Another rough night of weather here in the DFW Metromess. But have no fear. This week’s issue of PBB is now posted and a great issue it is. This week we announce the 2011 PlaneBusiness Wild Turkey Award recipient. Drum roll please.
This year the award goes to Bill Ayer, Chairman and CEO of Alaska Air Group.
While PlaneBusiness Banter subscribers are all too aware of the excellent job Alaska is doing on the financial side of the house, very few people know that much about the airline’s Chairman and CEO. That’s because Bill Ayer wants it that way. He is not one to bask in the spotlight. He prefers his employees do that — in recognition of their work.
But this week Bill has best be prepared to bask in the spotlight, or at the very least he had best prepare for the delivery of a case of Wild Turkey Rare Breed, compliments of the man for whom this award is named. That’s right. Herbert D. Kelleher.
Better known in most circles simply as… Herb.
In addition to our Wild Turkey award column, we have a very active letters section this week in which our subscribers talk about everything from Steve Hazy’s business model at ILFC to the TWA pilots lawsuit against ALPA. Oh, and yes, my rant last week on airline marketing and branding, or in most cases, the lack thereof. I post a few of the comments I received this last week on that column, but there are still more coming in. We might have to revisit the topic.
There was some chatter this week concerning the United/Continental pilot negotiations, but as I report tonight, I don’t see any positive progress on this front. Later this week ALPA President Lee Moak will be meeting with a joint meeting of the MEC’s from both airline pilot groups. How I would love to be a fly on the wall of that session.
On the American Airlines labor front, some good news this week. It sounds like the negotiators for the TWU, which represents the mechanics, and the airline, had a productive mediated session last week, and they have scheduled another meeting for two weeks from now in Dallas.
American and the Allied Pilots Association, also appear to be finally making some headway in their unmediated discussions. Again, good news.
Shares of Air Canada led the airline sector to its first positive week in a long time last week, as shares shot up 15% after the strike against the airline by its customer service employee group came to an end.
Oh. Yeah. There is an air show in Paris this week.
We give you our four quick takes this week on some of the more interesting tidbits we’ve heard coming out of Paris, and next week we’ll wrap up with a full rundown of who announced what. And maybe even…why.
One thing that is certainly clear — Boeing has best get off its you-know-what and come up with either a replacement aircraft design or an upgrade to its existing 737 product. Airbus now has banked almost 600 orders for its A320neo. Ryanair announced this week it has signed a “design” agreement with Chinese aircraft manufacturer Comac, to help the company design a Boeing 737 replacement aircraft.
As I reported in PBB after the recent Southwest Airlines annual meeting press conference, I don’t think I’ve seen Southwest CEO Gary Kelly respond as tersely as he did that day in answer to the inevitable “any news from Boeing about a 737 replacement aircraft” question.
Earth to Boeing….come in.
Finally, a big thank you to Brett Snyder, aka CrankyFlier . Brett gave us a very nice shoutout this week in his blog about the rant I went on last week concerning the importance of brand, and how some airlines get it, but most do not.
All of this and more in this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter.