July 26, 2016
Earnings season is in full swing and really there’s too much to talk about within the average commute or treadmill run. So we’ll talk fast. And in this episode, our fast talk starts with American Airlines’ billion-dollar quarter and, naturally, how that compares to rivals Delta and United. Speaking of which, United posted a second-quarter operating margin that was competitive with Delta and AA (although it didn’t beat them.) Could United at last be truly closing in on its peers?
Meanwhile, Southwest and Alaska Airlines posted margins that made the legacy carriers look like a bunch of pikers and underscored that it’s been a golden age for U.S. airlines. Ah, but have the U.S. airlines peaked? And lastly, we revisit our recent conversation about Azul, as the airline reached out to us with some interesting and valuable info.
July 19, 2016
Delta Airlines gets a lot of play in this episode, but it’s not because we’re obsessed with Delta. Rather, there are two practical reasons: First, Delta is the the earliest of the big airlines to report. Secondly, with Delta’s global reach, you can learn a lot about the whole industry from this airline. What did we learn? Revenues continue dropping, but so did costs. Delta remains bullish on its West Coast and transatlantic markets.
And, its operational performance continues to dazzle. Less dazzling was Norwegian, which posted an 8% operating margin in Q2. But 8% doesn’t inspire much confidence that the low-cost longhaul carrier will have a great year. And Qatar Airways, for the first time, reported its full-year earnings. We try to unpack the Gulf carrier’s somewhat complicated report.
July 13, 2016
Brazil’s Azul is no doubt an innovative airline. But has it become too clever by half with its low-cost longhaul venture? A couple years into the experiment, we discuss it in this episode. Meanwhile, its competitor Gol is asking for relief from its bondholders. When the economy recovers, what are the prospects for both of these airlines?
Further north, a rumor has been floated that Delta is interested in buying a piece of WestJet. Etihad might be wishing it never bought into Alitalia. But everybody among U.S. carriers wants a piece of Havana, and the U.S. DOT only had so much to dole out. Malaysia Airlines has a new CEO. And we take a look ahead at the U.S. earnings reports, which will start hitting the streets this week.
July 5, 2016
Turkish Airlines and its cross-town rival Pegasus were seeing trouble in their business before the attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport. In this episode we try to assess—or at least speculate—how the attack will further hurt the two airlines’ prospects. Also, could Turkish’s business model, which relies heavily on sixth-freedom traffic, be especially vulnerable here?
But this episode isn’t all glum. In fact, we discuss new routes announced by Allegiant—currently the most profitable airline on Earth as measured by operating margin—that are a pretty big departure from its business model. Will they work? And lastly, as we’ve crossed the sixth-month mark for the year, we take a look back at the half-year-in-review. In this segment, we cover a lot of ground including the Big Three Gulf carriers, Transavia, Virgin Australia, Azul and Eurowings, to name a few.