Tag Archives: airline labor

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

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Good evening everyone.

This week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted. Subscribers can access this week’s 80-plus page issue here.

It’s that time of year. Yep. Earnings time.

This week we have our in-depth look at the earnings calls and our PlaneBusiness Earnings Summaries for Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines.

If you are wondering why it was that airline stocks took a header last week — it was not because of higher oil prices. It was because Wall Street was not overly impressed by the earnings posted by Delta, or Southwest — much less American Airlines.

American, once again, is slated to be the only major airline which will not post a profit for the quarter — much less the year.

In the case of Delta, analysts were disappointed by the airline’s revenues, and by the fact the airline says, at least for now, that it intends to keep its existing plans for capacity growth intact.

Southwest Airlines also warned that revenue “head winds” are going to be tough in the first quarter and a profit for that airline for the first quarter is “iffy” if you look across the sector analysts’ current estimates. The airline also forecast a rather sharp increase in costs for the first quarter.

As for American, I don’t know where to start. As I tell my subscribers in more detail, I think the AMR earnings call was an embarrassment. Add that to the fact that the airline continues to lose money and we heard nothing whatsoever in the airline’s call in regards to a specific plan to turn the airline around and …..it’s pretty ugly.

Meanwhile, on the American/GDS War frontline, American and Sabre called a truce Monday. Not unexpected. I was surprised when Sabre threw its hissy fit and pulled American’s fares from its GDS. No way Sabre’s customers were going to let this situation remain in effect.

Truce is officially until June 1 — we’ll see something negotiated between the two before then.

American also announced a new deal with Priceline, which allows Priceline to use the airline’s new “Direct Connect” product. (And yes, this deal was announced before the truce with Sabre, which leads me to believe it was done to push Sabre back to the table — which is what happened.)

US Airways also announced a new deal with another OTA, Expedia, but that deal uses the more traditional GDS method of delivery. It will allow Expedia to market “seat choice” options and other goodies though.

Meanwhile, we did our own little test today of what showed up and at what price when I Iooked up fares between Dallas and LGA on both Expedia and Priceline. That was a fun experiment.

Our new “Retro” feature this week takes us back to 1994, and British Airways. And the billion dollars plus it invested in airlines such as USAir, TAT, and Deutsche BA. That strategy really didn’t work out too well for the airline, did it?

But enough of all this fun and frivolity. This week the emphasis is on earnings. Next week, we’ll be taking a gimlet-eyed view of United/Continental, US Airways, Alaska, and JetBlue –– all of whom report this week.

Speaking of Alaska Airlines — did they not blow the doors off in the fourth quarter or what? I remain tremendously impressed with the airline. I like the decision to de-brand Horizon as well.

But that’s for next week.

Meanwhile, all the rest — and more! — in this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter.

PlaneBusiness Banter Posted!

Greetings to all on what was a very hot Memorial Day here in the Dallas-Ft.Worth Metromess.

I hope all of you had a good Memorial Day holiday and most importantly, I hope all of you took a minute between bites of your grilled hamburgers to thank those who serve this country in our Armed Forces. Or who have served.


The latest issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted. Subscribers can access the newly posted issue here.

This week I talk about the new “ugly girl” in the industry. Yep, I’m talking about American Airlines and that airline’s merger options.

But American is in the news for other things — including yet another TA with a TWU-represented employee group. However, to say the union leadership gave the deal a lukewarm endorsement would be an understatement.

British Airways saw itself in the middle of yet another strike by its cabin crew members today. This one started on Sunday and as today is a Bank Holiday in the U.K, the work slowdown will probably hit the airline a bit more than the last one. Which just ended on Friday of last week.

I know. It’s pure insanity.

This last week airline stocks had a great week with shares of US Airways leading the pack. Handily. The main reason for this sudden burst of vitality? Two bullish analyst notes. JP Morgan analyst Jamie Baker upgraded the entire sector, and had very positive things to say about US Airways in particular. His comments were then followed by a bullish American Airlines/US Airways research note issued by Bob McAdoo with Avondale Partners just a few hours later.

The combined one-two punch was clearly felt across the sector, but especially in shares of US Airways.

Is the Porter Airlines IPO in trouble? First quarter numbers sure didn’t help it much.

Virgin Blue had a surprise for its investors this week, and in our Market Review this week we talk about the resurgence of private equity support for the aircraft leasing sector.

All this and more in this week’s edition of PlaneBusiness Banter.

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted

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Hello everyone. This week’s mega-earnings issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted. No thanks to the wizards over at Verizon, who disconnected us totally from the rest of the world early yesterday morning — five days before they were supposed to — as part of a move of the PlaneBusiness Worldwide Headquarters.

I don’t want to get into it.

However, I will pass along this rather ironic piece of information that not one, not two, but three Verizon employees (who were being recorded at the time probably) told me in the midst of some eight hours of talking to various techs, customer service reps, and supervisors as I frantically tried to get us back online so that we could get published yesterday.

That advice from those on the dark side: Never use the Verizon website to do anything. And especially — never order any service on the website.

Their advice: Call them and talk to a human.

Now how positively telling are these comments? Isn’t the internet/websites/connectivity their business?

Funny. Whenever someone complains to me about the airline industry I always turn and ask them, “And what about your cell phone provider? How’s that service working out for you?”

While I don’t have my cell phone service with Verizon (I have an iPhone and AT&T has its own problems), all of our H/S internet connectivity is part of a Verizon FIOS package.

Love the FIOS service — have never had an issue with it. And unfortunately there is no competing AT&T Uverse service at the new Worldwide Headquarters. Otherwise — at about 2 p.m. yesterday, FIOS would have been history.


What do they say about competition?

Anyway, as I said before I got sidetracked, this week’s issue PBB is now posted. Subscribers can access this week’s issue here.

This week is another big earnings issue. This week we take a close look at the recent earnings results and earnings calls from Air Canada, Republic Holdings and Hawaiian Airlines. Whew. The three airlines provide a lot to talk about.

In addition, we have the March DOT Air Travel Consumer Report. Verdict? Clearly there was a lot less bad weather in March than there was in February.

We also talk a lot this week about British Airways. The airline is poised to report its biggest annual loss in its history this week. On top of that the airline got hit with yet another strike this morning — before the airline was successful in getting an injunction against the union mid-day. Still the damage was already done — at least in terms of flights affected for today and tomorrow.

Then there is the little matter of that damn volcano that nobody can pronounce. And the ash it continues to spew into the atmosphere. It started doing it again this weekend, and once again, airports were closed in the U.K. Is the ash a deadly mess for aircraft engines — or do we need to develop more accurate methods of determining the extent of the ash and its whereabouts?

UK and European airlines are not happy.

The worst part? This volcano is probably not going to stop doing this any time soon.

We talk about the latest merger chatter this week. We get caught up on the progress in the Continental/United match-up and we wonder who Jesup & Lamont’s analyst Helane Becker thinks Republic is going to pair up with before the end of the year. Enquiring minds want to know.

All this and lots more scintillating discussions — all in this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter.