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British Airways-Iberia operating profit doubles in the first year together

International Airlines Group (IAG) (British Airways and Iberia) (London) reported it had an operating profit of $653 million in 2011.

Here is the full report from the group:

IAG period highlights on combined results:

·      Fourth quarter operating profit of €34 million, before exceptional items (2010: €6 million)

·      Operating profit for the year to December 31, 2011 of €485 million, before exceptional items (2010: €225 million)

·      Profit before tax for the year of €503 million after exceptional items (2010: €84 million)

·      Revenue for the year up 10.4 per cent to €16,339 million (2010: €14,798 million), including €317 million or 2.1 per cent of adverse currency impact

·      Passenger unit revenue for the year up 3.6 per cent (5.8 per cent at constant currency), on top of capacity increases of 7.1 per cent

·      Fuel costs for the year up 29.7 per cent to €5,068 million, before exceptional items (2010: €3,907 million), fuel unit costs were up 21.4 per cent

·      Other operating costs up 1.1 per cent at €10,786 million, before exceptional items, including €165 million or 1.5 per cent of favourable currency impact. Non-fuel unit costs down 5.6 per cent, or 4.1 per cent at constant currency

·      Cash down €617 million for the year to €3,735 million

·      Group net debt up €253 million in the year to €1,148 million

In other news, British Airways has announced it intends to introduce the new Airbus A380 in early 2013 on routes to New York (JFK), Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore.

Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord.

British Airways Slide Show: CLICK HERE

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JetBlue to fly Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood to Bogota, Colombia

JetBlue Airways (New York) is planning to connect South Florida with Bogota, Colombia’s capital, with a new daily nonstop flight between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Bogota’s El Dorado International Airport starting on May 7, 2012.

JetBlue’s flights between Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Bogota will be operated with Airbus A320s.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough.

JetBlue Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Boeing 787 Dreamliner kicks off fourth leg of the Dream Tour in Toronto

Boeing’s (Chicago) 787 Dreamliner touched down at Toronto Pearson International Airport today to kick off the fourth leg of the 787 Dream Tour – a worldwide tour featuring the Dreamliner. This leg of the tour includes eight cities across North America.

The Dream Tour airplane is in Toronto to celebrate Air Canada’s 75th Anniversary. During the two-day stop, Air Canada executives, employees and other guests will have a chance to view the airplane, including the interior. The airplane will also be open to employees of local Boeing 787 partner Messier-Bugatti-Dowty. Those employees provide the Dreamliner’s landing gear structure and electric brakes.

The airplane, ZA003, was originally used for flight testing but has been elegantly refurbished to showcase the capabilities and features of the 787 including an interior that highlights the many passenger-preferred amenities of the airplane.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

Bottom Copyright Photo: TMK Photography. Boeing 787-8 N787BX (msn 40692) (aka “ZA003) arrives at an overcast Toronto (Pearson).

American Airlines to introduce new “Main Cabin Extra” product

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort/Worth) today announced plans to outfit its entire mainline fleet with Main Cabin Extra, which will offer more leg room as well as priority boarding. American plans to begin installations this year, and over time will update all of its existing aircraft. New Boeing 737-800 aircraft being delivered to American will come equipped with Main Cabin Extra seating beginning this fall. Anticipated future aircraft, including Airbus A321s, and A319s, and Boeing 777-300 ERs and 787s, will also offer Main Cabin Extra.

Main Cabin Extra seats will be located in the front portion of the Main Cabin, allowing easier boarding and deplaning. AAdvantage Executive Platinum®, and AAdvantage Platinum® members, and customers who purchase a full-fare economy class ticket will receive complimentary access to Main Cabin Extra, subject to availability. Also, AAdvantage Gold® members will receive complimentary access to the new seating product through December 31, 2013. American will continue to reserve a significant portion of Main Cabin Extra seats and other seats in the Main Cabin exclusively for elite customers who can select these seating options at the time of booking up until check-in.

For other customers who wish to purchase Main Cabin Extra, prices will range between $8 and $108 per segment, depending on the length of the flight. Main Cabin Extra will be available for purchase beginning in spring 2012 for travel onboard the 777-300 ERs. Customers will be able to reserve these seats on AA.com, at self-service check-in machines, through American Airlines reservations, and through travel agencies using American’s direct connect. Seats will be available for purchase from time of booking up until check-in. American intends to complete installation of Main Cabin Extra on the vast majority of its fleet within 18 months.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

American Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Atlantic Airways of the Faroe Islands introduces a new color scheme

Atlantic Airways (Vagar) of the Faroe Islands is getting ready to formally introduce this new livery. BAe RJ100 OY-RCC (msn E3357) was rolled out of the paint shop at Manchester on February 29, 2012.

Copyright Photo: Nik French.

Hot New Photos Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Compare with the old livery: CLICK HERE

Gol explores its options for expansion into the United States and Venezuela

Gol Transportes Aéreos (Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes) (Sao Paulo) has announced it is evaluating new opportunities and requested the consulting company ANAC to explore the availability of 14 weekly flights to the United States and another seven frequencies to Venezuela.

Copyright Photo: Marcelo F. De Biasi.

Gol Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Aeroperlas ceases all operations

Aeroperlas (Aeroperlas Regional) (Aerolíneas Islas de Las Perlas) (Panama City, Panama) ceased all operations yesterday (February 29) . The airline operated scheduled flights as part of the Grupo TACA Regional Airlines network mostly in TACA markings.

The airline was established and started operations in June 1970 as Aerolíneas Islas de las Perlas. Aeroperlas was owned by the government of Panama from 1976 until 1987 when it was sold to private investors.

Mexicana hopes to fly again in April

Mexicana (Mexico City) hopes to relaunch operations in April following an injection of $300 million by Med Atlantica according to the Wall Street Journal.

MX previously ceased operations on August 28, 2010.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Rurik Enriquez.

Mexicana Slide Show: CLICK HERE

AeroMexico produces a $162.6 million net profit in 2011

AeroMexico (Mexico City) had a good year in 2011. The Mexican carrier produced a net profit of $162.6 million (US).

Here is the full financial report by the company:

Grupo Aeromexico, S.A.B. DE C.V. (Mexico City) (Grupo Aeromexico or the Company), the largest intercontinental airline in Mexico, today reported consolidated unaudited results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2011. The following is a summary of consolidated financial and operating information from Grupo Aeromexico’s unaudited financial statements for the quarter and the full year ended December 31, 2011 and audited financial statements for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2010.

  • Grupo Aeromexico reported a net income of MXP $2,081 million for the full year 2011. After excluding special items, net income reached a total of MXP $ 1,873 million, surpassing full year net income adjusted for special items of MXP $ 565 million in 2010.
  • In 2011, Grupo Aeromexico achieved a record operating profit of MXP $3,429 million, which represents 27% growth year-over-year. The Company maintained an operating margin of 9.6%; the same level as that of 2010, despite the increase in fuel prices, and the global economic slowdown and financial volatility of 2011.
  • These positive results were due to strong growth in passenger numbers, which then increased Grupo Aeromexico’s load factor, yield and overall market share to record-high levels.
  • Net income for the fourth quarter 2011 was MXP $208 million, which was lower than net income for the fourth quarter of 2010. However, a non-recurring revenue of MXP $1,289 million was recorded in the last quarter of 2010 related to deferred taxes. Excluding the aforementioned, net income for the fourth quarter 2011 was above of the recurrent net income of MXP $ 11 million of the fourth quarter 2010, despite the 40% increase in fuel cost.
  • Quarterly EBITDAR was MXP $1,847 million; 21% below that of the fourth quarter 2010. Operating profit for the fourth quarter 2011 was MXP $810 million, 44% less than the fourth quarter of the previous year. These results reflect the pressure of increased fuel costs in 2011 and the exceptional traffic of the fourth quarter of 2010 due to the consolidation of the Mexican aviation industry.
  • Load factor for 2011 was 78.4%; the highest yearly level in the Company’s history. The quarterly load factor was 78.1%, 2.4 percent points below the fourth quarter of 2010.
  • Total revenues for 2011 were MXP $35,808 million; up 28% year on year. During the quarter, total revenues increased 12% to a total of MXP $9,651 million. These results were largely due to an increase in passenger traffic and improved cargo revenues.
  • Unit cost, or CASK (Cost per Available Seat Kilometer), excluding fuel costs, decreased by 3% in 2011, due to the Company’s commitment to a policy of expense rationalization and improved operating efficiency. Year over year, the Company maintained the same CASK excluding fuel levels during the fourth quarter, despite exchange rate depreciation in the fourth quarter 2011.
  • The Company received four Embraer 190, six Boeing 737 and one Boeing 767 aircraft throughout the year, as part of its expansion plan.
  • At the end of 2011, Grupo Aeromexico’s cash position was MXP $4,100 million; 209% higher than the net balance as of December 31, 2010. Therefore, net financial debt, which deducts the unrestricted cash position from financial debt, ended with a negative balance of MXP $ 921 million, decreasing from the positive balance of MXP $911 at the end of 2010.

Copyright Photo: James Helbock.

AeroMexico Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Continental’s CO code fades into aviation history on March 3 as United integrates reservations systems and websites

United Airlines (Chicago) is planning to finally integrate the Continental and United computer reservations systems and websites on March 3. This will mean the final retirement of the CO code and continental.com website although the two airlines are now considered one airline under a single operating certificate. Goodbye CO/COA.

Read the full article from the Daily Herald: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best.

Continental Slide Show: CLICK HERE

United Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Delta to seasonally drop the Memphis-Amsterdam route

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is planning to seasonally drop the Memphis-Amsterdam route in September according to this article by The Daily News. The route will return in the summer of 2013.

Read the article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

Delta Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Republic loses $151.8 million in 2011

Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Frontier Airlines (2nd), Republic Airlines (2nd) and Shuttle America. The Company in the fourth quarter (ending on December 31, 2011) on a GAAP basis, reported a net loss of $123.5 million, or $2.55 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $1.3 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, for the same period last year. On an ex-item basis, the Company is reporting net income of $17.0 million, or $0.34 per diluted share, compared to an ex-item net income of $7.4 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, for the three month periods ended Dec. 31, 2011 and 2010, respectively.

For the full year 2011, the Company reported revenues of $2.86 billion, compared to $2.65 billion for 2010. On a GAAP basis, the Company reported a net loss for 2011 of $151.8 million, or $3.14 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $13.8 million, or $0.38 per diluted share for the full year 2010.

For the fourth quarter, the Company reported operating revenues of $697.8 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, an increase of 7.4%, compared to $649.8 million for the same period last year. The increase in revenues is primarily due to an 11.0% increase in Frontier Airlines’ unit revenues.

During the quarter, the Company recorded an impairment charge of $191.1 million to reduce the carrying value of certain assets, mainly its 42 owned 37-50 seat aircraft. The Company also recorded non-cash charges of approximately $24.1 million related to the expected return of four leased A319 aircraft in 2012 and approximately $9.0 million related to the renegotiation of its ERJ 190 purchase order and the expected return of certain leased Embraer aircraft in 2012.

As of December 31, 2011, the Company operated 56 aircraft with 44-50 seats and 126 aircraft with 69-80 seats under our fixed-fee commercial agreements. Two 50-seat aircraft that were supporting our fixed-fee agreements as spares during the peak summer months were reallocated to charter operations during the fourth quarter.

The Company’s branded business segment includes all operations flown as Frontier Airlines and Frontier Express. Total branded revenues increased 8.9% to $422.4 million for the quarter, compared to $387.9 million for the same period in 2010. Capacity on Frontier, as measured by ASMs, was down 1.9% from the prior year’s fourth quarter. Load factor for the fourth quarter was a record 86.8%, an increase of 5.6 points from the fourth quarter of 2010. Total revenue per ASM (TRASM) was 11.90¢, up 11.0% from the same quarter in 2010. For the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, our branded business posted ex-item pre-tax income of $7.8 million compared to a loss of $11.2 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2010.

The operating unit cost for branded operations, excluding fuel and impairments, was 7.93¢ for the quarter. However, excluding integration and fleet transition expenses of $40.1 million, or 1.13¢ per ASM, the unit cost was 6.80¢ for the fourth quarter of 2011.

Fuel costs for branded operations were $164.4 million for the quarter. The fuel cost per gallon, including into-plane taxes and fees, increased 27.3% to $3.22 for the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to $2.53 for the prior year’s fourth quarter. The fourth quarter 2011 result includes a gain on fuel hedges of $3.5 million, or $0.07 per gallon. The Company realized gains of $1.5 million, or $0.03 per gallon for hedges that were settled during the quarter. The Company currently has no hedge positions for 2012.

The Company’s Other business segment includes revenues from aircraft subleases, license fees on airport slots and expenses associated with those activities, as well as any unassigned aircraft expenses. The Company reported ex-item pre-tax loss of $2.2 million in the fourth quarter, compared to a pre-tax income of $1.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2010.

During the fourth quarter, the Company sold airport slots for a total of $47.5 million and recorded a gain on the sale of approximately $2.4 million, which is reflected in the Other segment.

As of Dec. 31, 2011, the Company has a total of 25 aircraft included in its Other segment that are not reflected as operating aircraft in the branded or fixed-fee operating highlights tables in this release. This includes 11 ERJ 145 aircraft that are being subleased offshore, eleven 37-50 seat aircraft that are being utilized for charter operations or are temporarily parked, and two Q400 aircraft and one ERJ 170 aircraft that are temporarily parked. During the quarter, the Company incurred approximately $2.7 million of expenses in its Other segment for aircraft that are temporarily parked. The Company is attempting to sell, place into fixed-fee service or otherwise sublease aircraft that are excess to its projected operating needs.

Total revenues for the year for Frontier were $1.76 billion, up 10.0% from the 2010 result of $1.60 billion on 1.1% fewer ASMs. Load factor was a record 85.8% for the year, up more than three points from the 2010 result, and TRASM was 11.74¢, up more than 11% from the 2010 result. Excluding items, Frontier reported a pre-tax loss of $70.4 million in 2011, compared to a pre-tax loss of $29.8 million in 2010.

Frontier fuel costs were approximately $718 million for the year, up 31%, or approximately $170 million from the 2010 level, on 8.1% fewer block hours. The fuel cost per gallon, including into-plane taxes and fees, was $3.25 for the year, up 35.4% from the 2010 level of $2.40.

The Company’s total operational fleet increased from September 30, 2011, by two aircraft, to 281 aircraft, as of December 31, 2011. The Company purchased two ERJ 190 aircraft and leased one A320 aircraft during the fourth quarter of 2011. These aircraft were placed into branded operations during the quarter. The Company also sold one Q400 aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The Company’s total cash balance decreased $59.6 million to $370.7 million as of Dec. 31, 2011, compared to Dec. 31, 2010. Restricted cash increased $12.3 million, to $151.4 million, from Dec. 31, 2010. The Company’s unrestricted cash balance decreased $71.9 million, to $219.3 million, from Dec. 31, 2010. A condensed cash flow statement for the years ended Dec. 31, 2011 and 2010 has been provided in the tables section of this release.

The Company’s debt decreased to $2.36 billion as of Dec. 31, 2011, compared to $2.58 billion at Dec. 31, 2010. As of Dec. 31, 2011, approximately 85% of the total debt is fixed-rate. The Company has significant long-term lease obligations for aircraft that are classified as operating leases and are not reflected as liabilities on the Company’s consolidated balance sheet. At a 6.0% discount factor, the present value of these lease obligations was approximately $1.20 billion as of Dec. 31, 2011.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

Frontier Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Frontier continues to add new service from Orlando

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) announced today it will add new year-round, nonstop service between Orlando, Forida (MCO) and Bloomington/Normal, Illinois (BMI). Additionally, the airline will increase its existing nonstop service between Orlando and Madison, Wisconsin (MSN) from seasonal to year-round and will upgrade the aircraft used on the route from a 99-seat Embraer ERJ 190 operated by Republic Airlines (2nd) to a 138-seat Airbus A19. The Bloomington/Normal service, also operated with Airbus A319s, will operate three days each week, begins on May 25, 2012; the year-round, twice-weekly Madison service will launch on May 27, 2012.

The news of the two new routes comes on the heels of an announcement yesterday by Frontier of new year-round, nonstop service between Orlando and both Allentown, Pennsylvania (ABE) and Harrisburg, Pa. (MDT) beginning in May. Frontier also recently announced that it would begin service between Bloomington/Normal and Denver in May.

This brings the total number of Orlando destinations to 10.

Copyright Photo: James Helbock. Benny, the North American Grizzly Bear graces the tail of Airbus A319-112 N951FR.

Click on the “Benny” tail below to see all of the Frontier tales and names.

Frontier Slide Show: CLICK HERE

The updated route map showing the new routes:

Click on the map to expand.

 

Spirit Airlines is coming to Minneapolis/St. Paul on May 31

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) today announced that it will start nonstop service from Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport to Chicago (O’Hare) and Las Vegas. On May 31, 2012, Spirit will begin three daily nonstop flights between Minneapolis/St. Paul and Chicago (O’Hare) and daily nonstop service between Minneapolis/St. Paul and Las Vegas.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum.

Spirit Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air employees receive $54 Million in 2011 annual bonuses

Alaska Air Group (Seattle/Tacoma) paid annual bonuses totaling $53.8 million today to nearly all of its 12,800 employees for exceeding the company’s 2011 operational and financial goals. The bonus of about 6.7 percent of annual pay, or more than three weeks pay for most workers, is in addition to $1,000 in bonuses, on average, that each employee earned last year for achieving monthly on-time and customer satisfaction targets. The combined monthly and annual bonuses amounted to nearly $72 million.

Nearly $33 million in annual bonuses — 61 percent of the total — is being paid to some 6,300 Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air employees in the Puget Sound area. Another $7.6 million is being paid to employees in the Portland, Ore., area while $5.3 million is going to workers throughout the state of Alaska.

Bonuses in Alaska Air Group’s Performance Based Pay Plan are determined by meeting specific company-wide goals for safety, customer satisfaction, cost control and profit that are approved annually by the board of directors. Annual bonuses have averaged 5 percent since the plan was formed in 2003.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

Alaska Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Alaska Horizon Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Horizon Slide Show: CLICK HERE

China Southern Airlines to acquire 10 Boeing 777-300 ERs

China Southern Airlines (Guangzhou) has agreed to buy 10 Boeing 777-300 ERs, as the airline plans to expand its capacity to meet growing demand in Asia-Pacific and China. The prospective order is subject to final approval by the CAAC.

Copyright Photo: John Adlard. The stretched Extended Range Triple Seven will be a new type for China Southern. The carrier currently operates four Boeing 777-200s and six 777-200 ERs.

China Southern Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Etihad Airways to launch flights to Basra in southern Iraq on April 15

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) will launch flights to Basra in southern Iraq on April 15 .Basra becomes the 84th destination in the carrier’s global network and the third city it flies to in Iraq. Etihad Airways already operates services to the capital, Baghdad, and Erbil, in the country’s north.

Etihad will assign Airbus A320s to the Abu Dhabi-Basra route with 16 Pearl Business class seats and 120 seats in Coral Economy class. The new route will operate four times a week.

Copyright Photo: OSDU.

Etihad Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Airberlin now uses less fuel per operation than any other network carrier in Europe

Airberlin (Berlin) is working hard to become more efficient as the cost of fuel rises. Fuel efficiency has improved by another 1.5 percent for 2011.

The company has issued this report:

“Airberlin ended 2011 by setting a new record. Germany’s second largest airline managed to improve its fuel efficiency by another 1.5%, reducing its average specific fuel consumption to 3.5 liters per 100 passenger kilometers flown (PKM). This means that airberlin uses less fuel per service operated than any other network carrier in Europe.

During a presentation in Dusseldorf on Friday, Hartmut Mehdorn, CEO of airberlin, commented that “Environmental protection has become one of the criteria of competitiveness. The careful use of resources leads to a sustainable reduction in costs and has a beneficial impact on the environment. Customers view this as providing added value, an area which airberlin would like to develop further.”

The savings made in 2011 amounted to nearly 19,800 tons of fuel over the 12 months, which corresponds to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 62,000 tons. This record-breaking achievement is the result of efforts made within the company. A large contribution to the new savings has been made by measures which provide more precise and up-to-date information for flight operations, such as weather, temperatures or flight path. The optimisation of flight times on turboprop and jet aircraft and a more refined approach to aircraft loading also help to reduce fuel consumption. airberlin has also succeeded in standardising other measures with its partner airlines, such as the washing of engines, and in doing so has strengthened its activity aimed at protecting the environment.

In the field of air traffic, fuel is one of the most significant factors, alongside political policy, which drive prices upwards. Reducing fuel consumption is therefore a matter of utmost importance. Environmental protection is given top priority at airberlin. In 2012, the company aims to reduce its average specific fuel consumption to 3.4 liters per 100 PKM. This corresponds to an additional reduction of 100,000 tonnes in CO2 emissions.”

The rising cost of fuel on a worldwide basis is going to cull out those airlines which are not as efficient. It will be a survival of the fittest.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean.

Airberlin Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Aeroflot’s fleet to more than double by the end of 2014

Aeroflot Russian Airlines’ (Moscow) board of directors has approved the company’s plans to increase the fleet size from the current 114 aircraft to 255 aircraft by the end of 2014 according to Radio Free Europe.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton.

Aeroflot Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Ryanair is suing ExxonMobil for overcharging on fuel + other news

Ryanair (Dublin) is making a lot of news lately (probably intentional to stay in the news) (see also Wizz Air). First, the company is suing ExxonMobil for overcharging on the cost of fuel for the past seven years according to this report by The Guardian.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Next, the ultra low-fare airline is again calling on the Irish government to sell its 25 percent share in Aer Lingus to Ryanair. The company is boasting only it can operate both airlines according to the Irish Times.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Further Ryanair’s flamboyant CEO (Michael O’Leary) has criticized the Boeing 737 MAX design and is also talking to the Chinese about a possible COMAC C-919 order according to this article by Flightglobal. Ryanair’s concept of flying with “standing room only” passengers has also been nixed by regulators.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Finally the airline has announced 26 new summer routes from London’s Stansted and Luton Airports with over 260 additional weekly flights to Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Spain. Ryanair is betting Londoners will want to escape the Summer Olympics.

Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf.

Ryanair Slide Show: CLICK HERE

 

 

Allied Pilots Association files lawsuit with AMR Bankruptcy Court “to clarify legal gray area”

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) is experiencing more push-back from its employee groups. The latest challenge is coming from its pilots represented by the Allied Pilots Association. The APA has issued the following statement concerning their lawsuit presented to the AMR Corporation Chapter 11 bankruptcy court.

“The Allied Pilots Association (APA), certified collective bargaining agent for the 10,000 pilots of American Airlines, filed an action for declaratory judgment today with the bankruptcy court asking the judge to clarify how the Railway Labor Act and Section 1113 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code interrelate.

“Our objective is to enhance the prospects of a consensual agreement between the Allied Pilots Association and airline management in the ongoing restructuring negotiations,” said APA President Captain Dave Bates. “APA believes that a consensual agreement between our union and airline management is in our company’s long-term best interests. Accordingly, APA has asked the bankruptcy court to clarify a legal gray area regarding rejection of airline industry collective bargaining agreements in bankruptcy.”

While Section 1113 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code outlines procedures for rejecting existing labor contracts during their term, the comprehensive collective bargaining agreement between APA and American Airlines expired in 2008. Since then, APA and American Airlines have been negotiating under federal labor law provisions that prohibit airline management from changing rates of pay, rules and working conditions until the National Mediation Board (NMB) finishes mediating toward an agreement.

“The Railway Labor Act provides specialized procedures for peaceful resolution of labor contracts in the airline industry, and the conflict between the bankruptcy code and the Railway Labor Act’s requirements has not been thoroughly adjudicated,” Bates said.

Under the terms of the Railway Labor Act, the status quo period remains in force until the NMB declares a negotiations impasse and proffers binding interest arbitration. APA has been seeking such a proffer from the NMB. If either party declines the proffer, a 30-day cooling-off period begins.

“While the Railway Labor Act permits self-help by both parties, in a significant Chapter 11 proceeding such as AMR’s reorganization, it is conceivable that the White House would appoint a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) before the end of the cooling-off period to prevent disruption to interstate commerce,” Bates said.

The PEB would examine the unresolved bargaining items and issue a settlement recommendation.

“The Railway Labor Act represents the more promising path to a consensual agreement by offering multiple options for dispute resolution at different junctures in the bargaining process,” Bates said.”

Copyright Photo: Luimer Cordero.

American Slide Show: CLICK HERE

 

Wizz Air to move operations from Bucharest Baneasa to Otopeni on March 25

Wizz Air (Budapest) will move its entire Bucharest Baneasa Airport operations to the newer Henri Coanda (Otopeni) Airport on March 25, 2012.

Wizz Air has received official confirmation about the closure of Baneasa airport to commercial aircraft traffic which will result in the need to move its operations to Otopeni.
Meanwhile Ryanair and Wizz Air are battling for the Hungarian market in the wake of the collapse of MALEV Hungarian Airlines (Budapest). Ryanair has alleged that Wizz Air’s ownership structure violates the European Union ownership rules and has asked the EU to investigate its ownership structure. Wizz Air stated its ownership structure has not changed since it was first reviewed by the EU according to this report by realdeal.hu.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best.

EuroLOT to operate eight Bombardier Q400s

EuroLOT (Warsaw) has received permission from Poland’s treasury to acquire eight Bombardier DHC-8-402s (Q400s). The Q400s are expected to replace some of the existing ATR 42s and ATR 72s.

Read the full report from the Warsaw Business Journal: CLICK HERE

EuroLOT was established on December 19, 1996 and commenced scheduled operations on July 1, 1997. EuroLOT was established as a wholly owned subsidiary of LOT Polish Airlines. Currently its current main shareholder is the Polish State Treasury with 62.1% of the stock, while LOT retains 37.9%. It operates for its parent company.

Photo: EuroLOT.

Niki is planning Vienna-Sarajevo service

Niki (flyniki.com) is planning Vienna-Sarajevo service this summer in competition with Austrian Airlines according to Balkans.com.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: OSDU.

Niki Slide Show: CLICK HERE

 

Aer Lingus’ profits were up in 2011 but warns about the affects of higher fuel costs for 2012

Aer Lingus (Dublin) reported net profit for 2011 rose to $95.6 million. The airline expects a profitable 2012 but warned against the affects of higher fuel costs.

Read the full report from the WSJ: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton.

Aer Lingus Slide Show: CLICK HERE

American to fly nonstop Washington Reagan-Los Angeles starting in June

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) today announced it will launch new nonstop two-class Boeing 757-200 service between Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) starting on June 14, 2012. The new service will complement American’s three existing daily round-trip flights between LAX and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD).

The new flight between Washington Reagan and Los Angeles is made possible because of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization bill that was recently passed by Congress and signed by President Obama which lifted the long-range restrictions on certain routes.

Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin.

American Slide Show: CLICK HERE

 

 

Starbow Airlines to add two more BAe 146s

Starbow Airlines (Accra) is planning to add additional BAe 146s.

The new airline issued the following statement:

“Aero Surveys Limited, a West African regional carrier, operating under the commercial name ”Starbow” has just finalized the lease of another two BAe 146 jetliners bringing its total fleet size to four jets in less than six months.

Starbow started domestic operations in Ghana on Monday September 26, 2011 with its maiden flight to Kumasi. Starbow’s patronage has increased overwhelmingly since it commenced operations and now serves Kumasi with 16 flights a week, Tamale with 7 flights a week and Takoradi with 5 flights a week.

Regionally, Starbow plans to offer direct air services from Accra, Ghana to capital cities of neighbouring countries in the second quarter of 2012 namely, Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, Monrovia in Liberia and Cotonou in Benin.

Starbow is leasing the aircraft from Riva Investments Limited, a lessor based in the British Virgin Islands, which has purchased the aircraft from Falko Regional Aircraft Limited. Delivery of the aircraft is scheduled in May 2012.”

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton.

Boeing delivers the first VIP 747-8 Intercontinental

Boeing (Chicago) yesterday celebrated the delivery of the first 747-8 Intercontinental VIP airplane to an undisclosed customer, according to the manufacturer. The airplane, which was delivered with a minimal interior, will enter service in 2014 after its VIP interior is installed.

The VIP version of the 747-8 Intercontinental provides a cabin with 4,786 square feet (444.6 square meters). This 747-8 VIP will include Greenpoint Technologies’ Aeroloft, located above the main cabin between the upper deck and tail of the 747-8 VIP, giving the airplane 393 square feet (36.5 square meters) of additional cabin space.  The Aeroloft will be installed by Boeing Global Transport & Executive Systems (GTES) in Wichita, Kan.

With Aeroloft, the VIP-configured 747-8 offers a total of 5,179 square feet (481.1 square meters) of cabin space, can carry 100 passengers and has a range of about 8,840 nautical miles (16,372 km). It provides double-digit improvements in fuel burn and emissions over the 747-400, and is 30 percent more quiet. With a normal cruise speed of Mach 0.86, it is the fastest large commercial jet.

The 747-8 VIP jet is the only large airplane in its class that fits today’s airport infrastructure, giving its owners the flexibility to fly to more destinations. Building on the current 747’s capability to fly into most airports worldwide, the 747-8 VIP uses the same pilot type ratings, services and most ground support equipment.

To date, undisclosed customers have ordered nine 747-8 VIP airplanes.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. The pictured 747-8K8 registered A7-HHE (msn 37544) is believed to be for Qatar Amiri Flight.

JetBlue and Korean Air announce a new interline agreement

JetBlue Airways (New York) and Korean Air (Seoul) jointly announced today an interline partnership which allows travelers to conveniently book connections between JetBlue’s network in The Americas and Korean’s network throughout Asia Pacific.

Effective this week, customers can book tickets for combined travel on JetBlue and Korean Air through New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Korean Air offers daily nonstop service from New York, Washington and Los Angeles to the carrier’s hub at Seoul’s Incheon International Airport (ICN), where travellers can connect onward to 12 Korean cities, more than two dozen Chinese cities, and most major cities in Asia Pacific including Bangkok, Beijing, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo and Taipei.

In New York, JetBlue offers easy connections between Korean Air-operated flights and cities along the East Coast including Buffalo/Niagara Falls, New York; Charlotte and  Raleigh, North Carolina; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and multiple destinations in Florida. From Los Angeles, JetBlue offers connecting service to Boston, New York (JFK), and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. From Washington Dulles, the carrier connects to destinations in the West Coast and throughout the Northeast United States.

With the recently added service on its new A380 fleet from Seoul to New York, Korean Air is the first airline to offer flights between East Asia and New York on the double-deck, wide-body jet. Korean Air also offers daily service between Los Angeles and Seoul aboard the superjumbo. Passengers flying over the Pacific will find unparalleled comfort on Korean Air’s A380: with only 407 seats on the aircraft, Korean Air offers the most spacious configuration of any airline. The A380 superjumbo has 12 luxurious First Class Kosmo suites on the lower deck, whilst the upper deck is entirely devoted to Prestige Business Class. The all-Business Class deck features 94 full flat Prestige Sleeper seats. The aircraft also comes with a stylish onboard bar and lounge area where passengers can sample Korean Air’s selection of exclusive cocktails as well as a first-of-its-kind ‘Duty Free Showcase’ which features a great variety of duty-free products with a dedicated cabin crew member to assist and advise passengers with all their shopping needs.

Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough.

JetBlue Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Korean Air Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

The flight attendants move United one step closer to full integration

United Airlines (Chicago) today announced further progress in the company’s work to fully integrate the United and Continental work groups.

This afternoon flight attendants represented by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) ratified a new labor agreement with the company.

The new agreement covers approximately 15,000 United flight attendants at the company’s United Airlines subsidiary located throughout the United States and several international bases. The company and the AFA will soon commence negotiations for a joint collective bargaining agreement for flight attendants at United, Continental and Continental Micronesia. Continental flight attendants ratified their collective bargaining agreement in February 2011.

In addition, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) Master Executive Councils for both United and Continental yesterday ratified an extension of the Transition and Process Agreement reached with the company. The agreement contains modifications of the initial agreement which facilitate the conclusion of joint collective bargaining negotiations.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck.

United Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Frontier Airlines to add two new Pennsylvania routes from Orlando

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is adding two non-hub routes. Frontier announced today that it is expanding its service from Orlando, Florida (MCO), with the addition of new year-round, nonstop service to and from Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton, Pennsylvania (ABE) and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (MDT). Twice-weekly Allentown service begins on May 26, 2012, offering flights on Tuesday and Saturday. Harrisburg service – which will operate Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday – takes off May 24, 2012.

The new Orlando routes will operate on 138-seat Airbus A319 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems.

Frontier Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Korean Air to operate its new Airbus A380 to Frankfurt this summer

Korean Air (Seoul) has announced it will deploy its new Airbus A380 on the Seoul (Incheon)-Frankfurt route with daily service from March 25 through October 27.

Top Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems.

Korean Air Slide Show: CLICK HERE

 

Alaska Airlines to serve again as Iditarod’s Official Airline

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will again serve as the official airline sponsor of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, marking the 34th year the carrier has supported the event.

The airline will again present the Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award, which recognizes one musher for providing exemplary dog care and is considered the highest honor a competitor can receive. The award is named after one of Alaska’s most-celebrated mushers, whose 1925 sled-dog team traveled the longest distance to transport diphtheria serum to Nome.

As part of its sponsorship, Alaska Airlines also will provide air transportation and dog-care supplies for Iditarod veterinarians who care for the race dogs’ health and safety.

In addition, many Alaska Airlines employees contribute their time at the event. The Dog Squad, staffed by airline employee volunteers, again will assist mushers and their dogs at the finish line. Several Alaska Airlines pilots will lead the Iditarod Air Force, flying veterinarians, supplies and volunteers to remote checkpoints along the trail.

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is an annual sled dog team race across Alaska. Mushers and a team of 12-16 dogs (of which at least 6 must be on the towline at the finish line) cover over 1,049 miles in 9–15 days from Anchorage to Nome in western Alaska.

The race begins on the first Saturday in March. The Iditarod began in 1973 as an event to test the best sled dog mushers and teams but evolved into today’s highly competitive race. The current fastest winning time record was set in 2011 by John Baker with a time of 8 days, 19 hours, 46 minutes, and 39 seconds.

Teams frequently race through blizzards causing whiteout conditions, sub-zero temperatures and gale-force winds which can cause the wind chill to reach −100 °F (−73 °C). A ceremonial start occurs in the city of Anchorage and is followed by the official restart in Willow, a city in the south central region of the state. The restart was originally in Wasilla, but because of too little snow, the restart was permanently moved to Willow in 2008. The trail runs from Willow up the Rainy Pass of the Alaska Range into the sparsely populated interior, and then along the shore of the Bering Sea, finally reaching Nome in western Alaska. The trail is through a harsh landscape of tundra and spruce forests, over hills and mountain passes, and across rivers. While the start in Anchorage is in the middle of a large urban center, most of the route passes through widely separated towns and villages, and small Athabaskan and Inupiat settlements. The Iditarod is regarded as a symbolic link to the early history of the state and is connected to many traditions commemorating the legacy of dog mushing.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Alaska Airlines honors the race with this special logojet.

Alaska Airlines Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Lufthansa’s first Boeing 747-800 is now flying in full colors

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will soon take delivery of its first (of 20) new Boeing 747-800 Intercontinental. 747-830 D-ABYA (msn 37827) departs from Boeing Field in Seattle on a test flight.

Lufthansa was the first airline customer to opt for the passenger version of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental. In December 2006, the airline placed orders for 20 of the new jumbo jets and secured options on a further 20 of the type.

The fuselage of the new jumbo has not only been lengthened by 5.6 meters, the aircraft is also equipped with newly designed wings and state-of-the-art engines from General Electric (GEnx – 2B67). Fuel consumption is well below the level of previous long-haul aircraft. Compared with the “classical” Boeing 747-400, the new Jumbo Jet reduces operating costs by 30 per cent. The Boeing 747-8 International reduces CO2 emissions by 16 per cent and is 30 per cent quieter.

The D-ABYA is an historical registration for LH as it was previously used by 747-130 D-ABYA (msn 19746) (see below), delivered on March 10, 1970.

Top Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker.

Lufthansa Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. The original “D-ABYA”.

USA Jet Airlines introduces a new look

USA Jet Airlines (Ypsilanti) as we reported previously was preparing to introduce a new color scheme. This Douglas DC-9-15 registered as N191US (msn 45718) now displays the new livery.

Top Copyright Photo: Tony Storck.

USA Jet Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Bottom Copyright Photo: USA Jet Airlines. VIP Interior.

Shuttle America’s Embraer 170 N637RW makes a nose wheel-up landing at Newark

Shuttle America’s (United Express) (Indianapolis) Embraer ERJ 170-100SE N637RW (msn 17000051) while operating flight UA 5124 from Atlanta to Newark with 69 passengers and four crew members last night (February 27) was forced to make a nose wheel-up landing closing runway 22L at EWR. The passengers exited the aircraft using the emergency chutes.

Read the full report from the New York Times: CLICK HERE

United Express-Shuttle America Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Shuttle America’s ERJ 170 routes operated for United are in blue:

Click on the map to expand.

Air India may sell its 27 787 Dreamliner postions to raise capital

Air India (Mumbai) may sell its 27 Boeing 787 delivery positions to raise capital which means it may not become a Dreamliner customer according to this report by Rediff Business.

Read the report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Robbie Shaw.

Air India Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Alitalia loses $92.5 million in 2011

Alitalia (2nd) has approved and issued its financial results for 2011. The company had a net loss of $92.5 million (69 million Euros).

The company issued the following statement:

“The Board of Directors of Alitalia – Compagnia Aerea Italiana S.p.A. met in Rome on February 24, chaired by Roberto Colaninno, and approved the Group financial statement for 2011 as presented by the CEO Rocco Sabelli.

In the financial year ending December 31, 2011, the Alitalia Group recorded revenues worth euro 3.478 million (+7.9%) and 25 million* transported passengers (+5.5%). Load factor grew 0.8 points to 72.8%*.

Operating result (EBIT) was equal to -euro 6 million, up euro 100 million from 2010, with a margin of -0.17% on revenues, in line with the operating breakeven objective.

Net result, after provisions and extraordinary costs, was equal to -euro 69 million, up euro 99 million from 2010.

Passenger revenues from international and intercontinental flights rose 7.2%, to 62% of total passenger revenues.

Growth – recorded in passengers, revenues, EBIT and net result – was achieved in a period marked by:

  • an oil price rise ($110 per barrel in 2011 against $83 per barrel in 2010), which resulted in higher operational costs by Alitalia (euro 266 million);
  • natural disasters and crises occurring in two key markets for Alitalia – Japan and North Africa – which resulted in a sharp fall in demand from those regions;
  • and the economic and financial slump, which caused a significant decrease in high-yield demand from the corporate segment starting from the fourth quarter.

Such effects were successfully mitigated through:

  • efficient management of offered capacity – flexibility in scheduling, the development of long-haul charter flights in the winter months, network design and fleet utilization, – which marked an increase of load factor higher than the demand trend. Among the 10 largest carriers of the AEA, the European Airlines Associations, Alitalia recorded the best load factor improvement in 2011;
  • the implementation of policies and processes aimed at optimizing spending and cost cutting;
  • and the development of ancillary revenues, co-marketing initiatives and agreements with industrial and commercial partners.

As of December 31, the company’s financial position was characterized by net financial debt equal to euro 854 million, mainly due to the amount owed on the company-owned aircraft fleet (euro 675 million vs. euro 774 million in 2010). Taking the net amount of debt recorded in December 31, 2010 into account, the total amount due to the Alitalia LAI’s Receivership Procedure (the former Alitalia) is euro 115 million. The 2011 net amount of debt has increased by euro 54 million, mainly due to the change of working capital.

Total liquidity, as of December 31 2001, amounted to euro 326 million  (vs. euro 412 million in 2010).

Over the year, the Alitalia fleet saw the entry of 13 new aircraft (against the phasing out of 12 old aircraft) of which three were wide-body aircraft. As of December 31, the operating fleet was made up by 152 aircraft (among the youngest in Europe with an average lifetime of 8.3 years). From 2009 to 2011, a total of 34 aircraft were phased in, nearly one per month, and 26 were phased out.

For 2012, the fleet renewal plan will be marked by speedier deliveries of long-haul and short-to-medium-haul aircraft, with at least 20 new entrants, of which 5 are Airbus A330s for intercontinental routes. By the end of the year, cabins of the 10 long-haul Boeing B777s will be totally renewed (in accordance with the three travel classes Magnifica, Classica Plus and Classica), while 16 old aircraft will be phased out.

Operations of the “Smart Carrier” Air One (which began in April 2010) rose 25% in terms of transported passengers in 2011 (like-for-like comparison in the April–December period) with passenger numbers rising to 1.4 million through activity growth in Malpensa and the opening of a new base in Pisa.

By its Cargo Belly service, Alitalia transported more than 58,800 metric tons of goods, in line with the 2010 volumes and revenues grew 15% partly through increased long haul operations.

In 2011, significant progress was achieved in the quality of service, continuing from the improvements in 2010. Flight punctuality on arrival reached 85.5%, or 5.5 points above the 2010 level and 3.6 points above the AEA average.

Alitalia also gained notable international awards and acclaim this year, as the best airline in the world for the quality of in-flight cuisine (according to Global Traveler’s GT Reader Tested Survey of 36,000 frequent flyers), and as one of the top five world airlines for the punctuality of its flights, including those operated by subsidiaries and code-share flights (Flightstats On-time Performance Service Awards 2011).

Prospects of the air transport sector for 2012 remain a challenge. In accordance with the Airline Business Confidence Index of January 2012 produced by IATA (the International Air Transport Association), the industry is likely to undergo a further decline of profits in 2012 mainly due to a slowdown in volumes growth, a fall in high-yield demand and higher fuel costs. The Eurozone is particularly exposed to such factors as a consequence of the forecasted GDP fall in the area.

The Executive Committee meeting of Alitalia, likewise held on today’s date, approved:

  • a new design of the Milan – London service (more flights to London City Airport targeting business travelers, and a new service between Milan Malpensa and London Gatwick operated by Air One);
  • an enforcement of loyalty programs;
  • multi-year agreements with leading providers of aircraft and engine maintenance;
  • and the confirmation of a new service between Rome and Bengasi (Lybia), following the positive results of the services to Tripoli, which Alitalia re-opened in November 2011 as the first among EU carriers.”

Copyright Photo: Reinhard Zinabold.

Alitalia Slide Show: CLICK HERE

United announces new service between Chicago and Sarasota/Bradenton

United Airlines (Chicago) today announced plans to launch daily nonstop service between its hub at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida (SRQ) effective on November 4, 2012.

The once-daily service will operate using Boeing 737-800 aircraft with 154 seats — 16 in United First, 48 in Economy Plus and 90 in Economy.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck.

United Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

American Airlines announces additional summer service between Miami and Kingston, Jamaica

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) announced today it will add an additional daily nonstop flight between Miami International Airport (MIA) and Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Jamaica (KIN), for the summer season. The flight will operate between April 4 and August 20, 2012, bringing the total number of daily nonstop flights between Miami and Kingston to four during the summer season. The new service will be operated with a 160-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum.

American Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Air Zimbabwe suspends all flights “indefinitely”

Air Zimbabwe (Harare) as previously reported, was unable to resume domestic operations on February 20, 2012 as the company touted on its website. The flag carrier was unable to resume domestic operations because its unpaid pilots refused to fly without being paid first. Now according to this report by iafrica.com, the company has acknowledged it was unable to restart and all flights are “suspended indefinitely” pending a resolution. From an historical perspective, it is unclear when the actual last flight was operated.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten. Please click on the photo for additional information.

Buy this Photo (now for sale in 5 currencies): CLICK HERE

 

Tor Air fails to return, SE-RJA is now leased to Blue Air as YR-BAM

Tor Air (Gothenburg) which lost its AOC on December 20, 2011 and vowed to reapply for a new AOC, has lost this Boeing 737-400. ILFC is now leasing the former SE-RJA to Blue Air (Bucharest) as YR-BAM.

Top Copyright Photo: Fred Seggie. Please click on the photo for additional information.

Blue Air Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Bottom Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil. Boeing 737-4Q8 YR-BAM (msn 26302, ex SE-RJA) on approach to Brussels was leased from ILFC on February 20. It still retains partial Tor Air colors on the engines.

Volotea to launch operations from Venice on April 5

Volotea (Barcelona) has selected Venice as its first operating base with three Boeing 717s. Scheduled operations are due to begin on April 5. The first routes will connect Venice with Brindisi, Cagliari and Palermo.

The pictured former Midwest Airlines and Mexicana Click Boeing 717-2BL N923ME (msn 55185) above departing from Palma de Mallorca arrived at Palma from Victorville, CA where it had been in storage since January 23, 2011. Two more 717s are currently at Jacksonville (Cecil Field) awaiting the final trip across the Atlantic Ocean.

The Volotea name is derived from the Spanish verb revolotear meaning “to fly around”.

Volotea is a new company owned by Alaeo SL, a company headed by Carlos Muñoz (the founder of Vueling Airlines).  Munoz began the process almost a year ago of creating the new airline. The project has also involved staff from the former Quantum Air, as this airline was the last Boeing 717 operator in Spain.

Read the full report from Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez.

Gulf Air to introduce the Airbus A321 on the Bahrain-Mumbai route

Gulf Air (Bahrain) will introduce its new Airbus A321 on the Bahrain-Mumbai (India) route on May 1 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss.

Turkish Airlines to launch Istanbul-Kharkov twice-weekly service on March 13

Turkish Airlines (Istanbul) will start a new route linking Istanbul with Kharkov (Ukraine). The new route will operate twice-weekly with Airbus A319s per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss.

Turkish Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Norfolk Air operates its last flight

Norfolk Air (Norfolk Island) has operated its last flight. on December 24, 2011 the Norfolk Island Government decided to withdraw from the airline business. The last flight operated between Norfolk Island and Brisbane on February 26, 2012. Air New Zealand will take over services between Australia and Norfolk Island from Sydney and Brisbane with their Airbus A320s starting on March 2, 2012.

The airline previously issued the following statement:

“The Norfolk Island government will be exiting the airline business and it has now
been officially announced that the new operator from the Australian mainland to
Norfolk Island will be Air New Zealand (Air NZ). Air NZ will commence their services
on March 2, 2012 and Norfolk Air will operate its last service, flight 334
NLK/BNE on Sunday February 26, 2012.

For your information, The Air New Zealand schedule is:

Sydney to Norfolk Island departing 09:35, arrive 12:40 on Monday and Friday

Norfolk Island to Sydney departing 13:40, arrive 16:10 on Monday and Friday

Brisbane to Norfolk Island departing 10:10, arrive 14:00 on Tuesday and Saturday

Norfolk Island to Brisbane departing 15:00, arrive 16:10 on Tuesday and Saturday”

Copyright Photo: John Adlard. Please click on the photo for additional information.

Norfolk Air Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

Interjet arrives in Miami

Interjet (ABC Aerolineas dba) (Toluca) as planned added Miami and Mexico City-Miami route on February 23.

Copyright Photo: Luimer Cordero.

Buy this Photo (now for sale in 5 currencies): CLICK HERE

 

American Eagle to begin phasing out the ATR 72s from Miami starting in May

American Eagle Airlines (2nd) (Dallas/Fort Worth) will begin phasing out its nine ATR 72s from the Miami hub starting in May according to this report by Sky Talk citing a letter to the employees. The type should be retired from the MIA hub by November 2012. The ATR 72s, operated for American Eagle by Executive Airlines (2nd) (San Juan), will continue to operate from the San Juan hub. Some of the MIA ATR routes will be replaced with ERJ regional jets but some may be unsuitable for this type.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Please click on the photo for additional information.

American Eagle-Executive Airlines Photo gallery: CLICK HERE

Air New Zealand’s half year profit slumps to only $31.7 million

Air New Zealand (Auckland) reported a disappointing 61 percent drop in its six month net profits ending on December 31, 2011. For the period, the carrier reported profits of only $38 million (NZD) or $31.7 million (US). As a result, the flag carrier has announced it will eliminate at least 441 positions to ward off any further deterioration of its finances due to rising fuel costs.

In other news, the carrier has converted two Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner options to firm orders (total now 10 on order).

Copyright Photo: Colin Hunter.

Buy this Photo (for sale now in 5 currencies): CLICK HERE

Air New Zealand Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Thai Airways International loses money in the 4Q and 2011

Thai Airways International (Bangkok) was hot hard by the floods in Thailand. The airline swung to the red, posting a fourth quarter loss of $177.5 million and a total loss of $335 million for 2011.

Read the full story from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Wim Callert. Please click on the photo for additional information.

Buy this Photo (for sale now in 5 currencies): CLICK HERE

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