Two other carriers, both in Minneapolis, were beginning to get my attention these being Northwest and North Central. Don had been handling these two, and they were not very active even though we were trying to get DC-10 re-orders. These two carriers were like night and day. North Central was a delight and pleasure to deal with - first grade management.
I will deal here with North Central as this was a major carrier in my marketing development. North Central had fifteen DC-9-30s and needed additional jet equipment.
When I sat down with their top Management, Bud Sweet, Executive V.P., and Dan May, Chief Financial Officer, it was clear why they were upset. No one from Douglas would negotiate with them and they were right. All Don would let me do was take a standard form letter back to North Central with no concessions. They were also upset that we wanted to charge them for increased gross weight packages to improve the efficiency of the aircraft. It was not that expensive, but they thought it was the idea that bothered them. They were in the process of negotiating with Continental Airlines for the purchase of five used DC-9-10 aircraft for a total of $10 Million.
On my next trip to North Central, I brought a standard Letter of Intent for two DC-9-30 aircraft for a price of $5 Million each. I told them that if they would give me a $50,000 deposit for each aircraft, I would give them the takeoff gross weight packages for their fleet. They did, and Douglas accepted the deal and it was the start of a long association with this carrier.
People like Jim Nixon, V.P. Planning, who had to put up with my attempt to learn to play golf, became very supportive of our programs and a good friend; Chuck Vesper, Schedules, who offered support and a super person; and Red Wallace, V.P. Flight, who could never understand what I had over his Management that kept them buying airplanes. I think it was meeting their needs and special requirements. Both Bud and Dan negotiated in sincereness which made it easier for me to get the approvals for letters that I brought back to Long Beach.