Good evening everyone. The latest issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted.
We are a day late this week. (But not a dollar short!) I thank everyone for their patience. Yours truly was part of a fabulous event on Sunday in Philadelphia. I was part of a case study presentation given to the Arthur Page Society – a group comprised of top level executives and corporate communications officers of Fortune 500 companies. The topic? The role communications played in the American Airlines/US Airways merger.
Leading the presentation was American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and EVP of People and Communications Elise Eberwein. In addition to myself, the panel included Laura Glading, President of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants; Scott Shankland, former national officer with the Allied Pilots Association; Gregg Polle, Managing Director, Moelis & Co.; Paul Denis, Partner, Dechert LLP; Hilary Rosen, Managing Director, SKDKnickerbocker, and Kelly Sullivan, Partner, Joele Frank.
It was a great experience. In addition, it was striking to sit back and reflect on just exactly was accomplished. It’s a deal that I doubt will never be repeated in this industry. Or maybe any other industry. By that I mean — a smaller company successfully pulled off a hostile takeover of a larger company — while that larger company was in bankruptcy protection.
What was the “secret sauce”? As I talk about in this week’s issue, it wasn’t the price. In fact the deal was not “priced” until very late in the process.
No, it was — communication. Intense, constant, coordinated and strategic communication.
Yep. It was a cool way to spend a Sunday.
In other news, it was a blockbuster week for union news last week, as we had a TA announced with the flight attendants at American Airlines; the APA was certified by the NMB as the bargaining agent for the pilot group (bye bye USAPA); the customer service workers at both US Airways and American will now be represented by the same joint representation that was in place at US Airways — the Teamsters and the CWA; Piedmont pilots approved a new contract; and United Airlines rolled out a very impressive “Early Out” offer for flight attendants that pays out as much as $100K. (Depending on years of service.)
On top of all this, I was in Washington last week, where I moderated a panel at Airlines for America’s Aviation Summit. Great experience. Great list of speakers throughout the day. I give you some of the better quotes from the sessions in this week’s issue. Oh and I’ll also introduce you to the man who controls more shares of stock in U.S. airlines than any other investor.
All this and much, much, more in this week’s edition of PlaneBusiness Banter!