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UPS reports its third quarter operating profit increased 7.8% to $1.3 billion, expects holiday packages to increase by 11%

UPS (United Parcel Service) (UPS Airlines) (Atlanta and Louisville) issued this financial statement:

UPS has announced diluted earnings per share of $1.32 for the third quarter 2014, a 13.8% improvement over the prior year period. Operating profit increased 8.3%, resulting from balanced growth across all three segments.

Daily packages in the U.S. were 6.9% higher as demand from both B2C and B2B customers improved. International Export shipments increased 9.4% with strong growth in both Asia and Europe. UPS delivered 1.1 billion packages around the world, up 6.9% over the third quarter 2013.

Cash Flow

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, UPS generated $2.8 billion in free cash flow. The company paid dividends of $1.8 billion, up 8.1% per share over the prior year, and repurchased 20.6 million shares for approximately $2.1 billion.

U.S. Domestic Package

U.S. Domestic revenue increased to $8.7 billion, up 5.3% over the third quarter 2013. Daily package volume improved 6.9%, led by gains in UPS Ground and Deferred products up 7.7% and 5.9%, respectively. E-commerce continued to drive strong B2C growth, while B2B deliveries were also higher this quarter.

Operating profit was $1.3 billion, up 7.8%. Operating margin expanded 30 basis points to 14.7%. The segment experienced positive operating leverage as investments in new technology and capacity helped lower costs.

Total revenue per package declined 1.5% as base rate improvements were offset by changes in customer and product mix. UPS SurePost shipments increased more than 50%, contributing to the mix change.

During the quarter, UPS announced the expansion of its Access Point alternate delivery solution to the New York City and Chicago areas. Plans were announced to add locations in other U.S. cities, in addition to more than 4,400 existing UPS Stores, by the end of 2015.

International Package

International revenue increased 5.5% to $3.2 billion on daily package growth of 6.7%. Export products jumped 9.4% with gains from all regions of the world. Shipments out of Asia grew 16% and Europe was up 14%.

Operating profit improved 10.3% to $460 million. Operating margin expanded 70 basis points over the prior year period, to 14.5%. Revenue and cost initiatives implemented during the quarter contributed to the margin improvements.

Currency-neutral revenue per package declined 1.0% due to changing product mix and continued strength in shorter trade lanes. Non-premium products continue to outpace premium, putting pressure on yield.

On October 7, UPS announced the acquisition of international e-commerce enabler i-parcel, LLC. The company’s experience and technology in cross-border e-commerce assists U.K. and U.S. based retailers expand their reach to consumers in over 100 countries worldwide.

Supply Chain & Freight

Supply Chain and Freight revenue was up 7.4% to $2.4 billion, resulting primarily from growth in the Distribution and UPS Freight business units. Operating profit was 7% higher at $215 million, and operating margin was 8.9%.

Forwarding revenue was higher primarily due to increased International Air Freight (IAF) tonnage which was aided by high-tech product launches and Government sector gains. Operating profit improvements in North American Air Freight and Ocean Forwarding were more than offset by continued pricing pressure in IAF.

Distribution revenue increased more than 10% over the same quarter last year. Strong demand from Healthcare and Retail sector customers contributed to the growth.

UPS Freight revenue increased 7.9% to $810 million. LTL shipments were 4.7% higher and revenue per hundredweight improved 1.1%. Operating profit and margin expanded from the third quarter last year.

Outlook

The company announced its expectations for the upcoming holiday season. UPS expects shipments delivered during the month of December to climb 11% over the prior year. As previously announced, the company committed an additional $175 million in operating expense and $500 million in capital expenditures to enhance its capabilities and prepare the network for peak and future volume growth.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4R7F N582UP (msn 29053) departs from Anchorage.

UPS Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

 

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Polar Air Cargo to operate two additional Boeing 747s for DHL Express

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (New York) today announced the placement of two incremental Boeing 747 freighters into ACMI service with DHL Express.

The two aircraft, a Boeing 747-800F and a 747-400F, will be operated in Polar Air Cargo Worldwide’s express network under an ACMI arrangement for the benefit of DHL Express. Operations are scheduled to begin on October 26, 2014.

When the new ACMI service begins, Polar’s express network will total twelve 747 freighters, consisting of five Boeing 747-800Fs and seven 747-400Fs, in ACMI on behalf of DHL and Polar’s other customers. Atlas also will continue to operate a fleet of Boeing 767 Freighters in CMI service for DHL, with 11 aircraft in operation by the end of January 2015.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Polar Air Cargo’s Boeing 747-46NF N451PA (msn 30809) arrives in Los Angeles.

DHL-Polar Air Cargo: AG Slide Show

British Airways to resume Boeing 747-400 service on the London Heathrow-Denver route

British Airways (London) will resume Boeing 747-400 service on the London (Heathrow)-Denver route on March 29, 2015, replacing a Boeing 777-200 ER according to Airline Route. BA last operated the Jumbo on the route in 2003.

British Airways issued this statement:

British Airways announced that customers in Denver will soon be able to enjoy British Airways’ new First class cabin. From March 2015 the Denver to London service will be operated by a four class Boeing 747-400 aircraft.

British Airways began flying to Denver 16 years ago and the airline now offers a daily service to London Heathrow. The Boeing 747 aircraft will provide customers with a choice of World Traveller (economy), World Traveller Plus (premium economy), Club World (business class) and the airline’s flagship brand, First.

Premium First Experience

The First class cabin has 14 suites that are based on classic design and discrete luxury. Features include:

Individual seats that turn into a 6 ft. 6 in. fully flat beds with a simple twist of a button
Signature turn down service includes a luxurious quilted mattress, crisp white cotton duvet and pillow, along with pajamas and luxury amenity kit.
A personal closet and leather-bound writing desk that converts into a dining table
A la carte dining and a buddy seat to enable customers to dine together
A 15” in-flight entertainment screen with extensive TV, movie and audio selections
Lighting and electronic blinds that can be modified to reflect mood and time of day
All British Airways long haul flights include benefits such as free meals and all beverages, as well as free baggage allowance and seat allocation. The airline also provides a “Feed Kids First” service ensures that children are served first, allowing parents to enjoy their own meal.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-436 G-BNLS (msn 24629) departs from London’s Heathrow Airport.

British Airways Slide Show: AG Slide Show

 

Cathay Pacific is facing a contract showdown with its pilots next week

Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) is facing a showdown with its pilots this coming week. 51 percent of the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers Association voted down the company’s offer on an online poll. The carrier said it was disappointed with the vote. The airline had offered a 10 percent salary increase over three years. Contract talks will start next week.

If the talks fail, the pilots may got to invoke a “contract compliance”, a form of a strike. This slow down action if implemented could have an impact on operations.

Read the full report from Malaymail Online: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Cathay Pacific Airways’ Boeing 747-467 B-HOO (msn 23814) taxies at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Cathay Pacific Aircraft Slide Show:

Cathay Pacific: AG Slide Show

Baltia Air Lines enters Phase III of the FAA Air Carrier Certification

Baltia 747-200B N706BL (11)(Grd) YIP (Baltia)(LRW)

Baltia Air Lines (Ypsilanti-Willow Run) has been documenting each step of its long FAA Part 121 certification process. The proposed airline was planning to operate from the United States to the Baltic region, especially St. Petersburg, Russia with a former Northwest Airlines Boeing 747-251B (N706BL, msn 21705). However given the current tensions with Russia over the Ukraine, that business plan may be evolving as this press release now only mentions Europe. The prospective airline has issued this update:

Baltia Air Lines (BLTA) announced on October 10 that it has entered into Phase III of the FAA Air Carrier Certification.

Phase III consists of the Table Top Exercise, Mini-Evacuation Demonstration, and Proving Flights. “Passing through Phase II was a major accomplishment in the Certification Process,” stated Sheryle Milligan, Chief of Operations.

Baltia Air Lines is America’s newest airline, currently undergoing Air Carrier Certification. Baltia’s principal base of operations is at Willow Run Airport, Michigan. Upon Certification, Baltia will operate Boeing 747 aircraft across the Atlantic, from the U.S. nonstop to Europe.

This service is subject to receipt of government operating authority.

Photo: Baltia Air Lines.

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Garuda Indonesia now plans to operate the last Boeing 747-400 revenue flight on January 14, 2015

Garuda Indonesia‘s (Jakarta) Boeing 747-400 fleet has dwindled down to just two aircraft. The airline has been using the aging type on mainly pilgrimage flights from Jakarta, Makassar and Medan, Indonesia to and from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. According to Airline Route, the carrier will extend the life of the last two Jumbos until January 14, 2015 on the Jeddah-Jakarta route. Subject to another change, flight GA 9893  is likely to be the last revenue flight on this last route on January 14, 2015.

Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4U3 PK-GSH (msn 25705) is pictured in the past at Paris (CDG) in the 1985 livery.

Boeing 747 Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Garuda Indonesia: AG Slide Show

Video: Flying the Boeing 747-400 in Executive Class:

 

 

WestJet and China Airlines to code-share

WestJet (Calgary) has announced it has entered into a code-share agreement with China Airlines (Taipei), allowing the carrier to begin marketing and selling WestJet-operated flights. Code-share designations will be available on select WestJet flights from Vancouver and Los Angeles. Bookings can be made through China Airlines or a travel agency.

China Airlines began flying to Canada in 2000 and offers daily nonstop flights from Taipei to Vancouver.

This is the twelfth code-share agreement for WestJet. Since 2011, WestJet has initiated code-shares with American Airlines, Air France, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Japan Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air and QANTAS Airways. Additionally, WestJet has 26 interline relationships, further connecting passengers worldwide to WestJet’s network.

Top Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Short version Boeing 737-6CT C-GWCY (msn 35113) of WestJet arrives in New York (JFK).

WestJet: AG Slide Show

China Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Formerly painted in the special Boeing livery, the pictured China Airlines Boeing 747-409 B-18210 (msn 33734) has been repainted in the standard 1995 livery.

National Airlines helps to bring medical and relief supplies to Monrovia, Liberia

National Airlines (5th) (formerly Murray Air) (Orlando) is helping in the Ebola relief efforts in Liberia. In cooperation with the United States Government, National Airlines, using one of its Boeing 747-400 Freighters, carried a planeload of medical and other relief supplies from New York to the Monrovia Airport.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly operated by Air France, Boeing 747-428 (F) N952CA (msn 25238) arrives at Washington’s Dulles International Airport (IAD).

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National Airlines (5th): AG Slide Show

CDC Map of affected Ebola areas in West Africa:

CDC Map - Ebola Affected Areas in West Africa

Delta retires three Boeing 747-400s

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) as planned, retired three ex-Northwest Airlines Boeing 747-400s on September 30:

N671US (fleet number 6311) performed its last revenue flight on September 30 from Paris (CDG) to Detroit as flight DL 99. The Jumbo ferried to Marana, Arizona on September 30 as flight DL 9950 for final disposition.

The pictured N672US (6312) performed its last revenue flight also on September 30 from Amsterdam to Atlanta as flight DL 239. The aircraft was ferried to Marana on October 1.

N676US (6316) performed its last revenue flight also on September 30 from Tokyo (Narita) to Atlanta as flight DL 269. The aircraft was ferried to Marana on October 1.

This leaves 13 remaining in active service. Another 747-400 will be retired at the end of this year leaving a dozen.

Delta has 10 Airbus A330-300 aircraft on order which will augment Delta’s existing fleet of 32 A330s. The first new A330-300 delivery is scheduled for spring of 2015, with three additional airplanes scheduled for that year, four in 2016, and the final two in 2017.

Delta will be the first airline to operate the enhanced 242-metric ton A330-300, which offers additional payload capacity and range. Delta will use the aircraft’s versatility to optimize its Pacific and Atlantic networks.

The last Delta 747-400 is likely to be retired in 2017.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-451 N672US (msn 30267) is pictured on its final approach to Tokyo (Narita). N672US was delivered new to Northwest Airlines on July 19, 1999.

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

Boeing 747 Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Northwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Jan Petzold/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-451 N672US departs from the Minneapolis/St. Paul hub when it was with Northwest.

 

Lufthansa today unveils its new Premium Economy Class on D-ABYQ

Lufthansa Premium Economy Class

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has converted its first aircraft with the new Premium Economy Class. The company issued this statement:

At 11.00 a.m. today, LH 9880, a special flight took off from Frankfurt Airport. On board the Boeing 747-830 was the new Premium Economy Class. The aircraft, with the registration number D-ABYQ (msn 37839(, is the first in the Lufthansa fleet to offer the new class of travel on board. Experts from Lufthansa Technik have fitted the Boeing 747-8 with the 32 new Premium Economy Class seats and performed all the necessary quality checks.

The aircraft, which is called the “Schleswig-Holstein”, flew over the German region of the same name in a two-hour special flight.

“Today, we are seeing a genuine première”, said Karl Ulrich Garnadt, Member of the Executive Board of Lufthansa AG and CEO of Lufthansa German Airlines. “We are launching a new travel class for the first time in 35 years.” Garnadt stressed that Premium Economy was an important part of the “biggest product upgrade in Lufthansa’s history”. By late summer of next year, Lufthansa will have modified First, Business and Premium Economy Class on its entire long-haul fleet according to schedule and as part of its quality campaign. “With Premium Economy Class alone, we will be able to offer some 1.5 million passengers per year the opportunity to choose extra comfort and quality at affordable prices,” said the German Airlines CEO.

Lufthansa Premium Economy Class entertainment

From as early as December 1 – nine days earlier than scheduled – Lufthansa customers will be able to enjoy Premium Economy Class on all flights on the Boeing 747-8 fleet. The “dash-8 fleet” will then offer by far the most cutting-edge and exclusive travelling experience available at Lufthansa.

Premium Economy Class seats will make up some ten percent of the entire seating capacity on each wide-bodied aircraft. Over the next few months, Lufthansa will thus fit between 21 (Airbus A330-300) and 52 (Airbus A380-800) new seats in each of its aircraft. On board the Boeing 747-8, 32 seats will be modified in line with Premium Economy Class specifications. The airline commissioned a total of 3,600 seats from the manufacturer ZIM.

“Booking levels to date have significantly exceeded our expectations”, Garnadt added. “This shows that we are striking a chord with customers with our new offering. As well as cost-conscious business travellers, we’re also attracting the rapidly growing target group of leisure travellers who don’t want to skimp on on-board comforts during their holidays.”

Lufthansa Premium Economy Class benefits

Alongside Premium Economy Class, Lufthansa is also working intently on upgrades to First and Business Class on board its long-haul aircraft. All these quality-related measures are set to be completed by late summer 2015. Lufthansa will then be in a position to offer its guests in all classes the exclusive travelling experience of a prizewinning five-star First Class as well as the new Business Class, where aircraft seats can be transformed at the touch of a button into a comfortable bed with a horizontal sleeping area of 1.98 metres long.

“I firmly believe that, with this package of products and measures, we will undoubtedly achieve our objective of becoming the first Western five-star airline”, said Garnadt.

Lufthansa is currently offering special introductory prices for Premium Economy Class flights. For instance, return flights to Washington D.C. are available from as little as EUR 1,199, while passengers to Beijing can enjoy the new travelling experience for a mere EUR 1,249.
In addition, no rebooking fees are being charged to passengers looking to rebook from Economy to Premium Economy Class. As soon as Lufthansa Premium Economy Class becomes available on a flight route, an existing Economy Class booking can be upgraded to Premium Economy Class. Passengers will only have to pay the difference between the fares of the two tickets, provided that no changes are made to the original flights that were booked. This applies even if the original ticket was booked for a price that did not permit rebooking.

To increase global awareness of the new Premium Economy Class on the market, Lufthansa launched a broad marketing campaign already in mid-September. At the heart of this campaign is its “Recorder” TV advertisement (below). This shows the British musician Duncan Townsend experiencing the extras available in Premium Economy Class for the first time. Brandishing a sound recorder, he combines many different snippets of sound that he hears on his journey into a rhythm, which ultimately evolves into a re-interpreted version of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell”: “More, more, more…”

Lufthansa will introduce its new Premium Economy Class on December 1 on the following routes from Frankfurt: Beijing, Buenos Aires, Chicago O’Hare, Hong Kong, Los Angles, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Seoul and Washington Dulles.

For more information: CLICK HERE

All images above by Lufthansa.

Copyright Photo Below: Bjoern Schmitt/AirlinersGallery.com. A dramatic view of Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-830 D-ABYI (msn 37833) on final approach to the runway at Los Angeles International Airport over the parking lot.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Video:

Air China takes delivery of its first Boeing 747-800 Intercontinental

Air China (Beijing) has taken delivery of the pictured Boeing 747-89L B-2485 (msn 41191) yesterday (September 29), its first 747-800 Intercontinental.

Boeing issued this statement:

Boeing and Air China celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 747-8 Intercontinental. Air China is the first carrier in Asia to operate the passenger version of the new, fuel-efficient 747-8. The new airplane is the first of seven 747-8 Intercontinentals Air China has on order.

“Air China has been operating 747s since the 1980s,” said Song Zhiyong, president of Air China. “This iconic airplane has played an important role in Air China’s international development and has also witnessed many milestones of the reform and opening-up of China. We are very proud to introduce the new 747-8 into our fleet to continue its tradition into the future.”

Air China, the flag carrier of the People’s Republic of China, will operate the new airplanes as it continues to expand its international routes.

The 747-8 Intercontinental will bring double-digit improvements in fuel consumption and emissions over its predecessor, the 747-400, while generating 30 percent less noise. The airplane’s interior, inspired by the 787 Dreamliner, includes a new curved, upswept architecture giving passengers a greater feeling of space and comfort, while adding more room for personal belongings. The 747-8 Intercontinental is powered by GE Aviation’s GEnx-2B engines.

Boeing’s partnership with Air China dates back to the 1970s. In addition to the 747-8 Intercontinental, Air China also has 15 787-9s on order. Air China has received all of its 20 777-300 ERs in the last three years and is one of the largest 737 operators in China.

Air China will deploy the new type on the Beijing-Frankfurt route starting daily on January 2, 2015 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Brandon Farris/AirlinersGallery.com. B-2485 is pictured at Boeing Field in Seattle on a test flight.

Boeing 747-8 Customers (Boeing):

Boeing 747-800 Customers

Video: The National Geographic documentary on the Boeing 747-8:

Air China: AG Slide Show

 

Virgin Atlantic is close to making a decision on 5 additional Boeing 787s, updates its fleet retirement plans

Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) is close to making a decision on its five Boeing 787 options according to this report by Bloomberg. The British carrier is updating its fleet plans as it retires its older aircraft types with the new generation aircraft.

According to the report, Virgin Atlantic will retire the last Airbus A340-300 (above) at the end of February 2015. The last five Boeing 747-400s will leave the fleet between September 2015 and July 2016.

Two Airbus A340-600s will be retired at the beginning of 2015.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. The older Airbus A340-300s will be the first to be retired in February. Virgin Atlantic Airways’ Airbus A340-313 G-VFAR (msn 225) climbs away from London’s Heathrow Airport.

Virgin Atlantic Airways: AG Slide Show

El Al and JetBlue Airways file with the DOT in order to codeshare

El Al Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv) and JetBlue Airways (New York) today filed with the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) seeking approval to codeshare.

Subject to government approval, El Al plans to place its “LY” code on select JetBlue-operated flights to/from New York (JFK/Newark).

El Al currently offers up to 22 weekly nonstop flights from Tel Aviv to New York (JFK/Newark) which easily tap into JetBlue’s growing network. With one stop in New York (JFK/Newark), customers may connect between Israel and 35 JetBlue destinations including Boston, Chicago/O’Hare, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Houston/Hobby, Las Vegas, Orlando, San Francisco, San Juan, Washington/Dulles and West Palm Beach. JetBlue currently serves 86 cities across the United States, Caribbean, and Latin America.

El Al and JetBlue have been interline partners since 2010, allowing customers to purchase single-ticket itineraries, combining travel on both airlines.

Top Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. El Al’s Boeing 747-458 4X-ELB (msn 26056) climbs gracefully away from Heathrow Airport near London.

El Al Israel Airlines: AG Slide Show

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Fred Freketic/AirlinersGallery.com. JetBlue Airways’ Airbus A321-231 WL N923JB (msn 5960) with the Prism tail fin awaits its runway departure clearance at JFK International Airport.

Air China to introduce its new 365-seat Boeing 747-800 on October 11 between Beijing and Guangzhou

Air China (Beijing) will soon take delivery of its first 365-seat Boeing 747-800. The pictured Boeing 747-89L B-2485 (msn 41191) is being readied for the delivery ceremony. The airline, according to Airline Route, plans to introduce the new type on the Beijing-Guangzhou route on October 11, subject to change.

Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-89L B-2485 lands at Paine Field after a test flight at the Everett plant.

Air China: AG Slide Show

You can have the 1970s “Pan Am Experience” at Air Hollywood

Air Hollywood Pan Am Experience photo

Air Hollywood, the studio in Hollywood where many movies involving airliners are filmed, is now offering the “Pan Am Experience” to help “passengers” relive the golden age of air travel  on the original Pan Am of the 1970s. Prices range from $297 for the First Class experience and $197 for Clipper Class. The “experience” never leaves the ground, it occurs inside the mock Boeing 747 cabin that is used for making movies. Air Hollywood describes the experience:

Air Hollywood logo

From its birth in 1927, Pan American Airways was the pioneer airline whose routes spanned 6 continents and more than 80 countries. Almost a century later, the name Pan Am is still a very powerful brand, and inside this Southern California motion picture studio sits an exact replica of the airline’s Boeing 747 and everything that made it so special.

Your Pan Am experience starts on the main deck with a cocktail and beverage service in the First Class cabin. Each stewardess that greets you will be adorned in her original 1970’s Pan Am uniform. Our Pan Am crew will offer various video & audio selections while you sit back in your Pan Am Sleeperette seat and sip a cocktail.

Soon after, you’ll climb the winding staircase where the crew will set your table for a truly memorable dining event. In classic Pan Am style, you’ll be offered your favorite cocktail and served a delightful gourmet meal. Everything from the china to the glassware is authentic with careful attention to the exquisite service delivery of the era and menu offerings of Pan Am.

After dinner, you will have an opportunity to view the vast collection of airline memorabilia and view other film production sets.

For the first time since Pan Am ceased operations, you can now relive the magic of this golden era in travel. We cordially invite you to personally experience this unique “flying” opportunity in the tradition of Pan Am.

Air Hollywood Pan Am Experience cabin

Prices:

Air Hollywood Pan Am Experience Prices

All photos above by Air Hollywood.

For more information: CLICK HERE

Pan Am (1st) Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-121 N751PA (msn 19655) “Clipper Midnight Sun” displays the classic 1976 livery of the first and original Pan Am.

QANTAS Airways to return to Vancouver with seasonal flights in January

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has announced it will return to Vancouver (last served in January 2008) with twice-weekly Boeing 747-400 flights during the month of January 2015 (January 3-23, 2015).

The airline issued this statement:

QANTAS  announced it will operate six direct return services between Sydney and Vancouver in January 2015 to cater for demand during the peak of the North American winter holiday season.

The Vancouver services follow last week’s announcement of a new codeshare with WestJet, providing new connections.

QANTAS has also announced an increase in services to the US and Santiago from early 2015, and is upgrading its Dallas/Fort Worth service to an Airbus A380.

The services will operate from January 3-22, 2015, departing Sydney on Saturdays and Wednesdays (with same day connections available from the major Australian capital cities), and from Vancouver on Sundays and Thursdays, operated by a three-cabin Boeing 747 aircraft, reconfigured with lie-flat beds in Business Class and the award-winning international Economy seat.* Subject to regulatory approval.

All proposed services are subject to regulatory approval.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallary.com. Boeing 747-438 ER VH-OEH (msn 32912) approaches the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York.

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

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The last Air New Zealand Boeing 747 revenue flight touches down in Auckland, will increase Los Angeles frequencies

Air New Zealand (Auckland) ended an era  when the pictured Boeing 747-419 ZK-NBV (msn 26910), flying the final 747 revenue flight, landed in Auckland on a flight from San Francisco. ANZ has ended its long association (nearly 35 years) with the Jumbo. The flag carrier originally operated the Boeing 747-200B before that early type was replaced with the newer Boeing 747-400s. Now the 747-400s have been fully replaced with newer Boeing 777-300 ERs and 787-9 Dreamliners.

Read the account from the Sydney Morning Herald: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: David Apps/AirlinersGallery.com.

The last flight departed from San Francisco International Airport on September 10. This “Farewell 747″ banner was displayed at the departure gate at SFO:

Air New Zealand Farewell 747 banner

Copyright Photo: Air New Zealand.

Copyright Photo: Roy Lock/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-419 ZK-NBV was previously painted in this special color scheme to promote the first Lord of Rings movie featuring Frodo on the aircraft. ZK-NBV was delivered new to ANZ on Halloween (October 31), 1998.

In other news, Air New Zealand is adding more flights to its North American schedule. The popularity of the airline’s service between Auckland and Los Angeles will see the airline step up frequency next year from twice daily to three times a day on three days of the week.

To date Air New Zealand’s Los Angeles service has predominantly run twice-daily but during the 2015 Northern Summer season (April – October) there will be a third flight departing Auckland on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, representing a 20% boost in total capacity.

The additional Los Angeles services will depart Auckland earlier than the current daily services arriving in Los Angeles around 0900 and enabling same day connections with Midwest and East Coast USA destinations. The earlier departure time will also suit Australian travellers heading to the USA, with convenient Melbourne and Sydney connections.

The additional services will depart Los Angeles later than current services accommodating later connections while still arriving into Auckland at 0700 in time for passengers to connect seamlessly to domestic New Zealand and Australia.

Air New Zealand is also increasing capacity between Auckland and Vancouver by 10%. Next year it will operate five times per week from June to September (currently mid-July to late August). The airline operates three times per week outside of this period.

Both the Los Angeles and Vancouver routes will get an additional boost during the New Zealand school holidays. Air New Zealand will operate a third daily Los Angeles flight on Sundays in the July and October school holidays taking the weekly total to 18, and move from three to four flights per week to Vancouver during the October school holidays.

Today (September 12) ANZ begins Boeing 787-9 service on the Auckland – Perth route, one month earlier than planned.

Additionally, Air New Zealand is progressively refitting its Boeing 777-200 ER fleet bringing the on-board customer experience into line with the high level of inflight innovation and comfort already enjoyed on the airline’s Boeing 777-300 ER and new 787-9 aircraft.

Air New Zealand has eight 777-200 ERs which are progressively having their interiors completely stripped out and replaced as part of a $100 million fleet refurbishment project.

Air New Zealand 777-200ER Economy Seat (ANZ)

 

ZK-OKA is the first to be completed. The refurbished aircraft features Air New Zealand’s new luxury leather Premium Economy seat (above) which recently debuted on the airline’s 787-9 Dreamliner and nine rows of the award-winning Economy Skycouch product. The airline’s Business Premier lie-flat bed and Economy seat round out the inflight product offering. Also on board is a brand new Panasonic eX3 seatback inflight entertainment system with improved resolution and touch capabilities.

The remainder of the airline’s Boeing 777-200 ER fleet is being progressively refurbished with the final aircraft scheduled to roll out of the hangar late next year.

On the financial side, Air New Zealand recently announced normalized earnings before taxation of A$332 million for the 2014 financial year, an increase of 30 percent on the previous year. Statutory earnings before taxation were A$357 million, an increase of 40 percent, while statutory net profit after taxation was $262 million.

Chairman Tony Carter said that the result represented the third consecutive year of strong earnings growth for the airline.

“This is a result Air New Zealand can be proud of. Our employees, our customers and our shareholders can be confident that Air New Zealand continues to be a world leading airline both in terms of customer experience and financial performance,” Mr Carter said.
“We have made significant progress on our key strategic initiatives. With new aircraft offering better operating economics, an optimised network with the right alliance partners, disciplined cost management and a daily focus on improving the customer experience, we are very well positioned to continue growing.”

Mr Carter said that Air New Zealand will significantly grow its capacity in the coming year, as new aircraft arrive.

“Based on our current expectations of market demand and fuel prices, we expect to improve on the 2014 result in the coming year. This outlook excludes equity earnings from the Virgin Australia shareholding,” he said.

Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon said the result was testament to the efforts of Air New Zealanders at all levels of the organisation.
“Our team is demonstrating their passion and commitment to ensuring that Air New Zealand is performing better than ever before. A successful Air New Zealand is good for everyone – it is a virtuous circle. As we grow our revenue and control costs, we generate strong financial results which lead to sustainable returns to shareholders and investment back in the business,” Mr Luxon said.

“We have a number of initiatives underway to further improve the customer experience, including induction of the Boeing 787-9 fleet, the refurbishment of our Boeing 777-200 ER fleet, moving to new terminals and lounges in Los Angeles and London and multiple lounge upgrades across the network.”

Mr Luxon also commented on the airline’s alliance with Singapore Airlines, which was recently granted full regulatory approval.

“This alliance is the third strategic revenue sharing alliance we have formed in recent years, following agreements with Virgin Australia (reauthorised in 2013) and Cathay Pacific in 2012. Forming alliances with the right partners in the right markets is a key pillar of our Go Beyond strategy.”

“Strong alliances such as this provide us with a platform for sustainable growth, allowing us to open up new routes and markets across the Pacific Rim,” he said.

Air New Zealand Aircraft Slide Show:

AG Slide Show

 

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Video: ANZ salutes the “Queen of the Skies”:

Video from stuff.co.nz: Air New Zealand’s Boeing 747-400 ZK-NBV named “Christchurch” made it final flight and now is in retirement. The 747-400 completed 67,552 flight hours and 7284 landings.

Video: Before the Boeing 747-400 there was the Boeing 747-200B:

 

Centurion Cargo could lose 5 of its freighters, pilots furloughed

Centurion Cargo (Miami) is struggling according to this report by the South Florida Business Journal.  According to the report, “five statutory trusts based in Dublin, Ireland filed a lawsuit in federal court on August 29 against Miami-based Centurion and its Sky Lease I affiliate. It claims the companies are delinquent on $10.2 million in lease payments on five aircrafts: one Boeing 747-400F and four McDonnell Douglas MD-11Fs.”

Until now the airline has not returned the aircraft.

The company was originally founded on November 8, 1985 as Challenge Air Cargo Inc. After many years in the business, on July 20, 2001 Challenge Air Cargo Inc. changed its name and started operating as Centurion Air Cargo Inc.

According to the airline, Centurion Cargo is a privately owned company founded in 2001.Based at Miami International Airport it currently operates a 550,000 square foot warehouse (51,097 square meters); divided into two different sections; a 159,000 square foot (14,772 square meters) Cooler and 391,000 square foot (36,325 square meters) Dry Cargo Area, the Centurion Cargo Center is by far the largest privately owned all cargo airline facility in North America, and operates a fleet of ten MD-11Fs and three 747-400ERFs.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Update: Late on September 10, 2014 all pilots of Centurion Cargo received furlough notices.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4R7F N901AR (msn 25868) arrives in Philadelphia.

Centurion Cargo: AG Slide Show

British Airways to refresh 18 Boeing 747-400 cabins

British Airways (London) is upgrading 18 selected Boeing 747-400s for a cabin refresh including a new in-flight entertainment system. The airline issued this statement:

Some of British Airways’ much-loved Boeing 747s are to receive a cabin refresh including a state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system.

Customers travelling on the 18 selected 747s will be treated to double the choice of TV programs and films thanks to the installation of Panasonic’s next generation eX3 entertainment system.

The new system, which will be installed from August 2015, will provide more than 130 movies and 400 TV programs on larger, hi-resolution screens, capable of touch and swipe gestures, giving the system the familiar feel of using a tablet.

Lightweight in design, the system from Panasonic Avionics Corporation also helps to save the amount of fuel used by the aircraft.

As part of the upgrade, customers in World Traveller Plus on these aircraft will have access to a universal power socket at every seat, capable of accepting plugs from the UK, US and Europe. In addition, World Traveller customers will now have their own personal USB socket to power phones and tablets.

Richard D’Cruze, British Airways’ in-flight entertainment and technology manager, said: “We know that in-flight entertainment is really important to our customers – being able to relax and watch a film or listen to music helps customers to pass the time enjoyably – so by installing this state-of-the-art equipment we will be able to deliver even more programing on board.”

The refit, which will be carried out by British Airways’ engineers in Cardiff, will include a cabin interior refresh bringing these 747s more in line with the airline’s newest aircraft.

New seat foams will be installed in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus to increase customer comfort and new style seat covers fitted to improve appearance and match those on the A380 and 787. Carpets and curtains throughout the plane will also be replaced to the new aircraft colour pallet.

Kathryn Doyle, aircraft cabin interiors manager, said: “Our customers love our new aircraft, and we wanted to refresh the 747s in line with them as we know they have a special place in the heart of many of our customers. These aircraft will get some well deserved TLC and the improvements will be really noticeable to our frequent fliers.”

British Airways has introduced a number of recent changes to its in-flight entertainment, including the introduction of HBO and the Discovery Channel as well as a new ‘paws and relax channel’ showing cute footage of cats, kittens, dogs and puppies, to enhance the wellbeing of customers.

British Airways was also the first European airline to permit the use of hand-held mobile devices after landing and the first European airline to introduce the use of in-flight entertainment systems from gate-to-gate.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-436 G-CIVO (msn 28849) completes its final approach to the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Virgin Atlantic to drop Cape Town, Mumbai, Tokyo Narita and Vancouver

Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) is closely aligning its network with Delta Air Lines (Atlanta), discontinuing four destinations which will free up aircraft for more promising routes or adding to profitable existing routes. The carrier will drop all service to Cape Town (April 27, 2015), Mumbai (February 1, 2015), Tokyo Narita (February 1, 2015) and Vancouver (October 11, 2014). The company issued this statement outlining this major revamp of its system:

Virgin Atlantic has identified opportunities for investment into its trans-Atlantic schedule as it looks to maximize the benefits of its joint venture partnership with Delta Air Lines.

We are outlining a program of network changes that will significantly increase our presence in the key UK – US travel market, whilst we continue to fly to major strategic destinations in the rest of the world and retain a relevant global presence.

The proposed changes include:

A new daily service from London Heathrow to Detroit offering new connections across North and Central USA such as Cincinnati, New Orleans, Memphis and Indianapolis*

A fifth daily service from London Heathrow to New York, JFK

An additional daily service from London Heathrow to Los Angeles

An additional daily service during the summer season from London Heathrow to Atlanta

An additional summer seasonal service from London Heathrow to San Francisco flying five times a week

An additional daily service during the winter season from London Heathrow to Miami

A transfer of operations with joint venture partner Delta Air Lines that will see Virgin Atlantic fly a daily service between Manchester and Atlanta and Delta fly one of Virgin Atlantic’s existing London Heathrow to Newark services**.

Across the joint venture, Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines will now offer ten daily services from London to the New York area.

In addition, Delta Air Lines will launch a new daily service between Manchester and New York JFK in Summer 2015.

In order to maximize these opportunities, further proposed changes will include:

A withdrawal of operations to Tokyo Narita with the final flight from London to Narita on January 31, 2015 and the final flight from Tokyo Narita to London on February 1, 2015.

A withdrawal of operations to Mumbai with the final flight from London to Mumbai on January 31, 2015 and the final flight from Mumbai to London on February 1, 2015.

The summer seasonal service from London Heathrow to Vancouver will not return after this season’s flying program is completed on October 11, 2014.

The winter seasonal service to Cape Town will operate as planned in winter 2014/15 but will not be renewed the following winter. The final flight from London to Cape Town will be on April 26, 2015 and the final flight from Cape Town to London on April 27, 2015.

Craig Kreeger, Chief Executive at Virgin Atlantic said:

“Our ambition is to be profitable for the long term, earn competitive returns, and invest those into providing the very best experience for our customers on the routes they most want to fly.”

“Trans-Atlantic flying has always been at the heart of our network and our most financially successful region. This announcement allows us to play to our strengths and focus our network on routes between the UK and US, as well as other critical global destinations that are most important to our customers.”

“We are confident that with this strengthened network, our new aircraft and our welcoming people delivering unrivalled service, we have all the right ingredients to achieve long-term success.”

Customer investment

Among the plans the airline has set out is a commitment to investing in customer experience. A major program of work is already underway that will see £300m invested by the end of 2018, on the ground and in the air.

The imminent arrival of Virgin Atlantic’s first Boeing 787-9 will continue a fleet modernization program of over £2bn that will give it one of the youngest fleets in the world.

Virgin Atlantic would like to thank its customers and staff in Tokyo, Cape Town, Mumbai and Vancouver for their loyalty and commitment to our services.

In the future if Heathrow gains its long overdue expansion, Virgin Atlantic would love to re-enter Tokyo, Cape Town, Mumbai and Vancouver.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. As part of this master plan, the Boeing 747-400 fleet will slowly being reduced. Boeing 747-443 G-VROY (msn 32340) lands in Las Vegas.

Virgin Atlantic Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Philippines retires its last Boeing 747

Philippines-Philippine Airlines (Manila) today (September 1) operated its last Boeing 747 revenue flight. The last flight with a Boeing 747-400 touched down from San Francisco early this morning at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, ending an era that has spanned 35 years according to Philippine Flight Network.

The Boeing 747 entered service with Philippine Airlines in December 1979, when the carrier took delivery of its first Boeing 747-200B. PAL added its first Boeing 747-400 in November 1993.

Boeing 747-4F6 RP-C7473 (msn 27828) operated the last flight. RP-C7473 departed San Francisco on August 31 for the last time with 285 passengers on board according to PFN.

Read the full story with photos from Philippine Flight Network: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 747-4F6 RP-C8168 (msn 27827) was a familiar sight at Los Angeles International Airport.

Philippines-Philippine Airlines:AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-2F6B N741PR (msn 21832) holds short of the runway at London’s Gatwick Airport.

 

Silk Way Airlines takes delivery of its first two Boeing 747-800F freighters

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Silk Way Airlines (Baku, Azerbaijan) today (August 28) celebrated the delivery of the airline’s two 747-83QF freighters. The first airplane (4K-SW881, msn 44444) was delivered last week and the second airplane (4K-SW882, msn 44937) was delivered today (August 28).

To date, Boeing has delivered 49 747-8 Freighters.

Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-83QF VQ-BVC (4K-SW882) lands after a test flight at Paine Field near Everett, WA.

Silk Way Airlines: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa is facing a strike by its pilots tomorrow

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has issued this statement today:

Lufthansa regrets the announcement of strike action by the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union (VC) for tomorrow (Friday). This morning – and therefore just a few hours before the start of talks that had been agreed for today – the union announced that there would be a strike at Germanwings if agreement wasn’t reached today (Thursday) on the issue of transitional benefits for pilots.

In a letter on Monday, Lufthansa had proposed today’s talks in order to resume negotiations and had prepared a suggestion on what form further negotiations should take. As per Lufthansa’s invitation, the aim of these talks would primarily have been to specify an orderly process and a timetable for further negotiations.

Dr Bettina Volkens, Chief Officer Human Resources and Legal at Deutsche Lufthansa AG, says: ‘We are very disappointed that we cannot avert strike action. The impression given is that the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union had already decided to strike. It is unrealistic to expect to reach agreement on a new model for sustainable transitional benefits in the course of a single day. The fact that an ultimatum for concluding a wage agreement was issued on the morning of negotiations – even though we made it clear that the talks would initially have to be about what form the further negotiation process should take – is very unusual and incomprehensible.’

Lufthansa and Germanwings will now be primarily focusing on limiting the impact of the strike. The strike action announced for Friday will coincide with the end of school holidays in Thuringia and Saxony. Dr Bettina Volkens says: ‘We will do everything to provide the best-possible service to Germanwings passengers and, if possible, to get them to their destination in spite of the strike.’

Prior to the strike, Lufthansa had already made an offer to the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union at the start of April concerning future early retirement from flight service and had therefore created a basis for further negotiations. This offer would provide all cockpit staff with the option of early retirement from flight service, including in the future.

In concrete terms, Lufthansa’s offer on transitional benefits provides for the following:

• For employees who have been working at Lufthansa since before 1 January 2014, Lufthansa will bear the costs of early retirement, including in the future. This means that employer-financed transitional benefits will be maintained for several decades.

• For employees who start or have started work at Lufthansa after 1 January 2014, it will still be possible to retire early from flight service. However, the costs of this will no longer be borne by Lufthansa, but rather by the employees. In the event of incapacity for flight service, a purely employer-financed insurance policy will still be included for all employees.

• The individual age for retiring from flight service will be raised, depending on the length of service, from 55 for more senior up to 60 for younger employees. The longer employees have already been in the company, the less affected they will be by the increase in the earliest possible individual retirement age. Employees who have been with the company for a very long time are not affected at all by the changes.

• Today, on average, cockpit crew leave Lufthansa German Airlines at the age of 59. In future, the average age for employer-financed retirement from flight service at Lufthansa German Airlines is intended to go up gradually over several years to 61. The average age of 61 reflects an overall trend in society towards a longer working life.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-830 D-ABYP (msn 37839) with the special 1500th Boeing 747 markings departs from Washington (Reagan).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

QANTAS to boost services between Melbourne and Los Angeles

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) will boost services between Melbourne and Los Angeles, and between Sydney and Santiago, from early 2015, and introduce a new schedule providing the flexibility of morning, midday and evening departures between Australia and the US.

From January 21, 2015, QANTAS will increase its Melbourne to Los Angeles service from a daily service to ten per week and from February 20 will increase its Sydney to Santiago service from three to four per week.

The new services are the result of some schedule adjustments across the Pacific allowing for increased Boeing 747-400 flying time, one of the key elements of the QANTAS Transformation Program announced earlier this year.

“As part of our strategy to build a stronger QANTAS, we’ve introduced a new approach to aircraft utilization so we can take advantage of opportunities in the market. It means adjusting our schedules across the network to ensure our fleet spend less time on the ground and more time in the air, as we have done with our new Airbus A380 Dallas/Fort Worth service starting next month,” added Mr Hickey.

“This new schedule also builds on 25 supplementary services to the US and South America over the Christmas holiday period. The new schedule also enhances connections for our customers right across the US,” added Mr Hickey.

Customers connecting through to destinations across central and eastern parts of the United States will now have three options from Sydney – a morning and evening service to Los Angeles, and afternoon service to Dallas/Fort Worth.

“We recently announced new codeshare services with our partner LAN from Santiago to six destinations across South America and will now operate A380 services to both Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles, connecting with codeshare partner American Airlines to more than 100 destinations across North America.

Adjustments will be made to the timing of some of our flights across the Pacific in order to facilitate the improved schedule options for our customers.

Fleet and network adjustments are earmarked to save up to $600 million over three years for the QANTAS Group from the overall $2 billion cost reduction target that is at the centre of the airline’s turnaround plans. Increased aircraft utilisation and accelerated retirement of older, non-reconfigured Boeing 747s form part of this.

These changes come in a year of the 60th anniversary of QANTAS services to the US. In 1954, QANTAS operated a Lockheed Super Constellation from Sydney to San Francisco – its first trans-Pacific route to North America.

Summary of Schedule and Network Changes:

QANTAS Summary of Changes

Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 747-400 is gradually leaving the QANTAS passenger fleet. Boeing 747-438 VH-OJS (man 25564) in the special Socceroos color scheme arrives in London (Heathrow).

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

United now offers its customers Uber transportation services via its mobile app

United Airlines (Chicago) today (August 20) became the first airline to offer customers Uber transportation services via its mobile app, further enabling travelers to use the United app for services throughout their entire travel experience.

Customers with iOS and Android mobile devices may access Uber ground transportation information in the United app’s menu or in the “My Reservations” card with a current reservation. The app will display Uber information, including types of available vehicles, estimated wait times and prices. After customers select a ride, the United app will automatically transfer them to the Uber app or the Uber website to sign up for an account to complete the transaction.

Customers who sign up for Uber via the United app and complete their first transaction will receive 1,000 MileagePlus award miles for a limited time.

In addition to accessing ground transportation options and other features, customers can use the United mobile app on iOS and Android devices to do the following:

Book United flights, including award travel
Scan a valid passport to check in for international flights
Store mobile boarding passes for easy access at security and during boarding
Select seats and choose Economy Plus seating
Check the status of an upgrade and view inflight amenities
Access United Club information and purchase one-time passes

In July, United became the first U.S. carrier to offer customers the ability to scan their passports to check in for international flights via their iOS and Android mobile devices. Later this year, United will begin to introduce its all-new united.com website, providing customers a simplified, clearer and faster user experience.

Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

In other news, United is also ending United Express passenger service on the Crescent City-Arcata/Eureka, Los Angeles-Yuma and Sacramento-Arcata/Eureka routes on December 3 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-422 N128UA (msn 30023) arrives at Tokyo (Narita).

United Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

Cathay Pacific to retire the last passenger long-haul Boeing 747-400 on August 31 on the San Francisco route

Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) will operate its last long-haul scheduled Boeing 747 passenger flight to San Francisco on August 31. The last departure will be from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Hong Kong. The company will continue to operate Boeing 747 freighters and the 747-400 on some short-haul Asian routes (Beijing, Manila, Osaka Kansai, Sapporo, Shanghai Pudong, Taipei Taoyuan and Tokyo Haneda per Airline Route).

 

Cathay Pacific Farewell 747 Giveaway

To mark the historic occasion, Cathay Pacific is running a “Farewell 747 Giveaway” contest. 20 winners will receive a Boeing 747 model. CLICK HERE for the details.

The inaugural flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong via Vancouver was flown on a Boeing 747-200B on July 1, 1986.

Cathay Pacific SFO Inaugural 7.1.86

Above Copyright Photo: Cathay Pacific.

Top Copyright Photo: KSK/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-467, the Queen of the Skies, B-HOY (man 25351) in the 1994 livery gracefully climbs away from the runway at Tokyo (Haneda)

Cathay Pacific: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-267B VR-HIE (msn 28872) taxies at Zurich in the original 1971 green and white color scheme.

Video: Trip Report on a CP Boeing 747-400:

Thai Airways to axe 1,500 jobs this year, hopes to return to profitability by the fourth quarter

Thai Airways International (Bangkok) meanwhile expects to cut 1,500 jobs this year as it expects to return to profitability in the fourth quarter according to this article by the Business Times.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4D7 HS-TGG (msn 33771) departs gracefully from Phuket, Thailand.

Thai: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines’ new TV commercial with Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has introduced this new TV commercial, mostly for showing in the Pacific Northwest hometown market featuring Seattle Seahawks and Super Bowl champion quarterback Russell Wilson.

In addition, Boeing 737-990 ER N453AS (msn 36354) is now wearing special “Go Russell!” markings.

Alaska 737-900ER WL N453AS (90-Go Russell)(Close-Up)(Alaska)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines.

The airline issued this short statement with the video above:

Champions never rest. We’ve enlisted the support of our Chief Football Officer quarterback Russell Wilson to put our employees through the paces at a specially designed training camp.

The NFL teams have started their pre-season schedule.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Now repainted, Boeing supported the hometown Seahawks during the previous Super Bowl with this Boeing 747-87UF N770BA (msn 37564) which was painted in the colors of the National Football League (NFL) team.

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings reports 2Q adjusted net income of $15.9 million

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (Atlas Air and Polar Air Cargo) (New York) reported adjusted net income of $15.9 million for the second quarter.

The company issued this statement:

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc., a leading global provider of outsourced aircraft and aviation operating services, announced adjusted net income attributable to common stockholders of $15.9 million, or $0.63 per diluted share, for the three months ended June 30, 2014, compared with $20.4 million, or $0.79 per diluted share, for the three months ended June 30, 2013.

On a reported basis, net income attributable to common stockholders in the second quarter of 2014 totaled $29.6 million, or $1.17 per diluted share, compared with $20.1 million, or $0.78 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

“We are off to a good start in 2014. Airfreight demand is improving, and we are encouraged about our full-year outlook,” said William J. Flynn, President and Chief Executive Officer. “As we continue to gather additional insight into second-half yields, demand and military requirements, we are maintaining our full-year earnings framework.”

Mr. Flynn added: “Atlas is an entrepreneurial company. Our second-quarter results illustrate the positive contributions being generated by the investments we’ve made and the initiatives we’ve undertaken. In the face of an uncertain airfreight market and an anticipated decline in military cargo demand, we have diversified our business mix and are driving business resilience.

“Results within our ACMI segment are benefiting from modern 747-8 freighters as well as an increase in flying for our CMI customers. In Dry Leasing, the investments we’ve made since early 2013 in attractive 777 freighters on long-term leases with strong customers are driving a significant increase in contribution from highly predictable revenue and earnings streams.

“In addition, the expansion of our 767 platform and our growth into military and commercial passenger charter operations are providing added strength, complementing the improvement in airfreight demand.

“Led by the strength of our brand, our global market leadership in outsourced aircraft assets and services, and our ability to work closely with our customers as they enhance their route networks and grow their businesses, we are well-positioned to take advantage of market opportunities and improvement – and to continue our focus on longer-term business growth.”

Adjusted earnings in the second quarter of 2014 exclude an income tax benefit of $24.0 million, or $0.95 per diluted share, due to beneficial tax planning related to the tax treatment of extraterritorial income. This was partly offset by a noncash loss of $9.4 million after tax, or $0.37 per diluted share, resulting from the trade-in of used spare engines for new engines under the company’s engine-acquisition program, as well as additional charges totaling $1.0 million after tax, or $0.04 per diluted share, which were primarily related to the company’s U.K. affiliate, Global Supply Systems Limited.

Adjusted earnings in the second quarter of 2013 exclude an after-tax loss of $0.6 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, on the early extinguishment of debt, partly offset by an after-tax gain of $0.3 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, on the disposal of aircraft.

Second-Quarter Results

Profitability in our ACMI business during the second quarter reflected an increase in 747-8F revenue and an increase in CMI flying, offset by higher maintenance expense for aircraft operating in this segment.

ACMI revenues benefited from an increase in our average rate per block hour driven by our 747-8Fs, but were impacted by a decline in block-hour volumes related to the return of three 8Fs from British Airways in April and early May. This decline was partially offset by the placement of two of the 8Fs with DHL Express in May, the start-up of ACMI 8F flying for BST Logistics in February 2014 and Etihad in May 2013, as well as the start-up of ACMI 747-400 flying for Astral Aviation in September 2013. Block-hour volumes during the second quarter also reflected an increase in CMI Dreamlifter flying for Boeing and the initiation of CMI 767-200 passenger aircraft service for MLW Air during the third quarter of 2013.

In Dry Leasing, revenue and profitability grew following the addition of three 777F aircraft in January 2014 and two in July 2013, which raised our 777F fleet count to six. Each of these aircraft are leased to customers on a long-term basis.

In AMC Charter, results benefited from an increase in the volume of passenger flying on higher-yielding 747-400 aircraft, partially offset by a decrease in demand for cargo flying. Segment results in Commercial Charter reflected a decrease in market rates and increases in maintenance and crewmember travel expense, partially offset by an increase in block-hour volumes.

Reported earnings for the period reflected an effective income tax rate benefit of 461.0%, driven by tax-planning efforts regarding a federal income tax benefit related to the treatment of extraterritorial income from the offshore leasing of certain of our aircraft.

Half-Year Results

For the six months ended June 30, 2014, adjusted net income attributable to common stockholders totaled $27.3 million, or $1.08 per diluted share, compared with $26.3 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, for the six months ended June 30, 2013.

On a reported basis, first-half 2014 net income attributable to common stockholders totaled $37.5 million, or $1.49 per diluted share, compared with $40.1 million, or $1.54 per diluted share, in the first half of 2013.

Cash and Short-Term Investments

At June 30, 2014, our cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and restricted cash totaled $299.2 million, compared with $339.2 million at December 31, 2013.

The change in position reflected cash provided by operating and financing activities offset by cash used for investing activities.

Net cash used for investing activities during the first half of 2014 primarily related to the purchase of three 777F aircraft for our Dry Leasing business.

Net cash provided by financing activities primarily reflected proceeds from the issuance of debt in connection with the acquisitions of these aircraft. Those proceeds were partially offset by payments on debt obligations and debt issuance costs.

Outlook

We are encouraged by our performance in the first half of 2014 and the positive direction of market trends so far this year.

Airfreight volumes continue to improve, and recent forecasts suggest that airfreight demand may grow by several percentage points in 2014 – the first real growth after three essentially flat years. Airfreight yields continue to lag behind, however, and there is still limited visibility into peak-season yields, demand and second-half military requirements. As a result, we are maintaining our earnings outlook for the full year.

On a sequential basis, per-share earnings in the third quarter of this year should improve over our adjusted second-quarter results by an increment similar to the increase between our first- and second-quarter adjusted earnings.

For the full year, we expect total block hours to be comparable to 2013, with more than 70% in ACMI, approximately 10% in AMC Charter, and the balance in Commercial Charter. Our Dry Leasing segment should show dramatic growth compared with 2013. While our share of military flying, mainly in passenger service, has increased due to a reduction in the number of carriers serving the market and our ability to capitalize on additional flying opportunities, we continue to expect an overall decline in military demand, primarily in cargo, compared with 2013.

We also expect aircraft maintenance expense to total approximately $180 million in 2014, with depreciation of approximately $120 to $125 million. Core capital expenditures this year are expected to total approximately $45 to $50 million, mainly for spare parts for our expanded fleet.

We remain confident in the resilience of our business model, as well as our ability to adapt to the market and to leverage the scale and efficiencies in our operations. The business initiatives we have undertaken and the investments we have made have enabled the company to deliver meaningful earnings in any environment.

Should 2014 be the inflection point when growth returns to commercial airfreight and yields improve, our business initiatives and the investments we have made have positioned Atlas to be one of the prime beneficiaries.

Atlas Air Worldwide is the parent company of Atlas Air, Inc. (Atlas) and Titan Aviation Leasing (Titan), and is the majority shareholder of Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, Inc. (Polar). Through Atlas and Polar, Atlas Air Worldwide operates the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 747 freighter aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-87UF N852GT (msn 37571) of Atlas Air taxies at Anchorage, AK.

Atlas Air: AG Slide Show

Polar Air Cargo: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa Group resumes flights to Erbil, otherwise will avoid Iraqi airspace

Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) has issued this statement about flying over Iraq:

After renewed consultation with the relevant national security authorities, the Lufthansa Group has decided to resume flights to Erbil in northern Iraq (Kurdistan) from today (August 4). Erbil lies well outside the direct crisis zone in Iraq, and flights to and from the city will be routed to avoid overflying the zone. Lufthansa (Frankfurt) flies twice-weekly to Erbil, a further daily flight is operated by Austrian Airlines (Vienna).

For the time being, however, transit traffic to Asia and the Middle East, for example, will continue to detour Iraqi airspace. The Lufthansa Group is in close and regular contact with the relevant national security authorities, also in Iraq. Based on our own assessment, there is currently no danger in overflying Iraq. Nevertheless, the Lufthansa Group has decided to avoid the Iraqi airspace above the section controlled by Isis for the time being. In taking this step, the Lufthansa Group is taking into account the growing apprehension of customers and our own flight crews. The safety and well being of passengers is naturally our paramount priority. The changes in flight routes apply to all airlines in the Lufthansa Group. Aside from Lufthansa, those airlines include Lufthansa Cargo, Austrian Airlines and Swiss. The new flight routes will not significantly lengthen flight times.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-430 D-ABVS (msn 28286) of Lufthansa with the short-lived “Fanhansa” titles for the recent FIFA World Cup departs from Toronto (Pearson).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Austrian: AG Slide Show

Delta to start phasing out its Boeing 747-400s

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) currently operates 16 ex-Northwest Airlines Boeing 747-400s. According to FrequentBusinessTraveler.com citing a memo to its pilots, Delta will retire three aircraft by the end of September and another by the end of this year leaving 12 in the fleet.

Delta was originally a Boeing 747-100 operator and became a 747 operator again with the Northwest Airlines merger.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Boeing 747-451 N671US (msn 26477) taxies to the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Air France-KLM reduces its first half net loss to $824.6 million

Air France (Paris) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) reported a net loss of €614 million ($824.6 million), an improvement of €185 million ($248.4 million).

As part of the expanding Transavia lower-fare operations the Group issued this statement:

In the Second Quarter of 2014, Transavia capacity was up 4.8%, reflecting the accelerated development of Transavia France (up 10%) and the repositioning of Transavia Netherlands (up 3% including a 6% reduction in charter capacity). Traffic rose 6.0%, leading to a record high load factor of 90.7% (up 0.9 point). Unit revenue was down 1.7%. Transavia’s total revenue stood at 296 million euros, up 5.0%. The operating result was -6 million euros, down 3 million euros year-on-year.

In the First Half of 2014, Transavia traffic increased by 6.9% for capacity up 5.8%, leading to a 0.9 point increase in load factor to 89.2%. Unit revenue was down 2.6%. Total revenue stood at 435 million euros, up 4.5%, while the unit cost per ASK decreased by 0.8%, but increased by 0.5% on a constant currency basis. The operating result decreased by 10 million euros to -64 million euros, mainly due to the ramp up of Transavia France.

Overall the Group issued this outlook:

Delivery on the Transform 2015 plan is fully on track. However, as indicated at the beginning of the month, the operating environment remains tough, with industry overcapacity on certain long-haul routes, notably North America and Asia, impacting yields. This trend comes on top of the persistently weak cargo demand and the challenging situation in Venezuela already identified in the First Quarter.

Under these conditions, as indicated at the beginning of the month, 2014 EBITDA is expected to be between 2.2 and 2.3 billion euros. Strong capital discipline will enable the group to remain on track in terms of debt reduction and achieve its objective of 4.5 billion euros in net debt in 2015.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Air France’s Airbus A380-861 F-HPJE (msn 052) with the special logo to celebrate 50 years of France-China diplomatic relations.

Air France: AG Slide Show

KLM: AG Slide Show

Transavia (Netherlands): AG Slide Show

Transavia (France): AG Slide Show

Hop!: AG Slide Show

Fleet Information:

Air France 6.30.14 Fleet (LRW)

KLM 6.30.14 Fleet (LRW)

Bottom Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-406 PH-BFF (msn 24202) completes its final approach to the runway at Toronto (Pearson).

Delta suspends its flights to Israel due to the on-going violence

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today suspended all flights to Tel Aviv, Israel due to nearby rocket attacks according to CNN. Today’s flight DL 469 from New York (JFK) diverted to Paris (Charles de Gualle).

The suspension is for 24 hours.

The suspension of service to Israel comes after the State Department issued this statement:

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza due to ongoing hostilities. The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens consider the deferral of non-essential travel to Israel and the West Bank and reaffirms the longstanding strong warning to U.S. citizens against any travel to the Gaza Strip. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning issued on February 3, 2014.

The security environment remains complex in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, and U.S. citizens need to be aware of the risks of travel to these areas because of the current conflict between Hamas and Israel.

The Department of State continues its longstanding strong warning to U.S. citizens against travel to the Gaza Strip; U.S. government employees are not allowed to conduct official or personal travel there. Please see the section below on the situation in the Gaza Strip. Because of the security situation, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and its annexes are currently operating at reduced staffing and the Consular Section of the Embassy is providing only emergency consular services. The U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem is currently maintaining normal operations, including consular services.

Long-range rockets launched from Gaza since July 8, 2014 have reached many locations in Israel – including Tel Aviv, cities farther north, and throughout the south of the country. Some rockets have reached Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank, including Bethlehem and Hebron. While many rockets have been intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, there have been impacts that have caused damage and injury. In light of the ongoing rocket attacks, U.S. citizen visitors to and U.S. citizen residents of Israel and the West Bank should familiarize themselves with the location of the nearest bomb shelter or other hardened site, if available. Visitors should seek information on shelters from hotel staff or building managers. Consult city municipality websites, such as those for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, for lists of public bomb shelters and other emergency preparedness information. Visitors should follow the instructions of the Home Front Command on proper procedures in the event of rocket attacks.

Travelers should avoid areas of Israel in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip due to the real risks presented by small arms fire, anti-tank weapons, rockets, and mortars, as attacks from Gaza can come with little or no warning. Both Embassy and Consulate General personnel are currently not permitted to travel south of greater Tel Aviv without prior approval. On July 17, 2014 Israel announced the commencement of ground operations in Gaza. Visitors to these areas should remain aware of their surroundings and should take note of announcements and guidance provided by the Home Front Command.

Ben Gurion Airport is currently open and commercial flights are operating normally, although delays and cancellations can occur. Travelers should check with their airline prior to their planned travel to verify the flight schedule. U.S. citizens seeking to depart Israel or the West Bank are responsible for making their own travel arrangements.

We are not evacuating U.S. citizens out of Israel. U.S. government-facilitated evacuations occur only when no safe commercial alternatives exist. Evacuation assistance is provided on a cost-recovery basis, which means the traveler must reimburse the U.S. government for travel costs. The lack of a valid U.S. passport may hinder U.S. citizens’ ability to depart the country and may slow the U.S. Embassy or

Consulate General’s ability to provide assistance.

U.S. citizens who do travel to or remain in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza should take into consideration the rules governing travel by U.S. government employees:

U.S. government personnel are not permitted to conduct official or personal travel to the Gaza Strip;
U.S. government personnel are restricted from conducting personal travel to most parts of the West Bank; travel for official business is done with special security arrangements coordinated by the U.S.

Consulate General in Jerusalem;

Currently, because of the security situation, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to travel south of greater Tel Aviv without prior approval;

U.S. government personnel must notify Embassy Tel Aviv’s Regional Security Officer before traveling in the areas of the Golan Heights and are prohibited from traveling east of Rt. 98 in the Golan Heights;

U.S. government personnel are not permitted to use public buses anywhere in Israel or the West Bank due to past attacks on public transportation.

Major Metropolitan Areas in Israel

Personal safety conditions in major metropolitan areas, including Tel Aviv and Haifa and their surrounding regions, are comparable to or better than those in other major global cities. Please see below for specific information regarding Jerusalem. Visitors should observe appropriate personal security practices to reduce their vulnerability to crime, particularly late at night or in isolated or economically depressed areas, including in the countryside. Visitors are advised to avoid large gatherings or demonstrations and keep current with local news, which is available through numerous English language sources.

The Government of Israel has had a long-standing policy of issuing gas masks to its citizens and, starting in 2010, it began issuing replacement masks. It stopped this distribution process in early 2014 in response to regional events. Visitors and foreign residents in Israel are not issued masks and must individually procure them, if desired. The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General do not provide gas masks for persons who are not U.S. government employees or their dependents. For further emergency preparedness guidance, please visit the website of the Government of Israel’s Home Front Command, which provides information on how to choose a secure space in a home or apartment, as well as a list of the types of protective kits (gas masks) issued by the Government of Israel to its citizens.

Gaza Vicinity

The Department of State recommends against travel to areas of Israel in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip. Travelers should be aware of the risks presented by the current military conflict between Hamas and Israel. On July 17, 2014 Israel announced the commencement of ground operations in Gaza. Travelers in the regions immediately bordering Gaza may encounter small arms fire, anti-tank weapons, rockets, and mortars launched from inside Gaza toward Israeli cities and towns. These attacks can come with little or no warning. Visitors to these areas should remain aware of their surroundings and of the location of bomb shelters and should take note of announcements and guidance provided by the Home Front Command.

Travelers should also be aware of the heightened state of alert maintained by Israeli authorities along Israel’s border with Egypt. There have been cross-border incidents from Egypt, including rocket attacks and ground incursions, such as an attack that took place in August 2013 and one on January 20, 2014. Rockets were fired from Sinai in the direction of Eilat on July 15, 2014.

Northern Israel

Rocket attacks into Israel from Lebanon have occurred without warning along the Israeli-Lebanese border. Tensions have increased along portions of the Disengagement Zone with Syria in the Golan Heights as a result of the internal conflict occurring in Syria. Sporadic gunfire has occurred along the border region. There have been several incidents of mortar shells and light arms fire impacting on the Israeli-controlled side of the zone as a result of spillover from the fighting in Syria. Travelers should be aware that cross-border gunfire can occur without warning. Furthermore, there are active land mines in areas of the Golan Heights, so visitors should walk only on established roads or trails. The Syrian conflict is sporadic and unpredictable. U.S. government personnel must notify the Embassy’s Regional Security Office in advance if they plan to visit the Golan Heights and are prohibited from traveling east of Rt. 98 in the Golan Heights.

Jerusalem

U.S. citizens should be aware of the possibility of isolated street protests, particularly within the Old City and areas around Salah Ed-Din Street, Damascus Gate, Silwan, and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Travelers should exercise caution at religious sites on Fridays and on holy days, including during Ramadan. U.S. government employees are prohibited from entering the Old City on Fridays during the month of Ramadan due to congestion and security-related access restrictions.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from transiting Independence Park in central Jerusalem during the hours of darkness due to reports of criminal activity.

The Consulate General notes that recent demonstrations and clashes in several East Jerusalem areas, such as Shufat, Beit Hanina, Mt. of Olives, As Suwaneh, Abu Deis, Silwan, Shuafat Refugee Camp, inside the Old City (near Lions Gate), Issawiyeh, and Tsur Baher appear to have diminished, although the possibility exists of renewed clashes in the same areas during evenings. We note that the clashes and demonstrations have not been anti-American in nature. The Israel National Police (INP) continues to have a heavy presence in many of the neighborhoods that have had clashes and may restrict vehicular traffic to some of these neighborhoods without notice. We advise citizens not to enter any neighborhoods restricted by the INP and to avoid any locations that have active clashes ongoing.

The Shufat neighborhood of Jerusalem remains off-limits for official U.S. personnel and their families at night until further notice. The Old City of Jerusalem is also off-limits every day after dark for official U.S. personnel and their families until further notice. Official U.S. personnel are restricted from the Old City of Jerusalem at all times on Fridays during Ramadan. The Friday restriction is part of our standard policy, due to overall congestion and large crowds, and is not related to recent events.

The West Bank

The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to exercise caution when traveling to the West Bank. Demonstrations and violent incidents can occur without warning, and vehicles are regularly targeted by rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire on West Bank roads. U.S citizens have been killed in such attacks. There have also been an increasing number of violent incidents involving Israeli settlers and Palestinian villagers in the corridor stretching from Ramallah to Nablus, including attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian villages in which U.S. citizens have suffered injury or property damage, and attacks by Palestinians on settlements. U.S. citizens can be caught in the middle of potentially dangerous situations, and some U.S. citizens involved in political demonstrations in the West Bank have sustained serious injuries. The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens, for their own safety, avoid all demonstrations. During periods of unrest, the Israeli Government may restrict access to the West Bank, and some areas may be placed under curfew. All persons in areas under curfew should remain indoors to avoid arrest or injury. Security conditions in the West Bank may hinder the ability of consular staff to offer timely assistance to U.S. citizens.

Personal travel in the West Bank by U.S. government personnel and their families is permitted to the towns of Bethlehem and Jericho and on Routes 1, 443, and 90. Personal travel is also permitted to Qumran off Route 90 by the Dead Sea, as are stops at roadside facilities along Routes 1 and 90. All other personal travel by U.S. government personnel in the West Bank is prohibited. U.S. government personnel routinely travel to the West Bank for official business, but do so with special security arrangements.

The Gaza Strip

The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip, which is under the control of Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization. U.S. citizens in Gaza are advised to depart immediately. The security environment within Gaza, including its border with Egypt and its seacoast, is dangerous and volatile. Exchanges of fire between the Israel Defense Forces and militant groups in Gaza take place regularly, and civilians have been caught in the crossfire in the past. Although the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt normally allows for some passenger travel, prior coordination with local authorities — which could take days or weeks to process — is generally required, and crossing points may be closed for days or weeks. Travelers who enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing must also exit through the Rafah crossing, and those entering the Gaza Strip may not be able to depart at a time of their choosing. Many U.S. citizens have been unable to exit Gaza or faced lengthy delays in doing so. Furthermore, the schedule and requirements for exiting through the Rafah crossing are unpredictable and can involve significant expense. Because U.S. citizen employees of the U.S. government are not allowed to enter the Gaza Strip or have contact with Hamas, the ability of consular staff to offer timely assistance to U.S. citizens, including assistance departing Gaza, is extremely limited.

Entry/Exit Difficulties

Some U.S. citizens holding Israeli nationality, possessing a Palestinian identity card, or who are of Arab or Muslim origin have experienced significant difficulties in entering or exiting Israel or the West Bank. U.S. citizens planning to travel to Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza should consult the detailed information concerning entry and exit difficulties in the Country Specific Information.

Contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy for information and assistance in Israel, the Golan Heights, and ports of entry at Ben Gurion Airport, Haifa Port, the northern (Jordan River/Sheikh Hussein) and southern (Arava) border crossings connecting Israel and Jordan, and the border crossings between Israel and Egypt. An embassy officer can be contacted at (972) (3) 519-7575 from Monday through Friday during working hours. The after-hours emergency number is (972) (3) 519-7551.

Contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem for information and assistance in Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, at (972) (2) 630-4000 from Monday through Friday during working hours. The after-hours emergency number is (972) (2) 622-7250.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-451 N663US (msn 23818) prepares to land in Tokyo (Narita).

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

Air France-KLM revise their earnings forecast, stock declines over 5%

Air France-KLM Group (Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines) (Amsterdam) has issued a profit warning, lowering it profit forecast from 2.5 billion euros to around 2.25 billion. The stock tumbled over 5 percent.

The Group issued this statement in their June traffic numbers:

“While not representing a turning point in market trends, the June traffic figures published today as well as bookings for July and August nevertheless reflect the over-capacity on certain long-haul routes, notably North America and Asia, with the attendant impact on yields. This comes on top of the persistently weak cargo demand and the challenging situation in Venezuela identified in the First Quarter.

These factors lead us to revise our EBITDA target for Full Year 2014 from around 2.5 billion euros to between 2.2 and 2.3 billion euros, a rise of over 20% compared with 2013.

Strong capital disciple will enable us to remain on track in terms of debt reduction and we confirm our objective of 4.5 billion euros in net debt in 2015.”

Read the analysis on City Index: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Air France’s Boeing 747-428 F-GITJ (msn 32871) climbs into the clear skies after departing from Toronto (Pearson) bound for Paris (CDG).
Air France: AG Slide Show
KLM: AG Slide Show
Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-406 PH-BFL (msn 25356) of KLM completes its final approach to the runway at JFK International Airport in New York.

 

 

 

Lufthansa to fly the Boeing 747-800 Intercontinental on the Frankfurt-New York route

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will assign the newer Boeing 747-800 Intercontinental on the Frankfurt-New York (JFK) route from July 15 through October 25. The 747-8I will replace an older 747-400 with daily service according to Airline Route.

Lufthansa received its first 747-830 (D-ABYA) on April 25, 2012 and introduced the new type on the Frankfurt-Washingon (Dulles) route on June 1, 2012 as we have previously reported.

Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. Wearing the special Fanhansa titles in support for the current 2014 World Cup, Boeing 747-830 D-ABYO (msn 37841) awaits its next assignment at the Frankfurt hub.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa and Air China to strengthen their partnership

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has issued this statement:

Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, and Song Zhiyong, President and Executive Director of Air China Limited (Beijing), signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enhance the commercial partnership as part of a joint venture, during the Chancellor’s visit to China.

Both companies also signed a memorandum of understanding to expand collaboration in the area of maintenance, repair and overhaul services.

As members of the Star Alliance, Lufthansa and Air China have been connected for a number of years. The memorandum of understanding should pave the way for the creation of a commercial joint venture between the German airline and Air China.

This partnership will add to the existing joint ventures with United Airlines and with Air Canada between Europe and North America (since 1998) and with ANA (since 2012) on routes between Europe and Japan.

The agreement with Air China will allow the Lufthansa Group to provide its airlines with even better access to the world’s second largest aviation market after the USA.

The new partnership agreement should come into force as early as the start of the winter flight timetable in late October 2014.

Since 2007, Air China has been a member of the Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, and with almost 49 million passengers, as measured by intercontinental traffic, is China’s biggest airline.

Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-430 D-ABVW (msn 29493) climbs away from the runway at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Air China: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-39L ER B-2043 (msn 41441) of Air China approaches the runway at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

Boeing reaches a milestone with the 747, delivers the 1,500th 747 built to Lufthansa

 

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has delivered the 1,500th 747 to come off the production line to Lufthansa (Frankfurt). The milestone airplane is a 747-8 Intercontinental, the 14th one that Lufthansa will incorporate into its long-haul fleet.

“Reaching this milestone delivery is a testament to the capabilities of the airplane and our commitment to continuous innovation,” said Eric Lindblad, 747 vice president and general manager, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The new 747-8 is delivering on its promise to our customers, and we continue to look at ways to make it even more efficient in the future.”

The 747 is the first widebody airplane in history to reach the 1,500 milestone. Its iconic shape makes it instantly recognizable, and passengers have consistently voted it their favorite airplane to fly.

At a delivery ceremony yesterday (June 28), a special logo commemorating the 1,500th airplane was revealed for the first time on the pictured 747-830 D-ABYP (msn 37839).

“Lufthansa is honored that the 1,500th 747 will fly with the Lufthansa livery,” said Nico Buchholz, executive vice president, Lufthansa Group Fleet Management. “Lufthansa is an important partner and a valued advisor in developing new commercial airplanes with exceptional economical and ecological performance such as the 747-8. The commemorative logo will be a reminder of our relationship with Boeing, now and into the future.”

Lufthansa is the launch customer of the 747-8 Intercontinental and took delivery of its first airplane in April 2012. The airline has 19 747-8 Intercontinentals on order.

The first Boeing 747-100 entered revenue service on January 22, 1970 with Pan Am on the New York–London route.

Lufthansa German Airlines on March 10, 1970 became the first European airline to take delivery of the Boeing 747-100. The first LH 747, 747-130 D-ABYA (msn 19746), was accepted on this historic day. The Jumbo was introduced into revenue service between Frankfurt and New York (JFK) on April 26, 1970. LH has operated a variant of the 747 for over 44 years.

Lufthansa also issued this statement:

Lufthansa’s 14th Boeing 747-8 landed in Frankfurt on Sunday, June 29, at 9.17 a.m. as scheduled. As well as being the 76th Jumbo that Lufthansa has received from the American manufacturer Boeing in Seattle since the 1970s, the aircraft also represents a veritable milestone in aviation history. This aircraft, whose tail number is D-ABYP (“Yankee Papa”), is the 1,500th Jumbo to be built in the world.

‘It’s an honor for Lufthansa that the anniversary Jumbo will fly in the colors of the Lufthansa crane,’ said Nico Buchholz, Head of Group Fleet Management at Deutsche Lufthansa AG. ‘For decades, Lufthansa has been one of the aircraft manufacturer’s closest advisers – a pioneer when it comes to developing new, environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient aircraft,’ added Buchholz at the handover in Seattle. Lufthansa is expecting to receive a total of 19 aircraft of this type, and will therefore be the world’s largest operator of 747-8s among passenger airlines.

The “Dash 8”, as it is also known, has plenty to offer. By using the latest Jumbo, Lufthansa is taking a further step towards having a “three-liter fleet” (per passenger and 100 kilometers). The aircraft is 15 percent more fuel-efficient than its predecessor model and, as a result, its CO2 emissions are around 15 percent lower. The noise footprint of the Boeing 747-8 is 30 percent smaller compared with the older Boeing 747-400. What started as the first training flight with the new Boeing 747 over the mountains east of Seattle in October 1969 went on to become an icon of the Lufthansa fleet, and, indeed, of commercial aviation as a whole.

On March 9, 1970, the then Lufthansa CEO Herbert Culmann took delivery of the first Lufthansa Boeing 747-130 in front of the factory in Everett. The aircraft’s production number was 12 and its Lufthansa registration was D-ABYA. Lufthansa thereby became the second international airline, after Pan Am, and the first European carrier to deploy the Jumbo on scheduled services. The aircraft was host to several major world premières in succession, including the first film shown on board a Jumbo jet. Only twenty months after the maiden flight of the Boeing 747-130, the fourth Lufthansa Jumbo took off on April 2, 1971 as a modified model. Boeing had equipped the 747-200 with larger fuel tanks and a higher take-off weight of 378 tons. This meant that the aircraft had a longer range. Originally intended as a military aircraft, the Jumbo’s career was not limited to carrying passengers. On April 10, 1972, Lufthansa received the world’s first “smiling” Boeing as the launch customer of the cargo version, the Boeing 747-230F. The nose of the aircraft could be opened horizontally, making it possible to load even bulk goods without any problem. On April 19, 1972, the world’s first cargo Jumbo took off, bearing the tail number D-ABYE. This quickly catapulted Lufthansa to number one in airfreight transport.

‘A step towards the 1990s’ is how Lufthansa CEO Heinz Ruhnau described the purchase agreement signed on June 23, 1986 for an initial order of six enhanced Boeing aircraft. Lufthansa had already been involved in the planning of the Boeing 747-100. However, as the first airline to order the “Dash 400” (Boeing 747-400), it now played a key part in the development of the new aircraft, providing many hundreds of suggestions for improvements and more than 20,000 engineer hours. With this aircraft, the modern, digitalized two-man cockpit that Jürgen Weber, the man responsible for aircraft development at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg at the time and later Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Lufthansa AG, and Reinhard Abraham, the former Chief Technical Officer of the Lufthansa Group, had worked to achieve became a reality. Upwards-pointing winglets, new and more economical engines, new materials such as composite materials and aluminium alloys: all of these innovations helped to cut fuel consumption by 24 percent compared with the -200 series.

On 23 May 1989, Lufthansa received the first enhanced Super Jumbo with tail number D-ABVA. The aircraft could cover almost 13,000 kilometers in 16 hours and thus reach nearly every destination in the world. As the new millennium started, the idea was put forth to develop an enhanced version of the Boeing 747-400. And so not only was the Jumbo extended by 5.6 meters, it was also totally redeveloped, including a new wing design and new engines. On May 2, 2012, Lufthansa became the first passenger airline in the world to receive a Boeing 747-8.

Copyright Photo: Bernie Leighton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-830 D-ABYP with the special “1500th” emblem prepares to depart from Paine Field near Everett yesterday (June 28) on its delivery flight to Frankfurt.

Boeing 747 Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Air China is gradually phasing out the Boeing 747-400

Air China (Beijing) is gradually phasing out its aging Boeing 747-400 fleet. The Jumbo is being replaced with newer Boeing 777-300ERs. The fleet is now down to four aircraft. The flag carrier is ending domestic Boeing 747-400 scheduled flights on June 30 according to Airline Route. The last domestic route is the Beijing – Shanghai (Hongqiao).

The carrier will continue to fly the type until October 25 on the following routes:

Beijing – Hong Kong
Beijing – Tokyo (Narita)
Shanghai (Pudong) – Tokyo (Narita)

The Jumbo, subject to change, is expected to then exit the fleet.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4J6 B-2460 (msn 24348) arrives at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT).

Air China:

 

Delta launches nonstop Seattle/Tacoma-Hong Kong flights, calls SEA a “hub” for the first time

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) issued this statement about its new Hong Kong service and its new “Seattle hub”:

Delta Air Lines yesterday (June 16) launched nonstop service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Hong Kong. The new market is Delta’s latest addition in the buildup of its Seattle hub and its fifth new international destination from Seattle/Tacoma in the last year.

Delta customers and employees will commemorated the event along with representatives from the Port of Seattle, Visit Seattle, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, and the Hong Kong Association of Washington with a gate event prior to the departure of the first flight. The event will include a ceremonial ribbon cutting and water cannon salute.

With the launch of Hong Kong service, Delta customers now have nonstop access to nine long-haul international destinations from Seattle – more than all other airlines combined – including the top five destinations in Asia and three of the top four destinations in Europe. Delta is the only carrier to offer nonstop service from Seattle/Tacoma to Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Paris, Shanghai and Tokyo-Haneda. Delta is also the only carrier to offer full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access in BusinessElite on every long-haul international flight from Seattle/Tacoma along with Economy Comfort seating and entertainment on demand in every seat throughout the aircraft.

“With the addition of the Hong Kong flight, Delta now offers our customers more than 2,500 daily seats to the top business markets in Asia and Europe from our Seattle hub,” said Mike Medeiros, Delta’s vice president – Seattle. “As we continue growing in the community, we remain committed to consistently providing the award-winning experience that we’re known for both in the U.S. and around the globe.”

Delta has also significantly expanded its operation in Seattle/Tacoma over the last year to support its international service and offer customers in the previously underserved market more choices. In total, Delta has increased its peak-day departures by more than 30 percent since a year ago and by December will offer 95 peak-day departures to 33 destinations, making it Seattle’s fastest-growing airline.

In February, Delta launched a double miles promotion for Seattle-based SkyMiles members. Customers who book and fly Delta or Delta Connection-marketed and -operated flights from Seattle by Dec. 31, 2014, will be awarded double miles and double Medallion Qualification Miles on the nonstop segment departing from or arriving into Seattle. Registration is required.

Delta currently operates 76 peak-day departures to 25 destinations from Seattle, and every flight offers BusinessElite/First Class and Economy Comfort seating as well as Wi-Fi service on all domestic aircraft. Delta also introduced international Wi-Fi on its Boeing 747-400 fleet earlier this year and will complete installation of Wi-Fi service on its entire long-haul international fleet by the end of 2015. The airline has also invested $15 million in its facilities at Sea-Tac, including its Delta Sky Club and recently completed lobby renovations, Sky Priority services, new gate area power recharging stations, expanded ticket counters and enhancements to the international arrivals area.

In other news, Delta will start nonstop Los Angeles-Mazatlan daily service on December 20 with Boeing 737-800s.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Delta also introduced international Wi-Fi on its Boeing 747-400 fleet earlier this year .

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

Air New Zealand to retire the last Boeing 747 on September 10

Air New Zealand (Auckland) as planned, is phasing down its aging Boeing 747-400 fleet as new Boeing 777s and 787s arrive. The Boeing 747 fleet is now down to two aircraft (ZK-NBV and ZK-SUH) with an average age of 19.3 years. The 747s are operated mainly to Brisbane and San Francisco. The flag carrier is planning to operate its last Boeing 747 revenue flight from San Francisco to Auckland on September 10 per Airline Route.  Prior to this, the airline will operate a one time “goodbye” flight on September 6 between Auckland and Sydney.

For Australia, Air New Zealand’s last Boeing 747 flight is now scheduled on July 13, on the Auckland – Brisbane route per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-475 ZK-SUH (msn 24896) is pictured arriving at Los Angeles International Airport. The airframe was originally delivered to VARIG 91st) as PP-VPI on May 31, 1991.

Video: A video by Air New Zealand featuring the Boeing 747-400. The video shows  ZK NBT over the Southern Alps and the Canterbury Plains in New Zealand in April 1997.

Air New Zealand: AG Slide Show

 

Philippines will now retire the last Boeing 747 on August 31

Philippines (Philippine Airlines) (Manila) is now planning to operate the last Boeing 747 revenue flight on June 30. According to Airline Route, the final roundtrip will be operated on June 30 (see update below) between Manila and San Francisco and back. The 747s are being replaced by newer Boeing 777-300 ERs which will be operated on the San Francisco route starting on July 1 (now September 1).

Update: Philippines has extended Boeing 747-400 operations until August 31, 2014 according to an update by Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4F6 RP-C8168 (msn 27827) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.

Philippines: AG Slide Show

 

QANTAS Airways celebrates 60 years of flying to the United States

QANTAS 747SP VH-EAA (70)(Flt)(QANTAS)(LRW)

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its first trans-Pacific services to the USA.

On May 15, 1954, a 60-passenger QANTAS Airways Lockheed 1049C Super Constellation aircraft departed Sydney for San Francisco and Vancouver. The journey to San Francisco took around 30 flying hours and involved fuel stops at Fiji, Canton Island and Hawaii.

QANTAS named this the Southern Cross Route in honor of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and his crew who made the first flight in 1928.

QANTAS International CEO Simon Hickey said the sixty year milestone highlighted Qantas’ ongoing commitment to the USA.

“QANTAS is proud of its flying history to the US. Some of our most historic moments have been on the trans-Pacific route including the start of the jet age in 1959 with our first Boeing 707 services and introducing the largest commercial passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380, on the route in 2008,” said Mr Hickey.

“The milestone comes in a year where QANTAS is investing significantly in the customer experience to the US, including the opening of our new First and Business Lounges in Los Angeles and the introduction of A380 services between Sydney and Dallas/Ft. Worth from September.

The airline first established itself in North America in San Francisco in 1954, when it took over the operations of British Commonwealth Pacific Airline in September 1947.

This year also marks thirty years since QANTAS Airways began nonstop flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Los Angeles beginning in April 1984. These services were operated by the long-range Boeing 747SP (above) with a flying time of around 16 hours. Today, the flying time is around 13 hours.

QANTAS is the only carrier to operate A380 services between the US and Australia.

QANTAS flights to the USA include:

Direct daily Airbus A380 services from Sydney and Melbourne to Los Angeles

A daily Boeing 747-400 service from Sydney to New York via Los Angeles

A direct daily Boeing 747-400 service from Brisbane to Los Angeles

Three Boeing 767-300 services per week between Sydney and Honolulu and;

A daily Boeing 747-400 from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth, which will move to a six per week Airbus A380 service from September 29.

Copyright Photo: QANTAS Airways. The pictured Boeing 747SP-38 (Special Performance) VH-EAA (msn 22495) was handed over to QANTAS on January 19, 1981. VH-EAA is pictured over the Cascade Mountains in Washington State in the original 1970 color scheme.

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

British Airways launches new routes from London Heathrow to Mykonos and Santorini

British Airways (London) yesterday (May 3) added new service to the island of Mykonos in Greece twice a week from London’s Heathrow Airport. Today (May 4) the company is starting new flight to Santorini (Thira) in Greece twice a week also from Heathrow.

In other news, BA is now flying to Seattle/Tacoma from London (Heathrow) 11 times a week.

British Airways 747-400 G-CIVG (97-Union flag-Jumbo Net-Close Up) SFO (MDB)(LRW)

Top Copyright Photos: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. British has added a small “Jumbo Net – Our Connected 747″ logo to Boeing 747-436 G-CIVG (msn 25813).

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Video: British Airways has powered up its newest flight simulator, taking the number used by the airline to train its pilots to 18 – the highest ever.

The new addition, a full-motion Airbus A320 simulator, features the latest in flight training technology, allowing pilot instructors to link their iPads to the simulator to control each training session.

The simulator will be used to train some of British Airways’ 3,600 pilots who fly any of the A320 family of aircraft – serving domestic and European destinations on the airline’s network.

The investment in the new simulator reflects increased demand following the airline’s introduction of new A320s, A380s, 787s and 777-300s.

British Airways’ pilot numbers have also been increasing following the success of the airline’s pilot cadet scheme, now in its third year. The program sees newly trained pilots start their British Airways flying career on its A320 fleet.

The new A320 simulator is part of the company’s £5 billion investment in new products and technology to provide the best possible flying experience for British Airways’ customers.

Boeing delivers the 75th Boeing 747 to Lufthansa

747-8I DLH #1498-RC034

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) celebrated the delivery of the German airline’s 75th 747 on Wednesday (April 30).

Lufthansa is the launch customer for the 747-8 Intercontinental jetliner and took delivery of the first one in April 2012. The airplane delivered Wednesday is Lufthansa’s 13th 747-8 Intercontinental, namely 747-830 D-ABYO (msn 37841). The airline currently flies the 747 to 22 destinations in 10 countries. Over the years, Lufthansa has ordered a total of 81 747s.

Lufthansa’s first 747 – a 747-100 – was delivered in 1970. The airline was also the first to order the 747-200 Freighter.

The 747-8 has accumulated 120 orders for passenger and cargo versions, 68 of which have been delivered.

Top Copyright Photo: Boeing. This poor-quality publicity photo shows D-ABYO departing from Paine Field.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. It all started with the Boeing 747-130. The pictured Boeing 747-130 D-ABYA (msn 19746) at New York (JFK) was delivered new to LH as the first 747 on March 10, 1970.

AirBridgeCargo Airlines is coming to Munich on May 9

AirBridgeCargo Airlines-ABC (Moscow-Sheremetyevo), the largest Russian scheduled cargo airline and part of Volga Dnepr Group, is further expanding its services in Central Europe by introducing direct services to/from Munich with a Boeing 747 freighter on May 9.

The new Munich flight to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport will be in addition to the existing 4 weekly Boeing 737 flights operated by Atran Cargo Airlines, also part of Volga Dnepr Group. ABC Boeing 747 all-cargo flight between the Bavarian capital and ABC hub in Moscow (Sheremetyevo) will be on Friday midday, providing ideal end of the week departure time for European customers.

Germany has always been one of the most important markets contributing to ABC’s growth over the last decade. Earlier this year ABC launched scheduled Boeing 747 services to and from Leipzig, extending the Group’s strong association with the airport, where it has invested in a modern aircraft maintenance and repair facility to serve a variety of aircraft types (Boeing 747-200/300/400/8 (CF-50/80, PW4000), Boeing 737CL).

AirBridgeCargo’s scheduled network covers major markets in Asia (China, Japan and Korea), Europe (the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden) and North America (Chicago, Dallas).

The airline’s fleet is one of the youngest in the industry and includes 12 Boeing 747s: four Boeing 747-400ERFs, three Boeing 747-400Fs and five brand new Boeing 747-8Fs. The average fleet age is about 4 years.

Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-8HVF VQ-BLR (msn 37668) taxies at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (AMS).

AirBridgeCargo Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Routes to Europe:

AirBridgeCargo 5.2014 European Route Map

Cargolux improves with a net profit of $8.4 million in 2013

Cargolux Airlines International (Luxembourg) at its annual general meeting, the shareholders of Cargolux Airlines International S.A. approved the audited financial statements for the financial year ended on December 31, 2013.

2013 Highlights

Cargolux earned a full year net profit of US$ 8.4 million compared to US$ 35.1 million net loss in 2012;

Total revenues rose 14.4% to US$ 1,988.5 million from US$ 1,738.9 million in 2012.
Key Performance Indicators:

Tons sold increased 16.7% to 753,848 from 645,759 in 2012;

Average load factor softened 0.9 percentage points to 67.7%;

FTK strengthened to 5.7 million compared to 4.8 million in 2012;

Daily aircraft utilization stood at 14:57 block hours versus 15:07 in 2012.

In spite of a moderate recovery in the last quarter, the airfreight industry continued to operate in a difficult environment for the most part of 2013. Capacity growth still outstripped demand, which resulted in an industry-wide decline in yields and load factors. Despite difficult trading conditions, Cargolux grew its activities and increased volumes in a bid to maximize contribution to fixed costs. This was achieved quite successfully, as the company recorded a tonnage growth of 16.7% over 2012 to 753,848 tons – exceeding the 2013 budget by 13.5%. Total revenues grew by 14.4% to $1,988.5 million (US) while tons-kilometers flown increased from 4.8 million in 2012 to 5.7 million in 2013.

Cargolux operated 95,022 block hours, 13,364 hours more than planned for 2013. The high amount of operational activity contributed towards achieving a net consolidated gain of $8.4 million (US), a noteworthy improvement over the originally budgeted loss for 2013 of $27.1 million (US).

Cargolux expanded its fleet with three new Boeing 747-8Fs and retained, on a power-by-the-hour basis, a Boeing 747-400F that was initially planned to exit the fleet during 2013. It also added a Boeing 747-400ERF on the same basis, which brought the fleet to 20 aircraft at the end of the year. In contrast, the budget for 2013 foresaw a fleet of 16 aircraft only.

With a bigger fleet and more operational activity than planned, Cargolux recorded an average daily aircraft utilization of 14:57 hours. The company’s market share reached 3.5% and it ranked at number 8 among the world’s dedicated freighter and combination carriers in terms of FTKs.

“We don’t expect market conditions to improve significantly in 2014,” said Cargolux President and CEO Dirk Reich. “Our priority is to grow and expand our global network with the continued support and valuable contribution of our hard working employees while focusing on efficiency and performance improvements. I am also confident in our ability to reap the first tangible rewards from the cooperation with our new shareholder HNCA”, Reich added.

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-8R7F LX-VCG (msn 35812) taxies past the camera at Amsterdam.

Cargolux Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Philippines to retire the last Boeing 747 in May

Philippines (Philippine Airlines) (Manila) will retire 20 aging aircraft from its fleet this year including its last Boeing 747-400 later in the month of May. The 747s are being replaced by newer Boeing 777-300 ERs.

Read the full report from the Business Mirror: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4F6 RP-C8168 (msn 27827) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Philippines Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Bottom Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. PAL has been a long-time Boeing 747 operator. This historic photo shows Boeing 747-2F6B N741PR (msn 21832) with special Mabuhay! Chicago sub-titles at Zurich.

ANA’s last Boeing 747 (JA8961) arrives in Tupelo, Mississippi to be parted out

ANA’s (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) last Boeing, the pictured 747-481 (D) JA8961 (msn 25644), as planned, arrived at Tupelo, Mississippi to be parted out on Thursday (April 17). The Jumbo was met by the traditional water gun salute at Tupelo Regional Airport and thousands of onlookers around the airport.

10 previous ANA aircraft has been dismantled at Tupelo.

Read the full report from DJournal.com: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-481 JA8961 (msn 25644) taxies at Tokyo (Haneda) before it departed for Mississippi.

ANA: AG Slide Show

Will Air France-KLM ditch their freighter fleet?

Air France (Paris) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) may leave the dedicated air freighter business after five decades according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The freighter division has been beset by losses in cargo that rose to nearly $300 million last year according to the report.

The airline’s board is weighing options and plans to decide on a strategy by September, according to a report in Bloomberg News.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Marcelo F. De Biasi/AirlinersGallery.com. Air France is phasing out its Boeing 747-400  ER freighter fleet with the last to be retired next year. Boeing 747-428 ERF F-GIUA (msn 32866) arrives in Sao Paulo (Guarulhos).

Air France: AG Slide Show

Baltia Air Lines is still in the FAA certification process

Baltia 747-200 N706BL (11)(Tail)(Baltia)(LRW)

Baltia Air Lines (Ypisilanti) has been one of the longest-running start-ups in U.S. aviation history. The company acquired former Northwest Airlines/Kalitta Air Boeing 747-251B N706BL (msn 21705) on December 9, 2010 and has been proposing scheduled airline service from New York (JFK) to the Baltic region, especially St. Petersburg, Russia for several years. With the invasion of Crimea by Russia, is this route still viable for tourism?

Baltia Air Lines Route Map

 

Route Map: A previously proposed route map.

Each step in the certification process has been well documented by the upstart. Here is the latest press release:

BALTIA AIR LINES, INC. LOGO

Baltia Air Lines announced yesterday (April 4) that its Boeing 747 aircraft has entered scheduled maintenance inspection in preparation for its operations. Baltia is America’s newest airline currently undergoing air carrier certification. Baltia’s base of operations is at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

On their website, the company describes itself:

Baltia Air Lines, Inc. (BLTA) is a New York corporation headquartered at JFK International Airport in New York with a base of operations at Willow Run Airport outside of Detroit, Michigan. Baltia’s goal is to become the leading U.S. airline in the trans-Atlantic market between the major U.S. cities and capital cities of Eastern Europe, including Russia, Latvia, Ukraine, and Belarus.

Baltia will provide high quality three-class passenger service, and reliable cargo and mail transportation.

All images courtesy of Baltia Air Lines.

 

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