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Jet Airways reports a $59 million loss for its fiscal first quarter, Etihad Airways’ purchase of 24% of the shares approved

Jet Airways (Mumbai) reported a $59 million loss in its fiscal first quarter. This is the second quarterly loss for the carrier. Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) has secured regulatory approval to a 24 percent share of the carrier for $379 million.

Etihad Airways is on a buying spree to acquire minority shares of smaller carriers to code-share with and also to increase traffic for both carriers.

Read the full financial report: CLICK HERE

Read the Chairman’s Speech: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-302 VTY-JWT (msn 1370) departs from Toronto (Pearson).

Jet Airways: AG Slide Show

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American Airlines to add new service to Cozumel and Roatan

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) is planning to add weekly flights between its DFW hub and Roatan, Honduras starting on November 23, 2013 per Airline Route. Roatan Island is famous as an diving destination off the northern coast of Honduras in the Bay Islands.

In addition, American will also add Miami-Cozumel service commencing on November 21. The route will be operated five days a week.

Both routes will be operated with Boeing 737-800s.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-823 WL N922NN (msn 29523) approaches the runway at Toronto (Pearson).

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

ANA is planning to retire the last Boeing 747 on March 29, 2014

ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) is planning to retire the last Boeing 747-400 on March 29, 2014. The last route is tentatively schedule as a flight between Naha, Okinawa and Tokyo (Haneda) per Airline Route.

The airline is currently operating five domestic models on domestic routes in Japan.

ANA added its first Boeing 747SR-81 (JA8133) (above) on December 20, 1978 for its high-density domestic routes. ANA also added its first Boeing 747-281B (JA8174) (below) on June 25, 1986.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747SR-81 JA8145 (msn 22291) taxies at the Haneda Airport hub.

ANA: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-281B JA8181 (msn 23698) joined the ANA fleet on December 22, 1986 and migrated to NCA on May 26, 1999 as a freighter.

Finnair looks back at its historic flight 005 to New York

Finnair (Helsinki) added its first long-haul international route on May 15, 1968 from Helsinki to New York (JFK) via stops in Copenhagen and Amsterdam. The new route was opened with new Douglas DC-8-62CFs, the first having arrived in Helsinki on February 8, 1968.

Tomi Tervo on the Finnair Blog looks back at this pioneering route for the carrier:

takeoff

You always get that extra little buzz when it says ‘AY 005’ on the flight preparation papers. One long-haul flight out of many, but for us it’s the oldest and most traditional one. Finnair’s first long-haul destination was New York, and the route ran via Copenhagen and Amsterdam on a DC-8 aircraft. Pilots, at least, remember Charles Lindbergh crossing the Atlantic 86 years ago as a milepost in aviation history. For the pilot, crossing the Atlantic no longer means bearings twirled with a plotter as messy lines on a route map, or rough navigation with tops and hyperbolae of positions, cigarette stubs in the ashtray next to three weatherworn aviator hats. Nowadays, the route is operated with an Airbus 330, with modern equipment to enable a safe crossing of the ocean with two pilots, without navigators or aviation engineers. However, there still is something special about it from the viewpoint of the pilot.

The route to New York isn’t run of the mill. The flight planners choose the route according to favourable large air currents. Sometimes we fly from the south from above Northern Scotland. This time the route runs from above Iceland and over Greenland. Unlike on the continent, when flying above the ocean we are off the radar and beyond the reach of air traffic control’s monitoring. In addition, there are no radio transmitters in the middle of the ocean so there is no undisturbed, continuous speech connection to air traffic control. The third thing to pay attention to is the shortage of alternate airports. The pilots should always have their eye on the nearest alternate airport along the route that is located no less than two (sometimes three) hours away from the plane. On this flight, the alternate airports are Keflavik and Goose Bay. The Greenland terrain is high and mountainous. When flying above it, the pilots revise the special procedures in case a malfunction is detected in one of the engines or pressurisation and altitude has to be decreased.

greenland

Even when above the ocean, the navigation is done normally using GPS (i.e. satellite navigation). However, the waypoints are latitude-longitude coordinates, unlike anywhere else, and there are no earth stations or beacons for a backup. Instead of the magnetic north, the direction reference is the fixed geometric location of the North Pole. ‘Finnair five, cleared to New York via 65N000W, 66N010W, 67N020W….’ reads the air traffic controller for us close to the western coast of Norway. As there is no radar monitoring by air traffic control, the spacing out between the aircrafts is based on following the provided route clearances and speeds with pinpoint accuracy. After receiving the clearance, both pilots carefully cross-check the directions and nautical miles, and that they tally with the aircraft’s navigation equipment. After that, it’s ‘Have a good flight!’ Bit by bit, the voice of the air traffic controller fades beyond the reach of the VHF radios. A little bit of Charles Lindbergh in us starts to stir.

Over the Atlantic, there is a text-based messaging system with satellite connection to air traffic control. But the system is quite new and not entirely without its problems. That is why the progress of the planes is still tracked by radio operators using almost one hundred-year-old HF radio technology. The HF signal bounces between the ocean and the layers of the atmosphere far beyond the horizon, and its range is in theory thousands of miles. But at the same time, the connection is prone to the changes in the day and the sunspot rhythm. There are a lot of noise, scratching sounds and breaks in the connection. ‘Iceland radio, Iceland radio, Finnair 5, position 65N030W at 1810, request SELCAL on DM-BF…’

‘Finnair 5, on boundary…ccchhccccssshhhh… Gander on frequency… eight.. cchhcssh.. niner one….’

(You can listen to the HF radio communications live from this link. Can you make out what they’re saying?)

map

A new continent. The east coast of Canada, Newfoundland and the vast wilderness. The feeling of already reaching your destination when there are still around three hours to go. Moncton, Bangor, Boston. More and more planes start to circle the skies when approaching New York. We often move in on the John F. Kennedy Airport above the beautiful capes and islands of Long Island. The airport itself is one of the most intense in the whole wide world. As the silhouette of Manhattan looms in the background, the air is swarming with traffic in all directions, at all altitudes. The airport often uses up to three runways simultaneously. There are landings and takeoffs every couple of minutes. Especially during the rush hour, the air traffic controllers read the clearances at the double, with a strong east coast accent. They are tough professionals who expect quality also from the pilots. ‘Finnair five heavy turn right on juliet after landing 757 cross 22R keep rolling join alfa hold short of november charlie monitor groung point niner’, you have to hear and roger your own clearance without delay.

Snowfall and exceptional weather is a chapter of its own. The air traffic in New York may be badly disrupted then. You may be in for a long wait in the air. When the weather forecast is poor, the captain needs to prepare for various scenarios already prior departure by reserving enough fuel. Usually the cockpit receives advance information from Finnair’s New York ground personnel on the available runways, weather and congestion a few hours before landing. We know many of that crew already. One known to all was Maucca Leppälä, who was the Manager of Finnair’s New York ground services for 23 years, but recently retired. Now the operations are led by Ulla-Maija Baker. Greetings to all, it’s always nice to see you.

The hotel transportation runs smoothly in a relaxed atmosphere as the crew discusses what happened on the flight. The blocks of Brooklyn, inner city kids playing basketball and the neon signs of garages and diners blink in the windows. This nation of drivers is returning home on four lanes. Over the radio, I can make out Bruce Springsteen’s guitar, or maybe it’s just my imagination. Arrival at the hotel, saying good evening to all other crew members. Hang up the uniform and put it in the closet. The metropolis quietens down into the early evening as the sun slowly floats down and hides behind the silhouette of New Jersey. That’s us, Charles and I. A brief moment when the silver wings on the uniform’s jacket seem to shine a little brighter than usual.

Top Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Finnair). McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62CF OH-LFY (msn 46130) sits on the tarmac at Paris (CDG) in the original markings.

Finnair: AG Slide Show

American to add nonstop West Palm Beach-Los Angeles service on November 21

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) will add daily nonstop service from West Palm Beach, FL to Los Angeles starting on November 21.

The carrier will add daily seasonal West Palm Beach-New York (LaGuardia) flights from November November 21 through March 31, 2014 per Airline Route.

Both routes will be served with Boeing 737-800s.

In other news, AA will introduce its new Airbus A321 on the New York (JFK)-Los Angeles route on January 7, 2014. The new A321s will gradually replace older Boeing 767-200 ERs on the route.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-823 N981AN (msn 29569) approaches from the south to land at Washington (Reagan National).

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

Swift Air prepares to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization

Swift Air LLC (USA) (Phoenix) has signed a definitive Plan Funding Term Sheet with NIMBOS LLC that provides for a substantial capital infusion and paves the way for the company to emerge from Chapter 11 by late September concluding its thirteen month reorganization.  The company has filed a motion with the bankruptcy court for approval of $1.4 million in additional funding by NIMBOS as part of the steps to emerge from Chapter 11.

Swift Air LLC, has been best known for its 14 years of incident free operations, transporting presidential candidates like Senator John McCain, professional sports teams, and the world’s biggest music acts.  Dealt a significant blow from the NBA lockout in the 2011-12 season, followed shortly thereafter by the NHL lockout in the 2012-13 season, Swift Air filed for bankruptcy in June of 2012 and has explored multiple exit strategies, before entering into this new arrangement with NIMBOS. The company has renewed its commitment to its sports charter line of business and is looking forward to the start of the NHL and NBA seasons, which will be the first uninterrupted seasons for these leagues in the past 2 years.

Swift Air is a certificated FAR 121 Air Carrier and operates a fleet comprised of Boeing 737 and Boeing 767 passenger aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. The former US Airways Boeing 737-4B7 N802TJ (msn 24874) is pictured parked at San Francisco International Airport in the current livery, available for charter work. The aircraft was formerly painted and operated for the John McCain presidential campaign.

Air Lituanica starts its third route to Berlin

Air Lituanica (Vilnius) on August 5 started its the third route to Berlin (Tegel), following new service to Brussels and Amsterdam.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Operated by Estonian Air, Embraer ERJ 170-100LR ES-AEB (msn 17000106) approaches Brussels for landing on its flight from Vilnius.

Air Lituanica: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa to deploy the Boeing 747-800 on the Frankfurt-Mexico City on September 2

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will introduce the relatively new Boeing 747-800 on the Frankfurt-Mexico City route on September 2, 2013 according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-830 D-ABYA (msn 37827) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Flybe attempts to turn around the company after losing $63.2 million in its fiscal year

Flybe (Exeter) is struggling to turn things around financially after reporting a loss of $63.2 million in the past fiscal year. The past year, according to the carrier, has been the most challenging year in its 10-year history. A new CEO, former easyJet executive Saad Hammad, is now closely looking at the company in great detail and bringing in new people to fill resignations.

According to its annual report, Flybe has removed 13 aircraft from the fleet and deferred another 16 aircraft. 75 percent of the fleet is now deployed on lower-risk contract flying, especially at Flybe Finland. The company is targeting a goal of over $77 million in long-term yearly cost reductions.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-200STD (ERJ 175) G-FBJC (msn 17000328) taxies to the runway at Amsterdam.

Flybe: AG Slide Show

Flybe logo-1

Current routes from Southampton:

Flybe SOU 8:2013 Route Map

Air Canada extends the Montreal-San Francisco route to year-round service

Air Canada (Montreal) has announced that its current seasonal flights between Montreal (Trudeau) and San Francisco will be extended to year-round flights beginning in November 2013. All flights will be operated with Airbus A319 aircraft.

Montreal-San Francisco daily year-round schedule:

Flight Depart Arrival
AC 781 Montreal at 17:35 San Francisco at 21:00
AC 780 San Francisco at 08:10 Montreal at 16:29

Montreal-Trudeau Airport (YUL) is an important Air Canada hub serving more than 6.2 million of the airline’s customers in 2012. Air Canada, together with regional airlines operating under the Air Canada Express banner, operates more than 100,000 flights to/from YUL and 67 destinations: 21 destinations in Canada, 16 in the United States, 23 in the Caribbean and Mexico, and seven European gateways.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 C-GJWF (msn 1765) in the hybrid partial 2004 livery arrives at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

Nok Air Boeing 737-800 skids off the runway at Trang Airport, Thailand

Nok Air (Bangkok-Don Mueang) flight DD 7411 operating from Trang to Bangkok (Don Mueang) veered and skid off the runway on takeoff at Trang Airport on August 6. The 142 passengers and crew members were uninjured. The flight was being operated with former Ryanair Boeing  737-8AS HS-DBM (msn 33594, ex EI-DLM). The incident closed the airport.

Read the full report from The Nation: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Malcolm Nason/AirlinersGallery.com. HS-DBM is seen at Shannon before its delivery flight.

Nok Air: AG Slide Show

Shandong Airlines introduces a new Tenth China Art Festival Boeing 737-800 logojet

Shandong Airlines-SDA (Jinan, Shandong, China) on August 6 took delivery of this brand new Boeing 737-800. The pictured 737-85N B-5786 (msn 39127) is painted in a special promotional scheme for the Tenth China Art Festival.

According to the official website, the “China Art Festival is the top, largest and most influential state-level art festival in China. It is held every third year and has successfully staged nine sessions up to now. The Tenth China Art Festival will be held in Shandong in October 2013, cosponsored by Ministry of Culture and Shandong Provincial People’s Government.

With the purpose of “art event, people’s festival”, the Tenth China Art Festival takes “developing advanced culture, boosting cultural industry, promoting civilization progress” as the theme and “government taking lead, benefit for the people, highlighting special characteristics, mass participation, open and innovative, pragmatic and thrifty” as the principle.”

Shandong Airlines is the official airline sponsor of the event.

Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group. Beautifully-decorated B-5786 is pictured passing through Honolulu yesterday (August 7) on its delivery routing. The airliner wears the event logo on the forward fuselage.

Shandong Airlines: AG Slide Show

Norwegian Long Haul to launch Boeing 787-8 scheduled flights from Stockholm on August 15

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) will launch its Norwegian Long Haul Boeing 787-8 scheduled service from Stockholm (Arlanda) to both New York (JFK) and Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) on August 15. The airline has been operating the new 787 on inter-European routes from Oslo (Gardermoen).

The Dreamliner will be repositioned to Arlanda on August 11. It is due to arrive at ARN at 1500 local time.

Copyright Photo: Duncan Kirk/AirlinersGallery.com. This dramatic view shows Boeing 787-8 EI-LNA (msn 35304) landing back at Paine Field near Everett, WA.

Norwegian: AG Slide Show

Air Canada to launch daily, year-round flights between Sydney, Nova Scotia and Toronto Pearson on December 18

Air Canada (Montreal) today announced that in response to growing customer demand it will launch daily, year-round service between Sydney, Nova Scotia and Toronto (Pearson) beginning on December 18, 2013 .

Air Canada and TCA has been serving Sydney and Cape Breton for 71 years.

Air Canada’s year-round, daily service between Sydney and Toronto will be operated by Jazz Aviation (Halifax) under the Air Canada Express brand using 50-seat CRJ200 regional jets. It will be the only year-round, nonstop flights operated between Sydney, Nova Scotia and Toronto .

Sydney-Toronto year-round service:

Flight Depart Arrival
AC 8795 Sydney at 05:55 Toronto at 07:33
AC 8794 Toronto at 20:50 Sydney at 00:10

 

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Jazz Aviation’s Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) C-FZJA (msn 7988) rests between assignments at the Toronto (Pearson) hub.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

Air Canada Regional-Jazz: AG Slide Show

Copa Holdings reports 2Q net income of $74.4 million

Copa Holdings, S.A. (Copa Airlines and Copa Colombia) has announced financial results for the second quarter of 2013:

OPERATING AND FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • Copa Holdings reported net income of US$74.4 million for 2Q13, or diluted earnings per share (EPS) of US$1.68.  Excluding special items, Copa Holdings would have reported an adjusted net income of $85.0 million, or $1.92 per share, a 45.3% increase over adjusted net income of US$58.5 million and US$1.32 per share for 2Q12.
  • Operating income for 2Q13 came in at US$97.7 million, a 34.5% increase over operating income of US$72.6 million in 2Q12.  Operating margin for the period came in at 16.5%, compared to 14.1% in 2Q12, as a result of lower unit costs.
  • Total revenues increased 14.8% to US$592.0 million.  Yield per passenger mile decreased 4.6% to 16.4 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) decreased 2.5% to 12.8 cents.  However, adjusting for a 7.3% increase in length of haul, yields decreased 1.2% and RASM increased 1.0%.
  • For 2Q13, passenger traffic (RPMs) grew 20.4% on a 17.7% capacity expansion.  Consolidated load factor came in at 75.3%, or 1.7 percentage points above 2Q12.
  • Operating cost per available seat mile (CASM) decreased 5.2%, from 11.3 cents in 2Q12 to 10.7 cents in 2Q13.  CASM, excluding fuel costs, decreased 2.6% to 6.7 cents.
  • Cash, short term and long term investments ended 2Q13 at US$848.7 million, representing 35.0% of the last twelve months’ revenues.
  • During the second quarter, Copa Airlines took delivery of one Boeing 737-800 aircraft.  As a result, Copa Holdings ended the quarter with a consolidated fleet of 86 aircraft.
  • For 2Q13, Copa Holdings reported consolidated on-time performance of 89.3% and a flight-completion factor of 99.7%, maintaining its position among the best in the industry.

SUBSEQUENT EVENTS

  • On July 17, 2013, Copa Airlines announced it will begin nonstop service four times a week from Panama to Tampa, Fla., on December 16, 2013.  Tampa will be Copa Airlines’ ninth U.S. destination and its 66th destination overall.
  • On August 7, 2013, the Board of Directors of Copa Holdings resolved to change the Company’s dividend policy to increase the annual distribution to an amount equal to 40% of the prior years’ annual consolidated net income. In addition, dividends going forward will be distributed in equal quarterly installments during the months of March, June, September and December, subject to board approval each quarter.  On August 7, 2013, the Board of Directors also approved dividend payments payable at the end of both 3Q13 and 4Q13, in amounts equal to 10% of the consolidated net income of 2012.
Consolidated Financial &
Operating Highlights
2Q13 2Q12 % Change 1Q13 % Change
Revenue Passengers Carried (‘000) 1,861 1,658 12.2% 1,899 -2.0%
RPMs (mm) 3,475 2,886 20.4% 3,529 -1.5%
ASMs (mm) 4,618 3,923 17.7% 4,590 0.6%
Load Factor 75.3% 73.5% 1.7 p.p. 76.9% -1.6 p.p.
Yield 16.4 17.2 -4.6% 17.6 -6.9%
PRASM (US$ Cents) 12.3 12.6 -2.3% 13.5 -8.9%
RASM (US$ Cents) 12.8 13.1 -2.5% 14.0 -8.2%
CASM (US$ Cents) 10.7 11.3 -5.2% 10.9 -1.5%
CASM Excl. Fuel (US$ Cents) 6.7 6.9 -2.6% 6.5 3.3%
Breakeven Load Factor (1) 61.6% 63.0% -1.4 p.p. 58.7% 2.9 p.p.
Fuel Gallons Consumed (Millions) 60.0 52.1 15.0% 60.1 -0.2%
Avg. Price Per Fuel Gallon (US$ Dollars) 3.08 3.32 -7.3% 3.34 -7.8%
Average Length of Haul (Miles) 1,868 1,740 7.3% 1,859 0.5%
Average Stage Length (Miles) 1,126 1,063 6.0% 1,123 0.2%
Departures 29,357 27,005 8.7% 29,428 -0.2%
Block Hours 84,985 74,678 13.8% 84,490 0.6%
Average Aircraft Utilization (Hours) 10.9 10.6 3.1% 11.3 -3.5%
Operating Revenues (US$ mm) 592.0 515.8 14.8% 641.3 -7.7%
Operating Income (US$ mm) 97.7 72.6 34.5% 142.6 -31.5%
Operating Margin 16.5% 14.1% 2.4 p.p. 22.2% -5.7 p.p.
Net Income (US$ mm) 74.4 32.0 132.6% 113.8 -34.6%
Adjusted Net Income (US$ mm) (1) 85.0 58.5 45.3% 124.4 -31.6%
EPS – Basic and Diluted (US$) 1.68 0.72 132.4% 2.56 -34.6%
Adjusted EPS – Basic and Diluted (US$) (1) 1.92 1.32 45.2% 2.80 -31.6%
# of Shares – Basic and Diluted (‘000) 44,387 44,354 0.1% 44,387 0.0%

(1)Breakeven Load Factor, Adjusted Net Income and Adjusted EPS for 2Q13, 2Q12, and 1Q13 exclude non-cash charges/gains associated with the mark-to-market of fuel hedges.   Additionally, for 1Q13 excludes a US$13.9 million charge related to the devaluation of the Venezuelan currency.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8V3 WL HP-1721CMP (msn 40362) prepares to touch down in Miami.

Copa Airlines: AG Slide Show

Philippine Airlines takes delivery of its first Airbus A321

Philippine Airlines (PAL) (Philippines) (Manila) has taken delivery of its first Airbus A321. The aircraft was handed over at the Airbus delivery center in Hamburg (Finkenwerder), Germany on August 6 and is the first of 64 new Airbus aircraft ordered by the airline in 2012 under a major fleet modernization program. These include 44 single aisle A321s and 20 widebody A330s.

Philippine Airlines has specified a two class layout for its A321s, with 12 seats in Business Class and 187 in Economy. The airline will operate its new A321s primarily on international routes across the Asian region, as well as on selected domestic flights.

The A321 joins an Airbus fleet at Philippine Airlines that already includes 22 A320 Family aircraft flying on domestic and regional routes, as well as nine in service with its budget subsidiary PAL Express. The carrier also operates eight widebody A330s on higher capacity routes across Asia and seven A340-300s on its longest services to the United States.

Following the introduction of the A321, Philippine Airlines will take delivery of the first of its 20 new A330s in the third quarter of the year. The carrier is also currently adding four A340-300s to its fleet for deployment on new non-stop services to Europe, scheduled to begin next month.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Airbus A321-231 D-AZAS (msn 5715) on a test flight at Hamburg (Finkenwerder) on August 5 became RP-C9901 on the hand over the following day.

Update: PAL introduced the new A321 on August 9 between Manila and Cebu and Manila and Davao.

Philippines-Philippine Airlines: AG Slide Show

JetBlue Airways announces “Bags VIP”, a new bag concierge service

JetBlue Airways (New York) today announced Bags VIP, a new concierge service option, provided in partnership with Bags, Inc. This service provides hand-delivery of a customer’s checked luggage from the arrival airport to any doorstep at their destination for a minimal fee. The option is available seven days a week, including holidays.

Starting today, customers can place an order online for the Bags VIP service up to one hour prior to departure from all JetBlue domestic airports, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and select pre-cleared international airports arriving into Boston, Orlando and New York’s JFK airport.

For a limited time, pricing starts at $25 for the delivery of one bag, $35 for two and $40 for up to ten bags to a hotel, business, residential address or anywhere the customer chooses within a 40-mile radius of the airport.

Customers will receive an email with a confirmation number once the order has been finalized. Next, the customer checks their baggage upon arrival at the airport. A JetBlue crew member will apply a Bags VIP tag to identify the luggage. At the final destination, the customer can bypass baggage claim and go about their business. Their bags will be retrieved directly from baggage claim by a Bags VIP representative using the applied tag and customer provided information. Delivery will take place within four hours of flight arrival to locations within 40 miles of the airport and within six hours to locations 41-100 miles from the airport. Residential delivery times can also be scheduled in advance to accommodate the customer’s need.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N510JB (msn 1280) in the Dots design departs from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Sunwing Airlines to upgrade its Boeing 737-800 fleet with Split Scimitar Winglets

Sunwing 737-800 SWL (Tail)(Sunwing)(LR)

Sunwing Airlines (Toronto) has announced plans to retrofit the airline’s fleet of Boeing 737-800 this Winter with Split Scimitar Winglets. When applied to the existing “curved tipped” Blended Winglets, the Split Scimitar Winglet upgrade adds strengthened spars, aerodynamic ‘curved’ tips, and a large ventral fin, which improves performance and decreases fuel burn by approximately 7%. “We feel we have a responsibility as a market leader in Canada to continue investing in technology which reduces our environmental impact”, said Stephen Hunter, CEO of the Sunwing Travel Group, adding “This initiative has the added benefit of improving cost efficiency so that we can continue to provide great value for our customer’s vacation dollar”.

“We are pleased to partner with Sunwing Airlines, on this exciting initiative” said Troy Brekken, Director of Sales and Marketing at Aviation Partners Boeing. “They will be one of our first airline partners in North America to commercially fly the Blended Winglets, which reduce carbon emissions and improve fuel efficiency”. Earlier this year, APB launched the Split Scimitar Winglet program for the provisioned wing 737-800 (line number 778 and on) and 737-900 ER with an order from United Airlines. FAA supplemental type certification for the Boeing 737-800 is targeted for October 2013 and EASA certification planned for December 2013. Certification flight testing of Split Scimitar Winglets is currently underway.

Aviation Partners Boeing is a Seattle based joint venture of Aviation Partners, Inc. and The Boeing Company. Nearly 5,000 Blended Winglet Systems are now in service with over 200 airlines in more than 100 countries. APB estimates that Blended Winglets have saved airlines worldwide more than 3.8 billion gallons of jet fuel to-date.

Image: Sunwing Airlines.

Sunwing Airlines: AG Slide Show

Travel Service Airlines finalizes its order for three Boeing 737 MAX 8s

Boeing (Chicago) and Travel Service Airlines (Prague) have finalized an order for three 737 MAX 8s, valued at $301.5 million at list prices. The Czech Republic-based carrier originally announced a commitment to purchase the 737 MAX in June during the 2013 Paris Air Show. This announcement brings the total number of orders to date for the 737 MAX to 1,498 airplanes.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Travel Service Airlines’ Boeing 737-8Q8 C-GVVH (msn 35275) at Palma de Mallorca this summer still wears the registration used by Sunwing Airlines during the winter. Normally the airliner wears OK-TVH with Travel Service. The new 737 MAX 8s will expand the Boeing fleet.

Travel Service Airlines: AG Slide Show

A huge fire destroys the Arrivals Hall at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya Airports Authority logo

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) (Nairobi) is the major international airport in Kenya and the hub of Kenya Airways.

According to Kenya Airports Authority “Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, formerly called Embakasi Airport and Nairobi International Airport, is Kenya’s largest aviation facility, and the busiest airport in East Africa. It’s importance as an aviation center makes it the pace setter for other airports in the region.

The airport is named after the first Kenyan prime minister and president, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and is located in Embakasi, 15 kilometers to the south-east of the Nairobi Business District.”

A massive fire has broke out in the International Terminal and closed the airport today.  The fire has destroyed the International Arrivals Building. This is bound to have a major affect on Kenya Airways and tourism in Kenya.

Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE

Kenya Airways: AG Slide Show

Air Canada reports record second quarter net income of C$115 million

Air Canada (Montreal) today reported adjusted net income of $115 million or $0.41 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2013 compared to an adjusted net loss of $7 million or $0.02 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2012.  Second quarter EBITDAR amounted to $385 million compared to EBITDAR of $312 million in the second quarter of 2012, an increase of $73 million or 23 per cent. On a GAAP basis, Air Canada’s net loss was $23 million or $0.09 per diluted share compared to a net loss of $161 million or $0.59 per diluted share in the same quarter of 2012.

“Air Canada delivered its best second quarter financial performance in the Corporation’s history, with records reported in all three measures of operating income, adjusted net income and EBITDAR,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer.  “These results are a clear indication that we are gaining momentum in our transformation towards sustainable profitability at Air Canada and underscore our Company-wide efforts to achieve cost containment and continue to improve on our revenue and yield performance.

“Our success in the quarter was not only financial – I am also especially pleased to report ongoing improvements in operational performance for the second consecutive quarter, with a 30 per cent improvement in On-Time Performance (OTP) for the quarter compared to the previous year.  This is a reflection of the professionalism, collaboration and dedication of Air Canada’s 27,000 employees in taking care of our customers while operating a safe and efficient airline.  Also, we were once again recognized by global travelers as the Best Airline in North America for the fourth consecutive year, a wonderful recognition of our efforts.

“Market response to the launch of our new leisure carrier, Air Canada rouge, on July 1st has been very positive and our plans are on track for growing the Air Canada rouge fleet to serve more holiday destination markets where we can now compete on a more cost effective basis.  In addition, in early July, we began operating the first of five new Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, marking the first significant growth in the mainline wide-body fleet in ten years to support continued development of our international network and Toronto hub as our North American gateway.  These aircraft also debut our new Premium Economy cabin, offering customers a high-value option for enhanced comfort and service on select international routes.

“Looking ahead, our focus remains on the execution of the Corporation’s business plan led by our four core priorities: cost transformation, international growth, customer engagement and culture change to transform Air Canada into a sustainably profitable company for its shareholders and employees,” concluded Mr. Rovinescu.

Second Quarter Income Statement Highlights

Second quarter 2013 system passenger revenues were $2,757 million, an increase of $86 million or 3 per cent over the second quarter of 2012, on a 1.6 per cent growth in traffic and a 1.5 per cent improvement in yield.  Passenger revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 0.9 per cent from the second quarter of 2012 on the yield growth.  Air Canada reported a passenger load factor of 83.0 per cent for the second quarter of 2013, 0.5 percentage points below the second quarter of 2012.  In the premium class cabin, passenger revenues increased $19 million or 3.3 per cent on yield and traffic growth of 2.2 per cent and 1.1 per cent, respectively, over the second quarter of 2012.

Operating expenses decreased $42 million or 1 per cent from the second quarter of 2012.  Operating expense increases in wages, salaries and benefits and capacity purchase costs were more than offset by operating expense decreases in aircraft fuel and depreciation, amortization and impairment expenses.

Air Canada’s adjusted cost per available seat mile (adjusted CASM), which excludes fuel expense, the cost of ground packages at Air Canada Vacations and unusual items, decreased 1.4 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2012.  The 1.4 per cent reduction in adjusted CASM was in line with the adjusted CASM decrease of 0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent projected in Air Canada’s news release dated June 10, 2013.

In the second quarter 2013, Air Canada recorded operating income of $174 million compared to operating income of $63 million in the same quarter in 2012, an improvement of $111 million.

Liquidity Highlights

At June 30, 2013, cash and short-term investments amounted to $2,107 million or 17 per cent of 12-month trailing revenues (June 30, 2012 – $2,323 million or 20 per cent of 12-month trailing revenues).

At June 30, 2013, adjusted net debt of $3,975 million decreased $162 million from December 31, 2012, mainly reflecting the impact of an increase in cash balances.

Free cash flow of $147 million decreased $86 million from the second quarter of 2012, largely reflecting the addition of one Boeing 777 aircraft, partly offset by an increase in cash flows from operating activities due to better operating results.

Current Outlook

For the third quarter of 2013, Air Canada expects its system ASM capacity, as measured by available seat miles (ASMs), to increase in the range of 2.5 to 3.5 per cent when compared to the third quarter of 2012.

Air Canada continues to expect its full year 2013 system ASM capacity to increase in the range of 1.5 to 2.5 per cent when compared to the full year 2012.  Air Canada also continues to expect its full year 2013 domestic capacity to increase in the range of 1.5 to 2.5 per cent from the full year 2012.

For the third quarter of 2013, Air Canada expects adjusted CASM to decrease 1.5 to 2.5 per cent when compared to the third quarter of 2012.

Taking into account Air Canada’s adjusted CASM result for the second quarter 2013, Air Canada now expects its full year 2013 adjusted CASM to decrease in the range of 1.0 to 2.0 per cent from the full year 2012 (as opposed to the decrease of 0.5 to 1.5 per cent projected in Air Canada news release dated June 10, 2013).

Air Canada continues to expect its full year 2014 system capacity to increase by 9.0 to 11.0 per cent when compared to the full year 2013.  This projected increase in capacity, expected to be deployed primarily on international markets, is consistent with the fleet plan discussed in Air Canada’s Second Quarter 2013 MD&A and is due to the addition of five high-density Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, the first having been delivered in June 2013 and the remainder scheduled for delivery between August 2013 and February 2014, the scheduled arrival in 2014 of the first six Boeing 787 aircraft, and the planned growth from Air Canada rouge.

Air Canada’s outlook assumes Canadian GDP growth of 1.25 to 1.75 per cent for 2013 and Canadian GDP growth of 2.0 to 3.0 per cent for 2014.

Air Canada also expects that the Canadian dollar will trade, on average, at C$1.04 per U.S. dollar for the third quarter of 2013 and C$1.03 per U.S. dollar for the full year 2013 and that the price of jet fuel will average 87 cents per litre for the third quarter of 2013 and the full year 2013.

Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly painted in the special Vancouver 2010 livery, Boeing 777-333 ER C-FIVS (msn 35784) gracefully climbs away from Frankfurt.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

Virgin America reports its first-ever second quarter net profit of $8.8 million

Virgin America (San Francisco) today reports its financial results for the second quarter of 2013 with operating income of $27.9 million and net income of $8.8 million on total revenue of $376 million for the three months ending June 30.   The airline posted an 8.6 point improvement in operating margin for the second quarter, driven largely by a 7.8 percent growth in revenue per available seat mile (“RASM”) over the year-earlier period.

Second Quarter 2013 Financial Highlights

  • Virgin America reported $8.8 million in net income compared to a year-ago loss of $31.8 million, an improvement of more than $40 million.
  • The Company significantly outpaced all U.S. carriers with year-over-year RASM growth of 7.8 percent on flat capacity.   Virgin America has now led the industry in RASM growth in each of the past three quarters.
  • Load factor increased by four points and yield increased by one percent year-over-year.
  • Operating revenue was $376 million, an increase of 8 percent from the second quarter of 2012.
  • Cost per available seat mile (CASM) excluding fuel increased by just 1.8 percent year-over-year.
  • Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, and aircraft rentals (“EBITDAR”) increased 52 percent to $82.6 million from $54.4 million in the same period a year-ago.
  • Year-to-date, Virgin America has generated an operating income of $12.9 million, its first-ever cumulative operating profit for the first and second quarters, and an increase of $65.6 million from the first six months of 2012.
  • Unrestricted cash was $148.2 million as of June 30, 2013, an increase of $90 million since March 31, 2013.

“Our first ever second-quarter net profit and year-to-date operating income show that our company is now poised to produce meaningful profitability,” said David Cush, Virgin America’s President and CEO.  “As we have reduced our growth from the 30 percent-plus level of the past few years to a more sustainable rate, our network has begun to mature into a profitable one, and our markets continue to show industry-leading RASM growth.  We have always said that once people fly with us, they stick with us, and the second quarter is a testament to that and to the hard work of our team.”

Virgin America completed a major two-year growth phase during 2012, having taken delivery of 24 aircraft between the second quarter of 2010 and the second quarter of 2012, almost doubling the size of the fleet.  With this major growth phase largely behind the Company, Virgin America is now experiencing improved revenue and profitability performance across its network. Virgin America took delivery of one aircraft in the first quarter of 2013, increasing its total operating fleet to 53 aircraft.  The Company does not plan to increase its fleet size again until the second half of 2015, when aircraft on order from Airbus are scheduled for delivery.  The Company expects continued strong improvement in year-over-year financial performance through the remainder of 2013.

The Company completed a restructuring of the majority of its debt with investors during May 2013, eliminating more than $300 million of existing debt and accrued interest.  As a result of this restructuring, Virgin America expects its interest expense to substantially decline in the second half of 2013 and beyond, to approximately $10 million per quarter.  Had the May 2013 restructuring been completed prior to the beginning of the second quarter, Virgin America’s net income would have been approximately $18 million for the quarter.  Year-to-date, Virgin America’s net loss would have been approximately $8 million after taking into account the impact of the restructuring.  In addition, Virgin America completed a debt offering in May, raising $75 million.  Combined with $15 million of positive cash flow during the quarter, this increased the Company’s unrestricted cash by $90 million, to $148.2 million.

In the second quarter of 2013, the airline brought a small number of strategically important new markets online by reallocating capacity from existing markets.  In early April, the carrier inaugurated new nonstop service from both Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), an important destination for business travelers.  Also in April, the airline inaugurated new nonstop service between Los Angeles and Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (the carrier already served Las Vegas from both San Francisco and New York John F. Kennedy International Airport).  In May, the airline launched Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport to LAX service, expanding its Northern California footprint beyond its San Francisco home base.  Later in May the airline inaugurated daily flights from San Francisco to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.  In June, the carrier launched new summer seasonal service between San Francisco and Alaska’s Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

The addition of three daily roundtrip flights between Newark and both San Francisco and Los Angeles significantly expanded Virgin America’s presence in the New York and New Jersey area. The airline had already built a following of bi-coastal flyers with its popular nonstop flights from both LAX and SFO to JFK. In three months of operations, the Newark flights are performing ahead of the Company’s forecasts, and Virgin America is achieving a revenue share in excess of its share of capacity in both markets.  With the addition of Newark, Virgin America now serves nine of the top 10 business markets from SFO and eight of the top 10 business markets from LAX. Virgin America is the only airline serving the Newark-West Coast routes to offer WiFi, power outlets and live satellite TV at every seat on every flight.

Prior to Virgin America’s entry, the San Francisco-Newark route was a monopoly route and the Los Angeles-Newark route was not served by any low-fare carriers.  As a result, flights between Newark and San Francisco had some of the highest average fares of any domestic US route. After Virgin America announced plans to enter the Newark market in late 2012, fares for flights between Newark and California’s two largest airports dropped by as much as one-third and the market size has grown by 75 percent in EWR-SFO and doubled in EWR-LAX.

Operational Highlights

Key milestones achieved in the second quarter of 2013 include:

  • In its first year of eligibility, Virgin America in April topped the Airline Quality Rating, an annual study of airline industry performance conducted by Wichita State University and Purdue University.
  • Virgin America brought its Sharklet-equipped “Jersey Girl,” its 53rd Airbus A320-family aircraft, into service.
  • In April, Virgin America inaugurated service between Newark , N.J. and Los Angeles and San Francisco.
  • In April, the carrier also expanded service to Las Vegas with three daily flights to Los Angeles.
  • In May, Virgin America was voted “Best Airline” in a survey by Consumer Reports.
  • Virgin America began service between Los Angeles and San Jose, California on May 1.
  • Also in May, the carrier launched new flights from San Francisco to Austin, Texas.
  • Virgin America began seasonal service between San Francisco and Anchorage, Alaska in June.
  • In the second quarter, the carrier added three new interline partners: China Eastern Airlines, Etihad Airways and Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). By the end of the second quarter 2013, Virgin America had 26 interline partners, up from eight in the same in period in 2012.
  • The airline’s baggage handling rate was 0.89 mishandled baggage reports per 1,000 guests in April and 1.15 mishandled baggage reports per 1,000 guests in May, placing it first among all U.S. carriers reporting to the Department of Transportation (DOT) for baggage reliability.
  • In June, the carrier began releasing monthly operating results, consistent with the practice of publicly traded airlines.

Since its launch in 2007, Virgin America has created 2,600 new jobs and now flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Newark, Washington D.C. (IAD and DCA), Las Vegas, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Cabos, Cancun, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, Palm Springs (seasonal), Philadelphia, Portland, San Jose, Austin and Anchorage (seasonal).

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com.  Virgin America’s Airbus A319-112 N524VA completes its final bank on its River Approach into Washington’s Reagan National Airport. Technically the “Washington DC (Va) 19-1 River Approach (visual) is conducted when weather is 3500′ and 3 miles or better. Radar vectors are provided for the final approach course. When cleared for a River Approach, aircraft may visually follow the river to the airport or may proceed via the DCA R-328 (148 degree inbound) or via the LDA Runway 18 approach to abeam Georgetown Reservior or the DAC 4 DME fix, then visually follow the river to the airport. A light on Memorial Bridge is installed to assist pilots in staying over the Potomac River during approaches from the northwest” according to a guide published by Boeing.

Virgin America: AG Slide Show

SkyWest reports increased net income of $20.7 million in the second quarter

SkyWest, Inc. (SkyWest Airlines and Atlantic Southeast Airlines) (St. George) today reported net income of $20.7 million, or $0.39 per diluted share, for the quarter ended June 30, 2013, compared to net income of $17.0 million, or $0.33 per diluted share, for the same period last year.

SkyWest also reported net income of $24.0 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, for the six months ended June 30, 2013, compared to $16.3 million, or $0.32 per diluted share, for the same period last year.

Quarter Highlights

SkyWest experienced improved financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2013 compared to its financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2012.  SkyWest generated additional block hour production and corresponding operating revenues (after giving effect to reduced fuel and certain engine overhaul pass through revenues) as a result of increased utilization and increasing the size of its aircraft fleet between June 30, 2013 and June 30, 2012.  Following are selected highlights from SkyWest’s quarter ended June 30, 2013, compared to the quarter ended June 30, 2012:

  • Increased pretax income 17.8% to $33.7 million, compared to $28.6 million
  • Increased fully-diluted EPS 18.2% to $0.39, compared to $0.33
  • Increased block hour production 6.1% to 609,711 block hours, compared to 574,884 block hours
  • Recorded approximately $28.2 million in additional revenues (net of fuel and certain engine overhaul pass through revenues), primarily related to increased block hour production
  • Increased total aircraft fleet to 760 aircraft as of June 30, 2013, compared to 725 aircraft as of June 30, 2012

Commenting on the results, Jerry C. Atkin, SkyWest’s Chairman and CEO, said “We are pleased with the progress we continue to make in producing improved operational and financial performance as compared to the same period last year.”  He continued, “We will remain focused on our profit improvement objectives while continuing to deal with the ever-present challenges in the airline industry.”

Financial and Operating Results

Operating revenues totaled $839.1 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2013, compared to $937.2 million for the same period last year or a decrease of $98.1 million.  The decrease was due primarily to the reduction of $117.9 million of fuel and certain engine overhaul amounts which were directly reimbursed by SkyWest’s major partners and recorded as operating revenues.  However, this reduction was partially offset by recording approximately $28.2 million in additional operating revenues primarily resulting from a 6.1% increase total block hours for the quarter ended June 30, 2013, compared to the quarter ended June 30, 2012.

Total airline expenses (consisting of total operating and interest expenses) decreased $103.7 million, or 11.4%, during the quarter ended June 30, 2013, compared to the same period in 2012.  However, after excluding pass-through costs for fuel and certain engine overhaul expenses, total airline expenses increased $14.2 million or only 1.9% which was less than the 6.1% increase in block hours produced.

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 SkyWest recognizes engine maintenance expense on its CRJ200 regional jet engines on an as-incurred basis as maintenance expense.  During the quarter ended June 30, 2013, CRJ200 engine expense under these agreements decreased $3.2 million to $10.6 million compared to $13.8 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2012, as a result of decreased engine overhaul expense due to the timing of scheduled engine maintenance events.  SkyWest was reimbursed approximately $12.8 million and $10.2 million for engine overhaul expense, under its agreements, in each of the periods ended June 30, 2013 and 2012, respectively.

Liquidity

At June 30, 2013, SkyWest had $665.6 million in cash and marketable securities, compared to $709.4 million as of December 31, 2012.  The decrease in cash and marketable securities of $43.8 million was primarily the result of the payment of scheduled semi-annual lease and debt payments as well as making deposits on recent aircraft orders.  Cash and marketable securities increased $34.1 million during the quarter ended June 30, 2013 compared to the balance of $631.5 as of the quarter ended March 31, 2013.  SkyWest’s long-term debt was $1.38 billion as of June 30, 2013, compared to $1.47 billion as of December 31, 2012.  The decrease in long-term debt for the six-months ended June 30, 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 4.7% discount rate, the present value of these lease obligations was approximately $1.5 billion as of June 30, 2013.

Recent Business Developments

On May 21, 2013, SkyWest announced it had entered into a Capacity Purchase Agreement (“CPA”) with United Airlines, Inc. (Chicago) to operate 40 new Embraer ERJ 175 dual-class regional jet aircraft. The CPA is for 12 years and the aircraft will be operated by SkyWest’s wholly-owned subsidiary, SkyWest Airlines, Inc. (St. George). Deliveries for these aircraft are scheduled to begin in April 2014 and continue through August 2015.

Additionally, on May 21, 2013 SkyWest announced it reached an agreement with Embraer S.A. for the purchase of 100 new ERJ 175 dual-class regional jet aircraft, 40 of which are considered firm and 60 aircraft remain conditional upon SkyWest entering into capacity purchase agreements with other major airlines. SkyWest intends to place the 40 new 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 for 2020.

On August 2, 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) and by end of May 2013, all 34 of these dual-class aircraft had been delivered. As of June 30, 2013 SkyWest had removed 24 (22 placed in contract with another partner; other 2 removed from fleet) of the 66 CRJ200 aircraft and currently anticipates removing another 24 CRJ200 aircraft during the months of September 2013 through December 2013.  These 24 aircraft have been financed by Delta and will be returned to Delta with no further obligation by SkyWest.  SkyWest believes the remaining 18 aircraft will be removed at various times through 2014 and early 2015.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The CRJ200s will be totally removed from the Delta Connection contract by early 2015. SkyWest Airlines Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N423SW (msn 7456) approaches Los Angeles International Airport.

Delta Connection-SkyWest Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

NTSB: The captain took over Southwest flight 345 seconds before its hard landing at New York LaGuardia Airport on July 22

NTSB logo

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (Washington) has issued this statement regarding the investigation of the hard landing of Southwest Airlines (Dallas) flight 345 at New York (LaGuardia) on July 22, 2013:

In its continuing investigation of the July 22 accident in which Southwest Airlines flight 345, a Boeing 737-700, landed hard at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA), the National Transportation Safety Board has developed the following factual information:

  • The captain has been with Southwest for almost 13 years and has been a captain for six of those years. The captain has over 12,000 total flight hours, over 7,000 of which are as pilot-in-command. In 737s, the captain has over 7,900 hours, with more than 2,600 as the pilot-in-command.
  • The first officer has been with Southwest for about 18 months. The pilot has about 5,200 total flight hours, with 4,000 of those as pilot-in-command. In 737s, the first officer has about 1,100 hours, none of which are as the pilot-in-command.
  • This was the first trip the flight crew had flown together and it was the second leg of the trip. The first officer had previous operational experience at LGA, including six flights in 2013. The captain reported having flown into LGA twice, including the accident flight, serving as the pilot monitoring for both flights.
  • The en route phase of the flight, which originated in Nashville, was characterized by the flight crew as routine. On approach into LGA, the first officer was the pilot flying and the captain was the pilot monitoring. SWA 345 was cleared for the ILS Runway 4 approach.
  • The weather in the New York area caused the accident flight to enter a holding pattern for about 15 minutes. The crew reported that they saw the airport from about 5-10 miles out and that the airplane was on speed, course and glideslope down to about 200-400 feet.
  • The crew reported that below 1,000 feet, the tailwind was about 11 knots. They also reported that the wind on the runway was a headwind of about 11 knots.
  • SWA 345 proceeded on the approach when at a point below 400 feet, there was an exchange of control of the airplane and the captain became the flying pilot and made the landing.
  • The jetliner touched down on the runway nose first followed by the collapse of the nose gear; the airplane was substantially damaged.

At this point in the investigation, no mechanical anomalies or malfunctions have been found. A preliminary examination of the nose gear indicated that it failed due to stress overload.

Investigators have collected five videos showing various aspects of the crash landing. The team will be analyzing these recordings in the coming months.

Parties to the investigation are the Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Southwest Airlines, and the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association.

This is a factual update only and no interviews are being conducted.

Lion Air Boeing 737-800 hits cows on landing, overruns the runway at Gorontalo, Indonesia

Lion Air (Jakarta) Boeing 737-8GP PK-LKH (msn 37297) while operating flight JT 892 from Ujung Padang to Gorontalo, Indonesia (Sulawesi) with 110 passengers and seven crew members while attempting to land at Jalaluddin Airport near Gorontalo skidded off the runway last night (August 6) after hitting three cows. The brakes failed after colliding with the animals. One cow was found dead under under the main gear. The airport was closed. Reports indicate animals are often sighted on the runway and Lion Air has previously complained about the problem to airport and government officials!

The company has had at least 10 previous incidents and accidents involving the landing phase.

Read the full report from Jakarta Globe: CLICK HERE

Read the full report from the Jakarta Post: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Pictured landing at Seattle (Boeing Field), Boeing 737-8GP PK-LKH was handed over to Lion Air on September 28, 2012.

Gorontalo is located in the northern region of Sulawesi (Google Maps):

Gorontalo, Indonesia

Current Route Map:

Lion Air 8:2013 Route Map

Lion Air: AG Slide Show

Fiji Airways Boeing 737-700 makes an emergency landing at Auckland

Fiji Airways (formerly Air Pacific) (Nadi) pictured Boeing 737-7X2 DQ-FJF (msn 28878) was forced to make an emergency landing at Auckland yesterday (August 5) after a reported engine fire. Flight FJ 430 from Auckland to Fiji with 122 passengers and six crew members was forced to return to AKL. The flight landed safely.

Read the full report from The Sydney Morning Herald: CLICK HERE

However Fiji Airways issued this statement stating there was no fire on board:

All passengers on board Fiji Airways flight FJ 430 have been accommodated following the safe landing at Auckland Airport this morning (August 5).

On site engineers have confirmed that there was no fire on board the Boeing 737-700 aircraft, and are carrying out further inspections on the engine.

Passengers disrupted as a result have been booked on other flights.

Safety is of paramount importance for Fiji Airways. The airline would like to thank its pilots and cabin crew for their handling of the situation, emergency teams at Auckland Airport for their assistance, and our passengers for their patience and understanding.

Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. Maybe the pictured DQ-FJF was “blessed” by the beautiful rainbow at Sydney on July 30.

Fiji Airways: AG Slide Show

Austrian Airlines improves its profitability in the second quarter to $27.9 million

Austrian Airlines (Vienna) improved its turnaround by reporting an operating profit of $27.9 million in the second quarter. The company has issued this financial report:

Austrian Airlines, Austria‘s largest domestic airline, succeeded in significantly improving its earnings in the second quarter of the 2013 financial year to EUR 21 million ($27.9 million) (Q2 2012: EUR 12 million). This strong increase was primarily achieved by cost reduction measures. “The tough restructuring work in the past year is clearly reflected in the performance figures. We are making good progress, and maintain our goal to achieve a turnaround in 2013“, says Jaan Albrecht, Chief Executive Officer of Austrian Airlines.

In the previous year the transfer of flight operations to Tyrolean Airways had considerably increased earnings by EUR 82 million. The subsequent application of the new accounting standard IAS 19 increased these one-off effects by an additional EUR 136 million. For these reason, the operating result in the second quarter declined from the prior-year level of EUR 230 million to EUR 21 million in 2013. However, adjusting business results to take account of the one-off effects, the operating result actually rose by 80.1% or EUR 9 million.

However, the positive Q2 2013 results were not sufficient to generate an overall profit in the first half-year. Nevertheless, the accumulated loss of minus EUR 56 million in the winter quarter from January to March 2013 could be reduced to minus EUR 35 million. In the previous year, the half-year operating result amounted to EUR 163 million, or minus EUR 55 million when adjusting the results for the one-off effects.

First half-year 2013 performance indicators in detail:

Total operating revenues in the first half-year 2013 declined by 3.4 percent to EUR 1,043 million (H1 2012: EUR 1,080 million). The operating result for the first half of 2013 amounted to minus EUR 35 million (H1 2012: 163 million / H1 2012 adjusted: minus EUR 55 million). The main reason for the improved earnings is the success in limiting cost increases. Operating expenditures were reduced by five percent, from EUR 1,135 million to EUR 1,078 million. Capacity utilization of the aircraft also improved.

Fewer aircraft in use, better capacity utilization on board

In the first half of 2013, Austrian Airlines carried a total of 5.3 million passengers. This represents a slight decline of 3 percent from the prior-year level. The underlying reason is that Austria Airlines reduced the number of aircraft in use in its medium-haul fleet by four. In addition, up to two long-haul aircraft were taken out of service in the period January to June 2013, and equipped with the new long haul cabin. Capacity in available seat kilometers (ASK) was reduced by 7.4 percent. At the same time, Austrian Airlines succeeded in improving the passenger load factor to 75.7 percent (H1 2012: 74 percent). Capacity utilization on the new route to Chicago was already at a disproportionately high level in the second quarter of 2013. On balance, Austrian Airlines flew 66,325 flights in the first six months of 2013, or an average of 363 flights per day.

The number of people employed by the Austrian Airlines Group including its fully consolidated subsidiaries totaled 6,244 employees at the reporting date of June 30, 2013 (June 30, 2012: 6,686 employees).

Austrian Airlines continued to achieve a top performance with respect to reliability and punctuality, although the tough, long winter led to a slight deterioration. Its punctuality on departure was 86.6 percent, and punctuality on arrival was at a level of 84.8 percent. Accordingly, the punctuality of Austrian Airlines flights continued to surpass the European average. The regularity of flight operations amounted to 98.6 percent. According to ETB News, Austrian Airlines ranked sixth in the world among all airlines in June 2013 with respect to punctuality (Source: http://www.etravelblackboard.com/article/145383/the-most-punctual-airline-is).

Facts & figures for Q2 2013 at a glance 

 

 

Q2 2013

Q2 2012

Change

Total operating revenue

 € million

585

615

-5.0%

Operating expenditures

€ million

564

386

46.2%

Adjusted operating expenditures

€ million

564

604

-6.6%

Operating result*

€ million

21

230

.

Adjusted operating result

€ million

21

12

80.1%

Facts & figures for H1 2013 at a glance

 

 

HJ 2013

HJ 2012

Change

Revenue

€ million

977

1,029

-5.1%

Total operating revenue

€ million

1,043

1,080

-3.4%

Operating expenditures

€ million

1,078

917

17.6%

Adjusted operating expenditures

€ million

1,078

1,135

-5.0%

Operating result*

€ million

-35

163

.

Adjusted operating result

€ million

-35

-55

36.8%

 

 

   

 

 

 

 
Number of passengers carried

in thousands

5,280

5,444

-3.0%

Available seat kilometers (ASK)

in millions

10,680

11,532

-7.4%

Capacity utilization (passenger load factor)  

75.7%

74.0%

1.7 p

Number of flights

66,325

69,296

-4.3%

Fleet size (thereof 3 aircraft in wet lease)  

77

77

.

 

 

 

Regularity of flight operations

98.6%

99.3%

-0.7 p

Punctuality at departure

86.6%

90.4%

-3.8 p

Punctuality at arrival

84.8%

89.2%

-4.4 p

 

 

 

Number of employees at the reporting date

6,244

6,686

-6.6%

*There were two effects in 2012: a) One-off effects relating to the transfer of flight operations to Tyrolean Airways to the amount of EUR 82 million and b) retroactive adjustment of the prior-year figures to the new accounting standard IAS 19 (“Employee Benefits”) valid starting in the current reporting year totaling EUR 136 million.

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 OE-LBP (msn 797) in the 1958 retrojet scheme arrives in Brussels.

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Swiss’ first half operating profit improves by 18% to $77 million

Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) reported an operating profit of $77 million for the first half of 2013 and issued the following statement:

SWISS achieved an operating profit of CHF 72 million ($77.7 million) for the first six months of 2013, an 18% improvement on the same period last year. Total income from operating activities was raised 3% for the period to CHF 2,515 million. These encouraging first-half results are attributable to a stabilization of the SWISS market environment and a strong business performance in the second-quarter period.        

Swiss International Air Lines (Group) effected a further increase in its total first-half income from operating activities this year: the CHF 2,515 million generated was a 3% improvement on the CHF 2,452 million of January-June 2012. Operating profit for the period was also improved from CHF 61 million to CHF 72 million, an increase of 18%. The first half of 2012 had, however, seen a pronouncedly negative earnings trend.

SWISS delivered a particularly strong business performance this year in the second-quarter period. The quarterly operating profit of CHF 96 million was a full 48% above its prior-year equivalent (CHF 65 million); and total operating income for the quarter also increased 3.1%, from the CHF 1,284 million of April-June 2012 to CHF 1,325 million.

The reasons for these positive developments can be found in the slight stabilization of market conditions in the second-quarter period and in the impact of numerous actions taken under the Lufthansa Group’s SCORE programme to enhance earnings performance and results. “We have detected a change in market trends,” confirms SWISS CEO Harry Hohmeister. “But with the still-high fuel prices in particular, the situation remains far from easy, and we haven’t achieved our results turnaround yet. We’re currently in the midst of some major structural adjustments to our European operations, like our new organization and fare model for Geneva,” Hohmeister continues. “And we must continue to consistently develop and embark on such bold new paths.”

Initiatives in Europe and on the fuel management front

SWISS unveiled a new fare concept for customers departing from Geneva in the course of the second-quarter period. The new concept, which also offers one-way fares, will come into effect this autumn, replacing the present pricing model. “Our new Geneva fare concept offers an innovative new pricing approach while still providing all our traditional SWISS quality,” Harry Hohmeister explains. The developments in Geneva have extended to the appointment of a new local management team for the regional market of Western Switzerland and adjacent French border areas, while plans are also well under way to establish a new Geneva crew base. All these endeavours are intended to better meet the region’s specific air travel wishes and needs.

Elsewhere, SWISS has been taking further action on the fuel management front. The additional measures here – which include reducing aircraft weights, revised flight planning, new flight procedures and the adoption of new technologies – should cut SWISS’s annual fuel bill by a double-digit million-franc amount by 2015.

Passenger volumes and load factors up again

SWISS carried a total of 7.77 million passengers in the first six months of 2013, a 0.9% increase on the 7.70 million of the same period last year. Total flights performed in the period declined 3.1%, from 75,269 to 72,899 flights. First-half systemwide seat load factor amounted to 82.6%, a further 1.3-percentage-point improvement on the 81.3% of the prior-year period.

SWISS offered 2.9% more available-seat-kilometre (ASK) capacity systemwide in the first six months of 2013 than it had for the same period last year. Total first-half traffic volume, measured in revenue passenger-kilometres (RPKs), was up 4.5%.

Total cargo sales for the first-half period were a 2.3% improvement in revenue-tonne-kilometre terms. Cargo load factor (by volume) slipped slightly to 78.6%.

Personnel

SWISS remains a key economic driver and creator of jobs, offering young aviation enthusiasts the chance to make their career dreams come true. This year, too, the company will add over 200 new positions to its cockpit and cabin crew corps, and the establishment of the new crew base in Geneva will create some 150 new local jobs by year-end. On 30 June 2013 the SWISS workforce amounted to 6,960 full-time equivalents (compared to 6,722 FTEs at the end of june 2012). These positions were shared among 8,171 personnel (compared to 7,975 at the end of june 2012).

Fleet, product and network

SWISS continues to invest in refining its product and modernizing its aircraft fleet. Its latest intercontinental destination – Singapore – received new non-stop service from and to Zurich in May. And the current aircraft order books feature 30 Bombardier CS100s, six Boeing 777s, a further Airbus A330-300 and a further Airbus A321.

Outlook

In view of the recent stabilization of the market environment, SWISS’s management is confident of posting an operating profit for 2013 as a whole that will exceed last year’s CHF 212 million in swiss francs. “We will have to further intensify all our efforts, though,” says CEO Harry Hohmeister, “if we are to achieve the kind of sustainable profit base we need to finance our growth and investment policy between now and 2020.”

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 HB-JLT (msn 5518) with the new Sharklets taxies at the Zurich hub.

Swiss: AG Slide Show

American Airlines and US Airways receive European Commission approval to merge

The European Commission has cleared American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix) to merge. AMR Corporation issued this statement:

AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines, Inc., and US Airways Group, Inc. have announced that they have received clearance from the European Commission under the EC Merger Regulation for their proposed merger.

Tom Horton, chairman, president and CEO of AMR, and incoming Chairman of the Board of the combined company, said, “We are very pleased that the EU has approved the merger between American Airlines and US Airways.  This represents one of the final milestones on our path to becoming the new American Airlines.”

Doug Parker, chairman and CEO of US Airways, and incoming CEO of the combined company, said, “The clearance by the European Commission is an important step toward closing this merger. The new American will benefit customers in the United States, Europe and across the world by enhancing connectivity within the oneworld alliance and creating more options for travel both domestically and internationally. We look forward to providing access to the best destinations in the world as the new American Airlines.”

As previously announced, AMR and US Airways agreed to combine to create the new American Airlines, a premier global carrier. Headquartered in Dallas/Fort Worth, the new American Airlines will become a highly competitive alternative for consumers to other global carriers and is expected to offer more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries.  The combined airline will offer customers more choices and increased service across a larger worldwide network and through an enhanced oneworld alliance. Together, American Airlines and US Airways are expected to operate a mainline fleet of almost 950 aircraft and employ more than 100,000 team members worldwide.

The merger is subject to regulatory approvals, other customary closing conditions and confirmation of AMR’s Plan of Reorganization by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The companies continue to expect to complete the combination in the third quarter of 2013.

Top Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-823 N967AN (msn 29545) prepares to land at Washington’s Reagan National Airport.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. The final (U.S.) merger approvals will come down to the issue of DCA Slots. American-US Airways are fighting to preserve their dominating number of arrival and departure slots at Washington’s Reagan national Airport. US Airways’ Airbus A321-231 N556UW (msn 5244) banks after completing the “River Approach” into DCA.

Delta partners with 15 National Football League teams for the 2013 season

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) begins the 2013 football season enjoying relationships with nearly half of the National Football League’s 32 teams. Delta has forged marketing relationships with 12 NFL teams and serves as the charter carrier for an additional three teams.

Delta is the official airline and charter carrier of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams and Tennessee Titans. Additionally Delta is the proud partner and charter carrier of the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers. Delta is also the proud charter carrier for the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles.

In addition to the 15 NFL relationships, Delta enjoys a marketing and/or charter relationship with 14 Major League Baseball teams, 22 National Basketball Association teams and eight National Hockey League teams. Delta uses marketing agreements in strategic markets to engage fans and customers and create awareness of the Delta brand.

Delta’s charter product – which flew both NFL teams to the Super Bowl in 2013 – is used by collegiate and professional teams worldwide to accommodate their hectic travel schedules and needs.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 N328NB (msn 1520) is one of the aircraft used for smaller team charters. N328NB rests during the game at Charlotte.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

International Airlines Group loses $43.7 million in the first half, British Airways brings the new Airbus A380 to Frankfurt

British Airways (London) brought its new Airbus A380 to Frankfurt (above) on August 2 as the flag carrier continues to test out the new type on its short haul European routes before it is introduced on longer international routes.

In other news, parent International Airline Group (IAG) lost $43.7 million in the first half of 2013. However IAG had a good second quarter as it managed to cut losses at Iberia in the second quarter to $39.7 million. IAG has cut 1,700 jobs at Iberia (Madrid) and plans to cut another 1,700 by 2015.

IAG issued this financial statement:

International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) presented Group consolidated results for the six months to June 30, 2013.

IAG period highlights on results:

  • Second quarter operating profit €245 million (2012: loss €4 million) before exceptional items, based on strong passenger unit revenues and non-fuel unit cost improvements
  • Before Vueling at constant currency, second quarter passenger unit revenue up 4.8 per cent and non-fuel unit costs down 0.2 per cent
  • Operating loss for the half year €33 million (2012: loss €253 million) before exceptional items
  • Revenue for the half year up 2.1 per cent to €8,707 million including 1.7 per cent adverse currency impact
  • Passenger unit revenue for the half year up 2.8 per cent (4.6 per cent at constant currency), on capacity increase of 1.2 per cent
  • Fuel costs for the half year down 3.7 per cent to €2,864 million (2012: €2,973 million). Fuel unit costs down 4.7 per cent at constant currency
  • Non-fuel costs before exceptional items for the half year up 1.1 per cent at €5,876 million. Non-fuel unit costs down 0.2 per cent, up 0.9 per cent at constant currency
  • Cash €3,627 million at June 30, 2013, up €718 million including €549 million of Vueling cash
  • Adjusted gearing up 3 points to 54 per cent including Vueling

Willie Walsh also stated subsidiary Vueling Airlines (Barcelona) would be expanding again and would be taking on a larger role in intra-European routes. Higher-cost Iberia will be reducing its presence in Europe.

Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. British Airways’ Airbus A380-841 G-XLEA (msn 095) taxies to the gate at Frankfurt.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Video: British Airways has introduced this new “A Ticket to Visit Mum” video for the Indian market:

Emirates introduces a new Airbus A319 private jet service

Emirates Executive A319 Cabin (Emirates)(LR)

Emirates (Dubai) has introduced its version of a new private jet service with an Airbus A319. The fast-growing airline issued this statement:

Emirates has announced the launch of its luxury private jet service. Customers seeking unsurpassed luxury in travel can book a tailor-made experience on Emirates Executive, the ultra-spacious Airbus 319 aircraft, and enjoy new technology and design to meet the most discerning traveller’s requirements.

Providing a private charter service to most locations worldwide and beyond the existing Emirates network, the aircraft offers a new configuration with a high level of comfort and service for up to 19 passengers. Always pioneering, Emirates Executive introduces many firsts from private suites to a large multi-functional lounge area on-board, making it a service versatile enough to provide diverse travel options for both the private customer and corporations alike.

The configuration of the A319 Emirates Executive aircraft is based on two main zones. The first area is a wide dining and executive lounge at the front of the aircraft designed to seat up to 12 passengers, combining a work area and a rest zone with two large sofas surrounding four mechanically-activated tables and two 42” HD LCD screens. The second distinct area comprises 10 Private Suites each featuring a fully lie flat seat and a 32” HD LCD screen.

The suites are complemented by a large and elegant Shower Spa, equipped with a full-height shower, featured innovations like a floor heating system, decorative serigraphy on mirrors and marble accents, as well as luxury, all-natural skincare products.

Customers can also enjoy a variety of multi-course culinary options from Emirates’ award-winning menus, and the finest selection of hot and cold beverages, as well as customised options to suit any palette or dietary requirement. The aircraft is equipped with state-of-the-art technology including Emirates’ award winning in-flight entertainment (ice) with up to 1,500 channels of on-demand entertainment, as well as a live TV, video conferencing facilities and high-speed internet and mobile phone connectivity.

The personalised service for customers includes booking an aircraft at short notice and a premium chauffeur drive service. The A319 aircraft is supported by a dedicated team of highly trained and experienced inflight crew and ground staff.

Copyright Photo: Emirates.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Video:

Airbus delivers the 8,000 aircraft, an A320 for AirAsia

AirAsia (Indonesia) A320-200 WL PK-AZF (12)(Grd)(Airbus)(LR)

Airbus (Toulouse) has delivered its 8,000th aircraft – an A320 for AirAsia Indonesia (Jakarta). The aircraft took off from Toulouse, France on Saturday August 3 and arrived earlier today (August 5) at its new base in Jakarta.

 

AirAsia Group is the largest low-cost airline in Asia and now operates an all-Airbus fleet. The airline is the largest customer for the A320 Family, having ordered a total of 475 aircraft, comprising 264 A320neo and 211 A320ceo. Meanwhile, Airbus wide body aircraft are the choice of the group’s long haul affiliate AirAsiaX, which has ordered a total of 26 A330-300s and ten A350 XWBs. A total of 141 Airbus aircraft are flying today in AirAsia’s colors out of its 16 bases in the region, which include Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.
Copyright Photo: Airbus. A320-216 PK-AZF (msn 5706) was officially handed over at Toulouse on August 3.
AirAsia (Indonesia): AG Slide Show

JetBlue to introduce the new Airbus A321 on December 19

JetBlue A321-200 (05-Mosaic)(Flt)(Airbus)(LRW)

JetBlue Airways (New York) has opened reservations for the launch of new Airbus A321 service starting on December 19. The first three A321 routes will be from New York (JFK) to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Barbados (Bridgetown) and San Juan per Airline Route.

The airline issued this statement today:

JetBlue Airways today unveiled its new, fully customized lie-flat seat which will be available on highly popular transcontinental routes next year.  Just as JetBlue reinvented coach service, the airline is committed to reinventing the transcontinental experience by adding service, comfort and amenities at an affordable price that is expected to stimulate market demand.

New lie-flat seats are expected to debut in the market on new Airbus A321 aircraft beginning in the second quarter of 2014 on the two most popular nonstop routes in the United States – New York to Los Angeles and New York to San Francisco. In addition, JetBlue will be the first and only airline in the market to offer customers the option of a completely separate single suite seat that includes a closable door for increased privacy.

The new lie-flat seat, created in a partnership with Northern Ireland-based Thompson Aero Seating, will be displayed in a unique 2-1 configuration. Rows 1, 3 and 5 will offer 2-by-2 seating, and rows 2 and 4 will offer private suites, with one seat on each side of the aisle.

The new seats also offer air cushions with adjustable firmness, a massage function, a 15-inch widescreen television featuring the most live entertainment in the skies, and a unique “wake-me-for-service” indicator if the customer chooses to sleep in, putting more control back into the customer’s hands. In addition, JetBlue will refresh the core JetBlue Experience in 2014 which will include a comfortable seat design with movable headrests, a new entertainment system with up to 100 channels of DirecTV® programming on 10.1-inch wide screens, and 110-volt and USB power ports accessible to all customers. And of course, more legroom throughout coach than any other U.S. airline.

JetBlue’s wholly owned subsidiary LiveTV will begin installing Fly-Fi on JetBlue’s fleet by the end of the year, a new high-speed, satellite-based wi-fi product that will offer true broadband speeds and serve as the fastest internet access at altitude.  “We believe Fly-Fi will be a competitive advantage in the market for JetBlue,” Mr. Barger said. “This is not the slow Wi-Fi you get on other airlines today.  This will be connectivity at speeds you’ve come to expect on the ground.”

JetBlue expects to increase frequencies on JFK-LAX and JFK-SFO with new Airbus A321 aircraft next year to offer even more options, convenience and comfort for customers. There will be a dedicated sub-fleet of 11 aircraft initially used for the two core transcontinental routes. Additional markets are possible, based on customer response and demand for more service.

“We expect to invigorate the market with our competitive price,” Mr. Barger said. “Building on our original strategy of serving the under-served with a unique product and service-focused culture, we believe this new product will be very popular with current coast-to-coast customers, and may motivate new customers to choose JetBlue.” On an industry-wide basis, revenue from the New York JFK-Los Angeles and JFK-San Francisco markets is more than 50% higher than any other route in the United States, as airlines have dedicated more premium seats and charged much higher fares on these routes on a per-mile basis.  There are more than 6,000 passengers each day on the two routes combined, independent Diio data show.

JetBlue’s new Airbus A321 aircraft begin arriving later this year and will have two configurations. The first four aircraft deliveries will offer the core JetBlue Experience throughout the cabin with capacity for 190 customers.  In 2014 additional A321s will be delivered from the Airbus factory in Hamburg, Germany, with 16 lie-flat seats, four of which are the private suites, and 143 core JetBlue Experience seats.

JETBLUE AIRWAYS LIE-FLAT SEAT

Image: Airbus and JetBlue Airways.

Video:

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/71332570″>Introducing JetBlue’s New Interior Design</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/jetblue”>JetBlue</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Aeromar is coming to Austin, Texas

Aeromar (Transportes Aeromar S.A.) (Mexico City) is coming to Austin, Texas. The Mexican carrier will commence nonstop Mexico City-Austin nonstop flights on October 21 per the Austin Business Journal. The new route will be operated five days a week with Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets.

Aeromar (Mexico) logo-1

Copyright Photo: Juan Carlos Guerra/Airlinersgallery.com. Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) XA-UPA (msn 7545) arrives at the Mexico City hub.

Aeromar (Mexico): AG Slide Show

Aer Lingus’ loss expands in the first half of 2013

Aer Lingus (Dublin) record a first half 2013 pre-tax loss of $21.7 million, an increase of  272.7 percent from the smaller loss in the first half of 2012. However the flag carrier was able to record a pre-tax profit of $38.6 million in the second quarter but it was not enough to offset the larger loss in the first quarter.

The airline put a positive spin of the second quarter:

Christoph Mueller, Aer Lingus’ CEO, commented:

“Aer Lingus is pleased to report an excellent business performance for the first half of 2013. All key revenue metrics have trended positively with passenger numbers up 1.3%, load factor up 2.0 points and growth in fare revenue per seat across short and long haul.

Our Q2 2013 revenue performance was particularly strong. We expanded long haul capacity by 16.3% in the quarter and successfully sold the additional seats, achieving a load factor of almost 95% in June. Short haul continues to trade positively. However, the weakness in UK routes identified in our Q1 results has continued in Q2. The first half of our financial year is seasonally loss making and we are reporting an operating loss (before exceptional items) which is €12.0 million higher than the prior year. This performance reflects the impact of a number of one-off factors including the start up of our contract flying operations and planned changes to our long haul fleet.

We continue to focus on our cost base and are conscious that certain planned cost saving initiatives have not had effect as quickly as we had initially hoped. However, the voluntary severance program we outlined at Q1 seeking a headcount reduction of 100 has been oversubscribed with expressions of interest. We expect the benefits of this programme will start to take effect towards the end of the current year with full year effect in 2014.

Bookings for the remainder of the year at 30 June 2013 were ahead of prior year with Q3 long haul looking particularly positive. However, this booking profile has somewhat eroded over July due to the good weather. Nonetheless, we maintain our guidance that 2013 operating profit, before net exceptional items, will be broadly in line with 2012.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Read the analysis from the Irish Times: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-202 EI-DUO (msn 841) taxies at the the Dublin hub.

Aer Lingus: AG Slide Show

Hawaiian to operate two routes from Oakland to Hawaii next summer

Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) is planning to operate two new long-range routes to Hawaii from Oakland next summer. According to Airline Route, the company will operate the Oakland-Kona (Hawaii) route four days a week from June 13 through August 15, 2014 and the Oakland-Lihue (Kauai) route three days a week from June 15 through August 15, 2014. Both routes will be flown with Boeing 767-300 ERs.

Copyright Photo: Clement Alloing. Boeing 767-3CB N588HA (msn 33466) is pictured at Toulouse, France.

Hawaiian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Frontier to convert the Denver-Durango route to summer season only

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is suspending the Denver-Durango route on October 29, 2013 for the winter season. The intra-Colorado route is currently operated with Airbus A319s and will be restored next summer according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 N934FR (msn 2287) with L.J., the Baby Lynx, prepares to land at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).

Frontier Airlines (2nd): AG Slide Show

Would you like to be a “Guest Editor” on World Airline News?

World Airline News block logo

Would you like to be published in World Airline News? Our growing free online airline news website is looking for additional writers, i.e. “Guest Editors”, who would like to have their articles and stories published online. We cannot compensate you for your article but getting published in WAN is a great way to get noticed by a large audience and a rapidly growing readership.

We are looking for the following article ideas:

1. Travel adventures and your airline experiences: Tell us about how your last airline travel adventure went, good or bad (with photos). The longer the trip, the better. However small virtually unknown airlines in exotic locations are also wanted.

2. A new and innovative idea on how to improve airline service or airport operations.

3. An airline profile for a current or historical airline (with photos, or using our photos).

4. An article on a certain airliner type (your favorite airliner) (with photos, or using our photos).

5. What it is like to be a pilot, flight attendant, ramp worker, flight dispatcher, maintenance worker or manager etc. (tell us the inside story of your part of the airline industry).

6. A great video about flying, airline operations or working at an airport.

7 Or, any great idea you have for an entertaining article.

If you are interested, please contact:

Bruce Drum

Editor

World Airline News

airlinersgallery@gmail.com

Thank you.

The ultimate “downtown airport”

An entertaining video brings the ultimate “downtown airport” to the streets to Buenos Aires (thanks to Phil Perry).

Munich Airport’s employees produce a great video

Lufthansa Group’s 2Q net profit falls 42% to $337 million

Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa) (Frankfurt) reported its second quarter net profit dropped over 42 percent to $337 million due restructuring costs due to cost-cutting measures. The group  believes it is on track and will raise profitability for the rest of 2013.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Lufthansa’s Airbus A320-214 D-AIZQ (msn 5497) with Sharklets departs from the Frankfurt hub.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Icelandair Group’s 2Q net profit jumps 29% to $18.5 million

Icelandair Group (Icelandair) (Keflavik) reported its second quarter net profit increased 29 percent to $18.5 million, up from $14.3 million for the quarter a year ago.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Icelandair Group Fleet Data:

Icelandair Group Fleet (8:2013)

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/Airlinersgallery.com. Boeing 757-208 TF-FIJ (msn 25085) approaches the runway at Toronto (Pearson) after its flight from the Keflavik hub (near Reykjavik).

Icelandair: AG Slide Show

Jet2 to add East Midlands-Paris CDG flights on April 3, 2014

Jet2 (Jet2.com) (East Midlands) will add a new route from its East Midlands base to Paris (CDG) starting on April 3, 2014 according to Airline Route. The new route four days a week with Boeing 737-300s.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-36N WL G-GDFL (msn 28568) taxies at Palma de Mallorca.

Jet2: AG Slide Show

Volaris is coming to Phoenix

Volaris (Mexico City) will launch a new route connecting Guadalajara with Phoenix starting on October 19. The new route will be operated three days a week with Airbus A319s.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-132 XA-VOR (msn 2296) “Rebeca” approaches Los Angeles International Airport.

Volaris: AG Slide Show

Routes from Guadalajara:

Volaris 8:2013 GDL Route Map

WestJet sets a single-day passenger record on July 31

WestJet (Calgary) announced it flew 60,441 passengers on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, setting a new single-day record for guests travelling with the airline. The previous single-day record was 57,474, set on December 21, 2012.

“As we approach the August long weekend, we thank our guests for choosing to fly with us in record numbers,” said Bob Cummings, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Sales, Marketing and Guest Experience. “As we continue to develop our expanding network, introduce new products and appeal to new travel segments, we are seeing significant growth in the number of new WestJet guests we are welcoming on board – including business travellers and foreign guests flying with us as a result of our nearly three dozen airline partnerships around the world. We are proud to introduce more guests to the caring service for which our WestJetters are known.”

WestJet expects near-record numbers each day through the upcoming long weekend.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/Airlinersgallery.com.  Boeing 737-8CT WL C-GZWS (msn 32770) prepares to land in Las Vegas.

WestJet: AG Slide Show

Frontier Airlines to end Denver-Albuquerque service on January 6

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is planning to drop the historic Denver-Albuquerque route on January 6, 2014 according to Airline Route.

Parent Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) is planning to sell off the Frontier subsidiary.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 N905FR (msn 1583) with Sherman, the Sea Lion on the tail, arrives at Atlanta.

Frontier Airlines (2nd): AG Slide Show

Delta to launch its Los Angeles-San Francisco hourly shuttle on September 3

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has confirmed our previous report. Delta will begin hourly, nonstop Delta Shuttle service between Los Angeles International and San Francisco International airports on September 3, 2013. The Delta Shuttle introduces 14 daily flights and a product tailored to business travelers while adding a California perspective to its popular New York-based shuttle.

Flights depart at the top of the hour beginning at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday and will be operated by Delta Connection partner, Compass Airlines (Delta Connection) (Minneapolis/St. Paul) using Embraer ERJ 175 aircraft which accommodate 76 passengers in 12 First Class, 12 Economy Comfort and 52 Economy seats.

Customers flying the Delta Shuttle between Los Angeles and San Francisco will enjoy:

  • Check-in as close as 30 minutes prior to departure
  • Dedicated check-in counters exclusively for Shuttle customers
  • Gates located near security
  • Complimentary newspapers for all customers including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Financial Times and more
  • Assigned seating
  • Two classes of service with complimentary upgrades for SkyMiles Medallion members when available.
  • Complimentary onboard snacks provided by LYFE Kitchen, a California-based lifestyle food brand, offering great-tasting, good-for-you food
  • Complimentary beverages in-flight including Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. craft beer, Starbucks coffee and wine from Wente Vineyards in all classes of service
  • Cocktails available for purchase in Economy
  • Access to in-flight Wi-Fi on all Shuttle flights

Delta has partnered with the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles World Airports to invest $229 million to overhaul Terminal 5 at Los Angeles International Airport. The construction project has already begun and will be complete in 2015. Highlights of the project include doubling the size of the ticketing lobby and federal security screening checkpoints; an exclusive Sky Priority experience with a separate lobby and checkpoint; a renovation of the Delta Sky Club; new baggage carousels; upgraded facilities to improve international baggage recheck; and new finishes providing a cleaner, brighter customer experience. All Delta and Delta Connection flights serving Los Angeles offer customers the option of First Class, Economy Comfort or Economy seating, along with in-flight Wi-Fi. Delta operates the largest Wi-Fi-equipped fleet in the world, including all Delta Connection two-class regional jets.

In other news, Delta is also adding weekly Delta Connection Bombardier CRJ900 service from both Orlando and Raleigh/Durham to Nassau in the Bahamas beginning on December 21 per Airline Route. The carrier will also launch seasonal CRJ900 service between Fargo, North Dakota and the Atlanta hub also on December 21.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Compass Airlines’ Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N612CZ (msn 17000201) arrives at Washington’s Dulles International Airport.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Delta Connection-Compass Airlines: AG Slide Show

American launches codeshare agreement with LAN Colombia, creditors and shareholders tentatively approve the merger with US Airways

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has announced the launch of a new codeshare agreement with LAN Colombia (Bogota), adding new service to key destinations in Colombia and further strengthening American’s relationship with LATAM Airlines Group. Customers can begin booking travel on the codeshare flights for travel beginning August 8.

The new codeshare agreement will give American’s customers seamless connecting service within Colombia and provide LAN Colombia’s customers access to new destinations in the United States. The two airlines will codeshare on flights between the U.S. and Colombia and provide American’s customers access to four new destinations in Colombia – Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Cartagena and Pereira, while giving LAN Colombia’s customers access to 12 new cities in the U.S. from Miami, including Chicago (O’Hare), Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles and New York (JFK).

In addition, LAN Colombia plans to join the oneworld® alliance in the fourth quarter of this year. LAN Colombia operates more than 990 weekly flights to cities throughout Colombia as well as destinations in Brazil and the U.S. From its Bogota hub, LAN Colombia offers 125 daily flights, including service to 20 Colombian cities.

In addition to the codeshare agreement with LAN Colombia, later this year American will launch new service from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Bogota (BOG), demonstrating its mission to provide customers with expanded options through a growing network footprint in Latin America. American currently operates up to 35 weekly flights from its hub in Miami to Bogota (BOG), Cali (CLO) and Medellin (MDE).

In others news, AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines, Inc., announced the preliminary voting results on the Company’s Plan of Reorganization, which indicate overwhelming acceptance of the Plan by those creditors and shareholders entitled to vote.

Of the eight creditor classes entitled to vote, at least 88 percent of the ballots received and tabulated in each class, representing more than 97 percent of the claims value voting in each class, were voted in favor of the Plan.  Additionally, more than 99 percent of the shares tabulated for the class of AMR stockholders voted to accept the Plan.

The final voting results for the Plan will be certified and filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in advance of the confirmation hearing on August 15, 2013.

On June 7, 2013, the Court authorized the company to begin soliciting approval of the Plan from AMR’s creditors and stockholders. Voting on the Plan ended July 29, 2013 at 5 p.m. EDT.

The effective date of the Plan and American’s Chapter 11 emergence are expected to occur simultaneously with the closing of the merger with US Airways. The merger is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013.

Top Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new Boeing 777-323 ER N725AN (msn 41666) was handed over to American Airlines on July 31, 2013.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

LAN Colombia: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Bernardo Andrade/AirlinersGallery.com. Former AIRES Colombia Boeing 737-73S EI-EEB (msn 29081) of LAN Colombia taxies past the camera at Sao Paulo (Guarulhos).

Ryanair to add more Ireland-UK frequencies in response to Aer Lingus increases, takes another swipe at the UKCC

Ryanair (Dublin) always famous for its comments about government agencies, has issued this new scathing comment and news:

Ryanair, the UK’s largest airline, today (31 July) announced that it would add additional daily frequencies from October on its five main Ireland-UK routes in a direct response to similar flight increases recently announced by Aer Lingus for the 2013-14 winter schedule. Aer Lingus’ decision to increase flight frequencies on these UK routes further undermines the discredited UKCC investigation into Ryanair’s 6 ½ year old minority (29%) stake in Aer Lingus. Confronted with incontrovertible evidence that competition between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has intensified, the UKCC has been reduced to inventing fairytale future “concerns” that Ryanair has “influence” over Aer Lingus or that this stake has or will lead to a lessening of competition.

The UKCC, in its provisional findings, has ignored, or excluded, 6 ½ years of evidence which totally disproves their bogus claims. It has failed to produce any evidence that competition would be lessened (or UK consumers penalised) when the European Commission recently (Feb 2013) prohibited Ryanair’s offer for Aer Lingus on the very grounds that competition has intensified between the two Irish airlines over the past 6½ years. If, as the UKCC now claims, Ryanair has “influence” over Aer Lingus which “might” lessen competition, then it should explain why Aer Lingus has recently increased flights on the five main Ireland-UK routes or why Ryanair is now responding with yet more flight frequency, which will lead to lower prices and better deals for those few UK consumers who actually fly Aer Lingus.
Ryanair will add at least one additional daily return flight from October 2013 to each of its top 5 Dublin-UK routes including London (STN), Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Bristol as follows:
RYANAIR INCREASES ON 5 DUBLIN-UK ROUTES – WINTER 2013-14
Route
Daily rotations Nov 2012
Daily rotations Nov 2013
Dublin – London (STN)
7
8
Dublin – Manchester
4
5
Dublin – Birmingham
3
4
Dublin – Edinburgh
3
4
Dublin – Bristol
2
3

 

Ryanair continues to question why the UK’s OFT and CC have wasted millions of UK taxpayer funds investigating a 6 ½ year old failed merger between two Irish airlines (which has little, if any, impact on any UK consumers) while at the same time neither quango took any action whatsoever on behalf of UK consumers when BA acquired BMI, or previously when Easyjet acquired GB Airways. The UKCC has failed to explain this glaring lack in consistency particularly when neither the EU nor the Irish competition authorities had any concerns about Ryanair’s 6 ½ year old minority stake.
Since the UKCC inquiry has been unable to produce one shred of evidence that competition between Aer Lingus and Ryanair has lessened over the past 6 ½ years and since the UKCC has been forced to accept the EU’s ruling (that intensified competition has benefited consumers) this has reduced the UKCC to flailing around, inventing fairytale future “concerns” so that it can ignore the inconvenient truths of the last 6 ½ years of evidence.
The UKCC’s 3 fairytale future “concerns” are disproven by the past 6 ½ years of evidence as follows;
a) That Ryanair “might” block a rights issue by Aer Lingus: however the UKCC have ignored the inconvenient truth that over the past 6 ½ years – Ryanair has repeatedly confirmed it will support take up rights to prevent dilution.
b) That Ryanair “might” block a disposal by Aer Lingus of its Heathrow slots (despite the fact any such disposal would lessen competition between the two airlines) while ignoring the inconvenient fact that Aer Lingus, as recently as April 2013, disposed of a pair of Heathrow slots without any objection or block by Ryanair.
c) That Ryanair “might” prevent another EU airline from acquiring Aer Lingus, and/or “squeezing out” Ryanair. Again the UKCC has ignored the inconvenient truth that over the past 6 ½ years, no other EU airline has shown any interest in acquiring Aer Lingus and almost all other EU airlines have publicly stated that they have no interest in acquiring Aer Lingus.
In order to destroy any remaining shred of credibility from these bogus and invented “concerns” Ryanair has offered to unconditionally and irrevocably dispose of its 29% minority shareholding to any other EU airline who offers for, and successfully acquires 50.1% of Aer Lingus (which is far below the legal 80% squeeze out threshold). This undertaking has been dismissed by many commentators on the very obvious grounds that no other EU airline wishes to acquire Aer Lingus, another inconvenient fact which the UKCC has conveniently ignored. Ryanair’s undertaking removes any possibility that it can or could block an acquisition of Aer Lingus by another EU airline and sheds this UKCC process of any credibility whatsoever.
The UKCC’s case now lies in tatters, as Simon Polito and his team flounder around, looking to invent new and even more fairytale “concerns” when the inconvenient truth is that 6 ½ years of evidence proves that Ryanair’s minority stake has resulted in intensified competition between the Irish airlines to the benefit of UK consumers. Finally, the UKCC has produced no shred of evidence whatsoever that any other EU airline – other than Ryanair – has any interest in acquiring Aer Lingus.
Copyright Photo: Lucio Alfieri/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-DCL (msn 33806) in the original Dreamliner colors taxies at Bologna.
Ryanair: AG Slide Show
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