This week’s featured link:
United-Avianca Deal Becomes Target of Lawsuit by Kingsland – Bloomberg
Avianca has been desperately looking for new investors, and United has the inside track. But the former owners of TACA (who after the merger became the second largest shareholder in Avianca) are crying foul. They say the largest shareholder (the owner of pre-merger Avianca) is doing this for personal gain. This is some great drama.
Two for the road:
Here is the full transcript of billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s interview with CNBC – CNBC
Warren Buffett sat down to talk about a variety of things, and of course, his big recent investments in the four largest US airlines came up. It’s worth a read or a watch, but I think my favorite quote?
And I bought into one called U.S. Air, that was my previous investment in the late 1980s. Ed Colodny, who was the CEO, came out here. We had dinner at Garazzo and I gave him $358 million, and it disappeared almost before we finished dinner.
A security tech stop – Wandering Aramean
United is so concerned about the safety of its crews in Venezuela, it has now decided to stop in Aruba on the way. Read this post to understand why that helps.
I was in Venezuela around NYE and I can only applaud United’s decision. You really don’t want to put your crew through that danger. I didn’t go into Caracas, it just wasn’t safe for me (tall, blonde, European). Well done, United!
The Venezuela thing is interesting. I’m guessing that there aren’t many other (if any) options for nonstop travel between IAH and CCS, so travelers don’t have too much of a choice. The decision to layover crews in Aruba for a day can’t hurt the route’s popularity with crews, either.
Congressman Howard Buffett was the original Ron Paul. The apple fell far from the tree and rolled across the moat and into the grand courtyard built by the crony government operatives. What’s good for the Oracle may not be what’s good for non-crony connected Americans.
United is apparently named in the Avianca lawsuit and since both are traded on the NYSE there are disclosure requirements about the proposed deal and implications to both if Avianca is not considering the best interests of all shareholders. I have a feeling this won’t go away quickly or easily.
I was in CCS many decades ago and it wasn’t that safe then either. There was places they said not to go at night and places to never go period.