3 Links I Love: WestJet Gets Bought, The Great Airline War, The Long Way Home

Links I Love, Pan Am, Southwest, Westjet

This week’s featured link:

Onex shakes up Canada’s airline industry with all-cash deal to buy WestJetThe Globe and Mail
WestJet is going private again, and this time it’s by a company that has tried to get into the airline industry before. There’s an awfully hefty premium being paid for the airline, so that means Onex must have a plan beyond just “business as usual.” I look forward to hearing what that will be.

Image/Video of the Week: The TWA Hotel is now open, and it is not only the best airport hotel in the US for avgeeks, it is also the only half-nice airport hotel near JFK.

Two for the road:

The Great Airline WarTexas Monthly
This article is just… word’s can’t describe how much I enjoyed reading it. It’s a long piece that dates back to the end of 1975. In it, the author looks at the brawl between Texas International, Braniff, and Southwest in the state of Texas. It is worth the read 100 times over.

This Plane Accidentally Flew Around the WorldMedium
And now, let’s go further back in history. There is a great book about this, but someone has put together a lengthy, multi-part series on Medium talking about the Clipper that had to travel west to get back to the US after Pearl Harbor was bombed. It was a pretty amazing feat to make this happen, and if you have a lot of time to spare, cozy up and have a read.

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14 comments on “3 Links I Love: WestJet Gets Bought, The Great Airline War, The Long Way Home

  1. The last time I came across the name Onex corporation was when they owned Loews Cineplex Entertainment & that was in 1998. They must see something in WestJet as this is a risky venture as compared to owning cinemas.

  2. The Medium story about the Pan Am flying boat is absolutely fascinating! Really gripping and extremely well written. Thanks Cranky, for tipping us off to it,

  3. With all the stock buyback programs the major U.S. carriers have, one has to wonder if the idea isn’t to take some or all of them private at some point.

    1. I’m not sure about that as companies in most sectors have been in stock buyback mode lately. If you cant increase share prices by earnings, then you go the buyback route or do both.

  4. LOVE the “future history” captured in James Fallow’s story about airlines in Texas. “Lorenzo and the earnest young people he has brought with him seem uniformly decent and capable, but there was something about their background that sat ill with the rest of the company.” – apparently before he grew the horns and tail.

    And on deregulation, still assumed to be incremental and possibly not happening at all: “”What you’ll see under President Ford’s proposals,” says Francisco Lorenzo, “is two types of airlines. You’ll see United Airlines, and you’ll see some lines like Southwest.” Braniff, TI, and all other inhabitants of the middle tier would be squeezed out of the market.”

    Thanks so much for the link! Made my day!

  5. Sad prediction from 1975:
    “Sadly, it seems at least as probable that three or four large trunks would squeeze everybody else out of business, and then impose an oligopolistic control over pricing like that of the guardians of the public’s automotive interest in Detroit.”

    Oh, the TWA hotel looks awesome.

  6. It’s amazing to me that PanAm flight around the world hasn’t been made into a movie. Such a gripping and exciting story!

  7. Haven’t yet read the Medium article on the Pan Am flight, but ordered the book linked above and read it in one sitting last night. Very highly recommended, one of the few books I’ve in a long time where I wish the authors would have included MORE details.

    I’ve gotten to the point where I will order and read any book that Brett recommends without a second thought, and would love to see some occasional “book review” or “favorite books” posts.

    1. Agree – I’ve always liked Cranky’s book recommendations. Brett should consider adding a book club.

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