Mandala Airlines (Tiger Airways Indonesia) (Jakarta) continues to lose money. As we previously reported, the airline was resurrected on April 5, 2012 as a joint venture between Tigerair (Singapore) (49%) and Saratoga Capital (51%) under the Tigerair brand. According to this report by Jakarta Post, Saratoga will continue to support the Indonesian carrier. There are unconfirmed reports that Tigerair will leave the joint venture.
Mandala suspended nine routes last month as it tries to cut its losses. The airline blamed high fuel costs.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 PK-RMQ (msn 5335) approaches the runway at Bangkok. Under the joint venture, Mandala removed its very colorful Mandala logo on the tail and instead adopted Tiger stripes on the tail. It is still operating under the Mandala name but under the Tigerair low-fare business plan.
Current Tigerair routes:
Air Armenia (Yerevan, Armenia) on April 30 will launch twice-weekly Airbus A320 service to Paris (CDG). The Armenian carrier will also start twice-weekly flights to Athens on the same day per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: OSDU/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 EK32039 (msn 1439) approaches the runway at Moscow (Vnukovo).
IAG period highlights on results:
- Fourth quarter operating profit €113 million (2012: operating loss of €40 million) before exceptional items
- At constant currency and excluding Vueling and one-offs, fourth quarter passenger unit revenue up 2.7 per cent, and non-fuel unit
costs down 2.7 per cent
- Operating profit for the year to December 31, 2013 of €770 million (2012: operating loss of €23 million) before exceptional items
- Revenue for the year up 3.1 per cent to €18,675 million and passenger unit revenue for the year up 0.6 per cent (3.7 per cent at constant currency)
- Fuel costs for the year down 2.5 per cent to €5,951 million (2012: €6,101 million). Fuel unit costs down 5.0 per cent at constant currency
- Non-fuel costs before exceptional items for year down 0.7 per cent at €11,954 million. Non-fuel unit costs down 5.6 per cent, down 2.7 per cent at constant currency
- Cash of €3,633 million at December 31, 2013 was up €724 million on 2012 year end (December 2012: €2,909 million).
- Adjusted gearing down 1 point to 50 per cent
Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said:
“In 2013, we strengthened the Group by acquiring Vueling, embarking on Iberia’s transformation and enhancing British Airways’ revenue performance. This has led to a strong financial recovery and return to profitability with a turnaround of nearly €800 million. Our operating profit was €770 million before exceptional items, with passenger revenue up 5.8 per cent and non-fuel costs down 0.7 per cent.
“British Airways continued its solid revenue performance this year and we’re seeing cost improvements, resulting in an operating profit of €762 million. This is the first full year that it’s benefited from the additional Heathrow slots and greater network flexibility created by bmi’s integration. Both the A380 and Boeing 787 were introduced into the airline’s fleet successfully. The new aircrafts’ economic and environmental performance has been excellent and customers love them.
“Iberia has made huge progress on cost control as its restructuring takes shape and great credit should be given to all those involved. It has reduced its losses in the year, reporting an operating loss of €166 million. The recent pay and productivity agreements between Iberia and its pilot and cabin crew unions are key to reducing the airline’s costs further and providing the foundation for profitable growth.
“Vueling is a great asset and provides a new cultural dimension to IAG. The airline reported an operating profit of €168 million from April 2013, when we acquired it, and expanded its network across continental Europe. To increase capacity while improving profit margins is a tremendous achievement and underlines Vueling’s value to the Group.
“We have shown strong financial management this year. Despite buying Vueling and increasing our capital expenditure, cash was up €724 million versus last year and adjusted gearing was down 1 point to 50 per cent.
“Quarter 4 saw an improved financial performance from all our airlines and we are reporting an operating profit of €113 million before exceptional items. Passenger revenue was up 4.0 per cent and non-fuel costs were down 4.1 per cent”.
In 2014 we expect to make steady progress towards our 2015 Group operating profit target of €1.8 billion, with relatively flat unit revenue growth, and margin expansion driven by falling unit costs.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Vueling has been a good buy for IAG. Formerly operated by Belle Air Europe, Airbus A320-214 EI-LIS (msn 3492) has been repainted at Southend.
China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai) has ordered 70 Airbus A320neo aircraft according to Reuters. The new aircraft will be delivered from 2018 through 2020.
China Eastern operates both the Airbus A320 Family and Boeing 737 Family aircraft.
China Eastern will also trade-in its seven remaining Airbus A300-600s.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 B-9950 (msn 5668) with Sharklets arrives in Beijing.
AirAsia to unveil a Taylor Swift logo jet in June, net profit for 2013 falls, AirAsia India moves ahead
AirAsia (Malaysia) (Kuala Lumpur) according to Reuters, saw its fourth-quarter profit drop by 19 percent on higher expenses for fuel and aircraft maintenance.
Net profit for the three months ending on December 31, 2013 fell to 245.4 million ringgit ($75.05 million), while net profit for the full year of 2013 was 364.1 million ringgit ($111.4 million) compared to 789.6 million ringgit ($241.5 million) in 2012 due to the prior year’s gain from the disposal of its shares in Thai AirAsia joint venture.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Meanwhile, AirAsia India (Madras-Chennai) (above), the new joint venture with the Tata Group moves ahead. The DGCA has rejected the objections of other Indian airlines that new joint venture would disrupt Indian airline industry “equilibrium” according to The Economic Times.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
In other news, AirAsia announced that it will be the official airline for seven-time Grammy winner Taylor Swift’s The Red Tour presented by Cornetto, which will be coming to southeast Asia this year. Taylor Swift will be bringing her tour to Southeast Asia in June 2014, with shows in Jakarta, Manila, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
As the official airline for Taylor Swift’s The Red Tour presented by Cornetto, AirAsia will unveil an exclusive Airbus A320 aircraft livery featuring international superstar Taylor Swift.
Siegtraund Teh, Group Chief Commercial Officer for AirAsia said, “We are very proud to be the official airline for Taylor Swift’s tour in Southeast Asia, which is aptly named The Red Tour, synonymous with AirAsia’s corporate colors. With AirAsia’s strong route network in Asia, especially in Asean, we are definitely the best people to connect Taylor and her crew to all of her tour destinations. Taylor Swift fans can look forward to spotting the special Taylor Swift branded Airbus A320 painting the skies of Asean Red this coming June.”
“We’ve always taken branding to a different level at AirAsia and this opportunity to work with Taylor and her team marks yet another milestone for us as we continue to build the AirAsia brand globally. We will be running contests across our network, which will surely be a treat to all of her fans.” Siegtraund Teh added.
Taylor’s The Red Tour performance features two stages, elaborate costumes, dancers, and changing sets. Taylor moves around the venue, giving every audience member a great seat. Taylor plays electric guitar, banjo, piano and acoustic guitar and changes costumes multiple times over the course of the evening. Her set features several songs from her record-breaking RED album, as well as new takes on other fan favorites.
Taylor Swift, who writes all of her own songs, is a seven-time Grammy winner, and is the youngest winner in history of the music industry’s highest honor, the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. She is the #1 digital music artist of all time, the only female artist in music history (and just the fourth artist ever) to twice have an album hit the 1 million first-week sales figure, and is the first artist since the Beatles (and the only female artist in history) to log six or more weeks at #1 with three consecutive studio albums. Taylor has an album on Rolling Stone’s prestigious The 50 Greatest Albums of All Time (by women) list, Time magazine has named her one of the 100 Most Influential people in the world, and she is Billboard’s youngest-ever Woman of the Year. Taylor, who is signed to Big Machine Records, has career record sales in excess of 26 million albums and 75 million song downloads worldwide, and has had singles top both the country and pop radio charts around the globe.
Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. The first Airbus A320 for AirAsia India is now painted at Toulouse. Wearing a test registration of F-WWBV (msn 6015), the pictured A320-216 with Sharklets will become VT-AIF on delivery.
Iberia Maintenance (Barcelona) will maintain the two aircraft (Airbus A320 and A330) of newcomer Spanish charter airline Evelop Airlines (Palma de Mallorca). The renewable three-year contract covers “C” checks and maintenance of airframes, parts and the CFM56-5B4/3 engines at Iberia’s Maintenance facility at Barcelona (above).
Evelop Airlines was founded in 2013 and is owned by Barceló Viajes. Barceló Group acquired the assets of Orbest Airlines in 2013 following the collapse of Orizonia Corporation. Envelop operates for tour operators and specializes in long-range routes from Madrid to Caribbean destinations such as Punta Cana, Havana and Cancun.
Top Copyright Photo: Iberia.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Airbus A320-214 EC-LZD (msn 5642) was leased by Evelop from GECAS on November 23, 2013. The airliner still wears the basic livery of Orbest.
Virgin America (San Francisco) has secured the last eight landing and takeoff slots at Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA). Virgin America outbid Spirit Airlines and others for the last slots according to Reuters. This last allotment comes after last month’s award of 54 slots to Southwest Airlines and 40 to JetBlue Airways (including 16 it had been leasing). The slot sales were demanded by the Department of Justice (DOJ) a precondition for the American Airlines-US Airways merger.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N839VA (msn 4610) completes its final approach from the south into Washington Reagan National Airport.
Current Route Map: There will now be more Virgin America routes and flights radiating from DCA probably starting with LAX and more flights to SFO. Here are the current routes from Los Angeles (LAX):
Frontier Airlines to expand operations at St. Louis with new routes to San Francisco, Trenton and Portland
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) today announced it will be expanding service from St. Louis with the addition of nonstop service to San Francisco, California (SFO) (three flights per week) and Trenton, New Jersey (TTN) (three flights per week) beginning on June 13, 2014, and Portland, Oregon (PDX) (three flights per week) beginning on June 15, 2014.
When service starts, Frontier Airlines will offer nonstop service from St. Louis to a total of 10 destinations. Through its partnership with Apple Vacations, Frontier offers service to Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Huatulco, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Montego Bay, Jamaica. Domestically, nonstop service is available to Denver, Portland, San Francisco and Trenton.
Additionally, besides the new St. Louis route, Frontier will expand its service at Trenton-Mercer Airport (TTN), in Ewing, New Jersey, with the addition of nonstop service to Milwaukee, Wisconsin (MKE) and Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota (MSP) beginning on June 13, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N205FR (msn 4253) with “Ozzie” the orca whale, arrives in Los Angeles.
AirAsia’s (AirAsia.com) (Malaysia) (Kuala Lumpur) CEO Tony Fernandes is taking another crack at the Japanese LCC market with the return of AirAsia Japan according to Bloomberg. Tony Fernandes was recently in Japan and stated he was lining up new Japanese partners.
Yoshinori Odagiri, the former CEO of AirAsia Japan will also lead the new carrier with Osamu Hata, previously a chief financial officer at Japan’s Dell unit according to Bloomberg.
The previous AirAsia Japan (Tokyo-Narita) was a low-fare joint venture with ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) that operated from August 1, 2012 through August 31, 2013. The old AirAsia Japan was the fifth subsidiary/joint venture of AirAsia.
ANA turn its portion of the joint venture of AirAsia Japan into Vanilla Air. Vanilla Air’s fleet will grow to six Airbus A320s by next month, eight by March 2015, and 10 by March 2016 according to ZipanguFlyer.
Read the full report on the second coming of AirAsia Japan from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-216 JA03AJ (msn 5325) of the first version AirAsia Japan taxies at the Tokyo (Narita) base.
Hong Kong Airlines (Hong Kong) has announced it will launch a three-time weekly service between Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam.
From March 17, Hong Kong Airlines will deploy an all-economy class Airbus A320 aircraft on the route, which will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The new service to Ho Chi Minh City is complimented by the airlines’ daily flight to Hanoi, bringing it to a total of 10 weekly flights between Hong Kong and Vietnam.
The flight schedule for Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) is as follows:
Flight no. Route Departure/Arrival time* Frequency
HX 534 Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City 12:20/13:55 Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
HX 535 Ho Chi Minh City to Hong Kong 15:00/18:30 Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 B-LPB (msn 4970) lands at Tokyo (Narita).
*All local time
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) has announced it will be expanding its ultra-low fare service at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) with the addition of year-round nonstop service to Orlando, Florida (MCO) and seasonal nonstop service to Seattle/Tacoma, Washington (SEA), beginning on June 13, 2014.
Frontier Airlines just launched a new service to Trenton-Mercer Airport in Ewing, New Jersey on February 13. Frontier also provides nonstop service to its main hub in Denver, Colorado as well as nonstop service to both Cancun and Punta Cana in partnership with Apple Vacations. In June, frequency of service from Cleveland to Denver will increase from five flights per week to 12 flights per week.
Following is the schedule for Frontier’s new Cleveland – Orlando service**:
June 13, 2014
Following is the schedule for Frontier’s new Cleveland – Seattle service**:
June 15, 2014
This new service from Cleveland will operate on 168-seat Airbus A320 aircraft.
*All transportation fees and taxes included.
In other news, Frontier Airlines has received approval for gate-to-gate personal electronic device use from the Federal Aviation Administration. Passengers flying with Frontier can now use personal electronic devices in “airplane mode” during all phases of flight.
Prior to the new policy, customers were required to turn off and stow all electronic devices during taxi, takeoff, landing and when the aircraft was below 10,000 feet. With the new policy, passengers flying with Frontier Airlines may utilize smart phones, tablets and other small electronic devices in airplane mode at any time during taxi, takeoff and during flight, unless otherwise instructed by a crew member. Laptops must continue to be stowed during taxi, takeoff and landing.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N220FR (msn 5661) with Sharklets approaches the runway at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport (LAS).
Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has announced several new routes starting just in time for the peak summer travel season. Joining the list is new nonstop seasonal service between Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW). This new service will consist of one daily seasonal nonstop flight operating between May 22, 2014 and November 1, 2014.
Spirit recently announced seasonal service operating May 22, 2014 through November 1, 2014 from Chicago/O’Hare (ORD) to Baltimore/Washington, DC (BWI) and Portland, OR (PDX); operating May 1, 2014 through November 1, 2014 from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Baltimore/Washington, DC (BWI) and Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH); and daily year-round nonstop service between Chicago/O’Hare and Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area beginning May 1, 2014.
|Spirit’s Chicago/O’Hare (ORD) – Baltimore/Washington (BWI) service May 22, 2014 – November 1, 2014:|
|Chicago/O’Hare – Baltimore/Washington||8:00 AM||10:50 AM||368||0||Daily|
|Baltimore – Chicago/O’Hare||8:55 PM||9:56 PM||369||0||Daily|
|Spirit’s Chicago/O’Hare (ORD) – Portland, OR (PDX) service May 22, 2014 – November 1, 2014:|
|Chicago/O’Hare – Portland||8:45 PM||11:25 PM||655||0||Daily|
|Portland – Chicago/O’Hare||12:10 AM||6:00 AM||654*||0||Daily|
|* = Effective May 23, 2014|
|Spirit’s Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) – Houston (IAH) service May 1, 2014 – November 1, 2014:|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul - Houston||6:56 PM||9:49 PM||281**||0||Daily|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul - Houston||8:16 PM||11:08 PM||281***||0||Daily|
|Houston – Minneapolis-St. Paul||6:00 AM||8:44 AM||346**||0||Daily|
|Houston – Minneapolis-St. Paul||7:00 AM||9:44 AM||346***||0||Daily|
|Spirit’s Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) – Baltimore/Washington (BWI) service May 1, 2014 – November 1, 2014:|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul - Baltimore/Washington||9:27 AM||12:57 PM||106**||0||Daily|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul - Baltimore/Washington||4:45 PM||8:15 PM||106***||0||Daily|
|Baltimore – Minneapolis-St. Paul||12:05 PM||1:47 PM||105***||0||Daily|
|Baltimore – Minneapolis-St. Paul||1:36 PM||3:19 PM||105**||0||Daily|
|** = Effective May 1, 2014 – May 21, 2014 only|
|*** = Effective May 22, 2014|
|Spirit’s Oakland (OAK) – Chicago/O’Hare (ORD) service beginning May 1, 2014:|
|Oakland – Chicago/O’Hare||9:10 AM||3:18 PM||872||0||Daily|
|Chicago/O’Hare – Oakland||3:20 PM||5:55 PM||209||0||Daily|
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N618NK (msn 5458) taxies to runway 9L at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). The new logo jet is part of Spirit’s new advertising program to enhance revenues. N618NK is a partnership ad that promotes Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). The pictured left side has “Greetings from Dallas” showing scenes from Dallas. The other side has “Greetings from Fort Worth”.
Recommended Book: Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines by Jack El-Hai (available via the new World Airline News Store on Amazon.com – processed and shipped by Amazon.com):
VietJetAir (VietJetAir.com) (Ho Chi Minh City) today signed a purchase agreement for 42 Airbus A320neo, 14 A320ceo and seven A321ceo jetliners, plus 30 additional purchase rights. Eight more A320 Family aircraft will be leased from third-party lessors.
Dr. Dinh Viet Phuong, the airline’s Vice President – Business Development, explained that VietJetAir had captured a 26.2 percent domestic market share by the end of 2013, and became profitable in its second year of operation – serving 16 domestic routes and four international destinations with load factors of over 90 percent.
Virgin America (San Francisco) has issued this statement about teaming up with Here On Biz:
Virgin America and Here On Biz, the app that ensures entrepreneurs never miss an opportunity to connect, have teamed up to launch the first in-flight social network – rolling out on all domestic Virgin America flights by the end of February. With a growing following of always-connected, tech-forward business travelers, Virgin America will offer guests on flights nationwide the opportunity to “network on the fly” at 35,000 feet. Travelers can download the free Here On Biz app from the Apple App store before their flight and use it in the air to locate LinkedIn connections on their Virgin America flight, at the airport or en route to a conference. Relying on the airline’s fleetwide Gogo In-Flight WiFi network and purpose-built APIs that identify an aircraft’s location in the air, Here On Biz’s geo-location technology offers travelers the chance to connect via the app with guests on their specific flight, guests on other Virgin America flights in the air, or fellow travelers at their destination. This month through July 2014, guests on all domestic Virgin America flights can access the Here On Biz app for free through the Gogo network. App users can manage their privacy settings, so that travelers can shut off or limit their visible connections to others onboard.
In 2013, Virgin America surveyed a portion of its top Elevate frequent flyers in its New York, San Francisco and Dallas markets. The ability to network in-flight with other Virgin America flyers was a suggestion that came out of these focus group sessions. The Here On Biz app allows users to see business professionals nearby who are interesting and allows users to chat with those they are connected to. The app provides the real time location of a user’s contacts through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and those in the user’s address book who use the app. In a unique partnership with Gogo and Virgin America, the app is now taking networking to 35,000 feet.
How the Virgin America-Here on Biz In-Flight network works:
- Download the new Here On Biz iOS app from the mobile app store before your flight.
- Register a new account using your LinkedIn profile.
- Rolling out to all domestic flights by the end of February, guests can start connecting when they log in at a gate or onboard at 35,000 feet via Gogo on Virgin America. App users will be able to connect with other Virgin America guests traveling on their particular flight, other travelers on any Virgin America aircraft currently airborne, or fellow Virgin America guests at their destination.
In May 2009, Virgin America became the first airline to offer fleetwide WiFi and today remains the only U.S airline to offer WiFi on every flight. In 2011, the airline became the first carrier to launch Gogo’s improved ATG-4 WiFi service on select flights. The ATG4 technology increases WiFi capacity by approximately four times the current performance through the addition of directional antenna, dual-modem and EV-DO Rev. B technologies. The airline intends to complete its fleetwide installation of ATG-4 in 2014. Virgin America is further investing in the connectivity of its fleet as the launch partner for Gogo’s next generation Ground to Orbit satellite WiFi technology. With power outlets at every seat, Virgin America regularly sees more than one-third of guests logging on to in-flight WiFi on its more popular long-haul flights.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N361VA (msn 5515) with Sharklets prepares to start its takeoff roll at Los Angeles International Airport.
Current Routes from San Francisco:
Volaris (Controladora Vuela Compania de Aviacion, S.A.B. de C.V.) (Mexico City) has signed a letter of intent with a leading aircraft lessor for 16 aircraft, comprised of ten new A320neo and six new A321neo, driving fleet growth while significantly enhancing efficiency. These NEO aircraft, powered by Pratt Whitney’s PW1100G engines, will be delivered between 2016 and 2018, as summarized in the table below:
|Total operating leases||2||6||8||16|
These aircraft are in addition to the 50 aircraft under Volaris’ existing order and operating lease arrangements that are scheduled for delivery between 2014 and 2020. The following table shows the development of Volaris’ fleet from 2014 to 2020 pursuant to current contracts and pro forma for these operating leases:
|Fleet Plan (net of expiring leases)||2014E||2015E||2016E||2017E||2018E||2019E||2020E|
|A320 & A320neo||7||4||7||6||10||10||12|
|Total fleet, pro forma||49||52||54||59||66||74||86|
The transaction is subject to the conclusion of satisfactory final documentation and customary corporate approvals.
The A321 will be a new type with the low-fare airline.
Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-2333 XA-VOM (msn 3624) with a “I fly OAK – a better way to SF Bay” promotional message, arrives in Los Angeles.
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) has taken delivery of its first A320 aircraft equipped with sharklets, becoming the first in Russia to benefit from these new fuel saving wing tip devices. Aeroflot’s pictured A320-214 VQ-BRV (man 5967, ex F-WWIS), powered by CFM56 engines, features a comfortable two class cabin, seating 158 passengers with 8 in business class and 150 in economy. The aircraft is named after a famous Russian chemist Alexander Butlerov.
According to Airbus, “Sharklets are newly designed wing-tip devices that improve the aircraft’s aerodynamics and cut the airline’s fuel burn and emissions by up to four per cent on longer sectors. They are made from light-weight composites and are 2.4 meters tall.”
Aeroflot was the first airline in Russia to operate the Airbus A310, with an entry into service in 1992, as well as the first to operate the A320 Family in 2003. The airline is operating the biggest Airbus fleet in the region with 90 A320 Family aircraft and 22 A330 Family aircraft.
Copyright Photos: Airbus.
JetBlue Airways (New York) like other carriers, is always looking at route opportunities. With United Airlines de-hubbing Cleveland Hopkins, there is now a void of air service at CLE. According to this article by The Plain Dealer, JetBlue stated it has no plans for CLE, but it is always monitoring other airlines and their route decisions and is always considering its options.
If not JetBlue, who will move into the Cleveland market?
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Meanwhile The Plain Dealer looks at why United Airlines pulled out of its hub out at Cleveland. Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N635JB (msn 2725) lands at Long Beach.
RAK Airways (Ras al-Khaimah) remains grounded as we previously reported and will not return. Air Arabia (Sharjah) will become the official airline of Ras al-Khaimah. The airline signed a strategic partnership today with RAK’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).
Ras al-Khaimah is one of the Persian Gulf Arab sheikdoms and part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Its name means “Top of the Tent”. The emirate is in the northern part of the UAE.
Air Arabia today issued this statement:
Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), Ras Al Khaimah announced today (February 2) that it has signed a strategic partnership with Air Arabia, enabling the airline to become the Emirate’s designated carrier operating services from Ras Al Khaimah International Airport. Connecting Ras Al Khaimah to several destinations in the region, the major new collaboration is set to witness a significant increase in the number of destinations accessible to residents of Ras Al Khaimah and neighboring Northern Emirates.
The launch of partnership between the low-cost pioneer and the Department of Civil Aviation, RAK is expected to support Ras Al Khaimah’s standing as an attractive tourist destination, while acting as a key catalyst for the further economic development of the Emirate. The development also means that Air Arabia now becomes the official carrier of Ras Al Khaimah Emirate.
Describing the partnership as a “unique collaboration,” His Excellency Engr. Sheikh Salem Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman, Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), Ras Al Khaimah said: “Today’s announcement is a natural step in the next stage of Ras Al Khaimah’s aviation development, driven by the Emirate’s steady economy, expanding population, growing industrial activity, and tourism. We are delighted to be entering into a strategic agreement with an extremely successful airline and are confident about the benefits this partnership will bring to the Emirate of Ras al Khaimah.”
He added: “As Ras Al Khaimah continues to position itself as an attractive tourist destination, we are confident that this partnership will help us achieve our long-term goals, benefiting from Air Arabia’s operational track record, impressive network and management expertise.”
Adel Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia said: “Joining hands with DCA, Ras Al Khaimah in this new partnership aims at further developing the aviation industry in the northern Emirates and support Ras Al Khaimah’s ambitious economic plans. The Emirate’s tourism sector is witnessing a strong and steady growth and we are optimistic that this will continue to grow in the years to come.”
Ali continued: “The major collaboration is a true reflection of the strength of the UAE aviation infrastructure and potential growth. Furthermore, we are extremely confident that the launch of Air Arabia’s operations in Ras Al Khaimah Airport will further transform the travel and tourism sectors in the Emirate as well as provide customers with great accessibility and value for money air travel.”
Established in October 2003, Air Arabia PJSC, listed on the Dubai Financial Market, currently operates services to 90 destinations covering the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the Indian Subcontinent from three operating hubs in Sharjah, UAE; Alexandria, Egypt; and Casablanca, Morocco.
The Department of Civil Aviation, Ras Al Khaimah is responsible for operation and regulation of the air transport system in Ras Al Khaimah. The DCA was established in 1974 to support the Emirate’s economic and social development.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Air Arabia). Airbus A320-214 A6-ANB (msn 4524) with special “10 Years” logo celebrating its 10th Anniversary arrives back at the Sharjah hub.
Current Route Map:
Fly Olympic (FlyOlympic.se) (Stockholm-Arlanda) is a new Swedish airline and also an affiliate of AeroPacific AB. The company has leased and painted an Airbus A320-231 LY-SPC (msn 415) from Small Planet Airlines. According to its website, the new airline is operating from Stockholm to Asmara, Baghdad, Erbil, London (Gatwick) Mogadishu, Mykonos, Sulaymaniyah and Thira (Santorini). Flights are also operated from Gothenburg.
According to the company, Fly Olympic also teamed up with Germania to launch operations on November 25, 2013 to Erbil and Sulaymaniyah.
Copyright Photo: Fly Olympic.
Will the Eastern name and brand return to Miami? CEO Ed Wegel wants to fly Airbus A320s in Eastern colors
Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc., (2nd) (Miami) has filed an application with the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. Eastern plans on commencing its Part 121 certification with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shortly and has retained legal counsel and consultants for this purpose.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to launch an airline bearing the iconic Eastern Air Lines name,” said Eastern’s President and CEO Edward Wegel. “We have recruited a world class board of directors and a highly experienced management team to guide and lead this effort.”
Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. was formed to re-launch Eastern Air Lines as a passenger airline using the Airbus A320 aircraft from its main base of operations at Miami International Airport (MIA). Eastern’s headquarters is located in Building 5A at MIA.
Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. is not affiliated with the former Eastern Air Lines, which operated from 1928 to 1991 as one of the largest U.S. domestic air carriers.
For more information visit www.easternairlines.aero and follow @FlyEastern.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The original Eastern Airlines was the U.S. launch customer of the Airbus A300. Airbus A300B4-103 N213EA (msn 092) taxies to the gate (now American Airlines’ Terminal D on the north side) at Eastern’s old Miami International Airport hub. Eastern sold its Latin American routes to American Airlines.
Atlasjet Airlines (Istanbul-Ataturk) is coming to London. Luton Airport has been selected at its airport of entry into this important summer market. The Turkish carrier will launch nonstop services from Istanbul (Ataturk) to London (Luton) on May 2 per Airline Route. The new route will operate four days a week with Airbus A320s.
Top Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Atlasjet). Airbus A320-232 TC-OGI (msn 640) taxies past the camera at Antalya.
Finnair (Helsinki) and the biggest tour operators in Lapland have agreed upon a three-year partnership to increase flights to Lapland as well as a marketing collaboration. Beginning in November 2014, with the start of the winter timetable season, Finnair will significantly add to its Lapland flight schedule. Flights will be added particularly from Helsinki to Kittilä, Ivalo and Kuusamo. Timetables have been drawn up to provide passengers with good connections between Lapland and European and Asian destinations via Helsinki.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 OH-LXF (msn 1712) arrives in London (Heathrow).
Celebrating 90 Years of Flying:
Monarch Airlines (London-Luton) has announced it is partnering with visitlondon.com on their campaign, ‘The London Story’ (http://www.visitlondon.com/story). The partnership will last until the end of February. The partnership between Monarch Airlines and visitlondon.com aims to encourage Spanish and Italian travellers to come and explore the diversity of what London has to offer.
The London Story brings the city to life with a series of films featuring proud Londoners, who work in the capital, talking about what they love about London. The microsite, hosted on visitlondon.com and available in Spanish and Italian, showcases iconic parts of the capital as well as the lesser-known inspiring places which are dotted all around the city.
Each story is told in a two minutes video, allowing visitors to get to know the real people of London. They include iconic characters behind some of London’s best known landmarks and unsung heroes who bring the city to life: Mark, park manager for the Royal Parks; Alex, pier manager on the Thames; Barney, Yeoman of the Ward from the Tower of London; and Rebecca, colouring artist at Madame Tussauds.
One of the Londoners telling his ‘London Story’ is Monarch cabin crew member Jairo Chinea Santos who stars as Monarch’s ambassador for the campaign and tells why he likes calling London home. In the video, Jario explains how he treats each of his customers like a guest, welcoming them on board Monarch’s aircrafts with a big smile.
Editor’s Note: All airlines interested in increasing the number of passengers they carry should be partnering with their home city to promote their home town as an undiscovered destination. There are million of stories at each destination. Well done Monarch and visitlondon.com.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 G-ZBAB (msn 5581) with Sharklets taxies at Palma de Mallorca.
Video: One of the video segments about the London Underground:
VivaAerobus (vivaaerobus.com) (Monterrey) will soon become a new Airbus A320 operator, gradually replacing its Boeing 737-300s with newer Airbus A320s. The first, former Livingston A320-232 EI-ERH (msn 2157), has arrived back in Dublin following its repainting in Montpellier, France.
Copyright Photo: Paul Doyle/AirlinersGallery.com. EI-ERH arrives back at Dublin, pending delivery from SMBC on lease.
Airbus (Toulouse) has delivered the 1,000th Airbus aircraft to China. This milestone was reached in December 2013 with the hand over of an A320 to Air China (Beijing).
Airbus delivered its first jetliner to China in 1985, but the fleet grew slowly for the first decade. Deliveries to Chinese customers now account for over 20 per cent of total Airbus production and, according to forecasts, 170 aircraft per year will be delivered from 2014 to 2020.
Copyright Photo: Airbus. Pictured with the temporary registration of B-509L, the Airbus A320-214 became B-9926 (msn 5771) when it was handed over to Air China on December 24, 2013.
Austrian Airlines (Vienna) will relaunch its services to the Iranian capital, Tehran, from March 11, 2014 onwards, depending on the final regulatory approval. The flights will be operated five times a week for the duration of the company’s summer schedule, using an Airbus A320 or A319 operating with the flight numbers of OS 871/2. The service will be bookable from January 15, 2014 onwards. Austrian served the capital of Iran since 1984.
Austrian Airlines dropped all flights to Tehran from its schedule in January 2013 for commercial reasons.
The following flight times will apply from 11 March 2014 onwards (local time):
OS871 Vienna – Tehran 20.10 – 03.00 +1
OS872 Tehran – Vienna 03.55 – 06.00
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 OE-LBX (msn 1735), now operated by Tyroelan Airways (with small titles), prepares to land in Zurich in the Star Alliance motif.
Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin) and Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) today (January 13) unveiled an Airbus A320 aircraft in specially designed joint livery, symbolizing the close ties between the two airlines and marking the launch of a new Moving Forward media campaign, according to the announcement.
At the event in Berlin, Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, Airberlin’s Chief Executive Officer, and James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Air Berlin PLC, gave details of how air travellers will continue to benefit from the special partnership and the progress made in the first two years.
Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, said: “The comprehensive commercial partnership with Etihad Airways has brought many benefits to airberlin, including our shares of joint revenues of EUR 200 million, which is integral part of our turnaround program.
Partnerships are vital in today’s aviation industry. Our partnership provides significant benefits to Etihad Airways, airberlin, as well as to our guests. Not only do we provide an expanded offering of destinations and services, we also have developed synergies through the entire value chain.
This means an increasingly attractive offer with numerous benefits for customers, and continuously improved productivity and lower costs. The positive response from our guests illustrates that we are on the right path.”
Following the implementation of joint codesharing across the networks both airlines will strengthen the commercial partnership in 2014. That will include the expansion of joint sales operations, building on the current services provided by 17 joint sales offices located around the world, and representation in more than 50 international markets.
The Airberlin touristic expertise, an important pillar in Airberlin’s business, will also continue to be central to marketing the combined network.
The developments in the commercial partnership are set to further increase the number of passengers who fly on the airberlin and Etihad Airways network, which currently serves 228 destinations in 84 countries.
James Hogan said: “Since the launch of the partnership two years ago, commercial ties between Etihad Airways and Airberlin have deepened significantly. This has increased the destinations and flight options for guests and enabled both airlines to carry nearly 900,000 guests across the two networks.
During this time Airberlin’s new business strategy has made great progress and Etihad Airways continues to place its full support behind the airline and its management. We are confident that airberlin is on the right path back to profitability and the next phase in the airline’s proud history.”
A new joint “Moving Forward” media campaign will be launched in January and run until March 2014 and will see the new partnership logo of the two airlines featured in advertising and marketing across Germany.
James Hogan added: “During its 35 years of operations, airberlin has established itself as one of Europe’s leading business and leisure airlines, regularly carrying more than 30 million passengers each year.
This strong history and heritage, as well as its great potential, attracted Etihad Airways to make the equity investment and establish the commercial partnership, and this long term commitment remains key to the Etihad Airways business strategy.”
Airberlin and Etihad Airways operate 42 weekly flights between destinations in Germany and Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. This will increase to 49 weekly flights in February 2014 when a second daily Munich flight commences.
In 2013, 563,000 common codeshare passengers flew across the two networks, a 74 per cent increase on the previous year. Currently, 66 airberlin routes carry Etihad Airways’ EY code and 33 Etihad Airways’ routes carry airberlin’s AB code.
Wolfgang Prock-Schauer announced new routes for this year: “We shall continue to expand the joint route network with Etihad Airways and look forward to offering airberlin guests new codeshare destinations in India, Australia and South Korea.”
Copyright Photo: Airberlin. Airbus A320-214 D-ABDU (msn 3516) was unveiled today in the joint livery.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will invest more than $770 million through 2016 to refresh the interiors on its Boeing 757-200, 737-800, Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft to provide power at every seat, add new slim-line seats with adjustable headrests, updated lavatories, add more efficient galleys and additional features to improve passenger comfort.
This latest capital investment will improve the service consistency provided to Delta’s customers in First Class and Economy cabins as well as increasing aircraft efficiency and overall customer satisfaction of the airline’s domestic narrowbody fleet.
The investment continues Delta’s multi-year focus on passenger comfort that began in 2010. All Delta international widebody aircraft will include full flat-bed seats with direct-aisle access in BusinessElite by mid-2014 and all transcontinental flights will have full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite by summer 2015. The investments have maintained more First Class seats than any U.S. carrier; offer more in-flight entertainment options; provided access to Wi-Fi on all domestic two-class domestic aircraft with expansion to its entire international fleet by 2015; offer Economy Comfort seats on all two-class aircraft to give customers extra legroom; and increase access to power for customers in-flight.
757-200 aircraft improvements
Delta’s modifications to 56 of its 757-200 aircraft will include installing in-seat video, satellite TV and access to power for every passenger, along with new galleys, updated LED cabin lighting, new lavatory designs as well as larger capacity overhead bins. Delta will be the first carrier in North America to install the new bin system which will increase passenger carry-on baggage capacity by more than 50 percent.
The 49 modified domestic aircraft will feature a layout of 20 First Class seats, 29 Economy Comfort seats and 150 Economy seats. The remaining seven 757-200 international aircraft will have a configuration of 18 First Class seats, 28 Economy Comfort seats and 151 Economy seats.
737-800 aircraft improvements
The investment in 43 of Delta’s 737-800 aircraft will include the addition of in-seat video with satellite TV, new LED cabin lighting and updated lavatories. The aircraft will be configured with 16 First Class seats, 18 Economy Comfort seats and 126 Economy seats.
When the modifications are complete, Delta’s entire fleet of 73 737-800 aircraft will have in-seat video with access to satellite TV and in-seat power throughout the aircraft.
A319 and A320 aircraft improvements
Delta’s 57 A319 and 69 A320 aircraft will receive complete interior updates including new seats in both First Class and Economy cabins with in-seat power throughout the aircraft. The aircraft will also receive new space-saving galleys, new lavatories, new larger-capacity overhead bins with an average increase of 60 percent more carry-on baggage space, updated LED lighting systems and new cabin interiors. Updates to the A319 fleet will also include the installation of in-seat video with satellite TV.
The A319 will include 12 seats in First Class and the A320 will have 16 First Class seats. All Economy seats on both aircraft types will feature wider seats with an increase from the current 17.2 inches to 18 inches for each seat. Both fleets will have 18 Economy Comfort seats with 34 inches of pitch. Economy seats will each have 31 inches of pitch on both aircraft with 102 seats on the A319 and 126 seats on the A320.
Today’s announcement builds on Delta’s industry leadership in exceeding customer expectations by being the first U.S. airline to allow customer use of portable electronic devices below 10,000 feet, providing more in-flight Wi-Fi than any other airline, introducing the Sky Deck at Delta Sky Clubs in New York-JFK andAtlanta in 2013, being the only U.S. domestic carrier to offer personal, on demand entertainment at every seat on all long-haul international flights and offering flat-bed seating with direct-aisle access across its international widebody fleet by mid-2014.
Delta has invested more than $3 billion dollars since 2010 to improve the customer experience onboard its aircraft and improve technology and facilities including its new Terminal 4 at New York-JFK, Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal in Atlanta. Delta has also spent more than $100 million to expand, renovate and consolidate terminals C and D at New York-LaGuardia Airport. Additionally, customers have seen Delta’s investment in its more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs throughout the system, installation of power poles in gate areas at more than 40 airports and updates to the popular Fly Delta app which has been downloaded by nearly 10 million customers.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-212 N364NW (msn 962) prepares to roll down the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Tigerair agrees to sell Tigerair Philippines to Cebu Pacific Air, both carriers agree to an alliance
Tigerair and Cebu Pacific Air, the largest budget carriers based in Singapore and the Philippines respectively, have announced plans to enter into a strategic alliance. Both parties will collaborate commercially and operationally on international and domestic air routes from the Philippines, thereby creating the biggest network of flights to the region.
The alliance will enable both parties to leverage their respective strengths and harness synergies to enhance their network coverage, flight frequencies and customer service, and jointly market their routes using interline arrangement.
Subject to regulatory approval, the interline partners will jointly operate common routes between Singapore and the Philippines. As part of the strategic alliance, Tigerair will divest its 40% stake in Tigerair Philippines to Cebu Pacific.
Group CEO of Tigerair Mr Koay Peng Yen said, “Tigerair and Cebu Pacific share a vision for both airlines to join forces and create the largest budget airline network between Asia and the Philippines. This partnership with Cebu Pacific is consistent with our asset-light strategy, and builds upon our other alliances. We also look forward to achieving greater cost savings from the coordinated operations while providing more travel options and greater convenience for our customers.”
President and CEO of Cebu Pacific Mr Lance Gokongwei said, “This strategic alliance will allow both Cebu Pacific and Tigerair to leverage our extensive networks spanning from North Asia, ASEAN, Australia, India, all the way to the Middle East. Our customers can expect an even wider range of travel options, and seamless travel connections while enjoying our trademark low fares.”
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Sporting the new titles and look, Tigerair’s Airbus A320-232 9V-TAS (msn 4493) arrives in Bangkok.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Cebu Pacific Air’s Airbus A320-214 RP-C3262 (msn 4537) also arrives in Bangkok.
Air India (Delhi) flight AI 890 late on Sunday (January 5) did not go well. The flight was operating from Guwahati to Delhi with Airbus A320-231 VT-ESH (msn 469) with around 170 passengers and crew members. The flight diverted to Jaipur, India due to bad weather in Delhi. Unfortunately Jaipur’s weather deteriorated too with fog but the crew elected to make an emergency landing in Jaipur due to low fuel. On landing the aircraft reportedly burst several tires and the aircraft veered off the runway . The left wing collided with an object according to reports. Part of the outer portion of the left wing was clipped off.
Read the full account from a passenger on board the ill-fated flight from Yahoo! News India: CLICK HERE
Read the full account also from India Today (with photos): CLICK HERE
JetBlue Airways (New York) has published this piece on its Blue Tales blog about repositioning aircraft and crews:
For most people, digging out after a snow storm is about brushing off the car, clearing the driveway, and making sure the roads are clear. For a 24/7 operation like an airline though, it can be a little more involved, and digging out is only the first step.
Operating a scheduled flight requires a delicate handoff of planes to rested pilots and inflight crewmembers able to work the flight. Delays or cancellations disrupt those handoffs placing crews or planes “out of position” for their flights. A flight from Fort Lauderdale to Austin becomes difficult to operate after a storm when the scheduled plane is in New York, a rested Inflight crew is ready to start their trip in Fort Lauderdale, and the pilots are delayed trying to get in from Rochester.
Getting those crews and planes into position without disrupting other crews and their scheduled flights is no easy task. We often need to cancel flights to “thin” the operation around an irregular operations day to make sure planes and crews are ‘reset’ just so we can start the next day fresh.
Fresh is the key word there. It may seem counter-intuitive to cancel a flight that seems able to operate, but our crews need to be rested in order to operate flights. When a pilot or inflight crewmember leaves for the airport, they’re on a timer. Once they time out, they need to leave and get some rest, whether they’re where they’re supposed to be or not. While disappointing, we’d rather cancel a flight before all the customers have gathered in the airport, and where we can be sure our crew can be ready to start fresh and rested.
Today, even in the midst of us repairing those schedules disrupted by this week’s winter storms, we’re facing an additional complication as new FAA rules go into effect for crew rest. These rules further impact our ability to operate an already disrupted schedule, causing our pilots to “time out” even sooner. As a result, additional cancellations are likely to occur as we work to reset the operation.
We understand the frustration this causes for our customers and will do everything we can to minimize the impact. Many travelers similarly find themselves “out of position” as already full holiday flights make it difficult to find immediate reaccommodation of canceled flights, and limited spare aircraft and crews make extra sections few and far between. If you’re scheduled to fly out on a trip today, we’d encourage you to look at our weather advisory for current information on our fee waivers, and if you still opt to travel, please check the status of your flight online prior to leaving for the airport.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N615JB (msn 2461) in the special FDNY scheme prepares to depart from Long Beach.
Cebu Pacific Air (Cebu Air, Inc) (Manila) has started negotiations to possibly acquire rival Tigerair Philippines (formerly SEAIR) (Manila and Clark) according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer. If the two parties can reach agreement, the acquisition would need to pass several regulatory hurdles including the Philippines CAB.
Tigerair Philippines was formed when Tigerair (Tiger Airways) of Singapore acquired 40 percent of SEAIR (formerly Asian Wings) and renamed the airline.
Read the full story: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Cebu Pacific Air’s (Cebu Pacific Air.com) Airbus A320-214 RP-C3273 (msn 5498) with Sharklets approaches Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) for landing.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Kok Chwee K.C. Sim/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 RP-C6319 (msn 5188) with “It’s more fun in the Philippines” lands in Singapore.
The complete Tigerair Route Map including Tigerair Philippines:
RAK Airways (rakairways.com) (Ras Al Khaimah) has again suspended operations as of today (January 1) as it restructures. The airline issued this statement today:
UAE’s RAK Airways announced today (January 1, 2014) the suspension of all operations starting on January 1, 2014 until further notice. In a written statement today, the airline said, ‘The decision for suspending operations was taken following increased pressures on the carrier’s performance due to continuous market conditions, increased operating costs and the impact of the regional political instability on the overall aviation industry.’.
‘‘The board of directors took the decision today to suspend the operations until further notice. We believe this decision is in the best interest of the airline and its shareholders. We will take this time to re-evaluate the best options available for RAK Airways future as well as those that fit the industry requirements of the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.”
RAK Airways current network included flights from RAK International Airport to Doha, Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore, Jeddah, Riyadh, Calicut and Kathmandu.
RAK Airways regrets the inconvenience caused to its customers as a result of this decision. All passengers who have made bookings with RAK Airways will be re-booked on alternative airline or receive full refund for any payments made.
The UAE airline originally launched scheduled passenger operations on November 29, 2007. The airline suspended all operations in 2009, reorganized and resumed operations on October 10, 2010. This is the second suspension of services.
The airline is vowing to reorganize and relaunch operations at a later date.
Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten/AirlinersGallery.com. RAK Airways (rakairways.com) Airbus A320-214 A6-RKC (msn 2158) is seen at the RKT hub (all others by RAK Airways).
Video: RAK Airport video:
Zhejiang Loong Airlines firms up order for 20 Airbus A320 Family aircraft, starts operations in China
Zhejiang Loong Airlines (Loongair) (Hangzhou), based in the capital city of Zhejiang province in Eastern China, has signed its first purchase agreement with Airbus, for 20 A320 Family aircraft, including 11 A320ceo and nine A320neo, becoming the lastest Airbus customer. The agreement follows the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in September at the Beijing Airshow.
On December 16, 2013 at 2:00 pm (1400) local time the first Airbus A320 (B-9962 above) arrived in the rain at Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (see below) and despite the rain received a water cannon salute. A second leased A320 (A320-214 B-6858, msn 5008) arrived on December 22, 2013.
The airline commenced scheduled passenger operations on December 26, 2013 with the two A320s.
The new airline is flying from Hangzhou to Chengdu , Xi’an, Xiamen, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Kunming, Chongqing, Changsha and Changchun. The airline plans to expand to Hong Kong, Macao, Taipei and in Southeast Asia (please see route map below).
In the first half of 2014, Loongair’s fleet is expected to reach nine aircraft, including six passenger aircraft and three freighters.
Top Copyright Photo: Airbus/Iihutao (all others by the new airline). The airline is operating as Loongair. The pictured Airbus A320-214 B-9962 (msn 5656) was leased from Capital Airlines on December 11, 2013.
Current Route Map:
Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) known for its ultra low fare model (based on Ryanair) which charges for everything else besides a basic seat on airplane, is taking a page out of the old Western Pacific Airlines (Colorado Springs) book to raise additional revenue through aircraft exterior advertising.
Airbus A320-232 N618NK (msn 5458) is now adverting the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (one of its growth airports) with this unique “Greetings from Fort Worth” “aircraft postcard”.
Copyright Photo: Rurik Enriquez/AirlinersGallery.com. N618NK makes a stop at Cancun with the new look.
Vanilla Air (formerly AirAsia Japan) (Tokyo-Narita) as planned, relaunched operations on December 20 under this new brand. The first routes were from Tokyo (Narita) to Naha, Okinawa and Tokyo (Narita) to Taipei (Taoyuan).
Tokyo (Narita) – Sapporo will be started next month followed by Tokyo (Narita) – Seoul (Incheon) in March 2014.
Vanilla Air is the low-cost subsidiary of ANA.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-216 JA01VA (msn 5844) with Sharklets and a new identity arrives today at Tokyo (Narita).
Video: Inaugural Flight from Narita to Taipei on December 20:
YanAir (Kiev) is planning to launch twice-weekly flights (on Wednesdays and Sundays) from Vinnitsa (also known as Vinnytsa), Ukraine to Tel Aviv, Israel with this Airbus A320 on December 29 according to Kommepcahtb.ua. The carrier also serves Moscow from Vinnytsia with SAAB 340As.
Vinnytsia is an ancient city in central Ukraine.
YanAir received its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) on June 26, 2013 and currently operates two SAAB 340As and one Airbus A320.
Copyright Photo: Rob Skinkis. The pictured Airbus A320-211 UR-YAD (msn 726) is seen arriving at an overcast Manchester on a football charter flight and was leased from ILFC on August 20, 2013.
Video: A tour of their SAAB 340A:
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) have been adding competitive routes at their rival’s hubs in Seattle/Tacoma and Salt Lake City. Something is going with these partners as each carrier is doing a tit for tat with new routes.
The bigger question now being raised is will Delta make a hostile bid to acquire and merge Alaska? Assuming it would be approved, it would allow Delta to leap again back to being the largest carrier in thew world again.
Alaska is a profitable airline and has always preferred to stay independent.
Will a bidding war develop for Alaska? If not, will Delta continue adding routes to and from Seattle/Tacoma?
Can Alaska remain independent?
Bloomberg explores these possibilities.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Delta’s Airbus A320-212 N365NW (msn 964) taxies to the runway at SeaTac.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska’s Boeing 737-890 N590AS (msn 35687) also taxies at the SeaTac hub.
As a result, Aegean Airlines will commence four flights a week service between Athens and Abu Dhabi starting on March 30, 2014 and, subject to regulatory approvals, Etihad Airways will place its EY flight code on the new flight. Aegean Airlines will operate its new Athens-Abu Dhabi service with a 168-seat Airbus A320 aircraft.
Beyond Athens, Etihad Airways will also place its flight code on Aegean-operated flights to 16 Greek destinations, and to a further 10 cities across Europe.
In other route news, Aegean will restore a route to Hamburg starting on May 27. The route will be operated three days a week.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Aegean Airlines’ Airbus A320-232 SX-DGD (msn 4065) with the promotional visitgreece.com sub-titles taxies past the camera at Nantes, France.
Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) is reportedly in advanced discussions with Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) about a possible sale of 49 percent of its shares to the fast-growing carrier. Etihad has been steadily adding a growing list of struggling airlines and turning them around creating a large profitable feeder network.
Alitalia is struggling to avoid another bankruptcy. Any purchase would require a radical remake of the loss-making Italian flag carrier. Are we ready for Alitalia 3?
Read the full story from the Financial Times: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Alitalia’s Airbus A320-216 EI-DTN (msn 4143) prepares to land in Frankfurt.
SAA flies each day between both New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Washington’s Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport
Via its Johannesburg hub, SAA links the world to most cities and destinations across southern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands, including South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, and Zambia.
Beginning in 2014, JetBlue will debut Mint, the carrier’s new premium offering, featuring the longest lie-flat bed in domestic business class and the only private suites on the New York-Los Angeles and New York-San Francisco routes.
At JFK Airport, JetBlue operates from its Terminal 5, while SAA operates from the adjacent Terminal 4, allowing for fast and easy connections between flights.
At Washington Dulles, both JetBlue and SAA are co-located in Concourse B.
Top Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Standing out in the red FDNY special livery, Airbus A320-232 N615JB (msn 2461) arrives at Los Angeles International Airport.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. South African Airways’ Airbus A340-313X ZS-SXE (msn 646) leaves the runway at Washington Dulles International Airport.
International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), a wholly owned subsidiary of American International Group, Inc., announced it has signed an agreement with Air Calédonie International (Aircalin) (Nouméa), New Caledonia’s international airline, for the lease of a used Airbus A320-200. The aircraft will support the airline’s efforts to meet growing demand for air travel in the region.
The aircraft is scheduled for delivery in the middle of 2014 and will mark the addition of the second Airbus A320 to the airline’s fleet. The aircraft will be equipped with IAE V2500 engines and configured to have 8 business and 150 economy class seats. It will operate on Aircalin’s regional network, which connects its Nouméa base in New Caledonia with Japan, Australia, New Zealand and major South Pacific Islands.
Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. The current Airbus A320, the pictured A320-232 F-OJSB (msn 2152) is pictured at Sydney.
JetBlue Airways (New York) today launched three daily flights to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Toussaint Louverture International Airport (PAP) will be served once daily from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and twice daily from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).
Port-au-Prince is JetBlue’s 82nd destination and its 24th destination internationally.
JetBlue’s schedule between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood (FLL) and Port-au-Prince (PAP) effective December 5, 2013:
|FLL to PAP:||PAP to FLL:|
|Depart – Arrive||Depart – Arrive|
|6:30 a.m. – 8:25 a.m.||9:25 a.m. – 11:34 a.m.|
|12:40 p.m. – 2:38 p.m.||3:34 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.|
JetBlue’s schedule between New York (JFK) and Port-au-Prince (PAP) effective December 5, 2013:
|JFK to PAP:||PAP to JFK:|
|Depart – Arrive||Depart – Arrive|
|6:30 a.m. – 10:13 a.m.||11:10 a.m. – 3:07 p.m.|
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N828JB (msn 5723) with Sharklets lands at Las Vegas.
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) as of yesterday (December 3) is now owned by Indigo Partners through an affiliate. Indigo Partners issued this statement:
Indigo Partners has announced that, through an affiliate, it has completed the acquisition of Frontier Airlines from Republic Airways Holdings on December 3, 2013. Final terms of the transaction, which was first announced on October 1, 2013, are not being disclosed.
Indigo Partners and its principals, led by managing partner William A. Franke, have considerable experience in successful, airline-related investments.
“Today is an exciting day for Frontier Airlines and Indigo Partners, as we can now embark on a new chapter in Frontier’s history of providing safe, reliable and fairly priced air service,” said Franke. “As air travel costs have moved higher, demand has grown for more affordable options and more choices. One key element to Frontier’s future success will be operating as an ultra low cost carrier that offers low fares. This model, coupled with the Frontier touch, will ensure opportunities for the Frontier team, and provide safe and reliable ULCC air service to our communities and beyond as we grow Frontier under this vision.”
Frontier will remain headquartered in Denver, Colorado.
David Siegel, CEO and President of Frontier Airlines, resigned from Republic’s Board of Directors.
Indigo Partners is a private equity firm established by W. A. Franke in 2003 to pursue acquisitions and strategic investments in the air transportation and related industries. The firm was a significant investor in Tiger Airways based in Singapore and Spirit Airlines based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and maintains lead investments in Wizz Air Holdings, Plc, a ULCC with multiple bases in Central and Eastern Europe and Volaris Airlines, a ULCC based in Mexico City. Indigo Partners is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.
Republic Airways Holdings, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America. The airlines operate a combined fleet of more than 250 aircraft and offer scheduled passenger service on over 1,300 flights daily to more than 110 cities in the U.S., Canada and the Bahamas through fixed-fee flights operated under airline partner brands, including American Eagle, Delta Connection, United Express, and US Airways Express. The airlines currently employ approximately 6,000 aviation professionals.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Indigo Partners is likely to keep the popular animals on the tails which plays well on their TV advertisements in the main Frontier markets, giving names to the talking tails. However the new very bold FLYFRONTIER.COM titles as displayed on Airbus A320-214 N220FR (msn 5661) with Sharklets may not survive. It will be interesting to watch for any changes to the current Frontier strategy by these low-fare airline investment fund people.
Thai Airways International (Bangkok) is now planning to totally spin off its Thai Smile (Bangkok) subsidiary into a totally independent carrier. Thai Smile will acquire its own AOC, code and will change its name to Thai Smile Airways Company according to Travel Daily News.
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Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 HS-TXB (msn 5248) climbs away from the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport hub. The airline once its goes independent is likely to lose the Thai colors and tail in its livery.
Routes from Bangkok:
Belle Air Europe (subsidiary of Belle Air) (Ancona, Italy and Pristina) followed the lead of its parent organization and ceased all operations the next day on November 26.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Belle Air Europe’s Airbus A320-214 EI-LIS (msn 3492) taxies at Zurich.
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Aeroflot Group) (Moscow) issued its financial results for the first nine months of 2013:
Aeroflot has announced the consolidated IFRS financial results of Aeroflot Group for the nine months ending 30 September 2013.
Key financial highlights:
- Net income for the nine-month period of $545.2 million, an increase of 84.1% versus 9M 2012
- Revenue for the nine-month period was up 16.8% year-on-year to $7,032.7 million
- Traffic revenue for the nine-month period grew 17.8% year-on-year to $6,259.0 million
- Fuel costs for the nine-month period rose 11.4% year-on-year to $1,877.5 million (9M 2012: $1,685.0 million)
- Non-fuel operating costs for the nine-month period increased 10.1% year-on-year to $4,305.4 million
- 9M 2013 basic and diluted earnings per share of $0.500 and 0.499, up 63.4% and 64.7%, respectively, from 9M 2012
- Aeroflot Group passenger traffic grew 14.7% year-on-year in 9M 2013 to 24.0 million people, while revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) rose 16.2% to 65,363.0 million
- Aeroflot standalone capacity rose 18.3% year-on-year in the period, while Aeroflot Group capacity was up 15.8% compared to 9M 2012
Aeroflot suspended operations of its cargo plane fleet in 2013, switching to belly cargo operations. This was the main factor driving the 8.6% decline in tons of cargo carried in 9M 2013 vs. 9M 2012
“Aeroflot Group’s strong financial results were driven by three factors. First, we offer clients a premium product at an attractive price. Second, we are managing costs effectively. Third, we are optimising the operations of our subsidiaries that are being integrated into the Group,” said Vitaly Saveliev, Aeroflot’s chief executive officer. “We are on track this year to serve the most customers in Russia’s modern history. At the same time we maintain our relentless focus on safety. This is bolstered by our aircraft fleet, which is the best in Russia and one of the youngest in Europe.”
|USD mln, unless otherwise stated||
(1) EBITDAR = EBITDA + operating lease expenses; (2) EBITDA = operating income + depreciation & amortization + customs duties
Aeroflot Group reported strong traffic revenue in the first nine months of 2013 of $6,259.0 million, representing a 17.8% increase over the same period in 2012. Group passenger traffic rose 14.7% to 24.0 million people, while revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) was up 16.2% to 65,363.0 million. Aeroflot Group’s seat load factor was relatively flat at 79.1%.
Aeroflot Group revenue in 9M 2013 increased by 16.8% year-on-year to $7,032.7 million, primarily due to strong growth of 19.3% in the passenger segment, which was balanced by a decline in cargo revenue of 10.9% after Aeroflot suspended its cargo fleet operations. Other revenue increased by 9.0% year-on-year to $773.7 million.
Fuel costs for the nine-month period increased 11.4% year-on-year to $1,877.5 million, driven by the significant growth in passenger traffic and the addition of new routes.
Non-fuel operating costs for the nine months of 2013 also increased in line with the growth in the Group’s operations, up 10.1% to $4,305.4 million, primarily due to year-on-year increases in aircraft and traffic servicing costs (up 17.9% to $1,252.7 million). Staff costs increased 11.7% year-on-year to $1,003.9 million.
Aeroflot Group operating income for 9M 2013 nearly doubled year-on-year to $849.8 million, representing a margin of 12.1%, compared to an operating margin of 7.1% for 9M 2012.
The Group’s net income in 9M 2013 was $545.2 million, up 84.1% from the first nine months of 2012.
Other 2013 highlights:
In the beginning of 3Q, Aeroflot was unveiled as the Official Carrier of Manchester United Football Club. The multi-year sponsorship positions Aeroflot as a premium international brand by aligning it with a global symbol of excellence.
In October 2013 Aeroflot presented plans to launch Russia’s first national low-cost carrier (LCC), a new 100% subsidiary to be known as “Dobrolet”. Ticket prices are expected to be on average 40% lower than mainstream carriers, thus attracting a new customer segment to air travel. Aeroflot views the LCC market as a sizeable growth opportunity and a chance to diversify its business without the risk of cannibalization. Dobrolet is targeting the start of operations in 2014.
In November 2013 Aeroflot announced the roll-out of Aurora Airlines, a new subsidiary focused on the Russian Far East that has been created from Group subsidiaries Vladivostok Avia and Sakhalin Airlines. The launch of Aurora represents a unique opportunity to achieve significant market share in the Far East where there are few alternatives to air travel. Aurora has an annual traffic target of 2.4 million passengers by 2018. The creation of Aurora is part of the process of consolidation and restructuring of subsidiary assets.
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 VP-BNT (msn 5614) in the retro 1956 livery lands at Stockholm (Arlanda).