Southwest Airlines is reportedly unable to move ahead with its integration with AirTran Airways because the airlines' mechanics voted against a tentative agreement on merging seniority rankings (Phoenix Business Journal, 27-Feb-2012). Union officials stated they are committed to a quick resolution between the two sides. The main issues are long-term rules about seniority and the expansion timeline for the merged airlines' maintenance operation.
Southwest-Air Tran mechanics vote against tentative agreement on merging seniority rankings
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Air Canada Part 2: Financial progress makes investment grade metrics more tangible
A decade ago it would have been unheard of for Air Canada to contemplate reaching an investment grade credit rating. The airline had emerged from bankruptcy protection, but was still struggling financially. It would teeter on the verge of another formal restructuring before setting out on a course to restructure its financial foundation – a process that has allowed the airline to improve its balance sheet and leverage.
Air Canada’s leverage targets for YE2018 will not meet the general proxy for an investment grade rating; however, its lower capital commitments and debt refinancing could create an opportunity for achieving that status beyond 2018.
Attaining an investment grade credit rating likely remains a longer term goal for Air Canada as its major financial goals in the short term remain paying down debt that is creeping up due to a fleet renewal, as well as funding growth to drive long-term shareholder value. More meaningful shareholder returns will likely occur once the company reaches what it deems as acceptable progress in debt management, and reaches a certain maturity level in growing its international network.
This is Part 2 in a two part series on Air Canada. Part 1 dealt with long haul LCC subsidiary, rouge.
California's Ontario International Airport Part 1: Change of ownership allows it to compete with LAX
Ontario International Airport has languished in the shadow of Los Angeles’ LAX for many years, prompting a growing call for separation from Los Angeles World Airports. At last the umbilical cord is about to be cut, and local city councils will be in control of its destiny.
But the difficulties that OIA has had to face will not all go away. They include a huge urban catchment area, where industry was hit hard by the recession and wages are low and, above all, an image that it is no more than a low cost facility without any real gravitas.
The ownership change opens the door, at least potentially, to private sector investment and management in the long run, but costs must be reined in and the bottom line improved first.
This report looks at present and future growth trends at the airport, local economic and airport statistics, how it matches up to competing airports across a range of metrics, at construction activities and in detail at the ownership issue.