Monthly Archives: September 2012

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

home-typewriter copy 1.jpgGood evening everyone. This week’s edition of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted.

What, pray tell, are we talking about this week?

I’m sure you won’t be surprised to know we talk a lot about the escalating disaster that is American Airlines. I think a lot of people are missing the bigger picture in terms of what is happening at the airline. This is not just a “pilot/management” pissing match. It’s much worse.

Meanwhile, across the pond, we try to get you caught up with all the latest potential “coupling” updates, including whether Qatar is going to get cozy with British Airways, whether British Airways is going to buy the Irish government’s stake in Aer Lingus, and whether or not Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary is still remotely interested in actually buying a piece of Aer Lingus or not. Our answer? No.

Back on this side of the pond, Air Canada’s CFO Mike Rousseau rolled out a lot of additional details about that airline’s new low cost subsidiary last week to a CIBC analyst conference. The information got investors excited apparently, as shares of the airline posted the largest gain of any airline stock we track for the week.

Reports say that Delta’s refinery subsidiary has started to make jet fuel. Don’t know about you, but I’m still excited about this project.

Another project I got to get a first hand look at last week that got me excited was Lufthansa System’s new onboard wireless IFE system, BoardConnect. I sat down with the folks from Lufthansa Systems at the APEX Conference in Long Beach. No question about it — the concept is the best option I’ve seen out there. If I owned an airline, I’d install it on my airplanes.

We have our usual letters this week, including a rebuttal to American Airlines’ claim that my tweet concerning the pilot contract terms harkened mostly back to the April Term Sheet.

Virgin America announced its second quarter 2012 earnings on Monday. Richard Branson can honestly say he has an investment in a non-profit entity in the U.S. Still.

Oh, and of course we address the major aircraft-related question of the week — why is it that windows in airplanes don’t open? And who is going to do something about this?

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

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

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Good evening my friends. Welcome back to the show that never ends.

Where is Holly this week? Last week I was in Nashville at The Beat Live. This week I’m in Long Beach at the APEX Convention. Next week? Back to the Worldwide Headquarters.

This week there’s no question what the top news story is for the airline sector — the meltdown in operations at American Airlines. What’s going on and is it going to get better or worse?

Then there are the July DOT Airline Travel Consumer Report numbers. We all only thought United’s numbers in June were bad. They were even worse in July. The good thing? Things are finally trending in a positive direction. Unlike what is happening in Dallas.

SkyWest announced a new deal with American last week. In addition the airline announced a huge stock buy back authorization. No wonder shares in the airline took off.

Unfortunately things were just the opposite at Spirit. The airline announced that it will see RASM figures under what they had originally estimated for the third quarter. A one-time thing — or a more worrisome pattern? We talk about it.

Is Frontier Airlines “penalizing” its passengers by giving those who book on the airline’s website a better deal? We don’t think so.

The word(s) of the conference at this year’s The Beat Live were: Big data.

The word(s) to describe the current “opt-in” number for the American Airlines‘ flight attendants who are going to accept the airline’s offer of an enhanced retirement package? Almost 2000.

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

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

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Hello all. A rather short review of this week’s issue this week, as yours truly is off to an event that is part of this year’s The Beat Live Conference in Nashville.

Long and the short? This week’s issue is now published!
Subscribers can access this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter here!

September 11, 2001


Hello everyone.

I am sitting at The Beat Live Conference in Nashville — one of the best conferences for the corporate travel management side of the house. The conference opened with a moment of silence in honor of those who lost their lives on 9/11.

As I always do each year, both here, and in PlaneBusiness Banter, I prefer to particularly remember those airline employees who lost their lives that day.

Yes, there were thousands of people who lost their lives that day. But for those of us who follow this industry, work in this industry, or simply continue to be fascinated by its endearing dysfunctionality, the loss of four airline crews that day hit us hard. And it still hurts.

This is our corner of the world. And as I see it, the courage and bravery of these crewmembers deserve our heartfelt acknowledgment. And remembrance.

American Airlines Flight 11, Boston to Los Angeles, crashed into the World Trade Center.

CREW: John Ogonowski, Dracut, Mass., Captain; Thomas McGuinness, Portsmouth, N.H., First Officer; Barbara Arestegui, flight attendant; Jeffrey Collman, flight attendant; Sara Low, flight attendant; Karen Martin, flight attendant; Kathleen Nicosia, flight attendant; Betty Ong, flight attendant; Jean Roger, flight attendant; Dianne Snyder, flight attendant; Madeline Sweeney, flight attendant.

United Airlines Flight 175, Boston to Los Angeles, crashed into the World Trade Center.

CREW: Victor J. Saracini, Lower Makefield Township, Pa., Captain; Michael Horrocks, First Officer; Amy Jarret, flight attendant; Al Marchand, flight attendant; Amy King, flight attendant; Kathryn Laborie, flight attendant; Michael Tarrou, flight attendant; Alicia Titus, flight attendant.

American Airlines Flight 77, Washington to Los Angeles, crashed into the Pentagon.

CREW: Charles Burlingame, Captain; David Charlebois, First Officer; Michele Heidenberger, flight attendant; Jennifer Lewis, flight attendant; Kenneth Lewis, flight attendant; and Renee May, flight attendant.

United Airlines Flight 93, Newark, N.J., to San Francisco, crashed in Shanksville, Pa.

CREW: Jason Dahl, Colorado, Captain; Leroy Homer, Marlton, N.J., First Officer; Sandy Bradshaw, flight attendant; CeeCee Lyles, flight attendant; Lorraine Bay, flight attendant; Wanda Green, flight attendant; Deborah Welsh, flight attendant.

May they all be at peace in a much better place

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

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We’re baaack!

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends.

If it’s the week after Labor Day, that means it’s time for us to return to the fold and once again publish PlaneBusiness Banter.

This week we do our best to get back on track and update PlaneBusiness subscribers not only on the most recent industry news and notes, but we give you our take on some events that happened while we were making our way around the Western part of the country while on vacation.

American Airlines bankruptcy — check.

American Airlines CEO Tom Horton’s miscues — check.

APA’s sudden weak-kneed approach to management — check.

APFA’s strong stance on a US Airways merger — check.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane’s decision on Tuesday to allow the abrogation of the American pilot contract — check.

JetBlue’s brand new New York presence — check

JetBlue’s irritation at Tom Horton and American for continuing to imply JetBlue is in play — check.

US Airways and British Airways sign NDAs and begin due diligence process with American in regard to a merger — check.

United Airlines suffers horrible August — check…and check again.

United Airlines’ systems outage gives @FakeUnitedJeff A Treasure Trove of Material — check.

United Airlines’ systems outage shows airline’s glaring lack of Social Media presence — check.

United Airlines’ systems outage gives Social Media folks at American, Delta and Frontier Airlines a reason to shine — check.

Shares of SkyWest skyrocket in August…we tell you why — check.

Ryanair says it is willing to negotiate on Aer Lingus deal to get approval — check.

All this and more in this week’s issue — check.

Can you tell we’re in our pilot mode this week?

Subscribers can access this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter here.