Experts Say US Airways'' Reorganization Expected to go Forward

DCAflyer

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Aug 27, 2002
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[P align=left][STRONG][FONT size=4] Airline's Reorganization expected to go forward[/FONT][/STRONG][BR][BR]Thursday, January 09, 2003 - The deadly crash of a US Airways commuter plane in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday is unlikely to derail the company's efforts to emerge from bankruptcy, experts said. [BR][BR][!--include virtual=/cda/mediabeta/detail.asp--]Everyone aboard US Airways Express Flight 5481 - 19 passengers and two crew members - died when the Beech Air 1900D crashed on takeoff Wednesday morning. The twin-engine propeller plane was operated for US Airways Express by Air Midwest, a subsidiary of Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group.[BR][BR]A major fatal accident can seal an unstable carrier's fate, but experts said Wednesday that US Airways won't take a direct hit because the plane was flown and maintained by another airline.[BR][BR]The public generally differentiates between an airline's mainline flights and those with the words 'express' or 'commuter,' said David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association, an advocacy group for airline passengers. If there's any effect, it could create concern among some passengers about flying on small commuter turboprops.[BR][BR]Large commercial airliners generally have the best safety records. There were 0.27 accidents per 100,000 hours flown among all larger commercial jets during the past five years, according to Federal Aviation Administration data. The accident rate among turboprops was 1.2 per 100,000 hours.[BR][BR]But Todd Curtis, founder of Airsafe.com, said the numbers leave out certain factors. Turboprops fly shorter routes, so they have more takeoffs and landings per hours flown. They also fly into smaller airports with less-current technology and facilities.[BR][BR]Darryl Jenkins, head of the Aviation Institute at George Washington University, said the financial fallout from Wednesday's accident could have been devastating for the airline if one of its mainline Boeing or Airbus jets crashed.[BR][BR]These things never help. But this will not crash the company, he said.[BR][BR]There are cases in which carriers failed in the aftermath of a major crash. Pan Am and TWA each went bankrupt within several years of catastrophic accidents - Pan Am's caused by a bomb and TWA's by a fuel-tank explosion. Both carriers' deepening financial problems were worsened by ongoing crash coverage in the media that undermined customer confidence.[BR][BR]In TWA's case, the carrier also faced multimillion-dollar litigation from families.[BR][BR]US Airways and United Airlines, which dominates air travel in Colorado, are restructuring under bankruptcy court protection. Both carriers say safety is their top priority.[BR][BR]There's little correlation between financial difficulty and safety problems at airlines, Stempler said. The FAA more closely monitors airlines that are in financial trouble, particularly those in bankruptcy.[BR][BR]The cause of Wednesday's US Airways Express accident was not clear. Should the investigation find that poor maintenance or training was a factor, coverage could intensify and US Airways could lose passengers.[BR][BR]The crash was the first fatal accident involving a Mesa plane, according to FAA records.[BR][BR][BR][/P]
 
"The public generally differentiates between an airline's mainline flights and those with the words 'express' or 'commuter,"' said David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association, an advocacy group for airline passengers. "If there's any effect, it could create concern among some passengers about flying on small commuter turboprops."

I believe that this is a MAJOR problem when it comes to an airline that relies so heavily on its regional feed as does US Airways.

The writer said "if there's any effect, it could create concern among some pax about flying on small commuter turboprops."

If it does create such an effect we can expect a DRAMATIC impact on the mainline as nearly ALL of US Airways regional feed is performed by turboprops. You can not isolate the Express from the mainline and assume that they operate in a vacuum -- they are equally dependant upon each other. I might even go so far as to say that the mainline is far more dependant upon the Express system.

People were afraid of props before -- I believe there will be far-reaching consequences from this accident. US Airways and ALPA dropped the ball on RJs long ago. A mutually acceptable solution (i/e bidirectional flowthrough) should have been negotiated in the mid-1990s.

 

Bluestreaking

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Oct 15, 2002
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[P]
[BLOCKQUOTE][BR]----------------[BR]On 1/9/2003 4:05:00 PM exagony wrote:
[P]Bye bye U, I see 19 + multi-million dollars lawsuits about to put U out of bx. Best of luck to their families ( the a/c that crashed families that is )[/P]----------------[/BLOCKQUOTE]
[P][/P]I would think Mesa would take the brunt of the multi-million dollar lawsuits; considering they owned, operated, and maintained the ill-fated aircraft. Correct me if I'm wrong, but how could anyone sue U?
 

tadjr

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Aug 19, 2002
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Wow, some people are so bitter. I hope the ex- does apply here.[BR]I'm sure that there will be lawsuits, however with any contracted carrier or subcontracted work, it would be stupid to not have some liabililty stipulation in the contract. Also that is what insurance is for. I'm sure most of the public cant tell the difference between mainline and express, but I'm sure the lawyers know. [BR]Thoughts and prayers are with the families. I dont know any of the CLT based Air Midwest crews, but know the Florida crews very well. They are truly a pleasure to work with.
 

exagony

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Nov 2, 2002
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Pax didn't buy tickets on Mesa - they bought tickets on U. Therefore U has the ultimate responsibility/liablilty for the crash. I'm no lawyer but God forbid something like this happened to my family I would go after the company I bought the ticket to fly on.
 

autofixer

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Aug 20, 2002
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This is the problem with outsourcing; now the lawyers have two pots to go and get punitive damages from. Do not think for a minute that the lawyers will not be looking for punitive damages-- since this appears to be maintenance related and possibly a known problem (as reported locally here in GSO).

This outsourcing (if it had to occur) should have been done at an arms legnth--like Delta and Comair.

It seems to me, U has to share some of the responsibility with Mesa. After all, the tickets were sold via and on U. Did a Mesa reservations agent book the flight? Did the ticket say Mesa on it? Do you think the passengers knew they were flying on Mesa? These are the questions the lawyers are asking as we speak.

I hope the silver lining in this trajic event, is the death of outsourcing in aviation. I suspect that when the lawyers are finished with this one, it just may be the case.
 

Busdrvr

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Aug 20, 2002
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[blockquote]
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On 1/9/2003 4:05:00 PM exagony wrote:

Bye bye U, I see 19 + multi-million dollars lawsuits about to put U out of bx. Best of luck to their families ( the a/c that crashed families that is )
----------------
[/blockquote]

Hmmm AMR had ten times that number 14 months ago, but nice of you to toss a little more salt....
 

ClueByFour

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Aug 20, 2002
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[P]
[BLOCKQUOTE][BR]----------------[BR]On 1/9/2003 6:04:00 PM autofixer wrote:
[P] Did the ticket say Mesa on it? Do you think the passengers knew they were flying on Mesa[BR]----------------[/P][/BLOCKQUOTE]
[P]Somewhere on the ticket or itinerary it did say Mesa (or Air Midwest). There is either a law or FAA reg that states you have to inform the pax as to which airline/entity is actually [STRONG]operating the flight[/STRONG].[BR][BR][/P]
 
C

chipmunn

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[FONT face="Times New Roman"][FONT size=3][STRONG]Fatal N.C. airplane crash not expected to hurt US Airways[/STRONG] [/FONT][/FONT][BR][BR][FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3]PITTSBURGH (Tribune Review) - The fatal crash of a US Airways Express affiliate's airplane in North Carolina might dissuade travelers from boarding turboprop planes, but probably won't steer them away from booking on US Airways, air travel experts said Wednesday. [/FONT][BR][BR][FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3]Complete Story: [/FONT][A target=_blank href="http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/business/s_111855.html"][FONT face="Times New Roman" color=#0000ff size=3]http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/business/s_111855.html[/FONT][/A]
 

ITRADE

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[BR][BR]
[BLOCKQUOTE][BR]----------------[BR]On 1/9/2003 5:33:15 PM exagony wrote: [BR][BR]Pax didn't buy tickets on Mesa - they bought tickets on U. Therefore U has the ultimate responsibility/liablilty for the crash. I'm no lawyer but God forbid something like this happened to my family I would go after the company I bought the ticket to fly on.----------------[/BLOCKQUOTE][BR][BR]Its been a while since I did some aviation liability work, but IIRC, the ultimate responsibility is the actual carrier that did the flying or crashing.[BR][BR]US Airways sold the tickets, but was not operating the flight.[BR][BR]I'll have to take a look at the books to be certain.
 

exagony

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Nov 2, 2002
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[blockquote]
----------------
On 1/9/2003 6:10:02 PM Busdrvr wrote:

[blockquote]
----------------
On 1/9/2003 4:05:00 PM exagony wrote:

Bye bye U, I see 19 + multi-million dollars lawsuits about to put U out of bx. Best of luck to their families ( the a/c that crashed families that is )
----------------
[/blockquote]

Hmmm AMR had ten times that number 14 months ago, but nice of you to toss a little more salt....
----------------
[/blockquote]
True but AMR wasn't and isn't on the brink of liqudation. U is.
 
B

BottomFeeder

Guest
[blockquote]
----------------
On 1/10/2003 7:37:14 AM exagony wrote:

[blockquote]
----------------
On 1/9/2003 6:10:02 PM Busdrvr wrote:

[blockquote]
----------------
On 1/9/2003 4:05:00 PM exagony wrote:

Bye bye U, I see 19 + multi-million dollars lawsuits about to put U out of bx. Best of luck to their families ( the a/c that crashed families that is )
----------------
[/blockquote]

Hmmm AMR had ten times that number 14 months ago, but nice of you to toss a little more salt....
----------------
[/blockquote]
True but AMR wasn't and isn't on the brink of liqudation. U is.
----------------
[/blockquote]



It is not fair that we lost 21 good people to this event.

When there are people like exagony
 

noname

Senior
Aug 20, 2002
293
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[blockquote]
----------------
On 1/9/2003 6:04:00 PM autofixer wrote:
It seems to me, U has to share some of the responsibility with Mesa. After all, the tickets were sold via and on U. Did a Mesa reservations agent book the flight? Did the ticket say Mesa on it? Do you think the passengers knew they were flying on Mesa?

----------------
[/blockquote]
If the reservations were booked thru USAirways reservations and the pax spoke with us, we are required to state that the market is served by USAirways and USAirways Express. We also must advise who operates the flight segment if it is not a USAirways mainline flt...ie Allegheny, Piedmont, Mesa...This is monitored by the FAA and test calls are made and fines are assessed if protocol is not followed.
 

oldtimer

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Aug 22, 2002
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ITrade, I believe you are right, otherwise, if the other scenario were true, then all travel agencies, and all other airlines who may have sold the original tickets on the UAL and AMR flights as well as TWA that crashed, could be held liable for the deaths involved in those crashes. In other words, a passenger could have originated on U, connected to TWA in New York, and by the previous argument, U should be held liable for the TWA crash.