Live and direct from the PlaneBusiness Worldwide Steaming Hot Headquarters, we bring you a 150 plus-page issue of PlaneBusiness Banter.
Yes, this is, without a doubt, the mother of all earnings issues.
We have full transcripts and PlaneBusiness Banter earnings summaries for Southwest Airlines, AirTran, JetBlue, Alaska Air Group and Allegiant Travel this week.
Not only that but we give you the numbers that were just reported from Air France/KLM, Lufthansa, British Airways, ANA and Singapore Airlines.
All of this plus our take on the more “newsworthy” topics from the past week including the meltdown at Mexicana (and no, we’re not talking about the FAA’s downgrade of the Mexican aviation safety rating) and the showdown between the pilots and management at Philippine Airlines.
So what do you think? Do you think the pilots and flight attendants at Mexicana should have taken up management’s offer to buy the airline?
Or — should they have cut their pay and benefits essentially in half?
As we were posting this issue, the news came down: Mexicana has filed for bankruptcy.
One thing that will do — it will stop airline leasing companies from taking their aircraft back. Apparently at least three of the airline’s aircraft had already been snatched back by their owners.
Aside from all this turmoil, we then have the latest attempt by the U.S. government to “make the airline industry a better and safer place.”
Yes, from the same folks who brought us the Three-Hour Tarmac rule, the Senate and the House passed a bill last week that will see the minimum number of flight hours required for a regional airline pilot position jump to 1500.
Needless to say, I can understand why members of Congress want to look like they are making the industry a safer place — but is a 1500 hour flight time minimum the way to do it?
One of our regular contributors gives us his take on the potential ramifications of this legislation in this week’s issue.
One thing that is a constant in this industry is that it always has a lot of debt.
But while most of the airline’s debt ratings are in the “junk” category, shrewd investors know that investing in airline debt can be quite profitable.
This week I assemble the latest credit and debt comments on the major airlines from Mark Streeter — the man who does this for a living for JPMorgan Chase. I think Mark is the sharpest guy on the Street when it comes to airline debt.
As for airline stocks — a Foreign Flyer took the first place nod last week in terms of gains. Overall, it was a good strong week for the sector.
All of this — and much, much, more in this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter.
Subscribers can access this week’s issue here.