Royal Jordanian Airlines (Amman) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) yesterday (August 26) celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 787 Dreamliner. The airplane will play a central role in the Amman-based airline’s strategic plan for fleet modernization. Royal Jordanian acquired this airplane through leasing company AerCap.
With this delivery, Royal Jordanian becomes only the second airline in the Middle East to operate the 787.
The airline will configure its Dreamliner to carry 24 passengers in business class and 246 in economy class.
To support Royal Jordanian’s Dreamliners, Boeing is providing a comprehensive suite of support and services through its Commercial Aviation Services business. Royal Jordanian has received flight and maintenance training and will be using Airplane Health Management, a diagnostic and predictive capability that evaluates airplane operations data while airplanes are in flight and notifies ground crews of potential maintenance issues; a Rotable Exchange Program that provides a dedicated pool of high-value, mission-critical parts and manages inventory at a reduced cost; and Maintenance Performance Toolbox, a digital real-time-information tool that enables quick resolution of airplane maintenance issues.
Royal Jordanian currently flies a network of over 50 global destinations and plans to deploy the Dreamliner on services to North American destinations as well as to Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
To date, more than 180 Dreamliners have been delivered to 20 customers worldwide.
Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner JY-BAA (msn 37983) lands at Paine Field on a test flight.
Norwegian Air International (subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle) (Norwegian Long Haul) (Dublin) today (August 26) filed its reply to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) notice of August 4, 2014 requesting comments on the meeting between the U.S. Government and the European Commission. Norwegian Air International urges the Department to grant its application for an exemption and a foreign air carrier permit without further delay.
Norwegian Air International is joined by many supporters, who have also filed in support of its application, including the Irish Aviation Authority, U.S. Travel Association, American Society of Travel Agents, European Low Fares Airline Association, the Oakland, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood airport authorities, Federal Express, and Atlas Air. The American public deserves more choice and lower fare options for flights between the U.S. and Europe. The U.S. economy will benefit from the increased tourism, and Norwegian’s fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners—the largest of any European airline—represents thousands of jobs at Boeing and Boeing’s suppliers throughout the U.S.
In the Notice, the Department summarized the views of the European Commission that a party to the Open Skies Agreement cannot unilaterally deny an airline’s application based on the so-called “social dimension” article of the agreement. “The Commission’s position echoes what we have been saying from the beginning, and we trust that the clear views of the Commission answer once and for all our opponent’s objections in this regard,” said Asgeir Nyseth, CEO of Norwegian Air International. “We look forward to the Department approving our application so that we can enjoy the same rights afforded to every other European airline serving the U.S. market – rights guaranteed to us under the Open Skies Agreement.”
As described in its prior filings, Norwegian Air International promises to offer the American public competitive fares, award-winning service that is responsive to market preferences and demand, and increased service to previously-underserved markets. Norwegian Air International’s support for the U.S. aviation industry is evidenced by its multibillion-dollar commitment to Boeing, its hiring of hundreds of U.S.-based cabin crew, and its support for hundreds of jobs at U.S. airports and the communities it will serve. It will provide new competition for Americans flying to Europe in a market that is dominated by three immunized airline alliances that currently control nearly 90 percent of the market.
The public interest in promoting service authorized by the Open Skies Agreement strongly supports the grant of Norwegian Air International’s application. The grant of the application will enable the Department to protect the important opportunities made available to U.S. carriers by the European parties to the Open Skies Agreement. It will afford an airline of Ireland, one of America’s closest partners in Europe, access to route authority it fully deserves under the Open Skies Agreement.
Open Skies has succeeded beyond all expectations, and it has done so because America made a principled decision to focus on fostering competition and new opportunities, not on protecting the existing market shares of a small number of incumbent carriers that already dominate the market. Three former Secretaries of Transportation — Andrew Card, Norman Mineta, and Mary Peters — have confirmed that these guiding principles of breaking down barriers and increasing competition are the core values the U.S. has sought to promote in open skies agreements. “If the Department wishes to stay the successful course of Open Skies, and promote a pro-growth, pro-competition, pro-consumer policy, the Department should grant Norwegian Air International’s application without further delay,” Norwegian International stated in today’s filing.
Over six months after Norwegian Air International completed its application, and with a regulatory docket filled with hundreds of pages of pleadings, the Department must now make a decision. It is time to let Norwegian Air International fly, and give consumers the choice they deserve.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian Long Haul’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner EI-LNE (msn 34796) with Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen on the tail holds short of the runway at London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW).
LAN Airlines (Santiago) continues to expand its 247-seat Boeing 787 operations. As previously reported, daily Santiago-Miami service was inaugurated on August 9 as well as weekly 787 flights to Cancun and Punta Cana also on August 9.
Santiago-Mexico City 787 service will start now on December 11 (delayed from November 15) on alternating days.
Santiago-Sao Paulo (Guarulhos) flights start on October 1 (three days a week) and daily starting in November).
Finally daily Santiago-Los Angeles service starts on October 1.
The company continues to operate the 787 to Buenos Aires, Madrid and Frankfurt as well as New York (JFK).
In financial news, the LATAM Airlines Group reported a net loss of $58.9 million for the second quarter, reduced from a net loss of $329.8 million in the same quarter a year ago. According to the group, “results this quarter were negatively affected by reduced passenger and cargo demand during the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament held in Brazil, as well as by very week seed exports in the cargo business.”
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 CC-BBB (msn 38466) taxies at Paine Field near Everett before the hand over to the carrier.
Air Canada (Montreal) on October 26 will introduce the new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on the Toronto (Pearson)-Copenhagen route. The new aircraft will operate three days a week replacing a Boeing 767-300 ER until December 31 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 C-GHPT (msn 35258) is parked between flights at the Toronto (Pearson) hub.
United Airlines (Chicago) has converted seven of its remaining Boeing 787-8 orders to the larger 787-10 model according to Flightglobal citing a stock exchange filing. The first 787-10 will be delivered in 2018.
Meanwhile the airline will take delivery of its first 787-9 (N38950) later this month.
The 787-10s will replace older Boeing 767-4000 ERs and 777-200s.
United now has 26 787-9s and 27 787-10s on order.
Torn between the two manufacturers, United also has the Airbus A350-1000 on order.
Copyright Photo: Bjoern Schmitt/AirlinersGallery.com. United currently has 11 of the smaller 787-8 Dreamliners in service. Boeing 787-8 N27903 (msn 34823) departs the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Air India (Mumbai) will now introduce the Boeing 787 on the daily Mumbai-Chennai-Singapore route on August 24 (moved up from October 25). The 787-8 will replace an Airbus A330-200 on the route per Airline Route.
Air India took delivery of its 16th Boeing 787-8 (VT-ANQ) on July 17, 2014. The aircraft departed Charleston on July 20, 2014 and arrived in Delhi on the following day.
As an example of what Air India has to deal with in India, Air India cannot sell 51 seats on its daily flight from Mumbai to Newark according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The culprit? Giant billboards at the end of runway (that would not be tolerated in the West) force the carrier to lighten the load and losing revenue in the process.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 VT-ANN (msn 36285) arrives at London (Heathrow).
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has announced that final assembly of the 787-10, the newest and longest member of the 787 Dreamliner family of airplanes, will take place exclusively in North Charleston, South Carolina.
Boeing will continue to assemble both 787-8s and 787-9s in Everett, Washington, and North Charleston. Design of the 787-10 is underway in Everett, with final assembly of the first 787-10 scheduled to begin in South Carolina in 2017.
“We looked at all our options and found the most efficient and effective solution is to build the 787-10 at Boeing South Carolina,” said Larry Loftis, vice president and general manager, 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “This will allow us to balance 787 production across the North Charleston and Everett sites as we increase production rates. We’re happy with our growth and success in South Carolina, and the continued success at both sites gives us confidence in our plan going forward.”
The 787-10 will be 18 feet (5.5 meters) longer than the 787-9. With 10 feet (3 meters) of that increase in the midbody section, the 787-10 midbody is too long to be transported efficiently from North Charleston, where systems integration work is performed, to the Everett facility for final assembly. In addition, introducing the 787-10 in North Charleston takes advantage of that facility’s capacity while allowing the Everett facility to continue improving productivity as it focuses on the 787-8 and 787-9.
The 787 production system includes three production lines: two in Everett (including a temporary surge line) and one in South Carolina. The integrated production system currently operates at a production rate of 10 airplanes per month. As announced last year, the 787 production rate will increase to 12 airplanes per month in 2016 and 14 per month by the end of the decade.
The Everett facility will continue to assemble seven airplanes per month, while Boeing South Carolina final assembly will gradually increase from three 787s per month today to five per month in 2016 and seven per month by the end of the decade.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner family of airplanes offers airlines unmatched fuel efficiencies and environmental performance, while providing a new level of comfort for passengers through the thoughtful application of new technologies. To date, the 787 family has won more than 1,000 orders and more than 165 airplanes have been delivered to 21 customers worldwide.
The 787-10 will leverage 787 technology to provide more passenger and cargo capacity along with unparalleled seat-mile economics in the medium twin-aisle market. Since its launch in June 2013, the 787-10 has won 132 orders from six global customers.
Copyright Photo: Arisara Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 787-8 production line at North Charleston, SC (CHS).
United Airlines (Chicago) has issued a new safety video with this message:
We’re onboarding a new safety video. Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and employees, so we’ve incorporated creative elements to maintain the interest of even our most frequent flyers flight after flight. Underscoring the message that safety is global, the video showcases locations throughout United’s broad route network.
Copyright Photo: Boeing 787-8 N26906 (msn 34829) taxies to the gate at Los Angeles.
LAN Airlines (Chile) (Santiago) will resume Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner service on the Santiago-Lima-Los Angeles route on October 14. The 787 will replace a Boeing 767-300 on a daily basis per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Alvaro Romero/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 CC-BBA (msn 38471) prepares to land at the Santiago de Chile base (SCL).
Thai Airways International (Bangkok) yesterday (July 17) took delivery of its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The pictured HS-TQA (msn 35315) departed Seattle on its delivery flight.
The airline issued this statement:
Thai Airways International Public Company Limited announced that its first 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft departed from Boeing’s Everett Delivery Center in Seattle, Washington, on a nonstop, 15-hour flight to Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand.
ACM Siwakiat Jayema, Acting President of Thai Airways International said, “As the national airline, the addition of the 787 to our fleet is a major milestone for Thai and Thailand. Boeing and AerCap have provided an airplane that is perfect for Thai and our passengers.” The 787-8 is the first of eight Dreamliners that Thai will lease from AerCap (six 787-8 set for delivery between 2014-2015, and two 787-9 for delivery in 2017).
Thai’s 787 Dreamliner is configured with 24 lie-flat seats in Royal Silk Class and 240 seats in Economy Class. The 787-8 is a mid-size aircraft that can fly longer distances and offer great fuel efficiency, complete with the interior environment that has been designed to make passenger travel comfortable and convenient.
Thai’s Boeing 787-8 aircraft is equipped with the next-generation Rolls-Royce Trent 1000-AE engines. The culmination of advanced aerodynamics, and lightweight structures contribute to 20 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, as well as less “roar” around airport boundaries and airport communities.
Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. HS-TQA lands at Paine Field before the handover.
Thai Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Bottom Copyright Photo: Thai Airways International.
Air India (Mumbai) is joining the Star Alliance today (July 11).
Air India is assigning the new Boeing 787 Dreamliners (above) to its strategic routes. The company now has 15 787-8s in service. The 15th Boeing 787-8 (VT-ANC) was delivered to Air India on June 20, 2014. The aircraft departed Charleston, South Carolina on June 24, 2014 and arrived in Delhi on the following day.
The Star Alliance issued this statement:
Star Alliance, the way the Earth connects, welcomed Air India as a full member of its global family of airlines, opening the national carrier’s strong domestic network in the fifth largest aviation market to Star Alliance customers worldwide.
Air India now offers all Star Alliance customer benefits across its network and Air India’s customers enjoy the same benefits when they travel on any of the other 26 Star Alliance member airlines.
“This is an important day for us. We have said for many years that we needed a strong home carrier in the Indian market and by welcoming Air India to our Star Alliance family, we have achieved this goal” said Star Alliance Chief Executive Mark Schwab. “We know that the ‘new’ Air India is looking forward to providing the Star Alliance customer benefits to many more travellers.”
Rohit Nandan, Air India Chairman and Managing Director said, “Air India is proud to be a member of this prestigious airline Alliance. From today, we open up a completely different world for our passengers, who can now travel to over 1,300 destinations right across the network and enjoy world-class service, better connectivity and seamless travel wherever they go.”
Air India adds a total of 400 daily flights and over 40 new destinations in India to the Alliance network.
The biggest growth will come from its home market which has up to now been served by 13 Star Alliance members flying to 10 destinations and holding a 13% market share. As a result of the addition of Air India, the Alliance’s market share in India has risen to 30%. Globally, passengers further benefit from a wider choice on routes connecting North America, Europe, Asia and Australia via the Indian Subcontinent. In total the Star Alliance network counts 27 member airlines, offering more than 18,500 daily flights serving 1,316 destinations in 192 countries.
Air India now offers through check-in to the final destination for connecting flights operated by any Star Alliance member airline for both passengers and baggage, hence providing seamless travel. Passengers benefit as they do not need to collect their boarding passes for connecting flights at the transfer airports and, where permitted by local customs regulations, baggage will also be sent through to the final destinations.
Reciprocal frequent flyer benefits between Air India’s Flying Returns programme and those of the existing member carriers are now activated. These provide customers with more options in earning and redeeming, upgrading and obtaining Star Alliance Gold status.
Flying Returns members who hold Maharajah Club or Golden Edge Club status now automatically also have Star Alliance Gold status, giving them access to more than 1,000 lounges across the global network. Gold status customers can also check in at specially designated counters, are offered an increased baggage allowance and receive priority boarding and baggage delivery. All these benefits are also provided by Air India to customers holding Star Alliance Gold status in other frequent flyer programs.
Air India’s network comprises 50 destinations in India and 33 internationally, serving 23 countries. The addition of over 40 unique destinations domestically offers passengers excellent connectivity between major business centres. New destinations include the industrial hubs of Aurangabad and Vadadora; Indore, which is home to many pharmaceutical producers; textiles and engineering centre Coimbatore and Jamnagar, India’s “Oil City”. Air India also serves popular tourist destinations such as Goa, Kochi, Madurai and Jaipur.
As part of its Star Alliance membership, Air India now participates in several of the Alliance’s fare products and business solutions.
For the business travel sector, Air India flights can be included in Star Alliance Corporate Plus agreements, which are aimed at large multinational companies. For the Conventions and Meetings market, Air India will now offer Star Alliance Conventions Plus and Meetings Plus, the dedicated products for the meetings and conventions industry*.
Air India also boosts the attractiveness of the Alliance’s most popular fare product, the Star Alliance Round the World Fare (RTW). Available in First, Business and Economy Class, this fare allows customers to travel around the globe making use of the 27 member airline network. Customers can now make use of all Air India flights when booking their RTW fare, either through the Book & Fly online booking tool*, via an airline or through a travel agency.
Some of Air India’s flights will also be included in the Star Alliance Circle Pacific Fare which allows circular round-trips covering the Asian countries bordering the Pacific, the main international hub airports on the Pacific Coast of Canada and the USA, as well as the South Pacific (mainly Australia and New Zealand).
And finally, Air India is now included in the Asia Airpass alongside all other Asia based Star Alliance member airlines. This special coupon and mileage based fare is available to all overseas visitors to the region travelling on a Star Alliance member airline and allows customers to travel around Asia, selecting from a total of 277 destinations.
Previously the airline issued this statement:
Air India has scripted a new chapter in India’s aviation history by becoming the first airline from India to be inducted into the world’s leading global airline consortium, Star Alliance. On June 23, 2014, the Star Alliance Central Executive Board voted in favor of Air India to become its 27th member airline. Air India will start offering the alliance benefits and privileges to customers from July 11, 2014.
The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines-SAS, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Swiss International Air Lines, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, Thai Airways International and United Airlines.
Copyright Photo: Star Alliance. The flight attendants of the member airlines.
Overall, the Star Alliance network presently offers more than 18,000 daily flights to 1,269 airports in 193 countries.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 VT-ANH (msn 36276) arrives at London (Heathrow).
Norwegian Long Haul (Norwegian Air Shuttle) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) on October 30 will launch a new Boeing 787 route between Copenhagen and Hong Kong. The new route will operate twice a week. Norwegian already offers nonstop routes between Bangkok and both Oslo and Stockholm.
Norwegian will have a fleet of 17 Dreamliners, with seven currently in service and one more will be delivered in 2014.
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 EI-LNC (msn 34795) prepares to land in Stockholm (Arlanda).
Thai Airways International (Bangkok) is now planning to introduce the first Boeing 787 service between Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) and Chiang Mai on July 25 pending the delivery of the pictured 787-8 HS-TQA (msn 35315) per Airline Route.
Bangkok-Manila 787 service will begin on August 8 to be followed by Bangkok-Tokyo (Haneda) on September 1 and Bangkok-Perth on September 2.
All dates are subject to change depending on the deliveries.
Copyright Photo: Thai Airways.
Hainan Airlines (Haikou and Beijing) yesterday (June 20) launched nonstop service between Boston’s Logan Airport and Beijing, representing the first scheduled nonstop flight between New England and Mainland China in history – and with the industry’s most advanced airliner – the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
In addition, Hainan Airlines has partnered with Boston-based Dav El Chauffeured Transportation Network service to provide complimentary private ground transfers for business class passengers within a 30 mile radius of Logan Airport. The same services will be provided by Dav El in Chicago (O’Hare) and Seattle/Tacoma. Hainan Airlines already provides complimentary executive car service in Beijing for long haul business class travelers, and has introduced this in Europe as well.
Hainan Airlines will operate the flights year round every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, and due to peak demand, will increase frequency to daily from July 18 through the end of August. With its international hub at Beijing, Hainan offers connections to cities throughout China, including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Fuzhou, Xi’an, and Haikou. Travelers may stopover in Beijing in either direction and connect with numerous additional Chinese cities across the Hainan network such as Chengdu or Dalian. The new Boston flight will complement the carrier’s existing North American service to Beijing from Seattle/Tacoma, Chicago, and Toronto.
Flight 481 departs Beijing at 1:50 pm (1350) local time and is scheduled to arrive Logan Airport at 3:10 pm (1510). Return flight 482 will depart Logan at 5:10 pm (1710) with scheduled arrival at 6:50 pm (1850) the following day in Beijing.
Recent changes to visa regulations permit U.S. citizens to stay in Beijing for as long as 72 hours visa-free when traveling to international points beyond China, enabling online onward travel to other key destinations such as Thailand.
Copyright Photo: Hainan Airlines Launches First Ever Boston to Beijing Service (PRNewsFoto/Hainan Airlines Co., LTD).
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian Long Haul) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) via its Irish subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI) (Dublin) issued this statement:
Norwegian Air International (NAI) released the following statement on House passage of Fiscal Year 2015 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act:
“We are disappointed the House legislation includes language attempting to pressure the U.S. Department of Transportation into denying Norwegian Air International’s application. As with anything new and innovative, Norwegian expected opposition from entrenched interests, and we will continue undeterred in the pursuit of our goal of serving the United States.
Norwegian International seeks to offer lower fares to travelers, world-class service on new Boeing 787 Dreamliners, and job creation opportunities through our investment in Boeing aircraft and increased international tourism to U.S. destinations. Norwegian appreciates the support it has received from allies, including three former DOT Secretaries and the hundreds of flight attendants we have hired in the U.S. this year, who share our commitment to growth and competition.
As a licensed carrier of the European Union, Norwegian meets all the legal, safety and operational requirements to serve the United States – and we fully intend to do so in the near future. The time has passed for the Department of Transportation to approve Norwegian’s application.”
Meanwhile the Association of Flight Attendants previously issued this statement:
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) today commended the United States House of Representatives for passing the DeFazio/Westmoreland Amendment that ensures U.S. airlines and aviation crewmembers are afforded a level playing field for transatlantic flying. The bipartisan amendment attached to the 2015 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act (H.R. 4745), introduced by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Lynn Westmorland (R-GA), requires that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) follow the protocol contained in the U.S.-EU “Open Skies” agreement.
Currently, the DOT is reviewing an application for a foreign air carrier permit submitted by Norwegian Air International (NAI) that threatens to undercut labor standards both in the U.S. and in Europe by circumventing worker protections, evading international labor laws, and creating unfair competition for airlines covered under the Open Skies agreement.
“Our union is focused on stopping any scheme like Norwegian Air International from severely undercutting our airlines, threatening our jobs, and setting a harmful precedent that would undermine U.S. labor and safety rules. Together with aviation workers from across the industry, we will continue to push back against attempts to dodge laws and regulations that protect good jobs and the safest aviation system in the world,” said Sara Nelson, AFA International President.
“We commend Representatives DeFazio and Westmoreland for their leadership in upholding labor standards and fair competition. This House vote sends a strong signal to the Department of Transportation that NAI’s application is not supported by Congress,” added Nelson.
Copyright Photo: All of the Norwegian Boeing 787s currently operated to the United States are registered in Ireland (EI-) but are currently operated by Norwegian Long Haul. Norwegian Long Haul has a separate AOC and is registered in Norway. Norwegian Air International obtained its AOC from Ireland in February 2014 and hopes to operate from the European Union to the United States. Boeing 787-8 EI-LNB (msn 35305) with explorer Thor Heyerdahl on the tail taxies from the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) today launches new nonstop service linking the airline’s San Francisco hub with Chengdu, China, the fourth-largest Chinese city, becoming the first carrier to fly nonstop from the U.S. to mainland China beyond Beijing and Shanghai and the first U.S. carrier to serve Chengdu.
United will use the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner to operate the three-times-weekly service. Chengdu is the ninth destination United serves in the Asia/Pacific region nonstop from San Francisco, from which United offers more nonstop trans-Pacific flights from the United States than any other carrier.
Flight UA 9 will depart San Francisco International Airport at 1:25 p.m. (1325) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and arrive at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 6:40 p.m. (1840) the following day (all times local). For the return, flight UA 8 will depart at 9:50 a.m. (0950) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and arrive at San Francisco International Airport at 8:40 a.m. (0840) the same day. Flying times will be approximately 14 hours, 15 minutes westbound and 13 hours, 50 minutes eastbound. This new nonstop flight will shave nearly four hours off the typical travel time between the two cities.
Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in southwest China, is the country’s fourth largest city, with a population of approximately 14 million in the urban area. In recent years, Chengdu has been one of the country’s fastest-developing cities economically, and more than half of the Fortune 500 companies have a presence in the city. Sichuan is famous as the natural habitat of the giant panda and home to one of China’s most popular cuisines.
United is the largest carrier at San Francisco International Airport, offering nearly 300 daily flights to more than 90 destinations in the U.S. and around the world, more service than any other airline from the Bay Area. From its San Francisco hub, United also offers more nonstop trans-Pacific service to and from the United States than any other carrier hub. United currently operates more than 30 daily nonstop flights from San Francisco to 21 international destinations and will add nonstop service from San Francisco to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport in October, pending government approval.
United started nonstop service to mainland China in 1986 and today serves Beijing with nonstop flights from Chicago (O’Hare), Newark, San Francisco and Washington (Dulles); Shanghai with nonstop flights from Chicago (O’Hare), Los Angeles, Newark and San Francisco; and Hong Kong with nonstop flights from Chicago (O’Hare), Newark, San Francisco, Guam, Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City.
The airline recently announced it will add new twice-weekly service between Guam and Shanghai beginning October 28, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner N29907 (msn 34830) taxies across the ramp at Los Angeles International Airport.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Arke (formerly Arkefly) (Amsterdam) today celebrated the arrival of the airline’s first 787-8 Dreamliner at the Dutch carrier’s base at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. The pictured 787-8 PH-TFK (msn 36427) departed Paine Field in Everett, Washington on Wednesday (June 4) on its delivery flight to the Netherlands. Arke is part of TUI Travel PLC, the largest tourism group in the world.
Arke will use the 787 on its service between Amsterdam and the islands of Curacao, Aruba and Bonaire in the Dutch Caribbean. The airplane is the first of three Dreamliners to join the carrier’s all-Boeing fleet that also includes Next-Generation 737s and 767-300 ERs (Extended Range). TUI Travel has ordered a total of 15 787-8s, of which six have been delivered and are currently in operation with three of the six airlines it operates; Thomson Airways, Jetairfly and now Arke.
Copyright Photo: Boeing.
Thai Airways International (Bangkok) has released this photo of its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The pictured HS-TQA (msn 35315) is being prepared for the handover at Boeing’s Paine Field plant.
According to the airline, in the beginning, the airline will operate the Boeing 787 on its flights TG 102, TG 103, TG 110, TG 111, TG 120 and TG 121 on the Bangkok-Chiang Mai-Bangkok route. The new type will also be operated on the Bangkok-Manila-Bangkok route on flights TG 620 and TG 621.
Copyright Photo: Thai Airways International.
HNA Group (Hainan Airlines) (Haikou and Beijing) quietly celebrated the delivery of the seventh Boeing 787 for Hainan Airlines. The pictured Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner registered as B-2739 (msn 38055) was handed over on May 30. The delivery of this aircraft also represents the 500th airplane aircraft delivered to the HNA Group, including those no longer in service.
Senior HNA official Mr. Mou Weigang made the following remarks at the Boeing handover ceremony (translated from Chinese):
Today, we are very glad to have come to this beautiful “Emerald City” — Seattle – to receive the 500th airplane of the HNA Group. Here, on behalf of Hainan Airlines, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Boeing Company and the friends from all walks of life for your longtime loyalty and support for Hainan Airlines.
As one of the leaders in global aviation, Boeing possesses the most advanced airplane manufacturing technologies and excellent service ability in aviation technology. Over the past century, Boeing has led the world aviation technology revolution with the 247, 707, 727 and many other classic airplanes it has designed and developed, turning flight into one of humanity’s trip modes. Today, the dominant airplanes in the airline market, such as the 737, 747, 777, 787 and so on, are flying all over the world, and have made air travel more secure, more comfortable and more convenient.
Hainan Airlines and Boeing are old partners and friends. After 21 years of hard work, Hainan Airlines has developed from a single air transport enterprise to HNA Group, involving such areas as aviation, real estate, business, hotel, tourism, finance, logistics and more. Hainan Airlines is the flagship air transport enterprise in the HNA Group, and it is also the foundation and main force to develop and expand the HNA Group. The 7th Boeing 787 Dreamliner which will join in Hainan Airlines is the 500th airplane of HNA Group. The number 500 stands for a new milestone in the developmental history of Hainan Airlines. Meanwhile, it marks a new and glorious chapter that Hainan Airlines will open.
Boeing and Hainan Airlines have established and maintained a long-term and friendly cooperative relationship. We appreciate the diversified Boeing technical team which is full of creative spirit, and also thank you for your outstanding services for the development of Hainan Airlines. We hope Boeing and Hainan Airlines will continue to make progress together and provide a high-level flight experience to more travelers around the world.
Special thanks to Joel Chusid, reporting from Seattle.
Copyright Photos: Joel Chusid/Hainan Airlines.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian Long Haul) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) landed the first scheduled Boeing 787 Dreamliner service at Orlando International Airport (MCO) on Thursday night (May 29). The maiden flight from Oslo, Norway to Orlando was the first Boeing 787 to land at MCO. The full flight was greeted with a traditional water salute by the airport rescue fire fighters (ARFF).
Norwegian Air will offer nonstop service between Orlando and Oslo two-days-a-week, Thursdays and Saturdays, with connections to over 94 locations in Europe and Thailand.
Copyright Photo: Orlando International Airport.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has released this statement about extended ETOPS for the 787:
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved additional extended operations (ETOPS) for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The move will allow 787s to be operated up to 330 minutes from a landing field and signals continued confidence in the airplane’s technical capabilities.
Dreamliners have been allowed to operate up to 180 minutes away from a landing field since they were introduced into service in 2011. Granting of the expanded operational permission will allow airlines to introduce additional routes after they meet the proof of capabilities requirements and receive approval from their own regulatory agencies for such operations.
ETOPS operations will make the 787 even more efficient in operations as they enable more direct flight paths, which can save thousands of pounds of fuel and reduce carbon emissions.
More than 1,030 787s have been ordered by 60 customers to date. Boeing has delivered 146 Dreamliners to 19 customers.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 VT-ANC (msn 36274) in Air India colors lands at Boeing’s facility at Paine Field near Everett, Washington. VT-ANC is one of the earlier models and remains undelivered.
Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) starting on June 1 will introduce the Boeing 787 on the Addis Ababa-Paris (CDG)-Brussels route, replacing a Boeing 767-300 per Airline Route with six weekly flights.
Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 ET-AOS (msn 34747) taxies at Toronto (Pearson). ET-AOS is named “Lucy”.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Ethiopian Airlines.
Air Canada (Montreal) on May 23 operated its first revenue flight with newly delivered Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner C-GHPQ (msn 35257). The historic flight was flight AC 604 from Toronto (Pearson) to Halifax.
Top Copyright Photo: Air Canada. Scenes from the first flight departure gate in YYZ.
Below Copyright Photo: Air Canada. C-GHPQ is pictured departing previously.
Video: 787 Born to fly:
Video: 787 Introduction:
Bottom Copyright Photo: TMK Photography. A view from inside C-GHPQ during the historic first revenue flight.
NTSB issues recommendations to the FAA for the evaluation and certification of lithium-ion batteries on Boeing 787s
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (Washington) has issued a series of recommendations related to the evaluation and certification of lithium-ion batteries for use in aircraft systems, as well as the certification of new technology.
The five safety recommendations, all addressed to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (Washington), are derived from the NTSB’s ongoing investigation of the January 7, 2013, fire event that occurred in a lithium-ion battery on a Boeing 787 that was parked at Boston Logan Airport.
Investigators found that the battery involved in the Boston 787 fire event showed evidence not just of an internal thermal runaway but that “unintended electrical interactions occurred among the cells, the battery case, and the electrical interfaces between the battery and the airplane.”
The 12-page safety recommendation letter said that the processes used in 2006 to support the certification of the lithium-ion battery designed for the 787 were inadequate, in part, because there is no standardized thermal runaway test that’s conducted in the environment and conditions that would most accurately reflect how the battery would perform when installed and operated on an in-service airplane.
Further, the NTSB said that because there is no such standardized thermal runaway test, lithium-ion battery designs on airplanes currently in service might not have adequately accounted for the hazards associated with internal short circuiting.
In its examination of the challenges associated with introducing newer technologies into already complex aircraft systems, the NTSB said that including subject matter experts outside of the aviation industry “could further strengthen the aircraft certification process” by ensuring that both the FAA and the aircraft manufacturer have access to the most current research and information related to the developing technology.
To address all of these issues, the NTSB asked the FAA to do the following:
1. Develop an aircraft-level thermal runaway test to demonstrate safety performance in the presence of an internal short circuit failure
2. Require the above test as part of certification of future aircraft designs
3. Re-evaluate internal short circuit risk for lithium-ion batteries now in-service
4. Develop guidance for thermal runaway test methods
5. Include a panel of independent expert consultants early in the certification process for new technologies installed on aircraft
“The history of commercial aviation is one in which emerging technologies have played a key role in enhancing flight safety,” said NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “This is why it’s crucial that the process by which these technologies are evaluated and certified is as robust and thorough as possible. These recommendations will take us further in that direction.”
The final report on the January 2013 Boston 787 battery fire investigation is estimated to be completed in the fall.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Read about the original Boston JAL Boeing 787 incident: CLICK HERE
Air Canada (Montreal) today (May 20) unveiled its brand new international interior product following the arrival in Toronto on Sunday of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
“The new interiors and seating on the 787 Dreamliner will become Air Canada’s new international standard. As recently announced, we also plan to begin conversion in late 2015 of 12 Boeing 777-300 ER and six Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft to provide our customers a consistent product with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. With the conversion of these 777 aircraft, we will introduce a much desired premium economy cabin and refurbish the International Business Class cabin to the new Boeing 787 state-of-the-art standards. The reconfiguration project is planned be completed in the second half of 2016,” continued Mr. Smith.
Air Canada will provide three cabins of service on board its Boeing 787 Dreamliners and converted 777 aircraft, highlighted by comfortable ergonomic seating that features 180-degree lie-flat seats in its International Business Class cabin (top photo). An extensive choice of in-flight entertainment on enhanced definition seat back touch screens will be available for all customers along with power outlets and USB ports.
“The introduction of 787 Dreamliner aircraft featuring our new standard of onboard product is a key component of Air Canada’s international expansion plans that include the development of Toronto Pearson into a preferred North American gateway and true airline hub,” said Mr. Smith. “The fuel efficient Boeing 787 aircraft will open up opportunities for Air Canada to serve new international destinations and convert existing routes to Dreamliner service as we replace existing Boeing 767 aircraft with the new 787 Dreamliners.”
Contemporary New Cabin Design
With the introduction of the 787 Dreamliner into its widebody fleet, Air Canada is unveiling a contemporary, sophisticated cabin design in a palette of slate grey and neutral tones with accents of Canadian red and celeste blue.
The interior decor, cabin architecture and seating in all three cabins – International Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy – have been designed to provide customers with an exceptional travel experience.
Highlights of Air Canada’s new International Business Class cabin on the 787 Dreamliner include 20 lie-flat Executive Pods with an adjustable pneumatic cushion system that can be extended into a fully flat sleeping position 80 inches in length. New features that enhance the airline’s award-winning International Business cabin include:
An adjustable pneumatic cushion headrest offers a massage feature, unique for an airline in business class.
The personal entertainment screen with touch handset, at 18 inches, is the largest offered by a North American airline in business class. Universal power and USB outlets are available at each seat.
Air Canada will also introduce later in 2014 a new espresso and cappuccino service for International Business Class customers.
A 1-2-1 configuration guarantees direct aisle access with window views featuring the largest windows of any aircraft flying today.
Air Canada’s Premium Economy cabin (above) on the 787 Dreamliner has 21 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration providing 38-inch legroom and generous 19.5-inch seat width and 7-inch recline. Each seat is equipped with a 9- or 11-inch enhanced definition intuitive touch personal entertainment screen, as well as universal power and USB outlets. Air Canada’s Premium Economy cabin service, unique in North America, offers premium meals, complimentary bar service and priority check-in and baggage delivery at the airport.
Air Canada’s Economy cabin (above) has 210 slimline seats in a 3-3-3 configuration providing personal space consistent with the comfort of Air Canada’s current Economy cabin. Each seat is equipped with a 9-inch enhanced definition intuitive touch personal entertainment screen with USB outlet and a universal power outlet available at arm’s reach.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner: A New Generation in Comfort and Fuel Efficiency
Boeing is the world’s first major airliner to use composite materials in the construction of its airframe, allowing for significant fuel efficiencies, a more economical long flying range and an enhanced passenger experience with less impact on the environment. Air Canada is the only Canadian carrier to order this new generation aircraft.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is 20 per cent more fuel efficient than the Boeing 767 aircraft it will replace.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner provides passengers with an unparalleled passenger experience:
A quieter, smoother flight, lower cabin pressure, higher humidity levels and ambient mood lighting contribute to a more rested feeling upon arrival;
Windows are 30 per cent larger than those on most similarly sized airplanes and feature an electrochromatic electronic dimming system;
A more spacious interior cabin design featuring larger overhead bins;
Cleaner air continuously circulating through an advanced filtration system.
Air Canada’s Dreamliner fleet will consist of a total of 15 787-8 aircraft and 22 of the larger capacity 787-9 aircraft. All 37 Boeing 787 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2019. As Air Canada takes delivery of new widebody aircraft for its mainline fleet, current Boeing 767 and Airbus A319 aircraft will be transferred to its leisure carrier subsidiary, Air Canada rouge.
Copyright Photos: Air Canada.
Video: Air Canada’s first 787 Dreamliner operating as flight AC7008 lands and receives a water cannon salute at Toronto’s Pearson Airport, Sunday May 18, 2014.
Video: A time-lapse of the construction of the first Air Canada 787:
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian Long Haul) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) is arguing before the DOT and public opinion, citing an editorial by USA Today, to allow its Irish subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI) (Dublin) to operate its Boeing 787 Dreamliners on low-fare flights to the United States. Several unions of other airlines are arguing against this approval process. Norwegian issued this statement:
Citing the airline’s “discount ticket prices” that give “passengers a reason to celebrate,” the USA Today has endorsed Norwegian Air International (NAI)’s application to begin flying from the United States. The USA Today argued that U.S. Department of Transportation – which has delayed approval of NAI’s application for months – could provide a major boon to consumers by approving NAI’s application and introducing competition into the transatlantic flight market. The full editorial is available here:
Read the editorial from USA Today: CLICK HERE
The editorial noted that NAI is able to offer fares far below those of U.S. legacy carriers because NAI is more efficient than its competitors. The airline is using 787 Dreamliners, which “provide big savings on fuel costs.” Further, NAI “steers clear of high-cost, congested airports.”
The editorial further criticized opposition to NAI for running ads that “try to cast NAI as a lawbreaker while implying that safety is being compromised.” The editorial clearly states, however, that NAI’s opposition “lacks any proof” that NAI will not follow the highest safety standards and all U.S. laws.
The USA Today made clear that it believes that “unless the critics can prove that [NAI] is doing something unsafe or illegal, the U.S. government should let NAI fly.”
Meanwhile, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA continues to oppose NAI and issued this statement:
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), was joined by the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) as well as the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) in calling on the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to deny an application for a foreign air carrier permit submitted by Norwegian Air International (NAI).
AFA, ETF and ITF once again spotlight the unfair labor practices established by NAI in their mission to enter the U.S. aviation market. NAI’s business plan is crafted to circumvent worker protections by evading international labor laws, creating unfair competition with EU and U.S. carriers and threatening to degrade labor standards both in the U.S. and in Europe.
Veda Shook, AFA International President stated: “AFA remains committed to a healthy and robust global aviation marketplace that provides career opportunities and good jobs for workers across the world. Competition and growth are essential to our industry but we must remain dedicated to promoting strong labor standards. Skirting international laws in order to gain unfair advantage cannot be tolerated. We call on Secretary Foxx to deny NAI’s current application before such labor practices become the norm in international aviation, triggering a race to the bottom.”
François Ballestero, the ETF Civil Aviation Political Secretary commented: “The attempt of Norwegian Air to import cheap labor from Asia by employing non-European cabin crew on its long-haul routes are an attack on working conditions of the existing workers. The ETF is committed to fight against social dumping and we urge the DOT to put an end to these unfair practices. And we are not alone in our concerns: the Norwegian Minister of Transport and Communications recently raised his concern to the European Commission about the challenges facing European aviation that are created by fragmented operations between multiple countries.”
Gabriel Mocho Rodriguez, ITF Civil Aviation Secretary added: “The practice of establishing subsidiaries and registering vessels under flags of convenience in order to avoid oversight and slash costs has long been a feature of the maritime industry. The results are well known: lower safety standards, sometimes shocking working conditions, little protection for workers. The ITF is well known for fighting these abuses. For decades we have been warning that the flags of convenience model could be copied in the aviation sector. Just last month, our cabin crew committee decisively rejected the outsourcing and flagging out practices of NAI. The AFA together with the IAM (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers), TWU (Transport Workers’ Union) and APFA (Association of Professional Flight Attendants), supported that resolve and are actively lobbying the U.S. government and urging it to prevent those unacceptable practices being imported into the US. The ITF will continue to support their effort.”
The ETF represents more than 250,000 civil aviation workers all over Europe, including 80,000 cabin crews.
The ITF represent more than 650,000 civil aviation workers all over the world, including nearly 100,000 Flight Attendants in the United States.
Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 EI-LNB (msn 35305) is pictured at Paine Field in Everett.
Air Canada (Montreal) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) yesterday (May 18) celebrated the delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner, the first airline in Canada to fly the Dreamliner. The pictured Boeing 787-8 C-GHPQ (msn 35257), the first of Air Canada’s 37 787s on order for delivery through 2019, departed Paine Field in Everett, Washington yesterday on its delivery flight to Toronto (Pearson).
Air Canada has announced it will use the 787 on its Toronto-Tel Aviv routes, as well as launch a new destination – Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. The 787 is 20 percent more fuel efficient than similar-sized airplanes it will replace in Air Canada’s fleet.
Air Canada’s 787 launches the airlines’ new International Business Class Cabin with 20 seats. The airplane offers 21 seats in Air Canada’s Premium Economy Cabin and 210 seats in Air Canada Economy. Customers will be more comfortable with improved lighting, bigger windows, larger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and enhanced ventilation systems, among other features.
Made from composite materials, the 787 Dreamliner is the first mid-size airplane capable of flying long-range routes and will allow airlines to open new, non-stop routes preferred by the traveling public. In addition to providing airlines with unprecedented fuel economy and low operating costs, the 787 features a host of new technologies that greatly enhance the passenger experience.
To support Air Canada’s 787 Dreamliners, Boeing will provide a comprehensive suite of support and services through its Commercial Aviation Services business. Air Canada will receive flight and maintenance training and in-flight pilot training services. Boeing provides Air Canada’s fleet with crew planning solutions; electronic charting for electronic flight bags; Maintenance Performance Toolbox, a digital real-time-information tool that enables quick resolution of airplane maintenance issues; and Direct Routes and Wind Updates services for more efficient flights to reduce fuel consumption.
Besides the announced Tel Aviv and Tokyo Haneda (above), AC will also operate the new 787 on some shorter routes as it “breaks in” the new type and then expands to longer routes. Toronto-Halifax will be operated starting on May 23 on certain initial dates. Toronto-Zurich will be operated from May 25 to July 14 per Airline Route. Toronto-London (Heathrow) will operate five days a week from July 2 to July 13.
The planned Toronto-Tokyo (Haneda) will now start on July 15. The planned Toronto-Tel Aviv will now start on August 6.
The new type will also operate from Vancouver to Shanghai (Pudong) starting on October 26 and Toronto-Paris (CDG) starting on December 1 (all subject to change as the aircraft are delivered).
Copyright Photo: PRNews Foto/Air Canada. Boeing 787-8 C-GHPQ touches down in Toronto (Toronto) on the afternoon of May 18 as flight AC 7008 carrying 100 of the airline’s employees on its maiden voyage. Air Canada is the first Canadian airline to fly the new aircraft which, with its long-range and unsurpassed fuel efficiency, will play a starring role in the airline’s international expansion strategy. Air Canada has orders for 37 Boeing 787 aircraft.
Video: C-GHPQ arrives at YYZ:
Air Canada reports first quarter earnings of $147 million, the first Boeing 787-8 to be handed over on May 18
Air Canada (Montreal) today (May 15) issued its financial results for the first quarter. The company issued this statement (all amounts in Canadian dollars):
Air Canada today reported first quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and impairment, and aircraft rent (EBITDAR (1)) of $147 million compared to EBITDAR of $145 million in the first quarter of 2013. Air Canada’s EBITDAR of $147 million was consistent with the EBITDAR projection provided in the airline’s news release dated April 3, 2014 which forecasted EBITDAR in the first quarter of 2014 to be in line with last year’s level. An operating loss of $62 million in the first quarter of 2014 reflected a $44 million improvement from the same quarter in 2013. On a GAAP basis, in the first quarter of 2014, Air Canada reported a net loss of $341 million or $1.20 per diluted share compared to a net loss of $260 million or $0.95 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2013. The net loss in the first quarter of 2014 included foreign exchange losses of $161 million versus foreign exchange losses of $40 million in the first quarter of 2013. On an adjusted basis(1), the airline reported a net loss of $132 million or $0.46 per diluted share compared to a net loss of $143 million or $0.52 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2013, an improvement of $11 million or $0.06 per diluted share.
“I am pleased to report that despite the challenges of several extreme weather events and the impact of a much lower Canadian dollar in the first quarter, we delivered improved EBITDAR and adjusted results over the previous year,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer. During this somewhat difficult quarter, we continued to make good progress on our cost transformation initiatives with adjusted CASM decreasing by 2.5 per cent and, nonetheless, achieved a solid revenue performance. Based on forward bookings, we expect a strong summer travel season ahead.
“As we enter a new phase of network growth and capital investment in our fleet and product, the successful completion of our unsecured notes offering in April was another important milestone for Air Canada. I was especially pleased with the offering’s reception. The capital markets demonstrated their confidence in our future by supporting our debt on an unsecured basis on very competitive terms, recognizing, among other things, our improved leverage ratios, credit ratings and profitability, as well as the elimination of our pension deficit.
“We have many exciting developments coming up with respect to our fleet and we are now starting to reap the benefits of our significant capital investment program. We look forward to the delivery flight of our first of 37 Boeing 787 Dreamliners on May 18, a very important step in Air Canada’s fleet renewal that will provide further cost improvements and opportunities to develop international markets on a more competitive basis.
“Moreover, in order to improve the economics of our standard Boeing 777 long-haul fleet and to provide customers with a consistent product to our new Boeing 787 Dreamliners, we are planning on converting 12 Boeing 777-300 ER and six Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft into a more competitive configuration, adding a much desired premium economy cabin and refurbishing the International Business Class cabin to the new Boeing 787 state-of-the-art standards. The reconfiguration is designed to both lower unit costs and to allow us to compete more effectively with a harmonized product offering across our flagship international fleet. The reconfiguration project is planned to start in late 2015 and be completed in the second half of 2016.
“I would like to thank our employees for their ongoing focus on taking care of customers and transporting them safely to their destination, especially during the very challenging weather conditions we experienced in the first quarter.”
First Quarter Income Statement Highlights
System passenger revenues amounted to $2,608 million, an increase of $81 million or 3.2 per cent from the first quarter of 2013, on a 2.9 per cent growth in traffic and a 0.4 per cent improvement in yield. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) decreased 0.5 per cent from the same quarter in 2013 on a 0.7 percentage point decline in passenger load factor which was partly offset by the yield improvement. In the first quarter of 2014, system premium cabin revenues increased $37 million or 7.0 per cent on yield and traffic growth of 4.5 per cent and 2.4 per cent, respectively.
Operating expenses amounted to $3,127 million, an increase of $69 million or 2 per cent from the first quarter of 2013 on a 3.8 per cent increase in capacity. The unfavourable impact of a weaker Canadian dollar on foreign currency denominated operating expenses (mainly U.S. dollars), when compared to same quarter in 2013, increased operating expenses by $130 million. This currency impact was partially offset by a favourable currency impact on passenger revenues of $38 million, realized currency derivative gains of $23 million and lower fuel prices (in U.S. dollars).
Air Canada’s adjusted cost per available seat mile (adjusted CASM(1)), which excludes fuel expense, the cost of ground packages at Air Canada Vacations and unusual items, decreased 2.5 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2013. The 2.5 per cent reduction in adjusted CASM was in line with the adjusted CASM decrease of 2.0 to 2.5 per cent projected in Air Canada’s news release dated April 3, 2014.
In the first quarter of 2014, Air Canada recorded an operating loss of $62 million compared to an operating loss of $106 million in the first quarter of 2013, an improvement of $44 million.
Financial and Capital Management Highlights
At March 31, 2014, unrestricted liquidity (cash, short-term investments and undrawn lines of credit) amounted to $2,515 million (March 31, 2013 – $2,092 million). Air Canada’s principal objective in managing liquidity risk is to maintain a minimum unrestricted liquidity level of $1.7 billion.
At March 31, 2014, adjusted net debt(1) amounted to $4,426 million, an increase of $75 million from December 31, 2013. The increase in adjusted net debt was driven by net borrowings of $116 million and an unfavourable currency impact of $155 million, partly offset by higher cash balances of $182 million. The airline’s adjusted net debt to EBITDAR ratio was 3.1 at March 31, 2014 versus a ratio 3.0 at December 31, 2013. Air Canada uses this ratio to manage its financial leverage risk and its objective is to maintain the ratio below 3.5.
Free cash flow(1) of $34 million declined $113 million from the same quarter in 2013. While operating cash flows improved year-over year, free cash flow was impacted by the addition of the fifth and final Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft delivered in February 2014.
For the 12 months ended March 31, 2014, return on invested capital (ROIC (1)) was 10.7 per cent versus 8.0 per cent at March 31, 2013. Air Canada’s goal is to achieve a sustainable ROIC of 10 to 13 per cent by 2015.
For the second quarter of 2014, Air Canada expects its system ASM capacity, as measured by available seat miles (ASMs), to increase in the range of 7.5 to 8.5 per cent when compared to the second quarter of 2013.
Air Canada continues to expect its full year 2014 system ASM capacity to increase in the range of 6.5 to 8.0 per cent and its full year domestic ASM capacity to increase in the range of 3.0 to 4.0 per cent when compared to 2013. The domestic capacity growth will be primarily on transcontinental services. The projected system capacity increase will be achieved at a unit cost which is below historical levels.
For the second quarter of 2014, Air Canada expects adjusted CASM to decrease in the range of 3.5 to 4.5 per cent when compared to the second quarter of 2013.
For the full year 2014, Air Canada now expects adjusted CASM to decrease in the range of 3.0 to 4.0 per cent from the full year 2013 (as opposed to the 2.5 to 3.5 per cent decrease projected in Air Canada’s news release dated April 3, 2014). This expected improvement is largely due to lower aircraft maintenance and depreciation, amortization and impairment expenses than previously projected.
Air Canada is taking tangible steps to improve its earnings through the execution of strategic initiatives designed to lower its overall cost structure and increase its competitiveness. These include:
The growth of Air Canada rouge to enhance margins in leisure markets and to pursue opportunities in international leisure markets made viable by Air Canada rouge’s lower cost structure.
The introduction five new high-density Boeing 777 aircraft configured for high volume, leisure-oriented international routes.
The introduction of Boeing 787 aircraft to operate existing Boeing 767 routes in a more efficient manner and to pursue international growth opportunities made viable by this aircraft’s lower operating costs.
Other ongoing cost reduction initiatives which are expected to deliver cost savings in excess of $100 million per annum within the next five years. Had these initiatives been implemented today with all other cost drivers remaining at 2012 levels, Air Canada would expect to achieve a 15 per cent reduction in CASM within the next five years. Also assuming the value of the Canadian dollar and fuel prices were at 2012 levels, the projected CASM reduction for 2014 would be 5 to 6 per cent.
With respect to Air Canada’s narrow-body fleet, as part of its December 2013 Boeing 737 MAX order for 61 firm aircraft, 18 options and certain rights to purchase an additional 30 aircraft, Boeing agreed to purchase 20 Embraer 190 aircraft. These 20 Embraer 190 aircraft are planned to exit the fleet in the second half of 2015 when they will be initially replaced with 10 larger narrow-body leased aircraft. The replacement of these Embraer 190 aircraft with larger narrow-body aircraft will further reduce CASM. Ultimately, the 10 larger narrow-body leased aircraft will be replaced by Boeing 737 MAX aircraft which will also further lower CASM. With respect to the remaining 25 Embraer 190 aircraft in the airline’s fleet, after careful consideration, Air Canada has decided to continue to operate the aircraft given their young age, productivity and high customer acceptance on existing routes and to avoid additional capital expenditures and debt.
Air Canada’s outlook assumes Canadian GDP growth of 2.0 to 3.0 per cent for 2014. Air Canada also expects that the Canadian dollar will trade, on average, at C$1.10 per U.S. dollar in the second quarter of 2014 and for the full year 2014 and that the price of jet fuel will average 91 cents per litre for the second quarter of 2014 and 92 cents per litre for the full year 2014.
(1) Adjusted net income (loss) and adjusted net income (loss) per share – diluted are non-GAAP financial measures. Refer to section 15 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(2) EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, impairment and aircraft rent) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 15 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(3) Unrestricted liquidity refers to the sum of cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and the amount of available credit under Air Canada’s revolving credit facilities. At March 31, 2014, unrestricted liquidity was comprised of cash and short-term investments of $2,390 million and undrawn lines of credit of $125 million. At March 31, 2013, unrestricted liquidity was comprised of cash and short-term investments of $2,056 million and undrawn lines of credit of $36 million.
(4) Free cash flow (cash flows from operating activities less additions to property, equipment and intangible assets) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 6.5 of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(5) Adjusted net debt (total debt less cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments plus capitalized operating leases) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 6.3 of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(6) Return on invested capital (“ROIC”) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 15 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information
(7) Operating statistics (except for average number of FTE employees) include third party carriers (such as Jazz Aviation LP (“Jazz”) and Sky Regional Airlines Inc. (“Sky Regional”) operating under capacity purchase agreements with Air Canada.
(8) Adjusted CASM is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 15 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(9) Reflects FTE employees at Air Canada. Excludes FTE employees at third party carriers (such as Jazz and Sky Regional) operating under capacity purchase agreements with Air Canada.
(10) Includes fuel handling expenses. Economic fuel price per litre is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 4 “Results of Operations” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(11) Revenue passengers are counted on a flight number basis which is consistent with the IATA definition of revenue passengers carried.
In other news, Air Canada will add summer seasonal nonstop service on Mondays and Saturdays from July 5 to September 1, 2014, between Ottawa and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Florida.
Top Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. The first Air Canada Boeing 787-8, the pictured C-GHPQ (msn 35257), will join the fleet on May 18.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Canada will keep the remaining 25 Embraer 190 aircraft for now, striking a blow to Bombardier and its CSeries aircraft. Air Canada has decided to “continue to operate the aircraft given their young age, productivity and high customer acceptance on existing routes and to avoid additional capital expenditures and debt”. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW C-FHNX (msn 19000083) approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) today announced that two 787-8 Dreamliners will be leased by ILFC to the Italian carrier Neos (Milan-Malpensa Airport). Neos will become the country’s first 787 operator when it takes delivery of the airplane in 2018.
Neos currently operates an all-Boeing fleet of six Next-Generation 737-800s and two 767-300 ER (Extended Range) airplanes. The airline will use the 787s to provide even greater passenger comfort and service, and expand its route network. ILFC is Boeing’s largest 787 customer with orders for 74 of the airplane type. This is not an incremental 787 order for Boeing.
Neos is a part of the Alpitour Group.
Italy plays a key role in the production of the 787, with Boeing supplier Alenia Aermacchi’s factories in Grottaglie (Taranto), Foggia and Pomigliano (Naples) producing the central fuselage and horizontal stabilizer for the Dreamliner.
Founded in 2001, Neos caters to Italy’s leisure market providing flights predominately from Milan, but also other major Italian cities, to destinations across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.
Neos Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Kenya Airways (Nairobi) will introduce the newly-delivered Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the Nairobi-Paris (CDG) route on June 3. The 787 will replace an older Boeing 767-300 ER on the route.
Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. The first 787-8, the pictured 5Y-KZA (msn 35510), is named The Great Rift Valley. The new type was handed over to the carrier on April 4, 2014.
Norwegian signs a contract for three additional Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, loses $137.6 million in the first quarter
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian Long Haul) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) has entered into an agreement for the delivery of three new long-haul Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. Two of the aircraft will be delivered in 2016 and one in 2017.
Norwegian continues to expand its international operations and has agreed to also lease two 787-9 Dreamliners. Norwegian will put two of the planes in service in 2016 and one in 2017. Today, Norwegian has five long-haul type Dreamliner 787-8 in its fleet and another three on order. In addition, Norwegian has already placed an order for six 787-9s. With this new contract, Norwegian in 2018 will have a long-haul fleet of 17 long-haul 787s.
Facts about Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner:
Holds up to 20 percent more passengers than 787-8
Six meters (20 feet) longer than the 787-8
Significantly greater cargo capacity than the 787-8
Eight percent less fuel per seat than today’s version, which also gives the corresponding reduction in environmental emissions
In other news, Norwegian announced a quarterly loss before taxes of -813 million NOK ($137.6 million). Quarterly earnings were affected by additional costs for hiring of crews and a weak Norwegian crown.
During the first quarter, the revenue increased to 3.55 billion Norwegian kroner, an increase of 22 percent compared to the same quarter last year.
9 million passengers flew with Norwegian representing growth of 24 percent. The traffic growth (RPK) was at 50 percent, which is also linked to each Norwegian passengers now fly much longer than they did a year ago.
The figures also show strong output growth with an increase of 48 percent (ASK). The load factor was 77 percent in the first quarter, up one percentage point compared to the same quarter the year before. Adjusted with extra costs and a weak currency decreased costs (CASK) by nine percent in the first quarter.
Extra costs associated with long-haul operations accounted for 78 million NOK. These costs included the leasing of aircraft, additional fuel and the cost of hotels, food and drink to passengers affected by technical and operational problems with long-distance business.
During the first quarter, Norwegian phased in five new Boeing 737-800s and a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. With the Dreamliner (EI-LNE) that was delivered last week, Norwegian now has a total of five long-haul aircraft in service and 12 on order.
Copyright Photo: Duncan Kirk/AirlinersGallery.com. The first, the pictured 787-8 EI-LNA (msn 35304) displays the likeness of Sonja Henie on the tail.
Norwegian Long Haul (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) today (May 3) launched the first nonstop flight from Stockholm (Arlanda) to Oakland, California. It is the first time that Sweden has a direct flight to the San Francisco Bay area.
The new route is operated two days a week with the Boeing 787. Oslo-Oakland service starts on May 28.
Norwegian’s other long-haul routes from Stockholm (Arlanda) and Oslo (Gardermoen) operates to New York (JFK), Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Bangkok. From Copenhagen the fast-growing airline operates nonstop flights to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Los Angeles and New York (JFK).
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 EI-LNC (msn 34795) prepares to land at Stockholm (Arlanda).
LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw) on April 30 took delivery of its sixth new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, specifically the pictured 787-8 SP-LRF (msn 35942). The new 787 is named “Franek” which is Frank in Polish. The name was chosen as a result of an Internet contest. The airline issued this statement:
“Frank” (Franek in Polish) is the newest and sixth Dreamliner in the LOT Polish Airlines fleet that landed yesterday (May 1) at the Chopin Airport in Warsaw. The aircraft was named Frank as a result of an Internet contest. The name has been posted to the body of the aircraft and will appear until the end of the year.
“This year is special for us, full of changes and our Jubilee Year with our 85th anniversary,” said Barbara Pijanowska-Kuras, press officer for LOT Polish Airlines. “For our 6th Dreamliner delivery, we decided to organize a contest for the name of the aircraft numbered SP-LRF. The interest exceeded our wildest expectations. We are pleased this aircraft raises so many positive emotions.”
There was record interest in the Internet naming contest for the 6th LOT Dreamliner with 199,393 hits, 92,709 unique users and nearly 1,300 entries.
The Internet contest was held in March. The rules were simple–create an interesting name, justify your choice and become a “parent godfather” for this Dreamliner. Ms. Katarzyna Wąchała of Warsaw was the lucky winner. As a reward, she flew to visit the Boeing factory in Seattle. She returned to Poland today with her “baby”. She became the first long-distance passenger on the first flight of the youngest aircraft in the LOT fleet to Warsaw.
“The choice was difficult,” said Pijanowska-Kuras. “We wanted the name to arouse positive emotions, to be nice, short, easy to read and pronounce for foreigners, creative, intriguing and somewhat surprising. The choice was determined by the reasons given by the author. The registration number of this new aircraft is SP-LRF, so F is for Franek; F is also the 6th letter of the alphabet corresponding to LOT’s 6th Dreamliner; Franek in Polish is a timeless name; Franciszek is the name of two aces of the skies: Franciszek Peter and Franciszek Jacha and finally, it is also the name of Franciszek Zwirko – as Ms. Wachala wrote as her reasons for Franek.”
Franek will start to fly by mid-May on regular long haul connections in LOT’s network. The plane will be seen at airports in New York, Chicago, Toronto and Beijing. Beginning this winter season at the end of October, Franek may also visit other tourist places, such as Cuba, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Vietnam, Mexico or Thailand because LOT will begin long haul charter flights.
Since August 2103 when the fleet was joined by the fifth Boeing 787, LOT has been performing all long-haul flights only with Dreamliners. The Polish carrier was the first airline in Europe to operate this most modern world aircraft. Passengers appreciate the change in product quality and comfort of this machine. Given the company’s financial results and their year-to-year comparison in 2013, thanks to the Dreamliners, LOT gained as much as 95 million Zloty or $31,276,400. Business Class (Elite Club), perceived by passengers as the best on trans-Atlantic flights from Eastern Europe, has become increasingly popular. LOT has experienced huge success for its Premium Economy (Premium Club), between business and economy class. The Dreamliner also provides greater cargo business opportunities. LOT has also saved several million Zloty due to lower fuel consumption because from mid-2013, the long haul flights were flown by Dreamliners. At the end of 2017, the Polish carrier will have eight Dreamliners. The 7th Dreamliner will be delivered in the winter 2016/2017 and the 8th later during 2017.
The Dreamliner is a long-haul aircraft (12000 km) with a maximum cruising speed of 875 km / h, length of 57.72 m and a wingspan of 60.13 m. It has 252 passenger seats. The specially designed interior gives a feeling of spaciousness on board. Windows larger by ca 30% provide an excellent view, an appropriate pressure gives a greater sense of comfort, and the higher humidity as well as adequate filters ensure clean and healthy air. Luggage lockers are larger, and LED lighting system imitates daylight and adjusts to the time of the day. The special solution allows passengers to avoid turbulence and motion sickness.
Copyright Photo: LOT Polish Airlines.
Japan Airlines-JAL (Tokyo) has announced it will operate charter flights departing from Tokyo (Haneda) to Rome and Milan (Malpensa) starting on July 2, 2014. The charter flights will be operated with Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 JA822J (msn 34832) prepares to land in Bangkok.
Air Canada (Montreal) became the first Canadian carrier to offer customers in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity. The carrier plans to begin rolling out connectivity across its North American fleet in May under an agreement with Gogo®. The agreement will also provide for future type-testing of Gogo satellite solutions for Wi-Fi on international flights.
Air Canada presently has two Wi-Fi-equipped Airbus A319 aircraft operating in Canada and the United States and, subject to a final agreement with Gogo, plans to begin outfitting its remaining Airbus A319, A320 and A321 and Embraer 190 fleet types, as well as its Air Canada Express CRJ705 and Embraer 175 aircraft, with Air-To-Ground Wi-Fi connectivity. The installations are to begin in May with the goal of equipping 29 aircraft in 2014 and a targeted completion date of December 2015 for the designated 130 narrow-body aircraft. The system offers peak connection speeds comparable to mobile broadband services available on the ground. Current regulations prohibit the use of cellular phones for voice communication. Pricing will be competitive with other in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity offerings.
Gogo has also provided Air Canada the opportunity to type-trial two satellite-based systems, using Gogo 2KU and Inmarsat GlobalXpress KA-band solutions. These tests are expected to be conducted in 2015. The results will help determine future connectivity options that can be considered as the technology continues to evolve.
In other news, Airline Route is reporting Air Canada has delayed the introduction of the new Boeing 787-8 due to delivery delays. The Toronto (Pearson)-Zurich route has been delayed from May 18 to May 25. The Toronto (Pearson)-Tel Aviv route will also be delayed from July 1 to July 15. The Toronto (Pearson)-Tokyo (Haneda) route remains unchanged for July 1. There will be a single domestic roundtrip on May 21 between Toronto (Pearson) and Montreal (Trudeau) to introduce the new type.
Copyright Photo: Air Canada.
Video: The Air Canada 787:
Qatar Airways (Doha) today announced that from July 21, 2014, the airline will operate a new daily nonstop route from Doha to Bali.
The 10-hour routes from October will be operated with Qatar Airways’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Initially the Bali route will be operated with an Airbus A330.
Flying direct to and from Bali, the Dreamliner will have a two-cabin configuration, comprising of 22 seats in Business Class and 232 Economy Class seats with a high standard of comfort on board, including individual 10.5 inch television screens on all Economy Cass seats and a full complimentary food and beverage service.
Over the next few months, the network will grow further with Larnaca, Cyprus (April 29), Al Hofuf, Saudi Arabia (May 15), Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport, Turkey (May 22, 2014), Edinburgh, Scotland (May 28, 2014), Miami (June 10, 2014), Tokyo Haneda (June 18, 2014) and Dallas/Fort Worth (July 1, 2014).
Daily nonstop Doha to/from Bali: (all times local)
QR 962 departs Doha (DOH) at 02:35; arrives Bali Denpesar (DPS) at 17:35
QR 963 departs Bali Denpesar (DPS) at 19:35; arrives Doha (DOH) at 23:59
Copyright Photo: Qatar Airways. Boeing 787-8 A7-BCB (msn 38320) soars beautifully.
Kenya Airways (Nairobi) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) yesterday (April 4) celebrated the delivery and flyaway of the Kenyan flag carrier’s first 787 Dreamliner. Boeing 787-8 5Y-KZA (msn 35510) departed Paine Field in Everett for a 7,800 nautical mile (14,456 km) nonstop flight to Kenya Airways’ home base in Nairobi at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
This delivery is the first of nine 787 Dreamliners set to join Kenya Airways’ fleet. The deliveries of additional 787s, along with 777-300ER (Extended Range) airplanes, forms part of the East African carrier’s 10-year strategic plan called “Project Mawingu.” The plan is focused on increasing the airline’s fleet size from 44 airplanes to 107 by 2021 and destinations from the 62 to 115. Currently the Nairobi-based carrier operates an all-Boeing long-haul fleet of six 767-300 ERs, four 777-200ERs and one 777-300 ER.
Kenya Airways’ first 787 is scheduled to begin flying regionally within Africa (Mombasa and Johannesburg) in the coming weeks, before beginning long-haul service to Paris (CDG) in early June. Currently the “Pride of Africa” serves destinations across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. To date, more than 130 Dreamliners have been delivered to 17 customers worldwide.
Top Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. 5Y-KZA is beautifully captured at Paine Field near Everett before the delivery.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Kenya Airways. 5Y-KZA lands in Nairobi on April 5. CEO Dr. Titus Naikuni carries the Kenyan flag and walks towards H.E Uhuru Kenyatta for the hand over of the aircraft.
LOT Polish goes back into the black with a 2013 net profit of $8.6 million, the first profit since 2008
LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw) reported a profit for the first time since 2008, closing 2013 with a net profit of PLN 26 million ($8.6 million) and an operating result of minus PLN 4 million ($1.3 million). The result is PLN 138 million ($45.6 million) better than assumed in the Restructuring Plan. The main reasons for this result are a consistently implemented transformation process in the company and the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner effect”.
Back in November 2012, LOT announced the 2013 financial results would be better than expected in the Restructuring Plan. Today’s presentation of detailed figures, following an audit, has been a pleasant surprise.The figure achieved was PLN 26 million ($8.6 million) towards minus PLN 196 million ($64.8 million) assumed in the Plan.Thus, the result has been improved by more than PLN 222 million ($73.3 million).
LOT has gotten closer to where the core business will be profitable. The carrier ended with just a minus PLN 4 million ($1.3 million), compared to a planned minus of PLN 142 million ($46.9 million).This meant more than a PLN 138 million ($45.6 million) improvement, of which PLN 119 million ($39.3 million) LOT earned itself. Macroeconomic factors such as favorable fuel prices had very little impact on the achievement.Furthermore, such factors were offset by unfavorable currency exchange rate fluctuations. The company benefit of the market situation was only PLN 19 ($6.3 million) out of the PLN 138 million ($45.6 million) improvement. This result is also unaffected by the agreement with Boeing on the settlement for the period when the Dreamliners were not used on long-haul flights.
This profitability was reached despite the fact that LOT had to reduce its carrying capacity under so called compensatory measures.This is a requirement of the European Commission due to the received public assistance. Therefore, LOT carried 5% fewer passengers than in 2012, but in 2013, carried more than 4.6 million passengers.
Considering the core business, a significant increase of cost effectiveness and raising the revenue contributed to the improvement towards the Restructuring Plan.Better results were also possible due to reduced administration cost, employment restructuring, fuel savings, reduced cost of ticket distribution and renegotiation of contracts with suppliers. LOT also managed the range of destinations more efficiently, expanded connection possibilities for passengers and improved flexibility of the tariffs offered. The carrier launched extra services and extended distribution channels, including mobile solutions.
Comparing the results year by year, the improvement was most significantly impacted by the ‘Dreamliner effect’.Thanks to this state-of-the-art luxury jet, LOT gained as much as PLN 95 million ($31.4 million).The business class (Elite Club) recognized by passengers as the best in transatlantic flights available from this part of Europe has become increasingly popular.
A huge success is also the Premium Club, an intermediate standard between the business and economy class. Thanks to the Dreamliner, the number of the business and premium class passengers in 2013 increased by more than 80 % compared to 2012. Boeing 787 also offers greater business opportunities in terms of cargo carriage.Because LOT operated the Dreamliner long-haul flights (New York, Chicago, Toronto, and Beijing) beginning mid-2013, consequently LOT saved several million PLN on the reduced fuel consumption.
The year 2013 marks just the beginning of changes.Regaining sustained profitability, maximum reduction of the second installment and maintaining financial liquidity are not the only challenges to face in 2014. It is also of key importance to obtain the European Commission acknowledgement for the Restructuring Plan.So far, there have been positive signals from Brussels.The Commission recognizes the consistency and effects of the Restructuring Plan being implemented.Another challenge is to maintain the market position where LOT is facing increased competition and to effectively use the 6th Dreamliner in a situation where LOT cannot offer new destinations. There are various scenarios being considered, apart from operating the jet on flights to the destinations available at the height of the holiday season. LOT is gradually developing the charter business and is in talks with various partners to explore potential leasing .For 2014, LOT plans to develop the strategy of expanding the range of destinations after completion of the formal restructuring process, after October 2015, as well as steps to acquire a strategic investor.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 787 has helped LOT Polish Airlines back into profitability. Boeing 787-8 SP-LRD (msn 35941) departs from Toronto (Pearson).
Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) on March 29 started daily nonstop service to Shanghai, China. Ethiopian operates the Shanghai flight using its Boeing 787 Dreamliner with 24 Cloud Nine Business Class and 246 Economy Class seats.
Shanghai is Ethiopian’s 80th international destination.
Copyright Photo: Wingnut/AirlinersGallery.com. Up close on the ramp at London’s Heathrow Airport. Boeing 787-8 ET-AOO (msn 34743) taxies past the camera.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) and Spanish authorities are celebrating today the opening of the new base in Barcelona. It is the sixth Spanish base along with Madrid, Alicante, Malaga, Las Palmas and Tenerife.
The mood among the travelers were on top when Norwegian, Spanish authorities and partners celebrated the opening of the new base in Barcelona with a ribbon cutting, refreshments and speeches.
Between March and October this year Norwegian expects to fly around 700,000 passengers to and from Barcelona. During the same period last year traveled 490,000 passengers to and from the Catalan capital.
Three Boeing 737-800 are now based at the Barcelona-El Prat Airport. Over 120 pilots and cabin crew have been hired locally with competitive wages and working conditions. Norwegian opens four new routes and increase frequencies on existing routes from April 2014. Norwegian now has 11 nonstop routes from BCN and 69 flights a week from Barcelona.
Top Copyright Photo: Norwegian.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael Kelly/AirlinersGallery.com. The latest Norwegian Boeing 787-8 EI-LND (msn 35310) arrived at Dublin on delivery from Boeing on March 26. The Dreamliner was rolled out yesterday (March 31) with a decal of Norwegian marathon runner Grete Waitz on the tail.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) have completed a comprehensive review of the 787’s critical systems. The joint review, initiated in January 2013, included an examination of the processes for the design, certification and production of the 787-8. The review’s findings validate the integrity of the airplane’s design and confirm the strength of the processes used to identify and correct issues that emerged before and after the airplane’s certification.
The review concludes that the 787 meets the intended high level of safety expected by the FAA and Boeing. The report includes recommendations aimed at further strengthening the FAA and Boeing’s processes.
“We welcomed the opportunity presented by this joint review of the 787 and its in-service performance,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “The findings validate our confidence in both the design of the airplane and the disciplined process used to identify and correct in-service issues as they arise. I am grateful for the hard work of the joint review team and for its recommendations, which will allow us to further improve our processes as we move forward.”
The review team outlined four recommended improvements for Boeing. Three of the recommendations focus on improving the flow of information, standards and expectations between the company and its suppliers. Boeing has already taken significant steps to implement these recommendations.
The fourth recommendation encourages Boeing to continue implementing and maturing the gated processes for development programs.
“Gated process” refers to the disciplined criteria followed as a new airplane model is developed. This ensures a sufficient level of maturity is gained before a program proceeds to key milestones such as design completion, production start and entry into service.
Boeing has made a range of improvements to its airplane development processes since the start of the 787 program. These efforts included a restructuring last year to bring all commercial airplane development programs under one umbrella organization.
Copyright Photo: Brandon Farris/AirlinersGallery.com.
Air Canada (Montreal) first Boeing 787-8 (C-GHPQ, msn 35257) has been painted and is due to be delivered soon. The carrier is expected to introduce the new type domestically on May 1 between Toronto (Pearson) and Montreal (Trudeau) and will operate on select routes as the new type is introduced to the system (reportedly on select flights from Toronto to London Heathrow and Zurich). However the new type will be dedicated to the Toronto-Tokyo (Haneda) route starting on July 1 and the Toronto-Tel Aviv route also in July.
Read more about the new type: CLICK HERE
Video: Air Canada.
British Airways (London) today (March 3) launched the new London (Heathrow)-Austin, Texas Boeing 787 route with the help of Texan Jerry Hall (formerly married to Mick Jagger). The inaugural flight is utilizing 787-8 G-ZBJC (see below).
Austin is British Airways’ 25th North American gateway and third in the state of Texas (Houston and Dallas being the other two). This is the first trans-Atlantic route between Austin and London.
The callsign for British Airways aircraft is Speedbird. The Speedbird symbol was designed by Lee-Elliott for Imperial Airways in 1932. It represents speed, flight and power – and became one of the most successful motifs of the twentieth century.
Speedbird 191 will arrive in Austin later today.
Read the full report from the Daily Mail: CLICK HERE
British Airways issued this statement:
British Airways today launches its inaugural flight between Austin, Texas and London, England. This marks the first regular trans-Atlantic nonstop service for the city of Austin. The inaugural flight into Austin Bergstrom International Airport will be met by Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and British Airways EVP Americas Sean Doyle.
Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and inaugural British Airways Captain Dave Willsher flying the 787 Dreamliner Simulator and welcoming British Airways to Austin, Texas. (PRNewsFoto/British Airways)
For this much anticipated route, British Airways will operate one of the newest aircraft in its fleet, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The service will be available five days a week, increasing to daily flights in May. The first flight is perfectly timed to help accommodate travelers from Europe heading to the international South by Southwest Conferences and Festivals.
The new aircraft features three cabins: Club World (business class), World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and World Traveller (economy). The cabins feature stylish new interiors with state-of-the-art entertainment systems. British Airways provides meals, snacks and beverages, including full-service bar for free. Customers can also benefit from a generous baggage allowance.
Top Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 787-8 G-ZBJD (msn 38619) was delivered on September 27, 2013.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Fernandez Imaging/AirlinersGallery.com. G-ZBJC touches down in Austin on the historic first flight.
Norwegian Long Haul‘s (Norwegian Air Shuttle) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) today launched the first nonstop flight between Stockholm (Arlanda) and Los Angeles in California with twice weekly service. As of April 30, Norwegian will operate three flights a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This is the first time that Sweden has a nonstop flight to Los Angeles.
Twice-weekly nonstop Stockholm – Oakland flights will begin on May 3, 2014 and will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Currently Norwegian’s other long-haul routes from Stockholm Arlanda operate to New York (JFK), Fort Lauderdale/Fort Lauderdale and Bangkok.
Norwegian is currently attempting to transfer the Norwegian Long Haul operations to Norwegian Air International (Dublin). All of the 787s are registered in Ireland.
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 EI-LNA (msn 35304) lands at Malaga with Olympic skater Sonja Henie on the tail.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) according to Bloomberg “is struggling to find buyers for 11 of its earliest 787 Dreamliners valued at $1.1 billion after two airlines dropped orders for the holdover models from the jet’s troubled birth.”
The partially built 787s, now sitting unfinished at Paine Field in Everett, Washington, are known as the “terrible teens” (due to the line numbers). The undelivered aircraft start at line number 10. The “terrible teens” weight more than the current production and flying 787s and will not be able to fly as far if they are finished and delivered to a willing customer looking for a bargain. Most have been parked for around four years according to the report.
Garuda Indonesia is reportedly considering buying the under-performing “terrible teens” according to the report.
The 11 aircraft were originally destined for Lion Air, RwandAir and Transaero Airlines.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Bloomberg originally reported in January 2010 how Boeing was working on trimming the weight of the early 787 Dreamliners.
Read this report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. Most of the “terrible teens” are sitting in a sealed manner like the pictured Air India 787-8 VT-ANB (msn 37274, line number 26) once did. VT-ANB was just delivered to Air India on January 31, 2014.
United Airlines to introduce the Boeing 787-9 internationally from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia on October 26
United Airlines (Chicago) today announced that it will introduce nonstop flights between its hub at Los Angeles International Airport and Melbourne, Australia, effective on October 26, 2014 (westbound), subject to government approval. The airline will fly the route six times weekly with new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. United is the North American launch customer for the 787-9, and this will be its first international deployment of the aircraft type.
Flight UA 98 will depart Los Angeles at 10:30 p.m. (2230) daily except Tuesday and Thursday and arrive in Melbourne at 9:15 a.m. (0915) two days later (all times local). On Thursday, flight UA 98 will depart Los Angeles at 9:30 p.m. (2130) and arrive in Melbourne at 8:15 a.m. (0815) two days later (all times local). The flights to Melbourne will not operate on Tuesdays.
On the return, flight UA 99 will depart Melbourne at 11:15 a.m. (1115) daily except Thursday and Saturday and arrive at Los Angeles International Airport at 6:50 a.m. (0650) the same day. On Saturday, flight UA 99 will depart Melbourne at 3:15 p.m. (1515) and arrive in Los Angeles at 10:50 a.m.(1050) the same day. The flights to Los Angeles will not operate on Thursday.
Flying times will be approximately 15 hours, 45 minutes westbound, and 14 hours, 35 minutes eastbound.
Sydney Schedule Changes
With the launch of nonstop Los Angeles-Melbourne service, United will end service between Melbourne and Sydney. The airline will seek to retime its daily departures from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Sydney in order to allow a greater range of connections beyond the hubs and to provide more convenient arrival times for customers on connecting flights from Sydney to New York and other East Coast destinations.
Onboard Products and Services
The Boeing 787-9 aircraft operating the new Los Angeles-Melbourne service will offer a total of 252 seats – 48 in United BusinessFirst and 204 in United Economy, including 63 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.
United BusinessFirst offers a superior business-class service. The BusinessFirst flat-bed seat reclines 180 degrees and features an on-demand entertainment system with touch-screen monitors. BusinessFirst amenities include power outlets, USB ports and multi-course meals with complimentary premium wines and spirits.
Economy Plus seats offer up to five inches of extra legroom, and both Economy Plus and United Economy seats feature adjustable headrests, power outlets and personal seat-back monitors delivering a multi-channel inflight entertainment system on demand.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner
The 787 Dreamliner is revolutionizing the flying experience for United customers and crews while delivering unprecedented operating efficiency, comfort and lower emissions. Customers experience greater comfort with improved lighting, bigger windows, larger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and enhanced ventilation systems, among other passenger-friendly features. The aircraft’s use of lightweight composites, together with its modern engines and improved aerodynamic design, allow it to fly farther, faster and more efficiently than similar-sized conventional aircraft.
United is the 787 North American launch customer and now has nine Dreamliners in its fleet. The airline has a further 56 Dreamliners on order and expects to take delivery of five more from Boeing, including its first two 787-9s, by the end of 2014.
United in Australia
United started service to Australia in 1979 and today operates more flights to more destinations in Australia than any other U.S. carrier, with daily flights from its San Francisco and Los Angeles hubs to Sydney and Melbourne and twice-weekly service to Cairns from Guam. The airline will begin introducing Boeing 777-200 aircraft to replace Boeing 747-400s on its trans-Pacific services to Australia at the end of March 2014.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. United currently operates the original 787-8. 787-8 N27908 (man 36400) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw) is allowing passengers to use their personal electronic devices (PED) on board LOT’s aircraft in flight mode beginning on February 17, 2014.
Passengers may keep these devices switched on throughout the journey including take-offs and landings. They may use all the functions on their phones, tablets, MP3 players or cameras, but without the use of the cellular signal (making calls or sending SMSes).
The use of PEDs on board LOT’s aircraft was driven by a decision of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) which stated the use of electronics on board planes does not affect aircraft operations provided the flight mode (non-transmitting mode) is switched on.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 SP-LRD (msn 35941) arrives at Toronto (Pearson).
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian Long Haul) (Norwegian Air International) (Norwegian.com) has issued this statement concerning the issuance of an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) from the state of Ireland for subsidiary Norwegian Air International Limited (Dublin) on February 12. Norwegian’s long haul Boeing 787s operations will be transferred to this new subsidiary.
Norwegian issued this statement (translated from Norwegian):
Irish authorities have awarded Norwegian Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and license to Norwegian’s wholly owned subsidiaries Norwegian Air International Limited, which has its administration in Dublin.
The operation of the Norwegian’s long-haul routes will, with the new permit will be transferred to Norwegian Air International Limited (NAI). The airline has established management and essential government functions in Dublin and is ready to operate under the Irish Aviation Authority.
There are several reasons why the Norwegian has established long-distance company in Dublin. The main reason is the availability of future traffic rights to and from the EU. Norwegian has an order for over 260 new aircraft and plans to launch several new routes to and from Europe. Norwegian Air International’s establishment in Ireland does not affect the export guarantees attached to the company’s financing. Besides that Ireland has an aviation authority of good repute, the country is also a sort of hub for the airline industry – including all major leasing companies such as Norwegian partners with offices in Dublin.
The choice of Ireland, not because the country has specific rules that allow American or Asian crews, with both politicians and unions have claimed. In fact, Norwegian could have based its long-distance company in any other European country and yet used American and Asian crews, as several other European airlines have done for years. The only exceptions are Norway and to some extent Denmark who have chosen to retain outdated rules regarding this.
Transfer of new AOC
The transfer of the first Dreamliner plane to the new EU AOC: one implemented on February 12 and was done in conjunction with scheduled maintenance. The remaining aircraft will be transferred. U.S. transport authorities will now consider its application for traffic rights asserted
Norwegian’s long-haul flights to and from the United States. This is regulated under the Open Skies agreement between the U.S. and the EU, which means that an operator from any party that meets the conditions, shall be entitled to operate under this agreement. It granted the operating license and the license in Ireland means that Norwegian meets all the necessary requirements.
Competitors and unions have made a number of false accusations against both Norwegian and Ireland. This is despite the EU’s transport authorities, Irish and Norwegian regulators have repeatedly disproved it. Norwegian expects the approval of the application of the United States in compliance with the Open Skies Agreement as Norwegian has the same rights as before when the aircraft were moved from Norway to the EU.
In other news, Norwegian has contracted for four Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners for delivery in 2017 and 2018. With the new agreement, Norwegian’s 787 fleet will increase to 14 aircraft.
The four aircraft will be leased from International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC). The new aircraft will be in service in 2017 and 2018.
Norwegian has three Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners in the current fleet and five more on order. Further, the company has already signed an agreement for two Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners with deliveries in the first quarter of 2016. In total, Norwegian will have a fleet of 14 long-haul 787 aircraft, with four to be delivered in 2014, one in 2015, two in 2016, two in 2017 and two in 2018.
This larger Dreamliner model accommodates more passengers and is more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly than the 787-8 model. Boeing has already made a series of test flights and the aircraft type will be in commercial operation later in 2014. The agreement has been signed with the International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC).
Finally, Norwegian announced an annual profit before tax of 437 million Norwegian kroner (NOK) ($71.6 million). For the fourth quarter, Norwegian reported a profit of 283 million kroner.
2013 is the seventh year in a row that Norwegian has reported a profit.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian Long Haul’s (now Norwegian Air International) Boeing 787-8 EI-LNA (man 35304) arrives in London (Heathrow).