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Re-regulation

cezzna

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I posted this earlier in general, but since it really applies to you guys. What do you think about Re-Regulating the airlines? Partial re-regualtion?. I don't think this industry can stay in this current cycle much longer. Legacies aren't allowed to fail, lives being ruined, pesions gone, jobs gone. I'm not convinced that unregulated competition will ever work in this indusrty. It sure isn't now.
 

GogglesPisano

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Let the market work.

There will be no call for re-regulation of any industry as long as the majority of Americans benefit from de-regulation. Fares have never been cheaper. More people are flying than ever before. If airlines fail others will fill the void -- especially with the new bankruptcy laws about to take effect.

The system is working.
 

Mesabi Miner

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Meet the reserve

GogglesPisano said:
Fares have never been cheaper.
To the detriment of every airline employee and their family.

GogglesPisano said:
More people are flying than ever before.
To the detriment of every airline employee that once got respect from people that viewed them as more than bus drivers and soda waitresses.

I think that full regulation will not and should not be implemented. But, there has got to be something that prohibits anyone from flying coast to coast for peanuts. In Ebay-speak, the airline industry needs to meet the reserve when it comes to ticket prices.

MM
 

dtfl

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Doesn't the government have a say in who gets what gates...and doesn't the govt have a say in what carriers get the new routes to Asia......and doesn't the BK judge have a say in regards to the new pay scales, etc at BK carriers? I consider that partially regulated.
 

vc10

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Says who? I second what the other guy said. For the consumer, deregulation is nothing but upside---fares are cheap, and seats are available.

Why should this industry (or any other) be organized for the benefit of the employees that work in it?


Mesabi Miner said:
To the detriment of every airline employee and their family.



To the detriment of every airline employee that once got respect from people that viewed them as more than bus drivers and soda waitresses.

I think that full regulation will not and should not be implemented. But, there has got to be something that prohibits anyone from flying coast to coast for peanuts. In Ebay-speak, the airline industry needs to meet the reserve when it comes to ticket prices.

MM
 

Ty Webb

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vc10 said:
Says who? I second what the other guy said. For the consumer, deregulation is nothing but upside---fares are cheap, and seats are available.

Why should this industry (or any other) be organized for the benefit of the employees that work in it?
It's not just the employees. If the industry is allowed to continue doing what it is doing, ie selling products below the cost of producing those products, eventually, the taxpayers, shareholders and creditors will be affected. Eventually, safety will be affected, too, as the wages fall, turnover increases, and pilots and mechanics turn to other industries that pay more.

The flying part of this job is great, but this profession has a very real cost in terms of time away from family, and an opportunity cost in investing years with a carrier, only to start over at the bottom, through no fault of your own.

Like many other pilots, I have been developing other income streams on the side. If this job gets to the point where it is no longer worth doing, hopefully, I will be able to walk away while "the going is still good" instead of sitting in the cockpit b!tching about how it used to be . . . . .
 

Mesabi Miner

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Amen, Ty. I just happen to think that a little strategically placed regulation in terms of a "minimum fare" would go a long way toward solving some of the airline's problems. God bless capitalism, but come on now.

MM
 

fam62c

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Mesabi Miner said:
Amen, Ty. I just happen to think that a little strategically placed regulation in terms of a "minimum fare" would go a long way toward solving some of the airline's problems. God bless capitalism, but come on now.

MM

We don't need regulation we need capitalism. Look at the last downturn in '89. The industry had the same fundamental problem of overcapacity (and the current mess is a supply-demand problem at it's root as well) and Eastern, PanAm and Midway went under helping pricing to return to sustainable levels. Now look at this downturn. It's far worse than the downturn of '89 and it's been going on for years and just keeps getting worse. The difference is that NO legacy carriers have ceased operation; how can this be? The bankruptcy courts and lenders are keeping airlines flying that have no economic reason for still being alive. It's destroying the whole industry.

I agree with you, people shouldn't be flying across the USA for $99. It costs lots of money to operate airplanes and almost everyone is selling seats at a loss. If the failed carriers were purged from the industry the supply of seats would be lowered to a level where the remaining carriers could finally price for break-even+ and the "junk" passengers that have created artificial demand due to insane pricing would need to go back their Greyhound busses.

Regulation is not the answer. Deregulation is the American way. If we could just get the lenders and the bankruptcy courts to let the strong survive and the weak perish the industry could fix itself. Quasi-regulation by the lenders and courts is getting in the way of the corporate darwinism that is the foundation of capitalism.
 

Lear70

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GogglesPisano said:
The system is working.
Oh yeah, it's working great.

The PBGC is about to be declared insolvent once both DAL and NWA dump their pensions onto the PBGC as well, tens of thousands of employees are without jobs, retirement benefits, or medical coverage well before Social Security and Medicare cut in, and what was that about capitalism at its finest? Only the fittest survive?

Well, thanks to the bankruptcy courts, the fittest are simply the last ones to file bankruptcy and EVERYONE survives.

That's not exactly what I'd call a "working system".

The only regulation I'm advocating is one simple law that REQUIRES an airline to price their product at least EQUAL to the cost of producing it. If an airplane has 100 seats and it costs $15,000 to do a 2 hour flight from DTW to BOS (including the G&A costs), then by God those seats should NEVER be allowed to sell for less than $150. If that puts some airlines out of business because of competition, well too d*mn bad; THAT would be a working capitalistic system.

Ty, I agree, but I ALREADY bitch in the cockpit about "the good ole' days",,, ;)

Oh, incidentally, the airline workers aren't the ONLY people who would benefit from this. How about the millions of taxpayers who are going to share in paying for the bailout of the PBGC? Chew on that one a while...
 

fandango

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You gotta keep the government out of this. When was the last time you heard of the government getting involved and improving things?
TSA is a prime example. Let the market do its job and let the chips fall where they may.
 

castle bravo

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Lear70 said:
Oh yeah, it's working great.

" tens of thousands of employees are without jobs, retirement benefits, or medical coverage well before Social Security and Medicare cut in, and what was that about capitalism at its finest? Only the fittest survive?"




I'll bet Alfred Kahn is still getting HIS retirement ckecks from Cornell University!
 

JD2003

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I will still get 70 percent of my United pension. Hopefully, when I retire, this will be enough to fill my gas tank.
 

vc10

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Interesting you should say that. University professors are in something called TIAA-CREF. It's not a defined benefit program---it's a defined contribution program. What professors get after they retire depends on what they put in and how well TIAA-CREF invested the money, and everything is backed by real assets. In other words, it's basically a 401(k). TIAA-CREF ("Teachers") is one of the biggest pension funds out there.

So Alfred Kahn isn't getting any pension checks from Cornell.

Further, ALPA could have set stuff up like this if they'd wanted to. But N-O-O-O-O... they wanted the "certainty" of a defined benefit program.

By the way, it *is* possible to have an iron-clad defined benefit program, but it's very very expensive. Basically, pension contributions have to be used to buy annuities from very highly-rated insurance companies.



castle bravo said:
Lear70 said:
Oh yeah, it's working great.

" tens of thousands of employees are without jobs, retirement benefits, or medical coverage well before Social Security and Medicare cut in, and what was that about capitalism at its finest? Only the fittest survive?"




I'll bet Alfred Kahn is still getting HIS retirement ckecks from Cornell University!
 

Flopgut

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Here is a great website: www.braniffpages.com

Braniff CEO Harding Lawrence thought de-regulation would fail. He believed that Braniff needed to agressively grow when de-regulation started because it would quickly fail and that any new route launched during that time would be allowed to remain part of the airlines' system. Braniff launched [gambled] over 100 new routes around the world when de-regulation started. Braniff failed, but Harding Lawrence may still be right, just off by 20+ years.

Here is where I'm coming from:

Continuing with Braniff: Braniff didn't want to go to DFW. They considered Love their home no less than SWA does now. Moving to DFW disturded their operations and was expensive. In doing so they relented market share to SWA, but not without a fight. Braniff matched each route SWA flew out of Love in a very expensive fight. SWA did not run Braniff out of Love, far from it. Braniff was forced to cease Love Field operations by a court order! So in a new "de-regulated" environment, Braniff was very much "regulated" out of Love Field. SWA was very much "regulated" into a durable advantage in a strategic market. De-regulation did not account for the SWA special interest. Free market? My a$$!

I wonder if Alfred Kahn's research accounted for this possibility:

The SWA "phenomenon" makes money, but does not throw off a lot of money. They only fly one model of airplane, and if they are the future then I guess we won't need to engineer/design any new airplanes. They aren't going to support any new airports or terminals that cost them any money, so forget about that. And they aren't going to do any complicated flying that perserves our air transportation system. For instance: If SWA is able to erode Alaska's route system/profit base to the point that they can no longer do the important flying in the Alaskan wilderness that service will be lost forever. SWA is not going to do it. Project that example onto the whole country and you can see the long term effect of de-regulation.

Is this business de-regulated? Not truly. DOJ has to intervene in anything majors do.

Is what we call de-regulation going to advance our standard of living, build up the middle class in earnest? Perhaps, it seems so at this moment. Long term? Maybe not. Look over the website at the top of the page, and then try to find anything similiar about SWA. Try to use that sort of reasoning and see where you think the US air transportation system is headed. In 20 years we might end up with the most primitive and limited transportation system in the world.
 
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Publishers

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I think what you are missing is that if the bankruptcy laws were not as they were and were not airlines such cash cows, the impact of dereguation would have taken about 10 to 15 years.

The inefficiency that airlines operated under for so long was going to take a long time to change and in some cases, there was no hope. Braniff took one approach, American another. \

If a few airlines had been allowed to fail outright, the others would have remained stronger but that did not happen. Eastern, Pan American, Braniff, National, etc etc are names of the past.

It is just something that will take longer but the short version is that if you decided you wanted to start an airline on the day of deregulation, you were in better shape than the companies already with airlines.
 

Lear70

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JD2003 said:
I will still get 70 percent of my United pension. Hopefully, when I retire, this will be enough to fill my gas tank.
Ummm... that's the entire point. If the PBGC goes belly-up, the Federal Government will HAVE to step in.

IF the government doesn't step in and bail out the PBGC you WON'T get 70% of your United pension, you won't even get 20% of your United pension, you'll get a big giant goose-egg.

Incidentally, how do you figure you're getting 70% of what your pension would have been? The cap on PBGC pensions is usually around $40,000 a year - my dad should have made around $120,000 a year in retirement from US Airways and he's getting the max from the PBGC which is $40,000 a year or approximately 33%.
 

Redmeat

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Lear70 said:
Ummm... that's the entire point. If the PBGC goes belly-up, the Federal Government will HAVE to step in.

IF the government doesn't step in and bail out the PBGC you WON'T get 70% of your United pension, you won't even get 20% of your United pension, you'll get a big giant goose-egg.

Incidentally, how do you figure you're getting 70% of what your pension would have been? The cap on PBGC pensions is usually around $40,000 a year - my dad should have made around $120,000 a year in retirement from US Airways and he's getting the max from the PBGC which is $40,000 a year or approximately 33%.
PBGC max 46,000. Average time served will get around 28,000.
 

Flopgut

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Publishers said:
It is just something that will take longer but the short version is that if you decided you wanted to start an airline on the day of deregulation, you were in better shape than the companies already with airlines.
Would it also be correect to say that if you had an airline you could take to BK before the Oct.17th deadline, you have a permanent advantage over one who could not? There will be a pronounced before and after on this date.
 

Publishers

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I think that is correct although might take some more anaylsis. The earlier point is that you could look at the rules that would be in place and gear yourself to that environment. You could be a niche player and go with a new fleet that fit that structure.

Your labor, even if it was union, was not controlled by a senior bunch that covetted their way. Bankruptcy is not as attractive no matter under what rules but there are things that need to be dealt with.
 
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