Tag Archives: Boeing 737-700

Southwest Airlines to distribute $228 million in profit sharing

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has announced it will contribute approximately $228 million—the largest total dollar amount ever allocated—directly to Employees through its ProfitSharing Plan this year. The payment is an 88 percent increase over last year’s contribution of $121 million. Southwest was the first in the industry to offer a ProfitSharing Plan, and this is the Company’s 40th consecutive ProfitSharing payment. Through the ProfitSharing Plan, Southwest Employees currently own more than four percent of the Company’s outstanding shares.

Combined with ProfitSharing is the Company’s $269 million match and other amounts contributed to the Southwest and AirTran 401(k) plans. Southwest rewarded its Employees with a 2013 total retirement benefit of nearly $500 million. In addition to retirement contributions, Southwest Airlines also invested approximately $580 million in its Employees’ benefits during 2013, which included healthcare coverage, wellness programs, and other benefits. In total, that’s more than $1 billion dedicated to the wealth and wellbeing of Southwest Employees in 2013 alone, on top of base salaries.

Over four decades, Southwest ProfitSharing contributions have totaled $2.5 billion. In other words:

It’s enough money to buy 500 million mini bottles of founder Herb Kelleher’s drink of choice, Wild Turkey, which would fill 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Or, $2.5 billion would buy 83 billion bags of Southwest peanuts—enough for 10 roundtrips to the moon if you lined them up end-to-end.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N481WN (msn 29853) prepares to touch down in Las Vegas.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

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Southwest to partner with Placemaking for its “Project for Public Spaces”, WSJ takes a look at “aging” Southwest

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) announced on April 3 a multi-year commitment to Placemaking – a movement that reimagines public spaces as the heart of every community. Through the Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community program, the airline will revitalize and activate public spaces in the hearts of American cities in partnership with the pioneering nonprofit organization behind Placemaking, Project for Public Spaces (PPS).

Building upon successful pilot projects in Detroit, Michigan, and Providence, Rhode Island, in 2013, Southwest and PPS will help transform multiple public spaces in 2014 with the intent to expand the Heart of the Community program and support dozens of public spaces through Placemaking projects in the years to come.

For more than 30 years, Placemaking has sparked social, economic, and environmental benefits in communities around the world. Rooted in community-based participation, Placemaking involves the planning, design, management and programming of public spaces and capitalizes on a community’s assets and potential to create vibrant destinations—such as neighborhood parks, community markets and downtown squares.

In late 2013, Southwest provided a gift to support the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning’s research white paper, Places in the Making, which demonstrated the power of Placemaking to create connected, sustainable, healthy, and economically viable communities. The research emphasized Placemaking’s positive impact on community building and empowerment and cited the need for public/private partnerships to advance the practice of Placemaking.

Through the Heart of the Community program, Southwest and PPS will collaborate with local community partners in cities across the country to bring new life to their public spaces. Earlier this week, Southwest and PPS unveiled their most recent project in San Antonio, Texas, where they partnered with the Center City Development Office to activate historic Travis Park through new physical amenities, including games, umbrellas, tables and chairs and ongoing programming, such as fitness classes and live music. In 2013, Southwest and PPS worked with the Downtown Detroit Partnership to transform an underutilized lawn in downtown’s Campus Martius Park into a seasonal beach with a deck and seating that serves as a fun and relaxing community gathering place for workers, families and children. Additionally, they worked with the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy to create the Imagination Center, a new place for family activities in Burnside Park, located in the heart of downtown Providence, R.I.

Heart of the Community is part of Southwest’s broader efforts to connect people and strengthen local communities through its core business, charitable giving, community outreach, and environmental initiatives. To read more, go to Nuts About Southwest.

Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has published an article on Southwest that claims the airline is showing its age and becoming a higher cost airline.

Read the article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N492WN (msn 33866) arrives in Las Vegas.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

SAS to connect the oil region of Norway with Houston, Texas

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) is launching services between Stavanger, Norway and Houston (Bush Intercontinental) on August 20. This fulfils the wishes of leading players in the oil industry for better connections between Norway, and the rest of Scandinavia, and Houston, Texas.

The route will be operated by a business version of the Boeing 737-700 and will have an SAS Long Haul Business Class concept on board, with just 44 comfortable business seats, along with a modern inflight entertainment system and full-service meals and service.

SAS has entered into a wet lease agreement with PrivatAir (Geneva) , which has this special version of the Boeing 737-700. The aircraft will carry SAS’s distinctive colors and logo.

The route will launch on August 20, just ahead of the major oil exhibition in Stavanger, Offshore Northern Seas (ONS). Tickets for route, which will operate daily except Saturdays, go on sale on April 29.

Top Copyright Photo: Ariel Shocron/AirlinersGallery.com. SAS’ Boeing 737-783 LN-RRB (msn 32276) approaches the runway at Madrid (Barajas).

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PrivatAir: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. PrivatAir’s Boeing 737-7AK HB-JJA (34303) arrives in Amsterdam.

AeroMexico adds a fourth daily seasonal flight from Mexico City to Miami

AeroMexico (Mexico City) has announced the launch of its fourth daily seasonal flight between Miami and Mexico City as of April 11.

Below are the carrier’s schedules for this city pair:

Miami – Mexico City* Mexico City – Miami*
AM 433** 2:30 a.m. 5:06 a.m. Daily AM 432** 1:00 a.m. 4:57 a.m. Daily
AM 429 7:00 a.m. 9:49 a.m. Daily AM 412 9:36 a.m. 1:38 p.m. Daily
AM 423 3:00 p.m. 5:49 p.m. Daily AM 422 12:44 p.m. 4:54 p.m. Daily
AM 413 6:08 p.m. 8:57 p.m. Daily AM 428 7:45 p.m. 11:44 p.m. Daily

* Times published are local to each country and are subject to change without notice.

**New seasonal flight.

All four daily flights will be operated with Boeing 737-700 aircraft configured with 124 seats, including 12 seats in AeroMexico’s Clase Premier front cabin, and will depart from Terminal H at the Miami International Airport. The terminal features benefits such as electronic check-in terminals and restaurants located close to the boarding gates.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-752 XA-GMV (msn 35118) arrives at Miami International Airport (MIA) with a special promotional Los Cabos logo.

AeroMexico: AG Slide Show

Southwest moves to protect its Dallas Love Field home with 12 proposed new routes if it gets two new gates

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) plans to add 20 flights to 12 new nonstop destinations if the airline is able to acquire two additional gates at Dallas Love Field.  Southwest would add nonstop service to:

  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina
  • Sacramento, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Seattle/Tacoma, Washington

These 12 new nonstop destinations would be added to Southwest’s schedule if the airline is able to obtain the rights to two Love Field gates that American Airlines must relinquish under the terms of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.  These destinations would be in addition to the 15 cities that Southwest previously announced it would serve from Love Field beginning later this year, and five new nonstop destinations currently planned for service in 2015 that Southwest has announced:

  • Boston, Massachusetts (Boston Logan)
  • Oakland, California
  • Panama City Beach, Florida
  • Portland, Oregon
  • San Jose, California

With the upcoming sunset of the Wright Amendment restrictions on long-haul flights from Love Field, demand for Southwest nonstop service from the airport far exceeds the Company’s current gate capacity.  Access to two additional gates would allow Southwest to provide North Texas residents and visitors with the benefits of new nonstop flights to 12 additional destinations that would not otherwise be possible – a BIG win for consumers, businesses and the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is a single aviation market that is served by two airports, DFW International Airport and Dallas Love Field.  In total, these airports have 175 gates (155 at DFW and 20 at Love Field).  If Southwest were to acquire the two additional Love Field gates, its percentage of gates in the Dallas-Ft. Worth market would remain very small, around 10 percent.  Importantly, other carriers, such as Virgin America and Delta Air Lines, already have a presence at DFW International Airport and can easily expand at DFW’s ample gate facilities.  In contrast, Southwest’s growth in North Texas can occur only at Love Field under the terms of the five-party agreement that resulted in the end of the Wright Amendment.

Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N714CB (msn 27848) is retained in the gold “Southwest Classic” classic livery. It is pictured arriving at Las Vegas.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show


WestJet to start Toronto-Phoenix flights

WestJet (Calgary) will start a new route linking the Toronto (Pearson) hub with Phoenix, Arizona starting on October 26. The new route will be operated with Boeing 737-700 aircraft on a daily basis per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-7CT WL C-FWSO (msn 32759) plans to land in Las Vegas.

WestJet: AG Slide Show

Southwest to serve Cancun and Los Cabos starting on August 10

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has announced the next phase of its international service by offering Customers new Southwest Airlines flights to both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Mexico, as well as other new domestic and international flying, as the carrier extended flight schedules through October 31, 2014.

Beginning August 10, 2014, Southwest Airlines will operate daily, nonstop flights between:

  • Cancun, Mexico, and Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington, and (Saturdays only) Milwaukee
  • San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos, Mexico, and Santa Ana/Orange County
  • Nassau, Bahamas, and (Saturdays only) Atlanta

As the planned conversion of wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways’ destinations continues, Southwest intends to serve five countries previously served by AirTran by the end of this year.  Southwest previously announced service to Aruba, Nassau, and Montego Bay, beginning on July 1, 2014, and throughout this booking window is adding domestic connectivity through international gateway cities to many of the more than 80 cities served by Southwest Airlines across the United States.

Southwest’s phased rollout of international nonstop with domestic connecting service also brings new options for Denver customers who have made Southwest Airlines the largest air carrier in Colorado.

Beginning in October 2014, Southwest Airlines will offer nonstop service between Denver and:

  • Cancun, with daily roundtrip flights beginning on October 7, 2014; and
  • San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos, with Saturday-only service beginning on October 11, 2014

Some flights will be operated by AirTran Airways which is being slowly integrated into Southwest Airlines.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N730SW (msn 27862) completes its final bank on the river approach into downtown Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

Southwest to use PASSUR surface management for quicker taxi times at 35 U.S. airports

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has signed a contract with PASSUR Aerospace to use the surface management module of the PASSUR Integrated Traffic Management system for operation at 35 U.S. airports for quicker taxi times.

PASSUR Aerospace issued this statement:

PASSUR Aerospace, Inc (OTC: PSSR), an aviation business intelligence, Big Data, software and solutions company, today announced that Southwest Airlines has contracted for the surface management module of PASSUR Integrated Traffic Management for 35 US airports across its network to streamline turn times, reduce fuel burn, and enhance on time performance.

The PASSUR Surface Management solution assists Southwest in achieving shorter taxi-in and taxi-out times, and a quicker transition from arrival to departure for an aircraft, resulting in lower costs and emissions from engine fuel burn, less time for passengers spent on the ground in the aircraft, and greater “aircraft utilization” (hours an airplane spends in the air flying passengers). The surface solution is part of an integrated, gate-to-gate traffic management platform that optimizes the entire lifecycle of a flight.

The PASSUR Surface Management solution:

  • Enables real time and replayed view into how the movement of aircraft is affecting performance, including gates and taxiways
  • Provides analytical tools to understand where the operation can be optimized
  • Includes high resolution graphical surface flight tracking on a single, integrated display to enable seamless tracking of the surface, terminal airspace, and en route environments, for gate-to-gate tracking and management of flights. It is part of an integrated traffic management platform with multiple modules that optimize each of the key segments of a flight, gate-to-gate.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Southwest Airlines’ Boeing 737-7H4 WL N240WN (msn 32503) taxies to the departure runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

AeroMexico introduces Concierge service

AeroMexico (Mexico City) has announced its new and exclusive Concierge service.

Passengers can purchase the service when booking their flights, for just $15 USD, to enhance their travel experience both in Mexico and abroad. The AeroMexico Concierge Service provides entertainment schedules, reservations, recommendations, locations, purchases, and other topics of interest related to

Services Entertainment
  • Airline tickets
  • Business and meeting logistics
  • Courier services
  • Cruises
  • Flowers
  • Gifts
  • Government offices
  • International Financial Indicators
  • Lodging
  • Luxury transportation
  • Personal safety
  • Procedures and requirements (visas, passports, etc.)
  • Temporary Assistants
  • Tours
  • Train tickets
  • Translations
  • Vaccines
  • Weather
  • Cinemas
  • Galleries
  • Golf courses
  • Museums
  • Night clubs
  • Shows
  • Sports events
  • Airports
  • Beauty salons
  • Bus stations
  • Computer and telephone locations
  • Hospitals and Emergency Rooms
  • Restaurants
  • Shops
  • Spas

The AeroMexico Concierge service is available 48 hours prior to departure and three months thereafter.

To get this service from within Mexico call 01 800 000 4759, from the U.S. call 1 855 208 6726 from Mexico City and the rest of the world * +52 (55) 5809 4759.

In other news, AeroMexico reported a 18.8 percent increase in passengers for the month of January compared to the previous January.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-752 EI-DRE (msn 35787) with a special logo promoting the Banamex VISA card arrives in Las Vegas.

AeroMexico: AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines announces new routes from Dallas’ Love Field

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) today announced the airline will offer new nonstop service to domestic destinations from its Dallas Love Field base following the repeal of flight restrictions imposed in 1979 limiting the reach of Dallas’ most convenient airport.

Southwest will begin serving five new nonstop destinations on October 13, 2014 followed by ten additional new nonstop destinations on November 2, 2014. The addition of these 15 new nonstop destinations will bring Southwest to a total of 31 nonstop destinations from Love Field.

“The official repeal of Wright Amendment federal flight restrictions signifies a turning point for the Southwest brand not just in Dallas, but from coast-to-coast,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO. “We are pleased to offer this new service to the Customers of our home airport, who have waited 34 long years, and we thank the many, many folks who made this opportunity a reality.  Goodbye, Wright Amendment. Hello, America!”

Beginning October 13, 2014, Southwest Airlines will launch nonstop service from Dallas Love Field to:

  • Baltimore/Washington (BWI)
  • Denver
  • Las Vegas
  • Orlando
  • Chicago Midway


Beginning November 2, 2014, Southwest Airlines will launch nonstop service from Dallas Love Field to:

  • Atlanta
  • Nashville
  • Washington, D.C. (Reagan National)
  • Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • New York (LaGuardia)
  • Phoenix
  • San Diego
  • Orange County/Santa Ana
  • Tampa

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison today joined Kelly and Southwest Employees at a news conference to celebrate the momentous occasion.

The Wright Amendment, and its subsequent revisions, limit Southwest Airlines’ current nonstop all jet service from Dallas Love Field to nine states including Texas.  The repeal of the federal law rewrites the map by allowing Southwest to potentially serve an additional 41 states and the District of Columbia(Reagan National airport) from Love Field.

In May, the airline will announce the specific flight schedules and fares for the sale of the new service.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N715SW (msn 27849) dressed in the Shamu design of SeaWorld Adventure Parks, arrives in Las Vegas.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines to add 27 daily flights at Washington’s Reagan National Airport

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has confirmed it has been notified of its winning bid in an auction for 54 slots–allowing 27 additional daily flights–that will bring more competition to Reagan National Airport, three miles from downtown Washington, D.C.  Details of the carrier’s bid to acquire divested slots remain confidential under terms of the deal and are subject to final approval of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and completion of customary written agreements.  The additional slots will translate to an increase in Southwest’s service at Reagan National from 17 daily departures to 44 daily departures.  The carrier plans to announce destinations, schedules, and fares for the additional flights later this quarter and anticipates it will begin flying in the third quarter of 2014.

The slots that Southwest will purchase at Reagan National became available as a result of a settlement of litigation last Autumn by the U.S. Department of Justice against the merger of American Airlines and US Airways.  In a separate development, Southwest recently announced new service between Reagan National and Kansas City International Airport beginning Feb. 1, 2014.

In addition to Southwest’s presence at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Southwest offers the greater Baltimore/Washington region more than 200 daily departures from Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI) to nearly 60 cities and, beginning on July 1, 2014, will offer new daily service on Southwest between BWI and Aruba, The Bahamas, and Jamaica, launching a new international chapter for both the carrier and Maryland’s largest airport.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N486WN (msn 33852) of Southwest Airlines with the “Free Bags Fly Here” sticker arrives at Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport on the River Approach.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines announces its first international routes to Aruba, Montego Bay and Nassau

Southwest Airlines (Atlanta) today announced its first-ever scheduled international flights.

Beginning July 1, 2014, Southwest Airlines will operate daily, nonstop flights between:

  • Atlanta and Aruba, and Montego Bay
  • Baltimore/Washington and Aruba, Nassau, and (twice daily) Montego Bay
  • Orlando and (Saturday only) Aruba, and Montego Bay

In this first phase of the Company’s international conversion plan, wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways will continue service between Atlanta and Nassau, between Chicago Midway and Montego Bay, as well as flights to/from Cancun, Los Cabos, andMexico City, Mexico, and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. By the end of 2014, the carrier plans to complete the launch of Southwest Airlines service to the remaining four international destinations on the Company’s network route map of 96 destinations in six countries. Both carriers’ full flight schedules are now open for booking through August 8, 2014.

The make-ready process for international service has involved nearly all of Southwest’s 45,000 Employees to implement additional technologies, training, and compliance, to obtain operational and regulatory approvals, and to ready the People, planes, and policies unique to Southwest Airlines to serve Customers in new countries.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 WL N280WN (msn 32533) in the Sea World “Penquin One” livery arrives at Las Vegas.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines reports record 4Q net income of $236 million and $805 million for the full year

Southwest Airlines Company (Dallas) today reported its fourth quarter and full year 2013 results:

  • Record fourth quarter net income, excluding special items*, of $236 million, or $.33 per diluted share, compared to fourth quarter 2012 net income, excluding special items, of $65 million, or $.09 per diluted share.  This exceeded the First Call consensus estimate of $.29 per diluted share.
  • Record fourth quarter net income of $212 million, or $.30 per diluted share, which included $24 million(net) of unfavorable special items, compared to net income of $78 million, or $.11 per diluted share, in fourth quarter 2012, which included $13 million (net) of favorable special items.
  • Record full year net income, excluding special items, of $805 million, or $1.12 per diluted share, compared to full year 2012 net income, excluding special items, of $417 million, or $.56 per diluted share.
  • Record full year net income of $754 million, or $1.05 per diluted share, which included $51 million (net) of unfavorable special items, compared to net income of $421 million, or $.56 per diluted share, in full year 2012, which included $4 million (net) of favorable special items.
  • Return on invested capital* (before taxes and excluding special items) for full year 2013 of 13.1 percent, as compared to 7.2 percent for full year 2012.

Gary C. Kelly, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are happy to report full year 2013 net income of $805 million, and fourth quarter 2013 net income of $236 million, both excluding special items.  We are extremely proud of these record results and the tremendous progress made on our strategic initiatives, which produced substantial returns and contributed significantly to our superb 2013 financial performance.  Our full year 2013 total operating revenues were a record $17.7 billion, and our cost performance was excellent.  We generated strong free cash flow* of $1.0 billion in 2013, allowing us to return $611 million to our Shareholders, through share repurchases and dividend payments, and reduce debt and capital lease obligations by $313 million.  Our pre-tax return on invested capital, excluding special items (ROIC), for full year 2013 was 13.1 percent, nearly double the prior year’s performance.  I want to thank the outstanding People of Southwest and AirTran.  They deserve all the credit for producing these strong results, which earned them a$228 million contribution to the Profitsharing Plan for the year 2013, up 88.4 percent, or $107 million, compared to the prior year.

“We ended 2013 strong, with an exceptional fourth quarter performance.  Total operating revenues  were a fourth quarter record $4.4 billion, increasing 6.1 percent compared to fourth quarter last year.  On a unit basis (per available seat mile), our fourth quarter 2013 revenues increased 3.8 percent year-over-year, which is remarkable considering the increase in stage length and seat density.  While traffic was impacted at the beginning of the quarter by the federal government shutdown, we saw a healthy rebound in traffic and revenue trends, resulting in a five percent year-over-year increase in passenger unit revenues for the combined November/December period.  Strong travel demand and favorable year-over-year unit revenues have continued in January, thus far.  And, bookings for the remainder of the first quarter are strong.  Based on these trends, we currently expect year-over-year growth in first quarter 2014 unit revenues.

“We also had an outstanding fourth quarter 2013 cost performance, with unit costs, excluding special items, down 2.8 percent year-over-year.  We benefited from stable fuel prices, our ongoing fleet modernization efforts, and rigorous cost control efforts across the Company.  We closed the year with fourth quarter 2013 economic fuel costs of $3.05 per gallon, a decline of approximately eight percent from fourth quarter 2012.  Based on current market prices and our existing fuel derivative contracts, as of January 17 th, we expect first quarter 2014 economic fuel costs to be in the $3.05 to $3.10 per gallon range, which would be a significant drop year-over-year.  Excluding fuel, profitsharing, and special items, our fourth quarter 2013 unit costs declined 0.4 percent year-over-year.  We expect a year-over-year increase in our first quarter 2014 unit costs, excluding fuel, profitsharing, and special items.

“We are on track with our AirTran integration, achieving approximately $400 million in annual net pre-tax synergies in 2013, as planned.  Since 2011, we have converted 17 of the 52 AirTran Boeing 737-700s to Southwest, and we have replaced the flying for 13 AirTran Boeing 717-200s transitioned to Delta in 2013, with Southwest 737 service.  Nine more 717s were removed from active service at year end 2013, and the remaining 66 717s are scheduled to be removed from the AirTran network by the end of this year, and transitioned to Delta through 2015.  The remaining 35 AirTran Boeing 737-700s are scheduled to be converted to Southwest this year.  During fourth quarter, we converted Memphis, Pensacola, San Juan, and Buffalo to Southwest, and launched Southwest service to Richmond.  At year end 2013, all remaining domestic AirTran markets had Southwest service.  We are pleased with the rapid improvement of our developing markets as we convert AirTran routes into Southwest and optimize our combined networks.  With our international reservation system scheduled for implementation later this month, we remain on track to convert AirTran’s seven international markets, along with its remaining domestic markets, by the end of this year.  As planned, this will allow us to complete the AirTran integration and retire the brand by the end of 2014.

“We plan to launch international service on Southwest Airlines this year, which will be a huge milestone for us.  Construction of a five-gate international facility at Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport, expected to open in late 2015, has begun, and can accommodate Southwest service to destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and the northern cities of South America.  We also have future plans to bring Southwest near-international service to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).  Under a recently executed agreement with Broward County, Florida, which owns and operates FLL, we will oversee and manage the design and construction of the airport’s Terminal 1 Modernization Project.  In addition to significant improvements to the existing Terminal 1, the project includes the design and construction of a new five-gate Concourse A with an international processing facility.

“During 2014, we expect to take delivery of 33 new Boeing 737-800s and 12 pre-owned -700s, which will allow us to keep our 2014 capacity relatively flat, year-over-year, as we continue to transition the AirTran 717 fleet to Delta, and retire Classic Boeing 737 aircraft.  We continue to optimize the combined Southwest and AirTran route networks, and announced new travel options in 2014 to some of our Customers’ favorite domestic destinations, like San Diego and Portland, Oregon.  We also look forward to expanding service to Dallas Love Field, with the October 2014 repeal of the Wright Amendment.

“We are excited about bringing more flights to New York’s LaGuardia Airport with our recent acquisition of 12 takeoff and landing slots, pursuant to American Airlines’ required divestiture for its merger with US Airways.  In addition, we gained permanent control of 10 takeoff and landing slots at LaGuardia that Southwest currently operates under lease from American.  In an effort to bring more low fares to Washington’s Reagan National Airport, we also have bid on slots that American is required to divest.

“We enter 2014 financially strong and excited about the opportunities unfolding.  We are proud of our many 2013 accomplishments, most notably our strong financial performance that we believe positions us well to achieve our targeted 15 percent ROIC in 2014.  As ever, we remain focused on providing job security for our Employees;  providing friendly, reliable and low-fare service to our Customers;  and enhancing Shareholder value.”

Notable 2013 accomplishments for Southwest Airlines include:

  • Achieved 41st consecutive year of profitability, with record profits
  • Achieved 13.1 percent return on invested capital (before taxes and excluding special items)
  • Contributed $228 million to the Profitsharing Plan, an increase of $107 million
  • Returned $611 million to Shareholders through repurchases of $540 million of common stock (38 million shares) and distribution of $71 million in dividends
  • Reduced long-term debt and capital lease obligations by $313 million
  • Deferred $1 billion in aircraft capital spending to beyond 2018
  • Received numerous awards and recognitions, most notably being recognized as the Best Domestic Airline for Customer Service by Executive Travel Magazine’s Leading Edge Awards, named Brand of the Year in the Value Airline Category by the Harris Poll, and recognized with the top ranking by InsideFlyer Magazine for Best Customer Service and Best Loyalty Credit Card
  • For the 17th consecutive year, Southwest Airlines Cargo received the 2013 Quest for Quality Award, awarded by Logistics Management Magazine
  • Launched the first Southwest destination outside the 48 contiguous states with service to San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Completed the connection between the Southwest and AirTran networks
  • Expanded Southwest Cargo to the AirTran network
  • Ended the year with Southwest service in all domestic AirTran airports
  • Launched AirTran service to Hartford and Oklahoma City
  • Completed the 143-seat Evolve retrofit of 372 Southwest 737-700s and 78 737-300s
  • Converted 6 of the 52 AirTran 737-700s to the Southwest livery with Evolve configuration, bringing cumulative conversions to 17
  • Transitioned 13 of the 88 AirTran 717-200s to Delta Air Lines
  • Reached a cumulative 65 percent of the AirTran workforce converted to Southwest, with the remaining flight crews and dispatchers scheduled to transition in 2014
  • Completed equipping all -700 and -800 aircraft with satellite-based WiFi  (including completed AirTran conversions) and became the first and only carrier to offer gate-to-gate connectivity
  • Partnered with DISH to offer “TV Flies Free” in second half 2013; DISH sponsorship was recently extended through 2014
  • Launched movies on demand, a new WiFi portal, and Messaging feature for iOS users
  • Remained on track to implement Southwest’s International Reservation system in January 2014
  • Broke ground on the five-gate, international facility at Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport, planned to open in late 2015
  • Acquired 12 slots (for six roundtrip flights) at New York’s LaGuardia Airport and permanently secured 10 slots (five roundtrip flights) that are currently being operated by Southwest
  • Joined the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) expedited screening program known as TSA Pre Check™

Financial Results
The Company’s fourth quarter 2013 total operating revenues increased 6.1 percent to $4.4 billion, while operating unit revenues increased 3.8 percent, on a 2.2 percent increase in available seat miles and a 3.0 percent increase in average seats per trip, all as compared to fourth quarter 2012.  Based on current revenue and booking trends, the Company expects year-over-year growth in its first quarter 2014 unit revenues.

Total operating expenses in fourth quarter 2013 decreased 1.0 percent to $4.0 billion, as compared to fourth quarter 2012.  The Company incurred costs (before taxes) associated with the acquisition and integration of AirTran, which are special items, of $19 million during fourth quarter 2013, compared to $14 million in fourth quarter 2012.  Excluding special items in both periods, total operating expenses of $4.0 billion in fourth quarter 2013 were comparable to fourth quarter 2012.

Fourth quarter 2013 economic fuel costs were $3.05 per gallon, including $.03 per gallon in favorable cash settlements from fuel derivative contracts, compared to $3.32 per gallon in fourth quarter 2012, including $.09per gallon in unfavorable cash settlements from fuel derivative contracts.  Based on the Company’s fuel derivative contracts and market prices as of January 17 th, first quarter 2014 economic fuel costs are expected to be in the $3.05 to $3.10 per gallon range, which is significantly below first quarter 2013′s economic fuel costs of $3.29 per gallon.  As of January 17 th, the fair market value of the Company’s hedge portfolio through 2017 was a net asset of approximately $108 million.  Additional information regarding the Company’s fuel derivative contracts is included in the accompanying tables.

Excluding economic fuel expense, profitsharing, and special items in both periods, fourth quarter 2013 operating costs increased 1.8 percent from fourth quarter 2012, and decreased 0.4 percent on a unit basis.  Based on current cost trends, the Company expects first quarter 2014 unit costs, excluding fuel, profitsharing, and special items, to increase from first quarter 2013′s 8.21 cents, with full year 2014 unit costs, excluding fuel, profitsharing, and special items, expected to increase year-over-year in the two to three percent range.

Fourth quarter 2013 operating income was a fourth quarter record $386 million, compared to $91 million in fourth quarter 2012.  Excluding special items, fourth quarter 2013 operating income was also a fourth quarter record $418 million, compared to $136 million in the same period last year.

Other expenses in fourth quarter 2013 were $52 million, compared to other income of $34 million in fourth quarter 2012.  This $86 million swing primarily resulted from $27 million in other losses recognized in fourth quarter 2013, compared to other gains of $62 million recognized in fourth quarter 2012.  In both periods, these gains/losses included unrealized mark-to-market gains/losses associated with a portion of the Company’s fuel hedging portfolio, which are special items.  Excluding these special items, fourth quarter 2013 had $21 million in other expenses, compared to $3 million in fourth quarter 2012, primarily attributable to the premium costs associated with the Company’s fuel derivative contracts.  First quarter 2014 premium costs related to fuel derivative contracts are currently estimated to be in the $10 million to $20 million range, compared to $5 millionin first quarter 2013.  Net interest expense in fourth quarter 2013 was $25 million, compared to $28 million in fourth quarter 2012.

For 2013, total operating revenues increased 3.6 percent to $17.7 billion, while total operating expenses of$16.4 billion were comparable to 2012.  Operating income for 2013 was a record $1.3 billion, compared to $623 million for 2012.  For 2013, special charges (before taxes) associated with the acquisition and integration of AirTran were $86 million.  Cumulative costs associated with the acquisition and integration of AirTran, as of December 31, 2013, totaled approximately $410 million (before profitsharing and taxes).  The Company expects total acquisition and integration costs to be no more than $550 million (before profitsharing and taxes).  Excluding special items in both periods, operating income was a record $1.4 billion for 2013, compared to $838 million for 2012.

As of January 22, the Company had approximately $3.1 billion in cash and short-term investments, and a fully available unsecured revolving credit line of $1 billion.  Net cash provided by operations during fourth quarter 2013 was $302 million, and capital expenditures were $451 million.  For  2013, net cash provided by operations was $2.49 billion, and capital expenditures were $1.45 billion, resulting in free cash flow of approximately $1.04 billion.  The Company currently estimates its 2014 capital expenditures to be in the $1.5 billion to $1.6 billion range.  The Company repurchased $540 million in common stock, or 38 million shares, during 2013.  Since August 2011, the Company has repurchased $1.2 billion, or 111 million shares, of common stock under its $1.5 billion share repurchase authorization.  This reduced the Company’s outstanding common stock by approximately 14 percent.  The Company repaid $313 million in debt and capital lease obligations during 2013, and is currently scheduled to repay approximately $550 million in debt and capital lease obligations during 2014.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Southwest Airlines’ Boeing 737-7H4 WL N945WN (msn 36660) in the Florida One scheme approaches the runway at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

Airberlin outlines its summer schedule with new tourist routes

Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin) has issued this statement outlining its plans for its upcoming summer schedule:

Airberlin will be expanding its tourist travel services this summer and including more destinations in its schedule. “Tourist flights are an important pillar in our business model and we are constantly improving our services. With Larnaca and Malta, we have included new destinations in our portfolio and we are increasing the frequency of flights, especially to Greece and the Canary Islands,” says Detlef Altmann, Senior Vice President Sales Touristic Services. The frequency of flights to Greece has increased by 11% compared with summer 2013, to 172 flights a week. Flights to the Canary Islands have increased by 12%, with 73 connections a week in summer 2014.

Next summer, Airberlin will be offering seven additional flights a week to the airport of Heraklion on Crete. For tourists wishing to travel to Kos and Santorini, there will be three more flights a week to each destination, meaning that airberlin will be flying seven times a week to Santorini and 21 times a week to Kos. There will be one extra flight a week to each of Chania, Kalamata, Lesbos, Mykonos, Rhodes, Samos and Zakynthos.

The number of flights a week to Lanzarote will increase by three compared with last year, to 13. airberlin will fly 16 times a week to Gran Canaria and 25 times a week to Tenerife South. Two flights a week have been added to each destination. The number of weekly flights to Fuerteventura is up from 17 to 18. There will be more Airberlin flights from Munich, with new services to the Canary Island destinations of Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Tenerife South.

For the first time, Airberlin’s summer schedule offers flight guests from Dusseldorf a weekly service to Corsica and several flights a week to Madrid.

The tourist services for people travelling from Vienna have been extended, with new services to Madrid, Malta and Larnaca on Cyprus. There are excellent connections from Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hanover, Hamburg, Munich and Nuremberg for the newly introduced flights from Vienna to Malta and Larnaca.

Airberlin also offers a regular schedule of long-haul tourist flights, including to Curaçao, Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Fort Myers, Miami, New York (JFK) and the Thai holiday island of Phuket, with feeder flights from many airports in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. airberlin flies daily from Berlin and Dusseldorf to Abu Dhabi and, with its strategic partner, offers connecting services, for example to Bangkok, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and the Seychelles. Even Australia can be reached with Airberlin and Etihad Airways via Abu Dhabi, making this the shortest one-stop service from Germany to down under.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-76J D-ABLE (msn 36873) approaches the runway at Zurich.

Airberlin: AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 lands at the wrong Branson airport

Southwest logo

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) recently inherited Branson, Missouri from its subsidiary AirTran Airways and some of its pilots may not be as familiar with Branson Airport (IATA: BKG, ICAO: KBBG, FAA LID: BBG) as other long-time Southwest-served airports. The airport opened on May 11, 2009 and is privately owned by Branson Airport, LLC.

Apparently the crew of flight WN 4013 last night (January 12) from Chicago (Midway) to Branson were a bit unfamiliar with the area. The Boeing 737-700 with 124 passengers and five crew members mistakenly landed at M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport (IATA: PLK, ICAO: KPLK, FAA LID: PLK) in Branson. The downtown airport has one runway designated 12/30 with an asphalt surface measuring 3,738 by 100 feet (1,139 x 30 m) according to Wikipedia. PLK is owned and operated by Taney County.

The aircraft involved is Boeing 737-7H4 N272WN (msn 32527). The aircraft will be ferried out of PLK with only a crew.

Read the full report (with video) from OzarksFirst.com: CLICK HERE

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show


Fiji Airways announces two new routes from Suva

Fiji Airways (2nd) (Nadi, Fiji) has announced the introduction of two new nonstop international services from the Fijian capital of Suva.

From May 2014, Fiji Airways will offer twice–weekly nonstop flights between Suva and Sydney, operated by its Boeing 737-700 aircraft, and between Suva and Apia, operated by Pacific Sun’s soon-to-arrive ATR 72 aircraft.

The direct services between Suva and Sydney will operate on Mondays and Friday, with a convenient midday departure from Suva, and an afternoon departure from Sydney.

The new introduction means Fiji Airways will offer three flights from Sydney to Fiji on Mondays and Fridays, with the two current flights to Nadi and the new direct Suva flight from May 2014.

The new schedule means a change to the Suva-Auckland services, allowing for a late evening Suva-Auckland service on Mondays and Fridays, and a morning Auckland-Nadi service on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The new schedule will improve connectivity with ferries and flights to the outer islands for passengers arriving from Auckland.

“The 8 am departures from Auckland to Nadi two times a week mean New Zealanders will now be able to easily travel to the North and the outer islands, allowing them to enjoy the amazing beauty of these regions on the day they arrive,” says Mr Pichler.

The Suva-Apia services will operate late nights on Mondays and Fridays, while the return Apia-Suva flights will operate in the mornings of Tuesday and Saturday. This will now allow Apia passengers to connect on a Fiji Airways service to Auckland, Sydney, Brisbane or Nuku’alofa (Tonga) on the same day.

Pichler explained the strategy behind the expansion in Suva: “As Nadi is our traditional leisure hub, Suva will more and more grow into our business hub.” It is a dual hub strategy where there is one winner – our customers.

Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. Under a rainbow, Boeing 737-7X2 DQ-FJF (msn 28878) is pictured in action at Sydney.

Fiji Airways: AG Slide Show

Fiji Airways logo-1

Route Map:

Fiji Airways 12.2013 Route Map

AeroMexico to fly to Quito, Ecuador

AeroMexico (Mexico City) has applied to the Corporacion Quiport, the company operating the concession for Mariscal Sucre International Airport, its new proposed new daily service to Quito from Mexico City.

The new route will be flown with Boeing 737-700 aircraft, with a capacity for 124 passengers, 12 in First Class.

AeroMexico is proposing the following schedule:

Quito – Mexico City

Mexico City – Quito

AM 685

08:30 a.m. 12:15 p.m. Daily AM 684 11:50 p.m. 05:23 a.m. Daily

*Schedules are published in the local time of each country, and are subject to change without prior notice.

In other news, AeroMexico and Gogo, the world leader of in-flight connectivity and a pioneer in wireless in-flight digital entertainment solutions, announced today that they have agreed on the principal terms and conditions relating to providing in-flight Internet and wireless in-flight entertainment service – Gogo Vision – on at least 75 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-752 WL XA-VAM (msn 34295) lands at Las Vegas still painted in the old 1999 livery.

AeroMexico: AG Slide Show

Southwest acquires six New York LaGuardia slot pairs, will drop three cities

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has acquired 12 takeoff and landing slots (for six roundtrip flights) at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) being divested by American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) as part of its merger with US Airways (Phoenix). In addition, Southwest gained permanent control of 10 takeoff and landing slots (for five roundtrip flights) that it currently operates under a lease from American. Details of the transactions are confidential. Southwest plans to begin its new service at LGA in May 2014.  Details of the new service will be available later this month.

Southwest and its subsidiary AirTran Airways currently operate 27 daily roundtrip flights to and from LGA to eight nonstop destinations. The acquired slots will allow the airlines to add six daily roundtrips.

Southwest currently serves Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia Airport, and Long Island MacArthur Airport. These six additional roundtrips at LGA will strengthen Southwest’s service to and from the New York City area.

In other news, Southwest Airlines announced its decision to close three cities in the airline’s network.  On June 7, 2014, Southwest will cease operations at Branson Airport (BKG), Key West International Airport (EYW), and Jackson-Evers International Airport (JAN). Southwest began service to Jackson-Evers International in 1997.  The airline added Branson Airport and Key West International Airport to its route map in 2012 as part of its integration with AirTran, a wholly-owned subsidiary.

“Unfortunately, the level of local demand no longer allows Southwest to profitably serve these markets,” said Bob Jordan, Southwest’s Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. “Southwest takes pride in becoming not only a great choice for air travel in the cities we serve, but we also become a member of the community. These decisions are never easy.”

Over the next six months, Southwest will operate its full schedule at each of these cities, and there will be no disruption to reservations for travel through June 6, 2014.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Southwest Airlines retains one Boeing 737-700 in a gold “Southwest Classic” version of the original 1971 color scheme. Boeing 737-7H4 N714CB (msn 27848) taxies at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

Delta wants to expand operations at Dallas’ Love Field

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) plans to add 18 daily nonstop flights to five destinations from Dallas Love Field in October 2014.

According to the airline, Delta’s planned expansion will enhance competition at the airport with new nonstop service to New York-LaGuardia, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Delta also will add two daily flights to its existing Atlanta service.

Delta will require access to gates at Love Field in order to operate its expanded schedule. Delta has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to allow it to bid on Love Field gates as part of the divestiture of airport assets under a proposed settlement agreement with American Airlines and US Airways.

Currently at Love Field, 16 of the 20 gates and more than 95 percent of available seats are controlled by one airline, Southwest Airlines, which transports more passengers in the U.S. than any other carrier. Love Field has one of the highest concentrations of operations controlled by a single airline among the nation’s large airports.

The expanded Love Field service builds on Delta’s recent growth at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, where it currently operates 45 peak-day flights to eight destinations. Last year, Delta added new nonstop service between DFW and New York-LaGuardia. It also operates nonstop flights from DFW to Atlanta, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Detroit, Salt Lake City, Cincinnati, Memphis and New York-JFK.

When the expansion is complete, Delta would operate a total of 68 daily flights in the Dallas/Fort Worth region, including flights at both DFW and Love Field.

Delta’s expansion will be implemented following changes to the Wright Amendment, which previously restricted Love Field service to Texas, adjacent states and Missouri, Alabama, Kansas and Mississippi. Those restrictions are scheduled to end in October 2014.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-732 N302DQ (msn 29648) prepares to land at Dulles International Airport near Washington.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines breaks ground on a new international terminal at Houston’s Hobby Airport

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) today (September 30) broke ground on a new international terminal at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), marking the official start of construction on the $156 million project.

Once completed, the five-gate facility will accommodate regional international flights for Southwest Airlines, with service reaching destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, and the northern cities of South America.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker, as well as local and state dignitaries, joined Southwest Airlines Employees in the brief ceremony before work immediately began.

A 2012 study commissioned by the Houston Airport System indicates that the new terminal will generate more than 10,000 jobs across the Greater Houston metropolitan area and will provide an economic impact of $1.6 billion. The study estimates that the terminal will bring in an additional 1 million passengers a year to Hobby Airport.

The terminal project, fully funded by Southwest Airlines, includes a new five-gate international terminal, expansion of the existing security checkpoint, and upgrades to the Southwest Airlines ticketing counter area.

In support of the project, and in anticipation of the expected increase in passenger traffic, the Houston Airport System will be making significant investments of its own, constructing a new multi-level parking garage and making improvements to the existing roadway system.

Southwest Airlines anticipates its first international flights out of Houston Hobby’s new international terminal will begin in late 2015 to destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, and the northern cities of South America.

Copyright Photo: Fernandez Imaging/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N279WN (msn 32532) with the special “Summer of Love – Cirque du Soleil” emblem taxies at the Houston (Hobby) hub.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

WestJet signs a purchase agreement with Boeing for 65 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

WestJet (Calgary) has announced it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement for 65 737 MAX aircraft from Boeing. This order was previously announced on August 29, 2013 as a letter of intent (LOI) to purchase.

This purchase agreement includes commitments for 25 MAX 7 and 40 MAX 8 aircraft with substitution rights to the 737 MAX 9, with deliveries scheduled from 2017 through 2027. As previously announced, the airline will substitute 15 of its existing Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft orders currently scheduled to deliver between December 2014 and 2018, with Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, for a net increase of 50 committed deliveries to its fleet plan. (See the updated Boeing Fleet Plan Schedule below).

Year WestJet Boeing Fleet Schedule
  Boeing 737 Commitments a b   Total 
Disp c
 Total   Lease 
 700   800  MAX 7 MAX 8
2013 - 2 - - 2 - 2 -
2014 - 7 - - 7 (5) 2     (3) e
2015 5 5 - - 10 (5) 5 (12)
2016 7 - - - 7 - 7 (8)
2017 1 - - 4 5 - 5 (6)
2018 - - - 7 7 - 7 (4)
2019 - - 2 10 12 - 12 (5)
2020 - - 4 2 6 - 6 (3)
2021 - - 2 3 5 - 5 (3)
2022 - - 1 4 5 - 5 -
   2023 f - - 1 4 5 - 5 -
  24-27   - - 15 6 21 - 21 -
Total 13 14 25 40 92 (10) 82 (44)
(a) As of September 26, 2013.
(b) WestJet also has options to purchase an additional 10 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft between the years 2020 and 2021.
(c) Sale of 10 Boeing 737-700 aircraft to Southwest Airlines as announced on May 7, 2013.
(d) WestJet has an option to convert any of these 737-700 Next Generation future commitments to 737-800 Next Generation aircraft.
(e) WestJet expects to renew one of the three lease renewal options on its Boeing 737 aircraft set to expire in 2014.
(f) Based on total commitments and lease renewal options, WestJet’s fleet could be as large as 162 737 Boeing aircraft or as few as 120 737 Boeing aircraft by 2023.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. WestJet is selling 10 Boeing 737-700s to Southwest Airlines and will phase out the type in 2017. Boeing 737-7CT C-GWJO (msn 33969) approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

WestJet: AG Slide Show

Airzena Georgian Airways to lease a Boeing 737-700 from ALC

Air Lease Corporation has announced the long term lease of one Boeing 737-700 jet aircraft (msn 33015) to Airzena Georgian Airways (Tbilisi, Georgia). The aircraft is scheduled for delivery in October, 2013.

Airzena Georgian Airways is the designated national airline of Georgia, operating extensive scheduled services to many destinations in Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Russia, with Boeing 737s and CRJ regional jets.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The carrier already operates the type but the new addition will replace an older Boeing 737-500. Boeing 737-790 WL 4L-TGM (msn 33012) taxies at Amsterdam.

Airzena Georgian Airways: AG Slide Show

Germania to end its Boeing 737-700 wet lease agreement with Airberlin

Germania Fluggesellschaft (Berlin-Tegel) will end its wet-lease agreement with Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin-Tegel) for two Boeing 737-700s (D-ABLB and D-AGEN) on October 31 per ch-aviation.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Operated by Germania for Airberlin, Boeing 737-75B D-AGEN (msn 28100) approaches Zurich for landing.

Airberlin: AG Slide Show

Germania: AG Slide Show

Boeing forecasts China’s airline fleet to triple over the next 20 years

Boeing (Chicago), China’s leading provider of passenger airplanes, projects a demand for 5,580 new airplanes in China over the next 20 years valued at $780 billion. The company’s annual China Current Market Outlook forecasts the country’s fleet to triple in size over the next two decades.

Tourism in China and intra-Asia travel will help spur a strong demand for single-aisle airplanes, with total deliveries in that segment reaching 3,900 through 2032. Tinseth said both the Next-Generation 737 and the new 737 MAX offer significant advantages in improved capabilities, fuel efficiency and maintenance costs, as well as enhanced environmental performance.

Long-haul international traffic to and from China is forecasted to grow at an annual rate of 7.2 percent. The international growth is primarily driven by anticipated passenger traffic between China and North America, Europe, the Middle East, Oceania and Africa. This growth in the long-haul segment is expected to result in demand for an additional 1,440 new fuel-efficient widebodies, such as the 787 Dreamliner, 777 and 747-8 Intercontinental.

New Airplane Deliveries to China: 2013-2032

Airplane type Seats Total deliveries Dollar value
Regional jets 90 and below 240 $10B
Single-aisle 90-230 3,900 $370B
Small wide-body 200-300 730 $170B
Medium wide-body 300-400 610 $200B
Large wide-body 400 and above 100 $30B
Total 5,580

(16% of world total)


(16% of world total)

Boeing projects investments of $4.8 trillion worldwide for more than 35,000 new commercial airplanes to be delivered during the next 20 years. The complete forecast is available at www.boeing.com/commercial/cmo/index.html.  China accounts for approximately 16 percent of the total demand in terms of both new deliveries and market value.

Top and Bottom Copyright Photos: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group. China Southern Airlines‘ Boeing 737-71B B-5283 (msn 38919), the 4,000th Next Generation 737, passes through Honolulu on its long delivery flight to China.

China Southern Airlines: AG Slide Show


Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways flight attendants reach a tentative agreement

Southwest Airlines (LUV) has announced the flight attendants from AirTran Airways (Dallas), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Company, have reached a tentative agreement on the collective bargaining agreement that became amendable in May 2013. AirTran flight attendants are represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA). This tentative agreement still requires membership ratification.

The parties have been in discussions since February 2013 on an agreement that would serve as a bridge for the AirTran flight attendants until they ultimately transition to Southwest Airlines. To date, more than 400 flight attendants have made the transition, while approximately 1,700 flight attendants remain in the AirTran partition. Southwest Airlines finalized the closing of the acquisition of AirTran Holdings, Inc., on May 2, 2011.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The AirTran Boeing 737-700 fleet is also gradually transitioning to Southwest. The pictured 737-76N N279AT (msn 32666) is now N7719A with Southwest.

AirTran Airways: AG Slide Show

Have you seen the “new look” AirlinersGallery.com?

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show


Germania to be the first airline to operate from Berlin’s new Brandenburg Airport

Germania Fluggesellschaft (Berlin-Tegel) will become the first airline to operate from the delayed Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg (BER).

The airline will move to BER on November 1, 2013 from its previous home at Tegel Airport and the adjacent Schönefeld Airport, operating from the north pier. A detailed schedule will be announced separately.

Germania in the winter timetable 2013/2014 will operate from Berlin twice-weekly to Skopje in Macedonia and to Beirut in Lebanon, and once a week to Adana in Turkey. Germania will also start charter flights to the Canary Islands, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates from BER.

The airline currently operates 8 Airbus A319s and 10 Boeing 737-700s.

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-75B D-AGER (msn 28107) prepares to land at Frankfurt.

Germania: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg (BER). The new terminal at BER.

Berlin Brandenburg BER Airport


Southwest Airlines’ N753SW nose wheel collapses on landing at LaGuardia causing major delays

Southwest Airlines’ (Dallas) flight WN 345 from Nashville to New York (LaGuardia) operated with Boeing 737-7H4 N753SW (msn 29848) skidded off the runway last night (July 22) on landing at LGA ending up in the grass. After touchdown the nose wheel collapsed on landing, pressing back into the fuselage. Three passengers and five crew members were transported to a local hospital due to back and neck pain. The incident closed the airport and caused severe delays.

Southwest Airlines issued this statement:

Southwest Airlines flight 345 landed at New York’s LaGuardia at 5:40 PM Eastern Monday evening from Nashville. There were 150 people on board including Customers and Crew. Three Customers and five Crew Members were transported to local hospitals—all have been treated and released.

The aircraft, a Boeing 737-700, was last inspected July 18, 2013. The aircraft entered service in October 1999. Southwest is working with both the NTSB and Boeing in a preliminary investigation of this event.

Overnight, the aircraft was removed from the runway. Southwest has resumed full operations at LaGuardia.

We express our utmost gratitude to emergency responders and Southwest Employees who assisted us last night.

In other news, Southwest announced it will introduce new service between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, beginning on February 13, 2014.

The new route is the next step in the integration process between Southwest Airlines and its wholly owned subsidiary, AirTran Airways. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International is AirTran’s top airport in terms of daily departures, and Reagan National ranks eighth. In addition to the once-daily Southwest flight between Atlanta and Washington, D.C., AirTran will continue to operate five daily nonstop flights between the cities.

Southwest is also introducing a new nonstop flight between Baltimore/WashingtonInternational Airport and Dayton International Airport on February 13. Seasonal service between Reno/Tahoe and Chicago (Midway), Las Vegas and Albany, and Long Island MacArthur and Ft. Myers will resume on February 13, 2014.

Top Video: This video shows the aircraft landing.


Southwest Airlines introduces Penguin One

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ (SEAS) celebrated 25 years of partnership today with the unveiling of the airline’s newest specialty aircraft, Penguin One— Boeing 737-7H4 N280WN (msn 32533) co-branded with images of one of SeaWorld®’s iconic animals.

Southwest and SeaWorld revealed the aircraft at a ceremony this morning at Orlando International Airport (MCO) with real penguins, Southwest and SeaWorld Employees, community members, and executives including Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO Gary Kelly and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment President and CEO Jim Atchison. The plane, filled with Southwest and SeaWorld employees, also made stops in two other SeaWorld cities, San Antonio and San Diego.

The partnership between the two companies dates back to 1988, which began when SeaWorld opened in San Antonio. Southwest and SeaWorld launched their partnership in a high-flying way—with the introduction of a new Boeing 737, Shamu® One!

The featured penguin species on the aircraft is a gentoo, one of the species found at SeaWorld Orlando’s new Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin™. The attraction includes a first-of-its-kind family ride that transports guests into the penguins’ icy world.

This morning’s ceremony celebrated the introduction of Penguin One in a spirited way as attendees waved black-and-white pom poms, enjoyed black-and-white-themed snacks, and cheered as executives christened the aircraft while SeaWorld‘s Pete and Penny Penguin looked on.

Penguin One joins 12 other 737s in the Southwest fleet that carry a unique paint scheme: Shamu One, Shamu Two, Arizona One, California One, Colorado One, Florida One, Illinois One, Lone Star One (Texas), Maryland One, Nevada One, New Mexico Oneand Triple Crown One (unveiled in 1997).

From the “Nuts About Southwest” blog (all photos by Southwest Airlines):

We kicked off Penguin One’s debut at Orlando International Airport (MCO) with more than 500 local Employees and community leaders, along with Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO Gary Kelly, and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment CEO, Jim Atchison (shown below). Also on hand to meet the newest member of the family were famous SeaWorld mascots Pete and Penny Penguin, Penguin One’s real life counterparts (We think we got their approval!).

Penguin One

Penguin One

We had a lot of fun with our “Tuxedo” theme, as attendees waved black and white pom-poms, snacked on black and white themed snacks, and cheered as Kelly, Atchison, Pete and Penny, and the SeaWorld Aviculturists officially christened the aircraft. The celebration may have started in Orlando, but it didn’t end there! A team made up of Southwest Airlines and SeaWorld Employees boarded Penguin One and took the party to two other SeaWorld cities—San Antonio and San Diego—to celebrate with local Employees.

Specialty Planes

Introducing Penguin One, The Newest Addition To Our SeaWorld Specialty Fleet

In 1988 when SeaWorld® opened in San Antonio, two great companies in the tourism world launched a new partnership in a high-flying way with the introduction of three co-branded 737 jets; Shamu One, born May 23, 1988; Shamu Two, born May 30, 1990; and Shamu Three, born September 7, 1990. Upon the retirement of Shamu One, we’re excited to welcome Penguin One to our fun fleet of SeaWorld specialty planes!

Penguin One Fun Facts:

  • Born: June 20, 2013
  • Hometown: Spokane, WA
  • Resides in: 97 destinations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and six near-international countries
  • Length: 110 feet, 4 inches
  • Weight: 84,100 lbs.
  • Parents: Southwest Airlines Employees
  • Seats: 143
  • Hobbies include: Flying high, keeping Southwest Airlines’ Customers comfortable, and displaying a strong relationship between Southwest Airlines and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
  • The largest penguin on Penguin One is over 26 feet long

Painting Process Facts:

  • Penguin One is painted in seven different colors
  • Nine day paint operation (24 hours around the clock) compared to the three day turnaround for our standard paint scheme
  • 35 people over three shifts
  • 100 gallons of paint applied to the fuselage
  • The Gentoo penguins on Penguin One vary in length from 12 feet to more than 26 feet, about five to ten times the size of the average Gentoo penguin! The aircraft is also covered with a clear coat of paint to protect the design and keep Penguin One looking great for years to come.

Meet the Rest of Our Specialty Fleet

  • Shamu Two - May 30, 1990
  • Shamu Three - Sept. 7, 1990
  • Lone Star One - Nov. 7, 1990
  • Arizona One - May 23, 1994
  • Triple Crown - June 9, 1997
  • California One - Sept. 19, 1998
  • Nevada One - June 12, 1999
  • New Mexico One - Sept. 18, 2000
  • Maryland One - June 14, 2005
  • Illinois One - April 14, 2008
  • Florida One - April 23, 2010
  • Colorado One - August 22, 2012
Video and Images: Southwest Airlines.

Southwest Airlines (see all of the logojets): AG Slide Show

Southwest introduces “Colorado One”

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) yesterday (August 22) introduced its latest state logojet (N230WN) named “Colorado One” in support of its operations at Denver International Airport.

The company issued the following statement:

“Southwest Airlines is taking its “LUV” for the state of Colorado to new heights by unveiling Colorado One, a Boeing 737-700 emblazoned with an artist’s rendition of the Colorado state flag! Southwest unveiled the newest specialty aircraft in the carrier’s fleet at a ceremony at Denver International Airport (DIA) with more than 500 local employees and community leaders, along with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, and Manager of Aviation for Denver International Airport, Kim Day.

The ceremony included attendees waiving Colorado flags, enjoying locally-made granola snacks, and cheering as Kelly, Governor Hickenlooper, Mayor Hancock, and Day closed the event by christening the aircraft amid fan-fare.

Southwest Airlines began service to Denver on Jan. 3, 2006, with 13 daily nonstop departures to three destinations.  The airline currently operates 168 daily nonstop flights to 54 destinations from Denver.

Copyright Photo: Southwest Airlines. Boeing 737-7H4 N230WN (msn 34592) is also the 5,000th Boeing 737 built, a significant milestone aircraft.

Southwest Slide Show (see the other logojets): 


Southwest-AirTran Destination Map:

Click on the map for the full size.

ILFC delivers the first Boeing 737-700 to Eznis Airways

International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) (Los Angeles), a wholly owned subsidiary of American International Group, Inc. (AIG), has announced it delivered a Boeing 737-700 aircraft to Eznis Airways (Ulaanbaatar), the largest Mongolian privately owned airline.

The new aircraft will expand Eznis Airways’ international operations and be used to better serve the country’s rapidly growing air traffic demand. As of the first quarter of 2012, inbound and outbound international traffic in Mongolia has increased by 30% compared to the same period last year.

Eznis Airways currently owns the largest air fleet in Mongolia and the addition of this Boeing-manufactured airplane marks its 7th aircraft. The 737 series is a medium-range twin-engine narrow-body jet airliner and is the best-selling jet airliner in the history of aviation. The aircraft can fly nonstop to Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong from Ulaanbaatar.

Eznis Airways was established on January 6, 2006 by Newcom Group, one of the largest holding companies of Mongolia. The airline operates domestic scheduled and charter flights to 11 destinations in 9 aimags (provinces) of Mongolia and operates international scheduled service to Hailar in China’s Inner Mongolia region and Ulan-Ude in Russian Federation’s Buryat Republic, and charter services to points in China, Russia and Kazakhstan.

Copyright Photo: ILFC. Formerly operated by Copa Airlines as HP-1528CMP, Boeing 737-7V3 JU-9921 (msn 29360, ex N201LF) was officially handed over to Eznis Airways on June 14, 2012.

Southwest Airlines exceeds estimates with a 3Q net profit of $205 million

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) reported third quarter 2010 net income of $205 million, or $.27 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $16 million, or $.02 loss per diluted share, for third quarter 2009. Both years’ results included special items related to non-cash, mark-to-market, and other items associated with a portion of the Company’s fuel hedge portfolio. Excluding special items for both periods, third quarter 2010 net income was a third quarter Company record of $195 million, or $.26 per diluted share, compared to $31 million, or $.04 per diluted share, for third quarter 2009. This exceeded Thomson’s First Call mean estimate of $.25 per diluted share for third quarter 2010.

Third quarter 2010 unit costs, excluding special items, increased 7.1 percent from third quarter 2009, largely due to the 11.7 percent increase in economic fuel costs to $2.38 per gallon. Third quarter 2010 economic fuel costs included $56 million, or $0.15 per gallon, in unfavorable cash settlements for fuel derivative contracts. As of October 15th, the Company had derivative contracts in place for approximately 40 percent of its estimated fourth quarter 2010 fuel consumption at varying crude-equivalent prices up to approximately $95 per barrel; approximately 10 percent if market prices settle in the $95 to $120 per barrel range; and approximately 30 percent if market prices exceed $120 per barrel. Based on this fuel hedge position and market prices (as of October 15th), the Company estimates economic fuel costs, including fuel taxes, for fourth quarter 2010 will be in the $2.45 to $2.50 per gallon range.

For 2011, the Company has derivative contracts in place for approximately 65 percent of its estimated fuel consumption at varying crude-equivalent prices up to approximately $90 per barrel; approximately 55 percent if market prices settle in the $90 to $95 per barrel range; approximately 30 percent if market prices settle in the $95 to $105 per barrel range; and approximately 55 percent if market prices exceed $105 per barrel. Beyond 2011, the Company has coverage of approximately 60 percent of its estimated fuel consumption in 2012; approximately 50 percent in 2013; and approximately 45 percent in 2014, all at varying price levels. The total market value (as of October 15th) of the Company’s net fuel derivative contracts for the remainder of 2010 through 2014 reflects a net liability of approximately $90 million.

Excluding fuel and special items in both periods, third quarter 2010 unit costs increased 5.1 percent from third quarter 2009, which was better than anticipated primarily due to lower than expected advertising and Employee benefit costs. Excluding profitsharing and special items in both periods, third quarter 2010 nonfuel unit costs increased 2.5 percent compared to third quarter last year. Based on current cost trends, the Company expects its fourth quarter 2010 nonfuel unit costs to increase from fourth quarter last year.

On September 27th, Southwest Airlines announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of AirTran Holdings, Inc., the parent company of AirTran Airways (AirTran), for a combination of cash and Southwest Airlines’ common stock. The acquisition will significantly expand Southwest Airlines’ low-fare service to many more customers in many more domestic markets, creating hundreds of additional low-fare itineraries for the traveling public, more than what Southwest or AirTran could otherwise provide on a stand-alone basis, particularly in and out of Atlanta, Georgia. 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.

The closing of the proposed acquisition is subject to the approval of AirTran stockholders, receipt of Department of Justice (DOJ) and certain other regulatory clearances, and fulfillment of customary closing conditions. The Company has met its required filing deadline with the DOJ in compliance with the terms of its agreement with AirTran and has begun the integration planning process.

The proposed transaction is expected to yield net annual synergies of more than $400 million by 2013. Excluding one-time acquisition and integration costs estimated to be between $300 million and $500 million, the transaction is also expected to be accretive to Southwest’s fully-diluted earnings per share in the first year following the close of the transaction, and strongly accretive, thereafter, upon full realization of the estimated net synergies. The Company currently expects to close the transaction in the first half of 2011.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Please click on the photo for additional details.

Southwest Airlines is coming to South Carolina on March 13

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) is coming to the Palmetto State! Today, Southwest announced it will begin service to/from Charleston International Airport (CHS) and Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (GSP) on March 13, 2011.

In Charleston, the carrier will operate seven daily nonstop flights to four destinations: three to Baltimore/Washington, two to Chicago Midway, one to Nashville, and one to Houston Hobby. Southwest Airlines will operate from gate B5 in Charleston’s main terminal.

In Greenville-Spartanburg (near Charlotte), the airline will begin service with seven daily nonstop flights to five destinations: two to Baltimore/Washington, two to Chicago Midway, one to Nashville, one to Houston Hobby, and one to Orlando. Southwest Airlines will operate from gates A3 and A4 in Greenville-Spartanburg’s main terminal.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. Please click on the photo for additional details.

AirTran Airways adds more Sun Belt flights

AirTran Airways (Orlando) announced new nonstop service from Tampa to Key West, as well as additional flights to Tampa, San Juan, Phoenix and Orlando beginning this winter.

The company will also begin nonstop flights between Milwaukee and Phoenix on December 13, 2010.

Service between Akron/Canton and Orlando will start on December 21, 2010.

New flights between Milwaukee and Tampa will also start on March 8, 2011.

Finally a new route between Baltimore/Washington and San Juan will be available starting on April 5, 2011.

Southwest Airlines announced its intends to acquire and merge AirTran Airways.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Boeing 737-76N N289AT (msn 32673) approaches Las Vegas for landing.

AirTran Airways adds a Georgia State sticker to Boeing 737-7BD N288AT

Copyright Photo: AirTran Airways.

AirTran Airways (Orlando) yesterday (September 24) flew the Georgia State University (GSU) football team from Atlanta to Raleigh-Durham, NC,  to take on the Campbell University Fighting Camels today. This flight marked another milestone for the fledging, first-year football program, the first charter flight to an away game.

The team flew aboard on Boeing 737-7BD N288AT (msn 33924) equipped with Wi-Fi, Business Class, XM Satellite Radio and a specially-designed GSU Panthers logo on each side of the nose.

GSU will use the low-cost leader once again during this inaugural season for the game against Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.

Copyright Photo: Gary Starcher.

AirTran to fly Tampa-San Juan

AirTran Airways (Orlando) announced plans to Puerto Rico with twice daily flights from Tampa, FL. JetBlue has announced it is expanding service on the same route.

The new flights will begin on April 5, 2011.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Boeing 737-76N N289AT (msn 32673) prepares to land at Las Vegas.

Sun Country Airlines receives a judicial approval for its plan to exit bankruptcy protection

Sun Country Airlines (Minneapolis/St. Paul) yesterday (September 10) announced the confirmation of its plan of reorganization which allows the company to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The plan was confirmed by Judge Robert J. Kressel during a court hearing on September 10 in Minneapolis and was overwhelmingly approved by the creditors eligible to vote. The plan provides for cash payments to certain creditors, as well as a distribution of equity in the reorganized company to other creditors.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Ex-Gol Boeing 737-7Q8 N712ST (msn 28219) taxies to the active runway at Seattle/Tacoma.

Copa Airlines to fly to St. Maarten

Copa Airlines (Panama City) announced new service direct from Panama City to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten (St. Martin), beginning on December 18, 2010.

The new flight will depart Panama City (PTY) on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 12:22 p.m. (1222), arriving in St. Maarten (SXM) at 4:17 p.m. (1617). The return flight will depart on the same days at 5:30 p.m. (1730), arriving in Panama City at 7:44 p.m. (1944).

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Boeing 737-7V3 HP-1377CMP (msn 30462) taxies to the South Terminal at Miami International Airport.

Scandinavian Airlines blames Icelandic volcanic ash for 2Q loss of $68 million

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) has blamed the airspace closures due the recent Icelandic volcanic ash as the main reason for the second quarter loss of $68 million.

Read the full report from the Associated Press:


Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren. Boeing 737-783 LN-RNU (msn 34548) climbs away from runway 08 at Stockholm (Arlanda).

AIRES Colombia’s Boeing 737-73V HK-4682 crashes this morning on San Andres Island

AIRES Colombia’s (Bogota) ex-easyJet Boeing 737-73V HK-4682 (msn 32416) while operating flight 8250 from Bogota crashed on landing this morning in stormy weather at San Andres Island. One person has died and at least 114 people were injured. The aircraft broke up and was destroyed.

Click on link below for further details:


Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. HK-4682 is seen at Southend before it departed on delivery.

Copa Holdings reports a 2Q net profit of $18.6 million

Copa Holdings, S.A. (Panama City), parent company of Copa Airlines (Panama City) and AeroRepublica (Bogota), announced financial results for the second quarter of 2010 (2Q10).

Copa Holdings reported net income of US$18.6 million for 2Q10, or earnings per share (EPS) of US$0.42. Excluding special items, Copa Holdings would have reported an adjusted net income of $26.3 million, or $0.60 per share, compared to an adjusted net income of US$28.1 million or US$0.64 per share for 2Q09.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Copa Airlines’ Boeing 737-7V3 HP-1377CMP (msn 30462) taxies to the gate at Miami.

WestJet announces new seasonal routes

WestJet Airlines (Calgary) announced the upcoming launch of two new seasonal non-stop services between Quebec City and Cancun and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood.

Starting December 11, 2010, guests from Quebec City and its surrounding area will be able to fly nonstop to Cancun every Saturday until April 30, 2011. Service to Fort Lauderdale will begin December 12, 2010, with one flight every Sunday until April 24, 2011.

WestJet also announced the upcoming launch of a new seasonal nonstop service between Ottawa and Las Vegas. In addition to this new route, WestJet will also increase the frequency of flights from Ottawa to Cancun, Punta Cana, Montego Bay and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood.

Starting on December 9, 2010, guests from Ottawa and its surrounding area will be able to fly nonstop to Las Vegas twice weekly until April 28, 2011. Also starting in December, frequency from Ottawa to Cancun will increase from two to three times weekly, from Ottawa to Punta Cana will increase from once to twice weekly, from Ottawa to Montego Bay will increase from twice to three times weekly, and from Ottawa to Fort Lauderdale will increase from once to twice weekly. These frequency increases are in addition to the recently announced year-round service from Ottawa to Vancouver and Halifax.

WestJet also announced it will launch new nonstop seasonal service this winter between Saskatoon and Phoenix. From December 17, 2010, until April 29, 2011, guests will be able to fly nonstop between Saskatoon and Phoenix once weekly on Fridays.

WestJet also announced it will fly nonstop between Edmonton and Orlando on a weekly basis starting on December 18, 2010.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Boeing 737-7CT C-FEWJ (msn 32769) taxies to the gate at Miami.

El Al starts Tel Aviv-Eilat flights with Boeing 737-700s

El Al Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv) has launched the Tel Aviv-Eilat domestic route. The airline will operate 17 flights a week (three a day from Sunday to Thursday and one a day on Friday and Saturday) in each direction from Ben Gurion’s domestic terminal. The 55 minute flight will be operated using a Boeing 737-700 with 136 seats. El Al will only charge $11 one-way for UK-bound passengers. The offer is open to customers with return international flights from the UK.

Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord. Boeing 737-758 4X-EKD (msn 29960) approaches Barcelona.

Southwest Airlines converts 25 options for 25 additional Boeing 737-700s

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) according to the Associated Press converted 25 options into firm orders for 25 Boeing 737-700s in order to continue to replace older 737-300/500s. Deliveries will run from 2011 through 2016. The order was previously attributed to an unidentified customer.

Read the full article:


Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Boeing 737-7H4 N727SW (msn 27859) dressed as Nevada One arrives at the BWI hub.

Southwest Airlines reports 2Q net income of $112 million

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) reported second quarter 2010 net income of $112 million, or $.15 per diluted share, compared to net income of $91 million, or $.12 per diluted share, for second quarter 2009. Both years’ results included special items related to non-cash, mark-to-market, and other items associated with a portion of the Company’s fuel hedge portfolio. Excluding special items for both periods, second quarter 2010 net income was $216 million, or $.29 per diluted share, compared to $59 million, or $.08 per diluted share, for second quarter 2009. The second quarter 2010 net income, excluding special items, of $.29 per diluted share exceeded Thomson’s First Call mean estimate of $.27 per diluted share.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Boeing 737-7H4 N918WN (msn 29843) dressed in the Illinois One livery arrives at Baltimore/Washington.

Alaska Airlines to launch San Jose-Los Cabos flights on November 20

Alaska Airlines will inaugurate thrice-weekly service between San Jose, Calif., and Los Cabos, Mexico, starting November 20, 2010, subject to government approval. The nonstop flight will operate on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The new flights will be operated with Boeing 737-700 aircraft, accommodating 12 passengers in first class and 112 in the main cabin.

Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin. Boeing 737-790 N644AS (msn 30795) with the special WiFi sticker and equipment departs from San Francisco.

Mauritania Airways Boeing 737-700 runs off the end of runway at Conakry

Mauritania Airways (Nouakchott) Boeing 737-700 ran off the runway yesterday (July 28) at Conakry while operating a flight from Nouakchott to Conakry via Dakar. The airliner ended up in the grass on a slight downward slope. The aircraft is intact. 10 people received slight injuries. The airliner reportedly land long at night. Tunisair owns 51% of the company and leased the aircraft to Mauritania Airways.

Read the full report:


Copyright Photo: Pepscl. Mauritania has two Boeing 737-700s. 737-7L9 TS-IEB (msn 28015) is pictured at Paris (Orly).

Does Southwest Airlines believe a mechanical delay is an act of God?

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) according to this report in the Arizona Daily Star has recently added “mechanical difficulties” to the list of “acts of God” and other situations in which the airline will not be liable for compensation if the flight is delayed.

According to the newspaper, Southwest Airlines quietly changed its policy a few weeks ago. The change appears on page 11 of 32 pages of the “contract of carriage.”

Read the full report:


Copyright Photo: Air 72. Boeing 737-7H4 N279WN (msn 32532) with the special “Summer of Love” and “Cirque du Soleil” logo on the nose, taxies at the Houston (Hobby) hub.

Alaska Airlines “Greener Skies” test flight lowers emissions by 35%

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) this week demonstrated next-generation flight procedures during a test flight over Puget Sound that burned less fuel and reduced emissions by 35 percent compared to a conventional landing. The flight was part of Alaska Air Group’s “Greener Skies” project at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) focused on using satellite-based guidance technology pioneered by Alaska Airlines to fly more efficient landing procedures that will reduce environmental impacts in the Puget Sound region. The airline, in cooperation with the Port of Seattle, Boeing and other airlines serving Sea-Tac, is seeking Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for the procedures, which could ultimately be used by all properly equipped carriers at Sea-Tac.

Testing for the project began last summer and, since then, Alaska Airlines has flown two other demonstration flights and submitted more than half of the proposed procedures for FAA review. Representatives from Alaska, Boeing, the FAA and the Port of Seattle participated in the most recent demonstration to observe the level of flight path precision and fuel consumption on eight landing approaches in a Boeing 737-700. With a landing weight similar to a typical passenger flight, the shorter and more efficient approaches reduced carbon emissions and saved 400 pounds of fuel per approach.

The test flight used satellite guidance technology called Required Navigation Performance (RNP) to fly more direct, continuous descent approaches. Alaska Airlines estimates the new procedures at Sea-Tac will cut fuel consumption by 2.1 million gallons annually and reduce carbon emissions by 22,000 metric tons, the equivalent of taking 4,100 cars off the road every year. They will also reduce overflight noise for an estimated 750,000 people living below the affected flight corridor.

Typically, commercial aircraft follow a lengthy approach pattern and series of stair-step descents before landing. Using RNP technology and a continuous descent, also called an optimized profile descent (OPD), aircraft can descend from cruise altitude to an airport runway along a shorter, more direct flight path at low power.

Planning and testing of the procedures will continue through the remainder of the year and will be integrated into Alaska Airlines and sister carrier Horizon Air’s commercial operations at Sea-Tac pending FAA approval.

Alaska Airlines pioneered RNP precision flight-guidance technology during the mid-1990s to help its planes land at some of the world’s most remote and geographically challenging airports in the state of Alaska. RNP provides computer-plotted landing paths by using a combination of onboard navigation technology and the global positioning system (GPS) satellite network. It improves safety and reliability in all weather, and reduces reliance on ground-based navigation aids. Alaska Airlines currently uses FAA-approved RNP procedures at 23 U.S. airports.

Alaska Airlines is the only major U.S. air carrier with a completely RNP-equipped fleet and fully trained crews. Alaska is also the first airline approved by the FAA to conduct its own RNP flight validation. Horizon Air’s fleet will be fully RNP-equipped by the end of 2011.

RNP and OPD are part of the Next Generation Air Transportation System, the FAA’s plan to modernize the National Airspace System through 2025. This initiative will increase airspace capacity and efficiency while improving safety and reducing environmental impacts through the replacement of legacy ground-based equipment with new satellite-based technology and aircraft navigation capabilities.

As part of the initial Alaska Airlines RNP operational approval team, Boeing began installing RNP guidance technology on its aircraft in 1994. Currently, all Boeing production airplanes are RNP-capable, and solutions are available to upgrade the in-service fleet. The Boeing Company is continuing this pioneering tradition by working with Alaska Airlines, the FAA and the Port of Seattle in implementing RNP solutions and the Greener Skies program for Sea-Tac.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Boeing 737-790 N607AS (msn 29751) holds for departure clearance at Sea-Tac.

China Eastern Airlines first half profit triples

China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai) saw its first half net profit triple to $326 million.

Read the full report in ATW:


Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. The beautiful Expo 2010 logojet in the form of Boeing 737-79P B-5265 (msn 36767) approaches Everett (Paine Field) for landing.

AirTran Airways to start Atlanta-Punta Cana flights on February 16

AirTran Airways (Orlando) announced plans to expand its Caribbean service to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Punta Cana will mark the fifth Caribbean destination the low-cost leader offers service to joining: Aruba, Cancun, Mexico, Montego Bay, Jamaica and Nassau/Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Roundtrip, nonstop flights between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Punta Cana International Airport will be conducted twice weekly beginning February 16, 2011.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman. Boeing 737-7BD N330AT (msn 36399) departs from the Atlanta hub.

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