July 19, 2013

home-typewriter copy 1Hello everyone. Mea culpa for the lateness of the posting of this week’s issue. I’m afraid when one is self-employed, it’s hard to “call in sick.” In addition–  the cat can’t type.

But we made it. Finally.

As puny as I was this week, I think we have a pretty good issue for you. First our contributing editor, analyst, and chief airline dork, Brett Snyder takes a thorough look at the recent GAO study that looked at the proposed American/US Airways merger. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to find out that he thinks the GAO took some shortcuts with this study. In addition, there’s nothing in here that points to any reason the Department of Justice should not approve the merger. Contrary to what some die-hard anti-merger pundits out there would like you to believe.

We also look at the May DOT Air Travel Consumer Report this week. We’re detecting some trends over the last few months — the most notable being a decline in the operations of both Southwest Airlines and AirTran. 

We told you so.

We told PBB subscribers in December, after the airline’s investor day presentation, that Southwest did not seem to have any idea how problematic its planned codeshare move this spring could be for passengers. Analyst Bob McAdoo at Imperial Capital said at the time that the negative publicity could rival that generated by United Airlines in 2012.

That’s exactly what’s happening. Scott McCartney, columnist with the Wall Street Journal, touched on some of the issues in his column this week.

But we talk about a whole lot more this week as well:  Asiana; Spirit Airlines’ complaint numbers; Alaska Air Group’s new dividend (the new of which sent shares soaring last week); a JP Morgan downgrade of both JetBlue and Southwest; why crude oil and jet fuel prices are soaring; and we get caught up with all things American. And US Airways.

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

Now, excuse me while I go make some green tea and swallow more antibiotics.