Top 10 Airline Companies For 2014

A day after Consumer Reports magazine listed the best car brands for reliability, the obvious question emerges: Which is the worst?

The answer can be summed up in four little letters: Mini. BMW’s fun, youthful bargain brand fell six places from last year when it comes to reliability to end up in the basement.

But the next two worst brands for reliability are ones that have showcased America’s manufacturing comeback: Lincoln and Ford. They were bad last year and they are bad again this year. Three other Detroit brands — Cadillac, Dodge and Jeep — make up the next worst brands. But the next ones are decidedly foreign — Nissan, Hyundai and Volkswagen. Then Chrysler’s Ram, in 10th place.

How to explain it all? Consumer Reports’ testing engineer Jake Fisher wonders if European makers are getting chintzy with their less expensive brands. He says Mini’s placement at the bottom of the list is interesting considering that BMW is squarely in the middle when it come s to reliability. Volkswagen fared far worse than also middle-of-the-pack Porsche.

Top 10 Airline Companies For 2014: Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (NAS)

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA is a Norway-based company active in the low-cost airline industry. It operates scheduled services with additional charter services. It has a route portfolio that stretches across Europe into North Africa and the Middle East, as well as Thailand and the US. The Company operates approximately 400 routes and over 120 destinations. It has a fleet of over 80 jet aircrafts, including Boeings 737-800, Boeings 787-8 Dreamliners, Boeings 737 MAX8 and Airbuses A320neo. It is the parent company of the Norwegian Group and operates through subsidiaries, including Norwegian Air Shuttle Polska Sp z o o, Norwegian Air Shuttle Sweden AB, Call Norwegian AS, NAS Asset Management Norway AS, among others. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By GURUFOCUS]

    EMC’s products – both hardware and software – are litearlly a geek’s wonderland alphabet soup, which include Storage Area Network (SAN), Network Attached Storage (NAS), Direct Attached Storage (DAS), Virtual SAN, All-Flash XtremIO, Atmos, Avamar,  Data Domain, Isilon, Pivotal, ViPR Software Defined Storgae, VMAX, VNX, VNXe, VPLEX, VSPEX (none of these are typos).  Information storage makes up 70% of revenues and virtualization 23% of revenues.  Products generate 55% of revenues.  Services generate 45% of revenues.  The Company’s gross profit split is approximaltey 67% data storage and 31% virtualization.

Top 10 Airline Companies For 2014: Air France KLM SA (AFLYY.PK)

Air France-KLM SA (Air France-KLM), incorporated on April 23, 1947, is an airline engaged in the business of passenger transportation. It has four segments: Passenger, Cargo, Maintenance and Other. The Company’s primary business is to hold direct or indirect interests in the capital of air transport companies and, more generally, in any companies in France or elsewhere whose purpose is related to the air transport business. Air France-KLM activities also include cargo, aeronautics maintenance and other air-transport related activities including, principally, catering and charter services. At March 31, 2011, the Air France-KLM group fleet consists of 609 aircraft, of which 593 were operational. At March 31, 2011, 274 aircraft were fully owned (45% of the fleet), 117 aircraft were under finance lease representing 19% of the fleet and 218 under operating lease representing 36% of the fleet.

Passenger

Passenger operating revenues primarily come from passenger transportation services on scheduled flights with the Company’s airline code, including flights operated by other airlines under code-sharing agreements. They also include commissions paid by SkyTeam alliance partners, code-sharing revenues, revenues from excess baggage and airport services supplied by the Company’s to third party airlines and services linked to information technology (IT) systems.

Cargo

Cargo operating revenues come from freight transport on flights under the companies’ codes, including flights operated by other partner airlines under code-sharing agreements. Other cargo revenues are derived principally from sales of cargo capacity to third parties. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011, the Company transported more than 1.5 million tons of cargo, of which 66% in the bellies of passenger aircraft and 33% in the cargo fleet, to a network of approximately 254 destinations in approximately 111 countries. Air Fra nce-KLM Cargo has a product range organized around four prod! uct families, Equation, Cohesion, Variation and Dimension.

Maintenance

Maintenance operating revenues are generated through maintenance services provided to other airlines and customers globally. The Company’s two engine shops are located in Amsterdam and Paris. CFM56 engine shops support the fleet of CFM56-5 power plants in the world, with nearly 400 engines operated by numerous airlines. CF6-80E1 provides full-service maintenance. KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) provides an alternative to the manufacturer’s services in terms of overhaul and services on this engine with its offering supported by technological infrastructure.

Other

The revenues from this segment come primarily from catering supplied by the Company to third-party airlines and to charter flights operated primarily by Transavia. The catering business is regrouped around Servair, an Air France subsidiary which generates more than 90% of the reve nues of this activity, and KLM Catering Services, a subsidiary of KLM.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By El Torero]

    The airline will undoubtedly pounce on the likely failings of rival companies, though this is also an area where easyJet will be eager to move in. Spanair is gone as is Malev Zrt, two former Ryanair rivals. Air France-KLM (AFLYY.PK) and Iberia are in trouble, among other European airlines. Ryanair will take advantage of such weaknesses in its aim of becoming Europe’s out-and-out dominant short-haul carrier. As other airlines cut routes, airports are now looking to Ryanair to take up the newly available airport space. As a result of this, with "opportunities opening up in Germany, Scandinavia and Central Europe" in particular, Ryanair’s deputy chief executive, Howard Millar sees the Irish company increase its market share from 15 percent to 20 percent before the end of the decade.

Top 10 Airline Companies For 2014: WestJet Airlines Ltd (WJA)

WestJet Airlines Ltd. (WestJet) provides airline service and travel packages with scheduled service to more than 85 destinations in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, and has partnership agreements with over 30 airlines around the world. WestJet operates a fleet of more than 100 Boeing Next-Generation 737 and Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft. The Company’s subsidiaries include WestJet Investment Corp., WestJet Operations Corp., WestJet Vacations Inc. and WestJet Encore Ltd. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Gerrit De Vynck]

    Closely held Porter unveiled plans in April to add as many as 30 CSeries jets in an order valued at as much as $2.1 billion from Montreal-based Bombardier to reach as far as Los Angeles and the Caribbean as it challenges the country’s two biggest carriers, Air Canada and WestJet Airlines Ltd. (WJA) The order, which would be Bombardier’s first for the aircraft with a Canadian carrier, is conditional on the runway extension and a removal of the jet ban.

  • [By Eric Lam]

    BlackBerry, the smartphone maker looking to sell itself, lost 3.6 percent to pace declines among technology stocks. WestJet (WJA) Airlines Ltd. dropped 2.5 percent as load factor slipped in September. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. rose 1.4 percent after receiving approvals for products in the U.S. and Canada. Agrium Inc. added 0.7 percent after naming a successor for its retiring chief executive officer.

Top 10 Airline Companies For 2014: Copa Holdings SA (CPA)

Copa Holdings, S.A. (Copa Holdings), incorporated on May 06, 1998, is a Latin American provider of airline passenger and cargo service through its two principal operating subsidiaries, Copa Airlines and Copa Colombia. Copa Airlines operates from its position in the Republic of Panama, and Copa Colombia provides service within Colombia and international flights from various cities in Colombia to Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala and Costa Rica, complemented with service within Colombia. As of December 31, 2012, the Company operated a fleet of 83 aircraft with an average age of 5.13 years; consisting of 57 modern Boeing 737-Next Generation aircraft and 26 Embraer 190 aircraft. . As of December 31, 2012, the Company offers approximately 334 daily scheduled flights among 64 destinations in 29 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean, mainly from its Panama City Hub.

Copa provides passengers with access to flights to more th an 150 other destinations through codeshare arrangements with UAL pursuant to which each airline places its name and flight designation code on the other’s flights. As of December 31, 2012, Copa had firm orders, including purchase and lease commitments, for 35 additional Boeing 737-Next Generation aircraft. Copa also has options for an additional 14 Boeing 737-Next Generation aircraft.

The Company competes with Avianca-Taca, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and LAN Group.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Will Ashworth]

    I don’t know what’s going to happen in six months, let alone 20 years. However, I do know that OLED plays in a very exciting space, and Discovery Capital still seems to agree. Financially, OLED stock is solid, and if things go the company’s way in the coming years, it should get big in a hurry.

    Best Stocks #3 (Midcap): Copa Holdings (CPA)

    I’m a big believer in Latin America. While it has its troubles like every other emerging market, I continue to view its growing middle class with envy. While our middle class is being hallowed out, Latin America’s is growing exponentially. The U.S. was never more secure economically than when its middle class was growing, so history has demonstrated what this can do for a country.

  • [By Asit Sharma]

    The airline industry has a singular talent for draining the pockets of well-intentioned investors. Highly leveraged balance sheets and bankruptcies are the norm. Significant labor costs and unpredictable jet fuel prices wreak havoc on variable costs. Yet some airlines generate solid returns quarter after quarter. Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK  ) , Ryanair (NASDAQ: RYAAY  ) , Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV  ) , and Copa Holdings (NYSE: CPA  ) each manage to be consistently profitable. Let’s examine a few themes they share in common, and zero in on their individual strategic ideas.

  • [By Arie Goren]

    After running this screen on May 21, 2013, before the markets’ open, I discovered the following eight stocks: Sunoco Logistics Partners LP (SXL), Leggett & Platt Inc (LEG), Copa Holdings SA (CPA), RPC Inc. (RES), Tupperware Brands Corp. (TUP), Herbalife Ltd. (HLF), John Wiley & Sons Inc. (JW.A) and C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. (CHRW).

Top 10 Airline Companies For 2014: US Airways Group Inc (LCC)

US Airways Group, Inc. (US Airways Group) is a holding company whose primary business activity is the operation of a network air carrier through its wholly owned subsidiaries, US Airways, Piedmont Airlines, Inc. (Piedmont), PSA Airlines, Inc. (PSA), Material Services Company, Inc. (MSC) and Airways Assurance Limited (AAL). MSC and AAL operate in support of the Company’s airline subsidiaries in areas, such as the procurement of aviation fuel and insurance. It has hubs in Charlotte, Philadelphia and Phoenix and a focus city in Washington, D.C. at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (Washington National). During the year ended December 31, 2011, it offered scheduled passenger service on more than 3,100 flights daily to more than 200 communities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. It also has an East Coast route network, including the US Airways Shuttle service.

The Company had approximatel y 53 million passengers boarding its mainline flights in 2011. During 2011, the Company’s mainline operation provided scheduled service or seasonal service at 133 airports, while the US Airways Express network served 156 airports in the United States, Canada and Mexico, including 78 airports also served by its mainline operation. US Airways Express air carriers had approximately 28 million passengers boarding their planes in 2011. As of December 31, 2011, the Company operated 340 mainline jets and was supported by its regional airline subsidiaries and affiliates operating as US Airways Express under capacity purchase agreements, which operated 233 regional jets and 50 turboprops. The Company’s prorate carriers operated seven turboprops and seven regional jets at December 31, 2011.

In May 2011, US Airways Group and US Airways entered into an Amended and Restated Mutual Asset Purchase and Sale Agreement (the Mutual APA) with Delta Air Lines, Inc. (Delta). Pur suant to the Mutual APA, Delta agreed to acquire 132 slot pa! irs at LaGuardia from US Airways and US Airways agreed to acquire from Delta 42 slot pairs at Washington National and the rights to operate additional daily service to Sao Paulo, Brazil. On December 13, 2011, the transaction contemplated by the Mutual APA closed and ownership of the respective slots was transferred between the airlines. During 2011, the US Airways Express network served 156 airports in the continental United States, Canada and Mexico, including 78 airports also served by its mainline operation. During 2011, approximately 28 million passengers boarded US Airways Express air carriers’ planes, approximately 44% of whom connected to or from its mainline flights.

The Company competes with Southwest, JetBlue, Allegiant, Frontier, Virgin America and Spirit.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WALLSTCHEATSHEET]

    US Airways is an airline that operates passenger and freight planes. The company and AMR Corp.’s American Airlines began trading as a merged entity when markets opened on Monday. The stock has exploded higher in 2013 and is currently trading near highs for the year. Over the last four quarters, earnings have been decreasing while revenues have been rising, which has left investors pleased. Relative to its peers and sector, US Airways has been an average year-to-date performer. Look for US Airways to OUTPERFORM.

  • [By WALLSTCHEATSHEET]

    US Airways is an airline that operates passenger and freight planes. Friday is the last day that shares of AMR Corp. and US Airways will trade separately before the newly merged airline, American Airlines Group, will begin trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker AAL on Monday. The stock has exploded higher in 2013, but is currently pulling back. Over the last four quarters, earnings have been decreasing while revenues have been rising, which has produced optimistic investors. Relative to its peers and sector, US Airways has been an average year-to-date performer. Look for US Airways to OUTPERFORM.

  • [By Jonathan Yates]

    Stock prices for United Continental (NYSE: UAL), US Airways Group (NYSE: LCC), and Delta Airlines (NYSE: DAL) have soared for 2013.

    Pretty remarkable, when you consider the level of debt each of these companies is carrying. When the market turns, as it always does, the heavy leverage will be a tremendous burden on the ability of all of these airlines to compete and survive.

  • [By Paul Quintaro]

    Shares of Delta Air (NYSE: DAL) are down 3.6 percent at last check, shares of United Continental (NYSE: UAL) are down 3.8 percent, US Air (NYSE: LCC) shares down 2.8 percent, shares of Southwest (NYSE: LUV) down 2 percent, JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) shares down 2 percent and shares of SkyWest (NASDAQ: SKYW) down nearly 4 percent.

Top 10 Airline Companies For 2014: ANA Holdings Inc (ALNPF)

ANA HOLDINGS INC., formerly All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd., is a Japan-based airline holding company. Its Air Transportation segment is engaged in the air transportation business, the provision of various services at airports, the provision of reservation services via telephone, the freight express business, and the maintenance of aircrafts in domestic and overseas markets. The Traveling segment plans and sells tour packages under the brand names ANA Hello Tour and ANA Sky Holiday, it also offers services to travelers at arrival areas and sells travel products and air tickets. The Others segment involves in the information communication, trading and merchandise business, building management, logistics and airplane fixture repair business, and hotel operation. On March 4 and March 5, 2013, it fully acquired all shares of one and two consolidated subsidiaries through stock swap, respectively, made them become wholly-owned subsidiaries. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Daniel Inman]

    In Tokyo, ANA Holdings (JP:9202)   (ALNPF)  declined 4.7% after the airline lowered its 2013 fiscal-year net profit forecast by 65% on higher fuel costs and slow service expansion because of delays in Boeing (BA)  787 Dreamliner deliveries.

Top 10 Airline Companies For 2014: Alaska Air Group Inc. (ALK)

Alaska Air Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, Alaska Airlines, Inc. and Horizon Air Industries, Inc., operates as an airline company serving destinations in the western United States, Canada, and Mexico. The company provides passenger air services; and freight and mail services primarily to and within the state of Alaska and on the West Coast. As of December 31, 2009, it operated a fleet of 110 jet aircraft; and Horizon Air Industries operated a fleet of 18 jets and 40 turboprop aircraft. The company was founded in 1932 and is based in Seattle, Washington.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Asit Sharma]

    As last year drew to a close, I reviewed the stock of Alaska Air Group, (NYSE: ALK  ) , and determined that it had room to climb in 2014. So far, so good; through the first quarter of this year, the stock has gained roughly 29%. Is the Seattle-based airline, one of the most efficient U.S. major carriers, getting ahead of itself?

  • [By Richard Moroney]

    The airline sector has had its share of consolidation, which makes Alaska Air (ALK) an interesting takeover play.

    The stock’s Overall Quadrix score of 99 gives it plenty of appeal beyond its takeover possibilities. The stock has gained more than 16% so far in 2014, far outpacing the broad market.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    There’s been a lot of talk that investors are ready to shed their pessimistic views on airline stocks like Alaska Air (ALK) Delta Air Lines (DAL), United Continental Holdings (UAL) and American Airlines (AAL) and embrace them for the long term. The only problem: There’s no sign that they actually are.

Top 10 Airline Companies For 2014: Ryanair Holdings PLC (RYA)

Ryanair Holdings plc (Ryanair Holdings), is a holding company for Ryanair Limited (Ryanair). Ryanair operates a low-cost, scheduled-passenger airline serving short-haul, point-to-point routes between Ireland, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, and Morocco. As of June 30, 2012, the Company offered approximately over 1,500 scheduled short-haul flights per day serving approximately 160 airports largely throughout Europe with an operating fleet of 294 aircraft flying approximately 1,500 routes. Ryanair sells seats on a one-way basis. The Company also holds a 29.8% interest in Aer Lingus Group plc. As of June 30, 2012, Ryanair’s operating fleet was composed of 294 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, each having 189 seats. Ryanair’s fleet totaled 294 Boeing 737-800s at March 31, 2012. As of June 30, 2012, Ryanair owned and operated four Boeing 737-800 full flight simulators for pilot training. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Inyoung Hwang]

    Ryanair Holdings Plc (RYA), the discount airline operator that’s the second-biggest stock in Ireland’s ISEQ index, declined 1.7 percent to 7.23 euros in Dublin. Kerry Group, a supplier of food ingredients, sank 1.4 percent to 45.24 euros.

Top 10 Airline Companies For 2014: Energie Holdings Inc (ELED)

Energie Holdings Inc, formerly Alas Aviation Corporation, incorporated on June 10, 2013, is in the process of acquiring, assembling and operating passenger airlines, air cargo and related ground service operators. The Company’s business model includes purchasing low-scale regional operators then assembles and integrates them as subsidiaries. Corporacion Ygnus Air, S.A. (Cygnus) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company. It is engaged in acquisition discussions with several operators throughout Europe and around the world.

Cygnus is an aeronautical company is an integrated provider of air cargo transportation specializing in medium and long-range cargo routes. Cygnus operates a fleet of two Boeing 757-200PCF cargo jets to Europe and Africa. Cygnus has managed multi-plane operations, carrying both freight and passengers throughout Spain, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap stocks Wi-Fi Wireless Inc (OTCMKTS: WFWL), Energie Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS: ELED) and Trend Exploration, Inc (OTCMKTS: TRDX) surged 47.06%, 25% and 12.50%, respectively, last Friday. However, none of these small cap stocks appear to be the subject of paid promotions or investor relations activities – something that could be a good thing for investors who are not traders. Keeping that in mind, are these three small cap stocks going to be winners over the long term? Here is a closer look to help you decide on an investing or trading strategy:

Top 10 Airline Companies For 2014: Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL)

Delta Air Lines, Inc. (Delta) provides scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo throughout the United States and around the world. The Company’s route network gives it a presence in every domestic and international market. Delta’s route network is centered around the hub system it operate at airports in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. Each of these hub operations includes flights that gather and distribute traffic from markets in the geographic region surrounding the hub to domestic and international cities and to other hubs. The Company’s network is supported by a fleet of aircraft that is varied in terms of size and capabilities.

Delta has bilateral and multilateral marketing alliances with foreign airlines to improve its access to international markets. These arrangements can include code-sharing, reciprocal frequent flyer progr am benefits, shared or reciprocal access to passenger lounges, joint promotions, common use of airport gates and ticket counters, ticket office co-location, and other marketing agreements. Its international code-sharing agreements enable it to market and sell seats to an expanded number of international destinations. The Company has international codeshare arrangements with Aeromexico, Air France, Air Nigeria, Alitalia, Aeroflot, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, CSA Czech Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Olympic Air, Royal Air Maroc, VRG Linhas Aereas (operating as GOL), Vietnam Airlines, Virgin Australia and WestJet Airlines.

In addition to the Company’s marketing alliance agreements with individual foreign airlines, it is a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance. Delta also has frequent flyer and reciprocal lounge agreements with Hawaiian Airlines, and codesharing agreements with American Eagle Airlines (American Eagle) and Hawai ian Airlines. It has air service agreements with multiple do! mestic regional air carriers that feed traffic to its route system by serving passengers primarily in small-and medium-sized cities.

Through the Company’s regional carrier program, it has contractual arrangements with 10 regional carriers to operate regional jet and, in certain cases, turbo-prop aircraft using its DL designator code. In addition to Delta’s wholly owned subsidiary, Comair, it has contractual arrangements with ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. and SkyWest Airlines, Inc., both subsidiaries of SkyWest, Inc.; Chautauqua Airlines, Inc. and Shuttle America Corporation, both subsidiaries of Republic Airways Holdings, Inc.; Pinnacle Airlines, Inc. and Mesaba Aviation, Inc. (Mesaba), both subsidiaries of Pinnacle Airlines Corp. (Pinnacle); Compass Airlines, Inc. (Compass) and GoJet Airlines, LLC, both subsidiaries of Trans States Holdings, Inc. (Trans States), and American Eagle.

The Company’s SkyMiles program allows program members to earn mil eage for travel awards by flying on Delta, Delta’s regional carriers and other participating airlines. Mileage credit may also be earned by using certain services offered by program participants, such as credit card companies, hotels and car rental agencies. In addition, individuals and companies may purchase mileage credits. The Company reserves the right to terminate the program with six months advance notice, and to change the program’s terms and conditions at any time without notice.

SkyMiles program mileage credits can be redeemed for air travel on Delta and participating airlines, for membership in the Company’s Delta Sky Clubs and for other program participant awards. Mileage credits are subject to certain transfer restrictions and travel awards are subject to capacity controlled seating. During the year ended December 31, 2011, program members redeemed more than 275 billion miles in the SkyMiles program for more than 12 million award redemptions. D uring 2011, 8.2% of revenue miles flown on Delta were from a! ward trav! el.

The Company generates cargo revenues in domestic and international markets through the use of cargo space on regularly scheduled passenger aircraft. Delta is a member of SkyTeam Cargo, an airline cargo alliance. SkyTeam Cargo offers a network spanning six continents and provides customers an international product line.

The Company has several other businesses arising from its airline operations, including aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO); staffing services for third parties; vacation wholesale operations, and its private jet operations. Delta’s MRO operation, known as Delta TechOps, is an airline MRO in North America. In addition to providing maintenance and engineering support for its fleet of approximately 775 aircraft, Delta TechOps serves more than 150 aviation and airline customers. Its staffing services business, Delta Global Services, provides staffing services, professional security, training services and aviation soluti ons to approximately 150 customers. The Company’s vacation wholesale business, MLT Vacations, is the provider of vacation packages in the United States. Its private jet operations, Delta Private Jets, provides aircraft charters, aircraft management and programs allowing members to purchase flight time by the hour.

The Company competes with SkyTeam, United Air Lines, Continental Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways and Qantas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Michele Lerner, The Motley Fool]

    Alan Diaz/APAmerican Airlines did better at staying on schedule last year than it did in 2012, when it accused pilots of a work slowdown. DALLAS — A big drop in customer complaints helped U.S. airlines post their best ratings ever even though more flights were late and more bags were mishandled, according to a report released Monday by university researchers. Virgin America topped the ratings, and three regional airlines scored at the bottom. Among the four biggest airlines, Delta Air Lines (DAL) ranked best followed by Southwest (LUV), American (AAL) and United (UAL), according to researchers from Wichita State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The researchers have graded airlines since 1991 on government figures for on-time performance, mishandled bags, bumping passengers, and complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation. Their key findings: On-Time Performance: Airlines operated 78.4 percent of their flights on time in 2013, down from 81.8 percent in 2012. Best: Hawaiian Airlines (HA); worst: American Eagle. Only two airlines improved: American Airlines and United. Bag Handling: The rate of lost, stolen or delayed bags rose 5 percent. Best: Virgin America; worst: American Eagle. Bumping: The rate of bumping passengers from flights fell 8 percent. Best: JetBlue Airways (JBLU); worst: SkyWest (SKYW). Complaints: Consumer complaints to the government dropped 15 percent in 2013 after rising 20 percent the year before. Best: Southwest Airlines; worst: Frontier (RJET). One of the report’s authors, Wichita State business professor Dean Headley, credited the drop in complaints partly to United Airlines. The company suffered several computer-network outages and grounded hundreds of flights in 2012 when it combined the United and Continental computer networks after a merger, but “got their act together” in 2013, he said. Headley said the drop in complaints might also reflect “a certain amount of resignation” that “it’s neve

  • [By Asit Sharma]

    An update on the slugfest with Delta in Seattle
    Likely the biggest question surrounding Alaska’s performance is the effect of longtime codeshare partner Delta Airlines (NYSE: DAL  ) flexing  its competitive muscle in the airline’s home base of Seattle. In 2013, Delta’s desire to compete with its earnest affiliate changed the relationship between the two airlines fundamentally. In ALK’s 201310-K annual report filing, management mentioned Delta by name as a threat:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    The reasons range from the significant–its valuation versus peers like Delta Air Lines (DAL) and United Continental (UAL)–to the granular–American Airlines could save “tens of millions” by ending stadium sponsorships.