Virgin Australia Holdings Limited (Virgin Australia) (Brisbane) issued this proposal today.
Virgin Australia Holdings Limited (Virgin Australia) today (October 17) announced a transaction which would see Virgin Australia acquire the remaining 40 percent of shares in Tiger Australia Airways Pty Ltd (Tigerair Australia) from Tiger Airways Holdings Limited (Tiger Holdings) for a price of A$1.
The transaction, once completed, will see Virgin Australia secure 100 per cent ownership and full control of Tigerair Australia and brings to a conclusion the joint venture between Virgin Australia and Tiger Holdings which commenced on July 8, 2013.
As part of the proposed acquisition, Virgin Australia will secure the brand rights to fly Tigerair Australia to a number of short-haul international destinations, providing new growth opportunities for the business.
Virgin Australia Chief Executive Officer, John Borghetti said: “This proposed transaction marks an important milestone for Tigerair Australia and forms part of the Virgin Australia Group’s Virgin Vision strategy to 2017.
“Given the ongoing subdued consumer demand in the Australian domestic market, the growth of the Tigerair Australia domestic fleet is likely to be reduced. Under this proposed transaction, we will benefit from the economies of scale and achieve profitability ahead of schedule by the end of 2016, by leveraging the resources of the wider Virgin Australia Group.
“Tiger Holdings and Virgin Australia have worked well together over the past 14 months on building a strong operating platform for Tigerair Australia. The joint venture has strengthened systems and processes, increased aircraft utilisation, established a Brisbane base and leveraged synergies across a range of areas.
“We remain committed to maintaining the airline’s low cost business model and the separate Tigerair brand, ensuring that we can continue to deliver the most competitive pricing in Australian budget travel”, Mr Borghetti said.
The partnership between Virgin Australia and Tiger Holdings will continue into the future through brand licencing and certain services which will continue to be provided by Tiger Holdings direct to Tiger Australia.
The transaction is also subject to conditions precedent, including Foreign Investment Review Board approval, Tiger Holdings shareholder approval and entering into long-form licensing agreements, services agreements and other ancillary transaction documents. It is expected that Virgin Australia will consolidate Tigerair Australia’s financial results going forward as result of the transaction.
Virgin Australia anticipates that completion will occur by the end of 2014 and will keep the market updated on the timing of completion of the transaction.
Copyright Photo: Jacques Guillem Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Virgin Australia will retain the Tigerair brand but the Airbus A320 fleet clashes with Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737s and the pictured Embraer 190s.
Finnair (Helsinki) and Finnish railway operator VR are cooperating to offer combined air-and-rail tickets between St. Petersburg, Russia and international destinations connecting via the Helsinki hub.
Combined air-and-rail tickets will enable passengers flying throughout Finnair’s network in Europe, Asia and North America to connect to and from St. Petersburg on a high-speed Allegro train. Finnair began selling the combined tickets on October 1, 2014, and the first Allegro train (below) connection with AY code will be on December 1, 2014.
The train ride between Helsinki’s Central Railway Station and St. Petersburg’s Finland Station takes 3 hours and 36 minutes. Passport and customs procedures are carried out on board the train while en route, saving customers’ time and allowing for a smooth passenger experience. The ticket also allows stopovers in Helsinki, enabling customers with business in both cities to make a single booking while also giving leisure travellers the opportunity to take time to explore the Finnish capital region.
In other news, Finnair has released this statement:
The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has awarded Finnair a position on The A List: The CDP Climate Performance Leadership Index 2014, for actions to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the business risks of climate change.
The index presents 187 listed companies identified as demonstrating a superior approach to climate change mitigation. The A List is compiled by CDP, an NGO that provides the only global environmental reporting system at the request of 767 investors who represent some $92 trillion (US) in assets, or more than a third of the world’s invested capital.
Information provided by nearly 2,000 listed companies has been independently assessed against CDP’s widely-respected scoring methodology and ranked accordingly. Finnair is the only airline awarded an A grade for its climate performance, earning a position on this global ranking of corporate efforts to mitigate climate change.
“Aviation is an extremely energy- and capital-intensive sector, and our advanced capacity to measure and disclose information relating to this intensity allows us and our shareholders not only to understand Finnair’s climate impact but take steps to actively mitigate it while also controlling costs,” says Finnair CEO Pekka Vauramo. “This recognition from CDP shows that we are determined to proactively meet a commercial and regulatory landscape that is rapidly being transformed by climate change.”
“Global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and we face steep financial risk if we do not mitigate them,” says CDP CEO Paul Simpson.
“The business case for action to mitigate climate change has never been stronger or more urgent. For this reason we congratulate those businesses that have achieved a position on The A List: The CDP Climate Performance Leadership Index. These companies are responding to market demand for environmental accountability and at the same time are making progress towards the realization of sustainable economies.”
Finnair is on track to reduce per-seat CO2 emissions by 24 percent between 2009 and 2017. The airline’s actions to reach this target and improve its environmental performance include:
Flying with a modern, fuel-efficient fleet. In 2013 Finnair was the global launch customer of Airbus A321 with fuel-saving Sharklets and next year will be the European launch customer of the next-generation A350XWB, which will be approximately 25 per cent more fuel-efficient (and less carbon intensive) than the previous generation of aircraft.
Strict “weight watching” of aircraft, including flying with ultra-light ULDs (unit load devices, or cargo containers) that save more than 2.5 million kg of CO2 emissions every year.
Continuous Descent Landings and other operational measures to limit fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Exploring the development (with partners in the value chain) of a biofuel hub at Helsinki Airport
In 2013, consolidating its offices and moving to a new LEED Platinum-certified head office near Helsinki Airport.
Top Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Finnair’s Embraer ERJ 190-100LR OH-LKI (msn 19000117) taxies at Geneva (all others by VR).
VR Train Route Map in Finland and extended routes to Russia:
Finnair Aircraft Slide Show:
Swiss European Air Lines (subsidiary of Swiss International Air Lines) (Zurich) has parked four BAe (Avro) RJ100s due to their high operating costs, maintenance issues and recent incidents according to Aero Telegraph. According to the report, four Embraer 190s will replace the grounded aircraft starting in either December 2014 or January 2015. The aircraft will be leased from Helvetic Airways (Zurich).
Read the full article (in German): CLICK HERE
The ACMI cooperation between Swiss International Air Lines and Helvetic Airways has been in existence since 2006. Helvetic has been operating a total of 4 Fokker 100s until spring 2017.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. BAe RJ100 HB-IYT (msn E3380) taxies to the runway at Zurich.
Jetairfly (Jetairfly.com) (Brussels) with the delivery of its third Embraer 190 will establish a new base at Antwerp. Starting in April 2015 Jetairfly will start flying from Antwerp Airport to Mallorca, Malaga and Alicante.
Jetairfly.com is a brand name of Tui Airlines Belgium NV. Jetairfly.com is a part of TUI Travel PLC, the largest tourism group in the world, with its headquarters in the United Kingdom.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100STD OO-JEB (msn 19000607) is pictured at the Brussels base.
Air Moldova (Chisinau) expands its route network with the launch of new nonstop flights on the Chisinau-Turin-Chisinau route, starting on December 16, 2014.
The new Chisinau-Turin-Chisinau flights will be operated twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays with the Embraer 190 aircraft according to the following schedule (all times are local):
Departure from Chisinau – 1350
Arrival to Turin – 1510
Departure from Turin – 1600
Arrival to Chisinau – 1930
With the launch of the flight to Turin, the number of nonstop routes will reach 25 destinations: Antalya, Athens, Barcelona, Bodrum, Bologna, Bucharest, Dublin, Frankfurt, Heraklion, Istanbul, Kiev, Larnaca, Lisbon, London, Milan, Moscow, Nijnevartovsk, Paris, Rome, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Surgut, Turin, Venice and Verona.
For August 2014, Air Moldova set a new record. For the first time in its history, the company has managed to carry over 100,000 passengers or more exactly, 109,000 passengers during a month. This represents an increase of 58% over the same period in 2013.
Air Moldova has also managed to reach a market share at Chisinau International Airport of 53% in August or 10 percentage points more than last year.
Overall, for the first 8 months of the year, Air Moldova transported 524,000 passengers, an increase of 170,000 passengers (+ 48%) compared with the same period in 2013. At the same time, Air Moldova transported over 22,000 transfer passengers at Chisinau International Airport, an increase of 70 percent.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100LR ER-ECB (msn 19000325) prepares to land in Antalya.
Air Moldova Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Gulf Air (Bahrain) has issued this financial statement of the first half of 2014 showing improved financial performance:
Gulf Air, the Kingdom of Bahrain’s national carrier, has delivered a strong fiscal and operational performance for the first half of the year, ending June 2014, reducing its year-on-year losses by over 30% and building on the airline’s positive 2013 strategic restructuring results that put the national carrier firmly on-track towards achieving long-term commercial sustainability. The 2014 half year results further strengthen Gulf Air’s position as a key national infrastructure asset that provides essential business links for the Kingdom of Bahrain’s wider economic development.
In the first two quarters of 2014, Gulf Air increased its overall revenue by 10% compared to the same period in 2013. This was realized principally through an enhanced revenue stream that was driven by augmented operations, improved load factors and increased connecting traffic.
H.E. Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of Gulf Air’s Board of Directors commented, “The first two quarters of 2014 have been critical in the national carrier’s recent, post-restructuring development. These positive half year results show that Gulf Air is continuing on a positive trajectory to become an efficient, commercially sustainable business and an integral part of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s local economy.”
With a focus on high-demand and high-yield point-to-point routes that connect Bahraini businesses with regional markets, the first half of 2014 saw Gulf Air continue to strengthen its Middle East and North Africa (MENA) operations while maintaining strategic links to select points in Europe, the Far East, India and Pakistan. During this period the national carrier commenced services to its fifth destination in Pakistan – Sialkot, recommenced flights to the Iranian capital Tehran and the Greek capital Athens. Additionally, the airline increased frequencies to Mashhad to now operate daily flights between Bahrain and the Iranian city. Recognizing additional capacity opportunities regionally, the airline’s management team also initiated discussions during the first half of 2014 with various Civil Aviation Authorities to request further additional frequencies across its network. The airline’s ongoing network refinement was partially responsible for its strong performance during the first six months of 2014, delivering a seat factor, revenue passenger count and passenger yield that were all improvements on that achieved in the first half of 2013. This was all further supplemented by the airline’s strong on time punctuality results.
H.E Kamal Bin Ahmed, Minister of Transport and Chairman of Gulf Air’s Board Executive Committee stated: “We are pleased with these strong first half results, which are evidence of the on-going fiscal and operational improvements being made across the business. These early results are fully in line with our expectations as we continue to further strengthen the position of Bahrain’s national carrier. To date, much has been achieved and we look forward to continuing this progress for the rest of 2014.”
Gulf Air’s Board of Directors and executive management team are committed to building upon the successes of the national carrier’s 2013 restructuring. Through process and productivity improvements and procurement savings across the business, the airline has continued to reduce losses in 2014 while increasing revenue as it transforms into a more dynamic and efficient carrier.
Commenting on the half year results, Gulf Air Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Maher Salman Al Musallam said, “The initial benefits from the national carrier’s strategic restructuring were evident in our positive 2013 results and these have translated to significant loss reduction and revenue generation during the first half of 2014. Encouraging summer season bookings confirm the positive trend. Our investment in strengthening our network with the addition of new international destinations occurred within a rising demand environment that also saw us substantially increase our available capacity thanks to schedule enhancements to key routes. The ongoing implementation of the airline’s strategic development is progressing in line with targets, with the full synergy and benefits expected to mature over the coming months. We are looking forward to more positive results in the latter half of 2014 while we continue to deliver a superior product and service offering to our passengers.”
Going forward, and in light of Gulf Air’s positive half year financial and operational results, Bahrain’s national carrier is well positioned to not only address the coming challenges but nurture the airline’s long term future growth. The airline’s 2014 target is to continue on its path towards long-term sustainability, further cutting its losses. This will be achieved through further reducing operational costs, increasing sales efficiency and focusing on customer needs.
With the continued development of synergies between the national carrier’s primary stakeholders – the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain and Bahrain Civil Aviation Authority – Gulf Air is on track to strengthen its position as a key national infrastructure asset supporting Bahrain’s future economic growth and better serving the Kingdom. Bolstered by increasing public support for the airline, rising sales, growing confidence and national pride in the carrier, Gulf Air, anticipates a positive outlook for the remainder of 2014 and into the future.
Copyright Photo: Yuji Wang/AirlinersGallery.com Gulf Air Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW A9C-MD (msn 19000373) departs from Istanbul.
Embraer S.A. has signed a firm order with JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) for a total of 15 E-Jets comprising the E170 and the E190 jets models, as well as for an additional twelve E-Jets family options.
All aircraft will be operated by Japan Airlines’ wholly owned subsidiary, J-Air (Osaka-Itami Airport). This order is added to the existing 15 Embraer E170s that the airline currently flies. New deliveries of E-Jets are scheduled from 2015.
J-Air currently operates 176 daily flights across its network of 21 cities that include Osaka-Itami, Sapporo, Sendai, Kagoshima, Miyazaki, and Fukuoka.
Copyright Photo: Akira Uekawa/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-100ST JA218J (msn 17000314) completes its final approach at Tokyo (Haneda) in the old 2002 livery.
AeroMexico (Mexico City) is resuming two routes from Monterrey on November 3; to both Torreon and Houston. The Monterrey-Houston route was last operated in January 2011 per Airline Route.
In other news, AeroMexico previously announced a fourth weekly flight between Merida and Miami effective on November 8. This new service will operate on Saturdays and, as the current three frequencies, will be operated with a 99-seat Embraer 190.
JetBlue Airways (New York) today announced new twice-daily nonstop service from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to Jacksonville, Florida (JAX). The new route will launch on December 18, 2014, the same day the airline also introduces new nonstop service from DCA to two other Florida destinations: Fort Myers (RSW) and West Palm Beach (PBI).
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N339JB (msn 19000490) arrives at Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA).
Routes from Washington (Reagan National):
Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (Indianapolis) reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2014. Key points include:
Republic’s pre-tax income from continuing operations for the second quarter of 2014 was $33.3 million, or $0.63 per diluted share, a 23.3% increase over the previous year. Republic’s income from continuing operations for the second quarter of 2014 was $20.1 million, or $0.38 per diluted share. This is a $4.0 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, increase from the previous year.
Republic’s pre-tax income from continuing operations for the six-month period was $56.1 million, or $1.06 per diluted share, a 21.2% increase over the previous year. Republic’s income from continuing operations for the six-month period was $34.1 million, or $0.65 per diluted share. This is a $6.6 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, increase from the same six-month period of the previous year.
On April 7, 2014, Republic’s Board of Directors authorized management to use up to $75.0 million of unrestricted cash to buy back common shares and/or early retire convertible debt during the following 12 months. Pursuant to the authorization, Republic redeemed a $22.3 million convertible note, leaving $52.7 million remaining on the share repurchase and convertible debt retirement authorization. The repayment of the convertible note reduced the Company’s dilutive share count by about 2.2 million shares for the quarter.
“I am pleased we were able to report improved second quarter financial results, as we remain focused on executing on our strategic plan to simplify and streamline our business,” said Republic’s CFO Timothy Dooley.
“Last Friday, Republic celebrated 40 years of commercial passenger service and our long-term success would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of my 6,500 co-workers. I would like to thank them for their diligence and commitment to our mission to provide safe, clean and reliable service to our airline partners and our guests on board,” said Republic’s Chairman, President and CEO Bryan Bedford.
Operating Revenue Highlights
Operating revenues increased $6.3 million, or 1.9%, from the second quarter of 2013 to $343.0 million in the second quarter of 2014. Fixed-fee service revenue increased $20.2 million, or 6.4%, to $337.1 million due to increased Q400 flying with United Airlines and increased E175 flying with American Airlines. Passenger service revenue decreased $13.8 million because of the removal of E190 aircraft operating under pro-rate agreement with Frontier Airlines.
Operating Expense Highlights
The increase in wages and benefits expenses of 8.6% or $7.3 million was primarily due to an increase in E175 operations, an increase in the cost of benefits we provide to our employees and new pilot flight and duty rest regulations (FAR 117).
Fuel expense for the second quarter of 2014 decreased $6.6 million, or 54.1%, to $5.6 million primarily due to a 57.6% decrease in gallons consumed related to the elimination of pro-rate flying for Frontier. Fuel expense is primarily attributable to our fixed-fee charter operations and is a pass-through to our partner.
Landing fees and airport rents decreased $7.8 million, or 54.2%, primarily due to United Airlines beginning to pay all landing fees in June 2013, coupled with the decrease in our small jet operations.
The increase in depreciation and amortization of 16.9%, or $6.1 million, was primarily related to the increase in the E175 fleet.
As of June 30, 2014, Republic operated a fleet of 237 aircraft. Through June, the Company has removed 23 ERJ aircraft from CPA service, and has taken delivery of 11 E175 aircraft and expects to take delivery of 13 E175 aircraft during the remainder of 2014. As of June 30, 2014, within its fixed-fee and charter agreements, the Company operated 45 aircraft with 44-50 seats and 192 aircraft with 69-99 seats.
Balance Sheet and Liquidity
The Company’s total cash balance decreased $14.2 million to $286.5 million as of June 30, 2014, compared to December 31, 2013. Restricted cash increased $0.8 million, to $24.8 million, from December 31, 2013, due to the escrow requirements under fixed-fee charter agreements. The Company’s unrestricted cash balance decreased $15.0 million, to $261.7 million, from December 31, 2013, due to the redemption of the $22.3 million convertible note on April 7, 2014. A consolidated balance sheet and summary cash flow statement have been included in the tables section of this release.
The Company’s debt increased to $2.27 billion as of June 30, 2014, compared to $2.17 billion at December 31, 2013, primarily related to the financing of 11 new E175 aircraft purchased for our American Airlines fixed-fee agreement. As of June 30, 2014, about 97% of the Company’s debt is at a fixed interest rate. The Company has significant long-term lease obligations for aircraft that are classified as operating leases and are not reflected as liabilities on the Company’s consolidated balance sheet. At a 6% discount factor, the present value of these lease obligations was about $0.53 billion and $0.59 billion as of June 30, 2014, and December 31, 2013, respectively.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. With the sale of subsidiary Frontier Airlines in September 2013, Republic no longer operates Embraer 190s for Frontier as pictured in the past. As a result, revenue dropped by $13.8 million because of the removal of the ERJ 190 aircraft operating under pro-rate agreement with Frontier Airlines. Republic currently operates five E190s for Caesars Entertainment for gambling charters. Now gone, Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N175HQ (msn 19000216) climbs away from Los Angeles International Airport in full Frontier colors.
Embraer has issued this statement about a new order from Tianjin Airlines (HNA Group) (Tianjin):
During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s State visit to Brazil, in a signing ceremony witnessed by the Presidents of both nations, Embraer S.A. concluded an agreement for the sale of 40 aircraft to China’s Tianjin Airlines, a subsidiary of the HNA Group. The contract, with an estimated value of $2.1 billion at list prices, is comprised of 20 E-Jets and 20 E-Jets E2, which also makes HNA Group and Tianjin Airlines the first Chinese airline to order the E-Jets E2 model.
The first current generation E-Jet will be delivered in 2015, and the first E-Jet E2 is scheduled for delivery in 2018. This order will be incorporated in Embraer’s backlog as soon as Embraer receives the initial payment from the customer.
The E-Jets E2 adopts state-of-the-art engines in combination with new aerodynamically advanced wings, full fly-by-wire flight controls and advancements in other systems, which will result in significant improvements in fuel burn, maintenance costs, emissions and external noise.
The first delivery of an E-Jet E2 is planned for the first semester of 2018.
The Embraer-Tianjin Airlines partnership is well established. Tianjin Airlines was the launch customer for the E190 in China and operates the largest E-Jets fleet in Asia with 50 E190s in its fleet. It is also the first carrier in China being appointed as an Authorized Service Center for Embraer aircraft in that country. Recently, the carrier announced to install Embraer AHEAD-PRO system for all its 50 E190s, becoming the first user of this system in China.
HNA Group Tianjin Airlines was launched as the first true regional airline in China in 2009. In 2010, the carrier changed its focus from purely regional operations to a combination of mainline and regional services. Its aim is to become a medium to large-size international airline as it pursues a new “regional aviation and global operations” strategy. In 2011, Tianjin Airlines received the “Best Regional Aviation Airline in China” and “Global Four-star Airlines” awards from Skytrax for its outstanding achievement. Today, the carrier operates a fleet of over 80 jets that serves some 90 domestic and international cities and carries over 8 million travelers.
Copyright Photo: Tomas Asensio Lopez/AirlinersGallery.com. Tianjin Airlines’ Embraer ERJ 190-100LR B-3152 (msn 19000274) is pictured on its delivery flight at Las Palmas.
Tianjin Airlines Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Royal Air Maroc (RAM) (Casablanca), the national carrier of Morocco, has selected the Embraer 190 as part of a fleet upgrade to open new routes and to increase the number of short and medium-haul frequencies from its Casablanca International Airport hub in Morocco. The airline has signed a lease agreement for four E-Jets with Aldus Aviation, the Irish specialist E-Jet lessor. The first leased E190 is expected to be delivered during the second quarter of 2014.
Royal Air Maroc’s E190s will be configured with 96 seats, 12 business class seats and 84 economy class seats, in a dual class layout and will be deployed on European and West African routes from the national carrier’s base of Mohammed V International Airport, Casablanca, Morocco.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW PH-DNA (msn 19000372) taxies at Zurich.
Borajet Airlines (Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen) has ratified an agreement to acquire four Embraer 190s as part of an initiative to gradually upgrade its turboprop fleet, add capacity and frequencies, and grow its network. The airline is acquiring the 100-seat, single-class E190s through a third party lease agreement. The first E190 revenue flight is slated to begin later this month.
The first E190 for Borajet landed at Sabiha Gökçen Airport on June 29, 2014.
Borajet was established in 2008 with three ATR 72-500s.
Copyright Photo: Matt Varley/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100LR EI-FCN (msn 19000263) poses at Norwich before its delivery flight.
In other news, British Airways customers will have access to new destinations and scores more routes when the airline adds its flight code to more than 170 Vueling Airlines (Barcelona) services.
According to the airline, “This significant move for the two International Airlines Group (IAG) airlines heralds the beginning of a closer relationship with more codeshare routes planned for the future.”
British Airways customers will be able to book Vueling flights through all BA sales channels, including ba.com, and collect Avios on these bookings. The codeshare routes are largely centred on Vueling’s operation in Italy with 37 international and 11 domestic routes available from Vueling’s Rome Fiumicino base. These include the destinations, new to BA customers, of Brindisi, Palermo, Lamezia, Valencia, Split and Nantes. Other new routes on offer through the codeshare include Heathrow to Bilbao and La Coruña, Cardiff to Malaga and Alicante, and Edinburgh to Barcelona. Tickets for the codeshare routes go on sale from June 17 for travel from June 24, 2014.
Finally, British Airways has unveiled newly-designed seats and cabin interiors for its short-haul aircraft flying across its European and domestic networks from Heathrow and Gatwick.
Fitting-out work begins this week on the first of the 95 Airbus short-haul aircraft, installing elegant new designs that take inspiration from the airline’s most recent fleet entrants, the A380 and Boeing 787.
According to the airline, “The elegant charcoal grey leather seats are slimmer and ergonomically designed to enable the addition of extra seats in the Euro Traveller (economy) cabin to allow more low fares.
Innovative design maximizes personal space and comfort, with chair backs devised to provide more knee space for the customer behind. Customers can also make use of an eye-level seatback tablet-holder, which can also provide storage for magazines. A four way moveable headrest provides comfort and support. And the seat back table moves in and out to provide optimum positioning.
The new Club Europe, featuring a silver British Airways speedmarque on the front wall, will maintain its 2:2 configuration with the middle seat free. The seats will be bridged with a stylish new ‘central console’ table, providing Club customers with improved functional space. This table provides inlaid leather mats for drinks, snacks and personal devices, freeing up the main table for work or a meal.
Contemporary LED lighting systems, inspired by the airline’s newest long-haul cabins, will include blue tones for boarding, a relaxing candlelit mood for dining and a restful gentle white for cruising and landing.
As part of its investment in short-haul for Club Europe customers, British Airways has also recently invested in significant re-designs of its domestic lounges in Belfast, Glasgow and Edinburgh.”
The new cabin is a testament to British design. The new seats are manufactured by B/E Aerospace in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland, the leather for the seat covers and pads on the ‘central console’ is supplied by Andrew Muirhead & Son Ltd in Glasgow and the decorative stitching on the Club Europe seats has been developed by Prototrim, a car seat design and dressing specialist based in Milton Keynes.
The new interiors, to be fitted across the Airbus fleet over the next 12 months, are the most dramatic of a series of changes to the airline’s short-haul flights. It has already introduced a range of new fare options including hand-baggage only, semi-flex and day returns, which are proving enormously popular with customers. Following the success of day return fares from London, the company will today start rolling out day return fares for European travellers coming to London.
The new cabins will also deliver significant environmental benefits, saving an estimated five per cent in CO2 per passenger/km, contributing toward the airline’s target of reducing net carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2050.
To enhance its short-haul services British Airways is in discussions with Inmarsat about leading Europe in a new era of broadband in the air. Starting with UK domestic routes they intend to roll-out Europe’s first ground-based 4G broadband network giving customers the internet access they expect on the ground while in the air.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100SR G-LCYN (msn 19000392) of BA CityFlyer with the special “7,000 Embraer” sticker taxies at Zurich.
JetBlue Airways (New York) today (June 26) launches seasonal service to Barnstable Municipal Airport in Hyannis, Massachusetts. The Capital of the Cape is the airline’s 86th destination and is JetBlue’s 64th nonstop route from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. JetBlue will be the only airline connecting New York City with Cape Cod, one of the country’s most popular summer destinations, offering seasonal service with one daily flight between June 26 and September 9, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N178JB (msn 19000004) arrives at the New York (JFK) hub.
Finnair (Helsinki) is expanding eastward into Russia this summer with three new routes to Kazan (August 18), Nizhniy Novgorod (July 25) and Samara (August 7). The new routes will be operates three days a week with Embraer 190s by Flybe Finland.
The airline issued this statement:
This summer we’ll start operating direct scheduled flights to Nizhny Novgorod, Samara and Kazan in Russia.
Flights to Nizhny Novgorod (airport code GOJ) begins on July 25, while flights to Samara (KUF) start on August 7 and to Kazan (KZN) on August 18. The flights will be operated by Flybe Finland three times a week with Embraer E190 aircraft.
On June 2, Finnair celebrated 90 years of the first flight between Helsinki and Stockholm. Finnair, former Aero OY, operated the flight on June 2, 1924. The flight was an adventure and the two and a half hour trip took in total 21 hours. Today, after 90 years of the first service, Finnair has up to 8 daily flights between Helsinki and Stockholm. The poster is from 1925 (see below).
Top Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100LR OH-LKP (msn 19000416) taxies at Sockholm (Arlanda).
1925 Poster (Finnair):
JetBlue and Singapore Airlines have been interline partners since 2011. The expanded partnership would provide customers seamless connections between the two airlines, combining flights on both carriers and easily facilitating one-stop ticketing and baggage check-in. Flights will become available for sale pending regulatory approval.
Under the proposed codeshare, JetBlue customers would have access to five new cities in Europe and Asia, while Singapore Airlines customers would have access to 16 destinations in the U.S.
Under the proposed agreement, JetBlue would put its ‘B6′ code on Singapore Airlines’ flights to/from the U.S. including:
Los Angeles (LAX) – Tokyo (NRT) – Singapore (SIN)
New York (JFK) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Singapore (SIN)
San Francisco (SFO) – Hong Kong (HKG) – Singapore (SIN)
San Francisco (SFO) – Seoul (ICN) – Singapore (SIN)
In turn, Singapore Airlines would add its ‘SQ’ designator code on JetBlue-operated flights beyond its U.S. gateway at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to 16 key destinations:
Buffalo, New Yorkk
Charlotte, North Carolina
Chicago, Illinois (O’Hare)
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Florida
New Orleans, Louisiana
Rochester, New York
Syracuse, New York
Washington D.C. (Dulles)
West Palm Beach, Florida
Top Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. JetBlue Airways’ Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N373JB (msn 19000624) in the Barcode tail design lands at Baltimore/Washington.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380-841 9V-SKF (msn 012) taxies from the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.
JetBlue Airways (New York) following on the heels of Silver Airways announcement of frequent Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood-Jacksonville turboprop service, has also announced twice-daily nonstop jet service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Jacksonville International Airport (JAX). Service will launch on October 29, 2014, along with previously announced new nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and Cartagena, Colombia (CTG); Las Vegas, Nev. (LAS) and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (PIT).
JetBlue’s presence in Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood is growing rapidly. The airline has committed to expand this South Florida BlueCity to 100 daily departures by 2017. With the addition of Cartagena, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, and Pittsburgh, JetBlue will offer up to 80 daily departures and 33 nonstop destinations from South Florida.
JetBlue’s schedule between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood (FLL) and Jacksonville (JAX):
FLL to JAX: JAX to FLL:
Depart – Arrive Depart – Arrive
7:00 a.m. – 8:14 a.m. 8:00 a.m. – 9:14 a.m.
6:55 p.m. – 8:09 p.m. 6:45 p.m. – 7:59 p.m.
JetBlue’s flights between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and Jacksonville will be operated with its full-size 100-seat Embraer 190 jet aircraft.
Southwest Airlines is dropping the route on November 1 sparking these two announcements.
Can Silver Airways’ SAAB 340B turboprops compete against JetBlue Airways Embraer 190 jets? Someone will blink on this route as the daily traffic cannot support this large number of new seats.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N228JB (msn 19000030) in the Harlequin tail design prepares to touch down on runway 9L at First Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Montenegro Airlines (Podgorica) on May 16 added its first Embraer ERJ 190-100LR (4O-AOD, msn 19000665) (above) joining the three larger Embraer ERJ 195s (ERJ 190-200LRs). Montenegro is gradually phasing out its Fokker 100s with the new Embraers.
The airline commented on the arrival at the Podgorica base in Montenegro:
Podgorica – At exactly 40 minutes past one o’clock p.m. on May 18, an Embraer 190, anew plane in the Montenegro Airlines fleet, landed at the airport in Podgorica. This is the 4th aircraft of the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer in the fleet of the national carrier, and the first of the type of Embraer 190. By acquiring this plane, the national carrier has formed an impressive fleet, the youngest in the region.
Živko Banjević, Acting CEO, expressing his contentment over the arrival of aircraft, said he was proud that one of the most modern passenger planes of present-day was introduced in the national carrier’s fleet.
Copyright Photos: Montenegro Airlines.
Current Route Map:
Air Canada reports first quarter earnings of $147 million, the first Boeing 787-8 to be handed over on May 18
Air Canada (Montreal) today (May 15) issued its financial results for the first quarter. The company issued this statement (all amounts in Canadian dollars):
Air Canada today reported first quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and impairment, and aircraft rent (EBITDAR (1)) of $147 million compared to EBITDAR of $145 million in the first quarter of 2013. Air Canada’s EBITDAR of $147 million was consistent with the EBITDAR projection provided in the airline’s news release dated April 3, 2014 which forecasted EBITDAR in the first quarter of 2014 to be in line with last year’s level. An operating loss of $62 million in the first quarter of 2014 reflected a $44 million improvement from the same quarter in 2013. On a GAAP basis, in the first quarter of 2014, Air Canada reported a net loss of $341 million or $1.20 per diluted share compared to a net loss of $260 million or $0.95 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2013. The net loss in the first quarter of 2014 included foreign exchange losses of $161 million versus foreign exchange losses of $40 million in the first quarter of 2013. On an adjusted basis(1), the airline reported a net loss of $132 million or $0.46 per diluted share compared to a net loss of $143 million or $0.52 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2013, an improvement of $11 million or $0.06 per diluted share.
“I am pleased to report that despite the challenges of several extreme weather events and the impact of a much lower Canadian dollar in the first quarter, we delivered improved EBITDAR and adjusted results over the previous year,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer. During this somewhat difficult quarter, we continued to make good progress on our cost transformation initiatives with adjusted CASM decreasing by 2.5 per cent and, nonetheless, achieved a solid revenue performance. Based on forward bookings, we expect a strong summer travel season ahead.
“As we enter a new phase of network growth and capital investment in our fleet and product, the successful completion of our unsecured notes offering in April was another important milestone for Air Canada. I was especially pleased with the offering’s reception. The capital markets demonstrated their confidence in our future by supporting our debt on an unsecured basis on very competitive terms, recognizing, among other things, our improved leverage ratios, credit ratings and profitability, as well as the elimination of our pension deficit.
“We have many exciting developments coming up with respect to our fleet and we are now starting to reap the benefits of our significant capital investment program. We look forward to the delivery flight of our first of 37 Boeing 787 Dreamliners on May 18, a very important step in Air Canada’s fleet renewal that will provide further cost improvements and opportunities to develop international markets on a more competitive basis.
“Moreover, in order to improve the economics of our standard Boeing 777 long-haul fleet and to provide customers with a consistent product to our new Boeing 787 Dreamliners, we are planning on converting 12 Boeing 777-300 ER and six Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft into a more competitive configuration, adding a much desired premium economy cabin and refurbishing the International Business Class cabin to the new Boeing 787 state-of-the-art standards. The reconfiguration is designed to both lower unit costs and to allow us to compete more effectively with a harmonized product offering across our flagship international fleet. The reconfiguration project is planned to start in late 2015 and be completed in the second half of 2016.
“I would like to thank our employees for their ongoing focus on taking care of customers and transporting them safely to their destination, especially during the very challenging weather conditions we experienced in the first quarter.”
First Quarter Income Statement Highlights
System passenger revenues amounted to $2,608 million, an increase of $81 million or 3.2 per cent from the first quarter of 2013, on a 2.9 per cent growth in traffic and a 0.4 per cent improvement in yield. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) decreased 0.5 per cent from the same quarter in 2013 on a 0.7 percentage point decline in passenger load factor which was partly offset by the yield improvement. In the first quarter of 2014, system premium cabin revenues increased $37 million or 7.0 per cent on yield and traffic growth of 4.5 per cent and 2.4 per cent, respectively.
Operating expenses amounted to $3,127 million, an increase of $69 million or 2 per cent from the first quarter of 2013 on a 3.8 per cent increase in capacity. The unfavourable impact of a weaker Canadian dollar on foreign currency denominated operating expenses (mainly U.S. dollars), when compared to same quarter in 2013, increased operating expenses by $130 million. This currency impact was partially offset by a favourable currency impact on passenger revenues of $38 million, realized currency derivative gains of $23 million and lower fuel prices (in U.S. dollars).
Air Canada’s adjusted cost per available seat mile (adjusted CASM(1)), which excludes fuel expense, the cost of ground packages at Air Canada Vacations and unusual items, decreased 2.5 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2013. The 2.5 per cent reduction in adjusted CASM was in line with the adjusted CASM decrease of 2.0 to 2.5 per cent projected in Air Canada’s news release dated April 3, 2014.
In the first quarter of 2014, Air Canada recorded an operating loss of $62 million compared to an operating loss of $106 million in the first quarter of 2013, an improvement of $44 million.
Financial and Capital Management Highlights
At March 31, 2014, unrestricted liquidity (cash, short-term investments and undrawn lines of credit) amounted to $2,515 million (March 31, 2013 – $2,092 million). Air Canada’s principal objective in managing liquidity risk is to maintain a minimum unrestricted liquidity level of $1.7 billion.
At March 31, 2014, adjusted net debt(1) amounted to $4,426 million, an increase of $75 million from December 31, 2013. The increase in adjusted net debt was driven by net borrowings of $116 million and an unfavourable currency impact of $155 million, partly offset by higher cash balances of $182 million. The airline’s adjusted net debt to EBITDAR ratio was 3.1 at March 31, 2014 versus a ratio 3.0 at December 31, 2013. Air Canada uses this ratio to manage its financial leverage risk and its objective is to maintain the ratio below 3.5.
Free cash flow(1) of $34 million declined $113 million from the same quarter in 2013. While operating cash flows improved year-over year, free cash flow was impacted by the addition of the fifth and final Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft delivered in February 2014.
For the 12 months ended March 31, 2014, return on invested capital (ROIC (1)) was 10.7 per cent versus 8.0 per cent at March 31, 2013. Air Canada’s goal is to achieve a sustainable ROIC of 10 to 13 per cent by 2015.
For the second quarter of 2014, Air Canada expects its system ASM capacity, as measured by available seat miles (ASMs), to increase in the range of 7.5 to 8.5 per cent when compared to the second quarter of 2013.
Air Canada continues to expect its full year 2014 system ASM capacity to increase in the range of 6.5 to 8.0 per cent and its full year domestic ASM capacity to increase in the range of 3.0 to 4.0 per cent when compared to 2013. The domestic capacity growth will be primarily on transcontinental services. The projected system capacity increase will be achieved at a unit cost which is below historical levels.
For the second quarter of 2014, Air Canada expects adjusted CASM to decrease in the range of 3.5 to 4.5 per cent when compared to the second quarter of 2013.
For the full year 2014, Air Canada now expects adjusted CASM to decrease in the range of 3.0 to 4.0 per cent from the full year 2013 (as opposed to the 2.5 to 3.5 per cent decrease projected in Air Canada’s news release dated April 3, 2014). This expected improvement is largely due to lower aircraft maintenance and depreciation, amortization and impairment expenses than previously projected.
Air Canada is taking tangible steps to improve its earnings through the execution of strategic initiatives designed to lower its overall cost structure and increase its competitiveness. These include:
The growth of Air Canada rouge to enhance margins in leisure markets and to pursue opportunities in international leisure markets made viable by Air Canada rouge’s lower cost structure.
The introduction five new high-density Boeing 777 aircraft configured for high volume, leisure-oriented international routes.
The introduction of Boeing 787 aircraft to operate existing Boeing 767 routes in a more efficient manner and to pursue international growth opportunities made viable by this aircraft’s lower operating costs.
Other ongoing cost reduction initiatives which are expected to deliver cost savings in excess of $100 million per annum within the next five years. Had these initiatives been implemented today with all other cost drivers remaining at 2012 levels, Air Canada would expect to achieve a 15 per cent reduction in CASM within the next five years. Also assuming the value of the Canadian dollar and fuel prices were at 2012 levels, the projected CASM reduction for 2014 would be 5 to 6 per cent.
With respect to Air Canada’s narrow-body fleet, as part of its December 2013 Boeing 737 MAX order for 61 firm aircraft, 18 options and certain rights to purchase an additional 30 aircraft, Boeing agreed to purchase 20 Embraer 190 aircraft. These 20 Embraer 190 aircraft are planned to exit the fleet in the second half of 2015 when they will be initially replaced with 10 larger narrow-body leased aircraft. The replacement of these Embraer 190 aircraft with larger narrow-body aircraft will further reduce CASM. Ultimately, the 10 larger narrow-body leased aircraft will be replaced by Boeing 737 MAX aircraft which will also further lower CASM. With respect to the remaining 25 Embraer 190 aircraft in the airline’s fleet, after careful consideration, Air Canada has decided to continue to operate the aircraft given their young age, productivity and high customer acceptance on existing routes and to avoid additional capital expenditures and debt.
Air Canada’s outlook assumes Canadian GDP growth of 2.0 to 3.0 per cent for 2014. Air Canada also expects that the Canadian dollar will trade, on average, at C$1.10 per U.S. dollar in the second quarter of 2014 and for the full year 2014 and that the price of jet fuel will average 91 cents per litre for the second quarter of 2014 and 92 cents per litre for the full year 2014.
(1) Adjusted net income (loss) and adjusted net income (loss) per share – diluted are non-GAAP financial measures. Refer to section 15 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(2) EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, impairment and aircraft rent) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 15 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(3) Unrestricted liquidity refers to the sum of cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and the amount of available credit under Air Canada’s revolving credit facilities. At March 31, 2014, unrestricted liquidity was comprised of cash and short-term investments of $2,390 million and undrawn lines of credit of $125 million. At March 31, 2013, unrestricted liquidity was comprised of cash and short-term investments of $2,056 million and undrawn lines of credit of $36 million.
(4) Free cash flow (cash flows from operating activities less additions to property, equipment and intangible assets) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 6.5 of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(5) Adjusted net debt (total debt less cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments plus capitalized operating leases) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 6.3 of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(6) Return on invested capital (“ROIC”) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 15 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information
(7) Operating statistics (except for average number of FTE employees) include third party carriers (such as Jazz Aviation LP (“Jazz”) and Sky Regional Airlines Inc. (“Sky Regional”) operating under capacity purchase agreements with Air Canada.
(8) Adjusted CASM is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 15 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(9) Reflects FTE employees at Air Canada. Excludes FTE employees at third party carriers (such as Jazz and Sky Regional) operating under capacity purchase agreements with Air Canada.
(10) Includes fuel handling expenses. Economic fuel price per litre is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 4 “Results of Operations” of Air Canada’s First Quarter 2014 MD&A for additional information.
(11) Revenue passengers are counted on a flight number basis which is consistent with the IATA definition of revenue passengers carried.
In other news, Air Canada will add summer seasonal nonstop service on Mondays and Saturdays from July 5 to September 1, 2014, between Ottawa and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Florida.
Top Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. The first Air Canada Boeing 787-8, the pictured C-GHPQ (msn 35257), will join the fleet on May 18.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Canada will keep the remaining 25 Embraer 190 aircraft for now, striking a blow to Bombardier and its CSeries aircraft. Air Canada has decided to “continue to operate the aircraft given their young age, productivity and high customer acceptance on existing routes and to avoid additional capital expenditures and debt”. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW C-FHNX (msn 19000083) approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Turkish Airlines is now placing its “TK” code unilaterally on select JetBlue-operated flights to/from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Boston Logan International Airport. Flights are available for sale through travel agencies and Turkish Airlines reservations for travel beginning today.
The JetBlue-Turkish Airlines codeshare allows customers to purchase tickets combining flights on both carriers and enjoy one-stop ticketing and baggage check-in on their day of departure.
Turkish Airlines offers up to three daily flights between New York and its hub at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, and today inaugurates the first-ever nonstop service between Istanbul and Boston. At Boston Logan International Airport, JetBlue offers more flights to more destinations than any other airline.
Via Istanbul, Turkish Airlines offers onward connections to destinations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Far East. Turkish Airlines offers one of the most expansive route networks in the world, currently spanning 247 destinations in 106 countries.
Through JetBlue, international travelers will have access to 24 key U.S. destinations including Baltimore, Maryland; Buffalo, New York; Detroit, Michigan; Jacksonville, Florida; Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Florida; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina; Rochester, New York; and Tampa, Florida.
Initial codeshare destinations via Boston and/or New York:
Buffalo, New York
Charleston, South Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Long Beach/Los Angeles, California
Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina
Rochester, New York
Salt Lake City, Utah
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Syracuse, New York
West Palm Beach, Florida
Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. JetBlue’s Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N267JB (msn 19000065) banks on the final approach at Washington’s Reagan National Airport.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Turkish Airlines’ Boeing 777-35R ER TC-JJC (msn 35164) departs from New York’s JFK International Airport in the special Manchester United livery.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) today (April 29) announced the latest Embraer 190 delivery tomorrow (April 30) to subsidiary KLM Cityhopper (Amsterdam) and a minor tweaking of the livery for the regional carrier. KLM issued this statement:
KLM Cityhopper, subsidiary of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, will take delivery of a new Embraer 190 (PH-EXD) at Schiphol Airport tomorrow (April 30). This, the latest in a series of six new aircraft, will proudly display the newly modified KLM livery. With more than 28 Embraers, KLM Cityhopper has the largest Embraer 190 fleet in Europe.
Most modern aircraft types have similar shaped noses and contours. A few adjustments to the current KLM livery has transformed the appearance of the latest Embraer 190 into a contemporary, streamlined, balanced aircraft. The modified livery will be phased in for the other Embraers. The Fokker 70s are also to be modified in this livery, followed by the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which KLM expects to take delivery of at the end of 2015.
The first Embraer 190 joined KLM at the beginning of 2008 at the airline’s subsidiary KLM Cityhopper. This aircraft type seats 100 passengers and is highly fuel efficient. The two-seat configuration and leather upholstery also make the Embraer 190 extremely comfortable. The Embraer 190 has a two-class configuration and operates on 35 of KLM Cityhopper’s 53 European routes. The Fokker 70 is deployed for the remaining 18 destinations.
The latest Embraer 190 is part of KLM’s ongoing fleet-renewal program. The replacement of seven Fokker 70s with six new Embraers brings the total fleet in 2014 to 28 Embraer 190 and 19 Fokker 70 aircraft.
Image: KLM. The new version is at the bottom.
JetBlue Airways Corporation (New York) today issued the following statement from CEO Dave Barger responding to the unionization vote among JetBlue’s 2,529 pilots, in which a majority of JetBlue pilots who cast a vote elected ALPA as their representative.
The National Mediation Board will authorize ALPA as the representative body for JetBlue pilots, and then both JetBlue and ALPA will organize negotiating committees.
Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N318JB (msn 19000364) prepares to land at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT).
Finnair (Helsinki) has received approval to ease rules on electronic devices and issued this statement:
The approval came from the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi).
Passengers may still be asked to switch off their devices if the visibility conditions are low during landing. Laptop computers are not considered handheld devices, and must always be switched off and stored properly during take-off and landing.
“Since the European Aviation Safety Agency recently eased its regulations concerning the operation of portable electronic devices, we have sought to apply these regulations to policies on board Finnair flights. Now with the necessary approvals in place, we are able to do so,” says Antti Aukia, Finnair’s VP Safety and Quality Management.
Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100LR OH-LKP (msn 19000416) approaches the runway at Zurich.
Republic Airways Holdings‘ (Indianapolis) over 2,200 pilots of subsidiaries Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines (2nd) and Shuttle America have rejected by a 85-15 percent vote the tentative agreement with management.
According to ALPA, “While their Tentative Agreement contained some substantial contract improvements, including pay increases, it did not meet their pilots’ demands. After 7 years of negotiations, the pilots clearly felt that they deserved pay and benefits commensurate with their positions as professional air line pilots and the value they bring to the company. Also of note is that the negotiated TA only touched four areas of the contract and did not address many areas of pilot interest.”
In addition, Teamsters Local 357 Executive Board issued this statement to the pilots: “In rejecting the TA, the pilot group has stated clearly its demand that Republic must do better in establishing acceptable terms for a new agreement. The Company cannot ignore the pilots’ demands without risking the continued deterioration of its operation which drove it back to the bargaining table last year.”
In return, the company, Republic Airways Holdings issued this statement:
Republic Airways Holdings announced on April 4 that members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 357 failed to ratify a proposed four-year pilot labor agreement.
IBT Local 357 represents more than 2,200 pilots for Republic’s sister companies Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America.
“We are extremely disappointed that the union’s membership failed to ratify the tentative agreement that was reached in mid-February. At a time when other regional airlines have been negotiating concessionary agreements for their pilots, we were able to reach an industry-leading contract that significantly improved pay and work rules for our pilots to vote upon,” said Republic Airways Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Wayne Heller. “Despite the outcome of this vote, Republic remains committed to providing the safest, most reliable flight service for our legacy airline partners.”
The proposed contract included increases in pay that would have placed Republic pilots at or near the top of its regional airline peers. It also included improvements in quality of life enhancements and more flexibility in scheduling, as well as a significant signing bonus if it had been ratified.
Republic Airways Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Bryan Bedford said, “I am disappointed with the results of the IBT Pilot vote as I believe that the Tentative Agreement we reached with the IBT was in the best interest of our Pilots and an important step forward for our Company. We will work with the IBT to determine our next steps.”
Republic Airways Holdings, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America, collectively “the airlines.” The airlines operate a combined fleet of about 250 aircraft and offer scheduled passenger service on over 1,350 flights daily to about 110 cities in the U.S., Canada and the Bahamas through fixed-fee flights operated under our major airline partner brands, including American Eagle, Delta Connection, United Express, and US Airways Express. The airlines currently employ about 6,300 aviation professionals.
As a result, Republic has delayed a decision on its order for 40 Bombardier CSeries aircraft. The order is not cancelled but it is pending according to Bedford after this vote.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly operated in Frontier Airlines colors, Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N163HQ (msn 19000255) is now painted in the Republic Airways house colors and operated by Republic Airlines (2nd).
The combined route map of Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines (2nd) and Shuttle America:
Air Moldova (Chisinau) has announced the launch of a new route between Chisinau and Barcelona starting on June 3, 2014.
The twice-weekly flight will be operated on Embraer 190 aircraft.
In other news, despite the tension in neighboring Ukraine, all flights to Russia are operating normally.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100LR ER-ECB (msn 19000325) exits the runway at Antalya, Turkey.
JetBlue Airways (New York) has announced Hyannis, Massachusetts as the 86th BlueCity. Hyannis/Cape Cod marks JetBlue’s 64th nonstop route from New York (JFK), where the airline will offer seasonal service with one daily flight between June 26 and September 9, 2014.
Hyannis, referred by many as the “Capital of the Cape,” is the largest of the seven villages in the city of Barnstable, Massachusetts, and the commercial and transportation hub of Cape Cod.
JetBlue’s new route will follow the schedule below:
Depart: 11:59 a.m. / Arrive 1:05 p.m.
Depart: 1:45 p.m. / 2:53 p.m.
In other news, JetBlue has announced an agreement to sell LiveTV to the Thales Group.
According to the carrier, “the relationship with LiveTV is not going away. Rather, this important customer relationship is expanding. JetBlue will continue to benefit from having access to current and future LiveTV IFE and connectivity products. Specifically, with the sale of LiveTV, we entered into two long-term agreements with LiveTV to continue and enhance both Fly-Fi connectivity and the IFE experience for Customers.”
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N249JB (msn 19000045) in the Dots tail design arrives at the JFK hub.
JetBlue Airways (New York) yesterday (March 10) added Detroit, Michigan to its route map from Boston. The airline issued this report on its Blue Tales blog:
JetBlue launched Detroit as its 85 BlueCity and our 51 nonstop destination from Boston. JetBlue is entering the market with three daily Embraer 190 flights between BOS and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW).
We’re really excited to give the business communities within the two cities a new comfortable (and affordable!) option for travel. And with one of the largest Arab American communities in our country the greater Detroit area we know our code-share with Emirates will be of great interest to many as Emirates also began their nonstop BOS – Dubai (DXB) flights today.
Here are some photos from our inaugural flight:
All photos by JetBlue Airways.
JetBlue Airways (New York) today announced details of its upcoming expansion at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) with new low-fare service to three destinations beginning June 19, 2014: Charleston, South Carolina; Hartford, Connecticut; and Nassau, Bahamas (subject to receipt of government operating authority).
JetBlue plans to offer twice-daily service to both Charleston and Hartford/Springfield, as well as once-daily year-round service to Nassau. In addition to these three new destinations from Washington, JetBlue will boost its existing service to Tampa, Florida, with a second daily flight effective July 2, 2014.
Together, these six new daily departures represent half the new flights JetBlue has earned the right to operate by acquiring slots as a result of the recent American Airlines-US Airways divestiture proceedings. More details of JetBlue’s DCA expansion, which will bring the airline’s daily departure count to 30, will be announced later this year.
This summer JetBlue will offer customers 24 daily roundtrip flights from DCA to eight cities: Boston, Charleston, Hartford/Springfield, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Nassau, Orlando, and Tampa, as well as the only nonstop service to San Juan, Puerto Rico from Washington’s popular downtown airport.
JetBlue’s three newest Reagan National destinations will be served with 100-seat Embraer ERJ 190 jets, featuring spacious two-by-two seating, the most legroom in coach (c), seatback entertainment including 36 channels of free DIRECTV® programming and more than 100 channels of free SiriusXM® satellite radio (d), unlimited free snacks and soft drinks, and JetBlue’s acclaimed in-flight customer service. With JetBlue, customers can also enjoy a first checked bag free of charge (e).
Schedules for JetBlue’s New Reagan National Destinations
|DCA – CHS||CHS – DCA|
|12:20 p.m. – 01:53 p.m.||07:25 a.m. – 08:52 a.m.|
|06:30 p.m. – 08:06 p.m.||02:35 p.m. – 04:04 p.m.|
|Saturday schedule varies slightly|
|DCA – BDL||BDL – DCA|
|09:25 a.m. – 10:46 a.m.||06:35 a.m. – 07:59 a.m.|
|07:25 p.m. – 08:50 p.m.||06:30 p.m. – 07:54 p.m.|
|DCA – NAS||NAS – DCA|
|09:55 a.m. – 12:29 p.m.||01:55 – 04:30 p.m.|
|Saturday schedule varies slightly. *Subject to receipt of government operating authority|
In addition to its presence at Reagan National, JetBlue also serves the National Capital Region with daily flights from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N258JB (msn 19000047) in the Windowpane tail design arrives at Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA).
Virgin Australia Airlines (Brisbane) meanwhile posted a half year loss of A$83.7 million ($75 million US). The carrier blamed the loss on too much capacity.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Meanwhile Virgin Australia has responded back to QANTAS, claiming the airline is flooding the market so that both carriers lose money. Read the response and video from the Sydney Morning Herald: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Micheil Keegan/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW VH-ZPR (msn 19000424) arrives in Perth in Western Australia.
Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) (Kiev) has decreased the number of flights operated each week from 343 to 305 due to the on-going political crisis in the Ukraine. The country is split along east (pro Russian) and west (pro European Union) areas of the country and whether it wants the country to be aligned with the European Union or the Russian Federation (the Ukraine was once part of the old Soviet Union). The two groups have been clashing in often violent rallies in various parts of the country. Now Russian President Vladimir Putin has put its armed forces in western Russia “on alert” according to the The Telegraph (so much for the recent “Olympic Spirit”). Despite this background of violence and tension, Ukraine International Airlines is planning to expand operations on April 1.
Read the full story from The Telegraph: CLICK HERE
The airline issued this statement:
As a result of social and political crisis in Ukraine the travel activity to/from Ukraine has leveled off.
Decline in demand for business and tourist trips affected advanced ticket reservations to Ukraine in February and March. This fact forces the airline to optimize flight program by decreasing frequency on certain routes within the period of February 24 –through March 29, 2014. Thus, the number of UIA-coded services is decreased from 343 to 305 scheduled flights per week. Due to well-developed partner network, UIA clients are offered alternative routes both on UIA-coded and partner airlines` flights.
As soon as the demand for air transportation is back to normal, UIA will increase the flight frequency quickly and efficiently to regenerate the previously scheduled traffic performance.
Starting on April 1, 2014, UIA plans to increase frequencies, offer new routes, and operate seasonal flights. Ticket sales for UIA new routes: Kiev – Chisinau, Kiev – Minsk, Kiev – Dushanbe, Kiev – New York, as well as additional flights to London, Barcelona and summer seasonal flights to Nice are already open.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100LR UE-EME (msn 19000614) of Ukraine International Airlines arrives in Geneva.
JetBlue Airways to acquire 12 slot pairs at Washington Reagan National Airport, reports fourth quarter and 2013 financial results
JetBlue Airways (New York) has been informed that its bid for 12 slot pairs at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) has been provisionally accepted. These assets became available as a result of divestitures mandated by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in the American Airlines-US Airways merger.
Once approved by DOJ, JetBlue expects to add 12 new roundtrip flights at Washington’s popular, close-in airport. The airline plans to introduce nonstop service to cities it does not currently serve from DCA, expanding the benefits of its award-winning service to more communities, as well as add more flights on some existing routes.
JetBlue first entered the Reagan National market in 2010 and today offers 18 daily roundtrip flights to Boston, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Orlando, Tampa, as well as the airport’s only nonstop service to San Juan, Puerto Rico. With its new slots, JetBlue will operate up to 30 roundtrips per day at DCA.
On the financial side, JetBlue Airway Corporation issued its financial report for the fourth quarter and the entire year of 2013:
JetBlue Airways Corporation reported its results for the fourth quarter and full year 2013:
- Operating income of $115 million in the fourth quarter. This compares to operating income of $44 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. For the full year 2013, JetBlue reported operating income of $428 million. This compares to operating income of $376 million for the full year 2012.
- Pre-tax income of $77 million in the fourth quarter. This compares to pre-tax income of $1 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. For the full year 2013, JetBlue reported pre-tax income of $279 million. This compares to a pre-tax income of $209 million for the full year 2012.
- Net income for the fourth quarter was $47 million, or $0.14 per diluted share. This compares to JetBlue’s fourth quarter 2012 net income of $1 million, or $0.00 per diluted share. For the full year 2013, JetBlue reported net income of $168 million, or $0.52per diluted share. This compares to net income of $128 million, or $0.40 per diluted share for the full year 2012.
JetBlue reported record fourth quarter operating revenues of $1.4 billion. Revenue passenger miles for the fourth quarter increased 7.1% to 8.7 billion on a capacity increase of 8.3%, resulting in a fourth quarter load factor of 80.9%, a decrease of 1.0 point year over year.
Yield per passenger mile in the fourth quarter was 14.35 cents, up 6.5% compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for the fourth quarter 2013 increased 5.3% year over year to 11.62 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 5.6% year over year to 12.77 cents.
Operating expenses for the quarter increased 8.7%, or $100 million, over the prior year period. Interest expense for the quarter declined 8.4%, or $5 million as a result of JetBlue’s debt reduction strategy. JetBlue’s operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for the fourth quarter increased 0.4% year over year to 11.70 cents. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM increased 0.6% to 7.30 cents.
Over the course of 2013, JetBlue improved its return on invested capital (ROIC) to 5.3%. “We remain committed to improving ROIC by one percentage point per year on average,” said Mark Powers, JetBlue’s Chief Financial Officer. “We recognize that while we have more work to do to improve returns, we believe we have a plan in place to achieve these goals in 2014.”
Fuel Expense and Hedging
JetBlue continued to hedge fuel to manage price volatility. Specifically, during the fourth quarterJetBlue hedged approximately 28% of its fuel consumption and managed approximately 12% of its fuel consumption using fixed forward price agreements (FFPs). This resulted in a realized fuel price of $3.10 per gallon, a 3.1% decrease over fourth quarter 2012 realized fuel price of $3.20. JetBluerecorded $3 million in losses on fuel hedges that settled during the fourth quarter.
JetBlue has managed approximately 24% of its first quarter projected fuel requirements using a combination of FFPs, jet fuel swaps and caps. Based on the fuel curve as of January 23rd, JetBlueexpects an average price per gallon of fuel, including the impact of hedges, FFPs and fuel taxes, of$3.13 in the first quarter.
Liquidity and Cash Flow
JetBlue ended the year with approximately $627 million in unrestricted cash and short term investments. In addition, JetBlue maintains $550 million in undrawn lines of credit. For the full year 2013, JetBlue generated $758 million of operating cash flow and had capital expenditures of $637 million, including $453 million of aircraft investments. As a result, JetBlue generated $121 million in free cash flow in 2013.
During 2013, JetBlue repaid $510 million in debt and capital lease obligations, including approximately $248 million in the fourth quarter. In addition, JetBlue prepaid approximately $94 million of aircraft related debt in December. JetBlue recorded a $3 million loss in non-operating income during the quarter in connection with this prepayment. JetBlue expects this transaction will generate $25 million in interest expense savings over the next six years. JetBlue plans to repay approximately $470 million in debt and capital lease obligations in 2014, including approximately$235 million in the first quarter.
JetBlue has increased its pool of unencumbered aircraft from one to 23 and decreased its total debt balance by approximately $550 million since 2011, thereby decreasing the financial risk in the business. “We remain focused on continuing to strengthen our balance sheet as we expect to continue to generate free cash flow and purchase aircraft with cash in 2014,” said Mr. Powers.
First Quarter and Full Year Outlook
JetBlue expects first quarter results to be adversely impacted by severe weather in the Northeast during the beginning of January, which resulted in the cancellation of approximately 1,800 flights. The severe weather reduced JetBlue’s total revenue by an estimated $45 million and reduced operating income for the first quarter by approximately $30 million.
For the first quarter of 2014, CASM is expected to be increase between 0.0% and 2.0% versus the year-ago period. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in the first quarter is expected to increase between 3.0% and 5.0% year over year.
CASM for the full year is expected to increase between 1.0% and 3.0% over full year 2013. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in 2014 is expected to increase between 3.0% and 5.0% year over year.
Capacity is expected to increase between 2.5% and 4.5% in the first quarter. For the full year, capacity is expected to increase between 5.0% and 7.0%.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N316JB (msn 19000291) completes the River Approach into Reagan National Airport on the Virginia side of the Potomac River.
GE Capital Aviation Services Limited (GECAS), the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of GE, today announced delivery of two new leased Embraer ERJ 190 aircraft to Air Costa, a new Indian airline focused on regional operations.
Air Costa (Vijayawada) is promoted by the LEPL Group – a major urban infrastructure player in India. Air Costa started operations on October 14, 2013 and currently flies to six destinations in India (see route map below).
All Images: Embraer and Air Costa.
JetBlue Airways (New York) shut down its entire New York and Boston operations yesterday afternoon (January 6) due to an on-going winter storm and continued delayed and cancelled flights. The airline was purposely shutting down these these two major hubs in order for its crews to get the required amount of rest and for its aircraft and other assets to be repositioned. Like other carriers, the carrier is also under new mandatory FAA rules on pilot duty hours. The airline hopes to restart operations today with full operations expected by 3:00 pm (1500).
JetBlue issued this statement yesterday:
The new year began with the winter storm some called Hercules, is shutting down the heaviest trafficked air corridor in the world during one of the heaviest travel periods of the year. Mother Nature then followed that up with icing conditions over the weekend, causing even more issues and ground stops at the airports. Even as airports began to reopen though, newly launched FAA regulations on pilot duty times caused delayed flights to quickly turn into canceled ones. Now today, less than a week into the year, we’re watching a polar vortex wreak havoc on flight schedules across the industry, as rainy weather prepares to turn airports in the Northeast into ice rinks once again.
More than 3,000 flights across the industry have been cancelled today, and roughly 300 of those will be JetBlue’s. Beginning at 1 p.m. ET today, we’ll reduce operations at JFK, LaGuardia, Newark, and Boston through 10 a.m. ET Tuesday. At that time, we’ll gradually ramp up again – we intend to be 100% operational by 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday. This plan allows for 17 hours of rest for crews, and time for Tech Ops to service the aircraft.
These industry wide cancellations, on top of the previous days’ cancellations, have now left millions of air travelers displaced, struggling to find any available seat to get to their destinations. With planes already full with previously booked holiday travelers, remaining seats are quickly filled, (for some of the other guys, even overbooked), and some customers aren’t seeing available seats for nearly a week. If your flight has been canceled, you can rebook travel or request a refund online. More information on current travel alerts and fee waivers can be found on our Travel Alerts page. We also still request customers are encouraged to check the status of their flight online prior to leaving for the airport.
For our part, this isn’t the sort of operation we’re happy about, and have stood up every available resource throughout the last week to work with customers and adjust our schedules to minimize impact. While we have to reduce operations in our Northeast cities today, we’ll take the opportunity to use some of those planes and crews for extra sections between cities where we they’re most needed and move crews in preparation for starting back up on Tuesday. Our first priority is to support the operation and assist customers with immediate travel needs, but will be reaching out to any impacted customer we have contact information to offer compensation.
Read the full story from CNN: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N206JB (msn 19000025) arrives in New York (JFK).
LAM’s ERJ 190 C9-EMC crashed into the ground with the autopilot engaged, did the captain intentionally crash the airliner?
LAM’s (Linhas Aereas de Mocambique) (Luanda) Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW C9-EMC (msn 19000581) on November 29, 2013 was operating flight TM 470 from Maputo, Mozambique to the Luanda, Angola. The airliner never arrived. The aircraft crashed in a Namibian game park, killing the 27 passengers and six crew members on board.
According to Reuters, citing a preliminary report released to the media by Namibia’s Transport Ministry, the crew was “flying in normal conditions and no mechanical deficiency was detected when it suddenly began a descent from its normal cruising altitude with its automatic pilot on and its altitude selector set to below ground level.”
According to Reuters, “the aircraft made the descent on autopilot, and after actions that would have required knowledge of its systems, denoted a “clear intention”. The aircraft was under the command of the captain, Herminio dos Santos, who “was alone in the cockpit at the time of the crash, after his co-pilot had gone to the bathroom. Alarms going off could be heard on the flight recordings, and also the sound of someone beating on the cockpit door “as if asking to be let in”.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Ukraine International Airlines-UIA (Kiev) will commence service between its Kiev hub and Stockholm (Arlanda) starting on June 1, 2014. The daily flight will be operated with new Embraer 190s.
Additionally, starting on December 7, 2013, UIA launches its first ever long-haul flights from Kiev to Bangkok. Nonstop scheduled flights will be operated three days a week on Boeing 767-300 aircraft in a three-class cabin layout: business, premium economy, and economy.
The airline continues to develop its “ski” destinations network by offering nonstop flights to Sofia (Bulgaria) and Salzburg (Austria), Erzurum (Turkey) and Grenoble (France), Kittila and Kajaani (Finland), as well as providing all passengers with an opportunity to carry one set of ski equipment free of charge.
UIA traditionally expands travel options` selection for the residents of the cities of Ukraine. In winter UIA nonstop flights will connect Donetsk, Odessa, and Kharkov with the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia, Donetsk and Odessa with Sharm El Sheikh, as well as Lvov, Zaporozhia and Kharkov with Hurghada.
Moreover, UIA has a special offer for winter sports fans: in February 2014 the leading Ukrainian carrier will operate nonstop daily (February 6 and 24 double-daily) flights between the capital of Ukraine and the capital of the 2014 Winter Olympics – the city of Sochi.
UIA turns 21.
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100LR UR-EMA (msn 19000494) approaches Brussels for landing.
BA CityFlyer (British Airways) (Manchester and London City Airport), British Airways’ wholly owned regional subsidiary, and Embraer announced today the acquisition of one additional Embraer 190 jet. This firm order will be included in Embraer’s 2013 fourth quarter backlog. The E-Jet will be operated from the Company’s main operating base at London City Airport (LCY).
Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) is facing a major decision today at its board meeting. According to this report by Reuters, Alitalia’s CEO Gabriele del Torchio, a turnaround specialist, is expected to unveil his plan. The drastic measures may include up to 2,000 job cuts and salary cuts.
However the cuts are unlikely to persuade major shareholder and board member Air France-KLM to put any more capital into the failing flag carrier. Alitalia needs a $400 million infusion to keep flying. The group has already zeroed-out its investment.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning/AirlinersGallery.com. Alitalia’s Embraer ERJ 190-100LR EI-RNB (msn 19000479) taxies at London (Heathrow).
Flybe (Exeter) plans to cut another 500 jobs after it posted its first half-year profit in two years.
Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
The company issued this financial statement:
Results for the six months to September 30, 2013:
Flybe announces a significantly improved financial performance under its new management team. In addition, a new phase of efficiency improvements announced today will secure a strong base for future growth.
Key financial highlights
|H1 2013/14£m||H1 2012/13£m||Change%|
|Total revenue under management *||477.3||396.3||20.4|
|Less: joint venture revenue||(126.2)||(55.5)||127.4|
|Adjusted profit/(loss) before tax, restructuring and surplus capacity costs and revaluation on USD aircraft loans ** +||12.2||(2.3)||N/M|
|Adjusted profit/(loss) before tax and restructuring *** +||17.1||(1.6)||N/M|
|Profit/(loss) before tax +||13.8||(1.6)||N/M|
|Profit/(loss) after tax +||13.6||(1.6)||N/M|
* Includes Flybe’s joint venture, Flybe Finland.
** Adjusted profit/(loss) before tax, restructuring and surplus capacity costs and revaluation on USD aircraft loans defined as profit/(loss) before tax, restructuring and surplus capacity costs of £4.1m (2012/13: £nil) and revaluation gains on USD aircraft loans of £5.7m (2012/13: £0.7m). Surplus capacity costs represent the costs incurred in H1 2013/14 relating to capacity that is considered by management to be surplus as a result of the restructuring decisions.
*** Adjusted profit/(loss) before tax and restructuring defined as profit/(loss) before tax and restructuring costs of £3.3m (2012/13: £nil).
+ H1 2012/13 has been restated for the impact of adopting the revised requirements of IAS 19 Employee Benefits as detailed further in Note 2 to the condensed financial statements. The replacement of the interest cost and expected return on plan assets with a new interest charge on the net defined benefit liability led to a £0.3m increase in the reported loss for that period.
1. First two phases of the Turnaround Plan on track to deliver savings of £40m this year and £45m in 2014/15.
2. A 20.4% increase to £477.3m (H1 2012/13: £396.3m) in revenue under management (including Flybe Finland, the joint venture with Finnair) largely driven by increased contract flying activity in Finland.
3. A 3.0% increase in group revenue to £351.1m.
4. A £13.8m profit before tax (H1 2012/13: loss of £1.6m).
5. A £10.5m operating cash inflow before increase in restricted cash and restructuring costs (H1 2012/13: £1.6m)
Operational highlights (H1 2013/14)
- 6.2 million scheduled seats flown, in line with last year.
- 5.6% increase in passengers to 4.3 million.
- 3.6ppts increase in load factor to 68.6%.
- 0.9% increase in passenger revenue per scheduled seat to £50.35 (H1 2012/13: £49.92).
- 1.3% increase in total revenues to £328.2m.
- 1.3% decrease in costs per seat to £51.30. On a constant currency and fuel price basis, costs per seat decreased by 3.1%.
- 4.7% increase in UK regional sector share for the Flybe brand to 55.1%.
- 26.4% of Flybe’s revenue under management (H1 2013/14: £126.2m; H1 2012/13: £55.5m).
- £110.6m contract flying revenue (H1 2012/13: £36.7m)
- 84.6% increase to 2.4 million in total seats flown, of which white label flying totalled 2.0 million (H1 2012/13: 0.8 million).
Flybe aims to become the best local airline in Europe delivering unrivalled regional connectivity.
Flybe will have two engines of growth:
A regional branded airline giving a nimble and customer-friendly, scheduled service for both business and families. This brings people together within a country and connects people in the regions to international carriers at metropolitan airports.
A regional white label model where Flybe will become the leading regional provider for mainstream European airlines.
The already announced Phase 1 and 2 cost savings are being successfully implemented.
Major management and organizational change: new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer have been appointed. Senior executive appointments well advanced, including a new Chief Commercial Officer already in place.
Flybe’s operations have been reorganized into a single management structure.
An Immediate Action plan is being announced today and is already being implemented with three elements:
1. Optimise configuration: rationalise route network, review fleet mix, remove surplus capacity and improve aircraft and crew utilisation.
2. Reduce costs further: all aspects of the business are being reviewed to drive further savings.
3. Improve commercialisation: optimise pricing and revenue management, refocus network development, strengthen route management, step change marketing impact and develop trading partnerships.
This will deliver further benefit of £7m this year and £26m next year with around 500 proposed redundancies and estimated one-off and surplus capacity costs of £14m this year plus a further £27m in 2014/15.
Finnair JV is now profitable; further improvements are being targeted by enhancing operational delivery, reducing scheduled risk flying losses and embedding ‘lean manufacturing’ techniques.
Update: According to Reuters, majority shareholder Rosedale Aviation Holdings has sold its entire 48.1 percent stake in the airline to institutional investors.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-200LR (ERJ 195) G-FBEB (msn 19000057) lands at Southampton.
Republic Airways Holdings reports on its third quarter performance, will stop operating Embraer 190s for Frontier
Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (Indianapolis) reported diluted earnings per share from continuing operations for the third quarter of 2013 of $0.09 as compared to $0.13 for the same period in the prior year. During the third quarter of 2013, the company recorded a non-cash impairment charge of $21.2 million, $13.0 million after-tax or $0.25 per diluted share, to reduce the carrying value of seven owned Embraer ERJ 190 aircraft and write-off the maintenance deposits on three leased ERJ 190 aircraft. Income from continuing operations was $4.3 million compared to $6.3 million for the same period last year. Excluding the ERJ 190 impairment charge, pre-tax income from continuing operations was $26.6 million, resulting in an adjusted pre-tax margin from continuing operations of 7.9%. Operating revenues totaled $338.6 million, an increase of 0.4%, compared to $337.4 million for the third quarter of 2012.
The company classified its Frontier business as discontinued operations due to the expected sale during the fourth quarter of 2013. Unless otherwise specified, all financial information disclosed in this release is from continuing operations.
On October 1, 2013, the company reported that it had agreed to sell its Frontier business to an affiliate of Indigo Partners LLC (Indigo). Indigo will acquire all the outstanding shares of Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc. As part of the transaction, under a separate agreement, Republic will assign to Frontier all of Republic’s rights under agreements relating to the Republic’s Airbus A320neo order. The transaction is subject to receipt of certain third-party consents and releases and other customary closing conditions.
On November 6, 2013, Indigo informed the company that it had satisfied or waived certain key conditions to close under the transaction. The company expects the transaction to close later this month.
For additional information on the divestiture of Frontier, please see the company’s separate news release dated October 1, 2013 and a separate filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Form 8-K filed on October 7, 2013.
“The sale of Frontier will allow our management team to re-focus on our core business,” said Republic Airways Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Bryan Bedford. “We continue to be excited about the growth opportunities for our fixed-fee business and are focused on providing safe, reliable and low-cost solutions to each of our airline partner brands, including American Eagle, Delta Connection, United Express and US Airways Express,” said Bedford.
Third Quarter Review
Operating Revenue Highlights
Total operating revenues increased $1.2 million, or 0.4%, from the third quarter of 2012 to $338.6 million in the third quarter of 2013. Fixed-fee service revenue increased $51.6 million, or 19.2%, to $320.3 million due to an increase in Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) flying with United Airlines, new fixed-fee ERJ 190 charter flying and new ERJ 175 flying with American Airlines. Passenger service revenue decreased $50.5 million due to a significant reduction in the number of ERJ 190 aircraft operating under our pro-rate agreement with Frontier.
Operating Expense Highlights
Fuel costs for Republic decreased $14.1 million to $11.3 million for the quarter, due to a 4.7 million decrease in gallons consumed due to the reduced ERJ 190 pro-rate operations. The fuel cost per gallon, including into-plane taxes and fees, increased to $3.55 per gallon in the third quarter of 2013, compared to $3.21 per gallon in the prior year’s third quarter. The fuel cost per gallon related to our fixed-fee charter agreement is generally higher than our pro-rate operations with Frontier and is treated as a pass through cost under the agreement.
Landing fees and airport rents decreased $6.6 million to $7.9 million for the quarter. Beginning in June 2013, landing fee expense and the related pass-through reimbursement revenue were lower due to United paying airports directly for its associated landing fee costs.
At September 30, 2013, the company had a fleet of ten ERJ 190 aircraft, of which three were leased and seven were owned. Five of the aircraft operate within the fixed-fee charter agreement and the remainder were operating under the pro-rate agreement with Frontier. The company is working to sell, sublease or otherwise place into fixed-fee charter service the five aircraft operating in pro-rate service. During the third quarter of 2013, we recorded a non-cash impairment charge of $21.2 million to reduce the carrying value of our owned E190 aircraft and expensed the deferred maintenance deposits on the leased ERJ 190 aircraft.
Income from discontinued operations, net of tax, increased 52.8% from $19.5 million in the third quarter of 2012 to $29.8 million in this quarter. The improvement is primarily due to Frontier TRASM increasing 6.6% over the prior period and lower fuel costs. The loss on disposal of discontinued operations, net of tax, is currently estimated to be $47.9 million. This estimate will adjust in future periods based on the actual results of the discontinued operations and the closing date of the transaction.
As of September 30, 2013, Republic operated a fleet of 235 aircraft. Within our fixed-fee commercial and charter agreements, we operated 68 aircraft with 44-50 seats and 162 aircraft with 69-99 seats. In addition, we operated five 99-seat aircraft under the pro-rate agreement with Frontier, down from seventeen 99-seat aircraft operated in pro-rate service during the third quarter of 2012.
During the quarter the company took delivery of nine ERJ 175 aircraft operating under its American Airlines capacity purchase agreement and expects to take delivery of an additional ten ERJ 175 aircraft by the end of 2013.
Balance Sheet and Liquidity
The company’s total cash balance decreased $6.3 million to $224.1 million as of September 30, 2013, compared to December 31, 2012. Restricted cash increased $12.6 million, to $32.2 million, from December 31, 2012 due to the escrow requirements under our fixed-fee charter agreements. The Company’s unrestricted cash balance decreased $18.9 million, to $191.9 million, from December 31, 2012. A condensed consolidated balance sheet and cash flow statement have been included in the tables section of this release.
The Company’s debt increased to $2.00 billion as of September 30, 2013, compared to $1.97 billion at December 31, 2012, primarily related to the financing of ERJ 175 aircraft for the American Airlines fixed-fee agreement. As of September 30, 2013, approximately 95% of our debt is at a fixed interest rate. The Company has significant long-term lease obligations for aircraft that are classified as operating leases and are not reflected as liabilities on the Company’s consolidated balance sheet. At a 6% discount factor, the present value of these lease obligations was approximately $0.5 billion and $0.6 billion as of September 30, 2013, and December 31, 2012, respectively.
At September 30, 2013 the company had assets held for sale of $594.8 million and liabilities held for sale of $517.8 million. The $77.0 million of value in net assets held for sale represents the estimated cash proceeds from the sale of Frontier. These amounts will adjust in future periods based on the actual results of discontinued operations and the closing date of the transaction.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Republic Airlines (2nd) is now only operating five 99-seat Embraer ERJ 190s for Frontier Airlines (down from 17) under the pro-rate agreement. Once the sale of Frontier to Indigo is completed, Republic will relocate these five aircraft to other areas. Frontier will only operate Airbus aircraft under Indigo. The pictured Republic Airlines (2nd) Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N164HQ (msn 19000275) with a Hummingbird on the tail taxies at Toronto (Pearson).
FlyNonstop (Kristiansand) suddenly stopped flying yesterday (October 29) and declared bankruptcy. The short-lived airline only commenced operations on April 25, 2013.
The airline issued this statement:
We regret to announce that of today (October 29) we have sent a petition for bankruptcy of FlyNonstop AS. This means that all our flights as of Tuesday, 10/29/2013 at 06:00 have been cancelled.
All customers must now contact their credit card company / bank with ticket reference and payment receipt to get their ticket costs refunded.
We are now contacting our customers via email and SMS to provide advice and guidance on how to deal with rebooking / purchase of new tickets for their journey.
With the help of SAS we have been able to provide our customers (with a ticket reference from FlyNonstop) the opportunity to purchase new tickets at a special adjusted price from SAS, provided that there are available seats on the desired travel date and destination. SAS have many frequencies, large network and flies to all our destinations. The possibility that the majority of our customers will find a suitable ticket alternative to the original itinerary will be very good.
SAS will handle all requests and aim for a special price for all FlyNonstop customers. Please call:
Phone: +47 915 05 400,
or locally to Kjevik Airport in Kristiansand on
Phone: +47 957 19 478
The Company (SAS) is not responsible for the tickets already purchased from FlyNonstop, or any other obligations in the light of FlyNonstop’s cancellations.
We will once again lament the burden placed on you, the passengers, but unfortunately we at FlyNonstop could no longer be able to meet the company’s obligations. We therefore realize that we had to close down the operation.
This is a sad day for you, our customers, and for us at FlyNonstop.
Note: Please click on the FlyNonstop category (below right column) for all previous news entries and stories about the carrier.
Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. FlyNonstop did not have much leverage. With the winter season coming on, revenues were down and the single Embraer ERJ 190-100LR (PH-FNS) (man 19000616) was operated by Denim Air for FlyNonstop. PH-FNS is pictured pushing back at Palma de Mallorca, a frequent destination for the carrier.
JetBlue Airways (New York) today announces that Savannah, Georgia will be the 50th nonstop destination for customers in Boston. JetBlue, the largest airline in Boston with up to 121 daily flights, will begin daily nonstop service on Flight 50 between Savannah/Hilton Head and Boston on Thursday, February 13, 2014.
JetBlue’s schedule, operated by 100-seat Embraer 190 aircraft:
Boston (BOS) to Savannah (SAV):
SAV to BOS:
|Departs||11:10 a.m.||Departs||2:25 p.m.|
|Arrives||1:46 p.m.||Arrives||4:43 p.m.|
|All times are local. Service begins Feb. 13, 2014|
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N304JB (msn 19000257) in the Windowpane tail design taxies to the runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Air Canada (Montreal) and Premier Aviation have announced the signing of a five-year agreement for the provision of airframe maintenance in support of Air Canada’s fleet of 60 Embraer ERJ 190 and ERJ 175 aircraft. With the addition of a second line of maintenance at Premier Aviation’s Trois-Rivières, Quebec facility now in place, the work performed for Air Canada will have created a total of 120 jobs for aircraft technicians on the two lines. This contract follows a successful year of operations meeting the quality and on-time delivery requirements for 37 Air Canada Embraer ERJ 175 and ERJ 190 maintenance visits at Premier’s Trois-Rivières maintenance center.
Premier Aviation performs maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services consisting of airframe, painting and support services for Air Canada’s Embraer fleet at its Trois-Rivières maintenance center. Air Canada’s Embraer fleet consists of 45 ERJ 190 aircraft, with an additional 15 ERJ 175 aircraft now operated by Sky Regional Airlines.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Canada’s Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW C-FHNY (msn 19000085) taxies at the Vancouver hub.
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AMR Corporation (Dallas/Fort Worth), the parent company of American Airlines, Inc., (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways Group, Inc. (Phoenix), the parent of US Airways (Phoenix), have each agreed to extend the outside date at which either party may terminate the previously announced Agreement and Plan of Merger (the Merger Agreement), in light of the trial schedule surrounding litigation with U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
In a joint statement, Tom Horton, chairman, president and CEO of AMR, and Doug Parker, chairman and CEO of US Airways, said, “The Boards and management teams of AMR and US Airways remain committed to completing this combination to create the new American, and the extension of this outside date is a reflection of this commitment. Our focus is on mounting a vigorous defense and winning our court case so the new American can enhance competition, provide better service to our customers and create more opportunities for our employees.”
The amended Merger Agreement extends the date on which either AMR or US Airways may terminate the Merger Agreement from December 17, 2013 to the later of January 18, 2014, or, if the Court enters an order on or before January 17, 2014 in favor of American and US Airways, on the 15th day following the entry of such order. In the event of an unfavorable ruling by the Court, AMR or US Airways may terminate the merger agreement five days after the Court enters a final, but appealable, order permanently enjoining the merger.
Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. American’s Boeing 737-823 N925NN (msn 31169) prepares to touch down at Washington’s Reagan National Airport.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways’ Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N961UW (msn 19000183) taxies to the runway at the Charlotte hub.
FlyNonstop (Kristiansand) has announced it will add a new route from Bodø, Norway to London (City Airport) starting on October 28. The new route will be operated weekly. This will be the first international route from Bodø and is away from FlyNonstop’s base of Kristiansand in southern Norway.
Bodø is located just north of the Arctic Circle and is the largest city in Nordland County and also is the second largest city in northern Norway.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Operated by Denim Air, Embraer ERJ 190-100LR PH-FNS (msn 19000616) taxies past the camera at Palma de Mallorca.
KLM Cityhopper (Amsterdam), KLM’s regional subsidiary, has concluded a lease agreement with BOC Aviation to add six Embraer 190s to its current fleet of 22 E-Jets. The additional ERJ 190s are part of KLM Cityhopper’s strategic plan to replace the oldest aircraft in its Fokker 70 fleet. The first of the six ERJ 190s is scheduled to be delivered during the second half of 2013.
Republic’s three flight attendants groups approve the new contract, may sell Frontier Airlines in the third quarter
Republic Airways Inc. (Republic Airways Holdings) (Indianapolis) has announced that flight attendants for its three regional carriers have approved a new five-year labor contract. The ratification vote concluded on July 29 with flight attendants from Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines (2nd) and Shuttle America voting in favor of the agreement.
The new contract includes increases in pay, improvements in quality of life and more flexibility in scheduling. The new agreement becomes amendable on July 29, 2018.
In other news, Republic has entered into a preliminary agreement with an undisclosed potential buyer of Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver). Should the deal be finalized, the sale could be closed in the third quarter according to CEO Bryan Bedford.
Read the full story from the Denver Post: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Set against the moon, Republic Airlines’ (2nd) Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N164HQ (msn 19000275) (Hummingbird) arrives at Toronto (Pearson). The 99-seat Republic ERJ 190s are expected to leave the Frontier contract in the third quarter of 2013.
Royal Air Maroc (Casablanca) has put into revenue service its first Embraer 190. The pictured former Gulf Air ERJ 190-100 IGW PH-DNA (msn 19000372) was delivered on July 19 and is being operated by Denim Air for RAM.
Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. PH-DNA is pictured arriving at Zurich today.
Finnair (Helsinki) will open a new route to Tromsø, Norway for the 2014 winter season. The Arctic city in the far north of Norway will be served from Helsinki three times per week from January 1, 2014 until March 28, 2014.
Situated directly under the aurora zone in the Arctic, Tromsø is ideally placed for viewing the spectacular Aurora Borealis (northern lights) on clear winter nights. The town is made up of 70,000 people and also serves as a base for winter sports such as downhill skiing, snowshoeing, dog and reindeer sledding, and glacier hiking. Tromsø, or Romsa in Sami languages, is also a center of Sami culture in the Norwegian Lapland and hosts Sami Week every February.
Due to the warming effect of the Gulfstream, from January to March the city is relatively warm for the Arctic, with average highs of around -2 degrees centigrade and lows of about -6.
Flights are scheduled Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for departure from Helsinki (AY2679) at 8:15 pm (2015) and departure from Tromsø (AY2680) at 9:55 pm (2155) local time. The route, operated on behalf of Finnair by Flybe Finland (formerly Flybe Nordic and Finncomm Airlines) with Embraer ERJ 190 aircraft, takes approximately two hours.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. The 12 Finnair Embraer ERJ 190-100LRs are now operated for Finnair in Finnair colors by subsidiary Flybe Finland. OH-LKP (msn 19000416) taxies at Zurich.
Azerbaijan Airlines (Baku) on July 2 took delivery of its first Embraer 190.
Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW 4K-AZ64 (msn 19000627) departs Palma de Mallorca today bound for Baku after a night stop. 4K-AZ64 wears the dramatic new 2013 color scheme.