Hi guys. I know. I’ve been absent for a couple of days. And look what happens when I go off and leave you on your own.
First, the US Airways/United deal appears to be floundering, or at least that is what the New York Times reported late yesterday. Although for those of us who read such reports carefully, if I was a betting woman, it would appear that there were some union “sources” talking to Ms. Maynard and Mr. Sorkin because of that one telltale line in the story.
The line? “In particular, it became clear that the labor agreements would have to be sorted out before the combined airline could see any of the savings from the deal, which could have been in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”
My translation of this is that union leaders wanted a seat at the table – before negotiations could go any further. And having listened to US Airways’ Chairman and CEO Doug Parker talk this spring about how he did not think giving labor a mandate to sort out their differences ahead of time was such a hot idea (aka Northwest and Delta) — I doubt that US Airways would agree to give labor that kind of position in a potential deal up front.
If the deal is indeed dead, this certainly puts Mr. Tilton and United in a strange position. After putting themselves on the block openly for years — this will be the second deal to fall through involving the airline in less than two months. So much for the great deal hunter.
I wish management at United would figure out that it’s more important to actually run a good airline, as opposed to constantly running numbers on various merger scenarios.
Alas, now it looks like the airline is rather inept at both.
Meanwhile, Airbus warned earlier this week about additional problems with its manufacturing process, and American Airlines has been announcing cuts in routes right and left — including JFK/Stansted.
American said Tuesday it is discontinuing flights between Chicago and Buenos Aires, as well as its Boston to San Diego route. It will also reduce its flights from Chicago to Honolulu to only “peak demand days.” The airline is also restructuring its operations in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Today the airline announced it is cutting service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and London’s Stansted Airport effective July 2.
As one of our industry buddies wrote today, “I’m shocked. Simply shocked.”
Wise guy. Yeah, right.
No one should be shocked at this news, as American added this flight less than a year ago in response to competitive service on the route by EOS. EOS is now gone, so bye bye American.
Anyone taking bets as to when American finally shuts down its money-losing Love Field adventure?
But hope springs eternal at JetBlue, which this week not only announced it was delaying a slew of new aircraft deliveries — 21 aircraft for as long as five years — the airline also issued a prospectus on a $160 million bond offering.
Gotta hand it to them — it’s probably better to do an offering now than later this summer. Stock up those cash assets while you can.
Finally, while there were a lot of headlines yesterday talking about “lower” energy prices, remember that term is soooo relative. Prices yesterday were not that much lower. Not only that, but today, prices were back up again.
Crude oil closed at $131.03/barrel today, up almost 2% on the day, while N.Y jet fuel closed at $3.96/gallon. West Coast jet fuel is still running above $4/gallon.
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Technorati Tags: airline CEOs, airline mergers, airlines, American Airlines, jet fuel, jetBlue, United Airlines, US Airways