Gobble, gobble, gobble. This week’s Turkey Day Edition of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted.
Clearly the big news is that which came down this morning — U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane approved AMR’s restructuring plan which means the airline can now exit bankruptcy and merge with US Airways.
It’s been one long two years.
Closing date is now set for Dec. 9, as had been anticipated.
But if you think this means the DOJ anti-trust case is over, au contraire. The fight over just which airlines are going to allowed to bid on slots that are given up by the two airlines has just started. Then there is the matter of the two gates at Dallas Love Field that American Airlines has been ordered to give up as part of the DOJ settlement. Delta Air Lines wants to keep them. (They currently lease them from American). And they want even more gates if they can get them.
But didn’t the DOJ say these divested assets had to go to “low fare” airlines? That’s correct.
But Delta is arguing that is not fair. I’m sure United is going to join into the fray in a big way before this is all over as well.
This fight is going to get much more heated before it is settled. No question.
This week I also talk about my recent trip to United Airline’s Global Gateway at Newark. I learned a lot about the changes that are coming to the airport, including a $100 million plus in-line baggage screening and delivery system, removal of the old blocky structures that used to house the screeners in the check-in areas, a new Global Services check-in location, 20% more capacity for check-ins at Terminal C, and all kinds of other goodies.
Oh and United’s new satellite-based Wi-Fi product? It rocks. It’s fast. It’s awesome.
Of course the only problem is that it is not installed on that many aircraft yet.
But trust me — you’ll love it.
Business Travel News issued its annual Corporate Travel Airline Survey last week. The survey questions corporate travel buyers. Last year Delta Air Lines dominated the survey. This year they did it again, but we had a lot movement underneath Delta, and in fact, American picked up some ground on Delta in a couple of categories. But the airline that posted the biggest improvement year-over-year was……
You’ll have to read this week’s issue to find out.
It was another great week for airline stocks last week. We tell you who was naughty and nice.
All this — and much, much more, in this week’s Turkey Day edition of PlaneBusiness Banter.