Gulfstream500
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Could TWA have been able to save the 717 or A318?

Mon May 27, 2019 3:26 am

TWA, at the time of closure, had 50 orders (equates to 63% of the A318s ever delivered), and TWA had a partially fulfilled order of 50 717s (with 20 remaining at closure).

If TWA never merged into American, could the A318 or 717 have been prolonged in existence or developed further?

(Orders at closure)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans_World_Airlines
Can someone please start a wikipedia list of failed startup airlines? I am interested in seeing just how long it would be...
 
KFTG
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Re: Could TWA have been able to save the 717 or A318?

Mon May 27, 2019 3:47 am

TWA was not "merged" into American. It was an acquisition.
 
Wingtips56
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Re: Could TWA have been able to save the 717 or A318?

Mon May 27, 2019 3:50 am

TWA wasn't going to make payroll at the time of the acquisition announcement, according to one of their accounts I shared a shuttle with. AA paid the employees that week, and, obviously thereafter. So I think it unlikely TWA could have saved anything. Not with Icahn bleeding them.
Worked for WestAir, Apollo Airways, Desert Pacific, Western, AirCal and American Airlines (Retired). Flight Memory: 180 airports, 90 airlines, 75 a/c types, 403 routes, 58 countries (by air), 6 continents. 1,117,006 passenger miles.

Home airport : CEC
 
KlimaBXsst
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Re: Could TWA have been able to save the 717 or A318?

Mon May 27, 2019 3:51 am

Dude ... TWA could not even save itself.

Icahn was no help either.
Aesthetically the A 340 got it right!
 
leyland1989
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Re: Could TWA have been able to save the 717 or A318?

Mon May 27, 2019 3:58 am

the 717 and A318 would have bankrupt TWA instead.

Not sure about the 717 but the A318's niche is almost non-existence, especially in North America.
Even if the order is fulfilled, TWA would find itself in a tough position operating the A318 to compete with modern RJs, namely the E-Jets.
Airbus:319,320,332,333,343,345,346,359,388
Boeing: 717,734,738,753,74R,742,743,744,74E,748,763,772,773,77E,77L,77W,788,789
Misc:AT5,CN1,CNJ,CR2,CR7,CR9,DH8,ER4,ERD,E70,E75,E90,M11,S20
 
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N328KF
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Re: Could TWA have been able to save the 717 or A318?

Mon May 27, 2019 4:21 am

leyland1989 wrote:
the 717 and A318 would have bankrupt TWA instead.

Not sure about the 717 but the A318's niche is almost non-existence, especially in North America.
Even if the order is fulfilled, TWA would find itself in a tough position operating the A318 to compete with modern RJs, namely the E-Jets.


The fact that 90% of 717s are still in service, after having been out of production for 13 years, is a testament to the fact that operators aren't in a hurry to get rid of them, and that they are economically viable. The A318 is another matter.
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
-Donny Miller
 
Cointrin330
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Re: Could TWA have been able to save the 717 or A318?

Mon May 27, 2019 4:52 am

TWA was not merged into American Airlines. AMR acquired TWA with the specific intention of eliminating a competitor and capturing a midwest hub operation that in pre-9/11 2001 was an attractive operation that could alleviate congestion and capacity constraints that existed at the time at ORD, which then was a much more important hub for AA than it is today. Had TWA acquired all the 717s and A318s ordered, it, along with other existing factors, would have pushed the company into insolvency and a Chapter 7 liquidation. TWA never recovered from the Flight 800 crash in 1996, and was ailing financially throughout much of the 1990s (it filed for Chapter 11 in 1992 and emerged a year or two later) and filed again as part of the AA acquisition. American was simply looking to knock out an inefficient competitor, not leverage TWA's assets. The leases on the new planes TWA had at the time of the acquisition were very high, due to TWA's poor credit rating. That is one reason TWA's 767-300ERs were returned and AA bought 9 new ones in 2002 and a major reason TWA dumped the 717s.
 
Antarius
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Re: Could TWA have been able to save the 717 or A318?

Mon May 27, 2019 4:53 am

Dunno what TWA was thinking with their order.

BA's JFK-LCY is about the only reasonable use case for an a318.
2019: SIN HKG NRT DFW IAH HOU CLT LGA JFK SFO SJC EWR SNA EYW MIA BOG LAX ORD DTW OAK PVG BOS DCA IAD ATL LAS BIS CUN PHX OAK SYD CVG PHL MAD ORY CDG SLC SJU BQN DEN DOH BLR MAA KTM YYZ MEX
 
Cointrin330
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Re: Could TWA have been able to save the 717 or A318?

Mon May 27, 2019 4:58 am

Very little, if anything of TWA's original footprint remains at today's American Airlines. Some of the JFK TATL routes are legacy TWA route authorities (FCO, which is seasonal, MXP, BCN, and MAD were all TWA routes that AA did not operate from JFK when TWA was around). What remains of AA's STL operation is s skeleton of what TWA had in STL, and a handful of the remaining MD80's in AA's fleet probably were ex-TWA aircraft. American bought TWA's LHR route authorities in a separate transaction, in 1991 for $445 million (the same year UA bought Pan Am's Heathrow routes). The AA transaction included JFK-LHR, ORD-LHR, LAX-LHR, BOS-LHR, and IAD-LHR. The IAD-LHR route authority was swapped for a MIA-LHR slot (this all happened when Bermuda II was still in place). AMR also wanted nothing to do with TWA's employees, particularly the flight attendants and slowly and systematically did away with anything that would have allowed them to be fully integrated into AA. The costs were higher.
 
leyland1989
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Re: Could TWA have been able to save the 717 or A318?

Mon May 27, 2019 5:10 am

Antarius wrote:
Dunno what TWA was thinking with their order.

BA's JFK-LCY is about the only reasonable use case for an a318.

Don't forget about Frontier Airlines.

It made some sense when it was studied and developed back in the late 90's, given its common rating with the rest of the A320 family, it allowed airlines to have a competitive plane to operate on low yield/density route, more less an RJ alternative. Also as a direct replacement for the aging 737-200 at the time. That's the reason why Frontier ordered a handful them.

Then 75+ seats RJ came along and the rest is history.
Airbus:319,320,332,333,343,345,346,359,388
Boeing: 717,734,738,753,74R,742,743,744,74E,748,763,772,773,77E,77L,77W,788,789
Misc:AT5,CN1,CNJ,CR2,CR7,CR9,DH8,ER4,ERD,E70,E75,E90,M11,S20
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: Could TWA have been able to save the 717 or A318?

Mon May 27, 2019 5:22 am

If we really want to split hairs but also be 100% accurate, AA didn’t acquire TW; they provided DIP financing so TW could file for bankruptcy, with the agreement that AA would then purchase most, but not all, of TW’s assets. So TW as a corporate entity didn’t do anything but go into bankruptcy and then have an asset sale. This is what enabled AA to sidestep the Karabu agreement and also shutter the at-the-time money-losing TLV operation without paying severance to the employees there.

But as others have opined, TW couldn’t save itself, so there’s no way they’d have been able to “save” one poorly-selling aircraft line, let alone two. And lest we forget, all of this occurred less than a year before 9/11.
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stlgph
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Re: Could TWA have been able to save the 717 or A318?

Mon May 27, 2019 5:28 am

no, even if TWA had stuck around their need for 717s and 318s would have never been enough to keep the lines open.
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Could TWA have been able to save the 717 or A318?

Mon May 27, 2019 11:51 am

leyland1989 wrote:
Antarius wrote:
Dunno what TWA was thinking with their order.

BA's JFK-LCY is about the only reasonable use case for an a318.

Don't forget about Frontier Airlines.

It made some sense when it was studied and developed back in the late 90's...


The late 90s saw jet fuel as low as $0.31/gallon compared with today's $2.00. Fuel prices that low made even CRJ-100s and E-135s look sensible. Not today.

https://www.indexmundi.com/commodities/ ... months=300
 
Delta777Jet
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Re: Could TWA have been able to save the 717 or A318?

Mon May 27, 2019 3:22 pm

TWA good a good deal when ordering brand new A-318. Airbus didn't sell this bird so they gave it away for cheap. TWA had an option to change the aircraft to any other A-320 Series Aircraft. They only would have taken over a few A-318, more A-319, mostly A-320 and for sure the A-321. The aircrafts would have looked stunning in TWA colors and would have helped TWA go become bigger again.

TWA was killed by Mismanagement , Carl Icahn, the sale of LHR rights and TWA800.
B-717/722/737-200/300/400/500/600/700/800/900/B-747-100/200/400/SP/8i/B-752/3/B-762/3/4/B-772/LR/300ER/B-787-8/-9/DC-10-10/30/L1011-1/500/MD81/82/83/90/A-319/320/321/AB6/312/313/332/333/342/343/346/359/388/TU154/IL18/ATR42/72/DH4/DH3/E145/E170/190/CR2/7/9
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: Could TWA have been able to save the 717 or A318?

Wed May 29, 2019 9:06 pm

EA CO AS wrote:
If we really want to split hairs but also be 100% accurate, AA didn’t acquire TW; they provided DIP financing so TW could file for bankruptcy, with the agreement that AA would then purchase most, but not all, of TW’s assets. So TW as a corporate entity didn’t do anything but go into bankruptcy and then have an asset sale. This is what enabled AA to sidestep the Karabu agreement and also shutter the at-the-time money-losing TLV operation without paying severance to the employees there.

But as others have opined, TW couldn’t save itself, so there’s no way they’d have been able to “save” one poorly-selling aircraft line, let alone two. And lest we forget, all of this occurred less than a year before 9/11.


100% agree on every single point here. Excellent post!

It sounds funny today; however, TWA was doomed from the moment that there were only two possible buyers: Frank Lorenzo and Carl Icahn. Icahn was the lesser of the two evils - at the time. In the end, though, the Karabu agreement killed TWA with a thousand cuts.

There was an article in either Airliners or Airways magazine, pre-9/11, about "how hopeful TWA is for the year 2003, when the Karabu agreement will be over!" They had hoped that, if they could outlast Icahn and his blood-sucking drain on the airline, they could emerge better and stronger than ever when it was over. 9/11, however, ended that completely.

The purchase of TWA's assets after bankruptcy, however, was a final act of vengeance upon Icahn - he tried everything to convince a judge that this was an acquisition, and therefore AA was responsible for the Karabu payments to him. The judge said, "no, this is a purchase of assets under bankruptcy, therefore Karabu is dead". He bled TWA dry for years, but the airline got the last laugh.

As you can tell, I am NOT a fan of Carl Icahn.
 
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FCOTSTW
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Re: Could TWA have been able to save the 717 or A318?

Thu May 30, 2019 7:40 pm

Wingtips56 wrote:
TWA wasn't going to make payroll at the time of the acquisition announcement, according to one of their accounts I shared a shuttle with. AA paid the employees that week, and, obviously thereafter. So I think it unlikely TWA could have saved anything. Not with Icahn bleeding them.


Operating expenses (1 year or less) were a struggle for TW, however capital funding helped the company to fund a very aggressive fleet renewal campaign, which in 1999, 2000, and 2001 led to the acquisition of 11 757-300, 4 767-300, 8 MD-83, and 48 717-200. Still, I am not sure if those aircrafts were purchased or leased, sure thing, they required a lot of outgoing capital.

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