This week in PlaneBusiness Banter I sit down for a PBB Lounge Lizard Interview with one of my favorite people — Dave Hilfman. Dave is the SVP of Global Sales at the “new” United Airlines. Prior to his current gig, Dave held the same position at Continental Airlines.
We talk corporate sales, red Mazda RX-7 convertibles, Eastern Airlines, Gordon Bethune, Larry Kellner, why some corporate clients are not happy about sharing contract performance information, the United/Continental merger, and you’ll meet Dave’s son Marshall too.
Tonight, we’re waiting to hear the news from AMR in regard to 1) American Eagle and 2) new aircraft. The pilots at American Eagle and AMR came to terms on some sticking points regarding how the pilots would be treated if there was a change of ownership at the airline today. That points to an announcement tomorrow about what AMR intends to do with its regional subsidiary.
The AMR board of directors was meeting today in advance of the airline’s second quarter earnings roll out tomorrow. If we were betting, we’d bet that Airbus/Boeing decision was probably made today at that same board meeting.
Meanwhile, over the weekend, it was announced that the Southwest Airlines and AirTran pilots had come to terms on a new seniority agreement. Still have not seen an “official” summary of that agreement. Clearly this is a big deal for the airline. More after we see the fine print.
Airline stocks? Horrible week for them last week.
In the government fun and games division, the DOT rolled out a list of 16 fees it thinks the airlines need to keep track of and report to the government last week. Of course they did this under the guise of it being “passenger friendly.” Hogwash. It’s so the DOT can force the airlines to account for ancillary revenues in a more clear and concise manner. The easier to tax those revenues — down the road.
Then we had the bipolar fare increase/fare sale activity over the last couple of days. First United and Delta began an attempt to raise fares last week. It continued through the weekend — and then Southwest balked.
Then this week Southwest and its new subsidiary AirTran rolled out a new fare sale!
Just another wacky week in the industry we all know and love.
All this and more — in this week’s PlaneBusiness Banter. Subscribers can access this week’s issue here.