Monthly Archives: October 2007

Flagship Detroit

Okay, enough jokes about American pilots flying DC-3s for food.

In all seriousness, that lovely bird that was parked at DFW today is the Flagship Detroit, and unlike its sister ship that is encased under glass at the C.R. Smith Museum, this bird still flies.

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The Flagship Detroit Foundation is dedicated to keeping the aircraft flying. Want to learn more? Click here.

Any Turboprop Pilots Out There?

If so, I offer this “scary” Halloween pumpkin, courtesy of “Cockpit Conversation.”

If you’ve never visited this blog, you need to. It is written by a female pilot who is based in Canada. As she says in her intro:

“This blog is about flying airplanes, learning to fly airplanes, advancing an aviation career in Canada, working as a commercial pilot, and commentary on aviation news. If you want the mixture of bad jokes, industry gossip, complaints, and not much of anything that comprises real cockpit conversations, log off the computer and go back to the crewroom.

It is not my intention to embarrass, slander or otherwise harm my employers, coworkers, customers or even my competitors. Therefore I will not identify companies or individuals, nor reveal corporate information, except in the context of public documents. There shall be no whining, no backstabbing, and no pictures of me, in or out of uniform.

I do reserve the right to make bad jokes.”

Check out the Aviatrix. She’s a good read.


Trick or Treat: American’s New Aircraft

We have it on the best authority that if the pilots at American Airlines don’t roll over for a new concessionary contract, this is what they are going to be reduced to flying. Thanks to one of our American friends who tells us these shots were taken at DFW today.

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Edna Turnblad Gets Checked Out By Dr. Kelleher

I think this one may take the prize for the day. I was going to save this for PlaneBusiness Banter, but hey, it’s too good not to post here.

Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest, aka Edna Turnblad, gets a thorough checking out by Dr. Kelleher. I mean, I don’t know what is better — Herb’s leer, or Gary’s expression of ……..whatever that expression is.

Is it just me, or does Herb look like he’s done this before?

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Better Picture of Scott Kirby’s Legs

Okay, I take back what I said. Scott, er, Toni, looks much better here, dontcha think? Better shot of those great legs too. Wonder what those clueless passengers in the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport thought about all this? That one guy looks like he’s enjoying it.

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More Scary Photos: Guess Who

It’s clearly a year for major Halloween cross-dressing on the part of airline execs.

Can you guess who these two lovelies are? Yes, that’s right. The Captain and Tennille. Kind of. Sort of.

All I have to say is that US Airways’ President Scott Kirby makes one ugly woman. (The Captain? That’s SVP of Corporate Culture, HR, Dog Catching and whatever else her title includes — Elise Eberwein.)

I guess Love Will Keep Them Together. (Anyone for a little Muskrat Love?)  Nice legs Scott.

Ticker: (LCC:NYSE)

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Crude Sets New High: $94.53


Trick or treat! The dollar hits a new all-time low, oil hits a new all-time high, and Wall Street rallies on news of a rate cut.

I think Wall Street has a bipolar disorder. It’s the only place I know where it’s time to celebrate because the Federal Reserve has been forced to cut rates because the housing market has fallen off a cliff.

Meanwhile, as we cut rates, those overseas continue to shake their heads  — and bid up the price of oil — which now costs them less than it did a month ago because the dollar continues to drop in value.

Got that? Okay. Forget it. It’s time to go trick or treating.

Hawaiian Airlines/Mesa Air Group Decision: Our Second Take


Just a couple of comments about the decision that was handed down late yesterday by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Faris in the case of Hawaiian Airlines versus Mesa Air Group.

Last night — on first blush, I thought Judge Faris had essentially split the difference in terms of what the airline had requested with his award of $80 million.

Not right. Not at all.

In reading through his decision more carefully today, it is clear that Judge Faris gave Hawaiian every single penny it asked for. According to Samuel Engel’s testimony from SH&E during the trial, the airline was due $71 million in damages for the period up until August. Tack on additional costs for the months of September and most of October, and that is where the $80 million figure comes in.

In the trial, Hawaiian was asking for a total of $173 million, but the rest of that amount was based on “speculation” for future losses.  In other words, it was an amount based on future go! operations.

So, in other words, Hawaiian Airlines is now free to sue Mesa again — for additional damages — for an additional period of time.

Today, Hawaiian said that it was now looking at its options in that regard.

Remember also that at the end of last quarter, Mesa had $250 million in cash in the bank. Based on that total, the judgment represents almost 1/3 of the airline’s available cash. To put it another way, if American Airlines were to face a similar damages judgment, the total would be comparable to a $1.7 billion award.

Not chicken feed. No matter how you look at it.

So — essentially Judge Faris not only delivered a ruling that was scathing of Mesa Air Group and its management, but he gave Hawaiian Airlines every penny it asked for.

But that was not the only “cost” to Mesa.

Remember that Aloha Airlines has its own anti-trust case coming up against Mesa next spring. In regards to that case, I think it would be fair to say that this trial succeeded in getting a great deal of information into the public record that the attorneys for Aloha can now use.

Just one additional tidbit. Aloha’s case is an anti-trust case. That means that any damages that could be potentially awarded to Aloha would be “trebled” or tripled – in plain English.

As for the market reaction, shares of Mesa fell 9% today, closing at $4.65, while shares of Hawaiian skyrocketed — both on the Mesa news and strong third quarter numbers. Shares here closed up 17% to $5.15.

Ticker: (Mesa:Nasdaq), (HA:AMEX)

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Surprise Drop in Oil Inventories Send Oil Prices Skyrocketing



Traders were not happy when the government reported the latest oil inventory figures today. They don’t like surprises, and after last week, the last thing they expected was to see the level of crude inventories drop …again.

But they did, and the result has been a thrill ride in the trading pits.

Crude supplies fell by 3.9 million barrels to 312.7 million barrels in the week ending Oct. 26, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday. Analysts had expected a build of 1.25 million barrels in crude stocks.

Refinery production was also sharply lower.

At last check, a barrel of light crude was now trading at about $94/barrel.

And here’s even more bad news. If the Fed announces another rate cut — look for the price of oil to surge even higher. That Fed announcement should come out here shortly.