Given that we’ve had three airlines report earnings this week, what’s our quick and dirty summary of the results?

Both Continental Airlines and American were able to offset continued sluggish activity domestically with revenues from their international operations. Southwest took a harder hit, because of its lack of international exposure. Remember too, however, that Continental also continues to add capacity, while American continues to shrink.

Southwest, of course, continues to add capacity faster than both of them.

Going forward, if we are to believe what the airlines execs implied and/or actually said in their calls this week, I’d say the folks at Continental were the most cautiously bullish, while there was some Texas Two-Step as to the nature of future guidance on the American call. After all is said and done, the airline is seeing slowing in demand, although CFO Tom Horton turned it around and said no, it was an issue of too much capacity.

The old chicken and the egg syndrome.

As for Southwest, as I wrote in PBB this week, I am glad to see the airline finally admitting that it is going through a “transformation.” Admission is the first sign of recovery.

As I’ve written before, I think CEO Gary Kelly has the most difficult job of any airline CEO out there right now — and it isn’t going to get any easier. As the airline’s advantageous fuel hedges go away and costs at the airline continue to increase — revenues would seem to be the place where the airline has to look towards for the answer. But how much can the airline raise its fares before the branding of “low fare airline” really starts to disappear?

Overall, no big surprises in the numbers reported this week — although I still think forward earnings forecasts for the industry are way out of whack. As we’ve been saying since last fall, we did not think 2007 was going to be the stellar year for the industry that many had been calling for, and the numbers we saw this week, and more importantly the forward guidance we heard, merely confirms this.

Most amusing incident on the three calls this week? An obviously planted question and response on the American Airlines call. I mean, if you’re going to plant questions and if the airline CEO is going to answer them, it needs to be a little less obvious than the back and forth we got to listen to between former American analyst, and current Calyon Securities analyst Ray Neidl and CEO Gerard Arpey.

Why do I think it was scripted?

First, Gerard hardly said a word during the entire call. Tom Horton basically ran the call. But he responded to Ray’s questions — particularly his second one about labor. And what a carefully constructed question it was. Then again, Gerard’s response was so well scripted it stood out like a flashing neon sign.

Neidl: Okay, great. The second [question] on a different topic is the labor situation. I know the contracts don’t come up for another year or couple of years in the case of some labor unions there seems to be a lot of concern on the part of many of the employees, now that [inaudible] starting to make money again, that they want their so-called fair share. How are you communicating with the

employees to demonstrate to them that one or two quarters of of profitability does not solve all your problems?

Arpey: Well, Ray, I guess you’re communicating it best right now. I think that’s obvious given the years and years of losses that the company incurred that we’ve got a lot of work to do to recover from the $8 billion that we lost between ’01 and ’05. So we have

had a very open dialogue with organized labor for many years now. And partnership to work together to make our company

stronger and we’re just going to stay the course with that and do our best to continue to work together, to strengthen the

Company and we will go through the Section 6 process with all of our unions and same spirit that it’s gotten to us this point t

spirit of collaboration and cooperation and try to get the best outcome for everyone, recognizing that there’s a lot of stakeholders

at this company. So we’ll do the very best we can.

All I have to say is “Rah, Rah Team!”

I’m off to find the Midwest Airlines mascot.