Hello earthlings. Long time no talk. My apologies. I attempted to upgrade our version of WordPress for the blog last week and ended up, apparently, eliminating the post announcing that last week’s issue had been posted.
Bad Holly. I was clearly out of practice.
Yes, well, that brings us to this week, our second back in the saddle since our usual three-week Holiday Hiatus.
This week we’re talking about 4Q14 earnings. Delta Air Lines rolled out of the gates today with their numbers. They were in-line. I didn’t hear anything on the airline’s call that was out of line. However, with the dramatic drop in the price of fuel, the airline is now on the wrong side of some pretty major fuel hedges.
Followers know what I think about fuel hedges. I think the practice should be discarded, or if used, used only minimally.
Note that United Airlines just shed some of their hedges. And of course American Airlines has no hedges. They sold them all off shortly after the merger was completed.
Southwest Airlines, on the other hand, does continue to hedge.
This Thursday, United, Southwest, and Alaska will report 4Q14 numbers. Next week we get to hear from Hawaiian Airlines, Allegiant, JetBlue and American Airlines.
It’s going to be, for the most part, a record breaking earnings season. For one reason — oil.
In other news, we take yet another look at the JCBA that the pilots at American are currently voting on. Last week we took a long look at how we go to where we are now. This week I give you my take after wading through a raft of domicile blasts, talking to pilots on both sides, and members of management at American.
In a rather surprising move, we also had a lot of emails this week from unhappy Southwest Airlines pilots. I mentioned the union negotiations at the airline rather briefly last week, but it was enough to generate a healthy response.
It looks like the question on the labor side for 2015 is: which is going to be the biggest story of the year — the IAM’s attempt to gain representation of the flight attendants at Delta Air Lines, or the ongoing labor situation at Southwest?
FYI, the IAM is putting on one hell of a representational effort at Delta. Take a look at the union’s IAM Delta website if you don’t believe me. I don’t believe I’ve seen a more professionally designed site for a representational effort by any union.
In other news we talk about Bombardier’s woes, the newly launched Airbus A321LR, the first commercial A350 WXB Qatar flight, and United’s about-to-be-announced deal for at least 10 Boeing 777-300ERs.
As for airline stocks, it was as rather slow week, not a lot to report on that front, other than the 26% plus decline in shares of Bombardier.
We also have a great look this week at the most recent comments from three of Wall Street’s top airline analysts — their look at 4Q14 and their look out to 2015 and which stocks they like.
All of this, and much, much, more in this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter.