Bad Rumors Coming out of ATL...

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by Ryan Bingham, Mar 17, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Ryan Bingham
    Original Member

    Ryan Bingham Silver Member

    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    66
    Status Points:
    215
    There is plenty of scuttlebutt coming from the big 'A' regarding changes in Delta's business plan going forward. Most, if not all, alterations would be due to the oil price crisis and now the massive drop-off in travel to and through Tokyo. These are just rumors mind you...but it's stuff that is quickly making the rounds through the flight ops side.

    First up is talk that Delta is looking at parking the 747-400 fleet. Attached to that rumor is that all up-coming interior conversions for the 744 are indefinitely on hold.

    If true, the latter would be a damning event for the future of the fleet. The 744 fleet is also the only fenced- off aircraft for pre-merger NWA pilots. Removing the fleet would kick-off a massive downward spiral on every other aircraft type and who is flying what based on seniority (which is why I don't necessarily believe the rumor(s)).

    There is also a lot of talk that the IT department is having to shelve numerous upgrades - internally and on the frontal facing delta.com.

    Again, at this point just talk. Take it for what it's worth. The last big thing I was being told was Delta acquiring AirTran's 717's after the Southwest buy goes through...and most of us probably agree it's a rather silly suggestion.
     
    OY-JFS, jbcarioca, Gargoyle and 3 others like this.
  2. brfort
    Original Member

    brfort Silver Member

    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    91
    Status Points:
    300
    that IT runor seems strange considering they just launched the upgrades to their FB page.
     
    jbcarioca and secretsea18 like this.
  3. brfort
    Original Member

    brfort Silver Member

    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    91
    Status Points:
    300
    re: the 717's it would make sense given that DL has been buying cheap used aircraft before they put that massive single-aisle order in, which I dont think will happen until Boeing puts their cards on the table, from rumors elsewhere they expect to announce @ the Paris airshow
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  4. Deltalina
    Original Member

    Deltalina Silver Member

    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    342
    Status Points:
    450
    Very interesting news.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  5. Bummer if the 744s are grounded. :( I was hoping to do an award trip in BE on a 744 later this year. Always been a dream of mine to sit upstairs.
     
    jbcarioca and secretsea18 like this.
  6. Cholula
    Original Member

    Cholula Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    4,073
    Likes Received:
    17,358
    Status Points:
    10,720
    Thanks for the heads-up. Wouldn't surprise me a bit if most of this rumor plays out.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  7. DiverDave
    Original Member

    DiverDave Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,294
    Likes Received:
    1,818
    Status Points:
    1,095
    No way Southwest gives up the 717s any time soon. They need the equipment, and it's the right size for some smaller markets.

    David
     
    jbcarioca and brfort like this.
  8. BamaGirl
    Original Member

    BamaGirl Silver Member

    Messages:
    488
    Likes Received:
    813
    Status Points:
    720
    Ahhh. Another 'reason' to shelve fixing the award calendar :rolleyes:.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  9. bulbul

    bulbul Silver Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status Points:
    110
    I am glad I did this two years ago to Narita, even though I love the jumbos, Delta/NWA's 744's are in an awful shape compared to (at least) KLM's...
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  10. Bikeguy
    Original Member

    Bikeguy Silver Member

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    80
    Status Points:
    260
    I have a friend that's former NW and a 747 captain now. He says Delta is less likely to bump people down when schedules decrease, because they know they will eventually come back typically. To ground the fleet would be bad news.

    Great screen name, BTW.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  11. mersk862
    Original Member

    mersk862 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,534
    Likes Received:
    2,756
    Status Points:
    1,425
    While it would not surprise me in the least if some of the 16 747s got temporarily grounded, I still think there would be a need for about 10-12 of them in the shorter term.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  12. Sweet Willie
    Original Member

    Sweet Willie Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,048
    Likes Received:
    8,739
    Status Points:
    7,270
    jbcarioca likes this.
  13. bez7
    Original Member

    bez7 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,218
    Likes Received:
    3,427
    Status Points:
    1,970
    Unless Delta Technologies had planned to hire more people for additional projects I don't see why budget cuts would eliminate projects...are layoffs rumored?
     
    Traveller, diver90 and jbcarioca like this.
  14. jbcarioca
    Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

    Messages:
    17,507
    Likes Received:
    57,455
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I do not doubt that there are major questions being debated. DL must take some rapid action, as must most other carriers. The odds of grounding all 744 are slight IMO, but there is every reason they might be inclined to let the rumor pass. If they had lots of 777 or A330/A340 capacity I could see grounding all the 744. Otherwise makes no sense.

    Anyway conditions are about to change for everyone with not only Japan and the Middle east but also entry of B787 and A350.
     
    mersk862 likes this.
  15. diver90
    Original Member

    diver90 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,162
    Likes Received:
    3,250
    Status Points:
    1,970
    They might not be able to buy any more 80386 powered servers, 9600 baud modems or 5.25 floppy disk drives. :eek:

    [Hey new smilies... where's "shrug", "thumbs up", etc.]
     
  16. Always Be Flying
    Original Member

    Always Be Flying Silver Member

    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    113
    Status Points:
    355
    I think they will need to go long on green monochrome screens and dot matrix printers too. And they better not forget the dot paper that is alternating green and white in color. Proprietary Unix is the way to be.....and what is this "server" you speak of?:eek:
     
    jbcarioca and penguin085 like this.
  17. Delta Points
    Original Member

    Delta Points Silver Member

    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    357
    Status Points:
    500
    I, as you can see by my Avatar, love ye'old 747. Why not dump the old crap 767-300's and put in ONE 747 for TWO of the 767 runs for say DTW-AMS or ATL-AMS etc etc. Bring the great new seat planes to the AMS runs! Make me a happy man!
     
    jbcarioca and bulbul like this.
  18. Bikeguy
    Original Member

    Bikeguy Silver Member

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    80
    Status Points:
    260

    And with the depth of pilots on equipment, as in a deep reserve staffing, changing out to some smaller (330) planes would be easy because there are already extra pilots waiting to fly whatever is required. No retraining necessary.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  19. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    The NRT hub and TPAC routes were highly valuable (profitable) to PMNW. With lower traffic to Japan for the coming months, if now years, and some perhaps-irrational resistance by passengers to connect through Tokyo, DL will of course try to cut costs in the short run, including possible cutbacks in TPAC and especially NRT capacity. I say possible because at the moment flights seem to be very full exNRT, with people willing to purchase expensive last-minute or even walk-up fares, and very empty, with many cancellations and a waiver program, for flights to NRT. Relocating operations to KIX might be feasible but expensive and inconvenient.

    Longer term, how the earthquake and its aftermath will affect the Japanese and other economies (and for how long) remains to be seem. Lots of rebuilding will be done, including even more up-to-date factories in the affected regions, to the extent that manufacturing was located in northeast Japan.

    We'll have to wait and see, but in the meantime, of course DL is trying to make strategic plans. Other carriers are in similar situations.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  20. GoneFlying
    Original Member

    GoneFlying Silver Member

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    75
    Status Points:
    230
    The work stations are what, a mix of PC Jr's and TI 994A's ? :p ARCNet powered by LANtastic?
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  21. Bikeguy
    Original Member

    Bikeguy Silver Member

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    80
    Status Points:
    260
    Talked with my friend yesterday. Until recently, there was a spare 747 that would sit in DTW. About 3 months ago, the internal DL system asked for pilots to bid for a slot on the 747.

    So basically, there are about 40 pilots now being trained to fly 747s and the plan was for that spare to be put into service.

    This makes pulling the 747s out of service even more of a financial hardship on DL, if they choose to go that route, because they are now in the middle of training an extra 40 pilots for 747s.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  22. ClipperDelta
    Original Member

    ClipperDelta Silver Member

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    85
    Status Points:
    220
    Well, today's announcement of the 15-20% cut in Japan capacity from now through May did not mention any parking of the entire 744 fleet. There will be slack in the 744 fleet now that the HND-LAX/DTW services have been suspended (and they will come back as 777s) but there will also be some upgauging of other transpacific "overfly" (i.e., overflying NRT) flights.
    Bastian mentioned in today's JP Morgan presentation that they will likely upgauge some China and Korea flights (i.e., expect DTW-ICN to go 744). DTW-PVG is already supposed to go 744 starting mid-May, so maybe they will move that up sooner to start next month.
     
    DiverDave and jbcarioca like this.
  23. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    This is good news as the PVG and ICN flights are frequently full. At this point, I can imagine many preferring these nonstops or alliance connections over NRT connections. Moreover, the PVG nonstops through DTW offer better schedules than the NRT connection to PVG.

    I wonder if DL will consider offering nonstops to elsewhere in Asia, perhaps SIN. I realize that this is a long route, which limits the aircraft choices and it's somewhat of a leisure rather than business route (compared to NRT or PVG, for example), but this might be the next obvious choice.

    Long term, the quake and its aftermath could hasten the de-hubbing of NRT for DL beyond what is expected to happen as 787s are introduced. As passengers lose the habit of connecting in NRT, it will harder to go back to this type of routing later. Short term, I anticipate that many will try, perhaps irrationally, to avoid NRT connections.

    My understanding is that DL can't easily use fifth freedom rights from Asian hub alternatives, for example to carry local traffic HKG-SIN or even out of KIX rather than NRT, even if slots were available. This would be a tough time to ramp up such service and acquire passsengers at profitable fares.

    Moreover, an alternative Asian hub, for either temporary or permanent use, would be expensive even if capacity were available. PVG might be the best option in some dimensions, but their flights frequently face takeoff delays and passengers might avoid China as an automatic reflex, not realizing that the rules allow visa-free transit.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  24. travelgourmet
    Original Member

    travelgourmet Silver Member

    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    202
    Status Points:
    360
    Really? I would be surprised if SIN sees a disproportionate amount of leisure traffic. I love the place, but it doesn't scream leisure traffic to me. Besides does DL have anything that can make it from the US? I would think the LR, but that would seem to be it. With fuel costs rising, though, US-SIN may simply be too expensive.

    Personally, I think we will see some overflights, at least to nearer destinations, but the fuel picture may hamper these efforts. If they were seeking to replace NRT as a connecting hub, I think leveraging KE at ICN would make the most sense.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  25. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    In don't have data, but my impression is that SIN is more of a leisure destination that NRT, PVG, or ICN. Even though Singapore is a major business city, SIN has a lot of LCC flights to vacation destinations in South East Asia.

    I was speculating about other Asian cities that could be candidates for additional nonstop flights from the US, in addition to ICN, KIX, HKG, PVG, and PEK. SIN seems to be the next obvious candidate, but as both of us have expressed there are pros and cons to this, including availability of appropriate aircraft in the DL fleet, either now (777-LR or perhaps 747 from LAX?) or in the future (787, which is expected to permit more nonstops over connections in NRT, for instance, but at the cost of carrying fuel for the longer trip, which of course becomes more expensive as oil prices rise).

    ICN would be an obvious alternative hub for DL, but its location is farther north than optimal. KIX also has an extremely nice new airport and a slightly better geographic location. The issues are available capacity at alternative airports as well as costs there.

    You seem to suggest additional coordination with KE (perhaps a joint venture like the one with KL/AF for TATL), but DL probably profits more currently from carrying someone to NRT and then onward intra-Asia on DL metal than from carrying them only to ICN or where ever and then having them connect on a SkyTeam partner to their final destination. There's also the possibility that after such a trip, a regular traveler could well decide that they prefer KE to DL for all of their TPAC travel.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.

Share This Page