Good evening everyone! This week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted. We are a bit long this week, but not surprising. There is a lot of stuff going on, including the continued operational issues at American Airlines.
Then again, the American story took another turn over the last week, after the airline suffered at least three incidents in which seats on an American 757 came loose while in-flight.
We talk at length this week about how the airline botched the handling of the story, how the airline continues to get beaten up in the press, and why all of this just validates what we already knew –the management team at the airline needs to change.
I’m not sure how much longer all of this is going to continue, but apparently Tom Horton has dug in his heels and is committed to walking away with what some folks have estimated could be as much as $60 million in bankruptcy exit payouts.
Meanwhile, United Airlines has quietly rolled out is new easy-peasy customer service GUI that alleviates the need to go back to the green screen. Everything we hear about the switch has been positive. Would have helped if the airline had done this six months ago, but what the hey.
Speaking of United, CEO Jeff Smisek was on CNBC last week talking about the airline’s new 787s, er, the “game-changer.” I have officially banned the use of that word again. I think it’s become a parody. I don’t want any United execs to use it again.
Time to come up with a new marketing tag. That one has gone stale. Causes acute rolling of the eyes of customers and employees alike.
Delta, United, and US Airways all updated their September PRASM numbers and their 3Q results over the last week. US Airways and Delta should still post a small uptick in PRASM for September, but the increase is going to be less than forecast. As for United Airlines, the airline looks like it continued to underperform its peers by a significant margin in September — and it looks like the airline will do the same for the quarter.
Meanwhile, analyst 3Q estimates for US Airways were raised substantially today as the airline forecast lower fuel prices and lower maintenance costs than expected.
We answer a number of subscriber questions this week on AMR — subscribers can send us any question they want to have answered. We’ll try and print as many as we can each week.
Some labor news from the last week: We’ll talk about both the flight attendants and the pilots at US Airways.
We also run down the 3Q airline sector stock performance results this week — as well as our normal weekly look at which stocks fared well last week and which ones took a vacation.
All this and more in this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter.