Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras (Campinas-Viracopos) as previously reported, has filed with the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) for its approval for flights to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (FLL) and Orlando (MCO). If approved, FLL service will start on December 1 and MCO service on December 15 with its new Airbus A330-200s.
In the meantime, the carrier will start operating the new type on domestic routes from Campinas to Brasilia, Manaus, Recife and Rio de Janeiro (Galeao), also subject to approval by ANAC. The new type will be operated on domestic routes from September 1 through November 30.
Copyright Photo: Azul. Airbus A330-243 PR-AIV (msn 532) is painted in the special Brazilian flag motif and was delivered on August 20, 2014 from AerCap. The wide body airliner has previously been operated by MEA (F-OMEC), Gulf Air (A9C-KI) and Turkish Airlines (TC-JNY).
AirAsia X (AirAsia.com) (Kuala Lumpur) reported a second quarter net loss of MYR 128.9 million ($40.6 million), an increase from the MYR 32.3 million net loss ($10.1 million) for the same period a year ago.
The long-haul low-cost carrier issued this full report through its parent:
AirAsia X Berhad, the long-haul low-cost airline affiliate of the AirAsia Group reported its financial results for the Second Quarter (“2Q14”) and the First Half-Year ended June 30, 2014.
On the back of its strategy of capacity and network expansion to strengthen its market leadership, the Company recorded revenue of RM 671.6 million for 2Q14, a year-on-year growth of 36.7%, and cumulative revenue of RM 1.42 billion in 1H14, a 38.5% y-o-y growth compared to the previous corresponding period.
This increase was underpinned by the significant growth in Available-Seat-Kilometre (“ASK”) capacity that was introduced in the second-half of 2013, recording a y-o-y growth of 47% to 6.26 billion in 2Q14 and a y-o-y growth of 53% to 12.48 billion in 1H14. Passenger traffic volume in Revenue-Passenger-Kilometer (“RPK”) grew by 44% in 2Q14 to 5.04 billion and by 53.3% to 10.38 billion in 1H14, resulting in a passenger load factor of 80.4% in 2Q14 and 83.1% in 1H14. Consistently delivering load factor performance above 80% demonstrates the ability to keep stimulating new travel and tourism demand to fill up the new capacity added. This solidifies AAX’s position as the market leader in passengers carried to its core markets in Australia and North Asia, as well as its position as the global market leader in the long-haul LCC space.
The capacity expansion into new cities in its core markets, such as Nagoya, Xian, and Chongqing, as well as additional frequencies to cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Taipei, Seoul, and Tokyo have increased its Fly-Thru connectivity and attracted new passenger traffic flow that now uses KLIA2 as a regional aviation hub. Notably, the Company has approximately tripled its market share of passengers travelling between North Asia and Australia on a one-stop service, generating a significant new customer base this year compared to the previous year.
The Company continues to operate a higher number of flights for charters and wet-leases, with total revenues from this segment growing from RM33.0 million in 1H13 to RM148.6 million in 1H14. These flights are not captured in the ASK and RPK tabulations as they are unscheduled flights. Ancillary revenue grew by 48.2% y-o-y to RM290.8 million in 1H14, compared to RM196.3 million in the previous period, resulting in an ancillary revenue per passenger of RM138.50 from the 2.1 million passengers carried. Cargo segment contributed RM59.3 million for 1H14, and increase of 43.8% y-o-y from the previous corresponding period. Two A330-300 aircraft were leased to Thai AirAsia X (“TAAX”), its affiliate, generating RM25.3 million in lease income revenue in 1H14. TAAX commenced daily flights to Seoul since June 17, 2014 and will operate flights to Tokyo-Narita and Osaka from its hub in Bangkok from September 2014.
The resultant unit-revenue yield, as measured by Revenue-per-Available-Seat-Kilometre (“RASK”) was 10.79 sen in 2Q14, a -7% y-o-y decline, and 11.44 sen in 1H14, a -10% y-o-y decline. The rate of decline in RASK has been steadily improving from -15.1% in 4Q13 and -12.4% in 1Q14. Based on forward sales to-date and barring any unforeseen macro-factors, the Company expects RASK to resume positive growth in the second-half of this year, as the capacity expansion last year matures and the rate of capacity growth progressively slows down. Although the RASK yields have declined this year from 2013, they remain higher than the RASK yields recorded in 2010, 2011, and 2012, signalling overall route network portfolio maturity. The Company continues to target a positive growth in RASK for the full year of 2014 from 2013.
Operating expenses increased 61.5% y-o-y from RM986.3 million to RM1,593.1 million in 1H14. Although unit-cost as measured in Cost-per-Available-Seat-Kilometre (“CASK”) increased 4.6% y-o-y to 12.69 sen, CASK-excluding fuel declined -2.6% y-o-y to 6.35 sen. CASK in US cents declined -1.4% to 3.89 cents, due to the effect of the US dollar-Malaysian Ringgit currency movement, as a majority of costs, especially fuel, aircraft and engineering expenses, are denominated in US dollars. CASK excluding fuel in US cents dropped -8.5% to 1.94 cents. Average fuel price increased from US$127/barrel in 2Q13 to US$130/barrel in 2Q14. Controllable items such as staff costs, sales and marketing expenses, fell -13% y-o-y from cost controls and productivity improvements achieved from having larger operating scale.
Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, Amortisation and Rental (“EBITDAR”) dropped from RM183.5 million to RM53.5 million, while Earnings Before Interest and Tax (“EBIT”) dropped from RM46.0 million to –RM168.5 million. AAX recorded a Loss After Tax (“LAT”) of –RM140.1 million for 1H14 compared to a Profit After Tax of RM17.9 million in the first-half of 2013.
The Company continues to maintain positive operating cash flow in 2Q14 of +RM81.2 million, and +RM212.8 million for 1H14. Net Cash Flow was also positive at +RM12.8 million in 2Q14, as there were no capital expenditure incurred from financing aircraft on-balance sheet (the additional aircraft was on operating lease), no material new pre-delivery-payment financing for future aircraft, and no further capital investments in Associates. The Company expects to maintain positive operating cashflow and positive net cash flow for the full year, on the back on an expected stronger performance in the second-half of 2014.
Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X said, “Although our capacity expansion has put short-term pressure on earnings performance, the long-term strategic advantages are very compelling. We now have our strongest route network, with multiple cities in each of our markets, and strong frequencies that lead to convenient transfer connections. As we now have achieved overall market leadership, we have stablised our network, with quarter-on-quarter ASK growth slowing down to single-digit rates. Coupled with our position as the lowest unit-cost airline operator and leveraging on the strength of the AirAsia global brand and customer base, we have an unrivalled strong position for the future.”
“As we approach the end of the year after twelve months since we added a lot of new capacity in 4Q13, we expect RASK yields to return to positive growth and reach the levels recorded before the expansion. This in turn will return us back to profitability, particularly as global fuel prices are expected to soften, while Asian currencies are expected to stabilise. We are already seeing yields catch up in Taipei, the first route to have a doubling of capacity to twice-weekly services that commenced in July 2013.”
“Thai AirAsia X has been off on a great start, achieving a record 88% average passenger load factor in its first 3 months of operations on its inaugural Bangkok-Seoul route. The investments in international associates gives us more room for further growth and strengthens our market position in each of our destinations as customers have multiple direct flight options to choose from.”
“The 50 next-generation A330-900neo aircraft ordered will give us a huge lead over other players in this space, and ensure that we can fully realize our growth potential from the two new hubs that we have invested in, as well as other future hubs once the opportunity materialises”, concluded Azran.
Copyright Photo: Guillaume Besnard/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-343 F-WWYY (msn 1131) became 9M-XXG on delivery.
AirAsia and AirAsia X routes from Kuala Lumpur:
The Sunday Times: Monarch Airlines to cut more than 1,000 jobs, shrink the fleet to reduce its losses and find a new investor
Monarch Airlines (London-Luton and London-Gatwick) is at a critical stage in its nearly 47 years of existence. According to this article by The Sunday Times, Monarch will cut over 1,000 jobs, reduce the fleet from 42 aircraft to 30 in order to reduce losses. Long-haul flights will be dropped. The airline had previously announced it would drop charter flights and concentrate on scheduled flights. Seabury Capital is also leading the search for new investors.
A lingering question shadowing the company is its pension obligation.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Monarch Airlines talks about its history on its website:
The Group, as its exists today, came together in 1968 when Monarch Airlines was formed under the same ownership as Cosmos Holidays and Monarch Aircraft Engineering, following their establishment in 1961 and 1967 respectively.
Monarch Airlines was created to respond to the expanding charter holiday industry and demand for faster travel. In its early days Monarch operated with just two aircraft, but in the early 1970s the airline began to meet the requirements of an evolving travel market by committing to an all-jet fleet and by 1972 was carrying 500,000 passengers per annum.
The advent of mass market independent travel saw Monarch launch its scheduled division with increased routes in 1985. The Airbus A330 was added to the fleet in 1999 featuring new Premium cabin and a range of upgraded passenger benefits, followed in 2001 by the launch of Monarch’s first online booking tool. By 2007 online reservations had grown to over 90% of total bookings.
Monarch Airlines is now one of the leading scheduled carriers at its key bases at London Gatwick, across the Midlands and the north of England. Its current 30 aircraft fleet provides an annual capacity of seven million seats from six UK bases to destinations around the Mediterranean, the Canaries and to ski destinations in winter. The Airline also offers capacity to tour operators both through its scheduled and operations and traditional charter activities, where it continues with selected long-haul flying.
Monarch Airlines has always adapted to changing conditions in the marketplace:
On the Monarch blog, in this article written by Hannah Sardar, the author interviews Commercial Revenue and Network Manager – Marjan Schöke, on how the company puts together its schedule (Monarch just announced it was dropping East Midlands as we previously reported). Here is the article which is very insightful:
My name is Hannah and I work in the social media team for Monarch. We have had a few questions about how Monarch put together a flight schedule and why we have delayed the schedule for our Summer 15 flights. So, I’ve gone straight to the man who knows, our Commercial Revenue & Network Manager – Marjan Schöke to get his insight and find out how we create a network schedule. Who better to answer your questions?
So Marjan, I am going to start with a broad question! In a nutshell what is the process for setting up a flights schedule?
Well, in a nutshell proves a bit tricky. Creating a flight schedule is not single process but the result of a lengthy and continuous analysis. Let me try to give you some insight into the complexity of the creation of a schedule. Marjan
The basis is the overall strategy of the company. It defines what market segments we serve, what aircraft type we are using and so on. So for a specific period we have a picture of where we want to head with our network and how many aircraft we have available for implementing this defined strategy.
As a first step in creating a schedule we evaluate many different variables including; customer demand, market trends, the economy and passenger flows in order to evaluate the future profitability of a route. In addition many inputs from operations and maintenance have to be taken into account.
We evaluate market trends in detail. One question that needs to be answered is how the economic development for next year will influence the booking and travel patterns of our customers. For instance are they taking longer or shorter breaks? How taking short breaks? And of course we need to gain an understanding what the hotel availability is for certain destinations. All of this combined enables us to forecast market growth for the coming season. Keeping in mind the competition we then define how often we want to fly each route; we then decide on the aircraft to be used for a specific flight. This gives us the information we need to create our flights schedule.
A question I’ve always wanted to know is; do all airlines work the same way when releasing a schedule? Some airlines are before and some are after Monarch, can you please tell us why?
I would not be able to confirm how all airlines plan their schedules but I can say that in my opinion, the overall process is the same for each airline. However, the way the market analysis is done will differ for each airline, also pending what customer group they are serving. Doing research for business travellers is different from research on holiday-makers.
Why is the flights schedule for summer 2015 being released in stages this year?
There are a lot of changes going on within the company. We have new management and there are many people like me who have recently joined the company. A lot of new know-how and innovative processes are brought into the company. For example in my team we have adjusted our internal processes and we are putting much more time towards listening to feedback from customers or researching travel behaviour.
Our aim is to release a stable schedule that avoids as far as possible changes a few months or even weeks before the flights. We want to avoid rescheduling flights as customer feedback states this is really frustrating for them.
So, it’s taking longer because we are doing it once and doing it right. We have had a much closer look at each individual route, spent a lot of time on making the departure times more sociable with the ultimate objective being to give flexibility and value to all our customers.
We have already released four bases – Luton, Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester and may still add flights to these bases over the coming months however the review is on-going for Leeds Bradford. The schedule for summer 2015 will offer our customers a better service with more frequent flights to some of our most popular destinations, better weekend flight times & flexibility to book a short break or a mid or longer length holiday.
When is the best time to buy cheap flights – now, when flights have just been released… or later, when there’s a deal or promotion?
It’s always best to book as soon as you can. It is an obvious statement but, we have a fixed amount of seats available on each aircraft on each flight. The fuller the aircraft gets for a specific flight the higher the price will be. So, when no seats have been booked soon after the flight goes on sale; customers will generally get the best price. It is the objective of my team and I to fill those seats, whereas closer to the time of departure we have fewer seats available and this may increase the price.
We’ve been asked about why our flight departure and arrival timings are different this year to previous years, how would you reply to this?
We look closely at internal data, data from external sources and we gain an understanding from our own customers about which departure times suit them best and which routes they prefer. An example of this: we know that on certain routes most passengers prefer to fly back in the evening so they’ve had a full day on the beach and then they fly home. Of course this varies by route.
This is a good opportunity to explain about “airport slots” to answer this properly. A slot is the right to depart or land at a specific time at an airport. Some airports like London Gatwick are very busy as most airlines want to depart or land at similar times (the customer preferences are quite often very similar).
There is a worldwide rule that manages the arrival and departure slots.
Other alterations to our schedule are required due to slight changes in the legislation concerning cabin crew duty working times. A Monarch crew that start later in the day can for example fly longer than a crew that gets up very early in the morning and of course we need abide by the working rules set for our crew.
So, based on that answer, how do airports decide which airline gets which slot? That sounds really difficult!
Well yes it can be quite challenging at some airports. This is a lengthy process that is followed worldwide by all airlines and all slot coordinated airports. The rules are created and implemented by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and each country has a slot coordinator who is in charge of administering all the slots for the specific countries airports.
All airlines apply for the slots they require and then the initial slots are given to the airline. Whereas if an airline has flown consistently in the last season it is given the same timings (they call this a grandfather right) as before to try and give continuity.
This is why I explained sometimes we fly the exact same flight time.
However, it is possible for airlines to swap flight slots or request different times. Airlines then start to adjust their schedule once they feel confident about their slots. About two months before the summer season starts the airlines hand back all slots they don’t require and of course then a final swapping and adjustment to the schedule is completed.
Did you know? An airline is only given slot confirmation 2- 3 months before the winter or summer schedule begins. This is why sometimes we have to alter some schedule times – but this is typically within 30 minutes of the original timing. We also estimate the likely outcome of this slot allocation process so that our customers can book their holiday with more than 3 months’ notice.
Why do you decide to operate flights very early in the morning or very late at night?
An aircraft is very expensive and of course we need to utilize it as much as we can. Just to fly one flight per day within Europe “does not pay” for the aircraft.
This means we have to find the right balance between a lot of flying per day and the preferences of our customers. To find the right balance we speak to customers and research travel preferences. For example we have found that many people prefer to set off early to get the whole day at their holiday destination and this goes for coming back too.
If we depart too late in the morning we can only fly one flight per day which restricts customer choice and require us to increase the price for that flight much higher.
Why do we fly different types of planes to different locations, why aren’t they all the same?
We currently use a mix of aircraft ranging from the Airbus A320 with 174 seats to the Airbus A330 with 358 seats. Some aircraft have a longer range than others. Our A330 is being used for long-haul flying, whereas the A320 is better used within Europe. On airports where we have slot restriction – meaning we have only limited rights to take off or land at the ideal time – and very high demand for a route we might decide to use the larger aircraft. In addition; we create the schedule in a way that we can swap aircraft sizes between routes. This enables us to fly more of our customers to very popular destinations when demand is high.
If Monarch wanted to launch a new route, how does that work?
Well as I am sure you can image, a new route has to be researched well. Starting a daily flight within Europe can be very expensive. We need to be convinced that enough passengers will fly on the new route and will find it enjoyable for a holiday. We factor in “running costs” from an airline point of view including; fuel costs, the crew , the aircraft, government and airport taxes and also hotel prices when the customers arrive.
Where do Monarch fly to? Which destinations?
Where can I fly to with Monarch?
Of course we have a look at how many passengers travel to this destination already and what the destination can offer to our customers. One example is our decision to fly to Salzburg in the winter months as a Ski destination. It offers a wide variety of ski and winter experiences has a very good infrastructure and at the same time is an interesting city destinations.
Can you please tell us why are some routes released before others?
After the schedule is approved it is exported to the Monarch sales-system and put on sale for our customers to purchase. Sometimes we decide not to put every flight on sale as we are still waiting on confirmation of airport-slots. In some instances we also wait and see whether certain destinations are booked much better than anticipated. We can then have more flights to popular destinations.
Why do some UK airports have more flights than others?
This is due to different customer demand being different from the regions. Our customer profile and preferences are very different across the UK bases we travel from.
What’s the most interesting part of the process for you Marjan? Is it quite challenging?
I’d say the most interesting part is that each individual route does has its own “personality” and typical customer which I find fascinating. My team and I like exploring this”personality” through analysing data.
And while doing so you look outside the window and see a Monarch aircraft taking off… it is a fantastic feeling to know that onboard that aircraft are customers jetting off to start their short-break weekend or holiday. This is quite rewarding.
When I first started at Monarch in March this year, I thought that the travel behaviour of customers would be the same from all the UK bases we fly from but actually in reality it’s different. Birmingham has different types of customers than those who travel in London – even if the flights from the two airports go to the same destination.
What is the most common customer misconception in your mind, about how flight schedules are put together?
Understandably our customers have their specific flight on their mind when thinking of schedules and ask why I cannot put flights at certain times in the day. Unfortunately it is not always that easy. Our customers rarely know how much complexity there is in the airline industry – though I am a big fan to make it less complex!
Hopefully I have given you some general insights just how complex it is when putting together a flight schedule.
It’s easier to think about a single aircraft taking one flight out and one flight back but we need to be strategic about how we move those aircraft around and make sure we are flying to and from the places our customers want to go and we need to do this for all 42 aircraft in the fleet!
Having the overview over the flow of an aircraft (and even the whole fleet) is one of the most interesting things in aviation as every aspect of an airline comes together. My colleagues and I absolutely love our jobs, as you can probably guess! I hope that helps explain everything for you and our customers.
I think it’s safe to say I’ve learnt just how complex putting together an airline schedule is, thanks so much for you time.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. With the long-range routes being cut, Monarch’s two 374-seat Airbus A330-200s will be dropped from the fleet. The last three Boeing 757-200s are also being retired from the fleet at the end of the summer season 2014. Airbus A330-243 G-SMAN (man 261) taxies at Geneva.
Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras (Campinas-Viracopos) has filed with the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) for its approval for flights to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (FLL) and Orlando (MCO). If approved, FLL service will start on December 1 and MCO service on December 15 with its new Airbus A330-200s.
Copyright Photo: Rodrigo Cozzato/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 EI-FEL (msn 527) is pictured at Belo Horizonte (CNF).
Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) has announced it will offer nonstop service between San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Kahului Airport (OGG) beginning November 20, 2014.
The nonstop service between San Francisco and Maui will begin with flights four times a week from November 20, 2014 before moving into daily service beginning December 17, 2014. The new daily service will add a total of more than 210,000 seats to both San Francisco and Maui travel markets per year, and will be operated by Hawaiian Airlines’ wide-body, twin-aisle Airbus A330-200 aircraft, which seats 294 passengers, with 18 in First Class and 276 in the Main Cabin.
Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 N395HA (msn 1469) departs from the Honolulu base.
Lufthansa‘s (Frankfurt) CEO Carsten Spohr has outlined his plans for a new unnamed low-fare long-range subsidiary to Reuters. The new subsidiary would initially operate either with seven Boeing 767-300s or Airbus A330s. If successful, he would quickly upgrade to newer Airbus A350s or Boeing 787s (Lufthansa does not have any 787s on order).
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
In other news, the Lufthansa Group has issued this statement concerning Erbil in northern Iraq:
Following a reassessment of the security situation in Iraq, the Lufthansa Group continues to suspend its flights to Erbil until further notice.
Affected by this decision are flights by Austrian Airlines, which usually offers daily services to the city in Iraq from Vienna, as well as flights by Lufthansa, which operates to Erbil from Frankfurt twice a week.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-343 D-AIKN (msn 922) arrives in New York (JFK).
Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) and Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) today announced that they have signed the transaction implementation agreement which will result in a €1,758 million ($2.36 billion) investment to build a reinvigorated Alitalia as a competitive, sustainably profitable business.
The recapitalized Italian national airline will now be able to invest in a comprehensive strategic business plan which will see new long-haul routes from Rome and Milan, a revitalized brand, and a greater focus on Italian tourism and trade promotion. Italian travellers will be able to benefit from a wider choice of destinations while new global connections will boost inbound tourism.
Etihad Airways’ investment of €560 million will be provided through a combination of equity injections, asset purchases and other financing facilities and funding arrangements to re-structure the airline’s balance sheet. This is to be complemented by a further equity investment of €300 million from existing core Alitalia shareholders, including Intesa San Paolo (€88m), Poste Italiane (€75m), UniCredit (€63.5m), Atlantia (€51m), IMMSI (€10m), Pirelli (€10m) and Gavio (€2.5m).
Additionally, up to €598 million in financial restructuring of short and medium term debt has been provided by financial institutions and existing bank shareholders. €300 million of new loan facilities have also been extended by Italian financial institutions.
Etihad Airways will take a 49 per cent shareholding in Alitalia, for an investment of €387.5 million. Its total investment also includes €112.5 million to acquire a 75 per cent interest in Alitalia Loyalty Spa, which operates MilleMiglia, the airline’s frequent flier programme, and the purchase by Etihad Airways of five pairs of slots at London’s Heathrow Airport valued at €60 million. The slot pairs will be leased back to Alitalia on an arm’s length basis. The transaction is due to be completed on 31 December 2014.
Completion of the equity investment remains subject to completion by Alitalia and its key private and public stakeholders of certain conditions precedent and is also subject to final regulatory approvals.
Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan, said: “For Etihad Airways, this is a strategic, long-term commercial investment. On completion, we are committed, with the other shareholders, to build a reinvigorated Alitalia as a competitive, sustainable and profitable business that can operate successfully in the global air travel market.
“We believe in Alitalia. It is great brand with enormous potential. With the right level of capitalization and a strong, strategic business plan, we have confidence the airline can be turned around and repositioned as a premium global airline once again.
“Alitalia is the perfect ambassador for Italy and all that it represents. As we revitalise the brand, the airline will increasingly embody all that we recognise as quintessentially Italian – the history, culture, food and fashion. It must be an airline of which Italians can be proud.
“However ultimately it has to work as a business and the goal is for sustainable profitability from 2017.”
Mr Hogan said he recognized that many steps had been taken by current Alitalia shareholders, management and workers to stabilise the business ahead of new investment.
“Alitalia can succeed and it can grow again but it needs to build from solid foundations. We have made it clear from the start that our entire investment should be focused on supporting the implementation of the new business plan, which will see this goal come to fruition.
“The winners from this successful strategy will be Italian and international travellers, who will see better service, new routes and greater competitive choice; Alitalia’s employees, who can look forward to a brighter future over the long term, in a business which will grow again; and the Italian people, who can be proud once again of their national airline.
“There is a long road ahead, first to complete the transaction and then to deliver this new vision. Today marks a critical step on that journey and we are proud to take our place as a strategic investor in the new Alitalia.”Gabriele Del Torchio, Chief Executive Officer of Alitalia, said: “This is an excellent outcome for Alitalia. We have had to take some tough decisions in a very robust negotiation process but we have achieved the consensus we require to create the right shape and size for Alitalia in the future.
“This investment will provide financial stability and enable us to position Alitalia, and the travel and tourism industry in Italy, for long-term growth.
“And for this important result I’d like to thank all the Alitalia staff – men and women, managers and workers, pilots, crew and office staff – who have worked with passion and commitment for our new launch. The transition to a sustainable and profitable Alitalia has required tough decisions but we all share the conviction that this new beginning, oriented towards growth, will bring new opportunities for everyone.”
The comprehensive business plan provides for the revitalization of Alitalia’s brand, to embody all the things for which Italy is renowned – food, fashion, culture and lifestyle – in a ‘Made in Italy’ premium service concept and guest experience.
This will be accompanied by the implementation of measures to drive increased inbound tourism into Italy and to support the country’s economic growth.
While maintaining the relevance of short-haul routes, the proposed network plan focuses on the profitable growth of long-haul flying from both Rome Fiumicino and Milan Malpensa. This will include flights to new destinations, increased frequency in certain existing markets and an enhanced network to Abu Dhabi to capitalise on growing traffic between Italy and the UAE, and provide Alitalia’s passengers with seamless connectivity to Etihad Airways’ global network.
Starting from Winter 2014, Alitalia will increase frequency between Rome Fiumicino and Abu Dhabi from five per week to a daily service, and commence a new daily service between Milan Malpensa and Abu Dhabi. This flying will complement Etihad Airways’ existing daily services on these markets and open up a range of new connecting opportunities for passengers of both airlines.
From Summer 2015, Alitalia will also begin to implement connections between other Italian cities and Abu Dhabi, with plans for direct flights from markets such as Venice, Catania and Bologna.
Rome Fiumicino will emerge as a larger European intercontinental hub, with up to five new routes over the next four years, while long-haul flights from Milan Malpensa will more than double to 25 flights a week by 2018. Alitalia’s widebody fleet is planned to grow by a third, while its narrowbody fleet will be rightsized to meet the requirements of the new network plan.
Members of the MilleMiglia frequent flier program will be able to ‘earn and burn’ on Etihad Airways and partner airlines, with future integration of the programmes planned.
While network integration and optimization will deliver top-line revenue growth for Alitalia, the cost synergies inherent in the partnership will provide substantial opportunities. These include streamlined hub operations, and joint procurement in the areas of aircraft, engines, maintenance-repair-operations, training, catering, ground-handling and fuel. The partnership will also pave the way for the redesigning and automating processes and working arrangements in line with best practice, and the adoption of leading IT platforms.
To better serve the Italian cargo market, which is the third largest in Europe, Alitalia’s cargo business will be relaunched and expanded, with the establishment of a centre of excellence in Northern Italy, investment in handling capabilities at Italian airports, and the optimization of an integrated cargo network.
James Hogan said: “Italy is a hugely important market for Etihad Airways, from both trade and tourism points of view. The UAE is Italy’s top trading partner in the Middle East and North Africa region, and is home to more than 10,000 Italian citizens and 300 Italian companies.
“The possibilities when we knit together our network with those of our existing equity partners, including airberlin, Air Serbia, Etihad Regional, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia, Air Seychelles and Aer Lingus, and of course our strategic codeshare partner, KLM-Air France, will provide the most compelling customer offering.”
Etihad Airways currently operates daily services from Abu Dhabi to Rome and Milan, which complement Alitalia’s five flights a week from Rome to Abu Dhabi. The two airlines also codeshare to a total of 31 other destinations.
Video: Watch the press conference:
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Alitalia is very likely to receive a brand overhaul including a new aircraft livery. Airbus A330-202 EI-EJO (msn 1327) arrives back at the Rome (Fiumicino) hub painted in the updated 2006 livery.
According to Reuters, “Russia may restrict or ban European airlines from flying over Siberia on busy Asian routes, a newspaper reported on Tuesday, following Western sanctions which have grounded one Russian carrier (Dobrolet) and a billionaire’s private jet.
The Russian business daily Vedomosti quoted unnamed sources as saying the foreign and transport ministries were discussing possible action which might force EU airlines into long and costly detours and put them at a disadvantage to Asian rivals.”
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) receives around $300 million in revenue every year due to overflight fees by European Union carriers.
If this happens, will there be further retaliation against Aeroflot and other Russian carriers? Can Russia afford the loss of revenue?
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Read the analysis from Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Can Aeroflot afford this loss of revenue and possible further restrictions in Europe? Boeing 777-3M0 ER VP-BGF (msn 41686) arrives in New York (JFK).
Bottom Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. If Siberian overflights are banned by Russia, one of the potentially most impacted European carriers could be Finnair which has expanded its route network to Asia through its modern and efficient Helsinki hub. For Finnair, avoiding Russian airspace could be a major and expensive challenge.
Some airlines including the Lufthansa Group, QANTAS and Royal Jordanian are temporarily avoiding Iraqi airspace
Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa) (Frankfurt) is not flying over Iraq through today. The Group issued this statement:
After renewed consultation, the Lufthansa Group has decided effective immediately not to fly over Iraq until and including Sunday. This includes flights to Erbil in northern Iraq for this time period. Normally, Lufthansa flies twice weekly to Erbil and Austrian Airlines operates a daily flight. The company is also in regular and close contact with the responsible security authorities in Iraq regarding flight safety. Based on our own evaluations there is currently no danger in flying over Iraq or for Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines flights to the north Iraq city of Erbil. Nevertheless and as a precautionary measure the Lufthansa Group has decided to avoid Iraqi air space effective immediately and including Sunday. The reason for this is that the background of the decision made by some aviation authorities is not clear yet and needs a comprehensive evaluation. With this step the company carries the growing uncertainty of customers and crew members that results from the different evaluations of aviation officials. Lufthansa regrets the resulting inconvenience for its customers. However, the safety and security of its passengers is the highest priority of the company. The changed flight routes apply to all group airlines. In addition to Lufthansa, this includes Lufthansa Cargo, Austrian Airlines and Swiss. By avoiding Iraqi air space flight times will not significantly increase.
Meanwhile QANTAS Airways issued this statement about Iraqi airspace:
Qantas has closely monitored the issue of flight paths over conflict zones, particularly in light of the MH 17 tragedy, with safety our first priority.
We have no new information that alters our safety assessment of flying over Iraq, especially given the altitudes we maintain over this region.
However, given the various restrictions imposed by different governments in the past 24 hours, including by the United States’ FAA, QANTAS temporarily rerouted its flights within the Middle East to avoid Iraqi airspace. This change will apply until further information becomes available.
The flight path adjustment applies to services between Dubai and London, and is not expected to significantly increase flight times on this route.
We will continue to assess this situation and make any further amends we think are prudent.
In addition, Royal Jordanian suspended all flights to Baghdad for at least 24 hours on security grounds yesterday according to Reuters.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-343 D-AIKE (msn 636) departs from Toronto (Pearson).
Iberia (Iberia) will be getting new additional long-range aircraft to replace its older Airbus A340s. Parent IAG has made this announcement:
International Airlines Group (IAG) is converting eight Airbus A350-900 aircraft options into firm orders and securing eight A330-200 aircraft for Iberia.
These aircraft will replace 16 Airbus A340 family aircraft in Iberia’s long-haul fleet and will be delivered between 2015 and 2020.
Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “Iberia has taken significant steps to restructure its business and the progress made so far means that we can bring new longhaul aircraft into the airline’s fleet. These orders demonstrate our commitment to make Iberia competitive.
“Both aircraft will provide cost efficiencies and environmental benefits, enabling Iberia to replace its long haul fleet with modern and fuel efficient aircraft. The new technology and improved aerodynamics will lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions per seat by 18 per cent, as well as providing both noise and NOx performance advantages.
“Retaining an all Airbus long-haul fleet will also generate cost savings in maintenance and crewing”.
IAG secured commercial terms for the A350 aircraft as part of the Group long-haul order announced in April 2013.
The eight A330 aircraft will be obtained either by converting existing options from the 2011 Airbus order or from the operating lease market, depending on financial and delivery terms.
Gulf Air (Bahrain) received its first retrofitted Airbus A330-200 aircraft at Bahrain International Airport today (July 23), arriving from Canada. The plane is newly configured for a total of 214 seats in a two-class configuration of 30 Falcon Gold Class and 184 Economy seats with significant enhancements across both cabins.
Copyright Photo: Gulf Air.
The revamped A330 product introduces fully-flat bed seats in the airline’s Falcon Gold Class, upgraded seats in Economy Class and a state-of-the-art in-flight-entertainment system throughout, and was designed specifically for Gulf Air, integrating features based on passenger feedback.
Realized by three key partners: Avianor, Zodiac Aerospace and BE, the aircraft’s new Falcon Gold seats convert into fully-flat beds measuring 1.90 meters in length guaranteeing a comfortable night’s sleep. The Falcon Gold seats offer more personal space between seats than the airline’s previous A330 business class product, allowing passengers to sit back and relax in a 22-inch wide armchair that converts easily into the passenger’s desired position. The new Economy Class seats offer passengers the very latest in comfort: a greater recline to compliment an 18-inch seat-width and an adjustable head and foot rest that allows greater passenger relaxation.
All seats in Gulf Air’s upgraded A330 aircraft include an integrated Audio-Video on Demand (AVOD) feature, an individual touch screen (15-inch in Falcon Gold class and 9-inch in Economy) in every seat and high quality headphones. A suite of movies, video and audio titles in several languages are on offer, in addition to games. A USB port is available in every seat to allow passengers to easily charge electronic devices.
Gulf Air’s second retrofitted A330 is scheduled to arrive in early August while the carrier’s A330 fleet retrofit is scheduled to be completed by the last quarter of 2014.
Gulf Air’s A330 aircraft are used primarily on London and Bangkok routes.
Top Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 A9C-KJ (msn 992) taxies at Zurich.
Hawaiian signs a MOU for six new Airbus A330-800neo aircraft, reports 2Q GAAP net income of $27.3 million
Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus to acquire six new Airbus A330-800neo aircraft starting in 2019, with rights to purchase an additional six aircraft as part of the carrier’s vision to serve farther nonstop destinations from Hawai’i.
The order replaces Hawaiian Airline’s existing order for six Airbus A350XWB-800 aircraft, which were due for delivery from 2017. Hawaiian Airline’s overall capital commitments will decrease in absolute terms and will be pushed further into the future. For the period through the end of 2018, this amounts to $500 million. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the aircraft have a total list-price value of approximately $2.9 billion if all of the purchase rights are exercised.
“The A330-800neo’s fuel efficiency, additional range and commonality with our existing A330 fleet makes the A330-800neo an elegant solution to our need for growth aircraft toward the end of this decade,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian Airlines president and chief executive officer.
The A330-800neo wide-body is similar in size to Hawaiian Airline’s A330-200 which seats 294 passengers in a two class configuration (First and Coach), and will incorporate aerodynamic enhancements and new cabin features. The new aircraft will have up to a 400-nautical mile increase in range and reduced fuel consumption by 14 percent per seat with the latest generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines.
Hawaiian Airlines currently operates a fleet of 50 aircraft, comprised of 29 wide-body, long-haul aircraft (294-seat A330-200 aircraft and 252 to 264-seat Boeing 767-300 aircraft), 18 narrow-body 118 to 123-seat Boeing 717-200 aircraft and three 48-seat ATR 42-500 for Neighbor Island flights.
Hawaiian Airline’s existing orders include an additional four new A330-200s for delivery by 2015 and 16 narrow-body A321neo aircraft starting in 2017.
On the financial side, the company issued this statement for the second quarter:
Hawaiian Holdings, Inc., parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, Inc., today reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2014.
GAAP net income in the second quarter of $27.3 million or $0.43 per diluted share.
Adjusted net income, reflecting economic fuel expense, in the second quarter of $22.4 million or $0.35 per diluted share, an increase of $9.7 million or $0.11 cents per diluted share year-over-year.
Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increase of 4.1% and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increase of 6.7%.
Unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $564 million.
“The same trajectory of substantially improving financial performance was evident in the second quarter as it has been over the last few quarters,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian Airlines president and chief executive officer. “Strong demand across our geographies, good macro-economic conditions, stable fuel prices and good cost control inside the business all played their part. Absent changes to the environment or competitor behavior, our prospects in the back half of the year look similar. As ever, we continue to build the business with new routes, this summer featuring our first flights from North America to Kaua’i and the island of Hawai’i, and a host of customer improvements including the roll out of our extra comfort economy section of the aircraft. Our wonderful employees continue to deliver the level of service on the ground and in the air that set the standard for others to aspire to. Without their dedication, none of this would be possible.”
Liquidity and Capital Resources
As of June 30, 2014 the Company had:
Unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $564 million.
Available borrowing capacity of $69.4 million under Hawaiian’s Revolving Credit Facility.
Outstanding debt and capital lease obligations of approximately $1,071 million consisting of the following:
$708 million outstanding under secured loan agreements to finance a portion of the purchase price for eleven Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
$146 million outstanding under secured loan agreements to finance a portion of the purchase price for 15 Boeing 717-200 aircraft.
$106 million in capital lease obligations to finance the acquisition of an Airbus A330-200, two Boeing 717-200 aircraft and aircraft-related equipment.
$32 million outstanding under floating rate notes for two Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft.
$79 million of outstanding Convertible Senior Notes.
Top Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The new Airbus A330-800neo aircraft will supplement the current Airbus A330-200s and allow the airline to finally retire the older Boeing 767-300 ERs. Airbus A330-243 N383HA (msn 1217) prepares to land in New York (JFK).
Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A330-200 is hit by a rocket and burns at Tripoli, other airliners damaged, others flee Libya
Afriqiyah Airways (Tripoli) has lost a relatively new Airbus A330-200 (5A-ONF) at its Tripoli base after a rocket reportedly hit the parked A330 at the gate and the empty airliner quickly burned. There are now photos showing the destruction.
According to Malta Today, “Several Grad rocket struck the airport late on Monday, July 14 destroying 90% of the planes parked there, including a $250 million Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A330.”
The fighting by the two militia groups to control the the airport after a cease fire failed to hold continues today. The undamaged airliners and crews are being flown out of the country.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, “The weeklong fight over the airport is being waged by a powerful militia from the western city of Zintan, which controls the facility, and Islamist-led militias, including fighters from Misrata, east of Tripoli. The clashes resumed early Sunday (July 20) after cease-fire efforts failed.”
Read the full story from Malta Today: CLICK HERE
Read the full story from the Ottawa Citizen: CLICK HERE
Twitter photos by Mohanid Elghadi. Read his full report: CLICK HERE
US Airways (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) yesterday (July 16) launched its codeshare agreement with trans-Atlantic joint business partner Finnair (Helsinki), further enhancing its relationship with the fellow oneworld alliance member and providing customers increased access to Helsinki and beyond. Customers can now book tickets for codeshare flights for travel beginning July 24.
Through the codeshare, customers can now book Finnair flights from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to Helsinki Airport (HEL) and beyond. The codeshare will extend to additional Finnair flights from Helsinki, providing customers more access to 11 destinations including Brussels, Oslo, Stockholm and Zurich.
Finnair customers will now have more options when traveling from Europe to the United States on US Airways-operated flights to Charlotte and Philadelphia. Customers can also book travel on US Airways-operated flights beyond JFK to Phoenix.
As part of this relationship, Dividend Miles and Finnair Plus frequent flyer programs are able to earn and redeem miles on flights operated by the other carrier, providing another valuable benefit to customers. In addition, customers will now be able to earn miles when traveling on codeshare flights operated by the other airline.
US Airways joined the Atlantic joint business with British Airways, Iberia and Finnair as an affiliate member earlier this year, and will remain as such until it fully integrates with American Airlines.
Top Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways’ Airbus A319-132 N822AW (msn 1410) in the special Nevada “Battle Born” state livery lands in Las Vegas.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Finnair’s Airbus A330-302 OH-LTT (msn 1088) completes its final approach to the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
Transaero Airlines (Moscow) has turned again to Airbus to expand and modernize its fleet. The second largest Russian carrier has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Airbus for 20 A330 aircraft (8 A330ceo and 12 A330neo). This agreement makes Transaero an important launch customer and the first European airline to commit to the A330neo. The A330s will allow Transaero to continue the massive fleet modernization program and to boost its medium and long-haul domestic and international network.
Transaero Airlines launched services in November 1991, and currently serves more than 200 routes all over the world. Transaero will begin operating its first Airbus aircraft (A321) in 2015. In 2011 Transaero Airlines signed a contact with Airbus for eight A320neo and in 2012 became the first Russian customer for the A380, ordering four aircraft, the first of which will enter into service at the end of 2015.
AirAsia X (AirAsia.com) (Kuala Lumpur) has signed a Memorandum of Understand (MOU) with Airbus for 50 A330-900neo aircraft. The agreement sees the airline become a launch customer for the latest version of the best-selling widebody. AirAsia X will also be one of the first operators of the aircraft, with deliveries to the carrier scheduled to begin in 2018.
Avolon (Dublin), the global aircraft leasing firm, has announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 15 of Airbus’ newly launched A330neo aircraft. Avolon becomes a launch customer for the A330neo. The commitment was signed today at the Farnborough International Airshow 2014 by Dómhnal Slattery, Avolon CEO, John Higgins, Avolon President and Chief Commercial Officer and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO.
The A330-800neo and the A330-900neo are two new members of the Airbus Widebody Family launched in July 2014 with first deliveries scheduled to start in Q4 2017. The A330neo incorporates latest generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, aerodynamic enhancements and new cabin features. Benefitting from the excellent economics, versatility and high reliability of the A330, the A330neo reduces fuel consumption by 14% per seat, making it the most cost efficient, medium range Widebody aircraft on the market. In addition to greater fuel savings, A330neo operators will also benefit from a range increase of up to 400 nautical miles and all the operational commonality advantages of the Airbus Family.
CIT Group Inc. (CIT Aerospace) has announced a commitment to order 15 Airbus A330-900neo aircraft and five A321ceo aircraft, becoming a launch customer for the new A330neo. The Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) were signed at the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow by Jeff Knittel, President of CIT Transportation & International Finance and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President & CEO. CIT will announce its engines selection for the A321 aircraft at a later date.
The A330-800neo and the A330-900neo are two new members of the Airbus Widebody Family launched in July 2014 with first deliveries scheduled to start in Q4 2017. The A330neo incorporates latest generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, aerodynamic enhancements and new cabin features. Benefitting from the unbeatable economics, versatility and high reliability of the A330, the A330neo reduces fuel consumption by 14% per seat, making it the most cost efficient, medium range Widebody aircraft on the market. In addition to greater fuel savings, A330neo operators will also benefit from a range increase of up to 400 nautical miles and of course all the operational commonality advantages of the Airbus Family.
Emirates (Dubai) will commence services to Hungary from October this year with a daily flight to the capital of Budapest.
Starting on October 27, Emirates will offer 278 seats per day on the Dubai-Budapest route, operating a wide-body A330-200 aircraft in a two class configuration.
The Airbus A330-200 will offer 27 seats in Business Class and 251 Economy Class seats.
Flight EK 111 will depart Dubai at 0820 and will arrive at Budapest Airport at 1135. The return flight, EK 112 will depart at 1505 and will arrive at Dubai International Airport at 2330.
Besides Budapest, Emirates is launching two other destinations to Europe: Oslo on September 2 and Brussels on September 5.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 A6-EAH (msn 409) is pictured on the final approach to the runway at London (Heathrow).
Air Lease Corporation (ALC) (Los Angeles) has announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 25 A330-900neo aircraft, becoming the first launch customer for the new Airbus Widebody. ALC simultaneously announced a firm order for 60 A321neo aircraft. The contact was signed today at the Farnborough International Airshow by Steven F. Udvar-Házy, Air Lease Corporation’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO.
Including today’s order, ALC’s total orders and commitments for Airbus aircraft reaches 225, of which 200 are firm orders (50 A320ceo Family, 110 A320neo Family, 15 A330 Family, 25 A350 XWB Family) plus the MoU for 25 A330neo’s. ALC will announce engine selections for the 60 A321neo aircraft at a later date.
Airbus (Toulouse) issued this statement today at Farnborough:
Following a decision by the Board of Directors of the Group, Airbus has launched the A330-800neo and A330-900neo, two new members of its Widebody Family, which will incorporate latest generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, aerodynamic enhancements and new cabin features. Benefitting from the unbeatable economics, versatility and high reliability of the A330, the A330neo reduces fuel consumption by 14% per seat, making it the most cost efficient, medium range Widebody aircraft on the market. In addition to greater fuel savings, A330neo operators will benefit from a range increase of up to 400 nautical miles and all the operational commonality advantages of the Airbus Family. Deliveries of the A330neo will start in Q4 2017.
“The A330 is a very important margin contributor for our Group. It’s also one of the most reliable and efficient commercial aircraft ever. Customers love it. With our decision to re-engine the plane, we will keep the A330 flying high for many more years to come. The development costs for the A330neo will be incurred from 2015 to 2017 with an impact of around -70 basis points on Airbus Group’s 2015 Return on Sales target. However, we have a very good business case and the A330neo, once in service, will continue to significantly contribute to our group’s earnings,” said Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus Group.
“The A330neo is the logical evolution of our reliable and versatile A330 Family. It provides an optimal solution for airlines around the world looking to minimise their fuel and operating costs while offering best-in-class comfort to their passengers,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. “We see strong market potential for the A330neo, and like its market-leading smaller sister, the A320neo, we are confident this new aircraft will be a success in the medium-haul segment. We are again leveraging a proven aircraft with a wide operator base and making it even more efficient with the latest innovations and technology developments.”
In addition to the new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, the A330neo will feature incremental innovations, including aerodynamic enhancements such as new A350 XWB inspired winglets, an increased wing span and new engine pylons. Pilots will benefit from latest generation cockpit systems, and the already very comfortable A330 cabin will be further optimised to offer up to ten additional 18 inch wide seats. Passengers are winners too, as they will be able to enjoy a 21st century on-board experience with for example, fourth generation In Flight Entertainment (3D films), mood-lighting and full connectivity.
Will this announcement lead to the killing of the underperforming and smaller A350-800? Bloomberg Businessweek explores this question: CLICK HERE
Etihad Airways to launch nonstop Abu Dhabi-Hong Kong flights on June 15, 2015 and five other destinations
Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) has announced the launch of a four times per week service between Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong starting on June 15, 2015.
The new flights will complement the existing services offered by Etihad Airways’ codeshare and network partner, Air Seychelles, ensuring a daily frequency between the two cities, and bringing the combined number of weekly seats offered on the route to 3,620.
Hong Kong will become Etihad Airways’ seventh destination in Northeast Asia and its fourth destination in China joining Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai.
Etihad Airways will operate a two-class Airbus A330-200 aircraft, configured to carry 262 passengers, with 22 seats in Business Class and 240 seats in Economy Class, offering a total of 2,096 seats per week.
The airline has also announced five other new routes for the first half of 2015, starting with Kolkata on February 15, Madrid on March 29, Entebbe on May 1, Edinburgh on June 8 and Algiers on June 17.
Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 A6-EYD (msn 658) taxies at Zurich with the special promotional “Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2014 Formula 1″ markings.
US Airways (American Airlines Group) (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) is adding a second daily flight from its Charlotte hub to London (Heathrow) starting on September 13. The second flight will be operated with Airbus A330-200 equipment according to The Charlotte Observer. The second flight was made possible by the acquisition of the arrival and departure slots purchased from Cyprus Airways (Larnaca).
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: David Neal/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 N283AY (msn 1076) departs from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) hub.
The two airlines issued this short statement:
Alitalia and Etihad Airways today (June 25) confirmed that they have agreed the principal terms and conditions of a proposed transaction whereby Etihad Airways will acquire a 49 percent equity stake in Alitalia.
The airlines will now move to finalize the transactional documents, that will include the agreed upon conditions, as soon as possible. The conclusion of the investment is subject to final regulatory approvals.
Alitalia will become the latest equity partner airline for Etihad Airways. Are there more partnerships coming, especially in Europe?
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Alitalia’s Airbus A330-202 EI-EJG (msn 1123) in the special promotional Calabria livery prepares to touch down in Toronto (Pearson).
Garuda Indonesia (Jakarta) on June 15, 2014 officially restored the Jakarta – Tokyo (Haneda) route to meet market demand and broaden its flight network.
For Garuda Indonesia, the occasion signifies an important moment in history as its echoes the airline’s first flight from Indonesia to Japan on March 13, 1962 which departed from the old Kemayoran Airport in Jakarta for Haneda Airport in Tokyo via Hong Kong, using a Lockheed 188 Electra.
The Jakarta – Haneda daily flight schedule departs from Jakarta at 13.05 (Local Time) and arrives in Haneda at 22.35 (Local Time). On the return flight, GA 875 departs from Haneda at 00.30 (Local Time) and arrives in Jakarta at 06.00 WIB. To serve the restored Jakarta-Haneda service, Garuda Indonesia operates the Airbus A330-300 on the route that features a two class layout; business class with a seat capacity of 36 passengers and economy class for 215 passengers.
With the opening of the Jakarta – Haneda direct service, Garuda Indonesia currently serves 39 weekly flights to Japan, including the Jakarta – Osaka (Kansai), Denpasar – Osaka (Kansai), Jakarta – Tokyo (Narita), Denpasar – Tokyo (Narita), Denpasar – Tokyo (Haneda), and Jakarta – Tokyo (Haneda).
Through the codeshare agreement with ANA-All Nippon Airways, Garuda Indonesia passengers will be able to fly with ANA to various large cities in Japan, such as Fukuoka, Saporro and Okinawa.
In addition, the opening of the Jakarta – Haneda service will offer Garuda Indonesia passengers the choice to continue their journey to Los Angeles and Seattle/Tacoma with Garuda Indonesia and Delta Airlines codesharing flights.
The launching of the Jakarta – Haneda direct service is part of the airline’s “network” expansion program, especially in the international sector, following Garuda Indonesia’s official entry into the “SkyTeam” global alliance.
As a SkyTeam member, Garuda Indonesia can now expand its service network to 1,064 destination cities in 178 countries that are served by SkyTeam member airlines, which constitutes more than 90% of the world’s air traffic, with up to 15 thousand flights per day.
In line with Garuda Indonesia’s continuous expansion through the airline’s “Quantum Leap 2011-2015″ long-term program, in 2014, Garuda Indonesia plans to purchase as many as 27 new airplanes, consisting of two Boeing 777-300s, four Airbus A330s, twelve Boeing 737-800s, three Bombardier CRJs, and six ATR 72-600s.
Copyright Photo: Nik French/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-341 PK-GPD (msn 144) taxies across the tarmac at Tokyo’s Narita International Aport (NRT) in the special Liverpool Football Club “You’ll Never Walk Alone” color scheme.
Air Seychelles (Mahe) has issued this first quarter financial statement. Previously the airline in April announced its second profitable year in a row. Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) controls 40 percent of its stock and has been very helpful in its turnaround. Its turnaround continues in the first quarter:
Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, has recorded strong 2014 first quarter results with a 38.2 per cent increase in passenger numbers to 95,372, compared to the same period in 2013 (69,009 passengers).
Passenger numbers on Air Seychelles’ international network increased 77.3 per cent to 58,971, a result of more traffic between the Seychelles and Abu Dhabi, Mauritius, Johannesburg and Hong Kong.
A 66 per cent increase in revenue was attributable to improved connectivity with codeshare partner, Etihad Airways’ global network, and enhanced cargo services.
Cargo tonnage for the period rose 126.8 per cent to 1,602 tonnes, driven by strong demand from Paris, Hong Kong, and Johannesburg, enhancements to Air Seychelles’ on-ground cargo handling capability in Mahé, and the launch of Seychelles domestic cargo services.
Manoj Papa, Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles, said: “Our first quarter passenger and cargo performance indicates that we are delivering on our mandate to support the Seychelles economy both through tourism and trade.
“We remain committed to meeting these objectives in the months and years ahead, by building depth and scale into our network, organically and through partnerships, taking delivery of new aircraft, hiring more Seychellois, and bringing more guests and trade to the Seychelles.
“Air Seychelles will continue to focus on operational efficiencies, while maintaining a commitment to our guests to offer value, convenience and comfort, and being their airline of choice in the Indian Ocean region.”
At the end of the first quarter of 2014, Air Seychelles’ combined passenger and cargo network stood at five destinations in the Seychelles, Africa, Europe and Asia. The airline also has codeshare partnerships with Airberlin, Cathay Pacific Airways, Etihad Airways, and South African Airways, extending its network to 39 cities around the world.
Read the full report from the Seychelles News Agency: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 A6-EYY (msn 751) on lease from Etihad Airways arrives in Johannesburg.
Skymark Airlines (BC/SKY) yesterday (June 14) inaugurated Airbus A330 services with flight BC 003 from Tokyo (Haneda) to Fukuoka with Airbus A330-343 JA330B (msn 1491).
Read the full story from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE
In other news, Skymark has delayed the introduction of its new Airbus A380 up to six months due to cabin interior issues according to ZipanguFlyer.
Read the full story from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Olivier Gregoire/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-343 F-WWKH (msn 1483) became JA330A on delivery on February 27, 2014.
Hainan Airlines (Haikou and Beijing) will open a new route to Paris (CDG) from Hangzhou via Xian on September 3. The new route will be operated with Airbus A330-200s according to Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 B-6088 (msn 906) climbs away from the runway at Brussels.
Alitalia’s (2nd) (Rome) CEO stated upwards of 2,200 jobs could be cut as a result of a planned alliance with Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) as reported today by the La Repubblica newspaper and this report by Reuters. The report also states Etihad Airways is not flexible on this amount of job cuts.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. A lingering question is Alitalia’s role in the SkyTeam alliance when Etihad Airways makes its investment in the flag carrier. Will it leave the alliance? Airbus A330-202 EI-DIR (msn 272) in the SkyTeam motif arrives at Toronto (Pearson).
Arik Air (Arik Wings of Nigeria) (Lagos) will spread its wings again on July 28 when it launches a new route from Lagos and Abuja to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The new extension will be operated five days a week with its Airbus A330-200s.
Copyright Photo: Malcolm Nason. Airbus A330-223 EI-EWH became 5N-JIC (msn 891) with Arik Air.
Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will resume the Munich-Miami winter seasonal route on December 2 and will be operated until April 30, 2015. The restored route will be operated with Airbus A330-300 aircraft per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-343X D-AIKC (msn 579) touches down at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras (Sao Paulo-Campinas) has announced the first three routes it will fly its new Airbus A330-200s to the United States.
Azul plans to start the Campinas (Viracopos) to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (FLL) and also to Orlando (MCO) in December 2014 and a route to New York (JFK) in July of next year according to Panrotas.
Azul was founded by David Neeleman, who also founded JetBlue Airways. Today, with almost 18% of the domestic market share, Azul has established itself as the third largest airline in Brazil. Together, Azul and TRIP have at their disposal 121 aircraft and operate over 840 daily flights to 100 destinations.
Images: As previously reported, Azul will operate at least one Airbus A330-200 in this special Brazilian flag design.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Garuda Indonesia (Jakarta) announced a new codesharing agreement to place the Garuda code on Delta operated flights from Tokyo (Haneda) International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The flights will be conveniently timed to connect Garuda Indonesia’s flights between Jakarta and Tokyo-Haneda, offering both airlines’ customers one-stop travel between Indonesia and the U.S.
The codeshare flights are pending final government approvals and are targeted to be available for purchase in July 2014.
The Delta codeshare flights will be operated with Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft.
Garuda Indonesia will operate its Airbus A330-300 for the Jakarta – Tokyo Haneda route.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-332 ER N194DN (msn 28451) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-341 PK-GPE (msn 148) taxies at Baltimore/Washington.
Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) yesterday (June 1) confirmed that it will forward a letter detailing the conditions precedent and the criteria for a proposed equity investment by Etihad Airways that have been negotiated with Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) and its stakeholders over the past months.
The Italian Government appreciates the strategic importance of this transaction and looks favorably at the Etihad Airways – Alitalia partnership.
Upon confirmation by the Board of Alitalia and its stakeholders of their acceptance of these terms, the airlines will proceed to final documentation in order to complete the proposed transaction, in line with EU and other regulatory requirements.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, said: “We are delighted to be able to move forward with this process and look forward to the successful conclusion of the proposed transaction with Alitalia.
“An equity investment in Alitalia will be beneficial not only for the both airlines, but, more importantly, it will give more choice and broader travel opportunities to business and leisure travellers into and out of Italy.”
Gabriele Del Torchio, Chief Executive Officer of Alitalia, said: “This is an excellent outcome for Alitalia. This investment will provide financial stability and confirms Alitalia’s key strategic role as an infrastructure player in the travel and tourism industry in Italy for long-term growth.”
Roberto Colaninno, President of Alitalia, said: “We are delighted to move forward with Etihad Airways providing Alitalia with an ideal strategic partner enhancing the Company’s long term growth perspectives.”
In other news, also on June 1, Etihad Airways’ Flight EY 073 was met with the customary water cannon welcome as it touched down on schedule at Zürich Airport, marking the start of the airline’s new daily nonstop service between Zürich and Abu Dhabi.
The new Etihad Airways service builds upon the airline’s existing daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Geneva launched on June 5, 2004, bringing to 14 the number of flights linking Zürich and Geneva to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, each week.
The new Zürich – Abu Dhabi route is served by an Airbus A330-300 aircraft configured with 8 seats in First Class, 32 in Business Class and 191 in Economy Class.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-343X A6-AFA (msn 1071) in the special “Visit Abu Dhabi” c odor scheme is pictured arriving on a regular flight in Geneva.
Iberia (Madrid) in advance of the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, has painted its Airbus A330-302 EC-LYF (msn 1437) in this special livery. The A330 will transport the Spanish team and soccer fans to Brazil.
The inscription across the aircraft translates as “carry the illusion of an entire country”.
Video: The painting of EC-LYF:
Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) is updating the interiors of its long haul fleet with new seats, new entertainment system and WiFi access. SAS has now released the first images of the new cabin.
According to the carrier, “seven SAS Airbus A330/A340s are having cabin upgrades. The interior design is ultra modern with greater cabin comfort in the shape of new seats in all classes. To make flights even more comfortable, a new on-demand entertainment system with HD large screens is being installed along with WiFi access”.
The airline continues:
“The materials and color scheme in the new cabins have been chosen to create a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere. The seating in SAS Go and SAS Plus is designed with good storage to create extra space. All seats in SAS Business have direct access to aisles and can be folded flat for maximum comfort. The bedding comes from Hästens, the oldest bed manufacturer in Sweden, to ensure that passengers enjoy a high class sleeping experience.
The first plane with the new cabin is expected to go into service in early 2015 and the majority of the SAS long haul fleet will have the new interior within 12 months. SAS currently flies long haul to New York, Chicago (O’Hare), Washington (Dulles), San Francisco, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo (Narita) and Houston (from August 2014).
In June 2013, SAS announced that its entire long haul fleet would be renewed in the next few years. Certain aircraft in the current fleet would be upgraded and joined by new aircraft that would come into service from fall 2015. The changes are as follows:
- Cabin upgrade on seven Airbus A330/A340s
– Four new Airbus A330-300s to be delivered in 2015 and 2016
– Eight Airbus A350-900s to be delivered from 2018 onwards with an option on an additional six
About the new cabins:
WiFi access available in all classes.
The SAS Go Cabin
SAS Go (above)
Seat configuration: 2-4-2
On-demand entertainment system with 9″ HD screens
One power outlet per pair of seats plus individual USB port.
The SAS Go seat (above)
SAS Plus seat (above)
Seat configuration: 2-3-2
On-demand entertainment system with 12″ HD screens
Individual power outlet and USB port.
SAS Business cabin (above)
Seat configuration: 1-2-1
Direct access to aisle from all seats
Fully flat seats minimum 196 cm length
On-demand entertainment system with 15″ HD screens
Individual power outlet and USB port.
SAS Business seat (above)
SAS Business seat as a sleeper (above)
Top Copyright Photos: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by SAS). Airbus A330-343X LN-RKH (msn 497) lands at the Stockholm (Arlanda) hub.
Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras (Sao Paulo-Viracopas) has unveiled the planned special livery for its new Airbus A330s which will start flying to the United States in 2015.
The first two Airbus A330s for Azul will be two former Gulf Air A330-243 aircraft (msn 527 and 532) which will be leased from ILFC.
Image: Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras.
Delta and Virgin Atlantic unveil a new schedule between London Heathrow and Atlanta and Los Angeles, Virgin Atlantic to fly to Atlanta
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) will transfer operations for nonstop flights connecting London-Heathrow to both Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport this winter, offering more choices for the airlines’ customers on key routes across the Atlantic.
Effective October 26, 2014, Delta will begin operating one of two daily Heathrow-Los Angeles flights currently operated by Virgin Atlantic. This new Delta service will mark the airline’s first nonstop flight between Los Angeles and London Heathrow and is Delta’s seventh nonstop destination between London and the United States. Virgin Atlantic will begin operating one of Delta’s three daily flights between Heathrow and Atlanta. The two airlines will codeshare on each other’s operated services, allowing Delta and Virgin customers seamless access to the expanded network.
This announcement also shows how the partnership, which launched on January 1, 2014, is increasing the network of each carrier. Virgin Atlantic will have access to Delta’s Atlanta hub, the busiest airport in the world, for the first time, providing expansive and unprecedented access for Virgin Atlantic customers to connect to points throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The airline will now be able to offer more than 100 additional international and domestic connections to its customers. This brings the total number of connections available through the partnership to more than 200.
Delta and Virgin Atlantic’s new winter 2014 schedule between Heathrow and Los Angeles and Atlanta:
Combined, the two airlines operate a total of 32 peak daily nonstop flights between North America and the U.K., including 24 flights between London Heathrow and popular U.S. destinations. Delta recently co-located its New York, Boston and Seattle routes into Terminal 3 – Virgin Atlantic’s home at Heathrow Airport. This move provided additional choice and flexibility to customers while reducing onward transit times.
Virgin Atlantic will continue to operate two daily services to Los Angeles and Delta will continue to fly three daily services to Atlanta, until October 26, 2014.
Delta will continue to operate its Atlanta, Detroit and Minneapolis/St. Paul services from London Heathrow’s Terminal 4.
Virgin Atlantic will operate its Atlanta flight from Heathrow Terminal 3.
Copyright Photo: Luimer Cordero/AirlinersGallery.com. Virgin Atlantic is coming to Atlanta. Airbus A330-343X G-VKSS (msn 1201) is pictured arriving in Miami.
US Airways (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) had a second European flight divert yesterday (May 19) due to flight attendant illness. This incident follows the previous incident on May 10. Both flights originated in Venice, Italy.
Flight US 715 with an Airbus A330-200 with 238 passengers and 12 crew members from Venice to the Philadelphia hub was forced to divert to Ireland again after five flight attendants and this time a passenger felt ill according to this report by CNN.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Nik French/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 N280AY (msn 1022) departs from Manchester.
Air Seychelles (Mahe) has announced it will resume flights to Paris (CDG) on July 2, 2014.
The flag carrier will operate two weekly roundtrips from the Seychelles to Paris via Abu Dhabi, with Air Seychelles deploying its brightly-colored Airbus A330-200 aircraft (above) on the route, offering 18 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 236 seats in Economy Class.
Partner Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) will also place its EY code on the flights.
Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten/AirlinersGallery.com. Leased from Etihad Airways, Airbus A330-243 A6-EYY (msn 751) completes its final approach into Johannesburg (JNB).
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) Airbus A330-200 operating flight KL 767 has commenced the longest commercial flight with sustainable jet fuels ever performed by an Airbus aircraft. The aircraft took off with a 20% blend of sustainable fuel made of used cooking oil, for a 10 hour flight from Schiphol airport to the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba.
Airbus’ major role in this test is to collect data before, during and after the flight (engine fuel system, engine performance analysis etc.) to provide insights into the use of non-petroleum based fuels compared to traditional fuels.
This flight is the first of a series of around 20 long-haul commercial flights using an Airbus aircraft in the context of the European initiative called ITAKA (Initiative Towards sustAinable Kerosene for Aviation) which aims to speed up the commercialisation of aviation biofuels in Europe.
Funded by the European Union, ITAKA is a collaborative project aiming to produce sustainable aviation fuel and to test its use in existing systems and normal flight operations in Europe with KLM. The project will also link supply and demand by establishing relationships among feedstock growers and producers, biofuel producers, distributors and airlines.
“As the leading aircraft manufacturer, our participation in the ITAKA initiative with KLM using an A330-200 – the most fuel efficient aircraft in its category – is key to our role as a catalyst in the commercialisation of sustainable jet fuels. We are very happy to have the full support of the European Union in the ITAKA project, supporting the aviation industry’s initiative to develop sustainable biofuels for aviation,” said Andrea Debbané, Airbus Vice President of Environment Affairs.
Airbus is involved in major European funded projects contributing significantly to reducing the environmental footprint of aviation, including the Single European Sky (SES) and SESAR for the modernisation of the European Air Traffic Management System and CleanSky, a programme which aims to accelerate technological breakthrough developments and shorten the time to market for new and more environmentally efficient solutions tested on full-scale demonstrators.
Copyright Photo: Airbus. KLM’s A330-203 PH-AOM 9msn 1161) wears special “Leader in biofuel” markings for the historic trip to Aruba.
US Airways (Phoenix) flight 715 en route from Venice to Philadelphia was forced to divert to Dublin yesterday (May 10) after nine flight attendants on board became ill, according to CNN.
The flight attendants complained of “nausea, running eyes and dizziness” according to US Airways spokeswoman Michelle Mohr.
185 passengers were on board the Airbus A330-200. The pilots and passengers did not report any ill feelings.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 N281AY (msn 1041) rotates from the runway at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) hub.
Edelweiss Air (Zurich) starting in June 2014, and according to the airline “the Edelweiss long-haul aircraft will undergo refurbishing to significantly improve the cabin. Edelweiss Business class will be equipped with lie-flat seats and a new in-flight entertainment system including sixteen inch screens. Furthermore, Edelweiss will be introducing Economy Max that will offer passengers fifteen centimeters more legroom and many other amenities to ensure a comfortable flight. Edelweiss Economy class will also receive a makeover with new seats and a new in-flight entertainment system that includes touch screens.”
The new business class on Edelweiss Air (Edelweiss Air).
The Swiss carrier started weekly flights (on Mondays) from Zurich to Las Vegas on May 5 and also new flights to Havana, Cuba on May 8.
Showgirls send the Edelweiss Air passengers on their way from Zurich to Las Vegas (Edelweiss Air).
Top Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Edelweiss Air). Airbus A330-223 HB-IQI (msn 291) taxies at the Zurich base.
US Airways (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth), part of American Airlines Group, today announced the launch of its codeshare agreement with trans-Atlantic joint business partner and fellow oneworld® member British Airways (London), further enhancing its relationship with the British carrier. Beginning today, customers can book tickets on codeshare flights for travel beginning on May 14.
Launched in a phased approach, the codeshare will initially cover nearly all of the two carriers’ trans-Atlantic flights. Customers will now have access to British Airways flights to London from 21 destinations in the United States, and British Airways will place its code on US Airways flights to Charlotte and Philadelphia from 17 destinations throughout Europe.
The remaining flights in the codeshare will be implemented in phases and will include British Airways routes from London to more than 70 destinations throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and US Airways flights to nearly 40 destinations in North America and the Caribbean. Customers can expect to have access to all codeshare flights by the end of this summer.
US Airways expects in the coming weeks to begin implementing codeshare agreements with the other member airlines in the trans-Atlantic joint business, Iberia and Finnair, providing customers easy access to the joint venture’s combined global network.
As part of the joint business relationship, members of the US Airways Dividend Miles and British Airways Executive Club frequent flyer programs are able to earn and redeem miles on flights operated by the other carrier, providing another valuable benefit to customers. In addition, customers will be able to earn miles when traveling on codeshare flights operated by the other airline.
US Airways joined the joint venture as an affiliate member earlier this year, and will remain as such until it fully integrates with American Airlines as part of their merger to create the largest airline in the world.
Top Copyright Photo: Rodrigo Cozzato/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways’ Airbus A330-243 N288AY (msn 1441) arrives in Sao Paulo (Guarulhos).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-336 ER G-STBA (msn 40542) beautifully climbs away from the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport hub.
Thomas Cook Airlines (UK) (Manchester) has announced that for the summer schedule of 2015, it will operate long-haul flights from London’s Stansted Airport to Orlando, Cancun and Las Vegas, becoming the only airline to offer a long haul program from the airport.
Last year, Thomas Cook Airlines announced that from this June it will operate two aircraft from Stansted Airport – using the larger Airbus A321 aircraft replacing the existing Airbus A320 – bringing an increased amount of flights and holidays which are now on sale for holidaymakers from the East and South East of England to a range of new destinations.
With the long-haul flights on a larger Airbus A330, the additional flights in 2015 will begin on the weekend of Friday, July 17, 2015 with two flights a week to Orlando and one per week to both Cancun and Las Vegas – and continue up until August 17, 2015.
In other news, the airline also announced that for the summer of 2015, it will operate a weekly flight to Las Vegas from Glasgow Airport following a series of one-off flights to the U.S. in recent summers. Operating each Monday with the Airbus A330 fleet, the new flights in 2015 will begin on Monday 4 May 4, 2015 and continue until October 31, 2015.
Previously the airline announced new Airbus A330 routes from Manchester to both New York (JFK) and Miami.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 G-OJMC (msn 456) approaches the runway at London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW).
TAM Airlines (TAM Linhas Aereas) (Sao Paulo) has been granted authority by the Agencia Nacional de Aviacio Civil (ANAC) of Brazil seven weekly frequencies for conducting mixed air services between Canada and Brazil.
The route is unspecified but it is most likely Sao Paulo-Toronto in competition with Air Canada.
Copyright Photo: Wingnut/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-203 PT-MVK (msn 486) of TAM taxies across the tarmac at London’s Heathrow Airport.
TAM Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Air Serbia (Belgrade) is planning to launch long-haul routes to North America, including Chicago (O’Hare) and Toronto (Pearson) using Airbus A330s, starting in late 2015 according to EX-YU Aviation News quoting Serbian Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vučić at a press conference. The PM also expects Air Serbia will soon be operating in the black, unlike the losses piled up by the former Jat Airways. Jat Airways in the past operated McDonnell Douglas DC-10s to North America.
Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. This would be the first long-haul aircraft for the revamped airline joining its current fleet of Airbus A319s and A320s, a new type which was just added. Airbus A320-232 YU-APH (msn 2645) prepares to land in Zurich.
Air Serbia Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Thomas Cook Airlines (UK) (Manchester) is returning and will commence scheduled passenger services at Miami International Airport (MIA) effective on May 3, 2015. Thomas Cook plans on operating twice-weekly nonstops between Manchester and MIA utilizing Airbus A330-200 aircraft. The new route is seasonal and is expected to be operated for eight months.
The airline is also starting three times a week service from Manchester to New York (JFK) starting also in May.
The airline currently operates from Manchester to Orlando and Las Vegas.
Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 G-OMYT (msn 301) with the new Thomas Cook Group “Sunny Heart” logo on the tail arrives in Munich.
The new Thomas Cook Group “Sunny Heart” logo:
Virgin Atlantic Ltd (VAL) Group (Virgin Atlantic Airways) (London) reported its financial results for the calendar year ending December 31, 2013. The results demonstrate strong progress towards the airline’s target to return to profitability by the end of this year, with a pre-tax loss of £51 million ($85.7 million). The airline set out a two year recovery program at the start of 2013 and the improved financial performance in the first year was largely driven by an increased revenue performance and greater operational efficiencies.
These results are based on Virgin Atlantic’s new financial reporting period which now aligns with the calendar year. As a result of the change in financial year, the Group is also disclosing statements to cover a 10 month period for March to December 2013, which show a £7 million pre-tax profit.
Calendar year ending December 31, 2013 Group Performance (pro forma figures given are for the calendar year to aid comparison.)
A Group pre-tax loss over 12 months of £51 million, an improvement of 50% on the calendar year ending December 2012 (£102 million pre-tax loss). The pre-tax result over 10 months was a £7 million profit.
Virgin Atlantic Chief Executive Craig Kreeger has committed to returning the airline to profit by the end of 2014 and has set out a clearly defined strategy to transform the financial performance of the business.
Craig Kreeger said:
“The Group has made good progress in 2013 towards our target of a return to profitability by the end of this year. We have implemented a programme of measures which put in place firm foundations for future success and our results to this point show that we are delivering against our plan.
“Our strategy has been to focus on network, alliances and managing our cost base in a way which has not impacted on the customer. For example, use of a new fuel management system delivered savings of £8m in a single year.
“We have also increased our revenues and passenger numbers, which is the result of both a committed workforce providing exceptional customer service and a loyal customer base with high advocacy. We’re thrilled with the response we’re seeing from our customers.”
The period covered in the accounts published today was a significant one for Virgin Atlantic. During the year it received approval for its Joint Venture with Delta Air Lines and launched a code share agreement with the US carrier. The partnership will deliver significant customer and commercial benefits and allow both airlines to compete more effectively in the transatlantic market.
A new domestic short haul operation, Virgin Atlantic Little Red, was launched to reinstate competition on three routes which had previously been subject to a monopoly – between London Heathrow and Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Manchester – and give renewed choice for connections to the long haul network.
It was also the first full year in which all 10 of the airline’s twin-engine A330 fleet were in operation. These aircraft delivered significant fuel savings leading to an average 6% less fuel being consumed on each flight when compared with the previous year.
Virgin Atlantic has further key developments planned for this year as it celebrates its 30th year of flying and challenging the status quo. The joint venture with Delta Air Lines is now in place, giving passengers more options to fly than ever before: including 9 flights a day from London Heathrow to New York and onward connections with Delta to 84 US destinations. The first in a fleet of 16 Boeing 787-9 ‘Dreamliners’ will arrive from the autumn, an aircraft which is expected to deliver a step-change for the business and allow the retirement of older four engine aircraft.
There will be noticeable improvements for passengers, with an industry-leading new service training program for staff, and technological improvements such as a wifi roll-out and expanded use of personal electronic devices throughout each flight. Virgin Atlantic recently became the first airline to trial wearable technology with Google Glass, and will shortly rollout a new uniform, designed by Vivienne Westwood, to showcase our customer facing teams in a sharp and colourful way.
Craig Kreeger continued:
“Going forward, the impact from our Delta relationship which greatly enhances our revenue opportunities in the US, improving result from Little Red services and improvements in selling activity, supported by a strong focus on managing the cost base and on fuel efficiency gains, mean we are confident that we will deliver on our target and return to profitability.
“We are building a sustainable and profitable airline for the future and it is an exciting time for our company.”
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Virgin Atlantic is basing its financial recovery around the pictured Airbus A330-300 and the upcoming Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Airbus A330-343X G-VGBR (msn 1329) arrives at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD).