PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

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Hello everyone.

It’s a great day in America, isn’t it? Sorry, just channeling my inner Craig Ferguson.

Here at the PlaneBusiness Worldwide Headquarters it’s been a bit of a challenging 24 hours. We experienced a loss of connectivity late yesterday as a rather nasty line of thunderboomers erupted almost directly over our heads. I lost all email for a bit, and we lost our FIOS (our internet connectivity) after one particularly nasty lightning surge.

Things are now back working as they should, but it caused our editing process to slow to a crawl last night. No, let me rephrase that. It came to a screeching halt.

I finally gave up and we all started up again this morning at about 6 a.m.

And so here we are. Yes, it’s a great day in America.

After I get done here I get to go to the vet’s office and find out how difficult it is going to be to transition my cat to a new form of insulin. Why do I have to do this? Because the FDA has halted the sale of the type of insulin she was on.

I’m so looking forward to this. I know she is too.

I know that PlaneBusiness Banter subscribers are looking forward to this week’s issue — so here it is. Finally!

This week in PlaneBusiness Banter I talk about the change in command at the Allied Pilots Association. The APA is the pilot union at American Airlines, and well, let’s just say the APA and I go back a long time.

Captain David Bates was just elected as the organization’s new leader and while this is a most welcome event (anything would be an improvement over the previous “leadership” and yes, I use that term loosely) as I write this week this is a two way street. Management at the airline has to tune up its game plan as well if anything constructive is going to happen as a result of this change in union leadership. More on all this in this week’s issue.

On the passenger rights front, Kate Hanni and her followers received a nice bone to chew on last week when we once again had one of those nasty “stranded on the tarmac” incidents. This time the aircraft belonged to Virgin Atlantic, the ordeal sounded awful, but that still doesn’t mean that the airline was totally at fault. As usual, there was enough blame to go around. Airport, airline, customs officials, you name it.

A fact that should negate any move to extend the “three-hour rule” to international flights.

Of course this didn’t stop the DOT Secretary from using the incident as another excuse to pander to the masses.

We talk a bit this week about the latest Boeing 787 delay information, and we also talk about the American Airlines – FAA discovery of unexpected “cracks” that were found in some Boeing 767 engine pylons. Could newly installed winglets be creating the problem?

Meanwhile, airline stocks had a dismal week. Shares of Hawaiian Airlines took the brunt of the sector decline — fallout from an Avondale Partners downgrade and price target reduction was to blame.

Oil prices were back on the move again as well last week, as oil traders came down with a case of hurricane angst on Friday.

Finally in this week’s email bag, we hear from our subscribers on a range of issues. We have a corporate travel manager lamenting the changes at Continental, someone who agrees with us that the industry is already too regulated, not regulated enough, and someone who asks: if all the airline analysts are so bullish, isn’t that a perfect time to sell my stock? Answer? Could very well be. I am a big fan of contrarian thinking. Especially after reading my daily economic news feeds.

As usual, we talk about all this — and more — in this week’s issue. Subscribers can access this week’s issue here.