Good evening to all.
It’s a late night tonight here at the Worldwide Headquarters. Three guesses why. That’s what happens when a U.S. airline files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at 6 AM in the morning.
Not surprisingly, I spend a lot of time this week talking about AMR and American Airlines. The airline’s bankruptcy filing, why it finally pulled the trigger, why the move was inevitable years ago, why it was not a “moral failure,” and more.
And yes, don’t even start with the AMR merger rumors. Long way between here and there.
In addition, I also take a time this week to talk about the recent DOT slot auction for slots at both LGA and DCA. While the DOT won’t make the “formal” announcement concerning who won what until Thursday, the winners have either confessed or been outed by process of elimination.
The results of the auction were somewhat intriguing — both because of what airlines were successful in nabbing slots and because of the one big airline that came away empty-handed.
Then there is the continuing mess that is the Indian aviation industry. We talked a great deal about this last week, but this week it’s back on the radar as both Jet Airways and Kingfisher continue to struggle. Jet announced a new lease-back plan that should generate at least $300 million for the airline in the coming months, but Kingfisher is still looking for an investor. Meanwhile, employees haven’t been paid in weeks, and the airline’s pilots are beginning to leave for better opportunities. Oh, and AerCap is taking two of its planes back.
The Air Transport Association is ready to roll out its new “branding” Wednesday. Not sure I like the new name, but I am a fan of the idea behind the extreme makeover. For too long the ATA has been a wet noodle in a sea of sharks — a totally ineffective trade organization.
So here’s to a new gorilla on the block.
Meanwhile, last week was a horrible week for airline stocks. We’ll go over the details of the carnage.
All that and more in this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter.