Monthly Archives: June 2012

Air Malta gets another chance to survive, the European Commission approves its restructuring plan

Air Malta (2nd) (Malta) is getting another chance to survive. The European Commission has approved the carrier’s reorganization plan which also involves a $164.8 million loan from the Maltese government to turn the airline around.

Read the full report from The Malta Independent: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner.

Air Malta: 

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Czech Airlines slips into the red for 2011

Czech Airlines-CSA (Prague) went into the red in 2011 with a pre-tax loss of $11.8 million. The airline blamed the loss on aircraft commitments and higher fuel costs.

The airline issued the following statement:

“The second year of Czech Airline’s three-year restructuring plan was marked primarily by the continued reorganisation of the company, transformations in its transport network model, and cost optimisation. Last year the airline was impacted by financial leasing obligations for aircraft ordered in the past, and a significant increase in fuel costs. Last year Czech Airlines transferred its subsidiaries Czech Airlines Handling, CSA Services, and HOLIDAYS Czech Airlines to Czech Aeroholding. The money that the airline obtained through these transactions was used to pay instalments on aircraft. This means that Czech Airlines invested nearly a billion crowns into its future assets last year. The airline finished the 2011 financial year with an aggregate loss of CZK 241 million.

Phase two of Czech Airline’s on-going restructuring influenced the airline’s financial results for last year. Czech Airlines continued its human resources optimisation and the optimisation of its sales and transport networks, with corresponding gradual changes in its fleet structure. “Last year Czech Airlines managed to reduce its personnel costs by nearly one third, year on year, and in terms of its fleet size, it is returning to a state that corresponds to the transport network and market potential of a small local market. The structural changes in the transport network unfortunately did not have enough time to fully manifest themselves in last year’s financial results, whether in terms of revenue or costs,” explains Philippe Moreels, Chairman of the Management Board and President of Czech Airlines, adding: “Financial obligations for aircraft ordered in the past had an adverse impact on our financial results. Last year alone Czech Airlines had to invest nearly a billion crowns that it obtained from the sale of assets into new aircraft.”

A significant increase in the price of aircraft fuel also had an adverse impact on the airline’s finances last year. In spite of the planned decrease in aircraft movements by nearly one fifth last year, Czech Airlines noted a nearly 40% year-on-year increase in fuel costs. “The same trend was manifest in the first four months of this year. Although on the revenue side, certain other positive effects of the gradual transformation of the transport and sales network are beginning to show, the increase in fuel costs has nearly eliminated them, at least in the first four months of the year. In its last, third year of restructuring, Czech Airlines will therefore focus even more on reducing its costs, primarily fixed costs, and will also enhance some of its modern pro-revenue projects,” concludes Philippe Moreels.”

Item 2011 (in CZK ‘000) 2010 (in CZK ‘000)
Total revenue 16 905 211 21 518 307
Sales of fixed assets and material 876 271 2 694 502
Total costs 17 146 567 21 442 148
Equity 108 226 376 367
Share capital 5 235 510 5 235 510
Profit/loss before tax -241 356 76 159

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton.

Czech Airlines: 

Southwest Airlines previews live TV inflight on five Boeing 737s

Southwest Airlines (Dallas), in conjunction with Row 44, is taking the next step in wireless inflight entertainment with a preview of live TV on five of the carrier’s aircraft, with plans to expand to 20 aircraft by mid-July.  Customers on these select planes will now have the option to purchase live TV consisting of seven sports and news channels, and view on their personal devices.

Flight Attendants will notify the Southwest Customers who are onboard a TV-enabled WiFi aircraft. Those interested in using the TV service during this preview period will have the opportunity to log on to the service through the WiFi portal via their personal WiFi-enabled device (tablets, laptops, WiFi-enabled smart phones, etc).  Live TV is offered as a separate charge from WiFi, so Customers do not have to purchase WiFi to purchase live TV.  The airline will evaluate different price points from $3 to $8 throughout the trial period, with instructions on how to access live TV available via a link on the Southwest Airlines WiFi portal.

Southwest Airlines will offer seven live TV channels on these five aircraft so that Customers can stay abreast of the latest news or sports scores while flying at 35,000 feet:

  • NBC Sports
  • MLB live games from MLB.com
  • NFL Network
  • CNBC
  • MSNBC
  • Fox News
  • Fox Business News

The Row 44 system not only supports this new feature, but it was created with live TV in mind. Customers who are watching TV are accessing a separate portion of the bandwidth specifically dedicated for that use. Both live TV and WiFi usage will be monitored to determine if they perform together seamlessly, and if successful, live TV will be available to all WiFi-enabled planes by the end of the year.

Southwest Airlines maintains the world’s largest satellite-based WiFi fleet with more than 250 connected aircraft and plans to equip the entirety of their Boeing 737-700s and 737-800s (70 percent of its total fleet) by mid-2013. Row 44 offers Southwest Airlines the ability to be flexible as the airline’s needs evolve, and the satellite-based technology ensures that Customers’ access to WiFi and live TV will be uninterrupted during near-International flights over water.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Note the Row 44 embedded device on the top of this aircraft – a quick visual way to denote WiFi-equipped WN aircraft.

Southwest: 

JetBlue names San Juan a “focus city”

JetBlue Airways (New York) has named its growing San Juan operation a “focus city”. During a ribbon-cutting ceremony held yesterday (June 28) in celebration of JetBlue Airways’ new home at Terminal A in San Juan’s Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU), the airline’s President and CEO Dave Barger, together with Puerto Rico’s Governor Luis Fortuno, announced that San Juan has become the sixth focus city in JetBlue’s 71-city network.

San Juan joins Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, New York and Orlando as the sixth focus city in JetBlue’s network. The designation of San Juan as a focus city in JetBlue’s growing route network underscores the airline’s ever-increasing commitment to the Puerto Rican community and its expansion into the new Terminal A at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, which will be able to accommodate further growth.

In Puerto Rico, JetBlue currently serves Aguadilla, Ponce and San Juan, with service to 13 nonstop destinations, nine within the continental US: Boston, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Hartford/Springfield, Jacksonville, New York, Newark, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach and; four within the Caribbean: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and St. Croix. The airline has announced it will begin the only direct nonstop to Washington Reagan National Airport, its 14th city out of San Juan, on August 23, 2012.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum.

JetBlue: 

Delta expands Wi-Fi-equipped fleet to include international aircraft

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will begin offering in-flight Internet service on its long-haul international fleet of more than 150 aircraft, which includes Boeing 777, 767, 747, Airbus A330 and transoceanic Boeing 757 aircraft in early 2013.

The expanded Wi-Fi service will use satellites to provide coverage internationally and will complement the existing air-to-ground service already provided by Gogo for aircraft flying within the domestic U.S.

Delta already operates the world’s largest Wi-Fi-equipped fleet of aircraft with more than 3,000 flights daily, including its entire fleet of 550 domestic mainline aircraft. More than 800 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 above 10,000 feet.

The international service will use high-bandwidth Ku-band capacity satellites to provide global coverage. When complete in 2015, Delta will operate approximately 1,000 Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft in its worldwide fleet.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

Delta: 

BA CityFlyer to fly to Ibiza and Palma year round

BA CityFlyer (British Airways) (London-City) is bringing a bit of winter sunshine to London City Airport by extending its popular Palma de Mallorca and Ibiza flights to a year-round service.

At present the two Balearic Island destinations are summer-only but from October 2012 they will continue through the winter with two flights a week on Thursdays and Sundays.

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner.

BA CityFlyer: 

GE Capital Aviation Services to lease 10 new Boeing 737-800s to China Southern Airlines in 2014

GE Capital Aviation Services Limited (GECAS) (Stamford, CT), the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of GE, announced it will lease 10 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft to China Southern Airlines (Ghangzhou) as part of the airline’s fleet renewal program.

The 10 aircraft come from GECAS’ existing order book with Boeing and are scheduled for delivery in 2014.

China Southern has been a GECAS customer since the early 1990s. It is one of the largest airlines in Asia with a fleet of more than 400 aircraft flying to more than 200 destinations.

Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group.

China Southern: