Corporate and International Travel Drove Earnings This Quarter

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The recent earnings seasons provided a glimpse into how the largest publicly traded travel companies are faring.

So what are the main takeaways from earnings season? And which companies emerged as big winners? Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill and Airlines Reporter Meghna Maharishi joined Editor-in-Chief Sarah Kopit and Head of Research Seth Borko to discuss the results of earnings in this week’s Skift Travel Podcast.

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Travel Industry’s Strong Growth

Sarah Kopit: Welcome back to the Skift Travel Podcast. I’m Skift’s Editor-in-Chief Sarah Kopit here as always with our Head of Research, Seth Borko. So here at Skift, we are all about the business of travel. But today, we are all business as we talk about bottom lines. It is the tail end of earnings season, and we’re here to parse through the financials of the most important companies in travel.

Specifically, we’ll be talking about two of travel’s largest sectors — airlines and hospitality. So here to help, we are joined by Meghna Maharishi, Skift’s airlines reporter, and Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.

Seth Borko: We are so excited to have Sean and Meghna here to give us a look into earnings season.

This is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s when we finally get down to brass tacks and we get a look inside the inner workings of these travel businesses. How much money are they making? How fast are they growing? How did they do? It’s kind of like going to your doctor for an annual checkup, but we get to do it four times a year with all these different travel businesses. And we’ve got no one better to to do it with.

I want to start off this conversation just at the top. We have a Skift Travel 200 Index of the 200 largest publicly traded companies out there. And I pulled together some numbers around how fast we are growing overall in this industry. So the travel industry grew — revenue that’s top line — by 10% year-over-year this quarter. So that’s a pretty strong figure.

And that’s sort of our benchmark for how we want to think about what growth looks like — a very impressive 19% margin on EBITDA. So for every dollar that the travel industry made, $0.19 of it came in terms of came in terms of profit. The fastest growing sectors were the cruise lines, the tour operators and the slowest growing sector — we’ll talk to Sean about this — was the accommodations sector overall.

Takeaways From Airlines’ Earnings

Borko: We’re really pleased to have you both here to talk about your areas of expertise, especially the airlines and the hotel sectors. I think, Meghna, why don’t we jump into it from you? You cover the airlines for us. How did the airlines look this earnings season?

Meghna Maharishi: So I feel like what’s happening is that it’s becoming really clear that there are two airlines that are very profitable, always having record revenues.

And their strategy of going into premium travel is working really well for them. And that’s Delta and United. I think since the pandemic, they’ve both been really big on expanding their premium cabins and just trying to learn more premium travelers into their product. And at the same time — at least for United — another big part of their strategy has been eating into the ultra low-cost carrier market share by expanding basic economy.

And a lot of these airlines are betting on with more basic economy, those travelers will want to fly with them because they have a better loyalty program, and they have other products that they could buy. And if they want a premium product or they want priority boarding or something like that, they have that option as well.

So I think, as far as the earnings season has gone, United and Delta have come out as the two winners, sort of. And I guess the ultra low-cost carriers like Frontier and Spirit are still struggling.

How American Airlines Is Different

Kopit: What about American then? Yeah I mean that’s like the big one that we haven’t talked about. What happened there?

Maharishi: Yeah. So American is kind of in an interesting space. It is also leaning into that premium travel trend, but not to the same degree that United and Delta are. I think also United and Delta have been benefiting from the fact that they both have much larger international networks than American does. And international travel is still doing really well, and that trend has not let up just yet.

American is also taking a different turn. They are kind of being really big on expanding in smaller cities. At an investor day, their executives mentioned how they wanted to be a bigger presence in places like El Paso or Oklahoma City or Tulsa because they can have a big market share there. And they can also charge more airfare there and cater to that demand.

So they’ve been going after the smaller cities. While I think United and Delta have been focusing on international travel and premium travel.

Borko: So American does not want to be premium or do you think that they just can’t pull off a passenger experience to be premium?

Maharishi: I think they do want to be premium. But I also think the other thing with premium is that it is going hand in hand with international travel as well. And American doesn’t have as big of a network. They do have a decently big international network, but it’s nowhere near as big as like United’s, for example.

Low-Cost Carrier Struggles

Borko: One of the things you said earlier that I thought was interesting is … I think you called out United in particular. They’re not just doing well at premium demand. They’re also doing well cannibalizing that ultra low-cost with their basic economy packages. So what’s going on with those ULCC carriers — the Spirit Airlines’ and the lower end players of the market?

Maharishi: So Spirit and Frontier reported pretty disappointing results in the first quarter. They both reported some pretty big losses. And first quarter is typically harder for airlines since it’s the beginning of the year and not a lot of people are traveling during that time of the year.

But I think that Frontier and Spirit are still being squeezed by all the current trends in the industry, where a lot of people want to want a premium cabin, a lot of people want to go abroad. And then also at the same time, there has been an overcapacity in very popular domestic and leisure routes, like in Florida or Mexico or the Caribbean.

And part of that overcapacity has been because the bigger airlines have been adding more seats there, to thinking that they can again eat into that market share. And it’s been working for the bigger airlines. But Spirit and Frontier are not doing as well as a result. Frontier is trying to readjust its network because of that. And we’ll see if that actually ends up working out for them or not.

Spirit hasn’t really revealed any plans yet as for what it wants to do to turn things around. Spirit has also been really reeling from the fact that it lost that merger with JetBlue that I think could have been a pretty big lifeline for Spirit, given that it hasn’t been profitable since the pandemic. And some analysts had previously speculated that bankruptcy could be in the cards for Spirit just because it’s been reporting so many losses and it just hasn’t been able to turn a profit at all.

But we’re still waiting to hear back on what Spirit wants to do to potentially restore its profitability. And also, it’s not clear when these trends in premium and international travel will let up.

Kopit: So Meghna, I’m from Detroit. So I have been watching the Spirit bankruptcy news with quite a high interest. That’s where one of their big hubs is. Have you heard any any rumors or rumblings (about) what might be in store for Spirit in on the bankruptcy front?

Maharishi: So far, it’s pretty unclear what direction they will head into. It was considered to be an odd move when they deferred the delivery of several aircraft, and then they furloughed hundreds of pilots.

And then the way they deferred those aircraft, it was sort of speculated will Spirit even be in business by the time they can get those aircraft, which would be in the 2030s or so. But so far, it’s pretty unclear. All the executives at Spirit have really shot back against any bankruptcy talk. Spirit’s CEO previously called it a misguided narrative. But I think also, those same executives are pretty frustrated right now too because in the last earnings call, he said the industry feels like a rigged game right now.

Borko: Rigged by who?

Maharishi: The bigger airlines that are doing really well.

Borko: No executive ever says we’re going bankrupt. That’s kind of how the game is played. You have to be 100% confident that you’re 100% until the day that you are 100% bankrupt. I think that’s sort of how that works.

Borko: Sean, I want to just bring you in briefly because Meghna was talking about strong international demand and strong Florida demand. Is that what you’re seeing on the hotel side as well? Let’s get a little cross-sector view there.

Sean O’Neill: Yeah, for a cross-sector view, I would say some of the trends that are happening in hotels are quite similar to what Meghna was talking about.

She mentioned there is a rebound in corporate travel, corporate going pretty strong and premium being pretty strong. She also mentioned that, some of the economy players that are more exposed to the economy sector are seeing some weakness. And you could say a similar picture broadly is also true with hotels. If I could use a metaphor, sort of like a symphony that’s going on right now.

And so all the different parts of demand in hotels are sort of like dancing to this lively tune — like the leisure travelers are doing pretty well. They have an upbeat song … the business travelers are at a steady tempo. Corporate and group (are) coming on strong. But right now, you’re starting to see some weakness on sort of the budget.

You’re seeing sort of a downturn, bluesy sound coming through from the budget brand sector, so to speak. So Wyndham, for example, and Choice, which both have a lot of exposure to the budget and economy sectors, have been seeing, year-on-year getting flat — compared to companies like Marriott, which is the world’s largest hotelier, which skews much more high end and premium, relatively speaking.

And they’ve been immune to some of those pressures and sort of its peak set at some point. A point that you’ve made often at Skift Research is that it’s hard to extract. You can’t really extrapolate trends that are happening across the whole macroeconomic picture of the U.S. to what’s happening within travel because you’ve noted that travel self selects to sort of like a customer tends to have more disposable income, tends to have a different profile of how they do their budgeting.

And so and so and also vice versa. So have I summed up that perspective of yours about those dimensions?

Borko: I think it’s an interesting point how as we look at the broad economy and we try and take it back, we look at the broader economy and we try and take it back to the travel sector and say, “Well, you know, the economy is maybe a touch softer than we we thought it would be.”

So that will be a huge benefit for the economy scale properties or budget airlines. But the reality is that sometimes those lower end people just stop traveling altogether and travel is really a premium product in the first place. So maybe so long as it can keep, like you say, dancing.

It’s interesting though I am surprised to hear that from both of you though that the budget end and the economy end is struggling the most despite what I was just saying. I would have thought that with prices high and with inflation high and and people really want to travel, we hear a lot of feedback that travel prices are high.

I would have thought that those low costs — both carriers and hotels — would have been doing a lot better. I’m surprised to hear that.

O’Neill: At least in the hotel space, there tends not to be the trading down phenomenon that you would expect.

It tends to be people stay within their segments, so they either pull out entirely out of economy or they don’t tend to trade down from the ….

Kopit: You don’t have people like who are used to staying in the suites or like staying at a Choice hotel. They would just stay home. Is that what I hear?

O’Neill: That’s exactly right, Sarah.

Borko: The Schitt’s Creek plot where the very luxury family winds up in the road segment. Turns out that’s just a piece of television fiction.

Kopit: Yeah, this is just fantastic television fiction. So Sean, we here at Skift in one of our megatrends back in the winter, we talked about how midscale hotels or the midscale customer …

That was really where hotels were trying to put a lot of their emphasis. Did anything that you saw in the earnings season this past quarter kind of bear fruit to that?

O’Neill: Well, maybe not so much in the numbers, but in terms of announcements. So Marriott said that it was soon going to add another brand. It’s in the midscale. Wyndham and others have also been adding in the midscale Hyatt. And so we are seeing that there’s an effort to try to fill in that part of the space.

For people who don’t know what Midscale is, if you think of it as sort of like a mid-tier brand where you have premium and luxury up above and economy below.

So yes, we’re seeing the executives want to do more on that because I know, Sarah, you’ve mentioned before that you use sort of like ChatGPT all the time and because Skift has its upcoming data and AI Summit at the beginning of June in New York. I’ve been playing around with ChatGPT, so I fed in all the transcripts from the six hotel groups and asked “What was the most used word?”

So what is your guess, Seth and Sarah? What would be the most used word during the hotel earnings?

Kopit: We were not prepped for this question, ladies and gentlemen, listening. I don’t know what it would have been.

Borko: Great question, Bob. Great question. Happy to answer that.

Kopit: Of affordability. Maybe

O’Neill: I’ll put you out of your misery. It was growth. So growth was used 325 times and strong was used — just as many times as the word hotel was used. So that was sort of the broad trend. Although we’ve talked a little bit about weakness, the overall broad picture that hotel executives were trying to say, similar to what Megan was saying about airlines, is that it’s still very good times — very comparable to pre-pandemic 2019 times with hotels.

Borko: Meghna, you had touched on the premium carriers United and Delta doing really well.

You touched on the challenges of the ultra low-cost carriers like Spirit or Frontier. What about those more mid-tier players? What about a family favorite? Southwest Airlines — kind of a very classic middle-of-the range airline. How are they doing?

Maharishi: So Southwest has been pretty heavily afflicted by the Boeing delivery delays. It was expecting several orders of the Max 7.

The Max 7 has still not been certified. And as a result, Southwest is now exiting four airports, which is really rare for Southwest to do. They also put a pause on pilot hiring and flight attendant hiring, too. Southwest CEO Bob Jordan has said multiple times that the carrier needs to look for ways to cut costs because they are not expecting the aircraft that they need, and that’s been a really big issue for them.

And then the other thing that I think is really interesting is that now Southwest is even weighing making changes to its seating and boarding process, which would be very, very big changes for Southwest to do if it shied away from that economy seating and then the free boarding where you can sit wherever you want.

Kopit: Isn’t that like Southwest’s whole thing, right? That’s why people even know them. Tell us more.

Maharishi: So executives said that they were considering making these changes. It’s not yet clear if they will, but it seemed as if they also kind of thinking about these changes in response to just the current trends in the industry too because premium travel is doing super well.

So they may be thinking that they can play into that if they can’t get the Boeing aircraft that they need.

Kopit: So they’re going to start charging like everybody else. This is that most exciting things we’ve heard today. But do you think that truly is like would be the plan they would start to monetize just like all the other airlines — you can pay to board first and stuff like that.

Maharishi: I mean, it’s not definite that they would because it would be just such a big change. I think would arguably be the biggest change it would make in its whole entire history as an airline. So they definitely would have to do a lot of thinking about it before actually trying to implement something like that because Southwest is so popular for the fact that it has all economy seating and that people can sit wherever they want — like those are the things that make Southwest Southwest.

So it would really take a lot for them to take it away. And I think Southwest still has some promise for the year, too, despite these delivery delays. They’re not doing so terribly badly as an ultra low-cost carrier is or even like a JetBlue. They’re still doing OK. It’s just that not receiving the Max 7, which they had expected to receive, has really hampered their operations. And it’s also slowed their capacity growth for the year.

Borko: It’s fascinating to me that this Boeing story has had such long lasting ripple effects. Obviously we knew would have an impact, but because it’s not just Southwest, I hink many airlines across the world are basically blaming their a lot of their failures or failings this quarter on Boeing. Is that correct?

Maharishi: Yeah. I mean, even for United again, they reported a loss this quarter. It was a small loss, but the loss was fueled by the fact that they had to ground the Max 9 for one month after that Alaska Airlines incident because United and Alaska are the only two U.S. carriers that use the Max 9.

Same thing for Alaska even in their earnings. They could have even been profitable too if the Max 9 grounding didn’t happen. What’s interesting, though, is that even for United, for example, which is a very big Boeing customer, they are dealing with delivery delays — they have had to pause pilot hiring. They did have to offer pilots unpaid time off as well. But it doesn’t seem like they’re being too affected by them.

It doesn’t seem to be harming their bottom line too much — at least during the earnings call. It wasn’t as big of a theme as you would have thought. Yet for a Southwest, it’s really causing a lot of issues for them this year and even for an American Airlines. They were expecting, I think, several Dreamliner orders. Those have now been delayed because Boeing has had to delay Dreamliner production due to a shortage of certain parts.

And now American is reducing certain international routes as a result. American is also expecting other delivery delays too which they mentioned. But it’s interesting to see how it’s some airlines. It’s not as big of a deal as you would think it is. And then with others, it’s really the big elephant in the room.

Borko: Well, can I just ask you honestly? Do you think that because some airlines seem fine with it … is it just that the airlines that are having troubles are …. trying to externally? I mean, like, couldn’t we just go back to some of these guys like Spirit and these guys are like, what are you talking about? Sweeping Southwest and what are you talking about?

If you know you can do it, why can’t you do it? What do you think is the disparity there?

Maharishi: The thing is … I think that Southwest, before these delivery delays were becoming an issue, they were still doing pretty well before and they were doing well and which was in a way … that was pretty remarkable, given that the environment has not necessarily been the most conducive for a carrier like a Southwest to do well.

All the rage is still been international and premium travel. Southwest doesn’t really do either of those things. They were still having pretty healthy profits. But now it seems as if these delivery delays have been a really big issue that they’re now kind of like, “Oh, should we actually consider adding a premium cabin? Should we change reporting process?”

I think also at United, it’s a much, much bigger airline where maybe perhaps a delivery delay for maybe 40 or 80 so aircraft wouldn’t have as much of an effect on them. They also have some pretty ambitious growth plans too. And those delivery delays are slowing down this growth plans a little bit, but not enough for it to be an issue.

United is also even under an FAA audit right now because they had all those safety incidents in the month of March, and executives said that they expected very minimal impact on their growth. Even with that audit in the background there. So I think it’s so huge.

The State of Luxury Hotels

Kopit: So Sean, let’s let’s talk a little bit about the luxury end of the hotel space. It’s arguably what people like to like to think about and dream about. How are how are those, hoteliers doing this quarter from what you saw?

O’Neill: Well, in terms of rate and occupancy, luxury hotels are doing better than the rest. People stayed at more upscale brands in the first months of this year than they did a year ago.

And price wise, they’ve had great pricing power. However, the pricing increases compared to, say 2019, are up 20%. But the costs for operating things … inflation is up 20, 23%. When you start thinking about the higher costs of taxes, wages, insurance and the cereal that they put in the breakfast bars. So one of the factors there, as you can see … while many of the hotel groups are asset light, companies like Hyatt do own a lot of their properties and for their own hotels, they saw their margins drop by several percentage points.

(Their) own margins were only 19% and higher. They were below the 24% that analysts were hoping and below the 30% they had been about a year ago. What that means is like for adjusted earnings across the whole half dozen major hotel groups were down 9% year over year. And so what’s happening is they’re getting good pricing power on the premium in luxury hotels. But it’s not necessarily flowing through to the bottom line because their costs have gone up.

And that’s really striking because labor is usually one of the bigges, expenses that hotels face. And they are now 200,000 fewer people working in hotels today than there was in 2019 in the U.S., according to federal data. So if you take out one out of 10 workers, that has saved them a lot of money. But inflation has sort of like taken away those gains that they may have had.

So the broad picture in luxury is if you’re trying to book into a luxury property, you’re gonna have a hard time getting the place that you want. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the hotel you’re operating is making big bucks off of it.

Kopit: Is that still the pandemic? Labor shortages that we’re seeing? Is that where those missing workers are still coming from? They haven’t been able to hire.

O’Neill: So the argument is no, that they should have. They realized when they cleared people out that there was a lot of operating inefficiencies and that they can try to do more with less. So the plan is through a combination of using tech more savagely and reducing things like housekeeping service.

I know at the luxury end, it’s different because you want to have a high staff to guest ratio, but for a majority of properties, they’re able to try to get by with less.

The Challenges in Getting Hotels Off the Ground

Borko: And, Sean, one of the conversations we’re just having, Meghna, is about this kind of supply and capacity. How are we going to get new planes? The equivalent for that in the hotel space is real estate development — is new hotels in the pipeline. Did we get any update from the hotel groups? I know pipelines have been under pressure. Interest rates are rising. Is that what’s happening on that side?

O’Neill: Yeah. It’s sort of this funny thing that all the hotel executives have in recent months. And again in this quarter, the earnings calls have said, “Oh, we have record hotel development pipelines, records, records.”

But that’s actually not so great because it means like things are piling up because you got all that are under contract. But they’re not actually rolling out. Now, one or two companies had an exception. Choice had a significant uptick in actually getting its hotels open.

But for most of the hotel companies, they’ve been slow. And it’s partly a mix of the interest rates, changes, catching people off guard and trying to finance either conversions or new construction. And also difficulty with permitting and regulating and then trying to get some labor in order to do the construction — construction being a different labor pool than what we were talking about before and with different dynamics than what we’re talking about for hospitality, guest service.

So I would say the pipelines are big, the ambitions are big. But it’s not necessarily an entirely good thing. And the one other thing I would say, Seth, is where there’s a real shift to conversions, they’ve introducing
both new conversion brands and really trying to sell the conversion brands, which enables them to move faster because construction has been so slow.

Borko: And so for our audience, the conversion brands … there’s a big distinction between who actually manages and markets the hotel and who actually owns and sometimes even operates the hotel.

And so basically we’ve got the Marriotts and basically Marriott trying to steal hotels from Hilton or Hyatt trying to steal hotels from Marriott and (a) merry-go-round. So it goes. So I think that’s interesting that when things get tighter, the competition between flags gets tighter. That’s an interesting point there.

O’Neill: True. Although they would say that there’s a lot of independents, especially in Europe, unlike the U.S where the U.S is two-thirds branded, one third independent. It’s the reverse in Europe. And so, IHG has its new Garner brand. Marriott has its new Four Points Express brand in Europe that we’ve introduced in the past year. And so they’re trying to pick up some of those flags.

Premier Inn, which is based in the UK, said they expect 10,000 independents to disappear over the next … by 2030. And so then, they want to pick up a lot of them.

Borko: That’s really interesting. Thanks for correcting me on that because I was thinking it was flags between brands. But it is a great point. That’s actually maybe independents being squeezed and coming into the branded fold. That’s a great point, Sean.

Kopit: So for everybody who is listening, who may not be terribly familiar with what happens during earnings season, most companies who report will also give forecasts and take a look into into the future. They bring out their crystal ball a little bit to give investors a peek at what they expect to happen both in the next quarter and often for the rest of the year.

So, Sean, Meghna, did we see any interesting seeds being planted about what either the airlines or the hospitality space think is going to happen for either the rest of 2024 into 2025 from their forecasts?

Maharishi: With American, for example, they underperformed this quarter, but their executives kept on saying that they expected to be on track to meet all their financial targets and that everything for the rest of the year.

United and Delta both said that they are expecting to see a very strong demand for international travel in the summer. So that’s still not going away anywhere. And it was the same thing where premium travel is still going to be in for the rest of the year. And the second quarter, I think specifically United and Delta are really banking on having a strong record summer again.

And airlines have been having these record summers every summer since the pandemic, basically.

Borko: And Sean, what do you see on the on the forward guidance?

O’Neill: The big talking point was about groups, conventions and meetings coming back. Hyatt executives looked at their crystal ball as you said, Sarah, and they see a promising 7% year over year growth for the rest of the year in these kinds of events.

Hilton said that they expect their corporate travel to be back — corporates being not just small and medium-sized businesses, but the large Fortune 500-type companies being out in the road. They expect that to recover back to 2019 levels, probably by the end of the year. And so those are just dovetailing and echoing with what Meghna said. Corporate being that back and also APAC — Asia-Pacific — for the hotels … they’re a little bit constrained because of a lack of airlift.

The issue with not being able to travel over Russian airspace, is sort of, sort of having a headwind between Europe and Asia Pacific travel sort of happening. But if you’re within Asia Pacific, Japan and Korea are getting a lot of travelers from China and hotel companies that have (a) presence there.

So that was a long winded answer to say sort of like groups and corporate are strong this year.

Kopit: It’s interesting to me. The cynic in me was was thinking all the workers will get pulled back to the office. But no one would be allowed to travel. I thought maybe that would be the cost cutting measure because we’ve got the leases anyway. Let’s just bring everybody back.

But you still have to do your meetings, your international travel on Zoom, but not the case. So it’s good for the travel industry at least.

Borko: It’s very interesting that you brought up the corporate side of things. I’m really fascinated to see how that that plays out.

Winners and Losers

Borko: And we’ll get multiple updates after the summer earnings season and beyond, and I can’t wait to see how that plays out. I want to play a little quick game as we come to the end of our podcast today. I want to ask you to play winners and losers, sort of a lightning round.

If I had to fight to push you, we’ll start with you, Sean. Who would you say was — in your coverage area — the biggest winner you saw this earnings season? Who do you think was the biggest loser?

O’Neill: The biggest winner? I think Marriott is out in front and and it is the world’s largest hotelier. And so when they report percentage gains because they’re the biggest and their percentages don’t tend to be quite as impressive as say like a Hyatt, which is smaller. And they can like have higher percentage growth on their various targets.

But Marriott’s performance has been very impressive, and it reflects an underlying strength of the hospitality sector. And they have been broad-based enough that I think they really benefit the most.

Accor sort of struggled a bit because it is the most global of the hotel groups, and they were sort of really impacted by geopolitical events. Their executives say they forsook … I guess you could say six. They gave up $60 million worth of income in the quarter because of impacts.

Kopit: Forshook?

Borko: Let’s get that into the vernacular.

O’Neill: Sorry to be sorry to be pretentious there. But from the Gaza war, the Ukraine war, people not going to Egypt resorts far away … travelers not doing some of the trips they would otherwise. So I think they were the ones that struggled.

Borko: The good news for Accor, I suppose, is that that’s somewhat out of their control. It’s an act of God, if you will. So we’ll give them a little bit of leeway there. And Meghna, what did you think? Who would you say is the big winner airline winner and the biggest loser.

Maharishi: The biggest winner I think is Delta. They had record revenues. They were the only big airline to report a profit during a typically hard quarter. They’re seeing corporate travel surging and they’re expecting it to surge for the rest of the year. They also have a lot of international demand and a lot of premium demand. So they seem like they’re slated to do really well.

And I think what’s also more impressive, and it’s probably a part of it, is just luck. But they’ve been basically unaffected by any of the Boeing issues. They didn’t have any Max 9, so they didn’t end up having to ground any planes. And they also don’t fly the 787. So they’re not even affected by the delays in production for that either.

So they’ve just been doing really, really well. And I think the biggest loser is probably Spirit. They’re still not profitable. It’s really unclear what their strategy is to turn a profit. Their executives teased that they might have some sort of strategy that they’re going to reveal in the coming months. But it feels as if like time is ticking for Spirit a little bit.

And it’s not a good look when you have the CEO of the airline going on a call with analysts, kind of decrying the airline industry as a rigged game because they haven’t been able to report a decent profit since Covid.

Borko: Yeah, well, Delta keeps on climbing and Spirit got a bit of a delayed takeoff. We’ll see if they can get back on time.

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