u.s. airways

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Come Back Baby.

One of the reasons U.S. Airways has had such a rocky time over the years is because of all its purchases and mergers.  In order to strengthen itself, U.S. Airways allied with various other carriers with different regional and national strengths, but those multiple mergers proved its downfall.  It was always hard to manage all of the different planes in the combined company.


When new airline carriers start from scratch they purchase one, maybe two types of plane. The parts work for all the planes, the maintenance for all planes is the same, engines come from one manufacturer, training for pilots is simplified, and there is less complexity in the day-to-day management. It is a very efficient way to run an airline.  U.S. Airways, on the other hand, was the maestro of a cacophony planes, maintenance operations, equipment, and people trained in the various aspects of this patched together airline.  Not efficient.


Ford Motor Company has made a decision to manufacture one of its car models — the Fiesta — the exact same way in every country around the world. That’s efficient.  For the most part this is how Toyota does it and Honda does it.  With efficiency as job one, I’m betting Ford and the Fiesta, in particular, will begin a comeback.



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 Delta emerged from bankruptcy yesterday with a big new financial plan, some product and service modifications, a politically inspired ad campaign, and new logo and color scheme. I’m not sure this latter part translates to “paint the planes,” but I certainly hope not. 
When USAir changed to U.S. Airways (don’t forget the periods after U and S), they painted the planes. If memory serves, the cost to paint each plane was $2 million and it took the equipment out of the sky for a number of days. Arguably, the paint job in that case was needed as was the name change. People were referring to USAir as US Scare. What was needed more than a paint job, however, was newer planes, a consolidation of plane types, and improved safety standards. (Oh yeah, they went bankrupt, too.) 
The last thing Delta needs is to change its color scheme and paint its planes. That’s not a demonstration of sound fiscal management to the public – especially, when gas is $3.15 a gallon. Demonstrating sound financial management is the objective. Proving it is the story. A new color scheme is off message.

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