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WesternDC1010
Topic Author
Posts: 309
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2003 9:29 am

Western Airlines - The Only Way To Fly?

Sat Jul 19, 2003 11:48 am

Does anyone think that Western Airlines could've survived if Delta Air Lines hadn't acquired and merged it into it's mainline operation?

They say that this merger was one of the smoothest airline mergers around.

Is anyone here an ex-employee?

- Ron
WesternDC1010
Western Airlines - The Only Way To Fly
 
StevenUhl777
Posts: 3281
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2001 11:02 am

RE: Western Airlines - The Only Way To Fly?

Sat Jul 19, 2003 11:50 am

I doubt it...AA or UA would have gobbled them up, or someone else. I remember seeing their 727's, 737's, and DC10's at SFO when I was a kid. Did they do any int'l flying?
And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
 
WesternDC1010
Topic Author
Posts: 309
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2003 9:29 am

RE: Western Airlines - The Only Way To Fly?

Sat Jul 19, 2003 11:53 am

As far as I know, they flew scheduled service to Mexico, Canada and England. Not to mention countries served as charter work.

- Ron
Western Airlines - The Only Way To Fly
 
Matt D
Posts: 8907
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

RE: Western Airlines - The Only Way To Fly?

Sat Jul 19, 2003 1:02 pm

No.

Despite the fact that the merger was smooth, Western would not likely have lived very far into the 90's (if they even made it to the change of the decade at all).

Western was, from what I've read, a very weak carrier in terms of cash flow and profitablity (AirCal/PSA/Republic+the other upstarts) seriously eroded its market share and profitability in the West.

StevenUHL is correct. Had Delta not bought them, then United, or someone else would have. Or else they would've IMO gone Chap 7 by 1990.
 
kwbl
Posts: 447
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 11:55 am

RE: Western Airlines - The Only Way To Fly?

Sat Jul 19, 2003 2:33 pm

I think it's hard to say whether or not they would have made it. They would have to have changed their philosophy, route structure etc (just like everyone else needs to do right now except for WN & B6). I think it would have been probable they would have merged with someone else or died on the vine)
 
LAXFlyer
Posts: 154
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2000 4:52 am

RE: Western Airlines - The Only Way To Fly?

Sat Jul 19, 2003 2:39 pm

Sorry to disagree with Matt and Steve but Western probably would have survived. You guys kill me with your doom and gloom outcomes for carriers such as Western, National, PSA, etc. Just because they were a medium truck size carrier doesn't mean they wouldn't have survived. Using that logic, then how is a carrier like Jet Blue thriving? And they are no where near the size WA was.
 
Matt D
Posts: 8907
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

RE: Western Airlines - The Only Way To Fly?

Sat Jul 19, 2003 2:45 pm

Hey I've stated before on this board that I had faith in PSA. I still firmly believe that had they not gone into panic mode when AA bought out AirCal and whored themselves to USAir, they WOULD have survived, and would still be here today. And Southwest would look nothing like they do today, at least not this side of the Rockies. But Western, under Neil Bergt's leadership-or rather-the lack of it-WAS on the verge of death.
 
justplanesmart
Posts: 742
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 3:25 pm

RE: Western Airlines - The Only Way To Fly?

Sat Jul 19, 2003 6:39 pm

Excuse me, but the topic title should read "Western Airlines - The Ohhhhhhhhhhnly Way To Fly?"
"So many planes; so little time..."
 
andersjt
Posts: 367
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:50 am

RE: Western Airlines - The Only Way To Fly?

Wed Jul 23, 2003 2:02 am

The Western/Delta relationship was pretty chummy long before their merger. It was as if the merger was the long-term goal all along. Delta fed passengers into SLC and LAX to connect to Western flights not served by Delta. They shared terminals in both locations. To expand however, Western would have eventually had to start competing on routes served by Delta, and vice-versa. Both airlines saw that their opportunities were to expand into each other's territories. Merger was the way to make shareholders happy. I cannot see that Western ever had the idea to try and continue without the merger.

Western operated fairly efficiently at the time of the merger. A few years into deregulation in the 80's, Denver's Stapleton was a hub for Western, Frontier, United and Continental. Western wanted to get out that mess, saw the opportunity to build up its SLC operations and turn it into their hub, and capitalized on marketing it as the "Fastest Hub in the West." This is one the steps that helped them make their operations more efficient and profitable. United and American were big money losers at the time of the merger, and did not have the capital for such an acquisition.

I do not think AirCal and PSA were real threats to Western. Western provided intra-California service for positioning only, not to compete, and PSA's attempts to serve Western cities outside of California was short-lived.

Among my most valued airline collectibles is an unopened bottle of Western Airlines champagne, vintage 1979.







Oh how I long for the day when the skies were truly Friendly!
 
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lindy field
Posts: 2986
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2001 1:52 pm

RE: Western Airlines - The Only Way To Fly?

Wed Jul 23, 2003 2:35 am

If Western were still flying today, about the only surviving aircraft would be the 737-300s that were delivered towards the end of the airline.
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They're still flying with Delta, unlike the 727s that were more recently retired and the DC-10s that were disposed of very quickly.

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