TUIfly to introduce a new Haribo logojet, named “Haribo Tropifrutti”

TUIfly 737-800 WL (15-Haribo Tropifrutti)(TUIfly)(LRW)

TUIfly (TUIfly.com) (Hannover) is planning to introduce a new Haribo logojet.

According to the Haribo website, there will be a new logojet named “Haribo Tropifrutti”. You can also win a free trip to New York via Newark Airport on this airplane together with Thomas Gottschalk (the most popular showmaster in Germany and currently the “face” of Haribo commercials), starting on April 25 which is also the first flight of this new logojet. The routing will be Cologne/Bonn – Keflavik – Newark.

Haribo (Bonn) is a German candy company, founded in 1920 by Johannes (“Hans”) Riegel, Sr.

The Haribo name is formed from Hans Riegel, Bonn.

This will be the third TUIfly Haribo logojet.

Above Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. The original Haribo design was introduced in 2008 on the pictured Boeing 737-8K5 D-AHFM (msn 27986) at Antalya.

Above Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. The second Haribo logojet, the pictured Haribo Goldbaren, was introduced in 2010 on the pictured Boeing 737-8K5 D-ATUD (msn 34585) landing at EuroAirport.

Top Image: Haribo.

TUIfly aircraft slide show (including all logojets):

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Scoot revises its inaugural plans for the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Scoot (Singapore) has once again revised its inaugural Boeing 787-9 service. The airline will now introduce the new type on February 5 between Singapore and Perth followed by Singapore – Hong Kong the following day pending the first delivery from Boeing (the pictured 9V-OJA) this coming week. The company is planning to replace its six Boeing 777-200 ERs with the new 787s by September.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. The first Scoot 787-9, registered as 9V-OJA (msn 37112), approaches the runway at Paine Field on January 19. The new aircraft is named “Dream Start”. It has been performing crew training flights during January..

Video: The first Scoot 787-9 performs high speed tests at Paine Field near Everett.

Scoot aircraft slide show:

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Video: Time Lapse of Thomas Cook Airlines‘ Airbus A330 cabin refurbishment

Video: Thomas Cook Airlines. Cabin refurbishment of Thomas Cook Airlines‘ Airbus A330, carried out at Monarch Aircraft Engineering’s hangar facility at Manchester Airport.

Video: Flying “First Class Apartment” on Etihad Airways Airbus A380

Video: Sam Chui. First Class Apartment experience on board Etihad Airways from London to Abu Dhabi on its brand new Airbus A380.

Video: Airberlin’s Airbus A320 “Polar Night Flight” to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen

Video: Sam Chui. The first airline outside of Norway to land during the Polar Night at Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen (Svalbard) in complete darkness at 2 pm in the afternoon. Event was organized by Airevents to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Spitsbergen.

Video: British pilots flying into remote airports in Indonesia

Video: Worst Place to be a Pilot by Felipe Chavez Jimenez.

Virgin Australia to close out the Virgin Blue era

Virgin Australia Airlines (formerly Virgin Blue Airlines) (Brisbane) is getting ready to close out the Virgin Blue brand. The last aircraft to be repainted, the pictured Boeing 737-8FE VH-VUL (msn 36603), will enter the paint shop shortly to be repainted. Virgin Blue became the current Virgin Australia on May 3, 2011.

Why did Virgin Blue Airlines painted their aircraft mainly red? The Virgin Blue name was selected as a result of a naming contest. The selected name was an unique and clever play on the predominantly red livery and the Australian slang expression of calling a red-headed male “Blue” or “Bluey”. Today Virgin Australia continues to use the red color.

Top Copyright Photo: Rob Finlayson/AirlinersGallery.com. VH-VUL departs from the Brisbane base.

Bottom Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. VH-VUL once wore the promotional Avatar livery.

Virgin Blue aircraft slide show:

Video: Virgin Blue Airlines.

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American Airlines to introduce Embraer ERJ 175 service between Los Angeles and San Francisco

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) will introduce Embraer ERJ 175 American Eagle service between Los Angeles and San Francisco starting on April 14. Compass Airlines (Minneapolis/St. Paul) will operate the twice-daily service per Airline Route.

Compass Airlines will operate 20 ERJ 175s as a new American Eagle carrier. The first delivery is due in March.

Currently Envoy Air (CRJ700s), Mesa Airlines (CRJ900s) and SkyWest Airlines (CRJ200s) operate American Eagle regional routes from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Republic Airlines (2nd) (call sign “Brickyard”) currently operates the type as an American Eagle carrier. Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N136HQ (msn 17000226) approaches the runway at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

American Eagle-Republic aircraft slide show:

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Will Aer Lingus now accept IAG’s new raised cash bid to acquire the Irish carrier?

Aer Lingus (Dublin) is now expected to recommend a takeover by the International Airlines Group-IAG (London) (British Airways, Iberia and Vueling Airlines) according to a report today by The Irish Times. This change of heart comes after the IAG raised its bid for the flag carrier to a €2.50 ($2.80) a share cash bid. The offer could face opposition from the Irish government. If accepted and approved, Aer Lingus would join the Oneworld alliance.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Aer Lingus controls valuable slots at London’s Heathrow Airport. Airbus A320-214 EI-DEF (msn 2256) completes its final approach to Heathrow.

Aer Lingus aircraft slide show:

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Wow Air will now start flights from Baltimore-Washington (BWI) on May 8

Wow Air (Keflavik) has moved forward its start of service from Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) to Keflavik (KEF) (near Reykjavik) from June 4 to May 8. Initially the new route will operate four days a week with Airbus A320s. On June 11 this will expand to five days a week. The carrier will also operate to Boston starting on March 27.

Copyright Photo: Robbie Shaw/AirlinersGallery.com. Wow Air (operated by Air VIA) Airbus A320-232 LZ-MDD (msn 4305) approaches the runway at London’s Gatwick Airport.

Wow Air aircraft slide show:

Wow Air FA Saluting (Wow Air)(LR)

Wow Air logo

Route Map for the 2015 summer season:

Wow Air 1.2015 Route Map (LRW)

 

Summit Air to operate its Avro (BAe) RJ85s on two routes for First Air and to the Rio Tinto Diavik Diamond Mine

Summit Air (Yellowknife) will begin operating its 90-seat Avro (BAe) RJ85s on two routes for First Air (Ottawa). On January 27 the company will begin operating on the Yellowknife – Edmonton route and on February 2 it will begin operating on the Yellowknife – Norman Wells – Inuvik route.

Summit Air logo

On January 20 Summit Air announced the purchase of a second Avro RJ85 jet to meet market demand for remote destination crew movements and ACMI (aircraft, crew maintenance and insurance) contracts.

Summit Air is part of the Ledcor Group of Companies and operates a fleet of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft throughout Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest and Yukon Territories.

According to the company release, “The Avro RJ85 is a 100-seat high performance, short-haul passenger jet, offering modern, efficient operations on flights up to 1500 nautical miles (2,800 kilometers). Rugged and versatile, its high wing design is capable of operations on both paved and gravel runways and is equipped with self-contained boarding air stair and auxiliary power unit to provide independence at remote airfields.”

“In partnership with the Det’on Cho Logistics, our Avro RJ85 operations will service the Rio Tinto Diavik Diamond Mine from Edmonton,” said Rob Mauracher. “We have also inked a partnership agreement with First Air, flying commercial passenger services for them under a long term ACMI contract from Edmonton and Yellowknife.”

Summit Air’s second AVRO RJ85 is scheduled to be delivered in late April 2015.

Summit’s AVRO RJ85 is a UK-built aircraft equipped with auto throttle, EFIS flight deck, WAAS/LPV capable and is the only next generation jet certified in Canada for operations onto gravel runways. With a long-range cruising speed of 720 km/hr (450 mph), and a maximum operating speed of 763 km/hr (475 mph), the Avro has a 43,000 kg (97,000 lbs.) maximum takeoff weight.

The aircraft is powered by four Honeywell LF507-1F high bypass FADEC engines capable of 7000 lbs of thrust each. The engines feature low noise levels and low emissions, making it one of the quietest and greenest aircraft in its class.

 

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. The first Summit Air BAe (Avro) RJ85 is pictured as G-CHKP (msn E2302) at Southend which became C-FLRJ on delivery.

First Air aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Summit Air aircraft slide show:

Routes to be operated by Summit Air:

First Air-Summit route map

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Delta to start seasonal service between Los Angeles and Managua

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will begin Saturday seasonal service between Los Angeles and Managua on June 5, 2015. The additional service will complement the current daily nonstop service from the Nicaraguan capital city to Atlanta, and will operate using a 160-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

With flights to 13 cities including San José, Costa Rica; Liberia, Costa Rica; San Salvador; Guatemala City; Belize City; Cancún; Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo; Manzanillo; Guadalajara; Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Monterrey; and now Managua, Delta serves more destinations in Latin America from Los Angeles than any carrier.

From Los Angeles, Delta currently operates 154 peak-day departures to 48 destinations and has continued expanding both international and domestic service over the past few months, including London-Heathrow in October; Dallas* and Austin, Texas* in November; and Vancouver, Canada* in December.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-832 N377DA (msn 29625) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.

Delta Air Lines aircraft slide show (current livery):

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American Airlines takes delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, now has operated every Boeing-designed jetliner type

American Airlines 787

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) on January 22 took delivery of its first Boeing 787-8, the pictured N800AN (msn 40618) at Paine Field near Everett, Washington. The new type was ferried home yesterday to the the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) home later in the day arriving to a formal welcoming party.

Above Photo: American Airlines. N800AN departs from an overcast Paine Field on its delivery flight.

American Airlines has now operated all of the Boeing-designed jetliners:

Boeing 707 (-123, -123B, -323B and -323C models)

Boeing 717 (designed by McDonnell Douglas as the MD-95, inherited from TWA but not officially operated)

Boeing 720

Boeing 727 (both models)

Boeing 737 (-200, -300 and -800 models)

Boeing 747 (-100  and SP models)

Boeing 757 (-200 model)

Boeing 767 (-200 and -300 models)

Boeing 777 (-200 and -300 models)

Boeing 787 (now the 787-8 model)

American Airlines issued this statement:

American Airlines on January 23 officially welcomed its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner. American took delivery of the airplane, a 787-8 with registration number N800AN, on Thursday at Boeing’s factory in Everett, Washington, and arrived in Dallas/Fort Worth on Friday afternoon.

American 787-8 N800AN flight crew (American)(LR)

Above Photo: American Airlines. The delivery crew of N800AN prepares for the delivery flight.

American 787-8 N800AN arrives at DFW on its delivery flight (DFW)(LR)

Above Photo: DFW Airport. N800AN arrives at DFW after its delivery flight from Paine Field.

American has placed firm orders for 42 Boeing 787 aircraft, with the right to acquire an additional 58. American will take delivery of both the 787-8 and 787-9 as part of the 42 firm orders. American expects its first 787 to enter revenue service in the second quarter, flying domestically between American’s hubs for several weeks before being launched on international flights.

American already has the youngest fleet of the U.S. global network carriers, with an average aircraft age of 12.3 years. In 2015, American plans to take delivery of an average of two new aircraft per week. These new deliveries will make American’s fleet even younger, more modern and more efficient and will provide a solid foundation for continued improvements in technology, products and services.

American is retrofitting its entire fleet of Boeing 777-200s and selected 767-300s, 757-200s and Airbus A319s to refresh the cabins and enhance the experience on domestic and international flights.

In other news, American has filed with the DOT to begin service between Los Angeles and Guadalajara and between Miami and Monterrey according to Daily Airline Filings.

Above Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. A sunny portrait of N800AN before the delivery day at Paine Field.

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American Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):

Video: A previous test flight of N800AN at a foggy Paine Field:

Japan Airlines to introduce the “JAL Sky Suite 787″ on its 787-9s in July, announces its schedule and aircraft plans

JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) has announced it will introduce the Boeing 787-9 with an all-new cabin interior, called JAL SKY SUITE 787 (SS9), on the Tokyo (Narita) – Jakarta route (JL725/JL726) from July 2015.

JAL SKY SUITE 787 logo

The SS9 will adopt a similar three-class configuration as the airline’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners, called JAL SKY SUITE 787 (SS8) aircraft, which were first introduced in December 2014. SS9 will offer fully-flat JAL SKY SUITE seats in its Business Class and spacious JAL SKY PREMIUM seats in Premium Economy. In Economy Class, JAL SKY WIDER II seats will be installed. JAL will also maintain its existing 2-4-2 configuration in the SS9’s Economy Class, which achieves approx. 5cm wider for each seat width than the common configuration of JAL Economy Class seat on Boeing 787s. Additionally, the seat pitch was increased approximately 5 cm to provide more space and comfort during every journey.

JAL 787 Seating Configurations (LRW)

 

 

JAL 787 Seating Map (LRW)

The company also issued this statement on its upcoming schedules and fleet plans:

JAL-Japan Airlines logo-1

JAL Group (JAL) on January 21 announced its flight frequency and fleet plans on both international and domestic routes for fiscal year 2015 (ending March 31, 2016).

In regards to the airline’s international network, Japan Airlines FY2015 fleet plans include newly added Boeing 787-9s, which will be configured with the airline’s latest cabin interior (JAL SKY SUITE) from July 2015, in addition to the airline’s current JAL SKY SUITE 767/777/787 configured aircraft. The airline will concurrently expand the availability of aircraft featuring JAL SKY WIDER seats in Economy Class on more international routes in order to further deliver improved service to customers.

Furthermore, JAL will increase flight frequency from 3 to 4 round-trip flights weekly between Tokyo (Narita) and Moscow to meet an increase in business travel demand.

In regards to the airline’s domestic network, JAL will adjust its flight frequency plan on select Japan-domestic routes to meet seasonal demand primarily to and from Tokyo (Haneda), which will result in the reintroduction of continuous summer operations of six domestic routes to provide enhanced customer convenience. Additionally, the airline’s well-received JAL SKY NEXT service will mainly expand onto more domestic routes to and from Haneda.

# The following plans and schedules are subject to government approval.

1. Expanding JAL SKY SUITE Aircraft onto More International Routes

JAL will introduce the Boeing 787-9 with latest cabin interior (indicated as “SS9” in JAL Flight Schedule) onto its international network in FY 2015. The new aircraft will be configured with fully-flat JAL SKY SUITE seats in Business Class, spacious JAL SKY PREMIUM seats in Premium Economy and the well-received JAL SKY WIDER II seats in Economy Class. JAL SKY SUITE aircraft will be available as indicated on the following routes:

Route

Effective Period

Flight No.

Aircraft

Remarks

Narita – Paris

March 29, 2015 ~

JL415/416

787-8

JAL SKY SUITE 787 (SS8) (*3)

Narita – Helsinki

June 1, 2015 ~

JL413/414

787-8

JAL SKY SUITE 787 (SS8) (*3)

Narita – Jakarta

July 1, 2015 ~

JL725/726

787-9

JAL SKY SUITE 787 (SS9) (*4)

Narita – Delhi

March 29, 2015 ~

JL749/740

787-8

JAL SKY SUITE 787 (SS8) (*3)

Narita – Honolulu

March 29, 2015 ~

JL784/783

767-300ER

JALSKY SUITE 767 (SS6)

JL786/785

Narita – Manila

March 29, 2015 ~

JL741/742

767-300ER

JAL SKY SUITE 767 (SS6)

June 1, 2015 ~ (*5)

JL745/746

# The schedule for launching the new service is subject to change due to the delivery of aircraft. For latest information, please visit JAL website.
(*3) Premium Economy service will be provided in line with the introduction of SS8 on these routes.
(*4) First Class service will not be available in line with aircraft type changing from JAL SKY SUITE 777 (SS7) to SS9 on this route and SS8 will be operated on this route every Thursday only.
(*5) JL746 will start to be operated by SS6 from June 2, 2015.

2.

Other Aircraft Type Changes Route

Narita – Frankfurt Haneda – Bangkok

Haneda – Ho Chi Minh City Narita – Ho Chi Minh City Narita – Sydney Haneda – Beijing

Haneda – Seoul (Gimpo)

Haneda – Taipei (Songshan)

Kansai – Shanghai (Pudong)

Kansai – Taipei (Taoyuan)

Effective Period

Flight No.

Aircraft

Remarks

March 29 ~ October 24, 2015

JL407/408

787-8 to 777-300ER

(*5)

March 29(*6) ~ June 30, 2015

JL033/032

777-200ER to 787-8

(*7)

July 1, 2015 ~

787-8 to 777-200ER

March 29, 2015 ~

JL079/070

767-300ER to 787-8

March 29, 2015 ~

JL759/750

March 29, 2015 (*8) ~

JL771/772

777-300ER to 777-200ER

(*9)

March 30, 2015 ~

JL021/022

767-300ER to 787-8

March 30, 2015 ~

JL091/092

767-300ER to 787-8

JL093/094

March 29, 2015 ~

JL097/098

777-200ER to 767-300ER

March 29, 2015 ~

JL891/894

767-300ER to 737-800

March 29, 2015 ~

JL813/816

767-300ER to 787-8

(*5) First Class Service will be available in line with introduction of SS7 on this route.
(*6) JL033 will start to be operated by 787-8 from March 30, 2015.
(*7) Premium Economy service will not be available on this route during March 29 and June 30, 2015. (*8) JL772 will start to be operated by 777-200ER from March 30, 2015.
(*9) First Class service will not be available in line with aircraft change on this route

(*10) JAL maintains codeshare flights (operated by Korean Air) between Kansai and Seoul’s Gimpo, and between Kansai and Seoul’s Incheon.

Flight No.

Route

Dep. Time

Arr. Time

Aircraft

Details

Effective Period

JL441

Narita – Moscow

10:45

15:00

787-8

Increase from 3 to 4 weekly flights (Additional flight on Monday)

March 29 ~ October 24, 2015 (Mo, We, Fr, Su)

JL442

Moscow – Narita

17:15

08:35+1

Flight No.

Route

Details

Effective Period

Remarks

JL971

Osaka (Kansai) – Seoul (Gimpo)

Suspension of JL971/974 daily round-trip operation

March 29, 2015 ~

(*10)

JL974

Seoul (Gimpo) – Osaka (Kansai)

Domestic Network
1. Continuation of Seasonal Operations

Route

Details

Effective Period

Itami – Matsumoto

1 daily flight

August 1 ~ August 31, 2015

Itami – Memanbetsu

1 daily flight

July 18 ~ July 20, 2015 and July 25 ~ August 31, 2015

Sapporo (New Chitose) – Izumo

4 weekly flights

August 1 ~ August 31, 2015 (Mo, We, Fr, Su)

Sapporo (New Chitose) – Tokushima

3 weekly flights

August 1 ~ August 31, 2015 (Tu, Th, Sa)

Nagoya (Chubu) – Kushiro

3 weekly flights

August 1 ~ August 31, 2015 (Tu, Th, Sa)

Nagoya (Chubu) – Obihiro

4 weekly flights

August 1 ~ August 31, 2015 (Mo, We, Fr, Su)

3. Flight Frequency Changes

Route

Details

Effective Period

Haneda – Sapporo (New Chitose)

16 daily to 17 daily flights

March 29 ~ October 24, 2015

Haneda – Okinawa (Naha)

12 daily to 14 daily flights

March 29 ~ October 24, 2015

Itami – Sapporo (New Chitose)

3 daily to 4 daily flights

March 29, 2015 ~

Route

Details

Effective Period

Haneda – Itami

16 daily to 15 daily flights

March 29, 2015 ~

Haneda – Izumo

6 daily to 5 daily flights

March 29, 2015 ~

Kansai – Sapporo (New Chitose)

4 daily to 3 daily flights

March 29, 2015 ~

Copyright Photo: Fred Freketic/AirlinersGallery.com. While JAL awaits the delivery of its first stretched Boeing 787-9, the company continues to expand 787-8 operations. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner JA835J (msn 34850) taxies onto the runway at New York (JFK).
Video: Sam Chui. Flying on JAL First Class from Tokyo to London on Boeing 777-300 ER JAL Suite:
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JAL aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Hermes Aviation (FlyHermes.com) stops flying, strands passengers

Hermes Aviation (FlyHermes.com) (Luqa, Malta) suddenly cancelled its flights on January 6 according to the Malta Independent. The sole aircraft (above) has been on the ground at Turin, Italy since January 12. According to the report, the airline is under investigation by the Italian civil aviation authority – ENAC (L’Ente Nazionale per l’Aviazione Civile). The airline had been offering flights from Malta to Comiso and Palermo in Sicily and Turin in northern Italy.

The airline does not mention the stoppage on its website and has not issued any statement.

Read the report from the Times of Malta: CLICK HERE

Read the report by the Malta Independent: CLICK HERE

The airline started operations on June 6, 2014.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. FlyHermes.com (Hermes Aviation) Boeing 737-4K5 9H-HER (msn 24901) taxies at Palma de Mallorca.

FlyHermes aircraft slide show:

 

Lufthansa to offer two more routes from Munich to the Canary Islands

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will offer new weekly service from its Munich hub to Fuerteventura starting on Saturday October 25, before the start of the autumn holidays in Bavaria, while flights to Tenerife will be offered from Sunday October 31.

Both destinations will be served by an Airbus A321 with 200 seats in a two-class configuration.

Lufthansa is also resuming flights to Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canaria, next winter.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-131 D-AIRY (msn 901) with “Die Maus” (The Mouse) markings at Zurich.

Lufthansa aircraft slide show:

Vueling adds three new African destinations from Barcelona

Vueling Airlines (Barcelona) will add Rabat (Morocco), Yerba (Tunisia) and Accra (Ghana) from Barcelona starting on June 20.

The airline will also launch a summer service to Istanbul. From June through October the airline will fly three times a week from Barcelona.

After launching flights to Marrakech in 2009, the airline gradually added new African services and now has 16 routes reaching 11 destinations on the continent: Marrakech, Rabat, Casablanca, Nador, and Fez in Morocco; Tunis and Yerba in Tunisia; Algiers and Oran in Algeria; Dakar in Senegal; Banjul in Gambia; and Accra in Ghana. At 3,960 km, the Barcelona-Ghana route will be the longest operated by the airline.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 EC-LZE (msn 5885) taxies at Palma de Mallorca.

Vueling aircraft slide show:

 

Air France to cut another 800 positions through a “voluntary departure plan”

Air France (Paris) will cut another 800 positions due to a “weaker revenue trend”. The airline issued this statement:

In 2015, Air France will benefit from the impact of the measures taken within the framework of Transform 2015 and from the fall in the fuel price. However, as announced in December 2014, the Group will also have to contend with the weaker unit revenue trend that has developed since the summer of 2014, which requires the implementation of additional measures.

Within this framework, the Air France management presented a number of actions to the Corporate Works Council: downwards revision in fleet and capacity growth, new initiatives to drive revenues, the reinforcement of ‘purchasing’ initiatives, maintained wage moderation and productivity efforts and further adaptation of headcount to requirements.

In particular, during a meeting of the Corporate Works Council to be held during the first fortnight in February, the Air France management will provide details on proposed new Voluntary Departure Plans. These Voluntary Departure Plans will relate to ground staff and cabin crew and aim at the departure of approximately 800 people. These measures relate to both the full execution of Transform 2015 and an immediate adaptation to the Group’s competitive environment.

In parallel, the Group is pursuing its efforts within the framework of the new Perform 2020 strategic plan. A progress report on this topic will be given during the Full Year 2014 results presentation on February 19. All the items shared during this meeting of the Air France Corporate Works Council refer exclusively to Air France and its subsidiary, and not Air France-KLM, whose targets remain unchanged.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 F-GKXJ (msn 1900) climbs away from Heathrow Airport near London.

Air France aircraft slide show:

Gem Air of Idaho applies for an EAS contract in Nebraska

Gem Air Kodiak 100 N838SA (Grd)(Gem Air)(LRW)

Gem Air (Salmon, Idaho) has applied to the Department of Transportation (DOT) to operate Essential Air Service (EAS) in Nebraska between Chadron and Alliance according to ch-aviation.

Gem Air is an Idaho owned and operated air service that currently offers year-round scheduled flights between Salmon and Boise, Idaho.

During the summer season, the airline offers an expanded schedule with multiple daily flights between Salmon, Boise, McCall, and Stanely, Idaho.

Copyright Photo: Gem Air. Gem Air operates the nine-seat Idaho-built Quest Aircraft Company Kodiak 100 including the pictured N838SA (msn 100-002).

Gem Air logo

Centurion Cargo to return to Amsterdam

Centurion Cargo (Miami) will restore the Miami-Amsterdam route on February 19 with Boeing 747-400F freighters per Cargo Facts. The carrier dropped its only European route last year. The company is restoring services and redeploying its previously parked aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4R7F N901AR (msn 25868) taxies in the past at Amsterdam.

Centurion Cargo aircraft slide show:

Horizon Air converts two Bombardier Q400 options into firm orders

Horizon Air Industries, Inc. (Horizon Air) (Alaska Horizon) (Seattle/Tacoma) has converted two of seven previously acquired Bombardier DHC-8-402 (marketed as the Q400 NextGen) aircraft options to firm orders. The airline retains its options on another five Q400 NextGen aircraft. Horizon Air and its sister carrier, Alaska Airlines are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group.

Horizon Air’s Q400 aircraft are equipped with Head-up Guidance Systems (HGS) for all-weather operations, Wide Area Augmentation Systems (WAAS) with approach guidance (LPV) for ILS-like landing minima at remote runways and RNP AR 0.1 to fly curved approaches to airports in difficult terrain.

Established in 1981, Horizon Air was acquired in 1986 by Alaska Air Group, Inc., the parent company of Alaska Airlines. At its start, the airline operated two aircraft and served three destinations in Washington state. Today, Horizon flies its 76-seat Q400 aircraft on behalf of Alaska Airlines and serves 43 cities in the western United States, Canada and Mexico. Horizon Air, which is also a codeshare partner of American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, operates both the longest (Seattle to Fresno, 748 miles/1,204 km) and shortest (Pullman to Lewiston, 26 miles/42 km) turboprop routes currently being served by regional carriers in the U.S.

In 2014, Bombardier and Horizon Air signed a five-year heavy maintenance agreement whereby Bombardier will perform heavy maintenance tasks for the airline’s fleet of Q400 aircraft at Bombardier’s service center in Tuscon, Arizona.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N448QX (msn 4409) arrives in Anchorage, Alaska.

Alaska Horizon aircraft slide show:

Aruba Airlines wants to expand to the United States

Aruba Airlines (Aruba) wants to expand its route network to Florida and other U.S. markets. The island carrier has filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation to operate charter and scheduled flights to the USA according to Flightglobal.

The carrier commenced scheduled passenger operations with two Airbus A320s on May 13, 2013 on the Aruba – Maracaibo route. The Aruba – Panama City route was added on June 28, 2013. Valencia has also been added.

Aruba Airlines logo (LRW)

Copyright Photo: Michel Saint-Felix/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Aruba Airlines). This colorful livery was introduced in October 2012 on the pictured Airbus A320-232 P4-AAA (msn 582) (above).

Aruba Airlines poster (Aruba)(LR)

 

Virgin America extends its partnership with the San Francisco Giants, adds a new logo to Airbus A320 N849VA

Virgin America Giants trophy

Virgin America (San Francisco) and the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball yesterday (January 21) announced a multi-year partnership extension, which maintains the Bay Area-based airline’s position as the “Official Airline of the San Francisco Giants” through the end of 2018. This announcement came during an “orange carpet” send-off for the 2014 World Championship Trophy as it heads to New York City for the East Coast leg of a three-month World Championship Trophy Tour presented by Bank of America.

Virgin American MLB Trophy in a seat (Virgin America)(LR)
The trophy will fly in style (above), riding in Virgin America’s exclusive eight-seat First Class cabin from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) onboard the Virgin America Airbus A320 aircraft “Fly Bye Baby,” (below) named in honor of the hometown team. Onboard the flight, Giants President and CEO Larry Baer will invite fellow Virgin America guests to grab photos with the trophy and will host a live Twitter chat at 35,000 feet using the airline’s inflight WiFi. Guests and fans alike are encouraged to follow along and submit questions using the hashtags #sfgtrophy and #flytogether.

Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Virgin America). Airbus A320-214 N849VA (msn 4991) has received this updated “World Champions 2014″ logo for 2015.

Virgin American A320-200 N849VA World Champions logo (close-up)(Virgin America)(LR)

The extended partnership includes unique co-branding elements at AT&T Park, including the “Virgin America Loft,” a premium customized suite located in right field above McCovey Cove, and the “Virgin America Club Level” that features the airline’s signature cabin mood-lighting. In 2012, the airline first unveiled its Giants themed “Fly Bye Baby” aircraft that was updated in 2014 with a crowdsourced #FlyTogether design populated with the photos of hundreds of Giants fan who submitted photos on Instagram and Twitter. Today at SFO, Virgin America unveiled the aircraft’s newest design – the 2014 World Championship mark – in celebration of the San Francisco Giant’s latest World Series Victory.

Once in the Big Apple, the trophy will be available to Giants fans that have followed the team for generations – a history that dates back to when the team was based in New York before moving to San Francisco in 1958. A public viewing of the trophy will be held on Saturday, January 24 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Finnerty’s Bar in Manhattan.

In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, the airline’s First Class cabin offers plush white leather seating with 55 inches of pitch, 165 degrees of recline and lumbar massagers. The carrier’s Main Cabin Select service offers 38-inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all-access pass to media content, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding. The Red® in-flight entertainment platform offers guests their own seatback touch-screen TV, with more than 20 films, live TV, Google Maps, videogames, a 3,000 song library and an on-demand menu, which allows flyers to order a cocktail or snack from their seatback any time during a flight. Virgin America’s airport lounge – The Loft – is located at LAX and its Elevate frequent flyer program offers no black-outs or restrictions on rewards seats with three levels of status including Elevate Gold and Elevate Silver.

Virgin America aircraft slide show:

 

American Airlines to launch the new Dallas/Fort Worth – Beijing route

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) will begin operating its new daily service between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) on May 7, marking the airline’s sixth daily flight to Asia from DFW and the only nonstop flight connecting DFW and Beijing. With the addition of this service, American will offer 11 routes between the U.S. and Asia. Customers may begin booking flights on the new route this Saturday, Jan. 24.

Daily DFW-PEK Service Schedule (all times local):

AA 89
Departs DFW at 10:40 a.m.
Arrives at PEK at 2:15 p.m. the following day

AA 88
Departs PEK at 4:25 p.m.
Arrives at DFW at 5 p.m.

The new flight from DFW will complement American’s existing service from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Beijing. With the addition of Beijing, American will offer nonstop service from Dallas/Fort Worth to five key markets in Asia – Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo.

American will operate its service between DFW and Beijing with a Boeing 777-200 aircraft. The airline is retrofitting all 47 of its 777-200s to refresh the cabins and enhance the premium experience on international flights. The retrofitted 777-200 features a Business Class product designed especially for American’s customers, with a fully lie-flat seat, direct aisle access and a private flying experience. The plane has a modern interior – including a walk-up bar – with unique lighting, a dramatic archway and a spacious look. It also has Main Cabin Extra and all Main Cabin seats have in-seat entertainment systems.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-223 ER N797AN (msn 30012) arrives at Los Angeles International Airport.

American Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery only):

Southwest Airlines reports a record 4Q net profit of $190 million and $1.1 billion for 2014, its 42nd consecutive year of profitability

Southwest Airlines Company (Dallas) today reported its fourth quarter and annual 2014 results:

Record fourth quarter net income, excluding special items1, of $404 million, or $.59 per diluted share, compared with fourth quarter 2013 net income, excluding special items, of $236 million, or $.33 per diluted share. This exceeded the First Call consensus estimate of $.55 per diluted share.

Fourth quarter net income of $190 million, or $.28 per diluted share, which included $214 million (net) of unfavorable special items, compared with net income of $212 million, or $.30 per diluted share, in fourth quarter 2013, which included $24 million (net) of unfavorable special items.

Record annual net income, excluding special items, of $1.4 billion, or $2.01 per diluted share, compared with 2013 net income, excluding special items, of $805 million, or $1.12 per diluted share.

Record annual net income of $1.1 billion, or $1.64 per diluted share, which included $261 million (net) of unfavorable special items, compared with net income of $754 million, or $1.05 per diluted share, in 2013, which included $51 million (net) of unfavorable special items.

Return on invested capital, before taxes and excluding special items (ROIC)1, of 21.2 percent for 2014, as compared with 13.1 percent for 2013.

Gary C. Kelly, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are extremely proud to report record annual 2014 net income, excluding special items, of $1.4 billion, or $2.01 per diluted share. Our 2014 total operating revenues were strong, increasing 5.1 percent to a record $18.6 billion. Our 2014 operating cost performance was also solid, with costs declining, year-over-year. Our ROIC for 2014 was 21.2 percent. This remarkable achievement would not have been possible without the hard work, perseverance, and determination of our Southwest People, and I commend them for these exceptional results, which earned them a record $355 million in profitsharing for 2014, up 56 percent from the previous record in 2013. Our strategic plan has come together successfully, and we have realized significant contributions from the AirTran integration, fleet modernization efforts, and the continued growth of our Rapid Rewards program.

“Our balance sheet and liquidity remain strong, with cash and short-term investments of $3.0 billion at the end of 2014. We generated strong free cash flow1 of $1.1 billion in 2014, allowing us to repurchase $955 million of Southwest common stock, pay $139 million to Shareholders in dividends, and reduce debt and capital lease obligations by $261 million, net, during the year.

“We concluded 2014 with record fourth quarter profits, excluding special items, of $404 million, or $.59 per diluted share. Total operating revenues were a fourth quarter record $4.6 billion. On a year-over-year basis, our fourth quarter 2014 revenue per available seat mile increased 2.0 percent, which is outstanding considering the 2.4 percent increase in available seat miles (ASMs); the 2.6 percent increase in stage length; the 2.4 percent increase in seats per trip2 (gauge); and the large percentage of our capacity under development. Customer demand remained strong, resulting in a record fourth quarter 2014 load factor of 82.0 percent, up 1.6 points from fourth quarter 2013. We are pleased with our passenger unit revenue and booking trends thus far in January, considering the continuing impact of increasing ASMs, stage length, and gauge, and the large percentage of our capacity under development. Based on these trends, we currently expect our first quarter 2015 passenger revenues to grow in line with the expected six percent increase in first quarter 2015 ASMs, both on a year-over-year basis.

“Our fourth quarter 2014 unit costs, excluding special items, were down 3.8 percent year-over-year, primarily as a result of significantly lower fuel prices. Our first quarter 2015 cost outlook is also favorable. With the collapse in fuel prices since September 2014, fuel prices have declined nearly 50 percent. Based on our existing fuel derivative contracts and market prices as of January 16, 2015, we estimate our first quarter 2015 economic fuel costs to be approximately $1.90 per gallon, which would result in approximately half a billion dollars in year-over-year fuel cost savings for first quarter alone. Excluding fuel and oil expense, special items, and profitsharing, we currently expect first quarter and full year 2015’s unit costs to decline in the one to two percent range, compared with the same year-ago periods, driven largely by our capacity growth and ongoing fleet modernization initiatives.

“December 28, 2014, marked the sunset of the AirTran brand. Overall, the AirTran acquisition resulted in net pre-tax synergies (excluding acquisition and integration expenses) of approximately $500 million in 2014, exceeding our $400 million target.

“We launched international service on Southwest Airlines to seven destinations in five countries in 2014, which will grow to seven countries with our plans to begin service to San Jose, Costa Rica; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and Belize City, Belize, in 2015, pending government approvals. We have been very pleased with the overall performance of our markets under development, most notably Dallas Love Field, New York LaGuardia, and Reagan National.

“Without question, 2014 was a monumental year for Southwest Airlines with many notable achievements. My gratitude goes out to our outstanding Employees for their tremendous efforts and the successful execution of our strategic initiatives, which allowed us to achieve our financial goals and expand our service internationally. As we enter 2015, we are well positioned financially and excited about our growth opportunities ahead. We remain steadfast in our unwavering commitment to preserve our financial strength, provide job security for our Employees, protect our low fare brand, and deliver adequate returns to our Shareholders. We live up to that commitment by offering friendly, reliable, and low cost air travel, and by expanding our network in a sensible manner.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Listen to the conference call at 12:30 EST today to discuss the results: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Raul Sepulveda/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N909WN (msn 32458) taxies at San Juan in the new Beats Music – Don’t miss a beat special livery.

Southwest Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):

Alaska Air Group reports 4Q GAAP net income of $148 million and $605 million for 2014, its best quarter/year ever

Alaska Air Group, Inc. (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) today reported fourth quarter 2014 GAAP net income of $148 million, or $1.11 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $78 million, or $0.56 per diluted share in 2013. Excluding mark-to-market fuel hedge gains of $6 million ($4 million after tax, or $0.03 per diluted share), a benefit related to the curtailment of certain postretirement benefit plans and a one-time gain associated with the settlement of a legal matter for $30 million in aggregate ($19 million after tax, or $0.14 per diluted share), the company reported record fourth quarter 2014 net income of $125 million, or $0.94 per diluted share, compared to net income, excluding mark-to-market fuel hedge gains, of $77 million, or $0.55 per diluted share, in 2013.

The company reported full-year 2014 GAAP net income of $605 million, compared to $508 million in the prior year. Excluding the impact of the items noted in the table below, the company reported record net income of $571 million, or $4.18 per diluted share for 2014, compared to net income of $383 million, or $2.70 per diluted share in 2013.

This is a company record for earnings for the fourth quarter and any year.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-890 N525AS (msn 35692) with Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show:

United Airlines has a break-out year, reports net income of $1.97 billion for 2014

United Airlines (Chicago) today reported full-year 2014 net income of $1.97 billion, an increase of 89 percent year-over-year, or $5.06 per diluted share, excluding $834 million of special items. Including special items, UAL reported full-year net income of $1.13 billion, or $2.93 per diluted share. UAL reported fourth-quarter 2014 net income of $461 million, an increase of 86 percent year-over-year, or $1.20 per diluted share, excluding $433 million of special items. Including special items, UAL reported fourth-quarter 2014 net income of $28 million, or $0.07 per diluted share.

UAL earned a 12.9 percent return on invested capital in 2014.

United’s consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 1.6 percent for full-year 2014 compared to full-year 2013.

Full-year 2014 consolidated unit costs (CASM), excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, increased 1.3 percent year-over-year on a consolidated capacity increase of 0.3 percent. Full-year 2014 CASM, including those items, decreased 1.6 percent year-over-year.

In 2014, United returned approximately $320 million to shareholders as part of its previously announced $1 billion share buyback program. In addition, throughout the year, United spent $310 million to retire convertible debt that was convertible into approximately 5.8 million shares of UAL common stock.

Employees earned $235 million in profit sharing for full-year 2014, which will be distributed on Feb. 13.

UAL ended the year with $5.7 billion in unrestricted liquidity.

Fourth-Quarter Revenue and Capacity

For the fourth quarter of 2014, total revenue was $9.3 billion, a decrease of 0.2 percent year-over-year. Fourth-quarter consolidated passenger revenue increased 1.3 percent to $8.1 billion, compared to the same period in 2013. Ancillary revenue per passenger in the fourth quarter increased 9.7 percent year-over-year to more than $22 per passenger. Fourth-quarter cargo revenue grew 18.2 percent to $260 million driven by higher volumes year-over-year, as cargo traffic recovered from the prior year’s lower bookings. Other revenue in the fourth quarter decreased 14.3 percent year-over-year to $970 million mostly due to the company choosing to discontinue an agreement to sell fuel to a third party. The corresponding expense decline appears in third-party business expense.

Consolidated revenue passenger miles increased 0.1 percent and consolidated available seat miles increased 0.9 percent year-over-year for the fourth quarter, resulting in a fourth-quarter consolidated load factor of 81.7 percent.

Fourth-quarter 2014 consolidated PRASM increased 0.4 percent and consolidated yield increased 1.3 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2013.

Fourth-Quarter Costs

Fourth-quarter consolidated CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expense, fuel and profit sharing, increased 1.2 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2013. Fourth-quarter consolidated CASM including those items decreased 5.3 percent.

Fourth-quarter total operating expenses, excluding special charges, decreased $420 million, or 4.7 percent, year-over-year. Including special charges, total operating expenses decreased $406 million, or 4.5 percent, in the fourth quarter versus the same period in 2013.

Fourth-Quarter Liquidity and Cash Flow

UAL ended the fourth quarter with $5.7 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $1.35 billion of undrawn commitments under its revolving credit facility. During the fourth quarter, the company had gross capital expenditures of $1 billion, excluding fully reimbursable projects. The company made debt and capital lease principal payments of $534 million in the fourth quarter, including prepayment of $248 million of convertible debt that was convertible into approximately 4.3 million shares of United common stock.

As part of United’s $1 billion share buyback program, the company spent approximately $100 million in share repurchases in the fourth quarter. For the year, United returned a total of approximately $320 million to shareholders through share repurchases and open market transactions. In addition, for the year the company spent $310 million to retire convertible debt that was convertible into approximately 5.8 million shares.

For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2014, the company’s return on invested capital was 12.9 percent.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-924 ER N68836 (msn 60088) with Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets departs from Los Angeles International Airport.

United Airlines aircraft slide show (historic liveries): AG Slide Show

United Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Slide Show

 

United Airlines to serve up a new premium-cabin dining experience on North America flights

United Jamalaya (United)(LRW)

United Airlines (Chicago) has issued this statement:

United Airlines will treat premium-cabin customers on flights within North America to a brand new dining experience beginning February 1, when the airline elevates everything from entrees to desserts and lighter snacks for United First and United Business customers.

Additionally, United will expand North America premium-cabin meal service to include flights of at least 800 miles – or as short as two hours and 20 minutes – increasing the number of flights on which customers may enjoy meals. The airline will also offer a greater variety of dining choices.

These changes come as United is making a multi-million-dollar investment in in-flight food service.

Premium-Cabin Dining Changes

Created by United’s team of chefs and inspired by cuisine in the airline’s hub cities and other popular North American destinations, United will introduce flavorful new entrees, including cage-free scrambled eggs prepared skillet style with pepper-jack cheese, sauteed pepper mix, sliced New Mexico sausage, potato gratin and fire-roasted pepper sauce; lobster macaroni and cheese with a baked crumb topping and side of broccoli rabe; and chicken and sausage jambalaya with white rice and green onions.

Other changes include:

For short flights that offer lighter refreshments, the addition of new breakfast breads in the morning and a rotation of 25 new premium snacks in the afternoon and evening;

On meal flights less than four hours, a variety of enhanced breakfast choices, such as French toast souffle or steel-cut oatmeal, both paired with fresh fruit and Greek yogurt, plus new dinner selections, including tandoori chicken with basmati rice and paneer, to replace the current premium sandwich options;

An expanded mid-continental meal service on flights of four hours to five hours and 19 minutes, offering customers who now get two entree options a choice of three, such as creole shrimp served with Carolina grits, and a dessert of sorbet with mint-leaf topping during lunch or gelato or ice cream for dinner;

United Caprese of Asiago Baguette (United)(LRW)

New multi-course meal service on transcontinental and Hawaii flights, featuring heartier entrees, such as tamale-stuffed chicken wrapped in a corn husk and served with creamy corn sauce, roasted red and yellow tomatoes and yucca sticks, followed by sorbet during lunch or gelato or ice cream for dinner; and

Signature bake-on-board cookies in customer-chosen flavors, including triple-chocolate chunk, served for dessert on short- and medium-haul flights that offer meals, or as an afternoon or evening pre-arrival treat on transcontinental flights and flights that link Hawaii with Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver and Houston.

United Economy Premium Wines (United)(LRW)

United will also continue to offer premium-cabin customers Prosecco sparkling wine and – on lunch and dinner flights – the airline’s signature warmed nuts.

Photos: United Airlines.

United Airlines aircraft slide show:

Boeing and Thai Airways International celebrate the 75th direct airplane delivery

777-300ER TII #1267-WE444

Boeing (Chicago) and Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (Bangkok) yesterday (January 21) celebrated the Thai flag-carrier’s 75th direct delivery of a Boeing airplane. Marking the milestone delivery, Boeing and Thai collaborated to transport 1,000 wool blankets onboard Thai’s newly delivered 777-300 ER (Extended Range). The blankets, donated by Another Joy Foundation, will be distributed by the airline to people in need in Thailand during the colder winter months.

This latest humanitarian effort, the third between Boeing and Thai, is part of Boeing’s long-running Humanitarian Delivery Flights program.

Boeing’s Humanitarian Delivery Flights program, which began in 1992, has worked in partnership with nearly 50 carriers worldwide to facilitate more than 170 humanitarian flights. On previous delivery flights, Thai and Boeing have provided medical kits and school supplies.

Thai currently operates four 787 Dreamliners and has operated nearly every model of the 777. Thai Cargo was the first carrier in Southeast Asia to utilize the 777 Freighter. The airline has an additional two 777-300 ERs on order.

Photo: Boeing. Brand new Boeing 777-3D7 ER HS-TKX (msn 42113) departs from an overcast Paine Field near Everett yesterday. The new airplane was handed over to the carrier on January 21.

Thai aircraft slide show:

Flybe flight BE 202 from Manchester to Inverness skids off the runway after landing

Flybe (Exeter) flight BE 202 from Manchester to Inverness landed at the Scottish airport at 10:14 am yesterday morning, January 20, before encountering ice on the runway and skidding off onto the nearby grass.

The aircraft involved was the pictured Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) registered G-JEDW (msn 4093).

None of the 47 passengers and four crewmembers were injured by the incident and all were immediately transferred to the terminal building by bus.

Temperatures of -3° were recorded around the airport following the coldest night of the year in Scotland where temperatures dropped to -12°.

A Flybe spokesman said: “Flybe can confirm that, when taxiing at low speed at the end of the runway having landed safely at Inverness Airport this morning, the wheels of the Q400 aircraft skidded on the surface of the airfield causing it to slide onto the grass.

“The 47 passengers and four crew were unharmed and exited the aircraft by the stairs for bus transfer to the terminal where they collected their luggage as normal.

“The safety of its passengers and crew is the airline’s number one priority and Flybe regrets any inconvenience experienced as a result of this incident.”

Report by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.

Read more (with photos) from the Mirror: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. G-JEDW before its was repainted in the new livery.

Flybe aircraft slide show:

Darwin Airline to drop four routes as it regroups

Darwin Airline (Etihad Regional) (Lugano) will drop routes from Zurich to Lugano and Linz and from Geneva to Toulouse and Nice. The four routes were unprofitable.

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) has restated its confidence in the regional carrier. Darwin is attempting to finalize its business relationship and investment by Etihad with the European regulatory authorities.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Darwin Airline SAAB 2000 HB-IZP (msn 031) in the Etihad Regional colors taxies at Geneva.

Etihad Regional aircraft slide show:

Eurowings signs a new wage agreement with the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union, Lufthansa remains unresolved

Eurowings A320-200 (15)(Flt)(Eurowings)(LRW)

The Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) has issued this statement about a new pilot agreement with its expanded Eurowings (Dusseldorf) subsidiary which has just taken delivery of its first Airbus A320 (D-AIZQ, msn 5497) from Lufthansa.

New wage agreements apply for the approximately 300 pilots at Eurowings GmbH as of January 1, 2015. At the beginning of the year, the airline reached agreement with the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union on new settlements that are to run for five years. They govern such matters as developments in working conditions and “grandfathering clauses” for the duration of the agreements. The collective bargaining partners agreed on a wage increase of 2.5 per cent for the year 2015 and at least two per cent for subsequent years, depending on the rate of inflation. Signing the wage agreements means that the forthcoming renewal of the Eurowings fleet with Airbus A320 aircraft, and thereby the safeguarding of Eurowings and its future prospects, is being aided and supported in terms of collective bargaining, too.

Sustainable settlements with various pilotsʼ unions have already been reached for other flight operations in the Lufthansa Group.

Shortly before Christmas, the management of Swiss International Air Lines and the board of the Aeropers pilotsʼ association agreed on the basis for a new overall wage agreement. In particular, agreements on productivity improvements and an increase in the retirement age to 60 have been reached. The compromise that was reached also includes greater protection against dismissals, as well as foundations for a new career model and for an involvement of both pilot corps in the introduction of the new Bombardier CSeries and Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft. The details of the contract will be hammered out over the coming weeks. Should it be adopted, the agreement shall be valid from April 1, 2015 and will replace the existing overall wage agreement. A renegotiated overall wage agreement was signed with the IPG pilots’ association back at the end of May 2014.

At Austrian Airlines, an important agreement with the airborne staff was also reached back in October 2014. The new collective Group agreement applies to roughly 900 pilots and 2,300 flight attendants. Since December 1, 2014, it has governed the future salaries and pensions, working hours and career development for cockpit and cabin crew. A key element of the new agreement is the option for pilots and flight attendants to move to Austrian Airlines from the wholly owned Tyrolean Airways subsidiary. With this agreement, the airborne staff have made an important contribution to safeguarding the future of Austrian Airlines.

Lufthansa CityLine also reached an agreement with the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union at the end of 2014. The agreement lays the foundation for the deployment of the Airbus A340-300 aircraft on long haul services at the regional carrier of the Lufthansa airline group.

These recent wage settlements mean that the Lufthansa Group and almost all its pilots now have agreements that reflect changes in the industry and that introduce sustainable wage conditions.

Still outstanding, however, are wage agreements at Lufthansa German Airlines, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings. In December 2014, Lufthansa offered further talks on unresolved topics, along with a concrete plan for arbitration. The Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union turned down this offer. Lufthansa is always prepared to cooperate on a viable solution for all sides.

United Airlines considers a replacement order for 10 Boeing 777-300s, will drop service to Regina and Saskatoon from Denver

United Airlines (Chicago) is considering an order for 10 Boeing 777-300 ERs according to Bloomberg. Quoting an United representative, the stretched Triple Sevens would possibly replace other aircraft  United has on order (i.e. 787s). Boeing needs to keep the 777-300 production line going until the new 777X version is ready for production.

In other news, United is dropping its routes from its Denver hub to Saskatchewan. The carrier will drop service to both Regina and Saskatoon on February 28.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Both the old United and Continental were large Boeing 777-200 operators. The progression to the larger 777-300 ER is a logical move. United’s Boeing 777-222 ER N788UA (msn 26942) departs the runway at London (Heathrow).

United Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

 

Is AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ 8501 a repeat of Northwest Airlines flight NW 705?

AirAsia Indonesia (Indonesia AirAsia) (Jakarta) vanished from radar screens over the Java Sea on December 28 on a flight from Surabaya to Singapore with 162 passengers and crew members on board. Tragically there were no survivors.

Investigators have ruled out any act of terrorism. The same group has stated it was unlikely an explosion brought down the airliner. According to the preliminary reports, there were no sounds of gunfire or explosions on cockpit voice recorder. Analysis of the flight data recorder of Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC (msn 3648) operating flight QZ 8501 showed the A320 climbing at an abnormally high rate, then plunging and suddenly disappearing from radar. The A320 was climbing at a steep ascent of 6,000 feet a minute (a normal climb rate is 1,000 to 2,000 feet a minute) before it suddenly dived and crashed in the Java Sea. This is not a normal climb rate. The crew had asked air traffic control for a higher altitude due to severe thunderstorms in the area. The request was denied due to other air traffic in the area.

Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE

Was flight QZ 8501 trapped in the updraft of a severe thunderstorm and then it stalled and fell to the sea?

It has happened before with devastating results. Dial the clock back to February 12, 1963 over Florida’s Everglades. While the crashes of ValuJet Airlines flight 592 and Eastern Airlines flight 401 are more well known, there was a third crash in the Everglades that is very similar to the tragedy of AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ 8501. Both involved flying into severe thunderstorms.

Northwest Airlines (Northwest Orient Airlines) flight NW 705 was a regularly scheduled flight from Miami International Airport to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. After takeoff from MIA the flight crew operating Boeing 720-051B N724US (msn 18354) encountered an approaching cold front with large thunderstorms. The crew tried their best to avoid the approaching line of thunderstorms.

The accident (from Wikipedia quoting the official accident report):

Prior to departing from Miami, the flight crew questioned the ground controller at the airport about the departure routes being used, and he replied that most flights were departing “either through a southwest climb or a southeast climb and then back over the top of it.”

After the jet lifted off from runway 27L, it made a left turn based on radar vectors from Miami Departure Control, to avoid areas of anticipated turbulence associated with thunderstorm activity. Another flight had followed the same guidance shortly before the jet took off.

While maintaining 5,000 feet and a heading of 300 degrees, Flight 705 contacted controllers and requested clearance to climb to a higher altitude. After a discussion between the flight and the radar departure controller about the storm activity, and while clearance to climb was being coordinated with the Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center, the flight advised “Ah-h we’re in the clear now. We can see it out ahead … looks pretty bad.”

At 13:43, Flight 705 was cleared to climb to flight level 250. They responded, “OK ahhh, we’ll make a left turn about thirty degrees here and climb…” The controller asked if 270 degrees was their selected climbout heading, and they replied that this would take them “… out in the open again…” Controllers accordingly granted the jet clearance. Following some discussion about the severity of the turbulence, which was described as moderate to heavy, the flight advised, “OK, you better run the rest of them off the other way then.”

At 13:45, control of Flight 705 was transferred to Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center. There were communication difficulties, although after the jet was provided with a different frequency to tune to, the flight crew established contact with Miami ARTCC. Several minutes after contact was established, the jet’s altitude began increasing with a rate of climb gradually increasing to approximately 9,000 feet per minute. Following this rapid ascent the rate of climb decreased through zero when the altitude peaked momentarily at just above 19,000 feet. During this time the jet’s airspeed decreased from 270 to 215 knots and as the peak altitude was approached, the vertical accelerations changed rapidly from 1G to about -2G.

In the next seven seconds the negative acceleration continued to increase at a slower rate, with several fluctuations, to a mean value of about -2.8G, the jet began diving towards the ground with increasing rapidity. As the descent continued with rapidly increasing airspeed, the acceleration trace went from the high negative peak to 1.5G, where it reversed again.

Below 10,000 feet the forward fuselage broke up due to the forces of the dive. The main failures in both wings and horizontal stabilizers were in a downward direction, and virtually symmetrical. The forward fuselage broke upward and the vertical stabilizer failed to the left. All four engines generally separated before the debris of the aircraft fell in unpopulated area of the Everglades National Park, 37 miles west-southwest of Miami International Airport.

The accident was investigated by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) which later became the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB):

Synopsis of the CAB Aircraft Accident Report:

Northwest Airlines, Inc., Boeing 720B, N724US, operating as Flight 705, crashed in an unpopulated area of the Everglades National Park, 37 miles west—southwest of Miami International Airport at approximately 1350 e. s. t., on February 12, 1963. All 35 passengers and the crew of eight were fatally injured.

Flight 705 departed Miami at 1335 e.s.t. Circuitous routing was utilized during the climbout in an effort to avoid areas of anticipated turbulence associated with thunderstorm activity. At 1347 e.s.t., in response to a request for their position and altitude, the flight advised, “We’re just out of seventeen five (17,500 feet) and stand by on the DME one.” This was the last known transmission from the flight. Shortly thereafter the aircraft entered a steep dive, during which the design limits were exceeded and the aircraft disintegrated in flight.

The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the unfavorable interaction of severe vertical drafts and large longitudinal control displacements resulting in a longitudinal upset from which a successful recovery was not made.

The FAA later added in its Lessons Learned section this summation:

As the investigation of Northwest Flight 705 proceeded, other jet transports became involved in similar upsets. These pitch upset events were collectively referred to as “Jet Upsets.” This terminology was used because the phenomena appeared to be unique to the new generation of swept wing jet transports which began to enter service a few years earlier. The investigation of Northwest Flight 705, and associated similar pitch upset incidents, led to changes in operating procedures and design requirements for jet transports, as well as improved forecasting and dissemination of hazardous weather information to Air Traffic Control and Flight Crews. These actions proved effective in substantially reducing the occurrence of this type of pitch upset events.

Was QZ 8501 a repeat of NW 705?

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 720-051B N737US (msn 18793) is pictured at New York (JFK).

Northwest Airlines aircraft slide show:

 

Delta adds extra flights from Phoenix on February 2 for the Super Bowl

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has added nonstop service from Phoenix to Boston, Los Angeles and Seattle/Tacoma and has put larger aircraft on select flights from Seattle/Tacoma to Phoenix to accommodate customers traveling to and from the pro football championship game (Super Bowl).

The temporary service will operate as follows:

Delta 2.2.15 PHX extra flights

Flights 8789 to Los Angeles and 8799 to Seattle/Tacoma will operate using specially configured aircraft with all first or business class seats. Along with the added service, Delta has increased the size of the aircraft on one regularly scheduled flight from Phoenix to Seattle/Tacoma on February 2 from a regional jet to a 160-seat Boeing 737-800.

Delta regularly operates five peak-day flights to Phoenix from its Seattle/Tacoma hub, and two of those flights will be operated using larger aircraft to accommodate more fans traveling to the game on Friday, January 30. Delta also operates five peak-day flights from Los Angeles to Phoenix. Some service may be operated by Delta Connection carriers SkyWest Airlines and Compass Airlines.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-832 N399DA (msn 30379) approaches the runway at Las Vegas.

Delta Air Lines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Slide Show

American Airlines gets one step closer to taking delivery of its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) was reportedly due to take delivery of its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner in November, then it slipped to December. The original delivery date was September 2012 before all of the delays occurred to the other 787s in front of this aircraft. The first 787 is now due to be delivered in the first quarter of this year. The pictured 787-8 N800AN (msn 40618) emerged from the paint shop on October 30, 2014. Boeing and American are currently working on the details for the delivery and entry of the new type into revenue service. However the new type has completed an important milestone in the delivery process.

As we previously reported, the pictured N800AN successfully conducted its first flight on January 6 from Paine Field via Moses Lake. Since then, the 787 has completed another test flight.

American has 42 Boeing 787s on order including 16 787-8s and 26 787-9s, with 58 options. The airline is scheduled to take delivery of two 787s this year, 11 in 2015, 13 in 2016 and nine in 2017.

American will replace some of its older Boeing 767-300s with the new 787s.

Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. A splendid shot in sunshine of N800AN at Paine Field near Everett, Washington on January 19 performing another test flight.

American Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):

Video: The first takeoff of N800AN on a rainy and overcast day at Paine Field:

Business Air is grounded, passengers are stranded

Business Air (Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi) was grounded by the DCA of Thailand. The DCA ordered Business Air to suspend all operations on January 16, 2015, leaving more than 1,000 passengers stranded. The company was unable to pay its unpaid bills.

The company started operations in December 2009.

Read the full full report from the Bangkok Post: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-383 ER HS-BID (msn 24848) arrives back at the Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) base.

Business Air logo

Route map:

Business Air 2014 Route Map

Business Air FA

Video:

Alitalia maps out its new strategy, will include a new look and it must be profitable again by 2017

Alitalia (3rd) (Rome) today issued new strategy with its new partner Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi). The new strategy will also include a new brand and livery for 2015.

The company issued this statement:

The strategy for the new Alitalia was unveiled today, with an unequivocal commitment by the new executive team and strategic investors to reinvent the airline.

Alitalia will introduce new routes, new product and service standards, a new cost management strategy and new branding, as the foundations to build a premium global airline representing the best of Italy.

The new Alitalia commenced operations on January 1, 2015, following the completion of equity investments by Etihad Airways and Alitalia’s existing shareholders. The new company’s Board meeting yesterday ratified the business strategy, which was outlined today by Luca di Montezemolo, Chairman of Alitalia, Silvano Cassano, Chief Executive Officer of Alitalia, and James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group and Vice Chairman of Alitalia.

Luca di Montezemolo said: “The energies, passion and expertise I have experienced at Alitalia in recent weeks do not leave any doubt that the airline we’re unveiling today will become once again a premium Italian airline recognised worldwide. This is why I believe the people in Alitalia are a pillar of the history we’re about to write.

“Our priority is to put the customer at the centre of everything we do. And to do that, we will change many things, starting with the way we work. We need to work as one united team to achieve this great common goal.

“The revitalized Alitalia we envision and have started building, will be an asset to this country, and a driver to support the growth of our tourism and our business.”

James Hogan said Alitalia’s future will rely on major change throughout the organization.

“In a market still beset by the continuing Eurozone crisis, anything other than rapid, decisive change is simply not an option.

“This is the right strategy, with the right management team to lead it.

“But there should be no doubts at all: we have made a commercial investment that must deliver a commercial return.

“We’ve invested in the new Alitalia because we believe it can flourish again. It will only succeed if there is 100 per cent support from everyone. The coming months and next few years will not be easy, but if everyone pulls together as one team, Alitalia can grow again.”

Mr Hogan said that Alitalia’s major investors had set a clear deadline for the airline to deliver profitability by 2017.

Outlining the airline’s new strategy, Silvano Cassano said: “The new Alitalia strategy is serious, it is exciting and it is commercial. It is a strategy for success – if everybody delivers.

“It is serious because it has been developed over months by an executive team and a set of partners that share extensive and in-depth industry expertise.

“It is exciting because of the vision and ambition that we have for the brand and for the business. This is the chance to create a new Alitalia, one which Italy can truly feel proud of.

“And it is commercial because that is the only way this can work. Every single employee at Alitalia has to get into a commercial mindset, one in which the basis of every decision is: Does this add value to our customer? Does it add value to our company? And does it help us to deliver a financial return?

“We need to create a performance-based, customer-focused culture which results in a sustainably profitable airline, one which can grow over the long term.

“The investment we have received from our shareholders gives us the opportunity to do that.”

Mr Cassano added: “A successful Alitalia means jobs, it means trade and it means tourism. It means a major impact on the Italian economy.”

The key elements of the new business strategy include:

Network

A new three-hub strategy in Italy. Milan Malpensa will increase long-haul services, while Milan Linate will increase connectivity with partner airline hubs. Rome Fiumicino will grow long-haul flying and continue to expand short and medium haul flying to maintain relevance to the Italian market.

Schedules across the network will be optimized to allow better connectivity, as well as increased codesharing with existing and new partners.

New routes from Rome include Berlin, Dusseldorf, San Francisco, Mexico City, Santiago (Chile), Beijing and Seoul, with increased flights to New York, Chicago, Rio de Janeiro and Abu Dhabi.

Alitalia will also add 13 weekly flights from Milan Malpensa, with daily services to Abu Dhabi, four flights a week to Shanghai, and additional flights to Tokyo.

There will also be increased connectivity with Etihad Airways’ hub in Abu Dhabi, with daily services from Venice, Milan, Bologna and Catania, as well as additional flights from Rome, all allowing onward connections to the Middle East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, China and Australia.

Venice will be the only Italian airport, in addition to Rome Fiumicino and Milan Malpensa, from which Alitalia will operate services to Abu Dhabi with long-haul aircraft.

Cooperation

While exploring further opportunities to deepen the relationships with Skyteam members and in particular Air France/KLM and Delta, there will be a major new partnership with Airberlin and Niki, as well as increased connectivity with Etihad Airways. There are also plans to work more deeply with Air Serbia and Etihad Regional. These partnerships will increase customer choice across many markets.

Fleet

Alitalia and Etihad Airways and its partners are exploring opportunities to improve jointly fleet efficiency. For example, Alitalia is in the process of relocating 14 Airbus A320s to Airberlin, and looking into options with Etihad Airways to acquire additional wide-body aircraft for Alitalia. Alitalia will also have opportunities to receive aircraft from Etihad Airways’ existing fleet orderbook.

Guest Services

A new customer-first culture, with new product and service standards across the airline. A new Customer Excellence Training Academy will deliver skills to all customer-facing staff, while customers will experience traditional Italian hospitality, new food service options, new-look lounges in Rome, Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate.

Brand

Alitalia will launch a new brand and visual identity, covering aircraft, uniforms and all other customer touch-points. While the name will remain unchanged, the new branding will seek to capture and embody the essence of Italy.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The updated version (in 2006) of the basic 1969 livery will soon be history as Alitalia replaces it with a new Italian theme and look. Alitalia is also going to receive new aircraft types for its long-range routes from partner Etihad Airways. Boeing 777-243 ER EI-ISD (msn 32860) arrives in Los Angeles.

Alitalia aircraft slide show:

Gotham Air is launched in the New York area

Gotham Air Bell 407 Helicopter

Gotham Air (New York) is a new crowd sourced on-demand helicopter service for the New York area. The new service will be different than previous helicopter airlines of the past. Prospective passengers with use the Gotham Air app to find a flight and the company will match you with other passengers to fill the helicopter. Gotham Air is using Helicopter Flight Services to operate the helicopters. Gotham Air’s role is to find and combine the passengers to make the flights profitable. The service will operate from JFK International Airport, Newark International Airport and Manhattan. The new service today issued this statement:

Gotham Air logo

Time is money. Imagine if you could travel from Manhattan to JFK or Newark Liberty Airports in six minutes instead of two hours of stop and go traffic. Today marks the launch of Gotham Air, a premiere daily crowd sourced helicopter service that will revolutionize how you commute. To celebrate the launch, first time riders can book a $99 flat rate flight by simply selecting a departure from one of three Manhattan heliports.

Gotham Air features include:

Flights available seven days a week

First time users pay $99 to JFK or EWR; after the first ride, a one way fare is $199 – $219 dependent on departure time

Complimentary hors d’oeuvres provided by world renowned Chef Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery

Beverage services available for afternoon flights

Luxury helicopter interiors feature Hermes leather furnishings

VIP lounges and ground support concierge services

Inclement weather guarantee backed by Tesla; Gotham Air will pick up guests at their home or office in Manhattan and whisk them to the airport in a sleek Tesla S on rare occasions when the winds are too high or the cloud cover is too low

Gotham Air has formed an alliance with Helicopter Flight Services, one of the largest, most trusted names in luxury aviation for the past thirty years. Gotham Air’s digital service platform is integrated with Helicopter Flight Services’ fleet of state of the art helicopters including seven Bell 407s, one Sikorsky S76 C+ and one Bell 427.

Images: Gotham Air.

Gotham Air over Manhattan

United Airlines adds 55 flights on 8 routes for the Super Bowl

United Airlines (Chicago) added more flights for football fans on top of regularly scheduled service to Phoenix from its hubs in Chicago (O’Hare), Denver, Houston (Bush Intercontinental), Los Angeles, Newark and San Francisco. The airline also added special new nonstop service, operating from January 29 to February 2, from Boston and Seattle/Tacoma to Phoenix for the Super Bowl. Several of the flights will be operated with Boeing 767 aircraft to accommodate the extra demand.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. United Airlines Boeing 767-322 ER N675UA (msn 29243) completes its final approach at Los Angeles International Airport.

United Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery only): AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines is adding more flights to Phoenix for the Super Bowl

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) is adding more nonstop flights and connections between Seattle/Tacoma and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Boston and Manchester and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for the Super Bowl. The additional flights will only be offered between January 29 and February 2 to handle the anticipated increase in travelers.

Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Southwest Airlines’ Boeing 737-3H4 N654SW (msn 28399) taxies to the runway at San Francisco International Airport.

Southwest Airlines aircraft slide show (new livery only):

 

Delta reports net income of $649 million for the 4Q, $2.8 billion for the full year

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter. Key points include:

Delta’s pre-tax income for the December 2014 quarter was $1.0 billion, excluding special items1, an increase of $474 million over the December 2013 quarter on a similar basis. Delta’s net income for the December 2014 quarter was $649 million, or $0.78 per diluted share, and its operating margin was 12.6 percent, excluding special items.

For the full year 2014, Delta’s pre-tax income, excluding special items, was $4.5 billion, a $1.9 billion increase over 2013. Delta’s net income for the year was $2.8 billion with an operating margin of 13.1 percent, excluding special items.

On a GAAP basis including special items, Delta’s December quarter pre-tax loss was $1.1 billion, operating margin was -8.6 percent and net loss was $712 million, or $0.86 per share. On a GAAP basis including special items, Delta’s 2014 pre-tax income was $1.1 billion, operating margin was 5.5 percent and net income was $659 million.

2014 results include $1.1 billion in profit sharing expense, including $262 million in the December quarter, recognizing Delta employees’ contributions toward meeting the company’s financial goals.
The company’s strong cash generation allowed it to accelerate its capital deployment plans by reducing its adjusted net debt2 to $7.3 billion, contributing an incremental $250 million above required funding to its defined benefit pension plans, and returning $1.35 billion to shareholders through a combination of $251 million of dividends and $1.1 billion of share repurchases in 2014.

“Our 2014 performance – an industry-leading operation, superior customer service, and a 70 percent increase in profits – shows that Delta is focused on delivering growing value for its employees, customers and investors,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer. “As we begin 2015, we have a significant opportunity from lower fuel prices, which will drive more than $2 billion in fuel savings over 2014. Through our capacity discipline, pricing our product to demand, and the fuel savings, we expect to drive double-digit earnings growth, along with increased free cash flow and a higher return on invested capital in the upcoming year.”

Special Items

Delta recorded a $1.4 billion special items charge, net of taxes, in the December 2014 quarter, including:

a $1.2 billion charge for mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges settling in future periods;
a $75 million charge for mark-to-market adjustments on hedges owned by Virgin Atlantic;
a $74 million charge for fleet, facilities, and other items, associated with Delta’s domestic fleet restructuring initiative as well as the write-down of certain facilities in Concourse C of Detroit Airport; and
a $29 million gain related to an insurance settlement.
Delta recorded a net $7.9 billion special items gain in the December 2013 quarter, including:

an $8.0 billion non-cash gain associated with the reversal of Delta’s tax valuation allowance;
a $92 million mark-to-market gain on fuel hedges; and
a $160 million charge for facilities, fleet and other, including charges associated with Delta’s domestic fleet restructuring.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Financial comment from James Chen, Chief Technical Strategist at www.cityindex.com.sg

“Delta Airlines Inc. (DAL) announced fourth quarter earnings on Tuesday before the market open. The airline reported better-than-expected non-GAAP earnings of $0.78 per share, helped by falling fuel prices. This beat analysts’ consensus earnings estimate of $0.77.

Total operating revenue reached $9.65 billion, slightly topping the $9.58 consensus estimate.

DAL’s stock price rose well above $47.00 in pre-market trading after having closed on Friday at 45.84.

Overall, DAL continues to trade within a long-term bullish trend. 2014 was a dramatically bullish year for the stock, as price rose by 84% from its 2014 opening price of $27.26 up to the record high of $50.16 that was reached on the very last day of 2014. This was despite a major price correction that occurred throughout September and the first half of October.

The new year has thus far shown somewhat of a different picture. From the very beginning of 2015, DAL has declined consistently from its 2014 high in a substantial pullback move.

Prior to Tuesday’s earnings report, price action had been approaching key support around the $44.00 price level, slightly under the 50-day moving average. The positive earnings report, however, has prompted a significant rebound from that level, with a clear upside resistance target around the $50.00 resistance area once again. With a continued bullish bias, especially after Tuesday’s earnings beat, the uptrend for DAL should be poised to continue its march up towards its $55.00 price objective.”

Read more on James’ page at http://www.cityindex.com.sg/market-talk/analysts/james-chen/

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-832 N374DA (msn 29622) approaches the runway at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport.

Delta Air Lines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Slide Show

SAS Group slips back into the red for its fiscal year

SAS Group (Scandinavian Airlines-SAS) (Stockholm) at its annual meeting discussed its financial results for its fiscal year 2013-2014 and also issued its annual report. The group fell back into a net loss of 719 million SEK ($88.4 million) for the year.

The group is coming under continued pressure from lower cost carriers in its markets (especially from Norwegian Air Shuttle) and also from the major European carriers, such as British Airways-Iberia, Lufthansa and Air France-KLM, shifting its European operations to its lower cost subsidiaries such as Vueling Airlines, Germanwings, Transavia Airlines and Hop!

SAS Group’s share of the Scandinavian market:

SAS share of the Scandinavian market

The group summarized its fiscal year:

“The results for the 2013/2014 fiscal year reflect a year characterized by substantial overcapacity and pressure on yield and unit revenue, and in which market conditions stabilized slightly toward the end of the year.”

The group also issued this outlook for 2015:

“SAS is continuing the intensive efforts to strengthen competitiveness. The potential exists for SAS to post a positive EBT before tax and nonrecurring items in the 2014/2015 fiscal year. This is provided that the economy does not weaken, that the trend continues in terms of reduced capacity and lower jet fuel prices, is maintained, that exchange rates are not subject to further deterioration and that no unexpected events occur.”

Fleet streamling:

In the 2013/2014 fiscal year, SAS phased in one long-haul aircraft and five medium-haul aircraft with modern cabins, in parallel with phasing out the last two Boeing 737 Classics. SAS also returned 11 MD-80s and seven Boeing 737 Classics that were taken out of service in the 2013 calendar year. With the phasing out of the MD-80 fleet and Boeing 737 Classics, SAS achieved an in-service aircraft fleet comprising only Next Generation aircraft in 2013/2014. SAS now has only one type of medium-haul aircraft per base, which provides a more stable and more efficient operational and technical plat- form. In addition, SAS plans to further streamline regional aircraft operations by phasing out Boeing 717s in 2015. SAS intends to transfer the CRJ900s to Cimber.

In addition, SAS has placed orders for four Airbus A330Es and eight Airbus A350s with delivery from 2015 to 2021, as well as 30 Airbus A320neo with delivery from 2016 to 2019. The first long-haul aircraft are expected to be in-service in autumn 2015. The introduction of long and medium-haul aircraft means SAS will be able to offer fre- quent travelers a world-class customer experience in parallel with lowering fuel and maintenance costs.

SAS Fleet Plans 2015

SAS Group’s strategy:

SAS Group Strategy

Read the full yearly financial report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. The SAS Group still operates both the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 Next-Generation family of aircraft in a very mixed short haul fleet. With the new A320neo aircraft being added the Boeing 737 fleet will be gradually reduced. Airbus A320-232 OY-KAP (msn 3086) arrives in London (Heathrow).

SAS aircraft slide show:

Silver Airways to add Panama City, Florida as its newest destination, will also add Charleston, SC

Silver Airways (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Gainesville) is continuing to expand its Florida flying by introducing service from its 12th Sunshine State airport: Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) in Panama City, Florida. On March 19, 2015, the airline is starting nonstop service from Panama City to both Orlando and Tampa. The two new routes are not currently being serviced from Panama City.

Starting March 19, 2015, Silver will operate two daily nonstop flights between Panama City and Orlando, as well as daily nonstop service between Panama City and Tampa.

Starting March 19, 2015, Silver Airways is also launching nonstop service between Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) and Pensacola International Airport (PNS). The flights will operate on weekdays Monday through Friday with continuing service to/from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood.

In other news, Silver Airways is also extending its routes from Tampa and Orlando to Charleston, South Carolina starting on March 19.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Silver Airways SAAB 340B N418XJ (msn 418) taxies to the runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Silvery Airways aircraft slide show:

Alaska Airlines launches a special ‘Russell Wilson’s Fan Flight II’ to Phoenix Sweepstakes, adds extra flights for the Super Bowl

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has issued this statement:

Alaska Airlines is giving its Mileage Plan members a chance to fly from Seattle/Tacoma to Phoenix on a special charter to cheer on its Chief Football Officer, Russell Wilson, when his team plays in the big game on February 1. Alaska is launching “Russell Wilson’s Fan Flight II – For Strong Against Cancer,” a four-day sweepstakes on Alaska Airlines’ Facebook page.

Alaska 737 Seahawk colors

Above Photo: Alaska Airlines. Alaska has also changed the on-board mood lighting to the team colors.

Fifty-six prize winners will receive two roundtrip tickets for an ‘inflight tailgate party’ from Seattle to Phoenix on its “Go Russell 737-900ER” aircraft (above and below). Winners will also receive two nights of hotel accommodations, admission to an exclusive game day party and transportation to and from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and their hotel.

The sweepstakes is open to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members who are residents of Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

Sweepstakes winners will be notified by phone and email beginning on Friday, January 23. To enter and review complete sweepstakes rules, visit www.facebook.com/AlaskaAirlines at 8 a.m. PT.

“We’re thrilled to have a second opportunity to fly Russell’s fans to the big game. We invite our loyal Mileage Plan members to join us in cheering on Russell and his team as they pursue their second championship win,” said Joe Sprague, senior vice president of communications and external relations for Alaska Airlines. “By entering this sweepstakes, Mileage Plan members are also helping to raise funds to help defeat childhood cancer, a cause that’s a priority for both Alaska and our Chief Football Officer.”

Alaska Russell Wilson

Above Photo: Alaska Airlines.

Russell Wilson’s Fan Flight for Strong Against Cancer

For every sweepstakes entry, Alaska Airlines will make a $1 donation to Strong Against Cancer, up to $50,000. Strong Against Cancer is a multi-year initiative dedicated to ending childhood cancer. Funds raised go directly to breakthrough pediatric cancer immunotherapy research underway at the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research. In just one of the Center’s clinical trials for patients who have relapsed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), this breakthrough treatment has had a stunning 85 percent success rate – 11 of 13 patients’ cancer went into remission. Alaska joined Wilson in supporting Strong Against Cancer initially pledging $100,000 and is donating an additional $3,000 for every touchdown scored by Wilson and his offense in the playoff games and the championship game.

Alaska Adds Extra Flights Between Seattle and Phoenix

To help football fans trying to attend the February 1 championship game, Alaska has added two roundtrip flights between Seattle/Tacoma and Phoenix.

Summary of extra flights:

Alaska SEA-PHX flights

Top Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Airlines has embraced its relationship with the Seattle Seahawks quarterback with special appearances and this special logo jet. Boeing 737-990 ER N453AS (msn 36354) carries unique “Go Russell!” markings. The markings have now been modified (below). The wingtip also includes Russell’s jersey number. (Alaska Airlines):

Alaska 737-900ER WL N453AS (15-Go Russell! - Nonstop Dedication)(Titles)(Alaska)(LR)

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show:

Alitalia to add Milan Linate-Copenhagen service

Alitalia (3rd) (Rome) will introduce the Milan (Linate) – Copenhagen route on March 30. The new route will initially operate three days a week with Airbus A320 aircraft according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Bernardo Andrade/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 EI-IKU (msn 1217) climbs away from the runway at Barcelona.

Alitalia aircraft slide show:

 

Airberlin continues to expand its focus on Italy and connecting with Alitalia

Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin) is continuing to optimize its route network with the expansion of its services to the important focus market of Italy at the beginning of the summer schedule. Starting March 29, 2015, Airberlin will operate a new daily service from Stuttgart to Rome as well as three flights a day from Stuttgart to Milan (Linate) starting in May 2015. In addition, starting in May Airberlin will expand its service on the Stuttgart to Venice route to include three new daily flights.

The number of flights from Dusseldorf to Rome is also being increased: starting March 29, Airberlin will offer six new flights from Monday to Friday as well as two flights on Sundays. Several improvements to the departure times of existing services complete the optimization of the flight program from Germany to Italy. With up to ten additional flights per week compared to last year, Airberlin will operate a total of 260 flights a week from Germany, Austria and Switzerland to Italy during summer 2015.

The new flights will be integrated in the codeshare agreement with Alitalia (3rd) (Rome) and will carry Alitalia flight numbers. All of Airberlin’s and Alitalia’s direct flights between Italy, Germany, Austria and Switzerland have been operated as codeshare flights since the start of the 2014/2015 winter schedule.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 D-ABFC (msn 4161) lands at EuroAirport serving the Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg area.

Airberlin aircraft slide show:

JetBlue Airways flight 1295 aborts its takeoff at New York JFK to avoid a taxiing Caribbean Airlines flight 526

JetBlue logo

JetBlue Airways (New York) flight 1295 from New York (JFK) to Austin, Texas with an Airbus A320 was ordered by FAA Air Traffic Control (ATC) to avoid its takeoff on runway 22 at JFK International Airport late Saturday night (January 17). The order was given to avoid a possible collision with a taxiing Caribbean Airlines flight 526 operated with a Boeing 737-800. According to this report, the Caribbean flight “taxied across” the JetBlue’s takeoff path. The two aircraft never came any closer than 2,800 feet. The JetBlue flight taxied back to the gate.

Read the full report from Newsday: CLICK HERE

Caribbean Airlines logo

Air Moldova is coming to Vienna

Air Moldova (Chisinau) expands its route network by launching a new nonstop route from Chisinau to Vienna starting on April 10, 2015. The Chisinau-Vienna-Chisinau flight will be operated three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with Embraer 190 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100LR ER-ECB (msn 19000325) prepares to taxi at Antalya.

Air Moldova aircraft slide show:

Route Map:

Air Moldova logo-2Air Moldova 1.2015 Route Map

JetBlue Airways adds an extra flight from Boston to Phoenix for the Super Bowl

JetBlue Airways (New York) has announced it is kicking off extra flights between Boston and Phoenix for the Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks.

JetBlue has added additional flights between Phoenix (PHX) and Boston (BOS), increasing capacity to its already sold out schedule. In addition to its normal schedule of daily BOS-PHX service, seats are now available on the below new flights:

Copyright Photo: Fred Freketic/AirlinersGallery.com. JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N652JB (msn 3029) in the Dots livery taxies at JFK International Airport.

JetBlue Airways aircraft slide show:

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