Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) is forecasting continued strong growth in demand for commercial aviation pilots and maintenance technicians as the global fleet expands over the next 20 years.
Boeing’s 2014 Pilot and Technician Outlook, released today at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, projects that between 2014 and 2033, the world’s aviation system will require:
533,000 new commercial airline pilots
584,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians
“The challenge of meeting the global demand for airline professionals cannot be solved by one company or in one region of the world,” said Sherry Carbary, vice president, Boeing Flight Services. “This is a global issue that can only be solved by all of the parties involved—airlines, aircraft and training equipment manufacturers, training delivery organizations, regulatory agencies and educational institutions around the world.”
The 2014 outlook projects continued increases in pilot demand, which is up approximately 7 percent compared to 2013; and in maintenance training, which increased just over 5 percent. Pilot demand in the Asia Pacific region now comprises 41 percent of the world’s need, and the Middle East region saw significant growth since last year’s outlook due to increased airline capacity and orders for wide-body models which require more crew members.
Overall, the global demand is driven by steadily increasing airplane deliveries, particularly wide-body airplanes, and represents a global requirement for about 27,000 new pilots and 29,000 new technicians annually.
Projected demand for new pilots and technicians by global region:
Asia Pacific – 216,000 pilots and 224,000 technicians
Europe – 94,000 pilots and 102,000 technicians
North America – 88,000 pilots and 109,000 technicians
Latin America – 45,000 pilots and 44,000 technicians
Middle East – 55,000 pilots and 62,000 technicians
Africa – 17,000 pilots and 19,000 technicians
Russia and CIS – 18,000 pilots and 24,000 technicians
WestJet reports a record 2Q net profit of $51.8 million, will operate Boeing 767-300 ERs, Encore orders 5 more Q400s
WestJet (Calgary) today announced its second quarter results for 2014, with net earnings of $51.8 million (all amounts in Canadian dollars), or $0.40 per fully diluted share, as compared with the net earnings of $44.7 million, or $0.34 per fully diluted share reported in the second quarter of 2013. Based on the trailing twelve months, the airline achieved a return on invested capital of 13.7 per cent, consistent with the 13.7 per cent reported in the previous quarter.
“We had a great second quarter, reporting record earnings, exceeding our ROIC target for the eighth consecutive quarter, and achieving an on-time performance rate of 84.5 per cent, a year over year improvement of 3.5 percentage points,” said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. “We continue to execute on our growth plans, including new service to Dublin, Ireland, success with our fare bundles initiative, and the expansion of WestJet Encore. Encore celebrated its first birthday in June, recently welcomed its one-millionth guest, and exercised five additional purchase options for Q400 aircraft. I want to thank all of our 10,000 WestJetters for their commitment to providing our award winning brand of friendly caring service, which is the foundation of our success.”
On July 7, WestJet announced that it was in the advanced stages of sourcing aircraft for its entry into wide-body service. A natural, next-step evolution for the airline, WestJet has recently selected four Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft (below) which will initially operate on routes between Alberta and Hawaii during the winter season beginning in late 2015. The airline’s current winter service between Alberta and Hawaii, via two Boeing 757-200s operated by Thomas Cook, is ending in the spring of 2015. WestJet expects to expand its operation into overseas markets starting in the summer of 2016. Further announcements regarding WestJet’s wide-body schedule will be released at a later date.
On July 28, 2014, WestJet’s Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.12 per common voting share and variable voting share for the third quarter of 2014, to be paid on September 30, 2014, to shareholders of record on September 17, 2014. All dividends paid by WestJet are, pursuant to subsection 89(14) of the Income Tax Act, designated as eligible dividends, unless indicated otherwise. An eligible dividend paid to a Canadian resident is entitled to the enhanced dividend tax credit.
In other news, WestJet Encore Ltd. has signed a firm purchase agreement for five Bombardier Q400 NextGen airliners. This transaction is a conversion of a batch of five options booked by the carrier’s parent company WestJet and follows the first conversion of five option aircraft announced on March 27, 2014, bringing the number of option aircraft exercised to 10. The initial total of 25 option aircraft was part of the original contract announced on August 1, 2012 that included WestJet’s firm order for 20 Q400 NextGen airliners.
WestJet Encore launched in June 2013 operating 10 departures daily to two destinations with two Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft and 131 employees. Today, it operates 90 departures daily from hubs in Calgary, Alberta and Toronto, Ontario to 19 destinations with 13 Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft and approximately 500 employees. The airline has announced plans to introduce service to Québec City, Québec; Fredericton, New Brunswick and Penticton, British Columbia in 2015.
Copyright Photo: Matt Dueck/AirlinersGallery.com. WestJet will become a new Boeing 767-300 operator. The airline will trade in its wet leased Boeing 757-200s (currently operated by Thomas Cook Airlines) for larger wide-body Boeing 767-300 ERs in 2015. The pictured Boeing 757-28A N750NA (msn 26277) was previously operated by North American Airlines in the WestJet brand.
FAA proposes a $12 million civil penalty against Southwest Airlines, Southwest has 30 days to respond
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (Washington) has issued this statement concerning Boeing 737 maintenance issues by Southwest Airlines (Dallas) and a contractor:
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $12 million civil penalty against Southwest Airlines for failing to comply with Federal Aviation Regulations in three separate enforcement cases related to repairs on Boeing 737 jetliners operated by the Dallas-based airline.
The FAA alleges that beginning in 2006, Southwest conducted so-called “extreme makeover” alterations to eliminate potential cracking of the aluminum skin on 44 jetliners. The FAA conducted an investigation that included both the airline and its contractor, Aviation Technical Services, Inc., (ATS) of Everett, Wash. Investigators determined that ATS failed to follow proper procedures for replacing the fuselage skins on these aircraft. FAA investigators also determined that ATS failed to follow required procedures for placing the airplanes on jacks and stabilizing them. All of the work was done under the supervision of Southwest Airlines, which was responsible for ensuring that procedures were properly followed.
Southwest returned the jetliners to service and operated them when they were not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations, the FAA alleges. The regulatory violations charged involve numerous flights that occurred in 2009 after the FAA put the airline on notice that these aircraft were not in compliance with either FAA Airworthiness Directives or alternate, FAA-approved methods of complying with the directives. The FAA later approved the repairs after the airline provided proper documentation that the repairs met safety standards
“Safety is our top priority, and that means holding airlines responsible for the repairs their contractors undertake,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Everyone has a role to play and a responsibility to ensure the safety of our transportation system.”
During its investigation, the FAA found that ATS workers applied sealant beneath the new skin panels but did not install fasteners in all of the rivet holes during the timeframe for the sealant to be effective. This could have resulted in gaps between the skin and the surface to which it was being mounted. Such gaps could allow moisture to penetrate the skin and lead to corrosion. As a result of the improper repairs, these airplanes did not comply with Federal Aviation Regulations.
The FAA also alleges that ATS personnel failed to follow requirements to properly place these airplanes on jacks and shore them up while the work was being performed. If a plane is shored improperly during skin replacement, the airframe could shift and lead to subsequent problems with the new skin.
In the third case, the FAA alleges that Southwest Airlines failed to properly install a ground wire on water drain masts on two of its Boeing 737s in response to an FAA Airworthiness Directive addressing lightning strikes on these components. As a result, the aircraft were not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations. The airplanes were each operated on more than 20 passenger flights after Southwest Airlines became aware of the discrepancies but before the airline corrected the problem.
“The FAA views maintenance very seriously, and it will not hesitate to take action against companies that fail to follow regulations,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.
Southwest Airlines has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s Civil Penalty letter to respond to the allegations.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-3H4 N363SW (msn 26574) prepares to land at Baltimore/Washington (BWI).
United Airlines (Chicago) has issued a new safety video with this message:
We’re onboarding a new safety video. Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and employees, so we’ve incorporated creative elements to maintain the interest of even our most frequent flyers flight after flight. Underscoring the message that safety is global, the video showcases locations throughout United’s broad route network.
Copyright Photo: Boeing 787-8 N26906 (msn 34829) taxies to the gate at Los Angeles.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) (Tokyo) yesterday (July 28) celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 787-9 Dreamliner.
ANA will become the world’s first airline to operate both the 787-8 and 787-9 variants of the Dreamliner family when the airline launches 787-9 services on domestic Japanese routes in August.
With this delivery, ANA will have 29 787s in its fleet, more than any other operator in the world.
The 787-9 complements and extends the 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters) over the 787-8, the 787-9 will fly up to 40 more passengers an additional 450 nautical miles (830 kilometers) with the same exceptional environmental performance – 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes.
ANA has 29 more 787-9s on order with commitments for 14 more. Sixty customers from around the world have ordered more than 1,000 787s, with more than 160 currently in operation.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-9 N1792B (msn 34522) became JA830A on the handover.
Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur), owned by a majority share by a holding company of the Malaysian government, is considering changes in the the wake of the two tragic accidents this year.
According to RT.com, the government is considering a rebrand, a different ownership restructure, a possible new name and an adjustment of its route network.
Malaysia Airlines is very likely to change.
As far as the livery, the two ill-fated Boeing 777-200 ERs wore the older 1987 livery (above) which features the red and blue Kelantan Wau Bulan (Moon Dragon Kite) tail logo which has been seen in the headlines over and over, especially with the debris in eastern Ukraine. Any brand refresh would probably retire this iconic and historic logo.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8FZ 9M-MLH (msn 31723) is pictured in action at Phuket, Thailand in the 1987 color scheme.
Below Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/AirlinersGallery.com. Malaysia refreshed the red and blue Kelantan Wau Bulan (kite) livery in 2010 with this new twin arc look while retaining the kite tail logo. Boeing 737-8H6 9M-MSE (msn 40147) passes through Honolulu on delivery.
Below Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. When Malaysia introduced the new Airbus A380, the airline unveiled this special A380 livery (for only the A380s) in 2012. The red and blue kite morphed into a blue kite for the A380s. Is this enough of a change? Probably not. Airbus A380-841 9M-MNB (msn 081) departs from London (Heathrow).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. When MSA was split into Malaysian Airline System (MAS) and Singapore Airlines, Malaysian (later Malaysia Airlines) originally introduced this livery in 1972. As you will note, the original livery featured a red and white kite tail logo. Dropping this historic logo will be a tough decision for the airline but unfortunately it is now a tarnished logo. Boeing 737-2H6 9M-MBH (msn 20926) prepares to depart from the gate at Kuala Lumpur.
Jetairfly (TUI Airlines Belgium) (Brussels) will return to Sanford (near Orlando) on October 24 where it will operate twice weekly Boeing 767-300 ER flights on a Brussels-Miami-Sanford-Brussels routing per Airline Route.
The carrier will also add a separate third weekly return trip to Miami.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-341 ER OO-TUC (msn 24844) taxies from the gate at Brussels.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) will launch new daily service between Miami International Airport (MIA) and Cap-Haitien, Haiti (CAP), adding a new international destination to the airline’s growing global network. Customers can now book travel on the new route for travel beginning October 2, 2014, subject to government approval.
The new route supplements American’s long-standing service to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and will be operated with a Boeing 737-800.
Copyright Photo: Luimer Cordero/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-823 N980AN (msn 33203) arrives at the Miami hub.
As part of the expanding Transavia lower-fare operations the Group issued this statement:
In the Second Quarter of 2014, Transavia capacity was up 4.8%, reflecting the accelerated development of Transavia France (up 10%) and the repositioning of Transavia Netherlands (up 3% including a 6% reduction in charter capacity). Traffic rose 6.0%, leading to a record high load factor of 90.7% (up 0.9 point). Unit revenue was down 1.7%. Transavia’s total revenue stood at 296 million euros, up 5.0%. The operating result was -6 million euros, down 3 million euros year-on-year.
In the First Half of 2014, Transavia traffic increased by 6.9% for capacity up 5.8%, leading to a 0.9 point increase in load factor to 89.2%. Unit revenue was down 2.6%. Total revenue stood at 435 million euros, up 4.5%, while the unit cost per ASK decreased by 0.8%, but increased by 0.5% on a constant currency basis. The operating result decreased by 10 million euros to -64 million euros, mainly due to the ramp up of Transavia France.
Overall the Group issued this outlook:
Delivery on the Transform 2015 plan is fully on track. However, as indicated at the beginning of the month, the operating environment remains tough, with industry overcapacity on certain long-haul routes, notably North America and Asia, impacting yields. This trend comes on top of the persistently weak cargo demand and the challenging situation in Venezuela already identified in the First Quarter.
Under these conditions, as indicated at the beginning of the month, 2014 EBITDA is expected to be between 2.2 and 2.3 billion euros. Strong capital discipline will enable the group to remain on track in terms of debt reduction and achieve its objective of 4.5 billion euros in net debt in 2015.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Air France’s Airbus A380-861 F-HPJE (msn 052) with the special logo to celebrate 50 years of France-China diplomatic relations.
Bottom Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-406 PH-BFF (msn 24202) completes its final approach to the runway at Toronto (Pearson).
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will launch a new international route from its Salt Lake City hub to KLM’s Amsterdam hub on May 1. The new route will be operated five days a week using Boeing 767-300 aircraft according to Airline Route. It will become daily service on May 17.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-3P6 ER N156DL (msn 25354) arrives at Tokyo (Narita).
Norwegian continues to build up its presence at London’s Gatwick Airport, reports a 2Q net profit of $20.5 million
Norwegian Air Shuttle’s (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) route network from London Gatwick continues to expand. Norwegian is adding four new destinations this winter; Madeira and La Palma for the sun-seekers and Grenoble and Salzburg for the ski enthusiasts.
Norwegian is also increasing the number of weekly departures on its routes from London Gatwick to Lanzarote, Rome and Larnaca.
From October 28 and November 1, respectively, Norwegian offers sun-seekers two weekly flights from London Gatwick to the Portuguese island of Madeira and one weekly flight to La Palma in the Canary Islands. Those more keen on white and powdery conditions in the Alps this winter, can from December 13 fly nonstop to Grenoble and Salzburg once a week.
Today, Norwegian is a major player at London Gatwick airport. The airline established a crew base at the airport in 2013 and now offers 41 routes from London Gatwick. Norwegian has eight Boeing 737-800 aircraft based at London Gatwick today as well as around 90 pilots and 200 cabin crew members.
On the financial side, Norwegian (NAS) reported a second quarter 2014 net profit of 128 million NOK ($20.5 million). According to the carrier, “The second quarter is characterized by strong growth and a record high load factor, and influenced by significant, one-off costs, a weak Norwegian currency and high oil prices. The strike from labor union Parat earlier this year alone cost Norwegian over 100 million NOK in lost revenue.
The second quarter figures also reflect Norwegian’s growth strategy and the company’s goal to fill all its new seats. Despite significant costs related to the start-up of the long-haul operation and higher costs due to the weak Norwegian currency, the unit cost (CASK) is down, strengthening Norwegian’s competitive advantage further. Over the past year, Norwegian has introduced seven Dreamliner aircraft to its long-haul operation.
The total revenue in the second quarter was over 5 BNOK, up 26 percent from the same quarter last year. The pre-tax result (EBT) was -137 MNOK. 6.4 million passengers chose to travel with Norwegian during the second quarter, which is an increase of 16 percent and almost 900 000 passengers more than the same period last year. The company’s traffic growth (RPK) was considerably higher at 46 percent, which reflects that each of Norwegian’s passengers on average flies significantly longer than they did a year ago.”
Record high load factor
Norwegian realized a strong production growth (ASK) of 41 percent. The growth is, naturally, stronger in new markets. Despite Norwegian’s strong capacity growth, the company is still filling its seats. The load factor in this quarter was 80 percent, up three percentage points from the same quarter last year, which is record high for a second quarter.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8JP LN-NGT (msn 41125) taxies at Palma de Mallorca (PMI) with Anton K.H. Jakobsen on the tail.
Current routes from London Gatwick:
Ryanair (Dubin) has announced it will launch a new Manchester winter route to/from Shannon as part of an extended Manchester winter 2014 schedule, with 24 routes in total, including four other new routes to Barcelona, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Lisbon and extra frequencies to Madrid, Riga and Rome.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DPK (msn 33610) arrives for landing at Tenerife Sur.
ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) will become the world’s first airline to operate the new stretched version of the Boeing Dreamliner when it launches services on domestic Japanese routes in August with the 787-9 variant of the aircraft.
Deliveries to ANA of the 787-9, an extended fuselage model of the aircraft, from Boeing’s Everett site in Washington are due to begin on July 27. The first aircraft will arrive in Tokyo on July 29. The aircraft achieves even better fuel economy than the 787-8, recording an improvement of 23% (*1), and also has approximately 20% more seating and cargo capacity (*2), resulting in a further reduction in operating costs. The aircraft will contribute to the continued expansion of ANA’s business, particularly in its international network.
In advance of bringing the plane into scheduled commercial service, ANA is going to operate a special commemorative flight for the ‘Dreamliner’ on August 4, 2014. ANA will fly Japanese and American elementary school children living in Japan on a flight for the next generation of air passengers. The aircraft will fly from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport to fly over Mount Fuji, one of Japan’s best known landmarks and newest World Heritage Site. The TOMODACHI logo will be displayed on the new aircraft, in support of the initiative to strengthen Japanese-US ties.
About the TOMODACHI logo:
ANA signed the sponsorship agreement in 2012 for the public-private partnership TOMODACHI Initiative led by the US Embassy in Japan and the US-Japan Council to strengthen US-Japan ties. An opportunity was created to promote these principles and expand these activities by displaying the TOMODACHI logo on three aircraft to fly on routes between the US and Japan.
While the aircraft is expected to show lower operating costs and improved environmental performance as a result of even better fuel economy, the 787-9, like the 787-8, makes use of state-of-the-art technology to provide customers with a new level of in-flight comfort through innovations such as improved cabin humidity, reduced discomfort from cabin pressure changes, and larger windows and luggage storages.
ANA’s first 787-9 will be delivered with domestic route specifications and will be equipped with 395 seats, 60 more than the 787-8 when flown on domestic routes. The aircraft will begin service on domestic routes from August onwards and, from the next fiscal year beginning in April, 2015, ANA will introduce the new aircraft on international routes. ANA was the launch customer for the Dreamliner and is the world’s biggest operator of the 787, having ordered a total of 80 aircraft, including 36 787-8s (28 already delivered) and 44 787-9s.
The fuel savings achieved from the 787 aircraft already in service are sufficient to operate 500 round trips from Tokyo to Frankfurt and are reducing CO2 emissions by 150,000 tons a year. When all 80 Dreamliners are in operation, the CO2 reduction will be 450,000 tons, with enough fuel saved to operate 1,400 round trips to Frankfurt.
The introduction of this new, advanced aircraft will accelerate ANA’s growth strategy including the development of new routes and increased flight frequencies on existing routes, enabling ANA to serve passengers better and making it even more competitive.
(*1) The fuel economy comparison is based on the Boeing 767-300 ER
(*2) The seat number comparison is based on the number of seats in cabins fitted for domestic routes.
The cargo comparison is based on the cargo capacity by weight.
ANA CEO’s statement on the reliability and performance of the new 787 batteries:
A year has passed since we recommenced regular flights of Boeing 787 on June 1 of last year with a comprehensive battery strategy after the emergency landing of ANA Flight 692 at Takamatsu Airport on January 16 of last year.
Since then we have operated approximately 26,000 flights with over 4.7 million passengers and about 100,000 tons of cargo and mail. Regarding the renovated batteries, we have monitored their operating conditions on a daily basis and regularly removed them from the aircraft for inspection. We have confirmed that they are operating normally.
The ANA Group is making every effort to ensure safe flight operations in order to provide peace of mind to our customers. We look forward to serving you on board the comfortable and environmentally friendly 787.
President & CEO
All Nippon Airways, Co. Ltd.
June 2, 2014
On-Time Reliability of the 787 versus the 777 and 767:
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com (click on the photo for the full size view). Boeing 787-9 N1792B (msn 34522) will become JA830A on the handover.
LAN Airlines (Chile) (Santiago) will resume Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner service on the Santiago-Lima-Los Angeles route on October 14. The 787 will replace a Boeing 767-300 on a daily basis per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Alvaro Romero/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 CC-BBA (msn 38471) prepares to land at the Santiago de Chile base (SCL).
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is adding another new route from its growing Seattle/Tacoma hub. SEA-Puerto Vallarta, Mexico service will be initiated on December 20 with Boeing 737-800s. The route will be operated on a weekly basis (three days a week during the Christmas-New Year holidays) per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-832 N390DA (msn 30536) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Delta Air Lines (current):
Turkish Boeing 737-9F2 TC-JYA is pulled to safety and passengers evacuated after a fuel truck catches on fire in Nigeria
Turkish Airlines (Istanbul) Boeing 737-9F2 ER TC-JYA (msn 40973), pictured above, was reportedly slightly damaged at Kano, Nigeria on Tuesday night (July 22) as it was being refueled. The fuel truck, which was refueling the airliner, suddenly caught on fire. The Boeing 737 was quickly pulled out of the way and the passengers were safely evacuated, just in time. The aircraft was in-transit from Kano to N’djamena, Chad as flight TK 587. The flight was cancelled pending an inspection for any damages.
Read the full report from the Guardian: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-9F2 ER N973TK (msn 40973) became TC-JYA when it was handed over on December 9, 2011.
United Airlines (UAL) (Chicago) today reported second quarter 2014 net income of $919 million, an increase of 51 percent year-over-year, or $2.34 per diluted share, excluding $130 million of special items. Including special items, UAL reported second quarter 2014 net income of $789 million, or $2.01 per diluted share.
United’s consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 3.7 percent in the second quarter of 2014 compared to the second quarter of 2013.
Second-quarter 2014 consolidated unit costs (CASM), excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, decreased 0.2 percent year-over-year on a consolidated capacity reduction of 0.1 percent. Second-quarter 2014 CASM, including those items, increased 2.2 percent year-over-year.
The company generated $1.5 billion of operating cash flow in the second quarter of 2014.
UAL ended the second quarter with $6.8 billion in unrestricted liquidity.
The company earned a 10.3 percent return on invested capital for the 12 months ended June 30, 2014.
UAL’s Board of Directors authorized a $1.0 billion share repurchase program, which the company expects to complete within the next three years.
“I am encouraged by the solid progress we made in the second quarter. Our team is focused on improving our operations and service and on continuing to improve year-over-year revenue performance and cost control,” said Jeff Smisek, UAL’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “The $1 billion share repurchase program we announced today demonstrates our progress and commitment to increasing value for our shareholders and the confidence we have in our plan.”
Second-Quarter Revenue and Capacity
For the second quarter of 2014, total revenue was $10.3 billion, an increase of 3.3 percent year-over-year. Second-quarter consolidated passenger revenue increased 3.6 percent to $9.0 billion, compared to the same period in 2013. Ancillary revenue per passenger in the second quarter increased 7.9 percent year-over-year to more than $21 per passenger. Second-quarter cargo revenue decreased 1.7 percent versus the second quarter of 2013 to $232 million. Other revenue in the second quarter increased 1.7 percent year-over-year to $1.1 billion.
Consolidated revenue passenger miles increased 0.6 percent and consolidated available seat miles decreased 0.1 percent year-over-year for the second quarter, resulting in a second-quarter consolidated load factor of 85.3 percent.
Second-quarter 2014 consolidated PRASM increased 3.7 percent and consolidated yield increased 3.0 percent compared to the second quarter of 2013. The company’s consolidated domestic PRASM, including both mainline and regional flying, increased 5.6 percent year-over-year.
“We are beginning to see the benefits of the changes we’re implementing to our network and revenue management processes,” said Jim Compton, UAL’s vice chairman and chief revenue officer. “We have more work to do, however, and will continue to make the appropriate adjustments to accelerate our revenue growth.”
Second-quarter consolidated CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expense, fuel and profit sharing, decreased 0.2 percent compared to the second quarter of 2013. Second-quarter consolidated CASM, including those items, increased 2.2 percent year-over-year. The company’s strong cost performance in the quarter was largely driven by execution on its cost-savings initiatives, as well as by the timing of certain expenses moving to the second half of the year.
Second-quarter total operating expenses, excluding special charges, increased $75 million, or 0.8 percent, year-over-year. Including special charges, total operating expenses increased $192 million, or 2.1 percent, in the second quarter versus the same period in 2013. Third-party business expense was $215 million in the second quarter of 2014.
Second-Quarter Liquidity and Cash Flow
UAL ended the second quarter with $6.8 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $1.0 billion of undrawn commitments under a revolving credit facility. The company generated $1.5 billion of operating cash flow in the second quarter. During the second quarter, the company had gross capital expenditures of $871 million, excluding fully reimbursable projects. The company made debt and capital lease principal payments of $333 million in the second quarter. For the 12 months ended June 30, 2014, the company’s return on invested capital was 10.3 percent.
The company’s long-term capital structure goals include reducing its non-aircraft related debt and achieving a total gross debt balance, including capitalized operating leases, of approximately $15 billion while maintaining an unrestricted liquidity balance of $5 billion to $6 billion, including its undrawn revolver.
Share Repurchase Program
UAL’s Board authorized a $1.0 billion share repurchase program, which the company expects to complete within the next three years. This amount represents approximately 6 percent of the company’s market capitalization as of yesterday’s closing stock price. Additionally, in the second quarter, the company spent $62 million to retire convertible debt that would have converted into approximately 1.5 million shares of UAL common stock.
“We have laid a sound financial foundation over the last few years by paying off debt and investing in our business. Our earnings profile, coupled with measured capital expenditures and manageable debt maturities, enable us to take this initial step toward returning cash to our shareholders,” said John Rainey, UAL’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “This action helps us achieve a more balanced allocation of our cash flow.”
UAL may repurchase shares through the open market, privately negotiated transactions, block trades, or accelerated share repurchase transactions from time to time in accordance with applicable securities laws. UAL will repurchase shares of common stock subject to prevailing market conditions and may discontinue such repurchases at any time.
Second-Quarter 2014 Accomplishments
Operations, Employees and Network
United Airlines reported a second-quarter mainline on-time arrival rate (domestic and international) of 76.4 percent, adversely affected by multi-month runway closures in its San Francisco and Newark hubs. The on-time arrival rate is based on flights arriving within 14 minutes of scheduled arrival time.
The company reached a joint collective bargaining agreement with the Professional Airline Flight Control Association (PAFCA) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) for United’s dispatchers. The dispatchers subsequently ratified the new agreement.
The company began a facilitated negotiations process with the Association of Flight Attendants and held further discussions in advance of scheduled mediation with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, representing United’s technicians.
United expanded its industry-leading global route network, launching nonstop flights from Houston to Munich; Newark to Santiago, Dominican Republic; and new seasonal service between Chicago and Edinburgh, Scotland, and from Washington, D.C., to both Madrid and Nassau, Bahamas. The company continued to develop its industry-leading Pacific gateway in San Francisco by launching service to Chengdu, China, and announcing service to Tokyo’s Haneda airport. The company also announced new service from Houston to Santiago, Chile, and announced new routes from Chicago to Belize City, Belize; Denver to Panama City; Houston to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and San Francisco to Kelowna, British Columbia. The airline announced nine new domestic markets and launched 14 new domestic routes in the second quarter, including United’s first service to Atlantic City, N.J.; Bangor, Maine; Pueblo, Colorado; and St. Cloud, Minnesota.
Finance and Fleet
United raised $949 million of debt financing through enhanced equipment trust certificates at a blended rate of 4.13 percent. The debt proceeds are being used to finance the acquisition of 13 Boeing 737-900 ERs, nine Embraer 175s, two Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners and one Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
The company took delivery of 10 Boeing 737-900 ERs and one 787-8 Dreamliner, and also exited from scheduled service nine 757-200s during the quarter.
The company introduced seven highly efficient Embraer 175 aircraft to the United Express fleet. The modern and spacious 76-seat aircraft is the newest addition to the United Express fleet, enabling the airline to offer an improved regional jet experience. These aircraft will largely replace less-efficient 50-seat regional jets, and the company expects to reduce its 50-seat regional jet fleet by 38 aircraft by the end of the year.
United continued installing slimmer, next-generation economy-class seats on certain aircraft, which enables one to two additional rows per aircraft. The airline now offers these seats, which are 10 to 15 percent lighter than the seats they are replacing, on approximately 240 aircraft.
Flyer-Friendly Product, Loyalty Program and Facilities
The company now offers Wi-Fi on more than 290 aircraft, including its entire Airbus fleet, and expects to have more than 450 Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft by the end of 2014.
United began installing its new personal device entertainment system on select aircraft, enabling customers to choose from more than 150 movies and nearly 200 television shows and watch them on their laptops or iOS devices.
United launched its all-new mobile application for the Android platform, offering innovative new features, smoother functionality and an improved touch-friendly design. The new Android app follows the airline’s redesign of its mobile app for the iOS platform.
United announced its 2015 MileagePlus program. Members will earn award miles based on ticket price – specifically the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges – and MileagePlus status, rather than distance flown.
United consolidated its London Heathrow operation into one terminal in the new Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal. United’s 22 Star Alliance partners serving Heathrow are progressively moving to Terminal 2, enabling faster, more convenient connections for customers. United operates more daily flights to Heathrow than any other U.S. carrier.
The company unveiled a new 10-gate, 97,000-square-foot concourse in Boston Logan International Airport’s Terminal B that offers modern conveniences that streamline the airport experience, including self-tagging baggage kiosks, automated self-boarding gates and a new customer service center.
The airline opened new United Clubs at London Heathrow, Boston and San Francisco, featuring the latest airport lounge design concept that it unveiled at United Clubs in Chicago, San Diego and Seattle. The company also opened a new United Global First Lounge in London, offering premium customers more privacy and personal service.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. An unique view of the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner for United showing off its sleek lines.
Record quarterly net income, excluding special items*, of $485 million, or $.70 per diluted share, compared to second quarter 2013 net income, excluding special items, of $274 million, or $.38 per diluted share. This exceeded the First Call consensus estimate of $.61 per diluted share.
Record quarterly net income of $465 million, or $.67 per diluted share, which included $20 million (net) of unfavorable special items, compared to second quarter 2013 net income of $224 million, or $.31 per diluted share, which included $50 million (net) of unfavorable special items.
Record quarterly operating income of $775 million. Excluding special items, record quarterly operating income of $819 million, resulting in a 16.3 percent operating margin**.
Return on invested capital*, before taxes and excluding special items, for the 12 months ended June 30, 2014, of 17.1 percent, as compared to 8.5 percent for the 12 months ended June 30, 2013.
Gary C. Kelly, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer, stated:
“We are very pleased with our strong second quarter earnings performance. Net income, excluding special items, of $485 million, or $.70 per diluted share, represents our fifth consecutive quarter of record profits. The successful execution of our strategic initiatives continues to contribute significantly to these record profits. Second quarter 2014 total operating revenues reached an all-time quarterly high of $5.0 billion, benefiting from an 8.5 percent year-over-year increase in passenger revenues. Also, we were very pleased with our cost performance. Operating expenses benefited from our strategic initiatives, as well, and were comparable to second quarter last year.
“My hearty congratulations and thanks go to our hard-working and dedicated Employees for our outstanding second quarter results, which resulted in record quarterly profitsharing expense of $127 million. Over the last twelve months, our exceptional earnings performance, combined with our actions to prudently manage our invested capital, produced a 17.1 percent pre-tax return on invested capital, excluding special items (ROIC). This positions us well to meet or exceed our 15 percent pre-tax ROIC target for full year 2014.
“Our network development and optimization efforts continue, and we are very pleased with the performance across our system. Second quarter load factor and passenger revenue yield were records, even with a large percentage of the route system in the conversion or development stage. We announced our initial nonstop offerings from Dallas Love Field with the upcoming sunset of the Wright Amendment restrictions on October 13, and nearly tripled the flights we currently offer at Reagan National Airport, effective November 2 this year. On July 1, we inaugurated international service on Southwest Airlines, with flights to Oranjestad, Aruba; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Nassau/Paradise Island in The Bahamas. We plan to fully convert AirTran’s remaining international markets and domestic flying by the end of this year. We expect roughly flat 2014 available seat miles, year-over-year, and intend to expand the network in a disciplined manner. For 2015, we currently expect our available seat miles to increase, year-over-year, largely driven by a two to three percent growth in seats from the upgauging of our fleet, along with a higher percentage of our fleet in revenue service post-integration.
“During second quarter, we announced the selection of Amadeus to implement the Altéa reservations solution to support our domestic network, following the successful implementation of Amadeus’ international solution this year. This allows us to replace the legacy reservation system used by Southwest. The AirTran reservation system is expected to be retired at this year’s end.
“Our balance sheet, liquidity, and cash flows remain strong. At the end of second quarter 2014, we had $4.0 billion in cash and short-term investments. For first half 2014, net cash provided by operations was $2.46 billion, and capital expenditures were $907 million, resulting in strong free cash flow* of $1.55 billion. We repaid $119 million in debt and capital lease obligations during first half 2014, and intend to repay an additional $440 million in debt and capital lease obligations in the second half of this year. Thus far this year, we have returned $652 million to Shareholders through the payment of $97 million in dividends and the repurchase of $555 million in common stock. As always, we are committed to maintaining our financial strength and enhancing value to our Shareholders.”
Financial Results and Outlook
The Company’s second quarter 2014 total operating revenues increased 7.9 percent, while operating unit revenues increased 8.4 percent, on a 0.4 percent decrease in available seat miles and a 2.2 percent increase in average seats per trip, all as compared to second quarter 2013. Second quarter 2014 passenger revenues were $4.8 billion, which was an increase of 9.0 percent on a unit basis, as compared to second quarter 2013. A change to previously recorded estimates of tickets expected to spoil in the future resulted in additional passenger revenue of $47 million in second quarter 2014.
Thus far, July passenger revenue trends and bookings are strong. Based on these trends, and considering the strength of the year-ago comparison, the Company expects July 2014 passenger unit revenues to increase in the three percent range, as compared to July 2013.
Total operating expenses in second quarter 2014 increased 0.6 percent to $4.2 billion, as compared to second quarter 2013. Second quarter 2014 profitsharing expense was a record $127 million, compared to $78 million in second quarter 2013. The Company incurred costs (before profitsharing and taxes) associated with the acquisition and integration of AirTran, which are special items, of $38 million during second quarter 2014, compared to $26 million in second quarter 2013. Cumulative costs associated with the acquisition and integration of AirTran, as of June 30, 2014, totaled $466 million (before profitsharing and taxes). The Company expects total acquisition and integration costs to be approximately $550 million (before profitsharing and taxes). Excluding special items in both periods, total operating expenses in second quarter 2014 increased 0.7 percent to $4.2 billion, as compared to second quarter 2013.
Second quarter 2014 economic fuel costs were $3.02 per gallon, including $.05 per gallon in favorable cash settlements from fuel derivative contracts, compared to $3.06 per gallon in second quarter 2013, including $.05 per gallon in unfavorable cash settlements from fuel derivative contracts. Based on the Company’s fuel derivative contracts and market prices as of July 21, 2014, third quarter 2014 economic fuel costs are expected to be in the $2.95 to $3.00 per gallon range, compared to third quarter 2013’s economic fuel costs of $3.06 per gallon. As of July 21, 2014, the fair market value of the Company’s hedge portfolio through 2018 was a net asset of $381 million. Additional information regarding the Company’s fuel derivative contracts is included in the accompanying tables.
Excluding fuel and oil expense, profitsharing, and special items in both periods, second quarter 2014 operating costs increased 1.1 percent from second quarter 2013, and increased 1.7 percent on a unit basis. Based on current cost trends, and excluding fuel and oil expense, profitsharing, and special items, the Company expects a year-over-year increase in its third quarter 2014 unit costs, comparable to the second quarter 2014 year-over-year increase.
Operating income in second quarter 2014 was $775 million, compared to $433 million in second quarter 2013. Excluding special items, operating income was $819 million in second quarter 2014, compared to $479 million in the same period last year, a 71.0 percent increase year-over-year.
Other expenses in second quarter 2014 were $29 million, compared to $70 million in second quarter 2013. The $41 million decrease primarily resulted from $3 million in other losses recognized in second quarter 2014, compared to $47 million recognized in second quarter 2013. In both periods, these losses included ineffectiveness and unrealized mark-to-market amounts associated with a portion of the Company’s fuel hedging portfolio, which are special items. Excluding these special items, second quarter 2014 had $15 million in other losses, compared to $12 million in second quarter 2013, primarily attributable to the premium costs associated with the Company’s fuel derivative contracts. Third quarter 2014 premium costs related to fuel derivative contracts are currently estimated to be $15 million, compared to $22 million in third quarter 2013. Net interest expense in second quarter 2014 was $26 million, compared to $23 million in second quarter 2013.
For the six months ended June 30, 2014, total operating revenues increased 5.2 percent to $9.2 billion, while total operating expenses decreased 0.4 percent to $8.2 billion, resulting in operating income of $991 million, compared to $503 million for the same period last year. Excluding special items, operating income was $1.1 billion for first half 2014, compared to $591 million for first half 2013.
Net income for first half 2014 was $617 million, or $.88 per diluted share, compared to $283 million, or $.39 per diluted share, for the same period last year. Excluding special items, net income for first half 2014 was $611 million, or $.87 per diluted share, compared to $328 million, or $.45 per diluted share, for the same period last year.
Balance Sheet and Cash Flows
As of June 30, 2014, the Company had $4.0 billion in cash and short-term investments, and a fully available unsecured revolving credit line of $1 billion. Net cash provided by operations during second quarter 2014 was $1.34 billion, and capital expenditures were $500 million, generating strong free cash flow of $838 million. The Company repaid $73 million in debt and capital lease obligations during second quarter 2014.
During second quarter 2014, the Company returned $282 million to its Shareholders through the payment of $42 million in dividends and the repurchase of $240 million in common stock, or 7.6 million shares. The Company completed its previous $1.5 billion share repurchase program with the repurchase of $20 million in common stock in early May. On May 14, 2014, the Company’s Board of Directors authorized a new $1 billion share repurchase program, along with a 50 percent increase in the Company’s quarterly dividend. Under the new $1 billion share repurchase program, the Company repurchased an additional $220 million in common stock during second quarter 2014, including $200 million repurchased under an accelerated share repurchase program with a third party financial institution. During second quarter 2014, pursuant to the accelerated share repurchase program, the Company advanced $200 million to the financial institution and received six million shares of the Company’s common stock, representing an estimated 75 percent of the shares the Company expects to purchase under the accelerated share repurchase program. The specific number of shares that the Company ultimately will repurchase under the accelerated share repurchase program will be determined generally based on a discount to the volume-weighted average price per share of the Company’s common stock during a calculation period to be completed during third quarter 2014. At settlement, under certain circumstances, the third party financial institution may be required to deliver additional shares of common stock to the Company, or under certain circumstances, the Company may be required to deliver shares of its common stock or may elect to make a cash payment to the third party financial institution. Pursuant to the settlement of the $200 million accelerated share repurchase program executed in first quarter 2014, the Company received an additional 1.7 million shares in common stock during second quarter 2014, bringing the total shares repurchased under the first quarter accelerated share repurchase program to 8.6 million.
During second quarter 2014, the Company’s fleet increased by seven to 683 aircraft at period end. This reflects the second quarter 2014 delivery of 12 new Boeing 737-800s and three pre-owned Boeing 737-700s, as well as the retirement of one Boeing 737-500. In addition, the Company removed seven Boeing 717-200s from service during second quarter 2014 in preparation for transition out of the fleet.
Boeing 737 NG Delivery Schedule:
*Additional information regarding special items is included in the accompanying reconciliation tables, and see Note Regarding Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures.
**Operating margin, excluding special items, is calculated as operating income, excluding special items, divided by operating revenues.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N280WN (msn 32533) in the Penguin One special livery arrives in Los Angeles.
Alaska Air Group, Inc., (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) today reported second quarter 2014 GAAP net income of $165 million, or $1.19 per diluted share, compared to $104 million, or $0.74 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2013. Excluding the impact of mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments of $13 million ($8 million after tax, or $0.06 per diluted share), the company reported record adjusted net income of $157 million, or $1.13 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $105 million, or $0.74 per diluted share, in 2013.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Airlines has already added Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets to 12 Boeing 737 aircraft. Boeing 737-890 N588AS (msn 35685) with SS Winglets taxies at San Francisco.
China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai) has begun offering Wi-Fi service over China. The airline issued this statement:
In a first for the commercial aviation industry in China, China Eastern Airlines (CEA) has begun offering broadband connected flights over China using China Telecom Satellite aeronautical service and Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s (Panasonic) eXConnect system.
The first of 27 CEA aircraft equipped with a system and service tailored to the unique requirements of China is an Airbus A330 aircraft. Onboard, passengers will experience true broadband Wi-Fi as they surf the web, keep in touch with friends and family through their social networks, and even check their email – all at 35,000 feet. CEA has also selected China Telecom Satellite’s service and Panasonic’s eXConnect system for an additional six Boeing 767s and 20 Boeing 777 aircraft.
The first aircraft has been dedicated to routes between Shanghai and Beijing, allowing government agencies to observe operation of the service before granting full regulatory approval for operation on additional domestic and international routes.
China Eastern Airlines said, “We are very excited to offer this extremely exciting service with China Telecom Satellite and Panasonic Avionics. This is a tremendous milestone for China and we look forward to ensuring our passengers are both entertained and productive as they fly.”
Lv Junli, President of China Telecom Satellite, added, “This is a momentous day for China’s commercial airline industry, and we are very confident of providing better broadband connectivity to China with our partners at China Eastern Airlines and Panasonic.”
According to Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics, “After years of close collaboration with China Eastern Airlines and China Telecom Satellite, we are now witnessing the next step in the evolution of in-flight entertainment over China. We are very excited to bring in-flight broadband Wi-Fi to this strategic market.”
About Panasonic Avionics Corporation
Panasonic Avionics Corporation is the world’s leading supplier of in-flight entertainment and communication systems. The company’s best-in-class solutions, supported by professional maintenance services, fully integrate with the cabin enabling airlines to deliver the ultimate travel experiences with a rich variety of entertainment choices, resulting in improved quality communication systems and solutions, reduced time-to-market and lower overall costs.
Established in 1979, Panasonic Avionics Corporation, a U.S. corporation, is a subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation. Headquartered in Lake Forest, California with over 3,100 employees and operations in 80 locations worldwide, it serves over 200 customers worldwide and provides IFEC systems on over 3,700 aircraft. For additional information, please visit http://www.panasonic.aero
About China Telecom Satellite Communications Limited
Dedicated to satellite communications services, China Telecom Satellite Communications Limited, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Telecom, specializes in the operation of its parent corporation’s satellite communications business. It serves as the resource center, product integration center and professional support center of China Telecom’s satellite communications business, mainly engaged in Satellite mobile communications, Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) communications, International private line and Satellite broadband access, etc., providing integrated (Aviation/Land/Maritime) satellite communications and broadcasting operating service with characteristics to subscribers.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new Boeing 737-89P WL B-1965 (msn 41473) was just delivered to China Eastern Airlines on July 19, 2014.
Allegiant Travel Company (Allegiant Air) (Las Vegas) reported net income of $33.5 million for the second quarter 2014, ending on June 30, up 29.8 percent from the previous second quarter net profit of $25.8 million in 2013.
“We are very proud to report our 46th consecutive profitable quarter,” stated Maurice J. Gallagher, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Allegiant Travel Company. “We have been working very hard to mitigate the crew training issues that have impacted us in the past two quarters. Although these issues did contribute to operational inefficiencies and incremental costs during this past quarter we are trending in the right direction and hope these issues have minimal impact in the third quarter. On a much more positive note, in June we completed multiple aircraft transactions to add 14 additional aircraft to our future fleet and raised $300 million of debt in the high yield market with very competitive terms. We could not have done this without the tremendous effort of our Team Members.”
Notable company highlights:
Increased operating margin, EBITDA margin and return on capital employed versus the same time last year
Acquired 12 incremental A319 Airbus aircraft for delivery in 2018. See table below for financial impact of this transaction
Signed agreements to acquire one A320 and one A319 to be in service in 2015 and 2016, respectively
Entered into a letter of intent to purchase eight A319s, previously committed to under operating leases.
Two of these are currently under operating lease to Allegiant, one is expected to be delivered in 2014 and five are expected to be delivered in 2015
In-service Airbus fleet of 10 aircraft accounted for 21.9 percent of total ASM production during the quarter
Prepaid $121.1 million, 5.75 percent term loan facility due 2017
Raised $300 million, 5.50 percent senior unsecured notes due 2019, corporate rating of BB- by Standard & Poor’s and Ba3 by Moody’s
Raised $85.3 million collateralized by 53 MD-80 and six 757 aircraft
Initiated service on 12 new routes in the second quarter
Named Top-Performing Airline in North America by Aviation Week for third consecutive year. The Company also has the best five-year average score of any airline worldwide, 76.9, more than 5 points higher than the second-ranked carrier
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: The fleet will grow by 10 aircraft (mainly Airbus A319s and A320s) in the next two years while the Boeing 757s remain constant at six aircraft. Boeing 757-204 N903NV (msn 26966) is tugged off the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.
Virgin Australia to upgrade the Los Angeles-Brisbane route to daily service on October 26, drops Los Angeles-Melbourne
Virgin Australia Airlines (Brisbane) has announced that it will increase services between Brisbane and Los Angeles, moving from four roundtrip services per week to daily return services, effective October 26, 2014.
Following this change, the Virgin Australia and Delta Air Lines trans-Pacific joint venture will offer two daily services between Sydney and Los Angeles and one daily service between Brisbane and Los Angeles.
The additional Brisbane services will be flown by Virgin Australia’s three-class Boeing 777-300 aircraft.
In order to increase services on the Brisbane route, Virgin Australia will cease services between Melbourne and Los Angeles, with the last flight operating from Melbourne on October 25, 2014. Effective October 26, 2014, there will also be a minor change to the departure time of Sydney to Los Angeles flights to allow an earlier arrival into Los Angeles, creating a more convenient schedule for corporate and leisure travellers. There will be no reduction in Virgin Australia capacity between Australia and the United States following these changes.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-3ZG VH-VPH (msn 37943) arrives in Los Angeles.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today reported financial results for the second quarter (June quarter). Key points include:
Delta’s pre-tax income for the June 2014 quarter was $1.4 billion, excluding special items1, an increase of $593 million over the June 2013 quarter on a similar basis. Delta’s net income for the June 2014 quarter was $889 million, or $1.04 per diluted share, and its operating margin was 15.1 percent, excluding special items.
On a GAAP basis which includes special items, Delta’s pre-tax income was $1.3 billion, operating margin was 14.9 percent and net income was $801 million, or $0.94 per diluted share.
Results include $340 million in profit sharing expense in recognition of Delta employees’ contributions toward achieving the company’s financial goals.
Delta generated over $2 billion of operating cash flow and $1.5 billion of free cash flow during the June 2014 quarter. As of mid-July, the company has used its strong cash generation in 2014 to reduce its adjusted net debt below $8 billion, contribute more than $900 million of funding to its defined benefit pension plans, and return $550 million to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.
“Delta’s performance this quarter, with 9 percent top line growth, more than 4 points of margin expansion and $1.5 billion of free cash flow, shows the financial strength and resilience of our company. We expect our September quarter performance will be even stronger, as we expand our operating margins to 15-17% and further improve our profitability,” said Delta chief executive officer Richard Anderson. “All credit goes to Delta people worldwide who not only produced this record financial performance, but also continue to lead the industry in operational reliability and customer satisfaction.”
Delta’s operating revenue improved 9 percent, or $914 million, in the June 2014 quarter compared to the June 2013 quarter, driven by continued strength in corporate and domestic revenues. Traffic increased 5.0 percent on a 3.2 percent increase in capacity.
Passenger revenue increased 9 percent, or $772 million, compared to the prior year period. Passenger unit revenue (PRASM) increased 5.7 percent year-over-year with a 3.8 percent improvement in yield. Seat-related products and other merchandising initiatives increased revenues by $45 million versus the prior year period.
Cargo revenue decreased 1 percent, or $2 million, as lower freight yields were partially offset by higher volumes.
Other revenue increased 15 percent, or $144 million, driven by higher joint venture and SkyMiles revenues.
Consolidated unit cost excluding fuel expense, profit sharing and special items (CASM-Ex2), was flat in the June 2014 quarter on a year-over-year basis as the benefits of Delta’s domestic refleeting and other cost initiatives offset the company’s investments in its employees, products and operations. GAAP consolidated CASM decreased 0.4 percent.
Total operating expense in the quarter increased $249 million year-over-year driven by higher revenue- and volume-related expenses and $222 million higher profit sharing expense. These cost increases were partially offset by lower fuel expense and savings from Delta’s cost initiatives.
Fuel expense declined $168 million driven by hedge benefits, refinery profits and prior year mark to market adjustments that offset higher market fuel prices and higher consumption. Delta’s average fuel price was $2.93 per gallon for the June quarter, which includes $99 million in settled hedge gains. Operations at the refinery produced a $13 million profit for the June quarter, a $64 million improvement year-over-year.
Excluding special items, non-operating expense declined by $58 million as a result of lower interest expense, lower foreign exchange impact, and a $7 million gain associated with Delta’s 49 percent ownership stake in Virgin Atlantic. Including a $111 million special item for loss on extinguishment of debt resulting from Delta’s debt reduction initiatives, non-operating expense for the quarter increased by $53 million.
Tax expense increased $496 million compared to the prior year quarter, as the company now recognizes tax expense for financial reporting purposes following the reversal of its tax valuation allowance at the end of 2013.
“With our domestic refleeting continuing and our cost initiatives taking hold, we have been able to keep our non-fuel unit cost growth below 2 percent for each of the last four quarters,” said Paul Jacobson,
Delta’s chief financial officer. “Not only are these initiatives driving our current performance, but they are also building a foundation for sustaining this performance into the future.”
Cash from operations during the June 2014 quarter was $2.1 billion, driven by the company’s June quarter profit and the normal seasonal increase in advance ticket sales, which were partially offset by $300 million in contributions to the defined benefit pension plan. The company generated $1.5 billion of free cash flow.
Capital expenditures during the June 2014 quarter were $520 million, including $343 million in fleet investments. During the quarter, Delta’s net debt maturities and capital leases were $851 million.
With its strong cash generation year to date, the company has returned $550 million to shareholders as of mid-July. Through its $0.06 per share quarterly dividend, the company paid $101 million to shareholders. In addition, the company repurchased 12.4 million shares at an average price of $36.33 for a total of $450 million. These repurchases represent $200 million under the May 2014 $2 billion authorization, in addition to completing the May 2013 $500 million authorization.
Delta ended the quarter with $6.0 billion of unrestricted liquidity and adjusted net debt of $7.9 billion. The company has now achieved more than $9 billion in net debt reduction since 2009.
Jacobson continued, “By taking a balanced approach to capital deployment, Delta has been able to invest more than $1 billion in our fleet and other products, while also reducing our debt to its lowest level in twenty years, contributing over $900 million to our pension plans, and returning $550 million to shareholders so far this year.”
Delta has a strong commitment to its employees, customers and the communities it serves. Key accomplishments in the June 2014 quarter include:
Recognizing the achievements of Delta employees toward meeting the company’s financial and operational goals with $476 million of incentives so far this year, including accruing $439 million in employee profit sharing and paying $37 million in Shared Rewards;
Improving its global network with new service connecting Delta’s hubs in New York and Seattle/Tacoma with the key business destinations of London-Heathrow, Zurich, Rome, Hong Kong and Seoul;
Announcing an order for 15 Airbus A321 aircraft, adding to the 30 aircraft of this type already on order. These economically efficient, proven-technology aircraft will provide an improved customer experience as they replace similar, less-efficient domestic aircraft that are being retired as part of the Delta’s domestic fleet restructuring;
Completing modifications on its international widebody fleet, making Delta the only U.S. carrier to offer full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access in BusinessElite and personal, on-demand entertainment at every seat on all long-haul international flights; and
Celebrating the grand opening of the new Delta Flight Museum, which coincided with the 85th anniversary of Delta’s first passenger service. The museum is housed in the airline’s two original maintenance hangars with exhibits that chronicle more than eight decades of Delta history and the growth and development of commercial aviation.
Delta recorded a net $88 million special items charge in the June 2014 quarter, including:
a $69 million charge for debt extinguishment associated with Delta’s debt reduction initiative; and
a $20 million charge associated with Delta’s domestic fleet restructuring.
Delta recorded a net $159 million special items charge in the June 2013 quarter, including:
a $125 million mark-to-market adjustment on fuel hedges settling in future periods; and
a $34 million charge for facilities, fleet and other items, primarily associated with Delta’s domestic fleet restructuring.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-2Q8 N709TW (msn 28168) arrives in New York (JFK) with a special tribute to retired New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera “42”.
La Compagnie (formerly Dreamjet) (Paris-CDG) yesterday (July 21) evening launched its business class passenger operations. Flight BO 100 departed at 18:30 from Terminal 1 at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) to Newark with the pictured Boeing 757-256 F-HTAG (msn 29307).
Copyright Photo: Manuel Negrerie/AirlinersGallery.com.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today suspended all flights to Tel Aviv, Israel due to nearby rocket attacks according to CNN. Today’s flight DL 469 from New York (JFK) diverted to Paris (Charles de Gualle).
The suspension is for 24 hours.
The suspension of service to Israel comes after the State Department issued this statement:
The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza due to ongoing hostilities. The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens consider the deferral of non-essential travel to Israel and the West Bank and reaffirms the longstanding strong warning to U.S. citizens against any travel to the Gaza Strip. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning issued on February 3, 2014.
The security environment remains complex in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, and U.S. citizens need to be aware of the risks of travel to these areas because of the current conflict between Hamas and Israel.
The Department of State continues its longstanding strong warning to U.S. citizens against travel to the Gaza Strip; U.S. government employees are not allowed to conduct official or personal travel there. Please see the section below on the situation in the Gaza Strip. Because of the security situation, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and its annexes are currently operating at reduced staffing and the Consular Section of the Embassy is providing only emergency consular services. The U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem is currently maintaining normal operations, including consular services.
Long-range rockets launched from Gaza since July 8, 2014 have reached many locations in Israel – including Tel Aviv, cities farther north, and throughout the south of the country. Some rockets have reached Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank, including Bethlehem and Hebron. While many rockets have been intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, there have been impacts that have caused damage and injury. In light of the ongoing rocket attacks, U.S. citizen visitors to and U.S. citizen residents of Israel and the West Bank should familiarize themselves with the location of the nearest bomb shelter or other hardened site, if available. Visitors should seek information on shelters from hotel staff or building managers. Consult city municipality websites, such as those for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, for lists of public bomb shelters and other emergency preparedness information. Visitors should follow the instructions of the Home Front Command on proper procedures in the event of rocket attacks.
Travelers should avoid areas of Israel in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip due to the real risks presented by small arms fire, anti-tank weapons, rockets, and mortars, as attacks from Gaza can come with little or no warning. Both Embassy and Consulate General personnel are currently not permitted to travel south of greater Tel Aviv without prior approval. On July 17, 2014 Israel announced the commencement of ground operations in Gaza. Visitors to these areas should remain aware of their surroundings and should take note of announcements and guidance provided by the Home Front Command.
Ben Gurion Airport is currently open and commercial flights are operating normally, although delays and cancellations can occur. Travelers should check with their airline prior to their planned travel to verify the flight schedule. U.S. citizens seeking to depart Israel or the West Bank are responsible for making their own travel arrangements.
We are not evacuating U.S. citizens out of Israel. U.S. government-facilitated evacuations occur only when no safe commercial alternatives exist. Evacuation assistance is provided on a cost-recovery basis, which means the traveler must reimburse the U.S. government for travel costs. The lack of a valid U.S. passport may hinder U.S. citizens’ ability to depart the country and may slow the U.S. Embassy or
Consulate General’s ability to provide assistance.
U.S. citizens who do travel to or remain in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza should take into consideration the rules governing travel by U.S. government employees:
U.S. government personnel are not permitted to conduct official or personal travel to the Gaza Strip;
U.S. government personnel are restricted from conducting personal travel to most parts of the West Bank; travel for official business is done with special security arrangements coordinated by the U.S.
Consulate General in Jerusalem;
Currently, because of the security situation, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to travel south of greater Tel Aviv without prior approval;
U.S. government personnel must notify Embassy Tel Aviv’s Regional Security Officer before traveling in the areas of the Golan Heights and are prohibited from traveling east of Rt. 98 in the Golan Heights;
U.S. government personnel are not permitted to use public buses anywhere in Israel or the West Bank due to past attacks on public transportation.
Major Metropolitan Areas in Israel
Personal safety conditions in major metropolitan areas, including Tel Aviv and Haifa and their surrounding regions, are comparable to or better than those in other major global cities. Please see below for specific information regarding Jerusalem. Visitors should observe appropriate personal security practices to reduce their vulnerability to crime, particularly late at night or in isolated or economically depressed areas, including in the countryside. Visitors are advised to avoid large gatherings or demonstrations and keep current with local news, which is available through numerous English language sources.
The Government of Israel has had a long-standing policy of issuing gas masks to its citizens and, starting in 2010, it began issuing replacement masks. It stopped this distribution process in early 2014 in response to regional events. Visitors and foreign residents in Israel are not issued masks and must individually procure them, if desired. The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General do not provide gas masks for persons who are not U.S. government employees or their dependents. For further emergency preparedness guidance, please visit the website of the Government of Israel’s Home Front Command, which provides information on how to choose a secure space in a home or apartment, as well as a list of the types of protective kits (gas masks) issued by the Government of Israel to its citizens.
The Department of State recommends against travel to areas of Israel in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip. Travelers should be aware of the risks presented by the current military conflict between Hamas and Israel. On July 17, 2014 Israel announced the commencement of ground operations in Gaza. Travelers in the regions immediately bordering Gaza may encounter small arms fire, anti-tank weapons, rockets, and mortars launched from inside Gaza toward Israeli cities and towns. These attacks can come with little or no warning. Visitors to these areas should remain aware of their surroundings and of the location of bomb shelters and should take note of announcements and guidance provided by the Home Front Command.
Travelers should also be aware of the heightened state of alert maintained by Israeli authorities along Israel’s border with Egypt. There have been cross-border incidents from Egypt, including rocket attacks and ground incursions, such as an attack that took place in August 2013 and one on January 20, 2014. Rockets were fired from Sinai in the direction of Eilat on July 15, 2014.
Rocket attacks into Israel from Lebanon have occurred without warning along the Israeli-Lebanese border. Tensions have increased along portions of the Disengagement Zone with Syria in the Golan Heights as a result of the internal conflict occurring in Syria. Sporadic gunfire has occurred along the border region. There have been several incidents of mortar shells and light arms fire impacting on the Israeli-controlled side of the zone as a result of spillover from the fighting in Syria. Travelers should be aware that cross-border gunfire can occur without warning. Furthermore, there are active land mines in areas of the Golan Heights, so visitors should walk only on established roads or trails. The Syrian conflict is sporadic and unpredictable. U.S. government personnel must notify the Embassy’s Regional Security Office in advance if they plan to visit the Golan Heights and are prohibited from traveling east of Rt. 98 in the Golan Heights.
U.S. citizens should be aware of the possibility of isolated street protests, particularly within the Old City and areas around Salah Ed-Din Street, Damascus Gate, Silwan, and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Travelers should exercise caution at religious sites on Fridays and on holy days, including during Ramadan. U.S. government employees are prohibited from entering the Old City on Fridays during the month of Ramadan due to congestion and security-related access restrictions.
U.S. government employees are prohibited from transiting Independence Park in central Jerusalem during the hours of darkness due to reports of criminal activity.
The Consulate General notes that recent demonstrations and clashes in several East Jerusalem areas, such as Shufat, Beit Hanina, Mt. of Olives, As Suwaneh, Abu Deis, Silwan, Shuafat Refugee Camp, inside the Old City (near Lions Gate), Issawiyeh, and Tsur Baher appear to have diminished, although the possibility exists of renewed clashes in the same areas during evenings. We note that the clashes and demonstrations have not been anti-American in nature. The Israel National Police (INP) continues to have a heavy presence in many of the neighborhoods that have had clashes and may restrict vehicular traffic to some of these neighborhoods without notice. We advise citizens not to enter any neighborhoods restricted by the INP and to avoid any locations that have active clashes ongoing.
The Shufat neighborhood of Jerusalem remains off-limits for official U.S. personnel and their families at night until further notice. The Old City of Jerusalem is also off-limits every day after dark for official U.S. personnel and their families until further notice. Official U.S. personnel are restricted from the Old City of Jerusalem at all times on Fridays during Ramadan. The Friday restriction is part of our standard policy, due to overall congestion and large crowds, and is not related to recent events.
The West Bank
The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to exercise caution when traveling to the West Bank. Demonstrations and violent incidents can occur without warning, and vehicles are regularly targeted by rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire on West Bank roads. U.S citizens have been killed in such attacks. There have also been an increasing number of violent incidents involving Israeli settlers and Palestinian villagers in the corridor stretching from Ramallah to Nablus, including attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian villages in which U.S. citizens have suffered injury or property damage, and attacks by Palestinians on settlements. U.S. citizens can be caught in the middle of potentially dangerous situations, and some U.S. citizens involved in political demonstrations in the West Bank have sustained serious injuries. The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens, for their own safety, avoid all demonstrations. During periods of unrest, the Israeli Government may restrict access to the West Bank, and some areas may be placed under curfew. All persons in areas under curfew should remain indoors to avoid arrest or injury. Security conditions in the West Bank may hinder the ability of consular staff to offer timely assistance to U.S. citizens.
Personal travel in the West Bank by U.S. government personnel and their families is permitted to the towns of Bethlehem and Jericho and on Routes 1, 443, and 90. Personal travel is also permitted to Qumran off Route 90 by the Dead Sea, as are stops at roadside facilities along Routes 1 and 90. All other personal travel by U.S. government personnel in the West Bank is prohibited. U.S. government personnel routinely travel to the West Bank for official business, but do so with special security arrangements.
The Gaza Strip
The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip, which is under the control of Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization. U.S. citizens in Gaza are advised to depart immediately. The security environment within Gaza, including its border with Egypt and its seacoast, is dangerous and volatile. Exchanges of fire between the Israel Defense Forces and militant groups in Gaza take place regularly, and civilians have been caught in the crossfire in the past. Although the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt normally allows for some passenger travel, prior coordination with local authorities — which could take days or weeks to process — is generally required, and crossing points may be closed for days or weeks. Travelers who enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing must also exit through the Rafah crossing, and those entering the Gaza Strip may not be able to depart at a time of their choosing. Many U.S. citizens have been unable to exit Gaza or faced lengthy delays in doing so. Furthermore, the schedule and requirements for exiting through the Rafah crossing are unpredictable and can involve significant expense. Because U.S. citizen employees of the U.S. government are not allowed to enter the Gaza Strip or have contact with Hamas, the ability of consular staff to offer timely assistance to U.S. citizens, including assistance departing Gaza, is extremely limited.
Some U.S. citizens holding Israeli nationality, possessing a Palestinian identity card, or who are of Arab or Muslim origin have experienced significant difficulties in entering or exiting Israel or the West Bank. U.S. citizens planning to travel to Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza should consult the detailed information concerning entry and exit difficulties in the Country Specific Information.
Contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy for information and assistance in Israel, the Golan Heights, and ports of entry at Ben Gurion Airport, Haifa Port, the northern (Jordan River/Sheikh Hussein) and southern (Arava) border crossings connecting Israel and Jordan, and the border crossings between Israel and Egypt. An embassy officer can be contacted at (972) (3) 519-7575 from Monday through Friday during working hours. The after-hours emergency number is (972) (3) 519-7551.
Contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem for information and assistance in Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, at (972) (2) 630-4000 from Monday through Friday during working hours. The after-hours emergency number is (972) (2) 622-7250.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-451 N663US (msn 23818) prepares to land in Tokyo (Narita).
Sun Country Airlines (Minneapolis/St. Paul) is expanding in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America this coming winter with new seasonal service. The airline will start weekly service from MSP to St. Maarten (December 20 through April 4), Manzanillo (January 8 through April 2) and Rio Hato (near Panama City) December 26 through April 3 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-752 N714SY (msn 33786) taxies at Los Angeles.
WestJet (Calgary) has announced the 2014-2015 winter schedule featuring two new destinations, one new route and increased frequency on 19 additional routes. Twice-daily nonstop service between Toronto (Pearson) and Fredericton, New Brunswick begins on April 15, 2015, and weekly nonstop service between Calgary and Loreto, Mexico, launches on February 14, 2015. Weekly flights between Winnipeg and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood operate Saturdays starting on November 1, 2014.
Flights to Fredericton will be operated by WestJet Encore (Calgary) using its fleet of 78-seat, Canadian-made Bombardier DHC-8-402 (marketed as the Q400) NextGen aircraft.
Earlier this year, WestJet unveiled four additional new routes as part the 2014-2015 winter schedule.
WestJet Encore service between Calgary and Penticton begins October 26, 2014, Edmonton to Kamloops service starts February 15, 2015, and Quebec City welcomes twice-daily flights beginning March 15, 2015. Daily WestJet service between Toronto and Phoenix launches October 26, 2014.
WestJet Encore was launched in June 2013 operating 10 departures daily to two destinations with two aircraft and 131 employees. Today, it operates 90 departures daily to 19 destinations with 12 aircraft and approximately 500 employees.
Copyright Photo: Wingnut/AirlinersGallery.com. Captured at an unusual angle, Boeing 737-8CT C-GAWS (msn 38880) with the special #100 Boeing 737 NG markings taxies at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Flyvista (Tbilisi) is a new airline in the Republic of Georgia. The airline received its first aircraft, the pictured Boeing 737-33R registered as 4L-AJC (msn 28873), on July 10. It is being leased from GECAS.
The new airline is planning to launch operations in August.
The company describes its plans on its website:
Flyvista, the new Georgian low-cost carrier plans to launch operations in the coming months.
Utilizing a moderately sized fleet of Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft, the airline intends to offer affordable flights to neighboring countries from its base in the country’s capital, Tbilisi.
Definitive network plans haven’t been disclosed, but several destinations have been highlighted as likely, such as Almaty (Kazakhstan); Baku (Azerbaijan); Istanbul (Turkey); Kiev, (Ukraine); Minsk, (Belarus); Moscow, (Russia); Prague (Czech Republic) and Tehran, (Iran).
Flyvista is a partner of Aerovista, an aircraft leasing, charter and management solutions provider.
Copyright Photo: Flyvista.
The crash site of Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 17 with the pictured Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRD (msn 28411) in the Russian-speaking rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukraine remains largely unsecured. The world is calling for the crash site evidence to be properly secured.
“Bodies, backpacks, passports and other piles of debris lay splayed across a miles-long area in the remote area in eastern Ukraine where Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 17 came down. The crash site is massive — an international observer called it “one of the biggest crime scenes in the world right now.”
“Concern is growing that the site has not been sealed off as it should have been and that vital evidence is being tampered with. Meanwhile, armed rebels have greeted international observers with hostility.
Experts say that this crash investigation is unprecedented due to the site’s immense size and the lack of access given to investigators.”
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Google Maps above: The location of the crash site in the eastern Russian-speaking (disputed) portion of the Ukraine near Donetsk.
Meanwhile Malaysia Airlines today issued these two statements (and the message above) on the tragic crash of flight MH 17:
The first statement – from the Press Briefing by Liow Tiong Lai, Minister of Transport:
Today Malaysia Airlines have released the final list of nationalities on board flight MH 17. Each of the numbers represents a life lost, and a family in anguish. After this press conference, Malaysia Airlines will release the full passenger manifest.
Malaysia mourns the loss of all 298 passengers and crew. We feel for their families. And we promise to do all we can to ensure that the investigation is completed, and that justice is done.
ON THE INVESTIGATION:
Malaysia is deeply concerned that the crash site has not been properly secured. The integrity of the site has been compromised, and there are indications that vital evidence has not been preserved in place.
Interfering with the scene of the crash risks undermining the investigation itself. Any actions that prevent us from learning the truth about what happened to MH 17 cannot be tolerated. Failure to stop such interference would be a betrayal of the lives that were lost.
Malaysia calls for all parties to protect the integrity of the crash site, and to allow the investigation to proceed. We urge all those involved to respect the families, and the nations who have lost their sons and daughters in this attack.
Yes, MH 17 has become a geopolitical issue. But we must not forget that it is a human tragedy. Days after the plane went down, the remains of 298 people lie uncovered.
Citizens of eleven nations – none of whom are involved in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine –cannot be laid to rest. Their lives were taken by violence; now violence stops them being accorded their final respect. This cannot continue.
Earlier today, Malaysia’s special team arrived in Kiev. We ask for continued support from the Ukrainian government, and the other parties involved, as the team seeks to assist the Ukrainian authorities in recovering and identifying the remains of the passengers and crew, and with the wider investigation.
The world has a moral obligation to ensure that the remains of all victims are recovered and treated with respect. We will play our part in fulfilling this obligation. That is why, later today, I will join the Malaysian team in Kiev, where I will work with my counterpart in the Ukraine government, to support efforts to retrieve the remains, and to assist with the investigation.
I will be joined by the Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation, the Malaysian investigator in charge, and the Chairman of Malaysia Airlines. The CEO of Malaysia Airlines is already in Kiev.
ON THE FLIGHT PATH:
On the matter of MH 17’s flight path, I would like to refer to recent reported comments by officials from Eurocontrol, the body which approves European flight paths under ICAO rules.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the officials stated that some 400 commercial flights, including 150 international flights crossed eastern Ukraine daily before the crash. Officials from Eurocontrol also stated that in the two days before the incident, 75 different airlines flew the same route as MH 17.
MH 17’s flight path was a busy major airway, like a highway in the sky. It followed a route which was set out by the international aviation authorities, approved by Eurocontrol, and used by hundreds of other aircraft. It flew at an altitude set, and deemed safe, by the local air traffic control. And it never strayed into restricted airspace.
The flight and its operators followed the rules. But on the ground, the rules of war were broken. In an unacceptable act of aggression, it appears that MH 17 was shot down; its passengers and crew killed by a missile.
This outrage cannot go unpunished. Once again, Malaysia condemns this brutal act of aggression, and calls for those responsible to be found, and to face the full force of justice without delay.
The second statement from Malaysia Airlines:
Malaysia Airlines is appealing to the family members or friends of those onboard MH 17 to contact the airline. Enclosed is the MH 17 passenger manifest for reference.
In the past 45 hours, the airline together with various foreign embassies have made every effort to establish contact with the next-of-kin but is still unable to identify many more family members.
They are advised to contact Malaysia Airlines’ Family Support Centre at +603 7884 1234 (in Malaysia).
Alternatively the family or friends may call the numbers below in their respective countries:
Netherlands (Malaysia Airlines Amsterdam office) +31 20 521 62 62
Australia (Malaysia Airlines Sydney office) +61 2 9364 3526
Indonesia (Malaysia Airlines Jakarta office) +62 2 1522 9705
New Zealand (Malaysia Airlines Auckland office) +64 9 306 3930
United Kingdom (Malaysia Airlines London office) +44 20 7341 2060
Germany (Malaysia Airlines Frankfurt office) +49 69 1387 1980
Philippines (Malaysia Airlines Manila office) + 63 2 889 1863
As of July 19, 2014, 5:00 pm, the table below shows the latest number of passengers and their nationalities:
193 (including 1 dual Netherlands/USA citizen)
43 (including 15 crew & 2 infants)
12 (including 1 infant)
10 (including 1 dual UK/S. Africa citizen)
Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines deployed a ferry flight last night mobilizing 212 personnel from various government and media bodies and its staff to Kiev and Amsterdam in a special mission for MH17. A total of 85 Malaysia Airlines’ ‘Go Team’ members have been deployed, of which five members will join Malaysia’s Special Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Smart) in the search-and-recovery mission at the crash site in the Donetsk region, while 80 other members comprising care givers and the management team will be stationed in Amsterdam to assist the family members of the passengers.
MH 5002 departed Kuala Lumpur at 9.30 pm on July 18, 2014 and arrived in Kiev at 2.58 am (local time) on July 19, 2014 with a two hour transit. The aircraft then continued its journey to Amsterdam at 4.50 am (local time) on July 19, 2014 and arrived in Schipol Amsterdam Airport at 5.30 am the same day.
The mission is also joined by Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport, the National Security Council, Special Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Smart), Malaysia’s Department of Information, the Royal Malaysian Police, Malaysian Special Air Service, the Royal Malaysian Air Force, Malaysian Armed Forces, Department of Civil Aviation, Chemistry Department, Department of Islamic Advancement of Malaysia and the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team as well as participating media.
Finally, Malaysia Airlines requests the cooperation of members of the media to respect the privacy of the grieving families. The airline’s top priority remains to provide care and assistance to the families of the passengers and crew and any information with regards to their movement will not be made public.
Who are the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine? CNN takes a look at this question: CLICK HERE
On a side note, it was fate that selected Malaysia Airlines to be the target for the Russian-speaking separatists in eastern Ukraine. According to U.S. intelligence, the rebels used recently delivered surface-to-air Russian missiles to bring down flight MH 17. Russia will have to answer for its decision to send these dangerous weapons to the Ukraine, a former part of the Soviet Union and a sovereign nation.
Why Eurocontrol was routing civilian airliners through this known war zone is something that will also have to be answered, especially after two Ukrainian aircraft were previously shot down by the pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine.
Air India and Singapore Airlines aircraft were also in the area at the time of the shoot down and it was fate that selected the Malaysia Airlines flight over these two flights. Fate has not been kind to Malaysia Airlines this year.
Bottom line: The remains of the ill-fated passengers need to be returned to their grieving families.
Where not to fly? The Washington Post has published this map of dangerous areas where the FAA has advised U.S. carriers not to fly: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. 9M-MRD arrives in Los Angeles.
Our Airline (Nauru Air Corporation) (formerly Air Nauru) (Nauru and Brisbane) has decided to rebrand again. The flag carrier of the Republic of Nauru has decided to rename itself as Nauru Airlines effective August 1, 2014.
Read the full story from the Solomon Star: CLICK HERE
The airline is also adding a Boeing 737-300 freighter (VH-VLI, msn 27125) per ch-aviation.
Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-3Y0 VH-INU (msn 23684) taxies at Sydney.
Thai Airways International (Bangkok) yesterday (July 17) took delivery of its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The pictured HS-TQA (msn 35315) departed Seattle on its delivery flight.
The airline issued this statement:
Thai Airways International Public Company Limited announced that its first 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft departed from Boeing’s Everett Delivery Center in Seattle, Washington, on a nonstop, 15-hour flight to Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand.
ACM Siwakiat Jayema, Acting President of Thai Airways International said, “As the national airline, the addition of the 787 to our fleet is a major milestone for Thai and Thailand. Boeing and AerCap have provided an airplane that is perfect for Thai and our passengers.” The 787-8 is the first of eight Dreamliners that Thai will lease from AerCap (six 787-8 set for delivery between 2014-2015, and two 787-9 for delivery in 2017).
Thai’s 787 Dreamliner is configured with 24 lie-flat seats in Royal Silk Class and 240 seats in Economy Class. The 787-8 is a mid-size aircraft that can fly longer distances and offer great fuel efficiency, complete with the interior environment that has been designed to make passenger travel comfortable and convenient.
Thai’s Boeing 787-8 aircraft is equipped with the next-generation Rolls-Royce Trent 1000-AE engines. The culmination of advanced aerodynamics, and lightweight structures contribute to 20 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, as well as less “roar” around airport boundaries and airport communities.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. HS-TQA lands at Paine Field before the handover.
Thai Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 17 operating from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with the pictured Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRD (msn 28411) (since repainted) with 280 passengers and 15 crew members, while operating at flight level 330 (33,000 feet) and about 50 nautical miles northwest of Donetsk, Ukraine has crashed. The airliner came down near the village of Shakhtarsk, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines has confirmed the crash.
The airline issued this statement:
Malaysia Airlines confirms it received notification from Ukrainian ATC that it had lost contact with flight MH 17 at 1415 (GMT) at 30 km from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50 km from the Russia-Ukraine border.
Flight MH 17 operated on a Boeing 777 departed Amsterdam at 12.15 pm (Amsterdam local time) and was estimated to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10 am (Malaysia local time) the next day.
The flight was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew members.
According to CNN:
“The aircraft was “shot down” over Ukraine by “terrorists” operating a Buk surface-to-air missile system, according to the Facebook page of Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry. There were 280 passengers killed as well as 15 crew members, Gerashchenko’s post reads.”
Read the full CNN report: CLICK HERE
Read the full updated account (with photos of the crash site) from the BBC: CLICK HERE
Read the report from the New York Times: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. 9M-MRD was once painted in this special “Blue Heliconia” livery but it has since been repainted.
Malaysia Airlines Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Bottom Copyright Photo: Olivier Gregoire/AirlinersGallery.com. 9M-MRD lands in Paris (CDG) in 2011 after repainting.
More information will be added as details are confirmed.
Video: This video appears to capture the moment of impact:
Video: The Russian surface-to-air missile that is believed to have been fired and taken down the Triple Seven. The missile was allegedly fired from a Russian separatist controlled area in eastern Ukraine:
United to operate seasonal Washington Dulles-Los Cabos weekly flights, will launch two new Express routes from Newark
United Airlines (Chicago) will launch a weekly and seasonal route from the Washington (Dulles) hub to Los Cabos (Baja), Mexico from December 20 through May 2, 2015. The route will be operated on Saturdays with Boeing 737-700 aircraft per Airline Route.
The company is also starting two new daily United Express routes from the Newark hub starting on October 26; to London, Ontario and South Bend, Indiana. Both routes will be operated with Embraer ERJ 145 regional jets.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-724 N14731 (msn 28799) taxies at the San Francisco hub.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is dropping the Monrovia, Liberia extension on the New York (JFK)-Accra route on September 1. The extended route operates three days a week with Boeing 767-300 ER equipment per Airline Route. New York (JFK)-Accra service will continue.
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-332 ER N192DN (msn 28449) departs from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Hainan Airlines (Haikou and Beijing) today announced that the two companies are finalizing terms and working toward a purchase agreement for 50 737 MAX 8s, reaffirming the Chinese airline’s preference for an all-Boeing single-aisle fleet.
The commitment, valued at more than $5.1 billion at current list prices, will be subject to the approval of the Chinese government and will be posted on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website once all contingencies are cleared.
The 737 MAX has surpassed 2,100 orders from 42 customers worldwide and is the fastest selling airplane in Boeing history. The 737 MAX incorporates the latest-technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and MG Aviation Limited (Tel Aviv) today finalized an order for two additional 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at $499 million at current list prices. The order will support the leasing company’s growing fleet of modern airplanes.
MG Aviation previously placed an order for two 787-9s in 2006 and now has four unfilled 787-9s orders.
MG Aviation is part of Jordache Enterprises, the Nakash family’s global conglomerate that also operates Arkia Israeli Airlines, serving domestic and European destinations from its base in Tel Aviv.
Image: Boeing. Pictured from left: Ralph Nakash, President, MG Aviation, Ray Conner, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Joe Nakash, Chairman, MG Aviation.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Qatar Airways (Doha) have finalized an order for 50 777-9Xs, valued at $18.9 billion at current list prices. The 777X order, first announced as a commitment at the 2013 Dubai Airshow, was part of the largest product launch in commercial jetliner history.
In addition, the airline announced a commitment for 50 additional 777-9X purchase rights. If exercised, that would take Qatar’s 777X order tally to 100 airplanes valued at $37.7 billion at list prices.
Qatar Airways also announced their intent to order four 777 Freighters and options for four more, with a combined value of $2.4 billion at list prices.
The 777X will introduce the latest technologies including the most advanced commercial engine ever – the GE9X by GE Aviation – and an all-new high efficiency composite wing that has a longer span than today’s 777. The 777X family includes the 777-8X and the 777-9X, both designed to respond to market needs and customer preferences.
The 777-9X will be 12 percent more fuel efficient than any competing airplane, necessary in today’s competitive environment. The 777-8X is 5 percent more efficient than its competitor at all ranges while providing for new network opportunities. Design of the 777X is underway and production is set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2020. To date, the 777X has accumulated 300 orders and commitments from six customers worldwide.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Air Algerie (Algiers) today announced an order for two Next-Generation 737-700C (Convertible) airplanes, valued at $152 million at current list prices. The order continues Air Algerie’s fleet renewal and expansion following January’s order for eight 737-800s.
The addition of 737-700Cs to the Algerian-flag carrier’s fleet will provide the airline with increased flexibility depending on passenger and cargo demands. The order was booked in May 2014 and previously posted as unidentified on the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website.
The 737-700C is a derivative of the 737-700 with strengthened wings, a main-deck cargo door and an in-floor cargo-handling system. In an all-passenger layout, the 737-700C can carry up to 140 passengers, while the all-cargo layout provides up to 40,000 pounds (18,200 kilograms) of capacity.
Based in Algeria’s capital city Algiers, at Houari Boumedienne International Airport, Air Algerie currently serves more than 40 destinations across Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and the Middle East. The North African carrier currently operates a fleet of 17 737-800s and five 737-600s and following today’s announcement has a total of eight 737-800s and two 737-700Cs unfilled orders from Boeing.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) rolled out the 5000th Next-Generation 737 this week. The airplane is a Boeing C-40A Clipper, a modified 737-700C, that will serve as a transport aircraft for the U.S. Navy.
Utilizing the 737 commercial platform takes advantage of the proven efficiencies, manufacturing processes and performance of the existing Next-Generation 737 production system. Boeing’s P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) and the C-40 are among the 737 military derivatives.
To date, orders stand at 6,804 for Next-Generation 737s and 2,109 for 737 MAXs. Total 737 orders have surpassed 12,000 including Classics and more than 100 orders for military derivatives.
Copyright Photo: Boeing.
The 787-9 Dreamliner took to the skies on July 14 with a powerful, yet quiet, performance in front of Farnborough Airshow attendees as it closed out the day’s flying demonstrations.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and CIT Group Inc., a global leader in transportation finance, announced today that CIT Aerospace has placed an order for 10 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at $2.5 billion at current list prices. This brings the leasing company’s total 787 orders to 20, including 16 787-9s.
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is the second member of the super-efficient 787 family and celebrated its first customer delivery in June. Both the 787-8 and 787-9 bring the economics of large jets to the middle of the market, with 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes and passenger-pleasing features. At 20 feet (6 meters) longer than the 787-8, the 787-9 extends the family in capacity and range, flying more passengers and more cargo farther.
Founded in 1908, CIT is a financial holding company with more than $35 billion in financing and leasing assets. It provides financing, leasing and advisory services to its clients and their customers across more than 30 industries. CIT maintains leadership positions in middle market lending, factoring, retail and equipment finance, as well as aerospace, equipment and rail leasing. CIT’s U.S. bank subsidiary CIT Bank (Member FDIC), BankOnCIT.com, offers a variety of savings options designed to help customers achieve their financial goals.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Intrepid Aviation today announced the leasing company’s first direct Boeing order for six 777-300 ERs (Extended Range), valued at $1.9 billion at current list prices.
Intrepid also has the option to purchase an additional four 777s. If all options are exercised, the value of today’s announcement could reach more than $3.2 billion at list prices.
Intrepid Aviation is a privately held commercial aircraft lessor, which owns commercial aircraft leased to airline operators worldwide. Intrepid Aviation focuses primarily on twin-engine widebody equipment, such as the Boeing 787 and 777.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Air Lease Corporation (ALC) (Los Angeles) announced today an order for 26 airplanes – six 777-300 ER (Extended Range) and reconfirmed 20 737 MAX 8 airplanes, valued at $3.9 billion at current list prices.
This 737 MAX order for 20 airplanes, valued at more than $2 billion at current list prices, brings Air Lease Corporation’s combined orders for the 737 MAX to 104 airplanes. The 777-300 ER order, valued at more than $1.9 billion at current list prices, marks the 100th 777 order from ALC Chairman and CEO Steven Udvar-Hazy during his career in the industry.
The 737 MAX incorporates the latest-technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. The 737 MAX 8 provides customers with more flexibility and cost efficiency than the competition in the heart of the single-aisle market. Airlines operating the 737 MAX will see an 8 percent operating cost per seat advantage over tomorrow’s competition. The 737 MAX has surpassed 2,000 orders from 42 customers, the fastest selling airplane in history.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has issued this statement on the evolving design features of the 777X:
Boeing announced today at the Farnborough Airshow new details about the innovative passenger experience being created for its newest long-haul twin-aisle airplane – the 777X.
By building on the award-winning passenger-preferred interior of today’s 777 and applying 787 Dreamliner cabin innovations, Boeing will continue its leadership in offering unprecedented levels of comfort for the traveling public and enhanced flexibility for airlines.
Among its advances, the 777X interior will feature:
A cabin altitude of 6,000 feet – comparable to the 787 Dreamliner
Windows that are more than 15 percent larger than the competition and located higher on the fuselage so they’re at eye level for a larger percentage of passengers
Increased ambient light made possible by the larger, newly positioned windows
All-new interior design that allows airlines to customize their cabin architectures by class. This innovation includes an adaptable suite of parts that facilitates choices in overhead ceiling and stow bin configurations, allowing airlines to create the feeling of separate and distinct cabins that meet both airline and passenger needs
A cabin that is 16 inches wider than the competition, allowing airlines a variety of economy class seat widths up to 18 inches wide
Higher cabin humidity, comparable to the 787 Dreamliner
Enhanced air filtration, incorporating the latest filtration technologies to increase passengers’ well-being
Next-generation LED lighting, further enhancing the passenger experience throughout the flight and allowing airlines more branding opportunities
Lower cabin noise, achieved through the new engine nacelle design, new high bypass ratio engines, better insulation and a passenger cabin that doubles the number of air nozzles with lower velocity and less noise
In addition to the advancements announced today, Boeing is continuing to explore new ways to create a better flying experience.
The 777X program has 300 orders and commitments from six customers worldwide. Production is set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2020.
Copyright Photos: Boeing.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) today at the Farnborough Air Show announced that it is in the final phases of testing and production readiness of a new method for building 777 fuselages as part of its ongoing technology investment strategy.
Known as the Fuselage Automated Upright Build, or FAUB, this Advanced Manufacturing technology improves workplace safety and increases product quality. This technology has been in development by Boeing since 2012.
With this new technology, fuselage sections will be built using automated, guided robots that will fasten the panels of the fuselage together, drilling and filling the more than approximately 60,000 fasteners that are today installed by hand.
FAUB offers numerous benefits including an improvement in employee safety. The nature of the drilling and filling work makes it ideal for an automated solution. More than half of all injuries on the 777 program have occurred during the phase of production that is being automated. In addition, the automated system is expected to reduce build times and improve first-time quality of the build process.
“This is the first time such technology will be used by Boeing to manufacture widebody commercial airplanes and the 777 program is leading the way,” said Elizabeth Lund, vice president and general manager, 777 program and Everett site, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The 777 program has already begun testing FAUB at a facility in Anacortes, Washington (near Everett). Production readiness preparations are underway and the system will be installed in Everett in a new portion of the main factory that is under construction now. The technology is expected to be implemented in the next few years.
The robotic system, designed for Boeing by KUKA Systems, is the latest in a series of strategic Advanced Manufacturing moves on the 777 program, which have already included new systems for painting wings and other drilling operations.
Copyright Photo: Boeing.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Avolon (Ireland) have announced the leasing company’s commitment for six 787-9 Dreamliners and five additional 737 MAX 9 airplanes, valued at more than $2 billion at current list prices.
This commitment marks Avolon’s first order for the efficient 787 Dreamliner and will increase the lessor’s 737 MAX portfolio to 20 airplanes. When finalized, the order will be posted on the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website.
According to Boeing, “The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is the second member of the super-efficient 787 family. Both the 787-8 and 787-9 bring the economics of large jets to the middle of the market, with 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes and passenger-pleasing features. At 20 feet (6 meters) longer than the 787-8, the 787-9 extends the family in capacity and range, flying more passengers and more cargo farther.”
Okay Airways (OKAir) orders six Boeing 737 MAX 8s and four 737-800s, will also operate the 737-900ER
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Okay Airways (stylized as OKAir) (Tianjin) announced an order today for six 737 MAX 8s and four Next-Generation 737-800s, valued at $980 million at current list prices.
Okay Airways, the first privately owned airline in China, also announced it will convert five 737-800s from a previous order into 737-900 ERs (Extended Range). With today’s conversion announcement, Okay Airways will be the first airline in China to operate the 737-900 ER and has eight of the airplanes on order.
Okay Airways is headquartered in Beijing with its main hub at Tianjin Binhai International Airport. Its jetliner fleet includes 12 Boeing 737-800s and one Boeing 737-300 Freighter, which serves 40 domestic destinations.
Monarch Airlines will continue to be a Boeing customer, preparing to finalize an order for 30 737 MAX 8s
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Monarch Airlines (London-Luton) today announced that the two companies are finalizing terms and working towards a Purchase Agreement for 30 737 MAX 8s, marking the start of a fleet transition for Monarch to Boeing single-aisle airplanes.
The order, valued at $3.1 billion at current list prices, will be posted to the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website when finalized.
According to Boeing, “The 737 MAX has surpassed 2,000 orders from 42 customers worldwide, the most successful launch in Boeing history. The 737 MAX incorporates the latest-technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.
The 737 MAX 8 provides customers with more flexibility and cost efficiency than the competition in the heart of the single-aisle market. Airlines operating the 737 MAX 8 will see an 8 percent operating cost per seat advantage over the A320neo. In addition to lower fuel use, the 737 MAX reduces the operational noise footprint by 40 percent compared to today’s airplane.”
Headquartered at London Luton Airport, but also operating from five other U.K. bases, Monarch predominantly serves holiday destinations around the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands as well as European ski resorts. Founded in 1968, the British carrier’s passenger numbers reached nearly 7 million in 2013, a record for the airline, with a fleet made up of more than 40 airplanes.
Monarch had been adding Airbus A320 Family aircraft so this is an important switchover catch for Boeing.
In the meantime, Monarch releases this statement:
The Monarch Group, the UK’s leading independent travel group, today announces that it has chosen Boeing as its preferred bidder for its narrow-bodied fleet replacement. The Group is in the process of finalizing terms and working towards signing a Purchase Agreement with Boeing for the purchase of 30 Next Generation Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, with options on a further 15 aircraft.
The announcement with Boeing represents the latest major milestone in the transformation and renewal of The Monarch Group, and is integral to realizing the opportunity for Monarch Airlines to differentiate itself in its market whilst bringing back warmth and a personal touch to European air travel.
Iain Rawlinson, Executive Chairman of the Monarch Group, said: “Today’s announcement is an important milestone in an exhaustive three year evaluation process, and a key part of The Monarch Group’s transformation and renewal. Boeing truly understood our business and put together a complete package that fits extremely well with our ambitions for the Group. With this announcement, we begin another chapter in our long and fruitful relationship with Boeing – something which now stretches over 40 years.”
Andrew Swaffield, Managing Director of Monarch Airlines, said: “I joined Monarch Airlines because I saw that it has a unique brand, and exceptional people. We see an opportunity to bring back warmth and a personal touch to a very commoditised European aviation market. Our size enables us to deliver on this promise. With this fleet replacement we are choosing the correct number of aircraft and the correct size of aircraft to help us create a year round efficient European operation which maximizes profitability. Our process has been rigorous and fair and I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead it to a successful conclusion.
“Having reviewed all of the options in the marketplace, we concluded that the Boeing 737 MAX 8 is the aircraft that best fits our future route network strategy, enabling us to tightly control our unit costs whilst offering a superior service to our customers.”
United Airlines (Chicago) flight 201 from Honolulu to Guam with 335 passengers and 13 crew members was diverted on July 10 to Midway Island because of a “mechanical issue” according to Channel 10. The Boeing 777-200 (N210UA) landed safely after the declared emergency. A replacement aircraft brought the passengers back to Honolulu on Friday morning.
According to eTurbo News, “A smoke-filled cabin, malfunctioning controls, and a loss of power forced the crew to declare an emergency, and they were able to safely land the widebody aircraft on the former military Midway Island airport at night.”
Midway Island was site of the important battle during World War II.
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In other news, United is reducing service to Caracas from Houston on September 15 following the actions of American and Delta as previously reported. United will reduce its daily service on the route to four flights a week. The U.S. carriers are reducing service to Venezuela as a result of the Venezuelan government strict rules of removing from the country ticket sales and denying the conversion from Bolivars to Dollars.
In further news, United is adding two routes from Guam on October 27 to both Seoul (Incheon) and Shanghai (Pudong) per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-222 ER N216UA (msn 30549) approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) today (July 11) delivered to Nok Airlines Public Company Limited (Nok Air) (Bangkok) this Boeing 737-86J registered as HS-DBQ (msn 37794) painted in this 10th Anniversary special livery.
The 737-800, owned by Ireland-based leasing company Avolon and operated by Nok Air, features the traditional bird-themed livery with the addition of stars, streamers and “10th Anniversary” painted on the airplane to celebrate the milestone. The aircraft was previously planned to go to Airberlin.
Nok Air means Bird Air in the Thai language.
Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Nok Air’s brand new 737-800 lands at Boeing Field in Seattle.
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