EVA Air (Taipei) today (June 18) joined the Star Alliance network, further strengthening the Alliance’s presence in Asia/Pacific. At the official joining ceremony held at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Mark Schwab, CEO Star Alliance said: “EVA Air has successfully completed all joining requirements and I can confirm that our Chief Executive Board (CEB) has now unanimously accepted EVA Air into our Alliance.”
Founded just over 16 years ago, Star Alliance has progressively built its presence in Asia/Pacific and now has eight member carriers based in this region, which continues to show a growing demand in air travel, posting 5.2% growth in 2012. At present, 19 Star Alliance member airlines operate more than 4,000 daily flights to, from and within the Asia / Pacific region, serving 280 airports in 44 countries.
Austin Cheng, President, EVA Air said: “Star Alliance membership gives us the privilege of serving new customers from all corners of the globe and introducing our passengers to the seamless services and status recognition that the Alliance provides. As a member, we have the opportunity to introduce travellers to new ways of connecting to destinations throughout Asia via our hub in Taipei.”
Star Alliance was founded with the mission of providing seamless global air travel for the high value international traveller. EVA Air’s customers will now have access to a global network of 28 airlines, operating more than 21,900 daily flights to 1,328 airports in 195 countries. In addition to bringing Kaohsiung in Taiwan and Surabaya in Indonesia as unique airports to the network, EVA Air expands the Alliance’s presence on the important Cross-Straits market, which has grown from an annual passenger volume of just over 3 million in 2009 to around 9 million in 2012. Moreover, Taiwan’s geographic location is such that it has the shortest average distance to all major cities in the Asia-Pacific region, making Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport an important hub in the region. In total, Star Alliance now offers 10 hubs across Asia / Pacific: Tokyo – Narita and Haneda, Seoul – Incheon, Beijing, Shanghai – Pudong, Taipei – Taoyuan, Shenzhen, Bangkok, Singapore and Auckland.
Top Copyright Photo: Star Alliance. The flight attendants (in their uniforms) of the member airlines welcome EVA Air at Taipei.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Yuji Wang/AirlinersGallery.com. EVA Air is a big corporate sponsor of the Hello Kitty cartoon series and brand created and owned by the Japanese company Sanrio. The third Hello Kitty logojet, in the form of Airbus A330-302X B-16333 (msn 1274) prepares to land at Shanghai (Hongqiao) (please click on the photo for the full-size view).
Star Alliance Members:
Cebu Pacific Air (Cebu Pacific Air.com) (Manila) on June 13 took delivery of its first Airbus A330-300. The pictured A330-343X RP-C3341 (msn 1420, ex F-WWTR) was handed over to the carrier. The carrier is planning to use the new type to launch scheduled low-fare service between Manila and Dubai where many ex-pats work in the Gulf region.
Airbus issued this statement:
Cebu Pacific has taken delivery of its first A330-300 during a special ceremony in Toulouse on June 13. The aircraft is the first of four A330s being leased by Cebu Pacific from US lessor CIT and will be used to launch the carrier’s new long haul low-fare operations.
Cebu Pacific has specified a single class layout for its A330 fleet seating 436 passengers. The airline will initially operate the first aircraft on medium haul regional routes, before launching its first long haul services to Dubai in October.
“The delivery of our first widebody aircraft marks a milestone for Cebu Pacific,” said Lance Gokongwei, Cebu Pacific President and Chief Executive Officer. “The addition of the highly efficient A330 to our fleet ultimately translates to unbeatable operating costs, enabling us to offer the lowest possible fares to our guests. In addition, we will be the only Filipino carrier flying nonstop between Manila and Dubai, eliminating multiple stops or connecting flights.”
The A330 will join an existing fleet of single aisle A320 Family aircraft flying with Cebu Pacific on its extensive domestic and regional network, currently covering 34 domestic and 22 international destinations across Asia. In addition to its leased A330s, the carrier has 47 A320 Family on firm order with Airbus for future delivery, including 30 latest generation A321neo.
The A330 is one of the most widely-used widebody aircraft in service today. Airbus has recorded over 1,200 orders for the various versions of the aircraft and more than 900 are in service with almost 100 operators worldwide today.
Top Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. RP-C3341 departed this morning (June 14) on its delivery flight to Manila (please click on the photo for the full-size view).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Airbus. The wide body airliner still wears the F-WWTR test registration prior to the hand over.
Video: Cebu Pacific Air’s version of the “Safety Dance”:
Virgin Australia to upgrade the Perth-Sydney route to all Airbus A330s on weekdays, expands its code-share program with Etihad Airways
Virgin Australia Airlines (Brisbane) has announced that from October this year, it will operate its Airbus A330 aircraft on all Perth-Sydney weekday flights.
The introduction of a seventh Airbus A330 to Virgin Australia’s fleet later this year will see these aircraft operate all Perth-Sydney and Perth-Melbourne weekday services and two out of three Perth-Brisbane weekday services.
The airline now offers all customers on flights between Perth and the East Coast fully inclusive hot meals and beverages, as well as in-flight entertainment.
“We have had an extremely positive response to the introduction of our Airbus A330 “Coast To Coast” service and we are very pleased to now be offering this on all Perth-Sydney and Perth-Melbourne weekday flights.
The Airbus A330 aircraft feature Virgin Australia’s designer Business and Economy Class product, which includes luxury leather seating, generous seat recline and a range of gourmet food offerings.
In other news, Virgin Australia has announced flights to Milan, Italy and Amsterdam, Netherlands will be added to its codeshare agreement with Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) from June 3, 2013.
The announcement follows recent regulatory approvals being granted allowing Virgin Australia to codeshare on flights into Italy and the Netherlands.
Customers travelling on Virgin Australia’s network will be able to connect through Abu Dhabi on to Milan or Amsterdam on the same ticket. Velocity Frequent Flyer members will also be able to earn points and status credits on these routes.
The codeshare flight between Abu Dhabi and Milan will be operated by a two-class Airbus A330-200 seven times per week. Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam will be operated by a two-class Airbus A330-200 seven times per week. Etihad and Virgin Australia fly 28 times per week from Australia to Abu Dhabi, connecting to 14 codeshare destinations in Europe.
This is a continuation of the roll-out of Virgin Australia’s alliance with Etihad Airways, which already includes 50 codeshare and interline destinations globally. Virgin Australia will continue to work closely with Etihad Airways to develop a network aligned with the needs of their customers.
Etihad Airways currently operates flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane into Abu Dhabi.
Copyright Photo: Olivier Gregoire/AirlinersGallery.com.
AirEuropa (Air Europa Líneas Aéreas) (Palma de Mallorca) added Montevideo, Uruguay as planned on June 4. The new destination is served from the Madrid hub with Airbus A330-200 aircraft, three days a week.
Copyright Photo Above: AirEuropa. The first A330-200 flight arrives at Montevideo.
In other news, AirEuropa has added its first Airbus A330-300.
Top Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly operated by Orbest Orizonia as EC-JHP, Airbus A330-343X with the temporary registration of OE-ICB (msn 670) is pictured at Palma de Mallorca yesterday undergoing an acceptance flight (click on the photo for the full-size view). The airliner will be leased from CIT Leasing Corporation.
Avianca (Bogota) is planning to deploy its Airbus A330-200s on the daily Lima-Miami route starting on July 15 per Airline Route.
Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 N948AC (msn 948) taxies to the runway at Miami International Airport dressed in the now old 2005 livery (please click on the photo for the full-size view).
Bottom Copyright Photos: Avianca. The new look for AV. Airbus A320-214 N538AV (msn 5398) is one of the first aircraft to display the new look.
Czech Airlines-CSA (Prague) will place its newly-acquired Airbus A330-300 into revenue service tomorrow (June 1) from Prague to Seoul (Incheon). The airliner was delivered on may 14 and is leased from its new partner Korean Airlines (Seoul).
Copyright Photos: Czech Airlines. Airbus A330-323X OK-YBA (msn 425) is now wearing this new 90 Years 1923-2013 logo.
Video (in Czech): OK-YBA’s arrival in Prague on May 14.
The move comes as Airberlin, Germany’s second largest carrier, continues to work through its Turbine business turnaround program, and as Etihad Airways prepares for significant international expansion.
The recruitment transfers began in April when the first batch of six Boeing 737-rated First Officers arrived in Abu Dhabi to start type conversion training on to the Boeing 777 at Etihad Airways’ Flight Training Centre.
Upon successful completion, the six pilots will undertake line training on the airline’s global network, before being fully licensed as type-rated Boeing 777 First Officers.
Further pilot transfers will take place in the coming months, comprising Airbus A320 Captains, Airbus A320 First Officers, Airbus A330 First Officers and Boeing 777 non-rated First Officers.
Etihad Airways’ current fleet of 77 Boeing and Airbus aircraft will grow significantly this decade with more than 90 firm order aircraft scheduled for delivery.
Over the next 12 months the carrier will take delivery of four Boeing 777-300 ERs, five Airbus A320s, one Airbus A321, one Airbus A330-200 and one Airbus A330-200 freighter aircraft. Late next year, Etihad Airways will also introduce its first Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
Etihad Airways currently employs over 1,400 pilots, and plans to recruit 1,000 more by 2020.
In other news, Etihad has announced it has entered the second phase of its strategic partnership with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) following the launch of new Amsterdam service. The airline issued this statement:
The daily service, operated by a two cabin Airbus A330-200 and configured to carry 262 passengers with 22 in Pearl Business Class and 240 in Coral Economy Class, was launched on May 15 and carries KLM’s KL code.
The launch of the new flights coincides with the addition of 12 new KLM destinations out of Schiphol Airport which now carry Etihad Airways EY code. KLM has also added its KL code to a further six Etihad Airways destinations from its Abu Dhabi hub.
The 12 additional destinations that Etihad Airways customers can now access through codeshare operations with KLM are Stockholm, Aberdeen, Barcelona, Bergen, Birmingham, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Leeds/Bradford and Madrid.
These cities join the first phase of cities served by KLM, which carry the EY code, Billund, Cardiff, Newcastle, Oslo, and Stavanger.
KLM now has its KL code on six Etihad Airways’ flights to Abu Dhabi, Brisbane, Khartoum, Male, Muscat and Seychelles.
These join the initial group of cities served by Etihad Airways – Colombo, Islamabad, Lahore, Melbourne, and Sydney – which also carry the KL code.
In addition to flight operations Etihad Airways has this year wet-leased a Boeing 747-400 freighter from KLM. This aircraft, with a payload capacity of 124 tons, links the two cargo hubs of Abu Dhabi and Amsterdam, and increases our capacity to Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Dhaka.
From KLM’s partner, Air France, Etihad Airways has also wet-leased an Airbus A340-300 for use on the Paris-Abu Dhabi route from now until the end of the year.
Amsterdam joins a group of 17 leading European cities that Etihad Airways flies to including Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, London and Paris.
Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf. Etihad Airways’ Airbus A330-243 A6-EYE (msn 688) (Manchester City Football Club) arrives at Munich.
Video: Etihad Airways.
Oman Air (Muscat), the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman, has placed an order for three A330-300s, growing its A330 Family fleet to a total of ten Airbus aircraft. The aircraft will be operated on long haul routes and can comfortably seat close to 300 passengers.
Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning. Airbus A330-343X A40-DB (msn 1044) taxies at London (Heathrow).
Finnair introduces a second Marimekko print Airbus A330-300 logojet, this one for Metsänväki “forest dwellers”
Finnair (Helsinki) has introduced a second Marimekko Airbus logojet.
The airline issued this statement today:
The design collaboration between Finnair and Marimekko enters a new phase as Finnair brings textiles and tableware designed by the iconic Finnish design and fashion house to its aircraft starting on May 15. As an emblem of the cooperation, a Finnair Airbus 330 was unveiled today with a blue-forest livery based on the Marimekko print Metsänväki (“forest dwellers”). The plane will fly from Finnair’s Helsinki hub to the airline’s 13 Asian destinations plus New York, joining a sister aircraft painted in Marimekko’s Unikko (“poppy”) print last October.
As part of the collaboration, a selection of Marimekko for Finnair items is also available for purchase, both through in-flight sales and the Finnair PlusShop.
”With our Marimekko cooperation, we want to bring timeless yet modern Finnish design to the travel experience of Finnair customers,” says Anssi Komulainen, Senior Vice President, Customer Service. ”From mid-May onwards, our Business Class customers will enjoy their in-flight meals from tableware tailor-made for Finnair by Marimekko, and Marimekko napkins, blankets, pillows and head rest covers will be introduced during summer. The same classic prints are featured in Economy Class paper cups, headrest covers, fleece blankets and pillows.”
The Marimekko for Finnair collection was designed according to the airline’s needs by Marimekko designer Sami Ruotsalainen in collaboration with Kristina and Emma Isola, in original Marimekko patterns by Maija Isola. The blue, green and grey colors and the classic prints used in the collection tell the story of Finnish nature and the views seen when looking down from an aircraft window.
”The Metsänväki print by Kristina Isola is a strong statement about the Finnish spirit and the forest-inspired energy that makes Finns tick. The print combines the majesty and fairytale-like magic of the Finnish forest. This makes it an ideal greeting from Finland, carried on the blue and white wings of Finnair around the world,” says Minna Kemell-Kutvonen, Creative Director at Marimekko.
Marimekko for Finnair tableware and textiles have been designed to accommodate the special requirements of commercial aviation. The Business Class tableware is made of special light-weight porcelain which helps Finnair reduce aircraft weight, thus contributing to fuel efficiency and a lighter carbon footprint.
The fairytale like Metsänväki (“forest dwellers”) print was created by Maija Isola’s daughter Kristina Isola in 2007. The print is dedicated to dear and faithful friends: to the trees and bushes of the forest, which stay put year after year. Peace and trust are also reflected in the colorings of the design, in shades of green, brown and blue, of which the blue print was a natural choice to celebrate the Marimekko for Finnair partnership.
Qatar Airways (Doha) is negotiating with Airbus to acquire 10 to 15 Airbus A330s due to the Boeing 787 delays. Unfortunately for Boeing, the compensation paid by Boeing is going directly to Airbus according to this report by Reuters.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Eurospot. Airbus A330-302 F-WWKF (msn 826) became A7-AEJ on delivery.
Air France-KLM (Air France) (KLM Royal Dutch Airlines) (Paris) lost €630 million ($826.3 million) in the first quarter, compared to a smaller loss of €379 million ($497.1 million) in the same quarter a year ago.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Ole Simon. Air France Airbus A380-861 F-HPJE (msn 052) taxies at the Paris (CDG) hub.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Airbus A330-203 PH-AOM (msn 1161) taxies at the Amsterdam base.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) (Philippines) (Manila) has announced the launching of 12 new destinations to Australia, China, Malaysia and the Middle East, including a new domestic service to Northern Luzon in the continuing expansion of PAL’s route network.
The 12 new destinations include Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) starting on May 2; Darwin, Brisbane and Perth (Australia) on June 1; Guangzhou (China) on June 2; Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) on October 1; Doha (Qatar) on November 1; Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam (Saudi Arabia) on December 1; Dubai (United Arab Emirates) on November 1 and Basco, Batanes on May 1 (the last two to be operated by PAL Express).
PAL’s current network, operated with PAL Express, consists of 32 domestic and 28 international destinations.
Copyright Photo: Nik French. Airbus A330-301 RP-C3333 (msn 191) approaches Tokyo (Narita) for landing.
Aer Lingus to lease three Boeing 757-200s for thin trans-Atlantic routes, 1Q operating loss widens to $59.1 million
Aer Lingus (Dublin) is planning to wet lease three Boeing 757-200s starting in early 2014. The aircraft will be assigned to thin trans-Atlantic routes. The company believes there is growth potential on these new routes because of its new jetBlue Airways (New York) relationship.
Read the full report from Bloomberg: CLICK HERE
On the financial side, the company will seek to reduce its staff by 100 positions by the end of the year after its first quarter operating loss widened to $59.1 million.
Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection. The Boeing 757s will supplement the Airbus A330 fleet. A330-302 EI-EDY (msn 1025) prepares to depart from the Dublin hub.
Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (Honolulu), the parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. (Honolulu), reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2013.
First Quarter 2013 Financial Results
- Available seat mile (ASM) for scheduled operations increased 26.1% year-over-year.
- Adjusted net loss, reflecting economic fuel expense, of $14.8 million or $0.29 per diluted share.
- GAAP net loss of $17.1 million or $0.33 cents per diluted share.
- Cost per available seat mile (CASM), excluding fuel, decrease of 7.9% year-over-year.
- CASM decrease of 5.7% year-over-year.
- Unrestricted cash and cash equivalents of $438.2 million.
Mark Dunkerley, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented that “Our results for the quarter were disappointing but unsurprising. Our performance was undermined by an extraordinary increase in total industry capacity between Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast and in certain international markets during what is traditionally the weakest quarter of the year. However, good cost control and an improvement in our Neighbor Island segment helped offset some of the impact during the period. Looking ahead, published schedules show capacity beginning to decline in the second half which should improve the operating environment.
Throughout, Hawaiian continued to develop its network by growing into new origin markets for the Hawaii visitor. We launched services to Auckland, New Zealand in March and in the next six months will add Sendai, Japan and Taipei, Taiwan to our increasingly diverse network of destinations. Our formula of competitive unit costs and a high level of service have allowed us to establish the optimal brand for serving Hawaii that makes us the carrier of choice in the markets we serve.”
Statistical data, as well as a reconciliation of the reported non-GAAP financial measures, can be found in the accompanying tables.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
As of March 31, 2013, the Company had:
- Unrestricted cash and cash equivalents of $438.2 million.
- Available borrowing capacity of $69 million under Hawaiian’s Revolving Credit Facility.
- Outstanding debt and capital lease obligations of approximately $648 million consisting of the following:
- $242 million outstanding under secured loan agreements to finance a portion of the purchase price for four Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
- $167 million outstanding under secured loan agreements to finance a portion of the purchase price for 15 Boeing 717-200 aircraft.
- $104 million in capital lease obligations to finance an Airbus A330-200 and two Boeing 717-200 aircraft.
- $61 million outstanding under floating rate notes issued in conjunction with the acquisition of three Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft.
- $74 million outstanding of Convertible Senior Notes.
- Ranked #1 nationally for the ninth consecutive year for on-time performance in 2012 and the month of February 2013 by the U.S. Department of Transportation Air Travel Consumer Report.
- Unveiled branding and livery for our new Neighbor Island turboprop operations as ‘Ohana by Hawaiian for service to begin in the summer between Honolulu and Moloka’i and Lana’i.
- Added one new Airbus A330-200 aircraft in February for North America and International service.
- Executed a purchase agreement with Airbus for 16 new A321neo aircraft for delivery between 2017 and 2020, with purchase rights for an additional nine aircraft. The long-range, single-aisle aircraft will complement Hawaiian’s existing fleet of twin-aisle aircraft used for long-haul flying between Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast.
New routes and increased frequencies
- Honolulu to Auckland, New Zealand three-times-weekly service launched in March 2013.
- Announced Honolulu to Sendai, Japan three-times-weekly service beginning in June 2013.
- Announced Honolulu to Taipei, Taiwan three-times-weekly service beginning in July 2013.
- Announced the addition of seasonal frequency flights between Honolulu and three Oceania gateways, Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland in September and October 2013.
- Announced three-times-weekly service between Honolulu and Beijing, China beginning in April 2014 pending government approval.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 N382HA (msn 1171) is pictured on final approach into Los Angeles International Airport.
Iberia (Madrid) is facing more labor strife. According to this report by the Financial Times the company is planning deeper wage cuts after talks with the unions failed.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
In other news, Iberia introduced the new Airbus A330-300 on the Madrid-Miami route on April 15.
With a configuration of 36 seats in the Business cabin and 242 in the Economy class, the Business Plus section in the new A330s features wider seats that unfold into perfectly flat beds almost 80 inches long, housed in individual modules, each of them with direct access to the aisle. The design and positioning of the new seats ensure greater privacy and comfort to passengers. Lighting in the Business class cabin changes at the different phases of the flight and the seats offer more space for customers’ belongings.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Airbus A330-302 EC-LUB (msn 1377) arrives at London (Heathrow).
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is upgrading its Airbus A330 fleet – the final fleet type to receive the modification – to include full flat-bed seats in the BusinessElite cabin and new “slim line” seats, which offer more personal space throughout the Economy cabin. The first modified A330 operated its first flight yesterday from Atlanta to Detroit and will operate from Detroit to Amsterdam today. There are 32 A330s in the Delta fleet.
To date, more than 60 percent of Delta’s widebody international fleet has been upgraded with direct-aisle access full flat-bed seats. Already, Delta’s fleet of 16 Boeing 747-400 aircraft, 18 Boeing 777 aircraft and 21 Boeing 767-400ER have been retrofitted with full flat-bed seats. Thirty-five Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with new full flat-bed BusinessElite seats are currently flying, with the entire fleet of 58 aircraft scheduled for completion by the end of 2013. The full international widebody fleet of more than 140 aircraft will be complete by mid-2014.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A330-223 N858NW (msn 718) completes its final approach into Los Angeles International Airport.
Alitalia (2nd) (Compagnie Aerea Italiana) (Rome) will restore the Milan (Malpensa)-Miami route for the winter season on October 27 per Airline Route. The route will be operated three days per week with Airbus A330-200s.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Airbus A330-202 EI-EJG (msn 1123) approaches JFK International Airport in New York for landing.
Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) today announced it plans to launch non-stop service between Honolulu and Beijing, China in April 2014, pending approvals by U.S. and Chinese regulatory agencies.
The new service is Hawaiian’s tenth new international destination since November 2010.
The Hawai’i Tourism Authority estimates the new service will generate $81 million in annual visitor expenditures and $8.47 million in tax revenue for Hawai’i.
The new service will be launched from Honolulu on April 16, 2014 and will operate three times each week using a 294-seat A330 aircraft. It will be the only non-stop service between Honolulu and Beijing, which has a population of more than 20 million.
Subject to government approvals, Hawaiian’s Flight HA 887 will depart Honolulu International Airport at 1:30 p.m. every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, cross the international dateline, and land at Beijing Capital International Airport at 7:30 p.m. the following day.
Hawaiian’s Flight HA 888 will depart Beijing at 9:30 p.m. every Monday, Thursday and Saturday, cross the international dateline, and arrive in Honolulu at 1:05 p.m. the same day.
Hawaiian Airlines also today announced it will discontinue its underperforming nonstop Manila service this summer.
Hawaiian Airlines flight HA 455 will make its final trip from Honolulu to Manila on July 31, and HA 456 will make its final return from Manila to Honolulu on August 1, 2013. The service, which operates four times per week, was inaugurated in April 2008.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A330-243 N381HA (msn 1114) completes its final approach into Los Angeles International Airport.
Finnair‘s (Helsinki) growing hub at Helsinki (HEL) is expanding due to an ever-growing number of international connecting passengers as the airline adds more routes to Asia. The airport is located in an ideal geographical location for these connecting flights. The Finnair Blog (and video) takes us behind the scenes at HEL. HEL is a pretty nice place to connect according to Finnair.
The airline is adding Tel Aviv and Hanoi in June.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Airbus A330-302X OH-LTM (msn 994) exits the runway and taxies to the gate at the HEL hub.
Air Transat (Montreal) has made the following announcement through its parent Transat A.T. Inc.:
Transat A.T. Inc. will add Boeing 737 narrow-body jets to Air Transat’s fleet, which currently comprises Airbus A310 and A330 wide-body aircraft, beginning in 2014. In so doing, the company will internalize its medium-haul operations outbound from Canada to sun destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean and Florida, for which it has relied on a third-party partner since 2003.
Some of the new aircraft will be permanently attached to the fleet. In winter, when demand on sun destination routes is higher, additional aircraft will be introduced on a seasonal basis. Eventually, Air Transat plans to operate five narrow-body aircraft permanently and six seasonal aircraft in winter.
Air Transat’s wide-body fleet, which operates on the trans-Atlantic market on an annual basis, will continue to serve certain sun destinations as well. In the years to come, the number of wide-body aircraft will be reduced and third-party carriers could be used in high season. In the same spirit, Air Transat should maintain its business relationship with its current partner, CanJet Airlines (2nd) (Halifax), beyond April 30, 2014 for certain flights. This strategy aims to ensure a so-called “accordion” fleet that meets the needs of the tourism market.
In preparation for the introduction of narrow-body aircraft to its fleet, Air Transat recently reached agreements with its employees that will enable a reduction in operating costs. Internalization of medium-haul operations, including the impact of the said agreements, should generate savings of some $8 million in 2013, $15 million in 2014 and $30 million per year in 2015 and beyond. In addition to the positive impact on operating costs, the grouping of operations under the same roof will pave the way for increased standardization of services to travellers and customer experience.
“A return to profitability remains our primary goal, and operating costs, particularly air costs, are an essential factor in profitability for any tour operator,” said Jean-Marc Eustache, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transat. He added: “Internalizing medium-haul operations has several advantages, including increased control over our aviation operations, the implementation of a more competitive cost structure and having Air Transat cabin crews on all of our flights.”
Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema. Air Transat previously leased in two Boeing 737-46Ms (C-GBIW and C-GBIX) from Virgin Express for the winter seasons of 1997-1998, 1998-1999 and 1999-2000. The long-haul Airbus A330 fleet could be adjusted to meet the new requirements. The older Airbus A310 fleet is likely to be reduced. Airbus A330-343X C-GTSD (msn 407) taxies at the Montreal (Trudeau) base.
Air Pacific (2nd) (Fiji) (Nadi) today (April 2) introduced its first Airbus A330 into revenue service under the Fiji Airways brand. The pictured A330-243 F-WWKD (msn 1394) now registered as DQ-FJT, operated flight 411 from Nadi to Auckland, New Zealand. The airline will officially change its name in June.
Air Pacific issued this statement:
Air Pacific (soon to be Fiji Airways in June) operated an inaugural (pre-Fiji Airways) “sneak peek” commercial flight with its first new Airbus A330-220 and new branding to Auckland this morning (Tuesday April 2), reflecting the commitment of Fiji’s national carrier to one of its most important markets–New Zealand.
As Fiji’s flying ambassador, Air Pacific flies tens of thousands of Kiwi holiday-makers and locally based Fijian nationals to the friendly Fiji islands every year.
“New Zealand is an essential part of our global network, and we are excited to be replacing our venerable B747s with new state-of-the art A330 aircraft that come equipped with the latest in passenger comfort and in-flight entertainment features,” said Dave Pflieger, Air Pacific’s Managing Director and CEO.
“With a history spanning more than 60 years, in June, Air Pacific will be returning to its 1951 roots with new ‘Fiji Airways’ branding as well as new service, new product, and new crew uniforms that are authentic, distinctive and true to our friendly Fijian culture and heritage,” he said.
The airline is offering New Zealanders an early preview of just the plane at this point, since the remainder of the new branding and new service model will not be rolled out until June 2013.
The first aircraft, which has been designed exclusively for Fiji’s national carrier, is named after one of Fiji’s 333 beautiful islands, the Island of Taveuni, also known as ‘The Garden Island’ – a nod to the airline’s heritage.
“Our new planes and stunning new branding is already a great source of pride among the Fijian community, in Fiji and here in Auckland.
“Air Pacific punches well above its weight for a relatively small airline. It is one of only seven airlines to operate multiple international routes from New Zealand, and is the only airline that offers a daily business class service from New Zealand to Fiji and on to Los Angeles and Hong Kong.”
“We already pride ourselves on our ability to deliver award-winning world-class service to our guests from New Zealand, Australia, the U.S. and beyond, and we think we will have a truly winning combination when we combine our superb people with fantastic new wide-body aircraft–the first wide-body planes our airline has ever purchased.
As the only airline to offer a truly Fijian experience as soon as guests step on board, we believe our new aircraft will allow everyone to relax and start their vacation before they step foot in beautiful Fiji itself” added Pflieger.
As a full service airline that provides clients with complimentary beverages, snack meal, onboard entertainment and one piece of checked in luggage of up to 23kgs, Air Pacific’s exceptional service is also evident in their daily Business Class product when guests fly from New Zealand to Fiji.
Fiji Airways will be operating daily connections from across 17 domestic New Zealand cities to feed into international flights for Auckland to Nadi. Further, a total of 13 flights a week from New Zealand to Fiji will take place in 2013 (including CHC-NAN, AKL-SUV & AKL-NAN).
Copyright Photo: Eurospot.
Aeroflot to combine Vladivostok Air and SAT Airlines under a new company called Far Eastern Airline (DVA)
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) has transferred its controlling 52.156 percent of the shares of Vladivostok Air (Vladivostok Avia) (Vladivostok) (a member of the Aeroflot Group of companies) to SAT Airlines (Sakhalin Airlines) (Sakhalin) (a 100 percent subsidiary of Aeroflot). This move was made following the decision of Aeroflot’s Board of Directors concerning the creation of Far Eastern Airline (DVA) within the Aeroflot Group.
According to Aeroflot, “the new member in Aeroflot Group of companies will satisfy the growing demand for regional flights offering the highest service standards in one of the most impressively developing regions of the country — Russia’s Far East.”
Aeroflot continues, “the creation of Far Eastern Airline (DVA) will contribute significantly to the social-economic development of this vast region with a powerful economic potential and will let Aeroflot Group become one of the leading air carriers in Asia-Pacific.
The establishment of Far Eastern Airline (DVA) is one of the key elements of Aeroflot Group strategy aimed at the creation of a large aviation holding which will successfully compete with the leaders of the global civil aviation.”
Vladivostok Air is the largest air carrier in Russia’s Far East, carrying about 1,100,000 passengers annually on its own fleet of planes. The airline flies to 24 domestic and 13 international destinations.
Copyright Photo: Vladivostok Air. V/A’s flight attendants.
Aeroflot recently celebrated its 90th anniversary of its creation as a state airline. Aeroflot is one of the world’s oldest airlines, founded on March 17, 1923 as Dobrolet. Operations commenced on July 15, 1923 from Moscow to Nizhniy Novgorod. The company adopted its current name Aeroflot on March 25, 1932.
Read the full report from Pravda: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl. Vladivostok Air’ Airbus A330-301 VQ-BEU (msn 055) arrives at Antalya.
SAT Airlines Route Map:
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. SAT Airlines’ (Sakhalin Airlines) Boeing 737-232 RA-73005 (msn 23100) completes its final approach at Beijing.
US Airways (Phoenix) today (March 30) will begin daily, nonstop service between its largest hub in Charlotte, North Carolina and London’s preferred business airport, Heathrow. The daily flight will supplement the airline’s existing daily service between its international gateway in Philadelphia and Heathrow, and replaces its current service between Charlotte and London’s Gatwick airport, which ended yesterday.
US Airways will operate the service between Charlotte and London Heathrow with Airbus A330 aircraft that features Envoy, the airline’s international business class. Customers traveling in Envoy will experience the remarkably comfortable and private Envoy Suite equipped with an adjustable seat that reclines into a fully flat bed. The Envoy Suite also features personal in-flight entertainment and a 110-volt universal power outlet.
The flight schedule is as follows:
|Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) – London Heathrow Airport (LHR)||London Heathrow Airport (LHR) – Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)|
|730*||7:05 p.m.||8:05 a.m.||731**||10:05 a.m.||2:10 p.m.|
* Flight arrives next day.
** First day of Charlotte-bound flight is March 31, 2013.
The flight will originate in Miami offering customers in South Florida convenient one-stop service to London via the airline’s Charlotte hub.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Airbus A330-323X N275AY (msn 370) arrives at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport hub.
Air China (Beijing) has announced that starting on May 17, it will extend its Beijing-Vancouver schedule by adding another flight CA997/8, which will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays with Airbus A330-200 aircraft. The new addition will bring Air China’s number of weekly Beijing-Vancouver flights to 11.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A330-243 B-6075 (msn 785) in the special Zijin Hao – Forbidden Pavilion Liner scheme arrives back at the Beijing base.
Iberia (Madrid) on March 17 introduced its new Airbus A330-300 on its first trans-Atlantic route from Madrid to Boston. It is unclear if the type will be operated to Miami as planned.
AESA, the Spanish Aeronautical Safety Agency, granted Iberia ETOPS-90 minutes authority. Iberia hasn’t flown ETOPS flights since it retired its two Boeing 767-300s (EC-GTI and EC-GSU).
ETOPS stands for “Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards”. Under ETOPS-90 the aircraft must follow a route that will allow it to reach a diversion airport within 90 minutes if one engine fails.
Copyright Photo: Wingnut. Airbus A330-302 EC-LUB (msn 1377) taxies at London (Heathrow).
Air Seychelles (Mahe) is now in the black. The flag carrier reported a net profit of $1 million in 2012 under the management and assistance of Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi). The airline issued this statement celebrating this achievement:
• Net profit of $1 million in first year of Etihad Airways management contract
• Significant synergies and cost savings from equity partnership with Etihad Airways
• Carried 247,750 passengers on its domestic and international network
• Introduced 19 new codeshares
• Expanded its international network launching flights to Abu Dhabi and, from March 24, Hong Kong
Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, has reported a net profit of $1 million for the 2012 financial year.
The positive result comes just 12 months after Etihad Airways acquired a 40 per cent stake in the airline and was awarded a five year management contract. The profit follows three years of significant losses.
The Chairman of Air Seychelles, Joel Morgan, said the past year had been focused on reshaping the business of the iconic Indian Ocean airline for success.
“The choice of Etihad Airways as a strategic partner has been the right one. Working with our new partner, we have had to make some hard decisions to turn the airline around. We are now seeing the successful results of our strategy,” he said.
“To record a profit after the immense challenges we faced a year ago is an incredible achievement. I am proud of the enormous progress Air Seychelles has made. The recovery of Air Seychelles is a new chapter not only in our airline’s history—but our nation’s. I am confident we have now laid the ground work for sustainable profitability and our brightly-coloured aircraft will cheer the skies for years to come.”
Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles, Cramer Ball, said: “In the first instance, this meant looking at the cost-base, and then stripping down the business right across the airline’s operations to find the right shape and size for our national carrier.
“We introduced strict fiscal control in parallel with business process re-engineering to make our operation more efficient. We are a very different business today.”
He attributed this success to leveraging the economies of scale and synergies arising from the equity alliance with shareholder, Etihad Airways.
This entailed the renegotiation of contracts for catering, ground handling and in-flight entertainment, and the conclusion of joint contracts for fuel, uniforms and stationery supplies, all of which improved service and significantly reduced costs.
“Our first focus was on a new network plan which could support the hugely important tourist sector in Seychelles more effectively with good connections and broader choice for visitors to the archipelago.”
To optimize the schedule and enhance connectivity with its partner airlines, the Air Seychelles’ network was expanded through 19 codeshare destinations with Etihad Airways, opening up key European markets, and with the introduction of four flights a week to Abu Dhabi.
The network expansion was made possible by renewed investment in fleet. During the year, the airline introduced an Airbus A330-200 and wet-leased an Etihad Airways’ Airbus A320 on the Mauritius route.
“We are going to continue to build our capacity with a second A330-200, allowing us to start flights to Hong Kong to capture the lucrative Asian leisure market in March 2013. We will also be increasing the frequency of flights to Abu Dhabi, Johannesburg and Mauritius.”
A recently announced codeshare with airberlin will expand the island carrier’s network throughout Europe.
Network development was accompanied by investment in product and service enhancements.
“We have responded to the demand from our affluent leisure and tourism guests by introducing a new international inflight product and can now offer a business class experience to rival any airline. Air Seychelles offers on demand dining in business class and is the only airline to offer a lie-flat business class seat flying into Seychelles,” Mr Ball said.
Seychellois produce now features on the food and beverage menus introduced to enhance the dining experience.
In-flight entertainment was also upgraded with every seat offering video-on-demand, with expanded movie selections and games scheduled for early in 2013.
The year also saw the integration of the frequent flyer program, Seychelles Plus, with Etihad Guest, opening the doors to many more exciting offers and opportunities for its 18,000 members.
An important element of the airline’s turnaround strategy was a people program supported by cross-functional teams from Etihad Airways, introduced to transform the structure of the organisation to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
In addition to right-sizing the workforce to 550 staff, the plan makes for extensive and on-going training both in the Seychelles and at Etihad Airways’ state-of the-art Training Academy in Abu Dhabi. One hundred and thirty-six cabin crew underwent training in Abu Dhabi to deliver a higher quality service. Twenty-nine pilots have also been fully-trained on the A330-200.
“Our team and our warm Seychellois hospitality is our secret ingredient and we are doing everything we can to make sure we nurture and develop our talent. We have forged partnerships to develop Seychellois talent and build career paths through MOUs with Seychelles Tourism Academy and the University of Seychelles. In 2012, 11 candidates were selected to join Etihad Airways technical engineering, graduate manager, and cadet pilot training programs.”
An on-going program will select Seychellois candidates for the career development programs in Abu Dhabi.
Established in 1978, Air Seychelles now has more than 200 domestic flights a week and a strong domestic charter business. The airline employs 550 people, 25 per cent of whom have worked with the company for more than 15 years. Forty per cent of the staff have worked at Air Seychelles for 10 years or more.
“Our partnership with Etihad Airways has made us a bigger player in the global aviation scene and we are better able to withstand the uncertainties and volatility in the global economy. In addition to our natural organic growth, in 2013 we’re looking to broaden our network through partnerships. Now we need to maintain our strategic focus and effort,” Mr Ball said.
Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten. Airbus A330-243 A6-EYY (msn 751) approaches Johannesburg for landing.
Air Pacific (2nd) (Nadi), Fiji’s national airline, has formally rolled out its soon to be adopted new Fiji Airways identity with the delivery of its first new A330-200 aircraft. The carrier will officially adopt the Fiji Airways brand in June, the new A330 will begin revenue services on April 2. The aircraft was officially accepted by Nick Caine, Air Pacific’s CFO, at Airbus’ delivery center in Toulouse.
The aircraft is the first painted in Fiji Airways’ striking new livery depicting traditional Fijian symbols of welcome, caring and connection of its people to their islands. The livery was designed by celebrated Fijian Masi artist Makereta Matemosi.
The aircraft is the first from an order for three A330-200 placed in 2011 to replace Air Pacific’s Boeing 747-400s and 767s with newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft.
“We are determined to become the airline of choice in the South Pacific. Our distinctive livery conveys the warmth and hospitality of our home. Our passengers will experience superior comfort with our state of the art cabin products once we start commercial operations with the A330 in April, with even better features and products to be rolled out once we become ‘Fiji Airways’ in June. The A330 is the most fuel efficient aircraft in its category and allows us to optimise our network and modernise our fleet to ensure future growth,” said Dave Pflieger, Air Pacific’s Managing Director and CEO.
Copyright Photo: Olivier Gregoire. Pictured departing from Toulouse, Airbus A330-243 F-WWKD (msn 1394) was handed over to the carrier today as DQ-FJT.
Air Transat‘s (Montreal) parent posted a first quarter net loss of C$15.1 million, down from C$29.5 million in the same quarter a year ago. The group issued the following statement:
Transat A.T. Inc. posted revenues of $805.7 million for the quarter ended January 31, 2013, compared with $829.3 million in 2012, a decrease of $23.6 million, or 2.8%. The Corporation recorded an operating loss before amortization and depreciation1 of $21.0 million, compared with $31.8 million in 2012 and a net loss of $15.1 million ($0.39 per share on a diluted basis), compared with $29.5 million ($0.77 per share on a diluted basis) in 2012. Before non-operating items, Transat reported an adjusted after-tax loss3 of $21.6 million in 2013 ($0.56 per share on a diluted basis), compared with $29.9 million ($0.79 per share on a diluted basis) in 2012.
“Changes brought to our organization over the last 18 months, as well as our decision to slightly reduced capacity, have contributed to the improvement of our results,” said Jean-Marc Eustache, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transat.
First Quarter Highlights
The Corporation posted revenues of $805.7 million, compared with $829.3 million in 2012, and an operating loss before amortization and depreciation1 of $21.0 million, compared with $31.8 million in 2012. The decrease in revenues is mainly attributable to the Corporation’s decision to reduce capacity on its markets (Sun, transatlantic and France), hence a 12.6% reduction in the number of travellers. On all markets, selling prices were higher than in 2012.
Revenues of North American business units, which are generated by sales in Canada and abroad, decreased by $10.1 million (1.4%) compared with the same period in 2012. For the quarter, the capacity on sun destinations was down 12% compared with 2012. Capacity on the transatlantic market was down 18%. North American business units recorded an operating loss before amortization and depreciation of $8.3 million, compared with $19.1 million in 2012. The improvement in margin is mainly attributable to higher selling prices during the quarter.
Revenues of European business units, which are generated by sales made in Europe and in Canada, decreased by $13.5 million (10.5%) over 2012, mainly due to a decision to reduce capacity. European operations generated an operating loss before amortization and depreciation of $12.7 million, similar to the previous year.
As at January 31, 2013, compared to the same date in 2012, cash stood at $247.9 million, compared with $214.0 million; working capital ratio was 1.0 compared with 0.99 and deposits from customers for future travel were $592.0 million compared with $598.4 million. Off-balance-sheet agreements stood at $531.6 million as at January 31, 2013, the decrease since January 31, 2012 being due to payments made during the 12-month period.
Outlook for the second quarter
The Canadian sun destinations market accounts for a very significant portion of Transat’s business in the winter. For that market, Transat’s capacity in the second quarter is approximately 10% inferior than last year, load factors are inferior, selling prices are higher.
On the transatlantic market, on which it is low-season, capacity is 18% inferior to the previous year, load factors are similar and selling prices are higher.
In France, where it is also low-season, medium-haul bookings are similar to last year, and long-haul bookings are 7% inferior (based on the Corporation’s decision to reduce capacity). Selling prices are slightly higher on both market segments.
To the extent the aforementioned trends hold, Transat expects better results than last year for its second quarter.
On the transatlantic market, for the summer, Transat’s capacity is down by 11% compared with 2012. Load factors are similar and selling prices are higher. In France, compared with last year at the same date, bookings are slightly lower and selling prices are similar.
The following are non-IFRS financial measures used by management as indicators to evaluate ongoing and recurring operational performance.
|(1)||MARGIN (OPERATING LOSS) BEFORE DEPRECIATION AND AMORTIZATION: Gross margin (operating loss) before depreciation and amortization expense.|
|(2)||ADJUSTED INCOME (LOSS): Income (loss) before income taxes, impact of fuel hedge accounting, ABCP revaluation, and restructuring charges (or gains).|
|(3)||ADJUSTED AFTER-TAX INCOME (LOSS): Net income (loss) attributable to shareholders before impact of fuel hedge accounting, ABCP revaluation and restructuring charges (or gains), net of related taxes.|
|(4)||NET CASH: Cash and cash equivalents not held in trust or otherwise reserved, less balance sheet debt.|
Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema. Airbus A330-243 C-GTSJ (msn 795) climbs away from the Montreal (Trudeau) base.
Air Seychelles (Mahe) on March 7 welcomed its second Airbus A330-200 in a ceremony at the Seychelles International Airport .
The new aircraft, Airbus A330-243 A6-EYZ (msn 807, ex VT-JWE), is leased from Etihad Airways and is named ‘Vallée de Mai’ in honor of Seychelles’ second UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. A6-EYZ is being operated by an all-Seychellois crew. At the controls were Captain Paul Belle and First Officer Hervé Morel, with the cabin managed by nine Air Seychelles cabin crew.
The Seychellois-operated flight is a significant milestone for the airline, which only a year ago retired its Boeing 767-300 aircraft and retrained all pilots and cabin crew to operate the Airbus A330. Equity partner Etihad Airways provided the training at its world-class facilities in Abu Dhabi.
Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten. The first Airbus A330 is this A330-243 registered as A6-EYY (msn 751) and was leased from Etihad Airways on July 3, 2012. A6-EYY, pictured arriving at Johannesburg, is named “Aldabra”.
Air Namibia (Windhoek) is making changes. The government of the Republic of Namibia, Air Namibia’s sole shareholder, has decided to recapitalize the airline, with an equity injection in the form of two brand new Airbus A319-100 aircraft (total now four) for use on regional routes. New A319 services from Windhoek to Gaborone (three times a week) and Harare (four times a week) will commence on May 15.
The airline is also adding two Airbus A330-200s to replace the current two A340-300s which are operated on the valuable Windhoek-Frankfurt route. The first of the A330-200 aircraft is expected to enter the fleet in October 2013 and the second one is expected to enter the fleet in November 2013. These aircraft will offer 30 business class seats with full flat beds and personalized video and audio inflight entertainment, and 214 economy class seats also fitted with personalized audio/video inflight entertainment system.
However the carrier is expected to drop the Windhoek-Accra route on April 11 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. Airbus A319-112 D-AVWG (msn 5366) became V5-ANM when it was handed over to the carrier. It is pictured at Hamburg (Finkenwerder) prior to the delivery.
Finnair (Helsinki) has announced it will join the trans-Atlantic joint venture established by American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia in October 2010.
Finnair will add its AY code to select American, British and Iberia flights between North America and Europe (EU, plus Norway and Switzerland). American (AA), British (BA) and Iberia (IB) codes on Finnair’s daily flights between New York and Helsinki.
All together, the JV will operate up to 102 daily roundtrips between North American and Europe serving 42 gateways on either side of the Atlantic.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Airbus A330-302X OH-LTR (msn 1067) taxies to the gate at the HEL hub.
Korean Air (Seoul) has submitted a proposal to acquire 44 percent of the shares of unprofitable Czech Airlines-CSA (Prague) according to this report by the Wall Street Journal. Reportedly Korean was the only bidder for this minority share. The airline is currently owned by the Czech Ministry of Finance (56.92%), Czech Consolidation Agency (34.59%) and other Czech institutions.
Previously in December 2012, Czech Airlines announced it would acquire the Airbus A330 starting in June 2013, enabling the flag carrier to launch new scheduled service to Seoul, South Korea, and to initiate more intensive code-share cooperation with Korean Air in operating long-haul flights from Prague via Seoul to Asia.
Korean Air wants a larger presence in Europe and, if successful, would not interfere with Czech management of the company.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
On the financial side, KAL issued this statement:
Korean Air, South Korea’s flagship airline, has announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ending December 31, 2012.
Due to weak economic recovery and high fuel prices, Korean Air posted an operating income of 3,083.5 billion KRW for the fourth quarter of 2012, and an operating loss of 17.6 billion KRW. International passenger and cargo business remained the major revenue contributors for the airline in Q4, accounting for 56.4% and 26.5% of the operating revenue respectively. Compared to the same period last year net income for Q4 increased by 215.1% to 140.3 billion KRW.
For the full year of 2012, the airline recorded an operating income of 12,728 billion KRW, up 3.7% year-on-year, and an operating profit of 322.4 billion KRW. The net income for 2012 returned to the black and reached 256.4 billion KRW.
Copyright Photo: Jacek Fiszer. Czech Airlines has retired its Boeing fleet and now operates an Airbus and ATR fleet only. Airbus A319-112 OK-PET (msn 4258) approaches Warsaw.
Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) and its Star Alliance partner Thai Airways International (Bangkok) on April 8 will expand their present code-share agreement to also cover Stockholm – Bangkok, Oslo – Bangkok and Copenhagen – Bangkok. This will be in addition to the present code-share destinations on Thai’s regional destinations in Asia and SAS’ Scandinavian and European destinations.
Top Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren. SAS’ Airbus A330-343X LN-RKH (msn 497) departs from the Stockholm (Arlanda) hub.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Thai’s Boeing 777-3D7 ER HS-TKA (msn 29150) climbs away from the Bangkok hub.
Virgin Australia Airlines (Brisbane) has announced it will commence flying its two-class wide-body Airbus A330 aircraft from Brisbane to Perth for the first time starting on May 15.
The daily Airbus A330 flights to Perth on weekdays will depart Brisbane at 8:45 am (0845) and 8:15 pm (2015), arriving at Perth at 12:25 pm (1225) and 11:55 pm (2355) respectively. The return A330 services from Perth will depart at 12:30 pm (1230) and 10:45 pm (2245), arriving in Brisbane at 6:50 pm (1850) and 5:05 am (0505) (+1 day) local time.
A third weekday return service, operated by a Boeing 737 aircraft, will depart Brisbane at 5:30 pm (1730) and Perth at 7:35 am (0735) arriving at 9:25 pm (2125) and 1:55 pm (1355) respectively.
The weekend A330 departure is on Sunday departing Brisbane at 8.15 pm (2015) and Perth 10:45 pm (2245) arriving at 11:55 pm (2355) and 5:05 am (0505) (+1 day) respectively. These are complemented on Saturdays and Sundays by the existing Boeing 737 schedule unless stated otherwise.
On the financial side, Virgin Australia Holdings reported a A$61 million half-year profit before taxes for the six months ending on December 31, 2012.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Olivier Gregoire. Airbus A330-243 F-WWYU (VH-XFC) (msn 1293) completes a test flight at Toulouse.
Emirates Airline (Dubai) on March 1 launched daily nonstop service from Dubai to Houari Boumediene Airport in Algriers. It is the 22nd gateway for Emirates in Africa and the airline’s 130th international destination. The new route will be operated with Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati. Airbus A330-243 A6-EKQ (msn 518) arrives at the Dubai hub.
Alitalia (2nd) (Compagnie Aerea Italiana) (Rome) is again in financial turmoil. The flag carrier reported its loss for 2012 grew to $363.8 million from $89.6 million in 2011.
In addition, its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Andrea Ragnetti resigned after only one year on the job.
Read the full financial report from Alitalia: CLICK HERE
Read the analysis from Bloomberg: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Airbus A330-202 EI-EJP (msn 1354) lands at Miami.
Fiji Airways (2nd) (formerly Air Pacific) (Nadi) is planning to introduce its first Airbus A330-200 in its new name and brand on April 21 to both Auckland and Brisbane per Airline Route. The flag carrier is reverting back to its original name. The pictured A330-243 F-WWKD (msn 1394) on a test flight today at Toulouse will become DQ-FJT when it is handed over to the carrier next month. This delivery will also mark the change of the name for the company.
In other news, the revitalized airline is losing its CEO who led the turnaround. The company issued this statement:
Air Pacific Chairman Nalin Patel has announced that the airline’s Managing Director and CEO, David H. Pflieger, Jr., has notified the Board of Directors of his decision to leave the airline and return to the United States following the completion of his three year contract on May 1, 2013. Mr. Patel also announced that the Board would immediately begin the recruitment process for the airline’s next Managing Director and CEO.
“Given the exceptional results Dave has delivered, it is with immense gratitude for his extraordinary service that we have reluctantly accepted his decision to relinquish the helm of Air Pacific and return home. At a time when many of the world’s other airlines were struggling, Dave skillfully guided Air Pacific through one of the most remarkable turnarounds in the airline industry. Thanks to his incredible vision, drive, and leadership, Air Pacific is now again profitable and extremely well-positioned for future growth and success,” said Mr. Patel.
“I would like to say ’Vinaka Vakalevu’ or ‘thank you very much’ to our Board, to everyone at Air Pacific, and to the people of Fiji for an incredible three years. Fiji is an amazing country, and I am humbled by and grateful for the once-in-a lifetime experience that my family and I enjoyed and will never forget,” said Mr. Pflieger. “The tremendous accomplishments Air Pacific has realized over the past three years would not have been possible without the foresight of our Chairman, Mr. Patel, the outstanding support of our Board, and the efforts of some of the most talented and dedicated professionals working and flying in the airline industry today – the men and women of Air Pacific,” said Mr. Pflieger. “It has been an honour and a privilege to work with each and every one of them.”
During his three-year tenure at Air Pacific, Mr. Pflieger led the dramatic and highly successful restructuring, re-branding, and revitalization of Fiji’s national airline, highlighted by achievements that include:
• Restoring airline to profitability in just two years–reversing record operating losses of FJ$12 million and FJ$91 million in the two financial years before he arrived, to produce a FJ$16 million profit
• Winning first-ever recognition from Conde Nast Traveler magazine as one of the World’s “Top 5” Small Airlines for two years in a row (2011 and 2012)
• Modernizing the fleet by leading the landmark acquisition and financing of the airline’s first brand-new wide-body aircraft, three A330s, scheduled for delivery in March, May, and November of 2013
• Initiating and leading the complete re-branding, renaming, and restoration of the airline to its 1960s name of ‘Fiji Airways’
• Entering into an extensive code-share agreement with American Airlines
• Implementing the Company’s first-ever profit sharing and quarterly performance incentive plans for front-line employees; and
• Instituting a new and highly robust Corporate Social Responsibility initiative that now includes partnerships with the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development (Friend) for education of underprivileged children, the Mamanuca Environmental Society to preserve Fiji’s amazing coral reefs, and a soon to be announced health and wellness programme.
“As we prepare to fly as ‘Fiji Airways’ with brand new Airbus A330 aircraft, strong P&L, cash, and balance sheet positions, and international awards for being one of the best airlines in the world, it is clear that the company now has a proven track record of success and an exciting future ahead. With our modernization and rebranding almost complete and a completely new and highly capable management team in place, the time is right for me to pass the reigns and pursue other opportunities,” said Mr. Pflieger.
At the Board’s request, Mr. Pflieger, a business executive, attorney, and pilot with almost three decades of aviation experience, will assist with the selection and transition of a new chief executive and help ensure a smooth and successful introduction of the airline’s new aircraft and ‘Fiji Airways’ rebranding.
“The capstone of Air Pacific’s incredible turnaround will be the introduction of our new Airbus A330s. When we welcome the first of these three new wide-body aircraft in mid-March, it will be a proud day for the airline, Fiji, and all Fijians. Thus, I am especially pleased that Dave – as the architect of the airline’s turnaround, rebranding, and growth– will remain with us to see that through,” said Mr. Patel. “It is with great appreciation for a job extraordinarily well done that the Board thanks Dave for his leadership and wishes him and his family our very best regards for the future.”
Copyright Photo: Eurospot.
Current Route Map:
Iberia (Madrid) has taken delivery of the first of the five Airbus A330-302s that will enter service for the Spanish airline this year. The new type landed at 11:46 a.m. (1146) today at Iberia’s T4 hub at Madrid-Barajas airport.
The aircraft, A330-302 EC-LUB (msn 1377), is named “Tikal” and is equipped with IB’s new business and economy class interiors for long-haul flights.
In other news, the flag carrier is facing a new round of strikes by its employees on February 18 and February 22, grounding 415 of the 1,060 flights according to Reuters. The strike is also expected to affect Vueling Airlines and Iberia Express.
Copyright Photo: #SaveIberia. EC-LUB arrives at the MAD base. The new type is due to go into revenue service on the Madrid-Luanda route. Iberia had wanted to introduce a new livery with this new type but has decided to delay any new brand.
Ryanair was notified this morning (February 12) at a State of Play meeting with the EU Commission, that the EU Commission intends to prohibit Ryanair’s offer for Aer Lingus, despite the fact that Ryanair has met every competition concern raised in the EU’s Statement of Objections and during the review process, including providing the EU – at its request – with irrevocable commitments from not one, but two, upfront buyers to eliminate all competitive overlaps between Ryanair and Aer Lingus. IAG has committed that they would take over divestments of Ryanair’s and Aer Lingus’ entire London-Gatwick operations, and Flybe has committed to take over 43 Aer Lingus UK and European routes.
AirEuropa (Palma de Mallorca and Madrid) will add Montevideo, Uruguay and the Madrid-Montevideo nonstop route on June 3. The new route will be served three days a week with Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Airbus A330-243 EC-LQP (msn 526) taxies at Geneva.
Batavia Air (Jakarta) ceased operations on January 31 and went into bankruptcy protection. The trustees appointed to oversee the bankruptcy estimate the bankrupt carrier owes over $123 million to its creditors including its lessors, employees, passengers and other businesses according to this report by the Jakarta Post.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Kenneth Wong. Airbus A319-132 PK-YVC (msn 2660) prepares to land at Singapore.
The cabin of the Airbus A330-202 (Batavia Air):
Copyright Photos: Batavia Air. Batavia Air also operated two Airbus A330-202s (PK-YVI and PK-YVJ), Airbus A319s, A320s and an A321 and a large Boeing 737-300/400 Classic fleet.
Aer Lingus Group plc (Aer Lingus) (Dublin) has announced its unaudited preliminary results for the full year ending on December 31, 2012. The company reported:
- Operating profit, before exceptional items, of $92.9 million (€69.1 million) (up from $65.9 million – €49.1 million in 2011), up 40.7% with strong operating margin of 5.0% (2011: 3.8%).
- - Total revenue up 8.2% with capacity growth of 0.5%.
- - Strong balance sheet; total cash up 1.5% to $1.2 billion – €908.5 million as at December 31, 2012. Debt down 7.9% to $714.6 million – €531.6 million.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection. Set against stormy skies, Airbus A330-202 EI-DAA (msn 397) arrives back at the Dublin base and hub.
Turkish Airlines (Istanbul) has signed a firm order for two additional A330-300 passenger aircraft and three options as part of the carrier’s continued growth plans. The additional order for the A330 Family is taking their total firm order for the type to 38. Turkish Airlines placed their first order with Airbus in 1984, and today operate 104 Airbus aircraft in total.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. The carrier currently has 10 A330-300s in service. A330-343X TC-JNR (msn 1311) completes its final approach into London (Heathrow).
QANTAS Airways announces new improvements to its international route network as a result of the Emirates relation
QANTAS Airways (Sydney) today announced a series of improvements to its international network, as part of a phased approach aimed at delivering the best offering of any airline flying between Australia and Asia.
The improvements – the first of which take effect from March 31, 2013 – will be rolled out in four phases and go towards the QANTAS Group strategy of ‘growing with Asia’. The planned phases are:
- Stronger links to the key hubs of Singapore and Hong Kong (better frequency and timings as well as increased dedicated capacity)
- Enhanced customer experience (improvements to cabin, in-flight entertainment, lounges)
- Expanded network within Asia through local partners (such as Japan Airlines, China Eastern, Jet Airways, Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airlines)
- Investigating an increase in destinations to Asia using the QANTAS Group’s Boeing 787-9 options from 2016, coinciding with the turnaround of QANTAS International (direct destinations under consideration include Beijing, Seoul, Mumbai, Delhi and Tokyo-Haneda).
The new QANTAS lounge in Singapore will open on March 31 and the new Hong Kong First lounge is scheduled to open this September. A total of $9 million has been invested in the upgrades.
QANTAS is also examining a refresh of its international A330 fleet to include a lie-flat bed in Business Class.
Chief Executive Officer of QANTAS International, Simon Hickey, said Asia remained a key pillar of the goal to be the best for global travellers.
“Through a combination of QANTAS, Jetstar and our partners we aim to provide the best travel options between Australia and Asia, all linked to one of the world’s leading frequent flyer programs,” said Mr Hickey.
“Our first step has been to restructure existing services to Asia now that they are no longer tied to onward links to Europe. The number of dedicated seats on QANTAS services to Hong Kong and Singapore is increasing significantly, because capacity previously set aside for customers going to Europe via these hubs can be freed up.
“The joint QANTAS-Emirates network into Asia gives our customers a fresh set of options, including double daily services to Singapore from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The maturing Jetstar network gives travellers another set of alternatives once they land in Asia,” Mr Hickey added.
Key among the changes in the first phase of improving the Asia network, which will apply from today for travel after March 31, are:
- Better access to the key Asian hubs of Hong Kong and Singapore, with a dedicated capacity increase of around 10 per cent and 40 per cent respectively on the Qantas network plus extended capacity on the QANTAS-Emirates network
- Earlier arrival times into Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore, with flights brought forward by up to three hours to increase the number of onward connections
- A new destination – Kuala Lumpur – available to QANTAS customers via the combined QANTAS-Emirates network.
The QANTAS-Emirates partnership remains subject to government and regulatory approval.
As part of schedule changes made today, QANTAS is reducing its Perth-Singapore services to one per day and ceasing its Adelaide-Singapore and Perth-Hong Kong services. However, QANTAS will increase its Brisbane-Hong Kong service from four per week to seven and add four additional Sydney-Singapore services per week (increasing to daily from June).
Qantas has also brought forward the end date for its loss-making Frankfurt services by six months to April 15, 2013.
Passengers impacted by schedule changes will be contacted by the airline and offered alternative services.
|ROUTE||CHANGE||STARTS||Old dept/ arrival times (24hrs)||New dept/ arrival times (24hrs)|
|Melbourne–Hong Kong||QF29 Melbourne-Hong Kong retimed to better connect to onward flights within Asia.||31 March 2013||1330 / 2100||0935 / 1710|
|Sydney–Hong Kong||QF127 Sydney-Hong Kong retimed. Services reduce from 11 per week to 7 per week (removal of QF87/88 Sydney-Hong Kong).||31 March 2013||1040 / 1745||0955 / 1725|
|Brisbane–Hong Kong||QF97/98 Brisbane-Hong Kong increased from four flights per week to five in May and to daily in June. All services retimed from 31 March 2013 to better connect to onward flights within Asia.||6 May 2013; 24 June 2013||1100 / 1755||1020 / 1725|
|Perth–Hong Kong||QF67/68 Perth-Hong Kong ceases to operate.||31 March 2013|
|Perth–Singapore||QF77/78 Perth-Singapore services move from double daily to daily. QF77 retimed to better connect to onward flights in Asia, and the return of QF78 arriving back in Perth on the same day at 2320.||15 April 2013||1155 / 1725||0950 / 1520|
|Brisbane–Singapore||QF51 Brisbane-Singapore retimed to better connect with onward flights.||15 April 2013||1340 / 1925||1020 / 1605|
|Sydney–Bangkok||QF23 Sydney-Bangkok retimed to better connect to onward flights within Asia.||31 March 2013||1215 / 1850||0940 / 1635|
|Sydney–Singapore*||Four new services per week, timed to better connect to onward flights within Asia, increasing to daily from June.||31 March 2013; 24 June 2013||0940 / 1600|
|Melbourne–Singapore*||Dedicated Singapore service QF35, seven times a week. Timed to connect better to onward flights within Asia.||15 April 2013||1340 / 1920||1000 / 1555|
|Adelaide-Singapore||QF81/82 Adelaide-Singapore ceases to operate.||14 April 2013||-||-|
|JOINT QANTAS-EMIRATES SERVICES**||Dept/ Arrival time|
|Melbourne–Singapore||Qantas codeshare on EK405 daily service from Melbourne to Singapore||1800 / 2350|
|Brisbane–Singapore||Qantas codeshare on EK433 daily service from Brisbane to Singapore||0230 / 0815|
|Sydney–Bangkok||Qantas codeshare on EK419 daily service from Sydney to Bangkok||1845 / 0110|
|Melbourne–Kuala Lumpur||Qantas codeshare on EK409 daily service from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur||0240 / 0845|
*As announced on 4 October 2012
** Subject to regulatory approval
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A330-303 VH-QPA (msn 553) arrives at Singapore.
Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) tonight at midnight (February 1) became a part of oneworld® at midnight Kuala Lumpur time, adding one of Asia’s leading airlines to the global airline alliance that aims to be the first choice for frequent international travelers the world over.
The first flight in the new alliance is MH 386, which departed Kuala Lumpur at 1.40 am (0140) for Shanghai (Pudong). The national airline of Malaysia will be offering oneworld’s full range of services and benefits. Another key focus flight for the airline is the first departure by the first of its aircraft featuring the full oneworld livery – an Airbus A330-300 (see above) operating flight MH 129 to Melbourne from Kuala Lumpur at 10.15 am.
For Malaysia Airlines, joining oneworld completes the latest phase of its repositioning plan. Becoming part of the world’s premier global airline alliance will strengthen its competitiveness, enabling it to offer customers an unrivalled alliance global network served by partners including some of the best and biggest airlines in the world.
Malaysia Airlines, which serves more than 60 destinations in almost 30 countries, will substantially expand the alliance’s network in one of the world’s fastest growing economic powerhouses, South East Asia.
Its addition to oneworld makes Malaysia – which has one of the world’s 30 biggest national economies and with a population of almost 30 million – a home market for the alliance. Its capital Kuala Lumpur, the world’s 10thmost visited city by international visitors according to the latest annual Mastercard survey, is now a oneworld hub.
Malaysia Airlines connects new 16 destinations and one country – Brunei – to the oneworld map. More significantly, it will strengthen the alliance’s connectivity between many key business cities in Asia and other parts of the world.
Its addition expands oneworld’s global coverage to 842 destinations in 156 countries, served by some 9,000 departures a day operated by a combined fleet of some 2,500 aircraft, carrying nearly 340 million passengers a year, with annual revenues of US$ 110 billion. Add oneworld’s other members elect – Qatar Airways and Sri Lankan Airlines – and the alliance network will reach 860 destinations in 159 countries.
Currently three of oneworld’s active member airlines serve three points in Malaysia, with Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian flying to Kuala Lumpur, Cathay Pacific operating to Penang and its Dragonair regional affiliate to Kota Kinabalu.
Copyright Photo: T. K. Ali. It is a new dawn for Malaysia Airlines. The pictured Airbus A330-323X 9M-MTE (msn 1243) at Kuala Lumpur is the first aircraft in the company to wear the Oneworld livery.
Flight schedule (in local times):
|Flight Number||Route||Departure||Arrival||Days of week|
|SN515||Brussels – Washington DC||17h30||20h15||2/4/5/6/7|
|SN516||Washington DC – Brussels||22h35||12h10||2/4/5/6/7|
(flight time: 8 hours and 45 minutes)
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil. Airbus A330-223 OO-SFZ (msn 249) climbs away from the Brussels hub.
Air China to introduce the Boeing 777-300 ER on the Beijing-New York JFK route on March 31, will launch Chengdu-Frankfurt flights on May 19
Air China (Beijing) on March 31, 2013 will upgrade its aircraft to the Boeing 777-300 ER (see above) and increase its frequency from 7 to 11 per week for its nonstop New York (JFK)-Beijing flights.
Air China is the only airline with nonstop service between New York and Beijing. It is also the only airline with first class cabin between these two cities. Current daily flights between New York and Beijing are CA 982 and CA 981.
The additional outbound flight, CA 990, departs from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 2:50 AM, arriving in Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) at 2:20 PM local time the next day. Inbound, CA 989 leaves Beijing at 9:00 AM also on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, arriving in New York at 10:20 AM local time on the same day.
According to the airline, the “Triple Seven” has a wider cabin than any competing aircraft. It is designed for maximum passenger comfort and convenience. Air China’s Forbidden Pavilion (first class) features eight luxury suites, 41 full-flat bed seats in the Capital Pavilion (business class) and 259 economy seats with individual monitors and in-seat audio-video on demand (AVOD).
Designed for maximum passenger comfort, the interior of Air China’s Boeing 777-300 ER feature ten mood lighting variations in the Forbidden and Capital Pavilions, each timed to complement the different phases of a flight—from boarding through meal service, sleeping and pre-arrival. The ambient lighting recreates the sunset, night and sunrise to reflect the various services associated with each phase and create a totally relaxing environment.
Today’s announcement follows last week’s approval granted to Air China by the U.S. Department of Transportation to start four weekly nonstop services between Houston and Beijing on July 11, 2013 using the Boeing 777-300 ER. Houston is Air China’s fifth gateway in North America in addition to New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver. The Los Angeles-Beijing service, operated with the Boeing 777-300ER, will resume its double daily flights on March 31, 2013. Vancouver-Beijing is scheduled to increase from 7 to 11 flights per week on May 17, 2013. A bigger Boeing 747-400 full passenger aircraft will be used for the San Francisco-Beijing daily operation beginning on March 31, 2013.
In other news, Air China will commence nonstop Chengdu-Frankfurt service on May 19, 2013.
Chengdu, the capital of a province widely known as China’s breadbasket, is a southwestern Chinese city with huge growth potential. Recent years have seen a continuous uptick in the number of outbound travelers from Chengdu and other southwestern neighboring cities like Lhasa, Kunming and Xi’an who leave China via Chengdu. Currently, passengers who travel between Chengdu and other southwestern regions and Germany have to transfer in Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong, and the whole journey takes at least 15 hours. The opening of the new Chengdu-Frankfurt nonstop service will make Chengdu the third Mainland China city with direct air links to Frankfurt. The whole flight takes just 10 hours, which represents a significant cut in travel time. This faster service will be another driver of the fast growth in tourism and economy of southwestern China.
The three-times weekly service, CA431/432, will be operated with an Airbus A330-200 (see below) on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. The flight time is approximately 10 hours. The flight leaves Chengdu at 01:30 and arrives in Frankfurt at 06:10 on the same day. The return flight is expected to take off from Frankfurt at 14:00 and arrive at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 05:40 the next day.
Top Copyright Photo: Yuji Wang. Boeing 777-39L ER B-2035 (msn 38674) in the “Smiling China” special livery climbs away from Shanghai (Hongqiao).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A330-243 B-6117 (msn 903) completes its approach back at the Beijing hub.