Emirates (Dubai) has released this statement:
In a world first, Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, has announced plans to open an indoor aviation themed attraction in London this July.
London’s newest public attraction, the Emirates Aviation Experience, will be the first of its kind globally. The Emirates Aviation Experience, located at the south side of the Emirates Airline office in London, will cover an area of almost 300 square meters and will provide an insight into the operations and modern achievements of commercial air travel.
“This high-tech facility will bring to London a one of a kind insight into the dynamic world of aviation,” said Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline. “The purpose of this center is to provide a fun, yet educational, overview of just what it takes to successfully get a 560 ton aircraft off the ground and 40,000 feet into the sky. Our aim is to explain the intricate science of modern aviation, in a hands-on, entertaining and instructive environment.”
“London is one of the greatest cities in the world, with one of the world’s busiest international airports, making it the perfect setting for this interactive experience. We have successfully operated services to the UK since 1987 and, when opened, the Emirates Aviation Experience will further broaden our already robust UK presence. Being able to provide London and its millions of international visitors with this permanent site is a true reflection of our commitment to innovation and also of our commitment to the UK,” added Mr. Clark.
Utilizing state-of-the-art technology, interactive displays and life-size aircraft models this immersive experience will incorporate several zones that will take visitors on an interactive aviation journey.
The Emirates Aviation Experience will also feature the world’s first public facing commercial flight simulators including two Airbus A380s and two Boeing 777s, utilizing full landscape visuals, allowing participants to practice their takeoff and landing skills. The center will cater to people of all ages and will open to the public in time for the city’s peak tourism period this July.
Emirates has a strong affiliation with this area of London following the launch of the Emirates AirLine, London’s popular cable car system across the River Thames, in a 10 year sponsorship deal last June. One year on from the launch of the Emirates AirLine the Emirates Aviation Experience is expected to further stimulate tourism and development in the area.
Copyright Photo: Emirates.
EasyJet (easyJet.com) (London-Luton) has reached a new agreement with the new owners of London Stansted Airport (STN) (north of central London). New owner MAG previously acquired STN from Heathrow Airport Holdings for $2.35 billion.
EasyJet, as part of the deal, has promised to raise its Stansted passenger numbers to 6 million passengers per year from the current 2.8 million passengers according to Reuters.
It is unclear if this is a straight built up of traffic with new routes or whether some traffic at other London airports will be moving to STN. The low-fare carrier has recently been adding new routes notably from at Gatwick and Southend. Nearby Luton is the base for the carrier.
Traffic at STN had been declining. This new accord will stem those losses. Rival Ryanair has a major hub at STN.
The airline recently announced it had reached the milestone of more than 60 million passengers who have travelled with the airline in the past 12 months to May 31, 2013.
When easyJet was founded in November 1995 the airline first took to the skies with just two aircraft flying between two domestic UK destinations. Eighteen years later, the airline now operates 212 aircraft flying to 137 airports in 33 countries spanning Europe and North Africa.
More than one hundred of easyJet’s 800 Luton based staff gathered outside the airline’s Hangar 89 head office at London Luton Airport to mark the 60 million milestone and celebrate the airline’s continued success and popularity.
Top Copyright Photo: Terry Wade/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 G-EZIW (msn 2578) in the Linate-Fiumicino Per Tutti special scheme arrives at London (Gatwick).
The current routes from STN:
Scandinavian Airlines to serve Bremen and Humberside from Copenhagen and restore the Bangkok route in November
Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) for the winter season will add new service from Copenhagen to the German city of Bremen (six flights a week). The route operates all year round from October 28. The route will be served with a 50-seat CRJ every day except Saturday. The airline is also adding a new route from Copenhagen to the oil region of Humberside in northern England. The route operates all year round from October 28. The route will be served with a 50-seat CRJ.
This brings the total number of new routes for SAS in 2013 up to 52.
Furthermore, SAS’ nonstop route from Copenhagen to Bangkok reopens in November with three departures per week. The route opens on November 22 and is open during the winter season. SAS will serve the route with an Airbus A340-300.
In addition to these new routes, SAS is adding more weekly departures on key routes. On the route between Copenhagen and Madrid, SAS is increasing from two departures a week to four (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday).
SAS is also adding more frequencies to the winter timetable on the popular routes between Scandinavia’s capital cities -Copenhagen and Stockholm as well as Copenhagen and Oslo. During high traffic periods, SAS is increasing the number of daily departures from 15 to 16 on both routes.
The SAS winter timetable 2013/14 comes into effect on the last weekend in October.
SAS, the flag carrier for Denmark, Norway and Sweden, operates a fleet of some 130 aircraft to approximately 100 destinations.
Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-883 LN-RCY (msn 28324) with the “Norwegian Most Punctual Person” picture on the tail taxies to the gate at London (Heathrow). GE Capital Aviation Services Limited (GECAS), the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of GE, announced it has delivered seven new leased Boeing 737-800s to SAS to expand and modernize the carrier’s fleet. The aircraft were delivered during the period April 2012 to May 2013 and came from GECAS’ existing order book with Boeing. Additionally, GECAS is scheduled to deliver two new leased 737-800s to SAS in 2014.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) today relaunched daily nonstop service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Dublin Airport (DUB). The new flight is in addition to American’s existing nonstop service from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Dublin and complements its 12 other daily nonstop flights from JFK to Europe. The route will be operated with a two-class Boeing 757-200 with 181 seats.
Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-223 WL N174AA (msn 31308) in the Oneworld scheme taxies at London (Heathrow).
LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw) has moved up its resumption of Boeing 787 services now to June 1. The flag carrier will resume 787 flights on this date between Warsaw and New York (JFK). The previous date of resumption was June 5.
LOT is also celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Warsaw-New York route.
Copyright Photo: Terry Wade/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 SP-LRA (msn 35938) prepares to land at London (Heathrow) before the grounding.
Croatia Airlines (Zagreb) is getting back to normal operations after its pilots and later the flights attendants on May 21 ended their strikes. This settlement ended eight days of strikes against the airline which is attempting to reorganize and lower costs.
Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 9A-CTI (msn 1029) in the Star Alliance livery taxies to the gate at London (Heathrow).
Germania Fluggesellschaft (Germania Group) (Berlin) is expanding in the United Kingdom for this summer season as part of its international strategy.
The airline issued this statement:
Germania to expand UK operations:
Berlin-based Germania Group is continuing the successful internationalization of its operations and is stationing two aircraft in the United Kingdom for summer of 2013. Aside from charter flights from London-Gatwick and Manchester to the Greek islands and Cyprus, Germania will operate a scheduled service from London to Pristina.
Gambia Bird, a sister airline of Germania, already operates twice weekly flights from London Gatwick to Freetown in Sierra Leone and Banjul in Gambia.
Germania will operate a regular service on Tuesdays and Fridays from London Gatwick (LGW) to Pristina. Flight ST 6478 will take off at 19:25 from LGW and reach the capital of Kosovo at 23:40. The return flight ST 6479 will depart at 00:25, arriving at LGW at 02:05 (local times).
For the winter season, Germania also operates full charter flights to Greece and the Greek islands, including Corfu, Crete, Mykonos and Samos, for tour operators such as Sunvil Holidays and Pure Crete.
For this purpose, the airline is stationing an Airbus A319 at London Gatwick. On behalf of Olympic Holidays, Germania also flies to the Greek mainland, Greek islands including Crete, Rhodes and Mykonos, and Cyprus from Manchester, the UK’s largest airport outside of London. Germania has stationed an Airbus A319 in Manchester in the colors of its West African sister airline Gambia Bird. The aircraft is available for use in Manchester, as the summer flight schedule in West Africa is adjusted to traditionally lower demand.
The airline is also expanding its operations at Erfurt-Weimar in Germany. Germania started a new weekly route to Palma de Mallorca on May 17. Flights to Ibiza, Corfu and Crete will be added in June.
Top Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 D-ASTA (msn 4663) approaches Palma de Mallorca for landing.
Middle Copyright Photo: Terry Wade. The Gambia Bird A319 is now operating Germania flights from the UK. Airbus A319-112 D-ASTB (msn 4691) arrives at London Gatwick.
Route Map from Erfurt-Weimar:
London’s Heathrow Airport was closed after a British Airways Airbus A319 returns with a smoking engine
British Airways‘ (London) flight BA 762 to Oslo operated with Airbus A319-131 G-EUOE (msn 1574) was forced to return to Heathrow Airport this morning after a fire developed in the right engine. The passengers and crew member were safely evacuated on the runway. The emergency landing temporarily closed both runways causing delays this morning. However one runways is again open. However BA was forced to cancel its short-haul flights and issued this statement:
We are very sorry for the significant disruption at London Heathrow today.
The closure of one runway meant that we needed to cancel all our short-haul flights in to and out of Heathrow up until 16:00 (BST) today. We understand how frustrating this is for customers and thank them for their patience.
These cancellations will help us to stabilize our schedule, allowing us to get as many customers away as possible in these difficult circumstances.
Read the full report from the Independent: CLICK HERE
Update: On May 31, 2013 the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report stated two cowlings on the Airbus A319′s engines were left unlocked after maintenance and this was not noticed before the aircraft departed according to Reuters.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Sunrise Airlines (Sarasota/Bradenton) is the proposed paper airline of Stephen Miller and his wife Hannah. The residents of Sarasota, Florida still hope to raise $30 million to launch a new airline with an initial fleet of four Boeing 737-400s. Stephen Miller is a former executive of Oasis Hong Kong Airlines (Hong Kong). The couple recently gave an update to the Airport Authority Board on its business plan.
The proposed first phase would launch nonstop routes from Sarasota/Bradenton (SRQ) to Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Baltimore/Washington , Detroit, Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago (Midway) and Newark.
Meanwhile departures at SRQ have declined by 38 percent in the past six years. Continental Airlines (now United Airlines) and AirTran Airways (now owned by Southwest Airlines) dropped SRQ during this period.
This new paper airline should not be confused with Sunrise Airways of Haiti.
Read the full article from Bradenton.com: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. The proposed tail design of Sunrise Airlines borrows on the colorful livery of Oasis Hong Kong Airlines (below) which operated from 2006 to 2008.
Oman Air (Muscat), the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman, has placed an order for three A330-300s, growing its A330 Family fleet to a total of ten Airbus aircraft. The aircraft will be operated on long haul routes and can comfortably seat close to 300 passengers.
Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning. Airbus A330-343X A40-DB (msn 1044) taxies at London (Heathrow).
Emirates (Dubai) has announced it will add Airbus A380 service to Brisbane and Auckland.
Brisbane is set to become Emirates’ third Australian destination to welcome the airline’s flagship Airbus A380, with the announcement that Emirates will operate the A380 on the Dubai to Brisbane and Auckland route from October 1, 2013.
Adding the A380 to one of Emirates’ two daily Brisbane services will see an increase in capacity of 135 seats for sale per flight and 1,890 week, reinforcing Emirates’ commitment to its Queensland and Auckland passengers. The double-daily service is currently operated by Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft.
Together with QANTAS Airways (Sydney), from October 1 a total of six daily A380 services will operate to Dubai, offering a seamless A380 experience through Dubai International Airport’s Concourse A, the world’s first purpose built A380 concourse, to 21 A380 serviced destinations on the network including London Heathrow, Manchester, Paris and Rome.
Today’s announcement caps off a range of recent upgrades to Emirates’ Australian services, including the introduction of a daily Melbourne A380, a daily Adelaide service and a three times daily Perth service. A second A380 for Sydney from June has been announced.
Emirates sets the pace for A380 deployment, with the aircraft having carried 14 million passengers on 35,000 trips spanning 200 million kilometres since A380 operations commenced five years ago. In 2012 alone, Emirates added 11 A380s to its fleet and is the largest operator of the aircraft, with 33 in the fleet and 57 on order.
The Emirates A380 is set in a three-class configuration, with 399 seats in Economy Class on the lower level and 76 fully flat-bed, mini-pods in Business Class and 14 First Class Private Suites on the upper level. Passengers in the First Class cabin can freshen up in one of two on-board Shower Spas before joining fellow premium class travellers in the On-Board Lounge where they can enjoy complimentary beverages and canapés.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best.
Flybe (Exeter) is reportedly in discussions with EasyJet (easyJet.com) (London-Luton) and others to possibly acquire its 25 landing and takeoff slots at London (Gatwick) according to this report by the BBC. Flybe has been losing money and is currently cutting costs and selling some of its assets.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Terry Wade/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) G-JEDP (msn 4085) in the unique “Low Cost, but not any cost” color scheme approaches the runway at London (Gatwick).
Air Canada (Montreal) today issued its final financial report for the first quarter. The company reported an adjusted net loss of C$143 million. Here is the full report:
Consistent with the news release issued on April 22, 2013 disclosing preliminary results for the first quarter of 2013, Air Canada today reported an adjusted net loss of $143 million or $0.52 per diluted share compared to an adjusted net loss of $162 million or $0.58 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2012. On a GAAP basis, Air Canada’s net loss was $260 million or $0.95 per diluted share compared to a net loss of $274 million or $0.99 per diluted share in the same quarter in 2012. First quarter EBITDAR amounted to $145 million compared to EBITDAR of $174 million in the first quarter of 2012.
“In the quarter we made progress towards the sustainable transformation of Air Canada by narrowing our net loss as compared to the previous year. In addition, we reached an important agreement with the Government of Canada on extending Air Canada’s pension funding arrangements to January 30, 2021. This was then followed last week by the launch and pricing of a private offering of enhanced equipment trust certificates (EETCs) — a first for a Canadian airline,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer.
“I would especially like to express our gratitude to the Government of Canada and certain provincial governments for implementing the so-called Cape Town Convention effective April 1, 2013, which helps level the playing field for Canadian airlines by facilitating their access to debt capital markets for financing their aircraft acquisitions on more favourable terms. Significant work over many years was undertaken by Government officials, in conjunction with our legal and finance teams, to permit adoption of the Cape Town Convention in the most optimal way, and I want to recognize these individuals for their outstanding work.
“While the first quarter’s loss was narrowed compared to the previous year, the quarter fell short of our expectations, in part due to a decline in premium travel demand. We are encouraged to see an improvement in second quarter economy and premium class cabin booking trends which are running above last year’s levels, although the yield environment remains challenging. We remain focused on executing on our plan to increase value for our stakeholders and to continue to reduce our cost structure with the upcoming deliveries of five additional Boeing 777 aircraft, the launch of our leisure carrier Air Canada rouge, the transfer of Embraer 175 regional aircraft to Sky Regional, and the development of our international network with Toronto Pearson as its North American gateway airport. Along with ongoing initiatives for revenue generation and cost control, we are confident of continued improvements and a successful performance for the year ahead. I thank our 27,000 employees for their commitment to taking care of our customers and their dedication to helping ensure Air Canada’s long term success.”
First Quarter Income Statement Highlights
First quarter 2013 system passenger revenues were $2.527 billion, an increase of $3 million, on a 1.1 per cent growth in traffic and a 1.1 per cent decline in yield. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 1.1 per cent from the first quarter of 2012 on a 1.8 percentage point improvement in passenger load factor. Air Canada reported a record passenger load factor of 81.0% for the first quarter of 2013, reflecting an effective approach to capacity management. The overall yield decline versus last year’s quarter was due to a number of factors including: relatively more leisure versus business passengers in part due to a shift of the Easter holiday from the first week of April in 2012 to the last week of March in 2013, flight cancellations due to severe weather and de-icing service delays at Toronto Pearson International airport which adversely impacted business travel demand, increased industry capacity and competitive pricing activities in certain markets, an unfavourable foreign currency impact, and having one less calendar day in February 2013 than in February 2012 on account of the leap year. In the premium class cabin, passenger revenues decreased $38 million or 6.7 per cent on an 8.4 per cent decline in traffic, partly offset by a yield improvement of 1.8 per cent.
Operating expenses increased $6 million from the first quarter of 2012, reflecting decreases in all major line categories with the exception of wages, salaries and benefits, capacity purchase agreements and the category of “other” operating expenses. In the first quarter of 2013, Air Canada recorded a non-cash impairment charge of $24 million related to Airbus A340-300 aircraft (none of which are operated by Air Canada) in depreciation, amortization and impairment expense.
Air Canada’s adjusted cost per available seat mile (“adjusted CASM”), which excludes fuel expense, the cost of ground packages at Air Canada Vacations and unusual items (such as impairment charges) increased 1.4 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2012.
In the first quarter 2013, Air Canada recorded an operating loss of $106 million compared to an operating loss of $91 million in the same quarter in 2012, a deterioration of $15 million. The deterioration in Air Canada’s operating results was in large part due to flight cancellations caused by severe weather conditions and aircraft deicing service delays at Toronto Pearson International Airport. Air Canada estimates that these events resulted in a $10 million unfavourable net impact on its financial results in the first quarter of 2013.
At March 31, 2013, cash and short-term investments amounted to $2,056 million, or 17 per cent of 12-month trailing revenues (March 31, 2012 – $2,185 million, or 18 per cent of 12-month trailing revenues).
At March 31, 2013, adjusted net debt of $3,987 million decreased $246 million from March 31, 2012, reflecting the impact of lower debt balances, a decrease in capitalized operating leases, partially offset by a decrease in cash balances.
Free cash flow of $147 million increased $7 million from the first quarter of 2012.
In the second quarter of 2013, Air Canada expects its system ASM capacity, as measured by available seat miles (ASMs), to increase in the range of 2.0 to 3.0 per cent when compared to the second quarter of 2012.
Air Canada continues to expect full year 2013 system ASM capacity to increase in the range of 1.5 to 2.5 per cent when compared to the full year 2012. Air Canada also continues to expect its full year 2013 domestic capacity to increase in the range of 0.5 to 1.5 per cent from the full year 2012.
For the second quarter of 2013, Air Canada expects adjusted CASM to be in the range of a decrease of 0.5 per cent to an increase of 0.5 per cent when compared to the second quarter of 2012.
Taking into account the better than expected adjusted CASM result in the first quarter of 2013, Air Canada now expects its full year 2013 adjusted CASM to decrease in the range of 0.5 to 1.5 per cent from the full year 2012.
Air Canada’s outlook assumes Canadian GDP growth of 1.25 to 1.75 per cent for 2013. In addition, Air Canada expects that the Canadian dollar will trade, on average, at C$1.02 per U.S. dollar for the second quarter of 2013 and for the full year 2013 and that the price of jet fuel will average 85 cents per litre in the second quarter of 2013 and 86 cents per litre for the full year 2013.
Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning. Boeing 767-375 ER C-FCAE (msn 24083) (70 Years – TCA 1937) taxies at London (Heathrow).
EasyJet (UK) (London-Luton) on May 2 launched its first flight to London Southend from Edinburgh. The new route means EasyJet now operates to four London airports with up to 28 flights connecting the capital cities per day.
EasyJet flights to London Southend will operate six days a week and offer the quickest route into Stratford and East London. Around 85,000 passengers are anticipated to use the service over the next 12 months and fares start from £29.99 each way.
In March EasyJet added a seventh aircraft to the airport and launched six new routes in a move which is expected to deliver 140,000 extra visitors to Scotland.
Copyright Photo: Robbie Shaw. Airbus A319-111 G-EJAR (msn 2412) in the Supporting UNICEF scheme taxies at London (Gatwick).
EasyJet’s expanding route map at Southend (SEN):
Icelandair Group (Icelandair) (Keflavik) reported a net loss of $18.3 million in the first quarter, an increase from a net loss of $13.2 million in the same quarter a year ago.
The airline issued this statement:
Icelandair Group organic growth continues
- Losses after taxes USD $18.3 million, as compared to USD $13.2 million in the preceding year
- Performance in the quarter exceeded management projections
- EBITDA negative by USD $8.3 million, as compared to negative USD $3.0 million last year
- Passenger revenues increased by 24% between years
- Total revenue increased by 10%
- Equity ratio was 32% at the end of March
- Net cash provided by operating activities USD 78.5 million, as compared to USD 86.1 million in the preceding year
Björgólfur Jóhannsson, President and CEO:
“Icelandair Group’s performance over the quarter was better than our budget projected and estimates of continued growth materialized. Capacity on international flights increased by just short of a quarter in the first three months of the year, and the increase in passenger numbers over the same period was 18%. The greatest increase was in the number of passengers on the North Atlantic market, about 40%. The number of passengers in the tourist market to Iceland also increased significantly from last year, with a positive impact for all tourist services in Iceland. The Group’s freight activities have shown a turnaround. Freight charter projects have been downsized systematically, and the focus has been shifted to scheduled air freight services, which has returned good results.
At the start of the year we issued an EBITDA forecast for 2013 in the range of USD 115-120 million. The performance in the first quarter was in excess of the forecast, and in addition operating prospects are generally positive. Based on adjusted assumptions, EBITDA for the year is now projected at USD 122-127 million.”
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Boeing 757-308 WL TF-FIX (msn 29434) departs from London (Heathrow).
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (Atlas Air) (New York-JFK) today announced adjusted net income attributable to common stockholders of $5.9 million, or $0.22 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2013 compared with adjusted earnings of $13.6 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2012.
On a reported basis, net income attributable to common stockholders in the first quarter totaled $20.1 million, or $0.76 per diluted share, compared with $12.8 million, or $0.48 per diluted share in the year-ago quarter.
Adjusted earnings in the first quarter of 2013 exclude an income tax benefit of $14.2 million, or $0.54 per diluted share, related to the tax treatment of extraterritorial income from the offshore leasing of certain aircraft. Adjusted earnings in the first quarter of 2012 exclude fleet retirement costs of $0.9 million, or $0.03 per diluted share.
First-quarter revenue grew 5% to $377.3 million, with operating income increasing 10% to $22.6 million and operating margin expanding slightly. Free cash flow for the period totaled $42.4 million compared with $1.0 million in the first quarter of 2012.
“Our first-quarter results and initiatives demonstrate the benefits of a modern, efficient fleet, diversified business mix and solid balance sheet in a challenging business environment,” said William J. Flynn, President and Chief Executive Officer.
“Operating income during the quarter reflected the strength of our ACMI operations, especially our new 747-8 freighters. It also gained from new organizational capabilities and the evolution of our business, such as our expanding 767 service and growing CMI operations. We also realized operating efficiencies through our continuous improvement initiatives.
“Capitalizing on our financial strength, we acquired an immediately profitable 777 freighter under long-term customer lease for our Dry Leasing business. We also implemented an immediately accretive share repurchase program that acquired 3.4% of our outstanding stock for a total of $36.5 million through late April.
“Earnings in the first quarter were in line with our expectations and our outlook for the year. As a result, we are affirming previous guidance for 2013 but we are raising our expected adjusted earnings per share to $4.80 from $4.65 to reflect our actual and anticipated share repurchases.”
Revenue, volume and profitability growth in our core ACMI business during the first quarter were driven by our new 747-8Fs, with four additional -8F aircraft in service compared with the first quarter of 2012, as well as the continued ramp up of CMI flying for Boeing and DHL Express.
Improved ACMI segment earnings during the period also benefited from higher rates per block hour and lower maintenance expense for our 747-8Fs, partially offset by the redeployment of 747-400 aircraft to other business segments.
In AMC Charter, strong growth in passenger service volumes partially offset a 41% reduction in cargo block hours, a reduction in the number of one-way AMC missions, and lower average cargo revenue per block hour, which led to a decline in segment contribution. Lower average passenger revenue per block hour during the period stemmed from an increase in flying on smaller-gauge 767 aircraft added to supplement our wide-body 747-400 passenger service and enhance our share of military passenger business.
Segment results in Commercial Charter reflected the seasonal nature of this business and were primarily related to a reduction in yields driven by soft first-quarter global charter-market conditions.
Results in the first quarter were also affected by higher non-operating expenses, primarily due to a reduction in capitalized interest on 747-8F aircraft that entered service.
Reported earnings for the first quarter of 2013 included an effective income tax rate benefit of 97.4%, reflecting a federal income tax benefit of $14.2 million related to the tax treatment of extraterritorial income from the offshore leasing of certain of our aircraft.
Cash, Cash Equivalents and Short-Term Investments
At March 31, 2013, our cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaled $343.9 million, compared with $419.9 million at December 31, 2012.
The change in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments was primarily driven by an increase in cash provided by operating and financing activities, offset by cash used for investing activities.
Net cash used for investing activities in the first quarter of 2013 primarily related to the purchase of a 747-8F aircraft for our ACMI operations and a 777-200 LRF aircraft for our Dry Leasing business.
Net cash provided by financing activities primarily reflected proceeds from the issuance of debt in connection with the acquisitions of these aircraft. These proceeds were partially offset by payments on debt obligations and a prepayment under an accelerated share repurchase program agreement (“ASR”).
Share Repurchase Activity
Between mid-February and late April 2013, we repurchased 903,301 shares of our common stock for $36.5 million at an average cost of $40.40 per share. The shares were acquired pursuant to an ASR with an investment bank that settled on April 25, 2013.
We acquired 427,168 of these shares during the period ended March 31, 2013, which added $0.01 per diluted share to our adjusted and reported earnings for the first quarter.
Future repurchases may be made at our discretion, and the actual timing, form and amount will depend on company and market conditions.
We expect to generate strong earnings and cash flow in 2013. Led by ACMI, each of our business segments is expected to be profitable for the year.
Incorporating our share repurchase activity, we anticipate that our adjusted fully diluted earnings per share this year will total approximately $4.80, an increase from prior guidance of approximately $4.65. Including the extraterritorial income tax benefit of $0.54 per share, our reported fully diluted earnings per share in 2013 should be approximately $5.34.
Both adjusted and reported full-year 2013 EPS guidance assume the repurchase of $50.0 million of our outstanding stock during the year.
Our expectation for full year 2013 operating performance is unchanged from the outlook we issued last quarter. We now expect to fly fewer block hours in our Commercial Charter segment in 2013 than we previously forecast. We also expect lower operating expenses as a result of continuous improvement initiatives that drive productivity improvements and operating efficiencies. These initiatives target all aspects of our business, including engine overhauls, procurement efforts, passenger catering, ground travel, and crew scheduling.
Similar to the first quarter, adjusted and reported full-year earnings in 2013 will reflect strong growth from the company’s 747-8Fs in ACMI, driven by an increase in the number of -8F aircraft in ACMI service compared with 2012, including the incremental placement with Etihad Airways we announced today.
Market growth during 2013 should be seasonal and second-half weighted. We continue to anticipate a sequential increase in our quarterly earnings throughout the year, with approximately 75% of adjusted earnings per share and 66% of reported earnings per share occurring in the second half.
Based on our revised view, block-hour volumes in 2013 are now expected to total approximately 175,000 hours. ACMI segment flying should account for about 135,000, or 77%, of expected 2013 block hours, with about 22,000, or 13%, in Commercial Charter and 18,000, or 10%, in AMC Charter. Passenger charter flying should account for more than 10,000 AMC Charter block hours in 2013.
Based on anticipated deliveries of 747-8Fs in our outstanding order, the average number of -8Fs in service in 2013 should increase to more than eight from 4.3 in 2012.
In addition, we now anticipate that maintenance expense will total approximately $172 million in 2013, about 60% of which should be incurred in the first half of the year.
Mr. Flynn concluded: “In an environment of continuing global uncertainty, we are well-positioned to serve our customers and the airfreight markets. We have performed well. We are ready to capitalize on market improvements. And we are executing a strategic plan that leverages our core competencies, provides a basis for returning capital to our investors through share repurchases, and will enable us to grow over the long term.”
In other news, Atlas Air has confirmed the placement of its eighth Boeing 747-8 Freighter into ACMI service.
The aircraft will fly on behalf of Etihad Cargo, the cargo arm of Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, pursuant to a multi-year aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance agreement that commences in May 2013.
The new contract between the companies follows a letter of intent announced on April 1, 2013, and complements an existing Boeing 747-400F ACMI arrangement between Atlas and Etihad. The aircraft will be operated in full Etihad Cargo livery.
Copyright Photo: Pedro Pics. Atlas Air operates this Boeing 747-87UF N850GT (msn 37570) for Panalpina Air and Ocean in their colors.
Atlantic Airlines (UK) (Coventry) yesterday (April 27) reached a milestone for the company.
Atlantic Airlines’ last airworthy Lockheed Electra, the pictured 188C (F) G-LOFC (msn 1100), ferried from Katowice to Coventry in the early hours of April 27 after operating the final Electra commercial flight from Leipzig on behalf of DHL.
The converted freighter has been sold to Buffalo Airways (Yellowknife) and departed for Keflavik just after 1045 local time. Atlantic Airlines
staff were out in force to wave it off, the departure was filmed for “Ice Pilots”, it received a water canon salute and then made a final approach and flyby before departing to its new home.
There are still two derelict Electras parked up at Coventry. However G-LOFC was also the last airworthy Electra in Europe.
This aircraft was originally delivered to American Airlines as N6123A “Flagship Nashville” on October 22, 1959.
Thank you to Gordon Stretch for this report and photos.
Copyright Photos Below: Gordon Stretch. G-LOFC is given the traditional water cannon salute on its departure from CVT. The last operational Electra leaves Europe.
Air Canada (Montreal) and Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a commercial cooperation agreement that will enhance travel services between the United Arab Emirates and Canada.
While the two carriers currently have interline agreements in place for passenger and cargo services, Etihad Airways and Air Canada intend to offer customers through-checked bags, reciprocal codeshare services and frequent flyer benefits.
The MoU provides for reciprocal codeshare services to Etihad’s Abu Dhabi hub and select points in North America served by Air Canada via its Toronto hub. The two parties have commenced discussions to finalize details with the objective of introducing codeshare services in the third quarter of 2013.
The agreement will also allow frequent flyer mileage accrual on codeshare flights by members of Etihad Guest and Aeroplan programs and reciprocal premium lounge access at Toronto and Abu Dhabi airports for eligible passengers of both airlines.
This announcement follows the recent decision by the Governments of the UAE and Canada to restore the previous visa regime which means Canadian nationals can once again obtain a free visa on arrival in the UAE.
The UAE is Canada’s largest merchandise export market in the Middle East region and more than 40,000 Canadians reside in the UAE. Furthermore approximately 150 Canadian companies are based in the UAE.
Subject to regulatory approval, Etihad Airways will place its EY code on Air Canada flights between Toronto and select North American points.
In return, Air Canada will place its AC code on Etihad Airways’ non-stop services between Toronto and Abu Dhabi, as well as Etihad Airways’ flights between London Heathrow and Abu Dhabi.
Etihad Airways and Air Canada will also work together to enhance cargo services into and out of Abu Dhabi and Toronto, and beyond on each other’s networks.
Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100 nIGW C-FHJU (msn 19000044) arrives at the Toronto (Pearson) hub.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Boeing 777-3FX ER A6-ETK (msn 39686) takes off from London (Heathrow).
British Airways (London) takes a look at what it takes to dispatch a Boeing 747-400 (soon expanded to an Airbus A380):
Ever wondered what it takes to get a jumbo jet off the ground? British Airways has created a picture of the iconic aircraft, using a jumbo number of items from the aircraft to show the scale of its operation.
From toilet rolls to teaspoons, British Airways loads thousands of individual items on to each jumbo jet before it takes to the skies. With a combined weight of 6,120 kg, the items have to be unloaded and re-loaded before every take-off.
On a typical jumbo jet, the following items are loaded:
1,263 items of metal cutlery
1,291 items of china crockery
538 meal trays
650 paper cups
34 metal teapots
220 drinks stirrers
2,000 ice cubes
99 full bottles and 326 quarter bottles of wine
700 small cans of fizzy drinks
164 bags of nuts in Club World
337 cushions and pillows
337 sets of headphones
337 headrest covers
435 air sickness bags
58 toilet rolls
40 extension seatbelts for children
340 safety cards
337 copies of High Life magazine
40 skyflyer packs for children
5 first aid kits
Employees from across the airline came together to create the image, which was drawn on to the floor of an aircraft hangar. Aspects of the photograph include:
- created using pillowcases, toilet roll, hand towels and napkins.
- created using Club World blankets and blue roll (kitchen roll.)
– created using pillowcases, cabin crew sleeping bags, First blankets, china, headrest covers, Skyflyer bags for children and headrest covers.
– created using bags of nuts.
– the red parts are created using headset bags and extension seatbelts for children.
London Eye (London skyline)
– created using a teapot, metal cutlery, china and socks.
The Shard (London skyline)
– created using tea and coffee bags.
The Gherkin (London skyline)
– created using First cushion covers and socks.
Tower Bridge (London skyline)
– created using First slippers and Club World washbags
Big Ben’s Tower (London skyline)
– created using air sickness bags, a plate and metal cutlery (clock face)
Buildings (London skyline)
– created using oven trays, glasses, safety cards, tongs and copies of High Life magazine.
Rod Green, British Airways’ head global supply chain said: “It’s a huge job getting a jumbo in to the air, let alone a fleet of 52 every day. There are teams across the airline working together 365 days a year to ensure that all 27,260 items are delivered on time and to the right place to ensure our customers enjoy the very best travel experience. When we receive our new aircraft, the challenge will be even greater.”
It’s been 42 years since the first British Airways (formerly BOAC) jumbo jet took to the skies and in July 2013 when it takes delivery of its first A380, the number of items loaded on to a plane will increase by approximately 10,000 to cater for two full decks of customers.
British Airways has 52 jumbo jet aircraft in its fleet.
Copyright Photo Below: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-436 G-BYGD (msn 28857) is launched at London Heathrow.
Jat Airways (Belgrade) is moving closer to Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi). The latter will introduce daily Abu Dhabi-Belgrade flights on June 15. The two carriers are now exploring partnership options where Etihad could buy into the struggling Serbian carrier and help it upgrade its aging fleet. Etihad will take a hard look at Jat Airways before it makes an investment. If it invests, the investment is likely to follow and resemble the previous Airberlin (Berlin) investment. In the meantime, the two airlines will be code-sharing (see details below).
Read the full report from In Serbia: CLICK HERE
Both carriers issued this statement:
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will commence daily nonstop flights between its home-base of Abu Dhabi and Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, from June 15, 2013.
Jat Airways, Serbia’s national carrier, will place its JU code on the new service, as well as to 21 destinations on the Etihad Airways network. In return Etihad Airways will place its EY code on 23 of JatAirways’ European flights.
This new Etihad Airways flights will help provide better travel access to Belgrade for several hundred thousand Serbian nationals living around the world.
Etihad Airways will operate a two cabin Airbus A319 aircraft on the service between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade, configured to carry 106 passengers, with 16 seats in Pearl Business Class and 90 seats in Coral Economy Class. The announcement was made on April 15, at a media conference in Belgrade hosted by James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr Hogan was joined at the media conference by Vladimir Ognjenović, JatAirways’ Chief Executive Officer.
As part of the codeshare agreement, subject to government and regulatory approval, JatAirways will place its JU code on Etihad Airways flights to Abu Dhabi and beyond to Bangkok, Beijing, Brisbane, Chengdu, Chicago, Colombo, Ho Chi Minh City, Islamabad, Johannesburg, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Lahore, New York, Melbourne, Seychelles, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Toronto, and Washington, D.C.
In return, subject to government and regulatory approval, Etihad Airways will place its EY code on JatAirways flights between Belgrade and Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Rome, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Istanbul, Heathrow, Larnaca, Milan, Moscow, Podgorica, Sarajevo, Skopje, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Thessaloniki, Tivat, Vienna and Zurich.
Jat Airways will place its code on a number of the flights operated by Etihad Airways’ equity partner, Airberlin (Berlin). A major highlight of this would be the provision of a direct link for passengers travelling from Belgrade, via Berlin, to Chicago in the US. The capital of Illinois is renowned for having the second largest Serbian population of any city in the world, with an estimated 200,000 Serb nationals living in Chicago, and up to 500,000 residents of Serb origin.
Belgrade will become the third of five new destinations to be served by Etihad Airways in 2013, following the launch in March of flights to Washington, D.C., and in May to Amsterdam.
Etihad Airways will commence services later this year to Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton.
Iberia (Madrid) is facing more labor strife. According to this report by the Financial Times the company is planning deeper wage cuts after talks with the unions failed.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
In other news, Iberia introduced the new Airbus A330-300 on the Madrid-Miami route on April 15.
With a configuration of 36 seats in the Business cabin and 242 in the Economy class, the Business Plus section in the new A330s features wider seats that unfold into perfectly flat beds almost 80 inches long, housed in individual modules, each of them with direct access to the aisle. The design and positioning of the new seats ensure greater privacy and comfort to passengers. Lighting in the Business class cabin changes at the different phases of the flight and the seats offer more space for customers’ belongings.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Airbus A330-302 EC-LUB (msn 1377) arrives at London (Heathrow).
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) issued the following statement (translated from Norwegian):
Norwegian has announced a quarterly profit before tax of 238 million Norwegian crowns ($40.9 million). This is better than last year and one of its best first quarter results. The quarter was characterized by good traffic growth and international expansion and a substantial reduction of costs which strengthens the company’s competitive position in an industry with fierce competition.
Norwegian had sales of 2.9 billion Norwegian kroner in the first quarter, an increase of 23 percent compared with the same period last year. Earnings before tax (EBT) ranked -160 million NOK, SEK 238 million compared to the first quarter of 2012. 3.9 million passengers flew with the airline, which is a traffic growth of 8 per cent in terms of number of passengers. The traffic growth (RPK) was much higher, 19 percent, which is also linked to each Norwegian passengers now fly much longer distances than they did a year ago.
The figures also show a strong growth in production, an increase of 21 percent (ASK). The load factor for the first quarter was 76 percent, down one percentage point compared to the same quarter last year.
During the first quarter decreased cost (CASK) of 8 percent, both including and excluding fuel. Cost cuts explained by the establishment of new European bases and that the company will phase in a growing number of brand new Boeing 737-800′s, including 6 aircraft already delivered this year. April 1 opened Norwegian a new base at Gatwick in London, where the company until now launched 14 direct routes, including a number of popular Mediterranean destinations. Norwegian also opened a new base in Alicante in late March.
Norwegian’s overall production growth is expected to be over 25 percent in 2013 based on the company is phasing in new aircraft, launch more new routes and start to fly long-haul routes from late May / early June.
“We are very pleased with the results for the first quarter and that, in a seasonally weak quarter for many airlines, made a profit of 238 million kronor. The load factor was stable despite strong output growth. At the same time we reduce our costs significantly, which is absolutely critical to be a competitive player in the international industry. It is also gratifying that our growth is creating new jobs in several markets, including outside Scandinavia. Our strategy regarding cost reduction and international expansion is also the most important thing we can do to secure the many jobs we all have already created in Scandinavia”, said Norwegian’s CEO Bjorn Kjos.
Top Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) Boeing 737-81D WL LN-NOR (msn 39412) (Povel Ramel) arrives at London (Gatwick).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Norwegian. Another view of LN-NOR in scenic Norway.
WestJet (Calgary) and Icelandair (Keflavik) have launched a new interline agreement opening up the skies for passengers connecting between the Americas and more than 20 Icelandair destinations throughout Europe .
Passengers can now book a single combined e-ticket for WestJet and Icelandair flights which includes the conveniences of single check-in for all flights and baggage sent through to the final destination.
Earlier this year Icelandair expanded its seasonal service from Toronto to a year-round operation with plans to increase capacity next summer. Icelandair will also resume seasonal service from Halifax with two flights a week starting June 1, 2013.
Icelandair, the national carrier of Iceland since 1937, offers service to Iceland from Boston , New York-JFK, Seattle , Denver and Toronto with seasonal service from Newark , Washington, D.C., Minneapolis-St. Paul, Orlando Sanford , Halifax , and Anchorage (starting May 15 , 2013).
Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Boeing 737-7CT WL C-FWAF (msn 32747) arrives at Las Vegas.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Boeing 757-208 WL TF-FIP (msn 30423) completes its final approach into London (Heathrow).
Icelandair (Keflavik) has announce it will begin scheduled service from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) on October 28, 2013 to Keflavik (near Reykjavik).
Icelandair has served the New York City market for over 60 years with flights to and from John F. Kennedy International (JFK) and will continue to do so. The Newark flights will supplement the JFK service and will operate four times per week on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Newark will be the 11th Icelandair gateway in North America and the 36th destination within the Icelandair global route network.
The 2013 timetable is the largest in Icelandair’s 76 year history and is 15% larger than last year. Newark is the fourth destination that has been introduced this year joining Anchorage, Alaska, St. Petersburg, Russia and Zurich, Switzerland.
In addition to Newark, Icelandair offers service to Iceland from Boston, New York-JFK, Seattle, Denver and Toronto with seasonal service from Washington, D.C., Minneapolis-St. Paul, Orlando Sanford, Halifax, and Anchorage (starting May 15, 2013). Connections through Icelandair’s hub at Keflavik International Airport are available to more than 20 destinations in Scandinavia, the U.K. and Continental Europe.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Boeing 757-208 WL TF-FIN (msn 28989) departs from London (Heathrow).
Boeing (Chicago), Sberbank of Russia and its wholly owned subsidiary, Sberbank Leasing, have reached an agreement on an order for 12 Next-Generation 737-800s. The airplanes are intended for operational leasing under Sberbank’s contract with Transaero Airlines (Moscow).
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton.
All AG images are available for purchase.
LOT Polish Airlines to wet lease an Airbus A330-200 from Hifly to replace its grounded Boeing 787-8s
LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw) is wet leasing an Airbus A330-200 from Hifly (Lisbon) until at least the end of May to replace its grounded Boeing 787-8s according to Air Journal. The leased aircraft will be operated to New York (JFK) and Chicago (O’Hare).
LOT will also be asking Boeing for additional compensation for its grounded fleet.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner SP-LRA (msn 35938) prepares to land at London (Heathrow) when it was flying.
Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) on June 18 will add new service to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) via Bangkok with three weekly flights flown by Boeing 767-300 ERs.
The airline is also adding new routes to Seoul (Incheon) and Manila as part of its Asian expansion.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 767-3BG ER ET-AMF (msn 30563) prepares to land at London (Heathrow).
El Al Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv) reported it narrowed its yearly loss to $18.8 million for 2012, compared with a loss of $49.8 million in 2011, an improvement of 62 percent.
El Al has purchased two additional Boeing narrow-body 737-900s (a total of six have been purchased). The first of these new aircraft will begin service with El Al in October 2013.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Boeing 747-458 4X-ELD (msn 29328) climbs gracefully away from the runway at London (Heathrow).
Iberia (Madrid) on March 17 introduced its new Airbus A330-300 on its first trans-Atlantic route from Madrid to Boston. It is unclear if the type will be operated to Miami as planned.
AESA, the Spanish Aeronautical Safety Agency, granted Iberia ETOPS-90 minutes authority. Iberia hasn’t flown ETOPS flights since it retired its two Boeing 767-300s (EC-GTI and EC-GSU).
ETOPS stands for “Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards”. Under ETOPS-90 the aircraft must follow a route that will allow it to reach a diversion airport within 90 minutes if one engine fails.
Copyright Photo: Wingnut. Airbus A330-302 EC-LUB (msn 1377) taxies at London (Heathrow).
SriLankan Airlines (Colombo) and the president of Sri Lanka opened the country’s second international airport yesterday (March 18) on the island’s southeast coast.
Air Arabia (Sharjah) became the first foreign airline to operate scheduled services to and from Mattala Rajapakse International Airport, approximately 168 miles south of the capital of Colombo according to this report by Hindustan Times.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Airbus A340-311 4R-ADC (msn 034) climbs away from London (Heathrow).
Cathay Pacific’s 2012 annual profit drops 83.3% to $118 million, accelerates the retirement of the Boeing 747-400
Cathay Pacific Group (Cathay Pacific Airways) (Hong Kong) has issued the following financial report for 2012:
The Cathay Pacific Group reported an attributable profit of HK$916 million ($118 million) for 2012 – an 83.3% fall compared to the profit of HK$5,501 million ($709 million) reported for 2011. Earnings per share fell by 83.3% to HK23.3 cents. Turnover for the year increased by 1.0% to HK$99,376 million.
In 2012 the Group’s core business was adversely affected by the high price of jet fuel, pressure on passenger yields and weak air cargo demand. Economic uncertainty, particularly in the Eurozone countries, and an increasingly competitive environment added to the difficulties. It was a challenging year for the aviation industry generally. The Group’s share of profits from associated companies, including Air China, showed a marked decline.
Passenger revenue for the year was HK$70,133 million, an increase of 3.5% compared to 2011. Capacity increased by 2.6%. The two airlines carried a total of 29.0 million passengers in 2012, up 5.0% on the previous year. The passenger load factor fell by 0.3 percentage points. Yield increased by 1.2% to HK67.3 cents, largely due to higher fuel surcharges consequent upon a 1.7% increase in average fuel prices. Uncertain economic conditions and strong competition on key routes put pressure on yields while premium class yields were affected by travel restrictions imposed by corporations. The high cost of fuel made it more difficult to operate profitably, particularly on long-haul routes operated by older, less fuel-efficient aircraft.
The Group’s cargo revenue in 2012 was HK$24,555 million, a decrease of 5.5% compared to 2011. Yield for Cathay Pacific and Dragonair remained the same as last year at HK$2.42. Capacity was down by 3.1% while the cargo load factor dropped by 3.0 percentage points to 64.2%. The airlines’ cargo business was affected by weak demand in major markets, particularly from Asia to Europe. Demand for shipments from the two key markets of Hong Kong and Mainland China, was well below expectations, although there were short-term upturns in March and in the last quarter. Capacity was adjusted in line with demand.
Fuel remained the most significant cost. Throughout much of 2012, fuel prices were at sustained high levels and this had a major impact on operating results. The Group’s fuel costs (disregarding the effect of fuel hedging) increased by 0.8% compared to 2011. Fuel accounted for 41.1% of total operating costs – a decrease of 0.4 of a percentage point from the previous year. Managing the risk associated with high and sometimes volatile fuel prices remains a key challenge. The Group took advantage of a reduction in fuel prices in May and June to do more hedging with a view to mitigating the impact of future fuel price increases.
In May 2012, Cathay Pacific announced measures designed to protect its business in an environment of high fuel prices and weak revenues. These measures included the accelerated retirement of the less fuel-efficient Boeing 747-400 passenger aircraft; the withdrawal from service of four Boeing 747-400BCF converted freighters; and an adjustment of schedules and reduced capacity on some long-haul routes. At the same time as addressing the challenges to its business, the Cathay Pacific Group kept a clear focus on its key strategic goals: developing its network and its Hong Kong base; maintaining and enhancing the quality of its services; strengthening its relationship with Air China; and maintaining a prudent approach to financial risk management.
The airline continued with its major investments in new aircraft and new products, and opened its own cargo terminal at Hong Kong International Airport in February 2013. Despite the need to adjust schedules in 2012 in light of the challenging business environment and the high cost of fuel, the Group remained committed to maintaining the integrity of its network. On the passenger side, Cathay Pacific added frequencies on routes to India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam and introduced a new service to Hyderabad in India last year. Dragonair added frequencies on routes to secondary cities in Mainland China and introduced or resumed flights to eight destinations in 2012. In the first quarter of 2013, Dragonair is launching another four new destinations. On the cargo side, Cathay Pacific introduced freighter services to Zhengzhou, Hyderabad and Colombo last year.
The upgrading of the Cathay Pacific and Dragonair fleets continued in 2012, with 19 new aircraft received. As at 31 December 2012, the Group had 92 aircraft on order for delivery up to 2020. An order was placed for six Airbus A350-900 aircraft in January 2012. In August the Group ordered 10 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft and converted an existing order for 16 Airbus A350-900 aircraft into an order for 16 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. In March 2013, Cathay Pacific entered into an agreement with The Boeing Company under which it agreed to buy three Boeing 747-8F freighter aircraft and cancel the agreement to purchase eight Boeing 777-200F freighters that was entered into in August 2011. Under the agreements, the Company also acquired options to purchase five Boeing 777-200F freighters and The Boeing Company agreed to purchase four Boeing 747-400BCF converted freighters, which were taken out of service in 2012 and early 2013. The transaction is part of a package of transactions between the Group, The Boeing Company, Air China Cargo Co., Ltd and Air China Limited.
In an increasingly competitive environment it is crucial to maintain and develop passenger loyalty by providing high quality products and services. This remains a key focus of the Cathay Pacific Group. To this end, Cathay Pacific has introduced a new Premium Economy Class product, a new long-haul Economy Class seat and a new Regional Business Class seat. The airline’s long-haul Business Class was named World’s Best Business Class in 2012 at the World Airline Awards run by Skytrax. Dragonair will also get new Business Class and Economy Class seats from March 2013. On the ground, refurbishment of the Level 7 Business Class Lounge in The Wing at Hong Kong International Airport was completed in January 2012 and the First Class Lounge was reopened in February 2013. In August 2012, Cathay Pacific opened a new lounge in Paris.
Cathay Pacific Chairman Christopher Pratt said: “The Cathay Pacific Group operates in a volatile and challenging industry, one that will always be highly susceptible to external factors that remain largely beyond our control. The cost of fuel remains the biggest challenge, particularly for an airline such as ours where long-haul operations form a significant part of our total operations.
“We believe we have taken the right measures to deal with current challenges and will take whatever further measures are necessary should the business environment not improve. Our focus will remain on protecting the business and managing short-term difficulties while remaining committed to our long-term strategy. Our financial position remains strong and we will continue to invest in the future. Our core strengths remain the same as ever: a superb team, a strong international network, exceptional standards of customer service, a strong relationship with Air China and our position in Hong Kong. These will help to ensure the success of the Cathay Pacific Group in the long term.”
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. The company is now accelerating the retirement of the Boeing 747-400 fleet. Boeing 747-467 B-HOO (msn 23814) climbs away from London (Heathrow).
AirAsia Philippines (Angeles City, Pampanga-Clark International Airport) has agreed to acquire all of the shares Zest’s affiliate Asiawide Airways from Alfredo Yao, vice chairman of Export and Industry Bank Inc. and the Zest-O Corporation. This acquisition will give AirAsia 40 percent of the shares of Zest Air (Zest Airways) (Manila). In return, Yao will get a 15 percent share in closely held AirAsia (Kuala Lumpur) according to this report by Bloomberg.Each airline, both former competitors, will now operate separately but will be aligned with each other.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Terry Wade. AirAsia’s (AirAsia.com) (Philippines) Airbus A320-216 RP-C8191 (msn 4989) is seen at London (Gatwick) prior to the delivery.
Middle Copyright Photo Below: AirAsia. AirAsia and Zest Air officials celebrate the new association.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Manuel Negrerie. Zest Air’s (Zest Airways) Airbus A320-232 RP-C8994 (msn 743) climbs away from Taipei (TPE).
Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) has frozen all salaries according to this report by Bloomberg. The struggling carrier is expected to report a loss of $201 million for its fiscal year ending on February 28 according to the Sunday Times.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Looking almost new in its updated 2010 livery, Airbus A340-313X G-VELD (msn 214) climbs away from the runway at the London (Heathrow) hub. Higher fuel costs are hurting the carrier especially with its older less fuel-efficient aircraft like the Airbus A340-300. The last of the four A340-300s is expected to depart from the fleet this year.
Vueling Airlines‘ (Barcelona) board has rejected the latest offer by the International Airlines Group (IAG) (London) to acquire the remaining shares in the low-fare airline. The board believes the IAG $148 million bid undervalues the company and is recommending that all stockholders reject the latest bid.
Read the full report from Bloomberg: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Airbus A320-232 EC-LQN (msn 2168) completes its final approach into London (Heathrow).
Brazil’s TAM Airlines will leave the Star Alliance to join oneworld, along with its Paraguay subsidiary. Their transition is expected to be completed during 2014’s second quarter.
LAN Colombia, the latest part of LAN, will join oneworld as an affiliate member, in the fourth quarter of 2013.
American Airlines and US Airways receive a DOJ request for additional information for its proposed merger
AMR Corporation (Dallas/Fort Worth), the parent company of American Airlines, Inc. (Dallas/Fort Worth), and US Airways Group, Inc. (the parent of US Airways) (Phoenix) announced that, on March 4, 2013, each company received a request for additional information (Second Request) from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in connection with the proposed merger of the two airlines.
A DOJ Second Request is a standard part of the regulatory process. A Second Request extends the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, during which the parties may not close the transaction, until 30 days after American Airlines and US Airways have substantially complied with the Second Request (or the waiting period is otherwise terminated by the DOJ). American Airlines and US Airways expect to respond promptly to the Second Request and to continue working cooperatively with the DOJ as it conducts its review of the proposed combination. American Airlines and US Airways continue to expect the combination to be completed in the third quarter of 2013.
The merger is conditioned on the approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, regulatory approvals, approval by US Airways shareholders, other customary closing conditions, and confirmation and consummation of the Plan of Reorganization.
Copyright Photo: Wingnut. American Airlines’ Boeing 777-323 ER N717AN (msn 31543) in the new look made its first appearance at London (Heathrow) yesterday.
American signs a new sale-lease back agreement with ILFC for Boeing aircraft including 15 737-800s and one 777-300 ER
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) announced today both companies have entered into an agreement for the purchase and leaseback of an additional 15 new Boeing 737-800 and one new 777-300 ER aircraft.
The Boeing 737 aircraft are scheduled for delivery between May 2013 and December 2014. The Boeing 777 widebody aircraft is forecasted to be delivered in the second half of March 2013. ILFC and American had entered into a previous sale-leaseback agreement for 15 Boeing 737-800 Next Generation aircraft in 2011. The final delivery of those aircraft was completed in 2012 and they are operating today.
Copyright Photo: Terry Wade. The pictured Boeing 777-323 ER N717AN (msn 31543) on its final approach at London (Heathrow) was delivered on December 11, 2012 becoming the first of the type for AA.
TAP Portugal (Lisbon) posted a $20.6 million profit in 2012.
The airline issued the following financial statement:
With a profit of 15.9 million euros in 2012, this was well above the 3.1 million in 2011, TAP SA achieved positive results for the fourth consecutive year.
In 2012, total debt was reduced from 1042 TAP million to 862 million, which represents an improvement of 21%. Note also that the total debt, which in 2011 represented 46% of total income and gains, fell to 35% in 2012.
Obtaining a positive net income for the fourth year was made possible by the company’s growth, which reached 4.4% with over 10,186 million passengers, surpassing for the first time in its history the barrier of 10 million.
Total revenues in financial year 2012 amounted to 2,429 million euros, showing an increase of 6.9% compared to 2273 million in the previous year, highlighting the Maintenance Assistance (Third Party) with an improvement of 23% and ticket revenues with a growth of 6.7%.
Operating costs, excluding fuel, stood at 1,422 million euros, 4.8% more than the 1,357 recorded in 2011. The fuel bill, whose cost has not stopped growing since 2008, had in 2012 an additional 93 million euros, up 13% compared to 2011.
The positive results of TAP reflect the continuing effort to improve efficiency, achieved through productivity gains and decreased consumption.
Operating results were also positive at 43.4 million euros, 5.6% better than the 41.1 recorded in 2011.
While increasing the supply (PKO) 4.1%, the national airline increased demand (PKU) of 4.8%, which allowed also improve the load factor of 76.3% in 2011 to the 76.8 percent in 2012.
Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning. Airbus A320-214 CS-TNP (msn 2178) in the Star Alliance livery taxies to the runway at London (Heathrow).
Titan Airways (London-Stansted) has become a privately-owned company. The airline which is celebrating its 25th Anniversary, issued this statement:
Titan Airways has become a fully privately owned business. The business is now owned outright by managing director and founder, Gene Willson, who recently bought out long term investors 3i.
Originally holding a 37% stake in Titan’s parent company, Hagondale, 3i’s ownership was reduced to 22% last March and the remaining balance of shares were purchased at the end of last year.
Mr Willson said, “We are extremely pleased to achieve this milestone in such a significant year – our 25th birthday. 3i have been a very supportive partner but completing the purchase of their shares provides us with full control of our long-term development plans for the airline. The additional shareholding also gives us the flexibility for further business opportunities.”
When Titan Airways was founded in 1988 it was a two man operation operating a single light aircraft, a Cessna 404 Titan. Today we have grown into one of the UK’s most successful charter airlines with 250 staff and a versatile fleet of 12 aircraft, ranging from a 6 seat Citation CJ2+ to a 265 seat Boeing 767-300 (see above). A 13th aircraft, an Airbus A320-233, will be joining the fleet in the spring.
Mr Willson, who still regularly captains several of the aircraft types in the Titan Airways fleet, believes our success can be attributed to our ability to deliver bespoke services with exacting attention to detail to a diverse customer base.
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil. Boeing 767-36N ER G-POWD (msn 30847) completes its final approach into London (Heathrow).
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) reported a full-year pre-tax profit of 623 million Norwegian kroner ($112.4 million), an increase of 457 million Norwegian kroner ($82.5 million), compared with 2011. According to the carrier, “2012 was characterized by high traffic growth and international expansion with many new routes and the establishment of new bases.”
Sales for 2012 amounted to 12.9 billion Norwegian kroner, an increase of 22 percent. Norwegian flew 17.7 million passengers in 2012, an increase of 2 million (13 percent). The load factor for 2012 was 79 percent, the same as last year.
In 2012, Norwegian took delivery of 13 brand new Boeing 737-800 aircraft. This year, Norwegian will continue to phase in new aircraft – 14 Boeing 737-800s and 3 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Terry Wade. Norwegian is gradually phasing out its Boeing 737-300s and many of its special aircraft schemes. The pictured Boeing 737-3S3 LN-KKY (msn 29245) in the special ACTA livery at London (Gatwick) in 2011 went to Transaero Airlines as EI-ERP.
Routes from Oslo:
Grupo Aeromexico S.A.B. De C.V. (AeroMexico) (Mexico City), the largest intercontinental airline in Mexico, reported consolidated unaudited results for the fourth quarter and full year 2012.
- Net income during the fourth quarter 2012 was MXP $612 million ($47.9 million); an increase as compared to the MXP $294 million ($23 million) net income reported for the same period in 2011. Full year net income was MXP $1,323 million ($103.6 million) despite record-high fuel prices and the negative impact of a 5.8% exchange rate depreciation.
- Fourth quarter operating profit before other non-operating revenues and expenses was MXP $356 million, with a 3.6% margin. 2012 operating profit before other non-operating revenues and expenses was MXP $2,529 million, with a 6.4% margin. Operating margin was 6.5%, excluding the effect of Aeromexico Cargo consolidation.
- 2012 EBITDAR was MXP $6,811 million, the second highest annual EBITDAR in the Company’s history, despite negative impacts related to the fuel price increase and the aforementioned exchange rate depreciation. EBITDAR margin was 17.2%; after adjusting for the cargo consolidation effect, this margin was 17.6%.
- Grupo Aeromexico reported record revenues of MXP $39,569 million in 2012; 10.5% growth year-over-year. This growth was driven primarily by increased yields, higher passenger flows and an increase in cargo revenues. Fourth quarter revenues reached MXP $9,897 million; a 1.7% increase year on year.
- Cost per available seat kilometer (CASK) excluding fuel and adjusting for the accounting effect of consolidating Aeromexico Cargo (AM Cargo), increased 5.4% in 2012 compared to last year. This is primarily due to the exchange rate depreciation. This indicator, expressed in U.S. dollars, decreased 1.7%. CASK in pesos, excluding fuel and the cargo business consolidation, grew 3.7% in the fourth quarter as compared to the same period last year.
- During the year, Grupo Aeromexico executed the most ambitious investment program in the Company’s history, making payments of MXP $4,261 million in fixed assets investments, aircraft purchase prepayments, guarantee deposits and the amortization of debt not related to the purchase of aircraft. The Company’s cash position as of December 31, 2012 was MXP $3,452 million.
- Grupo Aeromexico took delivery of eight new Embraer-190 in 2012. Six of these were delivered as part of the aircraft acquisition program through the BNDES credit line and two were delivered through operating leases. The Company also took delivery of three Boeing 737-800 through US Ex-Im Bank financing. Three Embraer 170 aircraft also were added to the fleet through operating leases. Additionally, two Boeing 737-800, one Boeing 767-200 and one Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft were re-delivered.
Copyright Photo: Wingnut. Boeing 767-284 ER XA-JBC (msn 24762) in the SkyTeam motif prepares to taxi to the runway at London (Heathrow).
Thomas Cook Group (London) has announced it will merge Condor Flugdienst (Frankfurt), Thomas Cook Airlines (UK) (Manchester) and Thomas Cook Airlines (Belgium) (Brussels) into one airline within the group on March 1.
The merger is part of Thomas Cook’s turnaround plan. It is unclear if the historic Condor name will be retired.
Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf. Condor already wear sthe Thomas Cook brand but still clings to its historic Condor name. Boeing 767-330 ER D-ABUH (msn 26986) taxies to the runway at Munich with the additional Peanuts characters.
Middle Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil. Thomas Cook Airlines’ (Belgium) Airbus A320-232 OO-TCN (msn 425) with the image of Kim Clijsters arrives at the Belgium base.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Boeing 757-28A G-FCLH (msn 26274) of Thomas Cook Airlines (UK) completes its final approach into London (Gatwick).
Air Canada (Montreal) has announced it will introduce a new International Premium Economy cabin for customers seeking enhanced comfort and service on international flights as it continues to modernize its widebody fleet with the addition of five new Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft.
Complementing its Economy and Executive First options on international flights, Air Canada’s new Premium Economy cabin will offer customers a wide range of benefits including a dedicated cabin featuring larger seats that are wider, providing more recline, with seven more inches of legroom than Economy and are never more than one seat from the aisle (due to a 2-4-2 configuration). Customers will also be offered premium meals with complimentary bar service and priority check-in and baggage delivery at the airport. More information on Air Canada’s new Premium Economy cabin is available at www.aircanada.com/premiumeconomy.
Air Canada’s Premium Economy cabin will be introduced on Air Canada’s Montreal-Paris flights effective July 11 , 2013. Additional routes offering Premium Economy will be added over time as new aircraft enter the carrier’s mainline fleet.
Air Canada will expand and modernize its international widebody fleet with the addition of five new Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft. In addition to two Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft previously announced that will be delivered in June and August 2013 , Air Canada today announced that it will add three new Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft to be delivered in November and December 2013 and February 2014. With the addition of these five aircraft, Air Canada’s Boeing 777 fleet will consist of 23 aircraft comprising the latest generation of 300 ER and 200 LR models.
Air Canada’s five new Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft will be the first aircraft configured with the carrier’s new Premium Economy cabin prior to the arrival of Boeing 787 aircraft scheduled to begin delivery in 2014. The five Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft will also offer a larger Economy cabin as Air Canada will strategically deploy these aircraft on select international markets with high volume demand for economy travel.
The five Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft that will begin delivery in June 2013 will be configured with a larger Economy cabin with 398 new “slimline” leather seats providing 31-inch legroom consistent with the comfort of Air Canada’s current Economy cabin, while the dedicated Premium Economy cabin of 24 leather seats will provide 38-inch legroom along with other enhanced comfort features. Air Canada’s Executive First cabin will offer 36 seats that convert into 180-degree lie-flat beds in a staggered configuration of one or two, to allow customers traveling alone or with a companion to choose their preferred seating and sleeping options. Customers in all three cabins of service will enjoy an enhanced individual seat back in-flight entertainment system with hundreds of hours of complimentary audio visual entertainment options featuring larger screens and customer-friendly technology by Panasonic.
In addition to the introduction of Premium Economy, new seats and a leading edge entertainment system, Air Canada’s five new Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft will provide customers with a refreshed interior colour palette in modern, neutral tones unique to these aircraft pending the official launch of Air Canada’s future in-flight product and cabin design that will be made in conjunction with the introduction of Boeing 787 aircraft into its fleet.
Air Canada’s 37 Boeing 787 aircraft will feature a brand new, enhanced version of Air Canada’s award-winning Executive First lie-flat beds and product that has yet to be announced, in addition to Premium Economy and Economy options. The Boeing 787 fleet will be deployed on the carrier’s current and future high premium demand international routes.
On the financial side, Air Canada reported full year and fourth quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and impairment, and aircraft rent (“EBITDAR”) of $1.451 billion (or $1.327 billion before the impact of benefit plan amendments) compared to EBITDAR of $1.242 billion in 2011. Including the favourable impact of benefit plan amendments, EBITDAR of $1.451 billion increased $209 million year-over-year (or $85 million before the impact of benefit plan amendments). On a GAAP basis, in 2012, net income was $131 million or $0.45 per diluted share compared to a net loss of $249 million or $0.92 per diluted share in 2011. On an adjusted basis, net income was $53 million or $0.19 per diluted share compared to a net loss of $122 million or $0.44 per diluted share in 2011.
For the fourth quarter of 2012, Air Canada reported EBITDAR of $284 million compared to EBITDAR of $162 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, an improvement of $122 million. On a GAAP basis, in the fourth quarter of 2012, Air Canada reported net income of $8 million or $0.03 per diluted share compared to a net loss of $60 million or $0.22 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2011. Air Canada reported an adjusted net loss of $6 million or $0.02 per diluted share compared to an adjusted net loss of $167 million or $0.60 per diluted share in the same quarter in 2011.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Boeing 777-333 ER C-FIUW (msn 35249) completes its final approach into London (Heathrow).
Kuwait Airways (Kuwait City) is going to be privatized by the state of Kuwait. According to the Kuwait Times, the National Assembly has approved an Amiri decree to convert Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) into a shareholding company. The newly-reorganized Kuwait Airways intends to purchase 20 or 21 new aircraft within the next two years according to the report.
Kuwait Airways fleet now comprises three Airbus A320-200s, three A310-300s, five A300-600s, four A340-300s and two Boeing Boeing 777-200s (17 aircraft total).
Read the full story: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. With the privatization and the fleet renewal, Kuwait Airways is very likely to develop a new brand this year. Boeing 777-269 ER 9K-AOB (msn 28744) prepares to land at London (Heathrow).
Etihad Airways’ 2012 net profit increases to $42 million, will wet lease an Airbus A340-300 from Air France
Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) reported a net profit of $42 million (USD) in 2012, up 200 percent from the $14 million net profit in 2011. The company saw strong improvements in revenues, passengers numbers and cost control.
Revenue increased 17 percent to $4.8 billion (from $4.1 billion), on passenger numbers that were up 23 percent to 10.3 million (from 8.4 million). These numbers were boosted significantly by Etihad Airways’ equity partnerships and codeshares, which delivered more than $600 million in total revenue.
In other news, Etihad Airways has strengthened its relationship with Air France-KLM, with the announcement that the UAE flag carrier will wet-lease an Air France Airbus A340-300 for use on the Paris-Abu Dhabi route from May 15 to November 30.
Air France will operate the 272 seat aircraft as one of Etihad Airways’ two daily Paris-Abu Dhabi return services – EY 37 and EY 38 respectively.
Last October, Etihad Airways and Air France-KLM forged a strategic partnership which saw the two airline groups work together to create value for each airline.
The agreement expanded the UAE flag carrier’s European network with codeshare services beyond Paris to Bordeaux, Copenhagen, Madrid, Nice and Toulouse, and saw Air France place its AF flight code on Etihad Airways operated flights between Paris Charles de Gaulle and Abu Dhabi, and to cities beyond.
In other news, the airline will introduce daily Abu Dhabi-Amsterdam service with Airbus A330-200s starting on May 15 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Airbus A340-313X A6-EYC (msn 117) of Etihad climbs away from London (Gatwick).
Turkish Airlines (Istanbul) has signed a firm order for two additional A330-300 passenger aircraft and three options as part of the carrier’s continued growth plans. The additional order for the A330 Family is taking their total firm order for the type to 38. Turkish Airlines placed their first order with Airbus in 1984, and today operate 104 Airbus aircraft in total.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. The carrier currently has 10 A330-300s in service. A330-343X TC-JNR (msn 1311) completes its final approach into London (Heathrow).
Air Malta (Luqa) has reduced its third quarter net loss to $6.5 million (€4.8 million) from $13.2 million (€9.8 million) in the same quarter in 2011 according to Malta Today.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. The new 2012 brand promotes the destination of Malta. Airbus A319-111 9H-AEL (msn 2332) prepares to land at London (Heathrow).
Ryanair (Dublin) announced third quarter profits of $24.1 million (€18 million), up $4 million (€3 million) on last year despite an $109 million (€81 million) increase in fuel costs. Revenues rose 15% to $1.3 billion (€969 million) as traffic grew 3% to 17.3 million passengers. Unit costs rose 11% mainly due to a 24% (€81 million) increase in fuel. Excluding fuel third quarter unit costs rose by 4%, while average fares improved by 8%.
Q3 Results (IFRS) €
Dec 31, 2011
Dec 31, 2012
Profit after Tax
Basic EPS(euro cent)