This week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted.
It’s been a busy week in Airlineland as both Southwest Airlines and American Airlines reported their 2Q2012 earnings last week. In addition, the Global Business Travel Association opened up its yearly convention Sunday night.
Monday, Virgin America, JetBlue and American all rolled out new product announcements as part of the convention.
We review the news, including American’s plans to put both first and business class lie-flat beds on their new Airbus A321 transcon flights (say what?) in this week’s issue.
Speaking of American, no, the airline did not make a profit as it touted in its press releases. The airline posted a loss. One has to be careful listening to the airline tout its performance in the 2Q, as a lot of that year-over-year improvement is because the airline is working from such a low starting point in 2011. Operating margin was improved, for example, but it’s still not exceptional.
As for Southwest, while the airline reported better than expected 2Q numbers, guidance for the third quarter was a bit softer than had been forecast. We have our new “lite” version of the Southwest Airlines earnings call coverage in this week’s issue.
One thing is for sure — one topic dominated the airline’s earnings call. That topic was the airline’s divestiture of its AirTran 717 fleet. We still say this was the Deal of the Century for Delta Air Lines.
Meanwhile, United Continental shook up the markets Tuesday when it said its previous 2Q PRASM estimates were higher than they should have been. Say what?
So now that we know revenues are going to be even less than forecast, are we taking bets that costs are going to be higher? I’ve not seen an airline with lousy operations post “better than expected” cost numbers, have you?
On the AMR Bankruptcy Follies side of the house, we talk this week about the ridiculous “Oatmeal Summit” and we talk about what Doug Parker had to say up in Washington last week at the National Press Club.
And yes, we give you our take on how we would vote — if indeed we were able to vote — on the APA tentative agreement.
All this and much, much more — in this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter.