Tag Archives: 737

ADA – Aerodesierto Airlines ceases operations in Chile

ADA – Aerodesierto Airlines (Calama, Antofagasta) has suspended operations. The short-lived airline halted operations on July 15 per Alvaro Romero of ModoCharlie reporting from Chile. The last flight was flown by ONE Airlines Boeing 737-36N CC-AIT for the airline on July 19.

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The new airline launched operations on April 27, 2015 as previously reported.

Copyright Photo: Alvaro Romero/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-2Q3 CC-CVI (msn 22367) loads last minute bags before departure from La Serena, Chile.

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Lufthansa Group improves its financial results for the first half of 2015

Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa) (Frankfurt) today issued this financial report for the first half of 2015. The group produced a profit of €954 million ($1.0 billion) for the first six months of 2015, compared to a loss of €79 million ($86.3 million) in the same period a year ago. Here is the group’s report:

Lufthansa Group logo

The Lufthansa Group reports solid business development for the first half of 2015 and improved results in all of its operating segments. The Adjusted EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Tax) rose by EUR 290 million year-on-year to EUR 468 million. For the six months ended June 30, sales increased by 8.5 percent to EUR 15.4 billion, with traffic revenue accounting for EUR 12.1 billion of that figure.

Yields for the Lufthansa Group’s passenger airlines rose by 2.4 percent in the first half of 2015, which was mainly exchange rate related. Had it not been for the tailwind from a weaker euro, however, yields would have been appreciably lower, in line with expectations.

In the second quarter alone, yields declined by 5.7 percent after adjusting for exchange rate effects. Although unit costs as a whole also rose mainly as a result of currency exchange rates, the EUR 309 million reduction in fuel costs coupled with improved sales and capacity utilization more than compensated for the reduction in prices. All currency effects in the first six months net to a total negative impact of EUR 158 million. The net effect is negative as Lufthansa Group has higher costs in foreign currencies, among others due to fuel spending in US Dollar, compared to the revenue side in foreign currencies.

The Group’s net result for the first six months of the year rose to EUR 954 million, compared with a net loss of EUR 79 million for the same period in the prior year. In addition to a higher operating result, this is mainly due to the increase in the financial result. More than half of the Group’s net result was attributable to an accounting effect resulting from the appreciation in equity capital of EUR 503 million following the redemption of the jetBlue convertible bond in the first quarter. In the second quarter, assessments of interest and exchange rate hedging instruments as well as fuel hedging options had a positive impact, increasing the result by a total of EUR 176 million.

Simone Menne, Chairman of the Financial and Aviation services of Deutsche Lufthansa AG said:

“Our first-half results are solid. Aside from the positive development of our business operating areas and, in particular, our passenger airlines, which gained extra momentum in the second quarter, the fall in fuel costs is largely responsible for the improvement in our results. We will, however, not be misled by that, since we assume that the price level for airline tickets will not recover. We will therefore continue to work consistently on the competitive focus of the Lufthansa Group.”

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In the second quarter, the Lufthansa Group achieved an Adjusted EBIT margin of 7.6 percent. Lufthansa Passenger Airlines and, in particular, Swiss played a crucial role in this positive development. The Passenger Airline Group recorded a margin of almost 8 percent in the second quarter, with Swiss, with a margin of over 11 percent, posting an exceptionally good result – also in comparison to others in the sector.

 

 

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Germanwings also remains on a successful course, and will close the current year in profit for the first time.

Simone Menne:

“Our strategic focus is right. On the one hand, our premium brands – Lufthansa and Swiss – are very successful, and at the same time Germanwings and Eurowings are also showing good business developments as secondary brands. We are focusing on the premium quality of our hub airlines and the high level of competitiveness of our secondary brands in point-to-point traffic. This approach makes us profitable and fit for the future within the airline market”.

In the first half year, Lufthansa Passenger Airlines improved its result by EUR 181 million, Swiss by EUR 90 million, based on an Adjusted EBIT of EUR 178 million.

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While Austrian Airlines reported a loss of EUR 17 million in the first half-year, it managed to increase the Adjusted EBIT by a solid EUR 27m compared with the previous year.

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However, in the second quarter, Lufthansa Cargo was unable to maintain its good performance of the first quarter. With the introduction of the summer timetable, Lufthansa Cargo’s competitors significantly increased their freight capacity in many markets, thereby placing prices under increasing pressure. Eventually, the logistics segment achieved an improvement of EUR 7 million in the Adjusted EBIT to EUR 50 million in the first half-year.

The other business segments also managed to improve their half-year results:

Lufthansa Technik by EUR 41 million to EUR 268 million and LSG SkyChefs by EUR 17 million to EUR 26 million.

The equity ratio rose again to 17.5 percent at the end of the second quarter due to the higher actuarial interest rate and the resultant decrease in pension provisions. The ratio was therewith higher than for the full-year 2014. Although pension liabilities declined as a result of the 2.9 percent increase in the actuarial interest rate, at EUR 6.6bn overall pension liabilities still remain at a very high level.

Simone Menne: “With regard to pension liabilities and equity, it can also be said that developments throughout the second quarter have been positive, even if they were strongly driven by external factors. The need for sustainable structures in our pension scheme and transitional pension arrangements remains unchanged, nevertheless. The ambitious investment program to which we are committed to in the coming years is part of our strategy to ensure our sustainability. In order to generate the necessary funds we need the right conditions in all the business areas and companies within the Lufthansa Group.”

In the first half, operating cash-flow rose by almost 45 percent to EUR 2.5bn. At the end of the first half-year, a free cash flow of just over EUR 1bn was reported – almost double that of the previous year. Against this background, net indebtedness decreased substantially by 31 percent compared to the full-year 2014.

As planned, capital expenditure rose year-on-year. Amongst other things, the delivery of two further Airbus A380s and four Boeing 747-8s as well as the modernization of First and Business Class on the long-haul fleet and the installation of the new Premium Economy Class were contributory factors. Gross expenditure in 2015 will total EUR 2.9 billion. For the following years, a decline in the level of investment to EUR 2.5 billion is planned.

Lufthansa confirms its outlook for the full-year 2015 with an Adjusted EBIT of more than EUR 1.5 million before strike costs.

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Lufthansa is approaching the retirement of its remaining Boeing 737 fleet (Boeing 737-300s and 737-500s). The Classic 737 is likely to be retired by the end of the year depending on schedule demand although this remains fluid. Boeing 737-330 D-ABXL (msn 23531) taxies at Zurich.

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Jin Air celebrates the delivery of the first direct Boeing 737-800

Jin Air.com 737-800 WL HL8012 (08)(Grd) BFI (Boeing)(LRW)

Jin Air (subsidiary of Korean Air) (Seoul) and Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) on July 27 celebrated the airline’s first direct-delivered Next-Generation 737-800 in Seattle.

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Jin Air is the low-cost affiliated company of Korean Air. The delivery marks the 13th Boeing 737-800 to join Jin Air’s all-Boeing fleet. The airline currently serves 16 routes in Asia and operates a total of 15 airplanes, including two 777-200 ERs.

Photo: Boeing. The pictured Boeing 737-8SH HL8012 (msn 41348) was handed over at Boeing Field in Seattle on July 27.

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NTSB blames the Southwest Airlines captain for his “failure to comply with standard operating procedures” for the July 22, 2013 hard landing at New York’s LaGuardia Airport

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (Washington) has issued this statement and report on the July 22, 2013 hard landing of a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-7H4 (N753SW) at New York’s LaGuardia Airport:

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The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the captain’s failed attempt to recover from an unstabilized approach by transferring airplane control at low altitude instead of performing a go-around, caused a hard landing at LaGuardia International Airport (LGA) in Queens, New York.

On July 22, 2013, a Boeing 737, operated as Southwest Airlines flight 345, landed hard, nose-first, on runway 4 at LGA. Of the 144 passengers and five crewmembers on board, eight sustained minor injuries and the airplane was substantially damaged.

Contributing to the accident was the captain’s failure to comply with standard operating procedures during the approach. NTSB found that the first officer was conducting the approach, and the captain took control away from the first officer, but not until the plane was 27 feet above the ground. This late transfer of control from the first officer to the captain resulted in neither pilot being able to effectively monitor the airplane’s altitude and pitch attitude. According to the Southwest Airlines Flight Operations Manual, the captain should have called for a go-around well before this point in the approach instead of trying to salvage the landing.

For example, Southwest’s stabilized approach criteria require an immediate go-around if the airplane flaps are not in the final landing configuration by 1,000 feet above the ground. In this case, the flaps were not correctly set until the airplane was 500 feet above the ground.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

WestJet reports record second quarter net earnings

WestJet (Calgary) today announced its second quarter results for 2015, with net earnings of $61.6 million (all amounts in Canadian dollars) ($47.3 million US), or $0.49 per fully diluted share, as compared with the net earnings of $51.8 million, or $0.40 per fully diluted share reported in the second quarter of 2014.

The airline continued:

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WestJet achieved an on-time performance rate of 91.3 percent in the second quarter, a year-over-year improvement of 6.8 percentage points, placing WestJet as the top performing North American airline during the quarter. Based on the trailing twelve months, the airline achieved a return on invested capital of 16.0 per cent, up 0.2 percentage points from the 15.8 per cent reported in the previous quarter.

“I would like to congratulate our more than 10,000 WestJetters on these exceptional second quarter results which marked our 5th quarter of consecutive record adjusted net earnings,” said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. “The second quarter is historically our most challenging quarter as capacity is transitioned from southern to domestic markets, so it is particularly rewarding to turn in a double digit margin this quarter. With another quarter of record earnings, and after having exceeded our ROIC target for 12 consecutive quarters, we are pleased to announce that we are increasing our target to 13 to 16 per cent, while continuing our commitment to our brand of friendly, caring service and affordable fares.”

WestJet 2Q15 Results Table

On July 27, 2015, WestJet’s Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.14 per common voting share and variable voting share for the third quarter of 2015, to be paid on September 30, 2015, to shareholders of record on September 16, 2015. All dividends paid by WestJet are, pursuant to subsection 89(14) of the Income Tax Act, designated as eligible dividends, unless indicated otherwise. An eligible dividend paid to a Canadian resident is entitled to the enhanced dividend tax credit.

In other news, WestJet today announced it has begun rolling out its new inflight entertainment system featuring wireless Internet connectivity and more than 450 movies and television programs. Called WestJet Connect, the system will be activated on all of WestJet’s Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft and more than 30 percent of WestJet’s Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft by end of 2015, with installations on the majority of the 737 fleet expected to be completed in 2016.

Mobile devices and tablets using either iOS or Android operating systems will need the latest version of the WestJet app prior to boarding. Guests will also be able to access WestJet Connect using their laptops. Tablet rentals will be available on flights longer than three hours and 20 minutes for guests who do not have their own device. The WestJet app will take guests to the WestJet Connect home page where they can begin accessing content. Seats on WestJet Connect-equipped aircraft have 110-volt and/or USB power outlets, allowing guests the opportunity to charge or power their devices.

At launch, WestJet Connect will feature 85 movies and 329 TV programs, including expanded content in French. Content will be refreshed on a monthly basis and will be offered at no charge for an introductory period. The system’s Internet connectivity will be available at an introductory price of $7.99 plus applicable taxes for the duration of each flight.

Once installation is complete, WestJet Connect will be available on all WestJet flights operated on Boeing Next-Generation 737s or 767-300 ER aircraft.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. WestJet Airlines’ Boeing 737-8CT WL C-GWSZ (msn 37092) in the special Walt Disney World – Magic Plane scheme arrives at Toronto (Pearson).

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WestJet increases nonstop service from Edmonton

WestJet (Calgary) today announced new nonstop service between Edmonton and Nanaimo, British Columbia, as well as more flights between Edmonton and Grande Prairie, Kelowna, Regina and Saskatoon.

WestJet 7.2015 new Edmonton flights

This winter, WestJet will fly nonstop from Edmonton to 26 destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean including Orlando, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Maui, Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.

WestJet’s popular nonstop seasonal service between Edmonton and Maui begins on December 11, 2015, on board the airline’s Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft.

In other news, WestJet will also offer daily winter seasonal Boeing 767-300 ER service from Toronto (Pearson) to Montego Bay, Jamaica from December 5, 2015 through April 30, 2016 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7CT C-GQWJ (msn 35505) with the special Tartan Tail taxies at the Calgary hub.

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Ryanair’s fiscal first quarter profit is up 25% to €245 million, load factor climbs to 92%

Ryanair (Dublin) today reported on its fiscal first quarter financial results. The company reported a first quarter net profit after taxes of €245 million ($271.1 million), up 25 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

Meanwhile Traffic grew 16 percent to 28 million passengers. The load factor climbed six percentage points to an astounding 92 percent.

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:

“We are pleased to report strong growth in traffic and profits in Q1. Our mix of low fares, best on time performance (91% in Q1) and enhanced customer experience under our “Always Getting Better” (“AGB”) program, continues to attract millions of new customers. At the same time our focus on cost (Q1 unit costs fell 7%) enables us to pass on lower fares to customers. Q1 average fare fell 4% to just €45, due to the timing of Easter, weaker April yields and lower checked bag penetration as more families and business customers enjoy discounts on their luggage or benefit from our free 2nd carry-on bag policy.”

The airline continued:

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New Routes and Bases:

We continue to be inundated with growth offers from primary and secondary airports, whose incumbent carriers are cutting capacity and traffic. These new airports, along with our 72 existing bases offer significant growth opportunities as we embark on our new Boeing 737-800 program. This winter we take delivery of 31 aircraft which (net of lease returns), means our fleet will increase to 340 Boeing 737-800’s by year end.

In September we open our 6th German base in Berlin where we have a 5% share of the German market and expect to grow this strongly over the next 5 years. Gothenburg (our 2nd Swedish base) will also open in September. In November, Israel will become our 31st country served when we start flights to Eilat Ovda Airport from Budapest, Kaunas and Krakow.

Two weeks ago we decided, in the best interests of our customers and people, to close our 2 Danish bases in Copenhagen and Billund. This followed threats by the Danish Unions who admitted that they had no members among our Copenhagen pilots or cabin crew to get their members (competitor airline employees) to blockade/disrupt our flights. By moving the aircraft from Copenhagen and Billund to airports outside Denmark the unions have no legal basis for imposing these threatened disruptions, which allows us to continue to grow strongly in Copenhagen without union interference.

Customer Experience:

The year 2 rollout of AGB continues apace as we work to improve the travel experience of our millions of customers. In April we cut fees for sports equipment. In May we upgraded our mobile app to include improvements to the “My Ryanair” customer registration function which facilitates faster and easier booking of our low fares. We added Sabre as our 3rd GDS partner in June and in July we celebrated our 30th birthday with a 1m €19.85 seat sale.

We have also enhanced our Groups travel service with a dedicated groups page on http://www.ryanair.com. Ryanair joined Facebook in July, which provides another channel to communicate with, and listen to our customers. Ryanair’s campaign to “Keep Greece Flying”, under which we dropped prices on Greek domestic routes to just €4.99 one way while also cutting fares on international routes to/from Greece by 30% has been well received. Our on time performance leads the industry, and has further improved in Q1 despite the impact of the French ATC strikes, and the closure of T3 in Rome Fiumicino.

There is a lot more AGB development to come later this year, including a new personalised web site in October, new aircraft interiors, new crew uniforms and new bases.

Hedging:

Fuel is 90% hedged for FY16 at approx. $91 pbl and we have taken advantage of recent lower oil prices to increase our FY17 fuel hedging to 70% at an ave. rate of just under $66 pbl. This will deliver significant fuel bill savings in FY17 of up to €250m (based on current hedging). Our advantageous US$ CapEx hedging, along with our low cost eurobond financing, will help us to continue to purchase and operate aircraft at very low costs which further widens the cost advantage that Ryanair enjoys over all other EU airline competitors.

Balance Sheet:

Ryanair’s balance sheet remains one of the strongest in the industry. In Q1, despite CapEx of €324m and share buybacks of €195m, our net cash increased to over €550m (from €364m in March). We have completed almost 90% of our current €400m share buyback programme which when it closes in August, will mean we have returned almost €3bn to our shareholders via special dividends and share buybacks since 2008.

IAG – Aer Lingus:

On July 10, the Board of Ryanair voted unanimously to accept the IAG offer for Ryanair’s 29.8% stake in Aer Lingus. The timing of this sale is appropriate as our original plan for Aer Lingus (to use it as a mid-priced brand to offer competition at primary airports) has been overtaken by our AGB programme under which Ryanair has successfully entered many of Europe’s primary airports opening new routes and bases but offering competition and consumer choice. As the Ryanair brand develops and continues to grow strongly, the original rationale for acquiring Aer Lingus no longer exists. If the IAG offer is successful, then we would expect to receive these proceeds in mid/late September and the Board will consider our use of the proceeds around the time of our AGM.

We will continue to oppose the UK CMA’s baseless 2013 divestment ruling, (and their recent rejection of Ryanair’s request to review that decision), which was based on the invented theory that no other airline would bid for Aer Lingus while Ryanair was a minority shareholder. This has been hopelessly exposed by IAG’s current offer for Aer Lingus, even while Ryanair was its largest single shareholder.

Outlook:

Due to the exciting growth opportunities that exist for Ryanair’s low fares and AGB customer experience, as well as strong customer demand, we expanded our W15 business schedules which will increase our FY16 traffic target from 100m to 103m. This will be achieved through a combination of strong load factor (90%) and fewer winter groundings (approx. 40). Traffic should increase by 13% in H1 and slightly faster at 15% in H2.

Based on this Q1 performance and reasonable visibility into Q2 (which is heavily dependent on late bookings in Aug and Sept) we now believe that average fares for H1 will be broadly flat (previous guidance 0% to -2%). We have very little visibility into H2, during which we expect that our faster capacity growth (up 15%) and lower oil prices may lead to an aggressive pricing response from competitors who will try to defend their market shares. We therefore remain very cautious about weaker prices and yields this winter. Since Ryanair’s policy is to be load factor active/yield passive we expect that H2 fares will be towards the higher end of our -4% to –8% guidance range.

Our focus on unit cost continues and we expect that unit costs will fall by approx. 3% (aided by higher traffic). Fuel will deliver a saving of close to 7% and unit costs ex-fuel will be broadly flat. Ancillary revenue will be well ahead of our long term target of 20% of total revenue but will track behind the 14% growth in customer numbers in FY16.

We think it is too early in the year to alter our full year profit guidance, although the slightly better H1 yields will push it towards the upper end of our previously guided range of €940m to €970m net profit. We caution however that this guidance, which is 12% ahead of last year’s profit, is heavily reliant on the final outturn of H2 fares over which we currently have almost zero visibility. Ryanair will continue to pursue its strategy of being load factor active and yield passive for the benefit of our customers, our people and our shareholders.”

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DWX (msn 33630) lands at Tenerife Sur.

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