Tag Archives: Airbus

Vacation Express to expand its relationship with Interjet

Vacation Express has announced an expanding partnership with Interjet (Mexico City). The travel company continued:

Vacation Express logo

This announcement comes after Vacation Express and Interjet completed a very successful winter travel season, departing from Cleveland, Columbus, Nashville, Newark and Pittsburgh. The two newest gateways for Interjet departures are Richmond and Charlotte that recently started on Monday, April 6 and Raleigh/Durham that will begin on June 14. These weekly, exclusive nonstop flights will continue through the summer and some are extended through the fall for travelers to visit destinations in Mexico.

Vacation Express, part of Sunwing Travel Group Inc., has been in existence for over 25 years and offers vacation packages to over 35 destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Costa Rica. The charter flights are operated by Sunwing Airlines, AeroMexico, Swift Air, LLC, Interjet, Xtra Airways and Volaris.

Copyright Photo: Duncan Kirk/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 XA-KNG (msn 1747) is pictured at Toluca, Mexico.

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Virgin America posts a record first quarter GAAP net profit of $12.8 million

Virgin America (San Francisco) today reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2015.

Key highlights from the first quarter include:

First quarter 2015 net income was $10.5 million excluding special items1, an increase of $32.9 million from the first quarter of 2014. Operating income and operating margin excluding special items were $13.1 million and 4.0 percent, respectively.

On a GAAP basis, net income was $12.8 million. This represents the first time in its history that Virgin America has recorded a profit in the first quarter of the year, and the tenth consecutive quarter of year-over-year improvement in profitability. Operating income and operating margin on a GAAP basis were $15.4 million and 4.7 percent, respectively.

Fully diluted earnings per share excluding special items was $0.24. On a GAAP basis, fully diluted earnings per share was $0.29.

“Virgin America continues to perform exceptionally well, achieving net income of $10.5 million excluding special items in the first quarter of 2015,” said David Cush, Virgin America’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “This marks the tenth consecutive quarter of year-over-year improvement in our financial performance, off the back of a record year of profitability in 2014. This is a testament to our business model, our product and Teammates who delivered an outstanding experience for our guests.”

First Quarter 2015 Financial Highlights

• Operating Revenue: Total operating revenue was $326.4 million, an increase of 4.1 percent over first quarter of 2014.

• Revenue per Available Seat Mile (RASM): Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 2.6 percent compared to the first quarter 2014, to 10.27 cents. Year-over-year PRASM growth was driven by a 0.9 point increase in load factor and a 1.4 percent increase in yield. Total RASM increased 2.7 percent year-over-year.

• Cost per Available Seat Mile (CASM): Total CASM excluding special items decreased 5.5 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014, to 11.11 cents. Decreases in fuel costs and reduced heavy maintenance activity contributed to the decline in CASM, partially offset by increases in salaries, wages and benefits. Salaries, wages and benefits costs included a $2.1 million accrual for teammate profit sharing and payroll taxes related to 2014 profit sharing. CASM excluding special items, fuel costs and profit sharing for the quarter increased 3.0 percent year-over-year, to 7.82 cents.

• Fuel Expense: Virgin America realized an average economic fuel cost per gallon including taxes and the impact of hedges of $2.45, which was 22.7 percent lower year-over-year. This amount includes certain fuel expense adjustments described as special items below.

• Special Items: Special items in the first quarter of 2015 relate to $2.3 million of adjustments for fuel hedges that settled during the first quarter of 2015 but for which unrealized losses had been previously recorded under GAAP and mark-to-market adjustments for fuel hedges that mature subsequent to March 31, 2015, which did not qualify for hedge accounting treatment.

• Operating Income: First quarter 2015 operating income excluding special items was $13.1 million, an increase of $26.3 million as compared to 2014. The Company’s operating margin excluding special items of 4.0 percent, improved by 8.2 points year-over-year.

• Net Income: Net income excluding special items for the first quarter was $10.5 million, an increase of$32.9 million year-over-year.

• Fully Diluted EPS: Fully diluted earnings per share, excluding special items, was $0.24 for the first quarter of 2015. First quarter 2015 fully diluted earnings per share was $0.29 on a GAAP basis.

• Capacity: Available seat miles (ASMs) for the first quarter of 2015 increased 1.5 percent year-over-year compared with the first quarter of 2014. The airline was affected by severe winter weather, reducing capacity growth by 1.5 percent versus the Company’s original plan. Virgin America ended the quarter with 53 Airbus A320-family aircraft, unchanged from the first quarter of 2014.

• Liquidity: Unrestricted cash was $418.3 million as of March 31, 2015.

2015 Aircraft Financing

Virgin America entered into agreements to finance approximately 80 percent of the purchase price of its five 2015 Airbus A320 aircraft deliveries. The weighted average interest rate on these financing commitments, if fixed at current underlying interest rates, would be under 5.0 percent.

Second Quarter 2015 Outlook

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

The Company expects capacity, as measured by available seat miles, to decrease by approximately 0.0 percent to 1.0 percent for the second quarter of 2015 as compared to the second quarter of 2014. Based on current revenue trends, the Company expects PRASM to decrease between 0.0 percent and 2.0 percent versus the second quarter of 2014. The Company expects CASM excluding fuel and profit sharing to increase between 8.0 percent and 10.0 percent versus the second quarter of 2014. CASM excluding fuel and profit sharing is increasing in the second quarter due to a decrease in average stage length year-over-year of approximately 4.0 percent, additional maintenance costs expected during the quarter, and previously announced increases in salaries, wages and benefits.

The Company is targeting a full year 2015 increase in CASM, excluding fuel and profit sharing, of approximately 7.0 percent to 9.0 percent, primarily due to the previously announced increase in salaries, wages and benefits and to a decrease in average stage length. In 2016, the Company is currently targeting CASM, excluding fuel and profit sharing, to remain flat year-over-year.

Based on Virgin America’s hedge portfolio and current market prices for aviation fuel products, the Company expects Virgin America’s economic fuel cost per gallon inclusive of related taxes and hedge costs to average between $2.10 and $2.20 for the second quarter of 2015. This number may change depending on fluctuations in market prices for jet fuel during the quarter.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N854VA (msn 5058) Arrives in Washington (Reagan National).

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Frontier Airlines to announce additional nonstop routes from Atlanta

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is expected today to announce six additional destinations from Atlanta according to a report by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. A press conference has been scheduled for today in Atlanta. Frontier aims to be the third largest carrier in ATL by this summer behind Delta and Southwest. With the loss of AirTran Airways there is a void in the large hub for an ultra low fare carrier service. Spirit Airlines is also building up its presence in ATL.

As we previously reported, on March 6 Frontier added new service from ATL to Austin, Indianapolis and Miami.

Today (April 30), as planned, the airline is adding new routes from Atlanta to Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Orleans and New York (LaGuardia).

More details will follow.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Also read Assistant Editor Aaron Newman’s Planely Speaking: The Battle for the Big Peach: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Ex-USA 3000 Airlines Airbus A320-214 N263AV (msn 1860) with Jack, the Rabbit, on the tail arrives in Las Vegas. The airliner has now become N219FR.

Frontier Jack, the Rabbit

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Video: New Frontier Slimline Seats:

The expanding Frontier Airlines route map. Frontier is now flying more in the East rather than the traditional West making its name somewhat obsolete as it downsizes its fading Denver hub.

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JetBlue Airways launches flights from Cleveland, its 88th destination

JetBlue Airways (New York) today (April 30) launched service to its latest destination, Cleveland’s Hopkins International Airport (CLE), with twice daily flights from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and daily flights from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Today, the airline also introduced daily flights from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood to Detroit’s Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW).

JetBlue at CLE

Above Photo: Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The JetBlue ticket counter at CLE.

Cleveland is JetBlue’s 88th BlueCity and the 55th nonstop destination from Boston, where it is the largest operating airline. From Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, JetBlue’s growing South Florida focus city, JetBlue now offers 30 nonstop destinations and with these two latest routes, the airline continues to strengthen its position in this key market as it ramps up its schedule to 100 daily flights.

JetBlue’s Schedule between Boston and Cleveland as of April 30, 2015:

BOS – CLE CLE – BOS

6:45 a.m. – 8:47 a.m. 9:29 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

4:15 p.m. – 6:22 p.m. 6:58 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.

JetBlue’s Schedule between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood as of April 30, 2015:

FLL – CLE CLE – FLL

8:00 a.m. – 10:49 a.m. 11:30 a.m. – 2:18 p.m.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N796JB (msn 5060) prepares to depart from Long Beach.

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Spirit Airlines announces its adjusted first quarter net quarter increased 87.1% to $70.7 million

Spirit Airlines, Inc. (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) today reported first quarter 2015 financial results:

 

Spirit Less Money More Go logo

Adjusted net income for the first quarter 2015 increased 87.1 percent to $70.7 million ($0.96 per diluted share) compared to the first quarter 20141. GAAP net income for the first quarter 2015 increased 83.0 percent year over year to $69.0 million ($0.94 per diluted share).

Adjusted pre-tax margin for the first quarter 2015 was 22.7 percent, up 900 basis points year over year1. On a GAAP basis, pre-tax margin for the first quarter 2015 was 22.1 percent.

Spirit ended the first quarter 2015 with an unrestricted cash and cash equivalents balance of $741.6 million.

Spirit’s return on invested capital (before taxes and excluding special items) for the twelve months ended March 31, 2015 was 30.2 percent2.

“I want to thank our team members for delivering strong first quarter operational and financial performance while continuing to execute on our growth plan. We’ve announced 38 of the new routes to begin in 2015 and, over the last two fiscal quarters, we have added 12 new aircraft to our fleet all while improving our on-time performance and maintaining our high degree of reliability,” said Ben Baldanza, Spirit’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our consistent, reliable operational performance, solid track record in successfully launching new markets, and continued strong financial performance position us well for the year ahead.”

Revenue Performance

For the first quarter 2015, Spirit’s total operating revenue was $493.4 million, an increase of 12.6 percent compared to the first quarter 2014, driven by an increase in flight volume.

Total revenue per available seat mile (“RASM”) for the first quarter 2015 decreased 9.9 percent compared to the first quarter 2014 on a capacity increase of 25.0 percent. The RASM decrease was primarily driven by a 7.8 percent decrease in average yield due to the ramp up of our growth in new and mature markets, overall fare compression in many of our markets, and increased capacity from other carriers in the Dallas markets.

Total revenue per passenger flight segment (“PFS”) for the first quarter 2015 decreased 7.6 percent year over year to $123.96, primarily driven by a 11.7 percent decrease in ticket revenue per PFS and a 2.1 percent decrease in non-ticket revenue per PFS. The decrease in non-ticket revenue per PFS was primarily attributable to lower bag revenue per PFS and the outsourcing of the Company’s onboard catering to a third-party provider under a revenue share agreement.

Cost Performance

Total operating expenses for the first quarter 2015, excluding $2.7 million of special items, increased 0.9 percent to $381.4 million3. Including special items, total operating expenses increased 1.6 percent year over year to $384.1 million. Operating expenses benefited from economic fuel expense decreasing 25.4 percent, or $37.7 million, on a fuel volume increase of 21.5 percent.

Spirit reported first quarter 2015 cost per available seat mile (“ASM”) excluding special items and fuel (“Adjusted CASM ex-fuel”)3 of 5.72 cents, a decrease of 5.6 percent compared to the same period last year driven primarily by lower labor expense per ASM and lower aircraft rent per ASM. Labor expense per ASM in the first quarter 2015 was lower compared to the same period last year primarily due to scale benefits from overall growth and from larger gauge aircraft. The decrease in aircraft rent per ASM was driven by a change in the mix of leased (rent recorded under aircraft rent) and purchased (depreciation recorded under depreciation and amortization) aircraft.

“Once again our team executed well on improving our cost structure. Despite very disruptive winter weather which caused a number of cancelations, and nearly a one percent shorter stage length, our first quarter 2015 Adjusted CASM ex-fuel decreased 5.6 percent year-over-year. This performance sets us up nicely to meet our full year target of delivering Adjusted CASM ex-fuel down 6 to 8 percent year over year,” said Ted Christie, Spirit’s Chief Financial Officer.

Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. In the first quarter of 2015, Spirit took delivery of five new A320 aircraft, ending the quarter with 70 aircraft in its fleet. The first Airbus A320 in the new bright yellow livery is the pictured A320-232 F-WWDV (msn 6586) at Toulouse which will become N642NK on the pending delivery from Airbus.

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Hainan Airlines starts Chongqing – Rome flights

Hainan Airlines (Haikou and Beijing) initiated nonstop flight service between Chongqing and Rome on April 27, 2015. Flight HU 7991, the inaugural flight took off from Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport at 1:30 am on April 27 Beijing Time and landed at Rome’s Fiumicino-Leonardo da Vinci International Airport at 7:50 am local time. Rome has been added to the roster of Hainan Airlines’ destinations in Europe following Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Moscow and Saint Petersburg. As one of the gateway cities to western China, Chongqing now has its first direct flight to Western Europe.

On the afternoon of April 26, Hainan Airlines held a brief inaugural ceremony in Chongqing. When flight HU 7991 landed in Rome, airport staff greeted the passengers arriving from China with the traditional water cannon salute.

Hainan Airlines Co LTD

Photo Above: Hainan Airlines.

Following the opening of the Chongqing-Rome route, Hainan Airlines plans to shortly open several more international routes, including Beijing-San Jose, Shanghai-Boston and Shanghai-Seattle/Tacoma.

Hainan Airlines’ Chongqing-Rome route is serviced by the twin-aisle Airbus A330-200 capable of transporting 260 passengers.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 B-6089 (msn 919) arrives at the Beijing hub.

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JetBlue Airways Corporation reports first quarter net income of $137 million

JetBlue Airways Corporation (New York) issued its first quarter financial report today:

JetBlue logo-2

JetBlue Airways Corporation today reported its results for the first quarter 2015:

Operating income of $253 million in the first quarter. This compares to operating income of $41 million in the first quarter of 2014

Pre-tax income of $222 million in the first quarter. This compares to pre-tax income of $6 million in the first quarter of 2014.

Net income of $137 million, or $0.40 per diluted share. This compares to JetBlue’s first quarter 2014 net income of $4 million, or $0.01 per diluted share.
Financial Performance

JetBlue reported record first quarter operating revenues of $1.5 billion. Revenue passenger miles for the first quarter increased 11.1% to 9.6 billion on a capacity increase of 9.6%, resulting in a first quarter load factor of 84.3%, an increase of 1.2 points year over year.

Yield per passenger mile in the first quarter was 14.64 cents, up 3.1% compared to the first quarter of 2014. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for the first quarter 2015 increased 4.5% year over year to 12.33 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 3.0% year over year to 13.34 cents.

Operating expenses for the quarter decreased 2.9%, or $38 million, over the prior year period. Interest expense for the quarter declined 8.9%, or $3 million, as JetBlue continues to reduce its debt. JetBlue’s operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for the first quarter decreased 11.3% year over year to 11.13 cents. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, first quarter CASM1decreased 1.9% to 7.95 cents.

Operational Performance

Despite a series of winter storms, which created operational challenges, system on time departures, or D0, improved 1.8 points year-over-year in the first quarter. System arrival performance, or A14, also improved 1.4 points.

“We posted strong first quarter results based on healthy demand across our network and a continued focus on cost control. Our 16,500 crewmembers delivered great customer service despite the challenges presented by winter storms. I’d like to thank all our Crewmembers for their hard work. They truly inspired humanity during this busy winter period.” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s President and CEO.

Fuel Expense and Hedging

In the first quarter JetBlue had hedges in place for approximately 21% of its fuel consumption. This resulted in a realized fuel price of $2.06 per gallon, a 34% decrease versus first quarter 2014 realized fuel price of $3.14. JetBlue recorded $35 million in losses on fuel hedges settling during the first quarter.

JetBlue has hedged approximately 20% of its second quarter 2015 projected fuel requirements using a combination of jet fuel swaps and collars. Based on the fuel curve as of April 20th, JetBlue expects an average price per gallon of fuel, including the impact of hedges and fuel taxes, of $2.11 in the second quarter. For the balance of the year beyond the second quarter, JetBlue has hedged approximately 14% of projected fuel consumption.

Liquidity and Cash Flow

JetBlue ended the quarter with approximately $1 billion in unrestricted cash and short term investments, or about 17% of trailing twelve month revenue. In addition, JetBlue maintains $600 million in undrawn lines of credit.

During the first quarter, JetBlue repaid approximately $55 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations. JetBlue anticipates paying approximately $216 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations during the remainder of 2015 and plans to continue to opportunistically prepay other debt. JetBlue expects to pay approximately $43 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations in the second quarter of 2015.

“JetBlue had a strong first quarter despite challenging winter weather conditions.” said Mark Powers, JetBlue’s Chief Financial Officer. “As we look forward, we expect to implement the return accretive initiatives we outlined at Investor Day and improve the balance sheet while continuing to reinvest in our business.”

Second Quarter and Full Year Outlook

For the second quarter of 2015, CASM excluding fuel and profit sharing is expected to increase between 1.0% and 3.0% versus the year-ago period. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM for the full year 2015 is forecasted to grow between zero and two percent year over year.

Capacity is expected to increase between 5.5% and 7.5% in the second quarter 2015 and between 7.0% and 9.0% for the full year, in line with prior guidance.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N793JB (msn 4647) in the Barcode tail design lands at the focus city of Long Beach.

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