Mike Boyd of the Boyd Group has released his 2008 airline industry predictions. Key among them: $100 oil will drive regional jets (RJs) to the desert graveyards sooner than expected; desperate “low-cost carriers” will need to cut capacity somehow; and “comprehensive network carriers” will need to improve their management of every minute. Boyd’s weekly commentaries, archived here, are always must reading for its boldness and contravention of conventional wisdom. If you recognize his name, it’s because he’s quoted in newspapers all the time. An industry consultant, he openly acknowledges who he’s consulted for when relevant (for example, he’s very bullish on Embraer’s E-Jets, for which his firm consulted). He’s also a spicy writer:
- “The point is that it’s dumb and useless for some Steve Cute in a studio in New York to tell the world that an airport across the continent has ’30 minute delays.'”
- “No question, Senator, that when it comes to the FAA, the Bush Administration is on an intellectual vacation to the Outer Rim.”
- “We’re referring, of course, to Ted, where United got the brilliant idea to simply re-paint some A-320s, make ’em all economy class, put them right back in service, and, poof!, try to convince the public that it was now a ‘low cost’ and ‘low fare’ airline. The assumption, apparently, was that the entire naive flying public had fallen off a turnip truck.”
- “The DOT criticizing airlines for flight delays is like Willie Sutton writing a nasty letter to banks complaining about robberies.”
- “Leslie Neilson beware: Bush is auditioning for your part in the next Scary Movie sequel.”
Boyd was given a blogging gig for the New York Times‘s Jet Lagged in December, which is (sadly) closed. Hopefully, it won’t disappear forever. In the meantime, I’m sure readers will find Boyd’s predictions worthy of discussion.