US Airways Flight Attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), voted to ratify an Agreement on Bargaining and Representation between AFA and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) along with a Negotiations Protocol Agreement with American Airlines management. The agreement establishes a joint negotiations protocol for a single contract at the New American Airlines with the assurance of improvements in one year for all 24,000 Flight Attendants.
Beginning next week, AFA and APFA will form a joint negotiating team with an equal number of representatives and professional advisors as they spend the next 60 days preparing an opening proposal based on the best of both contracts and input from all Flight Attendants at the New American. Management has agreed to meet for 150 days with an intensive schedule that averages three weeks a month in an effort to reach an agreement on a combined contract. The parties will utilize the mediation services of the National Mediation Board and other expedited bargaining methods. If an agreement cannot be reached, only the open items will be submitted to arbitration based on an economic standard that will produce improvements over the current contracts. The entire process includes timelines that lead to implementation of a new single contract no later than the first quarter of 2015.
The agreement transitions representation for the combined group to the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA). The unions will jointly file a single carrier petition with the National Mediation Board in June, which will lead to certification of APFA as the representative in summer or fall. AFA will continue to work in partnership with APFA until the joint bargaining process is concluded and the new contract is implemented. Even after APFA’s certification, AFA will continue to enforce the current US Airways contract and related grievances.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (AGO) looked into the issue of airline pilot shortage.
Highlights of the Report:
GAO found mixed evidence regarding the extent of a shortage of airline pilots, although regional airlines have reported difficulties finding sufficient numbers of qualified pilots over the past year. Specifically, looking at broad economic indicators, airline pilots have experienced a low unemployment rate—the most direct measure of a labor shortage; however, both employment and earnings have decreased since 2000, suggesting that demand for these occupations has not outstripped supply. Looking forward, industry forecasts and the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment projections suggest the need for pilots to be between roughly 1,900 and 4,500 pilots per year, on average, over the next decade, which is consistent with airlines’ reported expectations for hiring over this period. Yet studies GAO reviewed examining whether the future supply of pilots will be sufficient to meet this need had varying conclusions. Two studies point to the large number of qualified pilots that exists, but who may be working abroad, in the military, or in another occupation, as evidence that there is adequate supply. However, whether these pilots choose to seek employment with U.S. airlines depends on the extent to which pilot job opportunities arise, and on the wages and benefits airlines offer. Another study concludes that future supply will be insufficient, absent any actions taken, largely resulting from accelerating costs of pilot education and training. Such costs deter individuals from pursuing a pilot career. Pilot schools that GAO interviewed reported fewer students entering their programs resulting from concerns over the high costs of education and low entry-level pay at regional airlines. As airlines have recently started hiring, nearly all of the regional airlines that GAO interviewed reported difficulties finding sufficient numbers of qualified entry-level first officers. However, mainline airlines, because they hire from the ranks of experienced pilots, have not reported similar concerns, although some mainline airlines expressed concerns that entry-level hiring problems could affect their regional airline partners’ ability to provide service to some locations.
Airlines are taking several actions to attract and retain qualified commercial airline pilots. For example, airlines that GAO interviewed have increased recruiting efforts, and developed partnerships with schools to provide incentives and clearer career paths for new pilots. Some regional airlines have offered new first officers signing bonuses or tuition reimbursement to attract more pilots. However, some airlines found these actions insufficient to attract more pilots, and some actions, such as raising wages, have associated costs that have implications for the industry. Airline representatives and pilot schools suggested FAA could do more to give credit for various kinds of flight experience in order to meet the higher flight-hour requirement, and could consider developing alternative pathways to becoming an airline pilot. Stakeholders were also concerned that available financial assistance may not be sufficient, given the high costs of pilot training and relatively low entry-level wages.
Over 66,000 airline pilot jobs exist for larger mainline and smaller regional airlines that operate over 7,000 commercial aircraft. After a decade of turmoil that curtailed growth in the industry and resulted in fewer pilots employed at airlines since 2000, recent industry forecasts indicate that the global aviation industry is poised for growth. However, stakeholders have voiced concerns that imminent retirements, fewer pilots exiting the military, and new rules increasing the number of flight hours required to become a first officer for an airline, could result in a shortage of qualified airline pilots.
GAO was asked to examine pilot supply and demand issues. This report describes (1) what available data and forecasts reveal about the need for and potential availability of airline pilots and (2) what actions industry and government are taking or could take to attract and retain airline pilots. GAO collected and analyzed data from 2000 through 2012, forecasts from 2013 through 2022, and literature relevant to the labor market for airline pilots and reviewed documents and interviewed agency officials about programs that support training. GAO interviewed and collected data from associations representing airlines or their pilots, and pilot schools that accounted for about half of the students who graduated with professional pilot majors in 2012. GAO selected the airlines and schools based on factors such as size and location. GAO is not making recommendations in this report. The Department of Transportation and others provided technical clarifications on a draft of the report, which GAO incorporated.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
The Air Line Pilots Association Int’l (ALPA) responded to the GAO report (GAO-14-232) “Aviation Workforce—Current and Future Availability of Airline Pilots” in a special issue analysis paper. The GAO report supports the points ALPA has made for several years concerning whether there is, or will be, a genuine shortage of airline pilots. To put it very simply, currently there is no shortage of qualified pilots. There is, however, a shortage of qualified pilots willing to fly for substandard wages and inadequate benefits. The recent increases in experience required to enter the airline pilot profession, which were crafted with input from industry, labor and government, were made to ensure that the United States airline industry remains the safest in the world.
Read the full response from ALPA: CLICK HERE
The following is the official statement of Teamsters Airline Division Director Capt. David Bourne on the United States Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) 2014 Aviation Workforce report, “Current and Future Availability of Airline Pilots”:
“I’m pleased that the GAO has confirmed what we in the airline industry have known for years – the starting wage structure in the regional airline industry has not only kept qualified pilots away, it has deterred many from entering the field.
“In a field that requires not only an extremely high level of training and professionalism and, unlike others, requires semi-annual proficiency checks and medical evaluations – with a failure of either potentially ending a pilot’s career – the current levels of pay for many in the regional industry are inexcusable.
“The issue causing the shortage is not a lack of skill, it is the inability for many pilots to survive on wages below the poverty level. When faced with that reality and the investment of the money and time required to enter the industry, there is no incentive for them to make the commitment. It is time for the industry to recognize pilots for the professionals they are and compensate them accordingly. When we see pilots paid in a manner commensurate with their skills, training and professionalism, we will see the shortage abate.”
Additionally, in response, the Airline Professionals Association, Teamsters Local 1224 commended the United States Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) on report findings contained in its February 2014 Aviation Workforce report, “Current and Future Availability of Airline Pilots.”
“The GAO report confirms our members’ experiences and what they have known for a long time,” said Capt.Daniel C. Wells, president of Teamsters Local 1224.
The attainment of the necessary qualifications and experience that is required before you may be hired by any airline takes years and requires a huge financial investment. The airline industry, however, has not been worth the investment for many of its employees. Starting wages among the regional carriers are often so low that pilots cannot afford to support a family or repay the debt they acquired to become qualified for the position. This unfortunate reality often deters otherwise qualified pilots from seeking employment in the field and, additionally, it deters would-be aviators from entering the field altogether.
According to the report, 11 out of 12 regional airlines failed to meet their hiring targets for entry-level pilots last year. At the root of this issue is pay and working conditions. When pilots accept an entry-level position at a regional airline, they often do so with the intention of leaving as soon as they have acquired enough flight time to step into another position promising higher wages at a mainline airline. It creates a perpetual wheel of employee turnover within the regional airline industry. This trend also was identified in the GAO report.
“There is no shortage of Americans who are fully capable or who want to be airline pilots; there is no skills gap,” Wells added. “But the industry wages, especially for entry-level positions, are often not worth the time and financial investment that is required to become a qualified pilot; a pay-gap is the reason we are seeing a shortage.”
Some industry groups have argued that impending retirements or the regulation now requiring a pilot to have an “Airline Transport Pilot” license to fly for an airline are contributors to the pilot shortage. However, from a pilot’s first-hand perspective, any regulation that enhances safety is critical. Airlines must be proactive and work together to enhance quality of life issues to attract would-be pilots to the industry.
The Teamsters and Local 1224 work every day to maintain and better the pay, working conditions, and professional prospects of its members. We stand ready to work with our members and their airline management teams to ensure their companies have an adequate supply of safe, professional airmen to sustain and grow their companies.
Bloomberg Businessweek also takes a look at the issue: CLICK HERE
Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) is improving its inflight food service and has issued this translated statement today:
As a part of the continuous development of SAS’ service concept, SAS has developed the onboard food and beverage offering to improve the customer experience. The adjustments follow a broad customer survey and are introduced from beginning of March.
In June 2013, SAS launched the new service concept called “SAS Go & Plus” which has been overall well-received by SAS customers. A customer survey, with more than 4500 respondents, shows that the customers appreciate SAS Go & Plus for its
simplicity and 85% of the customers are positive or neutral to the concept.
There are three main initiatives in the development of SAS Go & Plus:
1. Improvements of the food and beverage offering; adjustments of onboard concept and clarification of the difference between SAS Go & SAS Plus.
2. We introduced SAS Go & Plus to make travel easier for our customers. By clarifying and improving our on board offering we want to ensure a pleasant and joyful overall experience for customers when they choose SAS says Snorre Andresen, Vice President Product Management and Development at SAS.
The first changes to the onboard concept come into effect on March 1 and again on March 20. The improvements of meals are ongoing.
Facts about improvements and adjustments:
SAS improves food experience on board
SAS customers appreciate proper meals on longer flights, and snacks and beverages on shorter flights.
SAS reduces the number of menu variants and introduces a clearer concept for flights within Europe: one for the Nordic region and one for flights to Europe.
SAS Plus includes a new evening meal and drinks served in classic Orreforsglass
Warm bread with the meal.
The cafe offers a selection of fresh food, such as sandwiches salads and hot wraps.
The cafe menu is continually updated with seasonal additions.
The dining experience will be enhanced on intercontinental flights for SAS Go & Plus and Business.
All meals will be renewed or enhanced and the food presentation improved with new design and packaging.
Along with other treats, pre-departure champagne will be re-introduced in Business. SAS Go includes pre-departure water and one non-alcoholic drink together with meals. Alcoholic beverages are included in SAS Business and Plus, and are for sale in SAS Go.
SAS clarifies the difference between SAS Go and Plus:
SAS Plus includes everything, also food and drinks onboard, and with SAS Go food and drinks are for purchase.
Breakfast included in SAS Plus and available for purchase in SAS Go. It is possible to buy breakfast with EuroBonus points.
Coffee, tea and newspaper are as always included for all SAS passengers.
Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-883 LN-RCY (msn 28324) in the special “Disney Planes” motif taxies at Munich, Germany.
IAG period highlights on results:
- Fourth quarter operating profit €113 million (2012: operating loss of €40 million) before exceptional items
- At constant currency and excluding Vueling and one-offs, fourth quarter passenger unit revenue up 2.7 per cent, and non-fuel unit
costs down 2.7 per cent
- Operating profit for the year to December 31, 2013 of €770 million (2012: operating loss of €23 million) before exceptional items
- Revenue for the year up 3.1 per cent to €18,675 million and passenger unit revenue for the year up 0.6 per cent (3.7 per cent at constant currency)
- Fuel costs for the year down 2.5 per cent to €5,951 million (2012: €6,101 million). Fuel unit costs down 5.0 per cent at constant currency
- Non-fuel costs before exceptional items for year down 0.7 per cent at €11,954 million. Non-fuel unit costs down 5.6 per cent, down 2.7 per cent at constant currency
- Cash of €3,633 million at December 31, 2013 was up €724 million on 2012 year end (December 2012: €2,909 million).
- Adjusted gearing down 1 point to 50 per cent
Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said:
“In 2013, we strengthened the Group by acquiring Vueling, embarking on Iberia’s transformation and enhancing British Airways’ revenue performance. This has led to a strong financial recovery and return to profitability with a turnaround of nearly €800 million. Our operating profit was €770 million before exceptional items, with passenger revenue up 5.8 per cent and non-fuel costs down 0.7 per cent.
“British Airways continued its solid revenue performance this year and we’re seeing cost improvements, resulting in an operating profit of €762 million. This is the first full year that it’s benefited from the additional Heathrow slots and greater network flexibility created by bmi’s integration. Both the A380 and Boeing 787 were introduced into the airline’s fleet successfully. The new aircrafts’ economic and environmental performance has been excellent and customers love them.
“Iberia has made huge progress on cost control as its restructuring takes shape and great credit should be given to all those involved. It has reduced its losses in the year, reporting an operating loss of €166 million. The recent pay and productivity agreements between Iberia and its pilot and cabin crew unions are key to reducing the airline’s costs further and providing the foundation for profitable growth.
“Vueling is a great asset and provides a new cultural dimension to IAG. The airline reported an operating profit of €168 million from April 2013, when we acquired it, and expanded its network across continental Europe. To increase capacity while improving profit margins is a tremendous achievement and underlines Vueling’s value to the Group.
“We have shown strong financial management this year. Despite buying Vueling and increasing our capital expenditure, cash was up €724 million versus last year and adjusted gearing was down 1 point to 50 per cent.
“Quarter 4 saw an improved financial performance from all our airlines and we are reporting an operating profit of €113 million before exceptional items. Passenger revenue was up 4.0 per cent and non-fuel costs were down 4.1 per cent”.
In 2014 we expect to make steady progress towards our 2015 Group operating profit target of €1.8 billion, with relatively flat unit revenue growth, and margin expansion driven by falling unit costs.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Vueling has been a good buy for IAG. Formerly operated by Belle Air Europe, Airbus A320-214 EI-LIS (msn 3492) has been repainted at Southend.
RwandAir (Kigali, Rwand) and Bombardier Yesterday (February 27) celebrated the delivery of a dual-class Bombardier DHC-8-402 (9XR-WL, msn 4464) (marketed as the Q400). RwandAir’s order for the aircraft was announced on April 22, 2013.
RwandAir is now one of 15 operators of Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft in Africa, and its Q400 NextGen aircraft joins more than 55 Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft that are already in service, or ordered for operation, in 12 countries in Africa. RwandAir is also now the fourth airline operating the dual-class Q400 NextGen aircraft among the five customers that have ordered this configuration to date.
In other news, RwandAir will launch a new route to Doula, Cameroon on March 30, 2014 with four weekly flights departing Kigali every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
RwandAir will operate the new with the new Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft equipped with 7 Business Class and 68 Economy Class seats. The aircraft also operates daily services to Nairobi, Entebbe, Dar es Salaam, Bujumbura and Brazzaville via Kigali.
All images and photos by RwandAir.
Cabin photos of the new Q400:
China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai) has ordered 70 Airbus A320neo aircraft according to Reuters. The new aircraft will be delivered from 2018 through 2020.
China Eastern operates both the Airbus A320 Family and Boeing 737 Family aircraft.
China Eastern will also trade-in its seven remaining Airbus A300-600s.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 B-9950 (msn 5668) with Sharklets arrives in Beijing.
Air China (Beijing) will start Beijing-Vienna-Barcelona service on May 5, 2014, giving travelers an additional easy access to the “Capital of Music” and the “Flower of Europe”.
The four-times weekly service CA 841/2 will be offered on Mondays/Thursdays/Fridays/Sundays. The outbound flight will leave Beijing at 02:10 and arrive in Vienna at 06:10 local time and in Barcelona at 09:25 local time. The return flight will leave Barcelona at 11:25 local time and arrive in Vienna at 13:25 local time and Beijing at 05:55. The service is to be operated with an Airbus A330-300. Onboard, the Business Class is outfitted with full-flat seats. The Premium Economy Class offers 120% of the legroom available in standard Economy Class and great mileage deals. The Economy Class impresses with its ergonomic seats that make journeys less tiring. Personal entertainment systems are available in all classes of service.
For a long time, no nonstop flights have been offered to link East Asia and Barcelona, and there have been very few flights between Beijing and Vienna.
As a member carrier of the Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline network, Air China has been actively expanding its European schedule. Currently, Air China offers more than 100 flights per week between China and Europe, serving such major European cities as London, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, Moscow and Madrid. The Beijing-Vienna-Barcelona service will bring Air China’s European routes up to 23, offering access to 19 European cities and expanding the carrier’s European network. It will further improve its global network with its hub in Beijing and make it easier for travelers to transit to other parts of the world via Beijing.
Copyright Photo: Michael Stappen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-343X B-6511 (msn 1110) touches down in Dusseldorf.
Southwest Airlines‘ (Dallas) pilots, represented by the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA), issued this statement today in opposition to the application to the DOT by Norwegian Air International of Ireland:
The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) is joining numerous pilot groups across the United States along with Airlines for America to battle against Norwegian Air International’s application to the Department of Transportation that would provide them the ability to circumvent labor laws of their home country.
SWAPA’s opposition is contradicted by the Washington Airports Task Force who have chosen to support the Norwegian Air International (NAI) application. SWAPA has written to the Task Force to rethink their position and not oppose the many D.C.-area Southwest Airlines pilots.
NAI is an attempt by a Norwegian-owned entity to capitalize on the EU’s loose labor and aviation oversight regulations. They have applied for – and received – an Operating Certificate from Ireland although not one of their aircraft will operate from there. They have also contracted a Singapore-based company to staff their cockpits with Bangkok-based contract pilots (to evade EU labor and tax provisions).
“This ‘Flag of Convenience’ strategy is one that has decimated the U.S. Maritime industry,” said Captain Paul Jackson, Chair of SWAPA’s Governmental Affairs. “That industry was once robust and employed over 200,000 U.S. workers. Today the number of jobs has been reduced to around 2,500 due to the offshoring of work through foreign flag registrations of ships seeking the lax labor laws of those countries. Southwest pilots will not stand by and let this happen to the U.S. airline industry.”
“We are not opposing the entrance of an airline that competes fairly and doesn’t use the lax EU laws to drive out labor protections, bringing a questionable level of oversight to their operation,” continued Jackson. “We strongly believe that our product and the work of our industry can stand up to any competitor if they play by the rules in place and do not seek to lower costs at any price.”
Located in Dallas, Texas, the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) is a non-profit employee organization representing the more than 6,800 pilots of Southwest Airlines. SWAPA works to provide a secure and rewarding career for Southwest pilots and their families through negotiating contracts, defending contractual rights and actively promoting professionalism and safety.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-5H4 N527SW (msn 26569) completes its final approach for the runway at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has ended its policy of extending special fares to family members who must buy a ticket a last-minute flight because of a relative’s death according to the Associated Press.
The change at American now mirrors the policy at merger partner US Airways, which does not offer bereavement fares. US Airways management is now running the “new American”.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-823 N815NN (msn 33208) completes its final approach from the south into Washington’s Reagan National Airport.
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will again serve as the official airline sponsor of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, marking the 36th year the carrier has supported the event.
As the official airline of the Iditarod, Alaska continues its tradition of presenting the Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award, which recognizes one musher for providing exemplary dog care and is considered the highest honor a competitor can receive. Voted on by trail veterinarians, the Leonhard Seppala 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 help provide air transportation and dog-care supplies for 45 Iditarod veterinarians who come to Alaska from across the United States to care for the race dogs’ health and safety.
In addition, many Alaska Airlines employees contribute their time at the event. Among them are several pilots who lead the Iditarod Air Force, flying veterinarians, supplies and volunteers to remote checkpoints along the trail.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-490 N705AS (msn 29318) in the “Spirit of Alaska Statehood” special color scheme departs from Anchorage, Alaska.
Air Annobón (San Antonio de Pale, Annobón Island, Equatorial Guinea) is getting ready to take delivery of its first BAe (Avro) RJ85. The pictured RJ85 EI-RJS (msn E2365) was painted in Shannon and has repositioned back to Dublin pending delivery as 3C-MAA. The jetliner is named “Mebana”
Annobón Island (named after “ano bom”, Portuguese for “good year”), also known as Pagalu or Pigalu, is an island of the coast of Equatorial Guinea and is part of the Cameroon Line archipelago according to Wikipedia.
The remote airline was established in 2012 and currently wet leases two 99-seat BAe 146-300s (ZS-SBR and ZS-SOR) from Fair Aviation (Lanseria) in order to operate the daily Malabo-Bata route according to The African Aviation Tribune. According to this report the airline started operations on this route on January 25, 2013. The new addition is expected to replace this wet lease agreement.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Greenwing/AirlinersGallery.com. EI-RJS arrives at Dublin.
QANTAS to cut 5,000 jobs and 50 aircraft, including 8 remaining A380s to be deferred, last 3 787s to be deferred, retirement of 747-400s to be expedited
QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has also issued its cost-reduction plan on the heels of its first half financial loss reported today (please see the separate financial report). The QANTAS Group issued this statement detailing the cuts:
QANTAS today announced detail of its $2 billion cost reduction program and capital expenditure review.
QANTAS will take action to permanently reduce costs in all parts of the QANTAS Group through to FY17, including fleet and network changes, productivity improvements, consolidation of business activities, new technology and procurement savings. More than 50 aircraft will be deferred or sold and the Group’s workforce will be reduced by 5,000 full-time equivalent positions by FY17.
The QANTAS Group’s planned capital expenditure net of operating lease liability will be reduced to $800 million in both FY15 and FY16, a total reduction of $1 billion.
QANTAS has reached agreement on the return of its Brisbane Airport terminal lease, together with related assets, to the airport owner at a cash value of $112 million. The broader structural review of the QANTAS Group portfolio continues and no final decisions have been made on other assets.
Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said QANTAS would do everything in its control to overcome some of the toughest market conditions it had ever faced.
“It’s clear that the market QANTAS operates in has changed, with structural economic shifts exacerbated by an uneven playing field in Australian aviation policy,” Mr Joyce said.
“This situation is reflected in the financial result QANTAS announces today, an Underlying PBT1 loss of $252 million for the half-year. This is an unacceptable and unsustainable result. Comprehensive action is needed in response.
“QANTAS’ competitors have increased capacity to Australia by 46 per cent since 2009, more than double the world average, at a time of record fuel costs and economic volatility.
“We have met these challenges head on. Over the past four years, we have been carrying out the biggest transformation since QANTAS was privatized – cutting comparable unit costs1 by 19 per cent over four years, introducing new aircraft and technology on a large scale, modernizing work practices and revitalising service. But this is not enough for the circumstances we now face.
“The Australian domestic market has been distorted by current Australian aviation policy, which allows Virgin Australia to be majority-owned by three foreign government-backed airlines – yet retain access to Australian bilateral flying rights.
“Late last year, these three foreign-airline shareholders invested more than $300 million in Virgin Australia at a time when, as Virgin Australia reported to the ASX on 6 February, it was losing money. That capital injection has supported continued domestic capacity growth by Virgin Australia despite its growing losses.
“The Virgin Australia Group has increased capacity into the domestic market at more than twice the rate of the Qantas Group since July 2011. As a result of these combined capacity increases, the total domestic profit pool has been shrunk from more than $700 million in FY12 to less than $100 million in 1H14.
“We have been clear with the Australian Government about the uneven playing field and the measures we believe could address it. But our focus today is on the immediate steps that Qantas must take.”
“We must take actions that are unprecedented in scope and depth to strengthen the core of the Qantas Group business.
“To reach $2 billion in cost cuts over three years, we have to work our assets harder, become more productive, retire older aircraft, and make sure that our fleet and network are the right size. We must defer growth and cut back where we can, so that we can invest where we need to.
“We have already made tough decisions and nobody should doubt that there are more ahead.
“While the implementation and pace of delivery must change, the guiding principles of our strategy will not. Safety remains our first priority and we are committed to being the airlines of choice for customers in all our markets.
“Our long-term goal remains the transformation of the Qantas Group for profitable, sustainable growth.
“Over the next three years, we aim to secure our strong Group domestic position and maximise Qantas International’s competitiveness.
“QANTAS Loyalty will continue to access new markets and revenue streams, building on its success to date.
“When it comes to Jetstar in Asia, we need to take the right decisions in accord with current market circumstances and our balance sheet. In Singapore, growth has been suspended by the Jetstar Asia Board until such time as conditions improve.
“The over-arching focus in Asia continues to be profitably bedding down existing businesses and partnerships. Jetstar has been a pioneer Australian brand across Asia and we continue to see major opportunities for it in the world’s fastest-growing aviation region.”
Commitment to Customers
“Despite the tough decisions we have to make, we will keep delivering outstanding service for our customers,” Mr Joyce said.
“Important customer investments will continue, such as the upgrade of our Airbus A330 fleet and the opening of new lounges in Hong Kong and Los Angeles, and the service that QANTAS passengers receive will not be compromised. Thanks to the skill and commitment of our people, we have earned record customer advocacy, and we plan to keep it there.”
Accelerated Qantas Transformation Program
Fleet and Network
After a detailed review of network and schedules, the QANTAS Group will re-assign aircraft to better match demand, defer aircraft orders, dispose of aircraft, increase fleet utilization and exit under-performing routes.
- QANTAS Domestic will increase utilisation of narrow-body aircraft, allowing Airbus A330 aircraft in the domestic market to concentrate solely on East-West services and peak services on the Sydney-Melbourne-Brisbane triangle.
- A330-200s will be freed up to enter the QANTAS International fleet as replacement aircraft, helping to accelerate the retirement of older Boeing 747 aircraft.
- All six of QANTAS International’s non-reconfigured Boeing 747s will be retired ahead of schedule, by the second half of FY16. Nine reconfigured Boeing 747s with A380-standard interiors will remain.
- QANTAS’ final two Boeing 737-400s have been retired this month and all Boeing 767s will be retired by the third quarter of FY15, resulting in cost and passenger benefits from fleet simplification.
- QANTAS International’s eight remaining Airbus A380 orders will be deferred, with an ongoing review of delivery dates to meet potential future requirements. Schedule changes will allow maximum use of QANTAS’ current 12 A380s.
- The final three of 14 Jetstar Airways Boeing 787-8s on firm order will be deferred.
- Jetstar’s A320 order book has been restructured.
In total, more than 50 aircraft will be deferred or sold.
By FY16, the Group’s passenger fleet will have been simplified from 11 aircraft types to seven aircraft types, with an average age of eight years.
Over the next 12 months, QANTAS will exit underperforming routes and make aircraft changes on certain routes to better match capacity to demand.
- QANTAS International will withdraw from the Perth-Singapore route (first quarter FY15).
- QANTAS’ Brisbane-Singapore and Sydney-Singapore services will be operated by Airbus A330s, replacing Boeing 747s (first quarter FY15)
- QANTAS services between Melbourne and London will be re-timed in November 2014 to reduce A380 ground time in Heathrow (second quarter FY15). There are no changes to overall capacity on London flights.
- The Melbourne-London service change frees up an A380 for additional flying, and QANTAS will evaluate opportunities to use the aircraft on other routes.
Over the next three years, QANTAS will reduce employee numbers across the Group by the equivalent of 5,000 full-time positions, through measures including:
- Reduction of management and non-operational roles by 1,500.
- Operational positions affected by fleet and network changes.
- Restructure of line maintenance operations.
- The closure of Avalon maintenance base, as previously announced.
- Restructure of catering facilities including the closure of Adelaide catering, as previously announced.
The wage freeze for executives implemented in December 2013 will continue and will be extended to all QANTAS Group employees.
The wage freeze will be:
- Ongoing for executives.
- Immediate for open EBAs.
- Proposed for other EBA-covered staff.
This is in addition to the reduction of fees paid to the QANTAS board and a reduction in the take home pay of the QANTAS CEO by 36 per cent this financial year.
No pay rises or bonuses will be contemplated until QANTAS is profitable again on a full-year Underlying PBT basis.
Mr Joyce said these were hard but necessary decisions to protect as many QANTAS jobs as possible and build a strong business for the future.
“I regret the need for these wide-ranging job losses, but we will do everything we can to make the process easier for employees who leave the business,” Mr Joyce said.
“At the end of this transformation, QANTAS will remain an employer of more than 27,000 people, the vast majority based in Australia – and we will be a better and more competitive company.”
Capital Expenditure and Financial Position
The Group’s planned capital expenditure net of operating lease liability in FY14 will be $1 billion.
Planned capital investment, including movements in operating lease liabilities, will be $800 million per year in FY15 and FY16 – a total reduction of $1 billion over the two years. QANTAS will maintain flexibility to make further changes if needed.
Transformation through FY17 will be funded through the reprioritisation of capital, future free cash flow as benefits from the cost reduction program begin to flow, and asset sales. QANTAS continues to target positive free cash flow from FY15, with capital expenditure aligned to financial performance.
QANTAS has total liquidity of $3 billion, comprising $2.4 billion in cash and $630 million in standby debt facilities, as at 31 December 2013.
Update on Structural Review
QANTAS has reached agreement on the return of its Brisbane Airport terminal lease, together with related assets, to Brisbane Airport Corporation, with a cash value of $112 million to be recognised in the second half of FY14.
QANTAS continues to work through the broader structural review of the QANTAS Group portfolio launched in December 2013.
The review has identified a number of high-quality assets of significant value.
No final decisions have been made about other assets within the Group’s portfolio.
QANTAS will update the market as and when required.
Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. The retirement of the on-converted Boeing 747-400s will be expedited. Boeing 747-48E VH-OEB (msn 25778) rests between flights at Frankfurt.
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (New York) today said that its Atlas Air, Inc. unit (New York) and QANTAS Airways Ltd. (Sydney) have extended their long-standing ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) relationship.
Under the terms of the agreement, Atlas Air will continue to operate two Boeing 747-400 freighters in ACMI service for QANTAS on trans-Pacific routes linking Australia and Asia with the United States.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-47UF N492MC (msn 29253) departs from Anchorage, Alaska after a cargo and fuel stop. The freighter also carries small QANTAS Airways sub-titles.
Alitalia’s (2nd) (Rome) CEO Gabriele Del Torchio stated Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) is doing its due diligence (reviewing all of the data) which will take between three and fours week according to this report by Reuters. After its review, Etihad will then decide whether it will invest in the faltering flag carrier.
Alitalia is facing increased low-fare competition on its home turf and any rescue will face stiff opposition from other carriers and will need European Union approvals. Etihad, if it proceeds with an acquisition, is likely to ask for drastic cuts to personnel and costs (like Air France-KLM did).
Is there Alitalia 3 on the horizon?
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) EI-RDO (msn 17000348) approaches the runway at Zurich.
QANTAS Group reports a first half loss, attacks ownership of Virgin Australia, tough decisions ahead to reduce costs
QANTAS announced an Underlying PBT loss of A$252 million ($225.1 million USD) and a Statutory Loss After Tax of A$235 million ($209.9 million USD) for the six months ending on December 31, 2013.
The underlying result is in line with guidance and reflects fundamental changes in the Australian aviation market, with a significant deterioration in earnings during the half.
Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said the result was unacceptable and comprehensive action would be taken in response.
“We are facing some of the toughest conditions QANTAS has ever seen,” Mr Joyce said.
“Australia has been hit by a giant wave of international airline capacity, with a 46 per cent increase in competitor capacity since 2009 – more than double the global increase of 21 per cent over the same period.
“The Australian domestic market has been distorted by current Australian aviation policy, which allows Virgin Australia to be majority-owned by three foreign government-backed airlines and yet retain access to Australian bilateral flying rights.
“Late last year, these three foreign-airline shareholders invested more than $300 million in Virgin Australia at a time when, as Virgin Australia reported to the ASX on February 6, it was losing money. That capital injection has supported continued domestic capacity growth by Virgin Australia despite its growing losses.
“QANTAS has been undertaking its biggest ever transformation over the past four years, cutting comparable unit costs by 19 per cent over four years, but this is not enough for the circumstances we face now.
“With structural economic changes being exacerbated by the uneven playing field in domestic aviation, we must now take actions that are unprecedented in scope and depth.
“We will accelerate our QANTAS Transformation program to achieve $2 billion in cost reductions by FY17. Hard decisions will be necessary to overcome the challenges we face and build a stronger business.”
Summary of Results
QANTAS Domestic reported Underlying EBIT1 of A$57 million, down from A$218 million in 1H13.
Competitor capacity growth in the domestic market continued to outpace QANTAS Group capacity growth, as it has since FY12. At the same time, demand was lower than market growth, putting pressure on yields and passenger loads.
Overall, the total domestic profit pool has shrunk from more than $700 million in FY12 to less than $100 million in 1H14. During this period the Virgin Australia Group added 4.5 billion Available Seat Kilometers (ASKs), compared to 4.3 billion ASKs added by the QANTAS Group.
A softening resources market, corporate account pricing pressure, and fuel and foreign exchange impacts also affected the QANTAS Domestic result.
Despite the challenging market conditions, QANTAS Domestic continues to deliver outstanding service, earning record customer advocacy. It was the most punctual major domestic airline in 12 out of 12 months during 2013, while its ongoing fleet renewal program helped reduce unit costs and improve the customer experience.
QANTAS Domestic remains the airline of choice for business travellers, holding more than 80 per cent of the corporate market by revenue in the half.
Qantas International reported an Underlying EBIT loss of A$262 million, compared with a loss of A$91 million in 1H13.
The trend of intense competitor capacity growth in the Australian international market continued in the half. Total international market capacity growth for FY14 is expected to be 9 per cent, well above the global average, resulting in particularly strong yield pressure for QANTAS’ Asian and European markets.
QANTAS International made continued progress in reducing comparable unit costs (by 4 per cent in the half) and maintained record customer advocacy.
However, the lower Australian dollar has meant higher fuel costs, with a significant impact on the long-haul sectors flown by QANTAS International.
The Jetstar Group reported an Underlying EBIT loss of A$16 million, down from an Underlying EBIT profit of A$128 million in 1H13.
Competitive pressure on yields (especially in South East Asia), a A$29 million share of associate losses, and fuel price and foreign exchange impacts were the main factors behind the result. Jetstar’s domestic operations in Australia remained profitable.
The fundamentals of Jetstar’s low-cost carrier model remain strong, with a 2 per cent improvement in unit costs1 and increased ancillary revenue1 during the half, and customer advocacy is at record levels. The introduction of the Boeing 787-8 into Jetstar’s long-haul network is delivering cost and customer service benefits.
QANTAS Loyalty reported Underlying EBIT of A$146 million, a record result , up from Underlying EBIT of A$137 million in 1H13. The business continues to perform very strongly, with billings up 9 per cent in the half, three million awards redeemed and record customer advocacy. There are currently 9.8 million QANTAS Frequent Flyer members , with a target of 10 million for the full year.
QANTAS Loyalty’s growth initiatives are exceeding expectations, with a positive customer response to both the new QANTAS Cash member card and the AQUIRE small-to-medium enterprise loyalty platform.
QANTAS Freight reported Underlying EBIT of A$11 million, down from A$22 million in 1H13, in the context of reduced capacity, consolidation and a weak global cargo market.
Financial Position and Capital Expenditure
QANTAS has strong liquidity of A$3 billion, comprising A$2.4 billion in cash and A$630 million in undrawn debt facilities, as at December 31, 2013. There are no major unsecured debt maturities until April 2015.
Approximately 30 per cent of the QANTAS Group’s passenger fleet is debt-free. The Group has added 31 new unencumbered aircraft since FY10, including seven added in the first half of FY14. Twenty mid-life aircraft become debt-free in FY14. The Group’s average passenger fleet age is 7.6 years, the youngest in two decades.
Capital expenditure in FY14 is weighted to the first half, with $900 million invested in the six months to December 31, 2013 and a further A$300 million planned for the second half.
Following the review launched in December, planned capital investment has been aligned with financial performance, with a total reduction of A$1 billion over FY15 and FY16. Capital expenditure in FY15 and FY16 will be A$800 million in each year, including movements in operating lease liabilities1, while the Group maintains flexibility to make further changes if needed.
The Group’s 2H14 operating environment remains very challenging and volatile. Soft underlying domestic demand is continuing in the seasonally weaker half, with domestic and international yields and loads expected to remain depressed.
The Group’s current operating expectations are as follows:
• Group capacity to increase by 3-3.5 per cent in 2H14 compared to 2H13.
• Group domestic capacity to increase by 3-4 per cent in 2H14 compared to 2H13, while maintaining flexibility.
• Underlying fuel costs expected to be approximately A$4.6 billion in FY14.
No Group profit guidance can be provided at this time due to major transformation being undertaken by Qantas, the high degree of volatility and uncertainty in the competitive environment, global economic conditions, fuel prices and foreign exchange rates.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-842 VH-OQK (msn 063) with “The Modern Family Flyer” sub-titles arrives in Los Angeles.
In January 2014 QANTAS issued this announcement:
QANTAS has announced a partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Television and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products to bring the top rated American comedy series “Modern Family” to film in Australia.
QANTAS will fly the cast and crew from Los Angeles in February as the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan takes a vacation down under for an episode to be broadcast later this season. Filming in Australia is expected to take two weeks.
Lauded for revitalizing the television sitcom, “Modern Family” is one of the largest critical and commercial hits of the past decade. The recipient of four consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series and a Golden Globe Award for Best Comedy Television Series, “Modern Family” is both Network Ten and the ABC Television Network’s top-rated comedy series.
The partnership between QANTAS and Twentieth Century Fox Television’s “Modern Family” and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products follows the airline’s support in 2013 for a visit by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which provided a 22 per cent increase in inbound flights to New South Wales alone, as well as overall boost in destination awareness for Australia.
The entire “Modern Family” cast, including, Ed O’Neill (Jay), Julie Bowen (Claire), Ty Burrell (Phil), Sofía Vergara (Gloria), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell), Eric Stonestreet (Cameron), Sarah Hyland (Haley), Nolan Gould (Luke), Ariel Winter (Alex), Rico Rodriguez (Manny) and Aubrey Anderson-Emmons (Lily) will join co-creator and executive producer Steven Levitan for the visit to Australia.
“Modern Family” producers will travel to Australia in advance of the shoot in January to scout and identify preferred filming locations and potential storylines.
The series is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television in association with Picador Productions and Steven Levitan Prods. Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd are the creators/executive producers. Danny Zuker, Dan O’Shannon, Bill Wrubel, Paul Corrigan, Brad Walsh, Abraham Higginbotham, Jeffrey Richman and Jeff Morton also serve as executive producers.
Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) has announced it will suspend its daily service to Fukuoka this summer. Hawaiian Airlines flight HA 453 will make its final trip from Honolulu to Fukuoka on June 29, 2014, and HA 454 will make its final return from Fukuoka to Honolulu on June 30, 2014.
Passengers with reservations to fly after June 30 will be re-accommodated. The airline’s reservations department will be contacting affected passengers in the next several weeks. The airline will continue to accept reservations for travel between Honolulu and Fukuoka prior to June 30, 2014.
The Fukuoka daily service was launched on April 16, 2012. Hawaiian Airlines also provides daily service to Tokyo and Osaka, and thrice-weekly service to Sendai and Sapporo.
Fukuoka was the third destination in Japan, following Tokyo (November 2010) and Osaka (July 2011).
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 N382HA (msn 1171) taxies at Los Angeles.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) yesterday (February 25) delivered the first 777-300 ER (Extended Range) (777-31B ER, B-2099, msn 43219) to China Southern Airlines (Guangzhou), Asia’s largest airline in fleet size and number of passengers carried. The new airplane is the first of 10 777-300 ERs China Southern has on order with Boeing.
China Southern plans to operate its first 777-300ER on its new North America route, where it will be able to directly connect passengers in the southern region of China to the eastern coast of the United States. Initially it will be deployed on the domestic Guangzhou-Shanghai (Hongqiao) route in March.
China Southern has configured its new 777-300 ER to feature four distinct cabins. On board passengers will find four first class seats, 34 business class seats, 44 premium economy seats and 227 economy seats, for a total of 309 passengers.
China Southern Airlines has been a valued Boeing customer for 25 years. In 2013, China Southern was the first Chinese carrier to operate the 787 Dreamliner. The airline was the first carrier in Asia to operate the 777 in 1995 and the first to operate 777s on nonstop routes across the Pacific Ocean, connecting Guangzhou and Los Angeles.
China Southern was the first Chinese carrier to take direct delivery of the 757-200, 777-200, 777-200 ER (Extended Range), 777 Freighter and 747-400 Freighter from Boeing.
Copyright Photo: Boeing.
Falcon Aviation Services (Abu Dhabi) has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to acquire one CS300 aircraft and an option for another according to Bombardier Aerospace. With this LOI, Falcon Aviation Services becomes the first customer for CSeries aircraft in the United Arab Emirates.
Falcon Aviation Services is based at Al Bateen Executive Airport and operates a fleet of corporate jets conducting VIP charter flights, as well as a fleet of helicopters serving the offshore oil and gas industry. The company also conducts search and rescue; aircraft management, maintenance, repair and overhaul; as well as consulting operations.
Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) (Kiev) has decreased the number of flights operated each week from 343 to 305 due to the on-going political crisis in the Ukraine. The country is split along east (pro Russian) and west (pro European Union) areas of the country and whether it wants the country to be aligned with the European Union or the Russian Federation (the Ukraine was once part of the old Soviet Union). The two groups have been clashing in often violent rallies in various parts of the country. Now Russian President Vladimir Putin has put its armed forces in western Russia “on alert” according to the The Telegraph (so much for the recent “Olympic Spirit”). Despite this background of violence and tension, Ukraine International Airlines is planning to expand operations on April 1.
Read the full story from The Telegraph: CLICK HERE
The airline issued this statement:
As a result of social and political crisis in Ukraine the travel activity to/from Ukraine has leveled off.
Decline in demand for business and tourist trips affected advanced ticket reservations to Ukraine in February and March. This fact forces the airline to optimize flight program by decreasing frequency on certain routes within the period of February 24 –through March 29, 2014. Thus, the number of UIA-coded services is decreased from 343 to 305 scheduled flights per week. Due to well-developed partner network, UIA clients are offered alternative routes both on UIA-coded and partner airlines` flights.
As soon as the demand for air transportation is back to normal, UIA will increase the flight frequency quickly and efficiently to regenerate the previously scheduled traffic performance.
Starting on April 1, 2014, UIA plans to increase frequencies, offer new routes, and operate seasonal flights. Ticket sales for UIA new routes: Kiev – Chisinau, Kiev – Minsk, Kiev – Dushanbe, Kiev – New York, as well as additional flights to London, Barcelona and summer seasonal flights to Nice are already open.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100LR UE-EME (msn 19000614) of Ukraine International Airlines arrives in Geneva.
Finnair (Helsinki) will increase its number of flights to Thailand for next winter. From December 30, 2014 to March 27, 2015 Finnair will supplement its double-daily winter service to Bangkok with three additional frequencies per week. The extra flights bring the number of Finnair’s peak-season weekly Bangkok services to 17, the most frequencies of any European carrier.
The additional flights are scheduled to depart on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings. Flight AY 091 departs Helsinki Airport (HEL) at 8:15 P.M. (2015) for arrival at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) at 11:00 A.M. (1100) the next day. Flight AY 092 leaves Bangkok on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 12:45 P.M. (1245) for arrival in Helsinki at 6:55 P.M. (1855). The new evening frequencies, operated with Airbus A340 aircraft in a two-class Business and Economy configuration, offer excellent connections with other cities in Finland, Scandinavia, France and Germany. Together with the daily Bangkok flights AY 089 (departure at 4:40 PM) and AY 095 (6:30 PM), the three extra flights constitute an intensive traffic program giving passengers a wide range of choices and increased connectivity throughout Finnair’s network.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A340-313X OH-LQD (msn 921) in the special Unikko floral print (1964) design taxies at Toronto (Pearson).
Florida Express Jet (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) will remain a dream. The proposed “paper” airline’s website and Facebook account was turned off yesterday. The would-be airline was proposing to operate scheduled charter flights between Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Orlando and Tallahassee starting on March 20 with a Boeing 737-400 wet leased from Swift Air (Phoenix).
Please see our previous report with the full plan: CLICK HERE
According to WTXL the paper airline informed Tallahassee Airport officials it would not start operations as planned. The company was reportedly short of capital and had not secured a gate at Fort lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Airbus (Toulouse has decided to increase production of its single-aisle A320 family to 46 a month in the second quarter of 2016, up from the current rate of 42. The new higher production rate will be achieved gradually, with an intermediate step at 44 aircraft per month in the first quarter of 2016.
Over the past five years, Airbus has steadily increased A320 Family production, going from rate 36 at the end of 2010 to a rate of 38 in August 2011, then up to rate 40 in the first quarter of 2012 to reach 42 per month in the fourth quarter of the same year.
With over 10,200 Airbus single aisle aircraft sold and more than 5,900 delivered to nearly 400 customers and operators, the A320 Family, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, is the world’s best-selling and most modern single aisle aircraft family.
With a total of 2,610 orders the A320neo Family has captured some 60 percent of the market, clearly demonstrating its leadership. Incorporating new more efficient engines and Airbus’ “Sharklet” large wing tip devices, these new aircraft are set to deliver fuel savings of up to 15 percent.
Copyright Photo: Airbus.
Alaska Airlines‘ (Seattle/Tacoma) and Horizon Air‘s (Seattle/Tacoma) employees are receiving annual bonuses today of more than 9 percent of their annual pay, or more than five weeks’ pay for most workers. The bonus is in addition to $1,150 in 2013 monthly bonuses that most employees earned for achieving on-time and customer satisfaction goals.
The combined monthly and annual bonuses amounted to nearly $105 million, the highest in Alaska’s history, and are part of the company’s incentive-based pay program.
“Our company’s success wouldn’t be possible without the award-winning customer service, industry-leading on-time performance and solid execution by our outstanding employees,” Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden said. “On behalf of the leadership teams at Alaska and Horizon Air, I want to thank and congratulate our people for their terrific efforts.”
Nearly $51.3 million in annual bonuses — 62 percent of the total — is being paid to about 6,400 Alaska and Horizon employees in the Puget Sound area. Another $11 million is being paid to 2,026 employees in thePortland, Ore., area, while $8.2 million is going to workers throughout the state of Alaska.
“It’s really great to work for a company that recognizes all of their employees who contribute to the success of their business,” said JoAnne Ryan, an Alaska Airlines customer service agent based in Seattle. “The fact thatAlaska includes all workgroups in the incentive-based pay program just reinforces to me that I work for a company that values me as an employee, and the work I do makes a difference in our success.”
Ryan said she plans to use her bonus to pay off bills and take a two-week vacation to Australia.
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. Since the inception of the program in 2003, Alaska has paid employees $538 million in combined incentive-based pay and monthly bonuses, which is about 5.75 percent on average each year.
As part of its philosophy to provide employees with rewarding careers and good retirement benefits, Alaska Air Group has contributed $620 million over the past 5 years to its defined benefit pension plans, which were fully funded in 2013.
In addition to the financial benefit the employee bonuses provide to the Puget Sound area, the 22,000 jobs at Alaska Air Group and in related industries in Washington state generate $5.6 billion in annual economic activity.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 N306AS 9msn 30014) arrives in Los Angeles.
AirAsia to unveil a Taylor Swift logo jet in June, net profit for 2013 falls, AirAsia India moves ahead
AirAsia (Malaysia) (Kuala Lumpur) according to Reuters, saw its fourth-quarter profit drop by 19 percent on higher expenses for fuel and aircraft maintenance.
Net profit for the three months ending on December 31, 2013 fell to 245.4 million ringgit ($75.05 million), while net profit for the full year of 2013 was 364.1 million ringgit ($111.4 million) compared to 789.6 million ringgit ($241.5 million) in 2012 due to the prior year’s gain from the disposal of its shares in Thai AirAsia joint venture.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Meanwhile, AirAsia India (Madras-Chennai) (above), the new joint venture with the Tata Group moves ahead. The DGCA has rejected the objections of other Indian airlines that new joint venture would disrupt Indian airline industry “equilibrium” according to The Economic Times.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
In other news, AirAsia announced that it will be the official airline for seven-time Grammy winner Taylor Swift’s The Red Tour presented by Cornetto, which will be coming to southeast Asia this year. Taylor Swift will be bringing her tour to Southeast Asia in June 2014, with shows in Jakarta, Manila, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
As the official airline for Taylor Swift’s The Red Tour presented by Cornetto, AirAsia will unveil an exclusive Airbus A320 aircraft livery featuring international superstar Taylor Swift.
Siegtraund Teh, Group Chief Commercial Officer for AirAsia said, “We are very proud to be the official airline for Taylor Swift’s tour in Southeast Asia, which is aptly named The Red Tour, synonymous with AirAsia’s corporate colors. With AirAsia’s strong route network in Asia, especially in Asean, we are definitely the best people to connect Taylor and her crew to all of her tour destinations. Taylor Swift fans can look forward to spotting the special Taylor Swift branded Airbus A320 painting the skies of Asean Red this coming June.”
“We’ve always taken branding to a different level at AirAsia and this opportunity to work with Taylor and her team marks yet another milestone for us as we continue to build the AirAsia brand globally. We will be running contests across our network, which will surely be a treat to all of her fans.” Siegtraund Teh added.
Taylor’s The Red Tour performance features two stages, elaborate costumes, dancers, and changing sets. Taylor moves around the venue, giving every audience member a great seat. Taylor plays electric guitar, banjo, piano and acoustic guitar and changes costumes multiple times over the course of the evening. Her set features several songs from her record-breaking RED album, as well as new takes on other fan favorites.
Taylor Swift, who writes all of her own songs, is a seven-time Grammy winner, and is the youngest winner in history of the music industry’s highest honor, the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. She is the #1 digital music artist of all time, the only female artist in music history (and just the fourth artist ever) to twice have an album hit the 1 million first-week sales figure, and is the first artist since the Beatles (and the only female artist in history) to log six or more weeks at #1 with three consecutive studio albums. Taylor has an album on Rolling Stone’s prestigious The 50 Greatest Albums of All Time (by women) list, Time magazine has named her one of the 100 Most Influential people in the world, and she is Billboard’s youngest-ever Woman of the Year. Taylor, who is signed to Big Machine Records, has career record sales in excess of 26 million albums and 75 million song downloads worldwide, and has had singles top both the country and pop radio charts around the globe.
Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. The first Airbus A320 for AirAsia India is now painted at Toulouse. Wearing a test registration of F-WWBV (msn 6015), the pictured A320-216 with Sharklets will become VT-AIF on delivery.
Iberia Maintenance (Barcelona) will maintain the two aircraft (Airbus A320 and A330) of newcomer Spanish charter airline Evelop Airlines (Palma de Mallorca). The renewable three-year contract covers “C” checks and maintenance of airframes, parts and the CFM56-5B4/3 engines at Iberia’s Maintenance facility at Barcelona (above).
Evelop Airlines was founded in 2013 and is owned by Barceló Viajes. Barceló Group acquired the assets of Orbest Airlines in 2013 following the collapse of Orizonia Corporation. Envelop operates for tour operators and specializes in long-range routes from Madrid to Caribbean destinations such as Punta Cana, Havana and Cancun.
Top Copyright Photo: Iberia.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Airbus A320-214 EC-LZD (msn 5642) was leased by Evelop from GECAS on November 23, 2013. The airliner still wears the basic livery of Orbest.
Caribbean Airlines (Port of Spain), as we first reported in July of 2012, was modifying its aircraft that were painted in the Air Jamaica (Kingston) brand. The Trinidad and Tobago Civil Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA) in 2012 mandated Caribbean Airlines must drop the Air Jamaica brand because of the conditions of their Air Operators Certificate (AOC) that it operate under one name. The first casualty was the pictured Boeing 737-8Q8 9Y-JMA (msn 30645) “Spirit of Kingston” which was sporting Caribbean Airlines titles on the Air Jamaica 2011 livery in 2012. The airliner previously had full Air Jamaica titles and color scheme.
This thorny issue, one of national pride in Jamaica, has moved slowly since the issue first emerged in 2012. Now Caribbean Airlines has repainted 9Y-JMA (above) with full Caribbean Airlines titles (minus the tail logo) eliminating the Air Jamaica colors. The aircraft re-entered revenue service on the February 23, 2014. This new change may be a new signal that Caribbean has decided to move ahead with the mandated one brand ruling eliminating the iconic Air Jamaica brand and name.
Caribbean Airlines had previously adopted a “two brands, one airline” marketing strategy to mainly keep alive the Air Jamaica brand, especially for the Jamaican market. Because the aircraft were intermingled between markets, this often led to a diverse identity in the two main markets.
A report by The Gleaner of June 19, 2013 reported the government of Jamaica (which retains a 16 percent share) was concerned about the reduction of flights by Caribbean Airlines to the island nation. Caribbean Airlines reduced the number of flights to Jamaica on April 16, 2013. The new CAL board was given a month to come back with a new development plan for Air Jamaica. Previously the Jamaican government has threatened to withdraw the Air Jamaica brand from the combined airline per Caribbean 360.
Read the full report The Gleamer: CLICK HERE
Read the full report from Caribbean 360: CLICK HERE
Finally, if this drama was not enough, Trinidad and Tobago Newsday reported Caribbean Airlines and Bahamasair (Nassau) in January 2014 were holding discussions on possible closer ties. Will this lead to a three-brand airline? Not likely.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
In addition, Americans were warned not to fly Caribbean Airlines to and from Guyana because of possible threats against the carrier.
In conclusion, Caribbean Airlines needs to make a final decision of this difficult national pride issue and move ahead towards profitability once again.
Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Nigel Steele/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8Q8 9Y-JMA (msn 30645) arrives back at the Port of Spain base with the new (almost full) identity.
Current Route Map:
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has issued this statement about changes to its SkyMiles program:
Delta Air Lines has taken another step in its ongoing commitment to improve the travel experience by unveiling changes to the SkyMiles program. The 2015 SkyMiles program will introduce a shift from today’s current model in which customers earn redeemable mileage based on distance traveled to one based on ticket price. The program updates will be effective January 1, 2015 and will also include a new mileage redemption structure that will improve Award seat availability at the lowest mileage requirement levels, offer One-Way Awards at half the price of round-trip, provide additional Miles + Cash Award options, as well as make significant improvements to delta.com and Delta reservations Award shopping tools.
A New Mileage Earning Model
Today’s method of earning redeemable miles based on the distance a customer flies will change to a model of earning redeemable miles based on the price of the ticket purchased. Delta is providing 10 months advance notice of the upcoming program changes so that customers have ample time to make travel plans.
Customers will be able to earn between five and 11 miles per dollar* spent based on their SkyMiles status, and continue to earn up to an additional two miles per dollar* when using their Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, for a total of up to 13 miles per dollar. The updated program will better reward the customers who spend more with Delta and give them improved mileage-earning opportunities.
The updated mileage-earning plan, for travel beginning January 1, 2015, will better recognize frequent business travelers and those less frequent leisure customers who purchase premium fares. The move is consistent with a trend in the travel industry of rewarding customer behavior based on price. Customers will continue to earn additional miles for purchases with a Delta SkyMiles Credit Card+.
|SkyMiles program status||Miles per dollar*||Miles earned with
|Total miles per
|+ on Delta spend|
For travel marketed and ticketed by Delta’s partner airlines, members will earn a percentage of miles flown as determined by the fare class purchased and will also earn Medallion mileage bonuses on eligible fares.
New Redemption Options
SkyMiles members will gain even more redemption options with the introduction of up to a five-tier structure to give them a wider variety of Awards and improve overall availability at the lowest price points. The lowest level for SkyMiles Saver Awards will remain at 25,000 miles for an Economy Class Award ticket for travel within the U.S. and Canada excluding Hawaii. All of Delta’s worldwide redemption charts will be updated to reflect the new options in the last quarter of 2014 and will be effective for new Award bookings beginning Jan. 1, 2015.
In addition to offering multiple new redemption levels, the SkyMiles program will also introduce One-Way Award tickets starting as low as 12,500 miles within the U.S. and Canada excluding Hawaii and will offer customers the ability to redeem Miles + Cash to provide more Award booking options for tickets purchased at delta.com or through Delta reservations.
Customers will continue to have access to every seat on any Delta flight as an Award seat with no blackout dates. In 2013, frequent flyers redeemed more than 271 billion miles in the SkyMiles program for more than 11 million Award redemptions.
Delta and the SkyMiles Program
Delta is the only major airline that offers elite perks such as unlimited complimentary upgrades, no mileage expiration, no Award fees, a published Diamond Medallion tier and rollover Medallion Qualification Miles.
Now in its 33rd year, SkyMiles is one of the longest-running and most successful loyalty programs in the travel industry. Delta offers many ways to redeem frequent flyer miles, including airline tickets on Delta and 28 partner airlines, mileage upgrades, car rentals, hotel stays and Delta Sky Club memberships, and is the only major airline with miles that don’t expire. For more information on the SkyMiles program, Medallion status and mileage-redemption options.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-451 N673US (msn 30268) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines (Dhaka) as planned, operated the last revenue passenger flight of a McDonnell Douglas DC-10 yesterday (February 24). The last flight was a charter flight (flight 008) from Birmingham with the pictured DC-10-30 S2-ACR (msn 48317) with 200 passengers eager to fly the last flight. The DC-10 type has flown passengers for nearly 43 years and continues today as a freighter with several cargo airlines.
Read the full report from the BBC: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Nik French/AirlinersGallery.com. S2-ACR departs from Birmingham on the the next-to-last charter flight.
Bottom Copyright Photos: Allan Huse. A picture of the flight crew and the cockpit for the last flight from Birmingham. The seats in the middle were not sold. Only the window and exterior aisle seats were sold on the last flight.
Video: Amateur video of one of the enthusiast charter flights from Birmingham:
Air Transat (Montreal) will introduce seasonal twice-weekly flights from Montreal (Trudeau) to Las Vegas with its newly-acquired Boeing 737-800s starting on August 31 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema/AirlinersGallery.com. Leased from Transavia France, Boeing 737-8K2 F-GZHD (msn 29650) in full colors arrives back at the Montreal (Trudeau) home.
US Airways (American Airlines) (Phoenix) will resume passenger service to Watertown, New York on May 8. US Airways Express service was last operated in April 2007 from and to Pittsburgh. This time, US Airways Express (soon American Eagle) 50-seat CRJ200s will be operated to and from the Philadelphia hub with two flights a day.
Read the full report from 7 News in Watertown: CLICK HERE
Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) on April 3 will drop the short-lived Dallas/Fort Worth-Latrobe, Pennsylvania route per Airline Route. The route was operated three days a week and probably did not generate enough traffic to maintain the route.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Unlike other carriers, Spirit Airlines has been recently removing its spiritair.com sub-titles from its aircraft. Airbus A319-132 N515NK (msn 2698) completes its final approach to the runway at Los Angeles International Airport minus the URL address.
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is launching six new routes from Denver and Chicago (Midway) which suggest the continuation of a new strategy under its new owners. The airline has been carefully adding new routes to markets that are under served. Will we be seeing new further new routes from MDW, a hub of Southwest? The airline issued this statement:
To celebrate its 20th anniversary this summer, Frontier Airlines has announced that it is launching six new routes. Beginning May 16, 2014, Frontier will offer nonstop service from its primary hub in Denver, Colorado to Bakersfield, California (BFL). Beginning June 12, 2014, Frontier will offer year-round nonstop service from Denver to Missoula, Montana (MSO), Idaho Falls, Idaho (IDA), and Sioux City, Iowa (SUX), and seasonal service from Chicago-Midway, Ill. (MDW) to both Knoxville, Tennessee (TYS) and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (MDT).
Frequencies for a number of existing routes from Denver have also been increased. Branson (BKG), Bozeman (BZN), Durango (DRO) and Memphis (MEM) will be served daily. Atlanta (ATL), Cincinnati (CVG), Cleveland (CLE) and Detroit (DTW) will see service increased from daily to 11-14 flights/week.
In addition, flight times on many routes have been adjusted to give customers more choice on flight departure times throughout each day.
Following are schedules for the new Denver (DEN) nonstop routes, which are all year-round:
May 16, 2014
Idaho Falls (IDA):
June 12, 2014
June 13, 2014
June 13, 2014
June 14, 2014
Sioux City (SUX):
June 12, 2014
June 13, 2014
Following are schedules for the new Chicago-Midway (MDW) nonstop routes, which are both seasonal:
June 13, 2014
June 15, 2014
The service will operate on 138-seat Airbus A319 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 N925FR (msn 2103) with Dale, the Dall’s Sheep on the tail, arrives at Los Angeles International Airport.
Current Route Map:
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is planning to add two new routes from Los Angeles in June including the first Boeing 717 route. According to Airline Route the carrier will add Delta Connection daily service from LAX to Boise, Idaho with Embraer 175s starting on June 5.
The first Boeing 717 route from LAX will operate between LAX and Austin, Texas on a daily basis starting on June 16.
In other news, seasonal Delta Connection flights will be operated from the Minneapolis/St. Paul hub to Idaho Falls with Bombardier CRJ900s three days a week from June 7 through October 29 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 717-2BD N995AT (msn 55139) lands at the Atlanta hub.
QANTAS Airways (Sydney) yesterday (February 23) retired its last Boeing 737-400. According to the QANTAS Source, Boeing 737-476 VH-TJS (msn 24444) operated flight QF 819 from Canberra to Melbourne. VH-TJS was originally delivered to Australian Airlines (1st) on May 4, 1993.
In other news, the group is expected to post a large loss for the first half of its fiscal year this week. Media speculation in the Australia press reports the company could cut upwards of 5,000 jobs according to Herald Sun.
Read the full report from The Australian: CLICK HERE
QANTAS issued this short statement:
There is fresh speculation about what things we will or won’t announce on Thursday as part of our half year results. We are not in a position to comment on that speculation.
We have said that we will be making some tough decisions in order to achieve $2 billion in cost savings over the next three years, which is a consequence of an unprecedented set of market conditions now facing QANTAS.
We’ve also said that we must take steps to reduce our costs regardless of whether the Federal Government acts on the uneven playing field in the Australian aviation market.
Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 737-436 VH-TJE (msn 24430) arrives at Sydney.
Aer Lingus Group (Aer Lingus) (Dublin) today announced its unaudited preliminary results for the year ended December 31, 2013. The group reported a 12 percent drop in its operating profit for 2013, before net exceptional items, of €61.1 million ($83.8 million).
Read the full report from Aer Lingus: CLICK HERE
Read the analysis from Independent.ie: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-302X EI-DUZ (msn 847) lands back at the Dublin hub. Aer Lingus has now settled on a long-haul fleet around the new Airbus A350. The airline has nine A350-900s on order.
Emirates (Dubai) today announced that it is launching a daily service to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Terminal 5 from August 5, 2014. The service will be operated by a Boeing 777-200 LR powered by GE90 engines.
Chicago will become the airline’s ninth gateway in the USA, following soon after the commencement of its services to Boston, Massachusetts on March 10, 2014.
Emirates is the largest operator of Boeing 777 aircraft in the world, with a fleet of 122 passenger and 10 freighter Boeing 777s currently in its fleet, and is a launch customer of Boeing’s new 777X having placed the largest single order in commercial aviation history for 150 of them valued at $76 billion in November 2013.
The new service will operate as flight EK 235 from Dubai International Airport at 09:45 hours (9:45 am) arriving into Chicago at 15:25 (3:25 pm). The return flight, EK 236 will depart O’Hare at 20:35 hours (8;35 pm), arriving into Dubai at 19:10 (7:10 pm) the next day.
Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-21H LR (Longer Range) A6-EWF (msn 35586) returns to the Dubai hub and base.
CNN examines the growing demand for air travel and raises the question of whether there will be enough flight schools and pilots to fly all of the new airplanes on order. There also will be a shortage of mechanics and ground crews.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Air France (Paris) will introduce the Airbus A380 on the Paris (CDG)-Hong Kong route on May 27.
In other route news, Air France will operate two daily flights to Stavanger (Norway) from Paris-Charles de Gaulle starting on March 31. Air France´s second destination in Norway, after Oslo, Stavanger is the centre of Norway´s oil and gas industry.
Additionally the flag carrier will operate a new daily service to Jakarta, Indonesia as a continuation of the Singapore route starting on March 30 from Paris-Charles de Gaulle.
Starting on March 31, 2014, Air France will begin operating to Brasilia, the third AF destination in Brazil, with three weekly frequencies (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) from Paris-Charles de Gaulle.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 F-HPJH (msn 099) turns onto the runway at Los Angeles International Airport bound for Paris (CDG).
United Airlines (Chicago) is adding new summer seasonal flights to the Caribbean. The carrier will start weekly Houston (Bush Intercontinental)-Aruba (Boeing 737) and twice-weekly Washington (Dulles)-Nassau (CRJ700) flights from June 5 through August 18 per Airline Route. In addition, Newark-Santiago (Dominican Republic) (Boeing 737) route will be resumed for the same period as a daily service.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-924 ER N34455 (msn 41743) departs from runway 27R at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
South African to switch to the newer Airbus A330-200s on the London Heathrow route, switches to Virgin Australia
South African Airways (Johannesburg) starting on March 28, will be operating a newer aircraft, the Airbus A330-200 on scheduled flights between London Heathrow and Johannesburg.
The newer aircraft replaces the current A340-600 used on the route and will operate on flight SA 235, the first of SAA’s two daily departures at 1900 and selected SA 237 flights, which departs at 2100.
In other news, South African has announced that it has accepted QANTAS Airways’ (Sydney) decision to conclude their long standing code share agreement effective May 31, 2014.
SAA has been flying to Sydney for more than 27 years before the code share with QANTAS was put in place in October 2000 following the strategic decision for SAA to stop operating between Johannesburg and Sydney with its own aircraft and to begin code sharing with QANTAS.
As a result, South African has announced a new code share agreement with Virgin Australia Brisbane).
SAA flies daily between Johannesburg and Perth and this new partnership offers SAA customers expanded access across Australia to domestic destinations such as Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide. The new code share is now available for travel starting on February 11.
Virgin Australia has been an interline partner of SAA since July 2010 where the two airlines had a commercial agreement to handle those customers travelling on both airlines. SAA is now expanding this relationship into a code share agreement.
The flag carrier is celebrating its 80th anniversary this month. South African Airways dates back to February 1, 1934, when the South African government took over the assets and liabilities of Union Airways. The airline was renamed South African Airways (SAA), and fell under the control of the South African Railways and Harbour administration.
On November 1, 1934, SAA introduced the Junkers Ju 52/3m, the first multi-engine aircraft, which was used on domestic flights. During the 1930s, the airline steadily acquired more planes, including the first 10-seater Junkers Ju 86s, Douglas DC-3s, Lockheed 749A Constellations, Lockheed Lodestars, Douglas DC-7Bs, Vickers Viscounts and the Boeing 707.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 ZS-SXX (msn 1223) approaches the runway at the O.R. Tambo International Airport base near Johannesburg.
DHL today (February 23) sent off two giant pandas from Chengdu to Brussels, using a dedicated DHL Air (UK) (East Midlands) Boeing 767-300 freighter aircraft. Their departure marks the start of a 15-year cooperation of giant panda breeding research between China and Belgium. The female, Hao Hao, and the male, Xing Hui, both aged four, are expected to be delivered via DHL’s global transportation network to their new home at the Pairi Daiza animal sanctuary in Brugelette, Belgium on February 23.
“The Pandastic journey from China Conservation Research Center of the Giant Panda’s Dujiangyan panda base to Belgium’s Pairi Daiza will be a little over 8,000 kilometers. We are extremely proud to be entrusted with transporting China’s friendship messengers. The pandas, Hao Hao and Xing Hui, are without a doubt our VIPs — Very Important Pandas. A DHL team of specialists has worked with panda experts in China and Brussels to research and plan for their journey,” said Jerry Hsu, Chief Executive Officer of DHL Express Asia Pacific.
‘Hao Hao and Xing Hui’s Pandastic Journey’ started at the China Conservation & Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) in Chengdu, China at 11:45 am on February 22, and will end with a delivery to a specially constructed Chinese Garden at Pairi Daiza, Belgium the following day. The two giant pandas were flown from China to Belgium on a dedicated DHL B767 freighter aircraft, accompanied by a team of two animal handlers, a veterinary physician and a plentiful supply of 100 kilograms of bamboo.
The pandas are expected to spend 15 years at Pairi Daiza, a 55-acre garden that plays host to over 5 000 animals. With the support of the University of Ghent, a special breeding and research program has been designed, aimed at helping to avert the future extinction of this endangered species.
To ensure an easy and comfortable journey, DHL and China Conservation & Research Center for the Giant Panda created bespoke travelling crates spacious enough for pandas to stay comfortable throughout the journey. The cages were also designed with a special roof in the style of ancient Chinese architecture.
“The panda is China’s national treasure, and also a messenger of friendship and peace,” said Wu Dongming, Managing Director of DHL-Sinotrans and Executive Vice President of DHL Express Asia-Pacific. “We are deeply honored for having been selected to transport Hao Hao and Xing Hui. With strong transportation expertise and capabilities, we believe DHL will carry out a Pandastic Journey with the utmost care and consideration.”
DHL has supported a number of conservation projects in recent years, including the return of nine silverback gorillas from the UK to the wild in Gabon, the delivery of two rare Sumatran tigers from the Australia and the US to ZSL London Zoo for a breeding program. Last year, DHL also provided expert logistics and both ground and air transportation to relocate several endangered Florida manatees.
Copyright Photos: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. The specially-marked Boeing 767-3JHF ER G-DHLG (msn 37807) of DHL Air (UK) arrives at Brussels with the two honored guests.
Flybe (Exeter) designated one of its Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) aircraft as an official “Love Plane” to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Decked out with hearts on its nose and underbelly to be visible from the ground, it will operate scheduled services in and out of seven UK airports during February.
Copyright Photo: Flybe. G-JEDU (msn 4089) is the aircraft with the special red heart on the nose.
SilkAir (Singapore) introduced its first Boeing 737-800 into revenue service yesterday (February 20) with the 737-8SA 9V-MGA (man 44217). The carrier is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The subsidiary of Singapore Airlines has also rolled out a new brand campaign emphasizing its full-service amenities. The carrier issued this statement:
SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, has launched a new brand campaign that looks to rekindle the joy of flying. Moving away from the idea of travel as being purely transactional, the campaign focuses on how Asia’s most awarded regional carrier creates journeys worth taking by offering customers a seamless and enjoyable travel experience at all times.
From check-in to touch down, the full-service carrier caters to the needs of the well-travelled global customer, providing comfort and convenience to those looking to explore Asia’s newest frontiers. Titled ‘A Joy to Fly’, the campaign redefines true value for the discerning traveller, emphasising and bringing to life the many benefits that SilkAir offers through a set of distinctive icons that feature across all the ads.
Having established its personable and warm in-flight service in its previous campaign ‘Feel at Home in the Air’, SilkAir aims to further differentiate itself and cement its positioning as a full-service carrier. The new regional campaign presents a visual display of a range of these benefits, including 30kg and 40kg baggage allowance for Economy and Business class respectively, inflight meals, reliable flight schedule, the KrisFlyer frequent flyer programme and through check-in service. Additionally, a wireless inflight entertainment system that is currently on trial will progressively be rolled out from Q2 2014. This new system will allow for free wireless streaming of blockbuster hits, short features as well as chart-topping music to customers’ laptops and personal handheld devices, keeping them entertained throughout the flight.
“SilkAir has always endeavoured to deliver a flying experience that is enjoyable and assuring, by placing our customers’ needs at the forefront of our product offerings. With the aim of celebrating the joy of flying, our new campaign is a reflection of the commitment and effort that goes into ensuring that every single detail – from the check-in process to entertainment and meals on-board – makes it a joy for customers to fly with SilkAir,” said SilkAir’s Vice President, Commercial, Mr. Ryan Pua.
Beyond functional benefits, the campaign also illustrates the joy of flying by highlighting SilkAir’s extensive network of 47 exotic destinations around the region, as well as the seamless connectivity between Singapore Airlines and SilkAir that customers can enjoy.
Created in conjunction with SilkAir’s 25th anniversary and the delivery of the airline’s first Boeing 737-800, the campaign is set to run on print, out-of-home and digital platforms. The advertisements are currently on display at City Hall MRT station platforms.
To mark the launch of the campaign, SilkAir will also hold an online contest where fans can either visit silkair.com/ajoytofly or scan the QR code located below each aircraft window on the City Hall MRT platform to stand a chance to fly to their dream destination on SilkAir’s new Boeing planes by voting for their top 3 dream destinations. The contest closes on March 13, 2014, with 12 Economy Class return tickets up for grabs.
On top of dressing the airline’s first Boeing 737-800 in a specially designed livery to commemorate its silver anniversary, SilkAir will also be rewarding its customers with special promotional deals later this month, with 250,000 tickets made available at special rates for customers in Singapore and across the region.
The number of destinations includes two new destinations, Kalibo and Mandalay, which will be launched on May 27, 2014 and June 10, 2014 respectively.
Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group. Brand new Boeing 737-8SA 9V-MGA passes through Honolulu on its delivery routing on February 10, 2014.
The Teamsters Aviation Mechanics Coalition (TAMC) today issued this statement:
The Teamsters Aviation Mechanics Coalition (TAMC) announced today that it will launch an investigation into reports of a disproportionate number of engine failures, air returns and declared emergencies at Allegiant Air. TAMC immediately recognized that a comprehensive investigation into the continuing maintenance failures at Allegiant is imperative after interviewing pilots at the airline.
TAMC is determined to find the root cause of these maintenance failures regardless of where the investigation may lead. The immediate concern is to identify the underlying cause of these incidents and to offer suggestions to mitigate this unacceptable situation before one of these incidents claims the lives of passengers.
TAMC was established by the Teamsters Airline Division in 2007 to advance and protect the interests of all aviation mechanics and related workers throughout the industry. TAMC is committed to the continued improvement of aviation safety and places great emphasis on maintenance safety issues that affect the mechanics and related craft, the industry and the public.
Island Air (Honolulu) will discontinue all passenger service to the island of Molokai and redeploy the ATR 72 to another route starting on April 1 per the Star Advertiser.
The decision was probably influenced by the plans of Ohana by Hawaiian to serve the route starting on March 11 from Honolulu.
Island Air now only serves three routes from Honolulu.
Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group. Freshly repainted ATR 72-210 N342AT (msn 345) displays the new 2014 livery at the Honolulu base.
NTSB Chairperson Hersman briefs the media on hearing into crash of a UPS Airbus A300 in Birmingham, Alabama
NTSB Chairperson Hersman briefs the media after investigative hearing into Alabama UPS cargo airplane crash last August.
NTSB is also investigating Monday’s turbulence accident involving United Airlines flight 1676.
Read the full story of the United incident: CLICK HERE
Air Crash Investigation TV series dramatizes recent and historic airline and aircraft incidents and crashes. QANTAS Airways flight QF 32 was en route from Sydney when it suffered an uncontained engine failure in the number 2 engine of the Airbus A380.
Here is a video of this episode by Luke Evans. Luke also has a list of other episodes from the TV series on his YouTube Channel.
Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) (Seattle) announced today that AeroMexico (Aerovias de Mexico, S.A. de C.V.) (Mexico City) has ordered Split Scimitar Winglets for its Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft. APB’s newest program is the culmination of a five-year design effort using the latest computational fluid dynamic technology to redefine the aerodynamics of the Blended Winglet into an all-new Split Scimitar Winglet. The unique feature of the Split Scimitar Winglet is that it uses the existing Blended Winglet structure, but adds new strengthened spars, aerodynamic scimitar tips, and a large ventral strake. APB received FAA certification for the Split Scimitar Winglets on February 6, 2014.
APB will develop and certify the Split Scimitar Winglet System for several variants of the Boeing Next-Generation 737 series of aircraft including the structurally provisioned and non-provisioned 737-700, 737-800, Boeing Business Jets, the structurally provisioned 737-900 and the 737-900 ER.
APB expects Scimitar Winglet Systems installed on a 737-800 to save AeroMexico more than 55,000 gallons of jet fuel per aircraft per year resulting in a corresponding reduction of carbon dioxide emissions of 530 tons per aircraft per year. Additionally, AeroMexico can realize incremental payload on several of its long haul 737-800 operations such as Mexico City to Lima, Peru and Caracas, Venezuela.
APB’s Split Scimitar Winglet program is the most successful product launch in its history. Since launching the program early last year, APB has now taken orders and options for 1,461 Split Scimitar Winglet systems. Over the last 10 years, APB has sold more than 7,000 Blended Winglet Systems. Over 5,100 Blended Winglet Systems are now in service with over 200 airlines in more than 100 countries. APB estimates that Blended Winglets have saved airlines worldwide over 4 billion gallons of jet fuel to-date.
Aviation Partners Boeing is a Seattle based joint venture of Aviation Partners, Inc. and The Boeing Company.
Image: PRNewsFoto/Aviation Partners Boeing. A computer rendering of an AeroMexico Boeing 737-800 with Split Scimitar Winglets.