Tag Archives: A320

Virgin America produces a second quarter GAAP net profit of $65.0 million

Virgin America (San Francisco) today reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2015. Key highlights from the second quarter include:

  • Second quarter 2015 net income was $64.4 million excluding special items1, an increase of $27.5 million from the second quarter of 2014. Operating income and operating margin excluding special items were $67.1 million and 16.7 percent, respectively.
  • On a GAAP basis, net income was $65.0 million. Operating income and operating margin on a GAAP basis were $67.7 million and 16.9 percent, respectively.
  • Fully diluted earnings per share excluding special items was $1.46. On a GAAP basis, fully diluted earnings per share was $1.47.


Virgin America logo-1

“Our latest quarterly results are an affirmation of Virgin America’s business model – specifically, they demonstrate that we can deliver a better product and guest experience while also generating strong financial returns,” said David Cush, Virgin America’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “The progress we have made on financial performance over the past two years is remarkable, and we continue to outperform domestic industry unit revenue trends. Our guests love the outstanding product and service that our teammates provide and it shows in our financial results.”

The airline continued:

Second Quarter 2015 Financial Highlights

  • Operating Revenue: Total operating revenue was $400.9 million, an increase of 0.5 percent over second quarter of 2014.
  • Revenue per Available Seat Mile (RASM): Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 0.5 percent compared to the second quarter 2014, to 11.24 cents. Year-over-year PRASM growth was driven by a 0.2 point increase in load factor and a 0.3 percent increase in yield. Total RASM increased 0.6 percent year-over-year. Virgin America’s PRASM was positively impacted by a $3.2 million adjustment related to Elevate loyalty revenue, which increased PRASM by 0.9 percent.
  • Cost per Available Seat Mile (CASM): Total CASM excluding special items decreased 5.1 percent compared to the second quarter of 2014, to 10.43 cents. Decreases in fuel costs and reduced heavy maintenance activity contributed to the decline in CASM, partially offset by increases in salaries, wages and benefits. Salaries, wages and benefits costs included a $6.7 million accrual for teammate profit sharing and related payroll taxes. CASM excluding special items, fuel costs and profit sharing for the quarter increased 7.1 percent year-over-year, to 7.27 cents.
  • Fuel Expense: Virgin America realized an average economic fuel cost per gallon including taxes and the impact of hedges of $2.20, which was 29.3 percent lower year-over-year. This amount includes certain fuel expense adjustments described as special items below.
  • Special Items: Special items in the second quarter of 2015 relate to a net $0.6 million adjustment for fuel hedges that settled during the second quarter of 2015 but for which unrealized gains or losses had been previously recorded under GAAP and mark-to-market adjustments for fuel hedges that mature subsequent to June 30, 2015 which did not qualify for hedge accounting treatment.
  • Operating Income: Second quarter 2015 operating income excluding special items was $67.1 million, an increase of $20.0 million as compared to 2014. The Company’s operating margin excluding special items of 16.7 percent improved by 4.9 points year-over-year.
  • Net Income: Net income excluding special items for the second quarter increased by $27.5 million year-over-year to $64.4 million.
  • Fully Diluted EPS: Fully diluted earnings per share excluding special items was $1.46 for the second quarter of 2015. Second quarter 2015 fully diluted earnings per share was $1.47 on a GAAP basis.
  • Capacity: Available seat miles (ASMs) for the second quarter of 2015 remained flat year-over-year compared with the second quarter of 2014. Virgin America ended the quarter with 53 Airbus A320-family aircraft, unchanged from the second quarter of 2014. Subsequent to quarter end, the Company took delivery of the first of five Airbus A320 aircraft scheduled to be delivered in 2015.
  • Liquidity: Unrestricted cash was $500.5 million as of June 30, 2015. Virgin America benefited from the release of cash collateral held by its credit card processors in addition to strong operating cash flow performance to generate a net increase of $82.2 million in unrestricted cash during the quarter. The new agreement with its credit card processors also allowed the Company to terminate a $100 million letter of credit facility, resulting in ongoing annual savings of approximately $5.5 million per year.

“Virgin America made great strides in improving its balance sheet and financial position during the second quarter of 2015,” said Peter Hunt, Virgin America’s Chief Financial Officer. “We increased our unrestricted cash balance by $82 million during the quarter thanks to strong operating cash flow and the release of collateral held by our credit card partners. We also terminated a financing facility that will save us over $5 million in financing costs annually. In addition, we arranged bank debt financing for five A320 aircraft deliveries occurring later in 2015 at interest rates that will average under five percent. These accomplishments will continue to reduce Virgin America’s cost of capital and position us for future earnings growth.”

Second Half 2015 Outlook

The Company’s expectations for the second half of 2015 and full year 2016 are based on currently available information. These expectations are forward-looking, and actual results could differ materially depending on market conditions and the factors set forth under “Forward-Looking Statements” below. You should not place undue reliance upon these expectations.

The Company expects capacity, as measured by available seat miles, to increase by approximately 2.0 percent to 3.0 percent for the third quarter of 2015 as compared to the third quarter of 2014. Based on current revenue trends, the Company expects PRASM to decrease between 2.0 percent and 4.0 percent versus the third quarter of 2014. The Company expects CASM excluding fuel and profit sharing to increase between 10.5 percent and 11.5 percent versus the third quarter of 2014. CASM excluding fuel and profit sharing is increasing in the third quarter due primarily to Virgin America’s previously announced pay and benefit initiatives that were implemented earlier in the year. Third quarter CASM excluding fuel and profit sharing will also be impacted by a decrease in average stage length year over year of approximately 8.0 percent resulting from previously implemented capacity at Dallas — Love Field. In addition, the company expects to incur additional maintenance costs during the quarter related to an engine maintenance overhaul.

Based on Virgin America’s hedge portfolio and current market prices for aviation fuel products, the Company expects Virgin America’s economic fuel cost per gallon inclusive of related taxes and hedge costs to average between $1.90 and $2.00 for the third quarter of 2015. This number may change depending on fluctuations in market prices for jet fuel during the quarter.

Virgin America is scheduled to take delivery of five A320 aircraft during the second half of 2015, and expects to place four aircraft into operational service prior to year-end. The Company currently expects fourth quarter 2015 capacity to increase between 9.0 percent and 10.0 percent as compared to the fourth quarter of 2014. In addition, the company expects CASM excluding fuel and profit sharing to increase between 2.0 percent and 3.0 percent for the fourth quarter of 2015.

2016 Initial Outlook

The Company has completed its preliminary fleet and capacity plans for 2016. Virgin America currently expects to take delivery of an additional five A320 aircraft between January and June 2016. In addition, Virgin America does not expect to retire any existing aircraft from its fleet, ending 2016 with 63 aircraft in its operating fleet.

Further, the Company currently expects capacity, as measured by available seat miles, to increase between 13% and 15% for the full year 2016. The Company is also targeting for its CASM excluding fuel costs and profit sharing to decrease between 1% and 2% for the full year 2016 based on these fleet and capacity projections.

1 Please see “GAAP to Non-GAAP Reconciliations” for reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures used in this release and the reasons management uses these measures.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Virgin America will end 2016 with 63 Airbus A320 Family aircraft. Airbus A320-214 N844VA (msn 4851) taxies to the runway at Seattle-tacoma International Airport bound for the San Francisco hub.

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Virgin America 7.2015 Route Map

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Frontier announces new routes from Orlando and Las Vegas

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is adding new routes from the two biggest leisure markets in the United States, Orlando and Las Vegas.

Today the carrier announced two new routes from Orlando to both Indianapolis and Los Angeles.

From Las Vegas, the ultra low-fare carrier is adding four new routes to Houston (Bush Intercontinental), Miami, Milwaukee and San Francisco.

Additionally, the airline will start new service from Philadelphia to both Fort Myers and Montego Bay.

The new routes begin on October 25.

The company issued this statement on the new service:

Frontier (2nd) 2015 logo

Frontier Airlines will add new nonstop service in leisure markets across its network with the addition of new flights in eight cities throughout the United States and Caribbean. This new service begins October 25.

Four new cities from Las Vegas

Frontier will add four daily nonstop flights between Las Vegas and Miami, Milwaukee, Houston and San Francisco. These flights will operate daily on Frontier’s fleet of Airbus A320 family aircraft. The addition of the four new cities brings Frontier’s nonstop destinations from Las Vegas to 13. Currently, Frontier serves Atlanta; Austin Texas; Chicago O’Hare; Cleveland; Cincinnati; Denver; Orlando; St. Louis and Washington — Dulles from Las Vegas.

Four new markets in Florida and the Caribbean

Frontier also will add new service between Orlando and Indianapolis and Los Angeles as well as adding new service between Philadelphia and vacation destinations, Fort Myers and Montego Bay. From Orlando the number of nonstop Frontier destinations will increase to 12, more than doubling its level of service in the past year.

New Service Summary:

F9 1238 Leave LAS: 2:30 p.m. Arrive IAH: 7:30 p.m.
F9 1239 Leave IAH: 9 p.m. Arrive LAS: 10:25 p.m.
Aircraft: A319
Frequency: Daily

F9 1232 Leave LAS 11:20 p.m. Arrive MIA: 6:45 a.m. (+1 arrives next day)
F9 1233 Leave MIA 9 a.m. Arrive LAS: 11:20 a.m.
Aircraft A319
Frequency: Daily

F9 1226 Leave LAS: 1:30 p.m. Arrive: MKE 6:55 p.m.
F9 1227 Leave MKE: 6:40 p.m. Arrive: LAS 8:40 p.m.
Aircraft A319
Frequency: Daily

F9 1125 Leave LAS: 7:00 p.m. Arrive: SFO 8:35 p.m.
F9 1124 Leave SFO: 9:29 p.m. Arrive: LAS 10:59 p.m.
Aircraft A320
Frequency: Daily

F9 1197 Leave MCO: 2:45 p.m. Arrive IND: 5:05 p.m.
F9 1196 Leave IND: 3:45 p.m. Arrive MCO: 6:05 p.m.
Aircraft: A320
Frequency: Daily

F9 1181 Leave MCO: 4:55 p.m. Arrive LAX: 7:25 p.m.
F9 1180 Leave LAX 8:50p.m. Arrive MCO: 4:30 a.m. (+1 arrives next day)
Aircraft: A319
Frequency: Daily

F9 1095 Leave PHL: 5 p.m. Arrive RSW: 8 p.m.
F9 1096 Leave RSW: 8:45 p.m. Arrive PHL: 11:25 p.m.
Aircraft: A320
Frequency: Daily except Tuesday

F9 1095 Leave PHL: 5:30 p.m. Arrive RSW 8:30 p.m.
F9 1096 Leave RSW: 9:15 p.m. Arrive: PHL 11:55 p.m.
Aircraft: A320
Frequency: Tuesday

F9 107 Leave PHL: 7:30 a.m. Arrive MBJ: 11:25 a.m.
F9 108 Leave MBJ: 12:20 p.m. Arrive PHL: 4 p.m.
Aircraft: A320
Frequency: Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday


Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N227FR (msn 6184) arrives at Dulles International Airport near Washington.

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Lufthansa introduces its new fare concept for Europe

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) today issued its anticipated announcement on its on-going refinement of its travel options in Europe:

Lufthansa logo-2

Effective July 28, 2015, Lufthansa is introducing a new price concept for flights in Europe. The new Economy Class fare options “Light”, “Classic” and “Flex” shall apply from October 1, 2015, for domestic and European flights and will offer different services depending on the price. For example, within Economy Class, passengers can select services according to their individual wishes. The booked fare can be complemented with additional services by individually adding further options.

Jens Bischof, Member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said: “It is the wish of many customers to only pay for the services they actually make use of. With this new fare concept, we are doing just that. In the future, given this flexibility, every passenger will be able to individually create a tailor-made flight with the various service components that we are offering. The price options, Light, Classic and Flex, are more transparent and allow customers in Economy Class a selection of fare options within Europe.”

The new fare concept is being introduced during the course of the Lufthansa sales strategy realignment. The various fare options differentiate themselves in the areas of free luggage, seat reservations, as well as rebooking and cancellations options. The choice will now consist of a fully flexible Business Class fare and three new Economy Class fares.

In addition to the actual flight itself, all of the fare options include one piece of hand luggage, snacks and drinks on board, a reserved seat at check-in from 23 hours before take-off, as well as Award, Status and Select Miles. The fare options and services included are presented transparently. For bookings in Economy Class, all three fare options are always available. Thus, different option packages can be combined on an outward and return flight. Additional services, such as seats with more legroom or an upgrade to Business Class, can be booked separately at any time, even after ticket purchase.

The new Europe fares of Lufthansa at a glance (click to expand):

Lufthansa European Pricing Options

The new fares at a glance (click to expand):

Lufthansa new fares at a glance

Economy Light

The new Light fare will, from 1 October, be the most economical option for those traveling only with hand luggage and not in need of any ticket flexibility. Jens Bischof said: “To date, about a third of our passengers travelling within Europe only take hand luggage”. The Light fare can be booked from only 89 Euro for a return flight. No rebooking or refund is possible with this option. If desired, customers can additionally book a piece of luggage (from 15 Euro for the outbound and return flight respectively) or book a seat (from 10 Euro per flight) at any time between booking and start of the journey.

Economy Classic

The Classic fare includes the opportunity to check-in a piece of luggage of up to 23 kg. This option also offers a new, additional opportunity for many passengers to secure their desired seat, free-of-charge, at booking. Finally, the Classic fare is more flexible than the Light fare because it can be rebooked to another flight on the original connection for a fee. The Classic fare can be booked from 129 Euro for a return flight.

Economy Flex

The Flex fare is focused principally on passengers that require more flexibility in their travel planning. In addition to the free seat reservation, the Flex fare offers the opportunity to rebook the flight at no extra cost or change the itinerary. If the originally planned booking class is no longer available, it is possible that an extra payment is necessary. In this fare option, frequent fliers will get an additional 50 per cent of Premium Miles credited in the framework of a Miles & More promotion. The extra cost of the Flex fare as compared to the Classic fare is between 60 and 160 Euro, depending on route.

Business Class

Besides the three Economy fares, there continues to be a Business Class fare which includes all the usual services and conveniences of this travel class, such as access to the lounge, increased luggage allowance of 2 x 32 kg, seat reservation and an open seat next to it, and priority boarding. The novelty is the full flexibility in rebooking and cancellation. Thus, in the new price concept, all Business Class fares will be re-bookable without a fee and refundable free-of-charge. If the originally planned booking class is no longer available, an extra charge may be necessary under certain circumstances. The Business Class fare is the premium offer and especially suitable for business customers and discerning leisure travelers. The Business Class fare is available from only 399 Euro for a return flight.

Austrian (2015) logo

Lufthansa is introducing the new fare concept together with Austrian Airlines.

Swiss new logo

Swiss has already used the new concept since the end of June.

Brussels Airlines logo

Brussels Airlines introduced a fare concept with various options in 2014. The fare concept for long-haul flight tickets remains unchanged.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Lufthansa’s Airbus A320-214 D-AIZX (msn 5741) departs from Toulouse.

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Congo Airways to start operations with two Airbus A320s

Congo Airways (Kinshasa) is a new airline in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The new airline is planning to commence scheduled passenger operations next month with two Airbus A320s. The company plans to operate from Kinshasa to eight domestic destinations.

The first A320 has been painted at Dublin.

Congo Airways logo

Copyright Photo: Greenwing/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly operated by Alitalia as EI-DSM in the special “Calabria” promotional livery, the pictured A320-216 is being prepared in Dublin as 9Q-CLU (msn 3362) in this bright new look.

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Volaris arrives in New York

Volaris (Controladora Vuela Compania de Aviacion, S.A.B. de C.V.) (Mexico City) on July 15 opened a new nonstop route from Guadalajara to New York (JFK). The new route operates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The carrier now operates 140 routes to 62 destinations, of which 23 are international and 38 domestic.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 XA-VON (msn 3672) arrives in Las Vegas.

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VivaColombia is coming to Miami

VivaColombia (Medellin) is coming to Miami International Airport. The low-fare carrier is intending to start daily scheduled passenger flights from Bogota and Medellin, Colombia to Miami starting on December 2, 2015.

VivaColombia operates A320 aircraft and commenced operations on May 25, 2012.

Vivacolombia logo 2

Copyright Photo: Greenwing/AirlinersGallery.com.  Airbus A320-214 EI-EPX (msn 1454)  became HK-4905 on delivery.

Video: VivaColombia.

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European Commission approves with concerns IAG’s proposed acquisition of Aer Lingus

The European Commission (Brussels) has issued this statement concerning the proposed acquisition of Aer Lingus (Dublin) by the International Airlines Group (IAG) (London):

European Commission logo

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Irish airline Aer Lingus by International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG).

IAG is the holding company of British Airways, Iberia and Vueling. The clearance is conditional upon commitments offered by the parties to address the Commission’s concerns regarding the transaction as notified.

The Commission had concerns that the merged entity would have faced insufficient competition on several routes.

The Commission also found that the merged entity would have prevented Aer Lingus from continuing to provide traffic to the long-haul flights of competing airlines on several routes.

European Commissioner in charge of competition policy Margrethe Vestager said: “By obtaining significant concessions from the airlines the Commission has ensured that air passengers will continue to have a choice of airlines at competitive prices after IAG’s takeover of Aer Lingus.

The five million passengers travelling each year from Dublin and Belfast to London will be able to choose among several strong carriers.

And we are also protecting passengers travelling on connecting flights between Ireland and the rest of the world.”

The clearance decision is conditional upon the following commitments, which address the Commission’s concerns:

The release of five daily slot pairs at London-Gatwick airport to facilitate the entry of competing airlines on routes from London to both Dublin and Belfast ; and Aer Lingus continuing to carry connecting passengers to use the long-haul flights of competing airlines out of London- Heathrow, London-Gatwick, Manchester, Amsterdam, Shannon and Dublin .

The Commission’s investigation

The Commission’s investigation found that the transaction, as initially notified, would have led to high market shares on the Dublin-London, Belfast-London and Dublin-Chicago routes. The merged entity would have faced insufficient competitive constraints from the remaining players which could ultimately lead to higher prices.

The Commission also analysed whether there was a risk that IAG would prevent passengers flying on Aer Lingus’ short-haul flights, from Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Knock and Belfast, from

connecting with long-haul flights operated by competing airlines out of other European airports, including Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Dublin and Amsterdam.

IAG submitted commitments to release five daily slot pairs at London Gatwick which can be used on the specific routes of concern, namely Dublin-London and Belfast-London.

The availability of these slots, and other incentives such as the acquisition of grandfathering rights after a certain period of time, facilitate the entry of competing airlines.

Furthermore, IAG made a commitment to enter into agreements with competing airlines which operate long-haul flights out of London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Amsterdam, Shannon and Dublin so that Aer Lingus will continue to provide these airlines with connecting passengers.

Passengers will therefore continue to have a choice to use other airlines than IAG when connecting at these airports, for instance on Heathrow-New York, Gatwick-Las Vegas, Manchester-Orlando, Amsterdam-Singapore, Shannon-Chicago, and Dublin-Chicago.

These commitments adequately address all competition concerns identified by the Commission.

The Commission therefore concluded that the proposed transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or a substantial part of it. The transaction was notified to the Commission on 27 May, 2015.

Companies and products International Consolidated Airlines Group (“IAG” ) of the United Kingdom, is the holding company of British Airways, Iberia Líneas Aéreas de España S.A. and Vueling Airlines S.A.

Aer Lingus of Ireland is currently mainly owned by the Republic of Ireland and Ryanair, a competing carrier. Other significant shareholders include Etihad Airways.

Both IAG and Aer Lingus provide air transport for passengers, air transport for cargo, airport ground handling services and landside cargo handling services.

Merger control rules and procedures

The Commission has the duty to assess mergers and acquisitions involving companies with a turnover above certain thresholds (see Article 1 of the Merger Regulation) and to prevent concentrations that would significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.

The vast majority of mergers do not pose competition problems and are cleared after a routine review.

From the moment a transaction is notified, the Commission generally has a total of 25 working days to decide whether to grant approval (Phase I) or to start an in-depth investigation (Phase II).

The commitments offered by the Parties will be made available as of 16 July under the case number

The International Airlines Group (IAG) issued this statement:

IAG logo

International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) welcomes the decision by the European Commission to approve its Offer for Aer Lingus.

IAG has offered the following remedies to the EC as part of the regulatory process:

  • Five daily slot pairs will be made available to other airlines at London Gatwick for flights between the airport and Dublin or Belfast.
  • Specifically, two of the five daily frequencies must be operated between Gatwick and Dublin.
  • One daily frequency must be operated between Gatwick and Belfast.
  • The other two frequencies can be operated between Gatwick and either Dublin or Belfast.
  • Other airlines can apply for seats on Aer Lingus’ shorthaul network for their transfer passengers, on normal commercial terms.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. London’s Gatwick Airport was the main competitive concern for the EC. Aer Lingus’s Airbus A320-214 EI-DEE (msn 2250) arrives at LGW.

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