2005-09-14 22:30:07 UTC
appears that American Airlines is now the only pre-deregulation U.S.
major carrier left that hasn't seen a trip to Bankruptcy Court.
The major U.S. domestic carriers in 1978:
Continental - several trips to bankruptcy court
United - currently in bankruptcy
Delta - filed Ch. 11 today
Northwest - filed Ch. 11 today
US Airways - wasn't a major pre-deregulation, then a regional known as
Allegheny; several trips to Ch. 11
These are gone:
National - gobbled up by Pan Am in 1979
Braniff (original) - shut down 1982
Western - gobbled up by Delta in 1987
Eastern - shut down 1991
Pan Am (original) - shut down 1991
TWA - several trips to Ch. 11, remains gobbled up by AA in 2001
Will American eventually have to file for Chapter 11 just to get their
labor costs down and their debt restructured so they can compete with
the others on a level playing field? They don't just have to compete
with the other U.S. majors that have gone or are going through Ch. 11
reorganization, but also with the much leaner and meaner Southwest,
JetBlue, AirTran, Frontier, etc. If AA doesn't file for Ch. 11, they
will be at a huge disadvantage.
Don't know why AA, CO, DL, NW, UA, and US don't just stop flying
domestically and concentrate on international routes, which is where
they can still make a profit. DL could turn all their domestic flying
over to Song, United to Ted, and the other four could set up their own
low-cost domestic carriers. Or in the case of US, just become the
low-cost domestic feeder for AA, CO, or NW.
Anyway, it seems like some more consolidation among the majors will be
needed in the future. There isn't really a need for more than three
major airlines, probably AA, DL (merged with CO and NW), and UA
(merged with US).
All in all, what a sad day for U.S. aviation, and what a sad state of
affairs for a once-prestigious industry.