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Tag Archives: Boeing 777

Willie Walsh: “A number of European carriers will fail this winter”

British Airways‘ (London) and IAG’s CEO Willie Walsh stated in an article published by Travel Weekly, has warned “a number” of European carriers are poised to fail this winter season.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Wearing a Panda face for the launch of the new route to Chengdu, China, Boeing 777-236 G-YMMH (msn 30309) arrives at the London (Heathrow) hub.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

 

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British Airways gets ready to fly to Chengdu, China with a Panda Jet

British Airways 777-200 G-YMMH (97-Union flag-Panda Jet)(Nose) LHR (AJB)(LRW)

British Airways (London) as planned, will launch its new thrice-weekly London (Heathrow)-Chengdu, China route on September 22. BA has painted the pictured Boeing 777-236 ER G-YMMH (msn 30309) as a smiling panda. Chengdu is the home of the giant panda.

BA is also adding the lucky (in China) “8” in the flight numbers. Flight BA 89 will depart London Heathrow on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 1530, arriving into Chengdu at 0855 the following day. The return flight BA 88 will depart Chengdu on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 1055, arriving at Heathrow Airport at 1500.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. G-YMMH is pictured at LHR with the new panda markings.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Video:

Virgin Australia unveils a new in-flight entertainment system

Virgin Australia Airlines (Brisbane) has officially launched its new wireless in-flight entertainment system, representing a new era in the way travelers experience entertainment in the sky according to the airline.

The entertainment platform is the first of its kind in the Asia Pacific region, giving customers the ability to stream content to their own devices, including smartphones, laptops and tablets, through in-built wireless technology on board.

Following a successful trial earlier this year, Virgin Australia is now extending the wireless innovation across its domestic and short-haul international network. Thirty-seven aircraft are now fitted out with the new technology, including aircraft operating on routes to New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, which went live today.

The roll-out across Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737-800 and Embraer ERJ 190 fleet will be complete before the end of the year.

Since the trial started in August 2012, the App has been downloaded close to 200,000 times.

The wireless in-flight entertainment system supports Wi-Fi-enabled Apple iOS devices (iPad®; iPhone®; iPod touch®), Android devices (phone or tablet) and Windows laptops. To access the system, download the free “In-flight Entertainment by Virgin Australia” App to your phone or tablet, or have the latest version of Microsoft Silverlight downloaded on your laptop.

Copyright Photo: Roy Lock/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-3ZG ER VH-VOZ (msn 35302) taxies to the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.

Virgin Australia: AG Slide Show

Emirates is coming to Boston

Emirates (Dubai) has announced a new trans-Atlantic link with the start of flights to Boston from March 10, 2014.

This will be the airline’s 8th route into the United States, 9th into North America and 12th into all of the Americas.

The flight will be operated by a GE-90 engine-powered Boeing 777-200 LR and brings the winner of the Skytrax ‘World’s Best Airline’ 2013 award into Boston Logan International Airport on a daily basis.

From March 10, 2014, flight EK 237 will depart Dubai at 0945 and arrive in Boston at 1515. The return flight, EK 238, will take off from Boston at 2255 and land in Dubai at 1910 the next day. As part of an agreement with JetBlue Airways (New York), Emirates and JetBlue passengers are able to travel on each other’s flights and earn reciprocal miles.

Emirates started flights to America in 2004, beginning with New York. The airline’s current seven U.S gateways form part of a 134-destination network, served by a fleet of more than 200 modern aircraft, including the airline’s flagship Airbus A380. Emirates’ much-lauded hub in Dubai is equipped with the world’s first purpose-built A380 concourse, housing the largest First and Business Class lounges in the industry.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-21H LR (Longer Range) A6-EWA (msn 35572) touches down at Stockholm (Arlanda), a recent new destination for the fast-growing carrier.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

EVA Air brings the new Boeing 777-300 “Hello Kitty” to Los Angeles

EVA Air 777-300 B-16703 (13-Hello Kitty Sanrio Family)(Grd) LAX (PMJ)(LRW)

EVA Air (Taipei) has introduced its popular Hello Kitty jets to US travelers. EVA Chairman and airline Captain K.W. Chang piloted the first long-range edition of the aircraft painted with pop icon Hello Kitty and other Sanrio friends, from Taipei, Taiwan, on its first flight to Los Angeles yesterday (September 18). The Boeing 777-300 ER Hello Kitty Hand-in-Hand jet will be used on three of EVA’s 17 regular weekly flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) in Taipei.

EVA Chairman KW Chang initiated Hello Kitty jets to make flying fun and passengers love them.  The new EVA Hello Kitty Hand-in-Hand jet marks the first time Hello Kitty is featured on an aircraft amongst her Sanrio friends.  The bright display of 19 Sanrio characters are shown hand-in hand, in different shapes and sizes, on both sides of the fuselage.

The Hello Kitty jet experience begins at airport check-in with Hello Kitty boarding passes and baggage stickers. Onboard, flight attendants wear pink aprons with Hello Kitty designs and passengers use more than 100 in-flight service items including headrest covers, pillows, tissue, hand cream, liquid hand soap, napkins, paper cups, utensils, snacks and meals.  EVA Air and Sanrio have developed new inflight service item designs for the Hello Kitty Hand-in-Hand jet, including a selection of limited-edition Hello Kitty duty-free products that fans can buy inflight.

In addition to the Hello Kitty Hand-in-Hand jet, EVA Air currently operates five shorter-range Hello Kitty aircraft in Asia  with regional flights between Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Mainland China and Guam.  A member of Star Alliance, EVA offers more flights from Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver to Taipei.

Copyright Photo: Pete Morejon. EVA Air’s newly painted Boeing 777-35E ER B-16703 (msn 32643) “Hello Kitty – Sanrio Family” arrives at Los Angeles International Airport yesterday (September 18) for the first time in the new special livery.

EVA Air: AG Slide Show

EVA Air 777-300 Hello Kitty Logo

Lufthansa orders 34 Boeing 777-9Xs and 25 Airbus A350-900s

Lufthansa logo-1

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) as expected, placed orders for 34 Boeing 777-9Xs and 25 Airbus A350-900s. The group issued issued this statement:

Lufthansa 777-900 (88)(Flt)(Boeing)(LR)

Following a recommendation by the Deutsche Lufthansa AG Executive Board headed by Dr Christoph Franz, the Supervisory Board approved the purchase of 59 ultra-modern aircraft for the Group at its meeting. 34 Boeing 777-9Xs (above) and 25 Airbus A350-900s (below) will be added to the Lufthansa Group’s wide-body fleet. The first of these new aircraft will be delivered as early as 2016. Older Boeing 747-400s and Airbus A340-300s will be phased out by 2025. The new airplanes will primarily serve to replace existing aircraft at Lufthansa.

Lufthansa A350-900 (88)(Flt)(Airbus)(LR)

The investment amount for the Lufthansa Group’s latest order totals EUR 14 billion at list prices and is the largest single private-sector investment in the history of German industry. “This investment will safeguard about 13,000 jobs at Lufthansa alone as well as thousands of jobs at our partners in aviation and other suppliers”, said Christoph Franz, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of the Lufthansa Group, explaining the macroeconomic significance of the investment at a press conference in Frankfurt.

This investment in new technology, efficiency and customer comfort is a continuation of the ongoing fleet modernization that is taking place at the Group’s airlines. Lufthansa operates a wide-body fleet of around 107 aircraft, among them ten ultra-modern Airbus A380s and nine Boeing 747-8s as well as the Airbus A330-300 (18 aircraft). The fleet also includes Airbus A340s (48) and Boeing 747-400s (22). In addition to these, the Group subsidiary Swiss has 31 wide-body airplanes, while Austrian Airlines’ wide-body fleet consists of 12 aircraft.

The aim is to reduce the number of different models and fleet complexity in the Passenger Airline Group segment and also replace existing aircraft with state-of-the-art airplanes. In March, the Group approved the purchase of around 100 short and medium-haul aircraft. This order included six new Boeing 777-300 ERs for Swiss, which are also intended to replace older Airbus A340-300s at the airline.

The new aircraft will be operated by ultra-modern, powerful, low-noise engines – the Airbus A350 by the Rolls-Royce ‘Trent XWB 84′ engine and the Boeing 777-9X by General Electric’s ‘GE-9X’ model. The noise footprint of the new models will be at least 30 per cent lower than today’s aircraft.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

FedEx Corporation reports net income of $489 million in the fiscal 1Q, up 7%

FedEx Corporation (FedEx Express) (Memphis) reported earnings of $1.53 per diluted share for the first quarter ended August 31, compared to $1.45 per share last year.

“Growth in overall demand for our broad global portfolio of solutions drove our improved first quarter results,” said Frederick W. Smith, FedEx Corp. chairman, president and chief executive officer. “FedEx Express remains focused on reducing costs while facing challenging global economic conditions. Meanwhile, FedEx Ground continues to generate strong profitability on growing customer demand for its services.”

First Quarter Results

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

• Revenue of $11.0 billion, up 2% from $10.8 billion the previous year

• Operating income of $795 million, up 7% from $742 million last year

• Operating margin of 7.2%, up from 6.9% the previous year

• Net income of $489 million, up 7% from last year’s $459 million

Revenue and earnings increased during the quarter, driven by solid performance at each of the company’s transportation segments. Results include significant headwinds from the net year-over-year impact from the timing lag that exists between when fuel prices change and indexed fuel surcharges automatically adjust, as well as one fewer operating day.

Outlook

FedEx reaffirmed its forecast of full-year earnings per share growth of 7% to 13% from last year’s adjusted results. This outlook assumes the market outlook for fuel prices, U.S. GDP growth of 2.1% and world GDP growth of 2.6%. The capital spending forecast for fiscal 2014 remains $4 billion.

“We remain confident in our full year earnings outlook despite tepid global economic growth,” said Alan B. Graf, Jr., FedEx Corp. executive vice president and chief financial officer. “FedEx Express continued to execute on its profit improvement initiatives during our first quarter. We remain focused and are committed to FedEx Express achieving its $1.6 billion operating profit improvement target by the end of fiscal 2016.”

2014 Rate Increases

FedEx Express will increase shipping rates by an average of 3.9% for U.S. domestic, U.S. export and U.S. import services effective January 6, 2014. The FedEx Ground and FedEx SmartPost pricing changes for 2014 will be announced later this year. FedEx Freight implemented a 4.5% general rate increase on July 1, 2013.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-FS2 N852FD (msn 37723) approaches Anchorage International Airport for landing.

FedEx Express: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa is close to announcing a new order with both Airbus and Boeing

Lufthansa logo-1

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) according to this report by Reuters, is close to announcing a new order for the proposed 406-seat Boeing 777-9X, which Boeing intends to formally launch this year. Lufthansa would be a launch customer like it was with the Boeing 747-800 Intercontinental.

The 777-9X will have new engines and wings and is expected to start flying passengers around the end of this decade.

Lufthansa, which is already a large Airbus operator, is also expected to order between 20 and 25 of the new 314-seat Airbus A350-900. The A350 will enter service in the second half of 2014.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa’s transfer of Austrian Airlines employees to cheaper Tyrolean Airways deemed illegal by a Vienna court

Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) in 2012 orchestrated the transfer of around 2,000 staff members of its Austrian Airlines (Vienna) subsidiary to the cheaper Tyrolean Airways (Innsbruck) subsidiary to reduce overall costs. A Vienna court ruled yesterday (September 2) that the move was illegal and the employees were still employed by Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines stated it would appeal the verdict of the Vienna Labor and Social Affairs Court. The transfer was the heart of the loss-making airline’s restructuring plan and its attempt to return to profitability along with the Lufthansa Group.

Currently Tyrolean Airways is operating all Austrian Airlines-branded aircraft (except one Boeing 777) as Austrian Airlines flights. The one Triple Seven is keeping the Austrian Airlines AOC alive.

Read the full report from Euronews: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Austrian Airlines-branded Boeing 777-2Z9 ER OE-LPA (msn 28698) pictured departing from Tokyo (Narita) is actually being operated Tyrolean Airways-employed crews on the Tyrolean AOC until the Vienna court deemed the crews to be considered Austrian Airlines employees again! What will now happen to the Tyrolean crews who were operating alongside Austrian crews?

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Qatar Airways launches its relationship with FC Barcelona

Qatar Airways (Doha) has officially launched the start of its three year partnership with FC Barcelona at an event held at Camp Nou.

FC Barcelona logo

The airline’s partnership with FCB took effect from July 1 this year.

In attendance were leading representatives of both organizations, the CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al-Baker, the President of FC Barcelona, Sandro Rosell and Vice President of FC Barcelona Economic and Strategy Area, Javier Faus.

Since its beginnings, FC Barcelona has been characterized by being not just a football organization, but also a powerful force for globalization, solidarity, integration and social cohesion. Qatar Airways fully identifies with these values, which is why this partnership between both organizations is much more than just a simple economic alliance. Furthermore, Qatar Airways’ partnership with FC Barcelona will help to position the airline in the world.

Qatar Airways will work with FC Barcelona to create joint initiatives and will especially focus on connecting with the club’s fans and also with underprivileged children to spread the love of the game to all corners of the globe.

A new FC Barcelona logojet is on the horizon.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-FDZ A7-BFD (msn 41427) of the cargo division of Qatar Airways taxies at Amsterdam.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Videos:

 

Emirates is coming to Taipei in February 2014

Emirates (Dubai) has announced the launch of nonstop passenger services to Taipei, its 16th destination in the Far East.

The service will commence on February 10, 2014, initially with six nonstop flights per week to Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport.

The route will be operated by a three class Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft equipped with eight luxurious private suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat seats in Business Class, and generous space for 304 passengers in Economy Class, along with gourmet cuisine in all classes.

Emirates now operates services to 134 destinations in 76 countries from Dubai. Earlier this year Emirates launched services to Warsaw and Algiers, followed by Haneda, Japan in June.

Emirates has announced plans to launch services to Stockholm starting September 4, to Clark International Airport in the Philippines and the trans-Atlantic Milan-New York (JFK) route on October 1; Conakry on October 27, Sialkot on November 5 and Kiev on January 16, 2014.

Taipei Flight Schedule – from February 10, 2014

Day Flight Number Departure Airport Departure Time Arrival Airport Arrival Time
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday EK 366 EK 367 DXB TPE 0425 2315 TPE DXB 1615 0510 +1
Wednesday EK 366 EK 367 DXB TPE 0225 2315 TPE DXB 1430 0510 +1
Saturday EK 366 EK 367 DXB TPE 0020 2315 TPE DXB 1205 0510 +1
Sunday EK 366 EK 367 DXB TPE 0340 2315 TPE DXB 1525 0510 +1
In other news, Emirates wants to expand its U.S. destinations from the current seven to 15 in the next three to five years according to a report by Reuters. In fact, the fast-growing carrier wants to add three new U.S. destinations in the next 12 months.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-31H ER A6-ECF (msn 35574) lands at Dulles International Airport near Washington, DC.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

LATAM Airlines Group loses $330 million in the 2Q

LATAM Airlines Group (LAN Airlines and TAM Linhas Aereas) (Santago and Sao Paulo) reported it lost $330 million in the second quarter. The group was created last year with the merger of the two airlines. The group is struggling in Brazil with TAM due to a weakening Brazilian economy. TAM is cutting costs and reducing flights.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

LATAM Airlines Group Fleet Plans (excerpt from the report):

LATAM Airlines Group 8:2013 Fleet

Top Copyright Photo: Rodrigo Cozzato/AirlinersGallery.com. Sporting new Sharklets, Airbus A320-214 PR-MYY (msn 5591) taxies at the Sao Paulo (Guarulhos) hub.

LAN Airlines (Chile): AG Slide Show

TAM Linhas Aereas: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Alvaro Romero/ModoCharlie.com. Boeing 777-F6N N772LA (msn 37708) arrives at the Santiago hub.

AMR Corporation and US Airways file a motion to set merger trial for November 12, 2013

AMR Corporation (Dallas/Fort Worth), the parent company of American Airlines, Inc. (Dallas/Fort Worth), and US Airways Group, Inc. (US Airways) (Phoenix) have announced that they filed a motion to set a trial date and a supporting brief in the United States District Court for the District Of Columbia in connection with the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding the merger of the two airlines. In the motion, American Airlines and US Airways have requested a November 12, 2013 trial date.

In their filing, the Companies explain that their proposed trial date is very reasonable by recent historical standards. The DOJ request for 180 days, especially with one of the parties in bankruptcy, however, would be unprecedented and unreasonable in the circumstances. Based on the DOJ merger cases litigated to a decision since 2001, the average time from the DOJ’s complaint to trial is 70 days.

Top Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. American Airlines’ Boeing 777-223 ER N781AN (msn 29586) approaches Madrid for landing.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-132 N814AW (msn 1281) lands at Long Beach near Los Angeles.

JetBlue Airways and British Airways start interlining, becomes the 25th partner for JetBlue

JetBlue Airways (New York) and British Airways (London) have announced an interline agreement to connect the carriers’ networks at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), creating new possibilities for travelers.

This marks the first partnership between JetBlue and British Airways, and the 25th airline agreement for JetBlue. The carriers initially plan to interline on 18 daily trans-Atlantic British Airways flights, more than 50 U.S routes on the JetBlue network and more than 100 British Airways routes beyond London. British Airways’ intercontinental routes that are part of the interline agreement include Boston-London Heathrow (LHR), New York/JFK-London City Airport (LCY), New York/JFK- London Heathrow (LHR), New York/JFK-Paris Orly (ORY), Orlando-London Gatwick (LGW) and Washington/Dulles-London Heathrow (LHR). Tickets can be purchased through British Airways.

Customers will be able to enjoy access to a variety of British Airways destinations beyond London, including Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India, as well as non-stop access to Paris Orly Airport from New York. Meanwhile, British Airways customers can now book onward tickets to new U.S. destinations such as Burlington, Vermont (BTV); Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts (MVY); Nantucket, Massachusetts (ACK); and Portland, Maine (PWM).

At JFK Airport British Airways operates from Terminal 7.  JetBlue operates from nearby Terminal 5, a quick ride away on the airport’s free AirTrain service.

At Boston Airport, where JetBlue is the largest carrier and offers nonstop service to 49 cities, more than any other airline, British Airways operates from Terminal E, while JetBlue operates from nearby Terminal C.

At Orlando, where JetBlue operates numerous routes to the Caribbean and Latin America, British Airways operates from Terminal B and JetBlue from Terminal A.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N645JB (msn 2900) in the Harlequin tail design lands at the focus city of Long Beach, California.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. British Airways’ Boeing 777-336 ER G-STBA (msn 40542) arrives at the London (Heathrow) hub.

Austrian Airlines introduces a new cabin product for its long haul flights

Austrian Airlines (Vienna) has introduced a new long-haul cabin product and issued this statement:

As of now all passengers on Austrian’s long-haul flights benefit from the advantages of its new cabin. These advantages include a new level of seating comfort in Economy Class, an advanced board entertainment system offering non-stop entertainment, as well as innovative Business Class seats capable of being transformed into entirely flat beds. A total of 2,538 new seats were installed in the four Boeing 777 and six Boeing 767 airplanes belonging to Austrian’s long-haul fleet. An optimal array of seats ensures undisturbed flights. The Boeing 777’s Business Class provides four of five passengers sitting in a row with direct access to the aisle. This access is enjoyed, in fact, by every Business Class passenger in Austrian’s Boeing 767s. As before Austrian’s passengers are indulged by the prize-winning service and the first class DO and CO-catered fare. The menus provided in Business Class receive their final touches from flying chefs.

Austrian Long Haul 2 (Austrian)(LR)

The reconfiguration of the cabins has considerably boosted customer satisfaction, which has risen substantial 31 percentage points – among passengers on long-haul flights – since the launch of the new cabin. This result places Austrian Airlines among the peak of the evaluations received by the airlines comprising the world-spanning Star Alliance.

Austrian Long Haul Cabin (Austrian)(LRW)

 

Austrian CCO Karsten Benz states: “We are gratified by the enthusiasm shown by our customers. The significant rise in their satisfaction is proof that our investments of more than €90 million have paid off.”

Top Copyright Photos: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Austrian Airlines). Boeing 777-2Z9 ER OE-LPC (msn 29313) climbs away from Tokyo (Narita) bound for the Vienna hub.

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show

TAAG Angola Airlines supports Angola 2013, the Roller Hockey World Cup

TAAG Angola Airlines (TAAG Linhas Aereas) (Luanda) is supporting the upcoming “Angola 2013″ Roller Hockey World Cup event in Angola with a large “Angola 2013 – 41st Mundial e Hoquei Patins” message emblazoned across the fuselage of this Boeing 777-3M2 registered as D2-TEG (msn 40805).

Angola 2013 logo

The 2013 FIRS Men’s Roller Hockey World Cup will be the 41st edition of the FIRS Roller Hockey World Cup. It will be held in Luanda and Namibe Providence, Angola from September 20-28, 2013.

This will be the first Roller Hockey World Cup played in Africa.

FIRS logo

Copyright Photo: Pedro Batista/Flyingphotos. D2-TEG departs from Lisbon bound for Luanda with the additional markings.

TAAG Angola Airlines: AG Slide Show

TAAG logo-1

 

Cathay Pacific Airways is coming to Newark

Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) has announced that it will launch a new daily service from Newark Liberty International Airport to Hong Kong on March 1, 2014, subject to government approval. The new service will complement Cathay Pacific’s current four-times-daily service from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York. The launch of the Newark service will provide more convenience and greater flexibility for passengers traveling to and from the New York metropolitan area.

The Newark service will be operated by Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

Newark will become Cathay Pacific’s fifth gateway in the United States, and seventh in North America. The airline currently serves Chicago, Los Angeles, New York (JFK), San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver.

The flight schedule for Cathay Pacific’s Newark (EWR) service, effective March 1, 2014, will be as follows (all times local and subject to change):

Standard time:

Flight no From To Departure/Arrival Days of operation

CX899

EWR HKG 0115/0600 Daily

CX890

HKG EWR 1820/2100 Daily

Daylight saving time:

Flight no From To Departure/Arrival Days of operation

CX899

EWR HKG 0150/0540 Daily

CX890

HKG EWR 1820/2200 Daily

Cathay Pacific Airways flies daily to Hong Kong and beyond, including over 22 destinations in Mainland China, from Chicago, Los Angeles, New York (JFK), and San Francisco.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-367 ER B-KPB (msn 35299) climbs into the sky at Toronto (Pearson).

Cathay Pacific Airways: AG Slide Show

Kenya Airways is losing revenue every day due to the Nairobi terminal fire

Kenya Airways‘ (Nairobi) CEO Titus Naikumi estimates the airline has already lost around $4 million due to the August 7 fire that gutted the international arrival building at Nairobi’s Airport. The airline is suffering long delays and cancellations due to the damage. The airport has erected tents as a makeshift terminal according to this report by Reuters. Kenya Airways is currently operating at around 90 percent of its normal capacity.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-2U8 ER 5Y-KQS (msn 33683) prepares to depart from London (Heathrow) bound for Nairobi.

Kenya Airways: AG Slide Show

Air Canada reports record second quarter net income of C$115 million

Air Canada (Montreal) today reported adjusted net income of $115 million or $0.41 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2013 compared to an adjusted net loss of $7 million or $0.02 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2012.  Second quarter EBITDAR amounted to $385 million compared to EBITDAR of $312 million in the second quarter of 2012, an increase of $73 million or 23 per cent. On a GAAP basis, Air Canada’s net loss was $23 million or $0.09 per diluted share compared to a net loss of $161 million or $0.59 per diluted share in the same quarter of 2012.

“Air Canada delivered its best second quarter financial performance in the Corporation’s history, with records reported in all three measures of operating income, adjusted net income and EBITDAR,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer.  “These results are a clear indication that we are gaining momentum in our transformation towards sustainable profitability at Air Canada and underscore our Company-wide efforts to achieve cost containment and continue to improve on our revenue and yield performance.

“Our success in the quarter was not only financial – I am also especially pleased to report ongoing improvements in operational performance for the second consecutive quarter, with a 30 per cent improvement in On-Time Performance (OTP) for the quarter compared to the previous year.  This is a reflection of the professionalism, collaboration and dedication of Air Canada’s 27,000 employees in taking care of our customers while operating a safe and efficient airline.  Also, we were once again recognized by global travelers as the Best Airline in North America for the fourth consecutive year, a wonderful recognition of our efforts.

“Market response to the launch of our new leisure carrier, Air Canada rouge, on July 1st has been very positive and our plans are on track for growing the Air Canada rouge fleet to serve more holiday destination markets where we can now compete on a more cost effective basis.  In addition, in early July, we began operating the first of five new Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, marking the first significant growth in the mainline wide-body fleet in ten years to support continued development of our international network and Toronto hub as our North American gateway.  These aircraft also debut our new Premium Economy cabin, offering customers a high-value option for enhanced comfort and service on select international routes.

“Looking ahead, our focus remains on the execution of the Corporation’s business plan led by our four core priorities: cost transformation, international growth, customer engagement and culture change to transform Air Canada into a sustainably profitable company for its shareholders and employees,” concluded Mr. Rovinescu.

Second Quarter Income Statement Highlights

Second quarter 2013 system passenger revenues were $2,757 million, an increase of $86 million or 3 per cent over the second quarter of 2012, on a 1.6 per cent growth in traffic and a 1.5 per cent improvement in yield.  Passenger revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 0.9 per cent from the second quarter of 2012 on the yield growth.  Air Canada reported a passenger load factor of 83.0 per cent for the second quarter of 2013, 0.5 percentage points below the second quarter of 2012.  In the premium class cabin, passenger revenues increased $19 million or 3.3 per cent on yield and traffic growth of 2.2 per cent and 1.1 per cent, respectively, over the second quarter of 2012.

Operating expenses decreased $42 million or 1 per cent from the second quarter of 2012.  Operating expense increases in wages, salaries and benefits and capacity purchase costs were more than offset by operating expense decreases in aircraft fuel and depreciation, amortization and impairment expenses.

Air Canada’s adjusted cost per available seat mile (adjusted CASM), which excludes fuel expense, the cost of ground packages at Air Canada Vacations and unusual items, decreased 1.4 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2012.  The 1.4 per cent reduction in adjusted CASM was in line with the adjusted CASM decrease of 0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent projected in Air Canada’s news release dated June 10, 2013.

In the second quarter 2013, Air Canada recorded operating income of $174 million compared to operating income of $63 million in the same quarter in 2012, an improvement of $111 million.

Liquidity Highlights

At June 30, 2013, cash and short-term investments amounted to $2,107 million or 17 per cent of 12-month trailing revenues (June 30, 2012 – $2,323 million or 20 per cent of 12-month trailing revenues).

At June 30, 2013, adjusted net debt of $3,975 million decreased $162 million from December 31, 2012, mainly reflecting the impact of an increase in cash balances.

Free cash flow of $147 million decreased $86 million from the second quarter of 2012, largely reflecting the addition of one Boeing 777 aircraft, partly offset by an increase in cash flows from operating activities due to better operating results.

Current Outlook

For the third quarter of 2013, Air Canada expects its system ASM capacity, as measured by available seat miles (ASMs), to increase in the range of 2.5 to 3.5 per cent when compared to the third quarter of 2012.

Air Canada continues to expect its full year 2013 system ASM capacity to increase in the range of 1.5 to 2.5 per cent when compared to the full year 2012.  Air Canada also continues to expect its full year 2013 domestic capacity to increase in the range of 1.5 to 2.5 per cent from the full year 2012.

For the third quarter of 2013, Air Canada expects adjusted CASM to decrease 1.5 to 2.5 per cent when compared to the third quarter of 2012.

Taking into account Air Canada’s adjusted CASM result for the second quarter 2013, Air Canada now expects its full year 2013 adjusted CASM to decrease in the range of 1.0 to 2.0 per cent from the full year 2012 (as opposed to the decrease of 0.5 to 1.5 per cent projected in Air Canada news release dated June 10, 2013).

Air Canada continues to expect its full year 2014 system capacity to increase by 9.0 to 11.0 per cent when compared to the full year 2013.  This projected increase in capacity, expected to be deployed primarily on international markets, is consistent with the fleet plan discussed in Air Canada’s Second Quarter 2013 MD&A and is due to the addition of five high-density Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, the first having been delivered in June 2013 and the remainder scheduled for delivery between August 2013 and February 2014, the scheduled arrival in 2014 of the first six Boeing 787 aircraft, and the planned growth from Air Canada rouge.

Air Canada’s outlook assumes Canadian GDP growth of 1.25 to 1.75 per cent for 2013 and Canadian GDP growth of 2.0 to 3.0 per cent for 2014.

Air Canada also expects that the Canadian dollar will trade, on average, at C$1.04 per U.S. dollar for the third quarter of 2013 and C$1.03 per U.S. dollar for the full year 2013 and that the price of jet fuel will average 87 cents per litre for the third quarter of 2013 and the full year 2013.

Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly painted in the special Vancouver 2010 livery, Boeing 777-333 ER C-FIVS (msn 35784) gracefully climbs away from Frankfurt.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

American launches codeshare agreement with LAN Colombia, creditors and shareholders tentatively approve the merger with US Airways

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has announced the launch of a new codeshare agreement with LAN Colombia (Bogota), adding new service to key destinations in Colombia and further strengthening American’s relationship with LATAM Airlines Group. Customers can begin booking travel on the codeshare flights for travel beginning August 8.

The new codeshare agreement will give American’s customers seamless connecting service within Colombia and provide LAN Colombia’s customers access to new destinations in the United States. The two airlines will codeshare on flights between the U.S. and Colombia and provide American’s customers access to four new destinations in Colombia – Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Cartagena and Pereira, while giving LAN Colombia’s customers access to 12 new cities in the U.S. from Miami, including Chicago (O’Hare), Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles and New York (JFK).

In addition, LAN Colombia plans to join the oneworld® alliance in the fourth quarter of this year. LAN Colombia operates more than 990 weekly flights to cities throughout Colombia as well as destinations in Brazil and the U.S. From its Bogota hub, LAN Colombia offers 125 daily flights, including service to 20 Colombian cities.

In addition to the codeshare agreement with LAN Colombia, later this year American will launch new service from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Bogota (BOG), demonstrating its mission to provide customers with expanded options through a growing network footprint in Latin America. American currently operates up to 35 weekly flights from its hub in Miami to Bogota (BOG), Cali (CLO) and Medellin (MDE).

In others news, AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines, Inc., announced the preliminary voting results on the Company’s Plan of Reorganization, which indicate overwhelming acceptance of the Plan by those creditors and shareholders entitled to vote.

Of the eight creditor classes entitled to vote, at least 88 percent of the ballots received and tabulated in each class, representing more than 97 percent of the claims value voting in each class, were voted in favor of the Plan.  Additionally, more than 99 percent of the shares tabulated for the class of AMR stockholders voted to accept the Plan.

The final voting results for the Plan will be certified and filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in advance of the confirmation hearing on August 15, 2013.

On June 7, 2013, the Court authorized the company to begin soliciting approval of the Plan from AMR’s creditors and stockholders. Voting on the Plan ended July 29, 2013 at 5 p.m. EDT.

The effective date of the Plan and American’s Chapter 11 emergence are expected to occur simultaneously with the closing of the merger with US Airways. The merger is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013.

Top Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new Boeing 777-323 ER N725AN (msn 41666) was handed over to American Airlines on July 31, 2013.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

LAN Colombia: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Bernardo Andrade/AirlinersGallery.com. Former AIRES Colombia Boeing 737-73S EI-EEB (msn 29081) of LAN Colombia taxies past the camera at Sao Paulo (Guarulhos).

ANA orders three additional Boeing 777-300 ERs

ANA (All Nippon AIrways) (Tokyo) and Boeing have announced ANA has ordered three additional 777-300 ER (extended range) airplanes. The order, valued at approximately $945 million at current list prices, will increase the total number of 777s in ANA’s fleet to 57 airplanes once delivered.  ANA currently operates 26 Boeing 777-300s (see below).

In route news, ANA will increase the number of flights between Tokyo-Narita, and Yangon Airport in Myanmar, to seven flights per week, from three. As a result, there will be a daily service on this route from September 30, 2013. In addition, seat capacity for the route will be increased by replacing the Boeing 737-700 aircraft with the 767-300 ER aircraft.

ANA will also announce the name of a new Narita International Airport-based leisure carrier. The new subsidiary will replace the now failed joint venture with AirAsia, named AirAsia Japan. This unit will served leisure destinations such as Guam and Hawaii and will launch operations with two aircraft. The fleet will expand to five aircraft by March 2014 according to Reuters.

On the financial side, ANA Holdings reported a $57.3 million operating loss for the fiscal first quarter ending on June 30.

ANA Fleet 7:2013 (ANA)

In addition, the flag carrier announced its new in-flight services and the new “Inspiration of JAPAN” tagline and issued this statement:

From late August, 2013, ANA will begin flying aircraft adorned with the tagline ‘Inspiration of JAPAN’, ANA’s brand concept. Alongside of this tagline, ANA will enhance its in-flight services and introduce new services throughout this fiscal year, starting from September.Inspiration of Japan
‘Inspiration of JAPAN’, which is the products and services brand of ANA, will be re-stated as the company tagline and will be designed on all of ANA’s aircraft. This will represent many aspects of the Japanese culture and spirit, including skills in innovation and technology, Japanese courtesy and precision, and the spirit of customer service at the heart of ANA.
In addition to the tagline, national flag of Japan will also be designed at the front of the aircraft in order to emphasize our proud of Japanese heritage to global passengers.THE CONNOISSEURS
The first in-flight service enhancement to be launched in September will be THE CONNOISSEURS project. THE CONNOISSEURS is an in-flight meal team composed of 10 renowned chefs, 5 beverage specialists and 9 of ANA’s own catering chefs, among the most talented of any of the world’s airlines. The team will produce a range of meals and drinks for our international and domestic flights. See ‘Notes to Editors’ section for more information on the chefs and menu.

New First and Business Class Bedding and Amenities 
In First and Business classes on long haul flights, we will introduce new bedding using the latest Japanese innovative technologies. This is a joint development with Nishikawa Sangyo Co., Ltd., the leading bedding manufacturer in Japan.

ANA will also provide a new amenity kit service in Business Class that will surely make passengers relax and enjoy our flights. Passengers will receive a pouch filled with L’OCCITANE products, originating from Provence in southern France.

As the first airline in Japan, and one of the few global airlines being recognized as the highest 5-Star airline by SKYTRAX, ANA will continue to further enhance the services we offer to our customers.

 

 Tagline Design
New bedding for long-haul flights – Ultimate in cabin comfortANA presents a new selection of bedding, using the latest innovative technologies that are the pride of Nishikawa Sangyo Co., Ltd., a leading Japanese manufacturer of bedding products since its founding in 1566. Based on the theories of its Japan Research Laboratory of Sleep Science, we now offer items such as highly functional Nanofront® fibers from Teijin, and the finest organic materials from Tenerita. We hope you will enjoy your journey above the clouds.First Class
Quality of sleep is determined by multiple factors including posture, bedding texture, weight, heat retention, and breathability. Our ultra-light comforters are made from the highly functional Teijin fibers using the latest technologies from Nishikawa Sangyo. Moreover, its AiR® mattress features a unique structure that disperses body pressure, while its Angel Float® pillow offers a flexible fit even when lying face up or sideways.
Also enjoy our blankets made with the finest cashmere and Tenerita’s organic cotton that meets strict international standards, as well as the double-sided knitted loungewear with a truly soft texture.
Applicable flights: Routes departing from Japan bound for North America and Europe
Applicable class: First Class

The new bedding in First Class represents the best of Nishikawa Sangyo. Pillow, comforter, bed pad, and blanket by Tenerita.

Double-sided knitted loungewear can be taken home after your flight
Business Class
In Business Class, bed pads are Nishikawa Sangyo’s Air Cyclone® customized for the ANA BUSINESS STAGGERED seats. Turning over during sleep is easy due to the unique three-layer structure and moderate resistance. These bed pads also offer excellent breathability and comfort. And because the reverse side is skid resistant, they can also be used as seat cushions. The comforters are Bodyline Quilts that fit your body. We’ve also introduced structural pillows from Nishikawa Sangyo for a perfect fit from your neck to the back of your head.

Applicable flights: Routes departing from Japan bound for North America and Europe (except Honolulu)
*New bed pads will be introduced on flights equipped with ANA BUSINESS STAGGERED seats only.
Applicable class: Business Class
ANA will introduce a bed pad on Business Class for the first time.
Our new service will provide a more relaxing experience
[From left] pillow, comforter, bed pad.
In Business Class, ANA will also start offering an amenity kit containing amenities from L’OCCITANE, a brand focused on the lifestyle of Provence in southern France.

Top Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-381 ER JA733A (msn 32648) arrives at London (Heathrow).

ANA: AG Slide Show

Air France-KLM turns to the black in the first six months of 2013

Air France (Paris) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) issued its financial report for the first six months of 2013 including subsidiary Transavia Airlines (Amsterdam). The group reported an operating profit of $105 for the first half turning around a comparable loss in the first six months of 2012. The group expects to make an operating profit for the entire  year.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Read the analysis by Bloomberg: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 F-HPJE (msn 052) climbs away from Washington (Dulles).

Air France: AG Slide Show

KLM: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-306 ER PH-BVD (msn 35979) in the SkyTeam motif taxies to the runway at the Amsterdam hub.

Delta posts a $844 million net profit in the Second Quarter

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

  • Delta’s net profit for the June 2013 quarter was $844 million, or $0.98 per diluted share, excluding special items1.  This result is a record June quarter profit excluding special items and is a $258 million improvement year-over-year.
  • Including $159 million in special items, Delta’s GAAP net income was $685 million, or $0.80 per diluted share.
  • The company announced a balanced capital deployment plan, targeted at creating up to $5 billion of value for shareholders by 2017 through further debt reduction and the return of more than $1 billion to shareholders over the next three years by means of $200 million of annual dividends and a $500 million share repurchase program.
  • June quarter results include $118 million of profit sharing expense in recognition of Delta employees’ contributions to the company’s financial performance.
  • Delta generated $1.3 billion of operating cash flow and $730 million of free cash flow in the June 2013 quarter, and ended the period with adjusted net debt of $10.2 billion.

Revenue Environment

Delta’s operating revenue declined $25 million in the June 2013 quarter compared to the June 2012 quarter.  Traffic increased 0.5 percent on a 0.8 percent increase in capacity.

  • Passenger revenue increased 0.7 percent, or $63 million, compared to the prior year period.  Passenger unit revenue (PRASM) was flat year over year with a 0.2 percent improvement in yield.
  • Cargo revenue decreased 11.4 percent, or $30 million, on declining freight yields.
  • Other revenue decreased 5.6 percent, or $58 million, as a result of the decision to discontinue a number of low margin-producing third-party maintenance contracts.

Comparisons of revenue-related statistics are as follows:

Increase (Decrease)

2Q13 versus 2Q12

Passenger Revenue 2Q13 ($M) Change

YOY

Unit

Revenue

Yield Capacity
Domestic $ 3,885 3.7% 0.9% 2.5% 2.8%
Atlantic 1,578 2.5% 1.4% 0.9% 1.0%
Pacific 841 (2.1)% 0.5% (2.7)% (2.6)%
Latin America 492 3.6% 1.2% (2.3)% 2.4%
Total Mainline 6,796 2.7% 1.1% 1.1% 1.6%
Regional carriers 1,698 (6.2)% (2.3)% 0.9% (4.0)%
Consolidated $ 8,494 0.7% (0.1)% 0.2% 0.8%

Cash Flow

Cash from operations during the June 2013 quarter was $1.3 billion, driven by the company’s June quarter profit and the seasonal increase in advanced ticket sales, which was partially offset by $500 million of accelerated pension funding.  The company generated $730 million of free cash flow.

Capital expenditures during the June 2013 quarter were $704 million, including $360 million for the acquisition of 49% of Virgin Atlantic and $238 million in fleet investments, including aircraft parts and modifications. During the quarter, Delta’s debt maturities and capital leases were $405 million.

Delta ended the quarter with adjusted net debt of $10.2 billion and the company has now achieved nearly $7 billion in net debt reduction since 2009.  This debt reduction strategy produced a $43 million year-over-year reduction in interest expense in the June quarter. As of June 30, 2013, Delta had $5.7 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $3.9 billion in cash and short-term investments and $1.8 billion in undrawn revolving credit facilities.

Cost Performance

Total operating expense in the quarter decreased year-over-year by $805 million driven by the savings from Delta’s structural cost initiatives and lower mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges, partially offset by the impact of operational, service and employee investments.

Consolidated unit cost excluding fuel expense, profit sharing and special items (CASM-Ex2), was 2.5 percent higher in the June 2013 quarter on a year-over-year basis, driven by the impact of wage increases and operational and service investments.  GAAP consolidated CASM decreased 9 percent, driven by lower fuel expense.

Fuel expense for the June quarter declined $710 million year-over-year, or $288 million excluding mark-to-market adjustments, as a result of lower fuel prices and prior year hedge losses. Delta’s average fuel price3 was $3.03 per gallon for the June quarter.  For the June quarter, operations at the Trainer refinery produced a $51 million loss ($0.05 cents per gallon impact) driven by the elevated price of the Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) required under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard.

Balanced Approach to Capital Deployment

In May, Delta announced a five year financial plan and a balanced capital deployment program aimed at creating up to $5 billion of value for shareholders, including returning more than $1 billion to shareholders over the next three years.  The company’s financial plan focuses on free cash flow generation through a combination of expected earnings improvements and a disciplined approach to capital investment.  Over the next five years, Delta plans to reinvest $2.0 – $2.5 billion annually, or approximately 50 percent of its operating cash flow, into improving the company’s fleet, facilities, products and technology.

The resulting free cash flow will be used to return cash to shareholders, further reduce the company’s debt, and opportunistically address longer-term pension funding needs, driving up to $5 billion of value to Delta’s shareholders.  Specifically,

  • The company expects to achieve an adjusted net debt level of $7 billion by 2017, a $5 billion reduction over 2012.  By meeting the $7 billion target, Delta will have reduced its adjusted net debt by $10 billion since 2009, significantly decreasing the company’s balance sheet risk and accreting more than $750 million of interest expense savings for shareowners;
  • Delta’s Board of Directors initiated a quarterly dividend and declared a $0.06 per share dividend for shareholders of record as of August 9, 2013.  This dividend will be paid on September 10, 2013.  In addition, the Board authorized a $500 million share repurchase program, to be completed no later than June 30, 2016.  Together, these two programs are designed to return more than $1 billion of capital to shareholders over the next three years;
  • The company also plans to make up to $1 billion of incremental contributions to the company’s defined benefit pension plans over the next five years.  These contributions would be in addition to the $650 – $700 million annual contribution requirement.

Special Items

Delta recorded special items totaling a $159 million charge in the June 2013 quarter, including:

  • a $125 million charge for mark-to-market adjustments for fuel hedges settling in future periods; and
  • a $34 million charge for facilities, fleet and other items, primarily associated with Delta’s domestic fleet restructuring.

Delta recorded special items totaling a $754 million charge in the June 2012 quarter, including:

  • a $561 million charge for mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges settling in future periods;
  • $171 million in severance and related costs associated with voluntary early out programs; and
  • a $22 million charge for facilities, fleet and other items.

End Notes

(1)  Note A to the attached Consolidated Statements of Operations provides a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures used in this release and provides the reasons management uses those measures.

(2)  CASM – Ex: In addition to fuel expense, profit sharing and special items, Delta believes excluding ancillary business costs is helpful to investors because ancillary business costs are not related to the generation of a seat mile. These businesses include aircraft maintenance and staffing services Delta provides to third parties and Delta’s vacation wholesale operations. The amounts excluded were $165 million and $244 million for the June 2013 and 2012 quarters, respectively. The amounts excluded were $350 million and $484 million for the six months ended June 30, 2013 and 2012, respectively.  Management believes this methodology provides a more consistent and comparable reflection of Delta’s airline operations.

(3)  Average fuel price per gallon: Delta’s June 2013 quarter average fuel price of $3.03 per gallon reflects the consolidated cost per gallon for mainline and regional operations, including contract carrier operations, and includes the impact of fuel hedge contracts with original maturity dates in the June 2013 quarter. On a GAAP basis, fuel price includes $125 million in fuel hedge mark-to-market adjustments recorded in periods other than the settlement period. The net refinery loss for the quarter was $51 million, or 5 cents per gallon.  See Note A for a reconciliation of average fuel price per gallon to the comparable GAAP metric.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-232 LR N702DN (msn 29741) “The Spirit of Atlanta” prepares to land at Tokyo (Narita).

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Turkish Airlines converts five Boeing 777-300 options to firm orders

Turkish Airlines (Istanbul) has converted five Boeing 777-300 ER orders into firm orders according.

The aircraft will be delivered in 2016 and 2017, according to a filing with the Istanbul stock exchange.

Today, Boeing issued this statement:

Boeing and Turkish Airlines have announced a order for five 777-300 ER(Extended Range) airplanes, valued at $1.6 billion at list prices. The Turkish flag-carrier has exercised options on five 777-300 ERs that were first announced in December 2012 as part of a previous firm order for 15 777-300 ERs. Turkish Airlines now has 20 777-300 ERs currently on order from Boeing.

Turkish Airlines’ fleet currently includes 12 777-300 ERs, the first of which Boeing delivered in October 2010. In that time, the 777-300 ER has played a significant role in Turkish Airlines’ incredible long-haul growth.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-3F2 ER TC-JJN (msn 40795) is pictured at Everett (Paine Field).

Turkish Airlines: AG Slide Show

Philippine Airlines to continue Toronto flights

Philippine Airlines (Philippines) (Manila) was planning to drop all service to Toronto (Pearson) on September 18 per Airline Route. The flag carrier was serving YYZ via an extension of the Manila-Vancouver route three days a week.

Update: According to Airline Route, PAL appears to have reversed its decision and has re-opened reservations for Toronto flights after September 18.

Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-36N ER RP-C7776 (msn 37712) prepares to land at Sydney.

Philippines: AG Slide Show

Philippine Airlines to return to Europe

Philippine Airlines (Philippines) (Manila) is returning to Europe after an absence of 15 years after the European Union lifted its ban against the carrier. PAL intends to fly again to London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Rome and Madrid.

The airline issued this statement:

Philippine EU Statement

Copyright Photo: Micheil Keegan/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-36N RP-C7777 (msn 37709) prepares to land in Sydney.

Philippines: AG Slide Show

Asiana Airlines’ pilot sees a bright light on the final approach

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (Washington) has conducted its final press conference in San Francisco. The landing Asiana Airlines pilot reported a bright light source on his final approach (reflection of the sun on the water?). The pilot looked away and did not think it blinded him. The other pilot did not report any source of light. Here is the briefing from yesterday afternoon (July 11). The final accident report will probably take a year or longer before it is issued. If there are any recommendations, the NTSB will issue those recommendations sooner to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Meanwhile the remains of the Boeing 777 are slowly being removed.

Air China starts nonstop Beijing-Houston service

Air China (Beijing) began its four weekly nonstop services between Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) in Beijing, China and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas yesterday (July 11).

The inaugural flight from Beijing, CA 995, arrived at 3:40 (1540) yesterday afternoon to a Texas-sized welcome which included a traditional water cannon salute. Houston Mayor Annise Parker was on hand to greet the delegation from Chinaled by Ms. Yinxiang Wang, Co-Chairwoman of Air China Limited; Chinese Consul General for Texas and seven U.S. southern states and Puerto Rico, Ms. Erwen Xu; and, former Houston Rockets star and now Houston’s Honorary Goodwill Ambassador, Yao Ming.

HOUSTON AIRPORT SYSTEM RIBBON CUTTING

Copyright Photo: Ribbon Cutting Celebrates Air China’s New Nonstop Service Between Houston, Texas and Beijing, China. (PRNewsFoto/Houston Airport System).

With the launch of the nonstop service, Houston becomes Air China’s fifth gateway in North America, joining Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Vancouver.  Air China will operate inside Terminal D at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston’s gateway for all foreign carriers.

Houston and Beijing have enjoyed a strong relationship for several decades. China’s paramount leader, the late Deng Xiaoping, visited Houston during his historic trip to the United States in 1979.

Air China will operate the nonstop flights, CA 996, from Houston to Beijing on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, departing at 1:00 AM local time (0100) and arriving in Beijing at 4:50 AM (0450) local time, next day.   The chart below shows the schedule of the new service.

Flight Number Code-Share Flt. No. Route Departure Arrival Schedule Aircraft
CA 996 UA7602* Houston-Beijing 01:00 04:50+1 Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun B777-300ER
CA 995 UA7601* Beijing-Houston 15:00 15:40 Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun B777-300ER

NOTES: All times are local.  “+1″ stands for next-day arrival.

Top Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-39L ER B-2036 (msn 38676) arrives at the Frankfurt terminal.

Air China: AG Slide Show

* Codeshare flight.

Singapore Airlines unveils its next generation cabin product and KrisWorld

Singapore First Class Seat (Singapore)(LR)

Singapore Airlines (Singapore) has unveiled its next generation First, Business and Economy Class seats, together with the next generation KrisWorld, according to the airline “the world’s most advanced in-flight entertainment system”. The airline issued this statement:

Customers will soon be able to experience the next generation KrisWorld, the world’s most advanced in-flight entertainment system to date, on new Boeing 777-300 ERs entering Singapore Airlines’ fleet in the coming months.

The new KrisWorld, based on a Panasonic Avionics hardware platform, will initially be available on eight new Boeing 777-300 ERs that will begin to enter service from September 2013. It will also be introduced on new Airbus A350s scheduled for delivery in the coming years, in line with the terms of an agreement valued at nearly $400 million that was signed with Panasonic Avionics in 2012. Existing KrisWorld systems on other aircraft already in service may also be retrofitted with the new system.

Singapore Airlines agreed last year to be the launch customer for Panasonic Avionics’ next-generation eX3 system for the Airbus A350s, as well as the first to offer the eX3 experience on the Boeing 777-300ERs. The airline will also be the first to offer Panasonic’s Global Communications Suite on the A350s, with the capability to provide broadband Internet services to passenger devices and the seat-back, as well as mobile phone services.

Singapore First Class (Singapore)(LR)

The new KrisWorld features larger LCD screens and video touch-screen handsets across all classes. LCD screens will increase from 23 to 24 inches in First Class, 15.4 to 18 inches in Business Class and 10.6 to 11.1 inches in Economy Class. Economy Class customers will also be able to browse through the more than 1,000 on-demand entertainment options by swiping or scrolling through the touch-screen monitor.

Working with renowned design company Massive Interactive, Singapore Airlines has seamlessly integrated the functionality of the video touch-screen handset into the core design of a new, innovative KrisWorld user interface to ensure that navigating through menus and programmes is intuitive and user-friendly. Customers will be able to multi-task among the varied entertainment options available. For example, they may watch a movie, while at the same time use the handset to keep up to date with the latest news headlines or track the aircraft’s flight path. Alternatively, customers may use the handset as a touchscreen trackpad to navigate KrisWorld. New features such as  “Quick Search”, where a flick of the handset pulls up a playlist of entertainment choices, are also being introduced.

Leveraging on technology, a number of thoughtful features are being incorporated into KrisWorld with customers’ convenience in mind. For example, the Notification Centre on the KrisWorld dashboard contains information relevant to the flight, reducing the number of onboard announcements, thereby allowing customers to watch movies uninterrupted.

Customers will also experience greater personalisation, with KrisWorld providing content recommendations based on passengers’ preferences. They may also rate movies and see how others have rated these.

Twenty-one aircraft have been equipped to date and the service will be rolled out to the rest of the Airline’s Airbus A380-800 and Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft by the end of next year. Inflight connectivity service on the 21 aircraft is provided by OnAir. For the new 777-300 ERs entering the fleet over the next two years, the service will be provided by Panasonic Avionics.

Key Features

First Class

Business Class

Economy Class

IFE screen size 61 centimetres 24 inches 46 centimetres  18 inches 28 centimetres  11.1 inches
Touch-screen handset Available across all three classes
Ports HDMI, USB & eXPort  HDMI, USB & eXPort    USB & eXPort  
In-seat power supply Available across all three classes
Headphones Bose Quiet Comfort QC15noise-cancellation headphones Phitek Supra Auranoise-cancellation headphones   Standard headphones

Entertainment – movies, TV, music, radio channels

More than 230 movies, over 340 TV programmes, 22 hosted radio programmes and more than 790 CDs.
Games In addition to more than 80 interactive games including high performance 3D games, popular touch-screen games are now available.
Applications New to KrisWorld: 

  • Travel Forum: Introducing a social networking element to KrisWorld, customers can now share their travel experiences, tips and recommendations with fellow passengers.
  • DK Travel Guides: comprehensive guides to major cities in the world.
  • Live News: Customers can stay connected to the happenings on the ground with news from Channel NewsAsia
  • Flight Path iXplor 2: Improved flight path information  allowing customers to view key points of interests, for example, the Taj Mahal, when they are flying over it. 

Copyright Photos: Singapore Airlines. The airline has launched its next generation First, Business and Economy Class seats, together with the next generation KrisWorld, the world’s most advanced in-flight entertainment system. They will be available on new Boeing 777-300 ERs over the next two years. Customers travelling on select flights between Singapore and London will be the first to experience the new products from September 2013.

Singapore Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-312 ER 9V-SWJ 9msn 34575) arrives back at the SIN hub.

Video:

Etihad Airways posts record profits for the second quarter and the first half of 2013

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) posted record profits for the second quarter and the first half of 2013. The airline issued this statement:

The national carrier of the United Arab Emirates achieved an eight per cent increase in Q2 2013 passenger revenues, generating $921 million (all amounts in US Dollars) (2012: $855 million), while passenger revenues for the first half of 2013 reached $1.8 billion (2012: $1.6 billion), up by 13 per cent.

Revenue generated by codeshare and equity alliance airline partners was $184 million in Q2 2013. This was 25 per cent above the $147 million turnover in the same period of 2012.  Partnership revenue comprised 20 per cent of the airline’s total passenger revenue in both Q2 and the first half of 2013.

The President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, said the company’s Q2 and half year results were achieved despite the continuation of unsteady economic and geopolitical factors, with air fare yields slightly lower for the quarter, compressed by strong competitive capacity growth and resultant price competition.

“Despite the tough global trading climate, we have still achieved record, double digit growth in both Q2 and the first half of 2013,” Mr Hogan said.

“This reflects not only the continuing popularity of our Abu Dhabi hub, but the growing maturity of our airline partnership strategy and the strength of our cargo operations, which continue to well exceed industry growth rates.”

Mr Hogan said a significant achievement in Q2 was the improved contribution of the Etihad Airways equity alliance partners, in particular Germany’s Airberlin, which has become the largest codeshare contributor. This reflects increased connectivity between the integrated networks of the two airlines.

Etihad Airways increased its codeshare partnerships during Q2, adding Serbia’s national carrier, Jat Airways (Belgrade), and announced new partnerships with Air Canada (Montreal), South African Airways (Johannesburg) and Belavia (Minsk) of Belarussia, all to take effect during Q3. With these inclusions, Etihad Airways will have 45 codeshare partners and a virtual global network of more than 350 destinations, the most comprehensive of any alliance or Middle Eastern airline.

In Q2, Etihad Airways’ Available Seat Kilometers (ASKs) – reflecting network seat capacity – rose by 13 per cent to 17.2 billion  (2012: 15.2 billion).  Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPKs) – reflecting traffic – increased by 13 per cent to 13.3 billion in Q2 2013 (2012: 11.8 billion).

This growth was achieved through the delivery of two new Boeing 777-300 passenger aircraft –  a three-class version seating 328 passengers and a two-class model seating 380 –  and a corresponding increase in flights, including new services to Amsterdam, Sao Paulo and Belgrade.

Results for Q2 were further strengthened by the introduction late in March of daily flights to a fourth new destination, Washington, D.C.

Etihad Cargo continued to achieve the strongest growth in the company, with 112,963tons uplifted in Q2 2013 (2012: 89,470 tons) and 215,124 tons in the first half of 2013 (2012: 174,622 tons). This reflected a massive 26 per cent growth in Q2 and 23 per cent growth for the first half of 2013.

The growth in cargo volumes was underpinned by the delivery in Q2 of three new freighter aircraft – one Airbus A330-200F, one Boeing 777-200F and the company’s first Boeing 747-8F, which was wet leased from Atlas Air – taking the cargo fleet to nine. Cargo performance was further boosted by increased passenger services, providing more under-floor freight capacity.

During Q2 Etihad Airways announced that, subject to regulatory approvals, it would acquire 24 per cent of India’s Jet Airways, enlarging the Etihad Airways equity alliance and group network.

In addition, Etihad Airways signed an Initial Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Serbia to discuss potentially investing in Jat Airways.  Etihad Airways also secured Australian regulatory approval to increase its equity stake in Virgin Australia from 10 per cent to 19.9 per cent.

As well as its Virgin Australia stake, Etihad Airways holds a 29 per cent shareholding in Airberlin (Berlin), 40 per cent of Air Seychelles (Mahe) and three per cent of Aer Lingus (Dublin).

Copyright Photo: Duncan Kirk/AirlinersGallery. Newly-built Boeing 777-3FX ER A6-ETP (msn 41699) lands at Paine Field near Everett after a test flight. The new airliner was delivered on June 25, 2013.

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

ALPA pushes back on growing pilot error media conclusions

The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, released the following statement regarding the crash landing of Asiana Airlines (Seoul) flight 214 in San Francisco on Saturday, July 6, 2013.

First and foremost, our thoughts are with those who were involved in the accident this past Saturday. From the crew to the passengers to the families and first responders, we hope they can gain some comfort during this difficult time.

ALPA is stunned by the amount of detailed operational data from on-board recorders released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) this soon into the investigation. The amount of data released publicly during the field portion of the accident investigation is unprecedented.

It is imperative that safety investigators refrain from prematurely releasing the information from on-board recording devices. We have seen in the past that publicizing this data before all of it can be collected and analyzed leads to erroneous conclusions that can actually interfere with the investigative process.

The release of individual data points from the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder—without the context of the entire body of factual investigative data—represents a potential detriment to flight safety. It encourages wild speculation, as we have already seen in the media, about causes of the accident before all the facts are known, before investigators have the ability to determine why the events occurred, and in this case before the flight crew had even been interviewed.

This premature release of partial data is often taken out of context and creates the impression that the NTSB has already determined probable cause even before the investigation has started. Since each factor of flight, landing, airport environment, and crew is part of safe air travel, we need to ensure that reckless release of information is not sensationalized by the media for the purpose of a few headlines.

ALPA has long supported an objective accident investigation process that is based on the fundamental principle of obtaining all the facts to perform accurate analysis in the context of all factors that may have led to an accident. We stand ready to assist the NTSB or any state investigative agency in obtaining those facts and ensuring that an appropriate operational context is maintained.

ALPA urges the NTSB to make sure that the objective investigative process continues by gathering all the facts and relevant information before leading the public to believe that a cause has been determined.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing more than 50,000 pilots at 33 airlines in the United States and Canada.

NTSB Videos:

CNN Video:

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Here is another view of the ill-fated Boeing 777-28E ER HL7742 (msn 29171) arriving at Los Angeles before the accident at SFO.

Asiana Airlines: AG Slide Show

Breaking News: Asiana’s Boeing 777-28E HL7742 crashes on landing at San Francisco

Asiana Airlines‘ (Seoul) flight OZ 214 from Seoul (Incheon) to San Francisco with a reported 291 passengers and 16 crew members crashed landed short of runway 28L on landing at San Francisco at 1127 local time. The underside of the fuselage, possibly the main gear, impacted the rock seawall while landing leaving a trail of debris down the overrun area and on to the runway. The forward section of Boeing 777-28E ER HL7742 (msn 29171) was consumed by fire. The main fuselage separated from the tail section on impact. Most passengers and crew members were able to escape the burning aircraft from the main section.

The flight crew gave no indication of a problem before attempting its landing.

Two people have died in the crash. 181 people were initially transported to nine area hospitals from the triage area. 123 people are listed as uninjured. 34 people have been transported to the Trauma Center at the San Francisco General Hospital. Of these 34, five are listed now as “critical” and five are now listed as “serious”. One person is now listed as “unaccounted”. The remainder were later transported to area hospitals for medical attention and are expected to be released.

One eyewitness, watching the planes landing, reported to CNN that he saw the airliner land short of the runway with the landing gear hitting the seawall. A fire ball flared on the underside of the aircraft during the hard landing. The aircraft cartwheeled according to the eyewitness with the tail section and vertical stabilizers separating quickly. The right wing tip shows damage.

Another eyewitness who was a passenger in the rear section of the aircraft told CNN the tail section hit the ground very hard and at least two Flight Attendants “fell out” from rear into the gap that was created when the tail section separated.

An United Boeing 747-400 was very close to the final resting spot of the forward section and was preparing to depart.

Weather was reported to be clear and visibility at 10 miles at the time of the accident.

San Francisco International Airport is now reporting it has opened two runways.

HL7742 was delivered new to Asiana on March 7, 2006.

More news will be posted as it is confirmed.

Read the report from NBC: CLICK HERE

Local TV news coverage from PIX 11: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. HL7742 is pictured on final approach previously at Los Angeles.

Asiana Airlines: AG Slide Show

Videos from San Francisco:

Report from CNN:

Alitalia issues a new Turnaround Plan, Air One to be rebranded

Alitalia (2nd) (Rome), a carrier that is familiar with financial problems, has issued this new “Industrial Plan 2013-2016″ to turnaround the flag carrier along with Air One (Milan-Malpensa):

Gabriele Del Torchio, new CEO of Alitalia, presented the strategic outline of the new Industrial Plan 2013 – 2016 for Alitalia and the new mission of the Company.
With this Plan, the Group wants to better respond to changes in the aviation market which, in recent years, has seen a sharp reduction in the domestic traffic sector, against a growth of international and intercontinental routes, particularly to Eastern Europe, North and South America, Middle and Far East.
The Plan foresees an increase in revenue from overseas activities which already account for over 50% of the total revenue of the Group, making Alitalia one of the main Italian companies to contribute to the balance of payments of Italy.
The Industrial Plan 2013 – 2016 will focus on 3 principal businesses – Alitalia, Air One and Alitalia Loyalty (the new company of the Group, founded at the end of 2012, which deals with the development and enhancement of the MilleMiglia program) and will be based on 4 strategic lines with the goal of recovering the productivity of the Company, allowing it to remain in the market efficiently and profitably.
1. STRATEGIC LINE: REDEFINITION OF THE ROLE OF ALITALIA AND AIR ONE WITH REGARD TO SHORT AND MEDIUM HAUL ROUTES
This will involve the redefinition of the Alitalia Group’s short and medium haul network, differentiating the activities of Alitalia and Air One, avoiding overlapping between the two Companies, with the aim to better respond to the needs of all customer segments.
The Smart Carrier Air One: a web oriented company, which will have operational bases in Sicily, North East Italy and Pisa.
A new image and branding project is under way for Air One. The new brand, which will replace Air One, will have a stronger likeness to Alitalia. The Smart Carrier will offer, with a predominantly web-oriented sales model, 2 fares and 2 levels of service (GO and SMART) to meet the needs of both price-sensitive and premium segments. GO fare passengers will be able to customise their travel experience by choosing additional services.
The Smart Carrier’s new short and medium haul network structure will be dedicated to serve point-to-point connections, from the bases of Catania, Palermo, Venice and Pisa, strengthening, in particular, the provision of international flights.
The increase of the offer in Sicily and in North East Italy responds to the need to meet the high traffic demand in Sicily and to regain market share in North East Italy, which was lost in recent years to other European airports. Maintaining a presence in Pisa and Tuscany is also of great importance.
Alitalia strengthens its operations at the hub of Rome Fiumicino and at Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa airports
Alitalia will operate all national and international connections to/from the hub of Rome Fiumicino and to/from Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa airports, increasing international and intercontinental services at these 3 airports.
With regard to Milan Linate airport, whilst maintaning the connections to Southern Italy, the Plan provides that selected Rome-Milan-Rome slots will be replaced with new international point-to-point connections, thereby allowing Alitalia to satisfy the needs of customers in Northern Italy, especially business travellers.
During the course of the Plan, new flights from Milan Linate to Copenhagen, Budapest, Vienna, Stockholm, Helsinki, Malta, Tallinn, Prague and Warsaw will be introduced.
Alitalia will also operate services from Milan Malpensa airport to non-EU destinations such as Cairo, Tunis, Moscow and Tirana, in addition to connections to Rome Fiumicino.
The international offer will be further enhanced, as early as 2013, with new flights from Rome Fiumicino to several international routes. Possible new destinations are: Nuremberg, Lviv, Bordeaux, Skopje, Zagreb, Sarajevo, Ankara, Marrakech, Misurata, Minsk, Basel, Marseille, Rostov, Pristina, Damascus, Erbil.
New pricing strategy and servicing
The safeguard and the development of the domestic and international market share will be ensured through a rethinking of pricing strategies to take into account and to attract not only those who choose a premium fare (the vast majority of Alitalia passengers today), but also price-sensitive customers, who, in any case, will be able to customise their travel experience by choosing additional services.
The new strategy also embraces other customer groups by offering dedicated initiatives. For example, young people (thanks to the already introduced JUMP ON-BOARD fares) and, soon, families and foreign nationals living in Italy.
2. STRATEGIC LINE: DEVELOPMENT OF INTERCONTINENTAL ACTIVITIES
The Strategic Plan 2013 – 2016 sees a strong projection on the intercontinental network.
Development of the long-haul fleet
To support the development of the intercontinental network, 6 long-haul aircraft are expected to be introduced into the Alitalia fleet, during the course of the Plan.
Various actions are needed in order to increase profitability of the current intercontinental routes. In October 2013, as part of a specific plan, the reconfiguration of 10 Airbus A330 aircraft part of the Alitalia fleet will commence and is expected to be completed by 2014.
The new configuration is the result of a research into the precise needs of the Italian air transport  market.
New long-haul routes with high potential
New long-haul routes with high traffic potential to/from Italy will be identified and introduced. The new routes will operate mainly from the hub of Rome Fiumicino and the airports of Milan Malpensa and Venice.
The new intercontinental destinations which may be introduced between Winter 2014 and Winter 2016 are Nairobi, Seoul, Santiago de Chile, San Francisco and Johannesburg from Rome. Shanghai, Abu Dhabi and Osaka from Milan Malpensa; Tokyo from Venice.
The launch of the new routes will be combined with the strengthening of the Alitalia presence through increased frequencies to North and South America (especially the United States and Brazil), Japan and the Arabian peninsula.
This process will boost the attractiveness of Rome Fiumicino as a national and intercontinental hub, with a strong and innovative trade policy to attract increasing volumes of passengers.
Strengthening of business partnerships with major companies
Parallel to the development of new long-haul routes served directly, Alitalia will expand its worldwide presence in countries which, are today insufficiently served, by strengthening existing commercial partnerships.
Thanks to the reinforcement of existing codesharing agreements, or through the development of new agreements, Italian passengers will be able to reach destinations throughout the world, even if not directly served by Alitalia.
Development of market share and of commercial activity abroad
Alitalia, as ambassador of Italy and of Italian excellence in the world, aims to increase its market share abroad and, in particular, in those countries where there is a strong presence of Italian communities, such as Canada, USA, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa and Australia.
At the same time, to further increase the flow of traffic to Italy, of both leisure and business travellers, Alitalia will strengthen its commercial network, already present in many worldwide countries.
The expansion of Alitalia abroad will be made possible by alliances and codesharing agreements.
ROME FIUMICINO RE-HUBBING PROJECT
An all-encompassing activity, which will fast forward the achievement of the objectives highlighted in the first two strategic lines of the 2013 – 2016 Industrial Plan, is the Re-Hubbing project of the Alitalia hub at Rome Fiumicino Airport, which will be launched in October for the Winter 2013 – 2014 timetable.
This process consists of the reorganization and optimization of the time slots for domestic, international and intercontinental flights departing from and arriving at Rome Fiumicino, with the aim of improving the quality of the service offered to passengers.
The change of the time slots for flights to/from Rome Fiumicino has been implemented in favour of both business passengers, who will benefit from flights to Italy and Europe with early morning departures and evening returns, and passengers departing from other Italian airports, who will be able to take advantage of more convenient connections in Rome Fiumicino to reach long-haul destinations, such as the Americas.
This reorganization will also guarantee significant benefits and economic advantages for Alitalia, thanks to a more efficient operational structure and use of flight and ground resources at the Rome Fiumicino hub.
3. STRATEGIC LINE: DEVELOPMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURE PARTNERSHIPS AND MORE ATTENTION TO THE INTERMODAL PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION (AIR AND RAIL)
It involves the identification of new partnerships and the strengthening of existing ones, with key infrastructure partners in Italy, such as, for example, airports.
The goal of these partnerships is to create synergies and improve customer satisfaction through increased efficiency of ground operations, joint development of network and infrastructures and the expansion of services which are not closely related to flight operations (parking or transfers to/from airports).
The Plan calls for another key element of future collaboration: the opportunity to introduce and develop appropriate intermodal connections between aviation and high speed rail.
A more efficient allocation of traffic between train and plane will allow to optimize the inputs of the Italian national production system.
4. STRATEGIC LINE: TURN ALITALIA LOYALTY INTO A SEPARATE BUSINESS BRINGING PROFITABILITY TO THE ENTIRE ALITALIA GROUP
This relates to Alitalia Loyalty, the new company of the Group, founded at the end of 2012, which deals with the development and the enhancement of the Alitalia MilleMiglia programme.
The main guidelines of the Plan relating to the operation of Alitalia Loyalty include: the push to increase the number of members of the MilleMiglia programme, the development of new ways to redeem miles on flights or other services, the creation of high value partnerships with leading financial and credit institutions, the entrance of the MilleMiglia programme in a coalition of many loyalty programs to increase the opportunities of earning and redeeming Alitalia miles, the development of new forms of communication and marketing towards MilleMiglia members.
ECONOMIC-FINANCIAL OBJECTIVES OF THE 2013 – 2016 PLAN
During the course of the four-year plan, with the implementation of all the expected industrial and financial measures, the Company plans to achieve the following economic results:
  • 2013: positive industry EBIT in the second semester, resulting from an improvement in industrial management
  • 2014: break-even operating margin
  • 2015: balanced budget
  • 2016: balance sheet profit
Concurrently, the following objectives have also to be achieved:
  • Increase the convertible shareholders loan by 55 million euros within December 2013
  • Increase the financial resources by 300 million euros in December 2013
THE NEW MISSION OF ALITALIA
The Industrial Plan provides that Alitalia refocuses on the values that have always distinguished the Company in Italy and in the rest of the world: the being Italian, the high quality service and the pride of belonging.
These elements define the new mission of the Company:
PROUD TO SHOW THE BEST OF OUR COUNTRY. WITH PASSION.
The new mission of Alitalia, which will be made as visible as possible to customers on planes and at airports, is, in a nutshell, the new spirit of Alitalia: a company that, with its highly recognizable tricolor tailfin and thanks to the passionate effort of all its employees, is the ambassador of the quality, the elegance and the typical Italian lifestyle that make Italy an icon in the world.
The first initiatives will address the re-branding of the three flight service classes, the improvement of on-board services, the new VIP Lounges and the new assistance service dedicated to passengers in transit at the airport hub of Rome Fiumicino.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Alitalia will concentrate on adding new, higher-yield long-range international routes. Boeing 777-243 ER I-DISA (msn 32855) climbs away from Tokyo (Narita).

Alitalia (2nd): AG Slide Show

Air One: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Air One will be rebranded, possibly as “Smart Carrier”. Air One’s Airbus A320-215 EI-DSK (msn 3328) taxies at the Milan (Malpensa) base in the 1995 color scheme.

Garuda Indonesia celebrates the arrival of its first Boeing 777-300 ER in Jakarta

Garuda Indonesia 777-300 PK-GIA (09)(Flt)(Garuda)(LR)

Garuda Indonesia (Jakarta) on June 27, 2013 took delivery of its first Boeing 777-3U3 ER (PK-GIA, msn 40074). Boeing and Garuda Indonesia are celebrating the delivery in Jakarta today. Boeing issued this statement:

Boeing and Garuda Indonesia celebrated the arrival of the airline’s first 777-300 ER (Extended Range) in Jakarta Tuesday (July 2).

The long-haul, twin-aisle airplane is the first of 10 777-300 ERs delivered to the airline and is a key component of the Garuda Indonesia’s Quantum Leap fleet revitalization program.

The airline configured its new 777-300 ERs with eight first-class suites, 38 business-class seats and 268 seats in economy class. The aircraft is also equipped with in-flight internet connectivity.

The airplane can fly up to 7,825 nautical miles (14,490 km). The 777-300 ERs are equipped with GE90-115B engines, the world’s most powerful commercial jet engine.

Copyright Image and Photo: Garuda Indonesia.

Garuda Indonesia FAs (Garuda)(LR)

Garuda Indonesia: AG Slide Show

Video:

American Airlines and Disney collaborate to promote “Disney Planes”

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and the Walt Disney Studios announced a strategic collaboration on the upcoming “Disney’s Planes” movie, including a cameo appearance by Tripp – inspired in part by American’s Boeing 777-300 ER, the newest addition to American’s fleet.

Video: CLICK HERE

Tripp dons the airline’s new look, complete with the company’s newly developed flight symbol and stripes on his tail for a special cameo appearance in the film.

American-Disney Planes Banner

“Disney is a global family brand and working with them gives us a fun opportunity to connect with families who know and love the iconic American Airlines brand,” said Rob Friedman, American’s Vice President – Marketing.  “Through this collaboration, we have a lot of great things planned for this summer, including exciting trip promotions and in-airport activities, so I encourage everyone to stay tuned.”

To kick off the excitement, American and Disney surprised customers traveling throughLos Angeles International Airport (LAX) with gate celebrations and giveaways, including special guest appearances by the film’s director Klay Hall and actor Carlos Alazraqui, who provides the voice of passionate racer El Chupacabra (El Chu) in the film.

In addition, American and Disney today premiered a special version of the “Disney’s Planes” trailer for LAX customers, as well as American’s new custom animated commercial directed by Hall, and developed in conjunction with McCann Worldgroup. In the spot, characters from the movie, including DustyEl Chu and Tripp, highlight American’s fleet modernization efforts with a comedic flare. American also held the inflight debut of the trailer and commercial spot onboard Flight #2442 from LAX to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW).

“Disney’s Planes” and Tripp soar into theaters nationwide beginning Aug. 9, 2013.  Leading up to the film’s release, the companies plan to roll out an integrated marketing effort, including collaborated advertising, promotions and inflight entertainment. American will also feature an inflight version of the movie in October, one month earlier than other airlines, as part of American’s continuing effort to provide customers with the latest and most exclusive content.

“Disney’s Planes” is an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (voice of Dane Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty‘s not exactly built for racing—and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helpsDusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty‘s courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar. “Disney’s Planes” takes off in theaters on Aug. 9, 2013.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

American Airlines completes Electronic Flight Bag (iPad) implementation

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has completed the successful rollout of its industry-leading Electronic Flight Bag program with the discontinuation of paper revisions to terminal charts, making it the first majorcommercial airline to fully utilize tablets in all cockpits during all phases of flight. In April, American completed testing on its Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft and has secured FAA approval to use the Apple iPad on all of its current fleet types – Boeing 777, 767, 757, 737 and MD-80.

An Electronic Flight Bag, which replaces more than 35 pounds of paper-based reference material and manuals that pilots often carried in their carry-on kitbag, offers numerous benefits for American and its pilots.

“Our Electronic Flight Bag program has a significant positive environmental and cost-savings impact,” said David Campbell, American’s Vice President – Safety and Operations Performance. “In fact, removing the kitbag from all of our planes saves a minimum of 400,000 gallons and $1.2 million of fuel annually based on current fuel prices. Additionally, each of the more than 8,000 iPads we have deployed to date replaces more than 3,000 pages of paper previously carried by every active pilot and instructor. Altogether, 24 million pages of paper documents have been eliminated.”

All American pilots now enjoy the benefits associated with replacing their heavy kitbags – one of the airline’s biggest sources of pilot injuries – with a 1.35-pound iPad. The digital format also requires less time to update each of the six or more paper manuals found in each pilot’s kitbag, as manual paper revisions take hours to complete every month, compared to the minutes it takes for electronic updates.

“Our focus on technological improvement throughout our operation has never been stronger as we continue to build the new American,” said Patrick O’Keeffe, American’s Vice President – Airline Operations Technology. “As the first major commercial airline to successfully complete the Electronic Flight Bag transition across its fleet, we are proud to count this among our other successful programs that provide the tools our people need to perform their duties safely and efficiently.”

As part of the Electronic Flight Bag program, American’s pilots use mobile software and data from Jeppesen, a unit of Boeing Digital Aviation. The FAA-approved Jeppesen Mobile Terminal Chart application is allowed for gate-to-gate use throughout all phases of flight and, with the exception of a few select documents, replaces paper operating manuals with up-to-date electronic information that is easier to access.

“We congratulate American Airlines on the success of its Electronic Flight Bag program,” said Jeppesen President Thomas Wede. “Working closely together on this program over several years, we take pride in American’s achievements as it continues to eliminate paper-based materials in the flight deck, reducing pilot workload and increasing operational efficiency in a competitive business environment.”

American and the Allied Pilots Association (APA) began working on the feasibility of using a tablet device as an Electronic Flight Bag in June 2010, and American was the first commercial airline to receive FAA approval to use a tablet during all phases of flight in December 2011 on its Boeing 777 fleet. American has worked closely with its pilots throughout all phases of development that led to the program’s full integration.

Beginning July 10, American Eagle Airlines pilots will have the option to use Apple iPads to access reference material and manuals, making American Eagle one of the first regional carriers to adopt Electronic Flight Bags.

Top Copyright Photo: Brian Peters/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-223 ER N782AN (msn 30003) arrives at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) hub.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

Technical Videos:

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

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

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

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

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

Korean Air: AG Slide Show

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

Qatar Airways orders nine additional Boeing 777-300 ERs, increases the Chicago route to daily service

Qatar Airways (Doha) and Boeing today announced agreements for nine Boeing 777-300 ER (Extended Range) airplanes at the 2013Paris Air Show.  The agreements include a firm order for two airplanes previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing Commercial Airplanes Orders and Deliveries website, plus a commitment for an additional seven airplanes. The total value of the agreement is $2.8 billion at current list prices.

The Doha-based airline currently operates 35 Boeing passenger and cargo 777s of various types, including 22 777-300ERs, nine 777-200LR (Longer Range) airplanes and four 777 Freighters.

The two firm airplanes give Qatar Airways a backlog of nine Boeing 777s. When the additional seven become firm, the backlog will rise to 16.

Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 125 aircraft to 128 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and The Americas.

Qatar Airways took delivery of its first Boeing 777 in November 2007. In September 2011, the airline received a 777-200LR that became the 100th airplane to join its fleet.

“It is a great honor to have Qatar Airways operate the 777 as its long-haul flagship aircraft,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The 777’s unrivaled economics and customer-preferred passenger experience make it a cornerstone of Qatar Airways’ success.”

The demand for the Boeing 777 led to an increased production rate of 8.3 per month — 100 airplanes per year — in February 2013. In the past three years, the 777 program has increased rate two times, first from five airplanes per month to seven in 2011, then to the current, all-time high rate of 8.3.

In other news, the flag carrier has announced  that effective on June 15, Qatar Airways has stepped up frequency on the Chicago – Doha route to daily flights ahead of the peak summer travel season.

As of May 2013, 1,105 777s have been delivered and a total of 1,452 have been ordered by 68 customers around the globe.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 777-3DZ ER A7-BAW (msn 41741) was handed over to the flag carrier on January 29, 2013.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

El Al’s stockholders approve the Fimi acquisition

El Al Israel Airlines‘ (Tel Aviv) stockholders have approved a 47 percent acquisition by Fimi Fund, a local Israeli investment fund. The airline issued this statement:

According to agreement signed by El A and the Fimi Fund in April, the Fund will invest up to $75 million in El Al and become a controlling group in the airline along with Knafaim.

According to the draft of the transaction, Fimi will invest up to $50 million by July 2013, and can extend completion of the transaction by two 45-day periods.

Fimi Fund’s commitment to complete the transaction is subject to several conditions, among them approval by El Al stockholders, which was accomplished on June 6.

The completion of the transaction is conditional on approvals by regulatory authorities and a signed agreement between El Al and its people on a new collective agreement whose terms are acceptable to Fimi.

On the financial side, El Al reported its first quarter profit declined to $37.9 million, down from $40.5 millionin the same quarter a year ago.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-258 ER 4X-ECD (msn 33169) climbs away from the runway Los Angeles International Airport.

El Al: AG Slide Show

Emirates launches a new route to Tokyo Haneda today

Emirates (Dubai) today (June 3) celebrated the start of its daily, nonstop service from Dubai to Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) with the launch of its inaugural flight. Haneda is the company’s third destination in Japan.

Emirates’ flight EK 312 departs Dubai at 0935, touching down at Haneda 0001 the following day. The return flight, EK 313, departs Haneda at 0130 and arrives at Dubai at 0705 the same day.

According to the airline, the Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft operating the route is equipped with eight luxurious private suites in First Class, 42 of its latest lie-flat seats in Business, and generous space for 216 passengers in Economy, along with gourmet cuisine in all cabins which has been tailored to Japanese passengers, served by Emirates’ multinational cabin crew.

The aircraft also features ice, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system which offers over 1,500 channels showing the latest Japanese blockbusters, subtitled Hollywood films and Japanese music and TV.

Emirates now operates services to 134 destinations in 77 countries from Dubai, earlier this year Emirates launched services to Warsaw and Algiers. In addition to Haneda, Emirates has announced plans to launch services to Stockholm starting 4 September, Clark International Airport (Philippines) beginning on 1 October; the same day as it begins its transatlantic route between Milan and New York.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-21H LR A6-EWD (msn 35577) touches down at Geneva.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Air France and KLM introduce WiFi on limited trans-Atlantic flights

Air France (Paris) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) on May 29 launched its first flight with WiFi services. KLM issued this statement:

On May 29 Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will operate their first inflight connectivity flights with Wi-Fi on board. The new service will allow customers to remain connected with the world by being able to send text messages and e-mails and surf the Internet during their flight. On our specially designed inflight website we also offer a broad range of free and up to date services including live television news and sports channels, relevant airline and destination information.

Online Access

In partnership with Panasonic Avionics, Air France and KLM will conduct a trial phase throughout the rest of 2013 on two Boeing 777-300s. During that time, customers can connect to the internet using their Wi-Fi enabled smartphones, laptops or tablets at a fixed rate and use their mobile phones for text messages or email, no matter what travel class they are in. The two Wi-Fi equipped aircraft will operate on several long-haul destinations during the trial.

Fares

During the pilot phase we will offer hourly and full-flight fees: EUR 10.95 per hour or EUR 19.95 for the full flight, applicable for all classes. These fees are in line with industry average. Travellers can pay for their internet access by credit card. Mobile phone usage (for text and data) will be billed to the phone users according to their own roaming agreements. Access to the inflight website will be free of charge.

Wireless service — whether the on-board portal or satellite internet — will commence once the flight has reached 20,000 feet, shortly after take-off.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. KLM’s Boeing 777-306 ER PH-BVD (msn 35979) in the SkyTeam livery powerfully climbs away from Paine Field near Everett.

Air France: AG Slide Show

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines: AG Slide Show

KLM WiFi logo (large)

Video:

AeroMexico avoids a strike today by its flight attendants

AeroMexico (Mexico City) today (June 1) avoided a strike by its flight attendants. According to Reuters, the ASSA union, which represents approximately 1,300 light attendants, had threatened a strike at midnight if it did not get a 5 percent salary increase.

The airline offered a 4.7 percent increase and the union agreed to the proposal averting a strike.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

In other news, the airline is planning to introduce its first Boeing 787 on October 1, 2013 from Mexico City to Moterrey according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Marcelo F. De Biasi/AirlinersGalley.com. Boeing 777-2Q8 ER N774AM (msn 28689) climbs away from Sao Paulo (Guarulhos) bound for the Mexico City hub.

AeroMexico: AG Slide Show

Video: AeroMexico commercial:

Historic Photo of the Day – May 25, 2013

Delta Air Lines Boeing 777-232 ER N864DA (msn 29736) (Soaring Spirit – Salt Lake City 2002) CDG (Christian Volpati). Image: 912048.

Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Historic Photo of the Day – May 24, 2013

Aeroflot Russian Airlines Boeing 777-2Q8 ER VP-BAS (msn 27607) LAX (Roy Lock). Image: 912236.

Copyright Photo: Roy Lock.

Aeroflot Russian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Frameable Color Prints and Posters: AG All Photos Available

 

WSJ: Update on the American Airlines-US Airways merger

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix) have circled August 31 as a target date for its possible merger approval pending any anti-trust concerns of the government. In the meantime, according to this Wall Street Journal update, 29 employee teams are currently analyzing differences between the two carriers and ways to integrate the merger process. This research will lead to a sequence of events once the approval is granted. CEO Parker and CEO Horton co-lead the transition team. The new American livery still remains an resolved issue for the possible new American.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE 

Copyright Photo: Brian Peters/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-323 ER N722AN (msn 31547) arrives at the DFW hub.

Video: What is it like to take delivery of a brand new Boeing 737-800:

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Air India considers selling all eight Boeing 777-200 LRs

Air India (Mumbai) is considering selling all eight of its Boeing 777-200 LRs (Longer Range) according to a report by Reuters. The airline is working with Boeing on the sale of the aircraft. The aircraft would be replaced with newer Boeing 787s.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-237 LR VT-ALD (msn 36303) climbs into the clear sky at Tokyo (Narita).

Air India: AG Slide Show

American launches Dallas/Fort Worth-Seoul (Incheon) service

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) today (May 9) launched daily nonstop service between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Incheon International Airport (ICN) in Seoul, South Korea.

The new service is operated as part of American’s joint business agreement with fellow oneworld®alliance member Japan Airlines-JAL (Tokyo).

The new route is operated with a Boeing 777-200 ER aircraft (above), featuring 16 Flagship Suite seats in First Class that transform into fully lie-flat 6-foot-6-inch beds with drop-down armrests. The aircraft will also feature inflight entertainment at every seat, including Korean movies and pop music (K-Pop), Hollywood movies (with Korean audio or subtitles), and games.

Daily DFW-ICN Service Schedule

AA 27

  • Departs DFW at 10:20 a.m. CT
  • Arrives at ICN at 2:50 p.m. KST the following day

AA 26

  • Departs ICN at 4:50 p.m. KST
  • Arrives at DFW at 4:05 p.m. CT the following day

Copyright Photo: Brian Peters. Boeing 777-223 ER N775AN (msn 29594) taxies at the large DFW hub.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

Austrian Airlines to add a leased Boeing 777-200 ER for eight years

Austrian Airlines (Vienna) is planning to add another long-range Boeing 777-200 ER aircraft to expand its international operations. The airline issued this statement:

At its meeting yesterday, the Supervisory Board of Lufthansa approved the Austrian Airlines Group the lease of an additional Boeing 777-200 ER amounting to about EUR 33 million. Austrian Airlines Group will lease the aircraft for a period of about eight years from an internationally renowned leasing company. The aircraft will be transferred to Austrian Airlines Group in spring next year. Before it is put into operation, it will be subject to a maintenance check in Vienna and equipped with the new long-haul cabin including the new modern Economy seats, the new in-flight entertainment system and the new Business Class seats which can be converted into completely flat beds. The new Boeing 777 is scheduled to take off on its first flight in the summer of 2014.

“The expansion of the airline’s long-haul offering is an integral part of the restructuring program launched in 2012“, says Austrian Airlines Chief Executive Officer Jaan Albrecht. “The long-haul market has growth potential, particularly destinations in Asia and North America. In this way we will secure our long-term competitiveness at the Vienna flight hub.”

At present the long-haul fleet of Austrian Airlines Group consists of ten wide-bodied aircraft, of which four are Boeing 777-200 aircraft and six are Boeing 767-300s. On the basis of the new Boeing 777, the Austrian Airlines Group long-haul fleet will be expanded to eleven aircraft. The most recent expansion of the long-haul fleet took place in 2007 when one Boeing 777 with the registration OE-LPD was added. The Boeing 777 is the world’s largest twinjet and has a capacity of over 300 passengers.

The airline is also upgrading its cabins on its long-hail aircraft and issued this statement:

After passing its test flight and subsequently receiving approval from the authorities, the last Boeing 777 to feature the all-new cabin, aircraft with the registration OE-LPB has been put into revenue service. This means the conversion of the Austrian Boeing 777 fleet is now complete.

A total of 1,232 new seats have been fitted in the four Boeing 777 aircraft to have been converted, 192 in Business Class and 1,040 in Economy Class. The new cabin on the Boeing 777 offers space for a total of 308 passengers. Sophisticated seat distribution allows four out of every five Business Class passengers direct access to the aisle.

The national carrier has now converted its entire Boeing 777 fleet, and two of its Boeing 767 aircraft. Some 1.1 million customers fly long-haul with Austrian Airlines every year, on 5,500 flights.

On the financial side, the Austrian Airlines Group reported an operating loss of $73.5 million for the first quarter. The group issued this statement:

The Austrian Airlines Group continued to make progress in its restructuring program, as shown by its financial performance indicators, in spite of a difficult first quarter related to the winter season. In spite of massive cost burdens to the amount of EUR seven million related to the airline ticket tax and fuel price increases, the country’s largest domestic airline succeeded in improving its operating result by EUR 11 million, or 16.4 percent from the prior-year quarter. Accordingly, Austrian Airlines posted an operating loss of minus EUR 56 million in the first quarter of 2013 (Q1 2012: minus EUR 67 million).

“Austrian Airlines had a tough opponent in the likes of Jack Frost. Winter-related flight cancellations and expensive de-icing unnecessarily burdened our efforts to get back into the black”, says Chief Executive Officer Jaan Albrecht. “We are in a substantially better position than in the previous year, though our performance is slightly below our expectations. Nevertheless, I am optimistic that we will already achieve a turnaround this year”, he adds.

Total operating revenues declined slightly in the first quarter of 2013, down 1.3 percent to EUR 458 million (Q1 2012: EUR 464 million). Operating expenditures also fell by 3.2 percent, from EUR 531 million to EUR 514 million, an indication that the cost reduction measures have begun to take hold. On balance, the airline posted an operating loss of minus EUR 56 million in the first three months of the year. There were no one-off effects in the first quarter.

The number of passengers carried by the Austrian Airlines Group decreased by 2.7 percent to approximately 2.3 million in the period January to March 2013, which can be attributed to the streamlined fleet. As a consequence of optimized fine-tuning, capacity utilization (= passenger load factor) improved by 3.3 percentage points to 74 percent.

The number of people employed by the Austrian Airlines Group totaled 6,265 employees as at the quarterly balance sheet date of March 31, 2013 (December 31, 2012: 6,236 employees). In 2012/13, about 150 people were hired for positions as flight attendants, ground crew and pilots.

Austrian Airlines launched a comprehensive restructuring program at the beginning of 2012 designed to enhance the airline’s competitiveness and profitability. The focal point of the initiative was the successful transfer of flight operations to its subsidiary Tyrolean Airways effective July 1, 2012. This step served to bundle flight operations, which in turn enabled the elimination of redundancies in flight administration. A corresponding program is currently being implemented in 2013. The harmonization of the fleet for European flights was successfully concluded at the end of March. Eleven Boeing 737 aircraft were taken out of flight operations, whereas seven Airbus 320 aircraft were added to the fleet.

In October 2012, Austrian Airlines also launched a product campaign on its long-haul flights. All Boeing 767 and 777 aircrafts will be equipped with new, modern cabins, new Economy Class seats, new horizontal full-flat Business Class seats and a new in-flight entertainment system by September 2013. Five aircraft have already been remodeled. Investments related to the redesigning of the interiors of all the aircraft will amount to more than EUR 90 million. Moreover, as of May 17, 2013, Austrian Airlines has added the Chicago route to its destinations. As a result, the number of flight connections to North America has been increased to 26. The forecast for bookings to Chicago show capacity utilization of over 80 percent.

Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom. Boeing 777-2Z9 ER OE-LPC (msn 29313) lands at New York (JFK).

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Qatar Airways is coming to Philadelphia

Qatar Airways (Doha) has announced it will start a new nonstop route from Doha to Philadelphia with Boeing 777s. Qatar is expanding its relationship with American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and PHL is a future AA hub city. Philadelphia will become the carrier’s fifth U.S. destination and service will commence on March 1, 2014. Charlotte and Miami are likely to see future Qatar service.

Additionally the flag carrier will add a new route to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on September 18 followed by Clark International Airport (near Manila) starting on October 28.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. A beautiful banking shot of Boeing 777-2DZ LR A7-BBC (msn 36015) at Washington (Dulles).

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Reuters: Boeing to offer the longest range airliner with the proposed 777-8X and a 400-seat 777-9X

Boeing logo

Boeing (Chicago) according to Reuters, is offering a new 777-8X model that would have a range of 9,500 nautical miles. The 777-8X is a proposed replacement for the current 777-200LR (Longer Range).

A 400 seat version, dubbed the 777-9X, is being offered to prospective airlines as a competitor to Airbus’ A350-1000.

Both models are being refined with input from the prospective airlines. The biggest customers will come from the Gulf region where range is important.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

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