Blue1 (SAS Finland) (Helsinki) will see its nine Boeing 717s reduced by four aircraft according to the CEO Mikael Wångdahl as reported by Taloussanomat. The subsidiary of SAS may also be forced to eliminate up to 160 jobs (one half of its workforce). The cuts are being driven by lower demand and the mounting financial losses of parent Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm). The cuts will start at the beginning of the winter season in November.
Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 717-2CM OH-BLI (msn 55061) prepares to depart from Dublin bound for Helsinki.
Southwest Airlines announces new routes from Dallas and Washington’s Reagan National Airport, Mexico City and AirTran Airways final flight on December 28
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) adding to what we previously reported, today published dozens of new nonstop markets for Customers flying the carrier from Dallas Love Field and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The schedule also includes new Southwest Airlines service to an additional Caribbean destination—Punta Cana, Dominican Republic—as well as to North America’s largest metropolitan area, Mexico City (replacing AirTran Airways).
New, nonstop service for Dallas Love Field:
Beginning October 13, 2014, Southwest will offer nonstop service between Dallas and:
Baltimore/Washington (three roundtrips a day)
Chicago Midway (five roundtrips a day, up to six as of November 2)
Denver (three roundtrips a day)
Las Vegas (three roundtrips a day, up to four as of November 2)
Los Angeles (three roundtrips a day, up to four as of November 2)
Orlando (two roundtrips a day, up to three as of November 2)
Washington Reagan National (three roundtrips a day, up to six as of November 2)
Beginning November 2, 2014, Southwest will offer nonstop service between Dallas and:
Atlanta (four roundtrips a day)
Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (two roundtrips a day)
Nashville (two roundtrips a day)
New York LaGuardia (three roundtrips a day)
Phoenix (four roundtrips a day)
San Diego (two roundtrips a day)
Santa Ana/Orange County (one roundtrip a day)
Tampa (two roundtrips a day)
Southwest Airlines also announced today new nonstop service between Washington Reagan National Airport and both Akron/Canton and Indianapolis beginning on November 2, 2014, increasing the carrier’s service at Reagan National from a present day offering of 17 departures to 44 departures a day by year’s end to a total 14 destinations: Atlanta, Akron/Canton, Austin, Chicago Midway, Dallas Love Field, Houston Hobby, Fort Myers, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans, St. Louis, and Tampa.
Southwest Airlines also will add new nonstop service between Washington Dulles and both Las Vegas and San Diego, and to existing nonstop destinations of Chicago Midway and Denver.
Southwest Airlines continues its historic launch of international service with two additional destinations—Mexico City and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic—to be added on November 2, 2014, to the carrier’s network map of more than 90 destinations across five countries in North America and the Caribbean.
AirTran Airways will be fully integrated into Southwest Airlines by the end of 2014:
AirTran Airways flight 1 (Southwest 5001) will operate on Sunday, December 28, 2014, as the carrier’s final scheduled departure. The evening flight from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to Tampa reprises the first flight the carrier operated on October 26, 1993 (as ValuJet). Southwest Airlines Company announced its acquisition of AirTran Airways in September 2010, and closed the transaction on May 2, 2011. The FAA awarded the Company a single operating certificate for the two carriers on March 1, 2012, and the Company plans to close 2014 with wholly owned subsidiary AirTran fully-integrated into Southwest Airlines serving a network of 93 destinations in five countries.
Copyright Photo: Marcelo F. De Biasi/AirlinersGallery.com. Goodbye AirTran Airways. We now have the date when AirTran Airways will operate its last flight – December 28, 2014. The sun will set for AirTran in Tampa on that Sunday in December. Last flight 5001 is due to be operated with a 117-seat Boeing 717-200 (going to Delta on lease) departing ATL at 10:25 pm (2225) and arriving in TPA at 11:55 pm (2355). AirTran’s Boeing 717-2BD N996AT (msn 55140) soars into the sky at Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA).
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will begin operating the Boeing 717 on the New York (JFK)-Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood route starting on January 15, 2015 per Airline Route. This very competitive route used to be served with wide-body aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Former TWA/AirTran Airways Boeing 717-231 N933AT (msn 55071) arrives in Atlanta.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has opened up additional Boeing 717 routes and markets according to Airline Route. The former AirTran Airways 717s are leased from Southwest Airlines.
Abilene (April 1)
Augusta (April 1)
Dallas (Love Field) (October 13)
Fayettevile (April 1)
Gainesville (April 1)
Grand Rapids (April 1)
Houston (Busch Intercontinental) (April 1)
Lexington (April 5)
Memphis (April 5)
Mobile (April 1)
Myrtle Beach (April 1)
Tri Cities (June 5)
Wichita (June 7)
Austin (May 2)
Buffalo (June 5)
Chicago (Midway) (March 31)
Green Bay (April 8)
Houston (Bush Intercontinental) April 9
Indianapolis (June 5)
Kansas City (April 1)
Nashville (June 5)
New York (JFK) (September 2)
New York (LaGuardia) (September 2)
Philadelphia (April 8)
Traverse City (May 2)
From New York (JFK):
Boston (September 2)
Tampa (September 2)
From New York (LaGuardia):
Miami (September 2)
Tampa (September 2)
From Los Angeles:
Austin (June 6)
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly painted in the special Atlanta Falcons livery, ex AirTran Airways Boeing 717-2BD N891AT (msn 55043) is now in full Delta colors and lands at Baltimore/Washington.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) this summer will continue its expansion at Los Angeles International Airport with new daily nonstop service to Austin, Texas, and Boise, Idaho, along with new daily nonstop service to San Salvador, El Salvador, pending government approval. Delta also has filed for approval to begin daily service between Los Angeles and Monterrey, Mexico.
Delta’s new Los Angeles service includes:
Twice daily nonstop service to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
|2569||AUS at 7:30 a.m.||LAX at 8:25 a.m.||June 16, 2014|
|2571||AUS at 4:30 p.m.||LAX at 5:45 p.m.||June 16, 2014|
|2570||LAX at 9:45 a.m.||AUS at 2:40 p.m.||June 16, 2014|
|2572||LAX at 6:15 p.m.||AUS at 11:30 p.m.||June 16, 2014|
Daily nonstop service to Boise Airport
|5818||BOI at 6:15 a.m.||LAX at 7:15 a.m.||June 6, 2014|
|5820||LAX at 7:30 p.m.||BOI at 10:35 p.m.||June 5, 2014|
Daily nonstop service to El Salvador International Airport
|436||SAL at 7:20 a.m.||LAX at 11:35 a.m.||July 2, 2014|
|433||LAX at 12:10 a.m.||SAL at 6:10 a.m.||July 2, 2014|
Service from Los Angeles to Austin and San Salvador will be operated using Delta Boeing 717 and Boeing 737 aircraft, respectively. Service from Los Angeles to Boise and Monterrey will be operated by Delta Connection carrier Compass Airlines using two-class, 76-seat Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft.
With new service to Austin, Delta will now connect Los Angeles’ growing Silicon Beach tech and startup community with all the major tech centers in the United States, including: Boston, beginning June 5; New York; Oakland, Calif.; Portland, Oregon; Salt Lake City; San Francisco; San Jose, Calif.; Seattle/Tacoma; and now Austin.
Additionally, customers in Austin, Boise, Monterrey and San Salvador will soon have one-stop service to Tokyo-Narita, Tokyo-Haneda, and Sydney through Delta’s international gateway in Los Angeles.
Delta has made significant enhancements to its Los Angeles service both on the ground and in the air in the last few years. Travelers through Los Angeles will enjoy the benefits of the $229 million expansion and enhancement of Terminal 5 at Los Angeles International Airport. The current project will double the size of the ticketing lobby and screening checkpoints, open an exclusive, separate Sky Priority lobby and checkpoint, and include renovations to the Delta Sky Club and new baggage carousels. The project has already begun and is scheduled to take place in several phases with full completion in 2015.
Delta currently operates 130 flights to 43 destinations from LAX, and every flight offers BusinessElite/First Class and Economy Comfort seating. By this summer, Delta will operate more than 140 peak-day flights to LAX, including our new service. Nearly every domestic flight features Wi-Fi service.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Former AirTran Airways Boeing 717-23S N991AT (msn 55135) completes its final approach into the Atlanta hub.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is planning to add two new routes from Los Angeles in June including the first Boeing 717 route. According to Airline Route the carrier will add Delta Connection daily service from LAX to Boise, Idaho with Embraer 175s starting on June 5.
The first Boeing 717 route from LAX will operate between LAX and Austin, Texas on a daily basis starting on June 16.
In other news, seasonal Delta Connection flights will be operated from the Minneapolis/St. Paul hub to Idaho Falls with Bombardier CRJ900s three days a week from June 7 through October 29 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 717-2BD N995AT (msn 55139) lands at the Atlanta hub.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) intends to retire the AirTran Airways name, brand and remaining international and domestic routes by the end of this year according to Southwest CEO Gary Kelly at his press conference announcing the first Southwest international routes.
Southwest acquired AirTran in 2011 and has been gradually transferring planes, people and routes to Southwest as it works on the integration.
It will be the end of the carrier and an era.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. With the lease transfer of the AirTran Boeing 717s to Delta Air Lines the special liveries are rapidly going away. AirTran was a big believer in the special schemes. Formerly with TWA, Boeing 717-231 N936AT (msn 55058) in the Indianapolis Colts NFL team colors arrives at Baltimore/Washington (BWI) in the past.
Remaining AirTran routes from the Atlanta hub:
Video: A previous AirTran TV Commercial:
Video: A company video celebrating its 10th Anniversary back in 2010:
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today reported financial results for the December 2013 (fourth) quarter. Key points include:
- Delta’s net income for the December 2013 quarter was $558 million, or $0.65 per diluted share, excluding special items1.
- Delta’s net income for 2013 was $2.7 billion, excluding special items, a $1.1 billion increase over 2012.
- Delta’s GAAP net income was $8.5 billion, or $9.89 per diluted share, for the December 2013 quarter and $10.5 billion for 2013. These results include an $8.0 billion non-cash gain associated with the reversal of the company’s tax valuation allowance.
- 2013 results include $506 million in profit sharing expense, including $119 million in the December quarter, recognizing Delta employees’ contributions toward meeting the company’s financial goals.
- Delta generated nearly $5 billion of operating cash flow and $2.1 billion of free cash flow in 2013, allowing the company to reduce its adjusted net debt at the end of 2013 to $9.4 billion, contribute an incremental $250 million above required funding to its defined benefit pension plans, and return $350 million to shareholders through a combination of $100 million of dividends and $250 million of share repurchases.
Delta’s operating revenue improved 6 percent, or $474 million, in the December 2013 quarter compared to the December 2012 quarter. Traffic increased 2.0 percent on a 2.9 percent increase in capacity.
- Passenger revenue increased 6.1 percent, or $451 million, compared to the prior year period. Passenger unit revenue (PRASM) increased 3.0 percent year over year with a 4.0 percent improvement in yield.
- Cargo revenue decreased 1.0 percent, or $3 million, as higher freight volumes partially offset declining freight yields.
- O ther revenue increased 2.8 percent, or $26 million, driven by higher SkyMiles revenue.
Comparisons of revenue-related statistics are as follows:
|4Q13 versus 4Q12|
|Passenger Revenue||4Q13 ($M)||YOY||Revenue||Yield||Capacity|
|Domestic||3,784||9.4 %||6.6 %||7.9 %||2.6 %|
|Atlantic||1,208||1.9 %||0.1 %||0.7 %||1.8 %|
|Pacific||803||(1.6) %||(2.2) %||(1.5) %||0.6 %|
|Latin America||517||18.5 %||1.9 %||0.3 %||16.3 %|
|Total mainline||6,312||7.0 %||3.7 %||4.5 %||3.3 %|
|Regional||1,562||2.3 %||1.4 %||3.5 %||0.8 %|
|Consolidated||7,874||6.1 %||3.0 %||4.0 %||2.9 %|
Total operating expense in the quarter increased 1.5 percent, or $125 million, year-over-year driven by higher volume and revenue-related expenses; the impact of operational, service and employee investments; and $56 million higher profit sharing expense. These cost increases were partially offset by lower fuel expense and the savings from Delta’s structural cost initiatives.
Non-operating expense declined by $116 million as a result of prior year special items for early debt extinguishment and lower interest expense from debt reduction. These items were partially offset by a $17 million negative impact from changes in foreign exchange rates.
Consolidated unit cost excluding fuel expense, profit sharing and special items (CASM-Ex2), was 1.4 percent higher in the December 2013quarter on a year-over-year basis, driven by the impact of wage increases and operational and service investments. GAAP consolidated CASM decreased 1.4 percent.
Fuel expense, excluding mark-to-market adjustments, declined $91 million as a result of lower market fuel prices and better settled hedge performance. Delta’s average fuel price3 was $3.05 per gallon for the December quarter, which includes $0.06 in settled hedge gains. On a GAAP basis, fuel expense for the December quarter decreased $186 million year-over-year, driven by lower market fuel prices and mark-to-market gains on hedges in the current quarter.
Operations at the Trainer refinery produced a $46 million loss for the December quarter and a $116 million loss for the full year. While lower crack spreads pressured results at the refinery, they also reduced market jet fuel prices and helped lower Delta’s overall fuel expense.
Cash from operations during the December 2013 quarter was $1.2 billion, driven by the company’s December quarter profit and working capital initiatives, which were partially offset by the normal seasonal decline in advance ticket sales. Cash from operations is net of a $250 million incremental contribution made by Delta to its defined benefit pension plans during the quarter. The company generated $260 millionof free cash flow.
Capital expenditures during the December 2013 quarter were $900 million, including $835 million in fleet investments and $16 million for the purchase of 4 aircraft off lease. During the quarter, Delta’s net debt maturities and capital leases were $335 million.
In the December quarter, the company returned $200 million to shareholders. On Nov. 26, the company paid $51 million to shareholders, which represents a $0.06 per share quarterly dividend. In addition, the company repurchased 5.5 million shares at an average price of$27.39 for a total of $150 million. The company has completed $250 million of the $500 million share repurchase plan authorized by Delta’s Board of Directors in May 2013.
Delta ended the quarter with adjusted net debt of $9.4 billion and the company has now achieved over $7.5 billion in net debt reduction since 2009. This debt reduction strategy produced a $28 million year-over-year reduction in interest expense in the December quarter and a $153 million reduction for 2013.
Reversal of Tax Valuation Allowance
Delta’s expectations for sustainable future profitability combined with its consistent and strong profitability over the past four years resulted in the reversal of the company’s tax valuation allowance in the December quarter. The reversal of the tax valuation allowance resulted in a non-cash net gain of $8.0 billion in the December quarter. Beginning in the March 2014 quarter, net income will be reduced to reflect a 39% tax rate; however, there will be no cash impact as Delta’s net operating loss carryforwards will offset cash taxes on more than $15 billion of future taxable income.
Delta recorded a $7.9 billion special items gain in the December 2013 quarter, including:
- an $8.0 billion non-cash gain associated with the reversal of the Delta’s tax valuation allowance, as detailed above;
- a $92 million mark-to-market gain on fuel hedges; and
- a $160 million charge for facilities, fleet and other, including charges associated with Delta’s domestic fleet restructuring.
Delta recorded a $231 million special items charge in the December 2012 quarter, including:
- a $122 million charge for facilities, fleet and other, including charges associated with the company’s domestic fleet restructuring;
- a $106 million loss on early extinguishment of debt primarily due to the company’s Pacific route credit facility refinancing; and
- a $3 million mark-to-market loss on fuel hedges.
March 201 4 Quarter Guidance
Following are Delta’s projections for the March 2014 quarter:
|1Q 2014 Forecast|
|Operating margin||6 – 8%|
|Fuel price, including taxes, settled hedges and refinery impact||$2.97 – $3.02|
|Non-operating expense||$235 – $250 million|
|1Q 2014 Forecast(compared to 1Q 2013)|
|Consolidated unit costs – excluding fuel expense and profit sharing||Up 0.5 – 1.5%|
|System capacity||Up 2 – 3%|
Included with this press release are Delta’s unaudited Consolidated Statements of Operations for the three and twelve months ended Dec. 31, 2013 and 2012; a statistical summary for those periods; selected balance sheet data as of Dec. 31, 2013 and 2012; and a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures.
|(1)||Note A to the attached Consolidated Statements of Operations provides a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures used in this release and provides the reasons management uses those measures.|
|(2)||CASM – Ex: In addition to fuel expense, profit sharing and special items, Delta believes excluding ancillary business costs is helpful to investors because ancillary business costs are not related to the generation of a seat mile. These businesses include aircraft maintenance and staffing services Delta provides to third parties and Delta’s vacation wholesale operations. The amounts excluded were $182 million and $185 million for the December 2013 and December 2012 quarters, respectively. Management believes this methodology provides a more consistent and comparable reflection of Delta’s airline operations.|
|(3)||Average fuel price per gallon: Delta’s December 2013 quarter average fuel price of $3.05 per gallon reflects the consolidated cost per gallon for mainline and regional operations, including contract carrier operations, and includes the impact of fuel hedge contracts with original maturity dates in the December 2013 quarter. On a GAAP basis, fuel price includes $92 million in fuel hedge mark-to-market adjustments recorded in periods other than the settlement period. The net refinery loss for the quarter was $46 million. See Note A for a reconciliation of average fuel price per gallon to the comparable GAAP metric.|
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Delta is adding leased Boeing 717s to the fleet. Formerly painted in the Atlanta Falcons special livery with AirTran Airways, Boeing 717-2BD N891AT (msn 55043) is now plying the skies with Delta. N891AT lands at Baltimore/Washington.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) yesterday (January 6) as planned and previously announced, operated its last DC-9 flight. The pictured McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51 N773NC (msn 47775) (above) and crew had the honor of operating the very last DC-9 revenue flight as flight DL 2014 between Minneapolis/St. Paul and Atlanta.
With the cold temperatures in both MSP and ATL there was not the traditional water cannon salute.
N773NC was originally delivered to North Central Airlines on October 26, 1978. With the merger with Southern Airways it became Republic Airlines on July 1, 1979. With the Republic merger into Northwest Airlines it took on the red tail on October 1, 1986. Finally it joined the Delta fleet on October 29, 2008 with the Delta-Northwest merger.
Delta operated 13 DC-9-51s in January up to the last flight operated by N773NC. Five DC-9-51s were retired in 2013, six in 2012 and 10 in 2011 according to Airliners.net. One DC-9-51 will be reserved for a museum. Delta is reportedly holding on to two DC-9-51s as spare aircraft for a few days while the newer Boeing 717s replace the DC-9-51s. The other DC-9-51 will end up in the desert where they will be broken up for the parts and the recyclable metal.
Read the full story from the Associated Press: CLICK HERE
Read the full story from Time: CLICK HERE
In other news, Delta is expanding the number of routes served by the new Boeing 717. The airline is introducing the 717 from Atlanta to Augusta (April 1), Chicago (Midway) (April 1), Dallas (Love Field) (October 13), Fayetteville (April 1) and Houston (Bush Intercontinental) (April 1) per Airline Route.
Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51 N773NC (msn 47775) faithfully served four airlines right up to the last flight. N773NC arrives at MSP.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 717 started operating to Baltimore/Washington (BWI) yesterday (January 6) with the DC-9-51 retirements. Delta painted the first ex-AirTran Airways Boeing 717 in September 2013, namely the pictured N935AT, which is pictured arriving at BWI. Delta is leasing the entire AirTran fleet of 88 Boeing 717s from Southwest Airlines (Dallas). The new type was introduced on September 19, 2013 between the Atlanta hub and Newark. The DL 717s feature 12 seats in First Class, 15 seats in Economy Comfort and 83 seats in Economy. N935AT was originally delivered to TWA as N402TW on April 11, 2000.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has painted its first former AirTran Airways Boeing 717-200 in Delta colors. The first aircraft is N935AT. As previously reported, Delta will be leasing the entire AirTran fleet of 88 Boeing 717s from Southwest Airlines (Dallas). The new type will be introduced on September 19 between the Atlanta hub and Newark. The DL 717s will feature 12 seats in First Class, 15 seats in Economy Comfort and 83 seats in Economy.
Delta issued this statement with the photos:
We are excited to share some pictures of the first Delta 717 all dressed up in its new paint job. You’ll notice the ship number – 9564 – is a nod to the 717’s original MD-95 moniker. In total, Delta will be receiving 88 of these aircraft updated with bright new interiors. Here are the details of what you can expect when they take to the skies this fall:
• 12 Zodiac 6810 seats in a 2 x 2 configuration
• 37” of seat pitch
• 19.6” of seat width
• 110v AC and USB in-seat power
• 15 Zodiac 5751 seats at 34” pitch in a 2 x 3 layout
• “Slim-line” seat provides more personal space
• 4-way adjustable headrests
• 18.1” of seat width
• 110v AC and USB in-seat power
• 83 Zodiac 5751 seats at 31” average pitch in a 2 x 3 layout
• “Slim-line” seat provides more personal space
• 4-way adjustable headrests
• 18.1” of seat width
• 110v AC and USB in-seat power
• New cool-white fluorescent lighting
• Onboard Wi-Fi
• Updated dark blue carpet and “Sky Diamond” bulkhead laminate
• Redesigned Economy Comfort & Economy seat covers with additional comfort padding
• New placards and signage
Top Copyright Photos: Delta Air Lines.
Video: Flight Simulation of a Delta 717 landing at Philadelphia:
Bottom Images: Delta Air Lines. Delta has been doing a great job of remembering its colorful past on social media.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will add 88 former AirTran Airways Boeing 717-200 aircraft to its fleet starting in 2013.
Delta has finalized an agreement with Southwest Airlines and Boeing for the Boeing 717s, which are currently in service at Southwest subsidiary AirTran Airways. The aircraft will begin delivery next year, with 16 scheduled to enter Delta’s fleet in 2013. An additional 36 will be delivered in 2014, and the remaining 36 in 2015.
The Boeing 717s will primarily replace small 50-seat regional jets on a capacity-neutral basis. The 110-seat aircraft will feature new, fully upgraded interiors, with 12 First Class seats, 15 Economy Comfort seats and in-flight WiFi throughout the aircraft. Seats in Economy will be arranged in a 2-3 configuration with just one middle seat per row.
The 717 initiative is the latest step in Delta’s domestic fleet optimization plan launched in 2010, focused on improving the profitability of the company and providing customers an industry-leading customer experience. Delta will begin taking delivery next year of new fuel-efficient state-of-the-art Boeing 737-900 ER jets, which will primarily replace older Boeing 757-200 and 767-300 and Airbus A320 aircraft. Delta will add 100 new 737-900 ERs between 2013 and 2018. In addition, Delta has upgraded its fleet with the addition of more than 80 MD-90 and two-class regional jets, retiring less efficient mainline and regional aircraft.
Image: Delta Air Lines.
AirTran Airways Boeing 717-231 N932AT (msn 55073) (Milwaukee Brewers) BWI (Tony Storck), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
AirTran Airways (Orlando) at the Air Line Pilots Association Int’l (ALPA), representing the pilots of AirTran Airways, have reached a tentative agreement after more than five years of contract negotiations. The agreement represents the first contract for AirTran pilots since they joined ALPA in 2009.
The terms of the tentative agreement establish the foundation for a fair and equitable contract. Details of the settlement will not be released to the public until approved by the AirTran Master Executive Council (MEC) and ratified by AirTran pilots. If the pilot representatives on the AirTran MEC give their approval, a membership ratification vote will take place in November.
AirTran has agreed to be acquired by Southwest Airlines and is awaiting shareholder and regulatory approval for the buyout.
On the financial side, AirTran Holdings, Inc., the parent company of AirTran Airways, Inc., today reported a net profit of $36.3 million or $0.22per diluted share for the third quarter of 2010. During the quarter, the Company reported operating income of $56.7 million.
Included in these third quarter results is a non-operating gain on derivative financial instruments of $15.3 million. This non-operating gain on derivative financial instruments was largely attributable to unrealized increases in the fair value of our future fuel-related derivative assets. During the same period in 2009, AirTran Airways reported net income of $10.4 million, and diluted earnings per common share of $0.08. Included in our third quarter 2009 results is a non-operating loss on derivative financial instruments of $10.3 million. The Company ended the third quarter with $424.5 million in unrestricted cash and the Company’s revolving line of credit remains undrawn.
During this period, the Company also achieved an all-time record for traffic (revenue passenger miles), and second highest load factor in Company history. AirTran Airways also established record setting operational metrics during the quarter, including the highest ever performance in on-time arrivals at 83.4 percent. In July alone, AirTran Airways served more than 2.4 million customers and achieved a load factor in excess of 88 percent. The Company continued to rank among the top of the industry in completion factor, mishandled baggage rate and the number of customer complaints the Department of Transportation receives.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Please click on photo for further details.
AirTran Airways Boeing 717-2BD N949AT (msn 55003) (Orlando Magic) FLL (Dave Campbell), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) announced today (September 27) that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of AirTran Holdings, Inc. (Orlando), the parent company of AirTran Airways (Orlando), for a combination of cash and Southwest Airlines’ common stock.
At Southwest Airlines’ closing stock price of $12.28 on September 24, 2010, the transaction values AirTran common stock at $7.69 per share, or approximately $1.4 billion in the aggregate, including AirTran’s outstanding convertible notes. This represents a premium of 69 percent over the September 24, 2010 closing price of AirTran stock. Under the agreement, each share of AirTran common stock will be exchanged for $3.75 in cash and 0.321 shares of Southwest Airlines’ common stock, subject to certain adjustments, based on Southwest Airlines’ share price prior to closing. Including the existing AirTran net indebtedness and capitalized aircraft operating leases, the transaction value is approximately $3.4 billion.
The agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of each company, and closing is subject to the approval of AirTran stockholders, receipt of certain regulatory clearances, and fulfillment of customary closing conditions.
The acquisition will significantly expand Southwest Airlines’ low-fare service to many more Customers in many more domestic markets (especially the mega hub at Atlanta), creating hundreds of additional low-fare itineraries for the traveling public. Moreover, the expansion of low fares should generate hundreds of millions in annual savings to consumers. Based on an economic analysis by Campbell-Hill Aviation Group, LLP*, Southwest Airlines’ more expansive low-fare service at Atlanta, alone, has the potential to stimulate over two million new passengers and over $200 million in consumer savings, annually. These savings would be created from the new low-fare competition that Southwest Airlines would be able to provide as a result of the acquisition, expanding the well-known “Southwest Effect'” of reducing fares and stimulating new passenger traffic wherever it flies.
AirTran revenues and operating income, excluding special items, for the twelve months ending June 30, 2010, were $2.5 billion and $128 million, respectively. Southwest Airlines revenues and operating income, excluding special items, for the twelve months ending June 30, 2010, were $11.2 billion and $843 million, respectively. The proposed transaction, including the anticipated benefit of net synergies, but excluding the impact of one-time acquisition and integration costs, is expected to be accretive to Southwest Airlines pro forma fully-diluted earnings per share in the first year after the close of the transaction and strongly accretive thereafter. Net annual synergies are expected to exceed $400 million by 2013. One-time costs related to the acquisition and integration of AirTran are expected to be in the range of $300 million to $500 million.
As of June 30, 2010, the combined unrestricted cash and short-term investments of the two companies was $3.7 billion. Southwest Airlines intends to fund approximately $670 million in cash consideration for the transaction out of cash on hand. Since June 30, Southwest’s cash and short-term investments balance has increased from $3.1 billion to $3.3 billion. In addition, Southwest Airlines has a fully available, unsecured revolving credit facility of $600 million.
Based on current operations, the combined organization would have nearly 43,000 Employees and serve more than 100 million Customers annually from more than 100 different airports in the U.S. and near-international destinations. In addition, the combined carriers’ all-Boeing fleet consisting of 685 active aircraft would include 401 Boeing 737-700s, 173 Boeing 737-300s, 25 Boeing 737-500s, and 86 Boeing 717s, with an average age of approximately 10 years, one of the youngest fleets in the industry. Southwest Airlines also announced, previously, that it is evaluating the opportunity to introduce the Boeing 737-800 into its domestic network to complement its current fleet, providing opportunities for longer-haul flying and service to high-demand, slot-controlled, or gate-restricted markets. This acquisition supports Southwest Airlines’ evaluation of the Boeing 737-800.
Until closing, Southwest Airlines and AirTran will continue to operate as independent companies. After closing, Bob Fornaro will continue to be involved in the integration of the two companies. Southwest Airlines plans to integrate AirTran into the Southwest Airlines Brand by transitioning the AirTran fleet to the Southwest Airlines livery, developing a consistent Customer Experience, and consolidating corporate functions into its Dallas headquarters. Subject to receipt of necessary approvals, Southwest Airlines’ integration plans include transitioning the operations of the two carriers to a Single Operating Certificate. Plans for existing AirTran facilities will be developed by integration teams and decisions will be announced at appropriate times. The carriers’ frequent-flyer programs will be combined over time, as well.
Copyright Photo: Dave Campbell. Southwest Airlines will become a new operator of the Boeing 717. Both companies are very supportive of logojets and special promotions. 717-2BD N949AT (msn 55003) in the Orlando Magic motif taxies to the runway at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood.
AirTran Airways (Orlando) today announced several new flights to Ft. Myers. The airline also announced additional service to Las Vegas.
AirTran Airways will offer flights to Ft. Myers from Bloomington/Normal, IL (starting on March 9, 2011), Buffalo/Niagara Falls, NY (starting on March 8, 2011), Moline/Quad Cities, IL (starting on March 8, 2011), and Rochester, NY 9starting on November 20, 2010).
In addition to the new Ft. Myers flights, AirTran Airways is also adding service from Indianapolis to Las Vegas, five times a week, starting on March 10, 2011.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Boeing 717-231 N925AT (msn 55079) in the special “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” promotional scheme prepares to land at Baltimore/Washington.
AirTran Airways Boeing 717-2BD N895AT (msn 55047) MIA (Bruce Drum), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
AirTran Airways (Orlando) will drop the Atlanta-Miami route on October 7.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Boeing 717-2BD N895AT (msn 55047) taxies to the gate at MIA.
Blue1 Boeing 717-23S OH-BLM (msn 55066) MIA (Eddy Gual) (new type, new livery), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Blue1 (blue1.com) (Helsinki) will soon take delivery of its first Boeing 717. The new induction is also triggering a new livery. Each aircraft will have an unique design.
Copyright Photo: Eddy Gual. The first is 717-23S OH-BLM (msn 55066) which was painted at Miami.
AirTran Holdings, Inc. (Orlando) the parent company of AirTran Airways, Inc., reported a net profit of $12.4 million or $0.09 per diluted share for the second quarter of 2010. Excluding $26.4 million in unrealized losses, net of taxes, related to the reduction in value of future fuel hedges, the Company’s net income for the quarter would have been $38.8 million dollars or $0.23 per diluted share. This result is particularly noteworthy given the 37.2 percent increase in the per-gallon cost of jet fuel, the airline’s single largest expense, year-over-year.
AirTran set quarterly records for revenue passenger miles flown, load factor and enplaned passengers. For the first time in AirTran Airways’ history, load factor topped 83 percent in the second quarter.
Copyright Photo: Norbert G. Raith. Boeing 717-2BD N949AT (msn 55003) painted in the Orlando Magic scheme, arrives at the ATL hub.
AirTran Airways Boeing 717-2BD N892AT (msn 55044) MIA (Bruce Drum), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
AirTran Airways (Orlando) yesterday (May 29) began new nonstop service between Wichita Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, KS, and Orlando International Airport. The airline will offer a Saturday nonstop flight between the two cities.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Boeing 717-2BD N892AT (msn 55044) prepares for takeoff at Miami.
Blue1 (Helsinki) will invest in 120-seat Boeing 717-200 aircraft for its fleet to meet the needs of its rapidly expanding route network and increasing operations.
Blue1 is focusing more and more on becoming a business travelers’ airline, with a strong emphasis on both the number of routes and operations. The contents of the service product are also being renewed to respond to the new needs of the Finnish business traveler. The Boeing 717 has an important role in the company’s route strategy and the growth of operations, as well as the service experience for our customers.
The first Boeing 717 aircraft will join the Blue1 fleet in the autumn of 2010. The total number of aircraft in the fleet will be nine within six months. With the acquisition of the Boeing 717, Blue1’s aim is to double its fleet in a couple of years and to transfer to a fleet of just one type of aircraft.
As part of this new introduction, Blue1 will also introduce an unique and different blue color scheme for each aircraft.
AirTran Airways Boeing 717-2BD N895AT (msn 55047) MIA (Bruce Drum), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
AirTran Holdings, Inc. (Orlando), the parent company of AirTran Airways, Inc., reported a net loss of $12.0 million or $0.09 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2010. Excluding $4.7 million in unrealized gains on future fuel hedges, the Company’s net loss for the quarter would have been $16.7 million dollars or $0.12 per diluted share. The impact of historic winter snowstorms along the Eastern Seaboard and more than a 50 percent increase in fuel expenses offset record total revenues for the first quarter.
AirTran Airways experienced significant revenue improvement that accelerated through the quarter with total unit revenues increasing by a solid double-digit margin year-over-year in March.
The Company posted record first quarter total revenues of $605.1 million on a record load factor of 77.2 percent. Operating costs increased 21.8 percent or $107.8 million as compared to the same period last year. Fuel was the single largest contributor to the cost increase, accounting for over 60 percent or $67.3 million of the increase. Last year, crude oil averaged $41 per barrel in the first quarter but has risen to $78 this year. Winter storms further pressured unit costs due to reduced capacity and additional expenses related to extreme weather during the quarter.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Boeing 717-2BD N895AT (msn 55047) taxies to the gate at Miami.