PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

home-typewriter copy 1Good evening boys and girls! This week’s edition of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted!

This week we take an in-depth look at the recent earnings calls from both Air Canada and WestJet. We also take a summary look at the recent earnings reported from the big three GDS players — Amadeus, Travelport, and Sabre. 

Bottomline — Sabre and Travelport still have too much debt on their balance sheets. Travelport said in comments after their earnings call that they may sell their piece of Orbitz. I think that would be a great idea, as I’m not sure an IPO would go over that well right now. I mean, look at how underwhelmed the Street was with the Sabre IPO.

As for Sabre, they bent over backwards to emphasize to investors as part of their call that they are working to reduce the level of debt on their balance sheet. But it’s still too high.

That’s the not-so-good part of leveraged buyouts.

As for the Air Canada/WestJet results, I can’t say I was that overwhelmed or impressed with much of anything I heard from either airline. Clearly the big loser here was Bombardier, as Air Canada announced it has decided not to replace its Embraer 190s. Most people had assumed they would place an order for the new Bombardier CSeries aircraft. Nope.

In other news, the City Manager of Dallas finally did what he should have done originally — given what the Department of Justice said he needed to do. As a result, Virgin America now has two gates at Love Field.

The new routes that Southwest will start flying after the Wright Amendment goes away in October seemed to have been leaked over the weekend. No updates on what flights or service may be modified or cut to accommodate the new service. We expect all of this to be announced Monday.

Meanwhile, last week was a fairly flat one for the airline sector, with stocks evenly split between winners and losers.

And what did you think about the news that the new ULCC-version of Frontier Airlines is taking over the Z gates (the ones that are easily accessible) at Dulles? We like it.

We talk about all of this and much, much, more in this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter.