PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

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Good day everyone!

My thanks to all for your patience. PlaneDad duty once again took me away from our normal perch here at the Worldwide Headquarters this week.

The good news? PlaneDad is finally making the move to Texas. And he has a place to live when he gets here!

Thank you again for your patience with our nebulous publishing times of late. Just something that can’t be avoided, given what else is going on. We’ll get through it.

So — having said all that, what are we talking about in this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter ? A lot.

Easily the biggest news is the fact that Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines finally confirmed that yes, Delta Air Lines will be leasing the entire 717 AirTran fleet from Southwest.

This move is a big one — in more ways than one. There are winners, and there are losers. We talk about some of them in this week’s issue.

Last week the usual suspects were all in Boston, presenting at the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Global Transportation Conference. We let you in on some of the more interesting comments including those by Ed Bastian, President of Delta Air Lines, Scott Kirby, President of US Airways, Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines and Mark Powers, CFO of JetBlue.

We also have a guest column this week by a PlaneBusiness Banter subscriber. His opinion is that airlines need stop the “silo” thinking that pervades so much of the industry and mover more towards what he terms an “Intersilotic” approach. Being the “big picture” person I am, I’m all for it. While some aspects of the industry certainly can benefit from a vertical approach — much more of it should take into consideration the entire team effort — not just the actions of one part of the team.

Of course no PlaneBusiness Banter would be complete these days without the AMR Bankruptcy Follies column. This week we have a short one-act play for you to read, and we update you on the 1113 process.

We also have Scott Kirby’s comments from the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Global Transportation Conference, in which, or the first time I’ve heard publicly, he clearly and concisely explains why it is that a merger between AMR and US Airways would be beneficial to both pilot groups — USAPA and APA. While his comments dovetail with what we have assumed would be the case — this is the first time I’ve heard someone from the airline put it out there for public consumption.

Oh and yes, we also offer our condolences to American management employees, who are being subjected to a flood of obnoxious communications from the airline. If it isn’t the latest “design and layer” update, it’s superficially happy missives concerning how to handle this new “opportunity in your life!” Yes, they are talking to those employees who are going to be laid off.

We also have the 1Q Break-Even and Operating Margin run down, a look at how the market treated the airline sector last week, and much, much more. As usual.