Tag Archives: Boeing 747

ANA’s last Boeing 747 (JA8961) arrives in Tupelo, Mississippi to be parted out

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.

ANA: AG Slide Show

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Will Air France-KLM ditch their freighter fleet?

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).

Air France: AG Slide Show

Baltia Air Lines is still in the FAA certification process

Baltia 747-200 N706BL (11)(Tail)(Baltia)(LRW)

Baltia Air Lines (Ypisilanti) has been one of the longest-running start-ups in U.S. aviation history. The company acquired former Northwest Airlines/Kalitta Air Boeing 747-251B N706BL (msn 21705) on December 9, 2010 and has been proposing scheduled airline service from New York (JFK) to the Baltic region, especially St. Petersburg, Russia for several years. With the invasion of Crimea by Russia, is this route still viable for tourism?

Baltia Air Lines Route Map

 

Route Map: A previously proposed route map.

Each step in the certification process has been well documented by the upstart. Here is the latest press release:

BALTIA AIR LINES, INC. LOGO

Baltia Air Lines announced yesterday (April 4) that its Boeing 747 aircraft has entered scheduled maintenance inspection in preparation for its operations. Baltia is America’s newest airline currently undergoing air carrier certification. Baltia’s base of operations is at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

On their website, the company describes itself:

Baltia Air Lines, Inc. (BLTA) is a New York corporation headquartered at JFK International Airport in New York with a base of operations at Willow Run Airport outside of Detroit, Michigan. Baltia’s goal is to become the leading U.S. airline in the trans-Atlantic market between the major U.S. cities and capital cities of Eastern Europe, including Russia, Latvia, Ukraine, and Belarus.

Baltia will provide high quality three-class passenger service, and reliable cargo and mail transportation.

All images courtesy of Baltia Air Lines.

 

Lufthansa’s pilots start their three-day strike virtually grounding most of the airline

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.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Delta and Virgin Atlantic launch Seattle/Tacoma-London Heathrow flights

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).

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

ANA today operates the last Boeing 747 flight ending an era

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).

ANA: AG Slide Show

ANA Banner:

ANA Final 747-Thanks Jumbo (ANA)(LR)

 

United Airlines honors its top 100 employees with a special airplane

United 737-900ER One Hundred logo (United)(LRW)

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 737-900ER One Hundred Plaque (United)(LRW)

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.

United Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-422 N107UA (msn 26900) approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

 

Delta launches international Wi-Fi service on its Boeing 747-400s

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).

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

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.

ANA: AG Slide Show

El Al upgrades its premium cabins

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.

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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).

El Al: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa Group reports annual income of $435.7 million

Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa) (Frankfurt) reported 2013 annual net income of €313 million ($435.7 million), down 75 percent from the €1.22 billion profit reported in the same period a year ago. Here is the full report:

Deutsche Lufthansa AG has achieved the targeted improvement in earnings well. Adjusted for non-recurring effects, the operating profit rose year on year by 62 per cent to EUR 1.042bn (previous year: EUR 643m). The reported operating profit came to EUR 697m, having totalled EUR 839m the previous year. A comparison of the reported results is of little informational value, however. The previous year’s reported result was largely boosted by non-recurring income from transferring operations at Austrian Airlines, while the result for 2013 was depressed by restructuring and project costs for the installation of the new Lufthansa Business Class seats.

Lufthansa Group revenue was stable at EUR 30.0bn (previous year: EUR 30.1bn). At EUR 313 m, net profit for the year, which last year also included a profit of EUR 631 m from the sale of shares in Amadeus IT Holding, S.A., was lower, as expected (previous year: EUR 1.2 bn).

Christoph Franz, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said: “We have strengthened the earnings power of the Lufthansa Group again last year. This is driven by the earnings performance in the passenger business, where all Airlines rose significantly. This performance trend is sustainable. It is based on a continuous improvement in the cost structure and on the billions invested in new products and services. Customer feedback here is extremely positive. This performance in our core business segment has prompted us to propose to the Annual General Meeting that a dividend of EUR 0.45 per share be paid.”

Lufthansa and Germanwings boost earnings power and increase profit

Lufthansa and Germanwings increased their operating profit last year to EUR 265m – an increase of EUR 240m and thus the most visible earnings improvement in the Group. Adjusted for restructuring costs, the increase even came to EUR 340m. The persistent implementation of Score projects at Lufthansa, including the transfer of European direct traffic outside the hubs in Frankfurt and Munich to Germanwings, had a positive effect on earnings. The new aircraft, which continually join the fleet, are being fitted with the latest cabin products across all travel classes, which has already led to greater customer satisfaction and has also had an impact on the bottom line. These state-of-the-art aircraft are also considerably quieter and more fuel-efficient, and stand out for their lower operating costs. In 2013 alone the Group ordered 167 new aircraft worth EUR 23bn. While the revenue per available seat-kilometre (RASK) fell slightly due to currency movements and also because of disproportionate growth in Economy Class, costs per available seat-kilometre (CASK) were reduced even faster, and so the overall result improved considerably.

The passenger business overall performed well in 2013, contributing EUR 495m (previous year: EUR 556m, including one-off effects) to the Group’s operating result. Swiss accounted for a substantial share of EUR 226m, a year-on-year increase of EUR 22m. Austrian Airlines generated a profit in 2013 without tailwind from special items for the first time since joining the Lufthansa Group. The company’s profit of EUR 25m for the financial year is EUR 178m lower than in the previous year. However, the previous year’s positive result was solely due to non-recurring effects in connection with the transfer of flight operations to Tyrolean Airways. 

Lufthansa Technik and LSG Sky Chefs report record profits

All of the Group’s business segments were profitable in 2013. Lufthansa Technik and LSG Sky Chefs generated operating results of EUR 404m (previous year: EUR 328m) and EUR 105m (previous year: EUR 101m) respectively, which were both the highest earnings in their corporate history. The IT Services segment also increased its operating profit from EUR 20m in 2012 to EUR 36m – a rise of 80 per cent.

Effective cost management secured a positive result for Lufthansa Cargo, despite weak market demand and persistently high price pressure in the freight market. Revenue declined by nine per cent, but the company kept its operating margin stable. The Logistics segment generated an operating profit of EUR 77m (previous year: EUR 105m).

Group pursues restructuring undiminished and anticipates a further increase in the operating profit to between EUR 1.3bn and EUR 1.5bn in 2014 

“Score is on track. We have achieved our profit and restructuring targets for 2013. And we have created the conditions that will enable us to keep increasing our profits in the years ahead. We are working on further measures to improve earnings, which will enable us to cope with greater headwinds, too,” said Simone Menne, Member of the Executive Board and CFO at Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

The Group amended its depreciation policy, which will have an effect on the operating result from 2014 onwards. As many of its competitors have already done, the Company extended the depreciation period for its aircraft from 12 to 20 years, and reduced their residual book value from 15 to 5 per cent of the purchase price. This alteration corrects the effective useful life and the depreciation of the aircraft and ensures that they are presented correctly in the balance sheet. In the new financial year, the operating result is to rise by EUR 340m due to the change in depreciation policy, in 2015; it will increase by EUR 350m.

This change to the method of depreciating aircraft has no material effect on the Group’s economic strength. Its effects are felt solely at an accounting level. “Score therefore still aims to boost the operating profit sustainably by EUR 1.5bn compared with 2011,” said Menne. Applied to the earnings target, this meant that the Group now needed to increase its operating profit to EUR 2.65bn by 2015, she added. The change would also lead to a review of the Group’s dividend policy, since this was also dependent on the operating result. Simone Menne said: “We will review our dividend policy this year. However, it is clear that we will continue to let shareholders participate reasonably on our profits.”

The Group expects a positive business performance in the current year, too. As in 2013, the higher results should come largely from the passenger business. The Group’s adjusted operating result should therefore increase again by around 40 per cent and would come to between EUR 1.7bn and EUR 1.9bn for 2014. The reported operating result of the Lufthansa Group, including restructuring and project costs, should reach EUR 1.3bn to EUR 1.5bn at the end of the year. Christoph Franz said: “I am convinced that the Lufthansa Group and its staff will continue to successfully hold their own in an industry which will continue to change rapidly and consolidate further. The company has already become noticeably more dynamic and is creating value – for customers, employees and shareholders in equal measure. The Lufthansa Group and its companies are well prepared for the challenges ahead.”

2013 in figures

Revenue in 2013 remained stable at EUR 30.0bn, a fall of 0.4 per cent compared with the previous year. Overall, the Group’s operating income declined slightly to EUR 32.2bn in the reporting period, a fall of 2.4 per cent. Traffic revenue declined by 0.9 per cent to EUR 24.6bn. There was no change in operating expenses last year, which came to EUR 31.4bn (-0.1 per cent). Fuel costs fell by EUR 334m to EUR 7.1bn, a decline of 4.5 per cent. Included in this amount is a contribution of EUR -125m from price hedging. Fees and charges fell by 0.3 per cent on the previous year, in particular due to a lower number of flights.

In 2013, the Lufthansa Group generated an operating result of EUR 697m. To facilitate comparison, the operating result originally reported for the previous year was adjusted by EUR 315m following the amendments to accounting standard IAS 19. Following this adjustment, the result for 2012 came to EUR 839m.

The net result for the period fell by EUR 915m to EUR 313m. Earnings per share sank to EUR 0.68.

The Lufthansa Group invested EUR 2.5bn in the reporting period, EUR 156m more than in the previous year. Of the total, EUR 2.1bn went on modernising and maintaining the fleet. Cash flow from operating activities came to EUR 3.3bn and free cash flow (cash flow from operating activities less net capital expenditure) to EUR 1.3bn. For 2013, the Group had a by EUR 256m reduced net debt of EUR 1.7bn. Following the application of new accounting standards (IAS 19), the equity ratio went up 4.1 percentage points to 21.0 per cent.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-830 D-ABYJ (msn 37834) taxies at Los Angeles International Airport.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

QANTAS Airways brings the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks to Australia for the MLB Opening Series in Sydney

QANTAS 747-400 VH-OEH (07-Major League Baseball)(Nose)(QANTAS)(LRW)

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.

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

Avatar Airlines wants to fly Boeing 747-400s with low fares and a lot of advertising

Avatar Airlines 747-400 (Avatar)(LR)

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.

Proposed Routes:

Avatar Airlines 2014 Proposed Route Map

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.

Luggage Handling

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:

Passenger Ticketing
Cargo
Catering
In-flight Entertainment
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.

Avatar Airlines Bin Advertising

The proposed airline is also proposing to corporate sponsors to decorate their large aircraft with a full size logo jets as “Exterior Wraps”:

Avotar Airlines Exterior Wraps

Here are some corporate possibilities:

Avatar Airlines 747-400 logojets

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 Airways: AG Slide Show

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.

Market Conditions

“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.”

Immediate Priorities

“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.

Workforce Changes

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.

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

Atlas Air and QANTAS extend their ACMI agreement

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.

Atlas Air: AG Slide Show

Delta announces changes to its SkyMiles program, changes to a ticket price, not miles flown

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+.

MILEAGE EARNING

SkyMiles program status Miles per dollar* Miles earned with

Credit Card*+

Total miles per

dollar*

General member 5 +2 7
Silver Medallion 7 +2 9
Gold Medallion 8 +2 10
Platinum Medallion 9 +2 11
Diamond Medallion 11 +2 13
+ 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.

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

Cargolux orders an additional Boeing 747-8 Freighter

Cargolux Airlines International (Luxembourg) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) have announced an order for an additional 747-8 Freighter. The order, valued at $357.5 million at list prices, is the 14th 747-8 Freighter the cargo carrier has ordered from Boeing.

“The Cargolux Board of Directors approved the order of our 14th 747-8 Freighter almost 35 years to the day that the airline took delivery of its first 747 Freighter ever,” said Richard Forson, interim president and CEO of Cargolux. “This shows how pleased we, as an all-747 cargo operator, are with the performance and economics of this new generation aircraft and underlines the importance of the role of the 747 overall in the success of our company.”

Cargolux was the world’s first operator of the 747-8 Freighter, taking its first delivery of the airplane type in October 2011. Since then, the airline has taken a total of nine 747-8 Freighters, providing the carrier with increased cargo capacity coupled with excellent economic performance. With today’s announcement, Cargolux has a total of five unfilled orders for 747-8 Freighters.

As well as being one of the launch customers for the 747-8 Freighter, Cargolux also took delivery of the first ever 747-400 Freighter in November 1993. The all-Boeing carrier has a fleet comprised entirely of 747-400 Freighters and 747-8 Freighters.

Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-8R7F LX-VCD (msn 35809) taxies at Munich.

Cargolux: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa asks the European Commission to block any Alitalia-Etihad Airways alliance

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has called on the European Commission to block any alliance and buy-in between Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) and Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi). Etihad, which already has alliances with Aer Lingus, Airberlin and Air Serbia in Europe, is reportedly close to a deal with Alitalia according to Reuters. Lufthansa has lobbied against state-owned Gulf airlines (especially Emirates Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways) from expanding in Europe because of their unfair state aid.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-830 D-ABYH (msn 37832) climbs majestically from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

AirBridgeCargo add its fifth Boeing 747-8 freighter, reports its growth in 2013

AirBridgeCargo-ABC (Moscow), part of Volga-Dnepr Group and Russia’s largest cargo airline, recently celebrated the delivery of the airline’s fifth 747-8 Freighter (VQ-BRJ, msn 37670) on December 27, 2013.

With delivery of the fifth 747-8 Freighter, AirBridgeCargo continues to follow its long-term fleet modernization strategy to further improve the quality of its product. The new aircraft will be used on ABC’s existing route network linking Europe, Asia and the United States via the airline’s hub in Moscow.

At present AirBridgeCargo’s fleet consists of 12 Boeing 747s, including five Boeing 747-400ERFs (Extended Range Freighters), three Boeing 747-400 Freighters and five Boeing 747-8 Freighters.

The carrier achieved a 5% growth in cargo tonnage in 2013, with its highest ever volume of 340,000 tons across its network linking Europe, Russia, Asia and North America.

The airline reported volume growth on all of its major routes and this was matched by a 5% improvement in revenue. AirBridgeCargo’s Freight Ton-Kilometers (FTK) rose 15% in 2013, while its average load factor of 72% show a marginal 1.7% gain over the previous year.

Despite challenging market conditions in 2013, ABC continued with its long-term fleet modernisation strategy and took delivery of two more new generation freighters Boeing 747-8F. With the delivery of its fifth Boeing 747-8F in December 2013, AirBridgeCargo  completed its fleet renewal plan which began two years ago. This investment has reduced the average age of its aircraft fleet from nine years at the end of 2011 to three years at the end of 2013. At present, ABC’s fleet is one of the youngest in the air cargo industry.

AirBridgeCargo took delivery of its first Boeing 747-8F (VQ-BLQ) (see above) in January 2012, with the second and third aircraft joining its fleet in March and December 2012. The fourth new generation freighter entered service with ABC in September last year. As part of the modernization program, ABC removed four older aircraft from its fleet; two Boeing 747-200F, one Boeing 747-300F and a Boeing 747-400ERF. A further 747-400ERF will leave its fleet in 2014.

In 2013, AirBridgeCargo joined the Olympic movement with the delivery of 126 tons of broadcasting equipment as well as 214 tons of sports and lighting equipment for the 2014 Winter Olympics taking place in the Russia City of Sochi in February. The flights were performed using Boeing 747 and Boeing 737 cargo aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. The first, Boeing 747-8HVF VQ-BLQ (msn 37581) taxies at Frankfurt.

AirBridgeCargo Airlines: AG Slide Show

Boeing introduces a special Seattle Seahawks Boeing 747-8 logo jet for the Super Bowl

Seahawks-Boeing 747-8F N780BA (14)(Grd) PAE (Boeing)(LR)

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) yesterday (January 29) revealed a 747-8 Freighter (N770BA) painted in the livery of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. The livery commemorates the team’s National Football Conference Championship and upcoming appearance in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Boeing is a sponsor of the Seattle Seahawks and has partnered with the team for more than a decade on programs in the Puget Sound area.

“The Seahawks have been an inspiration to our entire community throughout this incredible season,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “We’re honored that we could join together two Northwest icons, the Seahawks and the 747, for this special salute from the entire Boeing team.”

This 747-8 is owned by Boeing and currently being used for flight testing. The special livery features the distinctive Seahawks logo and a “12″ on the tail to salute the team’s fans. The airplane will make its first flight in its new livery on Thurs., January 30.

“The 747 team is proud that one of our airplanes could be used as a tribute to the Seahawks’ success this season and a rallying cry for the team as they prepare for the Super Bowl,” said Eric Lindblad, vice president and general manager, 747 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The partnerships we have with the Seahawks and others are making a positive difference in the communities where Boeing employees live and work. We join with all Seahawks fans in wishing the team success on Sunday.”

Boeing 747-8 Seahawks Livery Fun Facts

  • Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s longest pass this season, 80 yards (240 ft.), was almost the same length as a 747-8 fuselage (243.5 ft.)
  • Russell Wilson threw for 3,357 yards (10,071 ft.) this season, similar to the runway takeoff distance for a 747-8 (10,650 ft.)
  • Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin can dash the full length of the 747-8 main deck, 180 ft., in less than seven seconds
  • Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch can squat with 16 economy seats (30 lbs. per seat)
  • A 747-8 Freighter can carry 121 million Skittles candies, or 302,400 one lb. bags
  • It would take 144 747-8 passenger airplanes (Intercontinentals) to carry all the Seahawks fans in CenturyLink Field (67,000 seats)
  • The 747-8 can cover the length of a football field in one second at takeoff
  • Seahawks fans’ Guinness World Record for crowd noise is approximately 38 times louder than the 747-8 at departure

On January 30 the Boeing Seattle Seahawks 747 took to the skies over Washington in advance of the team’s appearance Sunday in Super Bowl XLVIII.

The airplane’s flight pattern took it past Seattle landmarks including the Space Needle and CenturyLink Field, home of the Seahawks. The 747-8 then flew over Eastern Washington in a pattern that formed the number “12,” a salute to all Seahawks’ fans.

“You may remember that we drew a ’747′ over the continental United States during 747-8 certification flight testing,” said Boeing 747 chief pilot Mark Feuerstein “Although the ’12′ is smaller in scale, the pride and sense of community behind it make it feel just as big for the entire Boeing team.”

Boeing is a sponsor of the Seattle Seahawks and has partnered with the team for more than a decade on programs in the Puget Sound area.

Copyright Photo: Boeing. Boeing 747-87UF N770BA (msn 37564) pushes out of the paint shop at rainy Paine Field.

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Boeing reports fourth quarter and 2013 financial results and onward guidance

The Boeing Company (Chicago) reported fourth-quarter revenue of $23.8 billion and core earnings per share (non-GAAP) that increased 29 percent* to $1.88, driven by strong performance across the company’s businesses and higher deliveries (Table 1). Fourth-quarter core operating earnings (non-GAAP) of $1.8 billion includes a $406 million non-cash charge to settle A-12 litigation dating back to 1991, retiring a longstanding risk to the company. Excluding the A-12 charge, fourth-quarter 2013 core operating earnings increased 22 percent* to $2.2 billion and core operating margin increased to 9.4 percent*. Core and GAAP earnings per share includes a charge of $0.34 per share related to A-12 partially offset by a benefit of $0.28 per share for a tax regulation change.

Revenue rose 6 percent in the full year to a record $86.6 billion and core earnings per share increased 20 percent* to a record $7.07. Full-year 2013 GAAP earnings per share was $5.96.

Core earnings per share guidance for 2014 is set at between $7.00 and $7.20, while GAAP earnings per share guidance is established at between $6.10 and $6.30. Revenue guidance is between $87.5 and $90.5 billion, including commercial deliveries of between 715 and 725. Operating cash flow before pension contributions* is expected to be approximately $7 billion, while operating cash flow guidance is set at approximately $6.25 billion.

“Strong fourth-quarter results underscored an outstanding full year of core operating performance that drove record revenue and earnings and increased returns to shareholders,” said Boeing Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney.

“Our Commercial Airplanes business accelerated delivery of its record backlog by successfully increasing production rates while also achieving important development milestones on the 737 MAX and 787-9 and launching the new 787-10 and 777X models with an unprecedented customer response. Our Defense, Space & Security unit overcame a tough operating environment to record expanded revenue, earnings and margins while executing to our commitments on the KC-46A tanker and developing and delivering important new capabilities to customers, such as the P-8 maritime aircraft and the Inmarsat-5 satellite,” said McNerney.

“For 2014, we remain focused on maintaining our commercial airplanes market leadership, strengthening and repositioning our defense, space and security business and continuing to meet the needs of our customers by improving productivity, executing to development plans and delivering our unmatched portfolio of innovative aerospace products and services.”

Table 2. Cash Flow Fourth Quarter Full Year
(Millions) 2013 2012 2013 2012
Operating Cash Flow Before Pension Contributions* $1,409 $4,204 $9,721 $9,058
      Pension Contributions ($29) ($37) ($1,542) ($1,550)
Operating Cash Flow $1,380 $4,167 $8,179 $7,508
Less Additions to Property, Plant & Equipment ($638) ($495) ($2,098) ($1,703)
Free Cash Flow* $742 $3,672 $6,081 $5,805

Operating cash flow in the quarter was $1.4 billion, reflecting commercial airplane production rates, strong core operating performance and timing of receipts and expenditures (Table 2). During the quarter, the company repurchased 7.6 million shares for $1.0 billion and paid $0.4 billion in dividends, reflecting a 10 percent increase in dividends paid compared to the same period of the prior year. Based on the strong cash generation and outlook, in December, the board of directors authorized an additional $10 billionshare repurchase program and raised the quarterly dividend 50 percent.

Table 3. Cash, Marketable Securities and Debt Balances Quarter-End
(Billions) Q4 13 Q3 13
Cash $9.1 $10.0
Marketable Securities 1 $6.2 $5.9
Total $15.3 $15.9
Debt Balances:
The Boeing Company, net of intercompany loans to BCC $7.0 $7.0
Boeing Capital Corporation, including intercompany loans $2.6 $2.6
Total Consolidated Debt $9.6 $9.6
1 Marketable securities consists primarily of time deposits due within one year classified as “short-term investments.”

Cash and investments in marketable securities totaled $15.3 billion at year-end (Table 3), down from$15.9 billion at the beginning of the quarter. Debt was $9.6 billion, unchanged from the beginning of the quarter.

Total company backlog at year-end was a record $441 billion, up from $415 billion at the beginning of the quarter, and included net orders for the quarter of $48 billion. Backlog is up $51 billion from prior year-end, reflecting $135 billion of net orders in 2013.

Segment Results

Boeing Commercial Airplanes

Table 4.  Fourth Quarter Full Year
($ in Millions) 2013 2012 Chg 2013 2012 Chg
Deliveries 172 165 4% 648 601 8%
Revenues $14.6B $14.1B 4% $52.9B $49.1B 8%
Earnings-Ops $1,506 $1,266 19% $5,795 $4,711 23 %
Opg Margin 10.3% 8.9% 1.4 Pts 10.9% 9.6% 1.3 Pts

Boeing Commercial Airplanes fourth-quarter revenue increased to $14.7 billion and full-year revenue increased to a record $53 billion on higher delivery volume. Fourth-quarter operating margin improved to 10.3 percent and full-year operating margin grew to 10.9 percent on the higher volume, favorable delivery mix and continued strong operating performance (Table 4).

During the quarter, the company launched the 777X with 259 orders and commitments. During the year, the 787 program completed first flight of the 787-9, successfully launched the 787-10 and began operating at a 10 per month production rate in final assembly. The 737 program delivered at a record production rate of 38 per month and has won nearly 1,800 firm orders for the 737 MAX since launch. In 2013, a record 648 commercial aircraft were delivered. In January 2014, the company reached an eight-year contract extension through 2024 with the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers District 751 (IAM).

Commercial Airplanes booked 465 net orders during the quarter and 1,355 during the year. Backlog remains strong with 5,080 airplanes valued at a record $374 billion.

Boeing Defense, Space & Security

Table 5.  Fourth Quarter Full Year
(Dollars in Millions) 2013 2012 Chg 2013 2012 Chg
Revenues
Boeing Military Aircraft $4,395 $4,037 9% $15,936 $16,019 (1)%
Network & Space Systems $2,272 $2,024 12% $8,512 $7,911 8%
Global Services & Support $2,188 $2,282 (4)% $8,749 $8,677 1%
Total BDS Revenues $8,855 $8,343 6% $33,197 $32,607 2%
Earnings from Operations
Boeing Military Aircraft $441 $313 41% $1,465 $1,489 (2)%
Network & Space Systems $233 $138 69% $719 $562 28%
Global Services & Support $280 $300 (7)% $1,051 $1,017 3%
Total BDS Earnings from Ops $954 $751 27% $3,235 $3,068 5%
Operating Margin 10.8% 9.0% 1.8 Pts 9.7% 9.4% 0.3 Pts

Boeing Defense, Space & Security’s fourth-quarter revenue increased 6 percent to $8.9 billion, while operating margin increased to 10.8 percent (Table 5). For the full year, revenue increased 2 percent to$33.2 billion, while operating margin increased to 9.7 percent.

Boeing Military Aircraft (BMA) fourth-quarter revenue increased to $4.4 billion, reflecting higher deliveries. Operating margin increased to 10.0 percent, reflecting the higher deliveries and strong performance. During the quarter, BMA achieved Initial Operating Capability (IOC) on the P-8A Poseidon aircraft.

Network & Space Systems (N&SS) fourth-quarter revenue increased to $2.3 billion, reflecting higher delivery volume and mix, and operating margin increased to 10.3 percent on strong performance. During the quarter, N&SS was awarded a contract for a fourth Inmarsat-5 satellite.

Global Services & Support (GS&S) fourth-quarter revenue was $2.2 billion, reflecting lower volume in integrated logistics. Operating margin was 12.8 percent. During the quarter, GS&S was awarded contracts for the B-52 and B-1 bomber modifications and upgrades.

Backlog at Defense, Space & Security was $67 billion, of which 37 percent represents orders with international customers.

Additional Financial Information

Table 6. Additional Financial Information Fourth Quarter Full Year
(Dollars in Millions) 2013 2012 2013 2012
Revenues
Boeing Capital Corporation $105 $129 $408 $468
Other segment $22 $27 $102 $106
Unallocated items and eliminations $123 ($358) ($65) ($610)
Earnings from Operations
Boeing Capital Corporation $9 ($12) $107 $88
Other segment income/(expense) ($99) $31 ($156) ($186)
Unallocated items and eliminations excluding unallocated pension/postretirement expense ($532) ($200) ($1,105) ($492)
Unallocated pension/postretirement expense ($323) ($212) ($1,314) ($899)
Other income, net $15 $23 $56 $62
Interest and debt expense ($96) ($112) ($386) ($442)
Effective tax rate 14.0% 36.3% 26.4% 34.0%

At quarter-end, Boeing Capital Corporation’s (BCC) net portfolio balance was $3.9 billion down from $4.1 billion at the beginning of the quarter. BCC’s debt-to-equity ratio was 5.0-to-1. Other segment earnings decreased $130 million in the quarter partly due to higher asset impairment expense.

Unallocated items and eliminations excluding unallocated pension/postretirement expense increased in the fourth quarter of 2013 primarily due to a $406 million charge associated with the A-12 settlement. Total pension expense for the fourth quarter was $717 million, up from $576 million in the same period last year. The company’s income tax expense was $201 million in the quarter, compared to $557 million in the same period of the prior year, due to a $212 million benefit recorded in fourth-quarter 2013 for a tax regulation change.

Outlook

The company’s 2014 financial guidance (Table 7) reflects continued strong performance in both businesses.

Table 7. Financial Outlook
(Dollars in Billions, except per share data) 2014
The Boeing Company
Revenue $87.5 – 90.5
Core Earnings Per Share* $7.00 – 7.20
Earnings Per Share $6.10 – 6.30
Operating Cash Flow Before Pension Contributions* ~ $7
Operating Cash Flow 1 ~ $6.25
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Deliveries 2 715 – 725
Revenue $57.5 – 59.5
Operating Margin ~ 10%
Boeing Defense, Space & Security
Revenue
Boeing Military Aircraft ~ $15
Network & Space Systems ~ $7.7
Global Services & Support ~ $7.8
Total BDS Revenue $30 – 31
Operating Margin
Boeing Military Aircraft ~ 9.5%
Network & Space Systems ~ 8.5%
Global Services & Support ~ 10.5%
Total BDS Operating Margin ~ 9.5%
Boeing Capital Corporation
Portfolio Size Lower
Revenue ~ $0.3
Pre-Tax Earnings ~ $0.05
Research & Development ~ $3.2
Capital Expenditures ~ $2.5
Pension Expense 3 ~ $3.1
Effective Tax Rate 4 ~ 31%
1 After discretionary cash pension contributions of $0.75 billion and assuming new aircraft financings under $0.5 billion
2 Assumes approximately 110 787 deliveries
3 Approximately $1.1 billion is expected to be recorded in unallocated items and eliminations
4 Assumes the extension of the research and development tax credit
* Non-GAAP measures. Complete definitions of Boeing’s non-GAAP measures are on page 7, “Non-GAAP Measures Disclosures.”

Boeing’s 2014 revenue guidance is established at between $87.5 and $90.5 billion. Core earnings per share guidance is set at between $7.00 and $7.20, and earnings per share guidance is expected to be between $6.10 and $6.30. Total company 2014 operating cash flow before pension contributions is expected to be approximately $7 billion, while operating cash flow is expected to be approximately $6.25 billion in 2014, including $0.75 billion of discretionary pension contributions. Total company pension expense in 2014 is expected to be approximately $3.1 billion (of which approximately $2.0 billion is expected to be recorded in core operating earnings and $1.1 billion recorded in unallocated items and eliminations).

Commercial Airplanes’ 2014 deliveries are expected to be between 715 and 725, which includes approximately 110 787 deliveries. Revenue at Commercial Airplanes is expected to be between $57.5 and $59.5 billion with operating margins of approximately 10 percent. Defense, Space & Security’s revenue for 2014 is expected to be between $30 and $31 billion with operating margins of approximately 9.5 percent.

Boeing Capital Corporation expects that its aircraft finance portfolio will continue to decline in 2014, as new aircraft financing of less than $0.5 billion is expected to be lower than normal portfolio runoff through customer payments and depreciation. Boeing’s 2014 R&D forecast is approximately $3.2 billion, and capital expenditures for 2014 are expected to be approximately $2.5 billion. Boeing’s effective tax rate is expected to be approximately 31 percent in 2014, which assumes the extension of the research and development tax credit.

Non-GAAP Measures Disclosures

We supplement the reporting of our financial information determined under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) with certain non-GAAP financial information. The non-GAAP financial information presented excludes certain significant items that may not be indicative of, or are unrelated to, results from our ongoing business operations. We believe that these non-GAAP measures provide investors with additional insight into the company’s ongoing business performance. These non-GAAP measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for the related GAAP measures, and other companies may define such measures differently. We encourage investors to review our financial statements and publicly-filed reports in their entirety and not to rely on any single financial measure. The following definitions are provided:

Core Operating Earnings, Core Operating Margin and Core Earnings Per Share

Core operating earnings is defined as GAAP earnings from operations excluding unallocated pension and post-retirement expense. Core operating margin is defined as core operating earnings expressed as a percentage of revenue. Core earnings per share is defined as GAAP diluted earnings per share excluding the net earnings per share impact of unallocated pension and post-retirement expenseUnallocated pension and post-retirement expense represents the portion of pension and other post-retirement costs that are not recognized by business segments for segment reporting purposes. Management uses core operating earnings, core operating margin and core earnings per share for purposes of evaluating and forecasting underlying business performance. Management believes these core earnings measures provide investors additional insights into operational performance as they exclude unallocated pension and post-retirement costs, which primarily represent costs driven by market factors and costs not allocable to government contracts. A reconciliation between the GAAP and non-GAAP measures is provided on page 14.

Core Operating Margin and the Increase in Core Operating Earnings Excluding A-12 Settlement Charge

The company is disclosing the core operating margin and the increase in core operating earnings in the fourth quarter of 2013 over the fourth quarter of 2012 excluding the A-12 settlement charge in the fourth quarter of 2013. Management believes it is useful to occasionally exclude certain items that are not reflective of underlying performance and that can distort period to period performance comparisons. Management uses similar measures for purposes of evaluating and forecasting underlying business performance. A reconciliation between the GAAP and non-GAAP measures is provided on page 14.

Operating Cash Flow Before Pension Contributions

Operating cash flow before pension contributions is defined as GAAP operating cash flow less pension contributions. Management believes operating cash flow before pension contributions provides additional insights into underlying business performance. Management uses operating cash flow before pension contributions as a measure to assess both business performance and overall liquidity. Table 2 provides a reconciliation between GAAP operating cash flow and operating cash flow before pension contributions.

Free Cash Flow

Free cash flow is defined as GAAP operating cash flow less capital expenditures for property, plant and equipment additions. Management believes free cash flow provides investors with an important perspective on the cash available for shareholders, debt repayment, and acquisitions after making the capital investments required to support ongoing business operations and long term value creation. Free cash flow does not represent the residual cash flow available for discretionary expenditures as it excludes certain mandatory expenditures such as repayment of maturing debt. Management uses free cash flow as a measure to assess both business performance and overall liquidity. Table 2 provides a reconciliation between GAAP operating cash flow and free cash flow.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-8KZF N50217 (msn 36137) became JA12KZ on delivery.

ANA to retire its last Boeing 747 on March 31 with JA8961

ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) is planning to operate its last revenue flight (NH 126) with the Boeing 747-400 on March 31 between Naha, Okinawa and Tokyo (Haneda) according to ZipanguFlyer. The last revenue flight is scheduled to be operated with 747-481 (D) JA8961 (msn 25644). The last ANA Boeing 747-400s are the high-density domestic version of the Boeing 747-400 that seat 565 passengers and were developed specifically for the Japanese market.

Read the full report with all of the details from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE

ANA introduced the Boeing 747 (the special short range 747SR-81) with JA8134 (msn 21605) with the hand over from Boeing on December 20, 1978. The first Boeing 747-281B (JA8175, msn 23502) came later on July 2, 1986. Trans-Pacific service was then launched to Los Angeles with the new type on July 16, 1986. Finally the first Boeing 747-481 (JA8094, msn 24801) joined the ANA fleet on August 28, 1990.

The Boeing 747 has faithfully served ANA for over 35 years. It will seem strange not to see a Boeing 747 with the company.

Copyright Photo: Marco Finelli/AirlinersGallery.com. Looking back in the past, Boeing 747-281B JA8181 (msn 23698) is seen at Rome (Fiumicino).

ANA: AG Slide Show

QANTAS Airways to shift Boeing 747 maintenance work overseas

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) as previously reported, will close its Avalon, Victoria heavy maintenance base in March. Two Boeing 747-400s scheduled for overhauls in May will be sent to HAECO (Hong Kong) for the work according to the Australian. An international tender offer will determine future work. 300 workers are losing their jobs at Avalon.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-438 VH-OJF (msn 24483) approaches the runway at the Sydney hub.

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

British Airways to return three GSS Boeing 747-8 freighters to Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings in April

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (Atlas Air) (New York) has announced it intends to pursue new ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) placement opportunities for three 747-8 Freighter aircraft currently operated for British Airways plc by Atlas Air Worldwide’s 49%-owned UK subsidiary, Global Supply Systems Limited (GSS).

The action follows notice from British Airways, a unit of International Consolidated Airlines Group, S.A., regarding British Airways’ strategic decision to exit dedicated cargo-freighter service and to return the aircraft to GSS in April 2014 pursuant to the terms of the existing ACMI agreement between the parties.

Effective with the termination of the agreement, the three 747-8Fs will be redelivered to the company by GSS. Through GSS, the company also will receive contractual early termination fees from British Airways.

Meanwhile Qatar Airways (Doha) will operate five Boeing 777F freighter flights between Hong Kong and London for IAG Cargo (British Airways) starting on May 1. IAG Cargo issued this statement:

IAG Cargo has announced it has signed a long-term commercial agreement with Qatar Airways to purchase capacity on Qatar Airways-operated air cargo freighters, effective from May 1, 2014.

Qatar Airways will operate five Boeing 777F flights a week between Hong Kong and London on behalf of IAG Cargo, providing continuity of service for IAG Cargo customers.

The agreement marks a transition for IAG Cargo and follows the company’s decision to transfer freighter operations from its current provider, Global Supply Systems.

IAG Cargo connects 350 destinations worldwide, serving the world’s economic hubs with cargo-friendly wide-bodied planes. Through its Constant Climate network, it has one of the largest networks globally for handling temperature-sensitive air cargo.

Qatar Airways is already a partner with IAG through the oneworld global alliance which it joined in October 2013. The airline is taking delivery of a further three Boeing 777F aircraft during 2014.

Top Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten/AirlinersGallery.com. This decision will end British Airways World Cargo and Global Supply Systems. GSS operated Boeing 747-87UF G-GSSD (msn 37562) in British Airways World Cargo colors departs graceful from Cologne/Bonn.

British Airways World Cargo (GSS): AG Slide Show

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-FDZ A7-BFA (msn 36098) of Qatar Airways Cargo taxies at Amsterdam.

IranAir retires the last passenger Boeing 747-100 after almost 35 years of service!

IranAir (Tehran) has retired the last operating passenger Boeing 747-100 in the world. Boeing 747-186B EP-IAM (msn 21759) was ferried yesterday (January 8) from Mehrabad Airport (THR) in downtown Tehran (used for domestic flights) to nearby Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) southwest of Tehran (used for international flights) for storage in the cargo area. The flight lasted only 10 minutes on three operating engines and was flown by Captain Moghadam. EP-IAM is now grounded forever at IKA after almost 35 years of service

EP-IAM was delivered new from Boeing on August 2, 1979 and was flown its entire service life with the flag carrier of Iran. This is a testimony to Boeing for the durability of the airframe.

Thanks to Shahram (Shary) Sharifi for his eyewitness report from Iran.

In other news, IranAir restarted twice-weekly service from Mashbad to Bahrain on December 21, 2013.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-186B EP-IAM taxies across the ramp at London’s Heathrow Airport.

IranAir: AG Slide Show

Video: Window view of the takeoff from IKA on April 9, 2012.

 

Boeing delivers 648 new airplanes in 2013, a new company record and 1,355 net commercial orders

Boeing (Chicago) set a company record in 2013 for the most commercial airplanes delivered in a single year with 648. The company’s unfilled commercial orders stood at 5,080 at the end of the year – also a new Boeing record.

Boeing also booked 1,531 gross commercial orders in 2013, a new company record and 1,355 net commercial orders in 2013, the second-largest number in company history.

In 2013, three programs set records for deliveries in single year:

  • The 737 program delivered 440 Next-Generation 737s
  • The 777 program delivered 98 airplanes
  • The 787 program delivered 65 Dreamliners, now flying with 16 customers around the world

With the higher production rates achieved in 2013, all three Boeing Commercial Airplanes production sites in Everett and Renton, Washington and North Charleston, South Carolina also delivered a record number of airplanes.

Boeing’s leadership position in the twin-aisle market continued in 2013 with the launch of two new airplane programs. The 777X launched in November at the Dubai Air Show with 259 orders and commitments worth more than $95 billion at list prices. Boeing also launched the 787-10 Dreamliner, the most fuel-efficient jetliner in history, at the Paris Air Show in June.

Orders, deliveries and unfilled orders as of December 31, 2013, by program were as follows:

Family Gross Orders Net Orders Deliveries Unfilled Orders
737 1,208 1,046 440 3,680
747 17 12 24 55
767 2 2 21 49
777 121 113 98 380
787 183 182 65 916
Total 1,531 1,355 648 5,080

Boeing Commercial Airplanes highlights in 2013 included:

  • Boeing Delivers 7,500th 737
  • Boeing, Southwest Airlines Announce Launch of 737 MAX 7
  • Boeing Opens New Everett Delivery Center
  • Boeing Delivers 1,000th Airplane to China
  • Boeing Launches 787-10 Dreamliner
  • Boeing Begins Assembly of 1st KC-46A Tanker Aircraft
  • Boeing Flies First 787-9 Dreamliner
  • Boeing Completes 737 MAX 8 Firm Configuration
  • Boeing to Increase 737 Production Rate in 2017
  • Boeing, GOL Airlines Announce Collaboration to Increase Sustainable Aviation Biofuel Supply in Brazil
  • Boeing 787 Dreamliner Reaches 1,000th Order with Etihad Airways
  • Boeing Launches 777X with Record-Breaking Orders and Commitments
  • Boeing Delivers First 747-8 with Performance-Improved Engines

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-8R7F N747EX (msn 35808) lands at Paine Field near Renton.

Evergreen International Airlines files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Evergreen International Airlines (McMinnville, Oregon and Marana, Arizona) despite denials of rumors by senior management, in the waning hours of December 31, 2013, filed for voluntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in a federal court in the state of Delaware. The company will be liquidated.

According to this report by Bloomberg, some of Evergreen’s creditors filed papers on December 17 in a Brooklyn, New York court to force the airline to pay its bills. This filing forced the bankruptcy filing.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Evergreen International logo

The airline was established by Delford M. Smith and commenced operations in 1960 as Evergreen Helicopters. It acquired the operating certificate of Johnson Flying Service (later Johnson Air) (Missoula) and merged it with Intermountain Aviation to establish the current Evergreen International Airlines on November 28, 1978.

Previously the airline issued this statement on November 8, 2013:

McMinnville, Oregon — November 8, 2013

As has been previously reported in the press, Evergreen’s business has been adversely impacted over the past several years by decreased demand in military spending and weakness in global economic markets. Management has moved to aggressively address these challenges, including through the divestiture of businesses and assets and the significant reduction of secured debt. Evergreen is in discussions with its significant constituencies and is exploring available strategic alternatives with those constituencies. While Evergreen generally does not comment on market rumor or conjecture, rumors that a decision has been made to cease operations at this time are false. Evergreen remains committed to continuing to address the current business environment with its customers.

Delford M. Smith
Chief Executive Officer,
Evergreen International Aviation, Inc.

Top Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. Evergreen International was the famous operator of the Boeing 747 “Supertanker”. Formerly operated by Delta Air Lines, Boeing 747-132 (SF) N479EV (msn 19898) taxies at Hahn, Germany as the “979 Supertanker”.

Evergreen International Airlines: AG Slide Show

Johnson Air: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Before it was Evergreen International, the company was Johnson Air (Johnson Flying Service). Ex-Western Airlines Lockheed 188A Electra N7137C (msn 1074) rests at the earlier “Big Sky” Missoula, Montana base.

 

Cathay Pacific orders an additional Boeing 747-8 freighter and three 777-300 ERs

Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) and Boeing (Chicago) announced the airline has ordered an additional 747-8 Freighter and three 777-300 ER (Extended Range) airplanes. The order, valued at about $1 billion at current list prices, will bolster Cathay Pacific’s 747-8 Freighter fleet and 777-300ER fleet to 14 and 53, respectively.

Hong Kong’s flag carrier is in the midst of renewing its freighter fleet with newer, more efficient airplanes, while also looking to strengthen its position as a market leader in the air cargo business.

The 747-8 Freighter gives cargo operators the lowest operating costs and best economics of any large freighter airplane while providing enhanced environmental performance. At 250 feet, 2 inches (76.3 m) long — 18 feet, 4 inches (5.6 m) longer than the 747-400 Freighter — the 747-8 Freighter gives customers 16 percent more revenue cargo volume compared to its predecessor with nearly equivalent trip costs and lower ton-mile costs.

The Boeing 777 is the world’s most successful twin-engine, long-haul airplane. The 777-300ER is equipped with the world’s most powerful GE90-115B commercial jet engine, and can seat up to 386 passengers in a three-class configuration with a maximum range of 7,930 nautical miles (14,685 km).

Hong Kong’s flag carrier operates 55 777s, including 38 777-300 ERs and an all-Boeing freighter fleet that includes 13 747-8 Freighters. With this order, Cathay Pacific will have 21 777-9X airplanes, 15 777-300 ERs and one 747-8 Freighter on order with Boeing.

Top Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new Boeing 747-867F B-LJI (msn 39247) lifts off the runway at Paine Field near Everett, Washington.

Cathay Pacific: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The Stretch Triple Seven is becoming the mainstay of the Cathay Pacific long-range passenger aircraft fleet as the Boeing 747-400 replacement. Sleek Boeing 777-367 B-KPN (msn 36165) steadily climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Boeing delivers first 747-8 performance-improved engines to Cathay Pacific

Boeing (Chicago) yesterday (December 18) delivered the first 747-8 (747-867F B-LJK, msn 43394) to Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) with performance-improved GEnx-2B engines as part of the airplane’s Performance Improvement Package (PIP.) B-LJK was the first 747 to deliver with the PIP engines.

The engine is the first of the package’s three improvements to enter service. The two other components, Flight Management Computer (FMC) software upgrades and reactivation of the horizontal tank fuel system on the 747-8 Intercontinental, are expected to enter service later this month and in early 2014, respectively.

The PIP engine improves the airplane’s efficiency by 1.8 percent. “With this improvement, 747-8 customers will use roughly 30 less semi-sized trucks of fuel per airplane per year,” said Bruce Dickinson, 747-8 chief project engineer and vice president.

All three PIP components can be retrofitted on the 747-8. The tail fuel reactivation is applicable only for the 747-8 Intercontinental and the FMC upgrades can also be made to 747-400s.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 747-867F B-LJJ (msn 39246) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Cathay Pacific: AG Slide Show

Atlas Air to operate a Boeing 747-800F for BST Logistics in Hong Kong

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (New York) has announced that its Atlas Air, Inc. (New York-JFK) unit has entered into a contract with BST Logistics (Hong Kong) Company Limited (BST Logistics), a business partner of Navitrans International Freight Forwarding Co., Ltd., to provide Boeing 747-8 freighter service.

The contract is for one aircraft under an ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) agreement, with service expected to begin in February 2014 and operating in key global routes connecting the U.S., Europe and Asia.

BST Logistics provides dedicated airfreight services on a global basis and serves some of the largest shippers in the world.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Atlas Air’s Boeing 747-87UF N854GT (msn 37566) departs from Paine Field near Everett.

Atlas Air: AG Slide Show

Cargolux to launch cargo flights to Bamako, Mali

Cargolux Airlines International S.A. (Luxembourg) has announced the launch of a weekly service to Bamako, the capital of Mali, from December 5, 2013. The flights are operated with the airline’s Boeing 747 freighters which offer main deck capacity for the transport of airfreight supplies that support the local industries in the areas of natural resources, telecommunications, healthcare and pharmaceutical products, perishables and general appliances.

In 2010, Bamako Airport inaugurated a new cargo terminal with a yearly capacity of 10,000 tons and extended the runway to 3,180 meters, enabling the operation of large aircraft, such as Cargolux’s 747 freighters.

Flight CV 7124 is operated every Thursday on the routing Luxembourg – Bamako – Lagos – Libreville – Nairobi – Manston – Luxembourg. Departure in Luxembourg is scheduled for 16.30 GMT with arrival in Bamako at 21:40 GMT. With this service, Cargolux connects another African destination to its worldwide network and offers shippers fast and reliable airfreight solutions to a market with growing importance.

Cargolux’s African network now covers 13 destinations that show promising export potential with strong shipments for the oil and gas industry. Cargolux also offers direct services between the United States and Africa.

Previously the cargo carrier started weekly service to Buenos Aires via Campinas (Viracopas) near Sao Paulo on November 13.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4R7F LX-VCV (msn 34235) approaches Johannesburg for landing.

Cargolux: AG Slide Show

Cathay Pacific to replace its Johannesburg and San Francisco Boeing 747-400 routes on October 26, 2014

Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) has been progressively replacing its Boeing 747-400s from passenger service especially on long-haul routes.. The company is currently planning to replace the last two long-range Boeing 747-400 passenger routes to Johannesburg and San Francisco with newer Boeing 777-300 ERs on October 25, 2014 per Airline Route.

Update: This retirement date has now been moved up to August 31, 2014 per Airline Route.

This will end long-haul passenger service of the type with CPA. It is unclear at this time if the airline will continue short-haul Asian service of the aircraft after this date.

In addition, the company will end Boeing 747-400 passenger service to London (Heathrow) on December 31, 2013.

Cathay Pacific continues to operate an extensive Boeing 747 freighter operation.

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-467 B-HOP (msn 23815) approaches London (Heathrow) when it once served that route.

Cathay Pacific Airways: AG Slide Show

Atlas Air-operated Boeing 747 Dreamlifter lands at the wrong Wichita airport

Atlas Air (New York-JFK) operates the fleet of four Boeing 747 Dreamlifters under contract for Boeing, ferrying parts for Boeing between its various supply points.

Last night (November 20) a Drealifter operated by Atlas Air was inbound for McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas. However the modified Jumbo landed instead at the nearby Colonel James Jabara Airport run by the city of Wichita according to this report by Reuters.

The pilots had taken off from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport but mistook the GA airport for the air force base.

The Colonel James Jabara Airport (ICAO: KAAO, FAA LID: AAO) has only one runway that is 6,101 feet long with an ATC control tower and is about 9 miles (14 km) from McConnell.

Atlas Air has reassured airport officials the runway is of sufficient length to permit a safe departure today.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. The specially-modified Boeing 747-409LCF DreamLifter N780BA (msn 24130) is pictured on the ramp at New York (JFK).

Atlas Air: AG Slide Show

Video:

Is Evergreen International Airlines planning to close its doors on November 30? The company says no but is exploring other options

Evergreen International Airlines (McMinnville, Oregon and Marana, Arizona) despite a public denial by its founder and CEO that the rumors are false, it has been reported in the local Oregon media as planning to lay off 131 employees and ceased operations on November 30. The company recently sold off its helicopter division as we reported as it attempts to reorganize and seek new “strategic alternatives” and partners.

It is unclear if the Evergreen Wings and Waves Waterpark and the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum would also be affected if any final decision is made.

Read the full report from the The Oregonian: CLICK HERE

The company is privately held and issued this statement:

As has been previously reported in the press, Evergreen’s business has been adversely impacted over the past several years by decreased demand in military spending and weakness in global economic markets. Management has moved to aggressively address these challenges, including through the divestiture of businesses and assets and the significant reduction of secured debt. Evergreen is in discussions with its significant constituencies and is exploring available strategic alternatives with those constituencies. While Evergreen generally does not comment on market rumor or conjecture, rumors that a decision has been made to cease operations at this time are false. Evergreen remains committed to continuing to address the current business environment with its customers.

Delford M. Smith
Chief Executive Officer,
Evergreen International Aviation, Inc.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Evergreen International Airlines’ Boeing 747-230F N490EV (msn 24138) touches down in Stockholm (Arlanda).

Evergreen International Airlines: AG Slide Show

Air France is upset with Alitalia

Air France‘s (Paris) CFO Philippe Clavia complained in a letter to Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) about how the Italian airline failed to inform its airline partners, namely the Air France-KLM Group, about key meetings concerning a new capital infusion. Although the group finally voted for the recent infusion of capital, Air France is upset about how the whole event was handled according to this report by Reuters.

Further, Air France-KLM was not provided any written information, just “orally and in a cryptic way”, often just in Italian, the newspaper Il Messaggero reported, quoting the letter.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-428 F-GITH (msn 32868) of Air France prepares to taxi from the Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Paris hub. Air France is planning to phase out its last Boeing 747-400 passenger aircraft in 2016.

Air France: AG Slide Show

Alitalia: AG Slide Show

Boeing downgrades the 747-8 production rate to 1.5 aircraft per month

Boeing (Chicago) has just announced that it will adjust the production rate for the 747-8 program from 1.75 airplanes to 1.5 airplanes per month through 2015 because of lower market demand for large passenger and freighter airplanes.

The company expects long-term average growth in the air cargo market to begin returning in 2014, and forecasts global demand for 760 large airplanes (such as the 747-8) over the next 20 years, valued at $280 billion.

The 747-8 family provides airlines with double-digit improvements in fuel efficiency, operating costs and emissions, while being 30 percent quieter and adding more capacity. To date, the 747-8 has accumulated 107 orders for passenger and cargo versions, 56 of which have been delivered.

The first delivery at the new production rate is expected in early 2014. The production rate change is not expected to have a significant financial impact.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-8KZF N50217 (JA12KZ) (msn 36137) climbs away from the runway at Paine Field near Everett, WA.

Transaero Airlines starts its interline agreement with WestJet

Transaero Airlines (Moscow) has announced that its interline agreement with WestJet (Calgary) has taken effect offering Transaero passengers new opportunities for travel from Moscow. Via connections in Toronto (Pearson) and Los Angeles, Transaero passengers can now access the extensive WestJet network throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America.

Now Transaero passengers are able to purchase tickets on connecting flights from Moscow via Toronto to destinations within WestJet’s route network in Canada, including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and many others.

In the near future, in addition to WestJet’s domestic routes, Transaero will offer its passengers connecting flights via Toronto to many WestJet’s destinations outside of Canada such as Phoenix, Honolulu, Kailua-Kona, Kahului, Lihue, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, San Diego, San Francisco, Anaheim, Las Vegas, New York, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Myrtle Beach, Bahamas, Bermuda, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, and Jamaica.

The agreement also provides the opportunities for connecting flights via Los Angeles with WestJet flights to Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton.

In other news, Transaero will start a new daily route with Boeing 737-800s between Moscow (Vnukovo) and Istanbul (Ataturk) on October 27.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Transaero Airlines’ Boeing 747-446 EI-XLJ (msn 27646) arrives at the resort destination of Antalya, Turkey.

Transaero Airlines: AG Slide Show

WestJet: AG Slide Show

Atlas Air to fly for Astral Aviation

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. today announced that its Atlas Air, Inc. (New York) unit has entered into a contract with Astral Aviation Limited (Nairobi), a Kenya-based cargo airline, to provide Boeing 747-400 Freighter service.

The contract is for one aircraft under an ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) agreement, with service expected to begin in the next few weeks. This is the first 747-400F in Astral Aviation’s global network, and it will provide all-cargo operations between Europe and Africa.

Astral Aviation operates in partnership with UK-based ANA Airline Management Limited. ANA specializes in the development and operation of all-cargo aircraft across a wide range of scheduled routes as well as providing air charter capacity on a worldwide basis to the various airlines it works in partnership with. ANA was founded in 1985 and has offices throughout Europe, Africa and North America.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Atlas Air’s Boeing 747-47UF N492MC (msn 29253) climbs beautifully away from Anchorage International Airport.

Atlas Air: AG Slide Show

 

Air France to cut another 2,800 jobs in 2014, Transavia France to get 5 additional aircraft

Air France (Paris) has announced a new round of job cuts as the airline is headed towards its sixth consecutive annual operating loss due to weakening air travel demand. The carrier is plan to cut another 2,800 jobs in 2014. The airline is already cutting around 5,120 positions by the end of this year according to Reuters.

The airline issued this statement and update on its recovery plan:

Air France management presented an update on Transform 2015 to the Central Works Council.

Air France’s recovery has begun and Transform 2015 is taking effect. In the first half, the implementation of measures led operating income to increase by 100 million euros. However, in 2013, the Air France Group will not achieve its objective of returning to equilibrium.

To ensure the sustainability of the Company and to continue investing for our customers, the return to equilibrium in 2014 is essential. This return to equilibrium requires the deployment of all action plans and the completion of Transform 2015, which requires additional measures to reduce costs and accelerate the recovery of short and medium-haul operations and cargo.

ADDITIONAL MEASURES TO REDUCE COSTS ACROSS THE COMPANY

The number of excess staff has been estimated at 2,800 people for 2014. New Voluntary Departure Plans will be implemented. They will be thoroughly discussed with staff representatives and unions as from October 4. In addition, Air France will continue its policy of wage moderation in 2014 and a better adaptation of business costs to the seasonality of operations will be required.

ACCELERATED RECOVERY OF SHORT AND MEDIUM-HAUL OPERATIONS AND CARGO

Concerning short and medium-haul operations, the Air France Group intends to maintain its strong presence on the French market. It has therefore decided to develop the activity of Transavia France on departure from Paris-Orly, to adjust its domestic point-to-point network and provincial bases, to increase seasonal capacity and to reorganize French stations.

• Transavia France, which will operate five additional aircraft as from the summer 2014 season, will expand its offering to new high-potential European destinations on departure from Paris-Orly. In parallel, the Air France’s point-to-point network will be adjusted downwards. Also, the seasonal adjustment of the schedule implemented in 2013 at the provincial bases has been a success and will be continued in 2014.

• For all French stations, a change in production methods is necessary to ensure the Air France Group is in line with market standards, to better handle customers and reduce costs in a sustainable way. This will induce a reorganization of processes and a greater use of outsourcing. The objectives, station by station, will be specified at the Central Works Council meeting on 4 October.

Concerning cargo operations, the contribution of hold cargo remains essential to the long-haul economy. Furthermore, the cargo capacity of holds on passenger aircraft carries an increasing share of global air freight and the global air freight market is permanently in overcapacity. In this context, Air France has decided to refocus its cargo fleet on its two Boeing 777F. The Boeing 747 all-cargo aircraft will leave the fleet in 2015, at the same time as the 747 will leave the passenger fleet.

In addition, cargo operations at Paris-Orly, which have never reached a sufficient size, are currently operating at non-market costs. For this reason, an outsourcing project will be implemented in 2014.

AMBITIOUS DEVELOPMENT OF GROWTH SECTORS

Growth will continue on long-haul routes and new routes will continue to be launched. In parallel, the renewal of the long-haul fleet will be accelerated with the early retirement of the Boeing 747 by 2015 and the arrival of the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, respectively in 2017 and 2018.

At Paris-Charles de Gaulle, a new “Future hub” plan is being set up to enhance the hub’s attractiveness and competitiveness. It will be based in particular on the development of technological changes in passenger operations, as well as the move upmarket of Air France products and services.

In the engineering and maintenance sector, Air France will continue its development of engine and equipment products with its external customers. This strategy is contributing to Air France’s recovery thanks to lower maintenance costs and a positive contribution to operating income.

“Transform 2015 is taking effect and has had positive results in 2012. Air France is continuing its thorough transformation based on the commercial development of its markets with high growth potential, the move upmarket of its products and services and the reduction of its costs. I intend, together with all Air France staff, to concentrate on customer service and the successful recovery of our Company” declared Frédéric Gagey, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Air France.

Read the analysis by Reuters: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. All of the Air France Boeing 747s, both passenger and cargo, will be retired by 2015. Boeing 747-428 F-GITF (msn 25602) taxies at the Paris (CDG) hub.

Air France: AG Slide Show

Centurion Cargo gets ready to add its first Boeing 747 freighter

Centurion Cargo (formerly Centurion Air Cargo) (Miami) is getting ready to take delivery of this former Cargolux International Boeing 747-400F freighter. The cargo airline currently operates McDonnell Douglas MD-11 freighters.

Copyright Photo: Kok Chwee (K.C.) Sim/AirlinersGallery.com. Pictured today at Singapore, this Boeing 747-4R7F still wears the LX-KCV (msn 25868) registration.

Centurion Cargo: AG Slide Show

ANA is planning to retire the last Boeing 747 on March 29, 2014

ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) is planning to retire the last Boeing 747-400 on March 29, 2014. The last route is tentatively schedule as a flight between Naha, Okinawa and Tokyo (Haneda) per Airline Route.

The airline is currently operating five domestic models on domestic routes in Japan.

ANA added its first Boeing 747SR-81 (JA8133) (above) on December 20, 1978 for its high-density domestic routes. ANA also added its first Boeing 747-281B (JA8174) (below) on June 25, 1986.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747SR-81 JA8145 (msn 22291) taxies at the Haneda Airport hub.

ANA: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-281B JA8181 (msn 23698) joined the ANA fleet on December 22, 1986 and migrated to NCA on May 26, 1999 as a freighter.

Lufthansa to deploy the Boeing 747-800 on the Frankfurt-Mexico City on September 2

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will introduce the relatively new Boeing 747-800 on the Frankfurt-Mexico City route on September 2, 2013 according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-830 D-ABYA (msn 37827) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings reports 2Q net income of $20.4 million

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (Atlas Air) (New York-JFK) today announced second-quarter 2013 diluted earnings per share in line with expectations presented at the company’s investor-analyst day on May 30 and reaffirmed its full-year adjusted diluted earnings per share outlook of approximately $4.80.

For the three months ended June 30, 2013, adjusted net income attributable to common stockholders totaled $20.4 million, or $0.79 per diluted share, compared with $31.2 million, or $1.18 per diluted share, for the three months ended June 30, 2012.

On a reported basis, second-quarter 2013 net income attributable to common stockholders totaled $20.1 million, or $0.78 per diluted share, compared with $30.9 million, or $1.16 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2012.

Free cash flow increased to $64.6 million in the second quarter of 2013 from $54.2 million in the second quarter of 2012.

Second-Quarter Results

Revenue, volume and profitability growth in our core ACMI business during the second quarter were driven by our new 747-8Fs, with five additional -8F aircraft in service compared with the second quarter of 2012, as well as the continued ramp up of CMI flying for Boeing and DHL Express.

Improved ACMI segment earnings during the period benefited from higher rates per block hour and lower maintenance expense for our 747-8Fs, partially offset by the redeployment of 747-400 aircraft to other business segments.

In AMC Charter, a reduction in cargo and passenger block hours, lower average cargo and passenger revenue per block hour, and a reduction in the number of one-way AMC missions led to a decline in segment contribution. Lower average passenger revenue per block hour during the period stemmed from a higher proportion of passenger flying on smaller-gauge 767 aircraft, which we added to supplement our wide-body 747-400 passenger service and enhance our share of military passenger business.

Segment results in Commercial Charter primarily related to a reduction in yields driven by soft second-quarter global charter-market conditions.

Results in the second quarter were also affected by a reduction in capitalized interest on 747-8F aircraft that entered service.

Income Taxes

Adjusted and reported earnings for the second quarter of 2013 included an effective income tax rate of 32.3%, reflecting the ongoing beneficial impact of lower taxes for certain foreign subsidiaries in our Dry Leasing business.

Half-Year Results

For the six months ended June 30, 2013, adjusted net income attributable to common stockholders totaled $26.3 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, compared with $44.9 million, or $1.69 per diluted share, for the six months ended June 30, 2012.

On a reported basis, first-half 2013 net income attributable to common stockholders totaled $40.1 million, or $1.54 per diluted share, compared with $43.7 million, or $1.65 per diluted share, in the first half of 2012.

Free cash flow in the first six months of 2013 increased to $107.0 million from $55.2 million in the first half of 2012.

Cash, Cash Equivalents and Short-Term Investments

At June 30, 2013, our cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaled $367.5 million, compared with $419.9 million at December 31, 2012.

The change in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments reflected cash provided by operating and financing activities offset by cash used for investing activities.

Net cash used for investing activities in the first six months of 2013 primarily related to the purchase of two 747-8F aircraft as well as a 777-200LRF 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. These proceeds were partially offset by payments on debt obligations and net payments under accelerated share repurchase (“ASR”) programs.

Share Repurchases

In mid-May, we entered into an ASR with a financial institution for the repurchase of our common stock for an aggregate purchase price of a minimum of $35.0 million up to a maximum of $44.0 million. As of June 30, 2013, we received delivery of an initial 615,791 shares pursuant to the program. This ASR is expected to conclude no later than mid-October.

Through the first six months of 2013, we repurchased a total of 1,519,092 shares, or 5.7%, of our outstanding common stock.

Future repurchases may be made at our discretion, and the actual timing, form and amount will depend on company and market conditions.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-47UF N408MC (msn 29261) taxies past the camera at Amsterdam.

Atlas Air: AG Slide Show

The GCAA of the United Arab Emirates issues its final accident report on the UPS Boeing 747-44AF N571UP on September 3, 2010 near Dubai

UPS Airlines‘ (UPS-United Parcel Service) (Atlanta and Louisville) Boeing 747-44AF N571UP (msn 35668) crashed shortly after takeoff from Dubai on September 3, 2010. The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has issued its final accident report.

Accident Synopsis:

On September 3rd 2010, a Boeing 747-44AF departed Dubai International Airport [DXB] on a scheduled international cargo flight [SCAT-IC] to Cologne [CGN], Germany.

Twenty two minutes into the flight, at approximately 32,000 feet, the crew advised Bahrain Area East Air Traffic Control [BAE-C ] that there was an indication of an on-board fire on the Forward Main Deck and
declared an emergency.

Bahrain Air Traffic Control advised that Doha International Airport [DOH] was ‘at your ten o’clock and one hundred miles, is that close enough?’, the Captain elected to return to DXB, configured the aircraft for the return to Dubai and obtained clearance for the turn back and descent.

A cargo on the main cargo deck had ignited at some point after departure. Less than three minutes after the first warning to the crew,the fire resulted in severe damage to flight control systems and caused the upper deck and cockpit to fill with continuous smoke.

The crew then advised Bahrain East Area Control [BAE-C] that the cockpit was ‘full of smoke’ and that they ‘could not see the radios’, at around the same time the crew experienced pitch control anomalies during the turn back and descent to ten thousand feet.

The smoke did not abate during the emergency impairing the ability of the crew to safely operate the aircraft for the duration of the flight back to DXB.

On the descent to ten thousand feet the captains supplemental oxygen supply abruptly ceased to function without any audible or visual warning to the crew five minutes and thirty seconds after the first audible warning. This resulted in the Captain leaving his position. The Captain left his seat and did not return to his position for the duration of the flight due to incapacitation from toxic gases.

The First Officer[F.O], now the Pilot Flying [PF] could not view outside of the cockpit, the primary flight displays, or the audio control panel to retune to the UAE frequencies.

Due to the consistent and contiguous smoke in the cockpit all communication between the destination [DXB] and the crew was routed through relay aircraft in VHF range of the emergency aircraft and BAE-C. BAE-C then relayed the information to the Emirates Area Control Center (EACC) in the UAE via landline, who then contacted Dubai ATC via landline.

As the aircraft approached the aerodrome in Dubai, it stepped down in altitude, the aircraft approached DXB runway 12 left (RWY 12L), then overflew the northern perimeter of the airport at 4500 ft at around 340 kts . The PF could not view the Primary Flight Displays [PFD] or the view outside the cockpit.

The PF was advised Shajah International Airport [SHJ] was available at 10 nm. This required a left hand turn, the aircraft overflew DXB heading East, reduced speed, entering a shallow descending right-hand turn to the south of the airport before loss of control in flight and an uncontrolled descent into terrain, nine nautical miles south west of Dubai International Airport.

There were no survivors.

Read the full report including the causes: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. N571UP is pictured departing from Anchorage International Airport prior to the accident in Dubai.

Silk Way Airlines orders two Boeing 747-8 Freighters

Silk Way Airlines (Baku, Azerbaijan) and Boeing today announced an order for two Boeing 747-8 Freighters valued at $704 million at current list prices.

Silk Way Airlines currently operates Boeing 747-400 Freighters (see above) and 767-300 Freighters. It is considered as one of the leading cargo airlines in Central Asia providing full-fledged services to Europe and the United Kingdom and the Middle East, as well as the Far East including Korea, China and Hong Kong. In addition, it also serves international destinations through a network of alliances.

Copyright Photo: OSDU/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4R7F 4K-800 (msn 29729) prepares to land at Moscow (Shereyetyevo).

Silk Way Airlines: AG Slide Show

China Airlines introduces its Boeing 747-400 “Love and Hug” logojet

China Airlines (Taipei) on June 7 introduced this new “Love and Hug” design on Boeing 747-409 B-18203 (msn 28711). The design displays some of the world’s endanger species. The artwork was created by Taiwanese artist Jimmy.

China Airlines has pledged 20 special logojets in the next five years!

In other news, China Airlines introduced nonstop twice-weekly Taipei-Honolulu Airbus A330 service on June 2.

Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. B-18203 made its first visit to Frankfurt in the special design on June 17.

China Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Korean Air agrees to order five Boeing 747-8s and six additional 777-300 ERs

Boeing (Chicago) and and Korean Air (Seoul) today announced that the airline has agreed to purchase five 747-8 Intercontinental airplanes and six 777-300 ER (Extended Range) jetliners, valued at approximately $3.6 billion at current list prices. Boeing will work with Korean Air to finalize the order, at which time the order will be posted to Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries website.

Korean Air is the only airline in the world to order both the passenger and freighter variations of the 747-8. When today’s order is finalized, Korea’s flag carrier will have 10 747-8 Intercontinental airplanes on order. The airline has taken delivery of three of its seven 747-8 Freighters on order.

Korean Air currently operates a fleet of 90 Boeing passenger airplanes that consist of 737, 747 and 777 airplanes. The airline also operates an all-Boeing cargo fleet of 27 747-400, 747-8 and 777 Freighters. In February 2012, Korean Air became the first airline in the world to operate both the 747-8 and 777 Freighters.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Korean Air is already an operator of the Boeing 747-800F freighter. Korean Air Cargo Boeing 747-8HTF HL7609 (msn 37132) climbs briskly in the Southern California sky after departing from Los Angeles International Airport.

Korean Air: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-3B5 ER HL7782 (msn 37643) lands at Paine Field near Everett.

Atlas Air starts operating a Boeing 747-800F freighter for Etihad Cargo, Miami becomes part of the round-the-world cargo route

Atlas Air (New York) on May 30 started operating its newest Boeing 747-800F for Etihad Cargo (formerly Etihad Crystal Cargo) (Etihad Airways) (Abu Dhabi). The fully-painted freighter will operate twice-weekly cargo services to and from Miami.

Etihad Airways announced its new round-the-world cargo flight:

The jointly operated routing began on May 30, connecting Etihad Cargo’s Abu Dhabi hub with destinations in Asia, the United States, South America and Europe.

Miami (US), Viracopos (Brazil), and Quito (Ecuador) will become part the round-the-world Abu Dhabi-Hong Kong-Chicago O’Hare-Miami-Viracopos-Quito-Amsterdam-Abu Dhabi freighter service offered with an Etihad Cargo-liveried Boeing 747-8F Freighter.

Earlier this month, Etihad Cargo signed a signed a multi-year Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance (ACMI) agreement with Atlas Air to provide the Boeing 747-8F Freighter with its 138-ton cargo capacity to operate the new schedule.

The three new freighter destinations in the Americas will see Etihad Cargo’s network extend to 92 points across the globe. The carrier’s eight freighters operate to 28 of these destinations.

The Boeing 747-8F Freighter is the largest in Etihad Cargo’s current freighter fleet. The airline also operates three Boeing 777Fs, one Boeing 747-400ERF, one Boeing 747-400F and two Airbus A330-200Fs.

Etihad Cargo will take delivery of two additional freighters in 2013 and 2014, comprising two Airbus A330-200Fs.

Atlas Air previously made this announcement in May:

The 8th Boeing 747-800F freighter will fly on behalf of Etihad Cargo, the cargo arm of Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, pursuant to a multi-year aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance agreement that commences in May 2013.

The new contract between the companies follows a letter of intent announced on April 1, 2013, and complements an existing Boeing 747-400F ACMI arrangement between Atlas and Etihad. The aircraft will be operated in full Etihad Cargo livery.

Copyright Photo: Michael Bolden. The pictured Boeing 747-87UF N855GT (msn 37567) was delivered to Atlas Air on May 18, 2013. The Jumbo Freighter prepares to depart from Miami on its twice-weekly round-the-world cargo route.

Atlas Air: AG Slide Show

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

 

Cargolux launches Atlanta-Munich cargo service via Luxembourg

Cargolux Airlines International (Luxembourg) on June 3 launched a new service between Atlanta and Munich via Luxembourg. The new weekly cargo route with be operated with Boeing 747-400F freighters.

The airline issued this statement:

Cargolux Airlines International S.A. on June 4 announced the introduction of a regular service between Atlanta and Munich via Luxembourg. Starting on June 3, 2013, at the eve of the Air Cargo Munich Exhibition and Conference, the latest addition to Cargolux’s expanding network of worldwide destinations will be served every Monday with a Boeing 747-400 Freighter.

The main import customer for the new Cargolux service is the German freight forwarder Senator International Spedition GmbH, a leading international freight forwarding company specialized in international freight, shipping, packaging and logistics. ‘Cargolux is a trusted and reliable partner who supports us in delivering first class global logistics services to our own customers. The Cargolux network offers us a wide array of options to accommodate with this weekly operation’, said Tim-Oliver Kirschbaum, CEO of Senator International based at the company’s headquarters in Hamburg.

While Cargolux has previously flown a number of charter flights from the Bavarian capital, this is the airline’s first regular airfreight service to and from Munich. Until now, the airline has relied on its trucking services to transport freight between its Luxembourg hub and Munich and earmarked for farther connections within its worldwide network.

Copyright Photo: Jens Polster/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4R7F LX-SCV (msn 29733) arrives at Bangkok.

Cargolux: AG Slide Show

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