Virgin Australia Airlines (Brisbane) has announced that it will introduce nonstop services between Darwin and Alice Springs from the end of March 2015, to coincide with the opening of the new Virgin Australia Lounge in Darwin.
The airline will introduce this new weekly schedule of services using its Boeing 737 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Colin Hunter/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8FE ZK-PBA (msn 33796) arrives in Auckland, New Zealand.
Makivik Corporation and NorTerra Inc., respectively the shareholders of First Air (Ottawa) and Canadian North (Yellowknife), in April 2014 agreed to hold discussions leading to the merger of their operations consistent with a merger of equals, subject to the successful conclusion of negotiations and regulatory review.
According to the two parties, “The potential merger was intended to create a single airline entity that builds on the strengths and identities of the two companies. A merger would improve the sustainability of these critical Inuit birthright enterprises and would also create better air services and new economic development opportunities across the north.”
Please see the previous report with route maps of both carriers: CLICK HERE
The merger discussions failed. The two parties issued this joint statement:
Makivik Corporation and NorTerra Inc., respectively the shareholders of First Air and Canadian North, announce that they have terminated discussions aimed at merging their airline operations, and no such further discussions are envisaged.
Canadian North and First Air will continue to have a positive working relationship aimed at providing the best possible service to customers in a competitive marketplace.
Flight operations and services at both airlines remain unaffected. The parties will have no further comment on the matter.
Canadian North and its founding companies (Canadian Airlines, Pacific Western Airlines, Transair, Nordair) has proudly served Canada’s North with passenger and cargo services for more than 80 years. Offering scheduled flights to 19 destinations, Canadian North proudly serves the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, via the southern gateways of Edmonton and Ottawa. Canadian North is also the premier provider of fly-in/fly-out charter services for large resource sector clients requiring safe, efficient and economical air transportation. Charter flights are also offered across North America for sports teams, cruise lines and large groups. Canadian North is a subsidiary of NorTerra Inc., which is owned by the Inuvialuit Development Corporation, representing the Inuvialuit of the Western Arctic. For more information please visit http://www.canadiannorth.com.
First has a fleet of 23 aircraft including the only two civilian owned and operated Hercules cargo aircraft in Canada, First Air has been connecting the people of the North for over 65 years.
First Air offers scheduled, cargo and charter services to more northern destinations than any other airline. First Air is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Makivik Corporation and has around 1,000 employees, of which more than 450 work and live in the North. For more information please visit http://www.firstair.ca.
Top Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Canadian North’s DHC-8-106 Dash 8 C-GRGO (msn 258) taxies at Yellowknife.
Bottom Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Set against an angry sky, Boeing 737-2R2C C-FNVK (msn 23130) of First Air displays the polar bear on the tail.
Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) will increase the frequency of its new service to Dallas/Fort Worth to daily from April 16, 2015, to meet the demand from business and leisure travellers on the ultra-long-haul route.
Dallas/Fort Worth will be introduced into Etihad Airways’ global route network on December 3, 2014 with an initial three flights per week service, prior to the upgrade. It is the airline’s sixth route in the United States, alongside New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, which launches on November 18, 2014.
A Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft will be operated on the route, offering a total of eight seats in First Class, 40 seats in Business Class, and 177 seats in Economy Class.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Ex-Air India Boeing 777-237 LR A6-LRE (msn 36304) completes its final approach to Los Angeles.
SF Airlines (Shenzhen) is planning to add the larger Boeing 767-300F freighter to its growing fleet. The 767 will be a new type for the carrier. The cargo airline has placed an order with Boeing for an undisclosed number of 767-300 ER passenger-to-freighter conversions (Boeing Converted Freighters). SF Airlines, a subsidiary of Shenzhen, China-based delivery services company SF Express, will accept its first redelivered 767 in the second half of 2015.
SF Airlines currently operates Boeing 757-200F freighters (above) and Boeing 737 freighters.
Copyright Photo: Yuji Wang/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-2Z0 (F) B-2832 (msn 25887) is pictured at Shanghai (Pudong).
Kunming Airlines (Changshui) has committed to purchase 10 Boeing 737s, including four Next-Generation 737-700s and six 737 MAX airplanes.
The commitment, valued at $897 million at current list prices, is subject to the approval of the Chinese government and will be posted on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website once all contingencies are cleared.
Kunming Airlines, based at Changshui International Airport in the capital city of Yunnan province, began operations in 2009. The carrier currently serves more than 25 cities across China by operating a fleet of 10 Boeing 737-700s and five 737-800s.
Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/AirlinersGallery.com. The larger Boeing 737-87L B-1926 (msn 41111) taxies at Honolulu.
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (New York) today announced the placement of two incremental Boeing 747 freighters into ACMI service with DHL Express.
The two aircraft, a Boeing 747-800F and a 747-400F, will be operated in Polar Air Cargo Worldwide’s express network under an ACMI arrangement for the benefit of DHL Express. Operations are scheduled to begin on October 26, 2014.
When the new ACMI service begins, Polar’s express network will total twelve 747 freighters, consisting of five Boeing 747-800Fs and seven 747-400Fs, in ACMI on behalf of DHL and Polar’s other customers. Atlas also will continue to operate a fleet of Boeing 767 Freighters in CMI service for DHL, with 11 aircraft in operation by the end of January 2015.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Polar Air Cargo’s Boeing 747-46NF N451PA (msn 30809) arrives in Los Angeles.
United Airlines (Chicago) today reported third quarter 2014 net income of $1.1 billion, or $2.75 per diluted share, excluding $151 million of special items, its highest-ever quarterly profit and an increase of 99 percent year-over-year. Including special items, UAL reported third-quarter 2014 net income of $924 million, or $2.37 per diluted share.
United’s consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 3.9 percent in the third quarter of 2014 compared to the third quarter of 2013.
Third-quarter 2014 consolidated unit costs (CASM), excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, increased 1.0 percent year-over-year on a consolidated capacity increase of 0.5 percent. Third-quarter 2014 CASM, including those items, decreased 4.0 percent year-over-year.
UAL ended the third quarter with $6.9 billion in unrestricted liquidity.
The company earned a 12.3 percent return on invested capital for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2014.
United returned $220 million to shareholders as part of its previously announced $1 billion share buyback program.
“Our third-quarter results demonstrate continued progress, and I want to thank our employees for their contributions to our success,” said Jeff Smisek, UAL’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We still have significant opportunity ahead to grow our margins and improve the quality and efficiency of everything we do.”
Third-Quarter Revenue and Capacity
For the third quarter of 2014, total revenue was $10.6 billion, an increase of 3.3 percent year-over-year. Third-quarter consolidated passenger revenue increased 4.4 percent to $9.3 billion, compared to the same period in 2013. Ancillary revenue per passenger in the third quarter increased 10.9 percent year-over-year to more than $22 per passenger. Third-quarter cargo revenue grew 19.1 percent to $237 million driven by higher volumes year-over-year, as cargo traffic returned following lower bookings during the implementation of the company’s new cargo systems in the third quarter of 2013. Other revenue decreased 8.9 percent year-over-year to $1.0 billion mostly due to the company choosing to discontinue an agreement to sell fuel to a third party. The corresponding expense decline appears in third-party business expense.
Consolidated revenue passenger miles increased 0.4 percent and consolidated available seat miles increased 0.5 percent year-over-year for the third quarter, resulting in a third-quarter consolidated load factor of 85.8 percent.
Third-quarter 2014 consolidated PRASM increased 3.9 percent and consolidated yield increased 4.1 percent compared to the third quarter of 2013.
Third-quarter consolidated CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expense, fuel and profit sharing, increased 1.0 percent compared to the third quarter of 2013. Third-quarter consolidated CASM including those items decreased 4.0 percent.
Third-quarter total operating expenses, excluding special charges, decreased $180 million, or 1.9 percent, year-over-year. Including special charges, total operating expenses decreased $348 million, or 3.6 percent, in the third quarter versus the same period in 2013. Third-party business expense was $61 million in the third quarter of 2014.
Third-Quarter Liquidity and Cash Flow
UAL ended the third quarter with $6.9 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $1.35 billion of undrawn commitments under its revolving credit facility. The company generated $574 million of operating cash flow in the third quarter. During the third quarter, the company had gross capital expenditures of $493 million, excluding fully reimbursable projects. The company made debt and capital lease principal payments of $1.1 billion in the third quarter, including the redemption of the entire $800 million of its 6.75 percent secured notes due 2015. The company also issued an additional $500 million tranche of term loan debt in the quarter.
The company’s long-term capital structure goals include reducing its non-aircraft related debt and achieving a total gross debt balance, including capitalized operating leases, of approximately $15 billion while maintaining an unrestricted liquidity balance of $5 billion to $6 billion, including its undrawn revolver.
As part of United’s $1 billion share buyback program, United returned $220 million to shareholders during the third quarter.
For the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2014, the company’s return on invested capital was 12.3 percent.
Third-Quarter 2014 Accomplishments
Operations, Employees and Network
United Airlines reported a third-quarter mainline on-time arrival rate (domestic and international) of 77.6 percent, which was adversely affected by a runway closure at its San Francisco hub and the Sept. 26 sabotage and fire at the air traffic control center in Aurora, Illinois. The on-time arrival rate is based on flights arriving within 14 minutes of scheduled arrival time.
United and the Association of Flight Attendants announced that United will offer its flight attendants an enhanced early out program, which allows participants a one-time opportunity to voluntarily separate from the company and receive a severance payment. United also announced that it is recalling all flight attendants who are on voluntary and involuntary furlough.
During the quarter, United announced five new international routes including Guam to Seoul, South Korea, and Shanghai; Houston to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Newark to London, Ontario, Canada. The company also launched new domestic service from Denver to Lafayette, Louisiana, and Hays, Kansas, and from Houston to Boise, Idaho, and Williston, North Dakota, along with seasonal service from Denver to Sun Valley, Idaho. Additionally, the airline announced new service from Newark to South Bend, Indiana, and seasonal service from Newark to Sarasota, Florida, and San Francisco to Montrose, Colorado.
Fleet and Finance
United became 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 26 787-9s that United has on order. The company also took delivery of four Boeing 737-900 ER aircraft and four Embraer 175 aircraft during the third quarter.
The company announced that it will add 50 new Embraer 175 aircraft to the United Express fleet. United anticipates deliveries will begin in July 2015 and continue through the summer of 2017. The new aircraft will replace large turboprop aircraft and older, less-efficient aircraft, and are in addition to the 70 new E175s previously announced, bringing the total of new E175s to 120.
United sent notice of redemption of the entire $248 million of its 6.0 percent preferred securities due 2030, which were subsequently retired on Oct. 10, 2014.
The company redeemed the entire $800 million of its 6.75 percent secured notes and simultaneously closed on a transaction to increase the size of its undrawn revolving credit facility by $350 million to a total of $1.35 billion, and issued an additional $500 million tranche of term loan debt.
United continued to install onboard Wi-Fi at a rapid rate, with more than 330 mainline aircraft outfitted with Wi-Fi at the end of the third quarter, including all Boeing 747 and Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft. By the end of the year, the company will have Wi-Fi on two thirds of its mainline fleet and will have begun installation on its two-cabin regional fleet.
The company offered personal device entertainment on more than 180 mainline aircraft – including all Boeing 747s, its Airbus fleet and nine Boeing 777s. Personal device entertainment allows passengers to stream videos and TV shows directly to their own devices inflight.
United launched mobile app passport scanning, becoming the first U.S. airline to offer customers the ability to scan their passports on iOS and Android mobile devices to check in for international flights.
United announced significant upgrades to inflight food service, including this summer’s introduction of new, fresh salads and sandwiches for premium-cabin customers on North America flights. Next year, the company will introduce completely redesigned menu concepts and the expansion of premium-cabin meals within North America, upgraded premium-cabin meal service on United Express flights with freshly prepared food, and significantly enhanced United Economy meals and beverages on long-haul international flights.
United continued installing slimmer, next-generation economy-class seats on certain aircraft, which enables one to two additional rows per aircraft. The airline now offers these seats, which are 10 to 15 percent lighter than the seats they are replacing, on approximately 270 aircraft and expects approximately 350 aircraft to be completed by the end of the year.
United launched Mercedes-Benz tarmac-transportation service in Denver, which is now available for Global Services members and United Global First customers at all of the airline’s mainland U.S. hubs.
The company became the first airline to offer customers Uber transportation services, now available through the United app.
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/Airlinersgallery.com. United has been adding new Boeing 737-900 ERs. Boeing 737-924 ER N37466 (msn 31644) arrives at Las Vegas.
Record third quarter net income, excluding special items1, of $382 million, or $.55 per diluted share, compared to third quarter 2013 net income, excluding special items, of $241 million, or $.34 per diluted share. This represented a 61.8 percent increase from third quarter 2013, and exceeded the First Call consensus estimate of $.53 per diluted share.
Record third quarter net income of $329 million, or $.48 per diluted share, which included $53 million (net) of unfavorable special items, compared to third quarter 2013 net income of $259 million, or $.37 per diluted share, which included $18 million (net) of favorable special items.
Record third quarter operating income of $614 million. Excluding special items, record third quarter operating income of $649 million.
Returned $241 million to Shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.
Return on invested capital1, before taxes and excluding special items (ROIC), for the twelve months ended September 30, 2014, of 19.0 percent, as compared to 10.6 percent for the twelve months ended September 30, 2013.
Gary C. Kelly, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are very pleased to report another record quarterly profit performance, which resulted in a $100 million third quarter 2014 profitsharing expense for our Employees. Excluding special items, third quarter 2014 net income was $382 million, or $.55 per diluted share, and operating income was $649 million, resulting in a 13.5 percent operating margin2. The 386 basis point year-over-year improvement in operating margin, excluding special items, was driven by strong revenues, lower jet fuel prices, and a solid cost performance.
“Total operating revenues were $4.8 billion, which was a 5.6 percent increase from a year ago, despite a four percent decline in trips and two percent fewer seats flown3, as we work through the transition of AirTran aircraft. Our traffic and revenue trends were strong throughout the third quarter, generating a 4.5 percent year-over-year increase in unit revenues, despite a large percentage of our route system in development or conversion as we continued to transition AirTran flying to Southwest. Our third quarter 2014 revenue strength was driven by record load factors and a strong performance in our Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program. Thus far, revenue momentum has continued into October 2014, with favorable load factor and unit revenue trends. Current bookings for November and December are also good.
“Our third quarter 2014 cost performance benefited from lower jet fuel prices and our fleet modernization efforts. With these trends continuing, we are poised for another solid cost performance for fourth quarter 2014. Based on current cost trends, and excluding fuel and oil expense, profitsharing, and special items, we expect full year 2014 unit costs to increase approximately two percent compared to last year.
“Our third quarter 2014 financial performance was very gratifying, and I commend our outstanding Employees of Southwest Airlines for their unending dedication to providing reliable, low cost operations with our legendary, friendly Customer Service. As an industry leader of low fares and low costs, we are very pleased with the transformative and successful execution of our strategic initiatives that contributed significantly to our 19.0 percent ROIC for the twelve months ended September 30, 2014. Our Employees are the very best in the airline industry, and we were thrilled to unveil a bold, new visual expression of our brand in September. Our Heart aircraft livery, airport experience, and logo marries our past to our present and commemorates the transformation of Southwest in 2014. It is dedicated with much gratitude to our People.
“We are also thrilled with the July 1, 2014, launch of Southwest international service. During third quarter, we began service to Oranjestad, Aruba; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Nassau/Paradise Island in the Bahamas; and San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos and Cancun, Mexico, all markets previously served by AirTran Airways. Next month, we will initiate Southwest service to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and Mexico City, which will complete the conversion of international service from AirTran to Southwest. Also during third quarter, we announced that our first destination in Central America will be Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica. The inauguration of this service is expected to be on March 7, 2015, subject to government approval.
“October 13, 2014, was a momentous day for Southwest Airlines. After 34 years, we are finally free from the Wright Amendment restrictions4, and have proudly launched our initial nonstop offerings from Dallas Love Field to seven popular destinations, with ten more nonstop destinations, previously announced, on the horizon.
“In addition to our strong third quarter 2014 earnings performance, our balance sheet, liquidity, and cash flows support our commitment to maintain our financial strength so that we can continue to take great care of our Employees, Customers and Shareholders. At the end of third quarter 2014, we had $3.6 billion in cash and short-term investments. For the nine months ended September 30, 2014, net cash provided by operations was $2.7 billion, and capital expenditures were $1.3 billion, resulting in strong free cash flow1 of $1.4 billion. We have further strengthened our balance sheet and repaid $517 million in debt and capital lease obligations, thus far in 2014, including $167 million in debt and capital lease obligations repaid during the nine months ended September 30, 2014, and $350 million repaid on October 1st. Thus far this year, we have returned $893 million to Shareholders through the payment of $138 million in dividends and the repurchase of $755 million in common stock.”
Financial Results and Outlook
The Company’s third quarter 2014 total operating revenues increased 5.6 percent, while operating unit revenues increased 4.5 percent, on a 1.1 percent increase in available seat miles, all as compared to third quarter 2013. Third quarter 2014 passenger revenues were $4.6 billion, which was an increase of 4.9 percent on a unit basis, as compared to third quarter 2013.
Total operating expenses in third quarter 2014 increased 0.7 percent to $4.2 billion, as compared to third quarter 2013. Third quarter 2014 profitsharing expense was $100 million, compared to $69 million in third quarter 2013. The Company incurred costs (before profitsharing and taxes) associated with the acquisition and integration of AirTran, which are special items, of $23 million during third quarter 2014, compared to $28 million in third quarter 2013. Cumulative costs associated with the acquisition and integration of AirTran, as of September 30, 2014, totaled $488 million (before profitsharing and taxes). The Company expects total acquisition and integration costs to be approximately $550 million (before profitsharing and taxes). Excluding special items in both periods, total operating expenses in third quarter 2014 increased 1.1 percent to $4.2 billion, as compared to third quarter 2013.
Third quarter 2014 economic fuel costs were $2.94 per gallon, including $.05 per gallon in favorable cash settlements from fuel derivative contracts, compared to $3.06 per gallon in third quarter 2013, including $.01 per gallon in favorable cash settlements from fuel derivative contracts. Based on the Company’s fuel derivative contracts and market prices as of October 17, 2014, fourth quarter 2014 economic fuel costs are expected to be in the $2.70 to $2.75 per gallon range, compared to fourth quarter 2013’s $3.05 per gallon. As of October 17, 2014, the fair market value of the Company’s hedge portfolio through 2018 was a net liability of $236 million. Additional information regarding the Company’s fuel derivative contracts is included in the accompanying tables.
Excluding fuel and oil expense, profitsharing, and special items in both periods, third quarter 2014 operating costs increased 2.6 percent from third quarter 2013, and increased 1.5 percent on a unit basis.
Operating income in third quarter 2014 was $614 million, compared to $390 million in third quarter 2013. Excluding special items, operating income was $649 million in third quarter 2014, compared to $439 million in the same period last year, a 47.8 percent increase year-over-year.
Other expenses in third quarter 2014 were $89 million, compared to other income of $29 million in third quarter 2013. The $118 million swing primarily resulted from $66 million in other losses recognized in third quarter 2014, compared to $59 million in other gains recognized in third quarter 2013. In both periods, these gains/losses included ineffectiveness and unrealized mark-to-market amounts associated with a portion of the Company’s fuel hedging portfolio, which are special items. Excluding these special items, third quarter 2014 had $16 million in other losses, compared to $19 million in third quarter 2013, primarily attributable to the premium costs associated with the Company’s fuel derivative contracts. Fourth quarter 2014 premium costs related to fuel derivative contracts are currently estimated to be $13 million, compared to $22 million in fourth quarter 2013. Net interest expense in third quarter 2014 was $23 million, compared to $30 million in third quarter 2013.
For the nine months ended September 30, 2014, total operating revenues increased 5.3 percent to $14.0 billion, and total operating expenses were $12.4 billion, resulting in operating income of $1.6 billion, compared to $893 million in operating income for the same period last year. Excluding special items, operating income was $1.7 billion for the nine months ended September 30, 2014, compared to $1.0 billion for the same period last year. Net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2014, was $946 million, or $1.36 per diluted share, compared to $542 million, or $.75 per diluted share, for the same period last year. Excluding special items, net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2014, was $993 million, or $1.42 per diluted share, compared to $569 million, or $.79 per diluted share, for the same period last year.
Balance Sheet and Cash Flows
As of September 30, 2014, the Company had $3.6 billion in cash and short-term investments, and a fully available unsecured revolving credit line of $1 billion. Net cash provided by operations during third quarter 2014 was $240 million, and capital expenditures were $433 million. The Company repaid $48 million in debt and capital lease obligations during third quarter 2014, and intends to repay an additional $395 million in debt and capital lease obligations during fourth quarter 2014, including $350 million repaid on October 1, 2014.
During third quarter 2014, the Company returned $241 million to its Shareholders through the payment of $41 million in dividends and the repurchase of $200 million in common stock, or 5.0 million shares, pursuant to an accelerated share repurchase (ASR) program executed during the quarter. This ASR program was completed in early October, and the Company then received an additional 1.1 million shares, bringing the total shares repurchased under the third quarter 2014 ASR program to 6.1 million. During third quarter, the Company also received the remaining 1.4 million shares pursuant to the second quarter 2014 $200 million ASR program, bringing the total shares repurchased under that ASR program to 7.4 million. Thus far in 2014, the Company has returned $893 million to its Shareholders through $138 million in dividends, and the repurchase of $755 million in common stock, or 29.2 million shares. The Company has $580 million remaining under its existing $1 billion share repurchase authorization.
During third quarter 2014, the Company’s fleet increased by two to 685 aircraft at period end. This reflects the third quarter 2014 delivery of 11 new Boeing 737-800s and two pre-owned Boeing 737-700s, as well as the retirement of one Boeing 737-500. In addition, the Company removed ten Boeing 717-200s from service during third quarter 2014 in preparation for transition out of the fleet.
Boeing 737 Delivery Schedule:
Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N909WN (msn 32458) arrives at Las Vegas.
Third quarter 2014 net profit, excluding net special charges, was a record $1.2 billion, up 59 percent versus the third quarter 2013
Third quarter 2014 GAAP net profit was $942 million, a record for any quarter in the history of American Airlines
Returned $185 million to shareholders through the payment of $72 million in quarterly dividends and the repurchase of $113 million of common stock through the Company’s stock repurchase program
Declared a dividend of $0.10 per share to be paid on November 17, 2014 to shareholders of record as of November 3, 2014
For the third quarter 2014, American Airlines Group reported a record GAAP net profit of $942 million. This compares to a GAAP net profit of $289 million in the third quarter 2013 for AMR Corporation prior to the merger.
The Company believes it is more meaningful to compare year-over-year results for American Airlines and US Airways excluding special charges and on a combined basis, which is a non-GAAP formulation that combines the results for AMR Corporation and US Airways Group. On this basis, third quarter 2014 net profit excluding net special charges was a record $1.2 billion, or $1.66 per diluted share. This represents a 59 percent improvement over the combined non-GAAP net profit of $771 million excluding net special charges for the same period in 2013. The Company’s third quarter 2014 pretax margin excluding net special charges was 11 percent. See the accompanying notes in the Financial Tables section of this press release for further explanation of this presentation, including a reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP financial information.
“We are very pleased to have reported a record profit for each quarter so far in 2014,” said Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. “We anticipate we will also post a record profit for both the fourth quarter and full year 2014. This performance reflects the strength of our merger and the commitment of our team. Our over 100,000 team members are doing an excellent job of integrating our airlines and providing outstanding service to our customers. While some of the biggest tasks in our integration still lie before us, the significant accomplishments to date reinforce our confidence that we are well on our way to restoring American as the world’s greatest airline. Thanks to our team, American is in excellent position for success in 2015 and beyond.”
Revenue and Cost Comparisons
Total revenues in the third quarter were a record $11.1 billion, an increase of 4.4 percent versus the third quarter 2013 on a combined basis, on a 2.0 percent increase in total available seat miles (ASMs). Consolidated passenger revenue per ASM (PRASM) was a record at 14.12 cents, up 1.0 percent versus the third quarter 2013 on a combined basis, driven by a record yield of 16.93 cents, up 2.6 percent year-over-year.
Total operating expenses in the third quarter were $9.9 billion, an increase of 3.5 percent over combined third quarter 2013. Third quarter mainline cost per available seat mile (CASM) was 13.28 cents, up 1.3 percent on a 2.1 percent increase in mainline ASMs versus combined third quarter 2013. Excluding special charges and fuel, mainline CASM was up 0.7 percent compared to the combined third quarter 2013, at 8.35 cents. Regional CASM excluding special charges and fuel was 15.52 cents, up 3.7 percent on a 1.0 percent increase in regional ASMs versus combined third quarter 2013.
Liquidity and Financing Transactions
At September 30, 2014, American had approximately $8.8 billion in total cash and short-term investments, of which $875 million was restricted. The Company also had an undrawn revolving credit facility of $1.0 billion.
During the third quarter, the Company Issued $957 million principal amount of 2014-1 Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates (EETC) at a blended interest rate of 3.8 percent and issued $750 million principal amount of 5.5 percent senior unsecured notes due in 2019.
Also in the third quarter, the Company returned $185 million to its shareholders through the payment of $72 million in quarterly dividends and the repurchase of $113 million of common stock, or 2.9 million shares. The Company also purchased approximately 432,000 shares from its Disputed Claims Reserve at the prevailing market price to satisfy certain tax obligations resulting from the July 1, 2014, distribution.
As of September 30, 2014, $721 million of the Company’s unrestricted cash balance was held in Venezuelan bolivars, valued at the weighted average applicable exchange rate of 6.41 bolivars to the dollar. The Company’s cash balance held in Venezuelan bolivars decreased $70 million from the June 30, 2014, balance of $791 million, due primarily to $48 million in repatriations in the third quarter of 2014 ($31 million valued at 6.3 bolivars to the dollar and $17 million valued at 10.6 bolivars to the dollar). This balance also reflects the Company’s significant reduction in capacity in this market, pending further repatriation of funds and due to a decrease in demand for air travel resulting from the effective devaluation of the bolivar. The Company continues to work with Venezuelan authorities regarding the timing and exchange rate applicable to the repatriation of funds held in local currency. The Company is monitoring this situation closely and continues to evaluate its holdings of Venezuelan bolivars for potential impairment.
In early October, the Company arranged a new credit facility consisting of a fully-drawn $750 million term loan that matures in October 2021 and an undrawn $400 million revolving credit facility that matures in October 2019. Collateral for the new credit facility consists of certain slots, gates and route authorities. Also in early October, the Company increased its existing $1 billion revolving credit facility by $400 million and extended its maturity date from June 2018 to October 2019. As a result of these transactions, the Company’s undrawn revolving credit facility is now $1.8 billion.
On October 22, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a dividend of $0.10 per share for shareholders of record as of November 3, 2014. The dividend will be paid on November 17, 2014.
Merger Integration Developments
Reached a tentative agreement with the Association of Professional Flight Attendants on a joint collective bargaining agreement covering more than 24,000 flight attendants at American and US Airways. This agreement is pending ratification by the flight attendants
Recalibrated the schedule at our Miami hub to increase the number of available connections and optimize revenue
Combined operations at 82 airports since the merger, including the Company’s hub at Chicago O’Hare
Broke ground on our new state of the art Robert W. Baker Integrated Operations Center in Fort Worth, with completion planned for the third quarter of 2015
American flight attendants began exclusively using an electronic flight attendant manual on a handheld tablet, making the documents easier to access for flight attendants and reducing weight on each aircraft. US Airways flight attendants will begin using eManuals after the two carriers achieve a single operating certificate next year
Rebranded nine Admirals Club® lounges at eight airports, including Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Boston Logan Airport, Pittsburgh International Airport, and Tampa International Airport
Fleet and Network Developments
As part of its plan to modernize its fleet, the Company took delivery of 22 new mainline aircraft during the third quarter
US Airways became fully integrated in the trans-Atlantic joint business by launching a codeshare agreement with Finnair, providing customers increased access to Helsinki and beyond
Applied for new international service between Dallas/Fort Worth and Beijing. This will be the Company’s 11th route between the U.S. and Asia
In the third quarter, the Company recognized a total of $281 million in net special charges, including:
$223 million net special operating charges, which principally included $168 million of mainline and regional merger integration expenses and an $81 million charge to revise prior estimates of certain aircraft residual values. These charges were offset, in part, by a net $40 million credit for bankruptcy related items consisting of fair value adjustments for bankruptcy settlement obligations
$50 million of nonoperating items, primarily due to early debt extinguishment costs related to American’s 7.5 percent senior secured notes and other debt
$8 million in non-cash deferred income tax provision related to certain indefinite-lived intangible assets
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways is now repainting its fleet, including the older Boeing 757-200s. Boeing 757-23N N203UW (msn 30548) taxies at the Charlotte hub.
Alaska Air Group, Inc., (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) today reported third quarter 2014 GAAP net income of $198 million, or $1.45 per diluted share, compared to $289 million, or $2.04 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2013. Excluding the impact of mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments and a one-time special revenue item in the prior year, the company reported record adjusted net income of $200 million, or $1.47 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $157 million, or $1.11 per diluted share, in 2013.
“This was our best quarterly result ever” said CEO Brad Tilden. “I want to thank our 13,000 employees who are keeping a focus on playing our game, and working hard every day to run a great operation, keep fares low, and deliver award winning service to our customers. All of us at Alaska would like to thank our customers for their continued loyalty.”
Reported record third quarter net income, excluding special items, of $200 million – a 27% increase over the third quarter of 2013.
Reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.47 per diluted share, a 32% increase over the third quarter of 2013 and ahead of First Call analyst consensus estimate of $1.42 per share.
Earned net income for the third quarter under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $198 million or $1.45 per diluted share, compared to net income of $289 million, or $2.04 per diluted share in 2013.
Recorded $84 million of incentive pay through the first nine months of 2014. This includes each Air Group employee earning at least $800 by meeting or exceeding monthly customer satisfaction and operational performance goals and tracking to earn above-target payouts for full-year goals.
Increased fuel efficiency (as measured by seat-miles per gallon) by 2.8% as part of our effort to be the airline leader in environmental stewardship.
Grew passenger revenues by 7%, compared to the third quarter of 2013.
Generated record adjusted pretax margin in the third quarter of 21.8% compared to 18.4% in 2013.
Generated 15.9% pretax margin for the trailing 12-month period ended Sept. 30, 2014, compared to 11.7% for the same period in the prior year.
Achieved trailing 12-month after-tax return on invested capital of 17.2% compared to 13.0% in the 12-month period ended Sept. 30, 2013.
Repurchased 3.4 million shares of common stock for $159 million in the third quarter of 2014, and 5.3 million shares for $242 million in the first nine months of 2014, representing 3.8% of the total shares outstanding at the beginning of the year.
Paid a $0.125 per-share quarterly cash dividend on September 4, bringing total dividend payments so far this year to $51 million.
Generated $1 billion in operating cash flows for the 12-months ended Sept. 30, 2014, generating $321 million of free cash flows.
Lowered adjusted debt-to-total-capitalization ratio to 31%.
Held $1.3 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of Sept. 30, 2014.
Became one of only two U.S. airlines with investment grade credit ratings.
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N579AS (msn 35187) arrives in Las Vegas.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), representing the carrier’s approximately 6,000 Customer Service Agents and Customer Support and Services Representatives, announced today the two parties have reached a tentative agreement. The tentative agreement is for a new four year contract and requires Membership ratification. The current contract became amendable in October 2012.
In the upcoming weeks, the IAM membership will be given the full details of the agreement and have the opportunity to vote on ratification.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Southwest’s Boeing 737-7H4 N708SW (msn 27842) in the new “Heart” livery arrives at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
The Boeing Company (Chicago and Seattle) today reported third quarter revenue increased 7 percent to $23.8 billion on higher deliveries (Table 1). Core earnings per share (non-GAAP) increased 19 percent* to $2.14, driven by strong performance across the company’s businesses. Third-quarter core operating earnings (non-GAAP) increased 13 percent* to $2.4 billion from the same period of the prior year.
GAAP earnings per share was $1.86 and GAAP earnings from operations was $2.1 billion.
Core earnings per share guidance for 2014 increased to between $8.10 and $8.30, from $7.90 to $8.10 on continued strong operating performance. GAAP earnings per share guidance for 2014 increased to between $6.90 and $7.10, from $6.85 to $7.05. Operating cash flow before pension contributions* guidance increased to greater than $7 billion. Commercial Airplanes operating margin guidance increased to approximately 10.5 percent.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) customers will have greater access to domestic Japanese destinations starting on October 22, 2014, thanks to a new codeshare agreement between American and Jetstar Japan (Tokyo-Narita).
Under the new arrangement, American Airlines will place its ‘AA’ code on services operated by Jetstar Japan between Tokyo Narita International Airport and Fukuoka, Matsuyama, Okinawa (Naha), Osaka (Kansai) and Sapporo (Shin Chitose), with first flights under the codeshare starting on October 26, 2014.
Jetstar Japan is a partnership between the QANTAS Group, Japan Airlines, Mitsubishi Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation. It operates 18 Airbus A320 aircraft across 10 destinations in Japan.
Top Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. American’s Boeing 777-223 ER N776AN (msn 29582) slips into the clouds over the London area after departing from Heathrow Airport.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Jetstar Japan’s Airbus A320-232 JA15JJ (msn 5701) arrives at the Tokyo (Narita) base.
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is bringing more Hawaii to its customers in San Diego with new nonstop flights between San Diego and Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii. Starting March 5, 2015, the new flights will operate three times weekly.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N593AS (msn 35107) completes the river approach into Washington’s Reagan National Airport.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) today (October 22) opened a demonstration facility that will turn waste cooking oil, commonly referred to as “gutter oil” in China, into sustainable aviation biofuel. The two companies estimate that 500 million gallons (1.8 billion liters) of biofuel could be made annually in China from used cooking oil.
Boeing and COMAC are sponsoring the facility, which is called the China-U.S. Aviation Biofuel Pilot Project. It will use a technology developed by Hangzhou Energy & Engineering Technology Co., Ltd. (HEET) to clean contaminants from waste oils and convert it into jet fuel at a rate of 160 gallons (650 liters) per day. The project’s goal is to assess the technical feasibility and cost of producing higher volumes of biofuel.
Sustainably produced biofuel, which reduces carbon emissions by 50 to 80 percent compared to petroleum through its lifecycle, is expected to play a key role in supporting aviation’s growth while meeting environmental goals. The Boeing Current Market Outlook has forecast that China will require more than 6,000 new airplanes by 2033 to meet fast-growing passenger demand for domestic and international air travel.
Boeing and COMAC have been collaborating since 2012 to support the growth of China’s commercial aviation industry. Their Boeing-COMAC Aviation Energy Conservation and Emissions Reductions Technology Center in Beijing works with Chinese universities and research institutions to expand knowledge in areas that improve aviation’s efficiency, such as aviation biofuel and air traffic management.
Biofuel produced by the China-U.S. Aviation Biofuel Pilot Project will meet international specifications approved in 2011 for jet fuel made from plant oils and animal fats. This type of biofuel has already been used for more than 1,600 commercial flights.
COMAC is also the builder of the new C919 jetliner.
In other news, Boeing yesterday (October 21) celebrated the groundbreaking of its new 777X Composite Wing Center at the Everett, Washington, campus. Permitting for the new 1-million-square-foot facility was completed approximately seven weeks earlier than anticipated, allowing for an accelerated start to construction.
Boeing is investing more than $1 billion in the Everett site for construction and outfitting of the new building.
Once completed, the facility located on the north side of the main final assembly building will help usher in composite wing fabrication for the company’s newest commercial jetliner and sustain thousands of local jobs for decades to come.
Completion of the new building, which is expected in May 2016, will require approximately 3.5 million hours of work. At its peak, there will be approximately 1,200 contract employees working on the project. By the numbers, the new building will require:
31,000 tons (28,000 metric tons) of steel
480 miles (770 kilometers) of electrical cable
80,000 linear feet (24,384 meters ) of process piping
530,000 cubic yards (405,210 cubic meters) of fill material
170,000 tons (154,000 metric tons) of concrete
To date, the 777X has accumulated 300 orders and commitments. Two models will comprise the 777X family – the 777-8X, with approximately 350 seats and a range capability of more than 9,300 nautical miles; and the 777-9X, with approximately 400 seats and a range of more than 8,200 nautical miles. The 777-8X competes directly with the Airbus A350-1000, while the 777-9X is in a class by itself, serving a market segment that no other airplane can. First delivery of the 777X is targeted for 2020.
Royal Air Maroc (Casablanca) will introduce the new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on the Casablanca-Paris (Orly) route on January 8, 2015 per Airline Route. Casablanca-New York (JFK) 787 service is due to start on February 22, 2015. The new type will also operate to Montreal (Trudeau) starting on March 29, 2015, Algiers (June 14, 2015) and Jeddah (June 16, 2015).
Royal Air Maroc has four 787-8s on order.
Image: Royal Air Maroc.
AirEuropa (Palma de Mallorca and Madrid) on March 30, 2015 will add the Madrid-Tel Aviv route with Boeing 737-800s. The new route will be operated three days a week per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-85P EC-LVR (msn 36593) taxies to the gate at Palma de Mallorca.
Monarch Airlines (London-Luton) has announced two new destinations from Leeds/Bradford for the coming summer. The summer 2015 schedule from Leeds Bradford Airport will offer two new routes during the summer months to Alicante (starting on March 29) and Naples (March 30), in addition to eight routes continued from summer 2014, making a total of 28 flights per week. Flights to the increasingly popular destinations of Dalaman and Faro will see a rise in frequencies and holiday makers will enjoy more convenient flight times to Barcelona, Faro and Mahon. The airline will have 10 routes from LBA for the next summer season.
In July, Monarch Airlines announced that Boeing had been chosen as the preferred bidder for its anticipated fleet renewal project. The airline is currently working towards agreeing to terms which will see 30 new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft joining the Monarch fleet from April 2018, with options to add up to an additional 15 to the order.
Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. If the Boeing deal is finalized, the Airbus A320 family fleet is expected to be reduced. Airbus A320-214 G-ZBAA (msn 5526) with Sharklets departs from Palma de Mallorca.
British Airways (London) is taking each of its eight Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners out of service one at a time for routine warranty service work by Boeing at Victorville, California. Starting with the pictured Boeing 787-8 G-ZBJA (msn 38609), each aircraft from the first four deliveries (JA-JD), is expected to take around 10 days for the service work. The last four 787s to be delivered (JE-JH) are expected to take less time since they are closer to the new 787s being delivered. Each of the eight aircraft, when finished, will be the same as new production 787s currently being delivered. This is normal procedure for a new aircraft type as the manufacturer often makes some changes as aircraft roll off the production line.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. G-ZBJA departs from London (Heathrow).
Aerolineas Argentinas (Buenos Aires) is coming to Havana, Cuba. The airline will operate twice-weekly Boeing 737-800 services on the Buenos Aires-Caracas-Havana extended route starting on January 4, 2015 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Alvaro Romero/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-86J LV-FQC (msn 37744) is pictured at downtown Aeroparque Jorge Newbery Airport in Buenos Aires.
LAN Airlines (Santiago) is planning to assign the Boeing 787-8 to the unique Santiago-Easter Island route. The 787 will operate on the remote route starting on October 1, 2015 three days a week per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Rob Finlayson/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner CC-BBG (msn 38477) arrives at the Santiago hub.
LAN Airlines Aircraft Slide Show:
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) continues to expand Boeing 717 operations as more aircraft are released from AirTran Airways. As previously reported, AirTran will operate its last flight on December 28.
Delta will introduce the 717 to the Minneapolis/St. Paul hub starting on January 6, 2015 with a route to Charlotte. Kansas City, Madison and Philadelphia will be added on February 13 followed by Detroit on March 2 per Airline Route.
Delta is also assigning the 717 to two new routes from the Atlanta hub to both Georgetown (December 20) and Nassau (January 12) in the Bahamas.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 717-231 N929AT (msn 55075) arrives at Washington (Dulles).
British Airways (London) will resume Boeing 747-400 service on the London (Heathrow)-Denver route on March 29, 2015, replacing a Boeing 777-200 ER according to Airline Route. BA last operated the Jumbo on the route in 2003.
British Airways issued this statement:
British Airways announced that customers in Denver will soon be able to enjoy British Airways’ new First class cabin. From March 2015 the Denver to London service will be operated by a four class Boeing 747-400 aircraft.
British Airways began flying to Denver 16 years ago and the airline now offers a daily service to London Heathrow. The Boeing 747 aircraft will provide customers with a choice of World Traveller (economy), World Traveller Plus (premium economy), Club World (business class) and the airline’s flagship brand, First.
Premium First Experience
The First class cabin has 14 suites that are based on classic design and discrete luxury. Features include:
Individual seats that turn into a 6 ft. 6 in. fully flat beds with a simple twist of a button
Signature turn down service includes a luxurious quilted mattress, crisp white cotton duvet and pillow, along with pajamas and luxury amenity kit.
A personal closet and leather-bound writing desk that converts into a dining table
A la carte dining and a buddy seat to enable customers to dine together
A 15” in-flight entertainment screen with extensive TV, movie and audio selections
Lighting and electronic blinds that can be modified to reflect mood and time of day
All British Airways long haul flights include benefits such as free meals and all beverages, as well as free baggage allowance and seat allocation. The airline also provides a “Feed Kids First” service ensures that children are served first, allowing parents to enjoy their own meal.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-436 G-BNLS (msn 24629) departs from London’s Heathrow Airport.
Royal Jordanian Airlines (Amman) today (October 18) inaugurated Boeing 787 Dreamliner service to Geneva.
Above: Twitter photo by IATA. The arrival was greeted with the traditional water cannon salute.
In other news, RJ announced a new policy for checked luggage, based on the piece concept instead of the weight concept. The new policy will be effective for ticketing on October 15, 2014, for travel as of November 2, 2014 to all RJ destinations.
Checked baggage allowance to all destinations except North America
Two pieces, the weight of the first is up to 30kg and the weight of the second is up to 23kg.The sum of the three dimensions of one piece must not exceed 158cm/62 inches
One piece, with a weight up to 30kg.
The sum of the three dimensions of one piece must not exceed 158cm (62 inches).
One piece with a maximum weight of 10 kg/22 lbs the sum of the 3 dimensions must not exceed 115cm/45 inches, and a carry-on fully-collapsible child stroller/push-chair, or infant carrying basket or infant car seat, which may be carried in the passenger cabin subject to the availability of space.
The same baggage allowance as passengers paying full adult fare.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 JY-BAA (msn 37983) arrives at London (Heathrow).
Air France reaches a tentative agreement with the pilot’s union concerning the expansion of Transavia France
Air France and the representative pilot unions have just reached a draft agreement concerning the development of Transavia France.
This text will be presented on Friday, October 17 at the Special Board Meeting of SNPL Air France ALPA. Then it will be submitted to a referendum of its members for a signature in mid-November. The SNPL Transavia has also taken part in the talks.
The terms are as follows:
The development of Transavia France beyond 14 Boeing 737s will be assured as from summer 2015 in order to accelerate the Group’s development on the rapidly-expanding leisure market;
Pilots flying for Transavia France will be employed under Transavia France operating and remuneration conditions to ensure the company’s competitiveness and its development as a complement to the Air France network. Moreover, two co-existing contracts (Transavia France and Air France) will be implemented for Air France pilots flying for Transavia France;
These terms will provide pilots with dynamic and integrated career development, including a single seniority list, in response to high expectations on the part of pilots.
Any future changes in working conditions and remuneration at Transavia France will seek the agreement of the SNPL Air France ALPA and SNPL Transavia, again in response to clear demands expressed by pilots.
Air France considers that this balanced solution, the result of a responsible and peaceful social dialogue, will lead to the rapid development of Transavia France and an increased value added for the benefit of its customers and staff.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Transavia France’s Boeing 737-8K2 F-GZHD (msn 29650) taxies at the leisure destination of Palma de Mallorca.
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) has announced its schedule changes for its winter schedule valid until March 28, 2015:
During winter season 2014/2015 Aeroflot plans to fly to 52 countries including 8 CIS countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Uzbekistan and Ukraine).
Aeroflot will operate its own flights to 121 destinations — 69 of which are abroad — including 46 destinations in Europe, 13 in Asia, 5 in the USA, 5 in the Middle East and Africa. The winter CIS network covers 11 destinations: Baku, Bishkek, Yerevan, Minsk, Tashkent, Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Odessa, Karaganda, Chisinau.
Starting from February 1, 2015 Aeroflot will add two new destinations, twice daily to the Russian cities of Arkhangelsk and Murmansk.
During the winter season Aeroflot will fly daily to Tbilisi and Chisinau.
Aeroflot will continue operating on the routes which were opened last summer season: Moscow — Karaganda, Moscow — Rostov-on-Don, Moscow — Novy Urengoy.
Aeroflot domestic network includes 41 destinations: Abakan, Anapa, Arkhangelsk, Astrakhan, Barnaul, Vladivostok, Volgograd, Ekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Kazan, Kaliningrad, Kemerovo, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Magnitogorsk, Murmansk, Mineralnye Vody, Nizhnevartovsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Nizhnekamsk, Novokuznetsk, Novosibirsk, Novy Urengoy, Orenburg, Omsk, Perm, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saint Petersburg, Simferopol, Sochi, Surgut, Tomsk, Tyumen, Ufa, Khabarovsk, Chelyabinsk, Chita, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Yakutsk.
Aeroflot will also introduce additional frequencies on already existing routes from Moscow to the following destinations (flights per week): Saint Petersburg (from 98 to 108), Krasnodar (from 39 to 48), Mineralnye Vody (from 7 to 21), Orenburg (from 7 to 14), Simferopol (from 14 to 35), Ekaterinburg (from 35 to 42), Volgograd (from 21 to 28), Irkutsk (from 10 to 21), Novosibirsk (from 21 to 28), Tyumen (from 14 to 21), Rostov-on-Don (from 7 to 21), Yakutsk (from 5 to 6), Minsk (from 21 to 28), Vilnius (from 7 to 14), Dusseldorf (from 21 to 28), Bucharest (from 4 to 7), Amsterdam (from 14 to 21), Helsinki (from 7 to 14), Bangkok (from 10 to 14), Los-Angeles (from 6 to 7), Miami (from 3 to 4).
Instead of the flights to Gelendzik, Heraklion, Dubrovnik and Split operated only during the summer season, Aeroflot will fly to Phuket. Two traditional summer destinations — Thessaloniki and Tivat — will become year-round for the first time.
In total Aeroflot Group and its code sharing partners will fly to 333 unique destinations in 68 countries including Russia.
In other news, Aeroflot is transferring the assets of grounded Dobrolet (2nd) (Moscow) to its new subsidiary called Byudzhetny Perevozchik, (translated as Budgetary Carrier).
The new subsidiary will operate low fare Boeing 737-800 flights from Moscow (Sheremetyevo) to Belgorod, Kazan, Surgut, Perm, Yekaterinburg, Ufa, Samara, Volgograd and Tyumen according to Russian News.
Aeroflot Fleet Information: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: OSDU/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-9LJ VP-BZA (msn 41198) of Aeroflot arrives at the Moscow (Sheremetyevo) hub.
American Airlines‘ (Dallas/Fort Worth) CEO Doug Parker announced the airline would restore the Miami-Frankfurt route in the first half of 2015 according to the Miami Herald. The route is expected to be operated with Boeing 767-300 ERs.
American is expanding the Miami hub as it celebrates 25 years of expansion at Miami International Airport. American Airlines started serving MIA with a single DFW-MIA route. However with the acquisition of the Latin American routes from Eastern Airlines (1st), the hub started to grow to the 341 daily flights today.
Lufthansa operates its Airbus A380s on the route.
Read the full story: CLICK HERE
MIA Hub Terminal Map: With the recent expansion American Airlines has expanded from the North Terminal (Concourse D) back into the older Concourse E.
Copyright Photo: Ariel Shocron/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-323 ER N343AN (msn 33082) with Oneworld titles arrives at the Miami hub.
American Airlines Historical Liveries Slide Show:
British Airways (London) today announced that from March 29, 2015, Montreal will be served by the airline’s new Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet, marking the first scheduled Dreamliner service between Montreal and London.
British Airways operates a daily service between the two cities and provides connections to more than 130 cities beyond London. The first Dreamliner received by British Airways made its inaugural flight to Toronto one year ago and last month Calgary became the second Canadian city to receive the most modern aircraft in the airline’s new fleet.
The new aircraft accommodates 214 passengers: 35 in Club World (business class), 25 in World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and 154 in World Traveller (economy). The three newly designed cabins feature high quality materials, comfortable seats and increased bag storage. Customers in British Airways Club World cabin can take advantage of wide, full-flat beds and Club Kitchen, a snack bar open throughout the flight.
The 787 also has the largest windows of any commercial airliner, offering customers views of the horizon from every seat. Instead of pull down blinds, each one has its own dimmer switch.
British Airways’ 787 features the airline’s new Thales entertainment system. Each seat has a television screen and customers can choose from more than 700 hours of content, including 230 TV programs, 70 movies and 400 music albums and interactive games. Travelers can also chat and play games with friends elsewhere on the aircraft using an in-seat chat system.
Copyright Photo: AirlinersGallery.com. Up-close taxiway action of BA’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner G-ZBJD (msn 38619).
British Airways Aircraft Slide Show:
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today reported financial results for the September 2014 fourth quarter. Key points include:
Delta’s pre-tax income for the September 2014 quarter was $1.6 billion, excluding special items, an increase of $431 million over the September 2013 quarter on a similar basis. Delta’s net income for the September 2014 quarter was $1.0 billion, or $1.20 per diluted share, and its operating margin was 15.8 percent, excluding special items.
On a GAAP basis including special items, Delta’s pre-tax income was $579 million, operating margin was 7.5 percent and net income was $357 million, or $0.42 per diluted share.
Results include $384 million in profit sharing expense in recognition of Delta employees’ contributions toward achieving the company’s financial goals, which makes a year-to-date profit sharing accrual of $823 million.
Delta generated $910 million of free cash flow during the September 2014 quarter. The company used its strong cash generation in the quarter to reduce its adjusted net debt to $7.4 billion and return $325 million to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.
Delta’s operating revenue improved 7 percent, or $688 million, in the September 2014 quarter compared to the September 2013 quarter, driven by continued strength in corporate and domestic revenues. Traffic increased 3.7 percent on a 3.2 percent increase in capacity.
Passenger revenue increased 6 percent, or $522 million, compared to the prior year period. Passenger unit revenue (PRASM) increased 2.4 percent year-over-year with a 1.9 percent improvement in yield. Seat-related products and other merchandising initiatives increased revenues by nearly $50 million versus the prior year period.
Cargo revenue increased 7 percent, or $15 million, on higher freight yields and volumes.
Other revenue increased 15 percent, or $151 million, driven by joint venture, SkyMiles revenues, and third-party refinery sales.
Comparisons of revenue-related statistics are as follows:
Consolidated unit cost excluding fuel expense, profit sharing and special items (CASM-Ex2), was up 0.3 percent in the September 2014 quarter on a year-over-year basis as the benefits of Delta’s domestic refleeting and other cost initiatives offset the company’s investments in its employees, products and operations.
Excluding special items, total operating expense in the quarter increased $320 million year-over-year driven by higher revenue- and volume-related expenses and $135 million higher profit sharing expense. These cost increases were partially offset by lower fuel expense and savings from Delta’s cost initiatives.
Excluding mark-to-market adjustments,3 fuel expense declined $23 million driven by lower market prices and higher refinery profits. Delta’s average fuel price was $2.90 per gallon for the September quarter, which includes $63 million in settled hedge gains. Operations at the refinery produced a $19 million profit for the September quarter, a $16 million improvement year-over-year.
Non-operating expense declined by $63 million excluding special items as a result of lower interest expense and a $23 million increased contribution associated with Delta’s 49 percent ownership stake in Virgin Atlantic.
Tax expense, excluding special items, increased $629 million compared to the prior year quarter, as the company now recognizes tax expense for financial reporting purposes following the reversal of its tax valuation allowance at the end of 2013. Delta’s net operating loss carryforwards of more than $13 billion largely offset cash taxes due on future earnings.
On a GAAP basis, consolidated CASM increased 12 percent and total operating expense was up $1.4 billion compared to the September 2013 quarter primarily due to special items associated with fleet restructuring and mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges settling in future periods. GAAP fuel expense increased $609 million on a year-over-year basis primarily driven by the hedge performance including mark-to-market adjustments. GAAP fuel cost per gallon for the quarter was $3.23. Non-operating expenses for the quarter increased by $56 million as a result of a $134 million special item for loss on extinguishment of debt resulting from Delta’s debt reduction initiatives. On a GAAP basis, tax expense was $222 million in the quarter.
Adjusted cash from operations during the September 2014 quarter was $1.3 billion, driven by the company’s September quarter profit, partially offset by the normal seasonal decline in advance ticket sales. The company generated $910 million of free cash flow. Adjusted capital expenditures during the September 2014 quarter were $411 million, including $322 million in fleet investments. During the quarter, Delta’s net debt maturities and capital leases were $301 million. On a GAAP basis, cash from operations for the September 2014 quarter was $1.4 billion and capital expenditures were $457 million.
With its strong cash generation in the September 2014 quarter, the company returned $325 million to shareholders through $75 million of cash dividends and $250 million of share repurchases. For the first nine months of 2014, the company has returned a total of $776 million to shareholders, including $176 million in quarterly dividends and $600 million in share repurchases.
Delta ended the quarter with $6.4 billion of unrestricted liquidity and adjusted net debt of $7.4 billion. The company has now achieved nearly $10 billion in net debt reduction since 2009.
December 2014 Fourth Quarter Guidance
Following are Delta’s projections for the December 2014 fourth quarter:
10% – 12%
Fuel price, including taxes, settled hedges and refinery impact
$2.69 – $2.74
Consolidated unit costs – excluding fuel expense and profit sharing
(compared to 4Q13)
Up 0 – 2%
Profit sharing expense
$200 – $250 million
$175 – $200 million
System capacity (compared to 4Q13)
Delta recorded a $657 million special items charge, net of taxes, in the September 2014 quarter, including:
a $397 million charge for fleet and other items, primarily associated with the decision to accelerate the retirement of Delta’s 747 fleet as part of its Pacific network restructuring;
a $215 million charge for mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges settling in future periods;
an $87 million charge for debt extinguishment and other items, primarily associated with Delta’s debt reduction initiative; and
a $42 million gain related to a litigation settlement.
Delta recorded a net $157 million special items gain in the September 2013 quarter, including:
a $285 million gain for mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges settling in future periods; and
a $128 million charge for facilities, fleet and other items, primarily associated with Delta’s domestic fleet restructuring.
Delta will hold a conference call at 1000 am EDT today.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-232 LR N707DN (msn 39091) departs from London (Heathrow).
Delta Air Lines Aircraft Slide Show (current livery):
Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) (Seattle) has announced Luxair-Luxembourg Airlines (Luxembourg) has ordered Split Scimitar Winglets for its Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft.
APB’s newest program is the culmination of a five-year design effort using the latest computational fluid dynamic technology to redefine the aerodynamics of the Blended Winglet into an all-new Split Scimitar Winglet. The unique feature of the Split Scimitar Winglet is that it uses the existing Blended Winglet structure, but adds new aerodynamic scimitar tips and a large ventral strake.
Split Scimitar Winglets can now be installed on all Boeing 737-800 and 737-900ER aircraft. All remaining commercial and private variants of the 737 Next-Generation aircraft are scheduled to be certified by May of 2015.
Luxair’s three 737-800’s will be fitted with the Scimitar Winglets upgrade by March 2015.
Since launching the Split Scimitar Winglet program early last year, APB has taken orders and options for 1,657 systems. Over the last 10 years, APB has sold nearly 8,000 Blended Winglet Systems. More than 5,300 Blended Winglet Systems are now in service with over 200 airlines in more than 100 countries. APB estimates that Blended Winglets have saved airlines worldwide 4.5 billion gallons of jet fuel to-date thus eliminating over 47 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Aviation Partners Boeing is a Seattle based joint venture of Aviation Partners, Inc. and The Boeing Company.
Luxair Aircraft Slide Show:
United Airlines (Chicago) has issued this statement:
United Airlines will unveil new check-in options today (October 15) for its most frequent travelers at San Francisco International Airport, enabling faster movement from the curb to the gate. The airline will open a new reception lobby for members of its invitation-only Global Services program and a new check-in area for Premier members of its MileagePlus loyalty program.
Located across from doors five and six, on the departures level of Terminal 3, the new Global Services reception lobby will also offer personalized check-in services to customers traveling in United Global First on long-haul international flights. At approximately 1,100 square feet, the glass-enclosed facility will offer five full-service check-in podiums, a seating area and front-of-line security lane access, featuring TSA PreCheck.
San Francisco’s Global Services reception lobby is United’s third, coming after similar facilities at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.
The airline’s new Premier check-in area, near Terminal 3’s Boarding Area E, will offer expedited check-in for MileagePlus Premier members, including kiosks that enable customers to tag their own checked bags if they choose to, further speeding their path to the gate.
This new check-in area replaces the previous Terminal 3 Premier check in, which in the future will serve United Economy customers and travel groups.
San Francisco Enhancements
The new Global Services reception lobby and Premier check-in area are among United’s many customer-service enhancements this year in San Francisco. Others include:
The ultra-modern Boarding Area E, which offers a modern design, dining options featuring Bay Area businesses, more comfortable seating and power outlets throughout, enabling customers to stay connected and productive;
A new United Club, located near Boarding Area E; and
Mercedes-Benz tarmac-transportation service, offering Global Services and United Global First customers chauffeured rides across the tarmac between flights.
United is the largest carrier at San Francisco International Airport, offering nearly 300 daily flights to more than 90 destinations in the U.S. and around the world, more service than any other airline from the Bay Area. United currently operates nearly 30 daily nonstop flights from San Francisco to more than 20 international destinations and will add nonstop service from San Francisco to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport later this month.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-322 ER N674UA (msn 29242) taxies to the gate at San Francisco International Airport.
United Airlines historic liveries aircraft slide show:
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has started production of the first 737 MAX fuselage stringers at Boeing Fabrication Integrated AeroStructures in Auburn, Washington. Stringers run the length of the fuselage structure giving it stability and strength.
After forming, Boeing will send the stringers to Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita, Kansas for incorporation into the first 737 MAX fuselage. From there the fuselage will be shipped to Boeing’s Renton, Washington facility where Boeing employees will build the 737 MAX. The program is on track to begin final assembly of the first 737 MAX in 2015. The airplane will be part of the flight test fleet and is scheduled to fly in 2016.
The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. The 737 MAX will be 14 percent more fuel-efficient than today’s most efficient Next-Generation 737s – and 20 percent better than the original Next-Generation 737s when they first entered service.
All images and videos by Boeing.
Video: Using flax for aircraft interiors:
Boeing 737 Aircraft Slide Show through the years:
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will continue to sponsor the professional soccer team Portland Timbers. The airline issued this statement:
The Portland Timbers has announced the club has renewed its jersey sponsorship with Alaska Airlines. As part of the multiyear partnership, the iconic Northwest airline’s wordmark will continue to be prominently featured on Timbers’ game kits and club apparel.
In addition to being featured on Timbers jerseys, Alaska Airlines will continue to serve as the team’s official airline. Alaska Airlines, a Founding Partner of the Timbers, has been the club’s jersey partner since its inaugural 2011 MLS season.
As part of the partnership, Alaska Airlines will continue to support the Portland Timbers Community Fund, partnering with the team on several youth-based fitness and educational initiatives. Additionally, Alaska Airlines will donate 25 game-day tickets for home games to underprivileged Portland-area youth as part of the Timbers “Tickets for Kids” program. Alaska Airlines also will be a presenting sponsor for all MLS Timbers youth soccer camps.
Among the many fan-friendly components of the uniquely interactive partnership, Alaska Airlines will continue its popular program to allow year-round early boarding privileges on its flights originating from Portland International Airport to fans wearing Timbers jerseys. The airline will continue to fly the popular Timbers Jet throughout its route network. The club-themed plane was unveiled in 2011 with a design inspired by two Timbers fans through a paint-the-plane contest.
Alaska Airlines offers more nonstop flights (serving 43 different destinations), more daily flights (110 a day) and more California service (36 flights daily to 13 California destinations) from Portland International Airport than any other carrier.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The sponsorship also includes a Portland Timbers logo jet. Boeing 737-790 N607AS (msn 29751) taxies at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hub.
Alaska Airlines Aircraft Slide Show:
Southwest Airlines celebrates the end of the Wright Amendment at Dallas Love Field with a major expansion
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) today is celebrating the end of the flight distance restrictions under the expiring Wright Amendment at its Dallas Love Field base. The airline issued this statement about additional routes from DAL:
Southwest Airlines is giving away 1,000 free flights to celebrate its new-found freedom from its home airport, Dallas Love Field.
The carrier is celebrating the repeal of the law known as the “Wright Amendment” which was imposed in 1979, limiting the reach of Dallas’ convenient airport. Starting today, the airline begins offering new nonstop flights from Love Field to the first of 17 destinations.
Washington, D.C. (Reagan National)
Los Angeles (LAX)
Beginning November 2, 2014, Southwest Airlines will continue its rollout of new nonstop flights from Love Field to:
Orange County/Santa Ana
New York City (LaGuardia)
Beginning January 6, 2015:
San Francisco (SFO)
“After 34 long years, Southwest now has the right to spread our low fares, our friendly policies, our Fun-LUVing Attitudes, and Legendary Customer Service,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer during a spirited news conference in front of airline Employees and community Leaders. “Most importantly, we have the right to spread our LOVE across the United States anywhere we want to fly nonstop from our home airport, and our hometown, Dallas, Texas, On this day, October 13, 2014, Southwest Airlines celebrates that Dallas Love Field has officially been Set Free!”
Above: New Route Map from Dallas Love Field.
Customers on each of the first departures from Love Field to one of the seven new nonstop destinations received special gifts including shirts, Southwest Vacations packages, and more, as a way to celebrate the new flights and thank Customers for their support. In keeping with the week of NONSTOP Love, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Credit Card is celebrating by surprising Customers on flights throughout the week with various gifts and giveaways. Dallas-based Batter Up Cake Shop also surprised Customers and Employees with a cake dedicated to the new nonstop destinations the carrier is now offering from Love Field.
2014 is a milestone year for the 43-year-old airline. The carrier launched international flights to the Caribbean and Mexico, remains on track to complete the AirTran acquisition by the end of the year, revealed a new look, and now is breaking through the wall of the Wright Amendment flight restrictions imposed in 1979 (international nonstop restrictions still apply).
Top Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N708SW (msn 27842) in the new heart livery arrives in Las Vegas.
Southwest Airlines Aircraft Slide Show:
Video: New Southwest TV commercial:
Garuda Indonesia (Jakarta) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) announced an order for 50 737 MAX 8s, valued at $4.9 billion at current list prices. The flag carrier of Indonesia will purchase 46 737 MAX 8s and will convert existing orders for four Next-Generation 737-800s to 737 MAX 8s. The order was previously accounted for on Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries Web site, attributed to an unidentified customer.
Garuda Indonesia currently operates 77 Boeing 737s. The new order gives the airline the flexibility to grow and to update its fleet as the market demands.
According to Boeing, “The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. The 737 MAX will be 14 percent more fuel-efficient than today’s most efficient Next-Generation 737s – and 20 percent better than the original Next-Generation 737s when they first entered service. The 737 MAX 8 will have an 8 percent per seat operating cost advantage over the A320neo.”
The total number of 737 MAX orders to date is 2,295 airplanes from 47 customers worldwide.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Garuda Indonesia has been a long time Boeing 737 operator. Garuda Indonesia’s Boeing 737-8U3 WL PK-GMA (msn 30151) prepares to taxi from the gate at Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.
Garuda Indonesia Aircraft Slide Show:
Malindo Air (Lion Air Group) (Kuala Lumpur) will launch Boeing 737 service on the very busy and competitive Kaula Lumpur-Singapore route on November 3.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-9GP ER 9M-LNH (msn 38732) departs from Denpasar on Bali, Indonesia.
Malindo Air Route Map:
Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) is facing a showdown with its pilots this coming week. 51 percent of the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers Association voted down the company’s offer on an online poll. The carrier said it was disappointed with the vote. The airline had offered a 10 percent salary increase over three years. Contract talks will start next week.
If the talks fail, the pilots may got to invoke a “contract compliance”, a form of a strike. This slow down action if implemented could have an impact on operations.
Read the full report from Malaymail Online: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Cathay Pacific Airways’ Boeing 747-467 B-HOO (msn 23814) taxies at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Cathay Pacific Aircraft Slide Show:
Thomson Airways (London-Luton and Manchester) has unveiled its vision of leisure flying with these new concepts for its fleet. The airline issued this statement and images about its new five year plan:
Thomson Airways, the UK’s largest leisure airline, has unveiled its five year vision to change the face of holiday flying through new state-of-the-art aircraft, more long-haul destinations and innovative on-board product and service concepts.
The vision will be delivered through an upgraded fleet, including the announcement of two further Boeing 787 Dreamliners (above) and the delivery of 47 new Boeing 737 MAX aircrafts by 2020. This will give Thomson Airways one of the youngest and most state-of-the-art fleets in the UK at an average age of just five years.
The Dreamliner aircraft will enable Thomson Airways to increase its long-haul capacity and fly to new destinations, including the only direct flight from Europe to Costa Rica on the 787 in November 2015. It will also be the only direct flight from the UK to the destination. Other destinations currently being considered include expanding operations in the Eastern Caribbean to islands like St Lucia and Antigua, in the Antilles to Bonaire and Curacao and South East Asia to Vietnam and Malaysia.
The 737 MAX will enhance the customer experience on short and mid-haul routes and, with the aircraft expected to be around 14% more fuel efficient than the current 737, will help Thomson Airways maintain its position as the UK’s leading airline for carbon performance.
A multi-million pound refresh will also be implemented across the existing fleet of 737 and 757 aircraft this winter to enhance the levels of comfort and service and provide a more contemporary on-board environment.
The airline will also continue to invest in its on-board products and services and today revealed innovative new concepts it’s planning to implement across short, mid and long-haul flights over the next five years. This includes concepts to bring the holiday experience to life on the aircraft, help customers plan their trips from 43,000 feet and seamlessly connect the crew with the overseas holiday teams.
New 737 MAX seating concepts
Family Booth (above) – more social seating for four to six people situated at the back of the aircraft around a table. Designed for larger families travelling to First Choice Holiday Village or Thomson Family Resort
Duo-seating (above) – three innovative pod style seats become two with a table for champagne, in-seat charging and mood lighting for a more spacious and luxurious start to the holiday
On-board people innovations
On-board kids’ club – bringing Thomson and First Choice child care (above) expertise to the skies with a fully trained member of the crew to help parents keep the kids entertained with arts, crafts and quizzes that relate to the destination
HolidayMaker (above) – on-board HolidayMakers on short and mid-haul flights – a member of the resort team who has extensive knowledge of all there is to do in the destination and can offer advice and recommendations to customers
In-flight technology advancements
Inflight entertainment – new content and channels designed specifically for holidaymakers including a bedtime story channel for little ones, bespoke teenage content and destination inspiration channels on long-haul. Further planned enhancements include room upgrades, advance check-in and resort experience bookings through the state-of-the-art system
iPad enabled crew (above) – to personalize the customer service, share destination information and pass special requests and information over to the resort team
David Burling, Managing Director of TUI UK & Ireland, said: “Our airline business has traditionally been categorized in the charter sector which is often perceived as the poor relation to scheduled and, in reality, bears little resemblance to the Thomson Airways experience today.
“Our overall goal is to make travel experiences special and, as the flight marks both the start and end of the holiday, we see it as an integral part of the whole holiday experience.
“That is why we want to want to define and lead a new category of flying – the holiday airline category. This describes an airline designed for the specific needs of the holiday maker and fully connected to the holiday experience in the destination.
“We’ll achieve this by continuing to invest in our fleet, in state-of-the-art aircraft like the 787 Dreamliner and 737 MAX, in our on-board technology connecting the flight experience to that in resort and in product and service innovations that are entirely relevant to the holidaymaker both today and tomorrow.”
Above: Beach Snack Bar in Premium Club cabin.
Top Copyright Photo: Daniel Gorun/AirlinersGallery.com. New Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner G-TUIE (msn 37227) arrives after a test flight at Paine Field near Everett, WA. G-TUIE was handed over on June 30, 2014.
Thomson Airways Aircraft Slide Show:
Baltia Air Lines (Ypsilanti-Willow Run) has been documenting each step of its long FAA Part 121 certification process. The proposed airline was planning to operate from the United States to the Baltic region, especially St. Petersburg, Russia with a former Northwest Airlines Boeing 747-251B (N706BL, msn 21705). However given the current tensions with Russia over the Ukraine, that business plan may be evolving as this press release now only mentions Europe. The prospective airline has issued this update:
Baltia Air Lines (BLTA) announced on October 10 that it has entered into Phase III of the FAA Air Carrier Certification.
Phase III consists of the Table Top Exercise, Mini-Evacuation Demonstration, and Proving Flights. “Passing through Phase II was a major accomplishment in the Certification Process,” stated Sheryle Milligan, Chief of Operations.
Baltia Air Lines is America’s newest airline, currently undergoing Air Carrier Certification. Baltia’s principal base of operations is at Willow Run Airport, Michigan. Upon Certification, Baltia will operate Boeing 747 aircraft across the Atlantic, from the U.S. nonstop to Europe.
This service is subject to receipt of government operating authority.
Photo: Baltia Air Lines.
The EU puts additional pressure on the DOT to approve the application of Norwegian Air International
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) currently operates its Boeing 787s to the United States under its Norwegian Long Haul division (Oslo). The company would like to move the operation to Ireland as Norwegian Air International where the aircraft are registered. The European Union (EU) through its European Commission has request an “urgent” meeting with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) about the pending application. Several union groups have opposed the application. The EC issued this statement:
In an unprecedented move, the European Commission requested an urgent meeting between the European Union and the United States to discuss Norwegian Air International’s pending application for a foreign air carrier permit before the U.S. Department of Transportation. The extraordinary meeting, which is being requested by the Commission on behalf of the European Union as a party to the U.S-EU Open Skies Agreement, sends a clear message that the European Union is closely watching Norwegian Air International’s application, to fly to the U.S from several cities in Europe which has been pending for over eight months.
Norwegian Air International welcomes the European Union’s action to protect the rights of European airlines under the U.S.-EU Open Skies Agreement, which obligates parties to grant operating authority “with minimum procedural delay.” Asgeir Nyseth, CEO of Norwegian Air International, said, “We are confident that the Department of Transportation will do the right thing and grant our application without further delay.”
Norwegian Air International’s application has taken nearly four times as long as applications of other European carriers applying for the same authority. “We look forward to bringing new competitive and affordable fares on new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to the U.S.-Europe market,” said Nyseth. With over 300 U.S. based crew, and plans for a pilot base in New York, Norwegian’s new service will bolster the U.S. economy through increased tourism, jobs, and support of the nation’s largest exporter, Boeing.
Copyright Photo: Robbie Shaw/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian Long Haul’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner EI-LND (msn 35310) with Norwegian Marthoner Grete Waitz on the tail holds shot of the runway at London’s Gatwick Airport. The flight was headed to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Aviation Partners Boeing receives additional FAA Supplemental Type Certificates for the Split Scimitar Winglets
Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) announced today that it has received FAA Supplemental Type Certification (STC) covering the installation of Split Scimitar Winglets for three additional configurations of the Boeing 737NG.
Split Scimitar Winglets can now be installed on all Boeing 737-800 and 737-900 ER aircraft. All remaining commercial and private variants of the 737 Next-Generation aircraft are scheduled to be certified by May of 2015.
According to the company, “APB’s Split Scimitar Winglet program is its latest fuel efficiency success and the culmination of a five-year design effort using the latest computational fluid dynamic technology to redefine the aerodynamics of the Blended Winglet into an all-new Split Scimitar Winglet. The unique feature of the Split Scimitar Winglet is that it uses the existing Blended Winglet, but adds new aerodynamic scimitar tips and a large ventral strake. Split Scimitar Winglets can save up to 60,000 gallons of fuel per aircraft per year.”
Since launching the Split Scimitar Winglet program early last year, APB has taken orders and options for 1,657 systems. Over the last 10 years, APB has sold nearly 8,000 Blended Winglet Systems. More than 5,300 Blended Winglet Systems are now in service with over 200 airlines in more than 100 countries. APB estimates that Blended Winglets have saved airlines worldwide 4.5 billion gallons of jet fuel to-date thus eliminating over 47 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Aviation Partners Boeing is a Seattle based joint venture of Aviation Partners, Inc. and The Boeing Company.
Copyright Photo: APB. Kulula of South Africa is the latest operator of the SSWs. Boeing 737-8LD ZS-ZWB (msn 40852) climbs away with the new winglets.
Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) has announced it has finalized preparations to start flights to Dublin and Los Angeles starting in June 2015.
Ethiopian flights from Addis Ababa to Dublin and continuing on to Los Angeles will be operated three times a week with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The flights will be the only direct service connecting Africa with Ireland and the West Coast of the United States.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner ET-AOS (msn 34747) is pictured at Toronto (Pearson).
Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 787-9 Dreamliner yesterday (October 9). The airline is the first European airline to take delivery of the 787-9 and plans to operate the airplane initially on its London Heathrow to Boston route.
Virgin Atlantic’s first 787-9 touched down at London’s Gatwick Airport today (October 10) following a more than 7,400 kilometer (4,000 nautical mile) nonstop flight from Paine Field in Everett, Washington. The 787-9 registered as G-VNEW (msn 40956) (above), is named ‘Birthday Girl’ in reference to the UK carrier’s 30th anniversary and is the first of 16 787-9s Virgin Atlantic has ordered from Boeing.
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 830 kilometers (450 nautical miles) with the same exceptional environmental performance – 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than the airplanes they replace.
The airplane leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering passenger-pleasing features such as large windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.
Based out of London’s Gatwick and Heathrow Airports, as well as Manchester and Glasgow Airports, Virgin Atlantic Airways operates a fleet of approximately 40 airplanes. Along with its first 787-9, the British operator also has a Boeing fleet of 12 Boeing 747-400s operating on routes across North America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.
To date, nearly 60 customers from around the world have ordered more than 1,000 Dreamliners, approximately 40 percent of which are 787-9s.
Above: Anatomy of a Boeing 787.
Meet Hayley Burton, Virgin Atlantic’s 787 Program Manager (from the Virgin Atlantic blog):
In October, we’re welcoming ‘Birthday Girl’ – the new Boeing 787-9 aircraft that will lead our 16-strong Dreamliner fleet – which might just go down in history as the planes that revolutionized our business. And while we’re bursting with excitement about it, we’ve been working up to this moment for several years. Someone who has been helping keep the project running smoothly from the very beginning is Hayley Burton, a Program Planner and self-confessed airline geek.
Hayley wasn’t always an airline geek though. In fact, she started as a Business/Data Analyst and joined Virgin Atlantic three and a half years ago, supporting projects in Engineering. “I’ve always been interested in many different things. Following my school education, I started my work life as a legal secretary and ended up forging a career within Information Management & Technology for the NHS. I then completed a HND in Computing & Software Development as formal qualification of my skills and knowledge within this area.”
Although Hayley didn’t forecast a career in aviation, when she saw the role within Virgin Atlantic, she couldn’t resist applying. “I saw the ad and my best friend, who works at Virgin Atlantic, said I’d really fit in here – so that was it really!” And even though she wasn’t a specialist or industry expert, her transferable skills and drive to tackle big challenges head-on, meant she saw the potential for her skills to contribute to our business, but also the chance to learn something new too.
The 787 program
“Moving onto the 787 program was a real opportunity for me to understand the other elements of the business and where and how they all worked together. When I was working in Engineering, that was the only area I learned about. Now, I’m fortunate enough to be able to look at lots of elements with multiple areas – from Flight Operations to Cabin Crew and Service Delivery. It’s really enabled me to see the airline as a whole.”
It’s true. As Program Planner, Hayley really does have a finger in almost every pie. “I oversee the entire project planning within the programme. I create a very high-level plan and track all of our business areas within it. So it’s really about understanding what people have to deliver and when, their required outcomes, identifying any potential risks and how they’re managed – including financials. I’m also part of the 787 comms team, so I’m regularly in touch with internal and external stakeholders, and I’m also a bit of a right-hand-man for my Program Manager. I liaise with my Boeing counter-part who I collaborate with on a regular basis in order to review the plans and share information on our progress.”
Hayley says the moment Boeing toured the UK with the 787 and she got to see it upfront, was when she realized what a great project this was. “This fleet is so important to our business; it’s a real game-changer. Not only will the fuel efficiency save us money, but the aircraft are e-enabled, meaning they use state-of-the-art technology.”
“From a technology perspective we’ve installed and built a new IT infrastructure in order to process the waves of data that we’re going to receive from the aircraft and that’s really exciting. It’ll be used to work out how we fly, what routes we take, how we maintain the aircraft and how we can improve all those things”.
It’s been a challenging project but one that she says has been exciting and well-executed. “We’ve definitely rolled our sleeves up and thrown ourselves at this. Boeing has told us that we out-weigh other operators in being prepared for this aircraft. And as the arrival of the first aircraft draws ever closer, we’ve set up a countdown clock – you can feel the excitement. We have a fantastic programme team and everyone has really pulled together.”
While she’s impressed with the team and how our areas work together, she’s says the highlight so far has been her visit to Boeing’s Everett hangar in Seattle – the world’s largest building by volume.
“We travelled around the hangar in golf carts and there were people just everywhere constructing these four airplanes on the 787 production line – they were literally being built before my eyes. It was just amazing. I really got to see something that people – even in the industry – don’t usually get to see.”
So apart from once-in-a-lifetime experiences, what’s the best part of working on this project? “Everything surprises me about this job. I’ve learned so much through my work on this program, it’s unbelievable. My knowledge about how the airline industry works is immense and I’m still trying to cram it into my brain!”
“My goal is to manage a major program like this in the future; the skills and experiences I’ve built upon by working at Virgin Atlantic makes me feel optimistic about my future career.”
Top Copyright Photo: Daniel Gorun/AirlinersGallery.com. G-VNEW arrives back at Paine Field after a sunset test flight.
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) and the Association of Flight Attendants have announced they have reached tentative agreement on a new five-year contract for the carrier’s 3,300 flight attendants.
Once the tentative agreement is approved by the union’s leadership, Alaska Airlines’ flight attendants will conduct a ratification vote that is expected to be completed in December.
Under the Railway Labor Act, which governs collective bargaining agreements in the airline industry, contracts do not expire. Instead they become amendable. The prior contract was effective in 2010 and became amendable in May 2012.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 N303AS (msn 30017) departs from Anchorage.
PEOPLExpress will not be able to resume operations on October 16, wants to add an additional aircraft provider
PEOPLExpress Airlines (2nd) (Newport News/Williamsburg) as previously reported, announced on September 26 it was temporarily suspending service and was planning to re-launch on or about October 16. The airline also announced it still intended to launch previously announced service to Orlando and Charleston, West Virginia starting on October 16. This has now changed.
Today the company announced this update:
PEOPLExpress today (October 9) is providing an update on our plans to resume operations as part of our commitment to share as much information as possible as we work to restore much-needed air service.
We currently have a tentative agreement with an additional aircraft provider, which will enable us to enhance our platform, including the addition of a third aircraft as a spare. This will alleviate the service issues we have experienced.
A number of steps need to be achieved before we can resume service, among them some regulatory approvals.
In order to ensure that we always have enough planes and crews, we are obtaining approval to operate as an Indirect Aircraft Carrier (known as Part 380). This will allow us to obtain planes from a number of providers if necessary for service stability. We met with the U.S. Department of Transportation this week and we are in the process of providing them with information they requested.
Since we cannot open reservations until we receive government approvals we therefore cannot commit to our previously announced date to resume service.
All customers holding existing reservations will be receiving full refunds. As before, we offer our heartfelt apologies for the inconvenience to our loyal customers. Once we have established a date to resume service, customers with travel dates beginning with the resumption date and beyond will be contacted to offer them the option to rebook their flights for the same dates of travel at the same fare, if they choose.
While our resumption is later than we had anticipated and hoped for, with this approach we will be able to restore a full schedule with exceptional operational integrity, supported by an adequate number of aircraft and crew members.
We remain focused on getting back into the air as soon as possible and building the reliable service that our customers have asked for and deserve, with an unwavering focus on safety.
Photo: PEOPLExpress. The two Boeing 737-400s operated by Vision Airlines for PEOPLExpress are now likely to be operated on other services by Vision.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) is adding a long-time traditional route of Delta Air Lines (Atlanta). American Airlines is launching nonstop service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) on March 5, 2015.
The new flights will be served with Boeing 737-800 aircraft. AA will offer three roundtrips each day.
With this new Atlanta service, American will serve 55 domestic and international destinations from its LAX hub. The new route complements American’s new domestic and international service at LAX , which includes flights to Sao Paulo (GRU), Edmonton, Alberta (YEG), Vancouver, British Columbia (YVR), San Antonio (SAT) and Tampa (TPA) service that will begin next month, as well as American’s existing Asia service out of LAX to Tokyo Narita (NRT) and Shanghai (PVG). With the new Los Angeles service, Atlanta customers will have direct access to eight of American’s hubs – Charlotte, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York LaGuardia, Philadelphia and Phoenix.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-823 N826NN (msn 31089) completes its final approach to Los Angeles International Airport.
Austrian Airlines finally finds labor peace with its pilots and cabin staff, flight operations to return to Austrian on March 1, 2015
Austrian Airlines‘ (Vienna) flights and aircraft (except one Boeing 777) are currently operated by Tyrolean Airways and its staff. Representatives of the pilots, flight attendants and management of Tyrolean Airways (Austrian Airlines Group) agreed on a new collective wage agreement effective December 1, 2014. The new contract will allow flight operations to once again be transferred back to Austrian Airlines on March 1, 2015. The company issued this statement:
Following a new and intense round of negotiations, the management and Works Council for the flight and cabin crew of Tyrolean Airways agreed last night on the cornerstones of a new Group collective wage agreement for the approximately 3,200 members of the flight staff. A framework agreement to this effect was already signed by the social partners. The Supervisory Board of Austrian Airlines also gave its stamp of approval to the proposal solution.
“I am relieved. The agreement is the best of all the options open to Austrian Airlines. We managed just in time to prevent the possible reorganization of the airline”, says Austrian Airlines CEO Jaan Albrecht. “The negotiating partners demonstrated a sense of responsibility. I pay tribute to them.”
The framework agreement serves as the basis for a new Group collective wage agreement which will be drafted in detail and already apply to the approximately 900 pilots and 2,300 flight attendants as of December 1, 2014. The agreement regulates future salaries and retirement benefits, working time and career development for the cockpit and cabin crew. The parties to the negotiations agreed not to disclose any details about the agreement.
“It was very difficult to find a viable solution. However, ultimately the shared desire helped us achieve our goal“, says Klaus Froese, Managing Director of Tyrolean Airways and chief negotiator on the employer’s side. “On the basis of the agreement that has been reached, especially thanks to the targeted legal certainty, we have now laid the foundations for the good development of our company.”
A key aspect of the negotiated solution is also the transfer of flight operations to Austrian Airlines effective March 1, 2015. In this connection special severance payments were agreed upon.
“Due to the agreement we now have a new starting point for a new, unified Austrian Airlines – flown by Austrian, operated by Austrian. We can now concentrate on designing the future. This includes the modernization of the fleet“, Jaan Albrecht adds.
Austrian Airlines employs a total staff of 6,300 employees. The fleet is comprised of 78 aircraft, which fly to about 130 destinations from its home airport in Vienna.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Austrian Airlines’ (operated by Tyrolean Airways) Boeing 737-6Z9 WL OE-LNM (msn 30138) arrives at London (Heathrow).
Transmile Air Services (Subang, Malaysia) is being restructured and rebranded as Raya Airways after its sale to Amrul Nizar Anuar Resources according to The Malaysian. The new owners intend to replace three aging Boeing 727-200F freighters with four newer and larger Boeing 757-200F freighters.
The carrier operates for DHL. The contract was renewed in September.
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Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Transmile Boeing 727-225 (F) 9M-TGM (msn 22549) was originally delivered to Eastern Airlines as N812EA on April 20, 1981.