While I agree with many of your points, I only ask you review what Southwest did just a few years back in taking a 27% ownership stake in ATA. That is what caused this whole codeshare thing to begin in the firstplace and put us to this point today.
If we were banking on the history of Southwest and their "interests," ATA would probably have been in the SWA fold long ago, but I feel management saw that this wasn't going to be a core competitive strength of theirs when another company bought 100% back in 06 and absolved Southwest of everything but the codeshares and the new destinations.
Still, I feel that when you make a business decision that operates ultimately in your best interest, you can lose money now to make money in the long run. Injecting cash to ATA would have been the best scenario as it would have kept the airline afloat and helped to move all of the stranded Aloha customers back to the Islands, giving you guys an opportunity to get under the hood and see if it would be profitable in the long run. Buying a stake like was previously done in 2004 wouldn't have required anything extra special and given some extra time to explore strategic options for both you and ATA. Even though Southwest wouldn't want ATA long term on its books like it found out from '04-06, more damage is done now in gaining independent codeshare operations with international vendors. Who's left that isn't already part of one of the global codeshare operations? Ryanair?
Just some stuff to gnaw on.
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