Ryanair (Dublin) will appeal the UK Competition Commission (UKCC) final report concerning Ryanair’s 29.8 percent share of Aer Lingus (Dublin) and its effort to acquire a controlling share. Based on this decision the Irish ultra low-fare carrier has been shopping its share to other carriers but so far there are no takers. Here is the statement by the flamboyant airline:
Ryanair has confirmed that it will appeal the UK Competition Commission (UKCC) final report which wrongly found that Ryanair, through its 7 year old minority (29.8%) shareholding in Aer Lingus, “had led or may be expected to lead to a substantial lessening of competition between the airlines on routes between Great Britain and Ireland”. This baseless claim is manifestly disproven by 7 years of evidence and by the European Commission’s recent (Feb 2013) ruling that competition between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has “intensified” since 2007.
Under EU law, the UKCC has a duty of sincere cooperation with the EU, and cannot contradict or reach different conclusions to the European Commission’s findings. Inexplicably, today’s report by the UKCC infringes this legal duty by ignoring and contradicting the recent findings of the European Commission that:
“Aer Lingus and Ryanair compete on a greater number of routes compared to the 2007 Decision”, “there is significant competitive interaction between the Parties”, and“evidence collected by the Commission in the market investigation has also confirmed that the competitive relationship between Ryanair and Aer Lingus has at least persisted, if not increased, since 2007”.
In addition, the UKCC has inexplicably dismissed Ryanair’s unprecedented remedies package which comprehensively addressed the UKCC’s three invented “concerns”. For example, the UKCC rejected Ryanair’s offer to unconditionally sell its minority stake to any other airline that makes a bid for Aer Lingus and obtains acceptances from 50.1% of Aer Lingus’ shareholders. Ryanair also offered to support Aer Lingus’ rights issues and any disposal of Aer Lingus’ Heathrow slots, but these simple and effective remedies were also rejected by the UKCC.
The UKCC’s manifestly unjust ruling demonstrates that it did not conduct any fair investigation and that it has now merely announced what was its pre-determined conclusion. Ryanair will appeal the UKCC’s unlawful ruling to the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal. In any event, until the completion of Ryanair’s appeal to the EU courts against the European Commission’s February 2013 prohibition decision, the CC cannot lawfully impose any remedies on Ryanair.
Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:
“This report by the UKCC is bizarre and manifestly wrong but also entirely expected. From the first meeting with the UKCC it has been clear to us that Simon Polito’s and Roger Davis’ minds had been made up in advance and no truth or evidence was going to get in the way of their story. This prejudicial approach to an Irish airline is very disturbing, coming from an English government body that regards itself a model competition authority.
Polito’s and Davis’ ignoring of evidence, their conduct of a manifestly unfair investigation, their omission of all the substantial body of evidence that conclusively disproves their case, and their rejection of Ryanair’s unprecedented undertakings (which patently address their three invented future concerns), all in a misguided pursuit of their pre-determined conclusion, demonstrate that this process was not a competition investigation but merely a corrupt and politically biased charade.
While Ryanair is one of the UK’s largest airlines, Aer Lingus has a tiny presence in the UK, serving just 6 routes to the Republic of Ireland, a traffic base that has declined over the past 3 years and now accounts for less than 1% of all UK air traffic. This case, involving two Irish airlines where one (Aer Lingus) accounts for less than 1% of the UK’s total air traffic and concerns very few UK consumers, is yet another enormous waste of UK taxpayer resources from a body which took no action whatsoever when the two main UK airlines (BA and bmi) merged. It would appear to be a case of one rule for the UK airlines but an invented set of rules for two Irish airlines.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DLO (msn 34178) with “Bye Bye EasyJet” sub-titles approaches the London (Stansted) for landing.
Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin) narrowed its second quarter loss to 8.1 million euros ($10.8 million), down from a loss of 29.4 million euros for the same quarter a year ago. The airline has been downsizing, eliminating 300 positions.
The company issued this statement:
In the second quarter of 2013, Airberlin improved its operating result (EBIT) despite a difficult market environment. Airberlin was able to increase EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) to EUR -8.1 million, an improvement of two-thirds over the corresponding quarter of 2012 (EUR -29.4 million). EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, and leasing expenses and rentals) increased by 12 percent to EUR 166.4 million (2012: EUR 148.0 million). Despite a noticeable eight percent capacity reduction, Airberlin’s total revenue at EUR 1.11 billion remained at the level of the previous year (EUR 1.13 billion). Airberlin reduced its net loss for the second quarter to EUR -38.0 million, an improvement of almost two-thirds over the previous year’s corresponding quarter (EUR -99.8 million).
Increased capacity utilization, RASK and Yield
In the second quarter, Airberlin further increased its capacity utilization, revenue per available seat kilometer (RASK) and revenue per passenger. The number of routes flown in the second quarter decreased from 520 in 2012 to 440 in the current year, while the number of route frequencies increased by 14 percent. Capacity utilization increased by four percentage points, to 83.7 percent (previous year: 79.7 percent). Revenue per available seat kilometer (RASK) increased by 4.8 percent to 7.20 Eurocents (previous year: 6.87 Eurocents). Average yield (revenue per passenger) increased to EUR 113.74 (previous year: EUR 112.85).
Presenting the second quarter results for 2013, Airberlin’s CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer comments: “An improved operating income, increased capacity utilization, increasing revenue per seat kilometer and stable revenue despite capacity reduction, demonstrate that important key numbers are moving in the right direction. The positive effects of our Turbine program will bear fruit later in the year. As a result of the generally muted economic conditions and the market environment, the ability to reach our targets is becoming increasingly challenging.”
Turbine implementation according to plan
The implementation of Turbine is continuously progressing according to plan, and will due to increasing challenges continue to be advanced as a matter of priority over the course of the year. The focus remains on increasing efficiency, expanding services, and negotiating with relevant stakeholders.
Airberlin has concluded new collective labor agreements with all relevant employees. This is the first time that uniform collective labor agreements have been concluded for all pilots and respectively for all cabin crew. These long-term collective agreements enable planning reliability and give Airberlin the required flexibility for further restructuring and increasing productivity. Personnel cutbacks are proceeding as planned, and by the end of July, Airberlin had eliminated 300 full-time positions.
Wolfgang Prock-Schauer comments: “The Turbine program is progressing as planned. The negotiations with our contracting partners have yielded productive results, and we are continuously optimizing our structure and our operating performance. More than 80 percent of the Turbine program’s planned contribution for 2013 has already been attained, with respect to both earnings and costs. Despite the challenging environment, we continue to strive to reach the target figure of EUR 200 million for 2013. For the coming winter flight plan, we will implement a streamlined concept of aircraft-positioning, in order to use our fleet even more efficiently.”
At the end of the first half-year, Airberlin had liquid assets amounting to EUR 436.8 million at its disposal, those assets having grown by more than one-third from EUR 315 million in the first half-year of 2012. Equity capital at the end of the traditionally weak first half-year amounted to EUR -116.3 million as at the reporting date of 30 June. As a valuation at the reporting date according to IFRS, equity capital has no impact on the economic operation of the company.
Airberlin’s Chief Financial Officer Ulf Hüttmeyer explains: “The traditionally weak earnings position in the first six months together with the non-recurring charges stemming from our turnaround program lead to negative equity capital. We expect the equity capital to increase over the following quarters. The target of reaching an equity capital ratio of 15 to 20 percent in the medium-term remains unchanged.”
Partnerships exceed expectations
In the second quarter, the strategic partnership with Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) again delivered strong growth in the number of Airberlin passengers stemming from the code-share flights. The number of passengers more than tripled from 75,000 in 2012 to 267,000, based on a half-year comparison. With 449,000 passengers – this includes bookings made through July – the expectations for the entire year for the common code-share routes of Etihad Airways and Airberlin have already been exceeded. Furthermore, Airberlin is benefitting from code-share agreements with partners of Etihad Airways’ “Equity Alliance”, including Virgin Australia, Air Seychelles and Air Serbia. Airberlin and Etihad Airways are also expanding their cooperation in other fields such as maintenance and procurement.
The number of passengers traveling on oneworld® alliance flights likewise exceeded expectations. In the first half of the year, 267,000 passengers had already traveled on code-share flights operated by Airberlin and its oneworld partners.
Read the analysis by Reuters: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Pedro Pics/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7Q8 D-ABBW (msn 30642) taxies at London (Stansted).
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (Atlas Air) (New York-JFK) today announced adjusted net income attributable to common stockholders of $5.9 million, or $0.22 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2013 compared with adjusted earnings of $13.6 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2012.
On a reported basis, net income attributable to common stockholders in the first quarter totaled $20.1 million, or $0.76 per diluted share, compared with $12.8 million, or $0.48 per diluted share in the year-ago quarter.
Adjusted earnings in the first quarter of 2013 exclude an income tax benefit of $14.2 million, or $0.54 per diluted share, related to the tax treatment of extraterritorial income from the offshore leasing of certain aircraft. Adjusted earnings in the first quarter of 2012 exclude fleet retirement costs of $0.9 million, or $0.03 per diluted share.
First-quarter revenue grew 5% to $377.3 million, with operating income increasing 10% to $22.6 million and operating margin expanding slightly. Free cash flow for the period totaled $42.4 million compared with $1.0 million in the first quarter of 2012.
“Our first-quarter results and initiatives demonstrate the benefits of a modern, efficient fleet, diversified business mix and solid balance sheet in a challenging business environment,” said William J. Flynn, President and Chief Executive Officer.
“Operating income during the quarter reflected the strength of our ACMI operations, especially our new 747-8 freighters. It also gained from new organizational capabilities and the evolution of our business, such as our expanding 767 service and growing CMI operations. We also realized operating efficiencies through our continuous improvement initiatives.
“Capitalizing on our financial strength, we acquired an immediately profitable 777 freighter under long-term customer lease for our Dry Leasing business. We also implemented an immediately accretive share repurchase program that acquired 3.4% of our outstanding stock for a total of $36.5 million through late April.
“Earnings in the first quarter were in line with our expectations and our outlook for the year. As a result, we are affirming previous guidance for 2013 but we are raising our expected adjusted earnings per share to $4.80 from $4.65 to reflect our actual and anticipated share repurchases.”
Revenue, volume and profitability growth in our core ACMI business during the first quarter were driven by our new 747-8Fs, with four additional -8F aircraft in service compared with the first quarter of 2012, as well as the continued ramp up of CMI flying for Boeing and DHL Express.
Improved ACMI segment earnings during the period also benefited from higher rates per block hour and lower maintenance expense for our 747-8Fs, partially offset by the redeployment of 747-400 aircraft to other business segments.
In AMC Charter, strong growth in passenger service volumes partially offset a 41% reduction in cargo block hours, a reduction in the number of one-way AMC missions, and lower average cargo revenue per block hour, which led to a decline in segment contribution. Lower average passenger revenue per block hour during the period stemmed from an increase in flying on smaller-gauge 767 aircraft added to supplement our wide-body 747-400 passenger service and enhance our share of military passenger business.
Segment results in Commercial Charter reflected the seasonal nature of this business and were primarily related to a reduction in yields driven by soft first-quarter global charter-market conditions.
Results in the first quarter were also affected by higher non-operating expenses, primarily due to a reduction in capitalized interest on 747-8F aircraft that entered service.
Reported earnings for the first quarter of 2013 included an effective income tax rate benefit of 97.4%, reflecting a federal income tax benefit of $14.2 million related to the tax treatment of extraterritorial income from the offshore leasing of certain of our aircraft.
Cash, Cash Equivalents and Short-Term Investments
At March 31, 2013, our cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaled $343.9 million, compared with $419.9 million at December 31, 2012.
The change in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments was primarily driven by an increase in cash provided by operating and financing activities, offset by cash used for investing activities.
Net cash used for investing activities in the first quarter of 2013 primarily related to the purchase of a 747-8F aircraft for our ACMI operations and a 777-200 LRF aircraft for our Dry Leasing business.
Net cash provided by financing activities primarily reflected proceeds from the issuance of debt in connection with the acquisitions of these aircraft. These proceeds were partially offset by payments on debt obligations and a prepayment under an accelerated share repurchase program agreement (“ASR”).
Share Repurchase Activity
Between mid-February and late April 2013, we repurchased 903,301 shares of our common stock for $36.5 million at an average cost of $40.40 per share. The shares were acquired pursuant to an ASR with an investment bank that settled on April 25, 2013.
We acquired 427,168 of these shares during the period ended March 31, 2013, which added $0.01 per diluted share to our adjusted and reported earnings for the first quarter.
Future repurchases may be made at our discretion, and the actual timing, form and amount will depend on company and market conditions.
We expect to generate strong earnings and cash flow in 2013. Led by ACMI, each of our business segments is expected to be profitable for the year.
Incorporating our share repurchase activity, we anticipate that our adjusted fully diluted earnings per share this year will total approximately $4.80, an increase from prior guidance of approximately $4.65. Including the extraterritorial income tax benefit of $0.54 per share, our reported fully diluted earnings per share in 2013 should be approximately $5.34.
Both adjusted and reported full-year 2013 EPS guidance assume the repurchase of $50.0 million of our outstanding stock during the year.
Our expectation for full year 2013 operating performance is unchanged from the outlook we issued last quarter. We now expect to fly fewer block hours in our Commercial Charter segment in 2013 than we previously forecast. We also expect lower operating expenses as a result of continuous improvement initiatives that drive productivity improvements and operating efficiencies. These initiatives target all aspects of our business, including engine overhauls, procurement efforts, passenger catering, ground travel, and crew scheduling.
Similar to the first quarter, adjusted and reported full-year earnings in 2013 will reflect strong growth from the company’s 747-8Fs in ACMI, driven by an increase in the number of -8F aircraft in ACMI service compared with 2012, including the incremental placement with Etihad Airways we announced today.
Market growth during 2013 should be seasonal and second-half weighted. We continue to anticipate a sequential increase in our quarterly earnings throughout the year, with approximately 75% of adjusted earnings per share and 66% of reported earnings per share occurring in the second half.
Based on our revised view, block-hour volumes in 2013 are now expected to total approximately 175,000 hours. ACMI segment flying should account for about 135,000, or 77%, of expected 2013 block hours, with about 22,000, or 13%, in Commercial Charter and 18,000, or 10%, in AMC Charter. Passenger charter flying should account for more than 10,000 AMC Charter block hours in 2013.
Based on anticipated deliveries of 747-8Fs in our outstanding order, the average number of -8Fs in service in 2013 should increase to more than eight from 4.3 in 2012.
In addition, we now anticipate that maintenance expense will total approximately $172 million in 2013, about 60% of which should be incurred in the first half of the year.
Mr. Flynn concluded: “In an environment of continuing global uncertainty, we are well-positioned to serve our customers and the airfreight markets. We have performed well. We are ready to capitalize on market improvements. And we are executing a strategic plan that leverages our core competencies, provides a basis for returning capital to our investors through share repurchases, and will enable us to grow over the long term.”
In other news, Atlas Air has confirmed the placement of its eighth Boeing 747-8 Freighter into ACMI service.
The aircraft will fly on behalf of Etihad Cargo, the cargo arm of Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, pursuant to a multi-year aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance agreement that commences in May 2013.
The new contract between the companies follows a letter of intent announced on April 1, 2013, and complements an existing Boeing 747-400F ACMI arrangement between Atlas and Etihad. The aircraft will be operated in full Etihad Cargo livery.
Copyright Photo: Pedro Pics. Atlas Air operates this Boeing 747-87UF N850GT (msn 37570) for Panalpina Air and Ocean in their colors.
Atlantic Airlines (UK) (Coventry) yesterday (April 27) reached a milestone for the company.
Atlantic Airlines’ last airworthy Lockheed Electra, the pictured 188C (F) G-LOFC (msn 1100), ferried from Katowice to Coventry in the early hours of April 27 after operating the final Electra commercial flight from Leipzig on behalf of DHL.
The converted freighter has been sold to Buffalo Airways (Yellowknife) and departed for Keflavik just after 1045 local time. Atlantic Airlines
staff were out in force to wave it off, the departure was filmed for “Ice Pilots”, it received a water canon salute and then made a final approach and flyby before departing to its new home.
There are still two derelict Electras parked up at Coventry. However G-LOFC was also the last airworthy Electra in Europe.
This aircraft was originally delivered to American Airlines as N6123A “Flagship Nashville” on October 22, 1959.
Thank you to Gordon Stretch for this report and photos.
Copyright Photos Below: Gordon Stretch. G-LOFC is given the traditional water cannon salute on its departure from CVT. The last operational Electra leaves Europe.
Ryanair (Dublin) announced third quarter profits of $24.1 million (€18 million), up $4 million (€3 million) on last year despite an $109 million (€81 million) increase in fuel costs. Revenues rose 15% to $1.3 billion (€969 million) as traffic grew 3% to 17.3 million passengers. Unit costs rose 11% mainly due to a 24% (€81 million) increase in fuel. Excluding fuel third quarter unit costs rose by 4%, while average fares improved by 8%.
Q3 Results (IFRS) €
Dec 31, 2011
Dec 31, 2012
Profit after Tax
Basic EPS(euro cent)
Ryanair (Dublin) today (January 16) announced it will open two new bases in Morocco in 2013, at Fez (Number 56) and Marrakech (Number 57) with a total of three based-aircraft, as Ryanair invests over $210 million in Morocco. Ryanair also announced two new Moroccan airports, at Essaouira and Rabat as it grows its operations in Morocco in 2013 to 60 routes and 8 airports, which will deliver up to 2.5 million passenger per year and support 2,500* “on-site” jobs in Morocco.
- 15 routes
- 4 new routes: Lille, Nantes, Nimes and St. Etienne
- 600,000 passengers per year
- 600* “on site” jobs
- 22 routes
- 7 new routes: Baden, Bergerac, Cuneo (Italy), Dole (France), Munich, Paris (Vatry) and Tours
- 1 million passengers per year
- 1,000* “on site” jobs
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.
Ryanair (Dublin) is making a new push to obtain a controlling interest in rival Aer Lingus (Dublin). According to this report by the Financial Times, Ryanair has approached at least six international airlines to consider starting long-range international service to and from Dublin to increase competition. If Ryanair is able to take control of Aer Lingus (so far Aer Lingus is fighting off this hostile attempt), Ryanair would need regulatory approval to complete the transaction which could lead to a possible future merger. Regulatory concerns would be concentrated around the lack of competition from DUB if Ryanair is successful, hence the new push for new competition.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
In other news, Ryanair is adding new service to Tenerife Norte from both Barcelona and Madrid starting on November 7, 2012.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DLK (msn 33592) approaches Ryanair’s largest hub at Stansted Airport near London.
Ryanair (Dublin) reported a fiscal first quarter net profit of $121 million.
Here is the official statement from the airline:
“Ryanair, Europe’s only ultra-low cost airline today (Jul 30) announced that Q1 revenues increased 11% to €1,284m as traffic grew 6% and ave. fares rose 4%. Unit costs rose 10% mainly due to a 27% (€117m) increase in fuel costs which led to a €40m decline in Q1 profit-as previously guided-to €99m.
Summary Q1 Results (IFRS) in Euro.
|Adjusted Profit after Tax||
|Adjusted Basic EPS(euro cent)||
Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, said:
“As we previously guided, significantly higher fuel costs caused Q1 profits to fall by €40m (from €139m last year’s) to €99m. Our 6% traffic growth combined with a 4% rise in ave. fares led to an 11% increase in Revenues. Ancillary sales grew by 15% to €286m (outpacing traffic growth) accounting for 22% of total revenues. Operating unit costs rose 10% as fuel increased 27% (by €117m) to €544m. Fuel amounted to 47% of total operating costs. We were hedged at $820 pt in Q1 last year compared to $1000 pt this year a price increase of 22%. As a result Q1 will suffer the largest fuel cost rise in FY13 as the pricing differential narrows significantly over the remaining three quarters of the year.
Q1 yield increases were dampened by the EU wide recession, austerity measures, and heavily discounted fares at our new base launches in Cyprus, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Provincial UK and Spain. Excluding fuel, Q1 unit costs rose by 3%, as we rigorously controlled costs, despite a 2% rise in flight crew pay, higher charges at certain airports, and the impact on costs of stronger Sterling against the Euro.
Despite this challenging environment Ryanair continues to grow its traffic across Europe while maintaining the lowest unit costs in the airline industry, and generating healthy profits as evidenced by the 8% after tax margin achieved in the first quarter.
Our new bases (Billund, Budapest, Manchester, Palma, Paphos and Wroclaw) are enjoying high load factors, although some smaller bases such as Budapest, Warsaw and Wroclaw are doing so at very low fares. We announced our 51st base in Maastricht (Holland), which opens in December, and we plan to announce more new routes and up to 2 new bases later this year. We continue to see significant opportunities to grow across Europe as many airports aggressively compete to attract Ryanair’s traffic growth.
On July 1 the Spanish government more than doubled airport taxes at AENA’s already high cost airports in Madrid and Barcelona, with smaller increases at other Spanish airports. These tax increases have already led to winter capacity cuts by Ryanair and many other airlines in Spain. These cuts will damage Spanish tourism and jobs in a country that already suffers up to 50% youth unemployment. It has been repeatedly proven that airport charges/tax increases lead to falling traffic, and the Spanish government must reverse these unjustified increases if they wish to grow Spain’s tourism and generate new jobs.
Ryanair welcomes the UK Court of Appeal’s decision last week to dismiss the BAA/Ferrovial latest (7th) appeal against the 2008 Competition Commission’s recommendation that Stansted be sold to promote competition and the consumer interest. We now call on the UK Competition Commission to expedite the sale of Stansted. While BAA Stansted traffic declines (by 3% in June and 7% for H1 2012), both Heathrow and Gatwick have grown. We believe Stansted’s traffic decline can be reversed under new ownership which will lead to competition, lower charges, and improved passenger service at Stansted.
We are 90% hedged for FY13 at approx. $1000 pt, up 21% on last year’s price. We have recently hedged 50% of our H1 FY14 requirement at $940 pt, however these lower fuel prices will be more than offset by lower euro to dollar exchange rates. High oil prices and Europe’s recession will drive further consolidation and more airline closures this winter. This will open more growth opportunities for Ryanair because we have the youngest, most fuel efficient fleet as well as the lowest fares and costs.
Our outlook remains cautious for the year. We expect full year traffic to grow 4% (7% in H1, and 1% in H2 due to winter capacity cuts). We expect positive yields will continue in Q2 and anticipate smaller fuel cost increases (due to higher Q2 comparable last year and fuel saving measures we have implemented). Currently, we have no visibility of next winter’s yields but expect that continuing austerity, EU recession, and lower yields at new bases will restrain fare growth. Until we get some H2 yield visibility our guidance for FY 13 remains unchanged, in the range of €400m to €440m as previously guided”.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DCJ (msn 33564) approaches for landing at the London (Stansted) hub.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Oslo) financial performance improved in the second quarter, reporting its pre-tax profit increased 68 percent to $20.4 million in the second quarter.
Here is the complete report by the airline:
“Norwegian (NAS) reported a pre tax profit of 125 million NOK, an improvement of 50 million from last year. This year’s result has been considerably influenced by the strike among the security staff at airports throughout Norway. The strike cost Norwegian 70 million NOK.
The company’s growth continues and increased by 15 percent in the second quarter. The number of passengers increased by 430,000 (11 percent). The load factor was 76 percent, down 2 percentage points compared to previous year.
By phasing in new and bigger aircraft to the fleet, Norwegian’s operation will become more efficient and competitive. In the second quarter, the company has saved 38 million NOK thanks to its more fuel-efficient aircraft.
So far this year, Norwegian has taken delivery of eight brand new Boeing 737-800s, while five will be delivered from the Boeing factory in Seattle later this year. At the same time, the older 737-300s are being phased out. Following the summer, the average age of the fleet will be 4.9 years. Norwegian’s fleet renewal program enables the company to increase its production considerably, as the new aircraft have larger seat capacity.”
Copyright Photo: Terry Wade. The older Boeing 737-300 fleet is shrinking with each new 737-800 delivery.
Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS EI-CSA (msn 29916) (Scotland) STN (Antony J. Best), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Ryanair (Dublin) cancelled over 300 flights to and from and also in Spain yesterday.
Read the announcement from Ryanair:
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Boeing 737-8AS EI-CSA (msn 29916) is pictured arriving at the Stansted Airport hub.
Air Southwest (UK) (Plymouth) has been sold to Eastern Airways (Humberside). However Eastern is pledging to retain the Air Southwest brand. The deal is expected to be closed next month.
Read the full article:
Copyright Photo: Pedro Pics. Bombardier DHC-8-311 G-WOWD (msn 286) taxies at London (Stansted).
Aegean Airlines Airbus A320-232 SX-DVI (msn 3074) STN (Pedro Pics), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Aegean Airlines (Athens) and its Star Alliance partner Continental Airlines (Houston) today (August 23) announced plans to start code sharing on Continental’s flights between its New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport and Athens, as well as on selected flights operated by Aegean Airlines in Europe.
Effective August 23, 2010, Continental will place its “CO” code on selected Aegean Airlines-operated flights between Athens and six leading holiday destinations in Greece (Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Rhodes, Mykonos, Santorini, Chania) and between Athens and Larnaca, Cyprus. At a future date to be determined, Continental will also codeshare on Aegean flights between Athens and London/Heathrow, United Kingdom, and Munich and Frankfurt, Germany. Pending government approval, Continental will also codeshare on Aegean flights between Athens and Paris/Charles de Gaulle, France, and Rome/Fiumicino, Italy.
Also effective August 23, 2010, Aegean Airlines will place its “A3″ code on Continental’s flights between New York/Newark and Athens. Pending government approval, Aegean will also codeshare on Continental flights from New York/Newark to Paris/Charles de Gaulle and to Rome/Fiumicino.
On the financial side, Aegean reported a first half loss of $42 million.
Copyright Photo: Pedro Pics. Airbus A320-232 SX-DVI (msn 3074) of Aegean Airlines is pictured at London (Stansted).
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (New York-JFK) confirmed that its 49%-owned UK subsidiary, Global Supply Systems Limited (GSS) (London-Stansted), has signed a five-year wet leasing agreement with British Airways Plc to operate three Boeing 747-8 freighters on behalf of British Airways starting in 2011.
Under this long-term aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) outsourcing contract, GSS will provide a turnkey solution for British Airways’ cargo division, British Airways World Cargo (BAWC). GSS will lease the 747-8F aircraft that it will operate for BAWC from AAWW’s Atlas Air unit, which expects to take delivery of the aircraft from Boeing in early 2011.
Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS EI-CSA (msn 29916) (Scotland) STN (Antony J. Best), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Ryanair (Dublin) saw its fiscal first quarter net profit slip to $121 million due mainly to airspace closures due to volcanic ash.
Read the full report in Bloomberg Businessweek:
Copyright Photo: Boeing 737-8AS EI-CSA (msn 29916) approaches the Stansted Airport hub and use to promote Scotland. It has since gone on to VARIG (2nd) as PR-VBA.
Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-CSC (msn 29918) (Cable and Wireless) STN (Antony J. Best), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Ryanair (Dublin) will cut its winter capacity at Dubin by 15% and reduced the number of based aircraft from 14 to 12.
Read the full WSJ report:
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Now gone to VARIG, Boeing 737-8AS EI-CSC (msn 29918) in the unique Cable & Wireless logojet scheme, prepares to land at London (Stansted).
Aegean Airlines Airbus A320-232 SX-DVI (msn 3074) STN (Pedro Pics), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Aegean Airlines (Athens) yesterday (June 30) joined the Star Alliance in a special ceremony at Athens as the 28th member.
Aegean Airlines is the largest Greek carrier, carrying 6.6 million passengers in 2009, an increase of 10% over 2008. After taking delivery of 22 new Airbus A320/321s, the company operates a fleet of 30 aircraft.
Read the press release:
Copyright Photo: Pedro Pics. Airbus A320-232 SX-DVI (msn 3074) poses for the camera on the ramp at London (Stansted).
Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS EI-DAO (msn 33550) (Pride of Scotland) STN (Antony J. Best), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Ryanair (Dublin) will pay its first dividend after reporting a yearly profit because of declining fuel costs. The company reported net income of $370 million for its fiscal year through March 31.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DAO (msn 33550) “Pride of Scotland” prepares to taxi from the gate at Stansted Airport.
EasyJet (easyJet.com) (UK) Airbus A319-111 G-EZBG (msn 2946) STN (Keith Burton), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
EasyJet (easyJet.com) (UK) (London-Luton) plans a class action lawsuit for compensation for the closed airspace imposed by Europe’s air safety authorities following a volcanic eruption in April according to this report in Reuters.
Read the full report:
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Airbus A319-111 G-EZBG (msn 2946) approaches London (Stansted) for landing.
Aegean Airlines Airbus A320-232 SX-DVI (msn 3074) STN (Pedro Pics), originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery.
Aegean Airlines (Athens) reported a net loss of $31.4 million in the first quarter.
Copyright Photo: Pedro Pics. Aegean’s Airbus A320-232 SX-DVI (msn 3074) visits Stansted Airport near London.
Titan Airways (London-Stansted) has added its first Boeing 767-300 for its long-range charters. Ex-Skymark Airlines 767-36N ER G-POWD (msn 30847) was accepted on December 17, 2009.
Ryanair (Dublin) will leave Basel/Mulhouse and drop its six routes over a dispute over airport fees. The Irish carrier was demanding the airport drop its rates.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best.
Please click on photo or link below for full view, information, prints for sale and other photos:
AirAsia X (Kuala Lumpur) and the NFL Oakland Raiders have taken a bit of a gamble with the Oakland Raiders logojet as American football is not known very well in Asia. Will it bring passengers to Oakland and vice-versa?
AirAsia X (Kuala Lumpur) will add its second European destination. One stop service to Paris (Orly) will commence next year.
Ryanair (Dublin) has decided to add more routes from Leeds/Bradford, the home of rival low-cost carrier Jet2.com. Two Boeing 737-800s will be based at LBA. Ryanair will now serve 8 of 14 routes from LBA currently operated by Jet2.com.
Star1 Airlines (www.star1.aero) (Vilnius) commenced charter operations on June 30. However scheduled flights between Vilnius and Dublin, Girona (Barcelona) and London began on July 3 with Boeing 737-73S LY-STG (msn 29083).
SkyEurope Airlines (Slovakia) (Bratislava) yesterday (June 22) received bankruptcy court approval for creditor protection as it reorganizes and restructures its debts. Under Slovak law, companies have nine and a half months to reorganize.
Airberlin (Berlin-Tegel) on April 24 launched a new route from Berlin (Tegel) to Oslo with Boeing 737-700s.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.no and Norwegian.com) (Oslo-Fornebu) is equipping its entire fleet with high speed in-flight broadband from Row 44. It will be the first European airline to equip its entire fleet with high-speed broadband. The company serves 84 destination across Europe.
Ryanair (Dublin) in April will add seven new routes from Memmingen (Munich West). The new routes include flights to Alghero, Alicante, Dublin, Girona (near Barcelona), London (Stansted), Pisa and Reus (near Barcelona). The company will also add another Boeing 737-800 based at Charleroi (near Brussels) (total now eight) in order to add four new routes (total now 43) to Brindisi, La Rochelle, Palma de Mallorca and Turin (Turino). The pilots of Ryanair also agreed to a pay freeze for the next 12 months.
Aurigny Air Services (Guernsey) on March 6 took delivery of its first (of two) ATR 72-500 (ATR 72-212A). G-COBO (msn 852) repositioned from Toulouse to Southampton. In other news, Aurigny will start Guernsey-East Midlands service on May 1.
Aegean Airlines (Athens) has made a surprise last-minute bid for state-owned Olympic Airlines (Athens). Aegean presented a bid of $113 million for the OA’s operations and $25 million for the ATH base. This new bid outbids the prevailing single bid by the Marfin Investment Group. Aegean also bid $75 million for the new Pantheon Airways set up as a paper airline by the government of Greece to take over OA’s operations debt-free. This move by Aegean is seen as a strategy to consolidate airline operations under one brand in Greece. Aegean has gradually been taking away market share from OA. If successful, which brand will survive?