Air Canada (Montreal) on October 26 will introduce the new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on the Toronto (Pearson)-Copenhagen route. The new aircraft will operate three days a week replacing a Boeing 767-300 ER until December 31 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 C-GHPT (msn 35258) is parked between flights at the Toronto (Pearson) hub.
Air Canada (Montreal) today reported second quarter adjusted net income (1) of $139 million (all amounts in Canadian dollars) or $0.47 per diluted share compared to adjusted net income of $115 million or $0.41 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2013, an improvement of $24 million or 21 per cent. EBITDAR (1) (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and impairment, and aircraft rent) amounted to $456 million compared to EBITDAR of $385 million in the second quarter of 2013. On a GAAP basis, Air Canada reported net income of $223 million or $0.75 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2014 compared to a net loss of $23 million or $0.09 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2013. Air Canada’s second quarter 2014 EBITDAR and GAAP net income results included favourable tax-related provision adjustments of $41 million. These provisions are excluded from Air Canada’s adjusted (net income and CASM) results.
“I am pleased to report that Air Canada delivered its best second quarter financial performance in the Corporation’s history, surpassing last year’s records in all three measures of operating income, adjusted net income and EBITDAR,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer. These results underline the significant incremental progress being achieved through our various value-enhancing strategies, as they continue to be implemented.
“In addition to seeing good year-over-year revenue growth in all of our five markets, we have also seen a marked increase in the number of international and U.S.-originating customers choosing Air Canada for their global travel plans. Investments by Air Canada and our industry partners to provide a seamless transfer experience at Canada’s major hubs are starting to show results. The performance of Air Canada rougeTM has exceeded expectations and allows Air Canada to now compete more effectively in leisure markets on a more cost effective basis. Combined with Air Canada’s other cost transformation strategies, adjusted CASM decreased 4.7 per cent from the previous year’s quarter.
“During the quarter, Air Canada took delivery of the first two of 37 firm orders for the Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft and a third since, in July (above). The renewal of our international fleet with these next-generation aircraft will provide us with significant improvements in fuel efficiency and allow us to offer customers superior comfort and amenities. We look forward to realizing the full benefits of our international fleet renewal as new aircraft enter the mainline fleet.
“I am especially pleased that once again international air travellers surveyed by the independent UK-based research firm, Skytrax, selected Air Canada as Best Airline in North America for the fifth year in a row. This honour recognizes the professionalism of our employees and their commitment to taking care of our customers, as well as our investment in providing an award-winning product on board our aircraft and on the ground.
“Looking ahead, we remain focused on maintaining the momentum to transform Air Canada into an increasingly profitable company for our shareholders and employees, and executing on our four core priorities: cost transformation, international growth, customer engagement and culture change,” concluded Mr. Rovinescu.
Second Quarter Income Statement Highlights
System passenger revenues amounted to $2,965 million, an increase of $208 million or 7.5 per cent from the second quarter of 2013, on a 9.9 per cent growth in traffic as yield declined 2.1 per cent year-over-year. Average stage length, on a system-basis, increased 2.5 percent from the same quarter of 2013 and had the effect of reducing yield by 1.5 percentage points. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) decreased 0.8 per cent from the same quarter in 2013 on the lower yield as passenger load factor improved 1.1 percentage points. In the second quarter of 2014, system premium cabin revenues increased $14 million or 2.4 per cent on yield growth of 3.6 per cent partly offset by a traffic decline of 1.2 per cent.
Operating expenses amounted to $3,060 million, an increase of $177 million or 6 per cent from the second quarter of 2013 on an 8.5 per cent increase in capacity. Included in Other operating expenses in the second quarter of 2014 were favourable tax-related provision adjustments of $41 million. The unfavourable impact of a weaker Canadian dollar on foreign currency denominated operating expenses (mainly U.S. dollars), when compared to same quarter in 2013, increased operating expenses by $110 million. This unfavourable currency impact on operating expenses was partially offset by a favourable currency impact on passenger revenues of $70 million.
Air Canada’s adjusted cost per available seat mile (adjusted CASM(1)), which excludes fuel expense, the cost of ground packages at Air Canada VacationsTM and unusual items, decreased 4.7 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2013. The 4.7 per cent reduction in adjusted CASM surpassed the adjusted CASM decrease of 3.5 to 4.5 per cent projected in Air Canada’s news release dated May 15, 2014, largely the result of ASM capacity coming at the top end of the expected range and a slight improvement in the value of the Canadian dollar versus what Air Canada assumed in its May 15, 2014 projections.
In the second quarter of 2014, Air Canada recorded operating income of $245 million compared to operating income of $174 million in the second quarter of 2013, an improvement of $71 million. Air Canada’s second quarter 2014 operating income results included favourable tax-related provision adjustments of $41 million.
Financial and Capital Management Highlights
At June 30, 2014, unrestricted liquidity (cash, short-term investments and undrawn lines of credit) amounted to $2,954 million (June 30, 2013 – $2,139 million). Air Canada’s principal objective in managing liquidity risk is to maintain a minimum unrestricted liquidity level of $1.7 billion.
In April 2014, Air Canada completed a private offering of US$400 million of 7.75 per cent senior unsecured notes due 2021 and received net proceeds of approximately $432 million.
At June 30, 2014, adjusted net debt (1) amounted to $4,309 million, a decrease of $42 million from December 31, 2013. The airline’s adjusted net debt to EBITDAR ratio was 2.9 at June 30, 2014 versus a ratio 3.0 at December 31, 2013. Air Canada uses this ratio to manage its financial leverage risk and its objective is to maintain the ratio below 3.5.
In the second quarter of 2014, free cash flow (1) reflected a decline of $183 million from the second quarter of 2013, reflecting primarily the acquisition of two Boeing 787 aircraft.
For the 12 months ended June 30, 2014, return on invested capital (ROIC (1)) was 11.0 per cent versus 8.8 per cent for the 12 months ended June 30, 2013. Air Canada’s goal is to achieve a sustainable ROIC of 10 to 13 per cent by 2015.
Based on actuarial valuations completed in the second quarter of 2014, the aggregate solvency surplus in Air Canada’s domestic registered pension plans as at January 1, 2014 was $89 million whereas the solvency deficit at January 1, 2013 was $3.7 billion. The elimination of the $3.7 billion deficit and the surplus generated were largely the result of the following factors: (i) a 13.8 per cent return on investments during 2013, (ii) the implementation of pension benefit amendments which decreased the solvency deficit by approximately $970 million, (iii) contributions made by Air Canada in respect of 2013 of $225 million in respect of the solvency deficit and (iv) the application of a prescribed discount rate of 3.9 per cent to calculate its future pension obligations. Refer to section 9.7 “Pension Funding Obligations” of Air Canada’s 2013 MD&A dated February 12, 2014 for additional information on Air Canada’s pension funding obligations.
For the third quarter of 2014, Air Canada expects its system ASM capacity, as measured by available seat miles (ASMs), to increase in the range of 9.0 to 10.0 per cent when compared to the third quarter of 2013.
Air Canada now expects its full year 2014 system ASM capacity to increase in the range of 7.0 to 8.0 per cent (as opposed to the 6.5 to 8.0 per cent growth projected in Air Canada’s news release dated May 15, 2014) and its full year domestic ASM capacity to increase in the range of 4.0 to 5.0 per cent when compared to 2013 (as opposed to 3.0 to 4.0 per cent growth projected in Air Canada’s news release dated May 15, 2014). The projected system capacity increase is expected to be achieved at a unit cost which is below historical levels. The change in projected domestic ASM capacity is primarily driven by the use of larger aircraft on transcontinental routes in support of the airline’s international expansion strategy.
Air Canada expects the ASM capacity growth to be comprised of an increase in the total number of seats dispatched (system) in the third quarter and full year 2014 in the range of 6.5 to 7.5 per cent and 5.0 to 6.0 per cent, respectively, when compared to same periods in 2013.
For the third quarter of 2014, Air Canada expects adjusted CASM to decrease in the range of 3.5 to 4.5 per cent when compared to the third quarter of 2013.
Taking into account Air Canada’s adjusted CASM performance in the second quarter of 2014, for the full year 2014, Air Canada now expects adjusted CASM to decrease in the range of 3.2 to 4.2 per cent from the full year 2013 (as opposed to the 3.0 to 4.0 per cent decrease projected in Air Canada’s news release dated May 15, 2014).
Air Canada’s outlook assumes Canadian GDP growth of 2.0 to 2.5 per cent for 2014. Air Canada also expects that the Canadian dollar will trade, on average, at C$1.08 per U.S. dollar in the third quarter of 2014 and C$1.09 for the full year 2014 and that the price of jet fuel will average 90 cents per litre for the third quarter of 2014 and 91 cents per litre for the full year 2014.
1) Adjusted net income (loss) and adjusted net income (loss) per share – diluted are non-GAAP financial measures. Refer to section 16 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s Second Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(2) EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, impairment and aircraft rent) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 16 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s Second Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(3) Unrestricted liquidity refers to the sum of cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and the amount of available credit under Air Canada’s revolving credit facilities. At June 30, 2014, unrestricted liquidity was comprised of cash and short-term investments of $2,615 million and undrawn lines of credit of $339 million. At June 30, 2013, unrestricted liquidity was comprised of cash and short-term investments of $2,107 million and undrawn lines of credit of $32 million.
(4) Free cash flow (cash flows from operating activities less additions to property, equipment and intangible assets) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 7.5 “Consolidated Cash Flow Movements” of Air Canada’s Second Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(5) Adjusted net debt (total debt less cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments plus capitalized operating leases) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 7.3 “Adjusted Net Debt” of Air Canada’s Second Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(6) Return on invested capital (“ROIC”) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 16 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s Second Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information
(7) Operating statistics (except for average number of FTE employees) include third party carriers (such as Jazz Aviation LP (“Jazz”) and Sky Regional Airlines Inc. (“Sky Regional”) operating under capacity purchase agreements with Air Canada.
(8) Adjusted CASM is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 16 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s Second Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(9) Reflects FTE employees at Air Canada. Excludes FTE employees at third party carriers (such as Jazz and Sky Regional) operating under capacity purchase agreements with Air Canada.
(10) Average stage length is calculated by dividing the total number of available seat miles by the total number of seats dispatched.
(11) Includes fuel handling expenses. Economic fuel price per litre is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to sections 4 and 5 “Results of Operations” of Air Canada’s Second Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(12) Revenue passengers are counted on a flight number basis which is consistent with the IATA definition of revenue passengers carried.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 C-GHPQ (msn 35257) departs from the Toronto (Pearson) hub.
Air New Zealand (Auckland) will launch its first Boeing 787-9 revenue flight on August 9 between Auckland and Sydney operating as flights NZ 103 and NZ 104. ANZ plans to begin long-haul Boeing 787-9 service on the Auckland-Perth route on October 15.
Top Copyright Photo: Daniel Gorun/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-9 ZK-NZE (msn 34334) departs from Paine Field near Everett.
Did you know?
United Airlines (Chicago) has converted seven of its remaining Boeing 787-8 orders to the larger 787-10 model according to Flightglobal citing a stock exchange filing. The first 787-10 will be delivered in 2018.
Meanwhile the airline will take delivery of its first 787-9 (N38950) later this month.
The 787-10s will replace older Boeing 767-4000 ERs and 777-200s.
United now has 26 787-9s and 27 787-10s on order.
Torn between the two manufacturers, United also has the Airbus A350-1000 on order.
Copyright Photo: Bjoern Schmitt/AirlinersGallery.com. United currently has 11 of the smaller 787-8 Dreamliners in service. Boeing 787-8 N27903 (msn 34823) departs the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Air India (Mumbai) will now introduce the Boeing 787 on the daily Mumbai-Chennai-Singapore route on August 24 (moved up from October 25). The 787-8 will replace an Airbus A330-200 on the route per Airline Route.
Air India took delivery of its 16th Boeing 787-8 (VT-ANQ) on July 17, 2014. The aircraft departed Charleston on July 20, 2014 and arrived in Delhi on the following day.
As an example of what Air India has to deal with in India, Air India cannot sell 51 seats on its daily flight from Mumbai to Newark according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The culprit? Giant billboards at the end of runway (that would not be tolerated in the West) force the carrier to lighten the load and losing revenue in the process.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 VT-ANN (msn 36285) arrives at London (Heathrow).
ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) announced that it will launch scheduled services to three domestic Japanese destinations using the latest stretched version of the Boeing Dreamliner, the 787-9, from August 7. The plane, in 395-seat configuration, will be introduced progressively on routes between Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and Fukuoka, Osaka (Itami) and Matsuyama as ANA becomes the first airline in the world to operate the scheduled flight of 787-9.
In addition to the first 787-9 going into service in August, ANA is scheduled to take delivery of a further two aircraft in the fiscal year ending March 2015. For the launch of international services, ANA has opted for the 215-seat version of the long-range aircraft – 46 seats more than the existing Boeing 787-8 currently used on international long-haul routes.
The 787-9 is engineered for greater fuel economy than 787-8, while also ensuring approximately 20% more seating and cargo capacity and will help ANA achieve expansion into new markets.
ANA will focus on utilizing the 395-seat version of the 787-9 on major domestic routes to maximize passenger numbers, while also lowering operational costs.
On ANA’s international network, the plan is to utilize the 787-9 to increase capacity on some long-haul routes to Europe, North America and other key destinations which are at present served by the smaller 787-8 or to replace larger aircraft currently operating the routes. This will help ANA to maximize commercial returns, stabilize operating costs and enhance its ability to win more passengers and bigger cargo demand.
ANA is determined to take maximum advantage of the competitive edge provided by the outstanding fuel efficiency of the Boeing 787 to accelerate its growth and make the airline stronger.
Boeing 787-9 Schedules:
Update: As planned, on August 4, ANA operated the world’s first passenger Boeing 787-9 flight when the pictured JA830A flew a sightseeing trip from Tokyo (Haneda) and with 171 Japanese and American elementary school students residing in Japan as part of the TOMODACHI Initiative.
Read the full story from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE
Update: ANA became the first airline in the world to place the Boeing 787-9 into scheduled revenue service on August 7. Boeing 787-9 JA830A, their first of the stretched Dreamliner, inaugurated operations on the Tokyo (Haneda) – Fukuoka route according to ZipanguFlyer.
Read the full story from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo; Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. The first Boeing 787-9 for ANA (JA830A).
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has announced that final assembly of the 787-10, the newest and longest member of the 787 Dreamliner family of airplanes, will take place exclusively in North Charleston, South Carolina.
Boeing will continue to assemble both 787-8s and 787-9s in Everett, Washington, and North Charleston. Design of the 787-10 is underway in Everett, with final assembly of the first 787-10 scheduled to begin in South Carolina in 2017.
“We looked at all our options and found the most efficient and effective solution is to build the 787-10 at Boeing South Carolina,” said Larry Loftis, vice president and general manager, 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “This will allow us to balance 787 production across the North Charleston and Everett sites as we increase production rates. We’re happy with our growth and success in South Carolina, and the continued success at both sites gives us confidence in our plan going forward.”
The 787-10 will be 18 feet (5.5 meters) longer than the 787-9. With 10 feet (3 meters) of that increase in the midbody section, the 787-10 midbody is too long to be transported efficiently from North Charleston, where systems integration work is performed, to the Everett facility for final assembly. In addition, introducing the 787-10 in North Charleston takes advantage of that facility’s capacity while allowing the Everett facility to continue improving productivity as it focuses on the 787-8 and 787-9.
The 787 production system includes three production lines: two in Everett (including a temporary surge line) and one in South Carolina. The integrated production system currently operates at a production rate of 10 airplanes per month. As announced last year, the 787 production rate will increase to 12 airplanes per month in 2016 and 14 per month by the end of the decade.
The Everett facility will continue to assemble seven airplanes per month, while Boeing South Carolina final assembly will gradually increase from three 787s per month today to five per month in 2016 and seven per month by the end of the decade.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner family of airplanes offers airlines unmatched fuel efficiencies and environmental performance, while providing a new level of comfort for passengers through the thoughtful application of new technologies. To date, the 787 family has won more than 1,000 orders and more than 165 airplanes have been delivered to 21 customers worldwide.
The 787-10 will leverage 787 technology to provide more passenger and cargo capacity along with unparalleled seat-mile economics in the medium twin-aisle market. Since its launch in June 2013, the 787-10 has won 132 orders from six global customers.
Copyright Photo: Arisara Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 787-8 production line at North Charleston, SC (CHS).
United Airlines (Chicago) has issued a new safety video with this message:
We’re onboarding a new safety video. Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and employees, so we’ve incorporated creative elements to maintain the interest of even our most frequent flyers flight after flight. Underscoring the message that safety is global, the video showcases locations throughout United’s broad route network.
Copyright Photo: Boeing 787-8 N26906 (msn 34829) taxies to the gate at Los Angeles.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) (Tokyo) yesterday (July 28) celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 787-9 Dreamliner.
ANA will become the world’s first airline to operate both the 787-8 and 787-9 variants of the Dreamliner family when the airline launches 787-9 services on domestic Japanese routes in August.
With this delivery, ANA will have 29 787s in its fleet, more than any other operator in the world.
The 787-9 complements and extends the 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters) over the 787-8, the 787-9 will fly up to 40 more passengers an additional 450 nautical miles (830 kilometers) with the same exceptional environmental performance – 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes.
ANA has 29 more 787-9s on order with commitments for 14 more. Sixty customers from around the world have ordered more than 1,000 787s, with more than 160 currently in operation.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-9 N1792B (msn 34522) became JA830A on the handover.
ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) will become the world’s first airline to operate the new stretched version of the Boeing Dreamliner when it launches services on domestic Japanese routes in August with the 787-9 variant of the aircraft.
Deliveries to ANA of the 787-9, an extended fuselage model of the aircraft, from Boeing’s Everett site in Washington are due to begin on July 27. The first aircraft will arrive in Tokyo on July 29. The aircraft achieves even better fuel economy than the 787-8, recording an improvement of 23% (*1), and also has approximately 20% more seating and cargo capacity (*2), resulting in a further reduction in operating costs. The aircraft will contribute to the continued expansion of ANA’s business, particularly in its international network.
In advance of bringing the plane into scheduled commercial service, ANA is going to operate a special commemorative flight for the ‘Dreamliner’ on August 4, 2014. ANA will fly Japanese and American elementary school children living in Japan on a flight for the next generation of air passengers. The aircraft will fly from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport to fly over Mount Fuji, one of Japan’s best known landmarks and newest World Heritage Site. The TOMODACHI logo will be displayed on the new aircraft, in support of the initiative to strengthen Japanese-US ties.
About the TOMODACHI logo:
ANA signed the sponsorship agreement in 2012 for the public-private partnership TOMODACHI Initiative led by the US Embassy in Japan and the US-Japan Council to strengthen US-Japan ties. An opportunity was created to promote these principles and expand these activities by displaying the TOMODACHI logo on three aircraft to fly on routes between the US and Japan.
While the aircraft is expected to show lower operating costs and improved environmental performance as a result of even better fuel economy, the 787-9, like the 787-8, makes use of state-of-the-art technology to provide customers with a new level of in-flight comfort through innovations such as improved cabin humidity, reduced discomfort from cabin pressure changes, and larger windows and luggage storages.
ANA’s first 787-9 will be delivered with domestic route specifications and will be equipped with 395 seats, 60 more than the 787-8 when flown on domestic routes. The aircraft will begin service on domestic routes from August onwards and, from the next fiscal year beginning in April, 2015, ANA will introduce the new aircraft on international routes. ANA was the launch customer for the Dreamliner and is the world’s biggest operator of the 787, having ordered a total of 80 aircraft, including 36 787-8s (28 already delivered) and 44 787-9s.
The fuel savings achieved from the 787 aircraft already in service are sufficient to operate 500 round trips from Tokyo to Frankfurt and are reducing CO2 emissions by 150,000 tons a year. When all 80 Dreamliners are in operation, the CO2 reduction will be 450,000 tons, with enough fuel saved to operate 1,400 round trips to Frankfurt.
The introduction of this new, advanced aircraft will accelerate ANA’s growth strategy including the development of new routes and increased flight frequencies on existing routes, enabling ANA to serve passengers better and making it even more competitive.
(*1) The fuel economy comparison is based on the Boeing 767-300 ER
(*2) The seat number comparison is based on the number of seats in cabins fitted for domestic routes.
The cargo comparison is based on the cargo capacity by weight.
ANA CEO’s statement on the reliability and performance of the new 787 batteries:
A year has passed since we recommenced regular flights of Boeing 787 on June 1 of last year with a comprehensive battery strategy after the emergency landing of ANA Flight 692 at Takamatsu Airport on January 16 of last year.
Since then we have operated approximately 26,000 flights with over 4.7 million passengers and about 100,000 tons of cargo and mail. Regarding the renovated batteries, we have monitored their operating conditions on a daily basis and regularly removed them from the aircraft for inspection. We have confirmed that they are operating normally.
The ANA Group is making every effort to ensure safe flight operations in order to provide peace of mind to our customers. We look forward to serving you on board the comfortable and environmentally friendly 787.
President & CEO
All Nippon Airways, Co. Ltd.
June 2, 2014
On-Time Reliability of the 787 versus the 777 and 767:
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com (click on the photo for the full size view). Boeing 787-9 N1792B (msn 34522) will become JA830A on the handover.
LAN Airlines (Chile) (Santiago) will resume Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner service on the Santiago-Lima-Los Angeles route on October 14. The 787 will replace a Boeing 767-300 on a daily basis per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Alvaro Romero/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 CC-BBA (msn 38471) prepares to land at the Santiago de Chile base (SCL).
United Airlines (UAL) (Chicago) today reported second quarter 2014 net income of $919 million, an increase of 51 percent year-over-year, or $2.34 per diluted share, excluding $130 million of special items. Including special items, UAL reported second quarter 2014 net income of $789 million, or $2.01 per diluted share.
United’s consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 3.7 percent in the second quarter of 2014 compared to the second quarter of 2013.
Second-quarter 2014 consolidated unit costs (CASM), excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, decreased 0.2 percent year-over-year on a consolidated capacity reduction of 0.1 percent. Second-quarter 2014 CASM, including those items, increased 2.2 percent year-over-year.
The company generated $1.5 billion of operating cash flow in the second quarter of 2014.
UAL ended the second quarter with $6.8 billion in unrestricted liquidity.
The company earned a 10.3 percent return on invested capital for the 12 months ended June 30, 2014.
UAL’s Board of Directors authorized a $1.0 billion share repurchase program, which the company expects to complete within the next three years.
“I am encouraged by the solid progress we made in the second quarter. Our team is focused on improving our operations and service and on continuing to improve year-over-year revenue performance and cost control,” said Jeff Smisek, UAL’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “The $1 billion share repurchase program we announced today demonstrates our progress and commitment to increasing value for our shareholders and the confidence we have in our plan.”
Second-Quarter Revenue and Capacity
For the second quarter of 2014, total revenue was $10.3 billion, an increase of 3.3 percent year-over-year. Second-quarter consolidated passenger revenue increased 3.6 percent to $9.0 billion, compared to the same period in 2013. Ancillary revenue per passenger in the second quarter increased 7.9 percent year-over-year to more than $21 per passenger. Second-quarter cargo revenue decreased 1.7 percent versus the second quarter of 2013 to $232 million. Other revenue in the second quarter increased 1.7 percent year-over-year to $1.1 billion.
Consolidated revenue passenger miles increased 0.6 percent and consolidated available seat miles decreased 0.1 percent year-over-year for the second quarter, resulting in a second-quarter consolidated load factor of 85.3 percent.
Second-quarter 2014 consolidated PRASM increased 3.7 percent and consolidated yield increased 3.0 percent compared to the second quarter of 2013. The company’s consolidated domestic PRASM, including both mainline and regional flying, increased 5.6 percent year-over-year.
“We are beginning to see the benefits of the changes we’re implementing to our network and revenue management processes,” said Jim Compton, UAL’s vice chairman and chief revenue officer. “We have more work to do, however, and will continue to make the appropriate adjustments to accelerate our revenue growth.”
Second-quarter consolidated CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expense, fuel and profit sharing, decreased 0.2 percent compared to the second quarter of 2013. Second-quarter consolidated CASM, including those items, increased 2.2 percent year-over-year. The company’s strong cost performance in the quarter was largely driven by execution on its cost-savings initiatives, as well as by the timing of certain expenses moving to the second half of the year.
Second-quarter total operating expenses, excluding special charges, increased $75 million, or 0.8 percent, year-over-year. Including special charges, total operating expenses increased $192 million, or 2.1 percent, in the second quarter versus the same period in 2013. Third-party business expense was $215 million in the second quarter of 2014.
Second-Quarter Liquidity and Cash Flow
UAL ended the second quarter with $6.8 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $1.0 billion of undrawn commitments under a revolving credit facility. The company generated $1.5 billion of operating cash flow in the second quarter. During the second quarter, the company had gross capital expenditures of $871 million, excluding fully reimbursable projects. The company made debt and capital lease principal payments of $333 million in the second quarter. For the 12 months ended June 30, 2014, the company’s return on invested capital was 10.3 percent.
The company’s long-term capital structure goals include reducing its non-aircraft related debt and achieving a total gross debt balance, including capitalized operating leases, of approximately $15 billion while maintaining an unrestricted liquidity balance of $5 billion to $6 billion, including its undrawn revolver.
Share Repurchase Program
UAL’s Board authorized a $1.0 billion share repurchase program, which the company expects to complete within the next three years. This amount represents approximately 6 percent of the company’s market capitalization as of yesterday’s closing stock price. Additionally, in the second quarter, the company spent $62 million to retire convertible debt that would have converted into approximately 1.5 million shares of UAL common stock.
“We have laid a sound financial foundation over the last few years by paying off debt and investing in our business. Our earnings profile, coupled with measured capital expenditures and manageable debt maturities, enable us to take this initial step toward returning cash to our shareholders,” said John Rainey, UAL’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “This action helps us achieve a more balanced allocation of our cash flow.”
UAL may repurchase shares through the open market, privately negotiated transactions, block trades, or accelerated share repurchase transactions from time to time in accordance with applicable securities laws. UAL will repurchase shares of common stock subject to prevailing market conditions and may discontinue such repurchases at any time.
Second-Quarter 2014 Accomplishments
Operations, Employees and Network
United Airlines reported a second-quarter mainline on-time arrival rate (domestic and international) of 76.4 percent, adversely affected by multi-month runway closures in its San Francisco and Newark hubs. The on-time arrival rate is based on flights arriving within 14 minutes of scheduled arrival time.
The company reached a joint collective bargaining agreement with the Professional Airline Flight Control Association (PAFCA) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) for United’s dispatchers. The dispatchers subsequently ratified the new agreement.
The company began a facilitated negotiations process with the Association of Flight Attendants and held further discussions in advance of scheduled mediation with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, representing United’s technicians.
United expanded its industry-leading global route network, launching nonstop flights from Houston to Munich; Newark to Santiago, Dominican Republic; and new seasonal service between Chicago and Edinburgh, Scotland, and from Washington, D.C., to both Madrid and Nassau, Bahamas. The company continued to develop its industry-leading Pacific gateway in San Francisco by launching service to Chengdu, China, and announcing service to Tokyo’s Haneda airport. The company also announced new service from Houston to Santiago, Chile, and announced new routes from Chicago to Belize City, Belize; Denver to Panama City; Houston to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and San Francisco to Kelowna, British Columbia. The airline announced nine new domestic markets and launched 14 new domestic routes in the second quarter, including United’s first service to Atlantic City, N.J.; Bangor, Maine; Pueblo, Colorado; and St. Cloud, Minnesota.
Finance and Fleet
United raised $949 million of debt financing through enhanced equipment trust certificates at a blended rate of 4.13 percent. The debt proceeds are being used to finance the acquisition of 13 Boeing 737-900 ERs, nine Embraer 175s, two Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners and one Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
The company took delivery of 10 Boeing 737-900 ERs and one 787-8 Dreamliner, and also exited from scheduled service nine 757-200s during the quarter.
The company introduced seven highly efficient Embraer 175 aircraft to the United Express fleet. The modern and spacious 76-seat aircraft is the newest addition to the United Express fleet, enabling the airline to offer an improved regional jet experience. These aircraft will largely replace less-efficient 50-seat regional jets, and the company expects to reduce its 50-seat regional jet fleet by 38 aircraft by the end of the year.
United continued installing slimmer, next-generation economy-class seats on certain aircraft, which enables one to two additional rows per aircraft. The airline now offers these seats, which are 10 to 15 percent lighter than the seats they are replacing, on approximately 240 aircraft.
Flyer-Friendly Product, Loyalty Program and Facilities
The company now offers Wi-Fi on more than 290 aircraft, including its entire Airbus fleet, and expects to have more than 450 Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft by the end of 2014.
United began installing its new personal device entertainment system on select aircraft, enabling customers to choose from more than 150 movies and nearly 200 television shows and watch them on their laptops or iOS devices.
United launched its all-new mobile application for the Android platform, offering innovative new features, smoother functionality and an improved touch-friendly design. The new Android app follows the airline’s redesign of its mobile app for the iOS platform.
United announced its 2015 MileagePlus program. Members will earn award miles based on ticket price – specifically the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges – and MileagePlus status, rather than distance flown.
United consolidated its London Heathrow operation into one terminal in the new Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal. United’s 22 Star Alliance partners serving Heathrow are progressively moving to Terminal 2, enabling faster, more convenient connections for customers. United operates more daily flights to Heathrow than any other U.S. carrier.
The company unveiled a new 10-gate, 97,000-square-foot concourse in Boston Logan International Airport’s Terminal B that offers modern conveniences that streamline the airport experience, including self-tagging baggage kiosks, automated self-boarding gates and a new customer service center.
The airline opened new United Clubs at London Heathrow, Boston and San Francisco, featuring the latest airport lounge design concept that it unveiled at United Clubs in Chicago, San Diego and Seattle. The company also opened a new United Global First Lounge in London, offering premium customers more privacy and personal service.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. An unique view of the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner for United showing off its sleek lines.
Thai Airways International (Bangkok) yesterday (July 17) took delivery of its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The pictured HS-TQA (msn 35315) departed Seattle on its delivery flight.
The airline issued this statement:
Thai Airways International Public Company Limited announced that its first 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft departed from Boeing’s Everett Delivery Center in Seattle, Washington, on a nonstop, 15-hour flight to Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand.
ACM Siwakiat Jayema, Acting President of Thai Airways International said, “As the national airline, the addition of the 787 to our fleet is a major milestone for Thai and Thailand. Boeing and AerCap have provided an airplane that is perfect for Thai and our passengers.” The 787-8 is the first of eight Dreamliners that Thai will lease from AerCap (six 787-8 set for delivery between 2014-2015, and two 787-9 for delivery in 2017).
Thai’s 787 Dreamliner is configured with 24 lie-flat seats in Royal Silk Class and 240 seats in Economy Class. The 787-8 is a mid-size aircraft that can fly longer distances and offer great fuel efficiency, complete with the interior environment that has been designed to make passenger travel comfortable and convenient.
Thai’s Boeing 787-8 aircraft is equipped with the next-generation Rolls-Royce Trent 1000-AE engines. The culmination of advanced aerodynamics, and lightweight structures contribute to 20 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, as well as less “roar” around airport boundaries and airport communities.
Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. HS-TQA lands at Paine Field before the handover.
Thai Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Bottom Copyright Photo: Thai Airways International.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and MG Aviation Limited (Tel Aviv) today finalized an order for two additional 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at $499 million at current list prices. The order will support the leasing company’s growing fleet of modern airplanes.
MG Aviation previously placed an order for two 787-9s in 2006 and now has four unfilled 787-9s orders.
MG Aviation is part of Jordache Enterprises, the Nakash family’s global conglomerate that also operates Arkia Israeli Airlines, serving domestic and European destinations from its base in Tel Aviv.
Image: Boeing. Pictured from left: Ralph Nakash, President, MG Aviation, Ray Conner, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Joe Nakash, Chairman, MG Aviation.
The 787-9 Dreamliner took to the skies on July 14 with a powerful, yet quiet, performance in front of Farnborough Airshow attendees as it closed out the day’s flying demonstrations.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and CIT Group Inc., a global leader in transportation finance, announced today that CIT Aerospace has placed an order for 10 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at $2.5 billion at current list prices. This brings the leasing company’s total 787 orders to 20, including 16 787-9s.
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is the second member of the super-efficient 787 family and celebrated its first customer delivery in June. Both the 787-8 and 787-9 bring the economics of large jets to the middle of the market, with 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes and passenger-pleasing features. At 20 feet (6 meters) longer than the 787-8, the 787-9 extends the family in capacity and range, flying more passengers and more cargo farther.
Founded in 1908, CIT is a financial holding company with more than $35 billion in financing and leasing assets. It provides financing, leasing and advisory services to its clients and their customers across more than 30 industries. CIT maintains leadership positions in middle market lending, factoring, retail and equipment finance, as well as aerospace, equipment and rail leasing. CIT’s U.S. bank subsidiary CIT Bank (Member FDIC), BankOnCIT.com, offers a variety of savings options designed to help customers achieve their financial goals.
Air India (Mumbai) is joining the Star Alliance today (July 11).
Air India is assigning the new Boeing 787 Dreamliners (above) to its strategic routes. The company now has 15 787-8s in service. The 15th Boeing 787-8 (VT-ANC) was delivered to Air India on June 20, 2014. The aircraft departed Charleston, South Carolina on June 24, 2014 and arrived in Delhi on the following day.
The Star Alliance issued this statement:
Star Alliance, the way the Earth connects, welcomed Air India as a full member of its global family of airlines, opening the national carrier’s strong domestic network in the fifth largest aviation market to Star Alliance customers worldwide.
Air India now offers all Star Alliance customer benefits across its network and Air India’s customers enjoy the same benefits when they travel on any of the other 26 Star Alliance member airlines.
“This is an important day for us. We have said for many years that we needed a strong home carrier in the Indian market and by welcoming Air India to our Star Alliance family, we have achieved this goal” said Star Alliance Chief Executive Mark Schwab. “We know that the ‘new’ Air India is looking forward to providing the Star Alliance customer benefits to many more travellers.”
Rohit Nandan, Air India Chairman and Managing Director said, “Air India is proud to be a member of this prestigious airline Alliance. From today, we open up a completely different world for our passengers, who can now travel to over 1,300 destinations right across the network and enjoy world-class service, better connectivity and seamless travel wherever they go.”
Air India adds a total of 400 daily flights and over 40 new destinations in India to the Alliance network.
The biggest growth will come from its home market which has up to now been served by 13 Star Alliance members flying to 10 destinations and holding a 13% market share. As a result of the addition of Air India, the Alliance’s market share in India has risen to 30%. Globally, passengers further benefit from a wider choice on routes connecting North America, Europe, Asia and Australia via the Indian Subcontinent. In total the Star Alliance network counts 27 member airlines, offering more than 18,500 daily flights serving 1,316 destinations in 192 countries.
Air India now offers through check-in to the final destination for connecting flights operated by any Star Alliance member airline for both passengers and baggage, hence providing seamless travel. Passengers benefit as they do not need to collect their boarding passes for connecting flights at the transfer airports and, where permitted by local customs regulations, baggage will also be sent through to the final destinations.
Reciprocal frequent flyer benefits between Air India’s Flying Returns programme and those of the existing member carriers are now activated. These provide customers with more options in earning and redeeming, upgrading and obtaining Star Alliance Gold status.
Flying Returns members who hold Maharajah Club or Golden Edge Club status now automatically also have Star Alliance Gold status, giving them access to more than 1,000 lounges across the global network. Gold status customers can also check in at specially designated counters, are offered an increased baggage allowance and receive priority boarding and baggage delivery. All these benefits are also provided by Air India to customers holding Star Alliance Gold status in other frequent flyer programs.
Air India’s network comprises 50 destinations in India and 33 internationally, serving 23 countries. The addition of over 40 unique destinations domestically offers passengers excellent connectivity between major business centres. New destinations include the industrial hubs of Aurangabad and Vadadora; Indore, which is home to many pharmaceutical producers; textiles and engineering centre Coimbatore and Jamnagar, India’s “Oil City”. Air India also serves popular tourist destinations such as Goa, Kochi, Madurai and Jaipur.
As part of its Star Alliance membership, Air India now participates in several of the Alliance’s fare products and business solutions.
For the business travel sector, Air India flights can be included in Star Alliance Corporate Plus agreements, which are aimed at large multinational companies. For the Conventions and Meetings market, Air India will now offer Star Alliance Conventions Plus and Meetings Plus, the dedicated products for the meetings and conventions industry*.
Air India also boosts the attractiveness of the Alliance’s most popular fare product, the Star Alliance Round the World Fare (RTW). Available in First, Business and Economy Class, this fare allows customers to travel around the globe making use of the 27 member airline network. Customers can now make use of all Air India flights when booking their RTW fare, either through the Book & Fly online booking tool*, via an airline or through a travel agency.
Some of Air India’s flights will also be included in the Star Alliance Circle Pacific Fare which allows circular round-trips covering the Asian countries bordering the Pacific, the main international hub airports on the Pacific Coast of Canada and the USA, as well as the South Pacific (mainly Australia and New Zealand).
And finally, Air India is now included in the Asia Airpass alongside all other Asia based Star Alliance member airlines. This special coupon and mileage based fare is available to all overseas visitors to the region travelling on a Star Alliance member airline and allows customers to travel around Asia, selecting from a total of 277 destinations.
Previously the airline issued this statement:
Air India has scripted a new chapter in India’s aviation history by becoming the first airline from India to be inducted into the world’s leading global airline consortium, Star Alliance. On June 23, 2014, the Star Alliance Central Executive Board voted in favor of Air India to become its 27th member airline. Air India will start offering the alliance benefits and privileges to customers from July 11, 2014.
The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines-SAS, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Swiss International Air Lines, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, Thai Airways International and United Airlines.
Copyright Photo: Star Alliance. The flight attendants of the member airlines.
Overall, the Star Alliance network presently offers more than 18,000 daily flights to 1,269 airports in 193 countries.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 VT-ANH (msn 36276) arrives at London (Heathrow).
Norwegian Long Haul (Norwegian Air Shuttle) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) on October 30 will launch a new Boeing 787 route between Copenhagen and Hong Kong. The new route will operate twice a week. Norwegian already offers nonstop routes between Bangkok and both Oslo and Stockholm.
Norwegian will have a fleet of 17 Dreamliners, with seven currently in service and one more will be delivered in 2014.
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 EI-LNC (msn 34795) prepares to land in Stockholm (Arlanda).
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) celebrated the first 787-9 Dreamliner delivery yesterday (July 8) with launch customer Air New Zealand (Auckland). About 1,000 Boeing employees representing the 787 program joined Air New Zealand executives and guests at a unique celebration of this milestone event (below, Boeing).
“We are proud to be the launch customer for the 787-9,” said Air New Zealand Chief Financial Officer Rob McDonald. “We believe it will be a game-changer for Air New Zealand, with increased levels of fuel efficiency and passenger comfort. We look forward to inviting our customers on board to experience the aircraft and all of its benefits for themselves.”
Air New Zealand’s Rolls-Royce powered 787-9 is part of the airline’s fleet modernization effort. This 787-9, painted in a unique black livery, is the first of 10 Dreamliners to join Air New Zealand’s fleet. The airline said the airplane will operate the Auckland–Perth route in October 2014 and to both Tokyo and Shanghai in November 2014.
The 787-9 complements and extends the 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters) over the 787-8, the 787-9 will fly up to 40 more passengers an additional 450 nautical miles (830 km) with the same exceptional environmental performance — 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes.
The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering passengers features such as large windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.
Twenty-six customers from around the world have ordered 409 787-9s, accounting for 40 percent of all 787 orders.
Top Copyright Photo: Bernie Leighton/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Boeing). Boeing 787-9 N1012N landing at Paine Field near Everett became ZK-NZE (msn 34334) when it was handed over on July 8.
Videos: The building and delivery of the first ANZ 787-9:
Video: The Seattle event:
And the now famous “Swimsuit Safety Video”:
Thai Airways International (Bangkok) is now planning to introduce the first Boeing 787 service between Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) and Chiang Mai on July 25 pending the delivery of the pictured 787-8 HS-TQA (msn 35315) per Airline Route.
Bangkok-Manila 787 service will begin on August 8 to be followed by Bangkok-Tokyo (Haneda) on September 1 and Bangkok-Perth on September 2.
All dates are subject to change depending on the deliveries.
Copyright Photo: Thai Airways.
Norwegian launches Boeing 787 flights from London Gatwick to Los Angeles, New York and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood
Norwegian Long Haul (Norwegian Air Shuttle) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) this week has expanded its Boeing 787 operations, this time from London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW). On July 2 the fast-growing airline launched Gatwick-Los Angeles service. Yesterday (July 3) Norwegian started Gatwick-New York (JFK) flights and today it will commence Gatwick-Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood service.
According to Norwegian, “almost all of the 291 seats on Norwegian’s 787 Dreamliner are fully booked on the launch trips to Los Angeles, New York and Fort Lauderdale.”
The airline continued (translated from Norwegian), “The launch of long-haul routes from London Gatwick is an important part of Norwegian’s global growth strategy and in a few years, it is Spain’s turn. We are excited that Norwegian’s routes between London and the United States are now running. We think that everyone should be able to afford to fly, even between Europe and the USA. The trans-Atlantic market has for too long been dominated by a few large airlines with expensive tickets and limited flexibility”, says CEO Bjorn Kjos.
In 2013, Norwegian launched the only low cost long-haul routes between the United States and Scandinavia, and between Asia and Scandinavia.
This past year, according to Norwegian, 100,000 Americans have flown with Norwegian and 200 000 passengers have traveled from Europe to the United States with the company.
According to Norwegian, “Currently Norwegian employs 300 American cabin crew at the base in Fort Lauderdale and in New York and 200 at the base in Bangkok. Norwegian had over 6,000 applications for the 300 posts in the United States. 150 pilots fly its 787 Dreamliner and 40 more pilots will be employed, including the base in New York.
Norwegian currently has seven 787 Dreamliners in service. By 2018 the company will have a long-haul fleet of 17 Dreamliners.
Norwegian’s current long-haul Boeing 787 routes:
From New York (JFK): Stockholm (ARN), Oslo (OSL), Copenhagen (CPH), Bergen (BGO and London (LGW)
From Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (FLL): Stockholm (ARN), Oslo (OSL), Copenhagen (CPH) and London (LGW)
From Los Angeles (LAX): Stockholm (ARN), Oslo (OSL), Copenhagen (CPH) and London (LGW)
From Oakland, CA (OAK): Stockholm (ARN) and Oslo (OSL)
From Orlando (MCO): Oslo (OSL)
From Bangkok (BKK): Oslo (OSL) to Stockholm (ARN)
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 EI-LNE (msn 34796) with Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen on the tail arrives in New York at JFK International Airport (JFK).
United Airlines (Chicago) will initially operate its new stretched Boeing 787-9 on the domestic Los Angeles – Houston (Bush Intercontinental) – Los Angeles route from September 20 through October 25 per Airline Route. The new type will then be assigned to international routes from Los Angeles.
As previously reported, United will introduce nonstop flights between its hub at Los Angeles International Airport and Melbourne, Australia, effective on October 26, 2014 (westbound). The airline will fly the route six times weekly with the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. United is the North American launch customer for the 787-9, and this will be its first international deployment of the aircraft type.
United previously announced its second route for the 787-9. UA will introduce the new stretched Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the Los Angeles-Shanghai (Pudong) route on March 5, 2015, initially with four weekly flights (daily by May 8, 2015).
Copyright Photo: Bernie Leighton/AirlinersGallery.com. An aerial view at the Boeing’s flight line at Paine Field, Everett of the first United Airlines Boeing 787-9, registered as N38950 (msn 36401).
Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) has announced it will introduce its new 264-seat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the London (Heathrow)-Boston (Logan) route on October 28. The first 787 is due in September with 16 on order. After BOS, the 787 will be deployed to other U.S. East Coast cities from London. London Heathrow-Washington Dulles 787 service will start on December 17 and London Heathrow-New York JFK will follow on February 28, 2015.
Virgin Atlantic issued this statement:
We’re delighted to reveal the plans for our new $5 billion Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet, continuing our investment in our customer experience. Flying from ‘old’ England to New England, the aircraft’s first route will be between London Heathrow and Boston, with the service scheduled to start on October 28 and fly six times a week.
It’s 30 years since Sir Richard Branson took Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural flight across the Atlantic from London Heathrow to New York Newark on the June 22, 1984. To celebrate this 30th milestone, the new 787 aircraft is named ‘Birthday Girl’ and features some very special paintwork. For the first time ever, our iconic Virgin Atlantic ‘Flying Lady’ will be displayed face on – and she is carrying a celebratory champagne flute!
Setting the bar
After the Boston launch, we’ll deploy our Dreamliners on other key London to US East Coast markets initially, with subsequent services between Heathrow and Washington, Heathrow and Newark and Heathrow and New York JFK scheduled to start in the following five months. As the fleet grows, the aircraft will also benefit passengers on longer-haul routes where the on-board experience and fuel efficiency benefits are even further amplified.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming this aircraft to our fleet,” said our chief executive Craig Kreeger.
“For the last 30 years we’ve been proudly serving and delighting our customers and we know the Dreamliner will set us the bar to take that even further, bringing with it new innovations and a cutting edge product for them to enjoy.”
“The 787-9 will represent over half of our fleet by 2018, which demonstrates our commitment to the Dreamliner as the centrepiece of our future fleet. We’re looking forward to the next 30 years.”
Virgin Atlantic will be the first European carrier to take the larger Boeing 787-9 version of the Dreamliner, with the first aircraft planned for delivery in late September. Our aircraft will initially be configured with 31 Upper Class, 35 Premium Economy and 198 Economy seats.
Upper Class passengers will enjoy a new iteration of our ‘Upper Class Suite’ which incorporates all of the popular features of this, along with some new design elements. There is a refreshed Premium Economy cabin with an even more comfortable seat design and a social space where customers can stretch their legs and mingle with other passengers – the Wander Wall. Economy seats will be best-in-class with the Recaro 3620 model. Passengers throughout the aircraft will benefit from access to wifi connectivity, with the latest in in-flight entertainment, and dynamic mood lighting throughout.
As well as the passenger benefits, the Boeing 787-9 will bring us major commercial and environmental benefits. Radically improved fuel efficiency means it is 21% more efficient on a per flight bases than the equivalent sized aircraft in our fleet, allowing it to be a major driver of both our return to profitability and our commitment to improve carbon efficiency by 30% before 2020.
It also has a 60% smaller noise footprint than aircraft of a comparable size, meaning large areas around Heathrow airport will be less affected by our operations with these aircraft. The 787-9 is key in achieving the industry leading commitments we set out in our Noise Management Strategy last autumn.
Further details around the look and feel of the interior of our new Dreamliners will be revealed soon.
Image: Boeing and Virgin Atlantic.
Hainan Airlines (Haikou and Beijing) yesterday (June 20) launched nonstop service between Boston’s Logan Airport and Beijing, representing the first scheduled nonstop flight between New England and Mainland China in history – and with the industry’s most advanced airliner – the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
In addition, Hainan Airlines has partnered with Boston-based Dav El Chauffeured Transportation Network service to provide complimentary private ground transfers for business class passengers within a 30 mile radius of Logan Airport. The same services will be provided by Dav El in Chicago (O’Hare) and Seattle/Tacoma. Hainan Airlines already provides complimentary executive car service in Beijing for long haul business class travelers, and has introduced this in Europe as well.
Hainan Airlines will operate the flights year round every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, and due to peak demand, will increase frequency to daily from July 18 through the end of August. With its international hub at Beijing, Hainan offers connections to cities throughout China, including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Fuzhou, Xi’an, and Haikou. Travelers may stopover in Beijing in either direction and connect with numerous additional Chinese cities across the Hainan network such as Chengdu or Dalian. The new Boston flight will complement the carrier’s existing North American service to Beijing from Seattle/Tacoma, Chicago, and Toronto.
Flight 481 departs Beijing at 1:50 pm (1350) local time and is scheduled to arrive Logan Airport at 3:10 pm (1510). Return flight 482 will depart Logan at 5:10 pm (1710) with scheduled arrival at 6:50 pm (1850) the following day in Beijing.
Recent changes to visa regulations permit U.S. citizens to stay in Beijing for as long as 72 hours visa-free when traveling to international points beyond China, enabling online onward travel to other key destinations such as Thailand.
Copyright Photo: Hainan Airlines Launches First Ever Boston to Beijing Service (PRNewsFoto/Hainan Airlines Co., LTD).
United Airlines (Chicago) previously announced that it will fly the new Boeing 787-9 on international nonstop service between its hub at Los Angeles International Airport and Melbourne, Australia, beginning in October. The airline will fly the route six times weekly with the aircraft. United will be the first North American carrier to take delivery of the stretched 787-9.
United has completed the final cabin configuration and painting. The 787-9 will be configured with 252 seats – 48 in United BusinessFirst and 204 in United Economy, including 88 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space. The first 787-9 will also be one of five aircraft used by Boeing in a flight test program to certify the aircraft.
United has now announced its second route for the 787-9. UA will introduce the new stretched Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the Los Angeles-Shanghai (Pudong) on March 5, 2015, initially with four weekly flights (daily by May 8, 2015).
In other news, United Airlines has announced that dispatchers, represented by the Professional Airline Flight Control Association (PAFCA) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU), have ratified a new joint labor agreement for all United Airlines dispatchers. The agreement covers more than 330 United dispatchers.
United has achieved joint collective bargaining agreements with a majority of the company’s represented work force, including pilots, fleet service, passenger service, reservations and storekeeper workgroups.
The company is starting an expedited negotiations process with the Association of Flight Attendants and expects to enter back into negotiations with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, representing United’s technicians, soon.
Copyright Photo: Bernie Leighton/AirlinersGallery.com. An aerial view at the Boeing’s flight line at Paine Field, Everett of the first United Airlines Boeing 787-9, registered as N38950 (msn 36401).
Video: A tour of the initial Boeing 787-8:
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has released this statement:
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner has been certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for commercial service. Boeing is now in the final stages of preparing for the first 787-9 delivery to launch customer Air New Zealand.
Boeing started its flight-test program with the 787-9’s first flight in September, 2013.
To earn certification for the 787-9, Boeing undertook a comprehensive test program with five airplanes and more than 1,500 hours of flight testing, plus ground and laboratory testing. Following the rigorous and thorough certification process, the FAA and EASA each granted Boeing an Amended Type Certificate for the 787-9, certifying that the design complies with aviation regulations and is safe and reliable.
The FAA also has granted Boeing an Amended Production Certificate, validating that the Boeing production system can produce 787-9s that conform to the design. EASA accepts FAA oversight of Boeing production certificates, just as the FAA accepts EASA oversight of European manufacturers’ production certificates.
The new 787-9 Dreamliner will complement and extend the super-efficient 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters) over the 787-8, the 787-9 will fly more passengers and more cargo farther with the same exceptional environmental performance — 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes. The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering passengers features such as large windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.
Twenty-six customers around the world have ordered 413 787-9s, accounting for 40 percent of all 787 orders.
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-9 N789EX (msn 41988) lands at Boeing Field after a test flight.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian Long Haul) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) via its Irish subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI) (Dublin) issued this statement:
Norwegian Air International (NAI) released the following statement on House passage of Fiscal Year 2015 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act:
“We are disappointed the House legislation includes language attempting to pressure the U.S. Department of Transportation into denying Norwegian Air International’s application. As with anything new and innovative, Norwegian expected opposition from entrenched interests, and we will continue undeterred in the pursuit of our goal of serving the United States.
Norwegian International seeks to offer lower fares to travelers, world-class service on new Boeing 787 Dreamliners, and job creation opportunities through our investment in Boeing aircraft and increased international tourism to U.S. destinations. Norwegian appreciates the support it has received from allies, including three former DOT Secretaries and the hundreds of flight attendants we have hired in the U.S. this year, who share our commitment to growth and competition.
As a licensed carrier of the European Union, Norwegian meets all the legal, safety and operational requirements to serve the United States – and we fully intend to do so in the near future. The time has passed for the Department of Transportation to approve Norwegian’s application.”
Meanwhile the Association of Flight Attendants previously issued this statement:
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) today commended the United States House of Representatives for passing the DeFazio/Westmoreland Amendment that ensures U.S. airlines and aviation crewmembers are afforded a level playing field for transatlantic flying. The bipartisan amendment attached to the 2015 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act (H.R. 4745), introduced by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Lynn Westmorland (R-GA), requires that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) follow the protocol contained in the U.S.-EU “Open Skies” agreement.
Currently, the DOT is reviewing an application for a foreign air carrier permit submitted by Norwegian Air International (NAI) that threatens to undercut labor standards both in the U.S. and in Europe by circumventing worker protections, evading international labor laws, and creating unfair competition for airlines covered under the Open Skies agreement.
“Our union is focused on stopping any scheme like Norwegian Air International from severely undercutting our airlines, threatening our jobs, and setting a harmful precedent that would undermine U.S. labor and safety rules. Together with aviation workers from across the industry, we will continue to push back against attempts to dodge laws and regulations that protect good jobs and the safest aviation system in the world,” said Sara Nelson, AFA International President.
“We commend Representatives DeFazio and Westmoreland for their leadership in upholding labor standards and fair competition. This House vote sends a strong signal to the Department of Transportation that NAI’s application is not supported by Congress,” added Nelson.
Copyright Photo: All of the Norwegian Boeing 787s currently operated to the United States are registered in Ireland (EI-) but are currently operated by Norwegian Long Haul. Norwegian Long Haul has a separate AOC and is registered in Norway. Norwegian Air International obtained its AOC from Ireland in February 2014 and hopes to operate from the European Union to the United States. Boeing 787-8 EI-LNB (msn 35305) with explorer Thor Heyerdahl on the tail taxies from the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) today launches new nonstop service linking the airline’s San Francisco hub with Chengdu, China, the fourth-largest Chinese city, becoming the first carrier to fly nonstop from the U.S. to mainland China beyond Beijing and Shanghai and the first U.S. carrier to serve Chengdu.
United will use the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner to operate the three-times-weekly service. Chengdu is the ninth destination United serves in the Asia/Pacific region nonstop from San Francisco, from which United offers more nonstop trans-Pacific flights from the United States than any other carrier.
Flight UA 9 will depart San Francisco International Airport at 1:25 p.m. (1325) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and arrive at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 6:40 p.m. (1840) the following day (all times local). For the return, flight UA 8 will depart at 9:50 a.m. (0950) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and arrive at San Francisco International Airport at 8:40 a.m. (0840) the same day. Flying times will be approximately 14 hours, 15 minutes westbound and 13 hours, 50 minutes eastbound. This new nonstop flight will shave nearly four hours off the typical travel time between the two cities.
Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in southwest China, is the country’s fourth largest city, with a population of approximately 14 million in the urban area. In recent years, Chengdu has been one of the country’s fastest-developing cities economically, and more than half of the Fortune 500 companies have a presence in the city. Sichuan is famous as the natural habitat of the giant panda and home to one of China’s most popular cuisines.
United is the largest carrier at San Francisco International Airport, offering nearly 300 daily flights to more than 90 destinations in the U.S. and around the world, more service than any other airline from the Bay Area. From its San Francisco hub, United also offers more nonstop trans-Pacific service to and from the United States than any other carrier hub. United currently operates more than 30 daily nonstop flights from San Francisco to 21 international destinations and will add nonstop service from San Francisco to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport in October, pending government approval.
United started nonstop service to mainland China in 1986 and today serves Beijing with nonstop flights from Chicago (O’Hare), Newark, San Francisco and Washington (Dulles); Shanghai with nonstop flights from Chicago (O’Hare), Los Angeles, Newark and San Francisco; and Hong Kong with nonstop flights from Chicago (O’Hare), Newark, San Francisco, Guam, Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City.
The airline recently announced it will add new twice-weekly service between Guam and Shanghai beginning October 28, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner N29907 (msn 34830) taxies across the ramp at Los Angeles International Airport.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Arke (formerly Arkefly) (Amsterdam) today celebrated the arrival of the airline’s first 787-8 Dreamliner at the Dutch carrier’s base at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. The pictured 787-8 PH-TFK (msn 36427) departed Paine Field in Everett, Washington on Wednesday (June 4) on its delivery flight to the Netherlands. Arke is part of TUI Travel PLC, the largest tourism group in the world.
Arke will use the 787 on its service between Amsterdam and the islands of Curacao, Aruba and Bonaire in the Dutch Caribbean. The airplane is the first of three Dreamliners to join the carrier’s all-Boeing fleet that also includes Next-Generation 737s and 767-300 ERs (Extended Range). TUI Travel has ordered a total of 15 787-8s, of which six have been delivered and are currently in operation with three of the six airlines it operates; Thomson Airways, Jetairfly and now Arke.
Copyright Photo: Boeing.
Thai Airways International (Bangkok) has released this photo of its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The pictured HS-TQA (msn 35315) is being prepared for the handover at Boeing’s Paine Field plant.
According to the airline, in the beginning, the airline will operate the Boeing 787 on its flights TG 102, TG 103, TG 110, TG 111, TG 120 and TG 121 on the Bangkok-Chiang Mai-Bangkok route. The new type will also be operated on the Bangkok-Manila-Bangkok route on flights TG 620 and TG 621.
Copyright Photo: Thai Airways International.
HNA Group (Hainan Airlines) (Haikou and Beijing) quietly celebrated the delivery of the seventh Boeing 787 for Hainan Airlines. The pictured Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner registered as B-2739 (msn 38055) was handed over on May 30. The delivery of this aircraft also represents the 500th airplane aircraft delivered to the HNA Group, including those no longer in service.
Senior HNA official Mr. Mou Weigang made the following remarks at the Boeing handover ceremony (translated from Chinese):
Today, we are very glad to have come to this beautiful “Emerald City” — Seattle – to receive the 500th airplane of the HNA Group. Here, on behalf of Hainan Airlines, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Boeing Company and the friends from all walks of life for your longtime loyalty and support for Hainan Airlines.
As one of the leaders in global aviation, Boeing possesses the most advanced airplane manufacturing technologies and excellent service ability in aviation technology. Over the past century, Boeing has led the world aviation technology revolution with the 247, 707, 727 and many other classic airplanes it has designed and developed, turning flight into one of humanity’s trip modes. Today, the dominant airplanes in the airline market, such as the 737, 747, 777, 787 and so on, are flying all over the world, and have made air travel more secure, more comfortable and more convenient.
Hainan Airlines and Boeing are old partners and friends. After 21 years of hard work, Hainan Airlines has developed from a single air transport enterprise to HNA Group, involving such areas as aviation, real estate, business, hotel, tourism, finance, logistics and more. Hainan Airlines is the flagship air transport enterprise in the HNA Group, and it is also the foundation and main force to develop and expand the HNA Group. The 7th Boeing 787 Dreamliner which will join in Hainan Airlines is the 500th airplane of HNA Group. The number 500 stands for a new milestone in the developmental history of Hainan Airlines. Meanwhile, it marks a new and glorious chapter that Hainan Airlines will open.
Boeing and Hainan Airlines have established and maintained a long-term and friendly cooperative relationship. We appreciate the diversified Boeing technical team which is full of creative spirit, and also thank you for your outstanding services for the development of Hainan Airlines. We hope Boeing and Hainan Airlines will continue to make progress together and provide a high-level flight experience to more travelers around the world.
Special thanks to Joel Chusid, reporting from Seattle.
Copyright Photos: Joel Chusid/Hainan Airlines.
Air New Zealand (Auckland) has announced it has placed an order for 10 Airbus A320neo aircraft (above), one A320ceo and three A321neo aircraft (above, image via Airbus). The signing ceremony took place at the IATA annual meeting today in Doha, Qatar.
In other news, on May 29 Air New Zealand’s first Boeing 787-9 (ZK-NZE) (above) took to the air for the first time, successfully completing its first production test flight in the skies above Seattle, Washington.
Copyright Photo: Daniel Gorun/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-9 ZK-NZE (msn 34334) taxies at Paine Field near Everett, WA.
The aircraft, which is in Air New Zealand’s signature black livery, is currently in the final phases of the delivery process before being formally handed over to the airline as the new owner.
Air New Zealand is the launch customer for the Boeing 787-9 and has 10 of these stretch versions of the 787 on order.
Copyright Photo: Air New Zealand/Boeing. ZK-NZE departs from PAE on its first flight.
This first test flight is known as a B1 flight where the two pilots put the aircraft through its paces thoroughly exercising its systems to verify performance while at the same time the functionality of every aspect of the cabin is tested in-flight.
The distinctive black aircraft departed from Paine Field airport north of Seattle at 1:45 pm (1345) local time. It reached an altitude of 11,800 meters (39,000 feet) and an airspeed of 360 knots which is standard for a B1 flight and returned to Paine Field three hours and ten minutes later.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian Long Haul) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) landed the first scheduled Boeing 787 Dreamliner service at Orlando International Airport (MCO) on Thursday night (May 29). The maiden flight from Oslo, Norway to Orlando was the first Boeing 787 to land at MCO. The full flight was greeted with a traditional water salute by the airport rescue fire fighters (ARFF).
Norwegian Air will offer nonstop service between Orlando and Oslo two-days-a-week, Thursdays and Saturdays, with connections to over 94 locations in Europe and Thailand.
Copyright Photo: Orlando International Airport.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has released this statement about extended ETOPS for the 787:
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved additional extended operations (ETOPS) for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The move will allow 787s to be operated up to 330 minutes from a landing field and signals continued confidence in the airplane’s technical capabilities.
Dreamliners have been allowed to operate up to 180 minutes away from a landing field since they were introduced into service in 2011. Granting of the expanded operational permission will allow airlines to introduce additional routes after they meet the proof of capabilities requirements and receive approval from their own regulatory agencies for such operations.
ETOPS operations will make the 787 even more efficient in operations as they enable more direct flight paths, which can save thousands of pounds of fuel and reduce carbon emissions.
More than 1,030 787s have been ordered by 60 customers to date. Boeing has delivered 146 Dreamliners to 19 customers.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 VT-ANC (msn 36274) in Air India colors lands at Boeing’s facility at Paine Field near Everett, Washington. VT-ANC is one of the earlier models and remains undelivered.
Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) starting on June 1 will introduce the Boeing 787 on the Addis Ababa-Paris (CDG)-Brussels route, replacing a Boeing 767-300 per Airline Route with six weekly flights.
Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 ET-AOS (msn 34747) taxies at Toronto (Pearson). ET-AOS is named “Lucy”.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Ethiopian Airlines.
Air Canada (Montreal) on May 23 operated its first revenue flight with newly delivered Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner C-GHPQ (msn 35257). The historic flight was flight AC 604 from Toronto (Pearson) to Halifax.
Top Copyright Photo: Air Canada. Scenes from the first flight departure gate in YYZ.
Below Copyright Photo: Air Canada. C-GHPQ is pictured departing previously.
Video: 787 Born to fly:
Video: 787 Introduction:
Bottom Copyright Photo: TMK Photography. A view from inside C-GHPQ during the historic first revenue flight.
NTSB issues recommendations to the FAA for the evaluation and certification of lithium-ion batteries on Boeing 787s
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (Washington) has issued a series of recommendations related to the evaluation and certification of lithium-ion batteries for use in aircraft systems, as well as the certification of new technology.
The five safety recommendations, all addressed to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (Washington), are derived from the NTSB’s ongoing investigation of the January 7, 2013, fire event that occurred in a lithium-ion battery on a Boeing 787 that was parked at Boston Logan Airport.
Investigators found that the battery involved in the Boston 787 fire event showed evidence not just of an internal thermal runaway but that “unintended electrical interactions occurred among the cells, the battery case, and the electrical interfaces between the battery and the airplane.”
The 12-page safety recommendation letter said that the processes used in 2006 to support the certification of the lithium-ion battery designed for the 787 were inadequate, in part, because there is no standardized thermal runaway test that’s conducted in the environment and conditions that would most accurately reflect how the battery would perform when installed and operated on an in-service airplane.
Further, the NTSB said that because there is no such standardized thermal runaway test, lithium-ion battery designs on airplanes currently in service might not have adequately accounted for the hazards associated with internal short circuiting.
In its examination of the challenges associated with introducing newer technologies into already complex aircraft systems, the NTSB said that including subject matter experts outside of the aviation industry “could further strengthen the aircraft certification process” by ensuring that both the FAA and the aircraft manufacturer have access to the most current research and information related to the developing technology.
To address all of these issues, the NTSB asked the FAA to do the following:
1. Develop an aircraft-level thermal runaway test to demonstrate safety performance in the presence of an internal short circuit failure
2. Require the above test as part of certification of future aircraft designs
3. Re-evaluate internal short circuit risk for lithium-ion batteries now in-service
4. Develop guidance for thermal runaway test methods
5. Include a panel of independent expert consultants early in the certification process for new technologies installed on aircraft
“The history of commercial aviation is one in which emerging technologies have played a key role in enhancing flight safety,” said NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “This is why it’s crucial that the process by which these technologies are evaluated and certified is as robust and thorough as possible. These recommendations will take us further in that direction.”
The final report on the January 2013 Boston 787 battery fire investigation is estimated to be completed in the fall.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Read about the original Boston JAL Boeing 787 incident: CLICK HERE
Air Canada (Montreal) today (May 20) unveiled its brand new international interior product following the arrival in Toronto on Sunday of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
“The new interiors and seating on the 787 Dreamliner will become Air Canada’s new international standard. As recently announced, we also plan to begin conversion in late 2015 of 12 Boeing 777-300 ER and six Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft to provide our customers a consistent product with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. With the conversion of these 777 aircraft, we will introduce a much desired premium economy cabin and refurbish the International Business Class cabin to the new Boeing 787 state-of-the-art standards. The reconfiguration project is planned be completed in the second half of 2016,” continued Mr. Smith.
Air Canada will provide three cabins of service on board its Boeing 787 Dreamliners and converted 777 aircraft, highlighted by comfortable ergonomic seating that features 180-degree lie-flat seats in its International Business Class cabin (top photo). An extensive choice of in-flight entertainment on enhanced definition seat back touch screens will be available for all customers along with power outlets and USB ports.
“The introduction of 787 Dreamliner aircraft featuring our new standard of onboard product is a key component of Air Canada’s international expansion plans that include the development of Toronto Pearson into a preferred North American gateway and true airline hub,” said Mr. Smith. “The fuel efficient Boeing 787 aircraft will open up opportunities for Air Canada to serve new international destinations and convert existing routes to Dreamliner service as we replace existing Boeing 767 aircraft with the new 787 Dreamliners.”
Contemporary New Cabin Design
With the introduction of the 787 Dreamliner into its widebody fleet, Air Canada is unveiling a contemporary, sophisticated cabin design in a palette of slate grey and neutral tones with accents of Canadian red and celeste blue.
The interior decor, cabin architecture and seating in all three cabins – International Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy – have been designed to provide customers with an exceptional travel experience.
Highlights of Air Canada’s new International Business Class cabin on the 787 Dreamliner include 20 lie-flat Executive Pods with an adjustable pneumatic cushion system that can be extended into a fully flat sleeping position 80 inches in length. New features that enhance the airline’s award-winning International Business cabin include:
An adjustable pneumatic cushion headrest offers a massage feature, unique for an airline in business class.
The personal entertainment screen with touch handset, at 18 inches, is the largest offered by a North American airline in business class. Universal power and USB outlets are available at each seat.
Air Canada will also introduce later in 2014 a new espresso and cappuccino service for International Business Class customers.
A 1-2-1 configuration guarantees direct aisle access with window views featuring the largest windows of any aircraft flying today.
Air Canada’s Premium Economy cabin (above) on the 787 Dreamliner has 21 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration providing 38-inch legroom and generous 19.5-inch seat width and 7-inch recline. Each seat is equipped with a 9- or 11-inch enhanced definition intuitive touch personal entertainment screen, as well as universal power and USB outlets. Air Canada’s Premium Economy cabin service, unique in North America, offers premium meals, complimentary bar service and priority check-in and baggage delivery at the airport.
Air Canada’s Economy cabin (above) has 210 slimline seats in a 3-3-3 configuration providing personal space consistent with the comfort of Air Canada’s current Economy cabin. Each seat is equipped with a 9-inch enhanced definition intuitive touch personal entertainment screen with USB outlet and a universal power outlet available at arm’s reach.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner: A New Generation in Comfort and Fuel Efficiency
Boeing is the world’s first major airliner to use composite materials in the construction of its airframe, allowing for significant fuel efficiencies, a more economical long flying range and an enhanced passenger experience with less impact on the environment. Air Canada is the only Canadian carrier to order this new generation aircraft.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is 20 per cent more fuel efficient than the Boeing 767 aircraft it will replace.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner provides passengers with an unparalleled passenger experience:
A quieter, smoother flight, lower cabin pressure, higher humidity levels and ambient mood lighting contribute to a more rested feeling upon arrival;
Windows are 30 per cent larger than those on most similarly sized airplanes and feature an electrochromatic electronic dimming system;
A more spacious interior cabin design featuring larger overhead bins;
Cleaner air continuously circulating through an advanced filtration system.
Air Canada’s Dreamliner fleet will consist of a total of 15 787-8 aircraft and 22 of the larger capacity 787-9 aircraft. All 37 Boeing 787 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2019. As Air Canada takes delivery of new widebody aircraft for its mainline fleet, current Boeing 767 and Airbus A319 aircraft will be transferred to its leisure carrier subsidiary, Air Canada rouge.
Copyright Photos: Air Canada.
Video: Air Canada’s first 787 Dreamliner operating as flight AC7008 lands and receives a water cannon salute at Toronto’s Pearson Airport, Sunday May 18, 2014.
Video: A time-lapse of the construction of the first Air Canada 787:
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian Long Haul) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) is arguing before the DOT and public opinion, citing an editorial by USA Today, to allow its Irish subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI) (Dublin) to operate its Boeing 787 Dreamliners on low-fare flights to the United States. Several unions of other airlines are arguing against this approval process. Norwegian issued this statement:
Citing the airline’s “discount ticket prices” that give “passengers a reason to celebrate,” the USA Today has endorsed Norwegian Air International (NAI)’s application to begin flying from the United States. The USA Today argued that U.S. Department of Transportation – which has delayed approval of NAI’s application for months – could provide a major boon to consumers by approving NAI’s application and introducing competition into the transatlantic flight market. The full editorial is available here:
Read the editorial from USA Today: CLICK HERE
The editorial noted that NAI is able to offer fares far below those of U.S. legacy carriers because NAI is more efficient than its competitors. The airline is using 787 Dreamliners, which “provide big savings on fuel costs.” Further, NAI “steers clear of high-cost, congested airports.”
The editorial further criticized opposition to NAI for running ads that “try to cast NAI as a lawbreaker while implying that safety is being compromised.” The editorial clearly states, however, that NAI’s opposition “lacks any proof” that NAI will not follow the highest safety standards and all U.S. laws.
The USA Today made clear that it believes that “unless the critics can prove that [NAI] is doing something unsafe or illegal, the U.S. government should let NAI fly.”
Meanwhile, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA continues to oppose NAI and issued this statement:
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), was joined by the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) as well as the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) in calling on the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to deny an application for a foreign air carrier permit submitted by Norwegian Air International (NAI).
AFA, ETF and ITF once again spotlight the unfair labor practices established by NAI in their mission to enter the U.S. aviation market. NAI’s business plan is crafted to circumvent worker protections by evading international labor laws, creating unfair competition with EU and U.S. carriers and threatening to degrade labor standards both in the U.S. and in Europe.
Veda Shook, AFA International President stated: “AFA remains committed to a healthy and robust global aviation marketplace that provides career opportunities and good jobs for workers across the world. Competition and growth are essential to our industry but we must remain dedicated to promoting strong labor standards. Skirting international laws in order to gain unfair advantage cannot be tolerated. We call on Secretary Foxx to deny NAI’s current application before such labor practices become the norm in international aviation, triggering a race to the bottom.”
François Ballestero, the ETF Civil Aviation Political Secretary commented: “The attempt of Norwegian Air to import cheap labor from Asia by employing non-European cabin crew on its long-haul routes are an attack on working conditions of the existing workers. The ETF is committed to fight against social dumping and we urge the DOT to put an end to these unfair practices. And we are not alone in our concerns: the Norwegian Minister of Transport and Communications recently raised his concern to the European Commission about the challenges facing European aviation that are created by fragmented operations between multiple countries.”
Gabriel Mocho Rodriguez, ITF Civil Aviation Secretary added: “The practice of establishing subsidiaries and registering vessels under flags of convenience in order to avoid oversight and slash costs has long been a feature of the maritime industry. The results are well known: lower safety standards, sometimes shocking working conditions, little protection for workers. The ITF is well known for fighting these abuses. For decades we have been warning that the flags of convenience model could be copied in the aviation sector. Just last month, our cabin crew committee decisively rejected the outsourcing and flagging out practices of NAI. The AFA together with the IAM (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers), TWU (Transport Workers’ Union) and APFA (Association of Professional Flight Attendants), supported that resolve and are actively lobbying the U.S. government and urging it to prevent those unacceptable practices being imported into the US. The ITF will continue to support their effort.”
The ETF represents more than 250,000 civil aviation workers all over Europe, including 80,000 cabin crews.
The ITF represent more than 650,000 civil aviation workers all over the world, including nearly 100,000 Flight Attendants in the United States.
Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 EI-LNB (msn 35305) is pictured at Paine Field in Everett.
Air Canada (Montreal) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) yesterday (May 18) celebrated the delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner, the first airline in Canada to fly the Dreamliner. The pictured Boeing 787-8 C-GHPQ (msn 35257), the first of Air Canada’s 37 787s on order for delivery through 2019, departed Paine Field in Everett, Washington yesterday on its delivery flight to Toronto (Pearson).
Air Canada has announced it will use the 787 on its Toronto-Tel Aviv routes, as well as launch a new destination – Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. The 787 is 20 percent more fuel efficient than similar-sized airplanes it will replace in Air Canada’s fleet.
Air Canada’s 787 launches the airlines’ new International Business Class Cabin with 20 seats. The airplane offers 21 seats in Air Canada’s Premium Economy Cabin and 210 seats in Air Canada Economy. Customers will be more comfortable with improved lighting, bigger windows, larger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and enhanced ventilation systems, among other features.
Made from composite materials, the 787 Dreamliner is the first mid-size airplane capable of flying long-range routes and will allow airlines to open new, non-stop routes preferred by the traveling public. In addition to providing airlines with unprecedented fuel economy and low operating costs, the 787 features a host of new technologies that greatly enhance the passenger experience.
To support Air Canada’s 787 Dreamliners, Boeing will provide a comprehensive suite of support and services through its Commercial Aviation Services business. Air Canada will receive flight and maintenance training and in-flight pilot training services. Boeing provides Air Canada’s fleet with crew planning solutions; electronic charting for electronic flight bags; Maintenance Performance Toolbox, a digital real-time-information tool that enables quick resolution of airplane maintenance issues; and Direct Routes and Wind Updates services for more efficient flights to reduce fuel consumption.
Besides the announced Tel Aviv and Tokyo Haneda (above), AC will also operate the new 787 on some shorter routes as it “breaks in” the new type and then expands to longer routes. Toronto-Halifax will be operated starting on May 23 on certain initial dates. Toronto-Zurich will be operated from May 25 to July 14 per Airline Route. Toronto-London (Heathrow) will operate five days a week from July 2 to July 13.
The planned Toronto-Tokyo (Haneda) will now start on July 15. The planned Toronto-Tel Aviv will now start on August 6.
The new type will also operate from Vancouver to Shanghai (Pudong) starting on October 26 and Toronto-Paris (CDG) starting on December 1 (all subject to change as the aircraft are delivered).
Copyright Photo: PRNews Foto/Air Canada. Boeing 787-8 C-GHPQ touches down in Toronto (Toronto) on the afternoon of May 18 as flight AC 7008 carrying 100 of the airline’s employees on its maiden voyage. Air Canada is the first Canadian airline to fly the new aircraft which, with its long-range and unsurpassed fuel efficiency, will play a starring role in the airline’s international expansion strategy. Air Canada has orders for 37 Boeing 787 aircraft.
Video: C-GHPQ arrives at YYZ:
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Scoot (Singapore) have announced a five-year pilot training agreement to support the airline’s fleet transition to 787-9 Dreamliners.
Under the agreement, Boeing Flight Services, a business unit of Boeing Commercial Aviation Services, will provide 787 flight training to Scoot pilots at Boeing’s Singapore training campus. In 2014 alone, an anticipated 32 Scoot pilots will undergo training.
The 2013 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook, a respected industry forecast of personnel demand, projects a requirement for 498,000 new commercial airline pilots and 556,000 new maintenance technicians to fly and maintain the new airplanes entering the world fleet over the next 20 years. In Southeast Asia, 51,500 pilots and 64,700 technicians are needed to fill the gap.
Scoot will acquire 20 Boeing 787-9s beginning in November 2014. A second 787 is due ar the end of February 2015. The airplanes were originally ordered by parent company Singapore Airlines. Scoot currently operates Boeing 777-200s on medium and long haul low-cost flights between Singapore and Sydney, Gold Coast, Bangkok, Taipei, Tokyo, Tianjin, Shenyang, Nanjing, Qingdao, Seoul, Perth and Hong Kong.
Scoot is expected to introduce the new type in December on its routes.
Copyright Photo: Nik French/AirlinersGallery.com. Eventually Scoot will become an all 787 operator (following Norwegian Long Haul) and the pictured Boeing 777-200 ERs will be phased out. Former Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-212 ER 9V-OTA (msn 28507) arrives at Tokyo (Narita).
In the meantime, Scoot is running a contest (now extended) to name the first Boeing 787 (below).
Air Canada reports first quarter earnings of $147 million, the first Boeing 787-8 to be handed over on May 18
Air Canada (Montreal) today (May 15) issued its financial results for the first quarter. The company issued this statement (all amounts in Canadian dollars):
Air Canada today reported first quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and impairment, and aircraft rent (EBITDAR (1)) of $147 million compared to EBITDAR of $145 million in the first quarter of 2013. Air Canada’s EBITDAR of $147 million was consistent with the EBITDAR projection provided in the airline’s news release dated April 3, 2014 which forecasted EBITDAR in the first quarter of 2014 to be in line with last year’s level. An operating loss of $62 million in the first quarter of 2014 reflected a $44 million improvement from the same quarter in 2013. On a GAAP basis, in the first quarter of 2014, Air Canada reported a net loss of $341 million or $1.20 per diluted share compared to a net loss of $260 million or $0.95 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2013. The net loss in the first quarter of 2014 included foreign exchange losses of $161 million versus foreign exchange losses of $40 million in the first quarter of 2013. On an adjusted basis(1), the airline reported a net loss of $132 million or $0.46 per diluted share compared to a net loss of $143 million or $0.52 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2013, an improvement of $11 million or $0.06 per diluted share.
“I am pleased to report that despite the challenges of several extreme weather events and the impact of a much lower Canadian dollar in the first quarter, we delivered improved EBITDAR and adjusted results over the previous year,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer. During this somewhat difficult quarter, we continued to make good progress on our cost transformation initiatives with adjusted CASM decreasing by 2.5 per cent and, nonetheless, achieved a solid revenue performance. Based on forward bookings, we expect a strong summer travel season ahead.
“As we enter a new phase of network growth and capital investment in our fleet and product, the successful completion of our unsecured notes offering in April was another important milestone for Air Canada. I was especially pleased with the offering’s reception. The capital markets demonstrated their confidence in our future by supporting our debt on an unsecured basis on very competitive terms, recognizing, among other things, our improved leverage ratios, credit ratings and profitability, as well as the elimination of our pension deficit.
“We have many exciting developments coming up with respect to our fleet and we are now starting to reap the benefits of our significant capital investment program. We look forward to the delivery flight of our first of 37 Boeing 787 Dreamliners on May 18, a very important step in Air Canada’s fleet renewal that will provide further cost improvements and opportunities to develop international markets on a more competitive basis.
“Moreover, in order to improve the economics of our standard Boeing 777 long-haul fleet and to provide customers with a consistent product to our new Boeing 787 Dreamliners, we are planning on converting 12 Boeing 777-300 ER and six Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft into a more competitive configuration, adding a much desired premium economy cabin and refurbishing the International Business Class cabin to the new Boeing 787 state-of-the-art standards. The reconfiguration is designed to both lower unit costs and to allow us to compete more effectively with a harmonized product offering across our flagship international fleet. The reconfiguration project is planned to start in late 2015 and be completed in the second half of 2016.
“I would like to thank our employees for their ongoing focus on taking care of customers and transporting them safely to their destination, especially during the very challenging weather conditions we experienced in the first quarter.”
First Quarter Income Statement Highlights
System passenger revenues amounted to $2,608 million, an increase of $81 million or 3.2 per cent from the first quarter of 2013, on a 2.9 per cent growth in traffic and a 0.4 per cent improvement in yield. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) decreased 0.5 per cent from the same quarter in 2013 on a 0.7 percentage point decline in passenger load factor which was partly offset by the yield improvement. In the first quarter of 2014, system premium cabin revenues increased $37 million or 7.0 per cent on yield and traffic growth of 4.5 per cent and 2.4 per cent, respectively.
Operating expenses amounted to $3,127 million, an increase of $69 million or 2 per cent from the first quarter of 2013 on a 3.8 per cent increase in capacity. The unfavourable impact of a weaker Canadian dollar on foreign currency denominated operating expenses (mainly U.S. dollars), when compared to same quarter in 2013, increased operating expenses by $130 million. This currency impact was partially offset by a favourable currency impact on passenger revenues of $38 million, realized currency derivative gains of $23 million and lower fuel prices (in U.S. dollars).
Air Canada’s adjusted cost per available seat mile (adjusted CASM(1)), which excludes fuel expense, the cost of ground packages at Air Canada Vacations and unusual items, decreased 2.5 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2013. The 2.5 per cent reduction in adjusted CASM was in line with the adjusted CASM decrease of 2.0 to 2.5 per cent projected in Air Canada’s news release dated April 3, 2014.
In the first quarter of 2014, Air Canada recorded an operating loss of $62 million compared to an operating loss of $106 million in the first quarter of 2013, an improvement of $44 million.
Financial and Capital Management Highlights
At March 31, 2014, unrestricted liquidity (cash, short-term investments and undrawn lines of credit) amounted to $2,515 million (March 31, 2013 – $2,092 million). Air Canada’s principal objective in managing liquidity risk is to maintain a minimum unrestricted liquidity level of $1.7 billion.
At March 31, 2014, adjusted net debt(1) amounted to $4,426 million, an increase of $75 million from December 31, 2013. The increase in adjusted net debt was driven by net borrowings of $116 million and an unfavourable currency impact of $155 million, partly offset by higher cash balances of $182 million. The airline’s adjusted net debt to EBITDAR ratio was 3.1 at March 31, 2014 versus a ratio 3.0 at December 31, 2013. Air Canada uses this ratio to manage its financial leverage risk and its objective is to maintain the ratio below 3.5.
Free cash flow(1) of $34 million declined $113 million from the same quarter in 2013. While operating cash flows improved year-over year, free cash flow was impacted by the addition of the fifth and final Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft delivered in February 2014.
For the 12 months ended March 31, 2014, return on invested capital (ROIC (1)) was 10.7 per cent versus 8.0 per cent at March 31, 2013. Air Canada’s goal is to achieve a sustainable ROIC of 10 to 13 per cent by 2015.
For the second quarter of 2014, Air Canada expects its system ASM capacity, as measured by available seat miles (ASMs), to increase in the range of 7.5 to 8.5 per cent when compared to the second quarter of 2013.
Air Canada continues to expect its full year 2014 system ASM capacity to increase in the range of 6.5 to 8.0 per cent and its full year domestic ASM capacity to increase in the range of 3.0 to 4.0 per cent when compared to 2013. The domestic capacity growth will be primarily on transcontinental services. The projected system capacity increase will be achieved at a unit cost which is below historical levels.
For the second quarter of 2014, Air Canada expects adjusted CASM to decrease in the range of 3.5 to 4.5 per cent when compared to the second quarter of 2013.
For the full year 2014, Air Canada now expects adjusted CASM to decrease in the range of 3.0 to 4.0 per cent from the full year 2013 (as opposed to the 2.5 to 3.5 per cent decrease projected in Air Canada’s news release dated April 3, 2014). This expected improvement is largely due to lower aircraft maintenance and depreciation, amortization and impairment expenses than previously projected.
Air Canada is taking tangible steps to improve its earnings through the execution of strategic initiatives designed to lower its overall cost structure and increase its competitiveness. These include:
The growth of Air Canada rouge to enhance margins in leisure markets and to pursue opportunities in international leisure markets made viable by Air Canada rouge’s lower cost structure.
The introduction five new high-density Boeing 777 aircraft configured for high volume, leisure-oriented international routes.
The introduction of Boeing 787 aircraft to operate existing Boeing 767 routes in a more efficient manner and to pursue international growth opportunities made viable by this aircraft’s lower operating costs.
Other ongoing cost reduction initiatives which are expected to deliver cost savings in excess of $100 million per annum within the next five years. Had these initiatives been implemented today with all other cost drivers remaining at 2012 levels, Air Canada would expect to achieve a 15 per cent reduction in CASM within the next five years. Also assuming the value of the Canadian dollar and fuel prices were at 2012 levels, the projected CASM reduction for 2014 would be 5 to 6 per cent.
With respect to Air Canada’s narrow-body fleet, as part of its December 2013 Boeing 737 MAX order for 61 firm aircraft, 18 options and certain rights to purchase an additional 30 aircraft, Boeing agreed to purchase 20 Embraer 190 aircraft. These 20 Embraer 190 aircraft are planned to exit the fleet in the second half of 2015 when they will be initially replaced with 10 larger narrow-body leased aircraft. The replacement of these Embraer 190 aircraft with larger narrow-body aircraft will further reduce CASM. Ultimately, the 10 larger narrow-body leased aircraft will be replaced by Boeing 737 MAX aircraft which will also further lower CASM. With respect to the remaining 25 Embraer 190 aircraft in the airline’s fleet, after careful consideration, Air Canada has decided to continue to operate the aircraft given their young age, productivity and high customer acceptance on existing routes and to avoid additional capital expenditures and debt.
Air Canada’s outlook assumes 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$1.10 per U.S. dollar in the second quarter of 2014 and for the full year 2014 and that the price of jet fuel will average 91 cents per litre for the second quarter of 2014 and 92 cents per litre for the full year 2014.
(1) Adjusted net income (loss) and adjusted net income (loss) per share – diluted are non-GAAP financial measures. Refer to section 15 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(2) EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, impairment and aircraft rent) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 15 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(3) Unrestricted liquidity refers to the sum of cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and the amount of available credit under Air Canada’s revolving credit facilities. At March 31, 2014, unrestricted liquidity was comprised of cash and short-term investments of $2,390 million and undrawn lines of credit of $125 million. At March 31, 2013, unrestricted liquidity was comprised of cash and short-term investments of $2,056 million and undrawn lines of credit of $36 million.
(4) Free cash flow (cash flows from operating activities less additions to property, equipment and intangible assets) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 6.5 of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(5) Adjusted net debt (total debt less cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments plus capitalized operating leases) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 6.3 of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(6) Return on invested capital (“ROIC”) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 15 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information
(7) Operating statistics (except for average number of FTE employees) include third party carriers (such as Jazz Aviation LP (“Jazz”) and Sky Regional Airlines Inc. (“Sky Regional”) operating under capacity purchase agreements with Air Canada.
(8) Adjusted CASM is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 15 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(9) Reflects FTE employees at Air Canada. Excludes FTE employees at third party carriers (such as Jazz and Sky Regional) operating under capacity purchase agreements with Air Canada.
(10) Includes fuel handling expenses. Economic fuel price per litre is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 4 “Results of Operations” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(11) Revenue passengers are counted on a flight number basis which is consistent with the IATA definition of revenue passengers carried.
In other news, Air Canada will add summer seasonal nonstop service on Mondays and Saturdays from July 5 to September 1, 2014, between Ottawa and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Florida.
Top Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. The first Air Canada Boeing 787-8, the pictured C-GHPQ (msn 35257), will join the fleet on May 18.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Canada will keep the remaining 25 Embraer 190 aircraft for now, striking a blow to Bombardier and its CSeries aircraft. Air Canada has decided to “continue to operate the aircraft given their young age, productivity and high customer acceptance on existing routes and to avoid additional capital expenditures and debt”. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW C-FHNX (msn 19000083) approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) today announced that two 787-8 Dreamliners will be leased by ILFC to the Italian carrier Neos (Milan-Malpensa Airport). Neos will become the country’s first 787 operator when it takes delivery of the airplane in 2018.
Neos currently operates an all-Boeing fleet of six Next-Generation 737-800s and two 767-300 ER (Extended Range) airplanes. The airline will use the 787s to provide even greater passenger comfort and service, and expand its route network. ILFC is Boeing’s largest 787 customer with orders for 74 of the airplane type. This is not an incremental 787 order for Boeing.
Neos is a part of the Alpitour Group.
Italy plays a key role in the production of the 787, with Boeing supplier Alenia Aermacchi’s factories in Grottaglie (Taranto), Foggia and Pomigliano (Naples) producing the central fuselage and horizontal stabilizer for the Dreamliner.
Founded in 2001, Neos caters to Italy’s leisure market providing flights predominately from Milan, but also other major Italian cities, to destinations across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.
Neos Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Kenya Airways (Nairobi) will introduce the newly-delivered Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the Nairobi-Paris (CDG) route on June 3. The 787 will replace an older Boeing 767-300 ER on the route.
Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. The first 787-8, the pictured 5Y-KZA (msn 35510), is named The Great Rift Valley. The new type was handed over to the carrier on April 4, 2014.
Norwegian signs a contract for three additional Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, loses $137.6 million in the first quarter
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian Long Haul) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) has entered into an agreement for the delivery of three new long-haul Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. Two of the aircraft will be delivered in 2016 and one in 2017.
Norwegian continues to expand its international operations and has agreed to also lease two 787-9 Dreamliners. Norwegian will put two of the planes in service in 2016 and one in 2017. Today, Norwegian has five long-haul type Dreamliner 787-8 in its fleet and another three on order. In addition, Norwegian has already placed an order for six 787-9s. With this new contract, Norwegian in 2018 will have a long-haul fleet of 17 long-haul 787s.
Facts about Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner:
Holds up to 20 percent more passengers than 787-8
Six meters (20 feet) longer than the 787-8
Significantly greater cargo capacity than the 787-8
Eight percent less fuel per seat than today’s version, which also gives the corresponding reduction in environmental emissions
In other news, Norwegian announced a quarterly loss before taxes of -813 million NOK ($137.6 million). Quarterly earnings were affected by additional costs for hiring of crews and a weak Norwegian crown.
During the first quarter, the revenue increased to 3.55 billion Norwegian kroner, an increase of 22 percent compared to the same quarter last year.
9 million passengers flew with Norwegian representing growth of 24 percent. The traffic growth (RPK) was at 50 percent, which is also linked to each Norwegian passengers now fly much longer than they did a year ago.
The figures also show strong output growth with an increase of 48 percent (ASK). The load factor was 77 percent in the first quarter, up one percentage point compared to the same quarter the year before. Adjusted with extra costs and a weak currency decreased costs (CASK) by nine percent in the first quarter.
Extra costs associated with long-haul operations accounted for 78 million NOK. These costs included the leasing of aircraft, additional fuel and the cost of hotels, food and drink to passengers affected by technical and operational problems with long-distance business.
During the first quarter, Norwegian phased in five new Boeing 737-800s and a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. With the Dreamliner (EI-LNE) that was delivered last week, Norwegian now has a total of five long-haul aircraft in service and 12 on order.
Copyright Photo: Duncan Kirk/AirlinersGallery.com. The first, the pictured 787-8 EI-LNA (msn 35304) displays the likeness of Sonja Henie on the tail.
Norwegian Long Haul (Norwegian Air Shuttle) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) has just finished up adding the tail image to its newly-delivered fifth Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The pictured EI-LNE (msn 34796) was handed over to Norwegian on April 30. Today in Dublin the 787 departed with the new likeness of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen on the tail.
According to Wikipedia, Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen (1872 – 1928) was a Norwegian explorer of the polar regions. Amundsen led the Antarctic expedition (1910–1912) to become part of the first group of explorers to reach the South Pole in December 1911. In 1926, he was the first expedition leader to be recognized without dispute as having reached the North Pole.
Amundsen is also known as the first to traverse the Northwest Passage (1903–06). He disappeared in June 1928 while taking part in a rescue mission.
Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com.
Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi), the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has unveiled the new product and service offering on its Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, including The Residence by Etihad™, the world’s most luxurious living space in the air, available only on the airline’s A380 aircraft.
The Residence Lounge
The Residence (above top and above) will be the breath-taking and completely new forward upper-deck cabin on the A380. Accommodating single or double occupancy, it features a living room, separate double bedroom and ensuite shower room. Guests in The Residence will also have a personal Butler.
The Residence Bed
With the launch of these new fleets, the Abu Dhabi-based airline will also redefine and rename its cabin classes.
The A380 will feature the revolutionary First Apartments (above), which are fully private suites with a separate reclining lounge seat and full-length bed, as well as a chilled mini-bar, personal vanity unit and wardrobe.
Etihad Airways has allocated the upper deck of the A380 to its premium cabins.
First Suite on the 787
On the Boeing 787, Etihad Airways has designed an enhanced First Suite, adding many new features including a chilled mini-bar.
The Business Studio (above) and Economy Smart Seat (below) will feature on both the A380 and the 787.
Etihad Airways is introducing the latest Panasonic eX3 entertainment system across both fleets, providing more than 750 hours of on-demand entertainment, improved gaming and high definition screens across all cabins.
The system has video touchscreen handsets, offering an additional screen for guests to maximize their entertainment, so they can play games or view the moving map while watching a movie.
Noise cancelling headsets are provided across all cabins, with built-in magnetic audio jacks to ensure the best sound quality.
The Airbus A380 aircraft will have full mobile and Wi-Fi service while the Boeing 787 (below) will be equipped with Wi-Fi. Etihad Airways is planning to introduce the Airbus A380-800 on December 27, 2014 on the Abu Dhabi-London (Heathrow) route.
Etihad is also planning to introduce the Boeing 787-9 on December 1, 2014 between Abu Dhabi and Dusseldorf according to Airline Route. This will be followed by Abu Dhabi-Mumbai service on January 1, 2015 and Abu Dhabi-Washington (Dulles) flights also on January 1, 2015. The Etihad 787-9 features 8 First Suite (1-2-1), 28 Business Studio (Staggered 1-2-1) and 199 Economy Smart Seats (3-3-3).
Unveiled at a global media launch in Abu Dhabi today (May 4), the new cabins and service offering follow the airline’s pledge to transform air travel and make every guest journey a remarkable one.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “These new living spaces will raise inflight product and service standards to their highest level yet in commercial aviation and alter air travellers’ expectations of inflight comfort and luxury forever.
“Etihad Airways’ Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 will deliver the most advanced airline cabins in the industry, while meeting all weight, range and cost targets at our desired seat count. This will allow us to offer products unparalleled in quality and style, yet at competitive prices across all three cabins.”
In 2008, recognizing that no single design agency could deliver its vision for the new cabins, Etihad Airways established the Etihad Design Consortium (EDC) which brought together three leading design companies, Acumen, Factorydesign and Honour Branding to develop innovative cabin and seat designs for the new fleets.
The EDC collaborated with Promise Communispace, a leading co-creation agency, to launch comprehensive consumer research and workshops in Abu Dhabi, Sydney, London and New York, with the goal of understanding what makes a ‘perfect flight’ and asking consumers to help design the perfect airline.
Eighty percent of the new product offering is a direct result of the feedback and information garnered from these workshops.
Etihad Airways’ design vision was to bring the individuality and exclusivity of a luxury boutique hotel experience to the sky in a way that embraced Arabian Modernism, an aesthetic that combines the traditions of the region with contemporary design.
The Residence by Etihad™
The Residence, which is certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for single or double occupancy, offers levels of luxury and total privacy normally found only on private jets.
Each Etihad Airways A380 will offer a boutique version of The Residence with different color palettes, table marquetry and custom carpets.
Guests in The Residence will have the services of a personal Butler throughout their flight. These fully trained service professionals will receive specialist training at the Savoy Butler Academy in London.
Guests in The Residence will also have a dedicated VIP Travel Concierge team who will ensure every detail of their travel experience, including ground transport, cuisine, and amenities, are tailored to their requirements.
Etihad Airways will redefine First Class and set a remarkable new industry standard with the launch of the First Apartment on the A380.
Nine First Apartments will be installed on the upper deck in a 1-1 configuration creating the only single aisle First Class cabin in the industry.
Each First Apartment, which has a 64 inch high sliding door, includes a reclining armchair and a full-length ottoman, both upholstered by Poltrona Frau. The ottoman transforms into a separate 80 inch long fully flatbed.
The First Apartment, which also includes unique features such as a chilled mini-bar, a personal vanity unit and a swiveling TV monitor for viewing from either the seat or the bed, has a 74 per cent larger footprint than the airline’s current award-winning First Class Suites.
A fully equipped shower room is available on the A380 for exclusive use by First Class guests.
On the Boeing 787, Etihad Airways has designed an enhanced First Suite with many new features. The eight First Suites in a 1-2-1 configuration along a unique curved aisle, another first in commercial aviation.
Each completely private First Suite has a large seat and ottoman, both upholstered by Poltrona Frau, which converts into an 80.5 inch long full-flat bed.
On the center seats, the armrests retract and the suites can be joined to create a ‘double’ bed. Other features include a chilled mini-bar and a 24 inch TV monitor.
On both the A380 and the 787, Etihad Airways will launch its new Business Studios which provide 20 per cent more personal space than the airline’s current business class seat.
Configured 1-2-1 in a forward and aft ‘dovetail’, the Business Studios all have aisle access and the seat converts into a fully flat bed of up to 80.5 inches long.
With its privacy, ample storage and surface space, the Business Studio has been designed with the diverse needs of the premium business or leisure traveller firmly in mind.
On the Airbus A380, First and Business Class guests will be able to relax in The Lobby which is a serviced lounge and bar area located between the First and Business cabins.
Providing a semi-circular leather sofa, a marquetry table and a large TV screen, The Lobby is designed for relaxing and socialising.
The TV has a USB connection so it can be used for sharing content or it can also be set to the airline’s Live TV channels for sporting and other events.
Economy Smart Seat
New Economy Smart Seat will offer a unique ergonomic fixed-wing headrest, giving guests a place to rest their head for added comfort and relaxation.
The seat also has a lumbar support feature, allowing guests to adjust their seat comfort, and an 11 inch personal monitor screen, with all the IFE peripherals conveniently set into the seatback in front.
The latest Panasonic eX3 personal entertainment system, of which Etihad Airways is a launch customer, is installed across all cabins
A key design objective for Etihad Airways was to transform the boarding experience making it more akin to stepping into the lobby of a boutique hotel.
In all entry-ways in both aircraft and in all cabins, the galley equipment is concealed behind custom Arabic fretwork screens and blinds, while the trolleys are covered by elegant wood-finish doors, setting a stylish and welcoming environment for all guests.
Importantly for the airline’s Muslim guests, Etihad Airways has developed prayer areas which can be curtained off for privacy and are equipped with a real-time electronic Qibla-finder showing the exact direction of Mecca based on the aircraft’s geographical position.
In the premium class boarding areas, Etihad Airways will collaborate with cultural institutions in the UAE to exhibit artwork and artefacts in display cabinets installed throughout. Items from the Etihad Airways Boutique Duty Free catalogue will also be displayed.
With the launch of these new aircraft, Etihad Airways will update its dining equipment, amenities and soft furnishings across its entire fleet.
Copyright Photos: Etihad Airways.
Airbus A380 video:
Boeing 787 video:
Norwegian Long Haul (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) today (May 3) launched the first nonstop flight from Stockholm (Arlanda) to Oakland, California. It is the first time that Sweden has a direct flight to the San Francisco Bay area.
The new route is operated two days a week with the Boeing 787. Oslo-Oakland service starts on May 28.
Norwegian’s other long-haul routes from Stockholm (Arlanda) and Oslo (Gardermoen) operates to New York (JFK), Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Bangkok. From Copenhagen the fast-growing airline operates nonstop flights to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Los Angeles and New York (JFK).
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 EI-LNC (msn 34795) prepares to land at Stockholm (Arlanda).
LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw) on April 30 took delivery of its sixth new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, specifically the pictured 787-8 SP-LRF (msn 35942). The new 787 is named “Franek” which is Frank in Polish. The name was chosen as a result of an Internet contest. The airline issued this statement:
“Frank” (Franek in Polish) is the newest and sixth Dreamliner in the LOT Polish Airlines fleet that landed yesterday (May 1) at the Chopin Airport in Warsaw. The aircraft was named Frank as a result of an Internet contest. The name has been posted to the body of the aircraft and will appear until the end of the year.
“This year is special for us, full of changes and our Jubilee Year with our 85th anniversary,” said Barbara Pijanowska-Kuras, press officer for LOT Polish Airlines. “For our 6th Dreamliner delivery, we decided to organize a contest for the name of the aircraft numbered SP-LRF. The interest exceeded our wildest expectations. We are pleased this aircraft raises so many positive emotions.”
There was record interest in the Internet naming contest for the 6th LOT Dreamliner with 199,393 hits, 92,709 unique users and nearly 1,300 entries.
The Internet contest was held in March. The rules were simple–create an interesting name, justify your choice and become a “parent godfather” for this Dreamliner. Ms. Katarzyna Wąchała of Warsaw was the lucky winner. As a reward, she flew to visit the Boeing factory in Seattle. She returned to Poland today with her “baby”. She became the first long-distance passenger on the first flight of the youngest aircraft in the LOT fleet to Warsaw.
“The choice was difficult,” said Pijanowska-Kuras. “We wanted the name to arouse positive emotions, to be nice, short, easy to read and pronounce for foreigners, creative, intriguing and somewhat surprising. The choice was determined by the reasons given by the author. The registration number of this new aircraft is SP-LRF, so F is for Franek; F is also the 6th letter of the alphabet corresponding to LOT’s 6th Dreamliner; Franek in Polish is a timeless name; Franciszek is the name of two aces of the skies: Franciszek Peter and Franciszek Jacha and finally, it is also the name of Franciszek Zwirko – as Ms. Wachala wrote as her reasons for Franek.”
Franek will start to fly by mid-May on regular long haul connections in LOT’s network. The plane will be seen at airports in New York, Chicago, Toronto and Beijing. Beginning this winter season at the end of October, Franek may also visit other tourist places, such as Cuba, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Vietnam, Mexico or Thailand because LOT will begin long haul charter flights.
Since August 2103 when the fleet was joined by the fifth Boeing 787, LOT has been performing all long-haul flights only with Dreamliners. The Polish carrier was the first airline in Europe to operate this most modern world aircraft. Passengers appreciate the change in product quality and comfort of this machine. Given the company’s financial results and their year-to-year comparison in 2013, thanks to the Dreamliners, LOT gained as much as 95 million Zloty or $31,276,400. Business Class (Elite Club), perceived by passengers as the best on trans-Atlantic flights from Eastern Europe, has become increasingly popular. LOT has experienced huge success for its Premium Economy (Premium Club), between business and economy class. The Dreamliner also provides greater cargo business opportunities. LOT has also saved several million Zloty due to lower fuel consumption because from mid-2013, the long haul flights were flown by Dreamliners. At the end of 2017, the Polish carrier will have eight Dreamliners. The 7th Dreamliner will be delivered in the winter 2016/2017 and the 8th later during 2017.
The Dreamliner is a long-haul aircraft (12000 km) with a maximum cruising speed of 875 km / h, length of 57.72 m and a wingspan of 60.13 m. It has 252 passenger seats. The specially designed interior gives a feeling of spaciousness on board. Windows larger by ca 30% provide an excellent view, an appropriate pressure gives a greater sense of comfort, and the higher humidity as well as adequate filters ensure clean and healthy air. Luggage lockers are larger, and LED lighting system imitates daylight and adjusts to the time of the day. The special solution allows passengers to avoid turbulence and motion sickness.
Copyright Photo: LOT Polish Airlines.