A look at airline mergers and the impact to quality

Last week I shared the most recent ranking of our US based airlines.  Both American and US Air were on the low end of that report in 9th and 10th place.  Now they have announced their plans to merge.  One can only wonder, could two terrible airlines somehow become better if they merge?  Let’s look at some other airlines who tried…

Song – Remember them?  Could have been the next JetBlue.  In flight free entertainment, expanded leg room, and one of the best on time records of any airline.  Delta bought their planes and gutted them out to smash as many customers in one plane as possible.

NorthWest  Airlines – Another casualty courtesy of Delta (again).  These planes were older, I’ll give you that…but customer service was much better.  And how did prices from BOS to DET go from $299 to $499 overnight?

Continental – Merged with United in 2010, surpassing Delta as the world’s largest airline.  Where was United on that list of best to worst airlines?…oh yeah, LAST PLACE!

See if you remember any of these merges.  Wonder if they fared any better?  What do you remember?

·  AirTran Airways

·  Alaska Airlines

·  America West Airlines

  • 2005 – Merged with bankrupt US Airways, retaining the US Airways name.

·  American Airlines

·  Continental Airlines

  • 1934 – Begins as Varney Speed Lines
  • 1982 – Acquired by Texas International / Merges, retains Continental name
  • 1987 – merges with People Express, Frontier, and New York Air
  • 1987 – Acquires PBA and Britt Airways from People Express merger / creates Continental Express
  • 2010-2012 – Merged with United Airlines. Overtook Delta as the world’s largest airline by passenger traffic in 2011, kept United name.

·  Delta Air Lines

  • 1924 – Started as Huff Daland Dusters
  • 1928 – Huff Daland Dusters was purchased by C.E. Woolman and renamed Delta Air Service after the Mississippi Delta
  • 1953 – Purchased the Chicago and Southern Air Lines, and flew under the name Delta C&S for the next two years
  • 1972 – Purchased Northeast Airlines
  • 1984 – Established the Delta Connection (ASA, Comair, Skywest, …)
  • 1987 – Merged with Western Airlines
  • 1991 – Purchase of Pan Am’s European routes, and acquired Pan Am’s shuttle, forming what is today Delta Shuttle
  • 1996 – Delta Express began service, ended November 2003
  • 2003 – Song began service, ended May 2006
  • 2008-2010 – Merged with Northwest Airlines. Became the world’s largest carrier by passenger traffic in 2008, kept Delta name

·  Northeast Airlines

  • 1972 – Delta purchased Northeast Airlines

·  Northwest Airlines

  • 1916 – Founded by Col. Lewis Patenaude, under the name Northwest Airways
  • 1927 – Began flying passengers
  • 1949 – With its new routes to the far east, re-branded itself as Northwest Orient Airlines
  • 1986 – Purchased Republic Airlines, and dropped the word Orient from its brand name
  • 2008-2010 – Merged with Delta. Became world’s largest airline by passenger traffic in 2008 under the Delta name.

·  Pan Am

  • 1979 – Merged with National Airlines
  • 1991 – Delta Air Lines purchased Pan Am’s European routes, and acquired Pan Am’s Shuttle

·  SkyWest Airlines

·  Southwest Airlines

·  Trans World Airlines

  • 1986 – Purchased Ozark Airlines
  • 2001 – American Airlines purchased TWA, retained name American Airlines

·  United Airlines

  • – Merged with Capital
  • 2010-2012 – Merged with Continental Airlines. Surpassed Delta as the world’s largest carrier. Kept United name

·  US Airways

·  Western Airlines

  • 1925 – First incorporated as Western Air Express by Harris Hanshue
  • 1926 – Western’s first flight took place
  • 1928 – Reincorporated as Western Air Express Corp.
  • 1930 – Purchased Standard Airlines (subsidiary of Aero Corp. of Ca. founded in 1926). WAE with Fokker aircraft merged with Transcontinental Air Transport to form TWA.
  • 1934 – Western Air Express broke off from TWA and briefly changed its name to General Air Lines, returning to the name Western Air Express after several months
  • 1941 – Western Air Express changed its name to Western Air Lines, which was later altered to Western Airlines
  • 1967 – merged with Pacific Northern Airlines
  • 1987 – Delta merged with Western Airlines (kept Delta name)

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