This Week’s Featured Link
2021 Distinguished Achievement Award – The Wings Club
This isn’t an article, but it’s worth noting. Tonight is the annual gala for the Wings Club and who is receiving the big Distinguished Achievement Award this year? American CEO Doug Parker. This feels like the kind of award you get when you’re getting ready to call it a career. I know nothing behind the scenes on this, but it could be a sign that the time is coming.
Image of the Week
Two for the Road
Delta fast-tracks NYC growth with 8,000 more seats daily – Delta News Hub
You have to hand it to Delta. With the slot waivers on domestic flights expiring at the end of November, Delta has to use most of its slots in New York. But why miss a golden opportunity to market that you are growing and prospering? Delta will have 100 new flights by November and that sounds great on paper. The motivation, however, is just pure regulatory movement.
Misuse of Slots Enforcement Code Annual Report 2020/2021 – ACL International
This is a fun* read looking at the UK’s slot enforcement proceedings. It gives an overview of how operations went, and then it gives some examples of violations and how they were fixed. (*Fun is a relative term.)
Hybrids. Now that’s something kinda missing from American Aviation from the last two decades. I remember that circa 1986-1989, probably half the entire nation was a hybrid.
I have a few pics I got of Southwest/Morris Air hybrids taken in about 1994-ish. Have a crap-ton of them from when Reno Air was devoured by American.
I saw, but was never able to photograph any American/TWA hybrids.
I don’t think we ever saw any after that. No Delta/Northwest. No Southwest/AirTran. And so on and so on.
Was kind of disappointed with that, How come in the last round of mergers we never saw any? All went straight to the paint shop.
Matt – I think they realized it just doesn’t matter what’s painted on the outside. People don’t really care or look at it anyway. So, they just leave it in the original colors until they can run it through paint.
Southwest/AirTran was different since the airplanes remained flying as AirTran until they were converted, painted, and brought over to Southwest.
I ran through this briefly in my head — does the paint matter? For a big, established carrier, maybe not. But if you’re a startup airline, you’re hoping to catch the attention of travelers to stimulate demand from people who might consider taking you to reno, so you’d might as well use your flying billboard (and white with expressjet doesn’t cut it).
(Frontier with the animals, Spirit with the bright yellow, Allegiant with the sun on the tail — not sure why they never changed their name, though.)
Speaking of, things that come up when you google aha!: American Heart Association, a sparkling water brand, product roadmapping software, American Hospital Association, American Historical Association, Aha video software… but no airline. Swing and a miss! Ditto their blah white/blue/green livery. It’s reno, go garish!
emac – I can see that. Hybrid merger paint schemes are what I was talking about mostly. Those you just don’t see anymore.
The award being given to Doug Parker sounds like something out of the movie “The Muse” with Sharon Stone & Albert Brooks. In the beginning of the film Brooks earns some type of lifetime achievement award for righting & then a short time later he is fired from the studio before his three picture deal was completed. An interesting spoof film of the Hollywood machine including a few noted cameos including Wolfgang Puck & Jennifer Tilly.
Who’s next in line at AA? The old heir is running UA, there are a few other notables at AA (Isom, Eberwein, Raja, Taylor). I guess Isom, because of his longevity? Does he have that certain je ne sais quoi that separates the leaders from the pretenders (Jeff “we’re going to raise revenue and cut costs and be the best” every year Smisek)?
emac – It’s definitely Robert Isom since he is the president and heir apparent. Doesn’t mean things can’t change, but that has been the plan.
Too bad THIS link wasn’t up yet or it would definitely have made your list!
Mr. Parker is well-deserving of The Wings Club award. He is a survivor. He darn near merged with Delta. Instead, he cobbled the remnants of USAirways, America West, and American Airlines (and their predecessors) into a company that is now too big to fail. He is the Father of the latest round of consolidation. He foresaw, either by vision or necessity, that merger was his survival lifeline, his path to critical mass. We can debate the efficacy of his shotgun marriages, but we cannot deny the man his place in the record books. We can examine his personal foibles, but we cannot impinge on his legacy. He was not handed the keys to the mansion on a silver platter like Mr. Kelly and Mr. Bastain. Rather, he built, brick by brick, the largest house in the neighborhood. Even if the recycled bricks don’t always match, he still built the house. Even if the house is highly mortgaged, he still built it. Like the greats, he built something out of nothing. Congratulations, sir.
That Delta announcement is another piece that AA/B6 will gladly use to argue their case in front of DOJ.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, DL’s CorpComm team is good at what they do.
Agreed. Even as an avgeek who doesn’t follow the industry much as many other readers of this blog, DL’s corporate communications / PR team seems to do a solid job at pushing its versions of stories. Perhaps WN will learn from (or poach someone from) DL.
The graphic design on that ACL report cover is pretty dreadful. (The green text is what bothers me most, but i also abhor the random corporate value statements on the bottom).
Loved this bit buried at the end though: “ £26,000 sanctioned against Hifly for three operations of flights from red listed countries in breach of London Heathrow airport capacity constraints”
To my eyes the report reads like regulators trying to justify their rules/jobs, but I can understand the need to keep carriers honest in an extremely slot-restricted environment, lest the carriers with less desirable slots exceed their bounds and impinge on the rights of other carriers.
My favorite tidbit from the report is that the Polish Airforce [sic] received a warning letter for operating without a slot to LGW. Apparently the rules apply to everyone.