Issue No. 891

Southwest's Air Jordan

CEO Bob Jordan Gives Investors a Taste of What's to Come

Pushing Back: Inside the Issue

Things are feeling pretty good in airline world. Demand across most markets remains strong, and fares are high. And now, the cost outlook is suddenly looking much, much better. Fuel prices continue to drop, losing much of their gains from the past year. Brazil’s Azul, for one, said last week that it’s paying about a fifth less for fuel than it was just a month ago. The U.S. dollar, meanwhile, is losing value versus most major currencies, offering further cost relief to non-U.S. airlines.

Southwest is certainly feeling good, telling investors to expect strong profits this quarter and next year. Azul, which also presented to investors last week, is just as bullish about revenues as it is heartened by falling fuel costs. Mexico’s Volaris held an investor day event too, sharing its own version of bullishness. Delta will have its turn to wow investors this week.

Investors will perhaps be wary of a new Delta pilot contract that if ratified, will elevate labor costs. In other news last week, WestJet said it’s headed for Tokyo. American and JetBlue jointly announced new routes, primarily from New York LaGuardia — that’s as they await a judge’s ruling on whether their cooperation is even legal. Marking the end of an era, Boeing produced its last 747. And perhaps marking the beginning of a new one, Comac delivered its first C919.

And finally, IATA says the airline industry will make money again in 2023. That’s after three straight years of losses. Profits next year might in fact prove even greater than anticipated … if oil prices maintain their current trajectory.  

The Airline Weekly Lounge

Labor is making big headway at U.S. airlines. The Air Line Pilots Association reached an agreement-in-principal with Delta in a deal that could set a new benchmark for pilot pay if ratified. Plus, IATA's brightening financial outlook for 2023. Listen to this week’s episode to find out. A full archive of the 'Lounge is here.

Weekly Skies

The pandemic has wrought big changes on Southeast Asia’s largest budget airline, AirAsia. The collection of carriers, primarily owned by Malaysia’s Capital A, is preparing to launch a new airline in Cambodia while also on the cusp of a major…

Jet Green

The European Union has upheld France’s landmark 2021 climate law that bans select flights on routes where trains are time competitive. The decision, from European Commissioner of Transport Adina-Ioana Valean, found that the country can bar domestic flights where trains can make…

State of the Unions

Delta and its pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, have reached an agreement-in-principal that ends an acrimonious negotiating process but also adds to the cost pressure airlines already face.

Feature Story

Michael Jordan worked wonders with a basketball. Can Bob Jordan do the same with a fleet of more than 700 planes?