Monthly Archives: February 2020

Aer Lingus takes delivery of the last Airbus A330-300

"St. Dallan", the last Airbus A330-300 to be built

Aer Lingus on Friday, February 28, took delivery of the last Airbus A330-300 (EI-EIN) built by Airbus.

Aer Lingus now has 11 Airbus A330-300s.

In other news, previously on February 19, Aer Lingus launched a new Shannon based aircraft along with the early return of Aer Lingus’ popular New York JFK service. The service recommenced on February 19, a month earlier than in previous years. It will operate six days a week, rising to seven days a week for the summer schedule.

Additionally Aer Lingus announced two new summer routes from Shannon to Barcelona and Paris-Charles De Gaulle. Summer 2020 will see Aer Lingus’ highest capacity in 30 years from Shannon Airport.

"St. Fiacre", delivered on October 14, 2019

Above Copyright Photo: Aer Lingus Airbus A321-253NX WL EI-LRC (msn 8965) LHR (Robbie Shaw). Image: 949251.

The new A321neo LR is the second such Aer Lingus aircraft to arrive at Shannon. The first aircraft was delivered last October and has been operating on the Shannon-Boston route.

Top Copyright Photo: Aer Lingus Airbus A330-302 F-WWCH (EI-EIN) (msn 1951) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 949166.

Aer Lingus aircraft slide show:

 

Aeroflot takes delivery of its first Airbus A350-900

Aeroflot's first Airbus A350-900, first in the new livery

Aeroflot, the Russian flag carrier and member of the SkyTeam alliance, has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-900, becoming the launch operator of the latest-generation widebody aircraft in Eastern Europe and CIS.

Aeroflot’s A350-900 features a distinctive new livery embracing its almost 100-year heritage.

Aeroflot has a total of 22 A350-900 aircraft on order and operates an Airbus fleet of 126 aircraft (107 A320 Family and 19 A330 Family aircraft).

Aeroflot’s A350-900 features a brand new elegant cabin design, offering unrivalled passenger comfort. The aircraft has a spacious three-class cabin layout with 316 seats: 28 private Business Class suites with full-flat seats, 24 Comfort Class with extra legroom and 264 Economy Class. In addition, the latest-generation Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system, HD screens and Wi-Fi connectivity will ensure enhanced experience for all passengers on long-haul flights.  Aeroflot will operate its A350-900 from Moscow to a number of destinations including London, Dubai, New York, Miami, Osaka and Beijing.

At the end of January 2020, the A350 XWB Family had received 935 firm orders from 50 customers worldwide, making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

Top Copyright Photo: Aeroflot Russian Airlines Airbus A350-941 F-WZGT (VQ-BFZ) (msn 383) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 948950.

Aeroflot aircraft slide show:

Aeroflot to operate flights to/from Iran and South Korea from Terminal F of Sheremetyevo Airport

Aeroflot Russian Airlines has made this announcement:

Beginning March 1, Aeroflot will transfer flights to/from Iran and South Korea to Terminal F of Sheremetyevo International Airport. 

The following flights will be operated from Terminal F:

  • SU 512 Moscow – Tehran / SU 513 Tehran – Moscow
  • SU 250 Moscow – Seoul / SU 251 Seoul – Moscow

KE 923/924 flights operated in conjunction with Korean Air will also operate from Terminal F.

Aeroflot’s flights from Sheremetyevo to Italian cities will be serviced from terminals that were previously specified in the schedule. Flights arriving from Italy will be serviced at Terminal F. 

Aeroflot aircraft photo gallery:

Finnair revises its outlook for the financial year 2020 and issues a profit warning

Finnair has made this announcement:

In conjunction with its 2019 financial result publication on February 7, 2020, Finnair announced that the direct financial impact of coronavirus during Q1 2020 would be relatively limited, even if the mainland China cancellations continued until the end of Q1 2020. At that time, Finnair forecasted that its capacity would increase by approximately 4 per cent in 2020.

Due to the fast-developing situation with the coronavirus and its wider than originally estimated impact on the global aviation market, Finnair is now revising its financial outlook:

  • Due to lower demand for air travel caused by the coronavirus situation, Finnair’s comparable operating result in Q1 2020 is expected to be lower compared to Q1 2019.
  • Finnair currently estimates that the coronavirus situation will decrease demand resulting in a negative impact on revenue for Q2 2020. Based on the current demand estimate, Finnair’s comparable operating result will be significantly lower in Q2 2020 than in the corresponding period of 2019. Thus, Finnair expects a significantly lower comparable operating result in 2020 than in the previous financial year.
  • Finnair withdraws its capacity guidance of approximately 4 percent growth for 2020 and will adjust its network and capacity over the next months to fit the air travel demand. This will lead to a decrease in Finnair’s flight related costs, such as jet fuel, airport and other fees, in accordance with the capacity development.
  • In addition to making changes to its capacity and network, Finnair is looking into adjusting its other costs to mitigate the negative financial impact. Finnair will evaluate how to adjust its costs by 40 – 50 million euros, with measures relating to personnel, sales and marketing activities, development initiatives and other projects. Evaluated personnel measures, if realised, may include for example temporary layoffs or similar measures involving all personnel, as well as recruitment adjustments.

“As the coronavirus situation has entered a new phase with outbreaks in several new countries, we will take appropriate measures to adapt our costs, operations and resources to better match our revenues,” says Topi Manner, Finnair’s CEO. “While the spread of the coronavirus has had a limited impact on our operations so far, we now see a negative impact on demand. It is difficult to foresee how the situation will evolve during the coming months. At the same time, we strongly believe in our Asia-focus and strategy of sustainable, profitable growth. We are determined to continue on this long-term path despite these temporary adjustments.”

Finnair’s long-term financial targets for the strategy period 2020 – 2025 remain unchanged.

Finnair will update its outlook in conjunction with the Q1 2020 interim report.

Finnair aircraft photo gallery:

Lufthansa Group grounds 23 aircraft, will reduce short-haul operations by 25% due to coronavirus

Lufthansa Group has made this announcement:

  • Short-haul  operations to be reduced by up to 25 percent during the next weeks 
  • Number of Lufthansa Group long-haul aircraft not in service increases from 13 to up to 23 
  • Possibility of reduced working hours under review

As a result of the current situation caused by the accelerated spread of the coronavirus, the Lufthansa Group has decided on taking further measures to counteract the economic consequences. Within the coming weeks, the number of short- and medium-haul flights will be reduced by up to 25 percent, depending on the further development of the spread of the coronavirus. The Lufthansa Group airlines are also continuing to reduce their flight schedule on long-haul routes. The number of Lufthansa Group long-haul aircraft currently not in operation will increase from 13 to up to 23. The Group is also examining the possibility of reduced working hours in various areas.

It is not yet possible to estimate the financial impact of the current developments. The Group will be publishing key financial figures at the annual press conference on March 19, 2020.

Regional Jet becomes Xfly

Regional Jet has made this announcement:

Regional Jet will adopt its own identity with our own brand name Xfly.
The X in our new name stands for willingness to change, to adapt and to develop and we are claiming it as our “superpower”. It stands for the fleXible service we are uniquely able to provide and the client who’s face we assume when we fly. It stands for the uneXpected we are always prepared for. It stands for the eXcellent service our customers have come to expect from us. Most importantly, the X stands for us; more than 600 extraordinary people from all over the world who make it all possible.

 

Regional Jet is an ACMI specialist based airline in Tallinn, Estonia. Regional Jet was established by Nordica in 2015.

British Airways trials autonomous mobility devices

British Airways has made this announcement:

  • British Airways trials state-of-the-art, fully autonomous vehicles at JFK Airport to help customers navigate the airport terminal freely and independently
  • Autonomous devices are the latest innovation to complement the airline’s investment in customer service, including the introduction of a specialist accessibility team
  • British Airways aims to be the airline of choice for customers requiring additional assistance; Chairman and CEO Alex Cruz recently signed The Valuable 500 pledge

British Airways has become the first airline to trial fully autonomous, electric mobility devices in North America as it continues its journey to become the airline of choice for customers with both hidden and visible disabilities.

Almost half a million customers who require additional assistance fly with British Airways each year and with this number due to rise by 10 per cent by 2021 the airline is exploring new ways to offer a seamless travel experience, including trialling self-driving, self-navigating, electric vehicles from Japanese technology firm, WHILL.

 

The devices, which were exclusively trialled by British Airways customers at New York’s JFK Airport, are equipped with anti-collision technology and allow customers to set their preferred destination anywhere within the airport. The vehicle safely navigates the terminal without the need for assistance from travel companions or the airport support team, currently responsible for escorting customers from check-in directly to the boarding gate.

Offering additional independence for customers who are unable to walk long distances but may not have their own wheelchair, the autonomous mobility devices give customers the freedom to explore the airport at their leisure, changing destination as many times as they like on their way to the boarding gate. Once they reach the gate, the customer alights and the device will self-drive back to the docking station ready for the next customer.

“Over the next few months we will be collaborating on a further trial at our busy home hub at Heathrow Terminal 5 to gather more feedback and explore the introduction of this technology alongside our team of customer service professionals to provide a truly seamless and accessible airport experience. I’m excited about the future of inclusive innovation to support the accelerating demand for accessible air travel.”

British Airways has invested in a number of initiatives to encourage more customers with disabilities to travel. The airline has seen customer satisfaction more than double for travellers with accessibility needs following the creation of a specialist acessibility team to support them before, during and after their journey as part of its £6.5 billion investment programme for customers.

 

 

American Airlines announces $550 million investment to its Tulsa Maintenance Base

American Airlines announced today it will invest $550 million at its Base Maintenance facility in Tulsa (Tech Ops – Tulsa). It is American’s largest Base Maintenance facility and is an integral part of operating the carrier’s fleet of nearly 1,000 mainline aircraft safely and reliably.

Tech Ops – Tulsa is home to more than 5,500 team members — 600 of those positions were added in 2019 — and conducts nearly half of the airline’s overall maintenance work. The new project includes construction of a new widebody-capable hangar and base support building. The investment also provides for improvements to the existing infrastructure, including roof replacements, utility and IT upgrades, and ramp repairs. This is the largest investment ever made at a maintenance location in American’s history.

This investment underscores American’s long-term commitment to the Tech Ops – Tulsa team, State of Oklahoma and City of Tulsa by making improvements to ensure success.

“The American team in Tulsa and around the world is the best in the business when it comes to operating the safest and most reliable fleet of commercial aircraft,” said American’s Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. “Tulsa has been core to American’s operation for more than 70 years, and this investment in the base, along with the new positions we added at Tech Ops – Tulsa in 2019, will ensure our customers can continue to rely on our fleet as the safest and most reliable for decades to come.”

The new 193,000-square-foot hangar will be able to hold two widebody aircraft — or up to six narrowbody aircraft — and will replace two existing hangars that can no longer fully accommodate the size of American’s current aircraft. This will allow team members to continue maintenance work on the more than 900 aircraft that visit the site annually while also adding to the widebody hangar capacity in American’s system. The 132,000-square-foot base support building will include offices for teams in administrative functions for aircraft overhaul, engineering and more.

The $550 million investment will take approximately seven years to complete and will involve upgrades to nearly every building. The new hangar and base support building construction is expected to begin in early 2021 and will take approximately 18 months to complete.

Investing in Tulsa

American has proudly maintained the world’s largest commercial aviation maintenance facility in Tulsa since 1946, when it moved its main maintenance base there from New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Today, Tech Ops – Tulsa is home to 22 buildings, including 3.3 million square feet of hangar and shop space positioned on 330 acres at Tulsa International Airport. It is a hub for American’s Base Maintenance system, which also includes key maintenance hangars at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport. American performs more maintenance work in-house than any other airline, due in part to its strong maintenance system infrastructure.

The modernization plan is the latest step following a period of growth for the Tulsa base. American insourced CFM56-5B engine overhaul work there in 2018. In 2019, American and the City of Tulsa invested in a new tail slot modification for Hangar 2D at the base to allow space for larger aircraft. The team began maintenance work on the first scheduled line of Airbus A319 fleet as well as scheduled maintenance on the Boeing 787 fleet, and component repair work was insourced to the base’s Wheel and Brake Center. To support the additional work, American has added more than 600 maintenance positions.

Silver Airways to fly Charleston, SC

Silver Airways, starting on May 21, 2020, is introducing new nonstop flights between Charleston, South Carolina and three Florida gateways:

  • Orlando – Charleston
    • Daily, nonstop service.
    • The only nonstop travel option between Charleston and Central Florida.
    • Continuing service to Key West.
  • Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood – Charleston
    • Four times weekly nonstop service will greatly enhance flight options to/from South Florida.
  • Tampa – Charleston
    • Three times weekly nonstop service.
    • Silver will be the only airline operating this route.

Silver Airways aircraft photo gallery:

IAG reports its full-year 2019 financial results, gives guidance for the coronavirus

International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) today (February 28, 2020) presented Group consolidated results for the year to December 31, 2019.

Fourth quarter operating profit of €765 million before exceptional items.

Operating profit before exceptional items for the year to December 31, 2019 of €3,285 million.

Read the full report.

Trading outlook

The earnings outlook is adversely affected by weaker demand as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). We are currently experiencing demand weakness on Asian and European routes and a weakening of business travel across our network resulting from the cancellation of industry events and corporate travel restrictions.

In Asia, flights to Mainland China have been suspended. On January 29, British Airways suspended its daily flight to both Beijing and Shanghai and Iberia suspended its three times weekly service to Shanghai on January 31. In addition, some services on other Asian routes have been reduced. From February 13, British Airways reduced its daily Hong Kong service from two to one. From March 13, it will reduce its daily service to Seoul to 3-4 times weekly.

Some of the freed-up longhaul capacity is being redeployed to routes with stronger demand. British Airways has announced additional flights to India, South Africa and the US, while Iberia is increasing capacity on US and domestic routes.

Capacity on Italian routes for March has been significantly reduced through a combination of cancellations and change of aircraft gauge and further capacity reductions will be activated over the coming days. We also expect to make some capacity reductions across our wider shorthaul network. Shorthaul capacity is not being redeployed at this stage.

The net impact of current flight cancellations and redeployed capacity is to lower IAG’s FY 2020 planned capacity by approximately 1 per cent in terms of available seat kilometres to 2 per cent for the year. Our operating companies will continue to take mitigating actions to better match supply to demand in line with the evolving situation. Cost and revenue initiatives are being implemented across the business.

IAG is resilient with a strong balance sheet and substantial cash liquidity to withstand the current weakness. We have a management team experienced in similar situations and have demonstrated that we can respond quickly to changing market conditions. We are strongly positioned for the expected recovery in demand.

Given the ongoing uncertainty on the potential impact and duration of COVID-19, it is not possible to give accurate profit guidance for FY 2020 at this stage.