Dave Porks Pittsburgh?


Excerpt from the referenced article:

Roddey said that before yesterday's conversation, US Airways officials had always said they did not intend to reject the airport leases. He described county and airport officials as "very disappointed" with the way US Airways had handled the matter.

"We hope that we can negotiate and solidify their position here but at this point, given the circumstances and given their actions today, I no longer will take anything for granted," Roddey said.

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here".

[Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll ]
Considering that DOT just re-approved DL/CO/NW''s (interesting that it was just AFTER U got its ATSB loan guarantee finalized) re-modified alliance, U might consider keeping PIT available to give the now trapped Ohio flyers a way to escape to the east and south on a non-cartel flight.

I wonder if DL/CO/NW can offer a combined corporate travel package to the companies in CLE, CVG and CMH? (locid for Columbus escapes me)
I''m surprised they haven''t done so already. We should keep an eye out on PIT''s finances. Already, we''ve been looking at some land issues there.

However, it maybe that the final straw that broke U''s back at PIT might have been the DL/CO/NW alliance. FF''s are going to have a hard time resisting the schedules and options all in one FF program. So when you look-up ''fare premium'' in the Dictionary of Esoteric Airline Terms, it will show a picture of the state of Ohio.
US pays over $70 MILLION in landing fees and gate leases at PIT each year. With a luke-warm O&D market and the move to a more substantial RJ fleet at PIT, US would be foolish to NOT address these payments in some way.
US Airways intends to reduce its costs at the airport, where it plans to use more regional jets, and at other Allegheny County facilities including a maintenance base, said Chief Executive David Siegel.

The Pittsburgh airport's cost structure is far higher than at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, its largest hub.

Per-passenger costs at Pittsburgh in 2002 were $6.74, compared with about $2 at Charlotte, said Ed Roche, vice president of public finance for credit analyst Moody's Investor Service.

Roche said Pittsburgh could be in a difficult position, because it uses the money generated by US Airways leases to pay off bondholders. The airport has about $700 million in outstanding debt, compared with $332 million in outstanding debt for Charlotte/Douglas, he said.

Officials from Pittsburgh International Airport and Allegheny County, which operates the airport, did not immediately return phone calls Monday. Jerry Orr, executive director at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, said Pittsburgh spent too much to expand its terminal in the early 1990s.

"They issued a lot of bonds and spent a lot of money," Orr said. "We don't have nearly as much debt service to cover. You can lay people off and cut salaries, but it's hard to cut debt service. Banks don't like that. They tend to repossess your house."

Its all economics.
I have been observing this forum for a while and decided to jump in on the fun. I purposely decided to use the name I am using because of a disturbing trend in our country and at U. If it isn''t our president telling us we are unpatriotic to speak out against the war, it is some management guru trying to intimidate U employees from speaking their minds. This goes against one of the most precious rights we have.

Pitbull, you speak all you want. You may come across as a little Norma Rae at times, but as an American, you have the right to speak your mind and voice your opinions. Now I will voice mine.

Concerning Pittsburgh: I find it interesting that when management makes any decisions concerning a negative impact on PIT, the rank and file ''burghers pitch a fit. Why should PIT be exempt from change or the realities of the industry? Yes, it is a wonderful facility but that''s like saying oh, he''s cute, therefore he''s got his life together. The downgrade of PIT to an RJ operation started the moment W&G came on the property and that doesn''t seem to be changing with this group. Obviously, PIT will be U''s Cincy...I guess that is better than nothing.

Don''t worry, though, you have plenty of company and empathy from the following:

*Former PSA employees
*The entire west coast
*The city of Dayton
*The city of Baltimore
*The city of Syracuse
*The city of Indy
*The state of Florida
*Transplanted MIA, BWI, LAX, SFO, SAN (rest of west coast} DAY, IND, SYR based employees

I can only hope that the understanding of PIT''s plight will be a bit more sincere than the "you said you would be willing to relocate when you got the job" BS many ''burghers so arrogantly proclaimed to those whose lives had just been turned upside down in the process of relocating and/or commuting.

For too long it has appeared that the city of PIT somehow took for granted the gift of a major hub. They won''t loose that. They are just being downgraded. Something has to give. U has had too many big jet hubs and PHL may have a less than superior facility, but it is the top U moneymaker, so of course it will stay around as the premier U northeast hub. You think we could lift the PIT airport up and place it in PHL?

BTW, I am not anti PIT. Nobody likes to be uprooted or feel their backyard is being destroyed, but such is life. I work for U. I don''t own it. What management decides to open or close is out of my control. My happiness has to come beyond the company makings or I would go crazy. That''s why so many f/a''s commute to their bases. They have decided to live where they will be happy and base themselves where it is the most convienant. You can''t wait on U to make you happy. That is something we have to do for ourselves.

Good luck to all of us. No creme cheese here...just tired of the constant negativity.
Like it or not, even though PIT is a beautiful facility, it is not economically feasible as such a huge operational base. As mentioned earlier, PIT''s O&D revenue is abysmal and costs are out of control. As a connection point, it cannot be surpassed, but connection-only facilities don''t make sense. Without O&D traffic, it''s a cost center, not a profit center. And given the high fees U pays to operate out of that facility, I think our only real option is to pull back. Look at it another way. Within the next year, U may very well have an opportunity to pick up a large portion of either DEN or STL. Both have significant O&D traffic and both would afford U an opportunity to redirect its growth in a strategic manner. We don''t need two hubs a couple of hundred miles apart. Since PHL makes money, it will win out. PIT may remain a maintenance base, but I don''t see much hope for it beyond that. I hope for our sake, as difficult as it is to say, that the Davids are looking at replacing PIT with some of the mid-national opportunities that may arise is the near future so we can take back our place on the west coast, as PSA once enjoyed, and find prosperity in people who are flying across country, rather than across the Allegheny.
On 4/1/2003 8:36:31 AM RowUnderDCA wrote:
However, it maybe that the final straw that broke U''s back at PIT might have been the DL/CO/NW alliance. FF''s are going to have a hard time resisting the schedules and options all in one FF program. So when you look-up ''fare premium'' in the Dictionary of Esoteric Airline Terms, it will show a picture of the state of Ohio.


When you look up "fare premium" in the dictionary now it has a picture of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I give you PHL and PIT.

Regarding PIT taking it''s lumps, I hope Roddey tells Dave to "kiss his rear" with great speed. Make PIT the next DAY--at least we''ll have more service from other carriers and lower prices. Where else is US going to find a sweetheart deal on a great facility? Ain''t gonna happen.

There are some of us who are disgusted by the fact that they (the state and county) blew almost a billion bucks on this terminal, only to have US come back for more and more and more for the last 10 years. If you can''t run your business without government help and subsidies, you are in the wrong line of work.

The bottom line is this: if US wants to play hardball with driving down the lease rates to the point where it causes the airport authority to not be able to service the bonds, there is _no loss whatsover_ to calling US on the bluff, since the bonds will be in default anyway....

Et tu, Dave?
Amendment guy i couldnt agree with you more. Your right on about bush and republicans about the "your anti american if you dont support his policy and about management. CLUEBYfour, YOU DONT HAVE A CLUE.....I dont know how one even responds to a comment like you just made. You know it is what it is and how it is. Usair does not need pit and put doesnt need usair. Now that they are on a n even playing field, im sure something will be worked out.....
I agree it is all economics. Isn''t that what all the turmoil in the industry is about now? Profitability? Things are going to change in commercial aviation, we can adjust our saddles, or get off. When Eastern was having trouble in the eighties many people lost what we thought were good oportunities/jobs, Miami was hurt, but it has come back. Some sort of shift is inevitable. Evolve or be replaced. There is no going back. I want U to grow again and maybe this mgt can work it out. There is a lot of mess from the last 25 years to clean up. Much luck to everyone.
As a long time PAX on USAirways I have invested a lot of time and $$ over the years. I want to see this airline succeed, believe me. What I am finally happy to see is the City of Pgh and our obsolete Allegheny Count Airport Authority finally getting it in the chops.

The PIT airport was to be the crowning jewel in the U route system when it was built. It still happens to be a much nicer airport of the 3 in the U system. But it''s time that the city and county had better realize they laid their eggs in 1 basket and now they are going to have to scramble to find some resolution. Too much of the counties $$ was invested in U at that time, which was noble. But it kept the other airlines from gaining any strength here. It''s going to be fun to watch the news here in Pgh and see Roddey sweat.
Sounds like the county "porked" itself when it built a huge facility on the basis of U always being around.

Have all of the gates ever been occupied? I ask because the last time I was there I noticed that 1/2 of the C and D concourses looked empty.

Its a beautiful, modern, and passenger friendly facility. But maybe if they had taken a more modular approach to building it, like MCO or TPA, it would not have been as expensive, and only what was needed would have been built. Maybe U had visions of grandeur for PIT back when the facility was built, but it seems to me the airport authority should have been more reserved... And worried about the economics of the area/airport rather than building U''s "crown jewel" for them.

DCA Flyer:

I remember in the mid ''80''s there was talk of building huge airports in the middle of Kansas as a connecting only airport for the airline that built it. It obviously never happened, most likely for the very reason you state. Connecting traffic is generally considered ''marginal''. Its important for cash flow and can even be profitable. But what makes a difference in hub profit/loss is the O/D traffic. U''s biggest PIT asset is the loyalty of FF''s there, not the terminal building.
I really think when Dave said he wanted to renegotiate the airport leases he not only meant gates but facilities(i.e. hangars). Don''t know if many have visited our hangars in Pit but they are antiquated. With the recent or soon to be vacated United state of the art maintenance facility in Ind, I think U will take a hard look at it. Word is the city wants it occupied and are willing to deal, bad news for Pit. Great time for U to consolidate all heavy mtc.