Tag Archives: Boeing

Alaska Airlines to continue to offer its new premium inflight entertainment free for two more months

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) today announced it will continue to offer free premium inflight entertainment directly to customers’ personal electronic devices for two more months, in addition to the more than 100 titles of free content that are available all the time, to all passengers, as part of the new Alaska Beyond™ experience.

Alaska Beyond (Alaska)(LR)

Above Photo: Alaska Airlines.

All content, including premium movies and TV shows, will be complimentary through March 31, 2015. Starting April 1, customers can still enjoy free access to a wide selection of complimentary custom curated content and purchase premium movies and TV shows starting at $1.99.

The new entertainment service is available today on more than half of Alaska’s mainline aircraft and will be equipped on nearly all of Alaska’s all-Boeing fleet by April 2015.

Additionally, beginning February 1, Alaska will also introduce new Inflight Entertainment tablets powered by Microsoft. The tablets will be available to rent on long-haul flights for $8-10 and will feature movies, TV, XBOX games, music, digital magazines, and easy Internet access on WiFi-equipped flights. The rentable tablets will continue to be offered at no charge to First Class customers and MVP Gold75Ks.

Last month, Alaska debuted its new flight experience, ‘Alaska Beyond.’ In addition to the new, free inflight entertainment offerings, Alaska Beyond features delicious, locally sourced food and beverages, comfortable Recaro leather seats and personal power at every seat.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Airlines continues to replace its older Boeing 737-400s which are still due to be retired by the end of 2017.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show:

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Flydubai Boeing 737-800 is hit by gunfire while on approach to Baghdad

Flydubai (Dubai) flight FZ 215 from Dubai to Baghdad, Iraq was shot at last night (January 26) while on approach to Baghdad International Airport with 154 passengers and crew members on board. The Boeing 737-800 was hit by three or four small arms bullets. As a result Air Arabia, Emirates and Etihad Airways have suspended operations to Baghdad.

Read the full report from the New York Times: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8KN A6-FEB (msn 40255) completes its final approach to its home base of Dubai International Airport.

Flydubai aircraft slide show:

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American Airlines Group reports a record 4Q GAAP net profit of $597 million and a 2014 GAAP net profit of $2.9 billion

American Airlines Group Inc. (American Airlines and US Airways) (Dallas/Fort Worth) reported its fourth quarter and full year 2014 results.

For the fourth quarter 2014, American Airlines Group reported a record GAAP net profit of $597 million. This compares to a GAAP net loss of $2.0 billion in the fourth quarter 2013, which includes the results for US Airways only for the period from the completion of the merger on December 9, 2013, through December 31, 2013.

For full year 2014, GAAP net profit was $2.9 billion, compared to a full year 2013 GAAP net loss of $1.8 billion for AMR Corporation, which includes the results for US Airways only for the period from the completion of the merger on December 9, 2013, through December 31, of 2013.

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, the Company’s fourth quarter 2014 net profit excluding net special charges was a record $1.1 billion, or $1.52 per diluted share. This represents a 153 percent improvement over the combined non-GAAP net profit of $436 million excluding net special charges for the same period in 2013. The Company’s fourth quarter 2014 pretax margin excluding net special charges was a record 10.6 percent.

Excluding net special charges, the Company’s 2014 net profit was a record $4.2 billion, or $5.70 per diluted share. This represents a 115 percent improvement over the Company’s combined 2013 non-GAAP net profit excluding net special charges of $1.9 billion.

“Our record 2014 results close out a fantastic first year for our merger. These results would not have been possible without the efforts of our more than 100,000 team members,” said Doug Parker, American Airlines Group Chairman and CEO. “They have done a great job of working together to take care of our customers and restore American as the greatest airline in the world.

“We have much to do in the year ahead as we continue to integrate two large carriers. The results we have achieved thus far, combined with our economic outlook, give us confidence that 2015 will be another outstanding year for American Airlines.”

Revenue and Cost Comparisons

Total revenue in the fourth quarter was a record $10.2 billion, an increase of 2.1 percent versus the fourth quarter 2013 on a combined basis and excluding special items, on a 1.7 percent increase in total available seat miles (ASMs). Consolidated passenger revenue per ASM (PRASM) was 13.50 cents, down 1.0 percent versus the fourth quarter 2013 on a combined basis. Consolidated passenger yield was a record 16.84 cents, up 0.9 percent year-over-year.

Strong demand throughout the year led to 2014 total revenue of $42.7 billion, up 5.6 percent versus 2013 on a combined basis and excluding special items. Full year consolidated PRASM was 13.97 cents, up 2.2 percent versus 2013 on a combined basis.

Total operating expenses in the fourth quarter were $9.3 billion, a decrease of 4.1 percent compared to combined fourth quarter 2013 due primarily to a 17.3 percent decrease in consolidated fuel expense. Fourth quarter mainline cost per available seat mile (CASM) was 13.32 cents, down 6.1 percent on a 1.5 percent increase in mainline ASMs versus combined fourth quarter 2013. Excluding special charges and fuel, mainline CASM was 8.67 cents, up 1.1 percent compared to the combined fourth quarter 2013. Regional CASM excluding special charges and fuel was 15.87 cents, up 0.9 percent on a 3.8 percent increase in regional ASMs versus combined fourth quarter 2013.

For the full year 2014, total operating expenses were $38.4 billion, up 1.5 percent versus combined 2013. Excluding special charges and fuel, mainline CASM increased 2.0 percent to 8.63 cents versus combined 2013. Regional CASM excluding special items and fuel increased 3.6 percent to 15.94 cents versus combined 2013.

Liquidity

At December 31, 2014, American had approximately $8.1 billion in total cash and short-term investments, of which $774 million was restricted. The Company also had an undrawn revolving credit facility of $1.8 billion.

Also in the fourth quarter, the Company returned $959 million to its shareholders through the payment of $72 million in quarterly dividends and the repurchase of $887 million of common stock, or 20.5 million shares. When combined with the $113 million of shares repurchased in the third quarter 2014, the Company repurchased a total of 23.4 million shares at an average price of $42.72 per share in 2014.The Company’s $1 billion share repurchase program announced in July 2014 is now complete – more than one year ahead of its scheduled expiration. The Company also purchased approximately 52,000 shares from its Disputed Claims Reserve at the prevailing market price to satisfy certain tax obligations resulting from the November 4, 2014, distribution.

As of December 31, 2014, approximately $656 million of the Company’s unrestricted cash and short-term investment balance was held in Venezuelan bolivars. This balance includes approximately $621 million valued at 6.3 bolivars and approximately $35 million valued at 12.0 bolivars, with the rate depending on the date the Company submitted its repatriation request to the Venezuelan government. These rates are materially more favorable than the exchange rates currently prevailing for other transactions conducted outside of the Venezuelan government’s currency exchange system. The Company’s cash balance held in Venezuelan bolivars decreased $65 million from the September 30, 2014 balance of $721 million. In the fourth quarter of 2014, the Company incurred an $11 million foreign currency loss related to the receipt of $23 million at a rate of 6.3 bolivars to the dollar for one of its 2012 repatriation requests originally valued at a rate of 4.3 bolivars to the dollar. Accordingly, the Company revalued its remaining pending 2012 repatriation requests from 4.3 to 6.3 bolivars to the dollar resulting in additional foreign currency losses of $19 million. In total, the Company recognized a $30 million special charge for these foreign currency losses in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The Company has significantly reduced capacity in this market. The Company is continuing 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 additional foreign currency losses, which could be material.

The Company also announced that its Board of Directors declared a dividend of $0.10 per share for shareholders of record as of February 9, 2015. The dividend will be paid on February 23, 2015. In addition, the Company announced that its Board also authorized an additional $2 billion share repurchase program to be completed by the end of 2016.

Shares repurchased under the program announced above may be made through a variety of methods, which may include open market purchases, privately negotiated transactions, block trades or accelerated share repurchase transactions. Any such repurchases will be made from time to time subject to market and economic conditions, applicable legal requirements and other relevant factors. The program does not obligate the Company to repurchase any specific number of shares or continue a dividend for any fixed period, and may be suspended at any time at management’s discretion.

In the fourth quarter, the Company recognized $507 million in net special charges, including:

$280 million in merger integration related expenses
$116 million in net charges for bankruptcy related items, principally consisting of fair value adjustments for bankruptcy settlement obligations
$70 million in charges related primarily to certain asset impairments
$31 million in non-operating special items primarily relating to a $30 million special charge for foreign currency losses relating to the Company’s cash balance held in Venezuelan bolivars
$16 million in net regional operating special items including a $24 million charge relating to a new pilot contract, partially offset by an $8 million gain on the sale of certain spare parts
$6 million in non-cash deferred income tax benefits relating to certain indefinite lived intangible assets

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-223 WL N185AN (msn 32379) approaches the runway at Miami International Airport (MIA).

American Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):

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Etihad Airways adjusts its North American schedules to increase connectivity

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) has announced a number of schedule changes to the airline’s flights between its Abu Dhabi hub and Toronto (Pearson), New York (JFK), and Chicago (O’Hare), which will start on Sunday, March 29, 2015.

The move will provide convenient schedule options for passengers travelling from Canada or the US to the UAE, enhance overall connectivity for flights to and from the Indian Subcontinent (ISC), and establish new connections to key markets such as Dhaka, Kathmandu, and Kolkata.

The new times also all connect with key Etihad Airways’ ISC destinations which include Colombo, Delhi, Karachi, Lahore, and Mumbai.

The three flights a week Toronto service, flight EY 141, will now depart at 2.50 am rather than the current time 10.25 am and the daily EY 151 flight to Chicago will move from a 9.30 am departure to 3.40 am.

Return flight EY 140 from Toronto will arrive at 12.05 pm, and EY 150 from Chicago will arrive in Abu Dhabi at 12.20 pm, which will allow for faster connection times through the hub at a non-peak period.

The new schedule will see the return flight from New York, EY 102, will now depart JFK three hours later than it currently does to ensure its arrival in Abu Dhabi to meet the early afternoon bank of flights to the ISC.

Passengers on the retimed outbound Chicago flight will continue to be processed through United States Preclearance at Abu Dhabi Airport, following the recent expansion of the facility’s hours of operation to include early morning flights to the US.

US Preclearance allows passengers to conveniently pass through all required checks including US customs, immigration and security while in Abu Dhabi before they board their flight, enabling them to avoid queues on arrival in the US and arrive as domestic passengers.

Passengers on all Etihad Airways flights from Abu Dhabi to the United States, which also includes Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York JFK, and Washington DC, are processed through US preclearance.

The schedule changes for Toronto and Chicago have been made in conjunction with Etihad Airways’ key partners, Air Canada and American Airlines in North America, and Jet Airways in India.

The partner airlines will implement new codeshare flights as well as re-accommodate guests who are affected by the new schedule.

Toronto, Chicago, and New York JFK (EY101 / EY102) flight schedule changes are from March 29, 2015:

Copyright Photo: Etihad Airways Boeing 777-3FX ER A6-ETR (msn 39687) with the promotional Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Formula 1 markings taxies at London (Heathrow).

Etihad Airways aircraft slide show:

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Transaero Airlines to launch three new routes including Prague

Transaero Airlines (Moscow) has announced it will start the Moscow (Vnukovo) – Prague route. On March 29, 2015 Transaero will launch, for the first time in its history, scheduled services on the Moscow-Prague route.

The daily flights UN 359/360 will be operated from Moscow Vnukovo airport, Terminal A, according to the following schedule (local time):

Departure from Moscow at 12.00, arriving in Prague at 14.00.
Departure from Prague at 15.00, arriving in Moscow at 18.50.

This route will be operated with Boeing 737-700 aircraft.

The company also announced it will launch new flights to India on February 5 with twice-weekly Moscow (Vnukovo) – Delhi service. This new route will be operated with Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft.

Finally, on March 30, 2015, Transaero Airlines will launch for the first time in its history scheduled flights on the Moscow – Komsomolsk-on-Amur route.

The flights UN 2349/2350 will be operated from Moscow Domodedovo airport twice weekly. Transaero will increase the flight frequency on this route up to four times per week starting on May 23, 2015. Transaero will use on this route Tu-214 aircraft, configured with business and economy class cabins.

Transaero launched its flights to Khabarovsk Krai in July 2007. The airline has carried nearly 1.5 million passenger on the Moscow-Khabarovsk route since the launch of the service.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7Q8 EI-EUW (msn 29360) approaches the runway at London (Heathrow).

Transaero Airlines aircraft slide show:

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Europe Airpost to operate from Dublin to Halifax, Nova Scotia this summer

Europe Airpost (Paris-CDG) is joining the list of airlines operating Boeing 737 aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean. According to Dublin Airport, Europe Airpost will operate a new nonstop scheduled summer service between Dublin and Halifax, Novia Scotia this summer. The new route will operate from the beginning of July until mid September.

Europe Airpost, which is the French subsidiary of Dublin-based ASL Aviation Group, has an existing charter operation at Dublin Airport, but the new weekly Halifax service will be its first scheduled service from Dublin. The company has been operating at Dublin Airport since 2010 and is the only charter airline that has an aircraft based year-round in Ireland. Europe Airpost’s new route will operate weekly from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Dublin and then continue to Halifax, Novia Scotia with a Boeing 737-700 aircraft.

The new service will operate weekly from July 9 until September 11 with flights departing Dublin on Thursdays and from Halifax on Fridays. The schedule for the new routes is as follows: Dublin/Halifax Thursday: Departs from Dublin 2:25 p.m. – Arrives in Halifax 4:45 p.m. Friday: Departs from Halifax 10:15 a.m. – Arrives in Dublin 8:05 p.m. All times specified are local and subject to government approval. The flights will be operated by a Boeing 737-700, configured in a two-class lay-out, with a capacity of 130 seats: 16 in Premium class and 114 in Economy class.

Copyright Photo: Michael Kelly/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-73V F-GZTC (msn 32414) departs from Dublin.

Europe Airpost aircraft slide show:

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Alaska Air Group to reward its employees with a 9%+ bonus

Alaska Air Group (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) had a good financial year in 2014. The group is now rewarding its employees and has issued this statement:

Employees at Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are receiving annual bonuses today of more than 9 percent of their annual pay, or more than five weeks’ pay for most workers. The bonus is in addition to the approximately $1,000 in 2014 monthly bonuses that most employees earned for achieving on-time and customer satisfaction goals.

The combined monthly and annual bonuses amounted to nearly $116 million, the highest in Alaska’s history, and are part of the company’s incentive-based pay program.

“We’re really excited to reward our employees for all the great work they’ve done this year,” said Tammy Young, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of human resources. “This is the sixth year in a row Alaska and Horizon employees have exceeded their payout targets for performance-based pay.”

Nearly $51 million in annual bonuses — 55 percent of the total — is being paid to nearly 6,000 Alaska and Horizon employees in the Puget Sound area. Another $12 million is being paid to 2,122 employees in the Portland, Oregon, area, while $9 million is going to workers throughout the state of Alaska.

Bonuses in Alaska Air Group’s Performance Based Pay Plan are determined by meeting specific company-wide goals for safety, customer satisfaction, cost control and profit that are approved annually by the board of directors. Since the inception of the program in 2003, Alaska has paid employees $624 million in combined incentive-based pay and monthly bonuses.

As part of its philosophy to provide employees with rewarding careers and good retirement benefits, Alaska Air Group has contributed $620 million over the past 6 years to its defined benefit pension plans, which were fully funded in 2013.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 ER N469AS (msn 41702) prepares to land in Anchorage.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show:

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Scoot revises its inaugural plans for the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Scoot (Singapore) has once again revised its inaugural Boeing 787-9 service. The airline will now introduce the new type on February 5 between Singapore and Perth followed by Singapore – Hong Kong the following day pending the first delivery from Boeing (the pictured 9V-OJA) this coming week. The company is planning to replace its six Boeing 777-200 ERs with the new 787s by September.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. The first Scoot 787-9, registered as 9V-OJA (msn 37112), approaches the runway at Paine Field on January 19. The new aircraft is named “Dream Start”. It has been performing crew training flights during January..

Video: The first Scoot 787-9 performs high speed tests at Paine Field near Everett.

Scoot aircraft slide show:

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Virgin Australia to close out the Virgin Blue era

Virgin Australia Airlines (formerly Virgin Blue Airlines) (Brisbane) is getting ready to close out the Virgin Blue brand. The last aircraft to be repainted, the pictured Boeing 737-8FE VH-VUL (msn 36603), will enter the paint shop shortly to be repainted. Virgin Blue became the current Virgin Australia on May 3, 2011.

Why did Virgin Blue Airlines painted their aircraft mainly red? The Virgin Blue name was selected as a result of a naming contest. The selected name was an unique and clever play on the predominantly red livery and the Australian slang expression of calling a red-headed male “Blue” or “Bluey”. Today Virgin Australia continues to use the red color.

Top Copyright Photo: Rob Finlayson/AirlinersGallery.com. VH-VUL departs from the Brisbane base.

Bottom Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. VH-VUL once wore the promotional Avatar livery.

Virgin Blue aircraft slide show:

Video: Virgin Blue Airlines.

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Delta to start seasonal service between Los Angeles and Managua

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will begin Saturday seasonal service between Los Angeles and Managua on June 5, 2015. The additional service will complement the current daily nonstop service from the Nicaraguan capital city to Atlanta, and will operate using a 160-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

With flights to 13 cities including San José, Costa Rica; Liberia, Costa Rica; San Salvador; Guatemala City; Belize City; Cancún; Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo; Manzanillo; Guadalajara; Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Monterrey; and now Managua, Delta serves more destinations in Latin America from Los Angeles than any carrier.

From Los Angeles, Delta currently operates 154 peak-day departures to 48 destinations and has continued expanding both international and domestic service over the past few months, including London-Heathrow in October; Dallas* and Austin, Texas* in November; and Vancouver, Canada* in December.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-832 N377DA (msn 29625) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.

Delta Air Lines aircraft slide show (current livery):

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American Airlines takes delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, now has operated every Boeing-designed jetliner type

American Airlines 787

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) on January 22 took delivery of its first Boeing 787-8, the pictured N800AN (msn 40618) at Paine Field near Everett, Washington. The new type was ferried home yesterday to the the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) home later in the day arriving to a formal welcoming party.

Above Photo: American Airlines. N800AN departs from an overcast Paine Field on its delivery flight.

American Airlines has now operated all of the Boeing-designed jetliners:

Boeing 707 (-123, -123B, -323B and -323C models)

Boeing 717 (designed by McDonnell Douglas as the MD-95, inherited from TWA but not officially operated)

Boeing 720

Boeing 727 (both models)

Boeing 737 (-200, -300 and -800 models)

Boeing 747 (-100  and SP models)

Boeing 757 (-200 model)

Boeing 767 (-200 and -300 models)

Boeing 777 (-200 and -300 models)

Boeing 787 (now the 787-8 model)

American Airlines issued this statement:

American Airlines on January 23 officially welcomed its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner. American took delivery of the airplane, a 787-8 with registration number N800AN, on Thursday at Boeing’s factory in Everett, Washington, and arrived in Dallas/Fort Worth on Friday afternoon.

American 787-8 N800AN flight crew (American)(LR)

Above Photo: American Airlines. The delivery crew of N800AN prepares for the delivery flight.

American 787-8 N800AN arrives at DFW on its delivery flight (DFW)(LR)

Above Photo: DFW Airport. N800AN arrives at DFW after its delivery flight from Paine Field.

American has placed firm orders for 42 Boeing 787 aircraft, with the right to acquire an additional 58. American will take delivery of both the 787-8 and 787-9 as part of the 42 firm orders. American expects its first 787 to enter revenue service in the second quarter, flying domestically between American’s hubs for several weeks before being launched on international flights.

American already has the youngest fleet of the U.S. global network carriers, with an average aircraft age of 12.3 years. In 2015, American plans to take delivery of an average of two new aircraft per week. These new deliveries will make American’s fleet even younger, more modern and more efficient and will provide a solid foundation for continued improvements in technology, products and services.

American is retrofitting its entire fleet of Boeing 777-200s and selected 767-300s, 757-200s and Airbus A319s to refresh the cabins and enhance the experience on domestic and international flights.

In other news, American has filed with the DOT to begin service between Los Angeles and Guadalajara and between Miami and Monterrey according to Daily Airline Filings.

Above Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. A sunny portrait of N800AN before the delivery day at Paine Field.

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American Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):

Video: A previous test flight of N800AN at a foggy Paine Field:

Japan Airlines to introduce the “JAL Sky Suite 787″ on its 787-9s in July, announces its schedule and aircraft plans

JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) has announced it will introduce the Boeing 787-9 with an all-new cabin interior, called JAL SKY SUITE 787 (SS9), on the Tokyo (Narita) – Jakarta route (JL725/JL726) from July 2015.

JAL SKY SUITE 787 logo

The SS9 will adopt a similar three-class configuration as the airline’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners, called JAL SKY SUITE 787 (SS8) aircraft, which were first introduced in December 2014. SS9 will offer fully-flat JAL SKY SUITE seats in its Business Class and spacious JAL SKY PREMIUM seats in Premium Economy. In Economy Class, JAL SKY WIDER II seats will be installed. JAL will also maintain its existing 2-4-2 configuration in the SS9’s Economy Class, which achieves approx. 5cm wider for each seat width than the common configuration of JAL Economy Class seat on Boeing 787s. Additionally, the seat pitch was increased approximately 5 cm to provide more space and comfort during every journey.

JAL 787 Seating Configurations (LRW)

 

 

JAL 787 Seating Map (LRW)

The company also issued this statement on its upcoming schedules and fleet plans:

JAL-Japan Airlines logo-1

JAL Group (JAL) on January 21 announced its flight frequency and fleet plans on both international and domestic routes for fiscal year 2015 (ending March 31, 2016).

In regards to the airline’s international network, Japan Airlines FY2015 fleet plans include newly added Boeing 787-9s, which will be configured with the airline’s latest cabin interior (JAL SKY SUITE) from July 2015, in addition to the airline’s current JAL SKY SUITE 767/777/787 configured aircraft. The airline will concurrently expand the availability of aircraft featuring JAL SKY WIDER seats in Economy Class on more international routes in order to further deliver improved service to customers.

Furthermore, JAL will increase flight frequency from 3 to 4 round-trip flights weekly between Tokyo (Narita) and Moscow to meet an increase in business travel demand.

In regards to the airline’s domestic network, JAL will adjust its flight frequency plan on select Japan-domestic routes to meet seasonal demand primarily to and from Tokyo (Haneda), which will result in the reintroduction of continuous summer operations of six domestic routes to provide enhanced customer convenience. Additionally, the airline’s well-received JAL SKY NEXT service will mainly expand onto more domestic routes to and from Haneda.

# The following plans and schedules are subject to government approval.

1. Expanding JAL SKY SUITE Aircraft onto More International Routes

JAL will introduce the Boeing 787-9 with latest cabin interior (indicated as “SS9” in JAL Flight Schedule) onto its international network in FY 2015. The new aircraft will be configured with fully-flat JAL SKY SUITE seats in Business Class, spacious JAL SKY PREMIUM seats in Premium Economy and the well-received JAL SKY WIDER II seats in Economy Class. JAL SKY SUITE aircraft will be available as indicated on the following routes:

Route

Effective Period

Flight No.

Aircraft

Remarks

Narita – Paris

March 29, 2015 ~

JL415/416

787-8

JAL SKY SUITE 787 (SS8) (*3)

Narita – Helsinki

June 1, 2015 ~

JL413/414

787-8

JAL SKY SUITE 787 (SS8) (*3)

Narita – Jakarta

July 1, 2015 ~

JL725/726

787-9

JAL SKY SUITE 787 (SS9) (*4)

Narita – Delhi

March 29, 2015 ~

JL749/740

787-8

JAL SKY SUITE 787 (SS8) (*3)

Narita – Honolulu

March 29, 2015 ~

JL784/783

767-300ER

JALSKY SUITE 767 (SS6)

JL786/785

Narita – Manila

March 29, 2015 ~

JL741/742

767-300ER

JAL SKY SUITE 767 (SS6)

June 1, 2015 ~ (*5)

JL745/746

# The schedule for launching the new service is subject to change due to the delivery of aircraft. For latest information, please visit JAL website.
(*3) Premium Economy service will be provided in line with the introduction of SS8 on these routes.
(*4) First Class service will not be available in line with aircraft type changing from JAL SKY SUITE 777 (SS7) to SS9 on this route and SS8 will be operated on this route every Thursday only.
(*5) JL746 will start to be operated by SS6 from June 2, 2015.

2.

Other Aircraft Type Changes Route

Narita – Frankfurt Haneda – Bangkok

Haneda – Ho Chi Minh City Narita – Ho Chi Minh City Narita – Sydney Haneda – Beijing

Haneda – Seoul (Gimpo)

Haneda – Taipei (Songshan)

Kansai – Shanghai (Pudong)

Kansai – Taipei (Taoyuan)

Effective Period

Flight No.

Aircraft

Remarks

March 29 ~ October 24, 2015

JL407/408

787-8 to 777-300ER

(*5)

March 29(*6) ~ June 30, 2015

JL033/032

777-200ER to 787-8

(*7)

July 1, 2015 ~

787-8 to 777-200ER

March 29, 2015 ~

JL079/070

767-300ER to 787-8

March 29, 2015 ~

JL759/750

March 29, 2015 (*8) ~

JL771/772

777-300ER to 777-200ER

(*9)

March 30, 2015 ~

JL021/022

767-300ER to 787-8

March 30, 2015 ~

JL091/092

767-300ER to 787-8

JL093/094

March 29, 2015 ~

JL097/098

777-200ER to 767-300ER

March 29, 2015 ~

JL891/894

767-300ER to 737-800

March 29, 2015 ~

JL813/816

767-300ER to 787-8

(*5) First Class Service will be available in line with introduction of SS7 on this route.
(*6) JL033 will start to be operated by 787-8 from March 30, 2015.
(*7) Premium Economy service will not be available on this route during March 29 and June 30, 2015. (*8) JL772 will start to be operated by 777-200ER from March 30, 2015.
(*9) First Class service will not be available in line with aircraft change on this route

(*10) JAL maintains codeshare flights (operated by Korean Air) between Kansai and Seoul’s Gimpo, and between Kansai and Seoul’s Incheon.

Flight No.

Route

Dep. Time

Arr. Time

Aircraft

Details

Effective Period

JL441

Narita – Moscow

10:45

15:00

787-8

Increase from 3 to 4 weekly flights (Additional flight on Monday)

March 29 ~ October 24, 2015 (Mo, We, Fr, Su)

JL442

Moscow – Narita

17:15

08:35+1

Flight No.

Route

Details

Effective Period

Remarks

JL971

Osaka (Kansai) – Seoul (Gimpo)

Suspension of JL971/974 daily round-trip operation

March 29, 2015 ~

(*10)

JL974

Seoul (Gimpo) – Osaka (Kansai)

Domestic Network
1. Continuation of Seasonal Operations

Route

Details

Effective Period

Itami – Matsumoto

1 daily flight

August 1 ~ August 31, 2015

Itami – Memanbetsu

1 daily flight

July 18 ~ July 20, 2015 and July 25 ~ August 31, 2015

Sapporo (New Chitose) – Izumo

4 weekly flights

August 1 ~ August 31, 2015 (Mo, We, Fr, Su)

Sapporo (New Chitose) – Tokushima

3 weekly flights

August 1 ~ August 31, 2015 (Tu, Th, Sa)

Nagoya (Chubu) – Kushiro

3 weekly flights

August 1 ~ August 31, 2015 (Tu, Th, Sa)

Nagoya (Chubu) – Obihiro

4 weekly flights

August 1 ~ August 31, 2015 (Mo, We, Fr, Su)

3. Flight Frequency Changes

Route

Details

Effective Period

Haneda – Sapporo (New Chitose)

16 daily to 17 daily flights

March 29 ~ October 24, 2015

Haneda – Okinawa (Naha)

12 daily to 14 daily flights

March 29 ~ October 24, 2015

Itami – Sapporo (New Chitose)

3 daily to 4 daily flights

March 29, 2015 ~

Route

Details

Effective Period

Haneda – Itami

16 daily to 15 daily flights

March 29, 2015 ~

Haneda – Izumo

6 daily to 5 daily flights

March 29, 2015 ~

Kansai – Sapporo (New Chitose)

4 daily to 3 daily flights

March 29, 2015 ~

Copyright Photo: Fred Freketic/AirlinersGallery.com. While JAL awaits the delivery of its first stretched Boeing 787-9, the company continues to expand 787-8 operations. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner JA835J (msn 34850) taxies onto the runway at New York (JFK).
Video: Sam Chui. Flying on JAL First Class from Tokyo to London on Boeing 777-300 ER JAL Suite:
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JAL aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Hermes Aviation (FlyHermes.com) stops flying, strands passengers

Hermes Aviation (FlyHermes.com) (Luqa, Malta) suddenly cancelled its flights on January 6 according to the Malta Independent. The sole aircraft (above) has been on the ground at Turin, Italy since January 12. According to the report, the airline is under investigation by the Italian civil aviation authority – ENAC (L’Ente Nazionale per l’Aviazione Civile). The airline had been offering flights from Malta to Comiso and Palermo in Sicily and Turin in northern Italy.

The airline does not mention the stoppage on its website and has not issued any statement.

Read the report from the Times of Malta: CLICK HERE

Read the report by the Malta Independent: CLICK HERE

The airline started operations on June 6, 2014.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. FlyHermes.com (Hermes Aviation) Boeing 737-4K5 9H-HER (msn 24901) taxies at Palma de Mallorca.

FlyHermes aircraft slide show:

 

Centurion Cargo to return to Amsterdam

Centurion Cargo (Miami) will restore the Miami-Amsterdam route on February 19 with Boeing 747-400F freighters per Cargo Facts. The carrier dropped its only European route last year. The company is restoring services and redeploying its previously parked aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4R7F N901AR (msn 25868) taxies in the past at Amsterdam.

Centurion Cargo aircraft slide show:

American Airlines to launch the new Dallas/Fort Worth – Beijing route

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) will begin operating its new daily service between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) on May 7, marking the airline’s sixth daily flight to Asia from DFW and the only nonstop flight connecting DFW and Beijing. With the addition of this service, American will offer 11 routes between the U.S. and Asia. Customers may begin booking flights on the new route this Saturday, Jan. 24.

Daily DFW-PEK Service Schedule (all times local):

AA 89
Departs DFW at 10:40 a.m.
Arrives at PEK at 2:15 p.m. the following day

AA 88
Departs PEK at 4:25 p.m.
Arrives at DFW at 5 p.m.

The new flight from DFW will complement American’s existing service from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Beijing. With the addition of Beijing, American will offer nonstop service from Dallas/Fort Worth to five key markets in Asia – Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo.

American will operate its service between DFW and Beijing with a Boeing 777-200 aircraft. The airline is retrofitting all 47 of its 777-200s to refresh the cabins and enhance the premium experience on international flights. The retrofitted 777-200 features a Business Class product designed especially for American’s customers, with a fully lie-flat seat, direct aisle access and a private flying experience. The plane has a modern interior – including a walk-up bar – with unique lighting, a dramatic archway and a spacious look. It also has Main Cabin Extra and all Main Cabin seats have in-seat entertainment systems.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-223 ER N797AN (msn 30012) arrives at Los Angeles International Airport.

American Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery only):

Southwest Airlines reports a record 4Q net profit of $190 million and $1.1 billion for 2014, its 42nd consecutive year of profitability

Southwest Airlines Company (Dallas) today reported its fourth quarter and annual 2014 results:

Record fourth quarter net income, excluding special items1, of $404 million, or $.59 per diluted share, compared with fourth quarter 2013 net income, excluding special items, of $236 million, or $.33 per diluted share. This exceeded the First Call consensus estimate of $.55 per diluted share.

Fourth quarter net income of $190 million, or $.28 per diluted share, which included $214 million (net) of unfavorable special items, compared with net income of $212 million, or $.30 per diluted share, in fourth quarter 2013, which included $24 million (net) of unfavorable special items.

Record annual net income, excluding special items, of $1.4 billion, or $2.01 per diluted share, compared with 2013 net income, excluding special items, of $805 million, or $1.12 per diluted share.

Record annual net income of $1.1 billion, or $1.64 per diluted share, which included $261 million (net) of unfavorable special items, compared with net income of $754 million, or $1.05 per diluted share, in 2013, which included $51 million (net) of unfavorable special items.

Return on invested capital, before taxes and excluding special items (ROIC)1, of 21.2 percent for 2014, as compared with 13.1 percent for 2013.

Gary C. Kelly, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are extremely proud to report record annual 2014 net income, excluding special items, of $1.4 billion, or $2.01 per diluted share. Our 2014 total operating revenues were strong, increasing 5.1 percent to a record $18.6 billion. Our 2014 operating cost performance was also solid, with costs declining, year-over-year. Our ROIC for 2014 was 21.2 percent. This remarkable achievement would not have been possible without the hard work, perseverance, and determination of our Southwest People, and I commend them for these exceptional results, which earned them a record $355 million in profitsharing for 2014, up 56 percent from the previous record in 2013. Our strategic plan has come together successfully, and we have realized significant contributions from the AirTran integration, fleet modernization efforts, and the continued growth of our Rapid Rewards program.

“Our balance sheet and liquidity remain strong, with cash and short-term investments of $3.0 billion at the end of 2014. We generated strong free cash flow1 of $1.1 billion in 2014, allowing us to repurchase $955 million of Southwest common stock, pay $139 million to Shareholders in dividends, and reduce debt and capital lease obligations by $261 million, net, during the year.

“We concluded 2014 with record fourth quarter profits, excluding special items, of $404 million, or $.59 per diluted share. Total operating revenues were a fourth quarter record $4.6 billion. On a year-over-year basis, our fourth quarter 2014 revenue per available seat mile increased 2.0 percent, which is outstanding considering the 2.4 percent increase in available seat miles (ASMs); the 2.6 percent increase in stage length; the 2.4 percent increase in seats per trip2 (gauge); and the large percentage of our capacity under development. Customer demand remained strong, resulting in a record fourth quarter 2014 load factor of 82.0 percent, up 1.6 points from fourth quarter 2013. We are pleased with our passenger unit revenue and booking trends thus far in January, considering the continuing impact of increasing ASMs, stage length, and gauge, and the large percentage of our capacity under development. Based on these trends, we currently expect our first quarter 2015 passenger revenues to grow in line with the expected six percent increase in first quarter 2015 ASMs, both on a year-over-year basis.

“Our fourth quarter 2014 unit costs, excluding special items, were down 3.8 percent year-over-year, primarily as a result of significantly lower fuel prices. Our first quarter 2015 cost outlook is also favorable. With the collapse in fuel prices since September 2014, fuel prices have declined nearly 50 percent. Based on our existing fuel derivative contracts and market prices as of January 16, 2015, we estimate our first quarter 2015 economic fuel costs to be approximately $1.90 per gallon, which would result in approximately half a billion dollars in year-over-year fuel cost savings for first quarter alone. Excluding fuel and oil expense, special items, and profitsharing, we currently expect first quarter and full year 2015’s unit costs to decline in the one to two percent range, compared with the same year-ago periods, driven largely by our capacity growth and ongoing fleet modernization initiatives.

“December 28, 2014, marked the sunset of the AirTran brand. Overall, the AirTran acquisition resulted in net pre-tax synergies (excluding acquisition and integration expenses) of approximately $500 million in 2014, exceeding our $400 million target.

“We launched international service on Southwest Airlines to seven destinations in five countries in 2014, which will grow to seven countries with our plans to begin service to San Jose, Costa Rica; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and Belize City, Belize, in 2015, pending government approvals. We have been very pleased with the overall performance of our markets under development, most notably Dallas Love Field, New York LaGuardia, and Reagan National.

“Without question, 2014 was a monumental year for Southwest Airlines with many notable achievements. My gratitude goes out to our outstanding Employees for their tremendous efforts and the successful execution of our strategic initiatives, which allowed us to achieve our financial goals and expand our service internationally. As we enter 2015, we are well positioned financially and excited about our growth opportunities ahead. We remain steadfast in our unwavering commitment to preserve our financial strength, provide job security for our Employees, protect our low fare brand, and deliver adequate returns to our Shareholders. We live up to that commitment by offering friendly, reliable, and low cost air travel, and by expanding our network in a sensible manner.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Listen to the conference call at 12:30 EST today to discuss the results: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Raul Sepulveda/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N909WN (msn 32458) taxies at San Juan in the new Beats Music – Don’t miss a beat special livery.

Southwest Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):

Alaska Air Group reports 4Q GAAP net income of $148 million and $605 million for 2014, its best quarter/year ever

Alaska Air Group, Inc. (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) today reported fourth quarter 2014 GAAP net income of $148 million, or $1.11 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $78 million, or $0.56 per diluted share in 2013. Excluding mark-to-market fuel hedge gains of $6 million ($4 million after tax, or $0.03 per diluted share), a benefit related to the curtailment of certain postretirement benefit plans and a one-time gain associated with the settlement of a legal matter for $30 million in aggregate ($19 million after tax, or $0.14 per diluted share), the company reported record fourth quarter 2014 net income of $125 million, or $0.94 per diluted share, compared to net income, excluding mark-to-market fuel hedge gains, of $77 million, or $0.55 per diluted share, in 2013.

The company reported full-year 2014 GAAP net income of $605 million, compared to $508 million in the prior year. Excluding the impact of the items noted in the table below, the company reported record net income of $571 million, or $4.18 per diluted share for 2014, compared to net income of $383 million, or $2.70 per diluted share in 2013.

This is a company record for earnings for the fourth quarter and any year.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-890 N525AS (msn 35692) with Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show:

United Airlines has a break-out year, reports net income of $1.97 billion for 2014

United Airlines (Chicago) today reported full-year 2014 net income of $1.97 billion, an increase of 89 percent year-over-year, or $5.06 per diluted share, excluding $834 million of special items. Including special items, UAL reported full-year net income of $1.13 billion, or $2.93 per diluted share. UAL reported fourth-quarter 2014 net income of $461 million, an increase of 86 percent year-over-year, or $1.20 per diluted share, excluding $433 million of special items. Including special items, UAL reported fourth-quarter 2014 net income of $28 million, or $0.07 per diluted share.

UAL earned a 12.9 percent return on invested capital in 2014.

United’s consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 1.6 percent for full-year 2014 compared to full-year 2013.

Full-year 2014 consolidated unit costs (CASM), excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, increased 1.3 percent year-over-year on a consolidated capacity increase of 0.3 percent. Full-year 2014 CASM, including those items, decreased 1.6 percent year-over-year.

In 2014, United returned approximately $320 million to shareholders as part of its previously announced $1 billion share buyback program. In addition, throughout the year, United spent $310 million to retire convertible debt that was convertible into approximately 5.8 million shares of UAL common stock.

Employees earned $235 million in profit sharing for full-year 2014, which will be distributed on Feb. 13.

UAL ended the year with $5.7 billion in unrestricted liquidity.

Fourth-Quarter Revenue and Capacity

For the fourth quarter of 2014, total revenue was $9.3 billion, a decrease of 0.2 percent year-over-year. Fourth-quarter consolidated passenger revenue increased 1.3 percent to $8.1 billion, compared to the same period in 2013. Ancillary revenue per passenger in the fourth quarter increased 9.7 percent year-over-year to more than $22 per passenger. Fourth-quarter cargo revenue grew 18.2 percent to $260 million driven by higher volumes year-over-year, as cargo traffic recovered from the prior year’s lower bookings. Other revenue in the fourth quarter decreased 14.3 percent year-over-year to $970 million 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 0.1 percent and consolidated available seat miles increased 0.9 percent year-over-year for the fourth quarter, resulting in a fourth-quarter consolidated load factor of 81.7 percent.

Fourth-quarter 2014 consolidated PRASM increased 0.4 percent and consolidated yield increased 1.3 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2013.

Fourth-Quarter Costs

Fourth-quarter consolidated CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expense, fuel and profit sharing, increased 1.2 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2013. Fourth-quarter consolidated CASM including those items decreased 5.3 percent.

Fourth-quarter total operating expenses, excluding special charges, decreased $420 million, or 4.7 percent, year-over-year. Including special charges, total operating expenses decreased $406 million, or 4.5 percent, in the fourth quarter versus the same period in 2013.

Fourth-Quarter Liquidity and Cash Flow

UAL ended the fourth quarter with $5.7 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $1.35 billion of undrawn commitments under its revolving credit facility. During the fourth quarter, the company had gross capital expenditures of $1 billion, excluding fully reimbursable projects. The company made debt and capital lease principal payments of $534 million in the fourth quarter, including prepayment of $248 million of convertible debt that was convertible into approximately 4.3 million shares of United common stock.

As part of United’s $1 billion share buyback program, the company spent approximately $100 million in share repurchases in the fourth quarter. For the year, United returned a total of approximately $320 million to shareholders through share repurchases and open market transactions. In addition, for the year the company spent $310 million to retire convertible debt that was convertible into approximately 5.8 million shares.

For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2014, the company’s return on invested capital was 12.9 percent.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-924 ER N68836 (msn 60088) with Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets departs from Los Angeles International Airport.

United Airlines aircraft slide show (historic liveries): AG Slide Show

United Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Slide Show

 

Boeing and Thai Airways International celebrate the 75th direct airplane delivery

777-300ER TII #1267-WE444

Boeing (Chicago) and Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (Bangkok) yesterday (January 21) celebrated the Thai flag-carrier’s 75th direct delivery of a Boeing airplane. Marking the milestone delivery, Boeing and Thai collaborated to transport 1,000 wool blankets onboard Thai’s newly delivered 777-300 ER (Extended Range). The blankets, donated by Another Joy Foundation, will be distributed by the airline to people in need in Thailand during the colder winter months.

This latest humanitarian effort, the third between Boeing and Thai, is part of Boeing’s long-running Humanitarian Delivery Flights program.

Boeing’s Humanitarian Delivery Flights program, which began in 1992, has worked in partnership with nearly 50 carriers worldwide to facilitate more than 170 humanitarian flights. On previous delivery flights, Thai and Boeing have provided medical kits and school supplies.

Thai currently operates four 787 Dreamliners and has operated nearly every model of the 777. Thai Cargo was the first carrier in Southeast Asia to utilize the 777 Freighter. The airline has an additional two 777-300 ERs on order.

Photo: Boeing. Brand new Boeing 777-3D7 ER HS-TKX (msn 42113) departs from an overcast Paine Field near Everett yesterday. The new airplane was handed over to the carrier on January 21.

Thai aircraft slide show:

United Airlines considers a replacement order for 10 Boeing 777-300s, will drop service to Regina and Saskatoon from Denver

United Airlines (Chicago) is considering an order for 10 Boeing 777-300 ERs according to Bloomberg. Quoting an United representative, the stretched Triple Sevens would possibly replace other aircraft  United has on order (i.e. 787s). Boeing needs to keep the 777-300 production line going until the new 777X version is ready for production.

In other news, United is dropping its routes from its Denver hub to Saskatchewan. The carrier will drop service to both Regina and Saskatoon on February 28.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Both the old United and Continental were large Boeing 777-200 operators. The progression to the larger 777-300 ER is a logical move. United’s Boeing 777-222 ER N788UA (msn 26942) departs the runway at London (Heathrow).

United Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

 

Is AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ 8501 a repeat of Northwest Airlines flight NW 705?

AirAsia Indonesia (Indonesia AirAsia) (Jakarta) vanished from radar screens over the Java Sea on December 28 on a flight from Surabaya to Singapore with 162 passengers and crew members on board. Tragically there were no survivors.

Investigators have ruled out any act of terrorism. The same group has stated it was unlikely an explosion brought down the airliner. According to the preliminary reports, there were no sounds of gunfire or explosions on cockpit voice recorder. Analysis of the flight data recorder of Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC (msn 3648) operating flight QZ 8501 showed the A320 climbing at an abnormally high rate, then plunging and suddenly disappearing from radar. The A320 was climbing at a steep ascent of 6,000 feet a minute (a normal climb rate is 1,000 to 2,000 feet a minute) before it suddenly dived and crashed in the Java Sea. This is not a normal climb rate. The crew had asked air traffic control for a higher altitude due to severe thunderstorms in the area. The request was denied due to other air traffic in the area.

Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE

Was flight QZ 8501 trapped in the updraft of a severe thunderstorm and then it stalled and fell to the sea?

It has happened before with devastating results. Dial the clock back to February 12, 1963 over Florida’s Everglades. While the crashes of ValuJet Airlines flight 592 and Eastern Airlines flight 401 are more well known, there was a third crash in the Everglades that is very similar to the tragedy of AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ 8501. Both involved flying into severe thunderstorms.

Northwest Airlines (Northwest Orient Airlines) flight NW 705 was a regularly scheduled flight from Miami International Airport to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. After takeoff from MIA the flight crew operating Boeing 720-051B N724US (msn 18354) encountered an approaching cold front with large thunderstorms. The crew tried their best to avoid the approaching line of thunderstorms.

The accident (from Wikipedia quoting the official accident report):

Prior to departing from Miami, the flight crew questioned the ground controller at the airport about the departure routes being used, and he replied that most flights were departing “either through a southwest climb or a southeast climb and then back over the top of it.”

After the jet lifted off from runway 27L, it made a left turn based on radar vectors from Miami Departure Control, to avoid areas of anticipated turbulence associated with thunderstorm activity. Another flight had followed the same guidance shortly before the jet took off.

While maintaining 5,000 feet and a heading of 300 degrees, Flight 705 contacted controllers and requested clearance to climb to a higher altitude. After a discussion between the flight and the radar departure controller about the storm activity, and while clearance to climb was being coordinated with the Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center, the flight advised “Ah-h we’re in the clear now. We can see it out ahead … looks pretty bad.”

At 13:43, Flight 705 was cleared to climb to flight level 250. They responded, “OK ahhh, we’ll make a left turn about thirty degrees here and climb…” The controller asked if 270 degrees was their selected climbout heading, and they replied that this would take them “… out in the open again…” Controllers accordingly granted the jet clearance. Following some discussion about the severity of the turbulence, which was described as moderate to heavy, the flight advised, “OK, you better run the rest of them off the other way then.”

At 13:45, control of Flight 705 was transferred to Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center. There were communication difficulties, although after the jet was provided with a different frequency to tune to, the flight crew established contact with Miami ARTCC. Several minutes after contact was established, the jet’s altitude began increasing with a rate of climb gradually increasing to approximately 9,000 feet per minute. Following this rapid ascent the rate of climb decreased through zero when the altitude peaked momentarily at just above 19,000 feet. During this time the jet’s airspeed decreased from 270 to 215 knots and as the peak altitude was approached, the vertical accelerations changed rapidly from 1G to about -2G.

In the next seven seconds the negative acceleration continued to increase at a slower rate, with several fluctuations, to a mean value of about -2.8G, the jet began diving towards the ground with increasing rapidity. As the descent continued with rapidly increasing airspeed, the acceleration trace went from the high negative peak to 1.5G, where it reversed again.

Below 10,000 feet the forward fuselage broke up due to the forces of the dive. The main failures in both wings and horizontal stabilizers were in a downward direction, and virtually symmetrical. The forward fuselage broke upward and the vertical stabilizer failed to the left. All four engines generally separated before the debris of the aircraft fell in unpopulated area of the Everglades National Park, 37 miles west-southwest of Miami International Airport.

The accident was investigated by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) which later became the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB):

Synopsis of the CAB Aircraft Accident Report:

Northwest Airlines, Inc., Boeing 720B, N724US, operating as Flight 705, crashed in an unpopulated area of the Everglades National Park, 37 miles west—southwest of Miami International Airport at approximately 1350 e. s. t., on February 12, 1963. All 35 passengers and the crew of eight were fatally injured.

Flight 705 departed Miami at 1335 e.s.t. Circuitous routing was utilized during the climbout in an effort to avoid areas of anticipated turbulence associated with thunderstorm activity. At 1347 e.s.t., in response to a request for their position and altitude, the flight advised, “We’re just out of seventeen five (17,500 feet) and stand by on the DME one.” This was the last known transmission from the flight. Shortly thereafter the aircraft entered a steep dive, during which the design limits were exceeded and the aircraft disintegrated in flight.

The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the unfavorable interaction of severe vertical drafts and large longitudinal control displacements resulting in a longitudinal upset from which a successful recovery was not made.

The FAA later added in its Lessons Learned section this summation:

As the investigation of Northwest Flight 705 proceeded, other jet transports became involved in similar upsets. These pitch upset events were collectively referred to as “Jet Upsets.” This terminology was used because the phenomena appeared to be unique to the new generation of swept wing jet transports which began to enter service a few years earlier. The investigation of Northwest Flight 705, and associated similar pitch upset incidents, led to changes in operating procedures and design requirements for jet transports, as well as improved forecasting and dissemination of hazardous weather information to Air Traffic Control and Flight Crews. These actions proved effective in substantially reducing the occurrence of this type of pitch upset events.

Was QZ 8501 a repeat of NW 705?

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 720-051B N737US (msn 18793) is pictured at New York (JFK).

Northwest Airlines aircraft slide show:

 

Delta adds extra flights from Phoenix on February 2 for the Super Bowl

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has added nonstop service from Phoenix to Boston, Los Angeles and Seattle/Tacoma and has put larger aircraft on select flights from Seattle/Tacoma to Phoenix to accommodate customers traveling to and from the pro football championship game (Super Bowl).

The temporary service will operate as follows:

Delta 2.2.15 PHX extra flights

Flights 8789 to Los Angeles and 8799 to Seattle/Tacoma will operate using specially configured aircraft with all first or business class seats. Along with the added service, Delta has increased the size of the aircraft on one regularly scheduled flight from Phoenix to Seattle/Tacoma on February 2 from a regional jet to a 160-seat Boeing 737-800.

Delta regularly operates five peak-day flights to Phoenix from its Seattle/Tacoma hub, and two of those flights will be operated using larger aircraft to accommodate more fans traveling to the game on Friday, January 30. Delta also operates five peak-day flights from Los Angeles to Phoenix. Some service may be operated by Delta Connection carriers SkyWest Airlines and Compass Airlines.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-832 N399DA (msn 30379) approaches the runway at Las Vegas.

Delta Air Lines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Slide Show

American Airlines gets one step closer to taking delivery of its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) was reportedly due to take delivery of its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner in November, then it slipped to December. The original delivery date was September 2012 before all of the delays occurred to the other 787s in front of this aircraft. The first 787 is now due to be delivered in the first quarter of this year. The pictured 787-8 N800AN (msn 40618) emerged from the paint shop on October 30, 2014. Boeing and American are currently working on the details for the delivery and entry of the new type into revenue service. However the new type has completed an important milestone in the delivery process.

As we previously reported, the pictured N800AN successfully conducted its first flight on January 6 from Paine Field via Moses Lake. Since then, the 787 has completed another test flight.

American has 42 Boeing 787s on order including 16 787-8s and 26 787-9s, with 58 options. The airline is scheduled to take delivery of two 787s this year, 11 in 2015, 13 in 2016 and nine in 2017.

American will replace some of its older Boeing 767-300s with the new 787s.

Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. A splendid shot in sunshine of N800AN at Paine Field near Everett, Washington on January 19 performing another test flight.

American Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):

Video: The first takeoff of N800AN on a rainy and overcast day at Paine Field:

Business Air is grounded, passengers are stranded

Business Air (Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi) was grounded by the DCA of Thailand. The DCA ordered Business Air to suspend all operations on January 16, 2015, leaving more than 1,000 passengers stranded. The company was unable to pay its unpaid bills.

The company started operations in December 2009.

Read the full full report from the Bangkok Post: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-383 ER HS-BID (msn 24848) arrives back at the Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) base.

Business Air logo

Route map:

Business Air 2014 Route Map

Business Air FA

Video:

Alitalia maps out its new strategy, will include a new look and it must be profitable again by 2017

Alitalia (3rd) (Rome) today issued new strategy with its new partner Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi). The new strategy will also include a new brand and livery for 2015.

The company issued this statement:

The strategy for the new Alitalia was unveiled today, with an unequivocal commitment by the new executive team and strategic investors to reinvent the airline.

Alitalia will introduce new routes, new product and service standards, a new cost management strategy and new branding, as the foundations to build a premium global airline representing the best of Italy.

The new Alitalia commenced operations on January 1, 2015, following the completion of equity investments by Etihad Airways and Alitalia’s existing shareholders. The new company’s Board meeting yesterday ratified the business strategy, which was outlined today by Luca di Montezemolo, Chairman of Alitalia, Silvano Cassano, Chief Executive Officer of Alitalia, and James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group and Vice Chairman of Alitalia.

Luca di Montezemolo said: “The energies, passion and expertise I have experienced at Alitalia in recent weeks do not leave any doubt that the airline we’re unveiling today will become once again a premium Italian airline recognised worldwide. This is why I believe the people in Alitalia are a pillar of the history we’re about to write.

“Our priority is to put the customer at the centre of everything we do. And to do that, we will change many things, starting with the way we work. We need to work as one united team to achieve this great common goal.

“The revitalized Alitalia we envision and have started building, will be an asset to this country, and a driver to support the growth of our tourism and our business.”

James Hogan said Alitalia’s future will rely on major change throughout the organization.

“In a market still beset by the continuing Eurozone crisis, anything other than rapid, decisive change is simply not an option.

“This is the right strategy, with the right management team to lead it.

“But there should be no doubts at all: we have made a commercial investment that must deliver a commercial return.

“We’ve invested in the new Alitalia because we believe it can flourish again. It will only succeed if there is 100 per cent support from everyone. The coming months and next few years will not be easy, but if everyone pulls together as one team, Alitalia can grow again.”

Mr Hogan said that Alitalia’s major investors had set a clear deadline for the airline to deliver profitability by 2017.

Outlining the airline’s new strategy, Silvano Cassano said: “The new Alitalia strategy is serious, it is exciting and it is commercial. It is a strategy for success – if everybody delivers.

“It is serious because it has been developed over months by an executive team and a set of partners that share extensive and in-depth industry expertise.

“It is exciting because of the vision and ambition that we have for the brand and for the business. This is the chance to create a new Alitalia, one which Italy can truly feel proud of.

“And it is commercial because that is the only way this can work. Every single employee at Alitalia has to get into a commercial mindset, one in which the basis of every decision is: Does this add value to our customer? Does it add value to our company? And does it help us to deliver a financial return?

“We need to create a performance-based, customer-focused culture which results in a sustainably profitable airline, one which can grow over the long term.

“The investment we have received from our shareholders gives us the opportunity to do that.”

Mr Cassano added: “A successful Alitalia means jobs, it means trade and it means tourism. It means a major impact on the Italian economy.”

The key elements of the new business strategy include:

Network

A new three-hub strategy in Italy. Milan Malpensa will increase long-haul services, while Milan Linate will increase connectivity with partner airline hubs. Rome Fiumicino will grow long-haul flying and continue to expand short and medium haul flying to maintain relevance to the Italian market.

Schedules across the network will be optimized to allow better connectivity, as well as increased codesharing with existing and new partners.

New routes from Rome include Berlin, Dusseldorf, San Francisco, Mexico City, Santiago (Chile), Beijing and Seoul, with increased flights to New York, Chicago, Rio de Janeiro and Abu Dhabi.

Alitalia will also add 13 weekly flights from Milan Malpensa, with daily services to Abu Dhabi, four flights a week to Shanghai, and additional flights to Tokyo.

There will also be increased connectivity with Etihad Airways’ hub in Abu Dhabi, with daily services from Venice, Milan, Bologna and Catania, as well as additional flights from Rome, all allowing onward connections to the Middle East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, China and Australia.

Venice will be the only Italian airport, in addition to Rome Fiumicino and Milan Malpensa, from which Alitalia will operate services to Abu Dhabi with long-haul aircraft.

Cooperation

While exploring further opportunities to deepen the relationships with Skyteam members and in particular Air France/KLM and Delta, there will be a major new partnership with Airberlin and Niki, as well as increased connectivity with Etihad Airways. There are also plans to work more deeply with Air Serbia and Etihad Regional. These partnerships will increase customer choice across many markets.

Fleet

Alitalia and Etihad Airways and its partners are exploring opportunities to improve jointly fleet efficiency. For example, Alitalia is in the process of relocating 14 Airbus A320s to Airberlin, and looking into options with Etihad Airways to acquire additional wide-body aircraft for Alitalia. Alitalia will also have opportunities to receive aircraft from Etihad Airways’ existing fleet orderbook.

Guest Services

A new customer-first culture, with new product and service standards across the airline. A new Customer Excellence Training Academy will deliver skills to all customer-facing staff, while customers will experience traditional Italian hospitality, new food service options, new-look lounges in Rome, Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate.

Brand

Alitalia will launch a new brand and visual identity, covering aircraft, uniforms and all other customer touch-points. While the name will remain unchanged, the new branding will seek to capture and embody the essence of Italy.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The updated version (in 2006) of the basic 1969 livery will soon be history as Alitalia replaces it with a new Italian theme and look. Alitalia is also going to receive new aircraft types for its long-range routes from partner Etihad Airways. Boeing 777-243 ER EI-ISD (msn 32860) arrives in Los Angeles.

Alitalia aircraft slide show:

Video: Join Luca di Montezemolo, Chairman of Alitalia, Silvano Cassano, Chief Executive Officer of Alitalia, and James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group and Vice Chairman of Alitalia, as they outlining the strategy for a new Alitalia.

United Airlines adds 55 flights on 8 routes for the Super Bowl

United Airlines (Chicago) added more flights for football fans on top of regularly scheduled service to Phoenix from its hubs in Chicago (O’Hare), Denver, Houston (Bush Intercontinental), Los Angeles, Newark and San Francisco. The airline also added special new nonstop service, operating from January 29 to February 2, from Boston and Seattle/Tacoma to Phoenix for the Super Bowl. Several of the flights will be operated with Boeing 767 aircraft to accommodate the extra demand.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. United Airlines Boeing 767-322 ER N675UA (msn 29243) completes its final approach at Los Angeles International Airport.

United Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery only): AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines is adding more flights to Phoenix for the Super Bowl

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) is adding more nonstop flights and connections between Seattle/Tacoma and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Boston and Manchester and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for the Super Bowl. The additional flights will only be offered between January 29 and February 2 to handle the anticipated increase in travelers.

Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Southwest Airlines’ Boeing 737-3H4 N654SW (msn 28399) taxies to the runway at San Francisco International Airport.

Southwest Airlines aircraft slide show (new livery only):

 

Delta reports net income of $649 million for the 4Q, $2.8 billion for the full year

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter. Key points include:

Delta’s pre-tax income for the December 2014 quarter was $1.0 billion, excluding special items1, an increase of $474 million over the December 2013 quarter on a similar basis. Delta’s net income for the December 2014 quarter was $649 million, or $0.78 per diluted share, and its operating margin was 12.6 percent, excluding special items.

For the full year 2014, Delta’s pre-tax income, excluding special items, was $4.5 billion, a $1.9 billion increase over 2013. Delta’s net income for the year was $2.8 billion with an operating margin of 13.1 percent, excluding special items.

On a GAAP basis including special items, Delta’s December quarter pre-tax loss was $1.1 billion, operating margin was -8.6 percent and net loss was $712 million, or $0.86 per share. On a GAAP basis including special items, Delta’s 2014 pre-tax income was $1.1 billion, operating margin was 5.5 percent and net income was $659 million.

2014 results include $1.1 billion in profit sharing expense, including $262 million in the December quarter, recognizing Delta employees’ contributions toward meeting the company’s financial goals.
The company’s strong cash generation allowed it to accelerate its capital deployment plans by reducing its adjusted net debt2 to $7.3 billion, contributing an incremental $250 million above required funding to its defined benefit pension plans, and returning $1.35 billion to shareholders through a combination of $251 million of dividends and $1.1 billion of share repurchases in 2014.

“Our 2014 performance – an industry-leading operation, superior customer service, and a 70 percent increase in profits – shows that Delta is focused on delivering growing value for its employees, customers and investors,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer. “As we begin 2015, we have a significant opportunity from lower fuel prices, which will drive more than $2 billion in fuel savings over 2014. Through our capacity discipline, pricing our product to demand, and the fuel savings, we expect to drive double-digit earnings growth, along with increased free cash flow and a higher return on invested capital in the upcoming year.”

Special Items

Delta recorded a $1.4 billion special items charge, net of taxes, in the December 2014 quarter, including:

a $1.2 billion charge for mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges settling in future periods;
a $75 million charge for mark-to-market adjustments on hedges owned by Virgin Atlantic;
a $74 million charge for fleet, facilities, and other items, associated with Delta’s domestic fleet restructuring initiative as well as the write-down of certain facilities in Concourse C of Detroit Airport; and
a $29 million gain related to an insurance settlement.
Delta recorded a net $7.9 billion special items gain in the December 2013 quarter, including:

an $8.0 billion non-cash gain associated with the reversal of Delta’s tax valuation allowance;
a $92 million mark-to-market gain on fuel hedges; and
a $160 million charge for facilities, fleet and other, including charges associated with Delta’s domestic fleet restructuring.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Financial comment from James Chen, Chief Technical Strategist at www.cityindex.com.sg

“Delta Airlines Inc. (DAL) announced fourth quarter earnings on Tuesday before the market open. The airline reported better-than-expected non-GAAP earnings of $0.78 per share, helped by falling fuel prices. This beat analysts’ consensus earnings estimate of $0.77.

Total operating revenue reached $9.65 billion, slightly topping the $9.58 consensus estimate.

DAL’s stock price rose well above $47.00 in pre-market trading after having closed on Friday at 45.84.

Overall, DAL continues to trade within a long-term bullish trend. 2014 was a dramatically bullish year for the stock, as price rose by 84% from its 2014 opening price of $27.26 up to the record high of $50.16 that was reached on the very last day of 2014. This was despite a major price correction that occurred throughout September and the first half of October.

The new year has thus far shown somewhat of a different picture. From the very beginning of 2015, DAL has declined consistently from its 2014 high in a substantial pullback move.

Prior to Tuesday’s earnings report, price action had been approaching key support around the $44.00 price level, slightly under the 50-day moving average. The positive earnings report, however, has prompted a significant rebound from that level, with a clear upside resistance target around the $50.00 resistance area once again. With a continued bullish bias, especially after Tuesday’s earnings beat, the uptrend for DAL should be poised to continue its march up towards its $55.00 price objective.”

Read more on James’ page at http://www.cityindex.com.sg/market-talk/analysts/james-chen/

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-832 N374DA (msn 29622) approaches the runway at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport.

Delta Air Lines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines launches a special ‘Russell Wilson’s Fan Flight II’ to Phoenix Sweepstakes, adds extra flights for the Super Bowl

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has issued this statement:

Alaska Airlines is giving its Mileage Plan members a chance to fly from Seattle/Tacoma to Phoenix on a special charter to cheer on its Chief Football Officer, Russell Wilson, when his team plays in the big game on February 1. Alaska is launching “Russell Wilson’s Fan Flight II – For Strong Against Cancer,” a four-day sweepstakes on Alaska Airlines’ Facebook page.

Alaska 737 Seahawk colors

Above Photo: Alaska Airlines. Alaska has also changed the on-board mood lighting to the team colors.

Fifty-six prize winners will receive two roundtrip tickets for an ‘inflight tailgate party’ from Seattle to Phoenix on its “Go Russell 737-900ER” aircraft (above and below). Winners will also receive two nights of hotel accommodations, admission to an exclusive game day party and transportation to and from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and their hotel.

The sweepstakes is open to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members who are residents of Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

Sweepstakes winners will be notified by phone and email beginning on Friday, January 23. To enter and review complete sweepstakes rules, visit www.facebook.com/AlaskaAirlines at 8 a.m. PT.

“We’re thrilled to have a second opportunity to fly Russell’s fans to the big game. We invite our loyal Mileage Plan members to join us in cheering on Russell and his team as they pursue their second championship win,” said Joe Sprague, senior vice president of communications and external relations for Alaska Airlines. “By entering this sweepstakes, Mileage Plan members are also helping to raise funds to help defeat childhood cancer, a cause that’s a priority for both Alaska and our Chief Football Officer.”

Alaska Russell Wilson

Above Photo: Alaska Airlines.

Russell Wilson’s Fan Flight for Strong Against Cancer

For every sweepstakes entry, Alaska Airlines will make a $1 donation to Strong Against Cancer, up to $50,000. Strong Against Cancer is a multi-year initiative dedicated to ending childhood cancer. Funds raised go directly to breakthrough pediatric cancer immunotherapy research underway at the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research. In just one of the Center’s clinical trials for patients who have relapsed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), this breakthrough treatment has had a stunning 85 percent success rate – 11 of 13 patients’ cancer went into remission. Alaska joined Wilson in supporting Strong Against Cancer initially pledging $100,000 and is donating an additional $3,000 for every touchdown scored by Wilson and his offense in the playoff games and the championship game.

Alaska Adds Extra Flights Between Seattle and Phoenix

To help football fans trying to attend the February 1 championship game, Alaska has added two roundtrip flights between Seattle/Tacoma and Phoenix.

Summary of extra flights:

Alaska SEA-PHX flights

Top Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Airlines has embraced its relationship with the Seattle Seahawks quarterback with special appearances and this special logo jet. Boeing 737-990 ER N453AS (msn 36354) carries unique “Go Russell!” markings. The markings have now been modified (below). The wingtip also includes Russell’s jersey number. (Alaska Airlines):

Alaska 737-900ER WL N453AS (15-Go Russell! - Nonstop Dedication)(Titles)(Alaska)(LR)

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show:

KLM to introduce the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on October 26

KLM 787-9

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) is planning to introduce the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the Amsterdam-Abu Dhabi-Bahrain route on October 26 per Luchvaart News.

Air France-KLM Group has 25 787-9s on order.

Image: Boeing.

KLM aircraft slide show:

Delta to bring the Boeing 717 to the West Coast, will resume Atlanta-Honolulu Boeing 747-400 flights

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is bringing its leased Boeing 717-200s to the U.S. West Coast on four routes. Los Angeles-Las Vegas, Los Angeles-Portland, Oregon, Salt Lake City-Kansas City and Salt Lake City-Las Vegas will be changed to Boeing 717-200 equipment starting on June 4 per Airline Route.

In other news, Delta is bringing back the Boeing 747-400 on the Atlanta-Honolulu route starting on May 1.

Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 717-231 N927AT (msn 55077) departs from Montreal (Trudeau).

Delta Air Lines aircraft slide (current livery): AG Slide Show

United Airlines to start Houston-Sao Paulo Boeing 787 service

United Airlines (Chicago) is planning to introduce the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on the Houston (Bush Intercontinental) – Sao Paulo (Guarulhos) route in April. The 787 will operate daily on the route starting on April 7 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner N20904 (msn 34824) departs the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport.

United Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):

The pilots of Allegiant Air authorize a strike

Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) is facing a possible strike by its pilots. The Airline Professionals Association (APA) Teamsters Local 1224 issued this statement yesterday:

INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS LOGO

Pilots at Allegiant Air, represented by the Airline Professionals Association (APA) Teamsters Local 1224, voted overwhelmingly, 465-8, on January 16 to authorize a strike against Allegiant Air. The 10-day voting period closed at 12:00 p.m. EST January 16, with 98 percent of voting Allegiant Air pilots voting “Yes” to authorize the union to call a strike if necessary.

“This does not mean that a strike is going to happen tomorrow or even next week,” said APA Teamsters Local 1224 President Daniel Wells. “It does, however, mean that the situation is fluid. If Allegiant continues to stonewall in negotiations and continues to disregard the federal court’s injunction ordering it to restore the pilots’ work rules, then a pilot strike at Allegiant Air will be very realistic.”

In early January, the union’s leadership decided to put a formal strike authorization vote out to the membership, based on a deadlock in negotiations and Allegiant Air’s continued failure to abide by a July 2014 federal court injunction directing Allegiant Air to restore the pilots’ work rule protections and benefits to previously negotiated levels.

“Virtually every pilot voted to authorize a strike,” Wells said. “That speaks volumes.”

With this kind of support, the union intends to move forward by seeking a proffer from the National Mediation Board (NMB) under the Railway Labor Act’s dispute provisions. Once this has been completed, or to the extent that Allegiant remains unwilling to restore the pilots’ work rule protections and benefits, the pilots would be free to conduct a legal strike in the near future.

The pilots have been in negotiations with Allegiant Air for two years with little to no progress. Their first negotiation session began in December of 2012 – with mediated negotiations beginning in April 2014 – and still the company cannot reach agreement with the union on even the most basic conditions in their negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.

“No one wants to strike,” Wells said. “We would rather be able to make some real progress in direct negotiations. However, the pilots haven’t seen any real progress in over two years.”

In just two years, three employee groups, encompassing all of Allegiant Air’s operational personnel, have joined national labor unions, indicating that the issues at hand in this battle extend far beyond basic management-employee relations. In addition to basic compensation and work rules, the issues center on safety concerns and operational deficiencies that cannot be resolved without the company’s willingness to begin reinvesting directly into the company’s operation. The pilots contend that vital changes are needed for Allegiant’s long-term success, before it’s too late.

Teamster pilots with Allegiant Air conducted informational picketing on Tuesday at McCarran International Airport and Allegiant Air Corporate Headquarters in Las Vegas, as well as at St Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport and Fort Lauderdale International Airport in Florida, to make the public aware of their fight for infrastructural investments into Allegiant Air’s operational systems, basic industry averages in salary and for other job protection measures that are standard in the airline industry.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air is one of the most profitable airlines in the world, reporting a profit for 47 consecutive quarters. Its executives are among the highest compensated in the industry, yet its pilots are among the lowest paid and are subject to substandard working conditions in comparison to the rest of the industry.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-204 N905NV (msn 27235) arrives back at the Las Vegas base from Honolulu.

Allegiant Air aircraft slide show:

Norwegian announces three new routes

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) has announced new weekly nonstop flights between Stockholm (Arlanda) and Bastia in Corsica starting on April 25. Additionally the airline will launch new twice-weekly nonstop flights between Madrid and Nice starting on March 29 as well as weekly flights between London (Gatwick) and Kefalonia in Greece on April 18.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8Q8 LN-NOD (msn 35280) with Sonja Henie on the tail approaches the runway at Gatwick Airport near London.

Norwegian aircraft slide show:

 

 

AirEuropa orders 14 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners

Air Europa 787-8 artwork

AirEuropa (Palma de Mallorca and Madrid) and Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) today announced an order for 14 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at $3.6 billion at list prices, the largest ever Boeing widebody order from a Spanish carrier. The order was booked in December 2014 and was previously attributed to an unidentified customer on the Boeing Orders and Deliveries website.

AirEuropa now has a combined total of 22 787-8s and 787-9s on order as it continues its transition to an all-Boeing long-haul fleet.

The 787-9 complements and extends the 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 6 meters (20 feet) 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.

Based at Palma de Mallorca Airport, with a key hub at Adolfo Suarez-Madrid Barajas airport, AirEuropa has grown to be one of the largest airlines in Spain serving more than 40 destinations across Europe and the Americas. Throughout its history, AirEuropa has operated 737s, 757s and 767s and currently has a combination of 30 Next-Generation 737-800s and 787 Dreamliners on order from Boeing.

In other news,  Boeing and Embraer yesterday opened a joint sustainable aviation biofuel research center in a collaborative effort to further establish the aviation biofuel industry in Brazil.

At the Boeing-Embraer Joint Research Center in the São José dos Campos Technology Park, the companies will coordinate and co-fund research with Brazilian universities and other institutions. The research will focus on technologies that address gaps in creating a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Brazil, such as feedstock production, techno-economic analysis, economic viability studies and processing technologies.

Image: Boeing.

AirEuropa aircraft slide show:

The new Eastern targets mid-March as launch date for charters pending FAA certification

Eastern Air Lines (2nd) (Eastern Air Lines Group) (Miami) is targeting mid-March as a possible start of charter operations pending its FAA part 121 certification process according to this article by the Miami Herald. Ultimately the new carrier will offer scheduled passenger operations with a focus on Latin America. Ironically the original Eastern sold its Latin American routes authorities to American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth). This sale led to the creation of American’s fortress Miami International Airport hub. The new Eastern will compete against American Airlines at MIA along with Spirit Airlines and JetBlue Airways from nearby Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and other foreign carriers at both airports. In other words, it is already a crowded field.

In its favor, the Eastern name has an instant brand identification in the South Florida market although both carriers are separate airlines with distinct investors.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. The former Kenya Airways Boeing 737-8AL N276EA (msn 35070) arrived at Miami International Airport to a large welcoming celebration on December 19, 2014. It is currently being modified to meet FAA standards.

The original Eastern aircraft slide show:

Delta plans to start Los Angeles – Shanghai flights on July 9

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) plans to begin daily nonstop service between Los Angeles International Airport and Shanghai-Pudong Airport on July 9, 2015, pending U.S. Department of Transportation and foreign government approval.

The Los Angeles market makes up 25 percent of all U.S.-Asia demand, and the start of Shanghai service marks Delta’s fourth daily nonstop flight to the Asia-Pacific region in addition to Tokyo-Narita, Tokyo-Haneda and Sydney.

The route will operate using a 291-seat Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft with 37 full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite, 36 seats in Economy Comfort and 218 seats in Economy class.

Combined with its hubs in Detroit, Seattle/Tacoma and Tokyo-Narita, Delta will operate 42 weekly departures to China’s global financial center. Additionally, Delta offers daily service to China’s capital, Beijing, from both Seattle/Tacoma and Detroit.

Travelers passing through Los Angeles continue to enjoy the benefits of the $229 million expansion and enhancement of Terminal 5 at LAX. The current project will double the size of the ticketing lobby and screening checkpoints and open an exclusive Sky Priority lobby with dedicated access to screening checkpoints for Delta’s high-value customers. It also will include renovations to the Delta Sky Club and new baggage carousels. All renovations are expected to be complete prior to the start of Shanghai service in July.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Delta Air Lines’ Boeing 777-232 LR N702DN (msn 29741) named “The Spirit of Atlanta” arrives at Los Angeles International Airport.

Delta Air Lines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Slide Show

Chilejet awaits final approvals to start operations

Chilejet.com 737-300 CC-ADZ (14)(Grd) SCL (AR)(LRW)

Chilejet S.A. (Chilejet.com) (Santiago) as we previously reported, is a new airline “established in Chile to serve specific niche markets in the air charter and scheduled markets.”

On December 4, 2014 Chilejet announced Santiago and Antofagasta airport stations have been approved by the Chilean Air Aviation Authority – DGAC, in order to start flight operations. The new airline plans to fly from Santiago (SCL) to Calama (CJC) and Antofagasta (ANF).

Copyright Photo: Alvaro Romero. The company took delivery of its first aircraft, ex-America West/US Airways/PAL Airlines Boeing 737-3G7 CC-ADZ (msn 24634), in 2014. The airliner currently sits at Santiago awaiting approval to fly again.

Chilejet.com logo

 

American Airlines’ pilots and flight attendants to receive membership in CBP’s Global Entry program

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth), in close coordination with the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), has announced it is the first carrier to offer its nearly 40,000 pilots and flight attendants complimentary membership in CBP’s Global Entry program. Membership in Global Entry allows expedited CBP clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States.

Started as a pilot program in 2008, Global Entry is now operational at 42 U.S. airports and 11 pre-clearance locations. As an added benefit, Global Entry members are also eligible to participate in the TSA PreCheck™ expedited screening program. As part of the process, all participants must be pre-approved for the Global Entry program and undergo a rigorous background check and interview before enrollment. Eligible American flight crew members may begin enrolling in the program this month.

Envoy Air Inc., an American Airlines Group wholly owned regional carrier, will also offer complimentary Global Entry membership to its more than 2,700 crew members.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-823 N837NN (msn 30908) in the Oneworld scheme departs the runway at Washington’s Reagan National Airport.

American Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):

Scoot will now introduce the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on February 1

Scoot (Singapore) is now planning to introduce the new Boeing 787-9 on February 1 to both Hong Kong and Perth from Singapore. The inaugural has been delayed twice due to delivery delays at Boeing.

Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. The first 787, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner 9V-OJA (msn 37112), is pictured yesterday undergoing pre-delivery testing at Paine Field near Everett.

Scoot aircraft slide show:

Scoot logo

Route Map:

Scoot 1.2015 Route Map

 

China Eastern to introduce the Boeing 777-300 ER on the Toronto route on June 17

China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai) will now introduce the new Boeing 777-300 ER on the Shanghai (Pudong) – Toronto (Pearson) route on June 17 (delayed from April 15) according to Airline Route. The new type will replace the Airbus A340-600 currently operating on the route. The route is operated on three days a week.

Copyright Photo: Daniel Gorun/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 777-39P ER B-2001 (msn 43269) in the new look was handed over to the carrier on September 23, 2014.

China Eastern Airlines aircraft slide show:

 

Mixed scorecard for Airbus and Boeing in 2014: Deliveries: Airbus 629, Boeing 723, Orders: Airbus 1,456, Boeing 1,432

Airbus logo

Airbus (Toulouse) has now released its sales results for 2014. Previously Boeing released its results for 2014. We can now compare the results for the two large manufacturers:

Airbus set a new record of 629 aircraft deliveries in 2014 for 89 customers of which eight are new, comprising 490 A320 Family aircraft, 108 A330s, 30 A380s and also our first A350 XWB. This production achievement means that Airbus’ aircraft deliveries in 2014 were up for the 13th year in a row, surpassing the previous record set in 2013.

Airbus also achieved 1,456 net orders from 67 customers (of which 14 are new) – our second best year ever, comprising 1,321 single aisle aircraft and 135 widebodies. As a result, by year end, the backlog had climbed to a new industry record of 6,386 aircraft valued at $919.3 billion at list prices.

Boeing logo (medium)

Meanwhile Boeing, as previously reported, set a global industry record for the most commercial airplanes delivered in a single year at 723 in 2014, maintaining its position as the world’s largest airplane manufacturer for the third consecutive year.

In 2014, Boeing booked 1,432 net orders. The company also grew its backlog of unfilled commercial orders to a historic high of 5,789 airplanes.

In summary, both manufacturers can find some good news in these numbers. Clearly the recent decision by Delta to select the Airbus A330neo and the A350 over Boeing was the main deciding factor for who had the most orders in 2014.

For 2015, the battle lines are drawn.

 

Allegiant Air’s pilots to conduct informational picketing today, announces Indianapolis-Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood service

Allegiant Air‘s (Las Vegas) pilots will conduct informational picketing today (January 13) to bring “awareness to their efforts to secure a new contract.”

McCarran International Airport

5757 Wayne Newton Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89119

Time: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Pacific Standard Time

Allegiant Air Corporate Headquarters

1201 N. Town Center Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89144

Time: 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time

St Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport

14700 Terminal Boulevard
Clearwater, FL 33762

Time: 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport

100 Terminal Dr.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315

Time: 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.

In other news, Allegiant announced the addition of low-cost, twice weekly nonstop jet service to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood from Indianapolis beginning on April 8, 2015, continuing Allegiant’s rapid expansion in Indianapolis.

Allegiant’s launch of service from Indianapolis next month will be the largest in the company’s history, when it will inaugurate nonstop service to five destinations: Las Vegas, Sanford, St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Punta Gorda and seasonal service to New Orleans. Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood is the carrier’s fourth Florida destination announced from Indianapolis

Copyright Photo: Gunter Mayer/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-204 N906NV (msn 27236) holds short of the runway at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS).

Allegiant Air aircraft slide show:

Blue Air establishes a new base at Larnaca in the wake of the Cyprus Airways demise

Blue Air (Bucharest) is opening a new operational base in Cyprus and will start operating daily flights Larnaca to Athens and thrice-weekly flights to Thessaloniki. Blue Air is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-4Q8 YR-BAR (msn 25371) is pictured at Luton Airport near London.

Blue Air 10 years logo

The new routes:

Blue Air Larnaca new routes

Current routes from Bucharest:

Blue Air 1.2015 Route Map

Blue Air aircraft slide show:

Video: Boeing 737-800 takeoff from St. Maarten

Video: The latest video from the 737 Channel.

Video: Boeing 777 Hong Kong Approach in bad weather

Video from PilotsEYE.tv.

SmartWings to add three new routes from Bratislava in June, will also start Prague-London Gatwick flights

SmartWings (brand of Travel Service Airlines) (Prague) is adding three new holiday routes from Bratislava starting in June: Olbia (June 14), Palma de Mallorca (June 13) and Rhodes (June 9) per Airline Route.

Routes from Bratislava:

Smartwings 1.2015 Bratislava Route Map

Smartwings logo-1

In addition, the carrier will also start seasonal service to London (Gatwick) from Prague from April 2. The route will be operated four days a week with Boeing 737-800s.

Routes from Prague:

Smartwings PRG 1.2015 Route Map

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8S3 OK-TSA (msn 29250) taxies at Zurich.

Smartwings aircraft slide show:

 

 

Luxair reaches a tentative collective labor agreement with its staff and unions

Luxair (Luxembourg) has reached a new tentative collective labor agreement with its staff and the unions. The agreement is subject to final ratification vote. This follows union protests in October. The airline is expected to save up to 8 million euros ($9.4 million) annually according to the Luxembourg Wort.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8C9 LX-LGU (msn 41047) in the special Disney Planes scheme departs from Palma de Mallorca.

Luxair aircraft slide show:

Luxair logo

Current Luxair route map:

Luxair 1.2015 Route Map

Vietnam Airlines is coming to London Heathrow Airport

Vietnam Airlines (Hanoi) is switching London airports. Starting on March 30 the flag carrier will switch from Gatwick Airport to Heathrow Airport. The airline currently operates twice-weekly Boeing 777-200 service from Hanoi and twice-weekly flights from Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon).

The airline is planning to switch to the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners starting on July 1 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-26K ER VN-A144 (msn 33503) taxies at Paris (CDG) in the now old livery.

Vietnam Airlines aircraft slide show:

Video: The revised new livery of Vietnam Airlines:

 

Ethiopian Airlines to start Tokyo service on April 20, expands its partnership with Air India

Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) has announced it will start Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner service three days a week to Tokyo (Narita) starting on April 20 in codeshare partnership with fellow Star Alliance member, ANA-All Nippon Airways (Tokyo).

The new route will be operated through Hong Kong.

In other news, Ethiopian Airlines and Air India (Delhi) have expanded their codeshare coverage.

Ethiopian operates daily flights to both Mumbai and Delhi. The two Star Alliance member carriers, which have already a codeshare in place for the Mumbai and Delhi routes, have expanded their agreement to include African points on Ethiopian operated network thru its main hub in Addis Ababa, such as Kigali, Entebbe, Dar es Salaam, Harare and Nairobi, and on Air India’s domestic routes beyond Mumbai and Delhi with the inclusion of Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Bangalore.

Ethiopian is planning to significantly scale-up its footprint in the Indian market with the start of double-daily flights and the opening of a new route in Southern India in 2015.

Ethiopian is a global Pan-African carrier currently serving 84 international destinations across five continents with over 200 daily flights and using the latest technology aircraft such as the Boeing 777s and Boeing 787s.

Copyright Photo: Wingnut/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner ET-AOS (msn 34747) taxies at London (Heathrow).

Ethiopian Airlines aircraft slide show:

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