Good evening earthlings. This week’s “Summer Solstice” issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted.
This week we talk a lot about American Airlines, as we attended the airline’s Leadership Conference in Dallas last week. You know I am a culture queen — one that believes strongly in the power of empowering employees through clear, consistent, and persistent communications from management. Yes, well, the conference reinforced the management/employee relationship that we had seen at US Airways for years prior to the merger. We weren’t surprised, but I think some American Airlines’ employees were. But by the end of the day, I think all of the 1500 or so folks in the room got it. And some walked away with a T-Shirt to prove it!
American was also out buying slots at Heathrow last week, it awarded the flying of 20 regional aircraft to Compass; and its passenger service agents received the “single carrier status” from the National Mediation Board. A representational election for the combined employee group will now be scheduled.
On Wall Street, airline stocks enjoyed a much better week than the week before — even though the price of jet fuel shot up. We talk a lot this week about what is going on in Iraq and how this could impact not only the price of jet fuel, but the economy as a whole. What price per barrel threshold do you think the U.S. economy can absorb before it is affected negatively?
We talk a lot about why we like the move from “miles based” frequent flyer mile programs to those based on “spend.” That’s the way it should be and we’ll tell you why it benefits both passenger and the airlines.
Delta Air Lines opened up its new museum to the public last week. Can’t wait to visit. The museum is the site of the first public fully-functioning flight simulator. (An old Boeing 737-200 to be exact!)
Oh, and yes, we also talk about that utterly confusing 8-K that United Airlines filed last Friday in which it talked about the termination of employment contracts with three top execs at the airline.
The wording of the filing was awful. People are antsy enough right now about possible changes at United. Add all of this to the fact the news of the filing was on a Friday, and it made for the perfect storm. I received over 100 emails from people concerned about it, wondering if indeed John Rainey, Jim Compton and Jeff Foland had been fired. No, they have not been fired. Their employment agreements were simply changed so that they would be in synch with other top execs at the company.
Like I say, the wording was not the best. Even I was confused — and I read it about four or five times.
All this, and lots more, in this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter.