Biman Bangladesh Airlines (Dhaka) today (February 20) operated the last McDonnell Douglas DC-10 passenger flight in the world with DC-10-30 S2-ACR (man 48317). The final flight today flew from Dhaka to Birmingham, England via a refueling stop in Kuwait City. Current plans are reportedly to scrap the wide body airliner for its parts and residual metal value.
Before the final disposition of S2-ACR, Biman will operate scenic flights from Birmingham this weekend. The airline issued this statement about the scenic flights:
Due to an overwhelming response from aviation enthusiasts from around the world, we are going to operate scenic flights on the weekend of February 22, 23 and 24 from Birmingham Airport. The first flights to go on sale will operate on the Monday, February 24 at 0900, 1200 and 1500 with a block time of an estimated one-hour. If as expected, they sell out quickly we open up the Sunday, February 23 flights up for the same times of 0900, 1200 and 1500. As these sell out then we will open up the Saturday flights also at the same times – 0900, 1200 and 1500. As with the last commercial flight from Dhaka, we are keeping the prices for these scenic flights at reasonable levels with prices of ₤150 for a window seat and ₤100 for an aisle seat. Please note that for the last commercial flight ever on Monday February 24 @ 1500, prices have been set slightly higher at ₤200/₤150. In order to keep the flights as “special” as possible we are only selling 152 of the 319 seats on the aircraft – therefore all are window or aisle seats.
Read the full story from the BBC: CLICK HERE
The retirement came as a result of a new Boeing 777-300 ER delivery. Biman issued this statement on the new arrival of 777-3E9 S2-AHM (msn 40120):
Biman Bangladesh Airline’s newest aircraft, the Boeing 777-300 ER is the world’s largest twinjet aircraft, this long-range wide-body plane is popularly known as the “Triple Seven”. Our newest 777-300 ER is the third extended range 777 to join our modern fleet.
The latest 777-300 ER is named “Akashprodip” and replaces the retired DC-10 for long-range flights to serve destinations such as Frankfurt, Rome, London, and Birmingham.
Biman’s Managing Director and CEO Kevin Steele personally took delivery of latest 777-300 ER from Boeing’s Seattle headquarters on February 6. The new plane, painted in Biman’s bi-colored livery, traveled on a nonstop flight from Seattle to Dhaka.
The receiving ceremony of the newest 777-300 ER was held February 11, 2014 at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. At the ceremony she said, “Biman acts as the representative of Bangladesh abroad and it flies across the world as the symbol of our independence.”
Biman will soon take delivery of its fourth Boeing 777-300 ER, named “Rangaprobhat” on March 21. The delivery is part of a ten aircraft contract with Boeing. Future plans are to secure two Boeing 737-800s and four Boeing 787-8s by 2019.
Top Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Biman). McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 S2-ACR 9msn 48317) arrives at London (Heathrow) on a previous flight.
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) has issued this statement concerning a drunken passenger which caused the flight to make an unscheduled landing in Novosibirsk:
On February 18, 2014 Gagarin District Court ruled in favor of Aeroflot in its suit against Andrei Krivoruchko, the passenger whose actions on board led to an emergency landing. The defendant will have to pay 704,199.70 rubles (over $19,500) in total, including compensation for the losses borne by Aeroflot.
The incident happened on April 22, 2013 during an SU 206 flight from Moscow to Shanghai. As stated by the court, intoxicated Mr Krivoruchko behaved inappropriately and expressed an obvious disrespect for other passengers and the crew. He also threatened them with violence, physically resisted the crew members and did not comply with a written warning of the aircraft commander to stop violating the rules of onboard behavior.
As a result, the captain was forced to opt for an emergency landing at Novosibirsk airport. The unruly passenger was handed over to local authorities. Aeroflot filed a lawsuit on this issue in October 2013 and won the case.
However satisfactory for Aeroflot this adjudication is, it still cannot be considered too stringent by the standards of many other countries in Europe, Asia and America, where airborne drunken brawls are criminalized and a refusal to obey calls to order, acts of violence or attacks on members of the crew are punished with imprisonment from a few months up to 20 years. In some cases, jail term can be given even for smoking on board.
Since the beginning of 2013, Aeroflot sees a positive trend of hardening position of the Russian courts against airborne rowdies, including the area of financial responsibility for detrimental actions against the airline and other passengers. Nevertheless, the need of even more drastic measures against disruptive passengers is evident. Aeroflot stands firm on this issue and confirms its resolution not to leave violating the rules of onboard behavior without serious consequences.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 VQ-BBE (msn 1014) prepares to land in Los Angeles.
Virgin America (San Francisco) has secured the last eight landing and takeoff slots at Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA). Virgin America outbid Spirit Airlines and others for the last slots according to Reuters. This last allotment comes after last month’s award of 54 slots to Southwest Airlines and 40 to JetBlue Airways (including 16 it had been leasing). The slot sales were demanded by the Department of Justice (DOJ) a precondition for the American Airlines-US Airways merger.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N839VA (msn 4610) completes its final approach from the south into Washington Reagan National Airport.
Current Route Map: There will now be more Virgin America routes and flights radiating from DCA probably starting with LAX and more flights to SFO. Here are the current routes from Los Angeles (LAX):
Kuwait Airways (Kuwait City), the National airline of Kuwait, has ordered 25 aircraft including ten A350-900 and 15 A320neo Family aircraft as part of the airlines’ fleet renewal strategy. Kuwait Airways already operates three A320s, three A310s, five A300s and four A340 Family aircraft.
United Airlines to introduce the Boeing 787-9 internationally from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia on October 26
United Airlines (Chicago) today announced that it will introduce nonstop flights between its hub at Los Angeles International Airport and Melbourne, Australia, effective on October 26, 2014 (westbound), subject to government approval. The airline will fly the route six times weekly with new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. United is the North American launch customer for the 787-9, and this will be its first international deployment of the aircraft type.
Flight UA 98 will depart Los Angeles at 10:30 p.m. (2230) daily except Tuesday and Thursday and arrive in Melbourne at 9:15 a.m. (0915) two days later (all times local). On Thursday, flight UA 98 will depart Los Angeles at 9:30 p.m. (2130) and arrive in Melbourne at 8:15 a.m. (0815) two days later (all times local). The flights to Melbourne will not operate on Tuesdays.
On the return, flight UA 99 will depart Melbourne at 11:15 a.m. (1115) daily except Thursday and Saturday and arrive at Los Angeles International Airport at 6:50 a.m. (0650) the same day. On Saturday, flight UA 99 will depart Melbourne at 3:15 p.m. (1515) and arrive in Los Angeles at 10:50 a.m.(1050) the same day. The flights to Los Angeles will not operate on Thursday.
Flying times will be approximately 15 hours, 45 minutes westbound, and 14 hours, 35 minutes eastbound.
Sydney Schedule Changes
With the launch of nonstop Los Angeles-Melbourne service, United will end service between Melbourne and Sydney. The airline will seek to retime its daily departures from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Sydney in order to allow a greater range of connections beyond the hubs and to provide more convenient arrival times for customers on connecting flights from Sydney to New York and other East Coast destinations.
Onboard Products and Services
The Boeing 787-9 aircraft operating the new Los Angeles-Melbourne service will offer a total of 252 seats – 48 in United BusinessFirst and 204 in United Economy, including 63 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.
United BusinessFirst offers a superior business-class service. The BusinessFirst flat-bed seat reclines 180 degrees and features an on-demand entertainment system with touch-screen monitors. BusinessFirst amenities include power outlets, USB ports and multi-course meals with complimentary premium wines and spirits.
Economy Plus seats offer up to five inches of extra legroom, and both Economy Plus and United Economy seats feature adjustable headrests, power outlets and personal seat-back monitors delivering a multi-channel inflight entertainment system on demand.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner
The 787 Dreamliner is revolutionizing the flying experience for United customers and crews while delivering unprecedented operating efficiency, comfort and lower emissions. Customers experience greater comfort with improved lighting, bigger windows, larger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and enhanced ventilation systems, among other passenger-friendly features. The aircraft’s use of lightweight composites, together with its modern engines and improved aerodynamic design, allow it to fly farther, faster and more efficiently than similar-sized conventional aircraft.
United is the 787 North American launch customer and now has nine Dreamliners in its fleet. The airline has a further 56 Dreamliners on order and expects to take delivery of five more from Boeing, including its first two 787-9s, by the end of 2014.
United in Australia
United started service to Australia in 1979 and today operates more flights to more destinations in Australia than any other U.S. carrier, with daily flights from its San Francisco and Los Angeles hubs to Sydney and Melbourne and twice-weekly service to Cairns from Guam. The airline will begin introducing Boeing 777-200 aircraft to replace Boeing 747-400s on its trans-Pacific services to Australia at the end of March 2014.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. United currently operates the original 787-8. 787-8 N27908 (man 36400) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) yesterday operated a Boeing 737-800 aircraft freshly retrofitted with new Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets. The pictured Boeing 737-824 N37277 (man 31595) took to the skies yesterday (February 18), marking the first commercial flight worldwide to operate with the advanced winglet technology. United flight 1273 on Tuesday, February 18 took off from the airline’s Houston (Bush Intercontinental) hub and flew to Los Angeles. The airline installed the innovative winglets on the Boeing 737-800 after the FAA approved the technology made by Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) earlier this month.
This new winglet design demonstrates significant aircraft drag reduction over the basic Blended Winglet configuration United uses on its current fleet. Using a newly patented design, the program retrofits United’s Boeing Next Generation 737 Blended Winglets by replacing the aluminum winglet tip cap with a new aerodynamically shaped “Scimitar”™ winglet tip cap and by adding a new Scimitar-tipped ventral strake. The new design will reduce fuel consumption by up to 2 percent per aircraft.
Last year, United served as the launch customer for the Split Scimitar winglet when it made a firm commitment with APB to retrofit its 737-800 and 737-900 ER aircraft.
United currently has more than 350 aircraft fitted with advanced blended winglet technology. Once the Split Scimitar Winglets installation is complete, the combined winglet technology on United’s 737, 757 and 767 fleet is expected to save the airline more than 65 million gallons of fuel a year, equivalent to more than 645,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide and$200 million per year in jet fuel costs. The savings from the Split Scimitar Winglets will contribute to United’s overall fuel-savings initiative to reduce its fuel costs by $1 billion by 2017.
Copyright Photos: United Airlines. United technicians at Orlando International Airport install the new Split Scimitar Winglet on a Boeing 737-800 on February 16, 2014. United is the first airline in the world to operate commercial service with the innovative winglet technology.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) on June 6 will resume two routes from Los Angeles. The ultra low fare carrier will resume twice weekly service to both Billings, Montana and Pasco (Tri-Cities), Washington per Airline Route. Both routes were dropped in August 2012.
Allegiant today also began new nonstop jet service between Burlington, Vermont and Sanford International Airport (near Orlando) in Florida.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 N422NV (msn 49381) prepares to land at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Skymark Airlines (Tokyo) will soon take delivery of its first Airbus A380. The airframe (man 162) has been assembled at Toulouse and will be flying soon with the temporary marks of F-WWSL before it is delivered to the Japanese carrier. The airline is planning to inaugurate Airbus A380 service from Tokyo (Narita) to New York (JFK) in December.
Skymark has six Airbus A380s on order.
Read the full story from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE
Images: Airbus. Airbus A380-841 msn 162, the first A380 for Skymark, is rolled out of the production hangar at Toulouse, France.
Update: Following the completion of its structural assembly, Skymark Airlines’ first A380 made its first journey on its wheels, moving to the next station at the Final Assembly Line in Toulouse on February 24. At this “station 30” Skymark Airlines’ first A380 will undergo general tests on electric and hydraulic systems, mobile parts, landing gears and fuel tanks. Also, the aircraft’s four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines will be mounted.
Skymark Airlines, Japan’s third largest and fast growing airline, has placed six firm A380 orders and will become the first Japanese A380 operator. Skymark plans to dispatch its A380s on international trunk routes, in particular linking Narita to destinations in the US to offer its passengers the unique experience of space and comfort when flying the A380.
British Airways (London) has announced it will upgrade the London (Heathrow)-Singapore route to the new Airbus A380 initially three days a week starting on October 28, 2014.
As previously reported, the new Airbus A380 will begin flying from London (Heathrow) to Washington Dulles International Airport on September 1, 2014. The aircraft is already flying from London to both Los Angeles and Hong Kong and just started services between London and Johannesburg.
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 G-XLEB (msn 121) arrives back at the London (Heathrow) base.
British Airways utilizes Kristin Davis to introduce the new A380 service to Singapore:
XL Airways (France) (Paris-CDG) will return to Miami for the second summer in a row. The French airline will offer three flights a week with its 408-seat Airbus A330-300s from May 25 until August 31.
Miami has become the second most important North American destination for XL Airways after New York.
Additionally, as previously reported, AirEuropa will also return for the summer to Miami from Madrid with three weekly flights starting on June 4.
Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-303 F-WWKA (msn 1360) became F-HXLF on delivery on November 30, 2012.
Routes from Paris (CDG):
Spirit Airlines, Inc. (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) today reported fourth quarter and full year 2013 financial results.
- Adjusted net income for the fourth quarter 2013 increased 109.9 percent to $41.0 million ($0.56 per diluted share) compared to $19.5 million ($0.27 per diluted share) for the fourth quarter 20121. GAAP net income for the fourth quarter 2013 was $43.2 million ($0.59 per diluted share) compared to $19.6 million ($0.27 per diluted share) in the fourth quarter 2012.
- Adjusted net income for the full year 2013 increased 71.0 percent to $177.5 million ($2.43 per diluted share) compared to $103.8 million ($1.43 per diluted share) for the full year 20121. GAAP net income for the full year 2013 was $176.9 million ($2.42 per diluted share) compared to $108.5 million ($1.49 per diluted share) for the full year 2012.
- For the fourth quarter 2013, Spirit achieved an adjusted pre-tax margin of 15.4 percent, an improvement of 5.7 percentage points over the same period in 20121. On a GAAP basis, pre-tax margin for the fourth quarter 2013 was 16.2 percent, compared to 9.7 percent in the fourth quarter 2012. For the full year 2013, Spirit’s adjusted pre-tax margin was 17.1 percent, compared to 12.7 percent in 20121. Pre-tax margin on a GAAP basis for the full year 2013 was 17.1 percent, compared to 13.2 percent in 2012.
- Spirit ended 2013 with $530.6 million in unrestricted cash.
- Spirit’s return on invested capital (before taxes and excluding special items) for the twelve months ended December 31, 2013 was 31.8 percent. See “Calculation for Return on Invested Capital” table below for more details.
“For the full year 2013, we delivered record profitability and return as demand for our low-cost, ultra-low fare model remained very high. These strong financial results reflect our vigilance on maintaining our cost discipline and low fare strategy while executing on our growth plan and delivering high returns for our shareholders,” said Ben Baldanza, Spirit’s Chief Executive Officer. ”I thank all our team members who helped us achieve these results.”
For the fourth quarter 2013, Spirit’s total operating revenue was $420.0 million, an increase of 27.9 percent compared to the fourth quarter 2012. The year-over-year increase was driven by continued strong demand and our growth in capacity. The increase was also partly attributable to the negative revenue impact in the fourth quarter 2012 related to Hurricane Sandy.
Total revenue per available seat mile (“RASM”) for the fourth quarter 2013 was 11.43 cents, an increase of 3.0 percent compared to the fourth quarter 2012 as a result of both higher average passenger yields and load factors.
Passenger flight segment (“PFS”) volume for the fourth quarter 2013 grew 19.4 percent year over year. Average revenue per PFS for the fourth quarter 2013 increased 7.1 percent year over year to $132.86 primarily driven by an increase in ticket revenue per PFS.
For the full year 2013, total operating revenue increased 25.5 percent to $1,654.4 million compared to the full year 2012 and total RASM increased 2.8 percent to 11.94 cents.
Total operating expenses for the fourth quarter 2013 increased 18.8 percent year over year to $351.9 million on a capacity increase of 24.3 percent.
Spirit reported fourth quarter 2013 cost per available seat mile excluding special items and fuel (“Adjusted CASM ex-fuel”) of 5.78 cents, a decrease of 2.5 percent compared to the same period last year. Better operational performance during the fourth quarter 2013 compared to fourth quarter 2012 helped to drive lower wage expense and lower passenger re-accommodation expense. These decreases were partially offset by higher depreciation and amortization expense related to the amortization of an increased number of heavy maintenance events.
In its Investor Update dated January 15, 2014, the Company estimated that it would record $8 million of expense related to the repair and damage of the engine and aircraft associated with the engine failure experienced in October 2013. The Company now believes it will receive insurance proceeds covering all related expenses in excess of a $750,000 deductible, which was expensed in the fourth quarter.
Total operating expense for the full year 2013 was $1,372.1 million, up 19.9 percent year over year driven primarily by fuel and other expenses associated with increased flight volume. Adjusted CASM ex-fuel for the full year 2013 decreased 1.5 percent year over year to 5.91 cents.
Selected Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Items
As of December 31, 2013, Spirit had $530.6 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents, no restricted cash, no debt on its balance sheet, and total shareholders’ equity of $769.1 million.
For the full year 2013, Spirit incurred capital expenditures of $19.8 million. The Company paid $70.3 million in pre-delivery deposits for future deliveries of aircraft, net of refunds, and recorded an increase of $24.1 million in maintenance deposits, net of reimbursements.
In the fourth quarter 2013, Spirit took delivery of three new A320 aircraft, ending the year with 54 aircraft in its fleet.
Full Year 2013 and Other Current Highlights
- Added/announced new service between (service start date):
|- Dallas/Fort Worth and New Orleans (1/24/13)||- Houston and Denver (6/13/13)|
|- Houston and Orlando (2/14/13)||- Houston and Detroit (6/13/13)|
|- Detroit and Denver (2/14/13)||- Phoenix Sky Harbor and Dallas/Fort Worth (10/24/13)|
|- Dallas/Fort Worth and Minneapolis-St. Paul (4/4/13)||- Phoenix Sky Harbor and Chicago/O’Hare (11/7/13)2|
|- Dallas/Fort Worth and Philadelphia (4/5/13)||- Phoenix Sky Harbor and Denver (11/7/13)|
|- Houston and Los Angeles (4/25/13)||- Minneapolis-St. Paul and Los Angeles (11/7/13)|
|- Dallas/Fort Worth and Oakland/||- Minneapolis-St. Paul and Orlando (11/7/13)2|
|San Francisco (4/25/13)||- Minneapolis-St. Paul and Phoenix (11/7/13)2|
|- Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles (4/25/13)||- Minneapolis-St. Paul and Tampa (11/7/13)2|
|- Dallas/Fort Worth and Cancun, Mexico (4/25/13)||- Minneapolis-St. Paul and Houston (5/1/14)2|
|- Baltimore/Washington and Las Vegas (4/25/13)||- Minneapolis-St. Paul and Baltimore/|
|- Baltimore/Washington and Myrtle Beach (4/25/13)2||Washington (5/1/14)2|
|- Philadelphia and Myrtle Beach (4/25/13)2||- Chicago O’Hare and Oakland/San Francisco (5/1/14)|
|- Philadelphia and Las Vegas (4/25/13)||- Minneapolis-St. Paul and Detroit (5/22/14)2|
|- Minneapolis-St. Paul and Denver (4/25/13)2||- Chicago O’Hare and Baltimore/Washington (5/22/14)2|
|- Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Cabos, Mexico (6/13/13)||- Chicago O’Hare and Portland, OR (5/22/14)2|
|- Dallas/Fort Worth and Latrobe/Pittsburgh (6/14/13)|
- Launched service to 25 new markets in 2013.
- Ratified a new five-year contract with its dispatchers which are represented by the Transport Workers Union.
- Elected H. McIntyre (Mac) Gardner as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
- Ordered an additional 20 new A321 aircraft, converted 10 existing A320 orders to A321 orders, and converted 5 A321ceo orders to A321neo orders. These aircraft are scheduled to deliver between 2015 and 2018. The Company also advanced 4 A320 aircraft originally scheduled to deliver in 2015 to deliver in 2014, bringing its total planned aircraft deliveries in 2014 to 11.
- Maintained its commitment to offer low fares to its valued customers (average ticket revenue per passenger flight segment for the full year 2013 was $79.43).
Additionally, Spirit Airlines on May 22 will introduce nonstop Minneapolis/St. Paul – Detroit service, offering one daily flight with Airbus A319 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Still wearing the old 2004 black livery, Airbus A319-132 N523NK (man 2898) “Spirit of Tampa” prepares to land in Las Vegas. With the new color scheme, Spirit dropped the practice of naming its aircraft after cities. Instead it now offers a promotional package to generate income.
Frontier Airlines to expand operations at St. Louis with new routes to San Francisco, Trenton and Portland
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) today announced it will be expanding service from St. Louis with the addition of nonstop service to San Francisco, California (SFO) (three flights per week) and Trenton, New Jersey (TTN) (three flights per week) beginning on June 13, 2014, and Portland, Oregon (PDX) (three flights per week) beginning on June 15, 2014.
When service starts, Frontier Airlines will offer nonstop service from St. Louis to a total of 10 destinations. Through its partnership with Apple Vacations, Frontier offers service to Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Huatulco, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Montego Bay, Jamaica. Domestically, nonstop service is available to Denver, Portland, San Francisco and Trenton.
Additionally, besides the new St. Louis route, Frontier will expand its service at Trenton-Mercer Airport (TTN), in Ewing, New Jersey, with the addition of nonstop service to Milwaukee, Wisconsin (MKE) and Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota (MSP) beginning on June 13, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N205FR (msn 4253) with “Ozzie” the orca whale, arrives in Los Angeles.
Grupo Aeromexico, S.A.B. de C.V. (AeroMexico) (Mexico City), the largest global airline in Mexico, announced its unaudited results for the fourth quarter and full year 2013.
FOURTH QUARTER 2013 RESULTS
- The Group reported a 71.8% increase in operating profit, year-on-year, for a total of MXP $634 million. Aeromexico achieved an operating margin of 5.9%; 2.2 percentage points greater than the same period last year.
- Fourth quarter adjusted EBITDAR reached MXP $2.1 billion; a 26.4% increase compared to the prior year. The adjusted EBITDAR margin increased 2.8 percentage points to 19.6%.
- Net income in the fourth quarter reached MXP $385 million. Aeromexico reported a MXP $601 million in net benefit in the fourth quarter 2012 due to the sale of a 20 percent stake in PLM, the subsidiary which manages the Group’s loyalty program. Eliminating this effect, fourth quarter of 2012 net income was MXP $10 million.
- Grupo Aeromexico’s fourth quarter 2013 revenues reached MXP $10.7 billion; an 8.7% year-on-year increase.
- The cost per available seat kilometers (CASK) excluding fuel decreased 5% year-over-year in the fourth quarter, representing the fourth consecutive quarter with a year-on-year decrease in CASK excluding fuel.
- The Company added four new aircraft to its fleet: two Boeing 787-8, one Boeing 767 and one Embraer 190, while three Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft were retired. Grupo Aeromexico’s operating fleet therefore consisted of 117 aircraft as at December 31, 2013.
- The Group’s On-Time Departure Performance for 2013 reached 87.7%; a 7.7 percentage point improvement compared to 2012.
Andres Conesa, Grupo Aeromexico’s CEO, commented: “2013 was known for its challenging economic environment, but we nevertheless succeeded in achieving very strong results during the fourth quarter. On the operational front, we again improved profitability for the fourth consecutive quarter by reducing the cost per ASK (CASK) to be increasingly competitive.”
To access the full text of this earnings release, please visit our Investor Relations website at: http://www.aeromexico.com/investors
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-81Q WL N520AM (msn 29052) operating in the Contigo program arrives in Las Vegas.
SunExpress Airlines (Antalya) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) have finalized an order for 15 737 MAX 8s and 25 Next-Generation 737-800 airplanes. The order, valued at more than $3.8 billion at list prices, also includes options for 10 additional 737 MAX 8s.
The order is the largest in the Turkish carrier’s near 25 year history, and brings the total number of orders to date for the 737 MAX to nearly 1,800.
“Twenty-four years ago we started to fly tourists to Turkey with brand-new 737-300s and ten years later the company began to operate the Next-Generation 737-800s. Next year at the age of 25, SunExpress will start the process of renewing its entire fleet and in the future add the latest achievement of Boeing, the 737 MAX,” said Paul Schwaiger, managing director of SunExpress. “We value our long and successful relationship with Boeing and we are grateful for the company’s endless support over so many years.”
The 737 MAX builds on the success of the Next-Generation 737 – retaining efficiency, economics, reliability and passenger appeal that make this family of airplanes the market leader. The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines with aerodynamic improvements such as new Advanced Technology winglets to deliver a 14 percent fuel-efficiency improvement over today’s most fuel efficient single-aisle airplanes. At longer ranges, the improvement will be even greater, perfectly complementing SunExpress’ future growth.
“With our order of up to 50 new 737 aircraft – including the ten options – we have realized an important milestone for the future of SunExpress,” said Haci Say, deputy managing director of SunExpress. “Our company has always been a vital part of the travel trade betweenTurkey and the source markets of Turkish tourism. With this enormous investment SunExpress underlines its strong position among Europe’s leading holiday airlines. We are happy to grow even stronger with the help of new Boeing aircraft which perfectly suit our business model.”
Based on the Turkish Rivera, SunExpress was founded in October 1989 as a subsidiary of Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa. Today, SunExpress carries more than seven million passengers per year and is one of the leading airlines in terms of passenger numbers between Germany and Turkey. The carrier operates an all-Boeing fleet of more than 60 Next-Generation 737-700s and 737-800s and serves more than 90 destinations across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8FH TC-SNH (msn 30826) is pictured taxiing at Zurich.
Air China (Beijing) has received approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to commence nonstop service from its Beijing hub to its Star Alliance partner United Airlines’ (Chicago) hub at Washington (Dulles). The new route will operate four days a week with Boeing 777-300 ERs starting in June according to Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-39L ER B-2032 (msn 38671) in the Star Alliance motif departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) on June 5 will add two new routes to Cleveland on June 5 partially filling the void left by departing United Airlines. Indianapolis and Raleigh/Durham will received nonstop Delta Connection service to CLE per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Former Comair Bombardier (Canadair) CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N455CA (msn 7592) now being operated by SkyWest Airlines arrives in Los Angeles.
AirAsia’s (AirAsia.com) (Malaysia) (Kuala Lumpur) CEO Tony Fernandes is taking another crack at the Japanese LCC market with the return of AirAsia Japan according to Bloomberg. Tony Fernandes was recently in Japan and stated he was lining up new Japanese partners.
Yoshinori Odagiri, the former CEO of AirAsia Japan will also lead the new carrier with Osamu Hata, previously a chief financial officer at Japan’s Dell unit according to Bloomberg.
The previous AirAsia Japan (Tokyo-Narita) was a low-fare joint venture with ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) that operated from August 1, 2012 through August 31, 2013. The old AirAsia Japan was the fifth subsidiary/joint venture of AirAsia.
ANA turn its portion of the joint venture of AirAsia Japan into Vanilla Air. Vanilla Air’s fleet will grow to six Airbus A320s by next month, eight by March 2015, and 10 by March 2016 according to ZipanguFlyer.
Read the full report on the second coming of AirAsia Japan from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-216 JA03AJ (msn 5325) of the first version AirAsia Japan taxies at the Tokyo (Narita) base.
Qatar Airways (Doha) has announced the launch of a new daily all premium Business Class service from its hub in Doha to London’s Heathrow Airport.
The new service will be the first of its kind in the Middle East, commencing from May 15, 2014, with an Airbus A319 aircraft fitted with an all Business Class, single aisle, 2–2 seating configuration offering 40 seats.
Qatar Airways currently operates five daily flights to London Heathrow and the additional sixth all Business Class daily service marks the start of an exciting new era for travelers to and from the UK, who can experience complete comfort and privacy with the airline’s award-winning five-star hospitality.
The new additional flight will step up the frequency on the Doha – London Heathrow route from 35 to 42 weekly services.
Qatar Airways has been awarded the World’s Best Business Class Airline for 2013 and has also twice been the recipient of the Airline of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012 at the prestigious Skytrax Airline Awards. The airline has also been named as ‘Best Long-Haul Airline’ for the second year running and ‘Business Airline of the Year’ at the high profile UK Business Travel Awards 2014 recently held in London.
Qatar Airways’ new A319 Business Class seat will have one of the highest specifications for business class travel of any airline with wide seats that recline into fully flat beds and state of the art Oryx entertainment system (with more than 900 entertainment options – movies, television, video games and music).
Passengers can also remain in touch with their friends and loved ones on the ground through the SMS mobile texting GSM and GPRS service upon this aircraft, which is sure to reflect that of a VIP jet experience for those traveling between London and Doha.
Currently undergoing rapid expansion, Qatar Airways is one of the fastest growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. Now in its 17th year of operations, Qatar Airways has a modern fleet of 129 aircraft flying to 134 key business and leisure destinations across six continents.
Qatar Airways’ first venture into the all Business Class premium market will strengthen its position as one of the leading airlines in the global aviation industry.
As part of its aggressive expansion program, Qatar Airways will launch routes to eight new destinations during 2014: Sharjah (UAE) from March 1; Dubai World Central (UAE) from March 1; Philadelphia (USA) from April 2; Larnaca (Cyprus) from April 29; Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport (Turkey) from May 22; Edinburgh (Scotland) from May 28; Miami (USA) from June 10 and Dallas/Fort Worth (USA) from July 1.
The Doha – London Heathrow New Daily A319 All Business Class Flight Schedule (all times local)
Depart Doha QR015 at 14:50 hrs, arrives in London Heathrow 20:25 hrs
Depart London Heathrow QR016 at 21:55 hrs, arrives in Doha 06:40 hrs
Top Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. All others by Qatar Airways. Operated as an ACJ, Airbus A319-133 A7-CJA (man 1656) arrives in Zurich.
Ryanair (Dublin) will launch its first route to Russia starting on April 1. The Dublin-St. Petersburg (Pulkovo) will be operated three days a week per ShanghaiDaily.com. The ultra fare airline had planned to launched flights to both St. Petersburg and Moscow in March but it is being delayed to April 1.
Copyright Photo: Michael Kelly/AirlinersGallery.com. Ryanair’s Boeing 737-8AS EI-EBN (msn 35003) taxies at the Dublin home and base.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) today announced the selection of its Everett, Washington, site as the location for a new composite wing center for the 777X program. Boeing evaluated criteria that were designed to find the wing fabrication location that would best support the 777X business plan. The new composite wing center will be located north of the Everett factory and will sustain thousands of Puget Sound area jobs for years to come.
Boeing selected the Everett site for 777X final assembly following the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 751 approval of an eight-year contract extension earlier this year. As part of the contract extension, the company agreed to fabricate the parts for, and assemble, the 777X composite wings in the Puget Sound region. After studying several options, the company determined that the Everett site will meet its business needs for fabrication and assembly.
The new facility will support fabrication of the 777X composite wings and will be approximately 1 million square feet. Construction on the new facility is scheduled to begin later this year.
Assembly of the composite wings will also take place at the company’s Everett site, with the exact location to be determined in the months ahead.
The 777X builds on today’s passenger-preferred, market-leading 777 and offers more market coverage and revenue capability than the competition. First delivery is targeted for 2020.
Finnair (Helsinki) will begin operating nonstop scheduled flights between Helsinki and Miami, Florida once again. The new seasonal flight, operating from December 16, 2014 until March 21, 2015, will feature Airbus A340-300 aircraft in a two-class Business and Economy cabin configuration.
Flight AY 7 will leave Helsinki (HEL) on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:55 am (0955) for arrival in Miami (MIA) at 2:05 pm (1405). AY 8 departs Miami at 4:00 pm (1600). for arrival in Helsinki at 8:50 am (0850). the next day. The flight lasts approximately 11 hours outbound (HEL-MIA) while the return journey takes less than 10 hours (MIA-HEL). Starting from January 3, 2015, the service moves to three times weekly with an additional frequency on Saturdays.
The route between Helsinki and Miami International Airport will be included in the joint business on transatlantic traffic with oneworld alliance partners American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia. This gives customers the possibility to mix and match flights on the different carriers for the best pricing and scheduling options. For example, an itinerary could include a nonstop flight to Miami in one direction, but a connecting flight through New York, Madrid or London in the other, if the timing is more convenient. Finnair’s cooperation with the three other carriers also means that Miami is yet another gateway to dozens more North American destinations.
Finnair previously served Miami with seasonal flights utilizing Boeing 757-200s, McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30s and MD-11s.
Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A340-313X OH-LQG (msn 174) taxies at Frankfurt.
Hong Kong Airlines (Hong Kong) has announced it will launch a three-time weekly service between Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam.
From March 17, Hong Kong Airlines will deploy an all-economy class Airbus A320 aircraft on the route, which will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The new service to Ho Chi Minh City is complimented by the airlines’ daily flight to Hanoi, bringing it to a total of 10 weekly flights between Hong Kong and Vietnam.
The flight schedule for Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) is as follows:
Flight no. Route Departure/Arrival time* Frequency
HX 534 Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City 12:20/13:55 Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
HX 535 Ho Chi Minh City to Hong Kong 15:00/18:30 Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 B-LPB (msn 4970) lands at Tokyo (Narita).
*All local time
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) will launch a new route linking Stockholm (Arlanda) with Vilnius, Lithuania starting on May 8. The new route will be operated three days a week.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 737-300 is slowly being phased down, now to 10 aircraft. The pictured 737-3K2 LN-KKF (man 24326) displays Fridtjof Nansen on the tail.
Guest Editor Joel Chusid
Perennial First Class Ticket
It could happen anywhere, but out of China comes the story of a man who purchased a first class ticket on China Eastern Airlines and managed to use it to partake of the food and beverages in the VIP lounge at the Xi’an Airport – for nearly an entire year. In China, airport lounges are open to ticketed first and business class passengers and offer copious buffets including noodles, soup, dumplings, fruit, sweets and much more. After eating, he changed the date on his ticket and went home. He repeated this more than 300 times, not even taking a flight. Premium class tickets often have little or no penalty fees for changes, although it’s hard to believe someone could take this to such an extreme, but then again he might have just passed for a “very” frequent flyer. As tickets are valid for one year, when he tried to get a refund, one of the staff got suspicious and confronted him. Hard to believe it, but this loophole apparently didn’t break any rules.
Oops, Wrong Airport
Flights might land an airport other than the intended destination for a variety of relatively common reasons such as in unplanned medical, mechanical or weather situations. In airline lingo, this is called a “diversion”. A flight I was on from Burbank to DFW landed in Phoenix to deplane the woman sitting next to me who fainted; the flight then continued on. These are very routine events, and sometimes, if the diversion point is interesting enough, it becomes fodder for cocktail parties. A few days ago, a Delta flight from Amsterdam to Seattle landed in an airport (with a very long runway) serving the snowy hamlet of Iqaluit, Nunavut in far northern Canada due to a spoiler problem. The passengers were accommodated in the Royal Canadian Legion Cadet Hall, as the airport terminal was too small, until a replacement airplane arrived. My friend Kevin’s Delta flight from Tokyo to the US was diverted to Cold Bay, on one of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska where he and hundreds of his fellow passengers got to triple the population of the town, spending nine hours on the plane and in the Bearfoot Inn. Sometimes, however, these incidents can hardly be called routine. An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 777 was recently “hijacked” to Geneva by the co-pilot on a flight from Addis Ababa to Rome. Passengers thought the plane was landing in Milan due to Rome weather, but after the plane stopped, the crewmember escaped via a rope from the cockpit window and asked for asylum. This is indeed pretty unusual. What have also made the news of late are the landings in the wrong airports. Southwest’s Boeing 737 enroute from Chicago’s Midway Airport to Branson, Missouri recently landed at the M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport nearby, with a much shorter runway. Luckily no one was injured. A Boeing 747 jumbo jet with no passengers landed at a small airport near Wichita, Kansas just weeks before instead of a military airport in Wichita. The Associated Press reported that in the past twenty or so years, commercial airplanes have actually landed at the wrong US airport about 35 times. Statistically this is still extremely rare.
Safety Videos, Again
On a lighter note (but airlines do take safety seriously), airline instructional safety videos are once again in the news. On the heels of its holiday video, Delta introduced an 80’s “retro” video complete with big hair, Alf, Rubik’s Cube, Tab® and tacky fashions. See what you think here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eduNjwNvcH4. But hats, or actually clothes, off to Air New Zealand, who likes to push the envelope and has featured Betty White, Richard Simmons, hobbits and even flight attendants in uniforms painted on their bodies. The airline released its newest safety video entitled “Safety in Paradise” which features Sports Illustrated® models, briefly attired, filmed on the beautiful beaches of the Cook Islands, one of its destinations. The video was, of course, met with wide-eyed attention, but also naturally it had its critics. You decide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQDip9V49U0.
Free daily airline news from around the world: CLICK HERE
United Airlines (Chicago) will introduce the first Embraer 175 (ERJ 175) on two routes from its Chicago O’Hare hub in May.
United Express ERJ 175 inaugural flight will be launched on May 17 between Chicago (O’Hare) and Washington (Reagan National). Two days later, the new type will be introduced between Chicago (O’Hare) and Boston according to USA Today.
SkyWest, Inc. announced in May 2013 it had entered into a Capacity Purchase Agreement (CPA) with United Airlines, Inc. to operate 40 new Embraer 175 (ERJ 175) dual-class regional jet aircraft. The CPA with United has a term of 12 years and SkyWest will operate under terms and conditions similar to its existing agreements with United.
SkyWest has determined that these 40 regional jet aircraft will be operated by SkyWest Airlines, Inc. (St. George), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SkyWest. Under the agreement, it is anticipated that the 40 aircraft will be introduced into service in the second quarter of 2014, with deliveries continuing to mid-2015. The aircraft will be configured with 76-seats in dual-class.
SkyWest, Inc. also announced it has entered into an agreement with Embraer for the purchase of 100 new Embraer 175 dual-class regional jet aircraft. Of the 100 aircraft, 40 are considered firm deliveries and the remaining 60 aircraft are considered conditional until SkyWest enters into capacity purchase agreements with other major airlines to operate the aircraft. Deliveries for the 40 firm aircraft are anticipated to begin in the second quarter of 2014 and continue through mid 2015. The aircraft will be configured in 76 seats in dual-class. The agreement also includes options for an additional 100 ERJ 175 aircraft and would be valued at $8.3 billion if all 200 aircraft are ordered. The initial 40 firm aircraft outlined above will be operated by SkyWest Airlines, Inc.
Previously in April 2013 United Airlines announced an agreement to add 30 Embraer ERJ 175 regional jets to the United Express fleet. Under an agreement with Embraer, United will purchase the aircraft with deliveries in 2014 and 2015.
United also secured options for 40 additional aircraft.
The Embraer ERJ 175 is the first 76-seat regional jet aircraft in the United Express fleet. The aircraft will be configured with 12 United First, 16 Economy Plus and 48 United Economy seats. The design of the aircraft will result in more personal space for customers with wider seats and aisles than those on the 50-seat aircraft. The aircraft can accommodate standard carry-on bags, resulting in more convenience for customers.
As United inducts the new aircraft into the United Express fleet, the company will remove some of the older 50-seat regional jets in the fleet. The E175s will consume 10 percent less fuel per seat and will have less CO2 emissions per seat than the 50-seat aircraft they replace.
Image: United Airlines.
Qatar Airways (Doha) and F.C. Barcelona (Barcelona) have jointly introduced a newly repainted Boeing 777-300 ER in the colors of the well-known football (soccer) club.
Qatar Airways and F.C. Barcelona issued this statement on February 20, 2014:
Qatar Airways and F.C. Barcelona are taking their partnership to the skies as the airline introduces F.C. Barcelona’s livery for the first time on a Boeing 777. The aircraft, which features the distinctive Barça scarlet and blue, or ‘Blaugrana’ as it is known in Catalan, arrived at Doha International Airport from Bangkok this week.
Building on the concept of ‘a team that unites the world’, which was first introduced in the popular TV spot created to support the partnership, the design incorporates the colorful Barça flag draped across the fuselage of a Boeing 777.
The aircraft was sent to Dublin, Ireland, where it took a team one week to hand paint the custom-made design onto the aircraft. Using an airbrush the team produced a shading effect to help create the illusion of the Barça flag moving as the aircraft takes to the skies. Additional stenciling was used for the text as well as the football club’s crest which sits on the fuselage of the aircraft.
Qatar Airways first revealed renderings of this aircraft’s tailor-made design at a press conference in Barcelona last March.
The introduction of the F.C. Barcelona livery, alongside the Qatar Airways Oryx logo, further cements the airline’s commitment to the partnership, as well as their loyalty as Barça fans. Qatar Airways and F.C. Barcelona have been fostering a successful partnership since it officially commenced in July 2013.
“Our commitment to Barca goes beyond having our name on the team jerseys. We are truly fans of the team and genuinely believe that together we are ‘a team that unites the world’,” said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker. “We are very proud to showcase the FCB livery alongside the Qatar Airways Oryx on our aircraft. It is just one more way that we are able to demonstrate the strong partnership between our two organizations.”
In the nearly eight months since the partnership has been in effect, the airline has launched a hugely successful partnership campaign including the Land of FCB TV commercial that has garnered more than eight million views from fans all over the world; officially sponsored the FC Barcelona Asia Tour, and introduced unique tour and match packages for fans looking to visit Barcelona through Qatar Airways Holidays division.
Copyright Photo: Qatar Airways. Boeing 777-3DZ ER A7-BAE (msn 36104) is the aircraft selected for this new special color scheme.
Video “Around the World” TV commercial (in Italian):
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) has announced it will be expanding its ultra-low fare service at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) with the addition of year-round nonstop service to Orlando, Florida (MCO) and seasonal nonstop service to Seattle/Tacoma, Washington (SEA), beginning on June 13, 2014.
Frontier Airlines just launched a new service to Trenton-Mercer Airport in Ewing, New Jersey on February 13. Frontier also provides nonstop service to its main hub in Denver, Colorado as well as nonstop service to both Cancun and Punta Cana in partnership with Apple Vacations. In June, frequency of service from Cleveland to Denver will increase from five flights per week to 12 flights per week.
Following is the schedule for Frontier’s new Cleveland – Orlando service**:
June 13, 2014
Following is the schedule for Frontier’s new Cleveland – Seattle service**:
June 15, 2014
This new service from Cleveland will operate on 168-seat Airbus A320 aircraft.
*All transportation fees and taxes included.
In other news, Frontier Airlines has received approval for gate-to-gate personal electronic device use from the Federal Aviation Administration. Passengers flying with Frontier can now use personal electronic devices in “airplane mode” during all phases of flight.
Prior to the new policy, customers were required to turn off and stow all electronic devices during taxi, takeoff, landing and when the aircraft was below 10,000 feet. With the new policy, passengers flying with Frontier Airlines may utilize smart phones, tablets and other small electronic devices in airplane mode at any time during taxi, takeoff and during flight, unless otherwise instructed by a crew member. Laptops must continue to be stowed during taxi, takeoff and landing.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N220FR (msn 5661) with Sharklets approaches the runway at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport (LAS).
Emirates (Dubai) and Jetstar Airways (Melbourne) have announced an agreement which is set to open up new destinations for Emirates passengers across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia as the Dubai-based airline continues to connect people, places and passions.
Emirates’ code will now be placed on a number of routes operated by Jetstar Airways in Australia and New Zealand and Jetstar Asia, giving passengers access to 27 new routes and six new destinations such as Bali in Indonesia, Byron Bay in Australia, Dunedin in New Zealand and Siem Reap in Cambodia*.
From April 6, 2014, all Emirates’ passengers on Jetstar flights will receive boarding passes on check-in at their first international departure point for connecting international services.
The codeshare includes seven domestic routes in Australia to add to the 50 that Emirates already codeshares with cornerstone investor in the Jetstar Group, QANTAS Airways; four new routes in New Zealand, six new routes between Australian and New Zealand over the Tasman Sea and ten international routes out of Singapore to Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong.
*Subject to final regulatory approval.
Top Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Emirates’ Boeing 777-31H ER A6-ECV (msn 35594) touches down on the runway at New York’s JFK International Airport.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Christian Laugier/AirlinersGallery.com. Jetstar’s Airbus A321-231 VH-VWZ (msn 1195) taxies at the Gold Coast.
Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) flight ET 702 was hijacked today (February 17). The Addis Ababa to Rome flight with 202 passengers and crew members was apparently hijacked by the first officer seeking asylum in Switzerland.
Ethiopian Airlines co-pilot locked the captain out of the cockpit.
The pictured Boeing 767-3BG ER ET-AMF (man 30563) has safely landed in Geneva at 0600 (6 am) local time.
The hijacker was taken into custody.
The company issued this “diversion” statement:
Ethiopian Airlines flight 702, on scheduled service departing from Addis Ababa on February 17, 2014 at 00:30 (local time) and scheduled to arrive in Rome at 04:40 (local time), was forced to proceed to Geneva Airport. Accordingly, the flight has landed safely at Geneva Airport and all passengers and crew are safe at Geneva Airport.
The cause of the diversion of the flight is under investigation. Ethiopian Airlines has made all the necessary arrangements to ensure that its esteemed passengers are being properly handled while in Geneva and can proceed to their intended destinations, to Rome and Milan, at the earliest.
Ethiopian Airlines wishes to apologize to its esteemed customers for the inconvenience caused by this diversion.
Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE
Video (in Spanish):
Nepal Airlines (Kathmandu) de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter 9N-ABB (msn 302) has crashed today while operating flight RA 183 from Pokhara to Jumla, Nepal with 15 passengers and three crew members. The aircraft did not arrive at its planned destination. Burning wreckage has been located in the jungle near Khidim. There are no reports of survivors.
Read the full report from Kantipur.com: CLICK HERE
LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw) is allowing passengers to use their personal electronic devices (PED) on board LOT’s aircraft in flight mode beginning on February 17, 2014.
Passengers may keep these devices switched on throughout the journey including take-offs and landings. They may use all the functions on their phones, tablets, MP3 players or cameras, but without the use of the cellular signal (making calls or sending SMSes).
The use of PEDs on board LOT’s aircraft was driven by a decision of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) which stated the use of electronics on board planes does not affect aircraft operations provided the flight mode (non-transmitting mode) is switched on.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 SP-LRD (msn 35941) arrives at Toronto (Pearson).
Icelandair Group (Icelandair) (Keflavik) reported its financial results for 2013 (all dollar figures in US dollars):
- Profit before taxes amounted to $71.0 million, up by $13.6 million or 24% between years
- Income rose between years by 13.8%
- EBITDA in the fourth quarter amounted $6.8 million, up by $0.9 million between years
- The equity ratio at year-end 2013 was 42%, as compared to 39% at year-end 2012
- Net interest-bearing debts were reduced by $95.6 million over the year and were negative at year-end in the amount of $77.5 million
- The Board of Directors has proposed a dividend payment of ISK 2,150 million to shareholders in 2014, which corresponds ISK 0.43 per share.
Björgólfur Jóhannsson, President and CEO
“The Company’s performance in 2013 is good and considerably better than our budget projected in the beginning of the year. Profit before taxes amounted to $71.0 million, up by $13.6 million between years. Like recent years, last year was characterised by profitable organic growth, which is in line with our strategy. Capacity in our route network was increased by 16% from last year, and the number of passengers increased by 12%. The Company’s largest market in international flight services is the market between Europe and North-America, which has been the principal driving force of our growth in recent years. The tourist market to Iceland has also shown significant growth, and the demand for domestic tourist services has increased rapidly. Concurrently with this expansion, companies within Icelandair Group have found opportunities for profitable growth.
The rapid growth of recent years has tested the Company’s infrastructure, which is now stronger than ever before. The main reasons for the good performance of the year include favourable external conditions, increase in tourism in Iceland and last but not the least our strong team of employees which are a very important factor in what we have achieved. It is always satisfying when things are going well, but there is no room for complacency. There are various challenges ahead that we need to address. The principal challenge is the increasing competition, and in addition our contracts with some of our classes of employees have expired, which creates some uncertainty. Nevertheless, the Company’s business model has proven sound, our finances are solid and our cash position is strong. Icelandair Group is therefore well positioned to take on the future. The Company’s budget for 2014 projects EBITDA at $145-150 million.”
Trip Report on Icelandair by the Sydney Morning Herald on a London-Halifax trip: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-208 TF-FIJ (msn 25085) lands in Stockholm (Arlanda).
Silver Airways (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has made the important decision to drop the Cleveland hub following United Airlines’ (Chicago) decision to phase down and de-hub Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The regional carrier has also made the decision to phase out and retire the remaining Beech 1900Ds and concentrate its fleet around the SAAB 340B.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Beech 1900D N47542 (msn UE-198) in United Express colors taxies to runway 9L at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
The company issued this statement:
As part of its plan to strengthen operations, simplify its fleet, increase revenue, reduce costs, and better position the airline for future growth and new markets, Silver Airways has announced plans to exit operations in its Cleveland network and retrain or redeploy its pilots, mechanics, and airport team members to operate its core SAAB 340B Plus fleet to its key markets.
Silver provided the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) with the required 90-day notice of its intent to discontinue scheduled service between Cleveland and five communities no later than May 15, 2014, including Jamestown, New York (JHW); Bradford, Pennsylvania (BFD); DuBois, Pennsylvania (DUJ); Franklin, Pennsylvania (FKL); and Parkersburg, West Virginia (PKB).
Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) and the Teamsters Airline Division have announced they have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract. The more than 2,200 pilots of Republic are represented by Teamsters Local 357 in Plainfield, Indiana and fly for the Republic’s subsidiaries, namely Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines (2nd) and Shuttle America.
The tentative agreement includes increases in pay that will place Republic pilots at or near the top of its regional airline peers. It also includes improvements in work rules, quality of life enhancements and more flexibility in scheduling as well as a significant signing bonus if ratified.
Bryan Bedford, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Republic Airways offered comment in a press release today.
“At a time when many of our competitors are moving in the opposite direction on pilot compensation, we are thrilled that Republic is able to significantly improve the wages and benefits of the more than 2,200 women and men who safely fly more than 1,300 daily scheduled flights for our major airline partners,” Bedford said.
“This TA reflects the dedication and hard work of the union and the company’s negotiating committees,” said Republic Airways Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Wayne Heller. “We thank the union representatives for their professionalism and commitment in reaching this agreement.”
The agreement will be presented to union members for review and a formal ratification vote, which is expected in March.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Shuttle America’s Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N202JQ (msn 17000240) operating as a Delta Connection carrier taxies at Boston’s Logan International Airport.
Alaska Airlines‘ (Seattle/Tacoma) flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), have voted down a tentative agreement with management.
According to the union, “negotiations began two years ago and, in May 2013, AFA filed for mediation with the National Mediation Board. During negotiations, Alaska Airlines earned record-breaking profits and continued to earn top awards and accolades for customer satisfaction with the assistance of the Flight Attendants. Next, AFA will re-survey the over 3,100 Flight Attendants to determine their top priorities. The National Mediation Board retains oversight of future negotiations.”
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 N323AS (msn 30021) taxies to the active runway at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport base and hub.
Air Canada rouge (Toronto) will begin flying nonstop flights between Montreal (Trudeau) and Orlando starting on February 15 with two daily departures from Montreal. Service will be year round and represents a 30 percent capacity increase this summer compared to Air Canada service last year. Air Canada rouge offers more flights between Montreal and Orlando than any other carrier. With the launch of the increased Montreal service, there is more Air Canada/Air Canada rouge nonstop service between Canada and Orlando than any other carrier, with Air Canada flights from Halifax and Ottawa and Air Canada rouge flights from Toronto and Montreal.
Flights between Montreal and Orlando will be operated with Airbus A319 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 C-GSJB (msn 1673) waits for the next flight at the Toronto (Pearson) hub.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today will pay its employees more than a half-billion dollars in earned profit sharing – the highest payout in company history – in recognition for their industry-leading performance in 2013. Employees’ individual payouts will equal 8.26 percent of their eligible 2013 earnings.
Along with base pay, Delta provides employees with additional compensation elements like profit sharing, designed to allow employees to earn more when the company performs well. Additionally, Delta employees can earn monthly bonuses for meeting corporate operational goals throughout the year, known as Shared Rewards.
In 2013, Delta employees help achieve the corporate financial and operational goals earning $91.7 millionin Shared Rewards, which, combined with profit sharing, totals $598 million in bonus performance pay for the year. Delta has paid out nearly $1.7 billion in profit sharing and Shared Rewards during the past four years.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new Boeing 737-932 ER N812DN (msn 31923) arrives in Los Angeles.
Malawian Airlines (Lilongwe, Malawi) introduced Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) turboprop service on January 31 between Lilongwe and Blantyre. Malawian Airlines launched domestic and international flights with a dual-class DHC-8-402 (Q400) (ET-AQB, man 4419) leased from co-owner Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa).
The domestic route was extended internationally to Harare, Zimbabwe on February 3 with ET-AQB.
The new airline is also planning to add a Boeing 737-800.
Founded in July 2013, Malawian Airlines is a public-private partnership between the Government of Malawi, Ethiopian Airlines and Malawian institutional and individual investors.
Read the full report from Nyasa Times: CLICK HERE
Ethiopian Airlines later issued this statement:
Ethiopian Airlines is pleased to announce that its strategic partner for the southern Africa region, Malawian Airlines, has launched its first international flight to Johannesburg on February 17, 2014.
Malawian will operate daily from Lilongwe to Johannesburg, with a stopover in Blantyre, with a brand new Boeing 737-800 with Sky Interior and a 154 seat capacity configured in two classes, Business and Economy.
As part of its strategy to set up multiple hubs in Africa in line with its 15 year strategic roadmap, Vision 2025, Ethiopian has partnered with the Malawian Government and private interests in the country to establish Malawian Airlines in Lilongwe. Ethiopian has 49% equity stake as well as the technical and management contract for the new airline. Lilongwe is now the 3rd hub of Ethiopian for Southern Africa region, after Lomé, which has been serving for the last 4 years as a hub for the West African region thru a partnership with ASKY Airlines.
WestJet (Calgary) has announced it has signed a multi-year agreement with Panasonic Avionics Corporation to provide the airline with a new inflight entertainment system with the ability to feature wireless satellite internet connectivity, live streaming television, on-demand movies, magazines and more.
Guests will be able to use their own personal electronic device (PED) or laptop computer to receive live and stored content streamed wirelessly from a server on board each WestJet Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. Tablets will be available for those guests not travelling with a device.
WestJet will also install USB/110 volt power outlets in new, slimmer seats on its aircraft to enable guests to charge their devices or keep them charged while using the entertainment system. And, with a mix of free and paid content, the new system offers the airline additional ancillary revenue opportunities.
There are currently 275 airlines around the world using a Panasonic inflight entertainment system. Panasonic will install the system on one WestJet Boeing Next Generation aircraft before the end of 2014 at which time the airline will perform tests to fine-tune the system. When installed on WestJet’s fleet over the next several years, guests will be able to access live television, movies, magazines and the internet throughout North America, the Caribbean and Central America, Europe, as well as future WestJet destinations.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8CT C-GWSV (msn 37158) arrives at Las Vegas.
Cargolux Airlines International (Luxembourg) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) have announced an order for an additional 747-8 Freighter. The order, valued at $357.5 million at list prices, is the 14th 747-8 Freighter the cargo carrier has ordered from Boeing.
“The Cargolux Board of Directors approved the order of our 14th 747-8 Freighter almost 35 years to the day that the airline took delivery of its first 747 Freighter ever,” said Richard Forson, interim president and CEO of Cargolux. “This shows how pleased we, as an all-747 cargo operator, are with the performance and economics of this new generation aircraft and underlines the importance of the role of the 747 overall in the success of our company.”
Cargolux was the world’s first operator of the 747-8 Freighter, taking its first delivery of the airplane type in October 2011. Since then, the airline has taken a total of nine 747-8 Freighters, providing the carrier with increased cargo capacity coupled with excellent economic performance. With today’s announcement, Cargolux has a total of five unfilled orders for 747-8 Freighters.
As well as being one of the launch customers for the 747-8 Freighter, Cargolux also took delivery of the first ever 747-400 Freighter in November 1993. The all-Boeing carrier has a fleet comprised entirely of 747-400 Freighters and 747-8 Freighters.
Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-8R7F LX-VCD (msn 35809) taxies at Munich.
Iberia (Madrid) and the International Airlines Group (IAG) (London) have issued this statement about a break through agreement with its pilots, represented by SEPLA:
International Airlines Group (IAG) announces today (February 13) that Iberia has reached agreement in principle with its pilots’ union, SEPLA, to introduce permanent structural change and improve the airline’s viability. It also heralds a new positive working relationship between Iberia and SEPLA after years of conflict.
This landmark agreement provides a strong foundation to put Iberia on the path towards sustainable profitable growth – the more positive of the two scenarios outlined at IAG’s Capital Markets Day in November 2013. It will also enable Iberia to become more competitive and reduce its cost base.
The main impacts of the agreement are:
· Fundamental productivity improvements within Iberia.
· Salaries to remain frozen until 2015 as outlined in the Mediation Agreement. After that date, increases will be subject to the airline’s profitability.
· The Mediation Agreement provided a 14 per cent salary reduction for pilots and an additional 4 per cent cut linked to the productivity agreement. With these productivity improvements, the 4 per cent will be returned.
· Facilitates the growth of Iberia and Iberia Express.
Luis Gallego, Iberia’s executive chairman, said: “I would like to thank the efforts made by SEPLA, the pilots and Iberia’s management team who worked together to reach this agreement. This groundbreaking deal reduces the cost structure and provides the foundation for the airline to grow profitably. A strong and profitable Iberia can protect jobs in the long term and boost tourism which is a key driver in Barajas and Spain’s economic recovery.
“Iberia is the natural airline choice for Latin America and this agreement will enable it to be a formidable competitor and build on its new brand, providing customers with great service and an extensive network.
“This agreement also enables the growth of Iberia Express with a competitive cost base and provides promotion opportunities for current Iberia and Iberia Express first officers. Iberia Express will help make Iberia profitable and stronger, by providing short haul feed, and will provide Spanish competition to low cost carriers”.
Willie Walsh, IAG’s chief executive said: “‘Luis Gallego, his team and SEPLA deserve congratulations for striking a bold deal that will mark the turning point in Iberia’s future. Luis has deservedly won the respect of the industry, his colleagues and the trade unions. Permanent structural change was the only way to save Iberia from slow decline. This agreement marks the beginning of its future”.
This agreement in principle is subject to the approval of SEPLA’s general assembly.
Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. Iberia wanted labor peace with its pilots before it unveiled this livery. It went ahead anyway and now it has the labor peace, at lease for now with the pilots. New Airbus A330-302 F-WWKA (man 1437) became EC-LYF on delivery on November 13, 2013. It is named “Juan Carlos I”.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian Long Haul) (Norwegian Air International) (Norwegian.com) has issued this statement concerning the issuance of an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) from the state of Ireland for subsidiary Norwegian Air International Limited (Dublin) on February 12. Norwegian’s long haul Boeing 787s operations will be transferred to this new subsidiary.
Norwegian issued this statement (translated from Norwegian):
Irish authorities have awarded Norwegian Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and license to Norwegian’s wholly owned subsidiaries Norwegian Air International Limited, which has its administration in Dublin.
The operation of the Norwegian’s long-haul routes will, with the new permit will be transferred to Norwegian Air International Limited (NAI). The airline has established management and essential government functions in Dublin and is ready to operate under the Irish Aviation Authority.
There are several reasons why the Norwegian has established long-distance company in Dublin. The main reason is the availability of future traffic rights to and from the EU. Norwegian has an order for over 260 new aircraft and plans to launch several new routes to and from Europe. Norwegian Air International’s establishment in Ireland does not affect the export guarantees attached to the company’s financing. Besides that Ireland has an aviation authority of good repute, the country is also a sort of hub for the airline industry – including all major leasing companies such as Norwegian partners with offices in Dublin.
The choice of Ireland, not because the country has specific rules that allow American or Asian crews, with both politicians and unions have claimed. In fact, Norwegian could have based its long-distance company in any other European country and yet used American and Asian crews, as several other European airlines have done for years. The only exceptions are Norway and to some extent Denmark who have chosen to retain outdated rules regarding this.
Transfer of new AOC
The transfer of the first Dreamliner plane to the new EU AOC: one implemented on February 12 and was done in conjunction with scheduled maintenance. The remaining aircraft will be transferred. U.S. transport authorities will now consider its application for traffic rights asserted
Norwegian’s long-haul flights to and from the United States. This is regulated under the Open Skies agreement between the U.S. and the EU, which means that an operator from any party that meets the conditions, shall be entitled to operate under this agreement. It granted the operating license and the license in Ireland means that Norwegian meets all the necessary requirements.
Competitors and unions have made a number of false accusations against both Norwegian and Ireland. This is despite the EU’s transport authorities, Irish and Norwegian regulators have repeatedly disproved it. Norwegian expects the approval of the application of the United States in compliance with the Open Skies Agreement as Norwegian has the same rights as before when the aircraft were moved from Norway to the EU.
In other news, Norwegian has contracted for four Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners for delivery in 2017 and 2018. With the new agreement, Norwegian’s 787 fleet will increase to 14 aircraft.
The four aircraft will be leased from International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC). The new aircraft will be in service in 2017 and 2018.
Norwegian has three Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners in the current fleet and five more on order. Further, the company has already signed an agreement for two Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners with deliveries in the first quarter of 2016. In total, Norwegian will have a fleet of 14 long-haul 787 aircraft, with four to be delivered in 2014, one in 2015, two in 2016, two in 2017 and two in 2018.
This larger Dreamliner model accommodates more passengers and is more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly than the 787-8 model. Boeing has already made a series of test flights and the aircraft type will be in commercial operation later in 2014. The agreement has been signed with the International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC).
Finally, Norwegian announced an annual profit before tax of 437 million Norwegian kroner (NOK) ($71.6 million). For the fourth quarter, Norwegian reported a profit of 283 million kroner.
2013 is the seventh year in a row that Norwegian has reported a profit.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian Long Haul’s (now Norwegian Air International) Boeing 787-8 EI-LNA (man 35304) arrives in London (Heathrow).
US-Bangla Airlines Ltd. (Dhaka) has acquired two previously owned Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) turboprop aircraft from a third party. The new airline is scheduled to commence domestic operations in April 2014.
The new airline describes itself on its website:
US-Bangla Airlines Ltd is one of the sister concerns of US-Bangla Group. The company was registered in the year 2010 and has received NOC from the CAAB. March 26, 2014 is the tentative date of the start of operations with its two Bombardier DHC-8-402s (Q400s).
US-Bangla Airlines Ltd is planning to meet the growing demand of both the domestic and international airline passengers at the affordable fares and aims to become the leading, most preferred model airline of Asia by providing safe and excellent air transportation services.
In the first phase, we would like to serve domestic routes with Canadian made DHC-8-400 twin-engine (76-seat) medium-haul turbo-prop aircraft. It is the best turbo-prop aircraft of its world class services and with unparallel performances which flies at jet speed. After consolidating in domestic market, in the second phase, we plan to serve regional routes with the Q400: Kolkata, Chennai, Kathmandu, Yangon, Colombo, Bangkok etc. In third phase, we plan to operate in international routes-direct flights with wide-body long-haul aircrafts, Airbuses and Boeings .
The Airlines is being managed by a team of highly professional and dedicated personnel who are fully committed to a safe and on-time air transportation of our valued passengers.
Top Image: Bombardier (all others by the airline).
Planned Initial Domestic Routes in Bangladesh:
Aerolíneas Argentinas (Buenos Aires) has signed a purchase agreement for four Airbus A330-200s to renew and consolidate their widebody fleet. Aerolíneas Argentinas will announce the engine selection at a later date.
Argentina’s flagship carrier will deploy the new A330 aircraft for medium and long haul routes from their Buenos Aires hub to destinations throughout Latin America, Europe and the United States. The airline currently operates eight Airbus A340-300s (above), four A340-200s and four A330-200s.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The new Airbus A330-200s will help replace the older aging Airbus A340-200s and A340-300s. A340-313X LV-CSF (man 128) lands on runway 27 at Miami International Airport.
Air Costa (Vijayawada) has signed a definitive agreement with Embraer for a firm order for 50 E-Jets E2s with an additional 50 purchase rights. The acquisition is a mix of 25 E190-E2s and 25 E195-E2s and has an estimated value of $2.94 billion based on 2014 list prices. The purchase rights are for an additional 25 E190-E2s and 25 E195-E2s, bringing the total potential order to up to 100 aircraft and can reach $5.88 billion if all are exercised. This transaction raises the total E-Jets E2 orders to 200 firm and 200 options/purchase rights since the launch of the E2 program, in June 2013.
Air Costa has become the first customer of E-Jet E2s in the Indian market and will take delivery of the E190-E2 in 2018. The E195-E2 is scheduled to enter service in 2019. Today, the airline flies four E-Jets: two E170s and two E190s.
Air Costa is currently connecting cities in southern India such as Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Vijayawada, as well as key secondary cities in the North and Northwest of the country. The airline plans to link underserved markets with more direct flights, increasing frequencies and routes, thus serving growing metropolitan areas, as well as key secondary and tertiary business centers.
Air Costa’s E2s will feature new-design cabins with an even higher standard of comfort and more personal space. The E190-E2 will be configured with 98 seats in dual class layout, with six seats in first class, and the E195-E2 with 118 seats, with 12 seats in the first class.
AeroMexico (Mexico City) has announced new service between Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro with four nonstop flights per week starting on June 29.
Rio de Janeiro thus becomes the second destination AeroMexico serves in Brazil and its 13th destination in Latin America.
The AeroMexico flight schedules to this Brazilian city are:
Mexico City – Rio de Janeiro*
|AM 024||6:40 p.m.||06:20 a.m.||Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday|
Rio de Janeiro – Mexico City*
|AM 025||7:55 a.m.||5:05 p.m.||Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday|
* Times published are local to each country and are subject to changes without notice.
Flights between the two cities will be operated with Boeing 767 airplanes configured with 171 seats, 30 in the front Clase Premier cabin.
Copyright Photo: Terry Wade/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-25D ER XA-EAP (msn 24734) completes its final approach into London (Heathrow).
Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has announced several new routes starting just in time for the peak summer travel season. Joining the list is new nonstop seasonal service between Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW). This new service will consist of one daily seasonal nonstop flight operating between May 22, 2014 and November 1, 2014.
Spirit recently announced seasonal service operating May 22, 2014 through November 1, 2014 from Chicago/O’Hare (ORD) to Baltimore/Washington, DC (BWI) and Portland, OR (PDX); operating May 1, 2014 through November 1, 2014 from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Baltimore/Washington, DC (BWI) and Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH); and daily year-round nonstop service between Chicago/O’Hare and Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area beginning May 1, 2014.
|Spirit’s Chicago/O’Hare (ORD) – Baltimore/Washington (BWI) service May 22, 2014 – November 1, 2014:|
|Chicago/O’Hare – Baltimore/Washington||8:00 AM||10:50 AM||368||0||Daily|
|Baltimore – Chicago/O’Hare||8:55 PM||9:56 PM||369||0||Daily|
|Spirit’s Chicago/O’Hare (ORD) – Portland, OR (PDX) service May 22, 2014 – November 1, 2014:|
|Chicago/O’Hare – Portland||8:45 PM||11:25 PM||655||0||Daily|
|Portland – Chicago/O’Hare||12:10 AM||6:00 AM||654*||0||Daily|
|* = Effective May 23, 2014|
|Spirit’s Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) – Houston (IAH) service May 1, 2014 – November 1, 2014:|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul - Houston||6:56 PM||9:49 PM||281**||0||Daily|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul - Houston||8:16 PM||11:08 PM||281***||0||Daily|
|Houston – Minneapolis-St. Paul||6:00 AM||8:44 AM||346**||0||Daily|
|Houston – Minneapolis-St. Paul||7:00 AM||9:44 AM||346***||0||Daily|
|Spirit’s Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) – Baltimore/Washington (BWI) service May 1, 2014 – November 1, 2014:|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul - Baltimore/Washington||9:27 AM||12:57 PM||106**||0||Daily|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul - Baltimore/Washington||4:45 PM||8:15 PM||106***||0||Daily|
|Baltimore – Minneapolis-St. Paul||12:05 PM||1:47 PM||105***||0||Daily|
|Baltimore – Minneapolis-St. Paul||1:36 PM||3:19 PM||105**||0||Daily|
|** = Effective May 1, 2014 – May 21, 2014 only|
|*** = Effective May 22, 2014|
|Spirit’s Oakland (OAK) – Chicago/O’Hare (ORD) service beginning May 1, 2014:|
|Oakland – Chicago/O’Hare||9:10 AM||3:18 PM||872||0||Daily|
|Chicago/O’Hare – Oakland||3:20 PM||5:55 PM||209||0||Daily|
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N618NK (msn 5458) taxies to runway 9L at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). The new logo jet is part of Spirit’s new advertising program to enhance revenues. N618NK is a partnership ad that promotes Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). The pictured left side has “Greetings from Dallas” showing scenes from Dallas. The other side has “Greetings from Fort Worth”.
Recommended Book: Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines by Jack El-Hai (available via the new World Airline News Store on Amazon.com – processed and shipped by Amazon.com):
SkyWest, Inc. reports lower fourth quarter net profit of $8.6 million and a higher net profit of $59 million for 2013
SkyWest, Inc. (SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines) (St. George, Utah) reported net income of $8.6 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2013, compared to net income of $13.9 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, for the same period last year.
SkyWest also reported net income of $59.0 million, or $1.12 per diluted share, for the twelve months ended December 31, 2013, compared to $51.2 million, or $0.99 per diluted share, for the same period last year.
For each of the quarters ended March, June and September of 2013, SkyWest reported improved financial results, on a year-over-year basis, in achieving increases in its fully-diluted earnings per share. However, SkyWest experienced a decline in its financial results for the quarter ended December 31, 2013 compared to its financial results for the quarter ended December 31, 2012. During the quarter ended December 31, 2013, compared to the quarter ended December 31, 2012, SkyWest experienced increased crew training costs as a result of new regulations regarding pilots (FAR 117) that became effective January 4, 2014 of approximately $3.0 million pretax. SkyWest also experienced increased maintenance costs of approximately $5.0 million, pretax, due primarily to performing additional C-checks related to used aircraft that were added to SkyWest’s fleet during 2013. Additionally during the quarter ended December 31, 2013, SkyWest incurred approximately $3.0 million, pretax, of costs associated with advanced pilot training and efforts to become certified to operate the new Embraer 175 regional jets scheduled for deliveries beginning in March 2014.
For the quarter ended December 31, 2013, SkyWest generated increased operating revenues (net of fuel, certain engine overhaul, landing fee and station pass-through revenues under SkyWest’s contracts with its major partners), of approximately $23.0 million, or 3.7%, compared to the quarter ended December 31, 2012, primarily due to additional block hour production of 2.8% and scheduled rate escalations. The increased operating revenues were offset by increased costs in several areas that resulted in a reduced amount of operating and pre-tax income for the quarter ended December 31, 2013 compared to the quarter ended December 31, 2012.
Following are selected statistics and information from the quarter ended December 31, 2013, compared to the quarter ended December 31, 2012:
- Pre-tax income declined to $15.1 million, compared to $25.6 million
- Fully-diluted EPS declined to $0.17, compared to $0.27
- Increased block hour production 2.8% to 584,594 block hours, compared to 568,808 block hours
- Increased operating revenues by approximately $23.0 million (net of fuel, certain engine overhaul, landing fees and station pass-through revenues) primarily related to rate escalations under SkyWest’s agreements with its major partners and increased block hour production
- Increased total aircraft fleet to 757 aircraft as of December 31, 2013, compared to 744 aircraft as ofDecember 31, 2012
Commenting on the results, Jerry C. Atkin, SkyWest’s Chairman and CEO, said, “The decrease in our earnings in the fourth quarter is primarily due to advance preparations for the implementation of FAR 117, the new flight and duty time regulations, and aging maintenance costs on the 50-seat aircraft. We also invested in our future by beginning certification work on the Embraer 175 aircraft that are scheduled for delivery beginning in the first quarter of 2014.”
Financial and Operating Results
Operating revenues totaled $804.4 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2013, compared to $810.7 million for the same period last year or a decrease of $6.3 million. The decrease was due primarily to the reduction of approximately $29.2 million in fuel expenses, certain engine overhaul amounts, landing fees and station costs which were directly reimbursed by SkyWest’s major partners and recorded as operating revenues. However, this reduction was mostly offset by recording $23.0 million in additional operating revenues, primarily resulting from rate escalations under SkyWest’s agreements with its major partners and a 2.8% increase in total block hours for the quarter ended December 31, 2013, compared to the quarter ended December 31, 2012.
Total airline expenses (consisting of total operating and interest expenses) increased $4.0 million, or 0.5%, during the quarter ended December 31, 2013, compared to the same period in 2012. However, after deducting pass-through costs for fuel, certain engine overhaul expenses landing fees and station costs from total operating cost and interest expenses, the remaining total airline expenses increased $33.4 million. Management estimates that approximately $16.9 million of the increase was due primarily to the 2.8% increase in block hour production and approximately $16.4 million was primarily due to additional maintenance costs, cost increases resulting from new pilot regulations (FAR 117) and costs incurred from certifying a new E175 aircraft type.
Under certain of its agreements with its major partners, SkyWest recognizes revenue at fixed hourly rates for mature engine maintenance on regional jet engines and recognizes engine maintenance expense on its CRJ200 regional jet engines on an as-incurred basis as maintenance expense. During the quarter ended December 31, 2013, CRJ200 engine expense under these agreements decreased $1.0 million to$9.6 million, compared to $10.6 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, primarily as a result of decreased engine overhaul expense due to the timing of scheduled engine maintenance events. SkyWest was reimbursed approximately $12.7 million and $10.3 million for engine overhaul expense, under its agreements with its major partners, during the quarters ended December 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively.
At December 31, 2013, SkyWest had $670.1 million in cash and marketable securities, compared to$709.4 million as of December 31, 2012. Cash and marketable securities decreased $39.3 million during the quarter ended December 31, 2013 compared to the balance as of December 31, 2012, due primarily to SkyWest’s payment of $40.0 million (total amount required under agreement) related to deposits on its new order for E175 regional jet aircraft. SkyWest’s long-term debt was $1.29 billion as of December 31, 2013, compared to $1.47 billion as of December 31, 2012. The decrease in long-term debt for the twelve-months ended December 31, 2013 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 5.8% discount rate, the present value of these lease obligations was approximately $1.5 billion as of December 31, 2013.
On May 21, 2013, SkyWest announced it had entered into a Capacity Purchase Agreement (CPA) with United Airlines, Inc. to operate 40 new Embraer 175 dual-class regional jet aircraft. The CPA is for 12 years and the new aircraft will be operated by SkyWest’s wholly-owned subsidiary, SkyWest Airlines, Inc. (St. George). Deliveries for these aircraft are scheduled to begin in March 2014 and continue through July 2015.
Additionally, on May 21, 2013 SkyWest announced it reached an agreement with Embraer S.A. for the purchase of 100 new E175 dual-class regional jet aircraft, 40 of which are considered firm orders and the remaining 60 aircraft remain conditional upon SkyWest entering into capacity purchase agreements with other major airlines. SkyWest intends to place the 40 new E175 aircraft into service under the terms of the United CPA discussed above.
On June 17, 2013, SkyWest and Embraer jointly announced an aircraft purchase agreement covering 100 E175-E2 dual-class regional jet aircraft and an option to purchase an additional 100 of the same aircraft. Deliveries for these E2 aircraft are tentatively planned to start in 2020.
During 2012, SkyWest announced the award of 34 additional dual-class aircraft and the removal of 66 CRJ200 aircraft under its Delta Connection Agreements with Delta Airlines, Inc. (Atlanta). As of May 2013, all 34 of these additional dual-class aircraft had been delivered. As of December 31, 2013 SkyWest had removed 33 (22 placed in contract with another major partner and 11 removed from SkyWest’s fleet) of the 66 CRJ200 aircraft from service and currently anticipates removing another 29 CRJ200 aircraft during 2014. SkyWest believes the remaining four CRJ200 aircraft will be removed from its fleet in early 2015. Additionally, 41 of the 66 CRJ200 aircraft have been financed by Delta and will be returned to Delta with no further obligation by SkyWest.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Even though SkyWest is shrinking its Bombardier CRJ200 fleet, it was fortunate to place some of the grounded CRJ200s with American Airlines as an American Eagle carrier. SkyWest’s Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N864AS (msn 7502) departs the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.