Monthly Archives: October 2007

Blue Dog Shocked

LOL. I just went to add a permalink to the last post that would link the earlier photo of Gary to the post, and the post with Gary’s photo is now positioned such that our Blue Dog is directly opposite. Looks like the Blue Dog just caught a glimpse of Gary.

That’s Edna Turnblad to You

Oh, just in case some of you don’t recognize Gary Kelly’s intended visage — that’s his take on Edna Turnblad, the mother of Tracy Turnblad — both of whom are characters in “Hairspray.”

The role was most recently reprised by John Travolta in the movie version of John Water’s work.

Anyone else have any airline Halloween pics? What are you folks doing at Frontier this year? Will CEO Sean Menke keep the tradition of “dressing up for Halloween” alive for the management team? (I don’t know if I’ll ever get over Jeff Potter dressed as a hairy-armed Snow White.)

Doug Parker, Scott Kirby, Derek Kerr and Elise Eberwein at US Airways — you guys doing anything crazy today?

Let us hear from you.

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American Airlines’ APA President Sits Down With Terry Maxon

We had a whole list of things we needed to do yesterday, you know, real life things. (Not online things.)

As a result, we are playing catch-up today on some goings-on.

One of those was an interview in yesterday’s Dallas Morning News with the president of the Allied Pilots Association, Lloyd Hill, and reporter Terry Maxon. Maxon also posted more material from his interview in his blog.

Reading through the interview, and the additional material, this was the key exchange between Lloyd and Terry for me.

“MAXON: What about management wanting to start with your concessionary contract and negotiate downward from there?

HILL: Disappointing.

MAXON: How likely is it that the APA at the end of the day will agree with management and accept such a contract?

HILL: It ain’t going to happen. If they decide to go down that road, it’ll be one of a long line of miscalculations they’ve made so far.”

By the way, in visiting the Dallas Morning News website this morning, I couldn’t help but notice the list of “most emailed stories” in the bottom right corner of the home page. Here are the top three:

Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki puts a premium on privacy

Embalmed heads found in I-30 truck

Tex-Mex Thanksgiving recipes

Yeah boy. Just what I like to see. Tex-Mex Thanksgiving recipes served with a side of embalmed heads.

Whew. No wonder Dirk wants to keep his private life private.

Then again, there was the list of the “most read” stories. Here are the top three in that category:

Woman kills herself after holding 2 hostage at Plano doctor’s office

Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki puts a premium on privacy

Man’s body found beside Farmers Branch road

Wonder if the man’s body had a missing head?

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Judge Rules in Hawaiian Airlines/Mesa Air Group Dispute


Mesa’s Jonathan Ornstein had best get his checkbook out.

Breaking news from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin:

“Mesa Air Group, parent of interisland carrier go!, must pay Hawaiian Airlines $80 million for using confidential information obtained during Hawaiian’s bankruptcy to enter the Hawaii market, a federal judge ruled today.

Bankruptcy Judge Robert Faris, who had taken the matter under advisement on Oct. 4 following a nine-day evidentiary hearing and trial, said Mesa breached a confidentiality agreement by failing to return to Hawaiian or destroy evaluation material on a timely basis, then using that material to gain a competitive advantage when entering the Hawaii market.

Faris also ruled that Mesa must pay Hawaiian interest of 3.97 percent per annum as of the date of today’s ruling, but denied Hawaian’s request for a one-year injunction against go! for selling tickets because he said the award of the money damages adequately redressed the harm suffered by Hawaiian.”

More info here.

Our first take? About what we had expected. Judge Faris basically split the money request down the middle and let’s go! continue to fly. I never thought he would shut the airline down. The only question was how much in damages he would award to Hawaiian. (Please see this post for an updated take.)

$80 million is no small hit for Mesa. Should be interesting to hear the Mesa response to the ruling. Nothing yet. Guess we’ll hear from them tomorrow.

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

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Northwest Airlines: We Told You So

Northwest 747 Tail

What did we say about Northwest before they came out of their spa stay in bankruptcy?

I believe it went something like this: Look out, because when Northwest comes out of bankruptcy, they are going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Today, we saw just how much of a force the airline has become.

The airline rolled out third quarter numbers today and they were excellent. Makes you wonder how good they would have been had the airline been able to schedule all of its flights in July and August.

For the quarter, the airline posted a profit of $244 million, or $0.93 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier net loss of $1.18 billion, or $13.50 a share. The prior-year included $1.43 billion in reorganization costs.

Revenue dipped 0.9% to $3.38 billion, as Northwest cut seat capacity to trim less profitable routes.

The mean estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial was for earnings of $0.76 cents a share on revenue of $3.36 billion.

Here We Go Again: Oil Closes at Yet Another New High: $93.53/Barrel

Read it and weep.

“Pushing prices higher today? Mexico’s state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos, one of the largest crude suppliers to the U.S., halted production of 600,000 barrels a day due to inclement weather on Sunday. Petroleos Mexicanos, also known as Pemex, said it hopes to resume production in days.

Mexico is U.S.’s second largest crude supply country after Canada, shipping 1.66 million barrels a day in the first eight months, according to the Energy Department. Pemex is Mexico’s largest company with annual revenue of nearly $100 billion. It’s also the third largest producer of crude oil in the world, according to the company’s website.”

SAS Yanks Bombarder Q400s — Permanently


Citing “diminished confidence in the aircraft,” Scandinavian airline SAS has issued a statement today stating that it has decided to immediately discontinue use of the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft.

The announcement comes after yet another “incident” involving the aircraft and SAS.

Saturday an SAS Q400 crash landed at Copenhagen airport. There were no deaths or serious injuries reported in the accident.

On Sept. 9, an SAS Q400 caught fire after its landing gear failed upon arrival in Aalborg, Denmark. Five of the 69 passengers onboard were injured. On Sept. 12, a portion of yet another SAS Q400’s landing gear collapsed after the plane landed in Vilnius, Lithuania.

The two crashes in September prompted a grounding of all Q400s worldwide. The grounding and subsequent aircraft inspections showed evidence of corrosion in the landing gear mechanisms of other aircraft.

“Confidence in the Q400 has diminished considerably and our customers are becoming increasingly doubtful about flying in this type of aircraft,” said SAS CEO Mats Jansson in a statement.

The move came after Scandinavian aviation authorities on Saturday issued a new flight ban on all SAS’s Q400 turboprops.

The airline said that it will seek compensation of $87 million from Bombardier. No matter what the cause of the incident was on Saturday, this is one very black eye for Bombardier.

This can’t be good news for Horizon Airlines, the regional partner of Alaska Air Group either. The airline has 33 Q400s underfoot with an order in place for 15 additional aircraft. Frontier Airlines has also structured its new Lynx Aviation unit around the aircraft. Frontier has taken delivery of five of 10 total aircraft on order.

Bloomberg reports that Bill Conniff, spokesperson for Alaska AIr Group, said today that Horizon plans to keep flying its Q400 fleet.

PBB Now Posted

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Okay, all you PlaneBusiness Banter subscribers. Your almost 50-page earnings packed issue is now posted! Yep, this week’s issue is a great one. ExpressJet’s Jim Ream talks about his airline’s experiment in 50-seat branded flying, United’s Glenn Tilton gives us new examples of Tilton’s Tortured Tidbits for the archives, Dave Barger explains how JetBlue is changing its game plan, Bryan Bedford tells us how difficult the pilot attrition problem has been for his airline, and Doug Parker gives us an [expletive deleted.]

That and more in this week’s issue.

Not a subscriber? Not a problem. Just click here to get started.

All for now guys.