JetBlue Airways (New York) and Emirates (Dubai) today announced their intention to expand their current partnership to include bilateral codesharing, pending FAA and DOT regulatory approval and subject to receipt of foreign government operating authority. Under the expanded agreement, JetBlue will place its “B6″ airline code on all flights currently operated by Emirates between the U.S. and Dubai International Airport, as well as between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Milan, Italy.
The agreement deepens a three-year partnership between JetBlue and Emirates. Emirates started placing its code on select JetBlue-operated flights in April 2012, expanding an interline agreement that dates back to 2010. Current codeshare routes offered by Emirates on JetBlue-operated flights cover 28 destinations including Boston, Chicago, Orlando and Puerto Rico. Since March this year, Emirates also began placing its code on additional JetBlue routes, including Bridgetown, Barbados, Cancun, Mexico, Montego Bay, Jamaica and Santo Domingo, Santiago and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Through the existing agreement, customers enjoy the convenience of a single combined ticket for Emirates and JetBlue-operated flights, plus other benefits including one-stop check-in and baggage transfer.
Members of Skywards, the Emirates reward program, can earn miles on JetBlue-operated flights and also redeem miles for flights to any of JetBlue’s 77 destinations (and counting) throughout the Americas. Similarly, members of JetBlue’s TrueBlue loyalty program can earn points for Emirates-operated flights worldwide.
Emirates’ global network encompasses 133 destinations in 77 countries across six continents and the airline currently operates 56 passenger flights per week between Dubai and the U.S. including flights from Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and the twice daily A380 service from JFK to Dubai International Airport. , Emirates’ extensive network gives travellers in the U.S. access not only to the carrier’s home of Dubai, the commercial and tourism hub of the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf region, but also to cities across Africa, India, and throughout Asia Pacific.
From New York JFK, Emirates offers two daily nonstop flights to its global hub at Dubai International Airport – both aboard its flagship A380 – offering travellers fine dining, personalized service and multi award-winning entertainment options. From Washington Dulles, Emirates offers one daily nonstop flight to Dubai.
Top Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom. Airbus A320-232 N779JB (msn 3811) (Real Salt Lake-2009 Champions) taxies from the gate at Long Beach.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDN (msn 056) carefully taxies at New York (JFK).
Boeing (Chicago) has delivered a 767-300 ER (extended range) to MIAT Mongolian Airlines (Ulaanbaatar), the first-ever direct purchase delivery to the airline.
“This is a momentous step forward for MIAT Mongolian Airlines as we continue to enhance our fleet,” said Jargalsaikhan Gungaa, President and CEO of MIAT Mongolian Airlines. “We are pleased with the comfort, range and payload of the new 767-300ER and we look forward to introducing it into our long-haul fleet.”
Mongolia’s flag carrier completed a historic order in 2011 at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C., marking the first time in more than two decades that the airline extended its route network by purchasing Boeing airplanes instead of leasing them.
“We congratulate MIAT Mongolian Airlines on the delivery of their first direct purchase 767-300ER,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Sales for Northeast Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With the new passenger-pleasing cabin interior and low operating costs, Boeing is confident that the 767-300ER will play an important role as MIAT Mongolian Airlines continues expanding into new markets.”
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. Boeing 767-34G ER JA-1021 (msn 41519) was handed over to the carrier on May 13.
Norwegian and Virgin Atlantic pilots to cooperate on the Boeing 787 training and long-haul expertise, will expand in Germany
Norwegian Long Haul (Norwegian Air Shuttle) (Oslo) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Virgin Atlantic Airways (London). The agreement enables Norwegian to tap into Virgin Atlantic’s expertise on long-haul operations, while Virgin Atlantic’s instructors will receive pilot training on board Norwegian’s brand new 787-8 Dreamliner. Norwegian’s first Dreamliner is due for delivery at the end of June.
The cooperation with Virgin Atlantic will enable Norwegian’s long-haul pilots to make use of the airline’s vast long-haul experience. Virgin Atlantic will make all its training material available to Norwegian.
Virgin Atlantic’s pilots to train on board Norwegian’s 787 Dreamliner
At the same time, Virgin Atlantic’s 787 instructors will conduct the final part of their pilot training on board Norwegian’s Dreamliners. Virgin Atlantic’s most experienced instructors will continue flying on board Norwegian’s aircraft until the airline receives its first 787 Dreamliner in September 2014, just over a year after Norwegian’s first Dreamliner delivery.
“Introducing a new aircraft type to an airline is an extensive affair. It is therefore important that we learn from each other,” says Director of Flight Operations Norwegian Long Haul, Torstein Hoås.
A great advantage to both parties
“Virgin Atlantic is a successful long-haul airline with almost 30 years of Trans-Atlantic experience. It will be very beneficial for us to receive this support. At the same time, we are looking forward to helping Virgin Atlantic introduce the 787 Dreamliner to its fleet. The cooperation will be a great advantage to both parties,” he continues.
Virgin Atlantic will be the launch customer in Europe of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, a slightly bigger version of the 787-8 Dreamliner. In the agreement signed on Friday, Virgin Atlantic states that it will train a number of Norwegian pilots on board its future Dreamliners.
“Virgin Atlantic are delighted to announce our training partnership with Norwegian. Our combined experience is being effectively utilised to ensure the safe and efficient introduction of the Boeing 787 aircraft to our fleet. We have much in common with Norwegian, having similar high quality training requirements, which has allowed our partnership to take shape,” says Captain Dave Kistruck, GM of Flight Operations for Virgin Atlantic.
In other news, Norwegian is expanding in the Germany-Spain market. The company has issued this statement:
Norwegian Air Shuttle continues its European expansion. The company has announced that it will launch new routes from Hamburg, Cologne and Munich to several Spanish destinations this autumn.
“The expansion in the German market is part of our future strategy to expand our presence outside of the Nordic region in order to meet the strong competition in the airline industry. We see that Germans frequently choose Norwegian when flying to Scandinavia and we believe that there is a demand for a quality airline that offers inexpensive fares between Germany and Spain. We are looking forward to welcoming passengers on board our modern and more eco-friendly aircraft,” said CEO of Norwegian Bjørn Kjos.
From the end of October, Norwegian launches brand new routes between Germany and Spain and will fly to Malaga, Alicante, Gran Canaria and Tenerife from Hamburg and Cologne. From Munich, Norwegian will offer flights to Malaga, Alicante and Tenerife.
Norwegian is Europe’s third largest low-fare airline. As one of the fastest growing airlines in Europe, it is establishing itself outside of the Nordic region by opening bases in the UK and Spain. At the end of the month, Norwegian will, as the first European low-fare airline, commence long-haul flights to the US and Asia.
Hamburg-Malaga (November 1), 3 weekly flights, from EUR 29,- one way
Hamburg-Alicante (November 1), 3 weekly flights, from EUR 29,- one way
Hamburg-Gran Canaria (October 27), 2 weekly flights, from EUR 49,- one way
Hamburg-Tenerife (October 27), 2 weekly flights, from EUR 49,- one way
Cologne-Malaga (October 31), 3 weekly flights, from EUR 29,- one way
Cologne-Alicante (November 1), 2 weekly flights, from EUR 29,- one way
Cologne-Gran Canaria (October 28), 2 weekly flights, from EUR 49,- one way
Cologne-Tenerife (October 28), 2 weekly flights, from EUR 49,- one way
Munich-Malaga (November 1), 2 weekly flights, from EUR 39,- one way
Munich-Alicante (October 31), 2 weekly flights, from EUR 39,- one way
Munich-Tenerife (October 29), 2 weekly flights, from EUR 59,- one way
Copyright Photo: Norwegian Air Shuttle.
Turkish Airlines (Istanbul) has finalized a firm order for 40 737 MAX 8s, 10 737 MAX 9s and 20 Next-Generation 737-800 jets, valued at $6.9 billion at list prices. The order, originally announced as a commitment last month, also includes options for an additional 25 737 MAX 8s and is the largest Boeing order in Turkish Airlines’ history.
This announcement brings the total number of 737 MAXs ordered to date to 1,285 and Boeing currently has more than 3,100 unfilled orders for 737s.
Turkish Airlines currently operates more than 85 Next-Generation 737s.
Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl. Boeing 737-8F2 TC-JFU (msn 29781) approaches Zurich for landing.
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) as we first reported on November 19, 2012, is getting ready to introduce this 1956 retrojet.
Aeroflot issued this statement back in November:
On November 12, 2012 the open Internet voting for Aeroflot new aircraft retro livery was finished. Celebrating the company’s 90th Anniversary, an airplane in a heritage livery will join the Aeroflot fleet in 2013.
In the middle of this summer Aeroflot addressed to its passengers through social networks, asking about their vision of expected Aeroflot jubilee events. As a result, more than 45 per cent of our flyers wished to see one of the national carrier’s aircraft in a retro livery.
So, the voting in Aeroflot official Facebook group had begun. There were four candidates representing four different types of painting historically worn by Aeroflot airplanes. More than 2500 passengers participated in the voting process, and the livery of one of the first world’s jet airliners – Tupolev Tu-104 (appeared in 1956) was declared a winner.
During the voting Aeroflot received from its passengers a lot of useful recommendations and remarks, which will allow updating and improving of the color scheme of the livery.
One of the brand new A320 aircraft to make part of Aeroflot fleet in the first middle of 2013 will wear a retro livery. The painting itself will be made at the Airbus manufacturing plant.
Copyright Photo: Eurospot. The pictured brand-new Airbus A320-214 has been painted in a modified 1956 almost-retro livery. Still carrying the test registration of F-WWIF, the airframe will be delivered as VP-BNT (msn 5614). The airliner is pictured at Toulouse today.
WestJet (Calgary) today announced the launch of new daily, nonstop service between Brandon, Manitoba and Calgary. The service will be operated by WestJet Encore’s fleet of Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) NextGen turboprop aircraft.
Details of the new daily service between Brandon and Calgary are:
|3242||Calgary at 9:50 a.m.||Brandon at 12:50 p.m.||September 3, 2013|
|3243||Brandon at 1:20 p.m.||Calgary at 2:35 p.m.||September 3, 2013|
WestJet Encore will take delivery of its first two Canadian-built, 78-seat Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft in June 2013 and add five more by the end of the year. WestJet has firm orders for a total of 20 Q400s and options for an additional 25 over the next six years.
Turkish Airlines (Istanbul) has announced it will fly to Isparta (Turkey), Santiago De Compostela (Spain), Valetta (Malta) and Salzburg (Austria) following the May 2 addition of Friedrichshafen to its growing network.
Beginning on May 20, the carrier will add roundtrip flights between Istanbul and Isparta (Turkey) and will be operated three times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Isparta flight times as planned starting on May 20;
*All times are in LMT.
Another destination in Spain…
With existing services to Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga and Bilbao, Turkish Airlines adds flights to Santiago De Compostela as its 6th destination in Spain. Beginning May 21, Santiago De Compostela flights will be operated three times per week on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays in both directions.
Santiago De Compostela flight times as planned starting on May 21;
|TK1319||Tuesday, Friday, Sunday||Istanbul||09:00||Santiago De Compostela||12:45|
|TK1320||Tuesday, Friday, Sunday||Santiago De Compostela||13:50||Istanbul||19:15|
*All times are in LMT.
Turkish Airlines’ 226th destination in 100 country, Malta flights begins on May 25, 2013. Roundtrip flights between Istanbul and Malta will be operated three times per week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Malta flight times as planned starting on May 25;
|TK1369||Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday||Istanbul||12:35||Malta||14:20|
|TK1370||Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday||Malta||15:15||Istanbul||18:35|
*All times are in LMT.
Expansion in Austria as well…
With existing services to Vienna, Turkish Airlines now adds flights to Salzburg as its second destination in Austria. Beginning on May 28, roundtrip flights between Istanbul and Salzburg will be operated four times per week on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Salzburg flight times as planned starting on May 28;
|TK1381||Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday||Istanbul||12:15||Salzburg||13:45|
|TK1382||Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday||Salzburg||14:45||Istanbul||18:05|
*All times are in LMT.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth. Boeing 737-8F2 TC-JGA (msn 29785) lands at Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg.
Virgin America (San Francisco) has reported its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2012, full-year 2012, and the first quarter of 2013. The airline reported its first-ever fourth quarter operating profit in the quarter ending in December 2012, with a 4.4 point improvement in operating margin over the fourth quarter of 2011. In addition, Virgin America improved financial results in the first quarter of 2013, significantly narrowing its operating loss from the same period the year prior. For the first quarter of 2013, Virgin America reported a 69 percent year-over-year improvement in operating results compared with the first quarter of 2012, driven by an 18 percent growth in RASM.
Highlights of the two quarters are as follows:
Fourth Quarter 2012 Financial Highlights
- Virgin America achieved its first-ever fourth quarter operating profit with $5.1 million of operating income, an improvement of $13.2 million, compared with the fourth quarter of 2011.
- Fourth quarter revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased by 9 percent, the highest in the domestic industry.
- Available seat miles (ASMs) increased by 16 percent, primarily the result of increases to the fleet size early in 2012.
- The airline recorded operating revenues of $350.4 million in the fourth quarter, a year-over-year increase of 27 percent.
- Its average fare increased 14 percent year-over-year, indicative of growing awareness and guest loyalty that Virgin America has built in its markets through its industry-leading product and service.
- Cost per available seat mile (CASM) excluding fuel increased by 6 percent compared to the year earlier quarter, largely a result of the airline’s change in strategy to reduce aircraft utilization and eliminate seasonally weaker frequencies.
- The average fuel cost per gallon during the quarter was $3.00, a decline of 6 percent year-over-year.
- EBITDAR increased to $65.1 million in the fourth quarter, a year-over-year improvement of 54 percent.
- The airline held $76 million in unrestricted cash as of December 31, 2012.
First Quarter 2013 Financial Highlights
- Virgin America reduced its operating loss by $33.6 million or 69 percent year-over-year, posting a modest operating loss of $15 million.
- The Company significantly outpaced the entire U.S. airline industry with year-over-year RASM growth of 18 percent.
- ASMs decreased by 4 percent year-over-year, as the airline focused on improving its schedule for business travelers and eliminating seasonally weak frequencies during the winter.
- Its average fare increased by 19 percent over the year earlier quarter, continuing the trend demonstrated in the fourth quarter of 2012 of increased demand by guests for Virgin America’s product.
- Operating revenues were $301.3 million, an increase of 13 percent from the first quarter of 2012.
- CASM excluding fuel increased by 8 percent year-over-year, primarily due to reduced utilization of the fleet.
- EBITDAR increased seven fold to $44.7 million from $6.5 million in the same period a year-ago.
- Unrestricted cash was $58 million as of March 31, 2013.
“We’re pleased with our first-ever fourth quarter operating profit and the progress we have seen in the first quarter – traditionally the most challenging period for our industry,” said David Cush, Virgin America’s President and CEO. “Our improved financial performance reflects the changes we made last year to optimize our winter network schedule as we slow our growth. And it also reflects the growing guest awareness and loyalty we’ve seen as our network has grown. We’ve always said that once people fly us, they stick with us – and show a preference for our service. Our industry-leading RASM growth for the past six months is a testament to that and to the work of a team that has truly delivered on the promise of creating the best guest experience in the skies.”
The airline’s full-year 2012 operating loss was $31.7 million. The Company’s operating margin for 2012 improved by 0.2 points, to (2.4) percent, compared with 2011. Year-over-year, revenue grew by 29 percent in 2012, to $1.3 billion, on a 27 percent increase in capacity. Virgin America added six Airbus A320 family aircraft to its fleet during 2012, ending the year with an operating fleet of 52 aircraft. The airline ended 2012 with $76 million in unrestricted cash.
Virgin America completed a major two-year growth phase during 2012, having taken delivery of 25 aircraft between the second quarter of 2010 and the second quarter of 2012, almost doubling the size of the fleet. With this major growth phase largely behind the Company, Virgin America is now experiencing improved revenue performance across its network. Virgin America took delivery of one aircraft in the first quarter of 2013, increasing its total operating fleet to 53 aircraft. The Company does not expect to increase its fleet size again until 2015, when aircraft on order from Airbus are scheduled for delivery. The Company expects continued improved year-over-year financial performance throughout the remainder of 2013 as a result of the slower growth strategy.
In addition to slowing growth by deferring new aircraft deliveries, Virgin America made targeted changes to its network schedule in the first quarter to optimize seasonal flying and better match supply with winter demand. These changes resulted in a 17 percent reduction in the average daily utilization of the fleet to 10.3 hours per aircraft per day. While the reduced schedule was a major driver behind the 18 percent improvement in RASM, it also contributed to an 8 percent increase in CASM excluding fuel costs. The airline ended the quarter with $58 million in unrestricted cash.
Balance Sheet Improvements
The airline also announces today that it has recently reached agreements with investors to modify the interest rate on a large portion of existing debt and to eliminate certain indebtedness to restructure its balance sheet. The restructuring eliminated $290 million of debt as of December 31, 2012, and approximately $20 million of accrued interest recorded in the first quarter of 2013. If this restructuring had been in place on January 1, 2013, Virgin America’s first quarter net loss would have been reduced by approximately $20 million. These changes with investors are a first step toward preparing the Company for access to the public markets at a future date.
In addition, the Company closed an additional $75 million debt financing that was fully funded at the closing. This additional liquidity will further strengthen Virgin America’s improving financial position.
As a result of these balance sheet and liquidity initiatives, the Company expects its interest expense for the second half of 2013 to be approximately $20 million, or roughly one third of the interest expense recorded in the second half of 2012.
“With the strong improvement in first quarter 2013 financial performance, we are on track for a significant operating profit for the full year,” said David Cush. “The agreements reached with our investors enhance the improvements we are seeing in our business, and are a first step in modifying the Company’s capital structure to one more in line with public companies. With this solid improvement to our capital structure, we now expect to achieve a net profit in the second half of 2013, and are well positioned for sustained healthy financial performance in 2014 and beyond.”
Virgin America continued to drive significant growth in 2012: expanding its fleet from 46 aircraft in January 2012 to 52 aircraft in December 2012 (in March 2013, the carrier took delivery of its 53rdaircraft, which came into service in April); achieving major carrier status as defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT); launching service to Philadelphia, Portland, Ore., and Washington D.C.’s Reagan National Airport; and in December announcing plans to inaugurate Newark service from both San Francisco and Los Angeles in 2013.
- In 2012 the Virgin America achieved an 83.5 percent cumulative A-14 on-time ranking, compared to the industry average of 81.9 percent.
- The airline’s baggage handling rate for 2012 was 0.87 mishandled baggage reports per 1,000 guests, placing it first among all U.S. carriers reporting to the DOT for baggage reliability.
- Virgin America took the top honors for the fifth consecutive year as “Best Domestic Airline” in the prestigious Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards readers’ survey as well as the Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards.
- Virgin America was named the best airline in 2012 in the Airline Quality Rating, a joint research project conducted annually by faculty at Wichita State University and Purdue University that looks at airlines’ on-time performance and baggage handling, involuntary denied boarding and the customer complaint rates as reported by the DOT.
Key milestones achieved in the fourth quarter of 2012 include:
- The airline added three new interline partners.
- The airline introduced codeshare and agreed upon frequent flyer partnerships with Singapore Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines.
- In December, the airline announced plans to begin flying to Newark Liberty International Airport from both SFO and LAX.
- In December, the airline opened its first ever domestic lounge, the Virgin America Loft at LAX.
- In December,the airline entered into a codeshare agreement with Singapore Airlines.
- In December, the airline inaugurated the only nonstop flight offered from the New York City area (JFK) to Palm Springs with new winter seasonal service between the two cities.
Key milestones achieved in the first quarter of 2013 include:
- In January, the airline announced plans for new daily service between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
- In February, the airline announced plans for new daily service between San Jose and Los Angeles. Also in February, the airline announced plans for new daily service between San Francisco and Austin, Texas and new summer seasonal service between San Francisco and Anchorage, Alaska.
- In March, the airline announced the appointment of industry veteran Steve Forte as its chief operating officer.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin. Airbus A320-214 N361VA (msn 5515), the first with Sharklets, pushes back from the gate at the SFO base.
Pacific Wings Airlines (Kahului and Mesa) is planning to close down its inter-island Hawaiian scheduled passenger services on June 15 according to local media reports by HawaiiNewsNow. The airline has not yet made an announcement or confirmed the report.
The airline will apparently continue to operate its mainland Essential Airline Services (EAS) as New Mexico Airlines.
Read the full story: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group. Pacific Wings has recently scaled back its colorful rainbow livery (below) to this unspectacular white livery (above). Cessna 208B Grand Caravan N302PW (msn 0984) sits at Honolulu between flights. All other photos by Pacific Wings Airlines and New Mexico Airlines.
Lakeshore Express Aviation is moving its base from Chicago (Midway) (MDW) to Pontiac, Michigan (Oakland County International Airport) (PTK) near Detroit. The charter airline will start scheduled passenger services between Pontiac and Chicago Midway on June 6 with four roundtrips per week according to the carrier’s website. The flights will depart from the Atlantic Aviation facility at MDW on the south side. Flights will depart from the private terminal at PTK on the southwest side of the airport.
Flights are operated by Pentastar Aviation Charter (Pontiac) using this 30-seat SAAB 340B. A service between Chicago (Midway) and Pellston, Michigan began in June 2011.
The current schedule between Chicago (Midway) and Pellston:
Top Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen. Formerly operated by Colgan Air, SAAB 340B N9CJ (msn 224) is now painted in the colors of Lakeshore Express.
California Pacific Airlines (Carlsbad) is still struggling to get airborne as we have previously reported. Following a break through with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on an issue (runway length?) that previously delayed the application for a Part 121 AOC, the FAA has now informed the paper airline that it does have enough personnel to review the application due to budget cuts demanded by Congress under sequestration according to this update by U-T San Diego. The application to fly is now suspended.
Will this would be airline ever get a chance to fly scheduled flights?
Read the full story and vote: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: James Helbock. Embraer ERJ 170-100LR N760CP (msn 17000006) sits forlornly at the Carlsbad, California base without any place to go.
Kuwait Airways (Kuwait City) is planning to order 10 Airbus A350-900s and 15 A320neo aircraft according to this report by Reuters.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. The new Airbus aircraft will replace the older Airbus aircraft. Aging Airbus A300B4-605R 9K-AME (msn 721) taxies at Geneva.
Guest Editor Joel Chusid
Low Cost Goes Upscale
It’s pretty rare when an LCC (industry terminology for “low cost carrier”) adds frills, but airBaltic is trying something new starting this month. The Riga-based Latvian airline allows passengers to pre-order one of 20 tempting meals from their online website. Those who do place orders will be served on board first. We’re not talking pre-wrapped sandwiches, folks. Hot meals such as fish souvlaki over rice with a smoked trout starter, chocolate cake and wine are available on flights of more than 90 minutes, and on shorter flights, cold meals such as shrimp salad with cherry tomatoes and quail eggs with white wine and dessert. For breakfast, there are omelets and pancakes. The selections range from Latvian cuisine to seasonal and children’s offerings and a chef’s special, and there are additional options available for those with special dietary needs. Should you forget to order before you get to the airport, you can still order lasagna up to forty minutes before departure. Take a look at their 14-page menu online here: http://www.airbaltic.com/upload_file/Pre-order-menu.pdf. You can customize your meal by clicking and dragging your choices on to a virtual tray. Pre-ordering meals isn’t new, but this may be a first for an LCC. I do remember the days of yore when people could order the seafood platter on American Airlines in advance for free, and in coach! US Airways has been offering a similar advance pre-order service to selected overseas markets for the past year.
Leave it to Branson
The airline industry has been home to many colorful personalities, but Sir Richard Branson is arguably the most daring and certainly good natured. Two years ago, Branson, the CEO of Virgin, bet Tony Fernandes, the owner of AirAsia X on which of their racing teams would win, and Branson lost. The loser had to agree to don the bright crimson female uniform, complete with makeup and heels, of a flight attendant at the other’s airline and work a flight. Well, Branson lost the wager, and on May 12 he “worked” AirAsia X’s flight 237 from Perth to Kuala Lumpur. Tickets were sold for $400 one way with $100 going to the Starlight Foundation. Branson was required to meet the airline’s grooming standards, which means shaving his legs, but, at this writing, I hadn’t yet heard if the beard was a casualty!
Taking Golf to New Heights
As “The Official Airline of Golf Lovers”, leave it to Southwest to do something crazy. On March 31 they held a putting contest down the aisle!
One Thanksgiving eve some years ago, on my way from DFW to San Diego, I witnessed a passenger who had mistakenly boarded the flight in error. They discovered this on the runway takeoff queue, and there was no way that plane was going back to the gate. The worst part is the passenger had originated in San Diego and had planned to board the flight at the adjacent gate to Atlanta; instead he got to go back home. This was a real Thanksgiving turkey! And there are stories, albeit fairly infrequent, of airline personnel boarding unaccompanied children on the wrong plane. Well, this past March United accepted Hendrix, an English springer spaniel, as an unaccompanied pet, at Newark bound for Phoenix. Ten minutes before the flight was due to land in Phoenix, a United employee called Edith Albach and informed her that Hendrix was on his way to Ireland in error! Upon arrival at Dublin, Hendrix was walked and fed and then put back on the plane to Newark where he was reunited with his owner, on a stopover, before continuing on to Phoenix. The poor pup was on three flights for over 24 hours!
Now You See It, Now You Don’t
Turkish Airlines, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, made it into the news when their flight attendants were told they could no longer wear red or dark pink lipstick or nail polish so as to not impair the “visual integrity” of its staff. This sparked an outcry on social media, and the union got involved. Just a few days later, the CEO reversed the order, blaming the misguided rule on overzealous junior managers.
Fresh Daily Airline News from World Airline News: CLICK HERE
Now you can stay and now dine on a Boeing 747 in Stockholm (story with photos and video): CLICK HERE
Jumbo Stay (Jumbo Hostel) (Stockholm) is now offering the opportunity to stay and now dine on the wing of a Boeing 747 based at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport. The company is now advertising the following:
“Jumbo Stay is not just a hostel, its also an exciting place to go on an excursion for the whole family and for aviation enthusiasts. Non house guests are very welcome to have a look inside the airplane and to learn abouts its history. In our café you can purchase breakfast, coffee, cookies, ice cream, sandwiches and warm meals.
For the best view of the airplane and of the taxiway-runway, you will now have the possibility to walk along our left wing observation deck and experience the feeling of standing on top of a real Jumbo Jet’s wing.
Everybody is welcome to come and enjoy the view and to have a cup of coffee!”
The preserved Boeing 747-212B was originally delivered to Singapore Airlines as 9V-SQE (msn 21162) on March 30, 1976. However the airframe has also served with Pan Am (N727PA), Nationair (Canada) (C-FNXP), Garuda Indonesia, Cathay Pacific, Tower Air (N514DC and N620FF), Air Club International (C-GCIH), Transjet Airways (SE-RBN), Northeast Airlines (3D-NEE) and Jet Midwest (N981JM).
For more information: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photos: Stefan Sjogren. The Jumbo now carries advertising. Visitors can now have breakfast, lunch or even dinner on the wing of Jumbo Hostel at Stockholm Arlanda. You can see a fence on the wing is now protecting visitors from falling off the Boeing 747-212B.
Below is a view of the wing walking installation. Tables and chairs are provided on the wing!
In the front of the plane there is an elevator and stair case connecting to the main and upper decks of the Jumbo with the ground level.
Chorus Aviation Inc. (Jazz Aviation) (Air Canada Express) (formerly Air Canada Jazz) (Halifax) has issued its first quarter 2013 earnings, and is revising its quarterly dividend to $0.075 per share from $0.15 per share. The company reported first quarter net income of C$9.2 million ($9 million), down almost 65 percent from the $26.2 million profit in the first quarter a year ago.
First Quarter 2013 Highlights:
- Operating revenue of $416.3 million.
- EBITDA1 of $34.2 million.
- Operating income of $20.8 million.
- Net income of $9.2 million, or $0.07 per basic share.
- Adjusted net income1 of $14.7 million, or $0.12 per basic share.
- Billable Block Hours of 97, 202.
“The first quarter delivered solid results; however, two items negatively impacted the bottom line,” said Joseph Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus. ”In our continued efforts to improve operational efficiency and to reduce costs, we enacted a voluntary separation program for our more senior pilots and maintenance employees. The severance cost of $5.7 million will provide a return within the next two years as ongoing operational costs are reduced. This expense, when factored with the unrealized foreign exchange loss of $5.6 million into the adjusted net income for the quarter, increases earnings per share to the current market consensus of $0.17 per basic share.”
Chorus and Air Canada are involved in an ongoing complex arbitration process regarding the 2009 Benchmark. Chorus remains confident in its position that the Controllable Mark-up of 12.5% in the Capacity Purchase Agreement (‘CPA’) should not change as a result of the arbitration. Accordingly, no amounts have been recorded in the accounts of Chorus in 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013 related to the Air Canada claim. Management has determined that it is not probable that the Air Canada claim will be successful, and it is not practicable to determine an estimate of the possible financial effect, if any, with sufficient reliability.
However, in any litigation process there is always some risk of an adverse outcome. This risk combined with the extended duration of the arbitration has created the risk of a material retroactive amount owing to Air Canada for the period commencing January 1, 2010 should Air Canada succeed in its claim for a material fleet age adjustment in its favour. The longer this process continues without resolution, the larger the amount of any potential retroactive payment.
In addition, Chorus’ $80.2 million convertible debentures come due in December 2014. Chorus anticipates that an increase in liquidity will provide increased flexibility in addressing the maturity of those debentures, in the context of challenging conditions for the airline industry and global economic uncertainty. Those debentures, issued in November 2009, were used to pay part of the term debt of $115.0 million which was established at the time of the Chorus initial public offering in 2006 and matured in February 2010. As a result, Chorus believes that strengthening its cash position during this period is prudent.
Chorus will continue to manage its financial leverage ratios, such as its adjusted net debt to equity ratio which has increased as a result of the financing of its new Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) aircraft fleet. Such continued accretive investment in fleet renewal may occur either through refurbishment of the classic Bombardier DHC-8-100 and DHC-8-300 series aircraft or further investment in new generation aircraft.
In consideration of these factors, Chorus has reduced its quarterly dividend from $0.15 per share to $0.075 per share going forward. This will enable Chorus to retain additional cash of $9.3 million per quarter.
While Chorus has current cash available to pay the dividend at the previous rate, the Board of Directors has determined that, given the factors discussed above, it is prudent and advisable to conserve Chorus’ financial resources.
“We have, and continue to prudently manage our financial resources,” continued Mr. Randell. “The regional airline industry is changing dramatically both here and south of the border. Competition is increasing significantly. We must continue in our efforts to reduce costs, strengthen the fundamentals of our business, and improve our financial position to ensure we have the flexibility required to effectively respond and compete in our ever-changing markets.”
The Board of Directors will continue to assess the dividend payment on an ongoing basis.
Financial Performance -First Quarter 2013 Compared to First Quarter 2012
Operating revenue decreased from $437.1 million to $416.3 million, representing a decrease of $20.8 million or 4.8%. Passenger revenue, excluding pass-through costs, decreased by $6.4 million or 2.5% primarily as a result of no activity in the quarter for Thomas Cook; offset by rate increases made pursuant to the CPA with Air Canada, an increase in Billable Block Hours of 0.8%, a $0.2 million increase in incentives earned under the CPA, and a higher US dollar exchange rate. Pass-through costs decreased from $176.7 million to $162.0 million; a decrease of $14.7 million or 8.3%, which included a decrease of $1.8 million related to fuel costs. Other revenue increased by $0.2 million.
Operating expenses decreased from $407.4 million to $395.5 million, a decrease of $12.0 million or 2.9%. Controllable Costs increased by $2.7 million, or 1.2%; offset by a decrease in pass-through costs of $14.7 million.
Salaries, wages and benefits increased by $3.1 million primarily as a result of voluntary employee severance costs related to flight crew and maintenance employees, wage and scale increases under new collective agreements, and increased pension expense resulting from a revised actuarial valuation; offset by a reduction in the number of full time equivalent employees and higher capitalized salaries and wages related to major maintenance overhauls.
Depreciation and amortization expense increased by $0.5 million, primarily related to the purchase of Q400 aircraft, increased capital expenditures on aircraft rotable parts and other equipment, and increased major maintenance overhauls; offset by certain assets having reached full amortization and a change in estimate related to the residual value of the Dash 8-100 and 300 aircraft.
Aircraft maintenance expense decreased by $2.4 million as a result of a $4.6 million reduction related to no activity for Thomas Cook; offset by an increase in engine maintenance activity due to engine charges for the CRJ705 and Dash 8 – 300 aircraft of $1.2 million, increased other maintenance costs of $0.5 million and an increase in the US-dollar exchange rate on certain material purchases of $0.5 million.
Aircraft rent decreased by $5.4 million primarily as a result of no expense in the quarter for Thomas Cook aircraft and the return of CRJ aircraft.
Other expenses increased by $1.3 million primarily due to increased professional fees, increased travel and training costs associated with the Q400 aircraft and increased general overhead expenses.
Non-operating expenses increased by $9.0 million. This change was mainly attributable to an increase in foreign exchange of $8.8 million (of which $8.9 million was related to an increase in unrealized foreign exchange loss on long-term debt and finance leases) and increased interest expense related to Q400 aircraft financing of $1.0 million; offset by $0.8 million in other income related to a government grant.
EBITDA1 was $34.2 million compared to $42.6 million in 2012, a decrease of $8.4 million or 19.6%, producing an EBITDA margin of 8.2%. Standardized Free Cash Flow was negative $110.9 million, impacted primarily by the continuing growth capital expenditures related to the purchase of Q400 aircraft.
Operating income of $20.8 million was down $8.8 million or 29.7% over first quarter 2012 from $29.6 million.
Net income for the first quarter of 2013 was $9.2 million or $0.07 per basic share, a decrease of $17.0 million or 64.9% from $26.2 million or $0.21 per basic share. On an adjusted basis, net income was $14.7 million or $0.12 per basic share, a decrease of 35.4% or $0.06 per basic share from $22.8 million or $0.18 per basic share.
1Non-GAAP Financial Measures
EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and obsolescence) is a non-GAAP financial measure commonly used throughout all industries to view operating results before interest expense, interest income, depreciation and amortization, gains and losses on property and equipment and other non-operating income and expenses. Management believes EBITDA assists investors in comparing Chorus’ performance on a consistent basis without regard to depreciation and amortization, which are non-cash in nature and can vary significantly depending on accounting methods and non-operating factors such as historical cost. EBITDA should not be used as an exclusive measure of cash flow because it does not account for the impact on working capital growth, capital expenditures, debt repayments and other sources and uses of cash, which are disclosed in the statement of cash flows which form part of the financial statements.
STANDARDIZED FREE CASH FLOW
Standardized Free Cash Flow is defined as cash flows from operating activities, as reported in accordance with GAAP, less total capital expenditures and dividends.
ADJUSTED NET INCOME
Adjusted net income and adjusted earnings per share are calculated by adjusting net income by the amount of any unrealized foreign exchange gains and losses on long-term debt and finance leases. During the first quarter of 2013, Chorus recorded an $5.6 million loss in unrealized foreign exchange on long-term debt and finance leases. These adjustments more clearly reflect earnings from an operating perspective.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Bombardier CRJ705 (CL-600-2D15) C-FCJZ (msn 15040) arrives at the Toronto (Pearson) hub.
Jazz’s current route map:
United Airlines (Chicago) announced today that it will begin daily flights from its hub at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on November 5, 2013.
The flight will depart Chicago at 8:20 a.m. (0820), arriving in San Juan at 2:57 p.m. (1457). The return flight will depart San Juan at 3:55 p.m. (1555) and arrive in Chicago at 7:13 p.m. (1913). The route will be operated with Boeing 737-900 aircraft with seating for 20 in United First, 51 in Economy Plus and 96 in Economy. The airline also announced that it will add a second daily flight for the holiday season from December 4 – January 5, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Boeing 737-924 ER N75429 (msn 30130) prepares to land at Los Angeles.
The Emirates Group (Emirates Airline) (Dubai) has announced it 25th consecutive year of profit and company-wide growth ending the year in a strong position despite continuing high fuel prices and a weak global economic environment. The financial year also ended with some very positive newly reached capacity milestones throughout the business.
The company posted an AED 3.1 billion ($845 million) net profit, up 34 per cent from last year. Even with external challenges, the Group’s revenue reached AED 77.5 billion ($21.1 billion) an increase of 17 per cent over last year’s results. The Group’s cash balance grew by 53 per cent reaching a solid AED 27.0 billion ($7.3 billion).
“Achieving our 25th consecutive year of profit in a financial year with our largest ever increase in capacity across the network is an achievement that speaks to the strength of our brands and our leadership,” said His Highness (H.H) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group.
“Throughout the 2012-13 financial year the Group has collectively invested over AED 13.8 billion (US$ 3.8 billion) in new aircraft, products, services and handling facilities as well as the newly opened JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai. This investment has resulted in an increased customer base and a rise in global brand awareness. Every dirham that we earn is strategically placed back into our business and it is this tenacious approach that has allowed the Group to maintain such strong and consistent profitability under challenging circumstances.”
Despite a difficult operating environment, the Group continued to invest in and expand on its employee base, increasing its overall staff count by 12 per cent to 68,000.
Emirates continued with its growth plan and during the financial year saw the largest increase in capacity in the airline’s history receiving a staggering 34 new aircraft, the highest in any single year and an unprecedented achievement. These aircraft were funded by raising more than $7.8 billion, also a first, through a variety of financing structures. Overall capacity measured in Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKMs) increased by 5.5 billion ton-kilometers. Other significant capacity increases include launching 10 new destinations across six continents, shipping more than 2 million tonnes of cargo for the first time and carrying an additional 5.4 million passengers over last year, the highest increase in a financial year.
In the 2012-13 financial year Emirates’ fuel bill increased by 15 per cent over last year to reach AED 27.9 billion ($7.6 billion). With total operating costs increasing by 16 per cent compared to a revenue increase of 17 per cent over last year.
“Managing volatile exchange rates, coupled with a persistently high fuel bill accounting for 40 per cent of our total expenditures, has required continued strong resolve,” added Sheikh Ahmed. “Even with these lingering challenges we continue to grow and remain profitable despite the industry norms because we continue to rely on our proven business model and understanding of the marketplace.”
“Staying the course, our strategy for growth has reaped high benefits this past financial year, which has been our strongest ever in relationship to capacity growth,” said Sheikh Ahmed. “Emirates seat load factor over the last three years has been 80 per cent despite our increase in capacity by 44 per cent during the same period, showing the continued global demand for our product. In addition our capacity measured in terms of Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKMs), which includes passenger and cargo capacity, crossed the 40 billion tonne-kilometres mark, another first for Emirates.”
Highlighting its sound financials and investor confidence, Emirates raised more than AED 28.6 billion (US$ 7.8 billion) in new funding mainly to secure its on-going fleet expansion, a record amount for the airline. This impressive total included US$ 587.5 million financing for additional A380’s with a bond that used the debt capital market in the U.S., a first for a non-U.S. airline in years. Emirates also issued a 10-year amortised Sukuk for US$ 1 billion and raised US$ 750 million with a 12-year amortised bond matched to the payment cycle for the aircraft. It further includes more than AED 20 billion (US$5.4 billion) raised through finance and operating leases.
“We move into the new financial year with confidence and a clear vision of where we are headed. We understand that succeeding in this industry requires determination and we are unapologetic about our drive to be the best,” added Sheikh Ahmed. “We strive to provide superior customer experiences and as our customers’ expectations increase so do the expectations we set for ourselves. With the help of our 68,000 strong multicultural work force we have no doubt that the year ahead will again be more profitable than the last.”
Emirates revenue reached a record high of AED 73.1 billion ($19.9 billion) growing by 17 per cent when compared to the 2011-12 financial year. Although the average price of jet fuel did not increase over last year, it remains high and has impacted Emirates’ bottom line with the airline’s profit at AED 2.3 billion (US$ 622 million) representing an increase of 52 per cent over last year’s results.
Carrying a record 39.4 million passengers, an increase of 16 per cent, Emirates logged a robust Passenger Seat Factor, at 80 per cent, remaining consistent with last year’s results. With an increase in seat capacity-Available Seat Kilometres (ASKMs) of 18 per cent the result highlights a strong consumer desire to fly on Emirates’ state-of-the-art aircraft.
Passenger yield remained steady with 30.5 fils (8.3 US cents) per Revenue Passenger Kilometre (RPKM)
Revenue generated from across Emirates’ six regions continues to be well balanced, with no region contributing more than 30 per cent of overall revenues. East Asia and Australasia remained the highest revenue contributing region with AED 20.9 billion (US$ 5.7 billion) up 15 per cent from 2011-12. Europe, up 18 per cent to AED 20.1billion (US$ 5.5 billion) and the Americas up 24 per cent to AED 8.3 billion (US$ 2.3 billion) saw the most significant growth, reflecting new destinations as well as increased frequency and capacity to these regions.
Across the rest of the globe Emirates saw strong revenue increases from West Asia and the Indian Ocean up 13 per cent to AED 8.0 billion (US$ 2.2 billion), Gulf/Middle East up 13 per cent to AED 7.1 billion (US$ 1.9 billion) and Africa with AED 6.7 billion (US$1.8 billion) in revenue, up 10 per cent.
Emirates premium seat factor remained strong despite the global financial uncertainty. Premium and overall seat factor for the airline’s flagship Airbus A380 aircraft outperformed the network, highlighting the continued demand for the product from passengers.
With a further 198 aircraft on order worth over $71 billion, combined with the airline’s increasing worldwide passenger traffic, Emirates’ is set to continue to drive considerable economic growth in the countries that it serves.
Forging ahead with its intricately planned expansion, Emirates received 34 new wide-body aircraft during the year including 20 Boeing 777-300 ERs, 10 Airbus A380s and 4 Boeing 777 LRFs compared with last year’s 22 aircraft. With an increased fleet, Emirates launched 10 new destinations in 2012-13 including Ho Chi Minh City, Barcelona, Lisbon, Erbil, Washington, DC, Adelaide, Lyon, Phuket, Warsaw and Algiers.
Looking forward to 2013-14, Emirates has to date announced four new routes; Haneda, Clark in the Philippines, Stockholm and Milan to New York.
New A380 destinations for the airline in 2012-13 included; Amsterdam, Melbourne, Singapore and Moscow. Bringing the total number of A380 destinations to 21. In addition, a second A380 was deployed on the existing Paris and New York routes, making both now a double daily A380 service. Two of our aircraft to London Heathrow were also upgraded to A380s, making all five daily flights now A380s.
Focusing on our customer touch points, Emirates opened three new dedicated airport lounges during the year including Milan and the new First Class and Business Class Concourse A facilities at Dubai Airport, which are among the largest in the world, bringing the total number of Emirates lounges to 35. The existing Business Class lounge in Dubai Airport’s Concourse C was also refurbished to provide passengers with an enhanced experience.
Defying the industry trend, the 2012-13 financial year has been a strong one for Emirates SkyCargo who for the first time reported a revenue over AED 10 billion reaching AED 10.3 billion ($2.8 billion) mark, an 8 per cent increase over last year.
Emirates SkyCargo’s tonnage increased 16 per cent reaching a remarkable 2.1 million tonnes in a shrinking airfreight market, highlighting its ability to grow revenues against the industry norm. This year, freight yield per Freight Tonne Kilometer (FTKM) decreased by 6 per cent.
Contributing 15 per cent of Emirates’ total transport revenue Emirate SkyCargo continues to play an integral role in the company’s expanding operations.
At the end of the financial year, Emirates SkyCargo freighter fleet totalled 10 aircraft – eight on operating lease and two on wet lease.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDZ (msn 107) with the special Expo 2020 Dubai UAE markings arrives at the Dubai hub.
EasyJet (UK) (stylized as easyJet) (London-Luton) and its partners Airbus and Nicarnica are planning the final stage of testing for the AVOID technology. Last week EasyJet flew back a ton of volcanic ash from Iceland collected by the Institute of Earth Sciences in Reykjavik. The ash, dried to create the consistency of fine talc, will be used in a unique experiment which is planned for this summer.
The next phase of testing will involve two Airbus test planes, one of which has the ability to disperse the ash into the atmosphere, thereby creating an artificial ash cloud for a second Airbus test aircraft with the AVOID technology fitted to detect and avoid at over 30,000 feet.
The experiment, which is expected to be conducted in August, will take place when the Seviri and Calypso satellites are aligned to be able to image the ash cloud from space thereby helping to prove the accuracy and effectiveness of the AVOID technology.
Ian Davies, easyJet’s Engineering Director, commented: “The threat from Icelandic volcanoes continues and so finalizing the approval of the AVOID technology is as crucial now as ever to ensure we never again see the scenes of spring 2010 when all flying ceased for several days.
“Transporting a ton of volcanic ash from Iceland is an important step in the final journey of testing the technology and moving towards commercial certification.”
Dr Fred Prata, inventor of the AVOID technology, said: “This is the perfect science experiment. We will know exactly how much ash we have placed in the atmosphere, and also its concentration and composition. AVOID will then measure it and demonstrate the technology.”
Manfred Birnfeld, Senior flight Test Engineer for Airbus, said: ”We are all working towards reducing the impact of volcanic ash clouds, and the technology being developed in AVOID could prove valuable in identifying airspace free of ash contamination and provide data for pilots and airlines on the precise localisation of ash clouds.
“This is why Airbus is supporting the development of AVOID and we hope this system will contribute towards three dimensional, dynamic mapping tools to allow the airlines to take necessary decisions for a safe flight under the full knowledge of current location of ash clouds.”
The AVOID system can be likened to a weather radar for ash. Created by Dr Fred Prata, Chief Technology Officer at Nicarnica Aviation, the system comprises of infrared technology (developed by the U.S. military) fitted to aircraft to supply images to pilots and an airline’s operations control center. The images will enable pilots to see an ash cloud, up to 100 kilometers ahead of the aircraft and at altitudes between 5,000 feet and 50,000 feet, thus allowing them to make small adjustments to the plane’s flight path to avoid any ash cloud. The concept is very similar to weather radars which are standard on commercial airliners today.
On the ground, information from aircraft with AVOID technology would be used to build an accurate image of the volcanic ash cloud using real time data. This could open up large areas of airspace that would otherwise be closed during a volcanic eruption, which would benefit passengers by minimising disruption.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth. Airbus A319-111 G-EZIK (msn 2482) touches down at EuroAirport serving Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg.
Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. (Gol Transportes Aéreos) (Sao Paulo) has announced a key milestone in its partnership with Delta Air Lines (Atlanta): the implementation of Gol code-share on Delta’s flights from Brasilia to Atlanta.
The companies together offer approximately 380 destinations in more than 62 countries.
“The code-share implementation which has now started and will be done in six phases from May to August,” said Paulo Miranda, Alliances and Strategy manager for Delta Air Lines. “Besides the route from Brasilia to Atlanta, soon we will be integrating all flights operated by Delta between Brazil and the United States to Atlanta and flights to the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and to Detroit and as part of the codeshare agreement”, he emphasizes.
The route from Brasilia to Atlanta is already available to be acquired at Gol channels and the first flight will take place on May 20. The second phase will include flights from Goiania, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba and Porto Alegre all via Brasilia to Atlanta. This action allows baggage to be labeled and dispatched to final destination.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Boeing 737-8EH WL PR-GUI (msn 35844) arrives in Miami.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) today (May 9) launched daily nonstop service between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Incheon International Airport (ICN) in Seoul, South Korea.
The new service is operated as part of American’s joint business agreement with fellow oneworld®alliance member Japan Airlines-JAL (Tokyo).
The new route is operated with a Boeing 777-200 ER aircraft (above), featuring 16 Flagship Suite seats in First Class that transform into fully lie-flat 6-foot-6-inch beds with drop-down armrests. The aircraft will also feature inflight entertainment at every seat, including Korean movies and pop music (K-Pop), Hollywood movies (with Korean audio or subtitles), and games.
Daily DFW-ICN Service Schedule
- Departs DFW at 10:20 a.m. CT
- Arrives at ICN at 2:50 p.m. KST the following day
- Departs ICN at 4:50 p.m. KST
- Arrives at DFW at 4:05 p.m. CT the following day
Copyright Photo: Brian Peters. Boeing 777-223 ER N775AN (msn 29594) taxies at the large DFW hub.
Boeing (Chicago) has rolled out of the factory the first 787 Dreamliner to be built at the increased production rate of seven airplanes per month. The airplane, which rolled out earlier this week, is the 114th 787 to be built overall and the 100th 787 to be built at the Everett, Washington, factory.
Boeing’s 787 program is on track to achieve a planned 10 per month rate by year-end. The production rate accounts for airplanes built at the Everett Final Assembly facility, the Everett Temporary Surge Line and Boeing South Carolina.
To date, 50 787s have been delivered to eight airlines. The program has more than 800 unfilled orders with 58 customers worldwide.
Copyright Photo: Boeing.
Video: CLICK HERE
JetBlue Airways (New York) today announced its intent to serve Port-au-Prince, Haiti with daily nonstop service from both New York City and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood. From Toussaint Louverture International Airport (PAP) in the Haitian capital, JetBlue plans to offer one daily nonstop flight to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and twice daily flights to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), subject to receipt of government operating authority. Port-au-Prince will be JetBlue’s 82nd BlueCity with service to begin on December 5, 2013.
Destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean now make up almost one-third of JetBlue’s route network. In the Caribbean, JetBlue is the largest carrier in terms of capacity in both Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, offering more flights than any other carrier. JetBlue flies to more than ten countries, including Aruba. Barbados, and the Bahamas. This June, the airline is set to begin nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale and Medellin, Colombia, and in November to Lima, Peru, subject to receipt of government operating authority.
JetBlue’s flights from New York to Port-au-Prince will be operated with its comfortable Airbus A320 fleet with seating for 150, while flights from Fort Lauderdale will be operated on its spacious 100-seat Embraer 190 fleet.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N206JB (msn 19000025) arrives at runway 9L at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Routes from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood:
Rossiya Russian Airlines (St. Petersburg) in April retired its last Boeing 737-500.
Read the full account (in Russian) from ATO.RU: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren. Boeing 737-548 EI-CDD (msn 24989) in the Pulkovo colors prepares to land at Stockholm (Arlanda).
Routes from St. Petersburg:
Cubana de Aviacion (Havana) yesterday (May 8) placed its first (of three) 97-seat Antonov An-158 jets (CU-T1710, msn 201-01) into inter-island revenue service on the Havana-Santiago de Cuba and Havana-Guantanamo routes. The An-158 is a stretched version of the An-148.
Read the full story from Granma Internacional (in Spanish): CLICK HERE
United Airlines (Chicago) has equipped its 200th aircraft with live television, offering customers more than 100 channels of live programming while in-flight. United operates more live television-equipped aircraft than any other airline in the world.
United currently offers live television on most Boeing 737 aircraft and on many of its Boeing 757-300 aircraft. In addition to live news, sports and family entertainment, customers may enjoy up to eight newly released movies a month. The service is complimentary for customers in United First and available for purchase in United Economy starting at $5.99 and varying depending on the length of flight.
Live television-equipped aircraft also feature power outlets in United First and United Economy Plus, enabling customers to charge their cell phones, laptops, e-readers and other mobile devices.
The expansion of live television on United aircraft comes as the airline continues to invest in its onboard products.
United offers personal on-demand entertainment for premium-cabin and economy-cabin customers on the majority of its long-haul international aircraft, providing hundreds of hours of movies, television programs, music and games. Additionally, United is:
- Installing satellite Wi-Fi. The airline expects to have more than 200 aircraft equipped with the service by the end of 2013.
- Adding flat-bed seating on all of the airline’s long-haul international aircraft. United currently offers more flat-bed seating than any other U.S. carrier.
- Introducing flat-bed seats on its transcontinental ‘p.s.’ Premium Service, offering a revamped premium cabin, all-new interiors, personal on-demand entertainment, Wi-Fi connectivity, in-seat power and USB ports. The airline expects to complete the reconfiguration of p.s. aircraft by the end of the year.
- Adding extra-legroom Economy Plus seating. The airline currently offers Economy Plus seating on nearly 650 mainline aircraft and approximately 150 regional jets.
- Nearly doubling the overhead storage space on more than 150 Airbus aircraft, with more than half of those retrofits completed.
- Implementing streaming wireless video onboard its Boeing 747-400 aircraft beginning later this year.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 757-33N N57864 (msn 32588) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (ATSG) (Wilmington, OH), the parent of ABX Air (Wilmington, OH) and ATI-Air Transport International (Little Rock and Wilmington, OH) reported consolidated financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2013.
“We made a major investment in our combi business with the U.S. military, placed more of our Boeing 767 and 757 freighters with DHL, and completed the merger of two of our airlines during the first quarter,” said Joe Hete, President and Chief Executive Officer of ATSG. “The results were significant increases in our net income and in our Adjusted EBITDA, compared with the year-earlier quarter. Our baseline business remains solid, and we are moving quickly to capture the rest of the $5 to $6 million in merger synergies we projected a few months ago.”
For the first quarter of 2013, compared with first quarter 2012:
- Revenues were $143.3 million, a decrease of 1.5%.
- Total operating expenses were $126.9 million, down 3.7%, including a $3.8 million reduction in salaries, wages and benefits expense due in large part to reductions in airline related costs prior to the merger of Air Transport International and Capital Cargo International Airlines in March 2013.
- Pre-tax income was $13.6 million, an increase of 26.5%.
- Net earnings from continuing operations increased 27.6% to $8.5 million, or $0.13 per fully diluted share. Net earnings include a non-cash federal income tax provision. The company does not expect to pay significant federal income taxes until 2015.
- First-quarter Adjusted EBITDA was $37.3 million, a 9.5% increase from $34.1 million in the same period of the prior year. This non-GAAP financial measure is defined and reconciled to comparable GAAP results in a table at the end of this release.
- Capital expenditures totaled $59.4 million for the quarter, including the purchase of two 757-200 combi aircraft.
CAM (Aircraft Leasing)
|($ in thousands)||2013||2012||% Chg.|
- On March 31, 2013, ATSG owned 47 aircraft in serviceable condition – 20 leased to external customers and 27 leased to ATSG affiliate airlines.
- The in-service fleet consisted of forty-one 767 freighters, three 757 freighters and three DC-8 combis. A table reflecting aircraft in service is included at the end of this release.
- On March 31, 2012, CAM owned 51 in-service aircraft, including thirty-nine 767s, three 757s, six DC-8s (two freighters, four combis) and three 727 freighters. All of the 727 and DC-8 freighters, one DC-8 combi and one 767 passenger aircraft have since been removed from service.
- Three other aircraft – two 767-300s and one 757-200 – were undergoing passenger-to-freighter conversion as of March 31, 2013.
- Four 757-200 combi aircraft, including one modified in 2012, one purchased in December 2012 and two purchased in January 2013, are completing certification requirements. They will enter service for the U.S. military as replacements for the three remaining DC-8 combis starting later this quarter.
|ACMI Services||First Quarter|
|($ in thousands)||2013||2012||% Chg.|
|Total ACMI Services Revenues||113,051||113,195||(0.1)|
- Signed agreements with DHL in January for four additional freighters, including one 757 and three 767s, to replace the 727 freighters the company operated in DHL’s U.S. domestic network.
- Extended agreements for three 767s operating in DHL’s network in the Mideast.
- Airline-related headcount in the first quarter decreased approximately 26% compared with the beginning of 2012, principally as a result of combining ATI and CCIA operations prior to their merger in March.
- Four 767 freighters leased from CAM were underutilized during the quarter.
|Other Activities||First Quarter|
|($ in thousands)||2013||2012||% Chg.|
- Improved first quarter pre-tax earnings were driven by greater efficiencies and higher volumes at the U.S. Postal Service facilities we operate.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. The three remaining McDonnell Douglas DC-8s in service have been delayed in their retirements until later this year as newer aircraft come on line. A fine study of DC-8-62 (F) N41CX (msn 46129) arriving at Baltimore/Washington.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today announced a balanced capital deployment program aimed at creating up to $5 billion of value for shareholders, including returning more than $1 billion to shareholders over the next three years.
As part of this program, Delta’s Board of Directors has initiated a quarterly dividend and declared a $0.06 per share dividend for shareholders of record as of Aug. 9, 2013. This dividend will be paid on Sept. 10, 2013. In addition, the Board has authorized a $500 million share repurchase program, to be completed no later than June 30, 2016. Together, these two programs are designed to return more than $1 billion of capital to shareholders over the next three years.
“Delta’s financial performance and balance sheet have strengthened considerably over the past five years and the Board believes the company is now in a position to begin returning cash to our shareholders,” said Daniel Carp, chairman of Delta’s Board of Directors. “The Board’s shareholder return program makes a long-term commitment to our shareholders with the implementation of an ongoing quarterly dividend, while also providing flexibility to return additional cash to shareholders through the share repurchase program.”
Comprehensive Financial Plan
Since 2009, Delta has made significant investments in its people, product and service, while improving its earnings and generating $4 billion of free cash flow. That free cash flow has been dedicated to strengthening the company’s balance sheet. As a result, Delta’s adjusted net debt has fallen from $17 billion at the end of 2009 to just under $12 billion at the end of 2012. The company expects to achieve its $10 billion adjusted net debt target by the end of 2013.
“Delta’s strategy has resulted in a solid financial foundation for our company, tremendous improvements in our fleet, facilities, products and technology, as well as top-notch operational reliability and service to our customers,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer. “The capital deployment plan unveiled today furthers our commitment to becoming the airline of choice for our employees, customers and shareholders.”
In an investor presentation this morning, Delta outlined a comprehensive, five-year financial plan. The plan focuses on free cash flow generation through a combination of expected earnings improvements and a disciplined approach to capital investment. Over the next five years, the company plans to reinvest $2.0 – $2.5 billion annually, or approximately 50 percent of its operating cash flow, into improving the company’s fleet, facilities, products and technology. The resulting free cash flow will be used to return cash to shareholders, further reduce the company’s debt, and opportunistically address longer-term pension funding needs, driving up to $5 billion of value to Delta’s shareholders.
As part of this plan, Delta expects to achieve and maintain an adjusted net debt level of $7 billion, a $5 billion reduction over 2012. By meeting the $7 billion target, Delta will have reduced its adjusted net debt by $10 billion since 2009, significantly decreasing the company’s balance sheet risk and generating more than 50 percent savings in interest expense.
The company also plans to make up to $1 billion of incremental contributions to the company’s defined benefit pension plans over the next five years. These contributions would be in addition to the $650 – $700 million annual required minimum contribution.
Repurchases under Delta’s program may be made through a variety of methods, which may include open market purchases, privately negotiated transactions, block trades, or accelerated share repurchase transactions in compliance with applicable regulatory guidelines, including Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 10b-18. Purchases will be made subject to market and economic conditions, applicable legal requirements, and other relevant factors. Delta had approximately 855 million shares of common stock outstanding as of March 31, 2013.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 737-832 WL N3755D (msn 29627) in the SkyTeam motif arrives at Los Angeles.
Austrian Airlines (Vienna) is planning to add another long-range Boeing 777-200 ER aircraft to expand its international operations. The airline issued this statement:
At its meeting yesterday, the Supervisory Board of Lufthansa approved the Austrian Airlines Group the lease of an additional Boeing 777-200 ER amounting to about EUR 33 million. Austrian Airlines Group will lease the aircraft for a period of about eight years from an internationally renowned leasing company. The aircraft will be transferred to Austrian Airlines Group in spring next year. Before it is put into operation, it will be subject to a maintenance check in Vienna and equipped with the new long-haul cabin including the new modern Economy seats, the new in-flight entertainment system and the new Business Class seats which can be converted into completely flat beds. The new Boeing 777 is scheduled to take off on its first flight in the summer of 2014.
“The expansion of the airline’s long-haul offering is an integral part of the restructuring program launched in 2012“, says Austrian Airlines Chief Executive Officer Jaan Albrecht. “The long-haul market has growth potential, particularly destinations in Asia and North America. In this way we will secure our long-term competitiveness at the Vienna flight hub.”
At present the long-haul fleet of Austrian Airlines Group consists of ten wide-bodied aircraft, of which four are Boeing 777-200 aircraft and six are Boeing 767-300s. On the basis of the new Boeing 777, the Austrian Airlines Group long-haul fleet will be expanded to eleven aircraft. The most recent expansion of the long-haul fleet took place in 2007 when one Boeing 777 with the registration OE-LPD was added. The Boeing 777 is the world’s largest twinjet and has a capacity of over 300 passengers.
The airline is also upgrading its cabins on its long-hail aircraft and issued this statement:
After passing its test flight and subsequently receiving approval from the authorities, the last Boeing 777 to feature the all-new cabin, aircraft with the registration OE-LPB has been put into revenue service. This means the conversion of the Austrian Boeing 777 fleet is now complete.
A total of 1,232 new seats have been fitted in the four Boeing 777 aircraft to have been converted, 192 in Business Class and 1,040 in Economy Class. The new cabin on the Boeing 777 offers space for a total of 308 passengers. Sophisticated seat distribution allows four out of every five Business Class passengers direct access to the aisle.
The national carrier has now converted its entire Boeing 777 fleet, and two of its Boeing 767 aircraft. Some 1.1 million customers fly long-haul with Austrian Airlines every year, on 5,500 flights.
On the financial side, the Austrian Airlines Group reported an operating loss of $73.5 million for the first quarter. The group issued this statement:
The Austrian Airlines Group continued to make progress in its restructuring program, as shown by its financial performance indicators, in spite of a difficult first quarter related to the winter season. In spite of massive cost burdens to the amount of EUR seven million related to the airline ticket tax and fuel price increases, the country’s largest domestic airline succeeded in improving its operating result by EUR 11 million, or 16.4 percent from the prior-year quarter. Accordingly, Austrian Airlines posted an operating loss of minus EUR 56 million in the first quarter of 2013 (Q1 2012: minus EUR 67 million).
“Austrian Airlines had a tough opponent in the likes of Jack Frost. Winter-related flight cancellations and expensive de-icing unnecessarily burdened our efforts to get back into the black”, says Chief Executive Officer Jaan Albrecht. “We are in a substantially better position than in the previous year, though our performance is slightly below our expectations. Nevertheless, I am optimistic that we will already achieve a turnaround this year”, he adds.
Total operating revenues declined slightly in the first quarter of 2013, down 1.3 percent to EUR 458 million (Q1 2012: EUR 464 million). Operating expenditures also fell by 3.2 percent, from EUR 531 million to EUR 514 million, an indication that the cost reduction measures have begun to take hold. On balance, the airline posted an operating loss of minus EUR 56 million in the first three months of the year. There were no one-off effects in the first quarter.
The number of passengers carried by the Austrian Airlines Group decreased by 2.7 percent to approximately 2.3 million in the period January to March 2013, which can be attributed to the streamlined fleet. As a consequence of optimized fine-tuning, capacity utilization (= passenger load factor) improved by 3.3 percentage points to 74 percent.
The number of people employed by the Austrian Airlines Group totaled 6,265 employees as at the quarterly balance sheet date of March 31, 2013 (December 31, 2012: 6,236 employees). In 2012/13, about 150 people were hired for positions as flight attendants, ground crew and pilots.
Austrian Airlines launched a comprehensive restructuring program at the beginning of 2012 designed to enhance the airline’s competitiveness and profitability. The focal point of the initiative was the successful transfer of flight operations to its subsidiary Tyrolean Airways effective July 1, 2012. This step served to bundle flight operations, which in turn enabled the elimination of redundancies in flight administration. A corresponding program is currently being implemented in 2013. The harmonization of the fleet for European flights was successfully concluded at the end of March. Eleven Boeing 737 aircraft were taken out of flight operations, whereas seven Airbus 320 aircraft were added to the fleet.
In October 2012, Austrian Airlines also launched a product campaign on its long-haul flights. All Boeing 767 and 777 aircrafts will be equipped with new, modern cabins, new Economy Class seats, new horizontal full-flat Business Class seats and a new in-flight entertainment system by September 2013. Five aircraft have already been remodeled. Investments related to the redesigning of the interiors of all the aircraft will amount to more than EUR 90 million. Moreover, as of May 17, 2013, Austrian Airlines has added the Chicago route to its destinations. As a result, the number of flight connections to North America has been increased to 26. The forecast for bookings to Chicago show capacity utilization of over 80 percent.
Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom. Boeing 777-2Z9 ER OE-LPC (msn 29313) lands at New York (JFK).
SkyWest, Inc. (SkyWest Airlines) (St. George) today reported net income of $3.2 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, compared to a net loss of $(0.7) million, or $(0.01) per diluted share, for the same period last year.
SkyWest’s financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 were slightly improved compared to the financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2012. SkyWest generated a 2.8 percent increase in block hours which resulted in additional revenues of approximately $10.5 million; however, overall revenues decreased by a total of $117.7 million as a result of lower reimbursement payments of $99.7 million for fuel and $19.7 million for engine overhaul expenses, under its contracts with SkyWest’s major partners. The majority of fuel is now purchased directly by SkyWest’s major partners and as a result, SkyWest reports lower operating revenues and expenses. SkyWest’s financial results were also negatively impacted during the quarter ended March 31, 2013 by severe weather which resulted in approximately 1,900 cancelled flights and 4,500 fewer block hours at an estimated impact of $4.5 million (pretax).
Following are some selected highlights for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 compared to the same period last year:
Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts
|Three Months Ended
|Total operating revenue||$ 803.5||$ 921.2||(12.8)%|
|Total operating margin||1.9%||2.2%||(0.3)pts|
|Pretax income (loss)||$ 5.4||$ (1.2)||NM|
|Net income (loss)||$ 3.2||$ (0.7)||NM|
|Fully diluted earnings per share||$ 0.06||$ (0.01)||NM|
Commenting on the results, Jerry C. Atkin, SkyWest’s Chairman and CEO, said “We had planned to achieve improved financial results for the quarter just ended over the same period last year, however our results were negatively impacted primarily by weather and other operational challenges,” He continued, “In spite of the challenges experienced during the quarter, we remain optimistic on our profit improvement objectives as well as improved operating results.”
Financial and Operating Results
Operating revenues totaled $803.5 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, compared to $921.2 million for the same period last year or a decrease of $117.7 million, or 12.8%. The decrease was due primarily to the reduction of $128.2 million of fuel and certain engine overhaul amounts which are directly reimbursed by major partners and recorded as operating revenues. Total block hours for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 were 571,991, or an increase of 2.8 percent, compared to 556,421 for the same period last year, which generated approximately $10.5 million in additional revenues.
Total airline expenses (consisting of total operating and interest expenses) decreased $114.6 million, or 12.5%, during the quarter ended March 31, 2013, compared to the same period in 2012. However, after excluding pass-through costs for fuel and certain engine overhaul expenses, total airline expenses increased $4.8 million or less than 1%.
Under United Express agreements for SkyWest Airlines, Inc. (“SkyWest Airlines”) and ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. (“ExpressJet Airlines”), SkyWest recognizes revenue at fixed hourly rates for mature engine maintenance on regional jet engines and SkyWest recognizes engine maintenance expense on its CRJ200 regional jet engines on an as-incurred basis as maintenance expense. During the quarter ended March 31, 2013, CRJ200 engine expense under these agreements decreased $7.6 million to $10.0 million compared to $17.6 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2012, as a result of decreased engine overhaul expense due to the timing of scheduled engine maintenance events. SkyWest was reimbursed approximately $11.4 million and $9.4 million for engine overhaul expense, under its United Express agreements, in each of the periods ended March 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively.
At March 31, 2013, SkyWest had $631.5 million in cash and marketable securities, compared to $709.4 million as of December 31, 2012. The decrease in cash and marketable securities of $77.9 million was primarily the result of the payment of scheduled semi-annual lease and debt payments. SkyWest’s long-term debt was $1.44 billion as of March 31, 2012, compared to $1.47 billion as of December 31, 2012. The decrease in long-term debt was due primarily to SkyWest’s payment of normal recurring debt obligations. SkyWest has significant long-term lease obligations that are recorded as operating leases and are not reflected as liabilities on SkyWest’s consolidated balance sheets. At a 4.7% discount rate, the present value of these lease obligations was approximately $1.7 billion as of March 31, 2013.
Recent Business Developments
On August 2, 2012, SkyWest announced the award of 34 additional dual-class aircraft and the removal of 66 CRJ200 aircraft with Delta Airlines, Inc. (“Delta”) and has taken delivery of 33 of these dual-class aircraft. SkyWest anticipates removal of the 66 CRJ200 aircraft starting in October of 2013.
On September 11, 2012, SkyWest announced the signing of an agreement with American Airlines, Inc. (“American Airlines”) to operate 23 CRJ200 regional jet aircraft as American Eagle and had integrated 12 of these aircraft into operations by December 31, 2012. The remaining 11 aircraft were introduced into service February 14, 2013.
On July 11, 2012, SkyWest announced the execution of an Aircraft Purchase Agreement with Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation covering the purchase of 100 Mitsubishi regional jet aircraft. Deliveries are currently expected to begin in 2016.
SkyWest has increased its total fleet to 752 aircraft as of March 31, 2012, compared to 727 aircraft as of March 31, 2012.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. SkyWest will start the removal of 66 Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft from the Delta Connection contract starting in October 2013. Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N408SW (msn 7055) completes its final approach into Los Angeles International Airport.
UPS Airlines (United Parcel Service) (Atlanta and Louisville) has unveiled a new look for its flagship Boeing 767 fleet by adding winglets as a part of its sustainability efforts to save fuel and reduce emissions.
These wingtip devices, which are arrow-shaped surfaces attached to the tip of each wing, enhance the overall efficiency of the aircraft, saving fuel by reducing drag while also lowering noise emissions by improving take-off performance. The modifications will save UPS more than six million gallons of fuel each year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 62,000 metric tonnes. UPS estimates approximately a four percent fuel savings on each 767 flight.
“UPS continues to lead the industry in sustainable business practices,” said David Abney, UPS chief operating officer. “With the widest portfolio of services in the industry, we are constantly looking for ways to reduce emissions, and drive down operating costs so our customers have the solutions they need to compete in a global economy. These winglets are a perfect example of sustainability in action. They are good business and good stewardship.”
UPS currently operates 54 of the 767 aircraft with five on order. The company plans to have winglets on all 767 aircraft by the end of 2014. Winglets are already installed on UPS’s 747, and MD-11 fleets, and the A300-600 has a similar device called a wingtip fence.
The modifications will add approximately five and a half feet of span to each wing, and each winglet is 11 feet tall. Aircraft weight will increase by nearly 3,000 pounds due to the weight of the winglets and the extensive structural reinforcement of the wing structure. Even at this size and weight, the winglets will still reduce the amount of fuel used per flight.
Winglets improve the aerodynamics of the wing by extending the length of the wing and reducing the amount of drag, which is the force that opposes an aircraft’s motion in the air.
The winglet project is a sustainability initiative implemented by UPS Airlines. The company already operates one of the cargo sector’s youngest and most fuel-efficient air fleet, and is working to reduce its carbon intensity an additional 20 percent by 2020 from a 2005 baseline. Other highlights of the airline’s fuel conservation efforts include computer-optimized flight routes, aircraft taxi time management, and alternate-fuel ground support equipment.
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. The first, Boeing 767-34AF ER N304UP (msn 27242) lands at Boeing Field (King County) in Seattle with the new device.
Finnair introduces a second Marimekko print Airbus A330-300 logojet, this one for Metsänväki “forest dwellers”
Finnair (Helsinki) has introduced a second Marimekko Airbus logojet.
The airline issued this statement today:
The design collaboration between Finnair and Marimekko enters a new phase as Finnair brings textiles and tableware designed by the iconic Finnish design and fashion house to its aircraft starting on May 15. As an emblem of the cooperation, a Finnair Airbus 330 was unveiled today with a blue-forest livery based on the Marimekko print Metsänväki (“forest dwellers”). The plane will fly from Finnair’s Helsinki hub to the airline’s 13 Asian destinations plus New York, joining a sister aircraft painted in Marimekko’s Unikko (“poppy”) print last October.
As part of the collaboration, a selection of Marimekko for Finnair items is also available for purchase, both through in-flight sales and the Finnair PlusShop.
”With our Marimekko cooperation, we want to bring timeless yet modern Finnish design to the travel experience of Finnair customers,” says Anssi Komulainen, Senior Vice President, Customer Service. ”From mid-May onwards, our Business Class customers will enjoy their in-flight meals from tableware tailor-made for Finnair by Marimekko, and Marimekko napkins, blankets, pillows and head rest covers will be introduced during summer. The same classic prints are featured in Economy Class paper cups, headrest covers, fleece blankets and pillows.”
The Marimekko for Finnair collection was designed according to the airline’s needs by Marimekko designer Sami Ruotsalainen in collaboration with Kristina and Emma Isola, in original Marimekko patterns by Maija Isola. The blue, green and grey colors and the classic prints used in the collection tell the story of Finnish nature and the views seen when looking down from an aircraft window.
”The Metsänväki print by Kristina Isola is a strong statement about the Finnish spirit and the forest-inspired energy that makes Finns tick. The print combines the majesty and fairytale-like magic of the Finnish forest. This makes it an ideal greeting from Finland, carried on the blue and white wings of Finnair around the world,” says Minna Kemell-Kutvonen, Creative Director at Marimekko.
Marimekko for Finnair tableware and textiles have been designed to accommodate the special requirements of commercial aviation. The Business Class tableware is made of special light-weight porcelain which helps Finnair reduce aircraft weight, thus contributing to fuel efficiency and a lighter carbon footprint.
The fairytale like Metsänväki (“forest dwellers”) print was created by Maija Isola’s daughter Kristina Isola in 2007. The print is dedicated to dear and faithful friends: to the trees and bushes of the forest, which stay put year after year. Peace and trust are also reflected in the colorings of the design, in shades of green, brown and blue, of which the blue print was a natural choice to celebrate the Marimekko for Finnair partnership.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has announced new service beginning in November to Memphis, Tennessee, Pensacola, Florida., and Richmond, Virginia, completing the planned arrival of Southwest’s Low Fares and Legendary Customer Service in 89 domestic destinations, including all previously served by wholly-owned subsidiary AirTran Airways.
The new nonstop service offered on both carriers comes as Customers are able to purchase itineraries among the two airlines’ combined 97 destinations, including international airports, in one transaction.
Beginning Sunday, November 3, Southwest Airlines will fly nonstop between:
- Memphis and Baltimore/Washington, Houston (Hobby), Orlando, Chicago (Midway), and Tampa
- Pensacola and Nashville and Houston (Hobby)
- Richmond and Orlando (AirTran Airways will continue to operate nonstop service between Richmond and Atlanta.)
AirTran Airways will start service between Memphis and Baltimore/Washington, Houston (Hobby), and Orlando on August 11, 2013.
Also timed with the extension of the flight schedule, AirTran Airways will begin new service in four airports in November.
Beginning Sunday, November 3, AirTran Airways will fly nonstop between:
- Oklahoma City and Atlanta and Chicago (Midway)
- Hartford/Springfield and Atlanta
- Louisville and Atlanta
- Norfolk/Virginia Beach and Atlanta
Southwest Airlines and wholly-owned subsidiary AirTran Airways, in addition to providing new destinations, added nonstop routes to and from airports they currently serve.
Additional New Service on Southwest Airlines Beginning November 3:
- One daily nonstop flight between Atlanta and New York (LaGuardia)
- One daily nonstop flight between Atlanta and West Palm Beach
- One daily nonstop flight between Atlanta and St. Louis
- One daily nonstop flight between Austin and New Orleans
Shifting from AirTran to Southwest Beginning November 3:
- One daily nonstop flight between Atlanta and San Juan, Puerto Rico
- One daily nonstop flight between Dayton and Orlando
- Two daily nonstop flights between Ft. Lauderdale and Philadelphia
- One daily nonstop flight between Ft. Lauderdale and Pittsburgh
- Two daily nonstop flights between Milwaukee and Ft. Myers
- One daily nonstop flight between Pittsburgh and Ft. Myers
Additional New Service on AirTran Airways Beginning November 3:
- One daily nonstop flight between Baltimore/Washington and Kansas City
- One daily nonstop flight between Columbus and Tampa Bay
- Two daily nonstop flights between Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood and Jacksonville
Seasonal nonstop service will also begin on November 3 for both Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways, providing Customers a way to travel to popular Florida destinations.
Seasonal Nonstop Service Beginning November 3 between:
- Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood and Albany, Columbus, Indianapolis, Kansas City, and Raleigh-Durham
- Ft. Myers and Hartford/Springfield, Boston Logan, Akron-Canton, and Philadelphia
- Orlando and Detroit
- Tampa and Norfolk/Virginia Beach
- West Palm Beach and Philadelphia
In other news, Southwest has been awarded two slot exemptions (one daily round trip) from the DOT to operate new service from Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport to Reagan National creating the only nonstop service between DCA and HOU.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Boeing 737-8H4 WL N8314L (msn 36990) arrives at Baltimore/Washington.
Qatar Airways (Doha) has announced it will start a new nonstop route from Doha to Philadelphia with Boeing 777s. Qatar is expanding its relationship with American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and PHL is a future AA hub city. Philadelphia will become the carrier’s fifth U.S. destination and service will commence on March 1, 2014. Charlotte and Miami are likely to see future Qatar service.
Additionally the flag carrier will add a new route to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on September 18 followed by Clark International Airport (near Manila) starting on October 28.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. A beautiful banking shot of Boeing 777-2DZ LR A7-BBC (msn 36015) at Washington (Dulles).
WestJet (Calgary) today announced its first quarter results for 2013. The airline reported record net earnings of $91.1 million, or $0.68 per diluted share, up from the net earnings of $68.3 million, or $0.49 per diluted share reported in the first quarter of 2012. These results mark WestJet’s 32nd consecutive quarter of profitability. Based on the trailing twelve months, the airline achieved a return on invested capital of 14.3 per cent, up from the 13.7 per cent reported in the previous quarter.
“We are very pleased to report our best ever quarterly earnings and for the third consecutive quarter we exceeded our 12 per cent ROIC target by achieving 14.3 per cent,” said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. “The excitement is building as we move closer to the launch of WestJet Encore. I want to thank WestJetters for their dedication and tremendous efforts in providing our guests a caring and friendly experience each and every day.”
|Operating highlights (stated in Canadian dollars)|
|Q1 2013||Q1 2012||Change|
|Net earnings (millions)||$91.1||$68.3||33.3%|
|Diluted earnings per share||$0.68||$0.49||38.8%|
|Total revenues (millions)||$967.2||$891.0||8.6%|
|Operating margin||13.7%||11.9%||1.8 pts|
|ASMs (available seat miles) (billions)||6.032||5.690||6.0%|
|RPMs (revenue passenger miles) (billions)||5.088||4.721||7.8%|
|Load factor||84.3%||83.0%||1.3 pts|
|Yield (revenue per revenue passenger mile) (cents)||19.01||18.87||0.7%|
|RASM (revenue per available seat mile) (cents)||16.03||15.66||2.4%|
|CASM (cost per available seat mile) (cents)||13.84||13.80||0.3%|
|CASM, excluding fuel and employee profit share (cents)*||8.94||8.95||(0.1%)|
*Refer to reconciliations in the accompanying tables for further information regarding calculations.
WestJet announced in February the first two new communities WestJet Encore will be servicing. Beginning on June 24, 2013, WestJet Encore will begin daily service from Calgary and Vancouver to Fort St. John, British Columbia, and from Calgary to Nanaimo, British Columbia.
In January 2013, WestJet launched a three-year company-wide business transformation initiative with a goal to reduce annual costs by $100 million by the end of 2015 and to undertake a longer term initiative to ensure WestJet’s unit costs are competitive with low cost North American airlines. This initiative will focus on aircraft and asset utilization, distribution, productivity, and all non-operational expenses.
For the second quarter of 2013, WestJet expects strong traffic growth and earnings among its best ever for a second quarter, notwithstanding an expected moderate decline in its second quarter RASM which will be impacted by the timing of Easter and Passover, the elimination of Thomas Cook capacity purchase commitments, the loss of the one-time benefit from Air Canada’s labour uncertainty in the second quarter of 2012, and accelerating capacity growth fueled by higher utilization and the launch of WestJet Encore.
For the second quarter of 2013, WestJet expects CASM, excluding fuel and employee profit share, to be flat to up one per cent year-over-year. The airline expects fuel costs to range between $0.84 and $0.86 cents per litre for the second quarter of 2013, representing a year-over-year decrease of six to nine per cent.
For the full year 2013, the airline now expects CASM, excluding fuel and employee profit share, to be flat to up one per cent year-over-year primarily as a result of cost reductions achieved and anticipated through its business transformation initiative, but excluding any benefit from the exemption it received yesterday from Transport Canada, to the requirement for one flight attendant for every forty passengers on board.
WestJet announced today it has entered into an agreement with a third party under which WestJet will sell 10 of its oldest Boeing Next-Generation 737-700 aircraft to that party in 2014 and 2015, and concurrently entered an agreement with Boeing to purchase 10 Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft in 2014 and 2015, effectively reducing the average age of WestJet’s fleet by approximately one year. WestJet has deferred the delivery of five Boeing Next-Generation 737-700 aircraft from 2014 and 2015 to 2016 and 2017. “These agreements are part of our strategy to optimize and modernize our fleet mix, which will improve CASM, while maintaining fleet flexibility going forward,” added Gregg Saretsky.
On May 6, 2013, WestJet’s Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.10 per common voting share and variable voting share for the second quarter of 2013, to be paid on June 28, 2013, to shareholders of record on June 12, 2013. All dividends paid by WestJet are, pursuant to subsection 89(14) of the Income Tax Act, designated as eligible dividends, unless indicated otherwise. An eligible dividend paid to a Canadian resident is entitled to the enhanced dividend tax credit.
In other news, WestJet confirmed it has received an exemption from Transport Canada to the requirement for one flight attendant for every 40 passengers on board. The exemption, which is effective immediately, allows for one flight attendant for every 50 seats on board the aircraft.
“We are pleased that Transport Canada has granted this exemption,” said Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and CEO. “One flight attendant for every 50 seats is the accepted international practice and has been in place for decades around the world. “This exemption will place us on a level regulatory playing field with U.S. and international carriers who fly in and out of Canada every day under these rules. Safety is a core value at WestJet and we commend the government for recognizing that there is a consistent level of safety operating under this ratio.”
“WestJet has committed that it will not lay off any flight attendants under this new exemption,” commented Antonio Faiola, WestJet Flight Attendant and Chair of PACT, WestJet’s employee association. “Our history speaks for itself: WestJet has always worked with its employees when our business changes and this is another example of its commitment to its people.”
“We anticipate cost savings once this exemption has been operationalized across our network,” continued Gregg Saretsky. “These savings will allow us to grow our network and continue to provide low fares for the Canadian traveller. We will now work with our operations teams to determine when we can implement these changes which will in turn determine when these savings will be realized.”
On the intent to order 10 new Boeing 737-800s, Boeing issued this statement:
“Boeing is delighted that WestJet has committed to order 10 Next-Generation 737-800s. The commitment, with a current list-price value of $891 million, is a key component of the Calgary-based carrier’s strategy to optimize and modernize its fleet. Boeing looks forward to working with WestJet to finalize the order in the coming days.”
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 737-7CT WL C-FWBL (msn 32750) approaches Los Angeles International Airport for landing.
Air Astana (Almaty), Kazakhstan’s flag carrier, has taken delivery of its first A320 aircraft equipped with Airbus’ Sharklet fuel saving wing tip devices. The airline becomes the first in the region to benefit from the new wing-tip devices. Air Astana’s A320-232 P4-KBB (msn 5613), powered by IAE V2500 engines, features a comfortable two class cabin, seating 148 passengers with 16 in business class and 132 in economy.
Sharklets are newly designed wing-tip devices that improve the aircraft’s aerodynamics and significantly cut the airline’s fuel burn and emissions by four per cent on longer sectors. They are made from light-weight composites and are 2.4 meters tall. Sharklets are an option on A320 Family aircraft. They offer the flexibility to A320 Family operators of either adding around 100 nautical miles more range or allowing an increased payload capability of up to 450 kilograms.
Air Astana started commercial service with its first Airbus aircraft, an A320, in 2006, and is currently operating one A319, seven A320s and four A321s.
Copyright Photo: Eurospot. The pictured A320-232 F-WWIC became P4-KBB when it was handed over on May 4, 2013 at Toulouse.
The National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) (Washington), which is still investing the Boeing 787 battery fire at Boston, is seeking help in conducting teardown examinations of Boeing 787 battery cells. The NTSB is asking for help with the CT scans.
The NTSB issued this statement:
The NTSB is planning to conduct teardown examinations as soon as possible of several aircraft batteries similar to one involved in an aircraft incident. This urgent requirement is in support of accident investigation DCA13IA037 that occurred in Boston, MA. To facilitate those examinations, CT scans of these batteries and their subcomponents are required to non-destructively determine as much information as possible about those components. In addition, batteries and battery cells of the same type which have been subjected to known test conditions will also be scanned. These scans will be conducted both before and after the test conditions are applied. Since these batteries are of the lithium ion type and have substantial shipping restrictions (including a requirement for ground shipping only using specially qualified hazardous materials shippers which would cause a delay of several days to accommodate), these scans need to be conducted at a location close to Washington, D.C. to allow the NTSB to transport the battery to the contractor and thereby avoid shipping and other logistical complications. They must also be completed within the shortest timeframe possible to provide the fastest possible receipt of this information to avoid potential future accidents involving this type of aircraft battery. Since the FAA has recently approved a plan intended to result in the Boeing 787 being approved for a return to service, the information from these tests (and the CT scans required to support these tests) is needed as soon as possible. A scan report that documents items such as the x-ray source power used, x-ray focal spot size, detector used, integration time, number of views, image pixel size, slice thickness, total length scanned, number of slices, etc. is due no later than 10 days after the end of the scanning activity. The NTSB has a requirement for CT scanning services to begin on May 6, 2013. Therefore, this requirement is urgent.
The NTSB has a requirement for CT scans of eight (8) Boeing 787 batteries cells. In addition, the NTSB has a requirement for additional scanning work for up to 40 additional battery cells or their equivalent scanning effort to be used as needed at the discretion of the NTSB. The scanning work for the “up to 40 additional battery cells” will be conducted in two installments. The cells will first be scanned in a “before testing” configuration, and then scanned again after testing has been completed with the cells. Finally, the NTSB requires at least 2 digital radiographs per component (90 degrees apart).
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Skywest Airlines (Australia) (Perth) today (May 7) became Virgin Australia Regional Airlines.
The company issued this statement:
Virgin Australia today (May 7) unveiled its new regional airline operation with Virgin Founder Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Australia Chief Executive Officer John Borghetti in Perth.
Following the acquisition of Skywest Airlines last month, today marked the launch of the newly branded airline. The first two aircraft to be rebranded as ‘Virgin Australia’ were officially unveiled (Fokker 100 VH-FSQ and Fokker 50 VH-FNA), representing the airline’s commitment to continued investment and new growth opportunities for regional and charter travel in Australia.
The entity known as Virgin Australia Regional Airlines will be based in Perth, Western Australia and the operation will now have 32 aircraft operating over 800 services per week to 41 different destinations.
The old Skywest Airlines route map (above).
Virgin Australia Chief Executive Officer John Borghetti described it as a momentous day for the airline, tourism and the travel industry.
“This country has one of the most geographically dispersed populations in the world and reliable, affordable air services are vital to the growth of regional Australia.
“In 2010, we articulated a strategy to become the airline of choice for all travellers in Australia. Since then, we have changed the competitive landscape in many ways and today marks our next major leap forward.
“By integrating Skywest Airlines into the Virgin Australia Group, we unlock new opportunities to grow our services to regional Australia and significantly increase our charter presence in the high growth fly-in-fly-out markets.
“Western Australia is one of the fastest growing aviation markets and a very important part of our strategy. We have made significant investment over the past two years with the introduction of our internationally configured Airbus A330 aircraft on services between the East and West Coast, increased frequencies to the resource-rich Pilbara region and established a large crew base in Perth.
“By building a Perth-based operation and workforce, we will continue to invest in local resources, expertise and infrastructure”, Mr Borghetti said.
Sir Richard Branson said: “It is fantastic what John and the team have done over the last couple of years, completely repositioning the airline with the introduction of the Virgin Australia brand and its brilliant product and service. Now I am thrilled to see him focusing on other market segments including regional and charter services where I know they will deliver.
“This is the start of the next ground-breaking chapter for the Virgin Australia Group and an exciting time for the airline”, Sir Richard said.
Copyright Photo: Micheil Keegan. All other images and photos from Skywest. The Skywest Airlines brand is now being retired. All of the aircraft are gradually being repainted into the Virgin Australia brand.
The faces of Skywest Airlines.
New combined Virgin Australia domestic route map:
JetBlue Airways (New York) plans to grow its operations at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) to 100 daily departures over the next five years, making it the third busiest focus city for the airline. The carrier grew over 11 percent at FLL last year. Most of the expansion at FLL will be to foreign destinations according to this interview with CEO Dave Barger in the Sun-Sentinel.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N329JB (msn 19000433) in the Barcode tail design taxies to runway 9L on the north side of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The south parellel runway is being extended for expansion.
Qatar Airways (Doha) is negotiating with Airbus to acquire 10 to 15 Airbus A330s due to the Boeing 787 delays. Unfortunately for Boeing, the compensation paid by Boeing is going directly to Airbus according to this report by Reuters.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Eurospot. Airbus A330-302 F-WWKF (msn 826) became A7-AEJ on delivery.
Copyright Photo: Marco Finelli.
Cargojet Inc. (Cargojet Airways) (Hamilton) announced today financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013 .
For the First Quarter Ended March 31, 2013:
- Total Revenues were $40.7 million, an increase of $0.6 million or 1.5% versus the previous year.
- Gross Margin was $4.9 million, a decrease of of $0.6 million or 10.9% versus the previous year
- EBITDA was $2.7 million (all amounts in Canadian dollars), an increase of $0.8 million or 42.1% versus the previous year
“We are very pleased with the improvement in financial and operating results, as compared to the previous year, despite two less operating days in the quarter”, said Ajay K. Virmani, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We continue to see modest improvements in demand and volumes from all revenue sectors, although overall yields and pricing remain under pressure”. “We will continue to manage our cost prudently and gain efficiencies where available”, he concluded.
Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten. Boeing 767-223 (F) C-FMCJ (msn 22316) makes a stop at Cologne/Bonn.
Air India (Mumbai) will restore Boeing 787 service on May 22 from Delta to Kolkata per Airline Route. Two days later, the carrier will restore 787 service from Delhi to both Bangalore and Chennai. Air India is operating the 787 initially on domestic routes.
Copyright Photo: Duncan Kirk. Most of the Air India 787s are being built at the Charleston, SC facility. Boeing 787-8 VT-AND (msn 36278) is seen at Everett (Paine Field).
LAN Airlines (Chile) (Santiago) is planning to resume Boeing 787 passenger operations on June 1. The first route to be restored is the Santiago-Lima-Los Angeles route per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. Boeing 787-8 CC-BBB (msn 38466) roars into the clear skies at Paine Field near Everett.
United Airlines (Chicago) is now planning to resume Boeing 787-8 scheduled passenger operations on May 20 between Houston (Bush Intercontinental) and Chicago (O’Hare) as flight UA 1. Houston-Denver flight start on the following day. United is first re-introducing the grounded type on its relatively short domestic flights as the first phase of the resumption before it restores longer international routes.
Boeing has already converted two of United’s six Dreamliners to the new FAA standards and will soon convert the remainder of United’s fleet. The airline has scheduled flights to begin on May 20 on routes from Houston to other domestic hubs. United will begin international 787 flying on the Denver-Tokyo route on June 10.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 787-8 N20904 (msn 34824) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa) (Frankfurt) reported its net loss for the first quarter widened to $602 million, up from a loss of $516.8 million in the same quarter a year ago. the first quarter is usually the weakest quarter for the carrier.
The airline issued this statement:
In the traditionally weak first quarter, Deutsche Lufthansa AG recorded an operating result on a par with last year at EUR -359m. The operating result includes restructuring costs of EUR 64m from the SCORE programme. Earnings improvements in the operating segments helped the Group make up for the extra costs. The net result for the period fell by 16.5 per cent to EUR -459m due to impairment losses and other valuations as of the reporting date. At EUR 6.6bn, revenue for the Lufthansa Group in the first quarter remained stable.
“We took another step towards our target of sustainable earnings improvements in the first quarter. Nearly all the Group companies improved their result,” explained Simone Menne, Member of the Executive Board, responsible for Finances and Aviation Services at Deutsche Lufthansa AG. “We are firmly on course with our SCORE programme.”
In operational terms, the Group improved its result by a total of EUR 95m in the Passenger Airline Group, Logistics, MRO, Catering and IT Services segments. Lufthansa German Airlines achieved the greatest improvement in the operating result, with an increase of EUR 77m. Thanks to a notable reduction in the number of flights and its optimised capacity management, the company boosted the load factor of its aircraft in the first quarter to 75.5 per cent and at the same time increased its yields. The strike by Lufthansa ground staff on 21 March depressed the operating result for Lufthansa German Airlines, as did high fuel costs and the long winter, which also weighed on the other airlines in the Lufthansa Group.
At the end of the first quarter 2013, Lufthansa German Airlines reported an operating loss of EUR 292m. At SWISS, the operating result came to EUR -16m, compared with EUR -3m in the same quarter last year. Austrian Airlines improved its operating result by EUR 11m to EUR -56m. Overall, the operating loss for the Passenger Airline Group segment improved to EUR -363m.
The Lufthansa Group also improved its operating result in the Logistics segment. Lufthansa Cargo increased its operating profit, in part thanks to targeted capacity management and lower depreciation and amortisation. At the end of the first quarter, the figure for the segment was EUR 27m, a rise of EUR 7m. The operating profit for the MRO segment was up by EUR 16m to EUR 81m. Lufthansa Technik adopted some 200 individual measures as part of SCORE in the first quarter, which by 2015 are intended to improve the organisation of administrative functions and align them better with customer needs. LSG SkyChefs improved its operating result by EUR 9m, posting an operating profit of EUR 3m for the period January to March. In the IT Services segment, Lufthansa Systems earned an operating profit of EUR 3m, compared with EUR 4m in the same quarter last year.
Given the improvement of the operating results for the Group companies in the first quarter, the positive contributions by SCORE and stable demand in the passenger business, the Group confirmed its earnings outlook for the year 2013. The operating profit for the Lufthansa Group in 2013 is predicted to be higher than the EUR 524m achieved last year. Positive earnings contributions from SCORE should not obscure the need for further change, however, emphasised Simone Menne, adding, “In competition with well-funded competitors, especially from the Middle East and Far East, and with low-cost airlines in Europe, we need new structures that will allow us to generate higher profits again. Putting the agreed measures into practice remains a challenge. We nevertheless intend to pursue our chosen path and shape our future with the required perseverance.”
The first quarter of 2013 in figures
Revenue for the Lufthansa Group in the first quarter of 2013 came to EUR 6.6bn – an increase of 0.1 per cent on the previous year. Traffic revenue declined by 0.2 per cent to EUR 5.3bn. Overall, the Group’s operating income went up to EUR 7.2bn in the reporting period, an increase of 0.3 per cent.
Operating expenses rose by 1.7 per cent in the first quarter to EUR 7.7bn. Fuel costs climbed by EUR 36m to EUR 1.7bn. This represents an increase of 2.2 per cent. Included in this amount is a negative contribution of EUR 25m from fuel hedging. Fees and charges fell by 2.2 per cent on the previous year, due to a lower number of flights.
In the first quarter, the Lufthansa Group reported an operating result on a par with the previous year of EUR -359m. To facilitate comparison, the operating result for the same quarter last year was adjusted by EUR 22m following the amendments to accounting standard IAS 19. Following this adjustment, the result for the first quarter of 2012 also came to EUR -359m.
The net result for the period was down by 16.5 per cent to EUR -459m. Expenses for severance pay and compensation as part of the SCORE job cuts depressed the Group’s result for the first quarter, as did impairment losses and valuation effects. Earnings per share sank to EUR -1.00.
Lufthansa invested EUR 718m in the reporting period. Of this sum, EUR 657m went on modernising and maintaining the fleet. Cash flow from operating activities came to EUR 976m and free cash flow (cash flow from operating activities less net capital expenditure) to EUR 463m. For the first quarter, the Group had net debt of EUR 1.7bn. Following the application of new accounting standards (IAS 19), the equity ratio is now 15.4 per cent.
|of which traffic revenue||€m||5,337||5,349||5,349||-0.2%|
|Result from operating
|Net profit/loss for the period||€m||-459||-394||-379||-16.5%|
|Cash flow from
|Employees as of 31.3.||116,516||120,898||120,898||-4,382|
|Earnings per share||€||-1.00||-0.86||-0.87||-0.14|
*) Operating result plus write-backs of provisions, divided by revenue
**) Previous year’s figures have been adjusted in line with changes to IAS 19
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Lufthansa is gradually replacing its older Boeing 747-430s. D-ABTF (msn 24967) climbs gracefully away from Dulles International Airport near Washington, DC.
Air France-KLM (Air France) (KLM Royal Dutch Airlines) (Paris) lost €630 million ($826.3 million) in the first quarter, compared to a smaller loss of €379 million ($497.1 million) in the same quarter a year ago.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Ole Simon. Air France Airbus A380-861 F-HPJE (msn 052) taxies at the Paris (CDG) hub.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Airbus A330-203 PH-AOM (msn 1161) taxies at the Amsterdam base.
Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) issued the following financial report:
Spirit Airlines, Inc. reported first quarter 2013 financial results.
- Adjusted net income for the first quarter 2013 was $32.8 million, or $0.45 per diluted share1. GAAP net income was $30.6 million, or $0.42 per diluted share.
- For the first quarter 2013, Spirit achieved an operating margin, excluding special items, of 14.4 percent1. Operating margin on a GAAP basis was 13.4 percent for the first quarter 2013.
- Spirit ended the first quarter 2013 with $483.5 million in unrestricted cash.
- Spirit grew total available seat miles (“ASMs”) 20.8 percent as compared to the first quarter 2012.
- Spirit’s return on invested capital (before taxes and excluding special items) for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2013 was 28.0 percent. See “Calculation for Return on Invested Capital” table below for more details.
For the first quarter 2013, Spirit’s total operating revenue was $370.4 million, an increase of 22.9 percent, compared to first quarter 2012.
Total revenue per available seat mile (“RASM”) for the first quarter 2013 was 11.85 cents, an increase of 1.7 percent compared to the first quarter 2012 driven by strength in operating yields. The calendar shift of Easter occurring in March this year compared to April in 2012 contributed to the strong first quarter 2013 results.
Passenger flight segment (“PFS”) volume grew 17.8 percent year-over-year in the first quarter 2013. Average non-ticket revenue per PFS for the first quarter 2013 increased 5.9 percent year-over-year to $54.75 and average ticket revenue per PFS for the quarter increased 3.2 percent year-over-year to $79.09. The growth in non-ticket revenue per PFS during the first quarter 2013 was primarily driven by the introduction of advance purchase restrictions on bags as well as other various changes in our pricing structure for optional services.
Total operating expenses in the first quarter 2013 increased 21.4 percent year-over-year to $320.8 million on a capacity increase of 20.8 percent.
Cost per available seat mile excluding special items and fuel (“Adjusted CASM ex-fuel”) for the first quarter 2013 was 6.04 cents, up 0.8 percent year-over-year. The increase in Adjusted CASM ex-fuel was primarily driven by depreciation and amortization expense related to amortization of heavy maintenance events. Due to an increased number of severe winter storms during the quarter, the Company experienced a higher number of weather-related flight cancellations compared to the same period last year. The CASM pressure associated with the resulting decrease in ASMs as well as other weather-related expenses such as higher deicing expense, also contributed to the increase in Adjusted CASM ex-fuel. The impact of these items was partially offset by efficiency benefits resulting in lower labor expense per ASM, lower distribution expense per ASM, and an increase in average stage length.
Selected Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Items
As of March 31, 2013, Spirit had $483.5 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents, no restricted cash, no debt on its balance sheet, and total shareholders’ equity of $614.8 million.
During the first quarter 2013, Spirit incurred capital expenditures of $10.6 million, which includes the purchase of a spare engine that was financed under a sale leaseback transaction after it was delivered. The Company paid $15.1 million in pre-delivery deposits (“PDPs”) for future deliveries of aircraft, and paid $6.8 million in maintenance reserves, net of reimbursements.
In the first quarter 2013, Spirit took delivery of two used A319 aircraft and two new A320 aircraft, ending the quarter with 49 aircraft in its fleet. Spirit’s March A320 aircraft delivery was the carrier’s first aircraft to be delivered with sharklets. The Company has five additional new A320 aircraft with sharklets scheduled for delivery in 2013.
The carrier is expanding quickly. On April 25 started service on nine new nonstop routes and also resumed summer seasonal service on a variety of our customers’ favorite routes.
Nine New Spirit Airlines Nonstop Routes Starting April 25, 2013:
- Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) – Cancun, Mexico (CUN)
- Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) – Los Angeles (LAX)
- Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) – Oakland/San Francisco (OAK)
- Philadelphia (PHL) – Las Vegas (LAS)
- Philadelphia (PHL) – Myrtle Beach (MYR)
- Baltimore/Washington (BWI) – Myrtle Beach (MYR)
- Baltimore/Washington (BWI) – Las Vegas (LAS)
- Houston (IAH) – Los Angeles (LAX)
- Denver (DEN) – Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP)
In addition, Spirit resumes the following summer seasonal routes:
- Atlantic City (ACY) – Detroit (DTW)
- Atlantic City (ACY) – Chicago O’Hare (ORD)
- Atlantic City (ACY) – Atlanta (ATL)
- Atlantic City (ACY) – Boston (BOS)
- Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) – Myrtle Beach (MYR)
- Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) – Portland, Oregon (PDX)
- Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) – Boston (BOS)
- Boston (BOS) – Chicago O’Hare (ORD)
- Detroit (DTW) – Los Angeles (LAX)
- Orlando (MCO) – San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU)
- Fort Lauderdale (FLL) – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ)
- Fort Lauderdale (FLL) – Kingston, Jamaica (KIN) – starts May 9, 2013
The following new nonstop routes start in June:
- Houston (IAH) – Denver (DEN) – starts June 13
- Houston (IAH) – Detroit (DTW) – starts June 13
- Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) – Los Cabos, Mexico (SJD) – starts June 13
- Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) – Latrobe/Pittsburgh (LBE) – starts June 14
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Airbus A319-132 N506NK (msn 2490) taxies to runway 9L at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) like Japan Airlines, is also planning to restore Boeing 787 service on June 1. The airline is currently conducting test flights on the battery fix.
On the financial side, ANA Holdings, Inc. reported its yearly net profit rose over 53 percent to over $435 million through March 31 despite the grounding on the Boeing 787s.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. The latest 787-8 for ANA is the pictured JA818A (msn 42243) at Everett (Paine Field). All others by ANA.
Japan Airlines-JAL (JAL Group) (Tokyo) will restore Boeing 787 passenger operations on June 1. Currently the airline is conducting test flights. The restored routes will be Tokyo (Narita)-Boston, Tokyo (Narita)-San Diego, Tokyo (Narita)-Singapore, Tokyo (Haneda)-Singapore and Tokyo (Haneda)-Beijing. A new route from Tokyo (Narita) to Helsinki will commence on July 1. The airline has issued this detailed report on the fleet and route plans:
Boeing 787-8 will return to service in sequence on June 1, 2013 after completely confirming the safety and reliability of the aircraft, including the proper installation of the improvements. JAL restarts daily service between Tokyo (Narita) and Boston as well as San Diego, and the daily nonstop service between Tokyo (Narita) and Helsinki will be launched from July 1, 2013 which was postponed in February 2013.
Larger aircraft, Boeing 777-200 ER instead of Boeing 767 will be assigned to fly between Japan and Bangkok and Honolulu in order to meet a robust passenger demand and further maximize revenue.
With the aim to achieve “Customer Satisfaction Number 1”, one of JAL Group Medium-Term Targets, JAL is actively moving ahead to provide our passengers much more quality products. 777-300 ER (JAL SKY SUITE 777) has been introduced on European and North American routes, in addition, More products like the seats are going to be refurbished on European and North American routes as well as Honolulu and Bangkok (Narita/Haneda=Bangkok) routes which Boeing 787-8 and Boeing 777-200 ER have been used for. The aircrafts equipped with personal TV will be arranged on all the international routes during the first half of fiscal year 2013(year ending March 31, 2014). JAL strives to make every customer’s journey refreshing and comfortable experience.
*The following schedules are subject to government approval.
New Route from July 1, 2013
|Flight Number||Route||Dep. Time||Arr. Time||Aircraft||Class||Days of Operation|
Narita = Helsinki
(from July 1 to Oct.26,2013)
Boeing 787-8 Will Be Arranged on the Following Routes**
|Narita = Boston||
June 1,2013 ~
|Daily operation from June 1,2013(4 weekly round-trip flights from Mar,31-May 31,2013)|
|Narita = San Diego||
June 1,2013 ~
|Daily operation from June 1,2013(3 weekly round-trip flights from Mar,31-May 31,2013)|
|Narita = Singapore||
June 1,2013 ~
JL719/JL712,JL711/JL710;JL710(from Jun. 2, 2013)
|Haneda = Singapore||
June 1,2013 ~
|Haneda = Beijing||
June 1,2013 ~
|Narita = Delhi||
July 12,2013 ~
|Narita = Moscow||
September 1,2013 ~
3 weekly round-trip flights(We,Fr,Su)
|Haneda = San Francisco||
September 1,2013 ~
JL001(from August 31,2013)
|Narita = Sydney||
December 1,2013 ~
JL772(from December 2,2013)
|Narita = Bangkok||
JL707/JL718, 4 among 7 weekly round-trip flights;JL718(from December 3,2013)
**The type of aircraft might be changed due to the delivery schedule of the 787-8.
**Please visit http://www.jal.com/en/flight/boeing787/ to get the information regarding JAL’s Boeing 787 fleet.
Other Aircraft Type Changes***
Narita = Honolulu
From767-300ER to 777-200ER
|June 1,2013 ~||JL782/JL781|
Chubu = Honolulu
From 767-300ER to 777-200ER
Kansai = Honolulu
From 767-300ER to 777-200ER
|September 1,2013 ~|
Kansai = Shanghai(Pudong)
From 737-800 to 767-300ER
|September 1,2013 ~|
Haneda = Bangkok
From 767-300ER to 777-200ER
|December 1,2013 ~|
Narita = Bangkok
From 767-300ER to787-8, 777-200ER
|December 1,2013 ~||JL707/Mo,Tu,Th,Sa/787-8|
***The type of aircraft might be changed due to the delivery schedule of the 787-8.
Flight Frequency Changes
Temporarily decrease the flight frequency in response to the passenger demand
|Narita = Beijing||
from 14 to 7 weekly round-trip flights
June 1 ~ July 5, 2013
In-flight Products Improvements on the Middle-haul and Long -haul International Routes
Refurbish the products focusing on the Business class on European and North American routes
Starting with the introduction of fully flat seat to Business Class as well as spacious and functional [SKY SUITE 777] sequentially served on European and North American routes, additionally 777-300 ER and 787-8 will be practically used, and JAL SHELL FLAT NEO (Business class) will be provided on more routes. JAL SKY Wi-Fi has been serving on New York, Chicago and Los Angeles’ routes, which will be expanded sequentially on European routes.
Narita = New York
SKY SUITE 777.(*1)
First Class: NEW JAL SUITE
Business Class: SKY SUITE
Premium Economy: SKY PREMIUM
Economy: SKY WIDER
|Operated every other day from May 1, 2013 and daily operation from the approx. May.|
Narita = Paris
Narita = Los Angeles
Narita = Chicago
Narita = Frankfurt
First Class: JAL SUITE
Business Class: JAL SHELL FLAT NEO
Operated every other day from April 2013 and daily operation from the approx. May.
Narita = Moscow
Provide Premium Economy Service
June 2013~the end of August 2013
Haneda = San Francisco
Business Class: JAL SHELL FLAT NEO
(*1) For more detail on SKY SUITE 777, please visit http://www.jal.co.jp/en/newsky/
(*2) The actual operating date will be introduced on JAL homepage when is has been decided
(*3) The type of aircraft might be changed due to the delivery schedule of the 787-8.
<<International In-flight Internet Service [JAL SKY Wi-Fi]>>
Narita = Frankfurt: daily service from the approx. May 2013(currently provide every other day)
Narita = London: daily service from the approx. July 2013 (currently provide every other day)
Narita = Paris: provide from August 2013
In-flight products improvements on the Southeast Asia, Oceania and Honolulu routes
The 787-8 with JAL SHELL FLAT NEO in Business class and 777-200 ER with JALSHELL FLAT SEAT have been used for Delhi, Sydney, Tokyo (Haneda/Narita) =Bangkok and Honolulu routes, JAL will provide passengers a refreshing onboard experience with the quality in-flight products.
Narita = Delhi
Business Class: JAL SHELL FLAT NEO
|July 12,2013 ~||(*1)|
Narita = Sydney
Provide Premium Economy Service
|June 2013 ~ November 30,2013|
Business Class: JAL SHELL FLAT NEO
|December 1,2013 ~|
Haneda = Bangkok(*2)
Business Class: JALSHELL FLAT SEAT
|December 1,2013 ~|
Narita = Bangkok(*3)
|December 1,2013 ~|
Narita = Honolulu
|June 1,2013 ~|
Chubu = Honolulu
|July 12,2013 ~|
Kasai = Honolulu
|September 1,2013 ~|
(*1) The type of aircraft might be changed due to the delivery schedule of the 787-8
(*2) Haneda = Bangkok (JL33/JL34): Provide the Premium Economy Service from December 1, 2013.
(*3) Narita = Bangkok: ten round-trip flights operated by 777-200 ER and four round-trip flights operated by 787-8 among 14 weekly flights.
|Flight Number||Aircraft||Dates of Operation||Remarks|
|JL717/JL708||777-200ER||Daily||Provide Premium Economy Service|
The aircrafts equipped with personal TV will be arranged on all the international routes
The aircrafts equipped with personal TV will be arranged on Narita=Kaohsiung(*1) and Kansai=Seoul(Gimpo) routes during the first half of fiscal year 2013 to attain all JAL international routes served by aircrafts with personal TV.(*2)
(*1) Kansai=Seoul (Gimpo): Provide the Business Service from June 1, 2013
(*2) The type of aircraft might be changed due to the delivery schedule of the 787-8
New seats will be installed onto Boeing 767-300 ER
Improved 767 with fully flat seat in business class and the new spacious seat in Economy class will be served on middle-haul and long-haul routes in the Second half of Fiscal year 2013. The details of the products and available routes will be introduced as soon as they have been decided.
On the financial side, JAL Group announced its fiscal year (through March 31) operating profit had been cut by $13 million due to the 787 grounding. However the group produced a yearly net profit of $1.8 billion.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. Boeing 787-8 JA828J (msn 38438) climbs away from the runway at Paine Field near Everett.
Thomson Airways (London-Luton) will introduce its new Boeing 787-8 on July 9 between London (Gatwick) and Cancun and Glasgow and Sanford (updated) per Airline Route. The airline now expects to take delivery of its first 787 at the end of this month.
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. The first, the pictured Boeing 787-8 G-TUIA (msn 34422), lands back at Paine Field near Everett after a test flight.