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Cathay Pacific updates its brushwing brand

Cathay Pacific 2014 logo

Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) is updating its 1994 brushwing logo and brand. The airline is freeing the brushwing from the box. The airline issued this explanation:

Symbolizing our efforts to create a better, more beautiful and more enjoyable journey for passengers, we have refreshed many aspects of our brand identity.

Centred around our timeless brushwing icon, we have sought to simplify, clarify and beautify. The brushwing no longer sits constrained inside a box, and has been gently harmonized and set free.

We have also defined tighter rules around sub-brands which will now be clearly aligned within a simplified, tiered hierarchy. We will also use a tighter palette of colors and typography.

The next step? A probable new aircraft livery with the new logo and typeface.

Cathay Pacific 1994 > 2014 logo evolution

Cathay Pacific Typeface Evolution (LRW)

Above: The typeface evolution from 1994 to 2014.

Cathay Pacific lounge (LRW)

All images by Cathay Pacific.

Cathay Pacific Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

The updated Premium Economy cabin:

Cathay Pacific Premium Economy (CPA)(LRW)

 

 

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Virgin Australia to fly between Darwin and Alice Springs

Virgin Australia Airlines (Brisbane) has announced that it will introduce nonstop services between Darwin and Alice Springs from the end of March 2015, to coincide with the opening of the new Virgin Australia Lounge in Darwin.

The airline will introduce this new weekly schedule of services using its Boeing 737 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Colin Hunter/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8FE ZK-PBA (msn 33796) arrives in Auckland, New Zealand.

Virgin Australia: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa to fly to Aalborg and Keflavik

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will expand its European services in next year’s summer flight timetable. From March 29, 2015, the airline will be operating a new route from Frankfurt Airport to Aalborg in Jutland, Denmark, with 14 flights a week.

The commercial and university city will be Lufthansa’s third destination in Denmark, after Copenhagen and Billund.

The airline will also be launching a twice-weekly nonstop service between Frankfurt and Keflavik (near Reykjavík), Iceland, from May 2, until September 26, 2015. The Aalborg route will have two flights a day with a Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft, with 90 seats in Business and Economy Class. The service will depart from the Lufthansa hub every morning at 8.25 a.m. as flight LH 844 and every afternoon at 4.10 p.m. as flight LH 846, arriving in Aalborg at 10.05 a.m. and 5.50 p.m. respectively. The return flights will land in Frankfurt at 12.25 p.m. and 8.10 p.m. respectively.

The service to Keflavik (Reykjavík) will operate on Thursdays and Saturdays with an Airbus A319, with 138 seats in Business and Economy Class. Flight LH 856 will take off from Frankfurt in the morning and land in Reykjavík around midday. Flight LH 857 will arrive back at Frankfurt Airport in the early evening.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 D-AIBB (msn 4182) taxies at Geneva.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Hokkaido Air System-HAC becomes a subsidiary of Japan Airlines

Hokkaido Air System SAAB 340 and crew

Hokkaido Air System (HAC) (Sapporo, Japan) has become a subsidiary of Japan Airlines (JAL) (Tokyo) following JAL completing a qualifying transaction to acquire up to 51.2% of the shares of HAC on October 23, 2014.

HAC network including flights to/from remote islands such as the Sapporo (Okadama) – Rishiri route and the Hakodate – Okushiri route, has been recognized as important transportation routes across Hokkaido by local residents.

With the success of this acquisition, JAL will support HAC to improve its sales performance and further strengthen its management competence as well. After becoming a subsidiary of JAL, HAC will continually strive to be the most preferred and reliable regional airline in Hokkaido.

All images by Hokkaido Air System.

HAC logo

Current Route Map:Hokkaido Air System 10.2014 Route Map

WOW Air is coming to Boston and Baltimore/Washington with Airbus A321s

WOW Air (Keflavik) as planned, is coming to Boston in March 2015 with fares starting at $99 one-way. Kleflavik International Airport-Boston Logan International Airport will start on March 27 and operate six days a week with Airbus A321s.

WOW Air will also operate seasonal service between Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI) and Keflavik International Airport with four weekly roundtrip flights starting on June 4, 2015.

For the service from BWI, WOW Air will also utilize Airbus A321 aircraft. The seasonal flights will operate four times per week, on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Top Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 TF-WOW (msn 2457) arrives at London (Gatwick).

WOW Air Aircraft Slide Show:

WOW Air: AG Slide Show

WOW AIr crew-1

 

Sun Air Express to start operations at Pittsburgh

Sun Air Express logo (large)

Sun Air Express (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) began linking cities in south Florida with destinations in the Bahamas, hence the name “Sun Air.”

In 2012, Sun Air Express began regional services out of Houston (Bush Intercontinental) and Washington (Dulles) airports as part of the Essential Air Service program, which links over 100 smaller communities to hub airports.

Sun Air’s primary maintenance base is in Lancaster, PA.

In 2014, Sun Air Express was awarded five new routes from Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT). Starting next month the carrier will add up to 50 flights per week from Pittsburg International Airport to both Altoona, PA and Jamestown, NY according to Pittsburgh Business Times. Services to Bradford, PA, Lancaster, PA and Franklin/Oil City, PA will start before the end of the year. When completed, Sun Air Express will operate 125 flights a week at PIT.

The airline will operate Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftains on the routes.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Route Map:

Sun Air Express 10.2014 Route Map

Canadian North and First Air terminate their merger discussions

Makivik Corporation and NorTerra Inc., respectively the shareholders of First Air (Ottawa) and Canadian North (Yellowknife), in April 2014 agreed to hold discussions leading to the merger of their operations consistent with a merger of equals, subject to the successful conclusion of negotiations and regulatory review.

According to the two parties, “The potential merger was intended to create a single airline entity that builds on the strengths and identities of the two companies. A merger would improve the sustainability of these critical Inuit birthright enterprises and would also create better air services and new economic development opportunities across the north.”

Please see the previous report with route maps of both carriers: CLICK HERE

The merger discussions failed. The two parties issued this joint statement:

Makivik Corporation and NorTerra Inc., respectively the shareholders of First Air and Canadian North, announce that they have terminated discussions aimed at merging their airline operations, and no such further discussions are envisaged.

Canadian North and First Air will continue to have a positive working relationship aimed at providing the best possible service to customers in a competitive marketplace.

Flight operations and services at both airlines remain unaffected. The parties will have no further comment on the matter.

Canadian North and its founding companies (Canadian Airlines, Pacific Western Airlines, Transair, Nordair) has proudly served Canada’s North with passenger and cargo services for more than 80 years. Offering scheduled flights to 19 destinations, Canadian North proudly serves the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, via the southern gateways of Edmonton and Ottawa. Canadian North is also the premier provider of fly-in/fly-out charter services for large resource sector clients requiring safe, efficient and economical air transportation. Charter flights are also offered across North America for sports teams, cruise lines and large groups. Canadian North is a subsidiary of NorTerra Inc., which is owned by the Inuvialuit Development Corporation, representing the Inuvialuit of the Western Arctic. For more information please visit http://www.canadiannorth.com.

First has a fleet of 23 aircraft including the only two civilian owned and operated Hercules cargo aircraft in Canada, First Air has been connecting the people of the North for over 65 years.

First Air offers scheduled, cargo and charter services to more northern destinations than any other airline. First Air is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Makivik Corporation and has around 1,000 employees, of which more than 450 work and live in the North. For more information please visit http://www.firstair.ca.

Top Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Canadian North’s DHC-8-106 Dash 8 C-GRGO (msn 258) taxies at Yellowknife.

Canadian North Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

First Air Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Set against an angry sky, Boeing 737-2R2C C-FNVK (msn 23130) of First Air displays the polar bear on the tail.

Senegal Airlines becomes a new Bombardier Q400 operator

Senegal DHC-8-400 (11)(Flt)(Bombardier)(LRW)

Senegal Airlines (Dakar) yesterday (October 23) started service with a Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprop airliner wet-leased from Falcon Aviation Services LLC of Abu Dhabi. The aircraft is one of two that were ordered under a firm purchase agreement between Bombardier and Falcon announced in February 2014.

As announced in July 2014, Falcon and Bombardier have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in which they will jointly address the need in Africa for several modern, high-quality aircraft solutions which meet international standards. The entry-into-service of the Q400 NextGen aircraft with Senegal Airlines is the first example of the collaboration arranged under the MOU.

Image: Bombardier.

Senegal Airlines logo

UPS’ pilots issue this statement regarding its unresolved contract and the upcoming holiday rush

UPS Airlines’ (United Parcel Service) (Atlanta and Louisville) pilots, represented by the Independent Pilots Association, have issued this statement:

“Will United Parcel Service deliver this Christmas? That’s the question that manufactures, shippers, retailers and consumers have been asking. While we can’t speak to all aspects of UPS’s operations we can say that despite UPS not finalizing our contract we remain committed to delivering this Christmas season,” said Independent Pilots Association spokesperson Brian Gaudet.

Gaudet went on to say, “UPS has done a lot to avoid a repeat of last year’s holiday delivery troubles: it developed and funded a $175 million Peak Plan; finalized its labor contract with the Teamsters; increased its seasonal hires by seventy-three percent. But UPS didn’t do everything it needed to; UPS neglected its air operations by not finalizing the contract with its pilots. We are now in our fourth-year of contract talks with UPS. In spite of this drawn out negotiation, the IPA remains committed to delivering this holiday season. But we encourage UPS, for the benefit of its customers, to close out this critical unfinished business.”

To help make this point the IPA has taken out full-page ads in the Asian, European and Eastern U.S. editions of the October 24 issue of the Wall Street Journal (below).

The Independent Pilots Association represents the professional pilots flying for United Parcel Service.

Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A300F4-622R N164UP (msn 853) completes its final approach to the runway at Toronto (Pearson).

UPS: AG Slide Show

Ad appearing in the Wall Street Journal:

UPS IPA ad in the WSJ (LR)

 

Etihad Airways to increase the Dallas/Fort Worth route to daily service due to high demand

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) will increase the frequency of its new service to Dallas/Fort Worth to daily from April 16, 2015, to meet the demand from business and leisure travellers on the ultra-long-haul route.

Dallas/Fort Worth will be introduced into Etihad Airways’ global route network on December 3, 2014 with an initial three flights per week service, prior to the upgrade. It is the airline’s sixth route in the United States, alongside New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, which launches on November 18, 2014.

A Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft will be operated on the route, offering a total of eight seats in First Class, 40 seats in Business Class, and 177 seats in Economy Class.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Ex-Air India Boeing 777-237 LR A6-LRE (msn 36304) completes its final approach to Los Angeles.

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

Qatar Airways to bring the new Airbus A380 to Bangkok starting on January 5, 2015

Qatar Airways (Doha) will assign the new Airbus A380 to the Doha-Bangkok route starting on January 5, 2015.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A7-APA (msn 137) climbs away from the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

SF Airlines orders new Boeing 767-300 ER freighter conversions

SF Airlines (Shenzhen) is planning to add the larger Boeing 767-300F freighter to its growing fleet. The 767 will be a new type for the carrier. The cargo airline has placed an order with Boeing for an undisclosed number of 767-300 ER passenger-to-freighter conversions (Boeing Converted Freighters). SF Airlines, a subsidiary of Shenzhen, China-based delivery services company SF Express, will accept its first redelivered 767 in the second half of 2015.

SF Airlines currently operates Boeing 757-200F freighters (above) and Boeing 737 freighters.

Copyright Photo: Yuji Wang/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-2Z0 (F) B-2832 (msn 25887) is pictured at Shanghai (Pudong).

Kunming Airlines commits to four Boeing Next-Generation 737-700s and six 737 MAX aircraft

Kunming Airlines (Changshui) has committed to purchase 10 Boeing 737s, including four Next-Generation 737-700s and six 737 MAX airplanes.

The commitment, valued at $897 million at current list prices, is subject to the approval of the Chinese government and will be posted on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website once all contingencies are cleared.

Kunming Airlines, based at Changshui International Airport in the capital city of Yunnan province, began operations in 2009. The carrier currently serves more than 25 cities across China by operating a fleet of 10 Boeing 737-700s and five 737-800s.

Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/AirlinersGallery.com. The larger Boeing 737-87L B-1926 (msn 41111) taxies at Honolulu.

 

Polar Air Cargo to operate two additional Boeing 747s for DHL Express

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (New York) today announced the placement of two incremental Boeing 747 freighters into ACMI service with DHL Express.

The two aircraft, a Boeing 747-800F and a 747-400F, will be operated in Polar Air Cargo Worldwide’s express network under an ACMI arrangement for the benefit of DHL Express. Operations are scheduled to begin on October 26, 2014.

When the new ACMI service begins, Polar’s express network will total twelve 747 freighters, consisting of five Boeing 747-800Fs and seven 747-400Fs, in ACMI on behalf of DHL and Polar’s other customers. Atlas also will continue to operate a fleet of Boeing 767 Freighters in CMI service for DHL, with 11 aircraft in operation by the end of January 2015.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Polar Air Cargo’s Boeing 747-46NF N451PA (msn 30809) arrives in Los Angeles.

DHL-Polar Air Cargo: AG Slide Show

Interjet arrives in Houston

Interjet water salute

Interjet (Mexico City) officially began flight operations in Houston, Texas today (October 23) as the airline celebrated the landing of its inaugural flight connecting Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Monterrey International Airport (MTY) in Monterrey, Mexico.

The airline will now offer passengers a choice between two daily flights Monday through Friday and one daily flight on Saturdays and Sundays. The inaugural flight from Monterrey arrived in Houston at 7:55 a.m. to the traditional water cannon salute and a welcome celebration featuring dozens of well-wishers.

The arrival of Interjet is the latest example of an unprecedented level of growth for international air travel in Houston. George Bush Intercontinental Airport is currently on pace to see more than 10 million international passengers in 2014, a number never reached in the facility’s 45 year history.

Photo: Interjet.

Interjet Aircraft Slide Show:

Virgin America and China Airlines start their codeshare relationship

Virgin America (San Francisco) today announced the implementation of a codeshare arrangement with China Airlines (Taipei) that will offer customers seamless bookings and travel between Taipei, Taiwan, elsewhere in Asia and multiple destinations across the United States. The new codeshare agreement, the fourth for the California-based airline, involves China Airlines placing its two-letter airline code (CI) on a range of Virgin America markets including flights between Los Angeles and/or San Francisco to Boston, Chicago, Dallas Love Field, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Las Vegas, Newark, New York (JFK), Seattle/Tacoma and Washington Dulles (IAD). Starting today, China Airlines guests can book their journey across the United States with Virgin America via China Airlines’ website and look forward to a convenient airport experience with one-stop check-in for boarding passes and checked bags.

China Airlines offers daily direct flights from Taipei to San Francisco and Los Angeles, and three flights per week to New York.

The codeshare partnership expands on the two airline’s existing interline agreement, which commenced in May 2012. China Airlines is Virgin America’s fourth codeshare agreement and enhances the airline’s growing partner portfolio.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N855VA (msn 5179) prepares to land at Los Angeles International Airport, a common connection point.

Virgin America: AG Slide Show

China Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. China Airlines’ Airbus A330-302 B-18367 (msn 1278) arrives in Rome (Fiumicino).

Allegiant Travel Company reports its 47th consecutive profitable quarter

Allegiant Travel Company (Allegiant Air) (Las Vegas) reported a third quarter net profit of $14.2 million, down 17 percent from the same quarter a year ago. The holding company has reported the following financial results for the third quarter 2014, as well as comparisons to prior year equivalents:

Allegiant 3Q14 Financial Box

“We are very proud to report our 47th consecutive profitable quarter,” stated Maurice J. Gallagher, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Allegiant Travel Company. “During this quarter we saw the departure of Andrew Levy, our President and COO. Andrew will be missed. He has left the company in great shape. His legacy includes building a solid, capable management team which ensures the company will maintain its strong performance into the future. In addition, we have also welcomed back Kris Bauer as the airline’s Senior Vice President of Operations and COO while we conduct our search for a replacement. Earlier this week, our Board of Directors approved an increase to our share repurchase authority to $100 million from its current level of $7.4 million. We continue to see strength in the business model and are demonstrating that confidence by actively returning cash to shareholders. Lastly, I want to thank all of our Team Members for their continued efforts during the past quarter.”

Notable company highlights

Repurchased 456,296 shares during the quarter, which brings the total to 1,199,740 shares for the first nine months of 2014. Since the inception of the share repurchase program, the company has repurchased 4,692,385 shares for a total of $316.3 million through the third quarter 2014

Purchased two A319s in August off operating lease

Added three new destinations to Cincinnati. Cincinnati has become the fastest growing origination city in the company’s history

In-service Airbus fleet accounted for over 21 percent of total ASM production in the quarter. In the quarter the company operated ten Airbus aircraft which is 14 percent of the total fleet

Third quarter 2014 revenue performance

East Coast TRASM declined 1.4 percent, however capacity in these markets grew 27.3 percent. Flying on the East Coast accounted for 40 percent of entire network versus 36 percent a year ago

Hawaii TRASM grew 12.7 percent versus the same period a year ago

Average fare – ancillary air-related charges increased 2.1 percent, as we implemented a fee to print a boarding pass at the ticket counter in

September 2014, and also due to continued strength in existing ancillary categories such as assigned seat fees, trip flex and priority boarding

Allegiant 3Q14 Fleet Plan

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. The McDonnell Douglas fleet is holding steady at 53 aircraft while newer Airbus A319s and A320s are being added. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N418NV (msn 49615) arrives at the Las Vegas home.

Allegiant Air: AG Slide Show

United Airlines reports its highest-ever quarterly profit of $1.1 billion

United Airlines (Chicago) today reported third quarter 2014 net income of $1.1 billion, or $2.75 per diluted share, excluding $151 million of special items, its highest-ever quarterly profit and an increase of 99 percent year-over-year. Including special items, UAL reported third-quarter 2014 net income of $924 million, or $2.37 per diluted share.

United’s consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 3.9 percent in the third quarter of 2014 compared to the third quarter of 2013.

Third-quarter 2014 consolidated unit costs (CASM), excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, increased 1.0 percent year-over-year on a consolidated capacity increase of 0.5 percent. Third-quarter 2014 CASM, including those items, decreased 4.0 percent year-over-year.

UAL ended the third quarter with $6.9 billion in unrestricted liquidity.

The company earned a 12.3 percent return on invested capital for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2014.

United returned $220 million to shareholders as part of its previously announced $1 billion share buyback program.

“Our third-quarter results demonstrate continued progress, and I want to thank our employees for their contributions to our success,” said Jeff Smisek, UAL’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We still have significant opportunity ahead to grow our margins and improve the quality and efficiency of everything we do.”

Third-Quarter Revenue and Capacity

For the third quarter of 2014, total revenue was $10.6 billion, an increase of 3.3 percent year-over-year. Third-quarter consolidated passenger revenue increased 4.4 percent to $9.3 billion, compared to the same period in 2013. Ancillary revenue per passenger in the third quarter increased 10.9 percent year-over-year to more than $22 per passenger. Third-quarter cargo revenue grew 19.1 percent to $237 million driven by higher volumes year-over-year, as cargo traffic returned following lower bookings during the implementation of the company’s new cargo systems in the third quarter of 2013. Other revenue decreased 8.9 percent year-over-year to $1.0 billion 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 0.4 percent and consolidated available seat miles increased 0.5 percent year-over-year for the third quarter, resulting in a third-quarter consolidated load factor of 85.8 percent.

Third-quarter 2014 consolidated PRASM increased 3.9 percent and consolidated yield increased 4.1 percent compared to the third quarter of 2013.

Third-Quarter Costs

Third-quarter consolidated CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expense, fuel and profit sharing, increased 1.0 percent compared to the third quarter of 2013. Third-quarter consolidated CASM including those items decreased 4.0 percent.

Third-quarter total operating expenses, excluding special charges, decreased $180 million, or 1.9 percent, year-over-year. Including special charges, total operating expenses decreased $348 million, or 3.6 percent, in the third quarter versus the same period in 2013. Third-party business expense was $61 million in the third quarter of 2014.

Third-Quarter Liquidity and Cash Flow

UAL ended the third quarter with $6.9 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $1.35 billion of undrawn commitments under its revolving credit facility. The company generated $574 million of operating cash flow in the third quarter. During the third quarter, the company had gross capital expenditures of $493 million, excluding fully reimbursable projects. The company made debt and capital lease principal payments of $1.1 billion in the third quarter, including the redemption of the entire $800 million of its 6.75 percent secured notes due 2015. The company also issued an additional $500 million tranche of term loan debt in the quarter.

The company’s long-term capital structure goals include reducing its non-aircraft related debt and achieving a total gross debt balance, including capitalized operating leases, of approximately $15 billion while maintaining an unrestricted liquidity balance of $5 billion to $6 billion, including its undrawn revolver.

As part of United’s $1 billion share buyback program, United returned $220 million to shareholders during the third quarter.

For the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2014, the company’s return on invested capital was 12.3 percent.

Third-Quarter 2014 Accomplishments

Operations, Employees and Network

United Airlines reported a third-quarter mainline on-time arrival rate (domestic and international) of 77.6 percent, which was adversely affected by a runway closure at its San Francisco hub and the Sept. 26 sabotage and fire at the air traffic control center in Aurora, Illinois. The on-time arrival rate is based on flights arriving within 14 minutes of scheduled arrival time.

United and the Association of Flight Attendants announced that United will offer its flight attendants an enhanced early out program, which allows participants a one-time opportunity to voluntarily separate from the company and receive a severance payment. United also announced that it is recalling all flight attendants who are on voluntary and involuntary furlough.

During the quarter, United announced five new international routes including Guam to Seoul, South Korea, and Shanghai; Houston to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Newark to London, Ontario, Canada. The company also launched new domestic service from Denver to Lafayette, Louisiana, and Hays, Kansas, and from Houston to Boise, Idaho, and Williston, North Dakota, along with seasonal service from Denver to Sun Valley, Idaho. Additionally, the airline announced new service from Newark to South Bend, Indiana, and seasonal service from Newark to Sarasota, Florida, and San Francisco to Montrose, Colorado.

Fleet and Finance

United became the first North American carrier to take delivery of the Boeing 787-9, a stretched version of the Dreamliner that will allow the airline to accommodate more customers and further capitalize on its worldwide route network. The aircraft is the first of 26 787-9s that United has on order. The company also took delivery of four Boeing 737-900 ER aircraft and four Embraer 175 aircraft during the third quarter.

The company announced that it will add 50 new Embraer 175 aircraft to the United Express fleet. United anticipates deliveries will begin in July 2015 and continue through the summer of 2017. The new aircraft will replace large turboprop aircraft and older, less-efficient aircraft, and are in addition to the 70 new E175s previously announced, bringing the total of new E175s to 120.

United sent notice of redemption of the entire $248 million of its 6.0 percent preferred securities due 2030, which were subsequently retired on Oct. 10, 2014.

The company redeemed the entire $800 million of its 6.75 percent secured notes and simultaneously closed on a transaction to increase the size of its undrawn revolving credit facility by $350 million to a total of $1.35 billion, and issued an additional $500 million tranche of term loan debt.

Flyer-Friendly Product

United continued to install onboard Wi-Fi at a rapid rate, with more than 330 mainline aircraft outfitted with Wi-Fi at the end of the third quarter, including all Boeing 747 and Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft. By the end of the year, the company will have Wi-Fi on two thirds of its mainline fleet and will have begun installation on its two-cabin regional fleet.

The company offered personal device entertainment on more than 180 mainline aircraft – including all Boeing 747s, its Airbus fleet and nine Boeing 777s. Personal device entertainment allows passengers to stream videos and TV shows directly to their own devices inflight.
United launched mobile app passport scanning, becoming the first U.S. airline to offer customers the ability to scan their passports on iOS and Android mobile devices to check in for international flights.

United announced significant upgrades to inflight food service, including this summer’s introduction of new, fresh salads and sandwiches for premium-cabin customers on North America flights. Next year, the company will introduce completely redesigned menu concepts and the expansion of premium-cabin meals within North America, upgraded premium-cabin meal service on United Express flights with freshly prepared food, and significantly enhanced United Economy meals and beverages on long-haul international flights.

United continued installing slimmer, next-generation economy-class seats on certain aircraft, which enables one to two additional rows per aircraft. The airline now offers these seats, which are 10 to 15 percent lighter than the seats they are replacing, on approximately 270 aircraft and expects approximately 350 aircraft to be completed by the end of the year.

United launched Mercedes-Benz tarmac-transportation service in Denver, which is now available for Global Services members and United Global First customers at all of the airline’s mainland U.S. hubs.

The company became the first airline to offer customers Uber transportation services, now available through the United app.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/Airlinersgallery.com. United has been adding new Boeing 737-900 ERs. Boeing 737-924 ER N37466 (msn 31644) arrives at Las Vegas.

United Airlines (current livery): AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines reports a record third quarter net profit

Southwest Airlines Company (Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways) (Dallas) today reported its third quarter 2014 results:

Record third quarter net income, excluding special items1, of $382 million, or $.55 per diluted share, compared to third quarter 2013 net income, excluding special items, of $241 million, or $.34 per diluted share. This represented a 61.8 percent increase from third quarter 2013, and exceeded the First Call consensus estimate of $.53 per diluted share.

Record third quarter net income of $329 million, or $.48 per diluted share, which included $53 million (net) of unfavorable special items, compared to third quarter 2013 net income of $259 million, or $.37 per diluted share, which included $18 million (net) of favorable special items.

Record third quarter operating income of $614 million. Excluding special items, record third quarter operating income of $649 million.
Returned $241 million to Shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.

Return on invested capital1, before taxes and excluding special items (ROIC), for the twelve months ended September 30, 2014, of 19.0 percent, as compared to 10.6 percent for the twelve months ended September 30, 2013.

Gary C. Kelly, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are very pleased to report another record quarterly profit performance, which resulted in a $100 million third quarter 2014 profitsharing expense for our Employees. Excluding special items, third quarter 2014 net income was $382 million, or $.55 per diluted share, and operating income was $649 million, resulting in a 13.5 percent operating margin2. The 386 basis point year-over-year improvement in operating margin, excluding special items, was driven by strong revenues, lower jet fuel prices, and a solid cost performance.

“Total operating revenues were $4.8 billion, which was a 5.6 percent increase from a year ago, despite a four percent decline in trips and two percent fewer seats flown3, as we work through the transition of AirTran aircraft. Our traffic and revenue trends were strong throughout the third quarter, generating a 4.5 percent year-over-year increase in unit revenues, despite a large percentage of our route system in development or conversion as we continued to transition AirTran flying to Southwest. Our third quarter 2014 revenue strength was driven by record load factors and a strong performance in our Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program. Thus far, revenue momentum has continued into October 2014, with favorable load factor and unit revenue trends. Current bookings for November and December are also good.

“Our third quarter 2014 cost performance benefited from lower jet fuel prices and our fleet modernization efforts. With these trends continuing, we are poised for another solid cost performance for fourth quarter 2014. Based on current cost trends, and excluding fuel and oil expense, profitsharing, and special items, we expect full year 2014 unit costs to increase approximately two percent compared to last year.

“Our third quarter 2014 financial performance was very gratifying, and I commend our outstanding Employees of Southwest Airlines for their unending dedication to providing reliable, low cost operations with our legendary, friendly Customer Service. As an industry leader of low fares and low costs, we are very pleased with the transformative and successful execution of our strategic initiatives that contributed significantly to our 19.0 percent ROIC for the twelve months ended September 30, 2014. Our Employees are the very best in the airline industry, and we were thrilled to unveil a bold, new visual expression of our brand in September. Our Heart aircraft livery, airport experience, and logo marries our past to our present and commemorates the transformation of Southwest in 2014. It is dedicated with much gratitude to our People.

“We are also thrilled with the July 1, 2014, launch of Southwest international service. During third quarter, we began service to Oranjestad, Aruba; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Nassau/Paradise Island in the Bahamas; and San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos and Cancun, Mexico, all markets previously served by AirTran Airways. Next month, we will initiate Southwest service to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and Mexico City, which will complete the conversion of international service from AirTran to Southwest. Also during third quarter, we announced that our first destination in Central America will be Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica. The inauguration of this service is expected to be on March 7, 2015, subject to government approval.

“October 13, 2014, was a momentous day for Southwest Airlines. After 34 years, we are finally free from the Wright Amendment restrictions4, and have proudly launched our initial nonstop offerings from Dallas Love Field to seven popular destinations, with ten more nonstop destinations, previously announced, on the horizon.

“In addition to our strong third quarter 2014 earnings performance, our balance sheet, liquidity, and cash flows support our commitment to maintain our financial strength so that we can continue to take great care of our Employees, Customers and Shareholders. At the end of third quarter 2014, we had $3.6 billion in cash and short-term investments. For the nine months ended September 30, 2014, net cash provided by operations was $2.7 billion, and capital expenditures were $1.3 billion, resulting in strong free cash flow1 of $1.4 billion. We have further strengthened our balance sheet and repaid $517 million in debt and capital lease obligations, thus far in 2014, including $167 million in debt and capital lease obligations repaid during the nine months ended September 30, 2014, and $350 million repaid on October 1st. Thus far this year, we have returned $893 million to Shareholders through the payment of $138 million in dividends and the repurchase of $755 million in common stock.”

Financial Results and Outlook

The Company’s third quarter 2014 total operating revenues increased 5.6 percent, while operating unit revenues increased 4.5 percent, on a 1.1 percent increase in available seat miles, all as compared to third quarter 2013. Third quarter 2014 passenger revenues were $4.6 billion, which was an increase of 4.9 percent on a unit basis, as compared to third quarter 2013.

Total operating expenses in third quarter 2014 increased 0.7 percent to $4.2 billion, as compared to third quarter 2013. Third quarter 2014 profitsharing expense was $100 million, compared to $69 million in third quarter 2013. The Company incurred costs (before profitsharing and taxes) associated with the acquisition and integration of AirTran, which are special items, of $23 million during third quarter 2014, compared to $28 million in third quarter 2013. Cumulative costs associated with the acquisition and integration of AirTran, as of September 30, 2014, totaled $488 million (before profitsharing and taxes). The Company expects total acquisition and integration costs to be approximately $550 million (before profitsharing and taxes). Excluding special items in both periods, total operating expenses in third quarter 2014 increased 1.1 percent to $4.2 billion, as compared to third quarter 2013.

Third quarter 2014 economic fuel costs were $2.94 per gallon, including $.05 per gallon in favorable cash settlements from fuel derivative contracts, compared to $3.06 per gallon in third quarter 2013, including $.01 per gallon in favorable cash settlements from fuel derivative contracts. Based on the Company’s fuel derivative contracts and market prices as of October 17, 2014, fourth quarter 2014 economic fuel costs are expected to be in the $2.70 to $2.75 per gallon range, compared to fourth quarter 2013’s $3.05 per gallon. As of October 17, 2014, the fair market value of the Company’s hedge portfolio through 2018 was a net liability of $236 million. Additional information regarding the Company’s fuel derivative contracts is included in the accompanying tables.

Excluding fuel and oil expense, profitsharing, and special items in both periods, third quarter 2014 operating costs increased 2.6 percent from third quarter 2013, and increased 1.5 percent on a unit basis.

Operating income in third quarter 2014 was $614 million, compared to $390 million in third quarter 2013. Excluding special items, operating income was $649 million in third quarter 2014, compared to $439 million in the same period last year, a 47.8 percent increase year-over-year.

Other expenses in third quarter 2014 were $89 million, compared to other income of $29 million in third quarter 2013. The $118 million swing primarily resulted from $66 million in other losses recognized in third quarter 2014, compared to $59 million in other gains recognized in third quarter 2013. In both periods, these gains/losses included ineffectiveness and unrealized mark-to-market amounts associated with a portion of the Company’s fuel hedging portfolio, which are special items. Excluding these special items, third quarter 2014 had $16 million in other losses, compared to $19 million in third quarter 2013, primarily attributable to the premium costs associated with the Company’s fuel derivative contracts. Fourth quarter 2014 premium costs related to fuel derivative contracts are currently estimated to be $13 million, compared to $22 million in fourth quarter 2013. Net interest expense in third quarter 2014 was $23 million, compared to $30 million in third quarter 2013.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2014, total operating revenues increased 5.3 percent to $14.0 billion, and total operating expenses were $12.4 billion, resulting in operating income of $1.6 billion, compared to $893 million in operating income for the same period last year. Excluding special items, operating income was $1.7 billion for the nine months ended September 30, 2014, compared to $1.0 billion for the same period last year. Net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2014, was $946 million, or $1.36 per diluted share, compared to $542 million, or $.75 per diluted share, for the same period last year. Excluding special items, net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2014, was $993 million, or $1.42 per diluted share, compared to $569 million, or $.79 per diluted share, for the same period last year.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flows

As of September 30, 2014, the Company had $3.6 billion in cash and short-term investments, and a fully available unsecured revolving credit line of $1 billion. Net cash provided by operations during third quarter 2014 was $240 million, and capital expenditures were $433 million. The Company repaid $48 million in debt and capital lease obligations during third quarter 2014, and intends to repay an additional $395 million in debt and capital lease obligations during fourth quarter 2014, including $350 million repaid on October 1, 2014.

During third quarter 2014, the Company returned $241 million to its Shareholders through the payment of $41 million in dividends and the repurchase of $200 million in common stock, or 5.0 million shares, pursuant to an accelerated share repurchase (ASR) program executed during the quarter. This ASR program was completed in early October, and the Company then received an additional 1.1 million shares, bringing the total shares repurchased under the third quarter 2014 ASR program to 6.1 million. During third quarter, the Company also received the remaining 1.4 million shares pursuant to the second quarter 2014 $200 million ASR program, bringing the total shares repurchased under that ASR program to 7.4 million. Thus far in 2014, the Company has returned $893 million to its Shareholders through $138 million in dividends, and the repurchase of $755 million in common stock, or 29.2 million shares. The Company has $580 million remaining under its existing $1 billion share repurchase authorization.

Fleet

During third quarter 2014, the Company’s fleet increased by two to 685 aircraft at period end. This reflects the third quarter 2014 delivery of 11 new Boeing 737-800s and two pre-owned Boeing 737-700s, as well as the retirement of one Boeing 737-500. In addition, the Company removed ten Boeing 717-200s from service during third quarter 2014 in preparation for transition out of the fleet.

Boeing 737 Delivery Schedule:

Southwest 737 Delivery Schedule 9.30.14

Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N909WN (msn 32458) arrives at Las Vegas.

Southwest Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

AirTran Airways Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

American Airlines Group reports a record third quarter net profit of $1.2 billion

American Airlines Group Inc. (American Airlines and US Airways) (Dallas/Fort Worth) today reported its third quarter 2014 results.

Third quarter 2014 net profit, excluding net special charges, was a record $1.2 billion, up 59 percent versus the third quarter 2013

Third quarter 2014 GAAP net profit was $942 million, a record for any quarter in the history of American Airlines

Returned $185 million to shareholders through the payment of $72 million in quarterly dividends and the repurchase of $113 million of common stock through the Company’s stock repurchase program

Declared a dividend of $0.10 per share to be paid on November 17, 2014 to shareholders of record as of November 3, 2014

For the third quarter 2014, American Airlines Group reported a record GAAP net profit of $942 million. This compares to a GAAP net profit of $289 million in the third quarter 2013 for AMR Corporation prior to the merger.

The Company believes it is more meaningful to compare year-over-year results for American Airlines and US Airways excluding special charges and on a combined basis, which is a non-GAAP formulation that combines the results for AMR Corporation and US Airways Group. On this basis, third quarter 2014 net profit excluding net special charges was a record $1.2 billion, or $1.66 per diluted share. This represents a 59 percent improvement over the combined non-GAAP net profit of $771 million excluding net special charges for the same period in 2013. The Company’s third quarter 2014 pretax margin excluding net special charges was 11 percent. See the accompanying notes in the Financial Tables section of this press release for further explanation of this presentation, including a reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP financial information.

“We are very pleased to have reported a record profit for each quarter so far in 2014,” said Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. “We anticipate we will also post a record profit for both the fourth quarter and full year 2014. This performance reflects the strength of our merger and the commitment of our team. Our over 100,000 team members are doing an excellent job of integrating our airlines and providing outstanding service to our customers. While some of the biggest tasks in our integration still lie before us, the significant accomplishments to date reinforce our confidence that we are well on our way to restoring American as the world’s greatest airline. Thanks to our team, American is in excellent position for success in 2015 and beyond.”

Revenue and Cost Comparisons

Total revenues in the third quarter were a record $11.1 billion, an increase of 4.4 percent versus the third quarter 2013 on a combined basis, on a 2.0 percent increase in total available seat miles (ASMs). Consolidated passenger revenue per ASM (PRASM) was a record at 14.12 cents, up 1.0 percent versus the third quarter 2013 on a combined basis, driven by a record yield of 16.93 cents, up 2.6 percent year-over-year.

Total operating expenses in the third quarter were $9.9 billion, an increase of 3.5 percent over combined third quarter 2013. Third quarter mainline cost per available seat mile (CASM) was 13.28 cents, up 1.3 percent on a 2.1 percent increase in mainline ASMs versus combined third quarter 2013. Excluding special charges and fuel, mainline CASM was up 0.7 percent compared to the combined third quarter 2013, at 8.35 cents. Regional CASM excluding special charges and fuel was 15.52 cents, up 3.7 percent on a 1.0 percent increase in regional ASMs versus combined third quarter 2013.

Liquidity and Financing Transactions

At September 30, 2014, American had approximately $8.8 billion in total cash and short-term investments, of which $875 million was restricted. The Company also had an undrawn revolving credit facility of $1.0 billion.

During the third quarter, the Company Issued $957 million principal amount of 2014-1 Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates (EETC) at a blended interest rate of 3.8 percent and issued $750 million principal amount of 5.5 percent senior unsecured notes due in 2019.

Also in the third quarter, the Company returned $185 million to its shareholders through the payment of $72 million in quarterly dividends and the repurchase of $113 million of common stock, or 2.9 million shares. The Company also purchased approximately 432,000 shares from its Disputed Claims Reserve at the prevailing market price to satisfy certain tax obligations resulting from the July 1, 2014, distribution.

As of September 30, 2014, $721 million of the Company’s unrestricted cash balance was held in Venezuelan bolivars, valued at the weighted average applicable exchange rate of 6.41 bolivars to the dollar. The Company’s cash balance held in Venezuelan bolivars decreased $70 million from the June 30, 2014, balance of $791 million, due primarily to $48 million in repatriations in the third quarter of 2014 ($31 million valued at 6.3 bolivars to the dollar and $17 million valued at 10.6 bolivars to the dollar). This balance also reflects the Company’s significant reduction in capacity in this market, pending further repatriation of funds and due to a decrease in demand for air travel resulting from the effective devaluation of the bolivar. The Company continues to work with Venezuelan authorities regarding the timing and exchange rate applicable to the repatriation of funds held in local currency. The Company is monitoring this situation closely and continues to evaluate its holdings of Venezuelan bolivars for potential impairment.

In early October, the Company arranged a new credit facility consisting of a fully-drawn $750 million term loan that matures in October 2021 and an undrawn $400 million revolving credit facility that matures in October 2019. Collateral for the new credit facility consists of certain slots, gates and route authorities. Also in early October, the Company increased its existing $1 billion revolving credit facility by $400 million and extended its maturity date from June 2018 to October 2019. As a result of these transactions, the Company’s undrawn revolving credit facility is now $1.8 billion.

On October 22, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a dividend of $0.10 per share for shareholders of record as of November 3, 2014. The dividend will be paid on November 17, 2014.

Merger Integration Developments

Reached a tentative agreement with the Association of Professional Flight Attendants on a joint collective bargaining agreement covering more than 24,000 flight attendants at American and US Airways. This agreement is pending ratification by the flight attendants

Recalibrated the schedule at our Miami hub to increase the number of available connections and optimize revenue

Combined operations at 82 airports since the merger, including the Company’s hub at Chicago O’Hare

Broke ground on our new state of the art Robert W. Baker Integrated Operations Center in Fort Worth, with completion planned for the third quarter of 2015

American flight attendants began exclusively using an electronic flight attendant manual on a handheld tablet, making the documents easier to access for flight attendants and reducing weight on each aircraft. US Airways flight attendants will begin using eManuals after the two carriers achieve a single operating certificate next year

Rebranded nine Admirals Club® lounges at eight airports, including Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Boston Logan Airport, Pittsburgh International Airport, and Tampa International Airport

Fleet and Network Developments

As part of its plan to modernize its fleet, the Company took delivery of 22 new mainline aircraft during the third quarter

US Airways became fully integrated in the trans-Atlantic joint business by launching a codeshare agreement with Finnair, providing customers increased access to Helsinki and beyond

Applied for new international service between Dallas/Fort Worth and Beijing. This will be the Company’s 11th route between the U.S. and Asia

Special Items

In the third quarter, the Company recognized a total of $281 million in net special charges, including:

$223 million net special operating charges, which principally included $168 million of mainline and regional merger integration expenses and an $81 million charge to revise prior estimates of certain aircraft residual values. These charges were offset, in part, by a net $40 million credit for bankruptcy related items consisting of fair value adjustments for bankruptcy settlement obligations
$50 million of nonoperating items, primarily due to early debt extinguishment costs related to American’s 7.5 percent senior secured notes and other debt
$8 million in non-cash deferred income tax provision related to certain indefinite-lived intangible assets

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways is now repainting its fleet, including the older Boeing 757-200s. Boeing 757-23N N203UW (msn 30548) taxies at the Charlotte hub.

American Airlines (current livery): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

JetBlue Airways Corporation reports a third quarter net profit of $79 million

JetBlue Airways Corporation (JetBlue Airways) (New York) today reported its results for the third quarter 2014:

Operating income of $164 million in the third quarter. This compares to operating income of $152 million in the third quarter of 2013.

Pre-tax income of $132 million in the third quarter. This compares to pre-tax income of $119 million in the third quarter of 2013.

Net income for the third quarter was $79 million, or $0.24 per diluted share. This compares to JetBlue’s third quarter 2013 net income of $71 million, or $0.21 per diluted share.

“Today, we are pleased to report record third quarter earnings,” said Dave Barger, JetBlue’s Chief Executive Officer. “We saw improved profitability across our network, reflecting the success of our efforts to differentiate our product and culture and maintain competitive costs. I would like to thank our 15,500 crewmembers for their dedication to running a safe airline and delivering outstanding service to our customers.”

Operational Performance

JetBlue reported record third quarter operating revenues of $1.5 billion. Revenue passenger miles for the third quarter increased 5.9% to 10.1 billion on a capacity increase of 4.5%, resulting in a third quarter load factor of 86.2%, an increase of 1.2 points year over year.

Yield per passenger mile in the third quarter was 13.96 cents, up 0.9% compared to the third quarter of 2013. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for the third quarter 2014 increased 2.4% year over year to 12.03 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 1.4% year over year to 13.00 cents.

Operating expenses for the quarter increased 5.7%, or $75 million, over the prior year period. Interest expense for the quarter declined 7.8%, or $3 million, due to JetBlue’s focus on debt reduction. JetBlue’s operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for the third quarter increased 1.2% year over year to 11.61 cents. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM(1) increased 2.6% to 7.13 cents.

Fuel Expense and Hedging

JetBlue continued to hedge fuel to manage price volatility. Specifically, in the third quarter JetBlue had in place hedges for approximately 23% of its fuel consumption and managed approximately 7% of its fuel consumption using fixed forward price agreements (FFPs). This resulted in a realized fuel price of $3.05 per gallon, a 2.7% decrease over third quarter 2013 realized fuel price of $3.14. JetBlue recorded $1 million in losses on fuel hedges that settled during the third quarter.

JetBlue has managed approximately 34% of its fourth quarter projected fuel requirements using a combination of FFPs, jet fuel swaps and caps. Based on the fuel curve as of October 16th, JetBlue expects an average price per gallon of fuel, including the impact of hedges, FFPs and fuel taxes, of $2.80 in the fourth quarter.

Liquidity and Cash Flow

JetBlue ended the quarter with approximately $742 million in unrestricted cash and short term investments. In addition, JetBlue maintains $550 million in lines of credit.

During the third quarter, JetBlue repaid approximately $61 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations. JetBlue plans to repay approximately $128 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations in the remainder of 2014.

Fourth Quarter and Full Year Outlook

For the fourth quarter of 2014, CASM is expected to decrease between (3.0)% and (1.0)% versus the year-ago period. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in the fourth quarter is expected to increase between 1.0% and 3.0% year over year.

CASM for the full year is expected to increase between 0.5% and 2.5% over full year 2013. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in 2014 is expected to increase between 2.5% and 4.5% year over year.

Capacity is expected to increase between 5.0% and 7.0% in the fourth quarter. For the full year, capacity is expected to increase between 4.0% and 6.0%.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N821JB (msn 5417) with Sharklets arrives at the John F. Kennedy International Airport base in New York.

JetBlue Airways Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Alaska Air Group reports a third quarter GAAP net profit of $198 million

Alaska Air Group, Inc., (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) today reported third quarter 2014 GAAP net income of $198 million, or $1.45 per diluted share, compared to $289 million, or $2.04 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2013. Excluding the impact of mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments and a one-time special revenue item in the prior year, the company reported record adjusted net income of $200 million, or $1.47 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $157 million, or $1.11 per diluted share, in 2013.

“This was our best quarterly result ever” said CEO Brad Tilden. “I want to thank our 13,000 employees who are keeping a focus on playing our game, and working hard every day to run a great operation, keep fares low, and deliver award winning service to our customers. All of us at Alaska would like to thank our customers for their continued loyalty.”

Financial Highlights:

Reported record third quarter net income, excluding special items, of $200 million – a 27% increase over the third quarter of 2013.
Reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.47 per diluted share, a 32% increase over the third quarter of 2013 and ahead of First Call analyst consensus estimate of $1.42 per share.
Earned net income for the third quarter under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $198 million or $1.45 per diluted share, compared to net income of $289 million, or $2.04 per diluted share in 2013.
Recorded $84 million of incentive pay through the first nine months of 2014. This includes each Air Group employee earning at least $800 by meeting or exceeding monthly customer satisfaction and operational performance goals and tracking to earn above-target payouts for full-year goals.
Increased fuel efficiency (as measured by seat-miles per gallon) by 2.8% as part of our effort to be the airline leader in environmental stewardship.
Grew passenger revenues by 7%, compared to the third quarter of 2013.
Generated record adjusted pretax margin in the third quarter of 21.8% compared to 18.4% in 2013.
Generated 15.9% pretax margin for the trailing 12-month period ended Sept. 30, 2014, compared to 11.7% for the same period in the prior year.
Achieved trailing 12-month after-tax return on invested capital of 17.2% compared to 13.0% in the 12-month period ended Sept. 30, 2013.
Repurchased 3.4 million shares of common stock for $159 million in the third quarter of 2014, and 5.3 million shares for $242 million in the first nine months of 2014, representing 3.8% of the total shares outstanding at the beginning of the year.
Paid a $0.125 per-share quarterly cash dividend on September 4, bringing total dividend payments so far this year to $51 million.
Generated $1 billion in operating cash flows for the 12-months ended Sept. 30, 2014, generating $321 million of free cash flows.
Lowered adjusted debt-to-total-capitalization ratio to 31%.
Held $1.3 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of Sept. 30, 2014.
Became one of only two U.S. airlines with investment grade credit ratings.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N579AS (msn 35187) arrives in Las Vegas.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon-Horizon Air: AG Slide Show

New safety video: Watch Air New Zealand’s “Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made”

Air New Zealand 2012 logo

Air New Zealand (Auckland) has unveiled its latest safety video, possibly the best ever:

As the official airline of Middle-earth, Air New Zealand has gone all out to celebrate the third and final film in The Hobbit Trilogy – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Starring Elijah Wood and Sir Peter Jackson; we’re thrilled to unveil The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made.

Congratulations once again Air New Zealand for keeping flying interesting and unique. Well done!

Air New Zealand: AG Slide Show

Video:

Southwest Airlines and the IAM reach a tentative agreement

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), representing the carrier’s approximately 6,000 Customer Service Agents and Customer Support and Services Representatives, announced today the two parties have reached a tentative agreement. The tentative agreement is for a new four year contract and requires Membership ratification. The current contract became amendable in October 2012.

In the upcoming weeks, the IAM membership will be given the full details of the agreement and have the opportunity to vote on ratification.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Southwest’s Boeing 737-7H4 N708SW (msn 27842) in the new “Heart” livery arrives at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Southwest Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Aeroflot extends its collective bargaining agreements with it employees

Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) has extended its collective bargaining agreement with its employees through 2017. The company issued this statement:

Aeroflot management and airline employee trade unions have successfully concluded negotiations that extend the collective bargaining agreement currently in place for the period 2014 through 2017. The collective agreement calls for a wide range of benefits for employees, irrespective of union membership.

Despite the challenging economic environment in Russia, the parties determined it was essential to keep in place all benefits, subsidies and guarantees included in the prevailing collective agreement. The trade unions have maintained the crucial role they have long held in facilitating labor relations. The agreement was signed by the United Representative Body of Aeroflot employees.

The collective agreement will remain in force through December 1, 2017. The range of benefits laid out under the collective agreement is unprecedented in the airline industry. To date the expenses incurred by Aeroflot to maintain these benefits exceeds 3 billion rubles a year.

Employees receive attractive and high salaries that are regularly re-indexed, and in addition receive additional payments (paid annual leave, awards upon retirement, paid public holidays, etc.).

The collective agreement calls for the following benefits:

Adding up to 14 days of holiday time (increasing total annual paid leave to 42 days);
Medical care (treatment at Aeroflot’s own Medical Centre, payment for treatment at other medical facilities, subsidised prescriptions);
Expense-paid holidays in sanatoriums (in 2014 employees enjoyed holidays and sanatorium treatments in Russia and abroad: Crimea, the Mineralnie Vody region of the Caucasus, the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, the Krasnodar region, Slovakia, Israel, the UAE and Turkey;
Non-state pension fund payments;
Company-provided automobiles;
Subsidised air tickets for employees and their families;
Reimbursement of children’s pre-school expenses;
Corporate trainings.
A number of key benefits continue for employees after they have retired from the Company.

Aeroflot has always valued healthy lifestyles for employees, and for that reason leases exercise facilities on their behalf.

Approximately 70% of the cost of employee benefits are allocated to on-board personnel, the airline’s most valued group of employees. In addition to high salaries in line with those at the leading international airlines, pilots receive:

The most holidays in the industry, 70 days off (whereas European carriers typically give pilots 28 days);
Comfortable accommodations when spending the night away from the pilot’s home airport;
Minimum three-star hotel accommodation;
Expense-paid holidays in sanatoriums (in addition to the standard company options, a special program is available to pilots and their families in the Czech Republic);
Per-diem based on average salaried day for days spent on routine medical check-ups;
In the event a pilot leaves the Company due to physical inability to carry out his duties, a one-time payment is made equivalent to 20%-100% of his annual salary;
Injury compensation of USD 5,000-10,000 in the event of health problems;
Non-state pension fund payments (through a dedicated pension plan, “Golden Anchor”)
Subsidised airline tickets, including on high-demand routes, for pilots and their family members.

The current JSC Aeroflot collective agreement was first signed in 2005. The agreement was the result of extensive collective bargaining with JSC Aeroflot by the leading airline employee union, First Trade-union Organisation, of which more than half of all Aeroflot employees are members. The collective agreement was renewed twice, in 2008 and 2011, without modifying the benefits received by employees.

JSC Aeroflot employs approximately 18,000 people in Russia and abroad and is the leading employer in the Russian aviation industry.

In other news, Aeroflot on October 26 Aeroflot is relaunching Moscow — Tbilisi and Moscow — Chisinau service.

Aeroflot will provide daily flights to the capital of Georgia on Airbus A320s from Sheremetyevo Airport Terminal D.

Daily flights to Chisinau will be operated on Airbus A320s from Sheremetyevo Airport Terminal D.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 VP-BRX (msn 3063) departs from London’s Heathrow Airport.

Aeroflot Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Finnair to introduce a new Marimekko special color scheme on an Airbus A330

Finnair A330-300 OH-LTO (14-Unikko)(Flt)(Finnair)(LRW)

Finnair (Helsinki) has announced a new Airbus A330 Marimekko special livery with this announcement:

The design collaboration between Marimekko and Finnair takes a new step as a Finnair Airbus A330 will soon feature a previously unseen blue colorway of Marimekko’s classic Unikko (“poppy”) print. The plane will fly from Finnair’s Helsinki hub to the airline’s long-haul destinations starting from the end of 2014, joining a sister Airbus A340 aircraft (OH-LQD) painted in a different Unikko colorway in 2012 (below).

Above Copyright Photo:TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com.

“During this year we have been celebrating the fifty years of our most iconic pattern Unikko all over the world, reminding people of its story of courage and faith in oneself. We are very excited to continue the celebrations and our design partnership together with Finnair with the new Anniversary Unikko that will fly on the sides of Finnair’s Airbus 330, delighting people around the world,” says Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko, Marimekko’s COO. “For the celebration and as a continuation of our wonderful partnership with Finnair, Unikko also now has been given a special blue colorway, inspired by Finland’s thousands of lakes and beautiful, clean nature.”

“We are excited to build on and extend our partnership with Marimekko, a great Finnish company that has long shared our values and vision,” says Finnair CEO Pekka Vauramo. “Our two aircraft wearing the beloved Unikko livery are flying ambassadors of Finnish know-how, positivity and creativity. They make a proud statement as they soar toward the great cities of Asia, where both companies see a bright future.”

Finnair Marimekko tableware Business Class (Finnair)(LRW)

The design collaboration between Marimekko and Finnair began in 2012 and Marimekko for Finnair textiles and tableware were brought to all of the Finnish airline’s aircraft in 2013 (above). The collection was designed according to the airline’s needs by Marimekko designer Sami Ruotsalainen, in original Marimekko patterns by Maija Isola. The blue, green and grey colours and the classic prints used in the collection tell the story of Finnish nature and recall the perspective of looking out from an aircraft window, flying high above the landscape.

Unikko (“poppy”), is one of Marimekko’s most beloved classic patterns. The pattern was created in 1964 as a protest against Marimekko´s founder Armi Ratia, who had announced that Marimekko would not print any floral patterns, because flowers were more beautiful in nature than on fabric. Designer Maija Isola refused to obey Armi and created an entire series of floral prints. One of them was Unikko, which rapidly became a firm favorite and has stayed in production for already fifty years. To celebrate this five-decade milestone and the design collaboration between Marimekko and Finnair, a special anniversary version of the iconic pattern in a new, custom colorway will feature on a Finnair Airbus A330.

Image and photo: Finnair.

Finnair Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Finnair logo

Video:

Lufthansa Group details its winter schedules changes with 18,900 flights a week

Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) has announced the details of its combined schedules for the winter season:

The airlines in the Lufthansa Group – Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines – are again offering their customers a dense and high-frequency route network in the upcoming 2014/2015 winter flight timetable, with 18,900 flights a week. This winter, the Lufthansa Group airlines will be linking 260 destinations in 100 countries on four continents via its hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels, but also with many point-to-point connections. Around 20,500 weekly code-share flights with other partner airlines extend the carriers’ respective programmes and enable single-source bookings. The winter flight timetables for the individual Group airlines apply from Sunday, October 26, 2014 to Saturday, March 28, 2015. Thanks to the use of larger aircraft, the Group’s capacity in available seat-kilometers is increasing by 2.9 percent compared with the same period last year. At the same time, the number of flights in the period of the timetable is going down by 2.9 percent. On average, therefore, a Lufthansa Group aircraft is taking off somewhere around the world every 32 seconds. The individual route networks of the Group airlines are increasingly converging with one another. Almost all destinations are connected via a Lufthansa Group hub. End-to-end fares enable passengers to book multiple journeys with convenient and punctual connecting flights. 49 per cent of the nearly 105 million passengers a year now book a transfer connection via a Lufthansa hub. 19 European airports are even served by all five airlines in the Lufthansa Group.

Key news from the five Lufthansa Group airlines:

Lufthansa

This winter, Lufthansa is extending its route network to attractive new holiday destinations in warmer regions. After a break of over 15 years, Lufthansa is resuming flights to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands this winter. From October 26, the new connection will take off from Munich to Gran Canaria every Sunday, and every Saturday during school holidays too. Also new in the winter months are flights from Munich to Split (Croatia) and Valencia (Spain). As of October 2, Lufthansa also flies from Frankfurt to the Moroccan city of Marrakesh. This cultural city is situated at the foot of the Atlas Mountains in the Moroccan interior and can be reached in just under four hours with an Airbus A320 every Thursday and Sunday. A further addition to the flight plan from Munich is Miami in Florida, the US sunshine state, which will now have a daily nonstop connection. Delhi, the Indian capital, will also get a daily service from Frankfurt with the Airbus A380. The Frankfurt-Luanda connection to the capital of Angola will be strengthened by a third weekly flight. Starting on 15 December, Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn will extend their joint AiRail product of fast ICE train connections to Frankfurt Airport from Karlsruhe and Kassel.

Swiss International Air Lines

In the winter flight timetable 2014/2015, Swiss is adapting its flight plans to winter demand. As well as seasonal reductions of some flights, Swiss is increasing its capacity to popular holiday destinations. The long-haul route between Zurich and Miami is to receive four extra Swiss flights a week, taking the total to fourteen weekly connections. Services to São Paolo, the biggest city in Brazil, will also be increased by three flights a week this winter, taking the total to ten weekly connections. The flight timetable will also include a daily connection to Los Angeles again. In Geneva, Swiss is continuing many destinations from its summer flight timetable throughout the winter, including Copenhagen, Rome, Lisbon and Pristina.

Austrian Airlines

In its 2014/2015 winter flight schedule, Austrian Airlines is again offering its passengers a wide range of up to 100 destinations in 56 countries around the world. Following the successful introduction of Newark (USA) last July, Austrian Airlines will increase its weekly capacity from five flights to six flights a week as of April 2015, and to one flight a day from June. From June 2015, Austrian will therefore be flying daily to all its North American destinations. As a result of high demand in transit traffic, Austrian Airlines is also increasing the frequency of its flights to and from Chişinău from seven a week to a maximum of ten a week in the future.

Brussels Airlines

Belgium’s largest airline is adding a new European destination to its winter flight timetable and improving many connections by adding additional flights: Riga, the capital of Latvia, will be served six times a week from Brussels as of October 26. Riga is one of the most important cultural and economic centres in the Baltic region and is hosting the EU presidency in the first half of 2015. Brussels Airlines is boosting its capacity with additional flights from Brussels to: Tel Aviv, Madrid, Marrakesh, Budapest, Geneva, Vilnius, Hanover and Bologna. Connections are also being improved to the African destinations of Douala, Yaoundé, Nairobi, Kigali, Bujumbura and Luanda.

Germanwings

In its winter flight timetable, Germanwings is offering a total of 84 destinations from Berlin-Tegel, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart. Additional capacity will still focus on Düsseldorf, where Germanwings is taking over more routes from Lufthansa. There are new high-frequency connections from the Rhineland metropolis to Berlin (57 flights a week), London-Heathrow (33 flights a week) and Zurich (24 flights a week). Also new from Düsseldorf are flights to Málaga (two flights a week), Naples (three flights a week), Nice (two flights a week), Moscow (seven flights a week) and Rome (five flights a week). The transfer of Lufthansa routes to Germanwings will be completed on January 8, 2015 with Düsseldorf – Zurich. Germanwings is also introducing a completely new route, Düsseldorf – Istanbul, with two weekly flights. Its programme in the German capital is also being extended with the takeover of two Lufthansa flights a week between Berlin-Tegel and Tel Aviv. With one flight a week, the German airline is also launching a new connection from Cologne/Bonn to the Cypriot port of Larnaca.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Lower cost Germanwings is taking most of the Dusseldorf routes from Lufthansa. Airbus A320-211 D-AIQH (msn 217) taxies at Antalya.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Swiss: AG Slide Show

Austrian: AG Slide Show

Brussels: AG Slide Show

Germanwings: AG Slide Show

FedEx is forecasting another record holiday season with an 8.8% increase and December 15 as the busiest day

FedEx Corporation (FedEx Express) (Memphis) is forecasting another record holiday. The company expects to move more than 290 million shipments between Black Friday and Christmas Eve, an 8.8 percent increase in overall year-over-year Peak seasonal volume.

The season is expected to be bolstered by three volume spikes throughout December, occurring the first three Mondays of the month and each expected to surpass 20 million in volume.

December 15 is projected to be the busiest day in company history, with a forecasted 22.6 million shipments moving around the world. Peak projections are included in FedEx earnings guidance for FY15.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. An upgraded McDonnell Douglas MD-10-30F (DC-10-30F) registered as N321FE (msn 47836) arrives in Las Vegas.

FedEx Express Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

 

Boeing reports a third quarter net profit of $1.3 billion, up 21%

Boeing logo (medium)

The Boeing Company (Chicago and Seattle) today reported third quarter revenue increased 7 percent to $23.8 billion on higher deliveries (Table 1). Core earnings per share (non-GAAP) increased 19 percent* to $2.14, driven by strong performance across the company’s businesses. Third-quarter core operating earnings (non-GAAP) increased 13 percent* to $2.4 billion from the same period of the prior year.

GAAP earnings per share was $1.86 and GAAP earnings from operations was $2.1 billion.

Core earnings per share guidance for 2014 increased to between $8.10 and $8.30, from $7.90 to $8.10 on continued strong operating performance. GAAP earnings per share guidance for 2014 increased to between $6.90 and $7.10, from $6.85 to $7.05. Operating cash flow before pension contributions* guidance increased to greater than $7 billion. Commercial Airplanes operating margin guidance increased to approximately 10.5 percent.

Boeing 3Q 2014 Financial Chart

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

 

TAME launches its new Quito-Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood flights

TAME Linea Aerea del Ecuador (Quito) launched a new service between Quito, Ecuador and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) beginning on October 17, 2014.

The new nonstop service to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood increases the connectivity between Ecuador and key U.S. markets, including Miami and Orlando. With more than 70,000 Ecuadorians living in Florida, TAME’s flight service provides easy and accessible options.

The new route takes only four hours and will be offered daily from Quito at 2:15 a.m. and arriving to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood at 7:15 a.m. The return flight from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood departs at 9:00 a.m. and arrives in Quito at 12:00 p.m. An Airbus A320 with a capacity for 162 passengers and an Airbus A319 for up to 140 passengers will be used.

Copyright Photo: Stefano Rota/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 HC-CID (msn 934) departs from Guayaquil.

TAME Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

American Airlines and Jetstar Japan announce a codeshare agreement

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) customers will have greater access to domestic Japanese destinations starting on October 22, 2014, thanks to a new codeshare agreement between American and Jetstar Japan (Tokyo-Narita).

Under the new arrangement, American Airlines will place its ‘AA’ code on services operated by Jetstar Japan between Tokyo Narita International Airport and Fukuoka, Matsuyama, Okinawa (Naha), Osaka (Kansai) and Sapporo (Shin Chitose), with first flights under the codeshare starting on October 26, 2014.

Jetstar Japan is a partnership between the QANTAS Group, Japan Airlines, Mitsubishi Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation. It operates 18 Airbus A320 aircraft across 10 destinations in Japan.

Top Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. American’s Boeing 777-223 ER N776AN (msn 29582) slips into the clouds over the London area after departing from Heathrow Airport.

American Airlines (current livery): AG Slide Show

Jetstar Japan: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Jetstar Japan’s Airbus A320-232 JA15JJ (msn 5701) arrives at the Tokyo (Narita) base.

Gulf Air to restore service to Shiraz, Iran and Hyderabad, India

Gulf Air A320-200 A9C-AC (09-Grand Prix 2012)(Grd)(Gulf Air)(LRW)

Gulf Air (Bahrain) has announced that it will be recommencing flights to Shiraz. Becoming the airline’s 40th destination, the capital of Fars Province in Iran, will be served with 3 weekly flights, starting on December 15, 2014.

Gulf Air is further strengthening and supplementing its Iran operations after the recent resumption of flights to both Mashhad (December 2013) and Tehran (March 2014).

Gulf Air will be operating one of the airline’s Airbus A320 aircraft on this short-haul route.

In other news, Gulf Air has also announced that, following its successful resumption of operations to Thiruvananthapuram last year, it will be recommencing flights to Hyderabad, the fourth most populous city in India, with 5 weekly flights, starting from December 15, 2014.

Copyright Photo: Gulf Air. Airbus A320-214 A9C-AC (msn 4059) taxies to the runway.

Gulf Air Aircraft Slide Show:

Alaska Airlines to launch San Diego-Kona flights on March 5, 2015

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is bringing more Hawaii to its customers in San Diego with new nonstop flights between San Diego and Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii. Starting March 5, 2015, the new flights will operate three times weekly.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N593AS (msn 35107) completes the river approach into Washington’s Reagan National Airport.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alitalia and Etihad Airways unveil two Airbus A330-200s in an unique Expo Milano 2015 livery

Alitalia (2nd)-Etihad A330-200 (14-Expo Milano 2015)(Tko)(Alitalia)(LRW)

Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) and Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) have unveiled two aircraft in a unique Expo Milano 2015 livery to mark their co-sponsorship of the global event.

Expo 2015 will be held in Milan from May 1, 2015 to October 31, 2015 with an estimated 20 million visitors expected to attend the event of which more than a third will travel to the northern Italian city by air.

Alitalia (2nd)-Etihad Expo Milano 2015 logo

Alitalia and Etihad Airways held joint simultaneous events at Malpensa Airport in Milan and Abu Dhabi Airport to unveil the two Airbus A330-200 aircraft, to audiences gathered in both locations as well as thousands watching online around the world.

The Alitalia A330-200 and the Etihad Airways A330-200, both in the eye-catching special livery, operated their first flights on Tuesday, October 21, between Rome and Abu Dhabi and will carry the Expo Milano 2015 “feeding the planet, energy for life” message worldwide.

Flight frequencies to and from Milan are set to increase during Expo 2015 when Alitalia will commence daily flights to Milan Malpensa from Abu Dhabi and from Shanghai, that will be introduced in the next months, after approval by European authorities, and Alitalia will also increase domestic and international flights. These flights will connect with Etihad Airways’ services throughout the Middle East and with markets in the Indian sub-continent, Southeast Asia, and Africa.

Alitalia and Etihad Airways will link Milan with 560 unique online and codeshare destinations across the globe.

The new Alitalia service to Abu Dhabi will complement Etihad Airways’ successful daily passenger flights and regular freight flights between Milan and Abu Dhabi and contribute to the two airlines’ commitment to develop Malpensa as a global air cargo hub.

In addition to the joint liveried aircraft, Alitalia and Etihad Airways are offering a number of business initiatives including all-inclusive packages and special fares targeted at families, seniors, business travellers and young people for Expo Milano 2015.

The two air carriers are also implementing an integrated marketing and communication plan including onboard and ground announcements for their flights, as well as offers to loyalty program members, print and digital campaigns, and social media activities.

Alitalia and Etihad Airways will have a pavilion throughout Expo 2015 with an interactive social hub that will enable guests to enjoy activities in Milan whether in the city or around the world.

All images by Alitalia and Etihad Airways.

Alitalia (2nd): AG Slide Show

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

Alitalia (2nd)-Etihad A330-200 (14-Expo Milano 2015)(Grd)(Alitalia)(LRW)

 

Boeing and COMAC open a Chinese facility to transform “gutter oil” into aviation biofuel

Boeing logo (medium)

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) today (October 22) opened a demonstration facility that will turn waste cooking oil, commonly referred to as “gutter oil” in China, into sustainable aviation biofuel. The two companies estimate that 500 million gallons (1.8 billion liters) of biofuel could be made annually in China from used cooking oil.

Boeing and COMAC are sponsoring the facility, which is called the China-U.S. Aviation Biofuel Pilot Project. It will use a technology developed by Hangzhou Energy & Engineering Technology Co., Ltd. (HEET) to clean contaminants from waste oils and convert it into jet fuel at a rate of 160 gallons (650 liters) per day. The project’s goal is to assess the technical feasibility and cost of producing higher volumes of biofuel.

Sustainably produced biofuel, which reduces carbon emissions by 50 to 80 percent compared to petroleum through its lifecycle, is expected to play a key role in supporting aviation’s growth while meeting environmental goals. The Boeing Current Market Outlook has forecast that China will require more than 6,000 new airplanes by 2033 to meet fast-growing passenger demand for domestic and international air travel.

Boeing and COMAC have been collaborating since 2012 to support the growth of China’s commercial aviation industry. Their Boeing-COMAC Aviation Energy Conservation and Emissions Reductions Technology Center in Beijing works with Chinese universities and research institutions to expand knowledge in areas that improve aviation’s efficiency, such as aviation biofuel and air traffic management.

Biofuel produced by the China-U.S. Aviation Biofuel Pilot Project will meet international specifications approved in 2011 for jet fuel made from plant oils and animal fats. This type of biofuel has already been used for more than 1,600 commercial flights.

COMAC is also the builder of the new C919 jetliner.

In other news, Boeing yesterday (October 21) celebrated the groundbreaking of its new 777X Composite Wing Center at the Everett, Washington, campus. Permitting for the new 1-million-square-foot facility was completed approximately seven weeks earlier than anticipated, allowing for an accelerated start to construction.

Boeing is investing more than $1 billion in the Everett site for construction and outfitting of the new building.

Once completed, the facility located on the north side of the main final assembly building will help usher in composite wing fabrication for the company’s newest commercial jetliner and sustain thousands of local jobs for decades to come.

Completion of the new building, which is expected in May 2016, will require approximately 3.5 million hours of work. At its peak, there will be approximately 1,200 contract employees working on the project. By the numbers, the new building will require:

31,000 tons (28,000 metric tons) of steel
480 miles (770 kilometers) of electrical cable
80,000 linear feet (24,384 meters ) of process piping
530,000 cubic yards (405,210 cubic meters) of fill material
170,000 tons (154,000 metric tons) of concrete

To date, the 777X has accumulated 300 orders and commitments. Two models will comprise the 777X family – the 777-8X, with approximately 350 seats and a range capability of more than 9,300 nautical miles; and the 777-9X, with approximately 400 seats and a range of more than 8,200 nautical miles. The 777-8X competes directly with the Airbus A350-1000, while the 777-9X is in a class by itself, serving a market segment that no other airplane can. First delivery of the 777X is targeted for 2020.

COMAC logo

Hawaiian Holdings reports adjusted third quarter net income of $49.5 million

Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (Honolulu), parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, reported its financial results for the third quarter of 2014.

GAAP net income in the third quarter of $35.6 million or $0.56 per diluted share.

Adjusted net income, reflecting economic fuel expense, in the third quarter of $49.5 million or $0.79 per diluted share, an increase of $12.7 million or $0.10 cents per diluted share year-over-year.

Operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increase of 4.6% and passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increase of 2.2%.

Unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $582 million.

Announced new service from San Francisco to Maui beginning November 2014.

Operated Los Angeles to Kona, three-times-weekly, and Los Angeles to Lihu’e, four-times-weekly, summer seasonal service through the beginning of September.

Operated Oakland to Kona, three-times-weekly and Oakland to Lihu’e, four-times-weekly, summer seasonal service through the beginning of September.

Operated Los Angeles to Maui second daily summer seasonal service through the beginning of September.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 N393HA (msn 1422) arrives in Las Vgeas.

Hawaiian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Royal Air Maroc to introduce the new Boeing 787-8 on January 8, 2015

Royal Air Maroc 787-8 (Flt)(RAM)(LRW)

Royal Air Maroc (Casablanca) will introduce the new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on the Casablanca-Paris (Orly) route on January 8, 2015 per Airline Route. Casablanca-New York (JFK) 787 service is due to start on February 22, 2015. The new type will also operate to Montreal (Trudeau) starting on March 29, 2015, Algiers (June 14, 2015) and Jeddah (June 16, 2015).

Royal Air Maroc has four 787-8s on order.

Image: Royal Air Maroc.

Royal Air Maroc: AG Slide Show

 

AirEuropa to launch Madrid-Tel Aviv flights

AirEuropa (Palma de Mallorca and Madrid) on March 30, 2015 will add the Madrid-Tel Aviv route with Boeing 737-800s. The new route will be operated three days a week per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-85P EC-LVR (msn 36593) taxies to the gate at Palma de Mallorca.

AirEuropa: AG Slide Show

Video:

Siam Air starts operations in Thailand

Siam Air logo

Siam Air (Siam Air Transport Company Limited) (Bangkok-Don Mueang) is a new Thai airline that started operations this month between Bangkok (Don Mueang) and Hong Kong with two Boeing 737-300s (HS-BRU and HS-BRV)

 

QANTAS Airways unveils its new Airbus A330 Business Suite

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has unveiled and introduced its new Airbus A330 international Business Class product. The airline issued this statement and photos:

QANTAS logo (large)

QANTAS customers are set to enjoy a new standard of luxury on international flights to Asia, Hawaii and key domestic routes, with the airline unveiling the final design of new Business Suites to feature on its A330 fleet, to be progressively introduced from later this year.

QANTAS A330 Business Suite  1 (QANTAS)(LRW)

Designed in collaboration with Marc Newson, the new Business Suite will be available on all 28 of QANTAS’ A330 aircraft, offering the world’s first seats to allow customers to recline in their seat from take-off through to landing.* The Suites also offer fully-flat beds and direct aisle access for every Business Class passenger in a 1-2-1 layout.

QANTAS A330 Business Suite  2 (QANTAS)(LRW)

QANTAS A330 Business Suite  3 (QANTAS)(LRW)

The Vantage XL seat, manufactured by Thompson Aero Seating, was developed and customised extensively by Qantas after ergonomic trials and inflight monitoring with a panel of experts and ongoing feedback from customers.

QANTAS Economy Recaro seat (QANTAS)(LRW)

The Economy cabins on all international A330s will be fitted with a next-generation model of the award-winning Recaro seat (above), an earlier version of which has been extremely popular with QANTAS customers on the Airbus A380 and refurbished Boeing 747 aircraft. Economy seats on the A330-200s for QANTAS Domestic will also be refreshed.

Customers in both cabins on the international A330 aircraft will be able to enjoy the latest Panasonic eX3 inflight entertainment system, with larger seatback touchscreens in addition to Q Streaming technology, enabling them to stream content from an extensive entertainment library directly to their own devices.

Domestic Business Class customers on A330 aircraft will also enjoy the same Panasonic eX3 system, while Economy customers will have an individual inflight entertainment experience through either seatback touchscreens or devices provided by QANTAS in every seat.

The work to refresh the aircraft interiors – which will take about one month for each – will start at QANTAS’ heavy maintenance facility in Brisbane next month. The first of the domestic refurbished A330 aircraft will take to the skies in late December from the east coast to Perth, and the first international A330 will commence flying in January 2015.

International and domestic routes currently serviced by QANTAS A330s:

· Sydney-Melbourne

· Sydney-Brisbane

· Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane to Perth

· Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane to Singapore

· Melbourne/Brisbane to Hong Kong

· Sydney-Bangkok

· Sydney-Jakarta

· Sydney-Manila

· Sydney-Honolulu

· Sydney-Shanghai

* Subject to final CASA certification.

Business Suites and Panasonic eX3 entertainment systems to be progressively introduced on A330 aircraft from December 2014.

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

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Qatar Airways to introduce the new Airbus A350-900 on the Doha-Frankfurt route

Qatar A350-900 F-WZFA (A7-ALA)(06)(Grd) TLS (Airbus)(LRW)

Qatar Airways (Doha) has announced Frankfurt will be the first destination for its new Airbus A350-900. The fast-growing airline issued this statement:

Qatar Airways has announced Frankfurt as the first route for its highly anticipated A350 Xtra Wide Body (XWB) aircraft.
As the Global Launch operator of the A350 XWB, the program will achieve another major milestone once the airline receives its first aircraft before the end of this year.

Upon delivery, following several weeks of induction preparation, Qatar Airways will then be set to introduce its first commercial service to the German business hub city of Frankfurt.

Frankfurt will be operated nonstop daily with an A350 starting from January of next year.

Qatar Airways currently flies twice-daily to Frankfurt, and the double pairings will both be operated by an A350 on the route.

Initially flights QR 067/068 will be the first pairing with the A350, followed shortly by flights QR 069/70.

The 283 seats are divided across a dual cabin layout, configured in Business Class and Economy Class; 36 seats and 247 seats respectively.

Qatar Airways has 80 Airbus A350s on order, and expects to induct the first eight production aircraft into its fleet before 2015 year-end.

Before the end of this year the airline will reach 146 destinations, launching new services to Djibouti, in the Republic of Djibouti, on October 26 and Asmara, in Eritrea on December 4.

Qatar Airways presently flies to 144 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America, and operates a modern mixed fleet of narrow and wide-body aircraft.

Qatar Airways took delivery of its first double-decker A380 aircraft in September this year and it is currently operated daily on the Doha – London Heathrow route.

In other news, Qatar Airways Cargo has announced the launch of freighters to Stavanger in Norway, effective November 3, 2014.

Stavanger will be served once a week by an Airbus A330F freighter, with the freighter making a stop at Brussels before heading to Stavanger Airport and then returning to Doha.

Stavanger is known as the European oil and gas capital, with many of the major oil and gas companies and supplier companies having their Norwegian headquarters located in Stavanger. Other areas of activity and business include fishing, shipping, finance, culture, food and renewable energy. There is also great demand for Norwegian salmon worldwide, while imports include considerable quantities of motor vehicles and other transport equipment, raw materials, and industrial equipment.

With the introduction of scheduled freighter services, Qatar Airways Cargo will provide air transportation to these growing industries through the Doha hub, to and from more than 140 destinations worldwide.

The airline received its seventh Boeing 777 freighter on October 2, 2014, bringing up the total freighter fleet to 10.

Copyright Photo: Airbus/Qatar Airways. The pictured Airbus A350-941 F-WZFA (msn 006) will become A7-ALA on the official handover.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Win two tickets on KLM’s last McDonnell Douglas MD-11 passenger flight

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) has made this announcement:

On November 11, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will operate three McDonnell Douglas MD-11 Farewell Flights. These popular roundtrips sold out within minutes of going on sale. But you still have a chance to win the last two available seats onboard this special flight!

Take part in the MD-11 quiz from today, Monday October 20, to Thursday October 30 at http://byebyeMD11.klm.com. KLM is also commemorating the MD-11 on this website in an historical overview of photos, films, facts and figures relating to this unique aircraft.

About the quiz

The campaign consists of two parts: a quiz with 11 questions and a timeline. The timeline gives an overview of MD-11 milestones and memories in photos, videos and words.

Anyone with a Facebook or Twitter account can take part in the quiz and stands to win various unique daily prizes, including an MD flight simulator session. If you don’t know an answer, the timeline will help you find it. Readers will discover how many tons of kerosene a KLM MD-11 can carry, which famous ladies KLM’s MD-11s are named after, and how many passenger seats there are aboard a KLM MD-11. Get all 11 questions right and you stand a chance to win the main prize.

The site will remain online for the rest of the year.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Here is one of the answers. The pictured MD-11 PH-KCE (msn 48559) with the special 95 Years emblem is also named after actress Audrey Hepburn.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines: AG Slide Show

Full speed ahead; Emirates to continue its growth strategy despite the challenging environment

Emirates Airline (Dubai) has issued this statement on its on-going growth strategy:

Emirates will continue with its growth trajectory, in spite of global challenges like regional political instability, pandemic health issues in Africa and softening economic demand from dropping oil prices.

Speaking today at the Aviation Festival Middle East, Anand Lakshminarayanan, Divisional Vice President Route Planning and Economics said: “Countries recognize the importance of seamless global traffic flows and the multiplier effect to their own economies, and this has been instrumental in our own growth as an airline that attracts business and tourism opportunities. We will not deviate from our hub strategy and our future aircraft deliveries and orders are predicated on our non-stop services, connecting city pairs around the globe.”

Emirates expects to fly 70 million passengers in 2020, and the airline together with its partners in Dubai are already progressing on plans to ensure the right infrastructure is in place to support and capitalise on this growth.

The Aviation Festival Middle East is a platform for airlines, airports and the aviation industry to address strategies for growth and development. On behalf of Emirates, Lakshminarayanan discussed profitable network growth, aero-political access, airport constraints and commercial partnerships. The core of Emirates network strategy and Dubai hub were also discussed, in addition to Emirates’ view on alliances and strategic partnerships.

He cited India as an example where Emirates services have brought positive economic benefits, where the 185 weekly frequencies allotted to the airline directly contribute $825 million to the local economy, according to a study by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER).

Emirates has also been able to capitalize on strategic alliances with QANTAS Airways (Sydney), which has helped spur tourism into Dubai through the partnership. Over 250,000 Australians visited Dubai last year, largely reflecting the convergence of both airlines’ networks. Another mutually beneficial partnership that has supported Emirates’ growing United States network has been with JetBlue Airways (New York), which has grown to a bilateral codeshare agreement, enabling Emirates passengers to connect to over 60 cities served by JetBlue beyond its US gateways.

The airline continues to work on various initiatives, in partnership with Dubai International Airport, to help ease slot congestion. Terminal 4, set to open in 2015, will also help to address overall capacity requirements at the airport.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Emirates is also not afraid of its large and growing Airbus A380 fleet. The airline is also not concerned with the resale market for its A380s. It is happy to have single operator A380s. Emirates is an unique airline. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDQ (msn 080) with Expo 2020 markings departs from London (Heathrow).

Emirates: AG Slide Show

American Airlines Cargo and US Airways Cargo today are now using the same air waybill, another step in the merger process

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix) have reached a significant milestone in their merger today as the cargo divisions combined under a single air waybill. The new entity brings in more than $800 million each year and moves more than one billion pounds of freight and mail annually.

The cargo teams have successfully combined 154 facilities and harmonized products since December 2013, making it the first operations division at the airline to be fully integrated.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Another step in the repainting process at US Airways is the pictured Airbus A319-112 N745VJ (msn 1289) in the legacy 1966 Allegheny Airlines markings now has American titles.

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines (current livery): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Allegheny Airlines (1st) Aircraft Slide Show:

Airberlin to drop the Berlin Tegel-Miami route on May 4, 2015

Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin) is dropping the Berlin (Tegel)-Miami route on May 4, 2015 per Airline Route. The airline was planning to continue the route through next summer but this has now apparently changed. It is uncertain if the route will be added back for the following prime winter season. Airberlin was also feeding Oneworld partner American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) at the Miami hub.

Airberlin is adding frequencies to the New York (JFK) and Los Angeles routes.

Copyright Photo: Luimer Cordero/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-223 D-ABXA (msn 288) in the Oneworld motif arrives at Miami International Airport (MIA).

Airberlin: AG Slide Show

 

Aigle Azur to drop the Paris Orly-Moscow Vnukovo route

Aigle Azur (2nd) (Paris-Orly) is dropping the Paris (Orly)-Moscow (Vnukovo) route on October 26 per Airline Route. The route was an important connecting route with partner Transaero Airlines (Moscow) (see map below).

Since July 2012, Aigle Azur has been serving the Paris (Orly)-Moscow (Vnukovo) route in partnership with Transaero Airlines.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 F-HBIB (msn 3289) touches down at EuroAirport serving the Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg area.

Aigle Azur: AG Slide Show

 

Aigle Azur (2013) logo

Current Route Map:

Aigle Azue 10.2014 Route Map

Monarch to add two new routes from Leeds/Bradford for the next summer season

Monarch Airlines (London-Luton) has announced two new destinations from Leeds/Bradford for the coming summer. The summer 2015 schedule from Leeds Bradford Airport will offer two new routes during the summer months to Alicante (starting on March 29) and Naples (March 30), in addition to eight routes continued from summer 2014, making a total of 28 flights per week. Flights to the increasingly popular destinations of Dalaman and Faro will see a rise in frequencies and holiday makers will enjoy more convenient flight times to Barcelona, Faro and Mahon. The airline will have 10 routes from LBA for the next summer season.

In July, Monarch Airlines announced that Boeing had been chosen as the preferred bidder for its anticipated fleet renewal project. The airline is currently working towards agreeing to terms which will see 30 new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft joining the Monarch fleet from April 2018, with options to add up to an additional 15 to the order.

Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. If the Boeing deal is finalized, the Airbus A320 family fleet is expected to be reduced. Airbus A320-214 G-ZBAA (msn 5526) with Sharklets departs from Palma de Mallorca.

Monarch Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

British Airways’ Boeing 787s are due for service work at Boeing

British Airways (London) is taking each of its eight Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners out of service one at a time for routine warranty service work by Boeing at Victorville, California. Starting with the pictured Boeing 787-8 G-ZBJA (msn 38609), each aircraft from the first four deliveries (JA-JD), is expected to take around 10 days for the service work. The last four 787s to be delivered (JE-JH) are expected to take less time since they are closer to the new 787s being delivered. Each of the eight aircraft, when finished, will be the same as new production 787s currently being delivered. This is normal procedure for a new aircraft type as the manufacturer often makes some changes as aircraft roll off the production line.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. G-ZBJA departs from London (Heathrow).

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Aerolineas Argentinas is coming to Havana, Cuba

Aerolineas Argentinas (Buenos Aires) is coming to Havana, Cuba. The airline will operate twice-weekly Boeing 737-800 services on the Buenos Aires-Caracas-Havana extended route starting on January 4, 2015 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Alvaro Romero/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-86J LV-FQC (msn 37744) is pictured at downtown Aeroparque Jorge Newbery Airport in Buenos Aires.

Aerolineas Argentinas: AG Slide Show

 

LAN Airlines to bring the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to lonely Easter Island

LAN Airlines (Santiago) is planning to assign the Boeing 787-8 to the unique Santiago-Easter Island route. The 787 will operate on the remote route starting on October 1, 2015 three days a week per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Rob Finlayson/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner CC-BBG (msn 38477) arrives at the Santiago hub.

LAN Airlines (Chile): AG Slide Show

LAN Airlines Aircraft Slide Show:

 

 

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