April 26, 2016
While Delta, American and United have all seen both revenues and costs dropping, Southwest and Alaska just experienced the opposite in the first quarter. In fact, Southwest and Alaska rode a wave of rising revenues (say that three times fast) and rising costs to fantastic profits—and they did it in the normally sluggish Q1, no less. Speaking of American, how serious is the airline’s declining revenue, which is getting dinged by Southwest in Dallas and bruised by the economy in Brazil?
Meanwhile, United is getting roughed up in Asia and simply hammered in Houston. Continuing to underperform its peers, United is making a change to its board. Will it help? And we raise a mai tai to Hawaiian Airlines, which posted a breezy Q1 in its own right.
April 20, 2016
Here’s a simple recipe for success: Make all the right moves in all the right places. Whether overseas or in the U.S., Delta has managed to avoid the pockets of pain being experienced by its U.S. peers, who have even been successful in their own right. Also, if one of the most successful airline in the world places a CSeries order, will it change the momentum of that aircraft program?
TAP Portugal lost money in 2015—a big deal with fuel prices so low—and it’s impacting other airlines. One of those is Azul, a big investor in TAP, and Azul, being a Brazilian carrier, doesn’t need another headache right now. And through the miracle medium that is the lightning round, we look at the 2015 revenues and profitability of airlines around the world.
April 13, 2016
Is China’s slowing economy taking its toll on the country’s Big Three carriers? So far Air China, China Eastern and China Southern have held up well and posted a rather good 2015. But the fourth quarter of 2015 showed some signs of deterioration—even by the standards of this off-peak quarter. In the U.S., Alaska Airlines and Virgin America are, unlike a lot of mergers in the past, merging from a position of strength. But is that a good thing?
Delta’s upcoming first quarter earnings report will surely be terrific and begs the question: Does the U.S. airline industry have an off-peak quarter anymore? Air New Zealand has some shares of Virgin Australia they want to sell you, Air France/KLM is looking for a new CEO, and we finish the show with our first lightning round of 2016.
April 6, 2016
Alaska Airlines clearly wants to be the dominant carrier on the West Coast, and if its purchase of Virgin America goes through, it will have four focus cities—Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle—all clustered on the Pacific. Such a network might look very different from the network of United, Delta, or American, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work, and it actually resembles the networks of a couple of other successful carriers.
All in all, in this episode, we give our blessing to the Alaska-Virgin marriage, even if the wedding will cost a fortune. Plus, we check in on Brazil’s Gol, an airline that reported some frightful losses. And lastly, little Cebu Pacific did it again, serving up stellar profits in Q4 and making 2015 a stellar year.