United Airlines (Chicago) has announced new plans to upgrade its Newark hub with new dining and retail experiences, including 6,000 Apple iPad tablets free of charge to use to “track their flight, order from chef-created menus, and purchase travel amenities for delivery directly to their seat in the terminal while browsing the internet”. Here is the full statement:
United Airlines and OTG Management LLC today announced plans to transform the dining and retail experience at the airline’s hub at Newark Liberty International Airport and create unparalleled services and amenities for United’s customers. The program will combine leading-edge technology, award-winning dining and renowned design.
The $120 million capital investment for the project will be provided by OTG, selected by United to oversee the transformation in Terminal C at Newark Liberty, including new chef-driven restaurants, expansive food halls, gourmet markets and world-class retail and duty-free shops.
Leading Edge Technology: Upon completion of the planned project, air travelers waiting for a flight will be able to use almost 6,000 iPad tablets free of charge to track their flight, order from chef-created menus, and purchase travel amenities for delivery directly to their seat in the terminal while browsing the internet. And customers will not have to search for an outlet, with over 10,000 outlets and USB interfaces accompanying the redesigned terminal seating.
Chef-Driven Dining with Unique Local Flavor: More than 55 new dining venues are anticipated to provide travelers with an array of culinary choices – including restaurant concepts created by more than 20 celebrated chefs – as well as markets, cafes and exceptional food and beverage service in nearly 60 gate areas. Menus at all price points will emphasize fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and will highlight regional and local dining experiences.
Trendsetting Design: Renowned architects and designers will transform the physical interior of the terminal into a world-class setting that combines comfort with beautiful, free flowing spaces.
Customers will begin seeing immediate improvements in November, when temporary restaurant locations pop up to offer a taste of what’s to come. The full experience is expected to be phased in over the next 18 months.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N475UA (msn 1495) displays the historic 1972 “A320 Friend Ship” retrojet livery.
Map of Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) terminal:
Air Seychelles (Mahe) has announced the launch of nonstop flights to Antananarivo, Madagascar, commencing on December 3, 2014.
The twice-weekly flights to the capital’s Ivato International Airport (TNR) will be operated using a two-class Airbus A320 aircraft with 16 Business Class and 120 Economy Class seats.
In other news, Air Seychelles has also announced the launch of twice-weekly flights to Dar es Salaam to commence on December 2, 2014, marking the next stage of growth in the airline’s regional strategy.
The Tanzanian capital becomes the third destination in Air Seychelles’ Indian Ocean and African network, after Mauritius and Johannesburg. The route will be operated using a two-class Airbus A320 aircraft.
Air Seychelles recently added a leased Airbus A320 from partner Etihad Airways.
Route Map: The route maps now shows the connecting routes of Etihad Airways growing list of “family airlines”.
Air France (Paris) has issued this warning of a possible strike by its pilots:
Even before the outcome of negotiations, Air France is now enabling all customers due to travel on an Air France flight scheduled between September 15-22, regardless of the type of ticket:
- To change their ticket and travel before September 15, 2014 or to postpone their trip until between September 23-30, 2014, at no extra charge, subject to availability.
- To receive a voucher valid for one year on Air France or KLM for travel after September 30, 2014 if you no longer wish to travel, or change your destination or departure airport.
The flight schedule will be adapted and customers will be informed the day before their trip.
Air France regrets this situation and will do everything possible to assist customers and minimize the possible impact of this strike action.
Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 F-HEPG (msn 5802) taxies at the Paris (CDG) hub with the special 80 Ans/years emblem.
Airbus (Toulouse) has today issued this announcement and photo:
However, the difficulties may become a thing of the past thanks to a new method currently being developed by Airbus – which employs direct inkjet printing to deliver a broad range of production and operational improvements.
The method was developed by engineers from Airbus’ A320 Family paint shop in Hamburg, Germany, and is able to reproduce any livery design – be it a photographic motif, modern art or other complex patterns – faster and more efficiently than traditional painting processes, and with finer detail as well.
The direct printer functions much like a traditional model, using an inkjet head with nozzles that spray three basic colours (cyan, magenta and yellow) and black. Utilising a seven-square-metre bench, the inkjet head prints a design line by line, from top to bottom. After the process is completed, the aircraft component is sealed with a clear coat.
According to technology manager Matthias Otto, the advantages of direct inkjet-printed liveries are numerous. “I can create colour gradients or photo-realistic motifs that could never be achieved with paint,” he explained, and added that this new method also is capable of printing components of any size or shape. In the past, heavier printed film was used to produce complex designs, however such film is susceptible to the effects of heat, cold and high pressure, and ultimately could tear or peel.
The business case for direct printing is convincing. Compared with painting, where the design has to be built up by layer-by-layer, there are far fewer working and drying steps – greatly reducing the lead time. There also is no overspray or solvent vapour when ink is used, providing better working conditions for Airbus employees, as well as a healthier environment.
At present, the inkjet method still is at the experimental stage. Technical Readiness Level 6 (TRL 6) was reached at the end of June, and the ink and associated processes will be qualified early in 2015. Nonetheless, the project already has become part of the A320 Final Assembly Line (FAL) benchmark initiative, with the intention to further stabilise scheduled lead times for the best-selling Airbus single-aisle jetliner family.
Copyright Photo: Airbus.
Finnair (Helsinki) has reached an agreement with its pilots, represented by the Finnish Air Line Pilots’ Association (SLL).
The company issued this statement:
Finnair and the Finnish Air Line Pilots’ Association (SLL) have reached a result in the negotiations related to Finnair’s savings program.
The agreement brings Finnair 17 million euros in permanent annual savings. Approximately 11 million euros will materialize gradually over the 2-year CLA period. Approximately 3 million euros will materialize in the coming few years through growth and the remaining 3 million euros in the future through changes to pensions and the employment terms of new pilots. In return, Finnair gives pilots protection for redundancies for the next two years. It has been additionally agreed that Finnair will study an incentive plan for pilots. The savings agreement is contingent on the realization of this incentive plan that will be formulated during autumn.
The savings agreed with SLL are mainly reached through changes to salary and working time. Finnair and SLL agreed in June on transferring to a new wage model. However, the savings solution was finally developed based on the current wage model.
In October 2012 Finnair began a 60 million euro cost savings program – additional to the 140 million euro cost savings program begun in August 2011 – mainly in personnel-related costs. The negotiations on cabin personnel’s 18 million euro savings proved unsuccessful and the company is now forced to proceed with increasing the use of outsourced cabin service. Finnair would have rather continued flying with its own crew.
Finnair has reached savings agreements with personnel groups belonging to IAU and with Finnair’s salaried and senior salaried employees and engineers (FYT and FIRY). In addition, Finnair has made cuts in its administration and support functions, and Finnair’s Board of Directors has also reduced the variable part of the top management’s total remuneration as well as other benefits.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 OH-LXD (msn 1588) arrives in Zurich.
Virgin Atlantic to operate the new Boeing 787-9 between London Heathrow and Newark, will it drop Little Red?
Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) is getting its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (G-VAHH, msn 37967) later this month. The airline will also 264-seat introduce its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the London (Heathrow)-Newark route starting on January 19, 2015 per Airline Route. This will be the third route for the new type. The 787-9 will enter revenue service on October 28 on the London (Heathrow)-Boston route as previously reported.
In other news, the airline is not commenting on media speculation that it may be considering dropping its Little Red (operated by Aer Lingus) operation due to poor loads. Little Red operates feeder flights from London (Heathrow) to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester.
Read the full story from The Telegraph: CLICK HERE
Image above: Virgin Atlantic.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Operated by Aer Lingus, Airbus A320-214 EI-EZV (msn 2001) of Little Red arrives at the London (Heathrow) hub.
Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for route authority to start scheduled passenger service between Houston (Bush Intercontinental) and Cancun, Toluca and San Jose del Cabo. If approved, which is expected, Spirit will compete against United Airlines and AeroMexico.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N611NK (msn 4996) arrives at Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA).
JetBlue Airways (New York) and Cape Air (Hyannis) recently announced a new partnership with Bridgewater State University (BSU). BSU is the newest addition to JetBlue’s University Gateway Program, a pilot talent pipeline which partners with top university aviation programs and regional airlines such as Cape Air. BSU is the airline’s first school alliance in its Boston focus city.
JetBlue’s University Gateway Program is a career-planning and mentoring initiative designed to identify and recruit talented professionals into the pilot ranks. The program includes rigorous academic training and valuable regional airline experience. The University Gateway program creates a clearly defined career path for aspiring pilots, beginning early in an aviator’s college career and culminating with the possibility of a final interview at JetBlue.
In late August, Captain Rich Carter, JetBlue’s director system chief pilot, Dr. Dana Mohler-Faria, president of Bridgewater State University and Linda Markham, president of Cape Air officially signed a memorandum of understanding. JetBlue crewmembers as well as school administrators were on hand at Boston’s Logan International Airport to celebrate the announcement. BSU is the seventh university partner for JetBlue’s University Gateway Program. Other academic alliances include the University of North Dakota, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona and Prescott), Auburn University, Jacksonville University and Inter-American University of Puerto Rico.
The University Gateway Program is open to students at participating schools with high academic standing (GPA of 3.0 or above) and recommendations from their professors. It requires a successful series of interviews with JetBlue and a regional airline partner, as well as continued enrollment in an Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) program. During the Gateway Program, participants intern at Cape Air or other regional airline partners, and then serve as an instructor at their respective flight school. Following that process, candidates fly with Cape Air for at least two years and then receive an interview at JetBlue.
BSU is an AABI accredited university which offers a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Science with concentrations in aviation management or flight training. The university combines a liberal arts education with flight experience and prepares students to fly in varying weather conditions and over mountainous terrain and open waters as well as how to handle operations in both controlled and uncontrolled environments.
Education is a core pillar of JetBlue’s overall strategy and responsibility platform. The airline and its newly launched JetBlue Foundation encourage students to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), including aviation careers from piloting an aircraft to maintaining its engines. JetBlue has a unique education pathway including relationships with elementary school students and mentoring high school and college students to the University Gateway Program, which may lead to positions as Pilot Trainees with the carrier.
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. A dramatic “up close” runway action view of JetBlue’s special 10th Anniversary color scheme on Airbus A320-232 N569JB (msn 2075) at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa) (Frankfurt) is facing another strike by its pilots today at the Frankfurt hub, represented by the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union. The union is striking for five hours today starting at 2 pm (1400) local time.
The Lufthansa Group issued this statement today:
Following the announcement by the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union of a strike in Frankfurt today (September 5), Lufthansa was able to inform most of the affected passengers yesterday about the effects. Yesterday evening at 9.00 p.m., the special flight plan for this afternoon was published online at http://www.LH.com and 14,000 booked passengers were informed at the same time by text message. These passengers had previously registered their contact details so that Lufthansa could notify them of flight cancellations, rebookings and alternative travel options.
Today the staff at the station in Frankfurt are focusing on providing the best possible assistance for passengers. As a precaution, 2,200 hotel rooms have been reserved in the Rhine-Main area, and Lufthansa and Fraport have set up some 500 field beds for passengers in transit who are not allowed to enter Germany for visa reasons. From 2.00 p.m. onwards, the staff at the Frankfurt station will be providing passengers affected by the strike with refreshments, snacks and the opportunity to use telecommunications. Mobile information stands will also be set up and capacities increased at the ticket counters.
Kay Kratky, member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board and responsible for operations and the Frankfurt hub, said: “We apologize for the inconveniences caused for our passengers by the strike of the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union. Because the strike was only announced after 5.00 p.m. yesterday, there was very little lead time. We have been working flat out since yesterday evening to give our customers all the available information and, whenever possible, to rebook them on other airlines or other means of transport. We have also increased capacities at our call centres as quickly as possible. At Frankfurt Airport we are mobilising all our capacities today in order to minimise the effects of the strike on our passengers. This is very difficult on a Friday afternoon at the end of the school holidays in three German states, as this is one of the busiest travel days of the year. But we will nonetheless do all we can to achieve this target for our passengers.”
Prior to the strike, Lufthansa had already presented an offer to the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union at the start of April regarding future early retirement from flight service and had therefore created a basis for further negotiations. This offer would provide all cockpit members with the option of retiring early from flight operations, including in the future.
In concrete terms, Lufthansa’s offer on transitional benefits provides for the following:
• For employees who have been working at Lufthansa since before January 1, 2014, Lufthansa will bear the costs of early retirement, including in the future. This means that employer-financed transitional benefits will be maintained for several decades.
• For employees who start or have started work at Lufthansa after January 1, 2014, it will still be possible to retire early from flight service. However, the costs of this will no longer be borne by Lufthansa, but rather by the employees. In the event of incapacity for flight service, a purely employer-financed insurance policy will still be included for all employees.
• The individual age for retiring from flight service will be raised, depending on the length of service, from 55 for more senior up to 60 for younger employees. The longer employees have already been in the company, the less affected they will be by the increase in the earliest possible individual retirement age. Employees who have been with the company for a very long time are not affected at all by the changes.
• Today, on average, cockpit crew leave Lufthansa German Airlines at the age of 59. In future, the average age for employer-financed retirement from flight service at Lufthansa German Airlines is intended to go up gradually over several years to 61. The average age of 61 reflects an overall trend in society towards a longer working life.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 D-AIZH (msn 4363) arrives at the Frankfurt hub.
Niki (flyniki.com) (Vienna) will add two new routes from Vienna next year. A weekly Vienna-Paphos will be added from February 24, 2015.
Additionally twice weekly Vienna-Catania, Sicily service will be operated from March 30, 2015 per Airline Route with Airbus A320s.
Finally in the winter 2014-2015 Niki will expand its reach in Egypt with flights to Sharm el Sheikh, Luxor and Hurghada, effective November 3, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Niki’s Airbus A320-214 OR-LEU (msn 2902) taxies at Palma de Mallorica in the basic Airberlin livery reflecting its part in the Airberlin Group.
Niki Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Condor Flugdienst (Frankfurt) will add new twice-weekly summer seasonal flights to Providence, Rhode Island (June 18-September 3, 2015) and Portland, Oregon (June 19-September 4, 2015) from Frankfurt with Boeing 767-300 ERs.
Condor will also offer seasonal service to Windhoek (WDH) in 2015, with flights operating from Frankfurt (FRA) on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Additionally the company is offering weekly Airbus A320 (above) flights from Munich to Larnaca from September 3 through November 26, 2014 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 D-AICN (msn 1968) approaches the runway at Brussels in the old 2004 livery with the new “Sunny Heart” tail logo.
Condor Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Tigerair Taiwan (Taipei-Taoyuan) will launch scheduled passengers operations from Taipei (Taoyuan) to Singapore on September 26 with Airbus A320s according to Sydney Morning Herald. The new low-fare airline is a joint venture between China Airlines (Taipei) (90%) and Tigerair (Singapore) (10%). The new airline hopes to grow the fleet to 12 aircraft in the next three years.
Read the full story: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photos: Tigerair Taiwan. The first Airbus A320 is the pictured A320-232 B-50001 (msn 6187) delivered on August 28.
Air Serbia (formerly Jat Airways) (Belgrade) reported its first half financial results showing growth in revenue, passengers and cargo following the investment by Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi), new Airbus aircraft and a brand overhaul. The airline is now confident it will be profitable by the end of 2014. Air Serbia has issued this first half financial statement:
Air Serbia, the national airline of the Republic of Serbia, has reported strong improvement in total revenue for the first half of 2014, with revenues increasing by 82 per cent to EUR102 million, compared to EUR 56 million for the same period in 2013.
A total of 944,000 passengers travelled with the airline between January and June this year, almost 70 per cent more than the same period last year.
Air Serbia Cargo also performed significantly better in H1 2014, carrying 907 tonnes of freight, a 65 per cent increase on H1 2013. Cargo revenue grew by 32 per cent, an important and burgeoning service for Air Serbia.
Air Serbia’s passenger carrying capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometers (ASKs), was 1,588 million by the end of first half of 2014, an increase of 85 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Since Air Serbia’s launch on 26 October 2013, the airline has inducted 9 Airbus aircraft, with two Airbus A320 aircraft delivered in the second quarter of 2014. This has resulted in the average age of the jet fleet being reduced from 25 years to 10 years.
Dane Kondić, Chief Executive Officer of Air Serbia, said: “The results are very pleasing and demonstrate how effectively the Air Serbia team is working to deliver on the strategy of sustainable growth. We are on track to deliver a profitable, strong airline by the end of the current financial year, in line with the commitment of our shareholders, the Government of Serbia and Etihad Airways.We expect to maintain the momentum for the second half of 2014, as we continue to reconnect the Balkan region and new markets, through a combination of direct flights, as well as expanding our codeshare partnerships. There is no doubt that we are bringing choice, convenience and comfort to travellers”, Mr Kondić said.
The fast-paced growth of Air Serbia’s regional route network to 38 destinations by the end of June 2014, one new and four expanded codeshare partnerships and a more modern and reliable fleet, are the key factors driving growth in passenger numbers and cargo volumes.
In the first half of the year, Air Serbia launched 11 new routes. In addition, codeshare agreements with Etihad Airways and airberlin have been expanded to include the holiday destinations of Colombo in Sri Lanka and Palma de Mallorca in Spain. The codeshare agreement with Romanian national airline Tarom was also expanded to include Chisinau, Moldova.
Furthermore, the Air Serbia’s codeshare agreement with Etihad Regional, signed on July 1, 2014, has now introduced the attractive Swiss destinations of Geneva and Lugano to travellers.
The growth of Air Serbia is also creating a significant number of new jobs for Serbian nationals. In the first half of 2014, the airline grew its workforce by 300 new professionals. Investing in the future, Air Serbia is planning to relaunch its cadet pilot scheme.
Elsewhere, 10 young graduates are currently attending a graduate management program in Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways and will, upon successful completion, join operating divisions across Air Serbia.
The technical department of Air Serbia has employed 44 engineers and technicians to establish the line maintenance facility at Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla International Airport.
Mr Kondić said Air Serbia needed more good people to join the team. “We have a number of vacancies and I encourage Serbian nationals to visit our website. We are a Serbian company that can offer rewarding career opportunities for the right people.”
Mr Kondić said that while the operational and network improvements of Air Serbia over the past six months were very important, he was proud that Air Serbia was able to make a significant contribution to Serbia’s humanitarian effort during the recent floods which devastated the country.
During the floods in May, Air Serbia transported a total of 154 tons of humanitarian aid (with a service value of approximately EUR 170,000), in the belly-hold capacity of its aircraft to Belgrade and also to Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 YU-APH (msn 2645) arrives in Zurich.
Air One (Milan-Malpensa) will disappear as an airline and a brand on October 1. Parent Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) has decided to streamline its operations under one name and will retire the Air One brand on this date.
Air One commenced operations on November 23, 1995. On January 13, 2009, Air One officially became part of Alitalia Group with the intent to merge the two airlines. Air One in the meantime was rebranded as Air One “Smart Carrier”, Alitalia’s lower-cost subsidiary, operating a fleet of nine Airbus A320-200s to 35 destinations in 12 countries.
All Air One routes from Catania, Palermo and Venice will cease to operate on September 30, 2014 while all remaining services from Milan (Malpensa), Verona and Pisa will be dropped on October 30, 2014.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-216 EI-DSW (msn 3609) taxies at Amsterdam.
Current routes from Venice:
Aegean Airlines (Athens) has signed a firm contract with Airbus for two additional A320 (A320ceo) aircraft, adding to a previous order for five A320s aircraft placed in September 2007.
All aircraft will be equipped with Airbus “Sharklet” fuel saving wing tip devices and will be powered by IAE V2500 engines. The aircraft will also be the first A320s in Aegean’s fleet to feature the enhanced take-off weight capability of up to 78 tons, thus enabling the carrier to expand its route network with even longer range operations.
Aegean Airlines operates an all-Airbus single-aisle fleet of 36 Airbus A320 family aircraft including 17 directly purchased aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 SX-DGI (msn 3162) arrives in Munich with the special “Visit Greece” web address.
JetBlue Airways‘ (New York) current CEO, Dave Barger, who succeeded founder David Neeleman, is facing a possible firing by the company’s board of directors. According to this article by Bloomberg Businessweek, Dave came out firing against the Wall Street analysts who have been calling for his ouster with this statement in an interview;
“You want to compare my track record to bankruptcies and layoffs?” asked Barger, referring to the Chapter 11 restructurings of Delta (DAL), United (UAL), and American (AAL) and the subsequent mergers that radically reshaped all three. “Go ahead. I’ll take that comparison.”
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Profile on David Barger (from JetBlue Airways):
David Barger is our Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors. He joined our board in September 2001 and served as our President from August 1998-September 2007. Between 1998 and 2007, Mr. Barger also served as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. From 1992 to 1998, Mr. Barger served in various management positions with Continental Airlines, including Vice President, Newark hub. He held various director level positions at Continental Airlines from 1988 to 1995. From 1982 to 1988, Mr. Barger served in various positions with New York Air, including Director of Stations. Mr. Barger attended the University of Michigan.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N571JB (msn 2125) in the Blueberries motif lands at the focus city of Long Beach.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Dave Barger.
Video: Dave Barger and Airlines of America calling for a national policy for airlines.
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) has announced it will again expand its flights from Chicago O’Hare to Phoenix, Arizona and Salt Lake City, Utah as well as between Memphis, Tennessee and Dallas/Ft.Worth, Texas effective October 26.
Frontier Airlines will now 12 cities from Chicago O’Hare and three destinations from Memphis International Airport.
Following is the schedule for Frontier’s new nonstop service (all effective October 26):
Chicago-O’Hare to Phoenix is daily with Airbus A320s
Chicago-O’Hare to Salt Lake is daily with A320s
Dallas/Ft. Worth to Memphis is operated except Saturdays with Airbus A319s
Additionally Frontier Airlines is again expanding its service to and from Cleveland with more flights to recently launched including Las Vegas, Nevada, Phoenix, Arizona, Orlando, Florida and Fort Myers, Florida beginning on October 26.
Beginning October 26, service from Cleveland will increase as follows:
Las Vegas – increase from flights twice weekly to daily service
Phoenix – increase from twice weekly to four flights a week
Orlando – increase from daily flights to twelve times per a week
Fort Myers – increase from four flights per week to six times per week, and in December increase to daily service
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N204FR (msn 2325) with Freedom, the Bald Eagle, on the tail taxies at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) on October 26 will resume service to Tbilisi, Georgia from Moscow (Sheremetyevo). The resumed route will be operated on a daily basis with Airbus A320 aircraft per Airline Route.
On the financial side, Aeroflot has reported on its first half results: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 VP-BWH (msn 2151) approaches the runway at London (Heathrow).
Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) will drop the Zurich-Kiev route on October 1. It currently operates five flights a week with Airbus A320 family aircraft.
The airline issued this short statement:
Swiss will be withdrawing its present Zurich-Kiev service with effect from October 1. The service is being terminated for economic reasons, as business on the route has failed to develop in line with expectations. The service was introduced in the 2013/14 winter schedules.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Up-close action. Airbus A320-214 HB-JLT (msn 5518) with Sharklets touches down on the runway at the Zurich hub.
VivaAerobus (Monterrey) has announced it will add two new routes to Houston (Bush Intercontinental) from Cancun (starting on December 3) and Guadalajara (starting on November 20) per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Paul Doyle/AirlinersGallery.com. Ex-Livingston Airbus A320-232 EI-ERH (msn 2157) arrives in Dublin before the delivery to the Mexican carrier.
United Airlines (Chicago) will end the Newark-Edmonton route on October 25. The Airbus A320 nonstop route was inaugurated on May 13, 2013.
The route was not meeting the airline’s expectations.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N423UA (msn 504) arrives in Las Vegas.
Airberlin returns to the black, posts a 2Q net profit of $11.4 million, will work closer with Alitalia
Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin) reported a net profit of €8.6 million ($11.4 million) for the second quarter, reversing a net loss of €38 million ($50.4 million) for the same quarter a year ago.
The company issued this full report:
In a difficult market environment, Airberlin achieved a slightly improved operating result (EBIT) in the second quarter of the year with turnover up by 2,9% to 1,146.4 million euros. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, Airberlin was able to improve EBIT (Earnings before Interest and Tax) to -6.9 million euros from -8.1 million euros in the previous year. Taking into account other operating income of 4.8 million euros (previous year 39.2 million euros) the annual comparison on operating level shows an improvement of more than 35 million euros. Net profit was with 8.6 million euros, an increase of 46.6 million euros on the previous year (-38.0 million euros).
In particular, Airberlin was able to increase the yield by 3.0% to 120.52 euros (previous year 116.97 euros). Offering increased by 2.9% flights and 3.5% available seat kilometers (ASK). In line with market conditions, load factor was with 82.4%, 1.3% percentage points below that of the same quarter the previous year. However, higher yield revenue per available seat kilometer (RASK) was nearly stable with 7.16 cents (previous year 7.20 cents).
The cost reduction initiatives launched under Turbine last year are on track and are also showing effects in the second quarter. Year on year, airberlin managed to lower the costs per available seat kilometre excluding fuel (CASK) by 2.8% to 5.50 cents (previous year 5.66 cents). Including fuel, CASK fell by 3.7% to 7.24 cents (previous year 7.51 cents). The cost reduction was achieved despite a rise of 8.3% in expenditure for aviation tax, as well as an increase in personnel cost of 13.9% driven by wage increases and one-off costs.
A high level of liquidity
Following a successful recapitalization program, Airberlin has liquid assets in the amount of 600 million euros cash on hand and nearly 300 million undrawn cash facilities available. Compared to year-end 2013, available cash increased by 378 million euros. Following the injection of the subordinated perpetual convertible bonds equity, increased by nearly 130 million euros compared to the end of the first quarter 2014 and stood at -270 million euros at the end of the second quarter. As a reporting date under IFRS, the equity capital has no effect on the financial operation of the company.
Airberlin’s partnerships with Etihad Airways and its network partners and oneworld® have developed very well in the second quarter. The number of passengers on the shared route network with Etihad Airways continued to grow at 7% in the first half year, with approximately 270,000 guests in absolute numbers. Additional routes from Stuttgart, Berlin and Vienna will contribute to future growth. Also the number of passengers on codeshares within the oneworld alliance rose by 7% in the first half year.
First elements of restructuring program announced
When presenting the results for Q2 2014, Airberlin’s CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said: “We were able to improve the net result and our operating result is looking better than it did a year ago, but this is not sufficient. We are determined to restructure Airberlin to ensure the airline moves back to a sustainable profitability within three years. Over the last few months we have been intensively working on the restructuring program. After diligently weighing and validating all of our options in the past months, we decided that airberlin will continue to serve the three core segments, namely Europe, touristic and long haul. We substantially change the way we do business and the way we serve our market. We are able to share some first elements today.”
First elements of the program include:
Airberlin will focus on the largest travel markets in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) as well as Palma de Mallorca and connect these high volume routes with high frequencies in point-to-point traffic. The new network design will lead to a more stable operation throughout the year, reducing the effects of traditional high seasonality. The more focussed network design could equate to a capacity reduction in the region of 10% and will lead to a significantly more efficient operation.
Closer cooperation: closer cooperation with Etihad Airways and its network partners: Airberlin and Etihad Airways are in a process of exploiting synergy potentials in all areas in a win-win-situation for both airlines and other network partners. As a next important step Airberlin is in a process of putting together a framework for a close bilateral cooperation with Alitalia, subject to regulatory approvals.
Narrow body fleet harmonization: In order to achieve a more efficient operation airberlin will strive for narrow body jet fleet harmonization in its entire network.
Streamlining operating platforms: Airberlin is in a process of streamlining and restructuring the operational platforms it uses (AOCs). In line with network adjustments, it intends to reduce its fleet by approximately 10 aircraft. Combined with the new network approach this will enable us to eliminate underperforming elements of our business.
Close down of crew stations: Airberlin has decided and agreed after negotiations to close down five of its smaller crew bases, which will result in higher efficiency and productivity of crew resources. This measure affects the work location of pilots. This does not mean that these airports are not served by Airberlin anymore.
Enhanced commercial capabilities: Airberlin will drive commercial effectiveness with state-of-the-art commercial capabilities by optimizing our overall market approach. This includes a dedicated distribution approach in the segments we serve including our tour operator business.
Copyright Photo: Bjoern Schmitt/AirlinersGallery.com. Airberlin and the official marketing organization for the United States of America, Brand USA, are strengthening their collaboration and jointly unveiled this Airbus A320-214 registered as D-ABNB (man 5246) with this special USA livery at Dusseldorf Airport.
For Airberlin, the USA is a strategically important core market. Airberlin flies nonstop from Germany to five destinations in the USA and this summer has also increased the frequency of five different routes. There is now a daily flight from Berlin (Tegel) to Chicago (O’Hare) and the connection between the German capital and New York (JFK) has been topped up by three flights to make ten weekly connections. From Dusseldorf, Airberlin also offers ten flights a week to the Big Apple, as it did last summer. This summer there are also flights four times a week from Berlin and daily from Dusseldorf to Miami, as well as several times a week from the North Rhine Westphalian capital to Fort Myers and Los Angeles. Recently there were celebrations to mark 20 years of the connection (previously by LTU) between Dusseldorf and Fort Myers: Airberlin is the only airline to serve this destination nonstop from Europe. There are feeder flights to Berlin and Dusseldorf from numerous German and European cities. In the USA, Airberlin also offers its flight guests around 60 additional destinations through the codeshare agreement with oneworld® partner American Airlines.
Air Canada (Montreal) has launched an enhanced Preferred Seats program that offers customers the choice of more seats with additional legroom aboard its North American flights while also making it easier to book a Preferred Seat through multiple channels, including the web, airport kiosks and mobile devices. Details on Preferred Seats are available at http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/traveller/seatselection/preferredseats.html.
Preferred Seats typically provide 35 inches (88.9 cm) of legroom compared to standard Economy seats that offer between 31 and 33 inches (78.74 cm – 83.82 cm). Given their popularity since the option to purchase them was first introduced in 2009, Air Canada recently completed a reconfiguration of its narrow-body aircraft to add more Preferred Seats fleetwide in its Economy Cabin. For example, on its 97-seat Embraer 190 aircraft it has increased the number of Preferred Seats to 24 from eight, while on its 146-seat Airbus A320 aircraft the number has been increased to 36 from 16. Seat charts showing Preferred Seat locations on Air Canada aircraft are available at http://www.aircanada.com/en/about/fleet/index.html. Preferred Seats are also available on Air Canada mainline wide-body aircraft and Embraer 175 aircraft operated by SkyRegional for Air Canada Express.
Customers can further personalize their travel by selecting a Preferred Seat for individual legs of their journey or entire trip through a simplified process at the time of booking or at any time prior to boarding on http://www.aircanada.com. Air Canada is also expanding its kiosk and mobile functions for booking Preferred Seats up until time of boarding that will be available starting at the end of August. The cost for Preferred Seats starts at $20 per flight segment for a Tango fare and varies with the length of each flight leg and a customer’s Altitude frequent flier status.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-211 C-FKOJ (msn 330) arrives in Anchorage.
Virgin America (San Francisco) has announces that it will expand its schedule out of Dallas Love Field (DAL) to include four daily nonstop round trips to Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA), San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) by adding one new daily nonstop in each of these markets as of April 29, 2015. This expansion is in addition to the four daily nonstop round trip flights to New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) that will begin on October 28, 2014 and the three daily nonstop roundtrip flights to Washington D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles that begin on October 13, 2014. The new flights will take Virgin America to sixteen departures per day from Love Field. The airline will be the only carrier at Love Field to offer three classes of service (including a First Class cabin and a Main Cabin Select premium economy service) as well as WiFi, in-seat power outlets, confirmed seating and touch-screen seatback entertainment to every guest.
The airline also announced that it will extend its popular second daily roundtrip flight between San Francisco and Austin Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) that it started in July 2014 as part of the airline’s core schedule.
Beginning April 29, 2015, Virgin America’s flight schedule from Dallas Love Field is as follows (frequencies announced today indicated in bold):
Virgin America’s current network of destinations includes Austin, Boston, Cancun, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth (ends October 13, 2014), Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Los Cabos, Newark, New York (JFK), Orlando, Palm Springs (seasonal), Philadelphia (suspends October 6, 2014), Portland, Puerto Vallarta, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C. (IAD and DCA). Later this fall, the carrier will launch service from Dallas Love Field (October 13, 2014) and New York’s LaGuardia Airport (October 28, 2014).
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N634VA (msn 3359) arrives at New York (JFK).
Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) will take delivery of some of its Airbus A320 “Fit Fleet (TM)” planes sooner than originally planned and has moved up the start date for daily flights in five routes.
The new Airbus A320 planes will arrive this fall and will be added to Spirit’s current fleet of 58 Airbus aircraft.
Here’s the summary of the changes:
Route New Start Date Original Start Date Frequency
Atlanta – Chicago/O’Hare will now start October 24, 2014 instead of November 2, 2014 operates Daily
Atlanta – Detroit October 24, 2014 November 2, 2014 Daily
Chicago – New Orleans October 30, 2014 November 6, 2014 Daily
Detroit – New Orleans October 30, 2014 November 6, 2014 Daily
Boston – West Palm Beach* November 14, 2014 November 21, 2014 Daily
* = seasonal service
In addition to these new routes, Spirit recently added/will add service
on the following new routes between August and December this year:
Route Service Start Date Frequency
Ft. Lauderdale – New Orleans August 1, 2014 Daily
Houston/Bush – New Orleans August 1, 2014 Daily
Atlanta – Houston/Bush August 1, 2014 Daily
Kansas City – Chicago/O’Hare August 7, 2014 Daily
Kansas City – Dallas/Ft. Worth August 7, 2014 Daily
Kansas City – Detroit August 7, 2014 Daily
Kansas City – Las Vegas August 7, 2014 Daily
Kansas City – Houston/Bush August 8, 2014 Daily
Ft. Lauderdale – Houston/Bush September 3, 2014 Daily
Houston/Bush – San Diego September 3, 2014 Daily
Latrobe/Pittsburgh – Ft. Myers December 18, 2014 Tue/Thu/Sun
Latrobe/Pittsburgh – Tampa December 19, 2014 Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat
Copyright Photo: Dave Campbell/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N601NK (msn 4206) taxies to runway 09L at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).
Virgin America (San Francisco) today reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2014 with operating income of $47.1 million and net income of $37.0 million. The airline posted an operating margin of 11.8 percent – a 4.4 point improvement over the second quarter of 2013, driven largely by a 7.8 percent growth in revenue per available seat mile (RASM) over the prior year period.
Second Quarter 2014 Financial Highlights
Operating Revenue: Total operating revenue of $398.8 million, an increase of 6.1 percent over the second quarter of 2013.
Revenue per Available Seat Mile (RASM): RASM increased 7.8 percent compared to the second quarter of 2013, to 12.46 cents. Year-over-year RASM growth was driven by a 5.0 percent increase in yield and a 1.2 point increase in load factor.
Cost per Available Seat Mile (CASM): Total CASM increased 2.7 percent compared to the second quarter of 2013, to 10.99 cents. CASM excluding fuel costs for the quarter increased 3.9 percent year-over-year, to 6.87 cents, primarily due to higher labor and airport costs.
Operating Income: Second quarter of 2014 operating income increased by 69.1 percent over the second quarter of 2013 to $47.1 million with an operating margin improvement of 4.4 points year-over-year.
Net Income: Net income for the quarter increased fourfold year-over-year, from $8.8 million to $37.0 million. Virgin America’s year-to-date net income improved by $52.2 million from a net loss of $37.5 million for the six months ended June 30, 2013 to net income of $14.6 million for the six months ended June 30, 2014, an improvement of 7.5 margin points.
Capacity: Available seat miles (ASMs) for the second quarter of 2014 decreased 1.6 percent year-over-year. The airline ended the quarter with 53 Airbus A320-family aircraft.
Liquidity: Unrestricted cash was $180.0 million as of June 30, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Virgin America now has 53 Airbus A319s and A320s. Airbus A320-214 N840VA (msn 4616) completes its final approach to the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Gulf Air (Bahrain) has announced the launch of nonstop services to Moscow from October 28, 2014. The airline will operate four flights per week to Domodedovo International Airport – 42 kilometers (26 miles) south-southeast from the center of Moscow and the city’s largest airport in terms of passenger and cargo traffic.
This route announcement follows Gulf Air’s recent commencement of services to a number of destinations including Sialkot in Pakistan, Tehran in Iran and the Greek capital, Athens, this year.
Gulf Air flights to Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport will be operated by Airbus A320 aircraft in a two-class configuration of 14 Falcon Gold seats and 96 seats in Economy.
Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 A9C-AF (msn 4158) arrives in Dubai.
Gulf Air Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Wizz Air (Budapest) has announced further expansion in Riga. The airline will deploy a second Airbus A320 aircraft at Riga Airport from April 22, 2015 adding 3 new services: Hamburg Lübeck, Stavanger and Liverpool will be operated twice weekly, each. The airline has also increased frequencies on some of its most popular routes in the summer 2015 season. The London Luton service will be operated 11 times per week, while the service to Doncaster Sheffield will increase to 3 weekly flights also from April 22, 2015.
With these 3 new services Wizz Air is now offering a total of 11 routes to 6 countries from Riga.
Additionally Wizz Air has announced further expansion of its low fare route network in Lithuania. From April 22, 2015 the airline will start operating flights from Vilnius to Frankfurt (Hahn) three times a week, Belfast and Malmo twice a week, each. Frequencies on existing services will also increase in the summer 2015 season. Routes from Vilnius to Dortmund and Stavanger will be operated 4 times per week, while services to Doncaster Sheffield, Bergen and Sandefjord will increase to 3 weekly flights from April 22, 2015.
With the latest addition to the network, Wizz Air now offers 19 routes to 12 countries from Vilnius, bringing the total seat capacity in 2015 to over 1 million seats.
Finally, Wizz Air has announced further expansion in Warsaw Chopin. From January 17, 2015 the airline will launch two new winter services to ski destinations, connecting Warsaw with Verona and Turin with one flight per week. The airline will also deploy a fifth Airbus A320 aircraft adding 6 new services from March 29, 2015. Four weekly flights will operate from Warsaw to Dortmund, two weekly flights to Larnaca and Lisbon and weekly services to Alicante, Catania and Malta. The airline has also increased frequencies on some of its most popular routes from Warsaw in the summer 2015 season. London Luton, Brussels Charleroi, Milan Bergamo, Budapest, Paris Beauvais, Eindhoven, Glasgow and Liverpool will be operated with more weekly flights than before starting on March 29, 2015.
With these 8 new services Wizz Air is now offering a total of 30 routes to 16 countries from Warsaw Chopin Airport. This announcement follows earlier growth in the Polish regions of Gdansk, Katowice, Poznan, Szczecin and Warsaw Chopin where Wizz Air has increased services in a bid to bring more of its low fare services to all Polish consumers.
Lisbon, the latest, 100th addition to Wizz Air’s destination map is the capital of Portugal and one of the oldest cities in the world, older than London, Paris and Rome.
In August 2014 Wizz Air celebrates the 10th anniversary of operations from the Polish capital. In the past 10 years a total of 9 million passengers chose the airline’s low fares and great services in Warsaw. With the addition of the fifth Airbus A320 aircraft, Wizz Air’s investment rises to above $400 million (US) and the base grows to close to 200 employees.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-233 HA-LPF (msn 1834) lands in Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg.
Wizz Air Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Spirit Airlines‘ (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), announced a tentative agreement with management on a new contract. According to the union, the agreement “includes immediate economic improvements, as well as protection of industry-leading healthcare and key quality of life provisions. The agreement, reached with the assistance of the National Mediation Board (NMB), would cover the nearly 1,400 flight attendants and more as the airline continues to grow.”
Terms of the agreement were unanimously approved by AFA’s Spirit Airlines leadership, will now be sent to the membership for ratification. The leadership unanimously recommends a vote in favor of the agreement. Voting instructions will be mailed on September 10 and the results of electronic balloting will be announced immediately following the vote close on October 1 at Noon Eastern Time. Full details of the tentative agreement will not be made public until the Spirit AFA membership has had an opportunity to review the terms.
According to the union, “This deal follows the overwhelming rejection of an earlier management offer by the union’s membership. The union re-tooled its proposals based on the members’ feedback following that earlier vote, incorporated changes to reflect that membership input and pressed management for substantial economic improvements. AFA credited the NMB’s Senior Mediator Pat Sims and Mediator Mike Tosi with guiding the negotiations to a successful conclusion.”
Spirit Airlines issued this statement:
Spirit Airlines and its flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), announced that they reached a tentative agreement for a five-year contract. The tentative agreement, which is subject to ratification by the flight attendant membership, planned for fourth quarter 2014, was unanimously supported by the union’s leadership. The agreement was reached with the assistance of the National Mediation Board.
“We’re very pleased to have agreed on a tentative agreement that recognizes the contributions of our flight attendants, who play a key role in providing safe, reliable, friendly service to our customers,” said John Bendoraitis, Spirit’s Chief Operating Officer. “I want to thank the National Mediation Board, AFA leadership and the negotiating committees for helping us reach a mutually favorable agreement. We look forward to continuing our close working relationship with our AFA partners and Spirit flight attendants.”
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N611NK (msn 4996) lands at Baltimore/Washington (BWI).
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) today announced it will expand its network with 10 new routes to warm and sunny destinations from Trenton, Washington, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Atlanta and Denver.
Following is the schedule for Frontier’s new nonstop service:
Denver-West Palm Beach (starts October 26) (4 days a week) A319
Washington (Dulles) – West Palm Beach (starts November 21) (4 days a week) A320
Washington (Dulles) – Cancun (starts November 22) (weekly) A320
St. Louis – Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood (starts January 8) (3 days a week) A319
St. Louis – Orlando (starts December 21) (3 days a week) A319
Milwaukee- Orlando (starts January 7) (3 days a week) A320
Milwaukee- Ft. Myers (starts January 8) (3 days a week) A320
Chicago (O’Hare) – Orlando (starts December 20) (daily) A320
Atlanta – Orlando (starts December 14) (5 days a week) A319
Trenton – West Palm Beach (starts November 21) (3 days a week) A319
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N208FR (msn 4562) with Charlie, the cougar, arrives at Washington (Reagan National).
Updated Route Map:
Thai Smile Airways (Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi Airport-BKK) has announced it will move some of its routes to Don Mueang Airport (DMK) to better compete against its low fare rivals. Effective August 8 it will operate from DMK to Chiang Mai, Kohn Kaen and Phuket.
The airline issued this statement:
Thai Smile Airways will add services to and from Don Mueang Airport in order to provide more passenger convenience for travel to domestic destinations, effective August 8, 2014.
Thai Smile Airways (airline code WE) will operate initially to three domestic destinations from Don Mueang Airport.
Thai Smile Airways is offering special promotional fares for one-way travel to Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen with prices starting at 990 Baht, for one-way travel to Phuket with fares starting at 1,090 Baht.
Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 HS-TXE (msn 5436) departs from Phuket, Thailand.
Air Canada to open several winter seasonal flights, Sarasota/Bradenton to revert to mainline service
Air Canada (Montreal) will revert to mainline service on the Toronto (Pearson)-Sarasota/Bradenton route on November 1 from rouge service. The route will initially operate twice weekly with Airbus A319s/A320s until December 13 when it becomes daily for the winter season per Airline Route.
Additionally Air Canada is starting weekly seasonal Ottawa-Samana, Dominican Republic flights with Embraer 190s on December 22.
Air Canada will also start weekly seasonal Embraer 190 service from Montreal (Trudeau) to San Salvador in the Bahamas on November 1.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-211 C-FDRK (msn 084) in the Star Alliance motif rests between flights at the Toronto (Pearson) base.
Finnair (Helsinki) is announcing ten new scheduled routes for summer 2015 to popular summer destinations.
The new routes are announced in corporation with Suntours and other tour operators. Finnair and Suntours will work closely together to ensure the best combination of package holidays and seats only on every destination. Seat only purchases can be made on the Finnair website, or through travel agency channels.
The ten new scheduled flights are:
Cyprus, Paphos: one weekly, starting March 31, 2015
Spain, Mallorca: one weekly, starting April 11
Turkey, Bodrum, Dalaman Airport: one weekly starting April 12
Greece, Crete, Heraklion airport: 2 weekly, starting April 17
Greece, Crete, Chania airport: 6 weekly, starting April 18
Greece, Rhodes: 5 weekly, starting April 19
Italy, Sicily, Catania: one weekly, starting May 6
Greece, Kos: one weekly, starting May 9
Italy, Amalfi coast, Naples Airport: 2 weekly, starting May 28
Austria, Innsbruck: one weekly, starting June 14
Finnair will also opened a new route to Gazipasa (Alanya in Turkey) in the summer of 2014. Gazipasa has been very popular because of the short driving distance to Alanya, where many Europeans have holiday apartments. Finnair will next year operate more flights to Gazipasa, but less flights to Antalya to match the customer preferences.
With these new routes Finnair will operate to 67 destinations in Finland, Europe and Russia as well as 13 destinations in Asia.
The new routes will be operated with Airbus A319s, A320s and/or A321s.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 OH-LXB (msn 1470) arrives in Zurich.
JetBlue Airways (New York) will launch a new route to Curaçao International Airport (CUR) from JFK International Airport (JFK) on December 2, 2014, providing the only nonstop service from New York. The twice weekly service will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Curaçao, which is part of the ABC islands that also includes Aruba and Bonaire, is considered a hidden gem amongst all Caribbean island destinations, renowned for its diving, beaches and unique architecture. The historic island is already a popular destination for European travelers and its capital, Willemsted, is a UNESCO World Heritage City.
JetBlue’s flights to Curaçao will be operated on a 150-seat Airbus A320.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N587JB (msn 2177) in the special “Building Blocks” motif arrives at the New York (JFK) hub.
Spirit Airlines, Inc. (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has reported second quarter 2014 financial results.
Adjusted net income for the second quarter 2014 increased 45.2 percent to $66.5 million ($0.91 per diluted share) compared to $45.8 million ($0.63 per diluted share) for the second quarter 20131. GAAP net income for the second quarter 2014 was $64.8 million ($0.88 per diluted share) compared to $42.1 million ($0.58 per diluted share) in the second quarter 2013.
For the second quarter 2014, Spirit achieved an adjusted pre-tax margin of 21.3 percent compared to 17.8 percent over the same period in 20131. On a GAAP basis, pre-tax margin for the second quarter 2014 was 20.8 percent compared to 16.4 percent in the second quarter 2013.
Spirit ended the second quarter 2014 with $567.2 million in unrestricted cash.
Spirit’s return on invested capital (before taxes and excluding special items) for the twelve months ended June 30, 2014 was 32.0 percent. See “Calculation for Return on Invested Capital” table below for more details.
“The Spirit team delivered another strong quarter. While growing our capacity 17.2 percent year over year, we grew our top line 22.6 percent year over year,” said Ben Baldanza, Spirit’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our efforts to drive operational excellence have produced material improvements in controllable components of our cost structure which contributed to the 3.5 percentage point year-over-year increase in our Adjusted Operating Margin. I want to thank all our team members that contributed to these excellent results. A few months ago, we launched a series of initiatives aimed at better aligning our customers’ expectations with the Spirit business model. We are very encouraged at the early results of this effort, and the Bare Fare™ plus Frill Control™ messaging is resonating well with customers as they see the benefit of only paying for what they truly value. As we continue down this path, we expect ever increasing alignment to a business model that provides the lowest total fares and the highest consumer choice all while maintaining our commitment to deliver value to our customers and to our shareholders.”
For the second quarter 2014, Spirit’s total operating revenue was $499.3 million, an increase of 22.6 percent compared to the second quarter 2013. The increase was driven by our growth in flight volume, higher load factors, and higher operating yields.
Total revenue per available seat mile (“RASM”) for the second quarter 2014 was 12.46 cents, an increase of 4.6 percent compared to the second quarter 2013. The calendar shift of Easter occurring in April this year compared to March in 2013 contributed to the strong second quarter 2014 results.
Passenger flight segment (“PFS”) volume for the second quarter 2014 grew 14.7 percent year over year, and the Company’s load factor for the second quarter 2014 increased 1.8 points year over year to 87.5 percent. Total revenue per PFS for the second quarter 2014 increased 6.8 percent year over year to $139.90.
Total operating expenses for the second quarter 2014 increased 15.7 percent year over year to $394.2 million on a capacity increase of 17.2 percent.
Spirit reported second quarter 2014 cost per available seat mile excluding special items and fuel (“Adjusted CASM ex-fuel”) of 5.95 cents, a decrease of 0.8 percent compared to the same period last year. The primary driver of the decrease was lower passenger re-accommodation expense (recorded within Other operating expense) per ASM as a result of improved operational reliability. The Company also benefited from lower aircraft rent per ASM. These benefits were partially offset by higher depreciation and amortization expense and increased salary, wages, and benefits, as well as higher maintenance, material, and repairs expense per ASM.
Selected Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Items
As of June 30, 2014, Spirit had $567.2 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents. For the six months ended June 30, 2014, Spirit incurred capital expenditures of $7.4 million, paid $94.0 million in pre-delivery deposits for future deliveries of aircraft, net of refunds, and recorded an increase of $14.3 million in maintenance deposits, net of reimbursements.
In the second quarter 2014, Spirit took delivery of one new A320 aircraft, ending the quarter with 57 aircraft in its fleet. The Company has eight more new A320 aircraft scheduled for delivery by year-end 2014.
Second Quarter 2014 and Other Current Highlights
• Added/announced new service between (service start date):
- Minneapolis-St. Paul and Houston (5/1/14)2
– Minneapolis-St. Paul and Baltimore/Washington (5/1/14)2
– Chicago O’Hare and Oakland/San Francisco (5/1/14)
– Minneapolis-St. Paul and Detroit (5/22/14)2
– Chicago O’Hare and Baltimore/Washington (5/22/14)2
– Chicago O’Hare and Portland, OR (5/22/14)2
– Fort Lauderdale and New Orleans (8/1/14)
– Houston and New Orleans (8/1/14)
– Houston and Atlanta (8/1/14)
– Kansas City and Chicago (8/7/14)
– Kansas City and Dallas/Fort Worth (8/7/14)
– Kansas City and Detroit (8/7/14)
– Kansas City and Las Vegas (8/7/14)
– Kansas City and Houston (8/8/14)
– Fort Lauderdale and Houston (9/3/14)
– Houston and San Diego (9/3/14)
– Boston and West Palm Beach (11/21/14)2
– Latrobe/Pittsburgh and Fort Myers (12/18/14)2
– Latrobe/Pittsburgh and Tampa (12/19/14)2
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Spirit Airlines has eight more new Airbus A320 aircraft scheduled for delivery by year-end 2014. Airbus A320-232 N617NK (msn 5387) completes its final approach into Baltimore/Washington (BWI).
Current Route Map:
United Airlines (Chicago) will end service to Guadalajara, Mexico from its San Francisco hub on September 21 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N475UA (msn 1495) taxies from the gate at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in the retro 1972 “A320 Friend Ship” color scheme.
Virgin America Inc. (San Francisco) today announced that it has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering (IPO) of its common stock. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined.
Barclays and Deutsche Bank Securities are acting as joint book-running managers and as representatives of the underwriters for the proposed offering.
A registration statement relating to the offering of Virgin America’s securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective.
Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. As we reported in June, Virgin America announced a new contest for dedicated San Francisco Giants baseball fans to be pictured on an Airbus A320. Airbus A320-214 N849VA (msn 4991) has now been unveiled in its latest 2014 version which features the words “Fly Together” which is actually composed of small pictures of SF Giants fans who won the contest!
Virgin America announced a new contest for photos of N849VA on their blog:
Hey there plane spotters! Do you have a knack for picking livery out of the clear blue sky? Well then, we’ve got the contest for you. Upload an original photo of our FLY TOGETHER San Francisco Giants plane, featuring the game faces of the most die-hard Giants fans, to Instagram or Twitter using the #FLYTOGETHER hashtag between July 28 – September 23, 2014 for a chance to throw the first pitch at AT&T Park on Virgin America Day and more.
The first round (July 28 – August 12, 2014) winner scores:
The opportunity to throw the first pitch on Virgin America Day at the San Francisco Giants vs. Philadelphia Phillies game August 16, 2014 at AT&T Park
Two tickets to the game
Two roundtrip tickets to any one of our 20 domestic destinations
The second round (August 13 – September 23, 2014) winner will walk away with:
Two roundtrip tickets to any one of our 20 domestic destinations..
Click here for official rules. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary to win.
Keep your eyes on the sky and get busy plane spotting! If you’re unsure how to get started here’s Sergio Romo showing you how it’s done.
Atlantis European Airways (Yerevan) has added its first Airbus A320, its first aircraft. Former Armavia A320-211 EK32008 (msn 229) has been acquired and is being prepared for service in Prague according to Skyliner.
The company describes its activities:
Atlantis European Airways (AEA) LLC is an air carrier, which was established in Armenia with a strong purpose to improve Armenia’s tourism services’ infrastructure as well as to support the country’s small business development opportunities. Atlantis European Airways LLC is operating code-share flights with Austrian and Czech Airlines from Yerevan via Vienna and Prague to other destinations. One of the main targets of the business strategy of Atlantis European Airways is the integration of the company with the largest alliances of overseas airlines worldwide. The overall mission of Atlantis European Airways is to attract corporate and non-corporate partners for long-term collaboration and encourage them to become members of the company as a result of which they will be offered the richest variety of services provided by Atlantis European Airways . It realizes charter flights on requests. Air tickets are being sold all over Armenia via travel agencies the number of which reaches around 40.
EasyJet (easyJet.com) (UK) (London-Luton) has issued this statement about its flights to Israel:
The safety and security of easyJet’s passengers and crew is the airline’s highest priority.
Due to the FAA lifting its instruction to all United States’ airlines to suspend their flights to Israel, and the European safety regulator EASA following suit, easyJet will operate its services to and from Tel Aviv as scheduled from Friday July 25.
easyJet will also operate one return flight this afternoon between London Gatwick and Tel Aviv.
easyJet will continue to monitor the safety advice on travel to and from Tel Aviv from all relevant authorities.
easyJet flies to and from Tel Aviv from the UK, Switzerland, Germany and Italy.
Bloomberg Businessweek: How Israel convinced international airlines to return to Tel Aviv: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 G-EZTL (msn 4012) lands at Tenerife Sur.
JetBlue Airways Corporation (JetBlue Airways) (New York) today reported its results for the second quarter 2014:
Pre-tax income excluding special items1 of $103 million in the second quarter. This compares to pre-tax income of $60 million in the second quarter of 2013.
Gain of $242 million from the sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary LiveTV.
On a GAAP basis, pre-tax income of $345 million in the second quarter.
Net income excluding special items for the second quarter was $61 million, or $0.19 per diluted share.
This compares to JetBlue’s second quarter 2013 net income of $36 million, or $0.11 per diluted share.
On a GAAP basis, net income for the second quarter was $230 million, or $0.68 per diluted share.
“Today, we are pleased to report record second quarter earnings and our seventeenth consecutive quarter of profitability,” said Dave Barger, JetBlue’s Chief Executive Officer. “We saw improved profitability across our network, reflecting the success of ongoing efforts to adapt our products and services to meet our customers’ ever-changing needs. I would like to thank our 15,500 crewmembers for their dedication to running a safe airline and delivering outstanding service to our customers.”
JetBlue reported record second quarter operating revenues of $1.5 billion. Revenue passenger miles for the second quarter increased 5.7% to 9.6 billion on a capacity increase of 6.0%, resulting in a second quarter load factor of 84.6%, a decrease of 0.3 points year over year.
Yield per passenger mile in the second quarter was 14.25 cents, up 6.3% compared to the second quarter of 2013. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for the second quarter 2014 increased 6.0% year over year to 12.05 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 5.6% year over year to 13.12 cents. The shift of the Easter and Passover holidays from March last year to April this year positively impacted second quarter year over year PRASM by approximately two points.
Operating expenses for the quarter increased 9.8%, or $119 million, over the prior year period. Interest expense for the quarter declined 7.5%, or $3 million, due to JetBlue’s focus on debt reduction. JetBlue’s operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for the second quarter increased 3.5% year over year to 11.88 cents. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM2 increased 5.1% to 7.51 cents.
“We improved margin performance while expanding our network, demonstrating the core strength of our business,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s President. “We remain focused on providing a differentiated product and culture in high-value geography while maintaining competitive costs. We believe this focus will drive improved returns for our shareholders.”
Fuel Expense and Hedging
JetBlue continued to hedge fuel to manage price volatility. Specifically, in the second quarter JetBlue had in place hedges for approximately 15% of its fuel consumption and managed approximately 7% of its fuel consumption using fixed forward price agreements (FFPs). This resulted in a realized fuel price of $3.09 per gallon, a 0.9% increase over second quarter 2013 realized fuel price of $3.06. JetBlue recorded $2 million in losses on fuel hedges that settled during the second quarter.
JetBlue has managed approximately 30% of its third quarter projected fuel requirements using a combination of FFPs, jet fuel swaps and caps. Based on the fuel curve as of July 17th, JetBlue expects an average price per gallon of fuel, including the impact of hedges, FFPs and fuel taxes, of $3.08 in the third quarter.
Liquidity and Cash Flow
JetBlue ended the quarter with approximately $797 million in unrestricted cash and short term investments. In addition, JetBlue maintains $550 million in lines of credit.
During the second quarter, JetBlue repaid approximately $44 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations. In addition, JetBlue pre-paid approximately $300 million in debt with the proceeds from the sale of LiveTV. JetBlue plans to repay approximately $185 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations in the remainder of 2014, including approximately $58 million in the third quarter.
“We continued to strengthen the balance sheet by paying down debt while enhancing access to liquidity by increasing the number of unencumbered aircraft,” said Mark Powers, JetBlue’s Chief Financial Officer. “We believe these actions will help us maintain a relatively flat invested capital base this year while growing assets, which we expect will help us meet our return on invested capital goal.”
Third Quarter and Full Year Outlook
For the third quarter of 2014, CASM is expected to increase between 0.5% and 2.5% versus the year-ago period. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in the third quarter is expected to increase between 1.0% and 3.0% year over year.
CASM for the full year is expected to increase between 1.0% and 3.0% over full year 2013. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in 2014 is expected to increase between 2.5% and 4.5% year over year. Relative to JetBlue’s previous cost outlook, this full year guidance reflects approximately a one point reduction in unit costs excluding fuel and profit sharing primarily due to a reduction of operating expenses in the second half of the year as a result of the sale of LiveTV.
Capacity is expected to increase between 3.0% and 5.0% in the third quarter. For the full year, capacity is expected to increase between 4.0% and 6.0%.
Bloomberg Businessweek: JetBlue considers charging for the first checked bag: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N709JB (msn 3488) in the special one-off “Binary Code” livery arrives in New York (JFK).
Virgin America (San Francisco) has partnered with the hot stock and camera company, GoPro, for a new airborne channel. The airline issued this statement through its blog:
Day dreaming from a mood-lit chair in the sky is tough to beat. If you’re looking to infuse those dreams with a little action and adventure, you may want to check out the GoPro® Channel on our Red™ seatback entertainment system.
Channel 8 has tons of thrilling content from rooftop fire breathing to hugging lions in Africa – all of which were all captured using GoPro’s HERO3+ Black Edition camera. “Be a Hero” at your destination by making a few adventure videos of your own.
Here is a typical video using the GoPro:
Do you have an airline-theme video using the GoPro camera? Let us know and we will promote your video.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N851VA (msn 4999) completes its final approach to the runway at Los Angeles.
Hong Kong Aviation Capital (HKAC) (Hong Kong) has signed a firm order with Airbus for a total of 70 A320neo Family aircraft (40 A320neo and 30 A321neo)
The contract was finalized at the 2014 Farnborough Airshow by Donal Boylan, CEO of HKAC and John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. The agreement follows the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed at the 2013 Paris Air Show.
HKAC currently has a portfolio of over 50 single and twin aisle Airbus aircraft. It provides financing leasing services to several airlines in Asia and worldwide. This is HKAC’s first direct order with any aircraft manufacturer.
CIT Group Inc. (CIT Aerospace) has announced a commitment to order 15 Airbus A330-900neo aircraft and five A321ceo aircraft, becoming a launch customer for the new A330neo. The Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) were signed at the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow by Jeff Knittel, President of CIT Transportation & International Finance and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President & CEO. CIT will announce its engines selection for the A321 aircraft at a later date.
The A330-800neo and the A330-900neo are two new members of the Airbus Widebody Family launched in July 2014 with first deliveries scheduled to start in Q4 2017. The A330neo incorporates latest generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, aerodynamic enhancements and new cabin features. Benefitting from the unbeatable economics, versatility and high reliability of the A330, the A330neo reduces fuel consumption by 14% per seat, making it the most cost efficient, medium range Widebody aircraft on the market. In addition to greater fuel savings, A330neo operators will also benefit from a range increase of up to 400 nautical miles and of course all the operational commonality advantages of the Airbus Family.
BOC Aviation (Singapore), the aircraft leasing subsidiary of Bank of China, has announced an order for an additional 43 Airbus A320 Family aircraft, comprising seven A320neo Family aircraft and 36 A320ceo aircraft across A320 and A321 variants, at the Farnborough International Airshow 2014.
Including this latest purchase agreement, BOC Aviation’s cumulative orders for new Airbus aircraft have reached 255, as of June 30th 2014, 142 of these have already been delivered, and another 55 committed to lease.
As of June 30, 2014, BOC Aviation’s fleet of 251 aircraft includes 109 Airbus aircraft operated by 27 airlines. There are 98 A320 Family aircraft in the fleet.
AerCap (Amsterdam) has firmed up an order for 50 additional Airbus A320neo Family aircraft at the Farnborough International Airshow 2014. The contract, AerCap’s first major aircraft order following the acquisition of ILFC earlier this year, was signed by Philip Scruggs, AerCap’s President & Chief Commercial Officer and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. AerCap will announce its engine selection in due course.
Including today’s order for 50 A320neo aircraft, AerCap’s total order of A320neo aircraft rises to 200 and its total orders of Airbus aircraft rises to 945. Following the lessor’s acquisition of ILFC, AerCap becomes Airbus’ largest customer overall, both in number and value of aircraft purchased.
Wizz Air (Budapest) has announced further enhancements to its low fare route network from Poland, with six new routes from five different airports. Flights to Glasgow from Katowice and Poznan will start on October 26 and October 28 respectively, from October 27 Warsaw will have a service to Bergen and Szczecin will be linked to London Luton, while two new destinations in the Netherlands will be added: flights to Groningen from Gdansk and flights to Maastricht from Katowice will start on October 28.
Groningen will become the 97th Wizz Air destination. Maastricht will become Wizz Air’s 98th destination.
With these six new services Wizz Air is now offering a total of 90 routes to 17 countries from Poland.
Wizz Air also announced further expansion at its Romanian bases Cluj-Napoca and Timisoara. The airline will deploy a fourth aircraft and launch three new services in Cluj-Napoca from December 20 and double its fleet at Timisoara bringing a second Airbus A320 and four new services to the base from November 1.
Only recently the airline had announced a new service from Cluj-Napoca to Nuremberg in Germany and with this announcement of seven international routes to Belgium, Italy, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland, Wizz Air is offering a total of 87 routes from seven Romanian airports.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-233 HA-LPF (msn 1834) lands at EuroAirport serving Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg.
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) has announced it will again expand its low-cost service with discount flights between Atlanta and Chicago (O’Hare), Denver and Chicago (O’Hare) and St. Louis and Ft. Myers.
This announcement means Frontier Airlines will now serve 72 destinations nonstop from Denver International Airport, eight cities from Chicago O’Hare, ten destinations from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and five cities from Southwest Florida International Airport (Ft. Myers).
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N216FR (msn 4745) arrives in Los Angeles.
New expanded route map: CLICK HERE
Airbus (Toulouse), in appealing to ultra low-fare carriers where the number of seats that can be sold is important, is now offering a high-density configuration version for the A320neo/A320ceo of 189 seats and 240 seats for the A321neo. Airbus issued this statement:
In offering even more efficiency for airline operators, Airbus is increasing seating capacity for A320neo (new engine option) and A320ceo (current engine option) jetliners to 189 seats, while also adding 20 more seats for A321neo aircraft to accommodate 240 passengers in an efficient high-density, all-economy layout.
“We are supporting the higher seat count with intelligent means to give living space to passengers,” said Klaus Roewe, Airbus’ Senior Vice President – A320neo Programme. “These new A320 Family configurations do not compromise on comfort, as they retain the Airbus standard of 18-inch wide seats in economy.”
To raise the A320’s capacity to 189 seats, Airbus has worked with airworthiness authorities to certify increased exit limits for the forward and aft doors on this version of the aircraft, taking advantage of exits that are significantly larger than the Type C requirements they were originally certified to. Also incorporated are wider evacuation slides or slide/rafts.
For the A321neo, the use of state-of-the-art slim-line seats and a new exit door arrangement – along with the optimized “Space-Flex” rear cabin galley configuration and Smart-Lavatory design – will increase this stretched fuselage jetliner version’s passenger capacity to 240 passengers, all while retaining Airbus’ 18-inch wide seat standard for economy travellers.
Roewe explained that six or more seats are added by using the new exit door arrangement, which eliminates Door 2 and the first cross-aisle in the fuselage’s forward section, while also incorporating a new double over-wing exit and shifting Door 3 aft-ward by four frames – thereby reducing the area necessary to accommodate emergency exit rows in the aircraft.
“If you add this up, it results in an approximately six per cent fuel burn per seat reduction – only by incorporating more seats in the A321neo aircraft,” Roewe added.
For exactly one year now, the “new Germanwings” has enhanced the range of flights on offer for customers throughout Europe. On July 1, 2013, it launched an entirely new product and brand concept, and over the space of twelve months it has developed to become the third largest airline in Germany. Since July 2013, Germanwings has carried more than 16 million passengers. The number of routes on offer has also risen from 182 to 296 today. Germanwings now serves 130 destinations, most of which are in Europe.
Lufthansa amalgamated its domestic German and European flights that were not operated through its Frankfurt and Munich hubs in the “new Germanwings”. The handover of flight routes is now well advanced. In Cologne, Stuttgart and Hanover it has been completed, while in Hamburg and Berlin a few routes are still being transferred. Lufthansa began transferring routes to Germanwings in Düsseldorf in March 2014. Once the hand-over has been completed, Düsseldorf will be the largest Germanwings base.
Germanwings passengers rate the airline highly positively. In all the passenger surveys, they attest to the airline’s high-quality service, and the vast majority is extremely satisfied with the new offer. Customers thus reinforce Germanwings’ claim to be a low-cost-carrier offering flights at low prices and a high-quality service.
The expansion of Germanwings has also been successful from a commercial point of view: in comparison to last year, when the airline contributed €93 million to the Lufthansa Group’s earnings improvement year-on-year, the contribution is expected to increase again this year. For 2015, for the first time in many years, the Group expects to achieve a balanced result on its non-hub routes in Europe.
The airline, which is based at Cologne-Bonn Airport, has also significantly expanded its fleet. While just one year ago 38 jets bore the Germanwings livery, 71 aircraft can now be seen sporting the logo of the youngest airline in the Lufthansa Group. A further ten aircraft will join the fleet by the end of the year. The workforce has also increased from 1,600 to just over 2,000, the bulk of new staff recruitment being in flight operations. The number of flight personnel has thus risen from 1,174 to 1,614. Germanwings crews currently complete a total of 3,312 flights each week, compared with 1,891 a mere twelve months ago. Since its launch a year ago, Germanwings with its highly motivated team has already completed around 171,000 safe take-offs and landings. Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG: “We have been on the offensive with the ‘new Germanwings’ in terms of point-to-point flights on European and German domestic routes that are not operated through our major hubs. We have combined our many years of experience in the low-cost segment and our high quality standards to develop a convincing concept that has been extremely well received by customers. With the ‘new Germanwings’, we have taken an important step and are now closer to achieving our goal of flying profitably beyond the major hubs within the short-haul traffic segment.”
Thomas Winkelmann, spokesman for the Germanwings Executive Board: “Germanwings is without a doubt one of the most creative airlines in Europe. Twelve months ago we entered new territory with Germanwings’ new product and brand promise. Since then, we have been combining the various requirements of different customer groups in one airline. Today we know that this bold decision was the right one: everyone feels at home on board of Germanwings. This is undoubtedly because we refuse to compromise on two points: safety and the friendly and expert way in which we deal with our customers.”
A unique feature of Germanwings is ‘à la carte flying’. When booking their tickets, passengers have a choice of three products in different price segments with different comfort add-ons: ‘BEST’ represents the high-end offer that primarily covers the needs of business passengers but that also appeals to certain leisure travelers. The ‘SMART’ fare product includes certain extra services, and ‘BASIC’ is a no-frills, low-cost fare.
Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. The Germanwings fleet has expanded from 38 to 71 Airbus aircraft in the past year. Formerly with Lufthansa, Airbus A320-211 D-AIQS (msn 401) now flies for lower-cost Germanwings.