Southwest Airlines (Dallas) reported third quarter 2010 net income of $205 million, or $.27 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $16 million, or $.02 loss per diluted share, for third quarter 2009. Both years’ results included special items related to non-cash, mark-to-market, and other items associated with a portion of the Company’s fuel hedge portfolio. Excluding special items for both periods, third quarter 2010 net income was a third quarter Company record of $195 million, or $.26 per diluted share, compared to $31 million, or $.04 per diluted share, for third quarter 2009. This exceeded Thomson’s First Call mean estimate of $.25 per diluted share for third quarter 2010.
Third quarter 2010 unit costs, excluding special items, increased 7.1 percent from third quarter 2009, largely due to the 11.7 percent increase in economic fuel costs to $2.38 per gallon. Third quarter 2010 economic fuel costs included $56 million, or $0.15 per gallon, in unfavorable cash settlements for fuel derivative contracts. As of October 15th, the Company had derivative contracts in place for approximately 40 percent of its estimated fourth quarter 2010 fuel consumption at varying crude-equivalent prices up to approximately $95 per barrel; approximately 10 percent if market prices settle in the $95 to $120 per barrel range; and approximately 30 percent if market prices exceed $120 per barrel. Based on this fuel hedge position and market prices (as of October 15th), the Company estimates economic fuel costs, including fuel taxes, for fourth quarter 2010 will be in the $2.45 to $2.50 per gallon range.
For 2011, the Company has derivative contracts in place for approximately 65 percent of its estimated fuel consumption at varying crude-equivalent prices up to approximately $90 per barrel; approximately 55 percent if market prices settle in the $90 to $95 per barrel range; approximately 30 percent if market prices settle in the $95 to $105 per barrel range; and approximately 55 percent if market prices exceed $105 per barrel. Beyond 2011, the Company has coverage of approximately 60 percent of its estimated fuel consumption in 2012; approximately 50 percent in 2013; and approximately 45 percent in 2014, all at varying price levels. The total market value (as of October 15th) of the Company’s net fuel derivative contracts for the remainder of 2010 through 2014 reflects a net liability of approximately $90 million.
Excluding fuel and special items in both periods, third quarter 2010 unit costs increased 5.1 percent from third quarter 2009, which was better than anticipated primarily due to lower than expected advertising and Employee benefit costs. Excluding profitsharing and special items in both periods, third quarter 2010 nonfuel unit costs increased 2.5 percent compared to third quarter last year. Based on current cost trends, the Company expects its fourth quarter 2010 nonfuel unit costs to increase from fourth quarter last year.
On September 27th, Southwest Airlines announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of AirTran Holdings, Inc., the parent company of AirTran Airways (AirTran), for a combination of cash and Southwest Airlines’ common stock. The acquisition will significantly expand Southwest Airlines’ low-fare service to many more customers in many more domestic markets, creating hundreds of additional low-fare itineraries for the traveling public, more than what Southwest or AirTran could otherwise provide on a stand-alone basis, particularly in and out of Atlanta, Georgia. Moreover, the expansion of low fares should generate hundreds of millions in annual savings to consumers.
Based on an economic analysis by Campbell-Hill Aviation Group, LLP, Southwest Airlines’ more expansive low-fare service at Atlanta, alone, has the potential to stimulate over two million new passengers and over $200 million in consumer savings, annually. These savings would be created from the new low-fare competition that Southwest Airlines would be able to provide as a result of the acquisition, expanding the well-known “Southwest Effect’” of reducing fares and stimulating new passenger traffic wherever it flies.
The closing of the proposed acquisition is subject to the approval of AirTran stockholders, receipt of Department of Justice (DOJ) and certain other regulatory clearances, and fulfillment of customary closing conditions. The Company has met its required filing deadline with the DOJ in compliance with the terms of its agreement with AirTran and has begun the integration planning process.
The proposed transaction is expected to yield net annual synergies of more than $400 million by 2013. Excluding one-time acquisition and integration costs estimated to be between $300 million and $500 million, the transaction is also expected to be accretive to Southwest’s fully-diluted earnings per share in the first year following the close of the transaction, and strongly accretive, thereafter, upon full realization of the estimated net synergies. The Company currently expects to close the transaction in the first half of 2011.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Please click on the photo for additional details.
JetBlue Airways Corporation (New York) reported its results for the third quarter 2010:
Operating income for the quarter was $140 million, resulting in a 13.6% operating margin. This compares to operating income of $66 million and a 7.7% operating margin in the third quarter of 2009.
Pre-tax income for the quarter was $97 million. This compares to pre-tax income of $23 million in the third quarter of 2009.
Net income for the third quarter was $59 million, or $0.18 per diluted share. This compares to JetBlue’s third quarter 2009 net income of $15 million, or $0.05 per diluted share.
Copyright Photo: Eric Dunetz. Please click on photo for additional details for this new logojet.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) yesterday (October 21) connected its Detroit hub and South America for the first time, with new nonstop service to Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The inaugural flight departed from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport at 7:30 p.m., arriving in Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport at 8 a.m. today.
Service will operate twice weekly through December 15, when it will increase to five days each week to coincide with the start of the Brazilian tourist season.
In recent months Delta has added new service from Detroit to Seoul-Incheon and Hong Kong and expanded flights to Shanghai. Next year, Delta will begin nonstop service between Detroit and Haneda Airport in Tokyo, which will open for trans-Pacific flights for the first time in three decades.
On a year-round basis, Delta offers Detroit customers service to 158 nonstop destinations, including 28 international destinations and five in Asia.
The Sao Paulo flights will be operated with 216-seat Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft, with 35 BusinessElite seats and 181 seats in Economy Class.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Please click on the photo for additional details.
Alaska Air Group, Inc. (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) reported record third quarter 2010 net income of $122.4 million, or $3.32 per diluted share, compared to net income of $87.6 million, or $2.46 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2009. Excluding mark-to-market fuel hedge gains of $16.7 million ($10.4 million after tax or $0.28 per diluted share) and Horizon restructuring and CRJ-700 transition charges of $9.8 million ($6.1 million after tax or $0.17 per diluted share), the company reported record adjusted net income of $118.1 million, or $3.21 per diluted share, compared to net income of $83.0 million, or $2.33 per share, excluding special items in the third quarter of 2009.
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. Please click on photo for additional details.
AirTran Airways Boeing 717-231 N932AT (msn 55073) (Milwaukee Brewers) BWI (Tony Storck), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
AirTran Airways (Orlando) at the Air Line Pilots Association Int’l (ALPA), representing the pilots of AirTran Airways, have reached a tentative agreement after more than five years of contract negotiations. The agreement represents the first contract for AirTran pilots since they joined ALPA in 2009.
The terms of the tentative agreement establish the foundation for a fair and equitable contract. Details of the settlement will not be released to the public until approved by the AirTran Master Executive Council (MEC) and ratified by AirTran pilots. If the pilot representatives on the AirTran MEC give their approval, a membership ratification vote will take place in November.
AirTran has agreed to be acquired by Southwest Airlines and is awaiting shareholder and regulatory approval for the buyout.
On the financial side, AirTran Holdings, Inc., the parent company of AirTran Airways, Inc., today reported a net profit of $36.3 million or $0.22per diluted share for the third quarter of 2010. During the quarter, the Company reported operating income of $56.7 million.
Included in these third quarter results is a non-operating gain on derivative financial instruments of $15.3 million. This non-operating gain on derivative financial instruments was largely attributable to unrealized increases in the fair value of our future fuel-related derivative assets. During the same period in 2009, AirTran Airways reported net income of $10.4 million, and diluted earnings per common share of $0.08. Included in our third quarter 2009 results is a non-operating loss on derivative financial instruments of $10.3 million. The Company ended the third quarter with $424.5 million in unrestricted cash and the Company’s revolving line of credit remains undrawn.
During this period, the Company also achieved an all-time record for traffic (revenue passenger miles), and second highest load factor in Company history. AirTran Airways also established record setting operational metrics during the quarter, including the highest ever performance in on-time arrivals at 83.4 percent. In July alone, AirTran Airways served more than 2.4 million customers and achieved a load factor in excess of 88 percent. The Company continued to rank among the top of the industry in completion factor, mishandled baggage rate and the number of customer complaints the Department of Transportation receives.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Please click on photo for further details.
Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-7H4 WL N918WN (msn 29843) (Illinois One) SEA (Nick Dean), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) is coming to the Palmetto State! Today, Southwest announced it will begin service to/from Charleston International Airport (CHS) and Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (GSP) on March 13, 2011.
In Charleston, the carrier will operate seven daily nonstop flights to four destinations: three to Baltimore/Washington, two to Chicago Midway, one to Nashville, and one to Houston Hobby. Southwest Airlines will operate from gate B5 in Charleston’s main terminal.
In Greenville-Spartanburg (near Charlotte), the airline will begin service with seven daily nonstop flights to five destinations: two to Baltimore/Washington, two to Chicago Midway, one to Nashville, one to Houston Hobby, and one to Orlando. Southwest Airlines will operate from gates A3 and A4 in Greenville-Spartanburg’s main terminal.
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. Please click on the photo for additional details.
US Airways Boeing 757-2B7 WL N936UW (msn 27244) (Star Alliance) SEA (Nick Dean), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
US Airways Group, Inc. (Phoenix) today reported its third quarter financial results. On a GAAP basis, the Company reported a net profit of $240 million for its third quarter 2010, or $1.22 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of ($80) million, or ($0.60) per share, for the same period in 2009. The $240 million net profit is the highest third quarter net profit in the Company’s history.
Excluding special items of $3 million, net profit for the third quarter 2010 was $243 million, or $1.23 per diluted share. Net loss excluding special items for the third quarter 2009 was ($110) million, or ($0.83) per share.
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. Please click on photo for additional details.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today reported financial results for the September 2010 quarter. Key points include:
Delta’s net income for the September 2010 quarter was $929 million, or $1.10 per diluted share, excluding special items. This is an $878 million improvement year over year.
Delta’s GAAP net income was $363 million, or $0.43 per diluted share, for the September 2010 quarter.
Results include $185 million in profit sharing expense, in recognition of Delta employees’ achievements toward meeting the company’s financial targets, bringing total profit sharing expense for the year to date to $275 million.
Delta executed $750 million in debt reduction and delevering initiatives during the quarter and ended the September 2010 quarter with $5.5 billion in unrestricted liquidity.
Delta recorded special items totaling a $566 million charge in the September 2010 quarter, including:
$360 million in primarily non-cash loss on extinguishment of debt;
$153 million in costs related to the Comair fleet reduction; and
$53 million in merger-related expenses.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Please click on the photo for additional details.
JetBlue Airways’ (New York-JFK) departs from JFK International Airport today.
AIRLINE POLL: Which NFL team would you like to see as a logojet? Take our new AIRLINE POLL:
Copyright Photo: Eric Dunetz. Click on photo for more details.
JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N569JB (msn 2075) (10th Anniversary) PHL (Tony Storck), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
JetBlue Airways (New York) today (October 15) will debut a new marketing campaign. According to the airline: “The campaign is designed to position the iconic brand as a continued leader well into its second decade of operations. The campaign features the introduction of a newly articulated JetBlue brand promise – You Above All – a restatement of JetBlue’s commitment to putting people first that was founded on the company’s original and ongoing mission to bring humanity back to air travel.”
You Above All is designed to shine a light on the airline’s key competitive differences and to celebrate its crewmembers’ long-standing efforts to provide a superior travel experience – an experience that has been lauded as JetBlue has grown, over the past ten years, from its New York roots to now serve 61 cities in 12 countries throughout the Americas.
“In so many ways, this exciting new marketing campaign speaks to the core of who we are as a brand,” said Marty St. George, senior vice president of marketing and commercial strategy at JetBlue. “You Above All is authentic. It’s transparent. It’s understandable. Quite simply, it’s very JetBlue. As we move into our second decade of service, You Above All underscores our commitment to always put people first, to bring humanity back to air travel. That’s a message we can all relate to, whether we take to the skies once a year or once a week.”
The campaign, the first that JetBlue has developed in partnership with its new advertising and media agency-of-record Mullen, features a comprehensive mix of media including online, social media, in-flight, print, and out-of-home components.
The online portion features a series of hidden camera scenarios called Ground Rules. The unscripted videos point out the shortcomings of much of the airline industry by bringing other airlines’ service policies and procedures to light on the ground. They feature real people in real situations being deprived of things they’ve come to expect, such as legroom in a taxi, a full can of soda from a street vendor and free luggage storage in the trunk of a taxi. The videos will debut in a YouTube homepage takeover on Friday.
You Above All creative uses a colorful, modern, simple illustration style to depict travelers, the airline’s key product and service offerings, and its destinations. A key element of the creative is what the airline has dubbed “I-People,” a visual representation of the brand’s focus on humanity, that are used to create a flexible, identifiable look that is significantly different from other carriers.
In a first for JetBlue, the airline will also take advantage of so-called “Monster Media” technology in Boston, Los Angeles and New York. These interactive billboards respond to the motion of consumers passing by them, to create an animated experience which literally places consumers in the airline’s advertising.
The campaign includes a series of call-outs explaining JetBlue’s superior service offering, including the following lines:
“Overpack. Underpay. First bag flies for free.”
“Mix business with legroom. The most legroom in coach.”
“Room. With a view. The most legroom in coach and free DIRECTV®.”
“Someone has to stand-up for tall people. The most legroom in coach.”
“Our standards beat their extras. Unlimited brand-name snacks and soft drinks.”
You can view and download examples of the creative on the following site:
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Airbus A320-232 N569JB (msn 2075) in the special 10th Anniversary scheme soars high at Philadelphia.
United Continental Holdings, Inc. (Chicago), formerly UAL Corporation, announced today (October 1) that a wholly owned subsidiary has merged with Continental Airlines, Inc., and that Continental Airlines and United Air Lines, Inc. are now wholly owned subsidiaries of United Continental Holdings, Inc., creating a world-class global airline. Today, the common stock of United Continental Holdings, Inc. begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol UAL.
United Continental Holdings, Inc. also announced the members of its board of directors, effective Oct. 1, 2010. The 16-member board includes six independent directors from each of United and Continental, Glenn Tilton, who will serve as non-executive chairman of the board, and Jeff Smisek, who will serve as president and chief executive officer. The independent directors are Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, Carolyn Corvi, W. James Farrell, Jane C. Garvey, Walter Isaacson, Henry L. Meyer III, Oscar Munoz, James J. O’Connor, Laurence E. Simmons, David J. Vitale, John H. Walker and Charles A. Yamarone. Additionally, the board has two union directors: Stephen R. Canale and Captain Wendy J. Morse.
With approximately $9 billion in unrestricted cash at closing, United expects the merger will deliver $1.0 billion to $1.2 billion in net annual synergies by 2013, including between $800 million and $900 million of incremental annual revenue, from expanded customer options resulting from the greater scope and scale of the network, fleet optimization and expanded service enabled by the broader network of the combined carrier. On a pro-forma basis, the combined company would have annual revenues of $31.4 billion, based on results for the 12 months ending June 30, 2010.
Continental and United, operating under United Continental Holdings, Inc., will immediately begin the work to fully integrate the two companies. In the near term, customers can expect to interact with each carrier as they always have. Customers flying on Continental will continue to check in at continental.com, or at Continental kiosks and ticket counters, and to be assisted by Continental employees, and customers flying on United will continue to check in at united.com or at United kiosks or ticket counters, and to be assisted by United employees. Customers will continue to earn and redeem frequent-flier miles through the respective loyalty programs of Continental and United until those programs are combined. The company expects that travelers will begin to see a more unified product in the spring of 2011, as the carriers integrate key customer service and marketing activities to deliver a more seamless product.
The new company’s corporate and operational headquarters will be in Chicago, with a significant presence in Houston, the company’s largest hub. As a result of the merger, Continental shareholders will receive 1.05 shares of United Continental Holdings, Inc. common stock for each share of Continental common stock previously held. UAL Corporation shareholders will now own approximately 55% of the equity of the holding company and former Continental shareholders will now own approximately 45%, including in-the-money convertible securities on an as-converted basis.
On its last day (September 30), Continental reached a tentative agreement with its Flight Attendants. The company announced yesterday it has reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) representing Continental flight attendants. The IAM is expected to hold a ratification vote in the coming weeks.
The agreement covers approximately 9,300 Continental flight attendants located throughout the United States.
American Airlines Boeing 767-323 ER N395AN (msn 29432) (Oneworld) MIA (Arnd Wolf), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
American Airlines and American Eagle Airlines (Dallas/Worth) are cutting service to seven cities from the San Juan hub effective on April 6, 2011. The total number of flights will drop from 58 to 41 daily flights.
Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf. Boeing 767-323 ER N395AN (msn 29432) approaches runway 9 at Miami for landing.
AirTran Airways Boeing 717-2BD N949AT (msn 55003) (Orlando Magic) FLL (Dave Campbell), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) announced today (September 27) that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of AirTran Holdings, Inc. (Orlando), the parent company of AirTran Airways (Orlando), for a combination of cash and Southwest Airlines’ common stock.
At Southwest Airlines’ closing stock price of $12.28 on September 24, 2010, the transaction values AirTran common stock at $7.69 per share, or approximately $1.4 billion in the aggregate, including AirTran’s outstanding convertible notes. This represents a premium of 69 percent over the September 24, 2010 closing price of AirTran stock. Under the agreement, each share of AirTran common stock will be exchanged for $3.75 in cash and 0.321 shares of Southwest Airlines’ common stock, subject to certain adjustments, based on Southwest Airlines’ share price prior to closing. Including the existing AirTran net indebtedness and capitalized aircraft operating leases, the transaction value is approximately $3.4 billion.
The agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of each company, and closing is subject to the approval of AirTran stockholders, receipt of certain regulatory clearances, and fulfillment of customary closing conditions.
The acquisition will significantly expand Southwest Airlines’ low-fare service to many more Customers in many more domestic markets (especially the mega hub at Atlanta), creating hundreds of additional low-fare itineraries for the traveling public. Moreover, the expansion of low fares should generate hundreds of millions in annual savings to consumers. Based on an economic analysis by Campbell-Hill Aviation Group, LLP*, Southwest Airlines’ more expansive low-fare service at Atlanta, alone, has the potential to stimulate over two million new passengers and over $200 million in consumer savings, annually. These savings would be created from the new low-fare competition that Southwest Airlines would be able to provide as a result of the acquisition, expanding the well-known “Southwest Effect’” of reducing fares and stimulating new passenger traffic wherever it flies.
AirTran revenues and operating income, excluding special items, for the twelve months ending June 30, 2010, were $2.5 billion and $128 million, respectively. Southwest Airlines revenues and operating income, excluding special items, for the twelve months ending June 30, 2010, were $11.2 billion and $843 million, respectively. The proposed transaction, including the anticipated benefit of net synergies, but excluding the impact of one-time acquisition and integration costs, is expected to be accretive to Southwest Airlines pro forma fully-diluted earnings per share in the first year after the close of the transaction and strongly accretive thereafter. Net annual synergies are expected to exceed $400 million by 2013. One-time costs related to the acquisition and integration of AirTran are expected to be in the range of $300 million to $500 million.
As of June 30, 2010, the combined unrestricted cash and short-term investments of the two companies was $3.7 billion. Southwest Airlines intends to fund approximately $670 million in cash consideration for the transaction out of cash on hand. Since June 30, Southwest’s cash and short-term investments balance has increased from $3.1 billion to $3.3 billion. In addition, Southwest Airlines has a fully available, unsecured revolving credit facility of $600 million.
Based on current operations, the combined organization would have nearly 43,000 Employees and serve more than 100 million Customers annually from more than 100 different airports in the U.S. and near-international destinations. In addition, the combined carriers’ all-Boeing fleet consisting of 685 active aircraft would include 401 Boeing 737-700s, 173 Boeing 737-300s, 25 Boeing 737-500s, and 86 Boeing 717s, with an average age of approximately 10 years, one of the youngest fleets in the industry. Southwest Airlines also announced, previously, that it is evaluating the opportunity to introduce the Boeing 737-800 into its domestic network to complement its current fleet, providing opportunities for longer-haul flying and service to high-demand, slot-controlled, or gate-restricted markets. This acquisition supports Southwest Airlines’ evaluation of the Boeing 737-800.
Until closing, Southwest Airlines and AirTran will continue to operate as independent companies. After closing, Bob Fornaro will continue to be involved in the integration of the two companies. Southwest Airlines plans to integrate AirTran into the Southwest Airlines Brand by transitioning the AirTran fleet to the Southwest Airlines livery, developing a consistent Customer Experience, and consolidating corporate functions into its Dallas headquarters. Subject to receipt of necessary approvals, Southwest Airlines’ integration plans include transitioning the operations of the two carriers to a Single Operating Certificate. Plans for existing AirTran facilities will be developed by integration teams and decisions will be announced at appropriate times. The carriers’ frequent-flyer programs will be combined over time, as well.
Copyright Photo: Dave Campbell. Southwest Airlines will become a new operator of the Boeing 717. Both companies are very supportive of logojets and special promotions. 717-2BD N949AT (msn 55003) in the Orlando Magic motif taxies to the runway at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood.
AirTran Airways (Orlando) yesterday (September 24) flew the Georgia State University (GSU) football team from Atlanta to Raleigh-Durham, NC, to take on the Campbell University Fighting Camels today. This flight marked another milestone for the fledging, first-year football program, the first charter flight to an away game.
The team flew aboard on Boeing 737-7BD N288AT (msn 33924) equipped with Wi-Fi, Business Class, XM Satellite Radio and a specially-designed GSU Panthers logo on each side of the nose.
GSU will use the low-cost leader once again during this inaugural season for the game against Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.
JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N645JB (msn 2900) (Jetting to T5) FLL (Bruce Drum), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
JetBlue Airways (New York-JFK) and ViaSat Inc. announced their intent to create a new inflight broadband for commercial aviation, using ViaSat’s innovative high-capacity satellite technology.
ViaSat and JetBlue have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the provision of in-flight broadband access and other services for customers on JetBlue’s fleet of more than 160 aircraft using ViaSat advanced Ka-band satellites. Under the arrangement, ViaSat will provide Ka-band antenna components and SurfBeam®2 modems for installation on the airline’s Embraer ERJ 190 and Airbus A320 aircraft types along with two-way transmission bandwidth services using the WildBlue-1 and high-capacity ViaSat-1 satellites. JetBlue subsidiary, LiveTV LLC, will manage the integration of the ViaSat broadband and related components onboard the aircraft as well as providing the Wi-Fi enabled services into the overall cabin experience.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Airbus A320-232 N645JB (msn 2900) climbs away from runway 27R at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood.
Air China Boeing 737-89L WL B-5198 (msn 36491) (Peony) PEK (Sam Chui), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Air China (Beijing) today (September 22) launched a new route from Chengdu to Tokyo (Narita). Flights are available on Wednesdays and Saturdays. With the flight number CA423/4, the flights depart from Chengdu Shuangliu Airport at 8:00 a.m. (0800) and arrive at Tokyo Narita Airport at 1:40 p.m. (1340) local time. The return flights depart from Tokyo Narita Airport at 2:50 p.m. (1450) and arrive at Chengdu Shuangliu Airport at 7:20 p.m. (1920) local time.
Previously, Air China launched three routes from Chengdu to Japan, including the Chengdu-Beijing-Tokyo and Chengdu-Shanghai-Nagoya routes with flights available daily, and the Chengdu-Dalian-Osaka route with three flights available every week.
Copyright Photo: Sam Chui. Boeing 737-89L B-5198 (msn 36491) in the beautiful “Peony” color scheme departs from Beijing.
Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-890 WL N596AS (msn 35688) (Follow Apolo) LAX (James Helbock), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) yesterday (September 20) launched daily service between Portland, OR, and Honolulu. The airline already flies between Portland and Kahului, Maui, and will begin service between Portland and Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii, on November 12, 2010.
Copyright Photo: James Helbock. Boeing 737-890 N596AS (msn 35688) approaches Los Angeles for landing.
Horizon Air (Seattle/Tacoma) and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) jointly announced that, with the assistance of federal mediation, they have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract for the airline’s 673 pilots.
The IBT expects to be ready to present the details of the agreement to Horizon’s pilots by late October. The ratification vote would take place immediately following.
Horizon’s pilot contract became amendable in September 2006. After years of negotiations, in January 2010 both Horizon and the IBT requested federal mediation to work through the remaining open items. In June, an agreement in principle was reached, and the negotiation teams spent the subsequent months finalizing the details.
Per federal law, airline contracts don’t expire. An existing contract remains in effect after the amendable date until a new contract is agreed to by the negotiating teams and ratified by represented members.
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. Certainly one of the most colorful liveries is the “Celebrating 25 Years” introduced on June 20, 2006. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N425QX (msn 4039) is pictured on final approach at the SeaTac hub.
AirTran Airways (Orlando) today announced several new flights to Ft. Myers. The airline also announced additional service to Las Vegas.
AirTran Airways will offer flights to Ft. Myers from Bloomington/Normal, IL (starting on March 9, 2011), Buffalo/Niagara Falls, NY (starting on March 8, 2011), Moline/Quad Cities, IL (starting on March 8, 2011), and Rochester, NY 9starting on November 20, 2010).
In addition to the new Ft. Myers flights, AirTran Airways is also adding service from Indianapolis to Las Vegas, five times a week, starting on March 10, 2011.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Boeing 717-231 N925AT (msn 55079) in the special “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” promotional scheme prepares to land at Baltimore/Washington.
Privilege Style Lineas Aereas (Madrid) is now using its Boeing 757-256 EC-HDS (msn 26252) to help promote the launch of VW’s Amarok Caddy in Austria.
Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-DCL (msn 33806) (Dreamliner colors) BLQ (Lucio Alfieri), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Ryanair (Dublin) which pulled out of negotiations with Boeing for 200 aircraft, is back in the news with its CEO (Michael O’Leary) saying the company may be in the market this time for up to 300 aircraft (assuming the price is right).
Read the full report from Reuters:
Copyright Photo: Lucio Alfieri. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DCL (msn 33806) visits Bologna in the Boeing colors.
US Airways Airbus A319-112 N733UW (msn 1205) (Pittsburgh Steelers) CLT (Bruce Drum), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
The US Airline Pilots Association (USAPA), representing the pilots of US Airways (Phoenix) are picketing at the Philadelphia International Airport today (September 8) to bring attention to what it believes to be US Airways’ deliberate efforts to drag out contract negotiations since 2005, while benefiting from paying its pilots the lowest wages among the major airlines.
In September 2005, US Airways and America West Airlines announced a merger of the two carriers. In USAPA’s view, that attempt at consolidation has not gone smoothly.
Because of the separate pilot contracts, US Airways is really two airlines (East and West) operating under the same brand but the flight crews and aircraft are not mixed.
According to the union, the US Airways pilots entered contract negotiations with management in November 2005 under the terms of a Transition Agreement at the time of the US Airways-America West merger. In April 2009, USAPA requested a National Mediation Board (NMB) facilitator to assist the parties in reaching an agreement, but US Airways rejected that proposal. In November 2009, USAPA applied directly to the NMB for federally-mediated talks. The NMB granted that request in January 2010. NMB-mediated contract negotiations are currently ongoing.
USAPA believes that, should US Airways management fail to adequately address the pilots’ concerns, contract talks could reach an impasse and end in a self-help situation.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Belonging to the East fleet, Airbus A319-112 N733UW (msn 1205), dressed in the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers brand, taxies to the runway at Charlotte. The NFL begins a new football season on September 9.
Comair (Cincinnati) is planning to cut one half of its existing fleet and the corresponding jobs according to this article in Cincinnati.com. Comair will also close its New York (JFK) crew base.
Read the full report:
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. This Bombardier CRJ100 (CL-600-2B19) N729CA (msn 7265) once proudly proclaimed its hometown CVG hub and city. Times have changed for the subsidiary of Delta Air Lines.
JetBlue Airways (New York-JFK) plans to continue growing its focus city at Boston’s Logan International Airport with new daily nonstop service to Newark, beginning in early May 2011. JetBlue will operate four daily flights to Newark’s Liberty International Airport, complementing its existing schedule of frequent daily flights between Boston and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Copyright Photo: Dave Campbell. Airbus A320-232 N569JB (msn 2075) decorated in the special 10th Anniversary color scheme awaits its turn for takeoff from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood.l
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) is planning to add nonstop flights to Barbados from its Dallas- Fort Worth (DFW) hub three times per week service beginning on December 16. Currently the airline provides daily nonstop service from New York-JFK and Miami International Airport.
The flight will be operated with Boeing 757 aircraft with 22 seats in Business Class and 166 in the Coach cabin.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Boeing 757-223 N690AA (msn 25696), “Flagship Freedom”, prepares to land at Washington (Dulles).
Virgin Blue Holdings Limited (Brisbane) and Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) have signed an agreement establishing a commercial partnership that will enable Virgin Blue’s international arm, V Australia, to launch direct services to Abu Dhabi in 2011 and the two airlines to offer a joint network of more than 100 destinations from October 1, 2010.
Together, Etihad and V Australia will move towards a total of 27 weekly services between Abu Dhabi and Australia – including double-daily services between Abu Dhabi and Sydney, daily Melbourne-Abu Dhabi flights and six frequencies per week between Abu Dhabi and Brisbane.
V Australia will operate three Sydney-Abu Dhabi services per week from February 2011 and three Brisbane-Abu Dhabi services per week by February 2012, using its new fleet of three-class Boeing 777-300ER and becoming the first Australian carrier to operate to the Middle East since 1991.
From October, Virgin Blue Group customers can access Etihad’s network of 65 destinations across North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Subcontinent. All Virgin Blue services will be available to Etihad customers, opening up 45 destinations in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, and to Asia, South Africa and Los Angeles.
In other news, The Virgin Blue Group of Airlines announced the second phase of its network review with the introduction of Airbus A330-200 aircraft for its domestic network and an overhaul of its international long haul network.
The introduction of the two Airbus A330-200 will increase the fleet size to 90 aircraft. The first A330-200s will operate services between Perth and the east coast of Australia.
From February 2011, Virgin Blue will consolidate its international V Australia network to two strategic hubs in Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi providing a gateway to a truly international network through partnerships.
V Australia will withdraw from its loss making Boeing 777-300 services to South Africa and Phuket.
Copyright Photo: John Adlard. Boeing 737-8FE VH-VUA (msn 33997), decorated with the “Mile High Karaoke” markings taxies at Sydney.
Turkish Airlines (Istanbul) missed its estimates but still reported a net profit of $104 million in the second quarter ($170 million in the first half).
Read the full report from Bloomberg Businessweek:
Copyright Photo: Gunter Mayer. As the official airline sponsor, Turkish Airlines has decorated this Boeing 737-8F2 TC-JHF (msn 35745) for the FIBA 2010 World Basketball Championship running from August 28 through September 12. TC-JHF is pictured on the ramp at Nuremberg.
Air Canada Boeing 767-38E ER C-GBZR (msn 25404) (Free Spirit) YYZ (TMK Photography), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Air Canada (Montreal) announced it is boosting service to Tokyo by adding a new daily, nonstop flight between Vancouver and Haneda Airport, conveniently located near the Japanese capital. The new route begins on January 29, 2011 and will complement existing daily flights to Narita International airport, meaning Air Canada is doubling daily service between Vancouver and Tokyo as part of its international expansion strategy.
The airline’s new flights to Haneda will be operated onboard 211-seat Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography. Boeing 767-38E ER C-GBZR “Free Spirit” (msn 25404) is tugged from the gate at Toronto (Pearson).
Korean Air (Seoul) has swung to second quarter loss of $196 million.
Read the full story from the WSJ:
Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross. A splendid view of Boeing 747-4B5 HL7491 (msn 27341 at Frankfurt in the special “StarCraft” promotional livery.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) announced new, nonstop jet service between Mesa, AZ (near Phoenix) and Fort Collins-Loveland, CO, will begin on October 8.
The new flights will operate two times weekly between Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport (FNL) and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IWA) with service on Monday and Friday. Flights will depart Fort Collins-Loveland at 11:10 a.m. (1110) arriving in Phoenix-Mesa at 12:05 p.m. (1205). Flights leaving Phoenix-Mesa will depart at 7:40 a.m. (0740) arriving in Fort Collins-Loveland at 10:30 a.m. (1030) (all flight times are local).
Allegiant will utilize 150-seat, DC-9-80 (MD-80) series, jet-aircraft on the route. Allegiant Air began nonstop service to Las Vegas on July 31, 2003 from Fort Collins.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N405NV (msn 49623) in the Blue Man Group motif arrives at Las Vegas.
Finnair (Helsinki) has reported a second quarter net loss of $37 million.
Read the full report in Bloomberg Businessweek:
Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf. Airbus A319-112 OH-LVE (msn 1791) in the 1953 retrojet scheme arrives at Dusseldorf.
Flybe (Exeter) announced that it has reached agreement with Finnair (Helsinki) to provide regional services in Scandinavian and Baltic Sea Areas.
This new co-operation will begin on October 31, 2010 with three wet leased Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) aircraft. Flybe will commence services to key Scandinavian and Baltic markets from Helsinki Airport that will include Tampere, Turku and Tallinn. This agreement is expected to grow beyond the three aircraft in the summer of 2011.
Flybe and Finnair have also agreed to begin discussions on a potential wider co-operation agreement, which could see Flybe providing a range of services across the Nordic and Baltic Sea markets.
Copyright Photo: Terry Wade. Painted in the special green “eco” livery, Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) G-JEDP (msn 4085) lines up to land at Gatwick Airport near London.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) announced new nonstop service between New York (JFK) and Reykjavik (Keflavik), Iceland, beginning on June 1, 2011. When service begins, Delta will be the only U.S. carrier to serve Iceland nonstop from the United States.
The flight, between John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Keflavik International Airport in Reykjavik, will be operated with a 170-seat Boeing 757-200 aircraft with 15 seats in BusinessElite and 155 seats in Economy.
The flight will also operate direct from Delta’s hub in Minneapolis-St. Paul under the same flight number, with a stop at New York-JFK.
Copyright Photo: Norbert G. Raith. Boeing 757-232 N6715C (msn 30486) with the special Grammy Awards logo arrives at the ATL hub.
Air Canada Boeing 777-333 ER C-FIVS (msn 35784) (Vancouver 2010) LHR (Antony J. Best), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Air Canada (Montreal) reported operating income of $75 million in the second quarter of 2010 compared to an operating loss of $113 million in the second quarter of 2009, an improvement of $188 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and aircraft rent (EBITDAR) of $333 million increased $198 million from the second quarter of 2009 (an increase of 147 per cent). These results were in line with the preliminary range of operating income of $60 million to $80 million, and EBITDAR of $320 million to $340 million, announced in Air Canada’s news release dated July 20, 2010.
Air Canada estimates that disruptions to its transatlantic flying schedule following the closure of European airspace in mid-April due to volcanic ash had a negative impact of approximately $20 million on its operating income in the second quarter.
Air Canada reported a net loss of C$203 million in the second quarter of 2010 which included a charge of C$54 million in interest expense relating to its secured term credit facility, and foreign exchange losses of C$156 million. This compared to net income of $155 million in the second quarter of 2009 which included gains on foreign exchange of C$355 million.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Now gone, Boeing 777-333 ER C-FIVS (msn 35784) arrives at London (Heathrow) in the Vancouver 2010 motif.
Jazz Air (Air Canada Jazz( (Halifax) reported second quarter net income of C$15.6 million.
Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema. Painted in the Star Alliance motif, Jazz Air’s Bombardier CRJ705 (CL-600-2C10) C-FUJZ (msn 15048) climbs rapidly at Montreal (Trudeau).
Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-890 WL N596AS (msn 35688) (Follow Apolo) LAX (James Helbock), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will inaugurate nonstop service between Bellingham, WA and Honolulu, HI starting on January 7, 2011.
The daily flights will be operated with Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: James Helbock. Boeing 737-890 N596AS (msn 35668) in the Follow Apolo motif arrives at Los Angeles.
Finnair Airbus A340-313E OH-LQE (msn 938) (Oneworld) HEL (Ton Jochems), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Finnair (Helsinki) will lease two 270-seat Airbus A340-300 wide-bodied aircraft for four years from the leasing company ILFC. The aircraft will join the Finnair fleet in late 2010 and early 2011.
Finnair currently has 12 Airbus long-haul aircraft, which fly to nine
destinations in Asia as well as to New York in North America. At the end of this year, one further new Airbus A330 aircraft, ordered earlier, will join the fleet. With the coming additions, Finnair’s long-haul fleet will grow to a total 15 Airbus aircraft by the beginning of next year.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. A splendid view of Airbus A340-313E OH-LQE (msn 938) at the HEL hub in the Oneworld scheme.
Next May, Finnair will open a daily direct route to Singapore.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) according to the Associated Press converted 25 options into firm orders for 25 Boeing 737-700s in order to continue to replace older 737-300/500s. Deliveries will run from 2011 through 2016. The order was previously attributed to an unidentified customer.
Read the full article:
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Boeing 737-7H4 N727SW (msn 27859) dressed as Nevada One arrives at the BWI hub.
American Eagle Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) announced daily nonstop service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and three new destinations – Norfolk International Airport (ORF), Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), and Indianapolis International Airport (IND), beginning on November 18. Eagle will operate the service with 50-seat Embraer ERJ 145 regional jets.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. ERJ 145LR (EMB-145LR) N610AE (msn 145073) with the special “In support of all who serve” markings prepares to land at Baltimore/Washington.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) reported second quarter 2010 net income of $112 million, or $.15 per diluted share, compared to net income of $91 million, or $.12 per diluted share, for second quarter 2009. Both years’ results included special items related to non-cash, mark-to-market, and other items associated with a portion of the Company’s fuel hedge portfolio. Excluding special items for both periods, second quarter 2010 net income was $216 million, or $.29 per diluted share, compared to $59 million, or $.08 per diluted share, for second quarter 2009. The second quarter 2010 net income, excluding special items, of $.29 per diluted share exceeded Thomson’s First Call mean estimate of $.27 per diluted share.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Boeing 737-7H4 N918WN (msn 29843) dressed in the Illinois One livery arrives at Baltimore/Washington.
TAM Airlines (TAM Linhas Aereas) (Sao Paulo) has signed a firm order for 25 Airbus aircraft, bringing the Brazilian airline’s total Airbus order book to 176. This order for 20 A320 Family aircraft and five A350-900s follows the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) announced at ILA Berlin Air Show in June.
TAM’s new A320 Family aircraft will replace existing A320 Family aircraft as part of the airline’s commitment to keep an average fleet age of six years.
As of today, TAM’s total Airbus orders have increased to 134 A320 Family aircraft, 15 A330-200s and 27 A350 XWB. 65 Airbus A320 Family aircraft, two A330-200s and 27 A350 XWB are still in the backlog.
Copyright Photo: Marcelo F. De Biasi. TAM’s sleek Airbus A320-232 PR-MBO (msn 3156) painted in the Star Alliance motif climbs away from Sao Paulo (Guarulhos).
JAL-Japan Airlines Boeing 777-346 ER JA731J (msn 32431) (Sky Eco) LHR (Wingnut), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) has asked its pilots to take a 30 percent reduction in pay according to a report by Nikkei.
Read the report by Airwise:
Copyright Photo: Wingnut. Boeing 777-346 ER JA731J (msn 32431) in the Sky Eco motif visits London (Heathrow).
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) according to this report in the Arizona Daily Star has recently added “mechanical difficulties” to the list of “acts of God” and other situations in which the airline will not be liable for compensation if the flight is delayed.
According to the newspaper, Southwest Airlines quietly changed its policy a few weeks ago. The change appears on page 11 of 32 pages of the “contract of carriage.”
Read the full report:
Copyright Photo: Air 72. Boeing 737-7H4 N279WN (msn 32532) with the special “Summer of Love” and “Cirque du Soleil” logo on the nose, taxies at the Houston (Hobby) hub.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) yesterday (July 23) submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to expand its service between the United States and Brazil, which would allow increased flights between its Detroit hub and Sao Paulo.
Delta has received approval to begin twice-weekly service between Detroit and Sao Paulo on October 21. If approved, the new flights will allow that service to be operated five days per week.
The flights will be operated with 216-seat Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft, with 35 BusinessElite seats and 181 seats in Economy Class.
Copyright Photo: Norbert G. Raith. Boeing 767-332 ER N171DZ (msn 29690) dressed in the special Habitat for Humanity livery arrives at the ATL hub.
China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-79P WL B-5265 (msn 36767) (Expo 2010) PAE (Nick Dean) , originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai) saw its first half net profit triple to $326 million.
Read the full report in ATW:
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. The beautiful Expo 2010 logojet in the form of Boeing 737-79P B-5265 (msn 36767) approaches Everett (Paine Field) for landing.
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma)has exercised options for two additional Next-Generation Boeing 737-800s. The order was posted to Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries website in June and attributed to an unidentified customer.
Including today’s order, Alaska will take delivery of 13 Next-Generation 737s over the next several years. Alaska Airlines has 116 737s in its fleet, including 55 737-800s.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Looking splendid in the 75th Anniversary scheme, Alaska’s Boeing 737-890 N569AS (msn 35184) climbs beautifully from Anchorage.
JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N645JB (msn 2900) (Jetting to T5) FLL (Bruce Drum), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
JetBlue Airways (New York-JFK) reported net income for the second quarter of $30 million, or $0.10 per diluted share. This compares to JetBlue’s second quarter 2009 net income of $20 million, or $0.07 per diluted share.
In other news, JetBlue Airways and El Al Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv) announced that they intend to sign an interline agreement, providing new and convenient connecting options for both El Al and JetBlue customers wishing to travel between the U.S. and Israel. Beginning in September, customers will be able to purchase a single ticket for travel on flights of both carriers in one simple transaction, and enjoy seamless connecting service to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport from most JetBlue cities via New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Airbus A320-232 N645JB (msn 2900) with the special “Jetting T5″ logo departs from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood.
Alaska Air Group (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) reported second quarter 2010 net income of $58.6 million, or $1.60 per diluted share, compared to net income of $29.1 million, or $0.79 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2009. Excluding mark-to-market fuel hedge losses of $37.6 million ($23.3 million after tax or $0.63 per diluted share) and CRJ700 transition charges of $3.4 million ($2.1 million after tax or $0.06 per diluted share), the company reported net income of $84.0 million, or $2.29 per diluted share, compared to net income of $26.5 million, or $0.72 per share, excluding special items in the second quarter of 2009.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. An outstanding picture of Alaska Airlines “We’re all pulling together” Boeing 737-490 N705AS (msn 29318) at Anchorage.
Virgin America Airbus A320-214 N628VA (msn 2993) (08-HBO Entourage) SFO (Mark Durbin), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Virgin America (San Francisco) announced it plans to order 40 new Airbus A320 aircraft, with options for 20 additional aircraft. The new aircraft would be delivered from 2013 through 2016 – with 10 firm orders per year on average, and options for 20 additional aircraft in 2017-2018. With today’s order of 40 new aircraft and growth from other sources, Virgin America’s fleet is projected to grow from its current 28 aircraft to 90 aircraft by 2016 – a compounded annual growth rate of 21.5 percent.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin. This now rare view shows the special Entourage markings on Airbus A320-214 N628VA (msn 2993) at San Francisco.