Tag Archives: airline CEOs

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

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Hello everyone. Just a short note this week to let you know that this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted.

PBB is posted a bit earlier than usual this week, as yours truly is headed out to Las Vegas in a couple of hours, where I will attend The BeatLive Conference.

This will mark the fourth year I’ve attended this corporate travel get-together of industry heavyweights, and I look forward once again to getting my corporate travel gossip fix for the year.

Jay Campbell, the founder of The Beat, has challenged all attendees of the conference to join him in a SkyJump off the Stratosphere. (You freefall from 108 stories up.) Think I should do it? I’ll keep you posted.

This week we’re talking more about the great third quarter guidance we keep hearing from all the US airlines (although one major airline will still post a loss…guess who?) and of course we’re talking about Boeing’s 747-8 launch debacle involving Cargolux. What a mess that is.

In other news, we also break down the second quarter earnings news from Virgin America, which was released Friday by the airline. (As Virgin is not publicly traded, they report their numbers to the DOT and they are not released until much later than the rest of the sector.)

You know what they say about companies that issue press releases on Friday. That’s right. It’s usually an indication they’d prefer the information was somewhat ignored.

Looking at the numbers posted by Virgin, I can understand why.

How did they stack up compared to the recent second quarter results posted by the rest of the North American airline group? We’ll fill you in.

Meanwhile it sounds like the mothership of the Virgin empire, Virgin Atlantic is set to announce an alliance hook-up. If it’s not Star, I’ll be very, very, very, surprised.

We’ve got the latest on jet fuel, and more importantly we tell you how well the US airline sector fared on Wall Street last week — after all those bullish comments the various airline execs made at the Deutsche Bank Transportation Conference.

Oh, and Shoshana Hebshi? We talk about her experience flying on 9/11 as well. If you have not read her blog post in which she details what happened to her — including being strip-searched — after being taken off a Frontier Airlines flight in handcuffs on September 11, it’s a must read.

Fear. It’s not a good thing.

Meanwhile, in our column this week, I give props to the current crop of airline CEOs. You know why? They deserve it. I’ll tell you why it’s a good thing the industry now appears to be led by a group of adults rather than a bunch of flamboyant “characters.”

All this and more in this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter.

On that note, I don’t want to miss my flight to Vegas. Gotta go. Talk to you guys later!

PlaneBusiness Subscriber New Log-In Update

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Hello everyone. Holly here.

As of about 20 minutes ago, all of us here at the Worldwide Headquarters *believe* (important word here) that the new log-in system for PlaneBusiness Banter is now working properly.

We had a few hiccups this afternoon as we made the cutover, but I think those small annoying problems have all been taken care of.

What does this mean if you are a subscriber to PlaneBusiness Banter?

It means that your previous user name and password that you used to access PBB prior to this week no longer works. It’s done. Toast. Dead.

If you have not received an email from us yet — assigning you a new assigned user name and password, or if you have any other questions concerning the change, please contact our subscription manager.

PlaneBusiness Banter Posted!

Greetings to all on what was a very hot Memorial Day here in the Dallas-Ft.Worth Metromess.

I hope all of you had a good Memorial Day holiday and most importantly, I hope all of you took a minute between bites of your grilled hamburgers to thank those who serve this country in our Armed Forces. Or who have served.

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The latest issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted. Subscribers can access the newly posted issue here.

This week I talk about the new “ugly girl” in the industry. Yep, I’m talking about American Airlines and that airline’s merger options.

But American is in the news for other things — including yet another TA with a TWU-represented employee group. However, to say the union leadership gave the deal a lukewarm endorsement would be an understatement.

British Airways saw itself in the middle of yet another strike by its cabin crew members today. This one started on Sunday and as today is a Bank Holiday in the U.K, the work slowdown will probably hit the airline a bit more than the last one. Which just ended on Friday of last week.

I know. It’s pure insanity.

This last week airline stocks had a great week with shares of US Airways leading the pack. Handily. The main reason for this sudden burst of vitality? Two bullish analyst notes. JP Morgan analyst Jamie Baker upgraded the entire sector, and had very positive things to say about US Airways in particular. His comments were then followed by a bullish American Airlines/US Airways research note issued by Bob McAdoo with Avondale Partners just a few hours later.

The combined one-two punch was clearly felt across the sector, but especially in shares of US Airways.

Is the Porter Airlines IPO in trouble? First quarter numbers sure didn’t help it much.

Virgin Blue had a surprise for its investors this week, and in our Market Review this week we talk about the resurgence of private equity support for the aircraft leasing sector.

All this and more in this week’s edition of PlaneBusiness Banter.

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

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This week’s mega-earnings issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted. Subscribers can access this week’s issue here.

What is on the agenda this week? First, we have in-depth reviews of the earnings calls from AirTran, Allegiant, and WestJet.

But that is just the start.

Our first column from this year’s Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airline Symposium discusses a presentation that was made at this year’s event by Adrian Slywotzky, economist, author, and partner with Oliver Wyman – the consulting firm that works with the airport to put on the Symposium.

The subject of his presentation? The airline industry is not the only “no-profit” industry out there. And yes, there are competitors in other “no-profit” industries who have figured out ways to improve profitability. Are there lessons here for the airlines? Yes.

Our second column this week is our first take from the recent US Airways Media Day. Coming just a day after the airline’s earnings call and just a couple of days after the airline said it wasn’t talking to the powers-that-be in Chicago anymore — the airline still managed to give us some information we’d never seen before.

All that plus the manic moves on Wall Street last week, the NMB’s news from today, the DOT’s decision on the proposed slot swap, American’s decision to hold its annual meeting away from the madding crowds, and more. In this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter.

Shocker: Larry Kellner to Leave Continental At End of Year

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Frankly, there is usually very little that shocks me about this industry. Surprises me, yes. Piques my curiosity, yes. But shocks me — no.

But I got caught out in left field on this one.

This afternoon Continental CEO Larry Kellner announced in a letter to employees, and in a press release, that he was leaving the company, effective the end of the year.

But wait, he’s just not leaving as CEO. He’s leaving his position as Chairman of the Board of the airline as well.

Gone.

Kellner is leaving the airline to head up a new private investment firm, Emerald Creek Group, LLC.

The airline announced that Jeff Smisek, President and COO of Continental, will succeed Larry as CEO and Chairman of the Board.

How about that?

Another good one bites the dust.