PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

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Hello earthlings. This week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted. In this week’s issue we take a follow-up look at the problem known as AMR. After our look at the airline’s Monday Meltdown last week, this week we give you more insight from an assortment of Wall Street analysts. The upshot? Bankruptcy is not going to save the airline, but at the same time, the airline does not appear to be anywhere near a filing.

The airline also announced cuts in capacity for the late fall and winter months. This news was probably the best news American Airlines could have uttered. Analysts liked the reductions. The airline says they are not a result of falling demand — but of higher fuel prices. Not certain, but the airline’s continued exodus of top-tier pilots just might have something to do with the airline pulling back on the reins as well.

Other airline stocks suffered as a result of AMR’s drop last week. US airline stocks were clearly the laggards in a week that saw the the rest of the markets do fairly well.

NextGen. FAA. Congress. Department of Transportation Inspector General.

Send chills up your spine yet? It should.

Last week the FAA and its project management of the NextGen project got raked over the coals by the DOT IG. But as we talk about this week in PBB, how can the FAA be expected to manage such a complex project when it can’t even count on having money to pay for paper clips from day to day — a result of how the agency is funded (or is not funded) by Congress?

Meanwhile, the European Court of Justice gave the EU a huge thumbs up last week on its plan to charge airlines around the world for their greenhouse gas emissions. Needless to say the airline industry is not happy about this.

Southwest Airlines’ CEO Gary Kelly talked to Bloomberg last week and he started throwing around some huge revenue numbers that he says the airline can produce — as a result of its AirTran acquisition. Only one problem. I’ve been talking to a number of industry people who don’t think he can.

What do you think?

Which reminds me. This week you, our subscribers, get a chance to tell me what the next airline merger will be. That’s right. Sharpen up those pencils and send me your two cents on just which merger could be next on our radar. And why.

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