United is still trailing its peers, but can it catch up? That’s the question we weigh first in this episode. In the second quarter, American Airlines bested United with a 16% operating margin versus United’s 14%. One thing that went right for AA: Latin America. One thing that went wrong for United: Asia. Meanwhile, little is going wrong for Alaska Airlines, which is enjoying life in all the right markets at the right time.
JetBlue’s transcontinental routes, which used to be a vulnerability, are now making a mint for the airline. JetBlue even beat mighty Spirit by a whisker. Allegiant did fine despite an eye-popping drop in its profit margin. And, lastly Southwest was again a profit leader with its very conservative approach.