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Ansett and East West

Old 20th Jan 2016, 09:26
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Ansett and East West

When Ansett acquired East-West, did Ansett management have any plans for developing East-West or was it just another buying spree by the boss?


Had East-West management ordered the BAE-146 to replace the F-28?


Did the 89 dispute give Ansett the chance to quietly wind down East-West airlines?
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Old 20th Jan 2016, 10:36
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GDay. By my recollection, EastWest had ordered the F100 to replace the F28s. Ables had sought to stitch up the airfreight and parcel business in Europe by ordering 60 or so Bae146s, thus depriving other operators the chance of acquiring these quiet aircraft-this would be seen as a requirement to win the night airfreight contracts. His attempt to thus corner the market failed and he was left with surplus 146s

Whether Ables acquired EW so as to give a home to his surplus 146s, I do not know. Again, by recollection, EW had their F100s orders sold off and they were forced to use the 146s that had been intended for the European parcel business.

EW was subsequently integrated into Ansett in a fairly orderly fashion.

Last edited by Anthill; 23rd Jan 2016 at 08:47. Reason: Written on an iphone and my girlfriend was nagging to go to dinner...
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Old 20th Jan 2016, 11:30
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Bloke owned EW and was determined not to be swallowed by Ansett.

Old mate sold Airline to another dude with iron clad guarantee.

A week later (maybe 10 days later), EW on sold to Ansett.

Middle Man makes about 100K. Big scam, and they got away with it?

Ansett absorbs EW and 3 yrs later, gone altogether, which was the plan when they bought it in the first place.
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Old 20th Jan 2016, 22:34
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Bloke owned EW and was determined not to be swallowed by Ansett.

Old mate sold Airline to another dude with iron clad guarantee.

A week later (maybe 10 days later), EW on sold to Ansett.

Middle Man makes about 100K. Big scam, and they got away with it?

Ansett absorbs EW and 3 yrs later, gone altogether, which was the plan when they bought it in the first place.
Eastwest was absolutely loved by its staff and customers. But its shareholders and management were very old school and because their main routes in NSW were a cash cow they did not need to adapt with times.

Most of their aircraft were owned outright as were a lot of their properties.

Until ex-Ansett Bryan Grey worked out their share price was way below the value of just their aircraft.

It is my understanding that Grey managed to convince one of EW's founding shareholders Pat Carter (safari suit, pith helmet, handle mustache, Rolls Royce to paint a picture), to sell his shares at a premium to the listed price, he would protect and expand the local workforce, and he would not sell to Ansett or TAA.

Once Carter was on board the other shareholders were convinced and Grey got the company in about '82.

Grey moved quickly to expand the business. He also got the staff excited, he went out of his way to engage, new uniforms, new livery, new image and the promise of shiny new jets.

Most of the owned F27s were sold to Fokker, and replaced with brand new F27-500s, plus initially 4 new F28-4000s, all leased. He quickly expanded new routes like Rockhampton, Devonport, Hobart etc.

Plus circumvented the "two airline policy" by flying between SYD and MEL via ABX and SYD and BNE via NTL or OOL.

The cash he got from the sale of the old F27s was used to pay back the loan he got from the Nauru Phosphate Trust.

Within a year there was talk about buying 737-300s and the place was buzzing. (I don't ever recall hearing talking of F100s).

But it was hemorrhaging cash.

So after about 15 months he was bailed out by Rick Stowe who at the time was expanding his Skywest business.

From what I know Grey genuinely had a vision to build EW into a contender to Ansett and TAA.

Likewise Rick Stowe I believe shared a similar vision and there was talk of merging EW with SW. After Stowe bought EW they kept up the expansion with more F28s.

By this time EW was becoming a real potential threat to Ansett, plus it offered Ansett new growth opportunities, and 3 1/2 years later Stowe did the bail out of the century and sold to Ansett (albeit through an intermediary) for a huge profit.

Under Ables the focus shifted from being a premium regional airline to being a leisure airline. The airline was again rebranded (who can forget the "hamburger logo") and re-equipped with the BAe-146s. The F28-4000s were absorbed into Ansett's operations (I think replacing F28-1000s) and the F27s were sold off.

I think the idea for the leisure airline was the forerunner to the LCCs, but the 146s with their high running costs were the wrong aircraft for that model. It is interesting that a few people from that era ended up in Jetstar.

I don't believe the 89 pilot strike was the catalyst for the shut down, that came a few years later, but it certainly did not help.

After the pilot strike though Ansett really started rationalising the business and integrated EW into Ansett, until it disappeared altogether.

It was all very sad, like Ansett staff 8 years later, many very good people lost the company and jobs they loved.
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Old 21st Jan 2016, 03:02
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Is my mind playing games by telling me that there was at least one B727 running around in East-West livery?
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Old 21st Jan 2016, 05:02
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the 89 pilot strike
What '89 pilot strike?

I don't recall there being a pilot strike in '89 and I was certainly in the industry at the time.

As I recall there was a 9-5 campaign, where something like 80% of the daily traffic was carried but no strike - AOD "cease work as a protest".
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Old 21st Jan 2016, 05:22
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least one B727 running around in East-West livery?
Yes you are correct Ken. it was a wet lease arrangement and it took people to the Gold Coast. For those who have been around long enough there is nothing new under the sun. Virgin is now doing something similar with a "Tigerair" 737 although now the bogans have more exotic tastes and want to go OS with the jetset to Bali.
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Old 21st Jan 2016, 05:57
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Originally Posted by Capt Claret View Post
What '89 pilot strike?

I don't recall there being a pilot strike in '89 and I was certainly in the industry at the time.

As I recall there was a 9-5 campaign, where something like 80% of the daily traffic was carried but no strike - AOD "cease work as a protest".

Ahem!
I'm not sure how to break this to you, Captain...
It has been described as "One of the most expensive and dramatic industrial disputes in Australia's history".

That ardent trade-unionist, Bob Hawke, got involved - remember?

Further ... Discussion of that subject on PPRuNe is discouraged, OK?


p.s. Just an afterthought... Your above post was a classic wind-up and I fell right into it. D'oh!

Last edited by Stanwell; 21st Jan 2016 at 06:14. Reason: add ps
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Old 21st Jan 2016, 06:30
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I think you missed Clarrie's attempt at some subtlety, Stanwell.
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Old 21st Jan 2016, 06:32
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That may well be Stanwell and I agree with most of what you say but it wasn't a strike.
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Old 21st Jan 2016, 07:13
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Two Ansett 727's were painted in the East West scheme. B727-200 VH-RMN and B727-200LR VH-ANE. ANE had in addition,the 'Casino Advertisement' including a dice on the fuselage. We called it the 'Green Shift', Ansett pilots with East West Cabin Crew. The Cabin Crew were some of the nicest crew I've ever worked with, efficient, friendly and some real characters. Country people I guess.


Ansett flew a 146 on the route, bouncing through the cloud tops miles below at around Mach.068. The passengers hated it but loved the 727. Strange arrangement all said and done.
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Old 21st Jan 2016, 09:34
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Capt Claret:--- don't worry bud, we were there, know the truth and can hold our heads high. Very few of the young guns in here know much about it....
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Old 21st Jan 2016, 09:43
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Very true ACMS!
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Old 21st Jan 2016, 12:03
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Of course they got away with it. The Bodgie was the Fat Bastards lap dog.

When East-West was glommed by Ansett by stealth we had 3 F100s on the production line at Schipol.
I was in upper middle Management at the stage and was privy to the P & L figures on a fortnightly basis. Travelling well.
AWAS wound up taking the F100s as they were stuck with them in the deal that occurred because the Silver Bodgie (is he still alive? Yes? Oh bugger!) delayed deregulation on the behest of his buddy the Fat Man. We had to be acquired or the inevitable for Ansett which had been cashed stripped by TNT and News by selling off all Reg's owned fleet and released new equipment was the collapse that happened later. Not one bit of damage touched the fat bastard. He had engineered his way out of the financial situation by then.
The sales money was immediately stripped out of the operation and AN was left with the same smell of an oily rag to run on.
Rick Stowe - lovely bloke and as sharp and likeable as BG himself was had to redirect dollars I believe within his mining ventures and performed what he thought was a good and safe sale. The sleazebag who bought us actually owned EWA for under 15 minutes before we were sold down the river. He was invited to the EW Western Australia end of year function for a "presentation". He got it - Self Lubricating Female Body Part of the Year. Not the polite version mentioned either. Much fanfare and total hysteria for everyone but him.
East-West was actually trying to source 737-200s at the time before the alleged deregulation date but the fat prick had AWAS secure or virtually take every one off the market.
When we were swallowed we were inflicted with the 146-300s. The engineers in TMW and around the ports worked very hard and kept ahead of the fleet and they worked well but could not hold block time on many routes. the passengers (and myself and family) actually liked them.
When Ansett got into the facilities at TMW they couldn't believe the sophistication of the maintenance facility and that our yield management system was far superior to theirs.
Bottom line is they had no idea how to run us and the addition of the 727 equipment was testimony to this.
They even tried a 6 across config in the 146. It was as popular as Ebola Virus.
Stationair - The Fat Prick had no intention other than to shut us down - of course after enough time to make excuses had elapsed. biglanchow is on the money there.
hiway - EW were not haemorrhaging cash in fact we were doing fairly well on most longer routes. Some of the traditional routes were a drain to a degree. you are correct though. The '89 problems were the next "hand in the Bodgie's pocket" from the Fat Prick. Engineered to restructure the industry to move the glass mountain that AN finally impacted back a bit. (Is the Bodgie dead yet? No? Double bugger!)
It's amazing what favours you can get when you buy a PM's daughter a Porsche - and God knows what else.

Rant over. Pass me a Voodoo doll.

best all

EWL
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Old 21st Jan 2016, 16:43
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Pilots Strike...............

I Don't think so.

Ask those that were there.
East West deserved to prosper but we all know that the game was a lot more important for those down in Canberra.

Saddest of all is that the current crop have no idea of from whence they came.

Hand on heart I will be there to pay my respects to the Silver Bodgie, with gum boots on.

Sui Generis.

Last edited by ad-astra; 22nd Jan 2016 at 02:26.
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Old 21st Jan 2016, 19:14
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Eastwestloco:

I guess you're looking forward to Graham Richardson's forthcoming book on the career of the Silver Bodgie as much as I am? Hopefully it will reveal just how much of the Fat Bastard's lap dog he really was...
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Old 21st Jan 2016, 21:42
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You know the reason why Silver Bodgie was indebted to the Fat man don't you?

A certain woman doing lots of drugs in Broome, either refused to leave or overdosed or something. Either way, an empty F-28 to the rescue.

Those from the era will be able to put the jigsaw together.
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Old 21st Jan 2016, 23:33
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When East-West was trying to obtain the 737-200 it sent a number of Management Captains to Brunei for training on their 200s, I believe there were problems sourcing aircraft though, the 737-500 then became the aircraft of choice, size and performance/economics put it ahead of the 737-300, in the end the F100 was chosen, the three on the production line ended up being leased to a Canadian Operator.
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Old 22nd Jan 2016, 00:14
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Been waiting with bated breath for EWL to show up. Just wish he didn't hold back so much!
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Old 22nd Jan 2016, 00:53
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Been waiting with bated breath for EWL to show up. Just wish he didn't hold back so much!
My thoughts exactly.
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