Southwest Airlines (Dallas) filed applications today (December 11) with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requesting approval to serve six destinations in Latin America with new, daily, nonstop service from William P. Hobby Airport in Houston. After receiving U.S. government approval of the new service, Southwest will begin selling these flights at Southwest.com, offering Customers nonstop options between Houston (Hobby) and four destinations in Mexico—Cancun, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, and San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos—as well as flights to San Jose, Costa Rica, and Belize City, Belize. Service to Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City, Belize, adds a second destination in Central America, a seventh country, and the 96th city on the Southwest route map.
The new Houston flights will be made possible by the completion of an estimated $156 million five-gate international concourse now under construction at Hobby. The completed project will increase capacity for all airport functions and add a Federal Inspections Services (FIS) facility to streamline U.S. Customs and Border Protection screening and baggage processing for arriving international passengers.
Image: Houston Hobby Airport. A concept drawing of the new international concourse.
The Houston Hobby International Terminal Project will add five new gates, enabling scheduled international service from Hobby. Southwest is working in conjunction with the City of Houston, which is preparing for the new facility with surrounding infrastructure improvements including a new parking facility, central utility plant and roadway improvements throughout the Houston Hobby Airport district. A study conducted by Houston Airport System estimates the Houston Hobby International Terminal Project would add 10,000 jobs to the region and provide a $1.6 billion impact annually to the local economy. The study also expects the expanded facility to bring an additional 1.6 million air travelers each year.
Southwest is currently selling nonstop service on Saturdays between Houston (Hobby) and Queen Beatrix International Airport in Oranjestad, Aruba beginning on March 7, 2015. The Aruba flights are made possible by U.S. CBP Pre-clearance procedures, which provide U.S. border inspection in certain foreign countries including Aruba. This will allow Southwest Customers arriving at Hobby Airport from Aruba to deplane without further CBP inspections into the domestic terminal, quickly claim baggage and depart the airport, or make seamless connections to many of the more than 40 domestic destinations Southwest currently serves nonstop from Houston (Hobby).
One of Southwest Airlines’ original cities, Houston supports the fifth busiest operation in the carrier’s network of more than 90 airports across six countries, with approximately 150 departures a day from Houston (Hobby). More than 3,200 Southwest Employees are Houston-based and foster community and business partnerships across greater Houston that, in 2013 alone, bolstered nearly 170 nonprofit organizations with more than $900,000 in local charitable donations.
Top Copyright Photo: Brandon Farris/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new Boeing 737-8H4 WL N8654B (msn 37045) lands at Boeing Field in Seattle. Delivery is imminent.
Transavia France to introduce six new routes next summer season, Air France’s pilots approve the expansion of Transavia France
Transavia France (Paris-Orly) is introducing six new routes for the summer season of 2015. Five new routes will be from Orly Airport to Dublin (effective June 1, daily), Munich (effective September 4, daily) Thessaloniki (effective May 9, three flights a week), Tirana (effective July 2, three weekly flights) and Valencia (effective June 1, six weekly flights) per Airline Route.
The French airline will also operate a Nantes-Madrid route effective on April 12, 2015 on three days a week.
In other news, 53 percent of Air France’s pilots approved the draft agreement to allow Transavia France to expand operations from Paris Orly. Air France issued this statement on December 3:
Air France welcomes the positive outcome of the consultation with all its pilots on the draft development agreement for Transavia France.
With a very high participation rate, 53% of Air France pilots approved the agreement, reaching 60% for members of the majority union SNPL.
This result will be approved by the Union Council of the SNPL (National Union of Airline Pilots), which will meet tomorrow Thursday, December 4.
To date, more than 200 Air France pilots have volunteered to fill the 72 positions available at Transavia France.
“We welcome the positive outcome of this consultation which puts an end to a period of uncertainty. The majority of pilots have chosen to accompany us in our growth strategy on the low-cost market with Transavia” declared Frédéric Gagey, Chairman and CEO of Air France.
Thanks to this agreement, Transavia’s rapid development plan in France will continue:
• Strong growth in summer 2015: 21 aircraft operated compared with 16 in summer 2014, making Transavia the leading low-cost airline at Paris-Orly from summer 2015.
• A target of 37 Boeing 737 by 2019.
Integrated career management for pilots at Air France and Transavia will be introduced, including a joint seniority list.
This development meets the pilots’ high expectations and enables overstaffing at Air France to be more easily managed by organizing secondments to Transavia France.
to Dublin (effective June 1, daily), Munich (effective September 4, daily) Thessaloniki (effective May 9, three flights a week), Tirana (effective July 2, three weekly flights) and Valencia (effective June 1, six weekly flights).
The French airline will also operate a Nantes-Madrid route effective on April 12, 2015 on three days a week.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 737-8K2 F-GZHM (msn 37792) was delivered new on May 13, 2014. The Transavia France Boeing 737 fleet will expand to 37 aircraft by 2019.
Transavia France aircraft slide show:
Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) has completed the world’s first flight using “green diesel,” a sustainable biofuel that is widely available and used in ground transportation. The company powered its ecoDemonstrator 787 flight test airplane yesterday (December 2) with a blend of 15 percent green diesel and 85 percent petroleum jet fuel in the left engine.
“Green diesel offers a tremendous opportunity to make sustainable aviation biofuel more available and more affordable for our customers,” said Julie Felgar, managing director of Environmental Strategy and Integration, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We will provide data from several ecoDemonstrator flights to support efforts to approve this fuel for commercial aviation and help meet our industry’s environmental goals.”
Sustainable green diesel is made from vegetable oils, waste cooking oil and waste animal fats. Boeing previously found that this fuel is chemically similar to HEFA (hydro-processed esters and fatty acids) aviation biofuel approved in 2011. Green diesel is chemically distinct and a different fuel product than “biodiesel,” which also is used in ground transportation.
With production capacity of 800 million gallons (3 billion liters) in the U.S., Europe and Asia, green diesel could rapidly supply as much as 1 percent of global jet fuel demand. With a wholesale cost of about $3 per gallon, inclusive of U.S. government incentives, green diesel approaches price parity with petroleum jet fuel.
“The airplane performed as designed with the green diesel blend, just as it does with conventional jet fuel,” said Capt. Mike Carriker, Chief Pilot, Product Development and 777X, Boeing Test and Evaluation. “This is exactly what we want to see in flight tests with a new type of fuel.”
Green diesel is among more than 25 new technologies being tested by Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator Program aboard 787 Dreamliner ZA004 (N7874). The program accelerates the testing, refinement, and use of new technologies and methods that can improve aviation’s environmental performance.
On a lifecycle basis, sustainably produced green diesel reduces carbon emissions by 50 to 90 percent compared to fossil fuel, according to Finland-based Neste Oil, which supplied green diesel for the ecoDemonstrator 787. The flight test was coordinated with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney, and EPIC Aviation blended the fuel.
Copyright Photo: Rick Schlamp/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 N7874 (msn 40693) taxies past the camera at Boeing Field in Seattle.
Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) on Saturday (November 22) handed over the first direct purchase 737-700 to Ruili Airlines (Kunming), the pictured 737-7ME B-5829 (msn 60460). The new airliner departed Boeing Field in Seattle on the same day for its long journey to Kunming, China. Today, Boeing issued this announcement on the arrival in Kunming:
Boeing and Ruili Airlines today (November 25) celebrated the arrival of the airline’s first direct purchase Next-Generation 737-700. Ruili is a newly established private airline based at Changshui International Airport in Kunming, the capital city of China’s Yunnan province.
The new airplane is the first of 14 737 orders and commitments from Ruili Airlines, including eight 737-700s and six 737 MAXs. The carrier currently operates two 737-700s and one 737-800 serving seven domestic routes in China.
Ruili Airlines obtained its public air transport enterprise business license from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in February 2014, marking the formal establishment of the carrier. The start-up airline is the first private carrier approved by CAAC after the regulator relaxed restrictions on new carriers in 2013. According to its development plan, Ruili Airlines plans to increase its fleet to 30 Boeing airplanes by 2020, with around 120 daily flights on 60 to 70 routes.
Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) has issued this statement:
Boeing started final assembly of the 787-9 Dreamliner at its South Carolina facility. The team began joining large fuselage sections of the newest 787 November 22 on schedule, a proud milestone for the South Carolina team and another sign of stability for the program.
The North Charleston, S.C., site joins Boeing’s Everett, Washington, final assembly, which began 787-9 production in May 2013. United Airlines will take delivery of the first South Carolina-built 787-9.
The 787-9 complements and extends the 787 family, offering airlines the ability to grow routes opened with the 787-8. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters), the 787-9 can 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 the airplanes it replaces. The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering passenger-pleasing features such as large, dimmable windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/www.vrefphotos.com/AirlinersGallery.com). United Airlines is already operating the stretched 787-9 Dreamliner, previously delivered from the Seattle area. Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N38950 (msn 36401) taxies at Boeing Field in Seattle.
Oman Air (Muscat) has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737-900 ER. The pictured Boeing 737-91M ER A40-BI (msn 40069) was handed over on November 12.
The remaining four aircraft are due to be delivered by November 2015.
Oman Air and Boeing (Chicago) on June 19, 2013 announced an order for five Boeing Next-Generation 737-900 ER airplanes at the 2013 Paris Air Show.
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. Boeing 737-91M A40-BI exits the runway after a test flight at a very dark and rainy Boeing Field in Seattle.
Oman Air aircraft slide show:
QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has formally introduced its first retrojet in the form of its newly delivered Boeing 737-838 VH-XZP (msn 44577) painted in the retro 1971 ochre livery.
The company issued this statement and photo:
QANTAS has gone back to the future by unveiling its first ever “retro” inspired livery on one of its brand new Boeing 737 aircraft.
The eye catching design is a flying tribute to 70 years of the iconic flying kangaroo logo – a widely recognized symbol of home to millions of intrepid Australian travellers.
QANTAS Ambassador and self-confessed aviation enthusiast, John Travolta (above) was on hand to witness QANTAS and Boeing unveil the aircraft at a special hangar event in Seattle, which is timed to mark the 70th anniversary of the kangaroo logo.
QANTAS ambassador, John Travolta said the retro livery has brought back lots of memories for him.
“It’s great to see a piece of QANTAS history flying in the sky today,” said Mr Travolta.
“I have enjoyed many wonderful experiences with QANTAS over the years, from getting my 747 wings to having my own 707 painted in the original 1960s QANTAS livery. This is a great celebration of the brand’s heritage and incredible reputation over the years.
The signature element of the 1971-1984 livery design was the ochre band around the window line of the aircraft. Ochre reflected the colors of the outback where QANTAS was established in 1920.
The winged kangaroo logo is used on the tail and was adapted from the original 1947 version designed by Gert Sellheim.
In 1984 the flying kangaroo discarded its wings, evolving to its current slender and stylized form.
The 737 will operate across all QANTAS domestic routes from November 20, acting as a flying reminder of where QANTAS has come from, as well as showing new generations of young Australians some of the history behind Australia’s biggest airline.
The livery is also timed to mark the QANTAS’ 94th birthday, which also falls in November.
Happy Birthday QANTAS.
Photos: QANTAS Airways.
QANTAS Airways aircraft slide show:
Kangaroo Logo evolution:
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and its employees on November 8 joined the Puget Sound community in celebrating the donation of one of the original 787-8 Dreamliner (N787BX, msn 40692) flight test airplanes to the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
The Dreamliner Boeing donated to the museum is known as ZA003 (N787BX), the third 787-8 produced. The airplane has a unique past, first as part of the 787 flight test and certification program and later circumnavigating the globe several times in 2011 and 2012 during the Dream Tour, which introduced the 787 to more than 68,000 visitors in 23 countries.
“This revolutionary airplane caps the museum’s collection of historic commercial airplanes, beginning with our 1932 Boeing 247, which was the first all-metal, modern airliner,” said Doug King, president and CEO, Museum of Flight. “It was followed by our 1969 prototype 747, the first jumbo jet, and now with the first composite airliner, the 787. It’s an incredible addition to our comprehensive display.”
The celebration at the Museum of Flight included several Boeing employees whose work over the years played a role in the design, build and test of the 787 Dreamliner. Each person disembarked the airplane and presented a special artifact tied to the history of the airplane to museum docents and students from local high schools.
The artifacts given by employees ranged from a commemorative cachet carried aboard the 787’s first flight, to early artist renderings of the 7E7. Those artifacts will now be housed at the Museum of Flight.
ZA003 is the first of three flight test 787-8s Boeing plans to share with museums around the world, the aviation community and future generations of employees and airplane enthusiasts.
About The Museum of Flight:
The independent, non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest air and space museums in the world, attracting more than 500,000 visitors annually. The Museum’s collection includes more than 160 historically significant air- and spacecraft, the original manufacturing facility of The Boeing Company, and the world’s only full-scale NASA Space Shuttle Trainer. The Museum’s aviation and space library and archives are the largest on the West Coast. More than 130,000 individuals are served annually by the Museum’s on-site and outreach educational programs. The Museum of Flight is accredited by the American Association of Museums, and is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.
The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field halfway between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Top Copyright Photo: Ariel Shocron/AirlinersGallery.com. N787BX stopped at Madrid on its Dream Tour.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Boeing. Boeing 787-8 N787BX is pictured at its new home at Boeing Field.
Aerolineas Argentinas (Buenos Aires) will add Punta Cana, Dominican Republic on January 3, 2015 via Caracas per Airline Route. The new route will be operated three days a week with Boeing 737-800s.
The airline will also serve Havana via Caracas starting on January 5, 2015.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8BK N5573P (msn 41561) departs from Boeing Field in Seattle on a test flight. The new aircraft was delivered as LV-FRQ on April 10, 2014.
United Airlines (Chicago) has become the first North American carrier to take delivery of the Boeing 787-9, a stretched version of the Dreamliner that will allow the airline to accommodate more customers and further capitalize on its worldwide route network. The aircraft is the first of 26 of the newest member of the Dreamliner family United has on order.
The airline’s technicians will now perform United-specific software installations and hardware upgrades. United pilots will then fly the aircraft to the airline’s Houston hub for additional flights before it is expected to enter domestic service in late September.
The 787-9’s extended range – 8,550 miles compared to the 787-8’s 8,200 – will enable United to launch its Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia, service on October 26, the airline’s first regularly scheduled international deployment of the aircraft. It will be the longest Dreamliner route in the world to date. In advance of the Melbourne route launch, United will primarily fly the aircraft between Houston (Bush Intercontinental) and Los Angeles.
United’s 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.
Wi-Fi on the 787-9
United’s 787-9 fleet comes with factory-installed Wi-Fi connectivity. Starting with this aircraft delivery, all of the airline’s subsequent Dreamliners, including the -8 and -10 variants, will be delivered with Wi-Fi. United currently has Wi-Fi on more than 300 aircraft, including all of its Airbus and Boeing 747 aircraft, and plans to equip the vast majority of its mainline fleet with Wi-Fi by mid-2015.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-9 N38950 (msn 36401) passes the camera at Seattle’s Boeing Field (King County Airport) (BFI).
United Airlines Aircraft Slide Show (Current): CLICK HERE
Flydubai (Dubai) today announced the launch of flights to Tehran and Mashhad, the carrier’s first two destinations in Iran.
Flights to Tehran will begin on August 11 and Mashhad on August 10. Flydubai will serve Iran with four flights a week, providing passengers with greater convenience when travelling between the United Arab Emirates and Iran. The carrier will be looking at expanding its network in the market as it continues to strengthen the trade and travel links from Dubai to the region.
The carrier, which took delivery of three new Next-Generation Boeing 737-800s in July (one is pictured above), has grown its fleet to 39 aircraft with more than 100 new Boeing aircraft on order.
Flydubai commenced its new services to Kandahar in July and Aden at the beginning of August. The airline is also set to commence flights to Moscow and Kazakhstan in September, Mumbai in October and to Sarajevo and Zagreb in December.
Top Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 737-8KN A6-FEM 9msn 40264) was handed over to the carrier on July 14, 2014.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Flydubai. According to the carrier, “Orange represents the warmth of the climate and the people and blue represents the sparkling clear sea and endless blue skies. The free flowing bands on the tail are reflective of the ever-changing coastline of Dubai”.
QANTAS Airways (Sydney) will refurbish its fleet of 67 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, providing customers with a greater level of comfort and enhanced in-flight entertainment options.
The upgrade will commence in mid-2015 and be completed within 12 months.
According to the airline, “29 of our latest 737-800 aircraft already have full seat back video on demand in-flight entertainment for each passenger, the refurbishment will see wireless Q-streaming entertainment installed on the 38 remaining 737-800 aircraft to supplement the screens that fold down from the ceiling.”
QANTAS has 67 Boeing 737-800s in its domestic fleet, and will receive four new aircraft by December. Earlier this year the last of the older Boeing 737-400s was retired. The average age of the QF Boeing 737-800’s is 6.7 years.
The installation of QStreaming on the Boeing 737s is part of a broader overhaul of QANTAS’ in-flight entertainment offering, including 100 more hours of content per month, and the introduction of Sky News, Foxtel and Fox Sports for inflight news and additional programming.
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-838 VH-VZL (msn 34194) was delivered on April 22, 2011.
Spring Airlines Japan (Tokyo-Narita) today (August 1) as planned, launched passenger operations from Narita International Airport to Hiroshima, Saga and Takamatsu with its 189-seat Boeing 737-800s according to ZipanguFlyer.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Rick Schlamp/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 737-81D N272LM (msn 39429) became JA01GR on delivery.
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.
China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai) has begun offering Wi-Fi service over China. The airline issued this statement:
In a first for the commercial aviation industry in China, China Eastern Airlines (CEA) has begun offering broadband connected flights over China using China Telecom Satellite aeronautical service and Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s (Panasonic) eXConnect system.
The first of 27 CEA aircraft equipped with a system and service tailored to the unique requirements of China is an Airbus A330 aircraft. Onboard, passengers will experience true broadband Wi-Fi as they surf the web, keep in touch with friends and family through their social networks, and even check their email – all at 35,000 feet. CEA has also selected China Telecom Satellite’s service and Panasonic’s eXConnect system for an additional six Boeing 767s and 20 Boeing 777 aircraft.
The first aircraft has been dedicated to routes between Shanghai and Beijing, allowing government agencies to observe operation of the service before granting full regulatory approval for operation on additional domestic and international routes.
China Eastern Airlines said, “We are very excited to offer this extremely exciting service with China Telecom Satellite and Panasonic Avionics. This is a tremendous milestone for China and we look forward to ensuring our passengers are both entertained and productive as they fly.”
Lv Junli, President of China Telecom Satellite, added, “This is a momentous day for China’s commercial airline industry, and we are very confident of providing better broadband connectivity to China with our partners at China Eastern Airlines and Panasonic.”
According to Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics, “After years of close collaboration with China Eastern Airlines and China Telecom Satellite, we are now witnessing the next step in the evolution of in-flight entertainment over China. We are very excited to bring in-flight broadband Wi-Fi to this strategic market.”
About Panasonic Avionics Corporation
Panasonic Avionics Corporation is the world’s leading supplier of in-flight entertainment and communication systems. The company’s best-in-class solutions, supported by professional maintenance services, fully integrate with the cabin enabling airlines to deliver the ultimate travel experiences with a rich variety of entertainment choices, resulting in improved quality communication systems and solutions, reduced time-to-market and lower overall costs.
Established in 1979, Panasonic Avionics Corporation, a U.S. corporation, is a subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation. Headquartered in Lake Forest, California with over 3,100 employees and operations in 80 locations worldwide, it serves over 200 customers worldwide and provides IFEC systems on over 3,700 aircraft. For additional information, please visit http://www.panasonic.aero
About China Telecom Satellite Communications Limited
Dedicated to satellite communications services, China Telecom Satellite Communications Limited, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Telecom, specializes in the operation of its parent corporation’s satellite communications business. It serves as the resource center, product integration center and professional support center of China Telecom’s satellite communications business, mainly engaged in Satellite mobile communications, Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) communications, International private line and Satellite broadband access, etc., providing integrated (Aviation/Land/Maritime) satellite communications and broadcasting operating service with characteristics to subscribers.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new Boeing 737-89P WL B-1965 (msn 41473) was just delivered to China Eastern Airlines on July 19, 2014.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) today (July 11) delivered to Nok Airlines Public Company Limited (Nok Air) (Bangkok) this Boeing 737-86J registered as HS-DBQ (msn 37794) painted in this 10th Anniversary special livery.
The 737-800, owned by Ireland-based leasing company Avolon and operated by Nok Air, features the traditional bird-themed livery with the addition of stars, streamers and “10th Anniversary” painted on the airplane to celebrate the milestone. The aircraft was previously planned to go to Airberlin.
Nok Air means Bird Air in the Thai language.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Nok Air’s brand new 737-800 lands at Boeing Field in Seattle.
Current Route Map:
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) is fed up with Venezuela and its socialist government which is forcing carriers to keep their ticket sales in the country’s currency, the Bolivar. Airlines are unable to export the proceeds. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, American was owed $750 million from its Venezuela sales through March 31 (probably higher today). As a result, American is slashing the number of weekly flights from the current 48 to only 10 starting next month. Air Canada and Alitalia have also ended service to Venezuela.
Read the full story: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-823 N950NN (msn 31194) taxies at Boeing Field in Seattle.
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.
Spring Airlines Japan (Tokyo-Narita) has announced it has again delayed its start from June 27 to now August 1. The initial route will be between Tokyo (Narita) and Takamatsu.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Newly-delivered Boeing 737-86N JA03GR (msn 41272) taxies at Boeing Field in Seattle.
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is fighting back trying to hold on to its market share in its home Seattle/Tacoma market. The airline issued this statement today:
Alaska Airlines, which provides travelers with more nonstop flights from Seattle/Tacoma than any other carrier, will increase its departures for its hometown customers by 11 percent next spring. Alaska’s daily departures out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will increase from 253 to 280, giving travelers more options to the places they want to fly most.
“Alaska Airlines has been flying out of Seattle for more than half a century and we’re proud to offer our customers nearly four times the departures to more destinations than any other airline,” said Joe Sprague, senior vice president of communications and external relations. “With convenient nonstop service to 79 destinations from Seattle/Tacoma, our customers can fly to 80 percent of the places they want to go and this increases to 99 percent when combining Alaska’s flights and those of our partner airlines.”
Alaska Airlines will add 27 new roundtrips, including one daily between Seattle/Tacoma and Boise, Idaho, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Fairbanks, Alaska, and Palm Springs and Sacramento, California. The airline will also add two more daily roundtrips between Seattle/Tacoma and Los Angeles, and three more roundtrip shuttle flights between Seattle/Tacoma and Portland, Oregon. A Boeing 737 will replace a Bombardier Q400 on two of the 16 daily roundtrip flights between Seattle/Tacoma and Spokane, Washington, increasing the number of seats on Alaska between the state’s largest two cities from 3,200 to 3,350 a day.
The 11 percent increase in Seattle/Tacoma departures also includes previously announced service to six new destinations, including Albuquerque, New Mexico, Baltimore, Detroit, New Orleans, Tampa, Florida, and Cancún, Mexico.
Summary of new daily Seattle/Tacoma service:
Seattle – New Orleans: starting June 12
Seattle – Tampa: starting June 20
Seattle – Baltimore: starting September 2
Seattle – Detroit: starting September 4
Seattle – Albuquerque: starting September 18
Seattle – Cancún: starting November 6 pending governmental approval
Alaska Airlines expects the new flying will add approximately 100 jobs to the region, in addition to the 6,300 Alaska and Horizon Air employees who currently work in the Puget Sound area.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. The all-Boeing relationship at Alaska Airlines should not be overlooked as the Alaska-Delta “battle of Seattle” escalates for market share in the home of Boeing. The pictured brand new Boeing 737-990 ER N467AS (msn 36362) was handed over to hometown Alaska Airlines on May 22, 2014.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) on May 15 started three new routes and restarted another:
Allegiant restarted nonstop jet service between Colorado Springs and Mesa via the Phoenix/Mesa Gateway Airport. The service will operate twice weekly and becoming the only nonstop service from Colorado Springs to any destination in Arizona. Allegiant first began service at Colorado Springs Airport in February 2002 with nonstop service to Las Vegas and previously offered service to Mesa from 2010 to 2012. Mesa joins Las Vegas as Allegiant’s second nonstop destination from Colorado Springs.
Additionally at Mesa, Allegiant launched the first nonstop flights between Stockton and Mesa via Phoenix/Mesa Gateway Airport. The new nonstop flights will operate twice weekly. Mesa becomes the third destination offered to Allegiant travelers flying out of Stockton. Allegiant first began service at Stockton Metropolitan Airport in June 2006 with nonstop service to Las Vegas. Since then, Allegiant has added nonstop seasonal flights to Honolulu.
In the East, Allegiant also started nonstop, year-round jet service from Cincinnati to St. Petersburg/Clearwater. Allegiant originally announced the route as seasonal nonstop service on March 4, 2014, and after seeing overwhelming demand for the flights, decided to offer the flights year round. The twice weekly service to the Tampa Bay area is the carrier’s third route from the CVG Airport. Allegiant currently flies to Sanford (near Orlando) and Punta Gorda. Finally on May 15,
Allegiant started new nonstop, low-cost air service from Asheville to Palm Beach, a new Allegiant destination. The new nonstop flights will operate twice weekly between Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) and Palm Beach International Airport (PBI). Palm Beach becomes the fifth destination offered to Allegiant travelers flying out of Asheville. Allegiant currently flies to St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Sanford (Orlando), Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Punta Gorda. Allegiant first began service at Asheville Regional Airport in November 2011 with nonstop service to Sanford. Since the start of operations in Asheville, Allegiant has taken more than 60,000 passengers on vacation.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) N406NV (msn 49900) taxies past the camera at Boeing Field-King County Airport (BFI) in Seattle in the old 2003 livery.
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.
Nok Air (Bangkok) reported its first quarter net profits, ending on March 31, 2014, was 40.9 million Baht which declined by 375.2 million Baht ($11.5 million) or 90.2 percent from the same quarter a year ago.
The airline blamed the decline on “higher competition in domestic airline industry since the fourth quarter of 2013 from both “full service airlines” and “low cost carriers”, expanded aircraft fleets, route destinations and increases in flight frequencies. In addition, there was a newcomer (Thai Lion Air) that entered into the market on December 4, 2013.”
The airline also blamed the reduction in profits due to the instability of political situation in Thailand, since the fourth quarter of 2013 which has led to the economic deceleration, consumption, and private sector investment.
Read the full full report from Nok Air: CLICK HERE
Read the full story from the Bangkok Post: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. During this quarter Nok Air retired its last Boeing 737-400. Now the jet fleet is all Boeing 737-800s. Newly-delivered Boeing 737-8FZ HS-DBP (msn 39336) taxies at Boeing Field (Ling County) in Seattle.
Nok Air Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Copa Holdings, S.A. (Copa Airlines and Copa Airlines Colombia) (Panama City) announced its financial results for the first quarter of 2014 (1Q14):
Copa Holdings reported net income of $151.4 million (US) for 1Q14, or diluted earnings per share (EPS) of US$3.41. Excluding special items, Copa Holdings would have reported an adjusted net income of $153.6 million, or $3.46 per share, a 23.5% increase over adjusted net income of US$124.4 million and US$2.80 per share for 1Q13.
Operating income for 1Q14 came in at US$177.0 million, a 24.1% increase over operating income of US$142.6 million in 1Q13. Operating margin for the period came in at 24.8%, compared to 22.2% in 1Q13, as a result of higher unit revenues and lower unit costs.
Total revenues increased 11.3% to US$713.6 million. Yield per passenger mile increased 0.5% to 17.7 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 1.9% to 14.2 cents. Furthermore, adjusting for a 3.7% increase in length of haul, yields and RASM increased 2.3% and 3.7%, respectively.
For 1Q14, healthy demand trends resulted in passenger traffic (RPMs) growth of 11.0% on a 9.3% capacity expansion. Consolidated load factor came in at 78.1%, or 1.2 percentage points higher than 1Q13.
Operating cost per available seat mile (CASM) decreased 1.5%, from 10.9 cents in 1Q13 to 10.7 cents in 1Q14 due to lower jet fuel costs. CASM, excluding fuel, increased 1.0% to 6.6 cents mainly due to full year effect of 2013 newly leased aircraft.
Cash, short term and long term investments ended 1Q14 at US$1.1 billion, representing 41% of the last twelve months’ revenues. Of this amount, 44% is in Venezuela pending repatriation due to government currency controls.
During the first quarter, Copa Airlines took delivery of one Boeing 737-800 aircraft. As a result, Copa Holdings ended the quarter with a consolidated fleet of 91 aircraft.
For 1Q14, Copa Holdings reported consolidated on-time performance of 92.3% and a flight-completion factor of 99.8%, maintaining its position among the best in the industry.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Newly-built Boeing 737-8V3 HP-1836CMP (msn 40782) at Boeing Field in Seattle was handed over to Copa Airlines on March 28, 2014.
Alpine Air Express, Inc. (Provo, Utah), one of the largest regional on demand air cargo providers in the United States, completed the sale and transfer of a controlling interest to KEB Enterprises on May 7, 2014.
Alpine Air Express has been providing regional air cargo charter flights for almost 40 years. After acquiring the company in 1986 and guiding a turnaround strategy that led to continued growth, CEO Gene Mallette sold his stake in the company to an entity controlled by KEB Enterprises, which is owned by Kenneth E. Brailsford. Mallette sold his Alpine Air Express common shares at a price of $0.9663 per share, which price may be adjusted later under the stock purchase agreement governing the sale of his interest. Mr. Mallette was the largest shareholder of the Company owning over 80% of the Company’s common stock.
“I am truly excited about the continuity and transfer of ownership for all of our employees and clients,” Mallette said. “We have created an excellent safety, and on-time culture within our employees; I know Alpine Air will continue to grow and build upon that hard-won legacy.”
Brailsford will be the new President and CEO of Alpine Air with Bill Distefano remaining as the General Manager and Michael Dancy taking over business development.
With a fleet of 25 aircraft, Alpine Air Express currently provides on demand, non-scheduled air cargo flights to 16 cities in 6 states for a diverse client base that includes the United States Postal Service and other major international transportation and logistics companies.
The company’s headquarters and maintenance facility are located in Provo, Utah with operations based in Billings, Montana.
The purchaser of Mr. Mallette’s interest and Alpine Air Express also plan on completing a merger in the coming weeks based on a merger agreement signed by the two companies also on May 7, 2014. As part of the agreement, Alpine Air Express will merge into the purchasing entity, which will be the surviving company.
When the merger is completed, the remaining shareholders of Alpine Air Express will receive a cash amount of $0.9728 per share. Additionally, all stock option holders in Alpine Air Express may receive the same value for their options less the option exercise price either by exercising them or receiving a payment for terminating their options. The cash amount to the remaining shareholders will represent an approximately 412% premium on Alpine Air Express’s common stock closing price on May 7, 2014, which was $0.19 per share. More information about the merger will be provided in the coming days. The Company received a fairness opinion on the consideration being paid to the remaining shareholders.
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Beechcraft 1900C N153GA (msn UB-34) makes a stop at Boeing Field (King County Airport) in Seattle (BFI).
Flydubai (Dubai) has announced that it will launch a three times weekly service to Aden and a twice weekly service to Kandahar, starting on August 1 and July 25, 2014 respectively. These new route launches bring the airline’s network to 68 destinations.
Flydubai will become the first UAE-based carrier to fly directly to both Aden in Yemen and Kandahar in Afghanistan. The airline first began operations to Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, in 2012 and Kabul, the Afghan capital, in 2010.
Aden is the commercial capital of Yemen and its deep and naturally protected seaport remains a key driver of the country’s economy. Due to its strategic geographic location, Aden Free Zone has established itself as a regional logistics and manufacturing hub which has helped strengthen economic and social development in the seaport city.
Flydubai will operate three flights per week to Aden, one of which will be via Djibouti. This new service will increase flights to Djibouti to six a week. In addition, flights are available for sale between Aden and Djibouti.
Located in southern Afghanistan, Kandahar is the capital of Kandahar Province with an estimated population of 500,000. The city is a major trading center for sheep, wool, cotton, silk, felt, grains and fresh and dried fruit.
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Flydubai’s Boeing 737-8KN A6-FDL (msn 40239) taxies after being assembled at Renton at Boeing Field (King County Airport) in Seattle.
Flydubai Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) yesterday (April 16) delivered the 8,000th 737 to come off the production line to United Airlines (Chicago) as N68821, marking another important milestone for the world’s best-selling airplane. The airplane, a Next-Generation 737-900 ER (Extended Range), features a special logo.
The 737 is the first commercial airplane in history to reach this delivery milestone. The program has a strong backlog with more than 3,700 airplanes on order, including 1,934 orders for the new 737 MAX.
United was the first airline to order and take delivery of the 737-200. Since 1965, United has taken delivery of more than 550 737s and operated nearly every model.
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-924 ER N68821 (msn 43535) lands at Boeing Field in Seattle. N68821 has small “8000th 737″ gray titles by the main cabin door.
Sunwing Airlines (Toronto) has taken delivery of a new Boeing 737-800 (737-81D C-GNCH, msn 39438) (above) with a new Sky Interior direct from Boeing. The airline issued this statement:
“Sunwing Airlines is pleased to announce it has taken delivery of its newest aircraft directly from the Boeing facility in Seattle. Earlier this month, Sunwing representatives travelled to the Seattle headquarters of Boeing to pick up their latest aircraft — the state-of-the-art 737-800 Boeing plane which is configured within Sunwing fleet specification to accommodate 189 passengers. Sunwing Captain, John Hudson and crew operated the brand new aircraft carrying the Sunwing representatives from Seattle to Toronto.
The Next-Generation aircraft contains most modern interior features such as an innovative cabin mood lighting system, pivoting overhead stowage bins that add to the openness of the cabin, as well as advanced-technology wing design that helps increase fuel capacity and efficiency. After leaving Boeing, the 737-800 series plane was retrofitted with the Split Scimitar Winglets technology prior to its integration into Sunwing Airlines flight operations. This technology improves performance of the aircraft and decreases fuel burn by approximately seven per cent over the same aircraft with no Winglets.”
Top Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-81D C-GNCH taxies at Boeing Field (King County) in Seattle on a clear day.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Sunwing Airlines.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has kicked off expansion of its 737 Commercial Delivery Center (CDC) at Boeing Field in Seattle. The project more than doubles the space that will be available for customers and groups supporting increased 737 deliveries.
The expanded CDC will be more than 90,000 square feet and include a new three-story building, as well as new delivery and departure areas with three covered jetways. The design features an open, airy look with large windows overlooking the Boeing Field flight line. The CDC expansion is the latest of many investments Boeing is making across the Puget Sound region and in the future of the 737 program.
Production of the 737 is set to increase to 42 airplanes per month in April and to 47 airplanes per month in 2017, an increase in output of nearly 50 percent since 2010. Deliveries of the 737 MAX, with the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines and other efficiency enhancements like Advanced Technology winglets, will also begin in 2017 at the upgraded facility.
Plans are in place to ensure seamless deliveries to 737 customers during construction, which includes the demolition of one building. The CDC expansion is scheduled for completion in mid-2015.
SilkAir (Singapore) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) celebrated the delivery of the carrier’s first Next-Generation 737-800 (737-8SA 9V-MGA, msn 44217). The delivery also marked the start of the airline’s transition to an all-Boeing fleet. Over the coming years, Boeing will deliver a total of 23 737-800s and 31 737 MAX 8s to SilkAir.
SilkAir’s new 737 will enter service later this month, flying to existing destinations including in Malaysia,Thailand and Indonesia. With the follow-on 737 deliveries, SilkAir will fly the aircraft to more destinations in Cambodia, Vietnam, India and the Philippines starting in March.
SilkAir is a full-service airline and the regional wing of Singapore Airlines. It currently flies more than 350 weekly flights to 45 destinations in 12 countries.
SilkAir is also celebrating its 25th Anniversary. The airline issued this statement in January:
With 25 years in the air under its wing, SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, will be celebrating its Silver anniversary this year. Marking its anniversary celebrations, the airline will be taking delivery of the first aircraft in its new fleet of 54 Boeing 737s in early February 2014. A total of eight planes are expected this year, with the remaining aircraft to be delivered by the end of this decade. This delivery will enable SilkAir to maintain a young and modern fleet, and cater for the airline’s continued network expansion plans by significantly growing its existing fleet. With the new aircraft, several enhancements will be offered to improve the in-flight experience for travellers including upgraded cabin interiors with more spacious overhead luggage compartments and lighting systems.
In addition to the milestone aircraft delivery, SilkAir will roll out a host of surprises and celebrations for their avid Asian traveller target. For starters, to rally consumers and involve them in SilkAir’s historic Boeing delivery, the airline will bring fans and aviation lovers together to virtually deliver the new aircraft to Singapore. Tracking the actual delivery route, from the Boeing Renton factory in Seattle to Singapore’s Changi Airport via Honolulu, Majuro and Guam, the ‘Bringing Boeing Home with SilkAir’ program is Asia’s first 25-hour flight simulator event that will allow up to 150 selected members of the public to fly a simulator SilkAir Boeing 737-800 plane into Singapore. The event will take place overnight from February 7-8, 2014 at Flight Experience Singapore, located at the Singapore Flyer.
SilkAir travellers will also be rewarded through special promotional deals where 250,000 tickets will be made available at special rates for consumers in Singapore and across the region.
Commenting on the anniversary celebrations, SilkAir Chief Executive, Mr. Leslie Thng, said “It is a tremendously exciting time for the airline, and I am honoured and humbled to be part of such a milestone celebration. I would like to pay a special tribute to our 1,500 employees who have been with us on our incredible 25 year journey. Without their unwavering support, dedication and heart, we would not be here today.”
He added, “SilkAir’s success is also due to the on-going support from our passengers and the public. Helping travellers discover Asia’s newest frontiers for the past 25 years, we are always looking at ways to enhance the journey for our customers. Our new Boeing fleet will enable us to put the passenger at the centre of our focus, with the objective to deliver a higher level of quality and experience. Despite aggressive competition, we have maintained a strong foothold in the market as a full service regional carrier and become known for offering access to unique destinations, with genuine and thoughtful service that exemplifies true Asian hospitality. Moving forward, we will continue to improve and adapt, catering to the evolving needs of travellers in Asia. For instance, to appeal to a more well-travelled audience looking for adventure, we will focus on expanding our network to unique destinations especially in key markets such as China, India and Indonesia. We will continue to build on the last 25 years, and soar to new heights of air travel excellence.”
The demand for flight travel in Asia-Pacific continues to rise, presenting vast opportunities for growth. The Boeing 737-800 delivery allows SilkAir to tap into the growing demand and explore the opening of routes across Asia for our travellers. To meet the need for more crew and pilots with the right skills to operate and run the Boeing 737 fleet, SilkAir has invested in conversion training at Singapore’s Boeing Flight Services Training Centre to equip existing staff with the skills needed for the transition.
The first aircraft is planned to enter service from February 20, 2014, flying to destinations including Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Phuket and Medan while the arrival of the second plane will allow the addition of other routes for the new aircraft including Siem Reap, Danang, Davao, Cebu and Kochi from March 17, 2014.
Since its inception, the airline’s network has expanded to cover 45 exotic destinations in 12 countries across the region. A full-service carrier that offers services and features that ensure enjoyable and reliable travel experiences, SilkAir has maintained a strong position in the intra-Asian market and is already Asia’s most awarded regional airline, with recent titles such as Regional Airline of the Year (Air Transport News 2013 Awards) as well as the TTG Asia Travel Awards Hall of Fame to its name.
Copyright Photo: Boeing. SilkAir and Boeing on Monday (February 3) celebrated the delivery of the carrier’s first Next-Generation 737-800. The delivery also marked the start of the Singapore-based airline’s transition to an all-Boeing fleet. Pictured here is a celebration with company and airline employees at Boeing Field in Seattle on Monday.
Boeing (Chicago) has flown the 787-9 Dreamliner to Auckland, home of launch customer Air New Zealand, marking the 787-9’s international debut and longest flight since the robust test program began.
The second of three 787-9s dedicated to the flight-test program, ZB002 flew direct from Seattle’s Boeing Field to Auckland International Airport, departing January 3 at 9:55 a.m. local time and landing (shown here) some 13 hours, 49 minutes later. The airplane is scheduled to continue on to Alice Springs,Australia, for testing in hot weather.
The 787-9 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 up to 40 more passengers an additional 300 nautical miles (555 km) with the same exceptional environmental performance — 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized aircraft. 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.
Boeing is on track to deliver the 787-9 to launch customer Air New Zealand in mid-2014. Twenty-six customers from around the world have ordered 402 787-9s, accounting for 39 percent of all 787 orders.
Copyright Photo: Boeing.
Spring Airlines Japan (Spring Airlines Japan Company Limited) (Tokyo-Narita), which was established in October 2012 and 33 percent of the stock is owned by Spring Airlines of China, received its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) on December 17, 2013 from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. The remaining 67 percent of the stock is owned by local Japanese investors.
The new airline is planning to fly international flights and domestic flights starting on May 31, 2014.
According to the airline, Spring Airlines Japan will offer “cheap fares, with the aim to improve the convenience of the user and to stimulate new demand with the aim of development of the business, not only in tourism but will continue to contribute to the revitalization of the local economy.”
The airline will utilize 189-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft (above).
Domestically the low-fare airline will operate from Narita Airport to Takamatsu and Saga to Hiroshima.
Copyright Photo: Rick Schlamp/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 737-81D N272LM (msn 39429) was delivered as JA01GR on July 17, 2013 and has been used to obtain the AOC.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) in another move to underscore its growing presence at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and in celebration of its 80th anniversary of service and growing presence in the Seattle/Tacoma area, unveiled at Boeing Field a new Boeing 737-900 ER aircraft (737-932 ER N809DN, msn 31915) as the ‘Spirit of Seattle,’ dedicated to the city of Seattle and the airline’s customers, employees and partners in the region.
The dedication took place in a ceremony at Boeing Field, the same location that Delta began service in Seattle on December 3, 1933, through Northwest Airways, which eventually became Northwest Airlines. The inaugural flight was flown from Spokane to Seattle and back to Spokane on a Waco JTO biplane carrying no passengers. Initial passenger service was a Tacoma-Seattle-Wenatchee-Spokane route using 7-passenger, 120-mph Hamilton H47 Metalplanes.
Today, Delta operates 35 peak-day departures to 15 destinations from its growing gateway in Seattle, including non-stop international service to Amsterdam, Paris, Tokyo-Narita, Tokyo-Haneda, Shanghai and Beijing. Additional international service is planned in 2014 to London-Heathrow as well as Hong Kong and Seoul, pending government approval. Delta will also expand Seattle service to Anchorage, Alaska; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Portland, Ore.; San Diego; and San Francisco and also recently announced new service to Fairbanks, Alaska, and Vancouver, Canada, beginning in the summer of 2014.
More than 100 Delta Chairman’s Club honorees attended the dedication event along with local employees and corporate and community partners. The honorees are accompanying the aircraft on its delivery flight from Seattle to Atlanta prior to entering service later this month. Chairman’s Club is Delta’s highest honor in employee recognition, and honorees embody Delta’s values through their distinguished contributions and exceptional service to customers and the communities Delta serves.
The ‘Spirit of Seattle’ is the ninth of 100 new 737-900 ERs that will be delivered to Delta between 2013 and 2018 as it retires older mainline jets and upgrades its fleet. The 737-900 ER will be deployed on several routes to and from Seattle/Tacoma, among others, and has a range of 3,200 nautical miles, giving it the ability to operate any domestic route in Delta’s extensive network.
Delta will take delivery of three additional 737-900 ERs this year for a total of 12 aircraft in 2013, 19 aircraft per year in 2014 through 2017, and 12 aircraft in 2018. The 180-seat aircraft will replace older, less efficient aircraft on a capacity-neutral basis while providing customers with an industry-leading on-board experience.
As Delta’s first aircraft to feature Boeing’s new “Sky Interior,” the 737-900 ER offers the airline’s customers expanded carry-on baggage space, a roomier, more airy cabin and an LED lighting system that provides different color schemes, such as a soft blue sky and a relaxing pallet of sunset colors.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 737-932 ER N805DN (msn 31913), the fifth, was delivered on November 1, 2013.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. N809DN “The Spirit of Seattle” is seen at Boeing Field in Seattle.
Thai Lion Air (Bangkok-Don Mueang) has secured its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) and is planning to launch scheduled low-fare passenger operations on December 4 with two new 215-seat Boeing 737-900 ERs. The first routes will be from Don Mueang to Chiang Mai, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur according to the Bangkok Post. The low-cost carrier will add Singapore, Guangzhou, Hong, Shenzhen, Delhi and Mumbai next year.
Thai Lion Air is part of the Lion Air Group.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 737-9GP ER N5515R (msn 38738) became HS-LTI when it was handed over on October 18, 2013 in Seattle.
Boeing (Chicago) and the Lion Group (Lion Air) (Jakarta), Indonesia’s largest airline group, yesterday (November 4) commemorated the delivery of the carrier’s 100th Next-Generation 737 at a special event.
The Lion Group’s 100th airplane, the pictured Lion Air 737-9GP ER (Extended Range) PK-LOF (msn 38741) features a special “100th Boeing Next-Generation 737 – Thank You Indonesia” livery commemorating the delivery.
Lion Air, which was established in 1999, was also the launch customer for the 737-900 ER. Lion Air mainline currently operates 67 737-900 ERs and 19 737-800s. The group’s other Next-Generation 737s are allocated to its full-service carrier in Indonesia, Batik Air, and to its overseas affiliates: Malindo Air in Malaysia and Thai Lion Air, a new carrier based in Bangkok.
All of the Lion Group’s new 737 deliveries feature the Boeing Sky Interior, the 787 Dreamliner inspired cabin.
Lion mainline and subsidiary Wings Air serve 76 destinations in Indonesia, giving the group the largest domestic network in Indonesia. Lion Air mainline has 580 flights a day and Wings Air has 180 flights per day.
Top Copyright Photo: The Boeing Company. Bottom Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com.
El Al Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv) and Boeing (Chicago) have finalized an order for two additional Next-Generation 737-900 ER (Extended Range) airplanes. The order comes just two weeks after the Israeli flag-carrier took delivery of its first 737-900 ER. This order brings the total number of 737-900 ERs ordered by El Al to eight.
The order was finalized at a special event hosted by El Al at the carrier’s base at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport to celebrate the recent arrival of El Al’s first 737-900 ER. The Boeing 737-900 ER has the highest capacity and lowest seat-mile cost of Boeing’s single-aisle family and will perfectly complement EL AL’s existing fleet of Next-Generation 737-700s and 737-800s.
El Al’s 737-900 ERs will also feature the innovative Boeing Sky Interior, enabling the airline to differentiate itself from its competitors by offering passengers a more comfortable travel experience. The 737 Boeing Sky Interior features modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting to enhance the sense of spaciousness and larger pivoting overhead stowage bins.
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. Brand new Boeing 737-958 ER 4X-EHA (msn 41552) was delivered to El Al on October 9, 2013.
Thai Lion Air (Bangkok-Don Mueang) is the new low-cost subsidiary of Lion Air of Indonesia. Lion Air has partnered with local Thai interests and is planning to launch operations later this year.
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 737-9GP ER N5515R (msn 38738) with gray “Thai” titles before the main Lion titles, became HS-LTI when it was handed over on October 18, 2013.
Boeing (Chicago) has delivered to UTair Aviation (Khanty-Mansiysk), one of Russia’s leading national carriers, its first directly purchased Next-Generation 737-800. Boeing 737-8LP VP-BUL (msn 41707) was handed over yesterday (October 9). The airline currently has 40 Next-Generation 737s on order to be delivered in the next several years.
UTair’s new 737-800 seats 162 passengers and features the new Boeing Sky Interior. This interior is the latest in a series of enhancements for both airlines and passengers. It introduces LED lighting and curved architecture that welcomes passengers onboard and creates a greater sense of spaciousness and comfort in the cabin. The interior also features modern, sculpted sidewalls and overhead bins that disappear into the ceiling, yet carry more bags.
The Next-Generation 737 family has won orders for more than 6,500 airplanes, while the whole 737 family has surpassed 11,000 orders to date.
Based in Russia, UTair is an integrated air carrier and aircraft services company with over 40 years of experience. Today, UTair operates one of the largest aircraft fleets in Russia and ranks among the top three largest Russian carriers by passenger volume.
Top Copyright Photo: OSDU/AirlinersGallery.com. Acquired in the aircraft market, sister ship Boeing 737-8GU WL VQ-BQP (msn 37553) arrives at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new Boeing 737-8LP VP-BUL (msn 41707) is pictured at Boeing Field in Seattle before the hand over.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) on Friday (September 27) quietly took delivery of its first new Boeing 737-900 ER. The aircraft, the pictured 737-932 ER N801DZ (msn 31912) (fleet number 3801) with Blended Winglets, arrived at the Atlanta base yesterday morning (September 28).
On August 25, 2011, Delta announced it had ordered 100 Boeing 737-900 ER aircraft for delivery between 2013 and 2018 as it retires older mainline jets and upgrades its fleet.
According to Delta, “the order will enable Delta to add 100 fuel-efficient, state-of-the-art 180-seat aircraft to its fleet, replacing on a capacity-neutral basis older technology aircraft that will be retired from the fleet. The new aircraft will improve the company’s profitability while providing customers with an industry-leading on-board experience. With a range of 3,200 nautical miles, the Boeing 737-900ER can operate on any domestic route offered by Delta.”
As previously reported, Delta will take delivery of 12 737-900 ER aircraft in 2013, 19 aircraft per year in 2014 through 2017, and the remaining 12 aircraft in 2018. Each aircraft has committed long-term financing.
As a result of maintenance efficiencies and a 15 to 20 percent improvement in fuel consumption per seat, the Boeing 737-900 ER will have lower unit costs than the older technology Boeing 757 and 767 and Airbus A320 aircraft that it will replace. The aircraft will be equipped with CFM56-7B engines produced by CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric Company of the U.S. and Snecma of France.
The 737-900 ER will be Delta’s first aircraft to feature Boeing’s new “Sky Interior,” which offers expanded carry-on baggage space, a roomier, more airy cabin and an LED lighting system that provides different color schemes, such as a soft blue sky and a relaxing pallet of sunset colors.
Update: On Monday, September 30, 2013 Boeing issued this statement:
Boeing and Delta Air Lines celebrated the delivery of the carrier’s first Next-Generation 737-900 ER (Extended Range). The delivery is part of Delta’s 100-airplane order placed in 2011 to renew its single-aisle fleet with more fuel-efficient airplanes.
The Boeing 737-900 ER is the newest member of the Next-Generation 737 airplane family. It has the highest capacity and lowest seat-mile cost of Boeing’s single-aisle family. The 737-900 ER will fit seamlessly into Delta’s existing fleet of 737-700 and 737-800 airplanes, allowing Delta to efficiently match capacity to market demand with industry leading economics.
Delta’s new 737-900E R seats 180 passengers and features the new Boeing Sky Interior. This interior is the latest in a series of enhancements for both airlines and passengers. It introduces new LED lighting and curved architecture that welcomes passengers onboard and creates a greater sense of spaciousness and comfort in the cabin. The interior also features modern, sculpted sidewalls and overhead bins that disappear into the ceiling, yet carry more bags.
Top Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-932 ER N801DZ (msn 31912) lands at Boeing Field (King County) in Seattle after a test flight.
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Bottom Copyright Photo: Rick Schlamp/AirlinersGallery.com. Another view of N801DZ at Boeing Field.
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) is on the verge this month of taking delivery of its first new Boeing 737-800. This will be the return of the Boeing 737 type to the Aeroflot fleet. The Russian carrier operated the 737-400 in 1998. Aeroflot will join a growing list of airlines operating both the Airbus A320 Family of aircraft and the Boeing 737 Next Generation Family of aircraft.
Aeroflot intends to eventually operate 65 Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft through Russian Technologies including 25 Boeing 737-800s with Winglets as well as the 737-700 and 737-900 ER.
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 737-8LJ VP-BRF (msn 41195) at Boeing Field in Seattle will be the first and is named S. Obraztsov.
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Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is ranked Number 1 in fuel efficiency in a report released by the International Council on Clean Transportation, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. The ICCT study is the first to quantify fuel performance for U.S. airlines.
Alaska, along with its regional partner Horizon Air, led all 15 mainline U.S. carriers as the most fuel-efficient airline operating in the United States in 2010, outperforming the least fuel-efficient carrier by 26 percent.
“We have made significant investments in our fleet, technology and processes to improve our fuel performance, which is a key part of Alaska’s commitment to be the airline industry leader in environmental stewardship. These sustainability efforts also help us keep our costs down in order to provide better value for our customers,” said Keith Loveless, Alaska Air Group’s executive vice president and general counsel. “We’re proud and gratified to see our efforts validated by such an independent and respected source as the International Council on Clean Transportation.”
The ICCT study looked at fuel-consumption data reported annually by airlines to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The study employed methodology developed by a team of researchers at the Federal Aviation Administration’s National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research (NEXTOR) at the University of California, Berkeley, to evaluate fuel efficiency based on passenger miles between origin and destination as well as airports served and/or flight frequency. Researchers looked at fuel burned and identified inefficiencies, such as the use of older technology, circuitous routing and taxiing with two engines instead of one.
By improving its fuel efficiency in recent years, Alaska Airlines reduced its carbon emissions by 30 percent (measured by flying one passenger one mile). This reduction was accomplished through a variety of measures—most notably by migrating to exclusively flying the Boeing 737 and Bombardier Q400, the most fuel-efficient aircraft in their classes.
Alaska Airlines has also made other improvements in its sustainability efforts:
- Sustainable service ware is used for inflight meals and beverages. Additionally, Horizon Air flight attendants recycle 91 percent of all paper, plastic, aluminum and glass generated onboard while Alaska cabin crews divert 80 percent of recyclable materials.
- First-of-their-kind solar-powered boarding ramps are being used in Seattle and San Jose, Calif. This project enables passengers to enter and exit an aircraft faster by using the front and rear doors simultaneously.
- Worked with the FAA and Port of Seattle to implement new arrival routes at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport using satellite-based navigation rather than ground-based radar. The shorter routes, which became operational last spring, save fuel, lower carbon emissions and noise, and reduce pilot-controller workloads.
- Installed the first airport wind-turbine solar panel in Nome, Alaska.
- In August 2013, Alaska became the first airline to sign an agreement with Hawaii BioEnergy LLC to purchase sustainable biofuel for its Hawaii flights.
- Operated 75 passenger flights powered by a 20 percent biofuel blend in November 2011. These flights demonstrated the viability and need for an adequate, affordable and sustainable supply of alternative aviation fuel. The biofuel project grew out of Alaska Air Group’s involvement in Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest, the first U.S. regional group of its kind to study alternative aviation fuels.
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 ER N403AS (msn 41730) climbs away from Boeing Field in Seattle. All-Boeing Alaska enjoys one of the shortest delivery flights in the world from Boeing Field (King County) (BFI) in Seattle to nearby Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).
Reuters Analysis: American Airlines-US Airways merger would offer more service probably with higher ticket prices, but both carriers need the merger
The analysis concludes American Airlines and US Airways need a merger to stay competitive with both Delta Air Lines and United Airlines for the corporate customer.
This analysis takes a look at what would happen if the merger was approved: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new Boeing 737-823 N935NN (msn 33231) was handed over to American Airlines on August 12, 2013.
Boeing (Chicago) has delivered a Next-Generation 737-800 to Iraqi Airways (Baghdad), the first of 30 that the airline ordered in 2008, marking a milestone in its relationship with the airline.
With the delivery of Boeing 737-81Z YI-ASE (msn 40104) on August 12, 2013, Iraqi Airways currently has 39 Boeing airplanes on order, including 29 Next-Generation 737-800s and 10 787 Dreamliners.
Copyright Photo: Duncan Kirk/AirlinersGallery.com. Showing off the Arabic titles side, Boeing 737-81Z YI-ASE is pictured on a test flight at Boeing Field in Seattle. The delivery also ushered in a new look for Iraqi.
Hainan Airlines (Hainan Airlines Company Ltd.) (Haikou and Beijing) brought its first 787 Dreamliner aircraft to China on July 7 at 11 a.m., when the pictured 787-8 B-2722 (msn 34939) landed at Haikou Meilan International Airport.
Top Copyright Photo: Jim Arlow. B-2722 stopped at Seattle (Boeing Field) on its long journey between Charleston and Haikou.
The airline issued this statement:
With the delivery completed, Hainan Airlines becomes the second Chinese airline with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner as part of its fleet. At the welcoming ceremony, Hainan Airlines simultaneously kicked off the “Fly Your Dreams” program, during which the airlines will hand out hundreds of 787 Dreamliner air tickets to graduating college students and model workers as well as randomly selected romantically-engaged couples and ordinary citizens free of charge, providing an unparalleled flying experience for the lucky recipients.
Copyright Photo: Hainan Airlines. B-2722 in flight.
At 11 a.m., the long-awaited 787 Dreamliner aircraft appeared as a great majestic bird in the distance, grabbing the attention of all present. The golden yellow silhouette of the craft glistened against the azure blue of the sky moments before passing through the “water gate,” washing off the dust accumulated during 13 hours of flight. At last, the plane glided to a smooth stop on the spacious parking apron.
Copyright Photo: Hainan Airlines. B-2722 arrives in Haikou and group poses for this historic photo.
Captain Theodore V. Shropshire of Boeing said at the ceremony, “We are excited to witness the maiden flight of Hainan’s first 787 Dreamliner. Boeing remains committed to providing efficient and safe aircraft and technical support for Hainan Airlines. We look forward to more planes from Boeing joining Hainan Airlines’ fleet.”
Copyright Photo: Jim Arlow. Here is the cabin of B-2722.
Hainan Airline’s first two Boeing 787 Dreamliners will initially be used on three domestic routes: Beijing-Haikou and Beijing-Shanghai, and then, following a three-month trial operation along these routes, will become available for North America’s medium- and long-haul international flights including Beijing-Chicago (O’Hare), Beijing-Seattle/Tacoma and Beijing-Toronto (Pearson), further enhancing Hainan Airlines’ global competitiveness. Hainan Airlines’ first 787 will initially be used on the Beijing-Haikou route, sparking a tourism boom between Hainan and Beijing during the summer travel peak season.
Hainan Airlines celebrated its 20th anniversary this year while also launching the “Fly Your Dreams” program. The arrival of the 787 Dreamliner aircraft marked the start of Hainan Airlines’ journey to a new dream.
After the delivery ceremony, Liu Lu announced the start of the 2013 Hainan Airlines 787 “Fly Your Dreams” program. Lin Tao, Deng Xiaogang the leaders from the government of Hainan province and Li Xianhua, the CEO of HNA Group, stepped on stage and inserted a key into a globe, jointly launching the program.
Copyright Photo: Jim Arlow. Another view of the cabin of B-2722.
The program, broken down into five individual segments themed “Student Dream Comes True,” “Travel Dream Comes True,” “Romance Dream Comes True,” “Flying Dream Comes True” and “North American Dream Comes True” will send hundreds of free 787 flight passenger tickets to students from low-income homes who have participated in the recent college entrance exam; locally-based Party members who have performed “above and beyond”; model laborers; air travel aficionados; long distance couples; and ordinary citizens. The program will allow students to travel to their colleges, model laborers to visit Beijing, ordinary citizens to fulfill their dream of flying for the first time, air travel enthusiasts to experience the new 787 and long distance couples a chance to reunite. Passengers can participate in Hainan Airlines’ ” Fly Your Dreams ” program by visiting the company’s official website at www.hnair.com, following Hainan Airlines on the company’s official microblog on Weibo and its official chat account on China’s instant voice messaging app We Chat.
Afterwards HNA’s vice president Huang Qijun handed out the first batch of round trip air tickets between Haikou and Beijing to Hainan-based model workers, who will take the maiden voyage 787 flight to Beijing, realizing their travel dreams.
“Hainan Airlines’ first 787 Dreamliner will take its first commercial maiden voyage on July 11. The most important mission of this flight is for the airline to achieve its dream plan and realize that dream through the 787 Dreamliner, while providing a safe and comfortable onboard experience for each traveler achieving their own personal dream by being on the flight,” Liu Lu added.
A Boeing 737-800 made the airline’s first maiden flight between Haikou and Beijing 20 years ago, and now the airline has chosen another Boeing model, the new 787, to upgrade this route. The airline has continuously added aircraft, from a mere two when the route was first launched, to over 120 craft today. In those 20 years, Hainan Airlines has successively added over 100 Boeing planes to its fleet, becoming an important partner of Boeing in China. The Hainan Airlines’ fleet is now providing 500 routes connecting nearly 90 cities around the world. Hainan Airlines plans to upgrade the overall quality of the fleet through the introduction of more advanced models, expand the route network, consistently add routes to meet customer demand and help with China’s economic and social development as the airline and the country continue to modernize. The 787 Dreamliner addition to the fleet is another step in the airline’s efforts to perfect its five-star level of services and create the ideal flying experience for passengers through its advanced aviation technologies and design concepts.
Sixteen “787 Dream Angels” sporting Hainan Airlines’ grey uniforms made an appearance at the ceremony, and were awarded “Golden Wing” hair accessories by the company. The accessories each have the number “787” embedded in the design, a design which looks like a pair of wings, representing the goodwill behind the realization of Hainan Airlines’ “Golden Dreams.”
The “Dream Angel” crew was selected from more than 3,000 Hainan Airlines crewmembers, and flew on the airline’s first 787 Dreamliner from Charleston, South Carolina in the U.S. to Haikou Meilan International Airport as the plane was being delivered. Each selected crewmember has clocked in thousands of hours of in-flight experience and was chosen for their excellent service skills. Hainan Airlines, by combining its special five-star services with the personalized design of the Boeing 787 aircraft, will enable passengers to partake of an onboard experience akin to a “golden dream.”
In the cabin of the Boeing 787, a flight attendant from the “Dream Angel” crew briefly introduced the customized design of the passenger cabin. With bright red, the representative color of the Chinese nation and its people, as the dominant color, the layout and design of the entire cabin demonstrates Hainan Airlines’ service positioning and brand image as the “The Beauty of the Orient.” The roomy cabin features 213 seats, the lowest number among all the 787 Dreamliners delivered into China. The 36-seat business class cabin is configured in a 2-2-2 layout, with full flat-bed seats and a wide 2.4-meter (95-inch) space separating each seat. The 177-seat economy class cabin with a 3-3-3 seating layout features upgraded seats providing a higher level of comfort. The entire aircraft is equipped with individual 15-inch in-flight entertainment screens and easy access to power supply ports. USB ports are provided in the business class cabin. The newly-designed and lavishly equipped lavatory facilities fully embody the quality goals of Hainan Airlines’ five-star services.
Meanwhile, Hainan Airlines has developed a set of brand new services for passengers on the Boeing 787 aircraft. During the first week following the maiden flight, every passenger will have the opportunity to enjoy special “Golden Dream” welcome drinks as well as “Dream Cookies” specially supplied for 787 Dreamliners. The cookies will also contain “fortune cookie” messages designed to amuse passengers. In addition, Hainan Airlines offers specially produced 787 Series postcards as part of the “Post Office in the Air” onboard service, enabling passengers to send their messages while airborne and to truly experience the fun of being in flight while partaking of Hainan Airlines’ five-star service.
Spring Airlines Japan (Tokyo-Narita) as the new low-cost subsidiary of Spring Airlines (Shanghai), has been approved by Japan’s MLIT for a launch of scheduled passenger operations. However the new airline is now planning to commence operations in late 2013 or early 2014 according to CAPA. The new airline is planning to operate domestic routes initially from Narita Airport to Hiroshima, Kumamoto and Takamatsu. The airline previously was hoping to start operations in the spring of 2013 and the first Boeing 737-800 was prepared for delivery.
Spring Airlines is the largest low-cost carrier in China and operates over 50 international and domestic routes covering a network of more than 30 cities across China, Japan and Thailand. Spring Airlines is the aviation subsidiary of Shanghai Spring International Travel Service.
Copyright Photo: Rick Schlamp/AirlinersGallery.com. Unlike the parent which operates Airbus A320s, Spring Airlines Japan will operate Boeing 737-800s. The Japanese subsidiary also has a different livery. Boeing 737-81D N272LM (msn 39429) will be delivered as JA01GR.
Iraqi Airways (Baghdad) in May 2008, through the Iraqi government, ordered 30 new Boeing 737-800s from The Boeing Company with options for 10 additional aircraft. The first aircraft in the order is being prepared for delivery. The flag carrier is taking the opportunity to also introduce a new livery for the airline. The airline is retaining its historic green and while color scheme but now with updated lines.
Copyright Photo: Duncan Kirk/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-81Z YI-ASE (msn 40104) taxies to the runway at Boeing Field (King County) in Seattle yesterday (May 28) in the evening for a test flight.
UPS Airlines (United Parcel Service) (Atlanta and Louisville) has unveiled a new look for its flagship Boeing 767 fleet by adding winglets as a part of its sustainability efforts to save fuel and reduce emissions.
These wingtip devices, which are arrow-shaped surfaces attached to the tip of each wing, enhance the overall efficiency of the aircraft, saving fuel by reducing drag while also lowering noise emissions by improving take-off performance. The modifications will save UPS more than six million gallons of fuel each year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 62,000 metric tonnes. UPS estimates approximately a four percent fuel savings on each 767 flight.
“UPS continues to lead the industry in sustainable business practices,” said David Abney, UPS chief operating officer. “With the widest portfolio of services in the industry, we are constantly looking for ways to reduce emissions, and drive down operating costs so our customers have the solutions they need to compete in a global economy. These winglets are a perfect example of sustainability in action. They are good business and good stewardship.”
UPS currently operates 54 of the 767 aircraft with five on order. The company plans to have winglets on all 767 aircraft by the end of 2014. Winglets are already installed on UPS’s 747, and MD-11 fleets, and the A300-600 has a similar device called a wingtip fence.
The modifications will add approximately five and a half feet of span to each wing, and each winglet is 11 feet tall. Aircraft weight will increase by nearly 3,000 pounds due to the weight of the winglets and the extensive structural reinforcement of the wing structure. Even at this size and weight, the winglets will still reduce the amount of fuel used per flight.
Winglets improve the aerodynamics of the wing by extending the length of the wing and reducing the amount of drag, which is the force that opposes an aircraft’s motion in the air.
The winglet project is a sustainability initiative implemented by UPS Airlines. The company already operates one of the cargo sector’s youngest and most fuel-efficient air fleet, and is working to reduce its carbon intensity an additional 20 percent by 2020 from a 2005 baseline. Other highlights of the airline’s fuel conservation efforts include computer-optimized flight routes, aircraft taxi time management, and alternate-fuel ground support equipment.
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. The first, Boeing 767-34AF ER N304UP (msn 27242) lands at Boeing Field (King County) in Seattle with the new device.
Lion Air (Jakarta) is reportedly ready to sign a major order with Airbus for narrow body A320 Family aircraft in a high-profile ceremony today in Paris. Lion Air is a staunch Boeing customer and has over 300 Boeing 737-800, 737-900ER and 737 MAX 9 aircraft on order for the fast-growing Asian market.
Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. Boeing 737-9GP ER WL PK-LJJ (msn 37289) turns off the runway after a test flight at Seattle (Boeing Field).