI routes once they liquidated in 2002 when they canned RDU as a major hub in the mid-1990s. Not to mention most of these AE additions to RDU weren't heavily promoted, and (if anything) rather silent. I think AA had such a massive elite base in RDU that they probably didn't have to as locals were probably "In the Know" that AA was coming back to town as a Focus City (AA also had a crew base and Call Center in RDU at the time). Plus AE was probably focusing on O&D at RDU whereas JI was using it more as a north to south connecting hub operation. IIRC, in 2007 AA starting using RDU for more connections as I recall at EWR at a neighboring gate, the EWR-RDU flight continued on-wards to SDF (very oddball connection.)

Perhaps acquiring JI was on the back burner or something in the mid-2000s but that plan got canned since JI ran out of cash and filed Chapter 7 instead. Also the brief build up of AA mainline additions and addition AE routes in 2006-2007 only to be sliced completed in 2008-2009 is also a bit mysterious as well.
 
USAirALB
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Re: AA and Reno Air vs. AA and Midway Airlines

Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:20 pm

N649DL wrote:
Guys, I'm sorry: I got my airline operator codes wrong. I thought QQ was Midway and forgot QQ was Reno Air and JI was Midway. So when I said QQ I really meant Midway.

RDUDDJI wrote:
caflyboy wrote:
Why did AA not buy JI and it did by QQ?


Could be many reasons, but I think timing was probably the biggest issue. AA had the QQ acquisition in 99 and the TW one right after that in 01. Then there was 9/11. The other one is fleet. The 737 and 73G's may have fit well into AA's fleet and possibly the F100's (although JI was already planning to retire them and I think AA was too), and then of course they would have had to find something to do with all the 30 or so CRJs. QQ had an all Mad Dog fleet which was somewhat easier to integrate with AA's existing MD fleet.


I think AA was more than satisfied with having Midway be a code share partner and if/when it would've been appropriate for them to acquire JI, it was when they were already in the heat of integrating TWA. However, it remains a mystery as to why AA jumped in so quickly to fly JI routes once they liquidated in 2002 when they canned RDU as a major hub in the mid-1990s. Not to mention most of these AE additions to RDU weren't heavily promoted, and (if anything) rather silent. I think AA had such a massive elite base in RDU that they probably didn't have to as locals were probably "In the Know" that AA was coming back to town as a Focus City (AA also had a crew base and Call Center in RDU at the time). Plus AE was probably focusing on O&D at RDU whereas JI was using it more as a north to south connecting hub operation. IIRC, in 2007 AA starting using RDU for more connections as I recall at EWR at a neighboring gate, the EWR-RDU flight continued on-wards to SDF (very oddball connection.)

Perhaps acquiring JI was on the back burner or something in the mid-2000s but that plan got canned since JI ran out of cash and filed Chapter 7 instead. Also the brief build up of AA mainline additions and addition AE routes in 2006-2007 only to be sliced completed in 2008-2009 is also a bit mysterious as well.

I’ve always wondered this myself as well.

I don’t recall AA ever classifying RDU as a focus city or anything nor do I ever recall seeing big press releases announcing new RDU service other than the “New Routes” page AA had on their website.

IIRC at its height in around 2006-2007 they had RDU-ORD/JFK/LGA/EWR/BOS/BDL/DFW/MIA/STL/CMH/DCA/MCI/JAX/SDF/AUS. All very corporate routes. I am trying to find an old AA PDF timetable somewhere on the web because I am curious to see what the frequency of some of the routes was. I can’t imagine they all operated on the weekend given their business nature.

Several routes were mysteriously absent that I think would have made sense, the most notable one to me that sticks out is LAX. BNA/ALB/PVD also seemed like holes to me.

They also stayed away from leisure routes whatsoever. I think they ran RDU-MCO on an ERJ at one point during the weekends along with RDU-FLL/NAS for one season. I also seem to recall them announcing RDU-SJC but never starting it.
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N649DL
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Re: AA and Reno Air vs. AA and Midway Airlines

Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:34 pm

USAirALB wrote:
N649DL wrote:
Guys, I'm sorry: I got my airline operator codes wrong. I thought QQ was Midway and forgot QQ was Reno Air and JI was Midway. So when I said QQ I really meant Midway.

RDUDDJI wrote:

Could be many reasons, but I think timing was probably the biggest issue. AA had the QQ acquisition in 99 and the TW one right after that in 01. Then there was 9/11. The other one is fleet. The 737 and 73G's may have fit well into AA's fleet and possibly the F100's (although JI was already planning to retire them and I think AA was too), and then of course they would have had to find something to do with all the 30 or so CRJs. QQ had an all Mad Dog fleet which was somewhat easier to integrate with AA's existing MD fleet.


I think AA was more than satisfied with having Midway be a code share partner and if/when it would've been appropriate for them to acquire JI, it was when they were already in the heat of integrating TWA. However, it remains a mystery as to why AA jumped in so quickly to fly JI routes once they liquidated in 2002 when they canned RDU as a major hub in the mid-1990s. Not to mention most of these AE additions to RDU weren't heavily promoted, and (if anything) rather silent. I think AA had such a massive elite base in RDU that they probably didn't have to as locals were probably "In the Know" that AA was coming back to town as a Focus City (AA also had a crew base and Call Center in RDU at the time). Plus AE was probably focusing on O&D at RDU whereas JI was using it more as a north to south connecting hub operation. IIRC, in 2007 AA starting using RDU for more connections as I recall at EWR at a neighboring gate, the EWR-RDU flight continued on-wards to SDF (very oddball connection.)

Perhaps acquiring JI was on the back burner or something in the mid-2000s but that plan got canned since JI ran out of cash and filed Chapter 7 instead. Also the brief build up of AA mainline additions and addition AE routes in 2006-2007 only to be sliced completed in 2008-2009 is also a bit mysterious as well.

I’ve always wondered this myself as well.

I don’t recall AA ever classifying RDU as a focus city or anything nor do I ever recall seeing big press releases announcing new RDU service other than the “New Routes” page AA had on their website.

IIRC at its height in around 2006-2007 they had RDU-ORD/JFK/LGA/EWR/BOS/BDL/DFW/MIA/STL/CMH/DCA/MCI/JAX/SDF/AUS. All very corporate routes. I am trying to find an old AA PDF timetable somewhere on the web because I am curious to see what the frequency of some of the routes was. I can’t imagine they all operated on the weekend given their business nature.

Several routes were mysteriously absent that I think would have made sense, the most notable one to me that sticks out is LAX. BNA/ALB/PVD also seemed like holes to me.

They also stayed away from leisure routes whatsoever. I think they ran RDU-MCO on an ERJ at one point during the weekends along with RDU-FLL/NAS for one season. I also seem to recall them announcing RDU-SJC but never starting it.


In August 2007 I was flying AA back for college EWR-ORD-LAX. That was a definitely a Saturday and was when AE flew EWR-RDU-SDF at the gate next door. AA definitely starting flying RDU-LAX at some point but I think DL was first.

I'm trying to think if AE ever operated RDU-MCO in the 2000s. I know RDU-JAX was always around and FLL might've been daily. RDU to AUS and LGA were upgraded to S80s in 2007 for a time as well.
 
Ionosphere
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Re: AA and Reno Air vs. AA and Midway Airlines

Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:16 pm

I flew NAS-MIA-RDU-BOS in February 2007. NAS-MIA was on an Executive ATR-72. MIA-RDU was on a 738. RDU-BOS was on an Eagle ERJ-135
 
N649DL
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Re: AA and Reno Air vs. AA and Midway Airlines

Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:19 pm

Never flew Reno Air, but it seemed like another AA purchase (similar to AirCal) to gain further dominance out of SJC before the dot com bubble burst. AA was still making moves pre-9/11 out of the SJC hub by announcing CDG and TPE in 2000.

In Early November 1993, my family flew to PBI during the NJ Teacher's Convention Break and flew AA IIRC JFK/LGA/EWR (can't remember) via RDU to PBI and return AA PBI-RDU-LGA. All I remember is the RDU concourse being super crowded on the return and my parents rushing me to one of the restrooms to change into pants from shorts going to LGA as it was freezing cold up in the NYC area on the return. I was in the 1st Grade at the time.

I do remember it was an S80 on PBI-RDU and a 727 on RDU-LGA and they served dinner in the form of baskets (like wing baskets from a bar) in coach. I also got some incredible AA RDU hub postcards from the Gift Shop that I lost over the years. One was of the classic overhead photo of the RDU hub concourse that you can still find on a google search today.

It was a busy travel month that year: A few weeks later we flew up to VT for a ski vacation on Continental Express and almost crashed at EWR (or so my Parents say, I was sick and passed out sleeping) on an ATR on BTV-EWR. The AA flights were way smoother by comparison haha.
 
USAirALB
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Re: AA and Reno Air vs. AA and Midway Airlines

Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:26 am

December 2002 (Baseline Schedule): 56~ daily flights
BDL (all ERJ, approx. 3x daily), BOS (mix of ERJ and S80, approx. 5x daily), CMH (2x ERJ), DCA (5x ERJ), DFW (7x S80), EWR (5x ERJ), JFK (4x ERJ), LGA (mix of ERJ, F100, S80, roughly 5x daily), MIA (3x S80), ORD (6x S80), PHL (5x ERJ), SJU (1x 738), STL (4x S80), LGW (1x 777)

December 2003:
BOS now all Eagle, addition of 2x SaSu FLL ERJ flights, addition of 2x SaSu NAS ERJ flights, LGA now all Eagle, addition of 2x SaSu MCO ERJ flights, STL now all Eagle, SJU gone

December 2004:
Addition of 2x AUS ERJ flights, NAS/FLL gone, addition of 4x PVD ERJ flights

December 2005:
PVD and PHL both gone (RDU likely dropped because WN entered PHL-RDU)

December 2006:
No major changes

The December 2007 timetable isn't available, but I am going to guess that 2007 was the year they launched/resumed JAX/MCI/SDF and then began/restarted mainline on AUS/STL/LGA.

The Summer Oneworld 2008 timetable shows mainline to AUS/STL/LGA (that all looked to be discontinued on 2 September, and MCI/SDF/JAX flights (that looked to be suspended at the end of the Summer season). This was also the schedule where 777 service was discontinued to London and the 763 took over.
RJ85, F70, E135, E140, E145, E70, E75, E90, CR2, CR7, CR9, 717, 732, 733, 734, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 744ER, 752, 753, 762, 772, 77E, 77W, 789, 319, 320, 321, 332, 333, 343, 359, 388
 
flyboy7974
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Re: AA and Reno Air vs. AA and Midway Airlines

Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:33 am

IIRC, didn’t the purchase of QQ also give AA 3-4 slots at the much coveted ORD which I think was slot controlled at that time.
 
LAXffDUB
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:05 pm

Re: AA and Reno Air vs. AA and Midway Airlines

Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:19 pm

I remember using QQ from flying in and out of TUS in the late 90s. AA had a large presence but their routes were to DFW/ORD. QQ would complement their service by taking you westbound while allowing full "earn and burn" benefits with AAdvantage.
 
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ERJ170
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Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:15 am

Re: AA and Reno Air vs. AA and Midway Airlines

Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:40 pm

Also remember AA Eagle had a LGA shuttle after JI went under. I think it was somewhere between 12-15 Eagle flights to LGA or something like that? I think between AEagle, US, DL... RDU has up to 22-27 daily nonstop flights to LGA alone at one point.. can’t remember the exact number. But it was a lot!!!
Aiming High and going far..

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