Monthly Archives: November 2013

Turkey Day Edition of PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

home-typewriter copy 1Gobble, gobble, gobble. This week’s Turkey Day Edition of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted.

Clearly the big news is that which came down this morning — U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane approved AMR’s restructuring plan which means the airline can now exit bankruptcy and merge with US Airways. 

It’s been one long two years.

Closing date is now set for Dec. 9, as had been anticipated.

But if you think this means the DOJ anti-trust case is over, au contraire. The fight over just which airlines are going to allowed to bid on slots that are given up by the two airlines has just started. Then there is the matter of the two gates at Dallas Love Field that American Airlines has been ordered to give up as part of the DOJ settlement. Delta Air Lines wants to keep them. (They currently lease them from American). And they want even more gates if they can get them.

But didn’t the DOJ say these divested assets had to go to “low fare” airlines? That’s correct.

But Delta is arguing that is not fair. I’m sure United is going to join into the fray in a big way before this is all over as well.

This fight is going to get much more heated before it is settled. No question.

This week I also talk about my recent trip to United Airline’s Global Gateway at Newark. I learned a lot about the changes that are coming to the airport, including a $100 million plus in-line baggage screening and delivery system, removal of the old blocky structures that used to house the screeners in the check-in areas, a new Global Services check-in location, 20% more capacity for check-ins at Terminal C, and all kinds of other goodies.

Oh and United’s new satellite-based Wi-Fi product? It rocks. It’s fast. It’s awesome.

Of course the only problem is that it is not installed on that many aircraft yet.

But trust me — you’ll love it.

Business Travel News issued its annual Corporate Travel Airline Survey last week. The survey questions corporate travel buyers. Last year Delta Air Lines dominated the survey. This year they did it again, but we had a lot movement underneath Delta, and in fact, American picked up some ground on Delta in a couple of categories. But the airline that posted the biggest improvement year-over-year was……

You’ll have to read this week’s issue to find out.

It was another great week for airline stocks last week. We tell you who was naughty and nice.

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



PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

home-typewriter copy 1Hello everyone. This week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted.

We have a reasonably big issue this week, as we have two full in-depth earnings reports — WestJet and Air Canada. We also look at the recent earnings results from IAG, parent of British Airways, Air France/KLM, Lufthansa, Ryanair and LATAM. 

Of that group, which airline posted the best results for 3Q13? That’s right. IAG Group. Even though Iberia is still a part of the company!

Meanwhile, there was a lot going on in the industry this week. We have more news on the American Airlines- US Airways merger. There was a little session with the U.S. Bankruptcy Judge on Wednesday, but I’m not worried about that. I’ll tell you why.

Meanwhile, next Monday is the big day. That is the day that U.S. Bankruptcy  Judge Sean Lane is expected to accept the AMR plan of reorganization and set them free. Free to merge with US Airways. 

The chatter we continue to hear says that we should have a formal merger announcement sometime around Dec. 9.

In other news, it looks like we are headed for a nasty, ugly, expensive representational election for the combined flight attendant group at the New American. I’m disappointed. While membership of APFA outnumbers that of the AFA at US Airways, by a significant margin, APFA had been working for months with leaders of the AFA to bring them in as part of the process — rather than simply battening down the hatches in preparation for an unnecessary representational fight.

The two sides seemed very close the last month to coming to terms on an agreement that would have allowed leaders of both unions to work on a combined contract. But all of that now appears to have blown up — as AFA notified APFA that a meeting scheduled for 11/27 would now look at a totally new agenda.

In a letter that was publicly distributed this week, APFA President Laura Glading wrote the head of the AFA group at US Airways and effectively said, “No thanks.”

I think we’re headed to a representational fight here. And it didn’t have to be this way.

We have the latest DOT Air Consumer Travel Report numbers for September. Delta Air Lines continue to lead the legacy carriers in every metric, while Southwest Airlines and AirTran continued to post less-than-optimal numbers. Southwest, in fact, posted the worst on-time performance of any airline that reports to the DOT in September.

However — the airline still managed to take the first place nod in terms of having garnered the fewest number of complaints.

It was a great week for airline stocks. We’ll tell you why. We’ll also tell you why the New American Airlines will be listed on the Nasdaq and not the New York Stock Exchange.

And what is the deal with the American Airlines A319s and their seats? Is it the fault of maintenance being too rough on them when doing security inspections or the fault of the manufacturer? Whatever the reason, they continue to crack. Reliability on the aircraft is apparently abysmal as a result.

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



PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

home-typewriter copy 1Hello earthlings! This week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted. No surprise, I’m sure, but we are talking a lot about the DOJ settlement with American Airlines and US Airways that was released on Tuesday. We tell you what the deal really means — and not what the headlines you’ve been reading say it means.

We also give you a head’s up on what is now going to be the best show to watch — the fight for slots  the two airlines are being forced to divest themselves of. DOJ wants “LCCs” to get them. Only problem — what is an LCC? And why shouldn’t other airlines like Delta and United have a crack at them as well? Is Alaska an LCC? The fireworks haven’t even started yet.

We also take an in-depth look at 3Q13 earnings from both SkyWest and Republic. 

Oh, and how about that IAM vote that came down last night in Everett? Where will the 777X be built? Dunno. But the possibilities just got a whole lot more complicated.

Lots of other stuff as well! I’m off to New York. Have a great Thursday everybody!

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

home-typewriter copy 1Hi guys! Just a quick note before I have to run out the door to let you know that this week’s humongous, ginormous (are those really words?) mega-earnings issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted!

We have in-depth earnings reviews of Hawaiian Holdings, parent of Hawaiian Airlines; Spirit Airlines; JetBlue Airways; Allegiant Travel Company, parent of Allegiant Airlines; and Alaska Air Group, parent of Alaska Airlines. 

More in a bit. Need to get out of here and off to a meeting. Talk to you soon!