PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

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Hello earthlings. I would say good morning, but I’m not ready to concede that fact yet.

This week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted. This week we’re talking about airlines that are bankrupt, airlines that want to merge with airlines that are bankrupt, airlines that are trying to figure out how to merge with their partners who used to be bankrupt, and then there is the airline that wants to buy a refinery and produce its own jet fuel.

Never a dull moment in this industry.

This week we take a break from our American Airlines’ Bankruptcy Follies as we give you instead a summary from a panel discussion we participated in on Monday. The subject? “The Future of American Airlines.”

PBB subscribers are pretty familiar with most of what was discussed, which is more than I think was the case for most of the folks assembled at the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth.

Stand alone? Go belly up? Enter into a merger with another airline? Stand on the sidelines while their last chance at a major airline merger is snatched out from under their nose?

Trust me — there are a lot of scenarios here.

Twelve months out, those of us who participated on the panel will be able to see if our suggested thesis for the business case study –“Missed Opportunities” is still the case. Or if the long-term trend changes.

In other news, we talked to the folks at United Airlines last week about their continued cutover hangover. There does seem to be progress being made — and we’ll talk about that. We also talked to them about why the cutover had to be done on March 3 — and not after the new SHARES GUI was completed in nine months. We also ask the question that we were pushed to ask by subscribers — namely — was the airline motivated to do the cutover because there were management incentive payments in play?

We got answers to most of our questions. By next week, hopefully we’ll have the rest.

Meanwhile, down in Houston, Southwest Airlines wants to start flying internationally out of Hobby Airport. Needless to say, United, which is in the middle of a $700 million international terminal upgrade at IAH is not too happy about this idea. But it sounds like Houston is very happy about the thought of increased service, more money, and more jobs.

Let the fight begin.

Airline stocks had a pretty benign week last week — with one glaring exception. That of course was Pinnacle. Shares of the airline sank 60% after the airline filed for Chapter 11 protection.

And of course, we preview first quarter results, as they are just around the quarter. Long and short — we will have more airlines lose money for the quarter than post a profit.

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