PlaneBusiness Banter Is Now Posted!

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Good evening everyone. This week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted!

In this week’s issue we take a look at the fourth quarter earnings results from Republic Holdings, parent of Frontier, Chautauqua, and Republic Airways. The airline rolled out Frontier’s new CEO on the earnings call last week. Some of you may remember him. His name is Dave Siegel. Yes, the same Dave Siegel who used to be the CEO at US Airways.

While the airline’s financial reports remain a struggle to dig through, the good news is that Frontier made a profit for the fourth quarter. Those dramatic cuts in capacity have helped the airline’s profitability tremendously.

But just when we thought it might get easier to dissect the financials of the company, Republic announced last week it was changing the way they report the various components of its operation. Sigh.

This last weekend was a huge weekend for United Airlines as the airline formally moved over operations of both United and Continental onto the Continental SHARES PSS platform. How did the airline do? Not bad. It certainly wasn’t smooth sailing, but none of these cutovers ever are. By Tuesday morning, most of the boarding pass and kiosk issues had been taken care of, most passengers were seeing their miles and itineraries appear in their new FF accounts, and operations were running with many fewer delays.

We talk about what issues remain with the cutover in this week’s issue.

On another front, we had a veritable slew of personnel shifts in the financial side of the industry last week. CFOs moving from here to there, airline analysts taking jobs with airlines, and other airline analysts moving up. We explain all of these, and tell you why we think the two moves that Delta Air Lines made were very good ones.

On the American Airlines front, there was no movement to report between the unions and the airline last week. The airline said on its restructuring blog that it was “disappointed” there wasn’t more progress this week at the negotiating table.. “

I don’t think the unions quite see it the same way.

The airline also announced its equivalent of Economy Plus — I have high hopes the airline will market this effort a hell of a lot better than it did its previous expanded leg room product some 10 years ago. I never though the MRTC program was ever effectively marketed.

The airline sector staged a nice comeback last week, after the drubbing it took the week earlier, most as a result of lower oil and jet fuel prices. Who did well, who didn’t and how low did shares of Air Canada go?

We also have some great letter this week in the PBB Mail bag.

That’s it for now folks. All this and more in this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter.