Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) as planned, retired the Air One (Rome) brand on September 30. As of today, the former Air One services are now being operated under the Alitalia brand although the parent will only operate some of the routes. Alitalia will assume some of the routes at the end of this month with their own branded aircraft per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-216 EI-DSW (msn 3609) taxies from the gate at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR).
Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has announced two more new nonstop routes from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, increasing the number of cities it serves nonstop from Chicago to 23. New daily nonstop service to San Diego and Philadelphia will begin on April 16, 2015, with one daily flight to each city.
In addition to this new service to San Diego and Philadelphia, Spirit previously announced that it will begin new service between Chicago O’Hare and Atlanta on October 24, and between Chicago O’Hare and New Orleans on October 31.
In all, Spirit will operate to 23 cities nonstop from Chicago, including Atlanta (starting October 24), Atlantic City, Baltimore/Washington DC, Boston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Fort Myers, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Myrtle Beach, New Orleans (starting October 31), New York (LaGuardia), Oakland, Orlando, Philadelphia (starting April 16, 2015), Phoenix, Portland, Oregon, San Diego (starting April 16, 2015) and Tampa.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N602NK (msn 4264) taxies at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD). Spirit currently has three aircraft brands in service.
Virgin America (San Francisco) today announced two new seasonal routes – daily nonstop service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and four times weekly service between Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS).
Additionally, the airline announced today that it will operate two extra roundtrip frequencies weekly between Las Vegas-New York (JFK) over winter and early spring to bring weekly frequencies on this popular route from the current seven to nine.
Virgin America’s 2014-2015 new seasonal services are as follows:
December 18, 2014 – April 28, 2015
JFK- FLL: depart 8:00am and arrive 11:05am daily.
FLL- JFK: depart 9:15am and arrive 11:55am daily.
January 8, 2015 – April 28, 2015
BOS-LAS: depart 10:30am and arrive 1:40pm on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
LAS-BOS: depart 2:50pm and arrive 10:40pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
LAS-BOS: depart at 3:35pm and arrive 11:25pm on Thursday.
January 5, 2015 – April 28, 2015*
JFK-LAS: depart at 11:35am and arrive 2:35pm on Wednesday and Thursday.
LAS-JFK: depart at 3:10pm and arrive at 11:00pm on Monday.
LAS-JFK: depart at 3:35pm and arrive at 11:25pm on Wednesday.
*In addition to existing daily roundtrip schedule on this route.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N844VA (msn 4851) climbs away from Washington (Reagan National).
Vistara (TATA SIA Airlines Limited) (Delhi) on September 25 announced that it has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320-200 single aisle aircraft with Sharklets. Airbus A320-232 VT-TTB (msn 6223) was handed over on September 24. The brand new aircraft is the first of 20 A320 Family aircraft to be leased from BOC Aviation, Asia’s leading aircraft operating lessor.
The aircraft’s arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi is a key milestone for Vistara as it moves toward operational launch in October 2014.
With this first acquisition, Vistara plans to increase its fleet to 20 aircraft, including A320neos, by the end of the fourth year of operation.
TATA SIA Airlines Limited, known by the brand name Vistara, is a joint venture between Tata Sons Limited and Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA) with Tata Sons holding the majority stake of 51% in the company and SIA holding the remaining 49%. Vistara brings together Tata’s and SIA’s legendary hospitality and renowned service excellence to launch the finest full service carrier in India aimed at creating memorable and personalized flying experiences for its customers. Obsessed with quality, the company aims to set new standards in the aviation industry in India, with international best practices and state-of-the-art technology in the Indian air transport sector.
Above Photo: Vistara has a link to the previous Tata Air Lines on India.
BOC Aviation, owned by Bank of China, is headquartered in Singapore with offices in Dublin, London and Seattle.
Tigerair Taiwan (Taipei-Taoyuan) as planned, will launch scheduled passengers operations from Taipei (Taoyuan) to Singapore tomorrow (September 26) with Airbus A320s. The first flight will depart at 10:20 am local time in Taipei.
Tigerair, established in 2004, is part of the Singapore Airlines Group and is joining up with China Airlines which is entering the low-fare market with this joint venture. Tigerair is hoping the agreement will allow the brand to enter new markets in Taiwan, Japan and Korea.
The joint venture is between the China Airlines Group which holds a 90% stake and Tigerair holding the remaining 10%. The network will cover major destinations in Northeast and Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Macau, China and Taiwan.
Copyright Photo: Manuel Negrerie/AirlinersGallery.com. The first aircraft, the pictured Airbus A320-232 B-50001 (msn 6187), wears “Taiwan” special titles that separates it from other Tigerair-branded aircraft at the Taiwan base..
Czech Airlines-CSA (Prague) has been forced to lay off 280 staff members, a third of its workforce, including 70 pilots due to slumping traffic. The company is restructuring to meet the current conditions. As part of this restructuring, the company is grounding or leasing out its six Airbus A320s as it attempts to reduce its fleet according to Reuters. Tragically the airline has put its emphasis on serving destinations in eastern Europe. The current on-going conflict in the eastern Ukraine has translated to a drop in traffic.
The holding company of the flag carrier issued this statement:
The new Czech Aeroholding management reviewed in detail the economic results of all companies incorporated in the Czech Aeroholding Group, including Czech Airlines, upon its appointment at the turn of June and July 2014. The second largest shareholder, Korean Air, was then informed about the situation in Czech Airlines, too. Together, they agreed to draft a restructuring plan with the goal of keeping the current revenue upon decreased costs. This plan was unanimously approved by all shareholders in a General Meeting at the beginning of September. Several restructuring measures, predominantly in the revenue area such as a new one-way tickets concept, flight schedule changes and changes to the company’s transport network (including those in the Russian market), have already brought first results. For the first time in several years, Czech Airlines will record a net operational profit for the entire summer season. Concurrent with the restructuring plan, negotiations among all shareholder regarding investments into Czech Airlines are currently in progress. Upon their closing, Czech Aeroholding and all shareholders will inform the general public of their future steps in regards to Czech Airlines.
Copyright Photo: OSDU/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 OK-MEI (msn 3060) in the special “Prague Love You – Prague Airport” arrives at Moscow (Sheremetyevo) from Prague.
Airbus (Toulouse) today (September 25) flew for the first time its first A320neo (New Engine Option). The manufacturer issued this statement:
The first A320neo to fly lifted off at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport France today at 12 noon local time. The aircraft was flown by Airbus Experimental Test Pilots Philippe Pellerin and Etienne Miche de Malleray. Accompanying them in the cockpit were Test-Flight Engineer Jean-Paul Lambert. Monitoring the progress of the flight profile were the Flight-Test Engineers Manfred Birnfeld and Sandra Bour-Schaeffer.
This aircraft, A320-271N msn 6101 with the registration of F-WNEO, started assembly in March of this year, followed by roll-out in July. Since then, it has undergone various checks and ground tests in preparation for the first flight today.
Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. This historic photo captures F-WNEO lifting off for the first time.
JetBlue Airways (New York) following up on our previous report, today (September 24) officially announced their newest tailfin pattern “Tartan” to the fleet, reflecting a move of top fashion houses on their own fall runways. Starting with “Bippity Boppity Blue”, Airbus A320-232 N565JB (msn 2031), the pattern will be added to additional aircraft, joining the ranks of JetBlue’s nine other iconic and eye-catching tailfins across their fleet of 200 aircraft.
“Design plays such an integral part in our story,” says Lisa Borromeo, JetBlue Director of Brand Management and Advertising, “While others may push revamped logos or disorienting paint schemes, we feel it’s important to build a visual language as we grow. Our tailfin patterns will always reflect a fresh style, with a timeless appeal that is core to who we are as a brand.”
According to the airline, “Tartan is JetBlue’s second nod to the timeless Gaelic fashion. While 2003’s Plaid design has been retired, with clean, bold lines, a dash of green, and worn at a decidedly jaunty angle, Tartan is an updated statement on JetBlue’s evolution also seen in the uniform refresh this summer; a proud acknowledgement of their history, with a confident readiness to carry forward into their future.”
Copyright Photos: JetBlue Airways.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will start weekly seasonal service from the airline’s hub in Minneapolis/St. Paul to Montego Bay, Jamaica on starting on January 18, 2015 and Nassau in the Bahamas, starting 0n January 17, 2015. Flights will be operated on Airbus A320 aircraft with 150 seats, including 12 seats in Business Class, 18 Economy Comfort seats and 120 economy seats.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-212 N372NW (msn 1633) arrives at the MSP hub.
The first Airbus A320neo to make its first flight on September 25, Airbus reportedly shrinks the size of one bathroom
Airbus (Toulouse) is planning to conduct the first flight for its new Airbus A320neo (new engine option) (above) on Thursday, September 25.
According to this article by Bloomberg Businessweek, Airbus is redesigning the size of the A320neo lavatories because the company believes the bathrooms take up too much space (this is while people are getting bigger!). According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, Airbus is shrinking the width of one of the bathrooms to make more room in other areas. Airbus did not respond to confirm the media report.
Are airplane bathrooms getting too small for the general population?
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-271N F-WNEO (msn 6101) is pictured doing a taxi test at Toulouse with the distinctive NEO markings.
Wizz Air (wizzair.com) (Hungary) (Budapest) in March 2015 is expanding operations in Poland per Airline Route. The airline will launch the following routes:
Gdansk to Hahn (near Frankfurt) (twice weekly) starting on March 31 and to Molde (twice weekly) on March 30
Katowice to Belfast (twice weekly) starting on March 31
Poznan to Malmo (twice weekly) starting on March 30
In other news, Wizz Air has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the University of Debrecen and Pharma-Flight Kft., to establish an ATO-certified pilot school for talented individuals willing to pursue a career in aviation. The four parties agreed on facilitating the launch of the flight training program at the Pharma-Flight International Science and Service Center in 2015. The airline will be involved in type-rating certification, supervision of the program syllabus, audit of the exam results and overall monitoring of the progress of the program. In case of satisfactory results, upon the completion of the course, Wizz Air will offer the young cadets placement at one of its bases for further training.
Additionally, Wizz Air has announced a sale and leaseback agreement with Goshawk Aviation Limited for seven new Airbus A320 aircraft. The airplanes are planned for delivery between November 2014 and June 2015. This is the first financing deal between the two parties.
Goshawk is an aircraft leasing vehicle managed by Investec Bank plc with capital from Investec and Asian institutional partners. With the Wizz Air transaction, Goshawk has over 30 aircraft either delivered or scheduled to be delivered over the next 12-15 months.
In Romania, Wizz Air announced further expansion in Romania. This news follows the announcement of 13 new routes and additional based aircraft in Cluj-Napoca and Timisoara. The airline will deploy one new aircraft in Bucharest, bringing its fleet in Romania to 17 Airbus A320s, representing 29% capacity growth in 2015 year-on-year. The 9th Bucharest based aircraft will be delivered at the end of July 2015.
Wizz Air also announced operations from Iasi airport, which will take the number of airports served by Wizz inRomania to 8. The new services from Iasi to Treviso will begin on December 20, 2014, Iasi –Milan Bergamo on March 31, 2015 and a Iasi-London Luton service will start on June 14, 2015.
From Bucharest, Wizz Air launched new routes to Pescara and Skavsta (near Stockholm), commencing on July 27, as well as a summer route to Heraklion commencing on June 20.
With these new services, Wizz Air is now offering a combined total of 97 routes to 15 countries from its 8 Romanian airports. The airline has also increased frequencies on 22 of the most popular routes across its Romanian network.
Finally, according to the Wall Street Journal the low-fare airline is considering swapping future Airbus A320 deliveries for larger A321s.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 HA-LWX (msn 6001) taxies at Sandefjord.
Aircalin (Noumea) announced this new look on July 1, 2014. The first aircraft with the new look is the pictured Airbus A320-232 F-OZNC (msn 3547) arriving at Sydney. F-OZNC was leased from AerCap on July 16, 2014 and arrived in the islands in early August. The French registration is a combination of OZ (for Australia) and NC for New Caledonia where it mainly operates. The aircraft is now flying to Australia.
According to the airline, the “introduction of the heart-shaped logo was adopted by the three Provincial Tourism Boards. Seizing the opportunity offered by work on its new aircraft, Aircalin decided to revisit and refresh its livery design.”
The airline continued, “The two A330 aircraft will be repainted one after another when they undergo their Heavy Maintenance Checks scheduled over the period from August 16 and October 28, 2014. And finally, in 2015, the second A320 will also undergo its Heavy Maintenance Check and emerge with the new livery design.”
Aircalin has chartered an Air Tahiti Nui Airbus 340 to replace the two A330s while they are undergoing maintenance.
According to Aircalin, Local PR and communications agency White Rabbit created the livery concept in line with rigorous specifications laid down by Aircalin: “To complement our new cabins, we need to give our aircraft a powerful visual identity designed to encapsulate and project the essence of New Caledonia abroad and to strike a strong chord with New Caledonians.”
Aircalin currently operates two Airbus A330-200s, two Airbus A320-200s and two de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otters.
Top Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com.
flyVista (Tbilisi, Georgia) as previously reported, commenced scheduled passenger operations on August 4, 2014 with Boeing 737-33R 4L-AJC (msn 28873). Now the new carrier is getting ready to add an Airbus A320.
According to the airline, “flyVista is a low cost carrier operating as the brand of Vista Georgia which is certified by Georgia’s civil aviation authority and follows its strict safety regulations. Starting in summer 2014, flyVista will be providing customers with safe and affordable scheduled flights to neighboring countries from its base in Tbilisi, Georgia. At flyVista the emphasis is not only on safety but also on providing its passengers with an enjoyable flight within its network. flyvista was established as the scheduled airline brand of Vista Georgia which is strategically partnered with Aerovista.”
The airline currently flies from Tbilisi to Almaty, Kiev and Tehran.
Copyright Photo: Greenwing/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured A320-214 OE-ICW (msn 879) will become 4L-AJD when it is leased from GECAS. Previously the airframe was leased by Iberworld (EC-GZD), Spring Airlines (B-6258) and Senegal Airlines (6V-AII).
Aegean Airlines (Athens) is adding more destinations and frequencies to its existing network. Aegean has announced the operation of nine additional international flights from Athens, compared to the winter of 2013.
Aegean will also extend the operation of 8 summer seasonal flights into the winter period. The airline will also resume flights from Athens to Cairo. The winter timetable will operate from October 26, 2014 until March 28, 2015.
2014 summer flights from Athens to Stockholm, Copenhagen, Manchester, Zurich and Marseille will be continued into the winter season.
During the winter season, beginning on October 26, Aegean will continue to operate flights to Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Amman, while the company will resume flights to Cairo after a three year hiatus.
The company is also increasing the frequencies on routes from Athens to Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Düsseldorf, Geneva, Vienna, Prague, Warsaw, Rome and Tel Aviv.
Aegean will also increase the size of its fleet with the order of seven new Airbus A320s, equipped with the new “Sharklets” on their wings, which will be delivered directly from the manufacturer. The deliveries of the seven new aircraft will begin in June 2015 and will be completed in early 2016.
Aegean currently operates 205 international routes, from its eight Greek bases.
Increased frequencies on existing routes:
Athens – Barcelona from 3 to 4 weekly,
Athens – Berlin from 3 to 5 weekly, additional frequencies in Christmas season
Athens – Budapest from 2 to 3 weekly, additional frequencies in Christmas season
Athens – Dusseldorf from 2 to 4 weekly
Athens – Geneva from 3 to 4 weekly
Athens – Vienna from 4 to 5 weekly, additional frequencies in Christmas season
Athens – Tel Aviv from 5 to 6 weekly
Athens – Prague from 3 to 5 weekly, additional frequencies in Christmas season
Athens – Warsaw from 4 to 5 weekly
Athens – Rome from 9 to 12 weekly
For the Summer 2015 schedule, the airline will launch of 23 new routes. These new routes are mainly focusing on Corfu, Irakleion and Rhodes according to Airline Route.
Planned new summer service:
From Corfu to Paris and Rome
From Heraklion to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Geneva, Istanbul (Sabiha Gokcen), London (Gatwick), Metz, Milan (Malpensa), Nantes, Prague, Rome (Fiumicino), Stockholm (Arlanda), Stuttgart and Toulouse
From Rhodes to Amsterdam, Geneva, Larnaca, Lyon, Stuttgart, Tel Aviv and Vienna
Copyright Photo: Pedro Pics/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 SX-DVJ (msn 3365) departs from London (Stansted).
Aegean is celebrating this award from Skytrax:
JetBlue Airways (New York) flight 1416 from Long Beach to Austin, Texas today (September 18) declared an emergency after the number two engine failed 10 minutes into the flight. Flight 1416 returned to LGB and made a safe landing after smoke was detected in the cockpit and the cabin. The Airbus A320-232 N656JB (msn 3091) came to a safe landing on runway 30. The cockpit crew popped the chutes and the 147 passengers and crew members exited the aircraft. Four people reportedly suffered minor injuries exiting the aircraft.
Read the full report from ABC 7: CLICK HERE
JetBlue Airways issued this statement:
On September 18, the flight crew aboard flight 1416 reported an issue with the number two engine and returned to Long Beach Airport. The airplane landed safely, and all customers and crew have evacuated via slides with no reported injuries at this time. While the runway at Long Beach is closed, inbound flights are being directed to nearby airports.
UPDATE 11:00 PST
The aircraft has moved from the impacted runway, and flights will be resuming from runway 12/30. An area crewmember has accompanied one customer who requested transport to an area hospital for observation. We’re working with customers for re-accommodation on alternate flights.
Twitter photo by Melanie Lawson.
Air Canada (Montreal) is following the actions of WestJet (Calgary) and will now charge for the first checked bag on domestic flights flying on Economy Class Tango fare. The airline issued this statement:
Air Canada said today that it has adjusted its first checked bag policy for North American travel to align it with prevailing North American industry practices. The carrier’s fee for a first checked bag on U.S. transborder routes, in place since 2011, remains unchanged.
Starting September 18, 2014, customers purchasing Air Canada’s lowest Economy Class Tango fare for travel on or after November 2, 2014 on domestic flights within Canada and to and from the Caribbean and Mexico will now be charged $25 for a first checked bag, in line with the baggage allowance policies of other North American carriers. This change is expected to affect an estimated one in five Air Canada passengers on domestic flights within Canada, representing approximately five per cent of the airline’s customers system-wide.
The fee for a first checked bag does not apply to Economy Class tickets purchased using Flex and Latitude fares that offer additional flexibility. In addition, the first checked bag fee does not apply to Altitude Prestige, Elite and Super Elite members, Star Alliance Silver and Gold members and customers purchasing Air Canada Vacations packages. Business Class customers continue to receive an allowance of two checked bags, and military personnel (with identification) up to three checked bags, regardless of destination. Air Canada’s baggage allowance policy continues to allow for a car seat and stroller to be checked as additional pieces of baggage free of charge.
Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-211 C-FDRH (msn 073) arrives at Montreal (Trudeau) in the Star Alliance color scheme.
EasyJet (easyJet.com) (UK) (London-Luton) has placed an order for 27 additional current engine option Airbus A320s, taking its combined total order for the type to 315 aircraft.
Currently EasyJet operates a fleet of some 225 A320 Family aircraft. In June 2013, EasyJet became a customer for the A320neo, with an order for 100 aircraft. Altogether, with this latest order, EasyJet’s combined total order for all members of the A320 Family rises to 415 aircraft.
EasyJet is the largest A320 Family customer and operator in Europe and operates one of Europe’s most extensive route networks. The airline is the UK’s largest by numbers of passengers carried.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 G-EZWU (msn 6095) holds shot of the runway at Palma de Mallorca.
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) yesterday (September 15) launched its first ever domestic flights from Chicago O’Hare (ORD) with the departure of flight 1343 to Washington’s Dulles International Airport (IAD).
Fares from ORD are available to the following destinations starting at $29 (introductory fares):
Washington, D.C. (Dulles)
Salt Lake City, Utah
Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N223FR (msn 2695) with Franceska, the Flamingo, on the tail departs from Washington’s Reagan National Airport:
United Airlines (Chicago) has announced new plans to upgrade its Newark hub with new dining and retail experiences, including 6,000 Apple iPad tablets free of charge to use to “track their flight, order from chef-created menus, and purchase travel amenities for delivery directly to their seat in the terminal while browsing the internet”. Here is the full statement:
United Airlines and OTG Management LLC today announced plans to transform the dining and retail experience at the airline’s hub at Newark Liberty International Airport and create unparalleled services and amenities for United’s customers. The program will combine leading-edge technology, award-winning dining and renowned design.
The $120 million capital investment for the project will be provided by OTG, selected by United to oversee the transformation in Terminal C at Newark Liberty, including new chef-driven restaurants, expansive food halls, gourmet markets and world-class retail and duty-free shops.
Leading Edge Technology: Upon completion of the planned project, air travelers waiting for a flight will be able to use almost 6,000 iPad tablets free of charge to track their flight, order from chef-created menus, and purchase travel amenities for delivery directly to their seat in the terminal while browsing the internet. And customers will not have to search for an outlet, with over 10,000 outlets and USB interfaces accompanying the redesigned terminal seating.
Chef-Driven Dining with Unique Local Flavor: More than 55 new dining venues are anticipated to provide travelers with an array of culinary choices – including restaurant concepts created by more than 20 celebrated chefs – as well as markets, cafes and exceptional food and beverage service in nearly 60 gate areas. Menus at all price points will emphasize fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and will highlight regional and local dining experiences.
Trendsetting Design: Renowned architects and designers will transform the physical interior of the terminal into a world-class setting that combines comfort with beautiful, free flowing spaces.
Customers will begin seeing immediate improvements in November, when temporary restaurant locations pop up to offer a taste of what’s to come. The full experience is expected to be phased in over the next 18 months.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N475UA (msn 1495) displays the historic 1972 “A320 Friend Ship” retrojet livery.
Map of Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) terminal:
Air Seychelles (Mahe) has announced the launch of nonstop flights to Antananarivo, Madagascar, commencing on December 3, 2014.
The twice-weekly flights to the capital’s Ivato International Airport (TNR) will be operated using a two-class Airbus A320 aircraft with 16 Business Class and 120 Economy Class seats.
In other news, Air Seychelles has also announced the launch of twice-weekly flights to Dar es Salaam to commence on December 2, 2014, marking the next stage of growth in the airline’s regional strategy.
The Tanzanian capital becomes the third destination in Air Seychelles’ Indian Ocean and African network, after Mauritius and Johannesburg. The route will be operated using a two-class Airbus A320 aircraft.
Air Seychelles recently added a leased Airbus A320 from partner Etihad Airways.
Route Map: The route maps now shows the connecting routes of Etihad Airways growing list of “family airlines”.
Air France (Paris) has issued this warning of a possible strike by its pilots:
Even before the outcome of negotiations, Air France is now enabling all customers due to travel on an Air France flight scheduled between September 15-22, regardless of the type of ticket:
- To change their ticket and travel before September 15, 2014 or to postpone their trip until between September 23-30, 2014, at no extra charge, subject to availability.
- To receive a voucher valid for one year on Air France or KLM for travel after September 30, 2014 if you no longer wish to travel, or change your destination or departure airport.
The flight schedule will be adapted and customers will be informed the day before their trip.
Air France regrets this situation and will do everything possible to assist customers and minimize the possible impact of this strike action.
Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 F-HEPG (msn 5802) taxies at the Paris (CDG) hub with the special 80 Ans/years emblem.
Airbus (Toulouse) has today issued this announcement and photo:
However, the difficulties may become a thing of the past thanks to a new method currently being developed by Airbus – which employs direct inkjet printing to deliver a broad range of production and operational improvements.
The method was developed by engineers from Airbus’ A320 Family paint shop in Hamburg, Germany, and is able to reproduce any livery design – be it a photographic motif, modern art or other complex patterns – faster and more efficiently than traditional painting processes, and with finer detail as well.
The direct printer functions much like a traditional model, using an inkjet head with nozzles that spray three basic colours (cyan, magenta and yellow) and black. Utilising a seven-square-metre bench, the inkjet head prints a design line by line, from top to bottom. After the process is completed, the aircraft component is sealed with a clear coat.
According to technology manager Matthias Otto, the advantages of direct inkjet-printed liveries are numerous. “I can create colour gradients or photo-realistic motifs that could never be achieved with paint,” he explained, and added that this new method also is capable of printing components of any size or shape. In the past, heavier printed film was used to produce complex designs, however such film is susceptible to the effects of heat, cold and high pressure, and ultimately could tear or peel.
The business case for direct printing is convincing. Compared with painting, where the design has to be built up by layer-by-layer, there are far fewer working and drying steps – greatly reducing the lead time. There also is no overspray or solvent vapour when ink is used, providing better working conditions for Airbus employees, as well as a healthier environment.
At present, the inkjet method still is at the experimental stage. Technical Readiness Level 6 (TRL 6) was reached at the end of June, and the ink and associated processes will be qualified early in 2015. Nonetheless, the project already has become part of the A320 Final Assembly Line (FAL) benchmark initiative, with the intention to further stabilise scheduled lead times for the best-selling Airbus single-aisle jetliner family.
Copyright Photo: Airbus.
Finnair (Helsinki) has reached an agreement with its pilots, represented by the Finnish Air Line Pilots’ Association (SLL).
The company issued this statement:
Finnair and the Finnish Air Line Pilots’ Association (SLL) have reached a result in the negotiations related to Finnair’s savings program.
The agreement brings Finnair 17 million euros in permanent annual savings. Approximately 11 million euros will materialize gradually over the 2-year CLA period. Approximately 3 million euros will materialize in the coming few years through growth and the remaining 3 million euros in the future through changes to pensions and the employment terms of new pilots. In return, Finnair gives pilots protection for redundancies for the next two years. It has been additionally agreed that Finnair will study an incentive plan for pilots. The savings agreement is contingent on the realization of this incentive plan that will be formulated during autumn.
The savings agreed with SLL are mainly reached through changes to salary and working time. Finnair and SLL agreed in June on transferring to a new wage model. However, the savings solution was finally developed based on the current wage model.
In October 2012 Finnair began a 60 million euro cost savings program – additional to the 140 million euro cost savings program begun in August 2011 – mainly in personnel-related costs. The negotiations on cabin personnel’s 18 million euro savings proved unsuccessful and the company is now forced to proceed with increasing the use of outsourced cabin service. Finnair would have rather continued flying with its own crew.
Finnair has reached savings agreements with personnel groups belonging to IAU and with Finnair’s salaried and senior salaried employees and engineers (FYT and FIRY). In addition, Finnair has made cuts in its administration and support functions, and Finnair’s Board of Directors has also reduced the variable part of the top management’s total remuneration as well as other benefits.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 OH-LXD (msn 1588) arrives in Zurich.
Virgin Atlantic to operate the new Boeing 787-9 between London Heathrow and Newark, will it drop Little Red?
Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) is getting its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (G-VAHH, msn 37967) later this month. The airline will also 264-seat introduce its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the London (Heathrow)-Newark route starting on January 19, 2015 per Airline Route. This will be the third route for the new type. The 787-9 will enter revenue service on October 28 on the London (Heathrow)-Boston route as previously reported.
In other news, the airline is not commenting on media speculation that it may be considering dropping its Little Red (operated by Aer Lingus) operation due to poor loads. Little Red operates feeder flights from London (Heathrow) to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester.
Read the full story from The Telegraph: CLICK HERE
Image above: Virgin Atlantic.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Operated by Aer Lingus, Airbus A320-214 EI-EZV (msn 2001) of Little Red arrives at the London (Heathrow) hub.
Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for route authority to start scheduled passenger service between Houston (Bush Intercontinental) and Cancun, Toluca and San Jose del Cabo. If approved, which is expected, Spirit will compete against United Airlines and AeroMexico.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N611NK (msn 4996) arrives at Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA).
JetBlue Airways (New York) and Cape Air (Hyannis) recently announced a new partnership with Bridgewater State University (BSU). BSU is the newest addition to JetBlue’s University Gateway Program, a pilot talent pipeline which partners with top university aviation programs and regional airlines such as Cape Air. BSU is the airline’s first school alliance in its Boston focus city.
JetBlue’s University Gateway Program is a career-planning and mentoring initiative designed to identify and recruit talented professionals into the pilot ranks. The program includes rigorous academic training and valuable regional airline experience. The University Gateway program creates a clearly defined career path for aspiring pilots, beginning early in an aviator’s college career and culminating with the possibility of a final interview at JetBlue.
In late August, Captain Rich Carter, JetBlue’s director system chief pilot, Dr. Dana Mohler-Faria, president of Bridgewater State University and Linda Markham, president of Cape Air officially signed a memorandum of understanding. JetBlue crewmembers as well as school administrators were on hand at Boston’s Logan International Airport to celebrate the announcement. BSU is the seventh university partner for JetBlue’s University Gateway Program. Other academic alliances include the University of North Dakota, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona and Prescott), Auburn University, Jacksonville University and Inter-American University of Puerto Rico.
The University Gateway Program is open to students at participating schools with high academic standing (GPA of 3.0 or above) and recommendations from their professors. It requires a successful series of interviews with JetBlue and a regional airline partner, as well as continued enrollment in an Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) program. During the Gateway Program, participants intern at Cape Air or other regional airline partners, and then serve as an instructor at their respective flight school. Following that process, candidates fly with Cape Air for at least two years and then receive an interview at JetBlue.
BSU is an AABI accredited university which offers a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Science with concentrations in aviation management or flight training. The university combines a liberal arts education with flight experience and prepares students to fly in varying weather conditions and over mountainous terrain and open waters as well as how to handle operations in both controlled and uncontrolled environments.
Education is a core pillar of JetBlue’s overall strategy and responsibility platform. The airline and its newly launched JetBlue Foundation encourage students to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), including aviation careers from piloting an aircraft to maintaining its engines. JetBlue has a unique education pathway including relationships with elementary school students and mentoring high school and college students to the University Gateway Program, which may lead to positions as Pilot Trainees with the carrier.
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. A dramatic “up close” runway action view of JetBlue’s special 10th Anniversary color scheme on Airbus A320-232 N569JB (msn 2075) at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa) (Frankfurt) is facing another strike by its pilots today at the Frankfurt hub, represented by the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union. The union is striking for five hours today starting at 2 pm (1400) local time.
The Lufthansa Group issued this statement today:
Following the announcement by the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union of a strike in Frankfurt today (September 5), Lufthansa was able to inform most of the affected passengers yesterday about the effects. Yesterday evening at 9.00 p.m., the special flight plan for this afternoon was published online at http://www.LH.com and 14,000 booked passengers were informed at the same time by text message. These passengers had previously registered their contact details so that Lufthansa could notify them of flight cancellations, rebookings and alternative travel options.
Today the staff at the station in Frankfurt are focusing on providing the best possible assistance for passengers. As a precaution, 2,200 hotel rooms have been reserved in the Rhine-Main area, and Lufthansa and Fraport have set up some 500 field beds for passengers in transit who are not allowed to enter Germany for visa reasons. From 2.00 p.m. onwards, the staff at the Frankfurt station will be providing passengers affected by the strike with refreshments, snacks and the opportunity to use telecommunications. Mobile information stands will also be set up and capacities increased at the ticket counters.
Kay Kratky, member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board and responsible for operations and the Frankfurt hub, said: “We apologize for the inconveniences caused for our passengers by the strike of the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union. Because the strike was only announced after 5.00 p.m. yesterday, there was very little lead time. We have been working flat out since yesterday evening to give our customers all the available information and, whenever possible, to rebook them on other airlines or other means of transport. We have also increased capacities at our call centres as quickly as possible. At Frankfurt Airport we are mobilising all our capacities today in order to minimise the effects of the strike on our passengers. This is very difficult on a Friday afternoon at the end of the school holidays in three German states, as this is one of the busiest travel days of the year. But we will nonetheless do all we can to achieve this target for our passengers.”
Prior to the strike, Lufthansa had already presented an offer to the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union at the start of April regarding future early retirement from flight service and had therefore created a basis for further negotiations. This offer would provide all cockpit members with the option of retiring early from flight operations, including in the future.
In concrete terms, Lufthansa’s offer on transitional benefits provides for the following:
• For employees who have been working at Lufthansa since before January 1, 2014, Lufthansa will bear the costs of early retirement, including in the future. This means that employer-financed transitional benefits will be maintained for several decades.
• For employees who start or have started work at Lufthansa after January 1, 2014, it will still be possible to retire early from flight service. However, the costs of this will no longer be borne by Lufthansa, but rather by the employees. In the event of incapacity for flight service, a purely employer-financed insurance policy will still be included for all employees.
• The individual age for retiring from flight service will be raised, depending on the length of service, from 55 for more senior up to 60 for younger employees. The longer employees have already been in the company, the less affected they will be by the increase in the earliest possible individual retirement age. Employees who have been with the company for a very long time are not affected at all by the changes.
• Today, on average, cockpit crew leave Lufthansa German Airlines at the age of 59. In future, the average age for employer-financed retirement from flight service at Lufthansa German Airlines is intended to go up gradually over several years to 61. The average age of 61 reflects an overall trend in society towards a longer working life.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 D-AIZH (msn 4363) arrives at the Frankfurt hub.
Niki (flyniki.com) (Vienna) will add two new routes from Vienna next year. A weekly Vienna-Paphos will be added from February 24, 2015.
Additionally twice weekly Vienna-Catania, Sicily service will be operated from March 30, 2015 per Airline Route with Airbus A320s.
Finally in the winter 2014-2015 Niki will expand its reach in Egypt with flights to Sharm el Sheikh, Luxor and Hurghada, effective November 3, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Niki’s Airbus A320-214 OR-LEU (msn 2902) taxies at Palma de Mallorica in the basic Airberlin livery reflecting its part in the Airberlin Group.
Niki Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Condor Flugdienst (Frankfurt) will add new twice-weekly summer seasonal flights to Providence, Rhode Island (June 18-September 3, 2015) and Portland, Oregon (June 19-September 4, 2015) from Frankfurt with Boeing 767-300 ERs.
Condor will also offer seasonal service to Windhoek (WDH) in 2015, with flights operating from Frankfurt (FRA) on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Additionally the company is offering weekly Airbus A320 (above) flights from Munich to Larnaca from September 3 through November 26, 2014 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 D-AICN (msn 1968) approaches the runway at Brussels in the old 2004 livery with the new “Sunny Heart” tail logo.
Condor Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Tigerair Taiwan (Taipei-Taoyuan) will launch scheduled passengers operations from Taipei (Taoyuan) to Singapore on September 26 with Airbus A320s according to Sydney Morning Herald. The new low-fare airline is a joint venture between China Airlines (Taipei) (90%) and Tigerair (Singapore) (10%). The new airline hopes to grow the fleet to 12 aircraft in the next three years.
Read the full story: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photos: Tigerair Taiwan. The first Airbus A320 is the pictured A320-232 B-50001 (msn 6187) delivered on August 28.
Air Serbia (formerly Jat Airways) (Belgrade) reported its first half financial results showing growth in revenue, passengers and cargo following the investment by Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi), new Airbus aircraft and a brand overhaul. The airline is now confident it will be profitable by the end of 2014. Air Serbia has issued this first half financial statement:
Air Serbia, the national airline of the Republic of Serbia, has reported strong improvement in total revenue for the first half of 2014, with revenues increasing by 82 per cent to EUR102 million, compared to EUR 56 million for the same period in 2013.
A total of 944,000 passengers travelled with the airline between January and June this year, almost 70 per cent more than the same period last year.
Air Serbia Cargo also performed significantly better in H1 2014, carrying 907 tonnes of freight, a 65 per cent increase on H1 2013. Cargo revenue grew by 32 per cent, an important and burgeoning service for Air Serbia.
Air Serbia’s passenger carrying capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometers (ASKs), was 1,588 million by the end of first half of 2014, an increase of 85 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Since Air Serbia’s launch on 26 October 2013, the airline has inducted 9 Airbus aircraft, with two Airbus A320 aircraft delivered in the second quarter of 2014. This has resulted in the average age of the jet fleet being reduced from 25 years to 10 years.
Dane Kondić, Chief Executive Officer of Air Serbia, said: “The results are very pleasing and demonstrate how effectively the Air Serbia team is working to deliver on the strategy of sustainable growth. We are on track to deliver a profitable, strong airline by the end of the current financial year, in line with the commitment of our shareholders, the Government of Serbia and Etihad Airways.We expect to maintain the momentum for the second half of 2014, as we continue to reconnect the Balkan region and new markets, through a combination of direct flights, as well as expanding our codeshare partnerships. There is no doubt that we are bringing choice, convenience and comfort to travellers”, Mr Kondić said.
The fast-paced growth of Air Serbia’s regional route network to 38 destinations by the end of June 2014, one new and four expanded codeshare partnerships and a more modern and reliable fleet, are the key factors driving growth in passenger numbers and cargo volumes.
In the first half of the year, Air Serbia launched 11 new routes. In addition, codeshare agreements with Etihad Airways and airberlin have been expanded to include the holiday destinations of Colombo in Sri Lanka and Palma de Mallorca in Spain. The codeshare agreement with Romanian national airline Tarom was also expanded to include Chisinau, Moldova.
Furthermore, the Air Serbia’s codeshare agreement with Etihad Regional, signed on July 1, 2014, has now introduced the attractive Swiss destinations of Geneva and Lugano to travellers.
The growth of Air Serbia is also creating a significant number of new jobs for Serbian nationals. In the first half of 2014, the airline grew its workforce by 300 new professionals. Investing in the future, Air Serbia is planning to relaunch its cadet pilot scheme.
Elsewhere, 10 young graduates are currently attending a graduate management program in Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways and will, upon successful completion, join operating divisions across Air Serbia.
The technical department of Air Serbia has employed 44 engineers and technicians to establish the line maintenance facility at Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla International Airport.
Mr Kondić said Air Serbia needed more good people to join the team. “We have a number of vacancies and I encourage Serbian nationals to visit our website. We are a Serbian company that can offer rewarding career opportunities for the right people.”
Mr Kondić said that while the operational and network improvements of Air Serbia over the past six months were very important, he was proud that Air Serbia was able to make a significant contribution to Serbia’s humanitarian effort during the recent floods which devastated the country.
During the floods in May, Air Serbia transported a total of 154 tons of humanitarian aid (with a service value of approximately EUR 170,000), in the belly-hold capacity of its aircraft to Belgrade and also to Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 YU-APH (msn 2645) arrives in Zurich.
Air One (Milan-Malpensa) will disappear as an airline and a brand on October 1. Parent Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) has decided to streamline its operations under one name and will retire the Air One brand on this date.
Air One commenced operations on November 23, 1995. On January 13, 2009, Air One officially became part of Alitalia Group with the intent to merge the two airlines. Air One in the meantime was rebranded as Air One “Smart Carrier”, Alitalia’s lower-cost subsidiary, operating a fleet of nine Airbus A320-200s to 35 destinations in 12 countries.
All Air One routes from Catania, Palermo and Venice will cease to operate on September 30, 2014 while all remaining services from Milan (Malpensa), Verona and Pisa will be dropped on October 30, 2014.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-216 EI-DSW (msn 3609) taxies at Amsterdam.
Current routes from Venice:
Aegean Airlines (Athens) has signed a firm contract with Airbus for two additional A320 (A320ceo) aircraft, adding to a previous order for five A320s aircraft placed in September 2007.
All aircraft will be equipped with Airbus “Sharklet” fuel saving wing tip devices and will be powered by IAE V2500 engines. The aircraft will also be the first A320s in Aegean’s fleet to feature the enhanced take-off weight capability of up to 78 tons, thus enabling the carrier to expand its route network with even longer range operations.
Aegean Airlines operates an all-Airbus single-aisle fleet of 36 Airbus A320 family aircraft including 17 directly purchased aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 SX-DGI (msn 3162) arrives in Munich with the special “Visit Greece” web address.
JetBlue Airways‘ (New York) current CEO, Dave Barger, who succeeded founder David Neeleman, is facing a possible firing by the company’s board of directors. According to this article by Bloomberg Businessweek, Dave came out firing against the Wall Street analysts who have been calling for his ouster with this statement in an interview;
“You want to compare my track record to bankruptcies and layoffs?” asked Barger, referring to the Chapter 11 restructurings of Delta (DAL), United (UAL), and American (AAL) and the subsequent mergers that radically reshaped all three. “Go ahead. I’ll take that comparison.”
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Profile on David Barger (from JetBlue Airways):
David Barger is our Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors. He joined our board in September 2001 and served as our President from August 1998-September 2007. Between 1998 and 2007, Mr. Barger also served as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. From 1992 to 1998, Mr. Barger served in various management positions with Continental Airlines, including Vice President, Newark hub. He held various director level positions at Continental Airlines from 1988 to 1995. From 1982 to 1988, Mr. Barger served in various positions with New York Air, including Director of Stations. Mr. Barger attended the University of Michigan.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N571JB (msn 2125) in the Blueberries motif lands at the focus city of Long Beach.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Dave Barger.
Video: Dave Barger and Airlines of America calling for a national policy for airlines.
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) has announced it will again expand its flights from Chicago O’Hare to Phoenix, Arizona and Salt Lake City, Utah as well as between Memphis, Tennessee and Dallas/Ft.Worth, Texas effective October 26.
Frontier Airlines will now 12 cities from Chicago O’Hare and three destinations from Memphis International Airport.
Following is the schedule for Frontier’s new nonstop service (all effective October 26):
Chicago-O’Hare to Phoenix is daily with Airbus A320s
Chicago-O’Hare to Salt Lake is daily with A320s
Dallas/Ft. Worth to Memphis is operated except Saturdays with Airbus A319s
Additionally Frontier Airlines is again expanding its service to and from Cleveland with more flights to recently launched including Las Vegas, Nevada, Phoenix, Arizona, Orlando, Florida and Fort Myers, Florida beginning on October 26.
Beginning October 26, service from Cleveland will increase as follows:
Las Vegas – increase from flights twice weekly to daily service
Phoenix – increase from twice weekly to four flights a week
Orlando – increase from daily flights to twelve times per a week
Fort Myers – increase from four flights per week to six times per week, and in December increase to daily service
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N204FR (msn 2325) with Freedom, the Bald Eagle, on the tail taxies at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) on October 26 will resume service to Tbilisi, Georgia from Moscow (Sheremetyevo). The resumed route will be operated on a daily basis with Airbus A320 aircraft per Airline Route.
On the financial side, Aeroflot has reported on its first half results: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 VP-BWH (msn 2151) approaches the runway at London (Heathrow).
Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) will drop the Zurich-Kiev route on October 1. It currently operates five flights a week with Airbus A320 family aircraft.
The airline issued this short statement:
Swiss will be withdrawing its present Zurich-Kiev service with effect from October 1. The service is being terminated for economic reasons, as business on the route has failed to develop in line with expectations. The service was introduced in the 2013/14 winter schedules.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Up-close action. Airbus A320-214 HB-JLT (msn 5518) with Sharklets touches down on the runway at the Zurich hub.
VivaAerobus (Monterrey) has announced it will add two new routes to Houston (Bush Intercontinental) from Cancun (starting on December 3) and Guadalajara (starting on November 20) per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Paul Doyle/AirlinersGallery.com. Ex-Livingston Airbus A320-232 EI-ERH (msn 2157) arrives in Dublin before the delivery to the Mexican carrier.
United Airlines (Chicago) will end the Newark-Edmonton route on October 25. The Airbus A320 nonstop route was inaugurated on May 13, 2013.
The route was not meeting the airline’s expectations.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N423UA (msn 504) arrives in Las Vegas.
Airberlin returns to the black, posts a 2Q net profit of $11.4 million, will work closer with Alitalia
Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin) reported a net profit of €8.6 million ($11.4 million) for the second quarter, reversing a net loss of €38 million ($50.4 million) for the same quarter a year ago.
The company issued this full report:
In a difficult market environment, Airberlin achieved a slightly improved operating result (EBIT) in the second quarter of the year with turnover up by 2,9% to 1,146.4 million euros. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, Airberlin was able to improve EBIT (Earnings before Interest and Tax) to -6.9 million euros from -8.1 million euros in the previous year. Taking into account other operating income of 4.8 million euros (previous year 39.2 million euros) the annual comparison on operating level shows an improvement of more than 35 million euros. Net profit was with 8.6 million euros, an increase of 46.6 million euros on the previous year (-38.0 million euros).
In particular, Airberlin was able to increase the yield by 3.0% to 120.52 euros (previous year 116.97 euros). Offering increased by 2.9% flights and 3.5% available seat kilometers (ASK). In line with market conditions, load factor was with 82.4%, 1.3% percentage points below that of the same quarter the previous year. However, higher yield revenue per available seat kilometer (RASK) was nearly stable with 7.16 cents (previous year 7.20 cents).
The cost reduction initiatives launched under Turbine last year are on track and are also showing effects in the second quarter. Year on year, airberlin managed to lower the costs per available seat kilometre excluding fuel (CASK) by 2.8% to 5.50 cents (previous year 5.66 cents). Including fuel, CASK fell by 3.7% to 7.24 cents (previous year 7.51 cents). The cost reduction was achieved despite a rise of 8.3% in expenditure for aviation tax, as well as an increase in personnel cost of 13.9% driven by wage increases and one-off costs.
A high level of liquidity
Following a successful recapitalization program, Airberlin has liquid assets in the amount of 600 million euros cash on hand and nearly 300 million undrawn cash facilities available. Compared to year-end 2013, available cash increased by 378 million euros. Following the injection of the subordinated perpetual convertible bonds equity, increased by nearly 130 million euros compared to the end of the first quarter 2014 and stood at -270 million euros at the end of the second quarter. As a reporting date under IFRS, the equity capital has no effect on the financial operation of the company.
Airberlin’s partnerships with Etihad Airways and its network partners and oneworld® have developed very well in the second quarter. The number of passengers on the shared route network with Etihad Airways continued to grow at 7% in the first half year, with approximately 270,000 guests in absolute numbers. Additional routes from Stuttgart, Berlin and Vienna will contribute to future growth. Also the number of passengers on codeshares within the oneworld alliance rose by 7% in the first half year.
First elements of restructuring program announced
When presenting the results for Q2 2014, Airberlin’s CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said: “We were able to improve the net result and our operating result is looking better than it did a year ago, but this is not sufficient. We are determined to restructure Airberlin to ensure the airline moves back to a sustainable profitability within three years. Over the last few months we have been intensively working on the restructuring program. After diligently weighing and validating all of our options in the past months, we decided that airberlin will continue to serve the three core segments, namely Europe, touristic and long haul. We substantially change the way we do business and the way we serve our market. We are able to share some first elements today.”
First elements of the program include:
Airberlin will focus on the largest travel markets in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) as well as Palma de Mallorca and connect these high volume routes with high frequencies in point-to-point traffic. The new network design will lead to a more stable operation throughout the year, reducing the effects of traditional high seasonality. The more focussed network design could equate to a capacity reduction in the region of 10% and will lead to a significantly more efficient operation.
Closer cooperation: closer cooperation with Etihad Airways and its network partners: Airberlin and Etihad Airways are in a process of exploiting synergy potentials in all areas in a win-win-situation for both airlines and other network partners. As a next important step Airberlin is in a process of putting together a framework for a close bilateral cooperation with Alitalia, subject to regulatory approvals.
Narrow body fleet harmonization: In order to achieve a more efficient operation airberlin will strive for narrow body jet fleet harmonization in its entire network.
Streamlining operating platforms: Airberlin is in a process of streamlining and restructuring the operational platforms it uses (AOCs). In line with network adjustments, it intends to reduce its fleet by approximately 10 aircraft. Combined with the new network approach this will enable us to eliminate underperforming elements of our business.
Close down of crew stations: Airberlin has decided and agreed after negotiations to close down five of its smaller crew bases, which will result in higher efficiency and productivity of crew resources. This measure affects the work location of pilots. This does not mean that these airports are not served by Airberlin anymore.
Enhanced commercial capabilities: Airberlin will drive commercial effectiveness with state-of-the-art commercial capabilities by optimizing our overall market approach. This includes a dedicated distribution approach in the segments we serve including our tour operator business.
Copyright Photo: Bjoern Schmitt/AirlinersGallery.com. Airberlin and the official marketing organization for the United States of America, Brand USA, are strengthening their collaboration and jointly unveiled this Airbus A320-214 registered as D-ABNB (man 5246) with this special USA livery at Dusseldorf Airport.
For Airberlin, the USA is a strategically important core market. Airberlin flies nonstop from Germany to five destinations in the USA and this summer has also increased the frequency of five different routes. There is now a daily flight from Berlin (Tegel) to Chicago (O’Hare) and the connection between the German capital and New York (JFK) has been topped up by three flights to make ten weekly connections. From Dusseldorf, Airberlin also offers ten flights a week to the Big Apple, as it did last summer. This summer there are also flights four times a week from Berlin and daily from Dusseldorf to Miami, as well as several times a week from the North Rhine Westphalian capital to Fort Myers and Los Angeles. Recently there were celebrations to mark 20 years of the connection (previously by LTU) between Dusseldorf and Fort Myers: Airberlin is the only airline to serve this destination nonstop from Europe. There are feeder flights to Berlin and Dusseldorf from numerous German and European cities. In the USA, Airberlin also offers its flight guests around 60 additional destinations through the codeshare agreement with oneworld® partner American Airlines.
Air Canada (Montreal) has launched an enhanced Preferred Seats program that offers customers the choice of more seats with additional legroom aboard its North American flights while also making it easier to book a Preferred Seat through multiple channels, including the web, airport kiosks and mobile devices. Details on Preferred Seats are available at http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/traveller/seatselection/preferredseats.html.
Preferred Seats typically provide 35 inches (88.9 cm) of legroom compared to standard Economy seats that offer between 31 and 33 inches (78.74 cm – 83.82 cm). Given their popularity since the option to purchase them was first introduced in 2009, Air Canada recently completed a reconfiguration of its narrow-body aircraft to add more Preferred Seats fleetwide in its Economy Cabin. For example, on its 97-seat Embraer 190 aircraft it has increased the number of Preferred Seats to 24 from eight, while on its 146-seat Airbus A320 aircraft the number has been increased to 36 from 16. Seat charts showing Preferred Seat locations on Air Canada aircraft are available at http://www.aircanada.com/en/about/fleet/index.html. Preferred Seats are also available on Air Canada mainline wide-body aircraft and Embraer 175 aircraft operated by SkyRegional for Air Canada Express.
Customers can further personalize their travel by selecting a Preferred Seat for individual legs of their journey or entire trip through a simplified process at the time of booking or at any time prior to boarding on http://www.aircanada.com. Air Canada is also expanding its kiosk and mobile functions for booking Preferred Seats up until time of boarding that will be available starting at the end of August. The cost for Preferred Seats starts at $20 per flight segment for a Tango fare and varies with the length of each flight leg and a customer’s Altitude frequent flier status.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-211 C-FKOJ (msn 330) arrives in Anchorage.
Virgin America (San Francisco) has announces that it will expand its schedule out of Dallas Love Field (DAL) to include four daily nonstop round trips to Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA), San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) by adding one new daily nonstop in each of these markets as of April 29, 2015. This expansion is in addition to the four daily nonstop round trip flights to New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) that will begin on October 28, 2014 and the three daily nonstop roundtrip flights to Washington D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles that begin on October 13, 2014. The new flights will take Virgin America to sixteen departures per day from Love Field. The airline will be the only carrier at Love Field to offer three classes of service (including a First Class cabin and a Main Cabin Select premium economy service) as well as WiFi, in-seat power outlets, confirmed seating and touch-screen seatback entertainment to every guest.
The airline also announced that it will extend its popular second daily roundtrip flight between San Francisco and Austin Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) that it started in July 2014 as part of the airline’s core schedule.
Beginning April 29, 2015, Virgin America’s flight schedule from Dallas Love Field is as follows (frequencies announced today indicated in bold):
Virgin America’s current network of destinations includes Austin, Boston, Cancun, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth (ends October 13, 2014), Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Los Cabos, Newark, New York (JFK), Orlando, Palm Springs (seasonal), Philadelphia (suspends October 6, 2014), Portland, Puerto Vallarta, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C. (IAD and DCA). Later this fall, the carrier will launch service from Dallas Love Field (October 13, 2014) and New York’s LaGuardia Airport (October 28, 2014).
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N634VA (msn 3359) arrives at New York (JFK).
Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) will take delivery of some of its Airbus A320 “Fit Fleet (TM)” planes sooner than originally planned and has moved up the start date for daily flights in five routes.
The new Airbus A320 planes will arrive this fall and will be added to Spirit’s current fleet of 58 Airbus aircraft.
Here’s the summary of the changes:
Route New Start Date Original Start Date Frequency
Atlanta – Chicago/O’Hare will now start October 24, 2014 instead of November 2, 2014 operates Daily
Atlanta – Detroit October 24, 2014 November 2, 2014 Daily
Chicago – New Orleans October 30, 2014 November 6, 2014 Daily
Detroit – New Orleans October 30, 2014 November 6, 2014 Daily
Boston – West Palm Beach* November 14, 2014 November 21, 2014 Daily
* = seasonal service
In addition to these new routes, Spirit recently added/will add service
on the following new routes between August and December this year:
Route Service Start Date Frequency
Ft. Lauderdale – New Orleans August 1, 2014 Daily
Houston/Bush – New Orleans August 1, 2014 Daily
Atlanta – Houston/Bush August 1, 2014 Daily
Kansas City – Chicago/O’Hare August 7, 2014 Daily
Kansas City – Dallas/Ft. Worth August 7, 2014 Daily
Kansas City – Detroit August 7, 2014 Daily
Kansas City – Las Vegas August 7, 2014 Daily
Kansas City – Houston/Bush August 8, 2014 Daily
Ft. Lauderdale – Houston/Bush September 3, 2014 Daily
Houston/Bush – San Diego September 3, 2014 Daily
Latrobe/Pittsburgh – Ft. Myers December 18, 2014 Tue/Thu/Sun
Latrobe/Pittsburgh – Tampa December 19, 2014 Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat
Copyright Photo: Dave Campbell/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N601NK (msn 4206) taxies to runway 09L at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).
Vistara is the name of the new joint venture airline that wants to start premium service in October in India. The joint venture is between Singapore Airlines and the Tata Sons.
Vistara has leased 20 Airbus A320 Family aircraft, including seven A320neo aircraft, to be added to the fleet over the next five years. The airline will take delivery of its first aircraft in September and will have a fleet of five by the end of the year.
The name Vistara in Sanskrit means limitless expanse.
Tata is also involved in a joint venture with AirAsia with the start of AirAsia India.
Read the full article from Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE
Virgin America (San Francisco) today reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2014 with operating income of $47.1 million and net income of $37.0 million. The airline posted an operating margin of 11.8 percent – a 4.4 point improvement over the second quarter of 2013, driven largely by a 7.8 percent growth in revenue per available seat mile (RASM) over the prior year period.
Second Quarter 2014 Financial Highlights
Operating Revenue: Total operating revenue of $398.8 million, an increase of 6.1 percent over the second quarter of 2013.
Revenue per Available Seat Mile (RASM): RASM increased 7.8 percent compared to the second quarter of 2013, to 12.46 cents. Year-over-year RASM growth was driven by a 5.0 percent increase in yield and a 1.2 point increase in load factor.
Cost per Available Seat Mile (CASM): Total CASM increased 2.7 percent compared to the second quarter of 2013, to 10.99 cents. CASM excluding fuel costs for the quarter increased 3.9 percent year-over-year, to 6.87 cents, primarily due to higher labor and airport costs.
Operating Income: Second quarter of 2014 operating income increased by 69.1 percent over the second quarter of 2013 to $47.1 million with an operating margin improvement of 4.4 points year-over-year.
Net Income: Net income for the quarter increased fourfold year-over-year, from $8.8 million to $37.0 million. Virgin America’s year-to-date net income improved by $52.2 million from a net loss of $37.5 million for the six months ended June 30, 2013 to net income of $14.6 million for the six months ended June 30, 2014, an improvement of 7.5 margin points.
Capacity: Available seat miles (ASMs) for the second quarter of 2014 decreased 1.6 percent year-over-year. The airline ended the quarter with 53 Airbus A320-family aircraft.
Liquidity: Unrestricted cash was $180.0 million as of June 30, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Virgin America now has 53 Airbus A319s and A320s. Airbus A320-214 N840VA (msn 4616) completes its final approach to the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Gulf Air (Bahrain) has announced the launch of nonstop services to Moscow from October 28, 2014. The airline will operate four flights per week to Domodedovo International Airport – 42 kilometers (26 miles) south-southeast from the center of Moscow and the city’s largest airport in terms of passenger and cargo traffic.
This route announcement follows Gulf Air’s recent commencement of services to a number of destinations including Sialkot in Pakistan, Tehran in Iran and the Greek capital, Athens, this year.
Gulf Air flights to Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport will be operated by Airbus A320 aircraft in a two-class configuration of 14 Falcon Gold seats and 96 seats in Economy.
Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 A9C-AF (msn 4158) arrives in Dubai.
Gulf Air Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Wizz Air (Budapest) has announced further expansion in Riga. The airline will deploy a second Airbus A320 aircraft at Riga Airport from April 22, 2015 adding 3 new services: Hamburg Lübeck, Stavanger and Liverpool will be operated twice weekly, each. The airline has also increased frequencies on some of its most popular routes in the summer 2015 season. The London Luton service will be operated 11 times per week, while the service to Doncaster Sheffield will increase to 3 weekly flights also from April 22, 2015.
With these 3 new services Wizz Air is now offering a total of 11 routes to 6 countries from Riga.
Additionally Wizz Air has announced further expansion of its low fare route network in Lithuania. From April 22, 2015 the airline will start operating flights from Vilnius to Frankfurt (Hahn) three times a week, Belfast and Malmo twice a week, each. Frequencies on existing services will also increase in the summer 2015 season. Routes from Vilnius to Dortmund and Stavanger will be operated 4 times per week, while services to Doncaster Sheffield, Bergen and Sandefjord will increase to 3 weekly flights from April 22, 2015.
With the latest addition to the network, Wizz Air now offers 19 routes to 12 countries from Vilnius, bringing the total seat capacity in 2015 to over 1 million seats.
Finally, Wizz Air has announced further expansion in Warsaw Chopin. From January 17, 2015 the airline will launch two new winter services to ski destinations, connecting Warsaw with Verona and Turin with one flight per week. The airline will also deploy a fifth Airbus A320 aircraft adding 6 new services from March 29, 2015. Four weekly flights will operate from Warsaw to Dortmund, two weekly flights to Larnaca and Lisbon and weekly services to Alicante, Catania and Malta. The airline has also increased frequencies on some of its most popular routes from Warsaw in the summer 2015 season. London Luton, Brussels Charleroi, Milan Bergamo, Budapest, Paris Beauvais, Eindhoven, Glasgow and Liverpool will be operated with more weekly flights than before starting on March 29, 2015.
With these 8 new services Wizz Air is now offering a total of 30 routes to 16 countries from Warsaw Chopin Airport. This announcement follows earlier growth in the Polish regions of Gdansk, Katowice, Poznan, Szczecin and Warsaw Chopin where Wizz Air has increased services in a bid to bring more of its low fare services to all Polish consumers.
Lisbon, the latest, 100th addition to Wizz Air’s destination map is the capital of Portugal and one of the oldest cities in the world, older than London, Paris and Rome.
In August 2014 Wizz Air celebrates the 10th anniversary of operations from the Polish capital. In the past 10 years a total of 9 million passengers chose the airline’s low fares and great services in Warsaw. With the addition of the fifth Airbus A320 aircraft, Wizz Air’s investment rises to above $400 million (US) and the base grows to close to 200 employees.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-233 HA-LPF (msn 1834) lands in Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg.
Wizz Air Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Spirit Airlines‘ (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), announced a tentative agreement with management on a new contract. According to the union, the agreement “includes immediate economic improvements, as well as protection of industry-leading healthcare and key quality of life provisions. The agreement, reached with the assistance of the National Mediation Board (NMB), would cover the nearly 1,400 flight attendants and more as the airline continues to grow.”
Terms of the agreement were unanimously approved by AFA’s Spirit Airlines leadership, will now be sent to the membership for ratification. The leadership unanimously recommends a vote in favor of the agreement. Voting instructions will be mailed on September 10 and the results of electronic balloting will be announced immediately following the vote close on October 1 at Noon Eastern Time. Full details of the tentative agreement will not be made public until the Spirit AFA membership has had an opportunity to review the terms.
According to the union, “This deal follows the overwhelming rejection of an earlier management offer by the union’s membership. The union re-tooled its proposals based on the members’ feedback following that earlier vote, incorporated changes to reflect that membership input and pressed management for substantial economic improvements. AFA credited the NMB’s Senior Mediator Pat Sims and Mediator Mike Tosi with guiding the negotiations to a successful conclusion.”
Spirit Airlines issued this statement:
Spirit Airlines and its flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), announced that they reached a tentative agreement for a five-year contract. The tentative agreement, which is subject to ratification by the flight attendant membership, planned for fourth quarter 2014, was unanimously supported by the union’s leadership. The agreement was reached with the assistance of the National Mediation Board.
“We’re very pleased to have agreed on a tentative agreement that recognizes the contributions of our flight attendants, who play a key role in providing safe, reliable, friendly service to our customers,” said John Bendoraitis, Spirit’s Chief Operating Officer. “I want to thank the National Mediation Board, AFA leadership and the negotiating committees for helping us reach a mutually favorable agreement. We look forward to continuing our close working relationship with our AFA partners and Spirit flight attendants.”
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N611NK (msn 4996) lands at Baltimore/Washington (BWI).
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) today announced it will expand its network with 10 new routes to warm and sunny destinations from Trenton, Washington, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Atlanta and Denver.
Following is the schedule for Frontier’s new nonstop service:
Denver-West Palm Beach (starts October 26) (4 days a week) A319
Washington (Dulles) – West Palm Beach (starts November 21) (4 days a week) A320
Washington (Dulles) – Cancun (starts November 22) (weekly) A320
St. Louis – Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood (starts January 8) (3 days a week) A319
St. Louis – Orlando (starts December 21) (3 days a week) A319
Milwaukee- Orlando (starts January 7) (3 days a week) A320
Milwaukee- Ft. Myers (starts January 8) (3 days a week) A320
Chicago (O’Hare) – Orlando (starts December 20) (daily) A320
Atlanta – Orlando (starts December 14) (5 days a week) A319
Trenton – West Palm Beach (starts November 21) (3 days a week) A319
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N208FR (msn 4562) with Charlie, the cougar, arrives at Washington (Reagan National).
Updated Route Map: