Tag Archives: Tokyo

Japan Airlines will launch JAL SKY NEXT on May 28 from Tokyo Haneda to Fukuoka

Japan Airlines (JAL) (Tokyo) will launch its first JAL SKY NEXT service between Tokyo (Haneda) and Fukuoka on May 28, 2014. A total of 77 aircraft are scheduled to be revamped sequentially and will be progressively introduced on domestic routes.

JAL SKY NEXT logo

JAL SKY NEXT will provide updated cabin interior with all-leather seats and LED lighting. Additionally, the in-flight internet service-JAL SKY Wi-Fi with new in-flight entertainment website will be introduced on domestic routes to deliver more comfortable travel experience and convenience to customers.

The first type with the new service standard will be the Boeing 777-200.

JAL SKY NEXT seats (JAL)

Top Copyright Photo (all others by JAL): Akira Uekawa/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-246 JA8984 (msn 27651) in the special “Sky Eco” livery departs from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

JAL-Japan Airlines: AG Slide Show

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Japan Airlines and Korean Air to expand their codeshare agreement

JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) and Korean Air (Seoul), both codeshare partners since 2004, have agreed to further expand their codeshare flights on all routes and flights operated by Korean Air between Japan and South Korea from April 22, 2014.

Flight Number

Route

Dep. Time (Local time)

Arr. Time (Local time)

Days of Operation

JL5253 / KE768

Aomori – Seoul (Incheon)

13:25

16:00

Wed. Fri. Sun.

JL5252 / KE767

Seoul (Incheon) – Aomori

10:10

12:30

Wed. Fri. Sun.

JL5255 / KE770

Akita – Seoul (Incheon)

13:50

16:20

Mon. Thu. Sat.

JL5254 / KE769

Seoul (Incheon)-Akita

10:30

12:45

Mon. Thu. Sat.

JL5257 / KE720

Haneda – Seoul (Incheon)

06:25

08:50

Daily

JL5256 / KE719

Seoul (Incheon) – Haneda

20:55

23:05

Daily

JAL-Korean Air codeshare route map

JL5259 / KE792

Oita – Seoul (Incheon)

15:45

17:20

Fri.

JL5259 / KE792

Oita – Seoul (Incheon)

18:55

20:30

Sun.

JL5258 / KE791

Seoul (Incheon) – Oita

13:10

14:45

Fri.

JL5258 / KE791

Seoul (Incheon) – Oita

16:20

17:55

Sun.

JL5261 / KE748

Okayama – Seoul (Incheon)

10:00

11:35

Daily

JL5260 / KE747

Seoul (Incheon) – Okayama

18:40

20:10

Daily

JL5265 / KE784

Fukuoka – Busan

11:05

12:00

Daily

JL5267 / KE798

Fukuoka – Busan

19:45

20:40

Daily

JL5264 / KE783

Busan – Fukuoka

09:15

10:05

Daily

JL5266 / KE797

Busan – Fukuoka

17:55

18:45

Daily

JL5263 / KE772 (*2)

Sapporo (Chitose) – Busan

12:35

15:15

Tue. Thu. Sat.

JL5262 / KE771 (*2)

Busan – Sapporo (Chitose)

09:15

11:35

Tue. Thu. Sat.

JL5269 / KE756

Nagoya – Jeju

11:55

13:50

Wed. Fri. Sun.

JL5268 / KE755

Jeju – Nagoya

15:00

16:45

Wed. Fri. Sun.

Note:
*1. All of the above flights are operated by KE.
*2. Sapporo = Busan route will start from April 26, 2014.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. JAL’s Boeing 737-846 JA312J (msn 35341) in the old 2002 livery arrives at Tokyo (Narita).

JAL-Japan Airlines: AG Slide Show

Korean Air: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-9B5 HL7706 (msn 29991) also arrives at Tokyo (Narita).

 

Delta and Virgin Atlantic launch Seattle/Tacoma-London Heathrow flights

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) continued its rapid expansion in Seattle/Tacoma with the launch of new daily nonstop service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to London Heathrow Airport on Saturday, March 29. The route, established as part of Delta’s joint venture with Virgin Atlantic Airways (London).

Through its trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia, Delta offers Seattle-area travelers nonstop service to Paris and Amsterdam while also providing connecting service to more than 150 additional destinations beyond those European hubs.

This spring Delta will also begin expanded Seattle/Tacoma service from Anchorage; Fairbanks, Alaska; Juneau, Alaska; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Portland, Oregon; San Diego; San Francisco; San Jose, California; and Vancouver to support its growing international gateway that currently serves London Heathrow, Amsterdam and Paris-Charles de Gaulle as well as Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo-Narita, and Tokyo-Haneda.

In June, Delta will begin new international service from Seattle/Tacoma to Seoul and Hong Kong, bringing Delta’s total nonstop transoceanic destinations to nine, as many as all other SeaTac international carriers combined.

By this summer, Delta will offer more than 2,500 daily international seats as part of its 79 peak-day departures to 25 destinations.

Delta currently operates 35 peak-day departures to 15 destinations from Seattle/Tacoma.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-451 N667US (msn 24222) departs from Tokyo (Narita).

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

ANA today operates the last Boeing 747 flight ending an era

ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) today (March 31), as planned, operated the last Boeing 747 flight. The pictured Boeing 747-481 (D) JA8961 (msn 25644) with 497 passengers and 17 crew members operated a round trip from Tokyo (Haneda) to Naha, Okinawa and back, ending 35 years of continuous Boeing 747 operations. JA8961 was delivered to ANA for domestic operations on May 13, 1993.

ANA today (March 31) also retired the Bombardier (de Havilland Canada) DHC-8-300 (Q300).

Read the full report from ZipanguFlyer (with photos): CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-481 (D) JA8961 (msn 25644) departs from Tokyo (Haneda).

ANA: AG Slide Show

ANA Banner:

ANA Final 747-Thanks Jumbo (ANA)(LR)

 

ANA will order 70 Airbus and Boeing aircraft including the new 777-9X

ANA Holdings (ANA-All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) plans to place an order for 20 new Boeing 777-9X aircraft (below) as well as 14 additional Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. The Japanese carrier also ordered six additional Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft (above). ANA also ordered 30 additional Airbus A320 (below bottom) and A321neo aircraft.

ANA 777X (82)(Flt)(ANA)(LR)

This order restores the momentum for the new Boeing 777X project as Japan Airlines had previously defected from Boeing to Airbus with an order for 31 Airbus A50s.

ANA Holdings issued this statement:

ANA Holdings is to place firm orders for 70 new aircraft worth ¥1700 billion at list prices with Boeing and Airbus. The order, approved at a meeting today (March 27) of the Board of Directors of ANA HD, is the biggest in the airline’s history and will support ANA’s drive to become one of the world’s leading airline groups.

The aircraft will be delivered during period of FY 2016-2027 and will increase the size of the ANA fleet to 250 aircraft.

ANA HD has decided to purchase twenty Boing 777-9X, a large twin-aisle aircraft with 15% larger seating capacity, as a successor to its existing fleet of Boeing 777-300 ERs. In addition, ANA HD will purchase six further Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft to support the expansion of its international services until delivery of Boeing 777-9X.

ANA HD will also place fourteen additional orders for the medium-sized Boeing 787-9 aircraft. This will take its total fleet of Dreamliners to 80, confirming ANA as the world’s biggest operator of this fuel-efficient airliner.

The order with Airbus consists of 30 smaller single-aisle jets from the A320 family – seven A320neo aircraft and twenty-three A321neo aircraft, which will replace ANA’s existing Boeing 737-500 and Airbus A320ceo aircraft.

The new Boeing aircraft will be used predominantly on international routes while the new Airbus aircraft will be introduced both on domestic routes and international routes.

ANA Group’s introduction of these new aircraft will help it respond to the needs of the increasing number of passengers expected to arrive in Japan in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and will support the Japanese government’s plans to boost the annual total of foreign visitors to Japan to 20 million.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-381 ER JA783A (msn 27940) approaches the runway at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT).

ANA: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus did not win a new Japanese customer for the new A350 but got a consolation order for more Airbus A320s which will become the predominate domestic aircraft for the ANA Group (over the Boeing 737NG). Airbus A320-211 JA8946 (msn 669) with additional “Inspiration of Japan” markings also arrives at Narita International Airport.

 

JTA orders 12 Boeing 737-800s to replace its older 737-400s

JTA-Japan Transocean Air  (Naha, Okinawa) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) announced the airline’s selection of 12 Next-Generation 737-800 airplanes. The selection, valued at $1.1 billion at list prices, will mark the start of the airline’s fleet renewal program with the new airplanes scheduled to enter into service from 2016. As part of the agreement, JTA will have the flexibility to switch to the 737 MAX family of airplanes.

A member of the Japan Airlines Group, JTA is based in Naha, Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost island chain. Currently, the airline operates a fleet of 737-400 airplanes on domestic routes linking Okinawa with major Japanese cities as well as other islands within Okinawa.

JTA’s new 737-800s will be powered by CFM56-7 engines manufactured by CFM International, a joint venture between General Electric and SNECMA. The airplanes will be fitted with Boeing’s latest Performance Improvement Package (PIP), delivering an additional two percent improvement in fuel efficiency for what is already the most fuel efficient single-aisle airplane. The airplanes will also feature the popular passenger-inspired Boeing Sky Interior, with modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness and larger pivoting overhead stowage bins.

Copyright Photo: Akira Uekawa/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-4Q3 JA8940 (msn 29487) completes the final approach into Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (Tokyo International Airport).

JTA-Japan Transocean Air: AG Slide Show

 

Delta launches international Wi-Fi service on its Boeing 747-400s

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will launch international Wi-Fi service on flights 283 and 295 equipped with Ku-band satellite Wi-Fi on Boeing 747-400 aircraft departing Los Angeles International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to Narita International Airport in Tokyo. For more than five years, Delta has provided Wi-Fi to customers traveling on its mainline aircraft flying within the United States.

Delta has three of 16 Boeing 747-400 aircraft complete which also operate between Detroit and Seoul-Incheon; Detroit and Nagoya, Japan; Detroit and Tokyo-Narita; New York-JFK and Tel Aviv as well as New York-JFK and Tokyo-Narita.

Customers can access Wi-Fi service with introductory pricing options that begin with one hour passes for laptop users as low as $14.00 and $8.00 for mobile users or a flight pass option, which will keep customers connected throughout their flight, starting at $24.95 for laptop users and $14.95 for mobile users. All of Delta’s 747-400 aircraft will have Wi-Fi installed by mid-2014.

Delta will complete the installation of Wi-Fi service on its entire international fleet by the end of 2015 including its Boeing 777, 767, 747, Airbus A330 and trans-oceanic Boeing 757 aircraft operating on international, long-haul routes. Delta and Gogo are in the final testing phase for Wi-Fi on the Airbus A330 fleet. The addition of in-flight Internet for more than 150 aircraft will expand the number of worldwide aircraft equipped with Wi-Fi to approximately 1,000 jets including all two-class regional, domestic and international aircraft.

The new international service uses satellites for global connectivity to offer coverage internationally and will compliment Delta’s existing air-to-ground service already provided by Gogo for aircraft flying within the domestic U.S.

Delta operates the world’s largest Wi-Fi-equipped fleet of aircraft with more than 3,400 flights daily, including its entire fleet of 570 domestic mainline aircraft. More than 870 Delta aircraft, including all Delta Connection two-class regional jets, are equipped with in-flight Wi-Fi service offering more than 400,000 customers per day access to the Internet above 10,000 feet.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-451 N663US (msn 23818) climbs away from Tokyo (Narita).

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

ANA to operate its last Boeing 747 flight on March 31 with JA8961, will be chopped up in Tupelo, Mississippi

ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) as planned and previously reported, plans to operate its last revenue flight (NH 126) with the Boeing 747-400 on March 31 between Naha, Okinawa and Tokyo (Haneda) according to ZipanguFlyer. The last revenue flight is scheduled to be operated with the pictured Boeing 747-481 (D) JA8961 (msn 25644). The last ANA Boeing 747-400s are the high-density domestic version of the Boeing 747-400 that seat 565 passengers and were developed specifically for the Japanese market.

In the meantime, according to ZipanguFlyer, JA8961 is operating a series of “Final 747″ visits in Japan. On March 16 JA8961 operated flight NH 2001, named the “Sayonara Flight Charter’ from Tokyo (Narita) to Kumamoto. The Boeing Jumbo is expected to visit Fukuoka and Sapporo for the last time on March 30.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

According to The Japan Times, ANA Sales Company is offering a tour to Tupelo Regional Airport in Mississippi to witness the end of JA8961. According to the report, the five-day tour will depart Japan on April 16 and the travelers will travel on a different aircraft to reach the airport in time to greet the arrival of ANA’s last Boeing 747.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-481 JA8951 (msn 25644) taxies at Haneda Airport (Tokyo International Airport) in Tokyo. JA8961 was delivered new to ANA on May 13, 1993.

ANA: AG Slide Show

Air Do today retires its “Bear Do” logo jet

Air Do (Sapporo) is gradually retiring its fleet of Boeing 737-500s (now down to five aircraft).

According to ZipanguFlyer, Air Do’s first special-theme aircraft, the pictured Boeing 737-54K JA8196 (msn 27966) “Bear Do”, flew its last revenue service today (March 14) as flight HD 024, from Sapporo (New Chitose) to Tokyo (Haneda) with 121 passengers. The passengers received special “Bear Do” memorabilia and a last flight certificate according to ZipanguFlyer.

Read the full story from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Susumu Tokunaga/AirlinersGallery.com. JA8196 taxies past the camera at Haneda Airport (Tokyo International Airport) in Tokyo.

Air Do: AG Slide Show

Pictures of the event on Air Do’s Facebook page:

Japan Airlines introduces a new “Samurai Blue Jet” in support of its FIFA football team

JAL-Japan Airlines 777-200 JA8985 (14-Samurai Blue Jet)(logo)(JAL)(LR)

JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) on February 26 in partnership with Family Mart (a national chain of Japanese stores) unveiled this special “Samurai Blue Jet” livery on Boeing 777-246 JA8985 (msn 27652) at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. The new logo jet supports Japan’s national football team in the upcoming FIFA World Cup championship series in Brazil this year.

The special sticker (above) includes the logo of the Japan Football Association (JFA) and photos of 400 supporters who submitted their photos for selection according to the airline.

JA8985 was previously one of JAL’s six Disney Happiness Express logo jets which are being retired. The special logo jet will fly over Japan until July 2014.

Read the full story from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Japan Airlines:

JAL-Japan Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Skymark Airlines to start Airbus A380 service from Tokyo Narita to New York JFK in December

A380 MSN162 SKYMARK TRANSFER TO  STATION 30

Skymark Airlines (Tokyo) will soon take delivery of its first Airbus A380. The airframe (man 162) has been assembled at Toulouse and will be flying soon with the temporary marks of F-WWSL before it is delivered to the Japanese carrier. The airline is planning to inaugurate Airbus A380 service from Tokyo (Narita) to New York (JFK) in December.

Skymark has six Airbus A380s on order.

SKY-Skymark logo

Read the full story from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE

Images: Airbus. Airbus A380-841 msn 162, the first A380 for Skymark, is rolled out of the production hangar at Toulouse, France.

Update: Following the completion of its structural assembly, Skymark Airlines’ first A380 made its first journey on its wheels, moving to the next station at the Final Assembly Line in Toulouse on February 24. At this “station 30” Skymark Airlines’ first A380 will undergo general tests on electric and hydraulic systems, mobile parts, landing gears and fuel tanks. Also, the aircraft’s four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines will be mounted.

Skymark Airlines, Japan’s third largest and fast growing airline, has placed six firm A380 orders and will become the first Japanese A380 operator. Skymark plans to dispatch its A380s on international trunk routes, in particular linking Narita to destinations in the US to offer its passengers the unique experience of space and comfort when flying the A380.

Skymark Airlines: AG Slide Show

Tony Fernandes to restart AirAsia Japan with new Japanese partners

AirAsia’s (AirAsia.com) (Malaysia) (Kuala Lumpur) CEO Tony Fernandes is taking another crack at the Japanese LCC market with the return of AirAsia Japan according to Bloomberg. Tony Fernandes was recently in Japan and stated he was lining up new Japanese partners.

Yoshinori Odagiri, the former CEO of AirAsia Japan will also lead the new carrier with Osamu Hata, previously a chief financial officer at Japan’s Dell unit according to Bloomberg.

The previous AirAsia Japan (Tokyo-Narita) was a low-fare joint venture with ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) that operated from August 1, 2012 through August 31, 2013. The old AirAsia Japan was the fifth subsidiary/joint venture of AirAsia.

ANA turn its portion of the joint venture of AirAsia Japan into Vanilla Air. Vanilla Air’s fleet will grow to six Airbus A320s by next month, eight by March 2015, and 10 by March 2016 according to ZipanguFlyer.

Read the full report on the second coming of AirAsia Japan from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-216 JA03AJ (msn 5325) of the first version AirAsia Japan taxies at the Tokyo (Narita) base.

AirAsia Japan: AG Slide Show

Hong Kong Airlines to launch service to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on March 17

Hong Kong Airlines (Hong Kong) has announced it will launch a three-time weekly service between Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam.

From March 17, Hong Kong Airlines will deploy an all-economy class Airbus A320 aircraft on the route, which will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The new service to Ho Chi Minh City is complimented by the airlines’ daily flight to Hanoi, bringing it to a total of 10 weekly flights between Hong Kong and Vietnam.

The flight schedule for Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) is as follows:

Flight no. Route Departure/Arrival time* Frequency

HX 534 Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City 12:20/13:55 Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday

HX 535 Ho Chi Minh City to Hong Kong 15:00/18:30 Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 B-LPB (msn 4970) lands at Tokyo (Narita).

Hong Kong Airlines: AG Slide Show

*All local time

Air Canada reports adjusted net income of $340 million, an increase of $285 million from 2012

Air Canada (Montreal) today issued its financial report for 2013 (all figures in Canadian dollars):

Air Canada reported record full year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and impairment, and aircraft rent (EBITDAR(1)) of $1.433 billion (or $1.515 billion including the impact of benefit plan amendments) compared to EBITDAR of$1.320 billion (or $1.447 billion including the impact of benefit plan amendments) in 2012, an increase of$113 million (or $68 million including the impact of benefit plan amendments). Operating income of $619 million increased $177 million from 2012.  On a GAAP basis, in 2013, net income was $10 million or $0.02per diluted share compared to a net loss of $136 million or $0.51 per diluted share in 2012.  On an adjusted basis(1), net income was $340 million or $1.20 per diluted share, a record for Air Canada, compared to net income of $55 million or $0.20 per diluted share in 2012, an improvement of $285 millionor $1.00 per diluted share.

For the fourth quarter of 2013, Air Canada reported EBITDAR of $277 million (or $359 million including the impact of benefit plan amendments) compared to EBITDAR of $283 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.  Air Canada estimates that December 2013 EBITDAR was negatively impacted by $15 million as a result of severe weather conditions.  Operating income of $135 million increased $88 million from the fourth quarter of 2012.  On a GAAP basis, in the fourth quarter of 2013, Air Canada reported a net loss of $6 million or $0.02 per diluted share compared to a net loss of $60 million or $0.22 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2012.  In the fourth quarter of 2013, Air Canada reported adjusted net income of $3 million or $0.01 per diluted share compared to an adjusted net loss of $5 million or $0.02 per diluted share in the same quarter in 2012, an improvement of $8 million or $0.03 per diluted share.

“I am extremely pleased to report Air Canada’s best full year financial performance in the Corporation’s history,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Adjusted net income for the year was a record $340 million and represents a six-fold increase from 2012. These results underscore the significant operating leverage opportunity that we have.  We achieved this increase in adjusted net income based on total revenue growth of 2.2 per cent for the year and on a decrease in unit costs of 1.5 per cent.  Very good progress was made last year in executing on our transformation strategy and this was recognized by the investment community with a tripling of our share price in 2013. I would like to thank Air Canada’s 27,000 employees for their part in helping to achieve the significant accomplishments of 2013 and enabling us to begin the new year on a solid strategic foundation.

“Our performance in 2013, especially the last three quarters where adjusted net income improved each quarter versus the prior year, establishes a strong foundation for continued success in 2014.  We started 2014 facing challenges of extreme weather conditions at our Canadian hubs and a falling Canadian dollar.  As we forecasted weakness in the Canadian dollar as part of our annual budgeting process, although not at its current level, we had a head start looking at ways to mitigate the exposure, such as through additional cost reduction and new revenue enhancement initiatives.  We also have over $1 billionin U.S. dollar revenues, a currency hedge position and U.S. cash reserves that will absorb some of the exposure.  Additionally, historically, the price of crude oil and the Canadian dollar have shown some correlation, where decreases in the value of the Canadian dollar have been associated, to an extent, with decreases in the cost of fuel.  However, given severe weather conditions, the weaker Canadian dollar and the impact of increased capacity in certain markets, we expect our first quarter EBITDAR to be below last year’s level by $15 to $30 million. We are confident in our ability to mitigate the financial impact of these factors over the 2014 fiscal year,” concluded Mr. Rovinescu.

In 2013, Air Canada launched its new lower-cost leisure carrier, Air Canada rouge; introduced specially-configured new Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft on international routes with higher demand for economy travel; announced the first phase of its narrow-body fleet renewal plan for up to 109 Boeing MAX aircraft to further lower operating costs; transferred its entire Embraer 175 fleet to a lower cost regional operator, and continued to diversify its regional airline strategy. In addition, the airline concluded an enhanced commercial agreement with the GTAA to grow international connecting traffic at Toronto Pearson Airport on a more cost effective basis; completed a $1.4 billion refinancing of high yield notes; concluded the first offering in Canada of enhanced equipment trust certificates to finance aircraft on very favourable terms; and finalized special pension funding arrangements with the federal government.  As disclosed in Air Canada’s news release dated January 22, 2014, based on preliminary estimates, Air Canada projects its Canadian registered retirement pension plans at January 1, 2014 to be in a small surplus position, compared to a solvency deficit position of $3.7 billion at January 1, 2013. Final valuations as of January 1, 2014 will be completed in the first half of 2014.  Please see section below entitled “Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information”.

By the summer of 2014, Air Canada is scheduled to take delivery of the first three of 37 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. This fuel efficient aircraft will improve the performance of routes currently operated with Boeing 767 aircraft and will allow the airline to pursue new international growth opportunities, such as the recently announced Toronto-Tokyo Haneda route.  The 787 Dreamliner will also premier Air Canada’s new cabin product, including the international Premium Economy cabin first introduced with its new Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, the fifth and final one of which was delivered in February 2014.

Full Year Income Statement Highlights

In 2013, system passenger revenues amounted to $11,021 million, an increase of $284 million or 2.6 per cent over 2012, on a 2.1 per cent growth in traffic and a 0.5 per cent improvement in yield.  Passenger revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 0.6 per cent from 2012 mainly on the yield growth.  Air Canada reported a record passenger load factor of 82.8 per cent in 2013, a 0.1 percentage point improvement year-over-year.

In 2013, operating expenses amounted to $11,763 million, an increase of $91 million or 1 per cent from 2012.  Excluding the operating expense reductions related to benefit plan amendments recorded in the fourth quarter of 2013 and the third quarter of 2012, operating expenses increased $46 million year-over-year.

In 2013, the unfavorable impact of a weaker Canadian dollar on foreign currency denominated operating expenses (mainly U.S. dollars), when compared to 2012, increased operating expenses by $147 million. This currency impact was partially offset by a favourable currency impact on passenger revenues of $27 million and realized currency derivative gains of $55 million.

Air Canada’s adjusted cost per available seat mile (adjusted CASM(1)), which excludes fuel expense, the cost of ground packages at Air Canada Vacations and unusual items, decreased 1.5 per cent compared to 2012.  The 1.5 per cent reduction in adjusted CASM was in line with the adjusted CASM decrease of 1.5 per cent to 2.0 per cent projected in Air Canada’s news release dated November 8, 2013.

In 2013, Air Canada recorded operating income of $619 million compared to operating income of $442 million in 2012, both including operating expense reductions related to benefit plan amendments.

Fourth Quarter Income Statement Highlights

In the fourth quarter of 2013, system passenger revenues amounted to $2,560 million, an increase of $47 million or 1.9 per cent over the fourth quarter of 2012, on a 2.5 per cent growth in traffic as yield declined 0.6 per cent year-over-year.  Passenger revenue per available seat mile (RASM) decreased 1.7 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2012 on a decrease in passenger load factor and on the yield decline.  Air Canada reported a passenger load factor of 80.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2013, 0.9 percentage points below the fourth quarter 2012.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, operating expenses of $2,759 million decreased $33 million or 1 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2012.  Excluding the operating expense reduction related to benefit plan amendments of $82 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, operating expenses increased $49 million or 2 per cent year-over-year.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, the unfavorable impact of a weaker Canadian dollar on foreign currency denominated operating expenses (mainly U.S. dollars), when compared to the fourth quarter of 2012, increased operating expenses by $75 million. This currency impact was partially offset by a favourable currency impact on passenger revenues of $24 million and realized currency derivative gains of $13 million.

Air Canada’s adjusted cost per available seat mile (adjusted CASM), which excludes fuel expense, the cost of ground packages at Air Canada Vacations and unusual items, decreased 2.3 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2012.  The 2.3 per cent reduction in adjusted CASM was in line with the adjusted CASM decrease of 2.0 per cent to 3.0 per cent projected in Air Canada’s news release dated November 8, 2013.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, Air Canada recorded operating income of $135 million compared to operating income of $47 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.  As discussed above, in the fourth quarter of 2013, Air Canada recorded an operating expense reduction of $82 million related to benefit plan amendments.

Financial and Capital Management Highlights

At December 31, 2013, unrestricted liquidity (cash, short-term investments and undrawn lines of credit) amounted to $2,364 million or 19 per cent of annual operating revenues (December 31, 2012 - $2,018 million or 17 per cent of annual operating revenues).   Air Canada’s principal objective in managing liquidity risk is to maintain a minimum unrestricted liquidity level of $1.7 billion.

At December 31, 2013, adjusted net debt(1) amounted to $4,351 million, an increase of $214 million fromDecember 31, 2012.  The increase in adjusted net debt was largely due to the purchase of four Boeing 777 aircraft in 2013.  The airline’s adjusted net debt to EBITDAR ratio was 3.0 at December 31, 2013versus a ratio 3.1 at December 31, 2012.  Air Canada uses this ratio to manage its financial leverage risk and its objective is to maintain the ratio below 3.5.

In 2013, negative free cash flow(1) of $231 million declined $430 million from 2012.  While operating cash flows improved year-over year, which was consistent with the improvement in operating earnings, free cash flow was impacted by the addition of four Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft delivered in 2013.

For the 12 months ended December 31, 2013, return on invested capital (ROIC(1)) was 11.0 per cent versus 7.9 per cent at December 31, 2012.  Air Canada’s goal is to achieve a sustainable ROIC of 10 to 13 per cent by 2015.

U.S. dollar currency derivatives and U.S. dollar cash reserves, which, as at December 31, 2013, amounted to US$1,547 million and US$743 million, respectively, are employed to offset approximately 50 per cent of the net U.S. dollar currency exposure in 2014.  The currency derivatives enable Air Canada to purchase U.S. dollars at a weighted average price of C$1.0341.  These derivatives and U.S. dollar cash reserves will be available to mitigate certain cash flow exposure from the currency movements in 2014; however the benefit of these hedging activities is recorded as a foreign exchange gain and not within operating income.

Current Outlook

For the first quarter of 2014, Air Canada expects its system ASM capacity, as measured by available seat miles (ASMs), to increase in the range of 3.5 to 4.5 per cent when compared to the first quarter of 2013.

Air Canada expects its full year 2014 system ASM capacity to increase in the range of 7.0 to 9.0 per cent and its domestic ASM capacity to increase in the range of 3.5 to 4.5 per cent when compared to the same periods in 2013.  The domestic capacity growth will be primarily on transcontinental services.  The projected system and domestic capacity increase will be achieved at a unit cost which is significantly below historical levels. Air Canada reduced its full year 2014 projected system ASM capacity growth from the 9.0 to 11.0 per cent ASM increase previously projected in Air Canada’s November 8th, 2013 news release, primarily as a result of a reduction in projected capacity in the Pacific market.

For the first quarter of 2014, Air Canada expects adjusted CASM to decrease in the range of 1.0 to 2.0 per cent when compared to the first quarter of 2013.

For the full year 2014, Air Canada expects adjusted CASM to decrease in the range of 2.5 to 3.5 per cent from the full year 2013.  The projected weaker Canadian dollar adversely impacts the 2014 adjusted CASM outlook by 1.4 percentage points.

Air Canada’s outlook assumes Canadian GDP growth of 2.0 to 3.0 per cent for 2014.  Air Canada also expects that the Canadian dollar will trade, on average, at C$1.10 per U.S. dollar in the first quarter of 2014 and for the full year 2014 and that the price of jet fuel will average 93 cents per litre for the first quarter of 2014 and 92 cents per litre for the full year 2014.

For the full year 2014, Air Canada also expects:

  • Depreciation, amortization and impairment expense to decrease by $40 million from the full year 2013.
  • Employee benefits expense to decrease by $20 million from the full year 2013.
  • Aircraft maintenance expense to increase by $110 million ($40 million of which is expected to be due to the weaker Canadian dollar when compared to the U.S. dollar) from the full year 2013.
  • Net financing expense relating to employee benefits (in non-operating expense on Air Canada’s statement of operations) to decrease by $75 million from the full year 2013. 

The outlook provided constitutes forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws and is based on a number of additional assumptions and subject to a number of risks.  Please see section below entitled “Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information.”

(1)   Non-GAAP Measures

Below is a description of certain non-GAAP measures used by Air Canada to provide additional information on its financial and operating performance.  Such measures are not recognized measures for financial statement presentation under Canadian GAAP and do not have standardized meanings and may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other public companies.  Refer to Air Canada’s 2013 MD&A for reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures.

  • Adjusted net income (loss) and adjusted net income (loss) per diluted share are used by Air Canada to assess its performance without the effects of foreign exchange, net financing expense on employee benefits, mark-to-market adjustments on derivatives and other financial instruments recorded at fair value and unusual items.
  • EBITDAR is commonly used in the airline industry and is used by Air Canada to assess earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, impairment and aircraft rent as these costs can vary significantly among airlines due to differences in the way airlines finance their aircraft and other assets.
  • Adjusted CASM is used by Air Canada to assess the operating performance of its ongoing airline business without the effects of fuel expense, the cost of ground packages at Air Canada Vacations and unusual items, such as impairment charges and benefit plan amendments, as such expenses may distort the analysis of certain business trends and render comparative analyses to other airlines less meaningful.
  • Free cash flow is used by Air Canada as an indicator of the financial strength and performance of its business because it shows how much cash is available for such purposes as repaying debt, meeting ongoing financial obligations and reinvesting in Air Canada.
  • Adjusted net debt is a key component of the capital managed by Air Canada and provides a measure of the airline’s net indebtedness.  Adjusted net debt is calculated as the sum of total long-term debt and finance lease obligations and capitalized operating leases less cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments.
  • Return on invested capital is used by Air Canada to assess the efficiency with which it allocates its capital to generate returns. Return is based on Adjusted net income (loss) (as discussed in the section above), excluding interest expense and implicit interest on operating leases. Invested capital includes average long-term debt, average finance lease obligations, the value of capitalized operating leases (calculated by multiplying annualized aircraft rent expense by 7) and the average market capitalization of Air Canada’s outstanding shares.

Notes:

(1) In 2013, Air Canada recorded an interest charge of $95 million related to the purchase of its senior secured notes which were to become due in 2015 and 2016.
(2) Adjusted net income (loss) and adjusted net income (loss) per share – diluted are non-GAAP financial measures.  Refer to section 20 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s 2013 MD&A for additional information.
(3) In the fourth quarter of 2013, Air Canada recorded an operating expense reduction of $82 million related to amendments to defined benefit pension plans. In the third quarter of 2012, Air Canada recorded an operating expense reduction of $127 million related to changes to the terms of the ACPA collective agreement pertaining to retirement age. Refer to section 20 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s 2013 MD&A for additional information.
(4) EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, impairment and aircraft rent) is a non-GAAP financial measure.  Refer to section 20 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s 2013 MD&A for additional information.
(5) Unrestricted liquidity refers to the sum of cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and the amount of available credit under Air Canada’s revolving credit facilities. At December 31, 2013, unrestricted liquidity was comprised of cash and short-term investments of $2,208 million and undrawn lines of credit of $156 million. At December 31, 2012, unrestricted liquidity was comprised of cash and short-term investments of $1,973 million and undrawn lines of credit of $45 million. 
(6) Free cash flow (cash flows from operating activities less additions to property, equipment and intangible assets) is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 9.5 of Air Canada’s 2013 MD&A for additional information.
(7) Adjusted net debt (total debt less cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments plus capitalized operating leases) is a non-GAAP financial measure.  Refer to section 9.3 of Air Canada’s 2013 MD&A for additional information.
(8) Return on invested capital (ROIC) is a non-GAAP financial measure.  Refer to section 20 of Air Canada’s 2013 MD&A for additional information
(9) Operating statistics (except for average number of FTE employees) include third party carriers (such as Jazz Aviation LP (“Jazz”)) operating under capacity purchase agreements with Air Canada.
(10) Adjusted CASM is a non-GAAP financial measure.  Refer to section 20 “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” of Air Canada’s 2013 MD&A for additional information.
(11) Reflects FTE employees at Air Canada.  Excludes FTE employees at third party carriers (such as Jazz) operating under capacity purchase agreements with Air Canada.
(12) Includes fuel handling expenses. Economic fuel price per litre is a non-GAAP financial measure.  Refer to sections 6 and 7 of Air Canada’s 2013 MD&A for additional information.
(13) Revenue passengers are counted on a flight number basis which is consistent with the IATA definition of revenue passengers carried. 

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-333 ER C-FIVQ (msn 35240) prepares to land in Tokyo (Narita).

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

Air Canada rouge: AG Slide Show

 

ANA to retire its last Boeing 747 on March 31 with JA8961

ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) is planning to operate its last revenue flight (NH 126) with the Boeing 747-400 on March 31 between Naha, Okinawa and Tokyo (Haneda) according to ZipanguFlyer. The last revenue flight is scheduled to be operated with 747-481 (D) JA8961 (msn 25644). The last ANA Boeing 747-400s are the high-density domestic version of the Boeing 747-400 that seat 565 passengers and were developed specifically for the Japanese market.

Read the full report with all of the details from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE

ANA introduced the Boeing 747 (the special short range 747SR-81) with JA8134 (msn 21605) with the hand over from Boeing on December 20, 1978. The first Boeing 747-281B (JA8175, msn 23502) came later on July 2, 1986. Trans-Pacific service was then launched to Los Angeles with the new type on July 16, 1986. Finally the first Boeing 747-481 (JA8094, msn 24801) joined the ANA fleet on August 28, 1990.

The Boeing 747 has faithfully served ANA for over 35 years. It will seem strange not to see a Boeing 747 with the company.

Copyright Photo: Marco Finelli/AirlinersGallery.com. Looking back in the past, Boeing 747-281B JA8181 (msn 23698) is seen at Rome (Fiumicino).

ANA: AG Slide Show

JTA introduces a red “Sakura Jimbei” logojet

JTA-Japan Transocean Air (Naha, Okinawa) today introduced a red “Sakura Jimbei” special color scheme on Boeing 737-446 JA8992 (msn 27917) (see ad below). Jimbei means whale shark in Japanese. The red Jimbei complements the first blue “Jimbei Jet” (above) that was introduced in December 2012. The hard to miss red female logo jet entered service on the Naha to Miyako route today according to ZipanguFlyer.

Read the full story from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Akira Uekawa/AirlinersGallery.com. The original blue “Jimbei Jet” approaches Tokyo (Haneda) for landing.

Photo Galleries: AG Galleries

JTA-Transocean Air: AG Slide Show

JTA Jimbei Jets (JTA)(LR)

Vanilla Air relaunches operations under a new brand

Vanilla Air (formerly AirAsia Japan) (Tokyo-Narita) as planned, relaunched operations on December 20 under this new brand. The first routes were from Tokyo (Narita) to Naha, Okinawa and Tokyo (Narita) to Taipei (Taoyuan).

Tokyo (Narita) – Sapporo will be started next month followed by Tokyo (Narita) – Seoul (Incheon) in March 2014.

Vanilla Air is the low-cost subsidiary of ANA.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-216 JA01VA (msn 5844) with Sharklets and a new identity arrives today at Tokyo (Narita).

Hot New Photos: AG Hot New Photos

Vanilla Air:

Vanilla Air logo

Route Map:

Vanilla Air 12.2013 Route Map

Video: Inaugural Flight from Narita to Taipei on December 20:

ANA to fly to Vancouver from Haneda Airport starting on March 30

ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) has announced its schedule plans for the summer season of 2014. The airline will add new service to Vancouver and Hanoi starting on March 30, 2014. Here are the full details:

ANA is announcing a new international flight schedule for summer 2014, introducing services to Vancouver (Canada) and Hanoi (Vietnam) for the first time. Additional services will be introduced at that time, with further route and schedule details to be announced.This expansion, effective from March 30, 2014, will make ANA the biggest airline carrier at Haneda, offering the most international flights to and from this airport. Haneda Airport is easily accessible from Tokyo and the new flight schedule, combined with ANA’s existing domestic network, will make it easier and more convenient for passengers to connect within Japan and to travel to overseas destinations. While new destinations such as Vancouver and Hanoi will be serviced from Haneda airport, flights toLondon, Paris, Jakarta and Manila will also start flying from Haneda airport in addition to existing services from Narita airport.ANA is also increasing the number of North American destinations it services from Asian cities via Narita, to improve convenience for transit passengers.

ANA operates a dual-airport strategy in the Tokyo area, capitalizing on the respective strengths of Haneda and Narita Airport. Routes and schedules for destinations served from both airports are carefully planned to complement one another, offering passengers the greatest choice and convenience, and to meet the growing demand for international travel.

Full details of the new flights, routes and aircraft are as shown below: *1

*1 Flight schedules are dependent on approval by the relevant authorities. Please be reminded that these are only scheduled plans and are subject to change.

*2 Some flight numbers are subject to change due to the reorganization of international services. Please check ANA SKY WEB for more details.

(1)New Services

*1 Schedule for NH857 is 10 minutes earlier than shown during March 30-Apr 30. Boeing 787-8 will be introduced from June.
*2 Boeing 787-8 will be introduced from May.
(2)Added flights

*1 Boeing 787-8 will be introduced from July.
(3)Changes in flight schedules

*1 Due to changes in operating schedules, flights originating in Jakarta will be suspended on March 30.
*2 Flight schedule for NH1163 and NH1164 will be changed and operated as NH1167 and NH1160. Due to changes in schedules, NH1160 on March 30 will be suspended.

(4)Suspended and reduced flights

ANA will offer alternative flights to passengers who have made reservations on flights that will be suspended after March 30.

*1 ANA will suspend flights between Narita and London but code-sharing flights with Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd will remain.
*2 Flights NH111 and NH902 will be suspended.
*3 Flights NH953 and NH916 will be suspended.

(5)Service resumed

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The new Vancouver route from Tokyo (Haneda) will be operated with Boeing 767-300 ERs. Boeing 767-381 ER JA611A (msn 32980) with “Forward together as one Japan” special markings arrives at Tokyo (Narita).

ANA: AG Slide Show

Air Canada reports 3Q adjusted net income of C$365 million

Air Canada (Montreal) today reported adjusted net income of $365 million or $1.29 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2013 compared to adjusted net income of $229 million or $0.82 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2012, an increase of 59.4 per cent.  Third quarter 2013 EBITDAR amounted to $626 million compared to EBITDAR (excluding benefit plan amendments) of $551 million in the third quarter of 2012, an increase of $75 million . On a GAAP basis (which includes special items), Air Canada’s net income was $299 million or $1.05 per diluted share compared to net income of $359 million or $1.28 per diluted share in the same quarter of the previous year, during which Air Canada recorded a special operating expense reduction of $127 million in Benefit plan amendments relating to changes to the retirement age under one of its collective agreements. No comparable operating expense reduction was recorded in the third quarter of 2013.

“I am extremely pleased to report Air Canada’s best quarterly performance in the Corporation’s history, surpassing previous records for adjusted net income and EBITDAR,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our operating leverage for the quarter was significant, as we achieved a 59.4 per cent improvement in adjusted net income based on increased total revenues of 4.6 per cent for the quarter.  These results underscore the momentum that has been achieved in executing on the foundations of our transformation strategy – sustainable profitability and positioning Air Canada as a stronger national and global competitor.

“In the quarter, we announced a series of significant developments in achieving our priorities: We successfully completed the $1.4 billion refinancing of our 2010 notes, significantly lowering our cost structure, strengthening our balance sheet and improving our credit profile.  We completed the transfer of all 15 Embraer 175 aircraft to Sky Regional, our Air Canada Express partner, an important step in Air Canada’s regional diversification strategy and our ongoing cost transformation program.  We finished construction of a new state-of-the-art Operations Centre that is designed to significantly improve operational capabilities and efficiencies of our global network.  To further develop Toronto Pearson as a truly global hub and even stronger North American gateway, we recently concluded an enhanced cooperation agreement with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA).  In addition, we implemented an expanded commercial agreement with Air China, to serve additional points in China on a codeshare basis with our Star Alliance partner.

“I am particularly pleased to see the stock market’s endorsement of the strategy that our team has developed. This was reflected in our stock price more than tripling over the past year.  Moreover, our commitment as a progressive employer and investment in the well-being of our employees has also been recognized with the recent naming of Air Canada as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers.

“Looking ahead, we will take delivery of the final three of five new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft by February 2014 , and we are actively preparing to begin integrating the first six of 37 Boeing 787 aircraft into our widebody fleet in 2014.  For the summer of 2014, we announced a major European expansion as these new widebody aircraft enter Air Canada’s international fleet allowing for the transfer of current aircraft to Air Canada rougeTM in order to operate in leisure markets on a more cost competitive basis.

“Our operational performance has also shown continued improvement. On-Time Performance (OTP) for the quarter improved over 20 percentage points compared to the previous year, the third consecutive quarter of significant year-over-year gains.  I would like to thank our employees for their on-going focus on taking care of our customers while operating a safe and efficient airline.  Their professionalism, collaboration and dedication, combined with Air Canada’s award-winning product has once again been recognized by this year’s Ipsos Reid Business Traveller Survey, released in September, that confirmed that Canada’s frequent business travellers recognize Air Canada as their preferred airline by a growing margin – the widest margin versus our domestic competitors since 2008,” concluded Mr. Rovinescu.

Third Quarter Income Statement Highlights

Third quarter 2013 system passenger revenues were $3,177 million , an increase of $148 million or 4.9 per cent over the third quarter of 2012, on a 2.9 per cent growth in traffic and a 2.0 per cent improvement in yield.  Passenger revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 1.8 per cent from the third quarter of 2012 on the yield growth.  Air Canada reported a passenger load factor of 86.2 per cent for the third quarter of 2013, 0.1 percentage points below the third quarter 2012 record load factor.  In the premium class cabin, passenger revenues increased $12 million or 2.1 per cent on yield growth of 3.8 per cent as traffic declined 1.7 per cent from the third quarter of 2012.

Operating expenses increased $160 million or 6 per cent from the third quarter of 2012.  As a result of changes to the terms of the ACPA collective agreement related to retirement age, which are not subject to regulatory approval, Air Canada recorded an operating expense reduction of $127 million in Benefit plan amendments in the third quarter of 2012 related to the impact of those amendments on pension and other employee benefit liabilities.  No such operating expense reduction was recorded in the third quarter of 2013.

Air Canada’s adjusted cost per available seat mile (adjusted CASM), which excludes fuel expense, the cost of ground packages at Air Canada Vacations and unusual items, decreased 3.4 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2012.  The 3.4 per cent reduction in adjusted CASM was in line with the adjusted CASM decrease of 3.0 per cent to 3.5 per cent projected in Air Canada’s news release dated October 3, 2013 .

In the third quarter 2013, Air Canada recorded operating income of $416 million compared to operating income of $423 million in the same quarter in 2012.  As discussed above, an operating expense reduction of $127 million was recorded in Benefit plan amendments in the third quarter of 2012 while no such operating expense reduction was recorded in the third quarter of 2013.

Financial and Capital Management Highlights

At September 30, 2013 , unrestricted liquidity (cash, short-term investments and undrawn lines of credit) improved to $2,412 million or 20 per cent of 12-month trailing revenues ( September 30, 2012 – $2,135 million or 18 per cent of 12-month trailing revenues).

Adjusted net debt amounted to $4,104 million at September 30, 2013 , a decrease of $33 million from December 31, 2012.   Despite adding US$285 million of debt related to the two Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft delivered in June and August 2013 , Air Canada was able to reduce net debt by maintaining positive cash from operations.

In the third quarter of 2013, negative free cash flow of $249 million declined $96 million from the third quarter of 2012, largely due to the addition of one Boeing 777 aircraft, partly offset by an increase in cash flows from operating activities due to better operating results.

For the 12 months ended September 30, 2013 , return on invested capital (“ROIC”) was 10.8 per cent versus 7.7 per cent at December 31, 2012.   Air Canada has targeted achieving an ROIC of 10 to 13 per cent by 2015.

Current Outlook

For the fourth quarter of 2013, Air Canada expects its system ASM capacity, as measured by available seat miles (ASMs), to increase in the range of 3.0 to 4.0 per cent when compared to the fourth quarter of 2012.

Air Canada expects its full year 2013 system ASM capacity and domestic ASM capacity to increase in the range of 2.0 to 2.5 per cent when compared to the same periods in 2012 (as opposed to the increase of 1.5 to 2.5 per cent disclosed in Air Canada’s news release dated October 3, 2013 ).

For the fourth quarter of 2013, Air Canada expects adjusted CASM to decrease 2.0 to 3.0 per cent when compared to the fourth quarter of 2012.

For the full year 2013, Air Canada continues to expect adjusted CASM to decrease in the range of 1.5 to 2.0 per cent from the full year 2012, consistent with the revised outlook provided with the October 3, 2013 traffic release.

Air Canada continues to expect its full year 2014 system capacity to increase by 9.0 to 11.0 per cent when compared to the full year 2013.  This projected increase in capacity, which is being deployed primarily on international markets, is consistent with the fleet plan discussed in Air Canada’s Third Quarter 2013 MD&A.  The projected capacity increase is due to the addition of five high-density Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft (the first two having been delivered in June and August 2013 , respectively, and the remaining three scheduled for delivery between November 2013 and February 2014 ), the scheduled arrival in 2014 of the first six Boeing 787 aircraft, and the planned growth from Air Canada rougeTM.

Air Canada’s outlook assumes Canadian GDP growth of 1.25 to 1.75 per cent for 2013 and Canadian GDP growth of 2.0 to 3.0 per cent for 2014.

Air Canada also expects that the Canadian dollar will trade, on average, at C$1.03 per U.S. dollar for the fourth quarter of 2013 and the full year 2013 and that the price of jet fuel will average  89 cents per litre for the fourth quarter of 2013 and the full year 2013.

The following table summarizes Air Canada’s above-mentioned outlook for the fourth quarter and full year 2013 and related major assumptions:

 

Fourth Quarter 2013 versus 
Fourth Quarter 2012
Full Year 2013 versus 
Full Year 2012
Current Outlook
Available seat miles (System) Increase 3.0% to 4.0% Increase 2.0% to 2.5%
Available seat miles (Canada) n/a Increase 2.0% to 2.5%
Adjusted CASM (1) Decrease 2.0% to 3.0% Decrease 1.5% to 2.0%
(1) Excludes fuel expense, the cost of ground packages at Air Canada Vacations and unusual items
Major Assumptions -
Fourth Quarter 2013
Major Assumptions -
Full Year 2013
Major Assumptions
Canadian dollar per U.S. dollar 1.03 1.03
Jet fuel price – CAD cents per litre 89 cents 89 cents
Canadian economy 2013 Annualized Canadian GDP
growth of 1.25% to 1.75%
Canadian GDP growth of
1.25% to 1.75%

 

For the full year 2013, Air Canada continues to expect:

  • Depreciation, amortization and impairment expense to decrease by $115 million from the full year 2012.
  • Employee benefits expense to increase by $70 million from the full year 2012.
  • Aircraft maintenance expense to decrease by $40 million from the full year 2012 level, which includes a favourable maintenance return provision adjustment of $32 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The following table summarizes the above-mentioned projections for the full year 2013:

Full Year 2013 versus 
Full Year 2012
Depreciation, amortization and impairment expense Decrease $115 million
Employee benefits expense Increase $70 million
Aircraft maintenance expense Decrease $40 million

 

The outlook provided constitutes forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws and is based on a number of additional assumptions and subject to a number of risks.  Please see section below entitled “Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information.”

Non-GAAP Measures

Below is a description of certain non-GAAP measures used by Air Canada to provide additional information on its financial and operating performance.  Such measures are not recognized measures for financial statement presentation under Canadian GAAP and do not have standardized meanings and may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other public companies.  Refer to Air Canada’s Third Quarter 2013 MD&A for reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures.

  • Adjusted net income (loss) and adjusted net income (loss) per diluted share are used by Air Canada to assess its performance without the effects of foreign exchange, net financing expense on employee benefits, mark-to-market adjustments on derivatives and other financial instruments recorded at fair value and unusual items.
  • EBITDAR is commonly used in the airline industry and is used by Air Canada to assess earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, impairment and aircraft rent as these costs can vary significantly among airlines due to differences in the way airlines finance their aircraft and other assets.
  • Adjusted CASM is used by Air Canada to assess the operating performance of its ongoing airline business without the effects of fuel expense, the cost of ground packages at Air Canada Vacations and unusual items, such as impairment charges and benefit plan amendments, as such expenses may distort the analysis of certain business trends and render comparative analyses to other airlines less meaningful.
  • Free cash flow is used by Air Canada as an indicator of the financial strength and performance of its business because it shows how much cash is available for such purposes as repaying debt, meeting ongoing financial obligations and reinvesting in Air Canada.
  • Adjusted net debt is a key component of the capital managed by Air Canada and provides a measure of the airline’s net indebtedness.  Adjusted net debt is calculated as the sum of total long-term debt and finance lease obligations and capitalized operating leases less cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments.
  • Return on invested capital is used by Air Canada to assess the efficiency with which it allocates its capital to generate returns. Return is based on Adjusted net income (loss) (as discussed in the section above), excluding interest expense and implicit interest on operating leases. Invested capital includes average long-term debt, average finance lease obligations, the value of capitalized operating leases (calculated by multiplying annualized aircraft rent expense by 7) and the market capitalization of Air Canada’s outstanding shares.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-333 ER C-FRAM (msn 35250) approaches Tokyo (Narita) for landing.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

United Airlines applies for San Francisco-Tokyo Haneda authority

United Airlines (Chicago) has applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for authority to provide daily nonstop service from the airline’s hub at San Francisco International Airport to Haneda Airport in downtown Tokyo. United applied for the Haneda Airport slot pair used by American Airlines for New York (JFK)-Haneda service, which the carrier announced on October 16, 2013, it will terminate.

United proposes to begin the new service from San Francisco in the summer of 2014, using existing aircraft in its fleet, subject to government approval.

From San Francisco, United and the United Express carriers operate more than 300 daily flights to more than 90 cities in North America, Asia, Australia and Europe. With nonstop service from San Francisco to Beijing, Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo Narita, and beginning next year to Taipei and Chengdu (subject to government approval), United’s San Francisco hub serves more destinations across the Pacific with more nonstop flights from the United States than any other airline, and nearly twice as many as any other airline from the U.S. West Coast. United also operates daily nonstop flights to Tokyo Narita from Chicago, Denver, Guam, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington.

The proposed San Francisco-Haneda flights will complement United’s daily San Francisco-Tokyo Narita service, which will continue to operate and offer alternative time-of-day departures and arrivals, as well as options for passengers who prefer to travel to Tokyo Narita or are making connections there.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-222 ER N222UA (msn 30553) lands at SeaTac (Seattle-Tacoma International Airport).

United Airlines: AG Slide Show

Air France-KLM: The Alitalia business plan is not suitable

Air France-KLM Group (Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines) (Paris and Amsterdam) with 25 percent of the stock is the key to Alitalia’s (2nd) (Rome) survival. According to this report by Reuters quoting internal sources, the group has stated privately the Alitalia rescue plan and capital infusion “fell short of its requirements, particularly in terms of debt restructuring.”

However, the source added that Alitalia was “of strategic interest” to Air France-KLM.

Meanwhile Willie Walsh of the International Airline Group (British Airways, Iberia and Vueling Airlines) has spoken out against the state aid for Alitalia and has called on the European Commission to stop the Italian government’s efforts to prop-up the failing flag carrier.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Alitalia’s Boeing 777-243 ER I-DISU (msn 32858) climbs from the runway at Tokyo (Narita).

Alitalia (2nd): AG Slide Show

Air France: AG Slide Show

KLM: AG Slide Show

Delta and Virgin Atlantic win DOT antitrust immunity for the trans-Atlantic joint venture

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) welcomed the decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to approve the carriers’ joint venture by granting antitrust immunity on routes between North America and the United Kingdom.

In their filing to the DOT, Delta and Virgin Atlantic noted that nearly 60 percent of the slots at London Heathrow Airport are controlled by British Airways and its joint venture partners. As a result, the carriers dominate air travel between the U.S. and the U.K, including the New York-London market, the most important business market in the world. By combining Virgin Atlantic’s Heathrow slots and U.K. brand strength with Delta’s powerful U.S. network, the joint venture will offer significant competition in the market and benefit consumers on both sides of the Atlantic.

New schedule between New York-JFK and London Heathrow

With the customer at the forefront of their partnership, the airlines unveiled a new schedule for the competitive New York to London travel market designed with business travelers in mind and offering a total of nine daily nonstop flights. Effective March 30, 2014, Delta and Virgin Atlantic will operate a harmonized schedule between New York-JFK and London Heathrow featuring seven daily nonstop services at convenient time slots. The new schedule will include departures every 30 minutes during the early evening peak and then hourly until 22:30 from New York-JFK to London Heathrow and a spread of seven daily flights from London Heathrow to New York-JFK, including two late afternoon and early evening departures. These services will be complemented by two daily nonstop flights between Newark Liberty International Airport and London Heathrow.

Delta and Virgin Atlantic will operate the following New York-JFK-London Heathrow schedule beginning March 30, 2014:

New York (JFK) – London (LHR) London (LHR) – New York (JFK)
DepartAirport Depart Airport Arrival Depart

Airport

Depart Airport Arrival
JFK 07:40 LHR 19:40 LHR 09:05 JFK 11:50
JFK 18:30 LHR 06:50* LHR 10:15 JFK 13:15
JFK 19:00 LHR 07:20* LHR 11:30 JFK 14:25
JFK 19:30 LHR 08:00* LHR 14:00 JFK 16:40
JFK 20:30 LHR 08:45* LHR 16:15 JFK 19:05
JFK 21:30 LHR 09:25* LHR 17:35 JFK 20:30
JFK 22:30 LHR 10:40* LHR 20:05 JFK 23:00
*arrives the following day

The two airlines will work together to coordinate other schedule and network opportunities. Combined, the airlines will operate a total of 32 peak daily nonstop flights between North America and the U.K. of which 24 flights will operate between London Heathrow and popular U.S. destinations such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta and Washington. Business customers will also benefit from a high-quality product: Delta and Virgin Atlantic’s business class uniquely includes forward-facing full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access on every flight. In addition, both airlines will offer a premium economy product on its trans-Atlantic services.

Customers are already seeing improved travel options from the partnership as they are benefiting from codesharing across 104 routes offering seamless connections to 63 destinations across North America and the UK. The partnership also means that members of frequent flyer SkyMiles and Flying Club loyalty programs have more opportunity to earn and use miles/points, while Premium customers have reciprocal access to Delta Sky Club and Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounges. In addition, business class passengers receive priority check-in, boarding, baggage handling and additional baggage allowance on all Delta and Virgin Atlantic operated flights worldwide, including those outside of the codeshare agreement.

Delta and Virgin Atlantic will unveil further product enhancements later in the year, appealing to the business customer and improving the travel experience of customers across the trans-Atlantic.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Ex-Northwest Airlines Airbus A330-323X N813NW (msn 799) of Delta approaches the Tokyo (Narita) hub for landing.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Virgin Atlantic Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Olivier Gregoire/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new Airbus A330-343X F-WWCG (msn 1341) became G-VWAG on delivery to Virgin Atlantic.

Lufthansa’s transfer of Austrian Airlines employees to cheaper Tyrolean Airways deemed illegal by a Vienna court

Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) in 2012 orchestrated the transfer of around 2,000 staff members of its Austrian Airlines (Vienna) subsidiary to the cheaper Tyrolean Airways (Innsbruck) subsidiary to reduce overall costs. A Vienna court ruled yesterday (September 2) that the move was illegal and the employees were still employed by Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines stated it would appeal the verdict of the Vienna Labor and Social Affairs Court. The transfer was the heart of the loss-making airline’s restructuring plan and its attempt to return to profitability along with the Lufthansa Group.

Currently Tyrolean Airways is operating all Austrian Airlines-branded aircraft (except one Boeing 777) as Austrian Airlines flights. The one Triple Seven is keeping the Austrian Airlines AOC alive.

Read the full report from Euronews: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Austrian Airlines-branded Boeing 777-2Z9 ER OE-LPA (msn 28698) pictured departing from Tokyo (Narita) is actually being operated Tyrolean Airways-employed crews on the Tyrolean AOC until the Vienna court deemed the crews to be considered Austrian Airlines employees again! What will now happen to the Tyrolean crews who were operating alongside Austrian crews?

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Delta and Virgin Atlantic receive tentative DOT antitrust immunity for trans-Atlantic alliance

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) have received tentative U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) (Washington) antitrust immunity for its proposed trans-Atlantic alliance. As part of the deal, Delta is acquiring a 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic for $360 million from Singapore Airlines (Singapore).

All other parties will have 14 days to comment on the DOT decision, otherwise it will become final.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Delta’s Boeing 757-232 N650DL (msn 24390) banks on the final turn on the River Approach into Washington (Reagan National).

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Have you seen the “new look” AirlinersGallery.com?

Virgin Atlantic Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A340-313 G-VAIR (msn 164) climbs away from Tokyo (Narita) painted in the updated 2010 livery which also includes airline titles on the fuselage underside.

 

AirAsia Japan to become Vanilla Air

AirAsia Japan (Tokyo-Narita), the failed joint venture between AirAsia (Malaysia) (Kuala Lumpur) and ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo), will be rebranded as Vanilla Air by its now full parent, ANA, which acquired AirAsia’s shares in the joint venture. Vanilla Air will become the new name in December. In the meantime, AirAsia Japan is cancelling hundreds of flights between September 1 and October 26 (see below).

Read the full story from Channel NewsAsia: CLICK HERE

Vanilla Air logo

The current AirAsia Japan aircraft are being returned to AirAsia. AirAsia previously issued this statement about the cancelled joint venture and as a result the following cancelled flights:

1 SEP – 26 OCT 2013 : From/ To Nagoya (Chubu)

Nagoya (Chubu) → Fukuoka Fukuoka → Nagoya (Chubu)
Flight No. Departure Arrival Flight No. Departure Arrival
JW8621 6:45 8:05 JW8622 8:40 9:55
JW8627 19:55 21:15 JW8628 21:40 22:55

 

Nagoya (Chubu) → Sapporo (Shin-Chitose) Sapporo (Shin-Chitose) → Nagoya (Chubu)
Flight No. Departure Arrival Flight No. Departure Arrival
JW8617 15:40 17:20 JW8616 17:45 19:30

 

Nagoya (Chubu) → Seoul (Incheon) Seoul (Incheon) → Nagoya (Chubu)
Flight No. Departure Flight No. Flight No. Departure Flight No.
JW865 10:45 12:45 JW866 13:10 15:00

 

1 OCT – 26 OCT 2013 : Narita=Sapporo (Shin-Chitose) & Narita=Okinawa (Naha)

Tokyo (Narita) → Sapporo (Shin-Chitose) Sapporo (Shin-Chitose) → Tokyo (Narita)
Flight No. Departure Arrival Frequency Flight No. Departure Arrival Frequency
JW8521 7:10 8:55 Thu, Sat JW8520 9:20 10:55 Thu, Sat
7:15 9:00 Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun 9:25 11:00 Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun
JW8523 11:25 13:20 Thu, Sat JW8522 13:45 15:20 Thu, Sat
111:30 13:25 Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun 13:50 15:25 Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun

 

Tokyo (Narita) → Okinawa (Naha) Okinawa (Naha) → Tokyo (Narita)
Flight No. Departure Arrival Frequency Flight No. Departure Arrival
JW8665 15:55 18:50 Thu, Sat JW8666 19:20 21:55
16:00 18:55 Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-216 JA02AJ (msn 5200) climbs away from the Tokyo (Narita) base.

AirAsia Japan: AG Slide Show

Austrian Airlines introduces a new cabin product for its long haul flights

Austrian Airlines (Vienna) has introduced a new long-haul cabin product and issued this statement:

As of now all passengers on Austrian’s long-haul flights benefit from the advantages of its new cabin. These advantages include a new level of seating comfort in Economy Class, an advanced board entertainment system offering non-stop entertainment, as well as innovative Business Class seats capable of being transformed into entirely flat beds. A total of 2,538 new seats were installed in the four Boeing 777 and six Boeing 767 airplanes belonging to Austrian’s long-haul fleet. An optimal array of seats ensures undisturbed flights. The Boeing 777’s Business Class provides four of five passengers sitting in a row with direct access to the aisle. This access is enjoyed, in fact, by every Business Class passenger in Austrian’s Boeing 767s. As before Austrian’s passengers are indulged by the prize-winning service and the first class DO and CO-catered fare. The menus provided in Business Class receive their final touches from flying chefs.

Austrian Long Haul 2 (Austrian)(LR)

The reconfiguration of the cabins has considerably boosted customer satisfaction, which has risen substantial 31 percentage points – among passengers on long-haul flights – since the launch of the new cabin. This result places Austrian Airlines among the peak of the evaluations received by the airlines comprising the world-spanning Star Alliance.

Austrian Long Haul Cabin (Austrian)(LRW)

 

Austrian CCO Karsten Benz states: “We are gratified by the enthusiasm shown by our customers. The significant rise in their satisfaction is proof that our investments of more than €90 million have paid off.”

Top Copyright Photos: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Austrian Airlines). Boeing 777-2Z9 ER OE-LPC (msn 29313) climbs away from Tokyo (Narita) bound for the Vienna hub.

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show

ANA is planning to retire the last Boeing 747 on March 29, 2014

ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) is planning to retire the last Boeing 747-400 on March 29, 2014. The last route is tentatively schedule as a flight between Naha, Okinawa and Tokyo (Haneda) per Airline Route.

The airline is currently operating five domestic models on domestic routes in Japan.

ANA added its first Boeing 747SR-81 (JA8133) (above) on December 20, 1978 for its high-density domestic routes. ANA also added its first Boeing 747-281B (JA8174) (below) on June 25, 1986.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747SR-81 JA8145 (msn 22291) taxies at the Haneda Airport hub.

ANA: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-281B JA8181 (msn 23698) joined the ANA fleet on December 22, 1986 and migrated to NCA on May 26, 1999 as a freighter.

Delta posts a $844 million net profit in the Second Quarter

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today reported financial results for the June 2013 quarter.  Highlights from the quarter include:

  • Delta’s net profit for the June 2013 quarter was $844 million, or $0.98 per diluted share, excluding special items1.  This result is a record June quarter profit excluding special items and is a $258 million improvement year-over-year.
  • Including $159 million in special items, Delta’s GAAP net income was $685 million, or $0.80 per diluted share.
  • The company announced a balanced capital deployment plan, targeted at creating up to $5 billion of value for shareholders by 2017 through further debt reduction and the return of more than $1 billion to shareholders over the next three years by means of $200 million of annual dividends and a $500 million share repurchase program.
  • June quarter results include $118 million of profit sharing expense in recognition of Delta employees’ contributions to the company’s financial performance.
  • Delta generated $1.3 billion of operating cash flow and $730 million of free cash flow in the June 2013 quarter, and ended the period with adjusted net debt of $10.2 billion.

Revenue Environment

Delta’s operating revenue declined $25 million in the June 2013 quarter compared to the June 2012 quarter.  Traffic increased 0.5 percent on a 0.8 percent increase in capacity.

  • Passenger revenue increased 0.7 percent, or $63 million, compared to the prior year period.  Passenger unit revenue (PRASM) was flat year over year with a 0.2 percent improvement in yield.
  • Cargo revenue decreased 11.4 percent, or $30 million, on declining freight yields.
  • Other revenue decreased 5.6 percent, or $58 million, as a result of the decision to discontinue a number of low margin-producing third-party maintenance contracts.

Comparisons of revenue-related statistics are as follows:

Increase (Decrease)

2Q13 versus 2Q12

Passenger Revenue 2Q13 ($M) Change

YOY

Unit

Revenue

Yield Capacity
Domestic $ 3,885 3.7% 0.9% 2.5% 2.8%
Atlantic 1,578 2.5% 1.4% 0.9% 1.0%
Pacific 841 (2.1)% 0.5% (2.7)% (2.6)%
Latin America 492 3.6% 1.2% (2.3)% 2.4%
Total Mainline 6,796 2.7% 1.1% 1.1% 1.6%
Regional carriers 1,698 (6.2)% (2.3)% 0.9% (4.0)%
Consolidated $ 8,494 0.7% (0.1)% 0.2% 0.8%

Cash Flow

Cash from operations during the June 2013 quarter was $1.3 billion, driven by the company’s June quarter profit and the seasonal increase in advanced ticket sales, which was partially offset by $500 million of accelerated pension funding.  The company generated $730 million of free cash flow.

Capital expenditures during the June 2013 quarter were $704 million, including $360 million for the acquisition of 49% of Virgin Atlantic and $238 million in fleet investments, including aircraft parts and modifications. During the quarter, Delta’s debt maturities and capital leases were $405 million.

Delta ended the quarter with adjusted net debt of $10.2 billion and the company has now achieved nearly $7 billion in net debt reduction since 2009.  This debt reduction strategy produced a $43 million year-over-year reduction in interest expense in the June quarter. As of June 30, 2013, Delta had $5.7 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $3.9 billion in cash and short-term investments and $1.8 billion in undrawn revolving credit facilities.

Cost Performance

Total operating expense in the quarter decreased year-over-year by $805 million driven by the savings from Delta’s structural cost initiatives and lower mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges, partially offset by the impact of operational, service and employee investments.

Consolidated unit cost excluding fuel expense, profit sharing and special items (CASM-Ex2), was 2.5 percent higher in the June 2013 quarter on a year-over-year basis, driven by the impact of wage increases and operational and service investments.  GAAP consolidated CASM decreased 9 percent, driven by lower fuel expense.

Fuel expense for the June quarter declined $710 million year-over-year, or $288 million excluding mark-to-market adjustments, as a result of lower fuel prices and prior year hedge losses. Delta’s average fuel price3 was $3.03 per gallon for the June quarter.  For the June quarter, operations at the Trainer refinery produced a $51 million loss ($0.05 cents per gallon impact) driven by the elevated price of the Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) required under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard.

Balanced Approach to Capital Deployment

In May, Delta announced a five year financial plan and a balanced capital deployment program aimed at creating up to $5 billion of value for shareholders, including returning more than $1 billion to shareholders over the next three years.  The company’s financial plan focuses on free cash flow generation through a combination of expected earnings improvements and a disciplined approach to capital investment.  Over the next five years, Delta plans to reinvest $2.0 – $2.5 billion annually, or approximately 50 percent of its operating cash flow, into improving the company’s fleet, facilities, products and technology.

The resulting free cash flow will be used to return cash to shareholders, further reduce the company’s debt, and opportunistically address longer-term pension funding needs, driving up to $5 billion of value to Delta’s shareholders.  Specifically,

  • The company expects to achieve an adjusted net debt level of $7 billion by 2017, a $5 billion reduction over 2012.  By meeting the $7 billion target, Delta will have reduced its adjusted net debt by $10 billion since 2009, significantly decreasing the company’s balance sheet risk and accreting more than $750 million of interest expense savings for shareowners;
  • Delta’s Board of Directors initiated a quarterly dividend and declared a $0.06 per share dividend for shareholders of record as of August 9, 2013.  This dividend will be paid on September 10, 2013.  In addition, the Board authorized a $500 million share repurchase program, to be completed no later than June 30, 2016.  Together, these two programs are designed to return more than $1 billion of capital to shareholders over the next three years;
  • The company also plans to make up to $1 billion of incremental contributions to the company’s defined benefit pension plans over the next five years.  These contributions would be in addition to the $650 – $700 million annual contribution requirement.

Special Items

Delta recorded special items totaling a $159 million charge in the June 2013 quarter, including:

  • a $125 million charge for mark-to-market adjustments for fuel hedges settling in future periods; and
  • a $34 million charge for facilities, fleet and other items, primarily associated with Delta’s domestic fleet restructuring.

Delta recorded special items totaling a $754 million charge in the June 2012 quarter, including:

  • a $561 million charge for mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges settling in future periods;
  • $171 million in severance and related costs associated with voluntary early out programs; and
  • a $22 million charge for facilities, fleet and other items.

End Notes

(1)  Note A to the attached Consolidated Statements of Operations provides a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures used in this release and provides the reasons management uses those measures.

(2)  CASM – Ex: In addition to fuel expense, profit sharing and special items, Delta believes excluding ancillary business costs is helpful to investors because ancillary business costs are not related to the generation of a seat mile. These businesses include aircraft maintenance and staffing services Delta provides to third parties and Delta’s vacation wholesale operations. The amounts excluded were $165 million and $244 million for the June 2013 and 2012 quarters, respectively. The amounts excluded were $350 million and $484 million for the six months ended June 30, 2013 and 2012, respectively.  Management believes this methodology provides a more consistent and comparable reflection of Delta’s airline operations.

(3)  Average fuel price per gallon: Delta’s June 2013 quarter average fuel price of $3.03 per gallon reflects the consolidated cost per gallon for mainline and regional operations, including contract carrier operations, and includes the impact of fuel hedge contracts with original maturity dates in the June 2013 quarter. On a GAAP basis, fuel price includes $125 million in fuel hedge mark-to-market adjustments recorded in periods other than the settlement period. The net refinery loss for the quarter was $51 million, or 5 cents per gallon.  See Note A for a reconciliation of average fuel price per gallon to the comparable GAAP metric.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-232 LR N702DN (msn 29741) “The Spirit of Atlanta” prepares to land at Tokyo (Narita).

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Alitalia issues a new Turnaround Plan, Air One to be rebranded

Alitalia (2nd) (Rome), a carrier that is familiar with financial problems, has issued this new “Industrial Plan 2013-2016″ to turnaround the flag carrier along with Air One (Milan-Malpensa):

Gabriele Del Torchio, new CEO of Alitalia, presented the strategic outline of the new Industrial Plan 2013 – 2016 for Alitalia and the new mission of the Company.
With this Plan, the Group wants to better respond to changes in the aviation market which, in recent years, has seen a sharp reduction in the domestic traffic sector, against a growth of international and intercontinental routes, particularly to Eastern Europe, North and South America, Middle and Far East.
The Plan foresees an increase in revenue from overseas activities which already account for over 50% of the total revenue of the Group, making Alitalia one of the main Italian companies to contribute to the balance of payments of Italy.
The Industrial Plan 2013 – 2016 will focus on 3 principal businesses – Alitalia, Air One and Alitalia Loyalty (the new company of the Group, founded at the end of 2012, which deals with the development and enhancement of the MilleMiglia program) and will be based on 4 strategic lines with the goal of recovering the productivity of the Company, allowing it to remain in the market efficiently and profitably.
1. STRATEGIC LINE: REDEFINITION OF THE ROLE OF ALITALIA AND AIR ONE WITH REGARD TO SHORT AND MEDIUM HAUL ROUTES
This will involve the redefinition of the Alitalia Group’s short and medium haul network, differentiating the activities of Alitalia and Air One, avoiding overlapping between the two Companies, with the aim to better respond to the needs of all customer segments.
The Smart Carrier Air One: a web oriented company, which will have operational bases in Sicily, North East Italy and Pisa.
A new image and branding project is under way for Air One. The new brand, which will replace Air One, will have a stronger likeness to Alitalia. The Smart Carrier will offer, with a predominantly web-oriented sales model, 2 fares and 2 levels of service (GO and SMART) to meet the needs of both price-sensitive and premium segments. GO fare passengers will be able to customise their travel experience by choosing additional services.
The Smart Carrier’s new short and medium haul network structure will be dedicated to serve point-to-point connections, from the bases of Catania, Palermo, Venice and Pisa, strengthening, in particular, the provision of international flights.
The increase of the offer in Sicily and in North East Italy responds to the need to meet the high traffic demand in Sicily and to regain market share in North East Italy, which was lost in recent years to other European airports. Maintaining a presence in Pisa and Tuscany is also of great importance.
Alitalia strengthens its operations at the hub of Rome Fiumicino and at Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa airports
Alitalia will operate all national and international connections to/from the hub of Rome Fiumicino and to/from Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa airports, increasing international and intercontinental services at these 3 airports.
With regard to Milan Linate airport, whilst maintaning the connections to Southern Italy, the Plan provides that selected Rome-Milan-Rome slots will be replaced with new international point-to-point connections, thereby allowing Alitalia to satisfy the needs of customers in Northern Italy, especially business travellers.
During the course of the Plan, new flights from Milan Linate to Copenhagen, Budapest, Vienna, Stockholm, Helsinki, Malta, Tallinn, Prague and Warsaw will be introduced.
Alitalia will also operate services from Milan Malpensa airport to non-EU destinations such as Cairo, Tunis, Moscow and Tirana, in addition to connections to Rome Fiumicino.
The international offer will be further enhanced, as early as 2013, with new flights from Rome Fiumicino to several international routes. Possible new destinations are: Nuremberg, Lviv, Bordeaux, Skopje, Zagreb, Sarajevo, Ankara, Marrakech, Misurata, Minsk, Basel, Marseille, Rostov, Pristina, Damascus, Erbil.
New pricing strategy and servicing
The safeguard and the development of the domestic and international market share will be ensured through a rethinking of pricing strategies to take into account and to attract not only those who choose a premium fare (the vast majority of Alitalia passengers today), but also price-sensitive customers, who, in any case, will be able to customise their travel experience by choosing additional services.
The new strategy also embraces other customer groups by offering dedicated initiatives. For example, young people (thanks to the already introduced JUMP ON-BOARD fares) and, soon, families and foreign nationals living in Italy.
2. STRATEGIC LINE: DEVELOPMENT OF INTERCONTINENTAL ACTIVITIES
The Strategic Plan 2013 – 2016 sees a strong projection on the intercontinental network.
Development of the long-haul fleet
To support the development of the intercontinental network, 6 long-haul aircraft are expected to be introduced into the Alitalia fleet, during the course of the Plan.
Various actions are needed in order to increase profitability of the current intercontinental routes. In October 2013, as part of a specific plan, the reconfiguration of 10 Airbus A330 aircraft part of the Alitalia fleet will commence and is expected to be completed by 2014.
The new configuration is the result of a research into the precise needs of the Italian air transport  market.
New long-haul routes with high potential
New long-haul routes with high traffic potential to/from Italy will be identified and introduced. The new routes will operate mainly from the hub of Rome Fiumicino and the airports of Milan Malpensa and Venice.
The new intercontinental destinations which may be introduced between Winter 2014 and Winter 2016 are Nairobi, Seoul, Santiago de Chile, San Francisco and Johannesburg from Rome. Shanghai, Abu Dhabi and Osaka from Milan Malpensa; Tokyo from Venice.
The launch of the new routes will be combined with the strengthening of the Alitalia presence through increased frequencies to North and South America (especially the United States and Brazil), Japan and the Arabian peninsula.
This process will boost the attractiveness of Rome Fiumicino as a national and intercontinental hub, with a strong and innovative trade policy to attract increasing volumes of passengers.
Strengthening of business partnerships with major companies
Parallel to the development of new long-haul routes served directly, Alitalia will expand its worldwide presence in countries which, are today insufficiently served, by strengthening existing commercial partnerships.
Thanks to the reinforcement of existing codesharing agreements, or through the development of new agreements, Italian passengers will be able to reach destinations throughout the world, even if not directly served by Alitalia.
Development of market share and of commercial activity abroad
Alitalia, as ambassador of Italy and of Italian excellence in the world, aims to increase its market share abroad and, in particular, in those countries where there is a strong presence of Italian communities, such as Canada, USA, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa and Australia.
At the same time, to further increase the flow of traffic to Italy, of both leisure and business travellers, Alitalia will strengthen its commercial network, already present in many worldwide countries.
The expansion of Alitalia abroad will be made possible by alliances and codesharing agreements.
ROME FIUMICINO RE-HUBBING PROJECT
An all-encompassing activity, which will fast forward the achievement of the objectives highlighted in the first two strategic lines of the 2013 – 2016 Industrial Plan, is the Re-Hubbing project of the Alitalia hub at Rome Fiumicino Airport, which will be launched in October for the Winter 2013 – 2014 timetable.
This process consists of the reorganization and optimization of the time slots for domestic, international and intercontinental flights departing from and arriving at Rome Fiumicino, with the aim of improving the quality of the service offered to passengers.
The change of the time slots for flights to/from Rome Fiumicino has been implemented in favour of both business passengers, who will benefit from flights to Italy and Europe with early morning departures and evening returns, and passengers departing from other Italian airports, who will be able to take advantage of more convenient connections in Rome Fiumicino to reach long-haul destinations, such as the Americas.
This reorganization will also guarantee significant benefits and economic advantages for Alitalia, thanks to a more efficient operational structure and use of flight and ground resources at the Rome Fiumicino hub.
3. STRATEGIC LINE: DEVELOPMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURE PARTNERSHIPS AND MORE ATTENTION TO THE INTERMODAL PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION (AIR AND RAIL)
It involves the identification of new partnerships and the strengthening of existing ones, with key infrastructure partners in Italy, such as, for example, airports.
The goal of these partnerships is to create synergies and improve customer satisfaction through increased efficiency of ground operations, joint development of network and infrastructures and the expansion of services which are not closely related to flight operations (parking or transfers to/from airports).
The Plan calls for another key element of future collaboration: the opportunity to introduce and develop appropriate intermodal connections between aviation and high speed rail.
A more efficient allocation of traffic between train and plane will allow to optimize the inputs of the Italian national production system.
4. STRATEGIC LINE: TURN ALITALIA LOYALTY INTO A SEPARATE BUSINESS BRINGING PROFITABILITY TO THE ENTIRE ALITALIA GROUP
This relates to Alitalia Loyalty, the new company of the Group, founded at the end of 2012, which deals with the development and the enhancement of the Alitalia MilleMiglia programme.
The main guidelines of the Plan relating to the operation of Alitalia Loyalty include: the push to increase the number of members of the MilleMiglia programme, the development of new ways to redeem miles on flights or other services, the creation of high value partnerships with leading financial and credit institutions, the entrance of the MilleMiglia programme in a coalition of many loyalty programs to increase the opportunities of earning and redeeming Alitalia miles, the development of new forms of communication and marketing towards MilleMiglia members.
ECONOMIC-FINANCIAL OBJECTIVES OF THE 2013 – 2016 PLAN
During the course of the four-year plan, with the implementation of all the expected industrial and financial measures, the Company plans to achieve the following economic results:
  • 2013: positive industry EBIT in the second semester, resulting from an improvement in industrial management
  • 2014: break-even operating margin
  • 2015: balanced budget
  • 2016: balance sheet profit
Concurrently, the following objectives have also to be achieved:
  • Increase the convertible shareholders loan by 55 million euros within December 2013
  • Increase the financial resources by 300 million euros in December 2013
THE NEW MISSION OF ALITALIA
The Industrial Plan provides that Alitalia refocuses on the values that have always distinguished the Company in Italy and in the rest of the world: the being Italian, the high quality service and the pride of belonging.
These elements define the new mission of the Company:
PROUD TO SHOW THE BEST OF OUR COUNTRY. WITH PASSION.
The new mission of Alitalia, which will be made as visible as possible to customers on planes and at airports, is, in a nutshell, the new spirit of Alitalia: a company that, with its highly recognizable tricolor tailfin and thanks to the passionate effort of all its employees, is the ambassador of the quality, the elegance and the typical Italian lifestyle that make Italy an icon in the world.
The first initiatives will address the re-branding of the three flight service classes, the improvement of on-board services, the new VIP Lounges and the new assistance service dedicated to passengers in transit at the airport hub of Rome Fiumicino.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Alitalia will concentrate on adding new, higher-yield long-range international routes. Boeing 777-243 ER I-DISA (msn 32855) climbs away from Tokyo (Narita).

Alitalia (2nd): AG Slide Show

Air One: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Air One will be rebranded, possibly as “Smart Carrier”. Air One’s Airbus A320-215 EI-DSK (msn 3328) taxies at the Milan (Malpensa) base in the 1995 color scheme.

Finnair to join up with British Airways and Japan Airlines to coordinate schedules and share revenue to Japan

Finnair (Helsinki) is seeking to join with the British Airways-Japan Airlines joint venture to coordinate schedules and share revenue on European-Japanese flights according to this report by Bloomberg. Combining fares will be the key element of the expanded JV between the Oneworld partners. The carriers currently operate 10 routes between Europe and Japan.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

In other news, the company issued this statement about being the most punctual international airline (a dig at SAS?) for the past two months:

Finnair has been the most punctual international airline for the past two months, according to travel data provider FlightStats. With 93.83 per cent of flights arriving or departing within 15 minutes of schedule in May and 91.14 per cent in April, Finnair is currently the world’s most reliable international carrier according to the data services firm, which supplies the travel industry and general public with real-time global flight tracking information.

“There are all kinds of factors out of an airline’s control that can cause delays to passengers and loss of revenue, but these rankings highlight the degree to which dedicated employees working in well-defined processes can proactively and positively manage on-time performance,” says Finnair Chief Operating Officer Ville Iho. “I’m very proud of this impressive achievement, both among our own employees and those of our key partners.”

In FlightStats’ rankings for the year 2012, Finnair was runner-up for lowest global cancellation rate and a runner-up for most punctual European airline. The oneworld alliance, of which Finnair is a member, was named the alliance with the best on-time performance.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-302X OH-LTR (msn 1067) in the old 2000 livery climbs away from Narita International Airport near Tokyo bound for the Helsinki hub.

Finnair: AG Slide Show

AirAsia Japan to be shut down on October 31

AirAsia Japan (Tokyo-Narita) will cease all scheduled services on October 31, 2013. ANA has decided it will not merge the joint venture with Peach Aviation. The airline started operations on August 1, 2012.

All four Airbus A320s will be returned to AirAsia (Malaysia) the following day.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-216 JA01AJ (msn 5153) approaches the Tokyo (Narita) hub.

AirAsia (Japan): AG Slide Show

Route Map:

AirAsia Japan 6:2013 Route Map

JAL orders four additional Embraer 170s for J-Air

Embraer S.A. disclosed a firm order from Japan Airlines (JAL) (Tokyo) today for another four Embraer 170 jets. The firm order is already included in Embraer’s backlog as an “undisclosed” customer. With this new agreement, the total number of firm orders for the E170 from JAL is 15 aircraft.

As with the previous aircraft ordered by JAL, these four E170s will be configured with 76 seats in a single-class layout and will be operated by J-Air (Nagoya), JAL’s wholly owned subsidiary that serves the company’s domestic network. The airline already operates twelve E170s, with an outstanding dispatch reliability of 99.7% over the last 12 months.

Copyright Photo: Akira Uekawa/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-100ST JA218J (msn 17000314) approaches Tokyo (Haneda) for landing.

JAL-Japan Airlines: AG Slide Show

J-Air: AG Slide Show

 

Skymark Airlines to finalize an order for Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

Boeing (Chicago) and Skymark Airlines (Tokyo-Haneda) today announced the airline’s intent to select the Boeing 737 MAX as its next generation single aisle aircraft of choice, making it Japan’s first airline to do so. The announcement came on the first day of the 2013 Paris Air Show. Boeing will work closely with Skymark to finalize a firm order in the coming months.

Skymark Airlines currently operates a fleet of 30 Next-Generation 737-800s on a lease from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) and other lessors.

The 737 MAX builds on the strengths of the world’s best-selling Next-Generation 737. The 737 MAX incorporates the latest-technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. Airlines operating the 737 MAX will see a 13 percent fuel-use improvement over today’s most fuel-efficient single-aisle airplanes.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8HX WL JA73NB (msn 36848) prepares to land at Tokyo (Narita).

Skymark Airlines: AG Slide Show

SKY-Skymark logo

Route Map:

Skymark 6-2013 Route Map

 

 

Is AirAsia ready to give up on its ANA joint venture AirAsia Japan?

AirAsia (AirAsia.com) (Malaysia) (Kuala Lumpur) may be getting ready to quit its AirAsia Japan (Tokyo-Narita) joint venture with ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ is reporting there is management “tension” and different approaches between the two main carriers.

One report has AirAsia selling all of its stock to ANA. ANA in return will merge AirAsia Japan with Peach Aviation. However this has not been confirmed by any of the parties which are reportedly exploring their options. Can the marriage between a fast-growing low fare airline and a mainline legacy flag carrier be saved?

AirAsia Japan commenced operations on August 1, 2012.

Read the full story from the Malaysian Insider: CLICK HERE

The CEO of AirAsia Japan issued this statement on June 11:

In regards to the recent media announcements on the dissolution of AirAsia Japan Co., Ltd., a joint venture between ANA Holdings Inc. and AirAsia Berhad; please be informed that our shareholders are still exploring all available options and any decision will be further subject to respective corporate approvals.

Rest assured that with the strong support from our major shareholder, ANA Holdings Inc., AirAsia Japan will continue to operate flights as usual.

As a Japan-based Low Cost Carrier (LCC), our goal is to make your dreams of travel a reality.
Your support is truly appreciated.

See you in the clouds!

Yours sincerely,

Yoshinori Odagiri
CEO, AirAsia Japan

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The only way to tell it is AirAsia Japan is the small “Japan” inscription by the nose and the JA Japanese aircraft registration. Airbus A320-216 JA03AJ (msn 5325) climbs away from the Tokyo (Narita) base.

AirAsia logo

Current Route Map:

AirAsia Japan 6:2013 Route Map

AirAsia Japan: AG Slide Show

 

Delta to add two new international routes this weekend

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) this weekend will begin new service between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Haneda Airport in Tokyo. Prior to the inaugural flight, Seattle was the largest West Coast city without nonstop service to Haneda, which is the preferred Tokyo airport for many business travelers due to its proximity to the city’s central business district.

Seattle-Haneda service adds to Delta’s growing Asian gateway in Seattle. In addition to Tokyo, Delta will begin new service to Shanghai on June 16, and also operates flights to Beijing and Osaka, Japan. In addition to its Asian gateway, Delta operates nonstop service to Paris and Amsterdam from Seattle. This summer the airline will operate more than 45 daily flights to 18 destinations worldwide from Seattle.

The Haneda flight will operate using Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft at which time every Delta trans-Pacific flight will feature full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite, as well as Economy Comfort seating and in-flight entertainment in every seat throughout the aircraft. The flight also complements Delta’s nonstop service between Seattle/Tacoma and Tokyo-Narita, which upgrades to a Boeing 747-400 on June 1.

Delta’s successful international growth in Seattle is possible, in part, because of its partnership with Alaska Airlines, which operates a domestic hub at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The new Tokyo-Haneda flight will benefit from easy connections to more than 55 U.S. cities on Delta and Alaska’s domestic networks.

Delta’s schedule between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Haneda Airport:

Flight Departs Arrives Service Begins
Flt 581 SEA at 9:10 p.m. HND at 11:30 p.m. (following day) June 1, 2013
Flt 580 HND at 12:30 a.m. SEA at 5:40 p.m. (previous day) June 3, 2013

Delta Air Lines this weekend will also begin new nonstop service between Newark’s Liberty International Airport and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. Newark is one of the largest markets from Paris.

The new service will be operated with Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft.

In addition to Newark, this summer Delta will offer flights between Paris and its hubs at New York-JFK, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Detroit and Cincinnati, as well as key business markets in Boston, Seattle, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Delta’s schedule between Newark’s Liberty International Airport and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport:

Flight Departs Arrives Service Begins
Flt 610 EWR at 6:50 p.m. CDG at 8:35 a.m. June 1, 2013
Flt 609 CDG at 1:30 p.m. EWR at 3:50 p.m. June 2, 2013

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-332 ER WL N172DZ (msn 29691) arrives at Tokyo (Narita).

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Japan Airlines announces a cabin upgrade for its Boeing 767-300 ER fleet

Japan Airlines-JAL (Tokyo) announced today that it will install all new seats in the airline’s two-class international Boeing 767-300 ER fleet as part of its continued commitment to provide customers with a high-quality, full-service experience. The latest improvements are in addition to the previously announced revamp of the airline’s four-class international Boeing 777-300 ERs.

JAL-Japan Airlines Business Class seat (JAL)(LR)

JAL Business Class in the updated Boeing 767-300ERs will be fitted with 24 new JAL SKY SUITE II seats, each designed to recline 180 degrees into a fully flat bed. In addition, each seat in the 1-2-1 configuration provides unobstructed aisle access for an undisturbed flight allowing maximum personal enjoyment and a soothing rest.

JAL-Japan Airlines Business Class (JAL)(LR)

In revamped aircraft’s JAL Economy Class, the airline will install its newest economy class seat, JAL SKY WIDER.  A total of 175 seats will be available in a 2-3-2 configuration and seat highlights include increased pitch and a slim-style seatback design resulting in approximately 10 cm (MAX.) more legroom than the present seat pitch.

JAL-Japan Airlines Economy Class seat (JAL)(LR)

JAL plans to first introduce the completely revamped Boeing 767-300 ERs between Tokyo (Narita) and Vancouver from December 2013. The revamped aircraft will also be introduced onto select long-haul Southeast Asia routes and Honolulu routes by fiscal year 2014.

With these latest improvements, all of JAL’s routes operating to and from North America and Europe as well as the airline’s long-haul Southeast Asia routes will offer flat-reclining seats in JAL Business Class providing passengers with an even more comfortable in-flight experience.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-346 ER JA615J (msn 33850) approaches the Tokyo (Narita) hub. All others by JAL

JAL-Japan Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

 

Air China orders 60 Airbus A320s and 40 A320s for Shenzhen Airlines

Air China (Beijing) has ordered 60 Airbus A320s for its own use and 40 for its subsidiary Shenzhen Airlines (Shenzhen).

The two airlines are buying 40 of the current version of the A320 and 60 of the new A320neo.

Air China’s order includes 27 current A320s (above) and 33 A320neos. Shenzhen will receive 13 current A320s (below) and 27 A320neos.

Deliveries will start in 2014.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Air China’s A320-214 B-6607 (msn 3461) prepares to land at the Beijing hub (please click on the photo for the full size view).

Air China: AG Slide Show

Shenzhen Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Shenzhen’s Airbus A320-214 B-6377 (msn 3599) arrives at Tokyo (Narita).

Air India considers selling all eight Boeing 777-200 LRs

Air India (Mumbai) is considering selling all eight of its Boeing 777-200 LRs (Longer Range) according to a report by Reuters. The airline is working with Boeing on the sale of the aircraft. The aircraft would be replaced with newer Boeing 787s.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-237 LR VT-ALD (msn 36303) climbs into the clear sky at Tokyo (Narita).

Air India: AG Slide Show

Philippine Airlines expands with 12 new routes

Philippine Airlines (PAL) (Philippines) (Manila) has announced the launching of 12 new destinations to Australia, China, Malaysia and the Middle East, including a new domestic service to Northern Luzon in the continuing expansion of PAL’s route network.

The 12 new destinations include Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) starting on May 2; Darwin, Brisbane and Perth (Australia) on June 1; Guangzhou (China) on June 2; Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) on October 1; Doha (Qatar) on November 1; Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam (Saudi Arabia) on December 1; Dubai (United Arab Emirates) on November 1 and Basco, Batanes on May 1 (the last two to be operated by PAL Express).

PAL’s current network, operated with PAL Express, consists of 32 domestic and 28 international destinations.

Copyright Photo: Nik French. Airbus A330-301 RP-C3333 (msn 191) approaches Tokyo (Narita) for landing.

Philippines: AG Slide Show

 

SAS launches Copenhagen-San Francisco service, drops Bangkok

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) today (April 8) begins flying six times a week from Copenhagen to San Francisco. SAS
already flies to New York, Chicago and Washington. This is the first service to the U.S. West Coast by SAS.

The route will be operated using an Airbus 340-300.

SAS is forecasting around 125,000 passengers per year on the route. Of these, 55% will come from the Nordic countries and 10% from the rest of Europe. The remaining 35% will come from the USA.

Meanwhile SAS is ending service to Bangkok, a route it has served since 1949. This was an important route for SAS. It helped to create Thai Airways in 1960.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A340-313X OY-KBC (msn 467) climbs away from Tokyo (Narita).

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS: AG Slide Show

JAL celebrates 30 Years of the Tokyo Disney Resort with a new “JAL Happiness Express” logojet

JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) on March 29 introduced this 30th Anniversary logojet to help celebrate the success of the Tokyo Disney Resort. Boeing 777-246 JA8985 (msn 27652) at Tokyo (Haneda) is the first JAL aircraft to wear the special Disney livery. The titles proclaim Year 30 is The Happiness Year. JA8985 is named the “JAL Happiness Express”.

JAL will add five more Disney aircraft including one additional 777-200 domestic and four 737-800 domestic aircraft.

According to Wipipedia, The resort opened on April 15, 1983, as a single theme park (Tokyo Disneyland), but developed into a resort with two theme parks, three Disney hotels, six non-Disney hotels, and a shopping complex. Tokyo Disneyland was the first Disney theme park opened outside of the United States.

JAL Toyko Disney Resort 30 Logo

Copyright Photo: Shige Sakaki.

JAL-Japan Airlines: AG Slide Show

ANA to put their 787 pilots through resumption training

ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) according to this report by Reuters, is planning to put its Boeing 787-8 pilots through resumption training. Pending recertification by the FAA and the Japanese authorities, the airline is now planning to resume 787 operations in June, possibly first as a freighter to allay any fears by the flying public over the now-being-tested battery system fix.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Akira Uekawa. Boeing 787-8 JA802A (msn 34497) climbs away from Tokyo (Narita) in the special 787 colors when it was flying. Will the “787″ now be removed from the side of the fuselage?

ANA: AG Slide Show

Solaseed Air leases two Boeing 737-800s from GECAS

Solaseed Air (Miyazaki) (formerly SNA-Skynet Asia Airways) has leased two new Boeing 737-800s from GE Capital Aviation Services Limited (GECAS), the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of GE.

Solaseed Air operates a fleet of 14 aircraft to seven destinations in Japan.

Copyright Photo: Akira Uekawa. Boeing 737-81D WL JA801X (msn 39415) arrives in Tokyo (Haneda).

Solaseed Air Logo

Solaseed Air: AG Slide Show

Will the Boeing 787 be restricted on its long thin routes?

Boeing (Chicago) could be facing a new challenge for its grounded 787 according to this report by Reuters. The 787 was designed to fly long thin over-water-flights. Will the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) permit the new type to fly these routes once again (at least initially) once it is allowed to fly again?  ETOPS could be reduced to only two hours. If this is correct, the business case for the new type is severely hurt for this period and the affected airlines will be asking Boeing for further compensation until they are able to fly these long thin routes once again in the most efficient manner.

Reuters raises these concerns. Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Some routes like Tokyo-Boston will not be able to be flown with the 787 if there are any ETOPS restrictions once the grounded order is rescinded. JAL‘s Boeing 787-8 JA828J (msn 38438) in the special Sora wo Tobu – Flying Sky motif approaches Tokyo (Narita) for landing.

JAL-Japan Airlines: AG Slide Show

Japan Airlines considers ordering 20 Airbus A350s

Japan Airlines-JAL (Tokyo) has been a loyal Boeing customer. However the recent problems with the much-delayed Boeing 787 may have soured that relationship. According to Nikkei, the company is now considering an order from rival Airbus for 20 Airbus A350s and it will make a decision in June. However this may also be a ploy to get better terms and compensation from Boeing for the 787 delays. JAL is considering replacing its current Boeing 777-300 ERs with the new Airbus A350-100s for its European routes.

Read the full report from the Chicago Tribune: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Akira Uekawa. Boeing 777-346 JA8941 (msn 28393) approaches the Tokyo (Haneda) hub for landing.

JAL-Japan Airlines: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa cancels almost 700 flights today due to an employee strike

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) today has cancelled nearly 40 percent of its flights due to a strike by its employees on the eve of wage discussions according to Reuters. According to this report, the union Verdi is demanding a 5.2 percent pay increase for the 33,000 cabin crew and ground staff at Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo, Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Systems, LSG Sky Chefs and the ground crews. the union also wants a commitment by Lufthansa to safeguard all current jobs.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile Lufthansa issued this statement:

Due to a warning strike at German airports this morning it is expected that some flight operationsto and from Frankfurt, Munich, Düsseldorf, Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne will be affected throughout the afternoon and evening of 21 March 2013.

Lufthansa regrets any inconvenience to Lufthansa passengers caused by the strike measures and will do its utmost to minimise impacts on passengers. Passenger support and service has paramount priority.

All Lufthansa passengers are urged to check the status of their flight before beginning their journey at My bookings.

If your flight is operating, please plan for some extra time when travelling to the airport, as you may experience longer waiting times in the terminals.

Check currently cancelled flights under

Cancelled flights

Passengers whose flights have been cancelled are kindly asked to check on

Online Check-in

if they have already been checked in on an alternative flight. If this is the case, the boarding pass for the new flight can instantly be created online.

Affected passengers please check the status of their booking prior to departure at

My bookings

You might find an alternate flight and can check-in for it here.

Up-to-date information on your Lufthansa flights is available under

Flight status

If your flight to/from Germany has been cancelled:

Affected passengers can refund or rebook their flights free of charge. If your flight has been cancelled and you cannot use the self-service options above, passengers in Germany can contact our Service Center toll-free on 0800-850-60-70* or via one of our local phone numbers.

*toll-free from German landlines

Passengers travelling within Germany whose flights have been cancelled due to the weather may alternatively travel by train with Deutsche Bahn.

To do this, please exchange your etix for a travel voucher under My Bookings or at a Lufthansa check in machine. When exchanging the voucher online you can either print the travel voucher or send it per E-mail/SMS to your mobile phone.

If you do not have the time to exchange your ticket online or at the machine, we recommend you purchase a regular train ticket. In this case we kindly ask for your understanding that you will then be refunded the unused portion of your ticket. As the reason for cancellation was force majeure we are unable to provide any compensation beyond the value of the unused ticket. Please contact your ticket issuing office after your travel for a refund of your unused ticket.

You can receive current travel information under Deutsche Bahn or on your mobile phone via m.bahn.de.

Your baggage could not be forwarded on the alternative flight/train.

In order to deliver your baggage please fill in our Lufthansa Baggage form or please contact the Lufthansa baggage tracing counter as soon as you arrive at your destination. For status updates on your missing baggage please go to Lufthansa baggage tracing online. Check here for further information on baggage liability.

Free of charge rebooking due to strike

Passengers holding a Lufthansa/SWISS, Austrian Airlines or Brussels Airlines ticket for flights from/to or via a German airport on 21 March 2013 can rebook free of charge online under My Bookings.

The following conditions apply:

- the ticket needs to have been issued on/before 20 March 2013
- the new travel date needs to be before/on 30 June 2013
- rebooking within the original fare: Exept for Lufthansa Group operated flights a rebooking can be in the next higher booking class
- departure/arrival city as well as class of travel remain unchanged
- all further original ticket conditions apply without changes

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A340-642X D-AIHX (msn 981) climbs gracefully away from Tokyo (Narita).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Boeing is now putting the 787 battery through new rigorous testing

Boeing (Chicago) is now testing the 787 batteries to a new standard that it originally helped to develop but never used in the original certification testing according to this excellent report by Reuters.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. JAL’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner JA822J (msn 34832) climbs away from Tokyo (Narita) when it was flying.

JAL-Japan Airlines: AG Slide Show

Japan Airlines to operate the last McDonnell Douglas MD-90 revenue flight on March 30

Japan Airlines-JAL (Tokyo) is planning to operate the last revenue flight of its McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30 on March 30 after 17 years of service at JAS and JAL. The last flight will be from Hiroshima to Tokyo (Haneda) per Aviation Wire. The last flight is sold out.

Read the full report (in Japanese): CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30 JA8070 (msn 53358) lands at Tokyo (Haneda).

JAL-Japan Airlines: AG Slide Show

Delta files for more frequencies to Brazil

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to add additional nonstop flights between Sao Paulo and the key business markets of New York (JFK) and Atlanta, increasing competition on air service between the U.S. and Brazil.

If approved, Delta will begin second daily Sao Paulo flights to both Atlanta and New York in 2013.

Delta currently operates 35 nonstop weekly flights between Brazil and the U.S. including Atlanta, Detroit and New York-JFK to Sao Paulo, as well as from Atlanta to Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia.

Delta’s proposed addition of a second daily flight between Sao Paulo and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York’s marks another important step in Delta’s plan to invest and grow at New York. The new flight will operate out of the expanded and enhanced state-of the-art International Terminal 4, which opens its doors in 90 days amid a $1.4 billion million terminal expansion project.

In its filing, Delta also requested approval to continue its daily nonstop service between its hub in Detroit and Sao Paulo. Delta’s right to operate that flight will transfer to US Airways in 2015 as part of a previously approved slot transaction that allowed Delta to expand at LaGuardia Airport in New York.

This is the first time in more than a decade that the Department of Transportation has the opportunity to allocate new Sao Paulo frequencies.  These opportunities arise as direct result of the U.S. government’s success in negotiating a new air service agreement with Brazil, which is expected to result in a full Open Skies agreement by 2015.

The new frequencies would be served with Delta’s 767-300 ER equipped with state-of-the-art flatbed seats, video on demand entertainment system, and award-winning food and wine service, Ferri said.  The 767 has a capacity of 210 passengers, 35 Business Elite, 32 Economy Comfort and 143 economy class seats.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 767-332 ER N172DZ (msn 29691) climbs briskly away from the runway at Tokyo (Narita)

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

 

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