Airline Weekly Lounge

Airline Weekly Lounge

The editors of Skift Airline Weekly discuss the most interesting developments within the commercial airline industry. In keeping with Skift Airline Weekly’s style, conversation generally centers on one question: How do you make money in this industry?


November 25, 2022 30 min

Airlines want more planes to meet travel demand but, with supply chains backed up, there are few new models to go around. That's good news for aircraft lessors with more than 90 percent of leases being renewed, up from around 60 percent historically, Air Lease Corp. Executive Chairman Steven Udvar-Hazy said at the Skift Aviation Forum. Listen to Airline Weekly Editor Edward Russell's discussion with Udvar-Hazy at the forum.

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Thanksgiving travel in the U.S. is back, said Airlines for America President and CEO Nicholas Calio. But while it will be as busy as it was three years ago, it will also be different as more people take blended trips and make it a Thanksgiving week. Calio and Edward Russell discuss the holiday outlook, plus the U.S. industry's recovery, operations, and air traffic control staffing.

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November 11, 2022 21 min

Turkish Airlines had a blowout third quarter. The airline's revenues and capacity are way up from 2019 with no pause in sight. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss Turkish's outlook. Plus, Ryanair's cautious outlook despite surprisingly robust travel demand.

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November 4, 2022 24 min

Air France-KLM wants TAP Air Portugal, but so does International Airlines Group. IAG also wants Air Europa, and maybe even EasyJet. And the Lufthansa Group is back in play for ITA Airways. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss the outlook for Europe's Big Three airline groups and their latest merger machinations. Plus, the outlook from Emirates.

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October 28, 2022 20 min

Who would have thought three years ago that we'd be talking about the bright future for Norwegian Air? One restructuring and pandemic later, and the discounter is profitable and taking corporate travel share from competitor SAS. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss the news from the Nordics, plus Hawaiian Airlines' continued struggles.

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October 21, 2022 25 min

Latin American airline executives are mostly bullish on the near-term outlook but, given their exposure to the strong U.S. dollar and other macro pressures, are cautious about what the new year may hold. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss the forecast from the ALTA Leaders Forum in Buenos Aires this week, plus American and United's third quarter results.


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October 16, 2022 22 min

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian claimed this week, after his airline reported a robust third quarter profit and sees seemingly unsated demand, that travel is "countercyclical" to the economic winds. And he's not alone, International Airlines Group and United Airlines have separately said they see no signs of travel demand waning. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss Bastian's prognosis, plus what's up in Amsterd...

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October 8, 2022 20 min

What's the ado with Austin, Cancun, Ho Chi Minh City, Paris Orly, and Riyadh? All of the airports are seeing tremendous growth above pre-pandemic levels. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss why. Plus, Boeing's 737 Max: the good news and bad news.

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September 30, 2022 24 min

The "real revenue growth" at American Airlines is in blended trips, or travel that includes both business and personal aspects, Chief Commercial Officer Vasu Raja said at the Skift Global Forum earlier in September. Nearly half of the airline’s revenues now come from these blended trips. What’s more, this new classification of trip is driving the carrier’s revenue growth more than anything else today.

“What the pandemic real...

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September 25, 2022 24 min

The U.S. travel recovery is strong, and maybe nearly complete. If there is one airport that epitomizes the strength of the leisure-first recovery, it is Orlando where seemingly endless domestic demand before the pandemic has translated to much the same post-pandemic. Listen to Edward Russell discuss the state of the industry with moderator Racquel Asa, chief marketing officer at Beep, at an event marking the opening of the airport&...

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September 16, 2022 26 min

Is Indian aviation's moment here? Air India under Tata ownership has a deal for new airplanes, while the country's largest airline, IndiGo, keeps growing and several new startups are adding new competition to the market. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss, plus the Tijuana Airport's Cross Border Xpress bridge to the U.S. and how its changing California-Mexico travel.

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September 10, 2022 19 min

Chinese airlines struggled mightily during the first half of the year under the country's zero-Covid policy. The Big 3 all lost money but China Eastern, based in Shanghai — which suffered several lockdowns — lost the most. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss the situation and how it may be turning around. Plus, Orlando Airport's new $2.8 billion terminal.

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September 3, 2022 23 min

What does post-pandemic life like for a destination carrier like Hawaiian Airlines? CEO Peter Ingram joins Edward Russell to discuss the airline's recovery and outlook, including the long-awaited reopening of Japan. Plus, what Hawaiian might do with the new Boeing 787s that arrive soon.

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August 26, 2022 20 min

Flying through London is getting a little better with the end of capacity caps at Gatwick Airport. But constraints remain in place at Heathrow until the end of October, and British Airways has already reduced its schedules through the winter. And always eager Ryanair is ready with more seats to grab market share, Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss the situation. Also, American Airlines' regional strategy.

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The Lufthansa Group has spent the better part of 20 years trying to improve its fortunes through consolidation. Some deals, like of Swiss, have been winners, others, like of Austrian and Brussels, not so much. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss Lufthansa's aim, and what a potential ITA Airways deal could mean for the group. Also, what's in the Inflation Reduction Act for airlines.

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August 13, 2022 18 min

Meet Steve Sisneros, the airport czar at Southwest Airlines. As vice president of airport affairs, he oversees current and future real estate at the carrier's 121 airports. Edward Russell and Sisneros chat about Southwest's new facilities in Denver and Phoenix, and the status of Terminal 0 plans in Los Angeles.

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August 5, 2022 23 min

Southwest Airlines had a secret weapon in the second quarter: Its fuel hedges. That helped propel it to an impressive 17% operating margin. High oil prices pulled down the results of most other U.S. airlines during what was an otherwise strong quarter. Also, Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss what’s next for JetBlue and Spirit now that they’ve agreed to merge.

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July 22, 2022 14 min

Airlines globally will need more than 41,000 aircraft over the next 20 years, according to Boeing's latest outlook. Edward Russell sat down with Boeing's Vice President of Commercial Marketing Darren Hulst at the Farnborough Air Show to discuss the outlook. Also, what is Boeing's response in the so-called middle-of-the-market that Airbus has run away with with its A321neo?

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July 15, 2022 21 min

What's travel like in the U.S. now? Busy and, in some cases, like a T.J. Maxx, The Wall Street Journal's new travel columnist Dawn Gilbertson told Edward Russell of her 11 flight, six airline "stress test" of the system over the July Fourth holiday weekend. We also chat with her about her role and her view on covering airlines and the travel industry.

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Scandinavian airline SAS is in bankruptcy after years of struggles. Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss how the carrier could still struggle to extract needed savings, particularly from aircraft lessors. And, will Star Alliance’s new partnership with German rail operator Deutsche Bahn really reduce carbon emissions?

More coverage of SAS's woes:

  • SAS Joins List of Airline Failures and Bankruptcies Since Pandemic’s Start
  • SAS Airlin...
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