The Godfather Speaks

doug_parker_03.jpgFor some reason I’ve got it in my head that US Airways chief Doug Parker needs to be crowned the godfather of US airline consoliation that was jump started during the last decade.

I’m winding down from the Boyd Group’s International Aviation Forecast Summit in Albuquerque and I’m thinking about the opening montage video aessing the industry and paying a homage to the mofia with the tagline “It’s just business.”

I suppose that’s where Parker’s godfather crown crops up since he’s been pounding the consolidation drum harder than anyone else since US Airways and America West merged in 2005.

Parker and his team tried to forge other mergers with Delta and United only to see those carriers pair with Northwest and Continental.

But Parker and US Airways moved on from those misses unphased and trumpted consolidation with each deal that closed.

So it was a bit ironic when Parker told Boyd conference attendees: “I’m done talking about consolidation.”  He feels good about what’s transpired with consolidation during the last few years and how its helping the industry inch closer to a reliable business model that could actually achieve elusvie sustained profitability.

From now on Parker believes anything that happens within the realm of consolidation will be purely tactical. 

He’s encouraged by management teams that are squarely focused on profitability instead of market share, but issues a clear warning to those execs to stay the course. Says the godfather: “We cannot lose the discipline that got us here.”

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