Monthly Archives: October 2019

Swiss carries more passengers in the first 9 months, puts its Airbus A220s back into service

Swiss International Air Lines Airbus A220-300 (Bombardier CS300 - BD-500-1A11) HB-JCO (msn 55033) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 944017.

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS)1 transported a total of 14,293,356 passengers in the first nine months of this year, a 4.4% increase on the same period in 2018. The passengers were carried on 114,968 flights, 5.4% more than were operated in the prior-year period.
Total passenger capacity for January to September was up 1.9% on the prior-year period in available seat-kilometre (ASK) terms. Total traffic volume, measured in revenue passenger-kilometres (RPK), rose 2.2%. Systemwide seat load factor for the period improved accordingly to 84.2%, an increase of 0.2 percentage points.
In the month of September SWISS carried 1,724,647 passengers, a 6.4% improvement on the same month last year. The 13,404 flights operated were a 6.2% increase on the prior-year period. Total ASK capacity was raised 2.4%, while total RPK traffic volume was up 2.1%. Systemwide September seat load factor declined accordingly to 86.2%, a reduction of 0.3 percentage points.
In other news, Swiss is gradually putting its Airbus A220 fleet back into service after grounding them on Tuesday after a “serious” engine issue on HB-JCM that forced a London-Geneva flight to make an emergency landing in Paris.
The short-term grounding allowed the carrier to perform safety inspections on the A220 Pratt & Whitney engines. Full A220 operations are expected tomorrow.
The airline issued this update today:

Situation

The ongoing technical inspections of several aircraft will restrict our flight operations. As a result many flights will be cancelled.

Date Flight no Flight Status
Oct 16
LX 348 / 349
Geneva-London-Geneva
cancelled
Oct 16
LX 352 / 353
Geneva-London-Geneva
cancelled
Oct 16
LX 782 / 783
Zurich-Brussels-Zurich
cancelled
Oct 16
LX 819
Hannover-Zurich
cancelled
Oct 16
LX 978 / 979
Zurich-Berlin-Zurich
cancelled
Oct 16
LX 1029
Dusseldorf-Zurich
cancelled
Oct 16
LX 1050 / 1051
Zurich-Hamburg-Zurich
cancelled
Oct 16
LX 1080
Genf-Frankfurt
cancelled
Oct 16
LX 1100 / 1101
Zurich-Munich-Zurich
cancelled
Oct 16
LX 1120
Geneva-Munich
cancelled
Oct 16
LX 1129
Munich-Geneva
cancelled
Oct 16
LX 1179
Stuttgart-Zurich
cancelled
Oct 16
LX 1188 / 1189
Zurich-Nuremberg-Zurich
cancelled
Oct 16
LX 1222 / 1223
Zurich-Gothenburg-Zurich
cancelled
Oct 16
LX 1430 / 1431
Geneva-Pristina-Geneva
cancelled
Oct 16
LX 1576 / 1577
Zurich-Vienna-Zurich
cancelled
Oct 16
LX 1612 / 1613
Zurich-Milano-Zurich
cancelled
Oct 16
LX 2031
Madrid-Zurich
cancelled
Oct 16
LX 2801
Geneva-Zurich
cancelled

Current timetable

Please check our latest flight information in our online timetable. All canceled flights will be marked as “cancelled”.

If your flight is cancelled, refer to the information given under rebooking or refund and do not proceed to the airport.

Online timetable

Rebooking

If you have booked any of the affected flights through swiss.com or a Service Centre. You can rebook your flight once at no extra charge. To do so, please call our Service Centre.

In the event of a cancellation, SWISS will rebook you free of charge and usually automatically to another flight and inform you via your mobile phone number. If you do not receive a message from SWISS, please check the current status of your booking. Here you can also adjust the rebooking if required.

If you booked through an (online) travel agency, please contact the travel agency.

Refund

If you have booked any of the affected flights through swiss.com or a Service Center and you wish to cancel your flight ticket, you can do so and receive a refund. To do so, please complete the refund form.

Refund form

If you booked through an (online) travel agency, please contact the travel agency.

Top Copyright Photo: Swiss International Air Lines Airbus A220-300 (Bombardier CS300 – BD-500-1A11) HB-JCO (msn 55033) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 944017.

Swiss aircraft slide show:

Swiss aircraft photo gallery:

 

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Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Flybe has made this announcement:

As Flybe, we have been connecting passengers across the UK and Europe for 40 years and as we embark on an ambitious transformation, Virgin Connect will continue our work as Europe’s Largest Regional Airline.

As part of the extended Virgin family, Virgin Connect will reflect the innovation and entrepreneurship of Virgin’s wider brands, putting our customers first and offering better value.

Providing great customer experience is at the core of Virgin Connect’s DNA and will be one of the many ways in which we will differentiate ourselves in the regional market upon rebranding next year.

Connect Airways* CEO, Mark Anderson said: “We are hugely excited by this milestone in our airline’s 40-year history. We will remain true to our heritage and reason for being, which is offering essential regional connectivity to local communities.

“At its heart, Virgin Connect will be passionately focused on becoming Europe’s most loved and successful regional airline. It will offer travel that is simple and convenient with the personal touch. Our customers will naturally expect the same exceptional travel experience as they do with other Virgin-related brands. Whatever their reason for flying, we want our customers to feel loved and know we will always put their needs first in every decision we take.

“As part of the Virgin family, we now have a tremendously re-energised team. From here on in, we invite our customers, partners and the communities we serve to join us on every step of this exciting journey!”

Keep an eye on this website and the Flybe social media channels for updates on our exciting journey to Virgin Connect.

What changes will you see?

We’ll be saying goodbye to purple and hello to red. We’ll also be offering our customers an enhanced customer experience, whilst continuing to connect the regions & our passengers to what matters most.

What happens to my Flybe booking?

Your booking won’t be affected. We’ll take care of all the details so all you have to do is look forward to flying.

I want to book a flight. What happens now?

For now, please visit flybe.com to continue to book flights, check in and manage your booking.

*Connect Airways is the name of the holding company owned 40% by Cyrus Capital Partners, 30% by Stobart Group, and 30% by Virgin Atlantic Limited, the holding company of Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin Holidays.

Flybe aircraft photo gallery:

United Airlines raises full year 2019 adjusted diluted earnings per share guidance

United Airlines (UAL) has announced that it has achieved third quarter diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $3.99 and adjusted diluted EPS2 of $4.07, and raised its full year 2019 adjusted diluted EPS1guidance, with a new range of $11.25 to $12.25.

“Thanks to the outstanding efforts of our employees, United extended our streak of expanding pre-tax margin on a quarterly basis. It provides us further confidence to raise our full year 2019 adjusted diluted EPS guidance, putting us ahead of pace to achieve our goal of $11 to $13 in adjusted diluted EPS by the end of 2020,” said Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines. “While headwinds affected the sector as a whole this quarter, United’s team once again demonstrated a robust ability to overcome adverse cost pressure, managing to continue growing our network while investing in winning our customers’ loyalty through smart enhancements to the United experience.”

  • Reported third quarter net income of $1.0 billion, diluted earnings per share of $3.99, pre-tax earnings of $1.3 billionand pre-tax margin of 11.9 percent, expanding pre-tax margin 2.3 points versus the third quarter of 2018.
  • Reported third quarter adjusted net income of $1.0 billion, adjusted diluted EPS of $4.07, adjusted pre-tax earnings of $1.4 billion and adjusted pre-tax margin of 12.1 percent, expanding adjusted pre-tax margin 2.5 points versus the third quarter of 2018.²
  • Consolidated third quarter passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 1.7 percent year-over-year.
  • Consolidated third quarter unit cost per available seat mile (CASM) decreased 0.9 percent year-over-year.
  • Consolidated third quarter CASM, excluding special charges, third party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, increased 2.1 percent year-over-year.
  • Repurchased $363 million of its common shares in the third quarter of 2019 at an average purchase price of $88.22per share.
  • Raised $1.2 billion in Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates at a record low blended interest rate of 2.8% in connection with the financing of certain aircraft.

1 Excludes special charges and the mark-to-market impact of financial instruments, the nature of which are not determined at this time, and imputed interest on certain finance leases. Accordingly, UAL is not providing earnings guidance on a GAAP basis.

2 Excludes special charges, the mark-to-market impact of financial instruments and imputed interest on certain finance leases. Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are included in the tables accompanying this release.

For more information on UAL’s fourth quarter and full year 2019 guidance, please visit ir.united.com for the company’s investor update.

Third Quarter 2019 Highlights
Customer Experience

  • Announced MileagePlus award miles never expire, giving members a lifetime to use miles on flights, experiences, hotels and more.
  • Announced partnership with CLEAR which includes a free or discounted CLEAR membership for U.S. based MileagePlus members.
  • MileagePlus members between the ages of 18 to 22 receive a 10% discount on domestic flights when booked through the United mobile app by Dec. 31, 2019.
  • Announced improvements to United PassPlus, the airline’s prepaid program that offers discounts, fixed fares and amenities to both individual and corporate customers.
  • Customers are now provided three inflight snack options on domestic flights regardless of departure time, including the Stroopwafel.
  • Customers can now pre pay for bags as soon as their ticket is issued. Previously customers had to wait until check-in to pay for their bags.
  • MileagePlus loyalty program was awarded Favorite Frequent-Flyer Program for the fourth time by Trazee Awards and the United Explorer Card from Chase was awarded Favorite Credit Card for the second consecutive year.

Operations

  • Achieved No. 1 in on-time departures in all hubs where United faces large hub competitors: Denver, Chicago and Los Angeles.
  • Completed introduction of ConnectionSaver to all of seven domestic hubs, saving over 35,000 connections in the quarter.

Employees

  • Honored with being recognized by search site indeed.com as a “Top 50 Workplace” for 2019.
  • Recognized for fourth consecutive year as a top-scoring company and best place to work for disability and inclusion with a perfect score of 100% on the 2019 Disability Equality Index.
  • Expects to hire about 8,000 people by the end of 2019.

Network

  • Announced 12 new and expanded international routes from Chicago, Denver, Newark and San Francisco including Nice, France; Palermo, Italy; and Curacao.
  • Announced nonstop service to Tokyo Haneda with routes from Chicago, Los AngelesNewark and Washington, D.C., beginning March 28, 2020.
  • Resumed daily nonstop service between Newark and Delhi and Mumbai on September 6.

 

Fleet

  • Launched Boeing 767-300ER ultra-premium United Polaris business class configuration on all flights between New York/Newark and LondonHeathrow starting Sept. 15, 2019.
  • Took delivery of six used Airbus A319 aircraft and nine new Embraer E175 aircraft.

Community

  • Launched Crowdrise fundraising campaign for those affected by Hurricane Dorian.
  • Operated a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner crewed exclusively by women to the largest airshow in the world, EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to symbolize the airline’s commitment to supporting women in aviation.

United Airlines aircraft photo library (Boeing):

American and QANTAS expand their relationship

American Airlines and QANTAS Airways will roll out improved frequent flyer benefits, including higher earning rates for points and status credits on each airline’s network. The partnership also includes enhanced connectivity with new codeshare destinations in the United States.

American customers will enjoy five additional codeshare markets with Qantas, and Qantas customers will benefit from enhanced connectivity across North America with access to more than 50 new routes and 30 new destinations.

This expansion is being implemented following the U.S. Department of Transportation’s final approval of Qantas and American’s joint business.

“Our customers are captivated by the natural beauty and cultural richness Australia and New Zealand offer, so we’re excited to bring them even more frequent flyer benefits and expanded codeshare opportunities for their adventures,” said Bridget Blaise-Shamai, President of the AAdvantage program and Vice President of Customer Loyalty and Insights for American.

More benefits for frequent flyers

AAdvantage members can now earn miles and elite status faster than ever on eligible flights between the United States and Australia or New Zealand thanks to an increase in mileage accrual. Members may earn up to two times more elite qualifying miles (EQMs) and elite qualifying dollars (EQDs) for most cabin classes on all eligible Qantas flights systemwide.

For more information about accruals, visit the Qantas partner page on aa.com.

Qantas Frequent Flyer members can now earn more Qantas Points and Status Credits on American flights. To learn more about Qantas Frequent Flyer earn rates, visit qantas.com.

Improved connectivity with new codeshare destinations

American also recently expanded its codeshare on new routes operated by Qantas, for a new total of 32 codeshare markets.

New flights operated by Qantas with expanded American codeshare:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney (SYD)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to SYD
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Melbourne, Australia (MEL)
  • SFO to Brisbane, Australia (BNE)
  • Chicago (ORD) to BNE

Qantas has expanded its codeshare with American, adding more than 50 new codeshare city pairs from DFW and ORD. This expansion adds 28 new codeshare destinations to the Qantas network in the United States.

With these new destinations, Qantas places its code on American services to more than 100 destinations and almost 200 domestic city pairs.

From DFW, the new codeshare destinations include:

  • Spokane (GEG)
  • Charleston (CHS)
  • Dayton (DAY)
  • Savannah (SAV)
  • Vail/Eagle (EGE)

From ORD, the new codeshare routes include:

  • New York (LGA and EWR)
  • Boston (BOS)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • Washington (DCA)
  • Philadelphia (PHL)
  • Charlotte (CLT)

In addition to the improved frequent flyer benefits, expanded codeshare and new routes to the United States, Qantas recently announced it would increase the number of reward seats made available to members.

Alitalia believes it is on the upswing after 23 months of new management

By Marco Finelli, reporting for Italy

Alitalia is starting to be reborn, again.

This was the belief expressed at the TTGExperience travel trade fair held in Rimini, Italy by Fabio Maria Lazzerini – Chief Business Officer of the Italian airline. “To say that Alitalia is in good condition would be a lie, but it is in better condition than two years ago,” says Lazzerini. For the past 23 months, there has been a growth in turnover, the fleet has decreased and is being more utilized than in the times of the old Alitalia – SAI under Etihad management. The company is trying to save money in every corner of the management team. Losses continue to exist but to a lesser extent than in the past. But economies at this point are not enough because there are losses.

What has been done in these two years is to look for those possibilities to increase profitability, increase revenue per passenger and increase the share of corporate passengers with different actions to get them back on Alitalia’s jets.

In addition, the company has made other innovations, especially in the digital environment.

For the winter timetable there have been contractions in the national network.

The company has remodeled the shuttle service between Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate which drops to 21 flights a day. In the past, it reached to about fifty frequencies or so every day.

Several national routes from the north to the south from Verona were also decreased and Bologna – Catania and Venice – Catania were reduced from two flights to one a day.

The daily routes to Stuttgart and Cologne are the new highlighted additions and Dusseldorf will double from November 1, with 12 flights a week. The scheme is to use the cancelled frequencies on the Rome – Milan and reuse them on connections to Europe also in connection from Fiumicino flights.

Flights to Paris increases with the creation of the Shuttle Milan-Paris with six flights a day to Charles De Gaulle airport and two to Orly, with the same flexibility on some fares in the same way as the Shuttle Milan-London.

Linate will have a potential of 639 weekly frequencies to 27 destinations.

A lot of attention is paid to the intercontinental network where the destinations that produce profitability like Washington are rewarded, even if it has reached break even after only two months from start up and confirmed also for the winter.

The arrival of San Francisco sees the possibility of better serving California and west coast with the possibility of entry and exit in the two airports, which are Los Angeles and San Francisco. According to the Corriere della Sera, the new service could give € 62 million gross turnaround and over 20,000 passengers.

Photo: Alitalia.

 

American Airlines celebrates 75 years of cargo operations

American Airlines made this announcement:

From oranges to orangutans, American Airlines Cargo has moved the world since its first scheduled air cargo flight took off from New York’s LaGuardia Airfield on Oct. 15, 1944. Today, the airline celebrates 75 years of cargo service, extending its global impact far beyond its signature passenger service.

Throughout its 75-year tenure, American has celebrated a series of cargo industry firsts. Aside from its distinction as the first carrier to offer a scheduled cargo service, American was the first carrier to use containers designed specifically to safely transport pets. It was also the first to use time-saving cargo containers — called unit load devices — which allow crews to get cargo into planes faster.

Cargo’s global impact

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates that 35% of the world’s trade value is moved via air cargo. Whether international or domestic, the cargo carried on American’s planes is a significant contributor to global commerce.

Rick Elieson

“More than 50% of Americans fly each year, and we have a large share of that responsibility. But we also impact those who don’t fly American, or don’t fly at all. By delivering the cargo consumers use on daily basis, we continue to connect people and connect the world through our cargo operation.”

— Rick Elieson, President of American Airlines Cargo

Cargo by the numbers

American carries 2 billion pounds of cargo annually

Enough fresh cherries to bake 7.5 million cobblers (10 million pounds of cherries)

Enough grapes to make nearly 600,000 bottles of wine (460,000 pounds of grapes)

Enough lobsters to feed 1,000 seafood-lovers every day for a year (380,000 pounds of lobster)

 

Another key component of American’s cargo business includes pharmaceuticals, many of which are temperature-controlled lifesaving immunizations and medications. Immunization programs prevent an estimated 2 to 3 million child deaths per year, according to IATA. These programs rely on condition-sensitive, timely pharmaceutical shipments, which are made possible with temperature-controlled containers and cutting-edge technologies air cargo provides.

Future outlook

Cargo’s shipments fly below the wing of American’s 6,700 daily flights. With 6,200 loyal team members and vendor partners around the world, Cargo’s operations, procedures, training, sales teams, customer service representatives and loading technologies help deliver shipments safely and efficiently. This separate work group has earned the airline an award-winning reputation as an air cargo carrier.

American continues to focus its efforts on how it can modernize, innovate and connect the world in better way. This month, the airline implemented cutting-edge advancements to its cargo management system, marking the largest single investment in American’s cargo business to date. The first phase of the system launched Oct. 1 and gives customers a state-of-the-art online booking platform that makes the shipping process easier than ever before.

“We’ve achieved a lot over the past 75 years. I’m proud to be part of an organization that embraces innovation and I’m excited to see what we do next,” Elieson said.