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Akiestar
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Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:37 am

As I was reading the DL/VS thread, one of the posts there got me thinking.

Quoting mayor (Reply 153):
Well, for one thing, it seems like 9/11 hurt the US legacies more than it did foreign airlines.
However, previous to 2001, DL was one of, if not the best of the U.S. legacies in making a profit.

It's been 12 years since 9/11, and yet we're still feeling the effects of 9/11 today. U.S. airlines have survived deregulation, mergers, bankruptcy and the like, but for some reason the specter of 9/11 still lingers: the woes of the industry today are tied, in one way or another, to 9/11.

So the question now is: will U.S. airlines ever go beyond 9/11? When will we reach a point where 9/11 is no longer a factor as to how an airline does financially or otherwise? What do you all think about this?

[Edited 2013-03-21 01:39:41]
 
DLPMMM
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:28 am

The US carriers are already beyond it. The US government is not, but the carriers are.
 
romeobravo
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:35 am

The woes of the industry today are due to the economic state of the west.
 
soon7x7
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:28 am

Quoting Akiestar (Thread starter):
airlines ever go beyond 9/11?

Why should they?...the threat still exists and until sentiments towards the west by the east changes, the threat will always exist. 9/11 was not an isolated one day affair. Look up the history of middle eastern assaults, hijackings and aircraft destruction on US carriers and their aircraft. The history goes back to the 60's with over 30 incidents. One local to New York @ LGA. The TWA/Eastern terminal suffered an explosion curbside 4 days after Christmas in '75. The terminal suffered severe damage, so did many passengers. Two members from the PLO were caught and questioned but were never tried. Today it is still an open ended case. New York and Americans today are highest on the int'l target list. The recent rants from Iran, North Korea and other regions of instability don't help. Unfortunately we live in extremely unstable times and to drop your guard now would be dereliction. The sad reality is we have the TSA to watch over us...now their exists a contradiction of terms.
 
SRT75
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:57 am

9/11 changed the world, so to speak.

Security and the flying experience will never be the same as it was.

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 1):
The US government is not


  

I doubt we will ever be rid of silly "security" measures that afford little security. Look at the public outcry over a reasonable proposal to allow pen knifes back on airplanes!

As far as the economic side of the industry, I don't think 9/11 is the cause, it was just a catalyst. If you recall, in the late 1990s airlines were profit machines and the buzz word was "long and thin." Airlines were flying point-to-point with high frequency to cater to the elusive business traveller with an unlimited travel budget and a desire to get where s/he wanted when s/he wanted without connecting.

Until the "great recession" is truly done and over with, I doubt we will ever see a return to that type of business model. Companies are pinching pennies and keeping a close eye on the travel budget. Fuel is a lot more expensive now than it was pre-9/11. Airlines' margins are a lot thinner than they were. LCCs (of which there are a lot more now than there was) are keeping a cap on prices rising to a point where legacies can earn decent profits.

No doubt 9/11 added to the economy tanking, but I think it is but a small factor in the bigger scheme of things (e.g., the dot-com bubble, the housing bubble, etc.).
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:19 pm

The current situation is due to multiple national and global economic factors.

It is not still the lingering effects of 9/11. The only real lingering aspect is the security measures and how that has impacted some short haul air travel.
 
bj87
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:20 pm

Quoting Akiestar (Thread starter):
It's been 12 years since 9/11, and yet we're still feeling the effects of 9/11 today. U.S. airlines have survived deregulation, mergers, bankruptcy and the like, but for some reason the specter of 9/11 still lingers: the woes of the industry today are tied, in one way or another, to 9/11.

Well like it or not the terrorist were successful at achieving their goal. I have lived in the country for years, also during 9/11, and America was and to some extent still is in a right old panic due to the event. Of course some panic is "normal" but in most other countries a terrorist attack wouldn't make such a big and lasting impact on daily life as in the US, why? Well as DLPMMM already said, the people and the airlines might be over it, the government is't. Fear is a powerful tool and the government knows it and uses it (both the democrats and the republicans). Also the media still evokes fear every year around September.

I remember in the years after 9/11 the "threat level" going up and down from yellow to orange and god knows what else so much it would put a traffic light to shame. Fear gets people to swallow insane bills such as the patriot act and agencies such as TSA. It is the red scare all over again, you don't support the idea of the patriot act or the TSA regulations then you support terrorist right? (I know, a bit of an extreme thought but politicians could and sometimes do get accused like that)

Fear also sells, so there are lots of programs about 9/11 and terrorist and news items that pop up every year. Does this really harm the industry? Probably not but it sure isn't helping.

Quoting Akiestar (Thread starter):
So the question now is: will U.S. airlines ever go beyond 9/11? When will we reach a point where 9/11 is no longer a factor as to how an airline does financially or otherwise? What do you all think about this?

Financially it wil be difficult especially due to the economical problems but in time these wounds will heal, everyone will have gone bankrupt (or chapter 11) at least once to get their finances in order and business will slowly return to normal. People will grow over the "fear" and get on a plane just like they used to. The TSA will get less "abusive" and people will once again feel comfortable flying.

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 2):
The woes of the industry today are due to the economic state of the west.

I agree, but the government and media fear indoctrination doesn't help either. Airlines are dealing with a recession that is made worse by bad media attention and government "fear" indoctrination. To some extend the fear of a terrorist is real but some agencies really really like to pump it all up a bit. In the old days people saw communist everywhere, thanks to the whole media and government use of 9/11 these days everyone with a beard or a headscarf might be a terrorist.

The red scare past and so will this, in the mean time the airlines will have to deal with an economical downturn like they have so many times. In the end however they will get over it. The airlines already left the 9/11 scare behind them. Now they have to wait for the economy to improve and it will be business as usual with the occasional delay due to a bearded guy with a water bottle which scares Joe the Plumber who then informs the FA he might have seen a terrorist.

Just my
  
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:36 pm

9/11 is now so far back that few of the US airlines that were around then bear any resemblance to how they were then: Almost all the legacies have been through Ch 11 and amalgamation, the LCC's continue to grow, smaller airlines have folded. Additionally much of the effect of 9/11 passed within months.

The credit squeeze is the bigger factor now. Will we ever again see the system awash with cash with businesses allowing staff to routinely fly in business class on a frequent basis without asking them to not only justify their better seat, but also that their journey is even necessary ? Will we then see huge volumes of people with sufficient disposable income to pay high prices for their personal travel ?
 
Maverick623
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:19 pm

Quoting Akiestar (Thread starter):
When will we reach a point where 9/11 is no longer a factor as to how an airline does financially or otherwise?

9/11 was never a huge factor for anyone but US Airways.
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
SPREE34
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:15 pm

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 8):
9/11 was never a huge factor for anyone but US Airways.

And if they had been left to fade out, we'd have a much stronger industry today.
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
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TWA772LR
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:18 pm

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 8):
9/11 was never a huge factor for anyone but US Airways.
Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 9):
And if they had been left to fade out, we'd have a much stronger industry today.

Can you explain this please?   
When wasn't America great?


The thoughts and opinions shared under this username are mine and are not influenced by my employer.
 
jayunited
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:37 pm

I think the airline industry has moved past 9/11 in fact 9/11 is only brought up in the U.S. industry when the anniversary comes around. The airline industry here in the U.S. was hit hard by the recession, followed by millions of Americans loosing their jobs, then spike in oil prices, and now the European Economic crisis is hitting U.S.- European flights right now.
With the consolidation that has/is taking place in the industry I believe that once the economic crisis has passed and we get more Americans back to work and start increasing the salaries of all U.S. workers not just those at the top then the U.S. industry will be poised to make a powerful comeback. So much has happened over the past 12 years I just don't think it is right to lay all the blame on 9/11 because a lot of these airlines made poor decisions prior to and after 9/11 happened and those poor decisions are the true underlining reason why the industry fell apart.
 
SPREE34
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:46 pm

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 10):
Can you explain this please?

A failing airline propped up by 9-11 government loans. The government should have stayed out of the airline business, and let the marketplace work.
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
SANflyr
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:03 pm

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 8):
Quoting Akiestar (Thread starter):
When will we reach a point where 9/11 is no longer a factor as to how an airline does financially or otherwise?

9/11 was never a huge factor for anyone but US Airways.

I think United and American would disagree.
 
eastern747
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:48 am

The only fear....is fear itself.......Franklin Roosevelt at the beginning of WW2 when the nation was scared [email protected]@@less.....We can't continue living our lives looking over our shoulders....The sadness that happens in mall. theatres and schools isn;t going away. Just go live your lives and be thankful for everyday.....without TSA.
 
Mcoov
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:17 am

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 14):

I find it interesting that you bring up Pearl Harbor because Pearl Harbor remained a sensitive topic for 15 or even 20 years after the event. Certainly by 1951, '52, or '53, emotions about the event ran high.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:58 am

Again, everyone was making a profit in the late-90s since the economy was booming, energy costs were low, and almost all economic indicators were very positive at the time. There was lot of available credit, people were making a lot of money in real estate. Overall everyone was spending money like there was no tommorrow.

Airlines too where spending money and enjoying the good times of the late 90s. However by mid-2001 after the .com/tech bubble burst, the economy was already on the decline, even before 9/11. 9/11 really amplified the situation for the aviation industry since it did have a significant short-term impact (by short-term I mean for up to 2-3 years later).

With the economic and 9/11 downturn in the industry, the airlines were set flexible enough to adapt to the reduced demand. Plus newer and lower cost competitors were now of critical mass they they became the price-setters in many markets. Due to a cost-structure that was more atune to the go-go late 90s, the airlines were losing a lot of money and piling up a lot of debt. They were caught with a lot of inflexibility in contracts (e.g., labor/union, aircraft leases, real estate, rent) that did not allow them to shed excess employees, aircraft, buildings, or gates.

Much of the air travel demand recovered from the 9/11 downturn by 2004/2005 and the economy was in a better position but the legacies were either in bankruptcy or still bleeding money. Bankruptcy was the tool that enabled the legacies to restructure and adapt to the new cost structure, shed unnecessary assets, and start to get the flexibility they needed to adapt to changing economic conditions.

Mergers were another restructuring method, enabling broader economies of scale, building global network carriers, and further removing redundant or excess capacity.

Again its not the effects of 9/11 that still haunt the industry. Its the national and global economy that does. The airlines have responded by finally being in the healthiest financial condition they've arguably been in since deregulation. The industry historically has been on boom or bust cycles. That needed to change. Finally were seeing airlines that are still able to make a profit during periods of downturn. That has something that historically not happened.
 
hz747300
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:41 am

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 1):
The US government is not, but the carriers are.

I agree with this sentiment. The airlines I would argue have moved beyond it, general economic malaise is what you are seeing for stagnation in the industry and low yields (planes are still full).

However, the government, has not moved beyond it. In part, that there will always be a threat, America still makes the most inviting target because you ("the terrorists") will have instant fame and TV coverage if you are successful. The other part is that the way the TSA is structured it unfortunately has become like any bureaucracy, where its tasks and missions are obscured by feeding the behemoth.
Keep on truckin'...
 
zotan
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:14 am

US airlines are doing very well right now. Consolidation and capacity control have helped them return to profitability.
 
AWACSooner
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:19 am

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 9):

Bingo! That was a huge game changer...and the main reason why WN now has some of the highest overhead in the US. Instead of letting the system work by letting the weak and mismanaged go away, the govt decided to intervene...and did the same some years later with GM.
If its not working, let it die...and make room for somebody who can make it work.
 
Maverick623
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:43 am

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 12):

A failing airline propped up by 9-11 government loans. The government should have stayed out of the airline business, and let the marketplace work.

US was not the only carrier to receive ATSB loans. Also, their biggest 9/11 related issue was caused by the government closure of DCA... so your "free market" line falls on it's face.

The only thing that would have happened had the larger airlines not been somewhat "propped up", is that the cycle of bottom-barrel start-ups that fold within 5-10 years would have continued, not giving a real outfit the chance to stabilize costs and prices, especially with high inflation.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As a side note, one of the big things that gets overlooked is the insane growth of technology. What used to take a trip to a travel agent, followed by up to two weeks of waiting for paper tickets, manual processing of flights, etc... is now completely automated. Not only has this allowed a reduction of labor costs, but it is exceedingly efficient (at least until the computers go down   ) and allows tighter capacity controls.
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
TrijetsRMissed
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RE: Will US Airlines Ever Go Beyond 9/11?

Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:57 am

In regards to 9/11, the remaining US legacies have survived, adapted, and moved beyond the horrific terrorist attacks. Additionally, the airline industry will always be a significant part of the US economy and private sector workforce - even after periods of losses and despair.

But will US legacies ever enjoy the golden years again? Absolutely not. It is sad, but true. (The gold years being the best eras of growth and/or profits, post de-regulation - (86-89 / 93-99).
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