Tag Archives: DAL:NYSE

PlaneBusiness Banter Now Posted!

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The price of jet fuel continues to rise, airlines continue to announce capacity pullbacks, American announces a $1 billion debt deal, and Southwest Airlines’ Rapid Rewards members still can’t figure out why their accounts show zero credits.

Just another lovely and enchanting week with the Things with Wings.

This week we’re talking about the IT misery at Southwest, as well as the airline’s strange silence concerning the issue when it hit last week. Why did the airline wait so long to publicly acknowledge the problems? And whose bright idea was it to zero out customer’s RR balances — until a customer uses their account?

It was not a pretty sight, and if the usual online travel haunts are to be believed, the angst has still not been squelched.

Then we had the big announcement from American Airlines this morning. The airline is going to the debt trough — to the tune of $1 billion. Hey, the airline has a slew of debt coming due this year — not to mention a lot of new shiny metal that has to be paid for. The airline had to do something. It certainly wasn’t going to generate it through earnings.

United Airlines became the latest airline to announce a pull back in capacity Monday, while then there is the goofy lawsuit that a group of former Northwest Airlines’ flight attendants filed against Delta Air Lines last week.

You know — if you are going to fight the airline on the union representational vote — thus holding up the results of the election — why then is the AFA supporting a suit alleging the airline has “withheld” benefits from the former Northwest FA’s? If AFA wants its former members to get the same salaries and benefits as their original Delta counterparts, drop the representational lawsuit.


We also have an interview this week with Brett Snyder. Many of you know Brett, AKA Cranky Flier. Well, it seems that Brett recently traveled to Washington, where he participated in an American Bar Association panel discussion concerning passenger rights. Not surprisingly the three-hour tarmac rule was discussed heavily, as there was a representative of the DOT on the panel. Read our interview with Brett and see how it went when Brett and others on the panel challenged the DOT’s contention that the three-hour rule is, overall, a win-win.

Hint: It has something to do with increased numbers of flight cancellations. And the total number of inconvenienced passengers just one airline has experienced as a result of increased cancellations.

On the financial analysis side, we take a look at the new hot metric being thrown around the industry — ROIC. Which airlines outperformed their peers in 2010 and which ones lagged?

As usual, we have a whole lot more. So what are you waiting for? Subscribers can access this week’s issue here.

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.

Delta Reports Earnings And Airline Stocks Go Splat


Delta Air Lines reported earnings this morning, the first airline to report earnings for the second quarter.

While the headline numbers for the airline’s results look quite good on the surface — airline stocks began to drop after the numbers were released and they have yet to get up again.

Why is this the case — if Delta reported such a large profit?

If you are a PlaneBusiness Banter subscriber, you might have a good idea. As I said three weeks ago, I think a lot of this recent giddyness concerning the “return” of airline revenues is, I believe, on shaky ground.

Yes, no question that the second quarter numbers should be good across the board for the sector — with one glaring exception. The only major airline that will probably post a loss for the quarter is AMR, parent of American Airlines.

But as I talk about in this week’s PBB, we are now seeing a number of economic metrics that are pointing toward a recessionary recovery in the U.S. that is running out of steam.

Take those developments, coupled with the fact the airline industry is now looking at the start of a traditionally slow period in September — throw on results from Delta that disappointed on the revenue side — and poof. A perfect recipe for an airline sector selloff.

Now you know.