PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

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Hello everyone.

The latest issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted. Subscribers can access this week’s issue here.

Yours truly attended a wedding this past weekend. That is why I am a day late with this week’s issue. As I told subscribers last week — for the first time in 14 years I left on a weekend and never planned on picking up a laptop. Yay!

But back to the wedding. This was not just any wedding. It was a wedding of two industry employees. One a dedicated union dues-paying member. Another — an executive member of an airline management team.

No surprise that I ruminate a bit this week on why it is that this industry is so hard on human relationships.

In other news, the JP Morgan Airline Investment Conference kicked off today, and it has already provided some good sound bytes, including a couple from the new sheriff in Houston, Continental Airlines‘ CEO Jeff Smisek. I really do believe that Jeff is attempting to channel Gordon Bethune — only he’s using a much younger persona.

On the potential airline strike front, it looks, as of this writing, that the cabin crew employees (flight attendants for those of this on this side of the pond) for British Airways could strike the airline as soon as next Wednesday, pending what happened today with talks.

Meanwhile, on this side of the pond, both the mechanics and the flight attendants at American Airlines continue their lock-step move towards both being released from the National Mediation Board from their negotiations with American Airlines. At essentially the same time.

Originally we had expected news on this front yesterday, but the NMB has asked both sides to keep talking. But we could get a release to a 30-day cooling off period before the end of the week for one or both unions, depending on what happens tomorrow.

We talk about this in this week’s issue. How close is the airline to a potential strike? Pretty damn close. And the fact that the two unions are more or less joined at the hip in terms of the timetable here — that does not help the airline at all. It gives the unions much more clout.

Airline stocks had another good week last week. And, as expected, the traffic and RASM estimates from those airlines that provide them have been almost — across the board — as expected or better. Southwest Airlines was a little light for some reason — but the rest of the numbers have looked just as strong as the industry analysts had projected.

On another topic, we apparently have a new airline lurking in the weeds. Sorry. No more info until the end of the month.

And finally — Allegiant Travel Company announced it was buying six 757-200s. The airline, which up until now has only flown Maddogs, is going to use the aircraft for new service to Hawaii. Hmmm. I can see it now. Des Moines to Maui.

Or something like that.

All this and more in this week’s issue of PBB.