Monthly Archives: April 2015

Delta announces its additional seasonal service to Amsterdam and Italy

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will add summer seasonal to Amsterdam from Salt Lake City International Airport. The nonstop daily flight to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport launches on May 2, 2015.

According to the airline, this summer Delta has increased its network out of Schiphol, adding extra services to New York-JFK, Detroit and Minneapolis/St Paul in March, with an additional frequency to Seattle/Tacoma starting on May 4. The airline will operate up to 19 peak-day nonstop flights, responding to increased demand for service between the U.S. and the Netherlands during the peak summer travel period.

Delta is also increasing travel options for customers flying between Italy and the United States this summer. The U.S. airline will be restarting numerous seasonal services throughout May and June 2015. Flights will operate from four Italian cities – Rome, Milan, Pisa and Venice – to Delta’s hubs in New York-JFK, Atlanta and Detroit.

Expanded service at Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport, Rome

In addition to restarting its seasonal service to Detroit Metropolitan-Wayne County Airport on May 2, 2015, Delta will launch a second frequency to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, effective May 23. The extra services complement Delta’s existing daily flights to Atlanta and New York-JFK, and take the total number of weekly seats on offer between Rome and the U.S. to over 14,000.

The seasonal flight from Rome to Detroit will operate daily using a Boeing 767-400 and the second Atlanta flight will operate up to six times weekly using a Boeing 767-300 aircraft.

Seasonal flights return to Venice and Pisa

Delta will restart a daily nonstop flight between Venice Marco Polo Airport and its Atlanta hub, effective June 2 using a Boeing 767-300 aircraft. The flight complements the existing daily New York-JFK service that was restarted at the end of March, meaning that Delta will operate two daily flights to the U.S. from Venice during the summer.

From Pisa, Delta will operate nonstop service to New York-JFK six times weekly using a Boeing 757-200 aircraft, effective June 16.

Extra service added at Milan Malpensa

Customers flying from Milan Malpensa Airport will benefit from a daily flight to Atlanta, effective June 17, complementing Delta’s existing daily service to New York-JFK. Operated using a Boeing 767-300 aircraft, the flight will add a further 3,150 weekly seats between Milan and the U.S..

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-332 ER N176DZ (msn 29697) approaches the runway at Zurich.

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Virgin America posts a record first quarter GAAP net profit of $12.8 million

Virgin America (San Francisco) today reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2015.

Key highlights from the first quarter include:

First quarter 2015 net income was $10.5 million excluding special items1, an increase of $32.9 million from the first quarter of 2014. Operating income and operating margin excluding special items were $13.1 million and 4.0 percent, respectively.

On a GAAP basis, net income was $12.8 million. This represents the first time in its history that Virgin America has recorded a profit in the first quarter of the year, and the tenth consecutive quarter of year-over-year improvement in profitability. Operating income and operating margin on a GAAP basis were $15.4 million and 4.7 percent, respectively.

Fully diluted earnings per share excluding special items was $0.24. On a GAAP basis, fully diluted earnings per share was $0.29.

“Virgin America continues to perform exceptionally well, achieving net income of $10.5 million excluding special items in the first quarter of 2015,” said David Cush, Virgin America’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “This marks the tenth consecutive quarter of year-over-year improvement in our financial performance, off the back of a record year of profitability in 2014. This is a testament to our business model, our product and Teammates who delivered an outstanding experience for our guests.”

First Quarter 2015 Financial Highlights

• Operating Revenue: Total operating revenue was $326.4 million, an increase of 4.1 percent over first quarter of 2014.

• Revenue per Available Seat Mile (RASM): Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 2.6 percent compared to the first quarter 2014, to 10.27 cents. Year-over-year PRASM growth was driven by a 0.9 point increase in load factor and a 1.4 percent increase in yield. Total RASM increased 2.7 percent year-over-year.

• Cost per Available Seat Mile (CASM): Total CASM excluding special items decreased 5.5 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014, to 11.11 cents. Decreases in fuel costs and reduced heavy maintenance activity contributed to the decline in CASM, partially offset by increases in salaries, wages and benefits. Salaries, wages and benefits costs included a $2.1 million accrual for teammate profit sharing and payroll taxes related to 2014 profit sharing. CASM excluding special items, fuel costs and profit sharing for the quarter increased 3.0 percent year-over-year, to 7.82 cents.

• Fuel Expense: Virgin America realized an average economic fuel cost per gallon including taxes and the impact of hedges of $2.45, which was 22.7 percent lower year-over-year. This amount includes certain fuel expense adjustments described as special items below.

• Special Items: Special items in the first quarter of 2015 relate to $2.3 million of adjustments for fuel hedges that settled during the first quarter of 2015 but for which unrealized losses had been previously recorded under GAAP and mark-to-market adjustments for fuel hedges that mature subsequent to March 31, 2015, which did not qualify for hedge accounting treatment.

• Operating Income: First quarter 2015 operating income excluding special items was $13.1 million, an increase of $26.3 million as compared to 2014. The Company’s operating margin excluding special items of 4.0 percent, improved by 8.2 points year-over-year.

• Net Income: Net income excluding special items for the first quarter was $10.5 million, an increase of$32.9 million year-over-year.

• Fully Diluted EPS: Fully diluted earnings per share, excluding special items, was $0.24 for the first quarter of 2015. First quarter 2015 fully diluted earnings per share was $0.29 on a GAAP basis.

• Capacity: Available seat miles (ASMs) for the first quarter of 2015 increased 1.5 percent year-over-year compared with the first quarter of 2014. The airline was affected by severe winter weather, reducing capacity growth by 1.5 percent versus the Company’s original plan. Virgin America ended the quarter with 53 Airbus A320-family aircraft, unchanged from the first quarter of 2014.

• Liquidity: Unrestricted cash was $418.3 million as of March 31, 2015.

2015 Aircraft Financing

Virgin America entered into agreements to finance approximately 80 percent of the purchase price of its five 2015 Airbus A320 aircraft deliveries. The weighted average interest rate on these financing commitments, if fixed at current underlying interest rates, would be under 5.0 percent.

Second Quarter 2015 Outlook

The Company’s expectations for the second quarter of 2015 are based on currently available information. These expectations are forward-looking, and actual results could differ materially depending on market conditions and the factors set forth under “Forward-Looking Statements” below. You should not place undue reliance upon these expectations.

The Company expects capacity, as measured by available seat miles, to decrease by approximately 0.0 percent to 1.0 percent for the second quarter of 2015 as compared to the second quarter of 2014. Based on current revenue trends, the Company expects PRASM to decrease between 0.0 percent and 2.0 percent versus the second quarter of 2014. The Company expects CASM excluding fuel and profit sharing to increase between 8.0 percent and 10.0 percent versus the second quarter of 2014. CASM excluding fuel and profit sharing is increasing in the second quarter due to a decrease in average stage length year-over-year of approximately 4.0 percent, additional maintenance costs expected during the quarter, and previously announced increases in salaries, wages and benefits.

The Company is targeting a full year 2015 increase in CASM, excluding fuel and profit sharing, of approximately 7.0 percent to 9.0 percent, primarily due to the previously announced increase in salaries, wages and benefits and to a decrease in average stage length. In 2016, the Company is currently targeting CASM, excluding fuel and profit sharing, to remain flat year-over-year.

Based on Virgin America’s hedge portfolio and current market prices for aviation fuel products, the Company expects Virgin America’s economic fuel cost per gallon inclusive of related taxes and hedge costs to average between $2.10 and $2.20 for the second quarter of 2015. This number may change depending on fluctuations in market prices for jet fuel during the quarter.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N854VA (msn 5058) Arrives in Washington (Reagan National).

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Alaska Airlines to fly south to Costa Rica from Los Angeles, will also add LAX – BWI service

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will chart new territory this fall when it adds new service between Los Angeles and Costa Rica’s two major international airports, further strengthening its southern California focus city. The eight weekly flights from Los Angeles to San Jose (SJO) and Liberia/Guanacaste (LIR), Costa Rica, are scheduled to begin October 31 and November 1 respectively, and are in addition to new daily service the carrier will add on September 9 between Los Angeles and Baltimore.

Summary of new Los Angeles (LAX) service:

Alaska LAX Service

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 ER N435AS (msn 43292) with APB Split Scimitar Winglets lands at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI).

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Sea Air of Croatia to start flights on May 18

Sea Air (Osijek) of Croatia will launch scheduled passenger operations on May 18 from Osijek  to Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna using a 160-seat McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 wet leased from Ten Airways (Tend Air) of Romania according to Balkans.com.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Terry Wade/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) YR-MDK (msn 49139) arrives at London (Gatwick).

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Frontier Airlines to announce additional nonstop routes from Atlanta

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is expected today to announce six additional destinations from Atlanta according to a report by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. A press conference has been scheduled for today in Atlanta. Frontier aims to be the third largest carrier in ATL by this summer behind Delta and Southwest. With the loss of AirTran Airways there is a void in the large hub for an ultra low fare carrier service. Spirit Airlines is also building up its presence in ATL.

As we previously reported, on March 6 Frontier added new service from ATL to Austin, Indianapolis and Miami.

Today (April 30), as planned, the airline is adding new routes from Atlanta to Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Orleans and New York (LaGuardia).

More details will follow.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Also read Assistant Editor Aaron Newman’s Planely Speaking: The Battle for the Big Peach: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Ex-USA 3000 Airlines Airbus A320-214 N263AV (msn 1860) with Jack, the Rabbit, on the tail arrives in Las Vegas. The airliner has now become N219FR.

Frontier Jack, the Rabbit

Frontier Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Video: New Frontier Slimline Seats:

The expanding Frontier Airlines route map. Frontier is now flying more in the East rather than the traditional West making its name somewhat obsolete as it downsizes its fading Denver hub.

Frontier (2nd) 2015 logo

Frontier 4.2015 Route Map

The New York Times: FAA raised questions about Andreas Lubitz’s depression before Germanings crash

New York Times logo

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (Washington) raised questions in 2010 on whether it should have granted a pilot’s license to Andreas Lubitz according to report by the New York Times. Lubitz in March flew his Germanwings Airbus A320 into a mountain in the French Alps killing all aboard.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

JetBlue Airways launches flights from Cleveland, its 88th destination

JetBlue Airways (New York) today (April 30) launched service to its latest destination, Cleveland’s Hopkins International Airport (CLE), with twice daily flights from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and daily flights from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Today, the airline also introduced daily flights from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood to Detroit’s Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW).

JetBlue at CLE

Above Photo: Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The JetBlue ticket counter at CLE.

Cleveland is JetBlue’s 88th BlueCity and the 55th nonstop destination from Boston, where it is the largest operating airline. From Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, JetBlue’s growing South Florida focus city, JetBlue now offers 30 nonstop destinations and with these two latest routes, the airline continues to strengthen its position in this key market as it ramps up its schedule to 100 daily flights.

JetBlue’s Schedule between Boston and Cleveland as of April 30, 2015:

BOS – CLE CLE – BOS

6:45 a.m. – 8:47 a.m. 9:29 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

4:15 p.m. – 6:22 p.m. 6:58 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.

JetBlue’s Schedule between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood as of April 30, 2015:

FLL – CLE CLE – FLL

8:00 a.m. – 10:49 a.m. 11:30 a.m. – 2:18 p.m.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N796JB (msn 5060) prepares to depart from Long Beach.

JetBlue Airways aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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