Tag Archives: airplanes

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

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Hello to all on what is a rare dark and rainy night here in what is usually the Valley of the Sun.

Yes, yours truly is back in Phoenix this week, having come out for the 28th Annual ISTAT Conference last week which was held at the Westin Kierland in Scottsdale.

No surprise then that this week we are talking a lot about airlines, airplanes, how to finance those airplanes, the people who finance those airplanes, the people who sell the airplanes, and the people who lease airplanes.

You want a primer on airline EETCs and why they are one of the best investments on the planet? We sit down and talk to JP Morgan’s Mark Streeter — who gives us the skinny on why airline EETCs deserve more respect. (Especially from rating agencies.)

But we also update you on the industry impact from the situation in Japan. There has been a lot of news since last time we updated subscribers, including updated impact statistics from IATA.

No surprise either that with all that was going on last week, jet fuel prices continued to rise.

In the midst of Japanese angst and aircraft design drama, Phil Trenary, CEO of Pinnacle Airlines, announced his departure from the airline last week — effective the end of this week. Hello?

In this week’s Market Review, we update you on the short interest situation with the airline stocks. We give you a snapshot look as well as a trailing 12 month view. Doesn’t matter how you slice and dice it though, one airline stock continues to get hammered by the shorts.

Know which one it is?

As many of you know, the level of stock shorting is what we call a “sentiment indicator.” While it’s nothing official, an airline CFO or CEO certainly doesn’t like it when the investor community begins to increase their short positions in your stock. Kind of like being tracked by the grim reaper. “Who are these guys and what do they know?”

As I said, we’ll update you on all that in this week’s issue as well as a whole lot more.

Subscribers can access this week’s issue here.

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted

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This week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted.

It was a busy week for the Things With Wings last week.

First, American Airlines reported its second quarter earnings results. The airline lost a lot of money. $390 million to be exact. $319 million excluding special items. However, you’d never have known it if you listened to the airline’s earnings call — which seemed focused on one thing — liquidity. Oh, and capacity reductions. That’s fine, but there are other aspects of an airline’s operations I’d like to hear about.

Then we had the blockbuster news concerning Continental’s Chairman and CEO, Larry Kellner. As I write in this week’s PBB, even though the management backbench strength at Continental Airlines is strong, and the airline should be able to carry on just fine as Larry goes to seek his fortune in the equity investment game — it’s quite discouraging to see one of the industry’s best and brightest leave.

Following up on our piece in last week’s issue about United’s bone-headed (or would that be heavy-handed) attempts to get travel agencies to take on more financial risk — or rather some travel agencies — the airline said late last week that it is going to give agencies 60 days to implement the business operation changes it seeks.

This whole thing still reeks. Nothing the airline says rings true.

Southwest Airlines had its own place in the spotlight last week, or would that be the sunlight, as the airline had a 737-300 aircraft develop a hole in the roof while enroute from Nashville to BWI. Not what the airline wants or needs — especially considering the issues the airline has had with the FAA concerning fuselage checks in the past. Preliminary NTSB report says there was no evidence of previous corrosion at the site.

That was not the only bad news Southwest had last week. The airline was also notified that its debt rating with Moody’s is under review, signaling a potential downgrade.

The Senate produced its version of an FAA Reauthorization bill last week. How did it differ from the House version? It differed on quite a few items. We talk more about that in this week’s issue.

Those misguided folks at the US Airways Pilot Association, the pilot union that was created in an attempt to circumvent the original ALPA seniority award that was handed down after US Airways and America West combined forces — had their head handed to them on a plate by U.S. District Judge Neil Wake last week. Wake issued his final injunctive order on the case brought against USAPA by the former America West pilots. Yes, we talk about this too.

Oh, and speaking of USAPA, we also give them, and our readers, a handy step-by-step instruction of how you correctly determine just how much an airline executive makes, using SEC documentation. Apparently the folks at USAPA have a problem figuring these things out.

British Airways raids its guaranteed employee pension benefit larder, Air Canada gets all of its employees “on board” with its 21-month contract extension program, and 215 Delta pilots sign up for the airline’s sweetened “early-out” package. Somehow I think the guys in suits over in Atlanta had hoped that number had been higher.

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

If you are a subscriber, you can access this week’s issue here. If not, you can learn how you can become a subscriber by clicking here.

Airbus Leaked Document Skewers Boeing 787 Program


Score another one for Jon Ostower, better known as Flightblogger.

Jon, who in my opinion is the source for all things Boeing, published a document this afternoon that appears to be a copy of a legitimate Airbus presentation entitled, “Boeing 787 Lessons Learnt.”

The 46-page document says that it was presented by Burkhard Domke, Head of Engineering Intelligence for Airbus and it has a date on it of October 2008. You can download a copy by clicking here.

The report outlines a list of problems that Boeing has had and continues to have with the 787 production process under a number of headings:

• Design Issues

• Weight Issues

• Engine Issues

• Certification Issues

• Production Issues

• Schedule Issues

Makes for some interesting reading.