Good evening everyone! It is, indeed, that time once again. This week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted!
This week we talk about a lot of things including the recent IATA AGM which was held in Doha, Qatar. We also talk about this week’s annual meeting of American Airlines, which, as has been the case for US Airways since the America West merger, has always been held in New York.
We also get into the nitty gritty as to why both employees of US Airways and American are grousing about changes to their travel benefits at the new American.
In other news, it was a very strong week for airline stocks. In fact, the airline indexes easily outdistanced the rest of the market last week, even though both the S&P 500 and the DJIA both posted record highs during the week.
On the oil price front, OPEC will be meeting next week — but we see no reason to see the organization make any major changes to their current 30 million gallon-a-day target. Meanwhile crude oil supplies produced in North America continue to increase. (That is a good thing!)
We also talk a bit about JetBlue this week. Cowen and Co. analyst Helane Becker took a few institutional investors over to visit with the management team there last week. Two things struck us about her report on the meeting — one, what was discussed and how far the airline may swing away from it previous business model and two — who was not at the meeting.
Looking at the big picture this week, we talk about some of the changes we’ve seen take place in the industry over the last 19 years that are good — and we tell you what the two biggest challenges are, we think, to the U.S. airline industry in the next few years.
Hint: Emirates, Qatar, Etihad.
Hint number two: Spirit, Frontier, other potential ULCC models.
We will be traveling once again next week. First to New York. Then to San Francisco.
For those of you in the San Francisco area, I hope to see some of you at the combined meeting of the Bay Area Business Travel Association/Silicon Valley Business Travel Association this coming Thursday, June 12.
I, along with United Airlines’ SVP of Global Marketing, Dave Hilfman, will be doing our best to entertain everyone in attendance. We look forward to seeing some of you there!
Meanwhile, I start my Summer Trans-Con Tour this week, as I fly United Airlines’ p.s. service from JFK to SFO.
Next up? American’s A321t product.
All this and much, much, more in this week’s edition of PlaneBusiness Banter.