Ailing Airlines

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2003
Ailing Airlines
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 5:43pm
There's an interesting 'click on' at the top of the you a synopsis of the major US airlines and their financial status. Southwest (MY favorite!) is at the top - actually making a profit.

March 25 — It's been a terrible two years for America's airlines. Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, they have lost upwards of $18 billion and shed 100,000 workers. People are just more reluctant to fly at a time of war and terror alerts.

The slide in bookings has already contributed to bankruptcy filings by the second and seventh largest U.S. carriers. And the biggest carrier -- American Airlines -- may be on the brink of suffering the same fate.

If the war with Iraq is a prolonged one, and the downturn in travel persists, a slew of smaller airlines may also pack it in. It would not be a unique war-time experience: In the aftermath of the first Gulf War, Eastern Airlines, Pan Am, Midway and Markair all sputtered and failed.

This time around, the pressures on airlines are even more intense. A weak economy, a bear market, and rising jet fuel prices have all ganged up with post-Sept. 11 anxiety to tax the industry like never before. Airlines could lose $10 billion to $13 billion this year, industry experts predict. And they say the number of layoffs could match those already announced in the past year-and-a-half.

A government aid package may be some airlines only hope. But that is a political hot potato with many airline critics arguing that mismanagement dating back to well before Sept. 11 is at the heart of the industry's troubles.

Gary A. Seidman


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 7:19am
If Southwest can still make a profit why can't other airlines? Could be that SW's employees have a personal stake in the company.

How about other airlines modeling theirs along the same lines as SW's & the bankruptcy courts not ok'ing business plans that are 'business as usual'.

My GF is an airline attendant, on a large Tx based airline. They make fantastic $$$. I know attendants are trained to react in emergencies ect. but really they're glorified food & drink servers. Pilots too are paid more than SW's. Other business' have taken pay cuts. I don't think airlines should keep getting bailed out by the goverment.



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 9:13am
That's one of the things my DH said...that SW employees get paid less but they have more job security, too. SW flies only 737 - so maintenance and training costs are substantially reduced as well. And, it's definitely "no frills" but I prefer that. I'd rather bring my own meals onboard anyway - only decent 'airline' food I've ever had was on British Airways! LOL! And the SW employees are a crack-up - they always have you laughing and I think that makes a difference as well...imagine, I'm standing in line to check in my baggage on a return flight to Seattle, and the guys working there start serenading us with "the bluest skies you've every seen are in Seattle" (that old Perry Como hit that was the them song from "Here Come The Brides"!!)...ROTFLMAO! Anyway, SW seems to have just done everything, so far, with a very keen and astute business sense.