Air France (Paris) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) may leave the dedicated air freighter business after five decades according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The freighter division has been beset by losses in cargo that rose to nearly $300 million last year according to the report.
The airline’s board is weighing options and plans to decide on a strategy by September, according to a report in Bloomberg News.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Marcelo F. De Biasi/AirlinersGallery.com. Air France is phasing out its Boeing 747-400 ER freighter fleet with the last to be retired next year. Boeing 747-428 ERF F-GIUA (msn 32866) arrives in Sao Paulo (Guarulhos).
Lufthansa‘ (Frankfurt) pilots started their three-day strike today (April 2). The strike has virtually grounded the German airline except for a few short-haul and long-haul international flights.
Lufthansa has cancelled 3,800 flights until late Friday.
According to Reuters, the pilots want Lufthansa to reinstate a retirement plan that allowed them to receive 60 percent of their pay and benefits when they leave the airline before the retirement date.
Lufthansa’s pilots were forced to retire at 60, leaving a gap of five years before the legal retirement age of 65. The retirement age for pilots was raised to 65 in Europe in 2011 according to Reuters. Lufthansa says it is no longer necessary.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
The airline issued this statement:
As a result of strike actions of the German pilots’ union “Vereinigung Cockpit” (VC) at Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings from Wednesday, April 2, 2014, to Friday, April 4, 2014, Lufthansa has reduced its schedule significantly.
Flights of the Lufthansa Group Airlines Eurowings, Lufthansa CityLine, Air Dolomiti, Swiss, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines are excepted from the strikes and schedule adjustments.
Previously on March 31 the airline issued this statement:
Due to the strike announced by the pilot’s union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings have canceled about 3,800 flights on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. During the three day walkout of the cockpit crew only about 500 Lufthansa short and long haul flights will be operated.
Flight cancellations on such a massive scale will affect a total of 425,000 passengers. Lufthansa will inform all passengers who have registered their contact details in their booking or in their Miles & More profile about flight changes via text message and email. Most of the remaining domestic and European flights will be flown by the daughter companies Eurowings and Lufthansa Cityline, whose pilots are not participating in the walkout.
In addition to Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo will also be affected. For the three strike days 23 of 31 planned cargo flights from Frankfurt have been already canceled.
The pilots of Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings, Lufthansa CityLine and Air Dolomiti as well as the pilots of Brussels Airlines will not participate in the strike. Where possible, these companies will use larger planes on routes from and to Germany in order to bring as many rebooked Lufthansa passengers as possible to their destinations.
Additionally, Lufthansa will re-book affected passengers on other airlines and in cooperation with German Railways (Deutsche Bahn) will provide train tickets on domestic routes.
Copyright Photo: Pascal Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-430 D-ABVH (msn 25045) with the special “50 Years of Innovation – Boeing and Lufthansa” emblem, arrives at the Frankfurt base.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) continued its rapid expansion in Seattle/Tacoma with the launch of new daily nonstop service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to London Heathrow Airport on Saturday, March 29. The route, established as part of Delta’s joint venture with Virgin Atlantic Airways (London).
Through its trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia, Delta offers Seattle-area travelers nonstop service to Paris and Amsterdam while also providing connecting service to more than 150 additional destinations beyond those European hubs.
This spring Delta will also begin expanded Seattle/Tacoma service from Anchorage; Fairbanks, Alaska; Juneau, Alaska; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Portland, Oregon; San Diego; San Francisco; San Jose, California; and Vancouver to support its growing international gateway that currently serves London Heathrow, Amsterdam and Paris-Charles de Gaulle as well as Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo-Narita, and Tokyo-Haneda.
In June, Delta will begin new international service from Seattle/Tacoma to Seoul and Hong Kong, bringing Delta’s total nonstop transoceanic destinations to nine, as many as all other SeaTac international carriers combined.
By this summer, Delta will offer more than 2,500 daily international seats as part of its 79 peak-day departures to 25 destinations.
Delta currently operates 35 peak-day departures to 15 destinations from Seattle/Tacoma.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-451 N667US (msn 24222) departs from Tokyo (Narita).
ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) today (March 31), as planned, operated the last Boeing 747 flight. The pictured Boeing 747-481 (D) JA8961 (msn 25644) with 497 passengers and 17 crew members operated a round trip from Tokyo (Haneda) to Naha, Okinawa and back, ending 35 years of continuous Boeing 747 operations. JA8961 was delivered to ANA for domestic operations on May 13, 1993.
ANA today (March 31) also retired the Bombardier (de Havilland Canada) DHC-8-300 (Q300).
Read the full report from ZipanguFlyer (with photos): CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-481 (D) JA8961 (msn 25644) departs from Tokyo (Haneda).
United Airlines (Chicago) Boeing 737-900 ER (N69818) took to the skies on Friday (March 28) to honor the company’s top 100 employees. The new Boeing 737-900 ER features the company’s “United 100″ logo on the exterior. The airline designed the United 100 program to recognize 100 employees nominated and selected by their co-workers for exemplary performance or achievements that support the cornerstones of the company’s business plan. Being honored as a United 100 recipient is the company’s highest honor for employee recognition.
The United 100 plane also features a plaque inscribed with the winners’ names on a wall inside. The airline plans to update the plaque with the annual winners’ names each year.
United this week honored these top employees at its second annual “United 100″ celebration in downtown Chicago. At the luncheon, Smisek surprised the winners with an announcement that the newest aircraft in the company’s fleet would be dedicated in their honor.
The winners also each received a crystal award and 100,000 MileagePlus miles. The 100 winners, who represent every work group in the company, and their guests came from throughout the United States as well as nine international locations for the event, where United’s senior leadership congratulated and recognized them for their great efforts to go above and beyond for customers, co-workers and the company.
In 2013, 5,612 employees were nominated for United 100. The 100 annual winners are selected by their divisions from among the approximately 400 quarterly winners, who are chosen by divisions. All of United’s more than 85,000 employees are eligible for the program.
Additionally, United Airlines is expanding its extensive trans-Pacific network this weekend, connecting its San Francisco hub with Taipei, Taiwan, beginning today (March 29), and launching a second daily flight between Houston and Tokyo tomorrow (March 30).
United will host inaugural gate events in both San Francisco and Houston, marking the importance of these flights to tourism and economic development.
United will operate both services with Boeing 777-200 aircraft. The aircraft flying San Francisco-Taipei will offer 269 seats – eight in United Global First, 40 in United BusinessFirst and 221 in United Economy, including 113 extra-legroom United Economy Plus seats.
The aircraft flying Houston-Tokyo will offer 267 seats – 50 in United BusinessFirst and 217 in United Economy, including 72 United Economy Plus seats.
In United Global First and United BusinessFirst, United offers customers seats that recline into fully flat beds, personal on-demand entertainment, in-seat power and USB ports, enabling travelers to rest or to be productive in-flight. Customers in United Economy also enjoy personal, on-demand entertainment at every seat and in-seat power.
United is the only U.S. airline to offer the comfort of flat-bed seats in its premium cabins on every long-haul, international flight from the continental United States. The airline also offers more extra-legroom economy seating than any U.S. airline.
These Taipei and Tokyo additions come as United plans to introduce three-times-weekly Boeing 787 service June 9 between San Francisco and Chengdu, China, pending government approval. This nonstop service would be the first by a U.S. airline from the United States to mainland China, beyond Beijing and Shanghai. The company also plans to offer, subject to government approval, nonstop Boeing 787 service between Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia, six times weekly beginning on October 26.
With these changes, United also operated its last scheduled Boeing 747-400 from Los Angeles last night (March 28) to Sydney. The type may revisit LAX again as a substitution.
Top Copyright Photos: United Airlines.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-422 N107UA (msn 26900) approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will launch international Wi-Fi service on flights 283 and 295 equipped with Ku-band satellite Wi-Fi on Boeing 747-400 aircraft departing Los Angeles International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to Narita International Airport in Tokyo. For more than five years, Delta has provided Wi-Fi to customers traveling on its mainline aircraft flying within the United States.
Delta has three of 16 Boeing 747-400 aircraft complete which also operate between Detroit and Seoul-Incheon; Detroit and Nagoya, Japan; Detroit and Tokyo-Narita; New York-JFK and Tel Aviv as well as New York-JFK and Tokyo-Narita.
Customers can access Wi-Fi service with introductory pricing options that begin with one hour passes for laptop users as low as $14.00 and $8.00 for mobile users or a flight pass option, which will keep customers connected throughout their flight, starting at $24.95 for laptop users and $14.95 for mobile users. All of Delta’s 747-400 aircraft will have Wi-Fi installed by mid-2014.
Delta will complete the installation of Wi-Fi service on its entire international fleet by the end of 2015 including its Boeing 777, 767, 747, Airbus A330 and trans-oceanic Boeing 757 aircraft operating on international, long-haul routes. Delta and Gogo are in the final testing phase for Wi-Fi on the Airbus A330 fleet. The addition of in-flight Internet for more than 150 aircraft will expand the number of worldwide aircraft equipped with Wi-Fi to approximately 1,000 jets including all two-class regional, domestic and international aircraft.
The new international service uses satellites for global connectivity to offer coverage internationally and will compliment Delta’s existing air-to-ground service already provided by Gogo for aircraft flying within the domestic U.S.
Delta operates the world’s largest Wi-Fi-equipped fleet of aircraft with more than 3,400 flights daily, including its entire fleet of 570 domestic mainline aircraft. More than 870 Delta aircraft, including all Delta Connection two-class regional jets, are equipped with in-flight Wi-Fi service offering more than 400,000 customers per day access to the Internet above 10,000 feet.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-451 N663US (msn 23818) climbs away from Tokyo (Narita).
ANA to operate its last Boeing 747 flight on March 31 with JA8961, will be chopped up in Tupelo, Mississippi
ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) as planned and previously reported, plans to operate its last revenue flight (NH 126) with the Boeing 747-400 on March 31 between Naha, Okinawa and Tokyo (Haneda) according to ZipanguFlyer. The last revenue flight is scheduled to be operated with the pictured Boeing 747-481 (D) JA8961 (msn 25644). The last ANA Boeing 747-400s are the high-density domestic version of the Boeing 747-400 that seat 565 passengers and were developed specifically for the Japanese market.
In the meantime, according to ZipanguFlyer, JA8961 is operating a series of “Final 747″ visits in Japan. On March 16 JA8961 operated flight NH 2001, named the “Sayonara Flight Charter’ from Tokyo (Narita) to Kumamoto. The Boeing Jumbo is expected to visit Fukuoka and Sapporo for the last time on March 30.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
According to The Japan Times, ANA Sales Company is offering a tour to Tupelo Regional Airport in Mississippi to witness the end of JA8961. According to the report, the five-day tour will depart Japan on April 16 and the travelers will travel on a different aircraft to reach the airport in time to greet the arrival of ANA’s last Boeing 747.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-481 JA8951 (msn 25644) taxies at Haneda Airport (Tokyo International Airport) in Tokyo. JA8961 was delivered new to ANA on May 13, 1993.
El Al Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv) has announced it is upgrading its Tel Aviv-New York (JFK) route with new Business Class “bed-like” seats and a renewed First Class to be completed by end of May 2014 on its Boeing 747-400s.
El Al President and CEO Elyezer Shkedy: “The upgrade of the premium class seats on our wide-body aircraft is part of our ongoing strategy of upgrading the El Al product and passenger experience. After purchasing our 8 new Boeing 737-900 ER planes, we embarked on a process to fully renew the Business Class and First Class seats on the Boeing 747-400 aircraft. We continue to work on providing the best product and the most advanced service for our customers.”
In addition, El Al is renewing the First Class seats on its Boeing 747-400 fleet and offering customers an intimate, prestigious and redesigned cabin.
El Al Israel Airlines is the only airline offering First Class on nonstop flights to/from North America.
Upgrading Premium Classes on the 747-400 Fleet
Aircraft Interior, Seats and Cabin Appearance:
Interior of Aircraft: The interior of the premium classes on the 747-400 fleet have been redesigned.
Business Class: El Al has renovated its seats to “bed-like” and is offering more space between rows. Business Class on the upgraded aircraft offers 47 seats, instead of 49, with 20 seats on the upper deck and 27 on the main deck.
Business Class Seats:
- Electrically operated seats
- Expanded Pitch: 193 – 196 cm
- Seat Width: 50.8 cm
- “Bed-Like” Seat
- Operational Features: sitting and resting positions, leg support, ergonomic support
First Class: Passengers will enjoy a more intimate and prestigious cabin that ensures their privacy. The cabin includes 8 First Class seats instead of 12.
First Class Seats:
- Electrically operated seats providing ergonomic support
- Pitch: 2 meter
- Seat Width: 53.3 cm
- Flatbed seat
As part of the process, El Al cooperated with Hollandia, a recognized expert in precision engineered sleep systems, to offer a unique mattress which was designed specifically for the comfort of First Class passengers. The mattress is made with Tempur, a special advanced material used by NASA for upholstering seats on its spaceships. The material is known to be soft and pliable, providing the right support for the body. The mattress is covered with a soft and pleasing to the touch Aloe Vera finish for a coddling experience.
All Cabin Photos by: Sivan Faraj/El Al Israel Airlines.
Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-412 4X-ELE (msn 26551) arrives at London (Heathrow).
QANTAS Airways brings the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks to Australia for the MLB Opening Series in Sydney
QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has issued this statement about the Opening Series of Major League Baseball in Sydney, Australia between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks:
Major League Baseball teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks, will arrive in Australia tomorrow morning (March 17) onboard QANTAS Airways for the MLB Opening Series in Sydney.
The MLB Opening Series will be hosted at the Sydney Cricket Ground from March 20-23, aimed at boosting local interest in the sport and profiling Australia to a global audience as it plays host to the event.
Two QANTAS Boeing 747s will depart Phoenix, Arizona and touch down at Sydney International Airport, each carrying approximately 200 passengers including players and management from each team.
Each aircraft is painted in a special livery in support of the Opening Series and each seat headrest cover has been personalized with the team’s logos. Customized US-style menus featuring the teams’ favorite dishes are also onboard.
QANTAS CEO International Simon Hickey said QANTAS was a proud Major Sponsor and Official Airline of the 2014 Opening Series.
“QANTAS is proud to sponsor the MLB Opening Series, which will generate significant brand awareness for the airline in the US with each game expected to be viewed by more than 160 million households,” said Mr Hickey.
“This sponsorship follows a suite of activities to market Australia and QANTAS to the US. In 2012 QANTAS hosted Oprah to Australia and The Ellen de Generes Show in 2013, and last month the cast of Modern Family to film their holiday episode.”
The down-under celebration of baseball will feature the Team Australia Challenge, with Australia’s best home grown talent set to take on the LA Dodgers on Thursday March 20 and Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday March 21. The LA Dodgers will play the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday March 22 and Sunday March 23.
Fans at the game can be part of the excitement by keeping their eye out for the QANTAS Kiss Cam. The games will be broadcast to audiences around the world including Australia, the USA, Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan.
QANTAS Airways is a major sponsor and the official airline of the 2014 Opening Series.
Copyright Photo: QANTAS Airways. Boeing 747-438 ER VH-OEH (msn 32912) is one of two 747s to wear this special MLB emblem during the series in Australia.
Avatar Airlines (Las Vegas) is a proposed new airline that wants to operate high-density Boeing 747-400s on popular domestic routes with attractive low fares. The new airline has reported its has submitted an application to the DOT and the FAA for operating authority as an air carrier. A core component of its business plan to offer corporate sponsors the opportunity to advertise on the exteriors of the aircraft as well as in the interiors of the aircraft.
Here are some of highlights of their business plan:
Avatar is building a better airline from the ground up. Avatar will make full use of the latest technology in order to bring down the cost of air travel, without sacrificing the creature comforts of luxury flight. Exclusive use of online reservations (“straight to the gate”) is a tremendous savings for Avatar, and allows it to pass on a tremendous savings to its passengers. Not only will Avatar not sacrifice creature comforts, it will actually enhancethem. We realize that “creature comforts” may mean different things to different passengers. Some passengers may want to use their flight-time to totally unplug and relax by catching a few extra winks or by even curling up with a good book. We get it. There’s no reason these passengers should have to pay for technology they don’t plan on using. It’s one of the ways Avatar plans to keep the overall cost of flight travel at remarkably low levels.
Yet, for those passengers that wish to indulge, Avatar’s plan is to equip its fleet with on-board satellite Wi-Fi capability as part of its in-flight entertainment profit center. For a nominal cost, passengers will be able to surf the net, watch a movie , catch up on emails, or shop on the Avatar network and receive valuable discounts while flying thousands of feet in the air, giving a literal meaning to the term “cloud-based” computing.
“Seat-back technology is for the birds, not the planes.”
Ever look at some of our competitor’s seatbacks and think to yourself, “hmm… that technology sure is starting to look dated. It could use a good facelift.” Lackluster color. Not enough definition. Worn-out control buttons. Pokey connections. Technology changes so fast, why not leave it up to our passengers to decide the quality of their onboard devices? Passengers are encouraged to use their own devices, or for a nominal fee, rent a portable hi-tech device from Avatar. Avatar plans on forming strategic alliances with third party vendors to supply portable hi-tech devices and swap them out as the technology advances – insuring that Avatar’s passengers always have the option to enjoy hi-tech devices on their flight, whether that device is one of their own, or one of ours.
Ever see our competitor’s passengers struggling to get their “oversized” carry-ons into the overhead bins, to avoid costly luggage fees? (Were you one of them? Or maybe you were the one shielding yourself from a possible fallout???) A bit like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, wouldn’t you say? Did we mention no more luggage fees? Avatar thinks it’soutrageous that passengers should have to pay to bring a reasonable amount of luggage with them on a flight. Avatar plans to “roll back the clock” to the good old days when each passenger was permitted to check two normal pieces of luggage into cargo for no fee, in addition to standard carry-on bags.
Avatar’s business plan is unique, incorporating six individual profit centers in conjunction with the exclusive use of the Boeing 747 aircraft equipped with 539 economy seats and 42 business class seats, resulting in the industry’s lowest cost per seat mile.
This allows Avatar to offer everyday fares between $19 to $99, depending on the destination and time of purchase.
Avatar profit centers include:
Advertising & Promotions (Branding) a Avatar Vacations
Each center is responsible for earning a profit, combined they are responsible for lowering Avatar’s cost per available seat mile resulting in a cost expected to be the lowest in the industry.
It’s simple: Big airplanes carrying maximum number of seats combined with fares which are low enough and markets which are large enough to guarantee 100% load factors.
Airline Media, Inc. is solely owned by Avatar Airlines and is that profit center responsible for corporate sponsorships through branding. The Company provides the opportunity to display your ad or logo on the inside and/or the outside of one or all of Avatar’s aircraft.
Areas such as: seat upholstery, cabin walls and ceilings, over-head bins, bulkheads, tray table, exterior-wrap as well as other areas are available.
The proposed airline is also proposing to corporate sponsors to decorate their large aircraft with a full size logo jets as “Exterior Wraps”:
Here are some corporate possibilities:
All images from the Avatar Airlines 2014 press kit.
Australian government wants to relax ownership rules for QANTAS Airways, won’t back any loans for the state airline
QANTAS Airways (Sydney) may get a break on the restrictive ownership rules and allow for more foreign ownership. The Australian government under Prime Minister Tony Abbott has agreed to relax ownership rules for the state airline after it posted a large first half loss. Currently the airline is restricted to 35 percent for any foreign airline or 25 percent for any single foreign private investor.
However any reforms would need the approval of the Senate which is concerned about the possibility of any loss of jobs overseas due to increased foreign ownership. In return, the government is also ruling out guaranteeing a loan for the struggling flag carrier.
Read the full report from the Associated Press via ABC: CLICK HERE
QANTAS has issued this statement in response to several issues involving the carrier in the Australian media:
ISSUE: Potential removal of elements of the Qantas Sale Act rather than removing fundamental element that limits foreign ownership to 49 per cent.
FACTS: The government has recognized that the Qantas Sale Act puts us at a disadvantage.
The field is either levelled or it’s not; tilting it a bit won’t fix the fundamental problem, especially given Virgin has a two year head start on attracting foreign investors.
ISSUE: Claims that Qantas did not meet its obligations to consult with the Australian Services Union (ASU) on redundancies at Sydney International Airport.
FACTS: Qantas intends to run a voluntary redundancy program for full-time employees at Sydney International Airport to better align staffing levels with flight scheduling.
There will be changes to the mix of customer service staff to better suit the peak periods at the airport. This will result in an increase in part-time staff and a reduction in full-time staff. This was announced on 27 February.
Qantas met its obligation to consult and is meeting again with the ASU on our intention to offer voluntary redundancies to employees at Sydney International Terminal.
ISSUE: Claims by Senator Nick Xenophon that Qantas should open its books to prove it is not cross-subsidising Jetstar
FACTS: These claims have been made a number of times over the past few years and Qantas has categorically denied them each time.
Qantas has obligations as an ASX listed company, which require us to publish accurate financial data.
Qantas has previously offered the unions an opportunity to have our financial accounts audited independently on the condition that they would cease making baseless claims about cross subsidisation when it was shown it wasn’t occurring. They didn’t take Qantas up on this offer.
ISSUE: Claims that the carbon tax is a key issue facing Qantas
FACTS: The major issues faces Qantas are not related to carbon pricing.
We have been clear that levelling the playing field is the most important policy measure that needs to be fixed, and with some urgency.
ISSUE: Claims that Qantas’ partnership with Modern Family may have cost us up to $4 million.
FACTS: For commercial reasons we don’t disclose the cost of partnerships such as Modern Family, but the $4 million figure is grossly inflated and simply wrong. There are several partners involved in this deal and a large part of Qantas’ contribution has been providing flights.
We’re very comfortable with the investment we’ve made and the return we’re getting. This is not exactly new territory for us and we know that exposure through things like Ellen and Modern Family equals more visitors flying Qantas to Australia.
There are things we will need to cut back on as a business, but investing in Australian tourism and encouraging more people to fly here is key to running an airline.
The Queensland Government (through Tourism Queensland and Screen Queensland) has been closely involved in the Modern Family promotion.
Last year, Qantas helped to bring the Ellen DeGeneres Show to Australia in a move that saw a 22 per cent increase in inbound flights to New South Wales alone, as well as an overall boost in destination awareness for Australia.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-438 ER VH-OEH (msn 32912) prepares to land at Los Angeles International Airport.
QANTAS to cut 5,000 jobs and 50 aircraft, including 8 remaining A380s to be deferred, last 3 787s to be deferred, retirement of 747-400s to be expedited
QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has also issued its cost-reduction plan on the heels of its first half financial loss reported today (please see the separate financial report). The QANTAS Group issued this statement detailing the cuts:
QANTAS today announced detail of its $2 billion cost reduction program and capital expenditure review.
QANTAS will take action to permanently reduce costs in all parts of the QANTAS Group through to FY17, including fleet and network changes, productivity improvements, consolidation of business activities, new technology and procurement savings. More than 50 aircraft will be deferred or sold and the Group’s workforce will be reduced by 5,000 full-time equivalent positions by FY17.
The QANTAS Group’s planned capital expenditure net of operating lease liability will be reduced to $800 million in both FY15 and FY16, a total reduction of $1 billion.
QANTAS has reached agreement on the return of its Brisbane Airport terminal lease, together with related assets, to the airport owner at a cash value of $112 million. The broader structural review of the QANTAS Group portfolio continues and no final decisions have been made on other assets.
Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said QANTAS would do everything in its control to overcome some of the toughest market conditions it had ever faced.
“It’s clear that the market QANTAS operates in has changed, with structural economic shifts exacerbated by an uneven playing field in Australian aviation policy,” Mr Joyce said.
“This situation is reflected in the financial result QANTAS announces today, an Underlying PBT1 loss of $252 million for the half-year. This is an unacceptable and unsustainable result. Comprehensive action is needed in response.
“QANTAS’ competitors have increased capacity to Australia by 46 per cent since 2009, more than double the world average, at a time of record fuel costs and economic volatility.
“We have met these challenges head on. Over the past four years, we have been carrying out the biggest transformation since QANTAS was privatized – cutting comparable unit costs1 by 19 per cent over four years, introducing new aircraft and technology on a large scale, modernizing work practices and revitalising service. But this is not enough for the circumstances we now face.
“The Australian domestic market has been distorted by current Australian aviation policy, which allows Virgin Australia to be majority-owned by three foreign government-backed airlines – yet retain access to Australian bilateral flying rights.
“Late last year, these three foreign-airline shareholders invested more than $300 million in Virgin Australia at a time when, as Virgin Australia reported to the ASX on 6 February, it was losing money. That capital injection has supported continued domestic capacity growth by Virgin Australia despite its growing losses.
“The Virgin Australia Group has increased capacity into the domestic market at more than twice the rate of the Qantas Group since July 2011. As a result of these combined capacity increases, the total domestic profit pool has been shrunk from more than $700 million in FY12 to less than $100 million in 1H14.
“We have been clear with the Australian Government about the uneven playing field and the measures we believe could address it. But our focus today is on the immediate steps that Qantas must take.”
“We must take actions that are unprecedented in scope and depth to strengthen the core of the Qantas Group business.
“To reach $2 billion in cost cuts over three years, we have to work our assets harder, become more productive, retire older aircraft, and make sure that our fleet and network are the right size. We must defer growth and cut back where we can, so that we can invest where we need to.
“We have already made tough decisions and nobody should doubt that there are more ahead.
“While the implementation and pace of delivery must change, the guiding principles of our strategy will not. Safety remains our first priority and we are committed to being the airlines of choice for customers in all our markets.
“Our long-term goal remains the transformation of the Qantas Group for profitable, sustainable growth.
“Over the next three years, we aim to secure our strong Group domestic position and maximise Qantas International’s competitiveness.
“QANTAS Loyalty will continue to access new markets and revenue streams, building on its success to date.
“When it comes to Jetstar in Asia, we need to take the right decisions in accord with current market circumstances and our balance sheet. In Singapore, growth has been suspended by the Jetstar Asia Board until such time as conditions improve.
“The over-arching focus in Asia continues to be profitably bedding down existing businesses and partnerships. Jetstar has been a pioneer Australian brand across Asia and we continue to see major opportunities for it in the world’s fastest-growing aviation region.”
Commitment to Customers
“Despite the tough decisions we have to make, we will keep delivering outstanding service for our customers,” Mr Joyce said.
“Important customer investments will continue, such as the upgrade of our Airbus A330 fleet and the opening of new lounges in Hong Kong and Los Angeles, and the service that QANTAS passengers receive will not be compromised. Thanks to the skill and commitment of our people, we have earned record customer advocacy, and we plan to keep it there.”
Accelerated Qantas Transformation Program
Fleet and Network
After a detailed review of network and schedules, the QANTAS Group will re-assign aircraft to better match demand, defer aircraft orders, dispose of aircraft, increase fleet utilization and exit under-performing routes.
- QANTAS Domestic will increase utilisation of narrow-body aircraft, allowing Airbus A330 aircraft in the domestic market to concentrate solely on East-West services and peak services on the Sydney-Melbourne-Brisbane triangle.
- A330-200s will be freed up to enter the QANTAS International fleet as replacement aircraft, helping to accelerate the retirement of older Boeing 747 aircraft.
- All six of QANTAS International’s non-reconfigured Boeing 747s will be retired ahead of schedule, by the second half of FY16. Nine reconfigured Boeing 747s with A380-standard interiors will remain.
- QANTAS’ final two Boeing 737-400s have been retired this month and all Boeing 767s will be retired by the third quarter of FY15, resulting in cost and passenger benefits from fleet simplification.
- QANTAS International’s eight remaining Airbus A380 orders will be deferred, with an ongoing review of delivery dates to meet potential future requirements. Schedule changes will allow maximum use of QANTAS’ current 12 A380s.
- The final three of 14 Jetstar Airways Boeing 787-8s on firm order will be deferred.
- Jetstar’s A320 order book has been restructured.
In total, more than 50 aircraft will be deferred or sold.
By FY16, the Group’s passenger fleet will have been simplified from 11 aircraft types to seven aircraft types, with an average age of eight years.
Over the next 12 months, QANTAS will exit underperforming routes and make aircraft changes on certain routes to better match capacity to demand.
- QANTAS International will withdraw from the Perth-Singapore route (first quarter FY15).
- QANTAS’ Brisbane-Singapore and Sydney-Singapore services will be operated by Airbus A330s, replacing Boeing 747s (first quarter FY15)
- QANTAS services between Melbourne and London will be re-timed in November 2014 to reduce A380 ground time in Heathrow (second quarter FY15). There are no changes to overall capacity on London flights.
- The Melbourne-London service change frees up an A380 for additional flying, and QANTAS will evaluate opportunities to use the aircraft on other routes.
Over the next three years, QANTAS will reduce employee numbers across the Group by the equivalent of 5,000 full-time positions, through measures including:
- Reduction of management and non-operational roles by 1,500.
- Operational positions affected by fleet and network changes.
- Restructure of line maintenance operations.
- The closure of Avalon maintenance base, as previously announced.
- Restructure of catering facilities including the closure of Adelaide catering, as previously announced.
The wage freeze for executives implemented in December 2013 will continue and will be extended to all QANTAS Group employees.
The wage freeze will be:
- Ongoing for executives.
- Immediate for open EBAs.
- Proposed for other EBA-covered staff.
This is in addition to the reduction of fees paid to the QANTAS board and a reduction in the take home pay of the QANTAS CEO by 36 per cent this financial year.
No pay rises or bonuses will be contemplated until QANTAS is profitable again on a full-year Underlying PBT basis.
Mr Joyce said these were hard but necessary decisions to protect as many QANTAS jobs as possible and build a strong business for the future.
“I regret the need for these wide-ranging job losses, but we will do everything we can to make the process easier for employees who leave the business,” Mr Joyce said.
“At the end of this transformation, QANTAS will remain an employer of more than 27,000 people, the vast majority based in Australia – and we will be a better and more competitive company.”
Capital Expenditure and Financial Position
The Group’s planned capital expenditure net of operating lease liability in FY14 will be $1 billion.
Planned capital investment, including movements in operating lease liabilities, will be $800 million per year in FY15 and FY16 – a total reduction of $1 billion over the two years. QANTAS will maintain flexibility to make further changes if needed.
Transformation through FY17 will be funded through the reprioritisation of capital, future free cash flow as benefits from the cost reduction program begin to flow, and asset sales. QANTAS continues to target positive free cash flow from FY15, with capital expenditure aligned to financial performance.
QANTAS has total liquidity of $3 billion, comprising $2.4 billion in cash and $630 million in standby debt facilities, as at 31 December 2013.
Update on Structural Review
QANTAS has reached agreement on the return of its Brisbane Airport terminal lease, together with related assets, to Brisbane Airport Corporation, with a cash value of $112 million to be recognised in the second half of FY14.
QANTAS continues to work through the broader structural review of the QANTAS Group portfolio launched in December 2013.
The review has identified a number of high-quality assets of significant value.
No final decisions have been made about other assets within the Group’s portfolio.
QANTAS will update the market as and when required.
Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. The retirement of the on-converted Boeing 747-400s will be expedited. Boeing 747-48E VH-OEB (msn 25778) rests between flights at Frankfurt.
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (New York) today said that its Atlas Air, Inc. unit (New York) and QANTAS Airways Ltd. (Sydney) have extended their long-standing ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) relationship.
Under the terms of the agreement, Atlas Air will continue to operate two Boeing 747-400 freighters in ACMI service for QANTAS on trans-Pacific routes linking Australia and Asia with the United States.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-47UF N492MC (msn 29253) departs from Anchorage, Alaska after a cargo and fuel stop. The freighter also carries small QANTAS Airways sub-titles.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has issued this statement about changes to its SkyMiles program:
Delta Air Lines has taken another step in its ongoing commitment to improve the travel experience by unveiling changes to the SkyMiles program. The 2015 SkyMiles program will introduce a shift from today’s current model in which customers earn redeemable mileage based on distance traveled to one based on ticket price. The program updates will be effective January 1, 2015 and will also include a new mileage redemption structure that will improve Award seat availability at the lowest mileage requirement levels, offer One-Way Awards at half the price of round-trip, provide additional Miles + Cash Award options, as well as make significant improvements to delta.com and Delta reservations Award shopping tools.
A New Mileage Earning Model
Today’s method of earning redeemable miles based on the distance a customer flies will change to a model of earning redeemable miles based on the price of the ticket purchased. Delta is providing 10 months advance notice of the upcoming program changes so that customers have ample time to make travel plans.
Customers will be able to earn between five and 11 miles per dollar* spent based on their SkyMiles status, and continue to earn up to an additional two miles per dollar* when using their Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, for a total of up to 13 miles per dollar. The updated program will better reward the customers who spend more with Delta and give them improved mileage-earning opportunities.
The updated mileage-earning plan, for travel beginning January 1, 2015, will better recognize frequent business travelers and those less frequent leisure customers who purchase premium fares. The move is consistent with a trend in the travel industry of rewarding customer behavior based on price. Customers will continue to earn additional miles for purchases with a Delta SkyMiles Credit Card+.
|SkyMiles program status||Miles per dollar*||Miles earned with
|Total miles per
|+ on Delta spend|
For travel marketed and ticketed by Delta’s partner airlines, members will earn a percentage of miles flown as determined by the fare class purchased and will also earn Medallion mileage bonuses on eligible fares.
New Redemption Options
SkyMiles members will gain even more redemption options with the introduction of up to a five-tier structure to give them a wider variety of Awards and improve overall availability at the lowest price points. The lowest level for SkyMiles Saver Awards will remain at 25,000 miles for an Economy Class Award ticket for travel within the U.S. and Canada excluding Hawaii. All of Delta’s worldwide redemption charts will be updated to reflect the new options in the last quarter of 2014 and will be effective for new Award bookings beginning Jan. 1, 2015.
In addition to offering multiple new redemption levels, the SkyMiles program will also introduce One-Way Award tickets starting as low as 12,500 miles within the U.S. and Canada excluding Hawaii and will offer customers the ability to redeem Miles + Cash to provide more Award booking options for tickets purchased at delta.com or through Delta reservations.
Customers will continue to have access to every seat on any Delta flight as an Award seat with no blackout dates. In 2013, frequent flyers redeemed more than 271 billion miles in the SkyMiles program for more than 11 million Award redemptions.
Delta and the SkyMiles Program
Delta is the only major airline that offers elite perks such as unlimited complimentary upgrades, no mileage expiration, no Award fees, a published Diamond Medallion tier and rollover Medallion Qualification Miles.
Now in its 33rd year, SkyMiles is one of the longest-running and most successful loyalty programs in the travel industry. Delta offers many ways to redeem frequent flyer miles, including airline tickets on Delta and 28 partner airlines, mileage upgrades, car rentals, hotel stays and Delta Sky Club memberships, and is the only major airline with miles that don’t expire. For more information on the SkyMiles program, Medallion status and mileage-redemption options.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-451 N673US (msn 30268) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) is planning to operate its last revenue flight (NH 126) with the Boeing 747-400 on March 31 between Naha, Okinawa and Tokyo (Haneda) according to ZipanguFlyer. The last revenue flight is scheduled to be operated with 747-481 (D) JA8961 (msn 25644). The last ANA Boeing 747-400s are the high-density domestic version of the Boeing 747-400 that seat 565 passengers and were developed specifically for the Japanese market.
Read the full report with all of the details from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE
ANA introduced the Boeing 747 (the special short range 747SR-81) with JA8134 (msn 21605) with the hand over from Boeing on December 20, 1978. The first Boeing 747-281B (JA8175, msn 23502) came later on July 2, 1986. Trans-Pacific service was then launched to Los Angeles with the new type on July 16, 1986. Finally the first Boeing 747-481 (JA8094, msn 24801) joined the ANA fleet on August 28, 1990.
The Boeing 747 has faithfully served ANA for over 35 years. It will seem strange not to see a Boeing 747 with the company.
Copyright Photo: Marco Finelli/AirlinersGallery.com. Looking back in the past, Boeing 747-281B JA8181 (msn 23698) is seen at Rome (Fiumicino).
QANTAS Airways (Sydney) as previously reported, will close its Avalon, Victoria heavy maintenance base in March. Two Boeing 747-400s scheduled for overhauls in May will be sent to HAECO (Hong Kong) for the work according to the Australian. An international tender offer will determine future work. 300 workers are losing their jobs at Avalon.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-438 VH-OJF (msn 24483) approaches the runway at the Sydney hub.
British Airways (London) Boeing 747-400 (believed to be 747-436 G-BNLL, msn 24054) preparing to depart from Johannesburg for London (Heathrow) on Sunday night (December 22) while taxing to the runway took the wrong taxiway. The right wing slammed into a building adjacent to the taxiway. The 202 passengers and crew members safely exited the aircraft. The aircraft has now been removed from the building.
Four employees were injured in the building leased by the Bidvest Group Limited mainly from falling debris.
Photo tweeted by Harriet Tolputt:
Read the full report from the Sydney Morning Herald: CLICK HERE
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. today announced that its Atlas Air, Inc. (New York) unit has entered into a contract with Astral Aviation Limited (Nairobi), a Kenya-based cargo airline, to provide Boeing 747-400 Freighter service.
The contract is for one aircraft under an ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) agreement, with service expected to begin in the next few weeks. This is the first 747-400F in Astral Aviation’s global network, and it will provide all-cargo operations between Europe and Africa.
Astral Aviation operates in partnership with UK-based ANA Airline Management Limited. ANA specializes in the development and operation of all-cargo aircraft across a wide range of scheduled routes as well as providing air charter capacity on a worldwide basis to the various airlines it works in partnership with. ANA was founded in 1985 and has offices throughout Europe, Africa and North America.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Atlas Air’s Boeing 747-47UF N492MC (msn 29253) climbs beautifully away from Anchorage International Airport.
Air France (Paris) has announced a new round of job cuts as the airline is headed towards its sixth consecutive annual operating loss due to weakening air travel demand. The carrier is plan to cut another 2,800 jobs in 2014. The airline is already cutting around 5,120 positions by the end of this year according to Reuters.
The airline issued this statement and update on its recovery plan:
Air France management presented an update on Transform 2015 to the Central Works Council.
Air France’s recovery has begun and Transform 2015 is taking effect. In the first half, the implementation of measures led operating income to increase by 100 million euros. However, in 2013, the Air France Group will not achieve its objective of returning to equilibrium.
To ensure the sustainability of the Company and to continue investing for our customers, the return to equilibrium in 2014 is essential. This return to equilibrium requires the deployment of all action plans and the completion of Transform 2015, which requires additional measures to reduce costs and accelerate the recovery of short and medium-haul operations and cargo.
ADDITIONAL MEASURES TO REDUCE COSTS ACROSS THE COMPANY
The number of excess staff has been estimated at 2,800 people for 2014. New Voluntary Departure Plans will be implemented. They will be thoroughly discussed with staff representatives and unions as from October 4. In addition, Air France will continue its policy of wage moderation in 2014 and a better adaptation of business costs to the seasonality of operations will be required.
ACCELERATED RECOVERY OF SHORT AND MEDIUM-HAUL OPERATIONS AND CARGO
Concerning short and medium-haul operations, the Air France Group intends to maintain its strong presence on the French market. It has therefore decided to develop the activity of Transavia France on departure from Paris-Orly, to adjust its domestic point-to-point network and provincial bases, to increase seasonal capacity and to reorganize French stations.
• Transavia France, which will operate five additional aircraft as from the summer 2014 season, will expand its offering to new high-potential European destinations on departure from Paris-Orly. In parallel, the Air France’s point-to-point network will be adjusted downwards. Also, the seasonal adjustment of the schedule implemented in 2013 at the provincial bases has been a success and will be continued in 2014.
• For all French stations, a change in production methods is necessary to ensure the Air France Group is in line with market standards, to better handle customers and reduce costs in a sustainable way. This will induce a reorganization of processes and a greater use of outsourcing. The objectives, station by station, will be specified at the Central Works Council meeting on 4 October.
Concerning cargo operations, the contribution of hold cargo remains essential to the long-haul economy. Furthermore, the cargo capacity of holds on passenger aircraft carries an increasing share of global air freight and the global air freight market is permanently in overcapacity. In this context, Air France has decided to refocus its cargo fleet on its two Boeing 777F. The Boeing 747 all-cargo aircraft will leave the fleet in 2015, at the same time as the 747 will leave the passenger fleet.
In addition, cargo operations at Paris-Orly, which have never reached a sufficient size, are currently operating at non-market costs. For this reason, an outsourcing project will be implemented in 2014.
AMBITIOUS DEVELOPMENT OF GROWTH SECTORS
Growth will continue on long-haul routes and new routes will continue to be launched. In parallel, the renewal of the long-haul fleet will be accelerated with the early retirement of the Boeing 747 by 2015 and the arrival of the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, respectively in 2017 and 2018.
At Paris-Charles de Gaulle, a new “Future hub” plan is being set up to enhance the hub’s attractiveness and competitiveness. It will be based in particular on the development of technological changes in passenger operations, as well as the move upmarket of Air France products and services.
In the engineering and maintenance sector, Air France will continue its development of engine and equipment products with its external customers. This strategy is contributing to Air France’s recovery thanks to lower maintenance costs and a positive contribution to operating income.
“Transform 2015 is taking effect and has had positive results in 2012. Air France is continuing its thorough transformation based on the commercial development of its markets with high growth potential, the move upmarket of its products and services and the reduction of its costs. I intend, together with all Air France staff, to concentrate on customer service and the successful recovery of our Company” declared Frédéric Gagey, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Air France.
Read the analysis by Reuters: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. All of the Air France Boeing 747s, both passenger and cargo, will be retired by 2015. Boeing 747-428 F-GITF (msn 25602) taxies at the Paris (CDG) hub.
ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) is planning to retire the last Boeing 747-400 on March 29, 2014. The last route is tentatively schedule as a flight between Naha, Okinawa and Tokyo (Haneda) per Airline Route.
The airline is currently operating five domestic models on domestic routes in Japan.
ANA added its first Boeing 747SR-81 (JA8133) (above) on December 20, 1978 for its high-density domestic routes. ANA also added its first Boeing 747-281B (JA8174) (below) on June 25, 1986.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747SR-81 JA8145 (msn 22291) taxies at the Haneda Airport hub.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-281B JA8181 (msn 23698) joined the ANA fleet on December 22, 1986 and migrated to NCA on May 26, 1999 as a freighter.
Cargolux Airlines International (Luxembourg) on June 3 launched a new service between Atlanta and Munich via Luxembourg. The new weekly cargo route with be operated with Boeing 747-400F freighters.
The airline issued this statement:
Cargolux Airlines International S.A. on June 4 announced the introduction of a regular service between Atlanta and Munich via Luxembourg. Starting on June 3, 2013, at the eve of the Air Cargo Munich Exhibition and Conference, the latest addition to Cargolux’s expanding network of worldwide destinations will be served every Monday with a Boeing 747-400 Freighter.
The main import customer for the new Cargolux service is the German freight forwarder Senator International Spedition GmbH, a leading international freight forwarding company specialized in international freight, shipping, packaging and logistics. ‘Cargolux is a trusted and reliable partner who supports us in delivering first class global logistics services to our own customers. The Cargolux network offers us a wide array of options to accommodate with this weekly operation’, said Tim-Oliver Kirschbaum, CEO of Senator International based at the company’s headquarters in Hamburg.
While Cargolux has previously flown a number of charter flights from the Bavarian capital, this is the airline’s first regular airfreight service to and from Munich. Until now, the airline has relied on its trucking services to transport freight between its Luxembourg hub and Munich and earmarked for farther connections within its worldwide network.
Copyright Photo: Jens Polster/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4R7F LX-SCV (msn 29733) arrives at Bangkok.
British Airways (London) takes a look at what it takes to dispatch a Boeing 747-400 (soon expanded to an Airbus A380):
Ever wondered what it takes to get a jumbo jet off the ground? British Airways has created a picture of the iconic aircraft, using a jumbo number of items from the aircraft to show the scale of its operation.
From toilet rolls to teaspoons, British Airways loads thousands of individual items on to each jumbo jet before it takes to the skies. With a combined weight of 6,120 kg, the items have to be unloaded and re-loaded before every take-off.
On a typical jumbo jet, the following items are loaded:
1,263 items of metal cutlery
1,291 items of china crockery
538 meal trays
650 paper cups
34 metal teapots
220 drinks stirrers
2,000 ice cubes
99 full bottles and 326 quarter bottles of wine
700 small cans of fizzy drinks
164 bags of nuts in Club World
337 cushions and pillows
337 sets of headphones
337 headrest covers
435 air sickness bags
58 toilet rolls
40 extension seatbelts for children
340 safety cards
337 copies of High Life magazine
40 skyflyer packs for children
5 first aid kits
Employees from across the airline came together to create the image, which was drawn on to the floor of an aircraft hangar. Aspects of the photograph include:
- created using pillowcases, toilet roll, hand towels and napkins.
- created using Club World blankets and blue roll (kitchen roll.)
– created using pillowcases, cabin crew sleeping bags, First blankets, china, headrest covers, Skyflyer bags for children and headrest covers.
– created using bags of nuts.
– the red parts are created using headset bags and extension seatbelts for children.
London Eye (London skyline)
– created using a teapot, metal cutlery, china and socks.
The Shard (London skyline)
– created using tea and coffee bags.
The Gherkin (London skyline)
– created using First cushion covers and socks.
Tower Bridge (London skyline)
– created using First slippers and Club World washbags
Big Ben’s Tower (London skyline)
– created using air sickness bags, a plate and metal cutlery (clock face)
Buildings (London skyline)
– created using oven trays, glasses, safety cards, tongs and copies of High Life magazine.
Rod Green, British Airways’ head global supply chain said: “It’s a huge job getting a jumbo in to the air, let alone a fleet of 52 every day. There are teams across the airline working together 365 days a year to ensure that all 27,260 items are delivered on time and to the right place to ensure our customers enjoy the very best travel experience. When we receive our new aircraft, the challenge will be even greater.”
It’s been 42 years since the first British Airways (formerly BOAC) jumbo jet took to the skies and in July 2013 when it takes delivery of its first A380, the number of items loaded on to a plane will increase by approximately 10,000 to cater for two full decks of customers.
British Airways has 52 jumbo jet aircraft in its fleet.
Copyright Photo Below: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-436 G-BYGD (msn 28857) is launched at London Heathrow.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is upgrading its Airbus A330 fleet – the final fleet type to receive the modification – to include full flat-bed seats in the BusinessElite cabin and new “slim line” seats, which offer more personal space throughout the Economy cabin. The first modified A330 operated its first flight yesterday from Atlanta to Detroit and will operate from Detroit to Amsterdam today. There are 32 A330s in the Delta fleet.
To date, more than 60 percent of Delta’s widebody international fleet has been upgraded with direct-aisle access full flat-bed seats. Already, Delta’s fleet of 16 Boeing 747-400 aircraft, 18 Boeing 777 aircraft and 21 Boeing 767-400ER have been retrofitted with full flat-bed seats. Thirty-five Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with new full flat-bed BusinessElite seats are currently flying, with the entire fleet of 58 aircraft scheduled for completion by the end of 2013. The full international widebody fleet of more than 140 aircraft will be complete by mid-2014.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A330-223 N858NW (msn 718) completes its final approach into Los Angeles International Airport.
Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, Inc. (New York) today confirmed its plans to initiate daily nonstop Boeing 747-400 express freighter service between Cincinnati, Ohio, and Tokyo, Japan, by the end of April 2013.
The new service will complement a daily 747-400 flight from the Japanese industrial city of Nagoya to Cincinnati, facilitating next-day deliveries to the U.S. from all major cities and industrial areas in Japan.
Polar also will double the frequency of its wide-body freighter connections to Australia from two to four days per week. The routing of this service, via Japan, will allow Polar customers such as DHL Express to optimize their intercontinental networks and introduce additional capacity both from the U.S. and from key North Asian markets to Australia. The increase in Polar’s frequencies will be supported by the introduction of two new Boeing 767-300ERF wide-body aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 747-46NF N453PA (msn 30811) climbs away from Los Angeles.
International Airlines Group (IAG) (London) has reached agreement with Boeing for new longhaul aircraft for the group’s fleet.
IAG plans to convert 18 existing Boeing 787s options into firm orders for British Airways (London). They will be used to replace some of the airline’s Boeing 747-400 aircraft between 2017 and 2021.
For Iberia, IAG has reached agreement with Boeing to secure commercial terms and delivery slots that could lead to an order for Boeing 787s. Firm orders will only be made when Iberia has restructured and reduced its cost base and is in a position grow profitably.
British Airways’ 787s will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines. The engine order includes a comprehensive maintenance package with total care agreement.
Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “British Airways has 24 Boeing 787s on order already and we plan to boost this by a further 18 aircraft by exercising our options.
“The aircraft offers a step change in fuel burn efficiency versus our existing aircraft with improvements in fuel cost per seat of more than 20 per cent. New technology engines and improved aerodynamics will lower fuel burn leading to reduced carbon and NOx emissions.
“The creation of IAG has resulted in greater buying power for both airlines through joint procurement and we have been able to obtain delivery slots for Iberia as part of British Airways’ order”.
British Airways has 118 wide-bodied longhaul aircraft in its fleet with 42 aircraft (12 Airbus A380s, 24 Boeing 787s, six 777-300 ERs) already ordered.
Iberia has 31 wide-bodied longhaul aircraft in its fleet with six A330 aircraft already ordered.
The fleet order is subject to approval by IAG shareholders.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has received final approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to operate new nonstop service between Seattle/Tacoma and Tokyo International Airport, also known as Haneda Airport. The new flights will begin on June 1, 2013.
The Haneda flight adds to Delta’s growing Asian gateway in Seattle/Tacoma. In addition to Tokyo-Haneda, Delta will begin new service to Shanghai on June 17, and also operates flights to Beijing, Tokyo-Narita and Osaka, Japan.
Seattle is the largest West Coast city without nonstop service to Haneda, which is the preferred Tokyo airport for many business travelers due to its proximity to the city’s central business district.
The new Haneda flight will complement Delta’s nonstop flight between Seattle/Tacoma and Tokyo-Narita, which will be expanded and upgraded to Boeing 747-400 service on June 1. Delta’s Boeing 747-400 fleet was recently retrofitted with new interiors featuring full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite, Delta’s popular Economy Comfort seating and in-flight entertainment in every seat throughout the aircraft.
Once the Boeing 747-400 is deployed on the Seattle/Tacoma-Narita route, all of Delta’s trans-Pacific flights will feature full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite as well as Economy Comfort and individual in-flight entertainment throughout the aircraft.
In addition to its Asian gateway, Delta operates nonstop service to Paris and Amsterdam from Seattle/Tacoma. By next summer the airline will operate more than 40 daily flights to 15 destinations worldwide from Seattle.
Delta’s international growth in Seattle/Tacoma is possible because of its partnership with Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma), which operates a domestic hub at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Customers of both carriers enjoy access to an expanded network under a major codesharing agreement, as well as reciprocal frequent flier benefits and airport lounge access. The new Tokyo-Haneda flight will benefit from easy connections to 55 U.S. cities on Delta and Alaska’s domestic networks.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 747-451 N676NW (msn 33002) climbs away from Tokyo (Narita).
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has completed the installation of full flat-bed seats in the BusinessElite® cabin of all Boeing 747-400 type aircraft.
The last of 16 Boeing 747 aircraft, each with 48 BusinessElite seats, has been retrofitted with full flat-bed seats. It entered scheduled service this week on a flight between Singapore and Tokyo’s Narita airport, before making its way to Atlanta.
Delta previously completed installation of the full flat-bed modification on its Boeing 777 and 767-400 ER aircraft types. To date, 13 767-300 ER aircraft have received the modification and three more will be complete by month’s end. In total, approximately 50 percent of Delta’s widebody international fleet has received the upgrade. In addition to flat-bed seats in BusinessElite, the cabin overhaul includes upgraded seats in the Economy cabin with personal entertainment at every seat. The airline’s entire widebody international fleet of more than 140 aircraft will receive the full aircraft modification in both cabins by the middle of 2014.
Delta recently announced plans to install full flat-bed seats on its transcontinental flights between New York – JFK and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
This autumn, Delta announced plans to add Wi-Fi to its entire international fleet. The airline is already the largest operator of Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft on more than 3,000 flights serving more than 400,000 customers every day. When complete, Delta will offer Wi-Fi on more than 950 aircraft, from 747s to two-class regional jets.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 747-451 N674US (msn 30269) climbs away from Los Angeles International Airport.
Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) is planning to retire the last Boeing 747-400 from revenue passenger service in February 2013 according to a report by Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Although now repainted and retired, Boeing 747-4H6 9M-MPB (msn 25699) once wore this colorful red Hibiscus livery.
Saudi Arabian Airlines (Jeddah) started wet leasing this Boeing 747-400 yesterday (September 10) from Pullmantur Air (Madrid). The pictured 747-4H6 EC-KXN (msn 25703) has been painted in the full Saudi Arabian livery. Saudi Arabian leases in additional aircraft during the yearly religious Hajj season.
Copyright Photo: Lucio Alfieri. EC-KXN is seen on the ramp at Bologna.
QANTAS Airways (Dallas/Fort Worth) will increase the frequency of its services between Sydney and Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to daily services from July 1, 2012.
The flag carrier began flying to DFW in May 2011. After launching the route with four flights per week, frequencies were increased to six per week in January – and will now move to daily, reflecting strong demand for the services.
The route is served by a three-class Boeing 747-400 ER aircraft. Outbound services from DFW operate via Brisbane while return services operate directly from Sydney.
DFW is home to QF’s oneworld partner American Airlines.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner.
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (New York) has announced the agreement to place a ninth Boeing 747-400 freighter into express network ACMI service for the benefit of DHL Express beginning in July 2012.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.
Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) has announced its first half financial results will be “disappointing”. The flag carrier is cutting costs (including cutting capacity) to prevent further bleeding in the future. The carrier will also speed up the retirement of the Boeing 747-400 (above) while putting the newer, more fuel-efficient Boeing 777-300 ER (below) on even more long-haul routes. On the cargo side, Cathay Pacific will take three Boeing 747-400BCFs out of service this year as a near-term capacity-management measure.
The airline issued the following statement today:
“Cathay Pacific Airways today issued a trading statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange advising that its financial results for the first half of 2012 are “expected to be disappointing”.
In response to the changing market conditions and challenging business environment, the group is readjusting the capacity of both Cathay Pacific and Dragonair (Hong Kong) by reducing capacity on some long-haul routes while increasing capacity and introducing six new destinations in its regional network.
Since the airline announced its annual results in March, fuel prices have remained high, the cargo business, despite a temporary improvement in March, has shown no sign of a sustained recovery and pressure on Economy Class yields has continued. There has also been some softening in yield in the premium cabins.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive John Slosar said: “We previously warned that 2012 is looking even more challenging than 2011 and we were therefore cautious about prospects for this year. In response to the challenging environment we face, we are reducing costs where possible, including through a reduction of capacity. The airline’s financial position remains strong which will enable us, despite the current difficult trading conditions, to maintain the quality of our products and services and to continue with our long-term strategic investment in the business.”
Mr Slosar added: “This is not just a Cathay Pacific problem; it is clearly an industry-wide issue, and continued high fuel prices in particular are hitting airlines hard across the globe. We have no option but to take concerted action to adapt to this volatile operating environment. We need to do this to protect our business in the short-run and to protect the Cathay Pacific team.”
The airline has announced a raft of measures to reduce costs that will include adjusting both passenger and cargo capacity, deploying more fuel-efficient aircraft on long-haul flights, speeding up the retirement of its older Boeing 747-400 aircraft, and putting a hiring freeze on new or replacement ground staff. At the same time it is offering voluntary unpaid leave for cabin crew from June and introducing cost-saving measures such as cancelling non-essential business travel for staff and reducing its marketing and IT spend.
On the passenger side, the Cathay Pacific Group as a whole will see its capacity growth reduced to 3.2% from the targeted 7% this year. The capacity growth for Cathay Pacific will be reduced to 2% from the targeted 7%. The airline’s network will remain intact but frequencies on some long-haul routes to North America and Europe will be reduced in response to high fuel costs and depressed yields. The airline has already made some ad hoc cancellations in May, primarily to Taipei, Shanghai and Japan – and these will continue in June.
The Group will retain its focus on expanding capacity within the region, with Dragonair’s capacity set to grow by 9.2% against a target of 7.3% as a result of the launch of new destinations and increased frequencies on regional and Mainland routes.
For cargo, Cathay Pacific will now target 4% growth in total (freighters plus passenger aircraft bellies), down from the original target of 7%, while there will be zero growth in freighter capacity compared to the 3% originally targeted for 2012. Ad hoc cancellations will continue to be made to match market demand.
In terms of fleet deployment, the airline will put its newer, fuel-efficient Boeing 777-300 ERs on more routes, including flights to San Francisco, Toronto and Paris. There are no plans to cancel or defer aircraft orders and Cathay Pacific is still on track to take delivery of 15 new planes this year, with six already in operation.
Given the persistently high price of aviation jet fuel, the retirement of the Boeing 747-400 fleet will be speeded up. The airline currently operates 21 747-400 passenger aircraft but three of these will now be retired this year, with five more leaving in 2013 and one more in early 2014, which will bring that fleet down to 12 aircraft.
In the cargo fleet, Cathay Pacific currently operates 25 wide-body freighters, including five new, fuel-efficient Boeing 747-8Fs. As it takes delivery of three more 747-8Fs this year and two next year, the airline will take three Boeing 747-400BCFs out of service this year as a near-term capacity-management measure.
While it puts these short-term cost-saving measures in place to address the current business situation, the airline will continue with a number of long-term strategic developments and investments. These include 93 fuel-efficient aircraft with a value of HK$190 billion for delivery by 2019, a new HK$5.7 billion cargo terminal at Hong Kong International Airport due to begin operations in early 2013, and inflight product and lounge investments valued at HK$3 billion.”
Copyright Photos: Michael B. Ing.
Cathay Pacific Slide Show: CLICK HERE
World Airways Boeing 747-4H6 (SF) N741WA (msn 25702) NUE (Gunter Mayer), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
World Airways (Atlanta), a subsidiary of Global Aviation Holdings Inc., now offers Polar route service for its customers after receiving authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Polar authorization allows World to eliminate intermediate stops for several routes, reduce flight times and save fuel. This new authority affects mainly its MD-11 flights.
Copyright Photo: Gunter Mayer.
Atlas Air flies first Boeing 747-400F into the new Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International Airport
Atlas Air Boeing 747-47UF N492MC (msn 29253) ANC (Tony Storck), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (AAWW) (New York) confirmed the successful operation on October 14 of the first scheduled freighter service into the new Dubai World Central (DWC)-Al Maktoum International Airport on behalf of its long-standing ACMI customer, Panalpina Group.
Atlas Air’s Boeing 747-400 freighter flight initiates a new controlled air freight service by Panalpina. The service will include two weekly flights into Dubai as part of a round-the-world rotation connecting Luxembourg, Dubai, South Africa, Hong Kong, North America and Latin America.
In addition, a second Atlas Air 747-400 freighter is helping Panalpina inaugurate new express service between Huntsville, AL, and São Paulo, Brazil, enhancing connections between Asia, North America and Latin America.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck.
TNT Airways (Liege) will lease three new long-range Boeing 777F freighters from Guggenheim Aviation Partners. The new type is expected to enter service in July 2011.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. TNT Airways currently operates four Boeing 747-400F freighters.
Delta Air Lines Boeing 747-451 N671US (msn 26477) LAX, originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is adding back 1,000 flight attendants, including recalling 425 who were on a voluntary furlough.
Read the full report from the Free Press (Freep.com):
Copyright Photo: Boeing 747-451 N671US (msn 26477) arrives at Los Angeles.
The relationship between Canada and the United Arab Emirates is softening amid media reports that the UAE may restrict Canada from using a military base in the UAE.
Canada will not allow Emirates Airline to operate more than six flights a week into Canada. Emirates says this is not enough capacity to handle the demand.
Read the full story in the CBC News:
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil. Operated by Atlas Air, Boeing 747-47UF N415MC (msn 32837) prepares to land at Amsterdam.
JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) has sold its last 19 Boeing 747-400s to AerSale (Coral Gables). JAL is planning to retire the type during 2011.
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen.
UPS-United Parcel Services (UPS Airlines) (Atlanta and Louisville) has dropped the “brown” ad theme and has launched a new “Logistics” ad campaign.
Read the full WSJ article:
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. UPS Airlines’ Boeing 747-45E (BCF) N578UP (msn 27154) climbs gracefully at Anchorage.
Watch the TV ad via YouTube:
Atlas Air Boeing 747-47UF N492MC (msn 29253) ANC (Tony Storck), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (New York) has confirmed an agreement to place a second Boeing 747-400 freighter with Panalpina Air and Ocean Ltd.
The multi-year agreement, under which Atlas Air (New York-JFK) will provide ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) services to freight forwarder Panalpina which was announced on the 20th anniversary of Panalpina’s “Dixie Jet” freighter service connecting Huntsville, AL, with Europe, which is also operated by a Boeing 747-400 Freighter leased from Atlas Air.
The second aircraft, to be based at Panalpina’s European hub in Luxembourg, will operate services from Asia and Africa to Europe; Europe to Africa, the Middle East and Asia; and from Asia to the United States. It is set to begin operating in early October.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. A beautiful portrait of Atlas Air’s Boeing 747-47UF N492MC (msn 29253) climbing majestically away from scenic Anchorage.
Asiana Airlines Cargo Boeing 747-48EF HL7636 (msn 29170) ANC (Michael B. Ing), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Asiana Airlines (Seoul) began cargo service to Atlanta on September 13 with Boeing 747-400F freighter aircraft. The new route will be operated four times a week.
Asiana Airlines is the 14th all-cargo airline to serve Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Singapore Airlines Cargo began scheduled service to Atlanta in September 2009.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 747-48EF HL7636 (msn 29170) climbs away from Anchorage.
Jade Cargo International Boeing 747-4EV ERF B-2422 (msn 35173) NUE (Gunter Mayer), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
World Airways (Atlanta) has signed a one-year agreement with Jade Cargo International (Shenzhen) to operate one Boeing 747-400 freighter aircraft on a full-time basis for air cargo service beginning in October 2010. Subject to final government approvals, the aircraft will connect Shanghai and Yantai with Chicago (O’Hare). The three weekly flights will then continue to Amsterdam and return to Shanghai on a “round-the-world” flight pattern.
World recently announced the addition of two Boeing 747-400 freighters, which will bring World’s 747-400 fleet to four aircraft, in addition to nine McDonnell Douglas MD-11 freighters.
Jade Cargo International Company Ltd. was founded in October 2004 as a joint venture between Shenzhen Airlines (51%), Lufthansa Cargo AG (25%) and the German development finance institute DEG-Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (24%). Jade started flight operations on August 5, 2006 and operates six Boeing 747-400s.
Copyright Photo: Gunter Mayer. Jade Cargo’s Boeing 747-4EV ERF B-2422 (msn 35173) stops at Nuremberg.
Malaysia Airlines Boeing 747-4H6 9M-MPC (msn 25700) LHR (Antony J. Best), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) lost $170 million in the second quarter.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Boeing 747-4H6 9M-MPC (msn 25700) taxies past the camera at London (Heathrow).
UPS Airlines (United Parcel Service) (Atlanta and Louisville) yesterday (September 3) lost its Boeing 747-44AF N571UP (msn 35668) and the two crew members on board when it crashed on takeoff at Dubai.
Click on link below for full view and full details:
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. N571UP is pictured arriving at Anchorage on May 10, 2010.
Delta Air Lines Boeing 747-451 N675NW (msn 33001) NRT (Michael B. Ing), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has unveiled plans for the complete revitalization of its fleet of Boeing 747-400 aircraft flying primarily from the Tokyo-Narita hub. Between summer 2011 and 2012, Delta will equip each of its 16 747-400s with new fully horizontal flat-bed seats in the BusinessElite cabin and new Economy class seats featuring personal, on-demand entertainment, increased personal space and added under-seat storage.
The 747 upgrades will bring substantial changes to both decks of the aircraft’s BusinessElite cabin. The new, custom-designed product will feature 48 horizontal flat-bed seats with direct aisle access at each seat. Window seats will face the window for improved privacy and center seats will be angled toward each other for the convenience of customers traveling together.
The new seat, manufactured by Weber Aircraft LLC, will be 81.7 inches in length and 20.5 inches wide, similar to the flat-bed product currently offered on Delta’s 777-200LR fleet. It also will feature a 120-volt universal power outlet, USB port, personal LED reading lamp and Panasonic’s 15.4 inch personal video monitors with instant access to 250 new and classic movies, premium programming from HBO and Showtime, video games and more than 4,000 digital music tracks.
Customers in Economy class on the 747-400 will benefit from the industry’s first seat designed collaboratively by a seat manufacturer and an in-flight entertainment company, Weber Aircraft and Panasonic Avionics Corporation, to fully incorporate seat and entertainment functionality into one product. Using a nine-inch screen, the new seat’s embedded touch-screen entertainment system will offer each customer access to 250 movie titles, hundreds of television shows, 4,000 digital music tracks, personalized music playlists, more than a dozen interactive games and a USB port to charge iPods and other personal electronic devices.
The new seats offer up to 1.5 inches more personal space and increased under-seat storage through a “slimline” design that more efficiently uses cabin space than the older, heavier seats they replace. The upgraded seats also feature adjustable headrests and deliver environmental benefits through the Panasonic Eco 9i Integrated Smart Monitors that use 30 percent less energy and are 60 percent lighter than entertainment systems installed on other Delta aircraft.
Delta’s 747s are dedicated largely to trans-Pacific and intra-Asia flights to and from the Tokyo-Narita hub, including routes connecting Tokyo to Detroit, Honolulu, Manila, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK and Shanghai.
When reconfigured, the 747s will accommodate 386 customers with 48 BusinessElite seats and 338 Economy class seats.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Ex-Northwest Boeing 747-451 N675NW (msn 33001) now in Delta’s colors arrives at the Tokyo (Narita) hub.
Korean Air (Seoul) has swung to second quarter loss of $196 million.
Read the full story from the WSJ:
Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross. A splendid view of Boeing 747-4B5 HL7491 (msn 27341 at Frankfurt in the special “StarCraft” promotional livery.
British Airways Boeing 747-436 G-BNLO (msn 24057) (Face to Face) SFO (Mark Durbin), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
British Airways (London) is bringing a Boeing 747-400 out of desert storage at Victorville, CA along with other carriers.
Read the full story:
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin. A dramatic picture of BA’s Boeing 747-436 G-BNLO (msn 24057) with the promotional “Face to Face” markings rotating at San Francisco.
ANA (All Nippon Airways) Boeing 747-481 JA8098 (msn 25207) NRT (Michael B. Ing), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
ANA-All Nippon Airways (Tokyo) meanwhile will retire the Boeing 747-400 from international scheduled service at the end of this month. From September, the remaining three 747-400s will be used only for charter flights, especially to Canada. The international 747-400s will be retired by March 2011.
The 747-400 (D) (domestic) aircraft will remain in service for the
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 747-481 JA8098 (msn 25207) lines up to land at Tokyo (Narita).
JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) is quickly reducing its fleet. The final
747-400 (D) (domestic) flight will operate in October, while the international 747-400 aircraft will remain in service until February 2011. This drastic cut is being made possible by slashing routes and capacity
as well as a higher utilization of its Boeing 767-300s and 777s as the airline reorganizes.
JAL has been a long-time operator of the Boeing 747 (40 years). It took delivery of its first Boeing 747-146 (JA8101) on April 22, 1970.
Copyright Photo: Sam Chui. Boeing 747-446 JA8920 (msn 27648) once carried the special “Sammurai Blue 2006″ livery. It is pictured departing from Sydney.
Virgin Atlantic Airways Boeing 747-41R G-VROC (msn 32746) MAN (Nik French) (new livery), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) is reporting a 10 percent revenue growth in its fiscal first quarter.
Read the press release:
Copyright Photo: Nik French. The first aircraft in the “new paint” color scheme is Boeing 747-41R G-VROC (msn 32746) seen on the ramp at Manchester.