Introducing Cranky Network Weekly With a Free Preview Through 2020


The weekly Skeds of air Lines posts have become reader favorites, but they merely scratch the surface of WHY important network moves are being made in a competitive context. For that reason, I’ve teamed up with Courtney Miller of Visual Approach to go much deeper with that weekly Cirium data. After weeks of preparation, we are proud to announce our new subscription product, Cranky Network Weekly.

Every Friday night, the weekly schedule change data is released, and we work all weekend to put out CNW by Sunday evening so that you can get a jump on the beginning of the workweek.

Our reports consist of a dashboard looking at changes week-over-week and year-over-year for the top 12 airlines in the US and Canada. That’s followed by a deeper look at the top trends of the week, highlighting what matters most.

This report is designed for the professional that benefits most from this level of information:

  • Investors can acquire key information about competitive dynamics they won’t find anywhere else
  • Industry Analysts can get detailed information to help enhance their client reports
  • Consultants can improve their network knowledge and get timely information to feed their clients
  • Airports can get a better handle on competitive dynamics, improve their planning abilities, and learn where to focus their air service development efforts
  • Aircraft Lessors can receive valuable inputs to help stay abreast of what’s happening with their customers
  • Labor Groups can stay abreast of company moves that may affect membership ranks

Cranky Network Weekly normally costs $800 a month, and we know that means you aren’t likely to just jump into a subscription. For that reason, we’re throwing open the doors for a free preview through the end of this year. How can you take advantage?

  1. Download CNW for the week ending November 13 here.
  2. Fill out the form below to keep receiving CNW at no cost to you through the end of the year!

Sign Up Now for a Free Preview of Cranky Network Weekly

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    15 comments on “Introducing Cranky Network Weekly With a Free Preview Through 2020

    1. Looks great. Wish I could justify spending $ on it, but I can see that this would be worth every dollar to others.

      1. I love it too, but I don’t know if I would pay for it……I guess it depends how much of a discount off the $800 list price cranky would be willing to give me.

    2. Pretty darn cool Cranky – you very well may have me hooked by the end of the year! Can you tell us if Delta ASMs in the report are adjusted for blocked middle seats?

        1. Gotcha. Thanks. So then on page 3 for Nov, AA is running 49% of 2019 seats, UA is running 44%, and DL is running 60% x ~70% unblocked = 42%. For Dec AA 50%, UA 48%, and DL 63% x ~70% = 44%. Delta is returning the fewest actually available seats of the big 3. This is extra surprising when you consider how much more internationally focused UA is.

          1. Just a reminder that Delta’s seat blocking policy, like some others, is not a hard percentage but is dependent on the number of people in a party. People in a party can sit together; those not in the same are given extra space.
            That dynamic is likely to be more significant during the holidays.

            More importantly is what percentage of seats carriers are actually filling – and more importantly how much revenue they are getting.
            American generated the most passenger revenue in the 3rd quarter but then pulled back large portions of the capacity it flew during the summer.

            Delta generated the highest passenger yield in the 3rd quarter. They believe that extra space generates higher individual revenues. Since none of the big 6 filled more than 50% of their seats, seat blocks are not a high level hindrance to filling seats; at best they only shift the lowest yielding passengers to other flights.

            Delta actually filled a higher percentage of seats that it did offer for sell than carriers that did not block seats.

            Remember that some other carriers are offering some level of seat blocking in December as well.

            1. > Since none of the big 6 filled more than 50% of their seats, seat blocks are not a high level hindrance to filling seats; at best they only shift the lowest yielding passengers to other flights.

              Not sure that will be true for the holidays. My brother just did a SNA-IAH UA RT where both flights were around 90% full, and we haven’t even gotten into the holidays.

              Tim: since you know yield per passenger, do you have the most recent yields per ASM (all seats, not just available for sale) for DL, UA, and AA? (or maybe Cranky knows?)

              1. it is in the financial reports. look at the investor relations page of each airline for their 3rd quarter financial results. Or you can look at an investor site which has public access (ie not paid) to the financial reports for publicly traded companies.
                This is for American on Seeking Alpha.
                There is a similar page for each publicly traded airline (Frontier is not publicly traded).
                AAL’s 3rd quarter consolidated passenger yield (mainline and regional) was 14.01 which was down 17.3% on a year over year basis.
                For ALK, the same measure was 14.99 which was up 1.9% and for DAL 16.78 which was down 2%.

                Those reports also include load factor. Nearly all airlines are only reporting load factor on a quarterly basis with their financial results. You can see the LF data on those same earnings reports.
                AAL was 58% – the highest but their yield fell heavily – ALK was 48% and DAL was 41%.

                A 90% load factor flight can statistically happen but it is clearly an outlier when average load factors are much lower. There are clearly a lot more very low load factor flights to offset than 90% flight.

                Every airline is flying way more capacity than they can profitably fill so total capacity is not as meaningful as the direction of what each airline is doing month to month as well as what is happening in specific cities including between airlines in the same city.

                Those are the first three big US airlines in alphabetical order for their stock tickers (mostly fits their names except for Southwest). You should be able to keep going. Have fun and enjoy your research.

              2. Got it. Thanks. For 3Q20, I’m seeing UA total revenue per available seat mile at 11.21 cents, AA at 10.31 cents, and Delta at 9.35 cents. Blocking middle seats is definitely a hit to revenue per ASM.

              3. Glad you are finding the data, Tory.
                There is yield (which is the amount of money per sold seat) and revenue per available seat mile (RASM) which airlines usually report as both passenger RASM and total RASM (which includes all sources of revenue such as loyalty program, bag fees).
                You are correct that DAL did not post as high of a RASM number as other carriers.

                Again, you can draw the conclusion that unblocking seats would have resulted in more revenue; maybe it would and maybe it wouldn’t have. I strongly doubt that Delta is blocking seats for an unquantified goodwill in the future. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are making the rounds of corporate accounts trying to win their business now and in the future.

                Remember that the CARES Act provided cost offsets through the 3rd quarter. There was less incentive to generate revenue as long as the government was supporting airlines. American and Southwest both cut alot of capacity after the 3rd quarter. United has been tight on capacity from the beginning. Delta actually ramped up capacity going into the 3rd quarter. They were on the sidelines like United for at least 3 months. Financial results probably will show that when the 4th quarter closes.

                Now, airlines have to make do with the revenue they are getting and their ability to cut costs. Based on the most recent investor guidance from each of the big 4, Delta is expected to burn less cash than any of the big 4 when adjusted for the size of the airline; ie Delta and Southwest will burn about the same amount of cash but Delta is larger in terms of revenue and costs. DAL’s cash burn will be less than half of AAL and UAL’s.

                There are clearly multiple strategies to manage through covid that might turn out to be successful. One airline might generate better profits (or lower losses) by blocking while someone else might do better blocking.
                We just don’t have the data at this point to know and won’t probably until the covid crisis is over.

                For what can be seen in the near term, Delta is expected to lose less money in the 4th quarter than its most direct competitors.

                When you consider all of the different strategies that carriers are using to survive, capacity is just one and seat blocking is one subset of capacity.

                Hope you enjoyed your research and get in the habit of doing it on a quarterly basis whenever financial results are released; the next time will be mid-January.

    3. Nicely done. This is better in many ways than the international air cargo slide deck that is my company receives from a consulting firm on a weekly basis.

      I’m not your target market (just an avgeek, so the price that I would be willing to pay would undercut your main market), but I wish you the best of luck. Definitely looking forward to getting this for the next few weeks, and hope that in the future you’ll be able to expand upon many of the concepts initially highlighted in the CNW to make them full-blown Cranky Flier blog entries.

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