SriLankan Airlines (Colombo), the national carrier of Sri Lanka, yesterday (October 30) took delivery of its first (of six) Airbus A330-300 becoming a new operator for the type. The wide-body aircraft arrived at Colombo International Airport, having flown from Toulouse, France, and joins the airlines’ existing fleet of A320, A321, A330-200 and A340-300 aircraft. SriLankan will take delivery of a further five A330-300s.
SriLankan Airlines and Airbus embarked upon a long-term, strategic partnership in 1993 when the airline began operating the A320 and A340. It has since grown to be an all Airbus operator, and is now an award winning carrier, expanding and diversifying its wide range of products and services to drive the country’s ongoing boom in tourism and economic development.
Top Copyright Photo: Oliver Gregoire/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-343 F-WWYX (msn 1564) became 4R-ALL on the handover.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Airbus. The airline celebrates the signifiant milestone at the delivery ceremony.
Cebu Pacific Air (Manila) plans to strengthen its Cebu hub with direct Cebu-Tokyo (Narita) flights starting March 26, 2015.
The airline will launch four weekly flights (every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) between Cebu and Tokyo. The flight from Cebu will depart at 5:55 am (0555), and arrive in Tokyo at 11:20 am (1120). The return flight will depart Tokyo at 12:05 pm (1205), and arrive in Cebu at 4:25 pm (1625).
The new route will utilize Airbus A320s.
Cebu Pacific Air launched nonstop flights from Manila to Tokyo (Narita) and Nagoya in March of this year.
Aside from Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, Cebu Pacific Air offers flights to 25 other international destinations, namely Bali, Bangkok, Beijing, Brunei, Busan, Dammam, Dubai, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Incheon (Seoul), Jakarta, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Macau, Phuket, Riyadh, Shanghai, Siem Reap, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei and Xiamen. It also operates the most extensive network in the Philippines.
Cebu Pacific Air’s 51-strong fleet is comprised of 10 Airbus A319, 28 Airbus A320, 5 Airbus A330 and 8 ATR 72 500 aircraft. Between 2014 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of 11 more brand-new Airbus A320, 30 Airbus A321neo, and 1 Airbus A330 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 RP-C3271 (msn 5381) arrives in Bangkok.
Current routes from Cebu:
Cebu Pacific Air Slide Show:
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) has announced plans to add twice-weekly service between Miami International Airport (MIA) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) beginning in December according to Miami International Airport. The new service announcement comes less than one month after the domestic low-cost carrier revealed that it would be launching 38 weekly departures from MIA to four additional domestic destinations.
The new nonstop Miami-Washington D.C. service is scheduled to begin on December 21, the same day that Frontier will launch nonstop flights from MIA to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Flights to Washington Dulles will operate on Thursdays and Sundays, using the carrier’s 168-seat Airbus A320 aircraft (above). On December 20, Frontier will launch nonstop service from Miami to Denver, Philadelphia and New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
Previously in September, Frontier announced it was coming to Miami starting on December 20 with new routes operating to Chicago (O’Hare), Denver, New York (LaGuardia) and Philadelphia. Washington Dulles is a new addition to the original announcement.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N227FR (msn 6184) with Grizwald, the Bear, arrives in Washington (Reagan National) in the new 2014 livery.
American Airlines‘ (Dallas/Fort Worth) first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (N800AN, msn 40618) emerged from the paint shop this morning at Boeing’s Everett facility. American has released these photos.
N800AN will be delivered in December. The first 787-8 is scheduled to enter revenue service in early 2015 initially on domestic routes.
American has 42 Boeing 787s on order including 16 787-8s and 26 787-9s, with 58 options. The airline is scheduled to take delivery of two 787s this year, 11 in 2015, 13 in 2016 and nine in 2017.
American will replace some of its older Boeing 767-300s with the new 787s.
In other news, US Airways has repainted its Airbus A319-112 N744P (msn 1287) (below) in the 1974 Piedmont Airlines (1st) (Winston-Salem) livery now with American titles. US Airways is gradually repainting all of the legacy jets with American titles.
All Images by American Airlines (except the slide show by AirlinersGallery.com).
Piedmont Airlines (1st) Aircraft Slide Show:
Druk Air-Royal Bhutan Airlines (Paro) operates regularly scheduled flights into its mountainous home country of Bhutan. The unique report by the BBC shows the approach into Paro Airport while the captain explains the unique approach. This approach is not for the faint of heart.
BBC Video: The Travel Show: Carmen Roberts reports from the cockpit as a pilot guides his plane into what has been known as one of the world’s most dangerous airports: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Drukair). Drukair operates three Airbus A319s and a ATR 42-500 into and out of Paro Airport.
Photo Below: Drukair. The ATR 42-500 began operations with Drukair in June 2011. It flies to the nearby cities of Kolkata, Kathmandu, Guwahati, Gaya and Bagdogra. The ATR is a 48 seater, all economy, but can also be converted into 8 VIP seater and a 22 economy seat configuration, available for charter and mountain flights.
Map of Bhutan:
Drukair Route Map:
Drukair Aircraft Slide Show:
Video: Another video by it4dev of the approach:
Al Maha Airways (subsidiary of Qatar Airways) (Riyadh) will soon take delivery of its first Airbus A320. The first A320 has been painted at Toulouse pending delivery. The new domestic carrier of Saudi Arabia will launch operations “soon” according to its website. Previously the new subsidiary was expecting to enter the Saudi market in November.
Al Maha means “Oryx” in Arabic, the symbol of Qatar Airways.
Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 F-WWBV (msn 6347) departs from Toulouse today (October 29) on a test flight. Green is the national color of the Kingdom. The first Airbus A320 will become HZ-ALA on delivery.
Air Malta (Luqa) has been working hard to turn around the company. The airline cut its yearly loss by half and issued this report:
Air Malta halved its losses during the financial year ending March 2014 and is projecting to maintain its position for the year ending March 2015, despite several major setbacks such as the closure of the Libyan routes and increased competition in the peak summer months.
Audited figures announced during the Air Malta Annual General Meeting showed that the airline posted a loss of €16 million ($20.3 million) for the year ending at the end of March 2014, compared to €31 million ($39.4 million) loss registered during the financial year ending at the end of March 2013.
The numbers show that Air Malta is moving in the right direction according to its Restructuring Plan, although it did not manage to reach the more ambitious annual targets of a €15 million loss in 2013 and a profit in 2014.
Air Malta chairperson Maria Micallef said the current financial year had been directly hit by the closure of the Libyan routes (losing the airline around €1 million per month, including incremental revenue from transit business) and a 20% increase in seat capacity of other airlines in the peak months.
“We were informed that our revenues would be hit by 10% and the bottom line was forecasted to be a loss of €25 million, unless immediate preventive actions were taken. We set ourselves a target that under these circumstances we try and target a bottom line of a loss of €16 million for Year ending March 2015,” said Ms Micallef, who was appointed chairperson in July.
Ms Micallef also highlighted the importance of thinking about the long term strategy of Air Malta, beyond the restructuring plan.
“In the longer term, it remains clear to me that the realities of the industry are such that the airline’s profit margins will always remain wafer thin unless we rethink our business model to truly ensure viability. We need to get out of restructuring mode and start thinking of long-term sustainability beyond 2016. We will need the economies of scale that we can never achieve with our size,” she said.
“If we are to make this work – and I am confident we will – we need everyone’s support. In some cases, this means holding back. That is my message to politicians, both Government and Opposition. The same applies to all the representatives of the various stakeholders, who for the first time have been invited to this AGM.”
“The reality is that this is Air Malta’s last chance for long term survival. We have 17 months left to get this right,” she concluded.
Meanwhile, newly-appointed CEO Philip Micallef outlined his vision for the airline and highlighted a number of initiatives being taken to bring the airline to profitability by 2016.
“One of the key missions of this new management team is to work much more closely with Malta Tourism Authority and other key stakeholders. MTA and Air Malta have a joint responsibility to attract tourism to the Maltese islands. In the past, the two entities complemented each other’s work but did not combine their resources as effectively as they could. We are holding joint meetings with tourism operators in various markets as Air Malta seeks to intensify its presence in foreign markets. We have entered into a new era of positive collaboration,” he said.
Similar joint initiatives are happening with Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) and Federated Association of Travel & Tourism Agents (FATTA).
“Our approach has been particularly successful with German tour operators, where committed seats have increased by 300% in winter 2014/15. Similar encouraging results are already being achieved on our Amsterdam and Brussels routes. Our code-share with Air France is doing even better, with a ten-fold increase in passenger revenue,” Mr Micallef told the AGM.
“At the end of summer we launched an aggressive promotion with a 25% discount, for travel from November 2014, to get early bookings for winter. In aggregate, early bookings for winter strongly indicate that we could start to mitigate the losses in passengers from Libya and slow-down in Russia through increased sales on other routes,” he said.
Mr Micallef said Air Malta now needed to improve its IT systems to facilitate customer experience and increase revenue by providing a more attractive pricing system for passengers.
“In the face of increased supply on some of our core routes during the peak summer months, we must respond by taking advantage of additional revenue streams. We are starting with generating ancillary revenue pre-flight through product enhancements and the right technology to promote the sale of these products. We are also looking at developing ancillary products while on board,” he said.
Copyright Photo: Jacques Guillem/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Malta Airbus A320-214 9H-AEO (msn 2768) in the special Valletta – European Capital of Culture 2018 color scheme taxies at Paris (Orly).
Air Malta Aircraft Slide Show:
TAP Portugal (Lisbon) has issued this statement regarding a strike planned by its cabin staff on October 30 and November 1:
TAP Cabin Crew Union announced two separate strikes to take place on October 30 and November 1 between 00.00 and 23.59.
Therefore, and in order to mitigate as much as possible the effects of the strike, TAP is authorizing date changes free of charge within the same cabin and tickets validity, or its refund. In order to do so, passengers should contact TAP through the Contact Center or their Travel Agencies.
Despite the situation, we inform that TAP flights operated by PGA Portugália Airlines will not be affected, as well as the flights established to operate as minimum services, available below.
All passengers with flights affected by the strike will be contacted, in order to find the best alternative.
Whenever the contact cannot be established TAP will reissue the ticket for the next available flights, keeping the schedule and dates as closer as possible to the original ones.
We suggest passengers to check their bookings here and do the online check-in if the flights are confirmed. This option is available up to 72 hours prior to departure, despite some exceptions depending on the destination.
Beforehand, and due to the high number of calls received, we apologize for any delays that may occur on the Contact Center response.
TAP regrets the situation and assures all efforts are being made to minimize the impact of this strike.
In other news, TAP Portugal has announced the delay of its new services to Guinea-Bissau in west Africa for 45 days due to the Ebola virus concerns. The carrier had planned to start three weekly flight from Lisbon to Guinea-Bissau on October 28.
Copyright Photo: TAP’s Airbus A321-211 CS-TJE (msn 1307) taxies at London (Heathrow).
TAP Portugal Aircraft Slide Show:
JetBlue Airways (New York) today (October 29) expands its destination offerings at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) with the addition of four new routes. The new flights include daily service to Cartagena, Colombia; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; as well as a twice daily service to Jacksonville, Florida.
By 2017, JetBlue plans to offer 100 daily flights out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood to meet increasing customer demand. In May of this year, JetBlue added flights from FLL to Montego Bay, Jamaica; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
JetBlue currently offers up to 75 daily flights to 33 destinations from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N590JB (msn 2231) in the 2004 Plaid tail motif and smaller titles departs from FLL.
Virgin America (San Francisco) today (October 28) launched its new service from New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) with four daily nonstop flights to Dallas Love Field (DAL). From today, the airline is now servicing all three major airports in New York with now up to 20 flights departing the New York metropolitan area each day.
Virgin America secured 12 slots at LGA earlier this year as part of the American Airlines merger settlement. The new services have been timed to provide convenient connections with Virgin America’s new nonstop schedule from DAL. This includes three daily nonstop flights from DAL to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO). With a loyal following of business travelers, the airline recently announced plans to add a fourth daily trip from DAL to DCA, SFO and LAX as of April 2015.
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) today released this announcement about its frequent flyer program:
American Airlines AAdvantage® and US Airways Dividend Miles® members will become part of the same frequent flyer program in the second quarter of 2015. The AAdvantage loyalty program will combine mileage balances and align elite levels and qualification criteria. It will also introduce the new upgrade policy for elite status members flying on American and US Airways.
In early 2015, members who have an account in both programs will have the opportunity to match their accounts. This is the next step before the program integration, which will offer customers a more seamless experience whether their flight is on American or US Airways. American began offering reciprocal benefits to AAdvantage and Dividend Miles members in January 2014, just one month after the close of the merger.
A comprehensive explanation of the changes for AAdvantage and Dividend Miles members can be found at aa.com/aadvantage2015.
AAdvantage Elite Status Membership Levels
AAdvantage offers three levels of elite status membership – AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum and Gold. Customers will continue to qualify for elite status based on elite-qualifying miles, points or segments. The current 100-segment threshold for Executive Platinum will continue until Dec. 31, 2014. On Jan. 1, 2015, the segment qualification requirement for Executive Platinum will be 120 segments for the 2016 membership year.
When the programs are combined, the four elite status levels in the Dividend Miles program will be mapped to the three elite status levels of the AAdvantage program:
Combining Accounts in the Second Quarter
For customers who have an account in both programs and have matched their accounts early in the year, American will move their current Dividend Miles elite-qualifying activity, award mileage balances and Million Miler balances into their existing AAdvantage account in the second quarter of 2015. AAdvantage elite status will be based on the member’s combined elite-qualifying activity from 2014 to determine status valid through February 2016. At the same time, their year-to-date 2015 qualifying balances will be combined to determine status through February 2017. If combining a member’s elite qualifying balances results in their reaching a new elite status level, American will honor that status level when the programs combine.
For Dividend Miles members who do not have an AAdvantage account, American will create one for them. Each of these members’ balances will then be transferred automatically to the new account in the second quarter of 2015.
For AAdvantage members who do not have a Dividend Miles account, no action is needed; they will retain their existing AAdvantage number and account.
500-Mile and Complimentary Upgrades
Once the programs combine in the second quarter of 2015, all elite members will receive complimentary, auto-requested upgrades on eligible American-marketed and operated flights less than or equal to 500 miles. Executive Platinum members will continue to receive complimentary upgrades on all 500-mile upgrade eligible flights, regardless of the length of the flight. Additionally, all complimentary upgrades will be automatically requested for each member at the time of booking. Elite member upgrade benefits will continue to work differently for American and US Airways flights initially until the airlines are on a common reservation system later in 2015.
The upgrade policy for elite members traveling on American-marketed and operated flights in eligible markets will be as follows:
AAdvantage Executive Platinum and Dividend Miles Chairman’s Preferred members now receive a complimentary alcoholic beverage and snack item when those members travel on US Airways flights in the Main Cabin, as they receive on American.
Starting Jan. 1, 2015, before the programs are combined, bonus miles for AAdvantage members on Business Class tickets on American and US Airways will increase from 25 to 50 percent to align with what Dividend Miles members receive today. Executive Platinum and Chairman’s Preferred members will also enjoy complimentary same-day flight changes on American Airlines.
Once the programs are combined in the second quarter of 2015, AAdvantage members will be able to redeem miles for upgrades and AAnytime® Awards for travel on American and US Airways flights. Executive Platinum members in the combined program will receive eight systemwide upgrades as they do in the current program today, and those upgrades will be valid on both American and US Airways marketed and operated flights.
Since January 2014, American has rolled out enhanced benefits to members flying on either airline, including:
1. The opportunity to earn and redeem miles on American or US Airways, with all eligible travel on either airline counting toward elite status qualification in the program of that member’s choice
2. Reciprocal benefits for elite status members when flying either airline, including First and Business Class check-in, complimentary checked bags and priority security and boarding
3. More lounge access, with reciprocal club access for Admirals Club® and US Airways Club members
4. Easy access to the combined company’s expanded network through the codeshare between American and US Airways, which allows the ability to sell seats on both airlines’ flights
5. Bringing US Airways into the award-winning oneworld® alliance, offering more options across the Atlantic and an easier and more rewarding global travel experience to Europe and beyond
6. The ability to easily stay connected while customers fly with Monthly Traveler and Daily Wi-Fi passes, valid on both American and US Airways
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The first US Airways Airbus A330-200 to be repainted is the pictured A330-243 N288AY (msn 1441) departing from the Charlotte hub.
American Airlines-US Airways:
Spirit Airlines, Inc. (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) today (October 28) reported third quarter 2014 financial results:
Adjusted net income for the third quarter 2014 increased 27.6 percent to $73.9 million ($1.01 per diluted share) compared to $57.9 million ($0.79 per diluted share) for the third quarter 20131. GAAP net income for the third quarter 2014 was $67.0 million ($0.91 per diluted share) compared to $61.1 million ($0.84 per diluted share) in the third quarter 2013.
For the third quarter 2014, Spirit delivered a record adjusted pre-tax margin of 21.3 percent compared to 20.3 percent over the same period in 20131. On a GAAP basis, pre-tax margin for the third quarter 2014 was 19.3 percent compared to 21.4 percent in the third quarter 2013.
Spirit ended the third quarter 2014 with $588.5 million in unrestricted cash.
Spirit’s return on invested capital (before taxes and excluding special items) for the twelve months ended September 30, 2014 was 31.6 percent.
For the third quarter 2014, Spirit’s total operating revenue was $519.8 million, an increase of 13.8 percent compared to the third quarter 2013. The increase was primarily driven by our growth in flight volume and higher operating yields.
Total revenue per available seat mile (“RASM”) for the third quarter 2014 was 12.45 cents, a decrease of 0.8 percent compared to the third quarter 2013. A year-over-year increase in average stage length for the third quarter 2014 contributed 0.4 percentage points to the decline in RASM. In addition, average load factor for the third quarter 2014 declined 1.5 pts, in part due to increased margin accretive flying on non-peak travel days (Tuesday/Wednesday), contributing to the decrease in RASM.
Passenger flight segment (“PFS”) volume for the third quarter 2014 grew 11.2 percent year over year, and the Company’s total revenue per PFS for the third quarter 2014 increased 2.4 percent year over year to $138.54 driven by increases in both ticket and non-ticket revenue per PFS. Demand and pricing strength in the peak summer travel period drove the increase in ticket revenue per PFS and an increase in seat revenues was the primary driver of non-ticket per PFS.
Total operating expenses for the third quarter 2014, excluding $10.4 million of special items4, increased 12.5 percent to $409.2 million on a capacity increase of 14.7 percent. Including special items, total operating expenses increased 16.9 percent year over year to $419.6 million.
Spirit reported third quarter 2014 cost per available seat mile excluding special items and fuel (“Adjusted CASM ex-fuel”)4 of 5.92 cents, an increase of 1.0 percent compared to the same period last year. Higher salary, wages, and benefits, landing fees and other rents, and depreciation and amortization per ASM were partially offset by lower passenger re-accommodation expense (recorded within Other operating expense) as a result of improved operational reliability.
During the third quarter 2014, the Company became aware of an underpayment of Federal Excise Tax (“FET”) for fuel purchases during the period between July 1, 2009 and August 31, 2014. The commencement of the period in which the Company underpaid FET coincided with a change in its fuel service provider that took place in July 2009. In its calculation for economic fuel price for the third quarter 2014, the Company excluded the prior years’ additional FET amount of $9.3 million as a special item but included the year-to-date 2014 additional FET amount of $2.1 million.
Selected Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Items
As of September 30, 2014, Spirit had $588.5 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents. For the nine months ended September 30, 2014, Spirit incurred capital expenditures of $26.3 million, paid $116.0 million in pre-delivery deposits for future deliveries of aircraft, net of refunds, and recorded an increase of $29.0 million in maintenance deposits, net of reimbursements.
In the third quarter 2014, Spirit took delivery of one new Airbus A320 aircraft, ending the quarter with 58 aircraft in its fleet. Earlier in the month of October, the Company took delivery of a new A320 aircraft and has six more new A320 aircraft scheduled for delivery by year-end 2014.
Third Quarter 2014 and Other Current Highlights
Added/announced new service between (service start date):
- Fort Lauderdale and New Orleans (8/1/14)
- Boston and West Palm Beach (11/14/14)5
- Houston and New Orleans (8/1/14)
- Latrobe/Pittsburgh and Tampa (12/18/14)5
- Houston and Atlanta (8/1/14)
- Latrobe/Pittsburgh and Fort Myers (12/19/14)5
- Kansas City and Chicago (8/7/14)
- Denver and San Diego (1/5/15)
- Kansas City and Dallas/Fort Worth (8/7/14)
- Cleveland and Orlando (1/15/15)
- Kansas City and Detroit (8/7/14)
- Cleveland and Tampa (1/15/15)5
- Kansas City and Las Vegas (8/7/14)
- Cleveland and Fort Myers (1/15/15)5
- Kansas City and Houston (8/8/14)
- Cleveland and Fort Lauderdale (2/5/15)
- Fort Lauderdale and Houston (9/3/14)
- Cleveland and Dallas/Fort Worth (2/5/15)
- Houston and San Diego (9/3/14)
- Cleveland and Las Vegas (2/5/15)
- Detroit and Atlanta (10/24/14)
- Cleveland and Los Angeles (4/16/15)
- Chicago and Atlanta (10/24/14)
- Cleveland and Myrtle Beach (4/16/15)5
- Detroit and New Orleans (10/30/14
- Chicago and San Diego (4/16/15)
- Chicago and New Orleans (10/30/14)
- Chicago and Philadelphia (4/16/15)
Maintained its commitment to offer low fares to its valued customers; average ticket revenue per passenger flight segment for the third quarter 2014 was $84.50 with total revenue per passenger flight segment of $138.54.
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-132 N502NK (msn 2433) in the new canary yellow “Home of the Bare Fare” livery arrives in Las Vegas.
Air Serbia (Belgrade) yesterday (October 27) launched a multi-channel advertising campaign to boost awareness of the airline and position Belgrade as a convenient European air transport hub. The airline continued;
“The campaign, which carries the end line: “Air Serbia – The new wings of Europe”, also promotes Serbia and its capital city as a vibrant leisure destination, and is part of the next phase of growth for Serbia’s national airline beyond the Balkan region, including Europe and North America.
Chief Executive Officer of Air Serbia, Dane Kondić, said: “Air Serbia has already achieved strong growth in Serbia and the region. However, if we are to be truly successful with the implementation of our business plan, we need to strengthen our presence across Europe as we connect our network with those of our partners. There is no point in having the best product and service or most connected network, if people don’t know who you are, where you fly or what you stand for”.
The multi-media campaign will include television, print, outdoor billboards and a strong online component.
All the imagery for the campaign was shot on location in Serbia.
Mr Kondic said he was very happy with the campaign. “This campaign is as much about Serbia and Belgrade as it is about Air Serbia. As we proudly share the brand of Serbia, the campaign captures the best that we have to offer as an airline and as a country.It promotes the natural beauty of our country and the fresh, distinctive flavours of Serbian cuisine; highlights a city with rich history and a vibrant nightlife, and promotes Air Serbia as an airline that exemplifies service and quality. This campaign will attract more business to Air Serbia, and this will in turn support the growth of the airline leading to the creation of more jobs for Serbian nationals. I am very excited about the launch, knowing that by making Air Serbia successful, we are continuing to make a significant contribution to the economy of Serbia”, Mr Kondić said.
The campaign will initially air for a month in the Balkan region, Russia, Poland, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and Austria with the goal of maximizing exposure for the Air Serbia brand and building awareness for its offer.”
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-132 A6-SAB (msn 1159) taxies at Zurich.
Video: The new advertising campaign:
Emirates (Dubai) yesterday (October 27) as planned launched a daily nonstop service to Budapest, marking its first entry into Hungary.
Emirates’ daily flight to Budapest is operated with a wide-body Airbus A330-200 aircraft in a two-class configuration. The inaugural flight was welcomed by Jost Lammers, Chief Executive Officer, Budapest Airport, along with partners from the travel trade and local media, at a special reception held at the airport. A contingent comprising His Excellency Zoltan Jancsi – Ambassador of Hungary to the United Arab Emirates and other business leaders, accompanied by senior Emirates representatives, was present on the inaugural flight.
Emirates’ 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.
Copyright Photo: Emirates A330-243 A6-EKW (msn 316) taxies at London (Heathrow).
Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) in a cost-cutting measure following the 49 percent investment by Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi), will terminate 879 ground crew employees, 61 pilots and 54 flight attendants according to Ria Novosti citing a report by the Italian news agency Adnkronos. The cut employees will begin receiving notice on October 31. Previously the beleaguered carrier had already eliminated 700 positions through through resignations or retirements.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
In other news, with these employee cuts, Alitalia will also trim its fleet. According to ch-aviation, partner Airberlin (Berlin) will add 14 ex-Alitalia Airbus A320s as it goes to an all-Airbus fleet.
Finally the carrier issued the details about its winter schedule that started on October 26:
On Sunday, October 26, Alitalia’s schedule for the winter season 2014-2015 took effect with validity through March 28, 2015.
The schedule will operate 3,650 weekly flights on 124 routes (7 more than the 2013-2014 winter season) and 83 destinations, of which 26 in Italy and 57 destinations in 41 other countries worldwide.
The main highlights of Alitalia’s winter network are:
• the launch of new daily direct flights between Rome and Marseilles reinforcing Alitalia’s offer between Italy and France, and new service to Skopje (Macedonia) and Marrakech (Morocco) launched in recent months;
• the launch of a code share agreement between Alitalia and Airberlin, second largest German airline, making available 412 weekly direct Alitalia and Airberlin code shared flights between Italy and Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as many Airberlin domestic flight and Alitalia domestic and international flights;
• the launch of flights replacing Air One Smart Carrier discontinued service between Pisa and Catania and between Milan Malpensa and Tunis;
• the commitment to providing continued and increased service to Albania with a total of 96 flights to Tirana from 8 Italian airports: Rome Fiumicino, Milan Malpensa, Pisa, Bologna, Bari, Turin, Venice and Genoa;
• an increase in the intercontinental network compared to the winter season 2013-2014 with the addition of frequencies to Brazil (+1 weekly frequency to Rio de Janeiro and +3 frequencies to Sao Paulo) and the increase of frequencies between Rome and Abu Dhabi (+2 weekly frequencies).
• on the international network, compared to 2013-2014, there will be an increase of service between London City and Milan Linate, between Tirana and Rome (+6 weekly frequencies), from Rome to Tel Aviv and Bucharest (+3 weekly frequencies), from Rome to Madrid (+2 frequencies), to Zurich, Toulouse, Athens, Prague (+1 frequency) and from Milan Linate to Frankfurt (+2 weekly);
• on the domestic network, compared to the winter season 2013-2014, increased service from Milan Linate Airport to Pescara (+5 weekly frequencies) and introduction of flights between Rome Fiumicino and Alghero in territorial continuity;
• continued service, in territorial continuity, from Lampedusa to Palermo and Catania and Palermo to Pantelleria and Trapani to provide the citizens of Lampedusa and Pantelleria reliable and consistent connections to Sicily, the rest of Italy and international and intercontinental destinations within Alitalia’s network;
During the month of September 2014, Alitalia transported 2,273,629 passengers, an increase of 0.5% compared to the same period last year.
In addition, the load factor in September reached 82.6% (+3.2 percentage points compared to September 2013).
In September flights to and from Rome Fiumicino hub recorded a load factor of 85.8%, 4.4 percentage points higher than in September 2013. This result is especially guided by the increase by 1% on transit passengers in Rome airport with a load factor increase of 2.9 percentage points on connecting flights to and from Fiumicino.
Early October figures confirm the growth trend: in 22 days of October domestic routes from Rome Fiumicino recorded a +5,8% increase in passengers and an average load factor of 79.4% (+2 percentage points compared to 2013).
Positive results also on the routes served by the Milan Linate airport, in the first 22 days of October, which showed an increase in passengers by 3.8% and an average load factor of 70.2% (+3.4 percentage points compared 2013).
Copyright Photo: Jacques Guillem/AirlinersGallery.com. In April 2014 Alitalia introduced this “Discover Friuli Venezia Giulia” Airbus A319 logo jet in support of the Colibri (Hummingbird). Friuli Venezia Giulia is the only region in Italy where the endangered Hummingbird maintains a natural habitat. A319-112 EI-IMI (msn 1745) taxies past the camera at Paris (Orly).
Adria Airways (Ljubljana) on October 21 operated its last Airbus A320 flight with the pictured A320-231 S5-AAS (msn 444). The aircraft has been returned to the lessor according to EX-YU. The carrier now only operates two Airbus A319s, six Bombardier CRJ900s and two CRJ200s which are being phased out.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. S5-AAS taxies at Zurich.
Jetstar Airways (Melbourne) has unveiled a new logo jet. Jetstar’s “Little Athletics” is the latest themed Airbus A320.
“Little Athletics” is a statewide organization of local clubs which run Track and Field type activities for children between the ages of 5 and 15 one evening per week during summer months. Jetstar became a sponsor on July 25, 2014. The new logo jet is part of this new relationship.
On July 25, 2014 Jetstar issued this announcement:
Jetstar announced a new partnership with Little Athletics Australia (LAA), becoming the first ever official naming partner for one of Australia’s best loved junior sports.
The two year partnership further cements Jetstar’s commitment to Australian communities and demonstrates that the airline stands for more than just low fares.
Jetstar Australia and New Zealand CEO, David Hall, said LAA’s mission to develop children of all abilities by promoting positive attitudes and a healthy lifestyle through family and community involvement in athletic activities aligns well with the airline’s brand values.
“We are proud to partner with Little Athletics Australia, a unique Australian organization that promotes having fun, being healthy and community involvement,” Mr Hall said.
“Little Athletics aligns with Jetstar’s values of creating new memories and special moments and we look forward to supporting Little Athletics communities nationwide as we take this new journey together.”
The partnership will provide LAA with funds to provide more backing to the 500 plus Centres throughout the country while giving Jetstar the opportunity to engage with the Little Athletics community.
Martin Stillman, Chief Executive of Little Athletics Australia, said “Little Athletics is an iconic brand in the Australian junior sporting landscape and we are thrilled to partner with Jetstar Airways as our new naming rights partner. The Jetstar partnership will enable Little Athletics to provide more support and resources at grassroots level and ensure further growth within the sport.
“We recently celebrated 50 years of Little Athletics in Australia, and are now excited to embark on this new chapter in our history with Jetstar.”
Former Little Athlete and current captain of Australia’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games team, Sally Pearson said, “When I was thirteen, my coach at Helensvale Little Athletics Centre introduced me to hurdling and I haven’t looked back since. It taught me to aim high and be my best from an early age which undoubtedly set me on the journey towards winning Olympic Gold. Little Athletics is a unique program and one that I am very proud to have been part of.”
Little Athletics is a unique Australian athletics program for children from 5 to 15 years based upon track and field activities that have been modified to suit the age, developmental stage and ability of the children.
Little Athletics is a volunteer-driven sport which is reliant on the assistance of parents and other adult volunteers to deliver the weekly sessions to more than 100,000 girls and boys.
Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 VH-VFL (msn 5489) arrives in Sydney with the special LAA markings.
Video: Have you ever wondered if playing sport is more important than homework? Jetstar Jack asks all the tough questions in this exclusive Jetstar Little Athletics report, where he hangs out with the Little Athletes while exploring planes on the side – but not before having a chat with Jetstar’s Group CEO, Jayne Hrdlicka.
Brussels Airlines (Brussels) next summer season is adding six new destinations; Billund (starting on March 29), Calvi (May 30), Dubrovnik (April 25), Lourdes (May 11), Olbia (May 27) and St. Petersburg (March 30).
The airline issued this statement:
Brussels Airlines expands its network for summer 2015, adding no less than six new destinations: St. Petersburg, Dubrovnik, Calvi, Lourdes, Olbia and Billund.
The flight frequencies of Tel Aviv and Malta will be increased.
As from March 29, Brussels Airlines starts flights to Billund, in the Danish Jutland region. The airline will operate two daily flights, with a schedule that is convenient to both business travelers and tourists, and which allows connections to other destinations in Europe, Africa and the States.
Brussels Airlines also reinforces its Southern European flight offer, by adding Dubrovnik to its network, the gateway to the magnificent Croatian coast and islands. Dubrovnik will be served twice a week. Weekly flights to Calvi (Corsica) and Olbia (Sardinia) will also be added to the summer timetable.
The airport of Lourdes will be served twice per week (Monday and Friday) between May 11 and September 25. With its Lourdes service, Brussels Airlines offers an alternative travel solution to the thousands of pilgrims visiting the French town.
Brussels Airlines adds St Petersburg to its network, a cultural top destination which wasn’t connected to a Belgian airport yet. The city of the Tsars, known for its Hermitage museum, is served three times per week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday).
More flights to existing destinations
The flight offer to Malta, which was launched successfully last summer, returns in 2015 with more flight frequencies. Because of the large demand, Brussels Airlines will set course for Malta twice per week (Thursday and Sunday) between April and October.
More flights are also added between Brussels Airport and Tel Aviv. Starting next summer season, the destination will be served twice daily (morning and afternoon/night flight).
Seville, the capital of Andalucía, will be operated four instead of three times per week and Faro, the gateway to the Algarve, will be served six instead of five times per week.
Brussels Airlines continues its flights to other popular summer destinations next summer, including Nice, Malaga, Barcelona, Florence, Alicante, Marrakech, Agadir, Athens, Naples, Porto, Palermo, Catania, Venice or one of the many other European destinations.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 OO-SSN (msn 1963) lands at EuroAirport.
JetBlue Airways (New York) today (October 26) launches its interpretation of premium service, Mint, between New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO).
The airline continued with this statement:
Mint, which launched on June 15 between JFK and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), has quickly proved a success with both customers and media. JetBlue is also ramping up service between New York and San Francisco in the coming months, increasing to up to five daily roundtrip flights by first quarter 2015.
JetBlue’s critically acclaimed Mint service features the widest seat and longest fully-flat bed in the U.S. domestic market and four private suites among the 16 seats. With the introduction of Mint, JetBlue is now the only airline in America and one of the few in the world to offer customers a private suite. The Mint Experience also features a 15-inch flat screen with 100+ channels of DIRECTV® programming and more than 100 channels of SiriusXM® satellite radio.
JetBlue has teamed up with a number of unique partners to provide a distinctive product with Mint. From a tapas-style menu curated by popular New York City restaurant Saxon+Parole, wines selected by its new wine expert Jon Bonné (Wine Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle), and customized amenity kits from Birchbox, to organic desserts by Blue Marble Ice Cream and a sweet treat from Mah-ze-Dahr Bakery, Mint customers will enjoy the latest products and delicious cuisine providing refresh-mint, entertain-mint and rejuvenation during and after their flight.
Mint is available on the brand new Airbus A321 aircraft that are being continuously added to JetBlue’s fleet. JetBlue’s A321 fleet with Mint will total 11 aircraft by the end of first quarter 2015.
JetBlue already provided unlimited snacks and soft drinks, an offering that will be expanded aboard Mint aircraft. To add even more to the core experience on New York-Los Angeles/San Francisco flights, JetBlue created the Inflight Marketplace concept for all new Airbus A321s, a complimentary self-serve station full of snacks, soft drinks and water for customers to enjoy at their convenience throughout the flight.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The A321s have the unique Prism tail design. Airbus A321-231 N923JB (msn 5960) climbs away from Los Angeles bound for New York (JFK).
Monarch Airlines (London-Luton) has a new ownership structure. Gerbil Capital LLP has finalized its acquisition yesterday (October 24) of the 90 percent of the stock of the airline. The airline issued this statement:
The Board of Monarch Holdings Limited (Monarch Airlines), is pleased to announce the completion of its strategic review and restructuring program under which it has secured ₤125 million of permanent capital and liquidity facilities provided by Greybull Capital LLP anchored by a ₤50 million capital commitment, with contributions from the Group’s prior shareholders, principally the Mantegazza family. Greybull also acquired 90% ownership interest in Monarch, with the remaining 10% passing to the Group’s defined pension scheme and ultimately the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).
The Civil Aviation Authority has renewed the Group’s ATOL licence.
Greybull is a family office that manages investments in private companies across a diversified range of industry sectors. Greybull will provide significant capital to Monarch in order to grow the Group and build on its long-established heritage and trusted brand name.
Under the leadership of new Chief Executive Andrew Swaffield, Monarch has undertaken a comprehensive strategic review of all areas of the business, from operations to ownership and financing. The aim of the review has been to create the optimum structure to realize the significant opportunity to build on Monarch’s respected brand and distinctive offer to its customers in the European scheduled leisure carrier market.
The main outcomes of Monarch’s strategic review and restructuring, which have led to the successful transaction with Greybull, are:
1. Optimize fleet from 42 to 34 aircraft, and revised agreements with lessors to either mark-to-market or early return of 10 aircraft from the current fleet
2. Securing a new Boeing fleet order for 30 737 MAX 8 aircraft with deliveries from 2018 to 2020, providing a cost-effective and uniform fleet by late 2020
3. Both long-haul and charter flying to end by April 2015
4. Airline network to specialize on Monarch’s ‘heartland’ of scheduled short-haul European leisure routes, with increased average frequencies, aircraft utilization, productivity and profitability
5. Focus on five UK airport bases – London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, London Luton and Leeds-Bradford – and closure of East Midlands from summer 2015
6. Material concessions agreed with employees across the Group to enable the successful restructuring, including reductions in pay of up to 30%, with more than 90% of unionized staff voting to accept changes, and some 700 redundancies, two-thirds of which were voluntary
Reduction of the Group’s operating cost base, in line with other low-cost carriers, and increased efficiencies across the business
Resolution of the Group’s pension deficit through agreement with the Pensions Regulator, PPF and the Trustee of the Monarch Airlines
7. Limited Retirement Benefits Plan which will result in the Plan being assessed for entry into the PPF. The PPF would then hold a 10% stake in the Group, in line with its principles in restructurings such as this. The Pensions Regulator has cleared the restructuring. The pension deficit as per the company’s balance sheet was previously £158 million and the current estimated shortfall to secure full benefits is around £660 million.
Monarch Group CEO, Andrew Swaffield, said:
“I am delighted to welcome the Greybull team as the new owners of the Monarch Group. We have a shared vision for the strategic direction and prospects for the business, and I am looking forward to working with them to implement the exciting plans for building our future.”
“I would personally like to thank all Monarch employees who have been hugely supportive of the initiatives which were essential to complete this transaction. I am very proud to be leading such a team – together we will be building a great future for the Group.”
Commenting on behalf of the selling shareholders, Fabio Mantegazza said:
“We are very proud to have created one of the most loved aviation brands in the UK over the last 46 years. We think that now is an appropriate time to allow new shareholders to take Monarch into the future, with secure financial backing and clear strategic goals and we wish the Group every success.”
Said Greybull Partner Marc Meyohas:
“We are delighted to acquire Monarch and invest our capital into a very strong brand with great potential in all its markets and are grateful for the selling shareholders’ support in achieving this transaction. We see this as a long-term investment and hope we can be very supportive shareholders throughout Monarch’s next chapter.”
Seabury Securities (UK) Ltd., a unit of Seabury Group, acted as lead investment banker, along with co-adviser Dean Street Advisers, to the Monarch Group on the transaction with Greybull Capital LLP. Seabury Advisors LLC served as Monarch’s lead restructuring adviser and industrial consultant with respect to crafting the turnaround plan with Monarch’s management group. KPMG LLP and Short Partners LLP served as additional restructuring advisers. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and Bird and Bird LLP served as legal advisers to Monarch.
Greybull was advised by Zolfo Cooper LLP as financial adviser and Forsters LLP as legal counsel.
PricewaterhouseCoopers served as adviser to the selling shareholders.
In August 2014, Monarch confirmed it was undergoing a strategic review with the objective of determining the optimal structure to take the company forward. The Group sees a significant opportunity to build on the respected Monarch brand and distinctive customer offer, in order to create a focused and efficient scheduled European leisure carrier. Part of this strategy involves a major investment into its aircraft fleet. In July 2014, Monarch announced Boeing was the preferred bidder for its narrow-bodied fleet replacement, with 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8s for delivery from Q2 2018. At current list prices, this aircraft deal would be worth $3.1 billion. This transformational investment will enable Monarch to operate as efficiently as any European low-cost carrier.
As part of the strategic review, the Board of Monarch identified a number of cost-reduction initiatives that needed to be addressed in order to compete effectively in its chosen markets, specifically the scheduled European short-haul leisure market. With the strong support of all of Monarch’s stakeholders, including its employees, unions, third-party suppliers and regulators, a number of initiatives were set in motion and have been agreed to create a far stronger Group.
Greybull has private equity investments in various sectors including pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, energy, industrials, retail and leisure. It is a long-term active investor with significant or controlling stakes in all of its companies. Within its portfolio Greybull owns significant assets including:
Plessey Semiconductors Limited, where since 2010 Greybull has supported management’s plans to restructure and re-develop the company and has financed add-on acquisitions
New Era Petroleum Inc. Since 2010 Greybull has backed New Era with both working capital to develop its activities and capital to acquire and re-develop oil fields in the US
Arc Specialist Engineering Limited is a conglomerate of businesses in the steel industry. Greybull fully financed Arc and has been successfully trading the company since becoming its majority shareholder in 2013
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. As part of the restructuring all long-haul routes are being dropped as the “new Monarch” focuses on its core UK Heartland cities with popular short-haul routes to sunny destinations. Monarch is retiring its last two Boeing 757-200s and likely the pictured Airbus A330-200s as the long-haul routes are dropped. The company will focus around the Airbus A320/A320 Family aircraft until the new Boeing 737 MAX 8s are delivered. Airbus A330-243 G-SMAN (msn 261) is pictured taxiing at Palma de Mallorca. Is a new livery coming under the new owners?
Monarch Airlines Aircraft Slide Show:
Delta and Virgin Atlantic this weekend add to their trans-Atlantic joint venture with two swapped flights
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) this weekend are marking the launch of their new services between London (Heathrow) and Los Angeles and London-Heathrow and Atlanta respectively.
The new routes are the first transfer of operations between the two airlines since the launch of their joint venture earlier this year and will offer more choice and flexibility for both airlines’ customers on these key routes across the Atlantic.
From Sunday, Delta will be flying nonstop from London to California for the first time with one of two daily Heathrow-Los Angeles flights previously operated by Virgin Atlantic. The route is Delta’s seventh nonstop destination between London and the United States. Virgin Atlantic, meanwhile, is operating its first ever flights into the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, having taken over one of Delta’s three daily services, and is now able to offer more than 100 additional international and domestic connections to its customers at Delta’s hub airport.
Delta and Virgin Atlantic will operate their Los Angeles and Atlanta services at Heathrow Terminal 3. This co-location adds to the New York-JFK, Boston and Seattle/Tacoma joint venture flights, which already operate from Terminal 3. This provides convenient connections and a seamless customer experience for passengers of both airlines, including access to Virgin Atlantic’s award winning Clubhouse for all business class passengers. Both carriers also offer full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access on all business class flights between the U.K and U.S..
Virgin Atlantic expects to fly around 160,000 passengers annually to Atlanta and beyond on its new service providing convenient connections to Delta flights across the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. Virgin Atlantic has recently announced plans to add a second daily seasonal flight to Atlanta in summer 2015 as part of a package of investment into North American routes that will see the total number of peak day flights operated by the joint venture at 37 from March.
Since the start of the Delta and Virgin Atlantic trans-Atlantic joint venture, 3.5 million passengers have experienced the benefits of the partnership. The two airlines also have a codeshare agreement in place, maximizing the customer appeal of the joint schedule. The partnership enables the airlines to offer more flight choices for travellers on both sides of the Atlantic by improving their travel options.
Top Copyright Photo: Delta will operate the Boeing 767-300 ER on the LHR-LAX route. Delta’s Boeing 767-332 ER N16065 (msn 30199) now carries special “Andrew Young – Atlanta ‘s Ambassador to the World” markings by the nose saluting the diplomatic career of Atlanta native Andrew Young.
Bottom Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Virgin Atlantic will operate the Airbus A330-300 on the LHR-ATL route. Airbus A330-343 G-VUFO (msn 1352) climbs away from the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will expand its European services in next year’s summer flight timetable. From March 29, 2015, the airline will be operating a new route from Frankfurt Airport to Aalborg in Jutland, Denmark, with 14 flights a week.
The commercial and university city will be Lufthansa’s third destination in Denmark, after Copenhagen and Billund.
The airline will also be launching a twice-weekly nonstop service between Frankfurt and Keflavik (near Reykjavík), Iceland, from May 2, until September 26, 2015. The Aalborg route will have two flights a day with a Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft, with 90 seats in Business and Economy Class. The service will depart from the Lufthansa hub every morning at 8.25 a.m. as flight LH 844 and every afternoon at 4.10 p.m. as flight LH 846, arriving in Aalborg at 10.05 a.m. and 5.50 p.m. respectively. The return flights will land in Frankfurt at 12.25 p.m. and 8.10 p.m. respectively.
The service to Keflavik (Reykjavík) will operate on Thursdays and Saturdays with an Airbus A319, with 138 seats in Business and Economy Class. Flight LH 856 will take off from Frankfurt in the morning and land in Reykjavík around midday. Flight LH 857 will arrive back at Frankfurt Airport in the early evening.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 D-AIBB (msn 4182) taxies at Geneva.
WOW Air (Keflavik) as planned, is coming to Boston in March 2015 with fares starting at $99 one-way. Kleflavik International Airport-Boston Logan International Airport will start on March 27 and operate six days a week with Airbus A321s.
WOW Air will also operate seasonal service between Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI) and Keflavik International Airport with four weekly roundtrip flights starting on June 4, 2015.
For the service from BWI, WOW Air will also utilize Airbus A321 aircraft. The seasonal flights will operate four times per week, on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Top Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 TF-WOW (msn 2457) arrives at London (Gatwick).
WOW Air Aircraft Slide Show:
UPS Airlines’ (United Parcel Service) (Atlanta and Louisville) pilots, represented by the Independent Pilots Association, have issued this statement:
“Will United Parcel Service deliver this Christmas? That’s the question that manufactures, shippers, retailers and consumers have been asking. While we can’t speak to all aspects of UPS’s operations we can say that despite UPS not finalizing our contract we remain committed to delivering this Christmas season,” said Independent Pilots Association spokesperson Brian Gaudet.
Gaudet went on to say, “UPS has done a lot to avoid a repeat of last year’s holiday delivery troubles: it developed and funded a $175 million Peak Plan; finalized its labor contract with the Teamsters; increased its seasonal hires by seventy-three percent. But UPS didn’t do everything it needed to; UPS neglected its air operations by not finalizing the contract with its pilots. We are now in our fourth-year of contract talks with UPS. In spite of this drawn out negotiation, the IPA remains committed to delivering this holiday season. But we encourage UPS, for the benefit of its customers, to close out this critical unfinished business.”
To help make this point the IPA has taken out full-page ads in the Asian, European and Eastern U.S. editions of the October 24 issue of the Wall Street Journal (below).
The Independent Pilots Association represents the professional pilots flying for United Parcel Service.
Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A300F4-622R N164UP (msn 853) completes its final approach to the runway at Toronto (Pearson).
Ad appearing in the Wall Street Journal:
Interjet (Mexico City) officially began flight operations in Houston, Texas today (October 23) as the airline celebrated the landing of its inaugural flight connecting Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Monterrey International Airport (MTY) in Monterrey, Mexico.
The airline will now offer passengers a choice between two daily flights Monday through Friday and one daily flight on Saturdays and Sundays. The inaugural flight from Monterrey arrived in Houston at 7:55 a.m. to the traditional water cannon salute and a welcome celebration featuring dozens of well-wishers.
The arrival of Interjet is the latest example of an unprecedented level of growth for international air travel in Houston. George Bush Intercontinental Airport is currently on pace to see more than 10 million international passengers in 2014, a number never reached in the facility’s 45 year history.
Interjet Aircraft Slide Show:
JetBlue Airways Corporation (JetBlue Airways) (New York) today reported its results for the third quarter 2014:
Operating income of $164 million in the third quarter. This compares to operating income of $152 million in the third quarter of 2013.
Pre-tax income of $132 million in the third quarter. This compares to pre-tax income of $119 million in the third quarter of 2013.
Net income for the third quarter was $79 million, or $0.24 per diluted share. This compares to JetBlue’s third quarter 2013 net income of $71 million, or $0.21 per diluted share.
“Today, we are pleased to report record third quarter earnings,” said Dave Barger, JetBlue’s Chief Executive Officer. “We saw improved profitability across our network, reflecting the success of our efforts to differentiate our product and culture and maintain competitive costs. I would like to thank our 15,500 crewmembers for their dedication to running a safe airline and delivering outstanding service to our customers.”
JetBlue reported record third quarter operating revenues of $1.5 billion. Revenue passenger miles for the third quarter increased 5.9% to 10.1 billion on a capacity increase of 4.5%, resulting in a third quarter load factor of 86.2%, an increase of 1.2 points year over year.
Yield per passenger mile in the third quarter was 13.96 cents, up 0.9% compared to the third quarter of 2013. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for the third quarter 2014 increased 2.4% year over year to 12.03 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 1.4% year over year to 13.00 cents.
Operating expenses for the quarter increased 5.7%, or $75 million, over the prior year period. Interest expense for the quarter declined 7.8%, or $3 million, due to JetBlue’s focus on debt reduction. JetBlue’s operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for the third quarter increased 1.2% year over year to 11.61 cents. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM(1) increased 2.6% to 7.13 cents.
Fuel Expense and Hedging
JetBlue continued to hedge fuel to manage price volatility. Specifically, in the third quarter JetBlue had in place hedges for approximately 23% of its fuel consumption and managed approximately 7% of its fuel consumption using fixed forward price agreements (FFPs). This resulted in a realized fuel price of $3.05 per gallon, a 2.7% decrease over third quarter 2013 realized fuel price of $3.14. JetBlue recorded $1 million in losses on fuel hedges that settled during the third quarter.
JetBlue has managed approximately 34% of its fourth quarter projected fuel requirements using a combination of FFPs, jet fuel swaps and caps. Based on the fuel curve as of October 16th, JetBlue expects an average price per gallon of fuel, including the impact of hedges, FFPs and fuel taxes, of $2.80 in the fourth quarter.
Liquidity and Cash Flow
JetBlue ended the quarter with approximately $742 million in unrestricted cash and short term investments. In addition, JetBlue maintains $550 million in lines of credit.
During the third quarter, JetBlue repaid approximately $61 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations. JetBlue plans to repay approximately $128 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations in the remainder of 2014.
Fourth Quarter and Full Year Outlook
For the fourth quarter of 2014, CASM is expected to decrease between (3.0)% and (1.0)% versus the year-ago period. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in the fourth quarter is expected to increase between 1.0% and 3.0% year over year.
CASM for the full year is expected to increase between 0.5% and 2.5% over full year 2013. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in 2014 is expected to increase between 2.5% and 4.5% year over year.
Capacity is expected to increase between 5.0% and 7.0% in the fourth quarter. For the full year, capacity is expected to increase between 4.0% and 6.0%.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N821JB (msn 5417) with Sharklets arrives at the John F. Kennedy International Airport base in New York.
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) has extended its collective bargaining agreement with its employees through 2017. The company issued this statement:
Aeroflot management and airline employee trade unions have successfully concluded negotiations that extend the collective bargaining agreement currently in place for the period 2014 through 2017. The collective agreement calls for a wide range of benefits for employees, irrespective of union membership.
Despite the challenging economic environment in Russia, the parties determined it was essential to keep in place all benefits, subsidies and guarantees included in the prevailing collective agreement. The trade unions have maintained the crucial role they have long held in facilitating labor relations. The agreement was signed by the United Representative Body of Aeroflot employees.
The collective agreement will remain in force through December 1, 2017. The range of benefits laid out under the collective agreement is unprecedented in the airline industry. To date the expenses incurred by Aeroflot to maintain these benefits exceeds 3 billion rubles a year.
Employees receive attractive and high salaries that are regularly re-indexed, and in addition receive additional payments (paid annual leave, awards upon retirement, paid public holidays, etc.).
The collective agreement calls for the following benefits:
Adding up to 14 days of holiday time (increasing total annual paid leave to 42 days);
Medical care (treatment at Aeroflot’s own Medical Centre, payment for treatment at other medical facilities, subsidised prescriptions);
Expense-paid holidays in sanatoriums (in 2014 employees enjoyed holidays and sanatorium treatments in Russia and abroad: Crimea, the Mineralnie Vody region of the Caucasus, the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, the Krasnodar region, Slovakia, Israel, the UAE and Turkey;
Non-state pension fund payments;
Subsidised air tickets for employees and their families;
Reimbursement of children’s pre-school expenses;
A number of key benefits continue for employees after they have retired from the Company.
Aeroflot has always valued healthy lifestyles for employees, and for that reason leases exercise facilities on their behalf.
Approximately 70% of the cost of employee benefits are allocated to on-board personnel, the airline’s most valued group of employees. In addition to high salaries in line with those at the leading international airlines, pilots receive:
The most holidays in the industry, 70 days off (whereas European carriers typically give pilots 28 days);
Comfortable accommodations when spending the night away from the pilot’s home airport;
Minimum three-star hotel accommodation;
Expense-paid holidays in sanatoriums (in addition to the standard company options, a special program is available to pilots and their families in the Czech Republic);
Per-diem based on average salaried day for days spent on routine medical check-ups;
In the event a pilot leaves the Company due to physical inability to carry out his duties, a one-time payment is made equivalent to 20%-100% of his annual salary;
Injury compensation of USD 5,000-10,000 in the event of health problems;
Non-state pension fund payments (through a dedicated pension plan, “Golden Anchor”)
Subsidised airline tickets, including on high-demand routes, for pilots and their family members.
The current JSC Aeroflot collective agreement was first signed in 2005. The agreement was the result of extensive collective bargaining with JSC Aeroflot by the leading airline employee union, First Trade-union Organisation, of which more than half of all Aeroflot employees are members. The collective agreement was renewed twice, in 2008 and 2011, without modifying the benefits received by employees.
JSC Aeroflot employs approximately 18,000 people in Russia and abroad and is the leading employer in the Russian aviation industry.
In other news, Aeroflot on October 26 Aeroflot is relaunching Moscow — Tbilisi and Moscow — Chisinau service.
Aeroflot will provide daily flights to the capital of Georgia on Airbus A320s from Sheremetyevo Airport Terminal D.
Daily flights to Chisinau will be operated on Airbus A320s from Sheremetyevo Airport Terminal D.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 VP-BRX (msn 3063) departs from London’s Heathrow Airport.
Finnair (Helsinki) has announced a new Airbus A330 Marimekko special livery with this announcement:
The design collaboration between Marimekko and Finnair takes a new step as a Finnair Airbus A330 will soon feature a previously unseen blue colorway of Marimekko’s classic Unikko (“poppy”) print. The plane will fly from Finnair’s Helsinki hub to the airline’s long-haul destinations starting from the end of 2014, joining a sister Airbus A340 aircraft (OH-LQD) painted in a different Unikko colorway in 2012 (below).
Above Copyright Photo:TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com.
“During this year we have been celebrating the fifty years of our most iconic pattern Unikko all over the world, reminding people of its story of courage and faith in oneself. We are very excited to continue the celebrations and our design partnership together with Finnair with the new Anniversary Unikko that will fly on the sides of Finnair’s Airbus 330, delighting people around the world,” says Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko, Marimekko’s COO. “For the celebration and as a continuation of our wonderful partnership with Finnair, Unikko also now has been given a special blue colorway, inspired by Finland’s thousands of lakes and beautiful, clean nature.”
“We are excited to build on and extend our partnership with Marimekko, a great Finnish company that has long shared our values and vision,” says Finnair CEO Pekka Vauramo. “Our two aircraft wearing the beloved Unikko livery are flying ambassadors of Finnish know-how, positivity and creativity. They make a proud statement as they soar toward the great cities of Asia, where both companies see a bright future.”
The design collaboration between Marimekko and Finnair began in 2012 and Marimekko for Finnair textiles and tableware were brought to all of the Finnish airline’s aircraft in 2013 (above). The collection was designed according to the airline’s needs by Marimekko designer Sami Ruotsalainen, in original Marimekko patterns by Maija Isola. The blue, green and grey colours and the classic prints used in the collection tell the story of Finnish nature and recall the perspective of looking out from an aircraft window, flying high above the landscape.
Unikko (“poppy”), is one of Marimekko’s most beloved classic patterns. The pattern was created in 1964 as a protest against Marimekko´s founder Armi Ratia, who had announced that Marimekko would not print any floral patterns, because flowers were more beautiful in nature than on fabric. Designer Maija Isola refused to obey Armi and created an entire series of floral prints. One of them was Unikko, which rapidly became a firm favorite and has stayed in production for already fifty years. To celebrate this five-decade milestone and the design collaboration between Marimekko and Finnair, a special anniversary version of the iconic pattern in a new, custom colorway will feature on a Finnair Airbus A330.
Image and photo: Finnair.
Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) has announced the details of its combined schedules for the winter season:
The airlines in the Lufthansa Group – Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines – are again offering their customers a dense and high-frequency route network in the upcoming 2014/2015 winter flight timetable, with 18,900 flights a week. This winter, the Lufthansa Group airlines will be linking 260 destinations in 100 countries on four continents via its hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels, but also with many point-to-point connections. Around 20,500 weekly code-share flights with other partner airlines extend the carriers’ respective programmes and enable single-source bookings. The winter flight timetables for the individual Group airlines apply from Sunday, October 26, 2014 to Saturday, March 28, 2015. Thanks to the use of larger aircraft, the Group’s capacity in available seat-kilometers is increasing by 2.9 percent compared with the same period last year. At the same time, the number of flights in the period of the timetable is going down by 2.9 percent. On average, therefore, a Lufthansa Group aircraft is taking off somewhere around the world every 32 seconds. The individual route networks of the Group airlines are increasingly converging with one another. Almost all destinations are connected via a Lufthansa Group hub. End-to-end fares enable passengers to book multiple journeys with convenient and punctual connecting flights. 49 per cent of the nearly 105 million passengers a year now book a transfer connection via a Lufthansa hub. 19 European airports are even served by all five airlines in the Lufthansa Group.
Key news from the five Lufthansa Group airlines:
This winter, Lufthansa is extending its route network to attractive new holiday destinations in warmer regions. After a break of over 15 years, Lufthansa is resuming flights to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands this winter. From October 26, the new connection will take off from Munich to Gran Canaria every Sunday, and every Saturday during school holidays too. Also new in the winter months are flights from Munich to Split (Croatia) and Valencia (Spain). As of October 2, Lufthansa also flies from Frankfurt to the Moroccan city of Marrakesh. This cultural city is situated at the foot of the Atlas Mountains in the Moroccan interior and can be reached in just under four hours with an Airbus A320 every Thursday and Sunday. A further addition to the flight plan from Munich is Miami in Florida, the US sunshine state, which will now have a daily nonstop connection. Delhi, the Indian capital, will also get a daily service from Frankfurt with the Airbus A380. The Frankfurt-Luanda connection to the capital of Angola will be strengthened by a third weekly flight. Starting on 15 December, Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn will extend their joint AiRail product of fast ICE train connections to Frankfurt Airport from Karlsruhe and Kassel.
In the winter flight timetable 2014/2015, Swiss is adapting its flight plans to winter demand. As well as seasonal reductions of some flights, Swiss is increasing its capacity to popular holiday destinations. The long-haul route between Zurich and Miami is to receive four extra Swiss flights a week, taking the total to fourteen weekly connections. Services to São Paolo, the biggest city in Brazil, will also be increased by three flights a week this winter, taking the total to ten weekly connections. The flight timetable will also include a daily connection to Los Angeles again. In Geneva, Swiss is continuing many destinations from its summer flight timetable throughout the winter, including Copenhagen, Rome, Lisbon and Pristina.
In its 2014/2015 winter flight schedule, Austrian Airlines is again offering its passengers a wide range of up to 100 destinations in 56 countries around the world. Following the successful introduction of Newark (USA) last July, Austrian Airlines will increase its weekly capacity from five flights to six flights a week as of April 2015, and to one flight a day from June. From June 2015, Austrian will therefore be flying daily to all its North American destinations. As a result of high demand in transit traffic, Austrian Airlines is also increasing the frequency of its flights to and from Chişinău from seven a week to a maximum of ten a week in the future.
Belgium’s largest airline is adding a new European destination to its winter flight timetable and improving many connections by adding additional flights: Riga, the capital of Latvia, will be served six times a week from Brussels as of October 26. Riga is one of the most important cultural and economic centres in the Baltic region and is hosting the EU presidency in the first half of 2015. Brussels Airlines is boosting its capacity with additional flights from Brussels to: Tel Aviv, Madrid, Marrakesh, Budapest, Geneva, Vilnius, Hanover and Bologna. Connections are also being improved to the African destinations of Douala, Yaoundé, Nairobi, Kigali, Bujumbura and Luanda.
In its winter flight timetable, Germanwings is offering a total of 84 destinations from Berlin-Tegel, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart. Additional capacity will still focus on Düsseldorf, where Germanwings is taking over more routes from Lufthansa. There are new high-frequency connections from the Rhineland metropolis to Berlin (57 flights a week), London-Heathrow (33 flights a week) and Zurich (24 flights a week). Also new from Düsseldorf are flights to Málaga (two flights a week), Naples (three flights a week), Nice (two flights a week), Moscow (seven flights a week) and Rome (five flights a week). The transfer of Lufthansa routes to Germanwings will be completed on January 8, 2015 with Düsseldorf – Zurich. Germanwings is also introducing a completely new route, Düsseldorf – Istanbul, with two weekly flights. Its programme in the German capital is also being extended with the takeover of two Lufthansa flights a week between Berlin-Tegel and Tel Aviv. With one flight a week, the German airline is also launching a new connection from Cologne/Bonn to the Cypriot port of Larnaca.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Lower cost Germanwings is taking most of the Dusseldorf routes from Lufthansa. Airbus A320-211 D-AIQH (msn 217) taxies at Antalya.
TAME Linea Aerea del Ecuador (Quito) launched a new service between Quito, Ecuador and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) beginning on October 17, 2014.
The new nonstop service to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood increases the connectivity between Ecuador and key U.S. markets, including Miami and Orlando. With more than 70,000 Ecuadorians living in Florida, TAME’s flight service provides easy and accessible options.
The new route takes only four hours and will be offered daily from Quito at 2:15 a.m. and arriving to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood at 7:15 a.m. The return flight from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood departs at 9:00 a.m. and arrives in Quito at 12:00 p.m. An Airbus A320 with a capacity for 162 passengers and an Airbus A319 for up to 140 passengers will be used.
Copyright Photo: Stefano Rota/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 HC-CID (msn 934) departs from Guayaquil.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) customers will have greater access to domestic Japanese destinations starting on October 22, 2014, thanks to a new codeshare agreement between American and Jetstar Japan (Tokyo-Narita).
Under the new arrangement, American Airlines will place its ‘AA’ code on services operated by Jetstar Japan between Tokyo Narita International Airport and Fukuoka, Matsuyama, Okinawa (Naha), Osaka (Kansai) and Sapporo (Shin Chitose), with first flights under the codeshare starting on October 26, 2014.
Jetstar Japan is a partnership between the QANTAS Group, Japan Airlines, Mitsubishi Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation. It operates 18 Airbus A320 aircraft across 10 destinations in Japan.
Top Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. American’s Boeing 777-223 ER N776AN (msn 29582) slips into the clouds over the London area after departing from Heathrow Airport.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Jetstar Japan’s Airbus A320-232 JA15JJ (msn 5701) arrives at the Tokyo (Narita) base.
Gulf Air (Bahrain) has announced that it will be recommencing flights to Shiraz. Becoming the airline’s 40th destination, the capital of Fars Province in Iran, will be served with 3 weekly flights, starting on December 15, 2014.
Gulf Air is further strengthening and supplementing its Iran operations after the recent resumption of flights to both Mashhad (December 2013) and Tehran (March 2014).
Gulf Air will be operating one of the airline’s Airbus A320 aircraft on this short-haul route.
In other news, Gulf Air has also announced that, following its successful resumption of operations to Thiruvananthapuram last year, it will be recommencing flights to Hyderabad, the fourth most populous city in India, with 5 weekly flights, starting from December 15, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Gulf Air. Airbus A320-214 A9C-AC (msn 4059) taxies to the runway.
Gulf Air Aircraft Slide Show:
Expo 2015 will be held in Milan from May 1, 2015 to October 31, 2015 with an estimated 20 million visitors expected to attend the event of which more than a third will travel to the northern Italian city by air.
Alitalia and Etihad Airways held joint simultaneous events at Malpensa Airport in Milan and Abu Dhabi Airport to unveil the two Airbus A330-200 aircraft, to audiences gathered in both locations as well as thousands watching online around the world.
The Alitalia A330-200 and the Etihad Airways A330-200, both in the eye-catching special livery, operated their first flights on Tuesday, October 21, between Rome and Abu Dhabi and will carry the Expo Milano 2015 “feeding the planet, energy for life” message worldwide.
Flight frequencies to and from Milan are set to increase during Expo 2015 when Alitalia will commence daily flights to Milan Malpensa from Abu Dhabi and from Shanghai, that will be introduced in the next months, after approval by European authorities, and Alitalia will also increase domestic and international flights. These flights will connect with Etihad Airways’ services throughout the Middle East and with markets in the Indian sub-continent, Southeast Asia, and Africa.
Alitalia and Etihad Airways will link Milan with 560 unique online and codeshare destinations across the globe.
The new Alitalia service to Abu Dhabi will complement Etihad Airways’ successful daily passenger flights and regular freight flights between Milan and Abu Dhabi and contribute to the two airlines’ commitment to develop Malpensa as a global air cargo hub.
In addition to the joint liveried aircraft, Alitalia and Etihad Airways are offering a number of business initiatives including all-inclusive packages and special fares targeted at families, seniors, business travellers and young people for Expo Milano 2015.
The two air carriers are also implementing an integrated marketing and communication plan including onboard and ground announcements for their flights, as well as offers to loyalty program members, print and digital campaigns, and social media activities.
Alitalia and Etihad Airways will have a pavilion throughout Expo 2015 with an interactive social hub that will enable guests to enjoy activities in Milan whether in the city or around the world.
All images by Alitalia and Etihad Airways.
Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (Honolulu), parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, reported its financial results for the third quarter of 2014.
GAAP net income in the third quarter of $35.6 million or $0.56 per diluted share.
Adjusted net income, reflecting economic fuel expense, in the third quarter of $49.5 million or $0.79 per diluted share, an increase of $12.7 million or $0.10 cents per diluted share year-over-year.
Operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increase of 4.6% and passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increase of 2.2%.
Unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $582 million.
Announced new service from San Francisco to Maui beginning November 2014.
Operated Los Angeles to Kona, three-times-weekly, and Los Angeles to Lihu’e, four-times-weekly, summer seasonal service through the beginning of September.
Operated Oakland to Kona, three-times-weekly and Oakland to Lihu’e, four-times-weekly, summer seasonal service through the beginning of September.
Operated Los Angeles to Maui second daily summer seasonal service through the beginning of September.
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 N393HA (msn 1422) arrives in Las Vgeas.
QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has unveiled and introduced its new Airbus A330 international Business Class product. The airline issued this statement and photos:
QANTAS customers are set to enjoy a new standard of luxury on international flights to Asia, Hawaii and key domestic routes, with the airline unveiling the final design of new Business Suites to feature on its A330 fleet, to be progressively introduced from later this year.
Designed in collaboration with Marc Newson, the new Business Suite will be available on all 28 of QANTAS’ A330 aircraft, offering the world’s first seats to allow customers to recline in their seat from take-off through to landing.* The Suites also offer fully-flat beds and direct aisle access for every Business Class passenger in a 1-2-1 layout.
The Vantage XL seat, manufactured by Thompson Aero Seating, was developed and customised extensively by Qantas after ergonomic trials and inflight monitoring with a panel of experts and ongoing feedback from customers.
The Economy cabins on all international A330s will be fitted with a next-generation model of the award-winning Recaro seat (above), an earlier version of which has been extremely popular with QANTAS customers on the Airbus A380 and refurbished Boeing 747 aircraft. Economy seats on the A330-200s for QANTAS Domestic will also be refreshed.
Customers in both cabins on the international A330 aircraft will be able to enjoy the latest Panasonic eX3 inflight entertainment system, with larger seatback touchscreens in addition to Q Streaming technology, enabling them to stream content from an extensive entertainment library directly to their own devices.
Domestic Business Class customers on A330 aircraft will also enjoy the same Panasonic eX3 system, while Economy customers will have an individual inflight entertainment experience through either seatback touchscreens or devices provided by QANTAS in every seat.
The work to refresh the aircraft interiors – which will take about one month for each – will start at QANTAS’ heavy maintenance facility in Brisbane next month. The first of the domestic refurbished A330 aircraft will take to the skies in late December from the east coast to Perth, and the first international A330 will commence flying in January 2015.
International and domestic routes currently serviced by QANTAS A330s:
· Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane to Perth
· Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane to Singapore
· Melbourne/Brisbane to Hong Kong
* Subject to final CASA certification.
Business Suites and Panasonic eX3 entertainment systems to be progressively introduced on A330 aircraft from December 2014.
Qatar Airways (Doha) has announced Frankfurt will be the first destination for its new Airbus A350-900. The fast-growing airline issued this statement:
Qatar Airways has announced Frankfurt as the first route for its highly anticipated A350 Xtra Wide Body (XWB) aircraft.
As the Global Launch operator of the A350 XWB, the program will achieve another major milestone once the airline receives its first aircraft before the end of this year.
Upon delivery, following several weeks of induction preparation, Qatar Airways will then be set to introduce its first commercial service to the German business hub city of Frankfurt.
Frankfurt will be operated nonstop daily with an A350 starting from January of next year.
Qatar Airways currently flies twice-daily to Frankfurt, and the double pairings will both be operated by an A350 on the route.
Initially flights QR 067/068 will be the first pairing with the A350, followed shortly by flights QR 069/70.
The 283 seats are divided across a dual cabin layout, configured in Business Class and Economy Class; 36 seats and 247 seats respectively.
Qatar Airways has 80 Airbus A350s on order, and expects to induct the first eight production aircraft into its fleet before 2015 year-end.
Before the end of this year the airline will reach 146 destinations, launching new services to Djibouti, in the Republic of Djibouti, on October 26 and Asmara, in Eritrea on December 4.
Qatar Airways presently flies to 144 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America, and operates a modern mixed fleet of narrow and wide-body aircraft.
Qatar Airways took delivery of its first double-decker A380 aircraft in September this year and it is currently operated daily on the Doha – London Heathrow route.
In other news, Qatar Airways Cargo has announced the launch of freighters to Stavanger in Norway, effective November 3, 2014.
Stavanger will be served once a week by an Airbus A330F freighter, with the freighter making a stop at Brussels before heading to Stavanger Airport and then returning to Doha.
Stavanger is known as the European oil and gas capital, with many of the major oil and gas companies and supplier companies having their Norwegian headquarters located in Stavanger. Other areas of activity and business include fishing, shipping, finance, culture, food and renewable energy. There is also great demand for Norwegian salmon worldwide, while imports include considerable quantities of motor vehicles and other transport equipment, raw materials, and industrial equipment.
With the introduction of scheduled freighter services, Qatar Airways Cargo will provide air transportation to these growing industries through the Doha hub, to and from more than 140 destinations worldwide.
The airline received its seventh Boeing 777 freighter on October 2, 2014, bringing up the total freighter fleet to 10.
Copyright Photo: Airbus/Qatar Airways. The pictured Airbus A350-941 F-WZFA (msn 006) will become A7-ALA on the official handover.
Emirates Airline (Dubai) has issued this statement on its on-going growth strategy:
Emirates will continue with its growth trajectory, in spite of global challenges like regional political instability, pandemic health issues in Africa and softening economic demand from dropping oil prices.
Speaking today at the Aviation Festival Middle East, Anand Lakshminarayanan, Divisional Vice President Route Planning and Economics said: “Countries recognize the importance of seamless global traffic flows and the multiplier effect to their own economies, and this has been instrumental in our own growth as an airline that attracts business and tourism opportunities. We will not deviate from our hub strategy and our future aircraft deliveries and orders are predicated on our non-stop services, connecting city pairs around the globe.”
Emirates expects to fly 70 million passengers in 2020, and the airline together with its partners in Dubai are already progressing on plans to ensure the right infrastructure is in place to support and capitalise on this growth.
The Aviation Festival Middle East is a platform for airlines, airports and the aviation industry to address strategies for growth and development. On behalf of Emirates, Lakshminarayanan discussed profitable network growth, aero-political access, airport constraints and commercial partnerships. The core of Emirates network strategy and Dubai hub were also discussed, in addition to Emirates’ view on alliances and strategic partnerships.
He cited India as an example where Emirates services have brought positive economic benefits, where the 185 weekly frequencies allotted to the airline directly contribute $825 million to the local economy, according to a study by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER).
Emirates has also been able to capitalize on strategic alliances with QANTAS Airways (Sydney), which has helped spur tourism into Dubai through the partnership. Over 250,000 Australians visited Dubai last year, largely reflecting the convergence of both airlines’ networks. Another mutually beneficial partnership that has supported Emirates’ growing United States network has been with JetBlue Airways (New York), which has grown to a bilateral codeshare agreement, enabling Emirates passengers to connect to over 60 cities served by JetBlue beyond its US gateways.
The airline continues to work on various initiatives, in partnership with Dubai International Airport, to help ease slot congestion. Terminal 4, set to open in 2015, will also help to address overall capacity requirements at the airport.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Emirates is also not afraid of its large and growing Airbus A380 fleet. The airline is also not concerned with the resale market for its A380s. It is happy to have single operator A380s. Emirates is an unique airline. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDQ (msn 080) with Expo 2020 markings departs from London (Heathrow).
American Airlines Cargo and US Airways Cargo today are now using the same air waybill, another step in the merger process
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix) have reached a significant milestone in their merger today as the cargo divisions combined under a single air waybill. The new entity brings in more than $800 million each year and moves more than one billion pounds of freight and mail annually.
The cargo teams have successfully combined 154 facilities and harmonized products since December 2013, making it the first operations division at the airline to be fully integrated.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Another step in the repainting process at US Airways is the pictured Airbus A319-112 N745VJ (msn 1289) in the legacy 1966 Allegheny Airlines markings now has American titles.
Allegheny Airlines (1st) Aircraft Slide Show:
Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin) is dropping the Berlin (Tegel)-Miami route on May 4, 2015 per Airline Route. The airline was planning to continue the route through next summer but this has now apparently changed. It is uncertain if the route will be added back for the following prime winter season. Airberlin was also feeding Oneworld partner American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) at the Miami hub.
Airberlin is adding frequencies to the New York (JFK) and Los Angeles routes.
Copyright Photo: Luimer Cordero/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-223 D-ABXA (msn 288) in the Oneworld motif arrives at Miami International Airport (MIA).
Aigle Azur (2nd) (Paris-Orly) is dropping the Paris (Orly)-Moscow (Vnukovo) route on October 26 per Airline Route. The route was an important connecting route with partner Transaero Airlines (Moscow) (see map below).
Since July 2012, Aigle Azur has been serving the Paris (Orly)-Moscow (Vnukovo) route in partnership with Transaero Airlines.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 F-HBIB (msn 3289) touches down at EuroAirport serving the Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg area.
Current Route Map:
Monarch Airlines (London-Luton) has announced two new destinations from Leeds/Bradford for the coming summer. The summer 2015 schedule from Leeds Bradford Airport will offer two new routes during the summer months to Alicante (starting on March 29) and Naples (March 30), in addition to eight routes continued from summer 2014, making a total of 28 flights per week. Flights to the increasingly popular destinations of Dalaman and Faro will see a rise in frequencies and holiday makers will enjoy more convenient flight times to Barcelona, Faro and Mahon. The airline will have 10 routes from LBA for the next summer season.
In July, Monarch Airlines announced that Boeing had been chosen as the preferred bidder for its anticipated fleet renewal project. The airline is currently working towards agreeing to terms which will see 30 new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft joining the Monarch fleet from April 2018, with options to add up to an additional 15 to the order.
Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. If the Boeing deal is finalized, the Airbus A320 family fleet is expected to be reduced. Airbus A320-214 G-ZBAA (msn 5526) with Sharklets departs from Palma de Mallorca.
Volaris (Mexico City) has announced the launch of two new routes to connect Mexico City and Guadalajara with Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Mexico City flights will start operating on December 1 and Guadalajara flights on December 4. Mexico City flights will operate four days a week and Guadalajara flights two days a week. FLL is the second destination in Florida after Orlando. FLL will serve the Miami area (see map below).
The carrier is also adding the following routes this winter:
Morelia-Oakland (twice-weekly, effective November 3)
Guadalajara-Orlando (twice-weekly, effective November 17)
Guadalajara-Chicago (O’Hare) (twice-weekly, effective November 19)
Cancun-Las Vegas (twice-weekly, effective December 18)
Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-133 XA-VOC (msn 2997) lands in Las Vegas.
Updated Route Map for routes from Mexico City:
Lufthansa (Frankfurt) issued this statement concerning strike action against the carrier today and tomorrow:
Lufthansa is working flat out to devise special timetables for the next two days in response to planned strike action by its Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union. The union has called for a nationwide strike affecting all Lufthansa flights operated with Airbus A320-family, Boeing 737 and Embraer aircraft from 13:00 CEST on Monday October 20 to 23:59 CEST on Tuesday October 21.
A first special timetable, valid for the first 24 hours of the strike, was placed on the http://www.LH.com website around 19:00 this evening. A second special timetable for the remaining strike period should be published tomorrow (Monday 20 October) around 13:00. The special timetables are also intended to ensure that Lufthansa services can be returned to normal once the strike is over.
In view of the length of the strike action called, Lufthansa’s short- and medium-haul services are likely to suffer substantial disruption during the strike period. But as part of its special timetable preparations, the company is currently determining which flights can still be operated. Lufthansa’s long-haul services will operate normally tomorrow (Monday); but travellers are still asked to check the status of their flight prior to their departure. The company’s http://www.LH.com website is the best place to do so: since the strike action has been announced on a Sunday, it will be some time before the call centres can be brought up to maximum capacity.
Travellers whose flight is cancelled as a result of the strike action have the options of rebooking or cancelling their ticket free of charge. Customers who have booked a Lufthansa flight for 20 or 21 October can also rebook their ticket once free of charge even if their original flight is expected to operate. Tickets for travel within Germany can also be exchanged for a rail ticket on http://www.LH.com or at any Lufthansa Quick Check-In machine.
The flights of sister Lufthansa Group carriers Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, SWISS and Air Dolomiti (operated by OS, SN, 4U, LX and EN) will operate normally during the strike period. Lufthansa Cargo, too, remains largely unaffected. Germanwings is currently studying whether it can operate up to four Lufthansa flights that would otherwise be cancelled as a result of the strike action. And Lufthansa’s personnel are doing their utmost to ensure that travellers – and connecting passengers in particular – can be rerouted via the Lufthansa Group’s Zurich, Vienna and Brussels hubs wherever possible to get them to their destination on time despite the strike action. Customers who have provided contact details will also be informed by email or SMS text message of any changes to their flights.
Lufthansa views the Vereinigung Cockpit’s announcement of its latest strike action as totally incomprehensible and disproportionate. The company also feels that the continuing series of strikes here only confirms that urgent action is needed to review the current strike laws in Germany for companies providing critical infrastructural facilities.
The transitional benefits offered by Lufthansa are still among the best (if not the best) in the world and therefore a significant privilege, the company maintains, and are thus exactly the opposite of the “social slashing” that the Vereinigung Cockpit claims. The company’s concrete offer to redesign these transitional benefits includes a comprehensive retention of current status and privileges and a gradual transition to a sustainable model for all current pilots.
Lufthansa also aims to offer pilots who have joined (or will join) the company since 1 January 2014 the option of early retirement from flight duties. And the company has offered the Vereinigung Cockpit further talks to discuss the financing of the transitional benefits for these newer staff. In response, the company has received no proposals for redesigning the present transitional benefits to date from the Vereinigung Cockpit itself.
Around half of the just under 10,000 pilots within the Lufthansa Group currently work under transitional benefit provisions that only allow them to retire from flight duties at age 60 or over, if at all. Indeed, the Vereinigung Cockpit itself has concluded collective labour agreements incorporating such provisions within the Lufthansa Group. But, Lufthansa maintains, the union is now insisting on provisions for the pilots it represents that would give them benefits which would be exceptionally generous in the aviation industry worldwide.
Lufthansa’s remaining 115,000 employees have made their contribution to ensuring the company’s long-term future and competitiveness in a harsh and unfair global market arena. So Lufthansa does not see the slightest reason why this particular employee group should be solely determined to retain its present status and privileges for decades to come, and to do so even for pilots who are yet to join the company.
Read the analysis from Business Insider: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 D-AILU (msn 744) “Lulu Stork” arrives at London (Heathrow).
Air Transat (Montreal) has announced it is adding a new destination, Budapest, Hungary, to its trans-Atlantic program for 2015, as well as increasing seats and frequencies on many of its European routes, including Paris, London, Barcelona, Athens, Lisbon, Marseille, Nantes, Rome and Venice.
The new route will be routed from Toronto (Pearson) to Montreal (Trudeau) and finally to Budapest with Airbus A330s from June 17 through October 8, 2015.
Besides service to secondary cities in France, the carrier is now offering twice-daily flights to Paris from Montreal and six a week from Toronto. Air Transat also remains the only airline offering direct flights to Paris from Quebec City, Calgary and Vancouver.
In addition, Air Transat announced a new connection between Halifax, Nova Scotia) to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador and finally to London (Gatwick), with two weekly Boeing 737-800 flights in the high season, in response to strong demand from travellers in the region. The route will be operated from June 17 through September 3, 2015.
Elsewhere in Canada, the carrier will increase flight frequencies on its London routes as well, offering 10 weekly departures from Toronto, two each from Montreal and Halifax, six from Vancouver, and three from Calgary.
Flights will also be added to Athens and Barcelona from Montreal and Toronto, and to Lisbon from Montreal.
In 2015, Air Transat will no longer offer flights to Germany from Western Canada, and will no longer fly to Turkey. Although the airline is eliminating service between Montreal and Istanbul, Air Transat will continue to market that destination, with land tours sold under the Transat Holidays and Transat Discoveries brands.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 C-GTSZ (msn 971) of Air Transat departs from Toronto (Pearson).
Air Transat Aircraft Slide Show:
Gambia Bird Airlines (Banjul) has been unable to resume flights to London (Gatwick) according to Proactive Investors. The west African airline had been planning to resume operations to London on October 17. The UK government through the Department of Transport did not renew its permit to operate to the UK due to the on-going Ebola crisis. The airline has been hit hard by the outbreak.
Previously Gambia Bird had extended the suspension of all flights to and from Monrovia, in Liberia, and to and from Freetown, in Sierra Leone, until September 28. 2014, due to the current public health situation in both countries.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Germania’s Airbus A319-112 D-ASTA (msn 4663) is seen in action at London’s Gatwick Airport.
Gambia Bird’s operating area is ground zero for the Ebola affected areas:
Gambia Bird Aircraft Slide Show:
Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has announced it will drop its daily route from Frankfurt to Abu Dhabi, the home of Etihad Airways. The route will be dropped on March 29, 2015. The German airline has been getting increased price competition from Etihad and its partner Airberlin (Berlin) on the route.
The route is operated with Airbus A330-300s.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-343 D-AIKJ (msn 701) arrives at Washington’s Dulles International Airport.
Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) is again expanding its network. The carrier will add daily nonstop flight between Denver and San Diego starting on January 6, 2015 according to The Denver Post.
Spirit returned to Denver in 2012 and has been adding routes since then.
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Reflecting the new “Bare Fare” advertising campaign, Airbus A319-132 N502NK (msn 2433) arrives in Las Vegas in the bright new canary yellow 2014 color scheme.
Spirit Airlines has taken the “Bare Fare” concept (i.e. charging for all extras) to the extreme, even now charging for carry-ons. They provide this “Pro Tips” guidance to avoid some of the extra charges:
Spirit Airlines Aircraft Slide Show:
Video: The Bare Fare explained by Spirit: