Tag Archives: Allegiant Travel Company

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

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Good evening everyone. In this week’s chokingly long issue, we take our magnifying glass to the recent earnings results reported by Southwest Airlines, SkyWest, Allegiant, Republic Holdings, and Pinnacle. Yes, a rather strange mix of subjects this week.

In the case of Southwest Airlines, this quarter’s results were a lot noisier than expected, as a result of the way the airline is reporting its numbers –re: merger with AirTran. Revenues were also not as good as had been expected. As one analyst wondered, did the airline push fares higher too hard, too fast in the spring? Whatever — the airline came in under expectations.

The airline was also one of the few that reported that its “business traveler” revenues showed a softening during the quarter. This was in contrast to what some other airlines reported.

As for the three regional airlines — it continues to be a period of transition for all three. SkyWest finally admitted what we have thought for six years — the merger with Atlantic Southeast has never really gone as well as they had anticipated. Now, they are trying to layer the ExpressJet merger on top of ASA.

With Pinnacle, the airline has a totally new executive team to work out the details of merging three airlines together. ‘

Then there is Republic. The fixed fee basis continues to make money. Just not as much as it used to make because of shrinking margins. Then there is Frontier Airlines. The airline lost a ton of money during the quarter. The restructuring continues.

Finally — Allegiant Travel also reported earnings last week. Again — another airline that finds itself in a period of transition. New aircraft types, sharp reductions in capacity as a result of higher fuel prices, new engine overhauling program, ETOPS certification fun, seating modifications to all existing aircraft — a lot of stuff going on out in Las Vegas.

It was a horrible week for airline stocks last week — but I agree with a couple of analysts who put out notes Monday and Tuesday. This is a great time to load up on airline stocks. If they are the right ones. Oil has tanked, demand still looks good, fare prices are still good, the airlines got a little revenue bump as a result of the FAA snafu, and well, yeah, airline stock prices have been, for the most part, beaten to a pulp.

We look at break-even load factors and operating margins for the second quarter. Question of the week — which airline finished dead last in both important metrics?

All of this — and more in a 160 plus page issue this week. Subscribers can access this week’s issue here.

The Mighty Allegiant Posts A Record Operating Margin


I’m sitting here writing this week’s in-depth earnings call review of the third quarter results from Allegiant Travel.

It, along with in-depth looks at the earnings results from other airlines, will be in this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter, which will be posted Monday.

Inundated with numbers and corporate executive double-speak as I am this weekend (and yes, in case you missed it, we did have a moment of “triangulation” in this quarter’s United Airlines’ call) I simply had to stop and relay something I just wrote — for all of you. Not just subscribers.

In fact, I should have mentioned it here in PlaneBuzz earlier this week. I simply forgot to do so.

(As for the “triangulation” reference, if you are a faithful reader you know that I am referring to a “Tiltonism.”) Enough said.

But back to what I wanted to share. It needs no introduction except to say it comes from the beginning of my review of Allegiant’s third quarter earnings performance.

And I quote,

“Maury [Gallagher, CEO of Allegiant] is never one for subtlety. And this quarter was no exception as he let everyone know two things on the call — right off the bat. One, the third quarter is typically the weakest of the four for the airline. Two, the airline posted a 16.5% operating margin for the quarter.”

I feel like I need to insert the sound of a rimshot here. Please.

Did you happen to catch that number? Let me replay it for you. S-l-o-w-l-y. The airline posted an operating margin of 16.5% for the quarter.

Okay, I’m going back to work. I suggest you close your mouth and go back to whatever it is you were doing before I interrupted you.

And people wonder why I like this airline’s damn business plan so much. Sheesh.

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted

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This week’s mega-earnings issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted. I think this one has set a new record at around 100 pages. Hey, I like to give you lots to think about.

This week I look at five airlines that recently reported second quarter earnings in-depth: AirTran; Alaska Air Group; Delta Air Lines; United Airlines; and JetBlue.

We also have earnings summaries now posted for ExpressJet, Republic Holdings, and Hawaiian Airlines on the site for PBB subscribers.

So what did we like or didn’t like about the earnings from this crop of airlines?

It was nice to have three honest-to-god profits to talk about this week. AirTran had an excellent quarter, Alaska was no slouch either, and JetBlue also had a nice quarter — although their profits were not as hefty as those posted by either AirTran or Alaska.

Then there is Delta. The airline continues to slog through some very costly underwater fuel hedges. And of course the airline is being hit hard on the international front as demand has simply gone into hiding for not only Delta but all the U.S. carriers who fly internationally.

And then there is United Airlines. CFO Kathryn Mikells was hammered in the airline’s call about the “L” word — yes, that would be liquidity.

But she retained her poise and kept telling those analysts that they were asking “terrific” questions.

Meanwhile, down in Atlanta, Delta’s Richard Anderson was called out by yours truly for his excessive use of corporate speak. And if I hear the word “synergy” one more time, I’m going to go stark raving mad.

But of course, the big news of last week was the news that Southwest Airlines had made a bid on Frontier Airlines — as part of that airline’s bankruptcy auction process.

Southwest is now burning the midnight oil, doing their due diligence, as final bids need to be in the hands of the court by Aug. 10. (Yes, look at your calendar. That’s next Monday.)

All this and much, much more, including details on the $1 billion cobbled-together financing deal that Air Canada announced this week — The Patron Saint of Failing Airlines Lives! (We are referring of course to GECAS)

All that and more in this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter. Subscribers can access your issue here.