PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

home-typewriter copy 1Hello everyone. This week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted.

We have a reasonably big issue this week, as we have two full in-depth earnings reports — WestJet and Air Canada. We also look at the recent earnings results from IAG, parent of British Airways, Air France/KLM, Lufthansa, Ryanair and LATAM. 

Of that group, which airline posted the best results for 3Q13? That’s right. IAG Group. Even though Iberia is still a part of the company!

Meanwhile, there was a lot going on in the industry this week. We have more news on the American Airlines- US Airways merger. There was a little session with the U.S. Bankruptcy Judge on Wednesday, but I’m not worried about that. I’ll tell you why.

Meanwhile, next Monday is the big day. That is the day that U.S. Bankruptcy  Judge Sean Lane is expected to accept the AMR plan of reorganization and set them free. Free to merge with US Airways. 

The chatter we continue to hear says that we should have a formal merger announcement sometime around Dec. 9.

In other news, it looks like we are headed for a nasty, ugly, expensive representational election for the combined flight attendant group at the New American. I’m disappointed. While membership of APFA outnumbers that of the AFA at US Airways, by a significant margin, APFA had been working for months with leaders of the AFA to bring them in as part of the process — rather than simply battening down the hatches in preparation for an unnecessary representational fight.

The two sides seemed very close the last month to coming to terms on an agreement that would have allowed leaders of both unions to work on a combined contract. But all of that now appears to have blown up — as AFA notified APFA that a meeting scheduled for 11/27 would now look at a totally new agenda.

In a letter that was publicly distributed this week, APFA President Laura Glading wrote the head of the AFA group at US Airways and effectively said, “No thanks.”

I think we’re headed to a representational fight here. And it didn’t have to be this way.

We have the latest DOT Air Consumer Travel Report numbers for September. Delta Air Lines continue to lead the legacy carriers in every metric, while Southwest Airlines and AirTran continued to post less-than-optimal numbers. Southwest, in fact, posted the worst on-time performance of any airline that reports to the DOT in September.

However — the airline still managed to take the first place nod in terms of having garnered the fewest number of complaints.

It was a great week for airline stocks. We’ll tell you why. We’ll also tell you why the New American Airlines will be listed on the Nasdaq and not the New York Stock Exchange.

And what is the deal with the American Airlines A319s and their seats? Is it the fault of maintenance being too rough on them when doing security inspections or the fault of the manufacturer? Whatever the reason, they continue to crack. Reliability on the aircraft is apparently abysmal as a result.

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