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Airline Weekly Lounge

Author: Skift

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The editors of Airline Weekly discuss the most interesting developments within the commercial airline industry. In keeping with Airline Weekly’s style, conversation generally centers on one question: How do you make money in this industry? 

257 Episodes
It's a busy earnings week with American, Southwest, Alaska, and JetBlue all reporting. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat preview what they're listening for ahead of the airline calls on Thursday, January 26. Plus, EasyJet's strong December quarter revenues suggest their network shift to southern Europe is working. Reading List American Airlines Sees First Full Year of Profitability Since 2019 Southwest Airlines Vows to Return to Recovery Plan by March After Meltdown Alaska Airlines’ Exposure to Tech Sector Hits Carrier’s Bottom Line JetBlue Boasts 50 Percent Jump in TrueBlue Loyalty Enrollment in 2022 EasyJet Financials Lifted by High Demand and Ancillary Revenues
Was that a hint of an Irish accent when United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby took down the U.S. industry for being unprepared for the post-Covid operating reality? Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss. Plus, the U.S-China air service recovery is in the hands of government officials. Reading List United CEO Says U.S. Airline Industry Unprepared for Post-Pandemic Realities by Edward Russell Geopolitics Get in Way of Resuming U.S.-China Flights as Demand Surges by Edward Russell
Welcome to fourth quarter airline earnings season. Oil prices have come down from the peak of the year but labor costs are climbing as the system of pulleys and levers that determine the industry's costs continue to fluctuate. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss what they're looking at as airlines report. Plus, the ongoing evolution in air service to small cities across the U.S. Read this week’s issue of Airline Weekly: Read the latest aviation headlines at AW Daily:
Southwest Airlines had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad holiday season. The cancellation of 15,000-plus flights between Christmas and New Years will weigh on its fourth quarter results, but consumers' memories are short and the airline will survive. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss. Plus, what European country does Eurocontrol's latest data show led the continent's air traffic recovery last year? Further Reading: European Airlines Could Face Steep Operational Challenges in 2023 by Jay Shabat Southwest’s Meltdown Should Be a Technology Warning for Airlines by Justin Dawes
It's been quite the year in aviation. From Covid variants to staffing shortages and flight disruptions, and industry dealmaking, 2022 took us for some interesting turns — but then what year does not? Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss what they'll be following in the New Year. Enjoy the last Airline Weekly Lounge episode of 2022. Read daily coverage of the airline industry at Subscribe to Airline Weekly at
Delta Air Lines and United Airlines unveiled ambitious plans this week. The latter ordered up to 300 new Boeing aircraft, 200 of them 787s. CEO Scott Kirby claims the deal will cement United's status as the so-called U.S. flag carrier. And the former aims to recover its pre-pandemic profit margins in just two years. Can Delta and United do it? Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss in the 'Lounge. Read more about United and Delta on Skift. For deeper insights into aviation, subscribe to Airline Weekly.
Labor is making big headway at U.S. airlines. The Air Line Pilots Association reached an agreement-in-principal with Delta Air Lines in a deal that could set a new benchmark for pilot pay if ratified. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss the ramifications this week. Plus, IATA's brightening financial outlook for 2023. Read more about Delta Air Lines at Skift: Get essential airline industry news at
EasyJet is making good on its recovery plan. From expanding at slot-constrained airports like Lisbon and opening new seasonal bases in Greece, the airline is on its way back to the black. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss EasyJet's results for the fiscal year that ended in September. Plus, the Air India-Vistara merger. You can read more about EasyJet at Skift. For in-depth coverage of aviation, subscribe to Airline Weekly.
Airlines want more planes to meet travel demand but, with supply chains backed up, there are few new models to go around. That's good news for aircraft lessors with more than 90 percent of leases being renewed, up from around 60 percent historically, Air Lease Corp. Executive Chairman Steven Udvar-Hazy said at the Skift Aviation Forum. Listen to Airline Weekly Editor Edward Russell's discussion with Udvar-Hazy at the forum.
Thanksgiving travel in the U.S. is back, said Airlines for America President and CEO Nicholas Calio. But while it will be as busy as it was three years ago, it will also be different as more people take blended trips and make it a Thanksgiving week. Calio and Edward Russell discuss the holiday outlook, plus the U.S. industry's recovery, operations, and air traffic control staffing. For daily coverage of the airline industry follow along at For deep coverage of the airline industry, subscribe at
Turkish Airlines had a blowout third quarter. The airline's revenues and capacity are way up from 2019 with no pause in sight. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss Turkish's outlook. Plus, Ryanair's cautious outlook despite surprisingly robust travel demand. Get more aviation insights and subscribe to Airline Weekly. Read more about airlines at
Air France-KLM wants TAP Air Portugal, but so does International Airlines Group. IAG also wants Air Europa, and maybe even EasyJet. And the Lufthansa Group is back in play for ITA Airways. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss the outlook for Europe's Big Three airline groups and their latest merger machinations. Plus, the outlook from Emirates. Get more aviation insights and subscribe to Airline Weekly. Read more about airlines at
Who would have thought three years ago that we'd be talking about the bright future for Norwegian Air? One restructuring and pandemic later, and the discounter is profitable and taking corporate travel share from competitor SAS. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss the news from the Nordics, plus Hawaiian Airlines' continued struggles. Get more aviation insights and subscribe to Airline Weekly. Read more about Norwegian Air at
Latin American airline executives are mostly bullish on the near-term outlook but, given their exposure to the strong U.S. dollar and other macro pressures, are cautious about what the new year may hold. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss the forecast from the ALTA Leaders Forum in Buenos Aires this week, plus American and United's third quarter results. 11:34
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian claimed this week, after his airline reported a robust third quarter profit and sees seemingly unsated demand, that travel is "countercyclical" to the economic winds. And he's not alone, International Airlines Group and United Airlines have separately said they see no signs of travel demand waning. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss Bastian's prognosis, plus what's up in Amsterdam.
What's the ado with Austin, Cancun, Ho Chi Minh City, Paris Orly, and Riyadh? All of the airports are seeing tremendous growth above pre-pandemic levels. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss why. Plus, Boeing's 737 Max: the good news and bad news.
The "real revenue growth" at American Airlines is in blended trips, or travel that includes both business and personal aspects, Chief Commercial Officer Vasu Raja said at the Skift Global Forum earlier in September. Nearly half of the airline’s revenues now come from these blended trips. What’s more, this new classification of trip is driving the carrier’s revenue growth more than anything else today. “What the pandemic really unlocked, and the recovery from it, is the great merging,” Raja said. “People don’t need to keep need to keep a work life for five days, personal life for two days, and carve out two weeks a year for vacations.” Listen to Skift Founder and CEO Rafat Ali and Raja's fascinating discussion at the forum in full.
The U.S. travel recovery is strong, and maybe nearly complete. If there is one airport that epitomizes the strength of the leisure-first recovery, it is Orlando where seemingly endless domestic demand before the pandemic has translated to much the same post-pandemic. Listen to Edward Russell discuss the state of the industry with moderator Racquel Asa, chief marketing officer at Beep, at an event marking the opening of the airport's new $2.8 billion Terminal C. Also, chilaquiles.
Is Indian aviation's moment here? Air India under Tata ownership has a deal for new airplanes, while the country's largest airline, IndiGo, keeps growing and several new startups are adding new competition to the market. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss, plus the Tijuana Airport's Cross Border Xpress bridge to the U.S. and how its changing California-Mexico travel.
China's Red Ink

China's Red Ink


Chinese airlines struggled mightily during the first half of the year under the country's zero-Covid policy. The Big 3 all lost money but China Eastern, based in Shanghai — which suffered several lockdowns — lost the most. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss the situation and how it may be turning around. Plus, Orlando Airport's new $2.8 billion terminal.
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