Daily Archives: April 27, 2021

Hawaiian loses $60.7 million in the first quarter

Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330-243 N386HA (msn 1302) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 952315.

Hawaiian Holdings, Inc., parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, Inc., today reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2021.

First Quarter 2021 – Key Financial Metrics

GAAP

YoY Change

Adjusted

YoY Change

Net Loss

($60.7M)

$83.7M

($190.6M)

($156.6M)

Diluted EPS

($1.23)

$1.91

($3.85)

($3.11)

Pre-tax Margin

(42.2)%

(10.9) pts.

(132.4)%

(124.4) pts.

“We reached an important inflection point during the first quarter on our path to recovery with an encouraging rebound in demand, despite the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impose on our business. Bookings in North America improved materially as we began to realize the pent up demand for leisure travel after a year of lockdown,” said Peter Ingram , Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO. “I am grateful to my colleagues who continue to connect people with aloha in the face of historic uncertainty. I am more optimistic each day about our progress as we rebuild our network and capitalize on the resilience of Hawai’i as a post-pandemic vacation destination.”

Statistical data, as well as a reconciliation of the reported non-GAAP financial measures, can be found in the accompanying tables.

First Quarter 2021

Financial Results

For the first quarter of 2021, the Company reported a net loss of $60.7 million , and adjusted net loss of $190.6 million .

The Company reported total revenue of $182 million , down 72% compared to the first quarter of 2019, on 49% lower capacity.  After a slow start to the year, the Company experienced a rebound in close-in demand in North America in March 2021.

The Company reported total operating expenses of $255.4 million , and operating expenses excluding non-recurring items of $402.7 million , down 33% compared to the first quarter of 2019.

Routes and Network

Throughout the first quarter of 2021, the State of Hawai’i continued its Safe Travels program, which allows guests to avoid quarantine with evidence of a negative COVID-19 test, subject to certain additional county-specific requirements.

The Company continued to rebuild as well as expand its network primarily in North America . During the first quarter, the Company operated an average of 51% of its first quarter system 2019 capacity, comprised of 73%, 38% and 12% of North America , Neighbor Island and International 2019 capacity levels, respectively.

In March and April of 2021, the Company launched four new North America routes. Starting in the summer of 2021, the Company will expand frequencies on the less than daily routes.

  • Daily service between Kahului Maui (OGG) and Long Beach (LGB), which started March 9, 2021 .
  • Twice weekly service between Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) and Orlando International Airport (MCO), which started March 11, 2021 .
  • Five-times-weekly service between Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) and Ontario International Airport (ONT), which started March 16, 2021 .
  • Twice weekly service between Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), which started April 21, 2021 .

In April 2021 , the Company announced it will initiate four-times-weekly service between Kahului Maui (OGG) and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) starting in May 2021 .

Liquidity and Capital Resources

As of March 31, 2021, the Company had:

  • Unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $1.9 billion , up $1.0 billion from December 31, 2020
  • Outstanding debt and finance lease obligations of $2.1 billion , up $852 million from December 31, 2020
  • Air traffic liability of $687 million , up $154 million from December 31, 2020

The Company further enhanced its liquidity position during the first quarter of 2021, including:

  • In February 2021 , Hawaiian completed a private placement by Hawaiian Brand Intellectual Property, Ltd., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Hawaiian, and HawaiianMiles Loyalty, Ltd., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Hawaiian, of an aggregate of $1.2 billion principal amount of 5.75% senior secured notes due 2026.
  • In March 2021 , the Company completed an at-the-market equity offering (“ATM program”) of shares of its common stock. The Company issued an aggregate of 5.0 million shares through the ATM program, raising net proceeds of $109 million , of which $68 million was raised in the first quarter of 2021.
  • As of March 31, 2021 , the Company has received $147.3 million in grants and $20.2 million in loans pursuant to the Payroll Support Program Extension Agreement (the “PSP Extension Agreement”) with the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

In February 2021 , the Company repaid in full the $45 million loan from the U.S. Department of Treasury under the Economic Relief Program pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). This debt extinguishment resulted in the recognition of a non-operating loss of $4 million.

In February 2021 , the Company repaid $235 million of borrowings under its revolving credit facility, of which the full amount is available to the Company.

In the second quarter of 2021, the Company expects to receive approximately $25.1 million pursuant to the PSP Extension Agreement and approximately $179.7 million in Payroll Support Program funds pursuant to a Payroll Support Program 3 Agreement (“PSP3”) with the U.S. Department of Treasury under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

As of March 31, 2021 , the Company had $2.1 billion in liquidity, including the undrawn portion of its revolver. This figure does not include the $205 million of additional PSP Extension Agreement and PSP3 funding that the Company expects to receive in the second quarter. The Company is confident it has the liquidity to weather the remaining near-term effects of the pandemic and is not currently looking to raise additional capital.

Guest Experience

The Company continues to adapt its policies and services to better meet the needs of its guests. In April 2021 , the Company announced that HawaiianMiles – the currency of its award-winning loyalty program – will no longer expire. This policy comes in addition to the elimination of change fees and the extension of status for Hawaiian’s elite members.

In the first quarter, the Company joined the State of Hawai’i Pre-Clear Program, allowing its guests in both domestic and participating international markets ( Japan and Korea) who are entering the state of Hawai’i to validate their pre-travel testing status at their departure airport and avoid lines upon arrival in Hawai’i.

Starting June 1, 2021 , the Company will bring back more of its signature onboard services, including drink service, complimentary Koloa Breeze cocktails, and a curated assortment of alcoholic beverages and snacks for purchase, in addition to the complimentary meals it has served throughout the pandemic, while maintaining the highest standards of safety for its guests and guest-facing team members.

The Company continues its enhanced cleaning procedures and guest-facing protocols to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Understanding that health and safety are still critical concerns for our guests, the Company will continue to focus on effective measures such as:

  • Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of counters and self-service check-in kiosks in airports.
  • Ensuring hand sanitizers are readily available for guests at airports it serves.
  • Requiring guests and guest facing employees to wear a face mask or covering, with guests required to wear masks from check-in to deplaning (except when eating or drinking on board).
  • Performing enhanced aircraft cleaning between flights and during overnight parking.

Awards and Recognition

The Company maintained its #1 national ranking for On-Time Performance for the 17th consecutive year in 2020 as well as in January and February of 2021, as reported in the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Air Travel Consumer Report.

Second Quarter 2021 Outlook

The Company expects to continue to rebuild its network in the second quarter, and expects significant sequential improvement in revenue compared to the first quarter, primarily driven by strength in North America.  The Company expects a sequential increase in operating expenses, excluding non-recurring items, driven by the increase in capacity as compared to the first quarter.

The table below summarizes the Company’s expectations for the second quarter ending June 30, 2021 , expressed as an expected percentage change compared to the results for the quarter ended June 30, 2019 , as applicable.

Item

Second Quarter 2021
Guidance

GAAP Equivalent

GAAP Second
Quarter 2021
Guidance

ASMs

Down 30 to 33%

Total Revenue

Down 45 to 50%

Operating Expenses, excluding non-recurring items (a)

Down 20 to 24%

Operating Expenses (a)

Down 35 to 39%

Interest Expense

$30 million

Adjusted EBITDAR (b)

($70) million to ($20)  million

Effective Tax Rate

~21%

Fuel Price per Gallon

$1.75

(a) See Table 4 for a reconciliation of GAAP operating expenses to operating expenses excluding non-recurring items.

(b) The Company is not providing a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDAR to GAAP net income, the most directly comparable GAAP measure, as it is unable, without unreasonable efforts, to calculate certain special and non-recurring charges, which could have a significant impact on the GAAP measure.

Statistical information, as well as a reconciliation of certain non-GAAP financial measures, can be found in the accompanying tables.

Full Year 2021 Outlook

The Company expects its capital expenditures for the full year of 2021 to be between $50 and $60 million.

Top Copyright Photo: Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330-243 N386HA (msn 1302) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 952315.

Hawaiian aircraft slide show:

Delta to equip 300 aircraft with high-speed (Ka-Band) satellite connectivity, powered by Viasat, by the end of 2021

Delta Air Lines Airbus A321-211 WL N333DX (msn 8026) FLL (Bruce Drum). Image: 105017.

Delta Air Lines has made this announcement:

  • High-speed connectivity coming soon to customers, with plans to equip nearly all domestic mainline fleet with enhanced connectivity by the end of 2022 
  • New Delta Portal Platform, coming this summer, lets customers connect, purchase, browse and stream at high-speed from their device of choice 

Whether at home, at work, or on the go, the ways we use our personal devices are rapidly evolving. The need for reliable and fast connectivity has never been more important, which is why Delta is outfitting nearly all of its domestic mainline fleet with best-in-class high-speed Wi-Fi by the end of 2022.

 

The airline will initially equip more than 300 aircraft with high-speed (Ka-Band) satellite connectivity, powered by Viasat, by the end of 2021 – setting in motion an aggressive installation timeline and scale to modernize the onboard experience.

The new Wi-Fi system delivers a reliable and streaming quality connection to everyone onboard – a critical capability for Delta’s vision for the future customer experience. Beginning in June, customers on Viasat-enabled aircraft will have access to enhanced connectivity for a simple and consistent $8 per flight per device no matter their destination. Simply join the DeltaWifi.com network on a laptop or mobile device and purchase Wi-Fi access using the new Delta Portal Platform – the front page to the onboard experience coming later this summer to Viasat-enabled aircraft.

With the Delta Portal Platform, customers will be able to connect, purchase, browse and stream from their device of choice. The Delta Portal Platform also gives customers access to free messaging available today and their favorite Delta.com services at no extra charge. And the platform is built to evolve as customer needs change, with new features planned for later this year.

As additional aircraft are outfitted with enhanced connectivity and the Delta Portal Platform, customers can expect a unified and consistent Delta-branded experience across all Viasat-enabled aircraft.

Delta’s first Viasat-enabled aircraft, a new Airbus A321ceo, will enter regular service on May 1. The company will test and closely monitor connectivity performance on this initial aircraft, with additional aircraft scheduled to enter service in June beginning with remaining new A321ceos, 737-900 and 757-200 aircraft – fleets that historically operate on routes with high customer volume. The airline plans to outfit these fleets with the new service by the end of 2021.

High-speed connectivity is just the start. Over the past few years, Delta has added seatback screens to almost all its mainline fleet* and brought even more industry-leading content onboard. The airline is continuously adding new hit movies and TV shows to Delta Studio, along with offering captivating podcasts, health and wellness content, live satellite TV access and carefully curated spotlight collections.

* Delta’s 717 fleet is not equipped with seatback in-flight entertainment.

Top Copyright Photo: Delta Air Lines Airbus A321-211 WL N333DX (msn 8026) FLL (Bruce Drum). Image: 105017.

Delta aircraft slide show (Airbus):

Global Rescue Survey says traveler confidence up; COVID fears down

Global Rescue Traveler Survey has issued this survey:

Fear of COVID-19 infection or quarantine as a primary concern among travelers plunged 37% while their confidence to travel has grown significantly since the pandemic was declared more than a year ago, according to the results of Global Rescue’s Traveler Sentiment and Safety Survey. 78% of respondents are “much less” or “less” concerned about travel safety in 2021 compared to 2020, with 22% answering they are “more” or “much more” concerned.

“Travelers are twice as likely to plan international trips within the next six months as they were in September 2020,” said Dan Richards, CEO of Global Rescue, the leading travel risk, crisis management and response company. “Nearly three-quarters of surveyed travelers have already taken a domestic trip or are planning to take one before July,” he added.

As traveler confidence grows, Richards is encouraging government health officials to develop capabilities to identify, detect and respond to COVID-19 and emerging pathogenic threats. “By leveraging improvements in technology, including tools that detect active infection of COVID-19 and emerging diseases on exhaled breath, we can effectively recover from, and prevent, disease spread while boosting and protecting the travel and hospitality industry,” said Richards, who also serves on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The overwhelming majority of respondents (91%) would submit to fast, on-site COVID-19 testing to check for coronavirus before travel, and 80% said they would pay for the test depending on cost.

Surveyed travelers are closely split in their support for (46%) or against (42%) using vaccine certifications for domestic travel. Approval shifts decisively regarding international trips with 70% of respondents favoring the use of vaccine certificates.

Travelers revealed strong preferences to control their own vaccination and testing data rather than entrusting centralized organizations. 45% of respondents want their proof-of-vaccination and COVID-19 testing results to be maintained by the individual, and presented as necessary. Another 16% do not want the data collected at all.

“Government officials must take a leadership role in recommending secure technology standards where users, rather than centralized organizations, store and control data used for vaccine, previous infection and testing verification for COVID-19 and future disease outbreaks,” Richards said.

The pandemic is leading travelers to modify their trip plans in a number of ways. A majority of travelers (54%) indicated they would avoid crowded destination and places with insufficient medical facilities (22%) as the leading reasons preventing them from visiting an area.

Respondents said the most important travel protection service today is medical evacuation from the point of illness or injury (49%) followed by Cancel For Any Reason trip insurance to protect against financial loss from last minute trip cancellation or disruption (21%).

Air Serbia increases frequency of flights to Montenegro, opens charter season with flights to Hurghada

Named "Dejan Stankovic"

Air Serbia will be increasing its capacities on flights between Serbia and Montenegro, by introducing additional flights and more than 3,000 additional seats to both Tivat and Podgorica, during 1 May and Easter holidays. In May, the Serbian national airline plans to operate 15 flights a week to Podgorica, with two flights each day, except on Friday, when it will be operating three flights to the Montenegrin capital. The national airline will be flying to Tivat 9 times a week in May, with one flight every day, except for Friday and Sunday, when it will be operating two daily flights.

Immediately after Montenegro Airlines’ discontinued operations in December 2020, Air Serbia increased the capacities for trips between the two countries and utilized additional resources at airports in Podgorica, Tivat and Belgrade, in order to accommodate all passengers in the new circumstances.

There are currently no travel restrictions between Serbia and Montenegro, and negative PCR tests are not needed in either direction. Air Serbia flights are operated using Airbus A319 and A320 type aircraft, with a greater number of seats.

Photo: The new Airbus A330 aircraft, intended for our New York flights, is embellished with a stylized image of Serbia’s famous scientist and inventor, Nikola Tesla.

Video:

In other news, Air Serbia is opening the summer charter season for 2021 with a total of seven round trip flights between Belgrade and Hurghada, which will be operated until  May 8, 2021, during Easter and International Workers’ Day holidays. The national airline will operate the flights using Airbus A319 airplanes, each with a 144 seat configuration.

During the summer season of 2021, Air Serbia, in cooperation with domestic travel agencies, plans to operate more than 800 charter flights to popular destinations in Turkey, Egypt, Greece and Tunisia.

Charter flights to Turkey will be primarily organized toward the Antalya region, but there are also plans for Bodrum and Dalaman on the Aegean coast. When it comes to Egypt, flights to Hurghada will be operated on a larger scale, with slightly smaller number of flights to Sharm El-Sheikh. As for Greece, passengers can expect travel arrangements with direct charter flights to Rhodes, Crete, Skiathos, Corfu, Kefalonia, and other popular destinations.

Top Copyright Photo: Air Serbia Airbus A319-132 YU-APJ (msn 1159) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 943568.

Air Serbia aircraft slide show:

Alaska paints Boeing 737-990 ER N492AS in a new UNCF “racial equality” special livery

Alaska Airlines made this announcement on social media and their blog:

We are on a journey to make Alaska Airlines a place where everyone belongs and has opportunity. We also believe education is the key to equity and representation, with the power to transform the lives of young people––opening doors to careers in aviation and beyond. In partnership with UNCF, this special aircraft is a symbol of our commitment to education and advancing racial equity at Alaska Airlines, and we hope it inspires others as well.

One of our diversity, equity and inclusion commitments is to help create career pathways for young people by supporting programs like UNCF, the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization, who we’ve been working with for more than 15 years. Today, we are proud to reveal a special aircraft that symbolizes our support for education and equity – called “Our Commitment.” We know there is much more to do, and this airplane is a flying reminder of the journey.

“The time is always right to do what is right.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

“When you learn, teach, when you get, give.” – Dr. Maya Angelou

Inspired by these words and designed in partnership with Alaska’s Black employees, allies and UNCF, Our Commitment aircraft features profiles of the next generation of leaders — the children, grandchildren and mentees of Alaska’s employees along with teachings from extraordinary social activists. Because when we create belonging, we can be our best and soar together.

“As a company, we know we are not yet where we need to be when it comes to diversity, but we are inspired and guided by our value to do the right thing. With this aircraft, we are doing the right thing by amplifying the conversation around education, equity and belonging and taking it to the skies,” said Ben Minicucci, Alaska Airlines CEO. “This aircraft will continue to be an inspiration for us on the journey.”

‘Education has the power to transport us from where we are to where we want to go.’

This aircraft will fly throughout Alaska’s network, inspiring conversation, raising awareness and spreading the word about UNCF, an organization dedicated to enabling under-represented students to become highly qualified college graduates.

In 2017, UNCF became one of our LIFT Miles partners, enabling guests to contribute airline miles alongside the company to ensure travel does not hold young people back from pursuing their dreams. Today, our company and guests have contributed more than 13.4 million Alaska Airlines miles to fly students to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for college tours, career development events, and other UNCF programs.

As part of our commitment, Alaska will donate one million miles annually to support students attending HBCUs. We’ve also established a scholarship fund through UNCF to help students overcome the financial obstacles of getting a college education. Learn more about donating miles here.

Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF says, “While small in number, our HBCUs are landmarks to our past and keys to our future. They enable us to keep a legacy — by their very existence. HBCUs are much more than schools. They are places where Black students can feel safe, welcomed, and embraced by the college community. Additionally, the nation’s HBCUs make up just 3% of America’s colleges and universities, yet they produce almost 20% of all African American graduates and 25% of African American graduates in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics  —  the critical industries of the future.”

We are proud to reveal a special livery to celebrate our commitment to equity in education – introducing the “Our Commitment” aircraft. Revenue service for the aircraft begins on April 27, with an inaugural flight from Seattle to Washington D.C.

Our Commitments

Earlier this year, we shared our commitments to racial equity.

Our commitments are not simply a statement of values, they are a statement of actions and accountable goals we believe are essential to making our guests feel welcome and our employees feel valued, respected and seen.

Based on input from employees, we set three areas of focus:

  • Representation: Increasing the racial diversity of our leadership to reflect the diversity of our frontline employees.
  • Culture: Cultivating an inclusive culture so employees feel welcomed and that they belong.
  • Public Leadership: Working with community-based organizations to positively impact the lives of young people through education and career development.

We are expanding our programs for outreach, recruitment and career pathways to cultivate and support diverse talent and continue to work closely with our employee business resource groups and external partners to learn and improve. See our latest DEI progress.

About the aircraft

Where did the idea come from?

As an airline with the unique asset of aircraft, we have a long history of wearing our values on our wings, including our “Honoring those who serve” aircraft, which honors the brave men and women of the U.S. military. We use our aircraft to drive awareness and inspire conversation around topics of importance to our company and the communities we serve.

Alaska employees inspired the aircraft following conversations with Alaska’s Black business resource group known as ABEA or Alaska Air Group Black Employees, Allies & Advocates, around last summer’s civil unrest.

De Marco Best, a Duty Manager of Simulator Operations in Seattle, who has been an ABEA leader since its inception in 2006, says this aircraft is a small part of Alaska’s equity and inclusion efforts. It represents the most visible part of its commitment for the next decade and holds us accountable for creating an equitable future, says Best—for our children, our grandchildren, and us all.

“This airplane supports kids and education. I happen to have an affinity for education and kids, especially underserved youth and those who look like me. I think all kids could be inspired by this plane to find a career that they’ll love. If every child can find a career—not a job— that they are passionate about, it could propel them and create lasting change that instills the power of education,” said Best.

We focused on one key question: How can Alaska do something lasting, inspirational and impactful? With aircraft as our biggest tool, we realized we could create a flying reminder of the work toward equity.

Who are the faces?

The custom-painted Boeing 737-900 ER features artistic renderings of 14 students connected to Alaska’s employees, along with quotes from legendary social activists, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and former South African President Nelson Mandela, whose leadership and words continue to drive our commitment. Learn more about the students represented on Our Commitment aircraft.

Who are the designers?

The typography and color palette on the aircraft were created by Adé Hogue, a Chicago-based artist and designer who found inspiration in Civil Rights Movement-era imagery.

“At the beginning, my mind went to protest posters from the 60s and the shape of the design slowly shifted into what you see today,” Hogue said. “A lot of the sort of lettering pieces I do, especially with things like this, I try to use the subject matter as a basis for things I’m creating. I think we integrated something that feels strong and impactful.”

Hogue worked with designer Jonny Mack, who has previously designed ten of Alaska’s special aircraft, to take our employees’ vision and make it a reality.

“Designing artwork for an airplane is incredible. It’s a big challenge and there’s lots of things that go into it. We knew we wanted to illustrate actual people instead of generic profiles that didn’t mean anything—we decided ‘let’s feature real people and have a real story to tell,’” said Mack.

The type treatment, he added, was a critical piece.

“The quotes from activists, thinkers and world changers on the plane are just as important as the people … and are a heavy weight to put on somebody—Adé was the first person I thought of for this project because I’ve seen his work and saw what he was doing in this space for social justice,” said Mack.

Adé Hogue and Jonny Mack met in 2019 at a Letter West design conference in Salt Lake City, sponsored by Alaska Airlines.

What can flyers expect onboard?

Onboard, guests will be able to learn more about the aircraft through a custom seatback card and digital resources featuring bios of the students on the aircraft, details on Alaska’s DEI commitments, and information about UNCF, including how to donate miles to support college students.

Video:

JetBlue reports a GAAP pre-tax loss of $347 million in the first quarter

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 2019 (Spotlight)

JetBlue Airways Corporation today reported its results for the first quarter 2021:

  • Reported GAAP loss per share of ($0.78) in the first quarter of 2021 compared to a diluted earnings per share of $0.14 in the first quarter of 2019. Adjusted loss per share was ($1.48)(1) in the first quarter of 2021 versus adjusted diluted earnings per share of $0.16(1) in the first quarter of 2019. Note A to this earnings release includes the GAAP to Non-GAAP reconciliation between reported and adjusted diluted earnings per share.
  • GAAP pre-tax loss of ($347) million in the first quarter of 2021, compared to a pre-tax income of $58 million in the first quarter of 2019. Excluding one-time items, adjusted pre-tax loss of ($636) million(1) in the first quarter of 2021 versus adjusted pre-tax income of $70 million(1) in the first quarter of 2019.

Operational Highlights from the First Quarter

  • First quarter 2021 revenue declined 61% year over two as a result of the impact of COVID-19. The decline is on the lower end of our prior expectations for the quarter of a 61 to 64% decline year over two, and represents a six-point sequential improvement quarter over quarter, mainly driven by sustained momentum in booking trends for leisure travel beginning in mid-February.
  • Reduced first quarter 2021 capacity by 41% year over two, in line with our original planning assumption, as a result of actions taken to capture improving demand, manage cash burn and protect liquidity.
  • Operating expenses declined 43% year over two. Excluding special items, adjusted operating expenses declined 26%(1) year over two, which is better than our planning assumption of a decrease of 25% year over two, despite higher fuel prices. The results were driven by capacity reductions and initiatives taken to reduce variable and fixed costs.
  • Resulting primarily from the actions taken, JetBlue’s Adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, Amortization and Special Items (Adjusted EBITDA) in the first quarter of 2021 was ($458) million(1), better than the ($490) to ($540) million range previously expected.

Balance Sheet and Liquidity

  • JetBlue ended the first quarter of 2021 with approximately $3.2 billion in unrestricted cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments, or 40% of 2019 revenue.
  • JetBlue repaid $94 million in regularly scheduled debt and finance lease obligations and repaid the fully drawn $550 million revolving credit facility during the first quarter of 2021.
  • JetBlue has taken the following measures in the first quarter to manage liquidity:
    • Raised approximately $750 million with a convertible debt offering transaction.
    • Continued to achieve significant savings through aggressive capacity management and executing actions to manage our fixed and variable cost structure.
    • Redeployed assets to capture short-term, tactical cash generation opportunities and make long term network investments in our focus cities.

Fuel Expense and Hedging

The realized fuel price in the first quarter 2021 was $1.72 per gallon, a 16% decline versus first quarter 2019 realized fuel price of $2.05.

As of April 27 2021, JetBlue has not entered into forward fuel derivative contracts to hedge its fuel consumption for the second quarter of 2021. Based on the forward curve as of April 16th, JetBlue expects an average all-in price per gallon of fuel of $1.87 in the second quarter of 2021.

Our Recovery Plan and Actions Taken to Position JetBlue for Future Success

“Although our EPS remains in negative territory, we have seen meaningful progress in the demand recovery, and have started to gain momentum from the groundwork we have laid to emerge from the crisis as a stronger JetBlue,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s Chief Executive Officer.

“Looking back to our work from 2020, I could not be more confident in our future. Our teams continue executing our comprehensive recovery plan, reducing our cash burn, rebuilding our margins, and repairing our balance sheet. We have seen positive cash from operations for March, and this milestone is our first step towards achieving positive EBITDA and returning to profitability.”

Action Plan, Revenue and Capacity

“While we initially anticipated trends improving during the quarter, we saw a bigger than expected step up in demand for leisure travel beginning in mid-February,” said Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s President and Chief Operating Officer.

“For the second quarter of 2021, our planning assumption for revenue is a decline of between (30%) and (35%) year over two, the largest sequential improvement in our revenue since the start of the pandemic. We expect unit revenue to significantly improve, driven by both increasing load factors and improving yields.

“During the pandemic we have been focused on balancing supply and demand, managing our capacity to maximize revenue and rebuild our margins. For the second quarter of 2021, our planning assumption is for capacity to decline approximately (15%) year over two, given the strong sequential improvement in demand.”

Financial Performance and Outlook

“In March we reached breakeven cash from operations and our first quarter Adjusted EBITDA(1) was ahead of the range we anticipated, a result of improving revenue trends and continuing to successfully manage our cost structure, despite increasing fuel prices,” said Steve Priest, JetBlue’s Chief Financial Officer.

“For the second quarter, we estimate EBITDA will range between ($100) and ($200) million(2), reflecting an acceleration of demand, partly offset by cost pressures from fuel prices, and airport rents and landing fees. On an EBITDA basis, we believe we will reach breakeven in the third quarter, and expect to remain in positive territory through the end of the year.

“Since the start of the pandemic, we have gone deep on our cost structure with a focus on our fixed cost base, adding to the continued momentum from our Structural Cost Program. We expect to achieve better than 2019 CASM ex-fuel in 2022, providing a path to expand our EBITDA and ultimately, our pre-tax margins.

“Going forward, as we produce positive cash from operations, we plan to prioritize paying down high cost debt. We also intend to continue to take a strategic and measured approach to return to investment grade metrics and a debt to cap ratio between 30% and 40%.”

Top Copyright Photo: JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N794JB (msn 4904) (Spotlight) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 949849.

JetBlue aircraft slide show:

British Airways adds four new short-haul destinations to its network

British Airways Airbus A320-232 WL G-EUYP (msn 5784) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 943606.

British Airways has today announced four new short-haul routes to Wroclaw (WRO) and Gdansk (GDN) in Poland, Riga (RIX) in Latvia and Cluj-Napoca (CLJ) in Romania.

The routes add breadth to the airline’s schedule and will operate from the beginning of July, running throughout summer. All flights will be served from Heathrow, with Wroclaw operating twice a week, and Gdansk, Riga and Cluj-Napoca operating three times a week.

All flights will be operated by British Airways’ short-haul Airbus fleet.

Wroclaw is known for its beautiful architecture and array of stunning bridges and islands that cross the Odra River. Gdansk, on the Baltic Sea, offers fine museums, a dominating church building and a beautiful old city. Riga, the largest of all three Baltic capital cities, houses a UNESCO World Heritage site, and is known for its Art Nouveau style buildings. Cluj-Napoca, or simply Cluj, is Romania’s second largest city and often described as a cultural hub. British Airways last operated flights to Riga in 2007, and flew briefly to Gdansk between 1999 and the early-2000s. The airline has never served the other two airports.

Alongside today’s new routes, British Airways will also launch a new summer service to Perugia on June 28, 2021. This was due to start in 2020 but was delayed due to the impact of the pandemic.

British Airways has introduced a range of safety measures and partnerships to make the travel experience simple, safe and enjoyable during and after the pandemic. These include partnerships with cleaning brand Dettol, testing providers Randox and Qured, and mobile travel health app VeriFly.

 

Route Dates operating Days of week Flight number Outbound timings Inbound timings Return from
Wroclaw, Poland, WRO 1 Jul – 26 Sep Thurs, Sun BA5223 0735-1045 1135-1245 £83
Gdansk, Poland, GDN 2 Jul – 26 Sep Wed, Fri, Sun BA5323 1600-1910 2000-2115 £85
Riga, Latvia, RIX 2 Jul – 26 Sep Wed, Fri, Sun BA3801 1500-1940 2030-2115 £94
Cluj-Napoca, Romania, CLJ 2 Jul – 26 Sep Wed, Fri, Sun BA5367 0700-1150 1240-1340 £95

Top Copyright Photo: British Airways Airbus A320-232 WL G-EUYP (msn 5784) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 943606.

British Airways aircraft slide show (Airbus):

Ryanair launches 160 UK routes for Summer 2022

Ryanair (Malta Air) Boeing 737-8AS WL 9H-QCP (EI-FRJ) (msn 44734) PMI (Javier Rodriguez). Image: 951046.

Ryanair has announced the early release of its Summer 2022 schedule for the UK, which includes over 1,800 departing flights per week across 160 routes to its most popular destinations, with further routes to be announced in the coming months. All routes can be booked as far out as October 2022.

Popular summer destinations such as Faro, Fuerteventura, Ibiza, Lanzarote, Marseille and Malta are all on the list for Summer 2022. In addition, eager city breakers can plan their trip to the likes of Budapest, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Rome plus many more.

Overall the airlines has also announced the early release of its Summer 2022 schedule, which includes over 10,000 flights per week across 500 routes to its most popular destinations, with further routes to be announced in the coming months. All routes can be booked as far out as October 2022.

Popular summer destinations such as Barcelona, Ibiza, Lanzarote, Lisbon, Malta, the Greek islands and Naples are all on the list for Summer 2022. In addition, excited city breakers can plan their trip to the likes of Berlin, Krakow, Venice, Rome and Seville plus many more.

Top Copyright Photo: Ryanair (Malta Air) Boeing 737-8AS WL 9H-QCP (EI-FRJ) (msn 44734) PMI (Javier Rodriguez). Image: 951046.

Ryanair (Malta Air) aircraft slide show:

Qatar Airways to launch three weekly flights to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

A7-BHD

Qatar Airways has announced it will operate three weekly flights to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire via Accra from June 16, 2021 becoming the fourth new destination in Africa announced by the national carrier of the State of Qatar since the start of the pandemic.

The Abidjan service will be operated by the airline’s state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner featuring 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for the aviation industry and, despite this, Qatar Airways never ceased operations and worked diligently to take people home safely and reliably throughout the crisis. The airline has also added seven new destinations in the past 12 months including San Francisco and Seattle in the US, Abuja, Accra and Luanda in Africa, and Brisbane and Cebu in Asia Pacific.  The airline also recently announced that it will resume services to Khartoum, Sudan, with four weekly flights starting May 11, 2021.

The national carrier of the State of Qatar continues to rebuild its network, which currently stands at over 130 destinations with plans to increase to more than 1,200 weekly flight to over 140 destinations by end of July 2021. With more frequencies being added to key hubs, Qatar Airways offers unrivaled connectivity to passengers, making it easy for them to travel when they want to. Qatar Airways also offers strong connectivity to Asia-Pacific with destinations such as Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta and Manila among many others.

Flight Schedule Monday, Wednesday & Friday:

Doha (DOH) to Abidjan (ABJ) QR1423 departs: 02:20 arrives: 09:10

Abidjan (ABJ) to Doha (DOH) QR1424 departs: 17:20 arrives: 06:10 +1

Top Copyright Photo: Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner A7-BHD (msn 64216) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 948027.

Qatar Airways aircraft slide show:

 

Reuters: Emirates may need to raise cash if air travel does not pick up

From Reuters:

“Emirates may need to raise more cash this year, possibly through another equity injection from the Dubai government, if demand for air travel does not pick up soon, its president said on Wednesday.

The state carrier had hoped the global vaccine rollout would renew confidence in air travel but demand remains at very low levels, leaving many airlines to ground planes or fly them near-empty.

“We are good for another six, seven or eight months in terms of cash. We have sufficient cash coming in to be able to keep the day-to-day operation at a neutral basis,” Tim Clark told the online World Aviation Festival.

“But like everybody else, if in six months global demand is where it is today then we are all going to face difficulties. Not just Emirates”

Read the full article.