JetBlue Airways (New York) today launched three daily flights to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Toussaint Louverture International Airport (PAP) will be served once daily from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and twice daily from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).
Port-au-Prince is JetBlue’s 82nd destination and its 24th destination internationally.
JetBlue’s schedule between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood (FLL) and Port-au-Prince (PAP) effective December 5, 2013:
|FLL to PAP:||PAP to FLL:|
|Depart – Arrive||Depart – Arrive|
|6:30 a.m. – 8:25 a.m.||9:25 a.m. – 11:34 a.m.|
|12:40 p.m. – 2:38 p.m.||3:34 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.|
JetBlue’s schedule between New York (JFK) and Port-au-Prince (PAP) effective December 5, 2013:
|JFK to PAP:||PAP to JFK:|
|Depart – Arrive||Depart – Arrive|
|6:30 a.m. – 10:13 a.m.||11:10 a.m. – 3:07 p.m.|
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N828JB (msn 5723) with Sharklets lands at Las Vegas.
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) as of yesterday (December 3) is now owned by Indigo Partners through an affiliate. Indigo Partners issued this statement:
Indigo Partners has announced that, through an affiliate, it has completed the acquisition of Frontier Airlines from Republic Airways Holdings on December 3, 2013. Final terms of the transaction, which was first announced on October 1, 2013, are not being disclosed.
Indigo Partners and its principals, led by managing partner William A. Franke, have considerable experience in successful, airline-related investments.
“Today is an exciting day for Frontier Airlines and Indigo Partners, as we can now embark on a new chapter in Frontier’s history of providing safe, reliable and fairly priced air service,” said Franke. “As air travel costs have moved higher, demand has grown for more affordable options and more choices. One key element to Frontier’s future success will be operating as an ultra low cost carrier that offers low fares. This model, coupled with the Frontier touch, will ensure opportunities for the Frontier team, and provide safe and reliable ULCC air service to our communities and beyond as we grow Frontier under this vision.”
Frontier will remain headquartered in Denver, Colorado.
David Siegel, CEO and President of Frontier Airlines, resigned from Republic’s Board of Directors.
Indigo Partners is a private equity firm established by W. A. Franke in 2003 to pursue acquisitions and strategic investments in the air transportation and related industries. The firm was a significant investor in Tiger Airways based in Singapore and Spirit Airlines based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and maintains lead investments in Wizz Air Holdings, Plc, a ULCC with multiple bases in Central and Eastern Europe and Volaris Airlines, a ULCC based in Mexico City. Indigo Partners is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.
Republic Airways Holdings, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America. The airlines operate a combined fleet of more than 250 aircraft and offer scheduled passenger service on over 1,300 flights daily to more than 110 cities in the U.S., Canada and the Bahamas through fixed-fee flights operated under airline partner brands, including American Eagle, Delta Connection, United Express, and US Airways Express. The airlines currently employ approximately 6,000 aviation professionals.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Indigo Partners is likely to keep the popular animals on the tails which plays well on their TV advertisements in the main Frontier markets, giving names to the talking tails. However the new very bold FLYFRONTIER.COM titles as displayed on Airbus A320-214 N220FR (msn 5661) with Sharklets may not survive. It will be interesting to watch for any changes to the current Frontier strategy by these low-fare airline investment fund people.
Thai Airways International (Bangkok) is now planning to totally spin off its Thai Smile (Bangkok) subsidiary into a totally independent carrier. Thai Smile will acquire its own AOC, code and will change its name to Thai Smile Airways Company according to Travel Daily News.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 HS-TXB (msn 5248) climbs away from the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport hub. The airline once its goes independent is likely to lose the Thai colors and tail in its livery.
Routes from Bangkok:
Belle Air Europe (subsidiary of Belle Air) (Ancona, Italy and Pristina) followed the lead of its parent organization and ceased all operations the next day on November 26.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Belle Air Europe’s Airbus A320-214 EI-LIS (msn 3492) taxies at Zurich.
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Aeroflot Group) (Moscow) issued its financial results for the first nine months of 2013:
Aeroflot has announced the consolidated IFRS financial results of Aeroflot Group for the nine months ending 30 September 2013.
Key financial highlights:
- Net income for the nine-month period of $545.2 million, an increase of 84.1% versus 9M 2012
- Revenue for the nine-month period was up 16.8% year-on-year to $7,032.7 million
- Traffic revenue for the nine-month period grew 17.8% year-on-year to $6,259.0 million
- Fuel costs for the nine-month period rose 11.4% year-on-year to $1,877.5 million (9M 2012: $1,685.0 million)
- Non-fuel operating costs for the nine-month period increased 10.1% year-on-year to $4,305.4 million
- 9M 2013 basic and diluted earnings per share of $0.500 and 0.499, up 63.4% and 64.7%, respectively, from 9M 2012
- Aeroflot Group passenger traffic grew 14.7% year-on-year in 9M 2013 to 24.0 million people, while revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) rose 16.2% to 65,363.0 million
- Aeroflot standalone capacity rose 18.3% year-on-year in the period, while Aeroflot Group capacity was up 15.8% compared to 9M 2012
Aeroflot suspended operations of its cargo plane fleet in 2013, switching to belly cargo operations. This was the main factor driving the 8.6% decline in tons of cargo carried in 9M 2013 vs. 9M 2012
“Aeroflot Group’s strong financial results were driven by three factors. First, we offer clients a premium product at an attractive price. Second, we are managing costs effectively. Third, we are optimising the operations of our subsidiaries that are being integrated into the Group,” said Vitaly Saveliev, Aeroflot’s chief executive officer. “We are on track this year to serve the most customers in Russia’s modern history. At the same time we maintain our relentless focus on safety. This is bolstered by our aircraft fleet, which is the best in Russia and one of the youngest in Europe.”
|USD mln, unless otherwise stated||
(1) EBITDAR = EBITDA + operating lease expenses; (2) EBITDA = operating income + depreciation & amortization + customs duties
Aeroflot Group reported strong traffic revenue in the first nine months of 2013 of $6,259.0 million, representing a 17.8% increase over the same period in 2012. Group passenger traffic rose 14.7% to 24.0 million people, while revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) was up 16.2% to 65,363.0 million. Aeroflot Group’s seat load factor was relatively flat at 79.1%.
Aeroflot Group revenue in 9M 2013 increased by 16.8% year-on-year to $7,032.7 million, primarily due to strong growth of 19.3% in the passenger segment, which was balanced by a decline in cargo revenue of 10.9% after Aeroflot suspended its cargo fleet operations. Other revenue increased by 9.0% year-on-year to $773.7 million.
Fuel costs for the nine-month period increased 11.4% year-on-year to $1,877.5 million, driven by the significant growth in passenger traffic and the addition of new routes.
Non-fuel operating costs for the nine months of 2013 also increased in line with the growth in the Group’s operations, up 10.1% to $4,305.4 million, primarily due to year-on-year increases in aircraft and traffic servicing costs (up 17.9% to $1,252.7 million). Staff costs increased 11.7% year-on-year to $1,003.9 million.
Aeroflot Group operating income for 9M 2013 nearly doubled year-on-year to $849.8 million, representing a margin of 12.1%, compared to an operating margin of 7.1% for 9M 2012.
The Group’s net income in 9M 2013 was $545.2 million, up 84.1% from the first nine months of 2012.
Other 2013 highlights:
In the beginning of 3Q, Aeroflot was unveiled as the Official Carrier of Manchester United Football Club. The multi-year sponsorship positions Aeroflot as a premium international brand by aligning it with a global symbol of excellence.
In October 2013 Aeroflot presented plans to launch Russia’s first national low-cost carrier (LCC), a new 100% subsidiary to be known as “Dobrolet”. Ticket prices are expected to be on average 40% lower than mainstream carriers, thus attracting a new customer segment to air travel. Aeroflot views the LCC market as a sizeable growth opportunity and a chance to diversify its business without the risk of cannibalization. Dobrolet is targeting the start of operations in 2014.
In November 2013 Aeroflot announced the roll-out of Aurora Airlines, a new subsidiary focused on the Russian Far East that has been created from Group subsidiaries Vladivostok Avia and Sakhalin Airlines. The launch of Aurora represents a unique opportunity to achieve significant market share in the Far East where there are few alternatives to air travel. Aurora has an annual traffic target of 2.4 million passengers by 2018. The creation of Aurora is part of the process of consolidation and restructuring of subsidiary assets.
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 VP-BNT (msn 5614) in the retro 1956 livery lands at Stockholm (Arlanda).
Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) according to Reuters, has failed so far to raise the 300 million euros ($407 million) (only 173 million euros received) in its emergency cash call. The flag carrier is now facing stiffer competition as other airlines move in to add new routes from Italy sensing the emergency. Alitalia will need to find a strategic carrier very quickly that is willing to invest in a failing airline and turn it around. So far Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi), the savior of struggling airlines, has avoided Alitalia.
Air France-KLM, which owns 25 percent, refused to put in any more capital because it stated the rescue plan was not drastic enough to save the airline.
This is the second version of Alitalia, saved once before from the first failing Alitalia. Is there a third?
The Italian drama continues. Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Wingnut/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-216 EI-DTB (msn 3815) taxies at London Heathrow.
Aegean Airlines (Athens) will start a new route, three days a week, between Athens and Copenhagen starting on May 22, 2014. The new route will be operated with Airbus A32os. The Copenhagen route is part of an overall expansion plan in 2014 (see below).
Previously on October 31 Aegean outlined its future plans now that Olympic Air has been acquired:
Aegean Airlines presented the benefits, arising from the acquisition of Olympic Air, for the company, the passengers, the society and the Greek tourism, as well as its overall strategy, during a press conference held on October 31 in Athens.
In the immediate period of the next 6 to 14 months, following the acquisition of Olympic Air, the resulting synergies will lead to an enhanced fleet and an immediate expansion of the network, to the enhancement of the connectivity in Greece and abroad, as well as to cost savings from the consolidation of Administrative Services, with benefits saving up to €35 million annually.
Aegean’s objective and commitment is to pass these benefits to the passengers with more competitive rates, enhancement of privileges for loyal customers of both companies and network expansion.
In terms of benefits arising regarding the prices, Aegean has already announced the launch of two new categories of fares in economy class, the GoLight and Flex fares, with prices starting from €24 to Athens, which ensure money-saving and unlimited flexibility respectively. These new fares will be offered to Olympic Air’s passengers from February 2014.
Moreover, following a recent meeting with representatives of the Greek region, the company announced a package of initiatives to support the remote areas of Greece, by integrating the second lowest fare of €39 from/to remote areas in order to boost the demand, by introducing new charges for the connection between the remote islands and abroad with a significant reduction in travel cost up to €140, as well as by increasing capacity during July – September, at no additional cost to the state, where it is commercially and operationally feasible.
Aegean will make dynamic start in 2014 also in terms of its network, with a further expansion of international destinations and new routes.
Analytically, Aegean announced the addition of 15 new destinations from Athens in 2014, reaching to 47 overall international destinations from Athens. Specifically the new destinations include: Birmingham in England, Marseille and Nantes in France, Zurich in Switzerland, Hamburg, Hanover and Nuremberg in Germany, Copenhagen in Denmark, Catania in Italy, Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Beirut in Lebanon and Paphos in Cyprus, as well as four additional cities including Stockholm, Sweden or Oslo in Norway, Ljubljana in Slovenia, Dubrovnik in Croatia.
Overall in 2014, 45 to 50 new routes will be added from the eight bases of the company in Athens and in the Greek region, including the new base in Chania. As a result, Aegean and Olympic Air will jointly cover in 2014 a network of more than 250 routes, of which 205 or more are international routes and 47 to 50 domestic routes.
The progress so far and the development of Aegean is based on collaborative effort and support by six major business groups (Vassilakis, A & P Laskarides Constantakopoulos A., D. Ioannou, G. David, Piraeus Bank) and 52,000 shareholders who continue to support the company into its dynamic new course that appears after the acquisition of Olympic Air.
Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 SX-DGB (msn 4165) taxies at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG).
Vueling Airlines (Vueling.com) (Barcelona) is expanding operations in Italy (especially Rome).
The company will launch a new Rome (Fiumicino) base next summer season starting on April 2, 2014. Vueling will launch 22 new routes from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport throughout the summer. Vueling will base eight Airbus aircraft at the airport. The new destinations from Rome include Alicante, Amsterdam, Athens, Bari, Berlin, Brindisi, Brussels, Catania, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Genoa, Lamezia Terme, Munich, Mykonos, Palermo, Prague, Rhodes, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Split, Thira (Santorini) and Turin.
Vueling is also adding new routes from Florence for the summer season.
Can Alitalia survive this new assault by lower cost Vueling and Ryanair?
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 EC-HTC (msn 1540) prepares to land in Nantes.
Iberia Express (Madrid) will add a new route linking the Madrid hub and Stockholm (Arlanda) on March 30, 2014. The new route will be operated with Airbus A320s two days a week per Airline Route.
In other news, taking the lead from its parent Iberia, Iberia Express will begin to repaint it fleet in this new Iberia-like color scheme. The airline issued this statement (translated from Spanish):
“Starting this week, we renew our brand to adapt to the new brand architecture of Iberia while maintaining our identity: dynamism, agility and proximity.
Besides changing the logo, we will replace our visual identity by creating a style based on freshness, flexibility and photographic style.
The incorporation of the new image will be performed gradually in all the graphic elements of the company.”
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com (all other images by Iberia Express). Iberia Express’ Airbus A320-214 EC-JSK (msn 2807) taxies at Palma de Mallorca in the special Tenerife – Salmes Cup 2013 promotional color scheme.
Have you seen the “new look” AirlinersGallery.com photo library website?
Finnair‘s (Helsinki) new summer flight schedule, beginning on March 30, 2014, will offer flights to three new seasonal destinations including, Pisa, Biarritz and Alanya and will add additional frequencies to Düsseldorf, Zürich, Antalya and Vaasa. Flights to Xi´an in China continue on March 30 and to Hanoi in Vietnam on June 2.
This summer Finnair will operate three weekly flights to Alanya, Turkey from April to August. Finnair will also offer additional frequencies to its existing route to Antalya, Turkey. Flights to Turkey operate eight times per week and most of the flights are during the daytime. Finnair is the only airline to operate scheduled non-stop flights from Finland to Antalya and Alanya.
In order to serve the demand from the local business market, extra frequencies will also be added to Vaasa with an evening flight departing at 6:10 P.M. from Helsinki. With the addition of this flight Finnair will now operate six flights per day to Vaasa.
Extra frequencies are also being added to Copenhagen, Dubrovnik, Malaga, Paris, Rome and Tel Aviv from June to August. Popular destinations returning to the summer schedule include Toronto (Pearson), operating with upgraded Airbus A330 aircraft from June 1 to September 21, and Chicago (O’Hare) as a codeshare with Oneworld partner American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth).
Finnair will also open a new route to Tromsø for the 2014 winter season. The arctic city in the far north of Norway will be served from Helsinki three times per week from January 1 until March 28, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. A320-214 OH-LXI (msn 1989) lands in Zurich.
Belle Air (Tirana) ceased all operations yesterday (November 25). The private Albanian airline had launched operations on March 1, 2006 to seven airports in Italy. The company blamed the failure on the ”general economic situation, the decline of the purchasing power, recession in the markets it operates as well as from the freezing for over 18 days of its bank accounts”.
It is unclear if this suspension also includes the operations of Belle Air Europe (Prishtina).
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-233 F-ORAD (msn 558) taxies past the camera at Antalya, Turkey.
Aer Lingus (Dublin) will start twice-weekly Shannon-Malaga flights on March 30, 2014 according to the Limerick Leader.
Read the full story: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 EI-DEB (msn 2191) is pictured on the runway at the Dublin hub.
Grand Cru Airlines (Vilnius) started ACMI and charter operations on June 21, 2013 with a single Boeing 737-300. A second 737-300 was added and a third will be added next year. Now the new company is planning to add its first Airbus A320.
The airline issued this statement:
On June 21, 2013 one of the newest companies in the market, Grand Cru Airlines began offering charter flights and providing “Wet Lease” (ACMI), “Dry Lease” and “Hybrid Lease” services, started flights from Vilnius along with its recently acquired Boeing 737-300.
Grand Cru Airlines acquired another Boeing 737-300 aircraft which will also be used for leasing and charter flights. The company announces that during the winter season aircraft will be actively used for flying passengers to Antalya, Bodrum, Heraklion, and Sharm El Sheikh. Currently it is also capable of cargo transportation but for the time being Grand Cru Airlines priority is passengers.
Though the competition in this field is high, the company is not afraid of hardships since it is leasing its aircraft on flexible and affordable conditions. Grand Cru Airlines is planning to acquire the third Boeing 737-300 in 2014. The company will also have an opportunity to acquire one Airbus A320 type aircraft so that it could adapt to the changing market in the future.
The airline also explains its unique name:
The term “grand cru” describes a vineyard in France where high quality wine is produced and refers to a class that is an official grade of French wine. Generally, “grand cru” indicates something that possesses a favorable and positive reputation. Therefore, this term is widely applied to describe different products.
Literally, “grand cru” refers to “belief without any doubt” and defines reliable, valuable, and top quality things.
Basically, Grand Cru Airlines has the same characteristics: potential for great growth by reason of its essential values.
Image: Grand Cru Airlines.
JetBlue Airways (New York-JFK) is stretching its route map further south in Latin America suggesting the rumored Airbus A330s could be ordered in the future. Yesterday the fast-growing company began daily nonstop service from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood to Lima, Peru. The new route is part of the airline’s continuous expansion at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood airport, where JetBlue now offers nonstop flights to 25 destinations, three of which are in South America. Lima is JetBlue’s 81st destination.
JetBlue’s schedule between Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (FLL) and Lima, Peru (LIM), effective November 21, 2013:
|FLL to LIM:||LIM to FLL:|
|Depart – Arrive||Depart – Arrive|
|5:40 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.||12:30 a.m. – 6:19 a.m.|
Flights operate daily effective November 21, 2013 (southbound) and November 22, 2013 (northbound) -
All times local.
JetBlue’s flights between Fort Lauderdale and Lima, Peru, will be operated with its Airbus A320 fleet.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 WL N827JB (msn 5677) with Sharklets in the Blueberries tail design lands at Las Vegas.
Wizz Air (Budapest) has announced its 19th base to be opened in Craiova, Romania in July 2014 with one based aircraft. A new Airbus A320 aircraft will be delivered in Craiova on July 23, 2014.
The new aircraft will support operations of a total of six Craiova routes and increase seat capacity in the first 12 months of based operations to over 260,000 seats. The airline believes this will also stimulate the local job market in aviation and tourism sectors as consumers will have access to more low cost routes. Wizz Air announced more weekly flights on the existing services to Milan Bergamo and London Luton, and announced four new routes to Barcelona, Bologna, Dortmund and Rome Ciampino, that will start operating from July 23, 2014.
WIZZ AIR’S NEW ROUTES FROM CRAIOVA:
Tue, Thu, Sat
WIZZ AIR’S INCREASED FREQUENCIES FROM CRAIOVA:
Days per week
from 2 to 4
from 2 to 3
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 WL HA-LWV (msn 5660) with Sharklets lands at EuroAirport serving Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg.
Routes from the new base:
Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) and travel organization Apollo are expanding their relationship for the next summer season. SAS issued this statement:
SAS and Apollo continue their long working relationship, signing an agreement for the summer season once again. The agreement is for 2014 and involves SAS flying Apollo’s customers from 17 different locations in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. It is worth SEK 910 million.
It has been confirmed that SAS and Apollo will continue their partnership, which goes back many years. Apollo has chosen SAS as their main external airline partner, alongside their own airline company Novair. Important factors for Apollo during the procurement process included the fact that SAS provides a flexible fleet and has safe and reliable production with good punctuality.
This partnership allows Apollo to offer summer departures from 17 different locations in Sweden, Norway and Denmark to more than 20 destinations in the world. The cities where flights will depart from in Sweden are Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 OY-KAW (msn 2817) taxies at Palma de Mallorca.
Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) will cut one of four London Heathrow-Manchester “Little Red” Airbus A320 flights next year according to TheBusinessDesk.com. The airline explained the reduction was not due to decreased demand but rather having to give back one LHR slot to another unnamed carrier.
However The Independent reported last month the “Little Red” feeder flights were experiencing low sales.
Read the full report from The Independent: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Terry Wade/AirlinersGallery.com. The “Little Red” domestic flights are operated by Aer Lingus in full Virgin Atlantic colors. Airbus A320-214 EI-DEO (msn 2486) arrives at London (Heathrow).
Video: Virgin Atlantic ad:
Libyan Wings, the newly launched Tripoli based airline, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for three A350-900s and four A320neo’s. The carrier is building up its fleet with aircraft orders announced at the 2013 Dubai Airshow. Libyan Wings will start operations for passenger charter and freight from the beginning of 2014.
Nasair (subsidiary of National Air Services) (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) has repainted this Airbus A320-200 with Sharklets in a new livery in Singapore. The new look rebrands the carrier as “Flynas” which trades on its website flynas.com URL address. The change was announced on November 13.
Copyright Photo: Kok Chwee K.C. Sim/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 VP-CXJ (msn 5716) appears in Singapore after emerging from the paint shop.
Video (in Arabic):
Avianca Holdings S.A. (Avianca) (Bogota) for the third quarter of 2013 reported a consolidated adjusted net income of $99.1 million (all amounts in US dollars) excluding FX effects related to liabilities denominated in Colombian Pesos and on the gain on sale of assets. This represents an increase of 151.3% over the same period in 2012. Avianca´s adjusted net profit margin increased by 450 basis points reaching 8.5%. Including the aforementioned effects on net income, Avianca Holdings S.A. and its subsidiaries generated a net income of $39.9 million.
Operating revenue came in at $1.182 million, representing an increase of 9.6% over the same period of 2012. Said increase is the result of a rise of 9.4% in passenger income resulting from a growth of 3.5% in carried passengers. Cargo and other revenues grew by 10.9%. This increase is mainly driven by the cargo and loyalty program business unit.
Revenue per Seat Kilometer (RASK) grew 3.6% whereas the Cost per Available Seat Kilometer (CASK) in 3Q 2013, grew from USD$10.3 cents to USD$10.4 cents, an increase of 1,5% with respect to the same period in 2013.
EBITDAR (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortization and aircraft rentals) increased 23.1% with respect to 3Q 2012. The EBITDAR margin reached 20.1%.
Operating income (EBIT) for 3Q 2013 rose to $132.2 million, a 32.2% increase with respect to the $100.0 million reached in the same period in 2012. The operating margin in 3Q 2013 came in at 11.2%, increasing by 1.9pp with respect to 3Q 2012. Said rise was generated by an increase in operating revenue as well as by cost control measures.
Capacity, measured in ASKs (Available Seats per Kilometer) grew by 5.87% throughout 3Q 2013. This growth is driven by the expansion of Avianca’s operations in its core markets, the incorporation of larger aircraft as well as an improvement in operating cycles of 1.1%. Traffic measured in RPKs (Revenue Passenger Kilometer) grew 5.9%, resulting in a Load Factor of 82.0% representing an increase of 20 basis points with respect to the Load Factor of 3Q 2012.
In accordance with the fleet renovation and modernization plan, between July and September 2013, the company through its subsidiary Avianca S.A., took delivery of one Airbus A320 aircraft equipped with Sharklets (see above), one ATR 72-600 and one A330-200 freighter. As a result, Avianca Holdings S.A. subsidiaries ended the quarter with a consolidated operating fleet of 154 aircraft.
With these third quarter results, Avianca Holdings S.A. reports a consolidated net income for the last 9 months of $183.4 million, reaching accumulated net margin of 5.4% year to date.
During the remainder of 2013, the company expects to continue with a capacity expansion in its key markets, as a result the company forecasts ASK growth between 7% and 8% for the full year 2013 compared to 2012. In terms of passenger traffic, the company expects a sustained growth during the remainder of 2013. Passenger numbers are expected to increase between 9% and 10% for the full year 2013 and as a result the load factor should stand between 79% and 80%.
Avianca Holdings S.A. is an investment firm that serves as an instrument for the execution of the shareholders agreement which resulted in the integration process known as AviancaTaca and acts as the controlling company for the integrated operation of various airlines that operate both domestically and internationally: Aerovías del Continente Americano S.A. Avianca (Avianca), Tampa Cargo S.A. incorporated in Colombia, Aerolíneas Galápagos S.A. Aerogal incorporated in Ecuador, and the companies that make up the TACA Group: TACA Internacional Airlines S.A., incorporated in El Salvador; Líneas Aéreas Costarricenses S.A., LACSA, incorporated in Costa Rica, Trans American Airlines S.A. TACA Peru incorporated in Peru, Servicios Aéreos Nacionales S.A., SANSA incorporated in Costa Rica, Aerotaxis La Costeña S.A., incoporated in Nicaragua and Isleña de Inversiones C.A. de C.V. ISLEÑA incorporated in Honduras.
Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Airbus A320-233 D-AXAS (msn 5840) was handed over to Avianca (Colombia) as N603AV on November 5.
JetBlue Airways Corporation (JetBlue Airways) (New York) has released the following statement from CEO and President Dave Barger in regards to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) proposed settlement, that would permit American Airlines and US Airways to proceed with their merger plans:
“On behalf of the 15,000 crewmembers of JetBlue Airways, New York’s Hometown Airline™, I applaud the Department of Justice’s pro-consumer proposed settlement and we look forward to participating in the divestiture process. JetBlue is eager to increase our low fare service in communities across the country and particularly at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and New York’s LaGuardia Airport.”
In other news, JetBlue has announced its expanded winter schedule in the Caribbean, featuring more flights than ever before. With the planned launch of service to two new island destinations, JetBlue will serve the Caribbean region this winter with an average of 200 daily flights.
Two new cities and five new routes planned
JetBlue has announced five new Caribbean routes that will launch in the coming months, including service to two new destinations: Port-au-Prince, Haiti and Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (a). New routes include:
- Chicago (ORD) – San Juan, Puerto Rico (starts Nov. 20)
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood – Port-au-Prince, Haiti (starts Dec. 5) (a)
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood – Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (starts May 1) (a)
- New York (JFK) – Port-au-Prince, Haiti (starts Dec. 5) (a)
- New York (JFK) – Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (starts Feb. 24) (a)
Five destinations to see added capacity with larger aircraft
JetBlue plans to meet peak winter demand this winter by deploying its brand new Airbus A321 aircraft to a variety of Caribbean destinations. The A321 is outfitted with 190 seats, featuring the most legroom in coach (b), and boosting the number of seats per departure by 40 compared to JetBlue’s current 150-seat A320 aircraft. The following destinations will see select flights to/from New York (JFK) operated by the larger A321:
- Bridgetown, Barbados
- Nassau, Bahamas
- San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Santiago, Dominican Republic
- Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Additionally, JetBlue will offer even more frequencies between New York (JFK) and Barbados during peak holiday times, including President’s Day and Easter.
JetBlue’s A321s will be operating fresh from the factory and will not yet have in-flight television, radio or movies.
More destinations with new and expanded interline partnerships
JetBlue has added two new interline agreements, with LIAT and Seaborne Airlines, and expanded its existing partnership with Cape Air, bringing a number of new Caribbean destinations within reach for JetBlue customers.
LIAT now offers JetBlue customers connections to several new destinations including Antigua, Grenada, St. Kitts, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, when transferring at Barbados and St. Maarten. Founded in 1956, LIAT is one of the largest and most experienced carriers in the Caribbean region. Tickets are now available for sale through travel agencies.
Seaborne Airlines also opens up several new destinations for JetBlue customers, including St. Kitts, Dominica, and Guadeloupe and Martinique in the French Caribbean, all via San Juan, as well as connections to La Romana, Dominican Republic on a daily basis. In addition, Seaborne will offer more flight options for customers connecting at San Juan to/from both the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Seaborne’s regional network includes 11 destinations from San Juan and a total of 625 weekly departures. JetBlue-Seaborne itineraries are now available for sale through travel agencies.
JetBlue’s longstanding partnership with Cape Air also expands this winter, with new destinations available via San Juan: Culebra, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. With service to these two unspoiled island destinations, which is expected to kick off in early 2014, Cape Air will serve a total of nine destinations from San Juan including options like Anguilla and Nevis.
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. The new JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N615JB (msn 2461) in the special FDNY – Fire Department New York taxies past the camera at the JFK hub.
Virgin America (San Francisco) today reported its financial results for the third quarter of 2013 with operating income of $44.4 million and net income of $33.5 million on total revenue of $387.3 million. The airline posted an operating margin of 11.5 percent – a 7.2 point improvement for the third quarter, driven largely by a 9.4 percent growth in revenue per available seat mile (“RASM”) over the year-earlier period.
Third Quarter 2013 Financial Highlights
- Virgin America reported $33.5 million in net income compared to a year-ago loss of $12.6 million, an improvement of $46 million.
- The Company significantly outpaced all U.S. carriers with year-over-year RASM growth of 9.4 percent on a 3.9 percent decrease in capacity. Virgin America has now led the industry in RASM growth every month since October 2012.
- Load factor increased by 0.9 points and yield increased by 7.4 percent year-over-year.
- Operating revenue was $387.3 million, an increase of 5.2 percent from the third quarter of 2012.
- Cost per available seat mile (CASM) excluding fuel increased by 4.5 percent year-over-year, largely due to the airline’s expansion into major airports like Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), increased labor costs, and decreased utilization of the fleet as part of the Company’s plan to improve unit revenue.
- Year-to-date, Virgin America has generated operating income of $57.3 million, an increase of $94.1 million from the first nine months of 2012.
- Unrestricted cash was $156.9 million as of September 30, 2013, an increase of $80.9 million since December 31, 2012.
Since taking a pause in its fleet and network expansion, Virgin America is now experiencing improved revenue and profitability performance across its network. Virgin America took delivery of one aircraft in the first quarter of 2013, increasing its total operating fleet to 53 aircraft. The Company does not plan to increase its fleet again until the second half of 2015, when aircraft on order from Airbus are scheduled for delivery.
Virgin America completed a restructuring of the majority of its debt with investors during May 2013, eliminating more than $300 million of existing debt and accrued interest. As a result of this restructuring, Virgin America expects its interest expense to substantially decline to approximately $10 million per quarter through 2014. Had the May 2013 restructuring been completed prior to the beginning of the year, Virgin America’s year-to-date net income would have been approximately $30 million higher.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Virgin America’s Airbus A320-214 N836VA (msn 4480) completes its final bank on the River Approach into Washington’s Reagan National Airport.
Air Armenia (Yerevan) commenced operations as a cargo airline on March 18, 2003 with Antonov An-12s. With the demise of Armavia, the airline commenced scheduled passenger flights on October 27 from Yerevan to Moscow (Vnukovo) with a Boeing 737-500 (737-505 EK73797, msn 26297, delivered on September 29). Local charter flights were started previously on October 23. The airline has also added an Airbus A320 (A320-214 EK32039, msn 1439, delivered on November 4).
Read the full report from ArmeniaNow.com: CLICK HERE
Images: Air Armenia. Air Armenia has also added a new look with the new jet aircraft.
Video: EK73797 arrives in Yerevan.
Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) yesterday (November 7) started daily nonstop seasonal service between Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and four new cities, including Los Angeles (LAX), Orlando (MCO), Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) and Tampa (TPA). In addition, Spirit’s nonstop seasonal service from MSP to Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers has also resumed.
Spirit has continued to grow since starting service at MSP in June 2012. The ultra-low fare airline now offers nonstop service from MSP to Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver (summer seasonal) and Las Vegas, as well as nonstop winter seasonal service to Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Los Angeles, Orlando, Phoenix and Tampa.
|Spirit’s Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) — Los Angeles (LAX) seasonal schedule effective November 7, 2013:|
|Minneapolis/St. Paul — Los Angeles||4:15 PM||6:15 PM||323||0||Daily|
|Los Angeles — Minneapolis/St. Paul||8:05 AM||1:45 PM||424||0||Daily|
|Spirit’s Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) — Orlando (MCO) seasonal schedule effective November 7, 2013:|
|Minneapolis/St. Paul — Orlando||7:50 AM||12:05 PM||135||0||Daily|
|Orlando — Minneapolis/St. Paul||12:55 PM||3:25 PM||250||0||Daily|
|Spirit’s Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) — Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) seasonal schedule effective November 7, 2013:|
|Minneapolis/St. Paul — Phoenix||9:25 AM||11:50 AM||345||0||Daily|
|Phoenix — Minneapolis/St. Paul||3:10 PM||7:15 PM||342||0||Daily|
|Spirit’s Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) — Tampa (TPA) seasonal schedule effective November 7, 2013:|
|Minneapolis/St. Paul — Tampa||3:00 PM||7:10 PM||427||0||Daily|
|Tampa — Minneapolis/St. Paul||7:55 PM||10:20 PM||428||0||Daily|
Additionally, Spirit Airlines started daily nonstop seasonal service from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) to three new cities, including Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Denver (DEN) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP).
Spirit also recently started daily nonstop service between Phoenix Sky Harbor and Dallas/Fort Worth on October 24, 2013.
Spirit’s Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) — Chicago (ORD) seasonal schedule effective November 7, 2013:
|Phoenix Sky Harbor — Chicago O’Hare||1:25 am||5:50 am||168*||0||Daily|
|Chicago O’Hare — Phoenix Sky Harbor||9:15 pm||12:10 am +1||167||0||Daily|
Spirit’s Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) — Denver (DEN) seasonal schedule effective November 7, 2013:
|Phoenix Sky Harbor — Denver||12:35 pm||2:23 pm||906||0||Daily|
|Denver — Phoenix Sky Harbor||12:40 pm||2:30 pm||939||0||Daily|
Spirit’s Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) — Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) seasonal schedule effective November 7, 2013:
|Phoenix Sky Harbor — Minneapolis/St. Paul||3:10 pm||7:15 pm||342||0||Daily|
|Minneapolis/St. Paul — Phoenix Sky Harbor||9:25 am||11:50 am||345||0||Daily|
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Spirit Airlines has changed its website URL from Spiritair.com to Spirit.com and the aircraft are now starting to reflect this change. Airbus A320-232 N620NK (msn 5624) with Sharklets and the new web address lands at Las Vegas.
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) has announced it will add nonstop service from Wilmington- New Castle Airport in Wilmington, Delaware (ILG) to Atlanta, Georgia (ATL) and Detroit, Michigan (DTW) starting on April 29, 2014.
The addition of these two new cities brings the total number of routes served from the Wilmington/Philadelphia area to seven: Atlanta; Chicago-Midway; Denver; Detroit; Fort Myers; Orlando; and Tampa.
Following is the schedule for Frontier’s Atlanta service**:
Wilmington-Atlanta (beginning April 29, 2014)
Following is the schedule for Frontier’s Detroit service:
Wilmington-Detroit (beginning April 29, 2014)
All service from Wilmington-New Castle Airport operates on 168-seat Airbus A320 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Rurik Enriquez/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N204FR (msn 2325) with the Bald Eagle on the tail lands in Cancun, Mexico.
JetBlue Airways (New York) received approval for gate-to-gate personal electronic device (PED) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at 4:15 p.m. ET on November 1, and implemented the policy immediately. The very first commercial flight of any U.S. airline to allow gate-to-gate PED use was JetBlue’s flight 2302 from New York’s JFK to Buffalo, scheduled departure time 4:30 p.m. All JetBlue customers were immediately allowed to start using personal electronic devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight, on all flights.
Prior to the new policy, customers had to turn off and stow all electronic devices during taxi, takeoff, landing and when the aircraft was below 10,000 feet. The new policy allows JetBlue customers to use smart phones, tablets, games and other smaller electronic devices at any time during taxi, takeoff and during flight, unless otherwise instructed by a crew member. Laptops must be stowed for taxi, takeoff and landing.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N586JB (msn 2160) in the special “I Love NY” scheme arrives at Washington (Reagan National).
Have you see the “new look” AirlinersGallery.com photo library website?
Spirit Airlines, Inc. (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) today reported third quarter 2013 financial results.
- Adjusted net income for the third quarter 2013 increased 130.3 percent to $57.9 million1 ($0.79 per diluted share) compared to $25.2 million1 ($0.35 per diluted share) for the third quarter 2012. GAAP net income for the third quarter 2013 was $61.1 million ($0.84 per diluted share) compared to $30.9 million ($0.43 per diluted share) in the third quarter 2012.
- Spirit achieved an adjusted pre-tax margin of 20.3 percent1, the highest quarterly adjusted pre-tax margin in the Company’s history. On a GAAP basis, pre-tax margin for the third quarter 2013 was 21.4 percent.
- Spirit ended the third quarter 2013 with $540 million in unrestricted cash.
- Spirit’s return on invested capital (before taxes and excluding special items) for the last twelve months ended September 30, 2013 was 31.3 percent. See “Calculation for Return on Invested Capital” table below for more details.
“I want to say thanks to our team members that contributed to our strong third quarter results. It is becoming clear that Spirit’s customers understand that our ultra-low fares plus optional services offer them a total price that’s tough to beat,” said Ben Baldanza, Spirit’s Chief Executive Officer. “Spirit is known for doing things differently than other air carriers, and we celebrate those differences because they allow us to offer our customers the freedom to pay for only what they value while earning a return for our shareholders.”
For the third quarter 2013, Spirit’s total operating revenue was $456.6 million, an increase of 33.4 percent compared to the third quarter 2012.
Total revenue per available seat mile (“RASM”) for the third quarter 2013 was 12.55 cents, an increase of 8.9 percent compared to the third quarter 2012 as a result of higher load factors and higher average passenger yields.
Passenger flight segment (“PFS”) volume for the third quarter 2013 grew 19.9 percent year over year. Average revenue per PFS for the third quarter 2013 increased 11.3 percent year over year to $135.34 primarily driven by an increase in ticket revenue per PFS.
Total operating expenses for the third quarter 2013 increased 22.6 percent year over year to $358.8 million on a capacity increase of 22.4 percent.
Spirit reported third quarter 2013 cost per available seat mile excluding special items and fuel (“Adjusted CASM ex-fuel”) of 5.86 cents, a decrease of 2.7 percent year over year, primarily driven by lower aircraft rent and other operating expense per ASM. During the second quarter 2013, the Company negotiated lease extensions at reduced rates for 14 of its A319 aircraft which was the primary driver of the decrease in aircraft rent per ASM. The decrease in other operating expense per ASM, as compared to the same period in 2012, was primarily driven by the in-sourcing of certain contract work and a decrease in software consulting costs associated with the implementation of the Company’s ERP system. Partially offsetting the benefit of these items was higher depreciation and amortization expense related to the amortization of an increased number of heavy maintenance events.
Selected Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Items
As of September 30, 2013, Spirit had $540 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents, no restricted cash, no debt on its balance sheet, and total shareholders’ equity of $724 million.
For the nine months ended September 30, 2013, Spirit incurred capital expenditures of $17.0 million. The Company paid $41.3 million in pre-delivery deposits for future deliveries of aircraft, net of refunds, and recorded an increase of $10.2 million in maintenance deposits, net of reimbursements.
In the third quarter 2013, Spirit took delivery of one new A320 aircraft, ending the quarter with 51 aircraft in its fleet. The Company also took delivery of one new A320 in October 2013 and has two more new A320 aircraft scheduled for delivery by year-end 2013.
Third Quarter 2013 and Other Current Highlights
- Recently added/announced new service between (service start date):
|– Dallas/Fort Worth – Phoenix Sky Harbor (10/24/13)|
|– Phoenix Sky Harbor – Chicago (11/7/13)2|
|– Phoenix Sky Harbor – Denver (11/7/13)2|
|– Minneapolis/St. Paul and Los Angeles (11/7/13)|
|– Minneapolis/St. Paul and Orlando (11/7/13)2|
|– Minneapolis/St. Paul and Phoenix Sky Harbor (11/7/13)2|
|– Minneapolis/St. Paul and Tampa (11/7/13)2|
- Ratified a new five-year contract with its dispatchers which are represented by the Transport Workers Union.
- Executed an agreement with Pratt and Whitney and IAE for the provision and servicing of engines to power its fleet of A320-family aircraft.
- Elected H. McIntyre (Mac) Gardner as Chairman of the Board of Directors following the resignation of William A. Franke.
- Maintained its commitment to offer low fares to its valued customers (average ticket revenue per passenger flight segment for the third quarter 2013 was $82.84).
Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. The first Airbus A320 with Sharklets, Airbus A320-232 WL N620NK (msn 5624) touches down in Las Vegas.
JetBlue Airways (New York) continues to grow at its South Florida focus destination of Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood with two new nonstop routes. Beginning on May 1, 2014, JetBlue will fly once a day to Montego Bay, Jamaica, and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (a). The two new routes are in addition to the already announced nonstop once-a-day flight to Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, also starting May 1, 2014 (a).
JetBlue’s schedule between Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Punta Cana (PUJ) effective May 1, 2014 (a):
|FLL to PUJ:||PUJ to FLL:|
|Depart – Arrive||Depart – Arrive|
|11:20 a.m. – 1:44 p.m.||2:40 p.m. – 5:20 p.m.|
JetBlue’s schedule between Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Montego Bay (MBJ) effective May 1, 2014 (a):
|FLL to MBJ:||MBJ to FLL:|
|Depart – Arrive||Depart – Arrive|
|12:47 p.m. – 1:29 p.m.||2:25 p.m. – 5:04 p.m.|
JetBlue’s schedule between Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Port of Spain (POS) effective May 1, 2014 (a):
|FLL to POS:||POS to FLL:|
|Depart – Arrive||Depart – Arrive|
|7:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.||11:45 a.m. – 3:54 p.m.|
(a) Flights subject to receipt of government approvals.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N645JB (msn 2900) in the special “Jetting to T5″ markings departs from runway 27R at FLL.
Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) has issued this statement:
Swiss International Air Lines and its Aeropers and IPG pilots’ unions have reached an agreement in their negotiations on the future overall structure and working parameters for the company’s cockpit crew corps.
Swiss and its Aeropers and IPG cockpit crew unions have been in discussions since the end of last year with a view to establishing forward-looking working structures and laying the foundations for a single pilot corps. After intensive negotiations, the parties have found a viable compromise in the last few days that has met with the approval of both unions and the company.
The key issues in these discussions have been creating an integrated Swiss European and Swiss International pilot corps, efficiently introducing the new Bombardier CS100 and Boeing 777 aircraft types, sustainably maintaining Swiss’ competitive edge, securing cockpit jobs and establishing and developing the company’s new Geneva crew base.
The agreement reached will now be used to work out the corresponding amendments to the collective labour agreements (CLAs) of the two pilot corps between now and the end of this year. These amendments will then be presented to the unions’ respective members for approval. The aim here is to have all collaborations under the new employment parameters from April 2014 onwards.
With the result of these negotiations, and the corresponding integration of Swiss European Air Lines into Swiss International Air Lines, Swiss is both setting a vital course for its own corporate future and breaking new ground within the airline industry.
In other news, Swiss International Air Lines has named its Airbus A320 HB-JLT “Grenchen” (above) after the town in northwest Switzerland. The aircraft is something of a celebrity in the Swiss fleet: it’s the first member of Swiss’ Airbus A320 family to be equipped with sharklets, the winglets developed by the manufacturer to enhance inflight performance.
The symbolic naming ceremony was held in Grenchen and was attended by Boris Banga, the current Mayor of Grenchen, Daniel Bärlocher, Swiss’ Head of Corporate Communications and Peter Fasler, Head of Licence and Rating Training at Swiss Aviation Training subsidiary. Performing the honor was top Swiss ski jumper Simon Ammann, the four-time Olympic gold medallist, World Champion and World Cup Winner, who serves as an ambassador for watch manufacturer Breitling, which is headquartered in the town.
The sharklet-equipped HB-JLT is the 38th member of the Airbus A320 family to be delivered to Swiss. The aircraft is deployed on medium-haul routes in Europe and on services to Africa and the Middle East.
The sharklets reduce aerodynamic drag in the wingtip area. Airbus calculates that the resulting fuel savings reduce the associated carbon dioxide emissions by some 1,000 tons per aircraft per year – the equivalent of the CO2 produced by around 200 averagely-used family cars.
Copyright Photo: Nik French/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 WL HB-JLT (msn 5518) with Sharklets and a new name departs from Manchester.
United Airlines (Chicago) is being fined $1.1 million by the Department of Transportation (DOT) for ramp delays at the Chicago O’Hare hub.
The DOT issued this statement:
The U. S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined United Airlines $1.1 million for lengthy tarmac delays that took place at Chicago-O’Hare International Airport on July 13, 2012. The airline was ordered to cease and desist from future violations of the tarmac-delay rule.
This is the largest fine assessed for a tarmac-delay violation since the rule limiting long tarmac delays first took effect in April 2010. Of the $1.1 million, United will pay the United States $475,000; the remainder covers mitigation measures for affected passengers and significant corrective actions by United to enhance future compliance with tarmac delay requirements.
“It is unacceptable for passengers to be stranded in planes on the tarmac for hours on end,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We will continue to require airlines to adopt workable plans to protect passengers from lengthy tarmac delays and carry out these plans when necessary.”
United is being fined for 13 lengthy tarmac delays that took place on a day when severe thunderstorms and lightning caused several ramp closures and disrupted the movement of aircraft at O’Hare. Delays by United and its United Express code-share affiliates exceeded the three-hour limit for tarmac delays by as little as two minutes and as much as 77 minutes. Although United had a contingency plan for tarmac delays, DOT’s Aviation Enforcement Office found that the airline did not implement the plan during these delays, and that the plan was inadequate to cover foreseeable weather emergencies in which there were more planes on the ground than space at gates. The Enforcement Office also found that United did not contact airport personnel or other airlines for assistance during the tarmac delays. Additionally, on two United Express flights, the lavatories were inoperable during part of the delays.
Under DOT rules, U.S. airlines operating aircraft with 30 or more passenger seats are prohibited from allowing their domestic flights to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours at U.S. airports without giving passengers an opportunity to leave the plane. Exceptions to the time limits are allowed only for safety, security or air traffic control-related reasons. The rules also require airlines to provide adequate food and water, ensure that lavatories are working and, if necessary, provide medical attention to passengers during long tarmac delays.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N405UA (msn 452) arrives at the Chicago (O’Hare) hub.
JetBlue Airways (New York) today launched new nonstop flights from Hartford Bradley International Airport to both Fort Myers and Tampa.
JetBlue will serve eight airports in New England: Boston, Burlington, Hartford, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Portland and Providence, with new service to Worcester, starting November 7. Hartford service will peak in December 2013 at 10 daily departures from Hartford Bradley to six destinations. Service on the Hartford-Fort Myers route is seasonal.
JetBlue’s schedule between Hartford (BDL) and Fort Myers (RSW), effective October 27, 2013:
|BDL to RSW:||RSW to BDL:|
|Depart – Arrive||Depart – Arrive|
|11:55 a.m. – 3:12 p.m.||3:53 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.|
JetBlue’s schedule between Hartford (BDL) and Tampa (TPA), effective October 27, 2013:
|BDL to TPA:||TPA to BDL:|
|Depart – Arrive||Depart – Arrive|
|9:10 a.m. – 12:22 p.m.||12:25 p.m. – 3:07 p.m.|
Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N526JL (msn 1546) lands at Las Vegas.
VivaAerobus Group (VivaAerobus.com) (Monterrey) has signed a purchase agreement for 52 Airbus A320 Family aircraft (40 A320neo and 12 A320ceo aircraft), representing the biggest Airbus aircraft order by a single airline in Latin American history. VivaAerobus, a Mexican low-cost carrier, will announce the engine selection at a later date.
VivaAerobus, part-owned by IAMSA, one of Mexico’s largest transportation companies, and Irelandia Aviation, a global low-cost-carrier airline developer, will replace its entire fleet of Boeing 737-300s to become an all-Airbus carrier by 2016. VivaAerobus has been a pioneer in Mexico’s ’Bus to Air’ model, which is an initiative to convert bus passengers to air travelers.
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) is celebrating 10 years of flying the Airbus A320 Family of aircraft. The airline issued this statement:
Ten years ago Aeroflot received its first aircraft from the Airbus family — an A319 which was named after the eminent Russian composer, pianist and conductor Sergei Prokofiev.
The A320 family airplanes meet all the requirements of security, reliability and passenger comfort. Aeroflot operates A320 aircraft on European and domestic routes. In terms of operational reliability and actual hours flown per aircraft, the company is among the world leaders. Cabins of this aircraft family are made in two-class configuration and designed to carry 116 (A319), 140 and 158 (A320), and 170 (A321) passengers.
Many aircraft of the A320 family which is the backbone of Aeroflot’s park are decorated with unique liveries and logos. You can find A320s with the Dobrolet retro livery, Winter Olympics mascots (see below) and the Yekaterinburg World Expo 2020 Bid Committee logo. A jet from A320 family became the Olympic Torch Relay aircraft and brought the Olympic flame from Greece to Moscow. The Olympic Torch Relay team will travel to the northern regions of the country (from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok) and to the Caucasus on board one of Aeroflot’s A320s.
Today Aeroflot’s fleet counts 140 airplanes, most of them are of A319/320/321 family. All the Airbus aircraft are delivered to Aeroflot directly from the manufacturer. The average age of an A320 family aircraft is 5 years.
Aeroflot’s fleet is one of the youngest in Europe. By the end of 2012, Aeroflot reached the fourth place among European carriers in terms of aircraft deliveries, according to Airline Business rating.
Aeroflot is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2013. Aeroflot is Russia’s flagship airline and the largest national air company. Proudly being a member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance, Aeroflot with its partnering members provides service to more than 1000 destinations in 178 countries. Aeroflot operates one of the most modern and youngest fleets in Europe counting 140 aircraft formed by Airbus, Boeing and Sukhoi airliners with an average airplane age between five and six years old. In 2012 Aeroflot carried 17.7 million passengers (27.5 million passengers as Aeroflot Group), continuously showing the best results in modern Russia’s history.
Top Copyright Photos: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 VP-BWD (msn 2116) taxies past the camera at Zurich.
Bottom Copyright Photo: OSDU/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 VP-BMF (msn 3711) in the Sochi 2014 – 2014 Winter Olympics scheme arrives at the Moscow (Sheremetyevo) hub.
Air France (Paris) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) will decide today at a meeting of Alitalia’s (2nd) (Rome) shareholders if it will add any more capital into the struggling carrier. According to this report by Reuters, Alitalia’s shareholders will vote today on a $407 million capital increase to keep the Italian carrier flying. Alitalia was thrown a lifeline on Friday to allow it to keep flying through the weekend.
Le Monde reported Air France-KLM’s conditions now include “a new strategy, a halt to route expansion and no new aircraft purchases as Alitalia addresses its debts” according to Reuters.
Air France-KLM, which own 25 percent of Alitalia’s shares are unlikely to inject any more capital as the group is going through a painful restructuring.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-216 EI-DTH (msn 3956) taxies at Amsterdam.
EasyJet (easyJet.com) (UK) (London-Luton) has announced its expansion plans in Italy with the opening of a base in Naples. The new base, EasyJet’s third in Italy and 24th in its European network, will be operational from spring 2014.
Having first started operations in Naples in 2000, EasyJet now carries more passengers than any other airline into and out of Naples. In the last twelve months the airline has flown 1.6 million passengers. From spring, the two aircraft based in Naples will enable easyJet to fly more than an additional 350,000 passengers meaning that annual passenger numbers will reach almost two million.
EasyJet will fly 20 routes from the base, five of those will be introduced in the Spring of 2014, and will offer 130 flights a week at peak season from Naples. The airline will fly additional frequencies on key routes such as London Gatwick with two daily flights.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 G-EZWD (msn 5249) lands at Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg.
Air France (Paris) is getting ready to celebrate 80 years of flying. To help celebrate the carrier is getting ready to take delivery of this brand new Airbus A320 with a special 80 ans-years logo.
Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Airbus A320-214 F-WWIX (msn 5802) with Sharklets will become F-HEPG on the handover.
The European Commission announced today its decision to approve the acquisition of Olympic Air by Aegean.
The rationale of the European Commission decision supports the absolute necessity of economies of scale to achieve viability within the Greek aviation market. The acquisition creates the conditions for the establishment of a sustainable Greek carrier, competitive within the Region and capable of supporting a growth momentum which will benefit Greek Tourism and the local economy.
Following EU approval, the acquisition of the shares of Olympic Air and the assumption of management by Aegean is expected to be completed by October 18, 2013. The total consideration for the transaction has been set at €72 m., of which €20 m. have already been paid. Upon the completion of the acquisition, Olympic Air will become a subsidiary of the listed Aegean, while the process of unification of the support functions will begin immediately. The two brands and logos of the companies will remain with each one retaining distinct aircraft and flight activity.
The Chairman of Aegean Mr. Theodore Vassilakis said:
“As of today our obligation and commitment to serve our passengers and our country become even greater. While growing in size we also have to further improve our services to be more effective in the support of all Greek regions and ensure competitive access even to the smallest Greek island. The economies of scale will allow us to offer more competitive fares on our domestic network, especially for the small islands. At the same time, the synergies will allow us to support an improved growth rate for our international network, both from Athens and the periphery, contributing substantially to the development of Tourism and the Economy “.
The company will host a press conference on October 23, 2013, following the share purchase, to present its customer offering and development plan as well as its 2014 network plans.
|Passenger traffic ( 2013 estimation in million)||6,50||1,90||8,40|
|Turnover (in million € – 2013 estimation)||630||170||800|
Top Copyright Photo: Robbie Shaw/AirlinersGallery.com. Aegean’s Airbus A320-232 SX-DVQ (msn 3526) painted in the Star Alliance colors departs from London (Heathrow).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Olympic Air has been reduced down to mainly a Bombardier DHC-8/Q400 operator. Operated by Flybe, DHC-8-402 (Q400) G-JECV (msn 4148) prepares to land at London (Heathrow).
- Serve almost a thousand airports in more than 150 countries, with 14,000 daily departures.
- Carry 480 million passengers a year on a combined fleet of more than 3,200 aircraft.
- Generate US$ 140 billion annual revenues.
- The addition of Malaysia Airlines, one of this industry’s most frequent award winners, six months ago, further strengthening oneworld’s position in South East Asia, one of the fastest growing regions for air travel demand.
- The induction on October 30, 2013 of Qatar Airways, the only one of the “Gulf Big Three” carriers slated to join any of the global airline alliances and one of the world’s fastest growing and most highly rated airlines. This will make oneworld the leading alliance in the Middle East, one of the world’s fastest growing regions for air travel demand.
- The introduction early next year of SriLankan Airlines, as the first airline from the Indian subcontinent to join any global alliance, which, with Qatar Airways, will make oneworld the leading alliance in the region.
- The proposed switch by US Airways from Star to oneworld as part of its planned merger with American Airlines, subject to necessary approvals.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. LAN Colombia’ Airbus A320-233 CC-CQN (msn 3319) prepares to land at Miami.
JetBlue Airways (New York) has announced that is has reached a multi-year agreement to become “The Official Airline of the Boston Bruins” NHL team, in addition to the airline’s role as Official Airline of the Bruins’ home, TD Garden. The agreement kicks off today (October 2) at historic Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston, where JetBlue will host the 2013-2014 Bruins Season Takeoff Rally.
The Season Ticket Rally is free and open to all Bruins fans. Those who attend may enter to win Bruins and JetBlue prizes, including JetBlue travel and TrueBlue points. Bruins fans can register at BostonBruins.com/JetBlue or at the Faneuil Hall rally to “Get Your Boarding Pass” for JetBlue travel and Bruins memorabilia. The event begins at 1:30 p.m.
JetBlue, the largest airline at Boston Logan Airport, will also start service at Worcester Regional Airport on November 7. JetBlue offers more than 100 daily flights in Boston to 49 destinations and employs more than 2,000 crew members in Boston.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. JetBlue’s Airbus A320-232 N605JB (msn 2368) Boston Red Sox special livery taxies to runway 9L at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. JetBlue is also the official airline of the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball. As a result, the airline introduced a logojet to honor the relationship. A Boston Bruins logojet is therefore very likely.
Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (Indianapolis) today (October 1) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) to an affiliate of Indigo Partners LLC (Phoenix) in an all-cash transaction.
Indigo Partners and its principals, led by managing partner William A. Franke, have a history of investing in airline transportation and related industries and creating successful, differentiated companies. Under the terms of the stock purchase agreement, which has been approved by Republic’s Board of Directors, the buyer, an affiliate of Indigo Partners, will acquire all the outstanding shares of Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc. in a transaction valued at approximately $145 million, of which $36 million (subject to certain adjustments under the purchase agreement) is to be paid in cash for the equity of Frontier Holdings and the balance is indebtedness that will be retained by Frontier. In addition, Indigo plans to invest additional funds directly in Frontier after the closing.
As part of the transaction, under a separate agreement, Republic will assign to Frontier all of Republic’s rights under agreements relating to the Republic’s Airbus A320neo order in exchange for reimbursement of pre-delivery deposits, which total $32 million.
“We endorse and will support continued efforts to build Frontier into a leading nationwide ultra-low cost carrier (ULCC),” said Franke. “As airline fares continue to move up, passengers need affordable travel alternatives. Our goal will be to meet that need in more markets as we invest in the airline to grow its footprint, while maintaining a commitment to quality service, customer choice and satisfaction and continued employment opportunities for the Frontier team.”
Completion of the transaction is conditioned on agreements being reached with the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) and FAPA Invest LLC by no later than October 31, 2013, as well as agreement and documentation of other third-party commercial agreements. The transaction is also subject to receipt of required approvals by the Federal Communications Commission for the transfer of Frontier’s radio licenses, the receipt of certain third-party consents and releases and other customary closing conditions.
Assuming satisfaction of the conditions of the agreement, Republic expects the transaction to close in December 2013.
Barclays is serving as financial advisor and Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP is serving as legal advisor to Republic in connection with the transaction. Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as Indigo Partners LLC’s legal advisor.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Frontier’s Airbus A320-214 N208FR (msn 4562) with the Cougar on the tail prepares to land at Baltimore/Washington.
VietJetAir (Ho Chi Minh City) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for up to 92 A320 Family aircraft and will lease eight more from third party lessors. The agreement signed with Airbus covers for 42 A320neo, 14 A320ceo and six A321ceo, plus 30 purchase rights for the A320 Family.
VietJetAir is an existing A320 operator, with eight leased aircraft already in service. The carrier took delivery this week of its ninth A320, delivered new from Airbus via the US leasing company AWAS.
Top Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly with Olympic Air, Airbus A320-214 SX-OAU (msn 4193) became VN-A699 with VietJetAir.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Airbus. The first Airbus A320 with Sharklets, the pictured A320-214 F-WWDR (msn 5742), was just handed over to the carrier as VN-A682 on September 26, 2013.
Alitalia’s (2nd) (Rome) Airbus A320-216 EI-EIB (msn 4249) while being operated on operating flight AZ 63 from Madrid to Rome (Fiumicino), the crew was forced to make an emergency landing at FCO late last night (September 29) after the right main gear failed to deploy. The 151 passengers and crew members safely evacuated the aircraft using the emergency chutes with no injuries.
Alitalia issued this statement (translated from Italian):
Air New Zealand (Auckland) is planning to operate a demonstration flight to the Pegasus ice runway near the McMurdo Station in Antarctica on October 5 per Wired Magazine. ANZ will operate a Boeing 767-300 to the ice runway. Currently the United States Air Force (using C-17S) and the Royal New Zealand Air Force (using a Boeing 757) operate regular flights to the station, mainly during the Southern Hemisphere summer. If feasible, the airline will operate charter flights to the southern continent.
Air New Zealand has a long history with Antarctica. In the 1970s the company operated sightseeing charter flights to the continent the overflew the rugged terrain. Tragically on November 29, 1979 while operating flight NZ 901, DC-10-30 ZK-NZP (msn 46910) with 257 passengers and crew members on board crashed into Mount Erebus killing all on board.
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Meanwhile on the livery front, following the announcement on June 12, 2013, Air New Zealand, in cooperation with the national tourism agency, Tourism New Zealand, is going to the pictured “New Zealand Fern Mark” as the airline’s official color scheme to also promote tourism to the nation.
As previously reported, there will be two livery versions. The first features a white fuselage with a black strip running diagonally on the rear fuselage from the tail, adorned with the iconic koru logo in white. The black and white “New Zealand Fern Mark” is vividly displayed on the fuselage. This livery will be used on most of the fleet. A few aircraft will be painted in a distinctive all black livery with the fern mark in silver. The first to display the new look, the pictured Airbus A320-232 ZK-OXB (msn 5682), was rolled out of the paint shop on September 24, 2013.
Copyright Photo: Colin Hunter/AirlinersGallery.com. ZK-OXB is captured beautifully on the taxiway at the Auckland hub.
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Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) may not be sold by its owner Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) to Indigo Partners LLC as planned. According to the Wall Street Journal, negotiations between Republic and Indigo have stalled. Part of the problem is a complex dispute over which union represents Frontier’s pilots and whether the agreement that promised the equity stakes in Frontier is valid according to the WSJ report. September 30 is the end of the elusive period for Indigo unless it is extended again by Republic.
Indigo Partners (Phoenix) is a private equity firm established and headed by former America West Airlines CEO Bill Franke and is currently divesting itself of its common stock ownership in Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood). Besides Spirit, Indigo has been involved in AviaNova, Mandala Airlines, Tiger Airways and Wizz Air.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Wearing the new titles, Frontier’s Airbus A320-214 N220FR (msn 5661) with Sharklets and a Tiger Shark on the tail slowly taxies into the gate at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
EasyJet (UK) (easyJet.com) (London-Luton) has announced that it will open a base in Hamburg as well as increasing its fleet in Berlin in the Spring of 2014. The announcement was made by chief executive Carolyn McCall at an event at Airbus’ facilities in Hamburg.
Building on its success to date in both Hamburg and Berlin, EasyJet’s new base will open with three A319 aircraft with the airline increasing its fleet in Berlin by an additional plane.
EasyJet will more than double its network from Hamburg with 15 additional new business and leisure routes on the top of its existing portfolio of six routes offering almost 170 flights a week during summer 2014. With more frequencies and early morning departures from Hamburg the schedule will make easyJet more attractive to business passengers.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 G-EZUD (msn 4536) taxies to the runway at Geneva.
BOC Aviation (Singapore, the aircraft leasing subsidiary of Bank of China, has announced during the 15th Aviation Expo China 2013 in Beijing an additional firm order for the purchase of 25 A320 Family aircraft comprising 13 A320ceo and 12 A320neo family aircraft. The order comprises A320 and A321 variants. BOC Aviation will make its engine selection at a later date.
The order from BOC Aviation for 25 more A320 Family aircraft comes less than a year after their previous order for 50 A320 Family aircraft, confirming the fast pace at which the market requires Airbus’ fuel efficient single-aisle planes.
Including this latest purchase agreement, BOC Aviation’s cumulative orders for new Airbus aircraft reach a total of 212 (206 A320 Family and six A330 Family aircraft).
Spring Airlines (Shanghai-Pudong) has taken delivery of its first A320 aircraft equipped with Sharklet fuel saving wing-tip devices. Airbus A320-214 B-9965 (msn 5778, ex D-AXAD) was handed over on September 23.
The A320, powered by CFM56 engines, features a single class economy cabin, seating 180 passengers. The A320 will make its first commercial flight from Shanghai to domestic destinations on September 27.
Sharklets are made from light-weight composites and are 2.4 meters tall. They are an option on new-build A320 Family aircraft and standard on all members of the new A320neo family. They offer operators up to four per cent fuel burn reduction on longer range sectors and provide the flexibility of either adding an additional 100 nautical miles range or increased payload capability of up to 450 kilograms.
Established in 2004, Spring Airlines is one of China’s first private airline companies. It operates more than 50 domestic routes and several regional and international routes. Its fleet comprised 37 Airbus A320 jetliners by end of August 2013.
Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. D-AXAD became B-9965 when it was handed over on September 23.
Qingdao Airlines, a newly established airline based in the Eastern Chinese coastal city of Qingdao, Shandong Province, has selected the Airbus A320 Family aircraft to build up its fleet.
The airline has signed a purchase agreement with Airbus for a total of 23 A320 Family aircraft, including five A320ceo and 18 A320neo aircraft. The agreement was signed by He Li, director of the Board of Qingdao Airlines and John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers at the 15th Aviation Expo China 2013 in Beijing. The deal is subject to approval from China’s central government. The first delivery is expected to begin in 2016. The airline will start operation in 2014 with leased A320 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Airbus.
Zhejiang Loong Airlines, an airline based in Hongzhou, capital city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus for 20 Airbus A320 Family aircraft, including 11 A320ceo and nine A320neo. The airline has recently been approved by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for passenger flight operation.
The MOU was signed by Liu Yi, President of Zhejiang Loong Airlines and Fabrice Bregier, Airbus President and CEO, at the 15th Aviation Expo China 2013 in Beijing.
Zhejiang Loong plans to start operating later in 2013. It’s passenger operation will start with domestic routes from Hangzhou to first tier airports like Chengdu, Chongqing, Shenzhen and Xi’an. The airline has the ambition to start regional and international routes in three to five years.
Copyright Photo: Airbus. Zhejiang Loong Airlines, an airline based in Hongzhou, capital city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China, signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 20 Airbus A320 Family aircraft, including 11 A320ceo and nine A320neo aircraft.