Monthly Archives: May 2015

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

DONHello everyone. Yes, I am a “Mad Men” fan. And yes, I am going to be glued to the television this evening for the series finale.

Oh, airlines? Did someone say something about airlines?

This week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted. It’s got something for everyone. First, we have in-depth analysis of the earnings call and results from both Republic Holdings and SkyWest Airlines. In a nutshell, I’d rather be CEO of SkyWest, as the pilot situation at Republic remains grim. In addition, the airline has to get a contract with its pilots before the new contract kicks in with American. I thought after the last pilot contract was voted down, we’d have to see a change in management before we’d see a contract.

We’ll see. But overall, not a very pleasant situation.

We also talk about a topic that I think is very serious. Last month we talked in PBB about a Wired story in which a cyber researcher claimed that he knew how to hack an airline’s avionics by going in through its onboard IFE system.

The story did not get that much traction, which surprised me.

But last week, the second shoe fell, and now more people are paying attention.

What changed? A Canadian news source published the search warrant that the FBI filed when they requested permission to search Chris Robert’s computer equipment, after he landed on a United flight to Syracuse.

Anyway, we update you with the latest — which seems to indicate that Roberts did, in fact, manage to hack into the avionics of a real life airplane. Not just during a “simulated” run.

Dave Siegel is no longer CEO at Frontier Airlines. We told subscribers last year when Barry Biffle was brought on as President of Frontier that there was no room for both of them. Chairman Bill Franke and Biffle are co-running the airline for now.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg of this week’s issue. We’re talking Open Skies, airline executive sock choices, GBTA presentations, Air Canada’s sneaky way of reporting earnings, (okay, let’s say, “less than transparent”), an AvGeek’s trip to the “Pan Am Experience” and a whole lot more, including the next airline Azul’s CEO David Neeleman seems to be enamored of.

Subscribers can access this week’s issue here. 

For those of you who don’t subscribe, the obvious question is …why not?


Mega-Earnings Issue of PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

home-typewriter copy 1Hello everyone! Yes, it’s circus time here at PlaneBusiness Banter. That’s when yours truly is tied up at an industry conference for three days and has five in-depth earnings reports to do, two new earnings reviews to finish, and well all the rest of the stuff!

This week, we take an in-depth look at the recent 1Q15 earnings reported by: JetBlue Airways, Hawaiian Holdings; Spirit Airlines; Allegiant Travel Co. and Virgin America. 

We also have PlaneBusiness Earnings Summaries posted for WestJet and Republic Holdings. 

Other than our lengthy earnings call analysis this week, I also share some juicy tidbits from this year’s Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airline Symposium. While attendance at the event seemed to be down, as a result of the CAPA Americas Summit having been held just two weeks prior, it is still a great event to meet and mingle with some of the best industry leaders and insiders around.

Next week, I’ll go into more detail about the Open Skies panel, er, brawl, that took place. This week I share some of the comments that were made on the executive panel, as well as a few other tidbits from other panels.

You get a prize if you can tell me which successful airline investor and executive called fuel hedging a “scam.”

I agree.

This week we’re also talking about the Airbus A380, which is in the news for a variety of reasons. Oh, and yes, American Airlines did successfully launch commercial service on its new Boeing 787 aircraft last week as well.

Shares of COPA took a dive last week after the airline announced earnings. All in all it was a rather so-so week for the sector.

We talk a bit about Allegiant and its recent public to and fro with its pilots. The judge did come back late on May 1 with a ruling in favor of the airline, but like I say this week, that is just the tip of the iceberg. The pilots were successful in generating a great deal of negative press about the airline, the stock dropped, and the Federal Aviation Administration put restraints on the airline’s operations.

Meanwhile, negotiations between the Teamsters and the airline on a new contract continue later this month with the National Mediation Board. 

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

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

home-typewriter copy 1Hello everyone. It’s that time of year…..EARNINGS TIME!

Last week in PlaneBusiness Banter we took an in-depth look at the results posted by Delta AIr Lines. This week — our mega-earnings issue tackles the 1Q15 results from American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and Alaska Air Group. We’ve also got earnings summaries for JetBlue, Spirit, Virgin America and SkyWest — all of whom reported this week.

Volaris also reported last week and the Mexican ULCC did very well — which was reflected in the uptick in its share price.

But there was much more going on besides earnings the last week or so. First, it looks like the IAG-Aer Lingus deal is going to go down. Reports this week listed a number of conditions that it appears British Airways and IAG are willing to make. Looks like we could hear something definite on this in less than a month.

Meanwhile, in the Open Skies  dispute involving the three major U.S. airlines and their argument that the agreements between the U.S. and the UAE and Qatar are being violated because of illegal subsidies being given the airlines in those countries by their respective governments, over 260 members of Congress signed a letter this week supporting the U.S. carriers’ argument.

Remember, all the U.S. carriers are asking for is for the U.S. to open up “consultations” on the agreements — a legal right the U.S. has — if it believes countries are not acting in good faith per the agreements.

We had a ton of letters this week from subscribers. I always like it when this happens. We’re talking about everything from wide-bodies landing at LGA to goats clearing airport grounds to an alternative view of the Open Skies argument to a study that looks at what happens in countries that turn over ATC functions to third parties. And more.

It’s a huge issue this week. Come in, pour yourself a large cup of coffee, and enjoy.