Monthly Archives: April 2013

JetBlue to add new seasonal service from Hartford/Springfield to Fort Myers and Tampa

JetBlue Airways (New York) announced today plans to add daily nonstop service to two new Floridian destinations from Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut (BDL): Winter seasonal service to Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers (RSW) service; and year-round service to Tampa International Airport (TPA), effective Thursday, October 24, 2013.

JetBlue’s schedule between Hartford/Springfield and Fort Myers:

Hartford (BDL) to Fort Myers (RSW): Fort Myers (RSW) to Hartford (BDL):
Depart – Arrive Depart – Arrive
11:40 a.m. – 3 p.m. 3:45 p.m. – 6:40 p.m.
– Flights operate daily effective October 24, 2013 for winter seasonal service — All times local –

–  Schedules for October 24-26 vary from the stated times –

JetBlue’s schedule between Hartford/Springfield and Tampa:

Hartford (BDL) to Tampa (TPA): Tampa (TPA) to Hartford (BDL):
Depart – Arrive Depart – Arrive
9:10 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. 12:25 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
– Flights operate daily effective October 24, 2013 –
– All times local —  Schedules for Oct 24-26 vary slightly from the stated times –

JetBlue’s flights between Hartford/Springfield and Fort Myers as well as Tampa will be operated with its comfortable Airbus A320 fleet.

Copyright Photo: Luimer Cordero. Airbus A320-232 N510JB (msn 1280) (DIRECTV On Board) taxies to the runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

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Jetstar Airways celebrates its 100th aircraft with a special livery

Jetstar Airways (Australia) (Melbourne) this month celebrated reaching 100 aircraft, a milestone reflecting the impressive scale of the airline across Asia Pacific.

Since launching in 2004, Jetstar has grown from a small domestic carrier – with just 14 aircraft flying up and down the east coast of Australia – to become the fastest airline brand in Asia Pacific to grow its fleet to 100 aircraft.

Jetstar Group Chief Executive Officer Jayne Hrdlicka said this milestone was only possible because of the 400,000 passengers who choose to fly with the Jetstar Group each week.

To commemorate this milestone, Jetstar has applied a special 100th aircraft livery on its first Sharklet-equipped Airbus A320.

The livery features 132 people doing the Jetstar star jump including passengers and ambassadors from across Asia Pacific representing the five Jetstar branded airlines.

“This aircraft also celebrates the huge achievement of carrying more than 100 million passengers in our nine year history,” Ms Hrdlicka added.

“The delivery of this new A320, with its remarkable wing-tip technology, reflects our on-going commitment to invest in modern aircraft and innovation to benefit our customers.

“The distinctive wing-tips bring about higher fuel efficiencies and help us to continue to deliver everyday low fares to our customers.”

The Jetstar Group now has three aircraft fitted with the fuel saving Sharklets – one each for Jetstar Asia, Jetstar Japan and now Jetstar Australia and New Zealand.

The Airbus A320-232 with the special 100th livery registration of VH-VFN (msn 5566) will be flown on major domestic routes and over the coming months and is expected to visit New Zealand, Singapore and Japan.

The Jetstar Group is made up of Jetstar Airways (subsidiary of the QANTAS Group) in Australia and New Zealand, Jetstar Asia in Singapore, Jetstar Pacific in Vietnam and Jetstar Japan in Japan.

Subject to regulatory approval, Jetstar Hong Kong will fly to destinations in Greater China, Japan, South Korea and South East Asia later this year.

Copyright Photo: John Adlard. VH-VFN taxies at Sydney with the special celebratory photos and livery.

Videos:

Hot New Photos: AG Hot New Photos

Jetstar Airways (Australia): AG Slide Show

AeroMexico Connect to operate from las Vegas to Puerto Penasco and Hermosillo

AeroMexico (Mexico City) has announced a new route from Las Vegas, Nevada to Puerto Penasco and Hermosillo that will be available starting on June 20 with two frequencies a week.

This route adds two new AeroMexico destinations that can connect to and from one of its main hubs bringing the total number of cities to 14. From Hermosillo, Aeromexico offers daily frequencies to Culiacan, Mexico City, Chihuahua, Los Mochis, Mazatlan, among others.

Aeromexico will schedule the new flights with 50-seat Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft operated by AeroMexico Connect (Aerolitoral) (Monterrey) on the following schedule:

Las Vegas – Puerto Penasco

Flight Number Departure Arrival Frequencies
AM 2675 2:51 pm 4:35 pm Thursday & Sunday

Puerto Penasco – Hermosillo

Flight Number Departure Arrival Frequencies
AM 2675 5:05 pm 6:01 pm Thursday & Sunday

Hermosillo – Puerto Penasco

Flight Number Departure Arrival Frequencies
AM 2674 10:47 am 11:49 am Thursday & Sunday

Puerto Penasco – Las Vegas

Flight Number Departure Arrival Frequencies
AM 2674 12:19 pm 2:06 pm Thursday & Sunday

*Schedules are in local time of each country and subject to change without notice.

Puerto Penasco is the newest tourist destination in the country’s Northeast that offers visitors an impressive hotel infrastructure of the condo-hotel type, in addition to beautiful beaches for relaxing and admiring the lovely sunsets, two golf courses, as well as many water sports options such as: sailing, sport fishing and jet skiing. Complementing this attractive destination’s offerings is the impressive Pinacate Biosphere Reserve and its more than 400 craters surrounded by the Grand Altar Desert.

Hermosillo, capital of the state of Sonora, has positioned itself as one of the most attractive cities in the country because of the astonishing variety of activities that can be enjoyed here – snorkeling, hiking, bird watching, mountain cycling, in addition to hunting tourism. The city is located three hours from the border, 100 kilometers from the Sea of Cortez, and with fast access to all other regions of the entity and other states.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman. Embraer ERJ 145LR (EMB-145LR) XA-BLI (msn 145798) lands at Miami.

AeroMexico: AG Slide Show

AeroMexico Connect: AG Slide Show

Spirit produces a 1Q net profit of $32.8 million

Spirit Airlines, Inc. (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) today reported first quarter 2013 financial results.

  • Adjusted net income for the first quarter 2013 was $32.8 million, or $0.45 per diluted share1. GAAP net income was $30.6 million, or $0.42 per diluted share.
  • For the first quarter 2013, Spirit achieved an operating margin, excluding special items, of 14.4 percent1. Operating margin on a GAAP basis was 13.4 percent for the first quarter 2013.
  • Spirit ended the first quarter 2013 with $483.5 million in unrestricted cash.
  • Spirit grew total available seat miles (“ASMs”) 20.8 percent as compared to the first quarter 2012.
  • Spirit’s return on invested capital (before taxes and excluding special items) for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2013 was 28.0 percent. See “Calculation for Return on Invested Capital” table below for more details.

“We are pleased to report strong first quarter results. Our team continues to do a great job delivering among the best results in the industry while offering our customers low base fares. Our average base fare per passenger segment in the first quarter 2013 was $79.09. Spirit is proud to offer extremely low base fares so that, even when adding in optional extras, the total price our customers pay is almost always less than what they would pay on other airlines,” said Ben Baldanza, Spirit’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are committed to our low-cost, low-fare strategy and to providing value for our customers and our shareholders.”

Revenue Performance

For the first quarter 2013, Spirit’s total operating revenue was $370.4 million, an increase of 22.9 percent, compared to first quarter 2012.

Total revenue per available seat mile (“RASM”) for the first quarter 2013 was 11.85 cents, an increase of 1.7 percent compared to the first quarter 2012 driven by strength in operating yields. The calendar shift of Easter occurring in March this year compared to April in 2012 contributed to the strong first quarter 2013 results.

Passenger flight segment (“PFS”) volume grew 17.8 percent year-over-year in the first quarter 2013. Average non-ticket revenue per PFS for the first quarter 2013 increased 5.9 percent year-over-year to $54.75 and average ticket revenue per PFS for the quarter increased 3.2 percent year-over-year to $79.09. The growth in non-ticket revenue per PFS during the first quarter 2013 was primarily driven by the introduction of advance purchase restrictions on bags as well as other various changes in our pricing structure for optional services.

Cost Performance

Total operating expenses in the first quarter 2013 increased 21.4 percent year-over-year to $320.8 million on a capacity increase of 20.8 percent.

Cost per available seat mile excluding special items and fuel (“Adjusted CASM ex-fuel”) for the first quarter 2013 was 6.04 cents, up 0.8 percent year-over-year. The increase in Adjusted CASM ex-fuel was primarily driven by depreciation and amortization expense related to amortization of heavy maintenance events. Due to an increased number of severe winter storms during the quarter, the Company experienced a higher number of weather-related flight cancellations compared to the same period last year. The CASM pressure associated with the resulting decrease in ASMs as well as other weather-related expenses such as higher deicing expense, also contributed to the increase in Adjusted CASM ex-fuel. The impact of these items was partially offset by efficiency benefits resulting in lower labor expense per ASM, lower distribution expense per ASM, and an increase in average stage length.

Selected Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Items

As of March 31, 2013, Spirit had $483.5 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents, no restricted cash, no debt on its balance sheet, and total shareholders’ equity of $614.8 million.

During the first quarter 2013, Spirit incurred capital expenditures of $10.6 million, which includes the purchase of a spare engine that was financed under a sale leaseback transaction after it was delivered. The Company paid $15.1 million in pre-delivery deposits (“PDPs”) for future deliveries of aircraft, and paid $6.8 million in maintenance reserves, net of reimbursements.

Fleet

In the first quarter 2013, Spirit took delivery of two used A319 aircraft and two new A320 aircraft, ending the quarter with 49 aircraft in its fleet. Spirit’s March A320 aircraft delivery was the carrier’s first aircraft to be delivered with sharklets. The Company has five additional new A320 aircraft with sharklets scheduled for delivery in 2013.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Spirit Airlines will phase out its last two Airbus A321s (N587NK and N588NK) in 2017 on the expiration of the leases. Airbus A321-231 N588NK (msn 2590) in the old 2004 livery arrives at Las Vegas.

Spirit Airlines: AG Slide Show

United Airlines orders 30 Embraer ERJ 175 regional jets

United Express ERJ 175 (CO 91)(Flt)(United)(LRW)

United Airlines (Chicago) has announced an agreement to add 30 Embraer ERJ 175 regional jets to the United Express fleet. Under an agreement with Embraer, United will purchase the aircraft with deliveries in 2014 and 2015. These aircraft will be operated by a United Express partner to be announced later.

United also secured options for 40 additional aircraft.

The Embraer ERJ 175 is the first 76-seat regional jet aircraft in the United Express fleet. The aircraft will be configured with 12 United First, 16 Economy Plus and 48 United Economy seats. The design of the aircraft will result in more personal space for customers with wider seats and aisles than those on the 50-seat aircraft. The aircraft can accommodate standard carry-on bags, resulting in more convenience for customers.

As United inducts the new aircraft into the United Express fleet, the company will remove some of the older 50-seat regional jets in the fleet. The E175s will consume 10 percent less fuel per seat and will have less CO2 emissions per seat than the 50-seat aircraft they replace.

Shuttle America currently operates 38 Embraer ERJ 170s for United Airlines.

Image: United Airlines.

United Airlines: AG Slide Show

Republic Airways Holdings improves in the 1Q to a net profit of $300,000

Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (Indianapolis) has  reported first quarter 2013 net income of $0.3 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $7.1 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, in the first quarter 2012.

“I am pleased that during our seasonally most challenging quarter, we were able to restore our consolidated results to profitability,” said Bryan Bedford, Chairman and CEO of Republic Airways Holdings. “This is the first time in four years that we have produced positive earnings during the first quarter and our results reflect the continued improvement in the business and the substantial efforts of my coworkers and our senior leadership team.”

Republic Segment Summary

Republic revenues decreased 8.6% from the first quarter of 2012 to $324.7 million in the first quarter of 2013. Republic passenger service revenue decreased $52.2 million due to operating 12 fewer Embraer ERJ 190 aircraft under pro-rate operations with Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver). Five of the aircraft were moved into fixed-fee charter service, five aircraft were sold over the last two quarters, and two aircraft were returned to lessors. Fixed-fee service revenues increased 9.4% to $304.0 million, despite the removal of fuel expense and the related reimbursement on our United Embraer ERJ 170 fixed-fee agreement, which accounted for $24.6 million of revenues in the prior year’s first quarter. This reduction was more than offset by revenue from the growth in our Bombardier Q400 operations at United and our new ERJ 190 fixed-fee charter service agreement.

Fuel costs for Republic decreased $46.2 million to $13.6 million for the quarter. The fuel cost per gallon, including into-plane taxes and fees, increased to $3.86 per gallon in the first quarter of 2013, compared to $3.33 per gallon in the prior year’s first quarter. The fuel cost per gallon related to our fixed-fee charter agreement is generally higher than our pro-rate operations and is treated as a pass through cost under the agreement.

Pre-tax income improved to $20.6 million, from $10.9 million in the prior year’s first quarter. The prior year’s first quarter included $5.3 million of expense for idled aircraft, and this year’s first quarter includes the benefit of our ERJ restructuring effort completed in late 2012.

As of March 31, 2013, Republic operated 70 aircraft with 44-50 seats and 152 aircraft with 69-99 seats to support its fixed-fee commercial agreements. Under the pro-rate agreement with Frontier, Republic operated five 99-seat ERJ 190 aircraft. Compared to March 31, 2012, this reflects a net increase of six aircraft for the Republic segment. The Company has returned or subleased three ERJ aircraft, placed 16 Q400 aircraft into service, sold five ERJ 190 aircraft, and returned two ERJ 190 aircraft to the lessor over the past year.

Frontier Segment Summary

Frontier total revenues decreased 9.2% to $310.9 million for the quarter, compared to $342.4 million for the same period in 2012. Capacity on Frontier, as measured by available seat miles (ASMs), was down 12.6% from the prior year’s first quarter, as a result of four fewer Airbus aircraft in operation. Load factor for the first quarter was 87.8%, an increase of 3.1 points from the first quarter of 2012. Total revenue per ASM (TRASM) increased 3.9% to 11.86 cents in the first quarter 2013 from 11.41 cents in the first quarter 2012.

Fuel costs for Frontier were $118.0 million for the quarter, a decrease of $13.9 million from the prior year’s first quarter. The fuel cost per gallon, including into-plane taxes and fees, increased to $3.41 per gallon in the first quarter 2013, compared to $3.39 per gallon in the prior year’s first quarter. The first quarter 2013 result included a gain on fuel hedges of $0.4 million.

The operating unit cost for Frontier, excluding fuel, was 8.08 cents for the first quarter 2013, a 5.2% increase compared to 7.68 cents for the same quarter 2012.

For the quarter ended March 31, 2013, Frontier posted a pre-tax loss of $20.1 million compared to a pre-tax loss of $21.6 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2012. Frontier recorded $5.9 million, or 0.23 cents per ASM and $0.07 per diluted share, of aircraft return costs associated with the return of five leased Airbus A318 and A319 aircraft during the first quarter of 2013.

As of March 31, 2013, Frontier operated 56 Airbus aircraft compared to 60 Airbus aircraft as of March 31, 2012. Frontier returned two A318 aircraft and three A319 aircraft and took delivery of one leased A320 aircraft.

Recent Business Developments

On March 12, 2013, the Company received bankruptcy court approval of its capacity purchase agreement (CPA), as amended, with American Airlines to operate 47 ERJ aircraft in fixed-fee operations. The first aircraft is expected to be delivered in July and is scheduled to enter service for American on August 1, 2013. The Company anticipates taking delivery of 18 new E175 aircraft in 2013.

Balance Sheet and Liquidity

The Company’s total cash balance increased $34.2 million to $428.5 million as of March 31, 2013, compared to December 31, 2012. Restricted cash increased $35.8 million, to $182.9 million, from December 31, 2012. The Company’s unrestricted cash balance decreased $1.6 million, to $245.6 million, from December 31, 2012. A condensed cash flow statement has been included in the tables section of this release.

The Company’s debt decreased to $2.0 billion as of March 31, 2013, compared to $2.1 billion at December 31, 2012. As of March 31, 2013, almost 90% of the debt is at a fixed interest rate. The Company has significant long-term lease obligations for aircraft that are classified as operating leases and are not reflected as liabilities on the Company’s consolidated balance sheet. At a 6.0% discount factor, the present value of these lease obligations was approximately $0.9 billion and $1.0 billion as of March 31, 2013 and December 31, 2012, respectively. A condensed consolidated balance sheet has been provided in the tables section of this release.

Copyright Photo: Norbert G. Raith. Frontier is now expected to retire the last two Airbus A318s by early August. Airbus A318-111 N809FR (msn 3092) prepares to land in Atlanta.

Frontier Airlines:AG Slide Show

 

National Airlines’ Boeing 747-400 freighter N949CA crashes on takeoff in Afghanistan, 7 crew members killed

National Airlines’ (5th) (National Air Cargo)  (Orlando) Boeing 747-428 BCF freighter registered as N949CA (msn 35630) crashed today (April 29) on takeoff at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. All seven crew members are believed to have perished in the fiery crash.

The Taliban claimed to have shot down the freighter but coalition forces dismissed the claim.

The airline issued this statement:

A National Airlines Boeing 747-400 cargo plane was involved in an accident at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan on April 29.

At approximately 7 a.m. EDT, National Flight NCR 102 from Bagram to Dubai, UAE, with seven crewmembers on board crashed on takeoff.  None of the crew members survived.   This was a purely cargo flight and no passengers were aboard.  Cargo consisted of vehicles and routine general cargo.

“Safety is always our top priority at National Airlines,” said National Airlines President Glen Joerger. “This is a devastating loss for our family and we’ll work diligently with authorities to find the cause,” said Joerger. “Most importantly, our thoughts and prayers are with our crew members and their families.”

National will release additional information as it becomes available, in cooperation with government authorities.  Our focus at this time is on the family members of those we’ve lost, and on assisting the NTSB and Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority in their investigations.  As of now, the cause of the accident is unknown.

Read the full report from the Wall Street Journal: CLICK HERE

Actual video of the crash from Live Leak:

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Ill-fated N949CA taxies at Amsterdam before the accident. The airframe previously flew for Air France.

National Airlines (5th): AG Slide Show