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Wednesday
Jan282009

In Dallas/Ft. Worth: Compare and Contrast; Contrast and Compare

This blog has made no bones about its fascination with airlines in Texas generally and those in the Dallas Metroplex specifically. This past weekend’s post on Southwest Airlines ranks among the most widely read posts ever on Swelblog.com. Despite recording it 36th consecutive year of profitability, many are writing opinions on Southwest that are very different from those we have historically come to know.

I have been traveling or otherwise less connected this week and I am behind on my reading.

But I was glad I was sitting down when I read a Sunday column from Mitchell Schnurman of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram on Southwest’s cross-town competitor, American Airlines. The title of Schnurman’s piece: Things are looking up at AMR. Schnurman takes a look back at the numerous management actions undertaken by the legacy carrier’s management absolutely necessary to position the high cost airline for a better tomorrow. For what seems like a very long time, there have not been many positive stories written about American, its prospects or its management.

Schnurman is correct that there has been a lot done at American. And there remains a lot more to do. If AA had not taken the actions it has since its 2003 restructuring, Schnurman would have written a very different story. A story that might have been reminiscing rather than thinking that tomorrow will be better.

The compare and contrast as we begin 2009 is very interesting. Particularly in the Dallas Metroplex where at least one or two of 2009's most impacting aviation stories will likely be written.