Cranky Weekly Review Presented by Oakland International Airport: Delta is Printing Money, AA’s Maine Focus

Cranky Weekly Review

Delta’s Q3 Profit Exceeds $1 Billion

Delta’s Q3 earnings report was released this week and the carrier posted a record profit of a whopping $1.1 billion on $14.55 billion in gross revenue during the always-successful summer quarter. The profit is a nearly 60% jump from Q3 last year when Delta earned a mere $700 million.

This profit comes on the heels of Delta’s dramatic revamp of its Medallion program with Delta executive Tom Brady reportedly saying if the changes had been made last year, this quarter’s profit could have been closer to $2 billion.  Delta’s planes were 88% full during the three months ending September 30, 1% higher than a year ago. Revenue on sales in the Main Cabin were $6.6 billion, a 12% increase while premium cabin sales jumped 17% to $5.1 billion.

Demand for trips to Europe jumped 34% from last year, with CEO Ed Bastian saying business travel for the airline is more than 80% recovered from pre-pandemic, and that’s before factoring in that all of Tom Brady’s travel is now considered business travel for Delta.

Delta ended the quarter with $7.8 billion of liquidity, including everything stored in its secret Biscoff Tunnel between concourses B & C in Atlanta and Tom Brady’s Super Bowl LI ring which is now on display for the first 283 people to visit the Delta Museum in Atlanta each day.

AA’s New England ExpAAnsion

American Airlines, the official airline of leaf-peeping enthusiasts, announced seven new routes it’ll operate next summer to coastal destinations in New England and Nova Scotia.  It also will begin two new international routes and will add a new dot to its route map with daily service from both New York/LGA and Washington/National to Hyannis beginning June 5.

The two flights to HYA represent two of the seven new routes – the other five, all from New York/LGA will begin from June and are summer-only daily service unless otherwise noted:

  • Bangor
  • Halifax
  • Martha’s Vineyard
  • Nantucket
  • Portland (ME) (2x daily year-round service)

The totality of the new flights will give AA more than 20 daily departures to Maine during the summer, or roughly one per permanent year-round resident in the state.

The two new international routes for AA are Charlotte to Vancouver and Washington/National to Bermuda.  DCA will represent the 5th city to operate from Bermuda on American, while the CLT-YVR flights will mark the first time scheduled service has existed between the two cities.

American Eyes Haneda Slot, Too

American Airlines is tossing its hat into the ring for a shot at an available slot to Tokyo/Haneda, hoping to operate from New York/JFK. AA’s filing with the DOT requests 1x daily service to complement its HND flying that currently exists from both Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles.

Whether or not AA wins the slot is another matter – its JV partner JAL currently flies the JFK-HND twice daily, so this request wouldn’t necessarily add much diversity into the market. Even if AA were to win the slot, its reduced feed into JFK will reduce its chance for success.  Perhaps if it wins the slot, it might want to consider partnering with another NYC-based airline that’s strong in the NYC-Florida market that could provide feed for the new flight to Tokyo.  Just an idea.

In the meantime, while we wait on the DOT’s ruling, check out Thursday’s post on for more on Tokyo/Haneda and its slot situation.

El Al to Fly Rare Sabbath Flights

El Al Airlines will operate flights on Saturday, which will mark the first time it has operated during Shabbat since 1982. The carrier plans to operate two flights from Bangkok, one from Madrid, and one from New York/JFK to Tel Aviv.

The carrier has a policy of not operating any aircraft for a 25-hour period every Friday through Saturday night to avoid flying through Shabbat – but that policy will be put on hold this weekend to bring hundreds of IDF reservists back to Israel to fight the war against Hamas.  The BKK and JFK Shabbat flights will be operated by B787 Dreamliners and the passengers will be flying free of charge – with the carrier and U.S.-based financial institutions covering the cost.

JetBlue Updates Mosaic Program for 2024

One year after dramatically overhauling its Mosaic loyalty program, JetBlue announced tweaks to the program for next year which – gasp – might actually be better for customers rather than standard loyalty program enhancements.

Starting with its Mosaic Signature Perks, JetBlue is giving greater choice to elites, including the ability to confirm Mint upgrades at booking for members of the third and fourth tier of the program.  All Mosaic members will be offered a status match to Avis sometime in 2024, and fourth tier members will be given the opportunity to gift Mosaic status to a friend or family member who is a part of the unwashed masses of non-elites.

Two new Perks You Pick – these are the perks that are available whenever a member reaches a new tier – include Platinum status with IHG, and then ability to gift a 20-tile bonus to someone else.  The carrier is also offering the ability to stand outside of any NYC-airport Delta SkyClub and laugh at customers waiting in line for entry who didn’t choose the JetBlue status match at no additional charge.

  • Alaska has a new coffee partner.
  • Allegiant converted a part of its 2021 B737 MAX order with Boeing by changes from B737-7 aircraft to B737-8-200.
  • Asiana is not divesting its cargo subsidiary. Except maybe it is.
  • Avelo is giving its pilots a raise.
  • BA might replace some of its B777 fleet. It’s always possible it might not.
  • Bonza needs a new CCO.
  • Delta will begin daily, nonstop service from Atlanta to Tulum in March. This makes Delta the first non-Mexican airline to announce service to the new Tulum airport.
  • Eastern Airlines is in the crosshairs of the New England Patriots.
  • easyJet bought a ton of Airbus planes. It was that easy.
  • Emirates has its eye on two more Dreamliners.
  • German Airways named Luc van den Avyle as its new Director of Fleet. He will spend the first few weeks on the job counting how many airplanes the airline has.
  • ITA will begin 6x weekly service between Rome and Chicago/O’Hare on June 7.
  • Kenya Airways Flight 100 to London/Heathrow on Thursday was diverted to Stansted and escorted by fighter jets due to a potential security threat. The flight landed without incident and the passengers and crew were eventually permitted to deplane and wait in a long UK Border Force immigration queue just like everyone else.
  • Loganair‘s sale has been put on hold.
  • LOT‘s interline agreement with jetBlue is expanding to a codeshare agreement.
  • MYAirline is more like YOURAirline now as it suspended operations this week after running out of money.
  • Qantas Chairman Richard Goyder is the latest executive to jump ship resign as the carrier’s reputation continues to rapidly descend.
  • Porter and Toronto/City are friends again.
  • Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary thinks some larger airlines might buy some smaller airlines at an unidentified time in the future.
  • SriLankan Airlines plans to complete its privatization by the end of next year.
  • TAAG Angola Airlines was satisfied enough with the price TAAG on four Dreamliners that it ordered them from Boeing.
  • Turkmenistan Airlines will resume service to London/Heathrow on November 4.
  • United is peeing in the ocean changing its boarding process.
  • Virgin Australia made money for the first time in a very long time.
  • Western Global‘s Chapter 11 Disclosure was approved by its bankruptcy judge.
  • Wizz Air is leaving Edinburgh in favor of Glasgow.

I had a neighbor who used to always say that the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach. She was a lovely woman, but a terrible surgeon.

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8 comments on “Cranky Weekly Review Presented by Oakland International Airport: Delta is Printing Money, AA’s Maine Focus

  1. Didn’t United try this boarding concept before, even calling it “WILMA”? And didn’t it fail to make any difference?

    Someday airlines will accept that boarding methods don’t make that much difference, because (a) a lot of people travel together and (b) a lot of people are Very Foolish and no matter how foolproof airlines try to make the boarding process the fools will screw it up because, somehow, foolish people can be quite ingenious in their foolishness.

    1. Yes, WilMA was the boarding process at Shuttle by United. From what I recall, each group (window/middle/aisle) was also split into two based on front/back. So group 1 was window seats in the back, group 2 was window seats in the front, group 3 was middle seats in the back, and so on. I might have the numbers wrong but you get the idea.

  2. DCA-BDA not “new” but a resumption of service last operated in 2019. Given that definition, however, there are probably very few truly “new” routes.

  3. “””””……..and Washington/National to Bermuda”””””

    One of my pet peeves is that within the USA you can not fly nonstop to/from DCA/LGA to/from U.S. cities outside the perimeter (or exception cities), but people flying to other countries can if they fit within the perimeter miles.

    That is just wrong. All slots to/from DCA/LGA should be to other U.S cities only before other countries.

    1. With no customs at DCA, the only non-US nonstops must go to pre-clearance airports so basically just Canada, Bahamas and Bermuda. BDA will join YYZ, YOW, YUL, YHZ (seasonal) and NAS.

      I’m still holding out for a nonstop EI flight to Dublin. Wonder if a fully loaded 321LR could take off from DCA? I know a 757 could, I miss those planes!

      1. Sometimes you make sacrifices for your allies to keep them on your side. Throwing Canada, Bahamas, and Bermuda a bone helps when you need their assistance with tax haven issues or other things.

      2. Addendum – learned that AUA also has pre clearance. Which doesn’t impact this discussion but makes my trip to Aruba over Christmas a tad bit more convenient.

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