JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) announced today its new “JAL Sky Suite 777″ service will be introduced between Tokyo (Narita) and Frankfurt in April 2014.
JAL Sky Suite 77 service boasts increased comfort and functionality in all four classes. According to JAL, the revamped aircraft has yielded favorable feedback from customers since it was launched on Tokyo (Narita) and London route in January 2013. It won a Good Design Award in 2013 and Skytrax’s Best Business Class Airline Seat of the year for 2013.
JAL Sky Suite 77 has been introduced between Tokyo (Narita) and London, between Tokyo (Narita) and New York, and between Tokyo (Narita) and Paris as well as between Tokyo (Narita) and Los Angeles.
Between Tokyo (Narita) and Frankfurt (JL407/JL408):
Name of seat
Number of Seats
JAL SKY SUITE
JAL SKY PREMIUM
JAL SKY WIDER
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. JAL’s Boeing 777-346 ER JA731J (msn 32431) wears a special “JAL Sky Suite 777″ logo on the rear fuselage at its approaches London’s Heathrow Airport.
Cathay Pacific to replace its Johannesburg and San Francisco Boeing 747-400 routes on October 26, 2014
Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) has been progressively replacing its Boeing 747-400s from passenger service especially on long-haul routes.. The company is currently planning to replace the last two long-range Boeing 747-400 passenger routes to Johannesburg and San Francisco with newer Boeing 777-300 ERs on October 25, 2014 per Airline Route.
This will end long-haul passenger service of the type with CPA. It is unclear at this time if the airline will continue short-haul Asian service of the aircraft after this date.
Cathay Pacific continues to operate an extensive Boeing 747 freighter operation.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-467 B-HOP (msn 23815) approaches London (Heathrow) when it once served that route.
Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) according to Reuters, has failed so far to raise the 300 million euros ($407 million) (only 173 million euros received) in its emergency cash call. The flag carrier is now facing stiffer competition as other airlines move in to add new routes from Italy sensing the emergency. Alitalia will need to find a strategic carrier very quickly that is willing to invest in a failing airline and turn it around. So far Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi), the savior of struggling airlines, has avoided Alitalia.
Air France-KLM, which owns 25 percent, refused to put in any more capital because it stated the rescue plan was not drastic enough to save the airline.
This is the second version of Alitalia, saved once before from the first failing Alitalia. Is there a third?
The Italian drama continues. Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Wingnut/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-216 EI-DTB (msn 3815) taxies at London Heathrow.
Flybe (Exeter) will close six bases and eliminate 500 positions despite a recent profit announcement. The bases to be closed are Aberdeen, Guernsey, Inverness, Isle of Man, Jersey and Newcastle.
Read the full report from the BBC: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) G-KKEV (msn 4201) completes its final approach into Gatwick Airport near London.
Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) will cut one of four London Heathrow-Manchester “Little Red” Airbus A320 flights next year according to TheBusinessDesk.com. The airline explained the reduction was not due to decreased demand but rather having to give back one LHR slot to another unnamed carrier.
However The Independent reported last month the “Little Red” feeder flights were experiencing low sales.
Read the full report from The Independent: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Terry Wade/AirlinersGallery.com. The “Little Red” domestic flights are operated by Aer Lingus in full Virgin Atlantic colors. Airbus A320-214 EI-DEO (msn 2486) arrives at London (Heathrow).
Video: Virgin Atlantic ad:
Emirates Airline (Dubai) has placed an additional order for 50 Airbus A380 aircraft. The order was signed at a ceremony at the 2013 Dubai Airshow witnessed by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive Emirates Airline and Group and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO.
Following delivery of their first A380 in July 2008, Emirates has now taken delivery of 39 A380s. Their 39th A380 is on Airbus’ static display at the 2013 Dubai Airshow. All Emirates’ A380s are powered by Engine Alliance GP7200 engines.
Since first entering service in 2007, the A380 has joined the fleets of ten world class carriers. The aircraft flies 8,500 nautical miles or 15,700 kilometres non-stop, carrying more people at lower cost and with less impact on the environment. The spacious, quiet cabin and smooth ride have made the A380 a firm favorite with both airlines and passengers, resulting in higher load factors wherever it flies.
The total A380 fleet has accumulated over one million flight hours in almost 140,000 commercial flights. To date some 50 million passengers have already enjoyed the unique experience of flying on board an A380. Every five minutes, an A380 either takes off or lands at one of the 34 airports where it operates today and the network is constantly growing.
On this historic “airline order milestone” day, Emirates issued this statement:
Emirates airline has again rewritten all records in civil aviation with an order for 150 Boeing 777X, comprising 35 Boeing 777-8Xs and 115 Boeing 777-9Xs, plus 50 purchase rights; and an additional 50 Airbus A380 aircraft.
The agreement was signed today (November 17) at the Dubai Air Show by His Highness (H.H.) Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, with Jim McNerney, Boeing Chairman, President and CEO, and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus’ President and CEO. The signing was witnessed by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
Emirates’ Boeing 777X order is the single largest aircraft order by value in the history of U.S. commercial aviation, and the additional A380 order cements Emirates, already the largest operator of this aircraft type, as the principal customer for the A380 worldwide. These latest orders bring Emirates’ total firm order book to 385 aircraft (excluding options or purchase rights), comprising 214 Boeing 777s, 101 Airbus A380s, and 70 A350s, at a total estimated value of US$ 166 billion.
Emirates’ Boeing 777X
“The announcement today includes the purchase of 300 GE9X engines from General Electric, to power the 150 Boeing 777X aircraft ordered. Taking into account the U.S. Government jobs multiplier (every $1 billion in US aerospace exports supports 5,747 American jobs), today’s historic order will protect and support over 436,000 jobs in U.S. aerospace manufacturing – not only at Boeing and GE facilities, but with hundreds of other suppliers,” said Sheikh Ahmed.
Emirates’ 777-8X and 777-9X will be a combination of two and three-class configurations, with the 777-8X potentially seating 342 passengers in 3 classes, and the 777-9X seating over 440 passengers in 2 classes.
“Emirates today operates more than one in every 10 Boeing 777 aircraft built. It is the workhorse of our fleet. What the 777X does, is offer us a flying range comparable with the 200LRs and 300ERs, but with more passenger capacity at potentially up to 18% more fuel efficiency,” said Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline.
Emirates’ unwavering commitment to the Boeing 777 dates back to 1996. Today, Emirates is already the largest operator of the 777 with 131 in operation, and the only airline to fly all variants in the 777 family. At the 2011 Dubai Air Show, Emirates ordered 50 Boeing 777-300ERs with options for 20 more at a total value of US$ 26 billion (AED 95.4 billion). It was then a record breaking aircraft order– the single largest by any airline with Boeing in dollar value.
Emirates’ Airbus A380s
Emirates currently operates the world’s largest fleet of A380s with 39 in service.
Its order for 50 additional A380 aircraft today brings Emirates’ total A380 order book to 101 aircraft, worth US$ 45 billion. A combination of two and three-class cabin configuration, the first 25 of these latest A380 aircraft orders are scheduled to be delivered before the first quarter of 2018.
Emirates has been associated with Europe’s largest passenger aircraft since April 2000 when it became the first airline to announce plans to purchase the super jumbo. As the largest customer for the A380, Emirates is therefore the largest supporter of European aerospace manufacturing jobs tied to the A380 programme which is spread across Airbus’ manufacturing centres in France, Germany, England and Spain.
Follow-up article: From Reuters: Emirates was concerned that Airbus was considering slowing down A380 production because of lagging new orders and took a look at how many additional A380s it could physically take at its Dubai base and stated it could have ordered 10 more! This order now ensures the A380 production rate will continue and probable A380 profit for Airbus in 2015 or 2016. Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Analysis: Can other airlines, especially European and North American carriers, compete against the fast growing Gulf carriers? CNN Money explores this question: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Emirates’ Airbus A380-861 A6-EEC (msn 110) with special “Expo 2020 Dubai UAE” stickers completes its final approach into London (Heathrow).
Video: An inside look at the Emirates Operations Control Room, Dubai.
Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) is facing a major decision today at its board meeting. According to this report by Reuters, Alitalia’s CEO Gabriele del Torchio, a turnaround specialist, is expected to unveil his plan. The drastic measures may include up to 2,000 job cuts and salary cuts.
However the cuts are unlikely to persuade major shareholder and board member Air France-KLM to put any more capital into the failing flag carrier. Alitalia needs a $400 million infusion to keep flying. The group has already zeroed-out its investment.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning/AirlinersGallery.com. Alitalia’s Embraer ERJ 190-100LR EI-RNB (msn 19000479) taxies at London (Heathrow).
Boeing (Chicago) is currently repairing the damaged Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787-8 ET-AOP (msn 34744) at London’s Heathrow Airport. As previously report, the new airliner was damaged by fire on July 12, 2013.
According to this report by The Seattle Times, Boeing’s repair team is gluing a giant composite plastic skin patch inside a temporary building surrounding the rear section of the aircraft. The tail has been removed.
Boeing builds the fuselage as a single piece so this repair is very delicate and intricate for this new technology. The repairs should take five weeks.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Read the initial report of the fire: CLICK HERE
Follow-up report on the fire by the AAIB: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. ET-AOP is undergoing this delicate repair inside this specially-designed and fabricate housing which surrounds the rear fuselage.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) continues its expansion in Europe and opens new base in Madrid for the summer of 2014. Norwegian will open six new routes from Madrid to Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki, Hamburg, Warsaw and London.
The base in Madrid is Norwegian’s fifth Spanish base along with Alicante, Malaga, Las Palmas and Tenerife.
Six new routes from Madrid from June 2014:
Norwegian will have two Boeing 737-800 aircraft at the base in Madrid. In addition, 100 employees will be recruited locally and six new routes launched.
Madrid – Stockholm
Four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, starting June 4, 2014
Madrid – Oslo
Three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, starting June 3, 2014
Madrid – Helsinki
Three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting on June 4, 2014
Madrid – Hamburg
Four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, starting June 4, 2014
Madrid – Warsaw
Twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, starting June 3, 2014
Madrid – London
Daily from June 2, 2014
Madrid – Copenhagen
Increases from three to four times a week between April and June 2014. As of July 2014 there are flights daily between Madrid and Copenhagen.
Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-86N LN-NOQ (msn 32658) departs the runway at London (Gatwick).
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today reported financial results for the 2013 third quarter. Highlights from the quarter include:
- Delta’s net profit for the September 2013 quarter was $1.2 billion, or $1.41 per diluted share, excluding special items1. This result is a $444 million improvement year-over-year.
- Including $157 million in special items, Delta’s GAAP net income was $1.4 billion, or $1.59 per diluted share.
- The company began returning capital to shareholders, with $100 million in share repurchases and $51 million in dividend payments.
- September quarter results include $249 million of profit sharing expense in recognition of Delta employees’ contributions to the company’s financial performance.
- Delta generated $1.2 billion of operating cash flow and $627 million of free cash flow in the September 2013 quarter, and ended the period with adjusted net debt of $9.9 billion.
Delta’s operating revenue improved $567 million in the September 2013 quarter compared to the September 2012 quarter. Traffic increased 2.1 percent on a 2.6 percent increase in capacity.
- Passenger revenue increased 6.7 percent, or $581 million, compared to the prior year period. Passenger unit revenue (PRASM) increased 4.0 percent year over year with a 4.5 percent improvement in yield.
- Cargo revenue decreased 6.1 percent, or $15 million, on declining freight yields.
- Other revenue was flat year over year as growth in Delta’s third-party staffing business revenues offset a decline in third-party maintenance revenues.
Comparisons of revenue-related statistics are as follows:
|Increase (Decrease)3Q13 versus 3Q12|
|Passenger Revenue||3Q13 ($M)||ChangeYOY||UnitRevenue||Yield||Capacity|
“The momentum we have built by running an outstanding operation and investing in our product and people enabled a 7 percent revenue growth, with particularly strong performance in Atlanta, New York and London,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s president. “The revenue environment appears solid through the end of the year, including strong holiday bookings, and we expect to continue to build on the revenue premium we deliver versus the industry.”
Total operating expense in the quarter increased $312 million year-over-year driven by higher volume- and revenue-related expenses; the impact of operational, service and employee investments; and $75 million higher profit sharing expense. These cost increases were partially offset by the savings from Delta’s structural cost initiatives. Non-operating expense declined as a result of lower interest expense and a $40 million benefit for the portion of Virgin Atlantic’s September quarter profit attributable to Delta’s ownership stake.
Consolidated unit cost excluding fuel expense, profit sharing and special items (CASM-Ex2), was 1.1 percent higher in the September 2013 quarter on a year-over-year basis, driven by the impact of wage increases and operational and service investments. GAAP consolidated CASM increased 1.0 percent.
Fuel expense, excluding mark-to-market adjustments, declined $81 million as a result of lower market fuel prices and better settled hedge performance. Delta’s average fuel price3 was $2.97 per gallon for the September quarter, which includes $0.06 in hedge gains. On a GAAP-basis, fuel expense for the September quarter increased $74 million year-over-year, driven by lower mark-to-market gains on hedges.
For the September quarter, operations at the Trainer refinery produced a $3 million profit. While lower crack spreads pressured results at the refinery, they also reduced market jet fuel prices and helped lower Delta’s overall fuel expense.
Cash from operations during the September 2013 quarter was $1.2 billion, driven by the company’s September quarter profit. The company generated $627 million of free cash flow.
Capital expenditures during the September 2013 quarter were $635 million, including $450 million in fleet investments and $61 million for the purchase of 12 aircraft off lease. During the quarter, Delta’s debt maturities and capital leases were $430 million.
In the September quarter, the company began returning capital to shareholders. On Sept. 10, the company paid $51 million to shareholders, which represents the $0.06 per share quarterly dividend declared earlier in the year. In addition, the company repurchased 4.8 million shares at an average price of $20.82 for a total of $100 million. The company has $400 million remaining of the $500 million share repurchase plan authorized by Delta’s Board of Directors in May.
Delta ended the quarter with adjusted net debt of $9.9 billion and the company has now achieved over $7 billion in net debt reduction since 2009. This debt reduction strategy produced a $33 million year-over-year reduction in interest expense in the September quarter. As of September 30, 2013, Delta had $5.8 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $4 billion in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments, and $1.8 billion in undrawn revolving credit facilities.
“The $1.8 billion in free cash flow we have generated so far this year has allowed us to achieve our initial $10 billion debt target and start down the path toward our new $7 billion target,” said Paul Jacobson, Delta’s chief financial officer. “With consistently solid cash generation, we are moving forward with our plan to return capital to shareholders while continuing to invest in the company and strengthen our balance sheet.”
Delta has a strong commitment to its employees, customers and the communities it serves. Recent Delta highlights include:
- Recognizing the achievements of Delta employees toward meeting the company’s financial and operational goals with $456 million of incentives so far this year, including $387 million in profit sharing expense and $69 million in Shared Rewards payments;
- Significantly improving its operational performance, resulting in an on-time arrival rate of 83 percent and a 99.8 percent completion factor so far this year. This completion factor performance includes 40 days of 100 percent mainline completion factor;
- Receiving final approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation for Delta’s joint venture with Virgin Atlantic Airways with a grant of anti-trust immunity. The joint venture will allow the airlines to deepen their cooperation, offering more flight choice for travelers on both sides of the Atlantic and improving the travel options for business customers in the New York to London market;
- Equipping Delta’s crews with enhanced technology by providing all flight attendants new Windows Phone 8 handheld devices that will streamline on-board purchasing and improve the customer experience and also announcing plans to provide Delta’s 11,000 pilots with the Microsoft Surface 2 tablet, allowing pilots more efficient access to real-time flight information; and
- Continuing to support the communities we serve through Delta’s Force for Global Good, including raising nearly $7 million since 2005 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and furthering the foundation’s goal of breast cancer awareness with Delta’s Pink Plane, a 767-400 (above) dedicated to Evelyn Lauder and featuring BCRF’s trademarked pink ribbon logo on the tail of the aircraft.
Delta recorded special items totaling a $157 million gain in the September 2013 quarter, including:
- a $285 million gain for mark-to-market adjustments for fuel hedges settling in future periods; and
- a $128 million charge for facilities, fleet and other items, primarily associated with Delta’s domestic fleet restructuring.
Delta recorded special items totaling a $279 million gain in the September 2012 quarter, including:
- a $440 million gain for mark-to-market adjustments for fuel hedges settling in future periods;
- a $39 million gain associated with the exchange of slots at New York-LaGuardia and Washington-Reagan National;
- a $12 million loss on extinguishment of debt;
- a $66 million charge for severance and related costs; and
- a $122 million charge for facilities, fleet and other, including charges resulting from the closure of Comair.
(1) Note A to the attached Consolidated Statements of Operations provides a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures used in this release and provides the reasons management uses those measures.
(2) CASM – Ex: In addition to fuel expense, profit sharing and special items, Delta believes excluding ancillary business costs is helpful to investors because ancillary business costs are not related to the generation of a seat mile. These businesses include aircraft maintenance and staffing services Delta provides to third parties and Delta’s vacation wholesale operations. The amounts excluded were $224 million and $214 million for the September 2013 and 2012 quarters, respectively. Management believes this methodology provides a more consistent and comparable reflection of Delta’s airline operations.
(3) Average fuel price per gallon: Delta’s September 2013 quarter average fuel price of $2.97 per gallon reflects the consolidated cost per gallon for mainline and regional operations, including contract carrier operations, and includes the impact of fuel hedge contracts with original maturity dates in the September 2013 quarter. On a GAAP basis, fuel price includes $285 million in fuel hedge mark-to-market adjustments recorded in periods other than the settlement period. The net refinery profit for the quarter was $3 million. See Note A for a reconciliation of average fuel price per gallon to the comparable GAAP metric.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Delta’s special “Force for Global Good” Boeing 767-432 ER N845MH (msn 29719) “Pink Plane” taxies at London (Heathrow).
Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) according to Reuters, is expected to place a large order shortly for additional Boeing jets, including the new Boeing 777X mini-jumbo and additional 787s.
Etihad is nearing its 10th anniversary on November 12.
Etihad’s order could pre-empt a widely expected large order for 100 or more 777X from rival Emirates Airline (Dubai) when it hosts the Dubai Air Show in November.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Etihad Airways is already a Boeing 777 operator for both passenger and cargo operations. Boeing 777-3FX ER A6-ETN (msn 39689) completes its final approach at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Norwegian to launch new routes from London Gatwick to New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian Long Haul) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) has announced it will launch three new intercontinental nonstop routes between London (Gatwick) and New York (JFK), Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood starting in the summer of 2014. In addition to these new long-haul routes, Norwegian will also launch five new European nonstop routes and is also increased capacity on existing routes.
Norwegian continues its international expansion with more Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Following the successful launch of direct routes within Europe from Gatwick earlier this year, the fast growing carrier is now launching intercontinental routes from London Gatwick.
Five new European destinations
In addition to the new intercontinental routes, Norwegian is launching five new European destinations from London Gatwick. New destinations from next spring and summer are: Santorini, Corfu, Catania, Cyprus and Budapest. Norwegian is also increasing capacity to existing destinations: Malaga, Ibiza, Split, Dubrovnik, Majorca, Faro, Tenerife, Copenhagen and Barcelona.
Norwegian currently offers 320 flights a week to 25 destinations from London Gatwick.
Copyright Photo: Norwegian.
AMR Corporation (Dallas/Fort Worth), the parent company of American Airlines, Inc., (Dallas/Fort Worth) reported results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2013. Key highlights include:
- Net profit of $530 million, excluding reorganization and special items, a $420 million improvement year-over-year; on that basis, it is the most profitable quarter in company history
- Revenue of $6.8 billion, up 6.2 percent year-over-year; the highest quarterly revenue total in company history
- Consolidated unit costs, excluding fuel and special items, improved 5.0 percent year-over-year, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of unit cost reduction
- AMR ended the third quarter with approximately $7.7 billion in cash and short-term investments, including restricted cash, compared to a balance of approximately $5.1 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2012
- American continued its fleet renewal, taking delivery of ten fuel-efficient Airbus A319s, eight Boeing 737-800s, and one Boeing 777-300 ER in the quarter, while also placing into service four Embraer ERJ 175s operated by one of its affiliated regional carriers
- American and US Airways Group are vigorously defending the lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice seeking to enjoin their planned merger and continue to move forward with developing a merger integration plan
- American accrued $59 million in employee profit sharing in the quarter, and has accrued a total of $65 million for employee profit sharing this year. The anticipated distribution would be the first profit sharing payout in thirteen years
“We are pleased to report our highest quarterly net profit in American’s history, excluding reorganization and special items, thanks to the hard work of the entire American team,” said Tom Horton, AMR’s chairman, president and CEO. “Continued execution on our product, network and alliance strategy, combined with cost efficiencies from restructuring and fleet renewal, creates strong momentum towards our planned merger with US Airways. And we are especially pleased to set aside $59 million this quarter in expectation of making our first profit-sharing payout since 2001 to our people who have done so much to put American back on top.”
In the third quarter of 2013, GAAP net profit was $289 million, a $527 million improvement compared to the prior-year period. Excluding reorganization and special items, the third quarter 2013 net profit was $530 million. This is a $420 million improvement compared to the prior-year period. In the quarter, AMR had $241 million of reorganization and special items, which are detailed below.
AMR continued to drive profitability and significant margin expansion in the third quarter, achieving a pre-tax margin of 7.8 percent, excluding reorganization and special items, an improvement of 6.1 points over the prior-year period, and a GAAP pre-tax margin of 4.2 percent, an improvement of 7.9 points compared to the third quarter of 2012.
On a trailing twelve month basis, the third quarter marked AMR’s seventh consecutive quarter of improved pre-tax margins. This margin expansion is driven by the realization of restructuring efforts to improve the operational and financial performance of the company, and AMR expects to realize additional improvements as the company continues to implement new terms reached with certain vendors and suppliers. AMR also expects results going forward to be bolstered as it competes more effectively by better matching aircraft size with demand through the continued deployment of the new Airbus A319 narrowbodies and the new two-class large regional jets, both of which started entering into service in the third quarter.
“As we continue to deliver substantial margin expansion and record results, we are positioning the company for long-term success,” said Bella Goren, AMR’s chief financial officer. “In addition, our financing activities have significantly enhanced our liquidity, and are enabling us to pay down high-interest debt and efficiently fund our impending emergence from the restructuring process.”
In the third quarter of 2013, AMR strengthened its liquidity and reduced its effective interest rates through several key transactions. AMR completed a private offering of $1.4 billion of enhanced equipment trust certificates with a coupon of 4.95 percent. The proceeds from this offering were used to pay off in full three prior aircraft financings with coupons of 8.625 percent, 10.375 percent, and 13 percent. The third quarter also marked the closing of an $850 million term loan, secured by American’s South American slots, gates, and routes, incremental to the $1.05 billion term loan secured by the same collateral that closed in the second quarter.
For the third quarter of 2013, AMR reported record consolidated revenue of approximately $6.8 billion, up 6.2 percent versus the same period last year. Consolidated passenger revenue was approximately $6.0 billion, an increase of 6.4 percent – and the highest quarterly passenger revenue in company history. Mainline and regional passenger revenue and cargo revenue each increased year-over-year as total operating revenue in the third quarter of 2013 was approximately $399 million higher than the third quarter of 2012.
“American’s solid revenue momentum continued in the third quarter, with especially strong performance at our domestic hubs, and in the Atlantic and Caribbean regions,” said Virasb Vahidi, American’s chief commercial officer. “We’re particularly pleased with our strength across the Atlantic, reflecting the success of our joint business with British Airways, Iberia and Finnair.
Through this partnership, we offer our customers more New York-London travel options than any other alliance, with 17 daily nonstop flights from New York area airports. This is yet another example of putting the customer at the center of everything we do.”
Consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (unit revenue) increased 3.4 percent versus the same quarter last year, to an all-time record for any quarter of 13.79 cents per available seat mile (ASM). Mainline unit revenue at American increased 4.0 percent versus the prior-year period, reaching an all-time record for any quarter of 13.11 cents per ASM.
The company’s unit revenue performance was driven by record passenger yield, or revenue per passenger mile, of 16.36 cents per mile, a 4.0 percent year-over-year improvement, and strong mainline and consolidated load factors, or percentage of seats filled, of 85.0 percent and 84.3 percent, respectively.
For the third quarter, AMR’s consolidated operating expenses decreased $248 million, or 3.9 percent, versus the same period in 2012. Mainline and consolidated cost per available seat mile (unit cost) in the third quarter decreased 7.4 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively.
Excluding special items, AMR’s consolidated operating expenses decreased $52 million, or 0.8 percent, year-over-year.
Fuel expense in the third quarter increased $40 million year-over-year on a 2.9 percent increase in ASMs. Taking into account the impact of fuel hedging, AMR paid $3.04 per gallon for jet fuel in the third quarter of 2013 versus $3.12 per gallon in the third quarter of 2012, a 2.6 percent decrease.
Excluding fuel and special items, mainline and consolidated unit costs in the third quarter of 2013 decreased 5.4 percent and 5.0 percent year-over-year, respectively, primarily driven by the company’s restructuring efforts. This was the fourth consecutive quarter of non-fuel unit cost reduction.
In addition, AMR achieved an operating profit of $713 million and an operating margin of approximately 10.4 percent, an improvement of approximately $451 million and 6.3 points, respectively, over the prior-year period, excluding special items in both periods. On a GAAP basis, AMR realized an operating profit of $698 million and an operating margin of approximately 10.2 percent, an improvement of approximately $647 million and 9.4 points, respectively, over the prior-year period.
An unaudited summary of third quarter 2013 results, including reconciliations of non-GAAP to GAAP financial measures, is available in the tables at the back of this press release.
The company ended the third quarter with approximately $7.7 billion in cash and short-term investments, including a restricted cash balance of $935 million, compared to a balance of approximately $5.1 billion in cash and short-term investments, including a restricted cash balance of approximately $847 million, at the end of the third quarter of 2012. The increase was generated by operating activities and by financing initiatives in 2013.
Fleet Renewal and Transformation
In the third quarter, American made significant progress on its fleet renewal program, adding new, efficient and more comfortable aircraft.
- The newest member of America’s fleet – the Airbus 319 – went into service in September, flying from Dallas/Fort Worth to Charlotte, Cleveland, Memphis and Wichita. These modern and fuel-efficient aircraft represent an important milestone in the company’s journey to transform the travel experience for its customers. American took delivery of ten A319s in the third quarter.
- The company launched its first service with the 76-seat Embraer ERJ 175 operated by one of its affiliated regional carriers. This large regional aircraft in a two-class cabin configuration allows the company to better match supply and demand with the right amount of schedule frequency.
- American also took delivery of eight Boeing 737-800s and one Boeing 777-300ER.
In the fourth quarter, American expects to take delivery of its first five Airbus A321 trans-con aircraft – specially configured with fully lie-flat First and Business Class seats. These aircraft are anticipated to enter service in January 2014.
Through the third quarter, American has taken delivery of 43 out of the 59 new mainline aircraft slated for delivery in 2013, including seven Boeing 777-300 ERs.
Pending Merger with US Airways Group
- In the third quarter, American and US Airways Group continued preparing for their planned merger announced on Feb. 14, 2013.
- On Aug. 13, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and certain states filed a lawsuit to enjoin the merger.
- American and US Airways Group are vigorously defending the lawsuit. The trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 25. The company is confident that the merger would provide significant customer benefits and enhance competition in the airline industry.
- On Oct. 1, American and US Airways Group announced they reached an agreement with the Texas Attorney General to support the proposed merger of American and US Airways Group.
- American and US Airways Group continue to move forward with developing a merger integration plan designed to ensure a positive outcome for their customers, employees and stakeholders.
The merger is conditioned on the satisfactory resolution of the pending antitrust litigation with the DOJ and other customary closing conditions.
American ran a solid operation during the busy summer travel season, achieving an on-time arrival rate of 79.5 percent, its best third quarter performance since 2010. American’s improved operational results for the quarter also include a completion factor of 99.0 percent, its best since 2010.
Recent Business Highlights
American has a strong commitment to its customers, its people, and the communities it serves. Recent American highlights include:
- Launching new codeshare agreements with Bogota-based LAN Colombia and Sao Paulo-based TAM Airlines, which will add new service to key destinations and increase American’s network connectivity in the Latin American region, further strengthening American’s relationship with LATAM Airlines Group
- Strengthening its global presence to best meet customer demand by announcing that American will launch its first-ever nonstop service from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) and Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) next year
- Opening its Flagship Check-In for premium customers at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, making it American’s fourth airport to offer this enhanced customer experience
- Announcing plans to hire 1,500 new pilots over the next five years. The company has offered to recall all of its furloughed pilots and will begin the new recruiting later this fall. This is in addition to the hiring and training underway for 1,500 new flight attendants and the more than 1,200 Premium Services Representatives, Airport Agents and Reservations Agents who have joined the American team this year
On Sept.12, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York stated that it would enter an order confirming American’s Plan of Reorganization (the Plan). The next steps the company seeks to take are to achieve antitrust clearance and consummate the Plan and the company’s pending merger with US Airways Group.
The effective date of the Plan and American’s emergence from restructuring are expected to occur simultaneously with the closing of the merger with US Airways Group.
Reorganization and Special Items
AMR’s third quarter 2013 results include the impact of $241 million in reorganization and special items.
- Of that amount, AMR recognized a $151 million loss in reorganization items resulting from the filing of voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 by certain of its direct and indirect U.S. subsidiaries on Nov. 29, 2011. These items primarily consist of professional fees, as well as allowed and estimated allowed claim amounts.
- In conjunction with the repayment of the existing financings, the company incurred cash charges of $19 million, included in interest expense, and a charge of $54 million, included in Miscellaneous, net, related to the premium on tender for the existing financings and to the write-off of unamortized issuance costs.
- The company’s results for the third quarter also include special charges and merger-related expenses of $15 million.
AMR estimates consolidated capacity in the fourth quarter of 2013 to be up approximately 3.5 percent versus the fourth quarter of 2012, primarily driven by the combination of an estimated 1.5 percent year-over-year increase in the average stage length per operation flown, and by new or increased capacity into South Korea, Mexico and Central and South America.
For the full year 2013, consolidated capacity is estimated to increase approximately 1.5 percent versus the prior year.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-223 ER N778AN (msn 29587) arrives at London (Heathrow).
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) today announced it plans to launch its first-ever nonstop service from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) and Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) next year.
The new daily service between DFW and Hong Kong will be operated with a Boeing 777-300 ER, marking the first time American will deploy its flagship aircraft to Asia. The new service between DFW and Shanghai will be operated with a 777-200 aircraft. Pending regulatory approval, customers can travel on these new routes beginning summer 2014.
Both routes will be operated as part of American’s joint business agreement with fellow oneworld®alliance member Japan Airlines. The service to Hong Kong will add a new destination to American’s international network, and the service to Shanghai complements American’s existing service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). Through oneworld member airlines and their affiliates, American’s customers will have access to more than 145 destinations within Asia. Also, through American’s extensive network out of Dallas/Fort Worth, customers traveling from Shanghai and Hong Kong will now have access to nearly 200 destinations throughout North, Central and South America.
In addition to welcoming the 777-300 ER to Asia with the launch of service to Hong Kong, American will take delivery of and deploy additional 777-300 ER aircraft to key international markets in 2014, including routes from American’s hub in Miami for the first time. American will begin operating the 777-300 ER on one of its two daily flights from Miami to London Heathrow (LHR) in January, and one of its four daily flights from Miami to Sao Paulo (GRU) in November 2014. American will also operate an additional 777-300 ER between New York JFK and London Heathrow in March. By the end of 2014, American will have 16 of the 20 777-300 ER aircraft it has on order deployed throughout its network.
With the introduction of an additional 777-300 ER between JFK and London Heathrow, customers will have the opportunity to travel in fully lie-flat First Class or Business Class seats on all 12 frequencies American operates together with British Airways between the two airports, providing more fully lie-flat seats than any other airline partnership in the market.
Together, American and British Airways provide customers in the competitive New York to London travel market more service than any other airline partnership, with 17 daily nonstop flights from New York-area airports to London-area airports. In addition to the combined 12 daily trips between JFK and London Heathrow, British Airways also offers direct access from Newark to London Heathrow and the only service by any carrier between JFK and London City (LCY), giving business travelers more convenient access to the financial district in the heart of London.
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. American’s new Boeing 777-323 ER N722AN (msn 31547) arrives in London at Heathrow Airport.
Norwegian AIr Shuttle’s (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) Board of Directors today approved a new structure that will ensure the company’s international growth and the necessary traffic rights. Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA continues to be overall parent company. The parent company established two new wholly owned subsidiaries with their own operating certificate (AOC), one in Norway and one in Europe. The Company intends to establish hiring pilots at bases outside Scandinavia.
The most important changes:
New Norwegian operating company with its own AOC in Norway based on the current Scandinavian bases
All employees pilots in Scandinavia is transferred to the Norwegian operating company with current pay and working conditions. Other employees of Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA are not affected
Creation of a separate EU operational company that ensures the necessary traffic rights to fly from Europe
In line with the development of law in Europe established wholly owned resource company with roots in the countries where the bases are
Hired pilots are being offered permanent employment locally in the respective resource companies. The first is the base in Finland, where the pilots are being offered permanent employment in the first quarter of 2014. This is followed by the bases in Spain and England.
Norwegian goes from being a Scandinavian company into an international company. The organizational structure needs to be modernized and adapted accordingly.
The new structure provides a greater degree of equality regarding career opportunities, regardless of what country they have that base.
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8JP LN-DYU (msn 39008) with the special “Wireless Internet on Board” markings arrives at London (Gatwick).
Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) has announced its plans to acquire the five Boeing 777-200 LRs (Longer Range) from Air India (Mumbai). The airline issued this statement:
The two carriers signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) in Mumbai earlier this week paving the way for the deal.
The 777-200 LRs will be used on the airline’s new route between Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles, which starts on June 1, 2014.
Etihad Airways currently flies to New York (JFK), Chicago (O’Hare), Washington (Dulles), DC and Toronto (Pearson) in North America, and to São Paulo in Brazil, and has stated its ambition to add new services to both continents.
Subject to approvals, the aircraft will be delivered to Etihad Airways from the beginning of 2014 and each will be re-fitted in a three class cabin configuration consistent with similar aircraft in the Etihad Airways fleet. It is expected the first aircraft will enter service in April 2014.
The purchase comes as Etihad Airways finalizes details on a new fleet order which will meet its organic growth and expansion requirements to 2025 in line with its rolling network plan.
The Boeing 777-200 LR, of which less than 60 were manufactured, has a design range of 17,370 km, allowing it to connect almost any city in the world from Etihad Airways’ hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
The five Air India 777-200 LR aircraft, which Etihad Airways is purchasing, are on average, six years old, helping the airline to maintain its overall position of having one of the most modern fleets in the industry.
Etihad Airways’ current fleet will reach 87 aircraft by year end, with 14 new deliveries from aircraft manufacturers during 2013.
In other news, Etihad has announced it will increase its share in Virgin Australia Holdings to 19.9 percent. At 19.9 percent, Etihad Airways has reached the threshold approved by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board in June 2013.
Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia Airlines (Brisbane) signed a 10-year strategic partnership agreement in August 2010 that includes code-sharing on flights, joint sales and marketing activities, and reciprocal earn-and-burn on their respective frequent flyer programs.
For more information, please see: CLICK HERE
The announcement follows the signing of a codeshare agreement between the two airlines. Subject to regulatory approvals, airBaltic will operate the new four weekly return flights using a 116 seat Airbus A319 aircraft.
With seating capacity for 14 Business class and 102 Economy class passengers, the flights will operate on a split schedule, ensuring optimal connectivity over each airline’s respective hubs in Abu Dhabi and Riga.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Air India’s Boeing 777-237 LR VT-ALD (msn 36303) prepares to touch down at London’s Heathrow Airport.
The European Commission announced today its decision to approve the acquisition of Olympic Air by Aegean.
The rationale of the European Commission decision supports the absolute necessity of economies of scale to achieve viability within the Greek aviation market. The acquisition creates the conditions for the establishment of a sustainable Greek carrier, competitive within the Region and capable of supporting a growth momentum which will benefit Greek Tourism and the local economy.
Following EU approval, the acquisition of the shares of Olympic Air and the assumption of management by Aegean is expected to be completed by October 18, 2013. The total consideration for the transaction has been set at €72 m., of which €20 m. have already been paid. Upon the completion of the acquisition, Olympic Air will become a subsidiary of the listed Aegean, while the process of unification of the support functions will begin immediately. The two brands and logos of the companies will remain with each one retaining distinct aircraft and flight activity.
The Chairman of Aegean Mr. Theodore Vassilakis said:
“As of today our obligation and commitment to serve our passengers and our country become even greater. While growing in size we also have to further improve our services to be more effective in the support of all Greek regions and ensure competitive access even to the smallest Greek island. The economies of scale will allow us to offer more competitive fares on our domestic network, especially for the small islands. At the same time, the synergies will allow us to support an improved growth rate for our international network, both from Athens and the periphery, contributing substantially to the development of Tourism and the Economy “.
The company will host a press conference on October 23, 2013, following the share purchase, to present its customer offering and development plan as well as its 2014 network plans.
|Passenger traffic ( 2013 estimation in million)||6,50||1,90||8,40|
|Turnover (in million € – 2013 estimation)||630||170||800|
Top Copyright Photo: Robbie Shaw/AirlinersGallery.com. Aegean’s Airbus A320-232 SX-DVQ (msn 3526) painted in the Star Alliance colors departs from London (Heathrow).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Olympic Air has been reduced down to mainly a Bombardier DHC-8/Q400 operator. Operated by Flybe, DHC-8-402 (Q400) G-JECV (msn 4148) prepares to land at London (Heathrow).
British Airways (London) will soon start a new direct flight from London Gatwick to Luqa International Airport in Malta.
The daily service starts from March 30, 2014 in advance of the peak summer holiday season. Hand-baggage only tickets in Euro Traveller (economy) will start from just £55 one-way, including all taxes and charges. Seats in Euro Traveller for customers who chose to take a bag including all taxes and charges start at £67 one-way and in Club Europe (business) one-way fares start at £274.
British Airways’ holiday flights will be further boosted by more services from London Gatwick to Salzburg, Naples, Dubrovnik, Marrakech and Catania during summer 2014.
The new Malta route will be served by a combination of Boeing 737 and Airbus A319/A320 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Terry Wade/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-436 G-DOCX (msn 25857) with the red nose arrives back at London’s Gatwick Airport.
Titan Airways (London-Stansted) has retired its last BAe RJ100 after a long association with the UK-built 146 series of aircraft. The airline issued this statement:
Titan Airways RJ100, G-POWF, left the fleet to begin a new role with Canadian operator, North Cariboo Air.
G-POWF, which had been with us for two and a half years, had most recently been employed on a government contract in the Gulf region. The RJ100 superseded Titan Airways’ BAe 146 operations in the Gulf which dated back to 2009.
The role previously fulfilled by Titan is now being taken over by the RAF’s own aircraft.
The departure of the RJ100 is a step in Titan’s long term strategy to operate more modern, economical and environmentally friendly aircraft. In addition to the phasing out of older aircraft types, we have begun actively seeking younger, more efficient aircraft. An Airbus A320-233 was introduced in April and we are looking for further opportunities to expand our charter fleet with Airbus.
Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati Collection. Titan Airways has had a long association with the BAe 146 and its various models. The type has also had a number of liveries. BAe 146-200 G-ZAPN (msn E2119) sports one of those unique color schemes.
Alitalia’s (2nd) (Rome) first half loss increased to over $398 million. The struggling Italian carrier is proposing a capital infusion of $135 million according to this report by Reuters which would only delay the ultimate fate. The Air France-KLM Group which controls 25 percent of the shares, voted against the capital increase. AF-KL has also asked for additional information about AZ before investing any more money. AF-KL has their own financial challenges.
The capital infusion does not solve the underlying financial problems of high-cost Alitalia. As we asked before, is Alitalia headed towards another bankruptcy? This time, their previous savior, the Air France-KLM Group, given this vote, is less likely to help Italian flag carrier given their own financial condition.
Meanwhile there are reported interested parties in China and Russia that could be interested in Alitalia. This Italian opera is not over.
Read thee full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-112 EI-IXG (msn 516) approaches the runway at London (Heathrow).
British Airways‘ (London) and IAG’s CEO Willie Walsh stated in an article published by Travel Weekly, has warned “a number” of European carriers are poised to fail this winter season.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Wearing a Panda face for the launch of the new route to Chengdu, China, Boeing 777-236 G-YMMH (msn 30309) arrives at the London (Heathrow) hub.
British Airways (London) as planned, will launch its new thrice-weekly London (Heathrow)-Chengdu, China route on September 22. BA has painted the pictured Boeing 777-236 ER G-YMMH (msn 30309) as a smiling panda. Chengdu is the home of the giant panda.
BA is also adding the lucky (in China) “8″ in the flight numbers. Flight BA 89 will depart London Heathrow on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 1530, arriving into Chengdu at 0855 the following day. The return flight BA 88 will depart Chengdu on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 1055, arriving at Heathrow Airport at 1500.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. G-YMMH is pictured at LHR with the new panda markings.
Ryanair (Dublin) will appeal the UK Competition Commission (UKCC) final report concerning Ryanair’s 29.8 percent share of Aer Lingus (Dublin) and its effort to acquire a controlling share. Based on this decision the Irish ultra low-fare carrier has been shopping its share to other carriers but so far there are no takers. Here is the statement by the flamboyant airline:
Ryanair has confirmed that it will appeal the UK Competition Commission (UKCC) final report which wrongly found that Ryanair, through its 7 year old minority (29.8%) shareholding in Aer Lingus, “had led or may be expected to lead to a substantial lessening of competition between the airlines on routes between Great Britain and Ireland”. This baseless claim is manifestly disproven by 7 years of evidence and by the European Commission’s recent (Feb 2013) ruling that competition between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has “intensified” since 2007.
Under EU law, the UKCC has a duty of sincere cooperation with the EU, and cannot contradict or reach different conclusions to the European Commission’s findings. Inexplicably, today’s report by the UKCC infringes this legal duty by ignoring and contradicting the recent findings of the European Commission that:
“Aer Lingus and Ryanair compete on a greater number of routes compared to the 2007 Decision”, “there is significant competitive interaction between the Parties”, and“evidence collected by the Commission in the market investigation has also confirmed that the competitive relationship between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has at least persisted, if not increased, since 2007”.
In addition, the UKCC has inexplicably dismissed Ryanair’s unprecedented remedies package which comprehensively addressed the UKCC’s three invented “concerns”. For example, the UKCC rejected Ryanair’s offer to unconditionally sell its minority stake to any other airline that makes a bid for Aer Lingus and obtains acceptances from 50.1% of Aer Lingus’ shareholders. Ryanair also offered to support Aer Lingus’ rights issues and any disposal of Aer Lingus’ Heathrow slots, but these simple and effective remedies were also rejected by the UKCC.
The UKCC’s manifestly unjust ruling demonstrates that it did not conduct any fair investigation and that it has now merely announced what was its pre-determined conclusion. Ryanair will appeal the UKCC’s unlawful ruling to the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal. In any event, until the completion of Ryanair’s appeal to the EU courts against the European Commission’s February 2013 prohibition decision, the CC cannot lawfully impose any remedies on Ryanair.
Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:
“This report by the UKCC is bizarre and manifestly wrong but also entirely expected. From the first meeting with the UKCC it has been clear to us that Simon Polito’s and Roger Davis’ minds had been made up in advance and no truth or evidence was going to get in the way of their story. This prejudicial approach to an Irish airline is very disturbing, coming from an English government body that regards itself a model competition authority.
Polito’s and Davis’ ignoring of evidence, their conduct of a manifestly unfair investigation, their omission of all the substantial body of evidence that conclusively disproves their case, and their rejection of Ryanair’s unprecedented undertakings (which patently address their three invented future concerns), all in a misguided pursuit of their pre-determined conclusion, demonstrate that this process was not a competition investigation but merely a corrupt and politically biased charade.
While Ryanair is one of the UK’s largest airlines, Aer Lingus has a tiny presence in the UK, serving just 6 routes to the Republic of Ireland, a traffic base that has declined over the past 3 years and now accounts for less than 1% of all UK air traffic. This case, involving two Irish airlines where one (Aer Lingus) accounts for less than 1% of the UK’s total air traffic and concerns very few UK consumers, is yet another enormous waste of UK taxpayer resources from a body which took no action whatsoever when the two main UK airlines (BA and bmi) merged. It would appear to be a case of one rule for the UK airlines but an invented set of rules for two Irish airlines.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DLO (msn 34178) with “Bye Bye EasyJet” sub-titles approaches the London (Stansted) for landing.
Transaero Airlines to add new routes to Dubai and Havana, announces a new interline agreement with Virgin America
Transaero Airlines (Moscow) will add new service from Moscow (Vnukovo) to Dubai (six days per week) starting on September 20 per Airline Route.
Additionally the Russian carrier will launch a new weekly route Moscow (Domodedovo) to Havana for the winter season starting on December 28 through March 29, 2014.
Transaero has also announced the launch of its Interline Agreement and Special Pro-Rate Agreement (SPA) with Virgin America (San Francisco):
The interline agreement will provide opportunities for Transaero’s passengers to acquire e-tickets for travel between Moscow and the extensive route network of Virgin America in the United States via the connecting cities of Los Angeles and New York. And, vice versa, US travellers can now start their journey with Virgin America’s flight to Los Angeles or New York and continue their journey to Moscow on board of Transaero’s flights.
The Special Pro-rate Agreement signed between the Russian and US carrier allows passengers to buy tickets for the flights of these two airlines on certain routes at special competitive prices. Special fares are available on the routes between Moscow with a connection in Los Angeles to such US cities as Washington, Boston, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Orlando, Dallas/Fort Worth, Seattle/Tacoma, Portland (Oregon), San Jose, San Francisco and Las Vegas. Moreover, the through fares also offered on routes between Moscow and San Francisco or Las Vegas via New York.
At present, Transaero operates scheduled nonstop flights to three US cities: New York (JFK), Miami and Los Angeles. In addition to this, Transaero’s passengers can take advantage of the airline’s current partnership agreements with the leading airlines to get to a number of destinations in North America. Under the code-share agreement with Singapore Airlines Transaero offers direct flight from Moscow to Houston. In accordance with the code-share agreement with Virgin Atlantic passengers can travel between Moscow and San Francisco, Boston and Orlando with a connection in London. The Interline agreement with United Airlines allows passengers to get to nearly all destination points of this airline in the US.
Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-3P6 ER EI-UNA (msn 26233) taxies at London (Heathrow).
Azerbaijan Airlines (Baku) resumed nonstop service between Baku and Beijing, China on August 9. The route was originally planned to be resumed in May but was delayed due to new Chinese requirements according to the carrier. The twice-weekly routes will be operated by either Airbus A340-500 or Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft.
In other news, Azerbaijan has contracted with AJW Aviation (A. J. Walter Aviation) to rebrand the entire AZAL fleet by the end of 2013. The fleet of 18 aircraft is being repainted in this dazzling multi-hued blue livery by Eirtech Aviation.
Azerbaijan also has two Boeing 787 aircraft on order for delivery in 2014.
Finally, Azerbaijan introduced its new Embraer 190 on August 9 on the domestic route between Baku and Ganja.
Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning/AirlinersGallery.com. The first Airbus A320 to be repainted, the pictured A320-214 4K-AZ80 (msn 2991) taxies at London (Heathrow).
Route Map (not showing Baku-Beijing):
JetBlue Airways (New York) and British Airways (London) have announced an interline agreement to connect the carriers’ networks at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), creating new possibilities for travelers.
This marks the first partnership between JetBlue and British Airways, and the 25th airline agreement for JetBlue. The carriers initially plan to interline on 18 daily trans-Atlantic British Airways flights, more than 50 U.S routes on the JetBlue network and more than 100 British Airways routes beyond London. British Airways’ intercontinental routes that are part of the interline agreement include Boston-London Heathrow (LHR), New York/JFK-London City Airport (LCY), New York/JFK- London Heathrow (LHR), New York/JFK-Paris Orly (ORY), Orlando-London Gatwick (LGW) and Washington/Dulles-London Heathrow (LHR). Tickets can be purchased through British Airways.
Customers will be able to enjoy access to a variety of British Airways destinations beyond London, including Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India, as well as non-stop access to Paris Orly Airport from New York. Meanwhile, British Airways customers can now book onward tickets to new U.S. destinations such as Burlington, Vermont (BTV); Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts (MVY); Nantucket, Massachusetts (ACK); and Portland, Maine (PWM).
At JFK Airport British Airways operates from Terminal 7. JetBlue operates from nearby Terminal 5, a quick ride away on the airport’s free AirTrain service.
At Boston Airport, where JetBlue is the largest carrier and offers nonstop service to 49 cities, more than any other airline, British Airways operates from Terminal E, while JetBlue operates from nearby Terminal C.
At Orlando, where JetBlue operates numerous routes to the Caribbean and Latin America, British Airways operates from Terminal B and JetBlue from Terminal A.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N645JB (msn 2900) in the Harlequin tail design lands at the focus city of Long Beach, California.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. British Airways’ Boeing 777-336 ER G-STBA (msn 40542) arrives at the London (Heathrow) hub.
Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin) narrowed its second quarter loss to 8.1 million euros ($10.8 million), down from a loss of 29.4 million euros for the same quarter a year ago. The airline has been downsizing, eliminating 300 positions.
The company issued this statement:
In the second quarter of 2013, Airberlin improved its operating result (EBIT) despite a difficult market environment. Airberlin was able to increase EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) to EUR -8.1 million, an improvement of two-thirds over the corresponding quarter of 2012 (EUR -29.4 million). EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, and leasing expenses and rentals) increased by 12 percent to EUR 166.4 million (2012: EUR 148.0 million). Despite a noticeable eight percent capacity reduction, Airberlin’s total revenue at EUR 1.11 billion remained at the level of the previous year (EUR 1.13 billion). Airberlin reduced its net loss for the second quarter to EUR -38.0 million, an improvement of almost two-thirds over the previous year’s corresponding quarter (EUR -99.8 million).
Increased capacity utilization, RASK and Yield
In the second quarter, Airberlin further increased its capacity utilization, revenue per available seat kilometer (RASK) and revenue per passenger. The number of routes flown in the second quarter decreased from 520 in 2012 to 440 in the current year, while the number of route frequencies increased by 14 percent. Capacity utilization increased by four percentage points, to 83.7 percent (previous year: 79.7 percent). Revenue per available seat kilometer (RASK) increased by 4.8 percent to 7.20 Eurocents (previous year: 6.87 Eurocents). Average yield (revenue per passenger) increased to EUR 113.74 (previous year: EUR 112.85).
Presenting the second quarter results for 2013, Airberlin’s CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer comments: “An improved operating income, increased capacity utilization, increasing revenue per seat kilometer and stable revenue despite capacity reduction, demonstrate that important key numbers are moving in the right direction. The positive effects of our Turbine program will bear fruit later in the year. As a result of the generally muted economic conditions and the market environment, the ability to reach our targets is becoming increasingly challenging.”
Turbine implementation according to plan
The implementation of Turbine is continuously progressing according to plan, and will due to increasing challenges continue to be advanced as a matter of priority over the course of the year. The focus remains on increasing efficiency, expanding services, and negotiating with relevant stakeholders.
Airberlin has concluded new collective labor agreements with all relevant employees. This is the first time that uniform collective labor agreements have been concluded for all pilots and respectively for all cabin crew. These long-term collective agreements enable planning reliability and give Airberlin the required flexibility for further restructuring and increasing productivity. Personnel cutbacks are proceeding as planned, and by the end of July, Airberlin had eliminated 300 full-time positions.
Wolfgang Prock-Schauer comments: “The Turbine program is progressing as planned. The negotiations with our contracting partners have yielded productive results, and we are continuously optimizing our structure and our operating performance. More than 80 percent of the Turbine program’s planned contribution for 2013 has already been attained, with respect to both earnings and costs. Despite the challenging environment, we continue to strive to reach the target figure of EUR 200 million for 2013. For the coming winter flight plan, we will implement a streamlined concept of aircraft-positioning, in order to use our fleet even more efficiently.”
At the end of the first half-year, Airberlin had liquid assets amounting to EUR 436.8 million at its disposal, those assets having grown by more than one-third from EUR 315 million in the first half-year of 2012. Equity capital at the end of the traditionally weak first half-year amounted to EUR -116.3 million as at the reporting date of 30 June. As a valuation at the reporting date according to IFRS, equity capital has no impact on the economic operation of the company.
Airberlin’s Chief Financial Officer Ulf Hüttmeyer explains: “The traditionally weak earnings position in the first six months together with the non-recurring charges stemming from our turnaround program lead to negative equity capital. We expect the equity capital to increase over the following quarters. The target of reaching an equity capital ratio of 15 to 20 percent in the medium-term remains unchanged.”
Partnerships exceed expectations
In the second quarter, the strategic partnership with Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) again delivered strong growth in the number of Airberlin passengers stemming from the code-share flights. The number of passengers more than tripled from 75,000 in 2012 to 267,000, based on a half-year comparison. With 449,000 passengers – this includes bookings made through July – the expectations for the entire year for the common code-share routes of Etihad Airways and Airberlin have already been exceeded. Furthermore, Airberlin is benefitting from code-share agreements with partners of Etihad Airways’ “Equity Alliance”, including Virgin Australia, Air Seychelles and Air Serbia. Airberlin and Etihad Airways are also expanding their cooperation in other fields such as maintenance and procurement.
The number of passengers traveling on oneworld® alliance flights likewise exceeded expectations. In the first half of the year, 267,000 passengers had already traveled on code-share flights operated by Airberlin and its oneworld partners.
Read the analysis by Reuters: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Pedro Pics/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7Q8 D-ABBW (msn 30642) taxies at London (Stansted).
Kenya Airways‘ (Nairobi) CEO Titus Naikumi estimates the airline has already lost around $4 million due to the August 7 fire that gutted the international arrival building at Nairobi’s Airport. The airline is suffering long delays and cancellations due to the damage. The airport has erected tents as a makeshift terminal according to this report by Reuters. Kenya Airways is currently operating at around 90 percent of its normal capacity.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-2U8 ER 5Y-KQS (msn 33683) prepares to depart from London (Heathrow) bound for Nairobi.
ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) is planning to retire the last Boeing 747-400 on March 29, 2014. The last route is tentatively schedule as a flight between Naha, Okinawa and Tokyo (Haneda) per Airline Route.
The airline is currently operating five domestic models on domestic routes in Japan.
ANA added its first Boeing 747SR-81 (JA8133) (above) on December 20, 1978 for its high-density domestic routes. ANA also added its first Boeing 747-281B (JA8174) (below) on June 25, 1986.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747SR-81 JA8145 (msn 22291) taxies at the Haneda Airport hub.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-281B JA8181 (msn 23698) joined the ANA fleet on December 22, 1986 and migrated to NCA on May 26, 1999 as a freighter.
ANA (All Nippon AIrways) (Tokyo) and Boeing have announced ANA has ordered three additional 777-300 ER (extended range) airplanes. The order, valued at approximately $945 million at current list prices, will increase the total number of 777s in ANA’s fleet to 57 airplanes once delivered. ANA currently operates 26 Boeing 777-300s (see below).
In route news, ANA will increase the number of flights between Tokyo-Narita, and Yangon Airport in Myanmar, to seven flights per week, from three. As a result, there will be a daily service on this route from September 30, 2013. In addition, seat capacity for the route will be increased by replacing the Boeing 737-700 aircraft with the 767-300 ER aircraft.
ANA will also announce the name of a new Narita International Airport-based leisure carrier. The new subsidiary will replace the now failed joint venture with AirAsia, named AirAsia Japan. This unit will served leisure destinations such as Guam and Hawaii and will launch operations with two aircraft. The fleet will expand to five aircraft by March 2014 according to Reuters.
On the financial side, ANA Holdings reported a $57.3 million operating loss for the fiscal first quarter ending on June 30.
In addition, the flag carrier announced its new in-flight services and the new “Inspiration of JAPAN” tagline and issued this statement:
|From late August, 2013, ANA will begin flying aircraft adorned with the tagline ‘Inspiration of JAPAN’, ANA’s brand concept. Alongside of this tagline, ANA will enhance its in-flight services and introduce new services throughout this fiscal year, starting from September.Inspiration of Japan
‘Inspiration of JAPAN’, which is the products and services brand of ANA, will be re-stated as the company tagline and will be designed on all of ANA’s aircraft. This will represent many aspects of the Japanese culture and spirit, including skills in innovation and technology, Japanese courtesy and precision, and the spirit of customer service at the heart of ANA.In addition to the tagline, national flag of Japan will also be designed at the front of the aircraft in order to emphasize our proud of Japanese heritage to global passengers.THE CONNOISSEURS
The first in-flight service enhancement to be launched in September will be THE CONNOISSEURS project. THE CONNOISSEURS is an in-flight meal team composed of 10 renowned chefs, 5 beverage specialists and 9 of ANA’s own catering chefs, among the most talented of any of the world’s airlines. The team will produce a range of meals and drinks for our international and domestic flights. See ‘Notes to Editors’ section for more information on the chefs and menu.
New First and Business Class Bedding and Amenities
ANA will also provide a new amenity kit service in Business Class that will surely make passengers relax and enjoy our flights. Passengers will receive a pouch filled with L’OCCITANE products, originating from Provence in southern France.
As the first airline in Japan, and one of the few global airlines being recognized as the highest 5-Star airline by SKYTRAX, ANA will continue to further enhance the services we offer to our customers.
|New bedding for long-haul flights – Ultimate in cabin comfortANA presents a new selection of bedding, using the latest innovative technologies that are the pride of Nishikawa Sangyo Co., Ltd., a leading Japanese manufacturer of bedding products since its founding in 1566. Based on the theories of its Japan Research Laboratory of Sleep Science, we now offer items such as highly functional Nanofront® fibers from Teijin, and the finest organic materials from Tenerita. We hope you will enjoy your journey above the clouds.First Class
Quality of sleep is determined by multiple factors including posture, bedding texture, weight, heat retention, and breathability. Our ultra-light comforters are made from the highly functional Teijin fibers using the latest technologies from Nishikawa Sangyo. Moreover, its AiR® mattress features a unique structure that disperses body pressure, while its Angel Float® pillow offers a flexible fit even when lying face up or sideways.
Also enjoy our blankets made with the finest cashmere and Tenerita’s organic cotton that meets strict international standards, as well as the double-sided knitted loungewear with a truly soft texture.
Applicable flights: Routes departing from Japan bound for North America and Europe
Applicable class: First Class
In Business Class, bed pads are Nishikawa Sangyo’s Air Cyclone® customized for the ANA BUSINESS STAGGERED seats. Turning over during sleep is easy due to the unique three-layer structure and moderate resistance. These bed pads also offer excellent breathability and comfort. And because the reverse side is skid resistant, they can also be used as seat cushions. The comforters are Bodyline Quilts that fit your body. We’ve also introduced structural pillows from Nishikawa Sangyo for a perfect fit from your neck to the back of your head.
Applicable flights: Routes departing from Japan bound for North America and Europe (except Honolulu)
*New bed pads will be introduced on flights equipped with ANA BUSINESS STAGGERED seats only.
Applicable class: Business Class
Top Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-381 ER JA733A (msn 32648) arrives at London (Heathrow).
Cubana de Aviacion (Havana) has re-started nonstop flights to Sao Paulo, Brazil. The weekly Havana-Sao Paulo (Guarulhos) route was restored on July 10 and was last operated in December 2004. The flight is operated with Ilyushin Il-96-300 aircraft.
Read the full report from Prensa Latina: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Ilyushin Il-96-300 CU-T1250 (msn 74393202015) climbs away from the runway at London (Gatwick).
Air Accident Investigations Branch (AAIB) has invited Honeywell to join the investigation team that is looking into the onboard fire on a parked Ethiopian Airlines‘ Boeing 787-8 ET-AOP (msn 34744) at London’s Heathrow Airport on July 12, 2013. The Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) is now under review as a possible source of the fire (along with other components) that singed the outer fuselage skin of the airliner at the upper rear fuselage line near the tail.
Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has classified the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787-8 ET-AOP (msn 34744) fire at London Heathrow Airport on Friday (July 12) as a “serious incident”. The important statement in the message below is the statement at the end is the heat damage in upper rear fuselage “is remote from the area in which the aircraft main and APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) batteries are located, and, at this stage, there is no evidence of a direct causal relationship”.
Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
Fixing ET-AOP could be a challenge for Boeing: CLICK HERE
The AAIB issued this statement:
US Airways Group, Inc. (Phoenix), the parent of US Airways (Phoenix), today announced that its shareholders approved the merger agreement with AMR Corporation (Dallas/Fort Worth), the parent company of American Airlines, Inc. (Dallas/Fort Worth).
The merger agreement was approved by the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of US Airways stock, which represented over 99% of the votes cast by US Airways shareholders on the proposal. Of the 132,788,060 shares voted, 132,273,780 shares voted in favor of the proposal; 257,757 shares voted against; and 256,523 abstained. Shareholders also approved other proposals related to the merger.
Doug Parker, chairman and CEO of US Airways, and incoming CEO of the combined company, said, “We are pleased that our shareholders overwhelmingly supported our merger with American Airlines. This approval is a major milestone on our path to completing the merger, and we continue to make excellent progress overall thanks to the focused efforts of the dedicated representatives from both companies. By bringing together two highly complementary networks and generating significant revenue synergies, the new American Airlines will deliver enhanced value for its shareholders. I want to thank our shareholders, our customers and our more than 100,000 dedicated employees for their support throughout this process and look forward to moving forward as an even stronger airline.”
As previously announced, AMR and US Airways agreed to combine to create the new American Airlines, a premier global carrier. Headquartered in Dallas-Fort Worth, the new American Airlines will become a highly competitive alternative for consumers to other global carriers and is expected to offer more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries. The combined airline will offer customers more choices and increased service across a larger worldwide network and through an enhanced oneworld® Alliance. Together, American Airlines and US Airways are expected to operate a mainline fleet of almost 950 aircraft and employ more than 100,000 team members worldwide.
The merger is subject to regulatory approvals, other customary closing conditions and confirmation of AMR’s Plan of Reorganization by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The companies continue to expect to complete the combination in the third quarter of 2013.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-323X N275AY (msn 370) departs from London (Heathrow).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-323 ER N336AA (msn 25193) lands at Zurich.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) is currently operating the pictured Boeing 787-8 EI-LNA (msn 35304) (above) (Antony J. Best) on European routes before it enters its long-haul service career with Norwegian Long haul. EI-LNA was the first 787 for the rapidly-growing low-fare airline and was handed over to the carrier on June 29, 2013.
The Norwegian is operating a “Dreamtour” for its European customers this summer. From July 4 through August 4 the airline is substituting its new 787 on select European routes from Oslo. This includes flights to London (Gatwick) as well as Alicante, Barcelona, Malaga and Nice on the Mediterranean Sea.
Allan Huse booked and flew one of these “Dreamtour” flights, a round trip from London (Gatwick) and Oslo and return.
Asked about his experience and first impressions of the 787, Allan said; “It was very enjoyable and smooth flight. The crew was friendly and knew all about the aircraft and the on board systems. The fare was good at under £100 return. I would recommend a flight on one!”
Allan has also provided these in-flight and cabin photos of EI-LNA from his “Dreamtour”.
Above: The “front-end office” of EI-LNA with the latest state-of-the-art equipment. The crew loves the new “toy”.
Above: EL-LNA is dedicated to Norwegian figure skater and film star Sonja Henie. Her image appears on the tail and also in the inside of the cabin where Norwegian has placed a photo of Sonja on the bulkhead.
Above Two Photos: Even of these short European routes, Norwegian is showing off the mood lighting on EI-LNA.
Above Photo: For those with the perfect window seat, the beautiful sweeping lines of the wing of EI-LNA is apparent.
Top Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best (all others by Allan Huse). Boeing 787-8 EI-LNA prepares to land at London (Gatwick).
Video: In Norwegian. Following in the footsteps of Thomson Airways. Norwegian is taking a state-of-the-art aircraft with its lower operating costs and merging it with its low-fare strategy on new leisure routes.
Qatar Airways to fly its Boeing 787 to Stockholm starting on August 1 and Copenhagen and Oslo on September 1
Qatar Airways (Doha) has announced an expansion of its Boeing 787 services to Europe with the new state-of-the-art aircraft being deployed on three Scandinavian routes.
The Doha-based carrier will launch 787 flights to the Swedish capital Stockholm on August 1, followed a month later to both Copenhagen and Oslo – capital cities of Denmark and Norway, respectively, effective September 1.
Qatar Airways operates daily flights to each of the three Scandinavian capitals from its hub, capital of the State of Qatar, with a total weekly capacity of 21 services.
Qatar Airways has 254 custom-made seats across its 787 Business and Economy Class cabins with specially designed interiors. Business Class is configured 1–2–1 with 22 seats, while Economy has a 232 seating capacity in a 3–3–3 layout. All seats in Business Class are fully reclinable.
The airline’s 787s are the world’s first fully connected Dreamliners with wireless facilities for passengers to remain in touch with friends and colleagues on the ground through the internet and SMS mobile texting across both Business and Economy cabins.
Made up of composite materials, the 787 Dreamliner is lighter and more fuel-efficient than any comparable aircraft of its size and range. Unique features include larger windows, reduced cabin noise and cleaner cabin air.
Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 16 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 125 aircraft to 128 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and The Americas.
The airline has so far launched six destinations this year – Gassim (Saudi Arabia), Salalah (Oman), Najaf and Basra (Iraq), Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Chicago (USA). Over the next few months, the network will grow further with new destinations introduced to Sulaymaniyah, Iraq (August 20), Chengdu, China (September 3), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (September 18), Clark International Airport, Philippines (October 27) and Philadelphia (April 2, 2014).
In other news, Qatar Airways intends to introduce its first Airbus A380 on the Doha-London (Heathrow) route followed by Doha-Paris (CDG) in early 2014.
Qatar Airways currently has 13 Airbus A380s on order with plans to operate them on popular routes, especially in slot-constrained airports. The first A380 will arrive in early 2014.
Top Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner A7-BCL (msn 38330) prepares to touch down at London (Heathrow).
Bottom Copyright Image: Airbus. The painted tail has been attached to the first Qatar A380 at Toulouse. The first three A380s will be msn 137, 143 and 146.
Emirates (Dubai) has released this statement:
In a world first, Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, has announced plans to open an indoor aviation themed attraction in London this July.
London’s newest public attraction, the Emirates Aviation Experience, will be the first of its kind globally. The Emirates Aviation Experience, located at the south side of the Emirates Airline office in London, will cover an area of almost 300 square meters and will provide an insight into the operations and modern achievements of commercial air travel.
“This high-tech facility will bring to London a one of a kind insight into the dynamic world of aviation,” said Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline. “The purpose of this center is to provide a fun, yet educational, overview of just what it takes to successfully get a 560 ton aircraft off the ground and 40,000 feet into the sky. Our aim is to explain the intricate science of modern aviation, in a hands-on, entertaining and instructive environment.”
“London is one of the greatest cities in the world, with one of the world’s busiest international airports, making it the perfect setting for this interactive experience. We have successfully operated services to the UK since 1987 and, when opened, the Emirates Aviation Experience will further broaden our already robust UK presence. Being able to provide London and its millions of international visitors with this permanent site is a true reflection of our commitment to innovation and also of our commitment to the UK,” added Mr. Clark.
Utilizing state-of-the-art technology, interactive displays and life-size aircraft models this immersive experience will incorporate several zones that will take visitors on an interactive aviation journey.
The Emirates Aviation Experience will also feature the world’s first public facing commercial flight simulators including two Airbus A380s and two Boeing 777s, utilizing full landscape visuals, allowing participants to practice their takeoff and landing skills. The center will cater to people of all ages and will open to the public in time for the city’s peak tourism period this July.
Emirates has a strong affiliation with this area of London following the launch of the Emirates AirLine, London’s popular cable car system across the River Thames, in a 10 year sponsorship deal last June. One year on from the launch of the Emirates AirLine the Emirates Aviation Experience is expected to further stimulate tourism and development in the area.
Copyright Photo: Emirates.
EasyJet (easyJet.com) (London-Luton) has reached a new agreement with the new owners of London Stansted Airport (STN) (north of central London). New owner MAG previously acquired STN from Heathrow Airport Holdings for $2.35 billion.
EasyJet, as part of the deal, has promised to raise its Stansted passenger numbers to 6 million passengers per year from the current 2.8 million passengers according to Reuters.
It is unclear if this is a straight built up of traffic with new routes or whether some traffic at other London airports will be moving to STN. The low-fare carrier has recently been adding new routes notably from at Gatwick and Southend. Nearby Luton is the base for the carrier.
Traffic at STN had been declining. This new accord will stem those losses. Rival Ryanair has a major hub at STN.
The airline recently announced it had reached the milestone of more than 60 million passengers who have travelled with the airline in the past 12 months to May 31, 2013.
When easyJet was founded in November 1995 the airline first took to the skies with just two aircraft flying between two domestic UK destinations. Eighteen years later, the airline now operates 212 aircraft flying to 137 airports in 33 countries spanning Europe and North Africa.
More than one hundred of easyJet’s 800 Luton based staff gathered outside the airline’s Hangar 89 head office at London Luton Airport to mark the 60 million milestone and celebrate the airline’s continued success and popularity.
Top Copyright Photo: Terry Wade/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 G-EZIW (msn 2578) in the Linate-Fiumicino Per Tutti special scheme arrives at London (Gatwick).
The current routes from STN:
Scandinavian Airlines to serve Bremen and Humberside from Copenhagen and restore the Bangkok route in November
Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) for the winter season will add new service from Copenhagen to the German city of Bremen (six flights a week). The route operates all year round from October 28. The route will be served with a 50-seat CRJ every day except Saturday. The airline is also adding a new route from Copenhagen to the oil region of Humberside in northern England. The route operates all year round from October 28. The route will be served with a 50-seat CRJ.
This brings the total number of new routes for SAS in 2013 up to 52.
Furthermore, SAS’ nonstop route from Copenhagen to Bangkok reopens in November with three departures per week. The route opens on November 22 and is open during the winter season. SAS will serve the route with an Airbus A340-300.
In addition to these new routes, SAS is adding more weekly departures on key routes. On the route between Copenhagen and Madrid, SAS is increasing from two departures a week to four (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday).
SAS is also adding more frequencies to the winter timetable on the popular routes between Scandinavia’s capital cities -Copenhagen and Stockholm as well as Copenhagen and Oslo. During high traffic periods, SAS is increasing the number of daily departures from 15 to 16 on both routes.
The SAS winter timetable 2013/14 comes into effect on the last weekend in October.
SAS, the flag carrier for Denmark, Norway and Sweden, operates a fleet of some 130 aircraft to approximately 100 destinations.
Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-883 LN-RCY (msn 28324) with the “Norwegian Most Punctual Person” picture on the tail taxies to the gate at London (Heathrow). GE Capital Aviation Services Limited (GECAS), the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of GE, announced it has delivered seven new leased Boeing 737-800s to SAS to expand and modernize the carrier’s fleet. The aircraft were delivered during the period April 2012 to May 2013 and came from GECAS’ existing order book with Boeing. Additionally, GECAS is scheduled to deliver two new leased 737-800s to SAS in 2014.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) today relaunched daily nonstop service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Dublin Airport (DUB). The new flight is in addition to American’s existing nonstop service from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Dublin and complements its 12 other daily nonstop flights from JFK to Europe. The route will be operated with a two-class Boeing 757-200 with 181 seats.
Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-223 WL N174AA (msn 31308) in the Oneworld scheme taxies at London (Heathrow).
LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw) has moved up its resumption of Boeing 787 services now to June 1. The flag carrier will resume 787 flights on this date between Warsaw and New York (JFK). The previous date of resumption was June 5.
LOT is also celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Warsaw-New York route.
Copyright Photo: Terry Wade/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 SP-LRA (msn 35938) prepares to land at London (Heathrow) before the grounding.
Croatia Airlines (Zagreb) is getting back to normal operations after its pilots and later the flights attendants on May 21 ended their strikes. This settlement ended eight days of strikes against the airline which is attempting to reorganize and lower costs.
Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 9A-CTI (msn 1029) in the Star Alliance livery taxies to the gate at London (Heathrow).
Germania Fluggesellschaft (Germania Group) (Berlin) is expanding in the United Kingdom for this summer season as part of its international strategy.
The airline issued this statement:
Germania to expand UK operations:
Berlin-based Germania Group is continuing the successful internationalization of its operations and is stationing two aircraft in the United Kingdom for summer of 2013. Aside from charter flights from London-Gatwick and Manchester to the Greek islands and Cyprus, Germania will operate a scheduled service from London to Pristina.
Gambia Bird, a sister airline of Germania, already operates twice weekly flights from London Gatwick to Freetown in Sierra Leone and Banjul in Gambia.
Germania will operate a regular service on Tuesdays and Fridays from London Gatwick (LGW) to Pristina. Flight ST 6478 will take off at 19:25 from LGW and reach the capital of Kosovo at 23:40. The return flight ST 6479 will depart at 00:25, arriving at LGW at 02:05 (local times).
For the winter season, Germania also operates full charter flights to Greece and the Greek islands, including Corfu, Crete, Mykonos and Samos, for tour operators such as Sunvil Holidays and Pure Crete.
For this purpose, the airline is stationing an Airbus A319 at London Gatwick. On behalf of Olympic Holidays, Germania also flies to the Greek mainland, Greek islands including Crete, Rhodes and Mykonos, and Cyprus from Manchester, the UK’s largest airport outside of London. Germania has stationed an Airbus A319 in Manchester in the colors of its West African sister airline Gambia Bird. The aircraft is available for use in Manchester, as the summer flight schedule in West Africa is adjusted to traditionally lower demand.
The airline is also expanding its operations at Erfurt-Weimar in Germany. Germania started a new weekly route to Palma de Mallorca on May 17. Flights to Ibiza, Corfu and Crete will be added in June.
Top Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 D-ASTA (msn 4663) approaches Palma de Mallorca for landing.
Middle Copyright Photo: Terry Wade. The Gambia Bird A319 is now operating Germania flights from the UK. Airbus A319-112 D-ASTB (msn 4691) arrives at London Gatwick.
Route Map from Erfurt-Weimar:
London’s Heathrow Airport was closed after a British Airways Airbus A319 returns with a smoking engine
British Airways‘ (London) flight BA 762 to Oslo operated with Airbus A319-131 G-EUOE (msn 1574) was forced to return to Heathrow Airport this morning after a fire developed in the right engine. The passengers and crew member were safely evacuated on the runway. The emergency landing temporarily closed both runways causing delays this morning. However one runways is again open. However BA was forced to cancel its short-haul flights and issued this statement:
We are very sorry for the significant disruption at London Heathrow today.
The closure of one runway meant that we needed to cancel all our short-haul flights in to and out of Heathrow up until 16:00 (BST) today. We understand how frustrating this is for customers and thank them for their patience.
These cancellations will help us to stabilize our schedule, allowing us to get as many customers away as possible in these difficult circumstances.
Read the full report from the Independent: CLICK HERE
Update: On May 31, 2013 the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report stated two cowlings on the Airbus A319′s engines were left unlocked after maintenance and this was not noticed before the aircraft departed according to Reuters.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Sunrise Airlines (Sarasota/Bradenton) is the proposed paper airline of Stephen Miller and his wife Hannah. The residents of Sarasota, Florida still hope to raise $30 million to launch a new airline with an initial fleet of four Boeing 737-400s. Stephen Miller is a former executive of Oasis Hong Kong Airlines (Hong Kong). The couple recently gave an update to the Airport Authority Board on its business plan.
The proposed first phase would launch nonstop routes from Sarasota/Bradenton (SRQ) to Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Baltimore/Washington , Detroit, Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago (Midway) and Newark.
Meanwhile departures at SRQ have declined by 38 percent in the past six years. Continental Airlines (now United Airlines) and AirTran Airways (now owned by Southwest Airlines) dropped SRQ during this period.
This new paper airline should not be confused with Sunrise Airways of Haiti.
Read the full article from Bradenton.com: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. The proposed tail design of Sunrise Airlines borrows on the colorful livery of Oasis Hong Kong Airlines (below) which operated from 2006 to 2008.
Oman Air (Muscat), the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman, has placed an order for three A330-300s, growing its A330 Family fleet to a total of ten Airbus aircraft. The aircraft will be operated on long haul routes and can comfortably seat close to 300 passengers.
Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning. Airbus A330-343X A40-DB (msn 1044) taxies at London (Heathrow).
Emirates (Dubai) has announced it will add Airbus A380 service to Brisbane and Auckland.
Brisbane is set to become Emirates’ third Australian destination to welcome the airline’s flagship Airbus A380, with the announcement that Emirates will operate the A380 on the Dubai to Brisbane and Auckland route from October 1, 2013.
Adding the A380 to one of Emirates’ two daily Brisbane services will see an increase in capacity of 135 seats for sale per flight and 1,890 week, reinforcing Emirates’ commitment to its Queensland and Auckland passengers. The double-daily service is currently operated by Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft.
Together with QANTAS Airways (Sydney), from October 1 a total of six daily A380 services will operate to Dubai, offering a seamless A380 experience through Dubai International Airport’s Concourse A, the world’s first purpose built A380 concourse, to 21 A380 serviced destinations on the network including London Heathrow, Manchester, Paris and Rome.
Today’s announcement caps off a range of recent upgrades to Emirates’ Australian services, including the introduction of a daily Melbourne A380, a daily Adelaide service and a three times daily Perth service. A second A380 for Sydney from June has been announced.
Emirates sets the pace for A380 deployment, with the aircraft having carried 14 million passengers on 35,000 trips spanning 200 million kilometres since A380 operations commenced five years ago. In 2012 alone, Emirates added 11 A380s to its fleet and is the largest operator of the aircraft, with 33 in the fleet and 57 on order.
The Emirates A380 is set in a three-class configuration, with 399 seats in Economy Class on the lower level and 76 fully flat-bed, mini-pods in Business Class and 14 First Class Private Suites on the upper level. Passengers in the First Class cabin can freshen up in one of two on-board Shower Spas before joining fellow premium class travellers in the On-Board Lounge where they can enjoy complimentary beverages and canapés.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best.