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enilria
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BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:53 am

Sound like click-bait, but Bloomberg is considered a fairly reasonable source for business news...

“We view a full-scale acquisition of an airline by Berkshire as a possibility and not worth dismissing, particularly if the stocks weaken,” Morgan Stanley analysts led by Rajeev Lalwani said in a note to clients Wednesday.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... anley-says
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:59 am

He's that desperate to burn money? :(
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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KrustyTheKlown
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:18 am

So Warren Buffet wants to leave the 3 comma club and become a millionaire.
 
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:20 am

Mr. Buffett might want to have lunch with Mr. Crandall before such a move :)
 
DfwRevolution
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:25 am

LAX772LR wrote:
He's that desperate to burn money? :(


Pretty funny considering he's credited with the quote: "Do you know how to make a million dollars on an airline? Start with a billion." Or something like that.

Probably a click-bait topic but it's interesting nonetheless. In my opinion, only B6, G4, NK, and HA are possible take-over targets. The rest are either too big or regional carriers and I seriously doubt they would mess with a regional. Of those, one is a clear stand-out: B6. Their financial returns have trailed the industry for a while now even though they've got - on paper - some really nice assets. They're not doing bad per se, just stuck in low-gear compared to everyone else. Meanwhile, G4, NK, and HA have been performing pretty well and I assume their shareholders are happy. Buffet is a big believer in finding good/cheap assets.
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:32 am

Such negativity in this thread so far... What if it's Southwest he's after? Nobody burnt money there so far....
 
dc10lover
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:53 am

Didn't someone say Frontier was doing an IPO and was possibly going to sell the airline?
Why endure the nightmare and congestion of LAX when BUR, LGB, ONT & SNA is so much easier to fly in and out of. Same with OAK & SJC when it comes to SFO.
 
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:58 am

He owns netjets, so I m sure he knows what he is doing.
 
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:59 am

DfwRevolution wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
He's that desperate to burn money? :(


Pretty funny considering he's credited with the quote: "Do you know how to make a million dollars on an airline? Start with a billion." Or something like that.


It was Richard Branson who said that.

In the last few months, Berkshire has invested $10 billion in the four big U.S. carriers.
 
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:41 am

DfwRevolution wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
He's that desperate to burn money? :(


Pretty funny considering he's credited with the quote: "Do you know how to make a million dollars on an airline? Start with a billion." Or something like that.

Probably a click-bait topic but it's interesting nonetheless. In my opinion, only B6, G4, NK, and HA are possible take-over targets. The rest are either too big or regional carriers and I seriously doubt they would mess with a regional. Of those, one is a clear stand-out: B6. Their financial returns have trailed the industry for a while now even though they've got - on paper - some really nice assets. They're not doing bad per se, just stuck in low-gear compared to everyone else. Meanwhile, G4, NK, and HA have been performing pretty well and I assume their shareholders are happy. Buffet is a big believer in finding good/cheap assets.


Just sayin... jetblue has some of the highest margins in the entire industry.very close to ALK, about the same as SAVE, LUV and DAL, higher then AMR, and UAL.
 
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:54 am

dc10lover wrote:
Didn't someone say Frontier was doing an IPO and was possibly going to sell the airline?

That was my thought too. Buffet is no slouch and knows what he's doing. BH is huge but I don't think they could comfortably swallow the likes of UA, DL, AA, or WN. B6 was anxious to expand on their own by losing the bid war with AS over VX. AS is in the middle of a merger. NK is growing great on their own. And G4, is G4, the travel company that happens to own an airline. F9 makes the most sense, IMO.
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VS11
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:58 am

TWA772LR wrote:
dc10lover wrote:
Didn't someone say Frontier was doing an IPO and was possibly going to sell the airline?

That was my thought too. Buffet is no slouch and knows what he's doing. BH is huge but I don't think they could comfortably swallow the likes of UA, DL, AA, or WN.


BH can easily swallow all of the big 4. Kraft Heinz (part of BH) just made a failed takeover bid for Unilever for $143b. granted with co-sponsor 3G. The market caps of the big 4 are:
AA - $23.95b
DL - $38.13b
UA - $23.76b
SW - $35.97b

AA seems like a good deal to me. BH needs only to put 20% down and borrow the rest
 
T54A
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:13 am

SAA looking for equity partner and will probably go for a song
T6, Allouette 3, Oryx, King Air, B1900, B727, B744, A319, A342/3/6 A332/3 A359
 
MalevTU134
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:24 am

T54A wrote:
SAA looking for equity partner and will probably go for a song

Wouldn't there be foreign ownership restrictions in South Africa to prevent this?
 
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:50 am

MalevTU134 wrote:
T54A wrote:
SAA looking for equity partner and will probably go for a song

Wouldn't there be foreign ownership restrictions in South Africa to prevent this?


Yes I imagine there would be a percentage limit to foreign ownership. Max 49% I would guess. Not sure though
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MalevTU134
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:12 am

T54A wrote:
MalevTU134 wrote:
T54A wrote:
SAA looking for equity partner and will probably go for a song

Wouldn't there be foreign ownership restrictions in South Africa to prevent this?


Yes I imagine there would be a percentage limit to foreign ownership. Max 49% I would guess. Not sure though

Well, this thread is about Warren Buffett acquiring an entire airline.
 
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enilria
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:18 pm

He lost his @ss investing in USAir back in the 90s.
 
LHRFlyer
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:41 pm

I doubt Buffet would be using much of his own money, just a lot of debt.

This reminds me of the planned private equity bids for Iberia and Qantas before the 2008 financial crash. Imagine what would have happened had those bids actually gone ahead.
 
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:05 pm

N757ST wrote:


Just sayin... jetblue has some of the highest margins in the entire industry.very close to ALK, about the same as SAVE, LUV and DAL, higher then AMR, and UAL.


Everyone is higher than AMR and UAL.. NK is half the size of B6... If I was an investor I would invest in a LCC.... Look at Europe and Asia...
 
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:39 pm

Maybe he will be buy an airline such as ZK. We all know that airline needs some cleaning up.
Remind me to send a thank you note to Mr. Boeing.
 
allegiantflyer
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:14 pm

...So I hear EAL is looking for a new owner these days :spin:
 
SWADawg
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:23 pm

According to Jim Cramer on CNBC he seems to think Berkshire is interested in acquiring a controlling stake in WN with an eventual price target of about $78 per share. I'd post the Bloomberg and Seeking Alpha article but I've gotten in trouble with the mods before for posting articles without permission, but those two sources are reporting it's WN. We shall see I guess.
My posts are my opinion only and do not reflect the views of Southwest Airlines
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:46 pm

BH buys things with good products, and more important excellent stable management, and a history of being profitable. Such companies and often their stockholders clearly do not need to sell. BH generally has to pay a premium to persuade them. If there are only a few major stockholders, or the company is privately held a BH buyout may be in their best interest, and a premium may not be necessary. What BH has to offer management is the long term view and the ability to spend big money on capital if it is needed, BNSF for example.

There are a few airlines which meet those conditions, but I don't think they are wanting to be sold. BH does not do adverse buyouts.
Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
 
VS11
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:36 pm

SWADawg wrote:
According to Jim Cramer on CNBC he seems to think Berkshire is interested in acquiring a controlling stake in WN with an eventual price target of about $78 per share. I'd post the Bloomberg and Seeking Alpha article but I've gotten in trouble with the mods before for posting articles without permission, but those two sources are reporting it's WN. We shall see I guess.


Southwest would have been the last one on my list of guesses/options. The airline looks expensive and IMO it has strategic issues - it has reached its potential as a LCC and has to either become like AA, DL, UA or continue buying smaller competitors - Frontier, Spirit, after AirTran.
 
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:22 pm

DfwRevolution wrote:

Pretty funny considering he's credited with the quote: "Do you know how to make a million dollars on an airline? Start with a billion." Or something like that.

I think you might be referring to this quote by Sir Adam Thomson:
"A recession is when you have to tighten your belt;
depression is when you have no belt to tighten.
When you have lost your trousers you are in the airline business."
 
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:00 pm

He should buy Buffalo Airways, make it into the #1 Canadian carrier and build out OMA has a US hub, using AMZN at CVG as a guide ;-)
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:00 pm

His best quote, referring to the huge loss he took in US Air was, "It's too bad a capitalist wasn't at Kitty Hawk. If he had been he could have done the investing world a favor by shooting Orville down."
 
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:18 pm

SWADawg wrote:
According to Jim Cramer on CNBC he seems to think Berkshire is interested in acquiring a controlling stake in WN with an eventual price target of about $78 per share. I'd post the Bloomberg and Seeking Alpha article but I've gotten in trouble with the mods before for posting articles without permission, but those two sources are reporting it's WN. We shall see I guess.


You're quoting Jim Cramer, CNBC, and Seeking Alpha

I find more credibility in a day care centre.
 
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:26 am

I wonder what it is like to be that rich? All I ever owned a 1/2 share in was a beach house on Fire Island.

He will probably invest in the airline with the most headroom for growth, I would think.
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:21 am

The quote I remember is how to make a small fortune in aviation: start with a large one.
And didn't Warren Buffet once say that he was starting a support group so that any time he was tempted to invest in an airline he could call them and they would talk him out of it? Where is that support group now?
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:51 am

BH is Delta's largest individual investor with about an 8% stake.
 
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:47 am

I think WN is an attractive target for BH over other carriers for several reasons.

They have been the most consistently profitable airline currently in business in the US over the last 40+ years. The Big 3 found their way to profitability via chapter 11. 10 years ago, folks on a.net would discount Southwest's profitability due to its fuel hedges in place at the time- yet, every other airline has been hedging fuel for quite a while (heck, Delta even purchased and now operates an oil refinery). In addition, aside from labor costs- hasn't fuel always been one of the largest costs in business terms for an airline (for ANY airline)?? A lot of Southwest's advantageous fuel hedges ran out years ago now, and yet they continue to adapt to market conditions and post record profits like their peers (does anyone remember the years on a.net when posters would predict doom and gloom for WN once their advantageous fuel hedges ran out?... well those hedges expired a while ago...)

Secondly, despite whatever challenges the airline faces from competing with ULCC's and the Big 3 who've adopted "basic economy" fares to compete with those tier of airlines, the airline continues to remain a strong market competitor in all the markets it has received additional competition in. Many markets they once enjoyed a monopoly in (LAX-OAK, LAX-SJC, etc.) have seen the addition of service from the the Big 3 (as well as Spirit Airlines) over the last several years as they emerged from Chapter 11 and sought a piece of the pie in the LAX market. And yet WN has not largely decreased the number of seats or flights they offer in those markets.

Southwest is also ideal to BH (if the sources cited by other posters are true) largely because of its lack of exposure to international overseas markets and the effects of international political events. Aside from a few dozen near international (and non-overseas) routes, Southwest is shielded from much of the effects of American politics on international air travel. Even with Mexico- aside from their 3 daily MEX flights, all other Mexico flying is to predominantly leisure oriented destinations with leisure oriented travelers- AND, mostly with a point of sale consumer base on the American end.

And finally, Southwest's stock price and market cap value have historically been quite low/undervalued compared to its peers going back several years- even when they were posting profit margins and operating results that exceeded some of these competitors. The stock market has finally shown some love to LUV during 2016-2017. Despite their growing pains in terms of technological issues it has recently acknowledged and works to improve on (as well as increased west coast competition from a now larger and more financially sound Alaska Airlines- whose immediate growth is made possibly largely by fixed-fee contract flying through regional jets/regional operators), Southwest is an airline that has continually proven that it can and does adapt to market conditions and competition (even if it's not as quick as a.net or industry analysts would like them to). The airline has still managed to increase its profit margins while being reluctant to adopt the industry trend of "nickel & diming" its customers. Keep in mind that Southwest has just begun implementing its new reservations system in stages, in additional to other large technology initiatives that will improve its operational performance and enhance its profit maximization via increased efficiency with its fleet/scheduling.

Although Southwest may no longer be considered a pure LCC, they still have a very productive work force when compared to their peers, and they have still managed to post impressive results while being the ONLY airline in America to currently NOT charge for checked luggage. And they still don't charge for onboard extras (outside of wifi), and they also are the ONLY airline to NOT charge change fees. They operate very simply- and very CONSISTENTLY. They've maintained this unique position within the industry while STILL posting record profits.

One last thing to note- even with over 720 some odd aircraft (and all in the 737 family!), they've managed to build the vast point-to-point network and customer loyalty that they have. They may not have $39 tickets as often as they used to, but they still compete nonetheless- especially in markets where the ULCCs have entered and have been unable to sustain mass volume/operate more than 1-2 daily flights in a high demand city pair). There is still plenty of room for Southwest to grow within the US and internationally, and the growth prospects for them are greater when compared to the Big 3. Remember- the Big 3 largely didn't fly anywhere overseas up until the 1980s. They've pretty much maxed out their opportunities for large scale growth outside of their traditional connection-focused megahubs. Southwest, while increasing its share of connecting passengers in larger stations- still remains a predominantly O&D oriented airline in the larger markets they serve (as evidenced by them being the largest carrier in almost every one of their largest 30 stations). If and when Southwest chooses to expand overseas or acquire larger aircraft to increase their volume of connecting passengers, Southwest has the most potential to grow compared to any of the Big 3. And from a stock market value proposition- they have more to gain as a result.
 
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:01 pm

DfwRevolution wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
He's that desperate to burn money? :(


Pretty funny considering he's credited with the quote: "Do you know how to make a million dollars on an airline? Start with a billion." Or something like that.


There was a thread mentioning this "quote" a few weeks ago - I looked into it and IIRC he definitely was not the source (although he re-quoted it from Branson who I think was himself paraphrasing Howard Hughes).
"As with most things related to aircraft design, it's all about the trade-offs and much more nuanced than A.net likes to make out."
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:37 pm

ua900 wrote:
He should buy Buffalo Airways, make it into the #1 Canadian carrier and build out OMA has a US hub, using AMZN at CVG as a guide ;-)

And BUF as the TATL gateway??? :D
When wasn't America great?


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NameOmitted
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:19 pm

I know the article explicitly suggests its one of the four majors, but what about Air Transport Services Group or Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings?
 
Varsity1
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:24 pm

A higher risk possibility:

Purchase NK and B6, take them private. Buy off F9 and merge all three.

500+ aircraft airline for less than 15bn.
 
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ua900
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:43 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
ua900 wrote:
He should buy Buffalo Airways, make it into the #1 Canadian carrier and build out OMA has a US hub, using AMZN at CVG as a guide ;-)

And BUF as the TATL gateway??? :D


Buffalo's new int'l F product, tentatively called "The most stylish Residence ever" comes with not just one but three butlers and Italian marble jetted bathtub in the back.

Take that ME3. DL loved the initiative so much will now codeshare with Buffalo and use the DC-3's to augment their DL Private Jet product ;-)
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flyby519
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:35 pm

Varsity1 wrote:
A higher risk possibility:



And that's where Warren stopped reading ;)

BH likes big, stable, companies with a long history of profits and competitive advantages. Not looking for a turnaround story, or creating some crazy growth company.
 
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enilria
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:56 pm

Buffet dispelled rumors he would acquire an airline.

“Of the Big 4, we highlight LUV’s domestic focus, robust and sustainable FCF (free cash flow), range of growth opportunities, defensible cost structure, and more tenured management team, which we are rolling through our updated bull case of $76,” Lalwani’s note said.

But Buffett today warned investors not to read too much into Berkshire's recent positions.

“It’s a very tough business,” said the famed investor whose distaste for airline stocks has been legendary.

“What kills you is when they have too many airplanes around,” Buffett said. “When they have too many airplanes around, they do what everybody else does, and they get down to marginal costs. And marginal costs cause you to go broke over time in the airline business.”


http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/ ... ?ana=yahoo
 
Passedv1
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Re: BLOOMBERG: Buffet May Acquire Entire Airline

Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:04 am

Berkshire Hathaway has enough cash on hand to buy any airline it wanted to. Berkshire is not a fixer company. They invest in established, profitable companies with good, consistent returns over time. I think SWA seems likeliest. My next guess would be Alaska.

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