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Tag Archives: Boeing 737

Southwest Airlines’ pilots file for mediation with the NMB

Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association-SWAPA (Dallas), representing the pilots of Southwest Airlines (Dallas), filed for mediation with the National Mediation Board (NMB). The union issued this statement:

SWAPA logo

In order to facilitate movement in contract negotiations, the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) today officially filed for mediation with the National Mediation Board (NMB), the federal agency that oversees contract negotiations in the airline industry. After two-plus years of negotiations both sides are currently too far apart to realistically expect an agreement outside of a mediated process.

“This is certainly not a step either side wants to take during negotiations, and certainly not a typical step in the pilot and management relationship at Southwest Airlines,” said Mark Richardson, SWAPA President. “But times have certainly changed.”

SWAPA has focused their negotiations on improvements in areas that address the airline’s flat fleet growth, stagnant career advancement, and compensation. Over the past four years the pilots have sacrificed when asked by the Company. This facilitated Southwest reaching their financial goals, including a stated goal of 15 percent ROIC. Those goals have been accomplished, and furthered, with an announced ROIC total of 19 percent for the trailing 12 months, and a Wall Street expected 21 percent ROIC for fiscal year 2014. Southwest Airlines is on pace to enjoy almost $2.5 billion in operating profit for 2014.

“Our asks continue to be reasonable so that our highly productive pilots can enjoy marginal improvements in their schedule, pay, and especially retirement – an area where Southwest pilots lag significantly compared to our peers at other airlines,” continued Richardson. “Filing for mediation is the next step in the process toward a new contract. We are trying to avoid the destructive and combative relationships that have plagued our industry.”

SWAPA becomes the third Southwest Airlines labor group to request national mediation in order to finalize a new contract in this current round of negotiations.

Located in Dallas, Texas, the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) is a non-profit employee organization representing the more than 7,500 pilots of Southwest Airlines and 500 pilots of AirTran Airways. SWAPA works to provide a secure and rewarding career for Southwest pilots and their families through negotiating contracts, defending contractual rights and actively promoting professionalism and safety. For more information on the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association, visit http://www.swapa.org.

Copyright Photo: Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-76N N7705A (msn 32744) arrives in Los Angeles.

Southwest Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

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QANTAS Airways’ “RetroRoo” arrives in Sydney

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) released this statement about its first retrojet “RetroRoo” arriving in Sydney:

The newest addition to the QANTAS Airways fleet has touched down on Australian soil, proudly carrying a retro livery and bearing the name of trailblazing former CEO James Strong.

The design is a flashback to the livery that adorned QANTAS Boeing 747s in the 1970s and is a flying tribute to mark seven decades of the Flying Kangaroo logo, which falls this month.

QANTAS Airways CEO Alan Joyce joined past and present staff and executives, Boeing executives and other guests to welcome the aircraft after it was given a water cannon salute from Air Services Australia.

The aircraft is named after former CEO James Strong. James was instrumental in the making of the modern QANTAS, including the merger with Australian Airlines.

James Strong was QANTAS CEO from 1993 to 2001 and later served on the QANTAS Board until his death in March 2013. His wife Jeanne-Claude and son Nicholas were at the hangar to christen the aircraft.

“QANTAS aircraft are traditionally named after Australian places, with the exception of our fleet of Airbus A380s, which are named for Australian aviation pioneers. We’re very proud to break with tradition to name this aircraft James Strong – another great leader of the Australian aviation industry.”

The new Boeing 737-800, the 75th of the aircraft type, will begin services across the QANTAS domestic network from next week. It is the 11th new Boeing aircraft that the QANTAS Group has taken delivery of this year.

The delivery of the “retrojet” coincides with the week of QANTAS’ 94th birthday, which was celebrated on Sunday November 16. The Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited (QANTAS) was registered as a business on November 16, 1920.

Copyright Photo: Rob Finlayson/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-838 VH-XZP (msn 44577) “James Strong” (now with a bowtie) sits proudly on the Sydney ramp.

QANAS aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Canadian North unveils a Canadian Football League logojet for the Grey Cup

Canadian North 737-300 C-GCNO (14-CFL)(Grd) YEG (Sam Hawkins)(LR)

Canadian North (Calgary and Yellowknife) today (November 18) unveiled this new Canadian Football League (CFL) logojet at its Edmonton hangar for the upcoming Grey Cup Championship Game. The right side of Boeing 737-36N C-GCNO (msn 28596) carries the team logos of the Eastern teams and left side the western teams.

The airline issued this statement on November 18:

On November 18, at an exciting “reveal” ceremony, the CFL and Canadian North jointly unveiled a custom-painted Boeing 737-300 aircraft, emblazoned with the CFL logo and the logos of all nine CFL franchise teams. This eye-catching plane will be used to fly the 102nd Grey Cup Champions home from Vancouver, British Columbia on Monday, December 1 and will serve as a highly visible billboard for the CFL and its teams wherever it lands.

Canadian North is the premier charter provider for Canada’s resource sector, top sport franchises and air-inclusive vacationers. The CFL and Canadian North announced a three-year partnership earlier this year that made Canadian North the official airline of the CFL.

Photos Below: Canadian North. Both sides are displayed at the unveiling event:

Canadian North 737-300 C-GCNO (14-CFL-left)(Grd) YEG (Canadian North)(LRW)

Canadian North 737-300 C-GCNO (14-CFL-right)(Grd) YEG (Canadian North)(LRW)

Video: The painting of the aircraft:

Canadian North is the official airline of the CFL.

Canadian North CFL logo

On July 9, 2014 the airline announced it had become the official airline of the CFL:

Canadian North is proud to become the official airline of the Canadian Football League. This new three-year partnership will include flying the East and West Division Champions to the 102nd Grey Cup game in Vancouver this November.

“There is nothing more Canadian than the CFL and we are excited to be partnering with both the league and the Grey Cup,” said Steve Hankirk, President of Canadian North. “We’re thrilled to broaden our relationship with the CFL and believe this creates opportunities for more teams to charter with Canadian North.”

Mark Cohon, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League, said: “Canadian North prides itself in contributing to the communities it serves, and that makes the airline a great fit for our league, which has a long history of doing the same.”

In other news, the company is planning to expand with more charters to warmer climates in early 2015.

Top Copyright Photo: Sam Hawkins/Canadian North.

Canadian North aircraft slide show:

JustPlanes Video:

WestJet reaches a tentative agreement with the WestJet Pilot Association

WestJet (Calgary) has announced it has reached a tentative agreement with its more than 1,200 pilots, represented by the WestJet Pilot Association (WJPA). The agreement’s highlights will be available in early December and voting will begin later in the month.

The WJPA and WestJet leadership teams began negotiations in September 2014 to develop a tentative agreement to replace the previous agreement, which has been in place since May 2009.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7CT C-GWBN (msn 34155) arrives in Los Angeles.

WestJet aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Oman Air takes delivery of its first Boeing 737-900 ER

Oman Air 737-900ER WL A40-BI (08)(Grd) BFI (JGW)(LRW)

Oman Air (Muscat) has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737-900 ER.  The pictured Boeing 737-91M ER A40-BI (msn 40069) was handed over on November 12.

The remaining four aircraft are due to be delivered by November 2015.

Oman Air and Boeing (Chicago) on June 19, 2013 announced an order for five Boeing Next-Generation 737-900 ER airplanes at the 2013 Paris Air Show.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. Boeing 737-91M A40-BI exits the runway after a test flight at a very dark and rainy Boeing Field in Seattle.

Oman Air logo-1

Oman Air aircraft slide show:

Blue Air to add the Bucharest-Milan Linate route

Blue Air (Blue Air Transport Aerian S.A.) (Bucharest) will add the Bucharest-Milan (Linate) route on December 18.

According to the airline, the flights will be operated six times a week, until the end of the 2014-2015 winter season.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Blue Air’s Boeing 737-42C YR-BAO (msn 24813) taxies at Brussels.

Blue Air aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

 

QANTAS Airways and China Eastern Airlines announce a closer relationship

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) and China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai) today (November 17) announced a new joint venture, marking the start of a deeper level of commercial cooperation on flights between Australia and China.

The airlines will now submit an application for authorization to Australian and Chinese regulators. Subject to regulatory approval, it is anticipated that the joint agreement will commence in mid-2015.

The five year agreement was signed today by QANTAS Group CEO Alan Joyce and China Eastern Chairman Liu Shaoyong at Parliament House, in a ceremony attended by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping.

Under the agreement, the airlines will deliver substantial benefits for customers and support the growing trade, tourism and corporate travel links between Australia and China. It is designed to complement the QANTAS-Emirates partnership for Europe, Middle East and North Africa and the QANTAS-American Airlines partnership for the US.

Through the new partnership, the airlines hope to ultimately open up new routes between Australia and mainland China, such as between Brisbane and Perth to Shanghai.

A key benefit of the agreement will be the co-location of both carriers’ operations in Terminal 1 at Shanghai International Airport, which will cut transit times by about an hour, open up a better range of onward connections and provide more choice for customers.

Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group/AirlinersGallery.com. The first Boeing 737-800 to wear the new 2014 China Eastern brand is this 737-89P registered as B-5689 (msn 41512) passing through Honolulu on delivery on November 7, 2014.

China Eastern Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

QANTAS Airways introduces its first retrojet

QANTAS 737-800 VH-XZP (71) + John Travolta (QANTAS)(LRW)

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has formally introduced its first retrojet in the form of its newly delivered Boeing 737-838 VH-XZP (msn 44577) painted in the retro 1971 ochre livery.

The company issued this statement and photo:

QANTAS has gone back to the future by unveiling its first ever “retro” inspired livery on one of its brand new Boeing 737 aircraft.

The eye catching design is a flying tribute to 70 years of the iconic flying kangaroo logo – a widely recognized symbol of home to millions of intrepid Australian travellers.

QANTAS Ambassador and self-confessed aviation enthusiast, John Travolta (above) was on hand to witness QANTAS and Boeing unveil the aircraft at a special hangar event in Seattle, which is timed to mark the 70th anniversary of the kangaroo logo.

QANTAS ambassador, John Travolta said the retro livery has brought back lots of memories for him.

“It’s great to see a piece of QANTAS history flying in the sky today,” said Mr Travolta.

“I have enjoyed many wonderful experiences with QANTAS over the years, from getting my 747 wings to having my own 707 painted in the original 1960s QANTAS livery. This is a great celebration of the brand’s heritage and incredible reputation over the years.

The signature element of the 1971-1984 livery design was the ochre band around the window line of the aircraft. Ochre reflected the colors of the outback where QANTAS was established in 1920.

The winged kangaroo logo is used on the tail and was adapted from the original 1947 version designed by Gert Sellheim.

In 1984 the flying kangaroo discarded its wings, evolving to its current slender and stylized form.

The 737 will operate across all QANTAS domestic routes from November 20, acting as a flying reminder of where QANTAS has come from, as well as showing new generations of young Australians some of the history behind Australia’s biggest airline.

The livery is also timed to mark the QANTAS’ 94th birthday, which also falls in November.

Happy Birthday QANTAS.

Photos: QANTAS Airways.

QANTAS Airways aircraft slide show:

Kangaroo Logo evolution:

QANTAS historic logos

QANTAS 737-800 WL VH-XZP (71)(Tail)(QANTAS)(LRW)

Ryanair announces a new base at Bratislava

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced it will open its first Slovakian base (overall the 71st base) at Bratislava in March 2015 with two based aircraft and 16 routes including a new route to Madrid.

Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-EVK (msn 40298) roars into the sky at the Dublin home base.

Ryanair aircraft slide show:

Ryanair logo-3

Destinations from Bratislava:

Ryanair Bratislava destinations

Jet Airways pilots clash in the cockpit, the Mumbai-Dubai flight is delayed by 1.5 hours

Jet Airways (Mumbai) had a Mumbai-Dubai flight delayed by one and a half hours after the flight crew got into a heated argument in the cockpit before departure. The first officer left his position in the cockpit alleging the captain “manhandled” him according to this report by Mid-Day. The flight was delayed as managers attempted to find a replacement first officer.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-85R VT-JBG (msn 35083) arrives in Singapore.

Jet Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Can SpiceJet continue to grow despite the concerns of its auditors?

SpiceJet (Delhi) has reported losses in its last five quarters. According to this report by The Economic Times, the airline auditors “in their recent report have cast doubts over the ability of media baron Kalanithi Maran’s budget carrier to run it as a “going concern”. The auditors stated the airline’s total assets are now exceeded by its total liabilities. The airline is also losing pilots at an alarming rate.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8GJ WL VT-SGF (msn 36367) departs from Paine Field.

SpiceJet aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Video: Midair Holi dance by SpiceJet cabin crew:

 

Norwegian operates its first biofuel flight on November 11

Norwegian’s Captain Georg Myhre before take-off.

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) on November 11 operated its first biofuel flight. The airline issued this statement (translated from Norwegian):

Norwegian for the first time operated a flight with biofuel on November 11, 2015. Norwegian’s flight DY 631 between Bergen and Oslo had nearly 50 percent biofuel in the tank. This corresponds to 40 percent less emissions than an average flight with ordinary fuel.

Norwegian’s CEO Bjorn Kjos brought Norway’s Climate and Environment Tine Sundtoft aboard this rare but very important flight between Bergen and Oslo. The new Norwegian Boeing 737-8JP  with the registration of LN-NIF (msn 39434) was filled with sustainable fuel and let out a total of 3178 kg or 40 grams per passenger kilometer. Older aircraft with normal jet fuel emits 5786 kilograms or 74 grams per passenger kilometer on the same route.

At Norwegian, we are very keen to do all we can to make flying more environmentally friendly. Norwegian has a clear goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 30 percent per passenger during the period 2008 to 2015. The most important environmental measure is to have the new aircraft, and Norwegian’s fleet is among the newest and most environmentally friendly in Europe. But the new aircraft is not enough. Sustainable biofuels is also important. This flight with biofuel from Bergen to Oslo is an important milestone in the industry’s joint efforts to make sustainable biofuels available to airlines, said Norwegian’s CEO Bjorn Kjos.

With the development of new technologies and the conditions that give the airlines a good incentive to invest in environmentally friendly options, like Norwegian help make aviation carbon neutral before in 2050.

Photo: Norwegian. Norwegian’s Captain Georg Myhre before take-off of the historic flight.

Norwegian aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Gol’s third quarter net loss widens to $95.2 million

Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. (Gol Transportes Aereos) (Sao Paulo) reported a third quarter net of BRL 245.1 million ($95.2 million), a notable larger loss than BRL 197 ($76.5 million).

The company issued this full CEO report:

Highlights:

Operating income (EBIT) registered R$ 152 million in 3Q14, R$ 115 million up over 3Q13, with an operating margin (EBIT) of 6.2%, up by 4.5 percentage points. The last twelve months (LTM) EBIT totaled R$ 497 million, with an operating margin of 4.9%.

Net revenue reached R$ 2.5 billion, 10% up over the 3Q13, of which R$ 2.2 billion refers to passenger revenues. Net revenue from cargo and others totaled R$ 272 million, increasing its share from 8% in 3Q13 to 11% of the total revenue. Net revenue LTM stood at R$ 10 billion, a new record, with international revenue accounting for 11% of total revenues, reaching R$ 1.1 billion.

EBITDAR totaled R$ 463 million, 24% up on 3Q13. The EBITDAR LTM came to a record registering R$ 1.9 billion, reducing the financial leverage ratio (adjusted gross debt/EBITDAR) by 4.6 points, from 10.9x in 3Q13, to 6.3x in 3Q14.

Total load factor increased by 8 percentage points to 77.5% in the quarter. This increase more than compensates the 2% decline in yield. As a result, RASK and PRASK increased by 13% and 9% over 3Q13, respectively.

Total CASK grew 7% over 3Q13, while CASK ex-fuel increased by 10%. As RASK moved up 3 percentage points above the CASK ex-fuel, GOL maintained its margin expansion in the quarter reflecting its focus on controlling the manageable costs and increasing revenue.

GOL continued its liability management initiatives in the quarter, which aims to optimize the amortization schedule and reduce the Company’s cost of debt. GOL concluded two senior notes tender offer, totaling US$ 411 million, besides the new issuance of US$ 325 million in bonds due to 2022, at a rate of 8.875%. Its subsidiary Smiles S.A. also concluded a R$ 600 million debenture issuance to finance part of its capital reduction.

In the 3Q14, we recorded operating income (EBIT) of R$ 152 million, an expansion of R$ 115 million when compared to the same period last year, while the EBIT margin moved up 4.5 percentage points registering 6.2%. This was the seventh consecutive quarterly improvement in this indicator, reflecting the continuity and consistent delivery on our results.

Net revenue in the last 12 months totaled R$ 10 billion, a new record, even in a scenario of soft economic growth. GOL’s demand for seats (RPK) grew by 8.3% year over year in the first nine months, representing 53% of the industry’s growth, which reflects the greater attractiveness of our products and services. Domestic supply, however, fell by 2.9%, demonstrating the rationalization strategy that the Company took in place since April 2012. From January to September, 2014, we were the market leader in terms of passengers boarded in the domestic market, reaching the record mark of 27.5 million.

In order to offer greater connectivity, we launched during this quarter two new regional destinations on the domestic market, Carajás and Altamira (Pará), as well as new international flights to Santiago (Chile) from Guarulhos (São Paulo), Miami from Campinas, and to Punta Cana from Guarulhos (São Paulo), Confins (Minas Gerais) and Brasília. In this way, we are the Brazilian airline with the greater supply to the Caribbean, with 78 weekly flights.

The strategy of increasing our international presence has been further reinforced by the expansion of our alliances. This has also strengthened revenue in other currencies, which accounted for 11% of our total revenue in the last 12 months. We implemented a two-way codeshare partnership with Aerolineas Argentinas, allowing us to sell its tickets on our website. We will shortly begin offering the same facility for AirFrance-KLM flights.

In order to ensure an even better flying experience, we extended our GOL+ Conforto seating to our entire domestic route network, with an even greater reclining angle and even more distance between seats. Currently, 94% of our fleet is configured as GOL+ and, by the end of the year, 100% of our fleet will have this configuration. In the third quarter, we also launched an exclusive service in Brazil, our express bag drop service at Congonhas airport. With this new service, the customers can complete one more check-in stage at the self-service totems, labeling and weighing their own baggage, as well as paying for any excess. This is one more simple and intelligent innovation providing our passengers with even greater control and visibility throughout the entire process, since the ticket purchase to the flight.

These new facilities have strengthened our capacity to ensure an even better flying experience for leisure passengers, and to be more attractive to the corporate client. Even in the midst of a challenging economic scenario in Brazil, resulting in reduced demand from corporate customers, GOL was the airline company leader in tickets issued for the corporate segment, according to Abracorp (Brazilian Travel Agents’ Association).

Continuing with our measures to strength our balance sheet, we concluded two senior notes tender offers totaling US$ 411 million. Also, we concluded a senior notes issuance this quarter, totaling US$ 325 million at 8.875% p.a. due on 2022. These actions aim to optimize the debt profile, avoiding major amortization pressure in the next three years and reduce the financial cost. We closed the quarter with R$ 2.7 billion in cash position, equivalent to 27% of revenue in the last 12 months, which is essential to pass through periods of high market volatility. The financial leverage ratio (adjusted gross debt/EBITDAR) stood at 6.3x, 4.6 points down on 3Q13.

I would like to thank our customers for their loyalty, our Team of Eagles for their commitment and investors for their confidence posted on the Company. We celebrated on September 8, 2014 in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) the 10-year listing of GOL, in which we reiterated our commitment to the transparency and communication with our shareholders, which reinforces our vision of being the best company to fly with, work for and invest in.

Paulo Sérgio Kakinoff

CEO of GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A.

Copyright Photo: Marcelo F. De Biasi/AirlinersGallery.com. Gol’s Boeing 737-7Q8 PR-GIL (msn 30635) approaches the runway at Sao Paulo (Guarulhos).

Gol aircraft slide show:

Alaska Airlines is coming to Washington’s Dulles International Airport

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) on March 11, 2015 will begin daily nonstop service to Dulles International Airport from its SeaTac hub.

With the launch of Alaska’s Dulles flight next spring, Alaska customers will have nonstop access to all three D.C.-area airports from Seattle/Tacoma, including Reagan National Airport and Baltimore-Washington International Airport – more flights than any other carrier.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N592AS (msn 35190) with Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets arrives in Anchorage.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

American Airlines management and Allied Pilots Association search for agreement on a new contract

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has offered its pilots, represented by the Allied Pilots Association, a reported “industry leading contract” according to Terry Maxon of the Dallas News. The two negotiation groups are facing a deadline of Saturday to resolve their outstanding issues with a new tentative agreement. The two parties started talking on July 8. The new contract would not impact the pilots of American Eagle-branded operations.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

However despite this optimism, the union’s president issued this statement:

Since I forwarded management’s initial joint collective bargaining agreement economic proposals to you yesterday, the feedback we have received on the proposals has been overwhelmingly negative. No disagreement here. Management’s initial proposals are seriously lacking on various fronts.

After reading the letter from American Airlines President Scott Kirby yesterday morning addressed to the APA board of directors, your APA leadership expected something a lot different from what we received. Mr. Kirby noted that issues regarding Scope bring with them “a lot of history and skepticism,” and he’s right. The contrast between Mr. Kirby’s letter and the proposals that followed will only add to that baggage. While there was no call for an increase from 76 seats to 81 seats on commuter aircraft, management instead simply shifted their aim with a Scope proposal to add five seats to the medium-sized (up to 70 seats) regional jets. Moving this limitation would be well outside the industry standard. When compared to the industry standard, what management has proposed would dramatically increase the number of 70-seat commuter aircraft and related capacity flown by regional affiliates.

In addition, management does not appear to be interested in providing our pilots with a compensation package comparable to industry leader Delta Air Lines. While initially proposed pay rates are fractionally higher than Delta’s current pilot pay rates, there’s little adjustment for the absence of profit-sharing, which this year will equal 15 percent of annual earnings for Delta pilots. This means that American Airlines pilots’ compensation would continue to trail industry leader Delta by a significant margin. Meanwhile, our airline is producing its best-ever financial results, with forecasts of industry-leading profits and margins going forward. What’s wrong with this picture?

Delta’s CEO recently addressed the importance of a “positive employee culture” and “rewarding employees with pay for performance through profit sharing,” adding that it “drives revenue growth and better financial returns.” American Airlines management evidently believes otherwise. With the exception of Spirit Airlines, American Airlines is the only other airline that does not provide profit-sharing to its pilots.

Management’s initial proposals would have American Airlines pilots remaining under bankruptcy-era work rules and likewise do not address length-of-service credit and numerous other important quality-of-life issues that we have raised in bargaining. Additionally, their initial proposals fail to recognize that Delta pilots are on the cusp of negotiating a new contract that will likely lead to pay rate increases that will surpass management’s proposed pay rates in quick fashion.

During a recent conference, Mr. Kirby stated that better labor relations “lead to better financial results and better customer service.” Management’s initial proposals are inconsistent with that virtuous cycle and with the positive employee culture that has made this merger so successful thus far.

Where do we go from here? The APA board of directors convened at 1 p.m. today (November 12) to discuss management’s proposals and determine our next steps. The APA Negotiating Committee, Scope Committee, Industry Analysis Committee and director of economic and financial analysis addressed the board this afternoon.

Our goal remains a negotiated agreement reached at the bargaining table. Management’s latest proposals have made attaining our goal more challenging.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-823 N964AN (msn 30093) completes its final approach to the runway at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA).

American Airlines (current livery) aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

 

United Airlines to restore the Denver-Miami route

United Airlines (Chicago) will restore the Denver-Miami route on December 19 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-724 N21723 (msn 28790) taxies at Toronto (Pearson).

Video:

United Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Pobeda is granted an AOC, will start operations on December 1 to six cities

Pobeda 737-400 (14)(Flt)(Aeroflot)(LR)

Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) has announced Russia’s Federal Aviation Agency has granted Pobeda, the low-cost carrier subsidiary of Aeroflot Group, an operator’s certificate and air transportation licence.

According to the carrier, “under Russian legislation the award of this documentation means that Pobeda is able to launch ticket sales from today, November 11.”

The carrier will fly daily flight from Moscow to Volgograd, Samara, Ekaterinburg, Perm, Tyumen and Belgorod. Pobeda will make its maiden flight on 1 December 1 from terminal A of Vnukovo international airport in Moscow.

The new airline’s fleet will comprise new narrow-body Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which can carry up to 189 passengers. As new aircraft join the fleet, flight frequency will increase and Pobeda will launch connections to new destinations.

Image: Aeroflot.

Aeroflot aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines files to serve the Orange County-Puerto Vallarta route

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has filed its application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to provide daily, nonstop service between John Wayne Airport, Orange County (SNA) and Lic. Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR) in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, beginning June 7, 2015, subject to approvals from relevant governmental agencies.

In addition, Kelly announced the Company’s plans to add Saturday service between Baltimore/Washington International Airport and San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos, Mexico, beginning on June 13, 2015, subject to approvals from relevant governmental agencies.

Additionally the airline will start daily Kansas City-New York (LaGuardia) flights on April 8, 2015.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8H4 N8645A (msn 36907) with the Split Scimitar Winglets arrives in Los Angeles.

Southwest Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

QANTAS Airways will retire its last Boeing 767 on December 27, awaits the delivery of its new 1970 Boeing 737-800 retro jet

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) is awaiting delivery of its new Boeing 737-838 VH-XZP (msn 44577) which has been painted in a retro livery. The 1970 retro livery will be formally unveiled on November 16. VH-XZP is the company’s 75th Boeing 737-800. The 737 is scheduled to depart from the Seattle area on November 17 on delivery and will arrive on November 19 in Australia.

In other news, QANTAS has unveiled a new brand advertising campaign, based on a concept of what the national carrier has been doing for almost 100 years – bringing people home.

QANTAS celebrates its 94th year of operation this month. In the same month, QANTAS will also celebrate the 70th year of the QANTAS kangaroo logo.

The ‘Feels Like Home’ series tells the real stories of five QANTAS passengers and their journey home to Australia being welcomed at the airport by loved ones.

Filmed in London, Santiago, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, the Pilbara and Sydney, the series features QANTAS employees as well as customers and rolled out from Sunday November 9.

QANTAS Group CEO Alan Joyce said the campaign was designed to celebrate the unique place Qantas has in the lives of many Australians.

Finally, QANTAS Airways will operate its last Boeing 767-300 flight on December 27, 2014 from Melbourne as flight QF 452 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-338 ER VH-OGQ (msn 28154) climbs away from the Sydney hub.

QANTAS Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Video: As mentioned above, QANTAS is phasing out its aging Boeing 767-300s. Follow one 767 to Victorville, California for storage and final disposition:

Air Mandalay to lease Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft

Air Mandalay Limited (Yangon) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) have signed a memorandum of collaboration  in support of working together toward Air Mandalay’s fleet renewal efforts. H.E. U Nyan Htun Aung, Minister of Transport of Myanmar and the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Derek J. Mitchell witnessed the signing.

Boeing will assist Air Mandalay with its efforts to procure Next-Generation 737 airplanes through leasing channels in support of Air Mandalay’s expansion plan.

The two parties commented:

“This memorandum is an important step in our growth strategy,” said Dato’ Adam Htoon, principal of Air Mandalay. “Due to the growth of tourism and business investment in Myanmar, air transportation has become an increasingly important contributor to both the nation’s economic growth and its infrastructure development. The country is looking to position itself as a major tourism destination capable of handling an increasing number of foreign visitors. The 737s will provide us with capabilities to support this critical national growth strategy.”

“We look forward to supporting Air Mandalay on its fleet expansion strategy, setting the foundation for a long and successful partnership between Air Mandalay and Boeing,” said Skip Boyce, president, Boeing Southeast Asia. “The Next-Generation 737 aircraft will provide Air Mandalay with market-leading efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort, allowing the airline to continue to prosper and grow in the region.”

Air Mandalay Limited is a private joint venture company that was incorporated on October 6, 1994 to operate as Myanmar’s first privately owned airline and support the country’s tourism industry. The airline, based in Yangon, has since established itself as a carrier of high standards with a wide domestic network and one regional link to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. It operates to all of Myanmar’s main tourist destinations and commercial hubs. The airline also offers air charter services to destinations both within the country and regionally.

Air Mandalay currently operates ATR 42 and ATR 72 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Mandalay ATR 72-212 XY-AIR (msn 467) arrives at the Yangon hub.

Air Mandalay aircraft slide show:

Video: Flying on the ATR 72. Air Mandalay’s ATR 72-212 XY-AIR is taped operating into Heho Airport and landing on runway 18 from Mandalay International Airport as flight 6T 402 bound for Yangon. Situated at the edge of the mountainous Shan state at an elevation of 3,888 feet, the airport is the gateway to the picturesque Inle Lake. Videoed from Seat 5D.

Air Mandalay logo

Current Route Map:

Air Mandalay 11.2014 Route Map

SpiceJet’s flight to Delhi hits a buffalo on takeoff at Surat, crew aborts the Boeing 737-800 takeoff

SpiceJet 737-800 Engine Damage

SpiceJet‘s (Delhi) flight SG 622 carrying 146 passengers and crew members from Surat to Delhi was forced to abort its its takeoff last night (November 6) after the Boeing 737-800 hit a stray buffalo on the runway. There were not injuries but the aircraft’s engine (above) sustained some damage. The airline has suspended operations at Surat International Airport in rural India “indefinitely”. The aircraft was grounded and an alternate aircraft flew the passengers to Delhi as intended.

The airline stated everyone on board was safe on its Twitter page but stated “stray animals (are) a growing menace in some airports”.

DGCA has ordered an investigation.

Read the full story from the BBC: CLICK HERE

Twitter photo by Adnan Ashraf.

SpiceJet aircraft slide show:

Current route map for routes from Delhi:

SpiceJet 11.2014 Route Map

News report video:

SAS today operates a biofuel (cooking oil) flight from Stockholm

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) issued this statement today:

SAS today (November 7) flew from Stockholm (Arlanda) to Östersund (flight SK 2064) with a 10 % blend in of a certified JET A1 based on re-used cooking oil. The fuel was distributed and delivered by Statoil Aviation and SkyNRG. The flight was also supported by Swedavia.

The synthetic JET A1 as well as the blended JET A1 is certified according to ASTM D7566 and D1655. This flight was not only the first of its kind for SAS but also the first flight from Arlanda Airport.

SAS has worked for over ten years to accelerate the commercialization of renewable fuels. Renewable fuels are crucial on the journey towards a more sustainable aviation. This type of flight proof that solutions exist and focus on creating conditions for this to become a reality on a large scale is essential.

During next week a flight is planned from Trondheim to Oslo in Norway on a 48% blend in of certified synthetic JET A1.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. The biofuel flight was operated with a Boeing 737-600. Boeing 737-683 SE-DNX (msn 28304) arrives at Stockholm (Arlanda).

SAS aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Jet Airways adds new frequencies to Doha, Colombo and Bangkok

Jet Airways (Mumbai) meanwhile is adding additional frequencies from Mumbai to Far East and the gulf region. These additional frequencies are being introduced from Mumbai to Doha, to Colombo and to Bangkok.

The company is adding a second frequency from Mumbai to Doha. Jet Airways flight 9W 560 will depart Mumbai at 0120 and arrive Doha at 0245 (local time). The return flight 9W 559 will depart Doha at 0345 (LT) and arrive into Mumbai at 0930, providing connectivity to key domestic destinations. The introduction of this flight complements the flight from Mumbai to Doha. This flight provides enhanced connectivity from Mumbai to Doha and beyond to destinations in Gulf with direct and codeshare flights.

Doha is currently linked with one flight each from Mumbai, Delhi and Kochi. The new flight on this high demand route will not only cater to the growing Indian expatriates but also boost tourism and trade between the two cities and will help in bringing in traffic to and from the Middle East.

With these new enhanced flights, Jet Airways will achieve the landmark milestone of becoming India’s first private airline to operate over 40 daily flights to multiple destinations in the Gulf. This includes daily departures to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Doha, Kuwait, Sharjah, Muscat, Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh, thus, making the airline the largest operator between India and the Gulf.

Due to popular demand, Jet Airways has added a second direct flight from Mumbai to Colombo. Jet Airways flight 9W 252 will depart Mumbai at 1805 and arrive into Colombo at 2035 (local time). The return flight 9W 251 will depart Colombo at 2135 (LT) and arrive Mumbai at 0015, providing onward connections to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the Gulf, Bangkok, Singapore and Hong Kong in the Far East and to North America via Brussels and London Heathrow with direct and codeshare flights.

In addition, Jet Airways has introduced a third daily nonstop service from its international gateway in Mumbai to Bangkok. The new afternoon service will provide seamless connectivity to guests from the airlines domestic network. This would make Jet Airways’ the only Indian carrier to operate three flights a day from Mumbai to Bangkok’s International Suvarnabhumi Airport as well as providing on ward connections to Ho Chi Minh from Bangkok.

This new flight from Mumbai to Bangkok, offers a convenient afternoon service, flight 9W 060 which will depart Mumbai at 1255 (LT) and arrive at Bangkok at 1835 (LT). On return, flight 9W 061 which departs Bangkok at 0855 (LT) and arrives into Mumbai at 1155 (LT) daily. Jet Airways guests from Mumbai will now have the option of connecting to Ho Chi Minh city and to several destinations of their choice in ASEAN Region while they transit over Bangkok. This new flight is conveniently timed to connect guests travelling from Jet Airways domestic network to Bangkok and beyond to ASEAN points.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 737-8AL VT-JFT (msn 39066) was delivered on June 4, 2014 and passed through Toronto (Pearson) on its delivery routing.

Jet Airways: AG Slide Show

FlySafair continues to expand operations in South Africa

FlySafair 737-400 ZS-JRE (13)(Nose)(FlySafair)(LR)

FlySafair (Johannesburg and Cape Town) commenced low-fare scheduled operations on October 16, 2014 between Cape Town and Johannesburg, followed swiftly by the launch of the Cape Town to Port Elizabeth route last week. The new subsidiary will start the Cape Town to George route next week on November 13.

From December 3, FlySafair will launch its second base at Johannesburg O.R. Tambo airport, allowing passengers to fly from Johannesburg to George and Port Elizabeth.

Although a new entrant into the commercial market, the airline is backed by nearly 50 years of aviation experience from its holding company, Safair.

Copyright Photo: FlySafair.

FlySafair: AG Slide Show

FlySafair logo-1

Expanding Route Map:

FlySafair 11.2014 Route Map

Video: The launch of the new carrier:

 

airBaltic adds two new routes

airBaltic (airBaltic.com) (Riga) on October 30 launched a new route connecting Vilnius and Amsterdam. The new route will operate three days a week. Previously on October 28 the company started a new route connection between Tallinn and Paris (CDG). The Paris route will operate four days a week. Both routes are being operated with Boeing 737s.

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by airBaltic). Ex-United Boeing 737-522 YL-BBM (msn 26680) arrives in Zurich.

airBaltic Aircraft Slide Show:

airBaltic FAs

Route Map for routes from Riga:

airBaltic logo

airBaltic Riga 11.2014 Route Map

The first new Eastern Boeing 737-800 is rolled out of the paint shop at Shannon

Eastern Air Lines (2nd) (Miami) this week will take delivery of its first Boeing 737-800. Today (November 4) the former Kenya Airways Boeing 737-8AL 5Y-KYB (msn 35070) was rolled out of the Eirtech hangar at Shannon in full Eastern livery. The 737 is named the “Spirit of Captain Eddie Rickenbacker” and will become N276EA on delivery. N276EA is due to arrive in Miami later this week.

Copyright Photo: Malcolm Nason/AirlinersGallery.com.

The original Eastern aircraft slide show:

Video: TV commercials from the original Eastern Airlines:

SAS to launch new nonstop European routes starting on March 29, 2015

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) is opening six new nonstop routes from Scandinavian airports to major European cities, two of which are completely new routes: for the first time, SAS customers can fly to Salzburg and Ankara with SAS for their summer vacation.

Ankara, capital and second-largest city in Turkey, will be the second Turkish destination served by SAS, Gazipasa near Alanya being the first.

As well as launching nine new summer routes, including a new inter-Scandinavian route between Bergen and Gothenburg, SAS is adding more frequencies on inter-Scandinavian routes in winter 2014/2015 and will continue to do so into summer 2015. This includes more nonstop flights between Stavanger and Trondheim and between Bergen and Ålesund. The Copenhagen-Gothenburg route is getting two additional daily departures, bringing the total to eight in the summer timetable. The Stockholm-Gothenburg route is also getting a new morning departure on Mondays in both directions.

In addition to the new routes, SAS is also re-opening its popular 2014 holiday destinations in the 2015 summer timetable to popular destinations such as Chania, Palermo and Pisa.

Timetables for new routes:

Denmark

- Copenhagen-Edinburgh: Departures on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, with daily departures in the summer peak season. First departure March 29, 2015.
- Copenhagen-Ankara: Departure on Saturday, and on Monday and Wednesday in the summer peak season. First departure April 04, 2015.

Sweden

- Stockholm-Budapest: Departures on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. No departures in the summer peak season. First departure March 29, 2015.
- Stockholm-Faro: Departure on Saturday, and on Wednesday in the summer peak season. First departure April 04, 2015.
- Stockholm-Ankara: Departure on Tuesday. First departure June 30, 2015.
- Gothenburg-Alanya (Gazipasa): Departure on Wednesday. First departure July 01, 2015.
- Gothenburg-Dublin: Departure on Saturday, and on Wednesday and Sunday in the summer peak season. First departure April 04.

Norway

- Oslo-Salzburg: Departure on Saturday. First departure May 23.
- Bergen-Gothenburg: Departures on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. No departures in the summer peak season. First departure March 30.

Timetables for expanded and re-opened routes

Expansion of inter-Scandinavian routes

Copenhagen-Gothenburg: Increased from six to eight daily departures
Oslo-Bergen: Up to 16 daily departures
Stavanger-Trondheim: More direct flights
Bergen-Ålesund: More direct flights
Stockholm-Gothenburg: New morning departure in both directions.
Stockholm-Luleå: Increased from seven to nine departures in both directions on Sunday.

Re-opened peak summer routes

Denmark

From Copenhagen to Dubrovnik, Split, Pula, Montpellier, Biarritz, Chania, Thessaloniki, Palermo, Napoli, Pisa, Gazipasa and Alicante.
From Billund, the route to Gazipasa in Turkey is re-opening.

Norway

From Trondheim to Malaga and Barcelona.
From Bergen to Split, Dubrovnik, Nice, Malaga, Barcelona and Alanya (Gazipasa).
From Stavanger to Split, Nice, Malaga, Barcelona and Alanya (Gazipasa).
From Kristiansand to Split.
From Oslo to Dubrovnik, Pula, Olbia, Pisa, Palermo and Pristina.

Sweden

From Gothenburg to Pula, Nice, Athens, Pristina, Alicante and Palma de Mallorca.
From Stockholm to Chania, Cagliari, Olbia, Biarritz, Palermo, Pisa, Pristina, Bristol and Bodø.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-783 LN-RPK (msn 28317) arrives at Zurich.

SAS Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

WestJet reports record third quarter net earnings of C$85.4 million

WestJet (Calgary) has announced its third quarter 2014 results, with record adjusted net earnings of $85.4 million (all amounts in Canadian dollars), or $0.66 per diluted share. This compares with the net earnings of $65.1 million, or $0.50 per diluted share reported in the third quarter of 2013, up 31.2 per cent and 32.0 per cent, respectively. Based on the trailing twelve months, the airline achieved a return on invested capital of 13.8 per cent, compared with the 13.7 per cent reported in the previous quarter. These adjusted results exclude a pre-tax non-cash loss of $45.5 million associated with the previously disclosed sale of 10 of our oldest Boeing 737 aircraft.

In September, WestJet announced the launch of its new WestJet Rewards tiers program, which will make frequent guests eligible for higher WestJet dollar earn rates on WestJet flights, additional companion flights, and new easy-to-use flight benefits. Here is a video of “Profit Share” from two years ago:

Video Above: Twice per year, in November and May, WestJet shares a portion of its profits with its employees. According to the airline, “We make a fun video to play at our profit share party and this is just one of a long list of videos we’ve made over the past few years. Enjoy!”

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8CT C-GWSZ (msn 37092) in the special “Magic Plane” color scheme promoting Walt Disney World arrives in Los Angeles.

WestJet: AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines today introduces Beats Music on this WiFi-enabled and marked Boeing 737-700

Southwest Airlines introduces Beats Music on WiFi-enabled aircra

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) today (November 3) introduced Beats Music on its WiFi-enabled aircraft. The airline issued this statement:

Southwest Airlines is giving Customers a new reason to pack their headphones! Beginning today, Beats Music is providing a uniquely curated music experience onboard Southwest Airlines WiFi-enabled aircraft.

Customers accessing Beats Music onboard have an opportunity to listen to wide-ranging music programming in pop, rock, country, and other genres to hear fresh new artists and the hottest songs, which are handpicked by Beats Music expert curators. Accessing the service inflight is on the house and includes a library of hundreds of playlists. Not sure what to listen to, but feel like Jet-Setting with your BFF to Pop? The Sentence offers a continuous playlist just for you, customized by your response to four questions about location, activity, surroundings, and musical preference.

The new entertainment service was introduced today at a live demonstration onboard the official Beats Music-decaled Boeing 737 aircraft (above and below).

Southwest Airlines introduces Beats Music on WiFi-enabled aircra

 

To celebrate, a special playlist was created that will come to life with live concerts from a couple of the artists on select Southwest flights at 35,000 feet! The official Beats Music aircraft is planned to depart from Dallas Love Field to Chicago-Midway on flight 732 with Cobra Starship onboard. Customers on this flight will get a Southwest Airlines VIP backstage pass to the most elevated live concert they’ve ever experienced, with an opportunity to meet and receive autographs from the band. Southwest Airlines also is celebrating with Customers on Flight 1527 with Elephant Revival, flying from Portland to Denver.

Beats Music is a music subscription service that combines expert curation with the best technology, so you get music that’s right for you every time. Customers can stream a selection of Beats Music playlists through the Southwest entertainment portal, which is powered by Global Eagle Entertainment Inc., using their personal electronic devices onboard Southwest Airlines WiFi-enabled aircraft. Global Eagle Entertainment is a worldwide provider of media content, technology, and connectivity solutions to the travel industry. Through the industry’s most comprehensive product and services platform, Global Eagle Entertainment provides airlines with a wide range of inflight solutions including WiFi, movies, television, music, interactive software, as well as portable IFE solutions, content management services, e-commerce solutions, and original content development.

The service provided on the Southwest entertainment portal will be compatible with major mobile devices and operating systems, including iOS and Android, as well as most web browsers, and is designed to ensure a seamless and superior quality playback.

Copyright Photos: Southwest Airlines’ Boeing 737-7H4 N909WN (msn 32458) is the first aircraft to wear the special Beats Music markings.

Southwest Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines introduces Beats Music on WiFi-enabled aircra

Video: Southwest’s executives celebrate Halloween:

Alaska Airlines expands its seasonal route network from the Pacific Northwest to Mexico

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) this week will begin service from the Pacific Northwest to Mexico, just in time for winter. The airline kicks off its new nonstop service between Seattle/Tacoma and Cancun on November 6. Flights will operate daily through April 27, 2015. The airline also is offering new nonstop flights from Portland, Oregon, to Puerto Vallarta starting November 4 through April 26, 2015 and to Los Cabos starting Nov. 20 through April 27, 2015.

Alaska 11.2014 Mesxico Expansion Graph

All times are based on local time zones.

Alaska Airlines began flying to Mexico a quarter century ago and now operates 240 flights a week during the winter between the West Coast and Mexico—more than any other carrier. Alaska flies an average of 1.5 million passengers a year to seven Mexico beach destinations—Cancun, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Loreto, Los Cabos, Manzanillo, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta—in addition to Guadalajara and Mexico City.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N590AS (msn 35887) with Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets departs from Anchorage bound for Seattle/Tacoma.

Alaska Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

SmartWings is adding four new routes from Warsaw, Poland

SmartWings (smartwing.com) (Prague) is adding more routes and flights from Warsaw, Poland. Warsaw-Lanzarote was added yesterday (November 1) following by the Warsaw-Fuerteventura route tomorrow (November 3). Warsaw-Las Palmas will be added on November 4 and  Warsaw-Tenerife Sur (South) on November 6 per Airline Route.

SmartWings is a brand name of  Travel Service, a.s. (Travel Service Airlines) with regular flights from its base at Prague Airport.

During the year, SmartWings offers flights to more than forty popular destinations and resorts throughout and outside Europe with departures from Prague, Brno and Ostrava. Every summer season SmartWings brings flights to new destinations as well an increase of frequencies to the current ones.

Travel Service, a.s., the largest airline in the Czech Republic, has been operating in the market for 15 years. Travel Service, a.s. is the leader of the charter market in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and it has a noticeable share in Poland. Apart from charter flights, Travel Service has also been conducting regular lines under the brand SmartWings since 2004 and since 2007 with private charter flights.

SmartWings operates Airbus A320s, Boeing 737-700s and 737-800s.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-82R OK-TSG (msn 30666) taxies at Antalya, Turkey.

SmartWings Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

 

WestJet today launches seasonal Winnipeg-Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood flights

WestJet (Calgary) today launched new weekly, seasonal, nonstop service between Winnipeg and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Florida. Flights out of the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson Airport operate every Saturday until April 25, 2015.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7CT C-FEWJ (msn 32769) arrives in Los Angeles.

WestJet: AG Slide Show

Monarch Airlines finalizes its deal with Boeing for 30 737 MAX 8s + 15 options

Monarch 737 MAX 8 (11)(Flt)(Boeing)(LR)

Monarch Airlines (London-Luton) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) today finalized an order for 30 737 MAX 8s worth more than $3.2 billion at current list prices. The order, originally announced at the Farnborough International Airshow in July when Monarch selected Boeing as its preferred bidder for fleet replacement, includes options for 15 additional 737 MAX 8s and marks the beginning of the British carrier’s transition to an all-Boeing single-aisle fleet.

The 737 MAX has accumulated 2,325 orders to date from 48 customers and is the fastest selling airplane in Boeing history.

Headquartered at London Luton Airport, but also operating from five other U.K. bases – London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, East Midlands and Leeds-Bradford – Monarch predominantly serves holiday destinations around the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands as well as European ski resorts. Founded in 1968, the British carrier will move to a cost effective and uniform fleet of 737 MAX 8s within the next decade.

As previously reported, on October 24, Monarch Airlines and other parts of Monarch Holdings Limited, the UK’s leading independent leisure travel group, completed a restructuring program and sale of 90 percent of the group to Greybull Capital LLP under which it secured £125 million of permanent capital and liquidity facilities.

Image: Boeing.

Monarch Airlines: AG Slide Show

Sunwing Airlines to operate weekly Calgary-Freeport flights from November 1

Sunwing Airlines (Toronto-Pearson) will start weekly service from Calgary to Freeport, Grand Bahama Island on November 1, 2014. The flights will depart initially on Saturdays then switch to become a weekly service on Fridays from December 19, 2014.

With the introduction of the Calgary service, the airline will offer eight Canadian gateways into the island.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8Q8 C-GVVH (msn 36275) carries promotional markings for the Mexican resort destination of Los Cabos, Baja, which was recently damaged by Hurricane Odile. The airport was back in business 17 days after the storm passed. C-GVVH taxies at Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto.

Sunwing Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Ethiopian Airlines to start a new route to Doha, Qatar on December 2

Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) has announced it will launch a new route from Addis Ababa to Doha, Qatar on December 2. The new route will operate three days a week with Boeing 737s.

This will bring the total number of international destinations across five continents to 84. The city will mark the 10th Ethiopian destination to the Middle East.

Convenient connections will be available to and from cities such as Johannesburg, Nairobi, Kinshasa, Lagos, Accra, Dakar, Dar-es-Salaam and Entebbe.

Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-760 ET-ALM (msn 33765) taxies at Munich.

Ethiopian Airlines Aircraft Slide Show:

Ryanair selects Copenhagen as its new Danish base

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced it will open its second Danish base (70 in total) at Copenhagen in March 2015 with up to four based Boeing 737-800 aircraft and starting with three new routes to London, Milan and Warsaw, with an additional 10 more new routes to be announced in the New Year. Ryanair will base its first Boeing 737-800 in Copenhagen from March and 3 more units later in 2015.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DAD (msn 33544) lands at the EuroAirport.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

 

Fuzhou Airlines commences operations today

 

Fuzhou 737-800 WL B-5503 (14)(Tko)(Fuzhou)(LR)

Fuzhou Airlines (Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China) today (October 30) launched scheduled passenger operations between Fuzhou and Beijing with Boeing 737-84P B-5503 (msn 36782) leased from Hainan Airlines (Haikou and Beijing). The new airline is a joint venture between Hainan Airlines and Golden Resources Investment Group which is a state-owned asset investment company.

The airline received its AOC on October 17.

Photo: Fuzhou Airlines.

WestJet and its flight attendants reach a tentative agreement

WestJet (Calgary) has announced it has reached a tentative agreement with WestJet’s Flight Attendant Association Board (FAAB). The proposed agreement is available to WestJet flight attendants for review beginning on October 31, 2014, and voting begins on November 10, 2014, at 9 a.m. MST.

The WestJet Inflight leadership team and FAAB began negotiations in May 2014, to develop a tentative agreement to replace the flight attendants’ memorandum of agreement.

WestJet and FAAB have committed, in writing, to honor all facets of the tentative agreement, which covers a five-year term, and changes may only be made through negotiations with flight attendants. There is also a clear and enforceable dispute resolution process in place.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8CT C-GWSA (msn 34153) arrives at Las Vegas.

WestJet: AG Slide Show

Norwegian’s third quarter net profit drops by 14%, will phase out the last Boeing 737-300 next year

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com and Norwegian Long Haul) (Oslo) reported a net profit of NOK 373.8 million ($57.0 million) for the third quarter, down 14% from a net profit of NOK 435.9 million ($65.8 million) for the same quarter in 2013.

The airline issued this full report:

Norwegian reports strong growth in all European markets with a capacity increase of 36 percent and a load factor of 85 percent in its third quarter results. The pre-tax result (EBT) was 505 MNOK, compared to 604 MNOK the same quarter previous year. The costs associated with wet-leasing replacement aircraft and a weak Norwegian Krone (NOK) significantly affected the figures.

Even with strong passenger growth, the load factor was high and increased by three percentage points to 85 percent in the third quarter. Norwegian carried 7.1 million passengers this quarter and the company’s operations at London Gatwick had the strongest passenger growth.

The pre-tax result (EBT) was 505 MNOK, compared to 604 MNOK the same quarter previous year. The combination of a weak Norwegian Krone (NOK), the delayed approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation and costs associated with flight delays, affected the results this quarter. Wet-leasing replacement aircraft and extra fuel, as well as accommodation, food and drink for delayed passengers also created extra costs. The costs associated with the long overdue application before the U.S. Department of Transportation for a foreign air carrier permit for Norwegian’s Irish subsidiary, Norwegian Air International were also considerable. The application is in full accordance with the Open Skies Agreement between the EU and the U.S.

“We’re very satisfied that throughout our world-wide route network, an increasing number of new passengers choose Norwegian. Norwegian has recently received several international awards and was even named ‘Europe’s best low-cost airline’ the second year running. However, we have also experienced some turbulence this quarter. Our results are affected by additional costs related to the pending U.S. permit for our subsidiary in Dublin, consequently reducing our ability to optimize our fleet of aircraft. Even though technical difficulties with our Boeing 787 Dreamliners have also caused additional costs, our long-haul operation now consists of more aircraft and improved reliability. Looking into 2015, we will see a year of consolidation and lower growth. Next year, our fleet of short-haul aircraft will consist exclusively of Boeing 737-800s as older Boeing 737-300s will be phased out,” said CEO Bjørn Kjos.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian will retire its last Boeing 737-300 in 2015. Devoid of a tail photo, Boeing 737-31S LN-KHC (m,sn 29295) arrives in Stockholm (Arlanda).

Norwegian Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Aerolineas Argentinas is coming to Punta Cana

Aerolineas Argentinas (Buenos Aires) will add Punta Cana, Dominican Republic on January 3, 2015 via Caracas per Airline Route. The new route will be operated three days a week with Boeing 737-800s.

The airline will also serve Havana via Caracas starting on January 5, 2015.

Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8BK N5573P (msn 41561) departs from Boeing Field in Seattle on a test flight. The new aircraft was delivered as LV-FRQ on April 10, 2014.

Aerolineas Argentinas: AG Slide Show

Delta to introduce the Boeing 737-900 ER on two more routes from Los Angeles

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) on January 5, 2015 will introduce the Boeing 737-900 ER on the Los Angeles-Guadalajara route followed by Los Angeles-Phoenix on February 13, 2015 per Airline Route.

Additionally for next summer, Delta plans to use the stretched 737 on the Atlanta-Grand Cayman route weekly on Saturdays from June 8 through August 15, 2015.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-932 ER N811DZ (msn 31916) arrives at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Delta Air Lines (current livery) Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

WestJet today launches Toronto-Phoenix flights

WestJet (Calgary) today (October 26) will launch new daily nonstop services between Toronto (Toronto) and Phoenix, Arizona

Details of WestJet’s new daily Phoenix service are as follows:

Flight WS 1198 will depart Toronto at 10 a.m. (1000) and arrive in Phoenix at 11:51 a.m. (1151).
Flight WS 1199 will depart Phoenix at 12:40 p.m. (1240) and arrive in Toronto at 7:41 p.m. (1941).

In other news, WestJet Encore will launch new daily nonstop service between Calgary and Penticton, British Columbia, today, October 26, 2014.

Details of WestJet’s new daily Penticton service are as follows:

Flight WS 3281 departs Calgary at 2:10 p.m. (1410) and arrives in Penticton at 2:26 p.m. (1426).
Flight WS 3280 departs Penticton at 3 p.m. (1500) and arrives in Calgary at 5:05 p.m. (1705).

Penticton is WestJet’s 41st nonstop destination from Calgary International Airport. The airline’s average of 97 daily departures makes YYC its busiest Canadian airport.

Launched in June 2013, WestJet Encore now services 24 cities in seven provinces with 114 daily departures. In 2015, the regional airline will launch service to Quebec City, Quebec, and Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8CT C-GAWS (msn 38880) arrives in Las Vegas with new Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets.

WestJet: AG Slide Show

Virgin Australia to fly between Darwin and Alice Springs

Virgin Australia Airlines (Brisbane) has announced that it will introduce nonstop services between Darwin and Alice Springs from the end of March 2015, to coincide with the opening of the new Virgin Australia Lounge in Darwin.

The airline will introduce this new weekly schedule of services using its Boeing 737 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Colin Hunter/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8FE ZK-PBA (msn 33796) arrives in Auckland, New Zealand.

Virgin Australia: AG Slide Show

Canadian North and First Air terminate their merger discussions

Makivik Corporation and NorTerra Inc., respectively the shareholders of First Air (Ottawa) and Canadian North (Yellowknife), in April 2014 agreed to hold discussions leading to the merger of their operations consistent with a merger of equals, subject to the successful conclusion of negotiations and regulatory review.

According to the two parties, “The potential merger was intended to create a single airline entity that builds on the strengths and identities of the two companies. A merger would improve the sustainability of these critical Inuit birthright enterprises and would also create better air services and new economic development opportunities across the north.”

Please see the previous report with route maps of both carriers: CLICK HERE

The merger discussions failed. The two parties issued this joint statement:

Makivik Corporation and NorTerra Inc., respectively the shareholders of First Air and Canadian North, announce that they have terminated discussions aimed at merging their airline operations, and no such further discussions are envisaged.

Canadian North and First Air will continue to have a positive working relationship aimed at providing the best possible service to customers in a competitive marketplace.

Flight operations and services at both airlines remain unaffected. The parties will have no further comment on the matter.

Canadian North and its founding companies (Canadian Airlines, Pacific Western Airlines, Transair, Nordair) has proudly served Canada’s North with passenger and cargo services for more than 80 years. Offering scheduled flights to 19 destinations, Canadian North proudly serves the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, via the southern gateways of Edmonton and Ottawa. Canadian North is also the premier provider of fly-in/fly-out charter services for large resource sector clients requiring safe, efficient and economical air transportation. Charter flights are also offered across North America for sports teams, cruise lines and large groups. Canadian North is a subsidiary of NorTerra Inc., which is owned by the Inuvialuit Development Corporation, representing the Inuvialuit of the Western Arctic. For more information please visit http://www.canadiannorth.com.

First has a fleet of 23 aircraft including the only two civilian owned and operated Hercules cargo aircraft in Canada, First Air has been connecting the people of the North for over 65 years.

First Air offers scheduled, cargo and charter services to more northern destinations than any other airline. First Air is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Makivik Corporation and has around 1,000 employees, of which more than 450 work and live in the North. For more information please visit http://www.firstair.ca.

Top Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Canadian North’s DHC-8-106 Dash 8 C-GRGO (msn 258) taxies at Yellowknife.

Canadian North Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

First Air Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Set against an angry sky, Boeing 737-2R2C C-FNVK (msn 23130) of First Air displays the polar bear on the tail.

Kunming Airlines commits to four Boeing Next-Generation 737-700s and six 737 MAX aircraft

Kunming Airlines (Changshui) has committed to purchase 10 Boeing 737s, including four Next-Generation 737-700s and six 737 MAX airplanes.

The commitment, valued at $897 million at current list prices, is subject to the approval of the Chinese government and will be posted on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website once all contingencies are cleared.

Kunming Airlines, based at Changshui International Airport in the capital city of Yunnan province, began operations in 2009. The carrier currently serves more than 25 cities across China by operating a fleet of 10 Boeing 737-700s and five 737-800s.

Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/AirlinersGallery.com. The larger Boeing 737-87L B-1926 (msn 41111) taxies at Honolulu.

 

United Airlines reports its highest-ever quarterly profit of $1.1 billion

United Airlines (Chicago) today reported third quarter 2014 net income of $1.1 billion, or $2.75 per diluted share, excluding $151 million of special items, its highest-ever quarterly profit and an increase of 99 percent year-over-year. Including special items, UAL reported third-quarter 2014 net income of $924 million, or $2.37 per diluted share.

United’s consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 3.9 percent in the third quarter of 2014 compared to the third quarter of 2013.

Third-quarter 2014 consolidated unit costs (CASM), excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, increased 1.0 percent year-over-year on a consolidated capacity increase of 0.5 percent. Third-quarter 2014 CASM, including those items, decreased 4.0 percent year-over-year.

UAL ended the third quarter with $6.9 billion in unrestricted liquidity.

The company earned a 12.3 percent return on invested capital for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2014.

United returned $220 million to shareholders as part of its previously announced $1 billion share buyback program.

“Our third-quarter results demonstrate continued progress, and I want to thank our employees for their contributions to our success,” said Jeff Smisek, UAL’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We still have significant opportunity ahead to grow our margins and improve the quality and efficiency of everything we do.”

Third-Quarter Revenue and Capacity

For the third quarter of 2014, total revenue was $10.6 billion, an increase of 3.3 percent year-over-year. Third-quarter consolidated passenger revenue increased 4.4 percent to $9.3 billion, compared to the same period in 2013. Ancillary revenue per passenger in the third quarter increased 10.9 percent year-over-year to more than $22 per passenger. Third-quarter cargo revenue grew 19.1 percent to $237 million driven by higher volumes year-over-year, as cargo traffic returned following lower bookings during the implementation of the company’s new cargo systems in the third quarter of 2013. Other revenue decreased 8.9 percent year-over-year to $1.0 billion mostly due to the company choosing to discontinue an agreement to sell fuel to a third party. The corresponding expense decline appears in third-party business expense.

Consolidated revenue passenger miles increased 0.4 percent and consolidated available seat miles increased 0.5 percent year-over-year for the third quarter, resulting in a third-quarter consolidated load factor of 85.8 percent.

Third-quarter 2014 consolidated PRASM increased 3.9 percent and consolidated yield increased 4.1 percent compared to the third quarter of 2013.

Third-Quarter Costs

Third-quarter consolidated CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expense, fuel and profit sharing, increased 1.0 percent compared to the third quarter of 2013. Third-quarter consolidated CASM including those items decreased 4.0 percent.

Third-quarter total operating expenses, excluding special charges, decreased $180 million, or 1.9 percent, year-over-year. Including special charges, total operating expenses decreased $348 million, or 3.6 percent, in the third quarter versus the same period in 2013. Third-party business expense was $61 million in the third quarter of 2014.

Third-Quarter Liquidity and Cash Flow

UAL ended the third quarter with $6.9 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $1.35 billion of undrawn commitments under its revolving credit facility. The company generated $574 million of operating cash flow in the third quarter. During the third quarter, the company had gross capital expenditures of $493 million, excluding fully reimbursable projects. The company made debt and capital lease principal payments of $1.1 billion in the third quarter, including the redemption of the entire $800 million of its 6.75 percent secured notes due 2015. The company also issued an additional $500 million tranche of term loan debt in the quarter.

The company’s long-term capital structure goals include reducing its non-aircraft related debt and achieving a total gross debt balance, including capitalized operating leases, of approximately $15 billion while maintaining an unrestricted liquidity balance of $5 billion to $6 billion, including its undrawn revolver.

As part of United’s $1 billion share buyback program, United returned $220 million to shareholders during the third quarter.

For the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2014, the company’s return on invested capital was 12.3 percent.

Third-Quarter 2014 Accomplishments

Operations, Employees and Network

United Airlines reported a third-quarter mainline on-time arrival rate (domestic and international) of 77.6 percent, which was adversely affected by a runway closure at its San Francisco hub and the Sept. 26 sabotage and fire at the air traffic control center in Aurora, Illinois. The on-time arrival rate is based on flights arriving within 14 minutes of scheduled arrival time.

United and the Association of Flight Attendants announced that United will offer its flight attendants an enhanced early out program, which allows participants a one-time opportunity to voluntarily separate from the company and receive a severance payment. United also announced that it is recalling all flight attendants who are on voluntary and involuntary furlough.

During the quarter, United announced five new international routes including Guam to Seoul, South Korea, and Shanghai; Houston to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Newark to London, Ontario, Canada. The company also launched new domestic service from Denver to Lafayette, Louisiana, and Hays, Kansas, and from Houston to Boise, Idaho, and Williston, North Dakota, along with seasonal service from Denver to Sun Valley, Idaho. Additionally, the airline announced new service from Newark to South Bend, Indiana, and seasonal service from Newark to Sarasota, Florida, and San Francisco to Montrose, Colorado.

Fleet and Finance

United became the first North American carrier to take delivery of the Boeing 787-9, a stretched version of the Dreamliner that will allow the airline to accommodate more customers and further capitalize on its worldwide route network. The aircraft is the first of 26 787-9s that United has on order. The company also took delivery of four Boeing 737-900 ER aircraft and four Embraer 175 aircraft during the third quarter.

The company announced that it will add 50 new Embraer 175 aircraft to the United Express fleet. United anticipates deliveries will begin in July 2015 and continue through the summer of 2017. The new aircraft will replace large turboprop aircraft and older, less-efficient aircraft, and are in addition to the 70 new E175s previously announced, bringing the total of new E175s to 120.

United sent notice of redemption of the entire $248 million of its 6.0 percent preferred securities due 2030, which were subsequently retired on Oct. 10, 2014.

The company redeemed the entire $800 million of its 6.75 percent secured notes and simultaneously closed on a transaction to increase the size of its undrawn revolving credit facility by $350 million to a total of $1.35 billion, and issued an additional $500 million tranche of term loan debt.

Flyer-Friendly Product

United continued to install onboard Wi-Fi at a rapid rate, with more than 330 mainline aircraft outfitted with Wi-Fi at the end of the third quarter, including all Boeing 747 and Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft. By the end of the year, the company will have Wi-Fi on two thirds of its mainline fleet and will have begun installation on its two-cabin regional fleet.

The company offered personal device entertainment on more than 180 mainline aircraft – including all Boeing 747s, its Airbus fleet and nine Boeing 777s. Personal device entertainment allows passengers to stream videos and TV shows directly to their own devices inflight.
United launched mobile app passport scanning, becoming the first U.S. airline to offer customers the ability to scan their passports on iOS and Android mobile devices to check in for international flights.

United announced significant upgrades to inflight food service, including this summer’s introduction of new, fresh salads and sandwiches for premium-cabin customers on North America flights. Next year, the company will introduce completely redesigned menu concepts and the expansion of premium-cabin meals within North America, upgraded premium-cabin meal service on United Express flights with freshly prepared food, and significantly enhanced United Economy meals and beverages on long-haul international flights.

United continued installing slimmer, next-generation economy-class seats on certain aircraft, which enables one to two additional rows per aircraft. The airline now offers these seats, which are 10 to 15 percent lighter than the seats they are replacing, on approximately 270 aircraft and expects approximately 350 aircraft to be completed by the end of the year.

United launched Mercedes-Benz tarmac-transportation service in Denver, which is now available for Global Services members and United Global First customers at all of the airline’s mainland U.S. hubs.

The company became the first airline to offer customers Uber transportation services, now available through the United app.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/Airlinersgallery.com. United has been adding new Boeing 737-900 ERs. Boeing 737-924 ER N37466 (msn 31644) arrives at Las Vegas.

United Airlines (current livery): AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines reports a record third quarter net profit

Southwest Airlines Company (Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways) (Dallas) today reported its third quarter 2014 results:

Record third quarter net income, excluding special items1, of $382 million, or $.55 per diluted share, compared to third quarter 2013 net income, excluding special items, of $241 million, or $.34 per diluted share. This represented a 61.8 percent increase from third quarter 2013, and exceeded the First Call consensus estimate of $.53 per diluted share.

Record third quarter net income of $329 million, or $.48 per diluted share, which included $53 million (net) of unfavorable special items, compared to third quarter 2013 net income of $259 million, or $.37 per diluted share, which included $18 million (net) of favorable special items.

Record third quarter operating income of $614 million. Excluding special items, record third quarter operating income of $649 million.
Returned $241 million to Shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.

Return on invested capital1, before taxes and excluding special items (ROIC), for the twelve months ended September 30, 2014, of 19.0 percent, as compared to 10.6 percent for the twelve months ended September 30, 2013.

Gary C. Kelly, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are very pleased to report another record quarterly profit performance, which resulted in a $100 million third quarter 2014 profitsharing expense for our Employees. Excluding special items, third quarter 2014 net income was $382 million, or $.55 per diluted share, and operating income was $649 million, resulting in a 13.5 percent operating margin2. The 386 basis point year-over-year improvement in operating margin, excluding special items, was driven by strong revenues, lower jet fuel prices, and a solid cost performance.

“Total operating revenues were $4.8 billion, which was a 5.6 percent increase from a year ago, despite a four percent decline in trips and two percent fewer seats flown3, as we work through the transition of AirTran aircraft. Our traffic and revenue trends were strong throughout the third quarter, generating a 4.5 percent year-over-year increase in unit revenues, despite a large percentage of our route system in development or conversion as we continued to transition AirTran flying to Southwest. Our third quarter 2014 revenue strength was driven by record load factors and a strong performance in our Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program. Thus far, revenue momentum has continued into October 2014, with favorable load factor and unit revenue trends. Current bookings for November and December are also good.

“Our third quarter 2014 cost performance benefited from lower jet fuel prices and our fleet modernization efforts. With these trends continuing, we are poised for another solid cost performance for fourth quarter 2014. Based on current cost trends, and excluding fuel and oil expense, profitsharing, and special items, we expect full year 2014 unit costs to increase approximately two percent compared to last year.

“Our third quarter 2014 financial performance was very gratifying, and I commend our outstanding Employees of Southwest Airlines for their unending dedication to providing reliable, low cost operations with our legendary, friendly Customer Service. As an industry leader of low fares and low costs, we are very pleased with the transformative and successful execution of our strategic initiatives that contributed significantly to our 19.0 percent ROIC for the twelve months ended September 30, 2014. Our Employees are the very best in the airline industry, and we were thrilled to unveil a bold, new visual expression of our brand in September. Our Heart aircraft livery, airport experience, and logo marries our past to our present and commemorates the transformation of Southwest in 2014. It is dedicated with much gratitude to our People.

“We are also thrilled with the July 1, 2014, launch of Southwest international service. During third quarter, we began service to Oranjestad, Aruba; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Nassau/Paradise Island in the Bahamas; and San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos and Cancun, Mexico, all markets previously served by AirTran Airways. Next month, we will initiate Southwest service to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and Mexico City, which will complete the conversion of international service from AirTran to Southwest. Also during third quarter, we announced that our first destination in Central America will be Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica. The inauguration of this service is expected to be on March 7, 2015, subject to government approval.

“October 13, 2014, was a momentous day for Southwest Airlines. After 34 years, we are finally free from the Wright Amendment restrictions4, and have proudly launched our initial nonstop offerings from Dallas Love Field to seven popular destinations, with ten more nonstop destinations, previously announced, on the horizon.

“In addition to our strong third quarter 2014 earnings performance, our balance sheet, liquidity, and cash flows support our commitment to maintain our financial strength so that we can continue to take great care of our Employees, Customers and Shareholders. At the end of third quarter 2014, we had $3.6 billion in cash and short-term investments. For the nine months ended September 30, 2014, net cash provided by operations was $2.7 billion, and capital expenditures were $1.3 billion, resulting in strong free cash flow1 of $1.4 billion. We have further strengthened our balance sheet and repaid $517 million in debt and capital lease obligations, thus far in 2014, including $167 million in debt and capital lease obligations repaid during the nine months ended September 30, 2014, and $350 million repaid on October 1st. Thus far this year, we have returned $893 million to Shareholders through the payment of $138 million in dividends and the repurchase of $755 million in common stock.”

Financial Results and Outlook

The Company’s third quarter 2014 total operating revenues increased 5.6 percent, while operating unit revenues increased 4.5 percent, on a 1.1 percent increase in available seat miles, all as compared to third quarter 2013. Third quarter 2014 passenger revenues were $4.6 billion, which was an increase of 4.9 percent on a unit basis, as compared to third quarter 2013.

Total operating expenses in third quarter 2014 increased 0.7 percent to $4.2 billion, as compared to third quarter 2013. Third quarter 2014 profitsharing expense was $100 million, compared to $69 million in third quarter 2013. The Company incurred costs (before profitsharing and taxes) associated with the acquisition and integration of AirTran, which are special items, of $23 million during third quarter 2014, compared to $28 million in third quarter 2013. Cumulative costs associated with the acquisition and integration of AirTran, as of September 30, 2014, totaled $488 million (before profitsharing and taxes). The Company expects total acquisition and integration costs to be approximately $550 million (before profitsharing and taxes). Excluding special items in both periods, total operating expenses in third quarter 2014 increased 1.1 percent to $4.2 billion, as compared to third quarter 2013.

Third quarter 2014 economic fuel costs were $2.94 per gallon, including $.05 per gallon in favorable cash settlements from fuel derivative contracts, compared to $3.06 per gallon in third quarter 2013, including $.01 per gallon in favorable cash settlements from fuel derivative contracts. Based on the Company’s fuel derivative contracts and market prices as of October 17, 2014, fourth quarter 2014 economic fuel costs are expected to be in the $2.70 to $2.75 per gallon range, compared to fourth quarter 2013′s $3.05 per gallon. As of October 17, 2014, the fair market value of the Company’s hedge portfolio through 2018 was a net liability of $236 million. Additional information regarding the Company’s fuel derivative contracts is included in the accompanying tables.

Excluding fuel and oil expense, profitsharing, and special items in both periods, third quarter 2014 operating costs increased 2.6 percent from third quarter 2013, and increased 1.5 percent on a unit basis.

Operating income in third quarter 2014 was $614 million, compared to $390 million in third quarter 2013. Excluding special items, operating income was $649 million in third quarter 2014, compared to $439 million in the same period last year, a 47.8 percent increase year-over-year.

Other expenses in third quarter 2014 were $89 million, compared to other income of $29 million in third quarter 2013. The $118 million swing primarily resulted from $66 million in other losses recognized in third quarter 2014, compared to $59 million in other gains recognized in third quarter 2013. In both periods, these gains/losses included ineffectiveness and unrealized mark-to-market amounts associated with a portion of the Company’s fuel hedging portfolio, which are special items. Excluding these special items, third quarter 2014 had $16 million in other losses, compared to $19 million in third quarter 2013, primarily attributable to the premium costs associated with the Company’s fuel derivative contracts. Fourth quarter 2014 premium costs related to fuel derivative contracts are currently estimated to be $13 million, compared to $22 million in fourth quarter 2013. Net interest expense in third quarter 2014 was $23 million, compared to $30 million in third quarter 2013.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2014, total operating revenues increased 5.3 percent to $14.0 billion, and total operating expenses were $12.4 billion, resulting in operating income of $1.6 billion, compared to $893 million in operating income for the same period last year. Excluding special items, operating income was $1.7 billion for the nine months ended September 30, 2014, compared to $1.0 billion for the same period last year. Net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2014, was $946 million, or $1.36 per diluted share, compared to $542 million, or $.75 per diluted share, for the same period last year. Excluding special items, net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2014, was $993 million, or $1.42 per diluted share, compared to $569 million, or $.79 per diluted share, for the same period last year.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flows

As of September 30, 2014, the Company had $3.6 billion in cash and short-term investments, and a fully available unsecured revolving credit line of $1 billion. Net cash provided by operations during third quarter 2014 was $240 million, and capital expenditures were $433 million. The Company repaid $48 million in debt and capital lease obligations during third quarter 2014, and intends to repay an additional $395 million in debt and capital lease obligations during fourth quarter 2014, including $350 million repaid on October 1, 2014.

During third quarter 2014, the Company returned $241 million to its Shareholders through the payment of $41 million in dividends and the repurchase of $200 million in common stock, or 5.0 million shares, pursuant to an accelerated share repurchase (ASR) program executed during the quarter. This ASR program was completed in early October, and the Company then received an additional 1.1 million shares, bringing the total shares repurchased under the third quarter 2014 ASR program to 6.1 million. During third quarter, the Company also received the remaining 1.4 million shares pursuant to the second quarter 2014 $200 million ASR program, bringing the total shares repurchased under that ASR program to 7.4 million. Thus far in 2014, the Company has returned $893 million to its Shareholders through $138 million in dividends, and the repurchase of $755 million in common stock, or 29.2 million shares. The Company has $580 million remaining under its existing $1 billion share repurchase authorization.

Fleet

During third quarter 2014, the Company’s fleet increased by two to 685 aircraft at period end. This reflects the third quarter 2014 delivery of 11 new Boeing 737-800s and two pre-owned Boeing 737-700s, as well as the retirement of one Boeing 737-500. In addition, the Company removed ten Boeing 717-200s from service during third quarter 2014 in preparation for transition out of the fleet.

Boeing 737 Delivery Schedule:

Southwest 737 Delivery Schedule 9.30.14

Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N909WN (msn 32458) arrives at Las Vegas.

Southwest Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

AirTran Airways Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Alaska Air Group reports a third quarter GAAP net profit of $198 million

Alaska Air Group, Inc., (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) today reported third quarter 2014 GAAP net income of $198 million, or $1.45 per diluted share, compared to $289 million, or $2.04 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2013. Excluding the impact of mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments and a one-time special revenue item in the prior year, the company reported record adjusted net income of $200 million, or $1.47 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $157 million, or $1.11 per diluted share, in 2013.

“This was our best quarterly result ever” said CEO Brad Tilden. “I want to thank our 13,000 employees who are keeping a focus on playing our game, and working hard every day to run a great operation, keep fares low, and deliver award winning service to our customers. All of us at Alaska would like to thank our customers for their continued loyalty.”

Financial Highlights:

Reported record third quarter net income, excluding special items, of $200 million – a 27% increase over the third quarter of 2013.
Reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.47 per diluted share, a 32% increase over the third quarter of 2013 and ahead of First Call analyst consensus estimate of $1.42 per share.
Earned net income for the third quarter under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $198 million or $1.45 per diluted share, compared to net income of $289 million, or $2.04 per diluted share in 2013.
Recorded $84 million of incentive pay through the first nine months of 2014. This includes each Air Group employee earning at least $800 by meeting or exceeding monthly customer satisfaction and operational performance goals and tracking to earn above-target payouts for full-year goals.
Increased fuel efficiency (as measured by seat-miles per gallon) by 2.8% as part of our effort to be the airline leader in environmental stewardship.
Grew passenger revenues by 7%, compared to the third quarter of 2013.
Generated record adjusted pretax margin in the third quarter of 21.8% compared to 18.4% in 2013.
Generated 15.9% pretax margin for the trailing 12-month period ended Sept. 30, 2014, compared to 11.7% for the same period in the prior year.
Achieved trailing 12-month after-tax return on invested capital of 17.2% compared to 13.0% in the 12-month period ended Sept. 30, 2013.
Repurchased 3.4 million shares of common stock for $159 million in the third quarter of 2014, and 5.3 million shares for $242 million in the first nine months of 2014, representing 3.8% of the total shares outstanding at the beginning of the year.
Paid a $0.125 per-share quarterly cash dividend on September 4, bringing total dividend payments so far this year to $51 million.
Generated $1 billion in operating cash flows for the 12-months ended Sept. 30, 2014, generating $321 million of free cash flows.
Lowered adjusted debt-to-total-capitalization ratio to 31%.
Held $1.3 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of Sept. 30, 2014.
Became one of only two U.S. airlines with investment grade credit ratings.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N579AS (msn 35187) arrives in Las Vegas.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon-Horizon Air: AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines and the IAM reach a tentative agreement

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), representing the carrier’s approximately 6,000 Customer Service Agents and Customer Support and Services Representatives, announced today the two parties have reached a tentative agreement. The tentative agreement is for a new four year contract and requires Membership ratification. The current contract became amendable in October 2012.

In the upcoming weeks, the IAM membership will be given the full details of the agreement and have the opportunity to vote on ratification.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Southwest’s Boeing 737-7H4 N708SW (msn 27842) in the new “Heart” livery arrives at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Southwest Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines to launch San Diego-Kona flights on March 5, 2015

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is bringing more Hawaii to its customers in San Diego with new nonstop flights between San Diego and Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii. Starting March 5, 2015, the new flights will operate three times weekly.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N593AS (msn 35107) completes the river approach into Washington’s Reagan National Airport.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

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