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Delta suspends its flights to Israel due to the on-going violence

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today suspended all flights to Tel Aviv, Israel due to nearby rocket attacks according to CNN. Today’s flight DL 469 from New York (JFK) diverted to Paris (Charles de Gualle).

The suspension is for 24 hours.

The suspension of service to Israel comes after the State Department issued this statement:

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza due to ongoing hostilities. The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens consider the deferral of non-essential travel to Israel and the West Bank and reaffirms the longstanding strong warning to U.S. citizens against any travel to the Gaza Strip. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning issued on February 3, 2014.

The security environment remains complex in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, and U.S. citizens need to be aware of the risks of travel to these areas because of the current conflict between Hamas and Israel.

The Department of State continues its longstanding strong warning to U.S. citizens against travel to the Gaza Strip; U.S. government employees are not allowed to conduct official or personal travel there. Please see the section below on the situation in the Gaza Strip. Because of the security situation, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and its annexes are currently operating at reduced staffing and the Consular Section of the Embassy is providing only emergency consular services. The U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem is currently maintaining normal operations, including consular services.

Long-range rockets launched from Gaza since July 8, 2014 have reached many locations in Israel – including Tel Aviv, cities farther north, and throughout the south of the country. Some rockets have reached Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank, including Bethlehem and Hebron. While many rockets have been intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, there have been impacts that have caused damage and injury. In light of the ongoing rocket attacks, U.S. citizen visitors to and U.S. citizen residents of Israel and the West Bank should familiarize themselves with the location of the nearest bomb shelter or other hardened site, if available. Visitors should seek information on shelters from hotel staff or building managers. Consult city municipality websites, such as those for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, for lists of public bomb shelters and other emergency preparedness information. Visitors should follow the instructions of the Home Front Command on proper procedures in the event of rocket attacks.

Travelers should avoid areas of Israel in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip due to the real risks presented by small arms fire, anti-tank weapons, rockets, and mortars, as attacks from Gaza can come with little or no warning. Both Embassy and Consulate General personnel are currently not permitted to travel south of greater Tel Aviv without prior approval. On July 17, 2014 Israel announced the commencement of ground operations in Gaza. Visitors to these areas should remain aware of their surroundings and should take note of announcements and guidance provided by the Home Front Command.

Ben Gurion Airport is currently open and commercial flights are operating normally, although delays and cancellations can occur. Travelers should check with their airline prior to their planned travel to verify the flight schedule. U.S. citizens seeking to depart Israel or the West Bank are responsible for making their own travel arrangements.

We are not evacuating U.S. citizens out of Israel. U.S. government-facilitated evacuations occur only when no safe commercial alternatives exist. Evacuation assistance is provided on a cost-recovery basis, which means the traveler must reimburse the U.S. government for travel costs. The lack of a valid U.S. passport may hinder U.S. citizens’ ability to depart the country and may slow the U.S. Embassy or

Consulate General’s ability to provide assistance.

U.S. citizens who do travel to or remain in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza should take into consideration the rules governing travel by U.S. government employees:

U.S. government personnel are not permitted to conduct official or personal travel to the Gaza Strip;
U.S. government personnel are restricted from conducting personal travel to most parts of the West Bank; travel for official business is done with special security arrangements coordinated by the U.S.

Consulate General in Jerusalem;

Currently, because of the security situation, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to travel south of greater Tel Aviv without prior approval;

U.S. government personnel must notify Embassy Tel Aviv’s Regional Security Officer before traveling in the areas of the Golan Heights and are prohibited from traveling east of Rt. 98 in the Golan Heights;

U.S. government personnel are not permitted to use public buses anywhere in Israel or the West Bank due to past attacks on public transportation.

Major Metropolitan Areas in Israel

Personal safety conditions in major metropolitan areas, including Tel Aviv and Haifa and their surrounding regions, are comparable to or better than those in other major global cities. Please see below for specific information regarding Jerusalem. Visitors should observe appropriate personal security practices to reduce their vulnerability to crime, particularly late at night or in isolated or economically depressed areas, including in the countryside. Visitors are advised to avoid large gatherings or demonstrations and keep current with local news, which is available through numerous English language sources.

The Government of Israel has had a long-standing policy of issuing gas masks to its citizens and, starting in 2010, it began issuing replacement masks. It stopped this distribution process in early 2014 in response to regional events. Visitors and foreign residents in Israel are not issued masks and must individually procure them, if desired. The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General do not provide gas masks for persons who are not U.S. government employees or their dependents. For further emergency preparedness guidance, please visit the website of the Government of Israel’s Home Front Command, which provides information on how to choose a secure space in a home or apartment, as well as a list of the types of protective kits (gas masks) issued by the Government of Israel to its citizens.

Gaza Vicinity

The Department of State recommends against travel to areas of Israel in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip. Travelers should be aware of the risks presented by the current military conflict between Hamas and Israel. On July 17, 2014 Israel announced the commencement of ground operations in Gaza. Travelers in the regions immediately bordering Gaza may encounter small arms fire, anti-tank weapons, rockets, and mortars launched from inside Gaza toward Israeli cities and towns. These attacks can come with little or no warning. Visitors to these areas should remain aware of their surroundings and of the location of bomb shelters and should take note of announcements and guidance provided by the Home Front Command.

Travelers should also be aware of the heightened state of alert maintained by Israeli authorities along Israel’s border with Egypt. There have been cross-border incidents from Egypt, including rocket attacks and ground incursions, such as an attack that took place in August 2013 and one on January 20, 2014. Rockets were fired from Sinai in the direction of Eilat on July 15, 2014.

Northern Israel

Rocket attacks into Israel from Lebanon have occurred without warning along the Israeli-Lebanese border. Tensions have increased along portions of the Disengagement Zone with Syria in the Golan Heights as a result of the internal conflict occurring in Syria. Sporadic gunfire has occurred along the border region. There have been several incidents of mortar shells and light arms fire impacting on the Israeli-controlled side of the zone as a result of spillover from the fighting in Syria. Travelers should be aware that cross-border gunfire can occur without warning. Furthermore, there are active land mines in areas of the Golan Heights, so visitors should walk only on established roads or trails. The Syrian conflict is sporadic and unpredictable. U.S. government personnel must notify the Embassy’s Regional Security Office in advance if they plan to visit the Golan Heights and are prohibited from traveling east of Rt. 98 in the Golan Heights.

Jerusalem

U.S. citizens should be aware of the possibility of isolated street protests, particularly within the Old City and areas around Salah Ed-Din Street, Damascus Gate, Silwan, and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Travelers should exercise caution at religious sites on Fridays and on holy days, including during Ramadan. U.S. government employees are prohibited from entering the Old City on Fridays during the month of Ramadan due to congestion and security-related access restrictions.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from transiting Independence Park in central Jerusalem during the hours of darkness due to reports of criminal activity.

The Consulate General notes that recent demonstrations and clashes in several East Jerusalem areas, such as Shufat, Beit Hanina, Mt. of Olives, As Suwaneh, Abu Deis, Silwan, Shuafat Refugee Camp, inside the Old City (near Lions Gate), Issawiyeh, and Tsur Baher appear to have diminished, although the possibility exists of renewed clashes in the same areas during evenings. We note that the clashes and demonstrations have not been anti-American in nature. The Israel National Police (INP) continues to have a heavy presence in many of the neighborhoods that have had clashes and may restrict vehicular traffic to some of these neighborhoods without notice. We advise citizens not to enter any neighborhoods restricted by the INP and to avoid any locations that have active clashes ongoing.

The Shufat neighborhood of Jerusalem remains off-limits for official U.S. personnel and their families at night until further notice. The Old City of Jerusalem is also off-limits every day after dark for official U.S. personnel and their families until further notice. Official U.S. personnel are restricted from the Old City of Jerusalem at all times on Fridays during Ramadan. The Friday restriction is part of our standard policy, due to overall congestion and large crowds, and is not related to recent events.

The West Bank

The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to exercise caution when traveling to the West Bank. Demonstrations and violent incidents can occur without warning, and vehicles are regularly targeted by rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire on West Bank roads. U.S citizens have been killed in such attacks. There have also been an increasing number of violent incidents involving Israeli settlers and Palestinian villagers in the corridor stretching from Ramallah to Nablus, including attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian villages in which U.S. citizens have suffered injury or property damage, and attacks by Palestinians on settlements. U.S. citizens can be caught in the middle of potentially dangerous situations, and some U.S. citizens involved in political demonstrations in the West Bank have sustained serious injuries. The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens, for their own safety, avoid all demonstrations. During periods of unrest, the Israeli Government may restrict access to the West Bank, and some areas may be placed under curfew. All persons in areas under curfew should remain indoors to avoid arrest or injury. Security conditions in the West Bank may hinder the ability of consular staff to offer timely assistance to U.S. citizens.

Personal travel in the West Bank by U.S. government personnel and their families is permitted to the towns of Bethlehem and Jericho and on Routes 1, 443, and 90. Personal travel is also permitted to Qumran off Route 90 by the Dead Sea, as are stops at roadside facilities along Routes 1 and 90. All other personal travel by U.S. government personnel in the West Bank is prohibited. U.S. government personnel routinely travel to the West Bank for official business, but do so with special security arrangements.

The Gaza Strip

The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip, which is under the control of Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization. U.S. citizens in Gaza are advised to depart immediately. The security environment within Gaza, including its border with Egypt and its seacoast, is dangerous and volatile. Exchanges of fire between the Israel Defense Forces and militant groups in Gaza take place regularly, and civilians have been caught in the crossfire in the past. Although the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt normally allows for some passenger travel, prior coordination with local authorities — which could take days or weeks to process — is generally required, and crossing points may be closed for days or weeks. Travelers who enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing must also exit through the Rafah crossing, and those entering the Gaza Strip may not be able to depart at a time of their choosing. Many U.S. citizens have been unable to exit Gaza or faced lengthy delays in doing so. Furthermore, the schedule and requirements for exiting through the Rafah crossing are unpredictable and can involve significant expense. Because U.S. citizen employees of the U.S. government are not allowed to enter the Gaza Strip or have contact with Hamas, the ability of consular staff to offer timely assistance to U.S. citizens, including assistance departing Gaza, is extremely limited.

Entry/Exit Difficulties

Some U.S. citizens holding Israeli nationality, possessing a Palestinian identity card, or who are of Arab or Muslim origin have experienced significant difficulties in entering or exiting Israel or the West Bank. U.S. citizens planning to travel to Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza should consult the detailed information concerning entry and exit difficulties in the Country Specific Information.

Contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy for information and assistance in Israel, the Golan Heights, and ports of entry at Ben Gurion Airport, Haifa Port, the northern (Jordan River/Sheikh Hussein) and southern (Arava) border crossings connecting Israel and Jordan, and the border crossings between Israel and Egypt. An embassy officer can be contacted at (972) (3) 519-7575 from Monday through Friday during working hours. The after-hours emergency number is (972) (3) 519-7551.

Contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem for information and assistance in Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, at (972) (2) 630-4000 from Monday through Friday during working hours. The after-hours emergency number is (972) (2) 622-7250.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-451 N663US (msn 23818) prepares to land in Tokyo (Narita).

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

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Air France-KLM revise their earnings forecast, stock declines over 5%

Air France-KLM Group (Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines) (Amsterdam) has issued a profit warning, lowering it profit forecast from 2.5 billion euros to around 2.25 billion. The stock tumbled over 5 percent.

The Group issued this statement in their June traffic numbers:

“While not representing a turning point in market trends, the June traffic figures published today as well as bookings for July and August nevertheless reflect the over-capacity on certain long-haul routes, notably North America and Asia, with the attendant impact on yields. This comes on top of the persistently weak cargo demand and the challenging situation in Venezuela identified in the First Quarter.

These factors lead us to revise our EBITDA target for Full Year 2014 from around 2.5 billion euros to between 2.2 and 2.3 billion euros, a rise of over 20% compared with 2013.

Strong capital disciple will enable us to remain on track in terms of debt reduction and we confirm our objective of 4.5 billion euros in net debt in 2015.”

Read the analysis on City Index: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Air France’s Boeing 747-428 F-GITJ (msn 32871) climbs into the clear skies after departing from Toronto (Pearson) bound for Paris (CDG).
Air France: AG Slide Show
KLM: AG Slide Show
Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-406 PH-BFL (msn 25356) of KLM completes its final approach to the runway at JFK International Airport in New York.

 

 

 

Lufthansa to fly the Boeing 747-800 Intercontinental on the Frankfurt-New York route

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will assign the newer Boeing 747-800 Intercontinental on the Frankfurt-New York (JFK) route from July 15 through October 25. The 747-8I will replace an older 747-400 with daily service according to Airline Route.

Lufthansa received its first 747-830 (D-ABYA) on April 25, 2012 and introduced the new type on the Frankfurt-Washingon (Dulles) route on June 1, 2012 as we have previously reported.

Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. Wearing the special Fanhansa titles in support for the current 2014 World Cup, Boeing 747-830 D-ABYO (msn 37841) awaits its next assignment at the Frankfurt hub.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa and Air China to strengthen their partnership

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has issued this statement:

Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, and Song Zhiyong, President and Executive Director of Air China Limited (Beijing), signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enhance the commercial partnership as part of a joint venture, during the Chancellor’s visit to China.

Both companies also signed a memorandum of understanding to expand collaboration in the area of maintenance, repair and overhaul services.

As members of the Star Alliance, Lufthansa and Air China have been connected for a number of years. The memorandum of understanding should pave the way for the creation of a commercial joint venture between the German airline and Air China.

This partnership will add to the existing joint ventures with United Airlines and with Air Canada between Europe and North America (since 1998) and with ANA (since 2012) on routes between Europe and Japan.

The agreement with Air China will allow the Lufthansa Group to provide its airlines with even better access to the world’s second largest aviation market after the USA.

The new partnership agreement should come into force as early as the start of the winter flight timetable in late October 2014.

Since 2007, Air China has been a member of the Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, and with almost 49 million passengers, as measured by intercontinental traffic, is China’s biggest airline.

Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-430 D-ABVW (msn 29493) climbs away from the runway at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Air China: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-39L ER B-2043 (msn 41441) of Air China approaches the runway at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

Boeing reaches a milestone with the 747, delivers the 1,500th 747 built to Lufthansa

 

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has delivered the 1,500th 747 to come off the production line to Lufthansa (Frankfurt). The milestone airplane is a 747-8 Intercontinental, the 14th one that Lufthansa will incorporate into its long-haul fleet.

“Reaching this milestone delivery is a testament to the capabilities of the airplane and our commitment to continuous innovation,” said Eric Lindblad, 747 vice president and general manager, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The new 747-8 is delivering on its promise to our customers, and we continue to look at ways to make it even more efficient in the future.”

The 747 is the first widebody airplane in history to reach the 1,500 milestone. Its iconic shape makes it instantly recognizable, and passengers have consistently voted it their favorite airplane to fly.

At a delivery ceremony yesterday (June 28), a special logo commemorating the 1,500th airplane was revealed for the first time on the pictured 747-830 D-ABYP (msn 37839).

“Lufthansa is honored that the 1,500th 747 will fly with the Lufthansa livery,” said Nico Buchholz, executive vice president, Lufthansa Group Fleet Management. “Lufthansa is an important partner and a valued advisor in developing new commercial airplanes with exceptional economical and ecological performance such as the 747-8. The commemorative logo will be a reminder of our relationship with Boeing, now and into the future.”

Lufthansa is the launch customer of the 747-8 Intercontinental and took delivery of its first airplane in April 2012. The airline has 19 747-8 Intercontinentals on order.

The first Boeing 747-100 entered revenue service on January 22, 1970 with Pan Am on the New York–London route.

Lufthansa German Airlines on March 10, 1970 became the first European airline to take delivery of the Boeing 747-100. The first LH 747, 747-130 D-ABYA (msn 19746), was accepted on this historic day. The Jumbo was introduced into revenue service between Frankfurt and New York (JFK) on April 26, 1970. LH has operated a variant of the 747 for over 44 years.

Lufthansa also issued this statement:

Lufthansa’s 14th Boeing 747-8 landed in Frankfurt on Sunday, June 29, at 9.17 a.m. as scheduled. As well as being the 76th Jumbo that Lufthansa has received from the American manufacturer Boeing in Seattle since the 1970s, the aircraft also represents a veritable milestone in aviation history. This aircraft, whose tail number is D-ABYP (“Yankee Papa”), is the 1,500th Jumbo to be built in the world.

‘It’s an honor for Lufthansa that the anniversary Jumbo will fly in the colors of the Lufthansa crane,’ said Nico Buchholz, Head of Group Fleet Management at Deutsche Lufthansa AG. ‘For decades, Lufthansa has been one of the aircraft manufacturer’s closest advisers – a pioneer when it comes to developing new, environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient aircraft,’ added Buchholz at the handover in Seattle. Lufthansa is expecting to receive a total of 19 aircraft of this type, and will therefore be the world’s largest operator of 747-8s among passenger airlines.

The “Dash 8”, as it is also known, has plenty to offer. By using the latest Jumbo, Lufthansa is taking a further step towards having a “three-liter fleet” (per passenger and 100 kilometers). The aircraft is 15 percent more fuel-efficient than its predecessor model and, as a result, its CO2 emissions are around 15 percent lower. The noise footprint of the Boeing 747-8 is 30 percent smaller compared with the older Boeing 747-400. What started as the first training flight with the new Boeing 747 over the mountains east of Seattle in October 1969 went on to become an icon of the Lufthansa fleet, and, indeed, of commercial aviation as a whole.

On March 9, 1970, the then Lufthansa CEO Herbert Culmann took delivery of the first Lufthansa Boeing 747-130 in front of the factory in Everett. The aircraft’s production number was 12 and its Lufthansa registration was D-ABYA. Lufthansa thereby became the second international airline, after Pan Am, and the first European carrier to deploy the Jumbo on scheduled services. The aircraft was host to several major world premières in succession, including the first film shown on board a Jumbo jet. Only twenty months after the maiden flight of the Boeing 747-130, the fourth Lufthansa Jumbo took off on April 2, 1971 as a modified model. Boeing had equipped the 747-200 with larger fuel tanks and a higher take-off weight of 378 tons. This meant that the aircraft had a longer range. Originally intended as a military aircraft, the Jumbo’s career was not limited to carrying passengers. On April 10, 1972, Lufthansa received the world’s first “smiling” Boeing as the launch customer of the cargo version, the Boeing 747-230F. The nose of the aircraft could be opened horizontally, making it possible to load even bulk goods without any problem. On April 19, 1972, the world’s first cargo Jumbo took off, bearing the tail number D-ABYE. This quickly catapulted Lufthansa to number one in airfreight transport.

‘A step towards the 1990s’ is how Lufthansa CEO Heinz Ruhnau described the purchase agreement signed on June 23, 1986 for an initial order of six enhanced Boeing aircraft. Lufthansa had already been involved in the planning of the Boeing 747-100. However, as the first airline to order the “Dash 400” (Boeing 747-400), it now played a key part in the development of the new aircraft, providing many hundreds of suggestions for improvements and more than 20,000 engineer hours. With this aircraft, the modern, digitalized two-man cockpit that Jürgen Weber, the man responsible for aircraft development at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg at the time and later Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Lufthansa AG, and Reinhard Abraham, the former Chief Technical Officer of the Lufthansa Group, had worked to achieve became a reality. Upwards-pointing winglets, new and more economical engines, new materials such as composite materials and aluminium alloys: all of these innovations helped to cut fuel consumption by 24 percent compared with the -200 series.

On 23 May 1989, Lufthansa received the first enhanced Super Jumbo with tail number D-ABVA. The aircraft could cover almost 13,000 kilometers in 16 hours and thus reach nearly every destination in the world. As the new millennium started, the idea was put forth to develop an enhanced version of the Boeing 747-400. And so not only was the Jumbo extended by 5.6 meters, it was also totally redeveloped, including a new wing design and new engines. On May 2, 2012, Lufthansa became the first passenger airline in the world to receive a Boeing 747-8.

Copyright Photo: Bernie Leighton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-830 D-ABYP with the special “1500th” emblem prepares to depart from Paine Field near Everett yesterday (June 28) on its delivery flight to Frankfurt.

Boeing 747 Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Air China is gradually phasing out the Boeing 747-400

Air China (Beijing) is gradually phasing out its aging Boeing 747-400 fleet. The Jumbo is being replaced with newer Boeing 777-300ERs. The fleet is now down to four aircraft. The flag carrier is ending domestic Boeing 747-400 scheduled flights on June 30 according to Airline Route. The last domestic route is the Beijing – Shanghai (Hongqiao).

The carrier will continue to fly the type until October 25 on the following routes:

Beijing – Hong Kong
Beijing – Tokyo (Narita)
Shanghai (Pudong) – Tokyo (Narita)

The Jumbo, subject to change, is expected to then exit the fleet.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4J6 B-2460 (msn 24348) arrives at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT).

Air China:

 

Delta launches nonstop Seattle/Tacoma-Hong Kong flights, calls SEA a “hub” for the first time

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) issued this statement about its new Hong Kong service and its new “Seattle hub”:

Delta Air Lines yesterday (June 16) launched nonstop service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Hong Kong. The new market is Delta’s latest addition in the buildup of its Seattle hub and its fifth new international destination from Seattle/Tacoma in the last year.

Delta customers and employees will commemorated the event along with representatives from the Port of Seattle, Visit Seattle, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, and the Hong Kong Association of Washington with a gate event prior to the departure of the first flight. The event will include a ceremonial ribbon cutting and water cannon salute.

With the launch of Hong Kong service, Delta customers now have nonstop access to nine long-haul international destinations from Seattle – more than all other airlines combined – including the top five destinations in Asia and three of the top four destinations in Europe. Delta is the only carrier to offer nonstop service from Seattle/Tacoma to Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Paris, Shanghai and Tokyo-Haneda. Delta is also the only carrier to offer full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access in BusinessElite on every long-haul international flight from Seattle/Tacoma along with Economy Comfort seating and entertainment on demand in every seat throughout the aircraft.

“With the addition of the Hong Kong flight, Delta now offers our customers more than 2,500 daily seats to the top business markets in Asia and Europe from our Seattle hub,” said Mike Medeiros, Delta’s vice president – Seattle. “As we continue growing in the community, we remain committed to consistently providing the award-winning experience that we’re known for both in the U.S. and around the globe.”

Delta has also significantly expanded its operation in Seattle/Tacoma over the last year to support its international service and offer customers in the previously underserved market more choices. In total, Delta has increased its peak-day departures by more than 30 percent since a year ago and by December will offer 95 peak-day departures to 33 destinations, making it Seattle’s fastest-growing airline.

In February, Delta launched a double miles promotion for Seattle-based SkyMiles members. Customers who book and fly Delta or Delta Connection-marketed and -operated flights from Seattle by Dec. 31, 2014, will be awarded double miles and double Medallion Qualification Miles on the nonstop segment departing from or arriving into Seattle. Registration is required.

Delta currently operates 76 peak-day departures to 25 destinations from Seattle, and every flight offers BusinessElite/First Class and Economy Comfort seating as well as Wi-Fi service on all domestic aircraft. Delta also introduced international Wi-Fi on its Boeing 747-400 fleet earlier this year and will complete installation of Wi-Fi service on its entire long-haul international fleet by the end of 2015. The airline has also invested $15 million in its facilities at Sea-Tac, including its Delta Sky Club and recently completed lobby renovations, Sky Priority services, new gate area power recharging stations, expanded ticket counters and enhancements to the international arrivals area.

In other news, Delta will start nonstop Los Angeles-Mazatlan daily service on December 20 with Boeing 737-800s.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Delta also introduced international Wi-Fi on its Boeing 747-400 fleet earlier this year .

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

Air New Zealand to retire the last Boeing 747 on September 10

Air New Zealand (Auckland) as planned, is phasing down its aging Boeing 747-400 fleet as new Boeing 777s and 787s arrive. The Boeing 747 fleet is now down to two aircraft (ZK-NBV and ZK-SUH) with an average age of 19.3 years. The 747s are operated mainly to Brisbane and San Francisco. The flag carrier is planning to operate its last Boeing 747 revenue flight from San Francisco to Auckland on September 10 per Airline Route.  Prior to this, the airline will operate a one time “goodbye” flight on September 6 between Auckland and Sydney.

For Australia, Air New Zealand’s last Boeing 747 flight is now scheduled on July 13, on the Auckland – Brisbane route per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-475 ZK-SUH (msn 24896) is pictured arriving at Los Angeles International Airport. The airframe was originally delivered to VARIG 91st) as PP-VPI on May 31, 1991.

Air New Zealand: AG Slide Show

 

Philippines will now retire the last Boeing 747 on August 31

Philippines (Philippine Airlines) (Manila) is now planning to operate the last Boeing 747 revenue flight on June 30. According to Airline Route, the final roundtrip will be operated on June 30 (see update below) between Manila and San Francisco and back. The 747s are being replaced by newer Boeing 777-300 ERs which will be operated on the San Francisco route starting on July 1 (now September 1).

Update: Philippines has extended Boeing 747-400 operations until August 31, 2014 according to an update by Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4F6 RP-C8168 (msn 27827) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.

Philippines: AG Slide Show

 

British Airways launches new routes from London Heathrow to Mykonos and Santorini

British Airways (London) yesterday (May 3) added new service to the island of Mykonos in Greece twice a week from London’s Heathrow Airport. Today (May 4) the company is starting new flight to Santorini (Thira) in Greece twice a week also from Heathrow.

In other news, BA is now flying to Seattle/Tacoma from London (Heathrow) 11 times a week.

British Airways 747-400 G-CIVG (97-Union flag-Jumbo Net-Close Up) SFO (MDB)(LRW)

Top Copyright Photos: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. British has added a small “Jumbo Net – Our Connected 747″ logo to Boeing 747-436 G-CIVG (msn 25813).

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Video: British Airways has powered up its newest flight simulator, taking the number used by the airline to train its pilots to 18 – the highest ever.

The new addition, a full-motion Airbus A320 simulator, features the latest in flight training technology, allowing pilot instructors to link their iPads to the simulator to control each training session.

The simulator will be used to train some of British Airways’ 3,600 pilots who fly any of the A320 family of aircraft – serving domestic and European destinations on the airline’s network.

The investment in the new simulator reflects increased demand following the airline’s introduction of new A320s, A380s, 787s and 777-300s.

British Airways’ pilot numbers have also been increasing following the success of the airline’s pilot cadet scheme, now in its third year. The program sees newly trained pilots start their British Airways flying career on its A320 fleet.

The new A320 simulator is part of the company’s £5 billion investment in new products and technology to provide the best possible flying experience for British Airways’ customers.

Boeing delivers the 75th Boeing 747 to Lufthansa

747-8I DLH #1498-RC034

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) celebrated the delivery of the German airline’s 75th 747 on Wednesday (April 30).

Lufthansa is the launch customer for the 747-8 Intercontinental jetliner and took delivery of the first one in April 2012. The airplane delivered Wednesday is Lufthansa’s 13th 747-8 Intercontinental, namely 747-830 D-ABYO (msn 37841). The airline currently flies the 747 to 22 destinations in 10 countries. Over the years, Lufthansa has ordered a total of 81 747s.

Lufthansa’s first 747 – a 747-100 – was delivered in 1970. The airline was also the first to order the 747-200 Freighter.

The 747-8 has accumulated 120 orders for passenger and cargo versions, 68 of which have been delivered.

Top Copyright Photo: Boeing. This poor-quality publicity photo shows D-ABYO departing from Paine Field.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. It all started with the Boeing 747-130. The pictured Boeing 747-130 D-ABYA (msn 19746) at New York (JFK) was delivered new to LH as the first 747 on March 10, 1970.

AirBridgeCargo Airlines is coming to Munich on May 9

AirBridgeCargo Airlines-ABC (Moscow-Sheremetyevo), the largest Russian scheduled cargo airline and part of Volga Dnepr Group, is further expanding its services in Central Europe by introducing direct services to/from Munich with a Boeing 747 freighter on May 9.

The new Munich flight to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport will be in addition to the existing 4 weekly Boeing 737 flights operated by Atran Cargo Airlines, also part of Volga Dnepr Group. ABC Boeing 747 all-cargo flight between the Bavarian capital and ABC hub in Moscow (Sheremetyevo) will be on Friday midday, providing ideal end of the week departure time for European customers.

Germany has always been one of the most important markets contributing to ABC’s growth over the last decade. Earlier this year ABC launched scheduled Boeing 747 services to and from Leipzig, extending the Group’s strong association with the airport, where it has invested in a modern aircraft maintenance and repair facility to serve a variety of aircraft types (Boeing 747-200/300/400/8 (CF-50/80, PW4000), Boeing 737CL).

AirBridgeCargo’s scheduled network covers major markets in Asia (China, Japan and Korea), Europe (the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden) and North America (Chicago, Dallas).

The airline’s fleet is one of the youngest in the industry and includes 12 Boeing 747s: four Boeing 747-400ERFs, three Boeing 747-400Fs and five brand new Boeing 747-8Fs. The average fleet age is about 4 years.

Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-8HVF VQ-BLR (msn 37668) taxies at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (AMS).

AirBridgeCargo Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Routes to Europe:

AirBridgeCargo 5.2014 European Route Map

Cargolux improves with a net profit of $8.4 million in 2013

Cargolux Airlines International (Luxembourg) at its annual general meeting, the shareholders of Cargolux Airlines International S.A. approved the audited financial statements for the financial year ended on December 31, 2013.

2013 Highlights

Cargolux earned a full year net profit of US$ 8.4 million compared to US$ 35.1 million net loss in 2012;

Total revenues rose 14.4% to US$ 1,988.5 million from US$ 1,738.9 million in 2012.
Key Performance Indicators:

Tons sold increased 16.7% to 753,848 from 645,759 in 2012;

Average load factor softened 0.9 percentage points to 67.7%;

FTK strengthened to 5.7 million compared to 4.8 million in 2012;

Daily aircraft utilization stood at 14:57 block hours versus 15:07 in 2012.

In spite of a moderate recovery in the last quarter, the airfreight industry continued to operate in a difficult environment for the most part of 2013. Capacity growth still outstripped demand, which resulted in an industry-wide decline in yields and load factors. Despite difficult trading conditions, Cargolux grew its activities and increased volumes in a bid to maximize contribution to fixed costs. This was achieved quite successfully, as the company recorded a tonnage growth of 16.7% over 2012 to 753,848 tons – exceeding the 2013 budget by 13.5%. Total revenues grew by 14.4% to $1,988.5 million (US) while tons-kilometers flown increased from 4.8 million in 2012 to 5.7 million in 2013.

Cargolux operated 95,022 block hours, 13,364 hours more than planned for 2013. The high amount of operational activity contributed towards achieving a net consolidated gain of $8.4 million (US), a noteworthy improvement over the originally budgeted loss for 2013 of $27.1 million (US).

Cargolux expanded its fleet with three new Boeing 747-8Fs and retained, on a power-by-the-hour basis, a Boeing 747-400F that was initially planned to exit the fleet during 2013. It also added a Boeing 747-400ERF on the same basis, which brought the fleet to 20 aircraft at the end of the year. In contrast, the budget for 2013 foresaw a fleet of 16 aircraft only.

With a bigger fleet and more operational activity than planned, Cargolux recorded an average daily aircraft utilization of 14:57 hours. The company’s market share reached 3.5% and it ranked at number 8 among the world’s dedicated freighter and combination carriers in terms of FTKs.

“We don’t expect market conditions to improve significantly in 2014,” said Cargolux President and CEO Dirk Reich. “Our priority is to grow and expand our global network with the continued support and valuable contribution of our hard working employees while focusing on efficiency and performance improvements. I am also confident in our ability to reap the first tangible rewards from the cooperation with our new shareholder HNCA”, Reich added.

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-8R7F LX-VCG (msn 35812) taxies past the camera at Amsterdam.

Cargolux Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Philippines to retire the last Boeing 747 in May

Philippines (Philippine Airlines) (Manila) will retire 20 aging aircraft from its fleet this year including its last Boeing 747-400 later in the month of May. The 747s are being replaced by newer Boeing 777-300 ERs.

Read the full report from the Business Mirror: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4F6 RP-C8168 (msn 27827) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Philippines Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Bottom Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. PAL has been a long-time Boeing 747 operator. This historic photo shows Boeing 747-2F6B N741PR (msn 21832) with special Mabuhay! Chicago sub-titles at Zurich.

ANA’s 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

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

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