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TheLazarusman
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A Rebirth For USAirways?

Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:05 pm

A league of investors have aligned themselves with Smith Barney for the purpose of purchasing USAirways and returning it to profitability. This collection of former pilots, employees, and private investors calls themselves The RA Group. The RA Group has a website at http://www.ragroup.org The group is said to include former Piedmont Airlines number 3 man and current Continental CEO Gordon Bethune. Although nothing can be confirmed on RA's website, according to rumors circulating among employees of the airline the buyout is a done deal and an announcement should be made some time within the next two weeks. It has been said that Mr. Bethune's first duty as new CEO will be to remove the current management structure and replace it with one similar to what Piedmont and Allegheny Airlines' had in place.
 
N1120A
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:38 pm

Wow, I no longer doubt US' chances of survival, if this truly happens. Gordo is the second most amazing Exec in the industry, behind Uncle Herb, and he can do it. I wonder if this means Airbus is out of luck with US?
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
wgw2707
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:39 pm

This is rather interesting...will be interesting to note what comes of this...

-WGW2707
 
thetuna
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:54 pm

Indeed....Wonder if this really will happen if it does I say I am all for it!
He just ate the big one! Hog!...get away from that thing!! Just get away from it!
 
akjetBlue
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Mon Nov 08, 2004 7:24 pm

We'll I'm not big on prayer, but I'll pray for you US kidz to have Gordo jump on ship with ya. That would be some good news!
Save a horse! Ride a Cowboy!
 
Lufthansa
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Mon Nov 08, 2004 8:10 pm

This is a big "if"... I'm strictly talking hypothetically here.

If Gordy was to quite CO, which is likely because most CEO's dont stay at the one company forever and he has saved the thing and put CO on track, well I would expect that he would, at least in the short term, keep the airbus aircraft.

Everybody knows he's a boeing man...he'll, he even made boeings so obviously we know where his faith lies, but, he's also a business man and i would expect that in the short term, Airbus are going to be cheaper to stick with.

Of course, perhaps....we could see CO take over the organisation and see some kind of merger? I would think CO's would be more interested in United's DEN and SFO hubs...as well as possibly IAD as those cities would complement CO's own operation very well. However back to US.

I can see a role for a reinvented US, serving more as a "Capital Shuttle" around the east coast cities If anybody can do it, it is Gordy. But what about US Airways? Will they run out of cash first? Will the staff actually get motivated to come to work everyday with the new and enforced reality that they going to have no hope of working at the old wage and benefit levels?

The only thing I can think that would make this a certainty, is if DL went under first. If DL goes under first..well, It may just work. Very interesting idea, but i suspect, this may be a bunch of employees trying to avoid the inevitable.
 
avek00
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Mon Nov 08, 2004 10:01 pm

The RA Group does NOT include Gordon Bethune in any way, shape, or form, except by starry-eyed speculation:

"The letter also pointed out that Mr. Gordon Bethune, former officer at Piedmont, friend and colleague of McLean, is the contracted CEO for Continental and his contract will expire on December 31st, 2004.

It is important to note that due to Bethune’s contract and laws, we do not yet have the ability to open dialog, direct or indirect, about active participation with the coalition until the contract expires."

Live life to the fullest.
 
HlywdCatft
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Mon Nov 08, 2004 10:37 pm

Why would Gordon be interested in saving U.S. Airways? They are a huge competitor to Continental in the northeast region with their Trans Atlantic hubs less than 100 miles apart.

Why would he leave an airline that is in better shape for one of the legacies to try to save a dying company?
 
supa7E7
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 12:45 am

This "proposal" is some retired pilot's pipe dream. The group currently has around $200,000 lined up, according to an article last week, so it's very cute but nothing more. Running a major international airline in the way Piedmont, one US Airways' divisions, is run would be a little unrealistic, also. But hey, it's nice to see some optimism for US.
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
ACAfan
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 12:54 am

Running a major international airline in the way Piedmont, one US Airways' divisions, is run would be a little unrealistic, also.

I dont think they mean this Piedmont:

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I think they mean this Piedmont:

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Photo © Howard Chaloner

Freddie Laker ... May be at peace with his maker ... But he is a persona non grata ... with IATA
 
ATLhomeCMH
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 1:06 am

I hope that this occurs, for the sake of USAirways employees. Otherwise, I can't see how US could possibly survive.
"The most terrifying words in the Engligh language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"-Ronald Reagan
 
US A333 PIT
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 1:11 am

No offense, but these guys don't sound like the most business savy individuals. I looked at the website and they misquote a lot of vps, even get their names wrong. There's a section entitled financing-sort of. I wouldn't read too much into this. It's real but I can't believe it will ever come to fruition.
 
AA717driver
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 2:08 am

Maybe they can name it "Kiwi"...  Insane TC
FL450, M.85
 
DAYflyer
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 3:13 am

I'll believe it when I see it in print somewhere like the WSJ.
One Nation Under God
 
flybyguy
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 3:24 am

HlywdCatft,

Well it happens in other industries all the time. Take for example Palm Computing... Jeff Hawkins left a rather thriving country to go at it again to found HandSpring.

CEO's don't like complacency, but like new challenges... besides their resumes get more impressive if they saved an ailing company from doom rather than sit on the board of a company that wouldn't need them either way.
"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
 
AirBuffalo
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 4:14 am


From the website:

"... buy back the airline, so that it can be restructured in the image of Piedmont and Allegheny"

Forgive me for being in grade school when the Piedmont and Allegheny mergers happened, but:

What was so great about the Piedmont/Allegheny structure?

I'm guessing this statement is just pandering to the "old guard" at USAirways ... the guys that benefited from the old system and may have some money laying around to invest in RA Group. Is there any more to this?

BS
 
boeingfever777
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 4:49 am

Well if there is any truth to Gordan, leaving CO and going to US this would be good for them. Although I believe Gordan, is a Boeing man and would restructure the fleet and cancel any further Airbus orders. Anyways I fly CO and find the carrier one of the best in the industry so I hope if he leaves CO he can turn US like he did CO.

Gordan for CEO fo the Year!

BoeingFever777,
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre.
 
gigneil
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 5:00 am

Um. Gordon announced MONTHS ago he was leaving CO on Dec 31st. This is well known information.

He was somewhat being forced out by a disagreement with a board member.

This is completely plausible, I don't know why everyone jumped on it and said no.

Improbable, but plausible.

N
 
GVROYphx
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 5:10 am

Would US just go out of business...we have too many airlines in this country in the first place....

I highly doubt Gordon would go to US...he's already said this industry needs to consolidate....


- RR
 
gigneil
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 5:15 am

Gordon is not the retirement sort of guy. He will need a challenge, and US sounds like a good one.

N
 
avek00
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 5:34 am

No, US is the worst possible challenge Gordon could go after, because he can't win. US (and United, for that matter) has virtually none of the attributes that Gordon & Co. exploited at CO in the 1990s, such as:

1. Undersized hubs with ample room for expansion;
2. A junior, relative inexpensive, and largely non-union workforce; and
3. A competitive environment largely free of LCC competition.

Live life to the fullest.
 
gigneil
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 5:35 am

Sounds like more of a challenge, yes. But its certainly doable.

N
 
PHLBOS
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 5:44 am

For those thinking Gordon will leave CO to save US, I have one question to ask you all.

Where did David Siegel work prior to joining US?

If I'm not mistaken, Siegel was at CO Express prior to US.

No, US is the worst possible challenge Gordon could go after, because he can't win. US (and United, for that matter) has virtually none of the attributes that Gordon & Co. exploited at CO in the 1990s, such as:

1. Undersized hubs with ample room for expansion;
2. A junior, relative inexpensive, and largely non-union workforce; and
3. A competitive environment largely free of LCC competition.


Couldn't agree more. Somehow, if Gordon actually does this; we could see history repeat itself a la Siegel.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
gigneil
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 5:53 am

Gordon IS LEAVING CO.

What he does afterwards nobody knows for sure.

N
 
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mariner
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 6:05 am

Usually when a CEO leaves a company, his contract stipulates that he cannot work for a similar company for a certain number of years.

I don't know if this is true in Mr. Bethune's case, but it would seem sensible for CO to have such a clause in his contract.

cheers

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
BIGBlack
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 6:07 am

I fly US tonight to PHL from BOS returning Thursday. I will chart it in the trip section.
Someone special in the air
 
ATWZW170
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 6:17 am

Do you really think that by Gordo coming to US he is going to save the company? US needs to really pull back and focus...is DC the best place to be expanding? CLT has almost NO competition, why not focus there. FLL as a Carribbean hub? Not sure if that is the best idea either. US also needs to focus on East-West traffic....might not hurt to have a midwest focus city.
Success is getting what you want...happiness is liking what you get
 
gigneil
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 6:21 am

.is DC the best place to be expanding?

Um, yes?

DCA is a guaranteed-yield business market.

FLL is the perfect Caribbean hub, but it needs more domestic destinations to bolster feed. UA should build codeshare connections from their domestic hubs via FLL to the Caribbean as well.

I agree they need to work on East-West routes.

N
 
nucsh
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RE: USAirways Livery

Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:08 am

Simple as this... Gordon would save US. And comparing Gordon to Siegel, thats laughable. Saying that Gordon couldn't help US just because he comes from the same company as someone who ruined US?! LMAO -- Wow, the ignorance is think in this forum.
If landing is about "kissing" the ground, you just about raped it.
 
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ERJ170
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:18 am

This is what I have to say... all that I have to say.. and the end of what I am going to say (probably)...

Gordon can't do any worst that their current situation. If going all Boeing (and probably Embraer) works, then it works. US needs any assistance it can get.

Airlines are like a box of chocolates; you never know what you gonna get until you try it. And that's all I got to say about that, Bubba...
Aiming High and going far..
 
ATWZW170
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:18 am

Do you think Air Tran gaining the slots at DCA is going to have a negative impact on the expantion of US Airways flights?
Success is getting what you want...happiness is liking what you get
 
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ERJ170
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:20 am

Nah, the presence of FL at DCA is minimal compared to US & DL. I would assume DL would be upset that FL is following them everywhere they go, though! LOL...
Aiming High and going far..
 
stlgph
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:26 am

Sounds like Gordon Bethune might be the only chance and hope for the saving of US Airways. At this stage of the game, what can it hurt? At least keep those employed for another good year or two while they try to work their magic. For the sake of all the employees, I sincerely hope it works for them.

Of course if Bethune is smart, I think he should avoid a consolidation of US Airways with Continental or any other airline (I guess except for their relationship with United--but even rethink that) for the time being while this project gets up and off the ground.

if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
ATWZW170
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:35 am

I'm sure DL is getting a little on the upset side at FL. At least FL keeps everyone on their toes. I have to say, FL has better service. I've flown both airlines recently and when I checked in with DL it wasn't bad service...they were just there....with FL it was good service...they smiled at least.

If Flyi goes under than US has a better chance in DCA, but with Ted, WN, and so many other airlines in that market I think they are going to have a hard time. For example, US is going to start DCA-ORD, why? Both UA and AA fly that market, WN out of BWI, and UA out of IAD....seems like the market already has the capacity.
Success is getting what you want...happiness is liking what you get
 
flyboyaz
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:43 am

Gordon worked at Piedmont and said that it was a SUPER airline. The merger should have been the other way around...they certainly wouldn't have ended up in such a sad state.
Catch a ride on a smile!
 
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STT757
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:04 am

Gordon announced his retirement two years ago, he's speeding it up by one year to January '05 because of a dispute with a board member (David Bonderman) who refused to leave CO's Board Of Directors unless Bethune stepped down as CO CEO. Also other companies were wooing CO's # 2 man Larry Kellher to be their CEO, Larry has been at CO with Gordon since the begining. Gordon did not want anyone but Larry to succeed him at CO to ensure his "legacy", so Gordon put CO's interests above his own and announced he would step down in January.

Now on whether he would go to US Airways I will quote Gordon Bethune himself who callled Us Airways "toast" recently, CO had many things going for it when Gordon took over.

The key however to CO's success besides great management and route network was the fact that CO's turnaround rode the economic wave of the mid-late 1990s, low oil prices, little LCC competition, significant cost advantage over other carriers and a STRONG economy during the 1990s were keys to the turn around.

The economy now is not great, oil prices are high, US Airways employees are totaly spitefull, and competition is fierce on almost every route.

Not good ingrediants.

Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
airways6max
Posts: 474
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:07 am

Bethune could turn Continental around. I hope he can do the same for US.

In any case, this is the last chance US has to survive.
 
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STT757
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:10 am

One more thing...

Gordon Bethune is stepping down as CEO of CO in January, HOWEVER he is staying on as a member of CO' Board Of Directors.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
wgw2707
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:27 am

The economy now is not great

I'd disagree with that. I'd argue that the economy is in a similiar position to its status in 1994...slowly recovering. Don't forget, the Dow is actually higher than it was for a substantial portion of the 1990s-and the price of oil is falling. Also, right now, the entire transportation sector has become an unlikely gem in the rough, with rapidly rising share prices. Now is the time for Bethune to pull off a revival of US Airways, if he wants to accomplish it.

-WGW2707
 
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mariner
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:30 am

WGW2707:

"...and the price of oil is falling."

You mean it is $49 instead of $50?

cheers

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
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STT757
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:34 am

"I'd disagree with that. I'd argue that the economy is in a similiar position to its status in 1994..."

I would totaly disagree with that, in 1994 the Country was three years removed from a war. The Country now is in what even the most optimistic folks will say is the beginining of a long contracted conflict with tremendous amounts of uncertainty, things looked much clearer in 1994 than they do in 2004.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
avek00
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:34 am

"Gordon would save US."

I have no doubt that Gordon could come up with a plan to "save" US - it wouldn't matter much, though, since he'd have zero chance of being able to successfully implement it. As mentioned earlier, US lacks ALL of the attributes exploited by Continental to turn that airline around - Continental would have NEVER survived if Gordon had to contend with weak/declining hub markets, hostile unions, and a frontal assault from LCCs. The man is a management genius, but not a deity - even he cannot fix what is already beyond repair.
Live life to the fullest.
 
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ERJ170
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:34 am

The days of $26 oil prices are over for many years to come.. perhaps by 2010 they will either be lowered or a new fuel type will be in use by airlines..
Aiming High and going far..
 
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STT757
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:41 am

"They say they would like to install a new management team and note that Gordon Bethune leaves as CEO of Continental Airlines at the end of the year."

Lots of wishful thinking on the website, no substance.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
EMBQA
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 12:05 pm

I'll just say this...... If anyone can do it, Gordon can. Continental was in almost the same boat when he got there and look where he took them. As he said in his book, "I'm an operations guy, ie.. I fix problems" Well, USAirways has problems that need fixing........... I guess we'll see after the first of the year when his contract with CAL expires.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
Mikey711MN
Posts: 1253
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:19 am

RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 12:38 pm

I guess we'll see after the first of the year when his contract with CAL expires.

I hope they have the cash to make it that far. Without drastic Gordon-like shrewdness to weather these current times, there might not be as much of US left to save.

-Mike
I plan on living forever. So far, so good...
 
CO737800
Posts: 514
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RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 1:09 pm

First I don't see why Gordon would leave Co only to go to US Airways. If he does it would be great to see the 7E7 and 777 in US Airways colours.
 
wgw2707
Posts: 1113
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 10:37 am

RE: A Rebirth For USAirways?

Tue Nov 09, 2004 1:21 pm

Regarding the price of oil, it is well worth noting that some transport companies are actually making a profit through shrewd hedging and trading of oil and related energy products. I think to claim the economy is a disaster right now is utterly false, I think on the contrary we're entering into a period of economic recovery...In particular, it should be noted that the transport sector, as I said above, is growing fast. Now is definitely an ideal time for major capital investment in this sector, as it will pay off as the economy continues to develop.

-WGW2707

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