Monthly Archives: April 2013

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

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Hello everyone. It has been a long day for yours truly. Actually a long two days, as this week’s issue was compressed into a two day writing adventure. Tomorrow, I will be at this year’s US Airways’ Media Day bright and early. Put the two together, and yes, your PBB preview will be brief this evening!

This week we talk about some of the more interesting comments and discussions we heard at the recent CAPA “Airlines in Transition” Conference in Dublin. Essentially, forget the old rules is what it comes down to. The airline industry, worldwide, is going through a period of instability and change.


You shouldn’t be. As positive as consolidation has been for the industry in the US, we still have problems. There are still airlines that get it — and those that don’t. Alliances? The branded alliances are merely one part of what an airline should be looking at in terms of JVs, partnerships and more. Low cost carriers? Some of them want to try and steal some of that high-yield business while some legacy carriers are trying to compete with the low-cost guys.

It’s a jungle out there.

We also talk this week about the latest on the AMR merger, we give you one Wall Street analyst’s views on just how much sequestration could cost the industry, and well, you know, we talk about a lot of other things as well.

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



PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

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Hello everyone. It’s that time again. The latest issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted.

Last week yours truly was traipsing around Dublin, where I attended the CAPA “Airlines in Transition” Conference. But before that, I ventured down to Austin, where I spoke to the fine  folks at the GBTA Texas Education Day, sponsored by the Austin Business Travel Association.

As a result, we had really too much to talk about in this week’s issue. I’ll follow up in our next issue with all the goodies we didn’t have room for this week.

Another thing I did last week was fly out of Love Field. It was the first time I’ve flown out of the airport since they opened the new check-in areas. This week they opened up the gate areas. I may have to plan another trip on Southwest Airlines just so I can  check out the new digs. For those of you who live in the DFW area and have not yet seen the new terminal upgrades, you’re in for a real treat.

In this week’s issue I also talk about the feedback I received from the business travel group in Austin. Bottomline? Since it was pretty much a Texas-centric group, Southwest Airlines was top of mind. Unfortunately for Southwest,  that position was not because of positive reasons. Yep. Heard a lot of complaints. About a number of things.

Meanwhile, when I was in Dublin, Travelport rolled out their new hybrid GDS product — the one they had been hinting about last month when I was out in San Diego speaking to their top clients.

I like it. A lot. easyJet is the company’s first client that is using the new hybrid product that lets agents and TMCs access both direct connection feeds and more traditional GDS listings all on one screen.

From an airline perspective, it allows an airline to provide content in either the more traditional manner as is the case now with the GDS companies — or the airline can provide fare and product information directly through an API.

More on all this in this week’s issue as well.

We also get you up to speed on the traffic stats for March, the DOT Air Travel Consumer results from February, and all kinds of other stuff as well.

In our next issue, I’ll talk more about  the conference in Dublin — and I’ll give my review of Delta Air Lines’ new Business Elite lie flat seats. I’ll give you a hint — as tall as I am, I could stretch out completely flat. THAT is a good thing.

But that is next week.

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted

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Hello everyone. It’s that time again. Yes, the magical mystery publishing date of PlaneBusiness Banter hit the “Monday” box this week.

This week we have a great issue — for one main reason.

We have a new PBB Lounge Lizard Transcript Interview! Yay! This week we sit down and chat with Laura Glading, President of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants. Let me put it this way. Laura has a lot to say. And I had a lot of time.

Unfortunately because the American Airlines/US Airways merger is still not completed, and American is still in bankruptcy, I have to admit — there were some entertaining stories that, well, will just have to stay off the record for now. But someday….

We talk a lot this week about why airline stocks fell flat on their face last week. We also get some expert opinion on the situation from Jamie Baker and Mark Streeter with JP Morgan; Hunter Keay with Wolfe Trahan; and Glenn Engel with Bank of America/Merrill Lynch. 

I wonder when Bank of America will finally drop the “Merrill Lynch” moniker?

We update you on the Boeing 787 saga, we show you a picture of a happy CEO and his large mouth bass, we talk about the new 47 page opus the FAA just sent out to airlines — the particulars on the new schedule/duty hours changes the  airlines are supposed to make before Jan. 4, and we also have a couple of interesting letters to digest and consider.

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



home-typewriter copy 1Whew. We made it. Between a new server migration and April Fools’ day, it’s been a jam-packed couple of days at the PlaneBusiness Worldwide Headquarters.

This week’s edition of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted. Subscribers please note: If you have our log in page bookmarked, you will need to change that link. The new log in address is:

This week we’re talking about the Doug and Tom Show. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved the merger between US Airways and American Airlines last week. Meanwhile, American Airlines’ Chairman and CEO Tom Horton ramped up the revisionist history stories at the Wings Club Luncheon last week  — now the merger was not only his idea, but he was only just “playing poker” last year when he continued to rebuff the advances of US Airways. 

Right Tom. Keep telling yourself that. But I have something to share with you: nobody believes you. And for good reason.

We also had a chance to spend some time with Ken Kaufman last week in New York. He is one half of the KaufmanFranco design team that has been given the task of creating new uniforms for more than 70,000 employees of the new American Airlines. I liked what I heard from Ken. Any project like this is a massive undertaking, but I think KaufmanFranco is on the right page in terms of how they want the employees to look and the image they need to project. Classy, but functional. Not trendy and non-versatile.

On the airline stock front, it was a blockbuster first quarter for the airline sector. We tell you who the big winners were. (And there were very few losers!)

Boeing. Oh Boeing. Where do we start? It looks like Airbus is going to snatch a nice A350-1000 order with IAG — as opposed to the new Boeing 777X aircraft. Or at least that’s what Jon Ostrower at the Wall Street Journal is reporting tonight.

Meanwhile the Boeing 787 saga continues. Nobody still knows what caused the two batteries to melt down, and the company has yet to fly the test flight in which they will deliberately try to obliterate the battery. But the company still says the aircraft will be flying commercially again “very soon”.

Meanwhile, more airlines are getting testy about cash compensation from Boeing as a result of the continued grounding of the 787. None of this “discounts on future purchases”. Patience can only go so far.

On the analyst front, this week we look at recent comments from Morgan Stanley analyst John Godyn concerning the industry as a whole, and United and Delta in particular. We also look at the updated American/US Airways merger profit and revenue forecasts issued by JP Morgan analysts Jamie Baker and Mark Streeter.

We had a ton of subscriber letters this week. Thank you, thank you. We also give you our take on what our favorite Airline April Fool efforts were Monday.

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

Oh, and please pardon the dust and packing boxes here in PlaneBuzz. The new stuff from Restoration Hardware is still in the boxes. (Including that very cool but very overpriced aviator desk! Yeah. Right.)

Look for additional sprucing up as we get more up to speed on our WordPress skills!

Site Migration Update

Hello everyone. The migration to the new server is pretty much completed. Still waiting on a few small things to be taken care of.

PlaneBusiness Banter will be posted later today — and no, this is not an April Fools’ joke. I don’t think.