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AntonioMartin
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TWA in 1997...

Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:00 pm

Hi: I just found this TWA route map from 1997. It has some interesting routes as you will see.Apparently there was a seasonal domestic service in Spain between Madrid and Barcelona?

There was also Lisbon to Barcelona and Cairo to Riyadh https://www.flickr.com/photos/erussell1 ... otostream/. AND....West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale and Orange County to Ontario.

Cabotage in a different country, then random flights between European countries and between African and Asian countries, and last but not least the Florida and California ones on mainline TWA seem awfully short distanced to have flights. What gave???

Thanks in advance and God bless!
 
hinckley
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:51 pm

I'm sure these were tag-ons , , , one-stop service JFK-MAD-BCN or JFK-LIS-BCN. They likely were only allowed to transport through passengers.
 
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OzarkD9S
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:55 pm

Full traffic rights on CAI-RUH, and LIS-BCN. The PBI-FLL and SNA-ONT flights were round robins out of STL.
"True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain." -Mercutio
 
pezzy669
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:52 pm

Off original subject I must say these maps really show how much of a shell of its former self that TWA had become. Looks like except a handful of Europe, a handful of Caribbean and a little Mexico they had pretty much just become a domestic airline. Would be interesting to compare these to AA, UA, DL, CO, NW or US around same time period.
 
Planeboy17
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:59 pm

One I saw that in my opinion is the strangest is MSP-IND. Tagon doesn’t make sense and can’t think of much of a big corporate route. Maybe they just wanted to fly between the 2 largest US apolis.
 
stlgph
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:22 am

If I recall correctly the plane went MSP-IND-JFK and return.
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departedflights
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:27 am

Planeboy17 wrote:
One I saw that in my opinion is the strangest is MSP-IND. Tagon doesn’t make sense and can’t think of much of a big corporate route. Maybe they just wanted to fly between the 2 largest US apolis.


As stlpgh said: This was just a route that linked Minneapolis and JFK. Much like Pan Am used to combine domestic cities for their once-daily flights to JFK to feed international flights (Kansas City-Minneapolis-New York, Indianapolis-Cleveland-New York, Salt Lake City-Denver-New York).... this was just a combining of two domestic cities that happened to be fairly close by to feed the JFK hub once a day.
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ghost77
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 5:24 am

I love and remember seeing TWA flying STL-MEX.

g77
 
AntonioMartin
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 6:01 am

OzarkD9S wrote:
Full traffic rights on CAI-RUH, and LIS-BCN. The PBI-FLL and SNA-ONT flights were round robins out of STL.

Could you fly PBI-FLL or SNA-ONT without coming from or continuing to STL?
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 6:56 am

Planeboy17 wrote:
One I saw that in my opinion is the strangest is MSP-IND. Tagon doesn’t make sense and can’t think of much of a big corporate route. Maybe they just wanted to fly between the 2 largest US apolis.

It was a JFK tag-on.
Over the years they ran through several cites, like Columbus, Cincinnati, Even Dayton for a short while, and for a long time JFK-DCA-IND.
PA ran through several as well, with Cleveland being the longest I remember.
 
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OzarkD9S
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:44 am

AntonioMartin wrote:

Could you fly PBI-FLL or SNA-ONT without coming from or continuing to STL?


Yes. And at that point TWA would have gladly taken your money.
"True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain." -Mercutio
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:55 am

They flew JFK MSY MEX I believe.

1997 is the year the bottom fell out and they really started to scale back in size FYI
 
PANAMsterdam
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:08 am

jfklganyc wrote:
They flew JFK MSY MEX I believe.

1997 is the year the bottom fell out and they really started to scale back in size FYI


TW800 killed more than just the passengers, it killed TWA as well
Every country has an airline. The world has Pan Am.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:45 am

The Flight 800 disaster was the nail in the coffin for TWA and ironically (and cruelly) came on the same day that TWA reported a significant rebound in its financial situation. TWA's fleet of older aircraft were quickly pointed out as the culprit in the crash (in spite of conspiracy theories suggesting it had been shot out of the sky by a missile). TWA was though already on the fast track to failure by then, and the process really began in earnest once Carl Icahn got his greedy hands on the company and began to systematically destroy the airline from within (and got even richer in the process) starting in the mid-1980s. But yes, in 1997, TWA flew JFK-CAI-RUH and JFK-LIS-BCN among its international routes involving stopovers. The airline had a long history of both multi-stop flights and intra-Europe and Europe-Middle East routings, including JFK-FCO-ATH-CAI, CDG-GVA, CDG-ZRH, BRU-HAM, BRU-SVO, JFK-GVA-VIE, CDG-TLV, and there were others. TWA Flight 800 itself was a second service to FCO, via CDG although TWA 800 was for decades one of the two nonstop JFK-CDG flights (the other was TWA 804) and TWA 840 and TWA 848 were the nonstop JFK-FCO flights. TWA 840 was a year round operation. TWA 848 was a seasonal add and sometimes flown with a 762. TWA 840 was always a 747 after it replaced the 707.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:52 am

A few others included BRU-CPH, there were intra-Scandinavia routings as well as nonstops from JFK, and TWA also for a very short time flew JFK-KWI-BOM using the 747-SPs (2) it had acquired in 1980 to fly TPAC, but those routes never materialized. The goal was to fly JFK-NRT with them but the slots were not granted on the Japan end.
 
PANAMsterdam
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:59 pm

Cointrin330 wrote:
The Flight 800 disaster was the nail in the coffin for TWA


Did you know that T'Way Air, the South Korean airline that now uses the IATA code TW, does not have a flight TW800? They do have flights like TW802, TW804 but no flight 800. Cannot think of another reason then that they decided against using that flight number out of respect for the victims of those lost in 1996.


And can you imagine that there were times that this picture looked like it was taken at an US airport, but was actually taken in Europe

Last edited by PANAMsterdam on Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Every country has an airline. The world has Pan Am.
 
slider
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:03 pm

There was also a STL-AUS-MFE tag as well in 1998 that existed.

None of these tag flights made sense as opposed to adding frequency to existing business markets and growing frequency.

This was also around the time that the highly sought after Narita flight was finally granted only for TWA to not fly it because the numbers were upside down (and it would have operated on the smallest TPac aircraft possible).

It was the beginning of the long walk goodbye for TWA.
 
FCOTSTW
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:03 pm

hinckley wrote:
I'm sure these were tag-ons , , , one-stop service JFK-MAD-BCN or JFK-LIS-BCN. They likely were only allowed to transport through passengers.


Yes, this was TW901 (or 903) flying JFK MAD BCN, with the last leg without traffic rights. IIRC it was a 747
 
FCOTSTW
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:10 pm

pezzy669 wrote:
Off original subject I must say these maps really show how much of a shell of its former self that TWA had become. Looks like except a handful of Europe, a handful of Caribbean and a little Mexico they had pretty much just become a domestic airline. Would be interesting to compare these to AA, UA, DL, CO, NW or US around same time period.


Correct. At one point TWA' s plan was to reduce itself as a U.S. / Mexico / Caribbean /Canada (I believe YYZ and YVR only) airline, while keeping alive those very few, still profitable international routes. At that time, it felt that it could not compete any longer against the big American and European transatlantic powerhouses, such as BA, AA, and UA. CAI / RUH was a sort of niche market. This is further confirmed by the Airbus 330 order initially converted to A319s (and later abandoned) and the purchase of MD82s, MD88s, and 757s.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:18 pm

FCOTSTW wrote:
hinckley wrote:
I'm sure these were tag-ons , , , one-stop service JFK-MAD-BCN or JFK-LIS-BCN. They likely were only allowed to transport through passengers.


Yes, this was TW901 (or 903) flying JFK MAD BCN, with the last leg without traffic rights. IIRC it was a 747


Lest we think that's too odd for the time, in Nov. 1997, DL was running ATL-BCN-MAD. I flew it on what the Captain named as the very newest aircraft in the Delta fleet that day, yes, a 767-300ER.

It took a long, long time for carriers to rationalize their domestic route structures post-1978 dereg. Some U.S.-international work remains undone because of bilaterals with route and frequency restrictions.
 
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FlyCaledonian
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:07 pm

I think the JFK-BCN and JFK-LIS flights were operated by 757s, with the other flights mainly on 767-300s plus the odd 767-200ER.

To see the way that airline was hollowed out is quite something. Of course if things had been able to work out differently they should have taken delivery of RR Trent powered A330-300s in the early 1990s to start replacing the 747s and TriStars.
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
Cointrin330
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 5:56 pm

JFK-BCN/LIS were operated with 757s toward the end of their operation at TWA. JFK-CAI-RUH, JFK-TLV, JFK-CDG, and STL-LGW and STL-CDG were flown with the 763 for the most part toward the end of their operation and TWA's existence. There is a whole thread started a few weeks ago dedicated to TWA's TATL drawdown.
 
AntonioMartin
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 6:05 pm

Cointrin330 wrote:
The Flight 800 disaster was the nail in the coffin for TWA and ironically (and cruelly) came on the same day that TWA reported a significant rebound in its financial situation. TWA's fleet of older aircraft were quickly pointed out as the culprit in the crash (in spite of conspiracy theories suggesting it had been shot out of the sky by a missile). TWA was though already on the fast track to failure by then, and the process really began in earnest once Carl Icahn got his greedy hands on the company and began to systematically destroy the airline from within (and got even richer in the process) starting in the mid-1980s. But yes, in 1997, TWA flew JFK-CAI-RUH and JFK-LIS-BCN among its international routes involving stopovers. The airline had a long history of both multi-stop flights and intra-Europe and Europe-Middle East routings, including JFK-FCO-ATH-CAI, CDG-GVA, CDG-ZRH, BRU-HAM, BRU-SVO, JFK-GVA-VIE, CDG-TLV, and there were others. TWA Flight 800 itself was a second service to FCO, via CDG although TWA 800 was for decades one of the two nonstop JFK-CDG flights (the other was TWA 804) and TWA 840 and TWA 848 were the nonstop JFK-FCO flights. TWA 840 was a year round operation. TWA 848 was a seasonal add and sometimes flown with a 762. TWA 840 was always a 747 after it replaced the 707.


A bit off topic, but, tragically, TWA800 of 1996 was the second TWA800 to crash...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TWA_Flight_800_(1964)-this one killed 50.
 
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STT757
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 6:10 pm

This week marks 24 years since the TWA flight 800 tragedy. I still remember the breaking news report showing flames on the water.
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DesertAir
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:47 pm

I few TWA in 1997 on the SFO-STL-San Antonio route. I enjoyed the 727 flights between San Antonio and St. Louis.
 
880dc8707
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:37 pm

There was also a DAY-PHL-JFK. Was booked on it for an Intl connection, but it was cxld due to WX. Big snow in DAY. Beautiful day in Philly, wx didnt make sense, went out the next day same routing luckily, Almost got screwed up in LHR, the ongoing Gulf air flight was on a different schedule and hour earlier, just made it.
 
codc10
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:29 pm

Ambassador Clubs at ABQ, CMH, DAY and PBI? Interesting!
 
Cointrin330
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:13 am

codc10 wrote:
Ambassador Clubs at ABQ, CMH, DAY and PBI? Interesting!


TWA operated Ambassador Clubs at PHX, LAX, SFO, BOS, MCI, STL, LGA, IAD, SAN, ABQ, EWR, CMH, DAY, DFW, DCA, SEA, SJU, and overseas at LHR, CDG, FRA, FCO, and MXP.

Europe was particularly interesting given that aside from LHR and CDG, TWA had essentially just one flight at FRA, FCO, and MXP for the most part. FRA did have a STL and a JFK service, FCO was occasionally served twice daily from JFK (or up to 10 times a week, it varied), and there was FCO-ATH-CAI tag service as well. MXP though had just one flight a day, to JFK. TWA's 747 were configured to seat 339 before Comfort Class was introduced.
 
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sjones1975
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:12 am

Cointrin330 wrote:
The Flight 800 disaster was the nail in the coffin for TWA


Flight 800 didn’t actually affect TWA’s European destinations as much as one might think. At its height in the late 80s, TWA had twenty-something European destinations. As TWA experienced financial trouble in the early to mid-90s, that number shrank. At the time of TWA 800 in July 1996, TWA’s TATL route network consisted of the three major northern European markets (London, Paris, FRA), a robust six destinations in TWA’s traditional stronghold of southern Europe (LIS, MAD, BCN, MXP, FCO, ATH), and its Middle Eastern destinations of TLV, CAI, and RUH.

In 1997, the following summer after the Flight 800 tragedy, TWA still flew to all of the above destinations with the exception of FRA. In my opinion, that was still a respectable TATL network. TWA kept all six of its southern European destinations where it was traditionally strongest (compared to Pan Am and then later to DL and AA), and it kept the two premier destinations of northern Europe, London and Paris. (By “premier destinations,” I’m referring to cities, not airports; I realize LGW is second-fiddle to LHR.) It also retained its Middle Eastern mini-network of TLV, CAI, and RUH, something that other U.S. carriers did not have.

In summer of 1998, it retained all of the summer 1997 destinations with the exception of Athens. I still think that the overall integrity of its TATL network was maintained at that point. No longer huge like the late 80s, but still respectable. It should also be remembered that TWA was doing financially okay in 1998, and at the time it looked like it might be putting the 1995 bankruptcy and the fallout from the 1996 tragedy in its rearview mirror. It had some quarterly profits during this time period (yes, profits even after TWA 800), and was in good enough shape to place $3.9B of narrowbody orders from Boeing and Airbus.

Summer 1999 saw no reductions at all in TATL destinations. Thus, from the TWA 800 tragedy of 1996 all the way to 1999, TWA lost only two European destinations: FRA and Athens. It was only in late 1999 or 2000 that TWA dropped most of its southern European network, leaving it, oddly, with only Lisbon and Milan in southern Europe, in addition to London and Paris. I’ll concede that at that point, TWA was truly a shell of its former self. Not too long after that, the buyout by AA was announced.
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N649DL
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:20 am

Ironically TWA expanded to the Caribbean and Mexico out of EWR of all places around the time AA picked them up. TWA was flying a few times a week on M83s from EWR to places like FPO, CUN, and PUJ in 2001: http://www.departedflights.com/AA070201p78.html
 
DETA737
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:01 am

The last few years TWA's situation did not seem as depressing as it might seem on the surface, in fact the airline seemed better than it had been in the early 90s. Their passenger numbers were up and the airline became a leader in on-time performance, putting them along with Continental at the top of customer service surveys with JD Power & Associates. After 1996, the airline primarily focussed on solidifying the St Louis hub building more banks and adding flight to Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii and adding more transcontinental routes. Management felt that they could get more business revenue and that hopefully they could make it until Karabu expired in 2003.

During the second half of the 1990s, more frequencies were added out of STL, with new cities such as OGG and YVR being added during that period. Also, STL-FRA was to be re-launched in May 2001. There was also talk of adding season STL-MAD and STL-FCO as STL had better connectivity than JFK. Also, STL-LAX was supposed to be up to 10 frequencies daily as well. STL-BDA was another route announced just before the end. The approval to launch STL-NRT was granted around late 1999, but they soon realised that it would have been too costly to acquire special aircraft for a single route.

LAX was announced as a new focus city around 2000. In 2000 and 2002 TWA added more JFK-LAX and JFK-SFO flights, hoping that with more frequencies they could effectively compete with AA, UA and DL. Additionally, in the summer of 2000 IIRC they launched LAX-DCA which was to be 3 daily and this was seen as an important business market. TWA had been stuck flying around 3 daily JFK-LAX flights and though my memory is fuzzy they were to be 5 daily by summer of 2001. There was also the addition of LAX-KOA and LAX-SJU in 2000.

There was also the SJU focus city built up during the last few years, with TWA carrying a large number of passengers to and from NY to STL while also adding flights to Florida, Aruba and the DR and announcing SJU-CCS. Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic had more flights added from JFK and BOS during the final year and though I am not sure that these were high-yield, at the time the AA had enjoyed a near monopoly in SJU. Mexico flights particularly to Cancun from STL and JFK were added in an effort to counter-balance TWA's historically weak winter months.

Due to the high leasing costs TWA was unable to acquire many new widebodies at the time so the idea was to focus on the few 767-300ERs for more profitable routes, namely JFK-TLV, JFK-CAI-RUH, Hawaii, NYC-SJU/SDQ and STL-Europe. The 767-200ERs were on their way out as they had a higher CASM and their retirement led to axing JFK-LIS and JFK-MXP in January of 2001. The hope was that they could continue lobbying the government for a return to LHR so that by 2003 they could grow their footprint in Europe.
 
USAirALB
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:08 am

DETA737 wrote:
The last few years TWA's situation did not seem as depressing as it might seem on the surface, in fact the airline seemed better than it had been in the early 90s. Their passenger numbers were up and the airline became a leader in on-time performance, putting them along with Continental at the top of customer service surveys with JD Power & Associates. After 1996, the airline primarily focussed on solidifying the St Louis hub building more banks and adding flight to Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii and adding more transcontinental routes. Management felt that they could get more business revenue and that hopefully they could make it until Karabu expired in 2003.

During the second half of the 1990s, more frequencies were added out of STL, with new cities such as OGG and YVR being added during that period. Also, STL-FRA was to be re-launched in May 2001. There was also talk of adding season STL-MAD and STL-FCO as STL had better connectivity than JFK. Also, STL-LAX was supposed to be up to 10 frequencies daily as well. STL-BDA was another route announced just before the end. The approval to launch STL-NRT was granted around late 1999, but they soon realised that it would have been too costly to acquire special aircraft for a single route.

LAX was announced as a new focus city around 2000. In 2000 and 2002 TWA added more JFK-LAX and JFK-SFO flights, hoping that with more frequencies they could effectively compete with AA, UA and DL. Additionally, in the summer of 2000 IIRC they launched LAX-DCA which was to be 3 daily and this was seen as an important business market. TWA had been stuck flying around 3 daily JFK-LAX flights and though my memory is fuzzy they were to be 5 daily by summer of 2001. There was also the addition of LAX-KOA and LAX-SJU in 2000.

There was also the SJU focus city built up during the last few years, with TWA carrying a large number of passengers to and from NY to STL while also adding flights to Florida, Aruba and the DR and announcing SJU-CCS. Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic had more flights added from JFK and BOS during the final year and though I am not sure that these were high-yield, at the time the AA had enjoyed a near monopoly in SJU. Mexico flights particularly to Cancun from STL and JFK were added in an effort to counter-balance TWA's historically weak winter months.

Due to the high leasing costs TWA was unable to acquire many new widebodies at the time so the idea was to focus on the few 767-300ERs for more profitable routes, namely JFK-TLV, JFK-CAI-RUH, Hawaii, NYC-SJU/SDQ and STL-Europe. The 767-200ERs were on their way out as they had a higher CASM and their retirement led to axing JFK-LIS and JFK-MXP in January of 2001. The hope was that they could continue lobbying the government for a return to LHR so that by 2003 they could grow their footprint in Europe.

Do you know what happened to TWA's permitter slots on DCA-LAX? I recall TW applied for the rights to operate the route (as did UA at the time) in 2000.

IIRC TWA was the first carrier to start DCA-LAX nonstop service since the introduction of perimeter restrictions. It was TW894/895 and I believe it was stopped after 9/11.

The rights did not go straight to AA as AA didn't start DCA-LAX until 2012. Did the slots go to AS?
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jfklganyc
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:27 am

I disagree with the post above that said the situation wasn’t that bad at TWA between 96 and 99

Yes, they only axed 2 European destinations in that time, But they no longer had the planes to effectively compete to Europe. They were constantly shrinking. Their hub at JFK was an outdated mess. I flew them all the time during this period...It just felt as if their best years were behind them

The culmination was the final pulldown of Europe in 2001 and a distant announcement that FRA would be flown from STL.

They were lost
 
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OzarkD9S
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:57 am

jfklganyc wrote:

I disagree with the post above that said the situation wasn’t that bad at TWA between 96 and 99

Yes, they only axed 2 European destinations in that time, But they no longer had the planes to effectively compete to Europe. They were constantly shrinking. Their hub at JFK was an outdated mess. I flew them all the time during this period...It just felt as if their best years were behind them

The culmination was the final pulldown of Europe in 2001 and a distant announcement that FRA would be flown from STL.

They were lost


TWA was on an upswing of sorts 96-99. 747s gone, 757s and 717s coming online, additional MD80s as well. They were expanding, but has been noted were more of a North American carrier with a few token routes to Europe/Middle East. Problem was it was too little, too late.

Living in STL I can't comment on the JFK situation as the last time I had flown TWA through JFK was in the early 90s. But on the STL end, the improvements were noticeable.
"True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain." -Mercutio
 
Cointrin330
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:03 am

sjones1975 wrote:
Cointrin330 wrote:
The Flight 800 disaster was the nail in the coffin for TWA


Flight 800 didn’t actually affect TWA’s European destinations as much as one might think. At its height in the late 80s, TWA had twenty-something European destinations. As TWA experienced financial trouble in the early to mid-90s, that number shrank. At the time of TWA 800 in July 1996, TWA’s TATL route network consisted of the three major northern European markets (London, Paris, FRA), a robust six destinations in TWA’s traditional stronghold of southern Europe (LIS, MAD, BCN, MXP, FCO, ATH), and its Middle Eastern destinations of TLV, CAI, and RUH.

In 1997, the following summer after the Flight 800 tragedy, TWA still flew to all of the above destinations with the exception of FRA. In my opinion, that was still a respectable TATL network. TWA kept all six of its southern European destinations where it was traditionally strongest (compared to Pan Am and then later to DL and AA), and it kept the two premier destinations of northern Europe, London and Paris. (By “premier destinations,” I’m referring to cities, not airports; I realize LGW is second-fiddle to LHR.) It also retained its Middle Eastern mini-network of TLV, CAI, and RUH, something that other U.S. carriers did not have.

In summer of 1998, it retained all of the summer 1997 destinations with the exception of Athens. I still think that the overall integrity of its TATL network was maintained at that point. No longer huge like the late 80s, but still respectable. It should also be remembered that TWA was doing financially okay in 1998, and at the time it looked like it might be putting the 1995 bankruptcy and the fallout from the 1996 tragedy in its rearview mirror. It had some quarterly profits during this time period (yes, profits even after TWA 800), and was in good enough shape to place $3.9B of narrowbody orders from Boeing and Airbus.

Summer 1999 saw no reductions at all in TATL destinations. Thus, from the TWA 800 tragedy of 1996 all the way to 1999, TWA lost only two European destinations: FRA and Athens. It was only in late 1999 or 2000 that TWA dropped most of its southern European network, leaving it, oddly, with only Lisbon and Milan in southern Europe, in addition to London and Paris. I’ll concede that at that point, TWA was truly a shell of its former self. Not too long after that, the buyout by AA was announced.


Thanks for this. I would not agree though and actually believe the beginning of the end of TWA's TATL network being meaningful was in 1991 when the LHR routes were sold. TWA drew down TATL at an accelerated pace following the crash of Flight 800. ATH and FRA were axed in 1997 (FRA in January 1997, ATH in April 1997). FCO followed, as it was one, if not the last, 747 route (the 747 phased out accelerated very quickly after TW800). TWA also exited AMS and BRU, which were significant markets much as they remain today. TWA's product in the mid-1990s was being redeveloped (TWOne specifically), but the competition from AA, UA, and DL intensified and once AA and UA had LHR access, TWA was a far less relevant player in the market and was losing corporate contracts very quickly.
 
Cointrin330
Posts: 1913
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:23 pm

Re: TWA in 1997...

Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:07 am

OzarkD9S wrote:
jfklganyc wrote:

I disagree with the post above that said the situation wasn’t that bad at TWA between 96 and 99

Yes, they only axed 2 European destinations in that time, But they no longer had the planes to effectively compete to Europe. They were constantly shrinking. Their hub at JFK was an outdated mess. I flew them all the time during this period...It just felt as if their best years were behind them

The culmination was the final pulldown of Europe in 2001 and a distant announcement that FRA would be flown from STL.

They were lost


TWA was on an upswing of sorts 96-99. 747s gone, 757s and 717s coming online, additional MD80s as well. They were expanding, but has been noted were more of a North American carrier with a few token routes to Europe/Middle East. Problem was it was too little, too late.

Living in STL I can't comment on the JFK situation as the last time I had flown TWA through JFK was in the early 90s. But on the STL end, the improvements were noticeable.


Yup, STL was a hub of size, with close to 500 flights a day. JFK, though, was much reduced (fewer TATL meant less domestic feed needed) and eventually, TWA consolidated into T5 and it was a very quiet place, for the most part. TWA wasn't a significant enough player in the NY market by the last 18 month of its existence. B6 had launched, DL's footprint at JFK was growing (though nowhere near to what it became after 2007) and AA still had scale at JFK. TWA was dying a slow death and the process began in the 1980s. It filed for bankruptcy 3 times, (1992, 1995, and finally right as AA took it over). TWA was a glorious carrier yes, but it was grossly mismanaged.
 
Max Q
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:22 pm

Tragic that both PAA and TWA’s final straw was each carrier suffering a 747 crash after being pioneers in its operation
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
User avatar
jfklganyc
Posts: 5917
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:31 pm

Re: TWA in 1997...

Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:30 pm

OzarkD9S wrote:
jfklganyc wrote:

I disagree with the post above that said the situation wasn’t that bad at TWA between 96 and 99

Yes, they only axed 2 European destinations in that time, But they no longer had the planes to effectively compete to Europe. They were constantly shrinking. Their hub at JFK was an outdated mess. I flew them all the time during this period...It just felt as if their best years were behind them

The culmination was the final pulldown of Europe in 2001 and a distant announcement that FRA would be flown from STL.

They were lost


TWA was on an upswing of sorts 96-99. 747s gone, 757s and 717s coming online, additional MD80s as well. They were expanding, but has been noted were more of a North American carrier with a few token routes to Europe/Middle East. Problem was it was too little, too late.

Living in STL I can't comment on the JFK situation as the last time I had flown TWA through JFK was in the early 90s. But on the STL end, the improvements were noticeable.



What you were seeing was an airline putting all of its resources into its last hope

Unfortunately, that was a medium sized midwestern city... when hubs in those cities were a 1980s experiment gone wrong
 
DETA737
Posts: 624
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2000 3:47 am

Re: TWA in 1997...

Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:57 pm

From a customer service standpoint flying TWA between 1989 and 1995 and then comparing them after 1998 to 2001, it did seem as though the company's planes and service had much improved. I flew them every year during the period and even in July of 1996 it seemed as if flying them to Europe out of JFK was stressful. Around the late afternoon, the check-in at the terminal was always crowded with people overflowing outdoors at times, it was even worse when they'd have separate check-in lines for separate destinations. People would be shouting in Italian, French and Portuguese and I'll never forget an Italian lady saying that even in Bombay it was better. Once you made it past check in, there never seemed to be enough room at the gates of flight wing one, with people everywhere waiting to board planes to Europe.

Once on board the planes seemed old, even the 767-200s had 3-classes in the early 90s (perhaps till 95?) with very dated seats with stripes in First and Ambassador Class and red white and blue seemed to be the theme. Comfort Class introduced in 1993 seemed to be nice with more room, but the same old seats were used. Also, the 747/L10/762 fleet still had old fashioned entertainment on board with no drop down screens or monitors and to listen you had those plastic hollow tubed earphones. The fact that they continued to allow smoking on international until 1997 also made it seem that the widebodies sidewalls all were yellow. If you were flying certain flights to Europe at the time, even non-smoking passengers congregated at the back of the cabins to smoke so you would see a cloud of smoke.

Around 1995 they began introducing the grey seats that at the time appeared more in line with their competitors, but even in 1996 the appearance of the planes inside was not consistent. Around February of 1997 I flew one of their 757-200s and it did seem like a whole different airline compared with the old 747 I flew in August of 1996. The 757s had the drop down screens and overall seemed much nicer. The same can be said for the MD-80s and 717s towards the end.

Also while in hindsight a hub STL was not the best place, only towards the late 90s was Southwest growing in the region, I want to say around 1999. Without Karabu the company would have still been able to eek out some profits as it cost them $411 million in revenue between 1995 and 1999 alone. What I do imagine is if they had been a small but profitable airline, they probably would have merged with another carrier earlier.
 
AntonioMartin
Topic Author
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:19 am

Another interesting thing I found just right now: TWA flew 747 between SJU and JFK in 95. http://www.departedflights.com/SJU95p1.html.....I know that Pan Am, American and Tower Air flew the 47 between those 2 cities in the past, but having the L-1011 and 767s I think those two types would be better suited, perhaps they'd been better off deploying those jumbo's on what was left of their once mighty European network?
 
User avatar
OzarkD9S
Posts: 5638
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2001 2:31 am

Re: TWA in 1997...

Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:33 am

jfklganyc wrote:

What you were seeing was an airline putting all of its resources into its last hope

Unfortunately, that was a medium sized midwestern city... when hubs in those cities were a 1980s experiment gone wrong


Oh I know, I lived it as a guy whose Mom worked for TWA until she retired in 1999. I was offered a job at TWA in 1995, and declined...because I couldn't see our wagons hitched to the same dying horse. But they DID try. Once Icahn left, the morale improved 150%. He raped them blind, no chance after his departure, in retrospect.
"True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain." -Mercutio
 
User avatar
OzarkD9S
Posts: 5638
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Re: TWA in 1997...

Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:36 am

AntonioMartin wrote:

Another interesting thing I found just right now: TWA flew 747 between SJU and JFK in 95. http://www.departedflights.com/SJU95p1.html.....I know that Pan Am, American and Tower Air flew the 47 between those 2 cities in the past, but having the L-1011 and 767s I think those two types would be better suited, perhaps they'd been better off deploying those jumbo's on what was left of their once mighty European network?


The interesting fact is that TWA management in the 70's said "The 747 is a great plane, 5 months out of the year". There was a market JFK-SJU and better put the 747 on SJU then BCN, in the winter.
"True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain." -Mercutio
 
Cointrin330
Posts: 1913
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:23 pm

Re: TWA in 1997...

Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:56 am

AntonioMartin wrote:
Another interesting thing I found just right now: TWA flew 747 between SJU and JFK in 95. http://www.departedflights.com/SJU95p1.html.....I know that Pan Am, American and Tower Air flew the 47 between those 2 cities in the past, but having the L-1011 and 767s I think those two types would be better suited, perhaps they'd been better off deploying those jumbo's on what was left of their once mighty European network?


They might have been flying the 747 between JFK and SJU between TATL turns, or when there was 747 downtime, on routes not flown every day in winter time. There was, and still is, a lot of cargo that moves between SJU and NYC and demand for seats was likely very high so if they could fill the 747, why not? The reality was that in 1995, TWA's TATL route network was anything but mighty. LHR was long gone and everything else that 747 was used on across the Atlantic from JFK except for CDG was very much seasonal. Those 747s, which before Comfort Class was introduced, were configured for 339 passengers. Most of the routes were leisure markets and on what was left of the core TATL, the competition was intensifying. The entire TWA experience across the Atlantic, premium to economy, was little changed.
 
Cointrin330
Posts: 1913
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:23 pm

Re: TWA in 1997...

Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:57 am

OzarkD9S wrote:
jfklganyc wrote:

What you were seeing was an airline putting all of its resources into its last hope

Unfortunately, that was a medium sized midwestern city... when hubs in those cities were a 1980s experiment gone wrong


Oh I know, I lived it as a guy whose Mom worked for TWA until she retired in 1999. I was offered a job at TWA in 1995, and declined...because I couldn't see our wagons hitched to the same dying horse. But they DID try. Once Icahn left, the morale improved 150%. He raped them blind, no chance after his departure, in retrospect.


Icahn systematically destroyed TWA. From the time he took over, he set the company up for failure, ignored the strengths it still had, and the big weaknesses that would hobble it for 15 years that followed until it finally was no more.
 
AntonioMartin
Topic Author
Posts: 643
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:58 am

Re: TWA in 1997...

Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:59 am

Cointrin330 wrote:
OzarkD9S wrote:
jfklganyc wrote:

What you were seeing was an airline putting all of its resources into its last hope

Unfortunately, that was a medium sized midwestern city... when hubs in those cities were a 1980s experiment gone wrong


Oh I know, I lived it as a guy whose Mom worked for TWA until she retired in 1999. I was offered a job at TWA in 1995, and declined...because I couldn't see our wagons hitched to the same dying horse. But they DID try. Once Icahn left, the morale improved 150%. He raped them blind, no chance after his departure, in retrospect.


Icahn systematically destroyed TWA. From the time he took over, he set the company up for failure, ignored the strengths it still had, and the big weaknesses that would hobble it for 15 years that followed until it finally was no more.

I always wonder why someone would do that, outside of benefiting another airline they also owned...Frank Lorenzo did the same with Eastern but he had a reason: Continental.

Shouldnt there be laws against cannibalizing one company to benefit another one?
 
Cointrin330
Posts: 1913
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:23 pm

Re: TWA in 1997...

Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:54 am

AntonioMartin wrote:
Cointrin330 wrote:
OzarkD9S wrote:

Oh I know, I lived it as a guy whose Mom worked for TWA until she retired in 1999. I was offered a job at TWA in 1995, and declined...because I couldn't see our wagons hitched to the same dying horse. But they DID try. Once Icahn left, the morale improved 150%. He raped them blind, no chance after his departure, in retrospect.


Icahn systematically destroyed TWA. From the time he took over, he set the company up for failure, ignored the strengths it still had, and the big weaknesses that would hobble it for 15 years that followed until it finally was no more.

I always wonder why someone would do that, outside of benefiting another airline they also owned...Frank Lorenzo did the same with Eastern but he had a reason: Continental.

Shouldnt there be laws against cannibalizing one company to benefit another one?


In theory, there should be. But in America, it's unchecked capitalism, and it's a problem that ultimately hurts the workers doing the line jobs. Frank Lorenzo destroyed Eastern and took Continental to the bottom by the early 1990s. I believe he was barred from ever being involved in the transportation sector again.
 
Max Q
Posts: 8264
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: TWA in 1997...

Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:11 pm

Cointrin330 wrote:
AntonioMartin wrote:
Cointrin330 wrote:

Icahn systematically destroyed TWA. From the time he took over, he set the company up for failure, ignored the strengths it still had, and the big weaknesses that would hobble it for 15 years that followed until it finally was no more.

I always wonder why someone would do that, outside of benefiting another airline they also owned...Frank Lorenzo did the same with Eastern but he had a reason: Continental.

Shouldnt there be laws against cannibalizing one company to benefit another one?


In theory, there should be. But in America, it's unchecked capitalism, and it's a problem that ultimately hurts the workers doing the line jobs. Frank Lorenzo destroyed Eastern and took Continental to the bottom by the early 1990s. I believe he was barred from ever being involved in the transportation sector again.



That is true
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
EMB170
Posts: 371
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:16 pm

Re: TWA in 1997...

Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:16 pm

I flew ORD-JFK-FCO on TW back in January of 1997. ORD-JFK and return were MD-80s...with the JFK-ORD leg on an MD-83 (new plane, last paint job), while the ORD-JFK leg was probably an MD-81 or 82 (old red striped paint job with bare metal engines and "seam" tail cone). JFK-FCO and back on TW 840/841 were listed on my itinerary as 747 flights but thankfully switched to 763s by the time I actually flew.
IND ORD ATL MCO PIT EWR BUF CVG DEN RNO JFK DTW BOS BDL BWI IAD RDU CLT MYR CHS TPA CID MSP STL MSY DFW IAH AUS SLC LAS
 
Heinkel
Posts: 244
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:15 pm

Re: TWA in 1997...

Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:41 pm

AntonioMartin wrote:
A bit off topic, but, tragically, TWA800 of 1996 was the second TWA800 to crash...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TWA_Flight_800_(1964)-this one killed 50.


And the 1964 accident was caused by poor maintenance / wrong repair:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TWA_Flight_800_(1964)

Quote from WIKIPEDIA:

"The cause of the accident was an inoperative No. 2 engine reverse thrust system, even though indications in the cockpit were that the reverser had deployed. This was caused by the disconnection of a duct with resulting lack of pressure in the pneumatic clamshell door actuating mechanism."
 
User avatar
usxguy
Posts: 1857
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:28 pm

Re: TWA in 1997...

Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:19 am

Karabu and the internet were the killer of TWA. 40% off ANY published TWA fare and then Ichan's group sold them on the internet via lowestfare.com
xx

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