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wgw2707
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sun Sep 21, 2003 4:36 pm

Two comments, and a network plan:

First of all I do not have the livery "painted out" as there could be a huge disagreement over which TWA livery to use (TWA had several in the course of its history, two of which are world famous, those being the one applied to the Lockheed Constellation and more infamously, to the TWA 747s in the mid 1990s, and the second of which was used in the 1960s and 70s and is dominated by a bold red cheatline and the "duoglobe" TWA logo).
I don't really care too much which livery is used, just so long as it is one of the above (though I do have a slight prejudice for the 1960s "Cheatline" livery).

The 2nd thing is this: Any purchasing from AA would include the rights to the TWA name AND the purchase from AA of several routes out of STL that AA could not operate profitably, and possibly, in addition to this, the possible purchase of aircraft from AA rendered surplus by the route-transfer. The only routes that I expect AA would want to retain would be ORD-STL and DFW-STL. A continued AA operation of a high frequency ORD-STL service and a codeshare/through ticketing agreement with AA would actually be good for the new airline, as it would put one of the more vital and expensive (and potentially less profitable) feeder lines in the hands of a different airline.

STL-BOS and STL-MIA could conceivably remain AA operated if AA wanted them, and its very possible that such a scenario would occur.

Some routes I think could be viable would be:

STL TO:
Central United States
MCI OKC CVG CLE MDW MKE DSM IAH OMA ICT MSY DTW MSP and several other prominent Midwestern airports, perhaps all of which are too numerous to name here, but you get the idea (some flights worked with RJ equipment but most by the MD80)
Western United States
SAN LAX SFO PDX SEA PHX LAS SLC BOI ABQ COS TUC
Eastern United States
JFK IAD (or DCA) PHL ACY BDL BOS FLL MCO CLT RIC ORF ROC BUF

Long Haul and International:

Year Round, Daily:
HNL FRA STN (STN With Codeshare Connections For AMS, ORY, FCO, MAD, LIS and the Rest of Europe)
Seasonal, Daily or Once-Weekly:
OGG ITO FCO* LIS* MAD* ORY* AMS*
*Not to be operated initially, advanced marketing research required due to low O&D demand on such routes from STL.

So there it is, the core route proposal.

-WGW

 
Fleet Service
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Sun Sep 21, 2003 6:58 pm

A little something from another 'rebirth' of a storied airline:


"Americans love rising-from-the-ashes stories. They love the underdog coming back. We're going to take a tarnished brand name and bring it back to a high degree of luster."

— Martin R. Shugrue Jr., President and CEO Pan American World Airways, 1996.



Didn't quite turn out that way though did it?

Look at Pan Am 3.0 now....based in Portsmouth,New Hampshire and flying ungodly city pairs and losing their asses in the process.What they did to that name is a crime,you don't want to see the TWA name reduced to that.

TWA is no more, let the name and the memory of "The way it was" rest.

Once the original is gone, you can NEVER recreate that magic.Never.

Sure you can paint the planes the same way and wear the same uniforms,and even hire the old hands back,but it isn't the same and never will be.


Stick to running a kick ass vitrual TWA on your airline simulator,getting it off of the hard drive on and onto the ramp is a different story altogether.












Yes, I actually *do* work for an airline,how about you?
 
luv2fly
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Mon Sep 22, 2003 1:16 am

WGW2707

I appreciate your thought and desire, if you already do not work for an airline, one would be fortunate to have you.

Thanks
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
copaair737
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Mon Sep 22, 2003 5:12 am

the livery should be the red and white reverse scheme applied to the MD-83 Wings of Pride
Livin' on Reds, Vitamin C, and Cocaine
 
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RayChuang
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Mon Sep 22, 2003 11:38 am

I think folks should forget about the idea of reviving TWA as a St. Louis-based regional airline.

Besides the obvious fact that American Airlines (AA) now owns the TWA name, the current market trends for airlines are low-cost carriers, and Southwest (WN) has just about cornered the St. Louis market, I'm sorry to say! STL might be able to accommodate AirTran (FL), JetBlue (B6) and possibly Frontier (F9), but not much else.
 
ckfred
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Mon Sep 22, 2003 1:37 pm

AA bought TWA because, based on the summer of 2000, it made sense to have another Midwest hub. ORD was a disaster that summer, and having a hub 300 miles away made sense. The chances of ORD and STL being closed simultaneously due to thunderstorms, fog, or snow are very slim.

But with the reduced flying after September 11th, ORD doesn't have the volume of traffic it did in 2000, so weather doesn't affect AA's route system as badly.

Simply put, STL doesn't have enough O&D traffic, and cities within 250 miles can just as easily connect through ORD, MDW, CVG, DTW, MSP, MEM, DFW, or IAH.

If the economy comes back, and ORD gets overcrowded again, then AA might restore flights to STL. But that is a long way off.
 
ScottB
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional

Tue Sep 23, 2003 3:19 am

People (myself included) make a big deal out of O&D traffic because that's where airlines make the vast majority of their profits. Connecting traffic is not terribly lucrative for the airlines, given that a connecting itinerary adds significant overhead -- an additional takeoff/landing (with attendant facilities costs, fuel, labor, aircraft use/depreciation, landing fees), another transaction with a gate agent, employees to transfer baggage, etc. And, moreover, for most people, a non-stop flight is worth a slight premium for the time saved. To a large degree, connecting traffic merely helps to fill planes (and offset fixed operating costs) while the O&D traffic makes the profits.

That isn't to say that hubs that are mostly (>70%) connecting traffic cannot be successful; many of these provide high-fare connecting service to smaller markets which can be profitable for the airline operating the hub. MEM, CLT, CVG, PIT, and SLC are good examples of that; for these hubs, connecting passengers have often had little choice and have had to pay high fares to travel.

To be honest, though, I would not give "PIT, STL, MCI, STL, MEM, MSP, CMH, MKE..." as a list of good hubs in smallish cities. To start with Pittsburgh -- the Pittsburgh metro area has been shrinking for decades. Moreover, the proportion of higher-fare connecting traffic at PIT continues to fall with the entry of low-cost carriers into the Northeast, as well as the use of regional jets to poach traffic in markets historically dominated by USAir(ways). CMH was a failure as a hub because the O&D market was too small. And it's dubious as to whether an operation with about 10 daily mainline and 30-40 daily regional departures is truly a "hub" (marketing speak aside) more so than a focus city. MSP is larger than STL and is unique in its location; it serves a broad swath of the upper Midwest unserved by other airlines. The jury is still out on what will happen to MKE; the YX hub there was never particularly large and the airline serves a very specific niche which has shrunk in the last several years. MEM is a very weak hub with a specific purpose: it provides connections from the South Central (LA, MS, AL, AR, TN) region to much of the rest of the country; Northwest faces limited competition in many of these markets. Many large cities on the coasts (BOS, EA / KSEA), USA - Washington">SEA, SFO, BWI, MIA) have only one daily flight to MEM and NW's DC-9 fleet makes it easier to offer smaller numbers of seats in thin markets. MCI, despite its excellent location, has been the host of several failed hubs over the years -- for Braniff, Eastern, USAir (focus city), and Vanguard. The large WN presence at MCI didn't help the last two, either. WN has made a medium-sized operation work at MCI by focusing primarily on O&D routes with connecting traffic to help fill the planes.

While I believe a CLE/CVG-sized and scaled operation would work at STL, the fact is that AA and WN will together offer a comparable number of flights (with CVG being somewhat larger). And that doesn't leave a lot of room for a startup in a relatively weak hub market. AirTran and Frontier started operations at large hubs after the failure (EA at ATL) or withdrawal (CO at DEN) of a major carrier at those hubs; one could argue that TWA's draw-down at JFK helped jetBlue, too.

PeoplExpress showed that a discount carrier at an inconvenient airport (EWR at the time) with poor facilities could be wildly successful in the NYC market; it was clear that PE's eventual failure was largely due to an inability to properly manage growth. With a proven set of managers, an NYC-based New Air/jetBlue was an easy sell to venture capitalists. Given the track record with TWA, which had relatively low operating costs (though higher than WN's), at STL, and given AA's decision to maintain a small hub/focus city at STL, I think a new TWA might be a tough sell. Moreover, given the very senior nature of the laid-off TWA staff (topped-out on the wage scales) in the STL area, it might well be difficult to get them to accept starting wages (comparable to WN or B6) at a new discount carrier. And while the acquisition/lease costs of used MD-80's might be low, higher fuel burn rates and higher maintenance costs would soon offset those advantages. Check out the Motley Fool article entitled "JetBlue's Challenges" linked from another thread about how maintenance will eventually drive up their ASM costs.

Again, AA has little interest in facilitating the startup of a new discounter which would compete with its ORD and DFW hubs. And I doubt AA would sell any MD-80's to another airline uness they were in dire straits. I do imagine, though, that AA would be more than happy to sell you a bunch of F100's.
 
elwood64151
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 4:39 am

Scottb:

Slight semantics error on your part: Overhead is a cost not related to actual operations that must be performed to operate. Reservations is overhead. The accounting department is overhead. Customer Care is overhead.

Baggage handling is a direct cost, which is related to the actual operation of the business. Fuel is a direct cost. Landing fees are a direct cost.

Direct costs add up, overhead is going to be there anyway. And the direct costs you speak about don't really "add" to the cost of doing business. The plane is going to use fuel. You have to have baggage handlers. Routes are going to be run regardless. So putting a passenger on a connecting flight is not as expensive as it seems. You're right in that it is not as profitable as with having n/s pax, but at least someone is occupying the seat and paying for it.

It is difficult, however, to argue with your other points. Someday, when I have more information to do so, I might. I have to agree that it is more difficult to make small-city hubs profitable, but it is possible. PIT is still a major operation for US. I think it's real problem is its proximity to PHL, though your points are more than valid. NJ at MCI would have made it were it not for the massive debt load rung up during Rocky Spane's tenure and the one year of Jeff Potter's leadership. And MSP is not that much bigger than STL. I can't get Adobe to work, so I can't see the Statistical Abstract, so I can't see how much bigger, but it is not, IIRC, that significant.

I still think that small/medium-small city hubs (like MCI, IND, STL, etc) can work if properly organized and funded.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
twalives
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 4:56 am

Scottb -

I don't buy your "small city - weak hub" argument because STL is considerably larger than Denver, Charlotte, Pittsburgh (already mentioned) and a mere 3% smaller than MSP. All four cities support major, successful hubs...none of which are "destination cities" like LAS or MCO which are considerably smaller than STL.

 
BHMNONREV
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 5:29 am


I don't buy your "small city - weak hub" argument because STL is considerably larger than Denver, Charlotte, Pittsburgh (already mentioned) and a mere 3% smaller than MSP. All four cities support major, successful hubs...

I would concur with the first part of your statement, but not the second. All four of the hub cities are in trouble, PIT, DEN and STL and to a lesser extent CLT, but only because they benefit from having some of the lowest airport passenger costs in the industry. Again, beating that O&D drum here, but that lack of high-dollar passengers is killing these medium-sized hubs. MSP is the exception, due to the lack of a LCC to keep fares down. I know AirTran flies to the Twin Cities, but not enough frequency to make a difference. I can't remember where I read it, but O&D passengers at CLT and MSP pay some of the highest fares in the country, due to their fortress hub status

My dad works at AA in STL (and TWA since '66 prior to that), and he can't understand how their flights can leave the gate full all of the time, and still be losing money. O&D, plain and simple.....
 
wgw2707
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 6:13 am

First, I would like to say that the number and quality of replies to this post has suprised the heck out of me. The strong popular response has been hhgly encouraging! Equally amazing is that in this time almost every post has been constructive and well-thought.

To reply to some of the posts:

"Besides the obvious fact that American Airlines (AA) now owns the TWA name, the current market trends for airlines are low-cost carriers, and Southwest (WN) has just about cornered the St. Louis market, I'm sorry to say! STL might be able to accommodate AirTran (FL), JetBlue (B6) and possibly Frontier (F9), but not much else."

I admit I made an error when I started this post. Instead of saying "Should TWA be revived as an STL based Regional?" I should have said, "Should TWA be revived as an STL based LCC?" or something to the effect. As I have stated repeatedly, at least regarding Y class, LCC techniques would be used to deliver low fares and high comfort, like what you have on B6 and F9. Business class, however, would take advantage of the shortage of non-stop flights from STL and would be rather expensive (but also more luxurious than most of the US business class products). So I called it a regional, because the airline would serve STL and the surrounding region as a priority sector, but the airline would in fact, business class aside, resemble an LCC. In short, the business model of this new airline is too different to have a name yet (I personally call it a "neo-network").

Now about the connecting vs. O&D argument, here are my thoughts on this:

O&D traffic is harder to generate strong profits from, however, it would still be able to feed STL with sufficient extra PAX from cities such as MCI that the longer-distance flights would stand a greater chance of high profitability. As it is, the STL O&D traffic is not bad at all. It's nothing compared to Chicago, but it isn't as though this airline were being set up from an airport in the wilds of the Nevada desert either. There is actually sufficient O&D by a large margin to support STL-FRA, STL-STN (with European codeshare connections) and STL-HNL.

In addition, a large part of this new airline over time would be a transcontinental network that would connect cities on the West Coast with cities on the East Coast. STL would be a convenient place to change planes on such services, and I believe that the "One Connection Transcontinental" concept would make a lot of sense here. It would be ideal if you were travelling from SAN to PHL, or PDX to ORF, for instance, by providing a convenient, centrally positioned hub where passengers travelling between secondary cities on the two coasts could change planes. The transcontinental operation would be a major part of TW2, as the high-comfort coach interior (facilitated by B6/F9) would give the new airline a major competitive edge over WN and other airlines on these sometimes longish and monotonous flights.

As far as getting the senior TWA staff to return, wages for pilots and cabin crew would not be entry level. They probably would not be as much as the TWA staff were receiving prior to AA's takeover, but they would not be bad either. Many TWA staff would return for the guaranteed chance to be able to resume work in the airline business, and what is more, for the chance to work for an airline inheriting the traditions of that airline that they dedicated their careers to. Also, it should be noted that the new TWA would be much smaller than the pre-AA merger airline, and would probably require, at most, 33% of the staff TWA was using before the merger. Thus, in all probability, only the staff geniunely enthusiastic about TWA would return, and in fact, they would probably be sufficient in number to fulfill the airline's requirements.

-WGW



 
ScottB
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional

Tue Sep 23, 2003 7:24 am

Actually, the MSP metro area was 14% larger as of 2000 than the STL metro area, while the DEN metro area was 1% smaller in 2000. Moreover, the Denver area is likely larger now, given that the Denver area grew by over 30% in population in the 1990's, compared to 4.5% in the St. Louis area (the Minneapolis-St. Paul area grew by nearly 17% during the same period).

DEN is a more successful hub than STL (and probably would be even if STL had 50% more population in the metro area) for two (possibly three) primary reasons: (1) Denver is geographically isolated; i.e. there are few substitutes for air transportation to reach other cities in the region in a reasonable amount of time. The nearest cities of any size are Albuquerque and Salt Lake City; both are over 300 miles away. By contrast, Chicago, Kansas City, Louisville, Indianapolis, Little Rock, etc. are all under 300 miles from St. Louis; driving is a more acceptable alternative if fares are high. (2) Denver is the largest city in the Mountain West, and thus is the most suitable hub location; to many cities, SLC is the only viable alternative hub. By contrast, STL competes with hubs at ORD, MEM, DFW, and less so MSP, CVG, and IAH. (3) Denver is more of a destination city (like LAS and MCO); tourism is a more important component of the Colorado economy than the St. Louis-area.

Similarly, MSP also has a relatively unique service area -- NWA has a large presence in the upper Midwest and the prairie provinces of Canada. Northwest also benefits from extremely limited low-fare competition at MSP, which is an important difference.

I will take the position that CLT is, relatively speaking, a crummy hub as its ability to generate traffic goes. Its two saving graces are low airport costs and its market position as the next-best thing to ATL in the Southeast (not to mention a clean, modern facility which puts STL to shame). The Charlotte area is also growing rapidly. Again, there is virtually no low-fare competition at CLT, which allows US Airways to keep fares high there.

As for PIT -- if it were truly a successful hub, US Airways wouldn't have cut mainline service there by 40% in the last year (which is part of the reason their per-passenger costs have escalated) if PIT were so vital. They wouldn't be threatening to close the hub if it were so successful. Increased low-fare competition in the Northeast has decimated US' high-fare stronghold and reduced the yields on trafficconeecting through PIT.

Point taken on the meaning of "overhead" in the airline industry. But direct operating costs (as apportioned by passenger) will be higher for a connecting passenger than for a passenger on a non-stop itinerary holding all else equal. And if you don't have enough non-stop passengers paying high enough fares, connecting passengers are not going to make you money.

Are you really sure that Vanguard was doing so well even before September 11? I looked up the company's 10Q filings; in 2Q01, VNGD posted an *operating* loss of $5.66 million (this is before interest expense) on $30.17 million in revenues -- an operating margin of -18.8%. The 1H01 operating loss was even uglier -- $16.30 million on $56.68 million in revenues, or -28.8% operating margin. While I can't say with any certainty whether Vanguard could have made it had there been no September 11 attacks, the financial track record didn't look good. I think it's telling that no one was willing to back the restructuring of the airline before it filed for Chapter 11, though.
 
SHUPirate1
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PIT's Viability Within US

Tue Sep 23, 2003 7:49 am

If the UA/US codeshare agreement has had any drawbacks to US, it's siphoned many US passengers away from PIT and instead into ORD. PIT was designed as an east-west hub, and is certainly a viable east-west hub without any competition from its own airline. But I can tell you, as a frequent US traveler, that on my east-west flights, I generally fly through ORD instead of PIT.

As a north-south hub, PIT also has competition from within, this time from PHL and CLT. As a result, PIT no longer really has a purpose within US, except to serve the West Virginia/Western PA/Upstate NY corridor with turboprops, and those are routes that certainly could be filled by the PHL hub.
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Delta777Jet
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 8:59 am

I think It`s worth a try to relaunch TW2 !
Now we just need the money, and the people who stand behind it!

Let get ready...
I still miss Trans World Airlines and the L-1011
 
luv2fly
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 9:09 am

Wgw2707

One thing I see as a problem is what you are suggesting to pay your employees? One of the saving graces of a LCC is the starting pay of its employees, also if you start the salaries high to begin with then they have to go up from there in time as well.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
wgw2707
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 2:38 pm

Based on the overwhelming response, it may be time to consider how to move from this phase to the next phase of starting a new airline.

However, before discussion of this begins, let's review a few items here, so as to evaluate what all has been established so far, thanks to everyone's input.

1. The new airline, if established, would be based at STL, and provide innovative service on routes from STL to other Midwest cities, to cities on the East and West Coasts, and to HNL, FRA and possibly, STN.

2. The new airline, if established, would reply upon a fleet consisting of no more than three aircraft types, a short range aircraft, a medium range aircraft and a long range aircraft. Most likely, the MD80, the 757 and the 767, unless someone has a better idea.

3. A 35" seat pitch and quality IFE would be provided.

4. Investigations should be made into some innovative way to provide in-flight food service and avoid severe operational deficits at the same time, perhaps with a partnership with a major restaurant.

5. Hiring primarily the experienced former employees of TWA that have been laid off will be a priority, a key question will be how much can be offered to them so that they will accept the job, at the same time, without jeopardizing the airline's financial future?

So, basically, from this point the following areas need to be looked into:

1. Sources of venture capital, and this item is key to whether or not this airline succeeds. Venture capital for air transport ventures is at the moment, rather scarce.

2. Optimal aircraft types-which airliners will be the most economical and efficient way to serve the markets proposed for this new airline?

3. Financial status of former TWA employees laid off by AA, what kinds of salaries would they be willing to work with?

I would be grateful for any insight into these three areas. Also, further suggestions and comments would be appreciated, on any items relevant to the possible formation of this new airline. If this new airline is formed, then this website and its users will be, in effect, its godparents.


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Fleet Service
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 5:35 pm

You forgot a few things.Such as the FAA, who is going to write your manuals?

Policy and Procedures...the way you tell the FAA you are going to run things.
They tend to be sticklers for details like that.


Where is the operating certificate for this airline going to come from?
Buy one?
Start from scratch?

Will you be allowed as a "start up" to have more than one type on it?
If not, what type will allow you the most flexibility?

What are the ETOPS requirements? Can you meet them?

How long is the lead time from application to final certification?

Your "investors" will want assurances this effort is going to bear fruit in a reasonable time frame.

And lastly, how will you defend yourself when the first Non TWA applicant doesn't get hired and promptly sues for discrimination?

[Edited 2003-09-23 10:37:52]
Yes, I actually *do* work for an airline,how about you?
 
wgw2707
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 5:48 pm

You have brought up some valid points, Fleet service, but of course most of these details will have to be dealt with if and when active preparation of a business plan designed to seek the attention of investors willing to supply venture capital begins, which will not be for awhile yet.

The operating manuals would hopefully be updated copies of the original manuals that were used by TWA. The new airline would use basically the same operational proceedures, as these were well established and oversaw the efficient, day-to-day operations of TWA for many years. They would of course be brought up to date to cover the new developments that have occured within the industry since the merger of TWA with AA, and to reflect the slightly different organizational and operational structure of TW2 as opposed to TW.

For the operator's certificate, purchasing an existing certificate or applying for a new one could both be studied. It is impossible to say at this point in time which of these two courses of action would prove viable.

ETOPS certification would be required as soon as the Intercontinental business unit began operations. I imagine that operations of this division to HNL, FRA and STN would commence shortly after the start of other operations, as it would be a good way to keep the airline in the news for an additional length of time. The route proving, training and other operations required for this operation and the licensing and negotiations to provide the international services to FRA and STN from STL could begin immediately after the commencement of the domestic operations, and would be sustained by revenue from the domestic flights.

Three types of aircraft will be required by this new airline, period. The entire plan would rely on having three essential aircraft types, a short haul airliner, a medium-range medium-sized jet for transcontinental service, and a long haul airliner for services from STL to HNL, STN and FRA.

To avoid a lawsuit for discrimination, initially the airline would not accept any applications for jobs, with the exception of certain executive and administrative office jobs which would relate to the business management of the new airline. As TWA was in my opinion, suffering from mismanagement until the end, it would actually be preferrable to not hire from the ranks of former TWA employees for these positions.

With regards to the operational jobs, the airline would not be openly hiring and would not accept any applications whatsoever. Instead, invitations to attend interviews for joining the airline would be sent to all former employees of TWA still of working age and in good health, that were laid off by AA. If an excessive number attended interviews, those deemed the most suitable would be hired first, with the balance placed on a waiting list should additional positions become availible. If an insufficient number of former TWA employees responds to the invitations, then the company will then begin accepting applications for the balance of jobs that cannot be fulfilled using former TWA staff.

-WGW

[Edited 2003-09-23 10:49:44]

[Edited 2003-09-23 10:59:01]
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 8:21 pm

WGW2707 - Re: The new airline, if established, would be based at STL, and provide innovative service on routes from STL to other Midwest cities, to cities on the East and West Coasts, and to HNL, FRA and possibly, STN.

Can I just say, speaking on behalf of all Europeans living outside Essex - NOT STN ! I think I can safely say that NOBODY wants to fly to STN - it is the fastest growing airport in Europe thanks to LCC, but no other airlines fly there, except when Ryanair has a go at one of their milsch-cow routes. Given the choice, the vast majority of Ryanairs passengers would much rather fly from LHR, LGW or even LTN - but for a GBP9.00 fare, you don't mind driving the extra 50 miles to get to STN.

If your TWA2 is to get anywhere, if your London services are to be attractive and offer connecting service on 'real' airlines, they must operate into LHR or LGW. You mentioned earlier the possibility of offering codeshare connections from STN to Europe - on who ? LCC don't codeshare, and there ain't nobody else !

AA tried flying to STN in the past, as I think did CO - they gave it up, don't make the same mistake.
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Fleet Service
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Tue Sep 23, 2003 8:40 pm

Three fleet types adds layers of cost and complexity to the operation which is not something that will stand the sniff test your equity investors and their accountants will administer to your plan.

You want to be low cost? Great, run 757's or MD-8X's in a one class configuration and stick with that.

When that concept is *proven* and *profitable* you can consider other fleet types and different levels of service.

First Class with video on demand,50" seat pitch and exquisite inflight meal service is a non starter for investors.They want to hit the next jetblue or Easyjet, not the next MGM Grand or Rich Air.



You have to learn to walk before you start running marathons.

Yes, I actually *do* work for an airline,how about you?
 
Air1727
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 10:57 am

RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional

Tue Sep 23, 2003 9:38 pm

With all due respect folks, this topic has gone from one subject to another. The original question was should TWA be revived as a regional carrier based at STL? Not airline tycoon scenario 15.
In the Alaska bush I'd rather have a two hour bladder and three hours of gas than vice versa.
 
wgw2707
Topic Author
Posts: 1113
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 10:37 am

RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Wed Sep 24, 2003 5:12 am

I am very grateful for the additional input.

"Can I just say, speaking on behalf of all Europeans living outside Essex - NOT STN !"

Thanks for the sound advice. I had no idea that STN was that unpopular. Not having used Stansted I was not fully aware of its negative aspects. I was aware that it was a bit of a distance from London but 50 miles is excessive. LGW will most likely be the airport to be used, which is unfortunate, because LGW happens to be the worst airport I have seen, but unfortunately it is extremely unlikely that a new airline could get approval from the BAA to operate into LHR.

"First Class with video on demand,50" seat pitch and exquisite inflight meal service is a non starter for investors.They want to hit the next jetblue or Easyjet, not the next MGM Grand or Rich Air."

Never at any point had a First Class of this level been proposed, I think the last time it was discussed, the seat pitch was 41" and the IFE would be satellite TV on a PTV. In fact, the class proposed was more of a Business Class. In any case, TW2, if by some miracle it should come into being, will not provide all-first class accommodation by any stretch of the imagination. On a typical flight there would be 8 Business Class seats, and on no flight would there be more than 16. In all likelihood, 12 would be the largest number you would ordinarily see, unless a route had been proven to sell out in Business Class and it was deemed extra capacity was required.

"You want to be low cost? Great, run 757's or MD-8X's in a one class configuration and stick with that."

As said several times before, this airline will not be a conventional LCC, it will use low cost operating techniques but will seek to generate revenue in more areas than just low cost, high quality coach sales. It is my opinion that the 757-200 is too large an aircraft to be used on the shorter routes from STL to various Midwestern cities, but the MD8X is quite possibly too small to be effectively utilized on transcontinental services, where it would have to compete with larger, roomier A320s and 757s from the likes of jetBlue and ATA (which is introducing MRTC). Having one class only would prevent the airline from tapping the potentially lucrative business travel market out of STL generated by the lack of direct flights.

Finally, thanks again to JGPH1A for alerting me to the negative aspects of STN! I think now a different course of action will be required for the London service.

-WGW
 
aa757first
Posts: 3140
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 11:40 am

RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Wed Sep 24, 2003 5:43 am

I think the following would help:

A) NO overseas flying until the business plan was proven, say in 3 to 5 years.
B) Start out with the MD-80s exclusively.
C) Who would upgrade to Ambassador class when you have AVOD in all seats with 41 inches of pitch. Not me. I say stick to the one-class market and maybe offer Ambassador class on long range routes.
E) Sign a document with AA stating you would stay clear of DFW and ORD for eight or ten years. I don't know if AA would sign, but it is a way to get the MD-80s and the TWA name.
F) Some one said something about calling TWA "Trans World" would be false advertising. If talking to TWA's new council proved that this would be so. TWA could be plain old TWA. Much like ATA (fka American Trans Air) means ATA.
G) Don't disregard new employees just because they didn't work for TWA. Rather give them extra points on the application. Flight Attendant Prospect 1
worked three year with the ex-TWA and did not continue on to college. Flight Attendant Prospect 2 worked for 19 years at USAir/US Airways and went to college. Who is better? A point system is better if you ask me.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT 1
Experience (one point per year): 3
College (two points per year): 0
Ex-TWA employee (five points): 5
TOTAL - 8

FLIGHT ATTENDANT 2
Experience (one point per year): 19
College (two points per year): 8
Ex-TWA employee (five points): 0
TOTAL - 27

Just my two cents.
 
Greg
Posts: 5539
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RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Wed Sep 24, 2003 5:49 am

Maybe they could fly all A380's to their destinations--they have the lowest seat cost! Any you could hire back ALL the former employees--everyone would have a job!. And then get Carl Ichan to invest some money?
Keep up the good work.


I don't think the TWA name is even for sale. And if it was...AA would make it prohibitively expensive to buy...
 
wgw2707
Topic Author
Posts: 1113
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 10:37 am

RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Wed Sep 24, 2003 6:28 am

The regular seats in coach would NOT have a 41" seat pitch. The seat pitch would be 35", but the seat width would be standard. There would be a PTV and a foot rest, but that aside, it would be pretty much like any other coach seat. Business Class (not Ambassador Class, that nomenclature is reserved for First Class, should it ever be re-established, and there are no routes out of STL that justify it, in my mind) would feature plush leather seats with a 41" seat pitch, drab polished wood veneer of the sort that Richard Branson views with disgust, and a sophisticated in-seat business system that would contain Airfones on which you could check your e-mail. Business Class passengers would also get passes to the Ambassador Lounges with every ticket.

On the overseas business class services, however, it would be somewhat better, hopefully it would be possible to provide fully flat beds. This would be a particular advantage on STL-HNL, as from what I understand, relatively few airlines have a good business class on HNL services.

As far as starting with just the MD80, I am concerned that the MD80 would lack the capacity and comfort required to effectively compete with ATA's 757s and jetBlue's A320s. Midwest uses them, but Midwest uses an incredibly generous four-abreast layout which is not economically feasible for TW2.

I think aiming for a simple, three-type fleet is the best approach for ensuring economical maintenance and at the same time avoiding the potential peril that results from a "One Size Fits All" plan. Many people consider that one of National's largest problems was its reliance on the 757-200 even for short routes such as LAS-LAX. However, at the same time, larger aircraft can make larger profits over longer distance routes.

I would also like to point out that many alleged "single-type" airlines aren't really single-type at all. Southwest flies three distinct types of 737 that use different engines, have different aerodynamic surfaces and require seperate training, the 737-200, the 737-300/500 and the 737-700. Thus, it is a three type airline. In addition, National, in spite of flying only one type of aircraft, had some high maintenance expenses for its 757 fleet because they came from different airlines and were not perfectly compatible with each other. So I really do not see any problem in the careful use of three types of modern jetliners, as it's a question of finding an aircraft that fits each of the three types of routes the new airline will operate.

-WGW

 
atrude777
Posts: 4412
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:23 pm

RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional

Wed Sep 24, 2003 11:18 am

I do agree that we may have better chance of getting the TWA2 name if we agree by staying out of DFW and ORD Airports. Therefore, we promised not to fly inot ORD/DFW however, that will not stop us from flying into MDW and DAL. AFter all we DID agree to stay out of DFW and ORD. juts not MDW and DAL. And since we are not allowed to fly 50 seater aircrafts out of DAL correct? Therefore we can buy a small regional jet lets say the Donrier 328 that seats 32 people, like what Great Plaines flies. And fly that DAL-STL. Then MDW can obviously use whatever aircraft we have availble. Therefore I believe this can actually work by agreeing to it this way.

Something else to think about!!!

Alex.

Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
Fleet Service
Posts: 473
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2000 11:58 am

RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Wed Sep 24, 2003 9:19 pm

"In addition, National, in spite of flying only one type of aircraft, had some high maintenance expenses for its 757 fleet because they came from different airlines and were not perfectly compatible with each other. So I really do not see any problem in the careful use of three types of modern jetliners, as it's a question of finding an aircraft that fits each of the three types of routes the new airline will operate."


You think that operating three different types of aircraft,all of which are second hand, coming from different airlines in different configurations isn't going to be an expensive maintenance problem?












Yes, I actually *do* work for an airline,how about you?
 
wgw2707
Topic Author
Posts: 1113
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 10:37 am

RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Thu Sep 25, 2003 2:44 pm

As this topic has now run its course, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for contributing. Your comments have been invaluable to me. I have decided, based on the support shown here, to begin a study to determine the feasibility of preparing a detailed business plan and beginning active efforts to promote the possibility of this new airline. I hope to complete this study by December. Over the next few months I will post more topics on this site, here or in the Tech/Ops forum relating to detailed technical and business questions relevant to this concept.

Should any of you have any questions or want to contact me about this, feel free to e-mail me. My e-mail address is [email protected] In addition, in the afternoon and evening, Pacific Standard Time, I can sometimes be contacted through AOL Instant Messenger/AIM, my S/N of course being wgw2024.

Perhaps, with extreme luck, and hard work, the name of Trans World Airlines will again grace the sky, and not as a pretentious exploitation but as a real, viable and sustainable airline that will live up to the name of its illustrious predecessor.

Happy flying.


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pilotpip
Posts: 2844
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:26 pm

RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Thu Sep 25, 2003 2:56 pm

Ok, this is going to be a shift. But why not change up the mission a little bit:

While everybody is going to low-cost, cattle hearding, why not try something a little different. TWA had a very funny ad campaign that was attacking Southwest's boarding procedures. Why not sell on a little more luxury? If they could find a way to keep costs low, but still have services that others don't provide I think it would be a great way to one up AA, UAL, etc.

TWA was always known for it's luxury. Had just a few things been different it would be here today(damn you Icahn). Everybody is going low cost, no frills. If people will spend the money to buy a BMW 7series, why wouldn't they pay a little extra for better service? TWA was making all the right moves to set itself apart from the competition, unfortunately it was too little too late.

As stated earlier, TWA cannot come back as a shell of it's former self. I think it would be yet another smack to the face of every former TW employee.
DMI
 
wgw2707
Topic Author
Posts: 1113
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 10:37 am

RE: Should TWA Be Revived As An STL-based Regional?

Thu Sep 25, 2003 3:26 pm

Pilotip, I agree with everything you have to say. The new airline would have to differentiate itself by providing better service at a lower cost, and I think this could be done. It's been discussed in detail throughout this topic how this might occur. As this topic is getting hard to manage, I will be posting another topic that will replace this one shortly, as a venue for discussion of this concept among other things.

-WGW

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