This post has been updated to reflect a problem with the data regarding Avelo’s operation. The airline did not fly all those flights in the middle of the night, and it appears to be some kind of time zone issue on certain days. The chart should be correct after the first 10 days or so, but Avelo has now sent me its correct data. You can see that here.
This Week’s Featured Link
United Next Investor Presentation – United Airlines
If you want to see more of the numbers behind United’s plan, this presentation is full of them. See if you think the plan makes sense to you.
Chart of the Week
Avelo Arrivals Within 14 Minutes of Schedule – June 2021
Two for the Road
Air Canada fights back, disputes $25 million DOT fine – PaxEx.aero
If you thought it might start being safe to book Air Canada again now that the airline has begun offering refunds, this might make you think twice. It’s not a good look for any airline.
How Gary Kelly Changed Southwest Airlines – Texas Monthly
This is quite the puff piece. Why am I posting it? I want to see the comments on this argument that Gary Kelly is a better CEO than Herb was.
The United presentation was very interesting. I noticed most that they are stating improvements in the customer experience as an actual goal that they are actually measuring, and that those measurements are getting better.
Comparing Herb Kelleher to Gary Kelly is kind of like comparing George Washington to Abraham Lincoln. Kelleher and Washington took on the challenges of establishing something new and different. Kelly and Lincoln had to hold things together during difficult times. In general, I’m not a believer in the notion that one person is somehow “better” than another. Each of us is unique. And the circumstances surrounding our lives are different. In the cases of both a sports team and a company team, the important word is “team.” None of us functions in a vacuum. We interact with others. Any leader is ineffective if the team doesn’t buy into the message. A leader is also ineffective if the players don’t have talent and don’t work together. Good leaders skillfully play the hand they’re dealt. They really have no other choice.
As for United, as many have pointed out, United is essentially playing catch up. Based on what I’ve seen, much of the reason why Southwest and other LCCs and ULCCs generate larger margins is gauge. It’s a lot easier to spread out fixed costs and increase revenue when a company has more inventory to spread them out over and charge for. To reframe my comment from the United post, it’s not Delta, Southwest, or American. To me, that’s a good thing. It’s not something to be vilified.
Very cool 1st paragraph. . .and totally agree. It tough to compare leaders across a time line without a flux capacitor and 1.21 gigawatts.
That’s a great comparison!
I would compare Herb to Steve Jobs and Tim Cook to Mr. Kelly. Southwest needed different leadership skills at different points its development.
That article really makes me want to rush right out and invest in Avelo…
There will never be another Herb Kelleher; it is unfair to compare anyone to Herb. I was a pilot at Southwest Airlines from 1982 to 2006. The Text Monthly article is not very thoroughly researched in my opinion. It is woefully short on what Herb was faced with during his stewardship. Gary Kelly has done a good job with what has faced Southwest Airlines, however, he has never had the rapport with the employees Herb did.
Kelly says all the right things… but, the end of the day he is a numbers guy and employees are just numbers. Great CFO, CEO not so much… the operation has been a disaster the last ten years. Similar to UPS (a trucking company that happens to own airplanes), SWA is a ground ops company that happens to own airplanes, unfortunately they aren’t very good at ground ops. Van de Ven must have some compromising pictures to survive so many melt down and operational issues. But, when it comes to the stock market Kelly is the best…