Tag Archives: Richard Anderson

Don’t Mess with Delta’s Richard Anderson

It was another 55-plus pager this week for PlaneBusiness Banter, as we talked at length about the earnings reports that were released last week by Delta, Southwest, American and Continental.

There were more than a few tantalizing tidbits from the four earnings conference calls, but the one that made me laugh was when Delta’s CEO Richard Anderson was asked by analyst Dan McKenzie from Credit Suisse about whether or not the airline’s revenue performance on the trans-Atlantic sector (which was up) was a result of the fact that EOS and MaxJet were no longer around.

Richard: “They didn’t matter …really.”

Glen Hauenstein, EVP of Network and Revenue Management then came on the call and added,

“Daniel, I think again you have to look at what sectors have been disproportionately hit. We are the largest carrier to the Middle East. We’re the largest carrier to Africa, and those are all included in our trans-Atlantic numbers. Those economies are still quite robust right now. Where we’re not so big is London Heathrow, where we just entered service last year, and I think what you know is that there are several carriers out there that have made their living off of New York to London, and that’s been disproportionately hit as you saw from BA’s announcement a couple of weeks ago or last week. And we’re somewhat insulated from that because that’s not where we’re big, and I think that’s been one of the secret sauce in our recipe of success in the trans-Atlantic.”

We all know that, well, Richard can have his moments. And this was certainly one of them, as he then responded with the finesse of a surgeon wielding a finely sharpened blade, “MaxJet and EOS were so small, that it was a rounding error in terms of trans-Atlantic capacity.”


So the next time you want to minimize the effect of someone or something — just say that they are so small, they are “nothing but the rounding error in the big picture of life.”

And deliver the line authoritatively — just as Richard did.

And then duck.