What If: One of the Big 4 US Airlines Went Under...

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Sinistar, May 13, 2020.

  1. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Yes. Goal is to bring back confidence to mobility, plus a large economic engine.

    Tim
     
  2. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I’m not playing fetch. You made a bs statement about my post and can’t back it up.
     
  3. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Several foreign airlines have already gone under from the pandemic. It could happen, it could easily be years before people are flying like they did preCOVID.
     
  4. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Several domestic airlines have shut down as well. Three last I payed attention.
     
  5. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    When the dust settles, and when (or *if*!) the genuine rates on the CV19 are properly calculated and disseminated, travel will pick up.

    Of course, we also have to have an economic recovery from the cluster that has been the reaction to the disease, and that’s the biggest factor of all.
     
  6. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    How long did it take airline passenger count to recover after 9/11? I remember the airplanes being pretty empty, and people being afraid to fly. I think that the fear of catching Covid-19 is stronger than being killed by a terrorist, and the fear will last longer, but that is only my guess. I also think that international travel will be hurt the worst, especially in the near term. Aren't most country borders still closed? When will they open? Will there be mandatory quarantines? I think companies (not only airlines) that depend on international travel are going to be most affected. Are people going to plan an international vacation far in advance, as many people do, when they have substantial doubt that it's going to happen? Spur of the moment, domestic trips would seem to be less affected.

    Here's an article, with graph, that shows how passenger count varied based on leg length. Short leg travel didn't recover, but longer haul flights did after a few years.

    [​IMG]
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/deando...it-comes-back-from-cornonavirus/#59baf15867b9
     
  7. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    The economic damage is the biggest variable in my opinion. I’m not saying the virus doesn’t matter but if no one can afford to fly then it kinda marginalizes the virus.
     
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  8. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    If a major folds, then obviously many more people will have to become pilots and buy their own airplanes. General aviation is saved! :D
     
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  9. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    100% of the sizable stock position I had in Delta vanished. Never to be seen again. I became a much more diversified and conservative investor after that.
     
  10. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Pattern Altitude

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    So small planes will go up in price. Answers the question from another thread.
     
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  11. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    This. The virus is what is keeping everyone from wanting to get on a plane right now. But people are known to have short memories so I suspect that won't be the case a year from now. But they won't be flying if they can't afford the trip and that seems like a definite possibility for a year from now.

    I also suspect business travel will be fraction of what it used to be for quite a while. People have short memories, but legal departments and safety departments and accounting departments generally do not. Company imposed travel restrictions will likely out last any infection fears the general public will have. And once businesses allow travel, they will likely approve less of it than they did previously due to web meetings being much cheaper and almost as productive.
     
  12. CJones

    CJones Final Approach

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    I wonder how much of that 'short distance' decline was caused by the introduction of the TSA processes? I know several people that say if their destination is within 5 hrs of driving, they would rather drive it than go through the TSA b.s. - and this is for work travel where someone else is paying the fare.

    Also - when did the nickel and dime extra fees kick in? Wasn't it around 2008-2010 when they became midstream. I would see that having more impact on short distance travel than 'fear' of flying.

    Just spitballing here...
     
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  13. CJones

    CJones Final Approach

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    I think biz travel will pick up quickly as soon as there are projects and meetings that need to be tended to. I work in a pretty heavily project-centric business and we're all chomping at the bit to get going. Nobody in my circle is saying they won't travel b/c of virus. What will likely cause a delay in travel recovery is the extra 'security/safety' processes that will surely be implemented at the airports that just add to the hassle of getting to/from the stupid airplane.
     
  14. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I think you might be onto something. In general the airlines suck. The post 911 airlines suck at least one order of magnitude worse than pre 911. I’m already trying to get a job outside of the airline industry. I left in 2010 and went back in 2018. I already regret it ... should have stayed out.

    Some people like working for the airlines. I’m just not one of them I guess.
     
  15. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    My wife does a lot of study monitoring which involves travel because on site monitoring is required per the protocols. Her company is looking at revising the protocols to allow some or all monitoring to be done remotely via video calls. She will very likely travel less after this is over.
     
  16. CJones

    CJones Final Approach

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    Interesting. I guess if some folks return to their original rate yet some folks drop off, there will inevitably be a net decline of some sort. I don't see airline travel picking up for anybody after this more than it was before, for sure.
     
  17. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think there were other factors, as well, annoyance and total time for the trip being two of them.

    I dramatically reduced my commercial flying after 9/11, but it was more because the security at the Greater NYC airports was such that in terms of total trip time from my door to the destination, it usually made more sense to drive or take Amtrak for most of my trips.

    When I had no choice but to fly, I drove to ISP or HPN rather than using LGA or JFK, which were roughly 10 and 20 minutes away from me, respectively. The total time was shorter because of the TSA lines. (The fact that LGA, the closest airport to me, was also abysmal in pretty much every other way, was also a factor.)

    Retailers are experiencing something similar right now: People don't want to shop not because they're afraid, but because of having to wait on lines just to get into the stores, and then be rushed to hurry up once they're inside so they can let more people in. It pretty much eliminates browsing and impulse buying in the more-populated places. People buy what's on their lists, and bounce.

    The lines to get into stores hasn't yet been an issue where I live, but I figure it will become one when people from the more-populated areas figure out that they can save time by shopping in the boonies.

    Rich
     
  18. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    A friends company (her and her husband) do pharma study audits. All of her clients are looking to legal plus IT to find a way to allow a lot of the monitoring work to be done with video conferencing and in-room/hall camera/monitoring systems. She expects around a 75% drop in travel as a result.

    Tim
     
  19. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Wow lots of interesting answers. For me it's really hard to think the airlines will even reach the pre-covid travel volume for at least 5yrs. So pretty hard to imagine American, United, Delta and Southwest all making it that long. And that is with a vaccine...just my opinion though.

    So at the airport the other night the talk was of the planes. Let's say American and Delta have close to 1800 aircraft between them. Not sure about United and Southwest so maybe another 1500 between them. If travel were to reach 75% of pretty covid levels in 5 years that's 825 existing planes today that will not have flown in 5yrs! Just think what the number is right now, then next year somewhat less until reach 825 aircraft not needed.

    So the speculation was that Amazon, maybe Walmart, FedEx or UPS might go on a bargain shopping spree and convert narrow or wide bodies to freight haulers. I guess I could see it. It would get the troubled airlines out of some payments and stop any maintenance reqs on their part.

    Plus that means (in this example) that there would be 825 pilot/fo pairs that would not return to work for 5 years...unless these planes get picked up by somebody on the cheap. How many mandatory retires will there be in 5 years...I'm guessing at least 825.

    The other talk was of the unions and all the non rev seat requirements. If they bust a union and make them live at the home base they wouldn't have to fly near empty flights just to get Capn Johnson back to his ocean side home in Oregon even though he flys out of Chicago.

    Weird talk and speculation. Just dumbfounding how it was at its peak. And the odds of the 737 Max and then this. Wow!
     
  20. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Umm...that's not how it works. You're thinking of deadheading, which is something different. None of these airplanes are flying because of commuting pilots. All that is done on their own time and make no mistake - the airline wants us to be able to commute just as much as the union does.
     
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  21. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    Could be. During the post 9/11 period, I was living in a place that was an hour drive to the airport, plus you now were supposed to arrive 2 hours before your flight due to possible TSA screening delays. So there's 3 hours already. Then you would need to find transportation at the other end. This was before Uber and Lyft. But I never took short-haul airline flights to begin with, even pre 9/11. I don't mind driving, plus with airlines, you need to conform to their schedule.
     
  22. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    There have been no lines to the stores where I live, in a city, since the first few weeks of lockdown. I have an advantage in that I don't work, either physically or at home, so I can go to the store any time. Weekday mornings have always been the best, even before. I just went to the local hardware store which was not crowded, but not empty either. No line. I think the crowds are in the suburban areas. This was also true pre-covid. When I first moved here I drove out there to some of the bigger grocery and big-box stores before I realized the smaller city stores were less of a hassle.
     
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  23. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Thanks for correcting me there. Don't know why I wrote non-rev.

    A week or so ago I was perusing the airline pilots forums. The impression I got was that the airlines would love to have less "bases" which in-turn means those pilots at the bases being closed will now have to deadhead too or move. I would think from a business POV you would want all crew based at X to live at X to minimize the amount of crewing issues if they can't get there ahead of time. Also, it would seem with live at X and fly at Y it then creates the need for crashpads (doesn't sound fun during covid). Without a crash pad and much lower traffic you would think it would make getting to work on time from X to Y even more risky.
     
  24. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    No sweat - even people in the industry sometimes get confused between deadheading, non-reving, and jumpseating! The thing to remember is when a pilot commutes (i.e. lives somewhere other than where they are based), the airline doesn't bear any of the responsibility for that pilot to get to/from base*. Or for crashpads, or any of that. All the airline cares about is that we're at our gate of departure for the first leg on the first day of a trip. It's entirely on us to make that happen. If the weather sucks, the flights are all full, and we need to leave earlier to get to our base, that's just what we're expected to do. Once we're back in base after the last leg of the trip - same thing - it's on us to find our way home. Now this coming fall, we're likely to see thousands of pilots across the various airlines be displaced from their current base. No big deal to the airline - they give some time off for the move and a small amount of money, but really the burden is placed on the pilot. As long as pilots continue to be good about being 'in position' when they need to be, the airline doesn't care where they live. Except in *very* unique circumstances, commuters aren't deadheading - they're not taking a spot that could be taken by a revenue passenger.

    Now you might be thinking about Allegiant, which is the only airline I'm aware of that's considering closing bases at this time. They're not really an airline that's good for commuters (not that commuting is *ever* good!), but you're probably right that they might be realizing that they spread themselves so thin with all the tiny bases they have. I dunno - I have buddies there but I'm not too dialed in with their situation.

    *there are operators out there - generally on the fractional and 135 side of the fence - that will purchase tickets to get you to and from wherever you happen to live. But this thread is talking about the biggest 4 airlines, all which deal with basing in the manner I spoke of above.
     
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  25. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Wow just saw Delta is permanently retiring all 17 of its 777. Also mentioned was being 7,000 pilots overstaffed and I think that is after mandatory age out reqs. This sucks, that's a much bigger number than I expected. Also looks like Oct 1st their layoff and salary restrictions from the bailout expire. That's gonna be a terrible day. If American, United and Southwest are similar that could be like 22,000+ excess pilots.

    Back to what I was wondering...is this an example. There will now be (17) 777's that were flying international routes and now no longer of use to Delta. Arent these planes now of interest to haulers like Fedex, Ups, Amazon?
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
  26. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    FYI: It's my understanding these are legacy models which cost more in fuel and crew costs than newer models. I believe there is a memo out by their CEO on this.
     
  27. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    It's indeed gonna be a terrible day, although you're looking at displacement numbers (from APC I presume) - the furloughs will be based on what the airlines are projecting to need in the summer of 2021. Right now it's looking like the three legacies are planning on being between 25-30% smaller next summer. Who knows what the actual demand will look like a year from now though - for the industry's sake I hope it's not any worse than that! Guess that goes for most everyone - the airlines aren't the only industry that's hurting in this mess. :(
     
  28. KSCessnaDriver

    KSCessnaDriver Pattern Altitude

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    Hardly, the 200LR's were between 10 and 12 years old. The 200ER's were old, 1999 builds for the most part. They simply just don't need the 350 and 777 right now, and the 350 is the future. It makes sense to consolidate models right now.
     
  29. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    The 7000 number is for this fall. But we’re not planning for this fall. We’re planning for summer 2021 and we’re 2500-3500 over. Either way, the displacement bid just came out a few hours ago and there’s going to be lots of movement and training. There’s also 2500 pilots that aren’t even senior enough to hold anything after they get displaced so they will fall into an unqualified category and just sit at home until October if the company decides to furlough.
     
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  30. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Man this sucks...

    What about Flow Down or whatever it's called? Can't a big 3 like delta flow down and displace some its regional pilot slots. I guess in effect keeping some of their jobs and laying off at the regional level instead? I thought I heard it can't be 100% but it's in accordance with what their union negotiated??
     
  31. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We got an opening in Denton right now. Go helos man. Just gotta mention me...I need the referral bonus! :)
     
  32. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I doubt anyone with an IQ north of an alligator snapper is going to want to fly anywhere for some time. This is going to last years, probably until the vaccine comes out.
     
  33. falconkidding

    falconkidding Line Up and Wait

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    That would work if they would agree to a flow up but they won't. Heck i'd take a layoff if it meant some kind of protected status at UAL down the road. But UALs proven they don't give a crap about their regional feed or pilots so it'll never happen.
     
  34. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Might be an interesting career if I could afford the training and time build dollars to be eligible.
     
  35. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Administrator Management Council Member

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    And if that never happens?
     
  36. masloki

    masloki Line Up and Wait

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    This was the first week over week growth in air travel since Covid hit, so that’s good news. What will be interesting to see play out is how the legacies react to the new economic model. Some portion of biz travel is permanently dead. Call it 10% but that represents 20% of their revenue gone, and a mix tilting towards leisure which they seem to do grudgingly. That will change fares, schedules and routes pretty significantly. Yet, they can’t pile on the fees right now because that will scare away the customers they are trying to woo.
     
  37. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Well, sort of. Mostly those airlines were absorbed by others. Different than folding and airplanes, pilots, dispatchers, flight attendants, mechanics had nowhere to go.
     
  38. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Moronic statement.
     
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  39. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Perhaps different in outcome but each of those listed (a partial list, BTW) declared bankruptcy and filed for chapter 11 protections.

    Nauga,
    by the book
     
  40. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    Any chance you can or would want to return to whatever it is you were doing to put food on the table between 2010 and 2018? You're not alone, there's multitude examples on here and the pro board of folks who leave the airline whipsaw and land on their feet.