It’s Tuesday. The Libyans are shooting at each other. Do you know where your favorite airline stock closed today? You don’t want to know. Do you know how much the price of oil increased today? Jet fuel? Ditto.
Today was an airline industry CFO’s worst nightmare.
In this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter I talk about the current goings-on in the Middle East and just how much of an impact these events could have on airline financial results in the short term.
Before the people in Libya began shooting at each other, though, there were a lot of other things that happened last week that we will be talking about as well.
First, we talk in-depth about the fourth quarter earnings results and the fourth quarter earnings call for Pinnacle Airlines Corp. The airline is in the middle of a major transformation of itself. First it is taking three separate airlines and ending up with only two airlines. In addition, the airline’s contract with Delta Air Lines will not compensate the airline for its higher pilot contract costs (the TA was just ratified by all three pilot groups last week) until much later in the year. As a result, the numbers going forward into 2011 are going to be kind of ugly. Until all of this is sorted out.
But the business plan remains the same, the airline continues to build its Q400 fleet, and well, we’ll give you the lowdown.
In other news, the FAA held its forecasting forum last week in DC. Not a whole lot of news from the forum, but the FAA does forecast very slow growth continuing in the US domestic market for years to come.
On the international side, meanwhile, the IATA said last week that it expects international airline profits to decline 40% in 2011, down from 2010’s $15 billion plus figure.
We take a look at comparisons of operating margins and break-even load factors for the fourth quarter this week. Three airlines took the top three positions in each metric. Know which ones they were?
Air fare hikes? Oh yes, we talk about those too. Ones that failed, and ones that appear to have “taken.” You know the rest of the industry denizens are happy when Southwest Airlines rolls out a fare increase. And that is exactly what happened on Friday.
Airline stocks were fairly quiet last week — the calm before the storm I suppose you could say.
Anyway, as usual, all this and more — in this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter.
Subscribers can access this week’s issue by clicking here.