Tag Archives: Boeing 757

Delta completes the installation of full flat-bed seats for its entire international wide body fleet

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has completed the installation of full flat-bed seats with direct-aisle access in BusinessElite across its entire international widebody fleet, making it the only U.S. carrier to offer full flat-bed seats and the convenience of direct-aisle access on all overseas flights.

The completed interior fleet modifications include all Delta Airbus A330-200/300, Boeing 767-300ER/400ER, 747-400 and 777-200ER/LR aircraft, which represents Delta’s largest interior fleet modification investment in more than a decade. With these modifications complete, Delta also is the only U.S. domestic carrier to offer personal, on-demand entertainment at every seat on all long-haul international flights.

The fleet modifications are Delta’s latest investment in improving the customer experience. Since 2010, Delta also has:

Launched international Wi-Fi service and completed the installation of Wi-Fi on all domestic, two-class mainline and regional jets, offering more than 400,000 customers per day access to the Internet above 10,000 feet on more than 870 aircraft.

Transformed the sleep experience in the air by offering Westin Heavenly In-Flight bedding for customers in the BusinessElite cabin.

Updated BusinessElite amenity kits with stylish cases from Tumi and skincare product brand Malin+Goetz.
Built a team of celebrity chefs and James Beard Award winners to offer customers great food and wine selections at 30,000 feet.

Introduced International Economy Sleep Kits and added new amenities for its Economy customers on transoceanic flights.

Beginning July 1, 2014, Delta also will operate three updated Boeing 757 aircraft with full flat-bed seats on the trans-continental route between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport. These will be the first 757 aircraft in service to feature Delta’s previously announced upgrades including full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite on trans-con flights between New York-JFK and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. All trans-con flights on these routes will feature full flat-bed seats by summer 2015.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Beginning July 1, 2014, Delta also will operate three updated Boeing 757 aircraft with full flat-bed seats on the trans-continental route between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport. Boeing 757-232 N699DL (msn 29970) departs the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

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US Airways trims the frequencies on some new Charlotte European routes

US Airways (Phoenix) is trimming back on four new European routes from the Charlotte hub according to the Charlotte Observer. The new routes from CLT to Barcelona, Brussels, Lisbon and Manchester were announced in October as daily flights (CLICK HERE to read the original report). However due apparent weak demand, the new flights are now being trimmed back to only four days a week.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-2B7 N201UU (msn 27180) arrives back at the Charlotte hub yesterday (April 20).

US Airways: AG Slide Show

 

Aer Lingus launches its inaugural flight to Toronto and its first Boeing 757 from Dublin

Aer Lingus (Dublin) yesterday (April 14) recorded two firsts; the launch of its inaugural flight from Dublin to Toronto (Pearson) and the first operation from Dublin of the Boeing 757-200 aircraft recently added to its trans-Atlantic fleet.

The new service will operate year-round with a daily service between Dublin and Toronto during the summer season and up to four weekly services operating during the winter. This is the fourth trans-Atlantic route launch in recent months and forms part of Aer Lingus’ significant trans-Atlantic growth plan in 2014.

The 2014 growth plan includes;

· New routes from Dublin to Toronto and San Francisco
· The addition of three Boeing 757-200 aircraft to the long haul fleet
· Almost doubling of frequency on services from Shannon to Boston and New York
· The creation of more than 200 new jobs

Aer Lingus customers travelling from over twenty UK and European cities via Dublin to Toronto will also have the option to connect to eight key cities within Canada including Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary.

To support the operation of the new routes from Dublin to Toronto and from Shannon to New York and Boston, Aer Lingus has wet leased three Boeing 757-200 aircraft from ASL Aviation Group. The aircraft are configured with an economy and business class cabin. Business travellers will continue to enjoy the same great level of service; with gourmet meals, sleeper seats and an extensive in-flight entertainment selection.

The ASL Aviation Group, based in Ireland, is a well-established global aviation group providing an unrivalled array of aviation services. The group of aviation companies includes Irish airline Air Contractors and French based airline Europe Airpost as well as two support service companies – ACLAS Global and Air Contractors Engineering; and various leasing entities. The Group’s operations are worldwide with the airlines operating a mixed fleet of wide body, short haul and turboprop passenger and cargo aircraft under their own brands and for a number of leading airlines. ASL Aviation Group has a staff of 1,200, a fleet of ±80 aircraft. ASL is a joint venture between CMB (51%) and 3P Air Freighters (49%).

Copyright Photo: Michael Kelly/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly operated by Finnair as OH-LBT, Boeing 757-2Q8 EI-LBT (msn 28170), operated by Aero Contractors for Aer Lingus, departs from Dublin on its inaugural flight to Toronto on April 14, 2014.

Aer Lingus: AG Slide Show

Delta paints a Boeing 757 in the 1966 livery for its upcoming 85th Anniversary

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has just repainted its Boeing 757-232 registered N608DA (msn 22815) in Atlanta in the “Upright Widget” livery. This color scheme (above) was introduced in 1966 for the fleet and was the longest-running livery for the carrier until the “red dash” color scheme was introduced in 1997.

Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 757-232 N619DL (msn 22909) taxies at Dallas/Fort Worth when it actually wore the 1966 color scheme (slightly altered in 1976). This is the first livery worn by Delta’s Boeing 757-200s.

Delta Air Lines (current livery): AG Slide Show

Delta Air Lines (historic and all other liveries): AG Slide Show

Delta’s Route Map in 1966 (it was barely an international airline):

Delta 1966 Route Map

Delta’s current fleet line-up and number of aircraft in service (Delta Air Lines):

Delta Fleet Part 1

Delta Fleet Part 2

Allegiant now offers “giant seats” on its Boeing 757s

Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) has announced the addition of several larger, more comfortable seats, known as “Giant Seats,” to each of its Boeing 757 aircraft. Giving Allegiant travelers a new option when customizing their vacation experience, the company will offer these Giant Seats on flights between Hawaii and several western U.S. cities.

Allegiant 757-200 Giant Seat (Allegiant)(LR)

Copyright Photo: Allegiant Air.

Passengers who purchase a Giant Seat when making their reservations will take advantage of a more spacious, wider seat, comfortable headrests and more leg room.

“By adding these new Giant Seats, Allegiant passengers will enjoy the feeling and comfort of a premium seat, while flying to their destination at an affordable cost,” said Jude Bricker, Allegiant Travel Company, Senior Vice President of Planning. “We think the Giant Seats will be a welcome option for travelers, especially on our long-haul flights to Hawaii.”

Located in the first row and the mid-cabin emergency exit row of the aircraft, each of the six Giant Seats will be made available for a seat assignment fee on all flights to and from Hawaii and select flights to Las Vegas.

Allegiant installed the first of these new seats as part of compliance with changes to FAA crew rest rules, which require minimum seat requirements for augmented crews resting in the passenger cabin. A pair of the new seats was installed to comply with these rules, but the company also saw an opportunity to offer these more comfortable seats to passengers in other parts of the cabin and on flights that do not require augmented crew rest.

The new Giant Seats are part of an overall reconfiguration of the Allegiant 757 cabins, which includes creating a new seating option called “Legroom +.” Increasing the amount of leg room by up to six inches, Legroom + seats provide passengers with up to 34 inches between seat rows.

The installation of the new Giant Seats has been completed on all six of the carrier’s 757 aircraft. The new seat configuration will decrease the total number of seats in Allegiant’s Boeing 757s from 223 to 215.

Top Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-204 N904NV (msn 26967) touches down in Las Vegas.

Allegiant Air: AG Slide Show

National Airlines becomes a FAA-designated “Flag/Domestic Air Carrier”

National Airlines (5th) (formerly Murray Air) (Orlando) is celebrating the accomplishment of becoming the latest FAA designated Flag/Domestic Air Carrier. The airline issued this statement:

National Airlines is proud to announce that on February 28, 2014, the FAA approved National to become the United States’ newest Flag/Domestic air carrier.  National Airlines has a long history of supporting governments and militaries around the world — by, among other things, flying ad hoc cargo shipments in and out of crisis areas and also operating charter passenger operations for sports teams in the United States, visitors to/from Cuba, and contractors traveling between the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan.  US Flag/Domestic authority will allow National Airlines to expand its services to include conducting scheduled passenger flights throughout the United States and across the globe.  It also provides an opportunity for National Airlines to continue its support of the US government travelers under the Fly America Act, whereby US government funded travelers fly on US Flag Carriers whenever available.

National Airlines maintains the highest standards of safety, security, and compliance.  “This is nowhere more important than in the Middle East, which has been a significant market for National Airlines,” said Glen Joerger, National Airlines’ President.  “This operating authority will further strengthen our position as an emerging passenger carrier of choice for discerning customers seeking US Flag service in the region,” he added. “This tremendous addition to National’s operating certificate reinforces our corporate commitment to serve every facet of transportation and logistics for our key clientele around the globe,” continued Joerger.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-28A N176CA (msn 24543) prepares to land at Dubai.

National Airlines (5th): AG Slide Show

Icelandair has a better than expected year in 2013, reporting a pretax profit of $71 million

Icelandair Group (Icelandair) (Keflavik) reported its financial results for 2013 (all dollar figures in US dollars):

  • Profit before taxes amounted to $71.0 million, up by $13.6 million or 24% between years
  • Income rose between years by 13.8%
  • EBITDA in the fourth quarter amounted $6.8 million, up by $0.9 million between years
  • The equity ratio at year-end 2013 was 42%, as compared to 39% at year-end 2012
  • Net interest-bearing debts were reduced by $95.6 million over the year and were negative at year-end in the amount of $77.5 million
  • The Board of Directors has proposed a dividend payment of ISK 2,150 million to shareholders in 2014, which corresponds ISK 0.43 per share.

Björgólfur Jóhannsson, President and CEO

“The Company’s performance in 2013 is good and considerably better than our budget projected in the beginning of the year.  Profit before taxes amounted to $71.0 million, up by $13.6 million between years. Like recent years, last year was characterised by profitable organic growth, which is in line with our strategy. Capacity in our route network was increased by 16% from last year, and the number of passengers increased by 12%. The Company’s largest market in international flight services is the market between Europe and North-America, which has been the principal driving force of our growth in recent years. The tourist market to Iceland has also shown significant growth, and the demand for domestic tourist services has increased rapidly. Concurrently with this expansion, companies within Icelandair Group have found opportunities for profitable growth.

The rapid growth of recent years has tested the Company’s infrastructure, which is now stronger than ever before. The main reasons for the good performance of the year include favourable external conditions, increase in tourism in Iceland and last but not the least our strong team of employees which are a very important factor in what we have achieved. It is always satisfying when things are going well, but there is no room for complacency. There are various challenges ahead that we need to address.  The principal challenge is the increasing competition, and in addition our contracts with some of our classes of employees have expired, which creates some uncertainty. Nevertheless, the Company’s business model has proven sound, our finances are solid and our cash position is strong. Icelandair Group is therefore well positioned to take on the future. The Company’s budget for 2014 projects EBITDA at $145-150 million.”

Trip Report on Icelandair by the Sydney Morning Herald on a London-Halifax trip: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-208 TF-FIJ (msn 25085) lands in Stockholm (Arlanda).

Icelandair: AG Slide Show

Delta adds even more feeder routes to Seattle/Tacoma

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will add new service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, including nonstop service to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and seasonal nonstop service to Palm Springs International Airport. Delta will also add new and expanded service from Seattle/Tacoma to seasonal destinations as it continues building its domestic network.

Delta’s new Seattle/Tacoma service beginning on December 20, 2014 includes:

  • Five daily flights to Phoenix
  • One daily seasonal flight to Palm Springs, California
  • Saturday seasonal service to Tucson, Arizona
  • Saturday seasonal service to Jackson Hole, Wyoming
  • One additional nonstop flight to Honolulu for a total of two daily flights

Expanded seasonal service beginning in September includes:

  • One new daily nonstop flight to Anchorage, Alaska for a total of two daily flights in September and three daily flights during the summer

Delta’s new service to Phoenix, Palm Springs and Tucson will be operated by Delta Connection carrier SkyWest Airlines (St. George, Utah) using two-class, 76-seat aircraft, while Jackson Hole service will be operated with two-class, 65-seat aircraft. The expanded Honolulu and Anchorage service will be operated by Delta using Boeing 757 (above) and Boeing 737 aircraft, respectively.

By this summer, Delta will offer more than 2,500 daily international seats as part of its 79 peak-day departures to 25 destinations.

In addition to the expanded service, Delta will also adjust current arrival and departure times in Seattle/Tacoma to offer easier connections for customers traveling through the hub.

Delta recently announced 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 operates nonstop flights to Amsterdam, Beijing, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Shanghai-Pudong and Tokyo. The airline will also begin operating new nonstop international service this year to London-Heathrow beginning in March as well as Hong Kong and Seoul in June, pending government approval.

Every long-haul international Delta flight from Seattle/Tacoma now features full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite, Economy Comfort seating and entertainment on demand in every seat throughout the aircraft.

Delta currently operates 34 peak-day departures to 15 destinations from Seattle/Tacoma, and every flight offers BusinessElite/First Class and Economy Comfort seating as well as domestic Wi-Fi service. The airline has also invested $14 million in its facilities at Sea-Tac, including its recently completed lobby renovations, new Delta Sky Club, Sky Priority services, new gate area power recharging stations and expanded ticket counters.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-232 N6716C (msn 30838) pictured at SeaTac is named for Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, Dean of the Civil Rights Movement.

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

 

UPS posts a net profit of $1.2 billion for 2013

UPS (United Parcel Service) (UPS Airlines) (Atlanta) posted net earnings of $1.2 billion for 2013. The company issued this full financial statement for the fourth quarter and 2013:

UPS released details regarding fourth quarter 2013 results. Diluted earnings per share totaled $1.25, a $0.07 decline from 2012 fourth quarter adjusted results. Average daily package volume increased 6.0%, as total deliveries in December surged 20%. Significantly higher than predicted volume and inclement weather contributed to excess operating costs in the U.S., negatively affecting results.

During the fourth quarter 2012, UPS reported a diluted earnings per share loss of $1.83, due to an after-tax, non-cash charge of $3.0 billion to account for a mark-to-market pension adjustment.

“As the retail market shifts to a direct-to-consumer model, more and more companies are leveraging UPS solutions,” said Scott Davis, UPS chairman and CEO. “As a result, we experienced an unprecedented increase in volume, exceeding even our most optimistic plans.

“The increased volume put a strain on our network, causing delays. In response, UPS deployed additional people and equipment, placing a greater emphasis on service than cost,” Davis explained. “UPS will make the necessary investments and operational improvements to ensure we meet the needs of the marketplace.”

The company expects full-year diluted earnings per share to be within a range of $5.05 to $5.30, an increase of 11%-to-16% over 2013 adjusted results.

UPS delivered 20 million packages per day during the fourth quarter. Total shipments in 2013 increased to 4.3 billion, a 3.9% improvement over 2012.

During the holiday period, global daily deliveries exceeded expectations by surpassing 29 million packages on five days, with peak volume exceeding 31 million on December 23. Also during this period, UPS experienced 10 days with delivery volume that exceeded the company’s previous high.

Cash Flow

For the year ended Dec. 31, UPS generated $5.3 billion in free cash flow, producing a net income-to-cash conversion ratio of more than 120%. The company paid dividends of $2.3 billion, an increase of nearly 9% per share over the prior year, and repurchased more than 43 million shares for approximately $3.8 billion.

U.S. Domestic Package

U.S. Domestic fourth quarter revenue improved 4.2% to $9.3 billion. Daily package volume increased 5.6% with Deferred and Ground leading the way, up 8.0% and 5.8% respectively.

Total revenue per package declined 1.3%, as lower fuel surcharges, changes in product and customer mix, as well as higher service refunds, contributed to the drop.  Shippers continue to utilize the UPS portfolio, choosing lower cost over faster delivery, as evidenced by more than 30% growth in UPS SurePost.

Operating profit totaled $1.2 billion as additional costs associated with a greater-than-expected surge in volume and weather led to a $178 million decline from the prior-year adjusted results. Increased compensation and benefit costs reflected the deployment of additional resources in an attempt to meet service commitments.  During the quarter, UPS exceeded seasonal hiring targets by more than 30,000, deploying a total of 85,000 temporary employees. In addition, the company experienced significantly higher purchased transportation expenses.

On a reported basis, the operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2012 totaled $1.8 billion as a result of the mark-to-market pension charge.

International Package

International revenue increased 5.3% to $3.4 billion on 8.8% growth in daily package volume. UPS Export products rose 9.5% per day, driven primarily by 13% growth in Europe and significant growth in the Asia-to-Europe trade lane. Non-U.S. domestic products were up 8.2% with strong growth in Poland, Italy, and Canada. During December, the segment achieved a peak volume day above four million pieces and exceeded last year’s high on 11 days.

Export yield declined 3.4% on a currency neutral basis, as a result of lower fuel surcharges and customer preference for non-premium products. Double-digit gains in Pan-European shipments also lowered revenue per piece.

Operating profit improved 7.6% to $537 million. Operating margin expanded 30 basis points to 15.9%, compared to last year’s adjusted results.

On a reported basis, the operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2012 totaled $442 million as a result of the mark-to-market pension charge.

Supply Chain & Freight

Revenue in the segment fell 5.8% to $2.3 billion, due to declines in the Freight Forwarding unit. Operating profit was flat compared to 2012 adjusted results, as improvements in Distribution offset declines in Forwarding and UPS Freight.

On a reported basis, the operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $541 million as a result of the mark-to-market pension charge.

The Forwarding unit experienced a revenue decline resulting from decreased tonnage and revenue per kilo, in International Air Freight. The Ocean Freight business reported growth in shipments and operating margin expansion.

Distribution revenue increased over the prior year period. The retail and healthcare sectors contributed to the improved results. Global footprint expanded during the year to 284 facilities, with more than 22 million square feet of space.

UPS Freight LTL revenue increased 2.3% over the prior year driven by LTL tonnage and pricing improvements.

Outlook

The company announced plans to repurchase $2.7 billion of UPS shares during 2014. Capital expenditures are anticipated to be approximately $2.5 billion. This includes accelerated deployments in operational technologies and over $500 million of increased investments in capacity expansion and hub modernization.

“While the year ended on a challenging note, we are confident in our ability to adapt and we expect much better results in 2014,” said Kurt Kuehn, UPS chief financial officer. “UPS expects balanced profitability growth across all segments in a slightly better economic environment, resulting in full-year guidance of diluted earnings per share of $5.05 to $5.30, an 11%-to-16% increase over our 2013 adjusted results.”

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-24A (PF) N416UP (msn 23903) prepares to arrive in Las Vegas.

UPS Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bloomberg visits UPS’ sorting hub at UPS Worldport, Louisville, Kentucky:

UPS-We Love Logistics logo

 

Allegiant Air’s pilots to meet with investors and analysts about safety concerns

Allegiant Air‘s (Las Vegas) pilots have issued this statement:

Allegiant Air’s pilots, represented by the Allegiant Air Pilots Executive Council, an employee group of Allegiant Travel Company (Las Vegas) and pilots represented by Teamsters Local Union 1224 in Wilmington, Ohio, announced plans to begin formal dialogues with Allegiant stakeholders and other influential voices in the financial community, including institutional shareholders, equity analysts, corporate lenders and insurers, in order to address operating and safety concerns that exist at the airline.

INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS LOGO

“Allegiant management has turned a deaf ear to serious operational concerns raised by the pilots,” said Capt. David Bourne, Director of Airline Division at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. “We believe Allegiant’s financial backers have a right to know what is going on and be given a chance to weigh in on vital changes needed for Allegiant’s long-term success before it’s too late.”

“Allegiant’s low-cost model works if it can actually support the growth of the business,” Bourne said, “However, management’s lack of operational know-how and flat-out resistance to put badly needed investments into infrastructure is taking a significant toll on flight operations, which could ultimately jeopardize flight safety. It’s obvious to us that the major service disruptions over the last several months, ranging from multiple fleet shutdowns, chronic staffing and equipment shortages, significant ramp-up in 3rd party contracting for scheduled flights and sub-servicing and the shutdown of the company’s training department, all flow from the short-sighted decisions being made at the top.”

“It is very unusual for a company’s training department to be shut down,” said Dan Wells, President of Teamsters Local 1224. “Allegiant has yet to even acknowledge the training shutdown, much less show its pilots a plan for corrective action or indicate if those changes will adequately satisfy Federal Aviation Administration concerns. Many Allegiant pilots have been delayed in training for months, which we believe is driving a major increase in outsourcing due to the shortage of company pilots to fly scheduled flights and re-route equipment back to hubs and maintenance centers.”

“Management has ignored repeated requests for clarity on the training program by both the union and Allegiant’s own pilots,” Bourne said. “We’ve filed a Freedom of Information Act submission with the FAA on the matter, but the agency’s only reply was that there is an ongoing investigation at the company. In the meantime, Allegiant pilots continue to bend over backwards to work with the company to address the very significant issues that are interfering with the ability of Allegiant flight crews to do their jobs properly and service customers effectively. We are hopeful that conversations with investors and other Allegiant stakeholders will lead to a breakthrough on some of the key obstacles affecting the future of the airline.”

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Allegiant Air’s Boeing 757-204 WL N904NV (msn 26967) arrives at the Las Vegas base.

Allegiant Air: AG Slide Show

Finnair retires its last Boeing 757

Finnair (Helsinki) has retired its last Boeing 757. The pictured Boeing 757-2Q8 OH-LBT (msn 28170) (above) has found a new home with Air Contractors (Dublin) as EI-LBT according to Skyliner Aviation. OH-LBT made its final scheduled revenue flight from Fuerteventura to Helsinki on January 19, 2014 according to RVNspotting (see video below).

The first Finnair Boeing 757 aircraft, Boeing 757-2Q8 OH-LBO (msn 28172), was handed over to the company on October 7, 1997 and the second (OH-LBR) on October 16, 1997. The first leisure flight with the new aircraft took place on October 23, 1997 from Helsinki to La Palma and Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-2Q8 OH-LBT (msn 28170) is parked at Toronto (Pearson) painted in the 2000 livery.

Finnair: AG Slide Show

Video:

Reuters: Ethiopian to order 10-20 narrow body jetliners

Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) is planning to place an order for 10 to 20 narrow body jetliners according to this report by Reuters. The African carrier is studying proposals from Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier. The company has traditionally ordered from Boeing.

The damaged 787 at Heathrow Airport returned to service in December.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Ethiopian is still operating older Boeing 757-200s on some routes. Part of the new order would replace these aircraft. Boeing 757-231 ET-ALZ (msn 30319) arrives at Dubai and was originally delivered to TWA on August 16, 199 as N720TW.

Ethiopian Airlines: AG Slide Show

The National Airlines name re-enters the Miami market

National Airlines (5th) (Orlando) is a familiar airline name in South Florida. Three previous airlines with that name have operated at Miami International Airport (MIA). The current National Airlines, now based in Florida, is now operating Cuban passenger charter flights for the various Cuban charter companies at MIA.

Travel to Cuba is booming. According to this report by Brandenton.com, 394 charter flights departed MIA for Cuba during December 2013. Charter flights to Cuba are also permitted from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Tampa. National has joined a group of airlines that operate these special flights.

Before the Castro regime took over Cuba in 1959, Havana was Miami’s largest international destination.

The Bradenton.com explains the Cuban Charter business: CLICK HERE

National (5th) logo-2

In other news, National Airlines on February 1 will offer daily public charter service from Dubai International Airport to forward operating bases in Bagram, with service to Kandahar and Bastion in Afghanistan coming soon.

Check the schedule below for current flight options:

Origin Destination Schedule * Flight # Days Effective
Dubai, UAE
(DXB)
Bagram, AF (OAI) 06:25 – 09:40 NCR998 Tu 01Feb14 to 30Jun14
Bagram, AF (OAI) 06:45 – 10:00 NCR998 M, W, Th, F, Sa 01Feb14 to 30Jun14
Bagram, AF (OAI) 06:50 – 10:05 NCR998 Su 01Feb14 to 30Jun14
Bagram, AF
(OAI)
Dubai, UAE (DXB) 11:30 – 14:10 NCR999 Tu 01Feb14 to 30Jun14
Dubai, UAE (DXB) 11:50 – 14:30 NCR999 M, W, Th, F, Sa 01Feb14 to 30Jun14
Dubai, UAE (DXB) 11:55 – 14:35 NCR999 Su 01Feb14 to 30Jun14
* Schedule is in local time at airport of departure/arrival.

Top Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-236 N169CA (msn 25592) arrives at Dubai International Airport (DXB).

National Airlines (1st): AG Slide Show

National Airlines (4th): AG Slide Show

National Airlines (5th): AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: L. Apso. National Airlines is now basing Boeing 757-28A N176CA (msn 24543) in Miami and it is seen on the former National Airlines (later Pan Am) Concourse F at Miami International Airport.

National (5th) 757-200 N176CA (10)(Grd) MIA (LC)(LRW) 1.2.14

Delta adds extra sections and charter flights for the 2014 Bowl Championship Series

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has added flights to support fans traveling to the Bowl Championship Series, including the National Championship Game in Pasadena, California as well as the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl.

A schedule of flights and cities are below:

National Championship, Pasadena, California – January 6, 2014:

Date

Departure Departure Time Arrival Arrival Time

Jan. 4

Tallahassee, Fla.

9:45 a.m. Los Angeles 11:40 a.m.

Jan. 4

Tampa, Fla. 10 a.m. Los Angeles 12:28 p.m.

Jan. 4

Birmingham, Ala. 9:45 a.m. Los Angeles 11:25 a.m.

Jan. 4

Birmingham, Ala. 10:45 a.m. Los Angeles 12:25 p.m.
Jan. 7 Los Angeles 10:05 a.m. Tallahassee, Fla. 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 7

Los Angeles 10:55 a.m. Tampa, Fla. 6:20 p.m.

Jan. 7

Los Angeles 12:55 a.m. Birmingham, Ala. 6:55 a.m.

Jan. 7

Los Angeles 09:05 a.m. Huntsville, Ala. 3:05 p.m.
Jan. 7 Los Angeles 10:30 a.m. Birmingham, Ala. 5:37 p.m.
Jan. 7 Los Angeles 11:30 a.m. Atlanta 6:44 p.m.
Jan. 7 Los Angeles 11:40 a.m. Birmingham, Ala. 5:38 p.m.
Jan. 7

Los Angeles

11 a.m. Atlanta 6:14 p.m.
Jan. 7

Burbank, Calif.

12:20 p.m. Atlanta 7:32 p.m.

Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California – January 1, 2014:

Date

Departure

Departure Time Arrival Arrival Time
Dec. 31 Detroit 10 a.m. Los Angeles 12:11 p.m.
Jan. 2

Los Angeles

10 a.m. Detroit 5:28 p.m.
Jan. 2

Burbank, Calif.

12:25 p.m. Detroit 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 2

Los Angeles

12:30 p.m. Detroit 7:58 p.m.

Sugar Bowl, New Orleans – January 2, 2014:

Date Departure Departure Time Arrival Arrival Time
Jan. 1

Oklahoma City

10:30 a.m. New Orleans 12:10 p.m.
Jan. 3

New Orleans

9 a.m. Oklahoma City 10:50 a.m.

Orange Bowl, Miami, January 3, 2014:

Date Departure Departure Time Arrival Arrival Time
Jan. 2 Columbus, Ohio 9 a.m. Miami 11:30 a.m.
Jan. 5 Miami 9 a.m. Columbus, Ohio 11:45 a.m.

Delta traditionally adds capacity to support the strong demand for nonstop service associated with postseason sporting events.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-232 N6715C (msn 30486) with the special Grammy Awards logo lands in Baltimore/Washington (BWI).

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

US Airways will leave the Star Alliance on March 30 and join oneworld the following day

US Airways (Phoenix) will join oneworld® on March 31, 2014, following completion of its merger with alliance founding member American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth).  All its regional affiliates, operating under the US Airways Express brand, will also transition to oneworld at the same time.

 Star Alliance logo

The entry into oneworld on March 31, 2014 will follow immediately upon their exit from the Star Alliance with the final flights on March 30, 2014.  

Oneworld logo

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 757-200s and Airbus A319s currently in the Star Alliance color scheme are expected to receive the oneworld version shortly. Boeing 757-2B7 N936UW (msn 27244) arrives at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Logojets Slide Show: AG Slide Show

 

The trans-con premium battle heats up, United upgrades 15 Boeing 757-200s with flat-bed seats

United Airlines (Chicago) today announced it is the first and only airline to offer premium-cabin, flat-bed seats on every scheduled trans-continental flight between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and San Francisco and between New York JFK and Los Angeles.

The airline has completed an extensive redesign of 15 Boeing 757-200s that fly these p.s. “Premium Service” routes.

The revamped p.s. aircraft offer 28 180-degree flat-bed United BusinessFirst seats, offering up to 6’4″ of sleeping space and more room for storage; 42 extra-legroom United Economy Plusseats; and 72 United Economy seats.

United 757-200 ps cabin (United)(LRW)

Designed to give customers an experience comparable to long-haul, international flights, United’s refurbished p.s. aircraft also offer:

  • Inflight Wi-Fi
  • Personal, on-demand entertainment at every seat - with 15.4″ monitors in United BusinessFirst and 9″ monitors in United Economy - offering hundreds of movies and television shows, plus other entertainment options
  • Power outlets and USB ports at every seat
  • Two additional inches of legroom in United Economy Plus compared to Economy Plus legroom on pre-renovation p.s. service
  • Multi-course meals in United BusinessFirst on most flights
  • Wine selections recommended by Doug Frost, United’s Master Sommelier and Master of Wine, including half bottles of premium wines for purchase in United Economy

“Our investment in these aircraft and in the p.s. service will add greatly to our flyer-friendly customer experience on these coast-to-coast flights,” said Jeff Foland, United’s executive vice president of marketing, technology and strategy. “This is just one more example of the many things we are doing to provide greater onboard comfort and convenience on every United flight.”

Customer Service Investments

United’s renovated p.s. aircraft are among the many investments the airline is making to enhance its customers’ experience in the air and on the ground. United also offers:

  • Premium-cabin, flat-bed seats on every scheduled long-haul international flight from the continental United States
  • Satellite-fed Wi-Fi on more than 130 aircraft so far, with nearly all of United’s mainline fleet outfitted with Wi-Fi by the end of 2014
  • An all-new mobile application for the iOS 7 platform, offering customers innovative new features, better functionality and an improved touch-friendly design
  • Live television on more than 200 aircraft, the world’s largest fleet of aircraft with live television
  • Significantly upgraded United Club lounges in Chicago O’Hare Terminal 2, Seattle and San Diego, with improved amenities, modern interiors, more power outlets and complimentary snacks and Wi-Fi

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by United). Boeing 757-224 WL N19141 (msn 30354) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.

Video:

United Airlines: AG Slide Show

Thomas Cook Group unveils its new “Sunny Heart” livery

Thomas Cook Group (London) has unveiled its new “Sunny Heart” livery. Airbus A321-211 G-TCDC (msn 5872) was delivered to Thomas Cook Airlines (UK) (Manchester) on November 22 and will go into revenue service in mid December. the second of the 23 new Airbus A321 aircraft to be delivered to the Thomas Cook Group Airlines by 2016, previously announced in early 2013. This follows the first A321 delivered to sister airline Condor Flugdienst (Frankfurt) in May 2013.

Six aircraft will be deployed in the UK and will be in operation by the summer season of 2014.

The group explains the new look, a departure from its traditional blue and white colors:

“Our new ’Sunny Heart’ livery expresses the philosophy of our airline; our team putting their heart into every flight and making sure our customers’ holiday starts as soon as they board their flight to their holiday destination. The Sunny Heart is the perfect symbol for our passion to create memorable holidays for our guests.”

Thomas Cook 2013 logo-2 (long)

G-TCDC is also the first Airbus aircraft in the Thomas Cook Group to be fitted with wing-tip Sharklets which help the aircraft fly using less fuel, contributing – with the new fuselage shape – to an overall fuel efficiency of up to 6 per cent compared to the existing aircraft in the fleet.

Meanwhile Condor Flugdienst has already painted its first aircraft in the new brand, Boeing 757-330 D-ABOJ (above).

Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. Condor’s Boeing 757-330 D-ABOJ (msn 29010) sits at the Frankfurt base today between flights in the new look.

Thomas Cook Airlines (UK): AG Slide Show

Condor Flugdienst: AG Slide Show

Video: Painting of the first A321 for Condor (in the old colors):

Video: Thomas Cook Airlines:

US Airways to operate seasonal Philadelphia-Edinburgh flights

US Airways (Phoenix) will offer new nonstop daily service from the airline’s international gateway at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh.  For the first time, the airline will operate flights to and from Edinburgh Airport (EDI) on 176-seat dual-class Boeing 757-200 aircraft between May 23, 2014 and October 1, 2014. 

The flight schedule is as follows:

Flight # Origin Destination Dep. Time

Arrival Time

Start Date End Date
784 PHL EDI 8:50 p.m.

8:40 a.m.*

May 23, 2014 Sept. 30, 2014
785 EDI PHL 10:50.a.m.

1:35 p.m.

May 24, 2014 Oct. 1, 2014

*Flight arrives the following day.

With the new service, US Airways will operate 472 weekday departures and serve 118 destinations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Mexico, Europe and the Caribbean from Philadelphia International Airport.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-2B7 N200UU (msn 27809) taxies to the runway at the Charlotte hub.

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Delta welcomes the settlement agreement between the DOJ and AMR-US Airways Group

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) issued the following statement in response to the settlement of litigation brought by the U.S. Department of Justice challenging the merger of American Airlines and US Airways.

“Delta welcomes the settlement agreement and looks forward to the opportunity to acquire slots that will be divested under the agreement, particularly at Washington-Reagan National Airport. Delta is the airline best positioned to continue competitive nonstop flights from Reagan National to small- and mid-sized cities that could otherwise see service reduced or eliminated, which should be a strong consideration in the divestiture.”

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Delta’s Boeing 757-232 N6713Y (msn 30777) is pictured in action at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

 

United posts a 3Q net profit of $590 million

United Airlines (Chicago) reported third-quarter 2013 net income of $590 million, an increase of 13.5 percent year-over-year, or $1.51 per diluted share, excluding $211 million of special charges. Including special charges, UAL reported third-quarter 2013 net income of $379 million, or $0.98 per diluted share.

  • UAL generated $10.2 billion of revenue in the third quarter of 2013.
  • United’s consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 2.7 percent in the third quarter compared to the third quarter of 2012.
  • Third-quarter consolidated unit costs (CASM), holding fuel rate and profit sharing constant and excluding special charges and third-party business expense, increased 3.6 percent year-over-year on a consolidated capacity (available seat miles) reduction of 1.1 percent. Third-quarter consolidated CASM increased 1.2 percent year-over-year.
  • United’s third-quarter consolidated fuel efficiency (gallons per available seat mile) improved 1.1 percent year-over-year, due primarily to replacing older aircraft with highly efficient new Boeing 737-900ERs and Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
  • UAL ended the third quarter with $6.7 billion in unrestricted liquidity.

“We have significantly improved our operations, customer service and product, and are now competitive on all those dimensions. I want to thank my co-workers as we work together to deliver on our promise of making United flyer friendly,” said Jeff Smisek, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “However, we are not satisfied with our financial performance, and are taking prompt actions to increase our revenue and operate more efficiently across the company.”

Third-Quarter Revenue and Capacity

For the third quarter, total revenue was $10.2 billion, an increase of 3.2 percent compared to the same period in 2012. Third-quarter consolidated passenger revenue increased 1.6 percent year-over-year to $8.9 billion, on a consolidated capacity decrease of 1.1 percent year-over-year. Other revenue in the third quarter increased 25.0 percent year-over-year to $1.1 billion and third-quarter cargo revenue decreased 19.1 percent versus the third quarter of 2012 to $199 million.

Consolidated revenue passenger miles (RPMs) decreased 0.3 percent on a consolidated capacity decrease of 1.1 percent year-over-year, resulting in a consolidated load factor of 85.9 percent in the third quarter.

Third-quarter consolidated PRASM increased 2.7 percent compared to the same period in 2012. Consolidated yield for the third quarter increased 1.9 percent year-over-year.

“This quarter my co-workers consistently delivered solid operational performance, and our customer satisfaction scores continue to rise,” said Jim Compton, UAL’s vice chairman and chief revenue officer. “We are, however, disappointed by the pace of our revenue improvements, and we are taking numerous actions to improve our performance to more swiftly realize our full revenue potential.”

Third-quarter passenger revenue and period-to-period comparisons of related statistics for UAL’s mainline and regional operations are as follows:

3Q 2013 Passenger
Revenue
(millions)
Passenger
Revenue vs.
3Q 2012
PRASM vs.
3Q 2012
Yield vs.
3Q 2012
Available Seat
Miles vs.
3Q 2012
Domestic $3,339 0.4% 2.9% 2.3% (2.4%)
Atlantic 1,765 11.0% 9.0% 5.6% 1.9%
Pacific 1,289 (11.0%) (9.4%) (8.4%) (1.7%)
Latin America 632 0.6% 0.5% 1.2% 0.2%
International 3,686 0.5% 0.2% (0.7%) 0.3%
Mainline 7,025 0.5% 1.6% 0.8% (1.1%)
Regional 1,893 6.3% 7.1% 6.1% (0.8%)
Consolidated $8,918 1.6% 2.7% 1.9% (1.1%)

Third-Quarter Costs

Total operating expenses increased $11 million, or 0.1 percent, in the third quarter versus the same period in 2012. Excluding special charges, third-quarter total operating expenses increased $314 million, or 3.4 percent, year-over-year.

Third-quarter consolidated CASM increased 1.2 percent year-over-year. Third-quarter consolidated CASM, excluding special charges and third-party business expense, increased 2.9 percent compared to third-quarter 2012. Third-party business expense was $205 million in the third quarter of 2013.

In the third quarter, consolidated CASM, excluding special charges and third-party business expense and holding fuel rate and profit sharing constant, increased 3.6 percent compared to the third quarter of 2012.

“We are committed to operating more efficiently across all aspects of our business,” said John Rainey, UAL’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We continue to improve our balance sheet and to make return-driven investments in our business, both of which are critical to creating long-term economic value for our stakeholders.”

Liquidity and Cash Flow

UAL ended the third quarter with $6.7 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $1.0 billion of undrawn commitments under its revolving credit facility. During the third quarter, UAL generated $237 million of operating cash flow. The company’s gross capital expenditures and purchase deposits for the quarter were $598 million, and the company made debt and capital lease principal payments of $253 million in the third quarter.

Third-Quarter 2013 Accomplishments
Operations, Co-workers and Customer Service

  • United Airlines reported a third-quarter mainline on-time arrival rate (domestic and international) of 78.9 percent. The on-time arrival rate is based on flights arriving within 14 minutes of scheduled arrival time. United co-workers earned cash-incentive payments of $9 million for on-time performance during the third quarter.
  • The company reached tentative agreements on new joint collective bargaining agreements with the International Association of Machinists (IAM) for the more than 28,000 fleet service, passenger service and storekeeper employees.
  • United’s pilots established an integrated seniority list, and United announced it offered recall to nearly 600 pilots currently on furlough to address the airline’s future staffing needs.
  • United neared completion of its comprehensive customer service training program for all customer-facing co-workers worldwide with more than 90 percent of mainline and United Express flight attendants, airport agents and reservation agents trained through the third quarter.

Network, Fleet and Sustainability

  • In the third quarter, the company announced it is expanding its leading worldwide route network and will launch future nonstop service from San Francisco to Chengdu, China, the fourth-largest Chinese city, and from Chicago to Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in June 2014. This quarter, United launched new nonstop service to St. Lucia, as well as additional nonstop service to Anchorage, Alaska; Austin, Texas; Traverse City, Mich.; and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The company also announced it is adding three other cities to its network: Elmira, N.Y., Topeka, Kan.; and Sun Valley, Idaho, as well as additional service to Fort Myers, Fla.; Hayden, Colo.; Indianapolis; and State College, Pa.
  • The company took delivery of seven new highly efficient aircraft, including six Boeing 737-900 ERs and one Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and removed from service seven Boeing 757-200s.
  • A United Boeing 737-800 aircraft retrofitted with the new Split Scimitar Winglet began test flights. United is the North American launch customer for the Next-Generation 737 advanced winglet that improves the efficiency of the company’s 737 fleet by approximately 2 percent while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions, and the company will begin installing the new winglets across its 737 fleet by year end.
  • United was named the Eco-Aviation “Airline of the Year” Gold Winner by Air Transport World (ATW) magazine.

Product, Loyalty Program and Facilities

  • United debuted its new brand campaign, featuring its iconic “Fly the Friendly Skies” tagline, reinterpreted for today’s travelers. The new campaign explains United’s commitment to being “user-friendly,” which to customers today means the combination of service, technology and product enhancements.
  • The company continued outfitting aircraft with global satellite Wi-Fi across its entire mainline fleet, offering inflight connectivity on long-haul international flights. The airline now has more than 115 Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft and is outfitting about one aircraft per day with global satellite Wi-Fi.
  • The airline expanded its offering of live television to more than 200 aircraft, offering customers more than 100 channels of live programming while in-flight. United operates more live television-equipped aircraft than any other airline in the world.
  • United released refreshed applications for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry 10 that include streamlined user interfaces along with a new feature that enables customers to manage their travel in real time if a flight delay or cancellation should occur.
  • United continued retrofitting its p.s. (Premium Service) transcontinental aircraft that fly from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco. The airline already has retrofitted 12 of its 15 p.s. aircraft with the latest cabin interiors, premium-cabin flat-bed seats, and personal on-demand entertainment and Wi-Fi throughout the aircraft.
  • United debuted its Choice Menu “Bistro on Board” featuring new fresh food menu options available for sale to Economy customers on flights longer than three-and-a-half hours within North America and to and from Central America. United is providing customers innovative selections made with high-quality ingredients that will change seasonally.
  • United MileagePlus and Marriott Rewards® joined forces to provide their most loyal members with unprecedented travel benefits. Through the RewardsPlus program, United customers who are Premier Gold MileagePlus members or above can enjoy Marriott Gold Elite status and benefits. The program also offers Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite members MileagePlus Premier Silver status.
  • The company teamed up with Mercedes-Benz USA to provide innovative new benefits exclusively to United’s most frequent flyers seeking a luxury driving experience. MileagePlus Premier members receive incentives and 25,000 bonus miles when purchasing or leasing certain new Mercedes-Benz vehicles. In addition, United and Mercedes partnered to offer United’s Global Services customers tarmac transfer service at the airline’s Chicago and Houston hubs.
  • The company opened its new United Club lounge in Terminal 2 at San Diego International Airport, the third club to feature the airline’s new design concept.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. United is gradually phasing out its older Boeing 757-200s with seven retired in this quarter alone. Ex-Continental Boeing 757-224 WL N17122 (msn 27564) departs from Los Angeles.

United Airlines: AG Slide Show

Allegiant to move to Concourse A at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport

Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) will move its Las Vegas operation today from Concourse D to Concourse A. This area was previously vacated by US Airways.

Read the full story from Las Vegas Review-Journal: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Allegiant Air’s Boeing 757-204 N902NV (msn 26964) climbs over the Strip at Las Vegas.

Allegiant: AG Slide Show

FAA Airport Map for LAS:

LAS Airport Map (FAA)

Fly Jamaica is coming to Toronto on October 8

Fly Jamaica Airways (Kingston) will launch a new route to Toronto (Pearson) on October 8.

The new airline commenced scheduled services on February 14, 2013 between Kingston, Jamaica and New York (JFK) with this former ATA Airlines Boeing 757-23N N524AT (msn 30233).

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com.

Air Astana to start Astana-London Heathrow weekly flights on October 31

Air Astana (Almaty) will start a weekly nonstop route linking the capital of Astana with London (Heathrow) starting on October 31. The new route will complement existing Almaty-London (Heathrow) flights and will be operated with Boeing 757-200s per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-2G5 P4-GAS (msn 28112) arrives at the resort destination of Antalya, Turkey.

Air Astana: AG Slide Show

Delta introduces the “Smart Travel Pack” for an extra $199

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is one of the U.S. airlines leading the stampede to find new revenue sources to “enhance the travel experience”.

According to the airline, Delta will begin offering a new travel option for SkyMiles customers which provides access to some of the airline’s most popular enhanced travel extras such as checked bags, priority boarding and seat selection for $199. The new package, called Smart Travel Pack, introduces a practical and affordable way for customers to add a suite of extra services and additional comfort for their upcoming business or personal travel.

An eligible SkyMiles member who purchases the Smart Travel Pack will receive:

  • Free first checked bag for each passenger traveling in the same reservation
  • Priority Boarding to give the entire party more time to get onboard and get settled in their seats with carry-on baggage stowed
  • Access to Preferred Seats to allow selection of bulkhead or exit row seats or access aisle or window seat toward the front of the plane at no additional charge
  • Discounted Economy Comfort which gives customers the option to upgrade to Economy Comfort for 50 percent less on domestic flights and 25 percent less on international flights
  • 20 percent more bonus miles for the SkyMiles member who purchases the Smart Travel Pack to get them to their next Award Ticket faster

Package features are valid for the SkyMiles member who purchases the Smart Travel Pack during the promotion period and up to eight friends or family members traveling with them with the exception of bonus miles which are only awarded to the primary purchaser’s SkyMiles account.

Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Former TWA/American Airlines Boeing 757-231 N709TW (msn 28479) in the SkyTeam alliance color scheme, taxies at Shannon.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

 

United to start summer seasonal flights from Chicago O’Hare to Edinburgh, Scotland

United Airlines (Chicago) has announced will launch nonstop summer seasonal service between its Chicago hub at O’Hare International Airport and Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning on May 22, 2014, subject to government approval.  This will be the first scheduled nonstop service between the two cities.

The flights will operate five times weekly from May 22 to June 11, daily between June 12 and September 1 and four times weekly between Sept. 2 and Oct. 5, 2014.

The flights will depart Chicago O’Hare at 6 p.m. (1800), arriving in Edinburgh at 7:45 a.m. (0745) the following day. The return flights will depart Edinburgh at 10:25 a.m. (1025), arriving in Chicago at 1 p.m. (1300) the same day (all times local). Flight times are seven hours, 45 minutes eastbound and eight hours, 35 minutes westbound.

The flights will operate using Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a total of 169 seats – 16 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst and 153 in United Economy, including 45 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.

United offers more nonstop service to more destinations from its Chicago O’Hare hub than any other carrier and has added 11 new routes from Chicago since the beginning of 2013.

United currently operates year-round nonstop service from its Newark Liberty International Airport hub to both Edinburgh and Glasgow, having started service to Scotland in 1998.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-222 N521UA (msn 24891) climbs away from Los Angeles International Airport.

United Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Icelandair is coming to Edmonton, Vancouver and Geneva in 2014

Icelandair (Keflavik) has announced a major expansion for 2014 and is adding three new destinations, namely Edmonton and Vancouver in Canada and Geneva in Switzerland. The airline is also adding three additional Boeing 757s. The flag carrier issued this statement:

The Icelandair schedule for 2014 is the biggest in the company‘s history, increasing by 18% from this year. Three new destinations will be added and frequency increased to several cities in North-America and Europe. Number of passengers is estimated at over 2.6 million in 2014, compared to just under 2.3 million this year. In 2014, three Boeing 757 aircraft will be added to the fleet, enlarging it from 18 to 21 aircraft.

Icelandair has seen strong organic growth in the past few years and the 2014 schedule is double in size compared to the one in 2009. Departures from Iceland have grown from 4.500 in 2009 up to 9000 next year, and passenger numbers in 2009 were 1.3 million or half of next year’s estimate.

Besides opening up routes to Edmonton, Vancouver and Geneva, Icelandair will add frequency to most of its current destinations. 21 weekly flights will be added on European routes and 14 weekly flights to North America or 35 flights in total, from 220 weekly departures from Iceland this year to 254 departures next summer.

Flights to Edmonton, capital of Alberta, will start on March 26, 2014 and continue until January 2015, four times a week. The Edmonton economy is strong with the 1.2 million inhabitants.

The Vancouver twice-weekly flights start on May 13, 2014 and continue until October 12, 2014. Vancouver, western Canada‘s largest city with a population of 2.3 million.

The Geneva service starts on May 24, 2014 and continues twice-weekly until September 23, 2014. Geneva is an historic city and center for many international organizations with a multinational population of 1,1 million situated close to the French border.

Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly operated by American Airlines as N637AM, Boeing 757-223 TF-ISF (msn 24595) joined the Icelandair fleet on January 9, 2013. TF-ISF is seen departing from Zurich today (September 3).

Icelandair: AG Slide Show

Delta and Virgin Atlantic receive tentative DOT antitrust immunity for trans-Atlantic alliance

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) have received tentative U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) (Washington) antitrust immunity for its proposed trans-Atlantic alliance. As part of the deal, Delta is acquiring a 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic for $360 million from Singapore Airlines (Singapore).

All other parties will have 14 days to comment on the DOT decision, otherwise it will become final.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Delta’s Boeing 757-232 N650DL (msn 24390) banks on the final turn on the River Approach into Washington (Reagan National).

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Have you seen the “new look” AirlinersGallery.com?

Virgin Atlantic Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A340-313 G-VAIR (msn 164) climbs away from Tokyo (Narita) painted in the updated 2010 livery which also includes airline titles on the fuselage underside.

 

Precision Conversions to convert four Boeing 757-200 freighters for Air China Cargo

Air China Cargo (Beijing) intends to add four Boeing 757-200 freighters to its fleet. Precision Conversions has won the contract to convert the aircraft. Precision Conversions issued this statement:

Precision Conversions, LLC is very pleased to announce that the company has won a contract to provide Air China Cargo Company Ltd., a Joint Venture between Air China (Beijing) and Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong), a total of four (4) full 15-cargo position 757-200PCFs. The first aircraft was inducted for modification at the Taikoo Aircraft Engineering Co. Ltd. (TAECO) maintenance facility in Xiamen on July 31. The second aircraft will commence modification in November. The remaining two aircraft are being placed in production slots for early 2014. All four aircraft will be used for express package transportation in China. Air China Cargo Company Ltd., is based in Beijing, China and operates to 36 cities in 27 countries.

To date, Precision Conversions has redelivered a total of thirty six (36) full 15 cargo position 757-200PCF freighters to customers operating in Europe, North and South America, India, Africa, and P.R. China. Precision also redelivered one (1) 757-200PCF Combi aircraft variant earlier this year.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Air China’s Boeing 757-2Y0 B-2826 (msn 26155), still carrying passengers, prepares to touch down at the Beijing (Capital) hub.

Air China: AG Slide Show

Air China Cargo: AG Slide Show

 

Cargojet posts a pre-tax profit of C$4.2 million in the second quarter

Cargojet Inc. (Cargojet Airways) (Hamilton) announced today financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2013 (all dollar figures are stated in Canadian dollars) .

For the Second Quarter Ended June 30, 2013:

  • Total Revenues were $42.7 million , an increase of $2.2 million or 5.4% versus the previous year.
  • Gross Margin was $6.3 million , a decrease of $0.9 million or 12.5% versus the previous year
  • EBITDA was $4.2 million , a decrease of $0.3 million or 6.7% versus the previous year

For the Six Months Ended June 30, 2013:

  • Total Revenues were $83.4 million , an increase of $2.8 million or 3.5% versus the previous year.
  • Gross Margin was $11.2 million , a decrease of $1.6 million or 12.5% versus the previous year
  • EBITDA was $6.9 million , an increase of $0.5 million or 7.8% versus the previous year

“Core overnight and charter revenues have shown some upward trends,” says Ajay K. Virmani, President and Chief Executive Officer.  “The major challenge we continue to face is the pricing pressures from the marketplace and we will continue to ensure strict cost control and prudent financial management to ensure our margins stay on plan,” he concluded.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-236 (F) C-FKCJ (msn 24792) waits for its evening departure from Vancouver International Airport.

Cargojet Airways: AG Slide Show

Icelandair Group’s 2Q net profit jumps 29% to $18.5 million

Icelandair Group (Icelandair) (Keflavik) reported its second quarter net profit increased 29 percent to $18.5 million, up from $14.3 million for the quarter a year ago.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Icelandair Group Fleet Data:

Icelandair Group Fleet (8:2013)

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/Airlinersgallery.com. Boeing 757-208 TF-FIJ (msn 25085) approaches the runway at Toronto (Pearson) after its flight from the Keflavik hub (near Reykjavik).

Icelandair: AG Slide Show

WestJet to again lease two Boeing 757-200s from Thomas Cook Airlines

WestJet (Calgary) has announced it has once again leased two Boeing 757-200 aircraft from Thomas Cook Airlines (UK) (Manchester) to deliver nonstop, daytime service between Calgary and Honolulu , Calgary and Maui, and between Edmonton and Maui.

Pending regulatory approval*, flights are scheduled to begin December 13, 2013 , and continue through April 26, 2014 . Details of WestJet’s seasonal non-stop service include:

Route Weekly frequency
Between Calgary and Honolulu Twice weekly
Between Calgary and Maui Four times weekly
Between Edmonton and Maui Three times weekly

*Flights to be operated by Thomas Cook Airlines’ 757s, subject to Canadian Transportation Agency concurrence.

WestJet flight attendants on board the Boeing 757-200s will ensure the same great WestJet guest experience while Thomas Cook Airlines will provide the aircraft and pilots. The increase in capacity will ensure more Albertans can enjoy non-stop WestJet service to the Hawaiian Islands.  WestJet is the only airline providing capacity for Thomas Cook’s tour operator arm in the Canadian market as part of a successful, Canada-wide partnership for the third year in a row.

Copyright Photo: Matt Dueck. North American Airlines (New York-JFK) started operating for WestJet Airlines (Calgary) on February 12, 2011 with its Boeing 757-28A N750NA (msn 26277). The larger aircraft operated with WestJet titles from Calgary and Edmonton to Hawaii. The lease was only for two months. This airframe was converted to a freighter as N971FD with FedEx Express. Since then Thomas Cook has operated their 757s for WestJet but still in the Thomas Cook livery.

WestJet: AG Slide Show

Thomas Cook Airlines (UK): AG Slide Show

Allegiant Air to fly between Los Angeles and Honolulu, starting at $99 OW

Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) has announced new, twice-weekly nonstop jet service between Los Angeles and Honolulu beginning on October 30, 2013.

In March 2010, the company announced it signed a forward purchase agreement to acquire six Boeing 757-200 aircraft that enabled Allegiant to expand its leisure travel strategy into Hawaii with flights beginning in summer 2012.

Allegiant currently operates a fleet of 57 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-80 (MD-80) aircraft, six Boeing 757-200 aircraft, and one Airbus A319 aircraft. The Company has agreements to acquire eight additional Airbus A319 aircraft and nine Airbus A320 aircraft, which will be introduced throughout 2013 and the beginning of 2014.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-204 N906NV (msn 27236) lands at the Las Vegas home base.

Allegiant Air: AG Slide Show

US Airways now offers a baggage delivery service and a tool to track your bag

US Airways (Phoenix) now offers customers the ability to skip the line at baggage claimwith Bags VIP delivery service; which delivers their bag to their home, hotel or office. The airline also offers customers the Track Your Bag tool on usairways.com. Track Your Bag allows travelers to follow their bags from check-in to landing from their smart phone, tablet or laptop.

Bags VIP Delivery Service

Customers can now opt to have their bags delivered directly to their home, hotel or business withBags VIP delivery. Travelers can schedule and pay for Bags VIP delivery up to one hour prior to their scheduled departure by visiting maketraveleasier.com/usairways. Once scheduled, customers need only to drop the bags off at the airport, pay any applicable baggage fees and they will be delivered within four to six hours of arrival. Bags VIP delivery service starts at $29.95 and is offered in all domestic locations the airline serves.

Track Your Bag

Any passenger connected to the Internet can now view real-time information on the bag’s status, including when the bag is checked in, on a plane, and off a plane, with US Airways’ Track Your Bag tool. Track Your Bag tool can easily be accessed at usairways.com/baggage; all that is needed is a last name and baggage tag number or confirmation code. Track Your Bag is also available free on Gogo® internet equipped flights.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-2G7 N909AW (msn 24522) prepares to land at Washington (Reagan National).

US Airways: AG Slide Show

ATI keeps the Cargo Cargo livery alive in a modified version

ATI-Air Transport International (Little Rock) has apparently decided to keep the Capital Cargo International Airlines (Orlando) 2011 livery alive. Like the United Airlines-Continental Airlines merger, the surviving airline has adopted the color scheme of the airline that was closed down. The airline has not yet announced this decision.

Capital Cargo was merged into ATI-Air Transport International on March 11, 2013. Founded in 1995, Capital Cargo International Airlines (CCIA) was a FAA 121 Supplemental Air Carrier. The airline operated five Boeing 727-200 and three 757-200 freighters.

In April 2013 the pictured Boeing 757-2G5 (F) converted freighter was rolled out of the paint shop at Wilmington, Ohio in the Capital Cargo brand but now with ATI-Air Transport International Airlines titles.

The ATI version now includes red and dark blue stripes below the window line (above). The Capital Cargo version had a single red stripe (below).

Top Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. This former National Airlines (5th) aircraft was previously operated as N151GX and never was operated on the  Capital Cargo certificate. It was delivered to ATI on March 14, 2013.

ATI-Air Transport International: AG Slide Show

Capital Cargo International Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: TMK Photography. Former United Airlines Boeing 757-222 (F) N531UA (msn 25042) was the only 757 to wear the new 2011 color scheme with Capital Cargo. Notice the differences with the cheatlines. N531UA is pictured operating to Memphis.

Capital Cargo 757-200F N531UA (11)(Grd) MEM (TMK)(LRW)

Gestair Cargo rebrands back to Cygnus Air

Gestair Cargo (Madrid) has rebranded back to its original name of Cygnus Air Corporacion.

Gestair Cargo logo

The airline is currently owned by the Macholfam International (Grupo Gestair) (60%) and IMES (Grupo ACS) (40%) according to Wikipedia.

Top Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. This Gestair Cargo color scheme  and name was introduced in 2008.

Bottom Copyright Photo: Gunter Mayer. Now ex-Iberia Boeing 757-236 EC-KLD (msn 24121), pictured at Nuremberg at night, is wearing the basic Gestair livery now with Cygnus Air Corporacion titles and the new (old) tail logo.

Cygnus Air (2nd) 757-200F EC-FTR (13)(Grd) NUE (GM)(LRW)

Delta Air Lines acquires a 49% share in Virgin Atlantic Airways

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) today detailed a codeshare agreement across 108 routes* and connections to 66 destinations across North America and the U.K.

Today’s codeshare announcement coincides with Delta acquiring a 49 percent stake in Sir Richard Branson’s airline – marking the next step towards a full joint venture between the two carriers. Virgin Atlantic will place its code on 91 Delta routes, including both trans-Atlantic and domestic U.S. routes. Delta will place its code on 17 Virgin Atlantic routes, including the recently launched Little Red domestic U.K. services connecting London to Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

The agreement includes the following customer benefits:

  • Virgin Atlantic customers will now enjoy a vast network of connecting North American destinations while Delta customers will gain an additional six daily frequencies between London to New York
  • SkyMiles and Flying Club loyalty programs that will offer up to 125% tier bonus miles* to frequent fliers on all Delta and Virgin Atlantic flights – not just those within the codeshare agreement
  • Reciprocal Delta Sky Club and Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse access at applicable airports for Upper Class and BusinessElite passengers and Flying Club Gold members and SkyMiles Platinum and Diamond members
  • Priority check-in, boarding, baggage handling and additional baggage allowance on all Virgin Atlantic and Delta operated flights worldwide – not just those within the codeshare agreement – forVirgin Atlantic Upper Class and Flying Club Gold members as well as Delta BusinessElite and SkyMiles Gold, Platinum and Diamond members

The two airlines announced their intention to enter into a joint venture agreement in December 2012. Last week unconditional merger clearance was granted by the European Commission and theU.S Department of Justice closed their review of the transaction. As of today, Delta has successfully completed its acquisition of a 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic. The U.S Department of Transportation is currently reviewing the parties’ application for antitrust immunity relating to the proposed joint venture of the parties’ operations on nonstop routes between the US and the UK. This review is expected to be completed during third quarter of 2013, and the implementation of the Delta/Virgin Atlantic joint venture is anticipated to occur in the first quarter of 2014. Once implemented, this will deliver further significant additional consumer benefits and vibrant competition to the trans-Atlantic market.

Customers will be able to reap the rewards of the reciprocal codesharing beginning July 3, 2013 when travel across the routes begin.

As part of a $3 billion investment in enhanced global products, services and airport facilities, all of Delta’s flights between the U.S. and London-Heathrow feature fully flat-bed seats offering direct aisle access in the BusinessElite cabin. These flights also offer Delta’s popular Economy Comfort seating in the forward section of the economy cabin. Economy Comfort offers four additional inches of legroom and 50 per cent more recline compared to standard economy seats. All cabins offer in-seat audio and video on demand with a broad range of in-flight entertainment options. Delta also will begin introducing in-flight WiFi service on international flights beginning in 2014.

Virgin Atlantic completed a £150m upgrade program, including a new Upper Class cabin across its Airbus A330 aircraft in 2012 – with features including the longest fully flat bed in the sky and a redesigned on board bar. Brand new Clubhouses opened at both JFK and Newark airports in the past year and have received awards for innovation and design. The airline launched its domestic service; Virgin Atlantic Little Red in March 2013 and is now flying 26 daily frequencies to Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen from Heathrow. Virgin Atlantic achieved record levels of on time performance in 2012 and is the number one airline in punctuality performance at Heathrow on the majority of its routes and out-performing its key competitor in 11 out of 12 months.

*Canadian and Jamaican flights subject to foreign government approval.

Virgin Atlantic codeshare on Delta operated flights:

LHR

London

to JFK New York, NY
BOS Boston, MA
ATL Atlanta, GA
DTW Detroit, MI
MSP Minneapolis, MN
MAN Manchester to ATL Atlanta, GA
JFK New York to ATL Atlanta, GA MKE Milwaukee, WI
AUS Austin, TX MSP Minneapolis, MN
BNA Nashville, TN MSY New Orleans, LA
BOS Boston, MA ORD Chicago, IL
BUF Buffalo, NY ORF Norfolk, VA
BWI Baltimore, MD PDX Portland, OR
CHS Charleston, SC PHL Philadelphia, PA
CLE Cleveland, OH PHX Phoenix, AZ
CLT Charlotte, NC PIT Pittsburgh, PA
CMH Columbus, OH RDU Raleigh Durham
CVG Cincinnati, OH RIC Richmond, VA
DCA Washington, DC ROC Rochester, NY
DEN Denver, CO RSW Fort Myers, FL
DFW Dallas/Fort Worth SAN San Diego, CA
DTW Detroit, MI SAT San Antonio, TX
FLL Fort Lauderdale SDF Louisville, KY
IAD Washington, DC SEA Seattle, WA
IND Indianapolis, IN SFO San Francisco, CA
JAX Jacksonville, FL SLC

Salt Lake City, UT

LAS Las Vegas, NV STL St Louis, MO
LAX Los Angeles, CA TPA Tampa, FL
MBJ Montego Bay YQB Quebec, Canada
MCI Kansas City, MO YUL Montreal, Canada
MCO Orlando, FL YVR Vancouver, Canada
MIA Miami, FL YYZ Toronto, Canada
BOS Boston to ATL Atlanta, GA MCO Orlando, FL
CMH Columbus, OH MEM Memphis, TN
CVG Cincinnati, OH MSP Minneapolis, MN
DTW Detroit, MI ORF Norfolk, VA
IND Indianapolis, IN RDU Raleigh Durham, NC
LGA La Guardia, NY SLC Salt Lake City, UT
LAX Los Angeles to HNL Honolulu, HI PHX Phoenix, AZ
KOA Kona, HI SAN San Diego, CA
LAS Las Vegas, NV SEA Seattle, WA
LIH Lihue, HI SFO San Francisco, CA
OAK Oakland, CA SLC Salt Lake City, UT
OGG Kahului, HI SMF Sacramento, CA
PDX Portland, OR
EWR Newark to ATL Atlanta, GA
DTW Detroit, MI
MSP Minneapolis, MN
IAD Washington to ATL Atlanta, GA
DTW Detroit, MI
MSP Minneapolis, MN
ORD Chicago MSP Minneapolis, MN
SLC Salt Lake City, UT
SFO San Francisco HNL Honolulu, HI
SLC Salt Lake City, UT

Delta codeshare on Virgin Atlantic operated flights:

LHR

London Heathrow

to BOS Boston, MA
EWR Newark, NJ
JFK New York, NY
IAD Washington, DC
LAX Los Angeles, CA
MIA Miami, FL
ORD Chicago, IL
SFO San Francisco, CA
YVR Vancouver, Canada
ABZ Aberdeen, UK
EDI Edinburgh, UK
MAN Manchester, UK
LGW London Gatwick to LAS Las Vegas, NV
MCO Orlando, FL
MAN Manchester to MCO Orlando, FL
LAS Las Vegas, NV
GLA Glasgow to MCO Orlando, FL

*Full details

Top Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Ex-TWA/American Airlines Boeing 757-2Q8 WL N713TW (msn 28173) departs from New York (JFK).

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Virgin Atlantic Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-343X G-VKSS (msn 1201) lands at Las Vegas.

FedEx Corporation reports net income of $679 million in the fiscal 4Q and $1.98 billion for the year

FedEx Corporation (FedEx Express) (Memphis) reported earnings of $2.13 per diluted share for the fourth quarter ended May 31. This excludes a $0.98 per diluted share business realignment program charge and a previously announced $0.20 per diluted share noncash aircraft impairment charge at FedEx Express. Including these charges, fourth quarter earnings were $0.95 per diluted share.

Last year’s fourth quarter earnings were $1.99 per diluted share, excluding a $0.26 per diluted share noncash aircraft impairment charge at FedEx Express. Including last year’s charge, earnings were $1.73 per diluted share.

“FedEx Ground posted another strong year and FedEx Freight margins continued to improve,” said Frederick W. Smith, FedEx Corp. chairman, president and chief executive officer. “These positive developments did not fully offset tepid economic growth and customer preference for less costly international shipping services. FedEx Express results improved in the fourth quarter, and while near-term challenges remain, we are confident we are positioning FedEx for profitable, long-term growth.”

Fourth Quarter Results

FedEx Corp. reported the following consolidated results for the fourth quarter:

Fiscal 2013 Fiscal 2012

Adjusted
(non-GAAP)

As Reported
(GAAP)

Adjusted
(non-GAAP)

As Reported
(GAAP)

Revenue

$11.4 billion

$11.4 billion

$11.0 billion

$11.0 billion

Operating Income

$1.10 billion

$502 million

$990 million

$856 million

Operating Margin

9.6%

4.4%

9.0%

7.8%

Net Income

$679 million

$303 million

$634 million

$550 million

Diluted EPS

$2.13

$0.95

$1.99

$1.73

As announced on June 3, during the quarter FedEx Express permanently retired 10 aircraft and related engines. As a consequence, a noncash impairment charge of $100 million ($63 million, net of tax, or $0.20 per diluted share) was recorded in the fourth quarter.

Excluding business realignment program costs and aircraft impairment charges from this year and aircraft impairment charges from last year, “adjusted” operating results improved due to continued strong FedEx Ground performance and better FedEx Express performance.

Full Year Results

FedEx Corp. reported the following consolidated results for the full year:

Fiscal 2013 Fiscal 2012

Adjusted
(non-GAAP)

As Reported
(GAAP)

Adjusted
(non-GAAP)

As Reported
(GAAP)

Revenue

$44.3 billion

$44.3 billion

$42.7 billion

$42.7 billion

Operating Income

$3.21 billion

$2.55 billion

$3.28 billion

$3.19 billion

Operating Margin

7.3%

5.8%

7.7%

7.5%

Net Income

$1.98 billion

$1.56 billion

$2.09 billion

$2.03 billion

Diluted EPS

$6.23

$4.91

$6.59

$6.41

Capital spending for fiscal 2013 was $3.4 billion, down from $4.0 billion in fiscal 2012.

Business Realignment Program Update

In October, the company announced profit improvement programs, which include a voluntary employee separation program. The program was completed during the fourth quarter, and approximately 3,600 employees will be voluntarily leaving the company in phases to ensure a smooth transition. Approximately 40% of the employees vacated their positions on May 31, 2013 in the first phase. Approximately 25% of the employees will vacate their positions in the final phase at the end of fiscal 2014.

The company incurred costs of $496 million ($313 million, net of tax, or $0.98 per diluted share) during the fourth quarter and $560 million ($353 million, net of tax, or $1.11 per diluted share) during fiscal 2013, associated with the business realignment activities. The cost of the voluntary employee separation program is included in the “Business realignment, impairment and other charges” line of the company’s statements of income. Business realignment program costs at FedEx Services have been allocated to the operating segments through the “Intercompany charges” line of each segment’s statement of income.

Outlook

FedEx is revising its earnings guidance practices to focus on full fiscal year projections with quarterly updates. For fiscal 2014, the company projects earnings per share growth of 7% to 13% from fiscal 2013 adjusted results. This assumes the current market outlook for fuel prices, U.S. GDP growth of 2.3% and world GDP growth of 2.7%. Capital spending for fiscal 2014 is expected to be approximately $4 billion.

“We remain focused on improving margins and returns in all of our businesses. The pace of that improvement is expected to be moderate in fiscal 2014 and then accelerate in fiscal 2015,” said Alan B. Graf, Jr., FedEx Corp. executive vice president and chief financial officer. “Our profit improvement program is progressing, but we continue to see the effects of customers selecting lower-rate international services. FedEx Express will further decrease capacity between Asia and the United States in July.”

FedEx Express Segment

For the fourth quarter, the FedEx Express segment reported:

  • Revenue of $6.98 billion, up 3% from last year’s $6.80 billion
  • Adjusted operating income of $460 million, up 11% from $415 million a year ago. Including charges, operating income of $0, down from $281 million last year.
  • Adjusted operating margin of 6.6%, up from 6.1% the previous year. Including charges, operating margin of 0.0%, down from 4.1% last year.

Adjusted operating income and margin improved despite the demand shift toward lower yielding international services, as the net impact of the fuel surcharge timing lag, capacity reductions and other cost reduction activities benefited the quarter’s results. Direct and intercompany costs associated with the business realignment programs and the aircraft impairment charge impacted operating income and margin by $460 million and 6.6 percentage points, respectively. Last year’s results included a $134 million aircraft impairment charge.

Revenue increased due to this year’s business acquisitions and growth at FedEx Trade Networks. U.S. domestic average daily package volume increased 2% and U.S. domestic revenue per package increased 1%, as higher rate per pound and weight per package were offset by lower fuel surcharges. FedEx International Economy volume grew 11%, while FedEx International Priority volume decreased 2% during the quarter. International export revenue per package fell 2% due primarily to lower rates.

FedEx Express is pleased to have been selected as the sole awardee of the recent U.S. Postal Service air cargo solicitation, representing the majority of the USPS’s air line-haul traffic. This new seven year agreement, valued at approximately $10.5 billion, begins on October 1, 2013. The agreement provides reduced rates for the USPS versus the prior FedEx Express agreement and offers the opportunity for incremental revenue.

In other news, FedEx Corporation also announced that it has completed the first stage of a strategic acquisition by signing agreements to acquire the businesses operated by its current service provider Supaswift (Pty) Ltd. in five countries in Southern Africa, including South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zambia, and is also in discussions to acquire Supaswift’s businesses in Botswana and Namibia. These acquisitions will operate under the FedEx Express business unit and the transaction is subject to necessary regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Once the acquisition is completed, FedEx Express will have direct access across the seven markets to 39 facilities and will welcome approximately 1,000 of Supaswift’s team members, who will join the ranks of more than 300,000 FedEx team members globally. FedEx Express will then offer a complete suite of FedEx branded export, import and domestic solutions, connecting Southern Africa to more than 220 countries and territories worldwide, enhancing customers’ business flexibility and speed to market.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. FedEx has been building up a large Boeing 757 fleet to replace its older Boeing 727s. Formerly operated by Britannia Airways/Thomsonfly/Thomson Airways as G-BYAS, 757-204 (F) N925FD (msn 27238) departs from the Memphis sorting hub.

FedEx Express: AG Slide Show

United Airlines upgrades its premium services

United Airlines (Chicago) now features 180-degree flat-bed seats and personal on-demand entertainment in the premium cabins on all scheduled, long-haul international flights from the airline’s eight North American hubs and between Seattle/Tacoma and Tokyo (Narita).

United has outfitted 183 international long-haul aircraft with United Global First and United BusinessFirst cabins, and offers more than 7,000 total flat-bed seats fleet-wide, more than any other U.S. carrier. Customers in the premium cabins receive a higher level of privacy and comfort, a multi-course meal with complimentary wine options and more-personal attention.

United recently launched turn-down service for customers seated in United Global First, offering travelers an added touch of luxury and a better sleeping experience on long-haul flights.

In addition to offering customers more flat-bed seats on more aircraft than any other U.S. carrier, United currently provides extra-legroom Economy Plus seating on nearly 650 mainline aircraft and approximately 150 regional jets.

United is also revamping the transcontinental “p.s.” Premium Service fleet of aircraft that fly between New York Kennedy and Los Angeles and San Francisco. Customers traveling on the revamped p.s. aircraft will experience an improved premium cabin with fully flat-bed seats, faster Wi-Fi Internet service, and personal on-demand entertainment at every seat. The fourth p.s. aircraft to be retrofitted enters service this month, and United anticipates completing the entire p.s. fleet by year-end.

United is also outfitting aircraft with satellite Wi-Fi, offering inflight connectivity on long-haul international flights. The airline expects to have more than 200 aircraft outfitted with satellite Wi-Fi before the end of the year.

United recently deployed the 200th aircraft with live television, giving United the world’s largest fleet of aircraft equipped with live television.

Copyright Photo: Michael Stappen/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-224 WL N18119 (msn 27561) arrives at Amsterdam.

United Airlines: AG Slide Show

American Airlines restores nonstop New York-Dublin flights

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) today relaunched daily nonstop service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Dublin Airport (DUB). The new flight is in addition to American’s existing nonstop service from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Dublin and complements its 12 other daily nonstop flights from JFK to Europe. The route will be operated with a two-class Boeing 757-200 with 181 seats.

Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-223 WL N174AA (msn 31308) in the Oneworld scheme taxies at London (Heathrow).

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

Fly Jamaica Airways is cleared to serve New York and Toronto from Georgetown, Guyana

Fly Jamaica Airways (Kingston) has been cleared by the Guyana government to operate scheduled passenger service from Georgetown, Guyana to both New York (JFK) and Toronto (Pearson). The airline is looking for a second Boeing 757-200 to operate the new routes. There is a long list of carriers that have tried to make the Georgetown-New York route viable.

The new airline commenced scheduled services on February 14, 2013 between Kingston, Jamaica and New York (JFK) with this former ATA Airlines Boeing 757-23N N524AT (msn 30233).

Read the full story from the Jamaica Observer: CLICK HERE

Here is how the airline describes its self on its website:

Fly Jamaica Airways began with a dream to create a truly regional airline, using local talent and with an emphasis on providing a truly local experience to its customers. An full-service, local airline that would bring the Diaspora, and the world, home to the Caribbean.

plane-staff-sm

Fly Jamaica Airways is a partnership between Chief Executive Officer and Guyanese-born Captain Paul Ronald Reece, and Jamaican shareholders, including Chief Operating Officer, Captain Lloyd Tai and Manager of In-Flight Services, Christine Steele.

The Company was incorporated in Kingston, Jamaica on September 7, 2011 and started with a Boeing 757 aircraft. We faced a rigorous start-up process, including meeting national and international requirements. Through the stewardship of our experienced management and dedication of our amazing employees, we proved to aviation regulators that we have what it takes to be a world-class airline.

On August 24, 2012, Fly Jamaica Airways conducted its demonstration flight from Kingston, Jamaica to Georgetown, Guyana, as part of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority’s (JCAA) approval process.  On August 31, 2012 the JCAA issued our Air Operators Certificate (AOC).

Fly Jamaica Airways has also satisfied rigorous requirements for the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT), and Transportation and Security Administration (TSA), in order to operate as a commercial US-registered carrier.

Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. N524AT rests at Fort lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport before going into revenue service. All other photos by Fly Jamaica.

Fly Jamaica FAs (Fly Jamaica)(LR)

Fly Jamaica logo

Fly Jamaica Videos:

Do you want to pay an annual subscription to check your bags? United Airlines is the first U.S. airline to offer this service

United Airlines (Chicago) has launched subscription options that offer customers access to Economy Plus seating or pre-paid checked baggage charges for a year.

United is the only U.S. carrier to offer an annual subscription for its extra-legroom economy seating and checked baggage service charges. Terms and conditions apply to each of the offers, which can be found at www.united.com/subscriptions, and the subscriptions may be given as gifts.

Economy Plus

Travelers may access Economy Plus for a year starting at $499, and customers can select the region and the number of travelers on their subscription.

Economy Plus seats offer customers additional legroom to stretch out and relax. United offers more extra-legroom economy seating than any other U.S. airline, with Economy Plus available on most of the airline’s nearly 700 mainline aircraft and nearly 180 United Express aircraft. Economy Plus seating, when available, remains complimentary for Premier-level MileagePlus members.

Checked Baggage

United’s checked baggage subscription enables customers to pre-pay standard checked baggage charges for one year, starting at $349. Customers may tailor their subscription by choosing up to two bags, the number of travelers and preferred geographic region.

United Club

Additionally, customers may now use MileagePlus miles to purchase an annual United Club membership, which currently offers access to the 49 United Club locations, as well as Copa Club locations and participating Star Alliance affiliated airport clubs worldwide.

One-year membership pricing starts at $500 or 65,000 miles for general MileagePlus members, with discounts for Premier members. An initiation fee of $50 or 7,000 miles applies for all new United Club memberships.

Airline Poll:

In other news, United Airlines today executed a definitive purchase agreement with AltAir Fuels for cost-competitive, sustainable, advanced biofuels at commercial scale, representing a historic milestone for aviation. With United’s strategic partnership, AltAir Fuels will retrofit part of an existing petroleum refinery to become a 30 million gallon, advanced biofuel refinery near Los Angeles, Calif. AltAir will produce low-carbon, renewable jet fuel and other renewable products. United has collaborated with AltAir Fuels since 2009 and has agreed to buy 15 million gallons of lower-carbon, renewable jet fuel over a three-year period, with the option to purchase more. The airline is purchasing the advanced biofuel at a price competitive with traditional, petroleum-based jet fuel, and AltAir expects to begin delivering five million gallons of renewable jet fuel per year to United starting in 2014. United will use the biofuel on flights operating out of its Los Angeles hub (LAX).

AltAir has partnered with an existing oil refiner for the operation of its first commercial facility and use of the refiner’s existing refinery near Los Angeles, Calif. This partnership is taking idled refining equipment and retooling it to increase the nation’s energy supply – positively impacting the southern California economy and providing the opportunity to sustainably power LAX flights.

Through process technology developed by Honeywell’s UOP, AltAir is retrofitting the existing refinery to produce renewable biofuel. AltAir has worked extensively with Honeywell’s UOP to demonstrate the commercial viability of the Honeywell Green Jet process. Utilizing this technology, licensed from UOP, the AltAir facility will be the first refinery internationally to be capable of in-line production of both renewable jet and diesel fuels. The facility will convert non-edible natural oils and agricultural wastes into approximately 30 million gallons of low-carbon, advanced biofuels and chemicals per year.

These advanced biofuels are drop-in replacements for petroleum-based fuel, requiring no modification to factory-standard engines or aircraft, with which they are fully compatible. This fuel provides the same performance as conventional, petroleum-based jet fuel. AltAir Fuels’ renewable jet fuel is expected to achieve at least a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis.

“This refinery is important for two timely and significant reasons,” said AltAir’s President and COO Bryan Sherbacow . “First, the industry is delivering on the promise of commercial production of advanced biofuels that move beyond additives, like ethanol and biodiesel, to drop-in, replacement low-carbon fuels. Second, this project demonstrates the practical efficiencies these fuels allow by fully integrating into an operating petroleum refinery.”

United will support AltAir Fuels’ efforts to incorporate internationally recognized sustainability standards, such as those being developed by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB). RSB is an international, multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together farmers, companies, non-governmental organizations, experts, governments and inter-governmental agencies concerned with ensuring the sustainability of biomass production and processing.

In 2009, United Airlines made history as the first North American carrier to perform a two-engine aircraft flight demonstration using sustainable biofuels derived from algae and jatropha. United also operated the first flight by a North American commercial airline using synthetic fuel made from natural gas in 2010.

In November 2011, United operated the first U.S. commercial flight powered by advanced biofuels. Flight 1403 departedHouston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport for Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, making United the first U.S. airline to fly passengers using a blend of sustainable, advanced biofuel and traditional petroleum-derived jet fuel.

In June 2012, United, along with the Boeing Company, Honeywell’s UOP, the Chicago Department of Aviation and the Clean Energy Trust, launched the Midwest Aviation Sustainable Biofuels Initiative (MASBI). MASBI is an effort by more than 40 organizations across the aviation biofuels supply chain to accelerate the commercialization of advanced biofuels in the Midwest.

United Airlines is a signatory to the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group, whose members represent approximately 32 percent of commercial aviation fuel demand. United signed a pledge to pursue the advancement of drop-in biofuels that achieve important sustainability criteria, work with leading organizations to achieve biofuel certification standards and take actions to enable commercial use of aviation biofuels.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-222 N538UA (msn 25222) prepares to land at Los Angeles International Airport.

United Airlines: AG Slide Show

Icelandair adds two new routes

Icelandair (Keflavik) on June 1 launched its twice-weekly new route from Keflavik (near Reykjavik) to Zurich. The airline started twice-weekly service to St. Petersburg, Russia also on June 1. Previously Icelandair started twice-weekly flights to Anchorage, Alaska on May 15.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-256 WL TF-FIU (msn 26243) arrives at Washington (Dulles).

Icelandair: AG Slide Show

Videos:

Newsworthy Photo of the Day – June 2, 2013

Sunday Airlines (SCAT Air Company) Boeing 757-204 LY-FLG (msn 27237) AYT (Rainer Bexten). Image: 912366.

Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten/AirlinersGallery.com. Please click on the photo for additional information and the full-size view.

Hot New Photos: AG Hot New Photos

US Airways restores Philadelphia-Shannon summer service after a four-year hiatus

US Airways (Phoenix) today begins daily, nonstop, summer service from its international gateway at Philadelphia following a four-year hiatus to Shannon, Ireland. The airline will operate flights to SNN on 176-seat dual-class Boeing 757-200 aircraft until September 6, 2013. The seasonal service complements US Airways’ existing flights to Dublin, which the airline serves year-round from Philadelphia and during the summer from its largest hub in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The flight schedule is as follows:

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) – Shannon Airport (SNN) – Philadelphia
Shannon Airport (SNN) International Airport (PHL)
Flight Departure Arrival Flight Departure Arrival
776 9:05 p.m. 8:40 a.m.* 777 11:35 a.m. 2:05 p.m.

*Flight arrives next day. First day of service from Shannon is May 23, 2013.

Copyright Photo: Marcelo F. De Biasi. Ex-America West Boeing 757-2G7 N909AW (msn 24522) climbs away from Washington (Reagan National).

US Airways: AG Slide Show

United Airlines introduces 200th aircraft with live television

United Airlines (Chicago) has equipped its 200th aircraft with live television, offering customers more than 100 channels of live programming while in-flight. United operates more live television-equipped aircraft than any other airline in the world.

United currently offers live television on most Boeing 737 aircraft and on many of its Boeing 757-300 aircraft. In addition to live news, sports and family entertainment, customers may enjoy up to eight newly released movies a month. The service is complimentary for customers in United First and available for purchase in United Economy starting at $5.99 and varying depending on the length of flight.

Live television-equipped aircraft also feature power outlets in United First and United Economy Plus, enabling customers to charge their cell phones, laptops, e-readers and other mobile devices.

Onboard Improvements

The expansion of live television on United aircraft comes as the airline continues to invest in its onboard products.

United offers personal on-demand entertainment for premium-cabin and economy-cabin customers on the majority of its long-haul international aircraft, providing hundreds of hours of movies, television programs, music and games. Additionally, United is:

  • Installing satellite Wi-Fi. The airline expects to have more than 200 aircraft equipped with the service by the end of 2013.
  • Adding flat-bed seating on all of the airline’s long-haul international aircraft. United currently offers more flat-bed seating than any other U.S. carrier.
  • Introducing flat-bed seats on its transcontinental ‘p.s.’ Premium Service, offering a revamped premium cabin, all-new interiors, personal on-demand entertainment, Wi-Fi connectivity, in-seat power and USB ports. The airline expects to complete the reconfiguration of p.s. aircraft by the end of the year.
  • Adding extra-legroom Economy Plus seating. The airline currently offers Economy Plus seating on nearly 650 mainline aircraft and approximately 150 regional jets.
  • Nearly doubling the overhead storage space on more than 150 Airbus aircraft, with more than half of those retrofits completed.
  • Implementing streaming wireless video onboard its Boeing 747-400 aircraft beginning later this year.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 757-33N N57864 (msn 32588) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

United Airlines: AG Slide Show

Icelandair remains in the red with a 1Q net loss of $18.3 million

Icelandair Group (Icelandair) (Keflavik) reported a net loss of $18.3 million in the first quarter, an increase from a net loss of $13.2 million in the same quarter a year ago.

The airline issued this statement:

Icelandair Group organic growth continues

  • Losses after taxes USD $18.3 million, as compared to USD $13.2 million in the preceding year
  • Performance in the quarter exceeded management projections
  • EBITDA negative by USD $8.3 million, as compared to negative USD $3.0 million last year
  • Passenger revenues increased by 24% between years
  • Total revenue increased by 10%
  • Equity ratio was 32% at the end of March
  • Net cash provided by operating activities USD 78.5 million, as compared to USD 86.1 million in the preceding year

Björgólfur Jóhannsson, President and CEO:

“Icelandair Group’s performance over the quarter was better than our budget projected and estimates of continued growth materialized. Capacity on international flights increased by just short of a quarter in the first three months of the year, and the increase in passenger numbers over the same period was 18%. The greatest increase was in the number of passengers on the North Atlantic market, about 40%. The number of passengers in the tourist market to Iceland also increased significantly from last year, with a positive impact for all tourist services in Iceland. The Group’s freight activities have shown a turnaround. Freight charter projects have been downsized systematically, and the focus has been shifted to scheduled air freight services, which has returned good results.

At the start of the year we issued an EBITDA forecast for 2013 in the range of USD 115-120 million. The performance in the first quarter was in excess of the forecast, and in addition operating prospects are generally positive. Based on adjusted assumptions, EBITDA for the year is now projected at USD 122-127 million.”

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Boeing 757-308 WL TF-FIX (msn 29434) departs from London (Heathrow).

Icelandair: AG Slide Show

Icelandair logo

Route Map:

Icelandair 5:2013 Route Map

Nepal Airlines jumps to Airbus for its fleet renewal

Nepal A320-200 WL (Flt)(Airbus)(LRW)

Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) (Kathmandu) has jumped from Boeing to Airbus and has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to acquire two Airbus A320 aircraft equipped with the Sharklet fuel saving wing tip devices. Sharklets deliver up to four percent savings in fuel consumption making the aircraft a cornerstone of NAC’s fleet modernization.

Nepal Airlines currently operates two Boeing 757-200s for its international routes.

Image: Airbus.

 

Aer Lingus to lease three Boeing 757-200s for thin trans-Atlantic routes, 1Q operating loss widens to $59.1 million

Aer Lingus (Dublin) is planning to wet lease three Boeing 757-200s starting in early 2014. The aircraft will be assigned to thin trans-Atlantic routes. The company believes there is growth potential on these new routes because of its new jetBlue Airways (New York) relationship.

Read the full report from Bloomberg: CLICK HERE

On the financial side, the company will seek to reduce its staff by 100 positions by the end of the year after its first quarter operating loss widened to $59.1 million.

Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection. The Boeing 757s will supplement the Airbus A330 fleet. A330-302 EI-EDY (msn 1025) prepares to depart from the Dublin hub.

Aer Lingus: AG Slide Show

Delta Airlines reports a 1Q net profit of $85 million

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today reported financial results for the March 2013 quarter.  Highlights from the quarter include:

  • Delta’s net profit for the March 2013 quarter was $85 million, or $0.10 per diluted share, excluding special items1.  This result is a $124 million improvement year-over-year.
  • Including $78 million in special items, Delta’s GAAP net income was $7 million, or $0.01 per diluted share.
  • Results include $20 million of profit sharing expense in recognition of Delta employees’ contributions to the company’s financial performance.
  • Delta generated $1.1 billion of operating cash flow and $457 million of free cash flow in the March 2013 quarter, and ended the period with adjusted net debt of just under $11.0 billion.

“Our results represent Delta’s strongest March quarter financial and operational performance in over a decade and I want to thank Delta people worldwide for all the hard work that went into producing these results for our company.  This performance is proof that we are on the right path to making Delta the airline of choice for our shareholders, employees, and customers,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer.  “With a solid financial foundation and building momentum from initiatives like our LaGuardia expansion, Virgin Atlantic investment and new Terminal 4 at New York-JFK, we are well positioned to generate significant improvements in Delta’s profitability going forward.”

Revenue Environment
Delta’s operating revenue grew $87 million, or 1.0 percent, in the March 2013 quarter compared to the March 2012 quarter.  Load factor increased to 81.2 percent, with traffic down 0.6 percent on a 2.5 percent decrease in capacity.

  • Passenger revenue increased 1.4 percent, or $107 million, compared to the prior year period.  Passenger unit revenue (PRASM) increased 4.1 percent, driven by a 2.1 percent improvement in yield.
  • Cargo revenue decreased 2.4 percent, or $6 million, on declining freight yields.
  • Other revenue decreased 1.4 percent, or $14 million, as a result of lower third-party maintenance revenue.

Comparisons of revenue-related statistics are as follows:

Increase (Decrease)
1Q13 versus 1Q12
Change Unit
Passenger Revenue 1Q13 ($M) YOY Revenue Yield Capacity
Domestic 3,402 6.1 % 4.9 % 4.5 % 1.2%
Atlantic 1,052 (3.4) % 8.1 % 3.9 % (10.6) %
Pacific 871 3.1 % 3.7 % (0.4) % (0.6) %
Latin America 551 5.5 % 3.3 % (2.5) % 2.1 %
Total mainline 5,876 3.8 % 5.5 % 3.0 % (1.6) %
Regional 1,457 (6.8) % 1.8 % 3.5 % (8.5) %
Consolidated 7,333 1.4 % 4.1 % 2.1 % (2.5) %

“Our March quarter unit revenues grew 4 percent, showing that the investments we have made in operations, products and service, combined with our capacity discipline, have built a solid revenue-producing foundation,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s president.  “We are taking actions to mitigate the decline in close-in demand we saw in the last part of March, and we expect the impact of the sequester, combined with a softening of leisure demand, to result in a 2 – 3 percent decline in April’s unit revenues.  However, a key benefit from a consolidated industry is that we now see a much stronger correlation between revenue and fuel; so while we are seeing some revenue softness, we are also benefitting from lower fuel costs, allowing us to continue our path of margin expansion even in a sluggish economic environment.”

Cash Flow
Cash from operations during the March 2013 quarter was $1.1 billion, driven by the seasonal increase in advanced ticket sales and March quarter profitability.  The company generated $457 million of free cash flow.

Capital expenditures during the March 2013 quarter were $650 million, including $500 million in fleet investments and $47 million for two sets of slots at London’s Heathrow airport. Capital expenditures included 21 aircraft purchased off lease as part of Delta’s debt reduction efforts.  During the quarter, Delta’s debt maturities and capital leases were $382 million.

Delta ended the quarter with adjusted net debt of just under $11.0 billion and the company has now achieved a $6 billion net debt reduction since 2009.  This debt reduction strategy produced a $50 million year-over-year reduction in interest expense in the March quarter. As of Mar. 31, 2013, Delta had $5.4 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $3.6 billion in cash and short-term investments and $1.8 billion in undrawn revolving credit facilities.

Fuel
Fuel expense for the March quarter declined $78 million year-over-year, excluding mark to market adjustments, as a result of lower fuel prices and consumption. Delta’s average fuel price2 was $3.24 per gallon for the March quarter, which includes 6 cents per gallon in settled hedge gains. For the March quarter, operations at the Trainer refinery produced a $22 million loss, driven by supply disruptions related to Superstorm Sandy and a short-term outage in a gasoline production unit, which slowed production during the quarter.

Cost Performance
Excluding fuel, total operating expense in the quarter increased year-over-year by $198 million as the impact of operational, service and employee investments was partially offset by savings from Delta’s structural cost initiatives.

Consolidated unit cost excluding fuel expense, profit sharing and special items (CASM-Ex3), was 5.0 percent higher in the March 2013 quarter on a year-over-year basis, driven by the impact of capacity reductions, wage increases, and operational and service investments.  GAAP consolidated CASM increased 5.8 percent.

“Our March quarter non-fuel unit cost growth was lower than expected, as the benefits of our structural cost initiatives limited the cost growth associated with investments in our people, operations, and service,” said Paul Jacobson, Delta’s chief financial officer.  “We should see our cost pressures lessen significantly in the second half of the year, as the benefits of our structural cost initiatives accelerate and we lap the impact of prior year investments.”

Company Highlights
Delta has a strong commitment to its employees, customers and the communities it serves.  Key accomplishments in the March 2013 quarter include:

  • Receiving recognition from leading organizations and publications, including being named FORTUNE’s Most Admired Airline, receiving Aviation Week’s Laureate Award for Innovation, and receiving the International Service Excellence Award for reservation sales;
  • Recognizing the achievements of Delta employees toward meeting the company’s financial and operational goals with $43 million of incentives so far this year, including $20 million in employee profit sharing and $23 million in Shared Rewards;
  • Significantly improving its operational performance, resulting in an on-time arrival rate of 86.2 percent and 12 percent fewer customer complaints compared to 2012;
  • Continuing the company’s ongoing investment in high-quality facilities through the renovation of LaGuardia Terminals C and D with the addition of a connecting bridge and improvements to the Delta Sky Clubs, seating areas and food options, and the development of the Sky Deck, new outdoor seating areas at Delta Sky Clubs in Atlanta and New York-JFK, designed in conjunction with Architectural Digest;
  • Enhancing the SkyMiles Medallion program by introducing Crossover Rewards, the industry-leading joint loyalty partnership with Starwood. The partnership allows members to share program benefits and earn more miles and Starpoints when traveling with either company;
  • Releasing a new Fly Delta app for iPad and iPhone as part of a broader rollout of a significantly improved online and digital customer experience. The new Fly Delta app has added functionality and includes the unique “Glass Bottomed Jet” feature; and
  • Extending Delta’s involvement in the community, as more than 50 Delta employees partnered with SkyMiles Medallion members and Aeromexico employees to build six homes in Puebla, Mexico. This effort was Delta’s ninth international build with Habitat for Humanity.

Special Items
Delta recorded special items totaling a $78 million charge in the March 2013 quarter, including:

  • $24 million in mark-to-market gains for fuel hedges settling in future periods; and
  • a $102 million charge for facilities, fleet and other items.

Delta recorded special items totaling a $163 million gain in the March 2012 quarter, including:

  • $151 million in mark-to-market gains for fuel hedges settling in future periods;
  • a $39 million gain associated with the exchange of slots at New York-LaGuardia and Washington-Reagan National; and
  • a $27 million charge for facilities, fleet and other items.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Boeing 757-232 WL N694DL (msn 29726) “The Spirit of Freedom” prepares to land at Washington (Reagan National).

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

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