PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

DONHello everyone. Yes, I am a “Mad Men” fan. And yes, I am going to be glued to the television this evening for the series finale.

Oh, airlines? Did someone say something about airlines?

This week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted. It’s got something for everyone. First, we have in-depth analysis of the earnings call and results from both Republic Holdings and SkyWest Airlines. In a nutshell, I’d rather be CEO of SkyWest, as the pilot situation at Republic remains grim. In addition, the airline has to get a contract with its pilots before the new contract kicks in with American. I thought after the last pilot contract was voted down, we’d have to see a change in management before we’d see a contract.

We’ll see. But overall, not a very pleasant situation.

We also talk about a topic that I think is very serious. Last month we talked in PBB about a Wired story in which a cyber researcher claimed that he knew how to hack an airline’s avionics by going in through its onboard IFE system.

The story did not get that much traction, which surprised me.

But last week, the second shoe fell, and now more people are paying attention.

What changed? A Canadian news source published the search warrant that the FBI filed when they requested permission to search Chris Robert’s computer equipment, after he landed on a United flight to Syracuse.

Anyway, we update you with the latest — which seems to indicate that Roberts did, in fact, manage to hack into the avionics of a real life airplane. Not just during a “simulated” run.

Dave Siegel is no longer CEO at Frontier Airlines. We told subscribers last year when Barry Biffle was brought on as President of Frontier that there was no room for both of them. Chairman Bill Franke and Biffle are co-running the airline for now.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg of this week’s issue. We’re talking Open Skies, airline executive sock choices, GBTA presentations, Air Canada’s sneaky way of reporting earnings, (okay, let’s say, “less than transparent”), an AvGeek’s trip to the “Pan Am Experience” and a whole lot more, including the next airline Azul’s CEO David Neeleman seems to be enamored of.

Subscribers can access this week’s issue here. 

For those of you who don’t subscribe, the obvious question is …why not?