Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) yesterday (June 18) took delivery of its first Airbus A320 (N219NV).
In other news, Allegiant introduce twice weekly nonstop service on June 7 between Provo International Airport (PVU) and Oakland International Airport (OAK).
Copyright Photo: Greenwing/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister-ship and former Iberia A320-214 EC-HUL (msn 1347) is awaiting delivery at Dublin as N217NV.
Singapore Airlines (Singapore) has finalized its order for 30 additional Airbus A350-900s, plus options for a further 20 aircraft. The agreement firms up a commitment announced last month. Under the terms of the agreement, Singapore Airlines will be able to select either the baseline A350-900 or the larger A350-1000 when exercising the options.
This is the third order from Singapore Airlines for the A350-900. The deal sees the carrier’s total firm orders for the all-new aircraft increase to 70, plus 20 options. Singapore Airlines will operate the A350-900 on long haul and regional services.
SriLankan Airlines (Colombo) has signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Airbus for six A330-300s and four A350-900s. The MOU will have to be finalized into a firm contract.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. SriLankan already operates the Airbus A330-200. The A330-300 and A350-900 will be new types for the flag carrier. Airbus A330-243 4R-ALB (msn 306) prepares to land at Dubai.
Syphax Airlines (Sfax) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to acquire three Airbus A320neo aircraft. The order is the first time an African based carrier has ordered the NEO and marks a significant breakthrough for Airbus in one of the world’s fastest developing markets. Syphax have also ordered three A320ceo aircraft. The aircraft will be powered by CFM engines.
The airline already operates two Airbus A319s and three A320 aircraft and will shortly commence operating a leased A330-200.
The Air France-KLM Group currently operates a fleet of just over 190 Airbus aircraft, comprising eight A380s, 31 A330s, 13 A340s, 25 A321s, 54 A320s, 41 A319s and 18 A318s. With this new order Air France-KLM joins an exclusive group of airlines who are customers for every member of the Airbus product family.
The A350 XWB is the all-new mid-size long range product line comprising three versions and seating between 270 and 350 passengers in spacious three-class layouts. The new family will bring a step change in efficiency using 25 per cent less fuel and providing an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions. By the end of May, the A350 XWB has already won 613 firm orders from 33 customers worldwide.
Aerolineas Argentinas (Buenos Aires) has signed a contract to lease four Airbus A330-200s from International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC).
Deliveries of the aircraft are scheduled to take place later this year. This is a new type for AR.
Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. The newer A330-200s are likely to replace four of the older A340-300s. Airbus A340-313X LV-CSX (msn 373) is pictured at Sydney in the updated 2010 livery.
EVA Air (Taipei) today (June 18) joined the Star Alliance network, further strengthening the Alliance’s presence in Asia/Pacific. At the official joining ceremony held at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Mark Schwab, CEO Star Alliance said: “EVA Air has successfully completed all joining requirements and I can confirm that our Chief Executive Board (CEB) has now unanimously accepted EVA Air into our Alliance.”
Founded just over 16 years ago, Star Alliance has progressively built its presence in Asia/Pacific and now has eight member carriers based in this region, which continues to show a growing demand in air travel, posting 5.2% growth in 2012. At present, 19 Star Alliance member airlines operate more than 4,000 daily flights to, from and within the Asia / Pacific region, serving 280 airports in 44 countries.
Austin Cheng, President, EVA Air said: “Star Alliance membership gives us the privilege of serving new customers from all corners of the globe and introducing our passengers to the seamless services and status recognition that the Alliance provides. As a member, we have the opportunity to introduce travellers to new ways of connecting to destinations throughout Asia via our hub in Taipei.”
Star Alliance was founded with the mission of providing seamless global air travel for the high value international traveller. EVA Air’s customers will now have access to a global network of 28 airlines, operating more than 21,900 daily flights to 1,328 airports in 195 countries. In addition to bringing Kaohsiung in Taiwan and Surabaya in Indonesia as unique airports to the network, EVA Air expands the Alliance’s presence on the important Cross-Straits market, which has grown from an annual passenger volume of just over 3 million in 2009 to around 9 million in 2012. Moreover, Taiwan’s geographic location is such that it has the shortest average distance to all major cities in the Asia-Pacific region, making Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport an important hub in the region. In total, Star Alliance now offers 10 hubs across Asia / Pacific: Tokyo – Narita and Haneda, Seoul – Incheon, Beijing, Shanghai – Pudong, Taipei – Taoyuan, Shenzhen, Bangkok, Singapore and Auckland.
Top Copyright Photo: Star Alliance. The flight attendants (in their uniforms) of the member airlines welcome EVA Air at Taipei.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Yuji Wang/AirlinersGallery.com. EVA Air is a big corporate sponsor of the Hello Kitty cartoon series and brand created and owned by the Japanese company Sanrio. The third Hello Kitty logojet, in the form of Airbus A330-302X B-16333 (msn 1274) prepares to land at Shanghai (Hongqiao) (please click on the photo for the full-size view).
Star Alliance Members:
EasyJet (UK) (easyJet.com) (London-Luton), subject to shareholder approval, intends to place a firm order with Airbus for 100 A320neo aircraft. These will be preceded by 35 A320ceo aircraft equipped with Sharklets. Of the 135 aircraft, 85 will be for replacement.
Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 G-EZUI (msn 4721) in the special 200th Airbus livery departs from Zurich.
Air New Zealand (Auckland) has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320-200 equipped with fuel saving wing tip devices, or Sharklets, at a ceremony during the 50th Le Bourget Paris Airshow. The aircraft was handed over to the airline’s Chief Flight Operations and Safety Officer David Morgan.
Airbus launched the Sharklet during the November 2009 at the Dubai Air Show. Air New Zealand was the first customer to commit to the fuel saving devices.
Air New Zealand will take delivery of a total of 10 Sharklet equipped A320s.
Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Airbus A320-232 F-WWBH (msn 5629) was officially handed over to the carrier on June 15 as ZK-OXA (please click on the photo for the full-size view).
Doric Lease Corporation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the purchase of 20 Airbus A380s at the 50th Paris Le Bourget Airshow. The agreement was signed today by Mark Lapidus, CEO of Doric Lease Corp and John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers.
With this investment, Doric will offer a tailored A380 leasing solution and will make the aircraft even more accessible to both new and existing A380 operators around the world who prefer to opt for the flexibility of an operating lease. Doric already has significant experience with the A380, ranking as the third largest wide-body lessor worldwide by value, and the world’s largest asset manager of leased A380s. Doric has a six billion US$ aircraft portfolio under management, including 18 A380s acquired through sale-leaseback arrangements.
International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) (Los Angeles), a wholly owned subsidiary of American International Group, Inc. (AIG), announced today that it signed a Letter of Intent (LOI), subject to final agreement, for the purchase of 50 E-Jets E2 aircraft from Embraer, including 25 E190-E2 and 25 E195-E2 (Next Generation). The deal also includes options for an additional 50 aircraft, and marks the introduction of the E-Jets Family to the company’s diverse aircraft fleet.
Deliveries of the new aircraft are expected to begin in January 2018 and complete in 2023. The E-Jets E2 are configured with new aerodynamically advanced wings, new engine, full fly-by-wire flight controls, and advancements in other systems, which will result in double-digit improvements in fuel burn, maintenance costs, emissions, and external noise.
In 2011, Embraer announced that it would focus its attention on developing revamped versions of the E-Jet family, rather than an all-new aircraft. The second generation is known as the “E2″ against Bombardier’s CSeries.
Embraer made this announcement today at the Paris Airshow:
Embraer announced the launch of the second generation of its E-Jets family of commercial aircraft, named the E-Jets E2 and comprising three new airplanes – E175-E2, E190-E2, and E195-E2. The E190-E2 is expected to enter service in the first half of 2018. The E195-E2 is slated to enter service in 2019 and the E175-E2 in 2020.
“After more than a decade of success, the E-Jets have become a fixture in commercial airline fleets around the world,” saidFrederico Fleury Curado, Embraer S.A. President and CEO. “The launch of the E2 builds on our vision to offer leading-edge commercial jets with a capacity right-sized for 70 to 130 seats, seamless mainline comfort, and performance for flexible and efficient utilization by regional, low-cost, and network carriers.”
In a typical single-class layout, the E175-E2 was extended by one seat row, compared to the currentgeneration E175, and will seat up to 88 passengers, while the E190-E2 keeps the same size as the E190, of up to 106 seats. The E195-E2, compared to the current E195, has grown three seat rows and will accommodate up to 132 seats.
“Our strategy is to offer all the benefits of a clean-sheet design, but with the reliability of a mature platform and commonality with current generation E-Jets,” said Paulo Cesar Silva, President & CEO, Embraer Commercial Aviation, “We have been continually investing in the E-Jets program, so that our customers can stay competitive with aircraft that have the lowest operating costs and the highest passenger appeal, today and in the future. I’m confident that with our mature global support network, the compelling operating economics, and the benchmark cabins of the airplanes, both existing and prospective customers will recognize the benefits of the E-Jets E2.”
The application of advanced technologies for engines, wings, and avionics distinguishes the E-Jets E2 by providing airlines with maximum efficiency gains and no compromises, while maintaining commonality with current E-Jets. New aerodynamically advanced, high-aspect ratio, distinctively shaped wings, improved systems and avionics, including 4th generation full fly-by-wire flight controls, and Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower™ Geared Turbofan high by-pass ratio engines (PW1700G on the E175-E2, PW1900G on the E190-E2 and E195-E2) will result in double-digit reductions in fuel consumption, emissions, noise and maintenance costs, and increased aircraft availability. The E-Jets E2 will be capable of achieving similar costs per seat of larger re-engined narrowbody aircraft, with significantly lower costs per trip, thus creating new opportunities for lower risk development of new markets and fleet right-sizing by airlines.
Cockpit commonality with current generation E-Jets was a key driver in the design definition for a smooth transition for pilots who will fly the E2. Honeywell’s Primus Epic™ 2 advanced integrated avionics system with large landscape displays, advanced graphics capabilities, and Honeywell’s Next Generation Flight Management System (NGFMS), already in development with current-generation E-Jets, will provide exceptional pilot situational awareness and flexibility for continuous innovation on the flight deck.
Known for its comfortable and roomy cabins, with no middle seats, the E-Jets passenger experience will be further enhanced in the E2 generation. UK design firm Priestmangoode was contracted to jointly develop the aircraft cabin with Embraer. The interiors will establish a new benchmark in cabin design, improve the passenger experience, and deliver a more comfortable and improved environment, tailored to passengers’ needs, while maximizing airlines’ operational efficiency.
Other suppliers and partners for the E-Jets E2 have been announced previously: Liebherr (control systems for flaps and slats), Moog (fly-by-wire), Rockwell Collins (horizontal stabilizer control system), UTC Aerospace Systems (wheels, brakes, APU, electrical system), Intertechnique (engine and APU fuel feed, pressure refueling, fuel transfer, fuel tank inerting and ventilation, and fuel gauging and control), Crane Aerospace & Electronics (electronic control module for landing gear, brake control systems and proximity sensors), Triumph (fuselage segments, rudder and elevators) and Aernnova Aerospace (vertical and horizontal stabilizers).
Embraer estimates its total investments on the new E-Jets E2 models to be US$1.7 billion over the next eight years.
Embraer foresees a demand for 6,400 commercial jets with capacity of up to 130 seats, over the next 20 years. With more than 1,200 E-Jets orders, Embraer has achieved a 42% market share in its segment. Over 950 E-Jets have been delivered to date to 65 customers from 47 countries. Later this year, the 1,000th E-Jet will roll off the assembly line, nine years after the first aircraft entered revenue service.
In other news, ILFC has signed a firm contract for the purchase of 50 additional A320neo Family aircraft. The contract was announced today at the Paris Air Show by ILFC Chief Executive Officer, Henri Courpron and John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers.
ILFC was the first lessor to commit to the A320neo Family with a firm order placed in 2011 for 100 aircraft. With this latest order, ILFC increases its total firm NEO order tally to 150. ILFC will make its engine selection for the aircraft at a later date. Including this latest contract, ILFC remains Airbus’ largest customer, having ordered a combined total of 769 single-aisle and widebody Airbus aircraft.
AirAsia (AirAsia.com) (Malaysia) (Kuala Lumpur) may be getting ready to quit its AirAsia Japan (Tokyo-Narita) joint venture with ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ is reporting there is management “tension” and different approaches between the two main carriers.
One report has AirAsia selling all of its stock to ANA. ANA in return will merge AirAsia Japan with Peach Aviation. However this has not been confirmed by any of the parties which are reportedly exploring their options. Can the marriage between a fast-growing low fare airline and a mainline legacy flag carrier be saved?
AirAsia Japan commenced operations on August 1, 2012.
Read the full story from the Malaysian Insider: CLICK HERE
The CEO of AirAsia Japan issued this statement on June 11:
In regards to the recent media announcements on the dissolution of AirAsia Japan Co., Ltd., a joint venture between ANA Holdings Inc. and AirAsia Berhad; please be informed that our shareholders are still exploring all available options and any decision will be further subject to respective corporate approvals.
Rest assured that with the strong support from our major shareholder, ANA Holdings Inc., AirAsia Japan will continue to operate flights as usual.
As a Japan-based Low Cost Carrier (LCC), our goal is to make your dreams of travel a reality.
Your support is truly appreciated.
See you in the clouds!
CEO, AirAsia Japan
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The only way to tell it is AirAsia Japan is the small “Japan” inscription by the nose and the JA Japanese aircraft registration. Airbus A320-216 JA03AJ (msn 5325) climbs away from the Tokyo (Narita) base.
Current Route Map:
Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has launched these new routes:
- Thursday, June 13, 2013: four weekly nonstop seasonal service between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Los Cabos, Mexico (SJD) with flights on Tuesday, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
- Thursday, June 13, 2013: daily nonstop service between Houston Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and Denver (DEN).
- Thursday, June 13, 2013: daily nonstop service between Houston Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and Detroit (DTW).
- Thursday, June 13, 2013: resumption of daily nonstop seasonal service between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Toluca/Mexico City (TLC).
- Friday, June 14, 2013: three weekly nonstop flights between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Latrobe/Pittsburgh (LBE) with service on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Just two years after starting service at DFW, Spirit has grown to offer nonstop service to 26 destinations from the Metroplex, including Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington, Boston, Cancun (Mexico), Chicago-O’Hare, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Fort Myers, Houston-Bush Intercontinental, Las Vegas, Latrobe/Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Los Cabos (Mexico), Minneapolis/St. Paul, Myrtle Beach, New Orleans, New York-LaGuardia, Oakland/San Francisco, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix/Mesa, Portland (Oregon), San Diego, Tampa, Toluca/Mexico City.
Spirit offers nonstop service from Houston Bush Intercontinental to Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Orlando, as well as a variety of connections throughout the Americas.
Spirit offers nonstop service from Denver to Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Houston, Las Vegas, Phoenix/Mesa (seasonal) and Minneapolis/St. Paul (seasonal), as well as a variety of connections throughout the Americas.
Spirit offers nonstop service from Detroit to Atlantic City, Cancun, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Myrtle Beach, New York and Orlando, as well as a variety of connections throughout the Americas.
Spirit offers nonstop service from Latrobe/Pittsburgh to Dallas/Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Myrtle Beach and Orlando. As an excellent alternative to Pittsburgh International Airport, Latrobe’s Arnold Palmer Regional Airport is conveniently located along Routes 30 and 981 in Western Pennsylvania.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N615NK (msn 5159) prepares to land at Baltimore/Washington (please click on the photo for the full size view).
Video: ABC 15 asks is Spirit Airlines that cheap?
CBS examines the ultra low fare strategy of Spirit Airlines and interviews CEO Ben Baldanza: CLICK HERE
The Expanding Route Map:
Emirates (Dubai) has announced an upgrade of service from Dubai to Los Angeles with the introduction of the flagship Airbus A380 starting on December 2, 2013.
The 489-seat Emirates A380 offers 14 Private First Class Suites, 76 lie-flat beds in Business Class and 399 spacious seats in Economy Class. First Class passengers have access to two Onboard Shower Spas, while all premium passengers on the upper deck can socialise at the Onboard Lounge with an array of beverages and snacks. Passengers in all classes of service experience Emirates renowned hospitality, receive a generous baggage allowance, have inflight Wi-Fi and mobile phone connectivity, as well as access to the industry-leading ice entertainment system which boasts more than 1,400 channels of films, TV programs, games and music. This aircraft replaces the Boeing 777-300 ER which has serviced the route previously.
The A380 service will operate daily as flight EK 215 departing Dubai at 0820 (local time) and arriving at Los Angeles’ Tom Bradley International Terminal at 1250 (local). The return flight, EK 216, departs Los Angeles at 1600 and arrives in Dubai at 1950 on the following day. The arrival time of the A380 in L.A. will offer passengers easy connections to desirable destinations in the U.S. such as Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Diego and Honolulu.
Previously Emirates announced it will boost its services to Switzerland with the start of a daily Airbus A380 service to Zurich.
From January 1, 2014, flight EK 087 from Dubai to Zurich and its return sector EK 088 will be operated by an A380, offering an increased capacity of more than 1,100 additional seats every week in each direction. The service is currently operated by a Boeing 777-300 ER. Emirates will continue to serve Zurich with a double daily operation, which will equate to more than 870 seats on offer per day.
From January 1, 2014, the new A380-supported EK 087 flight will depart Dubai at 0825 and arrive in Zurich International Airport at 1220. The return flight, EK 088, will leave Zurich at 1435 and arrive in Dubai at 2340 (all times local).
Top Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Emirates). A380-861 A6-EDQ (msn 080) taxies at Amsterdam. Click on the photo for the full-size view.
Maximus Air (Abu Dhabi) has grounded its five Airbus A300-600 freighters due to the reported high operational costs. The cargo airline is canceling its A300 contracts. The carrier, which is restructuring and cutting costs, will continue to operate its Russian aircraft according to this report by The Loadstar. The A300s will be available for dry lease. DHL Aviation had been utilizing the aircraft.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten/AirlinersGallery.com. Maximus Air introduced this new look in 2012. Airbus A300B4-622R (F) A6-NIN (msn 797) lands at the Liege cargo hub.
Video: The unveiling of the new livery in 2012:
EasyJet (easyJet.com) (London-Luton) has reached a new agreement with the new owners of London Stansted Airport (STN) (north of central London). New owner MAG previously acquired STN from Heathrow Airport Holdings for $2.35 billion.
EasyJet, as part of the deal, has promised to raise its Stansted passenger numbers to 6 million passengers per year from the current 2.8 million passengers according to Reuters.
It is unclear if this is a straight built up of traffic with new routes or whether some traffic at other London airports will be moving to STN. The low-fare carrier has recently been adding new routes notably from at Gatwick and Southend. Nearby Luton is the base for the carrier.
Traffic at STN had been declining. This new accord will stem those losses. Rival Ryanair has a major hub at STN.
The airline recently announced it had reached the milestone of more than 60 million passengers who have travelled with the airline in the past 12 months to May 31, 2013.
When easyJet was founded in November 1995 the airline first took to the skies with just two aircraft flying between two domestic UK destinations. Eighteen years later, the airline now operates 212 aircraft flying to 137 airports in 33 countries spanning Europe and North Africa.
More than one hundred of easyJet’s 800 Luton based staff gathered outside the airline’s Hangar 89 head office at London Luton Airport to mark the 60 million milestone and celebrate the airline’s continued success and popularity.
Top Copyright Photo: Terry Wade/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 G-EZIW (msn 2578) in the Linate-Fiumicino Per Tutti special scheme arrives at London (Gatwick).
The current routes from STN:
Cebu Pacific Air (Cebu Pacific Air.com) (Manila) on June 13 took delivery of its first Airbus A330-300. The pictured A330-343X RP-C3341 (msn 1420, ex F-WWTR) was handed over to the carrier. The carrier is planning to use the new type to launch scheduled low-fare service between Manila and Dubai where many ex-pats work in the Gulf region.
Airbus issued this statement:
Cebu Pacific has taken delivery of its first A330-300 during a special ceremony in Toulouse on June 13. The aircraft is the first of four A330s being leased by Cebu Pacific from US lessor CIT and will be used to launch the carrier’s new long haul low-fare operations.
Cebu Pacific has specified a single class layout for its A330 fleet seating 436 passengers. The airline will initially operate the first aircraft on medium haul regional routes, before launching its first long haul services to Dubai in October.
“The delivery of our first widebody aircraft marks a milestone for Cebu Pacific,” said Lance Gokongwei, Cebu Pacific President and Chief Executive Officer. “The addition of the highly efficient A330 to our fleet ultimately translates to unbeatable operating costs, enabling us to offer the lowest possible fares to our guests. In addition, we will be the only Filipino carrier flying nonstop between Manila and Dubai, eliminating multiple stops or connecting flights.”
The A330 will join an existing fleet of single aisle A320 Family aircraft flying with Cebu Pacific on its extensive domestic and regional network, currently covering 34 domestic and 22 international destinations across Asia. In addition to its leased A330s, the carrier has 47 A320 Family on firm order with Airbus for future delivery, including 30 latest generation A321neo.
The A330 is one of the most widely-used widebody aircraft in service today. Airbus has recorded over 1,200 orders for the various versions of the aircraft and more than 900 are in service with almost 100 operators worldwide today.
Top Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. RP-C3341 departed this morning (June 14) on its delivery flight to Manila (please click on the photo for the full-size view).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Airbus. The wide body airliner still wears the F-WWTR test registration prior to the hand over.
Video: Cebu Pacific Air’s version of the “Safety Dance”:
Airbus (Toulouse) today (June 14), as planned, launched the first flight of its first Airbus A350-900 (A350 XWB). The pictured A350-941 F-WXWB (msn 001) took to sunny skies at Toulouse this morning.
Here is the statement by Airbus:
A new chapter has opened in Airbus’ 43 year history as the first A350 XWB, the world’s most efficient large twin-engined commercial aircraft, powered aloft this morning for its maiden flight at Blagnac in Toulouse, France at 10.00 hours local time. Equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent XWB turbofans, the A350 XWB first flight is taking place over south western France.
An international crew of six is on board, comprising two Flight Test Pilots, one Test Flight Engineer and three Flight Test Engineers. At the controls of the A350 XWB’s first flight are Peter Chandler, Airbus’ Chief Test Pilot, and Guy Magrin, Project Pilot for the A350 XWB. Accompanying them in the cockpit is Pascal Verneau, the A350 XWB Project Test Flight Engineer. At their flight test stations in the main aircraft cabin and monitoring the progress of the flight via an extensive array of flight test instrumentation are the three flight test engineers: Fernando Alonso, Head of Airbus Flight & Integration Test Centre; Patrick du Ché, Head of Development Flight Tests; and Emanuele Costanzo, lead Flight Test Engineer for the Trent XWB engine.
This first flight marks the beginning of a test campaign totaling around 2,500 flight hours with a fleet of five development aircraft. The rigorous flight testing will lead to the certification of the A350-900 variant by the European EASA and US FAA airworthiness authorities, prior to entry into service in the second half of 2014 with first operator Qatar Airways (Doha).
The A350 XWB is Airbus’ all-new mid-size long range product line comprising three versions and seating between 270 and 350 passengers in spacious three-class layouts. The new family will bring a step change in efficiency compared with existing aircraft in this size category, using 25 per cent less fuel and providing an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions. To date the A350 XWB has already won 613 firm orders from 33 customers worldwide.
Copyright Photo: Eurospot (please click on the photo for the full-size view).
EasyJet (easyJet.com) (London-Luton), according to this report by Reuters, is in advanced discussions with Airbus to acquire around 100 re-engined A320neo family aircraft. Boeing had hoped to get back into the game with EasyJet. Such a large order would require stockholder approval.
If finalized, the order is likely to be announced at the upcoming Paris Airshow.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 G-EZIY (msn 2636) taxies to the runway at Amsterdam.
Air Transat‘s (Montreal) parent lost $22.8 million (all amounts in Canadian currency) for the second quarter, but expects to make a profit for 2013. The loss increased from $13.2 million in the second quarter last year. The company blamed the larger loss on fuel hedging losses. The parent issued this statement:
Transat A.T. Inc., one of the largest integrated tourism companies in the world and Canada’s holiday travel leader, posted revenues of $1.1 billion for the quarter ended April 30, 2013, compared with $1.2 billion in 2012, a decrease of $105.6 million, or 8.7%. The Corporation recorded an operating loss before amortization and depreciation1 of $1.2 million, compared with $26.2 million in 2012 and a net loss of $22.8 million ($0.59 per share on a diluted basis), compared with $13.2 million ($0.35 per share on a diluted basis) in 2012. Before non-operating items, amortization and depreciation, and restructuring charges, Transat reported a margin of $2.7 million, compared with an operating loss3 before amortization and depreciation of $26.2 million; and an adjusted after-tax loss of $1.4 million ($0.04 per share on a diluted basis) in 2013, compared with $24.5 million ($0.64 per share on a diluted basis) in 2012.
For the quarter, the net loss includes a non-realized charge (excluding taxes) of $18.5 million that stems from the mark-to-market accounting of fuel-hedging contracts, compared with a favourable variance of $3.1 million in 2012 (see Hedging section).
“We reached our cost-reduction targets, and despite a challenging winter selling prices were higher than last year, hence the improvement in our results. The summer is looking fairly good and we expect to be back to profitability this year,” said Jean-Marc Eustache, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transat.
Second quarter highlights
The Corporation posted revenues of $1.1 billion, compared with $1.2 billion in 2012, and an operating loss before amortization and depreciation1 of $1.2 million (margin of $2.7 million before amortization and depreciation, and restructuring charges), compared with $26.2 million in 2012 ($26.2 million before restructuring charges). The decrease in revenues is mainly attributable to the Corporation’s decision to reduce capacity on its markets (Sun, transatlantic and France), hence a 13.7% reduction in the number of travellers. Across all markets, selling prices and margins were higher than in 2012.
Revenues of North American business units, which are generated by sales in Canada and abroad, decreased by $82.6 million (8.0%) compared with the same period in 2012. For the quarter, the capacity on Sun destinations was down 14% compared with 2012. Capacity on the transatlantic market was down 24%. North American business units recorded an operating loss before amortization and depreciation of $0.6 million, compared with $19.6 million in 2012. Before restructuring charges, Transat posted a margin before amortization and depreciation of $4.5 million, compared with an operating loss before amortization and depreciation of $19.6 million in 2012. The improvement in margin is mainly attributable to higher selling prices during the quarter, as well as cost-reduction initiatives.
Revenues of European business units, which are generated by sales in Europe and in Canada, decreased by $23.0 million (12.4%) over 2012, mainly due to the Corporation’s decision to reduce capacity. European operations generated an operating loss before amortization and depreciation of $1.8 million, compared with $6.6 million the previous year, with the variance mainly attributable to higher selling prices during the quarter, as well as cost-reduction initiatives.
First six-month period highlights
For the first six months of 2013, the Corporation posted revenues of $1.9 billion, compared with $2.0 billion in 2012, and an operating loss before amortization and depreciation1 of $22.2 million ($18.3 million before amortization and depreciation, and restructuring charges), compared with $58.1 million in 2012 ($58.1 million before restructuring charges). The decrease in revenues is mainly attributable to the Corporation’s decision to reduce capacity on its markets (Sun, transatlantic and France), hence a 12.0% reduction in the number of travellers. Across all markets, selling prices and margins were higher than in 2012.
Revenues of North American business units, which are generated by sales in Canada and abroad, decreased by $92.7 million (5.4%) compared with the same period in 2012. For the six-month period, the capacity on Sun destinations was down 13% compared with 2012. Capacity on the transatlantic market was down 21%. North American business units recorded an operating loss before amortization and depreciation of $7.7 million, compared with $38.7 million in 2012. Before restructuring charges, Transat posted a margin before amortization and depreciation of $3.8 million, compared with an operating loss before amortization and depreciation of $38.7 million in 2012. The improvement in margin is mainly attributable to higher selling prices during the quarter, as well as cost-reduction initiatives.
Revenues of European business units, which are generated by sales in Europe and in Canada, decreased by $36.5 million (11.6%) from 2012, mainly due to the Corporation’s decision to reduce capacity. European operations generated an operating loss before amortization and depreciation of $14.5 million, compared with $19.3 million the previous year, with the variance mainly attributable to higher selling prices during the quarter, as well as cost-reduction initiatives.
As at April 30, 2013, cash stood at $336.1 million, compared with $264.1 million at the same date the previous year; working capital ratio was 0.98 against 0.93 and deposits from customers for future travel were $514.7 million compared with $479.7 million. Off-balance-sheet agreements stood at $509.0 million as at April 30, 2013, compared with $595.8 million at the same date in 2012, the decrease being attributable to payments made during the 12-month period.
Outlook for the summer
The transatlantic market, outbound from Canada and Europe, accounts for a very significant portion of Transat’s business in the summer. From May to October 2013, Transat’s capacity on that market is 12% lower than that for the previous year. To date, 66% of that capacity has been sold, load factors are 2% lower and selling prices are approximately 5% higher compared to 2012.
On the Sun destinations market, outbound from Canada, Transat’s capacity is lower by 3% than that for the previous year. To date, 46% of that capacity has been sold, load factors and selling prices are similar.
In France, compared with 2012, medium-haul bookings are slightly ahead, and long-haul bookings are slightly behind. Selling prices are slightly higher.
To the extent the aforementioned trends hold, Transat expects to record better results than last year for the second half, and an after-tax adjusted income for the year.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Transat continues to be one of the last passenger operators of the Airbus A310. Air Transat Airbus A310-308 C-GPAT (msn 597) approaches Toronto (Pearson) for landing.
Video: Air Transat’s new cabin:
Virgin Australia to upgrade the Perth-Sydney route to all Airbus A330s on weekdays, expands its code-share program with Etihad Airways
Virgin Australia Airlines (Brisbane) has announced that from October this year, it will operate its Airbus A330 aircraft on all Perth-Sydney weekday flights.
The introduction of a seventh Airbus A330 to Virgin Australia’s fleet later this year will see these aircraft operate all Perth-Sydney and Perth-Melbourne weekday services and two out of three Perth-Brisbane weekday services.
The airline now offers all customers on flights between Perth and the East Coast fully inclusive hot meals and beverages, as well as in-flight entertainment.
“We have had an extremely positive response to the introduction of our Airbus A330 “Coast To Coast” service and we are very pleased to now be offering this on all Perth-Sydney and Perth-Melbourne weekday flights.
The Airbus A330 aircraft feature Virgin Australia’s designer Business and Economy Class product, which includes luxury leather seating, generous seat recline and a range of gourmet food offerings.
In other news, Virgin Australia has announced flights to Milan, Italy and Amsterdam, Netherlands will be added to its codeshare agreement with Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) from June 3, 2013.
The announcement follows recent regulatory approvals being granted allowing Virgin Australia to codeshare on flights into Italy and the Netherlands.
Customers travelling on Virgin Australia’s network will be able to connect through Abu Dhabi on to Milan or Amsterdam on the same ticket. Velocity Frequent Flyer members will also be able to earn points and status credits on these routes.
The codeshare flight between Abu Dhabi and Milan will be operated by a two-class Airbus A330-200 seven times per week. Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam will be operated by a two-class Airbus A330-200 seven times per week. Etihad and Virgin Australia fly 28 times per week from Australia to Abu Dhabi, connecting to 14 codeshare destinations in Europe.
This is a continuation of the roll-out of Virgin Australia’s alliance with Etihad Airways, which already includes 50 codeshare and interline destinations globally. Virgin Australia will continue to work closely with Etihad Airways to develop a network aligned with the needs of their customers.
Etihad Airways currently operates flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane into Abu Dhabi.
Copyright Photo: Olivier Gregoire/AirlinersGallery.com.
Air New Zealand (Auckland) has issued this statement its new partnership with Tourism New Zealand:
Air New Zealand has unveiled its new aircraft livery which features the iconic official New Zealand Fern Mark, the use of which is managed by Tourism New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.
Under the MOU, Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand will each invest more than $10 million over the next 12 months in co-operative marketing activity in the key markets of Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, North America, the United Kingdom and Europe as well as increased activity in emerging markets such as India and Indonesia.
Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand have a strong track record of working together to market New Zealand as a destination. Recent collaboration includes high profile leverage activity to market New Zealand in association with The Hobbit trilogy; joint advertising campaigns in Australia, Japan, China, North America and Europe, hosting over 180 international media to New Zealand and activity to educate the trade on New Zealand including a recent familiarisation for 140 travel agents from North America, the United Kingdom and Europe.
Over the next 12 months, the organizations will continue to jointly promote New Zealand to travellers through advertising, PR activity, working closely with trade partners and on campaigns that actively target business events.
In the coming year, Air New Zealand will also introduce its new aircraft livery which features the iconic New Zealand Fern Mark.
“We are delighted to reveal our new aircraft livery which would not have been possible without the support of Tourism New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. The new-look livery is distinctive and iconic and we believe will inspire a sense of pride in New Zealanders,” says Mr Luxon.
The livery design process involved extensive consumer testing including focus groups both in New Zealand and offshore. A clear preference was established for the New Zealand Way Fern Mark to be incorporated into the design with 78 per cent of those surveyed believing it fits with the Air New Zealand brand and represented New Zealand.
The new livery will be progressively rolled out across the Air New Zealand fleet from later this year. The majority of the airline’s fleet will eventually feature the white version of the new livery and a limited number will feature the distinctive black version of the new design (see new Boeing 787-9s designs below).
Poll: Do you like the new two-version “Black Fern” livery?
Top Copyright Photo: Colin Hunter/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Air New Zealand). The new fern livery reminds us of the special All Blacks-Crazy About Rugby livery worn by this Airbus A320. A320-232 OAB (msn 4553) arrives back at Auckland.
JetBlue Airways (New York) is planning to upgrade its trans-Continental product on its new Airbus A321s to better compete against other airlines. The upgrade reportedly includes a new Business Class that will have four “Private Suites” according to a certification submission to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) by Airbus.
Read the full report from the APEX Editor’s Blog: CLICK HERE
The airline has issued this statement:
This past March at our Analyst Day, we took the opportunity to share our plan to offer a new experience to compete with other airlines’ transcon premium products. It was a hint of a really exciting project evolution happening here at JetBlue. As excited as we are, we’re not going to share any details on this new experience until we’re ready.
Yesterday, many outlets began reporting on a filing Airbus made to the Federal Aviation Administration about seating configurations on our incoming A321 aircraft. The coverage definitely indicated what we’ve known internally for a while now: we’re working on something BIG. We can’t say anything too specific, but we can tell you this:
Thirteen years ago JetBlue revolutionized the economy experience, and when we launch this new experience in 2014 we will do the same in the premium trans-con market. JetBlue has always been about offering the best product at the most reasonable price. When we bring the JetBlue way of doing things to this new space, we won’t just offer an experience to compete with the other guys – we’ll be setting the new standard.
While the FAA filing from Airbus contains the technical specifications as part of the certification process, keep in mind that the specs aren’t details. You haven’t seen anything yet!
Airbus (Toulouse) has confirmed that the A350 XWB first flight is planned for this Friday, June 14, based on current visibility of the program and the flight test status. Weather conditions permitting, the A350 XWB msn 1 will take off from Toulouse-Blagnac airport at around 10:00 am local time.
The A350 XWB flight test teams are now carrying out the last checks on the A350 XWB “MSN1” before they give their final green light for the first flight to take place this Friday. Recent pre-first flight tests successfully carried out include the first power up of the fuel efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines on msn 1, which took place on June 2.
The A350 XWB is the all-new mid-size long range product line comprising three versions and seating between 270 and 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts. The new family will bring a step change in efficiency compared with existing aircraft in this size category, using 25 per cent less fuel and providing an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions. Scheduled for entry-into-service in second half of 2014, the A350 XWB has already won 613 firm orders from 33 customers worldwide.
Copyright Photo: Eurospot. Airbus A350-941 F-WXWB (msn 001) taxies at Toulouse yesterday (June 11) prior to the first flight on June 14.
The company issued this statement:
The agreement is subject to customary Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) conditions and Air New Zealand has filed the required Substantial Shareholder Notice.
Air New Zealand will consider acquiring up to a further 3% of the shares in Virgin Australia, to the extent it is permitted to do so under the Australian Corporations Act, and has made an application to FIRB on that basis.
As part of its usual process, FIRB seeks the views of the ACCC on any competition related issues. The ACCC has advised Air New Zealand that it intends to conduct public enquiries to enable it to form a view in relation to these potential shareholdings.
The additional interest affirms Air New Zealand’s strong belief and confidence in Virgin Australia and the strategy it is pursuing under the leadership of John Borghetti and his team.
Air New Zealand is not seeking a position on the Board of Virgin Australia nor does it have the intention of obtaining control of Virgin Australia.
Top Copyright Photo: Colin Hunter/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Air New Zealand). As planned, Air New Zealand is going to this very simplistic black and white “color scheme”. The airline is now promoting its new look. The first Airbus A320 to be repainted is the pictured A320-232 ZK-OJQ (msn 4584) pictured departing from the Auckland hub. In the past ANZ has had very colorful liveries (please click on the Slide Show below for a history of ANZ color schemes).
Video: An unusual Airbus A320 Safety Video:
AirEuropa (Air Europa Líneas Aéreas) (Palma de Mallorca) added Montevideo, Uruguay as planned on June 4. The new destination is served from the Madrid hub with Airbus A330-200 aircraft, three days a week.
Copyright Photo Above: AirEuropa. The first A330-200 flight arrives at Montevideo.
In other news, AirEuropa has added its first Airbus A330-300.
Top Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly operated by Orbest Orizonia as EC-JHP, Airbus A330-343X with the temporary registration of OE-ICB (msn 670) is pictured at Palma de Mallorca yesterday undergoing an acceptance flight (click on the photo for the full-size view). The airliner will be leased from CIT Leasing Corporation.
Condor Flugdienst (Frankfurt) welcomed its second new Airbus A321-211 (D-AIAB, msn 5603) at Flughafen Berlin-Schönefeld yesterday where it will be based. The new airliner was baptized by Miss Berlin and Miss Germany 2010, Anne Julia Hagen, as “Voyager Android” (below). The pictured D-AIAB (top) was handed over to Condor on May 30.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. The first Condor A321 is the pictured A321-211, registered as D-AIAA (msn 1607), seen arriving at Antalya. D-AIAA joined the fleet on April 30.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is planning to de-hub the money-losing Memphis hub this fall. Delta reached a high 0f 240 flights a day in June 2009. MEM is a former hub of Northwest Airlines (Minneapolis/St. Paul).
Memphis will be looking for other airlines to fill the vacant routes.
Read the full report from The Washington Post: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Delta is concentrating on its largest and most profitable hubs like New York (JFK). Airbus A320-212 N376NW (msn 1812) prepares to depart the runway at JFK.
MEM Airport Map (Memphis International Airport):
Alitalia’s first quarter net loss widens to $203 million, workers agree to work 5 fewer days each month
Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) is slipping again. The flag carrier’s first quarter first quarter net loss widened to $203 million, citing non-recurring items but did not provide the details.
Read the full report for the airline: CLICK HERE
Read the analysis by the Wall Street Journal: CLICK HERE
Update from Reuters: CEO Gabriele Del Torchio and board members have agreed to cut their salaries by 20 percent, while 2,200 ground staff will work five fewer days each month under a government-backed plan.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 I-BIKD (msn 1457) taxies to the runway at Amsterdam.
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) will be resuming nonstop seasonal service in several markets, including:
- From its Denver hub to Palm Springs, California, Cozumel, Mexico, and San Jose, Costa Rica
- From Bloomington, Ill. to Orlando, Florida
- From Indianapolis, Ind. to Cancun, Mexico
- From Kansas City, Mo. to Cancun, Los Cabos, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
- From Madison, Wis. to Orlando, Florida
- From Milwaukee, Wis. to Cancun, Mexico
- From Omaha, Neb. to Orlando, Florida
- From Salt Lake City, Utah to Cancun, Mexico
Also, due to the enthusiastic response of customers, Frontier will be extending the seasons for service from Denver to: Eugene, OR; Greensboro, NC; and Knoxville, TN.
|Following is the schedule for Frontier’s Eugene service:|
|Denver-Eugene (Oct. 25, 2013 – Jan. 5, 2014)|
|DEN-EUG||5:00 p.m.||6:52 p.m.||Thurs, Sun||A319|
|EUG-DEN||6:05 a.m.||9:34 a.m.||Mon, Fri||A319|
|Following is the schedule for Frontier’s Greensboro service:|
|Denver-Greensboro (Sept. 12, 2013 – Jan. 3, 2014)|
|DEN-GSO||3:45 p.m.||8:59 p.m.||Mon||A319|
|GSO-DEN||9:40 a.m.||11:20 a.m.||Tues||A319|
|DEN-GSO||3:55 p.m.||9:11 p.m.||Thurs||A319|
|GSO-DEN||9:10 a.m.||10:50 a.m.||Fri||A319|
|Following is the schedule for Frontier’s Knoxville service:|
|Denver-Knoxville (Oct. 25, 2013 – Jan. 5, 2014)|
|DEN-TYS||12:20 p.m.||4:54 p.m.||Thurs, Sun||A319|
|TYS-DEN||5:49 p.m.||7:00 p.m.||Thurs, Sun||A319|
The service in all three markets will operate on 138-seat Airbus A319 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. New look Frontier. With the new large “FlyFrontier.com” titles, Frontier Airlines’ Airbus A319-112 N954FR (msn 1786) with the Bull Moose on the tail taxies at San Francisco.
Did you know you can see all of the previous Frontier Airlines articles (or any other airline) with one click? In the Right Column (look >>> to the right and then down), click Frontier Airlines (2nd) under All Previous Articles.
Avianca (Bogota) is planning to deploy its Airbus A330-200s on the daily Lima-Miami route starting on July 15 per Airline Route.
Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 N948AC (msn 948) taxies to the runway at Miami International Airport dressed in the now old 2005 livery (please click on the photo for the full-size view).
Bottom Copyright Photos: Avianca. The new look for AV. Airbus A320-214 N538AV (msn 5398) is one of the first aircraft to display the new look.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) is planning to introduce its new Airbus A319 from the Dallas/Fort Worth hub on September 16 according to Airline Route. The first routes will connect DFW with Charlotte, Cleveland, Memphis and Wichita.
The new American, if the merger with US Airways (Phoenix) is approved by government agencies (very likely), will merge the new AA A319s with the already large US Airways Airbus A319 fleet. This is a new type for AA.
Top Image: Airbus. Of course the new A319s will be painted in the new American livery.
Bottom Copyright Photo: American Airlines/Airbus. The first A319 is taking shape at Airbus. In July, AA will take delivery of the first Airbus A319 featuring leather seats, Wi-Fi and in-seat inflight entertainment.
Thai Airways International (Bangkok) is planning to introduce its Airbus A380 on the Bangkok-London (Heathrow) route starting on December 1 per Route News.
Top Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 HS-TUC (msn 100) climbs away from Frankfurt (please click on the photo for the size view).
Bottom Copyright Photos: Thai. Over the past 53 years, Thai’s cabin crew distinctive uniforms have changed to reflect changing trends. But the beautiful Thai silk outfits, worn during flight with a “Sabai” shoulder drape by air hostesses, remained unchanged.
According to the airline, “several remarkable uniforms since 1960 include the first one ever, pale purple dress topped by a cute pillbox hat, the new look design in 1977 which featured various colours in the collection, mauve, pastel pink, yellow and sky blue, and the Balmain outfits, designed by French couturier Pierre Balmain in 1987, that look distinctive with the colour of Thai orchids, elegant and feminine, yet entirely practical.
Nowadays, Thai cabin crew wears a uniform designed by Ms. Pichitra Boonyarataphan, a Thai designer who won the uniform competition in 2005, with a stylish contemporary fashion blended with Thai’s traditional concept of the uniform.”
Ryanair attacks Aer Lingus’ staff compensation increases, will appeal the Competition Commission’s preliminary decision to divest its 29.4% share of Aer Lingus
Ryanair (Dublin) is appealing the UK’s Competition Commission’s preliminary decision to force the carrier to divest its 29.4 percent share of rival Aer Lingus (Dublin). The ultra low cost carrier could drag out the decision for at least two years appealing the decision according to The Independent. The Competition Commission ruled in its preliminary ruling that Ryanair exerts “material influence” over Aer Lingus due to this minority share.
The airline issued this fiery statement (as it normally does) in response:
Ryanair on May 30 criticized the UK Competition Commission’s (CC’s) provisional decision that Ryanair, through its 6½ year old minority (29.8%) shareholding in Aer Lingus, “has influence’ over Aer Lingus and that this “could reduce competition”. This unfounded claim is disproven by the European Commission’s recent (February 2013) ruling that competition between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has “intensified” since 2007.
Under EU law, the UK CC has a duty of “sincere cooperation” with the EU, and cannot contradict or reach different conclusions to the European Commission’s findings. Inexplicably, this provisional decision by the CC infringes this duty of sincere co-operation by ignoring the recent findings of the European Commission that:
“Aer Lingus and Ryanair compete on a greater number of routes compared to the 2007 Decision” and “there is significant competitive interaction between the Parties” and “evidence collected by the Commission in the market investigation has also confirmed that the competitive relationship between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has at least persisted, if not increased, since 2007”.
Should the CC maintain this untenable position in its final decision (due in July), Ryanair will appeal that decision to the UK Competition Appeals Tribunal and thereafter, if necessary, to the Court of Appeal. Until the outcome of this UK appeal, and the completion of Ryanair’s appeal against the European Commission’s February 2013 prohibition decision, the CC cannot impose any remedies, however unlawful, on Ryanair.
Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:
“This provisional decision by the UK CC is bizarre and manifestly wrong. The CC’s finding that Ryanair’s shareholding obstructs Aer Lingus’ ability to attract other airlines was disproved by Etihad’s purchase of a 3% stake and the evidence submitted by other large EU airlines, which confirmed that Ryanair’s shareholding was not a barrier to other airlines acquiring a stake in Aer Lingus.
In February 2013 the European Commission found that competition between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has “intensified” since 2007. A decision by the Competition Commission that Ryanair’s 29.8% stake in Aer Lingus may lead to a lessening of competition will clearly breach the EU Treaty duty of sincere cooperation between the EU and the UK. Ryanair therefore calls on the Competition Commission to abide by this overriding legal principle and end this bogus and baseless enquiry into a 6½ year old minority shareholding between two Irish airlines.
While Ryanair is one of the UK’s largest airlines, Aer Lingus has a tiny presence in the UK, serving just 6 routes to the Republic of Ireland, a traffic base that has declined over the past 3 years and now accounts for less than 1% of all UK air traffic. This case, involving two Irish airlines where one (Aer Lingus) accounts for less than 1% of the UK’s total air traffic, is yet another enormous waste of UK taxpayer resources on a case which has little if any impact on UK consumers.
Read the full report by The Independent: CLICK HERE
Meanwhile to re-emphasize it does not have much control over Aer Lingus, Ryanair issued this scathing statement on recent Aer Lingus employee compensation increases:
Ryanair, a 6½ year old minority shareholder in Aer Lingus on May 31 condemned the spineless Board and Management of Aer Lingus which has accepted the latest crazy Irish Labour Court recommendation that another €170m to €200m of shareholder funds be squandered to compensate Aer Lingus staff for a pension deficit which Aer Lingus has repeatedly assured shareholders is a defined contribution (‘DC’) pension scheme, and for which Aer Lingus has no further liability. If, as Aer Lingus’ IPO prospectus (and every subsequent annual report) confirmed, neither Aer Lingus nor its shareholders have any liability towards this ‘DC’ pension scheme, then why is yet another €170m to €200m being wasted on yet another pay off for Aer Lingus’ staff.
Pension deficit & ESOT contributions
Staff restructuring and PCI payments
Staff restructuring and PCI payments
ESOT debt & leave/redundancy tax payments
Staff restructuring payments
€170m – €200m
Pension deficit & employee payments
€600m – €630m
Top Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Ryanair’s Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-EVF (msn 40291) with “Modlin Jest OK! – Modlin is OK!” sub-titles taxies at the Dublin base.
Bottom Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Aer Lingus’ Airbus A319-111 EI-EPT (msn 3054) lands at Dublin.
Czech Airlines-CSA (Prague) will place its newly-acquired Airbus A330-300 into revenue service tomorrow (June 1) from Prague to Seoul (Incheon). The airliner was delivered on may 14 and is leased from its new partner Korean Airlines (Seoul).
Copyright Photos: Czech Airlines. Airbus A330-323X OK-YBA (msn 425) is now wearing this new 90 Years 1923-2013 logo.
Video (in Czech): OK-YBA’s arrival in Prague on May 14.
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) has put its newly-delivered Airbus A320-214 VP-BNT (msn 5614) into revenue service. The flag carrier issued this statement:
The only air plane in a retro livery in Russia has joined the Aeroflot fleet celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the national flag carrier.
In late 2012 Aeroflot organized a voting in social networks to choose the best livery for its retro-jet. More than 2500 people participated in the voting process, and the livery of one of the first world’s jet airliners — Tupolev Tu-104 (appeared in 1956) was declared a winner. In the opinion of the majority of voters was this livery carried the spirit of the “romantic” 1950s, the time when the air transport industry in the country was rapidly growing and significant achievements were made in the national air construction.
The final draft of the livery to be painted on the newest Airbus A320 was designed in accordance with the voters’ comments, taking into account safety standards and recommendations from Airbus and Akzo Nobel specialists considering the paint spraying and its technical and performance parameters.
The retrojet is named “DOBROLET” after the Open Joint Stock Company found on March 17, 1923, which was the predecessor of Aeroflot. The newcomer to the Aeroflot fleet is to demonstrate the vast historical inheritance of the air company and to attract interest of the public to the long and rich history of Aeroflot.
Gaining from the synergy of prominent heritage and modern innovative development, the Russian national flag carrier, one of the oldest air companies in the world, operates one of the youngest air fleets in Europe. Currently there are 137 aircraft in Aeroflot including 87 Airbus A319/320/321 family planes.
All Airbus aircraft are received by Aeroflot directly from Airbus manufacturing plants. The airplanes are designed in two class composition and can carry 116 (A319), 140 and 158 (A320) and 170 (A321) passengers. These aircraft provide services on European and Russian domestic destinations. Airbus A320 family airplanes satisfy the highest reliability, safety and comfort standards and are one of the best for mid-range flights.
Top Copyright Photo: Aeroflot. Airbus A320-214 VP-BNT (msn 5614) is seen at the Moscow (Sheremetyevo) base. VP-BNT was handed over on May 29.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. The airframe was tested at Toulouse as F-WWIF.
Singapore Airlines (Singapore) has placed a firm order with both Airbus and a tentative order with Boeing according to Reuters. The airline has ordered 30 additional Airbus A350-900s. Some of the A350-900s can be converted to the larger A350-1000s. Additionally Singapore has tentatively placed an order for 30 stretched Boeing 787s. Boeing has not yet made a decision to launch this new variant.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is planning to restore the Salt Lake City-Raleigh/Durham route on December 22 according to Airline Route. The restored route will be operated daily with Airbus A320 equipment.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-211 N311US (msn 125) arrives at Minneapolis/St. Paul hub.
North America Route Map (click on the map for the full-size view):
International Airlines Group-IAG (London) is seeking to delist Vueling Airlines (Barcelona) from the Spanish stock exchanges as it nears complete control. The IAG has issued this statement:
International Airlines Group’s (IAG) subsidiary Vueling has called a general shareholders’ meeting on June 27, 2013 to approve the delisting of Vueling’s shares from the Spanish stock exchanges.
The delisting tender offer will be €9.25 per share. Vueling will be delisted from the Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia stock exchanges upon successful completion of the offer.
Since April 26 2013, IAG Group has owned 90.51 per cent of Vueling. This follows a cash tender offer for the Vueling shares that were not already owned by IAG’s subsidiary Iberia which has a 45.85 per cent holding. Acceptance of the original cash tender offer of €9.25 euro per share was recommended by the Vueling board on April 9, 2013.
Vueling is a Spanish low cost carrier based in Barcelona. It will remain a standalone operating company within IAG with its chief executive Alex Cruz reporting into IAG chief executive Willie Walsh.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. A nice ramp portrait of Airbus A319-112 EC-LRZ (msn 3700) at Zurich (click on the photo for the full-size view).
Video: Alex Cruz in a video interview (last Year):
Virgin Australia Holdings Limited (Virgin Australia Airlines) (Brisbane) today (May 28) welcomed confirmation from the Foreign Investment Review Board that it has no objections to the proposed acquisition of 60 percent of the existing shares in Tiger Airways Australia Pty Ltd (Tiger Australia) (Melbourne).
This confirmation satisfies another condition for the proposed acquisition of Tiger Australia, which will enable Virgin Australia to access the budget market segment and expedite the growth of Tiger Australia.
The proposed transaction still remains subject to certain conditions and Virgin Australia expects the transaction to be completed by mid-July.
Top Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group. Virgin Australia’s brand new Boeing 737-8FE WL VH-YFF (msn 40994) and crew pass through Honolulu on delivery.
Above Copyright Photo: Virgin Australia.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Peter Gates/AirlinersGallery.com. Tiger Airways’ Airbus A320-232 VH-VNH (msn 3734) stops at Brisbane.
Romance is Back Video:
The two airlines are buying 40 of the current version of the A320 and 60 of the new A320neo.
Air China’s order includes 27 current A320s (above) and 33 A320neos. Shenzhen will receive 13 current A320s (below) and 27 A320neos.
Deliveries will start in 2014.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Air China’s A320-214 B-6607 (msn 3461) prepares to land at the Beijing hub (please click on the photo for the full size view).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Shenzhen’s Airbus A320-214 B-6377 (msn 3599) arrives at Tokyo (Narita).
Croatia Airlines (Zagreb) is getting back to normal operations after its pilots and later the flights attendants on May 21 ended their strikes. This settlement ended eight days of strikes against the airline which is attempting to reorganize and lower costs.
Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 9A-CTI (msn 1029) in the Star Alliance livery taxies to the gate at London (Heathrow).
Germania Fluggesellschaft (Germania Group) (Berlin) is expanding in the United Kingdom for this summer season as part of its international strategy.
The airline issued this statement:
Germania to expand UK operations:
Berlin-based Germania Group is continuing the successful internationalization of its operations and is stationing two aircraft in the United Kingdom for summer of 2013. Aside from charter flights from London-Gatwick and Manchester to the Greek islands and Cyprus, Germania will operate a scheduled service from London to Pristina.
Gambia Bird, a sister airline of Germania, already operates twice weekly flights from London Gatwick to Freetown in Sierra Leone and Banjul in Gambia.
Germania will operate a regular service on Tuesdays and Fridays from London Gatwick (LGW) to Pristina. Flight ST 6478 will take off at 19:25 from LGW and reach the capital of Kosovo at 23:40. The return flight ST 6479 will depart at 00:25, arriving at LGW at 02:05 (local times).
For the winter season, Germania also operates full charter flights to Greece and the Greek islands, including Corfu, Crete, Mykonos and Samos, for tour operators such as Sunvil Holidays and Pure Crete.
For this purpose, the airline is stationing an Airbus A319 at London Gatwick. On behalf of Olympic Holidays, Germania also flies to the Greek mainland, Greek islands including Crete, Rhodes and Mykonos, and Cyprus from Manchester, the UK’s largest airport outside of London. Germania has stationed an Airbus A319 in Manchester in the colors of its West African sister airline Gambia Bird. The aircraft is available for use in Manchester, as the summer flight schedule in West Africa is adjusted to traditionally lower demand.
The airline is also expanding its operations at Erfurt-Weimar in Germany. Germania started a new weekly route to Palma de Mallorca on May 17. Flights to Ibiza, Corfu and Crete will be added in June.
Top Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 D-ASTA (msn 4663) approaches Palma de Mallorca for landing.
Middle Copyright Photo: Terry Wade. The Gambia Bird A319 is now operating Germania flights from the UK. Airbus A319-112 D-ASTB (msn 4691) arrives at London Gatwick.
Route Map from Erfurt-Weimar: