Meridiana (Olbia) has retired its last two Airbus A320 aircraft according to ch-aviation. The company has been moving to Boeing for its narrow body needs.
The company was set up under the name of Alisarda on March 29, 1963 by Prince Karīm al-Hussayn Aga Khan with the aim of promoting tourism in Sardinia. Scheduled flights commenced in 1964.
On May 3, 1991 the name was changed to Meridiana.
At the end of February 2010, the name Meridiana fly was launched, the second largest carrier in Italy, with the merger of two air transport players: Eurofly, a company specializing in charter services to long haul holiday destinations and Meridiana, scheduled carrier with an extensive national and European network, with the primary objective of connecting the main Italian airports with the two largest islands Sardinia and Sicily.
In October 2011 Meridiana fly acquired the assets of Air Italy, a chartered Italian carrier which definitively joined the Group and now operates connections on behalf of Meridiana.
After rebranding, starting in March 2013, the company has eliminated the trademark Air Italy and the suffix of Meridiana fly by replacing it with just “Meridiana”.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 EI-EZS (msn 1823) holds short of the runway at Palma de Mallorca.
Meridiana aircraft slide show:
Virgin America (San Francisco) and China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai) today announce a codeshare agreement to offer seamless booking and travel from Shanghai, China to multiple destinations across the United States. The new agreement will see China Eastern place its two-digit flight code (MU) on a range of Virgin America routes from Los Angeles and San Francisco – including West Coast flights to Boston, Chicago, Dallas Love Field, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Las Vegas, Newark, New York (JFK), Seattle/Tacoma, San Diego and Washington Dulles (Dulles). This will open a world of choice and convenience for travel between Asia, China, and the United States, offering a one-stop booking process and one-stop check-in, including seamless boarding passes and baggage handling for the entire journey. Codeshare flights can be booked today for travel from December 17, 2014.
The two airlines also announce today that starting next year the two airlines will launch reciprocal frequent flyer benefits. Members of China Eastern’s frequent flyer program will be able to earn Eastern Miles when traveling on all Virgin America flights and redeem their Eastern Miles for reward flights on all Virgin America routes. Members of Virgin America’s Elevate frequent flyer program will also be able to earn Elevate points when flying across China Eastern’s network as well as redeem their Elevate points for international reward flights on any route operated and marketed by China Eastern.
China Eastern offers daily direct flights from Shanghai to San Francisco and from Shanghai to Los Angeles.
The codeshare partnership expands on the two airlines’ existing interline agreement, which commenced in May 2013. China Eastern is Virgin America’s fifth codeshare agreement and joins the airline’s growing partner portfolio.
Top Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Virgin America’s Airbus A320-214 N846VA (msn 4894) rotates on the runway at New York (JFK).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Olivier Gregoire/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 F-WWCG (msn 1588) wears the new look for China Eastern Airlines. It will become B-5962 on delivery.
Aer Lingus‘ (Dublin) shareholders have voted in favor of a deal to address the airline’s pension deficit, which was previously described as “a real and significant risk to the success of the company.”
A proposal to plough €190.7 million ($237.6 million) into the pensions scheme, which has taken four years to finalize, was put to shareholders during an extraordinary general meeting December 10.
In a stock exchange disclosure, Aer Lingus said the motion had been passed, with 421,859,027 votes in favor and 1,942,425 against.
The numbers indicate that the holders of close to 80% of the company’s shares voted, while the margin of the vote itself was 99.55% in favor and 0.45 against.
This rubber stamp means the Irish carrier can now proceed with the implementation of the IASS proposal, which will avoid labor conflict, give financial and legal clarity, and stabilize staff costs.
Aer Lingus and Dublin Airport Authority jointly operate IASS, which has an estimated €750 million deficit. Part of the proposals for tackling the problem involve transferring staff to a defined benefit scheme, to which both companies will contribute lump sums totaling €263 million.
The vote followed a stormy meeting at the Dublin Airport Radisson, which was nearly disrupted by protesting retired workers, who at one point surrounded part of the conference room in which it was held and banged on the windows.
A number of former staff attending the meeting itself also expressed their anger to Aer Lingus chairman, Colm Barrington, and claimed the scheme’s trustees had refused to deal with them while the company’s management were ignoring their plight.
They say that they are facing the loss of up to six weeks income a-year under the plan to restructure the insolvent scheme.
The pensioners have hired a legal team and are considering going to court. Leaving the meeting, retired Aer Lingus worker, Vincent McCabe, said “we will go to court if we have to go to court”.
Speaking afterwards, Mr Barrington said that Aer Lingus had honored all its obligations:
“We have got to get the situation resolved and get industrial peace,” he added, referring to the strikes and other unrest that have been a feature of the pension dispute.
Read the full story for the Irish Times: CLICK HERE
Reported by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 EI-DVM (msn 4634) in the 1963 retro livery arrives in London (Heathrow).
Aer Lingus aircraft slide show:
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) in January is starting daily regular flights on the route Moscow — Samarkand.
Aeroflot will operate the new route with Airbus A320s from Sheremetyevo Airport Terminal D.
Samarkand is the second largest city in Uzbekistan and the capital of the Samarkand Province.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 VQ-BKU (msn 4835) arrives in London (Heathrow).
Aeroflot aircraft slide show:
Iberia (Madrid) is planning to add six new destinations for the next summer season. The flag carrier will add service from Madrid to Budapest (starting on June 2, 2015, three weekly flights), Catania (June 20, one weekly), Florence (March 29, six weekly), Funchal (July 4, twice weekly), Hamburg (March 30, four weekly) and Palermo (June 23, weekly) per Airline Route.
Additionally Iberia Express will add Edinburgh (March 29, four weekly), Naples (June 1, three weekly) and Verona (June 2, three weekly).
Copyright Photo: Iberia’s Airbus A320-214 EC-MCS (msn 6244) taxies at London’ Heathrow Airport.
Iberia aircraft slide show:
Map of Iberia’s expansion:
VivaAerobus (Monterrey) will launch new international service to DFW International Airport from two of Mexico’s largest cities, Guadalajara and from Monterrey, starting on March 28, 2015. The low cost carrier will use Airbus A320 aircraft and will operate out of DFW’s International Terminal D three times per week. VivaAerobus also plans to launch service from DFW to Cancun in July of 2015.
VivaAerobus currently serves 21 destinations in Mexico with hubs in Monterrey and Cancun, and also serves three U.S. destinations in addition to DFW Airport. Headquartered in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, Viva Aerobus is co-owned by IAMSA, Mexico’s largest bus company conglomerate, and the founders of Ryanair, Europe’s biggest low-cost carrier.
When service begins in March, VivaAerobus will become the eighth international carrier to start service at DFW since 2011, extending the Airport’s recent run of international expansion. Since 2011, DFW has added 25 new international routes, 18 of those to new international destinations.
Copyright Photo; Greenwing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 EI-ERH (msn 2157) was formerly operated by Livingston.
VivaAerobus aircraft slide show:
Current route map:
Interjet (Mexico City) is expanding its operations in Miami. The airline is launching a new route connecting Cancun with Miami International Airport (MIA) on December 18. The new route will operate six days a week.
The carrier’s regular Mexico City-Miami will be increased to 18 flights a week on January 7, 2015.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 XA-BAV (msn 5372) arrives in Miami.
Interjet aircraft slide show:
Current routes from Mexico City:
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is dropping the Cleveland-Chicago (O’Hare) route on January 3, 2015 per Airline Route. The carrier currently operates four weekly flights. The route was part of Frontier’s build-up at CLE in the wake of United Airlines de-hubbing the airport.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly operated by USA 3000 Airlines, Airbus A320-214 N261AV (msn 1615) with an Atlantic Puffin on the tail departs from Los Angeles International Airport. The jetliner is now registered as N218FR.
Frontier Airlines aircraft slide show:
Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) has issued this report as a result of the meeting of the Deutsche Lufthansa AG Executive Board. The board gave approvals for the new Wings low-cost subsidiary and the launch of the new Eurowings.
• Focus on 2015 as the year of ‘New Lufthansa Premium Quality’
• New European and intercontinental flight products under the “Eurowings” brand, and lease-in of up to seven Airbus A330-200s
• Letter of Intent with SunExpress for Eurowings long-haul routes
• Further structural development of Group airlines’ worldwide distribution
• Key financial indicator of “earnings after cost of capital” to replace “cash value added”
Here is the full report:
2015 should bring increasingly good news for customers and passengers of the Lufthansa Group, according to the plans of the Deutsche Lufthansa AG Executive Board. For the Group’s member airlines, fleet renewals and the completion of a number of major refurbishment projects should provide state-of-the-art aircraft cabins and five-star inflight travel comfort. The first quarter of 2015 will see Lufthansa German Airlines conclude the installation of its new First Class throughout its long-haul fleet; the second quarter will witness the completion of the new Business Class installation program; and the third quarter will see the new Premium Economy available on all of Lufthansa’s intercontinental aircraft. All the new long-haul aircraft of which Lufthansa will take delivery next year will have all the new cabins already installed. And the modernization of the long-haul fleet will be further pursued in 2015 with the arrival of two more Airbus A380s and four new Boeing 747-8s. Also slated for delivery next year are a further Boeing 777F for Lufthansa Cargo and ten short- and medium-haul aircraft of the Airbus A320 family.
“2015 will be the year of ‘Lufthansa Premium Quality’,” said Carsten Spohr, Chairman & CEO of the Deutsche Lufthansa AG Executive Board, on the occasion of the meeting of the company’s Supervisory Board today. “Whichever cabin they travel in, our inflight guests will be able to see and feel that Lufthansa is a premium-service airline which is one of the leaders in its field by any global benchmark. We will also be moving the entire Lufthansa Group further forward with our ‘7 to 1’ program,” Carsten Spohr continued. “And we presented the progress we have made in our various action areas here to our Supervisory Board today. As well as promoting innovation, it’s enhancing our quality and our efficiency that are particular focuses for us in all our concepts for new and further growth. And these enhancements will open up new opportunities for us in growth markets.”
‘New Growth Concepts’ action area
The Supervisory Board gave the formal go-ahead to the ‘Wings’ concept presented by the Executive Board at its meeting today, and approved the lease of up to seven Airbus A330-200 aircraft for the new low-cost operation’s intercontinental routes.
The Supervisory Board further approved the development of the ‘Eurowings’ concept, under which – within an umbrella framework – the Lufthansa Group’s Eurowings and Germanwings airlines, along with further flight operations in Europe, should acquire new customers by offering quality products at attractive prices in the form of low-cost short- and long-haul air travel services from the end of 2015 onwards.
The new products, which will be primarily aimed at the private travel sector, will help the airlines of the Lufthansa Group secure their strong positions in their home markets of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium in the point-to-point travel segment, too, in the longer term.<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/113519746″>The New Eurowings</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user19954503″>Bruce Drum</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
Video Above: The Lufthansa Group. The “New Eurowings”
“The ‘New Eurowings’ is our response to one of the major challenges confronting Europe’s airline industry,” Carsten Spohr explains. “For several years now we’ve been facing fierce competition from the rapidly-growing low-cost carriers in the point-to-point travel segment, not only in Germany but throughout Europe, too. And we are sure to see this competition extend more and more to the long-haul travel segment in the years ahead. Our ‘New Eurowings’ is our innovative response, which will enable us to fashion our own markets here.”
“Innovative concepts with substantially lower costs combined with the strengths, skills and expertise of the Lufthansa Group: that’s our recipe for success,” Spohr continues. “And our new ‘New Eurowings’ product will offer both outstanding value for money and the strongest quality, reliability and safety credentials.”
The ‘New Eurowings’ concept follows the successful transfer of Lufthansa’s non-hub routes to Lufthansa Group subsidiary Germanwings. The program of transferring all Lufthansa routes not serving its Frankfurt and Munich hubs should be completed in early January 2015.
In an initial step, the two already-existing airlines Germanwings and Eurowings will continue to perform their flight operations with their current networks and crews, under the umbrella of the new concept. For the new European operations the present Eurowings fleet, which consists of 23 Bombardier CRJ900 jets, will be replaced with up to 23 Airbus A320s between February 2015 and March 2017. Ten new A320s have been ordered to this end, while up to 13 further A320s will be reassigned to Eurowings from existing orders held by the Lufthansa Group. This will give the ‘New Eurowings’ a standardized fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft by the end of 2017, along with the further cost benefits that will derive from these advanced aircraft’s fuel-efficient credentials. Further routes will also be added to the Eurowings network, operated from a new Eurowings base outside Germany, in the course of 2015.
In addition to its European network, the ‘New Eurowings’ will also begin to add long-haul services to its low-fare product range from the end of 2015 onwards, in collaboration with German-Turkish airline SunExpress. To this end, a Letter of Intent has been signed with SunExpress, a joint-venture company of Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, under which the intercontinental services to be offered under the Eurowings brand will be flown under the air operator certificate (AOC) of SunExpress Deutschland and with SunExpress Deutschland cockpit and cabin crews. The first intercontinental destinations to be served will include points in Florida, Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean. The new flights will initially be operated by a fleet of three Airbus A330-200 aircraft each offering 310 seats. The Eurowings long-haul fleet should then be gradually expanded to up to seven A330-200s over the next few years.
As with the already-successful Germanwings concept, the new Eurowings long-haul products will offer customers a choice of ‘Best’, ‘Basic’ and ‘Smart’ fares. Home base for the new long-haul fleet will initially be Cologne/Bonn Airport; and Cologne will also be the home of the Wings carriers’ commercial management operations.
‘Efficient and Effective Organization’ action area: Lufthansa Group to reshape member airlines’ field sales structures
The Lufthansa Group will be realigning the field sales structures of its member airlines with effect from 1 March 2015, in response to the new demands of the world’s sales markets. In future, all the Group’s global field sales will be the responsibility of a single Group wide entity. The new arrangement should provide greater field sales harmony within the Lufthansa Group, in both product and distribution-technology terms.
‘Value-Based Management’ action area: “earnings after cost of capital” to replace “cash value added” as key financial indicator for corporate decisions
The Deutsche Lufthansa AG Executive Board also presented the Supervisory Board with a new value-based management concept at the latter’s meeting today which should be adopted at Deutsche Lufthansa AG in the course of the coming year. The new concept will see two new key financial indicators – earnings after cost of capital (EACC) and return on capital employed (ROCE) – replace the key financial indicator of cash value added (CVA) which is currently used in all decision-making processes and for the remuneration of executive staff from 2015 onwards.
The new key financial indicators are easier to calculate, which should help anchor value-based management even more firmly within the Lufthansa Group. The new figures show whether the capital employed is achieving sufficiently high results to increase the company’s value, and should thus ensure that all corporate decisions are as sustainably-minded as possible.
All images by the Lufthansa Group.
JetBlue Airways (New York) today (December 2) launched twice-weekly flights to its latest Caribbean destination, Curaçao. The airline now offers up to 121 daily flights from the U.S. to the Caribbean, of which up to 56 daily flights are nonstop from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), with 26 routes from the two airports to the region. JetBlue offers more routes than any other airline from the U.S. to the Caribbean.
The twice-weekly service from JFK to Curaçao International Airport (CUR) operates on Tuesdays and Saturdays with an Airbus A320.
Copyright Photo: Fred Freketic/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N766JB (msn 3724) in the new Tartan tail design taxies into position on the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, this morning (November 30) celebrated a historic occasion as its first Airbus A320 touched down at Seychelles International Airport.
The aircraft, named “Amirantes” in honor of a group of coral islands discovered in the Seychelles archipelago in the 16th century, was welcomed by a traditional water cannon salute after landing at 9:30 am.
“Our new Airbus A320 will be used to launch three new routes, including Mumbai, Dar es Salaam and Antananarivo, representing the fastest rate of expansion our airline has ever seen. We have been able to accomplish this incredible feat thanks also to the support of our equity partner, Etihad Airways.
The aircraft has a two-cabin configuration comprising 16 seats in Business Class and 120 seats in Economy Class.
Photo: Air Seychelles. The Airbus A320 is leased from partner Etihad Airways.
Air Seychelles aircraft slide show:
Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras (Sao Paulo) will become a new Airbus A320neo operator starting in 2016. The company has issued this statement (translated from Portuguese):
Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras will have a new aircraft type to its fleet from 2016: this is the Airbus A320neo. The company intends to use the new aircraft to increase its supply of seats on routes of long distances and high demand of customers. The A320neo will be configured for up to 174 seats and equipped with the new generation of CFM International LEAP-1A engines. The agreement provides for the introduction of 63 aircraft, of which 35 will be acquired by the Blue and the other 28 will be through leasing with AerCap companies (20 units) and GECAS (8 units). All aircraft will be gradually introduced to the company’s fleet between 2016 and 2023.
“The A320neo will be a perfect addition to our fleet of Embraer and ATR jets. We evaluated the Boeing aircraft, which has options in the same category, but we chose the Airbus for comfort and lower operating costs, allowing us to offer even more competitive rates on long-haul routes. The A320neo consume up to 20% less fuel per seat / km over the current model. They will have already established the Azul Area and will be equipped with slimline seats and live TV. In addition, the bathrooms of the new model have been repositioned and give more space to the cabin, “said David Neeleman, founder and CEO of Blue. “The new aircraft will also benefit other Blue’s business units. We may, for example, devote more space to carry loads, or even provide more seats for customers of TudoAzul and Blue Travel, “added Neeleman.
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is gradually dropping its spoke routes from and to its hometown Denver International Airport hub due to rising costs.
According to Airline Route, the carrier is planning to drop the following routes through April 2015: Eugene (November 29), Bakersfield (December 1), Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (December 19), New York (LaGuardia) (December 20), Idaho Falls (January 5, 2015), Fresno, Harrisburg and Spokane (all January 6), Bloomington, Chicago (Midway), Minot, Newport News/Williamsburg, Palm Springs and Santa Barbara (all January 7), Oklahoma City (April 29) and Fargo (April 30).
Frontier has already ended service from Denver to Branson, Bellingham, Great Falls and Jackson Hole.
Read the full report from The Denver Post: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N227FR (msn 6184) in the new look taxies to the gate at Raleigh-Durham.
Peach Aviation (Osaka-Kansai) has announced it will launch the Okinawa-Hong kong route on February 21 with four weekly flights.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 JA807P (msn 5440) completes its final approach to the runway at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.
Peach aircraft slide show:
Peach Route Route Map:
VietJetAir (VietJetAir.com) (Ho Chi Minh City) has celebrated the delivery of its first A320 ordered directly from Airbus at a special ceremony in Toulouse today (November 26). The event was attended by top management from the airline, including Vice Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao and Managing Director Luu Duc Khanhm, and witnessed by Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Transport Pham Quy Tieu.
The delivery of the pictured new A320 marks the start of a major expansion at the airline which will see it acquire up to 100 A320 Family aircraft, including 63 on firm order with Airbus. In addition, the airline has purchase rights with Airbus for another 30 aircraft and will lease seven more from third party lessors.
VietJetAir first took to the skies on December 25, 2011 and is the first private airline in Vietnam to operate domestic and international flights. Today, the carrier operates a fleet of 17 leased A320s on a network covering Vietnam and a growing number of destinations across Asia. The 63 aircraft already on firm order with Airbus comprise 14 A320ceo, seven A321ceo and 42 A320neo.
Copyright Photo: Airbus. Airbus A320-214 F-WWBP became VN-A697 on delivery.
VietJetAir aircraft slide show:
Nine Star Airways opens its office in Bangkok, will operate two Airbus A320s on regional charter flights
Nine Star Airways (9-air.com) (Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi) has opened its office in Bangkok. The new Thai charter company plans to operate two Airbus A320s on the following routes:
The company describes its mission:
Nine Star Airways is a Bangkok – based premium charter airline that is on a mission to make flying great with a modern fleet of Airbuses, attractive fares, top–notch service, and a host of fun, innovative amenities that are reinventing international and domestic air travel. All of Nine Star Airways aircraft come with standard interior fittings and in-flight entertainment systems. The airline’s management is lined up with some of the most talented and accomplished professionals available in this industry, and all of them are committed to building one of the best premium airlines in Asia. Nine Star Airways management is closely assisted by technical and operational experts who hold similar visionaries and passion in aviation business.
Nine Star Airways is confident new born airline with prospects of a strong and secure future. With a population of over 65 million and the new “Open Skies” agreement, Thailand currently ranks as one of the best markets in Asia; this, no doubt, provides a viable base for existing and new businesses, like us. Nine Star Airways holds great promise for further investment and investors who are prepared to think in the long term.
Virgin America (San Francisco) celebrated its one millionth hour of flying on November 21 and announced the milestone with this short announcement:
Our one millionth hour took place last Friday at 10.33 pm EST as ‘California Dreaming’, our Airbus A320 (N622VA) touched down in Newark from San Francisco. This historic flight, VX 1178 was operated by Captain Del D., First Officer Paul W. and our in-flight teammates, Amelia M., Marche C. and Giana B.
Time really does fly – here’s what one million hours looks like in our mood-lit ride:
461,538 new release movies.
2,000,000 TV sitcoms
At least 1,500,000 in-depth conversations through seat-to-seat chat
12,000,000 safety videos played
6,000,000 chair massages given in First Class
We look forward to the next million!
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N622VA (msn 2674) is pictured on final approach at Los Angeles International Airport.
JetBlue Airways (New York) has issued the following announcement concerning new online content partners:
JetBlue Airways is partnering with content providers Coursera, FOX, HarperCollins Publishers, National Geographic, Rouxbe and Time Inc. to offer customers more free content than any other U.S carrier in the sky. The Fly-Fi Hub is the new gateway to JetBlue’s Fly-Fi offering, the fastest Wi-Fi in the sky, and went live this morning (November 24). Available to JetBlue customers via their own personal device, it will offer a wide range of entertainment options such as some of the most popular TV shows from FOX and National Geographic, ebook samples from HarperCollins, e-learning videos from Coursera and Rouxbe and the option to purchase magazines from Time Inc.’s portfolio.
In the next phase of JetBlue’s Fly-Fi Hub, due to roll out first quarter 2015, additional content from PBS, Random House and the Wall Street Journal will be added. PBS will primarily provide childrens content, while the Wall Street Journal will allow customers onboard full complementary access to wsj.com whilst onboard.
Content available on the Fly-Fi Hub as of today:
1. 10 e-learning videos from Coursera, including courses from Berklee School of Music, University of Edinburgh and Wharton Business School;
2. Some of FOX’s most popular TV shows, including Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Gotham, New Girl and Sleepy Hollow;
3. Excerpts from more than 20 bestselling books published by HarperCollins including The Heist by Daniel Silva, I Must Say by Martin Short, Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell, Yes Please by Amy Poehler and Endgame: The Calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton
4. National Geographic shows, including Brain Games, Ultimate Survival Alaska and Wicked Tuna;
5. A number of learning videos from Rouxbe focusing on cooking, with the opportunity for a free trial once at home; and
6. Time Inc.’s full array of monthly magazines including InStyle, Real Simple, Southern Living, Essence, Health, Travel + Leisure, People en Español and Golf. Time Inc.’s weekly magazines will be available in 2015.
The content on JetBlue’s Fly-Fi Hub will be uniquely available both online and offline, making all programming available on all Fly-Fi equipped aircraft. Approximately 20 Fly-Fi equipped aircraft are expected to offer the Fly-Fi Hub by the end of November, with all of JetBlue’s 97 Fly-Fi equipped aircraft by the end of the year.
JetBlue launched Fly-Fi, the fastest Wi-Fi among all U.S. airlines, last year, which is currently available on 88 aircraft, with the number of Fly-Fi enabled aircraft increasing each week. JetBlue is now the only airline in the world to offer free live television at every seat and free high-speed Wi-Fi. The new Fly-Fi Portal will serve as a content hub where customers can access a wide range of movies, television shows and additional content from their own personal devices.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N532JB (msn 1123) lands in Long Beach in the original 1999 Stripes livery. It has now been repainted in the Blueberries tail motif.
United Airlines adds Android devices to its personal device entertainment service, airlines move away from seat back screens
United Airlines (Chicago) has issued this statement for Android device users:
United Airlines customers using Android devices can now use the latest version of the United app to access the airline’s complimentary personal device entertainment service, which enables passengers to view hundreds of movies and television shows in flight on their Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices and laptops.
United launched a beta version of its personal device entertainment system earlier this year for laptop computers and Apple devices.
Content, stored on on-board servers, is available on nearly 200 United aircraft, including the carrier’s entire Airbus A319, Airbus A320 and Boeing 747 fleets and its Boeing 777 aircraft that operate primarily between the continental United States and Hawaii.
In the coming year, United will further expand personal device entertainment availability to hundreds of additional aircraft, including two-cabin regional jets and domestic and international aircraft that do not currently offer customers an on-demand entertainment option. By late 2015, most United and United Express aircraft will offer customers personal device entertainment, personal on-demand entertainment via seatback monitors, or live television.
“Travelers increasingly want to watch entertainment on their own devices, as shown by the measurable improvement in satisfaction among travelers who fly on aircraft with personal device programming,” said Tom O’Toole, United’s senior vice president of marketing and loyalty and president of MileagePlus. “By expanding our personal device entertainment to Android users, we now offer many more customers the ability to enjoy their favorite movies and television shows on their own devices while onboard.”
Travelers may confirm whether a flight offers personal device entertainment, along with Wi-Fi and in-seat power, by checking Inflight Amenities under Flight Status and Information on United.com. On the United app, travelers find that information in Amenities under Flight Status.
To watch United’s personal device entertainment, travelers should download the latest United app from the Google Play store or the Apple App Store before boarding.
In other news, there is a growing trend among airlines to remove the seat back screens and go to personal devices.
Bloomberg Businessweek recently took a look at the growing trend: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. All of the Airbus A319s and A320s are now ready to handle the devices. Airbus A320-232 N445UA (msn 826) departs from Los Angeles international Airport.
Video: United’s flight attendants:
The Airberlin Group has equipped the first two aircraft in its fleet with the new ‘airberlin connect’ Wi-Fi service. The two Airbus A320s, registered D-ABNJ and OE-LEL, now boast a Wi-Fi system from Panasonic Avionics Corporation, so passengers can access the internet with their own smartphone, tablet or laptop during the flight.
In addition, passengers on short and medium-haul flights will enjoy an entertainment offering with TV series, movies and music available for streaming to their own device with the new Wi-Fi service. Passengers will be able to choose their own personal entertainment from more than 180 hours of media. On long-haul routes, passengers will continue to enjoy the RAVE in-seat entertainment system.
The first two aircraft equipped with Airberlin connect will service the new Stuttgart-Abu Dhabi and Vienna-Abu Dhabi routes. The first flight from Stuttgart to Abu Dhabi takes off on December 1, 2014, bringing in-flight internet to passengers on this route for the first time. On the new Vienna-Abu Dhabi connection from Austrian subsidiary Niki, passengers will be able to use the new on-board Wi-Fi service as early as November 24, 2014.
Airberlin offers various time and data packages for airberlin connect: for just 4.90 euros, passengers get online above the clouds for 30 minutes, including 20 MB of data.
An hour of internet access, including 50 MB of data, costs 8.90 euros. The price includes use of the entertainment selection, which is available for the entire duration of the flight at no additional cost, even after the package time or data limits are used up. Passengers who wish to be online during an entire medium-haul flight can select the 13.90 euro package, which includes 90 MB of data, while the Full Flight Package for long-haul flights costs 18.90 euros, and includes 120 MB of data. Packages can be conveniently paid by credit card via the web browser on passengers’ own mobile device or laptop.
On the new Stuttgart-Abu Dhabi and Vienna-Abu Dhabi connections, passengers can enjoy the entertainment offered by Airberlin connect free of charge. Internet access during the entire flight to or from Abu Dhabi on these routes costs just 13.90 euros, including 90 MB of data.
Airberlin plans to complete equipping its fleet within three years.
Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Niki’s Airbus A320-214 OE-LEL (msn 2668) wears the former colors of OLT Express at Zurich.
JetBlue Airways is in initial discussions with the city of Long Beach about international flights, defers 18 Airbus deliveries, changes its seat pitch and will charge for checked bags
JetBlue Airways (New York) wants to add international routes from its noise-sensitive focus city of Long Beach, California. The airline has started initial discussions with the city but faces an uphill battle to gain international routes at LGB.
Read the full report from the Press-Telegram: CLICK HERE
In other news, JetBlue today issued this strategy statement to retain shareholder value:
JetBlue Airways today outlined a long-term plan to drive shareholder returns through new and existing initiatives aimed at enhancing the Company’s product advantage and service-oriented culture while delivering improved financial results. The revenue initiatives are expected to collectively generate more than $400 million in annual operating income on a run rate basis beginning in 2017.
Additionally, JetBlue announced the deferral of 18 Airbus aircraft scheduled for delivery from 2016-2018 to 2022-2023 which will reduce capital expenditures by more than $900 million through 2017 and allow the airline to optimize its fleet to better match capacity with demand.
Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s President, said, “We believe the plan laid out today benefits our three key stakeholders. It delivers improved, sustainable profitability for our investors, the best travel experience for our customers and ensures a strong, healthy company for our Crewmembers. As we focus on executing this plan, JetBlue’s core mission to Inspire Humanity and its differentiated model of serving underserved customers remain unchanged.”
JetBlue is committed to maintaining its competitive cost position. Specifically, JetBlue announced it will maintain unit cost (excluding fuel and profit sharing) growth below two percent through 2017 with longer-term gains from a number of avenues including gradually upgauging the fleet with larger A321s on order and increasing the number of seats on its A320 fleet as part of a major cabin refresh.
“Today we announced actions that we’ve been working for some time to enhance JetBlue’s revenue performance, control costs and reduce capital commitments through 2017,” said Mark Powers, JetBlue’s Chief Financial Officer. “As we execute this plan and continue to grow, we also seek to drive significantly improved returns for our shareholders. We believe our strategy, in combination with the additional initiatives discussed today, keep us on a path to enhance long-term shareholder value.”
The initiatives discussed by JetBlue leadership included:
Fare Families / Branded Fares — Beginning in the first half of 2015, customers will be able to choose between three branded fare bundle options. The first of these will be designed for customers who do not plan to check a bag, while the latter two will offer one and two free checked bags, respectively, along with other attractive benefits, including additional TrueBlue points and increased flexibility. This new merchandising platform will enable JetBlue to tailor its offering to individual customers’ needs in a way that is simple and transparent.
Airbus A320 Cabin Refresh — JetBlue will build on the successful launch of its Airbus A321 fleet, which has been received with great customer acclaim, by outfitting its A320 aircraft with a similar refreshed cabin. The reconfigured cabin plan for the A320 will preserve JetBlue’s product advantage and highly-rated customer experience while helping to generate higher returns. Using lighter, more comfortable seats, JetBlue will be able to increase the number seats on its planes while continuing to offer the most legroom in coach. Retrofits of the Airbus A320 fleet are expected to begin in mid-2016 and will also include larger seatback screens with more entertainment options and power ports accessible to all Customers.
Mint — JetBlue’s new premium service, which is exceeding expectations in its ramp up on the JFK-SFO and JFK-LAX routes, is significantly improving transcontinental margin performance. JetBlue plans to continue rolling out additional Mint service in JFK-LAX through the fourth quarter of 2014 and in JFK-SFO through the first quarter of 2015.
Fly-Fi — JetBlue customers will continue to enjoy free access to the fastest in-flight Wi-Fi product in the industry while the company pursues a unique new monetization strategy including partnerships with Verizon, the Wall Street Journal, Time, and others. The entire Airbus A320/A321 fleet is expected to have Fly-Fi in the first half of 2015, with Embraer 190 installations beginning thereafter.
Even More — With dynamic pricing, JetBlue’s extra legroom product continues to offer customers industry-leading comfort and value and represents a growing source of ancillary revenue.
Is this the right decision? Will it turn off its loyal customers? Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N592JB (msn 2259) in the Barcode design lands at Long Beach.
Current routes from LGB:
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is planning to cut the number of flights and jobs at its Denver International Airport hub according to The Denver Post.
CEO Dave Siegel has told employees that increased taxes and landing fees has made the DEN hub unprofitable. In the past year the airline has been adding routes at other locations including Trenton and Cleveland as we have reported.
Siegel sites the 30 percent increase in landing fees over the past three years as the main culprit in making DEN connections unprofitable.
Currently the airline operates 85 daily flights but this will decrease to around 70 in January according to the report.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N227FR (msn 6184) in the new look arrives in Raleigh/Durham.
Video: Recent changes at Frontier (including new owners):
Current Route Map:
Avianca Holdings S.A. (Avianca) (Bogota) reported operating income (EBIT) of $70.3 million for the third quarter (3Q).
As a result the operating margin for 3Q 2014 reached 5.7%, an increase of 130 basis points over the 2Q of 2014. The operating income (EBIT) for the nine-month period of 2014 was $170.1 million; as a result, the operating margin for the first nine months of 2014 was 4.9%.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Avianca’s (Colombia) Airbus A320-233 N603AV (msn 5840) with Sharklets arrives in Los Angeles.
Finnair announces new scheduled services to Ho Chi Minh City, Eilat, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Madeira
Finnair (Helsinki) has announced it will be offering new scheduled flights to popular holiday destinations for next winter season, including Ho Chi Minh City, Eilat, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Madeira. Several of these destinations have previously been served with flights chartered by tour operators, but by now offering scheduled services, Finnair is catering to increasing demand from travelers who prefer to tailor their own holiday experience.
Flights to Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City will be operated once a week between December 10, 2015 and March 24, 2016. Ho Chi Minh City, previously named Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam, with 9 million people living in the metropolitan area.
Finnair will operate to Eilat from Helsinki once a week between October 28, 2015 and March 23, 2016. Located where the Negev Desert meets the northern tip of the Red Sea, Eilat averages 360 sunny days per year and is well regarded for its beaches, water sports and nightlife.
Finnair will fly to Lanzarote once a week between October 31, 2015 and March 26, 2016. Lanzarote in the Canary Islands is known for its volcanic origin and unique nature, charming beaches and small beautiful villages.
Finnair will fly to Fuerteventura once a week between October 25, 2015 and March 20, 2016. Fuerteventura is the second largest of the Canary Islands and is a magnet for surfers, sailors and kayakers.
Finnair will start scheduled flights to Madeira in the summer of 2015, and will fly to the island on Mondays all year starting on April 27, 2015. Madeira is a popular year-around holiday destination that combines beautiful landscapes, hiking opportunities and the many attractions of the busy harbor city Funchal.
Copyright Photo: Airbus A320-214 OH-LXL (msn 2146) taxies to the runway at London (Heathrow).
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) today (November 14) inaugurates new twice-weekly nonstop jet service between Peoria, Illinois and Sanford (near Orlando) via the Sanford International Airport.
The airline today also inaugurates new, twice-weekly nonstop service from Cincinnati to Mesa, Arizona (near Phoenix).
The new flights will operate between the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IWA).
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N220NV (msn 1262) arrives at Concord, North Carolina near Charlotte on a flight from Sanford, Florida.
Virgin America Inc. (San Francisco) premiered today on Wall Street. The airline previously issued this statement on the Initial Public Offering (IPO):
Virgin America has announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 13,337,587 shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $23.00 per share. Virgin America is offering 13,106,377 shares. VX Employee Holdings, LLC, a Virgin America employee stock ownership vehicle, is offering 231,210 issued and outstanding shares as a selling stockholder. In addition, certain selling stockholders have granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 2,000,638 shares of common stock. The shares are expected to begin trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on November 14, 2014, under the symbol “VA.”
Barclays and Deutsche Bank Securities are acting as lead joint book-running managers for the offering. BofA Merrill Lynch, Cowen and Company, Goldman Sachs & Co., Imperial Capital, LOYAL3 Securities and Raymond James are acting as co-managers for the offering.
A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with, and declared effective by, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.
Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N849VA (msn 4991) with the special “Giants-Fly Together” markings arrives in Washington (Reagan National).
Video: On October 29, 2014, San Francisco Giants fans on Virgin America flight 717 from Dallas Love Field (DAL) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) cheered their hometown team to victory in game seven of the World Series from 35,000 feet thanks to the airline’s live television at every seat.
JetBlue Airways (New York) today (November 12) launched a new daily nonstop service from Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) to Orlando International Airport (MCO), one of the airline’s focus cities. The Utah capital is JetBlue’s 24th nonstop destination from Orlando, and will provide faster connections to the Caribbean and Latin America, including destinations in the Bahamas, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
The new service is the third nonstop JetBlue service out of Salt Lake City, where the airline offers flights to both New York City’s JFK Airport and Long Beach Airport near Los Angeles.
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N508JL (msn 1257) in the new 2014 Tartan tail fin design prepares to depart from New York (JFK).
JetBlue Airways (New York) today (November 12) opened the long-awaited international arrivals hall extension to its world-class home at Terminal 5 (T5) at New York’s John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport. After a decade of international arrivals in New York, JetBlue will now bring Federal Inspection Services in-house. This will create a more seamless experience for customers traveling to and from JetBlue’s international network as one-third of the airline’s flying is outside the continental United States. Starting today, international customers will be able to depart and arrive under one roof, receiving the award-winning JetBlue Experience at all points along the way.
The airline continued;
“The customer-centric airline broke ground on the new international arrivals facility in 2012. To start, T5i will welcome JetBlue’s current schedule of up to 39 daily international arrivals from points including Barbados, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao (beginning in December), Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Saint Lucia, St. Maarten, Trinidad & Tobago, and Turks & Caicos. International travelers will now arrive or transfer to other JetBlue flights all in one terminal.
The thoughtfully designed concourse extension, known as T5 International (T5i), perfectly complements T5’s existing environmentally-conscious space. T5i includes six international arrivals gates — three new and three converted from Terminal 5 — and an International Arrivals Hall with full Federal Inspection Services for customers arriving from international flights on JetBlue. T5 is the epitome of accessibility and convenience. With 29 total gates, the terminal still feels like home as the maximum distance to any gate from the TSA checkpoint is approximately five minutes.
Ease and convenience are at the heart of T5i. The international extension will be able to accommodate up to 1,400 customers per hour. It will also house 40 state-of-the-art automated passport control (APC) machines and 10 Global Entry kiosks designed to expedite travelers through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) process in a more timely and efficient manner.
T5i was designed with sustainable considerations including technologies that will help reduce the building’s environmental impact throughout its lifespan. Light, space and air are engrained in the overall infrastructure. The building also places an emphasis on health and wellness with an overall focus on indoor air quality. In spring 2015, T5i will reveal additional elements that will further enhance customer’s travel experiences including a post-security outdoor park, a dog walk overlooking the Manhattan skyline and more.
More than 50 business partners and contractors collaborated on this two-year project ensuring that the extension perfectly matches and enhances T5’s existing feel and sustainable stance. Project partners collaborated on all aspects including infrastructure and design to construction. Business partners included Gensler, Ammann & Whitney, Arup, AECOM, Gleeds USA and Turner Construction Company.
T5 was designed as JetBlue’s unique way to properly welcome people to New York. With this in mind, T5i will complement the existing terminal by greeting customers with one-of-a-kind amenities including an interactive Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education-focused children’s area (slated to debut later this year) and New York-centric concessions and restaurants including Bar Veloce — the first airport outpost of the East Village eatery; a New York Times bookstore; and New York Minute — a concept store that will offer locally produced products. This marks the first New York Minute location, a partnership with GrowNYC. The store’s offerings will include sundries sourced and grown in New York State.”
From JFK, JetBlue offers 150 daily nonstop flights daily to 65 destinations throughout the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America and last year 11.8 million travelers passed through T5. JetBlue’s current home base of operations at Terminal 5 — the newest terminal at JFK — focuses on efficiency, customer convenience and comfort. Now 800,000-square-feet, the terminal currently boasts 29 gates distributed throughout three concourses, an international arrival extension and a 55,000-square-foot central retail and concession Marketplace.
Video: The opening of T5I:
Top Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Another view of JetBlue’s new Airbus A320-232 N775JB (msn 3800) in the “Vets in Blue” salute to veterans.
Lion Group has celebrated the delivery of its first three Airbus aircraft at a special ceremony in Toulouse today (November 12). The event was attended by Rusdi Kirana, Chairman and Co-Founder of Lion Group and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO.
The aircraft are the first from an order placed by Lion Group in March 2013 for 234 A320 Family aircraft, comprising 109 A320neo, 65 A321neo and 60 A320ceo.
The initial batch of A320s are set to join the fleet of the Group’s full service subsidiary Batik Air (Jakarta and Manado), flying on domestic and regional services. The Batik aircraft are powered by CFM56 engines and feature a premium two class layout seating a total of 156 passengers.
Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 F-WWBO (msn 6164) became PK-LAF on the handover.
Batik Air aircraft slide show:
JetBlue Airways (New York) today unveiled its latest logo jet on this Airbus A320-232 registered as N775JB (msn 3800). The pictured “Vets in Blue” special livery was unveiled in time for Veterans Day tomorrow (November 11). The airline issued this statement, photos and video:
JetBlue Airways, New York’s Hometown Airline TM, is celebrating this Veterans Day in a rather unique way. Today the airline is honoring a group of current and former members of the United States Armed Forces spanning several generations, with a special charter flight from New York to Washington, DC and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Upon arrival at New York’s JFK Airport, this select group of veterans will receive a treat as the airline reveals its newest livery, “Vets in Blue.”
The inaugural flight on the “Vets in Blue” aircraft will include nearly 120 veterans who were nominated for a trip from JFK to Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, DC. Much to their surprise, JetBlue is saluting these service members by welcoming them aboard as the first travelers on “Vets in Blue.” The first “Vets in Blue” flight will also include JetBlue crewmembers who are veterans of military service.
Fittingly, the first two pilots in the cockpit and the four inflight crewmembers will consist of all veterans. “We are excited to publicly introduce our ‘Vets in Blue’ aircraft and pledge our ongoing support for all members of the U.S. military, whether presently serving or veterans of past service. To christen this newly decorated livery, JetBlue invited military guests spanning from Junior ROTC cadets of Aviation High School to veterans of World War II to be among the first guests on this special aircraft,” said Jeff Martin, first officer for this special charter flight. Martin is currently senior vice president of operations at JetBlue and a former U.S. Air Force pilot.
After arriving at DCA, JetBlue will host a luncheon in DCA’s historic Terminal A where Margaret E. McKeough, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, General Stanley McChrystal, JetBlue board member and JetBlue’s President, Robin Hayes, will provide inspirational remarks. Following the luncheon, veterans and other guests from the Cradle of Aviation Museum & Education Center, USO, the National WWII Museum, Purple Heart Homes, the American Legion, and the U.S. Army Soldier for Life Program will receive personalized tours of some of the veterans monuments of our nation’s capital, including the Disabled Veterans, WWII, Vietnam and Lincoln Memorials.
“‘Vets in Blue’ is JetBlue’s unique way to salute veterans both at our airline and in our local communities. It is our duty to honor the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms. Our ‘Vets in Blue’ livery and program is a small symbol of our appreciation and support for our military service members,” said Dave Barger, chief executive officer, JetBlue Airways.
This freshly designed aircraft, painted blue and adorned with a yellow ribbon, a popular symbol of support for our nation’s troops, is just one way JetBlue honors those who have selflessly served and fought for our freedoms. In addition to the “Vets in Blue” livery, JetBlue’s “Vets in Blue” platform includes:
A commitment to veteran hiring – JetBlue is committed to veterans hiring and recently partnered with 100,000 Jobs Mission, an organization committed to helping transitioning service members and other veterans find employment. With more than 1,100 veterans currently employed by the airline including 193 hired this year, JetBlue also recently launched VetConnect, its first vet-to-vet peer mentoring program. This initiative helps newly hired veteran crewmembers transition from military service to life at JetBlue.
Home For the Holidays (b) – This Veterans Day, JetBlue would like to help veterans and active duty military make it home for the 2014 holiday season. Customers can nominate their veteran friends for a chance to receive a JetBlue flight by submitting their stories from November 10-20, 2014 at JetBlue.com/military. JetBlue will provide flights based on seat availability to selected veterans throughout December 2014. Customers are encouraged to share their veteran’s desired travel dates and home cities. JetBlue will select and notify the lucky recipients directly. Subject to contest rules and conditions.
A discount for veterans in partnership with Veterans Advantage: JetBlue, in partnership with Veterans Advantage, is also introducing a new discount program for U.S. active duty military, retired Veterans, National Guard and Reserve and their families (a). Members enrolled in Veterans Advantage will receive a 5 percent discount off of base fares on JetBlue flights with no blackout dates. JetBlue will also waive its standard $25 phone booking fee when Veterans Advantage members call 1-800-JETBLUE to book with their discount. Members enrolled in TrueBlue, JetBlue’s loyalty program, will also earn points from their trips for use on future travel. Active military members and their dependents will be able to pre-board flights and check up to five bags for free when traveling on duty or two bags for free on leisure trips (c). For more information visit JetBlue.com/military.
“Vets in Blue” is the latest addition to JetBlue’s exclusive legion of partnership aircraft celebrating organizations and causes, including “Blue Bravest,” which raises awareness for the FDNY Foundation, and “I Love New York,” highlighting New York State Tourism. On Veterans Day, customers are encouraged to keep an eye out for a first glimpse of “Vets in Blue” as it travels to destinations including Boston, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, New York, Orlando and Washington, DC.
The new “Vets in Blue” platform and livery is just one example of JetBlue’s ongoing support for men and women in uniform. JetBlue proudly supports veterans causes by providing financial support and engaging in partnerships with organizations including Wounded Warrior Project, Bob Woodruff Foundation, Long Beach Waterfront Warriors, Fisher House, Rangers Lead the Way Foundation, Yellow Ribbon Fund, Commit Foundation, Alethia and the National WWII Museum. JetBlue also recently donated space for the USO Center T5/JFK, the first center at a New York area airport in nearly a decade. The thousands of troops and their families who pass through JFK every year now have a new place to call home. The new fully stocked Center is located in JetBlue’s T5 and is open seven days a week, 365 days per year.
To assist avid plane-spotters, or veteran supporters, the currently scheduled flights* of tail number n775JB “Vets in Blue” is as follows:
*Flights are subject to change based on operational necessity.
Wizz Air (Budapest) has announced further expansion in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The airline will deploy one new Airbus A320 aircraft in Tuzla in June 2015 when Tuzla will become Wizz Air’s 19th base. For the Tuzla base, the airline announced new routes to Memmingen (near Munich) and Torp (near Oslo), commencing on June 26, 2015, as well as to Hahn (near Frankfurt) and Skavsta (near Stockholm) commencing on June 28, 2015.
With these new services Wizz Air is now offering a total of 9 routes to 5 countries from Tuzla.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 HA-LWD (msn 4351) lands at EuroAirport.
Wizz Air aircraft slide show:
Video: Enjoy Wizz Air’s short footage of Wizz Air’s low pass over downtown Budapest during the airshow on May 1, 2014.
Captain David Morgan and Captain András Arday made the first ever low altitude fly-by overhead the bridges of Budapest with an Airbus jetliner.
Route Map: Routes from Tuzla:
EasyJet (easyJet.com) (UK) (London-Luton) has announced its plans for four new routes from Bristol to Lanzarote, Catania, Porto and Gibraltar from Summer 2015.
The new destinations follow easyJet’s five year agreement with Bristol Airport last winter to continue growth at the airport, and will result in an extra aircraft being located at the base. There will now be up to 12 easyJet aircraft based at the airport from Summer 2015.
In total, EasyJet now flies to 50 destinations from Bristol – more than any other airline from the airport.
Bristol to Lanzarote is a year round service, flying twice a week from April 18, 2015.
Bristol to Catania is a summer service, flying twice a week from May 14, 2015.
Bristol to Porto is a year round service, flying three times per week from April 19,2015.
Bristol to Gibraltar will be Bristol’s only direct scheduled flight service to Gibraltar. It is a year round service, flying three times per week from April 19, 2015.
According to Airline Route, the low-fare carrier will also add the following routes next summer:
London Gatwick – Stuttgart 12 weekly, starting on March 29, 2015
Lyon – Krakow 3 weekly, March 29
Toulouse – Seville 3 weekly, March 29
Nantes – Porto 4 weekly, March 30
Naples – Athens 3 weekly, March 30
London Gatwick – Brindisi 2 weekly, April 1
Toulouse – Agadir 2 weekly, April 1
Milan Malpensa – Stuttgart 6 weekly, April 24
London Luton – Antalya 2 weekly, April 25
London Luton – Porto 3 weekly, April 26
London Luton – Essaouria, May 1
London Luton – Bodrum 2 weekly, May 17
Belfast City – Split 1 weekly, May 20
Manchester – Porto 3 weekly, June 16
Manchester – Marseille 2 weekly, June 17
Manchester – Pisa 2 weekly, June 17
Naples – Olbia 4 weekly, June 28
Glasgow – Bordeaux 2 weekly, June 29
Toulouse – Palma de Mallorca 2 weekly, July 3
Paris Orly – Split 2 weekly, July 5
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 G-EZWP (msn 5927) with Sharklets arrives back at London (Gatwick).
The Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) has issued this report summarizing the new routes planned for 2015:
Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines will be expanding their flight program to attractive tourist destinations next year.
New in the flight timetable are Seville in southern Spain and the Greek island of Crete. Flights to the capital of Andalusia will leave from the Lufthansa hubs in Frankfurt and Munich. Lufthansa customers will be able to fly nonstop to Iceland from the two hubs for the first time. Bodrum (Turkey) and Cagliari (Sardinia/Italy) are two existing seasonal destinations that are now connected to Frankfurt for the first time. Next summer, Lufthansa will be serving Glasgow for the first time from Munich. There will also be additional flights on existing Spanish connections from Frankfurt to Málaga, Palma de Mallorca and Valencia as well as from Munich to Bodrum. All seasonal connections for summer 2015 can be booked from now on.
Austrian Airlines is commencing flight service from Vienna to Mauritius, adding the new destination to its winter 2015/16 flight schedule.
Further 16 seasonal routes will be added to the Lufthansa flight timetable for next summer. This means passengers will be able to count on the full service and dependability of a scheduled airline. Many tourist destinations will get additional flights during the summer holiday period. Passengers will be able to enjoy their “escape to the sun” in the comfortable Business Class as well as Economy Class. At Lufthansa, baggage allowance and catering are included in the fare. As with any Lufthansa flight, air miles can also be accrued and redeemed on these flights to holiday destinations.
The new connections in detail:
• For the first time in many years there will again be Lufthansa flights to the southern Spanish city of Seville, from Frankfurt and Munich. An Airbus A320 will take off three times a week from Frankfurt on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and from Munich to Andalusia on Sundays. After a flight time of just three hours, passengers will be able to wander through the historic old town with its labyrinth of narrow streets, discover the restaurants on picturesque city squares and visit imposing cathedrals and palaces. Seville is also an ideal starting point for visiting the numerous beach resorts on the Costa de la Luz. Lufthansa is offering this new destination from EUR 129. Seville will be served from Frankfurt and Munich, starting already at the beginning of the Easter holidays on 26 March 2015.
• Another new sunny destination is Heraklion on Crete, the largest Greek island. Every Saturday, Lufthansa will be flying to Crete in almost three hours from Munich with an Airbus A320. All the holiday resorts and hotels on the 260 km long and 60 km wide island can be reached quickly from there. Crete offers visitors more than 1,000 km of coastline, with countless coves and beaches. The flight to one of the sunniest islands in the Mediterranean can be booked from EUR 129.
• As of next summer, the two hubs in Frankfurt and Munich will be getting a Lufthansa connection to Iceland. Flights with an Airbus A319 to Keflavík Airport, which is 50 km from the capital of Reykjavík, will leave Frankfurt in the main travel season between May and September 2015 on Thursdays and Saturdays. An existing connection will also operate a flight on Saturdays from Munich, both non-stop and from EUR 249. The land of geysers and volcanoes has been growing in popularity for years, especially in the summer months. The natural splendors of this volcanic island include glaciers, hot springs and waterfalls. Riding holidays and other outdoor activities attract many travelers to the island in the North Atlantic.
• The popular Mediterranean beach resorts of Bodrum and Cagliari will also get connections to Frankfurt, in addition to the existing routes from Munich. Bodrum is situated directly on the Turkish Aegean and offers a wide range of opportunities for water sports enthusiasts and beach holidaymakers. From the middle of May, an Airbus A320 will be departing from Rhine-Main to supplement the connection from Munich, which will get an additional Saturday flight. Flights to Bodrum are available from as little as EUR 159. Lufthansa will also be connecting Cagliari, in the south of the Italian island of Sardinia, to Frankfurt with a Saturday flight in an Embraer 190 operated by Lufthansa CityLine. This supplements the existing flights on Saturdays and Sundays from Munich. One of the most popular holiday islands in the Mediterranean can be reached conveniently from EUR 129.
• Lufthansa is to connect Bavaria and Scotland for the first time. An Airbus A319 will leave the Bavarian capital on Saturdays for a direct flight of two hours and twenty minutes to Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland and the third-largest in the United Kingdom. The former industrial city now has a modern cultural scene, in addition to its reputation as an important university center. Glasgow is also an ideal starting point for trips to the Scottish highlands and the many islands off the west coast. A return flight from the River Isar to the River Clyde can be had from EUR 129.
• In the outlook for the winter flight schedule 2015/2016 Austrian Airlines is commencing flight service from Vienna to Mauritius, adding the new destination to its segment of leisure destinations. Starting on October 29, 2015, the airline will fly nonstop once a week from Vienna to Mauritius every Thursday on board of a Boeing 767. Passengers will reach the island in the Indian Ocean after a flight time of 10 hours and 40 minutes. Tickets are available starting from EUR 899 in Economy Class.
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 D-AIZY (msn 5769) with Sharklets arrives in Stockholm (Arlanda).
China Aircraft Leasing Company (CALC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus for 100 A320 Family aircraft. The commitment comprises 74 A320neo, 16 A320ceo and 10 A321ceo. Including this new commitment, CALC’s total order tally with Airbus stands at 140 A320 Family aircraft.
Hong Kong Airlines (Hong Kong) will add additional frequencies to to both Bangkok and Haikou, which, according to the airline “have always been tourists’ favorite destinations in the Hong Kong Airlines’ network (below)”. Hong Kong Airlines (HKA) will increase the frequency of its Haikou route service to 11 flights a week, starting on December 1, 2014. Capacity on the Bangkok route will also be expanded with a sixth daily service, commencing on December 19, 2014.
Top Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by HKA). Airbus A320-214 F-F-WWIA (msn 5264) became B-LPF on delivery.
Video: Flying (from a passenger’s perspective) from Hong Kong to Bangkok:
International Airlines Group (IAG) (British Airways, Iberia, Iberia Express and Vueling Airlines) (London) reported a third quarter net profit of €598 million ($751 million) up 3.1% from €580 million ($728.4 million) in the same quarter a year ago.
The airline group issued this full statement:
NINE MONTHS RESULTS ANNOUNCEMENT
International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) presented Group consolidated results for the nine months to September 30, 2014.
IAG period highlights on results:
- Third quarter operating profit €900 million (2013: €690 million) before exceptional items, €210 million better than last year
- At constant currency, third quarter passenger unit revenue down 0.9 per cent and non-fuel unit costs down 4.5 per cent
- Revenue for the quarter up 8.5 per cent to €5,866 million, up 6.9 per cent at constant currency
- Fuel unit costs for the quarter down 7.5 per cent at constant currency
- Operating profit for the nine months €1,130 million (2013: €657 million) before exceptional items, €473 million better than last year
- Exceptional charge of €82 million for currency re-evaluation
- Cash of €5,064 million at September 30, 2014, up €1,431 million on 2013 year end
- Adjusted gearing down 4 points to 46 per centPerformance summary:
Nine months to September 30
Financial data € million
Higher / (lower)
Operating profit before exceptional items
Operating profit after exceptional items
Profit after tax and exceptional items
Basic earnings per share (€ cents)
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Available seat kilometres (ASK million)
Revenue passenger kilometres (RPK million)
Seat factor (per cent)
Passenger revenue per RPK (€ cents)
Passenger unit revenue per ASK (€ cents)
Non-fuel unit costs per ASK (€ cents)
At September 30,
At December 31,
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Cash and interest-bearing deposits
Adjusted net debt(1)
(1) Adjusted net debt is net debt plus capitalised operating aircraft lease costs.
(2) Adjusted gearing is adjusted net debt, divided by adjusted net debt and adjusted equity.
Willie Walsh, IAG Chief Executive Officer, said:
“This quarter we are reporting an operating profit before exceptional items of €900 million. At constant currency, revenue was up 6.9 per cent with non-fuel unit costs down 4.5 per cent and fuel unit costs down 7.5 per cent.
“We continued to grow capacity efficiently and both our non-fuel and fuel unit cost performances were strong with the latter boosted by the introduction of new, more efficient aircraft into our fleet.
“British Airways made an operating profit of €607 million, compared to €477 million last year, and grew capacity while retaining its focus on cost control. Iberia’s operating profit increased to €162 million from €74 million last year highlighting its strong cost discipline combined with the continued benefits of restructuring. Vueling continued to grow, developing new bases in Italy and Belgium, with an operating profit of €140 million compared to €139 million last year.
“In the nine months, we made an operating profit of €1,130 million before exceptional items, up by €473 million from last year”.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Iberia improved its financial performance with labor stability which was one of the main drivers for a better financial performance of the group in the third quarter. Iberia’s Airbus A320-214 EC-MCS (msn 6244) taxies at Geneva in the new look.
Virgin America reports 3Q net income of $41.6 million, expects to raise around $320 million from its pending IPO
Virgin America (San Francisco) reported its financial results for the third quarter of 2014 with an operating income of $52.3 million and net income of $41.6 million. The airline posted an operating margin of 12.9 percent – a 1.4 point improvement over the third quarter of 2013, driven largely by a 5.5 percent growth in revenue per available seat mile (RASM) over the prior year period.
Third Quarter 2014 Financial Highlights:
Operating Revenue: Total operating revenue of $405.5 million, an increase of 4.7 percent over the third quarter of 2013.
Revenue per Available Seat Mile (RASM): RASM increased 5.5 percent compared to the third quarter of 2013, to 12.60 cents. Year-over-year RASM growth was driven by a 0.6 percent increase in yield and a 3.0 point increase in load factor. The RASM performance continues the trend of strong RASM growth for the airline, which reported 9 percent RASM growth year-over-year for its Full Year 2013 results.
Cost per Available Seat Mile (CASM): Total CASM increased 3.8 percent compared to the third quarter of 2013, to 10.98 cents. CASM excluding fuel costs for the quarter increased 5.5 percent year-over-year, to 6.84 cents, primarily due to a provision for teammate profit sharing. CASM, excluding both fuel and profit-sharing costs, increased 2.0 percent, to 6.61 cents.
Operating Income: Third quarter of 2014 operating income increased by 17.9 percent over the third quarter of 2013 to $52.3 million with an operating margin improvement of 1.4 points year-over-year.
Net Income: Net income for the quarter increased 24.2 percent year-over-year, from $33.5 million to $41.6 million. Virgin America’s year-to-date net income improved by $60.2 million from a net loss of $4.0 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2013, to net income of $56.2 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2014.
Capacity: Available seat miles (ASMs) for the third quarter of 2014 decreased 0.8 percent year-over-year. The airline ended the quarter with 53 Airbus A320-family aircraft.
Liquidity: Unrestricted cash was $184.5 million as of September 30, 2014.
Analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek and its pending IPO: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N849VA (msn 4991) with the special champion “Giants-Fly Together” logo arrives in Washington.
VietJet Air’s (VietJetAir.com) (Ho Chi Minh City) first A320 on order from Airbus has reached a new production milestone, with the aircraft having successfully performed its first flight in Toulouse, France. Appearing in its colorful livery (above), the aircraft now enters the final acceptance phase prior to delivery to VietJetAir by the end of 2014.
This A320 is the first of up to 100 A320 that will be acquired by the airline under a deal finalised in February this year. The acquisition plan covers firm orders with Airbus for 63 aircraft, plus 30 purchase rights. In addition the airline will lease seven more aircraft from third party lessors.
The aircraft will join an existing fleet of 16 leased A320s at the fast-growing carrier and will be operated on the airline’s expanding network of domestic and regional services.
In other news, VietJet Air will open a new route connecting Thanh Hoa City and Ho Chi Minh City, helping to tap growing demand for travel between the north central city and the southern hub. The inaugural flight will take off from Ho Chi Minh City on November 25, 2014. The flight duration for this new route is one hour and 55 minutes. The daily flight will depart Ho Chi Minh City at 9 am (0900) and land in Thanh Hoa at 10.55 am (1055). On the return leg, the flight will take off at 11.30 am (1130) in Thanh Hoa and arrive in Ho Chi Minh City at 1.25 pm (1325).
Top Copyright Photo: Airbus (all others by VietJet Air). Airbus A320-214 F-WWBP (msn 6341) will become VN-A697 on delivery.
VietJetAir Aircraft Slide Show:
Video: The now famous VietJet Air in-flight bikini show:
TAME Linea Aerea del Ecuador (Quito) will launch its second route to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) on November 20 when it adds three weekly flights from Guayaquil. The new route will operate with Airbus A320s.
Copyright Photo: Rodrigo Cozzato/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 HC-COC (msn 1368) approaches the runway at Sao Paulo (Guarulhos).
TAME Aircraft Slide Show:
JetBlue Airways (New York) today (November 1) launches three new seasonal routes from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS). JetBlue now offers seasonal weekly services to Liberia, Costa Rica; Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; and Saint Lucia.
Earlier this year, the carrier introduced service from Boston to Detroit, Michigan, and Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, Georgia.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N828JB (msn 5723) with Sharklets departs from Washington (Reagan National).
JetBlue Airways Aircraft Slide Show:
Air Armenia (Yerevan) has suspended all operations until at least December 20 as it reorganizes. The company started operations on March 18, 2003. The airline has issued this statement:
On October 22 it has turned a year, as the airline “Air Armenia” has been implementing transportation of passengers. This is reported by the press service of the airline “Air Armenia”. The report, particularly, is transmitted as follows: “Over the past year airline “Air Armenia”, as the only Armenian air carrier, served passengers implementing flights to Russia and Europe.
The year for airline “Air Armenia”, as for the only Armenian air carrier, was full of both achievements and undesired, unexpected events. According to the extended information, during the summer there were taken some measures to obstruct the activity of the airline, aiming to discomfit the Armenian air carrier. This can create desirable conditions for foreign airlines to provide independent policy and monopoly control over the Armenian sky.
On September 11 of this year, through the media sources Russian air navigation stated that airline “Air Armenia” was going to be disabled to realize flights to Russian Federation since September 21. This announcement caused a great harm and a lot of trouble for the only Armenian air carrier.
The statement of Russian air navigation was also spread in Armenia by the Armenian media sources, which led to the fall of airline prestige, causing huge financial losses. The statement brought up a panic among the passengers, the creditors and the debetors. Many passengers began returning already purchased air tickets. A huge mass of the passengers refused being served by the Armenian air carrier. Ticket sales dropped by, more than, 60%. While all the lenders were demanding their money back, ignoring the previous agreement on the transfer schedule, the debetors refused to transfer the money got from the air ticket sales, bringing the possibility of ticket returns as an explanation. In this case they would have to return the money back to passengers.
The two airplanes (A320s), operated by airline “Air Armenia” are now in the Netherlands, getting some maintenance. Maintenance of the airplanes is a mandatory procedure that is implemented in the framework of the agreement with the company, giving these airplanes on credit.
In addition to the panic and uncertainty of the society, A320 owners demanded the planned maintenance of an airplane and a non-planned one of another airplane as well. They insisted on holding the maintaining process in the airport of theirs so as to be safe. Surprisingly, the airline “Air Armenia” managed to find the energy, strength and resources to organize some flights with just one airplane.
The disinformation, spread by 1in.am on October 22 also caused a lot of serious problems for airline “Air Armenia” causing even more losses. Air ticket sales in Armenia decreased by 80%. At the same time, many agents held the revenue in case of possible return of the money.
As a result, the profit dropped to a critical minimum, and the transportation of passengers was impossible. In this situation, the airline has decided to take some radical actions leading to financial reconstruction, flights graphic’s improving until December 20, making an emphasis on the flights being highly demanded.
At the current time, we plan to collect some financial sources to be able to get back the 2 A320 airplanes, so as to go live with all the flights according to the winter schedule, announced previously starting from December 20.
The only Armenian airline “Air Armenia” thanks all the loyal passengers and partners, bringing apologies for this unpleasant situation and the inconvenience.
Top Copyright Photo: OSDU/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Air Armenia). Airbus A320-214 EK32039 (msn 1439) approaches the runway at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow.
Cebu Pacific Air (Manila) plans to strengthen its Cebu hub with direct Cebu-Tokyo (Narita) flights starting March 26, 2015.
The airline will launch four weekly flights (every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) between Cebu and Tokyo. The flight from Cebu will depart at 5:55 am (0555), and arrive in Tokyo at 11:20 am (1120). The return flight will depart Tokyo at 12:05 pm (1205), and arrive in Cebu at 4:25 pm (1625).
The new route will utilize Airbus A320s.
Cebu Pacific Air launched nonstop flights from Manila to Tokyo (Narita) and Nagoya in March of this year.
Aside from Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, Cebu Pacific Air offers flights to 25 other international destinations, namely Bali, Bangkok, Beijing, Brunei, Busan, Dammam, Dubai, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Incheon (Seoul), Jakarta, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Macau, Phuket, Riyadh, Shanghai, Siem Reap, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei and Xiamen. It also operates the most extensive network in the Philippines.
Cebu Pacific Air’s 51-strong fleet is comprised of 10 Airbus A319, 28 Airbus A320, 5 Airbus A330 and 8 ATR 72 500 aircraft. Between 2014 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of 11 more brand-new Airbus A320, 30 Airbus A321neo, and 1 Airbus A330 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 RP-C3271 (msn 5381) arrives in Bangkok.
Current routes from Cebu:
Cebu Pacific Air Slide Show:
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) has announced plans to add twice-weekly service between Miami International Airport (MIA) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) beginning in December according to Miami International Airport. The new service announcement comes less than one month after the domestic low-cost carrier revealed that it would be launching 38 weekly departures from MIA to four additional domestic destinations.
The new nonstop Miami-Washington D.C. service is scheduled to begin on December 21, the same day that Frontier will launch nonstop flights from MIA to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Flights to Washington Dulles will operate on Thursdays and Sundays, using the carrier’s 168-seat Airbus A320 aircraft (above). On December 20, Frontier will launch nonstop service from Miami to Denver, Philadelphia and New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
Previously in September, Frontier announced it was coming to Miami starting on December 20 with new routes operating to Chicago (O’Hare), Denver, New York (LaGuardia) and Philadelphia. Washington Dulles is a new addition to the original announcement.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N227FR (msn 6184) with Grizwald, the Bear, arrives in Washington (Reagan National) in the new 2014 livery.
Al Maha Airways (subsidiary of Qatar Airways) (Riyadh) will soon take delivery of its first Airbus A320. The first A320 has been painted at Toulouse pending delivery. The new domestic carrier of Saudi Arabia will launch operations “soon” according to its website. Previously the new subsidiary was expecting to enter the Saudi market in November.
Al Maha means “Oryx” in Arabic, the symbol of Qatar Airways.
Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 F-WWBV (msn 6347) departs from Toulouse today (October 29) on a test flight. Green is the national color of the Kingdom. The first Airbus A320 will become HZ-ALA on delivery.
Air Malta (Luqa) has been working hard to turn around the company. The airline cut its yearly loss by half and issued this report:
Air Malta halved its losses during the financial year ending March 2014 and is projecting to maintain its position for the year ending March 2015, despite several major setbacks such as the closure of the Libyan routes and increased competition in the peak summer months.
Audited figures announced during the Air Malta Annual General Meeting showed that the airline posted a loss of €16 million ($20.3 million) for the year ending at the end of March 2014, compared to €31 million ($39.4 million) loss registered during the financial year ending at the end of March 2013.
The numbers show that Air Malta is moving in the right direction according to its Restructuring Plan, although it did not manage to reach the more ambitious annual targets of a €15 million loss in 2013 and a profit in 2014.
Air Malta chairperson Maria Micallef said the current financial year had been directly hit by the closure of the Libyan routes (losing the airline around €1 million per month, including incremental revenue from transit business) and a 20% increase in seat capacity of other airlines in the peak months.
“We were informed that our revenues would be hit by 10% and the bottom line was forecasted to be a loss of €25 million, unless immediate preventive actions were taken. We set ourselves a target that under these circumstances we try and target a bottom line of a loss of €16 million for Year ending March 2015,” said Ms Micallef, who was appointed chairperson in July.
Ms Micallef also highlighted the importance of thinking about the long term strategy of Air Malta, beyond the restructuring plan.
“In the longer term, it remains clear to me that the realities of the industry are such that the airline’s profit margins will always remain wafer thin unless we rethink our business model to truly ensure viability. We need to get out of restructuring mode and start thinking of long-term sustainability beyond 2016. We will need the economies of scale that we can never achieve with our size,” she said.
“If we are to make this work – and I am confident we will – we need everyone’s support. In some cases, this means holding back. That is my message to politicians, both Government and Opposition. The same applies to all the representatives of the various stakeholders, who for the first time have been invited to this AGM.”
“The reality is that this is Air Malta’s last chance for long term survival. We have 17 months left to get this right,” she concluded.
Meanwhile, newly-appointed CEO Philip Micallef outlined his vision for the airline and highlighted a number of initiatives being taken to bring the airline to profitability by 2016.
“One of the key missions of this new management team is to work much more closely with Malta Tourism Authority and other key stakeholders. MTA and Air Malta have a joint responsibility to attract tourism to the Maltese islands. In the past, the two entities complemented each other’s work but did not combine their resources as effectively as they could. We are holding joint meetings with tourism operators in various markets as Air Malta seeks to intensify its presence in foreign markets. We have entered into a new era of positive collaboration,” he said.
Similar joint initiatives are happening with Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) and Federated Association of Travel & Tourism Agents (FATTA).
“Our approach has been particularly successful with German tour operators, where committed seats have increased by 300% in winter 2014/15. Similar encouraging results are already being achieved on our Amsterdam and Brussels routes. Our code-share with Air France is doing even better, with a ten-fold increase in passenger revenue,” Mr Micallef told the AGM.
“At the end of summer we launched an aggressive promotion with a 25% discount, for travel from November 2014, to get early bookings for winter. In aggregate, early bookings for winter strongly indicate that we could start to mitigate the losses in passengers from Libya and slow-down in Russia through increased sales on other routes,” he said.
Mr Micallef said Air Malta now needed to improve its IT systems to facilitate customer experience and increase revenue by providing a more attractive pricing system for passengers.
“In the face of increased supply on some of our core routes during the peak summer months, we must respond by taking advantage of additional revenue streams. We are starting with generating ancillary revenue pre-flight through product enhancements and the right technology to promote the sale of these products. We are also looking at developing ancillary products while on board,” he said.
Copyright Photo: Jacques Guillem/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Malta Airbus A320-214 9H-AEO (msn 2768) in the special Valletta – European Capital of Culture 2018 color scheme taxies at Paris (Orly).
Air Malta Aircraft Slide Show:
JetBlue Airways (New York) today (October 29) expands its destination offerings at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) with the addition of four new routes. The new flights include daily service to Cartagena, Colombia; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; as well as a twice daily service to Jacksonville, Florida.
By 2017, JetBlue plans to offer 100 daily flights out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood to meet increasing customer demand. In May of this year, JetBlue added flights from FLL to Montego Bay, Jamaica; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
JetBlue currently offers up to 75 daily flights to 33 destinations from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N590JB (msn 2231) in the 2004 Plaid tail motif and smaller titles departs from FLL.
Adria Airways (Ljubljana) on October 21 operated its last Airbus A320 flight with the pictured A320-231 S5-AAS (msn 444). The aircraft has been returned to the lessor according to EX-YU. The carrier now only operates two Airbus A319s, six Bombardier CRJ900s and two CRJ200s which are being phased out.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. S5-AAS taxies at Zurich.