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UA744Flagship
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United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

Mon Nov 18, 2002 5:25 am

http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/021117/170009_1.html

Highlights include:

  • The retirement of an additional 49 aircraft. 18 767-200s, and an unspecified number of 747-400s, 737-300s/500s are part of this
  • A United Express CRJ fleet of 236 by April 2004. This is not remarkable, and in fact, United will be behind the competition
  • 18 aircraft delivered between 2006 and 2007, 25 delivered between 2007 and 2009.

    All I see is shrinking. I don't see any plans for growth or how United is changing its business model. This is a very ho-hum press release.
  • no wire hangers!
     
    BA
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Mon Nov 18, 2002 6:49 am

    You'll see United grow where necessary and shrink where necessary.

    Your going to see United shifting flights around a lot next year.

    What I think you WILL see is an increase to leisure destinations such as Hawaii which as rebounded much better than business travel.

    But in terms of number of flights, United will be cutting down over the next few years until they become profitable again and the economy recovers along with the demand for air travel.

    Regards
    "Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
     
    Gnomon
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Mon Nov 18, 2002 7:03 am

    When is the target date for securing the loan, avoiding Chapter 11, and/or avoiding takeover?
     
    cch362
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Mon Nov 18, 2002 7:47 am

    United has a $375 million debt payment due on December 2. If they make that payment, United will be dangerously low on cash. At the end of September, it has about $1 billion cash on hand. Considering that it is losing an average of $7 million per day, United will run out of cash by the end of the year. I think this is why many people are considering December 2 as the "drop dead" date.

    About cutbacks, I foresee United pulling out the several additional Northeast cities, such as Albany and Buffalo, and transferring those operations entirely to ACA.
     
    usairways85
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Mon Nov 18, 2002 8:12 am

    UA has already been pulling 744's from its Intl operations and downgrading them to 777's. i bet a good portion of the 744 fleet is retired leaving only no more then a dozen if that. Even possibly retiring the aircraft type entirely. Surprised to see the 762's go. Now i think i remember reading that they are old, but i would thought that while UA is replacing some 744 flts with 777's, that some 762's would take the former 777 flts. BTW, is that the entire 762 fleet?
     
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    RayChuang
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Mon Nov 18, 2002 8:35 am

    I think UA will keep about 20 operational 747-400's in its fleet.

    The reason is simple: tranpacific flights. These routes demand most of the time larger planes than the 777-200ER. In short, UA will NOT downgrade to the 772ER on routes like SFO-HKG and LAX-SYD.

    It'll be mostly the older 744's delivered before 1995 that will be taken out of service; however, don't expect them to be retired, but sold to a leasing company and flown to Mojave, Victorville and Marana to be kept in flyable storage. When the economy improves, the 744's will be taken out of storage, upgraded, and put back into service again for UA.

    I'm not surprised that UA will phase out the 737-300/500 fleet; these planes don't fit into UA's longer-term fleet plans and will likely be sold to other airlines that can use them (WN will probably grab most of the ex-UA 733's fairly quickly).

    As for phasing out the 767-200 fleet, this shouldn't surprise anyone. These 762's are among the oldest 767's flying, and have run up pretty substantial airframe hours. They'll probably be sold to be converted to freighters like the ex-NH 762's were converted to freighters for Airborne Express.
     
    UAL Bagsmasher
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    RE: Usairways85

    Mon Nov 18, 2002 8:36 am

    Yes, UA only has 18 762's. And of course they are dumping the only fleet left with any charecter at UA.
     
    ouboy79
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Mon Nov 18, 2002 8:55 am

    Some of the highlights were given, but I'd like to hit on the Press Release a lot more.

    The key to the turnaround is $2.5 billion in annual profit improvements, which is composed of $1.1 billion in annual labor cost savings and $1.4 billion in annual non-labor cost savings and revenue enhancements that include:

    An unprecedented agreement among United's employee groups to contribute $5.8 billion in employee cost savings over a five-and-one-half year period, beginning December 1, 2002;


    Pilots, FA's, Meteorologists and other smaller unions have agreeded to about $2.8-2.9 billion in cuts over 5 years. The 2 IAM unions are left to negotiate (141M I believe is the union dragging its feet), and I highly doubt they will want to shoulder the remaining balance. They'll go to the judge first.

    Implementing a new code-sharing agreement with US Airways that is estimated to generate revenues of more than $200 million per year once the benefits of the agreement are fully realized;

    A successful resturing must occur at US first. While things are going well and the ATSB already gave them conditional approval. However, until US Airways pulls out of Ch11 next March - they should not be banking on this income.

    Implementing a new revenue-sharing agreement with Star Alliance partner Lufthansa that is expected to enhance United's revenues by approximately $90 million per year once the benefits of the agreement are fully realized; and

    Again another estimated/expected income that they can't bank on.

    Adding 109 regional jets in conjunction with our United Express partners by April of 2004, resulting in a fleet total of 236 United Express regional jets.

    Those are a lot of planes to order and with US Airways ordering a stated 200-300 RJs, there is going to be a fight for slots. However, this doesn't mean that Mesa, Chq, or even Mid Atlantic couldn't be showing up as "United Express" carriers by providing feed under both the US and UA code.

    Reducing system capacity in 2003 by approximately 6% from 2002 levels. This will decrease the size of the airline by 23% from pre-9/11 levels. This number includes United's previously announced U.S. domestic and international station closings;

    I doubt this will be the end of the downsizing; shrinking into profitability.

    - Retiring an additional 49 aircraft, for a total fleet retirement of 139 airplanes from pre-9/11 levels;
    - Deferring all scheduled aircraft deliveries through 2005. This includes 25 aircraft which will be deferred to 2007-2009. The company expects to receive approximately one aircraft per month between 2006 and 2009;
    - Continuing to reduce the total number of employees at the company –- total employees in 2004 are expected to be 74,000 versus more than 100,000 pre-9/11


    No doubt this is a bunch of cheerleading going on to keep people flying United with the cloud of bankruptcy overhead.

    Will UAL be able to reach profitability by 2004? I think it is way to early to say. They are going to have to change the way they do business completely and become a bigger Southwest or AirTran. They have continued to grow during this slump...so they must have the model to go by in order to operate in this environment.

    December 2 is the drop dead date...will they avoid Ch11; I doubt it.
     
    sllevin
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By

    Mon Nov 18, 2002 9:12 am

    I'm not sure that anyone's going to much growth amongst the major carriers. Even Southwest hasn't done serious expansion.

    I believe that shrinkage will continue. The profitable airlines right now are not the ones that offer "Des Moines to Bombay" service. Rather, they only provide limited service to large, profitable markets. Any city that can't support profitable service, they cut loose or simply never serve in the first place.

    With the exception of Southwest, all the major carriers domestically came from the standpoint of "take anyone anywhere." And years ago, they could subsidize less-profitable routes from their more-profitable ones.

    But, as LCC's become major players, and have depressed profits on the "core" routes, the old style business model is bleeding money. And it has to go away.

    The future of air travel in the US will be only from major metro areas to other major metro areas. Convienence doesn't matter as much, because, truth is, there's no alternative.

    Steve
     
    SegmentKing
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Mon Nov 18, 2002 9:29 am

    Air Wisconsin will be purchasing some BAe 146-300s to replace some -100s and -200s as well, maintaining their quota of 18 146's.

    the 767-200s are going to be converted into tankers actually.

    the 737s aren't going to be sold, just sent back to their lessors. United leases all but 30 737s.

    -n
    ~ ~ ~ ~ pRoFeSsIoNaL hUrRiCaNe DoDgEr ~ ~ ~ ~
     
    UA744Flagship
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Mon Nov 18, 2002 11:30 am

    Adding 109 regional jets in conjunction with our United Express partners by April of 2004, resulting in a fleet total of 236 United Express regional jets.

    Those are a lot of planes to order and with US Airways ordering a stated 200-300 RJs, there is going to be a fight for slots. However, this doesn't mean that Mesa, Chq, or even Mid Atlantic couldn't be showing up as "United Express" carriers by providing feed under both the US and UA code.


    With existing orders, UAL was already supposed to receive 296 RJs, or 60 more, by the same target date. It seems like they're scaling down the delivery schedule, actually. It is US Airways that has to worry about slots, with the exception of if they were to order the EMB-170 series.
    no wire hangers!
     
    ouboy79
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Mon Nov 18, 2002 11:31 am

    Steve...I agree to an extent about what you are saying...

    The future of air travel in the US will be only from major metro areas to other major metro areas. Convienence doesn't matter as much, because, truth is, there's no alternative.

    Does this mean no service form Erie, PA or Sarasota, FL...not at all. We'll probably see a setup somewhat close to what we have pre-deregulation. More point-to-point flying in top O/D markets. We'll probably eventually see growth in turboprop flights and a slow pull back in regional jets - at least in the markets under 200-300 miles.

    Some clue could be what I have seen in various AIR-21 filings to receive gov't funds to grow smaller airports. Ft. Wayne for instance wanted to get flights going to places like BOS, LGA, etc. Their strategy in obtaining these direct, high O/D, flights will be to work with other cities like Toledo (named in filing) to create through flights (FWA-TOL-LGA/BOS). While others such as Akron-Canton want to get airlines to provide more nonstop service to their top 20 O/D markets. Essentially eliminating or bypassing the hub and spoke system. Most of the airports that applied have a good deal of leakage to larger cities - FWA stated they lose over 66% to TOL, IND, and SBN; TOL to DTW; CAK to CLE. Transition into a setup to where we see 30-70 seaters flying direct flights from these smaller cities nonstop to their top 20 O/D markets...we've essentially jumped into a system that provides what customers want and in a market environment that is typically profitable (O/D markets usually make the money on any route).

    Our first look at this will likely come from US Airways as they will have to stick 200-300 RJs someplace, and they won't all fit in PHL, CLT or PIT.
     
    cch362
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Mon Nov 18, 2002 11:46 am

    The retirement of the B767-200s should mean that the LAX/SFO-JFK transcon service will get their much needed upgrades and improvements soon. These routes are very popular with the entertainment and media businesses, so I doubt they will revert to two-class service. Thus, I wonder what aircraft will be used for these routes.
     
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    flashmeister
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By

    Mon Nov 18, 2002 12:09 pm

    Yawn.

    I could plan to be a millionaire by 2004, but without serious changes to my life, I wouldn't be. I don't believe that we're seeing the serious changes at United that need to occur. This smells a lot like smoke and mirrors to me.

    Even if they have no 733/735/762/744 fleet, even if they got all these paybacks from employees, and even if they do initiate some sort of new agreement with LH, we're not seeing that United is committed to doing business in a different way into the future, which is what's needed.

    Looks like a lot of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic of airlines...
     
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    RayChuang
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Mon Nov 18, 2002 12:15 pm

    Cch362,

    I think we'll be seeing less frequency on the LAX-JFK and SFO-JFK routes, but that will be compensated by the use of larger planes.

    I wouldn't be surprised that the non-ER 777-200's UA flies are converted to a roomier two-class configuration (e.g., at least 34" pitch Economy and 50"+ pitch Business) for use on these two routes, and UA will offer more competitive short-notice fares on these routes.
     
    TonyBurr
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Mon Nov 18, 2002 1:10 pm

    And does it talk about the value ($$$) of improved customer service? What about all the 1K who have deserted them? What efforts to winn back/keep FF?
     
    cch362
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Mon Nov 18, 2002 1:43 pm

    I agree that these plans do not make much dent in UAL's problems. Some serious cost containment, especially in labor costs, must be made or United will be headed for Chapter 11.

    However, United's route structure is arguably the best in the industry, especially the transcons between LAX/SFO and BOS/JFK/IAD. These routes have been largely unchallenged by low cost carriers, because significant amounts of business traffic exist. (I am not considering the likes of Long Beach, Oakland, and Baltimore as competition, because they are very different markets.) Competition is less likely to enter if they believe the incumbents are able to sustain their no-frills, single-class services. Therefore, if there is a profit margin for United, it is here on these transcon routes.

    I don't speak for United, but if any business plan should come out in the near future, I hope it would be a concentrated focus on the transcons and other business routes, while shedding more short-haul flights for ACA, AWAC, and Skywest.
     
    ual777contrail
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Mon Nov 18, 2002 1:56 pm

    flashmeister,
    how would you plan to do business in the future? The only way AIRLINES have ever known. United will never become a southwest and they sure as hell offer a better product than most of the majors. The truly sad part about all of this nonsense is that United has been so public about all of this. AA And DL are doing just as bad, what will happen when AA retires the f-100's? What about the fact UNITED will get concessions from ALL employees and retire those planes described above. They are cutting budget for the next 5 years and delaying aircraft deliveries. What now would YOU do? We will soon hear about the same non-sense from the other carriers as well. Maybe united has been so open to the public about all this to get the people to sympathize with them. Yes we have has a decade of ignorance at the top but are you going to tell me AA and DL are playing with a full deck of cards?
    don't think I am questioning your opinion just curious how you would handle the situation. UAL Would benefit from AA going under just the same for AA. Please enlighten us on your opinions on this might airline you refer to as titanic. And toniburr, all airlines lose customers and even those who achieve 1K status. I checked a AA top hat in the other day who has sworn them off, it isn't just UNITED it is the industry.

    ual 777 contrail
     
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    flashmeister
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By

    Mon Nov 18, 2002 3:47 pm

    UA777contrail-

    We are now facing a time where airlines must do business differently. Air travel is now a commodity item -- there is little premium to be squeezed from it. Lots of other industries have faced the same dilemma: take for instance, the computer industry.

    IBM used to be able to charge whatever it wanted for PCs. Then, Dell and Compaq made the PC a commodity -- margins got tiny and companies that didn't adapt died.

    United faces a same fate. AirTran, Southwest, Frontier, jetBlue all have made air travel a commodity. The margins that are left are on the premium routes, but your basic Denver-to-Chicago route is pretty much run of the mill.

    United, Delta, American, Northwest all have business models that depend on higher margins to drive their future. Those margins are gone, and if they return, they won't be what they once were.

    I don't think that United can do it. My personal opinion is that they are a dinosaur. If they do survive this round, they'll shrink themselves to be what Pan Am and TWA were at one time -- international routes and staple domestic routes, but nothing else. I don't see a thriving future for United. Save that for Continental, Southwest, AirTran, jetBlue.
     
    mel
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By

    Mon Nov 18, 2002 4:23 pm

    I think the 2-class 777s will be re-configured to 3-class and used on domestic and/or international runs. A search into next summer on the STAR timetable shows next to no 777s being used on Hawaii ops. (exception being DEN-HNL).
    NO URLS in signature
     
    UALPHLCS
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Mon Nov 18, 2002 11:35 pm

    I don't see 1K's deserting UA. TonyBurr on the PHL SFO flt friday we has 14 1K's trying to upgrade. UA is setting records for ON-time, baggage handling, and flight completion. Customer service surveys show UA CS is going a great job.

    UAL777contrail, don't worry about what Flashmeister or Ouboy79 says about changing UA. If they knew what they were talking about they would be running thier own airline. To them AA DL and UA should just shut down this morning and give up. Afterall Southwest and Jetblue have won. They work in the computer industry so they have first hand knowlege of the right way and the wrong way to run a comapny. Just look at all the internet companies that have gone out of buisness. These guys are experienced in this stuff.

    Flashmiester has a direct line into the headquarters of all the major carriers. He can see what they are doing and what they aren't. He has an MBA so he knows what should be done. I surprised that not a single airline has called him up to ask his advice. How can this resource be wasted like this its no wonder UA is going out of buisness.

    I hate these UA threads or the US ariways threads for that matter, It only brings out the people who hate that particular airline. There is nothing constructive at all being said in this thread, nothing that adds to the conversation. Just alot of bitching and moaning.
    A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
     
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    American 767
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Tue Nov 19, 2002 12:12 am

    Yes, when an airline is "ill" there is always some stupid idiot out there talking bad about that airline. They don't even criticize and explain why they don't like that airline, they are just being negative.
    Do you remember Ceilidth? I don't know if you remember him but I do remember him very well. Last year, when Sabena was going out of business, everytime there was a topic in the forum about Sabena, Ceilidth would come in and say only negative things about Belgium and Sabena. He used to say things like, Belgians are the worst stupid idiots, nobody wants to invest in this sick dog (Sabena) anymore, Belgium won't get anywhere...he was totally against Belgium. It's worse than criticizing. Everybody was getting tired of him. He was becoming disgusting. He was just dreaming of setting up his own airline with 44 L-1011's.
    If you don't like an airline, then explain WHY. Explain WHAT IT IS that they've done to you. No major airline is that bad, there is always something good about it. For example, I said in a recent post that I was upset at Swissair but I didn't say that the Swiss were bad. I remember that Swissair used to be a very good airline, indeed the best in Europe. I said I was upset at Swissair for what they did to Sabena.

    About the fleet renewal at United, I also think, now that the 727, 737-200, Classic 747 and DC-10 aircraft are gone, the next type to dissapear is the 767-200 because that one is the oldest in the fleet. The oldest one is now 20. Next to go are the 737-300's and 500's.

    Ben Soriano
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    N79969
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Tue Nov 19, 2002 12:24 am

    Whatever they do, I hope they succeed. It looks like they are moving in the right direction on the cost side. I wonder what their assumptions are about future revenues. That is a variable that is difficult if not impossible for them to influence significantly. I seriously hope that their recovery plan does not assume a return to the fare levels of the late '90s by 2004. I think there was a bubble during that time and fare levels will probably not return to that level until the middle or late part of the decade. The consistent growth of low-cost carriers might push this off further into the future.
     
    ouboy79
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Tue Nov 19, 2002 12:33 am

    UAL777contrail, don't worry about what Flashmeister or Ouboy79 says about changing UA. If they knew what they were talking about they would be running their own airline. To them AA DL and UA should just shut down this morning and give up.

    Why would I want DL to shut down? They are vital to my company in getting our employees transported around the country. I highly doubt those of us that are medallions would want to lose the perks that go with to fly the likes of Southwest or JetBlue.

    They work in the computer industry so they have first hand knowlege of the right way and the wrong way to run a comapny. Just look at all the internet companies that have gone out of buisness. These guys are experienced in this stuff.

    I've never worked for a company that has gone out of business or bankrupt. You can't generalize the internet industry to the certain dot.coms that went from boom to bust. The only thing I am familiar with is running a company with a business plan that ensures a profitable quarter...every quarter. It pains me to still see an excess of fat at some of these airlines (whom may I add are large customers of mine)...example having a mechanic do R&D.

    I hate these UA threads or the US ariways threads for that matter, It only brings out the people who hate that particular airline. There is nothing constructive at all being said in this thread, nothing that adds to the conversation. Just alot of bitching and moaning.

    I question how you can say you don't see anything constructive coming out of these threads. It gets people discussing the issues and coming up with what they think the top brass should do to fix it. If you consider opinions placed on here as hate and see it as nothing but hate, that raises serious questions. I understand your need to defend your employer, but there are serious flaws...and until they are dealt with logically (IOW, not wearing the same rose colored glasses that the old management - and arguably current - are wearing).

    I'm sorry you disagree with our opinions and consider us as nothing more than hateful people that love to complain, perhaps you could counter with your opinions on how to change things - not just with personal attacks to try to discredit our character. Only politicians that are losing a battle resort to those methods, it is called "negative advertising"...we've all seen it, and can't stand it.
     
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    flashmeister
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Tue Nov 19, 2002 12:47 am

    UALPHLCS-

    You're correct that I don't have a direct line to United HQ, and that I don't have an MBA. I do, however, have a fairly good working knowledge of how to keep companies afloat: revenues must exceed costs fairly consistently. Albeit very simplified, that's the basic rule to follow to avoid busting the bank.

    United isn't doing that. UA's CASM and cost structure are both so high that they'd need unrealistic numbers of passengers to even come close to breakeven.

    Costs are what will kill United. I have every belief that their employees are motivated and dedicated, that they are safe and comfortable and friendly and every other feelgood word about the aviation industry, except one: profitable.

    Because of costs, United (and just about every other major) has had to whittle down service -- cut frills. That takes the quality of their product precariously closer to the LCCs who offer sometimes-comparable service (and, admittedly, sometimes not) but at a lower fare. They can offer this lower fare because their cost structures are lower. LCCs can be seat-factories because they have generally low cost structures, generally consistent overhead, and generally good planning.

    So, with all of the people in United Economy flying essentially at a loss for the carrier, who's left to bring home the bacon? Premium passengers. I don't have a statistic to cite for this, but my guess based on my recent flights are that probably 50% or more of the people flying up front really paid to fly in the back and upgraded. So, 50% of the seats that you depend on for your profit are now filled with butts who aren't earning the airline any further margin, and are probably costing more money in the long run.

    If that's the case, as I believe it is, then you can have all of the 1K and Premiers and Platinum Elites that you want, and all they'll do is lose you more money.

    The quickest, sure-fire way to doom a business is to rely on an ever-increasing share of an ever-decreasing market. That's what United is doing: relying on the premium pax to subsidize the guys in the back while turning a blind eye to costs and bringing real, sustained change that will result in organic cuts in costs, and ultimately, CASM. They haven't done it yet, and I don't think they will.

    American, for their part, is in the same boat. Holly Hegeman of PlaneBusiness uses a good analogy for them: American is the same as United, except that they have more furniture to burn before they're broke and out in the cold. American also is not making the changes necessary, and they very well could be in the same boat as United quite soon.

    American 767: You asked people to tell the forum what the airlines did to offend me. I can tell you what United did: nothing at all. My flights on United have been generally pleasant. I was comfortable, people were friendly with few exceptions, and I absolutely love channel 9. But comfy seats and ATC on your headset does not a profitable airline make.
     
    ual777contrail
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Tue Nov 19, 2002 2:13 am

    flashmeister,
    you are one of the first to recognize and admit that the other majors are suffering as well, I would say that the most annoying part of this whole forum is when you get people who want to rant and rave about how THEY can save a particular airline, it may be AA or DL. Then you get your ALWAYS negative post by people like ouyboy, who always find a place in his thread of jumbled words to slam UNITED. Yes there is a loyalty maybe to some and to others maybe just a pride for the airline that employs them. Nobody on this forum is going to save UA,AA,DL and to quote ouyboy says how can you say nothing constructive comes out of these threads, it gets people discussing these topics. ouyboy you don't discuss them, you toss your opinions around and your gold medallian shines through everytime, you are one of those guys everyone has at work, the I've been their done that kind of guy. Now this is just my opinion, let's discuss that.



    ual 777 contrail
     
    FLY777UAL
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Tue Nov 19, 2002 6:43 am

    What would be nice in the Premium Transcon markets (JFK-LAX/SFO), as well as in other important Transcon markets (BOS, IAD) would be the introduction of a small fleet of revamped 757's or A320's designated with the sole purpose of serving those markets.

    The removal of the 767-200 fleet from the market will leave no other similar-quality aircraft of a close enough size to fill the same amount of flights. If United were to reconfigure a fleet of 136-seat 757 aircraft to an 8F (63" pitch) 32C (47" pitch) 96Y (34" pitch) configuration, or a fleet of 114-seat A320 aircraft in a 24C (50" pitch) 90Y (34" pitch), they would at least retain a similar amount of premium cabin seating, while improving actual seat comfort, and reducing the amount of the habitually unused economy seats (70 seats on average are filled in YC). With the much lower operating costs due to crew, fuel, maintainence, etc., these flights would be sure winners.

    With that said--the reconfigured 757 could actually be a very useful aircraft on flights from IAD, both with high profile domestic flights, as well as a huge increase on European flying, allowing for a Continental-esque network spanning Europe.

    Just thinking...!

    F L Y 7 7 7 U A L
     
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    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Tue Nov 19, 2002 7:03 am

    I hate the fact that the 767-200s are going, they are the only nostalgic plane left in our fleet, and i really hate the fact that alot of people here wana see UAL become Pan Am and Eastern. We are really hard working employees who like you need work. It would be a tragedy to see 100,000 people go to the unemployment line. Hang in here fellas, we WILL recover.

    UALrampORD
     
    PSU.DTW.SCE
    Posts: 8696
    Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Tue Nov 19, 2002 9:58 am

    I support you guys like ual 777 contrail and UALramp ORD.

    I work for one of your regional carriers here in the backwater of PA. Yes, we are going leaps and bounds, notably at the expense of your mainline operations. Oh well, I'm in a Junkstream-only city...but thats besides the point. Our airline depends on your airline. Nearly everyone of our passengers connect on to a mainline flight or another Express flight. We aren't having the problems of downsizing, but its frustrating to hear of all the problems in the industry.

    Here's a big problem as I see it......the current fare structure, and expectations. I see major problems in the future as if young people today have grown up in the era of the Southwest $39 special. Now my fellow college students, many of my friends always come to me, knowing I work in the industry and that I'm good at playing "travel agent". They'll ask me how to get home for break, spring break trips whatever. So I find some flights...and everything that always B#$%h and say its too high. I'll find a flight on US PIT-TPA thats $200 r/t and they'll ask....there isn't anything cheaper??? Why isn't their anything around $70-$80. Same thing goes for our ops...they wonder why a simple 45 minute flight SCE-IAD costs $200+ They think it should be about $50. These people have it in their heads that all air travel is $50 and Southwest is the only airline to fly. Guess where the closest SW city is to here????? BWI, a good 3 hour drive from here, and you know what, we lose a fair amount of students to this in order to get to other parts of the country. How they get there is beyond me, but driving 3 hours to another airport seems rather absurd to me.

    Customer loyalty just isn't there for the most part, unless you're a true road warrior. Only the top tier FF business people stick to an certain airline or airlines these days. My father being one of those, I often act as his "travel agent." He'll only fly AA & NW, obiviously due to his huge milage accounts and status. His company still goes by the "old school" rules of business travel. They still have preferred airlines, and cost is not of importance. They will pay the last minute walk-up fares with no questions asked. They're the type of company that is the airline's bread and butter, but those are becoming more scarce these days. Thank the internet.....for making low prices more available.

    Now I don't want to say that Southwest is bad or anything, but these people need to realize those $39 fares they see advertised in the paper are the rare exception. People need to understand that a plane ticket SHOULD cost more than the Greyhound. Thats only common sense. Heck how much does a bus cost, how much fuel does it use, how much overhead is involved with the company??? Compare that to an airline. Yes, I argee the last minutes gouging is rediculous, but at the same time I believe the low-end prices are rediculous too. Yes, sales are great, but I wish more people understood what it takes to run an airline, and yes you might just have to pay a couple hundred dollars to fly somewhere. Please don't flame me for my comments, yes I agree that air travel should be reasonably affordable for both the consumer and the passengers. $1000 DTW-LGA tickets are wrong, and so are $40 tickets too.
     
    UALPHLCS
    Posts: 3232
    Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2001 5:50 am

    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Tue Nov 19, 2002 10:16 am

    I've said it in other posts, I'll say it here. UA and US are changing the way the majors operate, they have to because of thier postion. It's the likes of AA, DL and NW and to some extent CO that are keeping the fares so low that noone can make a profit. They are trying to run UA and US out of buisness, so that they can then run up the fares. IS that survival of the fittest? Yes is is good for the consumer? For right now it is, but AA. And DL are not changing the way they operate. They are just trying to eliminate the competion so they DON"T have to change. Woe be it to AA and DL is ua gets the ATSB loan. UA will have the head start on revamping the airline AA and DL will have less cash and no time to play catch up.

    A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
     
    Spark
    Posts: 421
    Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2002 11:50 am

    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Tue Nov 19, 2002 12:01 pm

    The big fact is that we've become better shoppers than we used to be. People are willing to search for the best deals, and don't just pay any fare that comes up the pipe. It started about ten years ago, and reached its peaked with the internet.
    UALPHLCS, you made a really good point about the other majors not changing their models. UA is currently in troubled water, and is forced to make significant changes to their models. The only question is whether the troubled water will sink UA (with their route structure I can't imagine complete death).
    I just keep thinking about Pan Am.
     
    delta-flyer
    Posts: 2633
    Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2001 9:47 am

    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By

    Tue Nov 19, 2002 12:19 pm

    the 767-200s are going to be converted into tankers actually......
    SegmentKing....Are you referring to the USAF tanker lease program? Do you have a credible reference for this?

    Pete
    "In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
     
    Guest

    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Tue Nov 19, 2002 1:59 pm

    I think given the increased need for 777s to replace 747s, they wont have enough to be flying them on the SFO/LAX-JFK/BOS/IAD routes (though they already do the IAD). I think a better idea would be to follow American's trend, and refit 763s to be in 2 class config. The premieres will get their upgrades, and they can make their fares more competitive.
     
    wn700driver
    Posts: 1475
    Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 10:55 pm

    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Wed Nov 20, 2002 1:46 am

    Hmmmmm... UAL wants to be profitable by 2004. I want to be a billionaire by next wednesday. I give myself better odds, lol.
    Base not your happiness on the deeds of others, for what is given can be taken away. No Hope = No Fear
     
    User avatar
    flashmeister
    Posts: 2686
    Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2000 4:32 am

    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Wed Nov 20, 2002 2:12 am

    People need to understand that a plane ticket SHOULD cost more than the Greyhound. Thats only common sense.

    To who? Why should we have this predetermined sense that one mode should be more expensive than another?

    Modernization, efficiency, and economies of scale are bringing costs down -- at least for the airlines who execute correctly. Why should ticket prices not come down wth them?
     
    AA767400
    Posts: 1897
    Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2001 2:04 am

    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Wed Nov 20, 2002 2:36 am

    Oh yes, UA is way ahead of everyone else by being public.....ya right!
    remember misery loves company, so don't bash another just because
    your hurting.

    p.s. no I don't want UA, or anyone else to go out of business.
    "The low fares airline."
     
    Guest

    RE: United Plans Strong Turnaround, Profitable By 2004

    Thu Nov 21, 2002 1:09 am

    Hey PSU.DTW.SCE what airline do you work for? Is it Atlantic Coast? Anyway thanks for the support and as you said if UAL goes ther regional express carriers may face the same fate.

    UALrampORD

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