Cranky Weekly Review Presented by Oakland International Airport: Delta’s Earnings, Silver is Tarnished in South Florida and More…

Cranky Weekly Review

Delta’s Q1 Sees Record Cash Flow on Small Loss

Delta Air Lines led off earnings seasons for the airlines, announcing a loss of $277 million for the year’s first three months on gross revenue of $12.8 billion.

As part of its look back at Q1, the airline looked ahead to Q2, expecting a boom to the start of the summer travel period with 15-20% revenue growth over Q2 2022 and an operating margin of 14-16%.  Delta’s record cash flow of $1.9 billion for Q1 led to $1.2 billion worth of debt repayment for the airline along with a significant investment in Biscoff futures.

Delta’s gross revenue jumped 36% compared to a year ago while its costs shot up by 45%. Fuel went up 30% to $2.7 billion at a per gallon price of $3.06.  Delta took delivery of six aircraft including four A321neos during the quarter and opened a new SkyClub in Kansas City.  It ended March with $9.5 billion in liquidity, 48 pounds of KC BBQ to be served at its new SkyClub on its opening day, and it finally let the last person into the JFK T2 SkyClub who got in line on January 1.

Silver Not Golden in Fort Lauderdale

Silver Airways is under fire at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport as the carrier owes back rent to the airport for payments as far back as 2021.

Silver operates out of Concourse C in the airport’s Terminal 1, and currently operates to 14 destinations from FLL throughout Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and the Caribbean.  The airport first informed Silver of its deadbeat status on January 3, 2022, when it sent a default notice indicating the airline was behind on more than $1 million in rent. Silver disputed the amount due, and the two parties settled on a payment to settle the debt of $546,305.46 on January 11 of last year, a payment that never happened. It’s subsequent offer of four round-trip vouchers anywhere Silver flies (with 14-day advanced purchase and blackout dates) was not agreed to by the airport as a subsitute for repaying the debt.

By last August, it then owed nearly $791,000, and on December 15, the airport told the airline it was $957,750 behind. The Broward County board of commissioners will vote next week on whether to terminate Silver’s lease at the airport or continue to wait and try to negotiate. 

Other items on the board of commissioners’ agenda next week are what to do about a shingles breakout at the Del Boca Vista retirement community and a resolution to recognize the 2022-23 senior shuffleboard champions.

JetBlue Formally Announces Amsterdam Flights

After much speculation, JetBlue Airways finally announced it would begin flying this summer to its third European destination – Amsterdam – first from New York/JFK and then from Boston.

The carrier will begin flying JFK-AMS at the very specific date of “sometime this summer,” with Boston flying to follow at the specific time of “later.”  JetBlue will use its A321LRs for Amsterdam service, featuring just 138 seats – 24 minty fresh in the front and 114 in the back. 22 of the 24 up front are regular Mint Suites with two Mint Studios in the first row.

JetBlue only has access to the AMS slots through the end of the summer flying season in October, but many believe it would not start service unless it realistically believes it can secure access beyond October. Flights will go on sale in the coming weeks, once JetBlue figures out the difference between Holland and the Netherlands.

Fort Lauderdale Airport Closes Due to Flooding

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport closed Wednesday at noon after record floods made airport operations impossible, stranding thousands at the airport and disrupting air travel up-and-down the east coast. The storm brought the rainiest day in Fort Lauderdale’s history, with nearly 26 inches of rainfall recorded in a 24-hour period.

The airport plans to reopen this morning at 5 a.m. but it will take several hours – if not days – before normal operations resume.  The airport was able to re-open the upper-level departures roadway around 2 a.m. Thursday morning, giving those stuck a chance to be picked up and get out of the airport.

The airport recently completed projects to raise both of its runways to avoid just this sort of situation, but with 26 inches of rain following in such a short period of time, the runways and other low-lying areas of the airport stood no chance.  Spirit, the largest carrier at FLL, cancelled all flights through 11 a.m. today, saying it would operate a limited schedule on Friday, only boarding those passengers willing to pay its flood recovery fee.

Alaska Eliminates Boarding Pass Printing in Portland

Alaska Airlines passengers will no longer print their boarding passes at a kiosk when arriving at the airport’s hub in Portland (OR), with the airline turning the kiosks into luggage tag printers only.

It says this new “check-in experience” will extend to the airport’s common-use kiosks, meaning no self-service boarding pass printing will be available for Alaska customers at PDX. The carrier says this is to get passengers though the lobby area more quickly and to save paper – neither of which are likely the real reason. Alaska says three-quarters of its passengers print boarding passes at home or use their phone – which logically leads to the conclusion of how much paper could be wasted by a quarter of Alaska passengers – or how much they’re really clogging the lobby area.

The airline has eliminated boarding pass printing at a handful of other airports, but exclusively at outstations for the carrier where it has a limited presence. 

  • Aeroflot continues to run a smooth operation in the face of sanctions, as its now sending its planes to receive maintenance in Iran. This seems like a great idea.
  • Aerolíneas Argentinas put its final A340-200 up for sale. Those interested can send a fax directly to the aircraft to put in their bid.
  • Air Baltic will wet-lease an A320 from Fly2Sky to add extra capacity this summer, basing the aircraft in Riga.
  • Air Canada will begin 4x weekly service between Vancouver and Dubai on October 28. The carrier also announced the retirement of CFO Amos Kazzaz who is retiring to take more time to focus on his budding career on the competitive poutine eating circuit.
  • American expects a profitable Q1 but admits its unable to guarantee future performance.
  • BA CityFlyer has been warned it could be fined if it continues to arrive early at London/City, skirting its assigned arrival slots.
  • Breeze suspended its route from Westchester County to Los Angeles in a shocking decision that comes just weeks after winning a prestigious Cranky Network Award for Best Aircraft-Enabled Opportunity on that exact route.
  • British Airways is launching exclusive Avios-only flights which isn’t nearly exciting as it might sound.
  • Delta hopes to sell more expensive tickets.
  • El Al had a record year in 2015.
  • Emirates is adding a third daily flight to Tel Aviv.
  • Etihad was busted by the UK government saying two ads the carrier was running in the country exaggerated its environmental claims. The airline claimed ignorance, saying it stands by the commercials which say that the gold bling at each premium cabin seat comes from 100% recycled materials and that the carrier uses unused toilet water on previous flights to make coffee in economy class to reduce water consumption.
  • FedEx Express announced its intention to rebrand next year as its years-long costly study on what its new name should be culminated earlier this month. The dozens of focus groups, marketing firms, branding experts and FedEx senior leadership finally settled on a dramatic rebrand expected to boost sales and awareness across the globe. The new name for FedEx Express beginning in 2024 will be…FedEx.
  • Fiji Airways is picking up two additional A350-900 aircraft.
  • Hawaiian is confident its B787 deliveries will begin in November — unless they don’t.
  • Interjet‘s remaining assets will be sold as its bankruptcy judge ordered the carcass of the airline to do whatever it could to pay its creditors.
  • Israir is moving closer to purchase Czech carrier Smartwings.
  • MYAirline is considering a myPO.
  • Nok Air is knocking down some of its network after phasing out the Q400 from its fleet.
  • RwandAir signed a new codeshare agreement with Turkish.
  • Ryanair lost an appeal in a Hungarian court over a $871,000 fine it was levied last year. The carrier is appealing the appeal to the EU.
  • Saudia is expanding its summer capacity to accommodate 56 weekly flights to 14 destinations.
  • SWISS‘ former employee its cabin crew union is accused of embezzling more than $500,000. When the charges were being details, prosecutors did note the embezzlement was completed on-time and quite efficiently.
  • Turkish is increasing service to New York/JFK up to 25x weekly flights this summer, going as high as 27x weekly beginning August 7.
  • United has a tentative agreement with its ground-service workers’ union.
  • ZIPAIR will begin serving San Francisco from its Tokyo/NRT base with 5x weekly flights beginning June 2.

I got my wife a metal detector as a birthday present but she didn’t like it.

Which I found strange because digging things up from the past is her favorite activity.

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18 comments on “Cranky Weekly Review Presented by Oakland International Airport: Delta’s Earnings, Silver is Tarnished in South Florida and More…

  1. Soooo I’m confused. What does an Alaska passenger do if they show up without a printed boarding pass and has a flip phone? Does Alaska just stamp a QR code on their hand??

    1. Forget flip phones, what if their smartphone is just out of battery?? I guess they have to get an attendant at a computer terminal to print one? Annoying. I for one always assume I have the option to print a boarding pass in the check-in area. Glad I don’t fly Alaska!

    2. Qantas eliminated boarding pass printing from its kiosks down here; too much wailing and gnashing of teeth from people who still send telegrams. There is a kiosk attendant or two that looks after 20 odd kiosks and a similar number of automated bag drops. They can help people out with a paper boarding pass if required.

      Frequent flyers and business travellers can go straight to the lounge and have them printed because you don’t need a BP to get through security in Australia. TBF your frequent flyer card can also be used as a boarding pass as well.

      1. What’s that frequent flyer card you are talking about? A physical piece of plastic identification issued by the airline and delivered to your mailbox? How quaint!

        1. I was surprised to receive one when I renewed my platinum this year. I thought they had been discontinued due to covid, and TBF I don’t really need one as my phone is pretty much my whole wallet these days.

      2. To your point about boarding passes for security, haven’t been to Portland for awhile but the past few US airports I’ve been to only require ID to get through TSA now. Folks without a paper boarding pass can get one printed at any gate, and don’t need em before getting to the gate, which is actually kinda nice for spreading out what would otherwise be passengers clogging the pre-security area, assuming folks *know* they don’t need their boarding pass until they’re about to step on the jetway.

    3. I thought the same thing. I have an elderly parent and no way no how are they ever going to put an airline app on their phone. The other 90% of the time their printer is out of ink.

      1. Even if I got my elderly parents to install the app (my mom has a hand-me-down smart phone, but uses it as a dumb phone), it would take them forever to pull up the boarding pass when they stand in front of the TSA officer or in front of the gate agent.

      2. I finessed around the “printer out of ink” thing with my elderly mother by buying her a cheap laser printer. Those toner cartridges in there will outlive her and possibly me.

  2. Cranky: I know your Biscoff jokes in relation to Delta are just that: jokes. But you do know that AA has Biscoff as a staple as well (and dry-as-hell tasteless pretzels)?

    1. I’ve had Biscoff foisted on me on AA as well. But how can AA have dry-as-hell tasteless pretzels? UA bought the entire stock pre-pandemic and are still serving them.

    2. The difference is Delta has Delta-branded Biscoffs, complete with the Delta name and logo on the cookie, while American’s are just the regular Lotus-branded ones.

  3. AR’s last A342 LV-ZRA isn’t in flying conditions (Section Doors 2L and 3L have been removed for use as mock up) and it will be sell for the value of the parts, most probably to gypsies looking for aluminum and other alloys… ;)

    Wonderful moment of levity! Love it!

  4. Did that shingles outbreak extend to Del Boca Vista phase 2? Asking for Frank and Estelle.

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