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PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

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Hello everyone!

We are a bit late posting our blog post tonight. PlaneBusiness Banter has actually been posted for awhile. But it’s been a rather nasty night here at the Worldwide Headquarters. Had to go offline for a bit. Tornado warnings, tornado sirens, baseball sized hail, rain. Just a lovely evening.

That’s okay. It’s not Joplin and it’s not Tuscaloosa. Still very unsettling though.

Speaking of unsettling, we didn’t hear many unsettling comments spoken at the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Global Transportation Conference last week. Airlines made their way to Boston where analyst Glenn Engel held court. This week I give you a summary of the high points from the Conference and talk a bit about why, even though airline execs continued to sing the praises of continued revenue strength, a number of analysts are convinced the airlines have hit the wall in terms of fare increases and passenger demand pushback.

I was over at Southwest Airlines last week, as the airline held their annual shareholder meeting. After the meeting Chairman, President and CEO Gary Kelly held a press conference. Our take? I think the airline is now fully aware of the challenge it faces with the AirTran merger. It’s time to get to work.

In other news, Delta Air Lines and US Airways announced a newly revised slot swap proposal late Monday. Our take on the revised deal? We still like it just as much as we did when the two airlines first proposed the deal almost two years ago.

But I doubt American Airlines likes the deal very much. If the Feds approve the deal, it will give Delta Air Lines a huge leg up on its New York expansion — as US Airways will hand over 132 slot pairs at LGA to the Atlanta-based airline. In return, US Airways will get $66.5 million in cash and 42 new slot pairs at Washington’s DCA. Oh, and rights to fly to Sao Paulo.

The deal will strengthen the network of both airlines. For very little money.

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

Subscribers can access this week’s issue here.

Okay. I’m going back to the closet.