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Tag Archives: London

IAG reveals failed Aer Lingus bid

International Airlines Group (IAG) (London), the parent company of British Airways (Heathrow), Iberia (Madrid) and low cost carrier Vueling Airlines (Barcelona), has revealed that the board of Aer Lingus (Dublin) has rejected a potential takeover attempt.

IAG confirmed in a stock exchange disclosure it had “submitted a proposal” to make an offer for Aer Lingus, but it added that this was “rejected by the board of Aer Lingus.”

IAG added: “There can be no certainty that any further proposal or offer will be forthcoming. A further statement will be made if and when appropriate,”.

“The board has reviewed the Proposal and believes that it fundamentally undervalues Aer Lingus and its attractive prospects. Accordingly, the Proposal was rejected on 16 December 2014,” Aer Lingus said in a stock market disclosure. “Shareholders are strongly advised to take no action.”

This is not the first time Aer Lingus has been the target of a takeover bid. Irish competitor Ryanair (Dublin) has made several attempts to acquire its fellow Irish carrier, but each of these efforts has been blocked on competition grounds.

Last September, a UK Competition Commission (UKCC) investigation into these unsuccessful Ryanair bids revealed that Aer Lingus was looking to combine with another carrier in 2012 and has more recently explored a variety of merger and acquisition scenarios. They also revealed that several sets of talks relating to Aer Lingus acquiring, merging and forming strategic initiatives with other airlines.

Ryanair was ordered to sell its 29.8% stake in Aer Lingus down to 5% by the UKCC, partly based on concerns the shareholding could jeopardize Aer Lingus’ consolidation with other carriers. Ryanair responded by putting its entire stake up for sale, with certain conditions. More recently Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has bemoaned a total lack of interest in the Aer Lingus stake.

O’Leary, speaking at the release of Ryanair’s first-quarter results this summer, said: “We’ve had depressingly received no interest in Aer Lingus stake, which has been up for sale for about 18 months.”

The takeover bid from IAG could have could have valued the Republic’s flag carrier at at least €1 billion, industry sources estimate. Earlier, Aer Lingus shares had jumped 14% after the Financial Times reported that IAG was considering a bid.

Reported by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Aer Lingus A320-214 EI-DEN (msn 2432) approaches the runway in London (Heathrow).

Aer Lingus aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

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Etihad Airways unveils its new Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 and new uniforms in Abu Dhabi

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi), the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has capped an incredible 12 months by unveiling its first Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 aircraft (see videos above) to more than 200 of the world’s media in Abu Dhabi.

The doors to the airline’s two new flagship aircraft – in the distinctive new ‘Facets ofAbu Dhabi’ livery – were opened for the first time to reveal the new cabin interiors, which include the ultra-luxurious Residence by Etihad™, the only three-room suite in the sky.

Video: Evolution of the new livery.

Etihad Airways also unveiled a new cabin crew uniform at a spectacular catwalk fashion show. It’s the first major uniform re-launch since the airline’s formation in 2003 and incorporates the same colors used for the cabin interior and new aircraft livery.

Video: The new uniform.

Etihad 2014 New Uniforms (Etihad)(LRW)

Photo: Etihad Airways. The new uniforms.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “As we have done so many times in our short history, we are reshaping the landscape of modern air travel in our own way.

In addition to the media event at Abu Dhabi airport, Etihad Airways is also hosting an event for travel industry partners and one for the airline’s staff today, ensuring that by the end of the day more than 1,500 people will have toured the two new aircraft.

The fashion show saw 22 Etihad Airways cabin crew showcasing the new uniform which has been designed by Italian Ettore Bilotta, derived from the new brand identity, and combines elegance, comfort and practicality.

Bilotta, in collaboration with the airline’s Guest Services and Guest Experience divisions, chose a warm chocolate brown as the base colour for the different uniform variations.

A deep purple color is added for cabin crew and lounge staff, and a burnt orange accent color for ground crews and Special Services personnel.

Copyright Photo Above: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Airbus A380-861 F-WWSS (msn 166) was delivered as A6-APA on December 16. It will be introduced to revenue service on December 27 on the Abu Dhabi-London (Heathrow) route.

Following today’s events in Abu Dhabi, the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 aircraft will continue test operations before starting commercial flights. The A380 will operate daily to London Heathrow from December 27 and the 787 to Dusseldorf from February 1, 2015.

Etihad #Reimangined (LR)

The entry into commercial service of the A380 will see the introduction of The Residence by Etihad™, a new cabin that has captured the imagination of the air travel industry since it was unveiled in May 2014.

Etihad - The Residence (LRW)

Photo: Etihad Airways.

The Residence by Etihad™ (above) features a living room, separate ensuite shower room, and as another first in the airline industry, a dedicated Butler.

Measuring 125 square feet in total, The Residence by Etihad™ is located on the forward upper deck of the A380 and is for single or double occupancy.

The Airbus A380 is also the only Etihad Airways aircraft to offer the First Apartment which is a complete living space with a reclining lounge chair and an ottoman, which opens up to become a separate 80.5 inch long fully-flat bed.

Etihad - The Residence Bed (LRW)

Photo: Etihad Airways.

The First Suite on the Etihad Airways Boeing 787 offers guests an enhanced suite with chilled mini-bar, complete privacy and centre seats which can be joined to create a double bed.

A total of 70 Business Studios are located on the upper deck of the Airbus A380, and the Boeing 787 has 28 Business Studios, all offering aisle access and a fully flat bed of up to 80.5 inches long.

The Economy Smart Seat also debuts on the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 and has enhanced comfort with the unique ‘fixed wing’ headrest on each seat.

Etihad - A380 and 787 Smart Seat (LRW)

Etihad Airways will take delivery of four A380s and three Boeing 787-9s in 2015.

Etihad Airways aircraft slide show:

EasyJet announces two more new routes including Paris CDG-Tel Aviv

EasyJet (UK) (easyJet.com) (London-Luton) is expanding it’s route map with the airline confirming via their Twitter account that they are launching a new route connecting Tel Aviv (Ben Gurion) to Paris (Charles de Gaulle Airport), starting on March 30, 2015.

The low-cost airline also confirmed at the same time that it is expanding its London (Gatwick) operations, with the addition of flights to Figari, in Corsica, launching on June 14, 2015.

Report by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 G-EZDV (msn 3742) arrives at London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW).

EasyJet aircraft slide show:

Emirates to bring the Airbus A380 to Perth, Western Australia

Emirates (Dubai) is bringing the Airbus A380 to Perth, Australia for the first time, commencing on May 1, 2015. The airline has announced that it will up-gauge one of its three daily services between Dubai and Perth to its flagship aircraft, demonstrating the growth of Perth as a global destination.

The change from a Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft will see an increase in capacity of 136 seats per flight and 1,904 seats per week, reinforcing Emirates’ commitment to business and leisure passengers visiting the capital city of Western Australia.

Emirates’ A380 program has seen 12 new double-decker aircraft join the fleet and launch to ten new A380 destinations in the past 12 months; Barcelona, London (Gatwick), Zurich, Mumbai, Frankfurt, Dallas/Fort Worth, Kuwait City, San Francisco, Milan and Houston (Bush Intercontinental). Glasgow, Manila, Tehran and Vienna have also experienced the flagship Emirates aircraft when it touched down on their tarmac for a one off showcase in 2014.

The Emirates A380 is set in a three-class configuration, with 401 seats in Economy Class on the main deck, 76 fully flat-bed, mini-pods in Business Class and 14 First Class Private Suites on the upper deck.

Emirates’ Perth Airbus A380 service will operate daily as EK 420 departing Dubai at 0255 and arriving at Perth International Airport at 1735 the same day. The return flight, EK 421, will depart Perth at 2210 and arrives in Dubai the following day at 0525, a flying time of 11 hours 15 minutes.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDT (msn 090) departs from London (Heathrow).

Emirates aircraft slide show:

Video: Flying First Class on the Emirates Airbus A380:

 

Iberia Express is coming to London Gatwick

Iberia Express (Madrid) will start the twice-daily Madrid-London (Gatwick) route on March 29, 2015.

Copyright Photo: Ariel Shocron/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 EC-JSK (msn 2807) taxies at the Madrid (Barajas) base.

Iberia Express aircraft slide show:

London Gatwick Airport turns to Amadeus’ cloud-based airport-collaborative decision making portal, will handle 55 flights per hour on one runway

Amadeus Control Room (LRW)

London Gatwick Airport is the first to implement Amadeus’ cloud-based Airport-Collaborative Decision Making Portal (A-CDM) to improve collaborative decision-making processes, Amadeus has announced.

London gatwick logo

Gatwick is now one of a forward-thinking group of airports to join the European-wide A-CDM standard, with airports such as Munich, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Madrid and Zurich.

However, Gatwick followed an innovative approach opting for Amadeus’ cost effective cloud technology to speed up the implementation time of A-CDM, rolling out the Amadeus portal to 300 users in just 8 weeks. Assisted by the Amadeus portal, LGW will handle 55 flights per hour from the world’s busiest runway and estimates up to 2 million additional passengers.

The A-CDM standard’s aim is to bring the entire airport ecosystem, of airport operators, airlines, ground handlers and air traffic management, together to operate more efficiently and transparently, sharing accurate information in a timely manner. This results in better air traffic management with fewer delays and increased capacity, as well as an improved passenger experience thanks to an integrated approach to operations.

Michael Ibbitson, Chief Information Officer of London Gatwick commented: “We have received extremely positive feedback from our Amadeus A-CDM Portal stakeholders. It is easy to use and enables them to make better decisions that contribute to smoother and more efficient operations. The portal supports all partners at the airport involved in activities from refuelling and de-icing and to ground handling and cargo. Those employees have access to real-time data about what’s happening across London Gatwick – it’s a game changer.”

He continued: “We constantly strive to embrace new technologies at London Gatwick that will improve the travel experience and operating environment. We estimate that thanks to Amadeus’ A-CDM Portal, we will be able to increase capacity to more than 40 million passengers on a single runway following wider adoption of the portal in the next year or so.”

John Jarrell, Head of Airport IT at Amadeus added: “Communication gaps still prevail in the airport ecosystem – a collaborative approach is key to align on aspects such as disruptions, flight information, number of bags on board and passengers in transit. We hope to see other airports follow Gatwick’s innovative use of the Amadeus A-CDM Portal to facilitate improved communications and operational efficiency.”

The Amadeus Portal and its customisation for London Gatwick is part of Amadeus’ broader commitment to work with airports to improve the passenger experience. Earlier this year, Amadeus published a whitepaper focused on attitudes to cloud computing in the airport industry. This included the viewpoints of over 20 senior IT leaders from the airport industry to investigate the business case for adopting cloud-based Common Use systems at airports.

Report by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.

Top Photo: Amadeus.

Bottom Copyright Photo: London Gatwick Airport.

London Gatwick ATC Tower (LGW)(LRW)

Aer Lingus shareholders approve €191 million ($237 million) payment to the new pension fund

Aer Lingus‘ (Dublin) shareholders have voted in favor of a deal to address the airline’s pension deficit, which was previously described as “a real and significant risk to the success of the company.”

A proposal to plough €190.7 million ($237.6 million) into the pensions scheme, which has taken four years to finalize, was put to shareholders during an extraordinary general meeting December 10.

In a stock exchange disclosure, Aer Lingus said the motion had been passed, with 421,859,027 votes in favor and 1,942,425 against.

The numbers indicate that the holders of close to 80% of the company’s shares voted, while the margin of the vote itself was 99.55% in favor and 0.45 against.

This rubber stamp means the Irish carrier can now proceed with the implementation of the IASS proposal, which will avoid labor conflict, give financial and legal clarity, and stabilize staff costs.

Aer Lingus and Dublin Airport Authority jointly operate IASS, which has an estimated €750 million deficit. Part of the proposals for tackling the problem involve transferring staff to a defined benefit scheme, to which both companies will contribute lump sums totaling €263 million.

The vote followed a stormy meeting at the Dublin Airport Radisson, which was nearly disrupted by protesting retired workers, who at one point surrounded part of the conference room in which it was held and banged on the windows.

A number of former staff attending the meeting itself also expressed their anger to Aer Lingus chairman, Colm Barrington, and claimed the scheme’s trustees had refused to deal with them while the company’s management were ignoring their plight.

They say that they are facing the loss of up to six weeks income a-year under the plan to restructure the insolvent scheme.

The pensioners have hired a legal team and are considering going to court. Leaving the meeting, retired Aer Lingus worker, Vincent McCabe, said “we will go to court if we have to go to court”.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Barrington said that Aer Lingus had honored all its obligations:

“We have got to get the situation resolved and get industrial peace,” he added, referring to the strikes and other unrest that have been a feature of the pension dispute.

Read the full story for the Irish Times: CLICK HERE

Reported by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 EI-DVM (msn 4634) in the 1963 retro livery arrives in London (Heathrow).

Aer Lingus aircraft slide show:

United Airlines to add additional flights to Shanghai and Chengdu for next summer

United Airlines (Chicago) today announced it will operate additional flights to Shanghai and Chengdu, China, from the airline’s trans-Pacific gateway hub in San Francisco during the peak summer travel season. The current daily service between San Francisco and Shanghai will increase to two flights daily from May 6 to October 24, 2015, and the three-times-weekly service between San Francisco and Chengdu will increase to daily service from June 4 to September 1, 2015, both routes subject to government approval.

Second-daily Flight to Shanghai

Flight UA 891 will depart from San Francisco International Airport at 2:40 p.m. (1440) and arrive at Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 7:00 p.m. (1900) the following day (all times local). On the return, flight UA 890 will depart from Shanghai at 9:00 p.m. (2100) and arrive in San Francisco at 5:40 p.m. (1740) on the same day. Flight times will be approximately 13 hours, 20 minutes westbound and 11 hours, 40 minutes eastbound.

United will operate the flights with Boeing 777-200 ER aircraft featuring a total of 269 seats – eight flat-bed seats in United Global First, 40 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst and 221 seats in United Economy, including 104 Economy Plus extra-legroom seats.

The new summer-season service will operate in addition to United’s current daily year-round flights between San Francisco and Shanghai.

Daily Flights to Chengdu

Flight UA 9 will depart San Francisco daily at 1:20 p.m.(1320) and will arrive at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 6:40 p.m. (1840) the following day (all times local). On the return, flight UA 8 will depart Chengdu daily at 9:50 a.m. (0950) and arrive in San Francisco at 8:30 a.m. (0830) the same day. Flying times are approximately 14 hours, 20 minutes westbound and 13 hours, 40 minutes eastbound.

United will operate the San Francisco – Chengdu flights with Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft, featuring a total of 219 seats – 36 in United BusinessFirst and 183 in United Economy, including 70 Economy Plus extra-legroom seats.

Earlier this year, United launched the Chengdu service with three-times-weekly Boeing 787 flights from San Francisco, the first-ever nonstop trans-Pacific service to mainland China beyond Beijing and Shanghai. The Chengdu flights will return to three-times-weekly operations on September 2, 2015.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner N28912 (msn 34828) climbs away from London’s Heathrow Airport.

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

Mahan Air today launches a new route to London Gatwick

Mahan Air Tehran) today (December 15) today launches a new route to London (Gatwick) operating three days a week reportedly with Airbus A310-300s per Airline Route.

Virtual tour on Airbus A300: CLICK HERE

Previously on November 4, Mahan Air celebrated the launch of scheduled flights from Tehran to Beijing nonstop service linking the capitals of Iran and People’s Republic of China and marking the carrier’s 14th international destination. It is also the airline’s first regular flight to China.

The thrice weekly flights are operating via 299-seat Airbus A340-300 in two class configuration. Beijing is Mahan Air’s third new international route after Yerevan and Shiraz to Dubai which were inaugurated in summer 2014.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Mahan Air’s Airbus A310-304 EP-MNF (msn 547) arrives in Bangkok.

Mahan Air aircraft slide show:

Mahan Air route map:

Mahan Air 12.2014 Route Map

El Al’s third quarter net profit slips to only $10.1 million

El Al Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv) reported a third quarter net profit of $10.1 million, down from a net profit of $57.9 million in the same quarter a year ago. Net loss during the period of the first nine months of 2014 amounted to $13.2 million compared to a profit of $29.1 million dollars during the equivalent period in the previous year.

El Al’s CEO, David Maimon: “The results of the third quarter reflect the effect of the “Operation Protective Edge”, which caused significant harm to revenues and as a result El Al requested government assistance. This is the first time since the Second Lebanon War in 2006 in which El Al presents a significant decline in third quarter profits which is traditionally considered as its strongest quarter. In addition, the quarter was characterized by an erosion in prices which resulted in a decline in revenues per passenger.”

Maimon added: “On the other hand, we have significant marketing achievements: the number of members of the Frequent Flyers Club in Israel and globally increased to 1.4 million members, inter alia thanks to the launching of the Flycard and Flycard Premium credit cards with 40 thousand customers ordering these cards within a few weeks. In addition, in the framework of the renewal and extension of the Company’s network of destinations, in the fourth quarter we announced the opening of a new El Al direct line to Boston and a new cooperative agreement (codeshare) signed with JetBlue Airways and American Airlines, which enables our customers to fly to a wide range of destinations in the US with high availability and convenient connections.”

The results of the third quarter of 2014:

Revenues amounted to $601.2 million dollars, compared to $643.3 million during the equivalent quarter in the previous year, a decline of 6.5%. Revenues per passenger declined by 7.3%, mainly as a result of a drop in the yield per passenger-kms, as a result of the negative effects of the ‘Operation Protective Edge’. Revenues from cargo transport increased by 4.5%, mainly as a result of an increase in the number of ton-kms flown, after setting off a decline in the yield.

Operating expenses increased by 2% to $493 million compared to $483.6 million during the equivalent quarter in the previous year. The rate of operating expenses to turnover increased from 75.2% in the third quarter of 2013 to 82.0% in this quarter. The increase in operating expenses was a result mainly of the increase in expenses for jet fuel, an increase in levies and air transition fees, and after setting-off the decline in salary and security expenses.

Salary expenses declined during the quarter, mainly due to the effect of the devaluation in the rate of the shekel compared to the dollar on the Company’s liabilities for employee benefits. The number of the Company’s employees, permanent and temporary, stood at an average of 6,216 employees, compared to 6,109 during the equivalent quarter in the previous year.

The Company’s expenses for jet fuel increased by 5.2%. The increase was due to the effect of the increase in operations and the effect of the increase in the effective price of jet fuel (which includes the results of hedging operations that the Company took). It should be mentioned that the prices of jet fuel in the market declined in the third quarter compared to the equivalent quarter in the previous year, but the Company’s hedging operations resulted in an increase in the effective price for the Company. The rate of jet fuel expenses to turnover increased from 30.3% during the equivalent quarter in the previous year to 34.1% in the third quarter. Total hedging payments in the quarter under report agregated 2.9 million dollars compared to $4.4 million receipts from hedging for the equivalent quarter in the previous year. In addition, the Company recorded expenses of $5.8 million as a result of changes in the fair value of the hedging transactions, which are not recognized as hedging (revenues of 2.4 million dollars during the equivalent quarter in the previous year).

Gross profits amounted to $108.3 million (18.0% of turnover), compared to $159.7 million for the equivalent quarter in the previous year (24.8% of turnover).

Income from operations amounted to $29.1 million, compared to $75.6 million during the equivalent quarter in the previous year.

Net financing expenses during the quarter amounted to $15.4 million compared to net financing income of $5.2 million during the equivalent quarter in the previous year, mainly due to the results of hedging the rates of exchange.

Net profit for the third quarter of 2014 amounted to $10.1 million, compared to $57.9 million for the third quarter of 2013.

Cash flows used for operating activities in the third quarter of 2014 amounted to $12.0 million compared to $56.1 million cash flows provided by operating activities during the equivalent quarter in the previous year.

The EBITDA in the third quarter of 2014 amounted to $57.3 million compared to $100.6 million during the equivalent quarter.

Results for the first nine months of 2014:

Revenues for the first nine months of the year amounted to $1,588.2 million, compared to $1,604.0 million during the equivalent period in the previous year, a decline of 1.0% due mainly to the decline in yield as a result of the increasing competition and after setting off the increase in the number of passengers flown.

Operating expenses during the first nine months of 2014 amounted to $1,357.7 million compared to $1,324.4 million during equivalent period in the previous year, an increase of 2.5%.

Salary expenses increased during the first nine months of 2014 compared to the equivalent period in the previous year, mainly due to the effect of the revaluation which occurred during most of the period of report in the average rate of the shekel against the dollar on expenses, most of which are in shekels. The increase was set off by the effect of the devaluation of the rate of the shekel compared to the dollar at the end of the period on the Company’s liabilities for employee benefits.

The Company’s expenses for jet fuel increased by 1.0% compared to the equivalent period in the previous year. This due to the changes in the fair value of hedging transactions which are not recognized as hedging, payments for hedging compared to receipts during the equivalent period in the previous year, an increase in operations and setting off the decline in the prices of jet fuel in the market. The rate to turnover increased from 32.9% to 33.5%. Total hedging payments during the period of report amounted to $1 million compared to $4.7 million of hedging receipts during the equivalent period in the previous year. In addition, the Company recorded expenses of $5.5 million as a result of changes in the fair value of hedging transaction which are not recognized as hedging (an expense of $2.4 million during the equivalent period in the previous year).

Security expenses the Company recorded a significant decline of $14.3 million as result of an increase in the rate of the State’s participation.

Gross profits during the first nine months of 2014 amounted to $230.5 million, which is a rate of 14.5% of turnover, compared to gross profits of $279.6 million (a rate of 17.4% of turnover) during the equivalent period in the previous year.

Operating income during the first nine months of 2014 amounted to $1.8 million, compared to $46.3 million during the first nine months of 2013.

Net financing expenses amounted to $20.9 million compared to $4.0 million during the equivalent period in the previous year; the increase was a result of the hedging transactions on the rates of exchange.

Net loss during the period of the first nine months of 2014 amounted to $13.2 million compared to a profit of $29.1 million dollars during the equivalent period in the previous year.

El Al’s EBITDA for the first nine months of the year amounted to $84.8 million dollars compared to $121.3 million during the equivalent period in the previous year.

Cash flows from operating activities for the first nine months of the year amounted to $147.9 million, compared to $184.6 million during the equivalent period in the previous year.

Additional data:

As of September 30, 2014, the balances of the Company’s cash, cash equivalents and short-term deposits amounted to $138.0 million dollars.

It should be mentioned that during the third quarter of 2014, the Company invested $66.2 million in fixed assets and other assets, mainly in the acquisition of an additional Boeing 737-900 aircraft, as well as repaying current loans of $48.3 million and receiving loans of $75.4 million dollars to finance the acquisition of new aircraft.

Copyright Photo: El Al’s Boeing 777-258 ER 4X-ECE (msn 36083) taxies at London (Heathrow).

El Al aircraft slide show:

 

Aeroflot to start Moscow-Samarkand flights

Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) in January is starting daily regular flights on the route Moscow — Samarkand.

Aeroflot will operate the new route with Airbus A320s from Sheremetyevo Airport Terminal D.

Samarkand is the second largest city in Uzbekistan and the capital of the Samarkand Province.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 VQ-BKU (msn 4835) arrives in London (Heathrow).

Aeroflot aircraft slide show:

Iberia to add six new routes from Madrid next summer

Iberia (Madrid) is planning to add six new destinations for the next summer season. The flag carrier will add service from Madrid to Budapest (starting on June 2, 2015, three weekly flights), Catania (June 20, one weekly), Florence (March 29, six weekly), Funchal (July 4, twice weekly), Hamburg (March 30, four weekly) and Palermo (June 23, weekly) per Airline Route.

Additionally Iberia Express will add Edinburgh (March 29, four weekly), Naples (June 1, three weekly) and Verona (June 2, three weekly).

Copyright Photo: Iberia’s Airbus A320-214 EC-MCS (msn 6244) taxies at London’ Heathrow Airport.

Iberia aircraft slide show:

Iberia (2013) logo

Map of Iberia’s expansion:

Iberia new routes 2015 map and graph

 

Air Canada launches year-round service to Rio de Janeiro

Air Canada (Montreal) has inaugurated new nonstop service between Toronto (Pearson) and Rio de Janeiro – Galeão International Airport with the departure of flight AC 098. The year-round flight to Brazil’s “Marvelous City” will complement Air Canada’s existing daily nonstop service to Sao Paulo and further drive Air Canada’s international expansion strategy.

Three-times-weekly service is being operated with a Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft with 24 International Business Class and 187 Economy seats.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-38E ER C-GDUZ (msn 25347) departs from London (Heathrow).

Air Canada aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

London ATC goes down temporarily

LHR (9-04)(Aerial)(KDB)(LRW)

Dozens of flights to and from Heathrow airport were delayed or cancelled due to a power outage at air traffic control, European air traffic control authority Eurocontrol said on Friday. London airspace was briefly closed.

Heathrow, which is the UK’s busiest airport, reported earlier: “There is a power outage at the NATS control center in Swanwick which is affecting UK airspace.”

“Flights are currently experiencing delays. We will update passengers as soon as we have more information.”

London Gatwick, Stansted and Luton Airports are accepting arrivals but have suspended departures.

A number of flights were held over the English Channel.

Manchester Airport meanwhile says it is unaffected by the airspace closure and claims it is ready to accept any London bound diverted flights..

London airspace has been effectively closed until 7pm due to a power outage at a control centre.

People travelling have been warned to expect severe delays.

NATs have said: “We can confirm that a technical problem has been reported at Swanwick air traffic control centre. We apologise for any delays and our incident response team has been mobilised. Every possible action is being taken to assist in resolving the situation and to confirm the details. Further information will be released as it becomes available.”

The state-of-the art centre at Swanwick has been subject to a number of computer glitches since Nats moved there from its old headquarters in West Drayton in west London in the early part of the last decade.

One of the worst problems was a year ago – on Saturday December 7 2013 – when thousands of passengers were left stranded when hundreds of flights were grounded following a technical fault at the Hampshire centre.

Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Report by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.

Top Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. An aerial photo of London Heathrow Airport.

Bottom Image: SPA. A rare radar image – no flights airborne over the London area during the ground stop.

London Radar

Air Canada to become the launch customer of Boeing’s new landing gear exchange program

Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) has announced that Air Canada (Montreal) is the launch customer for Boeing’s new landing gear exchange programs for 777-300 ER (Extended Range) and 777-200 LR (Longer Range) airframes.

Under the agreement, Air Canada will receive fully overhauled and certified landing gear shipsets for its fleet of 17 777-300 ERs and six 777-200 LRs during scheduled maintenance cycles. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Boeing currently provides landing gear overhaul and exchange solutions to more than 80 customers on the MD-11, 717, Next-Generation 737, Boeing Business Jet, 747-400, 757-300, 767-300 ER and the 777-200 ER airframes. With a Boeing global network of repair service centers, airline customers receive certified landing gear support anywhere around the world. Boeing provides quick, reliable access to landing gear repair, exchanges and overhauls, which greatly reduces maintenance time and quickly returns airplanes to revenue service.

In addition to its Landing Gear Overhaul and Exchange Program, Boeing provides expendable, rotable, repairable and consumable parts to customers around the globe, giving them a competitive edge in their markets. Products and services include Boeing-proprietary, industry-standard and vendor-proprietary parts; leasing options; and repair and overhaul services.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Canada’s Boeing 777-333 ER C-FNNW (msn 43250) departs from London (Heathrow).

Air Canada aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Bloomberg: Airbus may discontinue the Airbus A380 in 2018

According to a report by Bloomberg:

“Airbus Group NV raised the prospect of discontinuing its A380 superjumbo as soon as 2018, the first admission that it may have misjudged the market for the double-decker after failing to find a single airline buyer this year.

While Airbus will break even on the plane in 2015, 2016 and 2017, that outlook doesn’t hold for 2018, forcing the company to either offer new engines to make the A380 more attractive or discontinue the program, Chief Financial Officer Harald Wilhelm told investors at a meeting in London on December 10.”

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile Emirates President Tim Clark criticized other airlines for not ordering the Super Jumbo:

According to AirlineRatings.com:

“The chief of the world’s largest airline has criticized airlines for not buying more A380 super jumbo’s as Airbus hints at closing the production line down in 2018.

Responding to a Bloomberg report about Airbus CFO, Harald Wilhelm, telling investors in London on Wednesday that Airbus is considering closing the A380 line because of a lack of orders, Emirates President Sir Tim Clark warned that with air travel due to double in the next ten years to 7 billion passengers, airlines and airports will need giant jets like the 517 seat A380.

“The A380 is a passenger magnet. We operate five a day from Dubai to London’s Heathrow and they are 95 per cent full,” Mr Clark told Airlineratings.com in an exclusive interview.

“Airlines are too conservative and have not put the right interiors into their A380s.”

“Some of the interiors are a disgrace and used 1970s thinking,” Mr Clark told Airlineratings.com.

“We put all our premium seats on the upper deck and economy on the main deck, but others have mixed them which is inefficient.”

“Our competitors laughed at us when we put showers and a lounge in the A380.”

“But passengers love the showers and the lounge.”

“The A380 is a great aircraft. If airlines don’t believe they can fill an A380 then their business model is wrong,” said Mr Clark.

“Their marketing is all wrong.”

Emirates has 55 A380s in service with orders for a further 85. However sales to other airlines have almost dried up.

Airbus is considering an upgrade of the A380 -called the A380neo- with new engines and aerodynamic improvements.

Mr Clark said the new model, if built, will have excellent economics, as good as the Boeing 777X that Boeing will introduce in 2018.

“And we will buy 140 of the A380neos” Mr Clark told Airlineratings.com.

“As long as I am around I am going to continue to fight the battle for the A380.”

“This is a great aircraft and the world needs it.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Emirates’s Airbus A380-861 A6-EDG (msn 023) arrives in London (Heathrow).

Emirates aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

AeroMexico to introduce the Boeing 787 on the Mexico City-Los Angeles route

AeroMexico (Mexico City) is planning to introduce the Boeing 787-8 on the Mexico City-Los Angeles route on April 2, 2015. The upgraded route will be operated four days a week per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Set against stormy skies, Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner N965AM (msn 35307) arrives in London (Heathrow).

AeroMexico aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

 

Delta opens its exclusive Delta Arrival Lounge at London Heathrow’s Terminal 3

Delta Air Lines Reception

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has issued this statement about their new Delta Arrivals Lounge at London Heathrow:

Delta Air Lines has opened its exclusive Delta Arrivals Lounge, at the arrivals hall of London Heathrow Terminal 3. All of Delta’s BusinessElite passengers and SkyMiles Diamond and Platinum Medallion members arriving from the United States have complimentary access into the new facility.

The Arrivals Lounge offers a number of amenities tailored to suit customers arriving in London from overnight flights. Customers are invited to freshen up in one of eleven private showers featuring amenities by New York’s Malin+Goetz and take advantage of on-site butler services including clothes press and shoe shine.

Meanwhile, multiple breakfast offerings are available including Starbucks Coffee, lighter fare such as fresh fruit, pastries, yogurt and cereals and prepared to order a la carte items. Wi-Fi is available throughout the Arrivals Lounge, plus a business center and a selection of the day’s newspapers. Staff are also on hand to assist with any future Delta travel plans.

BusinessElite customers also have private car access to the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Wing on departure at Terminal 3, which enables them to go from car to Clubhouse in less than 10 minutes. The pre-booked service allows passengers to use the Private Security Channel, beating the queues and leaving more time prior to boarding.

Last month, Delta announced it will begin flying nonstop between Philadelphia and Heathrow in April 2015, alongside its new flights from Seattle/Tacoma and Los Angeles to London Heathrow.

The Delta Arrivals Lounge will be open daily from 6:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Photos: Delta Air Lines.

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

Delta Air Lines Main Lounge

QANTAS Airways Airbus A380 VH-OQG diverts to Perth due to an “air conditioning” problem, another A380 returns to Sydney

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) flight QF 2 from London (departing on December 6) to Sydney with a stop in Dubai with Airbus A380-842 VH-OQG (msn 047) was forced to make an emergency “controlled descent” this morning (December 8) over the Indian Ocean. The flight descended from 39,000 feet to 10,000 fleet. The A380 landed safely in Perth in Western Australia. QANTAS blamed the problem on a faulty air conditioning system.

QANTAS Airways issued this statement:

QANTAS Flight QF 2 travelling from Dubai to Sydney diverted to Perth due to a fault with the air conditioning. The fault occurred about 1 hour from Perth.

As a precaution the Captain descended the aircraft to 10,000 feet and requested a priority landing.

The aircraft landed safely and was inspected by engineers.

As the crew reached their maximum duty limits before the issue could be fixed on the ground, customers have been provided with overnight accommodation and will be booked on the next available services today to their destination.

Read the full story from The Sydney Morning Herald: CLICK HERE

In another inflight event, also involving an Airbus A380 (VH-OQD), flight QF 7 from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth was forced to turn around four hours into the flight. The airline issued this statement:

Our Sydney to Dallas flight (QF 7) returned to Sydney after about four hours in the air due to a technical issue that impacted seat power, the in-flight entertainment system and some of the toilets.

While the aircraft could have continued flying safely to Dallas/Fort Worth, the decision was made to return to Sydney in the interests of passenger comfort on what is a long flight.

We’ve sincerely apologized to our customers for their patience and understanding for what was a frustrating experience.

Customers who don’t live in Sydney have been put up in hotels for the night and all others given transport home. We’ve rebooked customers on another flight to Dallas/Fort Worth leaving tomorrow morning.

The aircraft was an Airbus A380 and it landed back in Sydney at 1030 pm (2230).

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. VH-OQG departs from London (Heathrow).

QANTAS Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

United to launch Houston-Santiago flights on December 7

United Airlines (Chicago) launches its new daily flights between Houston (Bush Intercontinental) and Santiago, Chile, this Sunday (December 7), offering the only nonstop service between the airline’s principal Latin American gateway and the Chilean capital.

Flight UA 847 will depart Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston daily at 9:35 p.m. (2135), arriving at Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport in Santiago at 10:10 a.m. (1010) the following day (all times local.) On the return, flight UA 846 will depart Santiago at 11 p.m. (2300), arriving in Houston at 5:55 a.m. (0555) the next day.

United will operate the flights using Boeing 767-300 aircraft with a total of 214 seats – 30 flat-bed seats with 180 degree recline in United BusinessFirst and 184 seats in United Economy, including 49 Economy Plus extra-legroom seats. Every customer on the aircraft will have personal on-demand in-seat entertainment.

Other New Flights to Latin America and the Caribbean

In addition to the new Santiago service, United is also adding flights to other destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean from several of its hubs. New daily flights between Denver and Panama City, Panama, began on December 3. The airline will also launch new weekly flights from Chicago (O’Hare) to Belize City, Belize, and from Houston (Bush Intercontinental) to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Denver to Panama

The new daily flights to Panama City, operating with Boeing 737-700 aircraft, depart Denver International Airport at 12:10 p.m. (1210) and arrives at Tocumen International Airport at 8 p.m. (2000) (all times local). The return flights depart Panama City at 9:15 a.m. (0915) and arrives in Denver at 1:25 p.m. (1325). United will operate the flights five times weekly in September and October 2015.

United has been serving Panama City since 1990 and operates one daily nonstop flight from the New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport and two daily nonstop flights from the Houston hub.

Additional flights to Belize and Dominican Republic

Beginning on December 20, 2014, United will add previously announced weekly Saturday service from Chicago (O’Hare) to Belize City, Belize, and from Houston (Bush Intercontinental) to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The Belize flights will operate through August 15, 2015, and the Punta Cana flights will operate year-round, increasing to daily service for the summer peak-travel period from June 4 to August 17, 2015.

United, the U.S. airline with the most comprehensive global route network, serves a total of 62 destinations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean with more than 930 flights.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-322 ER N648UA (msn 25285) climbs gracefully away the runway at Heathrow Airport.

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

Virgin Atlantic to add a second daily seasonal flight to Miami

Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) is adding a second daily flight to Miami for the winter season 2015/2016. The second flight, operated with Airbus A330-300 aircraft, will start on October 25, 2015 from London (Heathrow) per Airline Route. The second flight will compliment the daily Boeing 747-400 flight.

Copyright Photo: Airbus A330-343 G-VNYC (msn 1315) taxies at the London Heathrow base.

Virgin Atlantic aircraft slide show:

Jet Airways goes full service, ends JetKonnect flights

Jet Airways (Mumbai) today (December 2) commenced the roll out of a full service product on all flights across its domestic network.

According to the airline, “Starting today, Jet Airways’ will offer guests a two class, full service product with a complimentary dining experience onboard all domestic flights. Apart from the enhanced service quality levels, the airline will offer easy convenient connections on its domestic network to over 51 destinations across India with over 450 daily domestic flights. Guests will also be able to access 22 international destinations on Jet Airways network and will also offer connectivity to over 135 international destinations across the world with its strategic alliance partner Etihad Airways.”

This also ends the JetKonnect operation.

Copyright Photo: Boeing 777-35R VT-JEA (msn 35157) taxies at London (Heathrow).

Jet Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Malaysia Airlines’ third quarter loss widens to $167.4 million

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) reported its third quarter loss expanded to MYR 576.1 million ($167.4 million) for the three months ending on September 30, deepened from a deficit of MYR 375.4 million ($109.1 million) in the same quarter of 2013.

The government-owned airline has been suffering from the aftermath of two tragic Boeing 777-200 accidents.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

In other news, previously the company issued this statement on November 10 concerning missing flight MH 370 concerning media speculation:

Malaysia Airlines refers to recent news articles speculating on an official declaration of loss of flight MH 370.

Addressing the speculation to family members via letters, the airline highlighted that any course of action is always guided by the advice of the technical team in charge of the search operations.

The assurances given to us are that the ongoing search and recovery operations will remain and will not be discontinued.

Recent speculation in the press regarding a declaration of loss followed the expression of a personal opinion only. Any information regarding MH 370, the search and recovery operations and any matters related to the missing aircraft will only be communicated by the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC).

Malaysia Airlines is hopeful that we will find closure to this tragedy and we support and thank our government as well as the governments of Australia and China for their invaluable assistance in this time of crisis.

The airline shares the pain and anguish of family members in having to deal and come to terms with this situation, as such we have assured them that locating the aircraft and recovering the flight data recorders remain the key priority. Every party involved in this complex operation is as determined as the families and Malaysia Airlines to find answers to our many questions.

With regard to the level of compensation available pursuant to the Montreal Convention, or similar applicable legal regime, the airline has made it very clear that payments are determined by law to take account of proven passenger and family circumstances and will be assessed accordingly.

Malaysia Airlines and its insurers remain steadfast to ensure that fair and reasonable compensation is paid to the families of all MH 370 passengers in accordance with the law when the families are ready to discuss the issue. We have stated this publicly on many occasions and we reiterate that the airline will honor any commitments that we have made.

The well-being of the family members is always our main priority, and we will continue to communicate on any updates as and when we have them.

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families of passengers and crew of MH 370.

Copyright Photo: David Apps/AirlinersGallery.com. Malaysia Airlines is down to one remaining passenger Boeing 747-400, the pictured 747-4H6 9M-MPP (msn 29900), which is mainly used as a back-up aircraft for the Airbus A380s.

Malaysia Airlines aircraft slide show:

La Compagnie to fly from the London area to Newark with its second Boeing 757

La Compagnie (Paris-CDG) is moving into the London area market.  The new business class airline is planning to launch a new route from a London area airport to Newark in March 2015 after it takes delivery of its second 74-seat Boeing 757-200 per the Wall Street Journal.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

The new airline commenced scheduled flights from Paris (CDG) to Newark on July 21, 2014.

Copyright Photo: Jacques Guillem/AirlinersGallery.com. The first aircraft, Boeing 757-256 F-HTAG (msn 29307) is pictured at the Paris (CDG) base.

 

 

Virgin Atlantic announces three new Boeing 787-9 routes

Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) will operate its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner daily to Dubai, Johannesburg and Shanghai (Pudong) from London (Heathrow) starting on October 25, 2015 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Ian Bowley/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-9 G-VNEW (msn 40956) “Birthday Girl” is pictured at East Midlands on a training flight.

Virgin Atlantic aircraft slide show:

 

Emirates launches three new Airbus A380 routes in three days

Emirates (Dubai) is launching three new Airbus A380 destinations in three days.

Hitting the high notes first is the San Francisco flight, where Emirates has been flying since 2008. The Bay City is home to the renowned San Francisco Symphony, which Emirates first started sponsoring in 2011.

Kicking off second is Milan, home of AC Milan, the world famous football team which Emirates has sponsored since 2007.

Since Emirates launched flights to the city in 2000, the airline has flown 3.1 million people on the route, that’s enough to fill the San Siro stadium 38 times.

Emirates launched its daily service to Houston in 2007, and since then has flown over 1.2 million people on the route. Known as the “Energy Capital of the World” Houston is the last of the trio to take off that week on 3rd December. Between them, the three flights will have travelled 61,784 kilometres to and from Emirates’ A380 hub in Dubai.

With these three up-gauges Emirates’ A380 route network will total 33 destinations, spanning from Auckland in the East to Los Angeles in the West.

Emirates now has 55 A380s in its fleet, one third of all A380s currently in the skies.

According to the airline, “It’s been a busy year for the Emirates A380 program with 11 of these new double-decked aircraft joining the fleet. The airline has also launched nine new A380 destinations in the past 12 months, including Mumbai, Frankfurt, Dallas/Fort Worth and Kuwait. Glasgow, Manila, Tehran and Vienna have also seen the Emirates A380 touchdown on their tarmac for a one off showcase in 2014.

Over 32 million passengers have now enjoyed the Emirates A380 experience and many of these are repeat customers, thanks to the airline’s unique on-board product. Emirates A380 features its signature First Class Suites, 14 luxurious private cabins, giving passengers the most exclusive inflight experience which includes access to the world’s only onboard ShowerSpas. Another world first on the Emirates A380 is the On-Board Lounge where First Class and Business Class passengers can socialise at 40,000 feet. In addition all Emirates A380s offer wi-fi throughout and the largest selection of movies in the sky, with ice Digital Widescreen screening 500 films – that’s nearly one film per passenger.

Emirates’ San Francisco service will operate daily as EK225 departing Dubai at 0850 hrs arriving at San Francisco International Airport at 1250 hrs the same day. The return flight, EK226, will depart San Francisco at 1530 hrs and arrives in Dubai the following day at 1925 hrs.

Emirates flight EK91 leaves Dubai at 1540 hrs and lands at Milan Malpensa Airport at 1935 hrs. The return flight EK92 departs Milan at 2120 hrs and arrives back at Concourse A, the home of the Emirates A380 and the world’s first purpose-built facility for the aircraft at Dubai International Airport at 0625 hrs the following day.

Emirates’ daily flight EK211 to Houston will depart Dubai at 0930 hrs and arrives at 1605 hrs. The return flight, EK212, takes off from George Bush Intercontinental Airport at 1825 hrs and lands in Dubai at 1905 hrs the next day.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDQ (msn 080) departs from London (Heathrow).

Emirates aircraft slide show:

Delta to restore seasonal service to Nice on March 29, 2015

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will once again be offering nonstop daily flights between Nice’s Cote d’Azur Airport and New York John F. Kennedy International Airport for the 2015 summer season.

Flights will begin five times a week on March 29, 2015, increasing to a daily service from May 2, 2015. Delta has scheduled a Boeing 767-400 aircraft with 245 seats on the route, which is operated in conjunction with joint venture partner Air France-KLM.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-432 ER N841MH (msn 29714) with the special “100 Years – American Cancer Society – The Official Sponsor of Birthdays” logo departs from London (Heathrow).

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

SAS and Etihad Airways announce a codeshare agreement

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) has announce a new codeshare agreement with Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi). Etihad Airways is building an alliance of carriers.

Here is the official announcement:

SAS and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, are set to begin codeshare operations and provide customers with enhanced travel options between Scandinavia and the UAE.

The agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval, will strengthen both carriers by enabling them to offer greater connectivity to and from a number of key European cities. SAS is Etihad Airways’ 47th airline partnership globally and its 22nd in Europe. For SAS, Etihad is the 23rd codeshare partner and the third with strong presence in the Middle East.

Both airlines will also develop and sign a Frequent Flyer agreement, which will benefit the members of Etihad Airways’ Etihad Guest and SAS’ EuroBonus loyalty programs.

The deal will see SAS place its SK code on Etihad Airways’ flights between Abu Dhabi and Brussels, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Rome, Milan, Zurich, Geneva and London Heathrow.

In turn, Etihad Airways will place its EY code on SAS-operated flights from these European destinations, excluding Brussels, onto SAS’ hubs in Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stockholm.

The EY code will also be placed on flights beyond Copenhagen to Billund and Ålesund; beyond Oslo to Ålesund, Kristiansand, Trondheim, and Stavanger; and beyond Stockholm to Umeå, Sundsvall, and Östersund.

Top Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. SAS’ Boeing 737-705 LN-TUF (msn 28222) arrives in London (Heathrow).

Scandinavian Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Etihad Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Another view of Etihad Airways’ first Airbus A380 at Hamburg (Finkenwerder). The pictured A380-861 F-WWSS (msn 166) will become A6-APA on delivery.

QANTAS Airways to expand its codeshare partnership with American Airlines

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) and American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) have expanded their joint business, enabling QANTAS customers to codeshare on an additional nine American Airlines services including to four new destinations – Kona, Lihue and Maui in Hawaii and Richmond, Virginia.

Effective from November 27, the QANTAS codeshare on American Airlines will extend to the following nine services.

Los Angeles – Lihue (LIH)

Los Angeles – Kona (KOA)

Los Angeles – Maui (OGG)

Los Angeles – Atlanta (ATL)

Los Angeles – San Antonio (SAT)

Los Angeles – Tampa (TPA)

Dallas/Fort Worth – Richmond (RIC)

Dallas/Fort Worth – Tucson (TUS)

Dallas/Fort Worth – Albuquerque (ABQ)

QANTAS operates nonstop QANTAS A380 services between Sydney and Dallas/Fort Worth. QANTAS upgraded its three per week services from Sydney to Honolulu from a Boeing 767-300 to an Airbus A330, which will increase to four per week from December 20, and from January 21 next year the QANTAS Melbourne to Los Angeles service will increase from a daily service to ten flights per week.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-842 VH-OQD (msn 026) departs from London (Heathrow).

QANTAS Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

American counters Delta’s Philadelphia announcement, will start daytime Philadelphia-London Heathrow flights

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) on the heels of the Delta PHL-LHR announcement, has announced it will start new daily daytime service from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) on March 29, 2015.

The new flight complements American’s existing overnight PHL-LHR service.

The new flight will be operated with a US Airways Boeing 757-200 on the following schedule:

PHL–LHR (all times local)
Departs PHL at 9:55 a.m.
Arrives at LHR at 10:10 p.m.

Departs LHR at 8:20 a.m.
Arrives at PHL at 11:35 a.m.

American’s PHL-LHR service will continue to be operated as part of the airline’s joint business agreement with fellow oneworld® member British Airways. Together, the two airlines offer customers four daily flights year-round between Philadelphia and London. From London, American’s customers have access to more than 70 destinations in Europe on British Airways.

The largest airline in the world also is the airline with the most extensive network out of Philadelphia.

American offers more than 475 daily flights to 124 destinations from its PHL hub.

Copyright Photo: Michael Kelly/AirlinersGallery.com. American’s Boeing 757-223 N174AA (msn 31308) in the oneworld livery departs from Dublin.

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

American Airlines-US Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

American Airlines (classic liveries) aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Delta to fly the Philadelphia-London Heathrow route starting on April 8, 2015

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) will expand their partnership between the U.K. and U.S. next year with the introduction of Delta’s nonstop service from London to Philadelphia.

Starting on April 8, 2015 the daily service will be Delta’s eighth destination to the U.S. from Heathrow. By next summer, the partnership will offer 39 daily flights to 16 destinations across North America from the U.K..

Delta’s Philadelphia service will be operated from Heathrow Terminal 4 using a Boeing 757-200 aircraft with 164 seats. Passengers travelling in the BusinessElite cabin will enjoy fully flat-bed seats and a range of dining options. Additionally, throughout the aircraft, all passengers will have access to on-demand in-flight entertainment.

To date, more than four million people have flown on the Delta-Virgin Atlantic partnership.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Ex-TWA/American Boeing 757-2Q8 N706TW (msn 28165) arrives in New York (JFK).

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

British Airways fits ZEUS, a volcanic ash detector, on a Boeing 747-400

British Airways (London) has issued this statement concerning its part in volcanic ash detection research:

In response to the Icelandic volcanic eruption in 2010 which caused widespread flight disruption to travellers, scientists at the Met Office and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) have developed a prototype ash detection device, capable of detecting small amounts of ash in the atmosphere. In time, this research could aid ash forecasting and also help airlines more accurately plan their flight and engineering operations.

The device, aptly named ZEUS after the Greek God of the skies, has been fitted on a British Airways 747 and data has already been successfully downloaded from its first flight to Johannesburg and will be analysed by the Met Office. It will continue to fly on long-haul routes around the world for a year, collecting data for analysis.

ZEUS was developed after a pilot in a research aircraft noticed that static levels created by low levels of volcanic ash in the atmosphere caused his hair to stand on end. Met Office and NERC scientists seized on this phenomenon to develop and patent the device which uses measurements of static as a tool to detect ash.

An early prototype of ZEUS has been flying on the NERC/Met Office dedicated research aircraft and a Flybe Bombardier Q400 passenger aircraft since 2012, gathering background data from around Europe. This data was used to demonstrate that the ZEUS sensor can distinguish between the levels of electrostatic charge on the aircraft when flying in normal conditions and when volcanic ash is present.

The advanced ZEUS prototype will be on the British Airways aircraft for a year and will build up a picture of background electric field in normal atmospheric conditions around the globe. When information from ZEUS is downloaded and correlated with flight data – including weather conditions, speed, altitude, location – it can help scientists build a picture of volcanic ash distribution. Aircraft engineers can also use this data to schedule post-flight inspections of engines and aircraft systems.

British Airways’ Captain Dean Plumb said: “We were very keen to be involved in this pioneering research which will be of great value to the aviation industry and beyond. Aircraft regularly encounter small quantities of ash in flights around the world, perfectly safely, and pilots use expert forecasts to plan their routes to avoid more dense ash clouds. ZEUS has the potential to provide a clearer picture of ash distribution and could be used to inform decision making-processes in the event of future volcanic eruptions.”

Ian Lisk, Met Office Head of Natural Hazards said: “This is a very exciting development and a great result of cross-industry collaboration, including British Airways, Flybe, NERC and the Met Office. While further development is still required, we are delighted with progress with this prototype volcanic ash sensor to date and the findings we have so far received from the tests are very promising.”

The Met Office is an expert in aviation forecasting, with responsibility for providing international aviation meteorological services and advice. The London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), one of nine VAACs worldwide, is hosted and run by the Met Office as part of its aviation forecast operations. London VAAC provides advice on the likely dispersion of ash clouds emitted from eruptions originating in Iceland and the North East Atlantic, and this information is used by the aviation industry to help make decisions on airspace management.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-436 G-BNLE (msn 24047) climbs away from the London (Heathrow) hub.

British Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Kuwait Airways selects Boeing for 10 777-300 ERs

Kuwait Airways (Kuwait City) has selected Boeing (some good news for Boeing) with an intent to acquire 10 Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft.

Boeing issued this statement:

Boeing is pleased that Kuwait Airways has announced its intent to purchase 10 777-300 ER (Extended Range) airplanes worth $3.3 billion at current list prices.

“We appreciate the start of a new partnership with Kuwait Airways,” said Marty Bentrott, vice president of Sales for Middle East, Russia and Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Boeing looks forward to an enduring relationship with Kuwait Airways and we are excited to see that the 777-300 ER airplane, which is the preferred long-haul carrier for so many airlines around the world, will now play an important role in the airline’s fleet strategy and expansion.”

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Kuwait Airways also has 10 Airbus A350-900s on order. The airline was on the cusp of becoming an all-Airbus airline. It’s Boeing 777-200 fleet (pictured) is being phased out but this new order will restore the Boeing name in Kuwait. Boeing 777-269 ER 9K-AOB (msn 28744) completes its final approach to London (Heathrow).

Kuwait Airways aircraft slide show:

Air Canada to expand Boeing 787 operations at Vancouver

Air Canada (Montreal) has announced it will expand the introduction of Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft featuring the airline’s new International Business Class and Premium Economy seating to more of its routes to Asia from Vancouver including Beijing in February and Seoul in March 2015. Air Canada recently converted its Vancouver-Shanghai route to 787 Dreamliner service, with Vancouver-Tokyo (Narita) to be converted mid-December.

More information on Air Canada Boeing 787: CLICK HERE

Air Canada’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft feature three cabins of service offering comfortable ergonomic seating and enhanced definition intuitive touch personal entertainment screens. AirCanada’s International Business Class cabin features 20 Executive Pods with 180-degree lie-flat seats in a 1-2-1 configuration guaranteeing direct aisle access. The Premium Economy cabin has 21 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration and, unique for a North American airline, Air Canada’s Premium Economy seating offers more generous personal space, wider seats and greater legroom and recline as well as premium meals, complimentary bar service and priority check-in and baggage delivery at the airport. The Economy cabin has 210 slimline seats in a 3-3-3 configuration providing personal space consistent with the comfort of Air Canada’s current Economy cabin.

The fuel efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliners opens up opportunities for Air Canada to serve new international destinations and convert existing routes to Dreamliner service as the airline replaces existing Boeing 767 aircraft with the new Boeing 787 fleet. AirCanada’s first new route to be operated with the 787 Dreamliner was Toronto-Tokyo (Haneda) in July, followed by the conversion of the airline’s Toronto-Tel Aviv route to 787 Dreamliner service in August.

Air Canada will take delivery of six Boeing 787 aircraft by the end of 2014, with all 37 aircraft scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2019. The carrier’s Dreamliner fleet will consist of a total of 15 787-8 aircraft and 22 of the larger capacity 787-9 aircraft. As Air Canada takes delivery of new widebody aircraft for its mainline fleet, current Boeing 767 aircraft will be transferred to its leisure carrier subsidiary, Air Canada rouge.

Copyright Photo: Wingnut/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 C-GHPT (msn 35258) taxies at London (Heathrow).

Air Canada aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Video: Air Canada’s Boeing 787:

Video: Born to fly:

SAS signs a contract with Statoil Aviation for a regular supply of biofuel at Oslo, Norway

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) has issued this statement regarding a regular supply of biofuel at Oslo Airport:

SAS has, along with the Lufthansa Group and KLM, signed an agreement with Statoil Aviation for a regular supply of biofuel at Oslo Airport.

SAS was first off the ground in Norway and from Stockholm Arlanda in Sweden with a biofuel mix around a week ago and this agreement shows the airline takes its corporate social responsibility seriously in reducing its green house gas emissions.

Via an agreement signed with Avinor and the above named airlines, Statoil Aviation is to supply 2.5 million liters of biofuel to the refueling facility at Oslo Airport. With a 50% biofuel mix, this will fuel around 3,000 flights between Oslo and Bergen and make OSL the first major airport in the world to offer a regular supply of biofuel as part of daily operations from March 2015.

Via a continuous renewal of its airline fleet and a comprehensive environment efficiency drive in the air and on the ground, SAS has reduced its total CO2 emissions by the airline by around 13% since 2005.

The airline has also enjoyed an increase in production over the same period. SAS is also the first and only airline in Scandinavia whose fleet consists exclusively of next generation jet aircraft.

From next year, the most energy efficient short and long-haul aircraft will be rolled out one after the other: Airbus A330 Enhanced, Airbus A320 Neo, followed by the Airbus A350.

SAS aims to use synthetic fuel on an increasingly regular basis in the next few years, and expects biofuel to become competitive with the fossil fuel alternative. For this to happen, a general environment and tax policy will be required from governments, based on aviation being a form of internationally competitive public transport with thin profit margins.

Copyright Photo: Airbus A319-132 OY-KBO (msn 2850) in the 1952 retrojet scheme taxies at London’s Heathrow Airport.

SAS aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Kenya Airways slumps to a fiscal first half loss of $116.1 million, retires its last Boeing 767-300

Kenya Airways (Nairobi) reported a fiscal first half net loss of 10.45 billion Kenyan Shillings ($116.1 million) for the six months ending on September 30, 2014.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

In other news, Kenya Airways quietly retired its last Boeing 767-300 ER when 5Y-KYV (msn 29386) was returned to ILFC per ch-aviation.

The new Boeing 787s replaced the older 767s.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 767-36N ER 5Y-KQY (msn 30841) is seen at Heathrow Airport near London.

Kenya Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

 

 

Finnair announces new scheduled services to Ho Chi Minh City, Eilat, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Madeira

Finnair (Helsinki) has announced it will be offering new scheduled flights to popular holiday destinations for next winter season, including Ho Chi Minh City, Eilat, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Madeira. Several of these destinations have previously been served with flights chartered by tour operators, but by now offering scheduled services, Finnair is catering to increasing demand from travelers who prefer to tailor their own holiday experience.

Flights to Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City will be operated once a week between December 10, 2015 and March 24, 2016. Ho Chi Minh City, previously named Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam, with 9 million people living in the metropolitan area.

Finnair will operate to Eilat from Helsinki once a week between October 28, 2015 and March 23, 2016. Located where the Negev Desert meets the northern tip of the Red Sea, Eilat averages 360 sunny days per year and is well regarded for its beaches, water sports and nightlife.

Finnair will fly to Lanzarote once a week between October 31, 2015 and March 26, 2016. Lanzarote in the Canary Islands is known for its volcanic origin and unique nature, charming beaches and small beautiful villages.

Finnair will fly to Fuerteventura once a week between October 25, 2015 and March 20, 2016. Fuerteventura is the second largest of the Canary Islands and is a magnet for surfers, sailors and kayakers.

Finnair will start scheduled flights to Madeira in the summer of 2015, and will fly to the island on Mondays all year starting on April 27, 2015. Madeira is a popular year-around holiday destination that combines beautiful landscapes, hiking opportunities and the many attractions of the busy harbor city Funchal.

Copyright Photo: Airbus A320-214 OH-LXL (msn 2146) taxies to the runway at London (Heathrow).

Finnair aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Vietnam Airlines to bring the Boeing 787 to London Gatwick in July

Aerial View of Coastline of Tahiti

Vietnam Airlines (Hanoi) is planning to launch the new Boeing 787 from both Ho Chi Minh City (twice-weekly starting on July 1, 2015) and Hanoi (three days a week starting on July 3, 2015) to London Gatwick per Airline Route.

The airline has eight Boeing 787-9s on order from Boeing with the first due for delivery next year but is expected to lease additional 787s.

The company also has 10 Airbus A350-900s on order.

Image: Boeing.

Vietnam Airlines aircraft slide show:

Monarch Airlines retires its last three Boeing 757-200s

Monarch Airlines (London-Luton) as planned retired its last three Boeing 757-200s (G-DAJB, G-MONJ and G-MONK) this past week with the end of the summer season schedule.

The last flight was operated with G-MONK on a return charter flight from London (Gatwick) to
Krakow on November 12 as flights MON 9064 and MON 9065 returning late in the evening. G-MONK was then ferried from Gatwick Airport to Birmingham (BHX) for the end of lease checks.

All three of the Boeing 757s are currently at BHX awaiting their fate.

 

The airline is now all-Airbus ironically until those aircraft are replaced with new Boeing 737 MAX 8s.

Monarch has published this nice salute the venerable type on its Monarch blog:

Monarch has bid a sad but fond farewell to its Boeing 757s this month after years of tremendous service within the fleet. The Boeing 757 had a very interesting life within the fleet, due to it’s phenomenal flexibility and wide range and payload capabilities. It has served with Monarch all over the world and has probably seen more corners of the globe than our Airbus A300 or A330 wide body aircraft.

As word got out in the press and via social media that Monarch’s Boeing 757s were retiring, we received lots of interesting questions about the aircraft from you. In response, we’d like to share some of the beloved aircraft’s wonderful history and key stats with you. We’ve turned to passionate Boeing 757 enthusiast Toby Hiller, Monarch’s Senior Economic Planning Analyst, for his expertise.

Can you tell us a bit more about the history of the Boeing 757 fleet?

Between November 1993 and November 2014, Monarch’s Boeing 757 fleet operated planned flights to 439 airports in 128 countries and territories worldwide, including glamorous destinations such as New York, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Bangkok, Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney! The furthest airport from Luton that the aircraft served was Auckland, New Zealand.

How many passenger seats/capacity does a Boeing 757 have?

With extra legroom seats the aircraft has 229 seats; without the extra legroom seats it has 235 seats. Interestingly, if the capacity is set up in a VIP “Captain’s Choice” configuration (which we operated on special charter flights – see below) then there is 92 business class seats and 12 economy seats.

Monarch 757-200 G-MONJ (02-Captain's Choice)(Grd)(Monarch)(LR)

Is there a fixed amount of staff needed for a Boeing 757?

The amount of crew needed for a Boeing 757 flight is subject to the length of the flight. A standard Monarch ZB short haul flight has 2 pilots (a captain and first officer) and 6 cabin crew serving our customers but this could change to 3 pilots and 8 cabin crew on long-range flights. It is interesting to know that VIP flights are subject to charterer requirements and on VIP flights an engineer would also travel.

How many toilets does a Monarch Boeing 757 have?

There are 2 toilets located at the front of the aircraft, 2 more at “door 3” which is further down the plane, so there are 4 in total.

How many galleys are there?

There are 2. There is a galley at the front of the aircraft and 1 at the rear. On VIP flights, a chef’s station could also be added to prepare fresh meals for customers.

What is the maximum take-off weight of the Boeing 757 aircraft?

Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): 113,398 kg

Top Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Monarch). One of the most colorful liveries worn by a Monarch 757 is the pictured Boeing 757-2T7 G-MONJ (msn 24104) that wore the the second version of the special “Hedkandi” color scheme.

Monarch Airlines aircraft slide show:

Video: A full flight on board G-DAJB from London (Gatwick) to Faro:

Alitalia and Etihad Airways receive European Commission approval for Etihad to save the Italian airline

Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) and Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) has received permission from the European Commission to permit Etihad to acquire a 49 percent share in the Italian carrier for €387.5 million and also implement their strategic partnership. Finally Alitalia has found its savior.

Alitalia and Etihad Airways jointly issued issued this statement:

Alitalia and Etihad Airways are pleased to confirm that they have received merger clearance from the European Commission under EU Regulation No. 139/2004. They can therefore proceed with the proposed strategic partnership announced in August.

Following the completion of its review, the European Commission on Friday (November 14) confirmed that the partnership complies with the European regulations on competition. In line with previous cases, the airlines undertook commitments aimed at facilitating the entry of new airlines on the Rome to Belgrade route.

The parties continue to work together with a view to completing the transaction before the end of the year.

President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, said: “We are delighted to be able to move forward with this process and look forward to a positive outcome and the final conclusion of a our transaction with Alitalia.

“An equity investment in Alitalia will be beneficial not only for the both airlines, but, more importantly, it will give more choice and broader travel opportunities to business and leisure travellers into and out of Italy.”

Gabriele del Torchio, Chief Executive Officer of Alitalia, said: “This is an excellent outcome for Alitalia. This investment will provide financial stability and a foundation for impressive long-term growth for the Company and for the travel and tourism industry in Italy, in which Alitalia is a fundamental player.

Top Copyright Photo: Alitalia’s Airbus A321-112 EI-IXI (msn 494) pushes back from the gate at London’s Heathrow Airport displaying the 1960 retrojet colors.

Alitalia aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Etihad Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Greenwing/AirlinersGallery.com. Both Alitalia and Etihad have painted an Airbus A330 with these promotional Expo Milano 2015 markings.

 

British Airways to add Airbus A380 service to Miami on October 25, 2015

British Airways (London) will introduce the Airbus A380 on the London (Heathrow)-Miami route on October 25, 2015. The new type will be operated on the route twice-daily.

Today, British Airways made it official with this announcement:

British Airways today announced that Floridians planning to travel to Europe next year will have the chance to experience British Airways’ new state-of-the-art Airbus A380 superjumbo. From October 2015, the premium British airline will offer two daily A380 services from Miami International Airport to London Heathrow, with onward connections to more than 100 destinations.

The largest commercial airliner in the sky, British Airways’ A380 can accommodate up to 469 customers across two decks and four cabins.

The First cabin features 14 luxurious suites with 30 percent more personal space than the previous generation. Customers in First will be able to enjoy a la carte dining or try the A380 exclusive five course taster menu.

97 Club World (business class) seats that convert into full flat beds

The popular World Traveller Plus (premium economy) cabin will have 55 seats and 303 seats will be available in World Traveller (economy).

The new A380 route to Miami is part of British Airways’ plans to enhance the usage of facilities in Terminal 3 and Terminal 5 by combining its operations in two terminals and moving out of Terminal 1.

In the coming 12 months, flights to 20 British Airways destinations, including Miami, will change terminals at Heathrow and by the middle of October 2015 all of the airline’s services will depart from either its flagship home of Terminal 5 or the main oneworld alliance Heathrow base in Terminal 3.

Copyright Photo: Airbus A380-841 G-XLEF (msn 151) taxies at London (Heathrow).

British Airways: AG Slide Show

 

Turkish Airlines reports a record profit for the first nine months of 2014

Turkish Airlines (Istanbul) recorded a record net profit for the first nine months of 2014. The airline also recorded a net profit of $164.8 million in the third quarter and a net profit of $682.7 million for the first nine months of 2014.

The company issued this financial statement:

Turkish Airlines’ first nine months 2014 consolidated financial statements were reported to Borsa Istanbul. Compared to the same period of 2013, sales revenue increased by 33 percent (15 percent in USD terms) reaching 18,4 billion TRY.

Turkish Airlines recorded 1 billion 154 million TRY operating profit in the third quarter of 2014, implying a 38 percent increase compared to the same period of 2013 and completed the first nine months of 2014 with 1 billion 467 million TRY operating profit.

Net profit stood at 1 billion 373 million TRY for the third quarter and 1 billion 545 million TRY (increasing 87 percent) for the first nine months of 2014.

During the first nine months of 2014, 41.4 million passengers were carried impliying a 14% increase in passenger traffic. Available seat kilometers (ASK) and revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) increased by 17%, resulting a stable load factor of 79.7%.

Number of international to international transfer passengers increased by 23 percent reaching a 43 percent share within total international passengers.

Being one of the fastest-growing air cargo brands in the world, Turkish Cargo also witnessed a 20 percent tonnage growth and carried 491 thousand tonnes of cargo in the first nine months of 2014. Turkish Cargo was named “Overall Carrier Of The Year” and “Combination Carrier of the Year” at the Payload Asia Awards 2014.

As of today, Turkish Airlines has scheduled flights to 45 domestic and 219 international destinations in 261 cities and 264 airports in 108 countries worldwide.

Being one of the youngest in Europe Turkish Airlines fleet consists of 260 aircraft comprising of 198 narrow body, 53 wide body and 9 cargo aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Boeing 777-35R ER VT-JEM (msn 35162) of Turkish Airlines taxies at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Turkish Airlines: AG Slide Show

Singapore Airlines Group’s net profit declines by 55.5% to S$126 million ($97.7 million), reports demand is flat

Singapore Airlines Group (Singapore Airlines, Scoot, SilkAir and Singapore Airlines Cargo) (Singapore) reported its net profit in the first half was down by $157 million (a decline of 55.5%) year-on- year to S$126 million ($97.7 million US).

The group issued this full statement:

GROUP FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

First Half 2014-15

The Group earned an operating profit of $171 million in the first half of the 2014-15 financial year, an improvement of $2 million (+1.2%) over the same period last year.

Group revenue was down $154 million (-2.0%) to $7,587 million, mainly due to lower incidental revenue stemming from reduced compensation pertaining to changes in aircraft delivery slots [see Note 2], and lower income from the lease of aircraft, due to the expiry of leases to Royal Brunei Airlines. Passenger revenue was lower year-on-year (-0.4%), notwithstanding a 1.4% increase in traffic, as a result of yield declines (-1.8%) amid the competitive operating environment and depreciating revenue-generating currencies, led by the Australian Dollar and Japanese Yen. Cargo revenue fell 1.6%, driven by a capacity cut (-3.8%), though this was partially compensated for by better yields and higher load factor.

Group expenditure at $7,416 million declined $156 million (-2.1%) over the previous financial year. Fuel costs after hedging fell $107 million, attributable to lower volume uplifted (-3.2%), the weaker US Dollar against the Singapore Dollar, and a 0.4% decline in jet fuel price after hedging.

Note 1: The SIA Group’s unaudited financial results for the half year and second quarter ended 30 September 2014 were announced on 6 November 2014. A summary of the financial and operating statistics is shown in Annex A. (All monetary figures are in Singapore Dollars. The Company refers to Singapore Airlines, the Parent Airline Company. The Group comprises the Company and its subsidiary, joint venture and associated companies).

Note 2: The settlement agreement was reached in Q1 FY1314 and $92 million was recognised in the first half of FY1314, of which $59 million pertained to change in prior years. $34 million compensation was recognised in the first half of FY2014-15.

Group net profit in the first half was down $157 million (-55.5%) year-on- year to $126 million. The share of results of associated companies fell $154 million, largely attributable to the Group’s share of Tiger Airways’ loss of $129 million, which included material charges relating to the sublease of surplus aircraft and sale of Tigerair Australia. The commencement of equity accounting for Virgin Australia from the second quarter further contributed to the weaker results (-$16 million). Exceptional items accounted for a loss of $10 million in the first half, compared to a net exceptional gain of $22 million last year [see Note 3]. These were partly offset by higher gains on disposal of aircraft, spares and spare engines (+$31 million).

The Parent Airline Company’s operating against the corresponding period last year. Revenue was down $151 million (-2.4%), arising from reduced incidental revenue [see Note 2] and passenger revenue. The fall was nearly offset by a $148 million (-2.4%) reduction in expenditure, due to lower fuel costs after hedging, and stringent cost management. Unit ex-fuel cost was down 3.9% year-on-year.

SIA Engineering’s operating profit declined $19 million (-33.9%). Total revenue fell by $4 million (-0.7%) as a result of lower airframe and component overhaul revenue, offset in part by higher fleet management revenue. Expenses rose by $15 million (+2.8%), primarily as a result of an increase in subcontract services.

SilkAir’s operating profit declined $17 million (-77.3%), as weaker yields (-5.0%) put a drag on revenue and capacity injection (+3.7%) pushed operating expenditure up.

SIA Cargo’s operating loss narrowed by $37 million from last year. With better capacity management, yields and load factor were up 1.9% and 0.2 percentage points, respectively.

Note 3: Exceptional items in the first half of FY1415 pertained to the Parent Airline Company’s provision for settlement with plaintiffs in the Transpacific Class Action ($11 million), SIA Cargo’s additional impairment on two marked-for-sale B747-400F aircraft ($7 million), partly offset by additional gain on sale of Virgin Atlantic Limited (VAL) to Delta Air Lines, Inc. ($7 million), and partial refund of fine on appeal from the Korean Fair Trade Commission ($1 million). Exceptional items in the first half of FY1314 was $22 million, mainly pertaining to gain on sale of VAL ($339 million), partially offset by SIA Cargo’s impairment on four B747-400 aircraft removed from operation ($293 million) and SFC’s impairment loss on its assets with the closure of its Maroochydore operations ($24 million).

Second Quarter 2014-15

Group operating profit for the second quarter improved $45 million (+51.7%) to $132 million.

Group revenue was almost flat at $3,905 million. Passenger revenue increased marginally, as higher passenger carriage was largely offset by a 0.9% decline in yields. Cargo revenue was down 0.5% on the back of lower capacity (-4.1%), but was mitigated by improved yields (+2.8%).

Group expenditure declined $41 million (-1.1%) to $3,773 million. Fuel costs before hedging fell $115 million, partially offset by a loss on fuel hedging, compared to a hedging gain in the same quarter last year (+$76 million).

Group net profit was down $70 million (-43.5%) year-on-year to $91 million. This was largely attributable to weaker results from associated companies (-$138 million), partly mitigated by higher operating profit (+$45 million), and higher gains on disposal of aircraft, spares and spare engines (+$35 million).

FIRST HALF 2014-15 OPERATING PERFORMANCE

The Parent Airline Company’s passenger carriage (in revenue passenger kilometres) increased marginally by 0.1%, while capacity (in available seat-kilometres) dipped 0.2% during the first half of the financial year. As a result, passenger load factor improved by 0.2 percentage points to 79.8%.

SilkAir recorded a 0.4 percentage-point increase in passenger load factor to 69.7%, as its 4.2% growth in traffic outpaced capacity injection of 3.7%.

SIA Cargo reduced its capacity (in capacity tonne-kilometres) by 3.8%. Airfreight carriage (in load tonne-kilometres) declined by 3.4%. Consequently, cargo load factor improved 0.2 percentage points to 62.2%.

No. 05/14 6 November 2014 Page 4 of 6

INTERIM DIVIDEND

The Company is declaring an interim dividend of 5 cents per share (tax exempt, one-tier), amounting to $59 million, for the half-year ended 30 September 2014. The interim dividend will be paid on 27 November 2014 to shareholders as of 18 November 2014.

FLEET AND ROUTE DEVELOPMENT

The Parent Airline Company took delivery of two Airbus A330-300s in the second quarter. As at September 30, 2014, the operating fleet of the Parent Airline Company comprised 105 passenger aircraft – 57 Boeing 777s, 29 Airbus A330-300s and 19 A380-800s, with an average age of 7 years.

During the quarter, SilkAir took delivery of two Boeing 737-800 aircraft, sold one Airbus A320-200 and decommissioned another A320-200 in preparation for return to lessor. As at September 30, 2014, its operating fleet comprised 26 aircraft – 14 Airbus A320-200s, six A319-100s and six Boeing 737-800s.

There was no change to Scoot’s fleet during the July-September quarter, comprising six Boeing 777-200s.

SIA Cargo operated a fleet of eight Boeing 747-400 freighters at September 30, 2014, the same as the previous quarter. It suspended freight operations to Lagos from July 29, 2014, and added services to Amsterdam, Brussels and Delhi in September to cater to seasonal demand.

In the Northern Winter season (October 26, 2014 – March 28, 2015), the Parent Airline Company will increase capacity to Auckland with daily Airbus A380 services, replacing the smaller Boeing 777-300 ER. To cater to peak period demand, three additional weekly services will be operated to Melbourne and Sydney, and two additional weekly services will be operated to Brisbane and Christchurch, from the end of November 2014 to January 2015. In addition, three weekly services will be operated to Sapporo from December 2014 to mid-January 2015. As part of a service restructuring to the Middle East, flights to Cairo and Riyadh have been suspended from October 2014. SilkAir suspended its twice-weekly services to Solo with effect from October 26, 2014. From December 12, 2014, it will begin daily services to Denpasar. Together with the Parent Airline Company, a total of five daily trips will be served between Singapore and the city, subject to regulatory approval. This will bring the combined network of both airlines to 99 cities in 35 countries.

OUTLOOK

The operating landscape for the airline industry remains competitive and challenging, as an uncertain global economic climate and geopolitical concerns persist.

Demand is generally flat, and yields will remain under pressure amid intense competition from other airlines and promotional activities in weaker markets.

Airfreight demand has seen a moderate recovery in recent months, with demand projected to be stronger in the third quarter as a result of the traditional peak period in the lead-up to Christmas. However, overcapacity in the airfreight market is expected to continue to put pressure on yields.

While there has been a reprieve from cost pressures arising from the decline in fuel prices in recent months, there is concern that the decline reflects a slow- down in major economies in the world which could ultimately hurt travel demand.

The Group will continue to track market movements closely and make appropriate adjustments to capacity, while practising cost discipline in all business areas. With a strong balance sheet, the Group is well positioned to meet the challenges ahead.

Analysis of the financial report:

Comment by Kelvin Wong of www.cityindex.com.sg

Earnings per share for 1H 2014/2015 has declined to $0.107 from $0.24 (y/y) which represents a sharp drop of 55%. Similar for Q2 2014/205 which EPS has declined to 7.7 from 13.6 (y/y) which translates to a 76% decline.

This poor performance has been contributed by its subsidiaries’ contribution towards the SIA Group’s operating profit where we see poor performance in SIA Engineering & SilkAir (both decline drastically by 33.9% and 77.3% respectively from 1H 2013/2014 to 1H 2014/2015.)

Going forward, SIA Group is likely to see downside pressure on its bottom-line due to intense competition from budget airline operators and economic risks such as the spread of Ebola that will hamper international travel.

Technically, SIA is still trading in a multi-year sideways configuration since Nov 2011 and in order to see a change of trend to the upside, it needs to break above the key resistance at 10.92

Link to Kelvin’s page at http://www.cityindex.com.sg/market-talk/analysts/kelvin-wong/

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380-841 9V-SKL (msn 058) arrives in London (Heathrow).

Singapore Airlines: AG Slide Show

Air Canada and Air China sign a MOU for a revenue sharing joint venture

Air Canada (Montreal) and Air China Limited (Beijing) today (November 8) announced that the airlines have concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) setting out the main principles for a comprehensive revenue sharing joint venture providing for an enhanced partnership on routes between Canada and China which will stimulate traffic growth between the two countries.

The two airlines continued:

The joint venture will generate additional service and pricing benefits for consumers travelling between the two countries as well as provide for enhanced cooperation between the two carriers in the areas of sales, marketing and airport operations. The announcement was made in Beijing during an official visit to China by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, prior to a meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) member nations.

Subject to Air Canada and Air China making the necessary filings, obtaining competition and other regulatory approvals and finalizing documentation, the joint venture is expected to come into effect by the end of 2015.

Currently, Air China offers its customers codeshare flights operated by Air Canada between Vancouver and six Canadian cities (Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal) and Air Canada offers its customers codeshare flights operated by Air China between Beijing and six cities in China (Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Shenyang, Wuhan and Xi’an).

Air Canada operates up to a total of 28 flights per week between Canada and China, from Toronto and Vancouver to and from Beijing and Shanghai. Air China operates up to 11 flights per week between Beijing and Vancouver.

Top Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Canada’s Boeing 777-333 ER C-FIVS (msn 35784) climbs away from London (Heathrow).

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

Air China: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Boeing 777-39L B-2037 (msn 38677) of Air China taxies to the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.

EasyJet continues its growth at Bristol, adds new routes for next summer

EasyJet (easyJet.com) (UK) (London-Luton) has announced its plans for four new routes from Bristol to Lanzarote, Catania, Porto and Gibraltar from Summer 2015.

The new destinations follow easyJet’s five year agreement with Bristol Airport last winter to continue growth at the airport, and will result in an extra aircraft being located at the base. There will now be up to 12 easyJet aircraft based at the airport from Summer 2015.

In total, EasyJet now flies to 50 destinations from Bristol – more than any other airline from the airport.

Bristol to Lanzarote is a year round service, flying twice a week from April 18, 2015.
Bristol to Catania is a summer service, flying twice a week from May 14, 2015.
Bristol to Porto is a year round service, flying three times per week from April 19,2015.
Bristol to Gibraltar will be Bristol’s only direct scheduled flight service to Gibraltar. It is a year round service, flying three times per week from April 19, 2015.

According to Airline Route, the low-fare carrier will also add the following routes next summer:

London Gatwick – Stuttgart 12 weekly, starting on March 29, 2015
Lyon – Krakow 3 weekly, March 29
Toulouse – Seville 3 weekly, March 29
Nantes – Porto 4 weekly, March 30
Naples – Athens 3 weekly, March 30
London Gatwick – Brindisi 2 weekly, April 1
Toulouse – Agadir 2 weekly, April 1
Milan Malpensa – Stuttgart 6 weekly, April 24
London Luton – Antalya 2 weekly, April 25
London Luton – Porto 3 weekly, April 26
London Luton – Essaouria, May 1
London Luton – Bodrum 2 weekly, May 17
Belfast City – Split 1 weekly, May 20
Manchester – Porto 3 weekly, June 16
Manchester – Marseille 2 weekly, June 17
Manchester – Pisa 2 weekly, June 17
Naples – Olbia 4 weekly, June 28
Glasgow – Bordeaux 2 weekly, June 29
Toulouse – Palma de Mallorca 2 weekly, July 3
Paris Orly – Split 2 weekly, July 5

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 G-EZWP (msn 5927) with Sharklets arrives back at London (Gatwick).

EasyJet (UK): AG Slide Show

Aer Lingus’ third quarter operating profit increases almost 14% to $140.1 million

Aer Lingus (Dublin) reported an operating profit of €112.9 million ($140.1 million) for the third quarter ending on  September 30 2014, up 19 percent from the €94.9 million ($117.7 million) reported a year ago.

This was the best third quarter financial report for the company since the financial crisis of 2008.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 EI-EPU (msn 3102) approaches the runway at London (Heathrow).

Aer Lingus aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

QANTAS Airways introduces new entertainment options

QANTAS logo

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has implemented its new and improved inflight entertainment program giving customers more choice and variety and more regular and in-depth news coverage as a result of its new partnership with Sky News, Foxtel and Fox Sports.

QANTAS customers will be able to view a complete package of news, sport, entertainment and lifestyle programs with the partnership marking the start of a comprehensive transformation of Qantas’ inflight entertainment programming.

QANTAS is the only Australian airline to give its customers an inflight entertainment solution on every aircraft no matter what cabin they are traveling in.

New inflight entertainment features:

More news – QANTAS customers will enjoy multiple daily news bulletins on international and domestic flights seven days a week.

More exposure – A new international Australian news service called Australia Channel will broadcast live to Qantas’ international network of lounges so customers returning home will be able to watch the latest news, sport and business updates from Australia. Domestic customers will also enjoy this service.

More sport – Fox Sports content will be on offer for customers including highlights packages, interviews and documentaries.

More variety – A Foxtel Picks channel will showcase a library of lifestyle, drama, food, sport and entertainment programming from the likes of The Lifestyle Channel, Fox8, Showcase, the History Channel and Comedy Channel.

More content – Customers can expect more volume in popular categories including double the number of new releases and blockbusters, kid’s and drama content. Four times more business programming.

More music – Customers can now listen to a greater selection of music with triple the number of albums added each quarter.

QANTAS has also engaged Stellar Entertainment, a full-service content service provider, offering world-class IFE. The partnership has already seen QANTAS double its number of new releases and blockbusters, adding 100 hours of additional content.

Bottom Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-842 VH-OQC (msn 022) arrives in London (Heathrow).

QANTAS Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Thomas Cook Airlines is coming to Reno, Nevada

Thomas Cook Airlines (UK) (Manchester) will launch seasonal twice-weekly Airbus A330-200 London (Gatwick)-Reno flights from December 19, 2015 through April 9, 2016 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 G-OYMT (msn 301) taxies at Baltimore/Washington (BWI).

Thomas Cook Airlines (UK) Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

American Airlines and British Airways to operate four daily flights between Los Angeles and London Heathrow starting on March 28, 2015

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has announced it will add more service between Los Angeles and London (Heathrow) beginning in March 2015. The new flight will be operated with three-class Boeing 777-300 ERs.

With four daily direct flights to London Heathrow – two operated by American with its flagship 777-300 ERs and two by American’s Atlantic joint business partner British Airways (London) with its Airbus A380s.

LAX-LHR (four times per day, year round, all times local)

American-British LAX-LHR Schedule

The new 5:55 p.m. (1755) LAX to LHR nonstop begins on March 28, 2015.

During 2014, American has expanded its LAX hub with new twice-daily service to Vancouver, Canada (YVR), daily nonstop service to Edmonton, Canada (YEG) and San Antonio, Texas (SAT). American launches new daily nonstop service to Tampa, Florida (TPA), on Nov. 5 and three daily nonstop flights to Atlanta (ATL) on March 5, 2015. With these new destinations, American will serve 55 domestic and international destinations from LAX. Earlier this month, American also submitted a motion to the U.S. Department of Transportation asking it to reallocate an underutilized U.S.-Tokyo Haneda (HND) frequency to American, which American would use to operate year-round service between LAX and HND.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. American’s Boeing 777-323 ER N717AN (msn 31543) climbs away from London’s Heathrow Airport.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

TAP Portugal braces for a cabin crew strike, delays Guinea-Bissau inaugural for 45 days

TAP Portugal (Lisbon) has issued this statement regarding a strike planned by its cabin staff on October 30 and November 1:

TAP Cabin Crew Union announced two separate strikes to take place on October 30 and November 1 between 00.00 and 23.59.

Therefore, and in order to mitigate as much as possible the effects of the strike, TAP is authorizing date changes free of charge within the same cabin and tickets validity, or its refund. In order to do so, passengers should contact TAP through the Contact Center or their Travel Agencies.

Despite the situation, we inform that TAP flights operated by PGA Portugália Airlines will not be affected, as well as the flights established to operate as minimum services, available below.

All passengers with flights affected by the strike will be contacted, in order to find the best alternative.

Whenever the contact cannot be established TAP will reissue the ticket for the next available flights, keeping the schedule and dates as closer as possible to the original ones.

We suggest passengers to check their bookings here and do the online check-in if the flights are confirmed. This option is available up to 72 hours prior to departure, despite some exceptions depending on the destination.

Beforehand, and due to the high number of calls received, we apologize for any delays that may occur on the Contact Center response.

TAP regrets the situation and assures all efforts are being made to minimize the impact of this strike.

In other news, TAP Portugal has announced the delay of its new services to Guinea-Bissau in west Africa for 45 days due to the Ebola virus concerns. The carrier had planned to start three weekly flight from Lisbon to Guinea-Bissau on October 28.

Copyright Photo: TAP’s Airbus A321-211 CS-TJE (msn 1307) taxies at London (Heathrow).

TAP Portugal Aircraft Slide Show:

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