Author Archives: Bruce Drum

About Bruce Drum

I have started the ultimate digital photo library of the fascinating world of airliners and airlines. The goal is to have the complete history of all airlines and the various aircraft operated. I have been photographing airplanes since 1965. Join us in this adventure.

Frontier to quadruple its Miami flight schedule this fall

"Choo, the Pika"

Frontier Airlines has announced that in November it will expand its schedule at Miami International Airport by a total of 28 weekly flights and six additional routes, bringing its total weekly departures to 57.

Its new Miami schedule will include three weekly flights to Hartford/Springfield and three weekly flights to San Juan beginning November 14, in addition to four weekly flights to Boston starting November 15 – three first-time routes by Frontier from MIA. Frontier will also launch four daily flights to Detroit starting November 15, as well as bring back daily service to New York LaGuardia and Chicago O’Hare on November 14.

This news comes on the heels of last month’s announcement that Frontier will begin daily service from MIA to Las Vegas on September 10, followed by four weekly flights to both Cincinnati and Cleveland on October 10.

Frontier currently operates 14 weekly flights from MIA: daily flights to Denver; four weekly flights to Philadelphia; and three weekly flights to Atlanta. After launching into the Miami market in 2014, Frontier has become MIA’s fifth-busiest passenger airline, carrying more than 725,000 total passengers in 2018.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Frontier Airlines (2nd) Airbus A320-251N WL N331FR (msn 8239) (Choo, the Pika) SNA (Michael B. Ing). Image: 947123.

Frontier Airlines aircraft slide show:

Advertisements

Air Canada to resume full India schedule

Air Canada announced it will resume its daily, nonstop TorontoDelhi flights on October 1, 2019 (eastbound) and October 3, 2019 (westbound).

The Taj Mahal. (CNW Group/Air Canada)

The TorontoDelhi flights will be operated initially with Boeing 787 Dreamliners and beginning October 27, additional capacity will be added to this route with 400-seat Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

Air Canada’s seasonal TorontoMumbai flights will operate four times weekly from October 27, 2019 until March 28, 2020 with Boeing 777-200LR aircraft.

Air Canada will have up to 18 weekly flights conveniently connecting a multitude of cities in North America to Delhi from both Toronto and Vancouver, and to Mumbai from Toronto.

 

Flight Number

Depart

Arrive

Days of Operation

AC 42 Toronto-Delhi

YYZ at 22:10

DEL at 21:35

Daily

AC 43 Delhi-Toronto

DEL at 00:10

YYZ at 05:05

Daily

AC 44 Vancouver-Delhi

YVR at 01:15

DEL at 03:50

Daily

AC 45 Delhi-Vancouver

DEL at 05:55

YVR at 07:30

Daily

AC 46 Toronto-Mumbai

YYZ at 20:45

BOM at 22:10

Mon/Wed/Fri/Sun

AC 47 Mumbai-Toronto

BOM at 23:45

YYZ at 05:25

Mon/Tue/Thu/Sat

In another story, Air Canada’s pilots now have another tool at their disposal to make your next flight as smooth as possible.

Since April, pilots on aircraft equipped with Wi-Fi are able to access weather and turbulence data in real time on their iPads, which elevates situational awareness and enhances their ability to avoid bad weather.

“This is a pretty remarkable milestone that has been years in the making,” said Captain Jason Brown, who helped spearhead the project at Air Canada. “This significantly transforms the way pilots access information during a flight and marks the foundation of the digital revolution in the flight deck.”

This new technology, a first in Canada, replaces some of the two-dimensional aspects of obtaining the latest weather and turbulence reports via traditional systems with rich graphical data.

The goal is to help reduce injuries related to turbulence events by giving pilots the ability to see the “big picture” in real time. Pilots will also be able to receive information about turbulence from other aircraft on a similar flight path in so they will be able to try and avoid it as much as possible.

“We used the new real-time access on the first day AC38 Melbourne to Vancouver, it was outstanding. The turbulence information was quite accurate transitioning through the equator,” said Michael Holliday, Captain on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

“I used it on the way home from Haneda the day it went live.  It worked beautifully, especially the turbulence reporting.  We were able to find altitudes that kept the turbulence to an absolute minimum.  This is the most significant addition to our toolkit since the iPads themselves,” said Paul Tauschek, Captain on a Boeing 777.

Air Canada pilots have been using iPads in the flight deck since 2013, referred to as an Electronic Flight Bag or EFB. But they were never connected to the on-board Wi-Fi.

JetBlue announces second quarter 2019 results

 

JetBlue Airways Corporation today reported its results for the second quarter 2019:

  • Reported diluted earnings per share of $0.59 in the second quarter of 2019 compared to a diluted loss per share of $0.39 in the second quarter of 2018. Adjusted diluted earnings per share was $0.60(1) in the second quarter of 2019 versus $0.37(1) in the second quarter of 2018. Note A to this earnings release includes the GAAP to Non-GAAP reconciliation between reported and adjusted diluted earnings per share.
  • GAAP pre-tax income of $236 million in the second quarter of 2019, compared to a pre-tax loss of $162 million in the second quarter of 2018. Excluding the one-time costs, adjusted pre-tax income of $238 million(1), an increase of 52% from the second quarter of 2018.
  • Pre-tax margin of 11.2%, inclusive of the one-time costs, up from pre-tax margin of (8.4%) in the second quarter of 2018. Adjusted pre-tax margin of 11.3%(1), a 3.2 percentage point increase year over year.

Highlights from the Second Quarter 2019

  • Second quarter 2019 revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 3.1% year over year, driven by holiday calendar placement and strong close-in trends. This increase is above the mid-point of our original guidance range of 1.0% to 4.0%.
  • Operating expenses per available seat mile, excluding fuel (CASM ex-fuel) (1) increased 1.8%, better than the mid-point of our initial guidance range of 1.5% to 3.5%. This increase is mainly driven by pilot contract costs, offset by ramping benefits of the Structural Cost Program and the favorable timing of expenses.

Key Guidance for the Third Quarter and Full Year 2019:

  • Capacity is expected to increase between 3.0% and 5.0% year over year in the third quarter 2019. For the full year 2019, JetBlue expects capacity to increase between 5.5% and 6.5%.
  • RASM growth is expected to range between 0.5% and 3.5% for the third quarter 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
  • CASM ex-fuel is expected to increase between 0.5% and 2.5% for the third quarter of 2019, due to approximately 1.5 points related to the timing of expenses moving from the first half, and lower capacity during the period. For the full year 2019, JetBlue expects year over year CASM ex-fuel to grow between 0.5% and 1.5%.

Executing our Plan to Reach our EPS Commitments

“Thanks to the hard work of our crewmembers, JetBlue is consistently recognized as one of the best airlines in the world. We are excited with the progress we are making on our ‘building blocks’ and towards our 2020 financial goals. As we look to the second half of 2019, we expect a return to margin expansion and EPS growth,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s Chief Executive Officer.

“Airbus has recently communicated additional A321neo delays that will reduce our 2020 growth plans and naturally add pressure to our CASM ex-fuel. Despite these delays, we remain confident that we can execute both our unit cost commitments and achieve our $2.50 to $3.00 earnings per share target for 2020.”

“We believe our work is positioning us for success into the next decade. Next year we anticipate the first delivery of our margin-accretive A220s, a game-changing aircraft to further help us reduce our unit costs, improve our margins and increase our EPS. We are thrilled that we recently converted 13 additional A321s in our existing order book to A321 XLRs, and we expect to begin our European service by adding London from Boston and New York starting in 2021.”

Revenue Performance and Outlook

“During the second quarter our capacity grew 5.9 percent, slightly over the mid-point of our guidance range of 4.5 to 6.5 percent. This was due to a solid completion factor in the quarter, despite runway construction in Fort Lauderdaleand JFK, and smaller projects elsewhere in our network,” said Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s President and Chief Operating Officer.

“We continue to adapt to an always changing industry environment. This quarter we saw new challenges in the Caribbean, in Punta Cana leisure markets. Leisure is an important part of our business, but the majority of our traffic to the Dominican Republic is VFR, or ‘visiting friends and relatives’ that has proven to be more resilient.

Looking into the third quarter, we expect RASM growth between 0.5 and 3.5 percent year over year. The third quarter guidance includes our expectation for continued close-in strength and a 0.75 percentage point headwind largely from Punta Cana. We expect the benefits of our network reallocation efforts will continue to ramp, and we are pleased with the ancillary changes we implemented last year.”

Cost Performance, Outlook and Balance Sheet

“Our second quarter CASM ex-fuel represents a unit cost increase below the mid-point of our guidance range. For the third quarter, we expect CASM ex-fuel growth to range between 0.5 and 2.5 percent. Our guidance includes approximately 1.5 percentage points of maintenance and marketing expenses that has shifted to the third quarter from earlier in the year. Our capacity growth is unusually low this quarter. Our lower capacity is driven both by NEO delivery delays, and our decision earlier in the year to moderate off-peak capacity to support our RASM and margins,” said Steve Priest, JetBlue’s EVP Chief Financial Officer.

“We have made significant progress in our Structural Cost Program over the past six months. We are pleased to report that we have now achieved $257 million dollars in run rate savings by 2020. We are pleased to have recently signed a long-term engine maintenance agreement covering over half of our V2500 engines, which serve our current Airbus fleet. We expect CASM ex-fuel growth of 0.5 to 1.5 percent for 2019 despite A321neo delivery delays.”

Capital Allocation and Liquidity

JetBlue ended the quarter with approximately $909 million in unrestricted cash, cash equivalents, and short term investments, or 11.4% of trailing twelve month revenue. In addition, at the end of the quarter, JetBlue maintained approximately $625 million in undrawn lines of credit. JetBlue repaid $49 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations for the second quarter.

Fuel Expense and Hedging

The realized fuel price in the quarter was $2.16 per gallon, a 5.3% decline versus second quarter 2018 realized fuel price of $2.28.

JetBlue has not entered into forward fuel derivative contracts to hedge its fuel consumption for the third quarter of 2019. Based on the forward curve as of July 12th, JetBlue expects an average all-in price per gallon of fuel of $2.18in the third quarter of 2019.

Daily Headlines – July 23, 2019

Airline news from other sources:

British Airways strike threat: When would the pilot walkout happen and which flights would be affected?

Four Seasons unveils new around the world private jet trip itineraries

Khazanah Hires Morgan Stanley for Malaysia Airlines Strategy

Croatia Airlines plans modest growth prior to sale

3 Ways United Airlines Is Taking a Different Path

Boeing’s 737 MAX Grounding Spills Over Into Economy, Weighs on GDP

Air New Zealand are seeking temporary flight attendants for summer dream job

 

Air France launches live TV on board, in partnership with France 24

Air France made this announcement:

Since July 19, 2019, the company’s customers have had complimentary access to TV channel France 24’s full live content, on board their flight. This offer is available on all Air France medium-haul flights equipped with Air France CONNECT.

On medium-haul flights equipped with the Air France CONNECT connectivity service, the company’s customers have access to an entertainment programme portal, in addition to their Wi-Fi access. They can thus enjoy at no extra charge, a wide selection of films, series and documentaries on their personal smartphone, tablet or PC. This portal also gives them access to real-time news bulletins throughout their flight, thanks to France 24 channel’s live-streaming TV, in French and English.

On its long-haul flights, Air France also offers customers a selection of France 24 documentaries and programmes as part of its in-flight entertainment offer accessible from their individual screens. The France 24 channel is also broadcast live in most Air France-KLM airport lounges, in French, English and Arabic.

Air France CONNECT, Air France’s connectivity service

The Air France CONNECT connectivity service is available on all Wi-Fi-equipped Air France medium and long-haul aircraft. Customers have access to 3 Wi-Fi passes – a free “Message” pass, ideal for using instant messaging apps, the “Surf” pass for surfing the internet and consulting and sending emails, and the “Stream” pass for enjoying a faster connection.

On medium-haul flights, Air France CONNECT also offers customers access to a diverse and continually evolving entertainment programme portal. This offer includes films, series, documentaries and now also live TV, and more recently music and Audible audiobooks.

With the aim of having a fully-connected fleet by end-2020, Wi-Fi continues to be rolled out on board Air France’s medium and long-haul aircraft. To date, 50 aircraft have been equipped (35 long-haul aircraft and 15 short and medium-haul aircraft) and at the end of this year, half of the medium and long-haul fleets will be connected.

British Airways pilots vote to strike

BALPA, the union representing British Airways pilots, has released this statement:

BALPA’s industrial action ballot of members in British Airways has now closed, with a 93% vote in favour of industrial action on a 90% turnout.

BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said:

“This strong result demonstrates the resolve of BA pilots, and shows BA that it must table a sensible improved offer if a strike is to be averted. Sadly three days of ACAS talks have not moved the company’s position one iota. Settlement of this dispute is in BA’s hands.

“We do not wish to inconvenience our customers which is why we have tried to resolve this matter through negotiation starting last November – it is BA who has regrettably chosen to drag this out into the summer months.”

BALPA believes the cost to BA to settle dispute in full is significantly less than the cost would be of even a single day’s strike action.

BA’s attempt to injunct this industrial action in the High Court tomorrow [Tuesday 23rd July] means that any further negotiations are on hold while we prepare to defend our right to take this action

BA is making massive profits as a result of the hard work and dedication of staff, including because of sacrifices made during hard times. Thankfully BA is no longer in a fight for survival so, like the airline’s senior managers and directors, pilots deserve a small fraction of that profit via, for instance, a profit share scheme.

We currently do not have dates for any potential strike action and will issue an update on this in due course. We remain hopeful that this dispute can be resolved before strike action, but we remain committed to action if necessary.

WestJet announces its winter schedule

WestJet announced increased frequency and improved connectivity from its hubs to more destinations across its network.

WestJet’s seasonal schedule for winter 2019/2020 features more flights from Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto to domestic, transborder, international and sun destinations and includes WestJet’s seasonal service to both Paris and Nashville from Calgary, commencing earlier than past years on March 12 (Paris) and March 16 (Nashville). WestJet’s popular daily summer seasonal service between Calgary and Portland (PDX) will also extend through winter.

For winter, WestJet’s 787-9 Dreamliner will also fly between Calgary and Maui and as previously announced, the airline’s new weekly non-stop service between Victoria International Airport (YYJ) and Los Cabos Mexico International Airport (SJD) begins November 5, 2019 and service between Calgary and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ) (below) commences on December 14, 2019.

Highlights of WestJet’s 2019/2020 winter schedule include:

  • Calgary-Halifax, from seven times weekly to 10 times weekly
  • Calgary-London, Gatwick, from three times weekly to four times weekly flights
  • Calgary-Fort Lauderdale, from once weekly to twice weekly
  • Calgary-Honolulu, from two times weekly to three times weekly
  • Calgary-Varadero, from once weekly to twice weekly
  • Calgary-Paris, seasonal service beginning March 12, 2020
  • Calgary-Nashville, seasonal service beginning March 16, 2020
  • Calgary-Portland, extension of daily summer route through winter
  • Calgary-Maui, 787 Dreamliner service
  • Vancouver-Winnipeg, from 13 times weekly to two daily flights
  • Vancouver-Orange County, from six times weekly to daily
  • Vancouver-San Jose del Cabo, from five times weekly to daily
  • Vancouver-Puerto Vallarta, from eight times weekly to nine times weekly
  • Vancouver-Huatulco, from once weekly to twice weekly
  • Vancouver-Cancun, from seven times weekly to nine times weekly
  • Toronto-Fort Myers, from 10 times weekly to 11 times weekly
  • Toronto-Aruba, from twice weekly to three times weekly
  • Toronto-Kingston, from three times weekly to four times weekly
  • Toronto-London, Gatwick, daily service offered on WestJet’s 787 Dreamliner
  • Ottawa-Fort Myers, from once weekly to twice weekly
  • Edmonton-Saskatoon, from 18 times weekly to 23 times weekly
  • Victoria- San Jose Del Cabo, new weekly service beginning November 5, 2019
  • Calgary-Punta Cana, new weekly service beginning December 14, 2019

All photos by WestJet.