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American Airlines wants to cut 13,000 jobs, drop its defined benefits pension, close Alliance Airport, modernize and slim the fleet and hints of a new brand

American Airlines (AMR Corporation) (Dallas/Fort Worth) issued the following statement today as it reorganizes under Chapter 11 (key points in bold):

“American Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of AMR Corporation, today outlined a business plan to transform the airline and restore it to industry leadership, profitability and growth. The plan targets an annual financial improvement of more than $3 billion by 2017, including $2 billion in cost savings and $1 billion in revenue enhancements. The additional cash flow will enable American to renew its fleet and to invest several hundred million dollars per year in ongoing improvements in products and services to deliver a world-class travel experience for customers. The improved cash flow will also allow American to further reduce its debt and become financially stronger in the years after its emergence from the restructuring process.
Tom Horton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, “American Airlines is moving forward decisively. The plan we are outlining today provides the framework for a new American Airlines, positioned to succeed in an intensely competitive industry that has been transformed by our competitors’ recent restructurings. Just as other airlines have done and will continue to do, we must invest restructuring-related cost savings in ongoing innovation and customer service improvements that drive revenue. The airlines that have failed to adapt to these changes are no longer in business. Change will be difficult, particularly as we will be ending this process with fewer people, but it is a necessity. American is ready to compete and win.”

Horton further noted that in connection with the implementation of American’s business plan, the company intends to engage in appropriate negotiations with its economic stakeholders and union representatives and seek necessary Bankruptcy Court approvals.

Restructuring – Non-Employee Cost Reductions.

American’s plans build on initiatives already in place that reduced costs significantly over the past several years, including major changes to its route structure, network, capacity and fleet. Utilizing the benefits of the restructuring process, American intends to realize additional savings over the next six years by restructuring debt and leases, grounding older planes, improving supplier contracts, and undertaking other initiatives.

A central element of American’s transformation is the overhaul of its fleet, which will reduce fuel, maintenance, and financing costs, and provide improved profitability and growth over time, by enabling American to better match the right equipment to the right routes.

Necessary Reduction of Employee Costs

A fundamental element of American’s plan, which is designed to allow it to exit restructuring and vigorously compete and win, includes employee cost reductions across all work groups. American informed employees earlier today that all groups, including management, must reduce their total costs by 20 percent. While the savings from each work group will be achieved somewhat differently, the plan provides that each will experience the same percentage reduction. These reductions would result in average annual employee-related savings of $1.25 billion from 2012 through 2017.

As described in its internal announcements today, American’s business plan and proposals encompass a total reduction of approximately 13,000 employees. Included in the total employee impact is the expected result of a previously launched redesign of American’s management and support staff structure that will reduce 15 percent of management positions. Consistent with the approach taken by other major airlines in their restructurings, American’s plan also includes:

Outsourcing a portion of American’s aircraft maintenance work, including seeking closure of the Fort Worth Alliance Airport (AFW) maintenance base, and certain airport fleet service clerk work;

Removing major structural barriers to operational flexibility, such as restrictions on codesharing and regional flying

Introducing work rule changes to increase productivity.

American also said it will seek Bankruptcy Court approval to terminate its defined benefit pension plans. If the plans are terminated, American will contribute matching payments in a 401(k) plan. American also will seek to discontinue subsidizing future retiree medical coverage for current employees, but will offer access to these plans if employees choose to pay for them. American also proposes to implement common medical plans and contribution structures across all active employee groups.

“These are painful decisions,” Horton continued, “but they are essential to American’s future. We will emerge from our restructuring process as a leaner organization with fewer people, but we will also preserve tens of thousands of jobs that would have been lost if we had not embarked on this path – and that’s a goal worth fighting for. By reinvesting savings back into our business, we will support job growth, including growth at our suppliers and partners over the long run. Only a successful, profitable and growing American Airlines can provide stability and opportunity for our people.”

Revenue Improvements and Profit Sharing

With financial and operational flexibility and an improved cost and capital structure, American also plans to drive revenue growth by:

Renewing and optimizing its fleet by investing an average of about $2 billion per year in new aircraft, so that by 2017 American’s mainline jet fleet will be the youngest in North America, with the versatility to better match aircraft size to its markets. This step is central to American’s transformation, as it means more profitable flying due to markedly improved fuel and maintenance costs and higher revenue generation.

Building network scale and alliances by increasing departures across American’s five key markets – Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles and New York – by 20 percent over the next five years, and by increasing international flying.

Modernizing its brand (new livery?), products and services by investing several hundred million dollars per year in enhancements to the customer experience that will, once again, make American the premier airline of high-value customers.

In order to ensure that employee performance is rewarded and aligned with American’s future success, the company envisions putting in place a profit sharing plan which, beginning with the first dollar of pre-tax income, would pay awards totaling 15 percent of all pre-tax income.

“We have an extraordinary opportunity to create a new world-class airline, with a leaner, customer-focused culture of accountability and high performance. The best way for us to achieve this – and ensure that we are in control of our own future – is to make the necessary changes, complete our restructuring quickly, and continue working hard to put American Airlines back in a position of industry leadership,” Horton concluded.”

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

American Slide Show: CLICK HERE

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Allegiant has a profitable 4Q and 2011

Allegiant Air (Allegiant Travel Company) (Las Vegas) reported a $10.8 million net profit in the fourth, down 12.7 percent from the previous $12.4 net profit in the same quarter a year ago. This is their 36th consecutive profitable quarter.

For the full year, the travel company reported a $49.4 net profit in 2011, down 24.8 percent from $65.7 in 2010.

The airline announced eight new routes during the past 30 days and a new base in Oakland. Allegiant will soon be in 76 cities, including 11 leisure destinations, with 178 routes. Allegiant currently has 53 aircraft in revenue service including one Boeing 757-200. Allegiant is expecting to have at least 16 additional 166-seat MD-80 aircraft in service by the end of first quarter 2012. Allegiant is on track with the new forecast for ETOPS certification later this year, which will allow Allegiant to begin low-fare Hawaii service.

Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom.

Allegiant Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Alitalia moves ahead with a merger with Blue Panorama and Wind Jet

Alitalia’s (2nd) board of directors has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Blue Panorama Airlines for a future integration. Alitalia is moving ahead with a merger with both Wind Jet (Catania) and Blue Panorama Airlines (Rome and Milan-Malpensa).

Alitalia Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Blue Panorama operates long-haul charter flights with its regular Blue Panorama operation and short and medium-haul scheduled low-fare operations with subsidiary Blu-Express. It mainly operates Boeing aircraft.

Blu-Express’ routes in Europe:

Blue Panorama’s long-haul routes:

Wind Jet has hubs in Catania, Palermo and Rimini and operates with Airbus aircraft.

Wind Jet’s Route Map:

Click on the map to enlarge.

Read the full story from AGI.it: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord. Please click on the photo for additional information.

LAN Airlines reports net income of $320.2 million for 2011 and $112.5 Million for 4Q

LAN Airlines (Santiago) has reported net income of $320.2 million for full year 2011. Results in 2011 were driven by solid demand, strong yields and high load factors in both passenger and cargo operations.

According to the airline, net income decreased 23.7% compared to the $419.7 million reported in full year 2010, mainly due to the impact of the startup of LAN’s operations in Colombia and the volcanic ash cloud that disrupted air traffic throughout the region, as well as higher fuel prices, a portion of which was not recovered via the fuel surcharge mechanism.

For full year 2011, operating income reached $539.7 million, a 13.4% decrease compared to the $622.9 million in full year 2010.

Operating margin reached 9.4% a decrease of 4.3 points compared to 13.8% in 2010.

For fourth quarter 2011, LAN reported net income of $112.5 million, a decrease of 31.6% compared to the $164.6 million reported in fourth quarter 2010. Results in the fourth quarter 2011 reflected costs related to the startup of LAN’s operations in Colombia and the ongoing effects of the volcanic ash cloud on domestic operations in Chile and Argentina, as well as the 28.8% increase in fuel prices, a portion of which was not recovered via the fuel surcharge mechanism. Nevertheless, LAN continued to show solid traffic growth and yield increases in both passenger and cargo operations.

Operating income reached $169.5 million in fourth quarter 2011, a 19.6% decrease compared to $210.7 million in fourth quarter 2010. Operating margin reached 11.0% compared to 16.2% in fourth quarter 2010.

Copyright Photo: Alvaro Romero.

LAN Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Southwest Airlines and Airtran Airways Flight Attendants ratify Seniority Integration Agreement

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) is moving one step closer towards the integration of AirTran Airways (Orlando). The Flight Attendants from Southwest Airlines, represented by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) 556, and AirTran Airways, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) Council 57, have voted to ratify their Seniority Integration Agreement. This tentative agreement, reached late last year, integrates the two groups’ seniority lists.

Southwest Airlines finalized closing of the acquisition of AirTran Holdings, Inc., on May 2, 2011.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck.

Southwest Slide Show: CLICK HERE

United Airlines announces new summer domestic routes

United Airlines (Chicago) today announced plans to launch year-round and seasonal service on several new routes to begin in the summer of 2012.

United will begin daily year-round service between Washington/Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Honolulu (HNL) on June 7, 2012, the only nonstop service between the two points. The flights will operate using the pictured Boeing 767-400 aircraft.

The airline will also add seasonal service to several popular summer travel destinations.

Alaska: New daily service between Denver (DEN) and Fairbanks, Alaska (FAI), will operate from June 7, 2012 through August 27, 2012, using Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Fairbanks offers access to Denali National Park, one of Alaska’s most visited destinations. The flights complement United’s existing Alaska service to Anchorage from hubs in Denver, Chicago, Houston and San Francisco, as well as Seattle/Tacoma.

South Dakota: United Express will offer daily seasonal service between Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Rapid City, S.D. (RAP), gateway to the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore and the Badlands National Park, from June 7, 2012, to August 27, 2012. ExpressJet will operate the flights using Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft. United currently serves Rapid City from its Denver and Chicago hubs.

Wyoming: The airline will also add summer-season flights between its Houston and San Francisco (SFO) hubs and Jackson Hole, Wyoming (JAC), which attracts millions of summer visitors to nearby Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons. The Houston flights will operate twice-weekly from June 8, 2012, through August 27, 2012, using Boeing 757-200 aircraft. The San Francisco flights will operate daily from July 1, 2012, through August 27, 2012, as United Express, with Bombardier CR700 aircraft flown by SkyWest Airlines. These flights are in addition to United’s existing service to Jackson Hole from hubs in Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.

With these new route additions, United will remain within the previously announced capacity guidance.

Since the October 2010 merger of United and Continental, the larger combined fleet has given the company flexibility to better meet market demand. United has added new routes from its hubs to international destinations such as Lagos, Nigeria; Guadalajara, Mexico; Montreal, Canada; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Shanghai, China, and Stuttgart, Germany, along with new intra-Asia routes between the Tokyo hub and Hong Kong and between the Guam hub and Okinawa, Japan.

The merger also enabled the company to add a number of new domestic routes by using a mix of mainline and regional aircraft from both carriers more efficiently.

Copyright Photo: Jeffrey S. DeVore.

United Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Will AMR attempt to shed its pension obligations?

AMR Corporation, parent of American Airlines and American Eagle Airlines (2nd) (Dallas/Fort Worth) is going through the Chapter 11 reorganization process. The corporation has not yet filed its intentions concerning its employee pension obligations. Previous Chapter 11 airline reorganizations have allowed U.S. carriers to leave their pension obligations behind.

According to this report by Reuters, the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which has the responsibility for insuring certain benefits in private retirement programs, has sued AMR for $92 million for its unpaid pension plan contributions.

Will AMR walk away from its obligations?

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. American tried and heavily touted its “Working Together” maintenance program. Will the teamwork continue with the “new” American?

American Slide Show: CLICK HERE

MALEV is out of money, draws up liquidation plans

MALEV Hungarian Airlines (Budapest) is out of money and has appealed to the government of Hungary for support. However due to recent European Commission rulings, state aid is very limited and this could be the end of the state carrier.

The Chairman of the Board, Dr. János Berényi, has requested the airline management to draw up a liquidation plan.

The airline has issued the following statement:

“During the January 30 meeting of the Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer of Malév Lóránt Limburger informed the Board that despite the continually improving commercial results the financing of activities had become unviable and was unresolved from the end of January. At the same time, talks with ILFC on Friday had proved successful after agreement was reached that the American leasing corporation would continue to make the aircraft available for continuous operations.

In the interest of ensuring continuous operations, Chairman of the Board of Directors Dr. János Berényi requested Malév management to draw up – by the end of the week – a liquidity plan for the immediate future.

After discussing the Malév report the Board of Directors approached the owners with a request to do everything possible to resolve the situation, even though the Board recognized that due to the EU Commission ruling reached in January concluding that financing provided between 2007 and 2010 was unlawful state support, which further burdens the company’s heritage, the room for manoeuvre of the government is extremely limited.”

Meanwhile the government cabinet has declared the flag carrier to be a company of “strategic importance”, meaning that creditors cannot start the liquidation process.

Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross.

MALEV Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Air New Zealand’s popular CEO Rob Fyfe to step down in December

Air New Zealand (Auckland) will be forced to find a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) this year. Popular CEO Rob Fyfe, who is credited with turning the flag carrier around during his seven years at the top, has announced he will retire in December 2012.

Read the full story from the Sydney Morning Herald: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Please click on the photo for the full story of this special logojet.

Air New Zealand Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Korean Air loses $87 million in 2011, aims to turn it around in 2012

Korean Air (Seoul) reported a net loss of $87 million in 2011. The swing to the red is blamed on higher fuel costs. The company is vowing to turn it around in 2012.

Read the full report from AFP: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. A new delivery for Korean Air. Please click on the photo for the details.

Korean Air Slide Show: CLICK HERE

ANA’s third quarter net profit drops by 10%, pilots threaten a strike tomorrow

ANA’s (All Nippon Airways) (ANA Group) (Tokyo) net profit for the first nine months was 33.8 billion yen ($443 million), down from 37.5 billion yen a year earlier. This represents a 10 percent drop, due mainly to higher corporate taxes.

The company issued the following guidance:

“ANA Group, Japan’s largest airline group,
today reported its consolidated financial results for the first nine months of fiscal year 2011.

Operating revenues for the first nine months of the fiscal year 2011 rose three percent to 1,069.8 billion yen, while operating income
increased by 17.3 percent to 91.1 billion yen and recurring profit by 22.5 percent to 71.4 billion yen. Net income for the period was 33.7
billion yen compared with 37.5 billion yen the previous year.

Although economic conditions domestically and internationally remain challenging, ANA is working strenuously to stimulate demand, reduce costs and improve its competitiveness as a network carrier and in October became the first airline in the world to operate the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

As a result of these different initiatives and the
strength of the yen, ANA has revised upwards its forecast for operating income and recurring profit for fiscal year 2011, although operating
revenues are expected to remain flat.

Japan’s economy continues to recover gradually from the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11 last year, but the outlook globally remains uncertain owing to rising oil prices, the government bond crisis affecting the Eurozone and exchange rate fluctuations. ANA has responded to this challenging economic environment by working to stimulate demand for both its domestic and international routes, and
has rolled out approximately 30.0 billion yen in emergency cost improvement measures to minimize the impact on revenues. From November 1 last year, ANA began flying the Boeing 787, as a world’s first regularly scheduled service, and from January 21, began service on a new international route, Toyko Haneda-Frankfurt, further enhancing its
competitiveness as a network carrier.”

Read the full report from the Business Recorder: CLICK HERE

In other news, the pilots are threatening a strike tomorrow. ANA has issued the following statement:

“ANA Group regrets the threatened 24-strike on February 1st announced by its pilot unions and is continuing urgent negotiations with the unions concerned to avert industrial action and the disruption to passenger services it will cause.

Should the unnecessary strike go ahead, ANA will do everything possible to minimize the impact on passengers and services. No international flights will be affected. However domestic flights could regrettably be subject to cancellation and/or delay.”

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean.

ANA Slide Show: CLICK HERE

UPS delivers record fourth quarter profits

UPS-United Parcel Service (Atlanta) today announced fourth quarter 2011 adjusted diluted earnings per share of $1.28, a 21% improvement over the prior-year period. Total revenue increased 6% to $14.2 billion and adjusted operating profit climbed 17% to more than $2 billion.

Last Friday, the company announced a change in pension accounting to a mark-to-market methodology. Adopted in the fourth quarter of 2011 and applied retrospectively, this new method resulted in after-tax charges in 2011 and 2010 of $527 million and $75 million, respectively. Also, in the prior-year period, UPS recorded a net after-tax gain of $32 million from the sale of certain non-core business units in the Supply Chain and Freight segment. On a reported basis, fourth quarter 2011 diluted earnings per share were $0.74, a decline of 28% from the same quarter last year.

For the full year 2011, UPS achieved a new high in adjusted diluted earnings per share at $4.35. On a reported basis, diluted earnings per share were $3.84.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

UPS Airlines Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Vladivostok Air to add new routes from Moscow

Vladivostok Air (Valdivostok Avia) (Vladivostok) is adding new routes from Moscow to Chita, Ulan-Ude, Abakan and Blagoveshchensk this summer according to this article by itar-tass.com.

With the closure of Dalavia due to its large debt, Vladivostok Air announced the start of seven additional domestic routes and four new international routes from Khabarovsk.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Please click on the photo for additional information.

Valdivostok Air Slide Show: CLICK HERE

South African Airways launches a new route to Beijing today

South African Airways (Johannesburg) today launched a new route from its Johannesburg base to Beijing, China, with an Airbus A340-600.

Copyright Photo: Wingnut.

Read the full report from Business Report: CLICK HERE

South African Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Ryanair swings to a fiscal third net profit of $19.8 million

Ryanair (Dublin) reported a net profit of $19.8 million in the fiscal third quarter.

The ultra low-cost carrier issued the following statement:

“Ryanair, the world’s favorite airline, on January 30 announced a Q3 profit of €15m compared to a Q3 loss of €10m last year. Revenues increased 13% to €844m as traffic fell 2% and average fares rose 17%. Unit costs rose 11% due to a 7% increase in sector lengths and an 18% increase in fuel costs. Excluding fuel, sector length adjusted unit costs declined by 1%.”

The flamboyant airline continued:

“Our new routes and bases have performed well this winter. We open 5 new bases in Baden Baden (Ger), Billund (Den), Palma (Spain), Paphos (Cyprus) and Wroclaw (Poland) in March/April 2012. We expect to launch at least 1 more base for summer 2012, shortly. The EU recession, higher oil prices, the unfolding failure of the package tour operator model, significant competitor fare increases and capacity cuts, has created enormous growth opportunities for Ryanair, as large and smaller airports across Europe compete aggressively to win Ryanair’s growth.

Unit costs rose 11% mainly due to an 18% increase in fuel costs. Excluding fuel, sector length adjusted unit costs fell 1%, as we aggressively controlled costs despite a 2% basic pay increase, higher Eurocontrol fees, and substantially higher Dublin Airport charges. In FY13 we are 90% hedged for H1 at $990 per ton (approx. $99 per barrel), and 70% hedged for H2 at approx. $100 pbl. We expect to hedge the balance of our H2 2013 needs over the coming months. However, at these prices our fuel bill for FY 2013 will rise by approx. €350m which poses a significant cost challenge for next year.

The BAA’s recent announcement that it will pay dividends of £240m this year to Ferrovial and its other shareholders is further evidence that it is generating monopoly profits under the CAA’s “inadequate” regulatory regime. Over the past five years while Stansted charges have doubled, traffic has declined 26% from over 24m in 2007 to just 18m in 2011. The BAA monopoly’s shareholders are being unfairly enriched at the expense of Stansted airport users who continue to suffer high charges and inadequate service. We again call on the UK government and the CAA to bring forward the sale of Stansted to enable competition between London airports to deliver lower airport charges and improved customer service where the BAA airport monopoly and CAA’s “inadequate” regulatory regime has repeatedly failed.

We also call on the UK government to scrap its APD tourist tax which is damaging UK tourism and jobs. A similar visitor tax in Holland was scrapped after just one year when it was proven that its detrimental impact on Dutch tourism was far greater than the revenue it generated. UK APD was doubled in 2007 to £10 and was increased again to £12 this year and has resulted in the UK having the highest aviation taxes in the world, to the detriment of the UK’s tourism industry, which was one of the UK’s most important revenue earners before its visitor numbers declined over the past four year.

In Ireland the Government owned DAA airport monopoly recently published its 2011 traffic figures which highlighted a 26% decline in traffic from 30m pax in 2007 to just 22m in 2011. While many UK and EU airports delivered growth in 2011 by reducing charges, the DAA monopoly (protected by the Dept of Transport) raised fees by 40% and delivered another year of underlying traffic declines. Sadly, the new Irish government has failed to deliver any change or reform in airport or tourism policy and failed to scrap the €3 tourist tax. Ireland needs competition between Dublin, Cork & Shannon airports in order to reduce the DAA’s high airport charges, and return our tourism industry to growth, which will create thousands of badly needed entry level jobs in the Irish economy. We will continue to campaign for this change and reform, since the Dept of Transport’s current policy of protecting the DAA monopoly and raising access costs clearly isn’t working.

Our Q3 Net Profit of €15m was slightly ahead of guidance due to a combination of benign weather which caused fewer flight cancellations and significant de-icing savings, and a better performance on yields reflecting our planned winter capacity cuts, longer sectors, and higher competitor fares/fuel surcharges. Should these positive Q3 trends continue into Q4, we now expect our full year profit will exceed previous guidance (of €440m) and rise to €480m.

EGM to approve ADR share buy back.

Our September 2011 AGM authorised the board to buy-back ordinary shares representing up to 5% of our issued shared capital. However, EU ownership rules require that at least 50% of the Company be owned by EU nationals.

In order to facilitate further share buy-backs, the board intends to hold an EGM in March 2012 to seek shareholder approval to include ADR’s as well as ordinary shares in future buy-back programs for up to 5% of our issued share capital. A detailed letter to shareholders explaining these matters will be issued in due course and the Board believes that shareholders will support this proposal which will be subject to Stock Exchange and regulatory approvals in due course.”

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best.

Ryanair Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Tiger Airways to take a one third interest in the new Mandala Airlines to get it airborne again

Tiger Airways (Singapore) has finalized its acquisition of a 33 percent share in the grounded Mandala Airlines (Jakarta), becoming the second largest shareholder after the Saratoga Group (51.3 percent). The creditors and previous owners will hold the remaining 15.7 percent share.

Mandala will resume operations this year under the Tiger Airways low-cost model according to this article by The Economic Times.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: John Adlard. This intricate Mandala design will fade into aviation history as the renewed carrier will also adopt the Tiger Airways brand.

Thai AirAsia to drop the Bangkok-Delhi route

Thai AirAsia (AirAsia.com) (Bangkok) will delete the Bangkok-Delhi (India) route on March 24 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Please click on the photo for additional information.

PIA drops the Karachi-Colombo route

PIA-Pakistan International Airlines (Karachi) has dropped the twice-weekly Karachi-Colombo (Sri Lanka) route.

Copyright Photo: Ole Simon.

PIA Slide Show: CLICK HERE

RAK Airways to fly again to Kathmandu and now Bangkok

RAK Airways (Ras al-Khaimah) will restore the Ras al-Khaimah-Kathmandu route on February 15 (three times a week). The airline will also launched a new long-haul route extending eastward to Bangkok commencing on June 1. The latter route will be operated with four roundtrips a week. BKK will be the company’s 12th destination.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Please click on the photo for additional information.

RAK Airways Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Current Route Map:

Please click on the map to enlarge.

Air Namibia to return to Zimbabwe after 13 years

Air Namibia (Windhoek) is planning to return to Zimbabwe after a 13-year absence. The airline will fly a Windhoek-Harare route with four roundtrips a week starting in mid May.

Read the full full story from News Day: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross.

S7 Airlines to start twice-weekly service to Tokyo from Khabarovsk on March 25

S7 Airlines (Novosibirsk) will launch new twice-weekly flights from Khabarovsk to Tokyo (Narita) starting on March 25 according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil.

S7 Slide Show: CLICK HERE

United Airlines completes Economy Plus rollout on international 757-200 flights

United Airlines (Chicago) today announced it is now offering Economy Plus seating on all long-haul international Boeing 757-200 flights, offering economy customers the option of six inches of extra legroom.

With the reconfiguration, the aircraft have 16 flat-bed seats in BusinessFirst, 45 seats in Economy Plus and 108 in Economy. The 757-200 reconfiguration project, which began in late November, outfits those aircraft with 1,845 Economy Plus seats.

The 41 aircraft principally operate between New York/Newark and Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast, Berlin, Birmingham, Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Hamburg, Lima, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Manchester, Oslo, Paris, Shannon, Stockholm and Stuttgart, and between Washington/Dulles and Amsterdam and Paris.

United introduced Economy Plus in 1999. Today, the company offers the extra-legroom seating on more than 400 mainline aircraft and more than 150 regional jets. When fully deployed, United will offer customers more extra-legroom economy class seats than any airline in the world.

In addition to the expansion of Economy Plus seating, United continues to invest in onboard improvements:

1. United has recently modified 28 three-cabin Boeing 777-200 aircraft with new premium cabins, offering flat-bed seats and audio and video on demand, as well as larger video screens and power ports in United Economy.

2. United plans to modify 18 more Boeing 777 aircraft in the next year. United’s 23 Boeing 747-400, 21 three-cabin B767-300, 22 two-cabin B777-200 and 41 international B757-200 aircraft are already equipped with new premium cabins.

3. One Boeing 767-400 aircraft now features new premium-cabin flat-bed seats, Economy Plus seating and audio and video on demand. The airline will similarly modify 11 additional Boeing 767-400 aircraft and 14 Boeing 767-300 aircraft. When completed, United will offer more flat-bed seats than any airline in the world.

4. The airline will begin expanding the overhead bins in its 152 Airbus aircraft, increasing the available carryon-bag storage space by approximately two-thirds.

5. United will install satellite-enabled inflight Internet service on its aircraft beginning later in 2012.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck.

United Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Donavia to add two routes from Sochi

Donavia (Rostov-on-Don) is adding two new routes from Sochi to both Ekaterinburg and Volgograd starting on May 26 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Ole Simon. Please click on the photo for additional information.

Donavia Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Finnair to drop service to Kiev and Stuttgart

Finnair (Helsinki) will drop the Helsinki-Kiev route on March 8 per Airline Route. The route is operated by Embraer ERJ 170s three days a week. The carrier is also cutting the Helsinki-Stuttgart route on February 29 which is operated by Flybe Nordic.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton.

Finnair Slide Show: CLICK HERE

American Eagle to end Halifax-New York service on April 2

American Eagle Airlines (2nd) (Dallas/Fort Worth) as part of an on-going reorganization, will drop the Halifax-New York (JFK) route on April 2. The company has served the Halifax market since June 2004.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum.

American Eagle Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Czech Airlines cancels plans for five new summer routes

Czech Airlines-CSA (Prague) is canceling plans to add the following routes from Prague this summer: Athens, Beirut, Larnaca, Oslo and Skopje per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren.

Czech Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Air One to add twice-weekly flights to St. Petersburg from Venice

Air One (Milan-Malpensa) will add twice-weekly Venice-St. Petersburg flights starting on May 4. The new route will be operated with Airbus A320s per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord. Please click on the photo for additional information.

Air One Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Vueling Airlines may make a bid for MALEV

Vueling Airlines (Barcelona) is interested in acquiring MALEV Hungarian Airlines (Budapest) according to a report by business weekly Figyelo. According to the article, Vueling has concluded negotiations with the National Development Ministry. A business plan will be presented to the Vueling board of directors next month.

Read the full report by the BBJ: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Please click on the photo for additional information.

Vueling Slide Show: CLICK HERE

MALEV Slide Show: CLICK HERE

B&H Airlines to resume Sarajevo-Dusseldorf flights on June 2

B&H Airlines (Saravejo) will resume twice-weekly Airbus A319 service on the Saravejo-Dusseldorf route on June 2 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren. Please click on the photo for additional information.

B&H Airlines Slide Show: CLICK HERE

B&H routes from Sarajevo:

Please click on the map to enlarge.

WestJet is coming to LaGuardia on June 4

WestJet Airlines (Calgary) has unveiled details of its scheduled service to New York’s LaGuardia airport. In November, WestJet successfully bid for eight slot pairs, bringing WestJet’s service to the slot-controlled airport preferred by business travelers.

The airline will launch seven nonstop flights each business day between Toronto and New York City starting on June 4, 2012. On July 12, WestJet will increase to eight nonstop flights each business day.

The launch of new service comes on the heels of the recently signed code-share agreement with Delta Air Lines. WestJet guests travelling between Toronto and New York will arrive into Delta’s main connection area at LaGuardia, allowing connections to Delta’s U.S. network without additional security screening.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography.

WestJet Slide Show: CLICK HERE

USA 3000 Airlines to fade quietly into aviation history

USA 3000 Airlines (Philadelphia) is set to operate its last Airbus A320 flight on January 30.

Update: As planned, the last flight was operated on January 30, 2012 between Cancun and St. Louis. The airline had two Airbus A320s at the end.

In November 2011, parent Apple Vacations decided to dissolve USA 3000 Airlines. Apple Vacations will now use other carriers such as Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) to fly its customers to the Caribbean.

USA 3000 has been gradually dropping the cities it serves. It is currently operating five Airbus A320s from St. Louis, Chicago (O’Hare), Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh to vacation destinations in Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean region for Apple Vacations.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Please click on the photo for additional information.

USA 3000 Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Typical routes from Chicago (O’Hare):

Delta is now considering a merger option with US Airways

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) according to this article by the WSJ is now considering a merger option with US Airways (Phoenix) which remains opens to merger possibilities. As previously reported, DL is also considering a possible merger option with American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) although this option is less likely to be approved due to the size of both carriers and competition factors.

Read the article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Brandon Farris.

Delta Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Etihad Airways signs contract for two additional Airbus A330-200F freighters

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) has signed a firm order for two additional A330-200F freighter aircraft to meet their growth plans in the cargo market. The airline was a launch customer and the launch operator of the A330-200F, having taken delivery of its first aircraft at the Farnborough International Airshow in 2010. This new order will increase the fleet of the airline’s cargo business, Etihad Crystal Cargo, to four A330-200F freighters.

Etihad Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Boeing delivers the first Boeing 747-800F freighter to AirBridgeCargo Airlines

AirBridgeCargo Airlines Volga-Dnepr Group) (Moscow) and Boeing and AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), yesterday celebrated the delivery of the first of five new Boeing 747-8 Freighters to the airline.

The new 747-8 Freighter is 250 feet, 2 inches (76.3 m) long, which is 18 feet and 4 inches (5.6 m) longer than its predecessor, the 747-400 Freighter. The stretch provides customers with 16 percent more revenue cargo volume, which translates to four additional main-deck pallets and three additional lower-hold pallets. The 747-8 Freighters are powered with GE’s GEnx-2B engines.

The addition of the 747-8 to ABC’s fleet is an important step in its long-term business strategy. The second and third Boeing 747-8s will join the fleet in March and September 2012 and the last two aircraft on order are scheduled for delivery in 2013. In addition, ABC has options for five more 747-8s. By the end of 2012, after retiring old aircraft types, ABC’s fleet will consist of three Boeing 747-8 Freighters and eight 747-400 Freighters.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. Please click on the photo for additional information.

ABC Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Spanair to shut down tonight after Qatar Airways declines to invest

Spanair (Barcelona) is due to cease all operations tonight after Qatar Airways (Doha) declined to invest in the money-losing airline today. In addition, the regional government of Cataluna has also declined to inject any further cash into the airline.

Read the story from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Part owner, SAS Group, issued the following statement:

“The SAS Group has continuously informed that following the divestment of most of its ownership in Spanair early 2009, the SAS Group has had a remaining exposure of approximately SEK 1.8 billion.

Spanair’s Board of Directors has today decided to apply for bankruptcy. Due to the situation in Spanair, SAS has decided to make a write down of the outstanding debt and receivables on Spanair of approximately MEUR 165, as well as reserve MEUR 28 in guarantees and costs due to the bankruptcy. SAS ownership in Spanair is currently 10,9%, but the value of these shares has already been written down and are booked at 0 value. The write down will affect the SAS Group’s result as a non-recurring item and equity negatively by SEK 1.7 billion in total. As informed earlier, the effect on the SAS Group’s liquid assets is estimated to be limited to MSEK 200-300.

SAS Group will follow customary procedures as a creditor in the upcoming bankruptcy process.

As reported as of the third quarter, SAS has a financial preparedness of SEK 10.6 billion so the event will have a limited effect on SAS liquidity.

SAS will assist passengers to the extent practically possible.

SAS expects a positive result before non-recurring items for the full year 2011.”

Spanair Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Bernard Ross. Please click on the photo for information on the carrier.

AviancaTaca firms up order for 51 Airbus A320 aircraft

AviancaTaca, which includes subsidiary AeroGal (Ecuador), has signed a purchase agreement for 33 Airbus A320neo and 18 A320 Family aircraft. The order, which is the largest from a single airline in the region in terms of number of aircraft, follows a MOU signed during the Le Bourget Air Show in Paris in June 2011.

AviancaTaca has placed firm orders for 190 Airbus aircraft (including the latest 51) and has currently in service 88 A320 Family aircraft and eight A330. AviancaTaca operates the entire A320 Family, A318, A319, A320 and A321 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum.

Avianca (Colombia) Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Porter Airlines responds to Air Canada’s increase, adds two more New York flights

Porter Airlines (Toronto-City Centre Airport), not be undone by Air Canada’s announcement of new New York service, has upped the ante. Porter is adding two additional daily flights and a more convenient schedule. This increases daily roundtrip departures between Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport to as many as 13 flights each business day.

The first new flight starts on March 26, with a second flight beginning on April 16, and additional weekend options as of March 25.

Porter also launched a new nonstop service between Newark and Mt. Tremblant, Quebec this winter, a popular skiing destination.

Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema.

Porter Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Porter’s destinations from Toronto:

 

US Airways and Association of Flight Attendants reach a tentative agreement

US Airways (Phoenix) has announced that it has reached a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement with the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), which represents the airline’s 6,700 mainline flight attendants. Details of the agreement will be made available by AFA.

The AFA Master Executive Counsel’s (MEC’s) must first approve the tentative agreement before it can be sent to its members for consideration. This first step is expected to take place in the coming weeks. The tentative agreement would cover the airline’s 6,700 mainline flight attendants, who are based in US Airways’ three hub cities of Phoenix, Philadelphia, Charlotte, N.C., and in its Washington D.C. focus city.

Top Copyright Photo: Jay Selman. Please click on the photo for additional details.

US Airways Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/Graham Hitchen. N717UW flying “over” the Bank of America Stadium in downtown Charlotte. This composite photo demonstrates our abilities to produce a special need digital image for your specific needs at our very competitive rates.

Composite Photo by Jay Selman and Graham Hitchen.

Republic names David Siegel as the new CEO of Frontier Airlines

Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) has announced that David Siegel will become the new CEO, President, and interim Chief Operating Officer of Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver), a wholly owned subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings, Inc.

Siegel’s appointment is another step towards Republic’s goal of making Frontier Airlines a viable, strong and independent business. Siegel and the entire Frontier executive team will be based at Frontier’s headquarters in Denver, Colorado.

Republic is re-inventing Frontier Airlines as an Ultra Low-Cost Carrier which it hopes to sell off.

According to the release, Siegel comes to Frontier with a wealth of relevant CEO experience. Siegel previously served as CEO of XOJET, gategroup, US Airways and Avis Budget, in addition to other key leadership roles in the airline industry.

Siegel served as lead independent director on the Republic Airways (RAH) Board of Directors and will give up that role, but will remain on the board in this new position.

Republic also announced the addition of new senior officers for Frontier’s finance and commercial team, among other changes in the executive leadership team.

Robert Ashcroft has joined Frontier as Senior Vice President, Finance. Ashcroft will work closely with Siegel and Bedford in the project of moving Frontier towards independence, as well as defining opportunities to ensure profitable growth for the Company. Ashcroft has an unusually diverse background encompassing finance, planning and IT. Most recently he was at Allegiant Travel Company overseeing network and capacity planning, scheduling, pricing and investor relations.

Daniel Shurz has been promoted to the role of Senior Vice President, Commercial for Frontier and will have responsibility for all commercial activities, including network planning, pricing and revenue management, marketing, product and brand definition. Daniel joined Frontier as Vice President of Strategy and Planning in 2009.

Greg Aretakis is assuming an expanded role as Vice President of Network and Revenue Management, adding responsibility for scheduling and planning, sales and distribution to his current portfolio. Greg previously served as the Company’s Vice President of Revenue Production.

Dan Krause has been promoted to Vice President of Marketing and Customer Experience for Frontier. Dan has been with Frontier since 2004 and most recently served as Senior Director, Commercial Strategy and Customer Experience.

Frontier Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Frontier operates mainly from Concourse A at Denver International Airport (DEN). Oddly the Airbus A318s (with their taller tails) cannot taxi under the pedestrian overpass (left) connecting the concourses with the main terminal.

American Airlines to introduce the new Boeing 777-300 ER at DFW in December with a new interior and product

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has announced changes to its spring and summer schedule that will expand the airline’s presence in Brazil.  Beginning in December, American’s route between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Sao Paulo (GRU) will operate with the new state-of-the-art Boeing 777-300 ER, making Brazil the first AA market for the new aircraft.  Further emphasizing American’s commitment to Latin America, the airline will increase its service between DFW and Sao Paulo beginning in June.

The entrance to the new Boeing 777-300 ER will feature mood lighting.

In 2010, American announced plans to order the Boeing 777-300 ER, demonstrating a continuation of the airline’s efforts to enhance its fleet and become more fuel efficient.  American is the first U.S. airline to order and take delivery of the 777-300 ER.  The new aircraft is designed to enhance the customer experience and includes fully lie-flat First and Business Class seats, plus seating plans that will allow American to offer a premium product in the Main Cabin and Wi-Fi capability to keep customers connected while traveling internationally.

Copyright Photos: American Airlines. AA’s new First Class Product.

AA's new First Class on the Boeing 777-300 ER

AA's new Business Class on the Boeing 777-300 ER.

American will also increase the total number of weekly flights between DFW and Sao Paulo from seven times per week to 12 times per week beginning June 14.  Also on June 14, flights from Miami to Brasilia (BSB) and to Belo Horizonte (CNF) will increase from five and three times per week, respectively, to daily.

In addition to the increased service between DFW and Sao Paulo, American will launch new service that connects its Miami hub to Manaus, Brazil beginning in June.

Manaus will be the seventh destination served by American in Brazil.  American currently offers more routes between the two countries than any other airline.  The flight will be operated on Boeing 737-800 aircraft with 160 seats, including 16 Business Class seats and 144 seats in the Main Cabin. The 737-800 interior offers several unique features, including larger overhead bins that hold more bags than standard overhead bins.  The aircraft also includes additional features such as sculpted sidewalls providing customers a feeling of spaciousness, updated window reveals making the windows appear larger and brighter, and longer-lasting LED lighting to enhance the customer experience.  The route is currently scheduled four times per week, and customers can book travel beginning Jan. 29.  Yesterday, American filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation for authority to begin daily service in this market.

With the Chapter 11 reorganization, a new CEO, new possible suitors (US Airways) and a new type coming later this year, this would be the perfect opportunity for American Airlines to upgrade its image and brand including a new aircraft color scheme. First introduced in 1968, this well-worn livery is now the longest-running airline color scheme in the world for a major carrier.  After 44 years, it is time for a new makeover.

American's new Economy Class seat on the new Boeing 777-300 ER.

Virgin Australia and Skywest Airlines win tentative approval for their alliance, Virgin Australia retires its last ERJ 170

Virgin Australia Airlines (formerly Virgin Blue Airlines) (Brisbane) and Skywest Airlines (Perth) have been granted tentative approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for a proposed corporate alliance between the two carriers according to this article by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Additionally Virgin Australia has announced additional flights as part of an accelerated capacity growth plan for major corporate, resources sector and leisure routes. The airline will be introducing the following:

  • From February 13, 2012, extra services between Brisbane-Melbourne, Sydney-Melbourne and Adelaide-Melbourne – and also between Brisbane-Cairns and Brisbane-Whitsunday Coast (Proserpine).
  • From February 19, 2012, an additional return service will also be introduced between Brisbane and Gladstone on Sundays in response to demand.
  • From February 20, 2012, extra services will also be added between Brisbane and Rockhampton.
  • Adelaide-Melbourne: An additional return flight Mondays through Fridays; taking the total number of flights offered between the two cities up to 10 per day or 130 per week.
    Brisbane-Melbourne: An extra return flight seven days a week; taking the total number of flights offered on the route up to 13 daily or 174 per week.
    Melbourne-Sydney: An extra return flight seven days a week; taking the total number of flights offered between the two cities up to 31 daily or 392 per week.
  • Brisbane-Gladstone: One extra return flight on Sundays (using the ATR); taking the total number of flights offered by the airline on the route to 34 per week.
    Brisbane-Rockhampton: An extra return flight, Monday to Friday; taking the total number of Virgin Australia flights between Brisbane-Rockhampton up to 78 per week.
    Brisbane-Cairns: An extra return flight will be added every day except Saturdays; taking the total number of Virgin Australia flights between Brisbane and Cairns each week to 80.
    Brisbane and Whitsunday Coast (Proserpine): An additional return service, Monday to Friday, will be introduced; taking the total number of flights offered by the airline on the route to 24 per week.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

In other news, Virgin Australia has retired its last Embraer ERJ 170.

Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group. Still painted in Virgin Blue’s brand, Embraer ERJ 170-100LR VH-ZHF (msn 17000255) passed through Honolulu on January 25 on its trek across the wide Pacific Ocean headed eastbound. None of the ERJ 170s were repainted in the new Virgin Australia identity.

Skywest Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Virgin Australia Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Virgin Blue Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Skywest Airlines Route Map (click to enlarge):

Click on the map to enlarge.

Fly Jamaica still awaits authority to operate from the JCAA

Fly Jamaica (Kingston) is still waiting for authority to operate this Boeing 757 by the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA). The new airline was expected to commence operations on December 1, 2011 but this remains in limbo as the government considers its application according to this article by The Gleamer.

The paper airline is proposing to fly (operated by Air Guyana) this Boeing 757-200 on a Georgetown (Guyana)-Kingston (Jamaica)-New York route and also from Kingston to Toronto (Pearson).

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Mark Lawrence. Please click on the photo for additional information.

Etihad Airways buys 40% of Air Seychelles for $20 million

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) is acquiring a 40 percent interest in Air Seychelles (Male) for $20 million.

Air Seychelles recently dropped its long-haul services to Europe and retired most of its long-range Boeing 767-300 ERs.

Air Seychelles issued the following statement:

“The Government of Seychelles and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) wherein Etihad will invest to acquire a 40 percent stake in Air Seychelles Ltd as part of a strategic partnership alliance initiative between Air Seychelles and Etihad Airways.

The deal was announced today (January 26) by Joel Morgan, Seychelles Minister of Home Affairs, Environment, Transport and Energy and James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways.

Etihad Airways’ investment of $20 million will be matched by an equal capital injection from the Government of Seychelles. In addition, Etihad Airways will also provide a shareholder’s loan of $25 million to meet working capital requirements and support network development.”

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Please click on the photo for information about this special logojet.

Etihad Airways Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Airbus confirms more A380 cracks but announces a fix

Airbus (Toulouse) according to this report by Reuters has announced the recent wings crack discoveries were the result of a combination of design and manufacturing flaws. The builder also announced it has worked out a two-stage solution.

According to the report, “he cracks were caused by a combination of the choice of aluminum alloy for certain wing brackets as well as stresses imposed by two parts of the manufacturing process”.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best.

Alaska Air Group has a profitable 4Q and a record yearly profit

Alaska Air Group (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) today reported fourth quarter net income, excluding special items, of $37.2 million, or $1.02 per diluted share, compared to net income of $47.4 million, or $1.28 per diluted share. This quarter’s results compare to a First Call mean estimate of $1.14 per share.

The group also reported a record full-year net income, excluding special items, of $287.4 million, or $7.83 per diluted share, compared to $262.6 million, or $7.14 per diluted share for 2010.

The group also reported net income for the fourth quarter under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $64.0 million, or $1.76 per diluted share, compared to net income of $64.8 million, or $1.75 per diluted share.

For the full-year, Alaska Air Group reported GAAP net income of $244.5 million, or $6.66 per diluted share, compared to net income of $251.1 million, or $6.83 per diluted share.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Please click on the photo for details on this logoplane.

United Continental Holdings, Inc. announces a 2011 and 4Q 2011 profit

United Continental Holdings, Inc. (Chicago) today reported full-year 2011 net income of $1.3 billion or $3.49 per diluted share, excluding $483 million of special items consisting primarily of integration-related costs. Including special items, UAL reported full-year 2011 net income of $840 million or $2.26 per diluted share. UAL reported fourth-quarter net income of $109 million or $0.30 per diluted share, excluding $247 million of special items. Including special items, UAL reported a fourth-quarter 2011 net loss of $138 million or $0.42 loss per share.

UAL 2011 consolidated passenger revenue increased 9.0 percent compared to the pro forma results for 2010. Consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 9.2 percent in 2011 compared to the pro forma results for 2010.

UAL consolidated passenger revenue increased 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the same period in 2010. Fourth-quarter 2011 consolidated PRASM increased 8.2 percent year-over-year.

Consolidated fuel expense for 2011, excluding the impact of hedges, increased 36.5 percent, or $3.4 billion, year-over-year on a pro forma basis.

UAL ended 2011 with $8.3 billion in unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short term investments and undrawn lines of credit.
Co-workers earned $265 million in profit sharing for full-year 2011, which will be distributed on Feb. 14, 2012.

The consolidated network operated more than two million flights and had 142 million passengers in 2011, carrying the most traffic of any airline in the world.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

United Slide Show: CLICK HERE

JetBlue Airways has a profitable 4Q and 2011

JetBlue Airways Corporation (New York) today reported its results for the fourth quarter and full year 2011:

Pre-tax income of $40 million in the fourth quarter. This compares to pre-tax income of $13 million in the year-ago period.

For the full year 2011, JetBlue reported pre-tax income of $145 million. This compares to a pre-tax income of $161 million for the full year 2010.

Net income for the fourth quarter was $23 million, or $0.08 per diluted share. This compares to JetBlue’s fourth quarter 2010 net income of $8 million, or $0.03 per diluted share.

For the full year 2011, JetBlue reported net income of $86 million, or $0.28 per diluted share. This compares to net income of $97 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, for the full year 2010.

JetBlue ended the year with $1.2 billion in cash and short term investments.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

JetBlue Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Air Canada Express to begin Toronto-New York JFK service, LaGuardia to go hourly

Air Canada Express (Jazz Aviation) (Halifax) will launch triple-daily, nonstop flights between Toronto Pearson and New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport for Air Canada beginning on May 3, 2012. AC will also increase to hourly its flights to LaGuardia Airport. AC serves all three major New York City area airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. Air Canada, which began flying to New York 71 years ago, will operate up to 38 nonstop return flights a day between Canada and New York City this summer.

Beginning May 1, 2012, Air Canada will add an additional daily return flight between Toronto and LaGuardia, providing customers convenient hourly service each business day. The new Toronto-JFK service will be operated by Air Canada Express using 50-seat CRJ200 regional jets. The JFK flights will have early morning, afternoon and evening arrivals and departures. With the new services, Air Canada will operate a total of up to 38 return flights a day to the New York metropolitan area from Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography. One of the first Jazz aircraft to be rebranded to the new Air Canada Express brand is this CRJ705.

US Airways confirms it is considering a merger with American Airlines

US Airways (Phoenix) has confirmed it is considering a merger with defunct American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth).

Read the full full report from the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philly.com: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum.

US Airways Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Lufthansa Cargo launches the Frankfurt-Detroit route

Lufthansa Cargo (Frankfurt) on January 23 launched a weekly cargo flight connecting the FRA hub with Detroit per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Please click on this photo for the full details of this logojet.

Lufthansa Cargo Slide Show: CLICK HERE

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