Hello everyone. This week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter is now posted.
No surprise, we’re talking a lot about American Airlines again this week.
First, the airline’s labor unions have been given a strong position on the airline’s creditors committee. This is no small deal, as the members of the airline’s creditors committee pretty much dictate how the airline is operated and what the airline will look like when it finally escapes from the grasp of bankruptcy.
In addition, Tuesday the airline announced the first round of upper level executive departures. We expected this — and we hope the departures announced Tuesday are just the beginning.
American’s filing has begun to have ripple effects across the industry. One such effect: JetBlue announced Tuesday night that it was starting (FINALLY) BOS-DFW service in May 2012.
A different effect? Southwest Airlines‘ CEO Gary Kelly’s letter he posted to employees about the American bankruptcy. Essentially Kelly took a hardline with employees — making the point that Southwest Airlines is now, for all practical purposes, the airline in the crosshairs — having never filed for bankruptcy, and now forced to compete with an aggressively managed group of “new” airlines including United, US Airways, and Delta Air Lines.
In other news, we’re sad to see FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt have to resign from the agency. But someone in his position cannot be arrested for DUI. Even worse, you can’t be arrested for DUI and then not tell your boss about it. Reportedly DOT Secretary LeHood found out about Babbitt’s arrest only after the Fairfax City police issued a press release on Monday.
Worse, if Babbitt is convicted, he will lose his commercial pilot’s license.
An extremely unfortunate situation — both for Babbitt, and for the FAA. The last thing the agency needs right now is a distracting search for his replacement.
On Wall Street, airline stocks posted a great week last week. Well, there was one exception. But AMR was just that — an exception. Shares of JetBlue soared, leading a number of airline stocks to hefty double-digit gains on the week.
All this and more in this week’s issue of PlaneBusiness Banter!