TAM Linhas Aereas (TAM Airlines) (Sao Paulo) will introduce Fortaleza-Miami weekly flights with Airbus A330 aircraft starting on May 31 according to Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-223 PT-MVO (msn 949) arrives in London (Heathrow).
British Airways (London) today (March 3) launched the new London (Heathrow)-Austin, Texas Boeing 787 route with the help of Texan Jerry Hall (formerly married to Mick Jagger). The inaugural flight is utilizing 787-8 G-ZBJC (see below).
Austin is British Airways’ 25th North American gateway and third in the state of Texas (Houston and Dallas being the other two). This is the first trans-Atlantic route between Austin and London.
The callsign for British Airways aircraft is Speedbird. The Speedbird symbol was designed by Lee-Elliott for Imperial Airways in 1932. It represents speed, flight and power – and became one of the most successful motifs of the twentieth century.
Speedbird 191 will arrive in Austin later today.
Read the full report from the Daily Mail: CLICK HERE
British Airways issued this statement:
British Airways today launches its inaugural flight between Austin, Texas and London, England. This marks the first regular trans-Atlantic nonstop service for the city of Austin. The inaugural flight into Austin Bergstrom International Airport will be met by Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and British Airways EVP Americas Sean Doyle.
Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and inaugural British Airways Captain Dave Willsher flying the 787 Dreamliner Simulator and welcoming British Airways to Austin, Texas. (PRNewsFoto/British Airways)
For this much anticipated route, British Airways will operate one of the newest aircraft in its fleet, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The service will be available five days a week, increasing to daily flights in May. The first flight is perfectly timed to help accommodate travelers from Europe heading to the international South by Southwest Conferences and Festivals.
The new aircraft features three cabins: Club World (business class), World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and World Traveller (economy). The cabins feature stylish new interiors with state-of-the-art entertainment systems. British Airways provides meals, snacks and beverages, including full-service bar for free. Customers can also benefit from a generous baggage allowance.
Top Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 787-8 G-ZBJD (msn 38619) was delivered on September 27, 2013.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Fernandez Imaging/AirlinersGallery.com. G-ZBJC touches down in Austin on the historic first flight.
British Airways (London) has announced it will upgrade the London (Heathrow)-Singapore route to the new Airbus A380 initially three days a week starting on October 28, 2014.
As previously reported, the new Airbus A380 will begin flying from London (Heathrow) to Washington Dulles International Airport on September 1, 2014. The aircraft is already flying from London to both Los Angeles and Hong Kong and just started services between London and Johannesburg.
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 G-XLEB (msn 121) arrives back at the London (Heathrow) base.
British Airways utilizes Kristin Davis to introduce the new A380 service to Singapore:
Qatar Airways (Doha) has announced the launch of a new daily all premium Business Class service from its hub in Doha to London’s Heathrow Airport.
The new service will be the first of its kind in the Middle East, commencing from May 15, 2014, with an Airbus A319 aircraft fitted with an all Business Class, single aisle, 2–2 seating configuration offering 40 seats.
Qatar Airways currently operates five daily flights to London Heathrow and the additional sixth all Business Class daily service marks the start of an exciting new era for travelers to and from the UK, who can experience complete comfort and privacy with the airline’s award-winning five-star hospitality.
The new additional flight will step up the frequency on the Doha – London Heathrow route from 35 to 42 weekly services.
Qatar Airways has been awarded the World’s Best Business Class Airline for 2013 and has also twice been the recipient of the Airline of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012 at the prestigious Skytrax Airline Awards. The airline has also been named as ‘Best Long-Haul Airline’ for the second year running and ‘Business Airline of the Year’ at the high profile UK Business Travel Awards 2014 recently held in London.
Qatar Airways’ new A319 Business Class seat will have one of the highest specifications for business class travel of any airline with wide seats that recline into fully flat beds and state of the art Oryx entertainment system (with more than 900 entertainment options – movies, television, video games and music).
Passengers can also remain in touch with their friends and loved ones on the ground through the SMS mobile texting GSM and GPRS service upon this aircraft, which is sure to reflect that of a VIP jet experience for those traveling between London and Doha.
Currently undergoing rapid expansion, Qatar Airways is one of the fastest growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. Now in its 17th year of operations, Qatar Airways has a modern fleet of 129 aircraft flying to 134 key business and leisure destinations across six continents.
Qatar Airways’ first venture into the all Business Class premium market will strengthen its position as one of the leading airlines in the global aviation industry.
As part of its aggressive expansion program, Qatar Airways will launch routes to eight new destinations during 2014: Sharjah (UAE) from March 1; Dubai World Central (UAE) from March 1; Philadelphia (USA) from April 2; Larnaca (Cyprus) from April 29; Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport (Turkey) from May 22; Edinburgh (Scotland) from May 28; Miami (USA) from June 10 and Dallas/Fort Worth (USA) from July 1.
The Doha – London Heathrow New Daily A319 All Business Class Flight Schedule (all times local)
Depart Doha QR015 at 14:50 hrs, arrives in London Heathrow 20:25 hrs
Depart London Heathrow QR016 at 21:55 hrs, arrives in Doha 06:40 hrs
Top Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. All others by Qatar Airways. Operated as an ACJ, Airbus A319-133 A7-CJA (man 1656) arrives in Zurich.
Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) flight ET 702 was hijacked today (February 17). The Addis Ababa to Rome flight with 202 passengers and crew members was apparently hijacked by the first officer seeking asylum in Switzerland.
Ethiopian Airlines co-pilot locked the captain out of the cockpit.
The pictured Boeing 767-3BG ER ET-AMF (man 30563) has safely landed in Geneva at 0600 (6 am) local time.
The hijacker was taken into custody.
The company issued this “diversion” statement:
Ethiopian Airlines flight 702, on scheduled service departing from Addis Ababa on February 17, 2014 at 00:30 (local time) and scheduled to arrive in Rome at 04:40 (local time), was forced to proceed to Geneva Airport. Accordingly, the flight has landed safely at Geneva Airport and all passengers and crew are safe at Geneva Airport.
The cause of the diversion of the flight is under investigation. Ethiopian Airlines has made all the necessary arrangements to ensure that its esteemed passengers are being properly handled while in Geneva and can proceed to their intended destinations, to Rome and Milan, at the earliest.
Ethiopian Airlines wishes to apologize to its esteemed customers for the inconvenience caused by this diversion.
Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian Long Haul) (Norwegian Air International) (Norwegian.com) has issued this statement concerning the issuance of an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) from the state of Ireland for subsidiary Norwegian Air International Limited (Dublin) on February 12. Norwegian’s long haul Boeing 787s operations will be transferred to this new subsidiary.
Norwegian issued this statement (translated from Norwegian):
Irish authorities have awarded Norwegian Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and license to Norwegian’s wholly owned subsidiaries Norwegian Air International Limited, which has its administration in Dublin.
The operation of the Norwegian’s long-haul routes will, with the new permit will be transferred to Norwegian Air International Limited (NAI). The airline has established management and essential government functions in Dublin and is ready to operate under the Irish Aviation Authority.
There are several reasons why the Norwegian has established long-distance company in Dublin. The main reason is the availability of future traffic rights to and from the EU. Norwegian has an order for over 260 new aircraft and plans to launch several new routes to and from Europe. Norwegian Air International’s establishment in Ireland does not affect the export guarantees attached to the company’s financing. Besides that Ireland has an aviation authority of good repute, the country is also a sort of hub for the airline industry – including all major leasing companies such as Norwegian partners with offices in Dublin.
The choice of Ireland, not because the country has specific rules that allow American or Asian crews, with both politicians and unions have claimed. In fact, Norwegian could have based its long-distance company in any other European country and yet used American and Asian crews, as several other European airlines have done for years. The only exceptions are Norway and to some extent Denmark who have chosen to retain outdated rules regarding this.
Transfer of new AOC
The transfer of the first Dreamliner plane to the new EU AOC: one implemented on February 12 and was done in conjunction with scheduled maintenance. The remaining aircraft will be transferred. U.S. transport authorities will now consider its application for traffic rights asserted
Norwegian’s long-haul flights to and from the United States. This is regulated under the Open Skies agreement between the U.S. and the EU, which means that an operator from any party that meets the conditions, shall be entitled to operate under this agreement. It granted the operating license and the license in Ireland means that Norwegian meets all the necessary requirements.
Competitors and unions have made a number of false accusations against both Norwegian and Ireland. This is despite the EU’s transport authorities, Irish and Norwegian regulators have repeatedly disproved it. Norwegian expects the approval of the application of the United States in compliance with the Open Skies Agreement as Norwegian has the same rights as before when the aircraft were moved from Norway to the EU.
In other news, Norwegian has contracted for four Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners for delivery in 2017 and 2018. With the new agreement, Norwegian’s 787 fleet will increase to 14 aircraft.
The four aircraft will be leased from International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC). The new aircraft will be in service in 2017 and 2018.
Norwegian has three Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners in the current fleet and five more on order. Further, the company has already signed an agreement for two Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners with deliveries in the first quarter of 2016. In total, Norwegian will have a fleet of 14 long-haul 787 aircraft, with four to be delivered in 2014, one in 2015, two in 2016, two in 2017 and two in 2018.
This larger Dreamliner model accommodates more passengers and is more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly than the 787-8 model. Boeing has already made a series of test flights and the aircraft type will be in commercial operation later in 2014. The agreement has been signed with the International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC).
Finally, Norwegian announced an annual profit before tax of 437 million Norwegian kroner (NOK) ($71.6 million). For the fourth quarter, Norwegian reported a profit of 283 million kroner.
2013 is the seventh year in a row that Norwegian has reported a profit.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian Long Haul’s (now Norwegian Air International) Boeing 787-8 EI-LNA (man 35304) arrives in London (Heathrow).
Ryanair (Dublin) launched two new routes from London (Stansted) to Bordeaux in France (three flights a week) and Rabat in Morocco.
Copyright Photo: Ryanair.
Finnair (Helsinki) is increasing the number of flights it operates to London Heathrow from Helsinki from four to five times daily. Effective March 30, 2014, flight AY 995 departs Helsinki at 4:25 P.M. (1625) for arrival in London three hours later at 5:30 P.M. (1730), while AY 996 departs London at 7:35 P.M. (1935) and arrives in Helsinki at 12:30 A.M. (0030). The new frequency will be flown primarily with Finnair’s new Airbus A321 aircraft, which are equipped with fuel-efficient Sharklet wingtip devices and operate within Heathrow’s strictest noise parameters.
In addition to its own five daily frequencies, Finnair offers two daily codeshare roundtrips operated by fellow oneworld partner British Airways.
Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-231 D-AZAO with Sharklets became OH-LZG (msn 5758) on September 5, 2013.
Flybe (Exeter), currently under a reorganization aimed at cutting costs under a new CEO (Saad Hammad), expects its job cuts to be smaller than the original 500 redundancies it expected. It now expects to cut around 450 positions according to this report by Reuters.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) G-JECT (msn 4144) with the image of Matt Le Tissuer) arrives at London (Gatwick).
Biman Bangladesh Airlines (Dhaka) is planning to resume nonstop Dhaka-New York (JFK) flights on June 4 according to the Daily Star. There will be two flights a week. The route was suspended in July 2006. Biman is leasing two Boeing 777-200 ERs from EgyptAir for five years in order to resume the service to New York. The first aircraft will arrive next month and second in march according to the article.
New service to Frankfurt starts in April.
The company is also taking delivery on two new Boeing 777-300 ERs in February and March which will allow the company to retired the last McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 on February 20 as previously reported.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-3E9 S2-AFP (msn 40123) completes its final approach into London’s Heathrow Airport.
Atlasjet Airlines (Istanbul-Ataturk) is coming to London. Luton Airport has been selected at its airport of entry into this important summer market. The Turkish carrier will launch nonstop services from Istanbul (Ataturk) to London (Luton) on May 2 per Airline Route. The new route will operate four days a week with Airbus A320s.
Top Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Atlasjet). Airbus A320-232 TC-OGI (msn 640) taxies past the camera at Antalya.
Finnair (Helsinki) and the biggest tour operators in Lapland have agreed upon a three-year partnership to increase flights to Lapland as well as a marketing collaboration. Beginning in November 2014, with the start of the winter timetable season, Finnair will significantly add to its Lapland flight schedule. Flights will be added particularly from Helsinki to Kittilä, Ivalo and Kuusamo. Timetables have been drawn up to provide passengers with good connections between Lapland and European and Asian destinations via Helsinki.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 OH-LXF (msn 1712) arrives in London (Heathrow).
Celebrating 90 Years of Flying:
JAL Group (Japan Airlines) (Tokyo) has announced its flight frequency and fleet plans on both international and domestic routes for fiscal year 2014 (ending March 31, 2015):
In regards to the airline’s international network, with the addition of international flight slots at Tokyo (Haneda) Airport, JAL will begin operating new day-time nonstop flights from March 30, 2014, between Haneda and London, between Haneda and Paris, and between Haneda and Singapore as well as between Haneda and Bangkok. Additionally, the airline will use late night and early morning slots to launch new service between Haneda and Ho Chi Minh City. JAL will strive to improve customer accessibility and meet travel demand in overseas gateways to connect with domestic cities.
Meanwhile, at Tokyo (Narita) Airport, with expected growth of travel demand between North America and Asia, JAL will increase weekly round-trip flights from 7 to 14 between Narita and New York. Additionally, the airline will increase flights frequency from 3 to 4 round-trip flights weekly between Narita and Moscow to meet strong growth of business demand.
Furthermore, JAL plans to increase the number of available revamped aircraft (JAL SKY SUITE 777/767), and in particular, expand the availability of aircraft featuring JAL SKY WIDER in Economy Class. The airline has also decided to operate aircraft with fully-flat seats or shell flat seats in Business Class cabins on all medium and long haul routes to and from Southeast Asia and Honolulu by the early Second Half of FY2014 in order to further deliver improved service to customers.
In regards to the airline’s domestic network, JAL has decided to double flight frequency between Haneda and Yamagata, and the airline will also resume six domestic routes based on a thorough review of flight schedules and operations within the airline’s network so that customers will be able to connect more conveniently.
# The following plans and schedules are subject to government approval.
1. New services, flight frequency increase and flight schedule changes at Tokyo (Haneda) Airport
[New services and flight frequency increase]
|Flight No.||Route||Dep. Time||Arr. Time||Aircraft||
Haneda – Singapore
|11:20||17:20||777-200ER767-300ER||Increase from 7 to 14 weekly flightsfrom March 30, 2014||(*1)
|Singapore – Haneda||01:50||09:50|
Haneda – Bangkok
|11:30||15:40||777-200ER767-300ER||Increase from 7 to 14 weekly flightsfrom March 30, 2014|
Bangkok – Haneda
|Haneda – London||11:20||15:50||777-300ER||
7 weekly flights from March 30, 2014
|London – Haneda||19:15||15:00+1||(*3)|
|Haneda – Ho Chi Minh City||01:25||05:15||767-300ER||
7 weekly flights from March 30, 2014
|Ho Chi Minh City – Haneda||13:55||22:00||(*5)|
(*1) Flights No. are JL719/JL710 on Haneda= Singapore route, and JL717/JL718 on Haneda=Bangkok route between March 30 and March 31, 2014.
(*2) In addition to codeshare flights operated by British Airways (BA), JAL will operate flights between Haneda and London.
(*3) For more details on JAL SKY SUITE 777, please visit http://www.jal.co.jp/en/newsky/ss7/.
Flights No. are JL401/JL402 between March 30 and March 31, 2014.
(*4) The airline will use late night and early morning slots at Haneda Airport to launch new service.
(*5) For more details on JAL SKY SUITE 767, please visit http://www.jal.co.jp/en/newsky/ss6/.
[Flight schedule and aircraft type changes]
|Flight No.||Route||Dep. Time||Arr. Time||Aircraft||Effective Period||Remarks|
JL041 to JL045
Haneda – Paris
|00:40 to 10:35||06:20 to 16:10||777-200ER to 777-300ER||From March 30, 2014||(*6)|
JL042 to JL046
Paris – Haneda
|11:30 to 21:00||06:30+1 to 15:55+1|
(*6) JAL plans to maintain codeshare flights (operated by AF) with Air France (AF) at Haneda Airport. Flights No. are JL405/JL406 between March 30 and March 31, 2014.
2. Flight frequency, flight schedule and aircraft type changes at Tokyo (Narita) Airport
[Flight frequency increase]
|Flight No.||Route||Dep. Time||Arr. Time||Aircraft||
Narita – New York
|18:30||18:25||787-8||With the addition of JL004/003 to current daily JL006/005, route frequency will increase from 7 to 14 weekly flights from March 30, 2014||(*7)
New York – Narita
|10:45||16:00||787-8||Increase from 3 to 4 weekly flightsfrom March 30 to October 25, 2014
(Additional flight frequency is on Mo)
Mo, We, Fr, Su
Moscow – Narita
(*7) Dep. time of JL004 will be ten minutes early and Dep. time of JL003 will be ten minutes late during May 1 to August 31, 2014.
JL003 starts on March 31, 2014.
Narita – London
|Suspension of JL401/402 daily round-trip operation||From March 30, 2014||(*8)|
London – Narita
(*8) JAL maintains codeshare flights (operated by BA) with BA at Narita Airport.
[Flight frequency decrease]
Updated Flight Schedule
|Flight No.||Dep. Time||Arr. Time||Aircraft|
Narita = Singapore
|Decrease from 14 to 7 weekly flightsfrom March 30, 2014||
Narita = Bangkok
|Decrease from 14 to 7 weekly flightsfrom March 30, 2014||
(*9) For more details on JAL SKY SUITE 767, please visit http://www.jal.co.jp/en/newsky/ss6/.
JL719/JL710 on Singapore route will be decreased and JL717/JL718 on Bangkok route will be decreased from March 30, 2014.
[Flight schedule and aircraft type changes]
|Flight No.||Route||Dep. Time||Arr. Time||Aircraft||Effective Period||Remarks|
JL405 to JL415
Narita – Paris
|11:10 to 14:35||16:45 to 20:10||777-300ER to 787-8||From March 30, 2014|
JL406 to JL416
Paris – Narita
|19:30 to 22:20||14:20+1 to 16:55+1|
3. Other aircraft type changes
Haneda = Bangkok
|777-200ER, 787-8 to 767-300ER||From March 30, 2014|
Narita = Bangkok
Haneda = Shanghai(Hongqiao)
|777-200ER to 767-300ER until the middle of June767-300ER to 777-200ER from the middle of June|
Narita = Delhi
|787-8 to 777-200ER(*10)|
Narita = Sydney
Haneda = Singapore
Haneda = Singapore
|787-8 to 767-300ER|
Narita = Singapore
Haneda = Beijing
Narita = Vancouver
|767-300ER to 787-8|
Narita = Honolulu
Narita = Seoul(Incheon)
|767-300ER to 737-800|
(*10)Premium Economy service will be provided on flights between Narita and Delhi, between Narita and Sydney as well as between Haneda and Singapore (JL037/JL036).
4. Improving the quality of products and services on international routes
JAL SKY WIDER is now being installed into Boeing 777-300 ERs and Boeing 767-300 ERs (JAL SKY SUITE 777/767). Highlights of the JAL Economy Class seat include increased pitch and a slim-style seatback design resulting in approximately 10 cm (Max.)(*11) more legroom than the present seat pitch. The number of JAL SKY SUITE 777/767 aircraft with JAL SKY WIDER installed will increase to 22 aircraft by the beginning of July from the current 10 aircraft (as of Jan. 22). The airline is striving to deliver a more enjoyable experience and soothing rest to customers on every journey.
(*11) Specifications for select seats are different.
JAL began to introduce the JAL SKY SUITE 767 from December 2013, and the airline will now also begin operating its Boeing 787-8s on medium and long haul routes of Southeast Asia and Honolulu routes. The airline will also offer its fully-flat seats or shell flat seats in Business Class cabins on all medium and long haul routes to and from Southeast Asia and Honolulu by early Second Half of FY2014.
5. New services to and from Osaka (Kansai) and Nagoya (Chubu)
Regarding to JAL Group Mid-Term Management Plan for fiscal years 2012 to 2016(year ending March31, 2017), the airline plans to allocate resources on operations to medium and long haul routes such as Europe, North America and Southeast Asia, and it will further develop its network to provide more convenience and enjoyable travel experiences to customers. JAL is looking forward to enhancing its network with the addition of international flight slots at Haneda Airport from FY 2014. Moreover, JAL plans to improve services to and from Osaka (Kansai) and Nagoya (Chubu) in FY2015. The airline is also considering to advance this plan with any adjustments of new aircraft launches and will announce more details as soon as they have been decided.
1. New services (Resumption)
|Itami = Matsumoto||1 daily flight||August 1 ~ August 31, 2014|
|Itami = Memanbetsu||1 daily flight||July 19 ~ August 31, 2014|
|Sapporo (New Chitose) = Izumo||4 weekly flights||August 1 ~ August 31, 2014 (Mo, We, Fr, Su)|
|Sapporo (New Chitose) = Tokushima||3 weekly flights||August 1 ~ August 31, 2014 (Tu, Th, Sa)|
|Nagoya (Chubu) = Kushiro||3 weekly flights||August 1 ~ August 31, 2014 (Tu, Th, Sa)|
|Nagoya (Chubu) = Obihiro||4 weekly flights||August 1 ~ August 31, 2014 (Mo, We, Fr, Su)|
2. Flight frequency increase
|Haneda = Yamagata||1 daily to 2 daily flights(*)||March 30, 2014 ~|
|Haneda = Kansai||2 daily to 3 daily flights||March 30 ~ October 25, 2014|
|Haneda = Okinawa (Naha)||12 daily to 14 daily flights||March 30 ~ October 25, 2014(July 18 ~ August 31, 2014:13 daily round-trip flights)|
|Haneda = Nagoya (Chubu)||1 daily to 2 daily flights||March 30, 2014 ~|
|Haneda = Okayama||5 daily to 6 daily flights||March 30 ~ October 25, 2014|
|Haneda = Tokushima||6 daily to 7 daily flights||March 30 ~ October 25, 2014|
|Haneda = Takamatsu||6 daily to 7 daily flights||March 30 ~ October 25, 2014|
|Haneda = Kitakyushu||5 daily to 6 daily flights||March 30 ~ October 25, 2014|
|Haneda = Ishigaki||1 daily to 2 daily flights||July 18 ~ August 31, 2014|
|Itami = Okinawa (Naha)||1 daily to 2 daily flights||March 30, 2014 ~(April 29 ~ May 31, 2014: 3 daily round-trip flights)|
|Itami = Nagasaki||3 daily to 4 daily flights||March 30, 2014 ~|
|Fukuoka = Izumo||2 daily to 3 daily flights||March 30, 2014 ~|
|Sapporo (New Chitose) = Memanbetsu||3 daily to 4 daily flights||March 30, 2014 ~|
|Fukuoka = Kochi||3 daily to 4 daily flights||March 30, 2014 ~|
|Fukuoka = Amami-oshima||1 daily to 2 daily flights||March 30, 2014 ~|
(*) Schedules on Haneda = Yamagata route.
|Flight No.||Route||Dep. Time||Arr. Time||Aircraft|
Haneda – Yamagata
|08:10||09:10||E170 (76 seats)|
Yamagata – Handea
3. Flight frequency decrease
|Haneda = Sapporo (New Chitose)||17 daily to 16 daily flights||March 30, 2014 ~|
|Haneda = Izumo||6 daily to 5 daily flights||March 30, 2014 ~|
|Narita = Sapporo (New Chitose)||3 daily to 1 daily flights||March 30, 2014 ~|
|Narita = Fukuoka||3 daily to 1 daily flights||March 30, 2014 ~|
|Narita = Nagoya (Chubu)||3 daily to 2 daily flights||March 30, 2014 ~|
|Itami = Izumo||6 daily to 5 daily flights||March 30, 2014 ~|
|Itami = Miyazaki||6 daily to 5 daily flights||March 30, 2014 ~|
|Fukuka = Matsuyama||8 daily to 6 daily flights||March 30, 2014 ~|
Copyright Photo: Wingnut/AirlinersGallery.com. Before it was remodeled in the JAL Sky Suite 777 interior with appropriate markings, the pictured Boeing 777-346 ER JA731J (msn 32431) wore the special “Sky Eco” livery to underscore JAL’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact.
Loganair (Flybe) (Glasgow) will operate a twice daily weekday service, and once on a Sunday, from Dundee to London (Stansted) starting March 30, replacing the CityJet service to London City which is due to be withdrawn at the end of March.
In the meantime, tenders will soon be issued to secure a Public Service Obligation that will ensure the long term future of air services between Dundee and London.
Flights will operate twice daily on weekdays, with flights leaving Dundee at 7.00 am and 4.25 pm. Return flights depart Stansted Airport at 9.00 am and 6.25 pm, allowing business passengers to complete a full day’s work in London. There will also be a flight to and from London Stansted every Sunday afternoon, leaving Dundee at 4.25 pm and departing Stansted at 6.25 pm.
The new service, operated by a 32-seat Dornier 328 turboprop aircraft, is the result of weeks of negotiation between Dundee Airport operator HIAL, Dundee City Council, Transport Scotland and the airline.
Copyright Photo: Nik French/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly operated by Suckling Airways, the Dornier 328-110 will be operated on the new route. G-BWWT (msn 3022) taxies at Manchester.
Current Route Map:
Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand agree to form an alliance, Singapore to operate its Airbus A380s to New Zealand
Singapore Airlines (Singapore) and Air New Zealand (Auckland) have agreed to form an alliance enabling Air New Zealand to fly the Auckland-Singapore route again and Singapore Airlines to operate the Airbus A380 to New Zealand for the first time.
The A380 would be operated daily by Singapore Airlines between Singapore and Auckland, progressively replacing an existing daily service with the smaller Boeing 777-300 ER. Air New Zealand would launch daily services between Auckland and Singapore using newly refitted Boeing 777-200 ER aircraft, taking over five flights currently operated by Singapore Airlines and adding two more weekly flights, increasing the frequency to daily.
Subject to regulatory approvals, the carriers would aim to boost their existing capacity between Singapore and New Zealand by up to 30% year round over time.
Singapore Airlines’ daily Singapore-Christchurch service would continue as part of the alliance.
The proposed alliance would enable Air New Zealand passengers to access codeshare travel on the Singapore Airlines network to the United Kingdom, Europe, South East Asia and Africa, as well as on the network of its regional subsidiary airline, SilkAir. Singapore Airlines’ customers would be able to access codeshare travel across the Air New Zealand domestic network and to selected international destinations.
The alliance would see Air New Zealand’s ‘NZ’ code return to Singapore Airlines’ network for the first time since 2007. Air New Zealand last operated to Singapore in 2006.
The parties are seeking approval for the alliance from the Competition Commission of Singapore and the New Zealand Minister of Transport. Pending approval, flights could commence as early as December 2014.
Top Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380-841 9V-SKR (msn 082) gracefully climbs away from the runway at Zurich.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-219 ER ZK-OKA (msn 29404) arrives at London (Heathrow).
Transaero Airlines (Moscow) following up on our previous report, on January 14, 2014, started to offer a new low-cost product called Discount Class.
Discount class is offered on certain Transaero flights from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport on a number of popular domestic and international routes including those to London, Berlin, Vienna, Barcelona, Rome,Milan, Tel Aviv, Vilnius, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Kaliningrad, Kemerovo, Krasnodar, Mineralnye Vody, Novosibirsk, Novy Urengoy, Omsk, Perm, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saint Petersburg, Sochi, Stavropol, Ufa, Khanty-Mansiysk, Kiev, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa, Astana, Almaty, Karaganda, Yerevan, Antalya.
During the first day of the service launch, the airline carried about 5,000 passengers on 54 Discount Class flights on Boeing 737 and Tu-214 aircraft (above).
All seats on specified flights are sold according to Discount Class rules. The ticket fares include, in accordance with the Russian Federal Aviation Rules, free drinks and food or meals depending on flight length. Passengers are also offered a choice of newspapers and an opportunity to buy duty-free goods onboard. However, Discount Class passengers won’t be able to order special meals. Passengers on these flights can carry 10, 15 or 20 kilos of luggage, depending on tariff of the purchased ticket.
Members of the Transaero Privilege frequent flyer program may earn points travelling in Discount Class at a 50% rate. They can also get reward tickets for these flights.
The new product by Transaero Airlines guarantees a reasonable balance of comfort and affordable ticket prices.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Tupolev Tu-214 RA-64518 (man 42305018) arrives in London (Heathrow).
Biman Bangladesh Airlines to now retire the last DC-10 on February 20, will host enthusiast flights from Birmingham
Biman Bangladesh Airlines (Dhaka) has delayed the retirement of its last McDonnell Douglas DC-10. Here is the updated message by the airline:
On, or about February 14, 2014 this three-engine wide-body will be withdrawn from scheduled service and prepped by engineering for its final flights. The last commercial flight will be on Thursday, February 20 when flight BG 1015 takes to the skies at 0830 from Dhaka enroute to Birmingham in the United Kingdom. Operating via Kuwait this flight will arrive in Birmingham the same day at 1620. Priced at only ₤ 600 (plus taxes) for a window seat or ₤ 500 plus taxes, for all the other seats, we have kept the pricing at minimal levels to ensure the flight is accessible to as many as possible.
But this is not its final operation. Due to an overwhelming response from aviation enthusiasts from around the world, we are going to operate scenic flights on the weekend of February 22, 23 and 24 from Birmingham airport. The first flights to go on sale will operate on the Monday, February 24 at 0900, 1200 and 1500 with a block time of an estimated one-hour. If as expected, they sell out quickly we will open up the Sunday, February 23 flights up for the same times of 0900, 1200 and 1500. As these sell out then we will open up the Saturday flights also at the same times – 0900, 1200 and 1500. As with the last commercial flight from Dhaka, we are keeping the prices for these scenic flights at reasonable levels with prices of ₤150 for a window seat and ₤100 for an aisle seat. Please note that for the last commercial flight ever on Monday February 24 @ 1500, prices have been set slightly higher at ₤200/₤150. In order to keep the flights as “special” as possible we are only selling 152 of the 319 seats on the aircraft – therefore all are window or aisle seats.
We want to make sure these flights only sold to aviation enthusiasts and not to third parties or wholesalers, so you must book on-line at www.biman-airlines.com. For the last commercial flight ever, on February 24 @ 1500, we have teamed up with Ian Allan travel in the UK at www.ianallantravel.com/aviationtours/ who will also sell tickets.
Biman Bangladesh is the last passenger operator of the DC-10.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 S2-ACQ (msn 47817) arrives at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Air Serbia (Belgrade) will launch flights to six new destinations in Europe and the Middle East.
Flights will commence new routes to Beirut (Lebanon), Budapest (Hungary), Sofia (Bulgaria) and Varna (Bulgaria) on March 30, 2014, followed by Kiev (Ukraine) and Warsaw (Poland) on May 29, 2014.
The new routes will increase the total number of destinations to 35, a growth rate of 20 per cent in comparison to the present number.
Air Serbia will offer daily services to Budapest, Kiev, Sofia and Warsaw, while Beirut and Varna will commence with three flights a week and increase to daily frequencies from June 2014.
Services to Kiev, Warsaw and Beirut will be operated with Airbus A319 aircraft.
Budapest, Sofia and Varna flights will be operated with Air Serbia’s (former Jat Airways) ATR 72 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Serbia’s Airbus A319-132 YU-APE (msn 3252) arrives at London (Heathrow).
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix) (American Airlines Group) today are now offering customers improved access to the combined company’s global network through the first phase of a codeshare. Beginning today, customers can book flights on both airlines’ networks through the codeshare for travel starting on January 23.
Through the codeshare, each airline will sell tickets operated by the other carrier using its own code and flight number, and customers will be able to easily combine select flights operated by each airline on a single itinerary when booking travel on aa.com, usairways.com, or through other travel distribution channels. In addition, customers connecting on codeshare flights can seamlessly transfer bags when traveling on an itinerary that includes flights operated by both carriers. Launched in a phased approach, the codeshare seeks to provide a smooth travel experience while American and US Airways continue to operate as separate airlines during the merger integration.
The first phase of the codeshare will cover only select American and US Airways flights and includes placing:
- The US Airways code on most American-operated flights between American’s hubs in Chicago,Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami and New York (JFK), and US Airways hubs in Charlotte,Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. (DCA).
- The American code on most US Airways-operated flights between US Airways’ hubs in Charlotte,Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. (DCA), and American’s hubs in Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami and New York (JFK).
- The American code on US Airways’ East Coast Shuttle service, which includes flights betweenBoston, New York (LGA) and Washington, D.C. (DCA).
- The US Airways code on select American domestic flights from Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth, providing US Airways customers immediate access to small- and medium-size destinations currently served by American but not US Airways.
- The American and US Airways code on select international flights operated by the other carrier.
The two airlines are expected to extend the codeshare to include all flights within the combined network in the coming weeks. Customers should continue to check in for flights and conduct business with the airline operating their flight just as they did before the launch of this codeshare.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-323 ER WL N378AN (msn 25447) with Blended Winglets approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. The “new American” will operate a mixed long-range fleet of both Airbus and Boeing aircraft. US Airways’ Airbus A330-323X N274AY (msn 342) completes its final approach into London (Heathrow).
EasyJet (UK) (easyJet.com) (London-Luton) has issued this statement concerning recent decisions by the CAA concerning the future of London’s airports:
“easyJet welcomes the CAA’s decision that Gatwick Airport has substantial market power and that as a consequence Gatwick needs continued regulation through an airport licence.
“easyJet also welcomes the significant changes the CAA has made to the assumptions on passenger growth and cost of capital which have led to a lowering of its estimate of fair airport charges from RPI +1.6% to RPI – 1.6%.
“easyJet supports the CAA’s endorsement of Gatwick’s Commitments proposal. However, it is now up to Gatwick Airport to show that this more commercial approach can deliver lower charges and improved service for airlines and their passengers.
“easyJet welcomes the inclusion of the costs of the any second runway in the licence so that these can be scrutinised by the regulator.
“easyJet also welcomes CAA’s announcement that robust plans to deliver operational resilience in major disruption will also be under CAA regulatory oversight.
“Finally, easyJet is supportive of the CAA’s approach to Stansted airport which under new ownership has shown itself willing to take a more commercial approach to airlines which will also benefit passengers.”
In other news, the company is planning to drop the new Southend-Edinburgh route on June 15, 2014 according to Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 G-EZBR (msn 3088) in the special “Airbus 100″ holds short of the runway at London’s Gatwick Airport.
Ryanair calls the Stansted CAA regulatory regime “inadequate” over its decision to deregulate the airport fearing higher rates
Ryanair (Dublin) has issued this statement:
Ryanair is the largest operator at Stansted Airport on the north side of the London area.
Routes from Stansted:
IranAir (Tehran) has retired the last operating passenger Boeing 747-100 in the world. Boeing 747-186B EP-IAM (msn 21759) was ferried yesterday (January 8) from Mehrabad Airport (THR) in downtown Tehran (used for domestic flights) to nearby Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) southwest of Tehran (used for international flights) for storage in the cargo area. The flight lasted only 10 minutes on three operating engines and was flown by Captain Moghadam. EP-IAM is now grounded forever at IKA after almost 35 years of service
EP-IAM was delivered new from Boeing on August 2, 1979 and was flown its entire service life with the flag carrier of Iran. This is a testimony to Boeing for the durability of the airframe.
Thanks to Shahram (Shary) Sharifi for his eyewitness report from Iran.
In other news, IranAir restarted twice-weekly service from Mashbad to Bahrain on December 21, 2013.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-186B EP-IAM taxies across the ramp at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Video: Window view of the takeoff from IKA on April 9, 2012.
Air Algerie (Algiers) and Boeing (Chicag) today announced a commitment for eight Next-Generation 737-800 airplanes. When finalized, the order will be worth $724 million at list prices.
Today’s Air Algerie’s commitment for 737-800s will all feature the Boeing Sky Interior, the 787 Dreamliner inspired cabin.
Based in Algeria’s capital city Algiers, at Houari Boumedienne International Airport, Air Algerie currently serves more than 40 destinations across Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and the Middle East. The Algerian flag-carrier currently operates a fleet of 17 Next-Generation 737-800s and five 737-600s.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8D6 7T-VKF (msn 40860) approaches the runway for landing at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Royal Jordanian Airlines (Amman) this month celebrated its 50th Anniversary. The flag carrier launched scheduled passenger flights on December 15, 1963 as Alia-The Royal Jordanian Airline (Air Jordan) between Amman and Beirut. The airline adopted the current name on December 15, 1986.
Majesty King Abdullah II joined the airline on December 22 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee according to the airline. RJ has introduced a new 50th emblem which is likely to appear on its aircraft The airline is also issuing 50 days of daily free tickets.
The airline issued this statement and photo:
His Majesty King Abdullah II joined Royal Jordanian on Sunday, December 22, 2013, in a celebration to mark the national carrier’s 50thanniversary.
During a visit to RJ’s new premises, the King toured a photo exhibition depicting the flag carrier’s development since its launch in 1963 and also viewed a model of a modern aircraft and its functions from take-off to landing.
The King and the attendees also watched a film about the development of RJ, which launched its maiden flight to Beirut on December 15, which was later followed by other destinations across various continents.
His Majesty congratulated the RJ staff on the airline’s golden jubilee, expressing his pride in and appreciation for their relentless efforts to upgrade “this national edifice” over five decades.
“Through its glitter, RJ has become a real ambassador of the country and an embodiment of its bright image as it circled the world in its name,” the King wrote in the visitors’ book, urging the airline to pursue its efforts to boost its competitiveness in the region and the world.
During the ceremony, attended by His Royal Highness Prince Faisal Ibn Al Hussein, Prime Minister Abdullah Nsour and senior officials, King Abdullah honoured a number of staff members and ex-employees for their contributions to RJ. He also received a memento, a Boeing 787 yoke, from the Chairman of the Board of Directors Nasser Lozi.
Lozi said in remarks during the ceremony that RJ’s golden jubilee marks the carrier’s history and the ability of its staff from multiple generations to build an airline whose roots run deep at home and which has spread its branches across the world.
He said the company had made remarkable growth and expanded through various stages of the Kingdom’s development and sought to promote the national values of a sense of belonging, maintaining traditions and hospitality.
Lozi said human resources are the backbone of RJ’s development and modernisation as it relied on the expertise, loyalty and keenness of its staff to put the airline among the world’s prestigious airlines
Royal Jordanian President/CEO Amer Hadidi said: “The 50 past years of RJ lifetime is a source of pride for all of us. RJ is dream that came true with the persistent efforts of loyal Jordanians that could manage to build this edifice with very limited potentials.”
He added that the airline has promising future plans including growing its fleet and increasing the destinations on its route network, adding that RJ will be receiving the first 5 Boeing 787 aircraft in the second half of 2014, helping RJ to reach new heights and to fly to more cities around the world.
Hadidi said the airline intends to invest in the aviation industry in the field of maintenance and ground handling, and to expand in this area by providing these services in the regional markets. He pointed that RJ has the required expertise and capabilities qualifying it to contribute to the development of aviation in the Arab world, particularly the countries that witnessed the transformation of the Arab Spring and are in need of such services.”
In other news, Royal Jordanian is planning to introduce its first new 267-seat Boeing 787-8 initially on the Amman-Jeddah route on July 1, 2014 followed by the twice-weekly Amman-Lagos-Accra route the next day according to Airline Route. Twice-weekly Amman-Montreal (Trudeau) will be introduced on July 3 followed by weekly Amman-Abu Dhabi service on July 5.
Top Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Royal Jordanian Airlines’ Airbus A330-223 JY-AIF (msn 979) approaches the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Alia’s Lockheed L-1011-385-3 TriStar 500 JY-AGB (msn 1219) taxies at Paris (Orly) in the ornate 1981 livery.
Qatar Airways expands its code-share agreement with US Airways, will launch a new route from Philadelphia to Doha on April 2
Qatar Airways (Doha) today announced the expansion of a code-share agreement with US Airways (Phoenix) for flights via Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). The agreement will provide millions of Americans the opportunity to fly internationally with Qatar Airways out of PHL using the seamless connection service on select code-share flights operated by US Airways.
Qatar Airways will launch daily nonstop service from Philadelphia to Doha, Qatar on April 2, 2014.
The partnership will further expand the opportunities of U.S. travelers flying internationally who want to use Qatar Airways’ growing list of destinations. Connections to PHL through US Airways are available from the following cities:
- Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
- San Francisco, CA (SFO)
- Chicago, IL (ORD)
- Boston, MA (BOS)
- Miami, FL (MIA)
- Tampa, FL (TPA)
- Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL)
- Palm Beach, FL (PBI)
- Fort Myers, FL (RSW)
- Las Vegas, NV (LAS)
- Phoenix, AZ (PHX)
- Charlotte, NC (CLT)
- Raleigh-Durham, NC (RDU)
Qatar Airways and US Airways’ code-share and frequent flyer partnership, which launched in 2009, focused on flights between Doha and the United States and Europe, as well as connecting flights from select European gateways to Doha. The code-share agreement will provide customers the convenience of a single combined ticket for Qatar Airways and US Airways operated connections, and will include the benefits of one-stop check-in and automatic baggage transfer. In addition, the airlines’ frequent flyer program members may earn miles or points while traveling on all flights of the other carrier and may redeem award tickets as well.
Qatar Airways joined the oneworld® alliance on October 30, 2013 and US Airways will become a member on March 31, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-2DZ LR (Longer Range) A7-BBA (msn 36012) arrives in London (Heathrow).
JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) announced today its new “JAL Sky Suite 777″ service will be introduced between Tokyo (Narita) and Frankfurt in April 2014.
JAL Sky Suite 77 service boasts increased comfort and functionality in all four classes. According to JAL, the revamped aircraft has yielded favorable feedback from customers since it was launched on Tokyo (Narita) and London route in January 2013. It won a Good Design Award in 2013 and Skytrax’s Best Business Class Airline Seat of the year for 2013.
JAL Sky Suite 77 has been introduced between Tokyo (Narita) and London, between Tokyo (Narita) and New York, and between Tokyo (Narita) and Paris as well as between Tokyo (Narita) and Los Angeles.
Between Tokyo (Narita) and Frankfurt (JL407/JL408):
Name of seat
Number of Seats
JAL SKY SUITE
JAL SKY PREMIUM
JAL SKY WIDER
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. JAL’s Boeing 777-346 ER JA731J (msn 32431) wears a special “JAL Sky Suite 777″ logo on the rear fuselage at its approaches London’s Heathrow Airport.
Cathay Pacific to replace its Johannesburg and San Francisco Boeing 747-400 routes on October 26, 2014
Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) has been progressively replacing its Boeing 747-400s from passenger service especially on long-haul routes.. The company is currently planning to replace the last two long-range Boeing 747-400 passenger routes to Johannesburg and San Francisco with newer Boeing 777-300 ERs on October 25, 2014 per Airline Route.
Update: This retirement date has now been moved up to August 31, 2014 per Airline Route.
This will end long-haul passenger service of the type with CPA. It is unclear at this time if the airline will continue short-haul Asian service of the aircraft after this date.
In addition, the company will end Boeing 747-400 passenger service to London (Heathrow) on December 31, 2013.
Cathay Pacific continues to operate an extensive Boeing 747 freighter operation.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-467 B-HOP (msn 23815) approaches London (Heathrow) when it once served that route.
Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) according to Reuters, has failed so far to raise the 300 million euros ($407 million) (only 173 million euros received) in its emergency cash call. The flag carrier is now facing stiffer competition as other airlines move in to add new routes from Italy sensing the emergency. Alitalia will need to find a strategic carrier very quickly that is willing to invest in a failing airline and turn it around. So far Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi), the savior of struggling airlines, has avoided Alitalia.
Air France-KLM, which owns 25 percent, refused to put in any more capital because it stated the rescue plan was not drastic enough to save the airline.
This is the second version of Alitalia, saved once before from the first failing Alitalia. Is there a third?
The Italian drama continues. Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Wingnut/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-216 EI-DTB (msn 3815) taxies at London Heathrow.
Flybe (Exeter) will close six bases and eliminate 500 positions despite a recent profit announcement. The bases to be closed are Aberdeen, Guernsey, Inverness, Isle of Man, Jersey and Newcastle.
Read the full report from the BBC: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) G-KKEV (msn 4201) completes its final approach into Gatwick Airport near London.
Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) will cut one of four London Heathrow-Manchester “Little Red” Airbus A320 flights next year according to TheBusinessDesk.com. The airline explained the reduction was not due to decreased demand but rather having to give back one LHR slot to another unnamed carrier.
However The Independent reported last month the “Little Red” feeder flights were experiencing low sales.
Read the full report from The Independent: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Terry Wade/AirlinersGallery.com. The “Little Red” domestic flights are operated by Aer Lingus in full Virgin Atlantic colors. Airbus A320-214 EI-DEO (msn 2486) arrives at London (Heathrow).
Video: Virgin Atlantic ad:
Emirates Airline (Dubai) has placed an additional order for 50 Airbus A380 aircraft. The order was signed at a ceremony at the 2013 Dubai Airshow witnessed by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive Emirates Airline and Group and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO.
Following delivery of their first A380 in July 2008, Emirates has now taken delivery of 39 A380s. Their 39th A380 is on Airbus’ static display at the 2013 Dubai Airshow. All Emirates’ A380s are powered by Engine Alliance GP7200 engines.
Since first entering service in 2007, the A380 has joined the fleets of ten world class carriers. The aircraft flies 8,500 nautical miles or 15,700 kilometres non-stop, carrying more people at lower cost and with less impact on the environment. The spacious, quiet cabin and smooth ride have made the A380 a firm favorite with both airlines and passengers, resulting in higher load factors wherever it flies.
The total A380 fleet has accumulated over one million flight hours in almost 140,000 commercial flights. To date some 50 million passengers have already enjoyed the unique experience of flying on board an A380. Every five minutes, an A380 either takes off or lands at one of the 34 airports where it operates today and the network is constantly growing.
On this historic “airline order milestone” day, Emirates issued this statement:
Emirates airline has again rewritten all records in civil aviation with an order for 150 Boeing 777X, comprising 35 Boeing 777-8Xs and 115 Boeing 777-9Xs, plus 50 purchase rights; and an additional 50 Airbus A380 aircraft.
The agreement was signed today (November 17) at the Dubai Air Show by His Highness (H.H.) Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, with Jim McNerney, Boeing Chairman, President and CEO, and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus’ President and CEO. The signing was witnessed by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
Emirates’ Boeing 777X order is the single largest aircraft order by value in the history of U.S. commercial aviation, and the additional A380 order cements Emirates, already the largest operator of this aircraft type, as the principal customer for the A380 worldwide. These latest orders bring Emirates’ total firm order book to 385 aircraft (excluding options or purchase rights), comprising 214 Boeing 777s, 101 Airbus A380s, and 70 A350s, at a total estimated value of US$ 166 billion.
Emirates’ Boeing 777X
“The announcement today includes the purchase of 300 GE9X engines from General Electric, to power the 150 Boeing 777X aircraft ordered. Taking into account the U.S. Government jobs multiplier (every $1 billion in US aerospace exports supports 5,747 American jobs), today’s historic order will protect and support over 436,000 jobs in U.S. aerospace manufacturing – not only at Boeing and GE facilities, but with hundreds of other suppliers,” said Sheikh Ahmed.
Emirates’ 777-8X and 777-9X will be a combination of two and three-class configurations, with the 777-8X potentially seating 342 passengers in 3 classes, and the 777-9X seating over 440 passengers in 2 classes.
“Emirates today operates more than one in every 10 Boeing 777 aircraft built. It is the workhorse of our fleet. What the 777X does, is offer us a flying range comparable with the 200LRs and 300ERs, but with more passenger capacity at potentially up to 18% more fuel efficiency,” said Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline.
Emirates’ unwavering commitment to the Boeing 777 dates back to 1996. Today, Emirates is already the largest operator of the 777 with 131 in operation, and the only airline to fly all variants in the 777 family. At the 2011 Dubai Air Show, Emirates ordered 50 Boeing 777-300ERs with options for 20 more at a total value of US$ 26 billion (AED 95.4 billion). It was then a record breaking aircraft order– the single largest by any airline with Boeing in dollar value.
Emirates’ Airbus A380s
Emirates currently operates the world’s largest fleet of A380s with 39 in service.
Its order for 50 additional A380 aircraft today brings Emirates’ total A380 order book to 101 aircraft, worth US$ 45 billion. A combination of two and three-class cabin configuration, the first 25 of these latest A380 aircraft orders are scheduled to be delivered before the first quarter of 2018.
Emirates has been associated with Europe’s largest passenger aircraft since April 2000 when it became the first airline to announce plans to purchase the super jumbo. As the largest customer for the A380, Emirates is therefore the largest supporter of European aerospace manufacturing jobs tied to the A380 programme which is spread across Airbus’ manufacturing centres in France, Germany, England and Spain.
Follow-up article: From Reuters: Emirates was concerned that Airbus was considering slowing down A380 production because of lagging new orders and took a look at how many additional A380s it could physically take at its Dubai base and stated it could have ordered 10 more! This order now ensures the A380 production rate will continue and probable A380 profit for Airbus in 2015 or 2016. Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Analysis: Can other airlines, especially European and North American carriers, compete against the fast growing Gulf carriers? CNN Money explores this question: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Emirates’ Airbus A380-861 A6-EEC (msn 110) with special “Expo 2020 Dubai UAE” stickers completes its final approach into London (Heathrow).
Video: An inside look at the Emirates Operations Control Room, Dubai.
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).
Boeing (Chicago) is currently repairing the damaged Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787-8 ET-AOP (msn 34744) at London’s Heathrow Airport. As previously report, the new airliner was damaged by fire on July 12, 2013.
According to this report by The Seattle Times, Boeing’s repair team is gluing a giant composite plastic skin patch inside a temporary building surrounding the rear section of the aircraft. The tail has been removed.
Boeing builds the fuselage as a single piece so this repair is very delicate and intricate for this new technology. The repairs should take five weeks.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Read the initial report of the fire: CLICK HERE
Follow-up report on the fire by the AAIB: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. ET-AOP is undergoing this delicate repair inside this specially-designed and fabricate housing which surrounds the rear fuselage.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) continues its expansion in Europe and opens new base in Madrid for the summer of 2014. Norwegian will open six new routes from Madrid to Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki, Hamburg, Warsaw and London.
The base in Madrid is Norwegian’s fifth Spanish base along with Alicante, Malaga, Las Palmas and Tenerife.
Six new routes from Madrid from June 2014:
Norwegian will have two Boeing 737-800 aircraft at the base in Madrid. In addition, 100 employees will be recruited locally and six new routes launched.
Madrid – Stockholm
Four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, starting June 4, 2014
Madrid – Oslo
Three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, starting June 3, 2014
Madrid – Helsinki
Three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting on June 4, 2014
Madrid – Hamburg
Four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, starting June 4, 2014
Madrid – Warsaw
Twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, starting June 3, 2014
Madrid – London
Daily from June 2, 2014
Madrid – Copenhagen
Increases from three to four times a week between April and June 2014. As of July 2014 there are flights daily between Madrid and Copenhagen.
Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-86N LN-NOQ (msn 32658) departs the runway at London (Gatwick).
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today reported financial results for the 2013 third quarter. Highlights from the quarter include:
- Delta’s net profit for the September 2013 quarter was $1.2 billion, or $1.41 per diluted share, excluding special items1. This result is a $444 million improvement year-over-year.
- Including $157 million in special items, Delta’s GAAP net income was $1.4 billion, or $1.59 per diluted share.
- The company began returning capital to shareholders, with $100 million in share repurchases and $51 million in dividend payments.
- September quarter results include $249 million of profit sharing expense in recognition of Delta employees’ contributions to the company’s financial performance.
- Delta generated $1.2 billion of operating cash flow and $627 million of free cash flow in the September 2013 quarter, and ended the period with adjusted net debt of $9.9 billion.
Delta’s operating revenue improved $567 million in the September 2013 quarter compared to the September 2012 quarter. Traffic increased 2.1 percent on a 2.6 percent increase in capacity.
- Passenger revenue increased 6.7 percent, or $581 million, compared to the prior year period. Passenger unit revenue (PRASM) increased 4.0 percent year over year with a 4.5 percent improvement in yield.
- Cargo revenue decreased 6.1 percent, or $15 million, on declining freight yields.
- Other revenue was flat year over year as growth in Delta’s third-party staffing business revenues offset a decline in third-party maintenance revenues.
Comparisons of revenue-related statistics are as follows:
|Increase (Decrease)3Q13 versus 3Q12|
|Passenger Revenue||3Q13 ($M)||ChangeYOY||UnitRevenue||Yield||Capacity|
“The momentum we have built by running an outstanding operation and investing in our product and people enabled a 7 percent revenue growth, with particularly strong performance in Atlanta, New York and London,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s president. “The revenue environment appears solid through the end of the year, including strong holiday bookings, and we expect to continue to build on the revenue premium we deliver versus the industry.”
Total operating expense in the quarter increased $312 million year-over-year driven by higher volume- and revenue-related expenses; the impact of operational, service and employee investments; and $75 million higher profit sharing expense. These cost increases were partially offset by the savings from Delta’s structural cost initiatives. Non-operating expense declined as a result of lower interest expense and a $40 million benefit for the portion of Virgin Atlantic’s September quarter profit attributable to Delta’s ownership stake.
Consolidated unit cost excluding fuel expense, profit sharing and special items (CASM-Ex2), was 1.1 percent higher in the September 2013 quarter on a year-over-year basis, driven by the impact of wage increases and operational and service investments. GAAP consolidated CASM increased 1.0 percent.
Fuel expense, excluding mark-to-market adjustments, declined $81 million as a result of lower market fuel prices and better settled hedge performance. Delta’s average fuel price3 was $2.97 per gallon for the September quarter, which includes $0.06 in hedge gains. On a GAAP-basis, fuel expense for the September quarter increased $74 million year-over-year, driven by lower mark-to-market gains on hedges.
For the September quarter, operations at the Trainer refinery produced a $3 million profit. While lower crack spreads pressured results at the refinery, they also reduced market jet fuel prices and helped lower Delta’s overall fuel expense.
Cash from operations during the September 2013 quarter was $1.2 billion, driven by the company’s September quarter profit. The company generated $627 million of free cash flow.
Capital expenditures during the September 2013 quarter were $635 million, including $450 million in fleet investments and $61 million for the purchase of 12 aircraft off lease. During the quarter, Delta’s debt maturities and capital leases were $430 million.
In the September quarter, the company began returning capital to shareholders. On Sept. 10, the company paid $51 million to shareholders, which represents the $0.06 per share quarterly dividend declared earlier in the year. In addition, the company repurchased 4.8 million shares at an average price of $20.82 for a total of $100 million. The company has $400 million remaining of the $500 million share repurchase plan authorized by Delta’s Board of Directors in May.
Delta ended the quarter with adjusted net debt of $9.9 billion and the company has now achieved over $7 billion in net debt reduction since 2009. This debt reduction strategy produced a $33 million year-over-year reduction in interest expense in the September quarter. As of September 30, 2013, Delta had $5.8 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $4 billion in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments, and $1.8 billion in undrawn revolving credit facilities.
“The $1.8 billion in free cash flow we have generated so far this year has allowed us to achieve our initial $10 billion debt target and start down the path toward our new $7 billion target,” said Paul Jacobson, Delta’s chief financial officer. “With consistently solid cash generation, we are moving forward with our plan to return capital to shareholders while continuing to invest in the company and strengthen our balance sheet.”
Delta has a strong commitment to its employees, customers and the communities it serves. Recent Delta highlights include:
- Recognizing the achievements of Delta employees toward meeting the company’s financial and operational goals with $456 million of incentives so far this year, including $387 million in profit sharing expense and $69 million in Shared Rewards payments;
- Significantly improving its operational performance, resulting in an on-time arrival rate of 83 percent and a 99.8 percent completion factor so far this year. This completion factor performance includes 40 days of 100 percent mainline completion factor;
- Receiving final approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation for Delta’s joint venture with Virgin Atlantic Airways with a grant of anti-trust immunity. The joint venture will allow the airlines to deepen their cooperation, offering more flight choice for travelers on both sides of the Atlantic and improving the travel options for business customers in the New York to London market;
- Equipping Delta’s crews with enhanced technology by providing all flight attendants new Windows Phone 8 handheld devices that will streamline on-board purchasing and improve the customer experience and also announcing plans to provide Delta’s 11,000 pilots with the Microsoft Surface 2 tablet, allowing pilots more efficient access to real-time flight information; and
- Continuing to support the communities we serve through Delta’s Force for Global Good, including raising nearly $7 million since 2005 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and furthering the foundation’s goal of breast cancer awareness with Delta’s Pink Plane, a 767-400 (above) dedicated to Evelyn Lauder and featuring BCRF’s trademarked pink ribbon logo on the tail of the aircraft.
Delta recorded special items totaling a $157 million gain in the September 2013 quarter, including:
- a $285 million gain for mark-to-market adjustments for fuel hedges settling in future periods; and
- a $128 million charge for facilities, fleet and other items, primarily associated with Delta’s domestic fleet restructuring.
Delta recorded special items totaling a $279 million gain in the September 2012 quarter, including:
- a $440 million gain for mark-to-market adjustments for fuel hedges settling in future periods;
- a $39 million gain associated with the exchange of slots at New York-LaGuardia and Washington-Reagan National;
- a $12 million loss on extinguishment of debt;
- a $66 million charge for severance and related costs; and
- a $122 million charge for facilities, fleet and other, including charges resulting from the closure of Comair.
(1) Note A to the attached Consolidated Statements of Operations provides a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures used in this release and provides the reasons management uses those measures.
(2) CASM – Ex: In addition to fuel expense, profit sharing and special items, Delta believes excluding ancillary business costs is helpful to investors because ancillary business costs are not related to the generation of a seat mile. These businesses include aircraft maintenance and staffing services Delta provides to third parties and Delta’s vacation wholesale operations. The amounts excluded were $224 million and $214 million for the September 2013 and 2012 quarters, respectively. Management believes this methodology provides a more consistent and comparable reflection of Delta’s airline operations.
(3) Average fuel price per gallon: Delta’s September 2013 quarter average fuel price of $2.97 per gallon reflects the consolidated cost per gallon for mainline and regional operations, including contract carrier operations, and includes the impact of fuel hedge contracts with original maturity dates in the September 2013 quarter. On a GAAP basis, fuel price includes $285 million in fuel hedge mark-to-market adjustments recorded in periods other than the settlement period. The net refinery profit for the quarter was $3 million. See Note A for a reconciliation of average fuel price per gallon to the comparable GAAP metric.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Delta’s special “Force for Global Good” Boeing 767-432 ER N845MH (msn 29719) “Pink Plane” taxies at London (Heathrow).
Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) according to Reuters, is expected to place a large order shortly for additional Boeing jets, including the new Boeing 777X mini-jumbo and additional 787s.
Etihad is nearing its 10th anniversary on November 12.
Etihad’s order could pre-empt a widely expected large order for 100 or more 777X from rival Emirates Airline (Dubai) when it hosts the Dubai Air Show in November.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Etihad Airways is already a Boeing 777 operator for both passenger and cargo operations. Boeing 777-3FX ER A6-ETN (msn 39689) completes its final approach at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Norwegian to launch new routes from London Gatwick to New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian Long Haul) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) has announced it will launch three new intercontinental nonstop routes between London (Gatwick) and New York (JFK), Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood starting in the summer of 2014. In addition to these new long-haul routes, Norwegian will also launch five new European nonstop routes and is also increased capacity on existing routes.
Norwegian continues its international expansion with more Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Following the successful launch of direct routes within Europe from Gatwick earlier this year, the fast growing carrier is now launching intercontinental routes from London Gatwick.
Five new European destinations
In addition to the new intercontinental routes, Norwegian is launching five new European destinations from London Gatwick. New destinations from next spring and summer are: Santorini, Corfu, Catania, Cyprus and Budapest. Norwegian is also increasing capacity to existing destinations: Malaga, Ibiza, Split, Dubrovnik, Majorca, Faro, Tenerife, Copenhagen and Barcelona.
Norwegian currently offers 320 flights a week to 25 destinations from London Gatwick.
Copyright Photo: Norwegian.
AMR Corporation (Dallas/Fort Worth), the parent company of American Airlines, Inc., (Dallas/Fort Worth) reported results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2013. Key highlights include:
- Net profit of $530 million, excluding reorganization and special items, a $420 million improvement year-over-year; on that basis, it is the most profitable quarter in company history
- Revenue of $6.8 billion, up 6.2 percent year-over-year; the highest quarterly revenue total in company history
- Consolidated unit costs, excluding fuel and special items, improved 5.0 percent year-over-year, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of unit cost reduction
- AMR ended the third quarter with approximately $7.7 billion in cash and short-term investments, including restricted cash, compared to a balance of approximately $5.1 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2012
- American continued its fleet renewal, taking delivery of ten fuel-efficient Airbus A319s, eight Boeing 737-800s, and one Boeing 777-300 ER in the quarter, while also placing into service four Embraer ERJ 175s operated by one of its affiliated regional carriers
- American and US Airways Group are vigorously defending the lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice seeking to enjoin their planned merger and continue to move forward with developing a merger integration plan
- American accrued $59 million in employee profit sharing in the quarter, and has accrued a total of $65 million for employee profit sharing this year. The anticipated distribution would be the first profit sharing payout in thirteen years
“We are pleased to report our highest quarterly net profit in American’s history, excluding reorganization and special items, thanks to the hard work of the entire American team,” said Tom Horton, AMR’s chairman, president and CEO. “Continued execution on our product, network and alliance strategy, combined with cost efficiencies from restructuring and fleet renewal, creates strong momentum towards our planned merger with US Airways. And we are especially pleased to set aside $59 million this quarter in expectation of making our first profit-sharing payout since 2001 to our people who have done so much to put American back on top.”
In the third quarter of 2013, GAAP net profit was $289 million, a $527 million improvement compared to the prior-year period. Excluding reorganization and special items, the third quarter 2013 net profit was $530 million. This is a $420 million improvement compared to the prior-year period. In the quarter, AMR had $241 million of reorganization and special items, which are detailed below.
AMR continued to drive profitability and significant margin expansion in the third quarter, achieving a pre-tax margin of 7.8 percent, excluding reorganization and special items, an improvement of 6.1 points over the prior-year period, and a GAAP pre-tax margin of 4.2 percent, an improvement of 7.9 points compared to the third quarter of 2012.
On a trailing twelve month basis, the third quarter marked AMR’s seventh consecutive quarter of improved pre-tax margins. This margin expansion is driven by the realization of restructuring efforts to improve the operational and financial performance of the company, and AMR expects to realize additional improvements as the company continues to implement new terms reached with certain vendors and suppliers. AMR also expects results going forward to be bolstered as it competes more effectively by better matching aircraft size with demand through the continued deployment of the new Airbus A319 narrowbodies and the new two-class large regional jets, both of which started entering into service in the third quarter.
“As we continue to deliver substantial margin expansion and record results, we are positioning the company for long-term success,” said Bella Goren, AMR’s chief financial officer. “In addition, our financing activities have significantly enhanced our liquidity, and are enabling us to pay down high-interest debt and efficiently fund our impending emergence from the restructuring process.”
In the third quarter of 2013, AMR strengthened its liquidity and reduced its effective interest rates through several key transactions. AMR completed a private offering of $1.4 billion of enhanced equipment trust certificates with a coupon of 4.95 percent. The proceeds from this offering were used to pay off in full three prior aircraft financings with coupons of 8.625 percent, 10.375 percent, and 13 percent. The third quarter also marked the closing of an $850 million term loan, secured by American’s South American slots, gates, and routes, incremental to the $1.05 billion term loan secured by the same collateral that closed in the second quarter.
For the third quarter of 2013, AMR reported record consolidated revenue of approximately $6.8 billion, up 6.2 percent versus the same period last year. Consolidated passenger revenue was approximately $6.0 billion, an increase of 6.4 percent – and the highest quarterly passenger revenue in company history. Mainline and regional passenger revenue and cargo revenue each increased year-over-year as total operating revenue in the third quarter of 2013 was approximately $399 million higher than the third quarter of 2012.
“American’s solid revenue momentum continued in the third quarter, with especially strong performance at our domestic hubs, and in the Atlantic and Caribbean regions,” said Virasb Vahidi, American’s chief commercial officer. “We’re particularly pleased with our strength across the Atlantic, reflecting the success of our joint business with British Airways, Iberia and Finnair.
Through this partnership, we offer our customers more New York-London travel options than any other alliance, with 17 daily nonstop flights from New York area airports. This is yet another example of putting the customer at the center of everything we do.”
Consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (unit revenue) increased 3.4 percent versus the same quarter last year, to an all-time record for any quarter of 13.79 cents per available seat mile (ASM). Mainline unit revenue at American increased 4.0 percent versus the prior-year period, reaching an all-time record for any quarter of 13.11 cents per ASM.
The company’s unit revenue performance was driven by record passenger yield, or revenue per passenger mile, of 16.36 cents per mile, a 4.0 percent year-over-year improvement, and strong mainline and consolidated load factors, or percentage of seats filled, of 85.0 percent and 84.3 percent, respectively.
For the third quarter, AMR’s consolidated operating expenses decreased $248 million, or 3.9 percent, versus the same period in 2012. Mainline and consolidated cost per available seat mile (unit cost) in the third quarter decreased 7.4 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively.
Excluding special items, AMR’s consolidated operating expenses decreased $52 million, or 0.8 percent, year-over-year.
Fuel expense in the third quarter increased $40 million year-over-year on a 2.9 percent increase in ASMs. Taking into account the impact of fuel hedging, AMR paid $3.04 per gallon for jet fuel in the third quarter of 2013 versus $3.12 per gallon in the third quarter of 2012, a 2.6 percent decrease.
Excluding fuel and special items, mainline and consolidated unit costs in the third quarter of 2013 decreased 5.4 percent and 5.0 percent year-over-year, respectively, primarily driven by the company’s restructuring efforts. This was the fourth consecutive quarter of non-fuel unit cost reduction.
In addition, AMR achieved an operating profit of $713 million and an operating margin of approximately 10.4 percent, an improvement of approximately $451 million and 6.3 points, respectively, over the prior-year period, excluding special items in both periods. On a GAAP basis, AMR realized an operating profit of $698 million and an operating margin of approximately 10.2 percent, an improvement of approximately $647 million and 9.4 points, respectively, over the prior-year period.
An unaudited summary of third quarter 2013 results, including reconciliations of non-GAAP to GAAP financial measures, is available in the tables at the back of this press release.
The company ended the third quarter with approximately $7.7 billion in cash and short-term investments, including a restricted cash balance of $935 million, compared to a balance of approximately $5.1 billion in cash and short-term investments, including a restricted cash balance of approximately $847 million, at the end of the third quarter of 2012. The increase was generated by operating activities and by financing initiatives in 2013.
Fleet Renewal and Transformation
In the third quarter, American made significant progress on its fleet renewal program, adding new, efficient and more comfortable aircraft.
- The newest member of America’s fleet – the Airbus 319 – went into service in September, flying from Dallas/Fort Worth to Charlotte, Cleveland, Memphis and Wichita. These modern and fuel-efficient aircraft represent an important milestone in the company’s journey to transform the travel experience for its customers. American took delivery of ten A319s in the third quarter.
- The company launched its first service with the 76-seat Embraer ERJ 175 operated by one of its affiliated regional carriers. This large regional aircraft in a two-class cabin configuration allows the company to better match supply and demand with the right amount of schedule frequency.
- American also took delivery of eight Boeing 737-800s and one Boeing 777-300ER.
In the fourth quarter, American expects to take delivery of its first five Airbus A321 trans-con aircraft – specially configured with fully lie-flat First and Business Class seats. These aircraft are anticipated to enter service in January 2014.
Through the third quarter, American has taken delivery of 43 out of the 59 new mainline aircraft slated for delivery in 2013, including seven Boeing 777-300 ERs.
Pending Merger with US Airways Group
- In the third quarter, American and US Airways Group continued preparing for their planned merger announced on Feb. 14, 2013.
- On Aug. 13, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and certain states filed a lawsuit to enjoin the merger.
- American and US Airways Group are vigorously defending the lawsuit. The trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 25. The company is confident that the merger would provide significant customer benefits and enhance competition in the airline industry.
- On Oct. 1, American and US Airways Group announced they reached an agreement with the Texas Attorney General to support the proposed merger of American and US Airways Group.
- American and US Airways Group continue to move forward with developing a merger integration plan designed to ensure a positive outcome for their customers, employees and stakeholders.
The merger is conditioned on the satisfactory resolution of the pending antitrust litigation with the DOJ and other customary closing conditions.
American ran a solid operation during the busy summer travel season, achieving an on-time arrival rate of 79.5 percent, its best third quarter performance since 2010. American’s improved operational results for the quarter also include a completion factor of 99.0 percent, its best since 2010.
Recent Business Highlights
American has a strong commitment to its customers, its people, and the communities it serves. Recent American highlights include:
- Launching new codeshare agreements with Bogota-based LAN Colombia and Sao Paulo-based TAM Airlines, which will add new service to key destinations and increase American’s network connectivity in the Latin American region, further strengthening American’s relationship with LATAM Airlines Group
- Strengthening its global presence to best meet customer demand by announcing that American will launch its first-ever nonstop service from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) and Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) next year
- Opening its Flagship Check-In for premium customers at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, making it American’s fourth airport to offer this enhanced customer experience
- Announcing plans to hire 1,500 new pilots over the next five years. The company has offered to recall all of its furloughed pilots and will begin the new recruiting later this fall. This is in addition to the hiring and training underway for 1,500 new flight attendants and the more than 1,200 Premium Services Representatives, Airport Agents and Reservations Agents who have joined the American team this year
On Sept.12, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York stated that it would enter an order confirming American’s Plan of Reorganization (the Plan). The next steps the company seeks to take are to achieve antitrust clearance and consummate the Plan and the company’s pending merger with US Airways Group.
The effective date of the Plan and American’s emergence from restructuring are expected to occur simultaneously with the closing of the merger with US Airways Group.
Reorganization and Special Items
AMR’s third quarter 2013 results include the impact of $241 million in reorganization and special items.
- Of that amount, AMR recognized a $151 million loss in reorganization items resulting from the filing of voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 by certain of its direct and indirect U.S. subsidiaries on Nov. 29, 2011. These items primarily consist of professional fees, as well as allowed and estimated allowed claim amounts.
- In conjunction with the repayment of the existing financings, the company incurred cash charges of $19 million, included in interest expense, and a charge of $54 million, included in Miscellaneous, net, related to the premium on tender for the existing financings and to the write-off of unamortized issuance costs.
- The company’s results for the third quarter also include special charges and merger-related expenses of $15 million.
AMR estimates consolidated capacity in the fourth quarter of 2013 to be up approximately 3.5 percent versus the fourth quarter of 2012, primarily driven by the combination of an estimated 1.5 percent year-over-year increase in the average stage length per operation flown, and by new or increased capacity into South Korea, Mexico and Central and South America.
For the full year 2013, consolidated capacity is estimated to increase approximately 1.5 percent versus the prior year.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-223 ER N778AN (msn 29587) arrives at London (Heathrow).
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) today announced it plans to launch its first-ever nonstop service from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) and Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) next year.
The new daily service between DFW and Hong Kong will be operated with a Boeing 777-300 ER, marking the first time American will deploy its flagship aircraft to Asia. The new service between DFW and Shanghai will be operated with a 777-200 aircraft. Pending regulatory approval, customers can travel on these new routes beginning summer 2014.
Both routes will be operated as part of American’s joint business agreement with fellow oneworld®alliance member Japan Airlines. The service to Hong Kong will add a new destination to American’s international network, and the service to Shanghai complements American’s existing service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). Through oneworld member airlines and their affiliates, American’s customers will have access to more than 145 destinations within Asia. Also, through American’s extensive network out of Dallas/Fort Worth, customers traveling from Shanghai and Hong Kong will now have access to nearly 200 destinations throughout North, Central and South America.
In addition to welcoming the 777-300 ER to Asia with the launch of service to Hong Kong, American will take delivery of and deploy additional 777-300 ER aircraft to key international markets in 2014, including routes from American’s hub in Miami for the first time. American will begin operating the 777-300 ER on one of its two daily flights from Miami to London Heathrow (LHR) in January, and one of its four daily flights from Miami to Sao Paulo (GRU) in November 2014. American will also operate an additional 777-300 ER between New York JFK and London Heathrow in March. By the end of 2014, American will have 16 of the 20 777-300 ER aircraft it has on order deployed throughout its network.
With the introduction of an additional 777-300 ER between JFK and London Heathrow, customers will have the opportunity to travel in fully lie-flat First Class or Business Class seats on all 12 frequencies American operates together with British Airways between the two airports, providing more fully lie-flat seats than any other airline partnership in the market.
Together, American and British Airways provide customers in the competitive New York to London travel market more service than any other airline partnership, with 17 daily nonstop flights from New York-area airports to London-area airports. In addition to the combined 12 daily trips between JFK and London Heathrow, British Airways also offers direct access from Newark to London Heathrow and the only service by any carrier between JFK and London City (LCY), giving business travelers more convenient access to the financial district in the heart of London.
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. American’s new Boeing 777-323 ER N722AN (msn 31547) arrives in London at Heathrow Airport.
Norwegian AIr Shuttle’s (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) Board of Directors today approved a new structure that will ensure the company’s international growth and the necessary traffic rights. Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA continues to be overall parent company. The parent company established two new wholly owned subsidiaries with their own operating certificate (AOC), one in Norway and one in Europe. The Company intends to establish hiring pilots at bases outside Scandinavia.
The most important changes:
New Norwegian operating company with its own AOC in Norway based on the current Scandinavian bases
All employees pilots in Scandinavia is transferred to the Norwegian operating company with current pay and working conditions. Other employees of Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA are not affected
Creation of a separate EU operational company that ensures the necessary traffic rights to fly from Europe
In line with the development of law in Europe established wholly owned resource company with roots in the countries where the bases are
Hired pilots are being offered permanent employment locally in the respective resource companies. The first is the base in Finland, where the pilots are being offered permanent employment in the first quarter of 2014. This is followed by the bases in Spain and England.
Norwegian goes from being a Scandinavian company into an international company. The organizational structure needs to be modernized and adapted accordingly.
The new structure provides a greater degree of equality regarding career opportunities, regardless of what country they have that base.
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8JP LN-DYU (msn 39008) with the special “Wireless Internet on Board” markings arrives at London (Gatwick).
Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) has announced its plans to acquire the five Boeing 777-200 LRs (Longer Range) from Air India (Mumbai). The airline issued this statement:
The two carriers signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) in Mumbai earlier this week paving the way for the deal.
The 777-200 LRs will be used on the airline’s new route between Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles, which starts on June 1, 2014.
Etihad Airways currently flies to New York (JFK), Chicago (O’Hare), Washington (Dulles), DC and Toronto (Pearson) in North America, and to São Paulo in Brazil, and has stated its ambition to add new services to both continents.
Subject to approvals, the aircraft will be delivered to Etihad Airways from the beginning of 2014 and each will be re-fitted in a three class cabin configuration consistent with similar aircraft in the Etihad Airways fleet. It is expected the first aircraft will enter service in April 2014.
The purchase comes as Etihad Airways finalizes details on a new fleet order which will meet its organic growth and expansion requirements to 2025 in line with its rolling network plan.
The Boeing 777-200 LR, of which less than 60 were manufactured, has a design range of 17,370 km, allowing it to connect almost any city in the world from Etihad Airways’ hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
The five Air India 777-200 LR aircraft, which Etihad Airways is purchasing, are on average, six years old, helping the airline to maintain its overall position of having one of the most modern fleets in the industry.
Etihad Airways’ current fleet will reach 87 aircraft by year end, with 14 new deliveries from aircraft manufacturers during 2013.
In other news, Etihad has announced it will increase its share in Virgin Australia Holdings to 19.9 percent. At 19.9 percent, Etihad Airways has reached the threshold approved by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board in June 2013.
Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia Airlines (Brisbane) signed a 10-year strategic partnership agreement in August 2010 that includes code-sharing on flights, joint sales and marketing activities, and reciprocal earn-and-burn on their respective frequent flyer programs.
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The announcement follows the signing of a codeshare agreement between the two airlines. Subject to regulatory approvals, airBaltic will operate the new four weekly return flights using a 116 seat Airbus A319 aircraft.
With seating capacity for 14 Business class and 102 Economy class passengers, the flights will operate on a split schedule, ensuring optimal connectivity over each airline’s respective hubs in Abu Dhabi and Riga.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Air India’s Boeing 777-237 LR VT-ALD (msn 36303) prepares to touch down at London’s Heathrow Airport.
The European Commission announced today its decision to approve the acquisition of Olympic Air by Aegean.
The rationale of the European Commission decision supports the absolute necessity of economies of scale to achieve viability within the Greek aviation market. The acquisition creates the conditions for the establishment of a sustainable Greek carrier, competitive within the Region and capable of supporting a growth momentum which will benefit Greek Tourism and the local economy.
Following EU approval, the acquisition of the shares of Olympic Air and the assumption of management by Aegean is expected to be completed by October 18, 2013. The total consideration for the transaction has been set at €72 m., of which €20 m. have already been paid. Upon the completion of the acquisition, Olympic Air will become a subsidiary of the listed Aegean, while the process of unification of the support functions will begin immediately. The two brands and logos of the companies will remain with each one retaining distinct aircraft and flight activity.
The Chairman of Aegean Mr. Theodore Vassilakis said:
“As of today our obligation and commitment to serve our passengers and our country become even greater. While growing in size we also have to further improve our services to be more effective in the support of all Greek regions and ensure competitive access even to the smallest Greek island. The economies of scale will allow us to offer more competitive fares on our domestic network, especially for the small islands. At the same time, the synergies will allow us to support an improved growth rate for our international network, both from Athens and the periphery, contributing substantially to the development of Tourism and the Economy “.
The company will host a press conference on October 23, 2013, following the share purchase, to present its customer offering and development plan as well as its 2014 network plans.
|Passenger traffic ( 2013 estimation in million)||6,50||1,90||8,40|
|Turnover (in million € – 2013 estimation)||630||170||800|
Top Copyright Photo: Robbie Shaw/AirlinersGallery.com. Aegean’s Airbus A320-232 SX-DVQ (msn 3526) painted in the Star Alliance colors departs from London (Heathrow).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Olympic Air has been reduced down to mainly a Bombardier DHC-8/Q400 operator. Operated by Flybe, DHC-8-402 (Q400) G-JECV (msn 4148) prepares to land at London (Heathrow).
British Airways (London) will soon start a new direct flight from London Gatwick to Luqa International Airport in Malta.
The daily service starts from March 30, 2014 in advance of the peak summer holiday season. Hand-baggage only tickets in Euro Traveller (economy) will start from just £55 one-way, including all taxes and charges. Seats in Euro Traveller for customers who chose to take a bag including all taxes and charges start at £67 one-way and in Club Europe (business) one-way fares start at £274.
British Airways’ holiday flights will be further boosted by more services from London Gatwick to Salzburg, Naples, Dubrovnik, Marrakech and Catania during summer 2014.
The new Malta route will be served by a combination of Boeing 737 and Airbus A319/A320 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Terry Wade/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-436 G-DOCX (msn 25857) with the red nose arrives back at London’s Gatwick Airport.
Titan Airways (London-Stansted) has retired its last BAe RJ100 after a long association with the UK-built 146 series of aircraft. The airline issued this statement:
Titan Airways RJ100, G-POWF, left the fleet to begin a new role with Canadian operator, North Cariboo Air.
G-POWF, which had been with us for two and a half years, had most recently been employed on a government contract in the Gulf region. The RJ100 superseded Titan Airways’ BAe 146 operations in the Gulf which dated back to 2009.
The role previously fulfilled by Titan is now being taken over by the RAF’s own aircraft.
The departure of the RJ100 is a step in Titan’s long term strategy to operate more modern, economical and environmentally friendly aircraft. In addition to the phasing out of older aircraft types, we have begun actively seeking younger, more efficient aircraft. An Airbus A320-233 was introduced in April and we are looking for further opportunities to expand our charter fleet with Airbus.
Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati Collection. Titan Airways has had a long association with the BAe 146 and its various models. The type has also had a number of liveries. BAe 146-200 G-ZAPN (msn E2119) sports one of those unique color schemes.
Alitalia’s (2nd) (Rome) first half loss increased to over $398 million. The struggling Italian carrier is proposing a capital infusion of $135 million according to this report by Reuters which would only delay the ultimate fate. The Air France-KLM Group which controls 25 percent of the shares, voted against the capital increase. AF-KL has also asked for additional information about AZ before investing any more money. AF-KL has their own financial challenges.
The capital infusion does not solve the underlying financial problems of high-cost Alitalia. As we asked before, is Alitalia headed towards another bankruptcy? This time, their previous savior, the Air France-KLM Group, given this vote, is less likely to help Italian flag carrier given their own financial condition.
Meanwhile there are reported interested parties in China and Russia that could be interested in Alitalia. This Italian opera is not over.
Read thee full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-112 EI-IXG (msn 516) approaches the runway at London (Heathrow).
British Airways‘ (London) and IAG’s CEO Willie Walsh stated in an article published by Travel Weekly, has warned “a number” of European carriers are poised to fail this winter season.
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Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Wearing a Panda face for the launch of the new route to Chengdu, China, Boeing 777-236 G-YMMH (msn 30309) arrives at the London (Heathrow) hub.
British Airways (London) as planned, will launch its new thrice-weekly London (Heathrow)-Chengdu, China route on September 22. BA has painted the pictured Boeing 777-236 ER G-YMMH (msn 30309) as a smiling panda. Chengdu is the home of the giant panda.
BA is also adding the lucky (in China) “8″ in the flight numbers. Flight BA 89 will depart London Heathrow on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 1530, arriving into Chengdu at 0855 the following day. The return flight BA 88 will depart Chengdu on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 1055, arriving at Heathrow Airport at 1500.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. G-YMMH is pictured at LHR with the new panda markings.
Ryanair (Dublin) will appeal the UK Competition Commission (UKCC) final report concerning Ryanair’s 29.8 percent share of Aer Lingus (Dublin) and its effort to acquire a controlling share. Based on this decision the Irish ultra low-fare carrier has been shopping its share to other carriers but so far there are no takers. Here is the statement by the flamboyant airline:
Ryanair has confirmed that it will appeal the UK Competition Commission (UKCC) final report which wrongly found that Ryanair, through its 7 year old minority (29.8%) shareholding in Aer Lingus, “had led or may be expected to lead to a substantial lessening of competition between the airlines on routes between Great Britain and Ireland”. This baseless claim is manifestly disproven by 7 years of evidence and by the European Commission’s recent (Feb 2013) ruling that competition between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has “intensified” since 2007.
Under EU law, the UKCC has a duty of sincere cooperation with the EU, and cannot contradict or reach different conclusions to the European Commission’s findings. Inexplicably, today’s report by the UKCC infringes this legal duty by ignoring and contradicting the recent findings of the European Commission that:
“Aer Lingus and Ryanair compete on a greater number of routes compared to the 2007 Decision”, “there is significant competitive interaction between the Parties”, and“evidence collected by the Commission in the market investigation has also confirmed that the competitive relationship between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has at least persisted, if not increased, since 2007”.
In addition, the UKCC has inexplicably dismissed Ryanair’s unprecedented remedies package which comprehensively addressed the UKCC’s three invented “concerns”. For example, the UKCC rejected Ryanair’s offer to unconditionally sell its minority stake to any other airline that makes a bid for Aer Lingus and obtains acceptances from 50.1% of Aer Lingus’ shareholders. Ryanair also offered to support Aer Lingus’ rights issues and any disposal of Aer Lingus’ Heathrow slots, but these simple and effective remedies were also rejected by the UKCC.
The UKCC’s manifestly unjust ruling demonstrates that it did not conduct any fair investigation and that it has now merely announced what was its pre-determined conclusion. Ryanair will appeal the UKCC’s unlawful ruling to the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal. In any event, until the completion of Ryanair’s appeal to the EU courts against the European Commission’s February 2013 prohibition decision, the CC cannot lawfully impose any remedies on Ryanair.
Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:
“This report by the UKCC is bizarre and manifestly wrong but also entirely expected. From the first meeting with the UKCC it has been clear to us that Simon Polito’s and Roger Davis’ minds had been made up in advance and no truth or evidence was going to get in the way of their story. This prejudicial approach to an Irish airline is very disturbing, coming from an English government body that regards itself a model competition authority.
Polito’s and Davis’ ignoring of evidence, their conduct of a manifestly unfair investigation, their omission of all the substantial body of evidence that conclusively disproves their case, and their rejection of Ryanair’s unprecedented undertakings (which patently address their three invented future concerns), all in a misguided pursuit of their pre-determined conclusion, demonstrate that this process was not a competition investigation but merely a corrupt and politically biased charade.
While Ryanair is one of the UK’s largest airlines, Aer Lingus has a tiny presence in the UK, serving just 6 routes to the Republic of Ireland, a traffic base that has declined over the past 3 years and now accounts for less than 1% of all UK air traffic. This case, involving two Irish airlines where one (Aer Lingus) accounts for less than 1% of the UK’s total air traffic and concerns very few UK consumers, is yet another enormous waste of UK taxpayer resources from a body which took no action whatsoever when the two main UK airlines (BA and bmi) merged. It would appear to be a case of one rule for the UK airlines but an invented set of rules for two Irish airlines.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DLO (msn 34178) with “Bye Bye EasyJet” sub-titles approaches the London (Stansted) for landing.