Author Topic: Batter up: United and Continental Next?  (Read 2271 times)

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Offline md11forever

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Batter up: United and Continental Next?
« on: April 15, 2008, 12:49:05 AM »
UAL and COA very close to merger if DL/NWA goes...

http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSN1440305420080414
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Offline atco

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Re: Batter up: United and Continental Next?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2008, 01:22:28 AM »
Hmmmm,

This line looks a little worrying:

"U.S. airlines are hoping that mergers could lead to higher fares as combined carriers reduce flights and use their increased market power to raise prices"

Is the low cost bubble going to burst in North America (Actually exclude Canada from that because it doesnt have a low cost airline - it has a duopoly that coincidentally charges the same fares on the same routes - how strange, I am sure there is nothing to it, just coincidence).

I wonder how Southwest is going to weather the fuel price storm.

Anyone apart from me wondering why the World is not beating OPEC to death to increse production and create some stability and reduction in World oil prices?

Also how is it that the science world has over the years managed to put people in space, yet we still dont have a man made replacement for oil - which would cut all this crap in one fell swoop.
It cant be that hard to create a synthetic oil can it?
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Offline Mosha

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Re: Batter up: United and Continental Next?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2008, 04:24:33 AM »
It is not the production that is a problem as much as a lack of refinery capacity. For example, Iran, a major crude oil producer, has to import refined oil/petroleum. That is why if not now, earlier this year motorists where limited how much they could buy.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 04:38:51 AM by Mosha »
Regards, Steve

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Offline Mosha

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Re: Batter up: United and Continental Next?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2008, 04:52:52 AM »
Aren't UAL Star Alliance and Continental Skyteam? If so how will that pan out?
Regards, Steve

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Re: Batter up: United and Continental Next?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2008, 06:17:01 AM »
..Anyone apart from me wondering why the World is not beating OPEC to death to increse production and create some stability and reduction in World oil prices?..

LOL, and I always thought I'd be the only person having that idea but to be honest, I never had the balls to talk about it.  ;)

Maybe it would be a good idea to raise the prices for planes, cars, drugs and all kind of technology based on the price of oil. Maybe they'd get the lesson.  ::evilgrin::
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 06:19:57 AM by Dreamliner »

Offline lefreak

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Re: Batter up: United and Continental Next?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2008, 08:25:48 AM »
i really hope ticket prices go back up again . not only high oilprices but also the competition from the low cost companies like Rynair makes it harder for the full service airlines . It's nice that now more and more people can afford to fly, but it should not come to a point where the tickets don't pay for the flight, operating an aircraft is expensive and those expenses should be payed by our passengers, not by all kinds of profit from side activities . can't wait to see the likes of Ryanair go .
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Offline RadRig211

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Re: Batter up: United and Continental Next?
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2008, 08:26:40 AM »
Aren't UAL Star Alliance and Continental Skyteam? If so how will that pan out?

Most likely, the pair will keep its Star Alliance bonds while dropping Continental's SkyTeam membership. With DL being a very direct competitor to Continental, Continental's very mediocre participation in SkyTeam and individual management (relative to DL/AF and NW/KL or DLNW/AFKL), and Lufthansa's intimate dealings with United, it only makes sense to join Star Alliance.

Also, I would assume, due to the shear size of United, there would be more Premium Flyers at United, and maintaining Star Alliance membership would not only benefit such flyers, but also flyers in other behemoths of Star (SQ, LH, ANA).

Offline Frentzen127

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Re: Batter up: United and Continental Next?
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2008, 04:59:35 PM »
It cant be that hard to create a synthetic oil can it?

Yes, It is. For one thing crude oil is a mixture of zillions of organic chemical compounds. It also happens to be formed under ridiculously high pressures and ridiculous depths. (Try recreating this in a lab. Oh and don't forget you have to wait 5 million years for fossils to becoe oil, how convenient).

Besides, Oil certainly isn't "The way of the future", as it has been proven that, unfortunately, efficiency on combustion machines is pathetically low.

While its obvious that the problem at hand is the OPEC, I think it might be wiser (albeit quite painful) to start considering a change of technologies. Unfortunately I've yet to see a fuel cell powered aircraft, but unfortunately those also happen to be pathetically weak. We will see.. :-\

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Offline Andy

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Re: Batter up: United and Continental Next?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2008, 05:14:31 PM »
It's pretty hard to even refine oil. You start with the crude stuff, and then there are many layers the oil goes through before it's actually where you want it to be. Kerosene for instance is quite far toward the bottom of a refinery tower.
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Offline vc-10

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Re: Batter up: United and Continental Next?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2008, 05:46:40 PM »
And those towers use up a huge amount of energy themselves.. :) :)

How about fuel cells for cars, and then we can have the biofuels? ::party:: >>Note, we need fusion power first! ::happy::<<

Offline csturdiv

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Re: Batter up: United and Continental Next?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2008, 10:24:51 PM »
How about bio-diesel, I know that Virgin Atlantic (I think) was toying with the idea.  On one of my favorite shows on TV, Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe in a two parter job worked at a greasy Mexican restaurant and then followed the grease when it was removed from the fryers and sold to a guy who converted it into bio-diesel.  Hell, look at all of the grease pits at the airport food courts, there should be enough grease there to fuel airplanes.  ;D
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Offline Target

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Re: Batter up: United and Continental Next?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2008, 11:10:09 PM »
Quote
Note, we need fusion power first!
Agree more than totally. Pity that they rather put resources into more green stuff, which is fine for some areas. However, to cover the huge basic power requirements, without plastering the whole count(r)y side, fusion looks like the way to go.
Airplane wise, I just looked through some concepts from this European study (ACARS?):
http://www.flightglobal.com/airspace/photos/concepts/next_2d00_generation_2d00_propulsion-10386.aspx

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Offline Per Ardua Ad Ars

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Re: Batter up: United and Continental Next?
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2008, 01:46:55 PM »
@Atco: The mergers won't affect SWA one bit, in fact they might benefit SWA. If the merged carriers do indeed decide to raise prices with less competition around to worry them - SWA will be able to raise their fares also, but keep in the same market position relative to the full-service carriers. SWA's worst threat was other carriers trying to emulate them, and succeeding. With mergers (which are a bit like above-the-table cartels in some respects) fixing higher fares, the full-service carriers are just raising the ceiling for SWA.

@Steve(Mosha):(Iran) It kind-of lends credence to their nuclear program - well, so long as you can ignore Ahmedinnerjacket's rhetoric!

As for OPEC, its easy to blame OPEC, but they only oversee about 2/3 of the world's production anyhow. For example I believe none of the ex-Soviet republics are OPEC members. OPEC as a cartel is being undermined around the edges. In the same vein as Steve suggesting refining capacity for Iran, the OPEC countries are limited by production/pumping capacity, not by politics (these days). Its no less legitimate than any of the world's multinational organizations.

The US's main threat in that area is OPEC wondering whether to price oil in Euros (currently being deliberated). Some members have already made the switch. Its one of the reasons why the current administration (well, their puppets in Baghdad) took Iraq out of OPEC. In trying to set a global rate for oil its the most profligate users that feel personally attacked by such moves, it isn't as though the US is being targetted. Besides, many (most?) US suppliers are not OPEC members, although some major ones are.

As for "beating OPEC to death" for their audacity to set market rates (nice to see the heavily talked-up free-market principle is so evenly applied), in Europe the gas prices at the pumps have been high for a long time, and sure, they're increasing for us too, but that's not new. What's new is that people back home in the US are finally having to wake up to the reality that this resource costs real money that they've long gotten away without paying. Sure, I feel the pain of gas price rises (I went through it overnight when I moved to England) coupled with a credit crunch (and I was still resident in the US for Bush Snr's similar mishandling of the economy last decade - and was why I shook my head when F*ckwit Junior was voted in) but we're running down resources and not cutting back on consumption. Britain has some problems with binge drinking - but only with alcohol, and breweries can make more swill for next Friday, but with natural oil, well, there's this millions-of-years cycle to go though before we get the new stuff, so, synthetic is the deal and the binge-drinking has to be cut back. The US has no more right than anybody else to drink the wells dry at the expense of others, no matter what people might think.

People hate the unions until their job is on the line, they hate lawyers until they want to sue for some trivial thing, and they hate OPEC because, like other unions, it is protecting the interests of its members and that sometimes affects us. Its easy to forget that the price of goods does affect OPEC countries, because DHL, FedEx and all are the people bringing those goods to OPEC countries in the first place, and those goods are costing more because the production costs have gone up.

One ex-member of OPEC is being beaten to within inches of death as we speak, and now that the media stoking up the bigotry in the US has put their (and the herd's) attention elsewhere, the majority of US citizens no longer think that's a great idea.

A couple I lived near (when I was in the US) used to lull their kids to sleep by taking them on a 30-50 mile drive almost every evening - a bedtime story would have been better all round - a drive to get the kids to sleep? How frivolous is that? I just returned from three months + in Chad and Sudan. There are people out there struggling to survive, who can't even imagine a lifestyle where the price of a tank of gas is important.

What with this and a growing food shortage (only affecting the people we don't know, right now), is anybody else getting the impression that the party's winding up?
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Offline Hornets Nest

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Re: Batter up: United and Continental Next?
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2008, 03:47:39 AM »
Excellent piece. I cannot claim - and would not wish to - the same experience as yourself in Chad and Sudan but I am currently close to the end of a two month spell in the Philippines.  During my stay here the price of oil has certainly often been a front page item but the "developing" shortage of rice is a much larger issue - having a direct impact on everyone and, most of all, on the very poor, who spend each day just getting by and not, like me, getting excited or even in the slightest interested, that Hawaiian Airlines just started flying into Manila this week.  I also see it as a sign of improving tourism and growth in the economy that will, ultimately, benefit all.  They see that benefit going solely to the already rich.  It is a picture that applies worldwide in developing countries - and those that do not make it into that bracket.

Perhaps we spend too much of each day with our heads in the skies - if only virtually - and risk losing the capacity to see the picture on the ground.

Best regards

Matthew

Offline Per Ardua Ad Ars

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Re: Batter up: United and Continental Next?
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2008, 08:00:29 AM »
Well, I agreed to the trip to make myself feel a bit more useful and less helpless, but I think it worked in reverse. I can't possibly imagine how these situations "get fixed" and that depresses me (in the true meaning of the word). I'm someone who used to make sure things ran well, or that situations would be averted, or that some good outcome would prevail in whatever I was doing, but I used to see that come about. With this? I've no idea.

If nothing else I can really see why people get so excited about the issues close to them (whether starving or oppressed populations, climate, etc) and how it can turn people off if they're not involved, or hostile to the idea. When I got back, I visited with friends and I'd swear I could only talk about one thing - and I was less than good company as a result. We have to make small talk, be detached and unemotional over on this side of the fence, and when someone comes running at us shouting about a "cause" we kinda shy away because its breaking our taboos. But I'll swear I never saw people so involved in *life*. I think I saw what it was to be human - if that's not going too far. I'll be months trying to make sense of it all.

A friend of mine (a guy I used to work for, in fact) has offered to involve me slightly in an FS9 scenery project as part of my "rehab" - give me something technical to think about, so I'm taking that up.

Over here in England they're currently fussing about the price of food, which is a kind of indulgent luxury when you've just come from a place where the fuss is about the very presence of food. The other strange thing is that despite the horror of some of the things I've had to see, I want to go back.
Idealogically suspect religious arrogance exterminates life.
Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich. Ustinov.
The sadly-mortal George Carlin on soft language