WestJet (Calgary) has announced the 2014-2015 winter schedule featuring two new destinations, one new route and increased frequency on 19 additional routes. Twice-daily nonstop service between Toronto (Pearson) and Fredericton, New Brunswick begins on April 15, 2015, and weekly nonstop service between Calgary and Loreto, Mexico, launches on February 14, 2015. Weekly flights between Winnipeg and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood operate Saturdays starting on November 1, 2014.
Flights to Fredericton will be operated by WestJet Encore (Calgary) using its fleet of 78-seat, Canadian-made Bombardier DHC-8-402 (marketed as the Q400) NextGen aircraft.
Earlier this year, WestJet unveiled four additional new routes as part the 2014-2015 winter schedule.
WestJet Encore service between Calgary and Penticton begins October 26, 2014, Edmonton to Kamloops service starts February 15, 2015, and Quebec City welcomes twice-daily flights beginning March 15, 2015. Daily WestJet service between Toronto and Phoenix launches October 26, 2014.
WestJet Encore was launched in June 2013 operating 10 departures daily to two destinations with two aircraft and 131 employees. Today, it operates 90 departures daily to 19 destinations with 12 aircraft and approximately 500 employees.
Copyright Photo: Wingnut/AirlinersGallery.com. Captured at an unusual angle, Boeing 737-8CT C-GAWS (msn 38880) with the special #100 Boeing 737 NG markings taxies at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Okay Airways (OKAir) orders six Boeing 737 MAX 8s and four 737-800s, will also operate the 737-900ER
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Okay Airways (stylized as OKAir) (Tianjin) announced an order today for six 737 MAX 8s and four Next-Generation 737-800s, valued at $980 million at current list prices.
Okay Airways, the first privately owned airline in China, also announced it will convert five 737-800s from a previous order into 737-900 ERs (Extended Range). With today’s conversion announcement, Okay Airways will be the first airline in China to operate the 737-900 ER and has eight of the airplanes on order.
Okay Airways is headquartered in Beijing with its main hub at Tianjin Binhai International Airport. Its jetliner fleet includes 12 Boeing 737-800s and one Boeing 737-300 Freighter, which serves 40 domestic destinations.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) today (July 11) delivered to Nok Airlines Public Company Limited (Nok Air) (Bangkok) this Boeing 737-86J registered as HS-DBQ (msn 37794) painted in this 10th Anniversary special livery.
The 737-800, owned by Ireland-based leasing company Avolon and operated by Nok Air, features the traditional bird-themed livery with the addition of stars, streamers and “10th Anniversary” painted on the airplane to celebrate the milestone. The aircraft was previously planned to go to Airberlin.
Nok Air means Bird Air in the Thai language.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Nok Air’s brand new 737-800 lands at Boeing Field in Seattle.
Current Route Map:
Gol Transportes Aereos (Sao Paulo) will soon operate biofuel flights to the United States. In association with Amyris, the two parties have issued this announcement:
Amyris has partnered with Gol to begin the first commercial route with farnesane, the recently approved renewable jet fuel.
Gol has committed to fly its Boeing 737 fleet with up to a 10 percent blend of the renewable fuel on its U.S. to Brazil routes starting with initial flights later in July 2014. Supported by Boeing, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and other partners, Amyris is working to bring this new, renewable jet fuel to commercial airlines starting with Gol.
Developed by Amyris, an industrial bioscience company, and Total, one of the world’s leading energy companies, this new aviation renewable fuel meets the rigorous performance requirements set for Jet A/A-1 fuel used by the global commercial aviation industry. On June 15, 2014 ASTM revised the ASTM for jet fuel standard, paving the way for airlines to use Synthesized Iso-Paraffin (SIP) farnesane as a jet fuel component in commercial airlines globally. When produced sustainably, farnesane can reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by up to 80% on a lifecycle basis compared to traditional petroleum fuels.
Amyris is an integrated renewable products company focused on providing sustainable alternatives to a broad range of petroleum-sourced products. Amyris uses its industrial bioscience technology platform to
convert plant sugars into a variety of hydrocarbon molecules – flexible building blocks that can be used in a wide range of products. Amyris is commercializing these products both as No Compromise (R) renewable ingredients in cosmetics, flavors and fragrances, polymers, lubricants and consumer products, and also as No Compromise renewable diesel and jet fuel. Amyris Brasil Ltda., a subsidiary of Amyris, oversees the establishment and expansion of Amyris’s production in Brazil.
Copyright Photo: Rodrigo Cozzato/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8HX PR-GUT (msn 38878) arrives in Sao Paulo (Congonhas).
Ryanair (Dublin) has announced significant growth for Scotland with three new routes between Edinburgh and London (Stansted), Glasgow and London (Stansted) and Glasgow and Dublin (three times daily), as well as a new base at Glasgow International (Ryanair’s 69th in total).
Ryanair’s existing once daily flight from Glasgow Prestwick to Dublin will now switch to Glasgow International as part of an expanded three times daily business service between Glasgow and Dublin. Despite this switch Ryanair remains committed to its long standing base at Prestwick where the airline has a major maintenance facility and is currently in discussions with Glasgow Prestwick and the Scottish Government, its new owners, to explore growth opportunities to/from Prestwick Airport.
From October 26, 2014, Ryanair will base three Boeing 737-800s at Edinburgh, one at Glasgow (International) and one at Glagow (Prestwick).
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DLB (msn 33584) taxies at Nantes.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) today (July 1) launched an international service by inaugurating service to three Caribbean destinations from three of its US gateway cities. Southwest Airlines’ first international departure, flight WN 1804 from Baltimore/Washington to Oranjestad, Aruba, departed on time at 8:30 am EDT, closely followed by Southwest flight WN 906 to Montego Bay, Jamaica, where its first-ever scheduled international arrival was planned for just after 11 am EDT. A midday flight from Baltimore/Washington to Nassau/Paradise Island also brings Southwest Airlines to The Bahamas.
Customers on the carrier’s inaugural international flights from Baltimore/Washington joined those in two other gateway cities of Atlanta, and Orlando who celebrated alongside Employees with commemorative beach balls, snorkels and masks.
At the Company’s corporate headquarters in Dallas, Employees staffed a command center in the pre-dawn hours to monitor operational performance and new technology systems developed in partnership with Amadeus, a leading technology provider to the global travel industry. Its Altea suite of technology solutions is powering Southwest’s reservations, inventory, and departure control functions for international flying.
Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8H4 N8633A (msn 36905) with the new Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets arrives at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI).
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will fly weekly New York (JFK)-St. Lucia flights from December 20, 2014 through April 4, 2015. The winter seasonal flights will be operated with Boeing 737-800s according to Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-832 N378DA (msn 30265) arrives in New York (JFK).
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has announced new nonstop service this winter to the Caribbean island of Barbados. Delta will add new nonstop flights beginning on December 4, 2014, twice weekly between Grantley Adams International Airport in Bridgetown and both New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Flights will operate Thursdays and Saturdays, and two flights will start simultaneously, one from New York into Barbados and then onto Atlanta; and then a second one originating in Atlanta, traveling to Barbados and on to New York.
The two Boeing 737-800s have a seating capacity of 160, consisting of 16 business class seats, 18 economy comfort seats and 126 economy seats on each flight.
Barbados is one of 97 international locations on Delta’s growing route map, and one of the more than 225 destinations throughout the Americas.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-832 N3763D (msn 29629) departs from Los Angeles.
Chart: Delta’s current fleet:
Belavia Belarusian Airlines (Minsk) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) have reached an agreement on an order for three Next-Generation 737-800 airplanes. Valued at $272 million at current list prices, this is the first direct purchase of Boeing airplanes for Belavia.
The new airplanes will be capable of carrying up to 189 passengers in economy class cabin. Belavia said it will use these airplanes on existing charter routes because the economic efficiency of the airplanes will reduce operational costs and the extended range will allow for nonstop flights to farther destinations, including Tenerife, Canary Islands and Dubai.
Belavia serves a network of routes between European cities and the Commonwealth of Independent States, as well as several Middle East destinations. The airline’s Boeing fleet currently consists of six 737-500s and seven 737-300s.
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. The new airplanes will start the process of replacing the older Boeing 737 Classics including Boeing 737-3Q8 EW-283PA (msn 26333) arriving at Antalya, Turkey.
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) today (June 20) launched daily round-trip service between its Seattle/Tacoma hub (SEA) and Tampa, Florida (TPA).
Alaska Airlines is the only carrier offering nonstop service between Seattle and Tampa.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The new route also increases the transit time from Tampa to the state of Alaska, especially during the peak summer travel market. Boeing 737-890 N588AS (msn 35685) departs from Anchorage International Airport (ANC) with the new Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) will continue expanding its domestic and international service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), further strengthening one of its key hubs and providing more access for customers across its growing global network. New service between Los Angeles and the following markets will be available for booking beginning this Saturday, June 21.
Edmonton, Alberta operated daily, beginning October 2
San Antonio operated twice daily, beginning October 2
Tampa, Florida operated daily, beginning November 6
Vancouver, British Columbia operated twice daily, beginning October 2
Service between LAX and Edmonton, San Antonio and Vancouver will be operated as US Airways Express with a two-class Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft. The new route between LAX and Tampa will be operated by American Airlines with a two-class Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
With these new markets, American will serve 53 domestic and international destinations from its LAX hub. Customers have access to even more global destinations through partners British Airways, Iberia, Qantas, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific and LAN, all of which offer convenient connections from Los Angeles.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-823 N980AN (msn 33203) departs the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Turkish Airlines (Istanbul) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) today (June 16) finalized an order for 15 additional 737 MAX 8s, valued at $1.6 billion at list prices. The order follows the announcement in May 2013 when the Turkish flag carrier placed the largest Boeing order in the airline’s history for 50 737 MAXs and 20 Next-Generation 737s.
With today’s announcement, Turkish Airlines has more than 100 unfilled orders for Boeing airplanes; 65 737 MAXs, more than 25 Next-Generation 737s and 20 777-300ER (Extended Range) airplanes. The Istanbul-based carrier currently operates a fleet of more than 100 Next-Generation 737s and 15 777-300ERs.
The 737 MAX has surpassed 2,000 orders from 41 customers, bringing the most advanced engine technologies to the world’s best-selling airplane, building on the strengths of today’s Next-Generation 737. The 737 MAX incorporates the latest-technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. Airlines operating the 737 MAX will see an 8 percent operating cost per seat advantage over tomorrow’s competition.
Turkish Airlines currently serves 254 cities in 106 countries around the world from its base at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.
Copyright Photo: Greenwing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8F2 TC-JFU (msn 29781) prepares to depart from Dublin.
WestJet (Calgary) tonight (June 15) will mark a key milestone in its 18-year history with the launch of its first scheduled trans-Atlantic service between Toronto and Dublin, Ireland, with a brief stop in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The flight will arrive in Dublin tomorrow (June 16) at 7 a.m. (0700) local time.
Announced in November 2013, WestJet offered introductory fares between Toronto and Dublin starting from $199 including taxes, fees and surcharges on all flights in both directions from June 15 to October 5, 2014 – fares which sold out within the first 24 hours. Today, the service is heavily booked and well ahead of projections, recently prompting a three-week extension to October 25, 2014.
Details of WestJet’s new daily Dublin service from St. John’s are:
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8CT C-GWSZ (msn 37092) taxies at Toronto (Pearson) in the special Walt Disney World “Magic Plane” color scheme.
Pegasus Airlines (Istanbul) will launch Istanbul (Sabiha Gokcen)-Budapest flights on July 16. The new route will be operated four days a week.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Pegasus Airlines’ Boeing 737-82R TC-CPD (msn 40726) displays the 2009 color scheme at Zurich. TC-CPD also displays Pegasus Asia titles for its joint venture with Air Manas.
China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai) has committed to and plans to finalize an order for 80 new Boeing 737s.
Boeing issued this statement:
Boeing is pleased that China Eastern Airlines has committed to purchase 80 737s, including Next-Generation 737 and 737 MAX airplanes. When finalized, the order will become China’s largest-ever purchase by an airline for single-aisle airplanes, worth more than $8 billion at current list prices.
Copyright Photo: Manuel Negrerie/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-86N B-5683 (msn 39400) in the special “Yunnan Peacock” color scheme arrives at Taipei (TPE).
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) yesterday (June 12) inaugurated round-trip service between Seattle/Tacoma and New Orleans.
The New Orleans service contributes to a plan to increase Alaska Airlines departures out of Seattle/Tacoma 11 percent by next spring. Alaska’s daily flights from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will increase from 253 to 280, giving travelers more options to the places they want to fly most.
Other previously announced new service includes Albuquerque, New Mexico, Baltimore, Detroit, Tampa, Florida, and Cancún, Mexico.
Summary of other new daily Seattle/Tacoma service:
• Seattle – Tampa: starting June 20
• Seattle – Baltimore/Washington: starting September 2
• Seattle – Detroit: starting September 4
• Seattle – Albuquerque: starting September 18
• Seattle – Cancún: starting November 6 pending governmental approval
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N560AS (msn 35179) in the special “Spirit of the Islands” motif taxies to the runway at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) hub.
Video: One summer at Alaska Airlines:
Transat A.T. Inc., (parent of Air Transat) (Montreal) posted revenues of $1.1 billion for the quarter ended April 30, 2014, an increase of 1% compared with the same period in 2013.
The Corporation recorded an adjusted operating loss of $4.0 million (all dollar figures are in Canadian dollars), compared with an adjusted operating profit of $2.7 million in 2013, and a net loss of $7.9 million ($0.20 per share on a diluted basis), compared with a net loss of $22.8 million ($0.59 per share on a diluted basis) in 2013. The decline in value of the Canadian dollar alone resulted in an increase in operating expenses of $22 million. Before non-operating items, Transat reported an adjusted net loss3 of $7.6 million in 2014 ($0.19 per share on a diluted basis), compared with an adjusted net loss of $1.4 million ($0.04 per share on a diluted basis) in 2013.
Here is the full report:
“Our results for the quarter and the winter are slightly better than what we anticipated in March,” commented Jean-Marc Eustache, President and Chief Executive Officer, before adding: “It was a peculiar winter. In December, margins were higher year over year and we were heading toward a performance improvement. The sudden drop in value of the Canadian dollar provoked a significant increase in operating expenses that reversed the situation, as it came early in the season, when the market resists increases in selling prices.”
The Corporation posted revenues of $1.1 billion, an increase of 1% compared with 2013, and an adjusted operating loss1 of $4.0 million, compared with an adjusted operating profit of $2.7 million in 2013. During the quarter, Transat had reduced capacity on its Sun destination routes by 3.5%, which contributed to a 5.3% overall decrease in the number of travellers. Average selling prices were up, and the euro and pound traded higher against the Canadian dollar. The adjusted operating loss is attributable entirely to the decline in value of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar.
Revenues of North American business units, which are generated by sales in Canada and abroad, decreased by $4.0 million (0.4%) compared with the same period in 2013. The decline in revenues stemmed from the Corporation’s decision to reduce supply on its Sun destination routes by 3.5%, and on its transatlantic routes by 2.9%, leading to a decrease of 5.9% in the number of travellers, while average selling prices rose. North American business units recorded an operating loss of $15.7 million, compared with one of $7.3 million in 2013. The increase in operating loss is attributable entirely to the decline in value of the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar, and the accompanying increase in operating expenses. The combined effect of increased selling prices plus cost-control initiatives was not sufficient to offset the effect of those expense increases. The operating loss for the quarter includes a $2.2-million restructuring charge, compared with $3.9 million in 2013.
Revenues of European business units, which are generated by sales in Europe and in Canada, increased by $15.8 million (9.7%) over 2013, owing to the strength of the euro and pound against the Canadian dollar. Measured in local currencies, the revenues of the France business unit increased, while those of the U.K. unit decreased following the Corporation’s decision to reduce capacity. European activities resulted in an operating loss of $1.4 million, compared with $2.8 million in 2013.
First six-month period highlights
For the first six months, the Corporation posted revenues of $2.0 billion in 2014, compared with $1.9 billion in 2013, and an adjusted operating loss1 of $27.8 million, compared with $18.3 million in 2013. During the six-month period, the Corporation reduced capacity on certain markets, resulting in a 3.6% overall decrease in the number of travellers. Capacity on Sun destination routes, meanwhile, was similar to that in 2013. Average selling prices were up, and the euro and pound traded higher against the Canadian dollar. The adjusted operating loss is attributable entirely to the decline in value of the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar.
Revenues of North American business units increased by $27.5 million (1.7%) compared with the same period in 2013. For the six-month period, capacity on Sun destination routes was similar to that of 2013, while transatlantic market capacity was reduced by 6.2%. North American business units recorded an adjusted operating loss1 of $40.7 million, compared with $23.6 million in 2013. The operating loss is attributable entirely to the Corporation’s increased costs following the depreciation of the Canadian dollar against its U.S. counterpart. The operating loss for the six-month period includes a $2.2-million restructuring charge, compared with $3.9 million in 2013.
Revenues of the European business units increased by $25.8 million (9.3%) from 2013, owing to the strength of the euro and pound against the Canadian dollar. Measured in local currencies, these business units’ revenues declined slightly, following the decision to reduce capacity. European activities resulted in an operating loss of $9.9 million, compared with one of $16.5 million for the first six months of 2013.
As at April 30, 2014, the Corporation’s free cash totalled $404.6 million, compared with $336.1 million at the same date in 2013. The working capital ratio was 1.04, against 0.98, and deposits from customers for future travel amounted to $540.3 million, compared with $514.7 million a year earlier. Off-balance-sheet agreements stood at $648.6 million as at April 30, 2014, compared with $655.8 million as at October 31, 2013,4 the decrease being attributable to payments made during the period, offset by the increase resulting from the depreciation of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar.
The transatlantic market outbound from Canada and Europe accounts for a very significant portion of Transat’s business in the summer. For the period May to October 2014, Transat’s capacity on that market is lower by 1% than that for summer 2013. To date, 65% of that capacity has been sold. Load factors are 2.4% lower and selling prices of bookings taken are approximately 4.3% higher, compared with the same date in 2013. If the Canadian dollar remains at its current value against the U.S. dollar, the euro and the pound, this will result in an increase in operating expenses of 4.4%.
On the Sun destinations market outbound from Canada, Transat’s capacity is higher by 9% than that for the previous year. To date, 49% of that capacity has been sold, load factors are 1% lower, and selling prices are higher.
In France, compared with last year at the same date, medium-haul bookings are ahead by 24%, while long-haul bookings are at a similar level. Variations in the product mix have resulted in a lower average selling price, with no negative impact on the average margin.
To the extent the aforementioned trends hold, the Corporation expects to record satisfying results in the second half, though lower than the record results posted last year.
Cost-reduction and margin-improvement initiatives
The Corporation continues implementing its initiatives to reduce operating costs, improve margins, and make changes to its systems and processes. In April 2013, Transat announced its decision to internalize narrow-body medium-haul aircraft (Boeing 737-800s) for travel outbound from Canada, starting in May 2014. These measures had, as expected, a favorable impact of $20 million on the margin in 2012 and one of $15 million in 2013. The Corporation expects another $20 million in 2014, as well as in 2015, when internalization of the narrow-body fleet will produce its full benefits.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. In April 2013, Transat announced its decision to internalize narrow-body medium-haul aircraft (Boeing 737-800s) for travel outbound from Canada, starting in May 2014. Formerly operated by Ryanair as EI-CSH, CanJet Airlines’ Boeing 737-8AS C-FTCZ (msn 29923) is pictured operating as Air Transat in their new 2011 colors.
Spring Airlines Japan (Tokyo-Narita) has announced it has again delayed its start from June 27 to now August 1. The initial route will be between Tokyo (Narita) and Takamatsu.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Newly-delivered Boeing 737-86N JA03GR (msn 41272) taxies at Boeing Field in Seattle.
SpiceJet’s (Chennai) new Boeing 737-8GJ VT-SZK (msn 41398), named “Red Chilli”, has been decorated in this unique color scheme. The airliner flew its first passenger revenue flight on June 3, 2014 between Delhi and Mumbai. The flight, painted in the special “With All Our Heart” livery, was operated by the two captains and four cabin crew members whose photos adorn the fuselage of the aircraft! SpiceJet therefore becomes the first airline in the world to post images of its actual crew members on the outside of its aircraft.
The airline has been running “spot and photograph” this aircraft contests in return for unspecified “prizes”.
Copyright Photos: SpiceJet.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) on June 3 inaugurated its new base in Madrid.
The base in Madrid is Norwegian’s sixth Spanish base along with Barcelona, Alicante, Malaga, Las Palmas and Tenerife. Norwegian also has bases in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, UK, USA and Thailand.
Two Boeing 737-800 aircraft will be stationed in Madrid and about 75 pilots and cabin staff have been recruited to the base. Norwegian has now 64 flights a week from Madrid to eight destinations (Stockholm, Copenhagen, London, Helsinki, Oslo, Malta, Hamburg and Warsaw).
The six bases in Spain together have 116 routes to and from Spain.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8JP LN-NGU (msn 39030) with special 1000th markings prepares to land on the island of Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.
Jet2 (Jet2.com) (Leeds/Bradford) in May 2015 will add three new routes from its Leeds/Bradford base to Antalya (starting on May 21, 2015), Malta (May 23) and Kelalonia (May 27) per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8Z9 G-GDFP (msn 28177) prepares to land at Tenerife Sur in the Canary Islands.
New logo/color scheme coming for Jet2?:
WestJet (Calgary) yesterday (June 2) announced that guests now have full access to their personal electronic devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight, including taxi-in and out, take-off and landing in non-transmitting or flight mode, starting immediately.
The move follows a recent Transport Canada exemption that enables airlines, once they have met all necessary safety conditions, to provide guests with access to PEDs such as cameras, electronic games and tablet computers. WestJet has completed comprehensive testing to ensure its fleet of Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft is proven safe and does not cause interference with navigation or communication systems on the aircraft. Testing is now underway on WestJet Encore’s growing fleet of Bombardier Q400s.
Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8CT C-GKWJ (msn 34151) arrives in Las Vegas.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and JTA-Japan Transocean Air (Naha, Okinawa, Japan) have finalized an order for 12 Next-Generation 737-800 airplanes. The arrival of the new 737-800s in 2016 will mark the start of the airline’s fleet renewal program.
The order, first announced as a commitment on March 27, is valued at $1.1 billion at list prices. As part of the agreement, JTA will also have the flexibility to switch to the 737 MAX family of airplanes.
Based in Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost major island chain, Japan Airlines Group member JTA currently operates a fleet of 737-400 airplanes on domestic routes linking Okinawa with major Japanese cities as well as other Okinawa islands.
The airplanes will be fitted with Boeing’s latest Performance Improvement Package (PIP), delivering an additional 2 percent improvement in fuel efficiency for what is already the most fuel efficient single-aisle airplane in the market. The airplanes will also feature the popular passenger-inspired Boeing Sky Interior, with modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness and larger pivoting overhead stowage bins.
Top Copyright Photo: KSK/AirlinersGallery.com. JTA currently operates 13 aging Boeing 737-400s including the well-known blue (above) (male) and pink (female) whale shark designs (Jimbei Jet and Sakura Jimbei). Boeing 737-4Q3 JA8939 (msn 29486) completes its over water approach to Ishigaki, Japan.
Bottom Image: Boeing.
Gol Transportes Aereos (Sao Paulo) is entering the competitive Sao Paulo (Viracopos) (Viracopos is the home of Azul) – Rio de Janeiro (Santo Dumont) market on July 18 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8EH PR-GGB (msn 35064) prepares to takeoff from the downtown Santos Dumont Airport in Rio de Janeiro.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) today (May 28) announced mobile boarding passes are now available for Customers traveling throughout the United States. Today’s announcement marks the completion of the domestic rollout of the technology that will make getting through the airport quicker and greener. With the airline’s mobile boarding passes, Customers can use their smartphones or other electronic devices to get through security checkpoints and to board their aircraft.
Testing began in the fall of 2013 in Austin, followed by successful pilot programs in Houston and Dallas.
According to the airline, “This announcement comes on the heels of an update last week to their iOS and Android apps adding information about upcoming trips to the homepage. Customers can now quickly view the information that matters most while traveling, like flight status, boarding position, and gate information. Travel information will update in the app beginning 24 hours prior to a flight allowing Customers to check in and access their mobile boarding pass from the homepage”.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8H4 N8306H (msn 36983) with the new Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets approaches the runway at the Baltimore/Washington (BWI) hub.
Gol Transportes Aereos‘ (Sao Paulo) pictured Boeing 737-8EH PR-GUO (msn 35850) PR-GUO has been painted by the famous Brazilian Graffitti artist twins, Os Gêmeos. The design represents the Brazilian people who are getting ready to support the Brazilian football (soccer) team during the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil.
The aircraft paint is expected to last at least two years.
Os Gêmeos (Portuguese for The Twins) twins live in São Paulo, Brazil. Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo are graffiti artists and identical twins. According to Wikipedia, “the twins started painting graffiti artwork in 1987 and gradually became a main influence in the local scene, helping to define Brazil’s own style. Their work often features yellow-skinned characters – taken from the yellow tinge both of the twins have in their dreams – but is otherwise diverse and ranges from tags to complicated murals. Subjects range from family portraits to commentary on São Paulo’s social and political circumstances, as well as Brazilian folklore. Their graffiti style was influenced by both traditional hip hop style and the Brazilian culture”.
Copyright Photos: Gol.
Special thanks goes to Alvaro Romero, reporting from Chile.
WestJet (Calgary) has announced it will apply to Transport Canada for an exemption to allow guests greater use of their portable electronic devices (PEDs) during flights. The move follows word that the regulator will allow expanded use of PEDs in Canada.
The announcement by Transport Canada effectively allows airlines to begin the process of meeting conditions required to receive permission to allow guests to use PEDs in all phases of flight including taxi-in and out, take-off and landing, providing the device is in non-transmitting or flight mode.
WestJet has completed comprehensive testing of its Boeing Next-Generation 737 fleet in connection with efforts to certify its recently-announced inflight entertainment system and connectivity, which will support the expanded use of PEDs. However, the airline must still demonstrate through its exemption application that radio frequency emissions from PEDs do not pose a risk to aircraft systems and equipment and that all hazards are mitigated before allowing the use of PEDs on board. This is in addition to training flight crews and amending operating manuals.
WestJet expects Transport Canada approval to allow guests greater use of PEDs early this summer.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8CT C-GWSZ (msn 37092) in the special Walt Disney World “Magic Plane” color scheme taxies at the Toronto (Pearson) hub.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) continues to add new routes from its growing operation at London’s Gatwick Airport. The fast-growing low-fare airline will add two additional routes from LGW on September 15 per Airline Route: Berlin (Schoenefeld) and Warsaw.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-86N LN-NOG (msn 35647) completes its final approach to the runway at London (Gatwick).
Ruili Airlines (Kunming, Yunnan) formally started passenger operations on May 18 between its Kunming (KMG) base in southern China and Mangshi (LUX).
As previously reported, Ruili Airlines is owned by the Yunnan Jingcheng Group. In August 2013 the new airline ordered 18 Boeing 737 aircraft. Three aircraft, two Boeing 737-700s and the pictured 737-800 were delivered in order to commence operations.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Ex-Airberlin Boeing 737-86J D-ABMX (msn 37786) became B-1960 when it was delivered to Ruili Airlines on April 16, 2014.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Nok Airlines Public Company Limited (Nok Air) (Bangkok) have finalized an order for eight Next-Generation 737-800s (above) and seven 737 MAX 8s. Nok Air also announced that it intends to convert one of the 737-800s into a 737 MAX at a later date.
The order, first announced as a commitment at the Singapore Air Show in February, is valued at $1.45 billion at list prices and will establish Nok Air as the first airline in Thailand to operate the 737 MAX. While Nok Air currently operates a fleet of 15 Next-Generation 737s, this marks the airline’s first direct order with Boeing.
The 737 MAX now has 2,017 orders from 40 customers. The 737 MAX brings the most advanced engine technologies to the world’s best-selling airplane, building on the strengths of today’s Next-Generation 737. The 737 MAX incorporates the latest-technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. Airlines operating the 737 MAX will see an 8 percent operating cost per seat advantage over tomorrow’s competition.
Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. A beautiful takeoff photo of Nok Air’s (Bird Air in Thai) Boeing 737-86J HS-DBK (msn 37774) departing from Phuket in southern Thailand.
Ryanair (Dublin) has announced a fiscal full year net profit of €523 million ($716.6 million), slightly ahead of previous guidance. Traffic grew 3% to 81.7 million passengers. Revenue per passenger was flat, as strong ancillary revenue growth offset a 4% fall in average fares. Excluding fuel, sector length adjusted unit costs fell by 3%.
The company continued:
CEO O’Leary commented on the results:
While disappointing that profits fell 8% to €523m due mainly to a 4% decline in fares, weaker sterling, and higher fuel costs, we reacted quickly to this weaker environment last September by lowering fares and improving our customer experience which caused H2 traffic to grow 4% as load factors rose 1%. Ancillary revenues grew 17%, much faster than traffic growth, and now accounts for 25% of total revenues.
New Routes and Bases
Forward bookings for Summer 2014 are significantly ahead of last year, since we began offering lower fares and released our seasonal schedules earlier, and this should continue to deliver 2% higher load factors, and help us manage fares closer to departure as we have less capacity to sell.
We recently opened 4 new bases at Athens, Brussels, Lisbon and Rome. These are performing ahead of expectation as customers switch from high fare carriers to Ryanair’s lower fares and industry leading customer service. We announced 3 new bases for winter 2014 in Cologne, Gdansk, and Warsaw. We released our winter 2014 schedule 3 months earlier than last year, offering our customers lower fares much earlier than our competitors, while we focus on building frequency and capacity on key business city pairs. We expect these new bases will provide significant growth opportunities as we start deliveries (Sept 2014) of our new Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft order.
Customer Experience Improvement
We have worked hard over the last 6 months to improve customer experience and enhance our industry leading service (lowest fares, most on-time flights, the youngest fleet). These initiatives include, (i) allocated seating (ii) a simpler, easier to use, website with a brilliant “fare finder” facility, (iii) free small 2nd carry-on bag, (iv) “quiet flights” (v) a 24 hour “grace period” to correct minor booking errors, (vi) reduced boarding card and airport bag fees, and (vii) a new service to cater for groups and corporate travellers. Our new family product will launch in June and will allow children (when travelling with their family) to receive discounts on allocated seats and bags, while families who travel frequently with Ryanair can qualify for discounts on future flights. In the autumn we will launch a business service in conjunction with our frequency build on key business routes which will include, same day flight changes, bigger bag allowances, premium seat allocation, mobile boarding pass, and fast-rack through security at many Ryanair airports. This service, together with our new GDS distribution strategy, will make Ryanair much more accessible and easier to use for business customers.
Digital & Distribution Improvements
Our new digital strategy began to roll out last November with a much easier to use website, cutting the booking process from 17 to 5 “clicks”. More recently we unveiled a new website with “fare finder” which enables customers to easily find our lowest fares, share these fares with their friends and book them quickly. The “My Ryanair” registration service has been welcomed by customers with over 2m already registered. We will continue to invest in web and digital improvements over the coming year, as we deliver an industry leading mobile app (tailored for smart phones and tablets) by mid-summer, and improve our digital marketing and CRM services for the benefit of all our customers.
In April, we began extensive TV and outdoor advertising in major EU markets to promote our new website and recent customer experience improvements. These campaigns will continue through the year, as our marketing and advertising spend rises to approx. €35m (from just €10m last year), although this spend is still less than €0.50 per passenger.
We have broadened our distribution by becoming the first low fares airline in Europe to partner with Google’s “Flight Search” function, which is now available in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Ireland, Poland and Spain (and more countries follow shortly). This partnership enables consumers to easily access and book Ryanair’s lower fares every time they search on Google. In April we began distribution on Galileo and Worldspan GDS systems, which allows travel and corporate agents to see and book Ryanair’s low fares. We are in talks with other GDS‘s (to broaden our distribution base) and hope to add more before year end. Our new Groups and Corporate travel service launched in January and take up of these services is growing rapidly.
We are 90% hedged for FY15 at a cost of $960 per tonne (approx. $96 p.bl). This will generate net savings of approx. €70m compared to FY14. In light of recent oil price and US$ weakness we have hedged approx. 13% of our FY16 fuel (at approx. $94 per barrel), and have also hedged our dollar requirements which will deliver further savings of up to 4% per passenger, in Euro terms, in FY 2016.
Our balance sheet remains among the strongest in the industry and was a key factor in S&P and Fitch recently awarding BBB+ ratings to Ryanair, making us the highest rated airline in the world. During FY14 we completed €482m of share buybacks, well ahead of our original €400m target. We remain committed to returning a further €500m to shareholders in Q4 via a special dividend subject to AGM approval. This will bring the total returns to Ryanair shareholders since 2008 to over €2.5bn. Our business model remains strongly cash generative and year end cash amounted to €3.2bn (net cash of €158m), despite €482m in buybacks, debt repayments of €391m, and capex of €506m during the year.
We expect FY15 traffic to grow by 4% to over 84.6m as load factors increase 2% to 85% and we add some limited new route and capacity growth. Most of this growth will be skewed towards H2 as we reduce our winter grounding from 70 aircraft in FY14 to approx. 50 in FY15. While fares fell by 4% in FY14 we expect FY15 fares to rise by up to 2%. H1 fares will rise by up to 6% due in part to Easter, stable growth in Q2, and stronger forward bookings and load factors. However we remain very cautious about H2 guidance (especially following last winter’s weak price environment) where we are committed to 6% capacity growth which could cause H2 fares to fall by as much as 6% to 8%.
Unit costs for FY15 will be flat. Fuel costs (which includes de-icing) will be €70m lower than last year as we are 90% hedged, but we expect de-icing costs to rise from last year’s unusually mild winter. Excluding fuel unit costs will rise by approx. 5% reflecting pay increases, primary airport charges, a €25m rise in advertising and marketing, and ownership cost increases due to summer lease ins and new aircraft deliveries from September onwards.
In conclusion, we expect this combination of a strong H1, but a weaker H2 will generate a significant rise in after tax profits to a range of between €580m to €620m, although this guidance is heavily qualified by H2 yield outturn, over which we currently have zero visibility.
Read the Bloomberg Businessweek article on how Ryanair is trying hard to be a “gentler and nicer” airline: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-EMK (msn 38512) arrives in Madrid painted in the special “UK Airport Transfers” livery for National Express.
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has submitted its application to begin two new nonstop flights from Portland, Oregon, to Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The flights are pending approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Mexico Direccion General de Aeronautica Civil (DGAC).
The planned seasonal service will operate between Portland and Los Cabos from November 3 through April 27, 2015, and between Portland and Puerto Vallarta from November 4 through April 26, 2015.
Alaska Airlines began flying to Mexico a quarter century ago and operates 240 flights a week during the winter between the West Coast and Mexico—more than any other carrier. Alaska flies an average of 1.5 million passengers a year to six Mexico beach destinations—Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Loreto, Los Cabos, Manzanillo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta—in addition to Guadalajara and Mexico City. Alaska is seeking government approval to begin flights between Seattle/Tacoma and Cancun starting on November 6.
The new flights between Portland and Mexico will be operated with Boeing 737 aircraft, which offer passengers dual 110-volt and USB power outlets at every seat. The flights will also offer Alaska’s inflight entertainment system, a handheld video-on-demand device featuring more than 70 hit movies, along with television programs and other entertainment. The inflight entertainment players are complimentary in first class and available for $8 in the main cabin. Customers can also enjoy onboard meal service, including a hot meal or the airline’s Signature Fruit and Cheese Platter.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N568AS (msn 35183) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the special “Employee powered” livery.
Airberlin’s first quarter net loss widens to $287.6 million, will share Boeing 787 fleet with Etihad Airways
Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin) and Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) will integrate their Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet affecting 56 firm aircraft according to a report by Reuters. Airberlin says this will save millions of dollars for both airlines. On the financial side, Air Berlin PLC issued this report for the first quarter:
Air Berlin PLC has realized a group revenue of EUR 761.8 million ($1 billion) in the first quarter of 2014 as compared to EUR 791.9 million ($1.08 billion) in the first quarter of 2013. Due to the shift of Easter business to April, revenue decreased by 3.8 per cent during the first quarter in 2014.
The operating result (EBIT) amounted to EUR -182.8 million (a loss of $176.5 million) in the first quarter of the current year as compared to EUR -188.4 million (-$258.3 million) in the prior year’s quarter.
Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, EBITDAR decreased from EUR -31.5 million to EUR -37.0 million. The financial result amounted to EUR -30.5 million as compared to EUR -25.0 million in the previous year.
Pre-tax earnings in the first quarter of 2014 amounted to EUR -213.4 million after EUR -213.4 million in the same quarter of the previous year. The net result in the first quarter of 2014 amounted to EUR -209.8 million (-$287.6 million) after EUR -196.3 million (-$269.1 million) in the corresponding quarter in 2013. Earnings per share based on an average number of 116,800,508 shares outstanding in the first quarter of 2014 thus amounted to EUR -1.80 compared with EUR -1.68 in the first quarter of 2013 (basic and diluted)
As of March 31, 2014, Air Berlin’s total assets amounted to EUR 2,032.2 million (December 31, 2013: EUR 1,885.5 million), its total equity amounted to EUR -399.1 million (December 31, 2013: EUR -186.1 million) and its net debt amounted to EUR 801.1 million (December 2013: EUR 796.0 million).
The airline commented on its first quarter results:
Airberlin’s operating result for the first quarter of 2014 in a difficult market environment with high pressure on capacity utilization and yield was slightly better than that of the previous year. In particular, the effects of the Turbine turnaround program led to a clear cost reduction. As a result, Airberlin was able to reduce the cost per available seat kilometer (CASK), excluding fuel cost, by 8.2% over the corresponding quarter of the previous year. In this manner, especially aircraft costs and airport infrastructure costs were reduced due to productivity increase and by renegotiating better terms and conditions for leasing contracts. Due to the Easter travel not starting until April, total sales for the first quarter decreased by 3.8% to EUR 761.8 million (previous year: EUR 791.9 million). Revenue per available seat kilometer fell to 6.54 Eurocents (previous year: 7.10 Eurocents). airberlin’s operating loss (EBIT) for the first quarter slightly decreased by 3% to EUR -182.8 million (previous year: EUR -188.4 million).
Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-86J D-ABKK (msn 37753) arrives in Palma de Mallorca (PMI) in the special “35 years – The way to your heart” color scheme.
Alaska Air Cargo (Alaska Airlines) (Seattle/Tacoma) today (May 16) delivered 24,100 pounds of the season’s first shipment of Alaska Copper River salmon to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The arrival of the fish-filled Boeing 737 marks the start of the summer salmon season and is an annual rite of passage anticipated by seafood lovers throughout the Pacific Northwest.
At least five more Alaska Airlines flights today will transport salmon from Cordova, Alaska, to Anchorage, Seattle and throughout the United States. The flights will have fresh fish from three Alaska seafood processors: Copper River Seafoods, Ocean Beauty Seafoods and Trident Seafoods.
Alaska Airlines plays a significant role in supporting the Alaska seafood industry, which is recognized worldwide for its sustainable fishing practices. Last year, the carrier flew more than 24.5 million pounds of fresh Alaska seafood to the Lower 48 states and beyond, including 1 million pounds of Copper River salmon.
“No other airline delivers more Copper River salmon to the Lower 48 than Alaska Airlines, and making that happen within 24 hours after the fish is pulled from the water is no small feat,” said Betsy Bacon, managing director of Alaska Air Cargo. “Hundreds of employees from across the state of Alaska, Seattle and beyond spend months getting ready for the busy summer fish season.”
5th annual Copper Chef Cook-off
Following the arrival of the first fish, three Seattle-area top chefs — John Howie, owner of Seastar, Jason Franey of Canlis and Ethan Stowell, owner of Tavolata — will compete for the best salmon recipe in Alaska Air Cargo’s fifth annual Copper Chef Cook-off. The chefs will have 30 minutes to prepare and serve the first catch of the season to a panel of judges, which include Seahawks place kicker Steven Hauschka; Jay Buhner, Seattle Mariners Hall of Famer; and Ben Minicucci, Alaska Airlines’ chief operating officer. The airline will announce the winner of the cook-off on Twitter @AlaskaAir. Fish lovers can follow the competition and share their favorite salmon recipes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #SalmonChef.
Among the onlookers awaiting the arrival of the first fish were 10 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan MVP Gold members, and representatives from USO Northwest, the U.S. Marines and U.S. Coast Guard, who were invited to sample the season’s first Copper River salmon.
Anchorage hosts First Fish parade
Farther north, Copper River Seafoods and local Anchorage-area restaurants are also welcoming the arrival of Copper River salmon with festivities planned at Alaska Air Cargo at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Later this afternoon, the seafood company will deliver a ceremonial first fish to seven downtown Anchorage restaurants.
Enhanced seafood quality training program
Copper River salmon shipped on Alaska Air Cargo arrives as fresh as possible to grocery stores and restaurants across the nation, thanks in part to a cool chain training program required of all airline employees who handle perishables. Alaska Air Cargo employees are required to adhere to strict seafood quality standards and pass an annual food quality course.
Seafood processors and shippers follow these cool-chain standards to provide a temperature-controlled environment for proper food handling. The goal is to keep seafood moving rapidly throughout its journey on Alaska Airlines and maintain a consistent temperature range from the time it leaves the water to when it arrives at stores and restaurants.
The first Copper River salmon was brought to SEA with their Boeing 737-400 Combi N765AS.
In other news, Alaska Airlines was awarded its seventh J. D. Power award as the best traditional network carrier.
Top Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Beautifully displayed, Boeing 737-890 N559AS (msn 35178) is the second Alaska 737 to wear the special “Salmon-Thirty-Salmon” livery in support of the Alaska fisheries industry.
Video: the ceremonial fish head “kick-off”:
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Dedicated as a freighter, Boeing 737-490 (F) N709AS (msn 28896) climbs away from the runway at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC).
Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. (2nd) (Miami) has signed an initial order and placed deposits with the Boeing Company for ten (10) firm Next Generation 737-800 aircraft and purchase rights for ten (10) Boeing MAX 8 aircraft.
“Eastern is extremely honored and privileged to be in business with Boeing once again. Eastern’s strong relationship with Boeing dates back to the 1930′s, and later Eastern was the first airline to order and operate both the Boeing 727 and 757 aircraft. We will now proudly have the Boeing 737 Next Generation, and eventually the MAX aircraft, as our fleet standard,” said Edward J. Wegel, Eastern’s President and CEO.
Image: Eastern Air Lines Group.
Gol to start Sao Paulo-Santiago flights on July 3, reports a $65.1 million operating profit in the first quarter
Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. (Gol Transportes Aereos) (Sao Paulo) will start a new international twice-daily route on July 3, 2014 between São Paulo (Guarulhos) and Santiago.
The flights will be operated by Boeing 737-800 aircraft in the GOL+ configuration, ensuring more space between seats. The flight will have on-board service with the option of hot meals, sandwiches, and hot and cold drinks.
On the financial side, the company announced its results for the first quarter of 2014 (all figures in Brazilian Real):
Operating income (EBIT) totaled R$144 million ($65.1 million US) in 1Q14, 43% increase versus 1Q13, with an operating margin of 5.8%. In the last 12 months (LTM), GOL achieved an EBIT of R$309 million and a margin of 3.3%.
Net revenues reached R$2.5 billion, 20% or R$411 million, up year over year and the Company’s highest ever first-quarter figure. LTM net revenue stood at R$9.4 billion.
Total load factor of 76.1% on the 1Q14 represented an 8.9 percentage point improvement over 1Q13 and also a first-quarter record, while yield maintained its upward trajectory, increasing by 4% in the period. These factors helped push RASK and PRASK by 18% to R$19.90 cents and R$18.23 cents, respectively.
Given the average 18% devaluation of the Real against the Dollar and fuel prices reaching record levels for a quarter, R$2.62/liter, total CASK moved up 17% over 1Q13, while CASK ex-fuel increased by 22%. LTM total CASK increased 3%.
EBITDAR totaled R$493 million, 34% more than in 1Q13. LTM EBITDAR of R$1,652 million, a Company record, reducing leverage (adjusted gross debt/LTM EBITDAR) from 27.9x, in 1Q13, to 6.5x in 1Q14.
GOL closed the first quarter with a total cash position of R$2.8 billion, equivalent to 30% of LTM net revenue. The Company remains committed to maintaining ample liquidity, which is essential at times of high volatility in the economic scenario.
Given the devaluation of the Venezuelan Bolivar against the Dollar, the Company recognized an exchange variation adjustment of R$75.9 million in its 1Q14 financial result. As a result, the realizable value of its cash in Venezuela was R$274.6 million on March 31, 2014.
Smiles S.A. reported first-quarter net income of R$78.3 million in 1Q14, 162% up on 1Q13, with a net margin of 41.6%, driven by the 61% period increase in net revenue to R$188 million.
Copyright Photo: Rodrigo Cozzato/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8EH PR-GXH (msn 39621) advertising the GOL+ seating configuration arrives at São Paulo (Guarulhos).
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) announced its Board of Directors, at its meeting held today (May 14), increased the Company’s quarterly dividend by 50 percent and authorized a new $1 billion share repurchase program. Under the new $1 billion share repurchase authorization, an initial $200 million of Southwest common stock will be repurchased under an accelerated share repurchase program. The quarterly dividend will increase to $.06 per share from $.04 per share, beginning with the 151st consecutive quarterly dividend declared today to Shareholders of record at the close of business on June 4, 2014 on all shares then issued and outstanding. The dividend will be paid on June 25, 2014. Annualized, this increased dividend amounts to over $160 million based on approximately 692 million1 shares of common stock outstanding.
Gary C. Kelly, Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO, stated: “The actions taken today by our Board are in recognition of our strong financial position and performance, strong cash flow outlook, and dedication to returning value to our Shareholders. The Board authorized an increase in our quarterly dividend payment to $.06 per share from $.04 per share. Based on yesterday’s closing stock price of $24.98, this would provide an approximate one percent annual dividend yield to our Shareholders. The Board also authorized a new $1 billion share repurchase program. Last week, we completed our previous total $1.5 billion share repurchase authorization, bringing the cumulative return to Shareholders through share repurchases and dividends, since August 2011, to approximately $1.7 billion.
“Today’s announcement enables us to further Southwest’s long-standing commitment to deploy capital back to our Shareholders, while preserving our financial strength. We have maintained an investment-grade credit rating for over 30 years, the only U.S. airline with such a distinction. Our balance sheet and liquidity remain strong with cash and short-term investments of approximately $3.7 billion1, and a fully available unsecured revolving credit line of $1 billion. As of April 30, 2014, we have reduced our debt and capital lease obligations, net, by approximately $1.5 billion since the acquisition of AirTran, and intend to repay an additional $470 million in debt and capital lease obligations for the remainder of this year.
“With the upcoming repeal of the Wright Amendment, launch of international service, launch of service from the additional slots acquired at New York’s LaGuardia Airport and Reagan Washington National Airport, and the planned completion of the AirTran integration, 2014 is a monumental year for Southwest and our Shareholders. We are very pleased with the successful execution of our major strategic initiatives thus far, which have contributed significantly to our profits. The momentum from our record first quarter 2014 results continued into April, with strong traffic and revenue trends. Based on these trends and our current outlook, we are on track with our plan to achieve a 15 percent pre-tax return on invested capital, excluding special items, this year.”
As of May 9, 2014, the Company completed its previous total $1.5 billion share repurchase authorization, including $200 million, or approximately 8.6 million shares, under an accelerated share repurchase program launched in February 2014. Under the total $1.5 billion share repurchase authorization, the Company repurchased approximately 126 million shares, which has reduced its shares outstanding by over 15 percent since August 2011. The Company intends to execute an agreement today to implement a new $200 million accelerated share repurchase program. The remaining $800 million of authorized share repurchases under the new program will be made in accordance with applicable securities laws in open market, private, or accelerated repurchase transactions from time to time, depending on market conditions, but may be discontinued at any time.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8H4 N8305E (msn 36683) taxies to the runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. On April 9, 2014 operated its first revenue flight utilizing a Boeing 737-800 equipped with Aviation Partner’s Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets. The newly designed winglet differs than those currently installed on the carrier’s fleet of Boeing 737s, with aerodynamic scimitar tips and a large ventral strake on the bottom of the blended winglet structure. By upgrading the 737-800s with Split Scimitar Winglets, annual fuel savings are estimated to increase from approximately 3.5 percent per aircraft from Blended Winglets to approximately 5 to 5.5 percent per aircraft annually. In addition, the new winglet will reduce emissions, supporting Southwest’s commitment to the environment. The Split Scimitar Winglets will be installed on 33 new 737-800s once they are delivered to the airline this year. The airline also plans to retrofit 52 additional 737-800s currently in the fleet. The retrofits are expected to be completed by early 2015. All of the carrier’s Boeing 737-700s and 737-800s, as well as a majority of its 737-300s, are equipped with Blended Winglets saving the company roughly 55 million gallons of fuel annually. Blended Winglets were first installed on Southwest Airlines Boeing 737s in 2007.
Nok Air (Bangkok) reported its first quarter net profits, ending on March 31, 2014, was 40.9 million Baht which declined by 375.2 million Baht ($11.5 million) or 90.2 percent from the same quarter a year ago.
The airline blamed the decline on “higher competition in domestic airline industry since the fourth quarter of 2013 from both “full service airlines” and “low cost carriers”, expanded aircraft fleets, route destinations and increases in flight frequencies. In addition, there was a newcomer (Thai Lion Air) that entered into the market on December 4, 2013.”
The airline also blamed the reduction in profits due to the instability of political situation in Thailand, since the fourth quarter of 2013 which has led to the economic deceleration, consumption, and private sector investment.
Read the full full report from Nok Air: CLICK HERE
Read the full story from the Bangkok Post: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. During this quarter Nok Air retired its last Boeing 737-400. Now the jet fleet is all Boeing 737-800s. Newly-delivered Boeing 737-8FZ HS-DBP (msn 39336) taxies at Boeing Field (Ling County) in Seattle.
Nok Air Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE
WestJet (Calgary) today inaugurated new nonstop daily service between Kelowna, B.C., and Fort McMurray and between Vancouver and Fort McMurray. Both services are offered by WestJet Encore using its fleet of Canadian-made Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) NextGen aircraft.
Today, WestJet also launched a third daily flight between Calgary and Fort McMurray using the same type of aircraft.
In other news, WestJet has retrofitted the first Boeing 737-800 (below) with new Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar winglets. The pictured Boeing 737-8CT C-GWRG (msn 39071) is now flying throughout the WestJet network.
Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) C-FIWE (msn 4466) is pictured at the Toronto (Pearson) hub.
Bottom Copyright Photo: WestJet.
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will commence daily seasonal service between Seattle/Tacoma and Cancun, Mexico on November 6 pending the approval by the Mexico Direccion General de Aeronautica Civil (DGAC).
With the new flights, Alaska Airlines will offer 279 peak-day departures nonstop to 79 destinations from Seattle/Tacoma, more than any other carrier. This fall, Alaska will operate nearly four times as many flights out of Seattle/Tacoma than any other airline.
When approved, the Seattle/Tacoma-Cancun route will be operated with Boeing 737 aircraft.
In other news, Alaska Airlines will hold the sixth annual Aviation Day at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) on May. The company issued this statement:
Nearly 600 high school students will gather at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on May 10 to kick the tires and stand inside the wheel well of a 737 jet while learning about careers in aviation during the sixth annual Alaska Airlines Aviation Day. Employees from Alaska Airlines, The Boeing Company, Port of Seattle and Federal Aviation Administration will be on hand to inspire the next generation of aviators, engineers, air traffic controllers and aircraft mechanics, among other disciplines.
Students from as far away as Arizona will join youths from more than a dozen organizations including the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of Western Washington, Raisbeck Aviation High School, The Ninety Nines, Women in Aviation International, the Museum of Flight and the Black Pilots of America (BPA).
“Our goal is to nurture the wonder and enthusiasm of these kids and show them the path toward a rewarding career is within reach,” said Allen Cassino, an Alaska Airlines first officer and Aviation Day project manager. “We’ll introduce students to professionals who will help them understand that, no matter where they come from, there are opportunities for them in this industry. Be it a pilot or an engineer or an aircraft mechanic, the possibilities are endless.”
Attendees will have an opportunity to sit in a Cessna 182, build a glider with a Boeing engineer, simulate an emergency evacuation with Alaska Airlines flight attendants, and construct a robot with the Museum of Flight and the Raisbeck Aviation High School robotics team. All students will also get to fly in an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 simulator.
“With Aviation Day, we’re hoping to inspire young people in our local communities to realize their dreams and pursue careers in the aviation and aerospace industries,” Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden said. “We have the ability to accomplish this by providing a forum where the dream of flight meets the reality of the world. Aviation Day would not be possible without the hard work of Air Group employees and others who work tirelessly to make it a success.”
“The Boeing team is again glad to be part of this great event. It is a wonderful opportunity where we’ve come to share our experiences and passion of aviation,” said Edward Zielinski, Boeing 787 propulsion integration team lead. “The best part of Aviation Day is, while sharing our experiences with the participants, when you make a key connection with a student, and you instantly see that a flame has been kindled; you see in their eyes that they have the same passion I have and they want to be part of the aviation industry.”
Students will also have an opportunity to network with Alaska Airlines pilots, flight attendants and aircraft technicians along with FAA air traffic controllers, federal air marshals and Port of Seattle airport managers, who will provide career advice. Representatives from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Central Washington University, Purdue University and Green River Community College, among others, will be on hand to answer questions about education opportunities.
“All of us at the Port of Seattle are thrilled to connect kids with aviation,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant. “We’ve done it through our support of Raisbeck Aviation High School and we’re happy to be able to participate with Alaska Airlines on Saturday.”
Alaska regularly supports education programs throughout the local communities where the airline flies. Most recently, Alaska announced a $1.5 million grant in collaboration with the Port of Seattle to help support job training for workers at Sea-Tac Airport. The Port Jobs donation comes on the heels of the airline’s donation of $2.5 million to Seattle’s Museum of Flight to help create the Alaska Airlines Aerospace Education Center to guide students toward a future in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The airline will host a second Aviation Day on Saturday, May 17, at Horizon Air’s hangar located at Portland International Airport.
Copyright Photo: The “Spirit of the Islands” in the form of Boeing 737-890 WL N560AS (msn 35179) taxies to the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Copa Holdings, S.A. (Copa Airlines and Copa Airlines Colombia) (Panama City) announced its financial results for the first quarter of 2014 (1Q14):
Copa Holdings reported net income of $151.4 million (US) for 1Q14, or diluted earnings per share (EPS) of US$3.41. Excluding special items, Copa Holdings would have reported an adjusted net income of $153.6 million, or $3.46 per share, a 23.5% increase over adjusted net income of US$124.4 million and US$2.80 per share for 1Q13.
Operating income for 1Q14 came in at US$177.0 million, a 24.1% increase over operating income of US$142.6 million in 1Q13. Operating margin for the period came in at 24.8%, compared to 22.2% in 1Q13, as a result of higher unit revenues and lower unit costs.
Total revenues increased 11.3% to US$713.6 million. Yield per passenger mile increased 0.5% to 17.7 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 1.9% to 14.2 cents. Furthermore, adjusting for a 3.7% increase in length of haul, yields and RASM increased 2.3% and 3.7%, respectively.
For 1Q14, healthy demand trends resulted in passenger traffic (RPMs) growth of 11.0% on a 9.3% capacity expansion. Consolidated load factor came in at 78.1%, or 1.2 percentage points higher than 1Q13.
Operating cost per available seat mile (CASM) decreased 1.5%, from 10.9 cents in 1Q13 to 10.7 cents in 1Q14 due to lower jet fuel costs. CASM, excluding fuel, increased 1.0% to 6.6 cents mainly due to full year effect of 2013 newly leased aircraft.
Cash, short term and long term investments ended 1Q14 at US$1.1 billion, representing 41% of the last twelve months’ revenues. Of this amount, 44% is in Venezuela pending repatriation due to government currency controls.
During the first quarter, Copa Airlines took delivery of one Boeing 737-800 aircraft. As a result, Copa Holdings ended the quarter with a consolidated fleet of 91 aircraft.
For 1Q14, Copa Holdings reported consolidated on-time performance of 92.3% and a flight-completion factor of 99.8%, maintaining its position among the best in the industry.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Newly-built Boeing 737-8V3 HP-1836CMP (msn 40782) at Boeing Field in Seattle was handed over to Copa Airlines on March 28, 2014.
Pegasus Airlines (Istanbul) continues to rapidly expand its network with the addition of three new European destinations, Geneva, Hamburg and Prague, making a total of 83 destinations in 34 countries.
Pegasus flights to Prague will launch on June 19. Flights will run three times a week departing Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport at 12:50 and Prague Vaclav Havel Airport at 15:05 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Pegasus flights to Geneva launch on June 21. GVA is Pegasus’ third destination in Switzerland, after Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg and Zurich. Flights will run four times a week departing Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport at 12:25 and Hamburg Airport at 08:20 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Pegasus flights to Hamburg launch on July 1. HAM is Pegasus’ 8th destination in Germany, after Stuttgart, Munich, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Berlin, Nuremberg and Frankfurt. Flights will run four times a week departing Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport at 11:40 and Geneva Airport at 14:30 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
With the addition of these new European destinations, Pegasus Airlines now flies a scheduled service across Europe, the Middle East, Russia and the Caucasus to include 83 destinations in 34 countries.
Previously Pegasus Airlines announced as of June 12, 2014 the company will operate flights from Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen to the Kingdom of Bahrain, located in the Persian Gulf. Pegasus flights to Bahrain, literally translating as ‘The Two Seas’, will run three days a week leaving London Stansted at 12.55 and connecting from Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport to Bahrain International Airport at 22.15 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to arrive at 02:05. The returning flight from Bahrain to London will leave at 03.05 on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, arrive at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen at 07.20 and connecting to London Stansted at 10.20, arriving at 12.15.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-82R TC-CPF (msn 40879) arrives at Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg (EuroAirport).
Jet Airways (Mumbai) is expected to report a loss of around $330 million for its financial year according to Forbes. The majority owner, India’s Naresh Goyal, now lives in Dubai, not in India. Etihad Airways has taken a strategic investment of 24 percent of the stock so things are bound to change soon. Efforts to cut costs have been going on for a long time although the financial situation continues to worsens. What will happen next?
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-85R VT-JGV (msn 34803) in the special Disney Channel motif arrives in sand-blown Dubai.
Flydubai (Dubai) has announced that it will launch a three times weekly service to Aden and a twice weekly service to Kandahar, starting on August 1 and July 25, 2014 respectively. These new route launches bring the airline’s network to 68 destinations.
Flydubai will become the first UAE-based carrier to fly directly to both Aden in Yemen and Kandahar in Afghanistan. The airline first began operations to Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, in 2012 and Kabul, the Afghan capital, in 2010.
Aden is the commercial capital of Yemen and its deep and naturally protected seaport remains a key driver of the country’s economy. Due to its strategic geographic location, Aden Free Zone has established itself as a regional logistics and manufacturing hub which has helped strengthen economic and social development in the seaport city.
Flydubai will operate three flights per week to Aden, one of which will be via Djibouti. This new service will increase flights to Djibouti to six a week. In addition, flights are available for sale between Aden and Djibouti.
Located in southern Afghanistan, Kandahar is the capital of Kandahar Province with an estimated population of 500,000. The city is a major trading center for sheep, wool, cotton, silk, felt, grains and fresh and dried fruit.
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Flydubai’s Boeing 737-8KN A6-FDL (msn 40239) taxies after being assembled at Renton at Boeing Field (King County Airport) in Seattle.
Flydubai Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Ryanair (Dublin) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) have finalized an order for five additional Next-Generation 737s, valued at $452 million at list prices. Today’s announcement brings the total number of unfilled Next-Generation 737 orders for the Ireland-based ultra-low-cost carrier to 180 airplanes.
The airline announced last year an order for 175 of the airplanes. Ryanair is the world’s largest 737-800 customer, with orders placed for 528 of the type to date.
Ryanair operates more than 1,600 flights daily from 68 bases connecting 186 destinations in 30 countries. Currently operating more than 300 737-800s, Ryanair took delivery of its first in 1999, and now operates the largest fleet of Boeing airplanes in Europe. With a team of more than 9,000 highly skilled professionals the airline is expected to fly more than 81.5 million passengers this year alone.
Today’s announcement brings the total number of 737s ordered to date to more than 11,000. Boeing currently has more than 3,700 unfilled orders for 737s.
Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DHK (msn 33820) lands at the Dublin home base.
Ryanair Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Copa Airlines (Panama City), as part of its 2014 Strategic Plan, started a program to install the innovative “Split Scimitar” Winglets, beginning in April. These winglets reduce aerodynamic drag, allowing greater fuel efficiency during flight. As a result, they will help Copa Airlines reduce its carbon footprint.
With this investment, Copa Airlines is reaffirming its commitment to equip its aircraft with state-of-the-art technology that will enable it to lessen the impact of aerodynamic drag, optimizing and increasing the efficiency of its flights.
The new “Split Scimitar” winglets, as their name suggests, have the same shape as the ancient sabre known as a “scimitar.” This modern “curved fin” shape is different than the shape of the winglets currently on all of Copa’s aircraft, and it has aerodynamic surfaces that are situated on the end of the airplane’s wings.
Copa Airlines expects that this optimization of its aircraft will result in an additional 1.70% reduction in fuel use, thus helping reduce its carbon footprint.
The Airline’s Vice President of Technical Operations also indicated that in 2014, the “Split Scimitar” winglets will be installed on 18 Boeing 737-800 Next-Generation airplanes, and by 2018, it is estimated that approximately 55 aircraft will be equipped with this new technology.
Copyright Photo: Copa Airlines.
Ryanair Holdings plc (Ryanair) (Dublin) announced that it intends to open its 5th German base located in Cologne/Bonn in October 2014.
Ryanair will be offering eight routes from CGN, including five new routes to Dublin, London (Stansted), Madrid, Riga and Rome (Ciampino).
Previously the airline announced it would open its third Polish base (66th in total) at Gdansk in October 2014 with one based Boeing 737-800 and three new winter routes to Birmingham, Leeds/Bradford and Warsaw (Modlin) (10 in total).
Copyright Photo: Globalpics/AirlinersGallery.com. Ryanair’s new “UK Airport Transfers” logo jet for National Express on Boeing 737-8AS EI-EMK (msn 38512) is pictured landing at the London (Stansted) hub.
Current and some the new destinations from Cologne/Bonn:
The flight attendant unions at American Airlines and US Airways start negotiations for a single contract
The Association of Flight Attendants, representing the flight attendants at US Airways (Phoenix) and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, reprinting the flight attendants at American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth), issued this statement as they begin negotiations for a new contract:
As record breaking profits for the new American Airlines were announced earlier yesterday, Flight Attendants represented by Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (US Airways) and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (American) together met with management to submit an opening proposal for a single contract covering the combined workgroup. Today’s negotiations were part of an agreement ratified in February 2014 that outlined a specific process in which a single contract would be reached.
“Flight Attendants are ready to take full advantage of the benefits of the US Airways/American merger. Our contributions have helped create an efficient combination of our airlines and we look forward to improvements afforded through the largest network in the world. By using the combined strength and resources of our two unions, we are prepared to negotiate the best contract at the world’s biggest airline,” said Roger Holmin, AFA US Airways President.
Beginning today, negotiations will continue for the next 150 days with an intensive schedule in order to reach an agreement on a combined contract. With the assistance of the National Mediation Board and other expedited bargaining methods, it is expected that a new agreement will be in place by early 2015.
“What’s good news for American is great news for Flight Attendants. As the face of this airline, we will continue to work hard to make the company a success. [American CEO] Doug Parker knows that, and I feel confident that we’ll reach an agreement that recognizes the Flight Attendants’ contribution and commitment to the new American,” said APFA President Laura Glading.
Copyright Photo: Boeing 737-823 N807NN (msn 31077) of American Airlines taxies at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. (Gol Transportes Aereos) (Sao Paulo) in association with the Ceará state government, has announced the launch of nonstop flights between Pinto Martins Airport, in Fortaleza, and Ezeiza International Airport, in Buenos Aires, beginning on May 10. Gol has 77 flights per week between Argentina and Brazil, more than any other airline.
The connection was brought about by the Ceará State Tourism Department through the Draft Bill 155/2013 for the ICMS tax (state VAT) on jet fuel, after the approval by the state legislature. It reduced ICMS tax (state VAT) on jet fuel from 30% to 12%, applicable for all domestic flights for Companies that has also regular direct international flights departing from this airport. Thus, the state of Ceará stands out even more as a tourist destination for the region.
Copyright Photo: Alvaro Romero/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8EH PR-GGK (msn 35065) is pictured at the downtown Jorge Newbery Aeroparque Airport (AEP) in Buenos Aires.