Tag Archives: Boeing 737-800

WestJet’s flight attendants approve the new contract, today launches flights to Scotland

WestJet logo

WestJet (Calgary) announced its flight attendants have voted in favor of a new work agreement with 81.7 percent of eligible flight attendants voting.

The airline continued;

A tentative agreement was negotiated between WestJet and the WestJet Flight Attendant Association Board (FAAB), the association representing its flight attendants, and was agreed to on April 21, 2015. Voting began on May 22, 2015, and ended May 28, 2015, at 9 a.m. MDT. Items in the ratified five-year agreement include compensation, work rules, standardized processes and a formal framework for discussion between WestJet flight attendants and the airline.

FAAB is a subgroup of WestJet’s Proactive Communication Team (PACT), the wholly-elected employee association representing close to 9,000 WestJetters. This is the first ratified agreement between WestJet and its flight attendants.

In other news, WestJet today (May 29) launches nonstop daily service between Halifax and Glasgow, Scotland, with same-aircraft service beginning in Toronto. The inaugural flight on WestJet’s #TartanTail leaves Toronto Pearson tonight at 6:10 p.m. EDT (1810) with a brief stop at Halifax Stanfield International Airport, before departing for Glasgow at 10:45 p.m. ADT.

“Today’s launch of service to the U.K. marks the start of another exciting chapter in the history of WestJet,” said Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and CEO. “As Canada’s low-fare leader for nearly 20 years, we have dedicated ourselves to liberating Canadians from the high cost of air travel. With our service to Ireland and the U.K., we are making it more affordable than ever before to travel overseas, whether for business or leisure. As we prepare to take delivery of our first Boeing 767-300ER aircraft in July, this overseas experience continues to position us to be a truly global carrier in the years to come.”

Copyright Photo below: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8CT C-FUMF (msn 60128) at Boeing Field was handed over on January 29, 2015.

WestJet aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Eastern Air Lines to operate its first revenue flight tomorrow

Eastern Air Lines (2nd) (Miami) will start revenue passenger operations tomorrow (May 27). The first flight will be depart from Miami International Airport (MIA) at 10 am (1000) bound for Havana, Cuba.

The airline made this announcement:

Eastern (2nd) logo

After 24 years, 4 months and 7 days, Eastern resumes revenue flight operations tomorrow. MIA-HAV-MIA. Time to re-earn our wings…

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com.

 

Ryanair full year profit jumps 66% to €867 million on renewed customer service, will lease in six aircraft

Ryanair logo-3

Ryanair (Dublin) announced a full year net profit of €867 million ($947.7 million) for the fiscal year ending on March 31.

The company issued this statement:

Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, said:

“We are pleased to celebrate Ryanair’s 30th Birthday by reporting this 66% increase in net profit which demonstrates the enduring strength of Ryanair’s lowest fare/lowest cost model which has been transformed by the success of our “Always Getting Better” (AGB) customer experience program. AGB has attracted millions of new customers to Ryanair.

Highlights of the past year include:

– Traffic up 11% to 90.6 million as load factors rose from 83% to 88%

– Unit costs ex fuel were flat (including fuel they fell 5%)

– Net profits rose 66% as net margin jumped from 10% to 15%

– Earlier loading of schedules led to materially stronger forward bookings

– AGB Year 1 program delivered, Year 2 improvements rolled out

– Ryanair Labs is transforming our digital and mobile platforms

– Lead customer order for 200 x Boeing 737 Max 200 aircraft

– 2nd Eurobond issue (€850m @ 1.125% coupon) lowers our finance costs.

Business Development:

Over the past year we have relentlessly improved our lowest fare/lowest cost model. We have expanded into primary airports, added business schedules and extended long term low cost growth deals at major bases including London (STN) and Dublin where the Irish Government has rebooted tourism by abolishing the travel tax.

Our AGB program is transforming our customer experience, our service, and the way we listen and respond to our customers. We have won substantial traffic and share gains in all markets. We are now the No. 1 or No. 2 airline in most EU countries except France and Germany (where we are a rapidly growing No. 3). Since our Year 1 AGB program has been so successful we have launched our Year 2 program as part of our strategy to make Ryanair Europe’s most customer friendly, as well as its lowest fare, airline.

This combination of lowest fares and improving customer experience has led to higher load factors and double digit traffic growth. To facilitate this growth we have ordered 183 Boeing 737-800’s for delivery from 2014-2018, and 200 Boeing 737 Max 200’s from 2019-2023 (including 100 option aircraft). These aircraft will deliver at lower US$ rates and much lower Eurobond finance rates which (with 8 extra seats and 18% more efficient engines) will transform our aircraft costs and enable us to lower fares, which underpins our traffic and market share growth, while maintaining and/or growing margins.

Operations:

Our summer 2015 fleet of 320 aircraft is insufficient to handle the demand for Ryanair’s low fares. We will lease-in 6 aircraft in the peak period (7 in 2014) to help meet this surging demand. We expect over half of our growth to occur at primary airports such as Brussels, Lisbon, Rome, Athens, Copenhagen, Berlin, Cologne, Dublin and London (STN). Much of this growth is being stimulated by our Business Plus and Family Extra services which have been key features of our AGB program and our successful entry/growth at these primary airports.

We continue to deliver industry leading punctuality despite the occasional and repeated damage inflicted on our operations by unjustified ATC strikes and airspace closures or by adverse weather in different European regions during the winter schedule as follows:-

Last year we set out a strategy to drive stronger forward bookings, encourage customers to book earlier to avail of lower prices and deliver higher load factors. These higher load factors have helped to reduce unit costs and boosted ancillary sales. I am pleased that forward bookings, as we enter the S15 peak (June to Sept), are on average 4% ahead of last year, and we expect this will lead to a 2% points rise in load factors from 88% to 90% in FY16 especially as customers enjoy our AGB service improvements.

Revenue and Costs:

We celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ryanair first bringing low fares to Europe ( July 8, 1985) by growing our traffic 11% to 90.6 million customers. This generated revenue growth of 12% which was a pleasing result given we had no new aircraft deliveriesin summer 2014. Ancillary revenues grew at a slightly faster rate than traffic so total revenue rose 12% to over €5.6 billion.

Unit costs which benefited from lower unhedged fuel prices (10% of volume) fell by 5%. Excluding fuel our unit costs were flat, which was an impressive performance in a year where we made a substantial move to more expensive primary airports without compromising our 25 minute turnarounds. The fact that we maintained flat unit costs (ex-fuel) while many competitors saw their unit costs rise means that our cost leadership over competitors has widened during the last year. This bodes well for our growth, especially as we move into airports and routes where our competitors are charging markedly higher fares. This price advantage has helped Ryanair win substantial market share from competitor airlines in Dublin and London (STN), in particular.

Hedging:

Over the last year we have taken advantage of currency and fuel price weakness where possible, to establish a very favourable hedge position as follows:

– oil is 90% hedged for FY16 at $92 pbl

– oil is 36% hedged for FY17 at $69 pbl

– US$ OpEx is 90% hedged for FY16 & FY17 at $1.33 & $1.19 respectively

– US$ CapEx is 100% hedged for FY16, FY17 & FY18 at $1.37, $1.34 & $1.23 respectively

This favorable US$ hedging will deliver significant aircraft, maintenance and fuel savings over the next 2 years, even before we engage in further oil hedging during periods of price weakness.

Balance Sheet and Shareholder Returns:

Our rising profits are generating significant free cash flows, which has enabled us to deliver substantial returns to shareholders. In Feb. 2015 we paid our 3rd special dividend of €520 million (€0.37 per share) and then launched our 6th share buyback under which we hope to buy and retire €400 million of ordinary shares by the end of August. This will bring the cash returned to shareholders over the past 8 years to almost €3 billion.

Despite these pay-outs we still finished the year with €364 million in net cash and a balance sheet rated BBB+ by both S&P and Fitch Ratings, the highest rating of any airline worldwide. We expect our Eurobond program, (under which we have raised €1.7 billion unsecured at blended rates of 1.50% p.a.) will lower our financing costs, boost profitability and continue to strengthen our balance sheet.

Regulation:

Europe’s airline industry continues to be blighted by over-regulation which frequently places producer monopoly protection above the interest of consumers, or growth in tourism and jobs. Examples such as Europe’s discredited ETS system, the shambles of our single sky project and the failure to prohibit ATC strikes (either by “no strike” legislation, or binding arbitration) allows the ATC Unions to regularly and repeatedly close Europe’s skies.

The UK CMA’s 2013 divestment ruling under which this UK regulator orders one Irish airline to reduce its minority stake in another, solely on the basis of “secret” evidence that no other airline would bid for Aer Lingus while Ryanair held a minority 29.8% shareholding, has now been hopelessly disproven by IAG’s offer. We have written to the CMA calling on them to reverse this ruling but have been amazed that they (in their provisional decision) have claimed that the IAG bid for Aer Lingus (which they predicted would not happen) is not a “change of circumstances”. We believe the CMA will be totally discredited if they do not reverse this manifestly erroneous ruling.

In the meantime our approach to the IAG offer remains unchanged. The Board of Ryanair will consider any offer (should we receive one) from IAG on its merits, if or when it is received.

Ryanair strongly supports the development of additional runway capacity in the London market. We believe that the market should be free to develop 3 new runways, one each at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted which is the only long term solution to the capacity crisis in the South East, and which will encourage all 3 airports to deliver additional capacity quickly and cost efficiently.

Outlook:

Thanks to our lowest fares, our growth into primary airports and the remarkable impact of our Year 1 AGB program, we continue to experience strong demand and forward booking momentum. Average load factors in the first 4 months of 2015 grew by 10%. While this will slow to 1% or 2% over the peak summer months (due to high p/y comparables) forward bookings are on average 4% ahead of this time last year, as our earlier schedules, lower prices and AGB customer program, particularly at primary airports attracts millions of new customers to Ryanair.

While our traffic growth this year will be strong, (up 10%), it would be foolish not to expect some irrational pricing response from competitors who cannot compete with our lowest costs and fares. Ryanair will remain vigorously “load factor active/price passive”. Therefore, even with the benefit of lower oil, aircraft and financing costs we may suffer periods of fare/yield weakness especially during the H2 winter season. This is why our yield guidance remains cautious at broadly flat in H1 but down 4% to 8% in H2 for a forecast FY yield decline of 2%. If this decline proves accurate then we believe that lower unit costs in FY16 will still provide a 10% improvement in profits, which should (subject to H2 yields over which we have no visibility) rise to a range of €940 million to €970 million for the full year to March 2016.”

Hannah Maundrell Editor in chief of money.co.uk comments:

“Who ever thought we’d see Ryanair’s customer focus heralded as exemplary? Their impressive profits should act as a clear lesson to any company that thinks low prices excuse poor standards. Consumers want value for money, and they want to be treated fairly. Ryanair is proof that it’s never too late to turn things around.”

Copyright Photo below: Guillaume Besnard/AirlinersGallery.com. Ryanair will have to lease in six aircraft this summer to meet demand. Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-EKJ (msn 38497) with “Comunitat Valenciana” sub-titles departs from Barcelona.

Ryanair aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Delta to add two more routes from Seattle/Tacoma

DELTA AIR LINES LOGO

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) continues to expand its growing Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) hub.

Starting on April 4, 2016, the carrier will add the daily SEA – Boston route with Boeing 737-800s according to Airline Route.

In addition, Delta is also adding Delta Connection Bombardier CRJ700 service from SEA to Victoria, British Columbia starting on the same day.

Copyright Photo below: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-832 N387DA (msn 30374) departs from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Delta Air Lines aircraft slide show (current livery only): AG Airline Slide Show

Transaero Airlines takes delivery of new Boeing 737-800 EI-RUR painted in the new livery

Transaero logo

Transaero Airlines (Moscow) on May 22 took delivery of this new Boeing-direct delivery 737-800. The airliner, painted in the new livery, arrived at the Domodedovo Airport base in Moscow.

Boeing issued this statement:

Boeing delivered on May 22 Transaero’s first Next-Generation 737-800. The airplane, sporting a new livery, arrived at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport.

Transaero’s newest 737 has a recognizable radome “bump” on top of the fuselage just behind the wings. The dome-shaped radome covers a Ku-band satellite antenna system that enables broadband passenger connectivity all over the world — even over oceans. The Ku-band range of microwave frequencies is used primarily for satellite communications.

Transaero’s 737-800 is the first in the 737 family to have the system installed during production. In-line installation can save airlines days of lost revenue previously experienced when retrofitting the radome after delivery.

Transaero was the first private airline in Russia, established in 1991. It also was the first Russian airline to introduce a Boeing airplane to its fleet in 1993 when it began operating the 737. Today, Transaero is the second-largest airline in Russia and operates 737s, 747s, 767s and 777s.

Transaero Airlines issued this statement:

On May 22, 2015, a new Boeing 737-800 aircraft joined Transaero Airlines’ fleet. The aircraft was delivered to the airline from the aircraft manufacturer in accordance with the operating leasing agreement concluded in 2013 with Sberbank Leasing.

Transaero has received the aircraft within the implementation of its aircraft fleet renewal plan. The airline successfully operates the Boeing 737NG aircraft on the highest-demand medium-haul domestic and international routes. The aircraft will be configured in two class configuration with business and economy cabins.This is Transaero’s first narrow-body aircraft, which provides not only access to high-speed broadband Internet onboard, but also mobile communications (this service used to be only provided on the airline’s widebody aircraft earlier). These services have become available due to the installation of the latest Panasonic GCS satellite system. All seats have power outlets and USB-ports for charging portable electronic devices. The aircraft features a Sky Interior cabin.

The Boeing 737-800 is the first aircraft to appear in Transaero’s renewed corporate identity. The airline plans to use this style for all the new aircraft joining the airline’s fleet. This will be the first step in enhancing Transaero’s corporate identity that has remained unchanged for more than two decades and has received wide recognition both in Russia and abroad following the active development of Transaero Airlines and strengthening of its position in the international transportation market.

The decision on the visual brand renewal was made at the end of 2013, stimulated by the expected start of new aircraft deliveries in 2015, in accordance with the signed contracts.

StartJG, a UK agency specializing in brand development and interactive design, was invited to work on the project. The new visual identity of Transaero’s aircraft was designed in the summer of 2014. The designers have preserved the colors of the well-known Transaero’s logo with a view to retain the identity of the brand, which has obtained strong value.

“Our company cares for its traditions and professional values,” said Olga Pleshakova, CEO of Transaero Airlines. “This attitude contributed to building up true team- and family-spirit in the company. We believe that our family is the key to the future. We want passengers who choose Transaero to feel truly surrounded by family care. While we adhere to our traditions, we modernize the image of the company. That’s why our new slogan is ‘To the future together.'”

Copyright Photo below: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8MC WL N1782B (EI-RUR) (msn 44435) taxies at Boeing Field in Seattle prior to the handover.

Transaero Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Eastern Air Lines and HavanaAir Charters to operate daily air service to Cuba

Eastern (2nd) logo

Eastern Air Lines (2nd) (Miami) which is still planning to operate its first revenue charter flight on May 30, has issued this statement:

Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. and HavanaAir Charters, LLC, have signed on May 22 an agreement, to support HavanaAir’s charter operations to Cuba. HavanaAir is the largest provider of passenger traffic to the island, currently operating 65 flights a month to Havana from Miami with additional service to Santa Clara and Camaguey. The partnership will eventually include additional approved U.S. gateway cities.

Eastern will operate the Boeing 737-800 (Next Generation) aircraft, configured with 16 First Class seats and 129 Coach seats in the main cabin on all flights to Cuba.

Havana Air logo

“We are very pleased to partner with Eastern Air Lines. Eastern earned iconic status in the U.S. airline industry for decades and we are both honored and privileged to partner with their highly experienced management. Our partnership with Eastern will provide an entirely new level of service to Cuba with their Next Generation Boeing aircraft and their commitment to excellent customer service.” said Mark Elias, President and COO of HavanaAir Charters.

“We are excited to partner with HavanaAir Charters. Eastern was formerly the largest provider of air seats in the Cuba market, and with this agreement, Eastern will once again provide more seats to Cuba than any other U.S. carrier. Cuba is and always will be a very important market for Eastern as we grow our airline and we look forward to proving service from additional U.S. gateways along with our home airport of Miami International”, said Ed Wegel, President & CEO of Eastern.

Key Facts:

Eastern will operate for HavanaAir twice daily service to Havana and weekly service to Camaguey and Santa Clara.

Eastern will support HavanaAir’s existing operations to Cuba with some 65 flights monthly.

Eastern and HavanaAir will be launching service from other U.S. gateways within 60 days.

Copyright Photo below: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Eastern Air Lines (2nd) Boeing 737-8AL WL N276EA (msn 35070) arrives at the Miami base.

Eastern Air Lines (2nd) aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

 

 

Jet2 announces an expansion at Edinburgh Airport

Jet2 logo-1

Jet2 (Jet2.com) (Leeds/Bradford) has announced a major expansion at Edinburgh Airport with 12 new destinations for the summer season of 2016.

The 12 new destinations include Antalya, Crete, Dalaman, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Paphos, Rhodes and Tenerife plus exclusive routes to Kefalonia, Larnaca, Vienna and Zante.

The carrier will start flying to the three new Canary Island destinations in February 2016. The airline will add a fifth based aircraft at EDI, a Boeing 737-800.

Jet2 expansion at EDI

Photo above: Jet2.

New route information:

Austria:

Vienna – twice weekly (Monday & Friday) starting on April 29, 2016.

Canary Islands:

Gran Canaria – weekly (Monday) starting on February 15, 2016.
Lanzarote – twice weekly (Thursday & Sunday) starting on February 14, 2016.
Tenerife – twice weekly (Tuesday & Saturday) starting on February 12, 2016.

Greece

Crete (Heraklion) – twice weekly (Monday & Friday) starting on May 27, 2016.
Kefalonia – weekly (Wednesday) starting on May 25, 2016.
Rhodes – weekly (Saturday) starting on June 25, 2016.
Zante –twice weekly (Tuesday & Saturday) starting on May 31, 2016.

Cyprus

Larnaca – weekly (Wednesday) starting on May 25, 2016.
Paphos – weekly (Wednesday) starting on June 22, 2016.

Turkey

Antalya – weekly (Thursday) starting on June 23, 2016.
Dalaman – weekly (Friday) starting on June 24, 2016.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-86Q G-GDFZ (msn 30276) in Jet2holidays colors departs from Tenerife Sur.

Jet2 aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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