January 27, 2016
Where Delta’s revenues were relatively resilient, United’s are rapidly receding, at least in the fourth quarter. In Episode 24—informally “part two” of U.S. earnings season—we discuss the sources of United’s revenue declines and the many moves the airline can make to restore them. Two other airlines, meanwhile, seem to have all the right moves.
Southwest is enjoying being safely cocooned in the healthy U.S. domestic market, and Alaska Airlines is enjoying watching new routes bear fruit almost overnight. We do manage to break out of the U.S.A., booking passage to India, where IndiGo and SpiceJet notched solid fourth quarters. In short, everybody is making money!
January 20, 2016
Delta kicked off earnings season with—yawn—another record-breaking fourth quarter highlighted by a pre-tax profit that starts with a “b” (and ends with an “illion.”) The success is coming from a lot of baskets including cheap oil, operational performance and the fact that Delta’s revenues are holding up somewhat better than United’s and American’s, who report later. We try to break down Delta’s stellar quarter.
Meanwhile, Air France/KLM, an airline group that weathered some tough headlines in 2015, appears to be feeling pretty good in 2016. In South America, LATAM, the most powerful airline in its region, tries to gain more power with two very large joint ventures. And should WestJet or Air Canada be worried about NewLeaf, the ultra-low-cost carrier that might actually fly this spring?
January 12, 2016
Regardless of whether it’s up or down, India’s airline market tends to be one of thrills and spills. And right now, we’re seeing both—IndiGo is providing the thrills, Air India the spills. Meanwhile, Jet Airways and SpiceJet are holding their own. Believe it or not, that’s a step forward. Not too long ago, it was all misery. Are we seeing the beginning of a stabilizing trend fueled by, well, cheap fuel? Or will growing competition from the likes of Vistara and AirAsia India keep it forever a tumultuous airline market? Also, we look at Korean Air’s difficult situation and offer our two cents’ worth of advice. Plus, has the U.S. market reached a bottom on ticket prices?
January 6, 2016
Ultra-low-cost carriers like Frontier Airlines are facing in 2016 a whole different animal—a beast that we call “fare compression.” In fact, America in 2016 might see a first-time experiment in which the ultra-low-cost model goes up against the forces of low fuel, a good economy and healthy legacy competition. In this week’s episode we also discuss Ben Baldanza’s departure from Spirit Airlines.
We explore ponderous questions like “Would you rather be SAS or Finnair?” and “What’s the longest turboprop route in the world?” Plus, we hear from one of the authors of the new Delta book. It was an easy “get” seeing as how he’s a permanent resident in the Lounge.