Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) although not yet officially announced, but published in the schedules, is currently planning to operate the last McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51 on January 6, 2014. An appropriately named flight DL 1965 will operate from Detroit to Minneapolis/St. Paul departing DTW at 3:39 pm (1539) and arriving at MSP at 4:43 (1643) followed by flight DL 2014 which will operate from Minneapolis/St. Paul to Atlanta as the last scheduled flight, departing MSP at 7:20 pm (1920) and arriving at ATL at 8:47 pm (2047) local time. An unspecified DC-9-51 will operate the last flights. Photos of the last flights are welcome.
Delta has been gradually dwindling down the former Northwest Airlines (and North Central Airlines) DC-9-51 fleet with 10 retirements in 2011, six in 2012 and four so far in 2013. According to Airliners.net, 14 were still in service as of November 19, 2013. One of these 14 aircraft will operate the last revenue flight on January 6, 2014. The aircraft will be ferried to the desert and eventually broken up for scrap metal.
This is actually the second Delta retirement of the DC-9. Delta previously retired its last original DC-9-32 on January 1, 1993. With the merger of Northwest Airlines on October 29, 2008, the DC-9 type was re-introduced back in the Delta fleet under the Delta name.
Delta Air Lines took delivery of its first 65-seat Douglas DC-9-14 (N3304L) (see N3314L below) on September 18, 1965. The new type entered revenue service on November 29, 1965 as flight DL 791 on the Atlanta-Memphis-Kansas City route.
177 total DC-9s were operated. Delta in its history operated the following DC-9 types:
1 DC-9-15 (leased from Jet International)
Information from the Delta Museum:
Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51 N773NC (msn 47775) completes its final approach into Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Douglas DC-9-14 N3314L sits at the old Atlanta maintenance base on January 27, 1970. The original delivery color scheme of the DC-9-14s included this forward-pointing widget which was later changed to the standard upright widget.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) will add new seasonal, nonstop jet service between Portsmouth and Punta Gorda Airport beginning on February 12, 2014. The new flights will operate twice weekly between Portsmouth International Airport at Pease (PSM) and Punta Gorda Airport (PGD).
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N422NV (msn 49381) lands in Las Vegas.
SAS operates its last McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) flight, ending a long relationship with Douglas airplanes
Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) operated and quietly retired their last McDonnell Douglas DC-9. The last MD-80 was operated on October 26, 2013 on flight SK403 from Stockholm-Arlanda to Copenhagen. This is the first time SAS will be without a Douglas aircraft in its fleet. SAS has operated every Douglas and McDonnell Douglas type since the DC-3 (except the DC-5 and the MD-11).
The last revenue flight (flight SK 403) was operated by McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) SE-DIR “Nora Viking” (msn 53004) between Stockholm (Arlanda) and Copenhagen on October 25. A special employee-only farewell flight was flown by DC-9-82 (MD-82) LN-RMM (msn 53005) on October 26 over Denmark.
DC-9-82s SE-DIR, OY-KHE (msn 49604) and LN-RMM all operated on the last day of revenue operations (October 25).
One of the aircraft will be donated to the SAS Museum outside of Oslo.
According to a Danish newspaper, the SAS MD-80s operated 3,134,900 flights with the 66 aircraft in the fleet. 2,977,195,000 km were flown since the type was introduced in October 1985.
All of the above information is from Airliners.net.
In other news, SAS recently finalized its Airbus long-haul order. On June 25, 2013, SAS and Airbus signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the order of 12 new long haul aircraft.
This month, SAS and Airbus signed the final long haul aircraft order agreement comprising 4 A330-300 Enhanced and 8 A350-900 plus 6 options for A350-900. The Airbus A330 will be delivered 2015/16 and the Airbus A350 will be delivered from 2018.
Copyright Photo: Moritz Riemer/AirlinersGallery.com. DC-9-82 (MD-82) OY-KHE (msn 49604) in the Star Alliance livery arrives at Copenhagen.
UPS (United Parcel Service) (UPS Airlines) (Atlanta) has announced diluted earnings per share of $1.16 for the third quarter of 2013, a 9.4% improvement over adjusted results for the same period last year. Total revenue was $13.5 billion, up 3.4% driven primarily by U.S. e-commerce shipments and strong European export growth.
For the three months ended Sept. 30, 2013, UPS delivered more than one billion packages worldwide, an increase of 4.6% over the prior-year period.
Daily package volume growth was led by International export and U.S. Domestic Ground, up 6.7% and 3.0%, respectively. Customers around the globe continue to seek lower cost solutions as demonstrated by the 11% jump in International deferred export products per day.
Last year, on a reported basis, third quarter diluted earnings per share was $0.48 as a result of an after-tax, non-cash charge of $559 million to restructure pension liabilities for certain employees.
“UPS is continuing to build global capabilities that position the company to meet the evolving supply chain needs of customers,” said Scott Davis, UPS chairman and CEO. “We are making investments in emerging markets, healthcare distribution and our worldwide retail delivery models, ensuring that UPS delivers both the solutions customers require and the returns our shareowners expect.”
For the nine months ended Sept. 30, UPS generated $3.6 billion in free cash flow after capital expenditures of $1.6 billion. The company paid dividends of $1.7 billion, an increase of nearly 9% per share over the prior year, and repurchased 33 million shares for $2.9 billion.
U.S. Domestic Package
U.S. Domestic third quarter operating profit was $1.2 billion, up nearly 16%, and operating margin expanded 140 basis points over the prior year adjusted result, to 14.4%. Revenue increased 5.0% to $8.3 billion. Volume growth, cost reductions due to efficiency gains and safety improvements, as well as the benefit of one additional operating day, contributed to the improvement.
On a reported basis, third quarter 2012 U.S. Domestic operating profit was $129 million and operating margin was 1.6% as a result of the pension restructuring charge.
Total U.S. Domestic revenue per piece was up 1.0%, as higher base rates were mostly offset by lower fuel surcharges, decreased average package weight and changes in both product and customer mix.
Daily package volume was 2.3% higher than the same period last year, driven by e-commerce shipments with growth in both B2C and B2B. Next Day Air volume declined 3.3% due to a contraction in letter shipments.
International revenue increased 2.5% to $3.0 billion on daily package volume improvement of 6.5%. Daily export shipments were 6.7% higher, with European exports up nearly 10%, while growth out of Asia was flat. Non-U.S. Domestic volume was up 6.3%, driven by strong growth across Europe and Canada.
Total operating profit was $417 million, a decline of $32 million on a year-over-year basis, due to a $75 million negative impact from currency and fuel. Operating margin of 13.8%, remains industry leading.
Currency-neutral export revenue per piece declined 5.4%, primarily driven by growth in lower-yielding deferred products. Lower fuel surcharges and changes in trade lane mix also pressured yields.
UPS has expanded its presence and service portfolio in Mexico, helping businesses bring manufacturing closer to U.S. consumers. Recently announced offerings include the industry’s first guaranteed ground service from the U.S., Preferred LCL Ocean service from Asia and expanded retail presence in Northern Mexico.
Supply Chain & Freight
Operating profit improved 7%, to $201 million and operating margin expanded 60 basis points, to 8.9%. Revenue in the segment was down slightly from the prior year period to $2.25 billion, as growth in UPS Freight was offset by declines in the Forwarding business.
The Distribution business improved operating profit and margin despite continued investment in Healthcare infrastructure and technology. Revenue growth in Healthcare and Mail Services was offset by a decline in the High Tech sector.
In Forwarding, both operating profit and margin expanded. Growth in Ocean forwarding and Brokerage, as well as cost management activities, drove the improvement.
UPS Freight LTL revenue climbed 5.5% as a result of improved tonnage and rate increases. Operating margin for the business unit declined slightly, due to higher compensation and benefit expense.
Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/AirlinersGallery.com. UPS Airlines’ McDonnell Douglas MD-11 (F) N286UP (msn 48453) taxies at Honolulu.
Allegiant Travel Company (Allegiant Air) (Las Vegas) reported the following financial results for the third quarter 2013, as well as comparisons to prior year equivalents:
|Unaudited||3 months endedSept 30,|
|Total operating revenue (m)||$||228.9||$||216.9||5.5||%|
|Operating income (millions)||$||29.2||$||28.7||1.7||%|
|Net income (millions)||$||17.1||$||16.9||1.0||%|
|Diluted earnings per share||$||0.91||$||0.87||4.6||%|
“We are very proud to report our 43rd consecutive profitable quarter,” stated Maurice J. Gallagher, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Allegiant Travel Company. “We are pleased to produce another profitable quarter and be able to return cash to shareholders through our share repurchase program. In addition, I am proud to announce that Andrew Levy has been added to our Board of Directors and will also assume the role of Chief Operating Officer. His proven leadership abilities and extensive operational and financial expertise, as well as a deep understanding of the airline business, will be invaluable in his new role as COO.”
“Finally, we were significantly challenged operationally at the end of September many of our MD-80s were taken out of service due to an evacuation slide issue. Through the tireless efforts of our Team Members, we were able to minimize the disruption to our customers. I am very thankful to all of those individuals who worked extremely hard to put the operation back together in such a short amount of time.”
Notable Company Highlights
- Completed the acquisition of five Airbus A320 aircraft. The company now owns seven A320s
- Repurchased 491,000 shares for $47 million during the third quarter, average purchase price of $95.85 per share
- Announced service from nine existing cities to Punta Gorda (Southwest Florida) to begin in the fourth quarter
- Announced service to 12 new cities with service beginning in the fourth quarter and first quarter
- Announced 29 new routes which will begin operation in the fourth quarter
- Average aircraft in service was flat versus last quarter as we retired three MD-80 aircraft and temporarily grounded two MD-80 aircraft early in the quarter
- Increasing MD-80 operating fleet from 52 at the end of the year to 53 in the first quarter of 2014
Third Quarter 2013 Revenue Performance
- 15th consecutive quarter of year over year increases in total average fare, 4.8 percent higher than a year ago
- Florida TRASM grew by 9.6 percent despite 12.7 percent growth in ASMs
- Same store markets, those which were operated in both the third quarter 2013 and 2012, generated a 5.0 percent increase in TRASM
- Grew scheduled load factor to 90.8 percent despite a 4.2 percent increase in seats per departure
- The September slide interruption resulted in approximately $1 million in refunds given to customers
|Average fare – scheduled service||$86.94||$82.30||5.6||%|
|Average fare – ancillary air-related charges||$38.99||$37.05||5.2||%|
|Average fare – ancillary third party products||$5.06||$5.59||(9.5||)%|
|Average fare – total||$130.99||$124.94||4.8||%|
|Scheduled service passenger revenue per ASM (PRASM) (cents)||8.14||7.89||3.2||%|
|Total scheduled service revenue per ASM (TRASM) (cents)||12.26||11.98||2.3||%|
|Average passengers per departure||150||143||4.9||%|
|Average scheduled service stage length (miles)||932||910||2.4||%|
ASMs = available seat miles
PRASM = scheduled passenger revenue per scheduled available seat mile
TRASM = (scheduled passenger revenue + ancillary air revenue + ancillary third party revenue) per scheduled available seat mile
Third Quarter 2013 Cost Performance
- Fuel expense per ASM declined 3.9 percent primarily due to a 5.8 percent increase in ASMs per gallon versus last year, which more than offset a 1.9 percent increase in average cost per gallon
- Operating expense excluding fuel was negatively impacted by lower aircraft utilization and approximately $2 million in expense attributable to the evacuation slide interruption. The expense associated with the slide event is isolated to September and resulted in higher aircraft lease rentals expense as we contracted with other carriers for sub-service of aircraft to move some of our customers, higher station operations expense due to customer interrupted trip costs, and increased salary and benefits expense due to additional overtime
- Salary and benefits expense per passenger increased 15 percent versus last year primarily due to an increase in the number of full time equivalents to support our growth, higher stock-based compensation expense and the continuation of the higher pay band for pilots which began in November 2012. The current pay band will continue through April 2014 when it will be subject to adjustment based on a trailing 12 month profitability test. Based on our forecasted profitability, we currently expect the pilot pay band to remain unchanged
- Depreciation and amortization expense per passenger increased 8 percent primarily due to a change in estimated MD-80 engine residual values and useful life, and operating a larger contingent of 166 seat MD-80 aircraft
- Other expense per passenger increased 31 percent due to a higher write-down of engine values in our consignment program compared to the prior year, non capitalizable information technology development costs, crew training for our growing Airbus fleet and costs to support a seasonal operating base in Los Angeles
|Operating expense per passenger||$114.54||$108.92||5.2||%|
|Operating expense per passenger, excluding fuel||$63.37||$56.85||11.5||%|
|Operating expense per ASM (CASM) (cents)||10.58||10.29||2.8||%|
|Operating expense, excluding fuel per ASM (CASM ex fuel) (cents)||5.85||5.37||8.9||%|
|Average block hours per aircraft per day||5.1||5.2||(1.9||)%|
*Total system includes scheduled service, fixed-fee contract and non-revenue flying.
Fourth Quarter 2013 Cost Trends
- Salary and benefits expense is expected to increase due to additional staff required to support our growth
- Maintenance and repair expense is expected to be slightly higher than fourth quarter 2012. For the full year, maintenance expense per aircraft per month is expected to be $100 thousand to $105 thousand as previously guided
- Aircraft utilization is expected to decline 1.5%, which will pressure ex fuel unit costs when compared to fourth quarter 2012
- Depreciation and amortization expense is expected to increase as seven A320 aircraft are scheduled to enter service in the fourth quarter. For the full year, depreciation per aircraft per month is expected to be between $92 thousand and $95 thousand, as previously guided
Third Party Products Performance
- Rental car days increased 6.5 percent primarily due to a 18 percent increase in Florida passengers
- Hotel net revenue excluding the effect of an air discount was higher by 39 percent versus last year. The company has phased out offering an air discount which has historically subsidized hotel sales
|Supplemental Ancillary Revenue Information
|Gross ancillary revenue – third party products||$28.7||$28.3||1.4||%|
|Cost of goods sold||($19.6||)||($18.5||)||5.9||%|
|Ancillary revenue – third party products||$8.6||$9.0||(4.4||)%|
|As percent of gross||30.1||%||31.9||%||(1.8)pp|
|As percent of income before taxes||31.3||%||33.6||%||(2.3)pp|
|Ancillary revenue – third party products/scheduled passenger||$5.06||$5.59||(9.5||)%|
|Hotel room nights (thousands)||144.4||163.4||(11.6||)%|
|Rental car days (thousands)||195.3||183.3||6.5||%|
*Includes payment expenses and travel agency commissions.
Balance Sheet Highlights
- Repurchased 491,000 shares for $47 million and have over $43 million in repurchase authority remaining. Year to date, the company has repurchased 880,991 shares at an average price of $85.64 per share
- Issued $48.0 million in debt secured by four Airbus aircraft
- Pre-paid $10.5 million in debt secured by four 757 aircraft
- Spent $84.5 million in capital expenditures in the third quarter, the majority of which was driven by the purchase of five Airbus A320 aircraft
- Closed a $10 million debt financing in October, secured by our new headquarters building acquired earlier this year
|Total Allegiant Travel Company stockholders’ equity||$402.4||$400.5||0.5||%|
|Nine months ended September 30,|
*Unrestricted cash includes investments in marketable securities.
At this time, Allegiant Travel Company provides the following guidance to investors, subject to revision.
|Guidance, subject to revision|
|Revenue guidance||October 2013||4Q13|
|Estimated PRASM year-over-year change||5 to 7%||3 to 5%|
|Estimated TRASM year-over-year change||1 to 3%||0.5 to 2.5%|
|Fixed fee and other revenue guidance||4Q13|
|Fixed fee and other revenue (millions)||$3 to $5|
|Departure year-over-year growth||(4) to 0%||8 to 12%|
|ASM year-over-year growth||4 to 8%||10 to 14%||8 to 10%|
|Departure year-over-year growth||2 to 6%||8 to 12%|
|ASM year-over-year growth||8 to 12%||10 to 14%||13 to 15%|
|CASM ex fuel – year-over-year change||4.5 to 6.5%||4 to 5%|
|Capital expenditures (millions)||$170 to $180|
CASM ex fuel – cost per available seat mile excluding fuel expense
|Aircraft fleet plan by end of period|
|MD-80 (non 166*)||1||-|
*166 refers to MD-80s that have been converted to 166 seat aircraft, non 166 refers to those aircraft that will not be converted
Aircraft listed in table above include only in service aircraft
In other news, the company announced new, nonstop jet service from Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport to Orlando-Sanford International Airport starting on February 12, 2014 and Punta Gorda Airport beginning on February 14, 2014.
This announcement marks the 100th U.S. city served by Allegiant’s low-cost, nonstop service to popular vacation destinations, more than any other low-cost carrier in the U.S.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Allegiant Air’s McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) N408NV (msn 53246) in the Blue Man Group special livery lands at the Las Vegas hub and base. Allegiant moved to Concourse A at LAS on October 15.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) yesterday (September 20) grounded upwards of 30 McDonnell Douglas MD-80s (DC-9-80s). The cancellation of flights was due to an inspection of the emergency chutes of its 52 MD-80s.
Allegiant issued this statement:
Allegiant announces it has discovered a compliance issue which will require immediate re-inspection of many slides in its MD-80 fleet. The Company has already begun the re-inspections and expects to complete the process by the end of September. MD-80 aircraft will be placed back in service as soon as possible after the slides pass re-inspection. In the meantime, Allegiant will take as many as 30 MD-80s out of service and delay, reschedule or cancel a number of flights over the next several days.
“We apologize for the disruption to our passengers and ask that they please remain patient as we work to correct the issue, reschedule affected flights and accommodate any passengers impacted,” said Andrew Levy, Allegiant Travel Company President. “Allegiant is committed, above all else, to the safety of our passengers and crew, and we are dedicated to working around-the-clock to ensure that all of our fleet meets the highest standards.”
At this time, it is unknown how long the disruption in flight schedule will last.
The company has secured sub-service on seven aircraft from other carriers to assist in operating its Sunday and Monday flight schedule and expects to have 22 MD-80 aircraft in service by Saturday. Allegiant expects delays and reschedules to continue, but is working around-the-clock to re-accommodate and update passengers.
During a thorough incident review earlier this week, Allegiant maintenance became aware of a discrepancy in its slide maintenance schedule. In 2007, the original manufacturer recommendation for slide maintenance schedule changed from once every three years to once a year for slides older than 15 years. Allegiant discovered that many of the slides had not been inspected within the last year and did not comply with this recommendation. This prompted Allegiant to proactively remove aircraft from service until all slides could be brought into compliance. To inspect and overhaul the slides, the slides must be removed and sent to a regulated inspection and maintenance facility.
Allegiant teams are working to accommodate all affected passengers and will offer the following compensation:
- Flights delayed less than four hours: $100 voucher for future travel
- Flights delayed 4-6 hours: $150 off voucher for future travel
- Flights delayed 6 or more hours: $200 voucher for future travel
- Reschedule flights: Full refund and $200 voucher for future travel
For passengers delayed overnight, hotel accommodations and meals will be provided. For travel and compensation questions, please call Allegiant Customer Care at 702-505-8888
Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Officially designed as a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83), N417NV (msn 53347) prepares to depart from Long Beach.
Allegiant AIr (Las Vegas) has announced new, nonstop jet service between Concord, North Carolina (near Charlotte) and Sanford, Florida via Orlando-Sanford International Airport, beginning on December 20, 2013. Concord will be the 99th U.S. city served by Allegiant.
The new flights will operate twice weekly between Concord Regional Airport (JQF) and Orlando-Sanford International Airport (SFB) year-round.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N420NV (msn 49424) prepares to land at Los Angeles International Airport.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) today announced new, nonstop jet service on 18 routes, including 10 cities new to the Allegiant network. Today’s announcement will mark the 99th U.S. city served by Allegiant’s low-cost, nonstop service to popular vacation destinations, more than any other low-cost carrier in the U.S.
Allegiant will now offer service to travelers in the New York City area, providing a low-cost travel alternative to the beaches of Southwest Florida via Long Island MacArthur Airport and Stewart International Airport.
New routes just announced include:
Nonstop Service to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (AZA) in Mesa, AZ from:
- Fort Wayne, Indiana - begins Oct. 30, 2013 with fares as low as $99* roundtrip
- Manhattan, Kansas - begins Nov. 7, 2013 with fares as low as $99* roundtrip
Nonstop Service to Orlando-Sanford International Airport (SFB) in Sanford, FL from:
- Bismarck, North Dakota - begins Nov. 23, 2013 with fares as low as $99* roundtrip
- Charlottesville, Virginia - begins Nov. 21, 2013 with fares as low as $99* roundtrip
- Clarksburg, West Virginia - begins Nov. 14, 2013 with fares as low as $99* roundtrip
- Concord, North Carolina - begins Dec. 20, 2013 with fares as low as $99* roundtrip
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - begins Nov. 14, 2013 with fares as low as $99* roundtrip
- Portsmouth, New Hampshire - begins Oct. 25, 2013 with fares as low as $99* roundtrip
- Springfield, Illinois - begins Nov. 22, 2013 with fares as low as $99* roundtrip
- St. Cloud, Minnesota - begins Dec. 18, 2013 with fares as low as $99* roundtrip
- Tulsa, Oklahoma - begins Oct. 25, 2013 with fares as low as $99* roundtrip
Nonstop Service to St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE), FL from:
- Columbus, Ohio - begins Nov. 23, 2013 with fares as low as $99* roundtrip
- Elmira, New York - begins Nov. 1, 2013 with fares as low as $99* roundtrip
- Fargo, North Dakota - begins Nov. 23, 2013 with fares as low as $99* roundtrip
- Sioux Falls, South Dakota - begins Nov. 1, 2013 with fares as low as $99* roundtrip
- Stewart, New York - begins Oct. 31, 2013 with fares as low as $99* roundtrip
- Syracuse, New York - begins Nov. 7, 2013 with fares as low as $99* roundtrip
Nonstop Service to Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) in Punta Gorda, FL from:
- Islip, New York - begins Dec. 20, 2013 with fares as low as $99* roundtrip
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) N406NV (msn 49900) completes its final approach into Baltimore/Washington.
Finnair (Helsinki) added its first long-haul international route on May 15, 1968 from Helsinki to New York (JFK) via stops in Copenhagen and Amsterdam. The new route was opened with new Douglas DC-8-62CFs, the first having arrived in Helsinki on February 8, 1968.
Tomi Tervo on the Finnair Blog looks back at this pioneering route for the carrier:
- by Tomi Tervo
You always get that extra little buzz when it says ‘AY 005’ on the flight preparation papers. One long-haul flight out of many, but for us it’s the oldest and most traditional one. Finnair’s first long-haul destination was New York, and the route ran via Copenhagen and Amsterdam on a DC-8 aircraft. Pilots, at least, remember Charles Lindbergh crossing the Atlantic 86 years ago as a milepost in aviation history. For the pilot, crossing the Atlantic no longer means bearings twirled with a plotter as messy lines on a route map, or rough navigation with tops and hyperbolae of positions, cigarette stubs in the ashtray next to three weatherworn aviator hats. Nowadays, the route is operated with an Airbus 330, with modern equipment to enable a safe crossing of the ocean with two pilots, without navigators or aviation engineers. However, there still is something special about it from the viewpoint of the pilot.
The route to New York isn’t run of the mill. The flight planners choose the route according to favourable large air currents. Sometimes we fly from the south from above Northern Scotland. This time the route runs from above Iceland and over Greenland. Unlike on the continent, when flying above the ocean we are off the radar and beyond the reach of air traffic control’s monitoring. In addition, there are no radio transmitters in the middle of the ocean so there is no undisturbed, continuous speech connection to air traffic control. The third thing to pay attention to is the shortage of alternate airports. The pilots should always have their eye on the nearest alternate airport along the route that is located no less than two (sometimes three) hours away from the plane. On this flight, the alternate airports are Keflavik and Goose Bay. The Greenland terrain is high and mountainous. When flying above it, the pilots revise the special procedures in case a malfunction is detected in one of the engines or pressurisation and altitude has to be decreased.
Even when above the ocean, the navigation is done normally using GPS (i.e. satellite navigation). However, the waypoints are latitude-longitude coordinates, unlike anywhere else, and there are no earth stations or beacons for a backup. Instead of the magnetic north, the direction reference is the fixed geometric location of the North Pole. ‘Finnair five, cleared to New York via 65N000W, 66N010W, 67N020W….’ reads the air traffic controller for us close to the western coast of Norway. As there is no radar monitoring by air traffic control, the spacing out between the aircrafts is based on following the provided route clearances and speeds with pinpoint accuracy. After receiving the clearance, both pilots carefully cross-check the directions and nautical miles, and that they tally with the aircraft’s navigation equipment. After that, it’s ‘Have a good flight!’ Bit by bit, the voice of the air traffic controller fades beyond the reach of the VHF radios. A little bit of Charles Lindbergh in us starts to stir.
Over the Atlantic, there is a text-based messaging system with satellite connection to air traffic control. But the system is quite new and not entirely without its problems. That is why the progress of the planes is still tracked by radio operators using almost one hundred-year-old HF radio technology. The HF signal bounces between the ocean and the layers of the atmosphere far beyond the horizon, and its range is in theory thousands of miles. But at the same time, the connection is prone to the changes in the day and the sunspot rhythm. There are a lot of noise, scratching sounds and breaks in the connection. ‘Iceland radio, Iceland radio, Finnair 5, position 65N030W at 1810, request SELCAL on DM-BF…’
‘Finnair 5, on boundary…ccchhccccssshhhh… Gander on frequency… eight.. cchhcssh.. niner one….’
(You can listen to the HF radio communications live from this link. Can you make out what they’re saying?)
A new continent. The east coast of Canada, Newfoundland and the vast wilderness. The feeling of already reaching your destination when there are still around three hours to go. Moncton, Bangor, Boston. More and more planes start to circle the skies when approaching New York. We often move in on the John F. Kennedy Airport above the beautiful capes and islands of Long Island. The airport itself is one of the most intense in the whole wide world. As the silhouette of Manhattan looms in the background, the air is swarming with traffic in all directions, at all altitudes. The airport often uses up to three runways simultaneously. There are landings and takeoffs every couple of minutes. Especially during the rush hour, the air traffic controllers read the clearances at the double, with a strong east coast accent. They are tough professionals who expect quality also from the pilots. ‘Finnair five heavy turn right on juliet after landing 757 cross 22R keep rolling join alfa hold short of november charlie monitor groung point niner’, you have to hear and roger your own clearance without delay.
Snowfall and exceptional weather is a chapter of its own. The air traffic in New York may be badly disrupted then. You may be in for a long wait in the air. When the weather forecast is poor, the captain needs to prepare for various scenarios already prior departure by reserving enough fuel. Usually the cockpit receives advance information from Finnair’s New York ground personnel on the available runways, weather and congestion a few hours before landing. We know many of that crew already. One known to all was Maucca Leppälä, who was the Manager of Finnair’s New York ground services for 23 years, but recently retired. Now the operations are led by Ulla-Maija Baker. Greetings to all, it’s always nice to see you.
The hotel transportation runs smoothly in a relaxed atmosphere as the crew discusses what happened on the flight. The blocks of Brooklyn, inner city kids playing basketball and the neon signs of garages and diners blink in the windows. This nation of drivers is returning home on four lanes. Over the radio, I can make out Bruce Springsteen’s guitar, or maybe it’s just my imagination. Arrival at the hotel, saying good evening to all other crew members. Hang up the uniform and put it in the closet. The metropolis quietens down into the early evening as the sun slowly floats down and hides behind the silhouette of New Jersey. That’s us, Charles and I. A brief moment when the silver wings on the uniform’s jacket seem to shine a little brighter than usual.
Top Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Finnair). McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62CF OH-LFY (msn 46130) sits on the tarmac at Paris (CDG) in the original markings.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) has announced today new, nonstop jet service to Southwest Florida via Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) from eight destinations, beginning on October 30.
Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton, PA - begins October 31, 2013 with fares as low as $99.99 each way
Asheville, NC - begins November 2, 2013 with fares as low as $69.99 each way
Bangor, Maine - begins October 30, 2013 with fares as low as $124.99 each way
Cedar Rapids, Iowa - begins December 18, 2013 with fares as low as $99.99 each way
Des Moines, Iowa - begins December 19, 2013 with fares as low as $119.99 each way
Moline/Quad Cities, Illinois - begins November 1, 2013 with fares as low as $99.99 each way
Springfield/Branson, Moissouri - begins October 31, 2013 with fares as low as $89.99 each way
Youngstown, Ohio - begins October 30, 2013 with fares as low as $89.99 each way
The expansion of routes into Punta Gorda will result in two additional McDonnell Douglas DC-9-80 (MD-80) series aircraft based at Punta Gorda Airport.
Additionally the low-fare airline announced new, nonstop, seasonal jet service from Montrose to Los Angeles, California and reintroduction of service to Mesa, Arizona (near Phoenix) beginning December 21, 2013.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) N423NV (msn 53008) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
Allegiant Travel Company (Allegiant Air) (Las Vegas) reported a net income of $25.8 million in the second quarter, up 2.3 percent from the same quarter a year ago. This represents the 42nd consecutive profitable quarter.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N879GA (msn 53486) approaches the Las Vegas base for landing dressed in the old 2003 livery.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) has announced new nonstop jet service between Austin and Las Vegas beginning on October 31.
The new flights will operate four times each week between Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) and McCarran International Airport (LAS).
In addition, the company will also start twice-weekly service between Reno and Oakland on August 30.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N876GA (msn 53469) prepares to land at the Las Vegas base.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) has announced new, twice-weekly nonstop jet service between Provo Municipal Airport (PVU) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) beginning on September 26, 2013.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) N423NV (msn 53008) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to operate twice-weekly flights from Las Vegas to Hermosillo and San Jose del Cabo in Mexico. Flights, if approved, would start around June 1, 2014 according to this report by Bloomberg Businessweek.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
USA Today has joined the growing list of media publications now praising the small city strategy of Allegiant Air which they have been flying for years.
Read their take on the carrier: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N866GA (msn 49910) prepares to land at the Las Vegas home.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) is under the financial analysis of the Wall Street Journal in a special detailed article by Jack Nicas that explores why this fast-growing airline is the most profitable airline in the United States. This low-fare airline, which breaks most of the industry “rules”, has been off the radar screens of most of the mainstream media for a long time, except in the smaller cities where a new Allegiant route to Las Vegas, Arizona, California, Hawaii or Florida grabs local headlines. Allegiant has the “lowest costs, fullest planes and highest margins” in the United States according to this article. The secret formula, as we have detailed, is flying mostly older planes that others no longer want from cities that are too small for the others to care about to exciting vacation destinations on a limited number of peak traffic days. Allegiant Air also makes a lot of ancillary revenue from its travel packages, taking a page out of the Ryanair playbook. Allegiant aims to be the total travel package airline for the traveller. The business plan is working well.
Now Allegiant is planning to expand in Mexico. This article details the growth and its expansion plans.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Most airlines cannot get rid of these older, fuel-guzzling McDonnell Douglas MD-80s fast enough. Not Allegiant, they love the type and only fly their aircraft when they can make money. During mid-week, when most passengers are already at their holiday destinations, Allegiant parks most of its inefficient, fuel-guzzling fleet. Allegiant only flies when it can make money. Departing on a weekend, former SAS McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
Video: Allegiant Air TV commercial:
Finnair (Helsinki) this year is celebrating 90 years of aviation excellence.
- In October 2012, Finnair announced their collaboration with popularFinnish textile and interior design company Marimekko.
- For the next three years, all Finnair aircrafts will feature Marimekko textiles and tableware.
- The collection, featuring Marimekko’s signature patterns, will also adhere to Finnair’s sustainable standards to reduce aircraft weight and fuel consumption.
- Michelin-starred Pekka Terava specializes in classic Nordic flavors and innovative Tomi Bjorck will bring his Asian-infused cuisine to the skies.
- How about a sample menu? Reindeer fillet with mushroom puree, oven baked potatoes and organic barley and butternut squash yellow curry. Yum!
- Beginning June 2013, Finnair will begin operating direct flights from Helsinki to popular destinations including Xian (China), Hanoi (Vietnam), Tel Aviv (Israel), Antalya (Turkey) and Palma (Majorca).
- Now travelers can choose to check-in to their flights with Facebook by linking their profiles with the airline seating maps.
- This March, Finnair also launched a two-month trial of Windows 8-powered HP ElitePad 900 tablets on select aircrafts, a new chapter in wireless in-flight entertainment.
- Every month this year Finnair will be posting a video to their Youtube Channel to celebrate 90 years.
Top Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom. Historic Photo (click on the photos for the full-size view): Finnair add its first McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30, the pictured OH-LHA, on January 27, 1975.
United Airlines (Chicago) today will celebrate the 25thanniversary of the airline’s Terminal C hub facility at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Travelers arriving and departing at Newark Liberty today will join United employees in an anniversary celebrationbetween 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the upper level United Airlines ticket counter, where customers will have opportunities to earn prizes, travel discounts and bonus MileagePlus miles, and see the airline’s new uniforms for the first time. The airline is also setting up a temporary exhibit during the two-hour period demonstrating how air travel has evolved since 1988.
Map of Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport (Port Authority of New York and New Jersey).
“We are pleased to celebrate United’s long history at our Newark hub - a premier global gateway and a powerful economic engine,” said Jeff Smisek, United’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We continue to make investments in our terminal facilities, our services and our people to ensure United’s Terminal C remains a great place for our customers and co-workers.”
“Thanks to the Port Authority’s strong partnership with United, Newark Liberty has become not only a world-class airport but also an important driver of economic growth, jobs and development for the entire region,” said Port AuthorityChairman David Samson. “The continued investment in Newark Liberty’s facilities will ensure that the airport, and Terminal C specifically, remains a modern, premier gateway for travelers.”
As part of the event, Smisek will outline the airline’s plans for further investments at Terminal C, including:
- a redesign of the airline’s check-in facilities
- installation in gate areas of flight-information displays that offer customers more detailed information about their flights
- construction of a widebody maintenance hangar that economic development officials anticipate will drive $52 million in economic activity in the region
- a new checked-baggage screening system.
- Nearly two dozen United pilots, flight attendants, customer service agents and ramp workers will participate in an in-terminal fashion show that will debut the new uniforms that United employees worldwide will wear beginning onJune 25. This is the first time that all employees at the new United will wear the same uniforms.
- Buddy Valastro, co-owner of the Hoboken, N.J. bakery Carlo’s Bakery and star of the TLC program “Cake Boss,” will join the program to present a cake made specifically for the occasion.
- At 1:15 p.m., the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner to fly from any of the three New York-area airports since the aircraft re-entered service will depart for Houston.
- This afternoon, United will send photos of iconic locations throughout Manhattan via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, meeting up with the company’s friends and followers in social media.
United in New York/Newark: The Hub for Wall Street
With more than 13,000 local employees, United is the New York area’s largest airline, offering more flights and more seats from the region to more destinations around the world than any other airline in history.
Since the first flight from Terminal C - the 6:15 a.m. departure of Continental flight 839 to Denver from gate 72 on the morning of May 22, 1988 - flights to and from the facility have enabled investment and economic development for theNew York metropolitan area, including Newark. In 1988, Continental offered service to 57 airports from Newark Airport.United today offers more than 400 flights each day from Newark Liberty to more than 150 destinations in North andSouth America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, giving New York-area travelers more flights and more destinations via United and United Express than any other airline.
Newark Liberty’s location and rail links make it the most convenient hub airport for travelers originating in north and central New Jersey, parts of New York City including Wall Street, and southern New York State.
The airline also offers New York-area travelers more flat beds in premium cabins and more extra-legroom economy seats than any other airline. In addition, the airline boasts:
- the most saver-style award seats for frequent flyers among the largest U.S. global carriers, according to the 4thannual Switchfly Reward Seat Availability Survey published this month by IdeaWorksCompany.
- more aircraft offering satellite Wi-Fi and live television than any other U.S. airline.
Terminal C History
Copyright Photo: Dave Campbell/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 737 and the pictured 727-200 were the mainstay aircraft in the PEOPLExpress fleet. Former Braniff Boeing 727-227 N553PE (msn 20774) poses for the camera at Chicago (O’Hare).
In 1985, People Express Airlines (PEOPLExpress) and the Port Authority agreed to remodel the existing Terminal C facility. After its 1987 mergers with Peoplexpress and New York Air (New York), which itself had a large Newark presence, Continental Airlines completed the terminal redevelopment project in conjunction with the Port Authority.
Copyright Photo: Fernandez Imaging/AirlinersGallery.com. The New York Air operation is pictured at nearby LaGuardia Airport.
In 2001, Continental Airlines (Houston) opened the Global Gateway, a $3.8 billion public-private partnership. The centerpiece of that project was the third concourse in Terminal C, “C-3,” designed to be bright and airy with gates constructed to enable international travelers to arrive at Terminal C - rather than solely at Terminal B - adding convenience and quicker connections.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Continental’s McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 N68046 (msn 47800) in the 1984 livery.
The Global Gateway also introduced the only rail station at a New York-area airport located in close proximity to the terminals, enabling Newark Liberty travelers direct AirTrain rail access to New York City’s Pennsylvania Station, New York State, New Jersey, Connecticut and Philadelphia.
Continental and the Port Authority also outfitted Terminal C with new roadways, parking garages, expanded electronic ticketing facilities, new terminal designs to facilitate more efficient security screening and an automated baggage handling system.
Top Copyright Photo: United Airlines. Crew members showcase the new uniforms.
Route Map: How the Newark Hub has grown (click on the map for the full-size view):
Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (ATSG) (Wilmington, OH), the parent of ABX Air (Wilmington, OH) and ATI-Air Transport International (Little Rock and Wilmington, OH) reported consolidated financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2013.
“We made a major investment in our combi business with the U.S. military, placed more of our Boeing 767 and 757 freighters with DHL, and completed the merger of two of our airlines during the first quarter,” said Joe Hete, President and Chief Executive Officer of ATSG. “The results were significant increases in our net income and in our Adjusted EBITDA, compared with the year-earlier quarter. Our baseline business remains solid, and we are moving quickly to capture the rest of the $5 to $6 million in merger synergies we projected a few months ago.”
For the first quarter of 2013, compared with first quarter 2012:
- Revenues were $143.3 million, a decrease of 1.5%.
- Total operating expenses were $126.9 million, down 3.7%, including a $3.8 million reduction in salaries, wages and benefits expense due in large part to reductions in airline related costs prior to the merger of Air Transport International and Capital Cargo International Airlines in March 2013.
- Pre-tax income was $13.6 million, an increase of 26.5%.
- Net earnings from continuing operations increased 27.6% to $8.5 million, or $0.13 per fully diluted share. Net earnings include a non-cash federal income tax provision. The company does not expect to pay significant federal income taxes until 2015.
- First-quarter Adjusted EBITDA was $37.3 million, a 9.5% increase from $34.1 million in the same period of the prior year. This non-GAAP financial measure is defined and reconciled to comparable GAAP results in a table at the end of this release.
- Capital expenditures totaled $59.4 million for the quarter, including the purchase of two 757-200 combi aircraft.
CAM (Aircraft Leasing)
|($ in thousands)||2013||2012||% Chg.|
- On March 31, 2013, ATSG owned 47 aircraft in serviceable condition – 20 leased to external customers and 27 leased to ATSG affiliate airlines.
- The in-service fleet consisted of forty-one 767 freighters, three 757 freighters and three DC-8 combis. A table reflecting aircraft in service is included at the end of this release.
- On March 31, 2012, CAM owned 51 in-service aircraft, including thirty-nine 767s, three 757s, six DC-8s (two freighters, four combis) and three 727 freighters. All of the 727 and DC-8 freighters, one DC-8 combi and one 767 passenger aircraft have since been removed from service.
- Three other aircraft – two 767-300s and one 757-200 – were undergoing passenger-to-freighter conversion as of March 31, 2013.
- Four 757-200 combi aircraft, including one modified in 2012, one purchased in December 2012 and two purchased in January 2013, are completing certification requirements. They will enter service for the U.S. military as replacements for the three remaining DC-8 combis starting later this quarter.
|ACMI Services||First Quarter|
|($ in thousands)||2013||2012||% Chg.|
|Total ACMI Services Revenues||113,051||113,195||(0.1)|
- Signed agreements with DHL in January for four additional freighters, including one 757 and three 767s, to replace the 727 freighters the company operated in DHL’s U.S. domestic network.
- Extended agreements for three 767s operating in DHL’s network in the Mideast.
- Airline-related headcount in the first quarter decreased approximately 26% compared with the beginning of 2012, principally as a result of combining ATI and CCIA operations prior to their merger in March.
- Four 767 freighters leased from CAM were underutilized during the quarter.
|Other Activities||First Quarter|
|($ in thousands)||2013||2012||% Chg.|
- Improved first quarter pre-tax earnings were driven by greater efficiencies and higher volumes at the U.S. Postal Service facilities we operate.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. The three remaining McDonnell Douglas DC-8s in service have been delayed in their retirements until later this year as newer aircraft come on line. A fine study of DC-8-62 (F) N41CX (msn 46129) arriving at Baltimore/Washington.
Avient Limited (Avient Aviation) (Harare) was placed into administration (bankruptcy) on April 5, 2013. James Tickell and Carl Faulds at Portland Business & Financial Solutions were appointed joint administrators.
The administrators have selected new entity AV Cargo Airlines Limited which will operate three McDonnell Douglas MD-11F freighters.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner. Avient Aviation’s McDonnell Douglas MD-11F Z-BVT (msn 48410) is pictured at Zurich before it was grounded.
Bottom Copyright Photo: AV Cargo Airlines.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) has announced new, twice-weekly nonstop jet service between Bellingham International Airport (BLI) and Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) beginning on June 6, 2013.
In other news, the company has announced it has now served over four million total travelers at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) since the first flight took off on November 16, 2006 en route to Allentown, PA. Since that time, the company has grown its presence at the airport, now serving 25 cities with nonstop flights into St. Pete-Clearwater International, as well as basing six aircraft at the airport and employing pilots, flight attendants and mechanics.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N873GA (msn 49658) touches down at Las Vegas.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will outfit its fleet of 182 MD-88 and MD-90 aircraft as well as several flight simulators with standardized, state-of-the-art glass cockpits and GPS navigation that will improve efficiency, reduce environmental impact and position the airline to take advantage of procedural improvements outlined in the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Next Generation Air Transportation System.
The enhanced avionics suite, developed by Innovative Solutions & Support, Inc. (ISSC), will allow the aircraft to fly shorter flight paths and take advantage of continuous-descent, Required Navigation Performance (RNAV) approaches to reduce fuel consumption, carbon emissions and noise levels — a primary objective of NextGen. The addition of GPS capabilities as well as the incorporation of Data Link and ADS-B will allow pilots to fly safer as the three systems aid flight crews in identifying nearby air traffic, weather and terrain on flat panel displays in the cockpit.
Due to the lighter weight of the new equipment, Delta will see an immediate improvement in fuel economy while long-lasting benefits from the new flight decks include reductions in CO2 emissions by 80 million pounds annually and a 50 percent decrease in the aircraft noise footprint once NextGen procedures are fully implemented. The standardized flight decks will improve situational awareness for flight crews and are expected to increase operational flexibility, simplify maintenance and improve dispatch and on-time reliability.
“In addition to deploying technology enhancements, Delta continues to work closely with the FAA as it advances NextGen procedures — many of which are being developed at key hub airports,” said Steve Dickson, Delta’s senior vice president-Flight Operations. “Delta continues to invest in NextGen and looks forward to the FAA’s continued progress in systemwide implementation of these improvements, especially at these key hubs, which promise to deliver real savings as well as safety and efficiency enhancements.
Installation of the enhanced flight deck technology across the MD-88 and MD-90 fleet is slated to begin in early 2014 and will be completed by IS&S technicians at Delta TechOps facilities. The process is expected to take approximately two years.
Delta continues to enhance technology across its fleet — including updates to nearly all Airbus and Boeing aircraft — aimed at taking advantage of the performance and efficiency improvements that will be realized once the FAA fully implements the NextGen system.
Significant reductions in environmental impact, both in noise and emissions, as a result of these improvements, are part of Delta’s continued social responsibility efforts. The airline has improved overall fuel-efficiency by an average of 1.7 percent from 2009 to 2012, exceeding goals set by the International Air Transportation Association. Since 2005, Delta has reduced its annual aircraft greenhouse gas emissions by 8.4 million metric tons, an 18.5 percent reduction.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30 N903DA (msn 53383) arrives at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) has announced new, twice-weekly nonstop jet service between Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas (LIT) and Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) beginning on June 6, 2013.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N422NV (msn 49381) completes its final approach into Los Angeles International Airport.
FedEx Express (Memphis) has safely delivered two giant pandas from China to the Toronto Zoo following months of preparations and public anticipation.
The giant pandas, breeding pair Er Shun (female) and Da Mao (male), made the journey from Chengdu, China, to the FedEx Express Canadian Hub at Toronto Pearson International Airport, aboard a specially branded MD-11 aircraft donated by FedEx.
The pandas arrived at 10:47 a.m. EDT (March 25) after an 18 hour flight. FedEx Express, the Toronto Zoo, and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding collaborated extensively to ensure all necessary precautions were taken to provide a safe and comfortable flight for the pandas. Animal care experts were granted special flight privileges to accompany the pandas onboard the aircraft.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper was airside to officially sign for Canada’s receipt of the giant pandas on a FedEx PowerPad handed to him by Lisa Lisson, president of FedEx Express Canada.
“Today is significant for Canadians as it marks an important symbol of trade and diplomacy between our country and China. As the world’s global transportation leader, FedEx understands first-hand the opportunity and potential that comes with strengthened relationships and improved global connectivity—all of which is wrapped into the symbolism of today’s delivery,” said Lisa Lisson, president, FedEx Express Canada. “As excited as we are about facilitating this exchange between Canada and China, I can attest that all our 6,000-strong team of employees, from coast-to-coast, are as eagerly excited about the prospects of a giant panda cub being born on Canadian soil.”
Following the arrival of FedEx Panda Express, Er Shun and Da Mao were transported by two FedEx Express trucks to Toronto Zoo where they will begin a five-year stay before transferring to Calgary. The specially-branded FedEx Express trucks will stay in service throughout the giant pandas’ stay in Toronto, delivering 600 to 900 kilograms of fresh bamboo supplies two-to-three times a week, courtesy of the Memphis Zoo.
As announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on February 11, 2012, the cooperative conservation agreement with China marked the first time in more than twenty years that a giant panda has been loaned to a Canadian zoo. The agreement also marked the first time the Chinese government has granted a ten-year loan of breeding giant pandas to any international zoo in the world.
Following a brief but mandatory quarantine, the giant pandas will be on view to the public at a newly-constructed, state-of-the-art giant panda exhibit at the Toronto Zoo sometime in mid-May (exact date to determined). The program will allow the Toronto Zoo to contribute to ongoing international efforts to protect and increase the population of the endangered giant pandas through investments in research and conservation efforts. Currently, conservationists estimate that there are just over 2,000 giant pandas left in the wild.
“We are honoured to have giant pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao, arrive at the Toronto Zoo and look forward to the opportunity of contributing to the survival of this beautiful species for generations to come,” said John Tracogna, CEO, Toronto Zoo. “The Toronto Zoo is thrilled to join the small group of countries and highly respected zoo organizations outside of China that have the conservation and research programs, professional expertise, and facilities to provide excellent care for a breeding pair of pandas.”
FedEx Express has successfully transported a number of giant panda pairs, underscoring the company’s commitment to safely and securely transporting even the world’s most precious cargo:
- China to Paris, France (2012)
- China to Edinburgh, Scotland (2011)
- Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, USA, to China (2010)
- China to Memphis, USA (2003)
- China to Washington, D.C., USA (2000)
Copyright Photo: FedEx Express. McDonnell Douglas MD-11F N585FE (msn 48481) had the honor for this historic Panda flight. N585FE touches down at Toronto (Pearson) with the special Panda markings.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) has announced new nonstop jet service between Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO) and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) beginning on June 6, 2013.
The new flights will operate twice weekly between Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO) and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N876GA (msn 53469) arrives at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) has announced new nonstop jet service between Provo International Airport (PVU) and Oakland International Airport (OAK) beginning on June 7, 2013. The new flights will operate twice weekly between Provo International Airport (PVU) and Oakland International Airport (OAK).
In addition, the company also announced new nonstop jet service between Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) beginning on June 6, 2013. The new flights will operate two times a week between Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE).
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N420NV (msn 49424) arrives at the Las Vegas hub.
Editor’s “To The Point” Observation: Allegiant’s unique “small cities to holiday markets” business plan initially means adding two roundtrips per week on a new thin route to test the market. Often this new route becomes the biggest flight at this small airport. If the new route does well, Allegiant adds more frequencies until it eventually ramps up to daily service. If not, the route is dropped. This strategy to serve underserved small cities to vacation markets have worked well for the growing carrier.
DAE-Dutch Antilles Express (Curacao) is expanding with new service to the United States. The airline starting on April 15 will add three new routes per Airline Route. This includes Aruba – Miami, Curacao – Orlando and Port-au-Prince – Miami.
Update: The airline suspended operations on August 24, 2013 and declared bankruptcy.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Falcon Air Express operates this McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N120MN (msn 53120) for DAE in its colors. N120MN completes its final approach into Miami International Airport.
Japan Airlines-JAL (Tokyo) is planning to operate the last revenue flight of its McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30 on March 30 after 17 years of service at JAS and JAL. The last flight will be from Hiroshima to Tokyo (Haneda) per Aviation Wire. The last flight is sold out.
Read the full report (in Japanese): CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30 JA8070 (msn 53358) lands at Tokyo (Haneda).
Austral Líneas Aéreas‘ (Buenos Aires) DC-9-81 (MD-81) LV-WFN (msn 48025) was retired from service on February 2, 2012 and flown to Córdoba International Airport-Pajas Blancas on March 16, 2012 for preservation. It was one of the oldest (if not the oldest) DC-9-81 in service.
LV-WFN performed its final flight between Córdoba to Morón Air Force Base in Buenos Aires (MOR) on February 26. The aircraft was donated by Austral Líneas Aéreas to Museo Nacional de Aeronáutica, as it was the first of the DC-9 Super 80 airliner to enter service with Austral in 1981. This plane was retired from service on March 2012 and was preserved waiting for a decision about its fate. Lately the aircraft was being readied before being ferried to Morón as AU 2080, unpressurized and with landing gear deployed.
Copyright Photo: Alvaro Romero. LV-WFN looks forlorn at Córdoba while waiting for its final fate. Now it will be preserved.
Allegiant Travel Company (Allegiant Air) (Las Vegas) is celebrating its 40th consecutive profitable quarter. The company produced a net profit of $14.8 million in the fourth quarter (up from a net profit of $10.8 million in the same quarter a year ago) and a net profit of $78.6 million for 2012 (up from a net profit of $49.4 million in 2011). The travel company specializes in serving small markets with limited service to popular vacation destinations. The company issued the following financial results and details for the fourth quarter 2012 and full year results for 2012:
Allegiant Travel Company reported the following financial results for both the fourth quarter and full year 2012, as well as comparisons to prior year equivalents:
|Total operating revenue (millions)||$222.8||$193.9||14.9%||$908.7||$779.1||16.6%|
|Operating income (millions)||$25.4||$20.2||25.8%||$132.3||$85.4||54.8%|
|Net income (millions)||$14.8||$10.8||36.6%||$78.6||$49.4||59.1%|
|Diluted earnings per share||$0.76||$0.56||35.7%||$4.06||$2.57||58.0%|
“We are very proud to report our 40th consecutive profitable quarter,” stated Maurice J. Gallagher, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Allegiant Travel Company. ”40 consecutive profitable quarters is an outstanding achievement in this industry and we could not do it without the great efforts and contributions of our Team Members. In 2012, we recorded the highest system fuel cost per gallon we have ever paid for a full year. In spite of that, we were able to grow full year earnings per share over 58 percent to the highest ever.”
Notable company quarterly highlights
- Signed purchase agreements to acquire nine Airbus A320 aircraft previously operated by Iberia
- Successfully converted 100 percent of our customer web traffic to our new booking engine in November
- Returned over $38 million to shareholders through a special dividend of $2 per share in December
- Repurchased approximately 55,000 shares for $4 million during the fourth quarter
- As of January 30, 2013, we have converted 47 of an expected 51 MD-80s to 166 seat aircraft
- Began operating 21 new routes during the quarter
- Announced eight new routes starting in the first quarter
- Ranked 14th on the Forbes’ 100 Best Small Companies. We have been listed four years in a row
- Fourth quarter 2012 total average fare was up 4.4 percent versus 2011 and was the highest in the company’s history
- 12th consecutive quarter of year over year increases in total average fare
- Ancillary air-related revenue per passenger has grown sequentially every month since April 2012
|Average fare – scheduled service||$88.59||$91.66||(3.3)%||$88.90||$89.15||(0.3)%|
|Average fare – ancillary air-related charges||$39.89||$31.51||26.6%||$35.72||$31.17||14.6%|
|Average fare – ancillary third party products||$5.19||$4.88||6.4%||$5.48||$5.18||5.8%|
|Average fare – total||$133.67||$128.05||4.4%||$130.10||$125.51||3.7%|
|Scheduled service passenger revenue per ASM (PRASM) (cents)||7.99||8.91||(10.3)%||8.43||8.88||(5.1)%|
|Total scheduled service revenue* per ASM (TRASM) (cents)||12.06||12.45||(3.1)%||12.33||12.50||(1.4)%|
|Average passengers per departure||141||134||5.2%||140||136||2.9%|
|Average scheduled service stage length (miles)||930||904||2.9%||918||901||1.9%|
* Total scheduled service revenue includes scheduled service, ancillary air-related, and ancillary third party revenue.
- Full year 2012 cost per ASM excluding fuel decreased 6.7 percent to 5.3 cents in spite of a five percent decrease in aircraft utilization for the same time period
- Full year 2012 ASMs per gallon increased 6.6 percent to 63.0 versus last year, and improved sequentially 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter 2012 versus the third quarter 2012
- Full year 2012 salaries and benefits expense per passenger decreased 1.7 percent despite a 14.2 percent increase in full time equivalent employees
- Full year 2012 maintenance and repairs expense per passenger decreased 19.6 percent due primarily to a 60 percent decline in engine overhaul expenses. Maintenance expense per aircraft per month was $102,277 in 2012 versus $129,558 in 2011
- Full year 2012 sales and marketing expense per passenger decreased 14.6 percent versus last year, primarily due to the implementation of a discount for customers paying with less expensive forms of payment beginning in the third quarter 2012
|Operating expense per passenger||$118.49||$116.08||2.1%||$111.12||$112.32||(1.1)%|
|Operating expense per passenger, excluding fuel||$63.50||$62.04||2.4%||$56.99||$58.78||(3.0)%|
|Operating expense per ASM (CASM) (cents)||10.50||11.03||(4.8)%||10.37||10.90||(4.9)%|
|Operating expense, excluding fuel per ASM (CASM ex fuel) (cents)||5.63||5.89||(4.4)%||5.32||5.70||(6.7)%|
|Average block hours per aircraft per day||5.3||5.6||(5.4)%||5.7||6.0||(5.0)%|
* Total system includes scheduled service, fixed-fee contract and non-revenue flying.
Third party products performance
- For the fourth quarter 2012, ancillary revenue – third party products per passenger increased 6.4 percent versus last year. This has been our eleventh consecutive quarter of year over year increases.
- For the full year 2012, net revenue from hotels increased about five percent while net revenue from rental cars increased about 33 percent versus 2011
|Supplemental Ancillary Revenue Information
|Gross ancillary revenue – third party products||$24.9||$23.0||8.6%||$119.0||$106.4||11.9%|
|Cost of goods sold||($16.2)||($15.2)||6.1%||($79.0)||($72.0)||9.7%|
|Ancillary revenue – third party products||$8.2||$6.8||20.5%||$36.1||$29.9||20.8%|
|As percent of gross||32.8%||29.6%||3.2pp||30.3%||28.1%||2.2pp|
|As percent of income before taxes||34.9%||36.9%||(2.0)pp||29.0%||37.6%||(8.6)pp|
|Ancillary revenue – third party products/scheduled passenger||$5.19||$4.88||6.4%||$5.48||$5.18||5.8%|
|Hotel room nights (thousands)||137.5||142.6||(3.5)%||690.1||647.7||6.5%|
|Rental car days (thousands)||169.1||113.8||48.6%||763.4||577.7||32.1%|
* Includes payment expenses and travel agency commissions.
Balance sheet highlights
- We currently have $41 million in share repurchase authority
|Total Allegiant Travel Company stockholders’ equity||$400.5||$351.5||14.0%|
|Year ended December 31,|
* Unrestricted cash includes investments in marketable securities.
At this time, Allegiant Travel Company provides the following guidance to investors, subject to revision.
|Guidance, subject to revision|
|Revenue guidance||January 2013||1Q13|
|Estimated PRASM year-over-year change||(13) to (11)%||(8) to (6)%|
|Fixed fee and other revenue guidance||1Q13|
|Fixed fee and other revenue (millions)||$4 to $6|
|Departure year-over-year growth||(8) to (4)%||(7) to (3)%|
|ASM year-over-year growth||+12 to 16%||+14 to 18%|
|Departure year-over-year growth||(2) to 2%||0 to 4%|
|ASM year-over-year growth||+15 to 19%||+19 to 23%|
|CASM ex fuel – year-over-year change||+1 to 3%|
|Capital expenditures (millions)||$150 to $160|
CASM ex fuel – cost per available seat mile excluding fuel expense
* Number of aircraft expected to be completed by end of the quarter
2013 aircraft fleet plan by end of quarter
|MD-80 (non 166*)||6||5||1||1|
* 166 refers to MD-80s that are expected to be converted to 166 seat aircraft, non 166 refers to those aircraft that will not be converted
Aircraft listed in table above are considered in service aircraft
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N416NV (msn 49555) is pictured arriving at the Las Vegas main hub.
Finnair (Helsinki) is expanding its cargo network. Finnair is opening a new Brussels base with routes radiating back to Helsinki as well as to New York (JFK) and Chicago (O’Hare) starting in March. UBM Aviation Routes Limited has issued this statement:
Finnair Cargo has successfully used Route Exchange, the online platform for air service development, to open a new Brussels base. In March 2013 Finnair Cargo will initiate weekly flights via its new Brussels hub, connecting the Belgian capital with Finnair’s Helsinki hub as well as New York JFK and new destination Chicago O’Hare. The network expansion follows a partnership during the latter months of 2012 with Routes’ Route Exchange business, part of Routesonline, where Finnair Cargo completed an extensive airport evaluation process to open the new Continental European destination.
This partnership has led directly to the placing of the carrier’s McDonnell Douglas MD-11F aircraft at Brussels Airport.
Read the full statement: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. The venerable McDonnell Douglas MD-11 freighter will continue to serve the company. The pictured MD-11 OH-LGC (msn 48512) was converted to a freighter for Finnair Cargo but was transferred to Nordic Global Airlines in September 2011. OH-LGC now longer wears these pictured markings. Nordic Global is partially owned by the Finnair Group and operates four MD-11Fs for Finnair Cargo and is likely to operate from the new Brussels base.
Aero Air (Hillsboro, OR) has acquired the Butler Aircraft (Redmond, OR) air tanker operation, including its three aging Douglas DC-7s, located at the Madras Airport, according to the Madras Pioneer. The new air tanker operation is now known as Erickson Aero Tanker. Seven former SAS McDonnell Douglas DC-9-87s (MD-87s) are being acquired and at least four will be converted to air tankers. This is a new use for the versatile DC-9.
The new name comes from co-owner Jack Erickson, who was the founder and former owner of Erickson Air-Crane.
The new company has been awarded the next generation air tanker contract by the U.S. Forest Service according to the article.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Formerly operated by Iberia as EC-FFA and SAS as SE-DMN, this McDonnell Douglas DC-9-87 (MD-87) is getting a new life as an air tanker. The airframe as been re-registered as N293EA and adopted the air tanker fleet number of 103 as seen at Goodyear, AZ.
ATI-Air Transport International (Little Rock and Toledo) is planning to retire its last McDonnell Douglas DC-8 from its operations in early 2013. Parent Air Transport Services Group is acquiring three Boeing 757-200 combi aircraft to replace the remaining four ATI DC-8s in early 2013 via Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM). ATSG issued this statement:
Air Transport Services Group, Inc. said its aircraft leasing subsidiary has reached agreement with National Air Cargo Group, Inc., for the purchase of three Boeing 757-200 aircraft that have been modified for combi (combined passenger and main-deck cargo) service.
ATSG said it anticipates that its subsidiary, Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM), will take delivery of one of the three 757 combi aircraft in December 2012, and the other two in early 2013.
Joe Hete, President and CEO of ATSG, said, “The purchase of these three 757 combis from National, plus the one 757 combi we already own, will complete our commitment to replace our four McDonnell-Douglas DC-8 combis with more modern fuel-efficient aircraft that better meet the requirements of our principal combi customer, the U.S. Military’s United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM). We look forward to providing USTRANSCOM with the improved operating performance and lower costs of the 757, as well as its greater passenger capacity. We are proud to be USTRANSCOM’s sole combi operator, serving primarily remote installations around the world that rely on the combi’s unique cargo and passenger transport capabilities.”
The 757 combis have a 34 percent lower fuel burn, ten more passenger seats and the same number of cargo pallet positions as the DC-8 combis they will replace. The combis will be owned by CAM and leased to and operated by ATSG’s airline subsidiary Air Transport International (ATI), under ATI’s contract with USTRANSCOM. Along with the three aircraft, CAM is also purchasing a spare 757-200 engine and some ancillary aircraft equipment from National.
As part of its fleet modernization program, prior to ATI’s latest combi contract award from USTRANSCOM that took effect in October 2012, CAM purchased a Boeing 757-200 for combi conversion. That aircraft is undergoing certification testing for the Federal Aviation Administration, and is due to complete that process and begin USTRANSCOM service early next year. All three of the National combis were designed and modified to meet or exceed the same FAA and USTRANSCOM requirements, including ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards) certification essential for service to USTRANSCOM’s combi destinations.
Upon the retirements of the four DC-8 combis, ATSG’s fleet will consist entirely of 757-200, 767-200 and 767-300 aircraft, all of which require only two crew members, and which share a common pilot type rating.
ATSG noted that, as a result of its decision to acquire one of the 757 combis in 2012, it has adjusted its previously disclosed guidance for aircraft-related capital expenditures in 2012 and 2013 to approximately $170 million and $95 million, respectively.
ATSG, through its leasing and airline subsidiaries, is the world’s largest owner and operator of converted Boeing 767 freighter aircraft. Through its principal subsidiaries, including three airlines with separate and distinct U.S. FAA Part 121 Air Carrier certificates, ATSG provides aircraft leasing, air cargo lift, aircraft maintenance services and airport ground services. ATSG’s subsidiaries include ABX Air, Inc.; Airborne Global Solutions, Inc.; Air Transport International, Inc.; Cargo Aircraft Management, Inc.; Capital Cargo International Airlines, Inc.; and Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services, Inc.
ATI Fleet Overview: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. McDonnell Douglas DC-8-73 (F) N602AL (msn 45991) arrives at Stansted Airport north of London.
FastJet (FastJet.com) (Dar es Salaam) is reportedly in talks with the interim liquidator about purchasing the assets of grounded 1time Aero (1time.co.za) (Johannesburg). If the talks are successful by the new operator, 1time would be restarted and rebrand as FastJet (South Africa). Eventually the aging 1time McDonnell Douglas fleet would be replaced with Airbus A319s if a deal can be concluded.
Read the full report from AllAfrica: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael Stappen. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) ZS-OPX (msn 53012) in the “More Nice. Less Price” scheme arrives at the Johannesburg base where the fleet is currently grounded.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) is adding new routes from Punta Gorda, Florida with initial twice-weekly service to Plattsburgh, NY (February 23), Rockford, IL (February 14) and Toledo, OH (February 16) per Airline Route.
The company is also launching twice-weekly service from Las Vegas to Reno on February 1 followed by Mesa (near Phoenix) to Provo, UT on February 15 also per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N892GA (msn 49826) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Scandinavian Airlines-SAS‘ (Stockholm) self-imposed deadline looms today ahead of its board meeting. The airline set the deadline with its unions to accept salary cuts up to 17 percent and job cuts from 15,000 to 9,000. So far the unions have not agreed to these drastic cuts according to this update by Reuters. SAS says it needs these cost reductions in order to compete with low-fare carriers such as Ryanair and Norwegian. Norwegian is planning lower-fare Boeing 787 trans-Atlantic flights for next summer.
The company has issued the following statement:
Intense negotiations have taken place over the past few days. Unfortunately no agreement with any of the unions has yet been reached. Negotiations are continuing, and as previously announced, there must be a solution before the SAS Board of Directors meets later today, Sunday. At the meeting, the Board will decide if the conditions for implementing the plan exist. Full implementation of the plan is a condition for the banks and the major owners to provide access to the necessary funding. Until the Board meets, intensive work will continue to reach an agreement on new collective agreements and thus to secure the future of SAS.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Update: On November 19 SAS announced it has obtained agreement from all of its unions for the new plan. The pilots union is subject to a ratification vote. The company issued the following statement on November 19:
8 of 8 new union agreements have been signed November 19 – The Danish Pilot Union Agreement is conditional upon approval by one third of its members.
4Excellence NG is targeting approximately 3 bn SEK of annual improvement from cost reductions and organizational restructuring and approximately 3 bn SEK increased liquidity from asset sales
New 3.5 bn SEK Revolving Credit Facility from Banks and Core Shareholders to secure financial preparedness conditional on final parliamentary approvals and approval of the Danish Pilot Union Agreement from one third of the members of the Danish Pilot Union.
On November 12 the Board of SAS approved the 4 Excellence Next Generation (4XNG) plan to address the issues facing SAS. The 4XNG plan will improve EBT by approximately 3 bn SEK on an annualized basis and improve the overall cost flexibility through:
· New union agreements for personnel
· Centralization of administration functions
· Reduction of compensation to market levels
· New pension terms
· Outsourcing of Call Centers and Ground Handling
SAS also communicated that it has reached a conditional agreement to increase its existing 3.1 bn SEK revolving credit facility to 3.5 bn SEK and extend the term of the facility to March 31, 2015.
This new revolving credit facility is being provided by seven current lenders and SAS’ core shareholders (The Kingdom of Denmark, the Swedish State, the Kingdom of Norway and KAW) on equal terms. The availability of this new revolving credit facility is subject to final documentation, parliamentary approval where required, and it is conditional on signed union agreements that are a central and integral part of the 4XNG plan.
The condition to have 8 union agreements signed have been fulfilled on November 19, 2012, subject to a ballot approval by one third of the members of the Danish Pilot Union to be finalized in the next few days. The availability of the new revolving credit facility is still subject to parliamentary approvals (where required).
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. The older and less fuel-efficient aircraft, like this McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) OY-KHM (msn 49914) landing at Geneva, will be phased out. SAS has a diverse fleet and will have to reduce the number of aircraft types it operates besides obtaining these drastic cuts from its personnel.
1time Aero (Johannesburg) ceased all operations and filed for liquidation on November 2, 2012. The low-fare airline cancelled all flights and stranded passengers. The company was unable to secure additional investors and capital.
Using the South African slang word of “1time”, meaning “for real”, 1time Aero (1time.co.za) launched its low-fare operations on February 25, 2004.
The airline issued the following statement:
1time Airline has applied for business liquidation (November 2, 2012) and that all of its operations have been grounded with immediate effect.
The business rescue practitioner has advised that there are no reasonable prospects of survival as a potential financier notified us this afternoon that they are no longer able to invest in our airline. It is therefore with the utmost regret, disappointment and heartfelt disbelief that we have to file for liquidation, which means the end of a dream and an era for all of us.
“I sincerely thank our employees who worked so hard over the years to drive 1time.s business, the travel trade who have been steadfast in their support, and our passengers who carried and maintained 1time during our most difficult and trying financial times, your loyalty is appreciated.
Although 1time ceases to exist, the airline that we’ve built up through blood, sweat, tears and undeniable passion, will live on in the hearts of our passengers and also our competitors, who know that they have lost a formidable and world-class player in the low cost market.”
Blacky Komani (1time Group CEO)
1time’s Business Rescue practitioners will be in contact with creditors and future passengers to finalise all outstanding matters.
Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten. 1time had some very unique color schemes. In July 2010 1time Aero (1time.co.za) introduced this special “zebra” logojet to celebrate the launching of the new route to Livingston. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) ZS-SKB (msn 49966) approaches the Johannesburg hub for landing.
UPS-United Parcel Service (UPS Airlines) (Atlanta) reported yesterday (October 23) on its third quarter financial results. Here is the statement by the company:
UPS) has announced third quarter 2012 adjusted diluted earnings per share of $1.06. The International segment led the way with its highest third quarter in history generating $449 million in operating profit, up 7.7% over the prior-year period. UPS updated its full-year 2012 guidance for adjusted diluted earnings per share to a range of $4.55 to $4.65, reflecting greater confidence in fourth quarter execution.
On a reported basis, third quarter 2012 earnings per share were $0.48. In August, the company announced a decision to restructure pension liabilities for certain employees. As a result, UPS recorded an after-tax, non-cash charge of $559 million during the quarter.
“Our results were achieved in an environment of slowing global trade and changing market dynamics,” said Scott Davis, UPS chairman and CEO. “This not only highlights the flexibility of our business model; it illustrates the breadth of the UPS product portfolio in meeting the needs of customers.”
|Average volume per day||
|Diluted earnings per share||
During the quarter, UPS delivered 15.5 million packages per day, a 2.9% increase over the prior-year period.
For the nine months ending Sept. 30, UPS generated free cash flow in excess of $3.6 billion. The company repurchased 18.5 million shares for approximately $1.4 billion and paid dividends totaling $1.6 billion, a 9.6% increase per share over the prior year.
Capitalizing on credit market conditions, during the quarter UPS issued $1.75 billion of debt. Proceeds will be used to pay notes that mature in January 2013. The company ended the period with $9.0 billion in cash and marketable securities. The primary uses of these funds will be the acquisition of TNT Express and debt repayment.
|U.S. Domestic Package||
|Average volume per day||
U.S. Domestic revenue increased $94 million over the prior-year period, driven by a 3.7% gain in daily package volume. Adjusted operating profit declined $21 million, impacted negatively by one less operating day and the timing of the fuel surcharge.
On a reported basis, operating profit was $129 million as a result of the pension restructuring previously mentioned.
Rapid e-commerce growth drove gains in daily volume, with Ground and Deferred up 3.0% and 9.3%, respectively. Next Day Air volume expanded 5.7% over the prior-year period, as retailers continued to utilize UPS Next Day Air Saver to differentiate their offerings.
Base rate improvements were more than offset by lower fuel surcharges, and changes in product and customer mix. Consequently, revenue per package declined 0.8% from the same quarter last year.
|Average volume per day||
The International segment produced operating profit of $449 million, its highest third quarter ever. Operating margin was up 170 basis points over the prior-year period to 15.3%. Export package growth, network changes and currency translation contributed to this improvement.
Revenue declined 3.7%, as the impact from lower fuel surcharges and currency exceeded the benefit from the 1.2% growth in daily Export volume.
For the first time in several quarters, Asia exhibited growth in Export package volume, benefitting from product launches and easier comparisons. Although the rate of growth in Europe has slowed, it remained positive.
Supply Chain and Freight
Operating margin for the Supply Chain and Freight segment remained strong at 8.3%. Operating profit was down $15 million, as declines in Forwarding were partially offset by improvement in UPS Freight.
The Freight Forwarding unit was pressured by overcapacity in the market, especially out of Asia. Revenue decreased as lower yields offset modest tonnage gains.
Although the Distribution unit experienced strong revenue growth, investments in healthcare capabilities and infrastructure weighed on margin expansion. Recently, UPS opened three new healthcare distribution facilities in Sydney, Australia and in Shanghai and Hangzhou, China.
UPS Freight revenue increased 3.6% as shipments per day were up slightly. LTL revenue per hundredweight and gross weight hauled improved over the prior year period, resulting in operating margin expansion.
“UPS performance this quarter reflects the ability of our global network to adapt to soft macro conditions,” said Kurt Kuehn, UPS chief financial officer.
“While there is some uncertainty around the magnitude of the holiday shopping season, we are confident in UPS’s ability to deliver,” Kuehn continued. “As a result, we enhanced our guidance by narrowing the range, maintaining our previous midpoint. We anticipate 2012 adjusted diluted earnings per share to be within a range of $4.55 to $4.65, an increase of 5%-to-7% over 2011 adjusted results.”
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. McDonnell Douglas MD-11 (F) N292UP (msn 48566) completes its final approach into Tokyo (Narita).
Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) is planning to operate the last McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) revenue flight on October 27 per Airline Route. The last trip will be a round-trip Rome (Fiumicino)-Catania-Milan (Linate)-Catania-Rome (Fiumicino) routing.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) I-DATI (msn 53218) taxies at Palma de Mallorca.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) will launch twice-weekly service between the Las Vegas hub and Plattsburgh, New York starting on December 19 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N405NV (msn 49623) decorated in the Blue Man Group climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Japan Airlines-JAL (Tokyo) is planning to phase out its last McDonnell Douglas MD-90. The pictured MD-90-30 JA8070 (msn 53358) is the only MD-90 in the JAL fleet to be repainted in the new 2011 Crane livery. JA8070 was repainted in October 2012. The last six MD-90s will be phased out by March 2013 and will be sold to Delta Air Lines. The airliner is pictured taxiing out to runway 05 at Tokyo (Haneda) as flight JL1883 bound for Miyazaki.
Copyright Photo: Akira Uekawa.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and the Allied Pilots Association (APA), representing the the AA pilots, went back to the negotiating table yesterday. The pilots have been working without a contract.
Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) N7531A (msn 49923) climbs away from Los Angeles International Airport.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) will start two new routes from Mesa, Arizona (west Phoenix) in December. Twice-weekly Mesa-Oakland service will be added on December 15 followed by twice-weekly Mesa-Casper, Wyoming service on December 20 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: McDonnell Douglas MD-88 N414NV (msn 49766) taxies at Los Angeles International Airport.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has sent notices to more than 11,000 employees they could lose their jobs as part of its Chapter 11bankruptcy reorganization according to this report by Reuters. AA is also cutting flights by one to two percent for the rest of September and October.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) N411AA (msn 49322) arrives at Las Vegas. More DC-9-82s and DC-9-83s are likely to be retired.
Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) has reached an agreement with an unknown party (Allegiant Air?) that if fully implemented, will retire the remaining DC-9-82/87 (MD-80) fleet.
The company issued the following statement today:
“SAS continues to renew its aircraft fleet and has signed an agreement to sell four DC-9-82/DC-9-87 (MD-82/87) aircraft. The purchaser also has an option on a further 19 MD-82s and 10 spare engines from SAS. Assuming that the option is exercised, this will complete the phase-out of the SAS MD-80 aircraft fleet, which was one of the largest in the world in the mid-1990s, with over 70 aircraft in use.
The first MD-80 aircraft in this sale was delivered on September 11, 2012, and the remaining three aircraft will be delivered during Q4 2012. The aircraft and the engines covered by the option will be delivered, if the option is exercised, on a gradual basis from Q1 2013 to Q1 2015.”
Copyright Photo: Nik French. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-87 (MD-87) OY-KHU (msn 5336) in the special Denmark UEFA Euro 2012 National Team markings arrives at Manchester.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) has announced it will launch twice-weekly service from Mesa, Arizona (near Phoenix) to St. Cloud, MN on December 15. Delta dropped service to St. Cloud (to MSP) in December 2009.
Read the full report from MPR News: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Allegiant also operates the McDonnell Douglas DC-9-87 (MD-87), mainly for charter flights. The short-fuselage type will be retired in 2013.
Allegiant Air‘s (Las Vegas) pilots have selected the Teamsters to represent them. The company issued the following statement:
Allegiant has received notification from the National Mediation Board (NMB) that employees voting in the pilot election have chosen to be represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT).
“Allegiant respects the right of the pilot group to elect third-party representation, and we will work with the IBT to the best interests of both our employees and the Company,” Maurice J. Gallagher, Jr., Allegiant CEO and Chairman, said. “Contract negotiations can be a lengthy process and we do not anticipate any disruptions to our business or operations.”
Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N868GA (msn 49554) prepares to taxi from the gate at Long Beach.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) has announced new twice-weekly service between Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Sanford, Florida (near Orlando) starting on October 31.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N420NV (msn 49424) completes its final approach at Los Angeles.