Silver Airways and Delta Air Lines announce a new codeshare partnership

Silver Airways and Delta Air Lines have expanded their commercial relationship by introducing a codeshare partnership, providing customers of both airlines seamless connections between the carriers’ networks and enabling passengers to fly segments operated by both airlines under a single ticket. The codeshare offers customers of both airlines the ease and convenience of booking a single ticket with baggage transfer between the two airlines to a variety of Silver Airways destinations throughout the Caribbean, and travelers from Silver destinations can easily connect to Delta’s global network.

Under the agreement, Delta’s airline designator code (DL) is available on Silver Airways (3M) designator code for over 150 Caribbean flights per week, including to and from San Juan, Anguilla, Antigua, Dominica, Tortola, Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. Maarten. Silver’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Seaborne Airlines, previously had a codeshare relationship with Delta on its Caribbean network. Those flights are now operated for Silver Airways.

Silver Airways route map:

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QANTAS to operate nonstop London – Sydney research flight

QANTAS Airways has made this announcement:

  • 2nd of 3 Project Sunrise research flights to reduce jetlag and design optimum crew rest and work pattern
  • Builds on learnings from New York-Sydney service last month
  • ‘Supper at breakfast time’ among changes to on-board service to help passengers adjust to new timezone
  • Almost 100 years to the day that the first London to Australia flight operated

Australia’s national carrier is preparing for its second ultra-long haul research flight, as part of scientific studies into minimising jetlag for passengers and improving crew wellbeing.

The first research flight operated between New York and Sydney nonstop four weeks ago with 49 passengers and crew. It cut around three hours off the typical gate-to-gate travel time of current one-stop flights.

The airline has re-purposed the delivery flights of three brand new 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which would otherwise ferry empty from Seattle to Australia. A third research flight, repeating the New York-Sydney route, will take place in December.

Tomorrow’s flight marks only the second time in history that a commercial airline has flown direct from London to Sydney. The first was 30 years ago in 1989, when Qantas operated a 747-400 ferry flight between the two cities. The aircraft that performed that flight (VH-OJA) is now on public display at an aviation museum, south of Sydney.

Researchers from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre as well as the Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity (Alertness CRC) will again travel on the non-stop Dreamliner flight to collect passenger and crew data.

The findings from all three research flights will be used to inform future service and product design, aimed at increasing wellbeing and comfort during travel on long-haul flights – in particular the direct flights Qantas hopes to operate on a commercial basis between the east coast of Australia and London and New York.

Project Sunrise Research Flight #2 – London to Sydney

The research flight will carry around 50 passengers and crew in order to give the 787-9 the range required for the 17,800 km flight, expected to take around 19 and a half hours.

While the flight is over 1,500 kilometers further than New York to Sydney, the duration is expected to be similar due to prevailing tail winds between London and Sydney.

All carbon emissions from the research flights will be offset. Qantas recently announced an acceleration of its efforts to reduce its broader carbon footprint, including effectively doubling current levels of flight offsetting, capping carbon emissions from 2020 onwards and totally eliminate net emissions by the year 2050.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said air travel had evolved over the years and innovation was key, which involved looking at options to redesign aircraft cabins to include “move and stretch” zones and other social spaces.

“We know that travellers want room to move on these direct services, and the exercises we encouraged on the first research flight seemed to work really well. So, we’re definitely looking to incorporate on-board stretching zones and even some simple modifications like overhead handles to encourage low impact exercises.”

Professor Corinne Caillaud from the Charles Perkins Centre said that data from all three flights will be used for the analysis however feedback from participants on the first flight suggests the changes trialed would be welcome by passengers.

“We are hopeful that the interventions and strategies we tried on the first research flight helped passengers better manage the challenges of crossing multiple time zones. From a research point of view, it was something quite novel.

“We’re looking forward to this second flight, which will involve passengers eating supper at breakfast time, with the aim of encouraging them to sleep at 10am in the morning London time to help avoid light and reset their body clock to Sydney time.”

Passengers will board at 6am London time. After take-off they will be offered a range of high GI supper options such as chicken broth with macaroni or a steak sandwich, along with a glass of wine and a milk based pana cotta dessert.

Cabin lighting and temperature, stretching and meditation will also play key roles in the research.

Qantas first started flying between London and Sydney in 1947. It took five days and six stops. Today, the airline flies London to Perth non-stop in around 17 hours and the route has the highest customer satisfaction rating of any flight on the Qantas international network.

Mr Joyce added: “Our Perth to London flight was a huge leap forward and it’s been incredibly popular. The final frontier is New York and London to the east coast of Australia non-stop and we are hopeful of conquering that by 2023 if we can make all elements of the business case stack up.

“I’ve had business travellers tell me they’d rather stay on board and watch an extra episode of their favourite show before arriving at their final destination, rather than spending 90 minutes on the ground waiting for a connecting flight. I’ve also had a few parents tell me they would rather not disturb their kids if they are settled in and avoid having to bundle them and all their carry-on luggage off and back on a flight during a stopover. So, there is definitely support for the nonstop flights”.

The London to Sydney Project Sunrise research flight will operate almost 100 years to the day that the first ever flight from the UK to Australia took off from Hounslow Heath (near today’s Heathrow Airport) on 12 November 1919. It landed in Darwin 28 days later on 10 December 1919.

Airbus and Boeing have pitched aircraft (the A350 and 777X respectively) with the range to operate Project Sunrise flights on a commercial basis. These pitches, together with findings from the research flights and other streams of work, will form part of a business case being developed by Qantas to inform a final yes/no decision on Project Sunrise expected by the end of this year. If approved, flights could start as early as start in 2023.

Qantas has named its endeavor “Project Sunrise” after the airline’s historic ‘Double Sunrise’ endurance flights during the Second World War, which remained airborne long enough to see two sunrises.

90 Years after proclaiming, ‘The air is now yours,’ Hawaiian Airlines marks milestone anniversary

Hawaiian Airlines celebrates 90 years of flying:

Ninety-years to the day since two Sikorsky S-38 amphibian aircraft took off from Honolulu’s John Rodgers airport, introducing the islands to commercial aviation, Hawaiian Airlines held festivities in the air and on the ground to thank customers and the local communities who supported its evolution from pioneer interisland carrier to global airline.

The airline began its 90th birthday celebration by holding a plane pull fundraiser at the Castle & Cooke Aviation Hangar on Lagoon Drive, near the former John Rodgers airport site where hundreds of onlookers gathered on Nov. 11, 1929 to witness then-named Inter-Island Airways inaugurate scheduled passenger flights between the islands. Some 2,000 people representing Hawaiian Airlines and corporate teams throughout Honolulu competed in the daylong charity event that raised $33,000 for the nonprofit Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.

HA1111-4

At 9:35 a.m., at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, Hawaiian delighted guests aboard HA1111, a commemorative flight replicating the airline’s first service from Honolulu to Hilo on the Island of Hawai‘i, with a stop on Maui. Flight attendants wearing vintage Hawaiian Airlines uniforms from the 1960s through the ‘90s welcomed 128 guests onboard the Boeing 717 aircraft, signaling a surprise flight back in time.

“The foresight of our founder Stanley Kennedy to introduce Hawai‘i to commercial aviation forever changed the way we travel across our archipelago for leisure and business,”  said Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram. “Today we honor Stan’s legacy and join with our employees to say ‘mahalo nui loa’ to our community and our guests in a fun and creative way.”

HA1111

During the roughly 35-minute flight between Honolulu and Kahului, crew members entertained guests with historical company facts and milestones:

  • Sightseeing Tours: Prior to launching scheduled commercial air service in Hawai‘i, Inter-Island Airways offered $5 sightseeing tours over O‘ahu aboard a six-passenger Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker monoplane with a fabric covered metal frame and wooden wings. It was how Kennedy, a Honolulu-born World War I Navy pilot, got residents accustomed to flying. The Bellanca is still a part of Hawaiian’s fleet, providing flights to employees, their families and retirees.
  • 14 hours: The approximate time it took to travel between Honolulu and Hilo on ships operated by Inter-Island Steam Navigation Company, which had served Hawai‘i for half a century prior to founding its subsidiary, Inter-Island Airways. The first Sikorsky flights between Honolulu and Hilo, stopping on Maui, lasted three hours and 15 minutes, and today, the same trip takes about one hour aboard Hawaiian’s jets.
  • 13,043 passengers: Carried by Inter-Island Airways in its first calendar year of operation in 1930, including 10,367 passengers on neighbor island flights, and 2,676 passengers on Bellanca tours. Last year, Hawaiian welcomed nearly 12 million travelers within the islands and between Hawai‘i and its U.S. mainland and international gateway cities, averaging some 30,000 guests daily.
  • A Cargo Pioneer: In 1942, a fleet of three Sikorsky S-43s began transporting cargo throughout Hawai‘i with the first U.S. Cargo certificate. Today, Hawaiian carries not only mail, but as many as 92,000 tons of goods throughout its neighbor island and transpacific network.
  • Wahine Takeover: In 1979, Hawaiian celebrated the first scheduled commercial U.S. flight by an all-female crew, who operated a Short SD-330 aircraft from Honolulu to Moloka‘i. Approximately 3,500 women represent nearly half of Hawaiian’s workforce today.
HA1111-8

Prior to arriving on Maui, guests on HA1111 received a copy of the Nov. 11, 1929 Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspaper along with their beverage service. The headline announced, “Inter-island Air Service Starts,” and quoted Kennedy as saying, “The air is now yours. The Inter-Island Airways looks upon this occasion with a great deal of pride as the pioneer in commercial aviation in Hawai‘i.”

HA1111-16

The in-flight festivities concluded with flight attendants handing each guest a birthday card with a gift of 90,000 HawaiianMiles – the equivalent to two roundtrip flights between Hawai‘i and the U.S. mainland or up to 12 neighbor island flights – before they arrived to a lei greeting and music performances by Hawaiian employees at Kahului

HA1111-18

Those who weren’t aboard HA1111 this morning may still join Hawaiian’s anniversary celebrations online during the final week of the company’s five-week-long  Social Media Sweepstakes awarding 90,000 HawaiianMiles and a Heritage Prize Pack to each weekly winner. The last sweepstakes began today at noon HST and ends at 11:59 p.m. HST on Sunday, Nov. 17.


The Plane Pull

The Great Hawaiian Plane Pull revived charity plane pull competitions of the 1980s with a nod to aviation history. It drew 68 teams of 12 people who spent the day pulling one of Hawaiian’s 115,000-pound Boeing 717 jet for a chance to win more than 1 million HawaiianMiles. Team “Wide Body,” representing Hawaiian Airlines’ contract services, clinched the grand prize after taking just over six seconds to pull the aircraft 12 feet.

1N8A8810

More importantly, participants raised $33,000 to Hawaiian’s longtime environmental nonprofit partner, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. The organization inspires local communities to care for coastlines through fun, hands-on beach cleanups, while providing educational programs, waste diversion services and public awareness campaigns.

“Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii is honored to be a beneficiary of the Great Hawaiian Plane Pull and grateful to the many organizations who jumped at the opportunity to participate in this unique and fun way to support our mission,” said Rafael Bergstrom, executive director of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. “Their generous support will continue to help us expand our educational outreach across the Hawaiian Islands, clean remote beaches, inspire students and community members alike to find innovative solutions to turn off the tap on plastic pollution, and allow us to share our story across the world. Through support like this, our impact is reaching new heights as we have removed half a million pounds of debris from our shorelines while engaging nearly 100,000 students and volunteers in protecting our coastlines. Mahalo Hawaiian Airlines for creating such an amazing event and honoring Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii on your 90th birthday.”

1N8A9267 - winning HA team

Plane pull competitors represented a wide range of industries and sectors, including AIO, Airport Terminal Services, Alaska Airlines, Avis, Bank of Hawai‘i, Bishop Museum, Brave Hawai‘i, Budget, Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals, Delta Airlines, Flying Food Group, Hana Hou! Magazine, Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, Hilton Grand Vacations, HMS Host, Hyatt Hotels, Japan Airlines, KYA, Marriott Hotels, Outrigger Hotels, Pae Aina Communications, Pacific Air Cargo, Par Hawai‘i, Polynesian Voyaging Society, SAS Services Group Inc., Stryker Weiner & Yokota Public Relations, United Airlines, and Worldwide Flight Services. Hawaiian Electric Company, The Honolulu Star- Advertiser, Hawai’i Gas and Hawai’i News Now also provided cash sponsorships or in-kind support.

Teams and spectators enjoyed live music by top Hawai‘i entertainers, ‘ono food from local vendors, complimentary reef-safe sunscreen by Raw Elements USA, and educational displays and activities by Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. Attendees also had the opportunity to meet some of Hawaiian’s first female flight attendants who flew in the airline’s Douglas DC-3 fleet during the 1940s and ‘50s, and take a selfie next to the plane that started it all with sightseeing tours, the Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker.

Hawaiian Airlines kicked off 90-years-of-service celebrations last Nov. 11 with a company-matched giving campaign that raised more than $187,000 for four local charities in appreciation of the community support that has helped fuel the company’s expansion over nine decades. As a destination airline that each year introduces millions of visitors from across the Pacific Rim to Hawai‘i’s unparalleled beauty, the carrier also commemorated its birthday by raising environmental awareness through several anniversary-themed beach cleanups, including one last month at South Point on the Island of Hawai‘i and in many of its international gateway cities such as Tokyo, Sydney and Auckland.

All above photos by Hawaiian Airlines.

Hawaiian Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

Copa Holdings reports net profit of $104.0 million, updates on the MAX, will early retire the E190

E190 fleet to be retired in 2021

Copa Holdings, S.A. has announced financial results for the third quarter of 2019 (3Q19).

The following financial information, unless otherwise indicated, is presented in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Unless otherwise stated, all comparisons with prior periods refer to the third quarter of 2018 (3Q18).

OPERATING AND FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • ▪  Copa Holdings reported net profit of US$104.0 million for 3Q19 or earnings per share (EPS) of US$2.45, compared to net profit of US$57.6 million or earnings per share of US$1.36 in 3Q18.
  • ▪  Operating profit for 3Q19 came in at US$132.9 million, representing a 70.9% increase from an operating profit of US$77.8 million in 3Q18.
  • ▪  Total revenues for 3Q19 increased 5.3% to US$708.2 million. Yield per passenger mile increased 7.9% to 12.5 cents and revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 9.4% to 11.1 cents.
  • ▪  Operating cost per available seat mile (CASM) increased 0.5% to 9.0 cents in 3Q19. Excluding fuel costs, CASM increased 5.5% from 5.9 cents in 3Q18 to 6.2 cents in 3Q19, mainly due to the decrease in capacity related to the grounding of the Boeing MAX fleet.
  • ▪  Operating margin for 3Q19 came in at 18.8%, 7.2 percentage points higher than the 11.6% generated in 3Q18.
  • ▪  While capacity (measured in available seat miles, or ASMs) decreased by 3.7% in 3Q19 due to the grounding of the Boeing MAX fleet, consolidated passenger traffic (measured in revenue passenger miles, or RPMs) decreased by only 2.2%. As a result, consolidated load factor for the quarter increased 1.4 percentage points to 85.6%.
  • ▪  The sum of cash, short-term and long-term investments was US$885.5 million at the end of 3Q19, representing approximately 33% of the last twelve months’ revenues.
  • ▪  Despite the operational challenges presented by the grounding of its Boeing MAX fleet, Copa Airlines delivered an on-time performance of over 92% and a flight-completion factor of 99.8%, maintaining its position among the best in the industry.
  • ▪  Copa Holdings ended the quarter with a consolidated fleet of 103 aircraft – 68 Boeing 737-800s, 14 Boeing 737-700s, 15 Embraer 190s (top) and 6 Boeing MAX 9s.
  • ▪  The Company has not taken any aircraft deliveries since the world-wide grounding of the Boeing MAX fleet took effect in March 2019. According to its original growth plan for 2019, the Company should have received six additional Boeing MAX 9s during the first three quarters of the year and would have received one more in the fourth quarter to end the year with 13 Boeing MAX9 aircraft.Subsequent Events
  • ▪  Copa Holdings will pay its fourth quarterly dividend of $0.65 per share on December 13, to all Class A and Class B shareholders on record as of November 29, 2019.
  • ▪  As part of the world-wide grounding of the Boeing MAX fleet, the Company has removed all Boeing MAX operations from its schedule until mid-February 2020.
  • ▪  As part of its plan to increase efficiencies, the Company has decided to accelerate the exit of its E190 fleet (top) and is planning to sell the remaining 14 aircraft over the next 18 months, 3 years earlier than previously planned. This anticipated exit could result in a book loss in the range of US$90 million related to the sale of the aircraft and spare parts inventory.

Despite the operational and financial impact of the grounding of its Boeing MAX fleet, Copa Holdings delivered a great quarter, with strong financial results and outstanding operational metrics. Higher load factors and yields resulted in a significant unit revenue increase, which generated a 18.8% operating margin for the quarter, a 7.2 percentage point increase over 3Q18. In terms of operational results, the Company delivered a 92% on-time performance and 99.8% completion factor, placing it again among the best in the industry.

The Company ́s consolidated operating revenue increased 5.3% to US$708.2 million during the quarter, despite a 3.7% decrease in capacity compared to 3Q18.

Load factor came in at 85.6%, or 1.4 percentage points above 3Q18. Yields improved 7.9% to 12.5 cents. As a result, passenger revenues per ASM (PRASM) increased 9.7% to 10.7 cents in 3Q19.

Total operating expenses for 3Q19 decreased 3.2% to US$575.3 million, while operating expenses per ASM (CASM) increased 0.5% to 9.0 cents. Excluding fuel costs, CASM increased 5.5% to 6.2 cents, mainly due to the capacity reduction resulting from the grounding of the Boeing MAX fleet.

Aircraft fuel expense decreased by 12.6%, or US$25.5 million, compared to 3Q18 due to lower jet fuel prices and fewer gallons consumed given the lower capacity. The Company’s effective jet fuel price decreased 10.2%, from an average of US$2.40 per gallon in 3Q18 to an average of US$2.16 per gallon in 3Q19.

The Company recorded non-operating expense of US$16.6 million for 3Q19 compared to non-operating expense of US$8.9 million in 3Q18. The non-operating expense in 3Q19 was mostly comprised of a net interest expense of US$6.6 million and a US$9.6 million translation loss due to foreign currency fluctuations, primarily resulting from the significant devaluation of the Argentine Peso.

Copa Holdings closed the quarter with US$ 885.5 million in cash, short-term and long-term investments, representing approximately 33% of last twelve months ́ revenues.

Total debt at the end of 3Q19 amounted to US$1.10 billion compared to US$1.29 billion at the end of 2018, all of which is related to aircraft financing. At the end of the quarter, the Company’s lease liability- adjusted net debt to EBITDA ratio was 0.8 times.

The company has a very solid business model, which is based on operating the best and most convenient network for intra-Latin America travel from its Hub of the Americas® based in Panama’s advantageous geographic position, with the region’s lowest unit costs, best on-time performance, and a strong balance sheet. Going forward, the Company expects to continue strengthening its long-term competitive position by taking advantage of new growth opportunities and implementing initiatives to further strengthen its network and product, while continuing to reduce unit costs.

Top Copyright Photo: Copa Airlines Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW HP-1556CMP (msn 19000016) SAL (Tony Storck). Image: 922298.

Copa Airlines aircraft slide show:

Eurowings to operate from Stuttgart to Sylt during the holidays

Eurowings has made this announcement:

Off to Sylt – during the Christmas season, which is particularly popular with North Sea lovers, and over New Year’s Eve: Eurowings flies from Stuttgart to Sylt from 21 December 2019 until 05 January 2020. Thus, the airline supplements its existing service to Sylt from Düsseldorf. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Eurowings passengers can fly from Stuttgart to the popular North Sea Island. Tickets for the one-way flight can be booked from 39.99 € via the Eurowings website or the Eurowings App.

The largest North Frisian Island attracts over 900,000 tourists every year. On 99 square kilometers visitors come fully at their expense: Spectacular dune landscapes, long sand beaches with many possibilities for outdoor activities and culinary highlights constitute the charm of the island.

Aegean Airlines announces the expansion in Cyprus by adding two new routes, Pafos – Athens and Larnaka – Beirut

Aegean Airlines Airbus A321-231 SX-DVZ (msn 3820) LHR (Andi Hiltl). Image: 948198.

Aegean Airlines has announced the expansion of its activity in Cyprus by adding two new routes, Pafos – Athens and Larnaka – Beirut and by that enhances its continuing presence in Cyprus and its strategic commitment to further expand activity through investing in increased capacity during the winter season.

From December 12, 2019, and onwards Aegean will connect Athens with Pafos with two weekly scheduled flights throughout the year, with the possibility of adding a third flight during peak season, thereby increasing accessibility, through new connections to key markets of the international network.

The new popular destination adds to the already existing connectivity from Cyprus, and along with the new direct route from Larnaca to Beirut, which already runs twice a week from October 7, 2019, Aegean will operate a total of 5 destinations from Cyprus (Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Tel Aviv and Beirut).

By adding these two new routes, Aegean plans to increase capacity in the international network by 2020, offering 1.12m. seats overall from Cyprus, up 6% year-over-year, providing even more options and improved passenger connections.

Top Copyright Photo: Aegean Airlines Airbus A321-231 SX-DVZ (msn 3820) LHR (Andi Hiltl). Image: 948198.

Aegean Airlines aircraft slide show: