Turkish Airlines Airbus A320 makes a hard landing, engine catches on fire, makes another emergency landing at Istanbul

Turkish Airlines (Istanbul) flight TK 1878 from Milan (Malpensa) to Istanbul (Ataturk) today (April 25) made an emergency landing at Istanbul after the engine on the Airbus A320 caught on fire.

The aircraft initially reportedly made a hard landing with the right engine and wing contacting the runway. The crew performed a go around and then made the emergency landing.

According to Reuters the 97 passengers and crew members were safely taken to the terminal.

The aircraft involved is A320-232 TC-JPE (msn 2941) painted in the Star Alliance livery.

Read the full report from IBT: CLICK HERE

Photo by EmS on Twitter:

Turkish A320 at IST

Sun Country’s pilots picket at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport

Sun Country Airlines (Minneapolis/St. Paul) could be facing a strike by its pilots represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). The pilots of the airline yesterday (April 24) picketed for higher wages outside of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. ALPA states they are the lowest Boeing 737 scheduled airline pilots in the country. The pilots have authorized a strike if necessary.

The union issued this statement:

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Sun Country Airlines Pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association Int’l (ALPA), conducted informational picketing Friday at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, saying the company’s current pay proposal would keep SCA pilot wages near the bottom of the industry for another five years.

Already the nation’s lowest-paid scheduled service airline pilots for their aircraft type, management’s recent proposal would provide only minimal increases. Sun Country pilots last received a pay rate increase in 2005.

“Our current pay is 30 percent below the midpoint for our peers. We’re seeking a contract that gradually gets us closer to the industry average. The company offer keeps us from realizing that goal throughout the life of a new contract,” said Capt. Brian Roseen, chairman of Sun Country’s ALPA Master Executive Council.

Virtually all of Sun Country’s 247 active ALPA pilots not flying or in training marched in shifts outside MSP’s Terminal 2, joined by supporters from United, Delta, FedEx Express, Compass, Endeavor Air, and other ALPA pilot groups.

ALPA and Sun Country have been in negotiations for five years, and in federal mediation since 2012. In February pilots voted 100 percent to authorize ALPA to declare a legal strike if later allowed to do so by the federal government. Before any strike could occur, the National Mediation Board would have to release the pilot group from mediation and the group would have to complete a 30-day cooling off period.

“Under our new ownership Sun Country has been profitable and more than doubled in size. It’s time for them to invest in people the same way they’ve invested in airplanes and facilities,” Roseen said. “We want to negotiate. We’re 100 percent ready to do everything the law allows to lift ourselves up from the bottom of the industry.”

Meanwhile the pilots of Southwest Airlines (Dallas) came to the aid of its fellow pilots at Sun Country. SWAPA issued this statement:

SWAPA logo

As the pilots of Sun Country (SCA) picket on Friday outside of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) announces support of the SCA pilots’ efforts to obtain an improved contract. Sun Country Airlines pilots are the lowest-paid Part 121 B-737 pilots in the country and have been in contract negotiations for more than five years. In February, the SCA pilots voted nearly unanimously to authorize ALPA to call a legal strike if necessary, upon a release from mediation by the National Mediation Board and the expiration of a cooling-off period.

“Sun Country pilots have the lowest 737 pay rates for scheduled carriers and are about 30 percent below the industry average pay for this equipment,” said SWAPA President Capt. Paul Jackson. “Low fares do not have to equal low wages in our industry and we fully support our friends at Sun Country in seeking a fair agreement.”

Sun Country management has failed to offer industry-standard fair compensation to pilots despite doubling the number of aircraft and profitability in recent years under new ownership. The company’s most recent contract offer would still leave the SCA pilots at the bottom of 737 pilot pay rates for another five years. The SCA pilots’ union leadership is proposing gradual increases toward the industry average, with the goal of reaching middle ground by the end of the contract term.

Top Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8Q8 N804SY (msn 30689) prepares to touch down at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport.

Sun Country Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

AG A team of photographers

OneJet to start Milwaukee-Pittsburgh and Indianapolis-Pittsburgh flights

OneJet (Pentastar) Hawker 400

OneJet (Indianapolis) has announced that it will expand its network of nonstop air travel service with the addition of two routes beginning in May: Nonstop service from Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) to Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) is scheduled to begin May 4 and nonstop service from Indianapolis International Airport (IND) to Pittsburgh is set to begin May 11. The new flights follow OneJet’s April 6th commencement of service between Milwaukee and Indianapolis.

OneJet logo

About MKE-PIT Service

The new MKE-PIT flights will be offered four times weekly, Monday through Thursday, departing from MKE at 8:00 a.m. and arriving PIT at 10:10 a.m. Return service from PIT will depart at 4:30 p.m. and arrive MKE at 4:50 p.m. (all times local).

About IND-PIT Service

The new IND-PIT flights will be offered four times weekly, Monday through Thursday, departing from IND at 7:00 a.m. and arriving PIT at 8:00 a.m. Return service from PIT will depart at 5:00 p.m. and arrive IND at 6:10 p.m. (all times local).

All flights will feature Hawker 400 aircraft operated by OneJet’s regional operating partner, Pentastar Aviation.

Video:

Volaris takes delivery of its first Airbus A321, reports a 1Q net profit of $19.8 million

Volaris (Mexico City) on April 22 took delivery of its first Airbus A321-200. The pictured A321-231 D-AZAN (msn 6558) at Hamburg (Finkenwerder) was leased as XA-VLH from ALC. The low-fare airline has another copy on order. Volaris is now an operator of the A319, A320 and the A321.

On the financial side, the company reported its first quarter results with this report:

Volaris logo-1

First Quarter 2015 Highlights

Total operating revenues were Ps.3,768 million for the first quarter, an increase of 35.8% year over year.

Non-ticket revenues increased 64.6% for the first quarter year over year. Non-ticket revenue per passenger increased 41.6%, reaching Ps.337 (US$22) for the first quarter.

Total operating revenue per available seat mile (TRASM) increased to Ps.123.8 cents for the first quarter, an increase of 22.4% year over year.

Operating expenses per available seat mile (CASM) decreased 5.5% for the first quarter year over year to Ps.112.5 cents (US$7.4 cents). CASM expressed in US cents decreased 18.4% for the first quarter year over year.

Adjusted EBITDAR for the first quarter was Ps.1,204 million, a Ps.1 billion increase year over year with an Adjusted EBITDAR margin of 32.0%, a margin increase of 26.1 percentage points.
EBIT reached Ps.346 million with an operating margin of 9.2% for the first quarter, a margin improvement of 26.8 percentage points.

Net income was Ps.306 million ($19.8 million) (Ps.0.30 per share / US$0.20 per ADS) with a net margin of 8.1% for the first quarter, a net margin improvement of 21.4 percentage points.

During the first quarter the net increase of cash and cash equivalents was Ps.862 million mainly driven by the resources provided by operating activities of Ps.949 million. Unrestricted cash and cash equivalents was Ps.3,156 million (US$208 million), representing 21% of the last twelve month total revenues.

Volaris´ CEO Enrique Beltranena commented: “Volaris’ strong performance for the first three months of 2015 are evidence of the hard work and excellent execution to improve financial performance following a very challenging year. We continue to diversify our network and strengthen our unbundled product strategy, increasing our international presence and growing non-ticket revenues while maintaining cost discipline. We are committed to continue building solid foundations towards a strong and profitable 2015″.

Improving Macroeconomic Environment

The Mexican macroeconomic environment:
GDP growth for the full year 2014 was 2.1%.
Consumer confidence increased 7.8%, 6.8% and 4.8% year over year in January, February and March of 2015, respectively.
The Mexican General Economic Activity Indicator (IGAE) increased 2.0% year over year in January of 2015.

Exchange rate volatility: The Mexican peso depreciated 12.8% year over year against the US dollar, as the exchange rate devalued from an average of Ps.13.23 pesos per US dollar in the first quarter of 2014 to Ps.14.93 pesos per US dollar during the first quarter of 2015.

Lower fuel prices: The average economic fuel cost per gallon decreased 27.1% year over year in the first quarter of 2015, reaching Ps.29.7 (US$1.96) per gallon.

Focus on Network Diversification and Revenue Management Results in Unit Revenue Improvement

Unit revenue improvement and capacity management: TRASM and yield increased 22.4% and 17.5% for the first quarter year over year, respectively, as a result of a recuperating domestic fare environment and solid international fare environment. Domestic capacity increased 4.0%, reflecting capacity discipline and supporting yield recovery, while international capacity increased 31.4%.

Non-ticket revenues growth: Non-ticket revenues per passenger increased 41.6% year over year for the first quarter as Volaris continues to observe a customer acceptance of its ancillary revenue strategy. This growth is mainly driven by improved ancillary bundles and revenue management of bag and seat fees, as well as new product offerings.

Air traffic volume increase: The Mexican DGAC reported an overall passenger increase for Mexican carriers of 9.2% for January and February 2015. Volaris’ market share among Mexican carriers increased to 23.9% in both domestic and international markets, the second largest share among them.

New routes launch: In the first quarter, Volaris opened five routes (four domestic and one international), focusing on its VFR customer base, both in the domestic and the Mexico-US cross-border market.

First Quarter Operating Revenues: Managing Capacity for Profitability Results in Solid Traffic and Revenue Indicators

Volaris booked 2.5 million passengers in the first quarter 2015, a 16.2% year over year growth rate. Volaris traffic (measured in terms of revenue passenger miles, or RPMs) increased 10.0%.

Volaris’ total operating revenues were Ps.3,768 million in the first quarter, an increase of 35.8% year over year. Non-ticket revenues and non-ticket revenue per passenger reached Ps.846 million and Ps.337 (US$22), respectively. Non-ticket revenues per passenger increased 41.6%.

Maintaining Cost Discipline: Fuel Savings Combined With Other Efficiencies

CASM for the first quarter 2015 was Ps.112.5 cents (US$7.4 cents), a 5.5% decrease compared to the first quarter of 2014, mainly driven by a lower fuel price per gallon and efficiencies achieved in landing, take-off and navigation expenses, salaries and benefits. On a US dollar basis, CASM in the first quarter decreased 18.4% compared to the same period in 2014.

In the first quarter, Volaris experienced pressures in US-dollar denominated costs such as aircraft rents, international airport costs, and maintenance expenses due to the exchange rate depreciation of the Mexican peso.

Young and Fuel Efficient Fleet

As of March 31, 2015, the Company´s fleet was comprised of 51 aircraft (33 A320s and 18 A319s), with an average age of 4.5 years. Volaris expects to end 2015 with 55 aircraft, including our first two A321s which will be entering the fleet during the second quarter of the year.

Positive Cash Flow Generation, Strong Balance Sheet and Good Liquidity

During the first quarter the net increase of cash and cash equivalents was Ps.862 million mainly driven by the resources provided by operating activities of Ps.949 million.

As of March 31, 2015, Volaris had a record balance of Ps.3,156 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents, representing 21% of the last twelve month operating revenues. Volaris recorded negative net debt (or a positive net cash position) of Ps.1,900 million and total equity reached Ps.4,806 million.

During the first quarter of 2015, Volaris incurred capital expenditures of Ps.50 million, which included acquisitions of rotable spare parts, furniture and equipment of Ps.61 million, partially offset by reimbursements of net pre-delivery payments of Ps.11 million.

Active in Fuel Risk Management

Volaris has continued to remain active in its fuel risk management program with a combination of financial instruments including Jet Fuel swaps and purchase of call options. In the first quarter Volaris hedged 29% of fuel consumption at an average price of US$2.53 per gallon, which combined with the 71% unhedged consumption, resulted in a blended average economic fuel cost of US$1.96 per gallon for the quarter.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. As of March 31, 2015, the Company´s fleet was comprised of 51 aircraft (33 A320s and 18 A319s), with an average age of 4.5 years. Volaris expects to end 2015 with 55 aircraft, including the first two A321s.

Volaris aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

AG Designed by photographers

Biman Bangladesh to become a new Bombardier Q400 operator

Biman Bangladesh Airlines (Dhaka), the national flag carrier airline of Bangladesh, is becoming a new Bombardier Q400 operator. The airline has confirmed it has signed an agreement with Smart Aviation Company (Cairo, Egypt) for the lease of two Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprops.

While Biman’s main hub is located at Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, it also operates flights from its secondary hubs at Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong and Osmani International Airport in Sylhet (see map below).

Copyright Photo: Nik French/AirlinersGallery.com. Smart Aviation’s Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) SU-SMI (msn 4368) is pictured at Sharm el-Shekh Airport in Egypt.

Biman Bangladesh aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Biman Bangladesh domestic route map:

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Biman Bangladesh 4.2015 Domestic Route Map

Update: Three passengers lost consciousness on United Express flight 5622

SkyWest Airlines (United Express) (St. George, Utah) initially issued this short statement concerning its United Express flight UA 5622 that made an emergency landing at Buffalo on April 22:

SkyWest logo-4

 

SkyWest Flight 5622 landed safely in Buffalo, NY after a passenger lost consciousness, no problem with door. Other 75 pax being accommodated.

The Los Angeles Times, now quoting the airline, is reporting three passengers lost consciousness on flight UA 5622. The three passengers were sitting near each other in seats 11B, 12A and 12B. Flight UA 5622 was operating from the Chicago (O’Hare) hub (ORD) to Hartford/Springfield at Bradley International Airport (BDL).

The flight crew notified ATC of a pressurization problem and declared an emergency. The aircraft was quickly descended to a safe altitude before landing.

The flight was operated with Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N131SY (msn 17000450).

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship N135SY (msn 17000460) arrives at Toronto (Pearson).

United Express-Skywest aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

La Compagnie today starts London – New York area flights

La Compagnie (Paris-CDG) today enters the very competitive London – New York area market. The French boutique upscale carrier commences Boeing 757-200 services today between Luton Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport with Boeing 757-256 F-HTAG (msn 29307).

La Compagnie logo-2 (LRW)

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by La Compagnie). Former Thomson Airways Boeing 757-204 F-HCIE (msn 27208, ex G-BYAT) remains at Southend as it is prepared for service.

La Compagnie aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

La Compagnie 757-200 cabin (La Compagnie)(LR)

La Compagnie crew (La Compagnie)(LR)