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Archive for the ‘jetBlue’ Category

Airline stocks still hot

CAL up 35% in the month, DAL up 10% this week. The NYSE ARCA shows an increase of 25.62% This is all attributed to lower fuel costs, lower capacity, and fares staying put. CNBC analysts remain bullish on jetBlue stock and Alaska Air stock. I think airline stocks stink, but the past month shows differently.

CNBC picks: UAUA, JBLU, AMR

CNBC keeps talking about United, American, and jetBlue as good stocks right now. I don’t buy it, but they are increasing over the past week. Maybe the airlines got it right, finally?

 

 

jetBlue loves Boston

jetBlue plans to add more flights to more destinations from Boston next year. In fact, they will increase service by 30%, which will bring their daily departures to 78. The sudden increase in flying comes as no surprise since the airline wants to focus on expanded flying outside of their New York JFK hub. As well, US Airways plans to decrease service and shut a crew base in Boston.

Good idea jetBlue? Nobody can really tell, but they are very popular in the Boston market and Boston has a lot of money. Whether it is educational travel, finance, or science, yields are pretty solid there. It will be interesting to see if Southwest ups their flying as well.

Categories: jetBlue

cutting costs, fix the planes abroad, are we safe?

It is probably not any surprise to us, that many of the U.S. commercial airline fleet sends maintenance work done abroad. Given the financial crisis, high fuel prices, and an uncertain future, makes it obvious that the airlines are struggling. So, they look to cut costs. One way the do this comes in the form of sending planes abroad for maintenance work.

Usually, the maintenance work is considered “heavy.” This means they strip the airplane down to the bare metal, fix what needs to be fixed, and put it back together again. A maintenance group in El Salvador, Aeroman,  does this for airlines like jetBlue, Southwest, and US Airways. The airlines claim the company does a good job and is approved by the FAA. Heck, it is all in the numbers right? If a typical mechanic in the U.S. makes $52,000 and an Aeroman mechanic makes $10,000 a year, well, there you go; it saves the airline a lot of money.

But, are we actually safe? Do the folks at Aeroman really do a good job? Do the maintenance companies in China who maintain some of United’s fleet do a good job? So far, the answer is yes. However, as is typical in aviation, it usually takes a disaster or major incident to figure out what is  really going on. That is my concern here: will it take an accident to figure out whether sending airplanes to developing nations is worth it?

For now, I think we are all safe. The FAA oversees what is going on. But as airlines continue to lose money and look to cut costs, I think oversight from the FAA and the airlines may get sloppy and something may happen.