Issue No. 888
Frontier Boldly Sees Itself as the Next Southwest
Pushing Back: Inside the Issue
Let’s describe current airline industry conditions in just four words: Demand great, supply constrained. Or perhaps you prefer: Revenues strong, costs rising.
The point is, airlines around the world are filling their planes and collecting handsome fares. But they’re also grappling with elevated fuel and labor costs, combined with difficulties securing sufficient aircraft capacity. These were among the chief themes at last week’s gathering of aviation professionals in Dallas last week, for the annual Skift Aviation Forum. Dallas and Fort Worth, by the way, are now America’s fourth largest metro area by population, perhaps en route to surpass number three Chicago before long. The DFW airport, meanwhile, was America’s second busiest by passenger volumes last year, behind only mighty Atlanta.
What other themes gained attention at the event? Sustainability for sure. Many discussed changing travel patterns — i.e., busier offpeak activity — and whether they’ll stick. Azul gave an update on developments in Brazil. American, Southwest, and Spirit spoke about network planning. JetBlue and Expedia talked about distribution. And so on.
Speaking of JetBlue, give it a beret and some cheese, it’s going to Paris. Frontier told investors it’s going to make a lot of money in future years, never mind what skeptics like United’s Scott Kirby say. (No, assured Sun Country’s Jude Bricker at the forum, he’s not running a Ponzi scheme). Copa reported earnings (they were awesome). SpiceJet reported too (they were lousy). Bengals fans in Britain (if such a species exists) have a new British Airways nonstop to Cincinnati. Air France-KLM is repaying state aid. And soccer/football fans are busy cheering for their teams in Qatar — the World Cup is underway!
Airline Weekly Lounge Podcast
Thanksgiving travel in the U.S. is back, according to guest A4A President and CEO Nicholas Calio. But while it may 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. Plus, the U.S. industry’s recovery, operations, and air traffic control staffing. Listen to this week’s episode to find out. A full archive of the 'Lounge is here.