NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, from the buzz in Hollywood to the latest buzz in the airline industry, Frontier Airlines (search) posting a much smaller than expected loss in the latest quarter. This despite a 40 percent jump in fuel prices, the stock jumping by more than eight percent.
With us now is Sean Menke, the chief operating officer of Frontier Airlines.
Sean, thank you for coming.
CAVUTO: It's been a rough week for your industry — ATA officially declaring bankruptcy, Delta certainly on the ropes to some of these concessions it's managed to get out of its pilots. Just how bad are things out there?
MENKE: Well, what's taking place now is really a shake-out in the industry, and what we're finding is the growth in the low cost carriers and then with fuel prices where they're at right now, we're really beginning to see that shakeup, because balance sheets are really being pushed pretty hard.
People are paying very little to fly right now, and we're really beginning to see, really, what I consider to be a change in that in the industry.
CAVUTO: Let me ask you. We have this emergence of this Usama bin Laden (search) tape. I'm sure you figure in the back of your mind every time he rears his ugly head, there's this possibility that it's going to add the fear factor to oil prices, lift them still further up. Most of the trading was done today by the time, you know, he appeared on Al Jazeera.
Having said all of that, though, does it renew your oil price worries again?
MENKE: Well, you know, today I think everything's making us worry about oil. Anything that happens out in the marketplace, we seen to see an uptick in the fuel prices.
One thing that we noticed early on when we were getting different threats out there is we'd actually impact in bookings. And this was really from an industry standpoint, what we've seen going forward. And I think this is really a credit to the industry that we've been able to increase security. People are feeling comfortable with traveling.
And you know, we're looking forward to a very busy Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday period. And with that, you know, even though there seems to be threats still out there. We're very comfortable that we're managing those.
CAVUTO: You know, Sean, the fact that on this tape as well, you have Usama bin Laden all but threatening another September 11, is it going to make people think twice, even about air travel?
MENKE: To some degree, you may find there's individuals that do that. But again, I think what we found since September 11 is, you know, traveling is a way of life for people. And in doing that, the world has changed. We do understand that. But we're doing as much as we can to ensure the safety of our passengers.
CAVUTO: Does it make a difference for your industry, then, Sean, one way or the other who gets elected on Tuesday?
MENKE: If you look at it, I think we're looking for some stability out there. That's probably the more important thing that we're taking place. We continue to look at fuel and understand what's taking place with fuel, but also what's going to happen with the industry.
We believe that there is going to be some shakeup in the industry, and we just want to make sure that the true business side of it really ends up taking place if there is an intervention beyond that.
CAVUTO: All right. Sean Menke, the CEO of Frontier Airlines, in Denver. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
MENKE: Thank you.
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