PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

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Good morning earthlings!

I hope you are enjoying this holiday-shortened week. I know I am. Meanwhile, this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted.

The good thing about last week? I got to travel to Chicago, where I met with a whole lot of folks at United Airlines. Including CEO Jeff Smisek. While most of my meetings with the airline’s top executives were off the record, and strictly on background, we will be doing one of our legendary Lounge Lizard Interviews with Jeff Smisek sometime later this summer — whenever his schedule and mine can come up with a day that works for both of us.

I look forward to it.

While I can’t dangle any tasty tidbits of information from my sessions publicly, I can say that they were incredibly helpful to me, and I want to thank both Dave Hilfman, SVP of Global Sales at United, and Nene Foxhall, Executive Vice President Communications and Government Affairs at United for extending the invitation to come up to Chicago and hang out. It makes a huge difference when you can sit down and talk candidly with a company’s executives.

But that is not all we are talking about this week. No, in fact, we are at a very important point in the AMR Bankruptcy 1113 process. What I write this week may surprise some of you. Essentially the faster the unions and the airline can come to terms on three contracts, the faster any and all alternatives to the airline’s “Standalone” plan can be presented and considered.

I explain all of this and why it thus behooves the union leaders to attempt and negotiate something with the airline sooner rather than later in this week’s issue. (And yes, I think this is going to be very confusing to attempt to explain to the rank and file members.)

Meanwhile, airline stocks had a fantastic week last week — mainly because of a bullish report from JP Morgan analyst Jamie Baker. We told you last week the pull back was a buying opportunity, and indeed it was.

Sad news for the SkyWest/ExpressJet family this week, as Tanner Holt, the youngest son of ExpressJet President Brad Holt was one of four men killed in the crash of a Cessna 172 at the St. George, UT airport on Saturday. Tanner was a pilot with Comair.

Not content to shake things up by buying a refinery, Delta is apparently playing some “Kill Spirit” games by offering some rock bottom fare buckets on a few routes where they compete with Spirit. We’re not sure this is such a good idea, and we’ll tell you why.

Then there is New York Senator Chuck Schumer and his claims that airlines are separating mothers and their babies. Really Chuck? Really?

As usual, all this — and more, in this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter .