Monthly Archives: August 2019

American to keep the Miami hub open

American Airlines has issued this statement on airports in Florida, including the Miami hub, during the passing of Hurricane Dorian:

American is closely monitoring the track of Hurricane Dorian, which according to the latest forecast, has shifted further to the east. Our thoughts are with those who are in the path of this potentially damaging hurricane. We are in regular communication with our national partner, the American Red Cross, which has the unique ability to activate immediately and assess critical needs following a disaster. We stand ready to activate our disaster response giving platform soon, where our customers and team members can assist those in need.

Storms like these may require customers to change their travel plans and as a result, American has issued a travel alert for more than 15 airports in the Caribbean and Florida, including our Miami hub. If a customer chooses not to fly to/from an airport covered by the current waiver, American will waive change fees for future travel. This provides additional flexibility for our customers.

The American Airlines Integrated Operations Center in Fort Worth, Texas, continues to closely monitor the track of this storm and is coordinating with the National Weather Service, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local airports. American will continue to keep the Newsroom updated with the latest operational information, including the possibility that some airports in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina may be added to the current travel alert this weekend.

With the latest track, some airports in Florida, including our Miami hub, will not be impacted by the storm. However, due to the size of the hurricane, we may experience disruption to our operation next week, specifically on flights that operate along the East Coast.

The current travel alert allows customers to rebook without change fees. Customers can reschedule their travel on aa.com by retrieving their reservation, or by contacting American reservations at 800-433-7300 in the U.S. or Canada. Customers calling from outside the U.S. or Canada should check aa.com for our worldwide reservation phone numbers.

As many flights are already sold out, we encourage customers traveling to only go to the airport if they have a confirmed ticket. Customers are also encouraged to check the status of their flight on aa.com.

Fares

While there are limited seats remaining before the storm hits, we have capped our fares at a maximum of $499 each way for Main Cabin, and $699 for premium cabins, on direct, single leg flights from all cities covered under the travel alert in Florida. These fares will apply for flights out of these locations through Sept. 4 and are available on aa.com.

Bags and Pets

American is waiving fees for two checked bags and in-cabin pets for flights to/from all cities covered under the travel alert in Florida.

In order to accommodate as many bags as possible on our aircraft, we will accept up to two free checked bags per traveler.

Refunds

If an American flight has been canceled or excessively delayed, customers may cancel their itinerary and request a refund by visiting our website. Customers who booked through a travel agent should contact their agency directly.

Airport Operations

Resumption of service at airports will be based on airport and roadway conditions, including the ability of our team members to get to work. We are also coordinating closely with our partners at the FAA, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and local airport authorities. These agencies must conduct their own assessment of their operations prior to any airline resuming service.

Bahamas

  • Freeport, Bahamas (FPO)
    • Operations canceled through Sept. 2
  • Marsh Harbour, Bahamas (MHH)
    • Operations will be canceled beginning the afternoon of Aug. 31 through Sept. 2

Flight Cancellations

  • Aug. 30: 2 flights canceled
  • Aug. 31: 4 flights canceled
  • Sept. 1: 6 flights canceled
  • Sept. 2: 6 flights canceled

American to open a Boeing 787 crew base in Philadelphia

American Airlines is bringing The Boeing 787 Dreamliner to its Philadelphia hub starting in January 2020.

(Boeing illustration) (PRNewsfoto/Boeing)

American has announced to its pilots that it will assign the Dreamliner on international routes from Philadelphia to Amsterdam, Manchester and Zurich as well as two domestic routes from Philadelphia to Chicago (O’Hare) and Philadelphia to Dallas/Fort Worth.

American Airlines aircraft photo gallery (Boeing):

Fosun Tourism Group acquires 25% of Thomas Cook’s airline divisions

Thomas Cook Group made this announcement on its agreement with the Fosun Tourism Group:

Thomas Cook Group plc is pleased to announce substantial agreement regarding key commercial terms between the Company, Fosun Tourism Group and its affiliates, the Company’s core lending banks and a majority of the Company’s 2022 and 2023 senior note holders. Implementation of the proposed recapitalisation will involve a significant new capital investment and reorganisation of the Group.

Key commercial terms and next steps include:

  • Fosun contributing £450 million of new money to the Group and acquiring at least 75% of the equity of the Group Tour Operator (subject to the receipt of anti-trust approvals) and 25% of the Group Airline;
  • The Group’s core lending banks and noteholders targeting in aggregate £450 million of new money to the Group and converting their existing debt into approximately 75% of the equity of the Group Airline and up to 25% of new equity in the Group Tour Operator;
  • Implementation commitment targeted for early October 2019.

The execution of the transaction remains subject to a legally-binding agreement being reached amongst the parties to the recapitalisation plan and, where appropriate, the Group’s other key stakeholders. The proposed recapitalisation plan does not impact trade creditors or customers.

In its announcement of July 12, 2019, Thomas Cook stated that shareholders may be given the opportunity to participate in the recapitalisation by way of investment alongside Fosun and converting senior creditors on terms to be agreed. The Board continues to proceed on the basis that a recapitalisation, achieved with the support of shareholders, is the preferred means of securing the future of the Group for all its stakeholders (including customers, suppliers and employees), while at the same time enabling the existing shareholders to continue to retain an investment in the Company. However, the recapitalisation is expected to result in existing shareholders’ interests in the recapitalised and reorganised Group Airline being significantly diluted, subject to feedback from creditors, the new money providers and other stakeholders.

In order to obtain the necessary creditor consents to the proposed transaction, the Group will today launch three inter-conditional creditor schemes of arrangement of Group borrower companies to seek creditor consent to amend certain terms of the 2022 and 2023 senior notes indentures (the “Notes”) and the 2017 revolving credit facility (the “RCF Agreement”).

The key objectives of the amendments being sought pursuant to the schemes are to amend the consent thresholds to amend material provisions in the RCF Agreement and the Notes, including in respect of releases of relevant principal debt and/or subsidiary guarantees, and to make certain other technical amendments to facilitate implementation of the proposed transaction.

The proposed recapitalisation remains subject to certain matters, including credit approvals, investment approvals, agreement on Group performance conditions, due diligence, agreement as to risk allocation amongst Fosun and Group creditors with respect to the bridge financing during transaction implementation, agreement between Fosun and the Group’s core lending banks and noteholders on the separation of the Group into Airline and Tour Operator and timely execution of the separation, reaching agreement with a range of the Company’s stakeholders (including fuel and foreign exchange hedging counterparties, the pension fund trustees, noteholders, other financial creditors and approval of Fosun’s shareholders), licence renewals and receipt of regulatory and anti-trust clearances and approvals.

The current intention of the Board is to maintain the Company’s listing. However, the implementation of the proposed recapitalisation may, in certain circumstances, result in the cancellation of the Company’s listing.

Reflecting the extensive progress made on agreeing key commercial terms with the Group’s core lending banks and noteholders regarding the injection of £450 million of new money into the business in connection with the proposed recapitalisation, the mandate letter and term sheet for a £300 million secured bank financing facility announced in May 2019 will be allowed to lapse.

Given the substantial agreement regarding the commercial terms of the proposed recapitalisation, the Company has also agreed a cost cover arrangement with Fosun, a related party, with respect to the costs and expenses incurred by Fosun with any professional advisors in evaluating and negotiating the proposed recapitalisation. The maximum costs to be covered by the Company under this arrangement shall not exceed an amount equal to £5.43 million (less any amounts paid by the Company to Fosun during the past 12 months). The cost cover is payable on a weekly basis beginning 12 July 2019 and ending on 30 September 2019 (with the period accrued to date being paid retrospectively), unless terminated sooner in accordance with its terms, and is subject to certain milestones being reached in connection with the proposed transaction. This arrangement falls within Listing Rule 11.1.10R and this announcement is made in accordance with Listing Rule 11.1.10R(c). Arrangements have also been made to meet the reasonable adviser costs of its core lending banks, bondholders, and other appropriate stakeholders in connection with the proposed recapitalisation.

Note: The Thomas Cook Group airlines include:

Thomas Cook Airlines (UK)

Thomas Cook Airlines (Balearics)

Thomas Cook Airlines (Scandinavia)

Condor Flugdiest

Thomas Cook Airlines (UK) aircraft photo gallery:

AirAsia orders more Airbus aircraft

AirAsia has signed two major agreements with Airbus, covering the order of an additional 12 A330neo and 30 A321XLR aircraft, as well as a memorandum of agreement to support the development of the Malaysian aerospace industry.

As part of the deal, Airbus will expand its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) presence in Malaysia and establish the Airbus Malaysia Digital Initiative to enhance the competitiveness of the local aerospace sector through the application of new digital technologies, in line with the government’s vision to make Malaysia a regional aerospace hub.

Airbus will also boost its commitment to the Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre (AMIC) – of which it is a founding member – by appointing an Innovation Technical Director and increasing its funding for joint research programmes, including into the production of sustainable aviation biofuels in Malaysia.

The agreements were signed by Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury and Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Chairman of AirAsia X Berhad for the aircraft purchase and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, Executive Chairman of AirAsia Group Berhad for the industrial projects.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Also present was AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.

Airbus is the largest international partner for the Malaysian aerospace industry. Its sourcing and services businesses in the country are now valued at some US$400 million per annum for the local economy, a figure expected to rise to more than US$550 million every year with these new initiatives.

AirAsia also signed an agreement for a firm order of 12 additional Airbus A330neo aircraft, (taking the total from 66 to 78 A330neos on order) and 30 state-of-the-art A321XLR aircraft, to join AirAsia’s future long-haul fleet. The introduction of the A321XLR provides AirAsia X with greater flexibility to better manage capacity on key routes as well as respond to seasonal demand. The A321XLR also gives AirAsia X an advantage when it comes to exploring opportunities to operate non-stop flights between Southeast Asia and secondary cities in countries like Australia, China and Japan.

Alaska Airlines explains why some aircraft seats do not have a window view

Alaska Airlines issued this article:

You board your flight to Maui and head to your seat – 10A. You’re excited to have a view of the Pacific Ocean for the next five hours. However, when you get to your seat, you come to find that you’re in the only one on the aircraft without a window – the windowless window seat.

Have you ever wondered why this seat exists?

Every aircraft in Alaska’s Boeing fleet has a seat or two, on the left side forward of the wing, with either partial access to a window or no window at all.

“That’s the spot where Boeing places the air conditioning riser ducts from the belly – where the air conditioners are located – to the cabin ceiling, where the air distribution ducts are at,” said John Melvin, Alaska director of fleet engineering. “The vertical ducts are located behind the passenger compartment sidewall panels and they prevent the installation of a window in one row on the left side. This is standard on all Boeing 737 aircraft, not just ours.”

On Horizon Air’s Q400 fleet, there is also a partially blocked window at row 11.

“There is an obstruction of the view from the window due to electrical conduits that pass through that area similar to the Boeing 737,” said David White, Horizon director of fleet engineering. “It’s not a complete obstruction, but the windows are located pretty far forward and aft at that seat, so the visibility is not so good.”

So, there you have it. Mystery solved!

Here’s a breakdown of our aircraft with partial access to a window or no window at all:

• 737-700 – No window in Seat 9A
• 737-800 – No window in seat 10A
• 737-900/900ER– No window in seat 11A
• Q400 – Limited window view in row 11

The new Midwest Express announces its first destinations

Above: Original livery concept.

Midwest Express Airlines (2nd) has announced its first three destination from its Milwaukee base: Cincinnati, Grand Rapids and Omaha.

No start-up date was mentioned.

Flights will be operated by Elite Airways. The first CRJ200 (N96EA) has been painted (below).

Photo: Midwest Express.

Elite Airways will provide the initial aircraft, flight crews and maintenance service for Midwest Express, and Midwest Express will establish its own reservations system, customer service operations and in-flight amenities to support the new flights. All public-facing customer interaction, including the branding on the planes, will be Midwest Express. In addition to providing flight operations, Elite will work in tandem with Midwest to complete regulatory and operational steps for Midwest to obtain its own airline operating certificate.

The new version made this statement:

For over 25 years, Midwest Express Airlines was Milwaukee’s hometown airline and nationally recognized for great service, nonstop routes, and warm chocolate chip cookies.

Unfortunately, the original Midwest Airlines ceased operations in 2010, but today we are excited to announce that a group of passionate supporters are actively working on returning Midwest Express to Milwaukee and the skies above!

American Airlines adds more capacity in Montana with new service to National Parks

American Airlines continues to grow in Montana with four new seasonal flights to the Big Sky Country from Philadelphia (PHL), New York City (LGA) and Los Angeles (LAX). The airline will also introduce three new routes to Alaska, including service to Fairbanks (FAI), a new destination for customers looking to indulge in long summer days next year.

Based on the success of this year’s new service to Glacier National Park Airport in Kalispell (FCA), American is also switching to a larger aircraft on the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and Chicago (ORD) flights — from an Embraer E175 with 76 seats to a Boeing 737-800 with 160 seats.

Customers eager to venture farther for outdoor adventures can look forward to new flights to Alaska. American is providing two new ways to get to Alaska’s second-largest city, Fairbanks, through DFW on an Airbus A321 and ORD on a 737-800. The new routes will serve local and connecting customers who are looking to explore Denali National Park, check out caribou or learn about the unique glaciers. With American’s convenient daily service beginning in May 2020, the airline is offering one-stop connections from 56 new cities. American will also introduce new service between ORD and Anchorage, Alaska (ANC).

Flights will be available for purchase Sept. 1.

Hub Destination Frequency Aircraft Season
DFW Fairbanks, Alaska (FAI) Daily A321 5/7–10/6
ORD FAI
Anchorage, Alaska (ANC)
Daily
Daily
737-800
737-800
5/7–10/6
5/7–10/6
PHL Bozeman, Montana (BZN) Saturday 737-800 6/6–9/5
LAX BZN Daily E175 6/4–9/8
LGA BZN
Kalispell, Montana (FCA)
Saturday
Saturday
737-800
737-800
6/6–9/5
6/6–9/5

American will offer 17 routes to Montana and Alaska next summer:

Alaska and Montana Service Summer 2020

American Airlines aircraft photo gallery (Boeing):