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Tag Archives: 737-800

QANTAS Airways to refurbish its Boeing 737-800 fleet

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) will refurbish its fleet of 67 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, providing customers with a greater level of comfort and enhanced in-flight entertainment options.

The upgrade will commence in mid-2015 and be completed within 12 months.

According to the airline, “29 of our latest 737-800 aircraft already have full seat back video on demand in-flight entertainment for each passenger, the refurbishment will see wireless Q-streaming entertainment installed on the 38 remaining 737-800 aircraft to supplement the screens that fold down from the ceiling.”

QANTAS has 67 Boeing 737-800s in its domestic fleet, and will receive four new aircraft by December. Earlier this year the last of the older Boeing 737-400s was retired. The average age of the QF Boeing 737-800’s is 6.7 years.

The installation of QStreaming on the Boeing 737s is part of a broader overhaul of QANTAS’ in-flight entertainment offering, including 100 more hours of content per month, and the introduction of Sky News, Foxtel and Fox Sports for inflight news and additional programming.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-838 VH-VZL (msn 34194) was delivered on April 22, 2011.

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

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Spring Airlines Japan launches operations today

Spring Airlines Japan (Tokyo-Narita) today (August 1) as planned, launched passenger operations from Narita International Airport to Hiroshima, Saga and Takamatsu with its 189-seat Boeing 737-800s according to ZipanguFlyer.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Rick Schlamp/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 737-81D N272LM (msn 39429) became JA01GR on delivery.

Spring Airlines Japan: AG Slide Show

The new Eastern announces a new major investor

Eastern (2nd) 737-800 WL (65)(Flt-1)(Eastern)(LRW)

Eastern Air Lines (2nd) (Miami) has issued this statement:

Eastern Air Lines is pleased to announce the closing of its current equity round, with a major investment from Mr. Vincent Viola. Mr. Viola is an investor and entrepreneur whose business career has spanned over three decades. He previously rose to Chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange, and is currently the Chairman of Virtu Financial, as well as the co-founder and a significant shareholder in Independent Bank in Texas and the owner of the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League.

Mr. Viola is also a graduate of the United States Military Academy and New York Law School and has led the funding and creation of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Over the past 30 years he has been a leading advocate for veteran’s issues and philanthropy.

“We are extremely honored to have Mr. Viola as our major shareholder and having the benefit of his broad business experience as a board member. He is a patriot as well as a highly accomplished business and civic leader, with a strong commitment to South Florida where Eastern is headquartered”, said Ed Wegel, Eastern’s President and CEO.

Mr. Viola commented, “I am delighted to be part of the re-launch of this great American company, and look forward to working closely with Eastern’s board and management in guiding the growth of this charter airline.”

The new carrier is hiring pilots. Previously on June 30 the company issued this statement:

Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. has announced it is now accepting pilot applications online. Eastern plans to begin operating Boeing 737- 800 aircraft from its Miami base, subject to US government regulatory approval.

“This is an exciting time in our industry and Eastern will be providing good flight crew jobs with great promotion potential as we grow with 737 Next Generation aircraft, and eventually the 737 MAX,” said Eastern’s Vice President of Flight Operations, Captain John Furneaux.

Eastern is hiring Line Pilots and Check Airmen. The airline will initially hire a cadre of ten Captains and then additional hires of 25 to 30 pilots. Favorable consideration will be given to pilots with Boeing 737 and 757/767 type ratings. The airline expects pilots will have an extraordinary opportunity to advance rapidly during Eastern’s growth phase.

In addition, Eastern will offer compensation packages comparable to those of similar airlines.

Minimum qualifications include:

Valid FAA ATP Certificate
Current FAA First Class Medical Certificate
Valid FCC Restricted Radio Telephone Operator Permit
Favorable background check, including PRIA records examination, criminal history records check and National Driver Registry check
Bachelor degree
Current passport and legal eligibility to work in the United States
Current US driver’s license
Captain flight time minimums:
7000 hours total fixed-wing PIC/SIC flight time
2000 hours fixed-wing, turbo jet, PIC flight time
First Officer flight time minimums:
3000 hours total fixed-wing PIC/SIC flight time
1000 hours fixed-wing, turbo jet and/or turbo prop, PIC flight time

In addition to pilots, Eastern is seeking to fill a variety of other positions listed on the Career Opportunities page of its website. Interested and qualified candidates are encouraged to apply online.

Image: Eastern Air Lines.

Eastern Airlines (1st) Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Ryanair posts a fiscal first quarter net profit of $264.1 million, an increase of 152%

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced a fiscal first quarter (Q1) net profit of €197 million ($264.1 million), an increase of 152% over last year.

The ultra low-fare airline cautioned that this result was distorted by the timing of a very strong Easter in Q1 with no holiday period in the prior year comparable. Traffic grew to 24.3 million as load factors rose by 4% points to 86%. Average fare rose by 9%, boosted by a strong Easter period, while total revenues were up 11% to €1.496 billion. Unit costs fell by 2%, excluding fuel they rose by 1%.

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:

“Q1 profits were boosted by a strong Easter (but are somewhat distorted by the absence of Easter on the prior year Q1). The earlier launch of our summer schedule and actively raising our forward bookings has delivered a 4% increase in load factor to 86% and enabled us to better manage close-in yields. Ancillary Revenues rose 4% in line with traffic growth, as airport and baggage fee reductions were offset by the rising uptake of allocated seating.“

New Routes and Bases.

Our four new bases at Athens, Brussels, Lisbon and Rome are performing strongly, as customers switch to Ryanair’s lower fares and our industry leading customer service. Our strategy to raise forward bookings continues to drive higher load factors and we expect to release our summer 2015 schedule in mid-September, some 3 months earlier than last year.

This winter we will open four new bases in Cologne, Gdansk, Warsaw and Glasgow (Intl.) as well as substantially increasing new routes and frequencies at Stansted and Dublin as we invest heavily in our network to build schedules on key city pairs to make them more attractive for business customers.

We are overrun with growth offers from primary European airports whose incumbent flag and regional carriers continue to cut capacity and traffic. These new airports along with our existing 69 bases offer Ryanair significant growth opportunities as the first of our 180 new Boeing order delivers this September. These new aircraft, with the benefit of the much weaker US$, will drive significant cost efficiencies over the next 5 years.

Customer Experience Improvement.

Our “Always Getting Better” program has delivered significant improvement to the customer experience. In addition to the initiatives launched last September which included allocated seating, free second carry-on bags, and an easier to use website with a “fare finder” facility, we launched our family product in June. In July we released our industry leading mobile app (including mobile boarding passes) which has been very positively reviewed by independent commentators and our customers and has reached 1m downloads in the 10 days since its release. In September we will launch Ryanair’s business service which will include same day flight changes, bigger bag allowances, premium seat allocation, and fast-track through security at many Ryanair airports. This new service along with our new routes, improved schedules and wider GDS distribution, will make Ryanair’s low fares much more accessible to, and attractive for business customers. We will continue this winter to rapidly develop both our website and mobile platform to deliver more innovative features and services in addition to the lowest fares to our customers.

Fuel

We are 90% hedged for FY15 at approx. $96 p.bl, which will deliver savings of €50m this year at current market rates. This is lower than the €70m previously guided due to increased volumes in H2. We have also hedged 55% of our H1 FY16 fuel needs at approx. $95 p.bl and weaker US$ which will deliver a 2% fall in our unit fuel cost at current market rates.

Bond Issue

The BBB+ rating awarded by S&P and Fitch makes Ryanair the highest rated airline in the world. This rating reflects the strength of our Balance Sheet and our highly cash generative business model and enabled us in June to issue our first €850m unsecured Eurobond at a coupon of 1.875% fixed for 7 years. This attractively priced financing (which was 7 times oversubscribed) will further reduce our aircraft ownership costs over the next 5 years.

Shareholder returns

In FY14 we completed €482m of share buybacks as part of our commitment to return €1 billion to shareholders over a 2 year period. We now plan to return another €520m via a special dividend of 37.50 cents per ordinary share (subject to AGM approval) to be paid in Q4 FY15. This brings the total returns to shareholders since 2008 to over €2.5bn which is more than 4 times the €585m originally raised from shareholders since our 1997 IPO.

Outlook

Based on these Q1 results and our strong forward bookings it is clear that we are on track to deliver a strong H1, during which traffic will grow by 3%, and fares will rise by 6% subject to late booking fares in Aug. and Sept. However we would strongly caution both analysts and investors against any irrational exuberance in what continues to be a difficult economic environment, with some company-specific challenges in H2.

We expect H2 to be characterized by a much softer pricing environment as many competitors are lowering fares, partly in response to Ryanair’s strong forward bookings. Added to this Ryanair will aggressively raise capacity this winter by 8% (7% in Q3 and 10% in Q4) to take advantage of growth discounts and build out business friendly frequencies from Dublin and Stansted in particular. These initiatives will inevitably put downward pressure on fares and (mindful of last winter’s weak pricing environment) we continue to expect H2 yields to fall by between 6% to 8% which will result in full year yields rising by only 2%. Unit costs (ex-fuel) for FY15 will rise by approx. 4%, which is slightly better than the 5% increase we originally guided, due to higher H2 traffic volumes which will be positive for unit costs.

In summary, we now expect full year traffic to grow by 5% to 86m. This increased traffic and higher load factors, combined with a slightly improved performance on unit costs allows us to cautiously raise our full year profit after tax guidance (from the previous range €580m to €620m) to a range of €620m to €650m. However this guidance, which is about a 21% rise over last year’s net profit, is heavily, reliant upon the final outturn for H2 yields over which we currently have zero visibility”.

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-CSW (msn 29935) in the old small-titled 1994 livery arrives at Stansted Airport near London.

Ryanair:

 

Malaysia Airlines considers a new name, brand and livery

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur), owned by a majority share by a holding company of the Malaysian government, is considering changes in the the wake of the two tragic accidents this year.

According to RT.com, the government is considering a rebrand, a different ownership restructure, a possible new name and an adjustment of its route network.

Malaysia Airlines is very likely to change.

As far as the livery, the two ill-fated Boeing 777-200 ERs wore the older 1987 livery (above) which features the red and blue Kelantan Wau Bulan (Moon Dragon Kite) tail logo which has been seen in the headlines over and over, especially with the debris in eastern Ukraine. Any brand refresh would probably retire this iconic and historic logo.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8FZ 9M-MLH (msn 31723) is pictured in action at Phuket, Thailand in the 1987 color scheme.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Below Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/AirlinersGallery.com. Malaysia refreshed the red and blue Kelantan Wau Bulan (kite) livery in 2010 with this new twin arc look while retaining the kite tail logo. Boeing 737-8H6 9M-MSE (msn 40147) passes through Honolulu on delivery.

Below Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. When Malaysia introduced the new Airbus A380, the airline unveiled this special A380 livery (for only the A380s) in 2012. The red and blue kite morphed into a blue kite for the A380s. Is this enough of a change? Probably not. Airbus A380-841 9M-MNB (msn 081) departs from London (Heathrow).

Bottom Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. When MSA was split into Malaysian Airline System (MAS) and Singapore Airlines, Malaysian (later Malaysia Airlines) originally introduced this livery in 1972. As you will note, the original livery featured a red and white kite tail logo. Dropping this historic logo will be a tough decision for the airline but unfortunately it is now a tarnished logo. Boeing 737-2H6 9M-MBH (msn 20926) prepares to depart from the gate at Kuala Lumpur.

Poll:

 

American to introduce the Miami to Cap-Haitien, Haiti route on October 2

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) will launch new daily service between Miami International Airport (MIA) and Cap-Haitien, Haiti (CAP), adding a new international destination to the airline’s growing global network. Customers can now book travel on the new route for travel beginning October 2, 2014, subject to government approval.

The new route supplements American’s long-standing service to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and will be operated with a Boeing 737-800.

Copyright Photo: Luimer Cordero/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-823 N980AN (msn 33203) arrives at the Miami hub.

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

Norwegian continues to build up its presence at London’s Gatwick Airport, reports a 2Q net profit of $20.5 million

Norwegian Air Shuttle’s (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) route network from London Gatwick continues to expand. Norwegian is adding four new destinations this winter; Madeira and La Palma for the sun-seekers and Grenoble and Salzburg for the ski enthusiasts.

Norwegian is also increasing the number of weekly departures on its routes from London Gatwick to Lanzarote, Rome and Larnaca.

From October 28 and November 1, respectively, Norwegian offers sun-seekers two weekly flights from London Gatwick to the Portuguese island of Madeira and one weekly flight to La Palma in the Canary Islands. Those more keen on white and powdery conditions in the Alps this winter, can from December 13 fly nonstop to Grenoble and Salzburg once a week.

Today, Norwegian is a major player at London Gatwick airport. The airline established a crew base at the airport in 2013 and now offers 41 routes from London Gatwick. Norwegian has eight Boeing 737-800 aircraft based at London Gatwick today as well as around 90 pilots and 200 cabin crew members.

On the financial side, Norwegian (NAS) reported a second quarter 2014 net profit of 128 million NOK ($20.5 million). According to the carrier, “The second quarter is characterized by strong growth and a record high load factor, and influenced by significant, one-off costs, a weak Norwegian currency and high oil prices. The strike from labor union Parat earlier this year alone cost Norwegian over 100 million NOK in lost revenue.

The second quarter figures also reflect Norwegian’s growth strategy and the company’s goal to fill all its new seats. Despite significant costs related to the start-up of the long-haul operation and higher costs due to the weak Norwegian currency, the unit cost (CASK) is down, strengthening Norwegian’s competitive advantage further. Over the past year, Norwegian has introduced seven Dreamliner aircraft to its long-haul operation.

The total revenue in the second quarter was over 5 BNOK, up 26 percent from the same quarter last year. The pre-tax result (EBT) was -137 MNOK. 6.4 million passengers chose to travel with Norwegian during the second quarter, which is an increase of 16 percent and almost 900 000 passengers more than the same period last year. The company’s traffic growth (RPK) was considerably higher at 46 percent, which reflects that each of Norwegian’s passengers on average flies significantly longer than they did a year ago.”

Record high load factor

Norwegian realized a strong production growth (ASK) of 41 percent. The growth is, naturally, stronger in new markets. Despite Norwegian’s strong capacity growth, the company is still filling its seats. The load factor in this quarter was 80 percent, up three percentage points from the same quarter last year, which is record high for a second quarter.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8JP LN-NGT (msn 41125) taxies at Palma de Mallorca (PMI) with Anton K.H. Jakobsen on the tail.

Norwegian: AG Slide Show

Current routes from London Gatwick:

Norwegian 7.2014 LGW Route Map (LRW)

Ryanair to launch new Manchester winter services

Ryanair (Dubin) has announced it will launch a new Manchester winter route to/from Shannon as part of an extended Manchester winter 2014 schedule, with 24 routes in total, including four other new routes to Barcelona, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Lisbon and extra frequencies to Madrid, Riga and Rome.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DPK (msn 33610) arrives for landing at Tenerife Sur.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

 

Delta to introduce Seattle/Tacoma-Puerto Vallarta flights on December 20

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is adding another new route from its growing Seattle/Tacoma hub. SEA-Puerto Vallarta, Mexico service will be initiated on December 20 with Boeing 737-800s. The route will be operated on a weekly basis (three days a week during the Christmas-New Year holidays) per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-832 N390DA (msn 30536) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Delta Air Lines (current):

 

Alaska Air Group reports a net profit of $165 million for the second quarter

Alaska Air Group, Inc., (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) today reported second quarter 2014 GAAP net income of $165 million, or $1.19 per diluted share, compared to $104 million, or $0.74 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2013. Excluding the impact of mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments of $13 million ($8 million after tax, or $0.06 per diluted share), the company reported record adjusted net income of $157 million, or $1.13 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $105 million, or $0.74 per diluted share, in 2013.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Airlines has already added Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets to 12 Boeing 737 aircraft. Boeing 737-890 N588AS (msn 35685) with SS Winglets taxies at San Francisco.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon: AG Slide Show

Horizon Air: AG Slide Show

 

China Eastern Airlines becomes the first Chinese airline to offer Wi-Fi services over China

China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai) has begun offering Wi-Fi service over China. The airline issued this statement:

In a first for the commercial aviation industry in China, China Eastern Airlines (CEA) has begun offering broadband connected flights over China using China Telecom Satellite aeronautical service and Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s (Panasonic) eXConnect system.

The first of 27 CEA aircraft equipped with a system and service tailored to the unique requirements of China is an Airbus A330 aircraft. Onboard, passengers will experience true broadband Wi-Fi as they surf the web, keep in touch with friends and family through their social networks, and even check their email – all at 35,000 feet. CEA has also selected China Telecom Satellite’s service and Panasonic’s eXConnect system for an additional six Boeing 767s and 20 Boeing 777 aircraft.

The first aircraft has been dedicated to routes between Shanghai and Beijing, allowing government agencies to observe operation of the service before granting full regulatory approval for operation on additional domestic and international routes.

China Eastern Airlines said, “We are very excited to offer this extremely exciting service with China Telecom Satellite and Panasonic Avionics. This is a tremendous milestone for China and we look forward to ensuring our passengers are both entertained and productive as they fly.”

Lv Junli, President of China Telecom Satellite, added, “This is a momentous day for China’s commercial airline industry, and we are very confident of providing better broadband connectivity to China with our partners at China Eastern Airlines and Panasonic.”

According to Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics, “After years of close collaboration with China Eastern Airlines and China Telecom Satellite, we are now witnessing the next step in the evolution of in-flight entertainment over China. We are very excited to bring in-flight broadband Wi-Fi to this strategic market.”

About Panasonic Avionics Corporation

Panasonic Avionics Corporation is the world’s leading supplier of in-flight entertainment and communication systems. The company’s best-in-class solutions, supported by professional maintenance services, fully integrate with the cabin enabling airlines to deliver the ultimate travel experiences with a rich variety of entertainment choices, resulting in improved quality communication systems and solutions, reduced time-to-market and lower overall costs.

Established in 1979, Panasonic Avionics Corporation, a U.S. corporation, is a subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation. Headquartered in Lake Forest, California with over 3,100 employees and operations in 80 locations worldwide, it serves over 200 customers worldwide and provides IFEC systems on over 3,700 aircraft. For additional information, please visit http://www.panasonic.aero

About China Telecom Satellite Communications Limited

Dedicated to satellite communications services, China Telecom Satellite Communications Limited, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Telecom, specializes in the operation of its parent corporation’s satellite communications business. It serves as the resource center, product integration center and professional support center of China Telecom’s satellite communications business, mainly engaged in Satellite mobile communications, Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) communications, International private line and Satellite broadband access, etc., providing integrated (Aviation/Land/Maritime) satellite communications and broadcasting operating service with characteristics to subscribers.

Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new Boeing 737-89P WL B-1965 (msn 41473) was just delivered to China Eastern Airlines on July 19, 2014.

China Eastern Airlines: AG Slide Show

WestJet to add Loreto, Mexico and Fredericton

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).

WestJet: AG Slide Show

Okay Airways (OKAir) orders six Boeing 737 MAX 8s and four 737-800s, will also operate the 737-900ER

 

OKAir 737-800, 737 MAX 8, 737-900ER (10)(Flt)(Boeing)(LRW)

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.

Image: Boeing.

OKAir: AG Slide Show

Nok Air takes delivery of a special 10th Anniversary Boeing 737-800

 

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.

Nok Air: AG Slide Show

Nok Air logo-1

Current Route Map:

route map 181113

Gol to operate biofuel flights to the United States

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).

Gol: AG Slide Show

 

Gol announces a code-share agreement with Etihad Airways

Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A. (Gol Transportes Aereos) (Sao Paulo) has signed a codeshare agreement with Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi). The agreement depends on approval from ANAC (National Civil Aviation Agency) and CADE (Brazil’s antitrust authority).

The companies already have an interline agreement and the expansion of the partnership through the codeshare agreement will initially allow Etihad Airways to include its code on flights operated by Gol, giving its customers a greater number of connections for destinations in Brazil and South America.

Both companies will soon sign a Frequent Flyer Program (FFP) agreement offering all their customers the benefits of their respective mileage programs – GOL’s Smiles and Etihad’s Etihad Guest.

In other news, Gol has announced it has filed a formal request to Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) to operate domestic flights to Carajás and Altamira, in the state of Pará. These destinations have an accelerated level of growth, generating demand for new services.

The request was made to operate in Carajás – with four weekly frequencies and Altamira – three weekly frequencies. The operation, still pending approval by ANAC, is expected to begin in September 2014.

Top Copyright Photo: Rodrigo Cozzato/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8EH PR-GUO (msn) of Gol in the special FIFA World Cup 2014 livery prepares to land at Sao Paulo (Congonhas).

Gol: AG Slide Show

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Rodrigo Cozzato/AirlinersGallery.com. The 2014 version of the Etihad Airways special Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Formula 1 livery on Airbus A340-642 A6-EHJ (msn 933) prepares to land at Sao Paulo (Guarulhos).

Ryanair to launch three new routes to and from Scotland on October 26

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.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines starts international flights today

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).

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

Delta to fly weekly seasonal New York JFK-St. Lucia flights next winter

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: AG Slide Show

 

Delta announces new winter seasonal flights to Barbados

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.

Delta 737-800 Chart

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.

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

Chart: Delta’s current fleet:

Delta 6.2014 Fleet List

Belavia orders three Boeing 737-800s to upgrade the 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.

Belavia: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines today launches nonstop Seattle/Tacoma-Tampa flights

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.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

American to open four new routes from Los Angeles

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).

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

Turkish Airlines finalizes its order for 15 Boeing 737 MAX 8s

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.

Turkish Airlines: AG Slide Show

WestJet to start trans-Atlantic flights to Dublin, Ireland

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:

WestJet 6.2014 DUB schedule (WestJet)

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.

WestJet: AG Slide Show

 

Pegasus Airlines to launch Istanbul (Gokcen)-Budapest services on July 16

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.

Pegasus Airlines:

 

China Eastern Airlines to finalize an order for 80 Boeing 737s

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).

China Eastern Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines starts Seattle/Tacoma-New Orleans flights

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.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Video: One summer at Alaska Airlines:

Air Transat’s parent reduces its fiscal second quarter net loss to $7.9 million

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.”

Second-quarter highlights

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.

Financial position

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.

Outlook

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.

Air Transat: AG Slide Show

Spring Airlines Japan delays its start to August 1

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.

Spring Airlines Japan: AG Slide Show

SpiceJet becomes the first airline to put pictures of its crew members on the fuselage

SpiceJet 737-800 WL VT-SZK (14-With All Our Heart) + crew 1 (SpiceJet)(LRW)

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.

SpiceJet: AG Slide Show

SpiceJet 737-800 WL VT-SZK (14-With All Our Heart)(Grd)(SpiceJet)(LRW)

SpiceJet 737-800 WL VT-SZK (14-With All Our Heart)(Group Photos)(SpiceJet)(LRW)

Norwegian opens its new Madrid base

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.

Norwegian: AG Slide Show

Jet2 to add three new routes from Leeds/Bradford in May 2015

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.

Jet2: AG Slide Show

New logo/color scheme coming for Jet2?:

Jet2 2014 logo

WestJet gets approval for passenger PEDs during all phases of flight

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.

WestJet: AG Slide Show

Boeing and JTA finalize the order for 12 Boeing 737-800s

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.

Japan Trasocean Air 737 Art

JTA: AG Slide Show

Gol to enter the Sao Paulo (Viracopos) – Rio de Janeiro (Santos Dumont) market

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.

Gol: AG Slide Show

Southwest rolls out mobile boarding passes nationwide

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.

Southwest Airlines:

Gol hires Brazilian graffiti artists Os Gêmeos to paint this FIFA World Cup logo jet

Gol 737-800 WL PR-GUO (14-World Cup 2014)(Grd)(Gol)(LRW)

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.

Gol Os Gêmeos Artist (Gol)(LRW)

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.

Gol: AG Slide Show

WestJet to apply to Transport Canada for a PED exemption

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.

WestJet: AG Slide Show

Norwegian to continue to expand operations at London Gatwick

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).

Norwegian:

Ruili Airlines launches flight operations in Yunnan, China

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 and Nok Air finalize the order for new Boeing 737s

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.

Nok Air: AG Slide Show

Ryanair reports a drop of 8% in its fiscal year profit of $716.6 million

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.

Fuel

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.

Balance Sheet

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.

Outlook.

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.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines files to fly from Portland, Oregon to both Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico

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.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

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.

Airberlin: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines brings the first seasonal Copper River salmon shipment to the “Lower 48″

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.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

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).

The new Eastern orders 10 Boeing 737-800s

 

Eastern (2nd) 737-800 WL (Eastern)(LRW)

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.

Eastern Airlines (1st): AG Slide Show

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).

Gol: AG Slide Show

 

Southwest’s board approves an increase in the dividend and a $1 billion stock repurchase program

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.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

Nok Air’s first quarter profit slips by 90% to $11.5 million

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

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