PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

home-typewriter copy 1.jpg

Hello earthlings. This week’s edition of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted. This week we take a long look at the latest goings-on with the American Airlines‘ bankruptcy; we update you on why we think not all the bitching and moaning about problems with the United cutover to SHARES is a function of IT malfunctions, but rather of planned changes; we talk a bit about the presentations that were made Tuesday at the JP Morgan Airline Conference, including what US Airways learned from its failed bid to takeover Delta Air Lines, and yes, we talk about Southwest Airlines a bit this week as well.

Laura Wright, Southwest’s CFO, told investors at the JP Morgan conference Tuesday that the airline will post a loss for the first quarter. She also addressed a question from an investor about a huge pet peeve of ours — the airline’s apparent continued inability to upgrade its IT systems. A case of priorities? Maybe the airline needs to readjust its priorities.

We also have another edition of our “AMR Bankruptcy Filing Follies” this week. This week the new consultant to go to court and ask for money as part of the airline’s bankruptcy restructuring is….McKinsey. We give you our irreverent and opinionated take on the consultants’ 18 page filing to the court.

On the earnings front, we summarize the year end numbers from both Lufthansa and Air France/KLM, and then there is February traffic numbers for the North American market.

Speaking of Lufthansa, the airline’s deal to sell bmi to IAG, parent of British Airways, has hit what appears to be a small bump in the road. And no, that bump is not Sir Richard Branson’s backside. The EC wants more time to consider the deal, and reports said late Tuesday that IAG was willing to offer up some concessions. What concessions is IAG offering up? Nobody knows.

And what about this situation with China? The country seems determined to punish Airbus for the sins of the European Union and its insistence that all airlines that fly to Europe participate in its Emissions Trading Scheme program. Can the IACO come in and take control of this situation? Will it make a difference?

Last week airline stocks had a reasonably good week, but between rising fuel prices and some not-so-hot traffic and RASM estimates from a few of the usual suspects, the angst did take a toll as most U.S. airline stocks ended up in the bottom tier of the lot for the week.

Speaking of traffic, we have all the traffic numbers from February for you to take a look at as well.

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