As mentioned earlier Pro Air is gone. Alligant is in chapter 11.
Air Tran recieved a 260 million bond refinancing from of all people Boeing Aircraft. Air Tran is actually profitable but, the bond issue from Valujet was still hanging over their heads. The refinancing assures AirTran of long term financial security. ATA also recently went thru a similar financing vehicle from Boeing that corresponded with Boeing taking an equity position in the airline along with the ordered 757-300s and 737NGs. ATA will likely order the 777 within the next year as a result of the improved balance sheet.
TWA is rumored to be looking at a rather innovative financing effort in the near term. TWA CEO and COO Compton and Gitner along with a host of accountants and lawyers were visiting a few major investment banking groups in New York City about 2 weeks ago and the probability of an equity investment looms near. I expect this to be announced in the first week of the new year.
Gulfstream airlines is rumored to be having significant yield and load problems and coupled with poor labor relations and a few pilot issues is causing a backlog of maint. and reliability issues. Continental owns about 1/4 of Gulfstream and it looks like the carrier may be forced to sell the whole operation to Continental according to several e-mails I have recieved. If that occurs the carrier can avoid bankruptcy and restructure operations with a series of more profitable paid for flying contracts but with partners United, Northwest, TWA, Copa amd others left in the cold. (See it is no surprise all the Gulfstream planes are being repainted in CO colors.)
World is in between a rock and a hard spot. For years the holding company raided the coffers and left the airline lean. They were close to bankruptcy a few years ago but, things looked like they turned the corner when the carrier stopped flying scheduled service and returned to military and civilian charters. The high cost of fuel however and cash flow look to be taking their toll. Added to the mix the lean season started earlier and World's MD11s are much in demand with carriers like FedEx Lufthansa and UPS wanting them and willing to pay leasors premium money to fly them World may have to file Chapter 11 just to keeps its planes as leasors want to yank them and lease them to the Cargo operators for a considerably higher rate then what the leases to World are at. Let's see if the are pushed into bankruptcy and restructuring or if they can find the money to pay off the leases now that are normally deferred a few months to the summer.
Also in trouble are three caribbean operators....
Air Jamaica is losing money and the government is still holding the line that they do not want to inject more money. The carrier recently pulled back from eastern caribbean expansion.
BWIA... Well let's just say a major public bail out is going to be necessary with a fleet of L10s that is not airworthy and yet are scheduled to begin flying. They have issues with cooked books, corrupt dealings, and leasors who do not want to lease planes to them. A crisis is looming. (Even if the government is doing everythign it can to screw upstarts).
LIAT.. More trouble enough said
Guana 2000... About to lose their 757 aircraft. They blew it before then got the A300s then back to a 757. Ansett leased it to them... They are paying to much, They have a history of maint. issues and grounded planes. I do not expect them to last too long.
Aerolinas Argentinas... Although one of my favorite carriers... Something has to give... It has been on life support for years. Mismanaged by American and Iberia it is in dire need of reform and the employees are not likely to give in. Once the premier airline of South America now teatering on the brink.
Lan Peru, Sorry but, this one is gone for good. Proof positive Peru is not as good as it looks on paper. AeroPeru killed DL and AMs investments and now is rumored to be controlled by drug money but nothing new in the Peruvian airline industry. Anyone remember Faucett Peru... Fly Lan Chile or American to Peru then work it out from there.
Virgin Express is restructuring but, it does not bode well. The low cost European carrier is going back to high cost Brussels and frankly nothing changed. They ran out of money to keep both operations afloat so they kept the high cost one and ditched the low cost operation a very very bad move for a low cost carrier. I think this one is gone in the next six months even with Branson's Virgin name on it. If you own this stock dump it.
Virgin Blue is brought up thru guilt by association... Impulse is rumored to be doing well and Qantas can afford the competition. Can Impulse and Virgin Blue... Well so far.. Impulse has significantly lower cost. More fuel efficent 717s that meet and exceeded all operating cost goals against more expensive to operate QANTAS and Virgin Blue aircraft. It is gonna be a tight race but, my money is that Impulse survives and Qantas does fine but, Virgin Blue washes out.
Jet Blue fans have nothing to fear. The most heavily captilized start up in history is safe. Now reporting profits at less than a year. Bet they wish they could have returned some of the startup money to the investors and made a little more money for the founders... What a novel position for an airline to be in. NYC is going to change as a result of Jet Blue and the losers are clearly going to be American, Delta, TWA, US Airways and United. Jet Blue is a yield killer and with them profitable no one can make money in and out of NYC on competing routes even with Delta Express and Metrojet. Add Southwest everywhere else and the Northeast US is changing a bit fast in terms of dynamics. United are you sure you wanted to buy US Airways because long term this is a very expensive and likely not to pay off move...
That's the view from my seat.. Any comments?