Hello everyone. It’s that time again. That’s right — it’s earnings time in PlaneBusiness Banter.
This week we roll out our “All-New” PlaneBusiness Earnings Review format, which I hope subscribers will find easier to dissect, peruse, and digest.
This week we take our in-depth look at the results reported last week by Delta Air Lines, US Airways, Southwest Airlines, and United Continental Holdings, parent of United Airlines.
Short and sweet? Delta Air Lines blew away the competition in 2012, but US Airways had a record breaking profitable year as well. It really is gratifying to see two major U.S. airlines turning out such great financial results.
United? The slog of its merger integration continues. 2012 was not a good year and it was really not a good quarter for the airline. However, we certainly detected a change in tone on the airline’s call this quarter — for the better — and we are looking forward to watching the airline as it tackles 2013.
While it seems the airline now knows what it has to do — now it has to do it.
Then there was Southwest Airlines. (We’ll talk about Alaska Air Group and its results in next week’s issue, along with Allegiant, Hawaiian and JetBlue.)
The results from Southwest were not overly impressive. In addition, analyst Jamie Baker with JP Morgan got into a rather interesting discussion with management at the airline concerning “brand.”
In a follow-up note to investors, Baker made the point that it seems the airline continues to make decisions based on brand, and not necessarily maximization of returns to investors and improved profitability.
It is an interesting concept, and we basically agree with him.
Of course we talk about about the American Airlines-US Airways merger process. Lots of things to talk about on that front this week, including our take on the rumors that Tom Horton, who is currently Chairman, President and CEO of AMR, might possibly stay on with the merged airline in some capacity — perhaps Chairman.
To say this story caused an avalanche of emails at the Worldwide Headquarters today would be an understatement.
Then there is Boeing — and that little problem of battery fires on its 787s. Boeing reported earnings today. We’ll catch you up on the latest with the company’s comments concerning the 787, and we update you on the latest progress in the hunt to find out just what the problem is.
All this, and much, much, more, including the Republic Holdings/AMR/Embraer deal, in this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter.