Hello earthlings! It’s that time once again for the latest edition of PlaneBusiness Banter.
This week we lead off the 3Q earnings season with our in-depth look at Southwest Airlines. The airline reported earnings last week — the first airline to do so. We’ll tell you why we were not overly impressed with the airline’s earnings call and why we don’t like to be “teased” with the possibility of potential revenue enhancements by airline management. Either tell me you have a solution to the problem or you don’t.
This week? It’s a madhouse. Hawaiian Airlines reported Tuesday, and today we have US Airways and Delta Air Lines. Tomorrow we have United Airlines, JetBlue, Alaska. Allegiant is in there as well.
In other news, the pilots and management at AMR continue to negotiate. I’ve come to the conclusion it really doesn’t matter whether the pilots get a contract or not — although if I were a pilot, that 13.5% equity stake is definitely something to think about. But I still don’t think we’ll see a contract agreed upon and then voted in favor of by the pilot group.
I think it’s clear that the more important moves are now taking place off the radar screen and away from the negotiating table. We had evidence of this last week when two hedge funds accused American of ‘playing favorites’ with some of the other members of the UCC.
One way or another US Airways is going to do a deal here. It’s just a matter of how. And how much Tom Horton’s “go-away” package costs.
In other news, I traveled to Las Vegas last week where I had a wonderful session with the Advisory Council of Travel and Transport at their fall meeting. We talked about which airlines have been naughty and which ones have been nice to corporate travel managers. I’ll give you the scoop.
All of this — and much more — in this week’s edition of PlaneBusiness Banter.