Baker Ahles & Kaskovich

May 4, 2014

American, DFW Airport leaders eye flights to Beijing

Also, BNSF Railway’s executive chairman Matt Rose once again played a role at the huge Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting on Saturday, where he is viewed as a candidate to succeed Warren Buffett as CEO.

It’s all about China at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport these days.

With American Airlines scheduled to begin flights to Hong Kong and Shanghai in June, local leaders are already talking about where they want to fly next, and they’ve set their sights on Beijing.

At a University of Texas at Arlington symposium last week celebrating the airport’s 40th anniversary, American chief executive Doug Parker and DFW chief executive Sean Donohue both talked about future flights to the Chinese capital.

“We would like to see even more flights to the region over time,” Parker said, adding that he expects the daily flights to Hong Kong and Shanghai to do well. “We’d like to fly to Beijing.”

Donohue, who was in China last week at a world travel and tourism conference, said he spoke to several top executives of Asian carriers. One impressive statistic he heard: Ten percent of the top income earners in China is more than the entire population of Japan.

“The growth opportunities in China from an aviation standpoint, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Donohue said. “In the future, there will be even more opportunities to cities you haven’t even heard of like Guangzhou or Chengdu.”

Asked whether the international growth at DFW Airport would prompt construction of Terminal F at DFW, Donohue replied that if the airport needs the gate capacity by 2020, then a decision will have to be made sometime this year or next. He added that the airport expects to serve 70 million passengers annually by the end of the decade

BNSF’s Rose says he’s

staying ‘intensely busy’

BNSF Railway’s Matt Rose once again played a role at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders extravaganza in Omaha, Neb., on Saturday, an event attended by more than 30,000 people that Warren Buffett has dubbed “Woodstock for capitalists.”

Rose, executive chairman of BNSF and one of three Berkshire executives widely considered as a candidate to succeed the 83-year-old Buffett as CEO whenever he retires, was asked to discuss railroad service problems that caused its first-quarter profits to decline by 9.3 percent.

Rose blamed severe winter storms up north, calling it one of the worst winters he has seen, and said that BNSF is spending $5 billion on capital investments this year. BNSF has also said it plans to hire 5,000 people to handle increased traffic on its network, partly caused by growing business moving crude oil from the Bakken Shale and other fields to refineries.

There was little talk at the meeting about Buffett’s successor. Also considered top candidates are Ajit Jain, who runs Berkshire’s big reinsurance unit, and Greg Abel, who runs Berkshire Hathaway Energy, formerly called MidAmerican Energy. Abel is the subject of a new article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek titled: Greg Abel: The New Oracle of Omaha?

According to Bloomberg News, Buffett, 83, said Saturday that shareholders shouldn’t “make any judgments” about the board’s succession plan based on what happens at subsidiaries. Rose moved into the new executive chairman’s role in January, handing over the CEO title to Carl Ice and sparking new speculation that he would spend more time on Berkshire matters.

Interviewed Friday morning on CNBC, Rose said that he’s “staying intensely busy” on public policy issues and other BNSF topics.

“For 13 years, I was CEO and Carl [Ice] helped me. Now he’s CEO and I’m helping him,” he said.

— Steve Kaskovich

A kolache with

that Slurpee?

Yes, Dallas-based 7-Eleven is broadening its menu by offering $1.69 (2 for $3) pork-and-beef sausage rolls, plain or with jalapeno and cheddar.

And while many Texans call them kolaches, 7-Eleven acknowledges in an erudite news release that the baked sausage item is actually a klobasnek, derived from the Czech word klobase, meaning sausage. And only the fruit, poppy seed and cheese-filled versions are true kolaches.

For the time being, just carnivores can enjoy the 7-Eleven rolls, made for them by an unnamed firm in Yoakum, a town located between San Antonio and Houston, said spokeswoman Margaret Chabris. No blueberry cheese kolaches or any non-meat version are being sold. Sorry.

The Czech-style, pig-in-a-blanket-like rolls are available at about 450 7-Eleven hot-food stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio regions, the company said.

Kolache, or klobasnek, bakers in the traditional Czech communities of Caldwell and West — rival claimants to the title “Kolache Capital of Texas” — needn’t worry about new competition. Neither town has a 7-Eleven.

Related content



Editor's Choice Videos