British Airways (London) has issued this statement concerning its part in volcanic ash detection research:
In response to the Icelandic volcanic eruption in 2010 which caused widespread flight disruption to travellers, scientists at the Met Office and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) have developed a prototype ash detection device, capable of detecting small amounts of ash in the atmosphere. In time, this research could aid ash forecasting and also help airlines more accurately plan their flight and engineering operations.
The device, aptly named ZEUS after the Greek God of the skies, has been fitted on a British Airways 747 and data has already been successfully downloaded from its first flight to Johannesburg and will be analysed by the Met Office. It will continue to fly on long-haul routes around the world for a year, collecting data for analysis.
ZEUS was developed after a pilot in a research aircraft noticed that static levels created by low levels of volcanic ash in the atmosphere caused his hair to stand on end. Met Office and NERC scientists seized on this phenomenon to develop and patent the device which uses measurements of static as a tool to detect ash.
An early prototype of ZEUS has been flying on the NERC/Met Office dedicated research aircraft and a Flybe Bombardier Q400 passenger aircraft since 2012, gathering background data from around Europe. This data was used to demonstrate that the ZEUS sensor can distinguish between the levels of electrostatic charge on the aircraft when flying in normal conditions and when volcanic ash is present.
The advanced ZEUS prototype will be on the British Airways aircraft for a year and will build up a picture of background electric field in normal atmospheric conditions around the globe. When information from ZEUS is downloaded and correlated with flight data – including weather conditions, speed, altitude, location – it can help scientists build a picture of volcanic ash distribution. Aircraft engineers can also use this data to schedule post-flight inspections of engines and aircraft systems.
British Airways’ Captain Dean Plumb said: “We were very keen to be involved in this pioneering research which will be of great value to the aviation industry and beyond. Aircraft regularly encounter small quantities of ash in flights around the world, perfectly safely, and pilots use expert forecasts to plan their routes to avoid more dense ash clouds. ZEUS has the potential to provide a clearer picture of ash distribution and could be used to inform decision making-processes in the event of future volcanic eruptions.”
Ian Lisk, Met Office Head of Natural Hazards said: “This is a very exciting development and a great result of cross-industry collaboration, including British Airways, Flybe, NERC and the Met Office. While further development is still required, we are delighted with progress with this prototype volcanic ash sensor to date and the findings we have so far received from the tests are very promising.”
The Met Office is an expert in aviation forecasting, with responsibility for providing international aviation meteorological services and advice. The London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), one of nine VAACs worldwide, is hosted and run by the Met Office as part of its aviation forecast operations. London VAAC provides advice on the likely dispersion of ash clouds emitted from eruptions originating in Iceland and the North East Atlantic, and this information is used by the aviation industry to help make decisions on airspace management.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-436 G-BNLE (msn 24047) climbs away from the London (Heathrow) hub.
The Independent Pilots Association, representing the pilots of UPS-United Parcel Service (UPS Airlines) (Atlanta and Louisville) provided an informational picket line yesterday (November 13) at the 2014 UPS Investor Conference. The union issued this statement:
The UPS pilots, represented by the Independent Pilots Association, conducted an information picket at the 2014 UPS Investor Conference held at the Grand Hyatt New York.
“We conducted this picket to inform the investment community that UPS has neglected its airline operations by failing to finalize the pilot contract,” said IPA President, Captain Robert Travis. “We prefer to reach a negotiated agreement with UPS, but with our talks now entering a fourth year, we question whether UPS is equally committed to a resolution.”
“UPS pilots have reaffirmed our intention to fly this Christmas by not seeking a release from the National Mediation Board. This holiday season, we remain committed to safe and reliable delivery,” said Travis. Under the Railway Labor Act a request for release, if granted by the NMB, could lead to a 30-day countdown to a strike, or lockout.
The IPA invites the investment community to learn more about its dispute with UPS at http://www.ipapilot.org. “Investors will want to stay informed. As UPS pilot labor talks continue, we will keep you apprised of developments” said Travis.
UPS and IPA have been following the Railway Labor Act process for the last 39 months; direct negotiations for 29 months and mediated talks for the past 10 months. Direct negotiations began in September 2011 and continued through January 2014. In early 2014, UPS and IPA jointly requested federal mediation. The National Mediation Board docketed the case in February 2014 and assigned a staff mediator to oversee further negotiations. The parties have been in mediated talks since February 2014.
The Independent Pilots Association represents the 2,600 pilots who fly globally for United Parcel Service.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4R7F N582UP (msn 29053) lands in beautiful Anchorage, Alaska.
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. announced adjusted net income attributable to common stockholders of $27.4 million, or $1.09 per diluted share, for the three months ended September 30, 2014, compared with $28.6 million, or $1.13 per diluted share, for the three months ended September 30, 2013.
On a reported basis, net income attributable to common stockholders in the third quarter of 2014 totaled $27.6 million, or $1.10 per diluted share, compared with $23.7 million, or $0.94 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.
AAWH recently placed three incremental Boeing 747 freighters, a 747-8F and two 747-400Fs, into ACMI service for the benefit of DHL Express and Etihad Cargo, the fast-growing freight division of Etihad Airways. The placements increase the number of our aircraft in ACMI to 22 from 19.
In addition, AAWH recently announced the expansion of our 767 CMI service in North America for DHL Express. This expansion covers four incremental 767-200 freighter aircraft owned by DHL that we expect to begin flying during the first quarter of 2015.
Adjusted earnings in the third quarter of 2014 excluded a tax adjustment of $0.1 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, related to the company’s Global Supply Systems Limited subsidiary. Adjusted earnings in the third quarter of 2013 excluded an after-tax loss of $4.5 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, on the early extinguishment of debt, and a loss of $0.3 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, on the disposal of aircraft.
Profitability in our ACMI business during the third quarter reflected an increase in 747-8F revenue and an increase in CMI flying, offset by an increase in maintenance expense on our -8F aircraft and lower 747-400 flying by certain ACMI customers.
In Dry Leasing, revenue and profitability grew following the addition of three 777F aircraft in January 2014 and two in July 2013, which raised our 777F fleet count to six. Each of these aircraft are leased to customers on a long-term basis.
Results in AMC Charter benefited from an increase in block hours and aircraft utilization, partially offset by a decrease in revenue per block hour due to a reduction of the average “pegged” fuel price set by the AMC. Stronger than expected demand for cargo flying and incremental passenger flying as a result of former competitors exiting the AMC Charter market drove contribution growth in the third quarter.
Profitability in Commercial Charter primarily reflected an increase in volumes and improvement in aircraft utilization compared with the third quarter of 2013. Charter operations during the quarter benefited from the broad-based uptick in demand, partially offset by additional travel and ground handling expenses from flying to high-cost locations.
Reported earnings for the period included an effective income tax rate of 29.1%, reflecting the ongoing beneficial impact of lower taxes for certain foreign subsidiaries in our Dry Leasing business.
For the nine months ended September 30, 2014, adjusted net income attributable to common stockholders totaled $54.7 million, or $2.17 per diluted share, compared with $54.9 million, or $2.13 per diluted share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2013.
On a reported basis, nine-month 2014 net income attributable to common stockholders totaled $65.1 million, or $2.59 per diluted share, compared with $63.9 million, or $2.48 per diluted share, in the first nine months of 2013.
Cash and Short-Term Investments
At September 30, 2014, our cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and restricted cash totaled $287.7 million, compared with $339.2 million at December 31, 2013.
The change in position reflected cash provided by operating and financing activities offset by cash used for investing activities.
Net cash used for investing activities during the first nine months of 2014 primarily related to the purchase of three 777F aircraft for our Dry Leasing business.
Net cash provided by financing activities primarily reflected proceeds from the issuance of debt in connection with the acquisitions of these aircraft. Those proceeds were partially offset by payments on debt obligations and debt issuance costs.
During the third quarter, we repurchased 458,937 shares of our common stock for $15.0 million, or 1.8% of our outstanding common stock at June 30, 2014.
Future repurchases under our remaining $45.0 million authority may be made at our discretion, and the actual timing, form and amount will depend on company and market conditions.
Airfreight volumes continue to improve, and recent industry reports suggest that airfreight demand will grow by several percentage points in 2014 – outpacing supply and driving the first real growth since 2010. We are seeing a general increase in demand across all regions, with the greatest growth in the transpacific market. An increase in online shopping and several new high-tech product launches during peak season also continue to favor airfreight.
As a result, AAWH anticipates adjusted and reported fully diluted earnings per share of approximately $1.33 to $1.43 in the fourth quarter. AAWH is also raising its full-year 2014 adjusted earnings outlook to approximately $3.50 to $3.60 per diluted share, and our reported earnings outlook to approximately $3.92 to $4.02.
For the full year, the company expects to fly approximately 160,000 block hours, with more than 70% in ACMI, approximately 10% in AMC Charter, and the balance in Commercial Charter. The Dry Leasing segment should show dramatic growth compared with 2013. While our share of military flying, mainly in passenger service, has increased due to our ability to capitalize on additional flying opportunities and a reduction in the number of carriers serving the market, we expect an overall decline in military demand in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared with 2013.
The company also expects aircraft maintenance expense to total approximately $190 to $195 million in 2014, primarily due to performing several conditions-based engine overhauls for our 747-400 fleet during the fourth quarter. Depreciation this year is anticipated to total approximately $120 million, and core capital expenditures are expected to total about $30 to $35 million, mainly for spare parts for our expanded fleet.
Copyright Photo: The relationship with DHL continues to expand. Polar Air Cargo’s Boeing 747-47UF N416MC (msn 32838) taxies at Los Angeles.
UPS reports its third quarter operating profit increased 7.8% to $1.3 billion, expects holiday packages to increase by 11%
UPS (United Parcel Service) (UPS Airlines) (Atlanta and Louisville) issued this financial statement:
UPS has announced diluted earnings per share of $1.32 for the third quarter 2014, a 13.8% improvement over the prior year period. Operating profit increased 8.3%, resulting from balanced growth across all three segments.
Daily packages in the U.S. were 6.9% higher as demand from both B2C and B2B customers improved. International Export shipments increased 9.4% with strong growth in both Asia and Europe. UPS delivered 1.1 billion packages around the world, up 6.9% over the third quarter 2013.
For the nine months ended Sept. 30, UPS generated $2.8 billion in free cash flow. The company paid dividends of $1.8 billion, up 8.1% per share over the prior year, and repurchased 20.6 million shares for approximately $2.1 billion.
U.S. Domestic Package
U.S. Domestic revenue increased to $8.7 billion, up 5.3% over the third quarter 2013. Daily package volume improved 6.9%, led by gains in UPS Ground and Deferred products up 7.7% and 5.9%, respectively. E-commerce continued to drive strong B2C growth, while B2B deliveries were also higher this quarter.
Operating profit was $1.3 billion, up 7.8%. Operating margin expanded 30 basis points to 14.7%. The segment experienced positive operating leverage as investments in new technology and capacity helped lower costs.
Total revenue per package declined 1.5% as base rate improvements were offset by changes in customer and product mix. UPS SurePost shipments increased more than 50%, contributing to the mix change.
During the quarter, UPS announced the expansion of its Access Point alternate delivery solution to the New York City and Chicago areas. Plans were announced to add locations in other U.S. cities, in addition to more than 4,400 existing UPS Stores, by the end of 2015.
International revenue increased 5.5% to $3.2 billion on daily package growth of 6.7%. Export products jumped 9.4% with gains from all regions of the world. Shipments out of Asia grew 16% and Europe was up 14%.
Operating profit improved 10.3% to $460 million. Operating margin expanded 70 basis points over the prior year period, to 14.5%. Revenue and cost initiatives implemented during the quarter contributed to the margin improvements.
Currency-neutral revenue per package declined 1.0% due to changing product mix and continued strength in shorter trade lanes. Non-premium products continue to outpace premium, putting pressure on yield.
On October 7, UPS announced the acquisition of international e-commerce enabler i-parcel, LLC. The company’s experience and technology in cross-border e-commerce assists U.K. and U.S. based retailers expand their reach to consumers in over 100 countries worldwide.
Supply Chain & Freight
Supply Chain and Freight revenue was up 7.4% to $2.4 billion, resulting primarily from growth in the Distribution and UPS Freight business units. Operating profit was 7% higher at $215 million, and operating margin was 8.9%.
Forwarding revenue was higher primarily due to increased International Air Freight (IAF) tonnage which was aided by high-tech product launches and Government sector gains. Operating profit improvements in North American Air Freight and Ocean Forwarding were more than offset by continued pricing pressure in IAF.
Distribution revenue increased more than 10% over the same quarter last year. Strong demand from Healthcare and Retail sector customers contributed to the growth.
UPS Freight revenue increased 7.9% to $810 million. LTL shipments were 4.7% higher and revenue per hundredweight improved 1.1%. Operating profit and margin expanded from the third quarter last year.
The company announced its expectations for the upcoming holiday season. UPS expects shipments delivered during the month of December to climb 11% over the prior year. As previously announced, the company committed an additional $175 million in operating expense and $500 million in capital expenditures to enhance its capabilities and prepare the network for peak and future volume growth.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4R7F N582UP (msn 29053) departs from Anchorage.
Video: Plane Pull at Miami: UPS Americas employees, friends and family showed their support for United Way of Miami-Dade by coming out to pull a Boeing 757 weighting more than 110,000 lb. at the UPS Americas 2014 Plane Pull. The high temperatures didn’t stop the attendance of more than 250 people at the fundraiser event. Together, we pulled for a great cause.
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (New York) today announced the placement of two incremental Boeing 747 freighters into ACMI service with DHL Express.
The two aircraft, a Boeing 747-800F and a 747-400F, will be operated in Polar Air Cargo Worldwide’s express network under an ACMI arrangement for the benefit of DHL Express. Operations are scheduled to begin on October 26, 2014.
When the new ACMI service begins, Polar’s express network will total twelve 747 freighters, consisting of five Boeing 747-800Fs and seven 747-400Fs, in ACMI on behalf of DHL and Polar’s other customers. Atlas also will continue to operate a fleet of Boeing 767 Freighters in CMI service for DHL, with 11 aircraft in operation by the end of January 2015.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Polar Air Cargo’s Boeing 747-46NF N451PA (msn 30809) arrives in Los Angeles.
British Airways (London) will resume Boeing 747-400 service on the London (Heathrow)-Denver route on March 29, 2015, replacing a Boeing 777-200 ER according to Airline Route. BA last operated the Jumbo on the route in 2003.
British Airways issued this statement:
British Airways announced that customers in Denver will soon be able to enjoy British Airways’ new First class cabin. From March 2015 the Denver to London service will be operated by a four class Boeing 747-400 aircraft.
British Airways began flying to Denver 16 years ago and the airline now offers a daily service to London Heathrow. The Boeing 747 aircraft will provide customers with a choice of World Traveller (economy), World Traveller Plus (premium economy), Club World (business class) and the airline’s flagship brand, First.
Premium First Experience
The First class cabin has 14 suites that are based on classic design and discrete luxury. Features include:
Individual seats that turn into a 6 ft. 6 in. fully flat beds with a simple twist of a button
Signature turn down service includes a luxurious quilted mattress, crisp white cotton duvet and pillow, along with pajamas and luxury amenity kit.
A personal closet and leather-bound writing desk that converts into a dining table
A la carte dining and a buddy seat to enable customers to dine together
A 15” in-flight entertainment screen with extensive TV, movie and audio selections
Lighting and electronic blinds that can be modified to reflect mood and time of day
All British Airways long haul flights include benefits such as free meals and all beverages, as well as free baggage allowance and seat allocation. The airline also provides a “Feed Kids First” service ensures that children are served first, allowing parents to enjoy their own meal.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-436 G-BNLS (msn 24629) departs from London’s Heathrow Airport.
Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) is facing a showdown with its pilots this coming week. 51 percent of the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers Association voted down the company’s offer on an online poll. The carrier said it was disappointed with the vote. The airline had offered a 10 percent salary increase over three years. Contract talks will start next week.
If the talks fail, the pilots may got to invoke a “contract compliance”, a form of a strike. This slow down action if implemented could have an impact on operations.
Read the full report from Malaymail Online: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Cathay Pacific Airways’ Boeing 747-467 B-HOO (msn 23814) taxies at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Cathay Pacific Aircraft Slide Show:
Garuda Indonesia‘s (Jakarta) Boeing 747-400 fleet has dwindled down to just two aircraft. The airline has been using the aging type on mainly pilgrimage flights from Jakarta, Makassar and Medan, Indonesia to and from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. According to Airline Route, the carrier will extend the life of the last two Jumbos until January 14, 2015 on the Jeddah-Jakarta route. Subject to another change, flight GA 9893 is likely to be the last revenue flight on this last route on January 14, 2015.
Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4U3 PK-GSH (msn 25705) is pictured in the past at Paris (CDG) in the 1985 livery.
Video: Flying the Boeing 747-400 in Executive Class:
WestJet (Calgary) has announced it has entered into a code-share agreement with China Airlines (Taipei), allowing the carrier to begin marketing and selling WestJet-operated flights. Code-share designations will be available on select WestJet flights from Vancouver and Los Angeles. Bookings can be made through China Airlines or a travel agency.
China Airlines began flying to Canada in 2000 and offers daily nonstop flights from Taipei to Vancouver.
This is the twelfth code-share agreement for WestJet. Since 2011, WestJet has initiated code-shares with American Airlines, Air France, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Japan Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air and QANTAS Airways. Additionally, WestJet has 26 interline relationships, further connecting passengers worldwide to WestJet’s network.
Top Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Short version Boeing 737-6CT C-GWCY (msn 35113) of WestJet arrives in New York (JFK).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Formerly painted in the special Boeing livery, the pictured China Airlines Boeing 747-409 B-18210 (msn 33734) has been repainted in the standard 1995 livery.
National Airlines (5th) (formerly Murray Air) (Orlando) is helping in the Ebola relief efforts in Liberia. In cooperation with the United States Government, National Airlines, using one of its Boeing 747-400 Freighters, carried a planeload of medical and other relief supplies from New York to the Monrovia Airport.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly operated by Air France, Boeing 747-428 (F) N952CA (msn 25238) arrives at Washington’s Dulles International Airport (IAD).
CDC Map of affected Ebola areas in West Africa:
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) as planned, retired three ex-Northwest Airlines Boeing 747-400s on September 30:
N671US (fleet number 6311) performed its last revenue flight on September 30 from Paris (CDG) to Detroit as flight DL 99. The Jumbo ferried to Marana, Arizona on September 30 as flight DL 9950 for final disposition.
The pictured N672US (6312) performed its last revenue flight also on September 30 from Amsterdam to Atlanta as flight DL 239. The aircraft was ferried to Marana on October 1.
N676US (6316) performed its last revenue flight also on September 30 from Tokyo (Narita) to Atlanta as flight DL 269. The aircraft was ferried to Marana on October 1.
This leaves 13 remaining in active service. Another 747-400 will be retired at the end of this year leaving a dozen.
Delta has 10 Airbus A330-300 aircraft on order which will augment Delta’s existing fleet of 32 A330s. The first new A330-300 delivery is scheduled for spring of 2015, with three additional airplanes scheduled for that year, four in 2016, and the final two in 2017.
Delta will be the first airline to operate the enhanced 242-metric ton A330-300, which offers additional payload capacity and range. Delta will use the aircraft’s versatility to optimize its Pacific and Atlantic networks.
The last Delta 747-400 is likely to be retired in 2017.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-451 N672US (msn 30267) is pictured on its final approach to Tokyo (Narita). N672US was delivered new to Northwest Airlines on July 19, 1999.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Jan Petzold/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-451 N672US departs from the Minneapolis/St. Paul hub when it was with Northwest.
Virgin Atlantic is close to making a decision on 5 additional Boeing 787s, updates its fleet retirement plans
Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) is close to making a decision on its five Boeing 787 options according to this report by Bloomberg. The British carrier is updating its fleet plans as it retires its older aircraft types with the new generation aircraft.
According to the report, Virgin Atlantic will retire the last Airbus A340-300 (above) at the end of February 2015. The last five Boeing 747-400s will leave the fleet between September 2015 and July 2016.
Two Airbus A340-600s will be retired at the beginning of 2015.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. The older Airbus A340-300s will be the first to be retired in February. Virgin Atlantic Airways’ Airbus A340-313 G-VFAR (msn 225) climbs away from London’s Heathrow Airport.
Subject to government approval, El Al plans to place its “LY” code on select JetBlue-operated flights to/from New York (JFK/Newark).
El Al currently offers up to 22 weekly nonstop flights from Tel Aviv to New York (JFK/Newark) which easily tap into JetBlue’s growing network. With one stop in New York (JFK/Newark), customers may connect between Israel and 35 JetBlue destinations including Boston, Chicago/O’Hare, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Houston/Hobby, Las Vegas, Orlando, San Francisco, San Juan, Washington/Dulles and West Palm Beach. JetBlue currently serves 86 cities across the United States, Caribbean, and Latin America.
El Al and JetBlue have been interline partners since 2010, allowing customers to purchase single-ticket itineraries, combining travel on both airlines.
Top Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. El Al’s Boeing 747-458 4X-ELB (msn 26056) climbs gracefully away from Heathrow Airport near London.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Fred Freketic/AirlinersGallery.com. JetBlue Airways’ Airbus A321-231 WL N923JB (msn 5960) with the Prism tail fin awaits its runway departure clearance at JFK International Airport.
QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has announced it will return to Vancouver (last served in January 2008) with twice-weekly Boeing 747-400 flights during the month of January 2015 (January 3-23, 2015).
The airline issued this statement:
QANTAS announced it will operate six direct return services between Sydney and Vancouver in January 2015 to cater for demand during the peak of the North American winter holiday season.
The Vancouver services follow last week’s announcement of a new codeshare with WestJet, providing new connections.
QANTAS has also announced an increase in services to the US and Santiago from early 2015, and is upgrading its Dallas/Fort Worth service to an Airbus A380.
The services will operate from January 3-22, 2015, departing Sydney on Saturdays and Wednesdays (with same day connections available from the major Australian capital cities), and from Vancouver on Sundays and Thursdays, operated by a three-cabin Boeing 747 aircraft, reconfigured with lie-flat beds in Business Class and the award-winning international Economy seat.* Subject to regulatory approval.
All proposed services are subject to regulatory approval.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallary.com. Boeing 747-438 ER VH-OEH (msn 32912) approaches the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York.
The last Air New Zealand Boeing 747 revenue flight touches down in Auckland, will increase Los Angeles frequencies
Air New Zealand (Auckland) ended an era when the pictured Boeing 747-419 ZK-NBV (msn 26910), flying the final 747 revenue flight, landed in Auckland on a flight from San Francisco. ANZ has ended its long association (nearly 35 years) with the Jumbo. The flag carrier originally operated the Boeing 747-200B before that early type was replaced with the newer Boeing 747-400s. Now the 747-400s have been fully replaced with newer Boeing 777-300 ERs and 787-9 Dreamliners.
Read the account from the Sydney Morning Herald: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: David Apps/AirlinersGallery.com.
The last flight departed from San Francisco International Airport on September 10. This “Farewell 747″ banner was displayed at the departure gate at SFO:
Copyright Photo: Air New Zealand.
Copyright Photo: Roy Lock/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-419 ZK-NBV was previously painted in this special color scheme to promote the first Lord of Rings movie featuring Frodo on the aircraft. ZK-NBV was delivered new to ANZ on Halloween (October 31), 1998.
In other news, Air New Zealand is adding more flights to its North American schedule. The popularity of the airline’s service between Auckland and Los Angeles will see the airline step up frequency next year from twice daily to three times a day on three days of the week.
To date Air New Zealand’s Los Angeles service has predominantly run twice-daily but during the 2015 Northern Summer season (April – October) there will be a third flight departing Auckland on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, representing a 20% boost in total capacity.
The additional Los Angeles services will depart Auckland earlier than the current daily services arriving in Los Angeles around 0900 and enabling same day connections with Midwest and East Coast USA destinations. The earlier departure time will also suit Australian travellers heading to the USA, with convenient Melbourne and Sydney connections.
The additional services will depart Los Angeles later than current services accommodating later connections while still arriving into Auckland at 0700 in time for passengers to connect seamlessly to domestic New Zealand and Australia.
Air New Zealand is also increasing capacity between Auckland and Vancouver by 10%. Next year it will operate five times per week from June to September (currently mid-July to late August). The airline operates three times per week outside of this period.
Both the Los Angeles and Vancouver routes will get an additional boost during the New Zealand school holidays. Air New Zealand will operate a third daily Los Angeles flight on Sundays in the July and October school holidays taking the weekly total to 18, and move from three to four flights per week to Vancouver during the October school holidays.
Today (September 12) ANZ begins Boeing 787-9 service on the Auckland – Perth route, one month earlier than planned.
Additionally, Air New Zealand is progressively refitting its Boeing 777-200 ER fleet bringing the on-board customer experience into line with the high level of inflight innovation and comfort already enjoyed on the airline’s Boeing 777-300 ER and new 787-9 aircraft.
Air New Zealand has eight 777-200 ERs which are progressively having their interiors completely stripped out and replaced as part of a $100 million fleet refurbishment project.
ZK-OKA is the first to be completed. The refurbished aircraft features Air New Zealand’s new luxury leather Premium Economy seat (above) which recently debuted on the airline’s 787-9 Dreamliner and nine rows of the award-winning Economy Skycouch product. The airline’s Business Premier lie-flat bed and Economy seat round out the inflight product offering. Also on board is a brand new Panasonic eX3 seatback inflight entertainment system with improved resolution and touch capabilities.
The remainder of the airline’s Boeing 777-200 ER fleet is being progressively refurbished with the final aircraft scheduled to roll out of the hangar late next year.
On the financial side, Air New Zealand recently announced normalized earnings before taxation of A$332 million for the 2014 financial year, an increase of 30 percent on the previous year. Statutory earnings before taxation were A$357 million, an increase of 40 percent, while statutory net profit after taxation was $262 million.
Chairman Tony Carter said that the result represented the third consecutive year of strong earnings growth for the airline.
“This is a result Air New Zealand can be proud of. Our employees, our customers and our shareholders can be confident that Air New Zealand continues to be a world leading airline both in terms of customer experience and financial performance,” Mr Carter said.
“We have made significant progress on our key strategic initiatives. With new aircraft offering better operating economics, an optimised network with the right alliance partners, disciplined cost management and a daily focus on improving the customer experience, we are very well positioned to continue growing.”
Mr Carter said that Air New Zealand will significantly grow its capacity in the coming year, as new aircraft arrive.
“Based on our current expectations of market demand and fuel prices, we expect to improve on the 2014 result in the coming year. This outlook excludes equity earnings from the Virgin Australia shareholding,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon said the result was testament to the efforts of Air New Zealanders at all levels of the organisation.
“Our team is demonstrating their passion and commitment to ensuring that Air New Zealand is performing better than ever before. A successful Air New Zealand is good for everyone – it is a virtuous circle. As we grow our revenue and control costs, we generate strong financial results which lead to sustainable returns to shareholders and investment back in the business,” Mr Luxon said.
“We have a number of initiatives underway to further improve the customer experience, including induction of the Boeing 787-9 fleet, the refurbishment of our Boeing 777-200 ER fleet, moving to new terminals and lounges in Los Angeles and London and multiple lounge upgrades across the network.”
Mr Luxon also commented on the airline’s alliance with Singapore Airlines, which was recently granted full regulatory approval.
“This alliance is the third strategic revenue sharing alliance we have formed in recent years, following agreements with Virgin Australia (reauthorised in 2013) and Cathay Pacific in 2012. Forming alliances with the right partners in the right markets is a key pillar of our Go Beyond strategy.”
“Strong alliances such as this provide us with a platform for sustainable growth, allowing us to open up new routes and markets across the Pacific Rim,” he said.
Air New Zealand Aircraft Slide Show:
Video: ANZ salutes the “Queen of the Skies”:
Video from stuff.co.nz: Air New Zealand’s Boeing 747-400 ZK-NBV named “Christchurch” made it final flight and now is in retirement. The 747-400 completed 67,552 flight hours and 7284 landings.
Video: Before the Boeing 747-400 there was the Boeing 747-200B:
Centurion Cargo (Miami) is struggling according to this report by the South Florida Business Journal. According to the report, “five statutory trusts based in Dublin, Ireland filed a lawsuit in federal court on August 29 against Miami-based Centurion and its Sky Lease I affiliate. It claims the companies are delinquent on $10.2 million in lease payments on five aircrafts: one Boeing 747-400F and four McDonnell Douglas MD-11Fs.”
Until now the airline has not returned the aircraft.
The company was originally founded on November 8, 1985 as Challenge Air Cargo Inc. After many years in the business, on July 20, 2001 Challenge Air Cargo Inc. changed its name and started operating as Centurion Air Cargo Inc.
According to the airline, Centurion Cargo is a privately owned company founded in 2001.Based at Miami International Airport it currently operates a 550,000 square foot warehouse (51,097 square meters); divided into two different sections; a 159,000 square foot (14,772 square meters) Cooler and 391,000 square foot (36,325 square meters) Dry Cargo Area, the Centurion Cargo Center is by far the largest privately owned all cargo airline facility in North America, and operates a fleet of ten MD-11Fs and three 747-400ERFs.
Read the full story: CLICK HERE
Update: Late on September 10, 2014 all pilots of Centurion Cargo received furlough notices.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4R7F N901AR (msn 25868) arrives in Philadelphia.
British Airways (London) is upgrading 18 selected Boeing 747-400s for a cabin refresh including a new in-flight entertainment system. The airline issued this statement:
Some of British Airways’ much-loved Boeing 747s are to receive a cabin refresh including a state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system.
Customers travelling on the 18 selected 747s will be treated to double the choice of TV programs and films thanks to the installation of Panasonic’s next generation eX3 entertainment system.
The new system, which will be installed from August 2015, will provide more than 130 movies and 400 TV programs on larger, hi-resolution screens, capable of touch and swipe gestures, giving the system the familiar feel of using a tablet.
Lightweight in design, the system from Panasonic Avionics Corporation also helps to save the amount of fuel used by the aircraft.
As part of the upgrade, customers in World Traveller Plus on these aircraft will have access to a universal power socket at every seat, capable of accepting plugs from the UK, US and Europe. In addition, World Traveller customers will now have their own personal USB socket to power phones and tablets.
Richard D’Cruze, British Airways’ in-flight entertainment and technology manager, said: “We know that in-flight entertainment is really important to our customers – being able to relax and watch a film or listen to music helps customers to pass the time enjoyably – so by installing this state-of-the-art equipment we will be able to deliver even more programing on board.”
The refit, which will be carried out by British Airways’ engineers in Cardiff, will include a cabin interior refresh bringing these 747s more in line with the airline’s newest aircraft.
New seat foams will be installed in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus to increase customer comfort and new style seat covers fitted to improve appearance and match those on the A380 and 787. Carpets and curtains throughout the plane will also be replaced to the new aircraft colour pallet.
Kathryn Doyle, aircraft cabin interiors manager, said: “Our customers love our new aircraft, and we wanted to refresh the 747s in line with them as we know they have a special place in the heart of many of our customers. These aircraft will get some well deserved TLC and the improvements will be really noticeable to our frequent fliers.”
British Airways has introduced a number of recent changes to its in-flight entertainment, including the introduction of HBO and the Discovery Channel as well as a new ‘paws and relax channel’ showing cute footage of cats, kittens, dogs and puppies, to enhance the wellbeing of customers.
British Airways was also the first European airline to permit the use of hand-held mobile devices after landing and the first European airline to introduce the use of in-flight entertainment systems from gate-to-gate.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-436 G-CIVO (msn 28849) completes its final approach to the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York.
Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) is closely aligning its network with Delta Air Lines (Atlanta), discontinuing four destinations which will free up aircraft for more promising routes or adding to profitable existing routes. The carrier will drop all service to Cape Town (April 27, 2015), Mumbai (February 1, 2015), Tokyo Narita (February 1, 2015) and Vancouver (October 11, 2014). The company issued this statement outlining this major revamp of its system:
Virgin Atlantic has identified opportunities for investment into its trans-Atlantic schedule as it looks to maximize the benefits of its joint venture partnership with Delta Air Lines.
We are outlining a program of network changes that will significantly increase our presence in the key UK – US travel market, whilst we continue to fly to major strategic destinations in the rest of the world and retain a relevant global presence.
The proposed changes include:
A new daily service from London Heathrow to Detroit offering new connections across North and Central USA such as Cincinnati, New Orleans, Memphis and Indianapolis*
A fifth daily service from London Heathrow to New York, JFK
An additional daily service from London Heathrow to Los Angeles
An additional daily service during the summer season from London Heathrow to Atlanta
An additional summer seasonal service from London Heathrow to San Francisco flying five times a week
An additional daily service during the winter season from London Heathrow to Miami
A transfer of operations with joint venture partner Delta Air Lines that will see Virgin Atlantic fly a daily service between Manchester and Atlanta and Delta fly one of Virgin Atlantic’s existing London Heathrow to Newark services**.
Across the joint venture, Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines will now offer ten daily services from London to the New York area.
In addition, Delta Air Lines will launch a new daily service between Manchester and New York JFK in Summer 2015.
In order to maximize these opportunities, further proposed changes will include:
A withdrawal of operations to Tokyo Narita with the final flight from London to Narita on January 31, 2015 and the final flight from Tokyo Narita to London on February 1, 2015.
A withdrawal of operations to Mumbai with the final flight from London to Mumbai on January 31, 2015 and the final flight from Mumbai to London on February 1, 2015.
The summer seasonal service from London Heathrow to Vancouver will not return after this season’s flying program is completed on October 11, 2014.
The winter seasonal service to Cape Town will operate as planned in winter 2014/15 but will not be renewed the following winter. The final flight from London to Cape Town will be on April 26, 2015 and the final flight from Cape Town to London on April 27, 2015.
Craig Kreeger, Chief Executive at Virgin Atlantic said:
“Our ambition is to be profitable for the long term, earn competitive returns, and invest those into providing the very best experience for our customers on the routes they most want to fly.”
“Trans-Atlantic flying has always been at the heart of our network and our most financially successful region. This announcement allows us to play to our strengths and focus our network on routes between the UK and US, as well as other critical global destinations that are most important to our customers.”
“We are confident that with this strengthened network, our new aircraft and our welcoming people delivering unrivalled service, we have all the right ingredients to achieve long-term success.”
Among the plans the airline has set out is a commitment to investing in customer experience. A major program of work is already underway that will see £300m invested by the end of 2018, on the ground and in the air.
The imminent arrival of Virgin Atlantic’s first Boeing 787-9 will continue a fleet modernization program of over £2bn that will give it one of the youngest fleets in the world.
Virgin Atlantic would like to thank its customers and staff in Tokyo, Cape Town, Mumbai and Vancouver for their loyalty and commitment to our services.
In the future if Heathrow gains its long overdue expansion, Virgin Atlantic would love to re-enter Tokyo, Cape Town, Mumbai and Vancouver.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. As part of this master plan, the Boeing 747-400 fleet will slowly being reduced. Boeing 747-443 G-VROY (msn 32340) lands in Las Vegas.
Virgin Atlantic Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Philippines-Philippine Airlines (Manila) today (September 1) operated its last Boeing 747 revenue flight. The last flight with a Boeing 747-400 touched down from San Francisco early this morning at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, ending an era that has spanned 35 years according to Philippine Flight Network.
The Boeing 747 entered service with Philippine Airlines in December 1979, when the carrier took delivery of its first Boeing 747-200B. PAL added its first Boeing 747-400 in November 1993.
Boeing 747-4F6 RP-C7473 (msn 27828) operated the last flight. RP-C7473 departed San Francisco on August 31 for the last time with 285 passengers on board according to PFN.
Read the full story with photos from Philippine Flight Network: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 747-4F6 RP-C8168 (msn 27827) was a familiar sight at Los Angeles International Airport.
Bottom Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-2F6B N741PR (msn 21832) holds short of the runway at London’s Gatwick Airport.
QANTAS Airways (Sydney) will boost services between Melbourne and Los Angeles, and between Sydney and Santiago, from early 2015, and introduce a new schedule providing the flexibility of morning, midday and evening departures between Australia and the US.
From January 21, 2015, QANTAS will increase its Melbourne to Los Angeles service from a daily service to ten per week and from February 20 will increase its Sydney to Santiago service from three to four per week.
The new services are the result of some schedule adjustments across the Pacific allowing for increased Boeing 747-400 flying time, one of the key elements of the QANTAS Transformation Program announced earlier this year.
“As part of our strategy to build a stronger QANTAS, we’ve introduced a new approach to aircraft utilization so we can take advantage of opportunities in the market. It means adjusting our schedules across the network to ensure our fleet spend less time on the ground and more time in the air, as we have done with our new Airbus A380 Dallas/Fort Worth service starting next month,” added Mr Hickey.
“This new schedule also builds on 25 supplementary services to the US and South America over the Christmas holiday period. The new schedule also enhances connections for our customers right across the US,” added Mr Hickey.
Customers connecting through to destinations across central and eastern parts of the United States will now have three options from Sydney – a morning and evening service to Los Angeles, and afternoon service to Dallas/Fort Worth.
“We recently announced new codeshare services with our partner LAN from Santiago to six destinations across South America and will now operate A380 services to both Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles, connecting with codeshare partner American Airlines to more than 100 destinations across North America.
Adjustments will be made to the timing of some of our flights across the Pacific in order to facilitate the improved schedule options for our customers.
Fleet and network adjustments are earmarked to save up to $600 million over three years for the QANTAS Group from the overall $2 billion cost reduction target that is at the centre of the airline’s turnaround plans. Increased aircraft utilisation and accelerated retirement of older, non-reconfigured Boeing 747s form part of this.
These changes come in a year of the 60th anniversary of QANTAS services to the US. In 1954, QANTAS operated a Lockheed Super Constellation from Sydney to San Francisco – its first trans-Pacific route to North America.
Summary of Schedule and Network Changes:
Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 747-400 is gradually leaving the QANTAS passenger fleet. Boeing 747-438 VH-OJS (man 25564) in the special Socceroos color scheme arrives in London (Heathrow).
United Airlines (Chicago) today (August 20) became the first airline to offer customers Uber transportation services via its mobile app, further enabling travelers to use the United app for services throughout their entire travel experience.
Customers with iOS and Android mobile devices may access Uber ground transportation information in the United app’s menu or in the “My Reservations” card with a current reservation. The app will display Uber information, including types of available vehicles, estimated wait times and prices. After customers select a ride, the United app will automatically transfer them to the Uber app or the Uber website to sign up for an account to complete the transaction.
Customers who sign up for Uber via the United app and complete their first transaction will receive 1,000 MileagePlus award miles for a limited time.
In addition to accessing ground transportation options and other features, customers can use the United mobile app on iOS and Android devices to do the following:
Book United flights, including award travel
Scan a valid passport to check in for international flights
Store mobile boarding passes for easy access at security and during boarding
Select seats and choose Economy Plus seating
Check the status of an upgrade and view inflight amenities
Access United Club information and purchase one-time passes
In July, United became the first U.S. carrier to offer customers the ability to scan their passports to check in for international flights via their iOS and Android mobile devices. Later this year, United will begin to introduce its all-new united.com website, providing customers a simplified, clearer and faster user experience.
Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE
In other news, United is also ending United Express passenger service on the Crescent City-Arcata/Eureka, Los Angeles-Yuma and Sacramento-Arcata/Eureka routes on December 3 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-422 N128UA (msn 30023) arrives at Tokyo (Narita).
Cathay Pacific to retire the last passenger long-haul Boeing 747-400 on August 31 on the San Francisco route
Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) will operate its last long-haul scheduled Boeing 747 passenger flight to San Francisco on August 31. The last departure will be from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Hong Kong. The company will continue to operate Boeing 747 freighters and the 747-400 on some short-haul Asian routes (Beijing, Manila, Osaka Kansai, Sapporo, Shanghai Pudong, Taipei Taoyuan and Tokyo Haneda per Airline Route).
To mark the historic occasion, Cathay Pacific is running a “Farewell 747 Giveaway” contest. 20 winners will receive a Boeing 747 model. CLICK HERE for the details.
The inaugural flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong via Vancouver was flown on a Boeing 747-200B on July 1, 1986.
Above Copyright Photo: Cathay Pacific.
Top Copyright Photo: KSK/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-467, the Queen of the Skies, B-HOY (man 25351) in the 1994 livery gracefully climbs away from the runway at Tokyo (Haneda)
Bottom Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-267B VR-HIE (msn 28872) taxies at Zurich in the original 1971 green and white color scheme.
Video: Trip Report on a CP Boeing 747-400:
Thai Airways International (Bangkok) meanwhile expects to cut 1,500 jobs this year as it expects to return to profitability in the fourth quarter according to this article by the Business Times.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4D7 HS-TGG (msn 33771) departs gracefully from Phuket, Thailand.
Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) has issued this statement about flying over Iraq:
After renewed consultation with the relevant national security authorities, the Lufthansa Group has decided to resume flights to Erbil in northern Iraq (Kurdistan) from today (August 4). Erbil lies well outside the direct crisis zone in Iraq, and flights to and from the city will be routed to avoid overflying the zone. Lufthansa (Frankfurt) flies twice-weekly to Erbil, a further daily flight is operated by Austrian Airlines (Vienna).
For the time being, however, transit traffic to Asia and the Middle East, for example, will continue to detour Iraqi airspace. The Lufthansa Group is in close and regular contact with the relevant national security authorities, also in Iraq. Based on our own assessment, there is currently no danger in overflying Iraq. Nevertheless, the Lufthansa Group has decided to avoid the Iraqi airspace above the section controlled by Isis for the time being. In taking this step, the Lufthansa Group is taking into account the growing apprehension of customers and our own flight crews. The safety and well being of passengers is naturally our paramount priority. The changes in flight routes apply to all airlines in the Lufthansa Group. Aside from Lufthansa, those airlines include Lufthansa Cargo, Austrian Airlines and Swiss. The new flight routes will not significantly lengthen flight times.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-430 D-ABVS (msn 28286) of Lufthansa with the short-lived “Fanhansa” titles for the recent FIFA World Cup departs from Toronto (Pearson).
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) currently operates 16 ex-Northwest Airlines Boeing 747-400s. According to FrequentBusinessTraveler.com citing a memo to its pilots, Delta will retire three aircraft by the end of September and another by the end of this year leaving 12 in the fleet.
Delta was originally a Boeing 747-100 operator and became a 747 operator again with the Northwest Airlines merger.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Boeing 747-451 N671US (msn 26477) taxies to the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.
As part of the expanding Transavia lower-fare operations the Group issued this statement:
In the Second Quarter of 2014, Transavia capacity was up 4.8%, reflecting the accelerated development of Transavia France (up 10%) and the repositioning of Transavia Netherlands (up 3% including a 6% reduction in charter capacity). Traffic rose 6.0%, leading to a record high load factor of 90.7% (up 0.9 point). Unit revenue was down 1.7%. Transavia’s total revenue stood at 296 million euros, up 5.0%. The operating result was -6 million euros, down 3 million euros year-on-year.
In the First Half of 2014, Transavia traffic increased by 6.9% for capacity up 5.8%, leading to a 0.9 point increase in load factor to 89.2%. Unit revenue was down 2.6%. Total revenue stood at 435 million euros, up 4.5%, while the unit cost per ASK decreased by 0.8%, but increased by 0.5% on a constant currency basis. The operating result decreased by 10 million euros to -64 million euros, mainly due to the ramp up of Transavia France.
Overall the Group issued this outlook:
Delivery on the Transform 2015 plan is fully on track. However, as indicated at the beginning of the month, the operating environment remains tough, with industry overcapacity on certain long-haul routes, notably North America and Asia, impacting yields. This trend comes on top of the persistently weak cargo demand and the challenging situation in Venezuela already identified in the First Quarter.
Under these conditions, as indicated at the beginning of the month, 2014 EBITDA is expected to be between 2.2 and 2.3 billion euros. Strong capital discipline will enable the group to remain on track in terms of debt reduction and achieve its objective of 4.5 billion euros in net debt in 2015.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Air France’s Airbus A380-861 F-HPJE (msn 052) with the special logo to celebrate 50 years of France-China diplomatic relations.
Bottom Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-406 PH-BFF (msn 24202) completes its final approach to the runway at Toronto (Pearson).
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today suspended all flights to Tel Aviv, Israel due to nearby rocket attacks according to CNN. Today’s flight DL 469 from New York (JFK) diverted to Paris (Charles de Gualle).
The suspension is for 24 hours.
The suspension of service to Israel comes after the State Department issued this statement:
The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza due to ongoing hostilities. The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens consider the deferral of non-essential travel to Israel and the West Bank and reaffirms the longstanding strong warning to U.S. citizens against any travel to the Gaza Strip. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning issued on February 3, 2014.
The security environment remains complex in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, and U.S. citizens need to be aware of the risks of travel to these areas because of the current conflict between Hamas and Israel.
The Department of State continues its longstanding strong warning to U.S. citizens against travel to the Gaza Strip; U.S. government employees are not allowed to conduct official or personal travel there. Please see the section below on the situation in the Gaza Strip. Because of the security situation, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and its annexes are currently operating at reduced staffing and the Consular Section of the Embassy is providing only emergency consular services. The U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem is currently maintaining normal operations, including consular services.
Long-range rockets launched from Gaza since July 8, 2014 have reached many locations in Israel – including Tel Aviv, cities farther north, and throughout the south of the country. Some rockets have reached Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank, including Bethlehem and Hebron. While many rockets have been intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, there have been impacts that have caused damage and injury. In light of the ongoing rocket attacks, U.S. citizen visitors to and U.S. citizen residents of Israel and the West Bank should familiarize themselves with the location of the nearest bomb shelter or other hardened site, if available. Visitors should seek information on shelters from hotel staff or building managers. Consult city municipality websites, such as those for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, for lists of public bomb shelters and other emergency preparedness information. Visitors should follow the instructions of the Home Front Command on proper procedures in the event of rocket attacks.
Travelers should avoid areas of Israel in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip due to the real risks presented by small arms fire, anti-tank weapons, rockets, and mortars, as attacks from Gaza can come with little or no warning. Both Embassy and Consulate General personnel are currently not permitted to travel south of greater Tel Aviv without prior approval. On July 17, 2014 Israel announced the commencement of ground operations in Gaza. Visitors to these areas should remain aware of their surroundings and should take note of announcements and guidance provided by the Home Front Command.
Ben Gurion Airport is currently open and commercial flights are operating normally, although delays and cancellations can occur. Travelers should check with their airline prior to their planned travel to verify the flight schedule. U.S. citizens seeking to depart Israel or the West Bank are responsible for making their own travel arrangements.
We are not evacuating U.S. citizens out of Israel. U.S. government-facilitated evacuations occur only when no safe commercial alternatives exist. Evacuation assistance is provided on a cost-recovery basis, which means the traveler must reimburse the U.S. government for travel costs. The lack of a valid U.S. passport may hinder U.S. citizens’ ability to depart the country and may slow the U.S. Embassy or
Consulate General’s ability to provide assistance.
U.S. citizens who do travel to or remain in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza should take into consideration the rules governing travel by U.S. government employees:
U.S. government personnel are not permitted to conduct official or personal travel to the Gaza Strip;
U.S. government personnel are restricted from conducting personal travel to most parts of the West Bank; travel for official business is done with special security arrangements coordinated by the U.S.
Consulate General in Jerusalem;
Currently, because of the security situation, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to travel south of greater Tel Aviv without prior approval;
U.S. government personnel must notify Embassy Tel Aviv’s Regional Security Officer before traveling in the areas of the Golan Heights and are prohibited from traveling east of Rt. 98 in the Golan Heights;
U.S. government personnel are not permitted to use public buses anywhere in Israel or the West Bank due to past attacks on public transportation.
Major Metropolitan Areas in Israel
Personal safety conditions in major metropolitan areas, including Tel Aviv and Haifa and their surrounding regions, are comparable to or better than those in other major global cities. Please see below for specific information regarding Jerusalem. Visitors should observe appropriate personal security practices to reduce their vulnerability to crime, particularly late at night or in isolated or economically depressed areas, including in the countryside. Visitors are advised to avoid large gatherings or demonstrations and keep current with local news, which is available through numerous English language sources.
The Government of Israel has had a long-standing policy of issuing gas masks to its citizens and, starting in 2010, it began issuing replacement masks. It stopped this distribution process in early 2014 in response to regional events. Visitors and foreign residents in Israel are not issued masks and must individually procure them, if desired. The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General do not provide gas masks for persons who are not U.S. government employees or their dependents. For further emergency preparedness guidance, please visit the website of the Government of Israel’s Home Front Command, which provides information on how to choose a secure space in a home or apartment, as well as a list of the types of protective kits (gas masks) issued by the Government of Israel to its citizens.
The Department of State recommends against travel to areas of Israel in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip. Travelers should be aware of the risks presented by the current military conflict between Hamas and Israel. On July 17, 2014 Israel announced the commencement of ground operations in Gaza. Travelers in the regions immediately bordering Gaza may encounter small arms fire, anti-tank weapons, rockets, and mortars launched from inside Gaza toward Israeli cities and towns. These attacks can come with little or no warning. Visitors to these areas should remain aware of their surroundings and of the location of bomb shelters and should take note of announcements and guidance provided by the Home Front Command.
Travelers should also be aware of the heightened state of alert maintained by Israeli authorities along Israel’s border with Egypt. There have been cross-border incidents from Egypt, including rocket attacks and ground incursions, such as an attack that took place in August 2013 and one on January 20, 2014. Rockets were fired from Sinai in the direction of Eilat on July 15, 2014.
Rocket attacks into Israel from Lebanon have occurred without warning along the Israeli-Lebanese border. Tensions have increased along portions of the Disengagement Zone with Syria in the Golan Heights as a result of the internal conflict occurring in Syria. Sporadic gunfire has occurred along the border region. There have been several incidents of mortar shells and light arms fire impacting on the Israeli-controlled side of the zone as a result of spillover from the fighting in Syria. Travelers should be aware that cross-border gunfire can occur without warning. Furthermore, there are active land mines in areas of the Golan Heights, so visitors should walk only on established roads or trails. The Syrian conflict is sporadic and unpredictable. U.S. government personnel must notify the Embassy’s Regional Security Office in advance if they plan to visit the Golan Heights and are prohibited from traveling east of Rt. 98 in the Golan Heights.
U.S. citizens should be aware of the possibility of isolated street protests, particularly within the Old City and areas around Salah Ed-Din Street, Damascus Gate, Silwan, and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Travelers should exercise caution at religious sites on Fridays and on holy days, including during Ramadan. U.S. government employees are prohibited from entering the Old City on Fridays during the month of Ramadan due to congestion and security-related access restrictions.
U.S. government employees are prohibited from transiting Independence Park in central Jerusalem during the hours of darkness due to reports of criminal activity.
The Consulate General notes that recent demonstrations and clashes in several East Jerusalem areas, such as Shufat, Beit Hanina, Mt. of Olives, As Suwaneh, Abu Deis, Silwan, Shuafat Refugee Camp, inside the Old City (near Lions Gate), Issawiyeh, and Tsur Baher appear to have diminished, although the possibility exists of renewed clashes in the same areas during evenings. We note that the clashes and demonstrations have not been anti-American in nature. The Israel National Police (INP) continues to have a heavy presence in many of the neighborhoods that have had clashes and may restrict vehicular traffic to some of these neighborhoods without notice. We advise citizens not to enter any neighborhoods restricted by the INP and to avoid any locations that have active clashes ongoing.
The Shufat neighborhood of Jerusalem remains off-limits for official U.S. personnel and their families at night until further notice. The Old City of Jerusalem is also off-limits every day after dark for official U.S. personnel and their families until further notice. Official U.S. personnel are restricted from the Old City of Jerusalem at all times on Fridays during Ramadan. The Friday restriction is part of our standard policy, due to overall congestion and large crowds, and is not related to recent events.
The West Bank
The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to exercise caution when traveling to the West Bank. Demonstrations and violent incidents can occur without warning, and vehicles are regularly targeted by rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire on West Bank roads. U.S citizens have been killed in such attacks. There have also been an increasing number of violent incidents involving Israeli settlers and Palestinian villagers in the corridor stretching from Ramallah to Nablus, including attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian villages in which U.S. citizens have suffered injury or property damage, and attacks by Palestinians on settlements. U.S. citizens can be caught in the middle of potentially dangerous situations, and some U.S. citizens involved in political demonstrations in the West Bank have sustained serious injuries. The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens, for their own safety, avoid all demonstrations. During periods of unrest, the Israeli Government may restrict access to the West Bank, and some areas may be placed under curfew. All persons in areas under curfew should remain indoors to avoid arrest or injury. Security conditions in the West Bank may hinder the ability of consular staff to offer timely assistance to U.S. citizens.
Personal travel in the West Bank by U.S. government personnel and their families is permitted to the towns of Bethlehem and Jericho and on Routes 1, 443, and 90. Personal travel is also permitted to Qumran off Route 90 by the Dead Sea, as are stops at roadside facilities along Routes 1 and 90. All other personal travel by U.S. government personnel in the West Bank is prohibited. U.S. government personnel routinely travel to the West Bank for official business, but do so with special security arrangements.
The Gaza Strip
The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip, which is under the control of Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization. U.S. citizens in Gaza are advised to depart immediately. The security environment within Gaza, including its border with Egypt and its seacoast, is dangerous and volatile. Exchanges of fire between the Israel Defense Forces and militant groups in Gaza take place regularly, and civilians have been caught in the crossfire in the past. Although the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt normally allows for some passenger travel, prior coordination with local authorities — which could take days or weeks to process — is generally required, and crossing points may be closed for days or weeks. Travelers who enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing must also exit through the Rafah crossing, and those entering the Gaza Strip may not be able to depart at a time of their choosing. Many U.S. citizens have been unable to exit Gaza or faced lengthy delays in doing so. Furthermore, the schedule and requirements for exiting through the Rafah crossing are unpredictable and can involve significant expense. Because U.S. citizen employees of the U.S. government are not allowed to enter the Gaza Strip or have contact with Hamas, the ability of consular staff to offer timely assistance to U.S. citizens, including assistance departing Gaza, is extremely limited.
Some U.S. citizens holding Israeli nationality, possessing a Palestinian identity card, or who are of Arab or Muslim origin have experienced significant difficulties in entering or exiting Israel or the West Bank. U.S. citizens planning to travel to Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza should consult the detailed information concerning entry and exit difficulties in the Country Specific Information.
Contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy for information and assistance in Israel, the Golan Heights, and ports of entry at Ben Gurion Airport, Haifa Port, the northern (Jordan River/Sheikh Hussein) and southern (Arava) border crossings connecting Israel and Jordan, and the border crossings between Israel and Egypt. An embassy officer can be contacted at (972) (3) 519-7575 from Monday through Friday during working hours. The after-hours emergency number is (972) (3) 519-7551.
Contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem for information and assistance in Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, at (972) (2) 630-4000 from Monday through Friday during working hours. The after-hours emergency number is (972) (2) 622-7250.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-451 N663US (msn 23818) prepares to land in Tokyo (Narita).
Air France-KLM Group (Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines) (Amsterdam) has issued a profit warning, lowering it profit forecast from 2.5 billion euros to around 2.25 billion. The stock tumbled over 5 percent.
The Group issued this statement in their June traffic numbers:
“While not representing a turning point in market trends, the June traffic figures published today as well as bookings for July and August nevertheless reflect the over-capacity on certain long-haul routes, notably North America and Asia, with the attendant impact on yields. This comes on top of the persistently weak cargo demand and the challenging situation in Venezuela identified in the First Quarter.
These factors lead us to revise our EBITDA target for Full Year 2014 from around 2.5 billion euros to between 2.2 and 2.3 billion euros, a rise of over 20% compared with 2013.
Strong capital disciple will enable us to remain on track in terms of debt reduction and we confirm our objective of 4.5 billion euros in net debt in 2015.”
Read the analysis on City Index: CLICK HERE
Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has issued this statement:
Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, and Song Zhiyong, President and Executive Director of Air China Limited (Beijing), signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enhance the commercial partnership as part of a joint venture, during the Chancellor’s visit to China.
Both companies also signed a memorandum of understanding to expand collaboration in the area of maintenance, repair and overhaul services.
As members of the Star Alliance, Lufthansa and Air China have been connected for a number of years. The memorandum of understanding should pave the way for the creation of a commercial joint venture between the German airline and Air China.
This partnership will add to the existing joint ventures with United Airlines and with Air Canada between Europe and North America (since 1998) and with ANA (since 2012) on routes between Europe and Japan.
The agreement with Air China will allow the Lufthansa Group to provide its airlines with even better access to the world’s second largest aviation market after the USA.
The new partnership agreement should come into force as early as the start of the winter flight timetable in late October 2014.
Since 2007, Air China has been a member of the Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, and with almost 49 million passengers, as measured by intercontinental traffic, is China’s biggest airline.
Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-430 D-ABVW (msn 29493) climbs away from the runway at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-39L ER B-2043 (msn 41441) of Air China approaches the runway at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
Air China (Beijing) is gradually phasing out its aging Boeing 747-400 fleet. The Jumbo is being replaced with newer Boeing 777-300ERs. The fleet is now down to four aircraft. The flag carrier is ending domestic Boeing 747-400 scheduled flights on June 30 according to Airline Route. The last domestic route is the Beijing – Shanghai (Hongqiao).
The carrier will continue to fly the type until October 25 on the following routes:
Beijing – Hong Kong
Beijing – Tokyo (Narita)
Shanghai (Pudong) – Tokyo (Narita)
The Jumbo, subject to change, is expected to then exit the fleet.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4J6 B-2460 (msn 24348) arrives at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT).
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) issued this statement about its new Hong Kong service and its new “Seattle hub”:
Delta Air Lines yesterday (June 16) launched nonstop service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Hong Kong. The new market is Delta’s latest addition in the buildup of its Seattle hub and its fifth new international destination from Seattle/Tacoma in the last year.
Delta customers and employees will commemorated the event along with representatives from the Port of Seattle, Visit Seattle, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, and the Hong Kong Association of Washington with a gate event prior to the departure of the first flight. The event will include a ceremonial ribbon cutting and water cannon salute.
With the launch of Hong Kong service, Delta customers now have nonstop access to nine long-haul international destinations from Seattle – more than all other airlines combined – including the top five destinations in Asia and three of the top four destinations in Europe. Delta is the only carrier to offer nonstop service from Seattle/Tacoma to Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Paris, Shanghai and Tokyo-Haneda. Delta is also the only carrier to offer full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access in BusinessElite on every long-haul international flight from Seattle/Tacoma along with Economy Comfort seating and entertainment on demand in every seat throughout the aircraft.
“With the addition of the Hong Kong flight, Delta now offers our customers more than 2,500 daily seats to the top business markets in Asia and Europe from our Seattle hub,” said Mike Medeiros, Delta’s vice president – Seattle. “As we continue growing in the community, we remain committed to consistently providing the award-winning experience that we’re known for both in the U.S. and around the globe.”
Delta has also significantly expanded its operation in Seattle/Tacoma over the last year to support its international service and offer customers in the previously underserved market more choices. In total, Delta has increased its peak-day departures by more than 30 percent since a year ago and by December will offer 95 peak-day departures to 33 destinations, making it Seattle’s fastest-growing airline.
In February, Delta launched a double miles promotion for Seattle-based SkyMiles members. Customers who book and fly Delta or Delta Connection-marketed and -operated flights from Seattle by Dec. 31, 2014, will be awarded double miles and double Medallion Qualification Miles on the nonstop segment departing from or arriving into Seattle. Registration is required.
Delta currently operates 76 peak-day departures to 25 destinations from Seattle, and every flight offers BusinessElite/First Class and Economy Comfort seating as well as Wi-Fi service on all domestic aircraft. Delta also introduced international Wi-Fi on its Boeing 747-400 fleet earlier this year and will complete installation of Wi-Fi service on its entire long-haul international fleet by the end of 2015. The airline has also invested $15 million in its facilities at Sea-Tac, including its Delta Sky Club and recently completed lobby renovations, Sky Priority services, new gate area power recharging stations, expanded ticket counters and enhancements to the international arrivals area.
In other news, Delta will start nonstop Los Angeles-Mazatlan daily service on December 20 with Boeing 737-800s.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Delta also introduced international Wi-Fi on its Boeing 747-400 fleet earlier this year .
Air New Zealand (Auckland) as planned, is phasing down its aging Boeing 747-400 fleet as new Boeing 777s and 787s arrive. The Boeing 747 fleet is now down to two aircraft (ZK-NBV and ZK-SUH) with an average age of 19.3 years. The 747s are operated mainly to Brisbane and San Francisco. The flag carrier is planning to operate its last Boeing 747 revenue flight from San Francisco to Auckland on September 10 per Airline Route. Prior to this, the airline will operate a one time “goodbye” flight on September 6 between Auckland and Sydney.
For Australia, Air New Zealand’s last Boeing 747 flight is now scheduled on July 13, on the Auckland – Brisbane route per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-475 ZK-SUH (msn 24896) is pictured arriving at Los Angeles International Airport. The airframe was originally delivered to VARIG 91st) as PP-VPI on May 31, 1991.
Video: A video by Air New Zealand featuring the Boeing 747-400. The video shows ZK NBT over the Southern Alps and the Canterbury Plains in New Zealand in April 1997.
Philippines (Philippine Airlines) (Manila) is now planning to operate the last Boeing 747 revenue flight on June 30. According to Airline Route, the final roundtrip will be operated on June 30 (see update below) between Manila and San Francisco and back. The 747s are being replaced by newer Boeing 777-300 ERs which will be operated on the San Francisco route starting on July 1 (now September 1).
Update: Philippines has extended Boeing 747-400 operations until August 31, 2014 according to an update by Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4F6 RP-C8168 (msn 27827) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
British Airways (London) yesterday (May 3) added new service to the island of Mykonos in Greece twice a week from London’s Heathrow Airport. Today (May 4) the company is starting new flight to Santorini (Thira) in Greece twice a week also from Heathrow.
In other news, BA is now flying to Seattle/Tacoma from London (Heathrow) 11 times a week.
Top Copyright Photos: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. British has added a small “Jumbo Net – Our Connected 747″ logo to Boeing 747-436 G-CIVG (msn 25813).
Video: British Airways has powered up its newest flight simulator, taking the number used by the airline to train its pilots to 18 – the highest ever.
The new addition, a full-motion Airbus A320 simulator, features the latest in flight training technology, allowing pilot instructors to link their iPads to the simulator to control each training session.
The simulator will be used to train some of British Airways’ 3,600 pilots who fly any of the A320 family of aircraft – serving domestic and European destinations on the airline’s network.
The investment in the new simulator reflects increased demand following the airline’s introduction of new A320s, A380s, 787s and 777-300s.
British Airways’ pilot numbers have also been increasing following the success of the airline’s pilot cadet scheme, now in its third year. The program sees newly trained pilots start their British Airways flying career on its A320 fleet.
The new A320 simulator is part of the company’s £5 billion investment in new products and technology to provide the best possible flying experience for British Airways’ customers.
Philippines (Philippine Airlines) (Manila) will retire 20 aging aircraft from its fleet this year including its last Boeing 747-400 later in the month of May. The 747s are being replaced by newer Boeing 777-300 ERs.
Read the full report from the Business Mirror: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4F6 RP-C8168 (msn 27827) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Philippines Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Bottom Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. PAL has been a long-time Boeing 747 operator. This historic photo shows Boeing 747-2F6B N741PR (msn 21832) with special Mabuhay! Chicago sub-titles at Zurich.
ANA’s (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) last Boeing, the pictured 747-481 (D) JA8961 (msn 25644), as planned, arrived at Tupelo, Mississippi to be parted out on Thursday (April 17). The Jumbo was met by the traditional water gun salute at Tupelo Regional Airport and thousands of onlookers around the airport.
10 previous ANA aircraft has been dismantled at Tupelo.
Read the full report from DJournal.com: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-481 JA8961 (msn 25644) taxies at Tokyo (Haneda) before it departed for Mississippi.
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.