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I have a dream
Posted by: Ben Mandell (---.xecu.net)
Date: January 10, 2004 10:52AM

I have a dream that the employees (and former employees) of Piedmont Airlines are somehow able to come together and acquire the Charlotte Hub from USAirways that just Dave Siegal has announced this week as being for sale.

I have a dream that they are able to take down those USAir logos and signage at the main ticket counters, B, C and D concourses and replace them with the Piedmont signage.

I have a dream that the new reborn Piedmont Airlines will fly again with Piedmont punch, southern hospitality and employee management and ownership that will forever stop this nightmare that we have all experienced.

This is not an impossible dream. Will you help make my dream come true?

Ben Mandell

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Re: I have a dream
Posted by: Bubba Claus (---.chartertn.net)
Date: January 10, 2004 02:12PM

If you are serious, you need to talk to someone with some money, BIG money!
And you need to do it fast, before some other group does.

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Re: I have a dream
Posted by: Read this (---.chartertn.net)
Date: January 10, 2004 02:24PM


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Re: I have a dream
Posted by: Be Accurate! (---.chartertn.net)
Date: January 11, 2004 03:07PM

If you go online and actually READ the entire story and not just the headlines.....
It clearly says that USAirways is considering selling it's northeast shuttle and ONE of it's hubs, the stories DON'T specify which one.
Using common sense, which is scarce these days in this business, one would come to the conclusion that selling the Charlotte hub, though excellent for the people of Charlotte and the cities served from Charlotte as they would actually have a decent airline from the result, it would be devisating from USAir!
Charlotte is their best hub, so if they sell Charlotte, they are sunk.
Why?
Well firstly, they have spent the past year or more crying about how expensive Pittsburgh has become for them, the high rates and they had been threatening to pull out of Pittsburgh.
Like to keep everyone upset and worried about their jobs USAir?
Nothing new.
Bottom line.....
Charlotte sold to a GOOD airline, no loss there for "us" customers who need good air service in the Carolina/Tennessee/Georgia/Virginia area.
But a huge loss for employees IN CLT.
And a huge loss again for USAir which can't afford another goof up.
Wanna do it to yourself, be my guest.

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Re: I have a dream
Posted by: Ben Mandell (---.carolina.rr.com)
Date: January 12, 2004 11:13AM

I didn't start this to get into a back and forth discussion on the merits of USAir's management decisions. I really see no reason to go there. However, I do think it is important to look at the matrix here.

USAirways has mentioned that it wants to sell one hub. They have not mentioned which one.

If you analyze the hubs you would have to come to the conclusion that the only hub that is marketable is the Charlotte hub. It is the only hub that one can forecast steady passenger traffic that is not immediately subject to change from some outside factor.

In other words, one could make a reasonable financial projection for investment and financing purposes that would allow the accountants and bankers to look at the Charlotte hub as an asset with value and a steady cashflow in an area with an increasing population.

On the other hand, the PIT hub does not show asset value. If an airline wanted to come into PIT tomorrow and set up a major hub, they would not need USAirways to do it. There are plenty of gates available in this area of declining population.

With the LUV factor at PHL, this hub has only one potential customer and that is LUV itself. My opinion is that LUV will not buy PHL from USAirways. LUV didn't buy in California and they didn't buy at BWI. They are now the largest airline in California and at BWI and USAir did not receive anything from LUV. My opinion is that LUV isn't going to start paying US now. They are trying to put US out of business, not add to their coffers. No other airline is going to be willing to go up against LUV at PHL, so what can the hub asset value be at PHL? My opinion is that PHL would be the worst investment out of all of the USAir pieces available today.

The handwriting is so clear on this airline. Although East Coast operations have always survived intact before, it is going to be difficult (probably impossible) to pull this off again. I'm not trying to alarm you like USAirways management has done so many times. I'm trying to just give you the facts.

RSA is going to protect their invesment come hell or high water. When they went into this, they had some idea of the breakup value of this airline. USAirways has some really nice pieces that others would like to steal. However, that will not happen. There is too much greed in this business. USAirways will get top dollar for the Shuttle and for the DCA operation simply because many other airlines want it and they are going to either get it or make someone pay big to get it.

The most likely airline candidate for the purchase of the Charlotte hub would be Continental. I have no idea how Continental would handle the USAirways employees, but it could be ugly. On the other hand, it might not be ugly. Bethune came out of Piedmont and knows the Charlotte operation very well.

The most likely airline candidate for the purchase of the Shuttle would be American.

The DCA operation is going to be the wildcard. There will be a lot of interest there from legacy carriers as well as the discounters.

There will probably be no sale of the PHL or PIT hub because no one will be interested in buying those pieces.

So as employees, and people that have a passion for this airline, you have a decision here. Do you let someone like Continental come in and buy this hub? Or do you explore the possibility of putting an employee group together to buy the hub? My opinion is that even if an employee group did not get this hub, they would have more negotiating power with someone like Continental if they were in the finals to purchase the hub.

What's it worth?

Bankers put a worth on major businesses like this based on the profits that are generated by that business. Generally, a major business is worth about 3 times EBITA which is term investment bankers use for net cash flow before interest expense and taxes. If it is a really hot business then it can be worth more than 3 times EBITA.

USAIRWAYS has hired investment bankers to determine the value of these assets. What those investment bankers are probably doing right now is determining what the EBITA is for the hubs and the shuttle as well as the assets for each. They will put packages together that will be sent out to qualified companies with this information.

I don't know what the USAIRWAYS numbers are, but I'll give you this example as it relates to the shuttle. These are examples only and are not based on any USAirways numbers.

If the shuttle is throwing off $100 million a year in EBITA then the shuttle would be worth at least $300 million dollars. However, the shuttle could be considered a "hot item" because it excludes other competitors from offering the same service. In this case, the Shuttle could be worth up to 6 times EBITA which would mean the shuttle could be worth $600 million dollars if it were throwing off $100 million a year. This is just an example, but you get the idea of how this works.

How many Piedmont Employees are there?

In order to pull something like this off, it would take a lot of dedicated folks. I have no idea how many Piedmont employees there are. How many would be interested in trying to acquire the Charlotte hub?

The First Opportunity.

It is my opinion that this is the first opportunity that has been available since 1987 to actually acquire this Piedmont piece of the business. She is battered and has been abused. She has been mis-managed and treated like a wicked step child. Pieces of her have been ripped apart up buried in the desert. Her children (the employees and former employees) have watched this happen for the past 15 years and have felt helpless. Her children have grown up and learned a lot over the past 15 years. They've learned how to be tough and how to survive. They have never given up, although they surely wanted to. Now her children may have a chance to rescue her and return her to her former glory.

Do You Really Want To Do Something?

If any of this sounds like something that you want to investigate then I would suggest that we set up a committee to explore this further. Who wants to be on the committee? To help explore the possibility of flying the up and coming airline back home, committee members should be former Piedmont employees, spouses of employees, or residents of North Carolina. Also please feel free to re-post this message and my first dream message on any board that you think might benefit from it.

Ben Mandell

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Re: I have a dream
Posted by: Go for it (---.chartertn.net)
Date: January 12, 2004 10:07PM

Well, that was very impressive, you have the knowlege.....
Now you just need to be the cheerleader for a buyout.
Good luck finding people who want to buy a hub.
One concern here, I really don't think they are going to throw the planes in with it. I don't believe the planes are for sale, they fly in and out of alot of hubs these jets.
What do they have in CLT that they really own????
Leases? That is not much of an assett, potentially, if you want to go there, charlotte airport can lease to anyone they want to. Theirs just has to expire if it's a waiting game.
USAir doesn't likely OWN anything in CLT.
They lease everything they can, even jets.
Continental or Southwest sounds great! I am all for that.
At least we can recoup some of the service we lost in the 1990s!!!!
USAir service is awful and I for one will not be crying if they do sell.
If so, it's miller time!!!

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Re: I have a dream
Posted by: Just ask Rush (---.chartertn.net)
Date: January 12, 2004 10:09PM

P.S.

If airlines could have political affiliations,
then USAir would be liberal.
And living off government handouts and corporate wellfare.
Time to turn out the lights guys and go home.

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Re: I have a dream
Posted by: piedmont,c (---.tnt1.winston-salem.nc.da.uu.net)
Date: January 12, 2004 11:37PM

lights are off ! that is for sure !

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Re: I have a dream
Posted by: Just ask Rush (---.chartertn.net)
Date: January 13, 2004 03:08AM

Will the last Piedmont employee bring the speedbird on the way out?
LOL

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Re: I have a dream
Posted by: Jerry (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: January 24, 2004 04:11PM

And would they please bring it to the top floor of the Tom Davis Training Center, I work for a small but rapidly growing Airline that would love to have it.

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Re: I have a dream
Posted by: Just ask Rush (---.chartertn.net)
Date: January 24, 2004 05:28PM

Well, since my last post, I have read on the net that "Piedmont Airlines", which is really Henson in reality, is going to have Alegheny Airlines merged into it in March.
That's the epitomy of irony.
Think about it.
In this case, Piedmont is the name which will survive the merger.
Kind of makes a tear come to the eye eh?
Rumor has it that this is a move to get someone to "buy" the regional carrier.
I have my own personal opinion, and that is that the name Piedmont prevails in this regional to keep the Piedmont name licensed only to USAirways. If they had chosen Alegheny, then eventually the name Piedmont would be up for grabs due to non use in 7 years time.
SO, if anyone with big money wants to bring back Piedmont....
All they have to do is buy the current day Piedmont Airlines.
Don't think it would be that difficult at this stage of the game.

For those who want to say, no, that Piedmont had been used as a name in Piedmont - Hawthorne Aviation.....
Yes, that's true, but they can't use it in an airline as long as there is another airline of that name. Thus the use of "Piedmont Airlines" for the Henson operation.
USAir is not in love with the name by any stretch of the imagination....
It's to prevent the name to come out on a major carrier out on the market that they can't control.
Cause we all know what would happen then.....
Piedmont would soon rule the Major Airline Business in this country!
And perhaps the world.

And that is how the merger COULD have worked and didn't.

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Re: I have a dream
Posted by: Patty Schulte Kolokoff (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: March 26, 2004 12:48AM

I remember flying w/ my dad and helping to serve the passengers!!
My mom designed the logo!!!

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Re: I have a dream
Posted by: Steve Lyons (---.chartertn.net)
Date: March 26, 2004 01:05AM

Ok, now you have my attention.
Are you talking about the old Piedmont logo that was red....
Or the new one that was blue??
And tell us more about it, I always wanted to know who designed that
and how it came about that they were chosen and the ones to design it
or was it one of those things that the best logo won?
How did Tom Davis fit into all this and where are you all from.
Sorry for all the questions.....but this is really an answer I have
always wanted to know.

Steve

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Re: I have a dream
Posted by: Andrew H. (---.deltastate.edu)
Date: April 17, 2006 02:46PM

I share this goal and do intend whenever it becomes possible to aquire the name and restart operations. I belive that wihtout any large modifications, that Piedmont's practices and routes could be flown at a profit and intend to do so in the future. I am a Business and Commerical Aviation student at Delta State University and that is my goal.

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