Monthly Archives: March 2013

Hello All!

Pardon our dust. We are migrating our main website and PlaneBuzz to a new server. This means that for a little while things are going to look weird, and probably not work 100%. (Since we are all in the airline industry we are all familiar with cutover projects.)

Bear with us. It will get better!

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted

Good evening everyone. This week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted.

Yes, it’s a Friday night edition this week. I think we’ll probably have another one published on Friday next week as well. Does screw up the Market Review section. I ended up putting charts and graphs in for both last week and this week. I trust subscribers can figure it all out! Just a necessary evil when yours truly is traipsing about the countryside.

This week it was Orlando and the 2013 ISTAT Americas conference.

Next week I’m off to San Diego and a Travelport Executive Client Retreat.

The next week? New York.

That’s as far as I’m going out on the calendar. But April is pretty nutty as well.

As I said, this week I was in Orlando at the ISTAT Americas Conference. For those of you who are not familiar with the organization, this is the conference you attend if you lease, sell, buy, maintain, refurb, convert, or part out an aircraft. Or you provide the financing to do any of the above.

Was a great conference as always. For those of you who have never attended, I like to think of it as the equivalent of the Paris Air Show. Only on U.S. soil. No planes underfoot or above you, but just as many deals being transacted in the rooms around the main event.

We talk about our main takeaway from the conference this week, as well as a whole lot of other things including the record breaking loss Virgin Atlantic seems poised to report for its fiscal year ending Feb. 28th.

We also talk about the TSA’s plan to allow certain knives, along with other odd things, onboard aircraft. Both Delta CEO Richard Anderson and US Airways CEO Doug Parker have come out against the proposed changes, as have most airline employee union groups. American also sent a letter this week in which it voices its displeasure with the proposed changes.

I say “most” union groups because there is on big exception — the Air Line Pilots Association says they support the changes.

The FAA gave Boeing the okay to begin “retrofitting” its 787s this week with new batteries, a new compartment to put them in, and a special vent to make sure any fumes or smoke can be removed from the inside of the cockpit.

PBB readers know where I am on this: I still say the cause of the problem has not been found, and that this is not the end of the electrical issues on the aircraft.

It’s been a great two weeks for airline stocks — and I’ll tell you why bankrupt shares of AMR have moved up sharply the last two weeks.

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

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

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Let’s see if this works this week. I never could get Movable Type to behave itself last week. I hope it refrains from giving me fits again. I have better things to do.

Oh, hello! This week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted. Finally!

As I tell subscribers this week, our publishing schedule is going to be a bit, er, erratic for the next six weeks or so as yours truly hits the road. Or, more accurately, the skies. Conferences, presentations, and more conferences.

But hey, it beats sitting on the chair at the Worldwide Headquarters. I think subscribers benefit when I am out and about.

This weekend I travel to Orlando, where I will attend that wonderful gathering of testosterone and airplanes — the ISTAT Americas Conference. The next week? I’ll be presenting at a meeting of Travelport’s best clients out in San Diego.

Meanwhile, this week we have a lot to talk about. First, we wrap up the 4Q earnings parade of planes as we do an in-depth look at the results reported last week by Republic Holdings.

We also review and compare the 4Q 2012 break-even load factors and operating expenses for the sector. Bottomline? These charts simply reinforce how horrible United Airlines’ fourth quarter results were.

On the US Airways/American front, we have so much news I can’t begin to go over it all. In addition, yours truly spoke last weekend at the Association of Professional Flight Attendants Convention in Fort Lauderdale. It was a blast.

Then there was the JPMorgan Transportation Conference in New York this week. There were some interesting tidbits to come out of the conference, including a statement from Southwest Airline’s CFO Tammy Romo as to whether or not “Bags Fly Free” is an important recognized part of the airline’s brand. She says no. I disagree.

We also talk about the latest research report from Bob McAdoo at Imperial Capital. This one is on US Airways, and is basically a follow-up to Bob’s excellent report on American a couple of years ago. Short and sweet? The airline’s costs were never the problem. It was the airline’s inability to produce revenues.

PBB fans know I’ve been touting exactly the same sentiment for years.

Bob feels strongly that most people don’t understand that the true value to this merger is in the expertise and ability of the management team that is coming in — that of US Airways. The “Doug and Scott” synergies.

All of this, in addition to turtles mating on the beach, pigs flying, and photon showers — in this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter.