Monthly Archives: July 2013

Delta to fly to Aspen, Colorado this winter

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will add new nonstop seasonal service to Aspen/Snowmass, Colorado with daily flights from Atlanta and Saturday-only flights from Minneapolis-St. Paul, effective on December 21, 2013.

The new service will be operated by Delta Connection carrier, SkyWest Airlines (Delta Connection) (St. George, Utah), using a two-class, 65-seat Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft, featuring nine First Class seats and eight Economy Comfort seats.

The schedule for Delta’s new nonstop service connecting Aspen to Atlanta and Minneapolis is as follows:

 

Service Frequency Departs Arrives Service Begins Service Ends
ASE-ATL Daily 12:45 p.m. 5:53 p.m. Dec. 21, 2013 March 30, 2014
ATL-ASE Daily 10:10 a.m. 11:59 a.m. Dec. 21, 2013 March 30, 2014

 

Service Frequency Departs Arrives Service Begins Service Ends
ASE-MSP Saturday only 2 p.m. 5:11 p.m. Dec. 21, 2013 March 29, 2014
MSP-ASE Saturday only 11:40 a.m. 1:13 p.m. Dec. 21, 2013 March 29, 2014

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) N609SK (msn 10020) Climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Delta Connection-SkyWest Airlines: AG Slide Show

KLM Cityhopper to lease six additional Embraer 190s

KLM Cityhopper (Amsterdam), KLM’s regional subsidiary, has concluded a lease agreement with BOC Aviation to add six Embraer 190s to its current fleet of 22 E-Jets. The additional ERJ 190s are part of KLM Cityhopper’s strategic plan to replace the oldest aircraft in its Fokker 70 fleet. The first of the six ERJ 190s is scheduled to be delivered during the second half of 2013.

Consistent with its current ERJ 190s, the new ERJ 190s will also be configured with 100 seats in a single-class layout. After delivery of the last aircraft from this new acquisition, KLM Cityhopper will have more ERJ 190s in its fleet than any other aircraft type. All of the ERJ 190s will be deployed across KLM’s European network from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100LR PH-EZM (msn 19000338) taxies past the camera at Zurich.
KLM Cityhopper: AG Slide Show

 

Air Canada to fly to Vail, Colorado and seasonal Halifax-Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood service

Air Canada (Montreal) today announced that it will launch weekly nonstop flights between Toronto (Pearson) and Vail, Colorado served by nearby Eagle County Regional Airport in time for the 2013-14 winter ski season. Air Canada will operate its new seasonal service to Vail on Saturdays beginning December 14, 2013 until April 5, 2014, with 120-seat Airbus A319 aircraft offering a choice of Executive or Economy Class service, and featuring complimentary seat back entertainment throughout the aircraft. Air Canada’s flights to Vail from its main hub at Toronto Pearson International Airport are timed to offer customers easy flight connections throughout its extensive network in Eastern and Atlantic Canada including Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.

Air Canada’s Toronto (Pearson)-Vail Schedule:

Flight # Depart
Toronto
Arrive
Vail, CO
Flight # Depart
Vail, CO
Arrive
Toronto
AC1051 09:50 11:45 AC1052 12:30 17:43

In other news, Air Canada has also announced it will launch weekly seasonal flights between Halifax and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Florida, beginning December 14, 2013 until the end of April, 2014. Air Canada will operate flights on Saturdays using 97-seat Embraer ERJ 190 aircraft.

Air Canada’s Halifax-Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Schedule:

Flight # Depart
Halifax
Arrive
Fort Lauderdale
Flight # Depart
Fort Lauderdale
Arrive
Halifax
AC1216 08:15 11:00 AC1217 11:45 16:30

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 C-GBHY (msn 800) prepares to land at Las Vegas.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

ANA orders three additional Boeing 777-300 ERs

ANA (All Nippon AIrways) (Tokyo) and Boeing have announced ANA has ordered three additional 777-300 ER (extended range) airplanes. The order, valued at approximately $945 million at current list prices, will increase the total number of 777s in ANA’s fleet to 57 airplanes once delivered.  ANA currently operates 26 Boeing 777-300s (see below).

In route news, ANA will increase the number of flights between Tokyo-Narita, and Yangon Airport in Myanmar, to seven flights per week, from three. As a result, there will be a daily service on this route from September 30, 2013. In addition, seat capacity for the route will be increased by replacing the Boeing 737-700 aircraft with the 767-300 ER aircraft.

ANA will also announce the name of a new Narita International Airport-based leisure carrier. The new subsidiary will replace the now failed joint venture with AirAsia, named AirAsia Japan. This unit will served leisure destinations such as Guam and Hawaii and will launch operations with two aircraft. The fleet will expand to five aircraft by March 2014 according to Reuters.

On the financial side, ANA Holdings reported a $57.3 million operating loss for the fiscal first quarter ending on June 30.

ANA Fleet 7:2013 (ANA)

In addition, the flag carrier announced its new in-flight services and the new “Inspiration of JAPAN” tagline and issued this statement:

From late August, 2013, ANA will begin flying aircraft adorned with the tagline ‘Inspiration of JAPAN’, ANA’s brand concept. Alongside of this tagline, ANA will enhance its in-flight services and introduce new services throughout this fiscal year, starting from September.Inspiration of Japan
‘Inspiration of JAPAN’, which is the products and services brand of ANA, will be re-stated as the company tagline and will be designed on all of ANA’s aircraft. This will represent many aspects of the Japanese culture and spirit, including skills in innovation and technology, Japanese courtesy and precision, and the spirit of customer service at the heart of ANA.
In addition to the tagline, national flag of Japan will also be designed at the front of the aircraft in order to emphasize our proud of Japanese heritage to global passengers.THE CONNOISSEURS
The first in-flight service enhancement to be launched in September will be THE CONNOISSEURS project. THE CONNOISSEURS is an in-flight meal team composed of 10 renowned chefs, 5 beverage specialists and 9 of ANA’s own catering chefs, among the most talented of any of the world’s airlines. The team will produce a range of meals and drinks for our international and domestic flights. See ‘Notes to Editors’ section for more information on the chefs and menu.

New First and Business Class Bedding and Amenities 
In First and Business classes on long haul flights, we will introduce new bedding using the latest Japanese innovative technologies. This is a joint development with Nishikawa Sangyo Co., Ltd., the leading bedding manufacturer in Japan.

ANA will also provide a new amenity kit service in Business Class that will surely make passengers relax and enjoy our flights. Passengers will receive a pouch filled with L’OCCITANE products, originating from Provence in southern France.

As the first airline in Japan, and one of the few global airlines being recognized as the highest 5-Star airline by SKYTRAX, ANA will continue to further enhance the services we offer to our customers.

 

 Tagline Design
New bedding for long-haul flights – Ultimate in cabin comfortANA presents a new selection of bedding, using the latest innovative technologies that are the pride of Nishikawa Sangyo Co., Ltd., a leading Japanese manufacturer of bedding products since its founding in 1566. Based on the theories of its Japan Research Laboratory of Sleep Science, we now offer items such as highly functional Nanofront® fibers from Teijin, and the finest organic materials from Tenerita. We hope you will enjoy your journey above the clouds.First Class
Quality of sleep is determined by multiple factors including posture, bedding texture, weight, heat retention, and breathability. Our ultra-light comforters are made from the highly functional Teijin fibers using the latest technologies from Nishikawa Sangyo. Moreover, its AiR® mattress features a unique structure that disperses body pressure, while its Angel Float® pillow offers a flexible fit even when lying face up or sideways.
Also enjoy our blankets made with the finest cashmere and Tenerita’s organic cotton that meets strict international standards, as well as the double-sided knitted loungewear with a truly soft texture.
Applicable flights: Routes departing from Japan bound for North America and Europe
Applicable class: First Class

The new bedding in First Class represents the best of Nishikawa Sangyo. Pillow, comforter, bed pad, and blanket by Tenerita.

Double-sided knitted loungewear can be taken home after your flight
Business Class
In Business Class, bed pads are Nishikawa Sangyo’s Air Cyclone® customized for the ANA BUSINESS STAGGERED seats. Turning over during sleep is easy due to the unique three-layer structure and moderate resistance. These bed pads also offer excellent breathability and comfort. And because the reverse side is skid resistant, they can also be used as seat cushions. The comforters are Bodyline Quilts that fit your body. We’ve also introduced structural pillows from Nishikawa Sangyo for a perfect fit from your neck to the back of your head.

Applicable flights: Routes departing from Japan bound for North America and Europe (except Honolulu)
*New bed pads will be introduced on flights equipped with ANA BUSINESS STAGGERED seats only.
Applicable class: Business Class
ANA will introduce a bed pad on Business Class for the first time.
Our new service will provide a more relaxing experience
[From left] pillow, comforter, bed pad.
In Business Class, ANA will also start offering an amenity kit containing amenities from L’OCCITANE, a brand focused on the lifestyle of Provence in southern France.

Top Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-381 ER JA733A (msn 32648) arrives at London (Heathrow).

ANA: AG Slide Show

PAL Airlines suspends scheduled operations in August, will operate charters only

PAL Airlines (Santiago) announced on July 29 that is suspending scheduled passenger operations during August. The carrier will continue as a charter-only company. The explanation given by the owners was that the current business plan did not allow them to develop the charter flights to the Chilean northern regions where mining personnel transportation needs are growing.
PAL currently operates 16 charter flights a week and they expect this number to rise up to 28 per week. The aim of the airline is also offer better options to Chilean tour operators for charters in the summer season of the Southern Hemisphere (flights to Brazil, Cuba and Mexico), and using the aircraft for freight, mainly performing seat container flights inside Chile.
PAL fleet is composed by two Boeing 737-300s and two Boeing 737-200s, plus two leased from Global Air of Mexico. A third 737-300 should join the fleet soon.
Thanks to Alvaro Romero of ModoCharlie.com for this report.
Copyright Photo: Alvaro Romero/ModoCharlie.com. Boeing 737-3G7 CC-ADZ (msn 24634) in the special Copa America 2011-Chile Soccer Team livery exits the runway at the Santiago base.
PAL Airlines: AG Slide Show

WestJet reports a record net profit in the second quarter

WestJet (Calgary) announced its 33rd consecutive quarter of profitability, with record second quarter net earnings of $44.7 million (all figures in CA dollars) , or $0.34 per diluted share. This compares with the net earnings of $42.5 million , or $0.31 per diluted share reported in the second quarter of 2012. These results include $8.4 million of one-time pre-tax transition costs associated with WestJet’s business transformation initiative. Based on the trailing twelve months, the airline achieved a return on invested capital of 14.4 per cent, up from the 14.3 per cent reported in the previous quarter.

Operating highlights (stated in Canadian dollars)

Q2 2013 Q2 2012 Change Year-to-
date 2013
Year-to-
date 2012
Change
Net earnings (millions) $44.7 $42.5 5.2% $135.8 $110.8 22.6%
Diluted earnings per share $0.34 $0.31 9.7% $1.02 $0.81 25.9%
Total revenues (millions) $843.7 $809.3 4.3% $1,810.9 $1,700.2 6.5%
Operating margin 7.9% 8.7% (0.8 pts) 11.0% 10.4% 0.6 pts
ASMs (available seat miles) (billions) 5.888 5.389 9.3% 11.920 11.079 7.6%
RPMs (revenue passenger miles) (billions) 4.675 4.395 6.4% 9.763 9.116 7.1%
Load factor 79.4% 81.6% (2.2 pts) 81.9% 82.3% (0.4 pts)
Segment guests 4,493,271 4,267,598 5.3% 8,986,595 8,498,013 5.7%
Yield (revenue per revenue passenger mile) (cents) 18.05 18.41 (2.0%) 18.55 18.65 (0.5%)
RASM (revenue per available seat mile) (cents) 14.33 15.02 (4.6%) 15.19 15.35 (1.0%)
CASM (cost per available seat mile) (cents) 13.20 13.71 (3.7%) 13.52 13.76 (1.7%)
CASM, excluding fuel and employee profit share (cents)* 9.06 9.12 (0.7%) 9.00 9.03 (0.3%)

*Refer to reconciliations in the accompanying tables for further information regarding calculations.

In the second quarter, WestJet successfully launched WestJet Encore, Canada’s newest regional airline with its first two new Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) NextGen aircraft. WestJet’s new regional airline will provide more Canadians with access to WestJet’s low fares and caring guest experience, while enhancing the airline’s value to the business market. “We are pleased with initial results in both the local market and the significant connecting traffic flows from the new regional service,” said Gregg Saretsky.

WestJet expects to continue its strong traffic and revenue growth in the third quarter of 2013. The airline anticipates its 2013 third quarter RASM, as compared to the same period in the prior year, to experience a similar level of year-over-year percentage decline as the second quarter of 2013, primarily as a result of increased capacity associated with higher utilization, the reconfiguration of WestJet’s Boeing 737-800 fleet, and the ramping up of WestJet Encore. June and July traffic experienced some booking weakness due to the impact of flooding in Calgary and the surrounding communities.

The airline expects jet fuel costs to range between 90 and 92 cents per litre for the third quarter of 2013, representing a flat to up two per cent year-over-year increase. In terms of CASM, excluding fuel and employee profit share, WestJet expects it to be down 0.5 to down 1.5 per cent in the third quarter of 2013.

For the full year 2013, the airline now expects CASM, excluding fuel and employee profit share, to be down 0.5 to down 1.0 per cent year-over-year primarily as a result of cost reductions achieved and anticipated through its previously announced company-wide business transformation initiative.

For the full-year 2014, the airline anticipates system-wide capacity growth between four and six per cent. “The flexibility we have built into our fleet plan through lease renewal options and our ability to deploy a mix of Boeing 737 and Bombardier Q400 aircraft allows us to tailor capacity and continue our profitable growth while aligning with market conditions,” noted Gregg Saretsky.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. WestJet is reconfiguring its Boeing 737-800 fleet. Boeing 737-8CT C-GKWJ (msn 34151) taxies to the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

WestJet: AG Slide Show

Republic’s three flight attendants groups approve the new contract, may sell Frontier Airlines in the third quarter

Republic Airways Inc. (Republic Airways Holdings) (Indianapolis) has announced that flight attendants for its three regional carriers have approved a new five-year labor contract. The ratification vote concluded on July 29 with flight attendants from Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines (2nd) and Shuttle America voting in favor of the agreement.

The new contract includes increases in pay, improvements in quality of life and more flexibility in scheduling. The new agreement becomes amendable on July 29, 2018.

In other news, Republic has entered into a preliminary agreement with an undisclosed potential buyer of Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver). Should the deal be finalized, the sale could be closed in the third quarter according to CEO Bryan Bedford.

Read the full story from the Denver Post: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Set against the moon, Republic Airlines’ (2nd) Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N164HQ (msn 19000275) (Hummingbird) arrives at Toronto (Pearson). The 99-seat Republic ERJ 190s are expected to leave the Frontier contract in the third quarter of 2013.

Frontier Airlines (2nd)-Republic Airlines (2nd): AG Slide Show

Spirit Airlines is coming to Phoenix, will drop Mesa

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) today announced that it is starting service from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) to three cities:

  • Daily nonstop service between Phoenix (PHX) and Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) starts October 24, 2013.
  • Daily nonstop seasonal service between Phoenix (PHX) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD) starts November 7, 2013.
  • Daily nonstop seasonal service between Phoenix (PHX) and Denver (DEN) starts November 7, 2013.

Spirit is relocating its operations from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa (AZA) to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. Spirit is reaching out to customers currently holding reservations for flights to and from Gateway Airport. Spirit will discontinue its operations at AZA on October 23, 2013.

Spirit’s Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) — Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) schedule effective October 24, 2013:
Depart Arrive Flight # Stops Frequency
Phoenix Sky Harbor — Dallas/Fort Worth 1:00 AM 5:10 AM 772* 0 Daily
Dallas/Fort Worth — Phoenix Sky Harbor 11:15 PM 11:35 PM 771 0 Daily
*Departure and arrival times in Phoenix will be one hour later effective November 3, 2013.
Spirit’s Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) — Chicago (ORD) seasonal schedule effective November 7, 2013 — April 30, 2014:
Depart Arrive Flight # Stops Frequency
Phoenix Sky Harbor — Chicago O’Hare 1:50 AM 6:00 AM 168 0 Daily
Chicago O’Hare — Phoenix Sky Harbor 8:50 PM 11:45 PM 167 0 Daily
Spirit’s Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) — Denver (DEN) seasonal schedule effective November 7, 2013 — April 30, 2014:
Depart Arrive Flight # Stops Frequency
Phoenix Sky Harbor — Denver 1:15 PM 3:03 PM 816 0 Daily
Denver — Phoenix Sky Harbor 4:00 PM 5:50 PM 815 0 Daily

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N605NK (msn 4548) climbs away from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Spirit Airlines: AG Slide Show

JetBlue reports second quarter net income of $36 million

JetBlue Airways Corporation (JetBlue Airways) (New York) today reported its results for the second quarter 2013:

  • Operating income for the quarter was $102 million, resulting in a 7.6% operating margin, compared to operating income of $130 million and a 10.2% operating margin in the second quarter of 2012.
  • Pre-tax income of $60 million in the second quarter.  This compares to pre-tax income of $86 million in the second quarter of 2012.
  • Net income for the second quarter was $36 million, or $0.11 per diluted share.  This compares to JetBlue’s second quarter 2012 net income of $52 million, or $0.16 per diluted share.

“Today, we reported our thirteenth consecutive quarter of profitability,” said Dave Barger, JetBlue’s President and Chief Executive Officer.  “Although second quarter results were negatively impacted by a sluggish economic environment and continued maintenance cost pressures, our crewmembers remained focused on running a safe, reliable airline and delivering excellent service to our customers.  We believe we are well positioned to expand margins in the second half of the year as we expect maintenance cost pressures to lessen and unit revenue performance to improve.”

Operational Performance

JetBlue reported record second quarter operating revenues of $1.3 billion.  Revenue passenger miles for the second quarter increased 7.3% to 9.12 billion on a capacity increase of 7.8%, resulting in a second quarter load factor of 84.9%, a decrease of 0.4 points year over year.

Yield per passenger mile in the second quarter was 13.40 cents, down 2.8% compared to the second quarter of 2012.  Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for the second quarter 2013 decreased 3.3% year over year to 11.37 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) decreased 3.1% year over year to 12.42 cents.  The calendar shift of the Easter and Passover holidays in March this year compared to April last year negatively impacted second quarter year over year PRASM by approximately two points.

“While we are disappointed to report a decline in year over year unit revenue performance during the quarter, we are encouraged by recent revenue trends and the success of our initiatives to attract and retain high-value customers,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s Chief Commercial Officer.

Operating expenses for the quarter increased 7.5%, or $86 million, over the prior year period.  JetBlue’s operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for the second quarter decreased 0.3% year over year to 11.48 cents.  Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM increased 3.3% to 7.15 cents.

Fuel Expense and Hedging

JetBlue continued to hedge fuel to manage price volatility.  During the second quarter JetBlue hedged approximately 17% of its fuel consumption and managed approximately 21% of its fuel consumption using fixed forward price agreements (FFPs), resulting in a realized fuel price of $3.06 per gallon, a 4.8% decrease over second quarter 2012 realized fuel price of $3.22.  JetBlue recorded $4 million in losses on fuel hedges that settled during the second quarter.  In addition, JetBlue recorded $2 million in non-cash fuel hedging ineffectiveness losses during the quarter, which is included in non-operating income/expense.

JetBlue has managed approximately 44% of its third quarter projected fuel requirements using a combination of FFPs, collars, swaps and call options.  Based on the fuel curve as of July 26th, JetBlue expects an average price per gallon of fuel, including the impact of hedges, FFPs and fuel taxes, of $3.10 in the third quarter.

Balance Sheet Update

JetBlue ended the second quarter with approximately $867 million in unrestricted cash and short term investments.  In addition, JetBlue maintains a $200 million line of credit and a revolving credit facility for up to $350 million.

“We continue to maintain a strong balance sheet with healthy liquidity,” said Mark Powers, JetBlue’s Chief Financial Officer.  “We expect to continue to use cash from operations to reduce debt, which we believe will help us achieve our return on invested capital goals and generate long-term returns for our shareholders.”

Third Quarter and Full Year Outlook

For the third quarter of 2013, CASM is expected to increase between 1.0% and 3.0% compared to the year-ago period.  Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in the third quarter is expected to increase between 3.0% and 5.0% year over year.  JetBlue expects roughly half of this year over year increase to be driven by maintenance expense.

CASM for the full year is expected to increase between 0.5% and 2.5% over full year 2012.  Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in 2013 is expected to increase between 2.5% and 4.5% year over year.

Capacity is expected to increase between 3.5% and 5.5% in the third quarter and to increase between 5.5% and 7.5% for the full year.

In other news, JetBlue Airways and South African Airways (SAA) today announced a bilateral codeshare agreement to connect the carriers’ networks via New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Washington’s Dulles International Airport (IAD). The agreement is pending U.S. DOT regulatory approval and subject to receipt of foreign government operating authority.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N605JB (msn 2368) in the special Boston Red Sox color scheme prepares to depart from focus city Long Beach, CA.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Indigo Partners to divest its shares of Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has issued this statement about the shares owned by Indigo Partners:

Spirit Airlines, Inc. has announced the public offering of 12,070,920 shares of common stock by certain existing stockholders affiliated with Indigo Partners LLC. Upon completion of the offering, investment funds affiliated with Indigo will no longer own shares of common stock of Spirit Airlines. The company will not receive any proceeds from this offering. Barclays is acting as the sole underwriter for the offering.

The shares of common stock are being offered pursuant to the Company’s existing shelf registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on July 31, 2012.

In connection with the offering, the Company also announced that William A. Franke and John R. Wilson have informed the Company that upon completion of the offering, they expect to resign as directors at the next board meeting, presently scheduled for August 7, 2013. Upon Mr. Franke’s resignation, the Company’s board intends to elect Mr. H. McIntyre Gardner, a director since 2010, as Chairman of the Board.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N617NK (msn 5387) prepares to touch down at Baltimore/Washington.

Spirit Airlines: AG Slide Show