To say United Chairman, President and CEO Glenn Tilton has favored airline mergers is a bit like saying "Sex and the City" character Carrie Bradshaw likes shoes. I've heard Glenn Tilton speak many, many times over the past few years, and he's never missed an opportunity to talk about the need for airline mergers--with the assumption that his airline would be one of the partners. So I find it startling, and a little suspicious, that Tilton suddenly thiinks the conditions are not right at the moment for mergers. It makes me wonder: Is this the spin you put out there when you can't find a partner to merge under your conditions? Read more about Tilton's comments in this Aviation Daily story (subscriber only), which also explains why US Airways CEO Doug Parker is suddenly questioning the value of mergers, too.
Also take a look at this analysis from one of the paper's in United's hometown about where the airline goes from here, sans the merger it has wanted and planned for. The money quote: "United has not been running an airline," said aviation consultant Michael Boyd. "They've been running a merger partner."
Oil Vey, continued: The airline industry's oil price-related woes, casualties and cutbacks just keep coming. The International Air Transport Assn., which in March forecasted a worldwide $4.5 billion profit for the airline industry this year, just released a new forecast predicting a $2.3 billion loss. At IATA's annual meeting in Istanbul, hundreds of airlines approved a resolution calling for government, airport and labor actions to "help the industry survive the growing financial crisis." Read Aviation Week senior transport editor Adrian Schofield's report from Istanbul here (subscriber only) and read the airline-approved IATA resolution here.
Also, Silverjet stops flying, AirTran defers more aircraft deliveries and Alitalia gets an emergency loan to keep it operating (all links subscriber-only). Can anyone explain how that loan is going to get past the European Union's restrictions on government assistance to carriers?