PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

home-typewriter copy 1Good morning earthlings! Yes, it’s a tad late here in the U.S. time zones this evening. So I’ve decided to say good morning to the really early risers on the East Coast. Then again for our friends in Europe, it’s just a normal Thursday. Go back to eating your  delicious hard rolls and those wonderful preserves.

This week’s edition of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted. It’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that this week as we talk about everything from the new documentary that will air next month on the TWA 800 crash, to the latest Air Travel Consumer Report numbers from the DOT. (Hint: American Airlines and American Eagle had one lousy April.)

Representatives from US Airways and American, along with critics of the proposed merger, were all in Washington Wednesday, testifying before Congress as to why (or why not) the merger is a good idea.

One interesting tidbit from today — we’ve all been wondering when the Department of Justice might rule on the antitrust part of the pie. Today, sources told Bloomberg that the DOJ will not rule on the merger until AMR leaves bankruptcy.

That is now scheduled to happen sometime in August. Could be as early as August 15. Or there could be a couple of things that push the date back a bit.

So that is good information to know. According to one source Bloomberg talked to, because the DOJ has not said anything about the merger or possible slot divestitures yet should not be read as a negative. They simply are not going to get involved until the bankruptcy is finalized.

Cool. We can live with that.

In other news, British Airways is moving closer to taking Spanish LCC Vueling private. I think the  ownership stake in Vueling that IAG originally picked up with its Iberia acquisition could turn out to be the most valuable part of that deal. Iberia may well not exist in three years. Or if it does, it’s going to be a shadow of its former self.

FYI: Vueling saw the biggest increase in the number of passengers of any global airline between 2011-2012.

Delta Air Lines had two very positive pieces of fan mail go viral this week. The best kind of marketing and PR a company can hope for — well-crafted testimonial letters from happy customers.

Oh — yes. There is an Air Show this week A rather soggy one over in Paris.

Airbus is clearly leading the show there this year — in more ways than one. We update you on the largest orders that opened the show, and yes, the A350-900 took it first flight last Friday. Pretty airplane. It took its second flight this week.

Boeing announced the launch of its 787-10 on Tuesday — right after Airbus announced a mega-order of airplanes.

Yep, the “mine is bigger than yours” mentally is very much alive and well in Paris this week.

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