A330-200''s for US Airways

aerbase

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Aug 20, 2002
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On 2/1/2003 6:28:37 AM deelmakur wrote:

Aerbase, at the risk of becoming even more daft, let me amplify my comment. The 330 has been out over 10 years. During that time, slightly over 200 have been delivered (Airbus figures include options and commitments from leasing companies, which can be reconfigured to other types). In North America, the world's largest market for commercial aviation, until recently, the only other operators of this type I am aware of were Skyservice, Air Transat, and more recently Air Canada, the first two hardly household words (unless you count the "glider" incident in the Azores). I love the plane, and fly it often, but it is not a big seller. The many "white tails" the manufacturer has had on hand has been the reason so many of these are flown by obscure carriers in out of the way places. There is no doubt Airbus Industrie would do just about anything to insure that these aircraft show up in major airports around the world wearing the livery of "recognizable" North American carriers. My comment was meant to underscore that fact, which further suggests that from USAirways' perspective, they can likely get more of these on better terms than they would get from any other manufacturer (read Boeing), making their decision pretty much a no-brainer.
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The A330 was built for medium to long haul flying. In terms of this type of flying you will find that those airlines who are major players in this field are the biggest operators of the A330 (or will be) - Quantas, Emirates, Cathay Pacific,Malaysian, Korean Air, Philippine Airlines, Air France, Luftansa, Swissair, SAS just to mention a few.... and don't forget Northwest will be a big operator once deliveries get underway. I agree that in North America it hasn't been a big seller.... but the reality is that the market for medium to long range aircraft in North America is very small in comparision to other continents.

Asia and Europe are the key markets for these types of aircraft... and it is here where the A330 has sold very well.
 

X-U

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Feb 1, 2003
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PineyBob says: "Everyone will be better off when you realize that investor/shareholders come first".

Then why did you complain about the cut in Frequent Flyer perks? Everyone always wants to see something given up as long as it isn't from their pocket!
 

deelmakur

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Aug 26, 2002
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I'm slightly off topic, but I had to respond to those last comments. Firstly, there are no investor/shareholders anymore. The bankruptcy took care of that. They will be replaced by new equity, which is buying control of the airline for next to nothing, which is how it works in a capitalist society when people have made mistakes. Secondly, on the general subject of customers, I made a conscious decision to move a lot of flying elsewhere, but have recently been using primarily Florida commuter tickets I had bought some time ago. While schedules are not as good as they used to be, and levels of inflight service are embarrassing, I must say I have never seen the employees work so hard. For whatever reason, it may be running better than ever, operationally.
 

X-U

Senior
Feb 1, 2003
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On 2/1/2003 10:10:27 PM PineyBob wrote:

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On 2/1/2003 6:59:03 PM X-U wrote:

Then why did you complain about the cut in Frequent Flyer perks? Everyone always wants to see something given up as long as it isn't from their pocket!

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Because the only thing that trumps shareholders are customers! And since I am a customer and have choices, the shareholders/investors/managers choose to offer perks in order to keep folks like me flying with US. So I don't have to give up many perks because of the fact that the industry has to many seats chasing not enough passengers. Please don't take it personal, I feel very sad that folks lives are turned upside down. But this type of thing will continue unfortunately

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I am not taking it personal Bob, but customers must also understand that if they demand services that cost more than what they are willing to pay, the business is unsustainable and will vanish. At the present, there are more seats available than passengers, but this is changing as we "speak". The managers at US did try to reduce a cost, the added cost of providing frequent flyer miles, but the customer complained, the decision was reversed and the higher cost remained. You are expecting to receive a Full-service product at a cut-rate price. This is happening to all of the major carriers, not just UAWGQ. The "strategy" is to lose less than the other guys and hope they fold first. The end result will be fewer "full-service" carriers. The cycle will probably continue until there is no "Major Airline" domestic service left. It will be RJs and SW/JB-type operators. Then the customer will complain about either the size of the aircraft or the lack of servie to their community. Customers are expecting too much from the airlines for the fares that they are willing to pay.
 

TomBascom

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On 2/2/2003 11:46:30 AM X-U wrote:
I am not taking it personal Bob, but customers must also understand...
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Wrong. Customers don't need to understand anything. They're customers -- they can be complete blithering idiots and that's ok. It's the companies job to entice them into paying for tickets. Anyone running a successful business knows rule #1 -- the customer is always right...

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... that if they demand services that cost more than what they are willing to pay, the business is unsustainable and will vanish.
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Or the business needs to get it's costs under control. The particular services that seem to be being disputed here (frequent flier "perks") have very "soft" costs which are, in the opinion of many, frequently portrayed in grossly inflated terms.

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You are expecting to receive a Full-service product at a cut-rate price.
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This is not so. We are willing to pay more than rock bottom. We are not willing to be gouged. We are especially not willing to pay "full fare" prices (full fares being at all time high levels no matter how you measure them) for seriously degraded services. The "perks" have been dramatically cut. Prices have not.

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Customers are expecting too much from the airlines for the fares that they are willing to pay.
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Wrong. Customers are giving airlines feedback regarding what they want. It is the airlines job to listen and find a way to provide that service at a viable price point. The "major" airlines don't know how to listen. They're too used to dictating. If they don't figure it out someone else will. There are several bright stars in the sky that already show signs of "getting it".
 
OP
C

chipmunn

Guest
Friday's order for ten A330-200s and 19 A-320 family aircraft are likely replacement aircraft for the aging B767/B757 fleet at some point in the future. The Company did not provide delivery dates and the deal-helped cement Airbus' commitment to provide $75 million to the Arlington-based carrier for the federal loan guarantee, plus remove potential Airbus objections to the Plan of Reorganization/ Disclosure Statement. Airbus has three seats on the US Airways creditors committee of which one is the chairman; therefore, the airline needs Airbus votes to exit bankruptcy.

The interesting aspect to the A330-200 is the aircraft has increased range over the current A330-300 operated by US Airways. AWST reported "The second A330-320 delivered to Quantas set a distance-without-landing record of 10,484 miles in 20 hr. 4 min. on its flight from Toulouse to Melbourne." Obviously, this aircraft would give US Airways opportunities to fly from its hubs to deep South American and Pacific destinations.

Meanwhile, AWST also reported ""US Airways is making its second attempt in five years to serve Asia, this time through its code-share with United Airlines. Requesting Transportation Department authority for U. S. - Japan and U. S. - Hong Kong operations, US Airways says it wants to sell tickets initially on United flights between Tokyo Narita and Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, New York - JFK and Honolulu; between Osaka and San Francisco; and between Hong Kong and Chicago and San Francisco. In 1998, US Airways withdrew a bid to serve Japan directly and through code-shares with United and American, when its pilots union wouldn't support the code -shares."

Chip
 

ITRADE

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Sorry to reply after myself:

US has applied for broad route authority for service to BRU and AMS. US plans on continuing to operate the PHL-AMS service would would like the ability to codeshare IAD-AMS and ORD-AMS as well as readding BRU service via UA from both IAD and ORD.
 

ITRADE

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On 2/3/2003 12:27:53 PM Bear96 wrote:


Chip I think the code-share is only for *domestic* service, isn't it? So how can U sell code-share tickets on UA on these international routes?
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US and UA are planning upon international code-sharing. US has to apply to DOT for permission to fly to the desired destinations via code-share with the flying carrier.
 

Bear96

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Aug 20, 2002
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On 2/3/2003 10:47:20 AM chipmunn wrote:

Meanwhile, AWST also reported ""US Airways is making its second attempt in five years to serve Asia, this time through its code-share with United Airlines. Requesting Transportation Department authority for U. S. - Japan and U. S. - Hong Kong operations, US Airways says it wants to sell tickets initially on United flights between Tokyo Narita and Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, New York - JFK and Honolulu; between Osaka and San Francisco; and between Hong Kong and Chicago and San Francisco. In 1998, US Airways withdrew a bid to serve Japan directly and through code-shares with United and American, when its pilots union wouldn't support the code -shares."

Chip
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Chip I think the code-share is only for *domestic* service, isn't it? So how can U sell code-share tickets on UA on these international routes?
 

X-U

Senior
Feb 1, 2003
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TomBascom wrote:

"Wrong. Customers don't need to understand anything. They're customers -- they can be complete blithering idiots and that's ok. It's the companies job to entice them into paying for tickets. Anyone running a successful business knows rule #1 -- the customer is always right..."

No, the customer is NOT always right! SWA frequently will make this assertion and they have the track record to prove they are right.If the customer were always right, EVERYTHING would be free! Why should I have to pay for anything? A successful business is based on providing a service that people want for prices they are willing to pay. You should not have to be continually enticed by the possibility of a free ticket. If you like the service, you will pay for it again. Furthermore, the enticement has already been provided by a reduced fare, now the airlines are supposed to provide further "enticement" of FF miles? Why not throw in a free toaster or Green stamps? While I certainly agree that the fare structures are now, and have been way out of whack, I don't see how the fight over FF miles will improve things. I would rather see an airline 1) Determine what the cost is to operate a flight, 2) Determine what load factor they would like to break even, and then 3) Price ALL of the seats accordingly at the same fare. Let the airlines compete on the service they offer vs. the price of the ticket.
 

TomBascom

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[blockquote]
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On 2/3/2003 2:24:28 PM X-U wrote:

No, the customer is NOT always right! SWA frequently will make this assertion and they have the track record to prove they are right. If the customer were always right, EVERYTHING would be free! Why should I have to pay for anything?
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You're missing the point.

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A successful business is based on providing a service that people want for prices they are willing to pay.
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People clearly aren't willing to pay what the airline is asking. Burying their heads in the sand isn't going to change that.

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You should not have to be continually enticed by the possibility of a free ticket.
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It's not about "miles". It's about understanding what drives your customers. B. Ben and his wrecking crew do not understand your customers. That is not a good thing.

Very Frequent Fliers don't care (much) about miles and "free tickets" (for one thing we know perfectly well that we pay for them with our paid tix. We also know that they don't cost you anywhere near what you pretend their value is.) We care about things like preferred status, upgrades and services that get us where we need to go with minimal hassle. B. Ben has repeatedly added (or tried to add) hassle to our lives. Some of that was in the form of mileage accounting rules that would negatively impact preferred status. "Use it or lose it", "no exceptions" and the stand-by shuffle are all, in my mind anyway, much worse transgressions.

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If you like the service, you will pay for it again.
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Depends on the price. And in case you've missed it service has been dramatically cut.

Attitudes, thankfully, have not been (at least not where we customers can see them.) That professionalism helps a lot of us to overlook the very real and substantial cuts in services.

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Furthermore, the enticement has already been provided by a reduced fare,
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What reduced fare? Have you ever purchased a Y fare? Trust me -- they haven't been reduced. Airlines announce fare sales -- business travelers know that that means that they've slightly reduced the "fly on odd numbered wednesday nights, stay over saturday, walk through security backwards and whatever you do -- don't change anything!" fares while jacking up Y fares to "make up for it." We've collectively decided that walking through security backwards isn't such a bad idea -- it gets us an 80% discount after all.

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... now the airlines are supposed to provide further "enticement" of FF miles? Why not throw in a free toaster or Green stamps?
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Give it a try. At least it wouldn't be the same old tired and broken formula.

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While I certainly agree that the fare structures are now, and have been way out of whack, I don't see how the fight over FF miles will improve things. I would rather see an airline 1) Determine what the cost is to operate a flight, 2) Determine what load factor they would like to break even, and then 3) Price ALL of the seats accordingly at the same fare. Let the airlines compete on the service they offer vs. the price of the ticket.
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Yield management is not a bad thing. Pricing seats differently is ok. But there is not enough difference in value to justify an 800% difference between a last minute "business" fare and a 21 day advance "leisure" fare.
 

X-U

Senior
Feb 1, 2003
278
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TomBascom wrote:
"Very Frequent Fliers don't care (much) about miles and "free tickets" (for one thing we know perfectly well that we pay for them with our paid tix. We also know that they don't cost you anywhere near what you pretend their value is.) We care about things like preferred status, upgrades and services that get us where we need to go with minimal hassle. B. Ben has repeatedly added (or tried to add) hassle to our lives. Some of that was in the form of mileage accounting rules that would negatively impact preferred status. "Use it or lose it", "no exceptions" and the stand-by shuffle are all, in my mind anyway, much worse transgressions."

So if the FF program is eliminated, the hassles will disappear.Why run a program with all of its administrative costs? Reduce the price of the tickets and you can buy another with the money you saved from the first. It seems like the complaint is from those who are travelling on company business and collecting the miles for themselves.


"Depends on the price. And in case you've missed it service has been dramatically cut."

"Attitudes, thankfully, have not been (at least not where we customers can see them.) That professionalism helps a lot of us to overlook the very real and substantial cuts in services."

Service has been cut because demand has evaporated. Many former business travellers are now conducting business electronically or flying on fractional jets. Major airlines need to concentrate on the leisure traveller. To be cost-competitive in that arena means ditching first-class, airport clubs and frequent-flyer programs.

"What reduced fare? Have you ever purchased a Y fare? Trust me -- they haven't been reduced. Airlines announce fare sales -- business travelers know that that means that they've slightly reduced the "fly on odd numbered wednesday nights, stay over saturday, walk through security backwards and whatever you do -- don't change anything!" fares while jacking up Y fares to "make up for it." We've collectively decided that walking through security backwards isn't such a bad idea -- it gets us an 80% discount after all."

I don't remember that Y-class fares lost their mileage benefit. Look, I'm no fan of Ben B. either but he did say the awards were meant to reward the full-fare passenger. As I said in an earlier post, I agree Y-class fares are ridiculous and I'd be surprised that ANYONE bought them.


"Give it a try. At least it wouldn't be the same old tired and broken formula."

Why can't safe, and reliable transportation be enough?


"Yield management is not a bad thing. Pricing seats differently is ok. But there is not enough difference in value to justify an 800% difference between a last minute "business" fare and a 21 day advance "leisure" fare."

Agreed on the difference in fares. I once heard an airline marketing type state that: "The $800 passenger should be thankful that he is sitting next to an $80 passenger, otherwise he would have had to pay more!"
For some unknown reason they just can't seem to be happy with an airplane full of $299 fares. Perhaps it justifies their job by tweaking ticket prices all day.
 

deelmakur

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Aug 26, 2002
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I was interested in the item quoted in Chip's post, regarding Airbus contributing $75 million to help get the federal loan. I missed that earlier, but it comports with my earlier observations that Airbus will do just about anything to make sure those birds keep flying over North America in the colors of a major US airline.
 

geo1004

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Aug 22, 2002
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deelmakr, back on track, with a good comment. I'd not noticed that either.

I still don't think we have the whole story surrounding the A330-200 choice. Does anyone know which one has a lower "list price"? I know that US did not pay list price for these birds but maybe the choice of the -200 version has nothing to do with the range but perhaps it was the slightly less-expensive version? Just a thought....
 

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