Issue No. 800
A Year Everyone Wants to Forget
2020 Was the Worst Year in Aviation's Century-Long History. This Year May Not Be Better.
Pushing Back: Inside This Issue
U.S. airline earnings came fast and furious last week, and by Thursday, the six largest carriers had given their fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 reports to analysts. And after a ghastly 2020, there's still so much unknown about this year. American still is the largest airline, but it could furlough or lay off employees again. JetBlue still has its sights set on London (although we're not quite sure where). Hawaiian doesn't know when it will return to Australia and New Zealand. The 737 MAX is now just another of Boeing's problems, with its 777X program delayed and 787s requiring inspections.
But the banner headline of the quarter may be that Southwest reported its first full-year loss in 48 years. What a year.
Elsewhere in this issue, Aeromexico finally reached deals with its pilots and flight attendants, allowing the bankrupt carrier to access new funding. U.S. flight attendants are calling on more federal aid to support the industry through September. And Canada, on top of its already extremely strict restrictions, is halting flights to Mexico and the Caribbean.
Meanwhile, denizens of certain social media forums reminded Wall Street and the halls of Congress that savvy small-bore investors could move mountains of money if they put their minds to it, even through an unlikely vehicle in GameStop, an once-ubiquitous fixture of suburban malls. We couldn't help getting in on the fun in our Sky Money story.
A final observation. This is our 800th issue. We'd like to thank all our loyal readers for all your support over the last 17 years.
"As our founder, Herb Kelleher, would say, 'We will not sit on our laurels.' And our track record speaks for itself. Our people are fighters, and we are all up for the challenges ahead."Southwest Chief Financial Officer Tammy Romo