Saturday :: Oct 16, 2004

Skying The Friendly Flies, Or Somesuch

by pessimist

Due to a major failure in an aged and hard-worked PC, I'm utilizing borrowed equipment and a borrowed dial-up account. Thus, with this article, I'm forced to take shortcuts in my regular presentation style, honed from hours of reliable high-speed DSL access. Because I don't want to use up all of the allocated hours for this dial-up account, and because I will have to acquire a new PC with the few scarce dollars I have (much of which went to pay higher state taxes after federal subsidies were cut), I'm having to rely upon the diligence of you the reader to do a lot of the work I would normally do for you. I provide the links, and you will have to do the rest - at least until that winning Lotto ticket falls into my lap, and I can begin to look at those bargain e-Machines on sale at Best Buy with something other than covetous envy!

Oh, Santa, ...


The American airline industry is in a serious stall. Bu$hCo economic policies and 9/11 terrorism fears have had an effect on ticket sales, with some former passengers too afraid to fly and risk entering the observation deck of some skyscraper from the outside, some unable to afford to fly due to job loss, or others who refuse to inconvenience themselves due to the alleged security arrangements of strip searching grandmothers and babies while packages in the cargo holds go uninspected.

In a dangerous world, one needs to be one's own security detail and not trust to minimum-wage 'security' contractors who hate the jobs they've been forced to take when their former employers left the country. Besides - they won't let you take your own parachute on the plane.

One would think that the dire conditions our airlines face are shared by those of the world. But, as this next article shows, such an assumption would never get off the ground. From the sound of things (yes, I know this article is eight months old!), one might be led to believe that only in the US are the aviation eagles not soaring. I'm sure that rising fuel costs are affecting these airlines as well, but with my search time limited, ...

The specific thing to remember is that the 'hub' of all of this airline activity reported within this article is the emerging East Asia Powerhouse - that soon-to-be-economically-dominant Democratic Republic of China - about which I will have more to report later this weekend, assuming all goes well with my borrowed Internet access arrangements.

Anyone who knows of any links that relate to this topic, please feel free to present them in the comments.

Flights between China, Europe increase
Updated: 2004-02-28 09:32

Travelers between Shanghai and northern Europe will have more choice when new regular flights between the city and Copenhagen begin on March 29 [2004]. This will be the second direct flight between Shanghai and northern Europe following the Shanghai-Helsinki service launched by Finnair in September last year.

Scandinavian Airlines will fly Airbus-340 aircraft from Shanghai's Pudong International Airport at 10:30 a.m. (Beijing Time) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and arrive at Copenhagen Airport at 3:40 p.m. (local time) the same day, the airline said in a statement. Direct flights from Copenhagen to Shanghai are available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, with Airbus-340s departing Copenhagen Airport at 3:15 p.m. (local time) and arrive at Pudong International Airport at 7:35 a.m. (Beijing Time) the next day.

Bjorn Ekegren, general manager of Scandinavian Airlines in China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, and Mongolia, said he had confidence in the China market and his company planned to launch more flights between China and northern Europe.

Meanwhile, other Europe-based airlines have added or will increase flights from Europe to China this summer, a move insiders say has been stimulated by the milestone tourism memorandum of understanding (MOU), signed by the China National Tourism Administration and the European Union (EU) earlier this month to facilitate Chinese group tours to Europe. Chinese tourists going through selected travel agencies will benefit from facilitated procedures for visas from 12 member states of the EU which have been granted "Approved Destination Status" (ADS) by China. The 12 nations are Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. Tourism authorities from Sweden, Denmark and Norway have come to Shanghai to promote tourism in their own countries, good news for airline companies, insiders noted.

Air France now operates daily flights from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, and will increase the number of its Guangzhou-Paris flights to 11 a week from June 28. In addition to daily direct flights from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong to Frankfurt, Lufthansa plans to increase the number of flights from Guangzhou to Munich via Shanghai to seven a week from early April from the current five. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines expects to operate daily flights between Shanghai and Amsterdam, and Beijing and Amsterdam from May30, compared with the current four flights weekly on each route. Austrian Airlines is also expected to fly to Shanghai soon, sources said.

China Eastern Airlines plans to launch three flights weekly between Shanghai and London beginning on April 1, in addition to its existing flights from Shanghai to Paris, Madrid, Brussels and Munich. Air China has become the biggest carrier between China and Europe, reaching 40 flights weekly and about 50 cooperative flights weekly. The airline had an average of 13 flights to Europe every day.

Meanwhile, back in the land that invented and developed the technology:

[Pssst! This is where I have to have you take over!]

Fewer Flights Means Fewer Planes Needed

Boeing and Airbus are involved with a WTO trade war over claims of subsidized production costs. Based on how things seem to be going, will Airbus emerge the victor? It's rare for the Secret Tribunal to find in favor of US companies. This was a topic I was going to cover in much greater detail before my PC went to Computer Valhalla.

Airbus' new rival to 7E7 may utilize subsidies Seattle Times

Airbus might tap up to 1 billion euros ($1.25 billion) in controversial government loans to build a new A350 airplane model, which would be a rival to Boeing's new 7E7 jetliner.

Airbus raises projection of deliveries to 320 Seattle Post Intelligencer
Brownback says he will continue to back Boeing The Wichita Eagle
Washington Times
Channel News Asia
all 84 related

Fewer Flights Means Fewer Flight Crew

This link list barely covers the topic, which has been on-going for months. This was another one of the topics I was going to be covering before the Crash of the Pessimist Processor.

US Airways to cut pay by 21 percent; Delta warns it's near ... Seattle Times

A bankruptcy judge granted US Airways authority yesterday to temporarily cut the pay of its union workers by 21 percent, comparing the airline's financial outlook to "a ticking fiscal time bomb.

US Airways set to take off pay Miami Herald (subscription)
USAirways unions face 21% pay cut Philadelphia Daily News (subscription)
Philadelphia Inquirer (subscription)
Boston Globe
Detroit Free Press
all 448 related

Fewer Flights Means Fewer Profits

Despite claims by our wrong-wing friends, most of us understand that without profits businesses close. This is no different for the nation's back-up military transport system.

Delta expects net loss up to $675M Gwinnett Daily Post

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the airline reported that it expects its quarterly report to be released ...

Delta Reports That Its Cash Is Dwindling Rapidly New York Times
Pressure mounts on Delta Atlanta Journal Constitution (subscription)
Miami Herald (subscription)
Dallas Morning News (subscription)
Fort Worth Star Telegram (subscription)
Cincinnati Post
all 315 related

Fewer Flights Means Fewer Paid Hours - And That Is Still Better Than No Hours At All

The airline employees have been folding over backwards attempting to keep their jobs alive, but will this prove to be merely a delaying action? A Parthian Shot against the inevitable economic collapse?

Flight attendants OK 10% pay cut to keep ATA aloft Indianapolis Star - 35 minutes ago

ATA Airlines Inc. put a piece of its turnaround package in place Friday when a large majority of flight attendants accepted $24 million in concessions to help keep the financially ailing Indianapolis carrier flying.

ATA laying off 156 as merger rumors fly Arizona Republic
ATA is laying off 156 Pacific Business News
Kansas City Star (subscription)
USA Today
all 224 related

The Silver Lining: Fewer Flights Means Fewer High-priced Fuel Fees

Oil prices hit another high on Friday Xinhua

Crude oil futures continued to climb Friday, reaching a record high as decline in the US inventory of heating oil and tight supplies still overshadowed the energy markets.

Price of oil eases off record highs Khaleej Times
Oil Holds Near $55 on Winter Fuel Anxiety Reuters
Miami Herald (subscription)
all 620 related

The Approaching Storm Clouds: Fewer Fuel Producers Means Still Higher Fuel Fees

Yukos fate is sealed as state auction looms Guardian

Russian oil major Yukos is expected to face the auction of its main subsidiary by the end of the month at a price far lower than its estimated worth, a move analysts say could ruin the company and destroy the equity of minority shareholders.

Russia said eyeing Yukos bargain sale Washington Times
Government still undecided on YUKOS Gateway 2 Russia
San Jose Mercury News (subscription)
Economic Times
all 134 related

Fewer Flight Hours And Higher Fuel Costs Means Fewer Vehicles Sold

We have been trying to tell these stupid, greedy bastards since 1973 that this day was going to come! BUT NO! They knew better! All they had to do was run to Uncle Sugar and he'd keep those bad, low-profit and high-mileage away from their corporate doors!

The trend on my local streets is still to attempt to sell the SUV and run around in the clunker that was parked out back of the garage to make room for the gas guzzler.

GM reports poor quarterly profits The Malaysia Star

General Motors Corp posted on Thursday disappointing quarterly earnings and cut its 2004 profit forecast due to mounting losses in Europe and slowing growth in China, sending its shares down 5%.

GM, Missing Forecasts, Is Hurt by Loss on US Autos New York Times
GM shares cut into losses after Q3 miss Investor's Business Daily (subscription)
Youngstown Business Journal
all 255 related

Avalanche Alert! Fewer Cars Sold Means Fewer Vendor Sales

Now that GM (and recently Ford) have announced lower profits, one would think that these otherwise intelligent people would begin to get the hint that has been pounding on their doors since 1973 and stop trying to sell us things that are not good for the country. It's a good thing for these people that unjustifiable and arrogant stubborness in the face of massive amounts of evidence to the contrary is not a crime (yet).

Stelco says GM pulling business Toronto Star

Stelco Inc. is losing its biggest customer and is now in danger of losing its second-largest client in what the restructuring steel maker's CEO, Courtney Pratt, calls an "extremely significant" blow to the struggling company.

Stelco says losing biggest customer General Motors Reuters
GM seeks to pull plug on Stelco contracts The Globe and Mail (subscription)
CBC News
London Free Press
all 28 related

Fewer People Each Working Fewer hours Means Fewer Phone Calls

Sprint to cut 700 more jobs

Sprint Corp. said Friday that it will cut 700 jobs in its business solutions division as it stops selling business long-distance services outside of package deals.

Sprint decision means loss of 700 jobs Kansas City Star (subscription)
Sprint to Cut 700 Jobs in Sales; Long-Distance Write-Down Set New York Times (subscription)
Lawrence Journal World
USA Today
all 182 related

Fewer Domestic Sales Means Fewer Dollars Stay Home

US trade deficit hits near-record level Taipei Times

The US trade deficit jumped to the second-highest level in history as surging demand for foreign oil swamped a small gain in US exports, the government reported.

Trade Deficit Surges, Jobless Claims Up Forbes
US Trade Deficit Widens to $54 Billion NewsFactor Network
The Scotsman
Washington Times
New Ratings
all 272 related

Fewer Prospects For Prosperity Means The Search For Those Responsible And Liable Commences

Judge backs extradition of NatWest bankers Guardian

Three former NatWest bankers were told yesterday they should be extradited to the United States to face fraud charges connected to the collapsed energy company Enron.

Bankers vow to fight extradition The Times (subscription)
Jeremy Warner's Outlook: Is anyone safe as Spitzer takes aim at ... Independent
Washington Times
San Jose Mercury News (subscription)
all 85 related

I hope by now you've noted the progression, and the interconnectedness, of the businesses in America. Bu$hCo policies that severely skewed the playing field in favor of the energy companies (the majority of which conveniently have close Texas connections) at the expense of everyone else, coupled with the 9/11 terror attacks, severely weakened the economic resiliency of this economy. One would think that four years of this, and with the ensuing working-class depression looming on the horizon, John F. Kerry would win in a walk. But should he win the election, he will still have to deal with the detritus of the Bu$hCo disaster, and many of the things he will be forced into will not be popular. He will have to draw upon every leadership instinct he has to keep this country in one piece and politicially unified.

The dangers are incredible, and this isn't going to be your great-grandfather's Great Depression. There is no way today's American people would have abided the deprivations of the 1930's without resorting to violent anarchy, and those deprivations will seem munificent compared to what I fear we face if certain things go certain ways.

But since little of this registers with the 46% or so that still supports George Worthle$$ Bu$h in spite of all of this publicly accessible evidence to the contrary, then I hope the Diety decides to have mercy on us - for we will have none upon ourselves.

[I usually have my Fair Use disclaimer notice available for inclusion here. If anyone wants to see it, please check in the archives. Otherwise, until I'm back on my digital feet, please consider it included.

My deep apologies to Google News for cribbing their excellent work for this post.]

pessimist :: 10:07 AM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!