Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) has issued this statement:
Boeing started final assembly of the 787-9 Dreamliner at its South Carolina facility. The team began joining large fuselage sections of the newest 787 November 22 on schedule, a proud milestone for the South Carolina team and another sign of stability for the program.
The North Charleston, S.C., site joins Boeing’s Everett, Washington, final assembly, which began 787-9 production in May 2013. United Airlines will take delivery of the first South Carolina-built 787-9.
The 787-9 complements and extends the 787 family, offering airlines the ability to grow routes opened with the 787-8. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters), the 787-9 can fly up to 40 more passengers an additional 450 nautical miles (830 kilometers) with the same exceptional environmental performance – 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than the airplanes it replaces. The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering passenger-pleasing features such as large, dimmable windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/www.vrefphotos.com/AirlinersGallery.com). United Airlines is already operating the stretched 787-9 Dreamliner, previously delivered from the Seattle area. Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N38950 (msn 36401) taxies at Boeing Field in Seattle.
United Airlines (Chicago) today announced new trans-Atlantic summer-season service between Newark and Venice, Italy, along with new service between Chicago (O’Hare) and Dublin, both subject to government approval.
In addition, the airline will offer a second daily nonstop flight between Washington (Dulles) and Paris (CDG) for the summer season.
Newark to Venice
Flight UA 170 will depart United’s New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport daily at 6:45 p.m. (1845), arriving in Venice at 9:05 a.m. (0905) the following day (all times local). On the return, flight UA 169 will depart Venice Marco Polo Airport daily at 10:55 a.m. (1055), arriving at Newark at 2:25 p.m. (1425) the same day. Flight times will be eight hours 20 minutes eastbound and nine hours 30 minutes westbound.
The flights will operate with Boeing 767-400 ER aircraft with a total of 242 seats – 39 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst and 203 in United Economy, including 70 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.
United has served Italy since 1992. The airline currently operates nonstop flights from New York/Newark to Milan and, on a seasonal basis, New York/Newark and Washington Dulles to Rome.
The new Venice flights will operate seasonally from June 4, 2015, through Sept. 23, 2015.
Chicago O’Hare to Dublin
Flight UA 152 will depart United’s Chicago hub at O’Hare International Airport daily at 6:05 p.m. (1805), arriving in Dublin at 7:35 a.m. (0735) the following day (all times local). On the return, flight UA 153 will depart Dublin Airport daily at 9:50 a.m. (0950), arriving in Chicago O’Hare at 12:15 p.m. (1215) the same day. Flight times will be seven hours 30 minutes eastbound and eight hours 25 minutes westbound.
The flights will operate using Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a total of 169 seats – 16 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst and 153 in United Economy, including 45 Economy Plus seats.
Chicago O’Hare will be the third United hub with nonstop service to Dublin, after Newark and Washington Dulles.
The Chicago O’Hare-Dublin service will operate seasonally from June 4, 2015 through Aug. 17, 2015.
Washington Dulles to Paris CDG
Flight UA 140 will depart United’s hub at Washington Dulles International Airport daily at 10:10 p.m. (2210), arriving at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) in Paris at 12:20 p.m. (1220) the following day (all times local). The return flight UA 141 will depart Paris CDG daily at 4:30 p.m. (1630), arriving at Washington Dulles at 7:30 p.m. (1930) the same day. Flight times will be eight hours 10 minutes eastbound and nine hours westbound.
United will operate the flights with Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a total of 169 seats – 16 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst and 153 in United Economy, including 45 Economy Plus seats.
United’s current service between Washington and Paris departs Washington Dulles daily at 5:20 p.m., arriving at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 6:55 a.m. the following day (all times local). The return flight, 914, departs Paris daily at 11:55 a.m., arriving at Washington Dulles at 3 p.m. the same day. The current flights operate with 214-seat Boeing 767-300 aircraft.
United has served France since 1987. The airline operates nonstop flights to Paris from its Chicago O’Hare, Newark and San Francisco hubs, in addition to the Washington Dulles service.
The second Washington-Paris frequency will operate seasonally from June 4, 2015 through August 17, 2015.
Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-424 ER N59053 (msn 29448) approaches the runway in Zurich.
United Airlines adds Android devices to its personal device entertainment service, airlines move away from seat back screens
United Airlines (Chicago) has issued this statement for Android device users:
United Airlines customers using Android devices can now use the latest version of the United app to access the airline’s complimentary personal device entertainment service, which enables passengers to view hundreds of movies and television shows in flight on their Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices and laptops.
United launched a beta version of its personal device entertainment system earlier this year for laptop computers and Apple devices.
Content, stored on on-board servers, is available on nearly 200 United aircraft, including the carrier’s entire Airbus A319, Airbus A320 and Boeing 747 fleets and its Boeing 777 aircraft that operate primarily between the continental United States and Hawaii.
In the coming year, United will further expand personal device entertainment availability to hundreds of additional aircraft, including two-cabin regional jets and domestic and international aircraft that do not currently offer customers an on-demand entertainment option. By late 2015, most United and United Express aircraft will offer customers personal device entertainment, personal on-demand entertainment via seatback monitors, or live television.
“Travelers increasingly want to watch entertainment on their own devices, as shown by the measurable improvement in satisfaction among travelers who fly on aircraft with personal device programming,” said Tom O’Toole, United’s senior vice president of marketing and loyalty and president of MileagePlus. “By expanding our personal device entertainment to Android users, we now offer many more customers the ability to enjoy their favorite movies and television shows on their own devices while onboard.”
Travelers may confirm whether a flight offers personal device entertainment, along with Wi-Fi and in-seat power, by checking Inflight Amenities under Flight Status and Information on United.com. On the United app, travelers find that information in Amenities under Flight Status.
To watch United’s personal device entertainment, travelers should download the latest United app from the Google Play store or the Apple App Store before boarding.
In other news, there is a growing trend among airlines to remove the seat back screens and go to personal devices.
Bloomberg Businessweek recently took a look at the growing trend: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. All of the Airbus A319s and A320s are now ready to handle the devices. Airbus A320-232 N445UA (msn 826) departs from Los Angeles international Airport.
Video: United’s flight attendants:
United Airlines (Chicago) despite having de-hub its Cleveland station, has extended its relationship with the NFL Cleveland Browns football organization. The airline will continue to fly the team to its away games. The airline issued this statement:
United Airlines has extended its relationship with the Cleveland Browns, building on its ongoing service to the Cleveland area and the team. As the official airline of the Cleveland Browns, United will continue to fly the team to and from away games throughout the season.
In addition to flying the team, United will maintain its presence at FirstEnergy Stadium and on ClevelandBrowns.com. The airline will also provide exclusive opportunities to Browns fans, including the United Dream Destination, a contest at all home games where the team selects one fan to play a destination trivia game for a chance to win vouchers for United flights.
In addition to its relationship with the Cleveland Browns, United sponsors several Cleveland institutions, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Destination Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Film Commission.
In other news, United has also announced that the company’s approximately 140 fleet technical instructors, represented by the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM), have ratified a new joint labor agreement. In addition, the company’s 49 IAM-represented security officers also voted to ratify a new joint agreement.
United has now achieved joint collective bargaining agreements with a majority of its represented work force, including pilots, dispatchers, fleet service, passenger service, reservations and storekeeper work groups. The company is engaged in facilitated problem-solving negotiations with the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) and is in mediation with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), representing technicians.
Photo: Cleveland Browns.
United Airlines (Chicago) has issued the following announcement about the on-going improvements to its Newark Liberty International Airport hub:
United Airlines and OTG Management have unveiled a collaboration of chefs and designers, along with leading-edge electronic payment technology, that will create an unmatched travel experience at the airline’s hub at Newark Liberty International Airport.
In September, the two companies announced that United had selected OTG to transform the shopping and dining experience in Terminal C at Newark Liberty, with a $120 million project funded by OTG. Today, specifics of those plans were announced, including design renderings, chefs and restaurant concepts.
The Largest Collection of Chef-Driven Restaurants Anywhere in the Country
Internationally and regionally acclaimed chefs—including four with Michelin stars—are creating restaurant concepts that will make the terminal itself a destination for travelers. Saison, a classic French bistro by Alain Ducasse; Vesper Tavern, a gastropub-style tavern by Paul Liebrandt; Riviera offering French country fare by Alex Guarnaschelli; Mario Carbone lending his take on classic Italian with an Italian steakhouse; and Josh Capon’s SRF Bar, featuring a surf bar and sushi oasis with a fresh catch every day are among the inspired dining offerings.
Food halls are being reinvented as a global bazaar of exciting culinary choices, with chefs hand- pulling fresh noodles at Kaedama, Shoushin Yanaura’s ramen bar; authentic Mexican street fare at Alex Stupak’s Taqa Taqueria; Nonna’s Meatball Cafe by Amanda Freitag; and hand-crafted treats at Jacques Torres’ Melange Bakery.
In total, more than 55 new dining venues will provide travelers with an array of culinary choices, offering menus at all price points that emphasize fresh, locally sourced ingredients and highlighting regional and local dining experiences. OTG owns and operates all restaurants with the chef partners driving restaurant concepts and menus.
State-of-the-Art Designs by Rockwell Group, Creme Designs, David Mexico Design Group, Parts and Labor Design
Renowned architects and designers will reshape the dining and retail space of the terminal into a world-class setting that combines comfort with beautiful, free-flowing spaces, seamlessly integrating technology, craftsmanship and design. Design partners include David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group, Jun Aizaki of Creme Designs, David Mexico of David Mexico Design Group and Andrew Cohen and Jeremy Levitt of Parts and Labor Design.
Nearly 60 gate areas will also be updated with custom seating and tables creating a lounge-like atmosphere. And, as in the restaurants, travelers can use iPads throughout the gate areas to track their flights in real time and order food, beverages and other amenities via a visual menu available in 20 different languages, with orders delivered to customers’ seats within 15 minutes. Additionally, travelers will not have to search for a power outlet, with over 10,000 outlets and USB interfaces accompanying the redesigned terminal seating, along with complimentary Internet browsing on nearly 6,000 OTG iPads.
Art will play another key role in the revitalization of the terminal. Local artists’ works will be on display in the gate areas, as well as the main atrium that welcomes travelers as they come through security.
Leading-edge Electronic Payment Technology: Pay With MileagePlus Award Miles| A New Flyer-Friendly Way to Pay for Airport Purchases
In an industry first, United MileagePlus members will be able to use award miles to purchase dining and retail amenities at Newark Liberty Terminal C restaurants and stores using OTG’s unique iPad customer experience platform. This innovative technology marks the first time travelers will have the option to use mileage redemption for in-person purchases.
Customers will be able to scan their boarding pass or enter their MileagePlus number on any of the almost 6,000 iPads that will be available throughout the terminal’s restaurants, bars and gate areas when the project is complete. The iPad will display the customer’s up-to-date flight information and offer dining or beverage options in up to 20 different languages. The cost of the items will be displayed in both dollars and miles, and at check out, MileagePlus members will have the option to pay with award miles, offering a seamless experience for the savvy traveler.
With this integration, United and OTG are reimagining the airport experience at Newark Liberty’s Terminal C through elevated dining, design and technology.
“United is committed to providing a flyer-friendly experience for our customers on the ground as well as in the air,” said Kate Gebo, United’s vice president of corporate real estate. “At our Newark hub, we’re creating new dining and retail options to provide an exceptional customer experience that incorporates the amenities and convenience that our customers tell us they want when they travel.”
“The United Experience at Newark Liberty will be a world-class setting that combines beautiful spaces with cutting-edge technology and some of the finest dining options anywhere,” said Rick Blatstein, OTG CEO. “We view travel as a lifestyle, and our mission is to treat the airport itself as a destination, and more than just a place travelers pass through on their way to somewhere else. We are so pleased to work with United and our culinary and design partners to make this vision a reality.”
“World-class amenities help make airports world-class, and OTG Management and United Airlines have produced an array of superb culinary offerings at Newark Liberty International Airport,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “OTG has proven itself with top-notch offerings already at both John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports, and we welcome them to Newark Liberty in what will surely make the traveling experience there even better.”
“OTG Management and United Airlines have combined to help usher in a new era of restaurant concepts for Newark Liberty International Airport that almost will make passengers sorry they have to leave the terminal to catch their planes,” said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Deb Gramiccioni. “This effort dovetails perfectly with the Port Authority’s ongoing efforts to modernize Newark Liberty and its other major airports, so they will truly be world-class gateways to New Jersey, New York City and the nation.”
With the redesign already underway at Terminal C, more than 45 of the new restaurants and retail markets will open over the next seven weeks in a transition program. Offering a taste of what’s to come, menus will highlight the chef-curated dishes and customers will be able to experience the new technology with an initial 1,000 iPads. The full experience is expected to be phased in over the next 18 months, with the first permanent installations debuting in the summer of 2015.
United Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):
EWR Airport Terminal Map:
SkyWest, Inc. (SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines) (St. George, Utah) has announced fleet transitions and contract updates designed to improve SkyWest’s overall efficiency and long-term profitability.
Specifically, SkyWest announced that SkyWest Airlines, Inc., its wholly-owned subsidiary, intends to transition to an all-jet fleet by removing all remaining 30-seat Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia turboprop aircraft from service by summer 2015. The EMB-120 fleet retirement comes, in part, in response to increased costs and additional challenges associated with new FAR117 flight and duty rules, implemented in January 2014.
Separately, SkyWest announced that ExpressJet Airlines, Inc., its wholly-owned subsidiary, has executed an agreement with United Airlines, Inc. to reduce the term of the existing 50-seat ERJ 145 contract between ExpressJet and United from November 2020 to December 2017, subject to certain extension rights by United. ExpressJet Airlines anticipates the reduction in the ERJ 145 operations will improve its overall operational reliability and financial results.
As a result of the decision to remove the EMB-120 aircraft from service by June 2015 and as a result of the reduced term to operate the ERJ 145 aircraft, SkyWest, Inc. anticipates recording pre-tax special charges (primarily non-cash) ranging from $55-70 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.
It is unclear how the grounding and retirement of the Brasilia fleet will affect air service to remote communities.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. SkyWest Airlines mainly operates its Brasilias under the United Express brand however 13 EMB-120s wear the SkyWest house livery (below). Embraer EMB-120ER brasilia N294SW (msn 120321) arrives in Los Angeles.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer EMB-120ER Brasilia N217SW (msn 120286) arrives in Las Vegas.
Trans States Airlines (subsidiary of Trans States Holdings, Inc.) (St. Louis) has announced that it will operate 36 Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft provided by United Airlines (Chicago). Trans States expects to begin taking delivery of and starting scheduled service with these aircraft under the United Express brand and livery in February 2015, with deliveries slated to continue through the first quarter of 2016. The aircraft will be moved from ExpressJet Airlines to Trans States by United.
Trans States Airlines has been providing United Airlines regional service under the United Express brand since 2003. The addition of these 36 aircraft will increase the fleet size of Trans States Airlines from 29 to 65 aircraft, more than doubling its current fleet size. Trans States Airlines currently has 25 aircraft in service with United, all of which are 50 seat Embraer ERJ 145s. The remaining four ERJ 145s in its fleet are operated as US Airways Express.
Trans States currently serves 25 cities and operates approximately 190 daily flights.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Trans States’ Embraer ERJ 145LR (EMB-145LR) N845HK (msn 145842) in the old 2004 livery approaches the runway at United’s Dulles International Airport hub near Washington.
Map: Trans States currently operates in these cities as United Express and US Airways Express.
United Airlines (Chicago) has announced it will end all United Express flights to Atlantic City, New Jersey (ACY) on December 3. The airline currently serves ACY from both the Chicago (O’Hare) (ORD) and Houston (Bush Intercontinental) (IAH) hubs. ACY will continue to be served by Spirit Airlines.
All images by Atlantic City International Airport (ACY). The new routes to ORD and IAH were highly touted by the airport and state officials to promote the gambling destination. However the number of passengers did not meet the expectations of United Airlines according to the Wall Street Journal.
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. ExpressJet Airlines’ Embraer ERJ 145LR (EMB-145LR) N36915 (msn 145421) departs the runway at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) will launch a new summer seasonal spoke route from its Newark hub to Newcastle in the United Kingdom on May 23, 2015. The flight will operate five days a week until September 7, 2015 with 169-seat Boeing 757-200s. This will be the first trans-Atlantic route for Newcastle.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-224 N58101 (msn 27291) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles.
United Airlines (Chicago) will launch four new Pacific routes, beginning with nonstop service between Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia, and between San Francisco and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, on October 26, 2014. Later in the week, the airline will also launch two new routes from its Guam hub – Seoul, South Korea, on October 27 and Shanghai on October 28.
Los Angeles – Melbourne, Australia
The airline will fly the Los Angeles – Melbourne route six times weekly with the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft (above). United is the North American launch customer for the 787-9, and this will be the carrier’s first international deployment of the aircraft type.
United has timed the new Melbourne flights to conveniently connect at Los Angeles with an extensive network of service throughout the United States, Canada and Latin America. United and United Express jointly operate nearly 200 flights daily from Los Angeles to more than 65 destinations. With this new service, United will provide convenient one-stop service to Melbourne from more than 37 U.S. cities.
United started service to Australia in 1979 and today operates more flights to more destinations in Australia than any other U.S. carrier, with daily flights from its San Francisco and Los Angeles hubs to Sydney and Melbourne and twice-weekly service to Cairns from Guam.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner
The 787 Dreamliner is revolutionizing the flying experience for United customers and crews while delivering unprecedented operating efficiency, comfort and lower emissions.
The 787-9’s extended range – 8,550 miles compared to the 787-8’s 8,200 – enables United to launch the Los Angeles-to-Melbourne service, which will be the longest Dreamliner route in the world to date.
The Boeing 787-9 aircraft operating the new Melbourne route will feature a total of 252 seats – 48 in United BusinessFirst and 204 in United Economy, including 88 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.
San Francisco – Tokyo/Haneda Airport
New daily flights between San Francisco and Tokyo’s close-in Haneda Airport complement United’s existing service between the hub and Tokyo’s Narita International Airport. Flights from San Francisco to both Tokyo airports maximize choice and convenience for customers traveling from across the Americas to Tokyo, and to points beyond on United’s joint-venture partner ANA.
The flight schedules enable customers to use convenient public transportation between Haneda Airport and central Tokyo and Yokohama.
United also operates daily service to Tokyo/Narita from its hubs in Chicago (O’Hare), Denver, Guam, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark and Washington (Dulles), as well as from Honolulu.
United is the largest carrier at San Francisco International Airport, offering nearly 300 daily flights to more than 90 destinations in the U.S. and around the world, more service than any other airline from the Bay Area. United’s San Francisco hub also offers more nonstop trans-Pacific service than any airline hub in America. The company currently operates nearly 30 daily nonstop flights from San Francisco to more than 20 international destinations.
Guam to Seoul, South Korea and Shanghai
In addition, United will launch two new routes from its Guam hub at A.P. Won Pat International Airport: daily service to Seoul’s Incheon International Airport beginning on October 27, 2014, and twice-weekly service to Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport, the first nonstop service from Guam to mainland China, beginning on October 28, 2014.
United has served Guam for more than 40 years, with United and United Express currently providing nonstop service from the hub to more than 17 destinations in the Asia/Pacific region.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The first United Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, N38950 (msn 36401) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
United’s International Route Map:
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 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.
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 (Chicago) announced plans to outfit more than 200 two-cabin United Express regional jets with Wi-Fi and personal device entertainment, with the first Wi-Fi-enabled flights expected later this year.
The airline intends to install Gogo’s ATG-4 advanced air-to-ground Wi-Fi product on Embraer 170, 175 and Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft and to complete planned installations by next summer.
Early next year, United expects to expand personal device entertainment to these aircraft, enabling customers to select from a wide range of movies and television shows to view on their Wi-Fi-enabled iOS and Android devices using United’s mobile app, as well as on laptop computers.
Regional Jet Investments
United has announced significant investments in its United Express service, including:
A fleet of 120 brand new Embraer 175 regional jets (above), which offer 12 seats in United First with in-seat power, 16 United Economy Plus seats, and larger overhead bins throughout the aircraft;
New, modern seats with a signature seat design on more than 100 CRJ700 aircraft and on the E175 fleet; and
Freshly prepared food for premium-cabin customers on United Express flights beginning in 2015.
Wi-Fi and Entertainment Investments
The launch of regional jet Wi-Fi and personal device entertainment is United’s latest investment in its customers’ in-flight connectivity. The airline also offers:
More than 340 aircraft with Wi-Fi, including nearly two-thirds of its mainline domestic fleet, with plans to install Wi-Fi on the entire mainline fleet by mid-2015; and
More than 180 mainline aircraft with personal device entertainment, including all Boeing 747s and Airbus aircraft and nine Boeing 777s that primarily fly between the continental U.S. and Hawaii. United plans to offer personal device entertainment on more than 200 mainline aircraft by the end of this year.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Operated by SkyWest Airlines, Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N118SY (msn 17000420) taxies at the San Francisco hub.
United Express-SkyWest Aircraft Slide Show:
United Airlines (Chicago) has issued this statement:
United Airlines will unveil new check-in options today (October 15) for its most frequent travelers at San Francisco International Airport, enabling faster movement from the curb to the gate. The airline will open a new reception lobby for members of its invitation-only Global Services program and a new check-in area for Premier members of its MileagePlus loyalty program.
Located across from doors five and six, on the departures level of Terminal 3, the new Global Services reception lobby will also offer personalized check-in services to customers traveling in United Global First on long-haul international flights. At approximately 1,100 square feet, the glass-enclosed facility will offer five full-service check-in podiums, a seating area and front-of-line security lane access, featuring TSA PreCheck.
San Francisco’s Global Services reception lobby is United’s third, coming after similar facilities at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.
The airline’s new Premier check-in area, near Terminal 3’s Boarding Area E, will offer expedited check-in for MileagePlus Premier members, including kiosks that enable customers to tag their own checked bags if they choose to, further speeding their path to the gate.
This new check-in area replaces the previous Terminal 3 Premier check in, which in the future will serve United Economy customers and travel groups.
San Francisco Enhancements
The new Global Services reception lobby and Premier check-in area are among United’s many customer-service enhancements this year in San Francisco. Others include:
The ultra-modern Boarding Area E, which offers a modern design, dining options featuring Bay Area businesses, more comfortable seating and power outlets throughout, enabling customers to stay connected and productive;
A new United Club, located near Boarding Area E; and
Mercedes-Benz tarmac-transportation service, offering Global Services and United Global First customers chauffeured rides across the tarmac between flights.
United is the largest carrier at San Francisco International Airport, offering nearly 300 daily flights to more than 90 destinations in the U.S. and around the world, more service than any other airline from the Bay Area. United currently operates nearly 30 daily nonstop flights from San Francisco to more than 20 international destinations and will add nonstop service from San Francisco to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport later this month.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-322 ER N674UA (msn 29242) taxies to the gate at San Francisco International Airport.
United Airlines historic liveries aircraft slide show:
United Airlines (Chicago) will drop the Washington (Dulles)-New York (JFK) route on October 26. ExpressJet Airlines (Atlanta) currently operates the United Express route with CRJ200s per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. ExpressJet Airlines’ Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N877AS (msn 7579) arrives at the Washington Dulles hub.
United Airlines choses Republic Airways Holdings to operate 50 new Embraer E175s, United will phase out the Q400s
United Airlines (Chicago) today (September 17) announced the company will amend its existing agreement with regional carrier Shuttle America, to add 50 Embraer E175 aircraft. Shuttle America‘s (Indianapolis) parent company, Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (Indianapolis), will determine which of its carriers will operate the new 76-seat aircraft under the United Express brand.
United anticipates deliveries will begin in July 2015 and continue through the summer of 2017. The new aircraft will replace large turboprop airplanes and older, less-efficient aircraft and are in addition to 70 E175s whose deliveries began this year for other carriers to operate as United Express.
The E175s will offer 12 seats in United First and 64 seats in United Economy, including 16 extra-legroom United Economy Plus seats. The aircraft also offer more personal space for customers, with wider seats and aisles than other regional aircraft; a power outlet at each United First seat; and large overhead bins that can accommodate standard-size carry-on bags.
Additional Fleet Updates:
In addition to expanding the E175 fleet, United plans to make the following changes to its United Express service:
1. Extend the airline’s agreement with Shuttle America on 38 E170s, with new expiration dates beginning in September 2019 and continuing through December 2022; and
2. Begin removing, in 2015, 31 Bombardier Q400s operated by Republic Airlines, a carrier also owned by Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (some of the aircraft will go to Flybe).
In related news, Embraer S.A. and Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (Indianapolis), operator of the largest E-Jets fleet in the world, announced a contract today for the sale and purchase of 50 firm E175 jets. The value of the firm order, which will be included in Embraer’s 2014 third-quarter backlog, is estimated at $2.1 billion, based on 2014 list prices. The aircraft will be operated for United Airlines under the United Express brand. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2015 and extend until 2017.
This contract is in addition to the order signed by Embraer and Republic in January 2013 for 47 firm and 47 option E175s – 34 of which have already been delivered. In addition to the new order, Republic maintains 32 options for E175s.
This transaction is in connection with the transfer of Q400 turboprop airplanes currently operated by Republic Airlines to UK’s carrier Flybe Limited. Concurrently, Flybe and Embraer have agreed to reduce by 20 the outstanding order for 24 E175’s the airline has on order backlog. Therefore, the net increase to Embraer’s backlog in the 3rd quarter will be 30 E175 jets.
Republic Airways was one of the first U.S. carriers to fly Embraer E-Jets, operating its first E170 in 2004. With this new order, the Republic Airways E-Jet fleet will consist of 72 E170s and 151 E175s for a total of 223 E-Jets. Republic Airways is also a long-time customer of the ERJ 145 regional jet family with 41 flying as Delta Connection aircraft.
Finally, United Airlines launched its Mercedes-Benz tarmac transportation service at Denver International Airport, offering chauffeured convenience at more airports than any other carrier. With this expansion, United offers the service at all of its U.S. hub airports.
The Mercedes-Benz tarmac transportation service provides the airline’s top frequent flyers with greater comfort and convenience, offering an additional way for these customers to save valuable time when connecting through the airline’s hubs. United will chauffeur selected Global Services members and United Global First customers to their connections in Denver in a Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTEC SUV, powered by environmentally friendly, clean diesel technology.
United representatives will meet customers at the aircraft, escort them to the waiting Mercedes-Benz vehicle and drive them across the tarmac to their connecting flight. The expediting service gives priority to customers with close connections.
United also offers the transfer service at its hub airports in Chicago, Houston, New York/Newark, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington Dulles.
Along with tarmac transportation, the airline and Mercedes-Benz USA partner to provide promotional packages and bonus miles to United’s MileagePlus Premier members, which include Global Services members, who purchase or lease certain new Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Current offers are available at united.com/Mercedes.
Earlier this year, United opened a new Global Services reception lobby for its top frequent flyers at the airline’s New York hub at Newark Liberty International airport. In October, the airline will open a Global Services reception lobby at San Francisco International Airport. In June, United unveiled an all-new United Club airport lounge and United Global First Lounge at London Heathrow International Airport’s new Terminal 2, The Queen’s Terminal.
Top Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Shuttle America currently operates 38 Embraer ERJ 170-100SE aircraft for United Airlines under the United Express brand. N637RW (msn 17000051) arrives at Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Republic Airlines (2nd) currently operates 31 Bombardier DHC-8-402s (Q400s) for United Airlines at its hubs. N202WQ (msn 4202) arrives at Raleigh-Durham (RDU).
United Airlines to pay its flight attendants $100,000 to leave the company, will recall all furloughed FAs
United Airlines (Chicago) has issued this statement:
United Airlines and the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) 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.
United will offer lump sum payouts of up to $100,000 for Flight Attendants who apply for the early out and meet certain service and eligibility qualifications, and the company will award early outs in seniority order.
“We’re excited to offer this extraordinary early out program, and we look forward to rewarding Flight Attendants who’ve contributed so much to United over the years,” said Sam Risoli, United’s senior vice president, Inflight Services. “Working together with the AFA Master Executive Council Presidents Ken Diaz, Suzanne Hendricks and Marcus Valentino, we were able to develop a program that provides great benefits, minimizes disruption to Flight Attendants due to staffing imbalances and at the same time helps us be more competitive.”
“United’s investment in this Enhanced Early Out benefits United and all our Flight Attendants represented by the AFA,” said Mike Bonds, executive vice president, Human Resources and Labor Relations. “Recalling furloughed Flight Attendants and aligning our staffing to match our flying schedule will further facilitate the company and AFA reaching a joint collective bargaining agreement. It’s another positive step in what has become a productive relationship with AFA.”
United has more than 23,000 flight attendants.
Narita-based Japanese national Flight Attendants employed by CMI, and who are not employed by United or represented by AFA, have their own severance and early-retirement terms provided in their collective bargaining agreement under Japanese law, and therefore are not eligible for the United Airlines Enhanced Early Out Program.
United has achieved joint collective bargaining agreements with a majority of its represented work force, including pilots, dispatchers, fleet service, passenger service, reservations and storekeeper workgroups. The company is engaged in expedited negotiations with the AFA and is in mediation with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), representing United’s technicians.
Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-724 N16709 (msn 28779) departs from Washington’s Reagan National Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) has announced new plans to upgrade its Newark hub with new dining and retail experiences, including 6,000 Apple iPad tablets free of charge to use to “track their flight, order from chef-created menus, and purchase travel amenities for delivery directly to their seat in the terminal while browsing the internet”. Here is the full statement:
United Airlines and OTG Management LLC today announced plans to transform the dining and retail experience at the airline’s hub at Newark Liberty International Airport and create unparalleled services and amenities for United’s customers. The program will combine leading-edge technology, award-winning dining and renowned design.
The $120 million capital investment for the project will be provided by OTG, selected by United to oversee the transformation in Terminal C at Newark Liberty, including new chef-driven restaurants, expansive food halls, gourmet markets and world-class retail and duty-free shops.
Leading Edge Technology: Upon completion of the planned project, air travelers waiting for a flight will be able to use almost 6,000 iPad tablets free of charge to track their flight, order from chef-created menus, and purchase travel amenities for delivery directly to their seat in the terminal while browsing the internet. And customers will not have to search for an outlet, with over 10,000 outlets and USB interfaces accompanying the redesigned terminal seating.
Chef-Driven Dining with Unique Local Flavor: More than 55 new dining venues are anticipated to provide travelers with an array of culinary choices – including restaurant concepts created by more than 20 celebrated chefs – as well as markets, cafes and exceptional food and beverage service in nearly 60 gate areas. Menus at all price points will emphasize fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and will highlight regional and local dining experiences.
Trendsetting Design: Renowned architects and designers will transform the physical interior of the terminal into a world-class setting that combines comfort with beautiful, free flowing spaces.
Customers will begin seeing immediate improvements in November, when temporary restaurant locations pop up to offer a taste of what’s to come. The full experience is expected to be phased in over the next 18 months.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N475UA (msn 1495) displays the historic 1972 “A320 Friend Ship” retrojet livery.
Map of Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) terminal:
United Airlines (Chicago) has become 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 of the newest member of the Dreamliner family United has on order.
The airline’s technicians will now perform United-specific software installations and hardware upgrades. United pilots will then fly the aircraft to the airline’s Houston hub for additional flights before it is expected to enter domestic service in late September.
The 787-9’s extended range – 8,550 miles compared to the 787-8’s 8,200 – will enable United to launch its Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia, service on October 26, the airline’s first regularly scheduled international deployment of the aircraft. It will be the longest Dreamliner route in the world to date. In advance of the Melbourne route launch, United will primarily fly the aircraft between Houston (Bush Intercontinental) and Los Angeles.
United’s 787-9 will be configured with 252 seats – 48 in United BusinessFirst and 204 in United Economy, including 88 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.
Wi-Fi on the 787-9
United’s 787-9 fleet comes with factory-installed Wi-Fi connectivity. Starting with this aircraft delivery, all of the airline’s subsequent Dreamliners, including the -8 and -10 variants, will be delivered with Wi-Fi. United currently has Wi-Fi on more than 300 aircraft, including all of its Airbus and Boeing 747 aircraft, and plans to equip the vast majority of its mainline fleet with Wi-Fi by mid-2015.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-9 N38950 (msn 36401) passes the camera at Seattle’s Boeing Field (King County Airport) (BFI).
United Airlines Aircraft Slide Show (Current): CLICK HERE
United Airlines (Chicago) is ending summer service to three Canadian routes this fall: Chicago (O’Hare)-Saskatoon (September 30), Chicago (O’Hare)-Regina (October 25) and Newark-Edmonton (October 26) per Airline Route. Saskatoon and Regina will continue to see United service from the Denver hub.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. United utilizes the Airbus A319 on the Newark-Edmonton route. Airbus A319-131 N805UA (msn 783) departs from Los Angeles.
United Airlines (Chicago) will offer seasonal service to Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida (SRQ) this winter and spring from February 12 through May 15 from its Newark hub. The temporary route will be operated with 154-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft according to News 13. United currently serves SRQ with year-round daily service to Chicago (O’Hare).
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-824 N78509 (msn 31638) arrives in Toronto (Pearson).
United Airlines (Chicago) will end the Newark-Edmonton route on October 25. The Airbus A320 nonstop route was inaugurated on May 13, 2013.
The route was not meeting the airline’s expectations.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N423UA (msn 504) arrives in Las Vegas.
United Airlines announces new and improved in-flight food and beverage service for first class and business domestic customers
United Airlines (Chicago) has issued this statement:
United Airlines today unveiled new, improved lunch, dinner and beverage choices for domestic first-class customers, offering travelers chef-inspired meals and premium beverages that elevate their in-flight experience.
Among the changes:
New, premium salads beginning this month for customers flying United First and United Business within North America;
New, premium sandwiches and wraps, beginning Sept. 1, for United First and United Business customers within North America;
Addition of Prosecco sparkling wine in premium cabins beginning this fall;
Introduction of premium-cabin meals to flights of shorter duration, beginning in 2015; and
Fresh meal options for premium-cabin customers on United Express flights, beginning in 2015.
This month, United began offering customers in premium cabins on North America flights four new salad entrée choices – a Southwestern salad, an Asian-style noodle salad, a seasonal greens with roast beef and blue cheese salad and a Strawberry Fields salad – replacing the previous chicken and shrimp salad options.
In September, premium-cabin customers on flights within North America will enjoy new chilled sandwiches and wraps – Italian prosciutto on tomato focaccia, a Thai-style chicken wrap, Cobb salad wrap and caprese on Asiago baguette – as well as new warmed options – turkey and Swiss on cranberry baguette, ham and Swiss on pretzel baguette, chicken and mozzarella on tomato focaccia and roast beef and cheddar on Asiago baguette.
Designed by United’s team of chefs, the new salads and sandwiches will be made fresh daily and paired with a gluten-free soup, along with United’s signature service elements, including warmed nuts, premium snacks and warmed cookies.
Copyright Photo: United Airlines. The caprese on asiago baguette is one of the new sandwiches United Airlines will introduce in September 2014 in premium cabins on North America flights.
On trans-continental flights and on longer mid-continental dinner flights, the airline will continue to offer customers a choice between a pasta dish and a chicken or beef option.
Copyright Photo: United Airlines. Tomato basil gluten-free soup.
“These changes mark the beginning of an extensive overhaul of our North America and international food service, offering travelers a level of service above that offered by our peers,” said Lynda Coffman, United’s vice president of food services. “Our new selections offer customers more of what they tell us they want when they travel – variety, bold flavor combinations and higher quality.”
Additional Food and Beverage Changes
Copyright Photo: United Airlines.
Beginning this fall, United will add Prosecco sparkling wine to its premium-cabin beverages on mainline North America flights.
By mid-2015, United will further enhance its in-flight dining by:
Launching completely redesigned menu concepts and expanding premium-cabin meals within North America to flights that are more than two hours and 20 minutes, or 800 miles;
Upgrading premium-cabin meal service on domestic and international United Express flights, replacing snack boxes with freshly prepared food; and
Significantly enhancing United Economy meals and beverages on long-haul international flights.
United offers in-flight meals and snacks depending on flight duration, departure time, origin and destination. Specific breakfast, lunch and dinner parameters are available at united.com.
The airline’s food and beverage enhancements are United’s latest investment in its customers’ onboard experience. The company also offers:
Premium-cabin, flat-bed seats on every long-haul international flight to and from the continental United States – the only U.S. airline to do so;
Wi-Fi on more than 290 aircraft, including the airline’s entire Airbus and Boeing 747 fleets;
Personal device entertainment on dozens of aircraft; and
Live television on more than 200 aircraft, the world’s largest fleet of aircraft with live television.
Top Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-222 N546UA (msn 25367) completes its final approach to the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
United Airlines (Chicago) today (August 20) became the first airline to offer customers Uber transportation services via its mobile app, further enabling travelers to use the United app for services throughout their entire travel experience.
Customers with iOS and Android mobile devices may access Uber ground transportation information in the United app’s menu or in the “My Reservations” card with a current reservation. The app will display Uber information, including types of available vehicles, estimated wait times and prices. After customers select a ride, the United app will automatically transfer them to the Uber app or the Uber website to sign up for an account to complete the transaction.
Customers who sign up for Uber via the United app and complete their first transaction will receive 1,000 MileagePlus award miles for a limited time.
In addition to accessing ground transportation options and other features, customers can use the United mobile app on iOS and Android devices to do the following:
Book United flights, including award travel
Scan a valid passport to check in for international flights
Store mobile boarding passes for easy access at security and during boarding
Select seats and choose Economy Plus seating
Check the status of an upgrade and view inflight amenities
Access United Club information and purchase one-time passes
In July, United became the first U.S. carrier to offer customers the ability to scan their passports to check in for international flights via their iOS and Android mobile devices. Later this year, United will begin to introduce its all-new united.com website, providing customers a simplified, clearer and faster user experience.
Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE
In other news, United is also ending United Express passenger service on the Crescent City-Arcata/Eureka, Los Angeles-Yuma and Sacramento-Arcata/Eureka routes on December 3 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-422 N128UA (msn 30023) arrives at Tokyo (Narita).
United Airlines (Chicago) will start twice-weekly United Express service, operated by SkyWest Airlines (St. George, UT) CRJ700s, between its San Francisco hub and Montrose, CO on December 20 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) N763SK (msn 10228) of SkyWest Airlines departs from Los Angeles.
Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) has announced that it has entered into a codeshare agreement with United Airlines (Chicago), effective on August 30, 2014.
Ethiopian, the biggest airline in Africa, currently flies to 82 international destinations across five continents operating a young and modern fleet, such as Boeing 787 and 777 aircraft. The carrier provides daily services to Washington Dulles Airport (IAD) using the Boeing 777 or Boeing 787 aircraft with convenient and easy connections through its main hub in Addis Ababa (ADD) to 49 cities across Africa.
The new codeshare agreement between the two Star Alliance member airlines covers the Addis Ababa–Washington, D.C. trunk route, as well as points in Africa and the U.S.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-260 LR ET-ANO (msn 40771) of Ethiopian Airlines lands at Washington’s Dulles International Airport (IAD).
United ends July with its best on-time performance in four years, rewards employees with a cash bonus
United Airlines (Chicago) has announced that it is rewarding all eligible employees with a cash bonus for exceeding the airline’s on-time arrival and departure performance goals for the month of July. United’s goal for on-time performance is to be first or second among the largest four U.S. carriers. The on-time arrival rate is based on flights arriving within 14 minutes of the scheduled arrival time. Eligible employees also earned an additional cash bonus for exceeding United’s customer satisfaction goal for July, resulting in a total payout of $125 per eligible employee for the month.
Despite challenges across the system and runway construction at San Francisco – one of the airline’s largest hubs – United ended July with its best July on-time performance in four years. The performance was an improvement over the same month last year as well as June of this year. United’s mainline and United Express D :00 were also better than target and better than last year’s performance.
“While we still have room for improvement, we’re seeing a lot of momentum as we work to create a more reliable and efficient airline,” said Greg Hart, United’s executive vice president and chief operations officer. “These bonuses are further proof that the actions we are taking are paying off.”
Five of United’s seven hubs had the best July A :14 performance since 2010, with the airline’s Los Angeles hub leading the pack. United also placed first or second of the four largest U.S. carriers in A :14 for 13 of the last 18 days of the month.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-924 ER N37422 (msn 31620) climbs away from the Los Angeles station.
United Airlines (current):
United Airlines (Chicago) became the first U.S. airline to offer customers the ability to scan their passports to check in for international flights via their iOS and Android mobile devices. United is offering customers the opportunity to use passport scanning functionality on the airline’s mobile app as the carrier completes testing.
Customers may access the passport scanning feature when checking in for international flights in the 24 hours before departure. After initiating the app’s check-in feature, customers will have the option of verifying their existing stored passport data or scanning their passport. The app uses the mobile device’s camera feature to capture travelers’ passports, similar to a mobile banking deposit. Jumio Inc., a credentials management company, will then verify the passport for additional security. Once the verification process is complete, customers may obtain a boarding pass. Customers requiring additional travel documentation, such as visas, will continue to check in at the airport.
“We are focused on building the most useful travel app in the industry for our customers,” said Scott Wilson, United’s vice president of merchandising and ecommerce. “The new passport scanning feature saves valuable time and provides customers with more options to control their travel experience.”
United will collect feedback during the testing phase of passport scanning functionality with the goal of further improving the product and launching additional customer-friendly features utilizing this technology.
Last year, United launched its all-new mobile app, and since then more than 13 million customers have downloaded it. CIO Magazine recently selected United as a recipient of its prestigious CIO 100 Award, recognizing the airline’s commitment to improving the customer experience with mobile technology. Later this year, United will begin to introduce its all-new united.com website, providing customers a simplified, clearer and faster user experience.
In 2007, United became the first U.S. airline to introduce mobile boarding passes, and it is the first U.S. carrier to offer mobile boarding at all 214 domestic airports it serves. United currently offers mobile boarding at 54 international airports, more than any other U.S.-based carrier.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Up close. United’s sleek Boeing 767-424 ER N69059 (msn 29454) rotates on the runway and departs from the San Francisco international hub.
United Airlines (Chicago) has converted seven of its remaining Boeing 787-8 orders to the larger 787-10 model according to Flightglobal citing a stock exchange filing. The first 787-10 will be delivered in 2018.
Meanwhile the airline will take delivery of its first 787-9 (N38950) later this month.
The 787-10s will replace older Boeing 767-4000 ERs and 777-200s.
United now has 26 787-9s and 27 787-10s on order.
Torn between the two manufacturers, United also has the Airbus A350-1000 on order.
Copyright Photo: Bjoern Schmitt/AirlinersGallery.com. United currently has 11 of the smaller 787-8 Dreamliners in service. Boeing 787-8 N27903 (msn 34823) departs the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
United Airlines (Chicago) has issued a new safety video with this message:
We’re onboarding a new safety video. Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and employees, so we’ve incorporated creative elements to maintain the interest of even our most frequent flyers flight after flight. Underscoring the message that safety is global, the video showcases locations throughout United’s broad route network.
Copyright Photo: Boeing 787-8 N26906 (msn 34829) taxies to the gate at Los Angeles.
United Airlines (Chicago) will end service to Guadalajara, Mexico from its San Francisco hub on September 21 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N475UA (msn 1495) taxies from the gate at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in the retro 1972 “A320 Friend Ship” color scheme.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 145XR (EMB-145XR) N18101 (msn 145590) arrives at the Chicago O’Hare hub.
United Airlines (UAL) (Chicago) today reported second quarter 2014 net income of $919 million, an increase of 51 percent year-over-year, or $2.34 per diluted share, excluding $130 million of special items. Including special items, UAL reported second quarter 2014 net income of $789 million, or $2.01 per diluted share.
United’s consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 3.7 percent in the second quarter of 2014 compared to the second quarter of 2013.
Second-quarter 2014 consolidated unit costs (CASM), excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, decreased 0.2 percent year-over-year on a consolidated capacity reduction of 0.1 percent. Second-quarter 2014 CASM, including those items, increased 2.2 percent year-over-year.
The company generated $1.5 billion of operating cash flow in the second quarter of 2014.
UAL ended the second quarter with $6.8 billion in unrestricted liquidity.
The company earned a 10.3 percent return on invested capital for the 12 months ended June 30, 2014.
UAL’s Board of Directors authorized a $1.0 billion share repurchase program, which the company expects to complete within the next three years.
“I am encouraged by the solid progress we made in the second quarter. Our team is focused on improving our operations and service and on continuing to improve year-over-year revenue performance and cost control,” said Jeff Smisek, UAL’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “The $1 billion share repurchase program we announced today demonstrates our progress and commitment to increasing value for our shareholders and the confidence we have in our plan.”
Second-Quarter Revenue and Capacity
For the second quarter of 2014, total revenue was $10.3 billion, an increase of 3.3 percent year-over-year. Second-quarter consolidated passenger revenue increased 3.6 percent to $9.0 billion, compared to the same period in 2013. Ancillary revenue per passenger in the second quarter increased 7.9 percent year-over-year to more than $21 per passenger. Second-quarter cargo revenue decreased 1.7 percent versus the second quarter of 2013 to $232 million. Other revenue in the second quarter increased 1.7 percent year-over-year to $1.1 billion.
Consolidated revenue passenger miles increased 0.6 percent and consolidated available seat miles decreased 0.1 percent year-over-year for the second quarter, resulting in a second-quarter consolidated load factor of 85.3 percent.
Second-quarter 2014 consolidated PRASM increased 3.7 percent and consolidated yield increased 3.0 percent compared to the second quarter of 2013. The company’s consolidated domestic PRASM, including both mainline and regional flying, increased 5.6 percent year-over-year.
“We are beginning to see the benefits of the changes we’re implementing to our network and revenue management processes,” said Jim Compton, UAL’s vice chairman and chief revenue officer. “We have more work to do, however, and will continue to make the appropriate adjustments to accelerate our revenue growth.”
Second-quarter consolidated CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expense, fuel and profit sharing, decreased 0.2 percent compared to the second quarter of 2013. Second-quarter consolidated CASM, including those items, increased 2.2 percent year-over-year. The company’s strong cost performance in the quarter was largely driven by execution on its cost-savings initiatives, as well as by the timing of certain expenses moving to the second half of the year.
Second-quarter total operating expenses, excluding special charges, increased $75 million, or 0.8 percent, year-over-year. Including special charges, total operating expenses increased $192 million, or 2.1 percent, in the second quarter versus the same period in 2013. Third-party business expense was $215 million in the second quarter of 2014.
Second-Quarter Liquidity and Cash Flow
UAL ended the second quarter with $6.8 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $1.0 billion of undrawn commitments under a revolving credit facility. The company generated $1.5 billion of operating cash flow in the second quarter. During the second quarter, the company had gross capital expenditures of $871 million, excluding fully reimbursable projects. The company made debt and capital lease principal payments of $333 million in the second quarter. For the 12 months ended June 30, 2014, the company’s return on invested capital was 10.3 percent.
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.
Share Repurchase Program
UAL’s Board authorized a $1.0 billion share repurchase program, which the company expects to complete within the next three years. This amount represents approximately 6 percent of the company’s market capitalization as of yesterday’s closing stock price. Additionally, in the second quarter, the company spent $62 million to retire convertible debt that would have converted into approximately 1.5 million shares of UAL common stock.
“We have laid a sound financial foundation over the last few years by paying off debt and investing in our business. Our earnings profile, coupled with measured capital expenditures and manageable debt maturities, enable us to take this initial step toward returning cash to our shareholders,” said John Rainey, UAL’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “This action helps us achieve a more balanced allocation of our cash flow.”
UAL may repurchase shares through the open market, privately negotiated transactions, block trades, or accelerated share repurchase transactions from time to time in accordance with applicable securities laws. UAL will repurchase shares of common stock subject to prevailing market conditions and may discontinue such repurchases at any time.
Second-Quarter 2014 Accomplishments
Operations, Employees and Network
United Airlines reported a second-quarter mainline on-time arrival rate (domestic and international) of 76.4 percent, adversely affected by multi-month runway closures in its San Francisco and Newark hubs. The on-time arrival rate is based on flights arriving within 14 minutes of scheduled arrival time.
The company reached a joint collective bargaining agreement with the Professional Airline Flight Control Association (PAFCA) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) for United’s dispatchers. The dispatchers subsequently ratified the new agreement.
The company began a facilitated negotiations process with the Association of Flight Attendants and held further discussions in advance of scheduled mediation with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, representing United’s technicians.
United expanded its industry-leading global route network, launching nonstop flights from Houston to Munich; Newark to Santiago, Dominican Republic; and new seasonal service between Chicago and Edinburgh, Scotland, and from Washington, D.C., to both Madrid and Nassau, Bahamas. The company continued to develop its industry-leading Pacific gateway in San Francisco by launching service to Chengdu, China, and announcing service to Tokyo’s Haneda airport. The company also announced new service from Houston to Santiago, Chile, and announced new routes from Chicago to Belize City, Belize; Denver to Panama City; Houston to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and San Francisco to Kelowna, British Columbia. The airline announced nine new domestic markets and launched 14 new domestic routes in the second quarter, including United’s first service to Atlantic City, N.J.; Bangor, Maine; Pueblo, Colorado; and St. Cloud, Minnesota.
Finance and Fleet
United raised $949 million of debt financing through enhanced equipment trust certificates at a blended rate of 4.13 percent. The debt proceeds are being used to finance the acquisition of 13 Boeing 737-900 ERs, nine Embraer 175s, two Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners and one Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
The company took delivery of 10 Boeing 737-900 ERs and one 787-8 Dreamliner, and also exited from scheduled service nine 757-200s during the quarter.
The company introduced seven highly efficient Embraer 175 aircraft to the United Express fleet. The modern and spacious 76-seat aircraft is the newest addition to the United Express fleet, enabling the airline to offer an improved regional jet experience. These aircraft will largely replace less-efficient 50-seat regional jets, and the company expects to reduce its 50-seat regional jet fleet by 38 aircraft by the end of the year.
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 240 aircraft.
Flyer-Friendly Product, Loyalty Program and Facilities
The company now offers Wi-Fi on more than 290 aircraft, including its entire Airbus fleet, and expects to have more than 450 Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft by the end of 2014.
United began installing its new personal device entertainment system on select aircraft, enabling customers to choose from more than 150 movies and nearly 200 television shows and watch them on their laptops or iOS devices.
United launched its all-new mobile application for the Android platform, offering innovative new features, smoother functionality and an improved touch-friendly design. The new Android app follows the airline’s redesign of its mobile app for the iOS platform.
United announced its 2015 MileagePlus program. Members will earn award miles based on ticket price – specifically the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges – and MileagePlus status, rather than distance flown.
United consolidated its London Heathrow operation into one terminal in the new Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal. United’s 22 Star Alliance partners serving Heathrow are progressively moving to Terminal 2, enabling faster, more convenient connections for customers. United operates more daily flights to Heathrow than any other U.S. carrier.
The company unveiled a new 10-gate, 97,000-square-foot concourse in Boston Logan International Airport’s Terminal B that offers modern conveniences that streamline the airport experience, including self-tagging baggage kiosks, automated self-boarding gates and a new customer service center.
The airline opened new United Clubs at London Heathrow, Boston and San Francisco, featuring the latest airport lounge design concept that it unveiled at United Clubs in Chicago, San Diego and Seattle. The company also opened a new United Global First Lounge in London, offering premium customers more privacy and personal service.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. An unique view of the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner for United showing off its sleek lines.
United to operate seasonal Washington Dulles-Los Cabos weekly flights, will launch two new Express routes from Newark
United Airlines (Chicago) will launch a weekly and seasonal route from the Washington (Dulles) hub to Los Cabos (Baja), Mexico from December 20 through May 2, 2015. The route will be operated on Saturdays with Boeing 737-700 aircraft per Airline Route.
The company is also starting two new daily United Express routes from the Newark hub starting on October 26; to London, Ontario and South Bend, Indiana. Both routes will be operated with Embraer ERJ 145 regional jets.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-724 N14731 (msn 28799) taxies at the San Francisco hub.
United Airlines (Chicago) flight 201 from Honolulu to Guam with 335 passengers and 13 crew members was diverted on July 10 to Midway Island because of a “mechanical issue” according to Channel 10. The Boeing 777-200 (N210UA) landed safely after the declared emergency. A replacement aircraft brought the passengers back to Honolulu on Friday morning.
According to eTurbo News, “A smoke-filled cabin, malfunctioning controls, and a loss of power forced the crew to declare an emergency, and they were able to safely land the widebody aircraft on the former military Midway Island airport at night.”
Midway Island was site of the important battle during World War II.
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In other news, United is reducing service to Caracas from Houston on September 15 following the actions of American and Delta as previously reported. United will reduce its daily service on the route to four flights a week. The U.S. carriers are reducing service to Venezuela as a result of the Venezuelan government strict rules of removing from the country ticket sales and denying the conversion from Bolivars to Dollars.
In further news, United is adding two routes from Guam on October 27 to both Seoul (Incheon) and Shanghai (Pudong) per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-222 ER N216UA (msn 30549) approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
United Airlines (Chicago) is adding three winter seasonal flights to some of the more popular ski destinations. The company will add weekly Denver-Mammoth Lakes, California service with United Express CRJ700s from December 20, 2014 through March 28, 2015 per Airline Route.
The company will also operate weekly Airbus A319 flights between the Washington (Dulles) hub and Hayden (Yampa Valley Airport – near Steamboat Springs), Colorado from December 14 through April 10, 2015.
Finally United will also operate weekly Washington (Dulles)-Jackson Hole, Wyoming Boeing 737-700 flights from December 20 through March 27, 2015.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-131 N840UA (msn 1522) departs from the Washington (Dulles) hub.
United Airlines flight 1463 is forced to make an emergency landing at Wichita after the emergency chute accidentally inflates inflight
United Airlines (Chicago) flight UA 1463 was forced to make an emergency landing at Wichita, Kansas after the aft emergency chute accidentally inflated while the Boeing 737-700 was at cruising altitude. According to Flight Aware the 737-700 with 96 passengers and crew members on board was forced to make a rapid descent before the safe landing. Flight 1463 was en route from the Chicago (O’Hare) hub to Orange County (Santa Ana).
Read the full report from Eyewitness News 12: CLICK HERE
Twitter Photo: Taylor Martinez.
United Airlines (Chicago) will initially operate its new stretched Boeing 787-9 on the domestic Los Angeles – Houston (Bush Intercontinental) – Los Angeles route from September 20 through October 25 per Airline Route. The new type will then be assigned to international routes from Los Angeles.
As previously reported, United will introduce nonstop flights between its hub at Los Angeles International Airport and Melbourne, Australia, effective on October 26, 2014 (westbound). The airline will fly the route six times weekly with the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. United is the North American launch customer for the 787-9, and this will be its first international deployment of the aircraft type.
United previously announced its second route for the 787-9. UA will introduce the new stretched Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the Los Angeles-Shanghai (Pudong) route on March 5, 2015, initially with four weekly flights (daily by May 8, 2015).
Copyright Photo: Bernie Leighton/AirlinersGallery.com. An aerial view at the Boeing’s flight line at Paine Field, Everett of the first United Airlines Boeing 787-9, registered as N38950 (msn 36401).
United Airlines (Chicago) operates a large international and domestic hub at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). The carrier recently de-hub its mainly domestic hub at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) in an attempt to reduces its loses at CLE. United is trying to cut $2 billion in costs.
This article by Bloomberg Businessweek explores the question of whether United should de-hub Dulles as it too loses money at IAD according to Imperial Capital analyst Bob McAdoo. The Dulles hub competes to a certain degree with its larger (former Continental) hub at Newark International Airport near New York. Ironically United built up the Dulles hub as a competitive move against the Continental hub at Newark and US Airways’ hub at Philadelphia.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-222 N779UA (msn 26941) climbs away from the runway at Washington Dulles International Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) previously announced that it will fly the new Boeing 787-9 on international nonstop service between its hub at Los Angeles International Airport and Melbourne, Australia, beginning in October. The airline will fly the route six times weekly with the aircraft. United will be the first North American carrier to take delivery of the stretched 787-9.
United has completed the final cabin configuration and painting. The 787-9 will be configured with 252 seats – 48 in United BusinessFirst and 204 in United Economy, including 88 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space. The first 787-9 will also be one of five aircraft used by Boeing in a flight test program to certify the aircraft.
United has now announced its second route for the 787-9. UA will introduce the new stretched Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the Los Angeles-Shanghai (Pudong) on March 5, 2015, initially with four weekly flights (daily by May 8, 2015).
In other news, United Airlines has announced that dispatchers, represented by the Professional Airline Flight Control Association (PAFCA) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU), have ratified a new joint labor agreement for all United Airlines dispatchers. The agreement covers more than 330 United dispatchers.
United has achieved joint collective bargaining agreements with a majority of the company’s represented work force, including pilots, fleet service, passenger service, reservations and storekeeper workgroups.
The company is starting an expedited negotiations process with the Association of Flight Attendants and expects to enter back into negotiations with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, representing United’s technicians, soon.
Copyright Photo: Bernie Leighton/AirlinersGallery.com. An aerial view at the Boeing’s flight line at Paine Field, Everett of the first United Airlines Boeing 787-9, registered as N38950 (msn 36401).
Video: A tour of the initial Boeing 787-8:
United Airlines (Chicago) will start Houston (Bush Intercontinental)-Santiago, Chile daily service on December 7. The route will be flown with Boeing 767-300 ERs.
Additionally the company will also operate a weekly Houston (Bush)-Punta Cana route starting on December 20 with Boeing 737-800s and a weekly Chicago (O’Hare)-Belize City route also starting also on December 20 with Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
On Monday, June 16 United issued this statement:
United Airlines has announced the company will introduce service to Santiago, Chile, from its hub at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, beginning on December 7, 2014, subject to government approval.
Flight UA 847 will depart Houston daily at 9:05 p.m. (2105) and arrive in Santiago at 9:40 a.m. (0940) the next day. Return flight UA 846 will depart Santiago daily at 10:45 p.m. (2245) and arrive in Houston at 5:40 a.m. (0540) the following day. (All times are local.)
The flights are timed to provide convenient connections from Houston to 111 airports across the United States and to more than 60 international destinations.
United will operate its Houston-Santiago service with Boeing 767-300 aircraft with a total of 214 seats – 30 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst and 184 seats in United Economy, including 49 extra-legroom United Economy Plus seats.
Additional New Service
United also is boosting its Central America and Caribbean connections, beginning December 20, 2014:
Houston-Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, with year-round service on Saturdays and service on Sundays during periods of expected higher demand
Chicago-Belize City, Belize, subject to government approval, with Saturday service scheduled through early May 2015
This winter, United also plans to expand its Houston-Aruba service. The airline currently offers Saturday Houston-Aruba flights that are scheduled to continue through mid-August 2014. On December 20, the company will resume Saturday service that will continue through early May 2015 and begin service on Sundays for periods of expected higher demand.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-322 ER N676UA (msn 30028) approaches the runway at Washington’s Dulles International Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) will add additional Embraer 175 flights from the San Francisco hub in the fall. In addition to the previously-reported routes, United will add United Express service from SFO with the new E175 flights to Boise (starting on September 30), Calgary (September 21), Dallas/Fort Worth (October 26), Kansas City (October 26), St. Louis (September 20) and Salt Lake City (October 26) per Airline Route.
The SFO flights are expected to be operated by SkyWest Airlines.
SkyWest Airlines operated its E175 inaugural flight, operating as United Express, from Chicago O’Hare to Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 17. According to SkyWest, “the milestone represented a tremendous amount of preparation and hard work by many SkyWest employees during the last 15 months.”
Within the next two years, SkyWest will take delivery of 40 new E175s that will operate under an agreement with United Airlines.
According to the airline, “the E175 is the fifth aircraft type in SkyWest’s current fleet, and from full-sized cargo-bins to larger aisles and seats, it’s filled with enhanced features that will help ensure every passenger enjoys a comfortable, convenient flight.”
From Houston, E175 service on flights between the hub at George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Atlanta and New Orleans begins on June 15, and between Houston and Austin starting on June 16. United also launched E175 service between Chicago O’Hare and Minneapolis/St. Paul on June 5; between Chicago O’Hare and Atlanta beginning on June 15; and between Chicago O’Hare and New York LaGuardia beginning on June 23.
United Express carrier Mesa Airlines will operate the flights between Houston and Atlanta, Austin and New Orleans. United Express carrier SkyWest Airlines will operate the flights between Chicago and Atlanta, New York LaGuardia and Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Copyright Photo: United Airlines.
United Airlines (Chicago) today announced that the company will make changes to its MileagePlus program in 2015. Members will earn award miles based on their ticket price rather than distance flown.
Beginning March 1, 2015, members will earn award miles based on the price of their ticket – specifically the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges – and their MileagePlus status. Members will earn five miles for every dollar spent, while those with MileagePlus Premier status will earn the following on their base fare and carrier surcharges:
Status level on day of departure on or after March 1, 2015:
The new earning structure will apply to MileagePlus members worldwide for most tickets for travel on United and United Express flights, and most United-issued tickets for flights on the company’s airline partners – tickets with numbers that begin with “016.” Members may earn up to 75,000 award miles per ticket.
In addition, next year United plans to offer members new opportunities to use their award miles, including for single-flight purchases of extra-legroom United Economy Plus seats and to purchase Economy Plus and checked-baggage subscriptions.
Tickets not issued by United for MileagePlus partner airline flights departing on or after March 1 will still earn award miles based on distance flown and purchased fare class.
The new earning structure will not affect the way members qualify for Premier status in 2015, and MileagePlus credit card members will still earn even more miles when they use their cards to purchase United tickets.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-924 ER N77430 (msn 37098) prepares to land at the Washington Dulles hub.
United Airlines (Chicago) today launches new nonstop service linking the airline’s San Francisco hub with Chengdu, China, the fourth-largest Chinese city, becoming the first carrier to fly nonstop from the U.S. to mainland China beyond Beijing and Shanghai and the first U.S. carrier to serve Chengdu.
United will use the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner to operate the three-times-weekly service. Chengdu is the ninth destination United serves in the Asia/Pacific region nonstop from San Francisco, from which United offers more nonstop trans-Pacific flights from the United States than any other carrier.
Flight UA 9 will depart San Francisco International Airport at 1:25 p.m. (1325) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and arrive at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 6:40 p.m. (1840) the following day (all times local). For the return, flight UA 8 will depart at 9:50 a.m. (0950) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and arrive at San Francisco International Airport at 8:40 a.m. (0840) the same day. Flying times will be approximately 14 hours, 15 minutes westbound and 13 hours, 50 minutes eastbound. This new nonstop flight will shave nearly four hours off the typical travel time between the two cities.
Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in southwest China, is the country’s fourth largest city, with a population of approximately 14 million in the urban area. In recent years, Chengdu has been one of the country’s fastest-developing cities economically, and more than half of the Fortune 500 companies have a presence in the city. Sichuan is famous as the natural habitat of the giant panda and home to one of China’s most popular cuisines.
United is the largest carrier at San Francisco International Airport, offering nearly 300 daily flights to more than 90 destinations in the U.S. and around the world, more service than any other airline from the Bay Area. From its San Francisco hub, United also offers more nonstop trans-Pacific service to and from the United States than any other carrier hub. United currently operates more than 30 daily nonstop flights from San Francisco to 21 international destinations and will add nonstop service from San Francisco to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport in October, pending government approval.
United started nonstop service to mainland China in 1986 and today serves Beijing with nonstop flights from Chicago (O’Hare), Newark, San Francisco and Washington (Dulles); Shanghai with nonstop flights from Chicago (O’Hare), Los Angeles, Newark and San Francisco; and Hong Kong with nonstop flights from Chicago (O’Hare), Newark, San Francisco, Guam, Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City.
The airline recently announced it will add new twice-weekly service between Guam and Shanghai beginning October 28, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner N29907 (msn 34830) taxies across the ramp at Los Angeles International Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) last night (June 5) launched the Washington area’s only nonstop flights between the airline’s hub at Dulles International Airport and Madrid, with daily summer-season service through September 4, 2014.
Flight UA 163 departs Washington Dulles International Airport at 5:45 p.m. (1745), arriving at Madrid–Barajas Airport at 7:40 a.m. (0740) the following day (all times local). On the return, Flight UA 164 departs Madrid at 11:35 a.m. (1135), arriving in Washington at 2:30 p.m. (1430) the same day. Flight times are seven hours, 55 minutes eastbound and eight hours, 55 minutes westbound.
United will operate the service with Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a total of 169 seats – 16 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst and 153 seats in United Economy, including 45 Economy Plus extra-legroom seats.
United Airlines has been serving Spain for more than 20 years. In addition to the Washington–Madrid service, the airline operates Newark-Madrid and Newark-Barcelona service.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-222 N574UA (msn 26686) climbs away from Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C.
The first phase of the rebuilding of Terminal 2 at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) opened today (June 4) for the Star Alliance. United Airlines operated the first flights from the new T2.
The Star Alliance has issued this statement:
The new Terminal 2 – the home of Star Alliance at Heathrow – threw open its doors to welcome its first passengers, marking the start of a new travel experience for the 12 million Star Alliance passengers who pass through this leading UK airport every year. Star Alliance member airline United is the first to move in to the new facility, known as Terminal 2 | the Queen’s Terminal for her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
All 23 Star Alliance airlines operating Heathrow will move over the next six months: the first time all member airlines will be collocated at the airport. “After many years of planning and construction, tests and optimisation, we at Star Alliance are proud to welcome the first passengers into the new terminal,” said Star Alliance CEO Mark Schwab. “It is particularly fitting that one of our five founder members, United, should operate the first flights from this terminal, which sets new standards for Alliance customer service and seamless travel at this important hub airport.”
The first flight to arrive at the new terminal was United’s service UA 958 from Chicago, which landed at 05:43 local time and reached gate B38 at 05:49, six minutes ahead of schedule. The Boeing 767-300 had 178 passengers and 11 crew on board.
Terminal 2, designed by lead architect Luis Vidal, was jointly developed by Heathrow, Star Alliance and its member carriers, with the aim of establishing a true seamless hub at one of the world’s premier international airports. Optimised for today’s air traveller, the facilities of the 23 Star Alliance airlines are integrated to an unprecedented level – laying the groundwork for customer service excellence.
Once all airlines are in residence, connections for transfer passengers will be smoother than ever before at Heathrow, with a standardised minimum connection time of just 60 minutes. Move dates for the remaining 22 airlines have been carefully planned to ensure that each group of airlines has time to embed its operations before the next set of carriers moves in.
Air Canada, Air China and ANA will be the next new occupants, transferring their operations to T2 from June 18th. In July, Aegean, EVA Air, THAI, and Turkish Airlines will move in, together with Avianca – which will launch a service between London and Bogota on July 4th. After a break for the European summer holiday period, moves will resume in September with EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines and Singapore Airlines. Then finally, October sees the arrival of Air New Zealand, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, South African Airways, SWISS and TAP Portugal.
A positive tone for the passenger journey is set by the architectural design of the terminal, which uses natural light to create an open and airy atmosphere. Its open-plan check-in facility is directly adjacent to the security area. Passengers exit security on the top level of a two-tier international departures hall, with a clear view out onto the airport. This is just one example of the logical passenger flows that underpin the terminal’s design.
Departing and arriving passengers pass through the building on different levels, guided by clear signage. Transfer passengers follow a separate channel from the arrival gate to security and then join the departing passengers flow. Technology is integrated into the terminal experience and will be used throughout to give the passenger control of their journey. The check-in area has been specially designed for speed and efficiency.
Airlines are grouped in zones, while a row of 81 common use self-service kiosks can be used by any passenger to check in and/or print a bag tag before they proceed to a bag drop desk to hand their luggage to an agent. Full-service traditional check-in desks are provided for the use of First Class, Business class and Star Alliance Gold passengers. Premium passengers also have a fast-track option to speed them through the security checks.
Eight out of 12 gates at the T2B satellite will allow self-boarding, meaning passengers simply pass through a mechanical barrier to board their flight. Four airline lounges will be available for premium passengers, including those with Star Alliance Gold status. These are located in the main terminal building and the satellite, so eligible passengers can relax close to their gate.
The 23 Star Alliance airlines serving Heathrow are Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca*, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, and United. Together they operate over 121 flights per day to 45 destinations in 25 countries. Each of these flights acts as a gateway to the full Alliance network of more than 18,000 daily flights to 1,269 airports in 193 countries. The strong Star Alliance hub at Heathrow is expected to act as a catalyst for growth in global passenger traffic to London and to increase the attractiveness of Heathrow as an international transfer airport. It will enhance Heathrow’s standing for the truly frequent international traveller.
In addition, United Airlines issued this statement:
United Airlines today (June 4) became the first airline to operate a flight at London Heathrow Airport’s new Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal. United flight UA 958, a Boeing 767 from Chicago, arrived at gate 38B at 5:49 a.m. local time.
United flight 958 was the first of United’s 17 scheduled flight arrivals at Terminal 2 today. The airline also is scheduled to operate 17 departures from the terminal today, bringing all of its operations at Heathrow – previously split between Terminals 1 and 4 – “under one roof” for the first time.
Interactive LHR Airport Map: CLICK HERE
United Airlines (Chicago) will start a new international route from its Denver hub to Panama City, Panama on December 3. The new route will be operated daily with Boeing 737-700s per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-724 N39728 (msn 28944) approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) has filed to operate nonstop Guam-Shanghai (Pudong). According to Airline Route, the new route will be operated two days a week with Boeing 737-700s.
In addition, United is dropping the Los Angeles-Kelowna, British Columbia route on September 2 (switched to the San Francisco hub) as well as the Los Angeles-Bakersfield route on August 19. The company is also ending the Newark-Moncton route on September 18.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-724 N16709 (msn 28779) taxies at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
United Airlines (Chicago) will end its Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia regional routes to Las Vegas on September 2 per Airline Route. SkyWest Airlines (St. George) currently operates its United Express Brasilias to both Fresno and Palm Springs from LAS.
Additionally United is starting nonstop United Express Bombardier CRJ200 regional jet service from its San Francisco hub to Kelowna, British Columbia on September 20.
Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. SkyWest’s EMB-120ER Brasilia N568SW (msn 120343) lands at LAS.