7 Responses

  1. Bill
    Bill at |

    its nice to see UA finally surpassing DL in quarterly profits…as I find UA to be more appealing than DL overall. The media crush with DL has always surprised me a bit. And now, as more and more people see DL ruin any chance for loyalty award flying internationally, I am aware of more and more friends, clients, and colleagues who have switched to UA and AA–and been shocked to discover that UA wasn’t as bad as they’d expected based on all the media reports to the contrary.

    The U.S. legacy carriers are not as luxe as the Asian or Gulf carriers in their premium classes, but they are more comparable than most want to admit in Economy. Yes, the U.S. carriers still haven’t moved to create a premium economy cabin in international service, but it otherwise the flatbed seats and IFE in premium classes are reasonably comparable and sometimes superior to that of the “better” foreign carriers. I’ve had flatbed Business class seats on UA for nearly 5-6 years now, whereas I still get angle-flat seats on Lufthansa, Emirates, Qatar, and other supposedly better carriers. The fact is that a few amazing First Class seats on certain routes has clouded the judgment of the bloggers and media and caused people to overestimate the higher quality across the board for many foreign carriers (with Singapore, Cathay, and perhaps Japan being notable exceptions). Everyone loves to whine about how UA, AA, and DL aren’t getting the job done, even as UA, DL, and AA are making the most profits BY FAR of any international carriers. Whether people want to admit it or not, the U.S. carriers are doing it right as the businesses they are, even as there are more luxe and better service carriers outside the country. Those foreign carriers may be more like in some premium classes and on some but not all routes…but we can’t fly those routes when we’re flying domestic routes. And most of those “better” foreign carriers have no domestic market to speak of, including Singapore, Cathay, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, and even Lufthansa. Only the U.S. carriers really have massive international routes along with massive domestic route networks.

  2. Geoff
    Geoff at |

    I love that these carriers are buying back stock at close to annual highs simply to reduce share count and drive quarterly EPS.
    Guess having Blackstone et al as major shareholders does indeed drive more corporate myopia.

  3. Joe
    Joe at |

    Just an FYI, net income or profit is not cash… you gotta scroll further down to get to the cash flow statement for that. I realize this isn’t a financial blog but figured some might misunderstand the post.

  4. Mike
    Mike at |
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