American Airlines doesn’t hedge its jet fuel, and now it’s enjoying the fruits of that somewhat contrarian strategy. Is AA onto something here? Is fuel hedging a smart play? Will other airlines mimic AA and reject hedging altogether? Those are some of the questions I ask Seth Kaplan in our second episode of The Airline Weekly Lounge. Also, while AA was on the right side of the fuel hedge bet, Air France/KLM was on the wrong side.
The company was also on the wrong side of the euro-dollar bet and those two forces combined to further punish the already-limping airline pair. Back in America, Spirit Airlines had a great quarter by its own standards—but mediocre by its standards. Part of its difficulty was due to a softening revenue picture. Is such heated competition in the U.S. a surprise so soon after consolidation and with high oil prices such a recent memory? Lastly, we discuss WestJet, the subject of this week’s Airline Weekly’s cover story. The Canadian airline is clearly not afraid to changes its business model. We look at WestJet’s endeavors and more in this week’s episode.