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.
Airbus (Toulouse) yesterday (July 1) rolled out the first assembled A320neo (new engine option). The pictured Airbus A320-271N WL F-WNEO (msn 6101) will soon enter its flight test program. The manufacturer issued this statement:
The assembly of Airbus’ first A320neo has been completed following painting of the aircraft and the mounting of Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM engines. Msn 6101, which will be the first A320neo to fly, will soon start its ground tests to prepare for first flight.
The flight test campaign for the A320neo will kick-off in September 2014, paving the way for Entry Into Service in Q4 2015.
The A320neo “new engine option” incorporates many innovations, including latest generation engines and large Sharklet wing-tip devices, which together deliver 15 percent in fuel savings and a reduction of 3,600 tonnes of C02 per aircraft per year. With a total of nearly 2,700 orders received from more than 50 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo Family has captured some 60 percent of the market, clearly demonstrating its leadership.
Airbus also issued this statement about the upcoming test program:
The highly-efficient NEO (new engine option) single-aisle jetliner project is another step closer to taking flight with the rollout of the initial A320neo – a key milestone as Airbus continues on-schedule for the aircraft’s maiden flight.
Prominently featuring the NEO branding on its livery, this aircraft – designated MSN6101 in the company’s numbering system – is powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM engines and is the first in Airbus’ A320neo Family developmental fleet. It is equipped with extensive flight test instrumentation for handling qualities, performance and engine tests, along with the high-altitude, and hot- and cold-weather campaigns.
In total, Airbus’ NEO flight-test fleet will comprise eight aircraft. This includes two A320neos, one A319neo and one A321neo for each of the new engine choices: Pratt & Whitney’s PW1100G-JM and the CFM International LEAP-1A.
The company’s rigorous A320neo Family flight-test and certification programme is facilitated by the jetliner’s fly-by-wire commonality, as well as previous flight dynamics testing during the Sharklet-certification campaign, explained Sandra Bour-Schaeffer, Project Flight Test Engineer for the NEO programme at Airbus.
Once msn 6101 takes flight, Airbus will begin with initial development and aircraft flight manual tests, before proceeding into its A320neo development and certification phase and maturity campaign – to ensure the A320neo fully meets customer requirements at service entry, which is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2015.
In addition, a second Pratt & Whitney-powered A320neo aircraft is planned to join the developmental fleet this year – fitted with lighter flight test instrumentation for noise, functionality, reliability testing and ETOPS approval.
Airbus already is well advanced with “up-front” A320neo testing, including approximately 250 flight hours performed on the company’s A320ceo (current engine option) in-house developmental aircraft to evaluate hardware and software for NEO flight control laws, and test bench validation of thrust reversers.
To further prepare for first flight, Airbus will begin a “virtual flight-test campaign” this summer, which includes simulator-based evaluations of flying scenarios and aircraft systems.
Incorporating its new engine choices, along with the application of Airbus’ fuel-saving Sharklets wingtip devices, the NEO shares over 95 per cent commonality with CEO aircraft – while delivering at least 15 per cent reduction in fuel consumption for operators.
Copyright Photo: Airbus.
VivaColombia (Medellin) is launching its first international routes to Balboa, Panama. The low fare airline will start daily flights to the former Howard Air Force Base, now known as the Panama Pacific International Airport in Balboa, Panama (BLB) (near Panama City) on August 1 from both Bogota and Medellin.
VivaColombia is the first and only low-cost airline in Colombia. It started operations on May 25, 2012, from the Jose Maria Cordova Airport located in Rionegro, in the state of Antioquia.
Copyright Photo: Greenwing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 EI-EPX (msn 1454) became HK-4905 when it was delivered on October 31, 2012..
Bingo Airways (Warsaw) this month suspended operations according to Pasazer.com. According to the article, the airline has lost some important charter contracts and two of its Airbus A320s (SP-ACO and SP-AEK) have left the fleet. The carrier’s AOC has been suspended by the Polish authorities as the attempts to find additional funding and reorganize according to CEO Marek Sidor.
Read the article (in Polish): CLICK HERE
Bingo Airways started operations on May 18, 2012.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Bingo Airways). Airbus A320-214 SP-AEK (msn 1450) taxies at Antalya, Turkey.
Livingston Compagnia Aerea (2nd) (New Livingston) (Milan-Malpensa) will cease operations on July 14 after the ENAC announced the revocation of its Air Operators Certificate (AOC). The airline is guaranteeing its flights until then and is also appealing the decision.
On June 25 the airline issued this statement:
New Livingston has filed a petition with the Court of Busto Arsizio for the admission to the settlement with creditors procedure pursuant to article 161, paragraph 6 of the Italian Bankruptcy Law (so called “concordato preventivo”).
New Livingston resolved to apply for the above mentioned instrument, in order to overcome a temporary financial crisis ascribable to, inter alia, the bankruptcy of Aeradria S.p.A., significant delays in collecting certain credits and the recent revocation of the PSO route Alghero – Roma Fiumicino and vice versa (in connection with such measure, a claim against Regione Autonoma della Sardegna is still in progress). The above, in compliance with the so-called “par condicio creditorum”.
New Livingston has already provided to ENAC the documentation needed in order to immediately obtain the revocation of the suspension measure of its carries license starting from 00:01 of July 14, 2014 or the issuance of a provisional carrier license, on the basis of article 9, paragraph 1, of the Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008 and paragraph 4.6 of the Circular ENAC EAL-16 of 27 February 2008.
New Livingston will continue its full operation of scheduled connections guaranteeing its high standards of quality and safety.
The second version of Livingston started operations on March 31, 2012.
Previously on December 15, 2011 Riccardo Toto bought the assets of defunct Livingston Energy Flight (1st) from the company in receivership. The name “Livingston” was reborn. The airline is privately held.
The company currently operates three Airbus A320s and the main route is from Rome to Alghero, Sardinia.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 EI-ERH (msn 2157) holds short of the runway at Palma de Mallorca (PMI).
Volaris (Mexico City) is coming to Portland, Oregon. Starting on October 6 Volaris will operate twice-weekly Guadalajara-Portland service according to Airline Route.
In other news, Volaris launched four new routes from Mexico City to Villahermosa, Tampico, Los Mochis and Oaxaca on June 17. Volaris will also increase from 2 to 4 daily frequencies on the Mexico – Monterrey route from July 15.
With these additions, Volaris now serves 19 domestic destinations from MEX.
Copyright Photo: Airbus A320-233 N514VL (msn 5337) named “Jorge” taxies from the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.
Iberia (Madrid) on June 20 resumed daily flights between its Madrid hub and Istanbul, Turkey. The restored route will now operate with Airbus A320s, with Business and Economy sections.
Iberia has also announced it is restoring IB service to Amsterdam, Athens and Stockholm in Europe, and to Montevideo in Uruguay and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic starting on September 1.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 EC-IZR (msn 2242) in the Oneworld color scheme completes its final approach to the runway at the Madrid (Barajas) hub.
Air Astana (Almaty) will restart services from Almaty to Dubai from September 1, 2014.
Flights will be operated by Airbus A320 family aircraft. Flights from Almaty to Dubai International Airport (DXB) will depart at 07:55 and arrive 10:25 at Terminal 1. Dubai-Almaty flights will depart at 11:40 arriving at Almaty at 17:55.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 P4-XAS (msn 4519) arrives at Southend after a test flight.
Air Armenia (Yerevan) will start a new twice-weekly route to Frankfurt on September 2. Previously the growing carrier started twice-weekly Paris (CDG) service on April 30.
Air Armenia is a private airline established in Armenia in 2003 and is based at Yerevan’s Zvartnots Airport.
For 10 years since its foundation, Air Armenia has only operated cargo flights, except for a short period in 2003-2004 when it was contracted to operate passenger flights.
Upon liberalization of air passenger transportation policy in Armenia in 2013, Air Armenia launched regular passenger services to Russia, and is planning to expand to other destinations in the CIS, Europe and Middle East.
Copyright Photo: OSDU/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 EK32039 (msn 1439) arrives in Moscow (Vnukovo).
Wizz Air (Hungary) (Budapest) has announced the opening of its 17th base in Riga, Latvia. Wizz Air is initially deploying one Airbus A320 aircraft and opening 4 new routes from Riga to Barcelona, Doncaster/Sheffield, Dortmund and Beauvais (near Paris).
Wizz Air is not only adding new flights from Riga, but also increasing the frequencies on the existing services to London (Luton) and Torp (near Oslo). Wizz Air is now offering 8 routes to 6 different countries from the Latvian capital. The airline believes its expansion in Riga can stimulate the local job market in aviation and the tourism sector with more visitors now able to travel to Latvia on its low fare services.
Wizz Air on May 19, 2014 celebrated its 10 year anniversary of its first flight from Katowice in southern Poland to London (Luton) on May 19, 2004. The low fare airline now operates a fleet of 52 Airbus A320 aircraft on 300 routes from 18 bases, connecting 96 destinations across 35 countries. It transported over 13.9 million passengers in the financial year ending on March 31, 2014.
In addition, Wizz Air on October 26, 2014 is expanding service from Bucharest, Romania with the launch of two weekly flights to Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg and Nuremberg.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 HA-LPK (msn 3143) lands at EuroAirport serving the Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg area.
Routes from Rigia, Latvia:
Virgin America (San Francisco) today reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2014. The company reported a net loss of $22.4 million for the quarter, compared to a net loss a year ago of $46.4 million, resulting in a $24.0 million year-over-year improvement.
The airline continued:
The airline significantly narrowed its net loss from the same period in 2013 with a 51.8 percent year-over-year improvement.
First Quarter 2014 Financial Highlights
Operating Revenue: Total operating revenue of $313.4 million, an increase of 4.0 percent over the first quarter of 2013.
Revenue per Available Seat Mile (RASM): RASM increased 0.9 percent, to 11.28 cents. Year-over-year
RASM growth was impacted by the Easter and Passover travel peaks shifting to April in 2014 (in 2013, these holidays fell earlier in the year), as well as a more than four-fold increase in the percentage of cancelled flights from the year earlier period due to severe winter weather in 2014 – including a significant number of cancellations during the busy, high-RASM Presidents’ Day holiday travel period.
Cost per Available Seat Mile (CASM): Total CASM increased 0.2 percent, to 11.76 cents. CASM excluding fuel costs increased 2.4 percent year-over-year, to 7.59 cents. CASM was negatively impacted by the high level of cancellations, as well as a 6.9 percent decrease in average stage length.
Operating Loss: First quarter 2014 operating loss of $13.1 million was a $1.9 million improvement over
Virgin America’s operating loss in the year prior. Operating margin improved by 0.8 percent year-over-year.
Net Loss: $22.4 million net loss for the quarter, compared to a net loss a year ago of $46.4 million, resulting in a $24.0 million year-over-year improvement.
Capacity: Available seat miles (ASMs) increased 3.0 percent year-over-year. The airline ended the quarter with 53 aircraft.
Liquidity: Unrestricted cash was $132.9 million as of March 31, 2014, an increase of $74.8 million since March 31, 2013.
“Given our network’s focus on trans-continental flying to the East Coast and with 30 percent of our revenue generated by New York markets alone, we bore the brunt of this year’s winter storms with a significant increase in cancellations. Yet despite the challenging operating and financial environment brought on by the severe winter weather and a shift in holiday travel, Virgin America improved its year-over-year net results in the first quarter,” said David Cush, Virgin America’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “With our first full year of net income in 2013, this marks the sixth straight quarter that we have delivered improved year-over-year financial results. In addition, our continued sweep of the major travel awards remains a testament to the work of our 2,800 teammates who consistently deliver the best product in the skies – despite the tough operating conditions for the quarter.”
In March, the California-based airline reported fourth quarter results and its first-ever full year profit in 2013, with a net income of $10.1 million, an improvement of $155.5 million over 2012. Total operating revenue for 2013 was $1.4 billion, a $91.8 million increase and 6.9 percent improvement over 2012. Virgin America achieved the highest year-over-year percentage increase in RASM of all major U.S. airlines in 2013.
Acquisition of Strategic Assets
As of the first quarter of 2014, Virgin America had finalized the purchase of slot assets at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) and at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) that became available as part of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) settlement agreement resolving American Airline’s merger with US Airways. With the further acquisition of new gates at Dallas’ Love Field (DAL) which were made available in the same settlement process and with the support of Dallas consumers and local leaders, the airline will launch four new daily nonstop flights from DAL to LGA, three daily nonstop flights from DAL to DCA, and three daily nonstop flights from both Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to DAL as of October 2014. These acquisitions will allow Virgin America to significantly strengthen its network. The airline will be the only carrier at Love Field to offer a consistent, upscale product on every flight — with three classes of service, WiFi, in-seat power outlets, confirmed seating and touch-screen seatback entertainment available for every guest. Virgin America will be the second low-cost airline to serve all three major New York-area airports. In addition, the airline closed and funded a $40.0 million financing facility with two major banks early in the second quarter of 2014 to finance these slot purchases and further increase unrestricted cash.
Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N633VA (msn 3230) approaches the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York City.
Virgin America (San Francisco) has just released this statement about its upgraded Wi-Fi service:
Five years ago, Virgin America became the first airline to offer Gogo In-flight Wi-Fi service on every flight. And we’re proud to say that we still retain that distinction today – as the only U.S. airline to offer Wi-Fi connectivity on every single domestic flight. As technology has improved and as more and more people are logging in at 35,000 feet, we’re equally pleased to share that as of this Fall – Virgin America will be the first airline to offer Gogo’s faster ATG-4 Wi-Fi service to flyers on every flight. The new ATG-4 service offers more bandwidth within the cabin, resulting in a faster web experience for travelers looking for their “office in the sky.”
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N849VA (msn 4991) now only displays a “SF” (San Francisco Giants) logo on the engines. The crew of N849VA prepares to land at Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA).
Video: Upgrading the fleet:
JetBlue Airways (New York) today announced two new nonstop routes from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to Fort Myers (RSW) and West Palm Beach (PBI) in Florida. The two routes will launch on December 18, 2014 and operate during the winter season. The airline today also launched three new routes from DCA to Charleston, SC (CHS), Hartford/Springfield (BDL) and Nassau, Bahamas (NAS). Additionally, JetBlue will boost its existing service to Tampa, Florida, with a second daily flight effective July 2, 2014.
The new routes and increased frequency follow the allocation of 12 slot pairs to JetBlue by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as a result of divestitures from the American Airlines-US Airways merger. More flights will be announced this summer as JetBlue continues to ramp up its presence at DCA.
JetBlue entered the Reagan National market in 2010, becoming the airline’s 62nd destination. With the three new routes launched today, the airline now offers 24 daily flights, with service to Boston, Charleston, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Hartford/Springfield, Nassau, Orlando and Tampa, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico. New service to Ft Myers and West Palm Beach will both launch on December 18, 2014. JetBlue will operate up to 30 roundtrips per day at DCA by the end of 2014.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N665JB (msn 3348) arrives at Reagan National Airport (DCA).
Tigerair Group (Singapore), which controls 35.8 percent of the Mandala Airlines (Tigerair Mandala) stock, has decided to stop funding the loss-making Indonesian carrier. The company issued this statement:
PT Mandala Airlines deeply regrets to inform customers that its airline (operating under the brand-name of Tigerair Mandala) will cease operations from July 1, 2014.
Customers who hold a flight booking with flight designator “RI” should note the following:
All Mandala flights from now to June 30, 2014 will operate as scheduled.
The last flight to be operated will be RI 545 on July 1, 2014, HKG-DPS departure time 0235.
All other flights operated by Mandala on July 1, 2014 and thereafter will be cancelled.
As a gesture of goodwill, the Tigerair Group will assist all affected customers with either a flight transfer to a TR flight if seats are available, or a refund for tickets booked for travel on July 1 or thereafter. Tigerair has no legal obligation or responsibility to do so. All legal obligations and responsibilities still rest with Mandala.
The Board and staff of Mandala wish to thank all customers for their support and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused.
Mandala Airlines originally started operations in February 1970 and was resurrected on April 5, 2012 under the assistance of Tigerair (Singapore).
Read the full report from Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Mandala Airlines’ Airbus A320-232 PK-RMP (msn 5073) with the Tigerair tail arrives at Bangkok.
Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has announced it is starting new seasonal service between Arnold Palmer Regional Airport serving Latrobe (near Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania (LBE) and two additional Florida cities – Tampa (TPA) and Fort Myers (RSW) starting on December 18, 2014.
These nonstop seasonal flights are in addition to Spirit’s regular, year-round service to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Orlando.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N618NK (msn 5458) taxies to runway 09L at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is again adding more routes from its new and growing Cleveland mini hub. Frontier is adding three new mainline routes from Cleveland to Chicago O’Hare (starting on October 1), Washington-Dulles (October 1) and New York-LaGuardia (October 26).
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N209FR (msn 4641) approaches the runway at Washington (Reagan National).
Dalmatian (Zagreb) is a new airline in Croatia. The new carrier will launch operations on June 30 with services to Hamburg, Rome, Stuttgart and Zurich. This will be followed by Dusseldorf, Geneva, Milan, Prague, Sofia and Warsaw on the following day of July 1. Dalmatian will also operate weekly seasonal flights to Larnaca, Cyprus from July 26 to October 1. The carrier is expected to utilize Airbus A320s.
The airline describes itself as a “new breed of hybrid low cost/low fare airline concept founded to pursue the growth opportunities in emerging markets of short and long distance air travel”.
Batik Air‘s (Jakarta and Manado) first Airbus A320, and the first for the Lion Group, has rolled out of the paint shop at Toulouse, France. Batik Air is a current Boeing 737NG operator. Airbus issued this short statement and photo:
The first Airbus aircraft for Indonesia’s Lion Group has rolled out of the paint shop hangar in Toulouse, France. With the airline’s colorful livery, the aircraft will be delivered in third quarter and will be operated by Lion Group’s full service unit Batik Air on its growing domestic and regional network.
The aircraft is the first from a major order placed by the Lion Group in March 2013 for a total of 234 A320 Family aircraft (109 A320neo, 65 A321neo and 60 A320ceo).
Copyright Photo: Airbus. The pictured A320-214 F-WWBO will become PK-LAF (msn 6164) on the hand over.
Wizz Air (Hungary) (Budapest) has taken delivery from Airbus of its 50th A320 Airbus aircraft during a special ceremony in Toulouse, France, taking the total of its A320 fleet to 52. The carrier was one of the first Eastern European Airlines to take delivery of an A320 with Sharklet fuel saving wing tip devices in April 2013. Wizz Air, an all Airbus operator, has ordered a total of 112 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Airbus/P. Pigeyre. The pictured Airbus A320-232 F-WWIC became HA-LYE (msn 6131) when it was delivered on June 10.
Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has announced new seasonal service between Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS) and Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), serving West Palm Beach, Florida starting on November 21, 2014.
Spirit offers nonstop service from Boston to seven cities, including Atlantic City, Chicago/O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Fort Myers, Myrtle Beach, and beginning in November, West Palm Beach.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N618NK (msn 5458) in the special DFW advertising scheme lands at Baltimore/Washington (BWI)>
Lufthansa (Lufthansa Group) (Frankfurt) has adjusted its earnings forecast. The company issue this revised forecast:
Deutsche Lufthansa AG is adjusting its earnings forecast as a result of the revenue development in the passenger and cargo businesses, which is below expectations: the company’s Executive Board is now projecting an operating profit for the current financial year of approximately EUR 1 billion ($1.35 billion)(approximately EUR 1.3 billion after adjustment for one-off effects). Previously the company had been forecasting an operating profit for 2014 of EUR 1.3 to 1.5 billion (EUR 1.7 to 1.9 billion after adjustment for one-off effects).
“The revenue risks mentioned when we presented the quarterly figures in early May have unfortunately materialized”, said Simone Menne, Chief Officer Finances and Aviation Services at Deutsche Lufthansa AG. The Group had already warned against increasing risks to the earnings forecast in the first quarterly reports. Above all it is the Group’s American and European business that has suffered from increasing excess capacity, which leads to falling prices on these routes. “We will therefore noticeably reduce our capacities during the winter timetable period”, emphasized Menne. Strong capacity growth by state-owned Gulf carriers was a major concern, she added. They are advancing ever further into the European market, also by means of investments in European airlines, she explained
The strike by the “Vereinigung Cockpit” pilots’ union in early April, had a negative results impact of EUR 60 million ($81.2 million). Only recently has booking activity returned to normal. Additionally, impairments on receivables denominated in Venezuelan Bolivar have burdened the result of the current year by EUR 60 million so far.
Given these economic developments the Executive Board no longer believes that the earnings target for 2015 of EUR 2.65 billion ($3.58 billion) set as part of the Score program can be achieved. The company nonetheless intends to substantially increase its operating profit compared with the current year. The basis for this will be laid with the noticeable reduction of capacities during the winter timetable period. Additionally, in order to boost the competitiveness of the Lufthansa Group, structural measures will be implemented at a higher pace. The details will be presented by Carsten Spohr, Chairman and CEO of the Executive Board in July. The Executive Board sets a new target of approximately EUR 2 billion on an operating profit level for 2015, provided that conditions remain stable. Menne emphasized: “The current development underlines the importance of Score for the group. We are achieving a sustainable reduction of our unit costs and now aim to stabilize the revenue trends, in order to counteract an ever intensifying competitive situation”, said Simone Menne.
Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 D-AIUD (msn 6033) is the only A320 painted by Lufthansa in the special “Fanhansa” colors for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.
JetBlue Airways (New York) announced today it has completed its sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary LiveTV to Thales Group for $399 million in cash. The sale will allow LiveTV to continue the innovation that has set it apart as the leader in inflight entertainment (IFE) and onboard connectivity under Thales ownership. JetBlue will maintain its relationship with LiveTV to continue providing customers with differentiated, industry-leading inflight entertainment and connectivity products.
LiveTV is the leading provider of live IFE and connectivity systems for commercial airlines. In 2013, LiveTV and its partner ViaSat introduced Ka-band satellite-driven onboard connectivity, a game-changing technological advancement.
Meanwhile Bloomberg Businessweek is taking a look at the challenges facing JetBlue (and others) in providing high speed inflight Internet service. Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Showing off the LiveTV antennae on top, Airbus A320-232 N821JB (msn 5417) banks before landing at Washington (Reagan National).