Speedy Air! Love it!
Thought I would give everyone a fun read, this being a war gaming forum, and I am a war gamer, that is how I will approach this cut throat strategy game. This is told from Air France's point of view. Others are encouraged to add their comments etc.
Setting the Stage: European Group (alliance name) in order of ranking
Buffalo Air........Apathetic Lurker
Transair.......unknown, he filled a big route void
Crash and Burn Air.........Parusski
Marenorstrum Air.........Apathetic Lurker
Full of Air........Jomni
The date is 19 June 1970, things are progressing well for the Alliance. Air France and Buffalo Air are slowly expanding operations into the Far East. Buffalo makes a great stab at Beijing, China while Air France slips into Changsha and begins operations there. At the same time Air France slips quietly into Sapparo, Japan. Buffalo Air had been under intense pressure in the US facing stiff overwhelming resistance was looking to scale down US operations some.
Crash and Burn Air is slowly expanding operations in the Central US, trying to keep a low profile and mostly having success in doing so.
TL Flights is expanding operations in northern Europe. He is also keeping a low profile.
All is proceeding normally when suddenly, during a routine search of the available a/c for sale on the used market (Air France has been watching the list closely) something did not look right. For days the market has been picked clean down to the worst dregs of a/c ever seen, but not today, today the used market is full of nearly brand new a/c, hundreds of them.
Without delay conference calls are placed to all air line CEO's (those not out playing golf anyway). First on the line was Buffalo Air, "looks like a major airline went belly up this morning, the used pool is packed". Hurried checks were made of bank accounts at both airlines while the wait was on for the other CEO's (long way from the golf courses).
Finally, AF and Buffalo decided they could not wait any longer and began buying everything in sight. Both headed straight to the most fuel efficient prop plane around, the CL44. AF decided to go slow, we only bought 35 of them, while also scoring much more expensive large jets. Buffalo chewed thru the available a/c with a vigor not seen in a long while. Last AF heard the count was 75 a/c.
Slowly, the other CEO's finally start straggling in from the golf courses, pools, hang overs from the all night parties. The word was passed and they to begin tearing into the used market.
A tele-conference was established between Buffalo and AF, the other CEO's decided to go kick the tires of their new a/c, and plans were made. Where Buffalo was facing huge pressure in the US, now he had major teeth. A plan developed. In the NE US, AF had long ago built a terminal at a nearly unused airport. Even though this airport was a fairly big one, not a lot of flights arrived or left due to the short runways. Only 2 long range a/c could get in or out......the CL44 and the 707-120. This base, Providence, RI would be pivotal. Planes arrived in the dead of night, lots of planes, more planes than ever seen here before, coming off these planes are spare aircrews, mechanics, ground crew. Something was up.
In the West US another base was long ago set up for future use by AF. A terminal was built but never put into use. The airport officials never could understand this. Other airlines laughed and made fun of AF. Suddenly, the radar reports lots of incoming a/c, these a/c are caring AF identification codes, lots of a/c. More a/c than AF has ever assembled at this airport. After landing, the terminal was switched on, lights lit up, baggage conveyors warmed up, service vehicles cranked, coming down the stairs form the planes were hundreds of ground crew, flight crews, terminal crews. The mechanics and ground service personnel started prepping all a/c for operations. This airport was Portland, Oregon.
A third airport also began seeing unusual traffic, that airport was Washington National (DCA) which was also cursed with a short runway. These a/c were shunted to an empty part of the airport where cleaning crews had been working for the last 24 hours preparing the rented gates for service.
At 2am on 20 June 1970, huge signs were lit up at both airports at the same time, all across the country at targeted airports signs lit up........the signs read "We will beat any air fare by 10%". As all this was taking place, radio adds announced the same thing over the radio. The fare reduction was Air France's maiden all service inside the US. This airfare was also being offered and honored by all member's of European Group Alliance. As the phones commenced ringing, passengers by the hundreds began arriving at both long unused terminal's.
At 0330, the first flights began leaving both Providence (mainly Buffalo Air), Portland (Air France), and DCA (both airlines). Targeted airports were spread throughout the US, routes that had been thought secure by over confident air lines suddenly found that no one was showing up at the gates. Flight were leaving all over the US at 30% capacity. Calls were placed across the land "what is going on" it was asked.
At 0400 the first Air France a/c touched down in an airport that had never had an arrival from Air France before, airport officials were awakened across the country the night before and told to get 2-3 gates ready and be ready to receive passengers. 30 minutes later that very same a/c was hurtling down the runway heading back to Portland with a full load.
This was the case across the country that fateful day. Repeated throughout the day, flight after flight from European Group airlines began showing up on routes they had never been on before. While every one of the EG flights were chock full, all the other airlines were flying at 30% capacity. This was unheard of in this scale and scope.
In Europe, things were not nearly as hectic or stunning as in the US. Air France in Europe ran normal flight operations across Europe except on one route, Air Frances Holy Grail. This was the route that AF had wanted since the day she was formed. This route saw thousands of passengers a day flying to and from Paris to Madrid. Since day 1 this route had been occupied by the most powerful airlines. But on this day, things would be different. 5 CL44 aircraft began arriving and departing both airports at a dizzying pace. No sooner would one leave than another would arrive. 20 round trip flights were made that day, thousands of passenger who would normally fly another airline flew Air France.
By the end of the day, over 60 new routes were established across the globe. Thousands of passengers were won over from competing air lines. Air France had arrived in the US to stay. Preparations were made to defend these gains.
European Group was now an Alliance to fear and worry about.
"Before Guadalcanal the enemy advanced at his pleasure. After Guadalcanal, he retreated at ours".
"Mama, There's Rabbits in the Garden"