Tag Archives: Boeing 717

Delta opens up additional Boeing 717 routes and markets

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.

From Atlanta:

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)

From Detroit:

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: AG Slide Show

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Delta announces new flights from Los Angeles to Austin, Boise and San Salvador

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

 Flight  Departs  Arrives  Service Begins
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 (current): AG Slide Show

Delta to add two new routes from Los Angeles

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.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines to retire the AirTran Airways name and brand by the end of this year

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.

AirTran Airways: AG Slide Show

AirTran logo

Remaining AirTran routes from the Atlanta hub:

AirTran 1.2014 ATL Route Map

Video: A previous AirTran TV Commercial:

Video: A company video celebrating its 10th Anniversary back in 2010:

Delta reports fourth quarter net income of $558 million, $2.7 billion for 2013

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.

Revenue Environment

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:

Increase (Decrease)
4Q13 versus 4Q12
Change Unit
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 %

Cost Performance

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 Flow

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.

Special Items

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%

Other Matters

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.

End Notes
(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 (current): AG Slide Show

Delta Air Lines (historic): AG Slide Show

Delta operates its last DC-9 flight with N773NC, expands Boeing 717 operations

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.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Airline and Aircraft Galleries: AG Galleries

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.

The first Delta Boeing 717 is painted, ready to start flying on September 19

Delta 717-200 (07)(Grd) ATL (Delta)(LR)

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:

First Class

• 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

Economy Comfort

• 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

Economy

• 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

Cabin Enhancements

• 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.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

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 Welcome Aboard (Delta)(LR)

Delta Douglas Fleet (Delta)(LR)

Delta to introduce the Boeing 717 on September 19

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is planning to introduce the Boeing 717 on September 19 on the Atlanta-Newark route per Airline Route. Delta will lease all 88 AirTran Airways Boeing 717s from Southwest Airlines (Dallas). The first aircraft is due to be delivered next month and the 717s will be gradually phased in as AirTran retires the type.

Delta’s data sheet on the 717:

Delta 717 Data (Delta)(LR)

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Boeing leases additional 717s to QANTAS Link and Volotea

Boeing’ (Chicago) leasing unit, Boeing Capital Corporation, announced additional deployments of 717s.

Australia’s largest regional airline, QANTAS Link, will receive an additional five leased 717s to add to its existing fleet of 13 of the twinjets that operate across Australia. Those deliveries will begin in late 2013 after the aircraft are refitted with upgraded interiors to include a full business class experience and new in-flight entertainment systems. The QANTAS Group has operated the 717s since 2002.

The 717s will be deployed on the Sydney-Canberra, Brisbane-Canberra and Melbourne-Canberra routes.

In Europe, startup carrier, Volotea (Barcelona and Venice), will increase its 717 fleet (below) in 2013 to a total 15 as it continues to develop its business model of offering point-to-point service to passengers between medium and small-sized European cities. Volotea began operations on April 5, 2012 with a network built around the 717 that is supported by a comprehensive Boeing solution for operations and training.

Volotea recently surpassed the million passenger mark enabled by its operation from 52 European airports, currently serving 97 city pairs.

There are more than 150 Boeing 717s in service today since the first airplane was delivered in 1999. The twinjet’s technology and fleet performance have earned it the distinction of being the world’s best jetliner serving the 100-passenger airline market.

Top Copyright Photo: Micheil Keegan/AirlinersGallery.com. Operated by Cobham Aviation Services Australia for QANTAS, Boeing 717-2K9 VH-NXH (msn 55055) prepares to land in Perth, Western Australia.

QANTAS Link-Cobham: AG Slide Show

Volotea: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 717-2BL EI-EWI (msn 55170) climbs away from Southend after maintenance.

Hawaiian Airlines’ flight attendants ratify a new narrow-body aircraft agreement

Hawaiian Airlines‘ (Honolulu) flight attendants have ratified a tentative agreement reached earlier this month between the company and the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) on new contract terms covering the operation of long-range, single-aisle aircraft the company plans to acquire to complement its current fleet of wide-body aircraft serving Hawai’i from the U.S. West Coast.

On January 7, Hawaiian announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with airframe manufacturer Airbus to acquire 16 new A321neo aircraft between 2017 and 2020, with rights to purchase an additional nine aircraft.

The company also announced that the acquisitions are contingent upon the signing of new agreements with its pilots’ and flight attendants’ unions covering operation of the new aircraft type.

Hawaiian’s pilots ratified a similar agreement between the company and the Air Line Pilots Association on January 28.

The fleet expansion is expected to generate roughly 1,000 new jobs at Hawaiian.

The long-range, single-aisle A321neo aircraft will complement Hawaiian’s existing fleet of
wide-body, twin-aisle aircraft used for long-haul flying between Hawai’i and the U.S. West Coast.

At 146-feet-long, the A321neo will seat approximately 190 passengers in a two-class configuration (First and Coach) and has a range of 3,650 nautical miles. The aircraft will offer the more comfortable seat widths found in the twin-aisle A330.

Copyright Photo: Andy Jung. Hawaiian currently operates the narrow-body Boeing 717 in the inter-island network. The new A321s will open some new thin long-range Mainland routes previously pioneered by Aloha Airlines and largely filled recently by Alaska Airlines with its Boeing 737-800s. The pictured Boeing 717-2BD N488HA (msn 55101) arrives at the Honolulu hub.

Hawaiian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines to expand its code-share with subsidiary AirTran Airways

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has announced that it is taking the next step in its marriage with subsidiary, AirTran Airways. Customers are now able to purchase a growing number of itineraries between the Southwest and AirTran networks for travel on a single itinerary. Soon, Customers will be able to book flights to any of the airlines’ combined 97 destinations, including international, in one transaction.

“Connecting the networks is a priority in 2013 and a major milestone as we work to combine our two Companies,” said Bob Jordan, Chief Commercial Officer at Southwest Airlines and President of AirTran.  “With a connected network, we can offer Customers more itineraries, more destinations, more low fares, and a taste of what’s to come once the integration is complete.”

Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways took the first step in connecting their networks on January 26, 2013, by offering a small number of shared itineraries in five markets.  The initial phase was successful, and the airlines are prepared to launch in 39 cities on February 25, 2013.  The airline is on pace to fully connect the networks in April.

By connecting the Southwest and AirTran networks, Customers may:

  • Add one or more AirTran domestic flight segments to a Southwest itinerary, using Southwest booking channels (southwest.com, 1-800-IFLYSWA, travel agencies, Southwest’s mobile site and apps, and Southwest Airlines ticket counters).
  • Book one or more Southwest flight segments connecting to an AirTran itinerary, using AirTran channels (airtran.com, 1-800-AIRTRAN, AirTran Airways ticket counters, and travel agencies).
  • Use all Southwest channels to book an AirTran-only domestic itinerary.
  • Add an international AirTran segment to a Southwest itinerary within a single reservation, through a Customer-friendly transfer of the transaction to AirTran channels for booking, purchase, and ticketing by AirTran.
  • Earn currency in either loyalty program no matter which carrier they fly. (The currency a Customer earns is determined by the carrier from which they buy their ticket, even if flying on a shared itinerary.)

As is standard with industry “code share” arrangements, the Marketing Carrier’s rules and policies apply to reservations and ticketing.  The Operating Carrier’s procedures apply to boarding, seating, and the onboard experience. Southwest is making one exception: any itinerary with a Southwest segment or that is purchased through a Southwest point-of-sale channel will not have bag fees for the first or second checked bag (weight and size restrictions apply).

Southwest Airlines announced plans to acquire AirTran Airways on September 27, 2010, an acquisition that significantly expanded Southwest Airlines’ low-fare service to more Customers in more domestic markets, creating hundreds of additional low-fare itineraries for the traveling public.  Since Southwest Airlines closed the deal to purchase AirTran Airways on May 2, 2011, Southwest and AirTran Employees have worked hard to guarantee a thoughtful and smooth integration process while providing the same high level of Customer Service that Customers have come to expect. To date, Southwest Airlines has welcomed 29 percent of AirTran Employees to the Southwest Family, has converted 11 AirTran Airways 737-700 aircraft to the Southwest paint scheme and interior configuration, and has transitioned five AirTran Airways-served cities into Southwest Airlines operations.

The process of a full integration of the AirTran Airways 737 fleet into the Southwest Airlines fleet (i.e. paint scheme and interior configuration) and transition to a single ticketing system is a large and complex process that is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.  Southwest Airlines realized $142 million of net, annualized, pre-tax synergies during 2012, and expects to achieve $400 million in 2013 (excluding acquisition and integration expenses).

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. All visuals for AirTran Airways, including aircraft, will be gone by the end of 2014. The Boeing 717 fleet will be leaving sooner for Delta Air Lines. Southwest will not operate or integrate the Boeing 717s. Therefore many of the special color schemes on the 717s will be retired when the aircraft are removed from the AirTran fleet. The pictured ex-TWA 717-231 N925AT (msn 55079, ex N412TW) displays the special “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” color scheme at Baltimore/Washington.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

AirTran Airways: AG Slide Show

Grand Rapids to join the Southwest Airlines network on August 11

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) announced today that Grand Rapids, Michigan is the next AirTran Airways (Dallas) city to be converted to Southwest service.  Those flights from Grand Rapids to Baltimore/Washington, Denver, Orlando, and Saint Louis will begin on August 11, 2013.  AirTran service in Grand Rapids will end the previous day, August 10, 2013.

From Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR), fly Southwest Airlines Nonstop to:

  • (BWI) Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
  • (DEN) Denver International Airport
  • (MCO) Orlando International Airport
  • (STL) Lambert-St. Louis International Airport

Additionally, AirTran expands operations in Memphis with new nonstop flights between Memphis and Chicago (Midway), Baltimore/Washington, and Orlando, beginning on August 11, 2013.  In Memphis, AirTran currently offers five daily nonstop flights to Atlanta.

Southwest also will begin nonstop service between Flint, Michigan and Las Vegas starting on August 11, 2013. Bishop International Airport (FNT) in Flint is currently served by AirTran Airways and will convert to Southwest Airlines service on April 14, 2013. Inaugural service from Flint will also include nonstop service to Baltimore/Washington, Orlando, and Tampa Bay.

Top Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney. Boeing 737-3H4 N609SW (msn 27929) in the California One motif lands at Las Vegas.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

AirTran Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Southwest Airlines is also phasing out the AirTran Airways’ Boeing 717 fleet. The 717s will gradually migrate to Delta Air Lines. Boeing 717-2BD N946AT (msn 55009) painted in the special livery of the world champion Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL) climbs away from the runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).

QANTAS Group to lease five Boeing 717s, order three Bombardier Q400s and cancel one Boeing 787

The QANTAS Group (QANTAS Airways) (Sydney) has  announced an update to its fleet plan to capitalize on growth in Australian domestic markets.

QANTAS will lease an additional five Boeing 717 aircraft (above) and purchase three Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) aircraft (below), due to start arriving from the second half of 2013.

The company has also made a change to its international fleet plan, with the cancellation of a single Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on order for Jetstar Airways.

The remaining 14 Boeing 787-8s will be delivered to Jetstar as planned, with the first aircraft to arrive in mid-2013. This will enable the gradual transfer of Airbus A330 aircraft from Jetstar to QANTAS Domestic and the retirement of QANTAS’ Boeing 767 fleet.

Mr Joyce said the cancellation of one B787 took advantage of flexibility in its fleet plan and contract with Boeing.

“The original 787 order for Jetstar was designed to replace all 11 of its existing A330s that are used for long haul services plus provide another four lines of flying for future growth.

“While the plan is for Jetstar’s long haul network to keep expanding we are using the flexibility in our agreement with Boeing to cancel a firm order knowing that we can replace it with one of our 50 options for this aircraft down the track, and with a full view of what market conditions are like at the time,” added Mr Joyce.

Jetstar’s short haul growth plans continue to be supported by the QANTAS Group’s existing order of Airbus A320 aircraft.

Mr Joyce said the QANTAS Group remained firmly committed to the Dreamliners for both Qantas International and Jetstar, and that it retained options and purchase rights for 50 Boeing 787s of either -8 or -9 variants available for delivery from 2016.

In an important milestone for the Jetstar Boeing 787 program, production of its first aircraft has just begun. With delivery of the aircraft not due until mid-2013, the airline is confident current technical issues will be resolved by Boeing.

The decision to amend the 787 order was reached at the end of 2012 and the agreement with Boeing has now been finalized.

The fleet changes announced will have no material impact on the Group’s planned capital expenditure, which remains unchanged at $1.8 billion for FY13 and $1.9 billion for FY14.

Top Copyright Photo: Peter Gates. Boeing 717-231 VH-NXN (msn 55095) of Cobham Aviation Services Australia operating as a QANTAS Link carrier poses for the camera at Brisbane.

QANTAS Link-Cobham Aviation Services Australia: AG Slide Show

QANTAS logo

QANTAS Link-Sunstate Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: John Adlard. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) VH-QOC (msn 4117) of Sunstate Airlines approaches the Sydney hub.

Blue1 to be converted to a “production company”, SAS to take over airline operations in Finland

Blue1 (Helsinki) after November 1 will operate under the SAS brand in the Finnish market.

SAS issued the following statement this morning:

From November 1, SAS will be taking over responsibility for commercial operations in Finland. This is taking place in line with SAS’s 4Excellence strategy and strengthens SAS’s position on the Finnish market. Finnish subsidiary Blue1 is being converted to a production company, with the primary task of delivering operational flight services to meet SAS’s route network needs.

“Finland is our fourth Nordic home market and we have been restructuring our route network in Finland since the beginning of the year. We now fly nonstop between several regions in Finland and Scandinavia, as a complement to the worldwide route network of SAS and the Star Alliance. We are now using the SAS brand to demonstrate our strong offering and our unique customer benefits on the Finnish market as well,” says Joakim Landholm, Executive Vice President Commercial at SAS.

“As a production company, Blue1 will be focusing on its operational strengths and continuing to operate its current routes for SAS. Our punctuality is the best in Europe and our focus on high-class service is greater than ever,” says Janne Hattula, Managing Director and COO of Blue1 since July 2012.

In other news, Blue1 will open a new nonstop route from Helsinki to Geneva. The route will be operated from January 12 to March 23, 2013 on Saturdays. The route will provide a new option to fly direct from Helsinki to Geneva, close to many popular winter resorts in the Swiss, French and Italian Alps.

Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl. With this announcement the unique Blue1 brand will disappear. Blue1 will operate for its parent under the SAS name. Boeing 717-23S OH-BLM (msn 55066) climbs away from Zurich.

Blue1: 

Route Map:

Please click on the map for the full size view.

Hawaiian reports second quarter income of $3.9 million

Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (Honolulu), parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, Inc., reported consolidated net income for the three months ended June 30, 2012 of $3.9 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, on total operating revenue of $484.6 million. This compares to a net loss of $50.0 million, or $0.99 per basic and diluted share, on total operating revenue of $395.0 million for the three months ended June 30, 2011.  Results for the three months ended June 30, 2011 included the impact of a non-recurring pre-tax lease termination expense of $70.0 million related to the purchase of 15 Boeing 717-200 aircraft previously operated under lease agreements.

Reflecting economic fuel expense, the Company reported adjusted net income of $11.7 million, or $0.22 per diluted share for the three months ended June 30, 2012.  This compares with adjusted net income of $0.1 million, reflecting economic fuel expense and excluding the impact of lease termination costs, or $0.00 per diluted share, for the three months ended June 30, 2011.  Table 4 sets forth a reconciliation of net income (loss) and diluted net income (loss) per share on a GAAP basis and non-GAAP net income (loss) and diluted net income (loss) per share reflecting economic fuel expense and excluding lease termination costs.

Copyright Photo: Andy Jung. Boeing 717-22A N484HA (msn 55129) departs from Kahului, Maui.

Hawaiian Airlines: 

 

Hawaiian Airlines to establish an inter-island subsidiary

Hawaiian Airlines‘ (Honolulu) parent company, Hawaiian Holdings, has signed a Letter of Intent to acquire turbo-prop aircraft with the aim of establishing a subsidiary carrier to serve routes not currently in Hawaiian’s neighbor island system.

The announcement came in a press release about lower inter-island fares. Hawaiian Airlines has implemented a new fare structure for neighbor island travel that lowers ticket prices across all of its fare classes from 4 to 25 percent.

Under the new fare structure, the lowest fare for a one-way nonstop interisland flight (including taxes and mandatory federal fees) is $65 for travel from Honolulu to Kahului and Lihu’e.

The new fare structure complements the additional neighbor island capacity and routes Hawaiian introduced earlier this year. Over the past year, Hawaiian has increased capacity by 13 percent and created a Maui hub to increase service between the Valley Isle, Kaua’i and Hawai’i Island. The turbo-prop subsidiary will allow Hawaiian to further expand capacity with daily flights to rural areas.

Hawaiian has operated turboprops in the past including the de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7 for its inter-island services.

Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura. Today Hawaiian operates the Boeing 717 on its inter-island network. Boeing 717-22A N475HA taxies at the HNL hub.

Hawaiian Airlines: 

Delta to add Boeing 717s in 2013, replacing smaller jets

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.

Delta Air Lines: 

Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways aircraft maintenance technicians ratify Seniority Integration Agreement

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) announced the Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMT) from Southwest Airlines, represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA), and AirTran Airways (Dallas), represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 528, voted to ratify their Seniority Integration Agreement. This agreement integrates the two groups’ seniority lists. Southwest Airlines finalized closing of the acquisition of AirTran Holdings, Inc., on May 2, 2011.

AMFA represents approximately 1,750 Southwest Airlines Aircraft Maintenance Technicians, and the IBT represents close to 500 Mechanics from AirTran Airways.

Today’s vote by the AMTs means they now join the Pilots, Flight Attendants, Flight Instructors, Dispatchers, and Ramp, Operations, Provisioning and Freight Agents as having successfully completed the Seniority Integration negotiation process. Work groups still in seniority integration negotiations include Customer Service Agents and Customer Support and Service Employees and Materials Specialists.

This moves the merger one step closer.

Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum.

Southwest Airlines: 

AirTran Airways: 

Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman. The AirTran Boeing 717s will not be painted in Southwest’s livery.

AirTran Airways reaches a tentative agreement with ALPA

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.

Southwest Airlines to buy AirTran Airways, will now operate 717s

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 adds new flights to Fort Myers

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 to drop the Atlanta-Miami route on October 7

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.

The first Boeing 717 is painted for Blue1

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 Airways Holdings reports a 2Q net profit of $12.4 million

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 unveils its “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” logojet

Copyright Photo: AirTran Airways. Boeing 717-231 N925AT (msn 55079) is pictured after painting.

AirTran Airways (Orlando) yesterday (June 16) unveiled an addition to their partnership, a one-of-a-kind “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” themedaircraft.

This distinctive aircraft is the latest expansion of a partnership that includes exclusive travel packages and special offers to people traveling on AirTran Airways to the Universal Orlando Resort.

Boeing 717-231 N925AT (msn 55079) features an illustration on the aircraft depicting a wizarding hand, complete with wand, stretching from the back of the plane to the front. The tip of the wand is pointing towards The Wizarding World of Harry Potter logo across the side of the fuselage. The wand and hand sit just above the Universal Orlando Resort emblem.

N925AT went into service on June 16 between San Antonio and Orlando. This Harry Potter logojet follows the Virgin Atlantic Airways version.

Photo: AirTran Airways.

AirTran Airways starts Wichita-Orlando nonstop flights

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 to add the Boeing 717

Image: Blue1 via Allan Huse.

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 officially unveils “Brewers 1″

AirTran Airways (Orlando and Atlanta) has been flying its latest logojet since April 30. Today (May 17) the airline and the Milwaukee Brewers unveiled a custom plane painted with throwback Milwaukee Brewers logos and colors to honor the club’s 40th anniversary and the airline’s partnership with the team.

Dubbed Brewers 1, Boeing 717-231 N932AT (msn 55073) was officially “unveiled” in Milwaukee today.

Hall of Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers, mascot Bernie Brewer and team executives were among the VIP guests aboard the aircraft as it made its debut at General Mitchell International Airport after being marshaled in by the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages.

Kids from the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee pulled the 120,000 lb. aircraft 20 feet at the premiere event to earn $50,000 for their summer sports program.

Brewers 1 is the fifth in a series of custom-painted AirTran aircraft and the first affiliated with a Major League Baseball team. In 2009, AirTran Airways unveiled Falcons 1 in Atlanta, Ravens 1 in Baltimore, Colts 1 in Indianapolis and Magic 1 in Orlando to honor the airline’s partnerships with these professional sports teams.

What will be next? Our guess: the Boston Bruins.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Brewers 1 arrives at Baltimore/Washington.

AirTran Airways launches new routes

AirTran Airways (Orlando and Atlanta) yesterday (May 4) began twice daily service from Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport to Jacksonville International Airport.

The company also launched yesterday daily nonstop service from Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Mich., to both Orlando International Airport and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Copyright Photo: Justin Cederholm. The brand new Milwaukee Brewers logojet is pictured departing from Orlando on May 3 as flight FL 828 to Chicago (Midway). Boeing 717-231 N932AT (msn 55073) was also the last AirTran aircraft to wear the old 1997 color scheme.

AirTran puts its new Milwaukee Brewers logojet into service, did it upstage Midwest/Frontier?

AirTran Airways (Orlando and Atlanta) took delivery on April 30 after repainting at Roswell, NM (previously the logojets were painted at Miami) of its latest logojet. Boeing 717-231 N932AT (msn 55073) is now sporting the team (old?) colors of the Milwaukee Brewers. N932AT was also the last aircraft to wear the 1997 livery. AirTran is expected to officially “unveil” the new logojet (probably at MKE or MCO) in the coming week.

AirTran has somewhat upstaged rival Midwest Airlines (now Frontier Airlines) which is the official airline of the Milwaukee Brewers MLB baseball team. AirTran does sponsor the AirTran Airways Landing Zone, a special all-inclusive group area located in right field at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Frontier has just introduced a tail image of a Wisconsin Badger and a “name the animal contest” for Wisconsin residents. This is the latest installment of the “Battle of Milwaukee” for the patronage of users of MKE.

What is the next logojet for AirTran? Boston Bruins? Here is the official list of its corporate sponsors:

http://www.airtranairways.com/about-us/sponsorships.aspx

AirTran Airways loses $12.0 million in the first quarter

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.