State of the Airlines

Sunday, January 23, 2005

NEWS: United Airlines Says See You This Fall

United Airlines CEO Glenn Tilton is once again sliding their bankruptcy exit date, now moving to sometime this fall. This after the courts gave them a 90 day extension on their recovery plan exclusivity period late last week. In my opinion even fall may be ambititious for the airline. One gets the feeling that United has been devoting all of its time and efforts on re-financing, re-negotiating and cost cutting in general. Now that this phase appears to be behind them its time for the airline to figure out what it is going to be when it exits bankruptcy. They have a few options. My bet is on a domestic structure built to feed an increased focus on international markets while completely spinning off their low cost fledgling Ted. Of course that's IF they make it out of bankruptcy which is still a low probability in my book. I remain unconvinced they are stronge enough to make it through what will be another brutal year of competition in the industry.