Delta CEO Richard Anderson, and Northwest CEO Doug Steenland marched on Capitol Hill to start selling their merger to the Judiciary Committees of both the House and Senate. I was not able to tune into the hearing, but I’m sure it would’ve been entertaining for an airline nerd like me.
And then SkyWest announced an offer to buy ExpressJet for a whopping $3.50 per share. Of course, this represents a premium of approximately 60 percent over ExpressJet’s paltry share price. My favorite thing in all this is a letter from Continental’s CFO to ExpressJet which basically said we’ve negotiated a deal with your proposed buyers. By the way, we’re pulling 51 jets from our capacity purchase agreement with you in short order, and then we’re going to let the agreement expire and you can figure out what you’re going to do with your 200 or so regional jets that no one else wants. I love this stuff! SkyWest has rejected the offer. I assume they are fishing for a better deal, because there is no other way out of this in reality.
Let’s see…what else? Oh yeah, US Airways and Alaska lost money and announced that they were taking various steps to reduce the red ink. Big surprise there. US Airways also said it was going to focus on raising revenue through various fees such as a new fee to reserve aisle or window seats close to the front of the aircraft. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m probably the only person on earth who could care less about these new “add ons” as long as high fare classes and elites are exempt.
And we closed things out on Friday with the possibility that the Senate may actually pass an FAA reauthorization bill next week. Here’s a link to a Wall Street Journal article (subscription required).
I suppose that’s enough aviation news for now. I’m not even going to talk about the blurb about American being in merger talks with US Airways and alliance talks with Continental. That deserves it’s own posting, which I’ll work on.
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